Chapter 24:

Epilogue – No End in Sight


Yukio was in Ebromia, sitting on a stone and observing the vast forest of Kelna. It was the same stone where he sat the last time he came here. Only the last time, he was nowhere near as angry as he was now.Bookmark here

There was no way he could forget their betrayal.Bookmark here

The raging fire inside him was enough to burn the forest in front of him to the ground.Bookmark here

He would never-Bookmark here

Suddenly, he wasn’t in Ebromia anymore.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

He was floating. Only instead of darkness, his surroundings were filled with a white light. Wherever his eyes went, everything was white. There was no single source of light. There was no sense of up, down, right, or left. Everywhere he looked, he got the same image. A white, empty horizon.Bookmark here

It was like looking at the sky, and also different, as the sky was blue and sometimes had clouds as well.Bookmark here

No matter how much he floated, he couldn’t reach the horizon. The absolute white in front of him soon made him feel like he wasn’t moving, like he was stuck at the same place.Bookmark here

The experience wasn’t anything like he had while he was in the Black. Unlike that time, he was completely alert, perfectly aware that it wasn’t a dream. And that was what made it all the more terrifying.Bookmark here

He screamed. No sound came out.Bookmark here

He tried to drift faster.Bookmark here

He screamed again. No sound this time either.Bookmark here

He beat on his chest, pinched himself hard, and realized there was no pain. He couldn’t use his powers either.Bookmark here

He screamed again, and again, and again.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

For a long time, he just kept floating, alone. He didn’t need to eat, didn’t need to relieve himself. He doubted that the space contained air; the motion of taking breaths was likely something out of habit. The only solace was that unlike in the Black, here he had a sense of his body. And that meant he could close his eyes, put his hands over them, and find solace in the darkness.Bookmark here

That was probably what kept him from going completely insane.Bookmark here

That, and the soundless screams.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

One day, if the concept of days existed in that place, he was screaming. Or trying, depending on how one saw it. Suddenly, for the first time after coming to that place, he heard something.Bookmark here

“Oh. A new one.”Bookmark here

It wasn’t a sound that he heard. It was more like someone was inside his head, and suddenly decided to speak.Bookmark here

“Hey. This way.”Bookmark here

Okay, maybe that was not it.Bookmark here

As he looked around him, for the first time, he spotted something in the horizon. A black dot.Bookmark here

And just like that, his sense of direction was restored. Or at least part of it.Bookmark here

The more he drifted towards the dot, the larger it became, until it was the shape of a human being. A middle-aged man with a grey beard, to be precise.Bookmark here

Only, the man wasn’t wearing anything.Bookmark here

Despite that, his eyes were fixed on the man. If it was possible for him to feel physical sensations, he was sure that he would have palpitations.Bookmark here

“Hello. My name is Thom. What is your name?”Bookmark here

Thom’s mouth wasn’t moving. The voice was again coming from inside his head.Bookmark here

“How are you…”Bookmark here

“It’s how everyone talks here. You’re doing the same, aren’t you?”Bookmark here

He hadn’t even realized that he answered the man through his mind as well.Bookmark here

“The best part is, your voice is automatically translated to my language. Or at least something that I can understand.”Bookmark here

He realized that the voice he heard also resembled Japanese, although the man was clearly not.Bookmark here

“So, how long have you been here?”Bookmark here

Before he could say anything else, Thom asked him.Bookmark here

“I… I don’t know…”Bookmark here

“Oh, okay. That’s fine. When you spend a long-”Bookmark here

“What is this place?” Thom was interrupted.Bookmark here

“I don’t know,” he said, “No one does. You’ve been to the Black, right? It’s probably some place like that. I just call it the ‘White’. Get it? Because it’s-”Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah,” he had so many questions that he didn’t know where to start. “So, I was on the planet Ebromia, and then something happened and-”Bookmark here

“Oh, you haven’t tried it before?”Bookmark here

“Tried what?”Bookmark here

“There’s a first time for everything, I guess. Everyone else I’ve met, even the other ‘Me’s, all of them did it at least 3 or 4 times.”Bookmark here

“Did what?” He was certain that the man, Thom, wasn’t right in the head. Then again, where they were…Bookmark here

“Time travel.” Thom finally answered.Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

After Thom explained how it worked, he felt extremely confused.Bookmark here

“But I just learned about them! Why would I want to go back to the past? It doesn’t make any sense!”Bookmark here

“Well, that is something you would need to ask your other self. Not that you will ever get the chance. This is the dustbin where all of our discarded selves go, after we make the mistake of Jumping to a specific time in our world. In fact, I realized it after talking to another ‘Me’. He was from a time that I hadn’t experienced. He said that after going back, he just waited for the game and caught it at the perfect time. Unlike me, who was late and hurrying towards the forest.”Bookmark here

He grabbed his head with both of his hands. The information he was getting certainly explained his situation, but so far it offered no solutions. As Thom said, they were people who were discarded from their universes, and now floated in a place outside space and time.Bookmark here

With no end in sight.Bookmark here

“There was a woman I met,” Thom kept talking on his own, “She had a knife. She sliced off most of her body except her right hand. It was after looking at her that I realized we don’t even have real bodies here. Like, if you chop off your arm, you won’t see any blood or bone. It would just be white colored muscles. I tried it as well, see?”Bookmark here

The man was pointing between his legs. Even without looking directly, he could tell that there was nothing there.Bookmark here

“The woman was insane. Well, she said she was here for over a thousand years. Compared to that I’m new as well. Been here for a few hundred years I guess?”Bookmark here

With another attempt at a scream, he grabbed the man’s neck, “Is there no way, absolutely no way of getting out of here?”Bookmark here

“If there was,” Thom’s face was as expressionless as he saw it the first time, “Do you think I’ll still be here?”Bookmark here

He let the man go. While drifting away, the last thing he said was, “By the way, if you see people drifting around but not saying anything, just let them be. They are likely people who have been here for so long that they’ve stopped functioning. Bye!”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

After Thom left, he kept drifting aimlessly again. Whatever mental energy kept him going had taken a significant hit after hearing the man’s words.Bookmark here

I was better off not knowing anything, he thought.Bookmark here

But soon he realized that his actions didn’t really change after that meeting. He kept screaming every now and then, stretching his body in a futile attempt to feel something, and closing his eyes to get away from the absolute whiteness all around him. His zeal, his hope, his inability to give up trying, all persisted.Bookmark here

Likely because that fire was still burning inside him.Bookmark here

He had no idea why he would try to travel to the past. But if he had to guess, he went back in time to confront Amanda. Yes, she was the reason. She had to be. A foolish version of him who had forgotten about her betrayal tried to confront her before anything happened.Bookmark here

As if she would ever tell him the truth.Bookmark here

As if their relationship would ever have a real meaning.Bookmark here

That stupid version of him tried to trust her. He would never make that mistake.Bookmark here

He would get out of this place, no matter what it takes. He would find them, and he would make them pay for what they did to him.Bookmark here

This time, he would strike so hard, their bones would turn to dust.Bookmark here

He will never, ever forgive them.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.