Omniscient Reader - Chapter 427

Published at 8th of September 2019 04:00:05 PM

Chapter 427: 427
Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, all I could do was to look at the kids and reply . "I am . "

And then, I heard the warning message next .

[Warning! You have come in contact with some of 's members!]

[Chaos residing somewhere deep inside you have begun wiggling . ]


[Judge, 'King of Stone Monkeys', has revealed his displeasure!]

[The contest this time doesn't have anything interesting to watch . ]
A young monkey covered entirely in a coat of rather beautiful golden fur roughly scratched his mane and, while looking at the screens displayed on holographic panels, yawned over and over again .
Another monkey wearing a cowboy get-up watched that from the sidelines before making a retort .

[Judge, 'Manager of Heaven's Stables', is chastising the 'King of Stone Monkeys' . ]

[Meihouwang (Handsome Monkey King), you truly are an impatient one . If you took your time perusing, then you'd have found one or two interesting stories by now . ]
[Hng, Bimawen (Keeper of Heavenly Horses), so was it your lofty patience that allowed you to clean up horse shit for over two weeks straight?]
[… . I'd like to talk about only the refined matters in this place, if we could . ]
[I can already tell what you're going to do with my eyes closed . I mean, you'll just slap high scores to any story that doesn't feature stables in it, anyway . ]
[But, don't you also lose your mind in excitement whenever a story features Mountain of Flowers and Fruit?]
[Oiii, Great Sage! What do you think? Have you found something interesting to watch yet?]
That question was directed to a certain pure-blonde haired man yawning loudly with his chin supported by the Ruyi Bang . He lazily opened his lips . [This year doesn't seem to have anything fresh, that's for sure . ]
[Thought so . ]
[We had quite a few people running around with wild imaginations in the past, hadn't we? Like, how we were portrayed as members of a battle-maniac species that grew stronger by overcoming deadly hurdles . . . . ]
[Hmm, yeah . That was really fun back in the day . But I didn't like the way they portrayed us as humans . ]
Bimawen's words elicited a smirk from the Great Sage . [Oi, looky here . You guys might be monkeys, but I'm almost human, you know?]
[… . But you changed only because of that Fable's influence, didn't you?]
Meihouwang, Bimawen, and the Great Sage .
They were different Fable Bodies of the one that enjoyed the true name of 'Sun Wukong' . At first, they were all one being, but after each of the Fables developed separately, the various personalities split apart from one another as well .
[This kid, Fei Hu's rate of growth is no joke . . . . At this rate, we might have ourselves a brand new 'Sun Wukong' . ]
[Yeaaah, sure . Something that hasn't happened in the last few thousand years will suddenly happen now . Sure thing . ]
Three separate Sun Wukongs had gathered inside this large judge's office to take a gander at the various Fables of the 'Journey to the West Remake' being played out on the holographic panels . Some of them were boring, while a few seemed to be promising enough . They even pressed the 'Like' button on a couple of unfamiliar but interesting ones, too . They also didn't forget to assign scores as the three of them constantly bickered among themselves .

Meihouwang asked . [Hey, Great Sage . I forgot to ask you . What happened to those guys the last time?]
[Which guys?]
[You know, back when you asked us for help so Bimawen and I lent you our powers . ]
[Ahh, you mean the 'Great War of Saints and Demons'? It worked out alright . But their representative went missing . ]
That prompted a retort from Bimawen . [Are you talking about that fool whom you kept chasing after but never chose you as his sponsor?]
[… . Hey, I never chased him around, got that? I only responded once or twice at his ardent pleas, that's all . ]
[Oh, but for that once or twice, I remember you willingly sacrificing some of your scant hair, though?]
[Shut up . ] The Great Sage roughly dug his ear with the Ruyi Bang and changed the topic . [By the way, why hasn't Douzhanshengfo (Victorious Fighting Buddha) arrived yet? All the Sun Wukongs have gathered in one place, so how come he's missing from this occasion?]
[You know that nerd's always late . ]
[What about Bajie and Wujing?]
[They went to speak to the Heavenly Palace people . ]
[… . That Jade Emperor dude, is he thinking of butting in during the judging again?]
[As long as our opinions don't clash, it doesn't matter if that side wishes to interfere . ]
[But, our opinions have never matched before, so there's our problem . ]
As if they were waiting for this very moment, the door to the judge's office was pushed open, and Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing made their entrance .
[Excuse me, hyung-nims . The higher-ups say that it's about time we announce this year's best candidates . . . . ]
[Shut it . Can't you see we're still busy?]
Both Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing flinched from Meihouwang's threatening voice and took hurried steps back .
The Great Sage asked them . [By the way, who's the lady behind you?]
[Ah, apologies for the late introduction . She's this year's new judge . I heard that she's also Sakyamuni's successor . ]

[… . Sakyamuni had a successor?]
Someone entered the office in a calm, composed gait .
However, the moment the Great Sage saw the woman wearing a fine, elegant Buddhist robe and a slender crown, his eyes trembled from shock .
Bimawen sensed that and asked him . [Someone you know?]
The Great Sage didn't reply and simply stared at her face for a while . The woman didn't reciprocate that gaze, instead choosing to cross the table and head towards the panel displaying the Fables .
Bimawen used his chin to point and speak . [This is actually good news . It might not be a bad idea to hear the newbie's opinion . Hey, Miss Sakyamuni's successor, which Fable takes your fancy?]
The woman's robe, busy swaying about, came to a stop in a certain spot .
Sakyamuni's successor stared at a certain story with a pair of still eyes . Her hand slowly reached out and touched the display, causing ripples to spread out like the emotions of longing itself .
[I seem to like this Fable the most . ]


⸢Y ou kn ew al re ady Kim Dok Ja . ⸥
[The 4th Wall] was right . In a way, you could say that I knew something like this would happen . I kind of suspected that the folks in this Fable chamber might be the 's members .

[The agreement with the Wenny King is in danger!]

And also, I thought that it'd give rise to such a result, too . Even then, I couldn't not make this choice .
- You've been warned not to get in contact with them .
[999] sitting on my shoulder whispered to me . Just by meeting the kids, a change was already taking place within my Incarnation body .

[The transformation to the Outer God is accelerating due to the risk to the agreement condition . ]

'I haven't gone against the agreement itself . Technically speaking, the content of the deal was to [never reveal my identity to Kim Dok-Ja Company], wasn't it?'
- The moment they find out, everything will be over .
'I know that already, so stop worrying . '
[Outer God transformation progress percentage: 3%]
Most likely, I'd end up as an Outer God like the 'Secretive Plotter' when that percentage maxes out . I was thinking that honestly, it shouldn't matter as long as I fulfil our agreement before that . For now, I was happy to see the kids walking in front of me in such great harmony .

[A small number of audience members complain that Sanzang can't be two people . ]

While listening to the messages streaming in, I continued to walk behind the kids leading in the front . I heard that children grow remarkably fast every day; that statement really hit home, after realising that they indeed had grown so much taller already .
Now that I thought about it, it sure had been a while since I spent some time with them like this .
I had no idea what either Yi Gil-Yeong or Shin Yu-Seung were thinking about most of the time . It was what the Scenario Master had said . I 'saved' them on my whim, and abandoned them behind with no thoughts of taking any responsibility .
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Just like how it was like for me in the past, these two kids had been left alone and neglected by me .
"Oii, Demon King of Salvation . "
… . So, this was more or less the punishment that I deserve .
Shin Yu-Seung watching on from the side spoke up . "You shouldn't be so rude to someone you don't know . "
"But, Su-Yeong noona said I should act like this, you know?"
"Even then, you should still stick to basic etiquette . "
As expected of my Incarnation .
She studied me with pitying eyes, before whispering to Yi Gil-Yeong via [Nebula Chat] . Of course, since I was also a member of the same Nebula, I could hear her words just fine .
- This way, he'll trust us more, you dummy . What will you do if he decides to wreak havoc later?
I felt goosebumps break out on my skin .
- . . . . You're actually scared of him? Look at his current state, will ya?
For sure, I didn't buy the [Great Sage, Heaven's Equal Avatar Set] sold by so my current attire consisted of nothing more than the 500-year old "standard" ragged clothing .
Shin Yu-Seung patted the dirt away on my clothes and politely greeted me . "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Constellation-nim . We'll be in your care . "
"I'll be in yours as well . Ah, also . How should I call you both?"
Yi Gil-Yeong replied as if he was waiting for that . "I'm the monk Xuan (玄) . And she's the monk Zang (奘) . Call us that from now on . "
His voice was full of mischievousness as if he was playing a game .
So, then . Yi Gil-Yeong was the monk 'Xuan', while Shin Yu-Seung was the monk 'Zang', was it? To think, they'd split the name of the monk Xuanzang and give it to the kids . It was indeed a rather adorable idea .

[A portion of audience members think that the two monks are quite adorable . ]

[Portion of judges find the setting of 'Two Monks' interesting . ]

[4 points have been acquired . ]

Yi Gil-Yeong, still drunk on all these new settings, continued to yap about himself . Meanwhile, Shin Yu-Seung whispered in my ear . "I'm sure you're a little bit confused by all these strange set-ups, yes? I'm really sorry . Our Scenario Master is a bit of an eccentric, so . . . . "
"No, it's fine . "
I could guess who the Scenario Master was already . Well, there could ever be only one person capable of coming up with such an out-there story in , after all .
"Still, you don't have to worry about anything . We'll definitely look after you well . All you have to do is to ride the bus well and just quietly follow us . "
Tears almost broke out from my eyes after being subjected to all this friendly treatment . It would've hardly been enough for me to console the kids first, yet they were worried about me, instead?
What a shameful thing this was .

(At that moment, Sun Wukong swore to protect Sanzang in this life, as well . )

That's right . I'd definitely protect these kids .
I might not have been able to do my role properly in the past but at least, from now on I . . . .
Noises of explosions came from somewhere . I reflexively scanned my vicinity .
It did sound like explosions, sure, but something also felt a bit off about them . Something must've exploded, but why did it sound as if the noise was made by someone's mouth??
Shin Yu-Seung hurriedly approached my side and whispered again . "Please don't panic . We're simply mirroring the original's setting . "
" . . . . Pardon?"
"I heard that in the original story, all onomatopoeia were written in between quotation marks . "

[A portion of the judges are impressed by the unexpected mirroring of the original work!]

[10 additional points have been acquired!]

What the hell? I thought such a thing was a mistake solely reserved to mass-market fantasy genre novels . . . .
I wasn't even given enough time to get flustered by the unexpected level of observation by the Scenario Master on the original work . The kids pushed me behind them and took large steps forward .
Having a look again, I realised that the so-called explosion noises seemed to have originated from a large canyon in front of us .

(Sun Wukong stared deeply at the Shepan Mountain's Yingchou Stream Canyon . Since this was his second stab at life, he knew what would pop out from that canyon . )

If my memory was right, then the second being the group encountered in the Journey to the West was… .

(The third son of the Dragon King of West Sea, Jade Dragon . )

… . Right, it's him . And he would become . . . .

(He was the existence that would be reborn as Tang Sanzang's White Dragon Horse . )

Well, since the narration took care of everything, I didn't have much else to say here .
I stepped forward and spoke up . "Both of you, please hide somewhere . I shall handle this . "
If my memory was working fine, then one of the players took on the role of the 'Tang Sanzang's White Dragon Horse' . I was pretty sure that he was the one behind the current event .
Seeing that the kids were participating in this Fable chamber, the rest of the players should also be from , but if someone with ill intention had somehow butted in here . . . .
" . . . . We told you, you just stay on the bus . "
A small but pretty darn strong hand grabbed my shoulder . I looked back to find Shin Yu-Seung forming a rather scary smile .
"A guy who can't even afford proper clothes wants to show off? Step back!"
Yi Gil-Yeong cracked his knuckles and took a step forward, as well .
I tried to urgently chase after the kids, but they had already ran ahead to the canyon and started fighting a blue-hued Dragon that flew out from there .
Yi Gil-Yeong shouted out the onomatopoeia and rushed forward, and the blue Dragon jumping out from the canyon also roared out in response . I immediately recognised who that Dragon was .

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… . It's the Chimera Dragon??
Kids fought with the blue Dragon as if they were having a dance-off in the air, and through [Taming], subjugated the creature in no time at all .

[Audience members are impressed by the kid Sanzangs' martial prowess!]

[A small number of audience members are lodging a protest, complaining that Sanzangs are too powerful . ]

[A portion of judges are surprised by this unexpected turn of events!]

And a short while later .

['Player 6' -nim has joined the group . ]

The Chimera Dragon was transformed into Xuanzang's white horse, and was dragged over here by the two children .
While trying to understand this situation, which was resolved without me needing to do anything, I recalled the conversation I had with the Scenario Master earlier .

- What will the retired Sun Wukong be doing?
- Nothing .

Only now did I understand just a little bit . This story seemed to be created for this from the word go . And right in the next instant, a message from a familiar Constellation landed in my ear .

[Judge, 'Prisoner of the Golden Headband', finds the current Fable's plot quite interesting . ]

[10 additional points have been acquired . ]


A day passed by like that, then another day went by . I was gradually waking up to the 'identity' of this Fable chamber .
"It's a grasshopper . Eat . "
"Demon King of Salvation-nim . Do your legs hurt?"

⸢This Fable is 'one for Sun Wukong's benefit' . ⸥

(Sun Wukong was really comfortable . )

This would be my first time to be all relaxed and leisurely ever since the scenarios began . My brain had almost seized up after it got submerged in the sea of comfort for too long .

[New Fable is germinating in you!]

[Fable, 'Sneezing Without Hands', has begun its storytelling . ]

I could just about make a guess as to why Han Su-Yeong came up with a scenario like this one .

[Judge, 'Prisoner of the Golden Headband', likes this plot development very much . ]

The Journey to the West was a story built around Sun Wukong's sacrifice . Even the later variations had similar themes, too .
So, what would happen if a 'Fable specifically for Sun Wukong' made its appearance?

[Judge, 'Prisoner of the Golden Headband', is envious of you . ]

[Judge, 'Manager of Heaven's Stables', is envious of you . ]

[Score: 312]

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It seemed that Han Su-Yeong's claim of being a popular author was true . The Fable's total votes had already surpassed 300 and we were enjoying smooth sailing so far .
And well, such a plot wasn't necessarily bad for my companions, either .
Nominally, the MC of the story was Sun Wukong, but as every battle was handled by my companions instead, all the shares of the Fable at the end of the scenario would naturally belong to alone . What a well-thought-out scheme this was – get a nice score tally, and also ensure you'd walk away with Fable shares, too .
"Argh, I wanna play some games on my phone . "
"But you played so much before coming here . "
Even though the kids adorably bickered with each other, they didn't forget to feed me, helped me fall asleep, and hell, even groomed the fur on my head, too .
Yi Gil-Yeong asked me with a pout . "So, like, what do you do originally?"
"It's bad manners to ask about his private life, you dummy . "
Shin Yu-Seung pulling out premature grey hair on my head tackled the boy immediately .
I was slightly worried whether such a meta conversation was allowed or not, but for the time being, I decided to answer him . I thought about it and realised that I hadn't had a chat like this with the kids up until now .
"I just enjoy reading novels . "
"Novels? Ohhh, I like reading them, too . "
Yi Gil-Yeong liked reading novels? Really? That was an unexpected piece of info .
He was now really amped up as he continued on . "Can I recommend you a novel?"
He dared to make a recommendation to me, a veteran of over ten years in reading genre novels? Fine, let's hear him, then .
"It's [SSSSS-grade Infinite Regressor] . It's a super-duper awesome novel, so make sure to read it later, okay?"
Before I noticed it, my second ego jumped out to the fore . "But, as I understand, that novel was a resounding failure . "
"Failure? I heard it was really popular, though? I guess you don't have a discerning eye~ . "
Han Su-Yeong, that moron . Did she boast her novel to these young, gullible kids?
Shin Yu-Seung listening on quickly joined in, as well . "I also really like reading novels!"
"Oh, really? May I ask what kind of novels?"
I kind of was looking forward to her answer . Indeed, if it was Yu-Seung-ee . . .
"Yes, you may! Raymond Carver, Murakami Haruki . . . . !"
… . Now that was a line-up of authors I had heard of before .
I was able to figure out who was in charge of the children's education during my absence .
Yu Sang-Ah-ssi . She should have reincarnated safely by now .
Shin Yu-Seung looked at the dumpling on my shoulder and asked me a question . "By the way, you must really like Murim dumplings?"
"Yes, I do . "
" . . . . . An ahjussi I know also really likes them, too . "
I knew well who she was talking about there .
Yi Gil-Yeong rubbed his stomach and muttered to himself . "Aah, I wish I could eat some dumplings right about now . "
I thought I could sense the 'Murim dumpling' on my shoulder suddenly flinch a little . Indeed, it had been way too long since I had a proper meal .

(But suddenly, the aroma of dumplings began wafting out from somewhere . )

The majority of events taking place within the Journey to the West all began with 'suddenly', just like this .
We exchanged glances and tracked down the origin of that fantastic smell .
And so, who long did we walk on the mountain trail? A huge factory now stood before us .
" . . . . Can a thing like that even exist in this era?"
Just as I began wondering if Han Su-Yeong's version of the Journey was set in the steampunk universe, several humanoids began running outside the factory and headed this way .
"Euh, euh! Everyone, run away!"
However, the escapees were caught by some kind of an invisible force and were dragged back to the factory .
Wondering what on earth was going on here, we quickly sneaked our way inside the factory .
Not too long afterwards, we got to witness the spectacle of thousands of slaves busy kneading and manufacturing something while sticking very close to the moving conveyor belts .
"Could that be . . . ?"
The dumpling [999] on my shoulder whispered .
- They are making [Murim dumplings] .
Thousands upon thousands of Murim dumplings were being carried away by the conveyor belts to a destination unknown .
I stared at the unending 'river' of dumplings and began wondering about the person we were about to meet this time .

(There was only one creature in the whole of the Journey to the West that lusted after food this badly . )

As if he was waiting for us, a man suddenly began speaking to us .

Fin .