Descent of the Demon Master - Chapter 147
I’m writing all this down so that I don’t forget.
Looking back, Hak-Cheol didn’t start displaying signs of madness right away. No, I thought he was simply suffering from extreme anxiety, that’s all. But he got progressively crazier every day, didn’t he?
Will that happen to me, too?
If I can’t escape from that man, then yeah, I’ll also probably go mad.
Day by day…
I’m writing this down to prevent myself from losing my mind. What if my emotions and thoughts today changed when tomorrow arrived? That’s why I must write. I am gradually going insane, but I believe that looking at these records will bring me back to sanity.
That bastard will surely show up again tonight. I confirmed it last night. He has no plans of killing me. At least, not now, anyway.
If he wanted to kill me, he could have done so anytime. With that devil’s unknown powers, it wouldn’t have been difficult to kill me and get rid of my body, too.
Even then, he’s going to kill me for a simple reason. He’s looking for entertainment. I became sure of that after I looked into his eyes last night.
It was as he said. He wasn’t being driven by some cheap sense of justice here. He wouldn’t care whether I repent or not. After all, he wasn’t doing this to make me repent in the first place. He simply thought of me as an eyesore, so he wanted to torment me, that was all there was to it.
He told me we were the same—that we were cut from the same cloth. Maybe he’s right. No, wait. He’s definitely right.
He told me something else. He said that he was merely trapping my body, but I had been trapping a person’s mind. Even though my target could feasibly fight back, he said that I would gradually drive them to a corner so that they would lose the strength to resist. He also said that I… I enjoyed this process.
And I realized something when his low voice was driving me into a corner. Ju Yeong-Gi and the others had been staring at me as if I was a demon up until this moment… They all must’ve felt this way.
And then, that shadow bastard crushed my body.
I had to endure the pain of my bones breaking one by one without being able to scream…! That was hell itself. Yeah, I witnessed true hell with my eyes wide open.
He’ll come again tonight. Before that happens, I need to come up with a plan. According to him, I only have a week to figure this out. If I fail, then I… I’ll end up in the same state as Kim Hak-Cheol.
I will never let that happen. That’s why I’m writing this down.
Come tomorrow, I’ll read these words back to myself. I’ll read them again and again to keep my mind sane and functioning. If I endure his torture for a week or find a solution before that… It’ll be my victory!
It’s the second day…
I want to tell someone. One week… I want to tell them how long a week can be.
One week could easily slip by you in the blink of an eye without doing much, yet… Yet, it feels so stupidly long that I can’t hardly stand it.
Even though I am praying for the time to go faster, I am also scared of the night that will inevitably come, so I pray for time to go much slower.
My mind is still in one piece. I’m not crazy yet. However, I must look like a madman to other people.
I had no idea, but while looking at the sunset, I apparently started convulsing like crazy.
After that, Sang-Yeop began to stare weirdly at me. He’s definitely wary of me now. Moreover, the Battery Commander showed up and asked what was going on with me.
He asked, ‘What’s going on?’ Would he have understood if I told him? Would he believe what happened to me if I came out clean?
Ah. So, Hak-Cheol had been fighting against this kind of loneliness, eh? I’m doing my best to fight against the devil that would show up again later, but everyone else simply sees me as a lunatic who is steadily losing his mind. Their gazes are getting harder to endure.
I won’t last for long at this rate. I gotta find a way first. To do that, I need to know more about my enemy. However, even today, Kang Jin-Ho… He still looked at me as if he didn’t have a clue. And the damn 3rd Squad stopped me from getting close to him. Did they think I’d do something crazy?
What a bunch of insane bastards! Do they even know they are protecting a monster, a devil?
It’s already night. I can’t sleep.
It’s the third day…
I phoned my dad. I need to escape from this place.
I used to think I was strong enough to endure it all. No matter how cruel his tortures would get, I was confident in my extraordinary willpower. But now?
Finally, I understood why some people became traitors during times of war. Actually, if that devil bastard had been the torturer, Korea would have never had freedom fighters fighting for independence from the Japanese Occupation, or people fighting for its democracy. No, wait. They were at least in a better position than me.
Well, they had secrets and stuff to blab about, to begin with. They could cling to the hope of being freed from the pain by divulging all the information they knew.
However, I couldn’t do that. That bastard didn’t want anything from me. He was simply observing with great interest how I was gradually breaking down and falling apart. And that’s what’s been driving me crazy.
The Battery Commander saw my state and decided to hospitalize me right there and then. But that’s going to happen in four days. Four bloody days?!
It feels like my heart is shriveling up just from enduring one day, yet they want me to stick around for another four days?
I’ll be dead by then, you stinking sons of b*tches!
I just shouted at my old man on the phone to get me out of here. That boomer asked me for a reason, but I couldn’t tell him the truth. If I do, he’ll probably call me insane. He’ll probably tell me to pull my socks up or some sh*t like that.
He had always been like that, after all.
He would quickly take care of insignificant troubles, but when I needed him the most, he had never been much of a help. What could I even expect from a man like that?
I don’t expect understanding from him. No, all I want is to escape. To get the hell out of here! Even if Kang Jin-Ho has all sorts of tricks up his sleeve, there’s no way he can come after me when I’m outside the military!
I’m still sane. I definitely am!
I threw up while washing my face. I felt dizzy, so I tried to massage my head, then a clump of my hair fell out.
I… I’m dying. Dying.
I’m terrified of the night now.
That devil, he… He’s crushing me.
Feels like my soul is being ripped to shreds just by looking at his eyes.
I’m beginning to think that… That getting tortured sooner is so much better. More preferable. At least I’m free from the fear during the torture, you know?
Did Yeong-Gi feel this way? Is that why he tried to kill himself?
Yeah, I guess it’ll be peaceful. At the very least, dying means I wouldn’t have to deal with the devil again tonight.
I couldn’t forget the sight of the shadowy devil cackling like crazy after shoving sharp nails under my fingernails.
Tonight, he… Tonight, I’ll have to deal with the devil again. Tonight, too…
I had just written this when Sang-Yeop touched me on the shoulder. I don’t know what came over me, but I pounced on him and tried to bite him like an animal. I… I don’t know why I did that.
It’s probably the fault of the devil bastard. He likes to whisper behind me all the time, after all! When Sang-Yeop put his hand on my shoulder from behind, I… I suddenly feared for my life.
Fine. I acknowledge it.
Do I even have a choice now?
Yes, I am going crazy. With every passing day, I’m losing my mind. And I’m also dying. After tonight, I’ll be a little crazier, too.
I’m not crazy. I can’t be crazy. Instead of going crazy and ending up in the same state as Hak-Cheol, I’ll kill that bastard first! Everything will be fine after killing him!
If I don’t kill him, I’ll die first, you know? Kill him first before he kills me…
By the way, is dying such a bad thing? If I die, things will get easier for me, so why would it be a bad thing?
No, wait. Wake the hell up, Noh Su-Bong!
If I give up now, it’ll be nothing more than a dog’s death! Rather than running away, I gotta fight back. I gotta claw and bite and kick him! I gotta stab that bastard in the heart!
I could hear the scratches. Scratch, scratch, scratch…
Is it possible for a person to scratch his own bones and hear all those noises? The noises I heard last night didn’t want to leave me alone for the whole day. Even now, I could still hear the scratches.
It’s like… There’s an insect inside my ear…
…Scratching away. Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch…
This damn noise won’t end. This noise, it…
Earlier in the day, I stole a knife from the kitchen, hoping to stab Kang Jin-Ho later. I was planning to kill that bastard. But some idiots stopped me, and I failed.
Wait, did it really happen? Did I really fail in killing him?
When I approached Kang Jin-Ho from behind with my knife, all I could think about was fear. What if… What if, even after I killed Kang Jin-Ho, the devil still showed up again?
I wasn’t scared about killing Kang Jin-Ho the potentially-innocent bystander. No, what scared me was the devil and Kang Jin-Ho not being the same person. If that was the case, then I wouldn’t have any other ways of stopping him. The thought of confirming this scared me so much.
Scratch, scratch… I can still hear the noises of bones being scratched.
Yes, I know. I’m already crazy.
No need for a belated acceptance, too. Just taking one look at myself through the mirror, and these scratching noises, were enough to let me know, anyway.
The person in the mirror was the monster. It’s not me. It can’t be me. A face contorted unsightly, his hair half fallen out, and a pair of sunken, hollow eyes? That’s not how a human should look.
I broke that mirror, and that granted me a hint of release from my insane hatred bubbling inside.
I… I gotta get out of here. I gotta escape from that devil!
It’s already been five days. Two more days, and I can gain my freedom. However, I’m gonna run away.
I have to run away. Because, I know the truth.
Since that bastard is the same as me, he will never uphold his promise. He won’t even care about it. No, he probably made that false promise just to break it and enjoy my despair—to get a kick out of it.
In that case, there’s only one way to survive. And that is to get out of here and hide somewhere where he can’t find me!
If I don’t do that, I’ll never escape from his grasp.
He’s incredibly cruel. He’s truly demonic!
I gotta get out of here. Escape from here. I gotta run away!
I want to live. I want to live! I want to live!
Sun is setting again.
I had another episode during sunset. I threw up everything in my stomach in every direction. I couldn’t stop my tears and snot from raining down everywhere.
I’m scared. Scared. So scared.
I’m scared about seeing that devil again.
Now, I know why Hak-Cheol hanged himself. And it’s not because of the pain. No, it’s the fear!
He couldn’t withstand the fear of encountering that devil again after nightfall. He couldn’t stand the fear of becoming the devil’s toy again!
This fear is too much. It’s too much…
Sixth day now…
I’m getting out of here. It’s a leave.
My dad called in every favor he could and somehow got me an extended leave.
Yes, I’m finally getting out of here. I’m free!
I’m gonna be free from that devil’s reach!
I’m not gonna come back here. I’m gonna hide forever in a place where he can’t find me. Somewhere where there’s no one.
Where there’s… there’s… Where there’s no one.
That’s right, if I hide at the end of the world, surely he can’t find me. Right? I’m prepared to do anything to make that happen.
Kang Jin-Ho slowly closed the diary. His eyes moved away from the notebook to stare at a black sedan accelerating away from the base’s training field. He remained expressionless before slowly raising the diary.
The diary gradually went up in flames. Whether it was Ju Yeong-Gi’s diary or Noh Su-Bong’s… There was no need to keep them around.
However, the meaning behind Kang Jin-Ho’s actions was not the same. He had eliminated Ju Yeong-Gi’s diary because he couldn’t accept the idea of judging the guilty through the flimsy confines of modern law. However, he destroyed Noh Su-Bong’s diary for an entirely different reason.
This thing no longer had a purpose, after all. An object that had lost its purpose didn’t need to exist anymore.
This diary was meant for Noh Su-Bong to read and maintain his sanity. In that case, it would no longer be necessary after tonight. Well, he wouldn’t get to read anything else come tomorrow morning.
Kang Jin-Ho dusted the ashes off his hand, and a quiet little grin formed on his lips.
1. In 1st person POV ☜
2. In 3rd person POV ☜