Instant Death / Instant Death Vol 4 Chapter 4
“N-no! Spare me!” (???)
On the roof of a particularly tall building within the royal capital…
There was a man, crying out in distress . He was lying prone on his stomach and dressed in black from head to toe .
The man was a sniper . He was holding onto a sniper rifle and looking through the scope .
For the majority of this world’s population, this man would be a curious sight . In this world, originally, the sniper rifle was an item that simply didn’t exist . Furthermore, there was no such thing as someone that specialized in using them either .
This man was a member of the assassination guild . That very guild had given him this weapon and trained him to use it .
“Oh? Then, by all means, do it quickly . It hurts, doesn’t it? It hurts so much it feels like death is just around the corner, doesn’t it?” (Young Woman)
Standing next to the trembling sniper, there was a young woman donned in a red dress and a matching pair of gloves .
“N-no! I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!” (??? -> Sniper)
“Is that so? Well then, your actions don’t make very much sense, now do they? You say you don’t want to kill the target, but in order to escape from the pain, you don’t have any other choice . Well, this time, how about we see what happens if you try to kill him while thinking that you don’t want to kill him? Let’s call it an experiment . ” (Young Woman)
There was a mechanical device installed within the man’s body, designed to create sensations of pain via remote control . The pain being inflicted upon the man was intense, and the young woman was completely in control of it .
“Th-there’s no reason to even try that! It’s obvious what will happen!” (Sniper)
Previously, she had prepared snipers that didn’t know anything about the target and had them attempt to carry it out .
But this time, she tried something little different . She had chosen one of the higher-ups from the assassination guild . In particular, a man that knew the finer details about this particular assassination job .
“That’s probably correct, but we’ll never know unless we try . This job will never succeed if we don’t collect data on him . Regardless, I’d imagine that the pain is getting to the point where you might just die . If you’re going to die either way, wouldn’t it be better for you to die quickly and spare yourself from as much pain as possible?” (Young Woman)
She slowly increased the severity of the pain that the device was creating . Of course, she wasn’t trying to kill him . Nonetheless, if the pain continued to build up as it had been, the man would hit his limit soon enough .
“…Y-you’re also going to be thrown away sooner or later! The boss is just delegating all of the planning to you! Do you really understand what that means?!” (Sniper)
“Of course I understand . When someone tries to kill the target, they die . So the question then becomes: Just how far does this cause-and-effect relationship go? If someone was ordered to kill him, will the one that commanded it die too? If someone shoots at him with a rifle, the person that pulled the trigger is the one that dies . But, let’s say there’s a robot that’s programmed to carry out spoken commands . If it was instructed to kill the target, who dies? The person that gave the order, or the robot itself? How about a situation where somebody sets up a lethal trap without intending to kill the target in particular? What would happen if the target accidentally gets caught in said trap? In the end, as long as I don’t know the answers to these questions, I have to take as many safety precautions as possible, right?” (Young Woman)
“and you’re just okay with that!?” (Sniper)
“It’s the master’s order, after all . ” (Young Woman)
The manager of Dark Garden, Miyanaga Ryōsuke . In order to ensure his own personal safety, he wasn’t involving himself with the assassination of Takatō Yogiri .
So far, the only people that died were the ones that carried out an action with murderous intent behind it, so there was no need for him to go so far . But just to be safe, he still instructed for this young woman to plan out the assassination and choose whichever subordinates she needed in order to carry it out .
Crying out once again, the man had reached his limit . Unable to endure the pain any longer, the sniper put his finger over the trigger of the gun . Right as he did so, he stopped moving .
The target’s ability had taken effect .
This attempt appeared to be no good as well . It seemed like no matter the state of mind, the moment you tried to kill him, you’d die .
Still, the young woman wasn’t discouraged . She wasn’t expecting very much from this man in the first place . After all, he was just one part of the experiment .
She looked at the target from the rooftop . The boy would usually move about on his own, but today he was accompanied by a girl as the two of them walked around the city together . He seemed to be in a cheerful mood .
They were just over three hundred meters away . It would be effectively impossible for a normal human to identify someone from such a long distance away with the naked eye, but for the young woman dressed in red, it was a simple matter . This was due to the fact that she was a machine designed in the shape of a human . An existence that had been created by Ryōsuke’s unique ability to duplicate things .
There was no point in trying the same thing over and over again . The young woman began to run a calculation . She was investigating the possibility of successfully killing the target . Going through every option available for the sake of continuing the experiment .
“Please take aim at the girl now . ” (Young Woman)
Speaking into a radio, the mechanical young woman issued instructions to a sniper she had on standby in another building .
The manager of Dark Garden, Miyanaga Ryōsuke, was watching several monitors lined up in a row within his second-floor office of the flower shop he ran . Utilizing a multi-limb attachment that was installed on his large office desk, the monitors were spread out in such a way that they surrounded Ryōsuke as he sat in his chair .
The entire set-up seemed out-of-place, but that was because it had been created with Ryōsuke’s duplication ability . Ryōsuke’s had the ability called Imitation . It allowed him to copy something from his original world and recreate it within this one .
A live stream of the scenery around the royal capital was portrayed on each of the monitors . The footage was taken from security cameras installed at various locations throughout the city .
The target, Yogiri Takatō, was displayed in-full on one of the monitors .
Up until just recently, the boy would usually wander around the city without really doing anything in particular, but today was different . Today, he had a companion . As this companion of his was quite the beauty, it was possible that the two of them were out on a date .
It was clear that there was still a delicate feeling of distance between the two of them as they walked . To an uninformed onlooker, the scene might seem heartwarming, but to Ryōsuke, it wasn’t anything other than a monster and a fool who hadn’t realized the danger she was in .
Ryōsuke would observe his subordinate’s continuous trial and error attempts to complete the request .
Following the instructions specified in the request, he had started things out by instructing one of his subordinates to take care of the job . They had attempted to kill the boy with one of Ryōsuke’s replicated sniper rifles .
However, this adequately trained subordinate then suddenly died on the rooftop of a building quite a far distance away from the target . They had been lying prone on their stomach, looking through the scope of their rifle . They died the instant that they took aim at the target .
Ryōsuke was perplexed the first time he saw such an unexpected result . At the same time, this outcome made it clear why the request specified that it needed to be handled by one of his subordinates .
Even from such a long distance away, the boy was still able to notice that he was being targeted and counterattacked .
The child was clearly a dangerous existence that, if possible, must be assassinated . Ryōsuke was suddenly much more interested in the request, but he still ordered for another subordinate to take charge .
It wasn’t an order to kill . He merely instructed for them to run an investigation, gave them a rough explanation of the situation, and told them to handle it as they see fit moving forward .
After that, Ryōsuke sat back and watched things play out .
If you take aim at him and try to pull the trigger, you die .
But if you just aim at him, you don’t .
If you turn on the safety to prevent the gun from firing, you don’t die even if you pull the trigger intending to kill him .
You also don’t die if you just shoot near him .
If you get creative and try to hit him without aiming, regardless of whether you intend to kill him or not, you still die .
Landmines don’t explode when he steps on them, and the person who sets them doesn’t die . Apparently, the landmine just breaks instead .
It’s the same outcome when multiple people attack him at the same time . Everyone that attempts to kill him dies without exception .
When he’s attacked with magic, there are slightly different results . If you have to chant to cast a spell, you die just before you finish saying the last words of the magic incantation . If you have to use a staff to cast the spell, it seems like you die the very instant you think to invoke the magic .
If you attempt to fire off long-distance areof-effect magic, it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re aiming for him, you die . It even happens if the caster is unaware that the target is there in the first place .
If you attach a bomb to a random civilian, it just misfires when they get close to him .
If you collapse a building he’s close to, he simply senses that he’s in danger and leaves the area . If you set it up so perfectly that he’s unable to escape in time, he just effortlessly dodges all of the falling rubble .
Poisons were also useless . If you mix it in with his meal, he notices and refuses to eat it . When he’s exposed to a colorless poisonous gas, the gas seemingly gets destroyed at the chemical level .
Initially, Ryōsuke was thinking that he was reacting to any killing intent that gets directed at him, but now he was thinking that that wasn’t exactly correct .
At the most basic level, it seems to boil down to whether or not his life is in danger, and if it is, then the cause dies or breaks .
His response to distant attacks is so fast that it almost seems automatic .
They hadn’t tested out melee attacks yet, but the results would almost definitely be the same . Additionally, leaving a dead body behind would increase the probability of getting tracked down, so his subordinates didn’t even try .
On the side, they were running a second investigation, looking into methods to defend against his instant death ability, but it hadn’t managed to yield any good results either .
Neither the armor from earth nor the legendary armors of this world were capable of defending against his power . Attempts at raising the magical defense of the armor, imbuing resistances to instant-death effects, or using warding artifacts to take attacks in the place of the wielder . Nothing worked . Everything was pointless .
You just die .
There were never any external wounds on the bodies either, so the exact cause of death was still unknown .
In the end, successfully completing this request was looking less and less practical, but Ryōsuke wasn’t too worried . Even though the target was such a terrible monster, Ryōsuke didn’t feel overly threatened by his power .
The target could use his power to strike back, it didn’t seem like he was aware of the exact location of the people he killed .
Instead, it seemed like the boy only knew the general direction that the attack had come from, and since Ryōsuke’s subordinates were always attacking the target from a significant distance away, they were always able to retreat immediately after failing an attempt . Furthermore, there was no way for him to know of Ryōsuke’s existence .
In other words, Ryōsuke would always be able to escape if the worst-case situation came to pass .
Of course, he would be lying if he were to claim that he wasn’t anxious at all, though Ryōsuke would never admit to it .
His life was stagnant . Everything bored him . So, he always sought after excitement . It was what ultimately led him into the assassination business in the first place .
Regardless of the implausibility of killing this target, he continued pushing forward .
If he gave up on such an exciting request and returned to wishing for stimulation, he’d never be able to take himself seriously again .
At least, that’s what he told himself . There were no viable excuses he could make or any other ways to get out of the request, so he simply couldn’t admit to his anxiety .
So, Ryōsuke painted over this vague anxiety of his with feelings of curiosity . He inspired himself, telling himself that this was the source of excitement that he was looking for .
“Well . What’s the situation like now?” (Ryōsuke)
In order to keep up with the target as he moved throughout the city, Ryōsuke would periodically update which of the security cameras he was looking through . The boy wasn’t always in range of the same cameras, after all .
Despite this, one of the monitors always kept track of the target, but this was because he was being observed by a small drone .
It was flying high in the sky in order to make sure nobody noticed it, yet it still had the capability of clearly picking up the voices of the people in town .
The two people seemed to be headed toward an area where a mysterious disaster had taken place .
A large number of scorched, destroyed buildings began to show up on the monitors .
Eventually, the two of them came to a stop near the central part of the disaster, a location that had degraded to nothing more than rubble .
There had been a surveillance camera set up at that location, but given the circumstances, it obviously wasn’t working anymore . The drone’s camera was the only one that still had the target on the screen .
『Please take aim at the girl now . 』 (Young Woman)
A voice suddenly came out of nowhere . It was his subordinate issuing an order over the radio .
“Come to think of it, we’ve never tried that before, have we?” (Ryōsuke)
They had tried attacking the people around the target before, but the ultimate goal back then was to include him in the attack .
But what would happen if they ignored the target and just attacked the people around him instead? Would he be able to use his power to respond to it? They might find out something new if they tried .
One of the snipers on standby shot their rifle .
The target reacted, pulling the girl in close to him, protecting her from the bullet .
Ryōsuke immediately checked the monitor that depicted the subordinate that had taken the shot .
Not dead .
In other words, he was able to detect attacks aimed at people around him, but he doesn’t necessarily use his power in response .
“Is this how we want to do thing moving forwa???” (Ryōsuke)
Ryōsuke trailed off . He couldn’t believe his eyes . A ninja had suddenly appeared behind the sniper .
The ninja was dressed in a gaudy red costume . They had snuck up behind the sniper and immediately tied him up with a rope .
Ryōsuke stood up in a hurry .
The ninja had to be working with the target . It was difficult for him to imagine that this ninja had just happened to be in the area and casually decided to capture his subordinate . It could only mean one thing . The entire date had been arranged for the sake of determining the sniper’s location .
But how did they know?
Ryōsuke was confused at first, but he quickly dismissed the question . It was entirely possible that they figured out the sniper’s location based on the trajectory of the bullet he fired .
Ryōsuke calmed himself . This wasn’t anything worth panicking over . There was nothing his subordinate could say that would lead them to him . His underling didn’t know anything about the manager of Dark Garden .
They didn’t know anything about the flower shop, nor did they know Ryōsuke’s name . Even in the worst case situation, the boy would only be able to trace it back to the mechanical young woman he had put in charge of planning the assassination . If that happened, he still wasn’t worried . That young woman was one of his machines . She would absolutely never give out any information .
Regardless, Ryōsuke finally decided to give up .
Being forced to back down now was frustrating, but nothing could be done about it . Nothing good would come from Ryōsuke being revealed to that boy .
As Ryōsuke calmly sat back down in his chair, he noticed something else that definitely shouldn’t be happening .
The drone had been seen .
The target was staring at him straight through the monitor .
The only camera he had on the target was the one from the drone hovering high up in the sky . In other words, the target knew about the drone and was looking at it as it flew .
『Just you wait . I’m coming for you right now . 』 (Yogiri)
The drone clearly picked up the sound of the target saying these words, and immediately afterward, the monitor went dark .