BTOG 262 – A fleeting traveler
February 25, 2023
Before the meteor hit the ground, and consequently, Kohaku, Melty’s vision was obscured by her own power at the time.
At this point, she had one expectation, which was Kohaku’s intervention after she used truth magic, and as expected, her prediction was spot on.
Though regrettably, she was unable to witness Kohaku’s [Closing Ceremony].
Melty had hoped to observe the [world’s most powerful blow] of this era with her own eyes, not just with numbers.
Alas, things don’t always work as she wanted.
However, the activation of the [Closing Ceremony] is often fraught with significant disadvantages.
The cooldown time is not something you could ignore, and she could not deny Kohaku’s choice not to use her trump card.
“She confidently said it’s easy to break higher-level attributes.
I would expect no less from someone from Kishin lineage.”
Truth magic is the strongest magic, the pinnacle of all magic.
However, there is still a type among them.
Just as the flame attribute is no match for the hellfire attribute, each attribute has its own superiority and weakness.
The characteristics of the rock attribute are [mass and substance], which will allow it to generate physical damage while still retaining its magic attribute.
This attribute is more effective against opponents with high magic resistance, but it also has the disadvantage that it can be destroyed by powerful physical attacks regardless of its attribute compatibility.
“Truly, you’ve made a really difficult situation for me.”
Melty said as she observed her narrowed vision caused by many debris surrounding her.
This was most likely Kohaku’s intent, and she set up a beautiful hanging garden full of holes just for Sukuna.
If this situation were to end, the same thing would only repeat itself, and Sukuna and Melty will have to engage in endless ground battles all over again.
Since there was no way to win in that scenario, she knew that Sukuna would try to make a final offensive in this situation where Melty is at a clear disadvantage.
“I wonder if it was a mistake to choose [Meteor] for its flashiness.”
She wants to use magic to blow away barriers, but it’s tough to employ a wide range of attack magic just after such a feat.
While Melty has a passive skill that recovers MP quickly, the use of Truth magic has consumed a large portion of her reserve, with one use consuming over 10,000 points of MP all at once, causing her MP to be depleted completely.
And there is no wide-range magic that can obliterate all directions centered on herself unless it is at the highest level.
She will need at least 10 seconds to get an amount of MP to overwhelm Sukuna, but it will take more time if she wants to use high-rank magic.
And honestly, she was feeling quite satisfied after using grand-scale truth magic for the first time in a long time.
The fact that she was able to relax in her garden she called the battlefield, also added to this factor, though it didn’t mean that she was letting her guard down.
Thus, that is why Melty tried to sharpen her slackened consciousness to defend herself against Sukuna’s final attack.
Still, an unspoken word spilled out unconsciously.
Because she found Sukuna already arrived on one of the debris in front of Melty.
In just a short time, without realizing it, seven layers of the [Citadel of Time] had been destroyed.
At the same time as recognizing this, her thoughts accelerated to the utmost limit.
The cause was triggered time magic that had been installed in the [Citadel of Time].
Each time a layer of the [Citadel of Time] is broken, the time-space attribute magic [Chronostasis] is activated.
It is a simple thought-acceleration magic that doubles the user’s time for five seconds.
The multi-layered, multi-layered magic circle [Citadel of Time].
Earned its ‘citadel’ name from its extreme sturdiness, but the ‘time’ part was derived from its ability to give the user a preparation time.
The true value of the [Citadel of Time] is that when it is destroyed by a surprise attack, it will use the thought acceleration provided by [Chronostasis] to launch a counteraction.
That is why this magic is known as a super-high-level tactic that combines defense and speed.
(This is… not good, is it?)
Faced with a situation where she was completely caught off-guard, Melty is now feeling serious impatience for the first time in this battle.
[Chronostasis] is classified as support magic.
It is magic that has a so-called buff effect.
This kind of magic can be layered, and one person can increase its effect by using multiple of it, or multiple people can strengthen one person.
The problem is that there are two types of buff magic.
One is the [additive] type, and the other is [multiply] type.
The additive type of buff effect is a statement such as [increases the player’s Strength value by 50] or [increases the player’s Strength value by 50% of his or her base Strength value].
The buff effect adds a specific number to the status.
In contrast, a multiplier-type buff effect is clearly stated as [multiplies the player’s Strength value by 1.5 times] or [doubles the player’s Strength value], Etc.
And usually, the multiplier type is more powerful than the additive type, that’s why this is usually balanced out by the cool time and MP consumption.
One thing to keep in the note is that the [Multiply] type will also work when they are layered.
If a buff with a [multiply] effect is triple layered, the formula is 2 x 2 x 2, not 2 + 2 + 2.
In other words, the final effect would be x8, not x6.
And, as previously stated, [Chronostasis] is a multiplier-type buff effect.
Its effect is multiplied with each layering.
And the [Chronostasis] can be found in all layers of the [Citadel of Time].
As a result, Melty’s consciousness is now under sevenfold [Chronostasis].
The thought acceleration value of two multiplied seven times, totaling 128 times thought acceleration.
At this moment, Melty has been forced into a state of extreme thought acceleration where one second feels like 128 seconds.
(I must find out how she did this, but if I used this level of thought acceleration for five seconds, the backlash would destroy my soul.)
The more one use thought acceleration, the greater the repercussions.
Even if you don’t feel anything at that moment, when you return to normal thinking speed, you will receive 128 times an amount of information.
This is a phenomenon that often occurs in study or sports, where you are so high when concentrating that you don’t notice it, but when you let up, you are struck by tremendous fatigue.
It is inevitable that Melty will be hit by a load dozens of times worse than that.
A normal person could easily faint.
But if a player were to actually experience this in this virtual space, a forced logout would be executed due to the overwhelming information load.
Now, what would happen if NPCs, who are not players protected by the forced logout, were subjected to such a heavy load all at once?
Simply put, their data will be corrupted.
With the exception of a few NPCs used for game management, NPCs think like humans, accumulate experience, and basically are alive.
However, no matter how close they are to humans, it is also true that they are a mass of data since they are born and die in virtual space.
That is why Melty described the process as [soul-destroying].
Even though a full five seconds of 128 times the load or more may cause a certain amount of pain, it does not mean instant death, and there is an acceptable range of pain.
Melty can tolerate up 128 times load for 3 seconds in real-time.
This is because she is skilled at processing large data due to her [Heaven’s Eye].
(The only way to break the [Chronostasis] is to use an accessory or activate Code Ruler: Arbiter of Reason.
Never in my wild dream did I expect to have unbuffed while facing a mere (Oni)Sukuna as an opponent.)
Magical buff effects basically cannot be canceled except when their time runs out.
In the first place, there is no reason to cancel them in the middle of the game.
The exception to this is the use of the magic canceller or an item with a similar effect, which is intended to cancel the effect on the enemy, not on oneself.
As for [Arbiter of Reason], it can be used to [negate] a buff effect by altering its own status so that it can be used for pseudo-magic elimination.
Regardless of which option is chosen, Melty will lose the battle due to a rule breach if the [Chronostasis] is forcibly disabled.
[No authority or weapons can be used in this fight] was a rule of Melty side in this duel.
For a magician, accessories are one of the most important weapons.
Melty’s pride as the absolute power holder won’t allow such an excuse, such as [I am not using a weapon] when she activates an accessory effect that can be triggered at will.
But on the other hand, there is no choice but not to activate it.
She has no intention of destroying her own soul in a playful fight, and she would rather have her pride hurt than have that happen.
Taking all of this into consideration, Melty made a decision.
(Okay, let’s admit defeat in this battle.
Chronostasis will be dealt with by [magic sealing ring].
So let’s see how Sukuna made it this far.)
After mentally admitting her defeat, she puts her consciousness into the [magic sealing ring] to activate it.
However, it will take at least one second in real time for the signal from Melty, who is now thinking 128 times faster than before, to reach the [magic sealing ring], and it will also take about 0.5 seconds from the signal to the activation.
To put it simply, she has 1.5 seconds before the effect of [Chronostasis] is canceled, or about 3 minutes, when converted to the time felt in the accelerated consciousness.
During this time, she intends to fully analyze how Sukuna destroyed seven layers of the [Citadel of Time] in an almost instant time frame.
That was the only motivation left for Melty to keep going in a battle that she was sure to lose.
She scrutinizes the situation on the field.
First, Kohaku destroyed the meteor about seven seconds ago.
It was about three seconds later that the wreckage and wind pressure created a hanging garden full of holes.
Sukuna jumped up to use them as a foothold immediately after that and reached a position where she could hit the melty probably two seconds before.
About 1.5 seconds from that point, [something] shattered the [Citadel of Time] to its seventh layer.
Now is thirty-one seconds after Melty’s thoughts accelerated.
In other words, about 0.25 seconds of real time had passed, and Sukuna remained motionless as she landed on the larger rubble in front of Melty.
She landed with considerable force and bent over as much as she could and Melty cannot see her expression from her point of view.
(I should assume that it was an attack at ultra-high speed.
The question is how to achieve such speed, the route of attack, and the means of attack.
As far as I can see, Sukuna’s status itself is only as good as what I expected.
As someone who had set one foot in the divine realm, she is unparalleled for a level 100 Oni tribe, but it’s not a status that could overwhelm me.)
Having admitted defeat, Melty even dared to use her [Heaven’s Eye] to fully analyze the situation.
Speed in this world is determined by agility.
Although there may be some increase or decrease in speed due to skills such as shrinkage and pace, the basic rule is constant.
Although Sukuna’s status has been boosted by the Red Wolf Attire and various buffs, including [Closing Ceremony], it is still inferior to Melty’s.
At least in terms of numerical values, Sukuna’s speed is indeed still inferior to Melty’s.
So it is hard to say that Sukuna could move so fast that Melty can’t follow it with her eyes.
(Even from a firepower standpoint, there’s no way she could shatter seven layers of fortifications with a single blow.
Seeing that there is no afterglow, she’s not using any art.
There shouldn’t be enough attack power to break seven layers in one blow without it, which means it was a series of blows).
The discomfort she feels not only in terms of speed but also in terms of firepower.
It’s like piling discomfort on top of discomfort…….
Yes, her image of Sukuna now is so far off from the “results” of what actually happened.
(…… Maybe I should take a bite out of it once? since the Chronostasis won’t be triggered anymore after this.)
Melty doesn’t think Sukuna’s offensive will end here.
Perhaps a follow-up attack will come.
At that time, she will probably use the same method as before.
Unlike earlier, the current Melty is now seeing the world 128 times slower, whether Melty can respond or not is another matter, but at the very least, she should be able to observe what is happening.
And since even Melty cannot withstand eight or more layers of [Chronostasis] for even one second, the number of layers has been limited from the beginning.
Which means there will be no more automatic triggering.
In that sense, this situation, which forced her to instantly hit the limit of acceleration, was ideally the worst possible development.
Then again, Sukuna’s ability to do a simultaneous break of [Citadel of Time] was one of the factors that forced her into this situation.
The response was limited because of the amount of time it would take to deal with the situation.
In the midst of these thoughts, Melty suddenly realized something.
(There’s an unusual amount of pebbles? They should not have been broken into so little pieces.)
Seeing the stones which were only a few centimeters in size, scattered sparsely in the space, Melty had a question mark on her mind.
The meteor shattered by the Kohaku was quite rough in its pieces, probably due to the size and scope of the magic itself.
It’s also possible that the destruction was done deliberately rough in order to give Sukuna a foothold.
At the very least, the Shuten Douji’s [Oni-Wailing Karma Destruction] that Melty had seen in the past was an art that had the potential to do just that since it had literally turned the great magic equivalent of a meteor into a powder before.
In addition to that, the debris created after the meteor was shattered was either grinded to dust or pushed far up into the air by the storms created by Kohaku’s [Shosen Ranba].
At least, there should be no such small stones left at the altitude where Melty was staying, which means that these were the pebbles generated after the [Shosen Ranba] unleashed.
There were four spots just reflected in her front-facing field of view.
And after she looks closely, she can see some rocks that look like they were smashed by something.
It is quite possible that the pebble stones came out from those rocks when they were broken.
But what this fact means is that Sukuna used them as footholds.
Then Melty realized what had happened in those few seconds.
It’s hard to believe.
She doesn’t want to.
But no matter how much she wanted to deny it, the results were still there.
(It’s not something a person who hasn’t even broken her level limit could do, that’s just stupi–……!)
Sukuna, who had not moved an inch, sank just slightly then she launched herself from her landing.
An explosion, a leap, a burst in instant.
And in that instant, Melty could see the rocky mass of the foothold shattered by the too-strong step.
The world is still soundless, but such a phenomenon is caught in Melty’s field of vision.
It is theoretically possible, but NPCs can never reproduce this power, this is a power that only travelers from other sides can use.
She’s running through the world of supersonic speed while damaging herself to the bone, thus turning herself into an extreme bullet.
“The traveler who travels in the world of sound!”
In her accelerated state, Melty muttered this without knowing whether it came from her heart or her mouth.
And then… Three crushing sounds in succession.
Two layers were destroyed preventing the meteor debris, seven-time just happened before, and three times more at the current time.
This means that the [Citadel of Time]’s twelve layers have been fully destroyed.
That’s how much out-of-this-world maneuvering occurred at supersonic speed through this unstable hanging garden.
The pure violence of speed that does not even allow one to react in a world accelerated by 128 times.
After knocking down all the walls, the last blow struck Melty’s torso.
But that was probably Sukuna’s limit, Sukuna lost her strength in mid-air immediately after attacking Melty directly, and he fell as she was.
(SP out…? no, it’s possible that it has reached a minus.
I was entertained, albeit at the cost of one recklessness….)
The damage, in its own way, is negligible.
A shock from a physical attack in combat, the first in what may be hundreds of years.
Still in accelerated thought, Melty quietly holds her finger in the shape of a gun as she watches Sukuna slowly fall in a frame-by-frame motion.
Even an SP out will inflict you with tremendous pain.
Mlety wonders how much pain one experiences if one goes to the minus.
The anguish Sukuna is experiencing will last, but Melty cannot bear to see her suffer any longer; thus, Melty prepared magic for Sukuna, who was falling with an anguished expression on her face.
It is a death magic that can eliminate an opponent with a level difference of 200 or more.
Melty used this magic to signal the end of the battle and to relieve Sukuna’s pain.
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