Chapter 73 – Praying For Rain (21)
“It has to be stopped! By any means, that evil sacrifice…!”
The girl jumped up and slammed the door open as she ran out. The two ran to the other side of the village where the ritual was happening.
Rain ritual… A lake…
Seol Young felt like he knew what the curse this village was subjected to was.
“The wish came true!”
In front of them, Sabiso’s voice rang out.
“Water will flow onto this dry land!”
An earthquake occurred with a roar as the trees fell and the houses collapsed.
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Water began to gush out from the cracks. The people who were staggering were swept away by the water.
The girl was frozen.
“Miss! Come this way!”
Seol Young grabbed her hand.
Zaha opened up a path by cutting down the fallen trees, and the two of them took the girl in the opposite direction of the mess. Climbing onto the slope, they managed to escape to the outskirts of the village.
And then they looked back.
The path to hell had opened up in front of their eyes. Bakdalgol was nowhere to be seen, and the whole place was filled with blue water.
There was debris, uprooted trees, rocks, and stones.
In the midst of all this, the villagers were being swept around helplessly, and they struggled to survive with the water swallowing them.
“Mother! Father! Where are you?!”
“Help me! Hold on to me!”
Screams of desperation rang out.
“Old lady! Master!”
The girl hurriedly ran away, and she shouted at Seol Young and Zaha,
They were about to reach out, but they couldn’t hold onto these people because it was an illusion.
Zaha soon managed to lift an elderly person and went stiff.
Seol Young asked.
“When we came here, I saw a whirlpool, and then…”
“It is because of the hallucinations people get from coming here.”
“Are we hallucinating now?”
“Seeing that only I can hear it, I don’t think it matters very much.”
He sighed and stretched out his hand to help the people.
‘Something is really strange.’
For now, they had to save…
Seol Young had put that thought aside for now.
“Hold on to this!”
He shouted at the villagers and held out a thick branch, but it didn’t work. The current was too strong.
Once they were caught in the water, they couldn’t escape.
“NO! I cannot catch it…!”
Even if they managed to hold the branch, they didn’t last long. They were swept away by the strong current and sank. And after a while, one by one, the corpses floated up. They all floated helplessly in the water.
The girl slumped to her knees.
“In the end, it ended up like this! It’s all my fault! I knew everything, yet I did nothing!”
She burst into tears and coughed out blood.
“I could have saved them! If only I could turn back the time…!”
At that moment, the water swallowed her.
Seol Young ran out to catch her, but he couldn’t catch her. Only water slipped through his fingers. Then there was a strong wave of water that swept them both away.
“Wait, is this what it is?”
From somewhere beyond the waves, Zaha’s voice sounded panicked.
“It seems so. This, this world…”
Seol Young couldn’t say anything more. The water was choking him.
‘As I thought, I hate water.’
That was the last thought he had before he lost consciousness.
How long was it?
He heard the sound of birds chirping and felt something hard on his cheek.
Seol Young opened his eyes to see the sunlight shining down on him.
He was in the woods.
He was lying face down on a rock and looked around to see Zaha get up.
“As I thought.”
The two stared at one place with terrified eyes—the black, burned tree.
As soon as Zaha approached it, the tree he had cut down with his sword before was standing in front of him again.
“It’s back to that morning again.”
Seol Young touched his shoulder.
The lady shaman cried out for the last time before dying.
-If only I could turn back the time…!
Because of that, the world went back to the way it was a day ago.
The last day, when the village was destroyed, was repeated once again. It would be like that over and over again for a very long time.
That was the real curse of Bakdalgol.
“I get it now. What the Tree Spirit God wants. It wants us to end this. So we…”
“Can only go out when it is all over?”
The two looked at the forest.
The village could be seen through the trees. It was a quiet and peaceful place, and that place would be destroyed today.
They couldn’t believe it.
Zaha shook his head.
“This happened because of the rain ritual. Their wish to water the dry land caused the disaster.”
“It was all done by Sabiso. There are times when evil people gather the wishes and malicious feelings of others. They get their strength from them.”
Seol Young recalled the past memories and said,
“We need to help the shrine maiden and defeat him.”
The two drew their swords and walked as silently as they could.
Now they knew what was hidden in this place.
If the trap activated again and the villagers came running, they would waste precious time.
So they managed to infiltrate the village without activating the trap, and Zaha lowered his voice as he said,
“Find the energy of the Spirit God.”
And so they moved very slowly, avoiding being noticed by the villagers. And shortly after, they found it.
A small house at the corner of the village that was isolated. They saw it for the first time.
They didn’t expect the place to be that shabby. They could see the faded, five-colored string hanging from under the roof. It was the shrine where the shaman resided.
The two looked around for a moment. The villagers gathered near the altar, where they would later pray.
Avoiding their attention, they silently moved closer to the shrine.
And when they were almost there, the door suddenly opened.
A foot in a white sock came out, and the person was checking if it was quiet outside. The hem of that person’s sky-blue skirt came out.
The maiden cautiously went outside, but…
She found two men waiting for her. Shocked, she covered her mouth so she wouldn’t scream and barely asked,
“W-Who are you…?”
“Maiden, it is useless even if you steal the wishing beads.”
She was taken aback at Seol Young’s words.
“I made a mistake!”
She fell to the ground right then, and it looked like she would pass out from begging. Seol Young was shocked.
“You went straight to the point.”
Zaha rebuked him and quickly approached the girl.
“We are not bad people. We are here to help. Right, you can think of us as people who are not supposed to be here.”
“Not supposed to be here?”
She blinked her eyes. There was a strange light as she looked at them.
She said it as if she understood.
“I see. You are the people who shouldn’t be here.”
“Right. We are people who will be born a hundred years later.”
Seol Young added.
“But a powerful shaman had summoned us.”
Her face darkened.
“Then you have come to the wrong place. The shaman is on that side. You need to head to the altar there.”
She pointed in the direction where Sabiso was.
Seol Young shook his head.
“What kind of shaman is that evil being? It is the maiden who called for us.”
And he looked at Zaha.
“Right. Aren’t you the very nice shaman maiden who called us?”
She was surprised.
Her eyes teared up at those words, but she wiped them off quickly.
“Sorry. It is the first time I have heard of such a thing since I was born…”
Zaha frowned at this, and he whispered to Seol Young,
“How can that be? Just by looking at her, one can tell that she has an amazing spiritual power?”
“Something must have changed.”
Seol Young drew a fortune-telling talisman in front of her, making her face turn red. It was because of shame, but…
Looking at her up close, there were other emotions as well.
“You are amazing.”
“To draw a talisman in the air and not on paper. A foolish shaman like me cannot have such skills even if I studied all my life.”
“A foolish shaman?”
Seol Young asked in shock.
“Who called you that?”
She said, feeling sad.
“I am foolish.”
“Because I cannot hear or see God.”
“I am sure that God is there, but I cannot see or hear him. So what you were talking about cannot be me.”
Seol Young was silent. Now he knew what had happened.
The last shaman of the old Gods.
That was the identity of the girl in front of him.
The shrine maiden, the shaman who was born with powerful abilities.
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