Chapter 2. Goddess of Salvation
I became an orphan all of a sudden, but with the help of Danmi, the goddess who had taken care of me, I even moved to an alternative school that would provide for my father’s funeral and meal and board.
I met Danmi, a goddess with exceptionally large and beautiful eyes, when I was about to end my life on my own. To be precise, it was the second day I tried to end my life on my own.
I was the kind of person who would break my nose even if I fell backwards. I was not lucky from birth, but my mother, who was fine, suddenly died giving birth to me, and my maternal grandmother also died after suffering a lot of pain from the shock. My father beat me like a dog whenever he drank, saying it was all because of me who was cursed.
Fortunately, perhaps, that crime didn’t happen until I became an elementary school student. That’s because my paternal grandmother raised me on behalf of her son.
However, with no luck, my grandmother was on her deathbed shortly before I entered elementary school, and I was half-forced to move from my grandmother’s house to my father’s house.
Even when my grandmother was alive, he would come to us whenever he drank and make a fuss to let me out, but it would often fail due to the restraint of a good uncle next door.
On my grandmother’s deathbed, he was able to legally have me, so he used alcohol as an excuse to beat me up. Except for the beating of his children, he was perfectly normal, but he had to avoid the eyes of his neighbors, so most of his beatings were subtle, hidden from the outside.
For the perfect crime, he threatened me as a child that if I revealed the secret, he would kill me without even realizing it. In fact, it was better to die than to live like that, so I thought of exposing his duality to the world, but I gave up on that thought early on because I couldn’t figure out how he was going to kill me in anger.
It wasn’t that I didn’t think about running away. However, I also gave up early because he said he would find me and kill me somehow if I got out of his grasp.
In fact, in the second case, the reason for giving up is a little vague, because I couldn’t dare to run away after being beaten up by him.
The underlying fear of continued violence prevented me from moving forward or backing down. Being hit was always a terrible thing that I couldn’t adapt to, but from that moment on, it became a terrible and natural part of my life. It was too harsh a life for a young little child to bear, but I endured it silently and lived with it. No, I had to hold on.
Many times as the moon rises and sets,
The moon was especially big and beautiful that day. That night, I opened my desk drawer and took out a stationery cutter and tried to make a cut on my wrist with the knife.
It was the second time. The first time was a failure. Ironically, it was my father who took me to the hospital with a cut on my wrist and bleeding.
‘I must not make a mistake today.’
I chose the night he slept deeply. My consciousness was blurred as I held the knife to my wrist as if possessed, and my eyes wandered and lost their focus.
“Don’t do that, dear child….”
At that moment, a girl grabbed my wrist holding a knife, and the soft and moist touch of her brought me to reality. Then, my dazed consciousness gradually returned to normal.
“You… Who are you…?!”
She had exceptionally large eyes and was a pretty girl who looked five or six years older than me. But the moment I saw her, not knowing how she appeared, I felt strange. Because I had a hunch that she would save me from this terrible nightmare.
It was an unusual name.
“I lived in the mountain behind your house a long time ago.”
“The mountain behind my house?”
Danmi said she lived in Bugaksan Mountain, behind my house.
“I don’t live there now. But I come here often. Your dad always hits you. I felt sorry for you.”
“I’m sorry I only showed up now.”
Danmi soon grabbed my two hands, and at the same time the background changed.
A small house surrounded by vegetation. The fresh green wave of May spread out over the living room, which is neither small nor large. Occasionally, unknown flowers flew through the open window and tickled the tip of our nose with a beautiful scent.
The sound of the chime hanging at the end of the living room gently swept away my tired heart.
‘I can’t believe it!’
“You, you, what…?!”
A girl smiling brightly like the sun came into the pupil shaking with embarrassment.
After meeting the self-proclaimed goddess, my life slowly changed.
If the monster living in the house is drinking, Danmi will come to my house. Danmi, who inadvertently pressed the bell of our house, asked to stay for a day, saying that she fled to her only friend’s house to avoid her father beating his child, toward the monster who looked at her.
Judging from the circumstances, the goddess disguised as a very poor child could not hide her eyes, but the monster could not avoid her eyes even though his rationality went back and forth due to drunkenness. The cowardly monster was repeatedly suppressed by the incomparable gaze of a goddess, and thanks to that, he missed every opportunity to kill his one and only child.
Since then, nothing has happened to me. A small hope began to appear even in such a lousy life.
Danmi always took my lonely hand and took me from place to place in the unknown. If she grabs my hand, the background of the place changes.
A brightly colored light appeared in the muddy life back and forth. Little by little, I began to gain confidence, even though I was always intimidated. But I was still a loner. No, there was a powerful goddess, Danmi, by my side.
For me who was lonely, Danmi was my only friend and my salvation.
She may be Arang’s lover, the god who saved me for another reason! I was able to infer that because of the special dream I had.
I have a little special ability that is different from others.
That is… Dreaming!
Everyone dreams, but my dream is special. A dream that is as vivid and clear as reality is just wrapped up in the word dream, and it really happened in the past.
“We met on a special day, so I have a special ability. Everything I saw in my dream is what happened in the past….”
The ability to see what happened in the past through dreams was a kind of mark that occurred after meeting Danmi.
In my dream, I saw people who resembled Danmi and Arang, and in my dream they…,
They were in love with each other.
The mere fact that they can be lovers is confusing, but there’s one more thing that confuses me even more.
It’s that there are two Arang!
To be precise, there are two men who look exactly like Arang… The two look alike, but in the end they are completely opposite.
Like an angel and a devil…….
But, what does that have to do with me? It’s because a being with a disposition opposite to Arang somehow seems to have a dirty relationship with me.
A man who exudes a cold air that seems to freeze just by looking at him. A mysterious person who resembles Arang not only in appearance but also in voice.
The most horrifying thing is…, He’s… maybe….
It’s because I think he might have killed my father and the monster next door, who drove me into a nightmare.
The police closed the case with a physical fight with each other over the two deaths, but I don’t think so. There were times when the two of them meet but it didn’t go to the extent that they quarreled, but above all, it was because of the dream I had.
It was in my dream that I first saw him who looked like Arang. The day I first met Arang, who was so beautiful, I dreamed of a man who looked like him. And in the dream, he…
Was a murderer.
* * * * * * *
4th year of King Sejo of the Joseon Dynasty, Year of Muin (Wuyin1戊寅年 means WuYin Year in Chinese.), 1458
“You, where are you going in such a hurry?”
Behind the man who was urging his steps, the voice of a woman with a soft tone was faintly heard.
‘I’m in a hurry! But that bitch has a really pretty voice! Shall I turn my head or ignore it?’
Less than half a day had passed since the murder. To avoid the eyes of government officials, the forest is better than a private house! Hurry up and hide before the sun goes down! However, the man’s worries disappeared in less than a second. As if possessed by the beautiful voice, he turned his head,
‘Heok! A Wolgung Hang-ah2Heok is a Korean onomatopoeic word that expresses the sound when you are out of breath. I don’t know how to properly translate 월궁의 항아, so I just translated it as Wolgung Hang-Ah. In a legend 월궁의 항아/Wolgung Hang-Ah is a fairy who lives in a palace on the moon. It is also a Korean metaphorical term for a woman so beautiful that no one can match it. To break it down: 월궁 or Wolgung is a legendary place in the Moon, the Moon Place; 항아 or Hang-Ah is the nymph of the Moon Palace, the goddess of the moon. has fallen from the sky.’
In front of the man whose hands had not yet dried up in blood, a young girl stood there with a shy smile on her face. Although she was a young girl who had not yet lost the fluff on her cheeks, her beauty was more than enough to make the eyes of the beholder open. White and fine skin like snow, big black eyes, a dense nose and mouth, and long hair that is coveted!
“You, where are you going in such a hurry?”
But, that tone! Even if it doesn’t suit that pretty face at all, it’s really, no, it’s okay! The man, enthralled by the young girl’s beauty, was infinitely generous in front of her. It was a generosity that was hard to believe for a person who committed murder as if it were a meal.
“What are you so curious about?”
‘Well, let’s hear the reason before we do any harm!’
This is the forest! Knowing who he was, the man naively showed his teeth of desire toward the coveted prey that came before him.
“You, even though you have done something atrocious, if you go there, you will see very bad things. But are you going alone without the twins?”
‘How did this bitch know?’
How does this girl who speaks nonchalantly about what he committed know that the twins who he has been with laid a blame on him?
However, it was the girl’s dignified attitude that made the man even more bewildered. Her attitude, seen only as a delicate and fragile girl, was calm and stern, and was not even paying attention to the man’s lustful eyes.
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