The Main Characters That Only I Know (Novel) Chapter 152


Chapter 152

‘I had only heard of it, but this is the first time I’ve seen it for real.’

Yu-hyun couldn’t hide his amazement as he looked around the interior of the Nautilus.

Unlike what he had expected from a submarine, the inside of the Nautilus was very cozy. 

It even had amenities that a real 21st century submarine could never have. 

Yu-hyun stuck out his tongue as he saw them.

“Wow! This is really amazing!”

Next to Yu-hyun, there was a young man with many dreams who shone with excitement. 

It was none other than Ishmael.

It was understandable that he was invited, but how did Ishmael end up coming along?

Yu-hyun recalled the day when he was invited by Captain Nemo.

‘He invited me, but Captain Nemo also invited Ishmael, who happened to pass by.’

He said that he was curious about the innocent young man who didn’t fit in with Ahab’s crew, but Yu-hyun didn’t think so.

‘Come to think of it, Captain Nemo had a strange reaction when he saw Ishmael at the meeting. Does he know something about Ishmael? No. He must have seen someone else he knew in him.’

Who could that be? 

No matter how hard Yu-hyun thought, he couldn’t come up with any information.

He didn’t know anything about Captain Nemo’s past, or his real name. 

The only things he could know about the mysterious captain were that he harbored a grudge against Moby Dick and that he felt some kind of longing for a young man like Ishmael.

‘Is that all I can know for now?’

How long had it been since I left the square captain’s seat? 

A few minutes later, I saw him appear from the other side of the corridor, wearing his uniform.

“Sorry for being late. I had to give some urgent orders, so I was delayed.”

“No, it’s okay.”

“Yeah, it’s okay. You’re busy, captain. You can’t help it.”

“Thank you for understanding.”

The square captain smiled softly and sat down on an empty seat. 

I had always seen him fighting with Ahab, so his smiling face felt quite different.

We were in a lounge built for the crew’s rest inside the submarine. 

It was a place that should have been crowded normally, but the crew members were having their personal time because of the upcoming operation.

Only the three of us were here.

“I didn’t have a big reason to call you guys like this. I just wanted to have a conversation with you, since it might be the last time. Talking to many people is one of the few hobbies of this old man.”

“Is that so?”

Ishmael nodded as if he understood. 

In fact, he also liked to talk to someone very much.

The square captain called me because he was curious about me, who came from a completely different place.

“Your name was Ishmael, right? How did you get on this ship?”

“Oh, I wanted to see the wider world. I was going to take a merchant ship at first, but I thought a whaling ship would be more adventurous than a merchant ship.”

Ishmael never expected that the ship he boarded would be fighting such a monstrous creature.

He muttered gloomily, but at the end he said with hope, “But it will be fine!”

The square-faced captain nodded slightly as he looked at Ishmael, who was full of innocence and optimism.

Suddenly, a shadow from the past flickered in his eyes.

“Grandpa! Someday I’ll go see the wider world!”

The captain overlapped his old memories with Ishmael’s face.

His kin who had been pure, but had now vanished from the world.

He never forgot that face for a single moment.

“You look like him.”

“Me? Who?”

“No, nothing. Just talking to myself.”

The captain changed the topic and asked Yu-hyun.

“Your name is Kang Yu-hyun, right? You seem to be a smart person. Are you from some noble family?”

“Do I look like that?”

“Your clothes and demeanor don’t match the sailors. I was curious about that.”

“I’m not a noble. Just an explorer. I boarded this ship for the same reason as everyone else. Moby Dick. I didn’t even know if it really existed, I just wanted to confirm it. But somehow I ended up here.”

“You were unlucky.”

“Or you could say that this is the only chance to catch it, so I’m lucky.”

“Do you have a reason to go after Moby Dick?”

“A reason…”

Yu-hyun thought for a moment and then chuckled.

“Nothing too grand. At first it was money and fame. But now I fight to survive. Once I saw its true form, I couldn’t deal with it half-heartedly.”

“I felt the same way! I can’t believe there’s such a huge whale in the world!”

“I see.”

“Captain, you also seem to have some grudge against Moby Dick, am I right?”

The captain nodded.

“There’s no point in hiding it. Yes, I’m chasing it for revenge.”

“Re, revenge.”

Ishmael shuddered at the word revenge, remembering Ahab’s face. 

To this naive young man, revenge was a scary emotion that burned even his own heart with madness.

And then he blamed himself. 

How could he be scared of such a thing when he wanted to be a man of the sea?

He recalled how Queequeg had told him that he didn’t suit the sailors, and felt depressed.

“Hmm. The captain also wants revenge.”

Yu-hyun glanced at the square-faced captain with a slightly narrowed gaze. 

The captain’s face was the same as before, calm and composed.

Yu-hyun did not try to read his emotions from his expression. 

Instead, he noticed a silver necklace that peeked out from between the collar of his uniform. 

He eyed it curiously.

‘A pendant necklace. It doesn’t seem like the captain would wear earrings or other accessories, considering his frugal personality.’

The captain was a very neat and restrained person. 

The first thing that came to mind when Yu-hyun saw him was frugality and a sharpness that seemed to cut anything he touched.

He didn’t think that the captain wore the necklace for fashion.

‘The most likely thing is that it contains a photo of someone. Someone related to his revenge against Moby Dick?’

It was the captain’s wound, in a way. 

Yu-hyun only guessed that much and did not try to pry any further.

Instead, he checked his information gathering rate, which had been stuck at 61%. 

As soon as he confirmed the pendant, it rose to 70%.

‘That must be a clue related to the rest of the story.’

The captain had the biggest key to clear this world’s scenario.

After that, the three of them had a trivial conversation. 

It was all about dreams, goals, or what they would do next.

Ishmael was the one who mostly talked, and the captain occasionally responded.

Yu-hyun realized that the captain had wanted to call Ishmael from the beginning.

‘He called me because he needed an excuse to call this kid.’

He felt like he had become a sidekick.

It was not a pleasant feeling to be used, but he decided to let it go this time.

‘After all, this might be the last conversation.’

Yu-hyun took in the sight of Ishmael chatting happily and the captain listening quietly.

They looked like a harmonious grandfather and grandson.

“Brother. Thank you. Thanks to you, I saw something amazing and had a conversation with the captain. If I had been alone, I would have stuttered and said nothing.”

“No. You could have done it without me.”

“Hehe. You’re such a nice person, brother.”

“Really.”

Yu-hyun and Ishmael returned to the ship and had to prepare for the upcoming operation.

Actually, there was nothing to prepare. 

They just had to sort out their feelings so that they wouldn’t have any regrets.

“Brother. I’ll go now. Queequeg might be worried if I leave him alone again.”

“You must be tired of having a nagging friend.”

“Hey. He’s my friend who cares about me, okay?”

“Yeah. Take care.”

“Oh.”

Before leaving, Ismael stopped in his tracks and asked Yoo-hyun, as if he had just thought of something.

“Hyung, do you think we can survive?”

“Why are you asking me that now?”

“Ha, ha. But I feel like I have to ask now. I don’t want to die, you know.”

Ismael looked at the distant sea.

“I want to see a bigger world. A world of unknowns that I don’t know. An adventure that makes my heart race. I want to see and verify more things, and meet different people. And then I’ll go back to my hometown and tell them. About the adventure I had.”

“And then?”

“And then, I’ll go find another world.”

Ismael’s eyes shone brightly with his dream. 

It was a radiance that only a pure person who had a firm purpose could have.

A young man who dreamed of adventure and exploration, full of romance.

Ismael was a rare person in this era.

“Ha ha. But I’m still just a novice, and I have a long way to go. Maybe I can’t do it.”

“No. You will definitely do it.”

“Really? Do you really think I can do it?”

“Yes. We won’t die in this operation, and we’ll hunt that monster. So you can decide after that.”

“I feel relieved when you say that, hyung. Thank you.”

Ismael smiled and waved his hand at Yu-hyun, then disappeared into the cabin.

Yu-hyun, who was left alone on the deck, sighed as he recalled what he had said to Ismael.

“We’ll hunt Moby Dick without anyone dying.”

That was just his wishful thinking. 

This operation was literally a life-or-death gamble.

In a situation where anyone could die at any moment, no one could be sure that they would definitely survive.

But saying that they could live was nothing more than self-satisfaction. Ismael knew that too, but he thanked him anyway.

“It has to go well.”

“What are you mumbling about? Of course it has to go well.”

“Huh?”

The voice came from above the mast. As Yu-hyun looked up to see who it was, he saw a shadow growing bigger and falling from the sunlight.

Yu-hyun stepped back. A huge shadow landed in front of him.

Thud!

A lightness that did not suit the giant.

The ferocious lion of the sea, Captain Ahab, had jumped down from the top of the 10-meter-high mast without any trouble. He straightened his bent knees, even though one of his legs was a prosthetic.

“What are you doing here, captain? Weren’t you inside?”

“This is my ship, can’t I be anywhere I want?”

“You usually stay in your cabin.”

“That’s because Moby Dick didn’t show up then. But now it’s different, isn’t it? He’s roaming around nearby. I can’t stay inside all the time.”

Captain Ahab looked different from the others. He didn’t seem to have any tension at all.

He rather looked forward to the upcoming fight with him.

“Aren’t you afraid, captain? You might die.”

“Fear? You’re asking me something obvious. Is there anyone in the world who isn’t afraid of death?”

“That’s surprisingly reasonable of you.”

“You must have a good idea of how I’ve been seen so far. I’m not some kind of suicidal maniac. I’m human too, so it would be a lie if I said I wasn’t scared.”

Captain Ahab murmured as he gazed at the distant sea with a longing look.

“But still, your heart beats faster than that, doesn’t it?”

“Are you a romantic?”

“I was, until I lost this leg to that damned thing.”

Ahab tapped his prosthetic leg with his hand.

Captain Ahab was a famous harpooner and whaler, and a great captain.

But he lost everything in one moment of failure. His ship and crew, and his leg.

The man who once chased dreams and ideals was now living for revenge.

“Do you have any family or lover, captain?”

“No.”

Ahab said firmly. He was so confident that even Yu-hyun was taken aback.

“I had no time to make such a cumbersome thing, once I decided to bury myself in the sea.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes. In the end, this place is my hometown and my grave. Of course, my final goal is to get rid of that damned whale that bit off my leg on the way.”

“What if, I mean…”

Yu-hyun sighed, thinking that his question was rather foolish.

“Have you ever thought about what you would like to do if you hunted Moby Dick and still survived?”

“What I would like to do? Hahaha. This is, really. An unexpected question from you.”

“Is it?”

“Yes. But it’s also a valid point. Hmm. Revenge is not necessarily doomed to fail. I could succeed, right? And then, there would be something else after that.”

Ahab had never considered what would happen after his revenge. It was not so much that he felt no need to do so, but rather that he had an intuition of death in his fight with Moby Dick.

If, by some miracle, I survive, what would I do then?

“I just want to drink a lot and get drunk for once.”

“And then?”

“And then… I guess I would go back to the old days. When I pursued adventure and romance, like I used to.”

Ahab’s voice was something that Yu-hyun had never heard before.

Until then, he had always been a wounded beast, snarling with thorns, but now he was an adult who reminisced about his faded dream.

The square captain, Captain Ahab, and the sailor Ishmael.

They all had their own stories and their own purposes.

“I hope it goes well.”

“To be honest, I don’t know either. But I still do it. When I sailed out a long time ago, I had a conversation with an old man I met on another continent.”

“An old man?”

“Yes. He was a wise fisherman. He was really amazing. He wasn’t strong. Rather, he had lost his old vigor due to old age. But what was great about that old man was his eyes. His strength of mind. How could such an old man be so upright?”

“I wish I could meet him.”

“That old man told me. He had also experienced many failures in his life, felt moments of frustration. And he also felt the fear of death. So I asked him. ‘Old man. Why do you still go out to sea as a fisherman after all that hardship?’ Do you know what he said?”

“What did he say?”

“Because, after all, people are not created to lose.”

“…”

“That’s what he said. The moment I heard that, I felt like I was hit hard on the back of my head. It’s been a long time ago, and considering his age, he must have died by now, but the memory of that time is still vivid in my mind.”

So that’s why.

Even in the face of this moment, Ahab could be so confident and relaxed.

Humans, they would not be defeated, even if they were doomed.

Yu-hyun looked up at the sky. So did Ahab.

Unlike the people who were struggling to survive, the sun shone as brightly as ever.

Before they knew it, it was noon, when the shadows were the shortest.

“Are you ready?”

“Of course.”

“Good. Then let’s begin.”

At the same time.

Ding ding ding ding!

The bell rang to announce the noon hour. The sound of the bell echoed across the vast sea, but only reached the ears of the people.

It was finally time.

The sailors and collectors began to move quickly. Kang Hye Rim and Kwon Ji Ah came out, and so did the collectors who wished for Park Chul Oh. Goe Seon Bang Sang Shi also came out and waited for Yu-hyun’s words. She had Baek Hyo in her arms.

The Nautilus was no different.

[We wish you luck.]

The square captain said that and immediately went into diving.

The Nautilus had an important role to play and could not move with them. They had to leave first.

“Captain. How is that thing reacting?”

“It noticed us moving.”

Ahab sniffed and answered.

Moby Dick, who had been keeping his distance, sensed something strange and reacted. He narrowed the gap slightly and watched what they were doing.

“But he’s not chasing after that Nautilus. I guess his first priority is me. Isn’t this an honor? This makes things easier.”

“Then let’s go.”

At Yu-hyun’s words, Ahab nodded and shouted in a loud voice.

“Turn the ship to Woo Hyun! Full speed ahead───!!!”

The sailors tied ropes, spread sails, and moved swiftly. The helmsman turned the key, and the navigators read the wind with tense expressions.

Splash!

The three ships cut through the sea and headed for the shipwreck graveyard at full speed. Moby Dick, who had been watching from afar, realized that they were fleeing and hurriedly followed them.

Operation name

The operation that would determine everyone’s fate began.

“Let’s go! You guys! To the graveyard of ships!”

And let’s go.

To the end of this revenge.

 ---

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