Chapter 42: Strategy To Run, Strategy To Fight

Kais: “Okay, that’s what we need to do.”

I explain to Sona and the girl as we run.

Sona: “That does seem plausible.”

Girl: “Yup, we should try it.”

They both nod and so we decided to go with my idea.

Sona: “Okay, come out.”

The rabbit-like spirit appears out of nowhere. It’s strange how she didn’t need any chanting to call it out.

Sona: “Cut some trees in front of us. And make sure they are far enough that we can pick them up while we pass by there.”

The rabbit-like spirit nods and runs ahead of us to do the job.

Kais: “I was kinda curious what the name of that spirit is. You never seem to call it by any name.”

Sona: “It’s a nameless spirit.”

Kais: “What!?”

Sona: “Spirits are only given names after a contract is formed with a spirit-user. That spirit doesn’t have a contract with anyone so there’s no name.”

Kais: “Hmm … why does it follow your orders if it’s not a spirit you have a contract to?”

Sona: “I guess you can say we are friends and he is just willing to help out its friend.”

Somehow I don’t think that’s the case. It just doesn’t appear to me as if that spirit considers her a friend.

Kais: “Really?”

She sighs as if to say this conversation is unimportant.

Sona: “Anyway, I have a question too.”

So I guess I agree to change the topic.

Kais: “What is it?”

Sona: “Instead of doing all this, why can’t you just teleport us directly back to the tomb?”

I thought that question would come up from one of them at least.

Kais: “That would be very convenient but there’s high risk involved.”

Sona: “How?”

Girl: “Yeah, I want to know too.”

The girl looks at me curiously.

Kais: “Fluctuations are happening in the time-axis. But it’s not just limited to the time-axis. The way these two things are connected, when time-axis gets disturbed, some disturbance happens in spatial-axis too.”

Sona: “I see. That’s the problem, huh?”

Seems like Sona understands but,

Girl: “I don’t get it.”

Kais: “Look, teleportation is basically the ability to change one’s location on the spatial-axis without disturbing the time-axis.”

To be more precise, teleportation transfers one’s aura over the spatial-axis.

Kais: “So when fluctuations like these are going on, it may not work like you’d want it to.”

There’s a very high chance that a fluctuation will change the targeted position of teleportation. While it may not seem dangerous at first thought, there’re some pretty nasty possibilities present in that scenario. Teleporting right inside a solid object and losing some limbs or in fact dying depending on what part of the body is teleported in the object is very possible.

Girl: “I see. It’s very dangerous.”

Kais: “Yes, it is.”

While I was explaining, I had picked up three trunks of trees that the rabbit-like spirit broke for us, though it would be more accurate to say I lifted them up with psychokinesis rather than actually picking them up.

Sona: “Okay, how many more do you need?”

Kais: “Just one more.”

Sona: “Well, looks like that’s ready.”

I nod as I spot a broken trunk a distance away.

Sona: “Okay then, return.”

She says in a slightly louder voice that the rabbit-like spirit still shouldn’t be able to hear. But it somehow does and comes back.

Kais: “He sure has some sharp ears.”

I say as I lift the fourth trunk with psychokinesis as well.

Girl: “Okay, now comes my part.”

She says as she whistles. And as soon as she does that, animals of all kinds start heading towards us.

Girl: “I want you all to tell everyone to get away from the path from here to the tomb.”

By everyone, she means all the animals. As soon as they hear her say that, they disperse.

Kais: “Well, it’s only a matter of time now.”

I expect them to take about 10 minutes to deliver that message. That would be two hours on the current time-axis. I guess we’ll just have to lose that much time.

Girl: “Okay, now.”

Kais: “Now what?”

Girl: “Come on, do it now.”

Kais: “Wait, don’t tell me …”

The girl looks at me as she smiles and points at the animals looking at us from a distance.

Girl: “They have already delivered the message.”

That sure was way earlier than I expected it to be.

Kais: “So be it.”

I try to bring as much force as I can into my hands as I throw the fours trunks in the air towards the tomb over other trees.

Sona: “Yeah, the fluctuations have stabilized.”

She nods as she says so. I immediately react to it by putting a hand on the girl’s shoulders and teleporting her and then doing the same to Sona.

Kais: “Okay, finally.”

I do the same to myself.

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

As I arrive on the targeted spot, I see Sona and the girl standing there ready to go. I nod to them as we start running again.

The only difference from before is that we are way closer to the tomb than we were before. In fact, now it’s just a minute or so away.

Sona: “I can see the tomb from here. Looks like it worked.”

That’s a relief to hear. I was worried about some unforeseen circumstance causing the strategy to fail.

Teleporting was dangerous because of the fluctuations in time and space. So we had to stop those fluctuations. Of course I can’t go around stopping it for good or the whole ordeal would be much easier to deal with. So I decided to throw solid objects of high volume as fast as I can through the air. If I succeeded in reaching a particular speed, I would be able to stop the fluctuations in the path of those trees (and somewhat around it) for a moment.

Sona told the rabbit-like spirit to cut trees with high volume trunks, so that was taken care of. The girl made sure the animals are out of our path so they don’t get hurt and Sona confirmed that the fluctuations halted after I threw those trunks. So I was able to teleport us through that path to a place as near to the tomb as possible. Luckily, the trunks did fell really near to the tomb.

Sona: “If you still have some doubt about you being exceptionally powerful, then I think being able to throw them with half of light speed should be proof enough for you to stop thinking that.”

That … is a good point. Still though, this was something that would have been too dangerous for me to pull off by myself. But I was not by myself. Maybe what Barry said really is plausible. Maybe the world can be saved if I’m not alone.

As we are about to reach the clearing in which the tomb is, I sense someone already present there.

Sona: “Something wrong?”

Seems she hasn’t noticed it yet.

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

As I say that, Sona turns her head to the woman standing in the clearing. It’s the Aural, Sneha Stone.

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

Dyne: “Let’s get started, shall we?”

Barry: “It’s already started.”

Barry declares as the vines that were holding Ro still a while ago attack Dyne. The attack, however, doesn’t hit its target. Ro and the Dragon look up to find the Spectre flying, almost looking like he is standing in mid-air.

Dyne: “Psychokinesis is too basic you know. It will get you nowhere.”

Barry: “Yeah, I know that.”

He says as the same vines are redirected towards him. The vines that seem to be attacking him are thicker but have sharp edges. They would cause heavy damage if they actually hit him.

Dyne: “Do you really?”

Dyne tries to move away from their path but the vines follow him as he tries to get away. Seeing that, Dyne sighs.

Dyne: “This is disappointing, Barry.”

He says as his hands ignite and he charges straight downwards tearing the vines apart in the process. However,

Barry: “Got you.”

The fire on the vines, caused by Barry’s pyrokinesis, latch onto Dyne.

Dyne: “The thicker portion of the vines was not natural, was it?”

He says as he tries to cool off the fire.

Barry: “No, I bundled various vines to make it thicker so you can’t see the fire on their lower portions.”

Dyne: “Tch! Cunning, but that won’t be enough.”

Barry: “Of course not.”

Barry says as his gaze shifts from Dyne to Walter and back.

Walter: “Don’t worry, I’m not that much interested in fighting you. I would rather avoid it if I could.”

Barry: “Don’t make me laugh. You literally came here to kill me.”

Walter: “It’s more like I have to kill you. I don’t particularly want to do it. It’s not something I take a lot of pleasure in.”

He says as a creepy smile forms on his lips.

Ro: “I don’t buy that.”

Barry stares at the two of them as he sees the fire extinguishing on Dyne’s uniform as the Spectre stands back up.

Ro glances at the dragon at the same time the dragon glances at him and they both nod.

Ro: “Barry, focus on that Spectre. We will make sure to keep that Walter guy away from you.”

Barry, despite knowing that they would be no match for Walter, agrees to their proposal. There just is no other option. He knows there is no way he is winning against both Dyne and Walter. Even if all three of them go at the two of them combined, Walter would probably come out on top, even if Dyne falls. The best way to deal with this is to defeat Dyne and threaten Walter by putting Dyne’s existence on the line.

Dyne: “Well, seeing as how you have let me cool off the fire without attacking even once, I suppose you have some other tricks planned.”

Barry: “Maybe I do.”

Barry says as he disappears right in front of their eyes.

Dyne: “Teleportation? Isn’t that dangerous at a time like this?”

However,

Barry: “Who the hell said anything about teleportation?”

Barry’s voice comes from behind Dyne. Dyne understands at that moment. It wasn’t teleportation, but Energy Manipulation. In the time he let Dyne cool off the fire, he was gathering enough energy in his legs and his arms to run so fast that it looks like he disappeared. He used that speed to get behind Dyne.

Walter, seeing that, smiles.

Without paying attention to him however, Barry put his hands on Dyne’s back and uses pyrokinesis. The result was Dyne being set ablaze from his back to this head.

Dyne: “AAAAHHH!!!”

Dyne screams as he falls away from Barry having his back literally erupting in flames.

Walter: “That would really hurt.”

Walter says as he glances at Dyne and then at Barry.

Dragon: “Yeah, too bad you can’t help him.”

The dragon says as snakes suddenly appear out of the trees and the ground to bind Walter.

Walter: “Now this is peculiar.”

Walter remains unfazed no matter how many snakes bind him though. But in the next moment, Ro comes running towards him and puts his hand through Walter’s body.

Ghosts are, more or less, energy so they can move through solid objects like it’s no big deal if they try to dilute themselves in the atmosphere. However, what happens when a diluted body that could pass through solids is condensed while it’s going through the solid. Since ghosts are mostly energy and generally feel much less physical pain than a normal person, they may be able to cope up with it, but what about their targets?

Walter: “AAAAHHH!!!”

Walter Schmidt, the strongest man on earth, shouts in pain, as blood comes out of his mouth. Ro, trying to endure further, pulls his arms back while keeping it in the condensed form. That causes a wound almost akin to a hole in the stomach to be opened up on Walter.

Walter: “GGAAAHHH!!!”

Ro immediately steps away from him.

Ro: “I hope that worked.”

Dragon: “From the looks of things, it did work. My turn next.”

He says as he motions the snakes to go at his wound and bite him. The snakes follow through and inject him with their poison directly in his wound.  Ro tries to look away in disgust at that scene but doesn’t, so as to not miss anything.

Dragon: “Well, I guess it’s not common for you to encounter such gruesome things.”

Ro: “It’s not.”

He says as he readies himself to repeat the same trick he just did.

On the other end,

Dyne: “AAAAAHHH!”

Dyne’s body continuously burned as he screamed in pain. In trying to get away from Barry, Dyne had ended up going deeper into the forest away from Walter, Ro and the dragon. Barry, however, had followed him.

Barry: “My first attack confirmed that your armor has no properties that would protect you from getting burned. That should have been obvious but I just had to check once, who knows what upgrade you people would have come up with?”

He says as he raises his hand to point a finger at Dyne.

Dyne: “AAAHHH! GAAHHH!! EEEHH!!!”

Dyne tries to control the pain so he could try to counter attack but he is unable to. On the other hand,

Barry: “Now then, the moment couldn’t be better than this.”

Barry says as he uses photokinesis on Dyne to show him illusions.

Barry: “Witness the most horrible sight you’ll ever see in your life.”

Barry declares as he sends the burning ghost on a trip of mental torture.

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

I don’t know what to say to her right now and it seems like both Sona and the girl don’t have a clue either. As she look at us one-by-one, she sighs and says,

Sneha: “I bet that bastard predicted this would happen.”

She is probably referring to Ethan.

After saying that, she looks straight at us and says,

Sneha: “I want to go inside the tomb.”

What she says surprises all three of us.

Sneha: “And I can’t do it alone. The only way I’ll be able to enter the tomb is if someone Ozyllus approves of comes along with me.”

She says as she looks at me.

Sneha: “That’s why I am here, now what about you?”

She plainly gives the reason for her being here without us even asking. Was I feeling nervous for no reason?

Sona: “We are here to go inside the tomb as well.”

Sona answers her as she takes a glance at the girl. She doesn’t immediately understand, but does so pretty soon.

Girl: “Um, well … I suppose it would be okay if we could bring her along with us.”

Both of them turn to me.

Kais: “I don’t have any objections.”

I say in a casual manner. If they are so okay with all this, then there’s no need for me to be nervous either.

Sneha: “Well, when are you guys planning to go in then? You know about how the time is working right now, don’t you?”

All three of us nod.

Girl: “Yes, that’s why we need to go in right now.”

Sneha: “Hmm …”

She turns to look back at the forest as she seems to wonder about something.

Sneha: “Okay, I am on board.”

She says as she turns back to us. I wonder; was she worrying about Ethan? Where is he anyway?

Sona: “Well, let’s get going then.”

We all step in front of the entrance of the tomb. I don’t think Sneha knows what is inside. So at this moment, none of us know what’s inside. In which case, we can come across anything in there.

Sneha: “Well, I am ready to go in.”

She says in a slightly bored tone.

Sona: “Yeah, me too.”

Sona says in a rather casual tone.

Girl: “Yes, let’s go.”

The little girl says in her usual cheerful manner.

Kais: “Yeah sure, lead the way.”

I reply in the calmest voice I can come up with. As the girl steps inside the tomb, she is followed by Sneha, Sona and finally me.

Whatever we will find in this tomb, I can only hope it helps us. But I am not so sure it will. For some reason, I just can’t take the picture out of my head, the picture of Ozyllus smiling somewhere at this development, and the picture of Abyss being sad.

I can just hope that these pictures in my head are not actual expressions they have at this moment, inside The Cage.

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