Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint Chapter 104

Chapter 104 - Just Dance

༺ Just Dance ༻



  What’s the tool that has the highest historical count of killing beasts? The sword? The spear? Or the stone axe?


  They’re all wrong. Throughout the ages, the tool responsible for the most animal deaths, with cruel simplicity, is none other than the rope. This is a weapon unique to humans who possess blunt nails, nimble hands, high intelligence, and, consequently, innate cruelty.


  “Gheuuff! Gah! Kff!”


  “Welcome~, to never~ land~.”


  The colonel’s boiling groans merged with my humming into harmony. With my foot, I applied pressure on his back and tightened the rope even further.


  It’s natural for someone to panic when they’re suddenly being strangled. The colonel attempted in vain to remove the rope constricting his throat, driven by instinct.


  「What’s going?! My throat, is, strangled. Just who?!」


  Survival instinct awakened the colonel’s entire being. He had exactly conformed to the lieutenant general’s commands, leaving his own thoughts immobilized. Yet now, for the first time since arriving here, he started thinking for himself.


  He employed Qi Art, using inner force combined with Qi Deflection to protect his neck and ensure some blood circulation, allowing him to think clearly with his eyes wide open.


  「The laborer! How dare, the likes, of a convict. Assault an officer!」


  The colonel’s thoughts connected in fragments as he briefly stopped breathing to assess the situation. Fury surged within him.


  「You presume, to beat an officer! With mere choking?!」


  He smoldered with animosity even though he was being choked from behind.


  Well, looks like anger isn’t a combustion reaction, seeing how it burns despite the blocked oxygen.


  「I’ll show you the difference in power!」


  The good news? It’s generally hard to reach behind yourself.


  The colonel needed a plan to attack backward, and if he came up with one, I’d read it.


  Now, let’s dance.


  The colonel’s elbow shot toward my shoulder as he attempted a powerful backspin attack. I took a half-step back with my right leg and bent slightly at the waist. His elbow stopped before reaching me due to the limited range of his arm. It came so close that it was like a pre-coordinated maneuver.


  I curved my lips softly, momentarily loosened the rope around his neck, and twisted it around his right arm. His arm was tied to his neck now.


  「My right arm! Bastard…! Then how about this!」


  Next, he aimed to shake me off with a back kick, taking advantage of the close proximity that obscured my vision. I would’ve been hit if I couldn’t read minds. Yes, if only I couldn’t.


  I stepped back as far as his leg could reach, moving with him one step at a time in a close dance, almost like a couple.


  A couple’s dance? It just occurred to me, but that’s not a bad analogy. If only my partner wasn’t this bear of a man.


  Deciding to go with this concept for the day, I whispered in the colonel’s ear.


  “Where do you think you’re going? I ain’t letting you go, partner.”


  「What, bullshit…!」


  By reading his mind, I could react and keep up with his movements. As someone capable of naturally synchronizing even with strangers, I’d surely be the best dance partner in the State.


  「N-no. My breath…」


  His attempts to escape continued to fail. When he tried to turn around, I spun and pulled the rope hard. When he flailed his arms and legs, I evaded his forced movements with minimal effort.


  The colonel tried to push me away using Qi Deflection, but pushing and pulling was my field of expertise. I just had to gently let go and catch him again. However vigorously he thrashed about, the distance between us always remained at a quarter of a step.


  His pulses dimly traveled through the rope to me. The climax had already passed, and all that remained was a subsiding finale.


  But this dance wouldn’t end till the song of life was complete.


  「I’m, going… to die?」

  It was slightly overdue—actually, it was quite late—but the realization of death flickered past the colonel’s mind, leaving him gripped with fear and desperation.


  At last, he would grow honest.


  “Grant McKinsey. You must believe that you survived due to excellence. After overcoming a multitude of trials to become the lieutenant general’s trusted aide, you must have become filled with confidence that you’re doing something world-changing…”


  Can’t leave small chat out of a couple’s dance.


  I pulled the rope in close and continued whispering in his ear.


  “…When in reality, you were just another Lieutenant Colonel Callis who is just a little dumber, and slightly luckier.”


  「Me…? A litmus… like her…?」


  “It’s not as if having control over somebody’s life equals you having two lives, but people get confused sometimes.”


  I huffed a sigh, as if to flaunt the air he could no longer breathe.


  “It’s your turn to be tested now. Are you ready to mark the dot in your life, Grant McKinsey?”


  「No… you… can’t.」


  Initially, I had no intention to kill him whatsoever. Or rather, I never minded him much in the first place. He was only here under the lieutenant general’s orders.


  The little emotion he had of his own was a despicable sense of superiority that arose from casting Callis aside. As he put the chain around her neck, though it was meant for him to wear, he felt relieved and superior… even though the lieutenant general spared him not because he was better, but because he was stupid.


  The living tool extended a hand in vain, his desperate gaze falling on Nabi.


  「Nabi…! Help me! You pathetic, drug-addicted animal! I’ll give you the drugs, so help me!」


  Had Nabi been just a little less intoxicated, she might have reacted differently to his plight. Alas, she didn’t even look our way, purring atop the magic herbs.


  Resignation filled the colonel—but then he caught sight of Callis.


  「Callis…! Save me…! Don’t just stand there…!」


  Callis might have briefly considered helping. If he hadn’t chained her, that is. But at that moment, she just gazed blankly at us, having lost the will to even resist.


  The colonel had already sown his karma, and none could change the past… except for one.


  「This… can’t…」


  At the very last moment, the colonel tried to pry me off even if he had to roll miserably on the ground. But the moment he squeezed out all his strength to bend forward, before he could exert any force, I tripped his leg with a thump.


  The colonel’s heavy body tumbled awkwardly, taking me down with him while I maintained the chokehold. Despite the fall, I didn’t let go of the rope. I lay with my back against the collapsed colonel and pulled it to my chest. He stretched out his left arm, but one arm wasn’t enough to break free from this state.


  Gradually, the thoughts of the man beneath me darkened.


  “Goodbye, Grant McKinsey. You were once the protagonist of a brilliant world… yet, you survived by forsaking your own thoughts and becoming a mere tool. It’s always a pity to see a book that’s become a clone of something else, but I suppose even a summary of a different perspective has its worth.”


  And with that, the fading song reached its finale, the music score came to a stop, and—it was gone.


  That was it. A definitive ending marked on a single book.


  I released the rope, and red marks from gripping it so hard appeared on my hands.


  I sighed from exhaustion, took out the skewer I was hiding under my foot, and pushed myself up.


  The first thing that I noticed was Tyr. She had been watching over me, summoning her sanguine steed as well. If I had stumbled during the dance, the steed would have charged over to make a pancake of the colonel. I was glad that didn’t happen, as I wanted to avoid spilling blood if possible.


  I raised a hand at Tyr.


  “I missed you a fair bit, Tyr.”


  She approached with teary eyes at my greeting.


  “Are you all right? Were you hurt anywhere?”


  “My feelings, a little?”


  “What did those wicked cretins do?! How did they hurt your feelings?”


  “It happened when the dark knights I trusted to protect me were destroyed. My heart was torn apart along with them…”


  Tyr had anticipated a touching reunion, but my sudden blame caught her off guard. She froze with a flinch, her red eyes shaking for a different reason this time.


  “That, I, I am sorry.”


  “No, these things happen. I was well aware how the dark knights are pretty useless so… But isn’t that power of yours something that once destroyed a whole city? Sorry, but were cities made of sand back then?”


  “W-well… They were more powerful than this in the past… And…”


  Tyr tailed off, averting her gaze as if she had sinned.


  After a long moment of anguishing, she continued quietly while fiddling with her fingers.


  “There is something I did not tell you. My bloodcraft is not whole.”


  Mm? What’s this about?


  I went wide-eyed at the abrupt confession and raised my voice.


  “Excuuse me? What do you mean?”


  “If darkness is a vessel, blood is strength. Originally, I would have infused my knights with Blood Aura and moved them using portions of my power… However, for unknown reasons, I am currently unable to freely wield Blood Aura.”


  That reminded me. I recalled how the lieutenant colonel’s blood hadn’t moved when she was stabbed by the suicide packet. No wonder. I should’ve suspected, but it was such a commonsensical sight that I overlooked it.


  But more importantly! What the heck is going on?! Why do you think I got your heart back at the risk of my life?! Your bloodcraft weakened?


  As a victim of the largest investment fraud to ever exist, I cried out in grievance.


  “What? You’re weaker because you’re on my side? When does this ever happen?”


  “I, ahh.. I am sorry.”


  “Nope, this is all my fault! Azzy’s on my side but she’s completely unhelpful, you also join my side and now you’re suddenly weak out of nowhere! At this point, I’m the problem, aren’t I now!”


  I deliberately ignored Tyr’s embarrassment and smacked my chest in lament.


  “Look at me world! Here’s a walking suppressor! If you wanna be weak, come over and be my ally! You’ll find out what weakness is!”


  “Th-that is not it. You have done nothing wrong. It is all my oversight… I should have guarded your side…”


  “Oh, woe is me! You might as well give back your heart! Return what I gave you!”


  Tyr gasped, eyes widening. She looked vexed and sorrowful as she stared at the ground, then shut her eyes tightly, as if making up her mind. She raised her fingers to her chest.


  “…I understand. It is yours, so I shall return it…”


  “Come on, how can you seriously try to give it back? Let’s keep jokes as jokes, okay?”


  Who knew what she’d do to me after taking her heart out and reverting to being that cold vampire. Weaker or not, I preferred her being on my side. She wasn’t a minus to me, at the least.


  I managed to protect Tyr’s heart with my desperate dissuasion, but the blow to her confidence was immense. She mumbled gloomily.


  “…I did not expect mere soldiers to be so strong. He is a lieutenant general, ranked even lower than a general, yet he is so strong… The world appears to have changed dramatically. It is too difficult to catch up.”


  “I mean, of course he’s strong. It’s not like a general is some run-of-the-mill nobody.”


  “And the one who was ranked still lower… Colonel, was it? I hardly expected even a soldier like him to easily overpower a knight.”


  “No, he wasn’t a soldier though. He was an officer.”


  Tyr went quiet with confusion.


  “Are they not one and the same?”


  It seemed this lady thought “general” was a synonym for those trivial fellows called mercenary captains or chief bodyguards, while the “colonel” ranked below that was just Average Soldier No. 1.


  Considering how the man had worked like a dog for the lieutenant general to barely get promoted, he would’ve died of frustration to hear what Tyr said.


  A shame, this is. I realized a pipsqueak like me shouldn’t have gone blabbering at him. Instead, I should’ve let the colonel get a taste of real insults from Tyr. It’s really the laymen that take the mickey out of soldiers after all.


  Anyway. I figured it’d be a bit much to explain military composition to a 12th-century girl, so I just nodded casually and changed the subject.


  “Well then. Until Mr. Shei takes his sweet time dealing with a petty lieutenant general who’s not even a full general, why don’t we do something about that junkie cat?”


  Tyr replied with far less confidence than before at my suggestion.


  “Must we attack…? Hu, you also likely know this, but a Beast King will unleash its savage nature on the threshold of death. A berserk Beast King is a very troublesome opponent. Even Shei only dragged out the fight against the Cat King.”


  Huh. When did I ever mention fighting?


  I scolded her gently.


  “Why are you needlessly trying to fight? You’re not even that strong.”




  I chuckled at the sight of her visibly shrinking, finding the reaction possibly rather interesting, then shrugged before continuing.


  “We gotta coax her right. Coincidentally, we have those mana herbs. I’ll try calming her a little with the stuff. “


  But just then, blood trickled out from the dead colonel’s mouth, releasing the biting scent of blood. Tyr couldn’t control that blood, so the smell gradually spread.


  Here I paused to wonder: why was there blood when I choked him to death? I had tried to spill as little blood as possible, as its smell could excite a beast.


  Still, I figured a little would be fine… or so I complacently thought.



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Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint

Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint

Status: Ongoing Author:
I, a mere con artist, was unjustly imprisoned in Tantalus, the Abyssal Prison meant for the most nefarious of criminals, where I met a Regressor.   But when I used my ability to read her mind, I found out that I was fated to die in a year…   And that the world would end 10 years later.


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