Thanks to the Editor for pointing out issues
110 Instant Death
Chapter 5 Act 1
Episode 8 A High School Student Like You Can’t Possibly Exist! The Possibility of Proving That Punchline By Putting My Life On The Line.
Darian invoked Time Stop.
Strictly speaking, it may be something different but that’s how Darian recognized the phenomenon.
Darian could obviously move freely. The air around him was still flowing, making it possible to breathe. If you were touched by Darian, you could move freely as well.
The ability to spontaneously kill any target was threatening.
But if the invocation is caused by the boy’s will, then the countermeasure would be simple.
He should be made unable to invoke it.
He needed to be terminated before he could sense the killing intent directed toward him.
Darian’s comrades were killed at the stage of attacking.
Most likely, the boy possessed the ability to sense and foresee any incoming attacks. If time was stopped, then his ability would be irrelevant.
Darian was overrating his omnipotent ability to freeze time in solving most problems.
While Time Stop certainly was convenient, some weaknesses existed as well.
Other magic or skills could not be invoked during Time Stop.
Moreover, if Darian were to throw something, it would stop very close to his body, rendering projectile attacks useless.
Consequently, to defeat an enemy while utilizing Time Stop, he needed to approach and attack directly.
The short grass propagated across the meadow would move as they were touched by Darian. Once he moved away, the grass became motionless.
Darian went around behind the boy just in case.
The boy should not be able to see Darian due to Time Stop, but it would be wise to have extra precautions.
Once the boy was within his sword’s reach, Darian paused.
From Darian’s point of view, the boy was in a complete standstill.
There should be no activities in his brain at that moment.
He would helplessly be terminated since he could not sense Darian’s intent to kill.
— The only possible problem would be that he’s sturdy enough for my blade to cut through.
Darian reckoned that would be the least likely case.
There was no evidence of the utilization of any magic tools, magic skills, or sorceries.
He was only human. Once Darian’s sword touched him, he would be slashed in half. That was supposed to be the case.
Darian made sure that every little detail was not overlooked.
Although Time Stop consumed an enormous magical power, Darian could easily maintain it for at least an hour.
There was no need to rush.
Darian observed intently for 10 minutes and was convinced that there should be no problem.
If the head were to be destroyed in a single blow, all vital activities would stop as well. There would not be even a slight chance for a counterattack. Even if the ability to inflict Instant Death existed, that single blow would certainly end it.
The handling of a motionless opponent would be different and bred some confusion. However, the picture would become clear in no time.
His head should be slashed diagonally from the upper right. A similar diagonal slash should be made from the upper left. Lastly, a straight slash from the top of his head down to his groin should cut him open bilaterally.
He should be dead enough from the first blow, but it would not hurt to be extremely cautious.
Darian unsheathed his sword.
And then, he met a gaze.
It suddenly appeared without Darian touching anything.
At the space between Darian and the boy.
It manifested with a closed lid which then opened up.
It was not just an eyeball by itself. The almond-shaped eye was furnished with an eyelid as well.
They kept appearing one after another.
Unconsciously, Darian shrieked.
It all happened in a flash.
In the space where Time Stop was activated, there was no telling how much time had flowed.
However. Unknowingly, countless eyes had appeared and occupied the space.
Eyes. Eyeballs. Pupils.
All sorts of them were fixated on Darian. All eyeballs were staring/gazing at Darian.
Darian was trembling with terror.
All the eyeballs were wiggling as if matching the slight tremor of Darian’s trembling body. They kept staring at Darian, intently observing his every single move. Nevertheless, Darian brandished his sword.
Maintaining their gazes, the eyeballs were closely following the movements of the tip of his sword.
Darian’s every movement had been completely captured.
What would happen if he took a swing?
Most likely, they would not just stare at him.
He had a hunch that they would most definitely counterattack him somehow.
It was a deadlock.
If he ever so slightly pointed the sword toward the boy, he would be killed. Most definitely.
And it would be something even more horrible than simply being killed.
Darian came to understand the abnormality of the situation.
That would be concerning the eyeballs. Comprehension about the situation was impending.
The violently piercing gazes were as if telling him to grasp the situation.
Suddenly, he became aware.
The boy’s true form was not even the body standing in front of him.
Pulverizing the boy’s head would not even scratch his true form.
It was beyond anyone’s comprehension of why it would be absurd to fight against him. His true form could only be thought of as something outrageous, a genuine monster.
— Why would something like that pose as a human and appear here …?!
The reason could be something intangible.
Still, he would not know that until he touched it.
The malicious existence was bad-natured, and like some kind of a sick joke.
It was moot to fight against that thing.
Darian canceled the freezing time.
* * * * *
Hearing something from behind, Yogiri turned around.
“It isn’t … Pseudo Ground Shrink. Dannoura wouldn’t have overlooked something like that.”
Darian, who was supposed to be standing in front, had somehow moved behind the boy.
Tomochika and friends were startled with that mysterious display.
Darian was kneeling.
He seemed to have lost his strength to stand up and hung his head down.
The entire Invincible Corps was also astonished.
The situation seemed to be beyond anyone’s comprehension.
“I’ll say it one more time. Please leave. That’s my only request.”
Darian slowly raised his head.
He looked worn-out beyond recognition.
“… Who … are you …?”
“Even if you ask me, I’m just a high school student.”
“Ha … hahahahaha!”
Darian lifted his right hand and put his index finger on his temple.
Yogiri, who had a bad feeling about what was about to happen, tried to stop Darian.
But how would he stop him in the first place?
In concert with a plosive sound, Darian’s head scattered away.
His body slumped forward with a thud. The Invincible Corps fled the scene at full speed after witnessing the gory scene.
“Why?! I don’t get it!”
“Hmm. A high school student like you can’t possibly exist! Is it possible to prove that punchline by putting my life on the line …?”
“I wanted to avoid this ending.”
It was hardly an ideal result.
But for the time being, it had served the purpose and he deemed it acceptable.
* * * * *
Being shocked by death, Darian became disoriented.
It had always been like this.
The inside of the head felt as if it had been scrambled, and all senses became chaotic.
It was as if some richly colored paint had been thrown all over the face.
Auditory interference had overwhelmed the sense of hearing. A nauseating odor invaded the nasal cavity. A horrible sensation engulfed the entire body as if something was crawling around and seeped into the pores.
It felt like drowning in a strange space. That would be the side effect of going against the current of time.
— What the hell was that all about …?!
It was unknown.
But if such existence was known to have existed, it would be fine.
That would mean it was to be avoided at all costs in future encounters.
Humans should not challenge that thing to a fight.
Darian’s honest impression was that challenging that thing repeatedly would be moot and not bring victory.
The disorientation on all his senses gradually subsided. Darian was in bed.
He was resting.
If he traveled back in time, it should be a convenient situation.
As long as the previous situation was sorted out before sunrise, the chaos would decrease, the anxiety of being suspected by surrounding people would reduce to the minimum as well.
Darian gained consciousness. First of all, he needed to figure out how far he had traveled back in time.
And then, their eyes met.
Ditching all dignity, Darian screamed at the top of his lungs.
He should have been able to escape it, but countless eyes were gazing at him.
“T-that’s weird! This should be the time before I met that thing!”
And then he noticed. He was being noticed as well.
Certainly, he went back in time. But the eyes were still there.
Then the answer was simple. They had existed in all space and time since the beginning.
Could it be a curse, or perhaps a contamination?
The accession of memories was transferred back in time as well. This would only mean that his memories could never be altered.
No matter how far he returned into the past, Darian had already known the existence of that thing.
He had nowhere else to escape.
Darian would not be able to maintain his sanity for much longer.