Chapter 105 Stranger in the Woods (Part 6)
If someone had been watching Daichi from the outside, they would have been shocked to see a young man suddenly developed by the light and then take a step forward and seemingly disappear into thin air.
Daichi utilized one of the concepts of he’d been pondering within the mist regarding space. Technically anything involving ‘space’ fell under the category of ‘Void’ but Daichi had come to his profound realizations a different way. He didn’t come to have an understanding of space directly, instead it was as he had been focusing on understanding chaos that sparks of insight here and there would lead him to realize what Chaos really was.
Continually appearing in multiple places, Daichi slowly begun to exercise control over the theory he was practicing. He was surprised by how much mana he was using and the more he used this ability, the further he understood its limitations as it was based on what he could do.
Daichi was appearing and reappearing in multiple locations in the forest and nothing in the forest except a few powerful exceptions… Would have been able to keep track of him.
Daichi was utilizing a concept he’d thought about as he’d struggled to understand what Chaos was. He was using his mana to disrupt the space around himself in order to eliminate the “in between”.
Daichi had explored the mist-like space he’d been in almost immediately after entering the space. He’d come to realize that even though he could travel by flight it was as he didn’t have a choice. There was no land, no place to walk or stop. He could only float and will himself to move. It was almost as if his body didn’t exist, he had to will every action of his in order to do anything within that prison. He floated and flew in a straight line only to find absolutely nothing different no matter what direction he ventured towards. He even came to wonder whether the space was infinite or whether he was just being herded back to the same location somehow, forever stuck in a loop whenever he tried to go anywhere.
Eventually Daichi stopped wondering, stopped bothering trying to figure it out as he concluded that even if he did figure it out, the voice had told him that there was only one way to leave the space he was in. He came to the conclusion that if he figured out to leave then he would figure out how the space worked and where he was, a backwards type solution. Instead of finding a lock and then looking for a key, he would create a key and assume the lock would appear and that he would know how to use the key itself.
It was a struggle, while being weight less sounded ideal. After some time his body felt even more foreign than it did when he first entered. Being unable to use your body in the conventional way he’d used it for his entire life and knowing that once he left the mist-like space he would have to re-learn to walk, even worse if his real body was in fact inside the mist-like prison then all of his muscles would have atrophied!
Daichi decided he needed to continue doing everything he’d done before. Whatever benefits he had in this realm he would not forget even the smallest things from before. Learning how to walk on air was something he desired as he assumed he’d be able to translate it into walking on air back in the forest and in the “real” world, only he came to discover that he could walk on air if he simply willed it. His body could do anything he willed within that space. He tested the limits of such a notion only to discover that his results furthered his belief that it wasn’t his real body but rather a projection of his body in the mist-like space.
All things considered he didn’t spend as much time as he thought he would trying to do the unnecessary, his personality wouldn’t let him bother with the unnecessary and instead he chose to view his current scenario as a blessing. He’d received a reprieve from death and given the opportunity to think, to explore his mind and the universe in such a strange realm. He relished the notion of being able to ponder his own body and abilities. He delved into such thoughts with enthusiasm and that enthusiasm only waned after months.
Daichi came to realize he didn’t need to eat or drink anything. This was more than conclusive evidence to him that his body wasn’t in fact his body. His mind was elsewhere from his body, which made him wonder just what kind of condition he’d find his body in if it was already so hurt before. He actually wondered whether he could already be dead, after all it had been days at the beginning and then weeks and months after without his body receiving food or water and just before entering the space he was near death. He came to assume that his mind being as strong as ever had to be proof that his body was alive and well, or at least alive.
After months and then years passed Daichi realized his body in the mist-realm didn’t age and there would be no way for him to keep track of time. He’d already lost track whenever he embroiled himself into a thought that sparked some sort of minor enlightenment.
His time alone that he saw as a blessing slowly started to turn into something else as the years went by and the solitude and the silence turned into a slight torture. Whenever he was lost in thought he could ignore the passing of time, but whenever he reached a bottleneck. Whenever he tried to force enlightenment or to try and understand something or even worse whenever he was lost and had no idea where to even begin trying to ponder something new… He simply felt lost. There was no new experiences to be had, no one to speak to in order to bounce any ideas on to. There was nothing. There was just himself and an endless void.
Anyone else would have been driven insane by that solitude that Daichi was enduring, but Daichi wasn’t just some common recluse with some simple issues fitting in at social settings. He was genuinely someone who preferred his own company to others. Even so he came to appreciate the company that others provided and the value they brought, regardless of the person. Daichi even briefly desired the company of Jeremy… Someone he’d forgotten almost immediately after meeting and then in the vague recesses of his mind while fighting the silence and boredom had vaguely remembered as someone who’d made the mistake of attacking him and he’d ended up killing.
Daichi came to realize that even idiots had value. He decided that those without talent give meaning to those who do have talent. Moreover, anyone can stumble upon something profound or even carry it with them. It’s simply a matter of ability and intelligence being factors that influenced whether someone could recognize and understand something profound and of value. This gave Daichi the idea that anything and everything is valuable, it’s merely a question of recognizing the value of any given person or thing.
Such a realization had made Daichi feel loneliness for the first time in his life. He’d been alone before, in fact he’d felt alone since his childhood, but that was the first time in his life that he’d felt lonely.
‘Alone in the void, no matter where I go am I not in the same place?’
In that instance, while he’d been pondering the feeling loneliness and the differences between being alone and being lonely instead of the universe. Daichi had stumbled across something he’d almost instantly recognized as profound. Except no matter what he did, he felt like was forcing the natural progression of what followed after such a thought.
He allowed his mind to wander, having already understood that forcing himself to try and understand something would only lead him further away from arriving where he wanted.
Instead he began to wonder how much time he’d spent inside the mist. He wondered why he hadn’t aged and whether the body he was seeing was actually his body at all. He wondered whether the prison he was in was all in his mind or whether he was actually “somewhere else”. Daichi even wondered whether it was both, perhaps his body was “somewhere else” while his mind was in a prison, and perhaps neither were in the world he knew. Such a thought just so happened to turn into a godsend as it lead his mind to form a theory about space itself.
Considering his mind and body weren’t necessarily in the same place, Daichi began to play around with a theory about time. Everyone assumed that time was linear, Daichi even recalled numerous times he’d heard the old saying “What happened yesterday can’t be undone today”. Daichi then figured that people assumed that because something happens and then can’t be undone that time is a natural progression of events.
In Daichi’s mind an idea started to take an even clearer shape
“The universe can be understood and as people understand the universe their insight grows and they can even surpass the natural limitations of the universe. They can ascend and become higher beings no longer restricted by the rules of the universe itself, if that is the case. Even if time is linear, wouldn’t I be able to manipulate time if I truly understood it?
Hmm… Perhaps if I understood more than just time, wouldn’t I being to do as I wished within the universe? If there are gods that can leave the universe altogether… Then how would time even influence them when time is but a restriction of the universe itself? If a god can leave the universe then he can… Enter the universe where-ever and when-ever he pleases… If that is possible, then from a larger perspective… Isn’t time just an illusion? If time, the one thing that affects everything within the universe is merely something that can be manipulated how is space any different? Time and space go hand in hand…”
Such an outrageous theory gave Daichi the premise for his first insight into the element of Void which encompasses all space. He continued to think about time and how it could be manipulated by a mortal, by someone of his level only to come up empty handed. instead Daichi’s first insight was into the manipulation of the universe itself came in the form of space. In the endless mist, he came up with a theory for how to manipulate space itself.