Chapter 16: Darkness, Paralysis, Fear, Silence, Chaos, Exhilaration, Rampage


 “Shit, what the hell?!!”

I was shocked by the sudden darkening of my vision.

The illumination of the room didn’t change—I knew it through the use of «Dimension».
However, the darkness that I physically experienced had increased dramatically.

It was as if my reference to light and darkness had been tampered with.

Seeing that the information I picked up through «Dimension» was also veiled by some kind of thin, black curtain, I realized that the darkness was not a physical black-out but rather a mental black-out.

“My alias is ‘He who Stole the Principle of Darkness’.
However, I wasn’t called so because I can manipulate physical darkness.
It is so because I excel at manipulating the darkness in peoples’ hearts.
I am a Monster who specializes in abnormal statuses and mental attacks.”

Tida’s boastful voice came from the depths of the darkness.
He didn’t go as far as talking about his weaknesses, but his loose-mouthed nature was quite welcome.
It really ground my gears, but I thought that I might be able to bait him to lure out a method for us to win.

Abnormal statuses.
Mental attacks.
Immediately, I dug out game-like solutions that I could associate with those words.

“You touched me too much, didn’t you…

Tida pointed out my downfall.
Right after, the black liquid that was on my body began to wriggle.
I brushed off everything my hands could reach, but while I did so, Tida had finished repairing his own body.

In the depths of the thickening darkness, I saw a shadow.
My vision lost its purpose.
With the use of «Dimension», I managed to faintly sense that there was still a distance between that shadow and me.

My video game-oriented thoughts raced, deciding on my next action.
I focused not on the shadowy figure but on myself.




Confusion: 5.29

Mental Corruption: 1.00

Darkness: 1.00


I knew it.
It’s this kind of thing…!

“Now, young man.
It is time for the second round…!”

I wanted to contemplate my ‘Status’ more, but his voice and his figure were closing in before I could catch my breath.

“I can still see your silhouette!”

I had no choice but to slash at the figure.

What a brilliant slash.”

However, obviously, I felt no feedback of having slashed at the humanoid figure.
What was there was the heat on my left shoulder.
I promptly understood that I had been slashed by Tida’s attack, and a groan escaped me.


“The conditions have been fulfilled again; I will be entering you again.
After darkness, perhaps I should take your legs next.
—Magic, «Variable Paralyze».”

Having said so, Tida snapped his fingers.
In that instant, I suddenly felt like my legs were no longer mine, making me crumble, falling to my knees.


I couldn’t understand what was happening.
The moment Tida finished his chant, I fell down to my knees.
I tried to put strength into my legs immediately after, But how could I? —How do I stand on my legs? I don’t know!




Confusion: 5.30

Mental Corruption: 2.00

Darkness: 1.00

Partial Paralysis: 1.00

Bleeding: 0.31


As I was confirming my ‘Status’, Tida’s silhouette was getting closer to me.

“I need to have my mud on you before I can activate such powerful magic, though.
…Nonetheless, it is the end of the line for you.”

I had no way to fight back.
My MP was running low after the series of battles before that one.


Dying is scary.
This bizarre fear clings to my body, overwhelming it.
The darkness that invades me only makes it even worse.

Tida had said that what he took was my experience with Darkness.
What I felt at that moment was like when I was bawling in the middle of the night as a child for no reason at all.
The darkness frightened me to no end; I spent every night in anxiety, fearing death.
It was such a huge, odd darkness that filled my heart.


I yelped like a little kid.

“So you finally folded to Fear.
It seems like you, too, have a faint heart once you’re consumed by darkness… I had high hopes for your talent, but your spirit is not worthy of recognition.”

An icy voice came in return.
It wasn’t the joyful tone he had used to talk to me before but rather the tone of a rancher ready to decapitate his livestock.

“«Flame Arrow»!”

A flash of light flashed in the darkness as though to interrupt that voice.
It was Dia’s magic.

“Are you okay, Christ?!!”

Dia rushed over to me, concerned about my devastated state.

As if I am okay.
I can’t fight.
Dia can’t fight alone.
We have to break Tida’s magic, somehow.
My head can comprehend that.

But my body… it won’t stop shaking.

“Ah, here comes the dainty one.
You fight by relying on others, all magic and less of others.
You alone are not a threat.
Indeed, if it is your magic, all I need is to take three words from you.
I don’t need to take your voice.”

“What are you blabbering about?! Get away from Christ!! Flam——?!”

I could tell that Dia was dismayed by the depth of this darkness.
If Tida was true to his words, Dia had been given the Silence status.

Against a boss centered on Abnormal Statuses, Dia, who specialized in magic, was not a good match.

I need to hurry…

I need to counter this mental magic somehow, fast, this mental…

Mental…? Right, if this magic works on the mental, then—

“Flam, Fla—Fuck, I could say it before!! Why can’t I say it now?!!”

“A non-chantless Magician is no match for me.”

It’s dark.

It’s so dark.
I am so dark right now.
Dark dark dark dark——

Darkdarkdarkdarkdark——!! Dark is scary, scary, scary.
I’m going to die.
I don’t want to die.
I don’t want to end, not in this hellhole, not leaving my only family behind, not my little sister.
I don’t want to die and leave her all alone!! This is unfair, don’t fuck with me, don’t fuck withmedon’tfuckwithmeDON’TFUCKWITHME——!!


【The ‘???’ Skill Has Gone Berserk】

Your mind has been stabilized in exchange for some of your emotions

Confusion is adjusted by +1.00


—Then, I could have just fed my anxiety and triggered that Skill instead.

With that shown on the ‘Display’, the curtain of darkness faded, and my mind stabilized.
The experience of using my legs didn’t fully return, but I forced myself to move my feet.
As long as my fighting spirit rekindled, I could still do it.

I shoved my trembling feet into the ground and went to attack Tida.

“Get away from Dia!”


He was so surprised by me being able to move that he was unable to dodge a thrust from behind.
My one-handed sword stabbed into his back.

“—Magic, «Freeze! Ice!!»”

Furthermore, I released all of my magic into ‘Freezing Magic’ and punctured it into him.

The image of rapid freezing starting from the tip of my sword was imaged in my mind—the image of refining ice within Tida’s body, freezing it all over.

I put all the remaining MP into it.
Naturally, my MP reserves soon reached zero.
Nevertheless, the magic continued.
I had never checked if magic could still be used with zero MP.

It was then that I learned that what my MP lacked was covered with my life—it was shaving away into my Maximum HP.



HP: 152/197, MP: 0/262


HP: 152/190, MP: 0/262


HP: 152/183, MP: 0/262


As those numbers continued to dwindle, I shouted.

“Freeze! Freeze, freeze, FREEEEZZZEEEE——!!!”

I bet everything on the magic.
I squeezed all the strength I could and continued to envision the image of freezing.

With the intention of creating a cold wave over the entire Antarctic continent, with the intention of suppressing all kinds of vibrations from every molecule, be it this monster Tida, be it myself, anything and everything—!! The vision to absolutely freeze all that could ever be—!!!

Ice was generated inside Tida.
The temperature in the room dropped rapidly, and the black liquid gradually transformed into a black solid.
In hindsight, it also froze over my wounds.
Sparks flew, filling my vision, and the taste of iron overpowered my throat.

It was then that Tida’s arm struck my unprotected cheek.

“—Kgh! You’re not bad!”

A distance opened between Tida and me.

After being repelled away, I regained my stance, glaring at Tida.
Both my vision and my mind were oddly clear, perhaps thanks to the ‘???’ Skill.
The feelings in my legs were gradually recovering, too.

I could feel that I was getting back in my top shape, omitting my HP and MP.
The ‘???’ Skill sure was convenient.

“Fufu—kuhahaha!! You truly are excellent…! How can you walk? How can you stand and face me? Aah, truly excellent…!”

Tida crackled his body with jolting movements as he spoke. 

From his gestures, it was evident that my ‘Freezing Magic’ was working as intended.
However, it didn’t seem to be a decisive blow.
He was trying to walk toward me, albeit awkwardly.

Feeling that I had taken one out of him, I returned his gloat.

“It seemed like your oh-so-specialized magic… isn’t very effective on me…”

Although I put on the front of someone having a huge advantage, the truth was that I was getting dizzy with fatigue to the point that I was sure the blood vessels in my brain could rupture at any second.
Nevertheless, I gave my best bluff.

“Hm, I don’t think so… You were so flustered before, and I saw it took some time before you could disable it.”

“Well, I wonder… Was it really…?”

Tida closed in on me as he laughed.
In the midst of our banter, I checked my ‘Status’.



Name: Kanami Aikawa

HP: 101/171, MP: 0/262

Class :

Level 6

STR: 4.12, VIT: 4.21, DEX: 5.11, AGI: 7.24, WIS: 7.23, MAG:11.43, APT: 7.00

Constitution :

Confusion: 6.61

Mental Corruption: 0.34

Bleeding: 0.31


My MP was 0.

My HP had been reduced to almost half, even though I hadn’t received a single direct hit.
Recklessly using Freezing Magic must have taken a serious toll on my body.

“—Magic, «Dimension»!!”

I further shaved away at my Max HP.
Using the minimum amount of magical assistance, I struck at the smiling Tida.

“Haha! What about this?!”

A dagger swung at me.

I only barely managed to catch Tida’s blade with the flat of my sword.
The outcome of «Dimension» was lowered, but Tida’s movement was also slowed down by my ‘Freezing Magic’.
I still could hold my ground.

“You stopped it! But if you touch me, you won’t be able to evade my mental magic! Next, I will take your hands!”

Tida kept one hand on the blade while liquefying his other hand, sending the black goo my way.
I was too busy trying to defend against the blade that some of the liquid managed to adhere to my skin.

Then, as he declared, the sensation of using my hand went haywire.
I focused on the hand that held my sword, then——

I’ll die.
I’ll die if I drop this sword.
I will die without doubt.
I will die in an instant.
I’ll die.
I’ll die, I’ll die, I-I don’t want to die, I doN’T WANT TO DIE!!


【The ‘???’ Skill Has Gone Berserk】

Your mind has been stabilized in exchange for some of your emotions

Confusion is adjusted by +1.00

* * *

Reaper Scans

Translator – Mab

Proofreader – ilafy

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* * *


—I used the fear of death and regained my grip on the sword.
And then, with a strong, renewed hold, I—


—Slid my sword above Tida’s blade, going for the neck.


Tida solidified his other hand to stop it.

However, it was too late.
There was too big of a time gap before he could harden his body after he used his magic.
I cut off his arm before it solidified.

Tida’s arm was cut off around the elbow, its stump frozen over.

The severed arm danced in the air.
As he swallowed that fact, Tida jumped away and retreated backwards.
Then, he caught his own arm from the air.

“You’re good! Ha ha ha, my magic really has no effect on you! This is why I can’t stop doing this!!”

Tida tried to liquefy the arm he had just caught to absorb it back into his body.
However, the frozen parts didn’t liquefy, and in the end, he only managed to salvage around half of it.
The frozen part was discarded, raising a cracking sound unique to ice on impact.

“I see.
You can no longer use the part when it’s frozen…”

“Fufufu, I wonder? Why don’t you prove your theory by fighting me?”

“That’s exactly what I’m going to do!”

I jumped in, sensing from Tida’s figure that I had a chance to win if I attacked at that moment.

“However, I am used to having my magic resisted.
Magic users like you are often only able to resist certain types of abnormal statuses…!!”

Having said so, Tida held his blade up while he fired some black liquid from his other arm.
Even if I fell into an abnormal status, I judged my ‘???’ Skill would be able to deal with it, so I let myself be showered in his attack.

“Your strength is one thing, but… even more so, your level-headedness, craftiness, judgment ability, and observation skills are all a huge bother.”

Tida laughed as he distanced himself from me.

Then, something unusual happened.
Suddenly, my dizziness cleared up, and my head felt sharp.

I thought of using the ‘???’ Skill, but I judged against it.
I was not in a fatal mental state.
Even if I triggered it, there would be a small gap in my motion, so I didn’t have to force myself to use it.
Hence, I decided to roar, following the urge that welled up in me.

“I will carve you up!! Once again!! TIDA!!!”

I stuck Tida with my sword.
I slashed at him again and again, and he parried all of it with just one blade-arm.

“Straightforward, aren’t we?!”

Tida exploited the gap between my moves and kicked me away.
I was that close to actually damaging him; it made my blood boil that I was kicked right then.
With the same blazing emotion, I rushed at Tida, trying to swing my sword again…

“Christ! Calm down!!”

Dia, who was standing back, shouted. So damn annoying.
I am this close to slashing this monster to bits, don’t get in my damn way.

“I am calm!”

“You’re obviously getting repetitive! His magic made you not normal!”

Not normal?

I suppressed my irritation just barely to check upon my Status.



HP: 92/169, MP: 0/262


Confusion: 7.61

Mental Corruption: 2.35

Bleeding: 0.32

Exhilaration: 2.01


I confirmed ‘Mental Corruption’ and ‘Exhilaration’.
I clicked my tongue and made my mind anxious with the fear of death in order to trigger the activation of the ‘???’ Skill.


【The ‘???’ Skill Has Gone Berserk】

Your mind has been stabilized in exchange for some of your emotions

Confusion is adjusted by +1.00


That, however, didn’t erase ‘Exhilaration’.
The invigorated feeling in my mind didn’t go away.
The source of my will to fight continued to boil my head.



HP: 92/169, MP: 0/262


Confusion: 8.61

Mental Corruption: 0.08

Bleeding: 0.32

Exhilaration: 2.02


The ‘Exhilaration: 2.02’ effect didn’t go away.
My ‘???’ Skill couldn’t cancel it.
No, perhaps it didn’t recognize it as a negative status? It was all speculation and wishful thinking that it could cancel out negative statuses in the first place.

The mysterious ‘???’ Skill only increased my ‘Confusion’ and left all others pretty much the same.
Without having any idea of the details of the Skill, perhaps there might have been too much uncertainty in fighting with it as my main gimmick.

“…I knew it.
You couldn’t erase this one.
Still, I won’t give you time to calm down!”

Tida attacked me in my confusion.

He struck me with his blade arm while spraying black liquid with his other hand.

It was impossible to fight while avoiding the liquid, so I ignored it and concentrated only on the blade.

“Are you sure? —Magic, «Variable Paranoia».”

Magic permeated my body.
Excitement built upon excitement, and all restraint was lost.
My blood boiled, and I wished nothing more than to continue slashing away at the powerful enemy in front of me.


“I like those eyes! This is how humans are supposed to be!”

My limbs kept moving forward on their own.
My body was in too good a shape for me to consider even stopping.
My brain shimmered, screaming at me to defeat my enemy.

And sure enough, each swing gets faster than the last…! My attacks are getting more powerful too…! But I can’t think of any feints or tricks or shit…! Just swinging the sword feels too damn good…!

“Well?! It is just the best, isn’t it?! When sword meets sword?! When death is a mere stroke away?! This is what it means to be alive!!”

Tida spoke as though he was singing.

And there was a part of me that couldn’t deny him.
Right then, I was enjoying the fight.

Even if it was what Tida wanted me to do, I couldn’t stop myself.
I felt so reluctant to part myself from that head-on confrontation.
Even though I had no more HP or MP, I couldn’t think of backing away.

“Fuhaha! Kuhahaha!!”

Tida laughed; his black liquid invaded my body all over.

It washed away everything.
It was not harmful.
If anything, it felt like a pleasant shower.
It cleansed my mind comfortably.

It erased plans, calculations, second-guesses, and such tactless things.
There was no need for pretext, calculating advantages, evading harms, or any such shit.
There was only one thing on my mind: the battle at hand.

“—You mustn’t, Christ! Stop!!”
“Get out of my way, DIAAaa!!”

The voice behind me tried to stop me.
But I reflexively denied it.

I felt as if everything that interfered with that happy time was an enemy, and I couldn’t help it.


The voice approached.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop swinging my sword.

My life was being drained away.
The longer the bout continued, the more I chipped my sword, and the worse my situation turned.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop.

Tida’s blade kept blocking my sword, and it was him who was gradually gaining ground over me.

And finally, I reached the very limits of my body after fighting without a care in the world.

Tida’s decisive blow was swung at my neck.
The cost of my reckless attacks took their toll on my body, and I was unable to put any strength into my limbs.
I was full of openings.
Tida’s blade glided in as if it was sucked into my neck——

And before it reached, Dia’s body came in between.

I could see Dia, unable to keep up with our too-fast give and take blows, plunge his entire body into the space between Tida and me to protect me.

—I saw Dia’s body jump in, and I saw the blood dancing in the darkness.

The first strike slashed Dia’s torso excessively.
Still, Dia swung his own sword back at Tida.
Naturally, his slow attack struck in vain, and it was his right arm, his sword arm, that was slashed away next.

With his arm lost, Dia could do nothing but collapse.


The exhilaration that had taken over me was extinguished in an instant.
What replaced it was a chill so cold it felt like an icicle had been inserted into my spinal cord.

I witnessed, in slow motion, that the anchor of my heart had been broken.
In the midst of it all, the words I had been telling myself all that time screamed.

Dia is a person of this other world.
In the end, he’s merely a tool.
He’s a meat shield for when things go south.
It is wise to see him as a disposable—


What I cherished the most, what I treasured the most… is now about to be destroyed!

I can’t forgive Tida for slashing at Dia.
I can’t forgive myself for being protected by Dia. 

Two catalysts of rage shook my throat as I found myself shouting his name.


Then, at that moment.

For just a moment, my eyes met Dia’s.

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