📢Try To Re-load or Re Log-in to Show Loves

    Loves Error

    3. Zero Gravity (1)

    Yeonsoo went down to the lab with Alex. It was the first time he had gone with her. She seemed to be in a good mood since the morning, even humming a tune the entire way. On the other hand, Yeonsoo’s condition was low throughout.

    It was because of that d*mn dream. The more he thought about it, the more chills ran down his spine. It really felt like he was possessed. He even worried if this was a precursor to jumping into the water.

    The elevator door opened, and the tank appeared. Yeonsoo followed behind Alex and entered the lab.

    He moved with his head down, not wanting to even glance at the tank. He stood in front of the monitoring device, checked various numbers, and recorded them on the chart. Alex, who was supposed to check the data with him, sat next to him and started playing a game on her phone. If Kei was here, he would have said something, but Yeonsoo didn’t really care what she did during her working hours. In fact, working alone was often the quickest way to get everything done.

    The one that bothered him was not Alex, but the presence in the tank.

    That’s when it happened.

    Bang!

    A loud noise erupted. It was a sound so loud enough to shake the whole space. Yeonsoo reflexively crouched down and turned his head towards the direction where the sound came from.

    Bang!

    Once again, a thunderous noise was accompanied by the trembling of the glass tank. A blue tail thrashed violently, striking the wall.

    “Seems like you’re very uncomfortable.”

    Alex murmured calmly.

    Yeonsoo stood frozen like ice, then looked at her in bewilderment.

    “Why is it so severe today? If this continues…”

    “Don’t worry. That glass is a special type that even rocket launchers can’t penetrate.”

    “No, what I’m worried about is not the glass, it’s Beresht. Isn’t it going to get hurt? It’s hitting it so hard.”

    Alex chuckled without taking her eyes off her phone screen.

    “How strange. Don’t you usually worry about the glass breaking in situations like this? Anyway, don’t worry. You don’t know how strong it is. Sometimes it gets a little violent like that. If you’re really worried, go check it out. I bet it probably didn’t even get a scratch.”

    As Alex said, Beresht was generally calm but occasionally exhibited strange behavior. Like hitting the tank with its body or tail, or continuously swimming in a fast pace back and forth at both ends of the tank.

    After some time, a pattern emerged. Beresht would exhibit strange behavior once a week when he disappeared and then returned. He spent most of his time in the Conservation and Reproduction Department’s tank, but regularly he was sent to another department directly under the control of the Union Republic at the Center.

    The pretext was comprehensive management and inspection, but well… Yeonsoo had a feeling that something was off. If it was various check-ups for conservation, they were already doing plenty of them here, almost every day. He didn’t understand why they needed to do something separately in the Union Republic.

    Bang!

    The glass shook again. Yeonsoo approached the tank with an anxious face.

    He tried his best not to make eye contact directly with Beresht. But it approached right in front of him, and a huge shadow loomed beneath his feet.

    It cautiously moved its tail with a slanted gaze. The scales, as hard as refined titanium and as smooth as wrought porcelain seemed to be the characteristics of a predatory creature. There were no traces of collisions on the surface.

    “Alex. Have you seen that video by any chance?”

    Yeonsoo asked with a somewhat dazed expression. Alex, who had been glued to her phone, looked up.

    “What video….”

    He paused mid-sentence, then frowned in frustration.

    “You mean, that one? The video where Jeremy dies?”

    Jeremy. It seemed to be the name of the man in the video. The way she referred to him seemed natural. Maybe he was close to Alex.

    Yeonsoo suddenly became curious about the man.

    What kind of person was he? Was he really captivated by Beresht?

    “Kei showed you that? Ha. It’s so typical of him to act all fine but be the most gloomy. Was there really a need to show that? It could have been explained.”

    “What do you think, Alex? Do you think Beresht is a dangerous and terrible being?”

    Yeonsoo asked in a more subdued voice. He expected an immediate response, but Alex remained silent. When he turned to look, she had also put down her phone and seemed lost in thought.

    “Have you ever swum with a great white shark?”

    What came back was not an answer but a question. Yeonsoo lowered his head.

    What kind of lunatic swims with a great white shark? He would understand it if it’s a docile species like a blacktip or a dusky.

    “I was there. A long time ago. I wandered around the open sea for 10 hours, wanting to try swimming with it. It is so beautiful when you actually see it underwater. It is big, overwhelming, and above all, free.”

    “Is it not dangerous?”

    “Absolutely not. The idea that sharks are dangerous is a myth. It’s a prejudice created by low-quality movies. Humans are not attractive prey for sharks. The reason sharks attack humans is purely for self-defense. In fact, it is humans who are the most dangerous ones to sharks. There have been only a few cases of sharks attacking humans, but hundreds of sharks have been killed by humans.”

    He nodded obediently, but he couldn’t understand why she suddenly brought up the topic of sharks.

    “Can you come with me for a moment?”

    Alex suddenly got up and started walking somewhere. The place she stopped was in front of an iron ladder. It connected to the entrance of the aquarium.

    She climbed the ladder without hesitation. Yeonsoo followed her. As he reached the top step and lifted his head, he suddenly took a deep breath.

    The water surface that is seen from above. A flat white floor and ash-colored walls. The details of the space that he just passed by last time without paying attention to as he was in a rush, now caught his eye one by one.

    It is probably because of a memory that he carefully observed in the video.

    He jumped in here, into that dark water.

    Suddenly, he felt like he was going to faint. His heart raced anxiously. Yeonsoo stared at the sturdy iron bars, trying to gather his thoughts.

    “Why here…”

    “Shh.”

    As he was about to speak, Alex placed her index finger on his lips. She gestured towards the tank. Yeonsoo’s gaze naturally followed.

    His breath stopped. A blue figure was staring back at him, its upper body partially exposed above the water. A shiver ran down his spine. It was his first time seeing it from outside the water.

    “You’re quite lucky. Just because you come up here, it doesn’t mean it will show itself.”

    The transparent and white skin, which was shining, remained the same, but the dull blue hair that always fluttered around stuck damply to its whole body. The emerald eyes, which had been rippling as if they would evaporate in the water, had a three-dimensional dark blue light under the dim lighting.

    “How does it look from outside the tank?”

    “…The Bioluminescence phenomenon has disappeared.”         

    The unique luminescence of deep-sea creatures was no longer visible. The skin, devoid of light, was now deeply shaded along its contours. The finely sculpted muscles stood out more vividly. Whether in or out of the water, there was something unsettlingly beautiful about it.

    “How about now? More human-like, right?”

    Saying that, Alex pressed the fingerprint recognition switch next to him. Until then, Yeonsoo hadn’t even noticed it was there.

    Creak, the iron bars shook once and then began to move towards the ceiling.

    “What’s going on?”

    Yeonsoo, who had been absent-minded, suddenly came to his senses and asked.

    “Huh? Kei didn’t teach you this? How to unlock the iron bars.”

    “Wait a minute! It’s dangerous, it’s dangerous.”

    “Dr. Han. You asked if Beresht was dangerous and terrible.”

    As he watched with trembling eyes, the iron bars quickly disappeared from sight.

    “My answer is ‘no’.”

    Now the tank was completely open.

    Splash, the sound of the water that hit the surface made Yeonsoo’s shoulders jerk violently. Suddenly, a tail that had been floating near the surface of the water appeared.

    “Don’t worry. It’s not dangerous as long as you don’t go into the water. Have you ever seen a shark crawl out of the water on its own?”

    Alex patted Yeonsoo’s shoulder as if to reassure him and continue speaking.

    “The dangerous one is not Beresht, it’s humans. To hunt down such beings and confine them in a tank like this.”

    “….”

    “What makes the sharks in the ocean incomparably beautiful to those in an aquarium is their freedom. Freedom is the most important condition for survival for beings born in the sea. Being deprived of that and encroached upon in the confined space of this small tank, wouldn’t it be natural for it to want to tear humans apart

    “…That’s one way to think about it.”

    Beresht struck the surface of the water with its tail once again. The slow fluttering of its pale blue fins seemed surreal.

    It submerged its upper body into the water and swam closer, with only its head sticking out. Yeonsoo’s fingertips involuntarily curled out. It stuck out its tongue and licked its dry lips.

    “Oh. I’ve never seen it come this close before. Hello. Long time no see, huh?”

    Before he knew it, Alex, who had already crouched down, observed it and started talking to it. She even babbled, saying that its hair was now too long and that it needed to be trimmed.

    Seeing that natural interaction made him feel a little more relaxed. The more he looked at her, the more he realized she had a naive side.

    After a while, Alex stood up from her seat.

    “I’ll go back first. Today is the day the rare items are released.”

    It seemed like she was talking about a game she was deeply immersed in. Now he seemed to know why she was in a good mood all morning.

    “See you later. Take your time getting to know each other, even if you come up late.”

    Then she suddenly went down alone. Yeonsoo felt his legs loosen and so he sat down on the floor.

    The distance between him and Beresht was less than a few steps. With a tail over 2 meters long, it seemed like it could easily reach out. When that thought crossed his mind, a chill ran down his spine. But he didn’t deliberately keep his distance.

    As Alex said, it seemed that it wouldn’t attack humans outside the water. He couldn’t be sure, but he just had that thought.

    He felt that the appearance in the video was cruel. The violence was excessive. He even judged it as naturally evil and malicious. That’s why he couldn’t accept it even more. The strange attraction he felt deep inside.

    The strength to tear a human apart with one hand, the intense gaze when licking the broken flesh in its palm. Yeonsoo had been drawn to it even before it happened in his dreams.

    It was perplexing. It was agonizing. Something inexplicable, forbidden, and suppressed. He tried hard to comfort himself that being attracted to such things is inevitable in human nature.

    However, today, Yeonsoo wonders if Beresht’s brutality might not be the only aspect of him. Perhaps the massacre he carried out was a natural response to someone encroaching on his territory, as Alex suggested.

    Just as humans eat other creatures to live, just as Glow tears and eats small fish, it also felt like a natural providence for them to eat parts of humans as a different species.

    Yet, there is still one thing he doesn’t understand.

    If being drawn to that existence is a natural occurrence, what is the limit of “goodness”?

    To avoid becoming like the man who willingly threw himself and wanted to be devoured, at what limit should he stop?

    He looked up and stared at it. The deep emerald eyes were pitch black. There was not a single disheveled corner on its pale white face, only its red lips stood out vividly.

    Somehow, with a dry feeling in his mouth, he was lost in thought when a chilling, scratching sound was heard. When he shifted his gaze, he saw fingers emerging from the water, scratching the floor. Between the fingers, a shimmering claw-like hologram appeared. Suddenly, his heart started pounding. The feeling of that claw tearing through his insides was vividly remembered.

    He crawled on his knees. He couldn’t help but get closer

    With a desolate expression, he reached out his hand. He wanted to touch the claw between its fingers.

    However, it disappeared into the water just before he could reach it.

    Ah. Yeonsoo left a short sigh. The strength drained from his outstretched hand. His searching gaze fumbled around the spot where her fingers had lingered.

    Water splashed onto his face with a sharp sound. This time, a tail appeared. A blue tail emerged from the water’s surface. He reached out his hand again. This time, his fingertips safely touched the surface of the tail.

    It was soft. It looked as hard as a rock, but it was as soft as in a dream.

    He gently stroked the scales as if petting a small animal. As he smoothly swept his hand over it like playing a string instrument, the tail lifted slightly and swayed gently upwards.

    “Does it feel good…?”

    Yeonsoo murmured with a slightly reminiscent expression.

    Slowly and cautiously, he moved his hand again. The tail twitched once more.

    “Do you like it when I touch you?”

    Even though he expected no response, Yeonsoo looked at Beresht’s face as if waiting for something. Suddenly, its face tilted slightly to one side.

    The damp emerald eyes stared at Yeonsoo intensely. It was as if its persistent gaze was licking his face.

    It was strange. Bit by bit, the tension in his body loosened. Like when he lazily fell asleep in the darkness while looking at Glow in the room.

    In the eyes of this large and beautiful deep-sea creature, there was a power that could submerge its opponent. It felt helpless as if encountering an insurmountable moment of despair, yet being tenderly caressed all the way to the deepest part of one’s existence.

    The feeling of sinking into the ocean floor.

    If I were to go to the deep sea that I had longed for so much, wouldn’t this be the feeling I would have?

    You can support the author on

    This content is protected.