Instant Death / Instant Death Vol 4 Chapter 7
Although at a glance it was scenic and picturesque, Hanakawa Daimon was walking through a somewhat distorted, irregular city.
It was supposed to be the lowest level of Hell, but for some reason, he had found himself in a world with an incessant downpour of bright sunlight complete with a city fully bustling with people. Despite this, however, he still wasn’t able to get any peace of mind.
A disturbing aura seemed to be emanating from the inhabitants of the city.
They were, in some respects, people who gave off the impression of puppets. It wasn’t too peculiar if you focused on them one at a time, but as a group, they gave off a far more bizarre atmosphere.
None of them ever interacted with one another.
There were those walking to and fro. There were shopkeepers readily inviting customers into their stores. There were street performers giving elaborate demonstrations. Everyone was absorbed in fulfilling their own duties, yet, to Hanakawa, none of them ever seemed even slightly interested in the actions of the people around them.
Furthermore, the beautiful woman in charge of this town practically radiated a shady aura of her own. She was supposed to be a Devil, sealed away deep within this hellscape, but somehow she was walking about as she pleased.
The Devil, Mana. The younger sister of the Devil, Albagarma. Lute, who was walking beside Hanakawa, had come all this way to meet with her.
Back when Hanakawa had first met Lute, he had taken the form of a young boy, but now he was in the form of a young girl instead. The demon was able to change his outward appearance as he willed.
But despite having finally met up with Mana, Lute seemed depressed in some respects.
Usually, he would taunt Hanakawa with various death-based threats, but now, his sunken expression had become even more pronounced.
So far, no matter the circumstances, he had never seemed this serious, but, as one would expect, the current situation had gotten so hopeless that it had deeply affected his psyche.
Hanakawa didn’t feel like he’d make it out of here alive at all. Even if he tried to escape, he was in the lowest level of Hell, and he had no idea how he had gotten here in the first place. Moreover, he hardly knew anything about Hell at all.
In other words, it was impossible for him to escape from this place on his own. There seemed to be a lot of monsters in Hell clamoring for the opportunity to attack a human, so it would probably be reckless for him to go search for a way out.
While it may be true that he was safe now, Hanakawa by no means thought he’d be safe for much longer. As Hanakawa moved further into the city, an ominous premonition, trained into his body from his past experiences, began to grow stronger and stronger.
He felt as though he had to think of some way to break out of the deadlock he had found himself in instead of just allowing himself to be swept away, but nothing good enough would come to mind.
The first idea he had was to try asking Lute.
However, Lute didn’t care, and furthermore, he had no reason to leave in the first place.
In which case, asking Mana was another option, but not one he was willing to take. He didn’t feel like he could get through to her in the slightest. It was his style to confuse people with incomprehensible speech and conduct, forcefully getting them to understand him, but he couldn’t help but think that Mana wouldn’t pay him any mind, regardless of whether he told her to get naked or to shit where she stood.
-Why did this even happen to begin with…
Even when he reflected on if he should’ve made a run for it before ever entering Hell, it was clear that he wouldn’t have been able to escape from Lute.
Before meeting up with Lute, he had been dragged around by Aoi, and it wasn’t possible to escape from her either.
And even before that, he had been the slave of a stray sage living out a slow life fantasy within a forest of magical beasts.
As he thought about it, he realized that his real mistake was separating from the rest of his classmates, trying to do whatever he wanted.
-No, that wasn’t the real mistake, per se. In the first place, it was really when I was with the rest of the class and they decided to leave him behind as bait.
The problem was that, as they had set out to do whatever they wanted, the first person they came across was the worst person imaginable.
Hanakawa was here now because he had gotten involved with Yogiri in the first place. He had survived a hostile encounter with Yogiri, and that gave Hanakawa value beyond imagination.
“This… I’m sorry… for bringing you to a place like this.” (Lute)
As Hanakawa was silently thinking about all of this, Lute quietly muttered a few words.
“…Hm? Did I mishear? Why do I get the feeling that Lute-dono has said something admirable?” (Hanakawa)
“You didn’t mishear anything. I said I was sorry.” (Lute)
“C-could you please refrain!? I’m already getting ominous premonitions just by being here, so it’ll be troublesome if you pile up any more death flags!” (Hanakawa)
“What are you getting at?” (Lute)
“Enough! It’s an omen of death when the villain reforms their evil ways or shows even the slightest bit of compassion!” (Hanakawa)
“An omen, is it? Well, that’s probably correct. I’ll likely be killed by Mansama not long after this.” (Lute)
“I helplessly let my lord die. There’s no way Mansama would forgive me for that.” (Lute)
“Eh, but, there was nothing you could’ve done, right? I think he was dead before you removed the seal.” (Hanakawa)
“Do you really think that explanation would be enough for her?”
Lute notioned to Mana who was walking ahead of the two of them, drawing in Hanakawa’s gaze as well.
Maddening love for her older brother aside, she was an abnormal woman who one-sidedly chose to give birth to his children with an imaginary pregnancy. Her mind was something Hanakawa couldn’t even hope to understand.
“…Well, I don’t feel like it’d be enough to get through to her… but! You still haven’t told her about Devil-sama’s death yet, right?” (Hanakawa)
“Getting revenge for his death is the only reason we came here in the first place. Furthermore, do you really think we’d be able to get through to her with lies and deception? She’d almost certainly see through them if it has to do with my lord.” (Lute)
“Oh yeah, you’re right! That is why we’re here!” (Hanakawa)
“I’ll give you this.” (Lute)
With this, Lute took something out of his breast pocket. It was a rod-like object with a long, complex shape that glittered with a golden color. It was what Lute had referred to as the key to Mana’s seal.
“Eh, but, that’s a super important item, isn’t it? It’d be ridiculous to waste it on the likes of myself!” (Hanakawa)
“Exactly. As long as you have this, Mansama shouldn’t be able to kill you. After all, the one who holds this key should be seen as the one representing the will of my lord.” (Lute)
“Eh? Then wouldn’t it be better if you held onto it, Lute-dono? Though, well, don’t take that to mean I actually want to die or anything!” (Hanakawa)
“She’ll kill me either way, even if I have it, but who knows what’ll happen to you. Even though I’ve resigned myself to my death, I think I might need to make it up to you.” (Lute)
“Um, is it fine if you don’t witness your vengeance with your own eyes? Takatō aside, you still need to massacre all those guys from the tower, don’t you?” (Hanakawa)
“Once Mansama learns of my lord’s death, that will almost certainly happen either way. There’s no way she would spare a single person involved.” (Lute)
“Ahaha, wouldn’t I be included in that?” (Hanakawa)
Hanakawa used the opportunity to insert a bit of a joke, yet Lute sank into silence.
“Woah woah woah! Hold on one minute! I was almost entirely unrelated to what took place over there, right!? I was dragged along by that sage, Aoi-dono, and we only arrived after the whole thing had ended! I had absolutely nothing to do with Devil-sama or anything at all, right!?!?” (Hanakawa)
“…It’d be great if that explanation ends up being enough for her, but…” (Lute)
“So you’re saying it might not be enough for her!?” (Hanakawa)
“In any case, this key will help you. It should be enough to guarantee your safety. My own goal here can be fulfilled by telling Mansama about what happened.” (Lute)
“Does this key really mean anything then…? She’s supposed to be sealed and yet, she’s easily walking around outside without a care in the world…” (Hanakawa)
Imposed upon by Lute, Hanakawa reluctantly accepted the key.
“Wonderful. Traveling with you wasn’t exactly terrible. The experience was a first for me.” (Lute)
“Could you stop speaking like that! It’s like you’re tripping more and more death flags!” (Hanakawa)
Mana, who was cheerfully walking ahead of the duo, didn’t appear to be listening to the details of their conversation at all.
After walking for a while, a white palace-like building came into view. It was by far the largest building in the city, and probably their final destination.
Darkness surrounded them as they entered the palace, but Hanakawa noticed a hemispherical space emitting a faint light deeper within.
Mana effortlessly walked through the membrane surrounding the hemisphere and promptly sprawled herself out on the lone extravagant bed within.
“Uhm, this…” (Hanakawa)
“It’s the strongest seal, made by my Onii-sama. He made it with every last bit of his power, just to keep me safe!” (Mana)
“This… is just a bedroom, isn’t it…? Is it just me, or was walking in here as easy as pushing aside a simple bamboo screen?” (Hanakawa)
“The keyhole is right over there.” (Mana)
Looking in the direction Mana was pointing, there was a pedestal directly adjoined with the hemispherical seal. Thereupon, there was a tiny hole.
The seal would seemingly be lifted by inserting and turning the key.
“Dammit, I really don’t get the point of lifting this seal!” (Hanakawa)
As Hanakawa thought about what the big deal was, he sensed Lute’s tension from beside him.
It appeared as if Lute was ready to explain everything.
『The youngster’s ex-girlfriend showed up out of nowhere, so your surprise isunderstandable.』 (Mokomoko)
There were quite a few people on the street at this point.
Tomochika, Yogiri, the guardian spirit Mokomoko, and the man who had probably been targeting Yogiri.
The man had fallen backward and was looking up at Yogiri in a daze.
They had intercepted radio waves with Mokomoko’s questionable radio wave reception ability. After pinpointing the whereabouts of the mastermind behind the attacks on Yogiri, they headed off in that direction, only to find this man attempting to escape the area in an airplane. He was then promptly shot down by『Samurai』Ninomiya Ryōko.
Since he was escaping, we first tried to talk things out. However, since he ended up summoning a few things to attack us, he was almost definitely the culprit they were looking for.
“No… It has nothing to do with who she is. Anybody would be surprised, wouldn’t they?” (Tomochika)
In fact, Tomochika hadn’t understood what had happened very well, other than that the man had summoned some amazing things. Furthermore, she wasn’t very surprised that said things then died one after the other. She was completely used to it by this point.
She was immensely more surprised by the fact that Yogiri didn’t actually kill the woman the moment she attacked. She appeared to be an acquaintance of his, and moreover, she was an attractive young woman that Yogiri had tenderly embraced in his arms after she stopped moving.
『No no, don’t you seem rather shaken by it?』(Mokomoko)
“Just put it aside and focus on the guy right over there, alright?” (Tomochika)
Having lost the willpower to resist, the man who had called himself Miyanaga Ryōsuke began to obediently answer Yogiri’s questions.
This was definitely the man who had been targeting Yogiri. Ryōsuke was the leader of an assassination guild that received a request to assassinate Yogiri.
However, he knew essentially nothing about the client. Ryōsuke had never even met with them.
“I-isn’t this enough!? I’ve told you everything I know! I won’t go after you anymore!” (Ryōsuke)
“Sorry, but I’m gonna have to kill you.” (Yogiri)
Yogiri spoke indifferently. He didn’t seem to be threatening him to draw out even more information either. It was as if he was simply stating a fact.
Tomochika was more surprised than Ryōsuke. She had thought they would overlook what he had done as long as he told them what they wanted to know. After all, Ryōsuke shouldn’t have the willpower to defy them anymore, and he had already used all of his trump cards. There was no longer any danger.
“I don’t want you creating any more of Type Sophora. I want her to be left alone. You can make as many copies as you want as long as you’re alive, right?” (Yogiri)
“…I-I’m not the only one! There are tons of people in this world with cheat-like abilities! There are surely other people who can-” (Ryōsuke)
Ryōsuke’s words were cut short.
“I’ll kill them as soon as I come across them.” (Yogiri)
Yogiri spoke normally, but Ryōsuke had already collapsed, unable to respond.
He was already dead. Tomochika accepted this silently.
“Let’s get out of here. We need to think about what we’re going to do from now on.” (Yogiri)
Most of the townspeople had fled because of the plane crash, but curious people would probably begin showing up to investigate the area.
The two of them quickly took their leave.
“Why am I the one carrying this girl!? Since you’re the one who knows her, Takatō-kun, why don’t you do this yourself!?” (Tomochika)
Tomochika was carrying the girl Yogiri had called Type Sophora. Her body was draped over her shoulder.
“No. Since she’s a girl, I feel like it’s better for a girl to be the one carrying her.” (Yogiri)
“But she’s super heavy!” (Tomochika)
『Well, despite your yammering, I’d call the fact that you’re easily carrying an unconscious human body quite befitting of a Dannoura.』 (Mokomoko)
It was a technique called the fireman’s carry, used to carry the bodies of the unconscious out of disaster sites.
Though, the technique Tomochika was using was slightly different. If anything, it was closer to the first step of the kata guruma judo throw, where the opponent is lifted up and behind the back of the head.
『Well, since you only need to carry her, it’ll be no problem if you utilize the power of your battle suit.』 (Mokomoko)
『What? You’d be strong enough to carry a single woman by yourself that way.』 (Mokomoko)
Tomochika and Yogiri headed back to the royal capital and immediately went to the luxurious hotel they had originally stayed at. It was the room they had been maintaining since they first came to the capital.
Entering the room, Tomochika laid the young girl on the bed.
“So, you said that you would tell me all about her later, right?” (Tomochika)
Tomochika sat down on the side of the bed, urging Yogiri to explain himself.
“This girl’s name is Sumeragi Sophora. She was a friend I played with as a child.” (Yogiri)
As he spoke, Tomochika took a look at Sophora once again.
She seemed a few years older than the two of them. She had a somewhat aristocratic look to her, which was probably because of the crimson red gloves and dress she was in.
Vague, murky feelings arose within Tomochika upon seeing the girl’s exceedingly beautiful facial features.
“Why’s she in this world in the first place? Didn’t that Ryōsuke guy say something about it? I didn’t exactly hear the details.” (Tomochika)
“He seemed to be able to replicate things from our original world. This means he could search for something to fit his needs and duplicate it, even if he didn’t know anything about it.” (Yogiri)
“Yeah. When he was explaining himself earlier, he said he wasn’t able to replicate living things. Sophora is a robot. Though she had been shut down completely and kept strictly under lock and key, so I never expected her to be replicated here in another world.” (Yogiri)
“This, a robot…? You’re saying people are capable of creating robots in the splitting image of humans!?” (Tomochika)
Tomochika, who had been carrying the girl just moments earlier, hadn’t exactly thought of her as a robot.
“More or less. The technology circulating in the commercial sector is just the tip of the iceberg. Society, in general, can’t even begin to imagine it, but technology like this is readily being put into practical use by the military and research institutes.” (Yogiri)
“Huh… I see… But, isn’t this robot just a copy of that friend of yours?” (Tomochika)
“There are some people I simply don’t want to kill. Sophora is one of them. That’s why I let this robot taking on her form attack me. That should be fairly easy to understand, yeah?” (Yogiri)
Tomochika recalled that Yogiri didn’t use his instant death ability on Sophora. Usually, it seemed to activate automatically after being attacked.
“Eh? What’s up with that!? I thought it reacted to killing intent all on its own.” (Tomochika)
“If it automatically reacted to killing intent, wouldn’t I be unable to deal with situations where somebody I don’t want to kill gets brainwashed and attacks me?” (Yogiri)
“Then… What if someone took note of that back there?” (Tomochika)
“That might have happened.” (Yogiri)
“Isn’t that a huge problem!?” (Tomochika)
Yogiri’s strength lay in his ability to instantly counter any perceivable killing intent. If it was possible to prevent him from doing so, there were probably plenty of ways to kill him.
“Meh. It’s fine. In the past, I used to think that there was no way I’d put my own life at risk, but now my priorities are different.” (Yogiri)
Before Tomochika could become any more worried, Yogiri let show a calm smile.
He really seemed to think it was fine, so Tomochika had no choice but to believe him.
“Well then. What should we do about Sophora?” (Tomochika)
“What should we do…? Oh shit! What should we do!?” (Yogiri)
Yogiri immediately became troubled over how to deal with the situation.
He had been stuck with the motionless body of a young girl. He couldn’t exactly throw her away, but on the other hand, he didn’t really want to carry her around or leave her somewhere either.
『It seems there’s no other choice. I’ll have to teach you the secret art of Dannourstyle Dead Body Disposal!』 (Mokomoko)
“That’s terrible! What are you trying to do in someone else’s house!?” (Tomochika)
Since we couldn’t think of anything right away, we ultimately decided to leave Sophora in the hotel room for the time being.