The hunt begins.
Chapter 11. Battle Royale
The next day, at 6:10AM.
Approximately eight hours after Heart of Gold was first used.
It was about time for the delivery to take place.
I took my eyes off of the clock, and turned to the saint.
She was looking at me with sparkling eyes.
Tick, tick, tick.
The clock’s second hand pointed at minute 11, and a small paper box appeared on the table.
Without any warning.
“…So that’s how it works.”
I couldn’t even hear it being placed on the table.
How should I take this?
Was there a path of sorts that connected to here from the shelter?
No, that wasn’t possible.
The door was closed, too, which meant that no one entered the room other than me and the saint.
In other words, delivery will not fail wherever you may be…
Necro observed the package from several different directions.
“I’ve seen my fair share of powers in the past, but nothing as strange as this. Try opening it, would you?”
This isn’t actually like an internet shopping power, is it?
I opened the package under the gazes of everyone in the room.
It was just like my former world, no matter how you looked at it.
“The attention to detail is quite something!”
I ignored Necro’s comment, and removed the bubble wrap inside.
A rectangular box…
It was a container of my favorite e-cigarette.
Nothing special about it so far.
“Ah~ what a disappointment.”
Necro threw down the coupon in his hands down on the floor.
“It’s a total failure, isn’t it? I had expected something much more from the world’s strongest… To think it’d be trash like this… Ah! I’m not trying to offend you or anything? You know exactly what I’m trying to get at, right?”
“Ah! It’s already six? I need to get on my morning jog. I’ll be going, then. See you in four days!”
Necro went out as if he had an important meeting he had to be in.
“Tsk, what a waste of time.”
He even said this as he left.
I turned to the saint.
She had been silent all this time. Even now, she was looking down at the empty paper box.
She must be very disappointed.
“How… normal. I didn’t expect anything like this.”
After a long period of silence, she opened her mouth.
“With an ability like this… it’s impossible to…”
Right. That would be the conclusion an average person would come to.
“Don’t give up so soon. You can’t give up just like that.”
“An optimist, are you? But optimism can’t help you cross the wall of reality, you know?”
She wasn’t wrong.
“It’s ok. It’d be good for this game to have a certain level of difficulty to it.”
“If you fail at the selection battle that is to take place in three days, you wouldn’t even get a chance to take part in that game of yours. Do you have a plan in place?”
“I haven’t heard of such a thing yet?”
The saint tilted her head in curiosity.
“Necro didn’t say anything?”
So he didn’t say.
He must’ve thought that it wasn’t important.
The saint bowed apologetically towards me.
“There must’ve been a mistake. I apologize.”
“It’s ok. He must’ve been busy cleaning up everything I did. In any case, my enemies?”
“People similar to you. All people who made a name for themselves in the underworld.”
So they were all murderers.
“Secret. The battle needs to be fair.”
I could only laugh.
“Fair? Wasn’t I the last person to be summoned? And do you actually think people would come out alive after the battle? It’s most certain to be a bloody carnage.”
The saint raised her index finger when she heard the word carnage.
“Idiot saint, you’ve already pushed several people into almost certain death. It’s already too late for you to try to act like a nice person.”
The saint looked down at the floor.
After a period of silence, she raised her head as if she had decided something.
Her eyes were filled with confidence.
A maddening amount of it.
“Yes. Like you said, Mr. Murderer, perhaps it’s already too late.”
Her voice seemed to echo in the room.
“But rules are rules. Please try your hardest to win the battle in four days.”
She said this, and stood up from her spot.
So I can’t get any more information on the others…
I went over the actions that I needed to take in the future.
Unexpectedly enough, the answer to my predicament was closer to me than I thought.
This eye was something that wasn’t restricted by physical barriers.
In other words, it was possible for me to ‘peek into other containment rooms.’
I spent all this time doing my best into observing my enemies.
And on the day of the battle.
The saint came to visit for the first time in four days.
“How is it? If you say you’d give up, I’ll take you out of the battle.”
Why was she offering me this?
Did she change her mind after I told her that this would be a bloody carnage?
“Not interested in giving up.”
“Please think this through. You’ll be locked up till the hero dies, but this would be much better than dying twice over?
“Dying twice must mean that it’s possible for me to be revived twice as well.”
I faked a kind smile.
“It’s ok. I decided to do this. You have no fault in this at all.”
I didn’t say it to try to make her feel better.
This was to raise friendship in order to increase my profits in the future.
“Is that so?”
The saint’s voice brightened, as if she was being saved by someone.
Did the guilt that weighed her shoulders down disappear?
This idiot is fated to be used for the rest of her life.
She’d willingly crucify herself on the cross of good deeds.
“Of course. Adults need to take responsibility for their choices, after all. You already gave me a chance as well. That’s good enough. I’ll have to suffer from the consequences of my actions by myself. Just like powers.”
The use of my power required cash.
This must be similar for other powers as well.
There was no way a power would come without any risks or payment to it.
Love & Peace and Overdeath must be similar in this matter as well.
Or it might have a certain risk to it.
The saint thought to herself for a second, and nodded after some thought.
“I understand. If that’s what you think, I won’t try to make you give up any further.”
The saint walked right in front of me, and motioned me to sit down.
“Can you kneel for a second?”
“I need to do something before I leave.”
This is worrying…
The moment I kneeled, I felt as if my forehead was being pressed by hot iron.
As I wondered if she was putting a seal of sorts on me, the saint laughed to herself with her lips covered.
“Could it be…”
I used the floating eye in order to look at myself.
There was a seal burnt into the place where the saint kissed me.
And that place was currently set on holy fire.
I rolled on the ground for a moment due to the pain in my head.
It felt like my brain was being burnt to a crisp.
When I came to, the saint was looking at me with a frightened look on her face.
My arms were sealed by a straightjacket.
“I’m sorry! I put a seal on you so that you wouldn’t be able to escape, but to think you’d be in this much pain…”
To think she’d put a straightjacket on me as well, even after putting a seal on me…
“…What magic is it?”
“If you get away from me, your head will… hurt a little bit? Nyahaha?”
The saint said this as she looked away.
I could tell immediately what magic she put on me from this.
So this would make my head explode if I run away.
“Now, let’s get going, shall we?”
The saint walked over to the exit with confident steps, as if she had forgotten everything that had just happened.
Of course, she left me, whose arms were tied, to crawl over like a caterpillar.
The place that the saint took me to was an arena that gave off a feel of an opera house.
The paint on the arena’s old walls had paint falling off in many places, and it was scarred with many blade marks as well.
I changed my viewpoint and took a look at the entire arena.
I could see my opponents stretching behind caged doors.
To the West, there was the [Man-eating Lion], Bruno Balter.
To the North, there was the [Nail Hunter], Kirisaki Hatsume.
To the East, [Slenderman] Benny Guts.
The center of the arena was decorated with walls and doors to make it resemble something close to a survival training room.
To the top right, I could see nobles wearing masks roaming the area looking down into the arena.
So this is a form of entertainment for them…
By taking a look at their physique and the placement of their scars and dots, I could tell that they were mostly people who were there at the prime minister’s room.
Necro approached me with a friendly smile.
He had a bowtie and a tailcoat on.
Well, he did have quite a high position in the government, after all.
“What took you so long?”
The saint responded half-assedly to Necro’s question.
“Nothing my ass. You woke up late, didn’t you?”
They treat each other like friends, despite the age difference. Did they know each other from the beginning?
“Ah, right, I need to get things started quick.”
Necro slapped me on the back.
“How you feeling? Feeling good? Don’t run again, alright? This time, you’re pitted against fellow murderers. Feels good, right? Time to prove yourself! Yeah!”
I swung my bound arms up and down in response.
“Oh dear, so your arms are tied up. Should I untie you?”
The grin disappeared from Necro’s face immediately.
“But I don’t feel like taking it off. I wonder why?”
“I thought for a bit, and I feel like fighting without your arms would be more impactful. After all, you’re the world’s strongest, aren’t you? Fighting without any penalties just won’t do.”
“So you’re telling me to fight like this?”
Well, that’s fine with me, I guess.
“I won’t ever tie you again if you win this. Please don’t let down our expectations, alright?”
Seeing how the saint pretty much ignored our interaction, it seemed that she knew that this was going to happen already.
“Just do it. Why? You think I’m being too hard on you? Is that it? No. This is all just karma. Do you know how much trouble I was in because of you last time? Do you?!”
Necro pointed at the people up top.
“If you don’t give them a strong impression right from the get-go, everything’s over. Why? Because you killed the colonel! Do you even know who he was?”
Looks like he wasn’t going to let that pass, huh.
“If you don’t give them the impression that you can kill the hero on this spot, we’re all dead. You get that?”
I understood the situation we were in now.
“I can hear you even if you don’t yell. I’ll get you what you want, so just watch.”
I had no arms, but the result of the battle was already set.
I checked my opponents with the floating eye once more, and moved towards the exit door.
“Oh, so you’re that confident, huh? Now then, I suppose we’ll get going now. We’ll see each other after you finish. Good luck.”
The saint seemed to be extremely disturbed by the entire exchange.
She must not be registering anything because of everything that was to happen just a little later.
“Ah, right. I forgot to mention.”
Necro seemed to remember something, and turned around before he got out of the waiting room.
“It’s not like you’ll die again because you’re already a corpse, but if your heart or head gets destroyed, I’ll cancel the magic I put on you. But don’t resent me for that or anything. I gotta make things fair for the others.”
I just nodded.
A little later, the steel door behind me shut down, and locked itself.
The door began to shine with mana.
It should be impossible to escape this place without an extremely strong power.
I’ve had a hard time restraining myself.
At that moment.
Everyone in the arena shared the same emotions.
A freezing chill enveloped their bodies, and made them tremble uncontrollably.
Sounds of teeth clacking against each other could be heard all over the place.
A glass of wine in someone’s hand slipped off, and shattered against the floor.
The air was so heavy, that people began to have a hard time breathing.
The people of the arena fell into a state of despair due to this unfamiliar experience.
But it was impossible to run.
Their legs were completely void of strength. It was hard for them to even stand.
Even people from far away could feel the effects of this. They felt faint, and began to see their vision crumble.
It was a difference in power that could be felt from even hundreds of meters away.
The one person who responded to this the strongest was the high school murderer– [Nail Hunter] Kirisaki Hatsume.
“What in the world did you bastards summon?! Just what did you summon?!”
Kirisaki ripped apart the hair on her head viciously, and jumped out of her room as soon as the gates opened.
Her arms and legs that have become akin to knives were letting off sparks everywhere due to her maniacal actions.
It wasn’t much different for the other murderers.
[Slenderman] Benny Guts, who had been crawling like a spider in his room, hid himself in the bushes as soon as he could escape.
On the other hand, the [Man-eating Lion], Bruno Balter, felt a ‘dangerous smell’ to the south of him.
The smell of corpses and gunpowder.
“This one’s the real deal.”
Bruno’s white skin, along with his large nose and grey eyes made him resemble a predator.
His messy brown hair made him look quite a lot like a lion as well.
Bruno let out a maddened laughter, and extended his arms to his side.
His muscles expanded greatly, and threatened to tear themselves out of his clothing.
He couldn’t see his enemy due to the walls in the arena, but Bruno could instinctively feel that his enemy was on the ‘same level’ as him.
“The hunt begins!”
The decision was made quite quickly.
Bruno’s first course of action would be to charge at the enemy!
No need for complicated strategies.
No beast could stand up to the power of a lion.
Although Bruno was no match for the man, he had to fight the man before anyone else.
It was impossible for him to share his prey with others.
That was because his power was focused around monopoly.
[Victors eat all = Sweet Tooth]
– By eating the defeated, it is possible to take in everything they possess as yours.
– [Lv.1] Attains the health and strength of others.
– [Lv.2] Attains the knowledge and mana of others.
– [Lv.3] Attains the skill and abilities of others.
With this skill, it would take no time at all for Bruno to stand at the top of the food chain.
The Man-eating Lion charged with full speed towards his prey.