STORYHansaneega@Lee Jongbeom
SamsinThe one who connects the universe.She is in charge of all births as a price for letting go of all authority over death. When a human’s soul is formed by mixing the mind and spirit, created at the beginning of time, she places it into a reasonable shell on Earth. And when that mind and spirit returns through the cycle of death and birth, she places it into another shell, one appropriate for its deeds. Seeing as she connected the cycle of birth and death between the land of the living and the land of the dead, shouldn’t she be able to become someone who connects different universes from the world of Syltare?  “We beseech you, we beseech you…” A woman and a man had drawn water and were praying. They were praying so hard that they were the perfect depiction of the word “devotion.” It was because they’d been married for ten years already, but they were yet to have a child. A child. Some came to people by chance, and some came to others who didn’t want them. “The heavens do not care…” “Hey. You can’t say such blasphemous things.” “Isn’t it true though? We’ve been praying and praying for ten years already and yet…” “That’s really…” The husband fell silent at his wife’s words and stopped scolding her. He gazed past the wall. Nightfall had come long ago, so it was quiet. ‘She’s right, it’s been ten years…’ It had already been ten years since they used the water they’d drawn from that mountain that day to reflect the moon and prayed. Ten years. It was a time that stunned him if he thought about it. It was enough time for the terrain to change, but the couple had prayed and prayed as one. But there was no news. They did all they could—good deeds and things that were below them—thinking the heavens would be watching. “You poor things.” There was someone watching them. Samsin. The one in charge of life. Unlike what the world thinks, she still maintained her youth. Thinking about it earnestly, it was obvious. Because as long as birth exists in the world, her life would be extended. “But there isn’t a soul that befits them, so what can I do?” She couldn’t just send anyone down because she felt bad for their situation. That was against the law, and it was an action that would make their deaths unfortunate as well. Since in the end, their pain was also Samsin’s. She had to feel a pity that was as great as the regret the god of death had to feel as the god watched an evil person’s life run its course, even though it would be right to end it. No, it was possible her pity was even greater than that, and it was all on her shoulders. “That time was better.” Even up until that time, Samsin was sure that this was truly her pain. But as they say, out of the frying pan and into the fire. This was a saying from the mortal humans, but as an immortal being, it was actually good to listen actively to the words that lasted a long time, left behind by those who were faithful to their lives because they had an end. “They have souls, so how can they not want children?” Samsin looked down at the brilliantly glittering city, even though it was nighttime. Even the moon had difficulties against it. It was so bright and flashy that she became confused. Where the Jade Emperor lived had to be simpler than here. She was sure of it. Maybe they were drunk on the bright lights. Or the amount of knowledge the humans had acquired was now greater than what she could understand. Either way, the number of people down there who didn’t want children had grown too large. “Do I have to do that thing called marketing…?” Before, it would have really been a joke. The stork who heard her couldn't bring itself to laugh. This was because its master really had tens of thousands of souls. It wasn't an exaggeration to say that if everyone down there wanted a baby, she could give them each a child. "Should I try an ad?" Samsin continued talking to herself. Actually, she had gone into several people's minds and had them make tv shows about raising kids. It was basically a gentle ad promoting marriage and raising kids, but it wasn't very useful. "You're sitting here again." A voice came from somewhere and when she turned to look, the god of death was standing there. Yeom Ra. He was supposed to be a figure of terror for everyone, but he wasn't to Samsin. "I have nothing to do, so I can just sit here." "You're neglecting your work, so the land of the dead is also running out of work to do." Yeom Ra sat down brazenly, even when he hadn't been invited to sit. And so, life and death sat side by side. It would seem that this could be very awkward, but it was just natural. If you think about it, there had to be birth for there to be death. You could say these two were a needle and thread. "Then what am I to do? I've done all I can." "Haa." Yeom Ra just licked his chops at Samsin’s words. Even he thought that she did all she could. And yet, the humans didn't have babies. So what to do? He'd actually thought of various versions of death for this race, but he had no idea they would die out like this. How is it there was a race that would go extinct because they themselves stopped having babies? "Don't overreact. 7 billion are still alive." "They won't last more than a few hundred years at this rate." "Did you know the humans would turn out like this a few hundred years ago?" "No." "Then it would be meaningless to predict several hundreds years in the future." "Such a philosophical view. You really seem like a human." Yeom Ra chuckled at her words and said, "Anyway, does Stroke  know?" "Yes, he's aware." "And have you been there?" It wasn't a forced smile. Even for him, this was something he'd experienced rarely, and it was amusing. He didn't only come in contact with a godly being from another world; he had even been given a totally new job. Looking at her reaction, Samsin hadn't yet gotten her calling, and he felt a strange sense of superiority. "No, that's not... Oh, you've already gone, I see." "I have. I must have been more important in their eyes. Well if you think about it, the number of people who'll die could be greater than the number of people to be born." "Don't say something so... Oh." "What?" "I guess I'll go too." "That's the timing?" "Don't try to use today's language." "You were the one who went over... Oh, she's gone." Samsin was running her hands over her hair when she found herself standing somewhere unfamiliar. Her face hadn't changed at all since she was entrusted with this job, but her hair had gone past white and was almost pink. The guide stood in front of her, her face that of a child's. "I'm here because you called me, so why aren't you speaking?" His eyes were glazed over and only after Samsin spoke did he come to his senses. 'They said Granny, so I thought she would be an old lady...'  Isn’t this totally a child? "Halmi originally meant goddess, not grandmother." Surprisingly for him, Samsin had read the emotions of those who hoped to be parents, and thanks to that, she was now able to read other's thoughts as well. "Wait..." "I got the gist from Yeom Ra, so you don't need to bother telling me anything. I just want you to bring the one in charge. If sorting is Yeom Ra's specialty, mine is connecting." "Um... By the one in charge, you mean..." Thankfully for the guide, the master of the platform wasn't someone who bothered the people below him. He soon appeared all of a sudden in front of the guide. "Leave us." That being sent away the guide in a blur as soon as he appeared. And then, he looked at Samsin. When he 'looked’ at her, he looked inside her. It was possible because she had allowed it for a while, but if he was someone who wasn't worthy or if he was a mortal, then just glancing at a piece of her would make them lose their souls. "So you see the truth." The being laughed at Samsin's words. "Of course." "Alright, so how is it? My specialty is connections, like I said before." The being gazed at the young child, Samsin, who was speaking in an old fashion. They were looking down, but it felt like they were looking at them, not looking down at them. It was because of Samsin's presence, but it was also because of the truth they just saw. In the layered years of time, there had been horrific memories that caused wrinkles to form on even this pure child's face. It didn't look that different from the being, and thanks to that, they could speak even more freely. "Sorting and connecting, huh?" "Believing just sorting is enough when worlds are meeting is a great mistake." "Now that I hear it, I believe it is. This Stroke... It's quite amusing, in different ways." Amusing. Amusement? Samsin was feeling the same thing, so a smile crept out onto her face. Connecting those who are, rather than those who are desperate? This was something she'd never done before in all her time. 'I can see why... Yeom Ra was excited.' She'd sometimes felt jealousy for mortals. But Samsin's heart started racing, like she had become someone who now had an end.