|“||The more formal one's speech and manners, the more one's value is made apparent.||”|
A very disciplined young man who place emphasis on appearance, mannerisms and emotional expressions. That's why he's respectful and humble in his mannerisms. He's also very gentle when he interacts with others.
Tteokguk, or rice cake soup, was a celebratory food eaten during the New Year in ancient times, representing different wishes according to different styles of preparation. In the 18th century, tteokguk became a nationwide lunar new year tradition. Eating a bowl of the soup is supposed to represent growing a year older, so people sometimes also have a love-hate relationship with it as the years go on.
How to Acquire
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|Contract||Pleased to make your acquaintance, Master Attendant. I am Tteokguk.|
|Log In||You've returned? You must be tired. Sit down and have a rest.|
|Ice Arena||It's a bit chilly here. Put on another layer, quick.|
|Skills||Let the blazing sun purify all evil spirits.|
|Ascend||Thank you. I feel much better now.|
|Fatigue||Don't worry. I'm just a little tired, that's all.|
|Recovering||Don't be frightened. I'll recover soon.|
|Team Formation||Leave those evil-infested things to me.|
|Knockout||H-hurry... get out of here...|
|Notice||The food is ready. Hurry up and eat. One can get sick if one doesn't eat punctually.|
|Idle 1||Are there any special days this month? I'll make a note of them.|
|Idle 2||Let's grow some mulberries in the courtyard.|
|Idle 3||Master Attendant, you should gather up any fallen strands of hair... Why, you ask? Because I wish it so, that's why.|
|Interaction 1||What's that? Oh, I'm pounding rice into rice cakes. It's a traditional method of warding away evil.|
|Interaction 2||Scared of ghosts? Heh, heh, I will guard over you. You can rest assured.|
|Interaction 3||Would you like to try on clothes like this with colorful sleeves? I think it would look nice on you.|
|Pledge||I... ahem, apologies. I paused because... I'm the one who's supposed to say those words. I've forgotten my manners, and I hope you don't mind. From now on, let me always be by your side.|
|Intimacy 1||Rituals are a very important. No matter how long we're together, on our anniversary I'll always give you a present and say some nice words.|
|Intimacy 2||Actually, I used to be quite thoughtless and knew nothing at all about the finer points of etiquette. Later on, well, lots of things happened. Do you want to hear about it? I'll tell you the whole story.|
|Intimacy 3||Straighten your collar. You can't go outdoors looking all sloppy like this. Everyone will think that I don't take good care of you.|
|Victory||Now Master Attendant will be very happy.|
|Defeat||...Apologies. This time was my fault. Next time I will do better.|
|Feeding||Wow! You shouldn't have! Thank you.|
Noisy sounds rang in my ears.
All I could see were burning flames amid a corpse strewn field.
The creatures in front of me were screeching. Their life force dwindled and slowly collapsed, forming rings of ash.
I wheezed as I tried to support my knees. The knife pressed in my palms was flickering.
The air that entered my lungs burned.
My limbs trembled and sweat covered my eyes.
My surroundings quickly flashed from clarity to blurriness, and back again.
My energy was being sapped.
This sensation, this spectacle. How many times did I experience it?
I couldn’t think carefully. Instead, whenever I tried to think, my mind would be flooded by the words humans constantly uttered.
"Kill the fallen angels."
"Come! You’re my Food Soul after all!"
I began to shake my head, almost as if I was struggling, intent on getting rid of those demonlike words.
I lost my balance from those movements. My body quivered and I collapsed.
As the light on my blade began to extinguish, I closed my eyes.
There were words trapped in my throat. Were they words of lament, or cries of hatred?
However, the only words that came out were......
In a split second, that familiar darkness enveloped me.
It wasn't a peaceful nap.
I could faintly feel some bumping.
Although I want to stand up, fatigue seems to be hypnotizing me.
Before falling asleep again, I could faintly hear someone mumbling next to my ears.
"Everything's fine. Please rest well."
That's right, when have I rested before?
Ever since I was born, Master Attendant ordered me to fight, and to fight some more.
For humans, for peace, for salvation.
The reason for my existence was to protect them.
This train of thought endlessly sowed into my mind, like seeds.
This is what a Food Soul is.
This is what a Food Soul should be.
That's what I always tell myself.
I've forgotten when I gave up on thinking- ever since this notion began incessantly torturing me.
I'm no longer a being with awareness, but a tool.
Victory no longer brings me happiness.
Like sitting on a horse carriage, I'm being driven to my next battle again.
Because they told me that more people are suffering, more people need help.
What about me?
This question slowly came to me.
What about me? Who will save me?
"Are you saying that there's no more battles left?"
Sitting on the bed, I caressed a coin-sized medal in my palm. At a loss, I looked at my Master Attendant, who was cleaning the room.
"Yes." Master Attendant placed a document in my hand.
"The construction of the defense lines in the northern region has been completed. The same can be said for the defense circle meant to keep out the fallen angels. We no longer need to fight.”
Master Attendant gave me another cup of tea and praised me, sounding relieved.
"It's all thanks to your hard work."
I looked down at the reflection in the tea. With a pair of soulless eyes, I repeated his words.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of flapping wings, capturing my attention.
As I turned my head, I saw a flock of pigeons flying outside the window. Beneath them was a group of people, simultaneously smiling and working hard.
I mumbled as I gazed at them. Their faces were filled with anticipation, as their lives were going to change for the better.
Even though it was clearly a beautiful sight, I clenched my fist instead.
It was almost as if I just saw something disgusting.
The cup made a sound from the force I exerted, like it was on the verge of breaking.
Before it could shatter, a voice stopped me.
Master Attendant patted my head.
"Rest well, Tteokguk."
The battle has completely ended.
Near the border, the constructed defense lines made it hard for Fallen Angels to trespass.
Knowing this, everyone began to happily rebuild the country.
Everything is truly beautiful.
That peaceful future seems so close, so tangible.
Everyone circled around me like a hero.
Is this salvation?
I asked myself.
Yet, as I walked between everyone, their smiles brought me no warmth. Only.......
Me and them......
I'm worlds apart from them.
The restaurant owner bowed and apologized to my Master Attendant.
"Maybe this little shop of ours does not suit Tteokguk."
"I understand, you may leave."
Master Attendant looked around helplessly, and sent off the owner with an indifferent expression.
This was the 12th store I worked in.
Master Attendant turned back and looked at me.
I thought that he would scold me, but it never came.
Instead, he helped me gently put on a large shirt.
"Let me bring you to the doctor."
"So you're suffering from post traumatic stress disorder."
Master Attendant and I took the diagnosis. The description of this condition was an eyesore.
Symptoms include nightmares, drastic personality changes, mood disorders, numbness, and insomnia.
It also includes irritability, hypervigilance, amnesia, and jumpiness.
"I'm sorry. I didn’t notice how much you were suffering."
Master Attendant sighed. He patted my head, simultaneously asking the doctor:
"So, what should we do?"
"I'm sorry, I'm unsure myself."
Surprisingly, the doctor gave an unexpected answer.
"I know this condition, but as for how to treat it.....,"
The doctor ruminated on this for a while. Not long after, he responded with an apologetic smile.
"You should travel to Light Kingdom. Nearly all my medical knowledge comes from there."
"Are you prepared to travel there?"
Standing near the door, Master Attendant opened his mouth, almost as if he's going to speak. After hesitating for a moment, what came out was that boring question instead.
"I'm sure you're aware that I can't follow you. There's too many things to handle......."
He looked at me in a daze.
"Please come home quickly."
Ultimately, what is the reason for my existence?
During my journey, I looked at innumerable human civilizations, stunned. The question repeatedly rose to my mind.
After all, before all of this, my mind was solely preoccupied with fighting.
"He suddenly told me that I don't need to do anything. All I had to do was rest well......."
I gently rubbed the medal in my hands.
A forceful crush.
"No.......my purpose is to fight."
"I don't want to think about anything. I'm fine with being a tool that continues to fight."
I told myself.
I continued to hold this attitude until I reached where the doctor told me to go.
Tai Yun Guan.
After the practitioner learned of my situation, he told me to follow and work with a girl who happened to come from the same place as me.
"Don't worry, she can solve your problem."
Although I didn’t believe it, I continued to follow and work with this girl called Bibimbap.
After spending some time with her, I came to slowly understand her.
"I don't see any meaning in doing this......."
Day after day of carrying out everyday tasks let me experience a tranquil, simple, and warm life.
I found Bibimbap sitting under a tree, flipping through the book in her hand. Leaning against a tree branch, I looked down on her.
"Yet, I still don't see the point of carrying out these menial tasks."
Bibimbap closed her book.
"It can cure your illness."
"Illness?" That unbearable phrase bred a sense of annoyance from the emptiness inside me. I smirked.
"Are you saying that I'm inferior to humans?"
I stretched my hand out to hold her book.
"Food Souls don't get sick. As long we have Soul Power, we won't die."
"We are different from humans. We shouldn't be the same as them."
Bibimbap used her hand to cover mine.
"In that case, what do you think is the meaning of being a Food Soul?”
"Isn't that fighting? If we continue to fight, we can protect humans."
"Food Soul aren't tools."
My pupils shrunk to pinpricks, almost as if I've seen an unbelievable sight.
"I don't know what happened to you in the past. But all I know, almost all Food Souls have always fought."
Bibimbap reached out her hand and gently touched my face.
"But this is my first time hearing of a Food Soul developing PTSD because of fighting."
"It must’ve been tough, right?"
"Spending your life fighting on must be tough, isn’t it?"
"However, fighting is not the only thing with meaning."
As she spoke, she opened the book in her hand and looked at me with a serious expression.
"Reading can clear one's doubts and is quite useful."
"What you and I are doing can help the practitioners with their homework. Easing their troubles has meaning."
As she spoke, she placed her hand on my head.
"We're doing our best to make you happy. By carrying out these trivial things of life, we hope you can escape the shadows of war. This has meaning.”
As she spoke, she stood up and left, but then turned. From a distance, she looked back and smiled.
"If you think you understand suffering, then don't think about it too much."
"Meaning only exists if we give something meaning. It is an immutable fact that there's nothing in the world whose purpose is to die.”
"No matter how trifling the task, if what we do can help others, then there's meaning to it."
As I saw her shadow grow faint in the distance, I gripped onto the spine of the book in my hands.
"So....... I was trapped in what I thought meaning was......."
This was a story from Sakurajima from long ago.
Back then, innumerable Fallen Angels went around wrecking havoc. But at the same time, Food Souls were also created.
Countless countries were facing the threat of destruction.
Fortunately, a certain Master Attendant came forth. With his Food Soul, they battled against Fallen Angels throughout Tierra.
The days of battle seemed endless.
Fear and shock caused those hurt to lose their senses, and be solely governed by selfish instinct.
What Food Souls, just born recently, came into contact with was war, and the dark side of humanity.
When humanity finally came to their senses, they decided to show their appreciation for the emotional support Food Souls had shown. However, no Food Soul had time to care about this.
Because they needed to rush to the next battle.
Yet, Food Souls aren't tools. They can become fatigued.
Although the Master Attendant knew about the strange condition his Food Soul was suffering from, he had no time to comfort him.
Because neither time nor Fallen Angels wait for man.
He just wanted to immediately end everything.
Next time, it would be fine the next time.
Everytime they hurriedly returned home, the Master Attendant would guiltily and helplessly console himself as he looked at his sleeping Food Soul.
Quickly put an end to everything.
Just as he hoped, everything did come to an end in reality.
Unfortunately, his Food Soul was on the verge of a mental breakdown.
After the war ended, that Master Attendant and his Food Soul got the rewards they deserved for their hard work.
Unfamiliar with these gleaming awards, the Master Attendant gave everything to his Food Soul.
They had a peaceful life and high status.
However, the problem was not addressed.
Even the Food Soul himself was unsure of his plans for the future. All he could feel was that familiar impulse to fight and an emptiness that cannot be filled.
Until he went on a journey of salvation and answers.
In Light Kingdom, there exists a Taoist Temple.
This Food Soul met another of his kind that gave him warmth.
She taught him how to recover from the "injury" in his heart and why it existed.
She taught him the beauty of life, a reason to exist, something he should chase after.
What's more important is that she was an amiable companion to him, letting him feel peace and satisfaction.
This let him understand that it was an immutable fact that there was nothing in the world whose purpose was to die.
In his past, all he did was work towards what he thought was meaningful. Now, he no longer needed to force himself to define and pursue that meaning.
All he needs is to do it. Regardless of what others do, and what lives they’ll lead, if it can change things for the better, then it is meaningful.
Under her help, he slowly accustomed to the life of a Taoist.
He learned about things that he was unfamiliar with before.
He fulfilled her expectations.
When he left the temple, the once irritable "patient," numb to the sensations of life, became a new man. A positive and warm person, able to give love to others and feel love, just like her.