After Jaehwan’s spirit smashed through the replica of the Tower of Nightmare, he ended up in Chaos, the trunk of the Tree of Illusions. To reach the top of the tree where the real Tower of Nightmare sits, he must climb it. First order of business though is dealing with the mess in Gorgon Fortress.
Thanks to his skills and his ability to copy Doctor Cheongheo’s Fiend Slash, the only way to stop a soul corruption in Chaos, Jaehwan attracts the attention of the fortress higher-ups. Gorgon Fortress’s lord is in danger, and only Jaehwan’s power might stop the lord’s transformation into a fiend. In fact, if the spirit is not purified regularly, it becomes corrupted and turns into a fiend: a monster. However, not everyone is happy with his powers as the lord’s corruption was part of a plan to take over Gorgon Fortress.
The only option for Jaehwan is to fight the betrayers and stop the lord, but the only way to do so is to kill him. Unfortunately, as a Sovereign took over the lord’s body, there is no way to purify him. Thankfully though the lord regains consciousness just before disappearing and grants the power that gives him authority over Gorgon Fortress to Jaehwan, turning him into the new lord.
As Jaehwan couldn’t care less for his new position, he declares that whoever wins against him in a fight will become the new lord. If instead they lose, they’ll become part of the new Abyss Expedition that Jaehwan is putting together. The expedition goal is to get the fruits of revival, as by eating them the soul could revive. It’s not the first time that Chaos inhabitants have taken part of it, but the previous time, the beings sitting higher on the Tree of Illusion took advantage of them, leaving nothing but despair in their wake.
The sects’ heads in Chaos can’t miss this opportunity, and one by one, start attacking him… and of course losing. However, they are not enough. To find more manpower, or soulpower since only the souls live in Chaos, Jaehwan starts a tournament where the grand prize is the position of lord of the fortress. And so the game begins.
Volumes 3 and 4 bring way more clarification to The World After the Fall about Chaos and its inhabitants compared to Volume 2. In previous volumes words like sect, fortress and adapted were used, but there wasn’t an explanation. Now we know that the souls of people who died in the Great Realm reside in Chaos: the space situated on the branches of the Tree of Illusion. Chaos is composed of four fortresses, and some inhabitants have formed groups called sects who fight each other to come out on top. There are ten sects and they are ranked based on their power. The sects’ heads have less power than the four lords governing Chaos’s fortresses and so they wish to gain authority in the fortresses. Moreover, there are souls with special powers, and how high their power level is depends on how much they have adapted to Chaos. But, there are also people like Cheongeo and Jaehwan who have awakened—they refused the fabric of this world and went above the limits that the world set for them.
So far in the story the reader has had to piece together the information that the characters mention, sometimes just in passing, but the more the story progresses, the more we can get a clear picture of what’s going on and how this world is set up. We still have a lot to discover, for example, as to who the sovereigns and the monarchs are, or why Jaehwan is being hunted by the higher-ups in the Tree of Illusion. This series though continues to be action-packed, and we can expect Jaehwan to get involved in many more fights.
The covers for The World After the Fall have been quite simple, with different illustrations of Jaehwan and some spot UV (the shiny part) on the title and on some elements of the illustration. The cover for Volume 4 has the same, but on my copy the spot UV hasn’t been aligned properly on the illustrations on the spine and front and back covers: a printing issue. I’m not sure if my volume was a one-off and so it got missed among the rest of the covers printed or if the full print run had issues.
The World after the Fall is written by singNsong, illustrated by Undead Gamja and adapted by S-Cynan. The release for the printed edition of Volume 5 is slated for February 2024 for Ize Press, but digital chapters of the series can be found on Webtoon.
Our review copies from Ize Press were supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.