Not Forgotten, But Forgiven

In Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days, three afterlife guardians are tasked with bringing an old man to the underworld. Unfortunately, a household god gets in the way.

Unwilling to let old Heo Chun-sam pass without first ensuring his grandson’s future, Seongju keeps stalling. He barters with the reapers. He keeps them around so they grow fond of little Hyeon-dong too. Most brilliantly, however, he reveals their own past to them in little pieces — something they had to let go of before taking on “their new gig.”

Slowly, it dawns on them that their collegial A-Team spirit mostly rests on their wiped memories, for the truth is ugly and a lot more complex than the titles of “boss” and “assistant.” Love. Murder. War. Betrayal. It all happened 1,000 years ago, and yet some things no amount of time can erase. Seongju’s last gift before his eventual departure is the truth — but not in the way assistant guardians Haewonmaek and Lee Deok-chun had expected:

“No one is innately bad. There are bad circumstances, that’s all. So when you’re resentful and angry and feel that you can’t understand something, try to read and think everything backwards. Then things will start making sense. Everything from humans…and the world…to this universe.”

How could someone murder their own flesh and blood? Why kill an innocent child? And how can someone redeem themselves for such atrocities? As the guardians are finally dealing with some existential questions long after no longer existing, they all do so in their own way but learn the same, valuable lesson: Not everything can be forgotten, but everyone can be forgiven.

As the trio watches Heo Chun-sam take Hyeon-dong to his first day of school, their guardian duty pager rings. Before the team takes off for another adventure, however, Boss Gangnim wants to make a confession: “You see, a thousand years ago…” His assistants, however, only wave off with a smile: “Geez. We’re busy! Why bring up a millennium-old story?”