Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint Chapter 33

Chapter 33 - The Resistance - 8

༺ The Resistance – 8 ༻



  A clothing packet was made based on the avatar information in a bio-receptor. As such, when inserted in a bio-receptor, it would cover the body of an individual exactly according to their height, figure, and size.


  It was convenient. There was no need to bother wearing or taking off clothes, and laundry was easy too. There was even no need to buy a new set when you grew taller or fatter. Although there were cases when the clothing packet was rendered unusable due to long use or damage, that applied to everything in the world.


  The State’s citizens became addicted to that convenience. This luxury aspect was the bigger reason, over the State’s power, why few people opposed the military government’s policy of installing bio-receptors in every citizen. 


  Most gladly accepted the surgery, assuming the country was doing something helpful for once, and the tacit consent of the majority naturally led to the persecution of the minority. At some point, not installing the bio-receptor became a felony.


  Thanks to that, the Military State gained restraining power over most of the population with the clothing packet alone.




  Fibers wrapped Kanysen’s body. He couldn’t pry nor cut them off because they formed right over his skin, constricting him.


  Thinking of armor as clothes, the State created combat suits and weaponized clothing packets. Naturally, that wasn’t the end of it. I was wearing a straitjacket when I fell into the abyss, and straitjackets were also clothing. So how did I end up wearing one?


  As one might guess, the State exploited clothing packets in yet another direction, by creating a living handcuff that couldn’t be taken off by the wearer once put on: the straitjacket packet.


  The regressor didn’t loathe the sight of bio-receptors for no reason. Unless you had a floating sword like Chun-aeng or had the ability to empower your body using Qi Art, even a beast that could smash boulders and devour people to their bones would be rendered helpless once caught in that trap. Needless to say, humans were no exception.


  Well, anyway.


  “Thank you for your cooperation. You were my best assistant for the day.”


  It was a pretty decent magic show. Although I called it a weakness, it was hardly easy to insert a clothing packet into someone’s bio-receptor during a fight. Better to simply cut their wrist with a knife, really. How are you supposed to tear your opponent’s sleeve and slip a packet inside when he’s watching everything? It’d be impossible for those who weren’t a magician of my caliber and also a former legendary pickpocket.


  “Grgh! Grgh! Umph!”


  Both of Kanysen’s arms were tied and fixed behind his back. His legs were also restrained, leaving him unable to move an inch. Each of his fingers was tightly bound by a strong belt, while iron cuffs connected to a metal ring wrapped his wrists.


  He couldn’t even open his lips. An automatically completed custom gag dug between his lower jaw and upper gums without the slightest mercy. And to top everything off, there was a blindfold.


  It was a perfect restraint that made it impossible to even think of the word “resistance”. Should I say it was so becoming of the State? The packet was bio-mechanically designed to prevent resistance at the core. It’s slightly embarrassing to admit, but even a magician like me couldn’t escape it.


  Apparently, the way to calm an agitated beast was to cover its eyes. The concept applied to humans as well. Once Kanysen was blindfolded, he entered self-contemplation, he came to a realization after about a minute of writhing: he didn’t have the ability to take off the straitjacket.


  Since the old days, the act of closing your eyes and taking an uncomfortable position was widely known as a way to govern your mind. Meditation, did they call it?


  In this terrific state of meditation—terrific in the sense that he couldn’t stop of his own accord—Kanysen quickly calmed down and regained his senses.


 Since, when? When did it start? Where was he hiding this packet? No, I. Why.」 


  Good. Now he was ready to accept the magic. I grinned and went behind him to take off the blindfold. Kanysen flared up the moment he saw my smiling face, but he soon relaxed, accepting his defeat.


  I knew it. I always did feel you had to give to get something in return. Look how kind he’s become after gifting him the straitjacket.


  “Now then, take a look. It’s not every day that I reveal my tricks.”


  Smiling slightly, I picked up my sharp skewer, flipped it over, transformed it into a card, hid it in my palm, and spread out both hands facing down. The long skewer had disappeared in an instant.


  Kanysen turned wide-eyed.


  「I thought I made him drop it but…!


  “Correct! I actually pretended to drop it, changed it into a card, and kept it hidden! This is what I used to tear your sleeve and picksocket! It’s nice that you catch on quickly!”


  This pointed skewer was a thieving tool, and pickpockets carried at least one of them around. Its head was sharpened, so secretly using the skewer to stroke a bag would expose everything hidden inside.


  「I didn’t notice, damn it…!


  “Don’t blame yourself too much. I used to be a promising pickpocket. So much so that one time, leather bags wouldn’t sell because I cut too much leather. I’ve washed my hands of it since then, but thankfully, my skills haven’t rusted yet.”


  「Damn… it… Just who the hell are you…!


  “Oh, about that.”


  But just as I was about to answer, I faintly heard Gamma’s teary voice from far away.


  “Captain? Captain? You’re okay, right?”


  Kanysen’s eyes snapped wide as he tried to respond.


  「No, Gamma! Keep quiet! Plant the bomb and deal a blow somehow!


  His thoughts failed to get through his gag, though. Unfortunately, Gamma was no mind-reader and couldn’t read Kanysen’s wishes. Despite his intention, only I got to hear, and I was the one he least wanted to tip-off.


  “Oh, right. He was there.”


  「No! Gamma, detonate the bomb quickly! This is the chance opportunity! Gamma!


  “I should deal with that side first.”


  「Please! Gamma!


  I pulled Kanysen along by the belt of his straitjacket. He got caught on the way every time he bumped into the fallen rubble. The exertion annoyed me, but still, I pulled vigorously, believing it was more painful for him. 


  Honestly, this was his fault. Who told him to wreck all the rubble?


  I came back to the passage with the underground fissure. The rope tied to the pillar and hanging deep through the crack in the ground was shaking pitifully, like a fishing rod that had lost its owner. Hanging from it, Gamma stopped investigating what was below and pulled the rope, looking for Kanysen.


  「Why… is there no answer from the Captain? Even though I finally managed to understand Tantalus’ structure… I have to quickly install the bomb.


  Tantalus’ structure?


  I paused as I was about to cut the rope and read Gamma’s mind. Now, let’s see. What does the structure look like?


  Uh. Mm. Uhh? Seriously?


  After a moment of thought, I decided to ungag Kanysen instead of cutting the rope. I released the button holding the gag in place and the saliva-drenched device dropped to the floor. Kanysen froze momentarily, unable to comprehend what had happened, then the next second, he started shouting.


  Meanwhile, I found a place to sit nearby and calmly read Gamma’s thoughts.


  “This is an order! Gamma, detonate the explosives!”




  Gamma was lost as he shouted back in response.


  “Captain! Please lift me up! There’s nothing to use as support below, so I can’t get up unless you pull the rope!”


  “I was defeated! There’s no chance left now. Blow the explosives immediately before the rope is cut!”


  “B-But. If I blow it here.”


  “There is no chance left! Blow it up right now!”


  “But the e-explosives are on me.”


  “Yes! I’m telling you to take those explosives! And make it explode this instant!”


  Gamma was a technician named Wikrol. He was once involved in the dark side of the State and witnessed the tools he personally made being used to take the lives of people. Stricken with great guilt, he couldn’t bear to see it happen anymore and devoted himself to the Resistance. That was how Wikrol the promising engineer became Gamma of the Resistance.


  But even after joining the rebels, he was still a technician. No matter how much he respected his captain, he wouldn’t simply obey unreasonable orders.


  “Blowing it up here won’t have any meaning! The explosion will only travel downwards!”


  Gamma recalled what he saw below. In the control center full of scattered, broken junk, there was a passageway to the basement under a desk with a broken leg. The basement stairs had collapsed when the building was under attack, so a rope was necessary to go down.


  Gamma had hung on the rope and continued to go down, squeezing through the wreckage. Eventually, he arrived at a wide open space that made him feel as if he were looking across a flat field while doing a handstand.


  At that moment, Gamma realized the structure of Tantalus. The first thing he felt was the pleasure of an engineer, the exhilarating thrill of everything falling into place when an unfamiliar device is deconstructed by a single principle. Then came the jubilation of being able to destroy the prison that was painstakingly built by the Military State.


  All Gamma had was a single case of explosives, but that was enough to send the astronomical investment made in the prison down the abyss. How efficient was this? It was an absurd exchange ratio. If Gamma were a merchant, he would’ve been called the scammer of the century.


  But his captain, who knew nothing of technology, was forcing an order he could never accept. 


  Gamma screamed in rage.


  “Tantalus is structured like a tray supported on both ends. It’s not built at the bottom of the abyss, it’s hanging between it!”


  It was easy to break a plate spanning over something. All you had to do was get rid of the hanging ends and it would fall down. Mother Earth would take care of the rest.


  “We have to divide the explosives into three portions to make a bomb here, and one at each hanging end! Then Tantalus will lose balance and fall down! That’s the only way to bring down this huge prison!”


  There was only one right answer. The other choices were meaningless. Gamma desperately tried to persuade his captain, however…


  “How many times have I said it’s impossible?! Can you not hear what I’m telling you, Gamma! Blow it up right now!”


  “But I’m saying that’ll only get me killed!”


  “I’m ordering you to die!”


  “… What?”


  Gamma’s thoughts stopped for a moment.


  “He is nearby! It’s not too late to blow it! That’s the only way to deal even the slightest blow to the depraved State and the murderer of our comrades!”


  “B-but. This…”




  Gamma looked around. He was currently hanging on the lower floor of Tantalus. An explosion was an outward release of energy; even if the explosives were discharged in this wide-open space, that energy would spread downwards in vain.


  He would have to climb up the rope and set a bomb between the fissure in the ground to cause any meaningful damage. Though even that would be far from enough to collapse Tantalus. But more importantly, Gamma was faced with enveloping fear.


  What if Tantalus was dropped down? Although he would die at one point, it wouldn’t be very painful. The fall would go on and on as this was the abyss, so there would be enough time to accept death calmly. Perhaps he might even meet his friends on the way. 


  Gamma imagined celebrating success in their reunion until he eventually hit something and died in an instant. There wouldn’t be time to even feel pain. Mother Earth would swiftly take him into her warm embrace.


  Or perhaps the fall would last forever. Then he would chat with his friends, laugh until he was sick of it, and eventually fall asleep exhausted. And he would never wake up again. Death would come to him like slumber in the dark.


  But what if he detonated the explosives? Gamma would be reduced to bits and pieces flying everywhere. The discharge of light would blind him, the heat would burn his lungs, and in the explosion, his body would be torn to shreds and scattered in the abyss.


  Gamma’s hands trembled. He had braced himself for death the moment he came down here, however… he still wasn’t prepared enough.


  At last, I read all his thoughts, so I gripped my skewer and got up.


  “You’re not prepared enough? Then I’ll help you.”




  Kanysen’s yelling and Gamma’s teary cries grew louder and louder. I shrugged helplessly.


  “I’ll pay for this sin in hell.”


  After declaring I was going to do as I damn well pleased in the most religious way I could, I slashed the rope with my skewer, cutting it loose. A miserable scream came from the Captain’s mouth. His voice echoed far away, even outside Tantalus.


  And so Gamma was lost to the abyss. He would wander through eternity until he died in the bottomless chasm abandoned by Mother Earth. Until he fully accepted death and killed himself.


  Kanysen sobbed. Now no one could bring him success. He couldn’t stop me from digging out his ugliness and thrusting it before his eyes.


  “How ugly, right? What you kept up till the end was an order for him to throw his life away faster. All you did was urge someone else to die while you were restrained under my foot.”


  “Kill me! Stop insulting me and be done with it!”


  The truly great are few and far between. The rest are like those driven to the edge of a cliff, jumping off as if it were of their own volition. The lost children of the times who are neither heroes nor ordinary people.


  Sadly enough, Kanysen Riverwood wasn’t one of the few. He was ultimately just another man driven down into the abyss.


  “Self-justification, excuses. Meaningless repentance and confession. Self-contradiction. And hypocrisy. You poured manpower and resources into a pointless mission just so you could comfort yourself and say ‘I did my best’. Such an extravagant suicide. Four youths get to be buried alive with you, while the assets of the rebels ended up as your grave goods.”


  “Kill me instead!”


  Kanysen planted his face in the ground, writhing like a worm as he rammed his head down again and again.


  That wasn’t enough to kill him.


  So he took rocks in his mouth and chewed. The broken pieces tore the inside of his mouth. He swallowed them, so the sharp fragments could rip his innards apart.


  That wasn’t enough to kill him.


  He bit off his tongue. His teeth cut through the soft flesh and blood began to spurt out. But not even that was enough to kill him. Kanysen continued to inflict self-harm, wishing he could rather die and simply forget.


  However, even if he wouldn’t be recorded in history, even if he wouldn’t be remembered by the tales through word of mouth, I wouldn’t be able to forget him. Not after reading his everything.


  “I know you. The life you led, the things you saw and felt. I read everything about what you lived for and how you lived. And that is why I won’t judge you.”


  I could read it all. Thoughts. Lives. Dreams. Even the flashing moment of eternity that came before death. I would read every flitting thought to weave them into a single book.



“I am the smallest ossuary in the world, the library that mourns the forgotten.” 


“The ossuary does not judge the sins of the dead.”


“And the library does not grade its collection.”


“It merely keeps and remembers.”



  The Captain tensed his whole body for a second before shooting one of the pieces of rock in his mouth at me. The blood-stained rock mixed with flesh flew at a curve… and landed by my feet.


  This wasn’t an attack, it was a protest. A tragic protest demanding for me to kill him right now and end the pain, late as it was.


  Well if that’s what he wants.


  I took my skewer, went around to sit on his back, and raised the stick in a tight grip. Its pointed end was razor sharp. Sharp enough to easily stab through flesh.



“Farewell, Kanysen Riverwood.”


“The last knight who grew on the romance of beautiful rivers.”


“The world will forget you, no one will remember your end.”


“But I will remember you and your four young followers.”



  When do you think a person dies?


  Although there were diverse opinions regarding this question, at the very least, Kanysen Riverwood’s death was decided now. Because he had lost the will to live, and I had no intention of sparing him.


  Kanysen closed his eyes and held his head up, stretching out his neck in the hopes I would rather kill him quickly. He was always ready to die and also to kill. Kanysen wouldn’t have batted an eye even if he murdered or was murdered. It was merely that he lacked the resolve to face his own hideous side.



There is no hell in this world. 


No heaven either.


There is only one abandoned ossuary.


It isn’t a place of comfort, but still, I hope he would rest in peace.



  I brought the skewer to his neck and pulled. The skewer’s point moved at an angle across his throat, splitting flesh and drawing out red life. Whether he suffered or gained peace as he died, no one in the world would know. None except for me.


  There was a short moment of pain, followed by a flashback that seemed to go on forever. Soon his thoughts ceased, and what used to be Kanysen’s body became a corpse.


  It was a small end for a small, meaningless book.







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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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