It was much better than being scared in the dark forest where you wouldn’t see your enemy coming.
However, the others seemed to have come to the same conclusion as well, and so there were a few that came running to the wall.
They weren’t running away, but seemed to want to make this the spot where they’d make their stand.
There was plenty of space within the wall as well, but they didn’t go in very deep. It was no wonder. They had to kill a classmate if they were to avoid being killed by the sage.
I was in the attic.
And it was from there that I looked down at the others.
So, what to do now?
What was the biggest problem for me, was that I had no direct combat ability.
That meant that it was necessary for me to use a more roundabout approach. But would it count as my kill if I took down an enemy with a trap?
If not, I was in deep trouble.
After all, it was impossible for me to win in a head-on fight.
Well, I would just have to figure something out when the time came.
The sage would be watching this fight. I would just have to hope she recognized it as my kill since it was my trap.
So, what kind of trap could I set?
As I wondered about this, someone came near.
A girl with glasses and braided hair had entered my room.
It was Takekura Kiyoko.
She was a Gunslinger. And as her name suggested, she fought with guns.
I didn’t have a chance fighting against any of them, but she still seemed like the worst opponent to go up against.
I held my breath and hoped that she would just go away.
However, my prayer was not answered. She raised the barrel of her gun to the ceiling and pointed it in my direction.
It wasn’t some random movement. It was clear that she was aiming for me.
She didn’t answer; just pulled the trigger.
In an instant, I was riddled with holes.
Aihara Yukimasa understood that he would probably be shot by Takekura Kiyoko soon.
The book he was holding had events of the near future written in it.
And what was written there could not be changed regardless of him knowing about it. He could not act in a way that would change things. He acted out the scenes as they were written in the novel.
“For now, I’ll erase what I can.”
But Yukimasa was able to rewrite the novel’s contents. This was how he was able to control his actions and the events around him.
He traced the words with his finger and the letters disappeared.
The only part he was able to erase was the part after he went up to the attic. In fact, Yukimasa had only just gone up right now. He couldn’t erase what had already happened.
After erasing the words, he considered what would happen next. Yukimasa was able to rewrite the words in order to change the future.
Of course, it wasn’t that he could just write anything.
It had to be something that could actually happen, and it had to be consistent with the past.
So, what to do?
Apparently, Kiyoko was aware that Yukimasa was here.
That meant she had come to kill him. And it was difficult to rewrite a person’s actions when they were this determined.
Still, he tried rewriting the way events would unfold, but the words disappeared almost immediately.
Kiyoko would come. That was decided. So he would have to deal with it without rewriting her actions.
Yukimasa turned the page. He looked for a line from past events that would be useful.
Yukimasa’s idea was to have a different classmate interfere.
Thankfully, the book told him that there were a number of others within the walls.
‘Kiyoko enters the room. At the same time, someone else enters from a door on the opposite side.’
He added this line and then waited. The words didn’t disappear. It was approved.
He didn’t know who would actually come. How things would play out after that. While it was frustrating, he didn’t know for sure when the next letters would appear in the book.
It didn’t seem like the book would be updated anytime soon. He might have to wait and see it happen before his eyes.
After a moment, Kiyoko entered the room.
Then, the door on the opposite side opened and someone came in.
It was Shinozaki Ayaka.
She was a vengeful demon who had already killed several classmates.
The result of rewriting his fate, might, in fact, result in a must worse disaster.
However, Kiyoko was now looking at Ayaka.
If these two started fighting, he might be able to run away.
Kiyoko began shooting without hesitation.
Yukimasa saw his chance and frantically began to run down the stairs to the lower floor.
Loud gunshots and sounds of destruction. The sounds that echoed from behind told of the vicious battle being played out. It was clear that they wouldn’t be able to pay attention to anything else.
So I believed. So I ran. I passed through several rooms.
Once I felt that I was at a good distance, I stopped to catch my breath and calm my heart.
It’s fine. The danger was gone.
However, it was just a temporary thing.
I would have to get away from the others as well and survive.
I looked around. Perhaps this room was rarely used, because it was in a terrible state. It seemed like a bad idea to stay long, but there was one thing that caught my interest.
It was a metal door. And it had a large circular handle, like the ones you see in submarines.
I tried touching it, but it didn’t budge.
As I was curious about what lay beyond it, I brought up the system window and looked at the map. There was a detailed map of the area that was within the boundary of the trial.
What was on the other side of the door, was a small room that would be full if just a few people were in it.
Well, if the door wouldn’t open, then this room was a dead end. So there was even less reason to be here.
Just as I was about to leave, the circular door handle started to turn.
I quickly dashed out of the room and peeked back in from the outside.
Two figures walked out. They were both familiar.
It was Takato Yogiri and Hanakawa Daimon. Classmates. And on further inspection, Hanakawa was carrying a guy called David.
Such were the words that he read in the book while he was in the room.
He didn’t understand why, but Hanakawa Daimon, Takato Yogiri, and David were going to appear from behind that door.
Yukimasa saw this as an opportunity.
Surely these three were not that strong.
Takato had some kind of extermination ability, and could not battle against people. Hanakawa was a healer, if he remembered correctly. So he couldn’t fight either. Of course, that meant that he would be able to heal himself if the attacks were weak. But then again, he likely didn’t have much defense ability, so he would die quickly.
As for David, he had a power that allowed him to lower the rank of a gift, but he was apparently unconscious, so he could be ignored.
Of course, it wouldn’t be easy to kill all three of them at once. However, it was much better than fighting those other monsters with their inhuman powers.
For now, he would kill these guys in order to survive the first hour. Besides, killing them might raise his stats. So he should kill anyone that looked like they would be easy prey.
So, how to do it?
Yukimasa scanned the room. There were several places that looked promising.
‘The ceiling suddenly collapses. Takato Yogiri and the two others are crushed to death.’
It was definitely the kind of lazy writing that would get a bad review, were it a normal novel he was reading. But there was no need for entertainment value now.
Still, it seemed that these words were no good, because they disappeared after he wrote them.
Perhaps that meant that the ceiling wasn’t quite damaged enough.
Well, there were still other things that he could use.
Just as he began to write down his next idea, the next words of the novel appeared.
A chill ran down Yukimasa’s spine. Up until now, his death had never been written down so clearly.
I was riddled with holes. I fell off a cliff. I was bitten by a monster.
It had details of what befell him, but it never said that he actually died.
“What the hell. That’s not how a first-person narrative works.”
He said jokingly. If I was writing an account, I couldn’t write about my own death.
Regardless of any problems, if that was what was written, then the thing to do was erase it.
And so Yukimasa traced it with his finger.
He had to change it so he wouldn’t die.
However, before he could add his own words, some letters appeared again.
‘I disappeared. I vanished. I turned to nothing. My biological functions stopped. I am finished.’
“Why! I’m supposed to have the strongest power! I know the future and can change it!”
Of course, it wasn’t a power that allowed him to do anything he wanted. However, it was supposed to be a power that if used right, allowed him to get out of any danger.
The book was no longer allowing his story to develop in any way outside of his own death.
No matter how many times he erased or tried to add his own words, the only thing that appeared was letters that told of his death.
“Damn! What am I supposed to do!”
‘Died. Died. Died. Died. Died. Died.’
At this point, he could barely understand what the words meant. They just kept appearing, Yukimasa could never erase them in time.
Still, he had no choice but to do something about the book.
“I know! I’ll rip the pages!”
He ripped out the pages. Then he shredded them into small pieces.
Once it was destroyed like that, it was no longer a novel.
He tore out all of the pages and scattered the small pieces after ripping them up.
Doing this probably meant he would lose his ability.
However, he was more afraid of the death that was before his eyes.
“I-I have to get out of here.”
He didn’t understand why, but he would die once Yogiri and the others arrived.
And so Yukimasa turned his back to the door and tried to run.
But he felt that something was wrong and so he stopped in his tracks.
He could have just kept running. And yet, he suddenly felt curious about what was behind him. He didn’t have to look, and yet he found himself doing just that.
His instincts were telling him that he shouldn’t look back. But this need to see the source of his fear was also part of his instincts.
And so, ultimately, Yukimasa turned around.
Everything seemed the same.
There it all was. The torn-up pages of the book that were scattered everywhere.
It was nothing then. He had been imagining things. It was just as he patted his chest in relief.
The letters suddenly flowed out.
Words that signaled his death came out from the destroyed novel and stuck on to the floor.
In the blink of an eye, they covered the entire floor, walls, and even the ceiling.
You can’t run from your death.
It was as if the rows of letters were saying this to him.
Something was on the other side of the door.
The handle began to turn.
Then it opened, and Yogiri and the others appeared.
There was the sound of the roof cracking. Flakes of old pain started to rain down.
That’s when Yukimasa and Yogiri’s eyes met.
That merciless word was the last thing Yukimasa heard.
“Hey! Is that what you do as soon as you meet people! He was your classmate!”
“I felt the hostility. So I just killed him.”
He had sensed the danger from the ceiling, and when his eyes met Aihara Yukimasa, he knew that he was the culprit.
And so he killed him before they were killed.
That was all it was.
“No, no, no. Weren’t these people forced to kill each other by the sage? Doesn’t that make them victims!?”
He had told Hanakawa about what was happening on the sixth floor.
If he didn’t, Hanakawa would be very confused when they encountered an actual fight to the death.
“So what? Is it all right to kill people just because you are forced to? I don’t care how it happened, he made the decision. You can’t blame others for that.”
“You, I’m a lot more frightened by your mentality than your abilities right now!?”
Yogiri ignored the quivering Hanakawa and pulled out his smartphone.
He wanted to know Mokomoko’s current location.
“No answer. It might be trouble. We should hurry.”
“Why are you even using a smartphone!? And what is with this system message!”
Those who had gifts installed by the sage could see the system menu in their vision. As it wasn’t installed in Yogiri, he could only imagine what it looked like.
“Hey! You have been approved to participate in the sage candidate selection match. That’s what it says!”
“So you’re a participant now. That’s good. That means if you try to leave the area, Shion will come out to kill you.”
“WHAAA! But that is just too horrible!”
Even if Yogiri and Tomochika stayed alive until the end or if they left the area, they were not seen as participants. So it was possible that Shion would not come to them.
And soo Yogiri was starting to see Hanakawa as a very useful person.