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Sometimes I wonder where it went all wrong. If given the chance to relapse back in time, then could my actions and behavior turn out for the best?
Was it really all there is to that life? It felt like such a waste. To give it a description, it would be the kind of life where the one that’s living it was never born in the first place.
In other words, it’s partially the same as the equivalent of a non-productive achievement, a foolish endeavor. But, just in case, was I wrong?
Who, what and when? Those are the answers I seek. Accepting the response to those questions as “myself”, don’t seem to quite fit anymore.
It simply can’t be. On this next life that I embark, those answers will reveal themselves before me.


“Rei.”


Mhh… It seems that my consciousness is about to embrace a whole new world. The time has come at last.


“Rei! Wake up, will you? If you don’t, you will be late for school!”


As my eyes open, the sense of a familiar yet dreadful atmosphere comes to me. Unfortunately, by no means does this reality that my gaze itself indulges in look like a new world. As a matter of fact, it’s my room. My mother is screaming as usual because my presence is required in school.


“You useless child! Finally awake, are you!? Get going to school already!”


“Mother, what time is it-“


What is this? Were there always words above my mother’s head? Strangely enough, the following words “Kige Masuma” were on top of my mother’s head… Why can I see such words?


“It’s eight o’clock! Be quick, Rei! Or else you really will get them!”


By ‘get them’, my mother meant ‘getting slapped’ or something like that. It’s normal for her and for me in this case, supposedly. Still, what is going on? Why am I still in this world? Last night, my existence ended, didn’t it? So why… Also, where is Galatea? She would know what’s currently going on…


“Ah! I’m going to be late! I’m so sorry dear mother, I will hurry up!” I apologetically replied to my angry mother as I left my current bed


“Good grief… It’s one thing to be entirely useless, but lazy and counter-productive too? I seriously don’t remember raising you to be like this.” Says my mother as she descends down to the stairs


Once you get treated and raised in this type of environment, there really isn’t much choice, to begin with.
From the very start, to develop a wish to leave this environment has been always my ambiguous ambition still that was proven to be useless. My death must have never happened. I was right all along, it was a dream.
Those events did not happen; the logical explanation is that my mind was playing a trick on me, in other words, by fabricating a genuine dream.


“You’re right mother. I really am terribly sorry.” I congenially say to my mother which already has descended the stairs and has joined the living room


Still, school again huh? I sincerely thought that was going to be over for good. Returning to such a place is really not the most ideal type of scenario to be in. No, returning to school is out of the question. I can’t really imagine myself being able to sustain more of Shiara-san’s bullying. I’m through with that.


“Rei! Do I have to go up there and knock some sense into you or what!? Go to school immediately!” Angrily implies my mother to me from the living room

 
“Y-Yes!”


Apparently, my silence was way too long, even for my mother. My father is off to work since he works early in the morning, so it’s just me and my mother right now. All that was left for me to do was to pretend to go to school. Of course, in order to do that, I had to dress up, brush up my teeth and such. It would be convenient to ask my mother for some money. As my last action towards my mother, asking for money really is wise.


“Mother, could I have some money to buy some material in school, please?” I ironically yet seriously ask my mother


“Alright, how much do you need?”


“750 yen, if possible…”


“Goodness, that’s just too much. Here are 500. Now, leave.”


“Thank you very much, mother.”


Although it wasn’t the amount of money originally desired, it was an acceptable one. After all, my intentions were not to truly buy any material from school, but to simply gather it to buy any sort of low priced food from food shops.
With that said, I leave my house. However, instead of taking the normal route to school, my direction was to go towards a place that would truly benefit my best interests right now.
The Sekryu Mountain. It has quite a calm yet condensing atmosphere to it. Furthermore, it’s not a place where lots of people gather, in fact, none really comes to it. From time to time, it was my one and only place.
The place where I could find peace in my mind. It’s a far better choice honestly. Instead of going to school, I chose to go there. Perhaps there is something wrong with me.
Even though it’s my first time ever skipping school, my inner thought keeps telling me that this is fine. That there is no need to attend school in the first place because all that could ever be found there is nothing but lament and suffering.


Lament for my weak useless self. Suffering from my enemies that could crush me as easily as a human crushes an ant when it sees it. There really is no point anymore. Now that I think about it, that dream was the best. Not the part where I died, of course. But the part where my inner self could feel an intense relief. It was probably just the simple fact that I could feel freedom, even though little.
Adventuring a new world, acquiring relentless new knowledge and what not. Those strange uncut desires were my drive, oddly enough.
“It’s pretty sad… that dream was the… damn best.” I mutter to myself while walking in the street.
No use crying over spilled milk, that’s for sure. For now, conduction towards the mountain should be the correct choice.


Sekryu Mountain, 9 am.


“Tokyo is so beautiful from up here!!” I exclaimed


Sekryu Mountain. An old but a very prestigious place where one could gaze the entire Tokyo City from here. If I had to say, it’s for sure one of this world’s beautiful and genuine things.
Just being here makes me feel so happy and alive. It’s awkward and embarrassing to even think about it nonetheless, those are just my true honest feelings about Sekryu mountain. To enter the Sekryu mountain, you have to commit yourself to follow a very long, but very long staircase. It’s old for sure. However, I find it fun, to climb it all the time.
Perhaps it’s due to my lack of actual goal accomplishments throughout my entire life that makes me feel this conscious and productive towards it. Normally, being happy about this could signify one’s lack of self-confidence. That’s probably just true.
Plus, that’s fine. It’s better if it’s a sad story where I feel happy about it rather than being a happy story where I feel sad about it. The abnormally large yet majestic trees that live within this place are a once in a lifetime blessing. Its lengthy feels as if it can climb up to the heavens itself.
Man, that’s just so… Incredibly rare.
What’s more, to it is that there is a temple nearby. If by any odd chance anyone thought that this view could not get any better, there is a temple. How compelling is that! Though the temple itself is pretty simple, it’s without a doubt a rare piece of atmosphere. Regardless, just being here is…


“Amazing… I could be here forever and ever and I wouldn’t mind a single second about it.” I gratefully say to myself


“Are you sure? Wouldn’t it be incredibly boring to stay here forever?”


Amidst the calamity that consumed this everlasting atmosphere, such a voice crumbled in this precious atmosphere of mine. The voice came from a man who looked like he was in his young thirties. With black hair and a strange outfit, the stranger gazes upon me with an unwavering vision.


“S-Sorry, I didn’t notice that there was somebody here… haha…” I say


It really is the truth. I’m usually quite vigorous when it comes to investigating my surroundings. Even a loner like me possesses such ability. Even then, it really didn’t occur to me that there was someone here, how awkward…


“It’s not like you could have noticed my presence either way. If by some chance you think that you were careless while analyzing this place, then you are wrong. I was simply camouflaged.” The mysterious man pretentiously says


Camouflaged? What does he mean?


“Um, what do you mean by camouflaged?” I ask him


“Ah, that wasn’t probably the best thing that I could have said to a person who has no knowledge as to what I’m referring. Well, let’s talk a bit first, shall we?” He says


This isn’t good. There is no reason as to why a total stranger should invite me out to have a talk. I need to leave this place for now, since it’s not safe to be here apparently. Usually, thieves or people with malicious intents tend to start off their talks with this type of openings. It’s that obvious.


“I’m sorry. I need to go.”


“Wait. Don’t you have questions?” The mysterious man mysteriously asks


Questions? Maybe about your behavior if that’s the case, but aside that… Well, to ask such questions like “Why can I see your name above your head?” or “Have you seen Galatea?” to a normal person would probably be laughable, not to mention very unbelievable.


“I really don’t. Sorry to disturb you.”


It’s a shame that I have to say goodbye to Sekryu Mountain this early. My plan was to stay here all day long relaxing my mind. Such interference is truly unlucky. But, my escape is completely necessary right now.


“You don’t? That’s weird. I thought you of all people would have questions about the changes that happened in your world. Like for example, do you see a name above my head?” The man asks away


C-Could it be? So I wasn’t hallucinating after all! Maybe this mysterious man has the answer to the questions that I have been searching for since this morning.


“You can see them too?” I eagerly ask him


“Anyone can see them. Well, not just anyone, but people like you and me can, that’s for sure.”


“Um, if it isn’t too much to ask for… could I ask you some questions?”


“Haha, you’re a funny kid. Didn’t I ask you just a while ago if you had questions?”


Ah. He’s right. Maybe it just shocked me way too much that someone else could see the names above someone else’s head too. So he isn’t someone with malicious intent huh… I better ask away just for sure.


“S-Sorry, but who are you?” I ask the strange man staring down in front of me


The mysterious man suddenly elevates his hand towards his chin as if to pose a thinking stance, since it would seem that to be the case.


“Hm… That’s a surprisingly difficult question. My name is Tiddal. Does that suffice?”


“I see. Then, what are you doing here, all by yourself? It’s strange because nobody comes here in the first place…”


“I was sleeping, but I heard someone closing in, so I was forced to check. Also, what’s your name?” The man named Tiddal asks me


“Are you not a thief..?”


“Huh!? Why the hell would I be a thief? I’m a very high and mighty powerful man, you know!” Tiddal proclaims


“Really though? You were acting like a true thief just now. The fact that you were waiting around the bush for a victim to enter your territory is truly the behavior of a thief. Not to mention the sweet talk. They always start with that sweet talk.”


“Speaking from experience eh? It’s alright, I’m not a thief, besides, if I truly was one, I would already have stolen all your goods, or just knock you out unconscious, so your analysis is a bit flawed in a sense.”


That felt like a double punch for some reason.


“…You’ve got a point. Sorry for my rudeness, Sir Tiddal. My name is Kige Rei. If it isn’t too much to ask for, let’s have a talk. I know this really good place where we can talk.”


“Ohoh? Now that’s intriguing. I’m always up for a good place with good chicks!” Tiddal carelessly declares


“It has no chicks.” I respond


“Count me out.”


Is this guy serious or just messing with me? Either way, we both go towards the temple and eventually there, both I and this man Tiddal reach an old rocky table, in which we could have a conversation for the best of our interests.


Sekryu Temple, 9:30 am.


“This is the place? I’m disappointed, but then again, it has a calm mood into it, so it’s not that bad” Tiddal complains


“Haha… Not many people seem to enjoy this place as much as I do it seems.”


“Really? This place, as I was saying isn’t bad, so that’s a given. If you like a place, then you should make it yours and yours alone. That way, nobody can enter it or interfere with your place.”


Tiddal is right. However, to accomplish that feat, it would require me to possess a power so great where I could face endless challenges to protect one single place, and that’s of course, impossible.


“That’s impossible… No matter how much I like something, it’s bound to rot, regardless…” I say depressingly.


“Isn’t that just because you let it rot?”


“True enough, I suppose. But, I have no choice but to let it rot.”


With understanding eyes, Tiddal gazes at me for a while, and then as if to make a decisive decision, he closes his eyes and reopens them in a very quick manner.


“So, what are your questions?”


That itself is a good question. I’m glad that he gave me his permission to talk about my interests, but still, I wouldn’t mind if we had continued that talk, it seemed as if he had an answer that deep down, I could be searching for.


“First, why can I see a name above your head? Or just in anyone in general. It’s weird because ever since I was born I could never see the things I see now.”


“Before answering that. Can you make a solemn promise right now that whatever I talk to you here will not be said in front of other people, no matter who they are?” Tiddal seriously asks


There isn’t exactly any choice as to why I should decline this, so there isn’t any problem with it.


“I hereby solemnly vow to never speak of this conversation to any other person,” I vow


“That’s good. It’s nothing serious, really. However, perhaps soon you’ll understand the deepness of the consequences that lie within this information that I’m about to give you. Needless to say is, you are free to choose whether or not to believe what I’m about to say.”


That’s a lot of formality right there. It’s certainly unexpected from a man who looks like a homeless hobo to commit this further into a conversation. It’s like we are trading high-level secrets or something. I’m not going to lie, but my Goosebumps are raising their selves quite high right now.


“Don’t worry about the formality, Sir Tiddal!” I sincerely encourage him to freely speak his mind


“Is that so? Well then. You died. You are aware of that, right? Or did you think that you were just casually living in this world just because?”


Those words hit me quite hard. After all, I believed that it was a melancholically coincidence that the events that sleep in my current memories were nothing more than partial moments, in other words, dreams. In this case, a dream.


“So it wasn’t a dream? I thought it was too cruel to be true…”


“Good. You’re aware of your state then. That allows me to take a step forward in this. When you died, you were offered a contract, am I correct?” Tiddal asks me


Now that he mentions it, if it wasn’t a dream, then that means that Galatea is most likely real. Furthermore, the contract part is also a reality. Galatea did say she signed it up for me.


“That’s right. A person named Galatea offered it to me if I correctly recall.”


“If that’s the case, then do you remember something else after that?”


After that moment with Galatea, all that I remember is my consciousness fading away and waking up in my bed. Sadly enough, recalling further moments is most likely out of the question.


“I’m afraid not… Sorry.”


“It’s normal, really. Every time that a target goes through a contract they are immediately put under an unconscious state, for certain reasons.”


Um, what does Sir Tiddal mean by ‘target’? However, it seems that worrying won’t really get me anywhere, because Sir Tiddal is thoroughly answering questions that I’ve not even asked thus meaning that his knowledge is far superior to mine, but that’s just normal, I’m a failure in general.


“Continuing on. My next explanation will require some practice for it to be credible. Before that, I want to point out something first. This is what happens after you die. But make no mistake; things are different, a lot different in fact. Although, that’s just something you will discover yourself. Now…”


Sir Tiddal in a very brief moment grabs a small piece of a rock that was in his left and carefully examines it. However, in doing so, his eye color suddenly turns red.


“You must be curious as to why my eye just turned red just now. Try watching this small rock with your eyes. What do you see?”


What about this small rock? There is nothing to it, except…


“Atomic… rock?”


“Correct. Now, try to gaze at this atomic rock, but with a strong gaze. Apply force in your sight, if necessary.” Tidal continues


Huh? Will that even make a difference in the first place? Still, all that Sir Tiddal has said thus far has been the truth, or that’s what I believe in anyway. What a mysterious person this man named Tiddal is…


“Alright then…”


Forcing my gaze into the Atomic rock, I focus all the possible attention that I could ever give to something on that rock. It’s easy as expected, but truly hard once you are required to engage all your attention on to it…


“!?”


“Did you notice it?” Tiddal expectedly asks me


Currently, what I was witnessing could be labeled as something that goes beyond a coincidence. Something that was bound to happen once the conditions that were required for such an event to trigger itself. Right in front of my eyes, a huge screen appeared with the following words: “Read the target information?” Also, at the bottom, it contained the options of “Yes” and “No”.


“Click the option that says yes.” Tiddal goes on


There is a problem here. How exactly do I…


“Ugh, this is why I hate to teach... Listen, I know that this might sound strange, but move your index finger towards the option that says yes. You’ll get the gist of it.” Continues Tiddal


But is this screen even real? Won’t I simply be touching plain air? I suppose it’s meaningless to wonder more. Sir Tiddal is without a doubt, probably right. With that said, towards the option yes, my index finger clicks it. The feeling that I had was like touching something that would immediately give a reaction which was easy to feel yet hard to understand. A true stimulation, if said so myself.


“What is this…?” I murmur towards Tiddal


“Tell me, what exactly do you see? Believe it or not, only you can see your own actions, and not others, normally.”


Now that’s surprising. In any instance, since Sir Tiddal was giving me instructions, I thought that he could see what my actions were, but he can’t huh… Then… What if I gaze at him to try and scout him as well? Let’s give it a try then...!


“Oi, don’t do that.” Tiddal interjects me


“Haha, sorry, sorry. I just thought that I could see what I saw in the Atomic Rock in you too.”


For a brief moment, Sir Tiddal just gaze me with the familiar eyes, they would look like a thief or a murderer’s eyes… No, it was certainly, without any shred of doubt, the eye of a fearless person.


“I will tell you this again. Only you can see your own actions. So tell me, what do you see?” Tiddal insists


“Let’s see… It says the following:
[Atomic Rock:]
Level 1
Attack: 10
Defense: 40
That’s all…”


Level 1, Attack 10 and Defense 40. There is no need to even question it, this clearly is without a doubt a game, but is it really?


“I see. We really have different visions, no matter the case. Well, this permits me to advance further in my explanation. As you can see, if you focus your eyesight towards any sort of solid form, you can acquire a certain type of information about your labeled target.
Everything has a level; furthermore, there is a status to them. I will say this though. Only people who are contracted are allowed to have this type of vision. This by no means makes you special; it just makes you one of many.
Once you became contracted with your contractor, you stopped being human. What this means is, you are no longer able to survive without adapting towards the new world, but that’s something for further discussion.
Anyway, to answer your question, I had to point all this out to get to the point, that being… Once you are contracted you enter the “Leveling System” and so, you became a part of it, thus gaining a cardinal name.
I can see your cardinal name above your head, just like you can see mine and everybody else in this world too. However, gaining the ability to read cardinal names can only be obtained through a literal contract, since it’s one of the beneficial conditions of it. In short words, you are able to see the cardinal name on people now because, well, you are different from them. Also, you can only read the names of people who are inside this dimension because it's not conquered. If it's the other way around, you won't be able to.” Explicitly says Tiddal to me


Two things came to my mind after that long explicit explanation.
The first was a rather forgotten fact that I used to know about questions. No matter how you potentially strive to seek an answer, you will always get two or more questions next. It’s a fair trade because regardless of the questions that would amount next, an answer is sure to be acquired, however, it’s a given that more answers would be desired afterward due to the pile of questions one gets after such feat.
The second lastly being that, this man, right here and now, knows more than anyone else in my life ever did, thus making him someone praise-worthy. No, in fact, I’m sure that if this knowledge is considered a laughing stock, then whoever declared that, is, by all means, a fool.
Putting aside this mountain of information that was delivered to me just about this moment, I have no idea where to start. Should I start where? Which question? What answer is to be expected. I do not know. Still, this, I know sure. I want to know.


“Take your time, Rei. I’m sure that you can’t exactly come to understand the things I just spoke. It’s not your fault, it’s mine. I am bad at explaining and such.” Says Tiddal in a more condensed tone to me


“Ah… It’s not that it’s just… You’re amazing, Sir Tiddal. Never ever did I meet a person that actually was so knowledgeable and wise. You are truly, a remarkable existence.”


“You exaggerate. But well, truth to be said. I am indeed remarkable, and for that, you are right.” Tiddal proudly admits


It seems that his ego has taken another step towards the ladder of selfness. That’s fine though. I don’t detest people like him, who are proud of themselves. The essence of pride in any individual isn’t a bad thing. Of course, it can obviously lead to arrogance although, from what I can see from Sir Tiddal, it’s as if he is perfectly aware of that and so he opts to not be arrogant. Unlike many people that are prideful, they turn arrogant right away.


“But… Can you afford to tell me such things?” Sincerely curious, I leave that question to Tiddal


Taking into consideration what Sir Tiddal just told me, it’s either very high-value information or perhaps just plain simple knowledge. It’s one of those two options for sure.


“I can. Just think about it for a bit. One of the first things in this conversation was me making you solemnly vow to never speak about this to anyone else. Plus, this is basic knowledge to me, so there really isn’t any problem.” Confirms Tiddal calmly


“Is that so… Thank you very much, Sir Tiddal!!” I humbly thank Tiddal


“Don’t sweat it. I’m going to be here for a while, so if you ever need my advice, just come to this exact place. However, be aware that I will only be here for just no longer than 2 weeks.”


“Sir Tiddal, where are you going after two weeks?” I genuinely deliver this question to Tiddal


“To my home, where else? I’m here on vacation, just for a little while, after all.”


I see. This knowledgeable figure of information that stands before me is only here for two weeks. Although, this has been on my mind for a while now, but just what if…


“Are you like me?” I ask Tiddal


“If I’m like you? That’s wrong. I am better than you will ever be. Stronger than you will ever be. Above you in all circumstances. So I can’t be like you. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be like me. Just remember, that I will never be like you.
Although, I know what you are trying to say. If what you are trying to imply is: ‘Are you also dead and so are you unable to be human once again?’, then the answer would be, no. I have gone beyond that, but don’t try to understand the words I just said now.
They will only create more and more confusion. After all, words only have their own meaning regarding each situation. This is not that situation.”


It’s weird. It feels as if I just received such a harsh yet wise criticism from Sir Tiddal, but in a way, all that is to be seen is true words of encouragements, in which my understanding cannot come into play. One day, maybe, just one day, those words will come back at me, in a good way. Or, if I’m truly unlucky, then it’s the reverse.


“Thank you very much for the wisdom, Sir Tiddal! But…It’s impossible for me to ever be like you, someone who has confidence… haha…”


“I’ve noticed from our talks so far, but you don’t seem to be very confident? Why is that?” Tiddal curiously asks me that question in regard to my lack of confidence


In all likelihood, confidence is a relative term, but not in my case. Ever since I’ve been little, all people that surrounded me always took advantage of me, regardless of me not wanting that to happen. I think that’s natural though. If a person is weak and the other is strong, then the outcome should be crystal clear. There isn’t much to go over.


“…Why you ask? I think it’s always been like this for me.”


“I won’t disagree on that if that’s what you say. However, there is always a trigger in these types of circumstances. What was your trigger that let to this?”


That’s too embarrassing to tell. I’m well aware of my own weaknesses, but telling them to other people is just… lame.


“Do I have to tell?”


“No, not really, I was just slightly curious, that’s all. More importantly, there is something that I need to confirm. About the contract… You did read it, correct?”


Crap. The contract itself was a pure essay, and I personally hate reading something that is boring and long, so maybe, but just maybe, reading it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.


“…Should I have read it?”


“You damn fool. Oh no, this is bad but really bad. Listen, if in the future you ever sign another contract, do remind yourself to read it. There are quite a lot of unpleasant consequences if you don’t read it, just so you know.”


“You said some unpleasant consequences, could you tell me about that?”


“Hell if I know. Every contract has its terms and regulations. For example, at this exact moment, in this exact time, in some distant place, a person is getting contracted. However, is that person’s contract equal to mine? Hell no. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to every detail that is written in that exact contract. Well, I can’t condemn you for that; it’s a beginner’s mistake.”


“I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while, but… Aside from my name getting into that ‘Leveling system’, what exactly happens? All that’s happened so far is me being able to see the cardinal name above on a person’s head. Of course, I’m aware of that Level and Status thing, but what exactly does that matter here?”


“It doesn’t matter here for the most part. Remember when I told you that you had died? When you died, you became one of the members of the Leveling System. That much you already know based on my previous explanations. There is more to that though. Don’t you think it’s strange that even after you died, that your body and consciousness still remains intact, right here on this exact world?”


“Now that Sir Tiddal mentions it, it’s indeed strange. I thought that I simply didn’t die in the first place, so I didn’t bother pondering, but why is that I’m still in this world?”


“There is a single reason for that. When people die, in their respective worlds, they are bound to conquer their worlds. Or as I and many other people like to call them… “dimensions”.


“…Dimensions?”


As usual, in Sir Tiddal’s presence, I’m not able to truly emphasize on his explanations and I have to rely on his supposed faithful explanations.


“Haven’t you ever wondered about this: Are there more worlds out there? Of course, there is the Solar System and the other galaxies, etc. However, there is so much more. So, but so much, that your mind would be ecstatic over how your current knowledge is just a tiny small portion compared to the actual knowledge that there is out there. I suppose, filling words along with expectations won’t lead my explanation further itself, so let me continue. Dimensions are just like other worlds. They are shaped in various and alternative forms, with different environments, not to mention that each dimension is easily accessible through the Leveling System. Although, this explanation isn’t any fun if it’s just spoken out like this. Let me pose this question. Does this world compel you?"


Let’s see… From what I could grasp from Sir Tiddal’s explanation, there are more worlds out there that are supposedly called dimensions, uh? That’s nothing out of the ordinary since that’s just the way the Universe was shaped and constructed. But his question is tricky. Though, it’s easy to answer.


“…Hm, this world is… well… Perhaps, it could be better, I guess?”


Blaming this current world for what it is won’t do anything grand on its own. It’s a fact that it could be better, but then again, I’m not really interested in that. I think it comes down to every other person in this world in this very straight form. We are all going to die at a point, so what’s the point in waiting for a change for the better to happen? Is it really worth it? No, not really. We will all be dead in the future. Witnessing such change is not possible no matter how valiant the effort one upholds. On the other hand, that’s simple negative thinking. It can’t be said for the other side of the coin flip, which is to say, the obvious blind optimism. So, I’m somewhat skeptical about this world. It has never done anything good to me, but have I ever done anything good towards it? I haven’t.


“I’m not going to lie, this world is beautiful and all, but it will soon rot away. I may not know what this world is capable off, but from just observing the behavior of people over the last few days, it’s safe to say that this dimension won’t last much longer. Of course, I’m being extremely hypothetical, I’m no scientist, but I am not blind enough to overlook the truth.”


“Even then, there is nothing to do but to accept our current lives. We must live, work, receive, waste, sleep, and repeat. Again and again. Pathetic isn’t it?”


“Is that so? If that’s the case, then want to take a quick tour? To see a better world than this?”


A better world than this? I get that Sir Tiddal told me about these ‘dimensions’, but if they truly are like other worlds then it’s impossible to access them. In an instance, to travel to Mart you would need several expensive, not to mention, secret military equipment to do such a trip. So I really don’t see how exactly it’s possible. Whatever, if what Sir Tiddal has told me so far is true, then that means this is also true.


“…Is that truly possible to see a better world than this? That sounds impossible and unrealistic, Sir Tiddal.”


“Man, you keep calling me ‘Sir Tiddal’. Drop the ‘Sir’ part, just call me Tiddal. But don’t worry. You’ll see what I mean soon enough. Wait a minute, please.”


“Uhh… Okay, Tiddal-san.”


At that exact moment, the black-haired man Tiddal, made a weird movement. Utilizing his right hand and sliding it down, he opened some sort of screen. A screen similar to that when I examined the Atomic Rock. Just…what is there? I want to know, however… There was nothing that I could see because his screen was filled with words that didn’t resemble any language that I knew. Different language symbols were all I could gaze upon. Eventually, after what it would appear to be a few clicks on his screen, a screen popped up on my front, surprisingly.


“Um, Tiddal-san. What is this?”


In front of me, the screen had the following words: [Tiddal wants to be your friend. Do you accept it?] Needless to say is, the words ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ were also included.


“Duh, it’s a friend request. I thought this world had social networks with at least a system similar to the Leveling System… Or are you just that friendless? That’s to be expected, I suppose. Anyhow, accept it.”


That was one savage remark. Either way, I pressed the ‘Yes’ option as ordered. That was when at the bottom of my view; it appeared what it would appear to be an option with a (1) in it. It was similar to real life notifications in any network. Although, it was on a different screen from the one with the friend request, since that one vanished as soon as the option ‘Yes’ was clicked by my right-hand index finger.


“I accepted it, now what do I do?”


“First, click that mini thing that has (1) in it. I should warn you though. You may not like what you’re about to see. Do you still want to go?”


“I will go. I’m skipping school, just so you know. So I’ve got nothing to lose on a day that I’m supposed to do nothing but wait for a certain time to come.”


Having said that, the first thing to do was to what Tiddal-san said. Nevertheless, what appeared before me was yet another surprising message. [Tiddal wants you to participate in a “Dimensional Expedition”. Do you wish to join?]


“Skipping school? I can’t say I was the opposite when I was your age. By the way, accept it.”


“A-Aye!”


I didn’t know what was about to happen. One surprise after another, it’s like unraveling a treasure chest full of mysteries and gifts. Containing my excitement was perhaps one of the hardest tasks to ever do. Still, what Tiddal-san meant by ‘dimensions’? Well, coincidentally enough, Tiddal-san has started to access that weird menu looking thing again. I wonder what it is…


“Tiddal-san, what is-“


“Don’t bother asking it. You can only achieve this through a lot of work. I will tell you the name though. This is called ‘Atlas’. Either way, get on.”


“On? What do you mean, Tiddal-san?”


“Ah, that’s true… Only those types of people can see it… Well, just follow me, will you?”


Types of people? Just what exactly… There’s no actual need to try and understand this honestly. Because no matter how hard I supposedly attempt to achieve an answer it will never come up. Why? That’s because I lack the knowledge to know what exactly Tiddal-san is talking about. Lacking knowledge will never allow one to formulate a truly accurate answer regarding each aspect, I suppose.


“Very well then…”


“Dimensional Gate, activate!!” Loudly shouts Tiddal and echoes towards nothing.


Did that shout do something?


“Ummm… Tidd- Wahh!! Tiddal-san?! Where did you go!?”


Apparently, Tiddal-san immediately disappeared out of nowhere, mysteriously. Seriously, where did you go, Tiddal-san!


“Just hop in, you idiot. Here, grab my hand.”


Suddenly, a hand pops out of nothingness, which is probably his hand. In any case, I grabbed it and this is…


Via Temporis


“Yo, you there?”


“Where… am I?”


Knowing that I was most likely going to a new, never ever before seen with my eyes type of place, my expectations never expected this. However, no matter how hard my imagination tries, describing it is beyond my reach…


“Welcome to the Dimensional Hall or otherwise known as ‘Via Temporis’.”


“T-This is!! So bea-“


Just as I was about to finish that sentence, I start to notice my surroundings. It appears that my current self is placed in a time and zone where all sorts of things could be viewed. Unfortunately, I seriously had no idea at what I was gazing at. Plus, there was a bigger problem. No, as a matter of fact, there were two. Let’s start with the first one. As my eyes reflect on reality, there is Tiddal-san and a gigantic creature that we are both on top of. It’s roughly 60-70 meters length from the look of it. It is without a doubt a dragon. Now, for the second problem… We are getting chased… By what it appears to be a black shadow!!


“Tiddal-san!! What is that!? Behind us!! And what is this creature!? I’m scared! I want to go back, go back!!”


“Calm down. Kaliya, march towards Aquaris!”


“Rharrr!!” Such roar came from the outstanding dragon that we were on top of.


“Um, Tiddal-san… Why are we getting chased down by this shadow so fast!?”


It was no joking matter, for some reason, I, along with Tiddal-san, was in a place where multiple planet like forms could be gazed at. Something that could transcend the current universe. It was everywhere, from all directions, multiple and possibly infinite realities could be watched from afar.


“Impermanence, activate.” Says Tiddal while looking at me with green eyes.


Eh? What just happened? My body suddenly is paralyzed. I can’t move a single muscle. What’s happening right now? And woah!! Isn’t this dragon moving a bit way too fast, his speed isn’t normal!! Although, it’s not like I’ve ever seen a dragon in reality, so…


“Now that that’s done, let me fill you in. Inside the Via Temporis, is where all types of dimensions can be explored. This is one of the great parts of the Leveling System. As long as you thoroughly level up, you are able to gaze at beauties like this. For example, you can see billions of dimensions everywhere. Now, normally, none would be able to access the Via Temporis for several reasons. One to start is, there is a constant nuking eliminating shadow named “Umbra Perpetua”, which is similar to a black hole you see.”


“B-B-B-B-Black hole!? Are you serious, Tiddal-san!?”


“Yeah, but don’t worry. Kaliya here is at least 5 times faster than the shadow that’s chasing us. Besides, he is my dragon, so there is that. Anyhow, we should be arriving pretty soon. Also, I released an imprisoning skill on you, just so you don’t fall. Because, once you are on top of Kaliya, the chances of you falling are quite high. If you’re wondering as to why my eyes turned green, it’s because of that skill. Remember when you analyzed the Atomic Rock?”


My eyes must have turned red that time since Tiddal-san’s eyes also did turn red if I recall correctly.


“My eyes turned red, right?”


“Spot on. Every time that a skill is used that belongs to the ‘Atlas Network’, depending on what type of skill and what part it belongs to in the Atlas Network, your body will overall have changes. Especially the eyes. Well, what I’m spouting to you must be pure nonsense, so if you don’t understand then don’t bother with it, really.”


How correct he is. It doesn’t matter what type of cool information he has in store for me, it won’t change the fact that it’s beyond my reach. It’s like when someone speaks a foreign language and you haven’t learned that language. Although it’s not exactly the same case, it has its own similarities. I’ve got to say though, this dragon… His name was Kaliya, right? He has what it seem to be four horns. One on the right side of the head, the other on the left side. The other two are located in the middle of those two horns. Precisely just above Kaliya’s gigantic eyes, which I could not see because they are out of my field of vision. In a way, it’s like a control engine, almost equivalent to that of a motorcycle. Kaliya has very thick skin though, along with its green colored skin. Dark green to be precise, but it has a remarkable white portion, mainly on its belly and tail. Furthermore, it’s large, like way too large, truly. In the end, my one doubt would be…


“Tiddal-san, we all have a level, right?”


“That’s correct. Every target, once contracted is submitted to the Leveling System. To level up is to survive, in any dimension.”


“If that’s the case, then how does a target level up?”


Of all questions to ask, this should have been without the shadow of the doubt the first one to ask. From the moment I knew the Atomic Rock’s level, this was a natural curiosity that would obviously emerge within my consciousness yet I held back just for this moment. The moment where more information would be distributed. Nevertheless, I could have asked this way earlier but felt that need unnecessary. That was stupid alright. But, being stupid is one of my personal traits.


“Say, how does a person get stronger?” Asks Tiddal while looking me in the eyes as we continue to travel among the Via Temporis while witnessing multiple dimensions with different shapes and forms


“How…? I don’t know…”


If I knew the answer to this question, I wouldn’t suffer daily bullying and would have, for sure, not killed myself.


“I suppose a weak person has a weak mentality, so it can’t be helped. Listen well, because I will never repeat this again. To be strong, it means to absolutely conquer all the factors that are required to become a strong individual. Being stronger is never enough to become strong. That’s why it’s important to be weak. Without being weak you can never become stronger. For instance, to become good at any academic subject, all that you have to do is to gather knowledge about that subject and utilize it to your best. Of course, if you don’t utilize this knowledge in a way that will aid your strength growth process then it’s meaningless. What I’m trying to say is… to become strong it means to feed on something that will allow you to get stronger. It leads to a scenario where utilizing the weak is without a doubt a method to constantly accelerate your growth overall. That’s why we are about to go over the Aquaris dimension.”


Tiddal-san’s words this time ringed a little bit more than his usual unknown knowledge about this Leveling System honestly. Basically, to become stronger it means to feed on something that will allow you to become stronger? I wonder just how versatile that truly is…


“We are here. Kaliya, stop.” Tiddal continues


As Tiddal-san demands that Kaliya stops his flight, we are essentially in front of a huge gate portal. One so big it probably has unknown measures. I assume that because, even if I look up or from the sideways, it’s gigantic to the point where all I can see is a light horizon and nothing more. Aside from that, even though my body is still paralyzed, I can see what it would seem to be a mirage of the ‘dimension’ that is known as ‘Aquaris’. Although… It’s only water… Like, literally. It’s as if I’m staring at a large, colossal, deep ocean. In all means, Tiddal seems to be accessing his ‘Atlas’ for some reason.

 

“Woah, it’s so… vast! Just from seeing from afar, I can already tell it’s beautiful. And… Tiddal-san, can’t you release that imprisoning skill from me now? Since Kaliya isn’t moving, its fine isn’t it?”


“Wait, I’m still accessing this dimension. Just wait a little.”


Eh… So you need to access dimensions huh? I guess it goes without saying that nothing is free, especially an entrance to something, in this case, a dimension.


“Tiddal-san, sorry to be a bother, but I’m just curious… What happens if you fall from here?”


“It goes without saying that the one that falls from here is, not only caught up by the Living Shadow that consumes this place also known as ‘Umbra Perpetua’, but as a bonus, you are thrown right into the negative level dimensions.”


“Negative level dimensions? What’s that? Does that mean anything out of the ordinary, Tiddal-san?”


“Obviously. But then again, it's taboo to speak about the negative level dimensions. Thankfully, there are no people here except you and me, so we are in a safe spot right now.”


That’s a taboo? I wonder why.


“Alright, that took longer than expected. Impermanence, off. Supernatet, activate!!” Says Tiddal-san while looking at me with silver eyes, this time around


It must be another skill of his. Though, whatever could it be this time…


“What did you use on me this time, Tiddal-san? I hope it’s not an imprisoning skill…” I worryingly reply


“Relax; it’s something a bit more fun. Try to move around for a bit.”


“Well, ok- W-W-Woah!! P-Put me down, Tiddal-san!!”


“Don’t panic! Just focus on getting to where I am!”


Something unexpected once again occurred. Even though it wasn’t a skill that could be considered a problematic one, this one had its own share of problems too. However, they were more, well, turbulent… Besides, this skill was, undoubtedly, something that could make the target of it, fly. Even after Tiddal-san’s words, this skill is… out of my control!!


“I can’t!! Save me, Tiddal-san!”


“Hell no. Just do what I told you. Look in my direction and focus on getting here.”


To get to where Tiddal-san currently is, what I need to do is to have the ability to control this skill, but… I have no idea how to use it. This is bad, at this rate, I might fly over… What the hell is it that I need to do…


“Sigh… Look here, to what I’m about to do. Supernatet, activate.”


Tiddal-san must have activated Supernatet on himself since he is flying now over in my direction.


“W-Woah, you can really fly with this skill!!”


“Yeah, but that’s normal, that IS what the skill does after all” Sarcastically finishes Tiddal


His sarcasm hurts, to the point where I can’t even distinguish whether he is being sarcastic or not. That’s quite malicious; then again, someone with power like Tiddal has all the freedom to sarcastically laugh at me.


“Listen quick. Use your feet to impulse yourself towards any direction. For example, watch me. I will fly towards the gate portal."


By steadily applying force with his feet, Tiddal-san gains impulse to the point where he is able to fly towards the Gate Portal. I thought that there was a trick to this, but he made it look so simple. It must be the whole vacuum of impulse that happened during the moment he set his flight off.


“Now, try it. Remember, impulse yourself with your feet and fly towards here. It isn’t hard; this is so basic that even a total beginner like you can do.”


That’s a faithful remark alright. Still, I can’t exactly just beat my fear of simply flying towards the Gate Portal. I mean, the very fact that I am here in this supernatural environment is making me so scared that I just want to shit myself. Can’t this just be over so I can go home…? If that’s the case, then why do I find myself here right now? It was probably that stupid desire of mine… To see an actual better world. I’ve come this far, no backing down. I rather die trying than not try and die at all.


“Tiddal-san. If I die here, will I be able to still visit this world you said you would show me?”


“Well, no. If you do die right here, then no. Because I am the one giving you this chance and this chance could only be given by me. So, yeah. Also, why so suicidal all over the sudden? You should get rid of that sorrowful personality of yours, it’s not hard, you know.”


Hints of sarcasm are just all over the place.


“I guess I worried for nothing. I really… do have to change for the better, uh? Will this be the first step towards that?”


“Not if you let others determine that choice for you.”


“What if I do?”


“Then, what good is it for you to be alive? If you let others make your decisions, it’s as if others are simply living your life. That’s sporadic. Also, hurry up, this Gate Portal won’t stay open forever.”


To let others make decisions for me. It’s ironic because his own words simply described what he just said at its best. However, what do I know? Nothing. If my time of dying has already arrived and I didn’t achieve anything with it, then it means that even suicide can’t solve a person’s problem. I’m so dumb. Of course, it wouldn’t. But without that, I could never have the chance to meet a person that I could truly admire from my perspective. Tiddal-san said that he would never be like me, but that I could be like him. I wonder if that’s possible… Enough self-indulging. I decided to confidentially drift off to where Tiddal-san and met up with him.


“Eh, it wasn’t hard after all...”


“Nothing is hard unless you make it hard. Hop on, we are going in.”


Aquaris Dimension


“I’m gonna ask the impossible, but please don’t freak out…”


Impossible. Impossible. Impossibleeeeeeeeeeeee. Nope, no way in hell. Get me out.


“Tiddal-san!! I want to go home!!”


“You really hysterical huh? No matter. At any rate, you see that big shark that is wildly, savagely, swimming across the water down there?”


Maybe in my deepest of desires, one day, a desire that would resemble that of going to the ocean could take form. But if going to an ocean meant this, then it wouldn’t be a desire. Instead, it would be a tremendous fear. Right now, Tiddal-san is pointing in the direction of a large ocean, where an extremely gigantic Kraken lies within. It’s so gigantic that, if it has over 100 meters then the surprise element would not be out of the box here. That’s not the only thing that’s freaking me out. If it was the Kraken, then maybe I could have contained myself. However, this dimension, for some reason… Is just water. What do you mean it’s just water!? I get that every planet goes through this phase. Actually, no. Just Earth and it was a very long time ago. My point is, if I didn’t have the Supernatet on me right now, then I would be canned food to that Kraken. Oops, that’s not quite right. There is a reason as to why I’m not quite right. It’s because there are goddamn gigantic sea creatures everywhere, scattered all over the ocean. Mister Kraken is easily spotted table due to its over sided lengthy. As a final touch, a literal cherry on top is the fact that they are all different types of creatures. Right down me, there is a 60-meter hammer shark, on my right, there are three 40 meter piranhas. What is this? Is this hell? Save me, Tiddal-san.


“I-I’ll do anything, just get me out please…..!!!”


“No can do. There is a reason as to why I had you came here, after all.”


“Huh? What would that be?!”


“You don’t remember? Oh well, I’ll refresh your memory. You said ‘How do targets level up?’ That’s what I’m about to show you, but first, I should tell you this. We are currently trapped here. Unless you do the following, then we are stuck here forever, realistically.”


Huh? No, that can’t be. Being stuck here, while receiving lecherous gazes from these spawns of Satan. Hell noooooooooooooo…


“By following you mean..?”


“Well, you see. There is no easy way to put this. But, you see that Kraken?”


How could I not!? The only thing that’s between me and that Kraken is the fact that I’m currently flying over 300 meters up in the air due to Tiddal-san’s flying skill; otherwise, death would be certain.


“It’s a little bit impossible not to see it…”


“That’s true. This might sound a bit horrifying, but it’s for the greater good. Unless that Kraken is slain, we cannot leave this dimension.”

“I don’t follow.”


“Huh? You don’t follow? I’ll repeat myself then. Unless the Kraken is slain, we cannot leave this dimension. Got it?”


“No, I don’t got it. Can we return already, please? This is obviously suicidal, really. I’m completely scared over here; you do know that, right, Tiddal-san?”


“Your fears are something that needs to be worked on. Still, that’s a matter for another particular time. Look at the Kraken, just like the way you looked to the Atomic Rock.”


“Are you asking me what I think you’re asking me, Tiddal-san?”


“Exactly. On with it.”


If my memory is correct, all that I had to do was to focus my gaze to a point where a confirmation notification would appear, correct? Let’s give it a try. Also, I decided to give this a special name.

“Penance Gaze, activate.”


“Penance Gaze, eh? So lame, there were better options. For example, how about ‘Devil’s Vision Shackles’?”


So cool. As expected of Tiddal-san. But, that hurt.


“So, what do you see?”


“This is—“


Is this normal or is this just a prank!? I need to first confirm something with him…


“Tiddal-san, what is the maximum level that a target can achieve?”


“On normal circumstances, it’s 99. Why though? Is there something abnormal about the Kraken’s level?”


“…You knew about it?”


“I figured something was up with it. Let me give you an important hint about the Leveling System. Every target that is above the average level does not behave properly. Of course, this doesn’t really apply to, for instance, a human like us. The cycle of life is a mysterious yet simple one. That Kraken you see was without a doubt a Kraken that had consumed countless creatures in its past. However, it died, so this is where it went. About his behavior… I’m no expert on Krakens, but… When one is clearly swimming around and around this fast and impulsively, then its level must be… outrageously high.”


Determining an incredibly frightening target’s level just like that is… Amazing. Well, that’s to be expected, so no real surprise there. The Kraken’s level is 87…!! I don’t know how strong Tiddal-san is or how he plans on defeating it since I’ve never seen a fight or anything. The idea of how something like this can be eliminated is out of my mind… Just what the hell is one supposed to do in this type of scenario? Plus, the Kraken has 123 points of strength and 189 points in defense!! That’s an absurdity compared to the rock. Ah, but you really can’t compare that Atomic Rock to this terrifying Kraken. The Kraken has a name, now that I’ve read it, I wonder if Tiddal-san knows about it.


“That’s impressive and all, but for future references, what is the plan for slaying that Kraken? Is there any sort of mysterious way to do it? A cheat system or something? I’m open for ideas.”


“Cheats can be real you know. Once you acquire a strength factor so stupidly overpowered to your arsenal, it will be viewed as cheating from the perspective of the weak. In any case, it’s about time, I get on with it. Just hold on to this and watch.”


Tiddal san’s wisdom appears to be unrivaled. Furthermore, he handles me from what it looks like to be a small dagger. Why, though?


“About this dagger, what is it for, Tiddal-san?”


“Nothing in particular. Just pay close attention to what I’m about to do. Also, when I do call for you, throw that dagger towards the Kraken, got that?”


Throw towards the Kraken? But it’s so far away, how am I even supposed to…


“How am I supposed to throw the dagger towards the Kraken if it’s this far away?”


“Your questions will have answers soon enough, trust me. Now then, let’s get the party started.”


As Tiddal-san declares that bold statement, he does the same thing as I did not a while ago. Analysis of the Kraken, to be more precise. His eyes went completely red as he mutters:


“Sepia Saeva, huh? Level 87? Those are some nice status too… 263 points in Tenacity. What a fucking monstrosity. It’s no wonder you were so fired up about it, huh?”


Wait, what? Did he just say “Sepia Saeva”? How can that be? When I read it, it only appeared as “Undying Kraken”, so why is the name different… Also, tenacity? Is that an additional status or something? Tiddal-san has a fearless glare though. Whenever he enters on his sudden zone, it’s like he is the only one that exists. It’s a bit scary. That’s not it though. What truly captured my curiosity were his last lines… Who was he referring to? He didn’t look at me, so it’s fair to say that he was perhaps talking to himself or something? So many questions with vague answers…


“Hey! You damned kraken, look at me! That’s right, I’m talking to you, you big colossal fuck. Prepare to have your life be consumed by someone who is so much greater than you that all your past efforts will look so pathetic you’ll want to die! But don’t worry; I’ll do that part myself.”


That was probably, if not the most, open invitation ever. What’s worse is, the Kraken responded, in such a scary way that I was forced to elevate my altitude. If we are 300 meters away from the Kraken, then I need to at least be 300 more. In no way in this dimension is it safe to ever stay too close to the water surface.


“Tiddal-san!! I’m going up; will you be okay on your end?”


“You don’t need to go up, just watch me.”


That’s definitely a no. I’m sorry for being such a coward, but no matter how you look at it, that Kraken just leached you with two tentacles and that went up for like 200 meters, so it’s not safe out there.


“I’ll watch you, from afar.”


“Coward.”


That’s what I am. Although, instead of prioritizing that sad remark, there was something that had happened which was far more interesting and worrisome. Tiddal-san, the black haired man that had told me to watch him, just cut his own palm with a slice utilizing his teeth. What savagery. There might be a hidden meaning to it though. I wasn’t wrong; there was indeed a secret meaning to it. The fearless man tossed the blood that was squandered on his right-hand palm into the air to perform a very strange move. Firstly, he drags his index finger with blood to the right, as if to create a line. Next up, he elevated his index finger up, then to his left. Finally, he went down. It was a full blood square. Tiddal-san was not done yet though. Using his index finger soaped with blood once again, he started to draw a diagonal line on the frontier of the right side of the square. In the end, he used the end of that line to unite it to the upper side of the right side of the square. Thus creating a side triangle with blood on the blood square. As the last touch, he did exactly the same thing, just on the opposite side. Instead of being on the right, it was on the left side. The preparations appeared to be complete, was what Tiddal-san’s expression told me. I was genuinely excited. It was like the hero was about to fight the final boss that would destroy the world.


“Seriously… You are one needy mascot… It’s almost wrong to call you that, you damned parasite…”


At any rate, the Kraken which had been provoked by Tiddal-san was clearly on its edge, since its tentacle lashes reached the 250 meters… If Tiddal-san doesn’t do anything, he will soon….!!


“Ahh…. Shut up already… I’ll put you out of your misery soon, fucking creature, just give me one second…”


Regardless of Tiddal-san’s verbal assaults towards the Kraken, it seemed that the Kraken had no intention of surrendering to his verbal savagery. Hope seems a bit lost, to be frank. It was 250 meters a while ago. But now… 275… No… 280!? Hurry up…


“Tiddal-san, get out of there, you will die! Please, let’s just leave already!!”


When all hope seemed lost, the courageous man entrusted both of his hands right inside the two triangles that he had drawn with his blood. One on the right and the other on the left. There was a meaning to this. A meaning that was so sacrilegious yet so meaningful, just what could it be…


“Preparations complete. I hereby, release you of your slumber. Mighty Goddess of the seas, loved by your enemies. Deity of pureness yet detainer of profanity. March forward in your rebellion, awaken, Leviathan!!”


Through the large bloody square that had been painted with blood, a magnificent, dazzling sea serpent comes flying by very swiftly. I thought that the Kraken itself was a pretty huge threat in terms of size, but in this case, one could say that this specific creature was on a league of its own. To my personal beliefs, it would not betray my expectations, if this sea serpent could simply entangle and strangle the Kraken with just her whole body. That’s right; she had a total of 500 meters… No, I can’t determine it anymore, after all these measures were all hypothetic, so… I have absolutely no idea. Aside from this, Leviathan makes her way all up to the sky, to the point where she makes a full spiral spin up in the high elevated large clouds.


“Heh, that’s just like Tiddal-san. To have something so powerful upon his sleeve.”


I can’t tell if it was either an amazing coincidence or absurd luck on my part to have met this man today. All that there is to say is that I’ve only started my own life, is what I feel like. This moment, right here, right now. I wonder just how many would give to be in my place. Most would decline considering how dangerous and scary it is. That’s how it should be, but—this is a place that I would never give it to anybody else.


“Leviathan, return. Let’s give our hungry guest a big welcome party.” Orders Tiddal towards Leviathan who comes rushing to his side at enormous velocity


At the sight of Leviathan returning to his side, Tiddal-san follows Leviathan while riding her.


“Supernatet, off. Let’s go, Leviathan! Supreme Oceanic Kaiser, on!” Tiddal utters loudly


The concept of transformation can easily be relative and overlooked. It goes without saying that transformations are relative because it will depend on the situation, yet that was the first moment in my entire life. No, in this new life, that I felt that it was no longer so relative, as that transformation quickly graduated from a relative term to an amazing desire that I would for sure, one day, wield. Desires aside, the reality that was upheld at this moment reflected the equivalent of the following: A crazy yet fearless man in a golden crown with a blue suit was currently leading a gigantic sea serpent towards the colossal Kraken that was underwater. Naturally, there was more to that blue suit. To start off, the golden crown would resemble that of a King. However, in this case, it was clearly an implication that Tiddal-san was the King of the Oceans. Followed up with a white cape, the rest of his clothes which were in the past; black jeans and black jacket, have turned into a surprising majestic unusual blue suit. With the already mentioned white cape, the top and bottom were completely blue. Although, there were remarks of green scales on what it would appear to be his foot. Plus, on his face, there were fish scales. Needless to say, Tiddal-san’s transformation would resemble that of a being that would indulge right into the deep ocean, thus allowing him to travel right in it.


“Tiddal-san!! That’s amazing! What is that skill called!?”


“No time to explain it, Rei! Because, just as you are about to witness with your own two eyes, I’m about to deliver the grand judgment to this savagery of a monster! Roam towards your target, Leviathan.”


Without any type of warning, a sudden huge roar filled up the atmosphere. This atmosphere, which was surrounded by nothing but water which had terrifying monsters in it. It’s truly something rare to be able to feast my eyes on this. At first, it seems so simple, doesn’t it? A vast infinite ocean with blue water so radiant it’s probably worth a billion of diamonds. But that exotic radiance is what makes it worthwhile, without it, it would become true hell. Ah, that’s not wrong, this is hell. Hell that Tiddal-san is going straight into, just as he charges with Leviathan right to the Level 87 Kraken.


“Eh!! Tiddal-san, that’s the water! How are you going to breathe there!? It’s impossible; no human can stand that long inside water, especially against those types of monsters!!!”


As soon as Tiddal-san and Leviathan both merged themselves with the deep ocean that had unknown profundity, all the monsters that were surrounding the large ocean began to rapidly move towards the direction where Tiddal-san had gone with Leviathan. Besides, Tiddal-san at this point can’t hear me out, since he has gone inside the ocean to supposedly fight the Kraken.


“Tiddal-san!!” I worryingly exclaim my worries


However, it was not soon, that the Kraken that had been running rampant on the ocean deep down came out flying out of it. No, that wasn’t the case. From what I could witness, just as the Kraken came out flying towards the elevated air, Leviathan had made sure that would happen, just as Tiddal-san quickly emerges from the vast ocean. Still, that didn’t mean much, since the Kraken kept on attacking against Tiddal-san. Multiple quick tentacle whiplashes came forward in Leviathan’s direction.


“Hang in there, Leviathan!!” I screamed to Leviathan


It was a furious battle that was just happening. The Kraken’s attacks were beyond my eyesight since they suddenly excelled my comprehension. In contrast to that velocity, Leviathan’s movements just kept on getting faster as both the Kraken and Leviathan fought in the air. Swiftly dodging the Kraken’s retaliations, Leviathan always followed a partner of dodging that would imply that she would have to surround that tentacle and then give a full spiral lap to it, just so it would have no effect at all, the Kraken’s attacks that is.


“Leviathan, it’s time. Strangle it. Supreme Oceanic Kaiser, off. Polyhedic Dark Board, activate!!”


“Eh? You’re turning off that awesome skill… Why, though...?” I muttered as I watched the battle from far up in the clouds


From my observation so far, there is something that could be breached. The fact that Tiddal-san has survived that long inside the water and against the Kraken, should mean that the ‘Supreme Oceanic Kaiser’ skill or whatever it is, gave him some sort of ability to withstand the water pressure and all. It doesn’t make sense as to how someone who has a body that resembles a human can be in that water and actually live on. Just what the hell happened?! Furthermore, now that skill is apparently turned off, a new one came to play.


“P-Polyh- Bah, it’s so hard to say!”


That’s right, this strangely named skill (or I would assume that it is one), just took the form of a board. In all likelihood, boards are used to surf the ocean, that’s for sure. Coincidentally, we are currently in the middle of one. To be more precise, my location is 600 meters above it, but Tiddal-san seems to be going against my direction as the Kraken that is undoubtedly being, cruelly strangled by Leviathan falls right into the ocean. As a last detail to add up, this new board of his, aside from being dark as the name says its shape is…Bizarre… Almost like it has multiple mathematic figures lumped together… Regardless of that, it looks… alive.


“Leviathan, bring it down to the ocean!” Says Tiddal has he and Leviathan redirect the Kraken towards the ocean


“Raaarghhh!!!” Leviathan loudly roars.


“Rei!!! Get closer, will you?”


“Huh!? No way, Tiddal-san! That’s suicidal, I will die!”


“Just shut up and trust me! It will be fine, come on!”


“I will only descend a little bit, but no more than 300 meters, ok?!”


“Aye, aye. End the blabbering and come on over! Leviathan won’t hold on much longer, just so you know.”


Eh? Leviathan can’t hold on for much longer!? Well, now that I look at her that’s true. She appears to be having difficulty having a hold of the Kraken. Even though it would appear that Leviathan has the strength of a thousand armies, she is starting to lose against the Kraken. That’s to be expected, I suppose because the Kraken IS level 87. Although, I don’t have any idea how strong that is since all that has been happening is just one surprise after another, if the maximum level is 99 then… A target that has a level of 87 should be pretty high, correct? Plus, nothing tells me that even if I do get to where Tiddal-san currently is that I can survive. As I thought, it’s beyond suicidal. I’m so sorry… Tiddal-san!!


“T-This is far enough, right, Tiddal-san!?”


“Perfect. Now, throw that dagger towards the Kraken’s direction, please.”


“But I don’t have the strength to throw it!”


No matter how strong Tiddal-san is, if he relies on a weakling like me, then it’s all over. I seriously thought he had a plan or something, but is he actually gonna rely on me?! Tiddal-san, what are you thinking?!


“Rei!! There isn’t much time, just throw it! I never said that you had to put actual strength into it, just throw it. Listen to my words for once! Now, throw it, Rei!!”


True enough. He never said that. I assuming that Tiddal-san had said something that he never said was probably just I succumbing in my unpleasant fear. If it’s just to throw, then there is no problem at all. Now then…


“O-Okay, I just have to throw it, right?!”


“Yes!! Hurry, for God’s sake!” Tiddal loudly shouts.


Oddly enough, his shout density was almost as loud as Leviathan’s roar.


“Here it goes……!!” I clumsily say as I throw the dagger in my hand towards the Kraken


As expected, the throw itself was poor, lacked grip and ultimately, was weak. Still, Tiddal-san said that there was no necessity to actually put some strength into it, even though I put all my strength into it, it went so poorly. Ah, that’s what you get for relying on me. Those without strength belong to a different league than those who have the strength to uphold everything on their own. I belong to the first league, so even though it pains me to say this… It’s both my and your own fault. Your fault for relying on me and, the other fault falls on me for being unreliably weak. Now, we shall die right he---


“Great job, Rei. All preparations are now complete. Leviathan, bring it up.” Tiddal mutters to Leviathan’s right ear


Falling straight down in a linear line, the dagger felled towards the Kraken, still as mentioned, it lacked certain factors for that throw to be effective.


“Eh? What do you mean-“


“Rarrrrgghhhh!!!” Leviathan bestially roars as she elevates the strangled Kraken towards the air


At a fierce speed, Leviathan transports the Kraken to a certain degree of elevation in the air. To be more accurate, it was precisely 200 meters up in the air. More surprisingly, Leviathan makes a weird move. She moved towards the right, but then immediately moves to the left as if to gain impulse. That was exactly it, though. Using that impulse gained during that agitation, she manages to toss the Kraken right into my direction. Tiddal-san was right there alongside her with his dark board. Wait. Wait. Wait a damn second. Oi, that’s bad. Tiddal-san, you wouldn’t!!


“T-T-Tiddal-san!! Help me!! Waaahh!!!” I scream as the Kraken comes off flying right into my direction


“Relax already. It’s over.”


“Eh?”


It seems that I’ve forgotten an important factor, although, it was a factor that I was simply too panicked to notice in the first place. Nevertheless, it came to my mind right when the Kraken that was supposedly flying in my direction to kill me started to crumble right into the ocean. The Kraken’s fall was right about to create a huge splash into the ocean. It was truly a moment where one could call it a ‘Tomb’, in this case, the Kraken’s tomb. All the rest of the creatures that were running rampant much like the Kraken began to desperately flee as they witnessed the mighty one fade away.


“Told ya. And with that, all the other small fry have run in terror. Whenever large creatures or targets in this scenario gather around while imitating the behavior of the most dangerous target, then that means that there is a ‘King’ or a ‘Queen’ owning that certain territory.”


“King? What do you mean, Tiddal-san?”


“Sigh. Good grief, you really know nothing. That’s to be expected, this is a rare scenario, so let me give you some knowledge in this regard. A target that belongs to an animalistic hegemony usually has harsh competitions inside their supposed dimension. Dimensions are divided into several particular regions. Much like your Earth, there can be countries that were originally formed inside continents, and still, continue to be. Still, that doesn’t necessarily apply to all dimensions. It’s sort of alternative in a sense because no matter the dimension there is always a difference in the formation of regions and such. Furthermore, dimensions like this which are undoubtedly massive, some might call it close to infinite, are divided by regions too. The region that we are currently in is called “Profundomilis”. This might look big, but it is in fact, the smallest region of this dimension, against all odds."


“Ehh!? This!? Small!? No way, Tiddal-san, that’s impossible! How can something this large be considered small?”


“It’s the truth, though. I wouldn’t lie about something I wouldn’t know about. Plus, the smaller it is, the higher the competition there is between targets. This is due to the fact that among the heated competition that there is out there, inside dimensions, territories that lie within certain regions are already taken by high-level targets. These targets emerge stronger by raising their own level, in the easiest of ways, eradication. Furthermore, to assert one territory, there are battles which are made in order to decide who uphold that territory. Although, there are obviously, exceptions to this. Not all targets function in agreement to the previous King’s rules. Let’s say for instance, that that Hammer Shark over there ascended as the King in this territory. Nothing says that he wouldn’t make new rules regarding on how to take control of this territory. The previously King, which was the ‘Sepia Saeva’ is no longer the King. Why? Because he was conquered not so long ago. Which means that the spot for the King or Queen is now open. Needless to say is, there will be a battle between the targets to determine who rises up as that powerful element. That’s how Kings or Queens are formed. The leveling system is without a doubt, a competitive one. Did this answer your question? Or do I need to go over something?”


…This might be too much information for me… I’m not sure how I’m supposed to process all of this… I wish I had some way to record his explanations to faithfully hear them later, just so I could get a better understanding of his words, but that seems to be a little bit impossible. Still, there are a few questions that need to be answered.


“Tiddal-san, just wh-“


“Ah, wait a minute. I need to let this girl rest. She’s been on fire today. Leviathan, you can rest now.”


As Tiddal-san uttered those words, the majestically long sea serpent that was standing silent amidst the air suddenly loses its form. However, I didn’t expect this. In no way, could I have foreseen this. To think that Leviathan would be a girl…!? I knew it was a she, but to think she had a human form!


“T-Tiddal-san, that’s!”


“You better catch her, Rei.”


Leviathan suddenly took the form of a girl which was not much younger than me by her looks. Putting aside her erotic looks, since she was currently in what it would seem to be a bikini only, the girl named Leviathan was falling at a rapid speed in the ocean’s direction.


“B-But! That’s a girl, Tiddal-san, I can’t possibly…”


There is also, no way, that a coward like me can hold a girl with my two hands. In no alternative universe, if even, can I imagine myself do that action. It’s simply out of the question.


“I’ll have you know that I won’t catch her. How horrible of you, to let a girl who clearly just saved you from death to die for your own selfishness.” Grins Tiddal in a very sarcastic way


He can’t be serious. Is he really going to do this to me!? That’s cynical…


“Also, she will probably hunt you down if you don’t save her now. Quickly or else, who knows, one of those targets might just eat her.” Continues Tiddal with his sarcastic assault


Although he acts fearless, heroic and confident, he does this… How unlucky can I get…? No choice then. There is no way in hell that I’m letting her die, in this place and in that way. That’s just stupid since it can be avoided.


“…Fine, you win. I’ll be right back.”


“Be careful, she bites.”


“Seriously?” I seriously worryingly ask Tiddal


“Nah, no way. Get going, she’s really going to fall prey to the remaining targets. They already made their way back, so be one with haste.”


“Waahhh!! You weren’t joking! I’ve got to go! …I’ll be right back, Tiddal-san!”


“Get going.”


Using the speed from Supernatet, I quickly make my way to where Leviathan-san is, more like to where she’s falling into. She’s seriously close to being food right now. Just hold on a second…


“Got you…”


Fortunately, I managed to catch her just when she was about to fall. What terror it was, just to be that close to the ocean, I feel like dying right now. Oh God, that was so fucking scary…! I’m never doing that again, in fact, I would never, but I couldn’t live with myself if I let a person die due to my own fears. There is a limit to selfishness. Either way, I make my way to Tiddal-san at once.


“Not bad, but seriously, be careful, she might bite.”


“But isn’t she asleep though?”


That was correct. If I had to take a guess, she is tired from that superb engage on the Kraken earlier. Still… Her body is so… Just the feeling from her thighs is something that is out of this universe. It’s like I’m touching something that is so forbidden that immediately makes one contemplate its existence. In this case, her whole body was something that I couldn’t avert my eyes from. Besides, she’s just in a blue bikini, what’s up with that? As a matter of fact, she is all blue, except for her skin. Her skin is naturally the same as mine. But, she has blue hair, blue nails, and a blue bikini. If she has blue eyes, then it wouldn’t be surprising, truly.


“Not for long. She hates to sleep, so that’s why she is hyperactive when it comes to waking up.”


“Um, hyperactive, meaning…?”


“You’re about to find out. Ohh! She’s drooling, rhahahaha!! This is priceless, gotta take a Picture Sphere of this. Rhahaha, to think she would droll while sleeping!”


Ah, it’s true. She’s drooling alright. That’s natural though. In all likelihood, if you are tired, drooling once or twice isn’t too abnormal. However, that’s a pretty embarrassing thing to do. I wouldn’t want to be in her place.


“Tiddal-san! You’re horrible! It’s pretty normal for a girl of her age to droll; after all, girls do need a lot of rest!”


“Are you by some chance implying that you know her age?” Says Tiddal while moving through his Atlas while taking out what it would appear to be a yellow sphere


He’s got a point. Her age is unknown to me. Nevertheless, she can’t be older than me, she doesn’t look that way at least.


“Leviathan-san doesn’t look older than me, so I’m guessing she has 17 years old?”


“Rhahahaha!!! 17 years old?! That’s hilarious, Rei! You have a gift for comedy, trust me!!” Laughs Tiddal in a rude manner while snapping a picture of Leviathan


I got slightly mad because my intentions were pure in this regard.


“Sarcasm aside, what is that?”


“Oh, this? It’s just a Picture Sphere. It has the ability to take a picture. Simple as that. I can’t lose this priceless moment, so I’m taking more than one picture of course.” Tiddal endeavors


Taking his horrible doings aside, it got my curiosity…


“Hey, Tiddal-san.”


“What is it?” Says Tiddal while constantly snapping pictures of Leviathan drooling


“How old is Leviathan-san?”


“Hmm… Probably about 90 years old. Sea Serpents have the ability to not age at all, surprisingly.”


She’s quite old. No, she is too old!


“Isn’t she way too old then!? There is no way that a person this old would droll, right?”


“R-Rei…”


Totally ignoring Tiddal-san, I continued my necessary rant.


“Think about it. It would mean that the one that is drooling is probably extremely childish and impulsive. Plus, it could also mean that the one that is drooling is undoubtedly still developing his/her body. But considering her age, that’s just impossible… Or so I thought. Seriously, how can someone droll like this…” I fearlessly continue


“Rei, listen to me!!” Tiddal calls out to me


“Sorry, I will give you the word when I’m done. Anyway, not even I droll this hard. Assuming I do droll at all, that is. What a completely childish individual.” I finish


“Rei… I will not take responsibility you know…”


“Responsibility? For what? Her drooling? Or something else? You aren’t being clear eno-“


‘Pam’, just like that, something worth the strength of a thousand armies eradicates my whole speech. I might have gotten a slight déjà vu from when Galatea delivered her divine slap. In any reality, my thought process truly believed that there would be no way for me to get slapped, or to at least receive a slap that would equalize to that of Galatea’s. How wrong I was.


“Well, well, look who’s up!” Tiddal exclaims


I didn’t even need to look to know who was up. After receiving such an impact on my left cheek, my surroundings became perfectly understandable. On one side, there was a black haired man laughing maliciously at me for some reason. It wasn’t for some reason. I was quite aware of that reason. Ultimately, right below me, under my slender arms, there was a blue haired girl, furiously glaring at me with her beautiful blue eyes. That was when I realized, I was done for.


“…Y-You!! Who do you think you are talking about!!?” Leviathan begins her verbal assault


Well, this is a bad situation. Let’s try the good old fashioned way to solve problems. Lies.


“Oh hello there L-Leviathan-san. Did you hear what I just said?”

“How could I not!? You dare to talk about my beautiful state of sleep like that!? I’ll fucking kill you!!”


“Y-You are mistaken! I and Tiddal were clearly talking about my state of sleep! Yes, that’s right, isn’t it, Tiddal-san!?”


Please agree with me, Tiddal-san! You will, won’t you!?


“20 seconds ago: ‘Extremely childish and impulsive’. Rhahahaha!!! Never, but never, did I thought I would witness such a person to talk like to Leviathan! My sides, rahahah!!” Tiddal loudly laughs at me


I’m not sure why I thought that it was a good idea to trust someone who proposed the idea of coming to a dimension that has creatures to freaking huge, but so huge, to the point where one would immediately flee in terror. Not to mention, the fact that he threw a gigantic Kraken in my direction. That was Leviathan, but it was without the shadow of the doubt, the one who issued the order to do so was, Tiddal-san.


“L-Leviathan, we can talk about th-“


‘Pam’.


“Congratulations, you have gained the special privilege to be my prey. I will thoroughly hunt you down, Rei-kun. Or should I say, Scum-kun?”


“Please don’t hunt me down, Leviathan-san. I swear that I was discussing my sleep state with Tiddal-san just a while ago!”


“You filthy, poor liar. Realize your place. Are you ready to die!?”


“T-Tiddal-san!!” I desperately call out to Tiddal


“Rhaha… Okay, calm down Leviathan. He really did nothing that bad. It’s a fact that you do droll quite hard whenever you fall asleep, so don’t worry, he was just spilling out the facts.” Tiddal says as an attempt to calm down the enraged Leviathan


“I-I don’t droll! You lie, master! I can’t believe you would lie like this! Also… Scum-kun, why are you holding my divine body in the first place? I don’t recall giving you the privilege. Oh, I see, you are doing that just so you could die. Very well, then."


Her body really is divine in a sense.


“Ah… No, it’s just that… Well, if I let go of you, wouldn’t you fall and then get devoured?”


“Such nonsense. I would obliterate anyone that stands in my way, of course.” She proudly says


“Really, though? In your current state, you can’t even take form, can you?” Tiddal asks her


“That’s…” She mutters


“Be thankful. He was the one who caught you. Not me.”


“Hmpf. Why would I believe something coming from a liar like you? I’m returning. Remember this, Scum-kun. You will pay for this.” She finalizes as she leaves off


A girl’s wrath is something to look out for. No, calling her girl would be a lie. A woman, then. Ah, that’s a lie too. Let’s go with grandma. She’s technically a grandma, although she has the body and looks of a model. Ah, whatever. One thing is strange though… She suddenly took off her human form and disappeared in thin air.


“Please no…” I mutter as a way to tell her to not make me pay


“Rei. You might be wondering as to why I did all this, correct?”


“Ah… Yes, I wonder about a lot of things…”


“I’m sorry; I won’t be able to answer them all. Anyway, you should see a notification on the bottom on your vision field, correct?”


Now that he mentions it… There really is a notification (1) thingy at the bottom of my field of vision. Perhaps I didn’t notice due to all the commotion, especially since the events so far have been catastrophic…


“That’s right… Does that have anything to do with any of this?” I asked


“Yes. In fact, it has to do with all of this. Anyway, click it. You remember how to do it, right?”


By this time, I’ve gotten used to it. It’s quite similar, if not equal to an actual game. It’s weird yet exciting how it’s developed like this.


“Yeah, I do. Just a second then.”


When I clicked that (1) button thingy, this appeared:


[You have gained 15,000 experience points!]


“Have you read it, if so, and then what does it say?” Tiddal asks me as if he already knows what I’m gazing at


“It says that I’ve gained 15,000 experience points…”


“As expected huh… That’s about it for a beginner, after all. Click, the ‘Ok!’ button that should appear on the bottom of your screen.”


It really is there. Just how much does he know to the point of orientating and guiding me when he can’t even see my screen, supposedly? Either way, I decide to follow through with his instruction.


“Alright.”


“So, what does it say?” He immediately lays down this question


The following notification had these words in it:


[Do you wish to utilize your experience points to:]
A: Level Up
B: Raise your Status Points
C: Train your Mascot
D: Buy Skills
E: Store up Experience Points
Please choose one of the above options. You cannot redo your choice.


“It has 5 options, by the looks of it.”


“Is that so… Well, forget about telling me, just choose the first option.”


Why though? Why can’t I choose my desired option? Ah, that’s because I don’t know what I desire. Besides, there is no telling what got me those 15,000 experience points… So suspicious, all of this…

“Why?”

“Because it is the correct option.”


“Yeah, but why is it the correct option and not the others?”


I had to lay down these questions. It’s not as if I suspect him, it’s just that this will affect me, not Tiddal-san, so it makes all sort of logical sense to prioritize my decision over his. Although, that’s rather selfish of me. But, I am like this, nothing more than a selfish coward. If so, I have to live in this way.


“Is it really that hard to trust me?”


Perhaps. Who knows, really? All of your actions so far have been following a certain pattern. If there is one thing that can be learned while being with you, Tiddal-san, is that everything you do has a normal purpose and a secret purpose. Unraveling the normal purpose isn’t the easiest task to do. At any rate, I strongly believe that by giving me the dagger earlier that he planned this whole situation out since the very beginning. I can’t put it into exact words that compel normal reasoning, but he gives off a mysterious aura that it feels as if Tiddal-san views himself as the whole world and nothing else exists for him. Even so, if that’s the first purpose, then what is the secret purpose? No… What if there are more…


“Your actions are really suspicious…”


I’ll just give him a simple honest answer.


“I won’t blame you for doubting me. Even I doubt myself at times. But, answer me this. So far, have I done something that would make me deserve to be doubted?”


That’s… He hasn’t, that’s for sure…


“…Sorry for doubting you, Tiddal-san.”


“It’s normal. You are a person who lacks confidence in the first place. If you can barely trust yourself then trusting others must be ten times harder, right?” Tiddal confidently replies


Hehe. I guess it’s useless no matter what I do. It’s like he sees through me or something.


“One day, I will be like you, Tiddal-san.”


“That’s not a bad choice, but click the first option, so I can explain you some things.”


“A second, then.”


As I finish off the click on option A, to level up, I received the sudden notification, but to be more precise, the same notification appeared 6 times in a row, one after another.


“W-Woah… What is this?”


I somehow expected this, but consecutively 6 times in a row, the notification appeared:
[You have leveled up! Congratulations, you are now level 2!]
[You have leveled up! Congratulations, you are now level 3!]
[You have leveled up! Congratulations, you are now level 4!]
[You have leveled up! Congratulations, you are now level 5!]
[You have leveled up! Congratulations, you are now level 6!]
[You have leveled up! Congratulations, you are now level 7!]


“That was a level up notification, correct? How many did you receive?”


“S-Six…”


“I see. So you are level 7 now, correct?”


Again. How does he know!?

“Y-Yeah, but how do you know?”


“Save the questions for later. We have to leave now. The Gate Portal is closing, let’s go.”


Maybe that was a way for him to escape the current interrogation, but that was clearly not it, the Gate Portal that we entered from was really closing. Yeah, in no way in hell do I want to stay here in this dimension. Only bad memories will come in the future in regards to this dimension. Let’s see… Terrorized, challenged and slapped. Those three words fit a good description when it comes to this Dimension, also known as Aquaris. In the end, I will finally be able to make my most desired leave it seems. Although this was a terrifying experience, it was still unique.


“Tiddal-san, are all people on other dimensions as knowledgeable as you are?”


“God, no. Anyways, we are leaving, unless you want to explore the other regions too for the laughs and giggles. But I should warn you, once Leviathan wakes up, she will be coming after you.”


No thank you. I want home, badly. Never ever did I desire to go home this badly. Even though there is a very high probability that I will get treated like trash, it’s still better than being in Aquaris. On the plus side, I leveled up, I wonder what benefits will this bring me. Asking questions to Tiddal-san at the moment is out of the question since he said that we need to leave, so that takes priority. In order to leave, I went with Tiddal-san to the Gate Portal and we left off.


Via Temporis


Huh? Was the Via Temporis always like this? Recall… How it was… Huh? Why can’t I recall how it was? Putting that aside, it’s a good thing that the grand dragon named Kaliya is waiting for us right here inside the Via Temporis.


“Polyhedic Dark Board, off. Supernatet, on.” Declares Tiddal to active his flying ability skill named Supernatet


“Do you remember how the Via Temporis was before, Tiddal-san? Because I don’t. Is it bad if I don’t?”


“Bad? I wouldn’t say so. Nothing bad comes from not being able to remember how the Via Temporis was. It’s a natural occurrence here, but every time that a dimension is breached, the shape and form of the Via Temporis changes. It’s not as if you can’t remember it’s just that it has changed. For example, you remember Kaliya, don’t you?”


I suppose it’s relative truth in a sense, whether I don’t remember or not is another story. It feels as if I can’t really remember anything, but maybe I’m just over thinking? Either way, it’s irrelevant if the Via Temporis changes or not. What is relevant is that I get home. I want no more of this.


“Yeah, this dragon remained here after all that, pretty loyal, isn’t he?”


“He is loyal alright. But only towards those who are strong. If anyone who he is doesn’t consider strong ride him, then that person will get thrown right into the negative dimensions. If you try to ride him, you will get sent right into the negative dimension below. Enough talk though. Kaliya, go to Heremus.”


I see. So if someone who isn’t strong enough tries to ride Kaliya then that person will meet his/her doom. It makes sense considering that this dragon allows a target to travel to another dimension. That must be extremely useful, no matter how one looks at it. Furthermore, I don’t think that this dragon is something that even if the person who is riding is strong, will immediately obey.


“I thought Kaliya was your personal dragon, was I wrong?” I asked as we supposedly went to the dimension called Heremus


“He technically isn’t, but I wouldn’t mind making him my mascot if the time comes.”


Mascot. That name has been up once. Recalling to that time, when I was given the choice on how to use my experience points, there was a third choice. ‘Train your mascot’, was it?


“Can you tell me more about the mascots?”


“I can’t, but I’ll tell you this. They are in no way, easily achievable.”


Extracting information from Tiddal-san has always been a mystery for me. He either gives free information or absolutely nothing at all. It’s clear that there is a reason if not more than one as to why he doesn’t give me any information sometimes. Besides, asking for information for free should be sufficient in any case; going far for information always ends up working out badly.


“Is there anything that you can tell me at all? I’m pretty confused. I have questions overflowing in my head without any answers at all. My only choice is to create speculations, you know.”


“Exactly.” Tiddal vaguely replies


“That isn’t helping, either.”


Via Temporis was bright red. Since Tiddal-san had become silent, I decided to gaze into the beyond, or in this case, in the direction of other dimensions. It’s truly magnificent and unthinkable. Right now as we speak, anything that goes beyond and whatnot can be witnessed. Lands full of sand, snow, blazes, nature, gigantic stars, highly advanced technological, ruins, unknown creatures, etc. All of this, just for me to witness. What would people give to be in my place just to gaze at this? Perhaps this is why I couldn’t remember the Via Temporis before. Leaving out of here with this type of information seems to be something way out of the hand. According to Tiddal-san that doesn’t happen. It’s a mystery. Ultimately, we kept on going for a while, that is until Tiddal-san decides to speak up once again.


“I’m at fault a little bit for not telling you everything, but it goes without saying that you can’t rely on people to get what you want. Haven’t you learned anything from your previous death?”


“Huh? It’s obvious that I have…”

“Like what?"


“That’s…”


“What’s wrong? Tell me. Or could it be that you don’t want to tell me? Or maybe, just maybe, you can’t tell me because you don’t have an answer.”


“No, I really have an answer; it’s just that I don’t want to tell you…”


Lies.


“Let me tell you something common about human behavior. Whenever someone asks somebody constantly questions, it obviously means that the questioner desires an answer to his question. But there is more to that, the other side of the coin tells a different tale. The question, in reality, wants to unconsciously get his/her deepest questions an answer since the questioner can’t seem to grasp an answer to them. You are no different. You are simply running away from every obstacle. When we return, that’s what you are going to keep on doing. Run, run, run, run, run and run. Then more run. More run comes next. That’s when you realize, you have been running all your life.”


“Again, that’s not it; I really have an answer to it…”


More lies.


“You don’t. You like to think that you have, but you don’t. That’s just blind optimism. That’s why you died, didn’t you? Blind optimism consumed you and then you grasped its consequences, ultimately falling on your own terms. Happy?”


“Yes, I’m happy…”


More and more lies.


“You’re not.”


“I know.”


“Do you?”


“I don’t know.”


An endless river stained with lies. That’s what humanity is. Humanity runs in my veins.


“What do you want, Rei?”


What matters anymore…? What I want is what I can’t achieve. What I don’t want I’ll always achieve, it’s a jeopardized paradox… Nothing can be achieved anymore nor can anything be demolished. This journey is coming to an end, so I guess hiding my feelings won’t amount to anything.


“I want to live, not just survive.”


“I’m surprised at this. You know the difference between both?”


Not really. All I know is what one entirely means and what the other doesn’t mean. However, it’s enough to fully understand one side to complete desire the other. If you understood Death at a point you would want to ling on Life. If you comprehended what Life meant then you would want to connect yourself with Death at one point.


“To tell you the truth… I’ve been bullied all my life. I never once have fought back to my oppressors nor did I raise single blame against them.”


Because if I did, I could never forgive myself. The ones who are unable to protect the ones they care for are bound to receive punishment. This is my punishment, for not being able to…


“So what? Does that give you an excuse to behave like a weakling?”


“But… Just… What the fucking fuck am I supposed to do!? I can’t confront them because I’m too weak!! Even if I do get strong they will keep on swarming me every fucking day without stop, so that won’t solve the damn issue!! I’m stuck, with no way out…”


Ah, I snapped. It was about time, right? Not all human being can keep on being sane for very long. What was I supposed to do though? Keep my calm when these problems of mine just kept on being bombarded through Tiddal-san’s cold reading? No way would that have worked…


“For every problem, there is a solution. I commend you for trying to think of them and accepting the consequences of not being able to solve them. I believe that’s a very mature resolution, to accept everything that comes in your way. It’s not a bad strategy. But, in no way, is it the best way. In fact, it hasn’t even proven to be useful, has it? So why do you keep believing that you are right? As I told you, you can’t rely on others, but don’t think that just because you can’t rely on others that it means that you can fully rely on yourself too.”


“But if I can’t rely on others and I can’t rely on myself, then who am I supposed to rely on!?”


“In the end, you can’t fully depend on one side, can you? So instead of fully depending on one side, go for half-half. For example, depend on yourself and on others too at the same time.”


“Is that even possible?”


“It is. This is called conditioning. Those who are not aware of this will fail over and over, pointlessly. Needless to say is, this is just me. My words. Nothing more than that. You are free to believe in yourself, even after all of this.”


“Let me think for a bit…”


“Sure, we are almost there anyway.”


I did say that, but I don’t have an actual idea on what to think about. For starters, the very premise of relying on others isn’t a good thing. As my bullying progressed all over my previous life, I never relied on anyone, but only relied on myself to get through it and live on. But no such thing happened. The only part that happened was the part where I lived on yet the ‘get through’ part never occurred. Why was that? Because I was weak? That too, but there has to be something more. Something…


“Tiddal-san, were you ever weak?”


“That goes without saying. None is strong from the start. All people that say otherwise are just pretenders and those who praise those who are supposedly stronger from the start are the weakest.”


Here goes nothing.


“How can I become like you?”


“How can a chameleon become the animal he desires to copy?” He asks me


“By… Changing its color naturally?”


“Not wrong, but not right either. It’s by adapting. Next question. How can a spider survive in its own environment?”


“I don’t kn-“


“By devouring their own kind. Cannablism. Next question, how can a fish survive a hawk’s areal assaults from above?”


“I re-“


“By staying hidden in the most profound water zones. Next question. How can a monkey survive in today’s society?”


“…”


“You choose silence this time, you have learned. The answer is, the monkey can’t. Final question, how can a being that is inferior to all of the previously mentioned ones, hope to survive in this cruel, savage world?”


“He can’t.” I answer


“Correct. He can’t survive because he was never taught. He only thought that his self-teachings would get himself far yet that was his self destruct button. Now, let’s imagine that that being had a second chance at life. What would his first step towards evolution be?”


“…I don’t know.”


“I suppose you wouldn’t know. Anyway, we have arrived. Impermanence, off.”


Wait what!? When did he put his Impermanence skill on me? I don’t remember even noticing him doing it, so how…!? Never mind that, the important thing here to reflect is that, from all these questions there was one thing that even I could confirm. That ‘being’ that Tiddal-san was talking about is me. The one who is weaker than the mentioned beings. This has got me thinking and wondering, just how can I step forward in the hall of evolution. No… I haven’t even begun to walk in the hall of evolution, it’s like I am currently only inside a cocoon, a cocoon that I never left. I’m sure that… This man here knows the answer to that.


“Are you coming or what? This is your dimension, after all. And for the record I’m still staying in it for 2 weeks, so that’s that. Come on, Kaliya won’t wait for you to throw you right into the negative dimensions, just saying.”


“Wahhh!! Please no, I’m coming!” I exclaimed as I directed to my dimension’s gate portal


Heremus Dimension


Sekryu Mountain 7: am.


“Um, Tiddal-san, why of all times, is the sun rising now?”


“Don’t you know? Whenever it’s morning, the sun rises.” Tiddal sarcastically implies


Right, that much is obvious, but what bothers me is that when we took the Portal to the Via Temporis, it was still morning, if not literally noon. Regardless of my doubt, it wasn’t at a time where the sun was rising. What the hell happened in the meantime?!


“Answer me seriously, Tiddal-san.” I glare at him


“Eh, not a bad glare kid. Fine, I’ll tell you. I didn’t tell you this because then you wouldn’t agree with me, on going to the Via that is. There is a slight difference that you should be aware, in every dimension that is. There is the ‘reality’ and there is the off switch, which is called ‘Survival Mode’. Now, you might be wondering this, what is the reality and the Survival mode, correct?”


“…Yeah, it would help knowing it.”


“Prepare yourself because this might be a long explanation, are you fine with that?”


“Yeah, I’m used to it at this point.”


That’s a fact.


“How should I start this off…” Says the black haired man facing towards the rising sun


Tiddal-san must be spilling out some serious information for him to make a thinking stance. Plus, facing towards the sun? That’s just like him. After all, he is the one that defeated the Kraken and owns a gigantic sea serpent. Beautiful at it, but that’s partial right now. Also, I have to keep in mind that technically she wants to make me pay for holding her body, even though she was the one that was saved.


“Take your time, Tiddal-san.” I say as I gaze towards the far sun that is distant


Actually, now that thought is given, I never marked my own presence here in the Sekryu Mountain this early. It’s kinda refreshing; you can feel the chilly air all over the place. The smell of the rustic wood consumes the atmosphere. It might sound bad but it’s pretty good. How can I say this…? This is one of those scenarios that one would constantly dream about yet when that time comes you just can’t help yourself but to naturally enjoy the moment and to not force yourself to maximize the moment.


“Okay. I’m done organizing my thought process. To start off, what you are seeing right now is called reality. There is no cheap trick behind it; it’s just the way it is. Now, about the ‘Survival Mode’, that’s where it gets complicated. And for what I want to say to make sense then I will have to explain this point first. Every dimension can be conquered. People who do these conquering are called “Dimension Champions”; they are required to possess a number of things to do that, so I won’t go over details. What you need to firmly grasp here is that every dimension can be conquered by a dimension champion. As long as you understand that you are good to go. Even though a dimension can be conquered, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all dimensions are conquered, in fact, most of them aren’t in reality. An example of an already conquered dimension would be Aquaris. Since that dimension is already conquered, it loses the reality aspect of it.”


“Wait… What? It loses the reality aspect of it..?”


“Think of it like this: Imagine if this current world of yours became a savage place like Aquaris is. That’s what it means to lose the reality aspect of it.”


“…So if this dimension is conquered then it could become… hell!?”


“That might be possible, depending on how it’s conquered. Continuing on, by losing that reality aspect, dimensions become exactly like Aquaris. In other words, it becomes a fully fledged ‘Survival Mode’ type of world. The important thing is, whenever someone from a dimension which is not conquered enters in a dimension which already is conquered, then that person is fully regulated to the point where the entire current dimension in which that person is in, function properly. On second thought, that was a hard way to put it. Let’s say for instance that you traveled from this dimension, which is not conquered to a dimension which is already conquered. The status that you achieve in a dimension is entirely different from a dimension to another. However, your level will not alter. Just your status. That’s why you might be feeling fatigued all over the sudden, because believe it or not, leveling up, takes a toll on your body, due to the very fact that it will increase your body too. Furthermore, your whole body, including your own brain will absorb many things, like knowledge, influences and such at a duplicate pace, which is good. The Leveling System seeks to bring out the best out of an individual for apparent reasons. Lastly, as to why the time here is morning. That’s simple. You see, every time that you enter the Via Temporis, the time there goes so fast but in reality, it goes so fast that the time inside certain dimensions could faster. This dimension is one of those. Not conquered dimensions have a rather fast time. You are lucky that you have the privilege to have 24 hours per day. In some dimensions, a day can go up to 120 hours. So what happened was, since you traveled on the Via Temporis twice, it means that this time should be exactly… Two weeks. Two weeks have passed since the last time you were here. Did that make any sense for you?”


‘Boom’. That was exactly what I felt that my brain was going under at that exact moment. I did ask for an explanation, but this was beyond my expectations… So let’s recapitalize for a second. Two weeks have already passed in real time, which is the planet that I live in, Earth. Also known as Heremus Dimension too. Isn’t that bad, like really bad!? I might have gotten expelled from school!!


“T-Two weeks!? What do you mean two weeks!?”


“Um, you know, once 14 days pass, you reach a period of time called two weeks. It’s a little simple.”


“I know that, damn it! Spare me the sarcasm Tiddal-san!! Get to the point, please!”


As of the current moment, knowing all these supposed rules that which are completely unknown to me shouldn’t be my top priority. In fact, knowing what exactly I’m currently facing is one of my best interests. There is time to reflect later, the present comes first.


“Alright, Alright. It seems that my long explanation didn’t go through. I’m not sure why I bothered with that honestly. Anyhow, the fact is, 2 weeks have passed here. Just take that into account, for now, all the other things should be incredibly partial for now. You can at least understand that, right?”


“Ah, yeah, that I can. But still… What am I supposed to do?”


“What do you mean?”


“I have school you know. Since I’m still alive, it is my duty as a citizen and a society contributor to attend it, but now that it’s been two weeks, there is a very high chance that I’m in severe trouble…”


In all likelihood, if I drop out of school then I’m bound to achieve nothing in life. Even though, new horizons have been opened, there are some things that which aren’t supposed to be abandoned in the first place. Although new options are widely available now, it’s not as if I can simply be a free being. There cannot be change without power. Without power there isn’t freedom and so on. The harsh reality, but that’s how it is…


“Fancy hypocrisies there, kid.”


“…What do you mean ‘hypocrisies’...? That’s just how things are, you know…”


“For you, that’s for sure. Go ahead and enjoy, who am I to tell others what’s right or wrong. After all, all that I can do is to tell myself what’s wrong or right. Also, I’m tired, so I will just find a place to sleep. Remember, I’m still here for another two weeks. I figured it would be quite lackluster to simply vanish after all this, so I’ll be around here in this spot. Apparently, I’ve taken a liking to this spot.”


There isn’t time for this. Good thing it’s still morning, though. Otherwise, the difficulty of me getting into school would be quite high. Though… Two weeks huh? I wonder what awaits me during that time period, really.
Not much else can be discussed, for I need to grasp my situation right now.


“Thank you for everything, Tiddal-san. I’ll see you later if given the chance.” I bid farewell to Tiddal


“Ah, sure. One last thing though. Everything that which you have seen today and supposedly have absorbed into your system as in knowledge and expertise, do not mention it nor attempt to utilize it in this world. People will think you are crazy or something, trust me. Now then, off to sleep I go.” Finishes Tiddal while opening what it would appear to be a shining portal, thus vanishing


“Off he goes eh? I ought to follow his words, from what it would appear to be the case.” I murmur while standing alone at the top of the Sekryu Mountain


Looking back now, by all means, what I should have done was to live out a peaceful life without any sort of intention of changing. That would have been without a doubt, the best for the better and for sure, a tragic premonition.

 

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Saga Rakiyuga

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