As the ethereal wintry landscape gradually faded, Flynn's awareness returned to the tangible world, like a drifting cloud dissolving into the reality of his surroundings. His pivotal encounter with Cheol left an unforgettable impact on his mind, instilling him with a newfound sense of purpose. With cautious slowness, he opened his eyes to the familiar image of his bedroom bathed in the warm morning light. Soft sunlight poured through the curtains, forming exquisite patterns of shadows that danced along the walls, creating a tranquil ambiance that hung in the air. For a moment, Flynn lingered there, caught between the realms of dreams and reality, savoring the fleeting comfort until the weight of his predicament settled upon him.
But soon, the stark reality established itself, destroying the fragile tranquility of the chamber. Flynn couldn't escape the carefully woven web of tubes and strings that ensnared him—a complex network he had been intimately familiar with. A heavy sigh exited his lips, a blend of resignation and uncertainty. In this strange existence, Flynn questioned the whims of fate and whether the forces of divinity or darkness were toying with his own existence. The absurdity of his situation appeared nearly beyond the scope of human comprehension, as if it were the craftsmanship of celestial beings playing an elaborate game of their own.
He gazed across the room, searching for a solution to liberate himself from the constraining apparatus that wrapped around his vulnerable form. He mustered the last of his strength with a determined effort and sought to lift his arm, only to be met by an unexpected sensation. Bewilderment swept over him as his sight rested upon a thick layer of stone encasing his hand and encumbering his every movement. A sense of confinement and entrapment settled upon him, further increasing his confusion, which grew as he gazed below. His feet were ensnared by the same stony cage, rendering him grounded in his own helplessness.
Perplexed, Flynn questioned aloud, his voice laced with wonder and doubt, "What is this? Has this body fallen victim to a petrifying spell?" The weight of his words hung in the air, his mind grappling with the implications of his unusual condition. The stone restraints became symbols of the invisible chains that held him captive, leaving him longing for answers in a world devoid of sense.
"But this is a world devoid of mana," Flynn reflected, recalling the memories he had gained from the intriguing guy, Cheol. His mind raced, striving to make sense of the unfathomable circumstances surrounding him. With limited options at his disposal, he vowed to free himself. Flynn marveled at the fragility of the contraptions that kept him captive, asking why such thin restraints were chosen. From his perspective, a rope or a thick layer of clothing would have been significantly more effective in immobilizing him.
Summoning his determination, Flynn steeled himself for the task at hand. With quick and determined action, he attempted to break free from the bonds that bound him. Exerting a burst of effort, he successfully removed himself from the restraining apparatus, feeling the exhilaration of liberation race through his veins. However, the aftermath revealed the weakness of his own body. Wobbling and struggling to maintain balance, Flynn's movements were unsteady, his petrified footing forcing him to lose control. Helplessly, his body crashed upon the unforgiving floor, the impact serving as a stark reminder of his limitations.
As he lay sprawled on the cold floor, Flynn's frustration echoed in his words: "If only the memories instilled in me were more comprehensive. Why am I only granted glimpses into his pitiful life without any understanding of the workings of this world?" The weight of his unanswered questions hung thick in the air, leaving him with a sensation of profound incompleteness.
In that vulnerable moment, a startling entrance surprised Flynn. His gaze turned towards the door, which swung open with a thunderous bang, attracting his attention to the figure framed within the entryway. Standing there was a woman, her appearance simple yet immaculate, emitting an aura of neatness and delicacy that belied her lack of authority within this entrapment.
"You! What on earth happened?" Her words gushed forth with urgency, coupled with genuine amazement. However, she abruptly interrupted herself before he could explain, her voice growing increasingly hysterical. "More importantly, you're... YOU'RE AWAKE!?"
Flynn's mouth opened, but the incomplete words stayed on the tip of his tongue, trapped by the whirlwind of emotions surging through him. The woman's shock reflected his own perplexity. Yet, without additional explanation, the woman dismissed her own questions, her tone turning more concerned.
"No, never mind. It's dangerous to remove the EET and cannula without proper medical procedures. Stay right where you are, and don't move. I'll go fetch a doctor."
The woman left Flynn feeling even more perplexed and abandoned. She offered no explanation for her presence or aid in helping him return to the comfort of his bed. Flynn remained sprawled on the floor, his head swirling with unanswered questions and a deep sense of uncertainty.
"She's acting so strangely. I can't make sense of anything she said," Flynn whispered to himself, his eyes scouring the room, anxiously seeking a clue or a means to untangle the mysteries surrounding him. His attention gradually fixated on the opposite end of the open door, where the unknown lured him with its promise of answers. While he recognized that the woman certainly had good intentions and was concerned for his well-being, Flynn's inherent wariness towards strangers, compounded by the betrayal he had experienced, made it difficult for him to trust her instructions blindly.
"No, I can't stay here," Flynn said to himself, resolution blazing within him like a flickering flame in the dark. He realized he had to take matters into his own hands and find someone to shed light on the mystery surrounding his body. Being left alone in a place he had little understanding of only increased his desire to escape the confines of ignorance and pursue the enlightenment he wanted.
Pushing himself off the floor, Flynn steadied his swaying body. He began to navigate his way towards the exit, step by cautious step. Every movement carried a weight of uncertainty, yet the burning need for understanding spurred him forward.
As he cautiously made his way through the unfamiliar corridors, Flynn's mind became a spinning maelstrom of inquiries, each query a cryptic piece in the puzzle of his existence. What had happened to Cheol? Why was he in this place? And most crucially, how could he claim complete control over this body? The unknown loomed before him, its vague presence both intimidating and tantalizing. Yet he was determined to understand its mysteries, no matter the cost.
After what felt like an eternity, Flynn arrived at a bustling location where people gathered, their presence imparting vitality to the air. They moved with purpose, their footfalls ringing with urgency and anticipation. At the core of it all stood two portals, a gateway to new places, their unfamiliar mechanisms a testament to the divergence from the arcane magic that Flynn had grown to expect. Nevertheless, he found solace in the familiarity of his instincts, honed by years as an elite assassin, since they seemed to guide him in the right direction.
"Now, which portal should I choose?" Flynn spoke, his voice carrying a note of contemplation. His gaze sought the two options before him, each path branching into undiscovered realms. The left portal beckoned upward, and on the other hand, the right one descended.
Drawing upon his vast experience in countless treacherous dungeons, Flynn reached into the depths of his memory. "In my past encounters," he reflected, "the toughest and most knowledgeable opponent always awaited me at the highest floor."
With unflinching determination written on his face, Flynn took a firm stride towards the doorway that beckoned him above. His heart accelerated, reflecting the eagerness coursing through his veins.
However, before he could take the final step and cross the barrier into the unknown realm, a desperate hand grasped his shoulder with fervor that shot a jolt through his body, pulling him out of his introspective mood. Startled, his heart leaped within his chest, his eyes widening as he reflexively swung around to confront the person who had stopped him. His gaze locked with that of a woman, her eyes gleaming with tears, expressing feelings that aroused something deep within him.
"Cheol, my son!" she shouted, her hands slipping from his shoulders to engulf him in a tight embrace.
Bewildered and disoriented, Flynn stood there, his head a churning tempest of thoughts and questions. The sense of familiarity emanating from the woman overpowered him, tugging at the corners of his brain like a half-remembered melody.
"Who are you?" Flynn managed to express his confusion, his gaze exploring the features of the woman's face for any shred of recognition. The words hung in the air, heavy with the weight of his need for answers.
Surprised by his lack of recognition, the woman's tight hold softened, her hands resting on Flynn's shoulders as she examined his condition more attentively. Her face's creases were engraved with hope and concern, her brows furrowing ever so slightly as she struggled to fathom the conundrum before her.
"It's me, your mom. Don't you remember?" Mrs. Han questioned, her voice tinged with hope and worry, her words bearing a fragile thread of vulnerability.
Flynn stood there, caught in his own indecision. His gaze stayed locked on Mrs. Han's face, searching for any flash of recognition within the tiny fragment of Cheol's memories instilled within.
Sensing the mounting tension, Mrs. Han's gaze went toward the doctor, silently pleading with him for answers. She spoke with a sense of urgency, her words tinted with fear and a mother's care. "Doctor, is something wrong with Cheol? He doesn't seem to recognize me."
Dr. Kang, caught aback by Flynn's lack of recognition, maintained his composure. He responded in a measured tone, trying to conceal the waves of surprise that threatened to overpower him.
"Mrs. Han, it would be best for Cheol to undergo further testing. For now, he should return to his room. Nurse Choi, please fetch a wheelchair," he instructed, his face a mask of professional detachment, his words carefully chosen to provide a semblance of reassurance.
The room fell into a heavy silence as the weight of the situation struck. Flynn's mind continued to churn with various emotions—confusion, frustration, and a growing sense of discomfort. As Nurse Choi swiftly made her way to get the wheelchair, Flynn couldn't help but feel a terrible sense of separation from his own identity.