Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint Chapter 120

Chapter 120 - Energy Wave!

༺ Energy Wave! ༻

 

 

  It all began with a chance question.

 

  “Tyr. You previously mentioned that your bloodcraft weakened, but in return, your physical abilities improved. You knocked out Nabi with a single punch, after all.”

 

  “I know not why it occurred, but yes, that is the case.”

 

  “And your power to manipulate blood outside your body weakened too. Hmm… isn’t this dangerous? Even if you’ve grown physically stronger, it’s not very useful since you can’t die anyway.”

 

  “True. However, I can still wield the darkness, the ashes of life extinguished by light. With that alone, I can summon the dark knig—”

 

  “But those knights are all useless. It basically takes just a wave of the hand to make them vanish.”

 

  “…O-originally, dark knights are empowered by Blood Aura. A knight infused with that energy could rival even a true knight.”

 

  “But didn’t you say you can’t control Blood Aura outside your body anymore? Ralion is pretty much the only worthy familiar you have.”

 

  Tyr hung her head, letting out a disheartened little groan as her powerlessness was pointed out.

 

  I could humble Tyr with a single word. Shouldn’t Sanctum grant me the title of a saint?

 

  “Imagine if we encountered the State’s army outside. Could those dark knights hold them off? Ralion will probably be spread thin trying to handle everything alone.”

 

  “I… I did gain a bit of strength myself.”

 

  “I don’t know. Individual strength is good and all, but that isn’t enough to sway a country or change the course of a battle with presence alone. Besides, you haven’t had this power for long. We don’t even know how objectively strong you are.”

 

  I pointed to a pile of rubble in a corner of the prison, where a massive steel column was half-buried in the ground.

 

  “Well then, let’s see that strength of yours. Can you lift that steel column?”

 

  The alchemic steel column had once supported the prison from within the concrete, providing its skeletal framework. Would she be able to lift it… Huh? Why’s that there? Will somebody please put it back?

  

  “Yes, of course.”

 

  “Eh? Wait a moment…”

 

  Tyr, eager to prove her strength, swung her arm as she approached the steel column, firmly gripping it with her small hands.

 

  「I must show my strength to reassure Hu, and let him clearly realize who is supporting him… However, can I truly lift this huge thing with the power of my bloodcraft?」

 

  Losing confidence due to the steel column’s size, Tyr squeezed it with everything she had. Skrrrk. The Military State’s prided alchemic steel was crushed and twisted like clay beneath the girl’s fingers.

 

  The column, too thick for even an adult man to hold with one hand, conformed to the shape of her hands. The part she held became the handle.

 

  And then…

 

  “Woah!”

 

  Drrrrgh. The ground shook violently. I struggled to keep my balance as I cast an astonished look at Tyr.

 

  I mean, hang on a sec. We’re not even on the ground, so why is there an earthquake?

 

  “Woof! Woof! Woof!”

 

  “Meow—! Meow—!”

 

  Sensing the impending disaster, the beasts were the first to flee from the building.

 

  “What the? What’s going on?”

 

  The vibrations were so intense that even the regressor, deep into her training, rushed outside barefoot. Up above, I could see the undying taking Callis and evacuating to the rooftop.

 

  Tyr, the cause of all this, was yanking out the buried steel column rooted in the concrete ground. Using her hands at that.

 

  The ground under Tyr’s feet failed to withstand the pressure and gave way. Each time this happened, the steel column twisted, gradually revealing its roots. She resembled a farmer pulling out weeds.

 

  Then at a certain point, there was a snap as the steel column reached its breaking point, splitting in the middle. The vibrations immediately ceased, and Tantalus itself, which she had been lifting from its foundation, sank about 2cm. The prison building “landed” with a short but thunderous impact.

 

  After accomplishing a feat even heavy machinery couldn’t achieve, let alone a human, Tyr raised the broken steel column and weakly spoke to me.

 

  “…Indeed, it appears my strength has waned. I could lift this trivial weight with the darkness I weave, yet… it was challenging.”

 

  The regressor and I simply gaped at Tyr.

 

* * *

 

  With Tyr in tow, I headed to the classroom and stood at the chalkboard, giving it a couple of raps.

 

  “Today, we’ll learn about Qi Art.”

 

  Bloodcraft was a branch of Qi Art, which was the technique of Qi practitioners who utilized their bodies. They could channel their inner energy into swords to make them sharper and more resilient, divert incoming impact to the ground, or physically reinforce themselves. These individuals possessed combat abilities far beyond those of ordinary humans.

 

  And, from what I had observed…

 

  “Tyr’s bloodcraft is a Qi Art.”

 

  I proceeded to explain in detail.

 

  “Enhancing the body through bloodcraft, extending lifespan, regeneration… all of this was made possible because Tyr’s power was a Qi Art. But due to a certain incident she experienced, her power transformed from being internal to expanding control beyond herself. It returned when she regained her heart.”

 

  The regressor wasn’t surprised as she was already familiar with this fact. She had recognized it was a form of Qi Art based on comprehension, and thus came down into the abyss in advance to learn it while she was here.

 

  “But it seems that due to regaining her power too abruptly, Tyr doesn’t quite know how to wield it. I have no aptitude for Qi Art, so today, I’ll invite Mr. Shei as our guest instructor. Let’s give him a round of applause!”

 

  I enthusiastically clapped for the regressor, putting her to work. However, she simply remained seated in confusion.

 

  “I’m the guest instructor?”

 

  “Yes!”

 

  “Odd. This is the first I’ve heard of it.”

 

  “Because I just mentioned it now.”

 

  「… How really odd. Nabi’s the one smoking the mana herbs, yet sometimes, that guy seems crazier than she is…」

 

  The regressor shook her head, sounding troubled.

 

  “What I learned isn’t your standard Qi Art. It’s hard to explain, so you do it.”

 

  “Me? Mm. Even though I might’ve been the top student at secondary military school, I didn’t attend military academy, so I haven’t learned the Qi Arts…”

 

  “Again with the smooth lies. I know you’re capable.”

 

  The regressor retorted without much emotion, now appearing familiar with my ways.

 

  “Without the Arts, you can’t even touch Chun-aeng’s blade.”

 

  “What of it?”

 

  “That means you possess at ‘minimum’ a level of Qi Art that can deflect my sword strikes. Naturally, that means you can use it.”

 

  「So that’s why she thought I’m at least an officer…? I mean, I’m not a common laborer, so she wasn’t wrong about that. Anyway, that’s what she thought.」

 

  That’s when her overestimation of me began.

 

  Yes, just as the regressor thought, I was capable of using Qi Art. But only technically. My power output and quantity were so pathetic that infusing energy into a single card would leave me exhausted. On a scale of 0 to 1, I was an insignificant existence confidently situated at 0.1.

 

  Honestly, deflecting Chun-aeng was a stroke of luck that wouldn’t come by twice, but I chose not to reveal it.

 

  “If you insist, then I suppose it’s only right for me to enlighten the rest.”

 

  I returned to the board and picked up a piece of chalk to start drawing.

 

  “Now, the Qi Arts are typically divided into three categories.”

 

  I drew representations of the earth, a person, and the sky, then added an arrow extending from the person’s body as I spoke.

 

  “Heaven. Dispersing energy throughout all creation.”

 

  Next, I drew a line from the person’s feet into the ground.

 

  “Earth. Emitting energy into the land to provide solid support for oneself.”

 

  Finally, I illustrated a swirling mass of energy inside the person’s body.

 

  “Moon. Concentrating energy within oneself to transform the physical body.”

 

  I tapped the board with the chalk a couple of times before spinning around to face my students.

 

  “These are the basic classifications of Qi Art. By the way, The State’s standard Qi Art training format recommends learning these branches in the order of Heaven, Earth, and Moon. It’s supposedly the easiest way to learn.”

 

  Tyr tilted her head upon hearing the mention of familiar words.

 

  “Your teaching itself is similar to what the old taoists of Mother Earth once explained.”

 

  “It’s borrowed from there. However, unlike the Taoists who vaguely depicted the essence of the world and nature, the classifications of Qi Art take a more practical and analytical approach.”

 

  A picture paints a thousand words. It was far easier to understand when shown directly.

 

  I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off with my limited Qi, but I decided to try anyway.

 

  “As for how you would use Qi Art, let me show you all an example now.”

 

  I took out a card and placed it face down on the desk. I hadn’t prepared any other cards, as today’s plan didn’t involve performing magic. Instead, I extended my index finger and stopped it slightly away from the back of the card.

 

  “The energy of attraction, Qi Gravitation.”

 

  The card that had been resting quietly on the teacher’s desk suddenly began to tremble. As I exerted force, the card clung to my fingertip like a magnet. I lifted it up.

 

  “The energy of repulsion, Qi Deflection.”

 

  I didn’t even flick my finger, yet the card was propelled upward on its own, spinning in midair before descending.

 

  “These two are the basics of all Qi applications. Other uses ultimately stem from the principles of pushing and pulling. Moreover, you can apply this energy not only to your body but also to objects.”

 

  I enveloped the card with Qi and then raised the hem of my clothing, brushing it against the sharpened corner of the card. Ssh. The edge of the card sliced through the material.

 

  Tyr was surprised by my skill.

 

  “Qi Blade? Hu, you were an expert? Goodness. I did think you were no ordinary man…”

 

  “No, no. This is just a basic Qi Art that anyone who’s set foot in advanced military academy can do. Even the Qi Blade used by knights of old is essentially nothing more than a thin application of Qi Deflection to their swords.”

 

  A blade would inevitably encounter resistance when attempting to cleave through its target. This made the deceased a constant source of wariness—they could very well drag down their assailants to join the ranks of the dead.

 

  However, those who wielded Qi Blades were exempt from such constraints. They held no fear of those facing death as Qi Deflection would repel bone and muscle, enabling them to break free.

 

  This was what made them specialists in the art of killing, or experts as they were referred to.

 

  Of course, it was a rather outdated concept in present times.

 

  “So, does that mean anybody wields Qi Blades these days? No wonder the strength of a mere soldier exceeded the norm…”

 

  “Yes. I may have reigned over the back alleys, but that only amounted to a slight degree of fame. The real experts have acquired exceptional Qi Arts beyond my level. Now do you understand the need to learn the method of using power?”

 

  “I understand. If I do not make an effort now, late as it is, it seems I will not be able to protect myself, let alone you. I shall concentrate.”

 

  Tyr gazed at me with unwavering resolve, whereas the regressor looked simply incredulous.

  

  「But that’s impossible! The invaders so far were officers, not soldiers. One was a mage corps officer, another was a general officer’s adjutant, and the last one was a general himself… It’s obvious that Tyrkanzyaka far surpasses the level of even a general!」

 

  The regressor seemed eager to speak up, but she changed her mind upon seeing Tyr intense focus.

 

  「Still, it looks like this has become good motivation for her. I guess I’ll keep quiet for now.」

 

  Were we growing more alike? Both teacher and student were thinking similarly. 

 

  “From how I see it, Tyr’s ability is an extreme Moon-type Qi Art. She’s brimming with power but can’t release it beyond her body.”

 

  Having enough power but not being able to utilize it—this was what the Military State hated most.

 

  However, the solution was as simple as the issue.

 

  “All you need to do is practice releasing your power.”

 

  “I am unable to, which is why I intend to train. So how am I to go about it?”

 

  “Like so.”

 

  I curved the middle finger of my right hand and held it under my thumb; it was commonly known as a finger flick-ready stance. Then, I took my card with my left hand and held it outside the range of my finger, far enough to make it impossible for me to hit it with a flick.

 

  With a light, playful grunt, I shot my finger. Despite the distance, there was a sound of impact as the card suddenly bent backward.

 

  The Qi I had discharged from my fingertip had struck it.

 

  “In this manner, you’ll slowly get the hang of it by flicking from a distance.”

 

  This is how I flicked cards in the back alleys. How do you like that?

 

  Tyr, who had been watching the card closely, looked amazed.

 

  “It clearly did not touch… yet it struck from far away. Just like a kinetic strike.”

 

  “We used to describe it that way in the old days. Now, I’ll hand over the card so you can have a go.”

 

  Tyr followed my example, holding the card out of reach with one hand and curling a finger with the other. Then, she unleashed a powerful flick of her finger. That was all she did, yet…

 

  Boom!

 

  The air erupted like a bomb, and the card was caught in a swirling storm, flattened backward. The rushing wind ruffled my hair.

 

  “I did it!”

 

  Tyr looked at me proudly.

 

  But what she did was just…

 

  “But that was real air pressure. You’re just too strong, Tyr.”

 

  It seemed a card that bent easily wouldn’t cut it. I handed her a piece of wood instead. Though initially discontent, Tyr soon became absorbed in her practice.

 

  After setting her up for self-study, I couldn’t feel more at ease both in mind and body. But as I quietly observed Tyr endlessly flick her finger, the regressor approached me in a friendly manner. Perhaps the familiar topic had interested her.

 

  “Your theory is really solid.”

 

  “I told you I was the top at secondary military school.”

 

  “Didn’t you mention dropping out? Doesn’t that make you an elementary school graduate like me?”

 

  “Come on now. One couldn’t even make it in, while the other effortlessly scored top grades before withdrawing voluntarily. How can you compare the two? Outrageous idea really.”

 

  The regressor, always emitting energy in all directions, had Chun-aeng floating above her head as usual.

 

  The weightless blade was greatly influenced by the Qi Arts. Pushing it with Qi Deflection would send it flying, while pulling it with Qi Gravitation would draw it right in.

 

  For the regressor, keeping Chun-aeng afloat was a form of training in itself. Without meticulous control, maintaining balance, neither pushing nor pulling the sword, was impossible.

 

  It was thanks to employing the Qi Arts that I managed to deflect Chun-aeng with my fingers. Though I possessed only a tiny amount of Qi, Chun-aeng was so light that an instantaneous burst of energy was enough to repel it.

 

  But if it were made of steel… oh boy, I didn’t even want to imagine it. A one-armed magician?

 

  “Good for you, top student. But why aren’t you teaching the last one?”

 

  “The last one?”

 

  “You know what I’m talking about. The one that comes after Sky, Earth, and Moon.”

 

  The regressor spoke plainly of the ultimate Qi Arts ideal, the zenith believed to reach the divine, transcending even magic—a realm of attainment people hesitated to even mention.

 

  “Sun.”

 

  「The legendary realm even I’ve yet to reach… one that even the mightiest of individuals only managed to graze, never fully comprehending.」

 

  She considered it a legend herself yet wanted to teach it to a novice? It was like trying to teach a toddler to drive an automaton carriage.

  

  “You mean the stage where Qi Arts melds with the natural order, bending the world itself? But there’s no real need to tell her right now. It’s not something that can be learned that way. Not to mention, there’s no fixed standard since it varies from person to person.”

 

  “You’re right, but some can use it.”

 

  “Do you think we’d ever meet a world-bending Qi practitioner in our lifetime? And even if someone does reach that level, it doesn’t make them invincible. I believe Tyr can beat one.”

 

  What was the point of bending the world? A world-bender would die if Tyr simply bruised her way close and threw a punch. Even for someone who attained the realm of the divine, if they were physically weak, Tyr could knock their head right off. Nowadays, even gods couldn’t survive as weaklings.

 

  The regressor didn’t hide her disappointment at my conventional answer.

 

  “Looks like you don’t have any particular clues either.”

 

  “There are clues on that? I’d like to see them if they exist, so I can discover some amazing power for myself.”

 

  “… You’re right on that.”

 

  As the regressor muttered in a cheerless voice, Tyr paused in the middle of flicking her finger alone and called for me, as if she had figured something out.

 

  “Hu, I have found a way.”

 

  “What? Already?”

 

  Sure, her body was already filled with the power of bloodcraft, but still, she managed it so quickly?

 

  “Let’s see it then.”

 

  “Watch carefully. I applied a slight variation of the method I originally used in my bloodcraft…”

 

  Tyr pressed her fingertip hard with her nail, causing a slight nip in the flesh, and blood began to ooze out. Then, she executed another powerful finger flick

 

  The world seemed to split in half.

 

  I was certain that, for a brief moment, my retinas were filled with a fan-shaped wave of crimson blood, extending from Tyr’s finger and engulfing about half of the classroom.

 

  But by the time I blinked my eyes, that Blood Aura had already returned to Tyr’s body.

 

  Even as a mind reader, I couldn’t help but wonder if it were an illusion… but the obliterated piece of wood was evidence what had just happened was real.

 

  If she had flicked her finger in my direction… Wow. I would’ve become one with Tyr. In a physical sense.

 

  “My Blood Aura refuses to stray far from my body. Nonetheless, is this not useful enough?”

 

  Isn’t this just… shooting out her own blood and flesh? This isn’t the Qi Arts I know…

 

  I compelled my trembling body to move and nodded. All the while, my mouth remained stubbornly gaping.

 

 

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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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