Chapter 3. Can’t even go crazy! (1)
At some point, Muwui just stopped being active altogether. All that he did day in and day out was to lie down on his bed and do nothing.
Muwui turned his head away from the ceiling as he scratched his belly.
He spoke with a hint of annoyance and boredom mixed into his voice.
“Wives, please don’t look at me like that. I promise I won’t take in another wife.”
There were various sketches of women drawn in the direction Muwui was looking at.
His drawing skills had evidently made a huge improvement, seeing that most of his newer “wives” were much more detailed than his first.
Well, considering how he would practice hundreds of times before drawing each picture, it would’ve been far more strange if his artistic skill failed to improve.
Next to the women were pictures of various children.
“Hoho, my twenty seventh son, your father has to rest today as well.”
As he said this aloud, he turned his back to the ceiling with a pair of eyes that were still filled with absolute boredom.
“I wonder how much time passed…”
He had lost track of the date at some point back in time.
Given that such a thought had never crossed his mind in the first place.
He had never done such a thing in his life. Living itself was hard enough as is. Who had time to try to account for time?
He just lived as he did.
At first, he adjusted one way or the other to this new life. He thought about escaping as he limited his moss consumption. He had examined every nook and cranny of the walls of the cave, thinking that there might have been a device hidden somewhere. After a certain point, he began to think, “maybe it’s not so bad dying here, after I eat all the moss”. But when he saw the moss grow at an accelerated speed, he could only nod in acceptance.
He had been wondering where the food in this place was.
Thanks to the formation in the cave, the moss was able to grow at an unnatural pace.
So long as he was careful not to waste the moss too much, he should have an infinite source of food.
It was the same for the water.
It seemed to be coming from somewhere underground, and it just refused to go away.
He tried scooping all of it out, but it would simply refill itself in an instant.
He even managed to extract enough to give himself a measly bath.
In the end, he was unable to find an exit. At least he had enough food and water to last him a lifetime now, though.
He didn’t know how long he could last with just moss and water, of course– but he trusted the creator of the place to have thought that through already.
And once the food and water dilemma had been solved, what came over him was boredom.
That, too, he managed to overcome by playing with himself.
But that didn’t last long.
A feeling of loneliness had come over him.
It wasn’t a kind of loneliness that made him want to kill himself rather than stay lonely, but it was the kind that made him feel incredibly bored. This led him to start drawing the life he had wanted to have since a long time back.
He drew countless concubines as if he was an emperor, and drew even more children along with them. He even ended up drawing the parents he had never had, and the neighbors he had always wanted.
But this didn’t last long either. Drawings could help Muwui fill the emptiness of the cave, but not the void in his heart. No, it ended up making him feel even lonelier.
‘I’d much rather go crazy.’
He even thought that at one point.
But that simply wasn’t possible.
The Clear Mind, Infinite Time Formation.
The formation built to keep its user maintain a clear mind was a truly powerful one.
It had all sorts of effects that Muwui would have passed off as lies within it.
First off, it allowed him to possess a mind akin to the clearest pond.
‘It will drive away any useless thoughts, and will allow the user to quickly ease themselves into the perfect state of meditation…’ Muwui was able to understand the precise meaning of this firsthand.
It almost felt like… doing crazier and crazier things made him feel more and more like buddha?
He tried drawing a naked woman on the floor. It was very bad, of course– since Muwui was no artist– but it was a naked woman nonetheless. Despite this, Muwui could only feel his mind regain its serenity the more he stared at the picture. This effect, far from surprising him, only made him feel sad as a result.
And then this feeling of sadness morphed into the feeling of hope, believe it or not. In any case, the formation truly was capable of ridiculous feats.
He even tried jumping right into a wall, full force once.
He was looking for death, and nothing else. And hurling his body into a wall seemed like a fitting way to go.
The result, of course, was a failure.
The wall felt softer than the softest silk when it made contact with his head.
This god-damned formation was built to withstand any attack that might result from a person’s training.
The words on the bed had explained this very roughly, but the meaning of these words became very clear to him after having actually experienced its meaning.
“To think my mind would be so niiiice and calm even as I try to kill myself… What a beautiful feeling. Fuck my life.”
He was no longer swearing as much as before either.
At first, he was wondering why swearing didn’t make him feel any better. He only realized later that this too, was because of the formation.
“This would be a perfect prison.”
He even gave his review of the cave as he observed it.
This was a perfect place to reform a criminal, wasn’t it? To Muwui, this place truly was a prison.
And like this, some more time passed.
Useless, meaningless time.
Muwui dazed out, remembering parts of his past.
He didn’t remember his birth. No one in this world did.
After that, memories of his parents…
He could only imagine a screen of darkness. He didn’t have memories of his parents either.
Of course, since he wasn’t the only one in the world like this, he didn’t really feel very sad about it. In fact, he felt something entirely different from sadness.
He felt envious whenever he saw a child being showered with love from their parents.
Even when that said child was being punished, or was fighting their parents.
The memory that came afterwards was that of a group of beggars.
The scene of him begging for food desperately amongst a sea of beggars came in mind.
He could remember running off with a stolen piece of dumpling once, too.
There was a boy who stole a dumpling with him, but he ended up getting caught. Muwui found the boy’s corpse on the streets in the same day. There was a half-eaten dumpling smooshed into the boy’s mouth, soaked in blood.
At the time, Muwui could only think one thing.
‘Let’s be careful.’
That was all.
The memory that came after this one drew a faint smile across his face.
It was the happiest memory in his life thus far.
The meeting between him, and the owner of a certain shop.
They ended up being the very people who would send him off into war, so obviously he had cursed them many a times before.
At first, he seriously wanted to kill them. But looking back, that period of his life had been his happiest.
He lived like a servant, but he didn’t have to worry about food.
He did learn more at the army, like learning how to read and write, but this wasn’t exactly an easy feat. It was only easy for him because he had already understood the basics of the characters.
Those few characters he knew, he learned from the son of the household.
Looking back, the boy probably wanted Muwui to do his work for him.
Occasionally, he would try to steal some dog food from the family’s dog, and get beaten to a pulp as a result. That night, the wife of the store owner would sometimes come over to put some medicine on his wound, and would leave behind some food as well.
This life continued like that for some time.
Work, and get beat while doing it. Work, and get beat after doing it. Steal dog food, get beat, sleep and get beat, et cetera…
This somewhat happy life ended for him exactly after a year.
A draft was sent out throughout the country, and each household was forced to send one man to the battlefield. Thus, Muwui got thrown out into war.
“Why did I do that…”
On that day, Muwui cursed the crying woman who sent him off with a bag of dumplings.
All the while refusing to let go of the bag.
In the end, Muwui was unable to eat the dumplings, all the way up until the moment when they became rotten and smooshed. At the time, he wondered why he would ever let such a foolish thing happen, but he could now understand that this had happened because of his sorrow.
He had felt the slightest bit of motherly love from that woman at the time.
The curses that left his mouth at the time were probably due to the feelings of betrayal he felt at the woman.
At single tear rolled down Muwui’s face.
Why was he unable to remember the faces of his true parents? And furthermore, why was it that he could still remember that woman’s face so vividly?
He wanted to see that woman again.
It seemed that it was impossible even for the formation to seal away a deep feeling of sorrow such as this.
Otherwise tears wouldn’t be streaming down from his face like so.
Muwui crouched. And he sobbed.