Chapter 46. Madman
I escaped from the shadow feather by dematerializing, and then activated the Heart of Gold. The Thief’s attack points with Horoshiboke was currently 100. My defense stat, contrarily, was 19(+80). At first glance it might seem sufficient, but the Thief should have no problem getting through this defense stat. He could stop time and pierce through the armor, and then attack once again through the hole in the armor. Of course, the solution to this was simple.
<Your defense stat has risen by 82 points.>
The total cost was 82,000,000 dollars. Now, my defense stat was 101(+80).
I had no intention of spending this much money, but----.
I put away Hirganrel in the vault and materialized back. This time, too, the scenery around me changed, and my body became stuck in the wall.
So he stopped time again. Obviously, I didn’t have any wounds this time. The Thief was staring at me with an enraged face from the other side of the vault. He must’ve tried to stab me repeatedly while time was stopped.
“I wonder how much of your lifespan gets chipped away every time you stop time?”
I got back up, and slowly made my way over to him. The moment I closed in on him, my body became stuck to the wall on the other side of the vault again. Again, I received zero damage.
“How long are you planning on pushing me away?”
The Thief simply ground his teeth. Did he turn back time? Then he must’ve heard this response already. I kept making my way back towards him in order to catch the Thief stuck in this prison.
...Mm? Why isn’t he pushing me away this time?
Instead of doing something, he just smiled.
“I had thought that you were a rather smart individual, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Why don’t you try hitting me? I won’t dodge.”
“I won’t hesitate then.”
I spat on his face. The Thief’s lax face immediately stiffened. He laughed awkwardly, and asked me a question.
“Really… How confusing. Just what was that…? I gave you the chance to attack, and all you do is this?”
“Ah, it’s nothing personal. I’m just good at noticing things. You’re just planning on using time stop for defensive capabilities, aren’t you? A local time stop, if you will. You stop time in a small area, which would cut down the cost of your ability, and it would prove to become an effective shield.”
The Thief shrugged, and sat on the floor.
“I retract my previous statement. This is a stalemate. I can’t catch you, you can’t catch me.”
“I pity you for thinking that.”
I sat in front of him and smiled.
“Ever heard of snapback (還擊)?”
“It’s a Go term. The first move is intentionally supposed to put you at a disadvantage. The opponent gains a small profit at first, but would lose much more the next turn.”
“If you’re planning on comparing it to this situation, I suppose your move of coming into the vault was a snapback… Cough, cough! Ah, I’m sorry. I don’t really understand why I’m coughing all of a sudden?”
The Thief became confused when he saw his glasses fogging up. Suddenly realizing the situation he was in, he immediately stood up and covered his mouth and nose.
The humidity of the vault had gone up as much as it could at this point. As a result of this, I opened my vault even more. The gas that spewed out of it filled the room despite the atmospheric pressure inside. There was even enough moisture to cause beads of water to condense on the ceiling.
“If you stop time, you can run a hundred meters in just 0.000...1 seconds. But in the end, the amount of air you breath is the same as anyone else. It just seems like that wasn’t the case to everyone else.”
Your perspective of time is yours, and the perspective of the observer is the observer’s. Even if you stop time, the clock is still ticking.
“In other words, you might as well explain time stop to be a simple boost in one’s physical abilities. Now, would the air you took in while you stopped time for one minute be the same as the air a normal human breathed in for one minute? I don’t think so.”
The Thief who made use of Time Stop stayed in the vault for much longer than me, and breathed in much more air than me as well. Well, I had no need to breath in the first place.
“Feel your breaths getting shorter as we speak? You should be feeling nauseous and bloated about now as well.”
His face stiffened when I said those words to him. A bottle of water and various herbs appeared in his hand immediately. It was probably supposed to be some sort of antidote. The Thief dumped the herbs in his mouth like pills and chugged the water. He spat it out immediately. Must’ve choked. I stood up, and slowly walked around the Thief.
“Paraquat. It’s a herbicide that’s often known by the name of Gramoxone. The lethal dose is 15 mL. It causes fibrous tissues to form in the respiratory system, causing the victim to die of asphyxiation. Of course, there is no antidote for it as of now.”
Nowadays, people mixed this material with blue dye and a vomit-inducing chemical to show that it was poison, but it was originally colorless and odorless. The toxicity of this chemical was so strong that even those who tried to resuscitate the victims using artificial respiration died of poison themselves. The sale of this chemical has already been banned in numerous countries, but certain developing countries still used it. I was able to obtain it with Heart of Gold.
“If it was normal poison, you would’ve noticed immediately, and would have dispelled it from your body. You might’ve even been able to get yourself an antidote in time. But at this point, no matter what you take, you can’t neutralize all the chemical effects taking place in your body at the moment. And even if you stop time, you can’t stop time for your lungs or the flow of blood in the body. You’d die in that case.”
Thirty minutes had passed already. The poison should have been fully absorbed by now.
“Ah, by the way. I didn’t just prepare paraquat. What’s coming out now is gaseous mercury.”
I watched him begin to panic, and threw several charred amethysts on the ground.
“And this is uranium.”
I was kidding. It just looked similar to uranium, so perhaps I might be able to trick him? As I thought, the Thief’s face paled even more and quickly leapt away from the crystals.
“The absorbed dose of radiation should be enough by now. I’ve been letting it leak into the room since a while back after all.”
He really seemed to believe it, based on his facial expressions. Was he an idiot?
“Apologies for being unable to prepare any germs for you. Let’s just go through with the original plan. 1. If you get caught my hands, you die. 2. If you try to get away using your power, you exhaust all your life and die. 3. You die from paraquat poisoning. 4. You die from mercury poisoning. 5. You die from radiation exposure. 6. You die from chlorine poisoning.”
I began to diligently dump detergent all around him. I even managed to dump a few liters on the Thief himself. I threw an opened bottle of bleach on the detergent.
“Oh, and here’s a service.”
I dumped gasoline and styrofoam everywhere. This should create enough toxic gas. Lastly, I took out a flamethrower from the vault and grinned at the Thief.
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