1

The territory of the Rabbit Clan.

With all the members of the Tiger Clan working hard with the exchanges with the Players’ Association, led by Ok Toyoon, there was only one in the clan who was not busy.

Head of the Rabbit Clan, Ok Toyeon.

“Oh, I’m bored.”

Ok Toyeon stretched and rolled on the sofa in her office and pushed a chestnut and cinnamon-flavored treat to her mouth.

She would usually laze around and watch baseball, but she didn’t feel like watching today’s game where the final champion of the Korean Series would be decided.

The team that Ok Toyeon supports is the TC Knights, which was eliminated in the autumn games early on.

Watching a baseball match where a different team would win the championship and proudly hold the trophy would be too frustrating.

Thinking about a possible big party on the winning team’s turf, Ok Toyeon got emotional and decided to whine to anyone she could through her device.

She opened her device’s contact list and saw ‘Yellow Tiger’ at the top.

‘…I think Yellow Tiger said something weird.’

Last night, Ok Toyeon received a call from Yellow Tiger.

Yellow Tiger has been leaving her messages on read recently, but she still picked up the call thinking that it must be an urgent matter for the man to have to call her.

However, their conversation didn’t feel urgent at all.

‘Why is he talking about reincarnation out of nowhere?’

Life and death.

There is a boundary moving like a rolling wheel between it called the cycle of reincarnation.

The moon rabbit Ok Toyeon who lived for thousands of years went back and forth countless of times on this boundary.

The entity that Ok Toyeon burns herself as an offering (Soshingongyang) is Sakra, and Ok Toyeon is sealed as the Hoeto (the rabbit on the moon).

As a result, death became a process, not an end, for Ok Toyeon.

— So those of royal lineage in deep sleep aren’t headed to the cycle of reincarnation?

Ok Toyeon was too lazy to explain things that night and so Yellow Tiger had a lot of questions.

Ok Toyeon thought it was strange that Yellow Tiger was asking such an obvious question, but she answered nonetheless.

— Of course. Being in a deep sleep simply means that the soul has left the body. They’re not dead so why would they go through reincarnation?

— So the departed soul doesn’t go through reincarnation.

— If that was possible, I would’ve been able to bring back Silver Tiger!

Ok Toyeon raised her voice.

If souls of the sleeping people of royal lineage were headed to the reincarnation cycle, Ok Toyeon would’ve already visited Silver Tiger.

However, Yellow Tiger asked again, his tone filled with suspicion.

— You expect me to believe that you’re not hiding him?

— So what? If you’re not going to believe me, then don’t ask me in the first place!

— If you don’t want to be suspected, tell me more about how the cycle of reincarnation works.

Ok Toyeon was seething as she explained the reincarnation cycle at length.

It was when she almost completed her explanation that she realized that she was played by Yellow Tiger.

— The watchman who keeps the circle of reincarnation, so to put it simply… Ah, why am I even explaining this to you? I don’t have anything more to say! I won’t tell you!

— I don’t have anything I want to hear either. Good job. I’m hanging up now.

Yellow Tiger hung up, seeming like he got all the information he needed.

Ok Toyeon felt anger rising up again as she recalled the events last night.

“Why is this sick bastard so different from Silver Tiger when they’re both in the same family?!”

Ok Toyeon recalled the friendly and considerate Silver Tiger.

It was thanks to him that the Rabbit Clan and Tiger Clan remain as allies.

— This is a scarecrow made from the animal skin we collected during the last hunt.

— Why are you giving this to me?

— I heard the Rabbit Clan reproduce the soshingongyang during every new year. Instead of burning your bodies, why don’t you put your clothes on this scarecrow and burn it instead?

The scarecrow made by the talented Silver Tiger was similar to her appearance and was so sophisticated and beautiful that it would be such a waste to burn it.

Ok Toyeon accepted the scarecrow, but she tried to beat around the bush.

— …I’m a rabbit protected by Sakra. It doesn’t matter if I die.

— Being reincarnated doesn’t mean you don’t experience pain, does it? I do not wish for you to go through pain and suffering.

After that exchange, Silver Tiger always made a scarecrow every year for Ok Toyeon and she avoided burning to death.

Silver Tiger was gracious even to the others in their clan, and he continued making scarecrows for her even during the time when animal skin became precious.

There were many from the Rabbit Clan who aren’t fond of the temperamental tigers, but they all respected and loved Silver Tiger.

That’s why even when Silver Tiger asks for a difficult favor, the Rabbit Clan gladly accepts it.

— I want you to hide this child without the Tiger Clan knowing.

Silver Tiger handed a child wrapped in a white swaddle jacket and asked Ok Toyeon a favor.

The head of the Tiger Clan asked to hide a child from his own family.

Nevertheless, Ok Toyeon agreed right away and accepted the child.

— Understood. I’ll do whatever Silver Tiger wants! This child will be under the care of the Rabbit Clan without the Tiger Clan knowing. But can I ask who this child is?

Silver Tiger, a man who always looked calm no matter the situation, looked in pain.

— This child is… my descendant.

Ok Toyeon freaked out when she heard that the child was a descendant of Silver Tiger.

— Why do you wish to hide a descendant of the Tiger Clan? Who is this child’s mother?

— …She’s a human shaman. She died while giving birth.

— Oh, uhm… Are you okay, Silver Tiger?

— I am alright. I do not care what happens to a traitor who knows better than I do what this child will be.

As soon as the word ‘mother’ was mentioned, Silver Tiger’s face showed anger, yet there was still compassion and a hint of guilt.

Ok Toyeon was flustered by the reaction.

— You know that I can read tianji, right?

(T/N: Tianji, a mystery known only to heaven. A top secret.)

Ok Toyeon nodded.

— I read the future that the child of the head of the Tiger Clan will be a warrior who will defend this land. And I had this child with a human shaman as wise as I was.

— What? When did you get that prediction?

— A year ago. I’m sorry for hiding it. Take care of this child so that the Tiger Clan would not know.

She thought that she hasn’t seen a human shaman in a while, but one just had Silver Tiger’s child?

The shocking words did not stop there.

— A month ago, not long after this child was born… I had another vision. I think the mother of this child already knew it.

— What kind of vision?

— My brother and his friends will die protecting this child. I am going to change that future.

Silver Tiger spoke calmly, but Ok Toyeon was far from calm.

The future of the Tiger Clan dying while protecting this child was shocking, but it’s even more surprising to learn what Silver Tiger was planning to do.

— Isn’t it a crime that someone who can read tianji doesn’t follow it? You said this child will be a warrior who will protect this land! Would it be really okay?

— I will protect this land in a different way.

Silver Tiger looked at the child with cold eyes.

— Until the day he dies, this child is not mine. Once that happens, the head of the Tiger Clan would have no child, and the vision of the future that I had would not come true.

— Silver Tiger… You mean this kid would be…

— From now on, I wish this child would not meet the Tiger Clan, including myself, until the moment this child dies.

Silver Tiger turned his back.

— You’re not even going to give the child a name? Even if he has a true name, you should still give him a common name so that —

— I gave up being the father of this child. I don’t deserve to be the one to give him a name.

Silver Tiger pitilessly refused to name the child.

Just as Silver Tiger wanted, his immediate descendant never met the Tiger Clan.

Silver Tiger lost the ability to read tianji from the moment he abandoned the child, and after several big battles, he fell into a deep sleep.

Silver Tiger succeeded in protecting the land, and at the same time protecting his brother and his friends at all costs.

‘If Silver Tiger was reborn as a human… he would have to pay for his sin.’

Ok Toyeon looked lonely as she gazed at the scarecrow made by Silver Tiger’s grandchildren, Eun Seoho, Eun Iho, and Eun Jaeho.

In one corner of the office, there was a much older and worn out scarecrow compared to what the three children made.

‘The only thing similar is the silver hair.’

Ok Toyeon was lost in memory as she recalled the Tiger Clan descendant that she raised like her own daughter.

***

As soon as the Destiny skill was activated, all the tigers’ attention were drawn to me.

Kim Shinrok belatedly turned his head, and it’s clear that all of them sensed it the moment it was activated.

However, their reaction isn’t the important thing right now.

‘…This is similar to before.’

A skill window opened along with the system notification.

Fwaaaa…

A light pointed to a skill on the window.

Communication with Transcendent Universe.

The situation is similar to what happened at the Cheonik Mountain.

Well then, the work to be done is clear.

“Jo Euishin, don’t tell me you’re…”

I heard Hwang Jiho’s voice, but I already activated the skill after putting my hand on the Cheondansoo’s branch before he could stop me.

Wooong!

Along with the sensation of my brain being carved out, a powerful energy wave stretched from the branch and wrapped around Silver Tiger’s body.

The system message was different than usual.

Candidate?

It was a short description, but I could guess that it refers to Cheon Sungheon.

Unlike me, Cheon Sungheon must be a candidate only, not a complete object.

The situation didn’t last very long.

The countdown wasn’t even halfway through, but blood began to drip from my mouth.

“Stop! The boundary will collapse! Stand down!”

A golden energy wave flashed in my eyes for a moment, but my vision turned blue again.

Even Hwang Jiho’s power couldn’t interfere with communication with the transcendent universe.

The warning came up, but the option to stop the communication didn’t appear.

Soon, the long countdown was finally over.

Instead of saying “zero”, the system message said something else.

I needed to see what happened to Silver Tiger and Cheon Sungheon, but my vision was already blurred.

My body was weak to the point that my feet couldn’t support my weight any further, but sensing that I didn’t collapse on the floor, there must be someone who caught me.

The phenomenon of energy wave pouring through my body was over, but the communication continued.

Intention?

What intention is it talking about?

A system message rang in my head before I could ask.

Immediately after the communication ended, I heard a voice.

“Hyung…”

Silver Tiger’s eyes opened.

At the end of his gaze were me, Cheon Dongha, and White Tiger.