Above Your Head - Vol 2. Chapter 50: Destruction vs Destruction vs Destruction (7)
Everyone lives with fear.
No matter how brave one appeared or how strong someone was, they still lived with fear. When you walk down a winding alley on a dark, desolate night, you imagine a murderer with a knife suddenly appearing out of nowhere. You can imagine a girl hanging herself beyond the fluttering curtains of an apartment complex. When an unknown grandmother gives you a drink on the road, you instinctively have suspicions. Instead of thanking her and drinking it, you would imagine ‘Perhaps the drink is drugged?’. You wonder, ‘Is she associated with a gang? Are they trying to kidnap me and sell me into prostitution?’.
A petite woman quickly turned a corner while walking down an alley. Rather than heading her way, it seemed as if she was running scared.
“Ah, hyung. That lady is running away because your walk is so shady.”
“What did I do!? I didn’t do anything! I’m just on my way home!”
Two men were walking down a dark alley. They were of sturdy build – over 180 centimeters tall and 100 kilograms.
“You have to understand. For a woman, it could be really scary if people like us walk from behind her.”
“Understand my ass. Does she own this alley? I’m scared too! What if that woman was a serial killer? She could be waiting for us around the corner with a knife in her hand!”
“Haha! What kind of nonsense is that? This isn’t a thriller movie!”
They kept on walking while conversing, a smile on their lips. But soon, their steps changed. Unknowingly, both were keeping a distance from the upcoming corner. Even as they passed by the alley, they both held their breath while looking beyond the darkness.
Obviously, no one was waiting for them.
“Puhahaha! Ah, fuck, I got scared for a second.”
“It’s because you kept on talking nonsense, hyung! Besides, look at you acting so scummy. You’re pushing me closer to the alley while you keep a distance.”
The two men relaxed and resumed walking while conversing loudly. But there was a being charging toward them.
“W, what the! Get the fuck away!!”
The older one started swaying after being stabbed. The younger man became shocked and kicked the woman with all his might.
The woman rolled on the floor without so much a scream. The younger man rushed towards the woman and kicked her once more before helping his brother. He was covered with blood, but he would survive. Due to her petite figure, she must have lacked the strength. However, even though they had escaped the crisis, the younger brother’s complexion was pale.
A moan escaped between his lips. His mouth remained agape in disbelief, unable to process the incredulous situation.
“No, really. For real…?”
He could not believe that this was happening.
“She was really a killer?”
Meanwhile, the woman who fled from the two men took a deep breath after running for a while.
“Hugh… Hoo… I shouldn’t have run. It’s scary when two burly guys walk around like that on a dark night-huh?”
The woman turned pale as she casually turned her head. The two robust men from some time ago – they were chasing her.
She ran while screaming, but it was of no use. The two men were much faster than her as they ran across the dark alley.
Well, that wasn’t actually true.
The two men weighed more than 100 kilograms, and they were actually much slower than her. Even if they were faster than her at sprinting, she could shake them off if she ran away with all her strength. She had always jogged as a hobby.
But it was no use.
She didn’t think she could get away from them… because they were running much faster than she could. Because, in fact, they were not humans. They were nothing more than projections, manifestations of terror of the two men she saw. In reality, the two men were being stabbed across the alley by a killer who took on her appearance.
The image of the two men became clearer as her fear intensified. She imagined, she hoped that someone would save her from this crisis, but the concept of the End Project was horror. It only embodied the sensation of fear – and she screamed as she was killed in the way she had imagined.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry, just forgive me!”
I can’t forgive you!! You killed me! You murderer!
“No! It was a mistake! I, I just!”
A woman holding a kitchen knife began to swing her weapon towards a man in a mental hospital. Even though he was in a solitary room without access, she was there. It was possible because the man had been afraid of such a scene playing out from a long time ago.
“There you are! Honey, I missed you so much.”
“Kyaaahh! How can you be here?”
A woman screamed at the sight of a man entering through the door. She had escaped from home and found a new life in Kansas, unable to withstand the violence from her ex-husband. She didn’t know that her ex-husband had been killed three years ago while drunk driving. She had never even thought to find out. She lived in fear of her husband, the trauma of her past gnawing away at her mind, and such thoughts stimulated the weapon of the unnamed.
“Everyone, get away! Argggh!”
“Dammit! It’s collapsing! I knew this would happen!”
Students were escaping from a collapsing building. Everyone had heard the rumors that the builders had skimped out on much of the construction to save money, that it possessed a poor structure. That wasn’t actually true, and the rumors had started because of the building’s rather plain appearance. But it was more important that the residents of the building believed in the rumor and felt fear.
“Over there! There is someone in the tunnel!”
“Kyah! Step on it!”
“W, what is this? Why isn’t the exit getting closer?
People who visited a tunnel famous for the appearance of ghosts began to disappear one by one
Ding~ Dong~♪ Ding~♬
The piano slowly became stained with blood. Even though no one was playing it, the keys became pressed on their own. The faces of the students turned white. They had sneaked into the music room after escaping the clutches of the security guard.
“Hmm? What is this?”
The teacher was patrolling the building after school. He flinched slightly when he saw a girl sitting in an empty classroom.
“What is this? Why is there a student in school at this hour?”
Suddenly, horror stories he heard from the students flashed by his mind.
He shook his head free of such thoughts and approached the girl.
“Hey. Why aren’t you going home? What are you doing at school?”
“I can’t go home.”
The girl responded with her head down. The teacher asked while feeling somewhat uncomfortable.
The girl’s body lifted off the ground with a whoosh. Her appearance was unusually short.
-Because, I don’t have any legs!!
Fear was becoming realized.
If you were lying on the bed and observed the patterns on the ceiling, fear creeping into your heart as you thought ‘that looks like a ghost!’ then it became a ghost and strangled the person who was lying down. If an overworked, exhausted person thought ‘Aren’t I really going to die at this rate?’, and felt fear, then they would really die of overworking. If you felt fear on a high-rise railing, feeling like you would fall, then you broke the railing and fell to your death.
“What is that!? Argh!”
And for the regulated beings that were the culmination of many common fears, they started making their appearance in reality. They were no longer just an illusion nor a distortion of reality, but a physical being.
“It’s here! It’s really here! Look! It’s the real devil!”
“Kekekeuk! Kuhahaha! You puny human beings!”
The devil really appeared. It was in a basement warehouse of a church where there was nothing around, but it appeared because countless people believed in it. The wandering rumors gathered and took a form suitable to fit their imagination. The beginning was quite weak and slow as people’s vague fears became reality. However, once the fears became actualized, even greater fear was aroused as a result. Such results created an endless cycle to build up even greater phenomena.
Finally, it would become complete with a huge flow that even the transcendent could not resist. This was the End Project: Concept Horror. It was a Doomsday Weapon of the Unnamed, and it had destroyed countless civilizations during the Great War.
Out of the hundreds of civilizations that were targeted by the End Project, only a dozen were able to avoid complete extinction, and they belonged to the highest-levels of civilization. It was definitely an inevitable disaster for the Earth-34, which was only a Type II civilization.
“You can do it, right?”
“I promise that I will make it!”
In one of the five most famous Buddhist mountains in Korea, Guhwa Mountain, a man was channeling energy while gritting his teeth. He was Wang Fang, a neigong practitioner belonging to the Jincheon Faction.
‘I can do this!’
After completing the introductory and training stages of the Jincheon Divine Method, the trainee would enter an artificial awakening process aided by drugs. If the trainee succeeded in the awakening, they would be able to form a second passage of qi in their body, the Jincheondan. It would increase their inner qi and strength twice fold. Not only would they undergo explosive power, but it would also grant them a greater potential in the long run.
But in that moment.
Wang Fang felt fear.
‘What if I fail?’
The success rate of awakening was about 50%. It was neither high nor low, but he would not be granted a second chance upon failure. The life of a trainee would be changed forever depending on if they succeeded or not. If he was successful, his position would soar as an official disciple of the Jincheon Faction, but if he failed, he would be nothing more than a second-rate warrior for the rest of his life.
As fear started to creep on his mind, the interference of the End Project began. It was interfering with the causalities and twisting his fate into something that fit his fear. Even if he possessed the talent to successfully awaken, he would fail just as he feared!
But at that moment.
The hexagram on the back of his left hand flashed.
– Confirming an existing concept!
– Loading Concept!
Information became intertwined. An existing system had been discovered, as if it had been waiting patiently.
– Concept loaded successfully.
– Changing Concept.
– Concept… Concept…
It stumbled as if to resist, but it was useless. The End Project did not have intelligence nor consciousness. Even if it was an ominous force capable of bringing worlds to an end, it was only a system in the end. It was difficult to undermine the End Project’s basic concept of ending civilizations, but at the least, it was possible to change the concept of ‘how to end civilization’.
– Concept has been changed successfully.
After a long time, the efforts of the Great Wizard finally saw the light. His arrangements to prevent the disaster began to activate.