Chapter 41: Reverse Time Dilation

As the two people walk towards the tomb, they sense something in the aura surrounding the island.

Sneha: “Has it started already?”

Ethan: “Looks like it has.”

Ethan says as he sees the fluctuations in time-axis get larger.

Ethan: “Time has started to flow much faster than it normally would.”

Sneha: “Do you have any numbers?”

Ethan thinks while trying to focus on the aura his eyes can see.

Ethan: “I am not particularly sure but time seems to be running … about 12 times faster.”

Her eyes widen on hearing that.

Sneha: “What!? That’s a lot!”

Ethan: “It is. It means a day will pass in the time equivalent to two hours normally.”

He realizes that this could present a problem to him in the long run, even if he’s confident that his objective here will be achieved.

Ethan: “I guess that means we need to hurry.”

Sneha: “Hmm … there’s no other way than to hurry now.”

Ethan nods as Sneha turns back to the direction in which the pond is. She takes a long breath in order to send her aural energy to her legs.

Sneha: “You won’t be able to keep up though.”

Ethan: “Yeah I know, but that’s fine.”

He says as he notices Sneha transferring energy into her arms as well.

Ethan: “Just get to the tomb and try to make sure no one is able to ambush you, if they for some reason want to.”

Sneha nods and opens her eyes which had been closed for a moment and says,

Sneha: “Okay then, try not to take too long.”

Ethan smiles on hearing that.

Ethan: “Don’t worry. I am not planning to miss out on all the good parts.”

She sighs.

Sneha: “I should have expected something like that as the response.”

She says as she starts running towards the tomb.

Ethan: “Damn!”

As he sees her running, or rather, disappearing away, for a moment, even Ethan stands still in astonishment.

Ethan: “I wonder how fast she is right now, mach 1 maybe … no, half of that.”

He says as he too starts running through the forest.

Ethan: “If I am reading the aura of the island right, which I should be considering how much experience I have built reading it, she should reach the tomb in about two minutes or so.”

He keeps running while avoiding obstacles as he says so.

Ethan: “Even considering this distorted time, only 24 minutes would have passed by then.”

He sighs because of the words that would come out of his mouth next.

Ethan: “I, on the other hand, would take 2 hours to reach there. So one day would have passed all in all.”

He keeps running despite feeling disappointed in himself.

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Ro: “Does anyone else feel that?”

Dragon: “Yeah, there’s some sort of interference with time going on.”

The dragon says as he tries to observe the changes around us.

Barry: “I think you are right.”

Barry affirms what the dragon says. And truly, it does feel like the flow of time has gotten faster.

Sona: “If time is moving faster, shouldn’t that affect our perception of it?”

I get the point she is trying to make. From what I have come to learn in the past day, time moves much faster on this island. But it’s not like we feel that’s what’s going on. That difference can only be observed by someone who looks at us from outside the island.

Barry: “Well, what is going on is that the time is moving faster but our sense of time is not. According to our sense, time is moving at the same pace, but it’s not. So, we are able to see the difference.”

That makes sense too. Time and sense of time are two different factors. Our sense of time can lead us to think that time is moving faster or slower depending on our mind-sets. I haven’t personally experienced things like these but I have heard people saying things like time seems to fly by when they do something they like and it seems very slow when they are doing something they don’t like. That’s the most common example of how our sense of time can affect us. Usually, our sense of time on the island is fast enough that it coincides with the fast moving time on the island. But for some reason, our senses have remained the same while the time has gotten faster.

Ro: “Well, this isn’t the first I have seen something like this.”

Barry nods. I think I know what he is talking about too.

Barry: “The difference between the moment we reached the island and the moment I saw Kais and Ethan talk in that dark cave-like place should have been, on the island, two days.”

Kais: “Yeah, technically that should have been how it went. But it seems like only some hours passed between those two things.”

It seemed like instead of time flowing slow like it usually does, it had started to move in faster than outside even.

Sona: “Okay then, what should we do now that the time is moving so fast? And what will happen to …”

She doesn’t complete her sentence as she takes a look at the dragon.

Dragon: “Well, I wish it depended on my sense of time but it doesn’t. If three days come to pass sooner than they should, I would die sooner than I should.”

That’s … infuriating.

Sona: “Then I suppose, we have a guess as to who is causing this?”

Then only one I can think of right now who would benefit from the dragon dying sooner is Ozyllus.

Barry: “Even ignoring the motive, if anyone has the power to cause so much interference with time, it would be Ozyllus.”

Ro: “Even though he has become a ghost?”

Barry: “Especially because he is a ghost.”

Ro: “What!?”

I think I get what he is trying to say. After all, it doesn’t make any sense for Barry to be the only ghost who could use psychic.

Barry: “It’s because of him that after becoming a ghost, I was still able to use psychic abilities. So even if I have never seen him using any, it only makes sense that he would also know how to use them.”

Dragon: “Yeah, I can confirm that he has been able to use psychic abilities even after becoming a ghost.”

Sona: “But can psychic abilities, or even combine them with everything ghosts can do, would still be enough to cause something like this?”

It does seem rather suspicious. Psychic abilities are not omnipotent. And I don’t think ghosts abilities would be either. This type of time-interference doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Barry: “Well, unfortunately, it seems we don’t have enough time to think about that right now.”

He says while looking back towards the tomb and getting alert.

Kais: “What’s wrong?”

Barry: “There are a couple of people with hostile intent coming towards us.”

Dragon: “Can you tell me who they are?”

Barry: “I can’t discern their identities though it does seem like I know at least one of them. I do know one of them is a ghost and the other is a psychic and both of them have insane amounts of energies of their respective forms surrounding their respective auras.”

Dragon: “That sounds dangerous.”

He says as he raises his hand making his palm face the forest.

Dragon: “Come.”

A face I had not seen for a while appears as the dragon says that. It was the little girl made of energy who has no name.

Girl: “H-Huh!? What’s going on here? Why are there so many people here? Weren’t they supposed to be fighting each other?”

Dragon: “Yeah, I suppose that was how things were the last time you saw them.”

The girl turns to him as he says so.

Dragon: “Things have changed and there’s not much time to explain but I need you to do something for me.”

She doesn’t even take a whole moment before nodding.

Dragon: “I need you to take Kais and Sona to the tomb and go inside it with them.”

Girl: “Okay.”

Kais: “Wait, where did that come from?”

Dragon: “There’s something in there you need to see. The last time I sent you in, it wasn’t the tomb you ended up in but a different dimension Ozyllus teleported you into.”

Kais: “Yeah, I know that. And I still need to ask you why you sent her with me when you should have clearly known she would not be able to stay there.”

Dragon: “It was to deceive Sona into believing the things I said after the girl returned from the tomb.”

Sona: “Yeah, figured.”

She said with folded arms.

Dragon: “But anyway, you were supposed to meet Ozyllus’ soul back there but I suppose he had changed his plans.”

That explains why he was surprised when he found out that I met Ethan in that place.

Dragon: “Regardless, because of all that, you have never been into the real tomb. And you need to go there. There are some answers that you can only find by going in the tomb.”

Kais: “Okay, but what about you?”

Barry: “Damn!”

Barry suddenly cursed while moving two steps back.

Ro: “What?”

Barry: “Now that they are much closer, I recognize both of them.”

And by his reaction, I am assuming they are bad news.

Barry: “They have enough power to kill us all here. So I suggest you guys get on with whatever you are trying to do.”

Dragon: “Okay listen, don’t worry about us and go there.”

But still,

Kais: “Tch!”

Sona: “I think we should follow his advice.”

I sigh.

Kais: “Yeah.”

I have no other choice it seems.

Kais: “I’ll be leaving this to you then.”

I say as I glance one last time at Ro, then Barry and finally the dragon before running to the right.

Sona: “The tomb’s not in this direction.”

Sona, who starts running right after I do, says.

Kais: “I know but we will run into those two Barry mentioned if we go in directly.”

Sona: “Yes, but aren’t we going in blindly if we try to take this route?”

Kais: “Don’t worry. Two abilities I am really good at are eidetic memory and aura reading.”

Sona: “Okay?”

Kais: “By eidetic memory, I have memorized the whole path from the tomb to the pond. And by aura reading, I can keep track and make sure we are running directly parallel to it.”

I say as we both turn around considering that there is enough distance between our path and the one that led straight to the tomb.

Sona: “Well, I’ll trust you on this one then. But,”

She says as she raises her arms towards the sky,

Sona: “For safety purposes, I am going to summon a spirit that can keep an eye on those two for us.”

That’s a good idea.

Sona: “Now, the Eye of Death That Pleases the Gods,”

I can’t understand what exactly her chants mean but I am hoping this spirit she is going to summon is good at this job she is about to give it.

Sona: “Bring the Flood to a Dying Land.”

A flash occurs as a spirit appears around her. It is a spirit in the form of a bat.

Sona: “Okay, Jaw,”

She explains to the spirit what it needs to do and the spirit starts flying in the search for its targets.

Kais: “Is that spirit, Jaw, powerful?”

Sona: “Well, it’s nimble, if nothing else.”

That kinda works better than it being simply powerful like Death. I am sure someone Barry would be at alert from would be able to kill a spirit like Death or even more powerful ones without much trouble.

Sona: “Okay, now that all that’s done; are you planning on continuing to run like this?”

I know what she is talking about. It will take us a lot of time this way.

Kais: “Well, we are going to run but not with this speed.”

Sona: “And what does that mean?”

Kais: “You’ll find out pretty soon.”

*******************************

Dust and broken trees are all that’s left behind after someone with extra-ordinary speed charges through the forest. It almost seems like the forest is destroyed by someone, though the person responsible for this can’t afford to worry about things like these. The only thing she can worry about is getting to her destination. And so, she gets to her destination.

As the last of the trees, present before the clearing in which the tomb is, fall down, the woman stops running.

Sneha: “So, this is the tomb.”

She says as she looks at the temple-like structure painted in gold.

Sneha: “Okay then, I suppose I need to wait here.”

She says as she suddenly feels someone’s aura drawing closer to the place.

Sneha: “Now who could that be?”

She wonders as she looks diagonally left from where the aura was closing in. She tries to read the aura but is unable to.

Sneha: “If that person’s able to conceal themselves like this, then it’s either a ghost or a psychic.”

She says as she alerts herself.

Sneha: “I better be on guard.”

*******************************

Dragon: “So you want to tell us who these two are?”

Barry: “One of them is a Spectre who is as powerful as me if not more and the other is the strongest man alive.”

Ro: “You mean Spectre Dyne and … who exactly?”

Barry: “Well,”

Barry and Ro jump back as the ground blows up beneath them. As if on cue, Dyne and Walter land on the ground.

Walter: “I do believe that was a rude way to ask that question, but allow me to introduce myself.”

Barry: “Shit!”

He says in a low voice which Walter acts as if he didn’t hear.

Walter: “I am Walter Schmidt. I have been bestowed the title of ‘the strongest man in the world’.”

He says as he bows to the three. As the dragon sees that not-so-tense attitude, he is reminded of the day he met Ozyllus, which leads to much frustration and anger boiling inside him.

Dragon: “You sure are calm.”

Walter: “Well,”

He raises his head enough to look at the dragon.

Walter: “Do I have any reason to be tense?”

Dragon: “Tch!”

The dragon clicks his tongue in annoyance, annoyance at the fact that he can’t say ‘yes’ to that question.

Dyne: “We don’t have time for this.”

Dyne says as he looks at Barry.

Dyne: “Since time seems to be running faster than usual, we need to take care of a troublesome opponent as quickly as we can and get to Kais.”

Ro: “Get to Kais, huh?”

Ro says as he narrows his eyes. Barry had predicted that the reason for them being here would be to bring Kais to their side or something so it doesn’t surprise him to learn that was really the case.

Dyne: “Yes, now if you would try not to resist too much.”

Barry smiles.

Barry: “Sorry, but I need to live a little longer. So I am not going to just let you kill me.”

He says as fire starts forming on both his hands.

Dyne: “Pyrokinesis, huh? Your fighting style hasn’t changed I see.”

Barry: “No, I like to stick with my strong suits.”

Barry says as the fire on his hands grows stronger and stronger with every second.

Dyne: “Okay then,”

He says as he puts his hand in his cape and takes out a spear plated in gold.

Dyne: “Let’s get started then, shall we?”

*******************************

Sneha: “Well, for insurance,”

She brings her hands up and a ball of aural energy forms on it. She has realized that the people who are coming there do not have hostile intent towards her but that is not enough to make her drop her guard as the very fact she’s here could be unknown to them.

Sneha: “They might have something against me but the hostile intent is not present because they don’t know I am here.”

She mutters to herself when the arriving party shows. A little girl comes out of the forest first followed by a spirit-user and then a psychic.

Sona: “Something wrong?”

Kais: “Yeah. Thanks to our strategy, we saved a lot of time but it seems we are not alone here.”

The three look at the Aural and stay silent. Both parties have come for the tomb and both of them can guess that much. What they can’t guess is if they will end up enemies or allies at this point.

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