Chapter 3 – Satori ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ (Part 1)
Within the mountain, the cicada’s cry echoed throughout the surroundings.
The surface, illuminated by an indigo color mixed with red, and the warm wind dries the sweat on the skin.
The time is evening, it is twilight. (逢魔が時)
The night is the time where monsters live inーーit was being told from old times, and Junpei, with a being that seems to be a monsterーーhe is facing a girl wearing a kimono.
“Well then, what should I do”, Junpei placed a hand in his jaw.
A girl that looks like she’s in her latter teens, whose long black hair really suits the Japanese kimono. The kimono that had a black base color, has been dyed by blue and violet vibrant designs.
An ephemeral beauty. Her deep black eyes were as if they were the darkness of the deep sea, and had an infinite deepness that seems to engulf everything.
The instant they med, Junpei immediately activated【Appraisal Eyes】, but he wasn’t able to know her identity.
Of course, she is not a humanーーhe knew that she was the like of monsters or Mononoke with her atmosphere even without using his【Appraisal Eyes】.
But, even to appraise her, even the【Appraisal Eyes】that were proudly the super-class had no meaning.
ーー”I see now……”, Junpei thought.
It’s about time that only one pattern wouldn’t be enough……that it was at that time.
Right now, he was not able to find the note that the Ossan left.
“Normally, I should go with only running away, but……”, Junpei made an expression as if he bit a bitter bug.
The floor’s exit, is behind the Japanese clothes girl. Right behind her, he could see that it was placed there with the safety area.
Of course, the Japanese clothes girl is well aware……and just like that, she chose to stand between the exit and Junpei, and stared at him intently without saying anything.
Junpei looked around.
Behind him is an animal trail, the path that he took just earlier had deep lush trees.
And next, he looked at the light inclined plane in front of him.
The grassy open place from the trees that was about 20 meters in diameterーーthat was being the safety are as it is.
He dropped his look to the grazed injury drawn in his palm and made a wry smile.
This floor, it has only mountain and trees.
Along the way, he had advanced through the animal trail so he knew that even if he didn’t want to. From time to time, he was able to see rivers……but well, it only means that it’s a forest that has a deep nature where people had not let their hands into it.
Was it the path where the ones before him took, or was it the Shota God’s meddling, or was it the dungeon’s creator, it is unknown, butーーjust like to say “Please advance through here”, there was an animal trail that was placed there, but even so, it was not something that he was able to call a path in his common sense.
He went through that path by walking a day and a night, and what he metーーis the girl standing before him.
The time since they started staring at each other, was already very long.
ーー”I’d get killed if I stimulate her carelessly”.
To the pressure that the girl releases, Junpei’s instinct rang its loudest alarm.
But though that was said, there was no way for him to move back, so the situation was blocked in all directions.
That is why, Junpei had a daunting stance since earlier and waited and see.
「Here here, if you don’t say anything forever, what should I do……I’d get troubled how to react」
Extending to her waistーーno, while brushing her long hair extending to her knees with her right hand dexterously, the girl started to move towards him.
「Inside of this kind of labyrinth, something like how to deal with a girl standing alone, that’s the one I wouldn’t get an idea huh? On top of that, it’s a matchless beauty that one would think that it’s of this world’s」
「Kufufu, even if you praise my appearance, I don’t have anything to give you after all this time you know?」
“Hou”, Junpei shrugged his shoulder.
「After all this time……huh. And……the reason for that is?」
Wetting her luscious lips with her tongue, the girl laughed casually
「I had known that I am beautiful from a long time ago. Is there a reason needed other than that?」
“Well, this one’s foxy”, Junpei let out a light sigh.
The distance between them is 20 meters. If their distance was this far away, even if he got attacked without preliminary actions, he would be able to deal with it.
No, specifically saying, if it’s an opponent that he wouldn’t be able to deal with even with that, it’s useless whatever he would do.
“And……if that is so, it’s useless thinking of that possibility……”, Junpei took a step forward. At the same time, her deep black eyes were mixed with red colors.
「Well then……with this, it is the distance that it can be used. Right now, here, I think of activating the【Satori】ability. My ability, it’s a little special you know?」 (Her sentences ends with “jya”)
Junpei narrowed his eyebrows dubiously.
「That’s right. My ability is mighty without equal. And it moved a person’s heart. but the troublesome with it is……the targetーーin this case, it’s you huh. Towards you, I will receive a certain restriction」
「You do not need to think of it difficultly. In short……as a restriction of the use of this ability, I need to declare it first」
ーー”Haa〜? What the heck is she talking about?”.
When Junpei thought of that, the Japanese clothes girl laughed.
「ーー”Haa〜? What the heck is she talking about?” You said? I see, I see, it could not be helped for you to think of that」
Junpei shuts up, he thought that the girl in front of him was eerie.
「And, right now, you thought of me as eerie」
“This, is it perhaps……”, Junpei had an uncomfortable sweat in his sides.
Within the mountain, the Japanese clothes girl, and the situation right now.
ーーas far as he thought, this situation is not good at all.
Together with fear, Junpei had goosebumps
「And next, you, you had fear of me. Andーー」
“Ahh, there’s no doubt, she isーー”, when Junpei thought of that, *Pon*, the Japanese clothes girl hits her palm.
「Thinking about it, I had yet to introduce myself……I am Satori. As you had guessed, one that reads people’s minds, that kind of monster……or maybe a God」
「……I guessed of that. You’re pretty much a major youkai after all. But, really, this is, saying that you’re a God, that’s bragging too much」
*Kokuri*, Satori, she nodded while blushing her cheeks.
「I am sorry for making you frightened. Even……so……adventurers who are able to reach this floor were a little more courageous though? You’re acting cool, but……your mind’s mental distribution chart are on fire you know……kufufu」
His expression almost broke getting hit his bull’s eye, but even so, Junpei smiled fearlessly.
「Well, doing something like sneaking from behind……is my style after all. Something like you is, honestly……is the most troublesome」
“Un, un”, Satori nodded a lot of times.
「Well that should be the case. You don’t need to say all of it. The way you killed Cerberus……and the other things, you are reallyーー」
Satori took out a fan from her waist, and spread it out.
And *Bishiri*, she immediately shut it closed, and swung it once left and right.
「ーーthe worst scumbag. On top of that unsightlyーーnot beautiful at all」
Petrified for a while, and Junpei shrugged his shoulders.
「I’ll take it as a compliment」
「Hmph, you turn defiant with it huh. In the first place you know, fighting is……collision of the trained techniques and strength to its limits」
「Oi oi, if you go with that logic, aren’t your way of fighting cheating? Most probably……your way of fighting is you’d read the minds of your enemy, and on top of that, you’d suppress the strength and techniques right?」
“Umu”, Satori nodded.
「It is natural and inevitable. If you have an ability that you were born with, is it not inevitable to use it?」
「No……eh?! Then, aren’t you a scumbag too?」
Clueless, Satori tilted her head.
「No……why? you say……because you survive in a similar way like me……. and, as you had said, it’s scumbag fighting like that right? So then……」
“Ahh”, there, *Pon*, Satori hits her hand.
「About that huh……if it’s about that, I am far away from being a scumbag」
「You and I are fundamentally different right?」
*Fufun*, Satori smiled lusciously.
「I am one who is beautiful and noble whose name enters the Countless Gods. I am very different from a lowly being like you in the first place」
「The standards that you adapted and the rules are different. Even if it’s wrong for you, there is no problem for me to do it. For example huh, even if it’s the legislative state that is protected by human rights where you grew up, isn’t there something similar to that?」 (ジンケンニマモラレタホウチコッカ)
「……I won’t deny that……but why are you speaking brokenly with that 」
「It’s distorted. That is why it makes me feel disgusted……I think. As far I had read your memory, the world that you want to return to is very distorted you know? The soldiers that risk their lives to protect their country, are being criticized for having the weapons as a soldier, and the guards(policemen) that killed with no other choice to protect the civilians without sins are punished, and got lost to the streets together with their family……it is very much, in the meaning of unreasonableness, your world is pretty much a dystopia huh? And if that is so, this world, as simple as it is, is it not better?」
After thinking for a while, Junpei opened his mouth.
「That’s the logic of the strong. Well, if you have the strength to pass through all that you want, this world too, might be easy to live in……. the law in the country that I lived in, it’s true that I have a lot of things that I do not prefer, and in reality, I think that it’s distorted. But……to the point where anyone is able to live……it’s a great justice you know?」
Seemingly unable to keep it inside, Satori started to laugh hugging her stomach.
「Kufufu, kufufu!……no, really……you’re really a cute one, huh?」
Wiping her tears of laugh with her little finger, Satori spoke to Junpei as if to remonstrate him.
「When you leave this labyrinth……you, are already one of the strong. If so, when you leave outside……no, there’s no meaning to this question huhーー」
“After all……”, Satori continued.
「ーーI will devour you」
With those words as the start, Junpei took out the hand gun from his waist and shot with god speeds.
The destination of his shots is the middle of her eyebrows and body. A total of two bullets each was shot without aiming was released with the speed of sound.
*Pan* , *Pan* , *Pan* , *Pan*. A dry sound together with the smell of gunpowder.
Satori dodged the bullets with no difficulty by twisting her body.
「……stop it. All of it’s in my buddha’s palm. Especiallyーーit’s ridiculous to think that you would launch a surprise attack towards me」
「It wouldn’t be easy after all huh」
“Umu”, Satori opened her fan, and *PataPata*, elegantly fanned it.
「Too bad for you, I had never lost even once until now」
「Well, that’s really……」
Once again, at the same time Junpei had an uncomfortable sweat in his sides, Satori mischievously smiled.
「Even so……maybe it is a little unfair to say it like this?」
「I let those who had met my expectations passーーno, it might be better to call it a gate pass? Even though it is I……I let those who had that pass through here. I do not want to stand against the ones in the deep floors」
「……the group in the deep floors……huh」
「It looks like they are calling out young ones who have rare skills from the outside world. It seems like they are planning to clear this labyrinth……fufu! It’s clearing it you know, clearing it? Even though there’s no way that they can do that……my goodness……I cannot think that it is sane」
Hearing those words, Junpei held his breath
「Oi, wait a minute……isn’t this labyrinth basically irreversible……? You are having some kind of contact with those guys……or being afraid of the possibility of retaliation……you meant it like that right? Is it easy to do something like going back and forth?」
Closing her eyes, Satori closed her fan and took it to her eyebrows.
「Irreversible……huh. Well, in this case……maybe I should leave aside whether they can do harm to me physically? And……it is true that going back and forth with the floors is only one way. There are exceptions, but it is not easy to go here and there. If that is so, for what reason would you say that it is irreversible?」
「……what the heck are you saying?」
「Was it hard to understand……hmm……. For Example……you have met a lot of monsters and humans before coming to this floor in the past. And, right now, the monster or human that you had met in the past had something that they want to say. Or they might thought that there might have been other choices other than killing each other……」
On the back of Junpei’s mind, the cannibal race’s Katrina appeared.
It was pretty much a distorted way, but a woman that had a good liking of him.
It was the worst ending, but thinking about it right now, there might’ve been other ways……is what might think just a bit.
「Well……in the past, you……maybe you were able to choose a different choice」
「Well, if it was that instant in the past I probably would’ve been able to do anything. The result of killing each other might’ve been avoided?」
「Fufu, that’s right, it is as you have said. To you, with your actions……you had infinite possibilities. And right now, you also have infinite possibilities……all of the things from now on will be decided by your actions」
Junpei tilted his head ambiguously.
「……a zen answer huh. In short, do your best in those times, you say? That’s not an answer at all」
「Zen answer……huh. Kufufu……I see, it’s true that it might’ve been similar to that. But, I have good knowledge within this labyrinth……even about your circumstances. Looking at your original memories……kufufu……it is through that I cannot assert it, but my speculation should not be that off……really, you are really cursed by misfortune huh?」
「I can’t understand what you’re talking about at all……really, I can’t keep up with you」
“Kufufu”, Satori returned with a suggestive smile.
「I think that it would be good for you not to let is slide though? Even if you are about to die……it might be good for future references you know?」
「I’m starting to completely lose what you’re saying……. So, why are you going to devour me?」
Satori nodded, and *Chirori*, licked her lips.
「I am hungry. Is there a reason needed other than that?」
“Hmph”, Junpei laughed, and when he puts away his hand gun, he searched his waist.
He took out Cerberus’s Canine from there, and turned to Satori.
「Because you’re hungry huh……that’s really, more simple and easy to understand」
Junpei kicked the ground, towards Satori.
And at the same time, Satori steps back as if to dance and spoke to Junpei while moving backwards.
「ーーand so, from now on, what will you do to me? Well……I know it though」
“Ha!” Junpei spat out and shouted.
「From all times everywhere, the countermeasure for enemies with Satori-type abilities is to toss them around with super speed!」
Junpei closed in to Satori.
And when he tried to slash at Satori with Cerberus’s Canineーーhe jumped sidewards.
In an instant to the left direction of Satori, he turned back ones again drawing a right angle on the ground.
「Giving me lethal wounds using Cerberus’s Canine……I see, I think that is possible. I am paper armored just like you. On top of that, that speed……it is true that you are far more faster than me. But I, I had never received a wound from all of my enemies before」
Towards Junpei’s attack from behind, as if to elegantly dance after all, Satori turned around, and dodged the Cerberus’s Canine.
Both of them jumped backwards, taking distance.
「It is too bad……tossing around with super speed……even though you said that, it seems like your status is lacking too much. If you have around three times that, maybe, even if I had read all of it……you might have been able to force it……huh」
Without waiting for Satori’s words to finish, Junpei charged once again. He closes in his distance from Satori with zigzag movements.
Looking at that, Satori spat out as if to pity him.
「It is truly……foolish……. did I not tell you that I had read it all?」
And there, “Ha!”, Junpei raised the tip of his lips.
「Then, what would you do with this? Ojou-sama?」
The Cerberus’s Canine, not slashing it towards Satori, Junpei placed it towards his own wrist.
And while crinkling his face, he cut his skin at once.
「……you read my mind right? What kind of thing this is……well now, do something with it if you can!!」
Junpei swung his arm sidewards, and his blood spurted like a fountain.
Satori was immediately dyed with blood.
While having blood make up in her bluish-white skin, Satori answered with a smile.
「ーーnothing will happen though?」
With a frighteningly cold expression, as if to look at him with eyes looking at a broken toy, she said it very casually.
「……eh?! There’s nothing……?」
After taking a few distance from Satori, Junpei said that with a dumbfounded voice.
「E〜to……uhm. In the first place, this poison, it’s the gatekeeper’s guarding the first floor……in short, it’s the small fry’s ability right?」
「……small fry? No Life King……is?」
「Being appalled……no, even if you make a cute expression……」
“Gohon”, Satori continued after clearing her throat.
「Weren’t you even told by the god……. Really, it’s better to think that that would be effective for so long?」
To the Satori who ambiguously said that, as if to receive a metal bat to his skull with a full swingーーJunpei’s brain was mentally shook.
Just recently, he was told by that by the God. No, even from beforeーー
ーーI was prepared for it.
That the time like this would come……that’s right, in truth……I was prepared for it.
But, somewhere……I had trusted the poison that I had as the ultimate weapon. And it was clear that I was being conceited with that.
Of course, I thought of plans for clearing the labyrinth without relying on the poison, butーーas a result, it couldn’t make it in time for this floor.
Looking at Junpei’s expression of losing all hope, *KusuKusu*, Satori laughed sweetly.
「That is great, that is great. Umu……it is the greatest spice eating meat with fear. It is truly very different with its crisp when eating it……. And……was it poison? I can use Satori’s abilities at the cellular level……maybe I should say it like that? Bacteria, virus, poison……all of them, I read ahead of them inside my body precisely, dispose and decompose it」
“It means”, Satori continued.
「ーーpoison has no effect to me. Well, you should’ve been cautious from the point that【Appraisal Eyes】were not effective」
The instant he heard those words, Junpei turned his back to Satori, and ran with all of his strength.
「You’re disqualified. It is a precise judgment, but you are too late to be given the passing grade……huh. Kufufu……but even so, your speed is full-fledged, your feet for running away is especially fast……but, it is meat after a long time……I won’t let you escape」
Junpei swung his limbs with all of his strength.
It is a fixed matter that he wins with speed, in a pure game of tag, that girl who had that delicate body wouldn’t be an opponent.
The thing to be aware of running away are long range attacks……guessing from her words, she had ways to do with these kinds of situations.
But anyways, he ran zigzag to not let the opponent catch him easily. Even if she is able to read his mind, it shouldn’t be useless.
*Hyun*, a wind cutting sound.
A warm impact ran in Junpei’s right cheek.
ーーit was cut by something sharp.
When Junpei glanced back for an instant, there he saw countless thousand paper cranes flying towards him.
「Kimono plus origami that has deadly abilities……you’re an uninspiring bastard huh!!」
“Haha”, while laughing like that, Satori also said to Junpei while chasing after him.
「Cliches aren’t to be made fun of you know? And……well, this is……for the time being, it is what you call the shot gun of paper blades?」
She innocently distorts her true deep black eyes.
And furthermore, tens, hundreds of Origami was taken out from her waist, and created the shapes of cranes in the air.
「Give me a break……I’m no thank you for seconds you know?」
「Young one shouldn’t be reserved you know? Kufu! Kufufu!!」
*HyunHyunHyunHyun*, consecutive wind cutting sounds.
Countless thousand paper cranesーーdescribing that, it is a barrage, or something close to a wall.
But, Junpei’s evasion abilities also already reached different dimensions.
Even if he cannot see that, the flow of the air, sound, and up to his sixth sense, all of his senses are sharpened, and he is able to dodge them with his monstrous evasion without looking back.
「Hou〜……even an acrobat whose movements are decided from the start, wouldn’t able to do great evasions like this you know?」
Satori whispered with an amazed expression.
Butーーeven though she said that, it is not something that can be continued forever. Satori whispered boringly.
「Oh? Is it already the end?」
With that groaning voice, Junpei’s right shoulderーーa little higher from his elbow was pierced by the origami.
Once, his posture was almost greatly broken.
ーーif it breaks here, I will become a beehive by the countless origamis at once!!
He braced his self forcefully, somehow supported his knees that almost fell, and still continued to run with all of his strength.
Countless cut wounds that covered his body, and his pierced right shoulder. His right hand was already cannot be moved, and the blood that he lost had already reached its danger zone.
And, at that time, in the corner of Junpei’s eyes, in the side cliff of the mountain pathーーappeared a river.
ーーif I jump to the river……it might be possible……?
Junpei turned around as if to check his back.
「Fumu. I cannot leave far from here. If you were able to run to the river……it true that it would be troublesome」
Satori who seemed to get a little impatient, swung her hands in upwards, downwards, left, and right, together with a wind cutting sound.
And with that, three unknown things appeared within the countless origami.
It was a fan that turns at high speeds.
One of them was the one that she had used earlier, and the remaining two are addition.
Junpei who saw that got speechless.
With the bonus of the status, the result of the calculation of all of the situation going to happen after……he found out that there is no escape from this situation.
It was a situation that can only be defined hopeless.
In short, whatever he do, he wouldn’t be able to dodge the direct attack from those fans……
「Fumu. It’s the end with this huh……well, origami was only a smoke screen and the real shot was the fan……that’s all. Inevitably, their deadliness has the differences of heaven and earth. In short……even if you run towards the right, or the left, or not run……all of your path are closed, it only means that」
Satori’s words won’t reach Junpei anymore.
He charged strength to his feet, and placed the right arm that he couldn’t move from the deep wounds in between.
The direct blow……he received it.
Whatever he do, his vitals would be pierced.
Most probably……he would die.
However, just a little bit, even if that is only a small fragment of the possibility of surviving……, he still accelerated.
*HyunHyun*, the origami that flies towards him without stop continued to cut his skin.
Within thatーーJunpei flew.
He leaped……towards the river ten meters below the cliff.
Satori who was looking at that do or die dive, let out boringly.
「I was able to kill him……but there is no way for me to reach his meat. It is because, there is no way for me to go away from here……huh……」
After a few instances, *Zashun*, a weirdly light sound echoed from below the cliff.
That is the sound of one of the fans having an unbelievable speed of turning hitting Junpei.
While cutting through his stomach, the fan advanced through his body, and finally got through.
There was no pain or whatever, there was no danger signal being sent from his brain too. *Zudon*, something hit him from behind, and just passed through.
That was the feeling Junpei felt.
ーーahh, this is the worst……
His blood and pieces of meat were splattered in the surroundings.
His organs that were messed up, they popped out from the inside of his body.
In front of the undeniable death, Junpei shouted inside his mind.
He thought about the three fans that were thrown an instant before. And had a conclusion.
ーーI would’ve won!! I……would’ve won. No, there was……the possibility of winning.
She was saying gibberish that he wouldn’t be able to run away to the right and to the left. And if that is so, inevitably he was going to reach one answer.
ーーwhy……did I not notice……. that woman……in the middle……
“That’s right”, Junpei thought while falling.
ーーshe is a Satori……she reads people’s minds. But that is a double-edged sword……as the compensation of reading the mind, she has a lethal weakness point. Damn it!……I am a fool all the way……. I should’ve noticed, when she changed her attacks from area, to points……
*Bochan*, he fell into the water.
It looks like it was a river that was deep, and until the dark bottom of the water, Junpei sunk.
The direction where the light could be seenーーwhile reaching out his left arm to the water surface, *Kobori*, air was released from his mouth.
He drank water, and coughed. *GoboGobo*, air leaked further, and Junpei thought.
*Sponsored by Sean Emanuel-sama