Afterlife Department -
Chapter 2 - After Death
Chapter 2 - After Death
"There are three attachments in life - " a man's voice spoke. " – attachment to people, attachment to objects, and spiritual attachment. Relationship is attachment to people. Possession is attachment to objects. Life is spiritual attachment." He said as he raised his three fingers.
"I understand the first two, but what is the third one all about?" Huo Ling asked.
"Spiritual attachment is the soul's attachment to life." The man answered. "The third attachment is related to the first two attachments, but differed since the third attachment – the spiritual attachment, is the general attachment of the soul towards life." He explained. "His philosophy, his principles, his religion are examples." he said..
"Oh!" Huo Ling bumped his fist in his palm as his mouth and eyes went round and there's a profound look on his face. "So that's it... heck, what 'that's it'?!" He said as he grabbed the front of the man's suit and pulled him as he glared at him. "Before you explain to me about this theoretical thing, can you explain to me first what is that thing?" He asked as he pointed his body lying lifelessly on the floor.
"Isn't that your corpse?" The man calmly said.
A vein popped in Huo Ling's forehead as he felt his patience becoming thinner. "Yes, that's my corpse. But - !" He said. "How did I die?!" He asked in anger. "How come I was dead?!" He asked. 𝙞𝓃𝙣r𝘦а𝘥. Co𝙢
"Didn't the neighbor stabbed you to death?" The man said and looked at him for a long time before he spoke. "When someone dies, their soul will undergo in three stages. First: they will experience a shock. They will lose their memory of their death." He said. "Second: they will go into a mania. They will become insane after they recovered their memories of their death and they will become a vile ghost, harming the humans as retaliation for its death. The third and last stage: they will feel acceptance. There are times the soul wouldn't reach this stage. However, with the help of the Afterlife Department, using various ways to appease them, the soul will eventually accept his death." He explained. "And this is the Afterlife Department's goal – making the soul pass through to its next life." He finished.
"Aww... isn't that so touching?" Huo Ling said as he held his chest, his eyes filled with tears. "Heck, no!" He said as he glared at the man. "You are a grim reaper, aren't you?! They say that when you see one, you will die. Yet you purposefully loitered in front of me earlier, causing me to die!" He told him, his eyes full of accusation as he looked at the man.
However, the man remained calm. "A grim reaper only appears when one is about to die. Didn't you think of this in another way?" He asked. "Yet you conveniently thought I was the cause of your death." He pulled Huo Ling's hand off of him. "Don't you know? Seeing a grim reaper is a warning of your death. Exchanging words with him is tantamount to shortening your life span in your next life. And touching a grim reaper - " he said as he looked at Huo Ling's hand that touched him. " - will cause you not to be reincarnated - " he said.
"AAAAAAAAARRRGHHHHH!!! SHUT UP!!!" Huo Ling screamed as he immediately wiped his hand with his clothes. "You swindler! Why didn't you warn me?! I didn't know you are a grim reaper!" He said.
"A grim reaper is garbed in black." The man answered. "It's because we attend one's funeral after we successfully delivered them to their next life." He explained.
Huo Ling's eyes are blank as he looked at him. "Are grim reapers so modernized now that they dress in suits and carry a briefcase, looking like an average office worker?" He asked.
"Modern times, modern ways." The man just shrugged. "We have to keep up with the change of time. We can't be outdated since we're dealing with the souls." He explained.
Huo Ling felt a headache. "Damn it... I am really dead?" He muttered as he squatted on the floor while holding his head.
"If you were stabbed straight through the chest and was left to bleed to death, then, yes. You are dead." The man told him.
Huo Ling just glared at him. He didn't speak anymore. "Since my soul is still here... can't I go back to my body?" He asked and poked his corpse.
The man walked beside his corpse. He raised his hand and pinched something in the air. Then, suddenly, a white strip appeared in between his fingers. "You can't." The man answered. "This strip represents your soul's connection to your body." He said.
Huo Ling's eyes shone as he reached for the strip, but failed when his hand passed through the man's hand. "Can it be sewn?" He asked.
The man let go of the white strip and the white strip returned to the corpse. "The moment you died, even if your soul is still inside your body, your soul will immediately be severed from your body." He said. "Thus, even if you'd enter your body, you can never return from your death." He told him.
Huo Ling fell silent.
The man continued. "The soul's strip remained in the body is the remnant of your soul." He said.
The man nodded. "Your soul can be reincarnated. However, as a proof you lived in one lifetime, a portion of your soul will be stripped containing your memories of that lifetime and will remain in your body." He said. "When you entered reincarnation, you will have no memories of your past life in your new life." He explained.
"Wouldn't our soul be consumed, then, if we'd repeatedly enter reincarnation?" Huo Ling asked.
The man looked at him, then turned to his corpse. "It's not just a simple reincarnation." The man said. "It is a cycle of reincarnation." He told him.
"'cycle'? It's repeating?"
The man nodded. "There's this called 'de ja vu'." He said.
Huo Ling's eyes flashed. "Right!" He said. "It's those times when you felt the current thing you're doing has already happened!" He looked at the man.
The man nodded. "Yes." He said. "And... there are also dreams." He reminded him.
"'dreams'..." Huo Ling muttered.
"The dreams are the memories of our other lives." The man said. "The proof of our existence in our other lives can be found in our dreams. However, to not disrupt the matter of life and death, our access to our other lives - which we forgotten before our reincarnation, is limited. Thus, they are called 'dreams'." He explained. "You also don't know if your dreams are true or not. And if they really happened." He said.
"The dreams' possibility to be real..." Huo Ling said.
The man nodded. "That is what in question." He said.
Finally, there was silence between them. "You are a grim reaper. Why are you telling me these things? Aren't these confidential information?" Huo Ling asked.
"You will forget it before your reincarnation." The man confidently said.
Huo Ling frowned. He bit his tongue to not retort. "Oh, right. I am Huo Ling. I still haven't told you my name." He said.
"There's no need." The man said. "A soul's identity and other information are already given to us to recognize them when we fetch them. So, I would know of your name." He looked at Huo Ling who was sarcastically smiling at him. He looked pissed, but the man doesn't care. "Huo Ling, alias Howee Jackson. Age, 23. Cause of death: destruction of an internal organ and blood loss." He said.
"Oh?" Huo Ling said, holding back his anger. "Mr. Grim Reaper knows my name. What an honor it is!" He said. "Can Mr. Grim Reaper grace me with his name?" He asked.
The man looked at him. "Grim Reapers don't have a name." He said. "We refer ourselves as a code. I am 0001." He told him.
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