Machine Translated By:
- Cirdan Lunae
Japanese to English Checking By:
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
――The Imperial Capital of Lupugana was occupied by the undead.
In Lupugana, a city that was now best described as the Undead Capital rather than the Imperial Capital, Al was searching and struggling alone for Priscilla, who had gone missing.
Nevertheless, it could not be said that the search for his master was going well.
The basic method of searching for people was to ask for eyewitness testimony. However, there was no one here to ask, not for conclusive testimony or even for useless gossip.
The only people who were around were either undead, who approached the living with a sinister purpose; or survivors who had survived by keeping their heads down, holding their breath, and not taking any action.
Either way, they were useless for Al’s purposes.
???: [The absurdity of the world is that just because you meet a living person, it doesn’t mean that your objective is going forward, right, Al-San?]
The very absurdity of the world itself, Cecilus, exclaimed such.
While he was in complete agreement with that assessment, there was no room for Al now to quibble with this and that, as it were. ――Al was hanging over the edge of the roof of a five-story building.
Swearing inside his iron helmet, Al turned his gaze away from Cecilus’s smirking face.
It would be useless to say anything to Cecilus in this situation. In the first place, the reason why Al was hanging like this was because he had been kicked off the rooftop by none other than Cecilus. Moreover, he had kicked Al from behind after calling him over to the edge of the rooftop and making him think that there was something in the distance.
And if that was not a sign of malicious intent, then what was?
Cecilus: [Whether you call it a test or a check, the objective is ascertainment. Your reaction seems to be better than Boss’s, as you didn’t fall head first.]
Al: [Um, yeah. I have no idea what you mean.]
Cecilus: [It’s fine if you don’t understand! For I know what I think and what I want. Also, I’ll go ahead and tell you that I will not be helping in pulling you up, Al-san.]
Giving an undesired reply to Al’s question, Cecilus nonchalantly clapped his hands.
Al did not know the reason for the murderous behavior until Cecilus spoke; actually, he still had no idea what the reason was, even after hearing the answer. Even if he would talk about hostility or murderous intent, Al had not had much of a conversation with Cecilus before this in the first place.
After being rescued from a powerful undead enemy, they briefly introduced themselves to each other. Al talked about his movements up to this point and his future goals, and then he was kicked off the rooftop.
Although it might have seemed like a stroke of bad luck running into him, his answer was not particularly discouraging to Al.
Al: [――I’ve heard that plenty of times, so I don’t expect you to.]
With that, Al released his grip from the edge and let himself enter into a free fall.
Cecilus’s voice sounded surprised and distant, and Al began to think amidst the floating sensation.
The distance to the ground was about fifteen meters, a height that superhumans could have landed easily, but Al was an ordinary person and could die normally. The crushed tomato would be complete.
The approaching ground was wet cobblestone, there was not enough water to soften the impact of the fall, and the muddy soil offered no cushioning, making this an overly harsh method.
Therefore, in order to save himself, an action other than falling was needed here.
With a guttural sound from the back of his throat, Al extended his bent knees and kicked the wall as hard as he could.
Al’s body, which should have fallen straight down, was propelled diagonally instead, shortening the distance to the opposite building, which was the same height as the one he’d been holding onto. The timing of the kick was between one and two seconds after the start of the fall, and if it was early or late he would hit the wall, and becoming a crushed tomato with a sore neck would be unavoidable.
But if the timing was right―― a moment later, Al’s body smashed through the window of the building.
Al rolled on his back into a deserted room, with a broken window as collateral damage. His shoulder and back were cut by the glass as he struck the floor and received some serious damage.
Al: [But, I survived…]
After rolling backward into the room he had flown into, Al jumped up and confirmed that he was alive. Next, he checked for fatal wounds and broken limbs, and only after passing this check was he allowed to declare himself a survivor.
Any injuries that were unrecoverable at this point needed to be recovered.
Al: [Woah, my left hand is gone!? I mean, that’s been like that for almost twenty years now…]
After a pause with some small senility, Al immediately hid beside the door facing the corridor and quickly drew the Blue Dragon Sword from behind his waist.
He had escaped falling to his death. However, his escape did cause him to jump into the building with a loud crash.
Naturally, the sound drew the attention of everyone in the surrounding area——,
???: [Around here!]
Together with a flurry of rushing footsteps, the undead broke down the door and stormed into the room.
The undead vigorously charged towards him, but as their pale visage passed in front of him, Al swung his Blue Dragon Sword and decapitated them.
The foremost attacker was killed instantly, and using the headless body as a shield, he ascertained the number of enemies that had rushed over here. There were two behind the broken door and the sound of one set of footsteps coming up the stairs, for a total of three—— beyond the dead body of the first, the second, recovering from their state of astonishment, thrust the short spear they held in their hands forward.
They were quick to recover. It made him sick.
While thinking that, Al forced the headless corpse into the trajectory of his opponent’s spear——,
Al: [I messed up.]
As the body of the undead received a fatal blow, it instantly shattered like pottery that had lost its will.
Therefore, the familiar tactic of using a dead body as a shield would not work; Al realized this as he tasted the enemy’s short spear fatally digging into his chest.
× × ×
???: [Around here!]
Together with a flurry of rushing footsteps, the undead who kicked down the door was decapitated.
Kicking the hindering headless corpse to the side, Al leapt out of the way to the back of the room. Chasing him down, the second enemy rushed in with a thrust of the short spear in its hand.
The tip of the short spear was engulfed by the earthen wall that rose up from the floor, forcibly capturing it.
As soon as Al saw that it had caught his opponent’s attention, he placed the sole of his foot on the earthen wall and,
Al: [Dona! Dona! Dona!]
A pillar of earth flew out sideways from the earthen wall against which he had placed his foot, striking the undead on the other side squarely in the face and blowing them backward.
The pillar of earth pushed back both the second attacker, and the third attacker who was trying to follow behind; from the tip of the pillar, he launched another pillar of earth, and yet another one from that tip, stamping the two undead together with the vigor of a multistage rocket, and crushing them to death against the wall of the corridor.
Al: [One left…!]
Hearing the large sound of pottery shattering between the pillar and the wall, Al thought on how he had taken out three enemies in a single breath, and remained on guard for the enemy’s movement with his foot still on the earthen wall.
He had defeated the first attacker with a surprise attack, and the second and third attackers with a delicate technique. Only the fourth or final attacker remained, so Al would be safe if he could exchange his bad prospects for good ones, but——,
Al: [Well, things aren’t gonna work out so smoothly!!]
The entire wall of earthen pillars blocking the entrance was pulverized, and the final undead invaded the room by forceful means.
Wielding a massive battle axe, it was an undead of the Cyclops Tribe with a giant eye of golden hue in the center of its face. Upon seeing that, and judging that they were far more dangerously powerful than the other three up until then, Al turned his back to them and intently focused all his energy to getting to the window of the room——,
Al: [Can I make it!!]
Just when he was about to make it in time, his shouting back was struck by the destructive force of the battle axe, utterly mowing him down, and leaving the interior of the building to be grotesquely redecorated with Al’s scattered entrails.
× × ×
???: [Around here!]
Together with a flurry of rushing footsteps, the first undead attacker who kicked down the door was decapitated.
Next, he knew that there were two in the corridor, and the most horrible enemy coming up the stairs. Then, Al took a big leap backwards——,
Dealing with the second and third attackers in front of him, he had no choice but to open up a strategic avenue of escape from the final monster.
Cecilus: [Woah, amazing amazing! When that Cyclops Tribe guy came flying in at the end I thought there would be no way Al-san would win, but you really did it.]
Al: [What a turbo piece of shit…]
Cecilus: [Oyaoya, I’m sure he was an extremely formidable opponent, but I wouldn’t say that’s a likable attitude to have towards a foe with whom you have fought so hard. Of course, foul language and abusive insults tend to make an impression, but I’m not fond of the idea that notoriety is better than anonymity!]
Al: [I was talking about you…]
His entire body covered by innumerable wounds, Al was greeted upon exiting the building, and as he breathed deeply, he lethargically slumped his back against the wall and sat down.
Then, Cecilus opened his eyes wide as he was simultaneously greeted by and rebuked by Al.
Al: [Huh, I seriously don’t understand how you can be so surprised being spoken to like that. You almost killed me, and that’s in two senses. Even a psychopath bastard would at least have a memory of being resented…]
Cecilus: [Oh, as expected, I didn’t learn all of Boss’s words in a short period of time so there are still some words that I don’t know. By the way, what does “psychopath” mean?]
Al: [It’s kinda like being a deranged person. They go around killing people but still have the nerve to be calm about it.]
Cecilus: [Is that so? But in that case I don’t think I’m a psychopath. ――I mean, Al-san doesn’t die for some reason, right?]
Foolishly laughing, Cecilus then vocalized a twisted self-defense.
At Cecilus’s answer, Al crouched in place and concentrated on regulating his breathing. While Al remained silent, Cecilus held up one finger and continued.
Cecilus: [The Cyclops Tribe guy from earlier was quite skilled. Unfortunately, he’s far from reaching me, but if it were Al-san up against him, you’d lose a hundred times out of a hundred. That’s the truth that I saw with my own eyes!]
Al: […But, I’m alive, aren’t I? Or, are you saying I’m dead?]
Cecilus: [No no, I’m sure you’re alive. I had a suspicion that perhaps you were an undead posing as the living, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In that case there is only one thing that I can think of. ――Al-san drew the hundred-and-first possibility.]
With one finger raised on one hand, and another finger raised on the opposite one, Cecilus displayed two fingers.
Counting those two fingers would not result in anything more than two, and if one was being generous it could be seen as eleven, but instead of focusing on the gesture that did not really reflect his intentions, Al gulped down a breath at his words.
Cecilus: [I’m not particular over the number one-hundred-and-one. One-hundred-and-two, one-hundred-and-three, or even two-hundred would be fine! Al would lose a hundred times out of a hundred to that Cyclops Tribe guy. But what if you did it a thousand times, ten thousand times, or a hundred thousand times? Quite literally, you might draw a one in ten-thousand chance. You drew that right at the start. Am I wrong?]
The deception that he was remaining silent as he focused on catching his breath, had reached its limit.
Within Al’s steel helmet, the expression that Cecilus could not see had warped; he feared Cecilus from the bottom of his heart. That insight, speech, and conduct, even Al could not comprehend what in the world they were.
By the way Cecilus was speaking, he had mostly correctly guessed the Authority that Al possessed. And that was not through logic, but rather an understanding through guesswork, so to speak.
The boy who called himself Cecilus Segmunt not only shared the same name as the Blue Lightning, the strongest in the Vollachian Empire, but was clearly an extraordinary being of the world.
Al: [His height, maybe it’s because of the same reason as me and bro…]
Just like how Al and Subaru had been infantilized by Olbart’s technique, it was quite possible that Cecilus had also been shrunken.
The person in question did not regard himself as the First of the Nine Divine Generals, but when Al’s infantilization had gotten more severe, he had felt his consciousness being pulled back to match his outward appearance. The same was likely to be true for Cecilus.
In Al’s case, he was forced to optimize his mind, but that drastic measure could only be done by himself and Subaru. Therefore, Cecilus could be considered to have shrunken in mind.
If that was what had turned Cecilus into such a juvenile monster, the repercussions of Olbart’s actions were grave.
Cecilus: [Is your lack of an answer because you’re unable to answer or because you don’t want to answer… which one is it?]
At Cecilus’s quiet question, Al sat up, relying upon the wall he was leaning against.
Within that silence, Cecilus harbored a tint of danger, and that was a sign that a pendulum was swinging within him. It was a pendulum that would determine whether Al was his enemy or his ally.
Utterly unconcerned with the unprecedented disaster assailing this Undead Capital, it was a fixation over a trifling matter.
Cecilus: [I wonder. I wonder, y’know. Let’s suppose that Al-san has something that can draw a one in ten-thousand possibility on the first shot… I wonder if you’d be able to draw that possibility with me as an opponent.]
In that case, rather than one in ten-thousand, there would be a one in a billion, no, quite possibly a one in a trillion chance of that happening.
However, if it was not zero.
Al: [I’ll say this now, but… that’s as far as you should go with digging into my allure. Otherwise, you’ll have an unwanted party keeping an eye on you, and you’re really gonna regret it.]
Cecilus: [Unbelievable! To speak to me in such a manner. I don’t dislike it, rather, I quite like it.]
Al sighed at Cecilus’s reaction, who seemed to be becoming increasingly amused.
He wanted to find the words to dampen Cecilus’s fascination, but by the looks of things, he did not have the time. He had finally survived the rush of undead that had come after his plunge to the death.
The burden was heavy, but he needed to advance to the next stage.
Al: [――Release territory, subsequent re-expansion, re-initiate thought experiment.]
Before Cecilus could make any unnecessary movements, Al redefined the matrix he had once established.
The recoil was far too great due to the frequency and scope, but at the very least, Al had decided to continue ignoring the consequences until he made it out of the Vollachian Empire. ――Recovering Priscilla was his top priority.
Al: [If it’s for that purpose, then no matter how many times it takes, I’ll―― Dwaa!?]
It was at the very moment that he was about to utter his resolute declaration.
Quicker than he could finish, the figure of Cecilus in front of him blurred, and immediately afterward, Al was flipped sideways, taking a hit from a zori to his flank.
In response to such outrageous conduct, Al screamed while sliding across the ground.
Al: [What, the hell! After all that talk about making a grand impression on a stage, you attack someone while they’re in the middle of talking!]
Cecilus: [No, no, no, you’ve got it all wrong! It’s utterly unthinkable for me to commit such rudeness! That would be an offense warranting kappuku. So it’s not that, but rather, take a look.] 
Al: [Look at what…]
As Al finished sliding and began to rise to his feet, Cecilus gestured towards the wall to justify himself. There, at chest height of where Al had been standing just moments before, was a fist-sized hole.
It had not been there a moment ago. However, the hole had suddenly appeared.
Al: [Sniper… Gyahh!!]
Cecilus: [Forgive my rudeness for a moment!]
In that instant his eyes widened, Cecilus’s form blurred once more, and immediately after, Al felt g-forces of acceleration throughout his body as he was thrust straight backwards.
Cecilus, running furiously, had hooked his hand around Al’s waist and was dragging him along in a swift sprint. And, hot on their heels as they became one with the wind――,
Al: [Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, what the hell, what the hell, what in the actual hell!?]
Amidst the illusion of being flung backward, Al’s vision was filled with city streets and building walls being pierced one after the other, as something tremendous pursued them with reckless abandon.
If his initial impression was correct, it was sniper fire. A sniper was chasing after Al and Cecilus.
Al: [Though if we’re being sniped, it’s an ironclad rule that snipers are supposed to stay put!]
They were supposed to patiently lie in wait, take aim once their target was in their sights, and strike with a fatal shot.
Those were the fundamentals of sniping, and ought to have been the ironclad rule. Yet, this sniper was defying all that, accurately pursuing the fleeing pair, and was even anticipating their moves to find cover, and firing accordingly.
It was as if they were surrounded by a hundred snipers, or being targeted by a single sniper with the complete freedom to move around at rapid speeds.
Cecilus: [Whoa! Woah there! Whoopsie!]
Al: [Bwah! Oof! Bit my tongue!]
While being targeted by this terrifyingly precise and agile sniper, Cecilus, while carrying Al, moved his body right, left, up, and down, all the while continuously evading the assault.
However, he did not seem to be looking at his surroundings at all. Then, Al realized. ――It was guesswork. Cecilus was dodging this top-class sniping by sheer guesswork alone.
Cecilus: [It’s not quite to that extent. But don’t you just feel a certain thrill during moments the opponent deems critical? That’s it.]
Al: [You can ignore my suspicions! More importantly, focus on what you’re doing!]
Cecilus: [Very well. But our opponent is of remarkable ability. ――I’ve encountered them a few times before, but they’ve never allowed me to close in on them.]
The ground erupted with an explosive sound that seemed impossible to be caused by a kick from his zori, and as he gained propulsive force, Cecilus began to accelerate. Feeling the proximity of the unseen sharpshooter pursuing them with sniper fire, Al received a two-fold shock from Cecilus’s statement.
The first shock was that Cecilus had already encountered this enemy several times before, and still continued to survive.
The second shock was that even Cecilus had been unable to defeat this enemy, which meant they were an abnormally formidable adversary.
Cecilus: [I believe they’re flying, but for some reason other than their speed, they can’t be seen.]
Al: [An enemy, who can’t be seen… hk.]
Upon the words of Cecilus, who seemed to lack a proper sense of danger, Al gained the keyword of “invisible enemy”.
If only they could unravel the mechanism behind this invisibility, or at least find some way to counteract it.
Cecilus: [Woah there, my my…]
Once more, Cecilus spoke without a sense of danger, and a tremendous crashing sound followed, prompting Al to look back―― that is, toward the direction they were heading.
Then, within Al’s field of vision, three buildings along their path came crashing down.
From the front of the street and on each side, buildings began to descend upon them. Each had its foundation targeted and hollowed out by the sniper, causing them to tilt and collapse inwards.
If they collided with that, there would be no escaping from being crushed to death. Upon grasping that, Al clenched his molars, and,
Al: [Territory, redefinition――!!]
Cecilus: [I’m rushing straight ahead!]
Immediately after resetting the territory in time, Cecilus, kicking off the ground while holding Al, broke through the window of the frontmost collapsing building and plunged inside.
As they slanted, and he heard the gentle cascade of shattering window glass in conjunction with the flexing of the walls, Cecilus kicked the floor of the collapsing building, smashed through the ceiling, and sprinted upwards, forcibly creating a direct route from the lower floor to the upper floor.
Cecilus: [Go go go go go go go go!]
Given how the building was collapsing, it was a fact it would be crushed by contact with the street at the lower floors first.
On the other hand, the outrageous feat of escaping from being crushed in such a manner could not have been said to be a sane course of action. It should not be said.
However, thanks to that eccentric judgment, Al and Cecilus managed to kick through the ceiling of the top floor and escape to the outside, faster than the building could fully collapse――,
Al: [――No, this won’t work out.]
Bursting through the ceiling, Al and Cecilus soared into the sky.
Below them, they witnessed the three collapsing buildings collide with one another, their colossal mass causing a tremendous earthquake as they crumbled. One of the fallen buildings seemed to have contained flammable liquor, or perhaps stored magic stones, as an inferno was extending across the street.
Cecilus: [Now this is a formidable enemy!]
Both Cecilus’s cheerful exclamation and Al’s body shaking from the impact happened simultaneously.
But, Al was not the one who was directly affected by the impact. Having leaped into the sky alongside Al, it was Cecilus―― Struck by the sniper fire, the impact had blown off one of his legs.
The young boy’s small left leg was blown off from the knee down, scattering blood into the air as he gnashed his teeth. Having experienced similar situations, Al understood what it was like. That the pain would come immediately, causing the throat to scream――,
Cecilus: [――Over there!]
Instead of screaming, Cecilus shouted that out, likely having pinpointed the enemy beyond the sky.
He then placed his remaining leg against Al’s body, which he was still holding, using it as leverage to propel himself towards something that he had spotted.
Being propelled by just one leg, his momentum was fierce, seemingly sufficient to catch the enemy.
All of that while in a state of having lost one leg――.
Al: [――This won’t do.]
Even with one leg missing, Cecilus was still probably a hundred times stronger than Al.
But, that was no good. It was necessary for him to be in perfect condition. Thus, Al drew his Blue Dragon Sword and pressed it against his own neck.
Then, without hesitation, he forcefully exerted the blade――.
× × ×
Cecilus: [I’m rushing stra――]
Al: [No, the building on the right!!]
As the buildings were collapsing from three different directions, the moment Cecilus was preparing to rush inside of the frontmost one, Al shouted in a voice that would not lose out to the volume of the collapsing structures, and issued a change in their path.
The instant he heard Al’s appeal, Cecilus laughed, and the fact that he licked his lips was already known.
In that instant, Cecilus forcefully altered their direction, and while carrying Al, he lunged towards the collapsing building on the right.
Hearing the cascade of shattering window glass, Al pointed towards the interior of the room they jumped into,
Al: [The room over there! Secure the box inside!]
Cecilus: [Aye-aye sir!]
At Al’s confident directions, Cecilus did not ask any questions whatsoever.
Forcefully smashing through the wall into the adjacent room, there was an iron chest―― a part of the fortune kept by the owner of the building, intended for emergency situations.
Unfortunately, it seemed like the owner was unprepared and was unable to take it out with him, but thanks to that, Al and Cecilus were able to secure it.
Immediately after securing the box, the escape from the slanted building reverted the route to one that employed Cecilus’s extraordinary leg strength and innovative thinking.
Carrying Al, who carried the box, Cecilus’s sprint pierced through the ceiling of the lower floor and the floor of the upper one, and repeating that in quick succession, they dashed all the way up to the top floor in one go.
Then, the moment Cecilus kicked open the ceiling of the top floor and they flew out, Al was faced with a scenery that he had already seen countless times, and dropped the box from his hands.
And, just before the sniper could blow off any of Cecilus’s limbs from afar――,
Inside the box that was dropped, Al’s shoddy magic sparked a fire that ignited a high-purity magic stone belonging to an individual within the Empire, and then at once, the blast swelled up and flames engulfed them from directly below.
While savoring the sensation of the scorching heat roasting their skin, the created curtain of flames also concealed Al and Cecilus from their surroundings. However, even if the flames hid them only for this moment, if there truly was a sniper, he would shoot through them―― No, he would shoot through Cecilus without losing sight of him.
Therefore, the aim was not to disrupt the sniper’s eyes.
Cecilus: [――Over there.]
Cecilus muttered this while smiling with bared teeth.
Blood was spouting from Cecilus’s cheek, and his long blue hair bursted and spread apart as his hair clip was snatched by the sniper. However, all of Cecilus’s limbs were unscathed.
The flame curtain was not to hide Cecilus from the enemy, but to allow him to spot the bullets approaching him before they reached him.
Before reaching Cecilus, the bullet had to pass through the flame curtain.
As foolish as it sounded, but he believed enough to bet on Cecilus of all people to not miss the momentaneous change in the flames before the bullet would reach him. He won that bet.
――Hence, across the flame curtain, Cecilus’s and the sniper’s gazes intersected.
In an instant, the pupils of Cecilus’s eyes narrowed and the soles of his zori sandals were placed against Al’s hip.
As before, Cecilus intended to leap down to the shooter’s location. The difference was that all of Cecilus’s limbs were stuck to his small torso.
All that was left from now was――,
Al: [――Don’t you let your guard down.]
Muttering that, Al established preparations for the next re-expansion of his territory.
Each time it happened, he felt a sense of loss in his head, as if something was shredded into pieces, but Cecilus was right. One could say a once in a lifetime opportunity was a chance one could not afford to pass by once it happened.
If somebody wanted to obtain it twice, then they could not afford to compromise.
That was why, Al was going to reset the next matrix――.
Just before that, a remarkable change flashed into Al’s vision.
It was behind the flame curtain, in the direction Cecilus surmised the sniper to be, in the sky where Al still could not see the enemy; there was an unusual change in his vision.
Simply put, the clouds had been severed.
The thick black clouds that covered the sky of the Undead Capital of Lupugana were unexpectedly cut open. The cumulus clouds received not one, but two to three cuts in succession.
It was as if they were chasing an invisible enemy in the sky―― No, not as if.
The slashes were chasing the enemy and the aftermath was tearing through the black clouds.
Cecilus: [Aaah!! They’re getting away, they’re getting away! They’re escaping!!]
The screeching voice belonged to Cecilus, who kept his foot on Al’s back.
His eyes widened, and the reason for his scream was probably in response to the sniper running away from the slash that tore through the clouds―― abandoning the battle and disengaging.
From Al’s point of view, this could only be described as a favorable turn of events, but not for Cecilus. He stared at the view below with eyes brimming with frustration.
???: [Ha ha ha ha! Run, run in fear of my swordsmanship!]
Al and Cecilus jumped out, away from the three collapsing buildings; a lone figure could be seen on the roof of the building.
It was a figure with a sword in his hand, seeing off the enemy in the distance, and pointing his blade that had sliced the clouds towards the heavens as he smiled broadly.
Al frowned, wondering who or what this stranger was.
Behind Al, Cecilus said “Huh” as he looked at the sudden intruder,
Cecilus: [Looks like you’ve grown old in the while I haven’t seen you, Dad.]
Al: [Your old man?]
Al was stunned by Cecilus uttering this with completely feigned ignorance.
Meeting up with this person in the distance Cecilus called his father would probably be a good thing, but the problem was――,
Al: […You ain’t gonna die after this, are you?]
After the formidable sniper was gone, Al, while looking directly down at the three buildings that were still vehemently collapsing, muttered to Cecilus about what was ahead, feeling a floating kind of sensation.
 – kappuku (割腹) means to disembowel oneself as a form of punishment; harakiri, seppuku.