IWOL Chapter 138: Under the Abyss

Wang Que was crying so hard that her hands and feet went numb. In her impression, she hadn’t cried this much even on the day when Tan Qiuyu ruined her Central Academy of Fine Arts school exam.

Allen’s desperate and tearful eyes lingered in her mind. She’d completely lost her perception of the parasite once Allen fell off the cliff, but the disgusting feeling it left behind still lingered in her heart.

She would never forget it.

“It was all my fault. It was because I am so useless…” Wang Que whimpered. “If I could master my ability earlier, I would have known that there was an insect on him before it could parasitize him. Then, this wouldn’t have happened. This wouldn’t…”

She couldn’t say it anymore. The monstrous guilt and grief turned into self-disgust. She loathed her useless self. They’d entered this box for her to exercise her ability, which should have reduced a lot of troubles for everyone. But how…how could she lose Allen?

Dong Linhai had already reigned back his tears. He said in a low voice, “No one will blame you. You’ve done a good job.”

“No! It wasn’t good at all!” Wang Que suddenly raised her voice. You did a good job. So many people had said this to her. When she was a genius student, she could comfortably accept these praises. But now?

She wasn’t worthy at all!

The snowfall grew heavier. Dong Linhai still had Allen’s blood on his body, but he shook his head and gave Wang Que a hug.

This had nothing to do with his sprouting feelings toward her but out of comfort from one teammate to another.

Wang Que wrapped her arms around his broad back, her fingers practically digging into his suit. Tears streamed down her face, and she was so choked with emotions that she couldn’t manage to dreg out another word.

The white cat appeared next to her. Victor had witnessed everything from Dong Linhai’s summoning beast space. But, at that time, he was completely powerless and could only watch helplessly as the tragedy happened.

“Don’t cry anymore. It’s not good for your eyes to cry so much,” Victor whispered soothingly. “He might become an NPC. We should look forward to seeing him again in other boxes one day.”

Wang Que saw that Victor’s eyes were moist and surging with sadness, but she couldn’t help but asked, “Uncle, don’t you…aren’t you sad?”

“I’ve already seen countless deaths, and every one of us will eventually die, won’t we?” Victor replied softly. “We’ll see many more.”

He paused and asked, “When you died in the real world and came here, did you experience this kind of crushing grief?”

Wang Que was silent for a moment and shook her head. At that time, she hadn’t even recovered from her terror at being pushed off the roof before the clown was suddenly leading her to participate in a novice box.

Later, she found a place to live alone, and she began to plan on how she could live in the Pure White Realm.

Only in the dead of night would she think of her parents and friends. She left them so abruptly that she didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye.

What lingered in her heart was unwillingness, longing, and loneliness.

The grief that came with death was only for the people still living.

“Don’t cry. Let’s get ready to go.” Victor touched Wang Que’s cheek lightly with his forehead. “Allen wants us to live, and we mustn’t let him down.”

Wang Que nodded and slowly stopped her tears since she couldn’t completely force herself to stop right away. With Dong Linhai’s help, she stood up. They went around the curve, and she saw Cui Zuojing, Dong Zheng, and Lin Hangzhi standing by the cliff where Allen had fallen.

She opened her mouth, realized that no one was blaming her, and bit down hard on her bottom lip.

“Let’s go.” Cui Zuojing took a deep breath. He glanced at Dong Zheng, whose eyes were flushed red, and couldn’t bring himself to ask for more details about what had happened.

Silence hung over them as they travelled. The only sounds that could be heard from the communicator was the sound of breathing and Wang Que’s occasional whimper. Allen’s protective suit was opened so there was only a deep silence on his end.

There was no way to know how he was.

Cui Zuojing was at the forefront. Aside from him, everyone else was in poor condition, and so he took the initiative to lead the way.

He’d thrown Allen’s right arm down the cliff after getting everyone’s consent. They couldn’t take it with them and, instead of letting it become food for insects, it was better to return it. At least…Allen would be accompanied by a complete body.

Step by step, they left the blood-stained cliff and marched into the distance.

********

“Hsss…”

Agony ripped through his limbs and body, radiating faithfully up to his brain. Normally, when people suffer such agony, their body would fall into a coma for self-protection, but Allen was still fully awake.

He could clearly feel the parasite at the back of his head, gradually taking control of his brain. This control would soon be complete and, before long, he would become a walking corpse for the parasite. He may also become a hotbed for the parasite’s offsprings.

Allen didn’t want this.

But even if he was unwilling in his heart, there was nothing he could do now. After falling from such a high cliff, he’d broken bones in countless places all over his body. Blood was everywhere, though the place where he’d amputated his arm was no longer bleeding.

The rapid blood loss and the cold environment made Allen feel as if he was turning into a frozen popsicle. He laid on the ground, staring straight ahead. In the valley, there was slit in a glacier, which was probably formed by the movements of the earth’s crust. It was only two to three meters wide, but he’d fallen inside.

He didn’t know where the dagger had fallen to. If the weapon was still around, Allen would have aimed it his own head and settled the matter himself.

The pain was excruciating.

He saw the red, giant insect appeared at the edge of his line of sight. It approached the slit, intending to eat him, but it couldn’t find a way inside.

After hovering for a while, it finally gave up and flew away.

Dong Zheng should be fine, right?

Allen thought hazily. The agonizing pain made it harder for him to control his ability to think. For a while, he remembered Dong Zheng in the Labyrinth of Time, trying to rescue him from the Quantum Caterpillar. Then, he thought of the golden times on the California beach, and he remembered Kazami Eri’s shy smile.

These scenes gradually overlapped and jumbled together before his eyes.

Suddenly, he heard a small sound.

His reaction was very slow. When he realized that the approaching sound was footsteps, it was already very close.

Was someone here?

Much as he tried, Allen couldn’t turn his head to look.

He lifted one hand and leaned his broken body against the thick wall of ice

His gaze shifted with the movement of his body, and a man with blond hair and gray eyes appeared in front of him. His face was somewhat familiar. Allen thought for a while with his damaged brain, and he suddenly realized that he’d seen this person before in Dusk Island.

Domingo.

What was he doing here?

There was a deep scar on Domingo’s left cheek, which extended all the way up to the root of his ear. The red flesh was puckered and swollen, though it was no longer bleeding. He wasn’t wearing a protective suit and was only dressed in thick, winter clothes. It was unclear what kind of struggles he’d overcome.

“Bear with it for a bit.” Domingo knelt beside Allen on one knee. He held his head with one hand, guiding it so that it was bowed. Then, he pulled out a dagger with the other hand.

Domingo looked at the slight lump on the back of Allen’s head, and suddenly slashed the skin there. He pressed the tip of the dagger down, directly hitting the parasite that had already penetrated halfway into Allen’s brain.

He slowly pulled out the parasite. The insect was a bit larger than when Wang Que had tried summoning it out. It’s body had a terrifying black-red color because it was engorged with blood.

There was still some white brain tissue hanging on its long feet. Domingo threw the insect on the ground. When it turned over and tried to escape, he directly stepped on it.

Blood exploded out from under his army boots, just like stepping on a swollen bag of blood.

Domingo grinded down hard a few times. It wasn’t until he’d confirmed that the bug was thoroughly dead did he finally lift his foot. He crouched down and whispered, “That wasn’t too bad, was it?”

With the insect gone, Allen slowly blinked his eyes. He was finally able to move again. He no longer felt any pain at all, and he could clearly sense his own death approaching.

He opened his mouth and couldn’t make a sound for a while. “…Who are you?”

Domingo looked at him steadily. After a long time, he finally said, “My name is Domingo.”

“Who…are you?” Allen asked again.

He wanted to ask how the man had found him, and why he wanted to help him extract the insect. But this required more talking than he could manage.

Domingo didn’t answer. He checked the wound on Allen’s amputated arm, which had already frozen solid. If this was the case, then even the stitched-heart bear couldn’t do anything for him. The little bear would need a clean wound to create a new limb.

Domingo slowly released his arm. Tears flashed in his eyes. He squeezed his eyes shut and whispered, “I’m sorry. I…still couldn’t save you.”

Allen shook his head. He was struggling to breath, and he could hardly feel his own body.

He no longer asked who Domingo was. Now, he’d already had a vague guess in his heart.

Since Domingo wasn’t willing to say, then he must have his reasons.

Blood trickled down the corner of Allen’s mouth as he looked at the man in front of him. He asked with some difficulties, “I…can still choose to become a prisoner or an npc…right?

“Yes, death is not the end of life.”

Allen’s vision began to fade. When all was said and done, the parasite had destroyed his brain tissue.

“If…If I became an npc, will I still…remember them?”

“Kether will wash away all your memories. But you have to believe that even if you forgot everything, they will still remember you.”

The corners of Allen’s mouth lifted in a curve so small that it was nearly imperceptible. Blood began to trickle out from his ears and his nose, and the dark pupils in the center of his blue eyes gradually widened.

“Thank…”

His last words “thank you” couldn’t be completed in the end.

Domingo didn’t move for a long time. He held Allen’s intact hand until Allen’s body temperature had gone completely cold.

Finally, he took a deep breath and raised his hand to close Allen’s eyes.

Domingo stood up. The wound that Tang Ji had inflicted on his thigh was still slowly bleeding, soaking his black pants.

He ignored it, took out a yellow piece of talisman paper from his pocket, and drew intricate patterns with cinnabar on it.

Then, he tidied up Allen’s body, gently combed back his messy red hair, and laid him flat on the snow.

The pure snow was a sharp contrast against the red blood, like a blooming mandala flower.

He stepped back and threw the talisman next to Allen.

Flames rose up and warmly enveloped everything.

———————

Xixi: This is so sad, but I’m really glad that Domingo was there for Allen, so that he didn’t have to die alone and didn’t become a parasitized corpse.

On a technical note, there’s something wrong with the embedded format of the comment system in mobile (thanks for the heads up, Anonymous!). Apparently, it might have something to do with cookies and viewers not allowing cross-checking on their mobile browsers. I tried using the popular third-party comment system, Disqus, but axed it because it requires that you log in to social media or create a Disqus account just to comment. I’ll keep an eye out for a solution, but for now, we’ll have to make do with a pop-up comment box instead, with no reply option. Not ideal.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

Thank you for the chapter~ And that's strange because I'm having the issue even on my laptop O.O Or maybe I really was the one who messed up on my end somehow -w-;

I'm so heartbroken for Allen, but at least he went knowing it wasn't the end and that there was still hope for reuniting with the others >.< Hopefully Wang Que won't continue beating herself up over this and take this as motivation to progress instead. I'm starting to really appreciate Domingo. I wonder what Allen realized about him near the end. And it almost seems like Domingo is from the future and was mourning his inability to save Allen again. If it weren't for his foreign appearance, I'd have said he could be Dong Zheng or even Dong Linhai. Now I'm both looking forward to and slightly dreading in which form they'll meet Allen again…

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

Oh my :'(
In the previous chapters I was convinced thinking: 'It's OK, Allen will survive somehow. He's in the same party as the protagonist!', but when they left him behind I was in denial of his death. So when Domingo came to Allen, I thought 'of course he will save him, of course Allen won't die!'
But then Allen still died in the end ����
Maybe I am just slow, but I totally didn't see the twists coming, so reading it is very enjoyable. I went through so many emotions in the span of two days haha. the author writes very well, and thank you so much for your work to provide the wonderful translations! 🙂

MiiMii~
MiiMii~
5 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Does that mean the past can’t be changed? Like how Allen die and future DZ (Domingo) can’t save him, Everyone in the team will die and only DZ Live, that’s why he’s the only one that goes back to the past…

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

I just realized the emojis I used turned into question marks and might look offensive, they were simply supposed to be the crying face emoji, sorry!

MrsPoPo
MrsPoPo
2 years ago

2 days worth of tears…but somehow there is closure…Thank you immensely for the translation. It's wonderful what you are doing!

Xixi
Xixi
2 years ago

I tested it with my daughters ipads too so your devices aren’t the only ones not being able to comment. I guess it’s a hit and miss. Mine works fine, but my account is linked to the blog.

Honestly, if the author had written it differently, I would have been a bit more impatient with Wang Que. Other writers might have focused more on turning Wang Que into some kind of Zerg Queen or something. But the realistic way in which this author handled it and built everything up just made me sympathetic instead. Especially since I hate anything that’s remotely maggot-like or worm-like so the idea of being in their heads and sensing them wiggling around makes me shudder/gag. I definitely do not envy Wang Que her ability, but I also hoped this will propel her into finally accepting it and trying harder to control it.

Xixi
Xixi
2 years ago

I can totally relate. I remembered that I kept thinking that there’s no way Allen will really die. But, now with Allen’s death, it felt like the author raised the stakes. If Allen could die, then this meant that other team members could die too.

Xixi
Xixi
2 years ago

The closure definitely made it less heart-breaking. I’m so glad the author at least allowed us, the reader, to have that.

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

@Xixi Ah, that's a pity >.< It's a bit confusing this way, but I guess it's better than not being able to comment 😀

That's true. Seeing her meet such realistic hurdles and hesitate, then seeing the consequences impact her, then anticipating her future growth and progress is much more satisfying and believable. I'm also glad that she didn't forget her fear of bugs and become some OP existence with a snap of her fingers >.< Too many good characters have been ruined due to an author's impatience in making them powerful without proper development first. It just shows how much more care and effort this author puts into their story~ 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

This is so unfair… I.. I can't accept it.. So.. Domingo really travelled back in time huh.. again and again.. I bet they were supposed to meet Domingo before but the guy did things more differently for the sake of saving the team. Did something bad happen in the future? Did Cui Zoujing share a bit of his power to Domingo? Or…

Loni
Loni
1 year ago

FUCK, WHY??! Domingo showing up gave me hope but then that hope died. Uuuhhhh why QAQ

Dreamer
Dreamer
1 year ago

*ugly sobbing*

I… I…

In the end Allen still did die…

My hope that Domingo can save Allen didn’t happen. In the end, Domingo (future DZ) witnessed Allen’s death twice. I was confident in the halo that envelopes the main protagonist’s group, believing nothing really bad will happen. But I was slapped on both sides.

Nooooo Allen! Why?! Why?! Even if he did become an NPC… It’s still so sad to think that he probably won’t be the same Allen anymore. It would be great if he becomes a special NPC like Miss Deer but Miss Deer didn’t actually die, she was just captured and placed in a box.

I can’t accept this! I’m still denying his death! Why…

In the end, his death is what will drive to make everyone stronger. His death will serve as a painful memory, but it will undoubtedly push them further. The gang will be grieving and will lose their will to fight for a short while, but they will improve. I can only hope.

Now… I just dream that they can meet each other again.

Qi Qi
Qi Qi
1 year ago

When I saw Domingo I thought Allen would be saved but nooo! 😭
But at least he got that parasite out before dying…
So Domingo really might come from the future (or he knows a part of the future but seeing how Allen’s death affected him, he should be part of their team).
I hope we’ll get to see Allen again, will they see him as a NPC in a later box? But he probably won’t remember them… 🥺

Haruki Natsuyu
Haruki Natsuyu
1 year ago

AAAAAAA NOOOOO It wilk even be more accepting for me i lf Allen is the enemy and the Queen’s new heir even if the gang would fight him later 😭😭😭😭 damn you Kether!!!!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬 but at least Domingo was there… I thought Domingo could turn back the time of Allen’s body, but since his blood has already frozen… dang that is too inhumane for Allen. I hope after the Queen died they could still save Allen who might becomr NPC or prisoner, since Domingo just burnt his corpse right but his soul remains? Or was I wrong?
P.S.: this is me ranting but isn’t Victor too useless here? He is there and he could’ve helped the others immobilize Allen or pull him up but he freaking didn’t come out!

Haruki Natsuyu
Haruki Natsuyu
1 year ago
Reply to  Haruki Natsuyu

Also, now that Allen is dead, who is the traitor Chang Hui meant? Fu Zhe? Although I suspected him before but now I think it might not be him for some reason… though he is really sus hahaha then, is it Victor? Now it is him who I suspect. But, after DZ mentioned the energy Chang Hui planted on his body that suppresses his emotions I think the ‘traitor’ Chang Hui meant is Dong Zheng because… DZ is in love with CZJ hahaha she was afraid that DZ would harm CZJ, in some sort of ways, due to his feelings so she planted that energy in DZ’s body to supprrss his feelings. Added to the fact that CZJ is in a blood contract with DZ who can order CZJ making him follow him unconditionally… then CH’s fear isn’t unfounded so she placed that energy in DZ’s body fearing DZ would make CZJ his love servant hahaha

yel
yel
1 year ago
Reply to  Haruki Natsuyu

i mean, he has literally a cat body and even the two big guys like dong linhai and dong zheng can’t pull allen up even with a combined force, what could a small cat do? getting out of his space might even endager Victor himself as he might fall as well

PaperHaniBani
PaperHaniBani
6 months ago
Reply to  yel

but if I’m not wrong, Victor can turn big & having a wings though, like from the prev arc aren’t they flying before the ship sank? so can he just pick up allen? like am I missing something? Am I remember it wrong or its just a plot hole like Allen just become a canon fodder for other characters to grow up?

Xixi
Xixi
6 months ago
Reply to  PaperHaniBani

Yeah, that was my initial reaction too, but in the last arc, Allen was falling and Victor caught him, only to turn back into a cat and lose consciousness after struggling to carry Allen for about half a mile. Allen had to catch Victor and land on a roll. The cliff they’re currently at is likely very high and steep, so if Victor did try to catch Allen, he would fall to his death with him. In Allen’s state, he wouldn’t be able to catch Victor either. So Victor probably judged his capability and realized he is unable to do anything given the height.

Xixi
Xixi
6 months ago
Reply to  Xixi

After posting this, I realized Victor could have caught Allen as he was hanging off the cliff and helped pull him up. Things weren’t so bad then. So maybe you’re right. I wish author could have gone into more detail about why Victor was unable to help, because she clearly thought about it enough to mention it.

yel
yel
1 year ago

okay, so this chapter really proved that allen is really gone, but atleast there’s a closure 😢😢 but one thing i noticed that made me even more convinced that Domingo is dong zheng, when he said “I’m sorry. I…still couldn’t save you”. Only dong zheng would say that, especially when he blamed himself for allen’s death and be couldn’t save him the first time

dekkay
dekkay
1 year ago

is domingo DZ from the future? Or possibly CZ from the future? Since CZ sensed the use of the Curse of Time?

nico
nico
7 months ago

i won’t theorize anything anymore to try to make my mind find ways to save someone knowing it might be impossible, i’ll just cry silently, in pain, a lot of pain

ki2chi
ki2chi
7 months ago

crying
allen why did you have to die.

Nezunezu
Nezunezu
5 months ago

Aaaaahhh 😭😭 i cried my eyes out, this is so sad! Why should Allen go like this 😭 , i still had hope he’ll be okay somehow….*heartbroken*

rias
rias
2 months ago

I was expecting that Allen can still have the possibility to survive but then that’s just how it is. Still, thankful that he didn’t die lonely, without anyone by his side. I thank Domingo for that. (I also have a vague guess on who he really is) .

This is making me cry so hard😭

theeggmonger
theeggmonger
1 month ago

*cries* Allen noooooooo
I’ll miss him QAQ