Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint Chapter 92

Chapter 92 - Actually a Loner

༺ Actually a Loner ༻



  『…The Military State will be dispatching an investigation unit.』


  The golem delivered the news impassively, which puzzled me out of nowhere. A State signaller had just reported to a lowly petty criminal.


  Seeming to realize this, the golem added a defensive explanation.


  『Do not be mistaken. Your opinions are not entirely trusted. The State authorities view this situation as a simple error. The investigation unit’s objective is to determine the root cause. Furthermore, this information is being provided to you solely for briefing purposes, given your role as an informant.』


  “Oh absolutely.”


  『…Let me reiterate for clarity: refrain from any hasty actions. The Military State is on high alert concerning this matter, and the coming investigation unit includes a general officer. Lieutenant Colonel Callis is a soldier of the State. As such, the State shall judge her actions. The colonel may display suspicious movement, but it pales in comparison to your deeds. Therefore, I urge you to remain still.』


  I said I understood, but the golem kept emphasizing the same point. Did it doubt my comprehension? The State despised inefficiencies, yet the golem repeated itself not once, but twice.


  『Should you truly wish to escape the abyss, your sole path lies in faithfully serving your sentence under Military State directives.』


  I get it already, why the heck won’t you get out of my hair? Or are you…?


  “By any chance, are you worried about me?”


  『Negative! It is strictly common sense! Because heeding my warning is at least ten times more realistic and constructive than aiming to escape an inescapable land!』


  Her response was so firm it was almost saddening. No need to say that much, is there? 


  I nodded timidly, while the golem regained its breath.


  『…Colonel Callis has requested a supply of canned meat. Do you have no requests to make?』


  “No, I’m good. I have a feeling the colonel will be doing the distribution this time anyway.”


  『…Understood. In that case, I will take my leave now. Good luck.』


  “Yes, take care, Captain.”


  As soon as I finished replying, the golem disconnected and fell limp. I went to a corner of the cafeteria and bent down to prop the golem upright. Then straightening up, I muttered a question out loud.


  “Now, Colonel Callis is completely cut off. She’s got nowhere to turn for support. How will she come out, cornered as she is?”


  No response came.


  Come on, I know you’re listening. Not answering makes me sound like a guy who likes talking to himself, you know?


  I raised my voice, directing it to a certain side of the cafeteria wall so she couldn’t ignore me.


  “See? How great was it to leave a golem behind? If you smashed them all, we couldn’t have asked for supplies or known what was happening. Do you now understand that destroying everything isn’t the best way?”


  The wall across me rippled like a mirage. The regressor’s invisibility dissipated as she appeared, leaning against the wall with arms crossed. Despite having heard my entire conversation with the golem, she still seemed dissatisfied.


  “…If we break the golem and kill the other one, there’d be nothing to worry about.”


  “Didn’t you hear a general officer is on the way? Say you lose it and off the colonel. What if the general comes down in person?”


  “Just because they’re called generals doesn’t mean they’re all formidable. Unless it’s one of the Six Generals, I can deal with it alone. Way more easily with Tyrkanzyaka’s help at that.”


  She wasn’t being arrogant. Generals were the strongest forces leading the Military State, standing at the top of the pyramid. Yet she declared her confidence to defeat any of them as if it were common sense… except for the Six, who possessed power on a different dimension even among the generals.


  As impressive as it sounded, there was a separate issue I cautiously pointed out.


  “You do realize that generals become key figures of the nation? The moment you kill one, you become a marked enemy of the state with no room for compromise.”


  “We’re already marked. Do you think they’ll just leave us be despite surviving the abyss on our own terms? Even if we go back up, an ordinary life will be a remote dream. So, what are you being insecure about?”


  Ugh, that’s true.


  With nothing else to say, I grumbled for something to do.


  “I’m insecure about you nonchalantly killing a general.”


  “Oh please. Says the guy who’s unfazed at sword point.”


  “That was my poker face. You have no idea how shocked I was inside.”


  The regressor snorted at that, showing no signs of believing my excuse.


  “Someone like you is supposed to be a petty crook? Then the State would’ve gone to hell last night.”


  “No, but it’s true. Didn’t you hear both the captain and the colonel say it? That I’m a small-timer.”


  “No need to lie to me too, since we might end up as allies.”


  「Considering Azzy and Tyrkanzyaka alone, there’s enough reason to spare this guy. I’ll probably save him in the next cycles too, unless something goes terribly wrong. Though I’d like to know his true intentions in this life if possible.」


  It seemed she wouldn’t believe me regardless. But did I really need to correct her? I had secured my survival for this lifetime, and even for the next. 


  Thank me, future me. I endured all this hardship for my sake.


  Anyway. I shrugged, deciding to move on since my life was pretty much saved. But unlike open-minded me, the regressor and her meticulous personality couldn’t ignore the question in her heart. So she turned to me for an answer.


  “Still, your point makes it even harder for me to understand. Is it really necessary to keep that colonel alive?”


  “Captain Abbey just explained why. A general is coming.”


  “No, I’m not talking about the situation. You never intended on killing the colonel from the start. You didn’t try to help her either, but setting that aside, it feels like you never considered the option of killing at all.”


  The regressor’s thoughts sometimes took odd turns, though I wasn’t sure if it was due to her 13th plug-and-play thought circuit or her inherent nature. But while she mostly barked up the wrong trees, she’d occasionally hit a sharp bulls-eye. Like stumbling on the right answer, should I say.


  I attempted a half-hearted, disarming smile, but the regressor still shot her question at me.


  “Why? Is she your type or something?”


  “Haha, of course not.”




  “Haah. Well.”


  You see, it’s a notion that struck me while keeping tabs on the officer’s thoughts… but the human heart really is interesting.


  “Aren’t you curious, Mr. Shei?”


  “About what.”


  The officer’s goal was to become a level 4 citizen. It was why she became an officer and even joined hands with the secret society known as the “Human Regime”, who secretly approached her.


  Her progress went smoothly. With their support, she received two whole medals and rapidly rose to the rank of colonel. She also gained considerable fame within the Military State. Then at that point, she received an order from the “Human Regime”: infiltrate Tantalus to gather information under the guise of an accident.


  Tantalus the Abyss was an infernal realm no one should dare approach… but the danger level had greatly decreased ever since the jailbreak, and more than anything, she was encouraged by the fact that the laborer sent in beforehand was unharmed.


  If a mere minor criminal could survive, there was no reason for her, an elite of the Military State, not to come back safely. So, the officer followed their orders and came to this place. However…


  “This a land of utter isolation. An abyss where you can’t rely on anyone else. A colonel is pretty high up in the ranks, yet she fell in here alone without any support. She’s achieved nothing despite facing pressure from all sides. She’s even facing hostility from those she never considered as enemies.”


  The criminal threat, Shei, still maintained a hostile demeanor. The Dog King had already formed such a deep connection with the laborer that she couldn’t see any way of intervening. She had to do something about that laborer, but the Progenitor fervently defended me, which was surprising given her reputation for being indifferent.


  The officer would spend whole days monitoring me, searching for any vulnerabilities. But each time, I’d pretend not to notice her watchful gaze, while demonstrating both my position and the strong bond I shared with the others.


  The more she tried, the more she fell into despair. It was a near-hopeless mission. She chewed her nails, seeking a solution that eluded her, but a solution would hardly just pop out of this isolated abyss.


  The officer probably knew now. In this place… there was nothing she could do as a stranger in the group.


  “She has no one to exchange a single word with, and no grasp of the passing time. Her goal is slipping further away as her end approaches, and her life’s worth as little as a mayfly’s.”


  Even if the officer found a chance to approach Azzy, she’d come running straight to me as soon as I rang my bell. When the officer was inside the building, she’d feel a sinister gaze upon passing through any shadows untouched by light, because Tyr was keeping a wary eye on her.


  And the regressor standing in front of me made things even worse. This girl would exude a murderous aura whenever she saw the colonel. Someone of the colonel’s rank was capable of sensing such killing intent, and thanks to that, she experienced the threat of death several times a day.


  “She’s thinking, am I going to die here? Will my life be snuffed out like a weak candle, with no achievements or recognition to my name? Will they abandon me now that the plan has gone wrong? And this is where I wonder…”


  Her goal was to become a level 4 citizen, with the intention of passing her possessions down to future generations. Yet she had neither family nor a spouse. Dying here would render all her efforts in vain.


How paradoxical, isn’t it? Risking her life for something that doesn’t even exist yet.


“What will she reveal about herself in this situation, being at the lowest of lows?”


 What would she choose at the end of life, at the edge of contradictions?


  “Aren’t you curious?”


  That’s what I wanted to ask about, unable to contain my curiosity. But it went without saying that the regressor couldn’t understand.


  “That’s why you did it? Why you set up such an inefficient situation?”


  “Not necessarily. After all, we can’t just go killing someone, right? So just as an aside while saving her life.”


  As a mind reader, I knew that honest answers ultimately emerged in dire situations. Even those who claimed a willingness to sacrifice their lives for their country often ended up fleeing when death stared them in the eye. And this was when I found not a single lie in their thoughts. They had fooled even themselves.


  Therefore, a mere line of speech in the present held no meaning. Sincerity of true worth only came out when you were hanging by a thread in a situation where words couldn’t save you.


  I just wanted to witness that moment.




  The regressor calmly pondered my words, surprisingly satisfied.


  “Just my theory, but you must have been a really bad guy.”


  “I keep telling you I’m a small-timer.”


  “Hmph, oh I’m sure. Anyway, putting aside what you said… it certainly seems worth trying.”


  「The colonel is a woman, so she’s not the warden mentioned by the undying. Probably just a pawn. Instead of interrogating and getting rid of her right away, leaving her be might better reveal the truth… though I don’t want to take even a minor risk like that.」


  Persuaded by my words, the regressor withdrew her intent to kill the colonel. She put Chun-aeng back beside her head and rubbed her chin, sinking into deep thought.


  「I was going to avoid this sort of leisurely development for a throw-away cycle… but since things have turned out like this, I guess I’ll change the plan.」


  Reading her thoughts, I couldn’t help but be flabbergasted.


  I did expect it, but it really was a throw-away for you? Please don’t be like that. You’re making this mind reader over here anxious.


  Anyhow. I turned away again, wondering about the officer on the other side. What could she be thinking at this point, having been checkmated?



* * *



  Colonel Callis unfastened her leather belt. In the past, shortly after clothing packets became commercialized, leather lost its primary use and was often repurposed for accessories or consumables such as wallets, pouches, belts, bags, trinkets, and so on.


  While the Military State despised luxury, there was no reason to do away with the leather inventory existing across the country; discarding them all would have resulted in even greater losses.


  As a result, there was a fleeting leather boom, and it became quite the trend until a certain incident occurred. And like all fads, many variations of leather products emerged.


  Colonel Callis’ belt—which originated from that period, having survived numerous cycles of change—served a rather unique purpose. There was an odd bulge with a gap on its left side. As the Colonel hooked her finger into that gap, a cleverly concealed space appeared within the leather. From it, she pulled out three packages.


  ‘The three packages he gave me.’


  Not even Callis knew what they contained. The “Human Regime” had emphasized never to open them before the right moment, so she tried to save them if possible. But now wasn’t the time to be choosy about means or methods.


  ‘One is for communication. The other is for escape.’


  It wasn’t yet the time to use the communication package. She put this on hold. The escape package was given to her for when there was no hope and she had to escape Tantalus. She also put this on hold…


  ‘But must I really hold it back?’


  Callis subconsciously reached for the escape package, but then realized what she was about to do and stopped. She tightly clenched her hand, breathing rapidly as she chewed her lip.


  ‘No, not yet. I can’t become weak already when I’ve yet to accomplish anything.’


  Barely pulling herself together, Callis tucked the escape package away with trembling fingers, hiding it deeply. 


  Now, only one remained.


  ‘And this last one… is for when I need assistance.’


  She didn’t know what it held, but don’t they say the absence of visible hope makes you yearn for it more?


  The Human Regime was a secret society deeply embedded with the Military State. So Callis clutched onto a glimmer of hope as she opened the leather package, praying it contained something that could turn the tables, given it was a hidden ace provided by such a formidable organization.


  ‘Please. Let there be something to break through this ordeal…!’


  Colonel Callis opened the package with bated breath.



E/N: Hey lads. Just a heads-up, we have changed Major to Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel and will be keeping this change henceforth. Thanks for your continued support and hope you enjoyed this chapter!



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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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