477 The Nameless Ones


    Gu Jun finally identified the strange feeling he had at the sanitorium, it was emptiness and falsehood. Be it the guards, the doctors at the sanitorium or the pedestrians on the street, they seemed to be lacking a soul. The houses in the town, despite their open lights, felt empty. Now he understood why, everything was just a shell. Gu Jun stood up and headed towards the blond woman. She was 20 plus and an admirable figure. She wore a fashionable dress and was happily chatting with her girlfriend. He approached their table. "Hello."

    "Yes?" The blond turned around with confusion.

    "My name is Jun." Gu Jun began, "Can I get to know you, what's your name?" The girlfriend giggled. The blond smiled from the attention, "Of course, my... name... Erm... It's..." She hesitated, she tried to give her name but every time, it disappeared whenever it reached her throat... Eventually, the blond frowned as the problem dawned on her. 'What is my name? Who am I?'

    "What's wrong with you? Why don't you just share with this handsome man your name?" The girlfriend opened her mouth to help her friend but she too was flummoxed. "Wait, what is her name again? What's mine?"

    "You can't tell me." Gu Jun mumbled, "Because you have no names." Just as the two ladies were shocked, everything flickered.

    Gu Jun was back at the table with Hannah. The conversation did not happen. The blond was still happily conversing with her friend. Then they picked up the tab and left. Gu Jun tried to focus to tune into their conversation but what he got was a blur. He saw Hannah shrug. Of the whole restaurant, only he and Hannah still remembered what happened. Everyone else, including the two females, they were not the main characters in this play, they had no name and no lines. They were just the backdrop, similar with everyone else at the restaurant.

    "Brother, tell me." Hannah asked, "Are we crazy or are we merely awake?"

    "Perhaps a little bit of both." Gu Jun slumped weakly in the chair. He looked around him. 'So these are all backgrounds, other people are my background and I am the background to others.' But honestly though, in a person's life, how can one be sure that one does not really exist in a play? One can encounter more than 1000 people in a day, see their faces, hear their voices but one might not know even a single one of them. When they leave one's field of sight, how can one be sure they still exist outside of their need to be seen?

    Gu Jun lived in a life of certainty before but now everything was as flimsy as ever.

    "I understand what you mean now." Gu Jun told Hannah, "What more do you know about this? What do you think we should do now?'

    "I don't know anything more than you do." Hannah put down the knife and used the napkin to wipe her lips. "I've tried many methods, killing people, arson, destroying buildings, nothing changes in the end. Only those we know have names. In fact, if you suddenly decide to venture into a random stranger's house, you'd see people idling there, even more dead than a carcass." Gu Jun was reminded of the scripted NPCs in GTA. They were lifeless caricatures as well. You could commit genocide in broad daylight but they'd forget about it after the stars dropped down to 0.

    "What about suicide?" He did not hear Hannah mention that, "Have you tried that?"

    "Are you not familiar with the ending of the characters in the King of Yellow?" Hannah put down the napkin and flagged the waiter for the bill. She added, "Suicide is one of the most typical endings. I've not personally tried it but I did attempt to cut my wrist. The wound suddenly healed, and left no scars." She raised her right hand, it was flawless. Gu Jun frowned as thoughts muddled his mind. If the background characters were all unreal... so the only solution could only be discovered from the real self? Was suicide the ultimate solution?

    But then again, there were other named main characters as well... Maybe they possessed the answer. That was how Jim's story ended in the King of Yellow. Jim Mazurewicz became insane, grabbed an axe and chopped his big sister into pieces.

    "What about the real King in Yellow?" Gu Jun asked, "The one that made us awake and insane?"

    "It's still at Miskatonic University." Hannah explained, "The school heard about your mental problem so they have sealed up the book and banned students from reading it. Furthermore, our school has always been a little mysterious. I was able to access it because I am your big sister, a reporter and an alumnus."

    "Let us go to the University." Gu Jun stood up. "Is the library still open?"

    "Even if it is, if the story does not write this part into our plot, we won't get there regardless." She said calmly. Gu Jun took a deep breath, he never felt so shackled at the sanitorium. Even though most of the time, he was inside that cramped room, in comparison, he felt freer then. 'Why did Jim get admitted? Did he really go insane? Or he was just playing a character?'

    "What about my notes?" Gu Jun asked, "Did you take them?"

    "No," Hannah answered, "You burned all of them. You shouted, 'burn all the words, ruin them! Do not let them control us, no!' while you did." The waiter came and she paid. "Come on, the dinner scene is over. Let us see what the words will control us to do next."

    Were they controlled by words or fate? Gu Jun wondered. After a person found out about their destiny, they did everything to change it but the tragedy kept repeating itself and death was inevitable.

    This problem was similar to the one Gu Jun faced at the altar. He still decided to challenge the unchallengeable. Every drowning human would struggle before they drown. Therefore, was this all an extension of Nyarlathotep's ploy to mock him? To show him that fate was irreversible no matter how hard he tried?

    Suddenly, Gu Jun believed he heard a strange voice saying, 'Is that so, is that so... How can you be sure it's not The King in Yellow who has descended upon thee...'

    It was Mr. Wang Erde.
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