STORYHansaneega@Lee Jongbeom
Dan-GoonThe first of the Dominants who predicted Stroke.After the first Stroke, many universes began to resonate, and many new things came to light. The preparation for the first Stroke we know of was long ago, and the beings born from that became the originators of the syl—the thread of worlds. These originators were called Dominants, and even on the Korean Peninsula, there was one named Dan-Goon. Dan-Goon was an amalgamation of god, human, and animal, making him a being who himself is a symbol of ‘all cosmic resonance’. Space with nothing. At the same time, space with everything. In principle, it was a space anyone could come to, but the beings who actually stepped foot into it were all notable beings from throughout history. ‘Every time I see it… I’m shocked.’ Born as an individual but now a legend, Dan-Goon looked around. Everywhere he looked, he could see threads shooting out. Syl. Humans called those syl fate, karma, or even love. But in the end, syl was thread. Thread that connected individual beings. And that thread came together to make a tare: one skein of thread. ‘So this is the syltare.’ It wasn’t even funny. No one could look at such a thing and think it was thread. Dan-Goon was the same. At first. -What the hell is... He’d only stopped by out of pure coincidence. Just touching the center was an extraordinary feat, so saying that it was a coincidence would be denigrating it. Dan-Goon was beyond extraordinary; he was a man with a godly side, which meant he could get past its external appearance to look inside and find its true essence. -Syltare… The things called fate, karma, love, and morals, were the world, and the world was a tare—a skein. The threads may be far apart, but they were connected in the center. The moment Dan-Goon realized that, that was the moment he formed the Myth of Dan-Goon. From then on, while all of his derivative relationships crumbled, he grew roots in the land and became the foundation of a new tribe of people. He made a tare, even though it was small. ‘In the end, even this is a portion.’ Dan-Goon was the originator of this world. But the syltare he saw that day was much larger than this one. The thread that stretched out from there would probably be the thread for a world. Just thinking about it made his body quiver. How vast would that world be? How many relationships would there be? ‘First… Shall I look after my children first?’ There were those from the originators of worlds who tossed aside their own world and only wanted the truth. Dan-Goon saw with his own two eyes how their worlds still didn’t collapse, even though they tossed them aside. But Dan-Goon couldn’t do that. He might have become a legend, but he couldn’t help his true nature. He was a being that could embrace the whole universe if he wanted to, but he still embraced the small things. That’s who he was. ‘If Yeong-sil saw this, what would he think of?’  The thread in the syltare wasn’t an organism, but a type of nerve thread. One could say that the collection was a sort of computer. The concept that people called quantum physics and still were trying to explain it with  clumsy theories came into being through this machine. Even Dan-Goon couldn’t explain it, it was so difficult, even though he understood it in his bones. However, he thought Jang Yeong-sil would be different. But he was busy. He was looking after a broken robot named Yeong-hui. Dan-Goon smiled, for this was also something he wanted. ‘Would the king of the mountain be able to find the path here?’ The last king of the mountain was trembling with a sense of horrible loss. He felt as though the threads that encompassed his body had all been cut off and disappeared. But Dan-Goon could see. There were a few threads—thin and fragile, but still connected. The Haetae, and the Mountain God were trying to help him Even the sergeant who had been nearing discharge was a thread, when the king of the mountain was trying to kill him so. If they went up the family tree of the sergeant, one of his distant ancestors saved the king of the mountain’s life, and Dan-Goon knew this. ‘The evil spirit… Will she be able to learn forgiveness?’ It had gotten so far that the grim reaper was right on her tail. The good thing was that this grim reaper was generous. If the evil spirit had even a speck of forgiveness in her heart, the grim reaper would gladly help her and punish the eternal sinner justly. ‘Those two might have an interesting relationship…’ Now Dan-Goon followed the thread connected to the secret royal inspector and the corrupt official. These two. Most would think a thread didn’t suit them, but they were getting along somehow, thanks to the corrupt official hiding his identity. The corrupt official was unexpectedly helpful at a crucial time. Dan-Goon smiled as he watched them. ‘There shouldn’t be a reason to worry about Simchung.’ The girl who knows how to be compassionate to others—who looks like she’d be the weakest just based on her appearance. But inside her was the dragon’s strength. Her connection to the Dragon King had been cut off, but even here, there was a thread that survived. The mir. Even in Dan-Goon’s memory, a striking dragon was flying towards Simchung. There were so many besides them who drew Dan-Goon’s eye. ‘The dokkaebi.’ The small hero who had to take on his weakening tribe out of nowhere, was making his way through the platform, that particular curiosity in his eyes. He wasn’t alone. Samyeong-daesa was helping him. Samyeong didn’t really feel much for the dokkaebis. It was just that the dokkaebi was the first being to be seen by the monk, who wanted to undo the devastation he’d unfurled. Of course, that wasn’t a coincidence. Dan-Goon knew that a small tare had turned ever so slightly in that moment. ‘Shaman… You’ll have to be a little careful.’ The one inside her was a general god. No, it would be more accurate to call him a god of war. Even Dan-Goon was forced to respect him. But the one who was after the god of was Cheok Jun-gyeong. Already there had been several conflicts, and every time, a portion of the platform had crumbled. ‘Jeon Woo-chi… You’re still the same.’ He was chasing after Gumiho. No, chasing wasn’t the right word. What should I call it? Right. It’d be better to say he was escorting her. The love Gumiho had in her heart was a tragedy, but what Jeon Woo-chi had was just as tragic. ‘No, I can’t.’ Dan-Goon impulsively wanted to undo the syltare and redo it, but he resisted. After watching for thousands of years, he learned that just watching was the best for some fates. ‘You… What will you do?’ Gung-ye was looking up at the sky with his one remaining eye. He did this in the hope of understanding the universe. It was ridiculous. What that rascal had to examine was the threads connected to him. Perhaps he was dreaming of something much too great from the start. ‘Well, one thing’s a big relief…’ Pye-dog had found Gung-ye. This clever dog king, this little one, had recognized instantly that Gung-ye had once assumed the title of king and had fallen. Gung-ye was much too lowly for Pye-dog to serve as his master, but he was a being who had served a master much less than him from the very beginning. Maybe that was why he had followed Gung-ye for a long while and was now wagging his tail. If Gung-ye could look on the inside, not just the outside, then he could have a companion. ‘Seon-deok…’ The one who could read a part of the universe, like Gung-ye. But unlike Gung-ye, she didn’t go against the grain. The kind queen was led by her instincts, and was listening to the story of two girls. Jang-hwa and Hong-ryeon were blushing, maybe because they hadn’t met an adult who would listen to their story for a very long time. It was nice to see. -Are you alone? Then, someone spoke. It was the kkokdusoe. It was quite something to see someone who had died for being too nosy begin to act like this as soon as he saw the clown. Indeed; when even Dan-Goon and those like him were looking after small worlds without following their own natures, how could the kkokdusoe be any different? ‘I didn't expect this of you two.’ The gaksital. The proud, anonymous hero was standing with the human-faced bird. He felt that it was surprising, but upon thinking about it again, he realized they were both beings who hid behind masks. They were also beings who had their masks taken off on the platform. ‘You’re alone again.’ The child of an exterminated family. She was born into nobility, but was to prolong her life by cutting others’ off. Even her name was vulgar: The Executioner. Coincidentally, she was standing alone again. “Caww!” Turning his head, the samjogo had approached. Dan-Goon brushed a hand over its head and gestured with his own. The samjogo understood his master’s will and flew to the executioner. It would be something for her to lean on for a while. Dan-Goon, now alone, thought back to several great beings. Yeom Ra, Granny Samshin, Hong Gil-dong, and Yi Sun-sin. Where he may have felt pride or worry for others, for these beings, he felt anticipation. Everyone has the potential… But of course, these four were truly legendary beings, so perhaps they harbored great potential. ‘I can’t be surprised, no matter who comes.’ With a grunt, Dan-Goon sat down. He wondered what he should say in welcome.