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Prologue

Spring
Kusanagi Takeru who had just become a second year middle school
student at the Antimagic Academy, currently was freezing on the first day
of school.
Students thought they were just going to be lectured, but instead they were
given Assault Rifles and ordered thus
"Now then, everyone~, start killing each other!"
...Or so were we told, though it was just a game since we can't really kill
each other with paint bullets. Our first lesson became a death match
between fellow classmates, a twenty vs. twenty format. At the beginning
there were forty of us. So it appeared it was going to become a long battle,
instead, it ended just 30 minutes later.
"............"
Kusanagi was lying on his back, facing the sky, feeling the cold muzzle
pressed against his forehead, while feeling consternation. Immediately
after the start, instead of using the rifle stool that was available, Takeru
faced the death match with a bayonet made of resin attached, causing his
classmates to give him curious looks.
Nevertheless, sword was the only weapon for Takeru, his only talent lay in
swordsmanship. Unlike other students, who are not used to combat, he
has been taught from an early age how to take advantage of darkness with
a sword in his hand, he had complete confidence.
I will not lose, I will defeat you all, and have world acknowledge greatness
of swordsmanship!
In fact, Takeru hasn't lost a single time until now.
I won't lose to anyone! Be it guns or magic, I'll cut through all of it!
He started brimming with confidence,
You're last...... you may be a girl, but I will not show any mercy!!
Completely confident he won't lose to anyone with bayonet in his hand.
"I... Lost...?"
Gazing upwards, he could not believe what he has seen. A scene which
makes anyone suspicious, sunset colored hair shining brightly, and
cobalt-colored pupils, as if she was an embodiment of mythical battle
maiden, she looked down on Takeru.
His defeat has blown away all the motivation he had after enrolling the
school.
Strength and beauty which cannot be described by words. The girl looked
down at Takeru and pointed her gun at him.
"It's my victory"
That was the instant his dream, "Becoming the Inquisition Boards top, and
changing the world" was so easily, shattered.
That happened during his middle school days, Two years ago.
The [Witch Hunt War], when that fierce war between the witches and
humanity had ended, the population went down to one-tenth of the original.
Humans took 150 years to rebuild society, world has rapidly developed
thanks to science and technology, such things like internet and mobile
phones are symbols of economic growth.
Witches are being regulated, so the fantastical creatures are nearly extinct,
now only a few people can use magic in this era. The title of number one
changed from swords to magic once, and now it changed from magic to
guns again.
Chapter 1 - Problem children, assemble!
Part 1
Inquisitional Agency formed by government, also known as Antimagic
Academy.
Fear of witches and sorcerers and their Magical Heritage has sprouted a
new way of thinking and discrimination. In order to keep the magical
threats in check, country had established Inquisition Board. Which caused
people possessing magical power, namely witches rebel against it. That
unrest was later called [Witch Hunt War], an abominable war which
consumed majority of human race and left a deep scar on people's minds.
After the witch hunt war ended, Inquisition Board increased regulation and
established law for punishing witches as well as created Antimagic
Academy.
Inquisition's authority became an undeniable fact.
"... Am I fired?"
In Antimagic Academy's chairman's office, a girl with sunset-coloured hair
frowns, refusing to accept it.
"To be exact, you've been disqualified, which means you can obtain
qualifications once again. Starting today you're no longer a member of
Inquisition, but just a student of Antimagic Academy."
Sougetsu Ootori, Antimagic Academy's and the Inquisition Board's
president said that while smiling faintly. His appearance and movement
couldn't be described as neither male nor female and held unique
coerciveness and charm.
"Why you've been disposed of... you know right?"
"......."
The girl knowing the reason remained speechless. The chairman was
sitting behind old, luxurious desk, sipping his tea while leaning on the back
of his chair.
"Don't tell me you forgot about your recent failure. You're lucky that you've
been given another chance to start over, the court hearing result could've
been much worse then that."
"........."
"You've abandoned your mission despite being a Dullahan(Witch
Hunter), this is the punishment for that."
Sougetsu said that while raising both of his hands.
In Inquisition everyone has an appointed role.
Developing and maintaining various anti-magical weapons, a
Regin(Blacksmith).
Serving as intelligence and infiltration agent Banshee(Spy).
In charge of all medical treatment, responsible for treating injuries caused
by magic Seeley(Healer).
An assault forward, possessing defensive equipment for interrogation
missions Spprigan(Knight).
Allowed to investigate on their own, and to participate in any combat, a
Dullahan(Witch Hunter).
Divided into different fields, inquisitors are not only witch hunting, they're
addressing any and all events related to magic.
It's been 150 years since the witch hunting war ended, those who use
magic, witches and sorcerers are low in numbers, resulting in status quo.
People that are classified as witches are not allowed to have children, so
outside of rare mutations, people born with magical power are rare.
But witches aside, there still are different threats, a substance containing
magic power - Magical Heritage is one of them.
There are many different types of Magical Heritage in existence, swords,
books, guns, vases and various pottery, paint brushes, leaves, tobacco,
and even cigarette butts. Magic dwelling in inorganic objects is not
uncommon in modern times, but very rarely one that's a tremendous
weapon appears.
Existence of some Magical Heritages mentioned in legends and myths has
been confirmed for a long time, and they're classified as irregular type and
sporadically appear. But it's not only weapons, there are also others that
have high historical value, desired by collectors and traded on black
market for high prices.
Arresting people, who do not possess magic, yet are members of religious
cults worshiping false gods. Dealing with unimaginable supernatural
disasters, protecting and researching fantastical creatures, and many
many more, it's very wide range of work.
"Well, you don't have to wait until the graduation, as long as you show
signs of remorse, then returning to your original position can be taken into
account. Learn from this lesson and don't make the same mistakes aga"
"So you say, about the incident few days ago, I believe I did not take any
wrong actions."
The silent girl's interruption stopped Sougetsu from speaking. Such
language from member of Inquisition towards chairman who's a superior
officer should be prohibited. Chairman didn't mind it at all, he put his
elbows on the desk and rested his chin on his hands smiling.
"Ouka, I'll ask you one question, what do you think is inquisitor's mission?"
Sougetsu asked, the girl named Ouka, narrowed her eyes sharply.
"Protect people from magical threats, also extermination of witches and
sorcerers."
"Extermination, huh that's why your comrades gave you such dishonorable
name like Calamity(Crimson Lotus Princess)."
"..."
"As Inquisition, our mission is to arrest witches as well as seizure of
Magical Heritage. Killing and destroying is not our purpose."
"...I understand that."
"The age where we killed and destroyed indiscriminately is over; it's
partially because of false accusations running rampant. Also, not every
witch is evil, there are many people who didn't want to be one, we have to
protect them."
Ouka clenched her fists, boiling with anger after listening to Sougetsu's
pretty words.
"There's an old japan saying, for rice cakes go to the rice cake maker
[1]
.
The Inquisition does not have a role for killing witches."
"...I want to say that I'm aware of my own shortcomings, but at the time
there was no other way than to kill the witch, or is arresting witches higher
priority than safety of children taken hostage?"
"Is putting a bullet in his forehead prioritizing saving lives? Did you not
consider possibility of killing the hostage?"
"For me, there's no such a possibility."
Ouka said sharply, her eyes displayed complete self-confidence and
conviction.
Sougetsu sighed.
"...anyway, from now on you're a student. All formalities have been
completed, from today onwards do your best studying."
Sougetsu opened his desk's drawer containing documents.
"Quietly accept your punishment, with your skills you'll be back in no time."
"... I was in the middle of investigating the corpse collectors...I have clues
on their trading partner, please, at least give some time"
"I've said it before, these events are within jurisdiction of police, both
Inquisition and police agreed on it."
"But we don't know when the living will becomes victims...Police has
half-assed investigators."
"In a case that has no traces of magic, Inquisition is not going to intervene,
you know that."
"...Tch"
"In the first place, you're no longer an inquisitor, you no longer have right to
lead the investigation."
Ouka's face displayed her frustration.
"That always discontent expression is wasting away your beautiful face, I
think of it as of great opportunity to brush up your communication skills.
Even among Dullahans(Witch Hunters), your evaluation is very poor,
because of your cold attitude and refusal to listen to opinions of others."
"...That can't be helped, that's how my personality is."
"You know, the problem lies in fact that you joined Inquisition at age of 13,
before your humanity fully developed in school."
Sougetsu sighed disappointed from the bottom of his heart; the threw over
the documents to Ouka.
Ouka looked through the documents scattered on the desk.
"...this is?"
"Platoon roster. Alhtough you were in middle school before, the high
school requires students to be part of a test platoon you know."
"Oh well."
"You've been incorporated in 35th test platoon, commonly called "Small
Fry Platoon"."
"...small fry?"
An easy to understand nickname, Ouka was stupefied.
Seeing her reaction, Sougetsu laughed happily.
"A matching set of oddballs, my favorite platoon."
"Why do I have to be assigned to such platoon?"
"Because... well... you know?"
Sougetsu pointed his finger at Ouka, smiling delicately.
"you're an oddball."
"......!!"
"Yes, yes, don't get so angry, you've always had such an explosive
personality, it would be good if you fixed that as well during your school
life."
"I would like to change platoons; I want to be in a single person platoon. I
will not bother others, and it's more convenient to me as well."
"That would make no sense, it's been decided and can be no longer
changed. Changing teams is not allowed by school regulations."
Sougetsu laughed mischievously, Ouka was full of regret.
"Well, don't be so pessimistic. Cooperation aside, each of them has
outstanding abilities. Above all, there's a Relic Eater candidate in it."
Relic Eater, that term made Ouka open her eyes wide in shock.
"I-Impossible... Are you saying one of them is a candidate?!"
"Yes, last of the Twilight Keeper series left over after the war, because
none was chosen by it."
"That can't be why are you choosing from the students? Relic eaters are
supposed to be used only by Dullahans(Witch Hunters)!"
"Even though you say that, you were a special case as well. You became a
Dullahan(Witch Hunter) at age of 13, and momentarily you were
chosen as Vlad's contractor."
"That's true but...! Why of all things, a Relic Eater from Twilight Series."
"It's a shame, even with your talent you were rejected by it. Other
Dullahans(Witch Hunters) tried as well, but it has rejected everyone.
That's why there's no choice but to choose from between the students, or
maybe you want us to choose an amateur from general public?"
Hearing Sougetsu's explanation, Ouka lowered her head.
Relic Eaters are weapons only Dullahans(Witch Hunters) are allowed
to use. They're completely different from modern firearms using mithril and
adamantium to produce anti-magic effect. Other than Dullahans(Witch
Hunters), nobody is allowed to touch them.
They are unquestionably Magical Heritage, a product of magic. To
humanity they are an abominable existence.
Relic Eater series are all in form of a gun. It's unknown in what
circumstances were they born since the truth hasn't been revealed. These
powerful Magical Heritages existence is top secret.
Fight poison with poison, for people trying to get rid of magic this it's the
worst problem there is. Inquisition is fearful of itself, because users of
Magical Heritages were written in history as Devil Kings.
"Of course we didn't intend to, but we are not the ones picking the
candidates. Relic Eater is choosing its own contractor. You went through
that as well... So you know that right?"
"...Yes."
Ouka replied after hearing Sougetsu's explanation.
Ouka took the documents in her hands with mixed feelings, and confirmed
how the candidates look like.
"Just to make sure, one of those three is the candidate, right?"
"Indeed"
"Which student is it?"
"Yeah, it's..."
Ouka asked. Sougetsu silently put his hand on his chin, while glaring
sharply at her.
"Not telling."
............
............
Ouka was speechless. She turned on her heel angry, preparing to leave.
"Mu ha ha It's confidential so I can't tell you!
"I was stupid to ask you a serious question."
"Ah, waitwait a second, while you're a student, you're not to use your
Vlad, even if it's an emergency. I'll get angry otherwise."
"I know about that."
"Bang!" Ouka opened the door and left.
Sougetsu looked at her back while smiling happily.
"Good grief, teenagers sure are difficult..."
He leaned heavily on his chair, while holding his chin in his hands.
"Oh?"
Sougetsu looked in the corner of the room, realizing there was a shadow
sitting there.
"Lapis, since when are you sitting there?"
"............"
"That's no good, you're not contracted yet. Producing magic power
meaninglessly is bad you know. Didn't I tell you that walking around alone
is bad?"
In response to Sougetsu's call, a shadow wriggled in the dim room giving
an impression as if darkness itself was moving. A human shape slowly
appeared from the shadows.
It was a girl. Everything from clothes to hair, even her pupils were azure
coloured. She had pale white skin, more lithe than any human's.
The girl wasn't blinking nor breathing, not even sounding a heartbeat, just
standing there expressionless.
"Your maintenance is hard, you still haven't made the contract?"
"............"
"Are you still hesitating...? Or..."
The girl didn't answer Sougetsu. Just stood there breathlessly. Her pupils
concealing pitch black abyss within.
Sougetsu said what the girl was feeling while narrowing his eyes. As if his
eyes were grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
"...I see, well, think about it"
"............"
""Mistletoe" you really act shameless like your name states... Such a
dreadful child you are."
[2]
Sougetsu closed his eyes as if he was dozing off,
horrible laughter sounded from his throat.
Girl's expression hasn't changed, azure coloured lights were floating in the
darkness around the girl like fireflies.
Part 2
Kusanagi Takeru is hopeless at anything other than swordsmanship.
Rather than weak or bad, he's just hopeless.
Kusanagi family he was born into, was a famous military family 300 years
ago during an era when sword was strongest Kusanagi family's name was
resounding on many battlefields.
Kusanagi's Peerless style swordsmanship
[3]
is unique. When Kusanagis
were seen on the battlefield, enemies were immediately raising white flag
unconditionally.
But that's a story from long time ago.
In current era swordsmanship is a useless martial art. In reality, pen is
stronger than sword, and gun is stronger than pen.
This means of course, that gun is stronger than sword.
Swords are the worst, it's outdated scrap iron.
"Hey, it's the Small Fry's swordsmanship nut."
One of two student's standing by the wall drank from his carton juice,
pointed at Takeru walking down the corridor and smiled sarcastically.
"Oh, that idiot came to training with a resin knife before."
"Rushing in without a gun, what a joke. Look at his waist, is that a sword?"
It was as the student's said, there was a sheathed katana hanging at
Takeru's waist.
Long eyebrows, closed mouth, jet-black hair with long bangs. His strong
appearance can be described directly as a samurai's. He stood out even
more because his katana was making clanging noises as he walked.
"That's a Japanese katana, it was a main Japanese weapon before the
war."
"That sword that becomes useless after cutting down two, three people?
Why would he hang such a thing there? Is he an idiot?"
"He is an idiot, that's why he has been assigned to a Small Fry Platoon."
Mockery sounded in the hallway, ridiculing laughter reached him from
behind his back as he strode. From behind he looked dignified, from the
front he looked like a demon.
His eyes already looked evil by nature, now that he's furious he looks like a
murderer.
Surrounding students escaped from Takeru's path because he was too
scary.
"?! Haa...?!"
Takeru noticed their reactions and got rid of the demonic expression."
"No good, no good... patience Kusanagi Takeru... patience... I can't get
angry every single time they badmouth swordsmanship...!"
He made a deep sigh, grimacing.
"I'm different from my past self."
He put his hand on katana hanging on his waist. This is the only thing for
him. His only way.
He studied how to use it from the basics ever since he was a child. Apart
from that, whether its dexterity or intuition, he's more clumsy than bad at it.
He has no literature skills, no talent for painting. His motor skills are
excellent, but he has no sports sense, his field intuition is a minus as well.
And when it comes to skill in handling firearms, he's hopeless.
His lack of knack for it is referred to as "curse", he can't hit targets he aims
for but it's on completely another level. Bullets actually avoid their target no
matter how he aims his muzzle, for example the bullet Takeru shoots at
extreme short range will not even graze the target. If he squeezes the
trigger at point blank range, by some twist of fate the gun's barrels terrible
explosion awaits him.
That's why, for Kusanagi Takeru his swordsmanship talent is the only thing
left for him. Just his sword skills, which noone will ever praise, instead
they'll say there's no use for it in this day and age.
Takeru calms himself down, and takes his hand off the katana.
"It can't be helped... I will be criticized and abused, but this is the only
way."
If you were incompetent, you wouldn't enter high level Antimagic Academy.
That means it's fine to aim to become a high level Inquisitor. Takeru
doesn't think so.
But he aims for this profession for a very, very serious reason.
Money
Inquisitors are being paid well.
To pay off the debt left by ancestors... My parents are no longer in this
world... also for my beloved sister, no other job offers salary big enough!
Takeru clenched his fists while looking at the sky outside the window.
Please forgive me, my ancestors... I need money to survive.
Now just to make money.
Different from two years ago, that's all Takeru wants to do.
To become an inquisitor it's not enough to enroll in Antimagic Academy,
just as there's an exam from middle school to high school, high schoolers
need to earn points by doing harsh quota.
This quota... is the biggest problem.
"...Ugh."
Takeru is standing outside of the room, holding his stomach depressed.
He knocks while enduring stomachache.
"It's okay to enter."
From the other side of the door sounded a curt voice.
"W-wait a mo"
Takeru heard a shrill rushed voice, but he wasn't able to stop himself from
opening the door anymore.
The instant the door opened, he understood nothing.
"............"
"............"
For some reason, there was a bunny girl in front of him.
Furthermore, she was in middle of changing, two white bulges that were
quite big for her height, are in a condition where they are almost visible.
Her chest aside, he looked long inorganic ears that were twitching.
Why is there a bunny girl in the school? Wasn't this this school serious
before? Or maybe i'm dreaming? Such questions never appeared in
Takeru's head.
Takeru didn't try to understand it. He faced away towards the wall, crying.
There was a girl in a white lab coat laughing "puhahaha" while trying to
catch breath. Takeru understood this situation instantly.
Aah, this again...
"Ki-ki-ki..."
The bunny girl blushed, ready to scream any moment
The next phrase will probably be "Kyaa", we can expect that judging from
her promising expression.
In such a situation, Takeru was shedding tears for some reason.
"...Why the hell are you crying?!"
Her reaction was beyond Takeru's expectations, she instinctively kicked
up.
Takeru hit in the solar plexus flew out of the room back into the corridor.
When he was twitching and drooling. The bunny girl came after him, and
grabbed his collar.
"Why are you crying after seeing my bunny girl figure?! Thinking normally it
should be me that's crying right?"
"...No..."
"Is my figure so sad it makes you cry? Or is it so amusing? Are you saying
i'm not attractive!?"
"...Wro..ng...You have a nice body."
"B-big pervert! Pervert!! You're a pervert!^
Strangled Takeru turned blue, and the girl's eyes started watering.
The reason he couldn't explain himself properly was the fact that he was
spewing foam out of his mouth, as well as high speed digital camera's
shutter the girl in the white coat held as she was laughing while looking at
them,
"Ahahaha, I didn't expect you to cry, I took some nice pictures."
"It's your doing again...! I told you to stop playing with Usagi all the time...
Gah."
"Becaaause she's so weak at old maid, it's a punishment game you know,
punishment game. As the name states bunny outfit suits her, her boobs
are big too."
"Don't get me involved with your cosplay hobby..."
"Maybe you let yourself get caught on purpose? You timed your entrance
to look at Usagi's body? You pervert, perverted brat."
After being ridiculed that much, Takeru wasn't in the mood to get angry.
The girl in white coat was checking the photos on her digital camera.
"What to do I wonder, maybe i'll spread these photographs on the school
premises. Ufu, ufufu, a bunny girl's and a crying guy's figures. And for no
reason too, ufufufu."
The girl in white robe made an omnious proclamation, while the half naked
girl jumped up "Stop it!".
Outside of the noisy room, Takeru was crying in the hallway.
They were members of 35th Test Platoon, known as "Small Fry Platoon".
And also the cause of Takeru's stomachache.
Kusanagi Takeru is captain of the "Small Fry Platoon".
After entering high school, there is only one way to get promoted.
General subjects grades aren't enough to let you graduate. The School's
test platoon system, you won't be able to become a second or third year if
you don't complete that curriculum.
It's made to make students more competitive, and allow them to gain
investigative experience. Test platoon system is the biggest challenge to
face before becoming an inquisitor.
Antimagic Academy student's are organized into platoons, from between
students that were pre-selected. And they are to solve incidents in which
magic was involved.
From the opening ceremony, they do not get any equipment, information,
or support other than parts for weapons. Information is obtained by
themselves, from strategical planning to battles, everything is up to
students themselves.
It's the Inquisition Board that determines the structure of each platoon.
Changing members of platoon is not allowed. It's not a system where the
hopeless people can group up.
For example,
"We should seriously consider what to do."
Group like this.
"Wham" Hitting a office desk. Is a platoon member, Saionji Usagi.
Sitting across opposite of Takeru is Suginami Ikaruga.
The last one is Kusanagi takeru who raised his head.
"It's been half a year since we were admitted to high school! Half a year!
Captain, do you know how many points have we earned?"
Usagi asked, Takeru made a depressed face.
"...Z-Zero, I think."
"Yes! Zero! Half a year and still zero! We need to think how to overcome
this terrible situation!"
Takeru shrinks as Usagi's spirit overwhelms him, gripping his aching
stomach.
Ikaruga who was across, looked lethargic.
"That being said, there's only three of us what can we do? There isn't
many cases we can handle just by ourselves."
It's as Ikaruga said, there's only three members in Small Fry Platoon.
Originally test platoons are configurations of six members, there're three
vacant spots in Small Fry Platoon, despite the vacancies, leaving the
platoon still means expulsion.
A person who leaves the school must be mentally ill or is involved in some
strange religion.
Also about leaving this striking trio... whether good it's good or bad...
"At this rate we will really be forced to drop out! Are you still okay with
that?"
Saionji Usagi. Aiming to become a Dullahan(Witch Hunter), her
sniping skills aside, unexpectedly she's an idiot, often making ridiculous
blunders during missions due to her stage fright. Her other abilities are all
average, she makes an effort but it's nothing special. She is earnest but
very prideful, she also appears to have a complex about her name, getting
angry at people calling her by it.
"Kusanagi is the only vanguard, It can't be helped."
Suginami Ikaruga. Intending to become a Regin(Blacksmith). Having
top scores after admission, has perfect maintance skills. Was immediately
recommended to join the Inquisition, but refused saying "Don't take away
my youthful student life". It's not entirely clear whether she was serious or
not. She's only interested in weapons developement and modification, her
maintance skills are the best of the first years. From the platoon itself, she
knows Takeru from middle school days.
"......I'm ashamed."
Finally the swordsmanship geek. Kusanagi Takeru. Hoping to join
Spriggans(Knights), zero shooting ability, zero maintenance skills,
zero intelligence-gathering skills, general studies, nearly zero. Confident
with the sword, but opportunities to use it. When his sword is being
mocked, his blood is rising to his head resulting in high chance of going out
of control and dying honorable death due to recklessness. Originally he
wasn't the captain, but after two people quit, he was forced to become one.
Not being able to use guns he couldn't influence fighting potential too
much. Even now he's no good.
"Don't apologize like that! You're the captain! Please have more
self-awareness!"
Usagi hit the desk with a "wham", her face displaying irritation.
Takeru scratched his head with a finger.
"Even if you say that, basically... I'm not cut out for it."
"P-please don't say such things! we're not in a position to say such things!
And I have never thought of you as unsuitable for the captain position!"
"Do you have knotholes for eyes?!"
On the side of the two discussing, Ikaruga let out a happy laugh.
"Usagi-chan."
"Please do not call me by my name! Don't add -chan in!"
"To Usagi it looks like Kusanagi overburdened himself, so she wants him
to do his best."
"I don't really... but I really think Kusanagi is suited for the captain position."
"Oh? How come?"
"U-umm, like he worries a lot? Or working hard even though there's no
results? And where he...how he feels about his comrades like... trusting
maybe?"
"Come on, isn't that the same for you?"
Usagi's face turned beet red,
Seeing her reaction, Ikaruga pursued further.
"A man who can only use a sword, a woman who can only snipe.
Furthermore both of you are disadvantaged by your own specialization.
You are so alike, you fit each other."
My, my. Ikaruga shook her head.
Usagi and Takeru looked towards her together.
"What, why are both of you looking at me."
""You're not the one to talk!!""
"Oh my, really. We're comrades then. So we should be able to work
together well."
""Why so positive?""
The two responded with a tsukkomi to Ikaruga's proper attitude, the usual
scene is back.
That's how thanks to meaningless chatter, the Small Fry Platoon activities
are usually ending without them taking any action again.
"Anyway. We're lacking information, do you have anything Kusanagi?"
"I have something... but don't expect too much."
Takeru put his hands in his pocket, taking out a piece of creased and torn
paper he handed it to Usagi. It contained valuable information he managed
to collect in the past few days. The state of the paper describes just how
much effort he put in. It's truly Takeru's blood, sweat, and tears.
Usagi goes "Mmm" as she checks the note.
"Eh... Fifth district's Sakatake-san, is rumored to have a potted plant
moving like tentacles... somewhere in the back alley of school district
there's a wall marked with runic symbols... every morning after waking up,
there's a smell of an old man on their pillows..."
"The plant is a mimose. The runic words in the back alley, are just a graffiti.
The pillows are simply old. All of these can be easily written off as
misinformation."
Ikaruga cut in after half of it was read out.
"All of it is useless."
"...I'm ashamed, even though I tried hard."
"This is really bad, there's only half a year left... Half a year and we need
200 points! Even by securing insignificant F-Class and E-Class Magical
Heritage, even dirt if piled up enough will become a mountain and we
would have enough. But we no longer have time to do that!"
Usagi lamented over their hopeless situation.
Takeru held the same feelings to some extent.
There was ranking for Magical Heritage and magical incidents. The more
powerful history of theirs is, the more points you get. F is 5 points, E is 10,
D is 20, and C is 30 points. Student's are not allowed to take on harder
cases.
Certainly, if we dealt with E and F level cases we would have reached the
quota. But now it's too late, we don't have enough time for that. If anything,
we should go for high level ones
Even without thinking about it much, this is the only way if we want to
succeed.
Takeru became as worried as Usagi over the issue.
"...It can't be helped."
Ikaruga brought up a 3d image and opened up one of the folders. There
was high quality information written, that Takeru wouldn't ever obtain no
matter how hard he worked.
"It's an irregular type that was supposed to be finished during witch hunt
wars... information on a D-ranked Magical Heritage. It's not really my field,
but I'll look for you guys. Ikaruga-onee-san will help you with this pitch."
""Oooh!!""
Takeru and Usagi leaned together side by side to look at the text
displayed.
"Targeted by the witch hunters in the initial war. First edition book of Andolf
Jaeger's Trackless Psalm. Only original and the first edition are
containing magic power, presumably Andolf himself was applying magic to
them during the first edition printing. It's a collection of nonsensical poems
with no sense of integrity, When you read the poem from the beginning till
the end, magical technique encrypted in it activates book's mental pollution
magic. Readers go mad, gouging their own eyes out and committing
suicide by biting off their tongues."
Takeru and Usagi go pale after hearing such astringent description from
Ikaruga.
It's a Magical Heritage made just for killing people. It was definitely a
D-rank case, and certainly an irregular type. Andolf Jaeger's has many
fans even these days, it's a very valuable book fron the collector's
standpoint.
"The original has already been sealed. and four out of five first edition
books are in Inquisition's possession. One of the books disappeared from
the scene while they were seized. There's evidence that it was taken by
someone, but the culprit hasn't been caught yet. That was happened a
week ago."
The two on the side leaked voices of admiration, Ikaruga continued further.
"The important part starts from here, just the other day the culprit that got
away with the remaining book was found. The trading organization it was
found in belonged to was destroyed in a sweep a week ago. The guy is on
the run, trying to sell it to another organization. The transaction is planned
for today at midnight."
"Fufu, how is it?" Ikaruga said proudly after she finished.
"Amazing, how on earth did you aquire that all of that information? How did
you pinpoint him so easily? Just when did you investigate this, Suginami."
"I didn't. There's no way I can do that, such thorough investigation. It
comes from our year's top, 18th platoon."
"...Haa?"
"It information that comes from 18th platoon's devices I hacked. It was a
piece of cake."
"... Wait, I just heard something I can't ignore. How could you do that."
"I even shifted the transaction date written in original file by one day. Their
protection against hacking was really poor, information management is part
of a Banshee's(Spy's) duty as well, hahahaha."
"Don't "hahaha" me, isn't that a crime?!"
"According to school rules, you can use any means of intelligence
gathering."
"Even so, it's dirty to steal something that someone else worked hard for!"
"It's too late to say that, its too late now to leave interrogation to others."
"Wha... Even so, we should go to the 18th platoon and speak with them
about this, and leave it to them."
Usually Takeru doesn't mind fooling around, but this time he's completely
against it.
It's as Ikaruga said, stealing information from other platoons is allowed.
Takeru thought of it as something really bad. When he was small, there
was someone because of whose wrongdoings Takeru suffered a trauma.
Doing bad things will definitely bite back at you. That's what Takeru has
been taught, even now he adheres to these teachings.
Usagi put her hand on his shoulder as he drew closer to Ikaruga.
"Kusanagi... I like that part of you."
"Usagi... you get it right...!"
"Please don't call me by my name! And I meant that I like your sensitive
side that's against illegal acts, don't misunderstand."
"Indeed, you should be rewarded for something you accomplish fair and
square, that's how it should be."
Takeru has advocated proper way of doing things.
But Usagi looking delighted closed in on his face, her eyes bloodshot,
holding his shoulder as if she wanted to crush it.
"I said I like it, but now it's the not time for that! There's no time to argue
whether it's right or wrong! We'll become complete losers at this rate!"
Takeru already thought they're a group of losers, but he did not say it.
Usagi excitedly tried to convince Takeru.
"Are you okay with that!? Didn't you want to make money?"
"Ugh... Indeed, I do..."
Takeru's heart was wavering. Indeed, he had to make money. His
household had huge financial problems. He also has to pay for his sister's
dentist. He has to clear their debt while paying for their living expanses. To
be honest, he wanted to get rid of those problems even if he had to sell his
soul to a devil.
Takeru's stomachache got more intense.
At that time, suddenly the door of the platoon's compartment opened with a
lot of force.
"Gooood afternoooooonnnn!! Children!"
The team members' gazes shifted to door at high speed.
After confirming who the person in white was, Takeru and Usagi paled.
Standing there, with long flowing white hair, and a pretty face. A person for
whom a rosy background would be suitable, stood in front and pulled out
an odd pose.
Antimagic Academy's chairman, Sougetsu Ootori.
"Chairman...?!"
"Indeed it is I, the chairman! Surprised? Or did I fire a blank?"
Sougetsu said flatly, and laughed with a "HAHAHA".
Why was the person with highest authority in the academy in a place like
this.
A situation that seemed like a lie, the two were restless wondering about
that.
"Hey, it's bad, he came at the perfect time. It's as if he heard us just now."
"Eh, no wait it's still too early to say that, we still can't be sure... calm
down."
The two whispered to each other while sweating profusely.
Unlike those two, Ikaruga faced Sougetsu calmly while sitting on her chair
humming.
"What is it, do you have so much spare time that you visit such a bar-like
platoon like this?"
"That's a wonderful expression, Ikaruga-kun! Also, I'm this school's
chairman, shouldn't you pay me more respect?"
Sougetsu protested, Ikaruga looked at him with scornful eyes as if she
wanted to spit on him.
Takeru broke out in cold sweat.
"I respect only the ones I love. So, what did you come here for."
Ikaruga spit out those words in rapid succession, it was inexcusable now
as her attitude was downright rude. Responsibility for that fell on Takeru as
the captain.
Takeru panicked, trembling.
The chairman thought of Ikaruga's harsh rebuttal as funky! He made an
easygoing smile.
"Hahaha, you're cheeky as ever. Nah, I just came for a little inspection.
After all, your 35th platoon has that kind of reputation."
"I see. So you came to adore the faces of the outcasts. Are you drunk?"
"No no, what reach my ears are only awful rumours. But I really think this is
a really nice platoon."
Sougetsu walked around the room with a hand on his chin and looked in
each member's face.
First Ikaruga with whom he was already acquainted, through Usagi, and in
the end he stood in front ot Takeru.
Takeru stood upright, unmoving, stuck solid like the pillars of a house.
Sougetsu leaned so close their noses almost touched and stared at
Takeru's face.
"It's been a while Kusanagi-kun, the last time we met was during the
middle school entrance ceremony was it not?
"I-indeed, chairman."
Sougetsu spoke to him in friendly manner; he was acquainted with the
chairman just like Ikaruga. He was called to chairman's office before,
around the time of the opening ceremony.
The conversation they had back then... his heart shrank as he
remembered it. He had to admit that back then, Takeru was a naive,
arrogant brat.
It was certainly, "I'll knock you down from that seat" or something like that.
It's unthinkable now, such a dreadful thing.
Takeru was unable to speak in front of him now. Sougetsu made a
questioning look.
"Oh? Were you that kind of character? You used to have an evil look in
your eyes, as if you wanted to kill me."
"Ha-hahaha, sorry. It was because I was in puberty back then."
"I don't know what changed your mind, but it's good. I wish my daughter
would follow suit."
Sougetsu laughed gently, as if he was watching a child.
And again, because of his looks, you couldn't clearly tell whether he was a
woman or a man. To begin with, he never stated that he was a man.
Noone in the school had any evidence that could help determine his
gender. There was nothing more mysterious than that man. That's the
impression you got from the students.
After examining Takeru with a knowing smile he nodded.
"In any case, as far as your platoon's results go, you never get any
compliments. I won't pursue who is responsible for that. Survival of you
three outcasts' platoon is at stake. I want to avoid that as well. That's
because I really like you guys."
Takeru's stomach started screaming.
"That's why I prepared supplemental personnel for 35th platoon."
A backup soldier. Just because there's a problem with earning credits,
changing members shouldn't be allowed.
Usagi whispered to Takeru.
"What's going on? It's unheard of to have replenishment personnel."
"Even if you ask me... I haven't heard about any of it before."
As Takeru was wondering, Sougetsu turned towards the door and said.
"Come in."
After a few seconds, there was the squeaky sound of the door being
opened slowly.
""
That moment, Takeru's heart almost stopped.
An unforgettable person had appeared. Someone who could be called the
beginning and the end of all for Takeru. Those eyes from two years ago,
the absolute strength seen in their darkness had shattered Takeru's
confidence, that detestable existence.
Unforgettable.
The owner of the hair that could be called sunset-coloured, like a sun
sinking in the horizon. A beautiful girl that looked like she came out of
myths,
"She is an ex-Dullahan(Witch Hunter), Ootori Ouka-kun. She
transferred into this high school, please get along well."
"Nice to meet you."
"By the way, she's my daughter! We look alike right? Like, for example our
cute noses and eyebrows! As you can see, she's my daughter through and
through"
"I'm his stepdaughter. We're not connected by blood, please do not
misunderstand."
The girl named Ootori Ouka pointed out. Sougetsu put on a mysterious
smile. No one knows what made his tension rise so much, no one is ever
bothered with him acting like this in front of the students,
Usagi beside Takeru seemed to be familiar with Ouka. She made a
morose expression.
"I know of Ouka Ootori, she obtained qualifications for joining the
Inquisition in middle school, it took her only a year and a half."
"............"
"Said to be a genius that also has family influence... got promoted without
putting much effort... you think so too, right?"
"................"
"...Kusanagi?"
After not getting a reply for her question, Usagi looked at Takeru's face
beside her.
Takeru's mouth was shut tight. He was looking at Ootori Ouka without
blinking.
"You know her?"
"...Yes... she's my former classmate."
Takeru replied tersely and softened his expression. Usagi felt that there
was something amiss, and faced Ikaruga. If Ouka was in the same class
as Takeru, then so was Ikaruga. Ikaruga was looking at Ouka, and then
she asked Sougetsu blandly.
"Why did Ouka Ootori stop being a Dullahan(Witch Hunter) and came
to our platoon? You ignored the rules and enlisted her here... Is there a
reason for it?"
"...Hmm, That's because."
Sougetsu put a finger on his forehead looking troubled. Ouka's platoon
members moved a step closer.
"Sorry, I can't tell you the reason."
"We're going to work together as comrades now. Isn't it expected to try to
understand each other better?"
Although she was reluctant to achieve that mutual understanding, Ikaruga
still said so.
Ouka thought about it for a second.
"That has nothing to do with you."
She closed her eyes and answered clearly.
"You haven't changed at all, have you."
Ikaruga shook her head and didn't say anything else.
It looked like Ouka's and Ikaruga's personalities were incompatible. She
was astonished by her bad attitude.
That was when Ouka noticed Takeru looking at her.
He tried to avert his gaze, but Ouka was looking straight at him. He gave in
and spoke to her.
"I-it's been a while, Ootori."
"............"
"... How are you?"
Ouka squinted at Takeru who asked the question.
Takeru broke out in sweat remembering that time. His impression back
then was the worst - it was a one on one deathmatch but it could be called
a pretty strong one. He was beaten until his arms and legs gave out.
They never had a normal conversation, but initial impression should be
enough.
"......"
Ouka looked at him with wariness and aversion, like at a beast.
Looks like she hates him after all. Takeru dropped down on his seat.
Right after that,
Ouka opened her mouth and said to him,
"...Who are you?"
...Thud.
Takeru's knees gave out and his shoulders dropped.
Rather than hating him, she didn't even remember him.
Chapter 2 - Sortie! Small Fry Platoon!
Part 1
Outside of school premises, a backstreet in downtown. Beside the venture
company buildings that had recruitment posters on it, was a seemingly
deserted building in the corner of the street.
35th Platoon members were already set up in their positions.
It's a building without any special features, built around 10 years ago. It
used to be used by trading companies but currently nobody uses it. Rooms
on all floors are vacant.
The target for seizure is the D-rank Magical Heritage Trackless
Psalms.
The four of them, including Ouka were to perform their mission as planned.
"For the time being, wouldn't it be better to be on stand-by together with
me on your first day?"
Ikaruga asked her. Ouka confirmed as she dismantled her gun checking
it's maintenance.
"No problem, I'll participate."
"Is that so, that's fine then. But aren't you pretty motivated."
"No matter what kind of mission is it, using full force is my principle.
Don't worry, I won't pull your legs. I'll move according to Captain's
orders"
As she assembled her gun once again, she moved her gaze towards
Takeru.
Seeing Takeru practicing swings with a specialized baton, she started
blinking surprised.
"Show me your abilities... Kusanagi Takeru."
Ouka's words were enough to put heavy pressure on Takeru.
"...Haa."
He sighed trying to get rid of unpleasant feelings.
Ikaruga remained in the platoon room as an operator in charge of
communication.
Usagi is on the roof of the building across the street on standby, she's in
charge of sniping.
Ouka was supposed to infiltrate from the front door.
Takeru is going to enter by the back door.
"There's nobody guarding the back door, how about you Ootori?"
"........No sight of enemy here either."
"O-okay, let's go!"
Communication was switched over to Ikaruga who's an operator.
"The trading organization shouldn't be that great, at most they're just a
small gang."
"Why do you know that?"
"Thugs that stole Trackless Psalms will probably not trade with a
large organization because risks are too big."
Ikaruga's indeed seemed quite convincing.
If the other party is small, that's good for them.
And the target Magical Heritage's class is high too, if the enemy
organization were too strong. Their authorization for dispatch would be
taken back. It was within the level of mission accessible for student's so
application was approved.
But it's still dangerous, the amount of Antimagic Academy's student's dying
every year is quite big. Even though the risk has been classified as low,
sometimes unfortunate events do happen.
Wary of the back door, he invaded the building together with Ouka.
"They're quite an irresponsible bunch, is the deal really going to happen
here?"
"I'm going to proceed, I leave my back to you Captain, asking for
authorization."
"Y-yeah, go."
Covering each other, they move forward gradually.
That being said, Takeru doesn't have any guns, he just has a baton and a
katana at his waist, he feels uncool. Although the baton is advantageous
when fighting in an enclosed space, but aside from special circumstances,
a gun is better.
Ouka on the other hand, had a pistol and a baton. The pistol was an
automatic one, and even though it was the same model as the one used
by police, it was made by Inquisition's Alchemist Corps so it's been
modified to become an anti-magic firearm. Its pride is its compact size and
stability. It's made in a way that makes it fit to even the hands of women
and children. In contrast to that, its power poses problems.
That weapon is now loaded with anesthesia bullets. Usually, teams are
only allowed to take anesthesia bullets and mithril bullets with them. Mithril
bullets usage is restricted to fighting against Witches, or people equipped
with Magical heritage. Aside from that, they're not allowed to use lethal
bullets.
It's a good sub-weapon but bluntly speaking, its lack of firepower can't be
denied. It might not be enough against the unknown trading organization.
But Ouka specifically chose this gun she's familiar with.
"............"
Ouka embodied calmness itself, she didn't make any unnecessary moves.
She walked while eliminating any sounds and covered point position,
flawlessly. As expected of a former Dullahan(Witch Hunter), truly
deserving the name - that's the impression she made.
She uses gestures to convey the right meaning.
Takeru signaled her to wait, and spoke to the headset.
"Usagi, how is it?"
"S-sev-seventh floor, office. L-light is on, t-there's two of them."
Usagi seemed to be nervous like usual.
"Okay, seventh floor then."
"I-I'm not really anxious, I'm not nervous e-either, they're looking
o-outside, they are really really careful, yeah careful."
"What are you talking about, I just asked you about the situation inside."
While saying that, he noticed something odd.
"Two people? The buyer is alone?"
"It looks that way, I can only see through the window, so someone might
be hidden, h-have IB m-messed up something?"
The trader is alone, it can't be. Organization passing the object through a
single collector, then it would make sense for only two people to be there...
but is that possible?
"Wha-what are we going to do?, sh-should I do it now? I-I'll do it, i-i-it's a
piece of ca-ca-cake."
It's not convincing when someone says that while biting their tongue.
"Wait wait, we have to get to the office first."
Usagi sniping's hit rate can be trusted, but we don't know if there's more
enemies inside.
"Ootori, go around from the other side of the passage, we'll rush in after
the signal."
"............"
"Hey, Ootori?"
Ouka is squatting in one place, looking at the ceiling that had nothing but
air vents.
What is she doing?
He thought she was in a daze, so instead of relying on headset he
signaled her with gestures.
"Affirmative."
A bit late, but she makes a gesture and disappears.
So far so good, let's not screw up now.
Takeru went up the stairs while being vigilant, he reached the seventh floor
and confirmed the entrance to the target room.
".....!"
A single enemy, he was holding a gun while smoking a cigarette.
"Confirmed one person at room's entrance."
He reported to other members while waiting for Ouka to come from the
opposite side.
They have to deal with the lookout at the entrance first, otherwise the guys
in the office will notice them and it's possible that a firefight happens once
they enter. It's better to blitz in at the same time as Usagi snipes them.
"We-we'll go at the same time, Usagi will take out the two people inside
after making count to three. I'll rush out and act as a decoy and take the
lookout's attention, then Ootori will shoot the lookout from behind. Next 'll
rush inside the room... umm, like that... is that fine?"
"Affirmative."
"T-that's quite a reasonable situation, I u-understand, fully understand,
sh-shooting sh-shouldn't be a problem, b-by the way d-do I shoot after
counting to zero or to o-one?"
"You're the one counting, so it doesn't matter~~"
The only person not involved in the operation was really motivated. He
pretended not to hear that.
Takeru waited for Ouka to appear on the other side.
That's when he heard faint voices from the transaction site.
"...I came here on my own legs, I hope I won't have to do that."
"Don't worry, we have borrowed the office's safe. Also there's no way
trouble will make it here. And you won't have to use that damn thing."
"It doesn't matter to me as long as you pay up, use it or sell it, do whatever
you want with it. By the way, I've heard your organization was crushed by
Inquisition, I wonder if it's really okay."
"I told you there's no problem dammit."
Because wall was thin, the voices carried over.
Judging by the contents, there was no doubt the information stolen by
Ikaruga was right.
"... so? Have you brought samples of "that"?"
"It's as you see."
Something was rustling.
"... Indeed. Well done, I've already put the reward in place I specified."
"Are you really okay with this? Isn't it just fragments?"
Takeru who's focuses with his ear against the wall.
Fragments? It's not Trackless Psalms?
"This has nothing to do with you, don't try to stick your nose into it."
"...What an annoying woman... By the way, there's something you might
want to buy."
".....?"
"Trackless Psalms first edition book I stole in secret. It's definitely
better stuff than that crap, how is it? You can name your own price."
"...you guys really are an incurable idiots, aren't you."
The tension at the scene subsided.
"You have underestimated Inquisition, did you really think they won't
notice?"
"...eh?"
"Even if your organization was destroyed, they will follow you as long as
even one book is missing, even to the bottom of hell."
After hearing something bad, Takeru broke out in sweat.
If they notice the assault and get more vigilant, it'll be definitely no good.
"I'm at the appointed position. Orders.:
Ouka entered at a perfect timing. Takeru takes up the baton hanging on
his waist. He deploys it and switches on the electrical current.
"Everyone ready?"
"No problem."
"W-w-wh-whenever!"
As he heard the replies, he tensed his foot. His eyes looking sharp.
"Mission... Start!"
Takeru drew attention of the enemy by jumping out from the corner.
Of course, the enemy notices him and points his gun's muzzle towards
him.
Takeru rushes to the enemy without stopping, while hold baton in his left
hand.
A kamikaze attack, a fake one, of course.
There are two shots from behind the enemy, causing him to fall down.
Ouka did everything accordingly to the plan.
At the same time.
"I-I did it, I took down the two idiots in the office, look Kusanagi, as
expected of me!"
The sniper's timing was a little bit too early, probably because she was
impatient but there's no problem.
In order to get to the office, he went through the fallen enemy's body and
stood with his back to the door.
Ouka whom he looked towards nodded in confirmation. Takeru kicked
open the door and rushed in.
"Inquisition, freeze!"
Takeru was happy that everything has gone swiftly.
They have earned their first points, it's far from fulfilling the quota but at
least there's hope now.
............
"...eh?"
Takeru looked around the room dumbfounded.
Definitely Usagi confirmed it before going in via radio, two people inside.
It's impossible he misheard.
Despite all that...
There's seven Onii-sans dressed in black pointing their guns in his
direction.
"...Umm, Usagi-san?"
"What is it, did you see it already? I knocked them out both! Amazing
isn't it! I hit them both in their rotten brains! Ohohohoho!"
"Umm, in front of me there's seven Onii-sans who made a circle around
me."
"...Impossible, I took down two people in security personnel-like uniforms
by the window for sure!"
Takeru figured what happened right away.
"...You... that's... isn't that the building on opposite side."
"...Ah?"
"You shot two security guards, if you look carefully you'll realize it."
"............T-t-th-these things... happen sometimes."
As if!! What if it weren't tranquilizer bullets!
Takeru wanted to blame her, but this is also a captain's mistake. He should
have predicted something like that might happen due to Usagi's hopeless
stage fright.
There was nine enemies to be exact, seven of them were mafia-like men
who wore coats and hats so their faces weren't visible, one of the
silhouettes was probably a woman's.
And, one more thing.
The last thing was the most unexpected existence. He wondered why such
thing is in a place like this.
A humanoid covered in heavy armor. A silhouette much bigger than
humans and circular.
No doubt, it's unmanned at the moment but it's a heavy armored infantry
exoskeleton used by Inquisition in the past, a Dragoon.
What the hell! I haven't heard of an organization having one of these!
No matter how you slice it, it's not something that some thugs have. Looks
like Ikaruga's judgment was wrong as well. It's too dangerous to be a
D-rank Magical Heritage trade.
Unlike the seven suddenly confused men, the woman already put her leg
on the window.
"It's just like I told you, I'm leaving, I leave clean-up to you."
After saying that, woman kicked off the window. Right before jumping off
she looked at Takeru.
"Tchwait!"
Takeru tried catching her, before she jumped down. It's the seventh floor,
normal human wouldn't avoid injuries.
But before Takeru could run up to the window, a man who looked like a
leader aimed his gun at him.
"Don't move..."
"Th-this guy said he's from Inquisition, this is bad isn't it."
"Don't be so scared, we have a Dragoon here. And also look at this guy
isn't a full fledged inquisitor. He's from a test platoon. You're Antimagic
Academy student aren't you. What the hell did you come here for?"
In addition to the leader-like person there were 5 people led by him. Also in
the corner of the room was a thug-like man holding Trackless Psalms
muttering something.
A hopeless situation, he would win one-on-one while using a baton. But
the Dragoon aside, it's seven-on-one.
"Ootori... don't come in."
In order to conceal his words, he spoke as if exhaling.
If they noticed there's one more person behind, Ouka would get dragged in
this.
Enemy leader was smiling fearlessly, he had a smile of a person who's
sure of his victory. He has seen that smile many times. If it was Takeru
from before who had a lot of pride, he would have rushed in already.
"Ha, haha... umm, I-I just got lost a little on my way home from school."
The current Takeru wasn't reckless like that, rushing at them was
impossible.
He made a desperate excuse and smiled.
"Ooh, I see. You got lost, that's troublesome isn't it."
"Eeh, yeah... haha... hahaha"
"HAHAHAHAHA!"
"Aha, ahahaha."
"What the hell you're laughing for it's a checkmate for you bastard."
Next moment, their leader stucked out his tongue and placed his finger on
the trigger. Takeru's eyes followed that movement.
What to do? What's the best course of action?
He dropped the baton, and touched katana on his waist with his fingers.
He laughed at his himself in his mind for thinking he can do something with
it. It's unrealistic. A sword winning against a gun. Ridiculous. A few years
ago he would have rushed in without thinking, but right now, he will not
tempt fate.
I can take out two... three people at most, and I'll probably get hit by few
rounds by then
The close quarters are good, but their numbers are bad. I must be
prepared to die, and make a suicidal attack.
Ways of surviving this by fighting... there's none left.
... No,
There's one. A way out for Takeru.
No... I cant. Either way, that will be disastrous for me anyways...!"
Having only one way out, Takeru was distressed.
The forbidden school of Kusanagi-style swordsmanship. A prohibited
Technique. It was the only way out of this situation.
Takeru shook his head, and took his hand off the katana.
Ikaruga should be aware of the situation, she'll contact the Inquisition
Board to have them dispatch the Spriggans(Knights).
Until Spriggans(Knights) come, he'll stall for time by talking.
"Hey, look at that guy. Is he carrying a katana there? He has no gun and
instead he has a katana with him! Gahahaha, is he right in his head?"
One of the enemies insulted Takeru. Which caused, in turn, the others to
laugh at him.
"The Inquisition these days sure is old fashioned! It's a terrifying
samurai-sama!"
"Nowadays, even the police are obligated to carry guns. This brat must be
insane!"
"Gahahahaha" insulting laughter echoed. Takeru stopped movement of his
hand, his eyes wide open.
He has a screw loose in his head. Outdated. Let's hear you say
-degozaru!
[4]
Never ending stream of contempt and insults, voices he heard many, many
times before. A shadow slowly appeared on Takeru's face.
Ikaruga who noticed the situation spoke to him through intercom.
"This is bad, Kusanagi. Don't listen to them. Getting angry right now
would be the worst situation."
"...... I know....."
"Try to convince them, prolong the talk. You're no longer the same as
your old self anymore. I admit that it's my fault for not investigating this
completely, please listen to me."
"I know that!!"
Takeru's entire body heat up burning hot. Takeru felt his head heat up, he
clenched his teeth.
In this worst situation, Takeru's dark side began to emerge.
Hold it in... endure it... I'm no longer my old self, I won't survive in this world
if I explode at every little thing... the sword being inferior to the gun is
obvious and you know it Takeru! Let go of this outdated pride! Bear with
this, tolerate this!
He bit his lip hard enough to have blood flow from his lips, trying to calm
himself down with pain.
It's not like it started now... endure this... endure, endure, endure, endure
endure...!"
Takeru tried to restrain his rage desperately. If he loses control here, it'll
trouble other members too. It has to be avoided, thinking like that he
suppressed his anger.
"Can such a thing as sword even be useful? You can't win against neither
guns nor magic with it. Enough of this. Writhe, you scrap iron bastard."
This term their leader said.
It sounded like something snapped inside of Takeru's head.
"Aah, it's over. Do whatever you want."
Ikaruga's sigh no longer reached Takeru.
"Don't worry, we won't kill you right away, at least not until we sell off all
your organs. Haha, we'll just make a hole in your leg. As a samurai, you
should be able to stand that much right?"
Enemy's voice no longer reaches him, it no longer can be stopped, this
situation.
Boss pulled the gun's trigger hard.
At the same time, Takeru touched his katana.
Along with the flash from the muzzle, a bullet flew out of it towards Takeru
to pierce through him.
But
The bullets slowed down, like a video in slow motion.
And not only the bullets, everything in Takeru's field of vision was seen in
slow motion.
Muzzle flash. Hair swaying from an impact. Dust flying in the air. Even the
noise outside the building. Everything.
Takeru's body was no exception. He pulled katana from it's scabbard,
struggling as if he were submerged in cement, his own speed slowed
down.
World's has become stagnant, passive, slow.
But that wasn't what really happened. It was exactly opposite.
World around him didn't change its speed. Time is flowing normally.
It's him who sped up
And left everything behind
It's Takeru's brain.
That's all there is.
Part 2
In the past, in order to gain power, Takeru had received the teachings of a
Monster.
The only monster in the modern times, one who has completely mastered
Kusanagi's Double-Edged style swordsmanship, an [Original human.
In Kusanagi style two schools exist. There's a well known Kusanagi True
Light style, it's anti-human swordsmanship, made for assassination. It's
counterpart, is the Double-Edged style. It's a style made for killing
monsters that had raged a thousand years ago. In other words, is a style
made for dealing with things that are not human.
Those who know the latter in modern times are few.
Takeru, in order to learn teachings of Double-Edged style for the sake of
revenge, asked the monster in front of him.
I want to win with a sword against a gun.
What should I do to win against a gun with a sword?
Takeru... that's impossible. The human body can't move as fast as a
bullet, no matter how you train. Also, no matter what swordsmanship you
learn, you will not keep up with the speed of the bullet."
Why can't the sword win?
"Because, it's too fast for you to see. If you're skilled and have great
luck, you might be able to stop one bullet, but that's it. Give up"
...Even so, I want to win.
"It's impossible, you'll die, that's all."
Even so, I want to win.
"It's impossible, winning with a sword."
Even so, I want to win!
"You don't get it, it's impossible."
Even so, I want to win!!
............
............
"One."
"There's only one way. In exchange, you're going to regret if you
continue to use it. Rather than yourself, you will hurt those that are close to
you."
That's fine, even so, I want to win!
"Very well, I will acknowledge your resolution. Listen Takeru, the thing
you have to train the most is not your body."
?
"The way to surpass your limitations is here, Takeru.
Where?
"Here, inside your head. Your flea-sized brain."
Part 3
"Screeeeeeeeeeeeechhh"
hearing a metallic sound, Everyone was astonished.
Unable to believe what happened in front of their eyes. Their leader had
definitely shot him with his gun. Without doubt he shot in a straight line.
At this distance even an amateur, even women or children wouldn't miss. It
was a distance from which it's hard to miss. Despite that, he did not fall, he
did not bleed, he had no hole in him.
There was a bullet rolling on the floor, sheared in half. And Takeru's figure
with a drawn katana.
"...W...hat...?"
The leader made a face like a fish, and shot two more times in rapid
succession.
And again, it didn't hit, there was only a metallic sound.
It took them a while to acknowledge reality, that Takeru had stopped the
bullets.
Heavy silence filled the room.
"...You said..."
Takeru's voice tore through the silence. Heavy, rough, it was unimaginable
for this threatening tone of voice to come from the spineless boy from
before.
"..you said "scrap iron"... prepare yourself bastards."
He raised his face slightly, the face of a demon with long bangs.
Everyone froze up on the spot.
Because in front of them, there was a demon wielding a katana.
Takeru cried out, quietly, but roughly like a demon.
"Kusanagi Double-Edged style initiate, Kusanagi Takeru. Neither average
nor shitI will cut you up."
After being told that, no one was able to move.
Takeru was completely prepared for battle; his fighting instincts took over.
He poised his sword horizontally. He exuded a force that made people
think they'd get slashed the moment they move or breathe.
The seven men solidified.
They still could not believe Takeru had cut down a bullet. Of course, to
think that there was a human who could pull off a technique that belonged
to manga rather than reality, it couldn't be true.
But Kusanagi style was that kind of school, having techniques like those
straight out of a manga.
The ancient swordsmanship technique Takeru activated was called
Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword). Kusanagi's Double-Edged style is
irregular swordsmanship. A heretical sword style created in order to fight
fantastical Japanese organisms called demons.
That's Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword)
To put it simply, it disables a limiter inside the brain, increasing processing
power. When people are placed on the border of life and death, after falling
into extreme conditions they utilize more of their brain power.
It means, Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword) is a footage from his own
memory being played.
It means, that the world turns slow motion.
It means, conflagration causes brute force to come out.
These phenomena are a result of the brain activating during an
emergency. That theory exist because of a malfunction. All of that power
comes from original survival instinct.
Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword) is triggering that instinct. That's
Kusanagi's forbidden swordsmanship. Men of Kusanagi family devised this
technique to fight demons.
"This guy...!"
The leader lifted his gun again and aimed. He kept pulling the trigger until
his magazine was empty.
None of the bullets reached.
A loud metallic sound filled the room, sound of ricochets.
"...hiiiiii"
In the room filled with gunpowder smoke, Kusanagi Takeru was
untouched.
Looking around the room, Takeru's mouth arched.
At first glance it appeared the situation had turned around. Takeru seemed
to have more time, but his body wasn't in such a good condition.
Soumatou's(Magic-Sweeping Sword's) activation burdens the body a great
deal; this movement forced the body too much. Tearing muscles, breaking
bones. Moving too much.
The body couldn't keep up with the brain being Serious.
Takeru's body had several muscle fibers ruptured, his bones aching. Even
in this state, he continued.
He still continued, despite that.
"...something like this."
The current Takeru didn't think of things like that. He had had a lot of pride
in his swordsmanship ever since he was young. Blood would rise to his
head every time swordsmanship was made fun of. Because of that, in the
neighborhood he was known as a problem child.
After being defeated during his second year of middle school, Takeru
revised his attitude. He changed, his personality calmed down. From the
side, he behaved like a timid boy.
But, after he reached the limits of patience and blood rushed to his head,
his original, violent personality would surface.
"Whether it's scrap iron or not, I'll show you. Instead of coming at me one
by one, come at me all at once."
"Hihiiiii"
"If you think it's scrap iron, I'll show that I'm a guy who won't bleed."
Takeru laughed like a demon; everyone saw a glimpse of his canines. Now
that he had become like this, no one could stop him.
Even if all seven thugs kowtow
[5]
on the spot, even if the Dragoon starts
up, even if the Spriggans(Knights) arrive. His anger won't subside.
If, assuming there was a person who could stop Takeru, that would be...
"Onii-chan, please, don't make such a scary face."
It was just one person. His only family left, his little sister.
"Eh!"
As her voice came from the intercom, Takeru made a surprised voice.
With just that, his anger had been blown away.
Just with "Onii-chan".
"Did you calm down...? Kusanagi?"
"Eh? What? What was that earlier?"
"That was my voice, you sis-con. How was it, was it similar?"
Now that she said it, Takeru thought the tone was different from his sister.
In the first place, it was impossible for his sister to be together with Ikaruga.
Absolutely impossible.
Takeru sighed with relief; if he remained like that it would surely become
irreversible. And not because of killing the enemy, but cause of Takeru's
body suffering consequences. Thinking about it normally, going against
seven trained gunmen. He couldn't do anything if they shot at the same
time. His body would self-destruct before he took out anyone. He wasn't
strong enough to do such a thing.
Grateful for being stopped, he lowered his katana.
"So, what will you do in this situation?"
As he looked around, the guns of all the seven thugs with completely
terrified faces were aimed at him.
Because until now he had had such an intimidating face, and acted so
cocky. They all had fingers on their triggers.
I'm done for, it comes down to that.
"A-Ahaha, that before was a joke. Just a little jokethe thing about being hit
and not bleeding, that was obviously a joke. You know, it's one of these
puberty problems... ahaha."
After showing them a scene of bullets being cut in mid-air, it was hard to
pass it off as a joke. After seeing out-of-ordinary power, it was obvious that
they would attack as a group.
Eh, what do I do? Do I drop my weapon? Or maybe I should kneel down?
Kneeling down is a good idea, but I think it's too late to apologize.
Takeru was thinking at high speed like that,
"Parin"
Suddenly the fluorescent light in the ceiling broke.
Because visibility was suddenly lost, everyone stopped in place.
That's when Takeru saw it.
From above the seven guys, out of the vent installed on the ceiling.
Something sunset-colored dropped down.
"Uwaghh!"
It fell on an enemy's head. Everyone looked towards the knocked out man.
A single girl was there, with sunset-colored hair suspended in the air gently
she kicked a guy.
Such misplaced beauty. Her long hair rose up according to the laws of
gravity. From between the hair shined pair of sharp, deep blue eyes.
"Ootori!"
Takeru called her name.
"You...!"
One person changed his target from Takeru to Ouka, but Ouka moved
faster.
Her left hand pressed against his gun and knocked it to the ground.
Ouka didn't stop, she neutralized the weapon of another person, it was a
very fast reaction. Then she fired at two people with anesthesia bullets
right in their chests.
With her movements like a torrent, she focused her attention on the guy
who had dropped his weapon. She turned her body in mid-air, flexibly
dancing in the air like a leopardess, and kicked his face.
The last guy had lost all his companions, but he was too confused. He fell
down helplessly after Ouka swept his leg. He let out a scream.
After he opened his eyes what he saw wasan incredibly beautiful girl.
The girl was looking below her, while he was looking up at her. Takeru had
experienced a very similar situation in middle school.
Too beautiful, too strong. Completely silent.
While he was laying there impressed, a muzzle was pointed at his belly at
point blank range, and he got hit by an anesthesia bullet, losing
consciousness.
All of that happened in the blink of an eye.
Ouka stood up with a relaxed face, and swept her hair aside.
But, that wasn't the end yet.
There was one existence that could not be ignored, a huge shadow behind
Ouka.
"Behind you!"
Takeru instinctively called out to her.
It should have been unmanned, but the man who was holding onto
Trackless Psalms seemed to have boarded it during the commotion.
The dragoon swung its huge arm. Ouka faced Takeru with a cool
expression.
"Get down, don't interfere."
And the next moment, Ouka instantaneously disappeared.
Cutting through the air, a huge fist broke the floor of the office.
"Damn, I missed."
An annoyed voice sounded from inside of dragoon. Ouka jumped towards
it and after rolling she kneeled, changing ammunition from anesthesia
bullets to live ammo.
The dragoon swung its fist down, trying to capture her.
Before the dragoon could catch her, Ouka shot the joints of its right arm. Of
course even live ammunition didn't have enough power to damage it.
"I won't let myself get caught in a place like thisssssssssss."
As he let out a frightened cry, the barrel of a minigun equipped on the
dragoon's left arm made a creepy rotating noise.
"This is bad!"
Takeru lay down on the ground protecting his head.
Ouka kicked off the floor, and at the same moment a bullet storm filled the
office room, coming out of the rotating barrel.
The sound of gunfire completely filled the room, shutting out any other
sounds. Minigun bullets tracing Ouka destroyed not only the desk and
chairs, but also the wall.
Ouka ran along the wall of the office, despite having powerful impacts
resounding behind her back. She was pulling the trigger, shooting towards
the dragoon's arm calmly.
With dust and pieces of wood scattering and flying all over, the girl was
sprinting in front of the bullet inferno. Her hair looked like a tail lamp on the
streets at night.
After reaching the corner of the office, Ouka kicked off the floor, jumped
towards the dragoon and started sliding, bullets flying above her head. She
crawled under the dragoon this time.
The huge mini-gun was no longer scary while you were right under it, but
the dragoon's fist was waiting at melee range. As the huge arm swung,
Ouka stayed in the same spot, unmoving.
Thinking that it would crush her, Takeru almost triggered
Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword) reflexively, but at that time.
...Clank....Clank...Clank...!
The right arm of the dragoon made a clanging sound.
The swung right arm had stopped halfway in the air, trembling, and making
sounds of being stuck.
"Wha-what the?!"
The man piloting it shouted.
Takeru looked at the dragoon's arm with surprise as well.
Three bullets were stuck in cracks between the joints, and made it unable
to move further. The only option to make it move was to repair it manually.
"One of the dragoon's weaknesses is the vulnerability of the joints. This
thing was not made for close quarters combat."
"J-just because of that... you stopped it with a handgun?!""
Said the man inside.
God-like marksmanship. The crack was just about 3 centimeters big. It was
something impossible for a normal human. Even if her gun sacrificed
power for accuracy. To pull something like that off in the middle of a battle,
it was astounding.
"S-shit! Move! Move dammit!"
The pilot tried to move the dragoon, but the right arm stuck in the air
wouldn't budge.
That's when pilot lost sight of Ouka,
Where is she? is what he thought.
"Bam" the pilot felt a slight vibration.
"............"
Standing on top of the dragoon's armor, was the powerful opponent with
sun-colored hair.
Looking down on it with cold eyes, she pointed a muzzle at the dragoon's
neck, the place that had a ventilation outlet.
"Mo-monst"
Monster, as he tried to say that.
Ouka put the gun's muzzle in the outlet and pulled the trigger.
"Guaaaaaaaahhhhh."
A scream sounded from inside. He tried to shake her off the dragoon.
Ouka who held onto its head wasn't shaken off, and continued to shoot
inside until her ammunition ran out.
Bullets that entered the ventilation outlet ricocheted inside, destroying the
machinery as well as hurting the pilot.
When she stopped shooting, the dragoon stopped and started releasing
smoke.
The cockpit's hatch opened, and smoke spilled out from it.
"...Gah...ughh...haa..."
The pilot showed himself. Two bullets had hit him, one in the leg and the
other one in the shoulders.
She really defeated it, a flesh and blood human defeated a dragoon.
Normally it would be necessary to use anti-tank weapons. To defeat it with
a sub-weapon, he wondered if that had ever happened before.
He knew it, despite knowing it from the beginning.
...she's on a different level.
While Takeru was speechless, in front of the pilot who was trying to catch
his breath, Ouka placed a foot on the seat and pointed her gun at him.
"...That's how it ends up when an amateur pilots a dragoon, didn't you
learn that?"
"...shit...shit...damn it...!"
"Whether it's outdated crap or not, using a dragoon is against law. When
fighting an enemy using a dragoon shooting to kill is allowed."
"He... hehehe... do it...I dare you, you won't do it anyway."
"............."
"You bastards won't shoot defenseless people, I know that very well."
Ouka didn't respond to his insults, silent. He continued with a more cocky
voice.
"See? You can't shoot can you."
"..........."
"Even if I kill kids in front of you, all you can do is look at me like that."
At that moment.
Gunfire sounded.
"Gaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Aah! It hurts! It hurts dammittttttttttttt!"
Inside the cockpit, the man was writhing while holding his left leg that was
hurt.
Takeru couldn't move, stunned. He noticed Ouka was about to pull the
trigger again.
"He-hey!"
Takeru tried to rush there, but suddenly his legs stopped.
Ouka was looking at the suffering man with her cobalt blue-colored eyes.
There was something very, very dangerous inside of her eyes.
"I-I get it! F-forgive me! Don't shoot me anymore! I'll give this back to you!"
The man took out Trackless Psalms from his pocket and offered it
weakly.
Ouka looked at it, and her eyes facial expressions sharpened slowly.
"The one who told me to try do it was you."
"...Ugh... that was..."
"I thought you wanted to get killed, am I wrong? That's really convenient, in
fact that helps me a lot."
"T-that was a joke! A joke I tell you...! I apologize, so please s-spare me!"
The man was crying miserably from the depts of his heart. Ouka narrowed
her eyes. The thug's cries sounded in the office.
At that time Ouka's mouth trembled.
Takeru certainly heard a small voice.
"Trash... garbage... despite having a great strength they won't use it
righteously. You can only hurt others for your own gain... it makes me
wanna puke."
Takeru could feel cold, murderous intent. He didn't know what made her so
angry. She changed as anger welled up from the depths of her heart, he
knew that intuitively.
He had an ominous foreboding.
Her thirst for blood that suddenly welled up, Takeru vaguely realized it was
familiar.
"...I'll exterminate you... witches too... all of you...!"
Ouka moved the gun's muzzle from the man's leg to his head. Takeru
shouted from where he was.
"Hey, what are you doing! You've done enough already haven't you?!"
"The opponent is armed with a reinforced exoskeleton. Doing this is
legitimate, Captain."
"Armed with... isn't he powerless now!"
"I see. So he is. But he still has Magical Heritage. So I still have a reason
to kill him."
"That's too far-fetched! Such a reason won't hold out! Also why do you
want to kill him!"
"Shut up, it's already up to me. If I hadn't come you would have been
defeated. You know that, just stand there and look."
"...Wha..."
Ouka didn't listen to the words of Takeru who was her captain.
It was unprofessional. Inquisitors were allowed to shoot to kill only in
limited circumstances. Killing a defenseless opponent would be
problematic.
She was clearly wrong. It didn't mean Takeru wanted to protect the man. In
fact, Takeru didn't care what happened to that kind of scum.
Killing this man would affect Ouka and their platoon badly. As a captain he
had to stop it.
"Well then... let's start the witch hunt."
As if looking at an ant, Ouka let out a distorted laugh.
make in time!
Takeru activated Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword) instantaneously.
His body launched before he even thought.
Feeling pressure throughout his body, as if he moved in cement. He
rushed towards the enemy as the world turned slow.
"...Wha..."
Ouka revealed a surprised expression. Takeru who was supposed to be far
behind her was suddenly in front of her, protecting the man, grabbing her
hand.
While grabbing her wrist, Takeru was about to admonish her with a serious
look.
"Butaaaaa."
"guhhh"
Because of Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword), momentum was too
strong, his posture collapsed. Takeru and Ouka fell down on the floor
together.
"It hurts"
He touched his head while opening his eyes.
He froze.
""
"..........."
As they fell down, Takeru was on top of Ouka and the hand that was
supposed to be rested on the floor was feeling something unknown. A
water balloon? Marshmallow? A rubber ball? It didn't fall into either
category, a warm and soft bulge.
His heart rate accelerated.
""
Words didn't come out. "They're big." came to his mind, but that impression
was too frank.
There wasn't any change in Ouka's expression, but her face was tinged
slightly red.
"I-it's okay."
Said Takeru in desperation, even though he didn't know what was okay
himself. He was trying to find words that would allow him to live through
this situation.
"Because."
"............"
"BecauseI'm in small breasts faction!"
..."Kachin"
"Sorry, I lied! That's not a problem! Please forgive me, blood rushed to my
head! It was an excuse!"
There was a muzzle touching his forehead, Takeru made a submissive
posture with his hands raised.
Ouka was completely red, trembling as she pressed the muzzle harder.
"...Uuuu..uuuu.....u....."
Embarrassed like that, even though it may be rude to say it, she seemed
very girly.
During the battle earlier, and in the middle school, he had thought "She's a
female terminator!" and had that kind of impression of her. He thought he'd
get slapped coldly and told "Will you get off me?". That's what he expected
to happen.
That she would have watery eyes, or act pretty cute. He didn't think that
would happen.
And that he'd get shot, definitely shot.
"Wait, calm down Ootori!"
"Get off mealready!!"
She put strength in her finger holding the trigger. Takeru was certain he'd
die.
And that time.
He'd been shot in the head. But the pain came from the back of his head
for some reason.
"...Eh, what?"
Takeru tried to turn away, but he failed.
Power left his body, and his face fell on Ouka's chest with a "boing". It
seemed like his head was being severely beaten, but he didn't feel
anything.
"Th-this time, I-I sto-took them out! I took them out properly! Yeah!
Hurray!"
A joyful voice came from the intercom. Takeru understood as he started
losing conciousness.
The one who shot him was Usagi, not Ouka. He figured what had
happened. Definitely she mistook Takeru for an enemy in a hurry. The fact
that it was an anesthetic bullet was a blessing.
It was the result of failing to report the situation.
"In the end... it ends up... like this..."
This was his own fault, is what flashed in his mind before he fainted.
"Such a...!"
Ouka violently pushed Takeru who had a happy face while being
unconscious off her chest. She threw away the noisy intercom and brushed
aside her sunset-coloured hair.
"Small fries, even though I heard they're small fries, I didn't expect it to be
this bad."
With a face that seemed like she gave up, she put a hand on her forehead.
She looked at Takeru who was rolling on the floor. It seemed he had a
dream of being chased by debt collectors.
Ouka wrinkled her eyebrows
If Ouka wasn't here, the mission this time would probably have failed,
wouldn't it. It was unknown what would happen to 35th platoon if it was just
those thugs. But them having a dragoon was a different story.
It was clearly on a level beyond students'. If not for Ouka, they would have
been wiped out.
Strange...
Looking at the half-destroyed dragoon, Ouka narrowed her eyes.
These guys shouldn't have something like a dragoon. Though they were in
possession of Trackless Psalms, if you consider the level of Magical
Heritage, it's strange. That means there was something else. There had to
be something more behind this.
The moment Ouka thought that.
"Mmmm, mmmmm, so-sorry, next week... next week for sure I'll pay...
Ayame... don't destroy the furniture... mmmm....mmm...."
"............"
Her thoughts were hindered by that nonsense coming from the side.
Ouka's cheeks twitched.
"Of all things this guy is the captain..." She sighed.
"Haa, why is the chairman considering giving a relic to guys like these?"
Showing a tired expression, her eyes showed disappointment as she
looked at Takeru wearily.
She looked absentmindedly at Takeru as he groaned.
Can't do anything else than close quarters combat, spineless, his
leadership is bad, there's nothing good about him... on top of that, he goes
berserk.
No matter how she looked at it, she was disappointed.
But... to stop me from going out of control... this guy is the first one.
Even though she considered that a good thing, there was no gratitude in it.
Ouka was aware of her own shortcomings; this fatal habit was in the way
of Ouka's purpose.
As she thought so, an ironic smile appeared on her face.
"............"
While looking at Takeru's face, Ouka's confusion subsided.
What appeared in her heart was a small hope.
Loneliness in Ouka's heart slightly decreased.
That's why Ouka dareddared to.
"...why so late."
Failing to meet her expectations, she moved her sight from Takeru.
Looking at the cloudy night sky outside the window reflecting the city's
neon lights, there wasn't a single star visible.
Part 4
On the roof of a building far away.
From there, an azure-colored girl had seen it all.
She was on top of a water tank, playing with her legs mid-air. Her hair was
swaying in the wind.
A single girl under the night sky.
"...Kusanagi...Takeru..."
The hair of the girl that whispered his name floated ignoring laws of gravity.
As if reflecting moonlight from above like sand, particles of azure light
glittered around the girl like fireflies.
Chapter 3 - The Clumsy Ones
Part 1
150 years ago, because of a single witch a large-scale disaster happened
that killed majority of the human race. Even now after effects still linger,
contaminated areas outside of safe sanctuary is inhabitable for humans to
live in.
It's only salvation is this unexpanding sanctuary, humanity was able to
recover to it's current state over 150 years thanks to it's existence.
"...I hate... this city..."
While looking at neon lights shining vividly, a girl holding a convenience
store bag muttered to herself.
She had semi-long hair that spilled from under the hat, her height was
slightly below average. Dressed in a jacket and a miniskirt, long boots, and
a scarf even though it was autumn.
The girl ran up the stairs of an apartment built 20 years ago quickly and
stopped in front of the room's door.
She took out the key out of her pocket and opened the door casually, She
took off her shoes and left them at the entrance and entered living room
just like that.
There was nothing in the room except for the fridge and a table, a very
simple room. girl put a package with something and a convenience store's
bag on the table and left the room through sliding door in the back.
"...This smell, Haunted!"
She called facing the sliding door's and sat down on a chair disgusted.
And then,
"Oh? Are you back? I didn't notice at all."
From the other side of the sliding doors, sounded a man's voice.
After the girl sat for a while, the door opened and a man appeared. He had
a bizarre appearance, wearing an apron like one butcher uses, rubber
gloves and a surgical mask.
In his right hand was a machete, in his left - a saw. The equipment was
dyed dark red with blood.
Girl clicked her tongue with disgust openly.
"...You."
"Ooh, forgive me for appearing like this. Materials went on a little rampage,
hahahaha. I'm going to change now, don't make that face."
"...I don't really care, I won't stay here long."
Man went "oh?", and blinked surprised and a bit disappointed. He threw
the mask into the trash.
His youthful appearance was mismatched with his bloody body.
The girl seemed to really hate him.
He responded to hostility with a smile.
"You're quite late, I was worried that you might have failed."
"We're being marked at all times, please understand that."
"That happens all the time, you're cooperating with us for a year now, isn't
it about time you got used to it?"
"...I'm not cooperating with you cause I like it."
"So you still didn't get used to it yet. Despite being daughter of my senior
you still can't stand these bloody and cruel things."
She clicked her tongue again with an unpleasant face.
Satisfied after looking at her disgusted face, he moved his gaze from her to
the table.
"Did you bring that thing?"
"I acquired fragments without a problem."
"I've heard that a academy's test platoon interfered, is everything all right?"
"... ... Where did you obtain that information?"
"What, did you think you're the only one cooperating with us?"
"Imbeciles... It's not a problem, my face wasn't seen and I haven't left any
evidence of the cult. I was vigilant but.."
"I guess it should be all right. Other members are causing multiple
incidents all over. Besides, we have reached the point we no longer can
remain cautious. Inquisition Board's peace is falling apart lately."
Man said that, and looked at the plastic bag on the table.
"...oh, you've brought me a lunch. Sorry for being a bother."
He said those heartfelt words and after taking off the apron and gloves,
started stuffing himself with the launch. He was truly happy to eat the
convenience store launch.
"Even though you specifically asked me to buy you lunch..."
"Well, I eat this convenience store lunch every day I like it very much.
Coloring is good with preservative, the taste is good as well."
"Mmm!" he let out a voice, enjoying lunch's taste.
Expression of the girl looking at it was really stern.
"That aside, what are you going to do with those fragments, what are your
intentions."
She asked the man who devoted himself to eating launch, he stopped
moving his chopsticks and pointed them at her, swallowing.
"Nn, with that?"
"Yeah, you can see there's no magic left inside it, it cannot be used as a
magic converter... But it's not just a scrap iron..."
Hearing the girl say that, he smiled happily.
"Fufu, you understood that? A legendary being was made by using this, it's
part of Magical Heritage. You should know that as well, the fragment on
the table is part of the monster."
"So what, it's worthless debris. Magical Heritage loses it's value once
broken."
"There's no such thing, I'm a necromancer and an alchemist aren't I.
Eienherjar(Hero) needs a weapon to fight doesn't he? That's what this
fragment is for."
"...Can that thing really be summoned?"
He responds to her anxiousness with a smile.
He places the box on the table, and wipes his mouth.
"Thanks to you bringing in this fragment, we now have enough fighting
strength. The guy I finished off there was the last one. Because cremating
people after death is a strong-rooted custom from old-Japan, I've had a
hard time collecting material. Because of that I had to procure them from
everywhere."
"...how many people did we kill for the sake of this strategy."
"Around 50 I guess? Don't worry, half of them were criminals. Although we
borrowed some bodies from morgue when we could. A lot of fresh meat
was required, what a pain. Else they wouldn't move properly."
A smile. he talked happily but he had eyes of a dead fish.
The girl directed her eyes full of murderous intent at the bag.
After noticing the killing intent in her eyes, the man stopped talking.
"Oh? What happened? Why the scary face?"
"If you don't stop to talk to me so casually, I'll kill you right here right now."
It wasn't just a joke nor a lie, she poke what she felt in the depths of her
heart.
The man narrowed his eyes with a satisfied expression after hearing that.
"You want to kill me but you won't do it will you? You know what kind of
fate awaits you if you kill me right?"
"............"
"Wouldn't you be in trouble then? O, daughter of a great witch. Nikaidou
Mari-san."
The Man mentioned the girl's name. Immediately after, he heard sound of
her teeth grinding.
"Cut the needless chatter...! You indiscriminate necromancer...!!"
At that moment the girl called Mari tried to grab the man, something in the
back caught her attention.
Stopping her feet, the girl clenched her teeth. Twin spots shined in the
darkness ominously.
Huge amount of something that isn't a living being was in the room behind
the doors.
"It's okay, if the rescue of Akatsuki's VIPs is successful, I will accept your
request. But if it fails, I'll have you lend me a hand with gathering
information again."
The girl can't tell whether he's lying or speaking truth. However, there's a
reason why she can't go defy him.
"We have to carry out the plan decisively."
"......I will definitely protect our promise."
"As for not involving ordinary people... Don't worry, our heretical cult's
enemy is Inquisition only. Only at the beginning, we will try not to involve
innocent people, but some might get caught up in it."
"............"
"We will definitely win, we will abolish this prejudiced and discrimination
against witches. We will become heroes and battle maidens. Dictatorship
of Inquisition will not much longer."
Saying that, he holds his right hand against his chest like a gentleman.
"Well then, this battle maiden takes her leave."
[6]
After the girl left, the male necromancer...Haunted was sitting on his chair
and quietly finished his lunch. In a room filled with stench of death which
would cause any normal person to vomit.
But Haunted wasn't bothered in the least by it.
He breathed out, relieved.
"You're such a liar, Haunted."
From the darkness sounded a voice like a bell.
Haunted just turned his head towards the darkness and smiled.
"Did you listen? Nacht."
"If it's that loud I'll hear it even if I don't want to. I'm in a bad mood cause I
was woken up."
It was a languid voice, judging from the tone - a girl's.
Haunted raised his cup with tea as if he was holding a glass of wine.
"So? What did I lie about there?"
"The thing you told Mari earlier. About how you're going to fulfill your
promise after her scouting ends, or how you're not going to involve
ordinary people."
"Aah... About that."
Haunted's mouth distorted and he laughed with a "kukukuku".
"The reason I lied to her... that is..."
He doesn't want to say it, that's how it felt. He fell silent.
The next moment Haunted looked at his pork cutlet.
"Because I want to see Mari-chan's frustrated face!"
It was a bizarre outburst, he looked ecstatic.
"That cute child grew up persecuted in various ways, she talks big. But her
heart is feeble. I can't stop myself. I want that child to taste humiliation and
shame. What else can I do? Rather than physically, I'll have her suffer
mentally."
"Mm, I thought it was something like that, you're a pervert."
"You think so too? Nacht."
"Well, I'm all for it."
"So even you want to see her biting her lips with a frustrated face? To
admire her as teardrops accumulate in her eyes and bright red face?"
"No... because."
"So it will be won't it, it will be right?"
It's too late to say anything.
"Someday she'll do as she said... but she'll never be able to escape from
you or Valhalla(Illusory Cult), hahaha."
Haunted's voice doesn't stop he continues to talk about that, she sighed
giving up.
Just like her voice, she was anxious about the future.
She was convinced now, in front of her was a perverted gentleman talking
about a very special type of moe.
The only magical society able to take on Inquisition Valhalla(Illusory
Cult), she still can't believe this man is one of the higher-ups.
"Ahahahahaha, ugh, gufu, fufufu, gihihihi, fuhihihihi."
"............"
A necromancer, an alchemist and a summoner. In addition to that,
blasphemous former priest. That's Haunted of Valhalla(Illusory Cult).
Those that know his name and age, his upbringing are very few among the
cult.
"...this uneasiness..."
This existence called Haunted and Nacht.
An S-rank Magical Heritage, magical sword Dine Slave felt a
physiological discomfort looking at him eating. She muttered a sigh.
Part 2
One week has passed since the successful operation, rating of 35th
platoon undergone cataclysmic change for the better.
From the time Trackless Psalmswere seized until now, they have
confiscated three Magical Heritages already. Rumours of Small Fry
Platoon's achievements this week reached members of other platoons.
That being said, the one who was evaluated was just Ootori Ouka.
Other members were thought of even more miserable as before.
Ouka walked down the corridor that had first year's classrooms with a
straight back passing by frozen students whose gaze was glued to her.
"Hey look, isn't she the one who joined Small Fry Platoon because as a
part of special deal?"
"Why isn't the former Dullahan(Witch Hunter) talking at all? It's the first
time I saw a Dullahan(Witch Hunter) too."
"In just a week she seized three D-ranks all alone? That's amazing...
Dullahan's(Witch Hunter's) abilities are really amazing."
"She's beautiful, she has good style and she's strong. I admire her!"
"But why was she assigned to Small Fry Platoon. If she came to our
platoon, it would be a piece of cake to reach promotion quota!"
"The rumour is that Small Fry Platoon was so bad, chairman called a pro to
help them out. Isn't that unfair?"
"That's true, it's a waste of human resources. Look at that unskillful bunch,
especially the Captain! Look at his evil eyes, and that sword hanging at his
waist! Shouldn't he realize it quicker that it's no good?"
"Isn't the platoon on last place because of that person? Seriously!"
Walking around 5 meters behind Ouka was the 35th platoon trio. Students
briefly looked at them with contempt.
In the first place, he was accustomed to this kind of thing and should have
been laughing through it, but for the first time he was worried. If a top-notch
helper enters the no-good platoon, complaints from other students are
bound to be voiced all over the place.
Even worse then usual, the members other than Ouka trudged down the
hallway.
The morning classes ended, Usagi hit the desk strongly with both of her
hands.
"What is the meaning of this! Ouka Ootori!"
She questioned her, Ouka who was maintaining her weapon tilted her neck
with a cold expression.
"Meaning of what?"
"Your attitude every day! Are you having us for idiots?"
"That wasn't my intention. If I was rude I apologize, sorry."
After hearing such a straightforward response from Ouka, Usagi let out a
squeaky scream "Giiiiiiiiiiiii" .
"I told you to explain yourself, not to apologize!"
"Thats why, what about."
"Why are you acting selfishly and excluding us from the investigations, and
continue to bring back Magical Heritage's arbirtrarily! We're completely
losing face because of this!"
"Isn't that fine? You guys can earn points without doing anything at all.
What are you unsatisfied about?"
"We don't want an automatic point-making machine! Do you know how
terrible do we feel because of your one-man play?!"
"If you guys want to work, work on something else. I'm fine alone."
Ouka was using that kind of tone ever since Trackless Psalms
incident.
There's no wonder Usagi got angry. Even Takeru wasn't convinced by it.
"So what about it?" Is what he wondered about.
Usagi had a red face, and I seemed like steam was about to come out of
her head. She walked towards Ouka to grab her.
"It's the first time... someone insulted me this much... who the hell you think
you are?!"
Takeru stopped Usagi who was about to rush at her. He tried to appease
this unruly horse by rubbing her back.
"Stop that, it's a waste of time to talk to this woman. She's only interested
in her own well being."
Said Ikaruga to Usagi, while reading ero magazine on top of the servicing
desk.
Hearing her words, Ouka let out a small sigh.
"I'll tell you one thing, this is the best way for 35th platoon and you guys."
"Hee, the best way for us? Why don't you tell why. How the hell did you
come up with such conclusion."
Ikaruga asked the question while putting the book down, she smiled
fearlessly as she crossed her arms.
Ouka responded,|
"...In that case I'll state this clearly."
She placed her favourite gun as she stood up.
All members looked at her. Room has gone quiet with all gazes
concentrated on Ouka.
She spat the next words indifferently.
"Your best choice is to do nothing."
Ikaruga sharpened her gaze, Usagi stood up and wanted to say something
and as expected, Takeru frowned.
"What... do you mean."
Asked Usagi.
"It means if you dispatch, to put it simply, with your abilities if you go
against the local organizations holding Magical Heritage's, the likelihood of
you dying is high."
"Wha... you say we're lacking?"
"If it's me alone, the success and survival rate is higher."
"What did you sayyyyyyyy??"
"First, Saionji. There's a fatal flaw in your sniping. Sniper is a cornerstone
of many missions. You're supposed to assist the vanguard in the enemy
territory. But your stage fright causes you to shoot in completely wrong
direction, as your allies are being brought down. I don't want to leave my
back to such a person. If possible, I don't want you to touch the rifle
anymore."
"Gu.........nghhhh."
Usagi made a frustrated face, her eyes teared up.
Then Ouka looked at Ikaruga.
"Suginami, you too. I will admit your maintenance ability, it's amazing as
usual. But this time you went too far. Don't remodel my gun without
permission. Don't go equipping it with full auto. I won't be able to use it
anyways because of low ammo capacity. It's clearly illegal remodeling.
...so she did that.
Takeru couldn't use guns, but he was still shocked.
"The magazine capacity doesn't matter does it, and as long as you hold it
properly in your hand you should handle the recoil."
"Even if we ignore the case of recoil, how are you going to explain full
auto."
"You mean the barrel?"
"Magazine holds only nine rounds, also test platoons are not allowed to
use alchemist's parts other than ones supplied by academy. The
components were clearly brought in from outside."
"Have some sense of romance, just overlook that much"
Ikaruga's opinion on romance is a pretty biased. Ouka distorted her mouth
displeased considered reasoning with her useless. She stood up soundly
pushing the chair away.
Then she moved towards Takeru who was standing right next to Usagi
who was greatly shaken up, and directly looked at him.
"And the last one is... Kusanagi."
Although she used emotionless voice when talking to other two, it was
different with Takeru.
Takeru was pinned to his chair with straight back, "gulp" sound leaked from
his throat.
On Ouka's face, disgust was clearly visible.
"You shouldn't remain as a Captain any longer. What I just told those two,
should have come out of your mouth instead. Do you want your teammates
to die?"
It's completely correct, there was no way to refute.
Takeru was aware of that point, but can he talk all high and mighty to his
subordinates when he's hardly any better? He always ends up thinking like
that, it would be really pathetic if that was the case.
"Or maybe you don't want to act bossy because you yourself are no
better?"
It was seen through.
"...That's what disqualifies you from being a captain."
He couldn't say anything in response. A person with an attitude like him
wasn't fit to be a captain.
He couldn't even say anything self-deprecating, that's what Takeru thought
in the current situation.
"...That's right, that might be true."
Takeru felt his usual stomach ache, and for some reason Ouka's ahr
ruffled, her eyes opened wide. Her expression roughened even more.
"You're not eligible to become an inquisitor...!"
Ouka revealing her fury, get's closer to Takeru and grabs his coat.
Unable to react to this sudden action, he was pulled towards her.
"...Ootori."
"Chairman told me about your motivation... you want this job because of
money you damn snob... shame on you!"
"......!!"
"Inquisition is rotting because of evil selfish bastards like you!"
Takeru was reticent.
In that moment, his vision was dyed red, and he almost returned to his old
self.
I don't deserve to be told that by you.
What do you know about me.
What do you knowabout us!
Is what Takeru restrained himself from saying in reply.
If you look only at the surface, Ouka didn't know anything about Takeru.
Opposite also held true, Takeru didn't know anything about Ouka.
That's why he endured, he didn't reply. He swallowed it.
"You surely act big evaluating us, but are you really qualified to do that?"
At that time, Ikaruga said while sitting on her chair.
"...what?"
"You say that Kusanagi isn't qualified, but what about you? In the first
place, Ootori, didn't you come back to academy because your
qualifications were stripped from you?"
Quiet, indifferent, Ikaruga accused Ouka.
Being told that by Ikaruga, Ouka lowered her gaze and remained silent.
"I know how you're being called by fellow Inquisitors."
"........nghh"
"Calamity(Crimson Lotus Princess), disobeying orders and killing the
culprits. You change every scene into sea of blood, like a plague. That's
not something a normal human would do."
"...you... investigated me without permission..."
"Doesn't that apply to you as well? You also investigated Kusanagi and his
aspirations without permission."
"That's... chairmans...ngh"
After saying two words she swallowed the rest of them, and clenched her
fist hard making a sound.
"............"
In the end, she didn't object to Ikaruga, she closed her eyes and turned on
her heel.
"The things you said about me... I won't deny it. But when it comes to the
platoon's activities I have no intention of changing my mind. Kusanagi is
obviously disqualified as a captain as I see it."
Ouka's feelings are back to normal, she's her original self again.
Turned with her back to them, Ouka walked towards the exit.
"Same about other things I said, your probability of dying during a mission
is correct. I arefuse to go down together with you."
"""............"""
"That's all I wanted to say."
Leaving behind those words, Ouka left the room. "clang" in the awkward
silence left behind, an awkward cough resounded.
"She's completely confident in her own abilities, and doesn't believe in
anything but herself."
"Well the things she pointed out, are roughly correct."
"It seemed like she was especially passionate in your case, Kusanagi. Did
something happen between you?"
Takeru recollected the events from a week ago in his head.
Recalling his hand grabbing the soft bulge, he blushed.
After looking at Takeru's face, Ikaruga put a mint bar candy that was lying
on the work desk and looked towards the ceiling.
"... you perverted brat."
"?!"
He looked at Ikaruga surprised. Can it be, that the radio was switched on in
that place and she heard everything that happened?
Takeru's shoulders slumped.
"I've heard her reaction towards witches and criminals is abnormal, her
hate is obvious."
"So you really did investigate her... so you were looking for a way to deal
Ootori as well huh."
"No, I was looking for her weaknesses."
"...it's that after all..."
Ikaruga revised Takeru's observation.
"I didn't have to investigate much. Her Calamity(Crimson Lotus
Princess)nickname is pretty famous. She seized big number of Magical
Heritages, but her kill count is surprisingly big as well."
"............"
"I wonder if's because of something happened in the past."
Thought not that i'm interested, she added and Ikaruga sucked on a
chupa-chups and a mint candy.
Number of people shoot to death is big, Takeru also happens to know
something about that. In the Trackless Psalms case the other day, he
realized how dangerous she is.
["...I'll exterminate you... witches too... all of you...!"]
There was a great hatred dwelling in those words.
It would be a lie to say he wasn't interested as a member of the same
platoon.
"That fellow, she was always alone. Because of her attitude, no one was
willing to get close to her, also she persistently said NO to all invitations.
There reason for it... is her exemplary bankrupt personality. Well for one
thing, she really has a bad character."
""............""
"?, Why are you two looking at me."
""You're not the one to say that!""
The two of them spoke at once.
"What."
Said Ikaruga as she ate another mint candy.
As atmosphere relaxed, Usagi was scared during the argument with Ouka.
She was unexpectedly weak during arguments. But now she returned to
conversation with her usual arrogance.
"Geez, that woman just can't be honest! Why can't she do it properly!"
"...Do what? Usagi."
"It's about Ootori Ouka, she's terribly clumsy. She should be more honest
with her feelings."
"Fuun... you know something about her?"
Why don't you tell us, he seemed to inquire from Usagi who had a cocky
attitude.
Usagi snorted, she proudly puffed her big chest.
"Obviously, because I'm a model maiden."
"Haa."
"It's simple, listen. That woman has no friends, she wants to become our
friend. She's clumsy and can't do it, that's why she clings to you as the
captain. ["I'm better then you, so please let me be one of your comrades!"],
she asks us to take her like that. She's strong but dishonest. I'll definitely
have her become our friend!"
"She has an attitude that seems like she'd refuse bluntly."
"In other words Ootori Ouka is just lonely!"
"Fufufun". Usagi puffed her chest out further with a proud face.
Coincidentally, this time it was Ikaruga and Takeru that had the same
impression.
""Isn't that about you?""
Both of them voiced their thoughts.
"Wha?! Are you saying I'm lonely?"
"You were alone in middle school, without a single acquaintance. You have
a lonely face of someone left out."
"I-I wasn't really lonely or anything!"
"But that doesn't change fact that you haven't had a single friend."
"Guhhh."
"I wonder if bunnies really die when they're lonely?"
"Nghhhhhh Suginami Ikarugaaaaa!!"
"bam" "bam", Usagi rushed towards Ikaruga, she tried to grab her head but
didn't reach her.
In this noisy platoon room, Takeru was thinking of what to do next.
What Ouka said was true, even if she works alone, she'll earn points.
But this way, there's no meaning in having a platoon. As a Captain, it was
unacceptable choice for the three of them.
To act like a captain... the fact is that Ootori was mostly right. I should think
about the future of our platoon.
He made a wry laugh.
As a fellow platoon member, she wants to be recognized huh
Supporting each other, if that was possible then it would lead to overall
improvement of their skills. Previously, they weren't able to cooperate
properly. In order to add Ouka's fighting strength to theirs, to have her
provide her abilities. In order to have her cooperate with them... no they
don't have to go that far. Even if we can have her associate with them. It'll
definitely produce good results. Above all...
"...To make her our comrade. It would be pretty hard now."
Takeru stood up from his chair and approached the other two, he placed
both of his hands on the table gently and closed his eyes.
Now that it came to this. Let's not waste the knowledge from the textbooks
you've read. Takeru thought in his heart.
"I have a proposal."
After he opened his eyes, sense of mission and self-confidence was seen
in them.
Few minutes later.
Three people were stuck to a wall at cafeteria's entrance, poking their
heads inside. The three were peeping with a telescope apparently
observing something., from the side, it looked really strange. In their line of
sight was their target... Ootori Ouka.
"...Target acquired."
"As expected, she's eating her lunch alone."
"The lunch's menu? What's her menu's lunch?"
Ouka was sitting alone in the windows seat with a grumpy face.
And on top of the table was...
"...Apan and milk... why anpan and milk?!"
"Anpan and milk that fellow is just like Kusanagi."
"Hey! Don't make fun of anpan and milk! It's super tasty! It costs only 160
including milk! It's easy on the wallet, the strongest combination!"
""You're too loud!""
"...Sorry."
Takeru who couldn't stay silent and demonstrated how he feels about
anpan and milk, has been admonished causing his shoulders to slump.
They continued to observe Ouka.
Ouka opened the milk's lid, and used both hands to take anpan out of the
bag. Then suddenly she stopped her movements and , "swish" "swish"
started looking around warily.
The three hid in a hurry.
"Why is she that vigilant during a meal?"
"...There's something for sure."
"T-there's something special about anpan and milk...?"
"We have to wait until she drops her guard, but why is she this tense?"
The three of them breathed in and gulped, as Ouka finally brought anpan
to her mouth.
And then... *mofunn*
"She's eating."
"Yeah, eating."
"Eating."
She was just eating an anpan, but the three of them started sweating.
Their weird gestures attracted gaze's of surrounding people.
Meanwhile, Ouka reached for bottle with milk, and drank it with a gulp.
And after few seconds.
""
Ouka's grumpy expression melted like ice.
"""............"""
All of a sudden she made an unbelievably cute expression. The trio were
in a loss for words. It's as if she soaked in a hot spring. She tried to
desperately hide that expression again.
"............"
And again, at that moment she took another bite from Anpan, her
expression went back to the original one.
" *Mmm mofun*"
And again, her grumble expression came back. When looking closely, it
can be noticed that she's lightly stomping her feet happily when bringing
anpan to her mouth.
Seeing a scene like this, having her show such expression. The Trio has
seen it for the first time.
"...It's her favourite, that one."
"Fuu... She's so clumsy, she doesn't hide her happy expression at all."
"She's... unexpectedly normal."
Takeru and Usagi were too shocked by the gap from her everyday self to
comment. Ikaruga is grinning like crazy and releases the shutter
repeatedly.
"Fufu, ufufufufufu, use... I can use this! I can use this in various ways
against that prideful woman. W-with this weakness here, I wonder what
kind of cosplay I'm going to make her wear..."
"Hey, what are you taking pictures for, come on, we're going back!"
"A-anpanman after all?!
[7]
A heroine whose only friend is her gun?! Who
shall it be?! What if there are any problems with copyrights, what do I do
Kusanagi!"
"We're withdrawing, come on already!"
After grabbing Ikaruga who was laughing like mad by her neck. The three
of them fled from the spot they were hiding in.
...An hour and a half later.
"...certainly, when I heard your proposal to attract her, I thought it's going to
be more... more like... well, different?"
Said Ikaruga with displeasure, she was sitting by work desk making
origami with scissors in her hands. Even though she complained, her
hands didn't stop moving. After folding origami four times, she used
scissors to cut along the line with a *snip* sound. The monotonous task to
make and connect the chain with glue continued for an hour now.
The decorations Ikaruga made were hanged all over the platoon room. A
white fabric was hanged from the ceiling and on it [Small Fry Platoon
New member welcome party] was written with shabby handwriting.
It's a pinnacle of masochism to write "Small Fry Platoon" by themselves.
"Haa, with this Ootori should open her heart to us a bit!"
"It's an idea an elementary school student would come up with."
"But, in this [How to bond with your new employee's] book it's written that
welcoming party is really effective!"
He's really an amateur when it comes to acting clever. Thought Ikaruga as
she gazed at Takeru.
"Do you think that robocop will be pleased with this?"
"We won't know until we try!"
"Incorrigibly awkward... as expected from a friendless platoon captain."
"...well I don't have any."
"I don't have any either."
Even while she condemned Takeru with amazed look on her face. Her skill
wasn't bad, as expected of an aspiring Regin(Blacksmith), her hands were
really skillful.
"Even though you say that, you're still properly helping us out."
"I'm doing it because it's captains order. Also, even though it doesn't fit with
Ootori, but the idea itself is worthy of praise. I don't understand why are
you stubbornly sticking with it."
Even though Ikaruga doesn't approve her as a person, she acknowledges
her skill. Takeru scratches his cheek with a tender expression.
"Well, that might not be enough."
"It's as if you fell for her."
"...eh?"
"A boy falls in love with a girl, which gave him an opportunity to change."
"That's not it! I want to do a little as her comrade."
As Takeru tried to deny, *tap tap tap* Usagi came from the kitchenette
direction.
"I'm done, Kusanagi! It's satisfactory even if I do say so myself!"
Holding a dish with a large short cake on top of it in both of her hands,
Usagi stood in front of Takeru full of self-confidence and cream on her
cheek. Despite being reluctant in wearing the rabbit-patterned apron
Ikaruga prepared, it suited her really well.
Takeru was really surprised.
"Usagi, you really are good at cooking."
"I learned it from my grandmother when I was a child. Look, a short cake
with red bean paste filling and cream."
"fufufun" Usagi puffed her chest out. Ikaruga made a questioning look.
"Red bean paste and cream? Is that tasty...?"
"Hmph... don't complain before you try it. This will make that woman wild."
She held out small dishes to Takeru and Ikaruga, it appeared they were
small portions for tasting.
Ikaruga was acting as if she was about to taste poison, but the two of them
stuffed the cake into their mouths.
*munch munch* After chewing for a while, the two of them make surprised
expressions.
"...oh? It's delicious, how unexpected."
"That's true, it's super tasty. Usagi, you really have a talent."
After hearing honest impression of Ikaruga and Takeru's praise, Usagi
blinked in surprise. Even though she was so full of confidence before, she
looked down with flushed cheeks.
"I'm not really pleased with you calling my name... but to be praised like
this... I di-didn't expect that."
"No no, it's really good. You're amazing Usagi, I can't do anything outside
of my swordsmanship."
"...I-is that so, it's tasty. I'm happy, really happy. To have people eat it
happily... it was really worth making it."
Although she seemed embarrassed, she was really happy inside her heart.
She placed her hands on her cheeks and looked down.
Feeling that she looked just like his little sister, Takeru almost patted her
head instinctively. But then.
"I'm entering."
Everyone turned around as the door opened at the same time knocking
resounded.
Takeru and the others reached to the crackers on the table and.
*pop* *pop *pop*
A few completely uncoordinated sounds filled the room, as the trio's timing
was all over the place.
Ouka enters showing a look of surprise, she looks at the coloured piece of
paper covering her hair with disgust.
The air inside the room froze.
"... What is going on here."
She showed a really fierce look.
Even so, Takeru made a cramped smile.
"...U-umm, to welcome you toda"
Then Takeru noticed the state Ouka was in, her uniform was stained with
blood and dirt, and that wasn't all, she had scratches all over.
"...you, what are those injuries?!"
"Enemy just showed a little resistance, combat happening is not unusual. I
have successfully secured Magical Heritage, there's no problem."
"No problem... aren't you bleeding! Wait, right there."
"Rather than that, what kind of situation is this?"
Ouka narrowed her eyes and spit out those words slightly angry.
She glared strongly at one member, Takeru.
"...Organising a party during platoon activity time, you're really doing as
you please don't you, Captain."
"No, this is, we hosted it for you..."
"...? For me?"
"You see, we still haven't done one yet right? A welcome party."
"............"
That's when Ouka noticed the curtain on hanging from the ceiling.
Ouka showed a puzzled expression for a moment.
"We don't know much about you, and you hardly know anything about us
either do you?"
"............."
"So I thought we should deepen our camaraderie first ."
Takeru put on a bitter smile. Ouka seemed to be troubled, her eyes
wandering about. She didn't know what to do in response.
But, gradually a shadow appeared on her face. Her everyday cold
expression came back and she sighed lightly.
"...Sorry, I don't have that much free time. You guys can do as you like."
"D-don't say that. Suginami made decorations, Usagi made you a short
cake with red bean paste and cream. I... hardly did anything, but please
think of what the other two did for you."
"I disagree with you cozy ways. I, unlike you guys... didn't enter Inquisition
to play."
Saying that, Ouka opened the door again and left the room.
Her profile from behind didn't look angry nor like someone who looks at
other with contempt. It just looked... very lonely.
Takru grabbed the first aid kit, and jumped out of the platoon room
following Ouka.
"Ootori!"
Ouka stopped her feet annoyed and looked behind.
"What?"
"Where are you going?"
"It's not your business."
"Wait a moment, that's a terrible injury, we have to perform first aid at
least."
Ouka's left leg was bleeding considerably, it looked painful as if she was in
a traffic accident.
Despite that, Ouka didn't show any intention of taking care of it and started
walking vigorously again.
"I can do that much myself. I told you before, it has nothing to do with you."
"We're members of the same platoon, and I'm your captain."
"... to act like a captain at a time like this..."
She looked at him coldly.
But this time Takeru didn't let himself be pushed away.
"Yeah, captain's orders. Let me treat you quietly."
In front of oddly strong Takeru, Ouka sighed as if giving up. She sat down
on the bench in the courtyard.
Taking out gauze and antiseptic from the first aid box, Takeru gently
touched Ouka's leg without any prior notice.
"Uhh?!'
"? What happened?"
"No... nothing, if you're doing... then do it fast. We're wasting time."
Ouka instructed Takeru as she faced away with her cheeks slightly dyed
red.
In order to see the wound clearly, Takeru washed away the blood with
water first.
"Good, the injury is not that serious despite all that blood."
"I told you it's not a big deal didn't I. It looked exaggerated because
movement caused it to bleed more."
"But it would be good to find a doctor from Seeley(Healer), scars might
remain."
"I'm not worried about that, I've had many injuries like this before."
With that said, Takeru was staring at Ouka's legs intently.
"...what are you staring at like that..."
"Ah no, nothing... I just thought you have beautiful legs."
His thoughts came out of his mouth, *pop* Ouka's face suddenly
reddened.
"B-b... beautiful?"
"Yeah, it really looks beautiful."
"Uhhh!?"
"You can't tell at the first glance but, you have flexible muscles and good
balance. They're almost perfect."
"...O-ooh, that's what you mean."
"? What else could I mean?"
"W-whatever. Shut up and finish it."
Ouka looked away blushing, Takeru tilted his neck.
It didn't mean Takeru wasn't interested in her legs beauty as a girl, nor that
he was insensitive. It's just for the sake of providing first aid, he threw away
his worldly desires. Otherwise he would go back to being clumsy Takeru,
and make the wound worse.
He sprayed the wound with disinfectant carefully.
"...Nghh."
"Sorry, did it hurt?"
"It's okay, I'm used to pain."
"Haha, you're saying strange things."
"What's so strange in what I said?"
"You can't get used to pain, I can tell from my experience. You can put up
with it, but it doesn't mean it'll stop hurting. If you express the fact you're in
pain, the mental burden will be smaller than it would be if you were to hold
it in. It's just a tip for you."
Laughing a bit proudly, Takeru continued his treatment.
"............"
Ouka considered Takeru's words. He says strange things doesn't he, is
what her narrowed eyes seemed to say.
To cry out in pain when it's painful.
These words seemed to lodge themselves in her heart for a bit.
Until the first aid treatment finished, Ouka was feeling comfortably and her
eyes were wandering around sheepishly.
"Okay, it's done."
Said Takeru while tapping it with his hand, and wiping sweat from his brow.
The wound on her leg was wrapped with a crazy amount of bandage, it
looked like a lump.
"...I feel like my mobility has fallen significantly."
"A-ahaha... I'm really clumsy aren't I."
On Takeru's good-looking face appeared a wry smile, as he scratched his
head.
After looking at this harmless expression, thinking she should have done it
herself instead, she's lost her will to blame him for it.
Ouka touched the awkwardly bandaged wound on her leg, and stood up
with a puzzled face.
"...I-I won't thank you, it's something you did selfishly without permission."
"That's fine. As a comrade, isn't that something obvious to do?"
"............"
This talk about being comrades is both comfortable and unpleasant, Ouka
started to walk away from Takeru.
"Hey, wait. Where are you going?"
Takeru messily drops the first aid kit, and hurries after Ouka.
"Platoon activity. I'm going to resolve another case."
"With your legs in this state? It's better to stop... or at least include the
platoon in it."
"Can't do that. The ones I'm chasing are too dangerous for you guys. It's
an even bigger than the issue from the other day."
"...Even more of a reason not to let you go. What are you chasing Ootori,
Magical Heritage? A witch?"
"It's not your business."
"It is, I'm your captain."
Takeru used his authority as a Captain again, insisting strongly.
Ouka was definitely frustrated, but her answer didn't come out strong.
She reluctantly stopped, and faced Takeru with a serious look.
"...do you remember the Trackless Psalms case?"
"? Yeah."
"It hasn't been resolved yet."
With that said, Takeru recalled it was certainly true.
When they rushed in, they missed their trading partner.
"The biggest mystery there was how well armed they were, it was definitely
too much for mere thugs or mafia. If we include your testimony, it seems
like Trackless Psalms weren't the main article of the trade."
"Did you by any chance, have gotten any info on the trade's other party?"
"No, I haven't gotten that far yet. Even though I was given priority for
questioning of these guys. They didn't provide any useful information. Just
the fact, that the traded object was a fragment of a Magical Heritage. The
only thing that they were able to identify was a blade, it should have been
shaped like a sword."
"A fragment... isn't the Magical Heritage rendered useless after it's form is
destroyed?"
"Indeed, they were trading something that supposedly had no value for so
much. Means the counter party was unlikely to be a trader or a collector."
"? Why?"
For a while a question sign was floating above Takeru's head. Ouka put on
an irritated face she hid until now.
"What would an amateur want with a fragment. Possibility of a the trading
partner being a magical society is high."
"Also, magical society... a group of witches and sorcerers? Do these kind
of anachronistic organizations exist these days?"
I stick with my sword myself, but there's no law against it. Thought Takeru.
For modern witches managing a magical society would be extremely
difficult.
However, Ouka didn't say it was a joke or anything. She closed her eyes.
"Valhalla(Illusory Cult), an organization that is shrouded in mystery. It's
something like an association cultivating black arts."
Takeru heard that name before, among the rumours appearing
occasionally at school, this one is a popular urban legend. Witches and
sorcerers that survived the war teamed up and aim to overthrow the
Iquisition.
If that story were to be real, it would be really outrageous. The witches of
old, he didn't know how the modern weapons would fare against those
overwhelming enemies. In past, there were many witches powerful enough
to destroy the city instantaneously with a volley of magic.
"Also recently, there was another strange incident, since neither witches
nor Magical Heritages were involved investigation was handed to police.
But I don't think that's the case. Those guys were trading corpses for
money. The only ones that can use corpses, are witches."
"But... are those two cases related?"
"That's right, these guys were also told ["We will buy any fresh corpses as
well"].
Takeru gasped involuntarily.
Even though it's still premature to decide they're dealing with
Valhalla(Illusory Cult), the connection with the Trackless Psalms
matter can indeed be seen. He has no clue what the hell is the criminals
purpose, but thinking normally,
"I believe they are preparing for something. Valhalla(Illusory Cult) or
not, the witches and Magical Heritage's involvement is clear. I'm going to
the cult's meeting place I was tipped of."
"You mean you were investigating corpse collectors alone lately?"
"Yeah, the seized Magical Heritages were a by-product of it."
What an aggressive woman... thought Takeru again.
"Well it's fine. Now that you know, keep your mouth closed and go back to
the platoon's room."
"Nono, wait. If the opponent is Valhalla(Illusory Cult), then doesn't it
exceed the scope for students? Shouldn't you report the information you
obtained to Dullahans(Witch Hunters)?"
"Funn... the other Dullahans(Witch Hunter) are buried under a mountain of
different unrelated cases. They do not keep in touch with me anyway. Even
before when I was a Dullahan(Witch Hunter), they turned a deaf ear saying
it's under jurisdiction of police. I'll resolve this incident alone."
As Ouka said that, there was a dim light in her pupils.
From the way she spoke, it seems like she was investigating this matter
before she was fired. In her eyes something like tenacity can be seen. But
Takeru didn't think so.
It was sadness and hate.
"... You understand now? The people I'm chasing are too high level for you
guys. They're not recognized as acquisition target by Inquisition. You will
get no point's for completing that investigation so there's no benefit for
you... don't come."
Even if you come, you'll just be a nuisance. It was a way of saying that
revealed concern for other members.
Ouka walked away making loud steps.
Takeru almost stopped walking, but knowing Ouka is involved with such
dangerous thing and letting her go alone, would disqualify him as a
captain.
"I'm going with you."
"...Why."
"Why... we can't let someone who is already hurt go off alone. Since you
won't listen if I try to stop you anyway, I'll go with you instead."
Ouka openly made a fragile frown.
"...I told you my injury is not a problem."
"Even if you're not bothered with it, it's going to dull your movements
during an emergency."
"There's no such thing, it doesn't hurt that much."
"Even if you endure it, it looks definitely painful."
"I'm tell you in doesn't hurt!"
"It hurt's doesn't it."
"It doesn't hurt."
"It hurts."
"Persistent aren't you."
"You're a sore loser."
Seeing Takeru not budge an inch, Ouka made a honest fed up expression.
In the end, the one who gave in was Ouka.
After Takeru and Ouka finished the first aid, they picked up all the
equipment before going to the crime scene.
Takeru proposed to include Usagi and Ikaruga in it, but it has been
rejected by Ouka. He wanted to tell her she's prejudiced, but this time they
were going to enter confined spaces, so a small group is better this time,
so he agreed with Ouka's opinion.
The location was a certain harbor by the sea, in a place once called Tokyo
Bay.
It was a relatively large prefab, standing alone on the grass near container
yard.
Even though the prefab looked like an abandoned building that's rotting
away it also looked quite strange. Unlike it's battered overall appearance,
the locks installed are brand-new. There were quite a few of them and they
were coiled with chains.
There were definitely signs of life here, Takeru and Ouka stood on both
sides of the door and confirmed the lock.
After confirming that it cannot be opened using a normal way, Ouka pulled
out a sawed-off shotgun she had in a holster on her back.
She gave it to Takeru, he knew she meant for him to destroy the lock.
"...*furu furu furu furu*"
"............"
Ouka didn't know Takeru's cursed skill in marksmanship. Seriously, in the
worst case he could even hit Ouka in the worst case scenario.
She made a disappointed face and posed with a shotgun making a small
distance from the door.
A deafening gunshot resounds, the lock is blown off and the door is
opened.
Takeru immediately kicks the door wide open.
"Idiot! I should rush"
Ouka tried to stop Takeru, at that moment,
*piin*, sound as if something was pulled reached them.
"Kusanagiii!"
After getting called by Ouka from behind, Takeru turned around.
What he saw was figure of Ouka suddenly embracing him.
But more than an embrace, it was more like a tackle. He was struck down
because he was defenseless.
In that moment, a sweet smell of a girl entered his nose, their lips almost
overlapped, it was breathtaking. His consciousness was almost swept
away by desire, and then a tremendous roar came from behind the door he
was about to rush in.
As he was coughing in the smoke, Takeru understood what happened.
"Could it be... a trap?!"
"Stand up! We're running!"
Before Takeru even noticed, Ouka's figure ran behind the prefab. Takeru
followed her immediately.
A black van's engine just started running. It must have been prepared as
emergency escape means to be used right away.
"Shit... we're late."
As the van was getting away from them, Takeru frowned.
"No, not yet!"
Ouka changed her gun's magazine to live ammunition and posed on one
knee.
And then, the barrel jumped up strangely as fired a single shot.
The van that was already as small as a pea.
"As expected it's impossible"
Just as Takeru was about to say that, the van in the distance started to
fluctuate. It collided with a nearby container and landed on it's roof. The
bullet hit by Ouka hit the van's tire.
"...You've got to be kidding me."
"The modifications are awesome... but the recoil is really nasty."
Ouka said that as she pulled the magazine from the handgun. She stood
up with a cool expression.
She said it was thanks to Ikaruga's special gun, and the enemy's escape
route being in a straight line. To say it was because there was no wind.
With that gun, at that distance, that reaction and that skill was remarkable
nevertheless.
Takeru couldn't believe what happened in front of him.
"Kusanagi, check on the guys in the van. I will check the building."
"...I-I got it, thanks for saving me befo"
"Don't thank me, just hurry up!"
After he got yelled at, Takeru ran over to the fleeing car. He no longer
knew who is the captain here.
He handcuffed three people who fainted there, and quickly went over to
the rehab.
After reaching it, he entered through the door in the back. As soon as he
entered, he noticed abnormalities inside.
A strange smell. a fleshy, nauseating odor.
Takeru warily went down the building's corridor towards the source of the
strong smell.
At the end of the corridor, there was a room that was probably a bedroom.
Behind the wide opened door he found Ouka.
While holding his nose, he looked at Ouka's face.
"............"
Ouka had her eyes wide open, her movement stopped completely. Takeru
tried to say something, but then.
"What....ughh.....?!"
The strange odor intensity wasn't comparable to before, he was holding his
nose involuntarily.
The color of blood and the scent permeating the room, Takeru somehow
his stomach revolting. He grasped what was going on inside.
Inside, was hell.
Packed in plastic bags, were countless human parts. Hands, legs, torsos,
heads. They were divided in five groups, they were packed into bags and
classified separately.
But the real problem was elsewhere.
"...Aaa....aaa..."
Instinctively, a cry spilled from his mouth..
The curtain was being swayed by wind to and from. When evening sun's
light entered the rooom.
The wall was stained with huge amounts of blood.
In the middle of this hell, on top of the bed, there was a young child.
The center of that child's chest was pierced by a knife.
""
His eyes narrowed, his expression showed mortification. Takeru bit his lip.
The help that would come to save you in the nick of time like in a movie or
drama didn't come. It was impossible in reality.
Probability of a rescue was equal to none. He knew such a thing, when he
decided to join Inquisition he knew it will be this way. He was prepared to
see things like this on the sites.
Yes, he was prepared for it, but even so... this was,
This was the reality.
"............"
Ouka stretched her staggering hand to the boy's cold body.
With unsteady hand she raised the boy's body, she embraced him as if she
were embracing a baby.
"...I'm sorry... I was too late."
A trembling, gentle voice.
"Was it painful? Did it hurt...? But you no longer have to suffer..."
Hugging the boy's dead body. Ouka stroked his cheek.
"Sorry...It's fine now...Onee-chan...will shoulder all of it..."
This sad spectacle, full of compassion, Takeru couldn't look at it.
It was too sad. Inconsolable.
"Onee-chan will... all of it."
That's why.
"All of it!"
Thats why, he was late to notice Ouka's abnormality.
While he was looking away, Ouka rested the boy again. And pulled the
shotgun from the back.
He didn't know what's happening in the beginning, but looking at her back.
Takeru understood.
There were no anesthesia bullets for shotgun. It was loaded with lethal
mithril bullets.
Ouka intended to kill the three people inside the car.
"Ootori!"
Takeru momentarily pounced in front of Ouka who was about to leave the
room to go to the criminals and caught her.
"What are you doing!"
"Move."
"Stop it, you can't do it! If you kill those bastards here, there will be no
more chances for you!"
"Let go."
"Stop that! If you kill them here, all of it will go to waste!"
"Let me go!"
Ouka tried to escape Takeru's restraint, angry. Her cheeks wet with tears,
and her pupils displaying murderous intent. screaming.
Seeing her moving out looking like an evil spirit, a demon. Takeru thought
he has to stop her.
He hugged Ouka desperately, she lowered her gun.
"I won't let you! Didn't you become an Inquisitor to stop people for sharing
this child's fate?!"
"...Ughh...!"
"I don't know you but... you definitely want that don't you?! If you screw up
here, you won't be able to save people you normally would...!"
"Uu... uuu...uuuh...!"
"Are you fine with that?!"
"Uuu...uuuhhh..."
Takeru's voice finally reached her, strength left Ouka.
She dropped on her knees, releasing the gun.
Ouka covered her mouth with a hand, vomited and fainted on spot.
On the city's cemetery, located far away from the noisy city.
Because of the beautiful park covered with autumnal leaves close, it was
busy during the day.
Voice's of children playing in the park, lovers exchanging kisses.
Their happiness, felt very distant and strange to them.
Sitting there gaping, showing a sorrowful expression, was the impression
they gave out to visitors.
"............"
Ouka was standing in front of a single grave. She was staring at it for a
about an hour now. Takeru was standing behind her looking at her.
After the incident, Takeru contacted the Spriggans(Knights) and
Seeley(Healers) troops. Briefly reported and wanted to take Ouka to
hospital.
But Ouka refused, instead she wanted to come to this place alone.
Takeru unwilling to leave her alone, followed her until now.
"...About before, sorry, I wasn't myself."
Said Ouka with her back turned to him.
"Why did you come with me?"
"Because I was worried, obviously."
He immediately answered. Ouka's hair swayed gently as she directed her
face towards him.
"...Why?"
Tender voice. Ouka's original voice was dignified and unhesitating. So
much different current one.
It was yet unseen, a fragile expression on Ouka's face, he unintentionally
stared at her. Looking at her sleepy, fatigued figure, Takeru had an
inexplicable urge to immediately embrace her.
"That's because I'm your captain."
"that again."
"Even so, I want us to become comrades. I-Is that bad..."
"There's no way for a person like me to become your comrade."
Answering Takeru negatively, Ouka faced forward once again.
"That's just your disillusionment."
"Disillusionment?"
"Like my outrage before, why aren't you honest?"
"...there's nothing about it, I was just surprised."
Hearing Takeru's honest answer, Ouka smiled wryly.
"I think you know it already... no matter what, it's no good. When I face
atrocious enemy, blood goes up to my head. I forget myself and execute
them, I pull the trigger and shoot them. Especially when the victims are
children."
"............"
"Calamity(Crimson Lotus Princess)... it really is a fitting nickname for
me."
Incidents she was involved in, ended with a crimson sea of blood left
behind. That's why Calamity(Crimson Lotus Princess). But she didn't
do it because she wanted to do. That's what he feels after listening to
Ouka. There's definitely something deep inside her that's causing her to
act like that.
"That was the reason I was fired from Inquisition. I really am not in a
position to blame you guys. I'm defective and beyond help... that's how I
am."
Ouka said that and sighed, she took out anpan and milk she bought at
convenience store along the way, she placed it as an offering in front of the
grave and held her hands together.
It silent once again.
"...This grave, is it your family's?"
"...It's my parents... and my little sister's tomb."
"So you had a sister."
"Nn, I had one."
Ouka poked the milk bottle with a finger.
"...my little sister loved it, anpan with milk."
Slightly raising her voice, she said that nostalgically.
It was first time hearing Ouka speaking so gently.
"I told her there's no way it can be delicious... Eat it, eat it, she wanted to
make me try it no matter what."
Takeru shut up and listened, he listened to it quietly.
"I was opinionated, I refused many times saying it's terrible. And she
continued saying it's delicious, she puffed her cheeks angry. Childish isn't
it? If it's delicious for her, it has to be the same for others. That's what she
thought."
"............"
"....In the end, I didn't eat it a single time while she was still alive."
"............"
"Even though... it's so delicious."
Suddenly, Ouka's hand that was poking the milk bottle was lowered.
Her sunset-coloured hair flowed in the wind, flying through the cold air.
Takeru looked at Ouka's small back, he looked down.
He shouldn't have listened, that's what he thought. If he averts his eyes
now, Ouka will once again walk alone. He couldn't help but think that.
"...Was your family..."
"............"
"...and your sister..."
The words he could use were stuck in his throat, and wouldn't come out.
At a time like this, he couldn't make himself step into Ouka's darkness.
Takeru felt he was pathetic.
But before Takeru took that step,
"Oh... that's right."
Ouka stood up, she looked back vigorously. and then, as though
confronting something,
"My family was killed by a witch."
As if she tried to shake off her own darkness.
Part 3
Ouka was an orphan.
It seems she was abandoned in a garbage dump, along with body of her
real mother.
In the orpanage her heart was closed off as well, she was a child who
didn't speak anything at all.
The ones who took such a girl in, were Ouka's dead foster parents.
A cheerful father, and a gentle mother.
And, a cute little sister.
Ouka's frozen heart slowly started to melt as she interacted with her family.
But, one day.
Suddenly, a witch came to their home.
["Well then, please kill your father and mother."]
A very kind, creepy voice.
["If you do it, you'll save your important little sister's life."]
It was when she finally was familiar enough with her family to call her foster
parents with "Mother." and "Father.".
Why was it Ouka's house, the reason was unknown.
The witch that came to her house handed a knife to her.
And said.
If you kill your father and mother, you'll save your little sister's life.
Ouka who hated crying, cried not wanting to kill them. But the witch didn't
allow it, he trembled with pleasure enjoying it, laughing, giggling.
She didn't know what to do. She didn't want to kill her father and mother.
But if she didn't do it... her precious little sister, she's going to lose her
always smiling little sister.
Ouka's heart was torn. She became just a crying doll.
She couldn't hold a knife anymore, and tried to release her grip on it.
At that time, her father and mother embraced her, and stabbed themselves
with the knife she held.
It's okay...
She felt warmth of her father's and mother's skin that was about to
disappear.
It'll be alright...
She listened to their gentle voices.
We leave your little sister... to you.
Ouka broke.
["You did well... but unfortunately."]
The witch laughed.
["You were... too late."]
Witch grinned,
Loudly, cheerfully, happily, the witch spread despair.
Ouka felt something depriving her body of freedom, her feet moved on
their own, she approached her sister sitting on the floor.
Her consciousness was lucid.
It's scary.
She felt the knife in her hand.
It's scary, Onee-chan.
Her little sister said with a frightened voice.
Help me... Onee-chan.
She felt how she cut her little sister.
Wh-y... onee--cha-n...
Ouka, with her consciousness clear, cut her beloved little sister to shreds.
She wanted to scream out, but she didn't. She wanted to cry, but tears
didn't come out.
Her body didn't listen to her. Her heart shattered like glass. She wanted to
kill herself right away.
That's what she hoped for.
In the end, the witch ordered Ouka.
[" Laugh "]
Her cheek's muscles cramped, her mouth forcefully drew an arc.
And in a loud, hoarse, sorrowful voice.
In front of her dead, beloved family.
Ouka was forced to laugh.
Part 4
...Gruesome, isn't enough to describe it.
Ouka's darkness, Ouka's truth. The reason she's fighting. The reason she's
going out of control.
It was too sad.
"A witch took away everything from me, I will not forgive witches. And..."
In her blue pupils there was a dark flame. A murderous intent, intent
directed at someone who wasn't here. At a witch who definitely is
somewhere.
After stopping talking mid-way, Ouka looked at palm of her hand.
She squinted, and bitterly clenched her fist.
"...I, I won't forgive them. I will exterminate witches all of my life. For the
sake of witch's victims, that's what I swore. That's what I lived for until now.
From now on as well... until I die."
"............"
"That's my everything."
After she finished speaking. Ouka glared at Takeru, narrowed her eyes
and smiled bitterly.
"You get it now? I'm just going to cause you trouble. At the same time,
you'll be getting in the way of my revenge."
She placed her hand on her chest, and a bit sad, she apologized to
Takeru.
"I'm already broken, I can't stop myself from going out of control. That's
why, leave me alone."
"............"
"I can't become your comrade."
With a clear voice, with her eyes clear, standing in front of Takeru, Ouka...
No, that's wrong
Takeru denied Ouka's words.
He recollected what happened two years before, image of absolute
strength with sunset-coloured hair.
Ootori Ouka.
For Takeru.
It was what triggered his change.
It was the person who stopped him.
In the past, Takeru just like Ouka lived only on hatred. Just like Ouka,
Takeru was once broken.
But he was able to stop. In the wake of his own defeat, he was able to look
back and deny it.
"We will become comrades."
Takeru denied her loneliness.
"I will not deny your revenge. But life of only revenge is sad no matter how
I look at it."
"...Even if it's sad, it has to be done."
"I get it, I will not stop you. Nothing comes out of revenge, I won't say such
beautiful words."
"............"
"Instead."
Wondering what is it, Ouka tilted her neck.
Takeru looked straight at Ouka and directed his thumb at himself saying,
"Let me carry half of the burden."
With these words, Ouka's facial expressions disappeared.
Carry? What the hell does that mean?
"I said I'm going to help you out. You and me together, we will go all out
and judge the evil witches, and take revenge for you family. What do you
think?"
Ouka was speechless.
As if she didn't understand the meaning.
"...What... do you..."
"Exactly what I said."
To Takeru who said such a thing with a straight face, Ouka's anger finally
explodes.
"Don't get carried away! Why someone unrelated like you would help me
with my revenge?!"
"I told you, because we're comrades."
Takeru said while tilting his head.
Ouka placed her hand on the forehead and staggered.
"...that's why... how did that turn to helping me..."
"Is that bad?"
"It's shameless! That's called meddling! My revenge belongs only to me!"
"It's not like I'm stealing anything from you. It's just there're two people
doing it instead of one, isn't it? It's simple, even a monkey can understand
that. Even I can understand that."
"Ughh?!... Nonono! I can't involve you with my revenge...!"
"I don't mind it at all?"
"I do!"
"Eh... why?"
Takeru made a really troubled face and tilted his neck again.
Ouka's words didn't get through to him. Her irritation turns to anger and
she directed that anger at Takeru.
"What are you talking about...! To the point of entering and trampling over
other people's circumtances! Comrades? That's not a reason to become
an accomplice in someone else's revenge!"
Ouka said that, breathing heavily.
Takeru was breathing heavily as well, he saw true Ouka.
"It's not just because we're comrades. There's another reason as well, a
reason for me to help you."
"You're lying...!"
"You're just being bitter."
Ouka received a huge shock, and she made a face as if she didn't
understand the meaning at all.
"Haa...?! Me being bitter"
"Then, why are you crying?
............
"...?"
"Isn't that crying? There's a lot of tears coming out."
"...No... it's..."
"You're crying ever since you came to this grave."
Ouka touched her cheek for the first time.
She looked at the teardrop that clung to her finger, at a loss for words.
"Tears come out when you're in pain. Even if you put up with it."
"It... can't be..."
"You don't have to put up with it any longer, Ootori."
Takeru says that with a gentle voice to stunned Ouka.
Helping her with revenge. Actually, that came from Takeru's ego. He's not
going to deny it. But in the end, he couldn't let it go.
"I can no longer let you stay alone."
He could no longer let the crying girl in front of him be alone.
"Not as your captain. But as a human being, Kusanagi Takeru, I will walk
together with you."
When her revenge is finally over, no one will be next to her, that's too sad.
That's why, he thought it would be good to walk this thorny road together.
"No. Let's walk together. From now on, we'll cry together, suffer together...
and fight together as well."
If there's no one else, he will do it himself.
When they get tired, they'll rest on the other's shoulder, it'll be fine.
I should be able to do that much, that's what he thought.
With tears dripping from her eyelids, Ouka is stunned like a deer in front of
headlights.
To rely on someone... me...? Even if it's painful... Revenge for my family...?
I won't allow it. I won't allow it. I can't allow that. I cannot allow such a thing
to happen. I won't let it to trouble other people.
Ouka wiped her tears and looked at Takeru.
These tears are a lie. They're not real. She showed a strong look.
"Ha...haha, help me with what... ridiculous. In the first place, what can you
do with your strength."
"...you still say things like that... Certainly, my strength may not be that
great. But it should be enough to stop your tears."
"S-shut up! I'm not crying! You didn't arrest a single witch nor seize a
single Magical Heritage until now... how can be useful for?! Someone like
you who's can only use swordsmanship... I don't need such a person!"
"............"
"Something like swordsmanship is not going to help me with my revenge!"
She said that without thinking, even though she didn't need additional
fighting strength, Ouka provoked Takeru.
"............"
Definitely provoked, that's why.
"...Okaay, I get it."
He declared confidently with a demonic expression. Ouka didn't know. She
didn't see it so she didn't know.
To this man called Kusanagi Takeru, saying that swordsmanship is useless
is a taboo. He cannot stop once it happens.
Now that it has come to this, he will make Ouka give up.
Takeru also had to support his own revenge.
Part 5
"Mmm, a good weather. It would be good to spend such a day in the
room, surfing the net and look at erotic collections there, in the
two-dimensions you think so too, don't you. Nacht."
"No I don't think so."
While feeling the cold autumn wind with his whole body, the necromancer
Haunted made that increasingly unhealthy statement. He had a refreshing
face. He was dressed in black clerical robe that looked good on him. But
he didn't act like a priest at all.
The sword that was hanging on his waist, Nacht. Brushed off his words
that were looking for consent. It had mixed feelings when it came to being
together with this pervert.
It was on top of the leading company's building. In middle of the helipad
circle painted on the roof, Haunted gazed at the city under him.
"I'm really calm, this is a really different sight from when I was alive.
Nobody is hungry now, nobody is scared. The word "peace" refers to sight
like this, doesn't it."
That deep emotion seems to be lodged in the townspeople's eyes.
"Such scenery is not bad. It calms your mind. Smiling faces of elementary
students, the flashing grade schooler, the high school girls miniskirts... I
think all of it is precious sight."
"...Disgusting."
Nacht insulted him a bit,
Unaware of it, Haunted spread out his arms open and closed his eyes.
"...But."
That figure of his could be called sorrowful, as if he froze with a empty hole
in the center of his chest. A sad look.
"But... despite that. This place is lacking something crucial to those
people... it's indispensable to humans beings... like, for example... if I were
to say it."
His arms extended towards heaven, tears gathered in his eyes.
And then
"There's no love!"
He slammed the center of heliport with palm of his hand, with all his might.
At that moment, something new appeared on heliport. Irregular shiny
reddish object appeared. It covered entire roof, a huge circle. Fragile
Haunted was in the center of it. He pulled a knife that looked like a cross
from his waist, and suddenly stabbed his own palm.
Again, and again.
"There's no tomorrow! No hope! No desires! No despair! No screams! No
madness, such as dancing meat or odour of gushing blood! In penance for
living their lives peacefully without lies they shall enjoy the honour of being
part of this recreation!"
[8]
From his hands that were now full of holes, big amount of blood flowed out.
The blood didn't spread on the roof, instead it made a pattern. The light
array reacts to the blood, forming powerful magic.
"Now show it to me... show me, children of peace...the end of this peaceful
era of abuse... pull up the curtains of comfort..."
After finishing the magic Haunted looked up to the sky with a flushed face
as if drowning in joy.
Whether it's a coincidence or not, a light pours down on him from between
the clouds on the sky.
He once again touches the center of the magic circle with his fingertips,
takes out a thick book from his pocket. The book opened itself violently
influenced by the wind.
The time was filled. The dead carrion in the sooty. The blood clot of a
dying doe. If the victory song shalt be sung three times. Thou shalt stop
pace of thy march. There is no corruption beyond here. Only battle
maidensawaiting your triumphal return."
Haunted finished chanting and the two pages he was looking at, from his
fingertip magic was shot towards the array.
The concrete surface started waving like water, together with gathering
clouds and thunder it looked like a huge dragon flying in the sky. The
lightning started illuminating the sky.
[Goooooo....aaaaa.....]
And then it's visit begun, the variant messenger, it's enormous body
crawled out of liquefied floor.
*Gachin* *gachin*, Metallic sounds filled the air, a huge form elevated itself
and stood up.
In front of the variant Haunted nodded satisfied saying "Good."
"Well then... let's get to work then... the target is Antimagic Academy which
is a taboo place where witches who committed crimes are held in."
["............"]
"We'll come to the rescue of Valhalla(Illusory Cult) that are trapped in
there."
With a sound footsteps, he get's closer to the variant he summoned and
hits it with his fist.
"Well then, do your best. World's most famous. Hero-san."
An explosion sounded right after coupled together with screams coming
from the street.
Part 6
From distant downtown, from the cemetery Ouka and Takeru seen an
explosion along with the smoke rising right after it..
The ground below them vibrated slightly.
"?! What?!"
"......!!"
Their bodies stiffened, they looked towards the town together.
At the same time, wristwatch-type device sounded an alarm. This alarm
meant there was an emergency meeting of the inquisition, as well as the
entire school. There probably aren't many people who heard this alarm
before.
Because this alarm was sounded last time 20 years ago.
There were screams and explosions sounding in the distance. Their
number increased creepily at a very fast rate.
There was a huge difference between the distant tragedy, and the tranquil
park. Takeru was rooted on spot by the shocking reality.
All the people in the park had same reaction as Takeru.
Under such circumstances, the was only one person who understood the
situation was Ouka. She instantly looked over to the stereoscopic video
device.
Ouka's expression stiffened, her mouth formed shut tightly.
"What happened?"
As Takeru was horrified, Ouka looked back her hair fluttering.
Just one word, the girl who lived for revenge said it.
"It's a terrorist."
The screams and explosions in the distance were gaining momentum.
Chapter 4 - Hero Summoning
Part 1
Leaving Takeru behind, Ouka dashed in direction of Academy.
Screams resounded all over the city, determining who is the enemy was
easy for Ouka.
Variants that are rampaging in the city had humanoid form, their skin was
flesh coloured and they had long tongues. They haven't had neither eyes
nor nose, there were only ears and big ripped mouth.
"A necromancer..."
Necromancers, filthy witches specializing mainly in evocation, they use
earthen puppets and corpses as soldiers.
Those variants were without doubt corpses. You can recognize them by
the putrid smell coming from them, as well as their behaviour.
Necromancers in order to control the corpses seal certain organs, the
reason being - corpses with all of their senses intact retain certain level of
ego. That is why their noses and eyes are sealed leaving auditory sense
only.
There was something much more troubling than their senses. Residents
were running away while their screams became more intense, it seemed to
be exactly what enemy wanted.
"It's Inquisition! Please run away without making any sounds! If you
scream you'll be attacked! Try to escape without making any unneccessary
noises!"
Ouka's voice was drowned in screams and couldn't didn't reach everyone.
"The Spriggans(Knights) aren't here yet..."
Ouka stops her feet after reaching intersection on the main street, she
pulls out a gun while being in the middle of people who try to run away.
She directed it towards the sky and shot rapidly until she ran out of ammo.
Because of that, corpses that targeted people changed their target to
Ouka.
The corpses had saliva dripping from their mouths down on lower parts of
their bodies. Considering their movement capabilities, the material was
definitely fresh. Ouka's pupils were displaying fury.
"Heretics...!!"
Ouka let out a roar, and pulled spare gun from the holster at the same
time.
Displaying her anger for the Necromancers, she held the gun horizontally
and shot the corpses one after another.
After running out of bullets, she jumped and performed explosively strong
roundhouse kick on the variant.
Enemy doesn't go down, Ouka used the momentum from the roundhouse
kick, and kicked off his upper body again. She discarded the spare gun,
and pulled out a magazine from the gun belt attached to her thigh to
reload.
Ouka attacked relentlessly, as she showered the enemy with a storm of
bullets and kicks.
"............"
All the corpses that were at the intersection were wiped out in no time,
Ouka replaced magazine once again and checked the surroundings still
vigilant.
There is no one else there, and the corpse variants were stalled for the
moment. There were only dead bodies of the victims.
As the enemies got up again, they groaned as if they were suffering.
But it were not the corpses Ouka has defeated, it was dead bodies of the
victims that got up.
The terrible thing about Necromancers are that their magic is contagious.
Dead humans bitten by those corpse eating demons are revived as the
same type of demons.
Around Ouka, was a scene that looked like it came out of a B-grade movie.
When she started preparing to fight again, gunshots were heard and
bullets swept over the risen corpses from behind.
It was reinforcements, the Spriggans(Knights) finally came to the front
lines. In front of Ouka were assault bikes and the new state-of-the-art
dragoons.
One of the inquisitors riding a bike stopped in front of her and turned off his
engine.
"You're a student and part of test platoon huh. Leave this place to us, and
go back to the academy quickly."
The man, who looked like a captain, blurted out such a thing after coming
late.
Ouka wanted to complain, but instead she had to ask few questions in
order to get grasp on the situation.
"The alarm has been sounded so besides Spriggans(Knights),
Dullahans(Witch Hunters) should also have been dispatched right? Where
are they?"
"No idea, we just received orders to get rid of the corpse eater demons
from the city, that's all."
The inquisitor got off his bike, and ordered each of his subordinates while
holding a gun in one hand not paying attention to Ouka.
"The enemies aren't just the corpse eater demons and Necromancers,
there wouldn't be any explosions if it were so. Do you know anything about
what's going on?"
"Don't know. But one of men seems to have contacts, from what he says it
seems like..."
After the inquisitor issued commands while still holding his gun, he turned
his back to Ouka.
Right before leaving, he said.
"It seems like Eienherjar(Hero) appeared."
Hero, that word turned Ouka speechless.
Antimagic Academy's chairman's room.
While looking outside at Academy grounds that has become hectic from
window above, Sougetsu turned on the radio the desk was equipped with.
"So, what does it sound like?"
The Spriggans(Knights) that were earlier dispatched have come into
contact.
"While it sounds like screams of agony, want to hear?"
"Please."
*bshht*, After the sound signaling communication switch, terrible noise
reaches Sougetsu's ears. Screams were mixed with noises, it took him a
while to determine it's human voices.
"This is eight Spriggan(Knight)squad! Enemy isn't just corpse eating
demons! Repeating! Enemy isn't just corpse eating demons! Requesting
urgent support"
Right after that, a scream sounded.
The communication is switched again, this time it's sound of wreckage and
light breathing that sounded this time.
"Urgent... Dullahans(Witch Hunters)...requesting support, enemy
is...Antimagic firearms are not working, opponent is product of summoning
magic.. we think it's Eienherjar(Hero)... he has a Magical Heritage..."
"............"
"It' my first time seeing... such magic... 11th... knights... all together...
the... Hero... for sure..."
A buzzing sound, as if something was charging.
Words of the inquisitor could no longer be heard, right after that a roar
came out disrupting communication.
Sougetsu stood frozen stiff with his eyes wide open.
"That's all. It was the last transmission from Spriggans(Knights), next I'll
project the image on the monitor."
Monitor on which his communication partner, the secretary was visible on
was incorporated into the glass window.
Now, there was a giant wearing golden armor on it's chest... the monster
looked like a man-made artificial doll.
"What do you think, Chairman?"
"...yeah, without doubt. His body is one thing, but enemy is an
Eienherjar(Hero). A really powerful guy."
After saying "Hero", Sougetsu shuddered.
"Eienherjar(Hero)"
For Inquisition Board, that kind of magical organism is considered a
product of the past.
During witch hunt era, a hostile witch used a certain summoning magic.
A high level summoning magic, there are three non-standard ones
unfeasible in modern times.
Hero Summoning. Legend Summoning. Myth Summoning
One of them, Hero Summoning. Is magic that was used last time 150 years
ago. Among witches, it's a forbidden magic only heretics with the greatest
talent can use.
During the era in which entire world was subjected to infestation of
fantastical creatures, an era when magic usage was common. There were
many people whose power rivaled God, their feats of valour were handed
down after their death, and in current modern world they're hero stories.
During the war, the cornered witches revived them and violence escalated
with them as a vanguard. This summoning magic requires tens of
thousands innocent lives to be sacrificed, and many precious have been
lost as a result.
It's not a magic that can be used by any ordinary person. But now, it has
been revived once again.
Sougetsu's shoulders trembled... as he laughed.
"kukuku, kuhahahaha! A hero, they dusted off such a thing! How in hell
did Valhalla(Illusory Cult) summoned such a thing!"
There were no reports that would imply required tens of thousands dying in
recent years.
Having no idea how they did it, Sougetsu laughed while holding his belly.
"...That's fine, it's really nostalgic. It has really gotten interesting, I wonder if
they're going to start it again, a stupid war like the one that had so many
people die."
Inside Sougetsu's eyes there was madness dwelling within.
The secretary with whom he was communicating with was confused.
"...umm, Chairman, what are we going to do? Even though it's slow, the
Hero is heading towards the academy."
"Their aim is the tower with sealed Magical Heritage's... no, it's probably
the forbidden area witches are held in... well then, what to do. Against a
Hero, Spriggans(Knights) aren't sufficient..."
That's when Sougetsu narrowed his eyes, and gave a cheshire cat grin.
"...Aah, that's right. There's that, don't we have a perfect guy for that. I see,
indeed. It's a good opportunity to awaken him."
"...Chairman?"
"Connect my microphone to the speakers for the academy-wide broadcast
to all students."
"Y-yes, are they going to be evacuation orders?"
Towards the confused secretary, Sougetsu,
"Evacuation? Don't say such stupid things."
Voiced it bluntly,
"We don't want to shave off such a fighting potential do we? We have
human resources to become a wall all over!"
After secretary realized what he wants to do, the secretary tried protesting
against Sougetsu's decision.
"Chairman, that's too much! You should call in Dullahans(Witch Hunters)
and authorize use of Relic Eaters immediately!"
"Of course I'll call them out, the Dullahans(Witch Hunters) but only if it goes
out of hand, because it's just a mere Hero. The high-ranking witch is
definitely more frightening, even if we use Relic Eaters."
"Then why... why is there a need to use the students?! They aren't part
of regular Inquisition yet?!"
The secretary's yells don't reach Sougetsu.
"...Well then, I wonder if the boy and the girl will properly form contract with
each other."
There was nothing and no one who could stop his laugh anymore.
Part 2
"Shit! That Ootori... Leaving alone without permission!"
Takeru was heading towards the school at full power on a borrowed
bicycle that was lying on the road.
It's only a guess, but Ouka is heading towards the witches location,
meaning where the explosions are happening.
Since the explosions are moving towards the academy little by little,
Takeru naturally headed to academy as well.
"...I've got a bad feeling."
He shouldn't have followed Ouka alone towards where the witches are.
That's because he couldn't help, but feel that something irrevocable is
going to happen, and that creepy prominiation hurried Takeru.
"Don't die, Ootori...!!"
While scattering droplets of sweat, he rushed towards the place explosions
sounded and smoke rose from.
There was no crowd, it's good that there were no people. Takeru was
racing on his bicycle through the shopping mall as a shortcut.
Spriggans(Knights) apparently evacuated citizens from combat areas.
The mall was quite empty. But, in exchange.
"Guhh."
After he left the residential area and rushed through the large shopping
mall, a stark naked human came out from the children's clothing area all of
a sudden.
Takeru pressed the brake suddenly, he stopped right before crashing.
He tried to apologize in a hurry,
But Takeru immediately noticed that the other party is not human. It's weird
for someone to be naked in the first place. He retorted to himself.
Takeru faced a monster without mouth nor eyes, he got off the bicycle in a
hurry.
Monsters suddenly jump out from every direction, they were hiding in the
store, or feasting upon meat.
"...These guys are...!"
Corpse eating demons, that term appeared instantly. Takeru gripped the
katana's hilt strongly and sharpened his mind.
Front, left and right, and one from behind. At the same time.
The situation was incredibly disadvantageous.
But, however.
It's not time and place to act perplexed.
"......Out of my way."
After acknowledging the enemy is not a human, Takeru's clan's blood was
boiling.
In the first place Kusanagi-style wasn't created to fight with humans.
So to speak, it was the perfect situation for Kusanagi Takeru.
As if it was custom-made battlefield for him.
Takeru shifted the sheath attached to his waist towards his back, he pulled
out his katana all at once while twisting his upper body strongly.
Kusanagi's Double-Edged stream Single Rotation. A heretical
sword-drawing skill, sliding the sheath near the tailbone, twisting the waist
to the limit, squeezing the sheath with left hand and release the twisted
upper body. Withdrawing the katana all at once while drawing a circle
matching the rotation of the hip.
It's a skill used against humans by Kusanagi's at siege once before, it's
only effective when many enemies are attacking at once. It's an all-range
attack uncommon in swordsmanship.
It reaches 180 degrees in front and 180 degree's in back without loosening
the momentum of the drawn sword. Force made by waist rotation's is
multiplied by the held out foot, and slashed the behind. What is needed, is
timing and a strong waist and above all a loose lower body while slashing.
He let out the load without thinking. The Double-Edged technique style
variant has been thoroughly trained by him. Burden on the waist may be
huge, and the gap between them was big. But the hit-rate is 100% even
while he shoulders that burden. Kusanagi style holds it's own.
Takeru sank four corpse eating demons bodies within one breath, he
stopped the momentum with his feet and sheathed his katana.
"Are these guys familiars? They have fragile bodies like humans but...
these numbers."
As he looked around, he had an illusion of being surrounded by pack of
wolves. From all corners of the shopping mall, the corpse eating demons
can be seen.
If a witch came out now, it would be extremely reckless for Takeru to
challenge it alone. Just by the fact the witch can manipulate corpses like
this, means it's an opponent that can't be defeated by students.
But unless he breaks through, he won't be able to do anything. Neither
follow Ouka, nor join with his comrades.
"Just because your a former human, I won't be as nice as to let you off!"
Takeru lowered his body and kicked off the floor. He ran maintaining his
posture as if he were to fall down forward. Supporting himself to the very
limit to avoid falling, he ran through the mall at full speed.
"You're in the wayy!!"
He hit the corpse eating demon in front with a single sword strike. Takeru's
legs didn't stop at all, his movements changed to Kusanagi-style's Battle
Rush, a technique that allows delivering blows while running. A
fundamental thing like footwork does not exist within that technique, by
having his body lean forward to the limit of almost falling forward for the
sake of allowing him to slash with his katana. The entire body weight is
used in the blows because it is intended to move on crushing the enemies
rather than cut them.
A single point breakthrough. For the sake of slashing again and again
despite their fear for counter, those who mastered Kusanagi-style can
move their lower body and upper body completely separately. No matter
how legs are moving, no matter how he travels, the upper body is
resourceful and doing it's own job.
The fact that enemy is a monster with no intelligence is a great bonus and
really convenient. The battle swordsmanship used against hordes of
demons, that is Kusanagi's Double-Edged style. Takeru crushed the
corpse eater demons that attacked him as he broke through the shopping
mall like a fierce tiger.
He finally saw the way out, he didn't see any signs of life in his
surroundings as he ran. Takeru noticed that enemy sensed his movement
thanks to their auditory senses. All the monsters jumped on him, at least,
he should make it so he didn't appear alive to them anymore. He stroked
his own chest.
And then.
At that moment, he heard something that sounded to him like a bell.
From the gap between the monsters, he looked towards the source of the
sound.
He saw something unbelievable.
"Wha..."
There was a girl who looked really out-of-place standing in the mall.
A figure that looked like a hallucination. Takeru couldn't help but suspect
his own eyes.
Azure-coloured hair, azure coloured-dress, and her pupils also were
aure-coloured.
"...Why in such a place?!"
While surrounded by corpse eating demons, the girl was still staring at
Takeru. His and the mysterious girl's gazes met.
The illusion of world stopping, Takeru's thoughts stopped as well.
Muscles moving Takeru's body stopped and he was falling forward losing
support.
"Gahs-shit!"
Takeru passively crashed and rolled on the floor getting covered with
scratches, he flew towards the girl while rebuilding his posture.
Corpse eating demons that enclosed her, were ready to pounce on her.
Takeru dropped his katana, he embraced the girl's body and barely
avoided enemy. He dashed towards the exit at once.
"What are you doing in a place like this?! Didn't you hear the alarm?!"
"............"
The girl just looked at him with clear pupils as he held her by his chest, she
didn't say anything. Maybe she was shy, she didn't show any fear during
this emergency, either she had nerves of steel or she didn't knew too little.
Takeru runs out of the mall, he runs to a safe street, puts the girl down and
grabs his own knees.
Apparently not knowing Takeru had a hard time, the girl continued to ogle
him expressionlessly.
In front of this silent girl, Takeru was at wit's end. It wouldn't be a problem if
he left her with Spriggans(Knights) for the time being, they would have
taken her to emergency shelter but there's no way to contact
Spriggans(Knights).
If it's just one person it shouldn't be a problem, he will survive this hell
together with that child.
Takeru put a hand on his chin as he thought about it, hem of his jacket was
suddenly pulled.
Looking down, he saw the girl looking up at him while pinching his clothes.
As if astonished by something, she opened mouth slowly. Breath leaked
faintly from her pale pink lips together with words.
With mysterious atmosphere about her, finally from girl's mouth voice
comes out for the first time.
"Panpakapaaaan"
............
............
An incomprehensible sound, Takeru was stunned with surprise.
The fanfare-like sound definitely came out of the girls mouth, strength left
Takeru, despite the appearance her voice was very clear and mature, a
fanfare with such a voice. *clap* *clap* she even threw in claps as a
bargain.
"...what are you doing?"
Takeru came up with a question.
As Takeru was stunned, the girl continued.
"Congratulations. Mr. Kusanagi Takeru, you have been chosen as the
second contractor. In order to initiate the contract please answer the
following questions."
She said it without intonation with machine voice, phrases like the ones
scamming advertisement sites that are rampant on the net use.
"...eh? Eh?"
"Question number one. Do you intend to become an inquisitor?"
"Yes! ...no, wait, what are you talking about?"
"Question number two. Do you have any intention of exterminating
witches?"
"............"
His head indeed hurt, Takeru placed his hand on his forehead.
He definitely became crazy after seeing something so terrifying. It's
understandable, he saw corpse eating demons attack someone so small. It
was very definitely super frightening and painful.
Thinking like that, his tears came out for some reason.
He must escort this child to a safe place by all means, even if he has to do
it while crying. He tried putting his hand on the staring girl's head.
"Question number three. For the sake of your own goal, will you discard
yourself?"
Takeru unconsciously stopped his hand. At a loss of words, for some
reason incomprehensible words came out from her mouth. He couldn't
ignore them this time.
Explosions and screams at the distance still didn't stop.
Feeling distant from the noise, Takeru didn't take his eyes off from the girl's
pupils. Azure-coloured, very, very deep pupils.
"...? Communication?"
Takeru was dazed, suddenly there was a call from his watch-type device.
It was from... Ikaruga.
"Kusanagi? Where are you now?"
"Suginami, what's going in school now? And I'm... well a lot happened. I
was chasing Ootori, but on the way"
"More importantly, it's pretty bad over here, listen to this for a
moment."
Ikaruga suddenly switched the communication.
Then, he heard the Chairman's speech.
"To all of the students, right now, we the Inquisition Board are in
danger on unprecedented scale. As you might already know, the
prosecution target that appeared in the city is an Eienherjar(Hero).
You probably know from the educational materials, the Hero's strength is
beyond our imagination."
Sougetsu continued with an exaggerated voice.
"This is, a school announcement?"
"Shut up and listen, this part is important."
"Many innocent citizens and Inquisitors have been already sacrificed.
Hero is heading towards the academy, we assume their target are the
detention facilities. It's a matter of time before he reaches it. Telling a thing
like this might be shameless... but right now, we're not strong enough. It
will take some time before reinforcements from other branch arrive. That's
why... that's why I implore of you. Lend us your strength. I want us to fight
together. Against the detestable witch that took lives of innocent people. In
order to give him a hard blow, I want you all to stand up against him!
Qualification or class matter no longer! All of you are Inquisition, all of you
are Dullahans(Witch Hunters), together we shall conquer them... time to
witch-hunt is coming! It's time to juge the heretics!"
Takeru finished listening to broadcast, made a crooked expression
unintentionally.
"...That's crazy."
"It's not a conscription, it means it's completely voluntary. Some look at
other platoons, these guys who are most enthusiastic about it already
started participating in intercepting by making a defense line at academy
with Spriggans(Knights)."
"...Can only Dullahans(Witch Hunters) do something about that enemy?"
"No idea, the Hero was not left in any documentation from Witch Hunt
Era. If we leave this alone, before the reinforcements arrive the school will
be turned to rubble. As it was said in the broadcast, the enemy's aim are
the detention facilities."
Takeru opened his eyes wide.
Detention facilities... it's the area located in the deepest part of the
academy that witches are being held in.
From petty criminals to criminals accounted with severe crimes, the
treatment is different according to the weight of their crimes. A prison for
witches.
"Kusanagi?... What do we do?"
"............"
"You're the captain. Usagi here. Running is fine, fighting is fine... I at the
very least will follow your decision."
Ikaruga leaves it to him, Takeru falls silent for a moment.
He shuts his mouth tight and clenches his fist.
"I... think that escaping the current enemy would be better."
"............"
"For us who couldn't seize even a single F-rank artifact until now. There is
no way we can stand against an enemy like a Hero, wait for the dispatch of
Dullahans(Witch Hunters). It's best to evacuate until this is over. As a
captain, I don't want you guys to die in vain."
It was a weak attitude, but also a decent conclusion. There was no
objection from Ikaruga, it was Captain's choice.
"But even in such situation, you intend to go right?"
Ikaruga said those words and sighed, Takeru nodded.
Takeru, not as a captain but a human being called Kusanagi Takeru said
what he wants to do.
"Ootori is now, Hero...no, for the sake of defeating the witch she is heading
back to academy. She will definitely ignore my order. Inside her there's
only hatred for witches. Her hatred is all she has."
"............"
"To me, Ootori is already a member of 35th Platoon. I don't want her to die
the same way I don't want you to die. But she... you can't stop her the
normal way."
"............"
"That's why in order to stop her..."
He stopped speaking and shut his mouth tightly.
This decision might be wrong, if captain analyzed the battle situation he
shouldn't ever make such a decision. Even if he intended to go alone.
"Well then, I think I'll go hunt down a hero now."
Takeru said it with a clear tone. It can be understood without thinking at all.
Such a thing was impossible. What would be his chance in percentage?
0.1%? 0.01%? 0.001%?
No no, it was probably zero from the get go. Even though Kusanagi-style
was created for the sake of eliminating evildoers, the fact that it's outdated
doesn't change.
That's why it's reckless, and foolhardy. It's like being defeated before even
starting.
Even so, Takeru still intends to subjugate it.
He declared that, with a katana in his hand.
"...Kusanagi, you... pulled out your sword didn't you."
"Yeah."
"When you were talking about hunting or whatever, at that time. I don't
know what happened, but you aren't in a situation where you need to draw
it are you? I mean that drawing sound?"
"No, you can tell that I'm calm right? I'm calm alright? Though I pulled it out
indeed, I'm different from my old self."
Ikaruga sighed. While Takeru kept silent not knowing what to say as an
excuse.
"Well I won't say anymore. Our preparations here are done, we also
have a sword made for you. I'm not a katana blacksmith, I specialize in
firearms so don't expect too much."
I'm ready to fight, that's what Ikaruga said to Takeru.
Takeru opened his eyes wide at this unxpected developement.
"...Ikaruga, you..."
"AhPlease don't misunderstand. I'm don't care about Ootori Ouka, but
I'm interested in the Eienherjar(Hero). In the current age, that thing is a
precious sample. If you guys are going to collect data, I'll lend you all of my
strength."
In the end, Ikaruga is Ikaruga after all. A little bit of embarrassment
betrayed her.
It really seemed like she was preparing and moving on her own.
"Hmph! I don't care about what happens to Ootori Ouka, but punitive
expedition against that legendary magical being Eienherjar(Hero) is a
different matter! The honour of subjugating that is appropriate for me...
there will be no other chance as good as this to make my name famous in
the academy!"
Said Usagi with her high-pitched voice interrupting.
"It's not convincing at all when you're trembling with a blue face."
"No?! I-I'm not trembling! I might be shaking with excitement though!"
"For a while now, your rifle is making clattering noises as you tremble"
"I-It's a lie Kusanagi! Suginami is just jealous of my courageous self,
there's nothing to be scared off!."
"She ran to restroom four times within the last 20 minutes."
"I didn't! I told you not to say anything to Kusanagi!"
A loud clattering sound could be heard from the device's speaker.
Kusanagi laughed wryly at those two like usual.
"Listen, Captain's orders."
While hearing voices of his noisy comrades, he muttered.
"...Thanks, both of you."
It probably wouldn't be heard, but he finished the communication saying
that.
"Sorry for making you waiteh??What?! Where did she go?!"
The figure of the girl in front of him was nowhere to be found. Takeru
looked around in haste and scoured the nearby places briefly, but did not
find her.
She should have been standing here a while ago... where did she go to?
"Speaking of which... why did that child know my name..."
As if he had met with a ghost, Takeru stroked his back.
Part 3
Antimagic Academy, main gate.
The first line of defense were guards compromised of test platoon
members and a few of Spriggan(Knight) troops.
The shooting rifles leaned from the barricade, intercepting the corpse
eating demons.
"This is easy, we alone are enough if it's just this much."
"Right? I don't know about Hero, but this is piece of cake. S-class or
whatever, ancient weapons cannot stand up to us who are armed with
modern weapons."
The student's shouldering assault rifles, comrades from the same platoon
that responded positively to Chariman's request. For them who bravely
stood up, the corpse eating demons were not enough. The student's were
seizing Magical Heritage on daily basis as part of test platoon system, they
were always threatened by Magical Heritage, they stood against that
darkness armed with guns.
With a genuine witch as an opponent, for them who were really tense
because of that, it was quite anticlimactic. Corpse eating demons, when
you compare them to the threat a person armed with a gun poses, it's like
heaven and earth. Corpse eating demon is at most, a stray dog that is hard
to put down. They are really hard to kill, but just hitting them with
Inquisition's Antimagic bulelts was enough to get rid of them.
The corpse eating demons hit by bullets turned into ash and got swept by
wind.
Student seeing a corpse eating demon turn into ash smiled relaxedly.
"At this rate Hero won't be a big deal either. It's just a product of witches
magic, hardly an opponent for us"
The moment he said that to his comrade beside him.
In the front, from the other side than the one corpse eating demons
invaded. A dazzling light is emitted.
Students, just beside them, *shuu*... A sound of something evaporating.
After they faced in that direction, there was nothing there anymore.
No barricade, no Spriggan(Knight) troops, nor comrades from their
platoons.
Everything was blown away, and turned into pile of rubble.
"......Ha?"
Everyone stopped thinking, the guy that was talking just now disappeared
in an instant. An empty view. Emptiness spread right beside them.
Just, a right hand of the guy who was speaking until now lying by their feet.
Like a mannequin arm.
Students in front of such absurd slaughter, looked up to the sky trying to
escape from reality.
Cloudless sky dyed orange by setting sun offers good visibility.
While feeling the wind on their cheeks, they lost their nerve and were
inclined to escape.
But of course it didn't go well.
From their toes up till head, they trembled suffering irresistible fear.
Students couldn't help but look at the one who took everything from them.
At the slope near school gate, in middle of corpse eating demons ashes
dancing. A big shadow was moving up calmly.
It was an awe-inspiring figure coloured with gold and platinum. That form
was sinister, evil.
It's skin, or maybe armor. Unsure how to classify it, looked like bones or a
carapace.
But that's it.
None expected for Hero who was called in by Hero Summoning, to
look like a variant like that.
An outdated weapon summoned by ancient magic.
That was the way student's imagined the Hero, that's how they imagined
it'll be.
But the figure that came walking in, rather than being described as
outdated it was more like futuristic.
"...Hyaaa!"
It approached while making heavy sounds.
In his right hand he moved his large swordno, a large gun which he
pointed at them.
Ouka took a bike from Spriggans(Knights) without asking and came back
to Academy, she was shocked and by the devastation.
The beautiful Antimagic Academy.
The school building's fully equipped inner courtyard, looking like a part
western palace.
All of it are gone, without a trace.
School building was partially destroyed, the garden has become scorched
earth. Fallen students with serious injuries everywhere, and between them
were dead people.
Looking all over the place, everyone had guns in their hands. They must
have been defeated in battle.
"..What happened... why... did students participate in battle?"
She approached the fallen students in a hurry and checked if they're
breathing. She tried to contact Sougetsu but couldn't get through. Ouka bit
her lower lip.
Why didn't Dullahans(Witch Hunters) mobilize. Why are students
participating in this battle. In the first place, what does this plight mean.
Ouka didn't have enough information to understand the current situation.
Justthere's one thing sure.
Leisurely walking far ahead, was a huge figure.
That's the culprit responsible for this devastation. A product of magic. The
hateful abomination definitely set up by the witch.
Ouka discerned the enemy's nature. Her pent up rage overflowed.
Her sworn enemy walked leisurely through the courtyard which turned into
inferno. Ouka saw the figure of Hero for the first time.
She knew it was a human who became a legend summoned and is called
a hero. To think it was a human being like that. A monster just as she
imagined.
She didn't feel an ounce of intelligence from the Hero. Looks like a
machine that destroys everything in front of it.
"...You...want to fight it...?"
A voice came from the shadows, Ouka moved her gaze towards the
source.
Hidden behind the pillar of the corridor that connects school buildings, was
a shaking male student suffering a knee injury, there were many other
students trembling under a rock, either in a school building or in the shade
of a roadside tree.
Seeing the enemy's might, they completely lost the will to fight. All of them,
regretting being so faint hearted.
Ouka ran towards one of the students unnoticed by the enemy.
"Tell me what's the situation. Why Dullahans(Witch Hunters) didn't come?
Why are students participating in combat?"
"Fight... or running away... with that opponent students couldn't do
neither..."
"Answer me!"
Ouka grabs the frightened student's uniform and drags him closer.
While breathing out painfully, he said to her.
"N-no idea... we participated because we were told we'll become
Dullahans(Witch Hunters) if we defeat that thing, that's all..."
"...Isn't that insane?... enemy is an S-Class hazardous product of
specialized magic right? Who would say such a thing..."
"...didn't you hear the Chairman's speech...?"
When she heard the contents of speech from the student, she started
grinding her teeth.
"...To bait in the student's like that."
"We couldn't even scratch that monster! W-we ran away, we had no
chance of winning!"
The student got slapped and fell behind towards the wall. He fell silent with
tears in his eyes. Ouka asked him with a thorny tone.
"You, did you see the intrinsic magic of Magical Heritage that Hero is
using?"
Intrinsic magic, a secret magic contained within Magical Heritage. All of the
Magical Heritage's have magic power concealed within them, although
restricted to only one effect. The ones that can activate a magical
procedure without an owner are qualified as at least A-Rank when it comes
to risk evaluation.
"I don't know, from the very beginning we couldn't put a scratch on him,
everything was repelled by a barrier."
"...A magical barrier."
Magical barrier, for a barrier that's not penetrated by Inquisition's bullets, it
must be a really powerful one. In order to deploy such a barrier, there's a
need of huge amount of magical power that can't be generated by a
modern witch. She realized that without a doubt, the barrier is being
generated by Magical Heritage.
However, academy's students aside, for the forces to be annihilated in
such a short time can't be because of the barrier's threat. Moreover, the
shape of Magical Heritage is a... gun. Is it's body used for original attacks,
and a magical procedure that grants the protection? Ouka thought there
has to be something else too.
"The enemy is a Hero. It should not be able to use multiple Magical
Heritages. Did anything else change before? He took out only this much
people, there definitely has to be something else."
The grabbed student's face goes pale at once.
He saw something, Ouka intuitively understood.
"...we couldn't defeat it no matter how hard we tried. Even bombardment
didn't affect him so I was trying to withdraw, and then..."
"............"
"Then suddenly, under his feet magical circle appeared... and then... in an
instant... everyone that was fighting in front, all the Inquisitors... became...
slabs of meat."
"Tell me what did you see at that moment, it's might become a clue that
helps us defeat the Hero."
The student held his head in his arms, and muttered towards the ground
with eyes bloodshot.
"The knights... 11 of them... inside enormous explosion of light, I saw it for
a moment, when it increased they attacked... he...!"
Student spoke until then, and cried out as if he was in agony. Ouka's face
displayed dread. Summoning 11 knights, and a magical barrier.
"...The Hero is Arthur Pendragon... and the Magical Heritage is
Excalibur..."
At the same time as she guessed. Is that possible? Is what she wondered
about.
Excalibur written down in history had originally a form of sword. But that
Hero's possession is not a sword, but a gun. It's shape is close to a
modern mass produced railgun.
Railgun... impossible.
There's no precedent for magical power to dwell in modern weapons, like a
railgun. The relatively small number of Lost Type Magical Heritages in
shape of a gun, were made and used during Witch Hunt War and these
are the only ones. Although there are the irregular types, it's impossible for
them to draw out such destructive power.
And above all
Excalibur should have been destroyed by Inquisition a hundred years ago.
It shouldn't exist anymore, it's not supposed to be here.
However, a Magical Heritage with unique magic allowing to summon 11
knights, there's no other in existence. Above all, Ouka had an idea.
During the Trackless Psalms case the traded objects were pieces of
Magical Heritage.
If they were pieces of Excalibur, she can't rule out the possibility.
At present, restoration of destroyed Magical Heritage is not possible, the
possibility is equal to zero... however.
If Valhalla(Illusory Cult) is involved, then the possibility is no longer
zero.
"............"
Ouka slightly scared covered her mouth. She narrowed her eyes as she
resolved herself.
She borrowed a magazine and a small assault rifle placed beside the
student. She also confirmed amount of bullets and pulled the cocking
lever.
If that gun is really Excalibur, is the documentation wrong?... The barriers
definitely exist. Excalibur is not only the sword itself, it's supposed to be
one heritage together with the sheath. King Arthur was invincible thanks to
sheath rather than the sword itself. In other words, sword for attack, and
the defense... is supplied by the sheath.
Holding a gun, Ouka faced forward.
Well then, first sheath... unless we destroy the holster...
Ouka couldn't leave that monster unchecked as it is, her hatred... was not
the reason.
She raised her hips, going to chase after Hero.
"Hey, don't run away."
"I will buy time, you guys treat the wounded."
These students will never forget the expression on Ouka's face at that
time. With poor equipment and baseless guess, going against opponent
who is a monster that can't be taken down by entire battalion, Ouka is
undaunted.
On the contrary, it seemed like she's laughing.
Ouka hid in the shadows lurking around the Hero and checking his waist.
Indeed, there was something like a holster for accommodating a gun there.
"...No choice but to bet on it, eh."
While holding a gun, Ouka calmed her feelings as preparation for battle.
She pressed the gun against her forehead and closed her eyes as if
praying.
The moment enemy stopped walking, she jumped out from the shadows
holding her gun.
Aligning the sight with her eye, she continued to fire at three-shot bursts.
Just as the students said, the bullets were stopped by invisible barrier
before reaching body of the Hero.
Ouka focused her fire on a single point in barrier applying force in the
same spot.
Hero turned towards her already, his body was about three meters away.
He had one hand on the excalibur and pointed it's muzzle halfway towards
Ouka.
Thirst for blood.
Ouka jumped to the side.
Impact made a huge crater in the ground a mass of magic power passed
right beside her.
"!!!"
Her nerves froze. If she kept sitting there, Ouka would become just a lump
of flesh. And that's not the only thing causing her fear, the shockwave just
now was intrinsic performance of Excalibur. It wasn't magic.
The blows hit like cannonballs. Bullets are not products of magic, the frame
itself contains powerful magic. This is original Excalibur! It's consistent with
legends. King Arthur released spirit magic by slashing with the sword, he
was boasted to be unmatched warrior. Even when used by witch once
before being destroyed. It was written in the data bank that it was used in
similar manner.
And now it changed it's shape to a gun, allowing it be used at perfect
distance.
"I can't fight it too long...!"
In front of such ridiculous destructive power, she shows a glimpse of fear.
This chance, was not missed by the mighty warrior, the Hero.
That instant, he saw this opportunity.
The moment she landed after jumping, Hero swinged excalibur in front of
himself. Ouka forgot that the Magical Heritage was not only a gun, but it
also had a shape of sword and can be used as such.
Ouka kicked off the ground again before the blade slammed to the ground
jumping again, however.
No good! Too low... this is"
Impact.
Direct hit has been avoided in the nick of time. The ground that was hit was
pulverized and part of it became debris which was hurled towards the sky
together with Ouka.
Gah,
"Haaaaaaaaaaa!!!"
Ouka was alive, immediately after the ground was broken she kicked off a
large debris. She negated the impact by using her legs like a spring. Her
ad hoc decision was extraordinary, motor nerves practically reacted by
themselves. The hell she experience up until now allowed her to survive
this situation.
Ouka fired blindly as she was falling. She was hardly aiming. Bombarding
Hero with bullets downwards from the sky.
Of course, all of it was blocked by the barrier.
Ouka landed on top of the barrier, immediately reloaded and fired at barrier
from zero distance.
Along with a loud sound at impact, all of the bullets were repelled. No
matter how she concentrated fire on one spot, it didn't budge. Even with
mithril coating that has anti-magic effect, it was impossible to break
through this solid wall.
"Guhh!!"
Hero raises his gun, trying to get rid of Ouka who's clinging to him. Ouka
twisted her body the moment she ran out of ammo. She jumped off by
doing a backflip.
She rolled as she landed to distance herself from the Hero. However, hero
caught Ouka's leg with his rugged hand as she tried to escape.
"Gyah...!!!"
Her leg held by a fist as big as her head broke like dry leaves the moment
of contact bending irregularly.
Ouka almost screamed in pain, she showered the hand that grabbed her
leg with bullets from her favourite gun.
For a moment she thought the bullets reached, but to no avail.
The barrier changed it's shape upon contact with enemy, it covered Hero's
body in a thin layer. Repelling bullets completely, he was unwounded.
There was no longer a way for Ouka to escape. While grabbing her broken
leg Hero thrown her towards the wall of the Academy.
She smashed into a wall at high speed, Ouka spat out blood.
"...I won't...die yet..."
A voice from the back of her throat, which sounded like it was squeezed
out.
What motivated her, was the vision of the witch that took everything away
from her.
A loud laugh coming from her mouth that formed a shape like crescent
moon, like a butcher.
Ouka didn't forget that absolute fear.
While maintaining that vision, she gazed at approaching Hero.
"...This degree of... fear...!"
Ouka's beaten up body ached, she got up halfway.
"Accepting death by hands of enemy of this degree is unforgivable!"
Exhaling turbulently and roughly. She placed a hand on her knee and
looks at herself. Her uniform was in tatters, her underwear was clearly
visible.
Without even trying to hide her appearance, Ouka stood on her broken leg.
She exhaled breath that had scent of blood and slowly held out her hands
before her.
This gesture looked as if she tried to box someone's ears.
"...If possible, I didn't want to use it."
She whispered with a fading voice and closed her eyes.
Resolving herself, she spoke slowly.
"Summis desiderantes affectibus"(I require and desire)
Together with the words she spoke, the world loses it's sounds.
Pressure is falling rapidly, oxygen in the surroundings is depleted.
A spark appeared in the air, tinnitus covers the world.
In that space that's like a prelude to hell, Ouka opens her eyes.
And,
"Malleus Maleficarium"(The hammer given to the witch)
At that moment, under the Ouka's feet who shouldn't have magic. Magical
circle appeared.
The air screamed like a chorus performing a requiem. Under her feet from
the magic circle something like a black coffin appeared.
Before Ouka's hands that were held out, the coffin stopped in mid-air.
Right after she narrowed her eyes, the exterior of the coffin cracked and
shattered. From the interior twin handguns appeared.
The barrel measures 15 inches, it's features looked more like automatic
gun than a revolver.
Women and children aside, it's unlikely to be handled by a normal human
being, something that had unknown application.
It's too large to be called a pistol. Something that didn't even exist in past,
original guns that are completely independent.
On their exterior there was an unique crest displaying a distorted wingless
dragon. The Malleus MaleficarumIV "Vlad III" is carved onto them.
Ouka picked up those huge guns from the air, and crossed them in front of
her body.
"I didn't intend to use you bastard but... It's emergency. Lend me your
power, Vlad."
Ouka speaks to herself.
Then,
"From the beginning. We respondeth to thine call master."
A voice suddenly rang in Ouka's head.
A heavy and thick voice of a man. Even though there were no humans
beside her.
Hence, the fact that voice has been emitted from the handgun Ouka
summoned is obvious.
Relic Eater, Vlad
One of the Anti-magic weapons only inquisitors from Dullahan(Witch
Hunter) are allowed to use.
It's Ootori Ouka's exclusive Relic Eater.
"For, thou art, our provisional contractor."
Vlad spoke with a condescending tone, devoid of inflection. It had a
personality, many Magical Heritage's that interpreted human speech have
been discovered. And all of Relic Eater series had personalities dwelling
within.
Irritated with Vlad's bossy attitude, Ouka grimaced.
"You shut up and just listen to me."
"Provisional is provisional, I have no intention to respond to all requests.
For I have not been accepted by thy yet."
"Shut up, who would want to be accepted by a bastard that's a product of
magic."
Ouka rejected Vlad, and pointed the guns at the Hero.
Having to use Vlad was a humiliating to Ouka. To using power of a devil to
win against a devil, it was synonymous to being already defeated by
magic. That's what she thought.
Even so, Ouka wanted to defeat this hateful enemy.
Even if she personally loses. Even if admits defeat, as long she will takes
down the enemy she's fine with it.
That's what she thought, she grasped Vlad.
The enemy aimed his muzzle at Ouka.
"Fix my leg, Vlad!"
"Understood."
The magic bullet was fired, the crushed leg was being rewinded to the
original state like a playback. At the next moment Ouka jumped to the side.
Ouka successfully avoided the magic bullet. In fact, unlike her movement
up till now. She was inhumanly fast, and her jumping force flung her into
the sky.
"Body enhancement is minimal. If thou desire more than this, Accept
me."
"I refuse!"
"A stubborn woman. However, that's good!"
"That's creeping me out!"
She landed from several meters height without receiving any shock,
making distance from Hero.
"Our foe is a Hero... King Arthur and Excalibur, seems a bit lacking as
our opponent."
"I told you to shut up. Hurry up and release the trigger."
"Trigger, for the first? Or the second?"
"I decided on first."
"Without using The Witch Hunter despite facing a Hero?"
"If it's about me accepting you, I refuse."
"Such obstinacy. Understood, *click* Trigger released. Did you
memorize enemy's barrier technique?"
"Of course, who do you think I am."
"Very well Let us start the witch hunt."
Intimidating voice declared in Ouka's head.
At the same time Ouka rushed towards the enemy, the Hero.
""
Hero also exhibited movement. He once again moved Excalibur's muzzle,
and tried to shoot the magical bullet.
"That's nothing more than mass of magical energy avoid it."
"Don't need you to tell me!"
Ouka leaped up, magical bullet passed under her feet. She danced very,
very high in the sky while she pointed her gun's muzzle at the Hero.
She stretched out her arms, and pressed the trigger with all her strength.
"Pierce!"
The moment gunshot sounded, a human-like scream sounded.
Too strong recoil, lifted Ouka's body even higher in the air defying gravity.
The fired thing was a stake of light. It was the magical technique itself.
From that spell, a stake made from magical power, sharp like a needle
rushed towards the Hero.
However the enemy's, King Arthur's absolute defense
...*Gachan*...!!
Made a sound like broken glass. It was at the moment when the stake that
was shot hit the barrier. Upon contact, a part of the barrier crumbled like
glass. A hole was made in it.
The stake hit King Arthur's shoulder directly.
The large body staggered.
In every Relic Eater, exists a intrinsic magic with special non-standard
ability.
Ouka's Vlad's ability is, passing through all magic that is understood
by the user. That's means.
What is needed, to have the process for using magic inside her head.
That means even if the magical device is not present, even without magic
currently available. The instructions previously memorized can be
automatically converted by Vlad's ability, allowing it to pierce magic.
Vlad's stake is like an eraser that wipes away the scribbles from the
wall.
Amount of magic currently known is counted in tens of thousands. Ordinary
people cannot even understand the procedure, memory and incredible
intelligence, as well as ability to recall images is required.
Ouka's head had all of it.
To defeat the enemy, you must know the enemy first. In Ouka's head,
there were thousands of procedures that can be used in magic.
She didn't shoot only once.
Raising a hand once again, Vlad shot in rapid fire. Stakes seized King
Arthur's body. All of it were direct hits.
Stopping the barrage, Ouka landed. The landing was magnificent but her
face was distorted in agony.
"It's because thou were shooting invariably you were hurt by rebound.
Thou were squeezing the trigger without shifting the aim even as you broke
bones in your arm, confess thine guilt."
"It's fine... hurry up... heal it...!"
While in pain, Ouka checked the damage on the enemy. Hero, King Arthur
was... alive and well.
"The damage dealt to enemy was minor. There isn't enough power, the
stake's quality wasn't enough. Thou mightest be able to eliminate this
battle monster if thou performed contract?"
"...How many times do I have to tell you."
"At this rate thou shalt be defeated by him. The barrier persists.
Excalibur's sheath instantly repairs the damaged portions of barrier. Unless
thou destroy the sheath theres nothing to talk about."
It was just like Vlad said. Even if she pierces through the barrier, the
damage is reduced by it too much. At this rate only defeat awaits her no
matter what she does.
"...We'll use intrinsic magic and make an opening."
Ouka, as if grabbing the last resort, said it while clicking her tongue.
"Oh? Thou hast finally accepted it?"
"Wrong, I'm not going to accept it. I'm saying that I'll take more."
"Hmm, instead of a contract, thou shalt sacrifice your blood, very well... I
shall agree on that."
Right after Vlad consented, chill struck Ouka's body.
"......Uuu....guhhh......!"
Her vision blurred, her body staggered.
Right now, the third of blood in her body was given to Vlad, amount of
life support she has is enough for one minute. Ouka breathed painfully.
"It was delicious, in exchange, do whatever you want."
Hearing the voice, Ouka looked up disgusted.
And, grasping the shaking guns strongly, she opened her legs and lowered
her upper body. She took special stance.
One gun aimed at sky, the other one aiming at the ground. And then
"Tepes Rain"(Prince Impaler's Entertainment)
She squeezed the triggers as she spoke the magic's name.
Unlike the normal operation, there's nothing coming out of the muzzle.
Instead of that enormous magic appears in the sky and the ground.
After noticing Vlad's intrinsic magic, Hero is vigilant.
He took a defensive stance, he prepared to intercept the attack with his
railgun blade.
But, such defense is useless.
The assault, came from the sky.
A rain of stakes showered the Hero injuring him after magically appearing
in the air.
Like meteorites, they're falling and breaking through the barrier. Hero tried
to knock them away as he tried to avoid them. He got immediately
exhausted by amount of stakes coming from the sky.
Even so he endured through it, because he is a Hero. He continued to
blocked and avoided the shower of stakes by slipping into the gaps
between them. King Arthur tried to outdo the intrinsic magic Tepes
Rain(Prince Impaler's Entertainment).
But Vlad's magic was more than that. First from the sky now from
the ground.
Breaking through the asphalt under his feet, thick stakes flew out
vigorously.
The scaffold collapses and King Arthur staggered. Sharp stakes drove into
Hero's armor, slightly, but definitely dealing damage.
It's far from fatal, even if the blood was sacrificed
The intrinsic magic didn't realize a complete wall.
To use intrinsic magic without a contract, you should sacrifice hundreds of
people's lives.
Ouka didn't accept the contract with Vlad yet, that's why she was
unable to bring out all of it's power.
But, it was enough for Ouka at the moment.
In the meantime as he was distracted by intrinsic magic, Ouka closed the
distance between them to one meter.
"At this distance this power is enough! It will pierce without being
impaired!"
Guns in both of her hands moved up and shot a pair of anti magical
stakes.
The stakes penetrated the barrier and struck Excalibur's sheath.
The sheath got blown off from King Arthur's waist, and it rotated in the air.
There was no damage to the sheath itself, but in the stakes an anti magical
procedure was inscribed. The sheath soaring in the sky gradually lost it's
shine and fell to the ground.
The barriers, are gone.
Let's go! At this rate if I shot him with stakes I'll win!"
Her heart was full of confidence.
She aimed her gun at Hero's body and put some strength into the the
fingers on trigger.
At this distance she definitely won't miss. She'll move her body somehow.
There's no way she'll lose. It's the decisive blow.
Ouka trusted in her own victory.
But, however,
"Forgiveth, the witch hunt is suspended by order of the king."
At the same time as the voice sounded in back of her head, magic she was
clad in was lost. Power of Vlad in her hands is lost.
She was unable to grasp the situation.
Why?
That question didn't appear in her head. Just,
Victory right in front of her was lost, she was dumbfounded.
The momentary chance disappeared, Ouka was hit by thirst of blood.
Unable to avoid it, Ouka was blown away by Hero's kick.
She smashed into the ground without raising a moan or scream. She finally
stopped after being thrown violently.
Feeling the pain running through her entire body, with her remaining
consciousness she understood she lost.
......it's that man...
Breathing faintly, she had an idea why Vlad's power was lost. She
knew the answer.
Ouka was disqualified from Inquisition, she has been stripped of
Dullahans(Witch Hunters) responsibilities. That means she was forbidden
from usage of Relic Eater. However, when emergency alarm is sounded,
restriction on Relic Eaters are lifted, and Vlad could be available for
use.
But at the last moment, she was stripped from the right to use it by
Chairman, Ootori Sougetsu. Why now of all times. During such a crisis...
Sougetsu abandoned Ouka. Why did he do such a thing, what is he trying
to achieve. Ouka knew it's pointless to pursue truth. An ordinary person
can't understand his intentions.
"............"
There was no more workarounds. Her body cannot move, she has a few
broken bones.
She can't move, and is in pain by just breathing.
Hero goes up to Ouka, and aims his guns muzzle at her forehead.
The light is condensing, and Excalibur's magic bullet is about to be
unleashed at any moment.
Aah......It's over
As enemy was about to use abominable magic she was struck with regret.
Ouka looked towards the red sky.
In the end... I'm going to disappear without doing anything.
Even though she sacrificed everything for the sake of revenge, she is
going to die without fulfilling it. How pathetic. How shameless. She thought
so. However, there was also relief in her heart.
With this, she will be released. As she put her mind at ease, Ouka noticed
something.
...how detestable.
Even though she knew that, easing up like that was fine as well.
Up until now she pushed herself. A weak habit like that became obstinacy,
then a nasty pride, she lived and endured only for a single purpose.
Such a heavy burden expanded in her heart was now lifted. That's why she
could no longer stand up.
After she arrives in afterlife, she will apologize to her family.
I wonder... if they will forgive me
Ouka worked hard, she wondered if she'll get praised.
She shed tears hoping for that, Ouka was really pathetic.
It was end to Ouka's everything, she lied on her back and closed her eyes.
The world's curtain lowered, darkness arrived.
However, the bell that marks the end didn't arrive. Instead
Who will let it end like this!
She heard a voice from somewhere, Ouka opened her eyes slightly.
"Kusanagi Double-Edged Style"
Reflected in eyes that gave up on everything, between shattered debris
and glass was a valiant figure.
That figure overlapped with the twilight's moon, flying in the air.
"That idiot..."
Ouka, murmured.
Why did he come, she said to herself in her heart in a tearful voice.
"Mantis slope...!"
A roar.
The right shoulder of the hero that was about to shot with Excalibur was
powerfully slashed once from above by the guy that was falling from the
fifth floor of school building while dutifully shouting the technique name. He
rolled forward as soon as he jumped out, and he performed the attack
while rotating like a wheel.
He cut with a honed blade, his own body weight in addition to the weight of
large horse-slaying sword
[9]
and a centrifugal force from the rotation. A
blow that was further amplified by free-fall.
As expected, the Hero suffering such a blow staggered backward and fell.
Ouka saw that fool's absurdly outrageous swordplay from behind his back,
as she was faintly conscious.
It was a really big back. That's why, she felt like she could leave everything
to him, a very reliable back.
And the idiot in question, was holding a sword in order to protect Ouka and
stood against the Hero.
"Ouka, are you okay?"
Without looking back, Takeru asked.
"......Why."
Why did you come, asked Ouka.
"Isn't it obvious, to save you from dying. Rather than dying, you better look
how I slaughter this guy."
With his back to her, Takeru says that forcefully. Ouka frowns painfully.
"Run away...it's impossible for you..."
"We won't know until I try it."
"Are you retarded... something like... a sword, what can it do."
Protesting against Ouka's words, Takeru said while drawing an arc by his
mouth.
"...Then look properly."
"............uhh?"
"Promise me. If I defeat this guy, you will let me help you out with your
revenge."
He poised with his katana horizontally, full of confidence.
And,
And standing in front of his sworn enemy, and glared at him looking like
a demon.
"Hey~.. it seems like one of my members has been in your care."
"............"
"It's been a long time since I felt like this. And I have forgotten, but it still
feels disgusting."
He slowly raised the sword that was set up horizontally to match his line of
sight.
And he gripped the handle more elaborately, compressing his strength to
the very limit.
"Thank you Mr-Hero, you reminded me of my old instincts."
Takeru's anger accumulated and, saying one thing,
"Beating up one of my comrades... there's no way I'll let you off...!"
"Kusanagi's Double-Edged Style initiate, Kusanagi Takeru. Present at the
battlefield"
An explosion.
"Shall subjugate you, no questions allowed!"
Then, the bloodthirst that slept within Kusanagi Takeru for a long time.
Hearing his roar, Ouka was reminded of the warped feeling she had two
years ago.
Aah...I see...I remember now..."
She recalled an image from the past,
Middle school second-year, first lesson.
A team deathmatch against other classmates.
The last one versus one duel.
An idiot oddly confident in his swordsmanship.
...It's that guy..."
That courtesy from before, that strike, and that outburst.
Mantis Slope is a technique performed by jumping rotating from a high
place, creating a destructive power like a cannon, by using centrifugal
force and body weight. Death awaits those who don't defend themselves
from it. A direct hit exerts tremendous destructive power.
The opponent is a Hero. He's covered with an armor made out of metal,
even though it's unsure whether it's gold or steel. Obviously, there's only a
little crack on his shoulder.
Tough. Very tough.
But Takeru still felt positive.
No matter how small scratch it is. No matter how trivial it is. The fact that
he's hurtmeans that he can be cut apart.
Rebuilding his posture, Hero held the gun again.
Halfway up, Hero shot from his gun. Tiles under his feet, *bagong* a sound
of hoarded magic power being released spread.
Takeru immediately avoided by jumping away. His behavior is really easy
to understand if you look closely. The charge up time is long, predicting his
movements is easy. He didn't need to use Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping
Sword) .
However, the bullet speed was odd. It was equal or even greater than that
of a real railgun. Even after you've successfully avoided, you are
unconsciously scared by the shockwave from behind.
"Thenn!"
Sinking his body low, Takeru carried the sword with his right arm. He
kicked off the ground strongly, and got closer to Hero by using Battle
Rush. He lifted his arm carrying a sword high up as he jumped, swinging
at enemy's shoulder with all of his body weight.
*tsugin!!*
The exact same location as the first sword cut. He with slashed the blade
between the cracks.
*bikibiki* The crack expanded noisily .
"Good!"
Definitely positive. The hero staggered backwards once again.
Takeru used the chance as the enemy landed on the ground to make
distance from him.
He contacted Ikaruga by the intercom.
"Suginami, do you know anything about the enemy?"
"I looked into the remaining records from surveillance cameras, it's really
interesting. Speaking of the magical performance the enemy's weapon is
Magical Heritage Excalibur, but the body of the weapon is certainly a
modern railgun. It was arranged so that it can be used as a sword as well,
but it's mostly the same structure modern Alchemists use. That means it's
a railgun with Excalibur's ability. It's really interesting and worth resea"
"I don't need that info! I need it's movement patterns or weakness!"
"Its rate of fire should be low, the same as the prototypes. It takes a few
seconds for it to cool down by thermorunaway before it fires again. The
electrical conductor is probably generating magnetic field by passing magic
power instead of electricity. Magical procedure can be applied as long
as"
"So I just have to get close, I won't get hit by it if I'm right under him."
"Be careful. It's still original Excalibur in close quarters! It can still use it's
ability."
"If it's close quarters combat I won't lose!"
Declaring that confidently, he activated Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping
Sword) .
Not thinking about the burden on his body, he thrown himself forward at
one stretch.
Even though he had much faster reaction time than enemy, the hero
switched his stance from shooting to close combat in emergency and
thrusted upward from below.
As expected of King Arthur, the renowned knight, it was a really sharp cut.
Skills aside, the enemy is much taller than Takeru.
Takeru saw through the thrust from below, extending the katana in front he
rammed forward instead of pulling back.
High pitched sound of blades clashing.
In a direct clash, the horse-slaying sword made out of adamantium would
not hold out. And prior to that, Takeru's body would have been blown away
by the impact.
Therefore, Takeru parried the Hero's sword wastelessly. He placed his
blade to match the enemy attack, and the power flowed behind him.
The impact of the blow and the magical power were released behind
Takeru.
Inside the fierce wind, upon stepping under the Hero. Takeru returned the
blade in an instant and gripped it with opposite hand.
And then utilizing his legs, he slammed his blade into enemy's left limb as
he jumped.
A blow that used the power of entire body, although only slightly, it was
enough to lift the Hero's body.
"Oooooh!!!!"
While raising a roar Takeru rammed towards the staggering Hero.
*Dun*, with a heavy sound Hero fell down on his back.
Takeru didn't miss the opportunity and withdrawn backwards vigorously as
he fell.
"Usagi! Now!"
At that moment, on the roof of school building in a distance. Something
flashed.
Three gunshots sounded and shortly afterwards something passed in front
of Takeru when he jumped back.
Violent sound of direct hit even more intense than the gunshot's. The fallen
Hero's body sank into the ground.
Three shots in a row. Snipe from a long distance. And all three bullets
directly hit entering the crack.
From 12th floor of first school building. Observing Takeru's and Hero's
battle from long distance.
There in prone position was Saionji Usagi, holding Ikaruga's special
anti-material rifle frowning in shock caused by the rebound.
Impatience and anxiety is clearly visible on her face. At the very last
moment, Usagi's bad habit surfaced again.
Two shots in a row were hit after the first bullet, she was anxious. What if
one of them hit Takeru?
What if the next shot misses, and Takeru will be caught by enemy
exploiting that opportunity? What if they lose the battle because of her?
Right now, inside Usagi there was tremendous amount impatience and
anxiety.
"Usagi, you okay?"
The moment Ikaruga entered, Usagi clicked her tongue.
"What's up with this gun... I thought my body will fall apart from rebound."
"The bullets are a little special. I tried to use rare Orichalcum, but it was
too heavy and didn't fly so far. So I used high quality explosives to give it
propulsion causing it to have a big recoil."
"As expected, another outrageous illegal modification..."
With an angry mark on her head Rabbit answered via intercom.
"It's not like I modified it for fun, if it isn't at least this much it won't hurt
that thing. Look, the power is bigger than expected thanks to
Orichalcum."
That being said. She looked through the heavy rifle's scope, she saw the
enemy sunk into the asphalt. In the place where the crack on shoulder's
armour was, there was something like a large crater broken in there.
Ridiculous firepower.
But, dealing with such a powerful rifle terrified Usagi.
If she hits any ally with it, it won't end at that degree of having legs or arms
being blown off. The entire body will be blown apart.
Imagining that scene, Usagi's hands are trembling violently.
"......ugh."
"...Are you scared?"
"That's..."
She tried to deny, but she stopped. It can't be helped in such a situation,
scary things are scary.
Enemy wasn't terrifying. The most terrifying thing for Usagi when sniping
is, mistakenly shooting an ally.
During the Trackless Psalms case, she tried to do something when
Takeru was in a pinch and ended opening friendly fire in a hurry.
It's not something Usagi is doing on purpose. She isn't playing around, but
that's not an excuse. If she fails this time, she won't have anyone to excuse
herself to.
It's different from that time. This is powerful live ammunition. Missing is no
longer a joke.
Usagi thought, that what Ouka said before was right. You can't trust a
sniper who has a risk of shooting his allies. She didn't even trust herself.
Trembling increased, the rifle was making rattling noises.
"I know it's scary, if I were in your position I wouldn't be able to snipe like
this."
"...uuuu"
"Kusanagi can only fight at close combat. He has to rush in really close.
The gun that I made has a lot of factors that lower the accuracy. So what if
you miss, the responsibility lies together with me and Kusanagi as well."
Because we're comrades. Even though Ikaruga didn't say that, Usagi felt
as if she heard that.
The trembling subsided slightly.
Furthermore through the radio she heard a desperate voice.
""!! Usagi!"
"...Kusanagi."
Despite being in combat, Takeru contacted her.
Despite being in the middle of combat, she heard Takeru's rough breath.
Usagi looked down for a moment.
"...What's happening, Usagi."
"Kusanagi.. are you... are you not scared?"
"Ugh! Scared of what?"
"That I... that I might hit you by mistake... are you not afraid?"
If she hits Takeru mistakenly, she imagines that he'll be blown apart. Usagi
bites her lip scared.
But despite her own fear, Takeru,
"Nooooooope not scared at all!"
Clearly and vigorously said that.
Her pupils teared up, as a start Usagi looked up.
"You will watch over me. You will protect me."
"............"
"I know how skilled you are, I also know that you're the one that puts in
the most effort. That's why"
"......"
"I can assure you that there's noone else who is more reliable than
you."
Takeru is dancing on the ground. Grasping a katana, not leaving the
enemy's side. Looking dignified, he fought valiantly.
Why does he leave his life in my hands.
That's because he believes in Saionji Usagi's sniping skills.
The wind carried the sounds of the clash far away.
Usagi changed her position and stood up, she lifted the rifle. The heavy
rifle's weight was 10 kilograms or more. But now for Usagi, it was no time
to complain about weight, she had to protect the trust she has obtained.
She connected her belt at her waist with hooks that were made by Ikaruga
in advance, the safety line was wrapped around the railing on the roof to
prevent her body being blown off.
She placed barrel on the railing and pulled the bolt. She aligned her eye
with the scope in an unreasonable posture, she matched her reticle
against enemy.
"Distance is 200 meters... Wind speed and wind direction... no, at this
distance neither wind speed not temperature matters. Eh...? 200 meters...?
What's 200 meters?"
Immediately she showed surprise, a shocked laugh came out from Usagi's
mouth.
"What is...this... What have I been doing."
Pathetic, she laughed at herself. Yes, pathetic. Calling 200 meters sniping
is impudent.
Such a thing, can't be called sniping.
An inquisition's veteran would make a hole in human's brain at this
distance.
"This is laughable, isn't this really easy."
At the same time as she made that declaration, she held her breath.
With strong momentum breaking through space. The bullet hit abdomen of
Hero who tried to stand up.
The overwhelming shot covered field of view with white smoke, handheld
barrel jumped upwards with recoil, the belt supporting her body also
threatened with being blown off, and making clattering noise.
However, it was not blown off.
*Kan*!
Usagi jumped up with sheer willpower and submerged guts, and at the
same time she reloaded by pulling the bolt. She slammed the barrel onto
the handrail thinking.
"I am no longer a march hare...!"
[10]
"
One shot after another in rapid succession. Immediately after Takeru's
attacks she hit the grazes.
*Kan*!!
"I am no longer a rabbit chased by wolves...!"
*Kan*!!!
Usagi's aim does not falter.
Bouncing back with the recoil of the barrel was no big deal for Saionji
Usagi.
*Kan*!!!!
"I am Antimagic Academy's 35th Test Platoon's sniper!"
She chanted simultaneously as she shot, she was shooting with rapid-fire.
Pain and shock attacked her every time she fired, but Usagi's aim didn't
shake.
She simply aimed and sniped.
At that one thing, Usagi was a genius.
As long as her heart is calm, the world she sees through the scope is
Saionji Usagi's kingdom.
"Kuhh!"
After repelling a blow, Takeru's body bent backwards.
Because of repeated clashes, a critical opening was born.
The renowned Hero didn't miss it. He instantly approached and reached
out to Takeru.
He slashed with Excalibur upwards once more.
The distance was zero. Even parrying was impossible now.
But Takeru was in no hurry, he ambushed the enemy with confidence.
Because,
*whoosh*
As if grazing his nose, a bullet crushing everything on it's path passed by.
And it was a perfect, direct hit on the Hero's temple.
Hero staggered to the side severely, his posture broke.
"Hahaha, she really is amazing after all!"
There were several times when he saw Usagi hitting the practice targets,
but it was the first time he was able to adore it in actual battle.
Timing was also perfect. Whether long distance, or close combat
comrades supported each other. They perfectly kept it up until now.
Probably, when it comes to accuracy she was better than Ouka.
Upon receiving rain of armor-piercing bullets, Hero's body was violently
scraped. Although armor appeared to be only on the surface, it was fairly
thick. But the crack continued to spread from shoulders to waist. It was
slowly collapsing.
If they keep it up they'll defeat him, at the beginning possibility of victory
was small. Now it's within arm's reach.
"I shall reload! Follow up!"
After listening to communication from Usagi, Takeru tried to charge to
close combat. At that time,
There was a change in Hero's movements. The gun that was held up until
now, was suddenly stabbed onto the ground. He held up his hand's on the
stabbed gun, the two eyes on the doll-like mechanical face shined.
"Our destiny is eternal glory. Let us advance together on the path of
chivalry. My comrades separated from me. My knights. I summon you here
in the name of the gathering's oath
A distorted mechanical voice sounded making an eerie chant. Suddenly a
big magic circle appears around the Hero.
"?!"
Takeru stopped his feet vigilant.
"Run away! He's going to use intrinsic magic! We don't have
countermeasures against it! Hurry up and run! It's the best choice
available!"
Hearing Ikaruga's desperate voice, Takeru instantly moved.
Retreat. Retreat for now. That was the only thing in his head.
Takeru withdrawed and approached e thunmoving Ouka. He immediately
checked her status. With these legs she couldn't even stand up.
"I'm fine... leave me... run away!"
Takeru picked her up without saying anything.
"Hyaa?! Y-y-you!"
"Shut up! You'll bite your tongue!'
"Leave me! Escape alon"
"I came here to protect you! Now that you know, shut up and let me save
you!"
"......"
Holding her in so-called princess-carry. Takeru ran while holding Ouka.
She had a bright red face and attempted to release herself. But she could
not do that in this situation.
She nestled herself quietly by his chest and endured.
Takeru couldn't afford even a blush.
As he ran away, a chill went down his spine.
"...this is bad..."
He had an unpleasant hunch. Uneasiness, foreboding, sixth sense.
Inside Takeru's brain, something like an instinct set off alarm sirens inside
his head, a sense of danger.
"Usagi, run away."
"What happenedall of a sudden"
Usagi subconsciously responded, Takeru let Ouka down from his hold.
"...Kusanagi?"
Ouka looked up at Takeru's face.
She saw that his face was devoid of colour. It was more appropriate to call
it a shadow of death, it was nearly transparent. His facial expression
relayed one thing, I have to protect, that's what he desired.
Ringing sounded, Ouka tried to call Takeru's name again the next
moment.
"Knights of the Round"
Beside the Hero who finished the chant, shadows of people who shouldn't
have been there appeared.
Eleven knights emerged.
Takeru sensed a crisis, he poised with a sword and activated
Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword) .
A moment of silence. A split second of silence.
When silence came to an end, the school building that acted as a wall for
Takeruwas blown away.
In the slow-motion world, Takeru witnessed it.
Breaking the school building apart, a figure of a brilliant knight rushing
while scattering magic power.
The Knight stabbed with his sword, a very nasty blow. Even with
Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword) activated, he couldn't keep up
with it's speed.
Speaking of what Takeru was able to do, he used force at an expanse of
his bones and muscle, only to deflect the enemy's rapier away from Ouka.
He was only able to shift the direction enemy rushed towards.
Immediately after succeeding in shifting the direction, as the aftermath the
wave of magic from the blow struck Takeru.
The suicidal attack against the summoned knight made out of light,
demolished the entire school building.
The rush of eleven knights who had scattered in four direction and became
a mass of light heavily damaged the academy.
Several school buildings have turned into rubble, the roof Usagi was
standing on was blown away.
Excalibur's intrinsic magic, Knights of the Round
This magic summoned by a pseudo-hero, Reproduced the strongest
strike of eleven knights serving King Arthur. That's what was released.
The first thing Takeru saw after opening his eyes, was sky dyed by sunset.
Takeru survived the strongest blow of the hero somehow, he felt a
discomfort in his body. Strangely, his body didn't feel cold nor pain.
Moving his neck, Takeru far behind him saw a fallen girl.
Ouka seemed safe, he confirmed that she was breathing.
There was no problem with Usagi either, although it seemed distant, he
could hear a tearful voice coming from intercom. All platoon members
seemed safe.
"For now...that...'s good..."
He smiled helplessly at himself.
Takeru already noticed, on top of his head, was his lower half of the body.
It didn't move even if he tried to.
The upper body alone, couldn't even crawl.
"Shit... as expected... It's impossible."
Now that he thought about it, it was magic with risk classified as S-rank. It
was crazy to think he can win against a summoned Hero. He did well, he
tried to comfort himself. Takeru's heart was clouded.
Because originally, Takeru was a sore loser.
"The worst...I'm about to die...shit."
He could hardly breathe, he tried to eyes, curtains have dropped. The end
is near.
"...dammit..."
He afforded to spit out a curse, as a remainder.
"...showing off...in a place...like this..."
In an attempt to clear the hazy view, he lowered his eyelids.
"......Not yet...I still...here....do..."
He looked vacantly at the sunset that was about to end.
At that time, suddenly.
Suddenly he saw an azure-coloured human shape.
That figure looked down from above on fallen Takeru.
Stare, an inquiring gaze looked down.
...this child...from shopping mall...why in such a place...
This place is dangerous.
Attempted to say that but no voice came out, he breathed air in painfully.
Takeru's life, at this moment, was about to close its curtains.
"Mr. Kusanagi Takeru I shall resume the contract."
These were the last words Takeru heard.
Part 4
Question number two. Do you have any intention of exterminating
witches?
A voice was heard, a contract begins in the abyss.
Takeru no longer opposed the questions. He was no longer had freedom
to do it.
That's why he answered. He only could answer.
I promise. I will exterminate evil witches.
Question number three. For the sake of your own goal, will you discard
yourself?
Yeah, if it's worth it, I will discard everything.
Question number four. For the sake of your goal, will you discard
something you hold dear?
You must be joking.
The last question. You...
............
You... for the sake of defeating enemy, will you discard your humanity?
............
............
Yeah, I'll discard it.
The contract has been completed.
Please pull the trigger.
Just as he has been told, Takeru pulled the trigger.
Before he knew it, he pulled the trigger of the sword.
"Host "Kusanagi Takeru" verifying authorization.
Performing operative procedures.
Injecting Magic, starting erosion.
Repairing damaged parts. Time required for reconstruction process
Five seconds.
Repair, no problem both are compatible. 100% Matching rate.
Witch Hunter complete."
Along with monotone voice, a heavy bass echoed.
Takeru feeling his body moving a in the darkness, opened his eyelids.
"Host, please wake upit's time for witch hunting."
With a tone like an alarm clock, sounds a monotone voice.
Shutupppp...don't have to tell me, I'm already awake.
Feeling ridiculous discomfort, he got up disgruntled
"Summis desiderantes affectibus Malleus Maleficarium"(I require
and desireThe hammer given to the witch)
Chapter 5 Witch Hunter of Twilight
Part 1
The Hero summoned to real world. King arthur confirmed silence of second
threat. He advanced towards first threat, Ouka immediately
His purpose is breaking into detention facilities. He does not have
consciousness but to follow his orders he preferentially chose to kill Ouka,
because she's a threat to execution of his primary goal.
After he kills this girl, no threats will be left. He will hurry towards his
destination, after he self-destructs and destroys all witchhunting troops with
his magic power the objective will be complete.
Hero intends pierce sleeping Ouka with a sharp edge of his gun.
Now, he tries to pierce her throat.
That's when,
Hero detected a new threat, he shot a magic bullet from Excalibur as he
turned around.
It flies towards the new threat in a linear trajectory as soon as it appears.
A direct hit. Clearly a direct hit.
It was suppposed to be.
But the magical bullet shot by the Hero didn't reach the target despite
being a direct hit.
A flash. A horizontal swing, a phenomenon as if severing space and time.
Magical bullet which was concentrated magic was bisected.
And it has disappeared.
Hero looked.
Appeared in front of him, capturing the unidentified.
Answer cannot be obtained. Different from a human. Different from a witch.
The one unidentified referred to is clearly a threat, that is the answer Hero
acquired.
An azure-coloured armoured knight.
Referred to the with the same epithet as the Hero himself.
That is, just a threat.
A threat to all of us who are engaged with magic.
His ego disappeared, there was only fear in Hero.
Armoured knight clad in azure particles, set up an azure longsword.
The moment armoured knight's pupils sparkled eerily, at speed that even
with power of the Hero won't allow him to catch the threat, the Hero was
blown away by a kick.
Part 2
Immediately after awakening, Takeru ran towards the Hero who tried to kill
Ouka.
Whatever happened, not knowing what happened to him, he just ran to
help her.
The enemy turns his attention to him, his body moves and he fires in order
to dispose of him.
Its Excalibur which boasted of tremendous power! The magic bullet was
bisected by Takeru's slash with ease.
Before he noticed, he has blown the Hero away with a kick.
When his sense of self returned to him, the mystery surged into his brain.
"...what, what did I become...?"
He was suddenly struck by anxiety, he saw himself poising with a sword.
He should have his uniform, his skin, but there was no body anywhere.
What was there, was himself covered in azure-coloured substance.
And grasped in both hands, an azure-coloured sword.
Takeru unconsciously got scared by his own appearance.
"Good morning, host. It might be abrupt, but please fight."
He suddenly heard a flat voice in his head, Takeru was further agitated.
"...What is this? What happened?..."
Not remembering anything, Takeru put his hand on his head.
He seems to have become weird, he was uneasy.
"I am sorry for disturbing you, my official name is The Malleus
Maleficarum Type-Twilight "Mistilteinn""
"...what?"
"In short, please call me Mistletoe. Also my nicknames are Lapis
Lazuli and Lapis."
"...Lapis?"
"I am one of Inquisition's Relic Eaters Series only Dullahans(Witch
Hunters) are allowed to use. You have been choosen as my owner."
"............Ha?"
Thinking he heard a mistakenly, he asks again.
He of course heard of Relic Eaters only Dullahans(Witch Hunters)
are qualified to use.
A Magical Heritage only those with exceptional achievements are allowed
to use. An overwhelming force against those that are involved with magic,
a special Magical Heritage that has been made for the sake of eradicating
witches.
Why did such a thing end up in hands of Takeru who is only a student.
"Panpakapaaaan. Congratulations."
With a flat voice he heard somewhere before, Lapis sent him a
congratulatory message and a fanfare.
A voice that sounded like it contained power, Takeru unconsciously
worried.
"...what congratulations...I don't understand the situation. Students are not
permitted to use Relic Eaters are they. Is this a dream? It's definitely a
dream."
"I have gotten permission from Ootori Sougetsu. There's a
communication incoming from him, connecting."
Before he can reply, the voice in his brain went silent, *bssht* sound
reached his ear.
"It's not a dream, Kusanagi-kun."
"...Chairman? This, what does this mean... why me"
"Calm down, you probably know it but Relic Eater cannot be granted to
anyone but Dullahans(Witch Hunters) . In fact every Relic Eater besides
that girl is in possessed by a Dullahan(Witch Hunter)."
Sougetsu spoke faster than usual from excitement.
Takeru responded with "haa".
"However, it's the Relic Eater that's choosing an owner. And only that
child did not choose an owner. I was troubled by this. I am also the
Chairman of Inquisition Board, I want to use all force we have to eradicate
the witches."
"............"
"In the first place, the reason I invited you to this Academy is because
you were the best candidate for contract with Mistilteinn."
It can't be, he thought.
However, thinking about it, the fact that he was allowed to enroll in
Antimagic Academy was strange from the beginning.
No battle ability besides close quarters combat, Takeru's written practicals
were annihilation as well, he shouldn't be allowed to enter no matter how
you slice it.
If there was a recommendation from Chairman, that solved the mystery.
"...Why me? There have to be other people that are more qualified for it,
right?"
"Because Mistilteinn is a Relic Eater that only takes form of a sword. "
With that said, Takeru looked at the thing in his hand.
Certainly, it's a sword.. He has read in textbooks that all Relic Eaters are
Magical Heritages in form of a gun before.
"The necessary ability is not shooting ability... It's close combat capacity,
that means people like you are most suitable. "
"...That's why, it's me?"
Takeru squeezed the sword in his hands, Mistilteinn. Faintly feeling
excitement in his heart.
Takeru sensed,
Sougetsu was laughing and grinning as they communicated.
"Indeed. That child can only be handled by people like you. It's your own
special Relic Eater."
"............"
"Kusanagi-san... I want you to use that child, and defeat the Hero. It
can't be done by anyone else than you. That is, if you can do it. "
Takeru further squeezed Mistilteinn harder.
Lines said by Sougetsu felt cowardly. Being told such a thing, no man
would stay silent.
When it comes to talent for stirring people, he was a genius.
But, there's no time for that.
Takeru had a reason to defeat that Hero as well.
"If you realize this wish of mine, on behalf of Inquisition Board, I will send
you thanks. If you somehow defeat the Hero, I'll grant one wish for you. "
"............"
"Let's see, maybe qualification to become a Dullahan(Witch Hunter)?
You were aspiring to join Spriggans(Knights), but if you want to make
money, Dullahan would be much more efficient. "
Takeru frowned hearing Sougetsu's proposal.
"No need for that."
Low, obviously hostile voice.
Takeru looked at Ouka who has fainted and fell down on the ground.
Her body was battered. Her face was pale. They were traces of the last
shot from the gun.
And, traces of tears.
Anger rushing from within Takeru, *gichiri* he grasped the sword.
"Sorry, but I can't trust you."
Takeru said that clearly.
In the first place, there's lots of things he wanted to question Sougetsu for.
About Ouka, why didn't the Dullahan(Witch Hunter) mobilize and student's
were called out to defend, and above all Takeru with a Relic Eater! It's too
much for him to be a candidate, it was puzzling to the point it turned into
anger. In the first place, before he entered this Academy and met the man
called Ootori Sougetsu, he felt that he was a ruthless and cool headed
man.
That matter became a decisive blow.
This man who was contacting him was existence like a trump's joker.
"I have no intention of becoming your puppet, I am not going to enter let
myself be used by you. My power is my own, and it serves my own
purposes."
"You didn't even try to save Ootori... I won't forgive such a thing."
As he said that, he felt that Sougetsu was grinning happily on the other
side.
"Oh...? Is it really okay? I'm certain that you came to this Academy to"
"Shut up."
His tone got rough. Just like when he first met Ootori Sougetsu. When he
enrolled in the Academy.
"And thereTell me.
Roared quietly like a demon.
Then, Sougetsu responded with a muffled laughter.
"Whaat, and here I thought you rehabilitated completely when I saw you
before, wolves in sheep clothing huh. Both you, and Ouka. Really
diffcult."
"............"
"Fine, it doesn't matter. If you really are fine with that."
Right now, Takeru didn't care for Dullahan(Witch Hunter) qualfication.
There were more important things for Takeru.
"Thanks...I'll leave it at that. Kusanagi-kun, I wish you luck in battle."
The communication was cut, silence came.
Takeru tensed his body, and re-gripped the sword.
"Enemy restarted confirmed, host, prepare for battle."
As Lapis said, Hero that has been blown far away, King Arthur came back
dragging his tattered body.
Apparently, the damage accumulated considerably.
From head to feet he was beat up all over, he really looked horrible.
"Allow me to briefly explain my performance."
"What's with this body? Are you not a sword-type Magical Heritage?"
He looked at his body which looked like a powered suit that tightly fit the
body, and asked the question.
"Host, currently intrinsic magic of Relic Eater, enhanced theWitch
Hunter's body. Bodily strength... everything besides the brain's reaction
rate. It's possible to derive greater force than that of an ordinary person."
He didn't hope for it in the first place. The thing he needed, was
strengthening of the body.
Because human body cannot keep up with brain's performance and
reaction speed, in order to use complete Kusanagi Double-Edged Style,
inhuman bodily strength beyond was needed.
What Mistilteinn just said, was the optimal for Takeru.
"SuspendingEnemy firing from the front."
Even without Lapis saying it, Takeru took a stance already.
Activating Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword), he prepared for
interception. Enemy aimed Excalibur at him trying to hit him with a magical
bullet.
"Avoiding is not necessary, please cut."
In the slow-motion world, voice sounded directly to his brain.
Believing Lapis's words he prepared to cut the magical bullet with the
sword.
When the powerful attack hit. He felt vibration from the sword, he swung
the sword just like that.
Simultaneously as that, the magical bullet disappeared and landed by the
King's feet.
King Arthur got hit by his own magical bullet and took damage again.
"I see...."
His body moves smoothly even if he triggers Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping
Sword), and the magic repelling sword.
Takeru confirmed his prey. There was one more thing to check, the
physical sharpness.
"Lapis... you, as a sword how sharp are you?"
Asking frankly, Takeru spoke to Lapis.
"How much can you withstand my moves?"
He asked again.
A certain squid guru said that the bigger the prey is, the sharper the blade
has to be. He needed correspondingly sharp sword.
"Please, do not worry. No matter what happens I will definitely not
break."
Immediately, Lapis answered.
She said that oddly strong, Takeru was confused by it a little.
"I also assure you of the sword's sharpness. Something like Orichalcum
might as well be tofu. As for anti-magic effect, I take pride in it and am first
class goods. I am completely different from that Excalibur-like fake.
Although slightly inferior in terms of amount of produced magic power, in
close combat there is absolutely no problem. "
"? I-I see."
"One more thing. I am able to change shape into any shape as long as it
is a sword. It can be said that my versatility as a Magical Heritage is
unrivaled. Please say so if you wish for it."
Despite lack of intonation, he felt as he was strangely clearly pronounced.
...Is she angry?
Takeru said in a low voice,
"Then... a nodachi."
[11]
He cleared his throat.
"Approved. Please pull the trigger. At top of the handle, just below the
collar."
Just as he has been told, Takeru pulled the gun's trigger that's attached to
the handle.
In just a moment, the long sword changed it's shape, it changed to nodachi
as requested by Takeru. The sword was mystically shining with azure. He
narrowed his eyes, and his mouth drew an arc happily.
"I see, it's definitely convenient."
Convenient, meaning of the spoken word was just as it was said.
Mistilteinn can become any type of sword, Kusanagi style can use any type
of sword.
If you can change instantly depending on situation, this kind of thing is
definitely very convenient.
"For me, you are convenient as well."
"What do you mean?"
"I cannot be handled by average swordsmen. Even with the given strong
body, the normal reaction speed of brain is too slow. As a certain squid
guru said, there's a limit to ordinary humans."
"...I see, in other words you."
Knowing his power, she chose him.
Takeru's mood has gotten better.
Selected by a sword. For a swordsman, he was never so happy.
"Lapis."
"Yes."
"I'm counting on you."
"Yes, host."
They recognized each other briefly, and Takeru bolted towards the enemy.
"Another bullet, incoming."
As Lapis supported, the Hero rose up and fired magical bullet in a split
second.
There's no tricks.
"Fuu!!"
Triggering Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword), he clashes with magical
bullet.
As if saying that the same attack will not work, Takeru warded off a bullet.
But the same attack didn't work for him either.
In the slow-motion world, Takeru saw it.
Despite avoiding the deflected bullet by a hair's breadth, a large form that
was about 3 meters away from the enemy fell apart.
For a moment, he didn't know what happened.
"Enemy purged his armour there."
At the same time as Lapis reported, from the armour that fell apart. A
human form of the size of an adult male jumped out.
"Fast!"
Takeru swung his sword instantly, he warded off the enemy attack.
*Giiiinnn*!!
Excalibur and Mistilteinn clashed. Tremendous amount of sparks flew. The
humanoid figure that appeared, had a doll-like figure.
"The enemy's insides are golem's made by alchemy. It's a doll with a
soul of a Hero inside."
"...Despite being a doll, this guy is quite good..."
"That's because inside is King Arthur. It's obvious that his strength
transcends humans. Apparently the creator is pretty good, it's well adapted
to movements of King Arthur."
"A doll or whatever, a Hero is a Hero you mean...!"
The competition reaches its apex, he repels the blade with power of his
entire body. Immediately after, the transcendental clash happened.
Intense sparks and metallic sound scattered. Normal people wouldn't be
able to pursue them with their eyes.
Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword) was already activated. The speed of
the two people exchanging blows was as fast as a bullet or faster.
There was no significant difference between King Arthur and Takeru, both
of their bodies physical abilities benefited from Magical Heritage.It's really
hard to deal his extraordinary arms.
But,
"Gaaaaa!!"
Between Kusanagi's Double-Edged style and sword of King Arthur, there is
a crucial difference in concept.
Sword of the King is made to fight against people.
Kusanagi Double Edged style was made to cut against those who are not
human.
As he dodged an attack,
That difference was reflected in reality.
When it came to weight of blowsTakeru was clearly winning.
Without regard for his own consumption. Without regard for his own
injuries. A sword without regard to his own life.
The sword putting an end to those who are not human. Takeru swings it
against those who are not human. It's destructive power is like demons
with an iron club.
A downward cut explodes on King Arthur's right shoulder.
The blade that reached the right shoulder, cut off the right arm.
Takeru withdrew his sword and unleashed powerful thrust.
But, despite losing his right arm,
King Arthur aims Excalibur towards the ground and fires a magical bullet.
"Guh!!"
Magical power collides with the ground and scatters, an impact assaults
Takeru's body.
Takeru makes some distance and fixed his posture.
The moment he distanced himself, golden magical circle appeared under
King Arthur's feet.
Magical power started rising and concentrating on Excalibur.
Takeru feels chills he already experienced before, he's wary.
"Intrinsic magic, incoming.."
"In that case I'll take him down before it activates!"
"It's futile. Opponent is aware of his vulnerability during chant. Magical
power is used to maintain activity, in other words, King Arthur is turning his
own magic into a barrier."
"Me and you, can't we break through it?"
"It is possible, it won't take long now until the chant completes. King
Arthur is using all of the magic power generated by Excalibur and his own
magic power, this gives him defensive capability similar to the sheath's. It's
not as powerful as the barrier of the sheath, however that barrier is also
made from significant concentration of magic power. Time we take to
destroy the barrier in default state is thirty seconds. Time left until
activation of intrinsic magic is ten seconds.."
"...what do we do?"
He might aspire to be an Inquisitor, but magic is not Takeru's specialty.
The only thing he can do is to use Mistilteinn with his sword skills, besides
that he's completely incompetent.
"We shall use intrinsic magic as well, host please pull the trigger and
don't move."
As he been told to, Takeru pulled the trigger and held out his sword.
At that moment, magical square appeared under Takeru's feet along with
particles of azure.
"Who killed Cock Cobin? With my lance, and sword I killed Cock
Robin "
Responding to chant, the blade of katana Takeru poised began to shine in
azure.
"The blade absorbs any magic it comes in contact with, and it converts
the absorbed magic power into damage the moment you attack. It's usage
is impossible at long distance, and whether it hits or not depends on the
ability of host."
"...got it, so I need to destroy the magic that guy is going to unleash."
"Can you do it?"
"Whether it's magic, light, or whatever, as long as enemy is not human."
Takeru lifts up his sword, clad in his pride.
"Smiting those who are not human, the pinnacle of swordsmanship... when
in possession of sword and a body that will not breakKusanagi will
definitely not lose!"
Takeru took a stance, and put power in his whole body.
"I am turning the armour into magic. This action will reduce the defense
capabilities, try to avoid enemy's attacks."
"Got it!"
Glow of King Arthur's and Takeru's magic circle's reached it's peak, the air
screamed around them.
Sparks are crackling and are dispersed around, the ground is shimmering.
And
"Twilight Enchantment"
"Knights of the Round"
Intrinsic magic of two Magical Heritages activated.
At the same time as eleven knights appeared in the vicinity of the enemy,
Takeru activates the completed Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword).
It was no longer dangerous. Because his body is not that of a human. He's
going to exceed the limit.
The world slowed down to the very limit, the reaction rate is at maximum.
More, and more.
Slow down more. Speed up more.
A moment felt like an eternity. His eyes chased after the light
The worldhas been left behind.
"HAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!"
In the world that slowed down to the limit, Takeru dashed towards the
enemy.
The eleven knights also became light and charged towards Takeru in
unison.
Their speed was equal. In this world of fastest, the eleven knights and
Takeru were equal.
Believing Lapis's words, he faced off with eleven knights.
Fended of the thrust of the first one.
Dodged the horizontal blow of the second one and leaped up to destroyed
his head,
Crushed the third one's body with his sword.
Bisected the fourth knight who was shield-bashing him.
Defended himself from simultaneous bow and sword attacks from the fifth
and sixth ones with a sword-drawing technique in a flash.
Battered the seventh knight, who performed a leaping thrust, using his own
thrust from below as he jumped.
Parried the eighth and ninth heavy brilliant skill from behind, and then
reversed his body and bisected them from the waist.
Showered the tenth knight riding on horseback legs with slashing attacks.
Smashed the eleventh - huge knight's attack to the ground head on.
He rushed through the light like a storm, the knights were disappearing
being sucked in by Mistilteinn's blade when hit.
AndTakeru reached the final knight who was waiting, the original King
Arthur.
"Lapis! A huge zweihander!"
"Approved. Mode-Zweihander Enchantment reversal, flexible material
release.."
After pulling the trigger, Mistillteinn changes from a nodachi to an over 10
meters long ridiculously big two-handed sword.
Takeru jumped up incredibly high in the sky with that sword in his hands.
Responding, King Arthur put remaining magic power into Excalibur and
shot it towards the leaping Takeru.
This will be their final clash.
Both of them betting with everything they have, the Hero and the Witch
Hunter.
"Kusanagi Double-Edged Style"
While in the air, Takeru resolved to use the mystery of special technique
he didn't succeed using a single time before.
Possible only when using Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword), a forbidden
technique.
Said to be impossible with human's physical ability, a sword of the variant.
Long time ago, it was said that founder of Kusanagi style used it, what was
left is only a concept of impossible technique.
Unleashing the Soumatou(Magic-Sweeping Sword) to the very limit, a state
where the world is left behind unmoving, by spinning eight times before
slashing, this technique can only be completed.
Such a ridiculous skill, Takeru had confidence to pull it off now. With this
sword, and with this body, it's not impossible for him.
"Yamata no Orochi!"
[12]
Eight slashes unleashed at once.
Neutralizing the magical bullet King Arthur shot, and slashing his body
directly with this unbelievable attack.
Takeru's strongest eight-slash shattered King Arthur's body, a huge crater
appeared in the asphalt.
Impact envelopes surroundings, and everything is dyed in azure.
Magic power collided with magic power, as if morning sun appeared in the
twilight sky, a dazzling light was released.
Part 3
Barely conscious, Ouka watched him.
Wearing azure armour, confronting the enemy head-on, his appearance.
Tears spilled. That appearance of his, became Ouka's hope.
I didn't want to borrow strength of others. Her vengeance was unstoppable.
She didn't want the people involved to get hurt no matter what. That's why
she simply avoided everyone. Loneliness, suffering, pain, she pledged not
to express them no matter what. Saying things that hut other people on
purpose, she distanced herself from others.
But, the truth was,
The truth was, she was about to burst into tears at any moment. She
wanted to find someone who could help her, someone she could depend
on.
Weak, scared, numb it seemed like... was simply lonely.
That's why.
"I told you, because we're comrades."
When she was told that, she was shaken.
"You don't have to put up with it any longer, Ootori."
When she was told that, her heart groaned.
As a human being, Kusanagi Takeru,I will walk together with you."
When she was told that, she was happy.
But she couldn't accept it, rejected it, push it away, and walk alone once
again.
However, even so, Takeru didn't pull out.
"Let me carry half of the burden."
She couldn't find no more reasons to refuse.
Just... leave it to him.
"...Kusa....nagi."
In the middle of azure flame,
Proudly like a knight,
Approached the weak, lonely girl. Takeru reached out to her.
The girl extended her small hands, and overlapped them with his big
hands.
Feeling pain throughout his whole body, Takeru woke up.
The first thing he saw, was twilight sky dyed in azure, and incredibly gentle
face of Ouka.
".....Oo....tori."
"Don't get up, it's fine. Using a Relic Eater consumes significant amount of
life force. You overused it without training. Stay still quietly."
"...I am..."
"You don't remember? After reaching out to me, you fell over immediately."
Takeru recalled everything. As Ouka said, he had no strength left in his
body.
At the same time, he felt a pleasant sensation with the back of his head,
and a chilly sensation on his forehead.
Takeru didn't seem to notice, but it was a situation where he was being
patted on his head while being given a lap pillow by Ouka.
He smiled faintly towards Ouka.
"...Ootori."
"Mm?"
"I won...Ootori...as promised, let me help you out."
In a feeble, gentle voice. Ouka smiled wryly.
"Terribly stubborn, aren't you."
Saying that, Ouka nodded slightly.
Takeru sighed relieved and closed his eyes.
"From now on... don't push yourself alone."
"............"
"I'm with you. Rely on me... you can rely on me whenever you need."
With these words, her eyes narrowed as if about to doze off, in Ouka's
eyes tears pooled faintly.
"...Is it really fine...for me...can that be forgiven..."
"Even if none forgives it,I will forgive it."
Seeing smile on Takeru's face, Ouka's face suddenly reddened slightly. At
the same time, she anxiously faced down.
"Really...can it be done...until now...I was always alone..."
"............?"
"I...don't know how how to relate to people."
Until now, Ouka who has spent everything on her vengeance so relations
with other people were uncharted territory.
Considering how she unreasonably avoided others until now, Takeru
understood. Ouka was even more clumsy than him.
Takeru made a reassuring smile.
"It's all right...it's not only me, even those fellows in the platoon...it will work
out"
"............"
"And if it doesn't...I'll take care of it."
"You will...?"
"Yeah...I won't hold...back..."
After saying that to Ouka, Takeru fell asleep.
Ouka slowly patted his head as he slept.
"If you want to help me out...that's fine."
That's when her expression changed, a first real smile in nine years.
Epilogue
Part 1
X Day, X Month, 2:15 PM. Audio recording number 1274.
"...Onii-chan?"
"Yo, it's been a while. Are you healthy?"
"Mm yes, How about Onii-chan?"
"I'm fine. I can't help but to look forward to the days I can see you."
"Onii-chan... somehow you seem really cheerful today."
"Is that so? Oh well... that's because something good happened."
"Something good?"
"Yeah, thanks to that, I can do my best like I did before."
"...Don't overwork yourself, okay?"
"It's fine. I have you, and... I have good comrades now."
"I have a lot to talk about with you today."
"Something to talk about with me?"
"Yeah. In fact, two years ago"
..................
............
"...It's time. Sorry, brother has to go soon."
"Mm. Thanks brother, as always. It was fun."
"You don't have to thank me. I really wanted to see you."
"I see... ehehe."
............
"Umm, Onii-chan."
"Mm?"
"Will you... come to see me again?"
..................
"Of course? Because I'm your Onii-chan aren't I."
"......Nn!"
Complete.
In accordance to Terms and Conditions, personnel is to perform analysis
on the record, strict safekeeping advised. If a problem is found by the
analysis, perform rapid incineration.
Audio recording number 1274.
Visitor name Kusanagi Takeru.
Inmate name Kusanagi Kiseki.
Part 2
One month after subjugation of the Hero.
"......Mmmm."
"Preparations are complete, Ootori."
"Aa, uhh, All right, all right."
Placing a hand on his chest in front of the platoon's room, he looked on
Ouka who is trembling with nervousness, Takeru scratched his cheek.
Back in January. The fallen Takeru was rescued by Seeley(Healer) troops,
after receiving intensive care for some time absolute rest was mandatory.
Ootori Sougetsu who visited hospital spoke of what will happen to Takeru
in future.
"If you cancel your contract with Lapis, you will die."
"............"
"Oh? How unexpected, that you aren't surprised"
"Well, it's my own body, so somehow..."
"That's good. Your upper and lower body were rejoined with Lapis's
magic power, if the magic supply from her is cut off your body will return to
how it was before. If you don't want to die, you have to do what Inquisition
says."
"...To produce this result, you made students fight instead of dispatching
Dullahans(Witch Hunters), allowed enemy to break through, abandoned
Ouka...in order for Hero to kill me. "
"......Hahahahaha."
"Please don't try to deceive me while laughing."
"Think of it as of me holding your life in my hands. You are allowed to
continue living as a student. As a Relic Eater holder, you might be asked to
participate in missions as a Dullahan(Witch Hunter). You can't refuse."
Sougetsu grinned like a Cheshire cat.
Just as he says, Takeru cannot refuse. He had no reason to give up on his
life.
Even before he heard about that, Takeru already knew. This man called
Ootori Sougetsu wasn't his ally.
He is an enemy......he was confident about that.
Anda week passed, right now
"Kusanagiwhat if it turns out bad after all?!"
"Which time is it that you said that. Just how timid are you!"
"B-but...to suddenly invite them to dinner...? Isn't that usually turned down,
doesn't that sound weird?"
"Not at all! Normally "How about we eat lunch together?" should be
fine!"
"Mmmm. This is hard Kusanagi."
Trembling, Ouka had face as if she wanted to cry.
...What it means is,
"Communication between members is important."
Ouka agreed to Takeru's proposal.
And the situation ended up like this.
Though it's more like she was forced to do it rather than consented,
captains orders.
Because they came to save her, Ouka reluctantly did it.
And thus an unfortunate event happened.
It could be said that Ouka when it came to relating with others was still a
virgin.
Despite usually being dignified and bull...she is no good at this kind of
thing.
He thought whether she was clumsy, but it was beyond that.
It's been already a week like this.
"The important thing is for you to act."
"Guhh...even if you say that..."
"Come on, go in for the time being."
"...Alone?"
"Anyway, practice, practice."
"Uuu..."
Even Takeru who's removed from the community felt like he became an
instructor. He was able to feel superior for the first time.
It was something invaluable, that's what he felt.
"Fuu...fuu...okay."
Ouka breathed in and grabbed the door knob of platoon's room.
Takeru smiled wryly and tried to move towards the window to after
checking on her.
That's when.
*squeeze*...the hem of his uniform was grabbed weakly.
It can't be, his face seems to say as he turns around.
"...maybe... maybe we should go in together after all... you told me you'll
look after me didn't you."
With tears in her eyes and slightly blushing somehow she became really
small and grabbed hem of his uniform.
Takeru thought that such Ouka is really cute.
Oh well, so troublesome.
Only weirdos gathered in Small Fry Platoon, it seemed like it's true after all.
Afterword
If you were blow off to a fantasy world full of violence, what would you
chose as a weapon?
Sword, magic, gun, ax, spear, mace.
There's a lot of them, but it seems like the choice is limited to a gun
because it's the strongest.
In action games and role playing games, when you create your character,
even if you can pick the gun which is the strongest weapon you are still
able to choose other weapons.
But in reality, everyone would choose a gun.
Because they don't want to die.
Being more realistic. Thinking more about realism.
Foreigners would say "Japanese RPG is unrealistic,they're using swords
in the world that has guns, Banzaiattack, harakiri, crazy.".
They have a point. It's unreasonable, and unrealistic.
But, is picking the weapon you love a sin? Really?
Is stubborness evil?
And more than anything, what i want to say is.
Games are already fiction, isn't it fine use a sword?
This book has been completed based on that idea. Actually half of it.
"Things like garterbelt that can hold a gun, an erotic type of gun belt that
can be hidden on the thigh, something like a belt that bites into the thigh a
little, it can't be helped."
Such wordly desires surfaced.
Ouch, don't throw stones at me. Don't throw E**libur at me, i'll cry!
Well, nice to meet you to those who are starting. To the ones who know
me from my previous series, nice to see you again.
I't's Yanagimi Touki,
Was it 9 months since then? I started again unexpectedly early, but still, I
took a while. Sorry.
Well then, the new work "Antimagic Academy 35th Platoon", how was
it?
If it was fun, then I'll dance in joy.
This work was a new esperience to me.
Things like guns, swords, school, platoon, or big breasted lolis.
Because I wasn't really familiar with guns, I thought "What to do if it's
wrong...", it was written while I had mixed feelings about shooting. If i
was wrong, fire at me with M60 or throw stones.
But I'd be really glad if you didn't. Because I'll die.
It was my first time having characters like these.
Character types like Ouka and Takeru, these are girl and boy types I have
never made before.
Having a bad stomach, weak, pathetic, yet strong. A protagonist that is
living nonchalantly but in fact has a dark past.
A strong character that is actually very lonely, in fact it's so bad she's mad
in her sadness.
Or a loli with big breasts.
A character type that wasn't there in my previous works, it's a serious main
character.
You want to hear something serious?
I'm dead serious.
I wanted to say here that I love lolis with big breasts, I ommitted it before
because I would be headshotted by those who life flat chests. Though the
ones who read my previous works should know it, I love flat chests too?
Then now, about the works world's setting, how it's imagined.
Dark ages mixed with moder, how does it feel?
It might be completely different, I think it's written to give off that image.
Developement of science and technology, problem of magic and witches
and Inqusition, a world undergoing transformation.
A fictional war that caused disasters happening, that's the base of it, a
world with story that's quite different from real world.
Fictional things from mythology and legends existing, I expect it to be quite
chaotic.
I leave researching the historical facts in your hands.
Don't bite back at me too much, or I'll cry.
About the other half, that is... since I think there are quite a few people who
start reading from afterword, It would be better if i didn't write it out here.
No, I wont write it? It's for the sake of reader-sama's convenience. Isn't that
obvious, wait, stop it, don't throw stones. I'll cry!
Well, I have glued an afterword somehow, now the customary credits.
First, Ticket, you drawed wonderful illustrations and thighs. At the stage of
character's creation I couldn't close my mouth from amazement. Utilizing
the character's characteristics this much, thank you for giving me an
impression, I was shaking with excitement when I saw it went far beyond
my expectations.
And the one who helped me to sharpen the edges of my rough plan, the
one in charge S-Sama.
Everyone in Fujimi Shobo.
And above all, you readers who have picked up the book.
Well then, I pray that I'll be able to see you in second volume.
Yanagimi Touki.
References
1.
Mochi ha Mochiya - Mochi means rice cake, while
mochiya means rice cake store, in original it means the right person for
the right job, similar to English saying "Horses for courses"
2.
In this case means both shameless and dishonorable, it refers
to how Mistletoe is a parasitic plant shamelessly leeching off the
others.
3.
Tenka Musou Kusanagi-ryu - Tenka Musou
means peerless, Kusanagi-ryu means Kusanagi-style, it can be also
translated in many other ways, but this one is the most accurate one.
4.
Degozaru - in short, an old fashioned way of speaking used by
samurai's and the like.
5.
Kowtow- A form of showing respect by prostration.
6.
This is probably a play on words, it can either mean "takes her
leave" or "blesses you".
7.
Anpanman(link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anpanman)
8.
Basically, he's talking nonsense. Double and triple meanings
everywhere, trying to decipher it would take me a week. The
translation is roughly correct.
9.
Zanbat
10.
A reference to Alice's adventures in wonderland I take it.
11.
Nodachi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nodachi
12.
Yamata no Orochi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamata_no_Orochi
Disclaimer
Under no circumstances would you be allowed to take
this work for commercial activities or for personal gain.
Baka-Tsuki does not and will not condone any activities
of such, including but not limited to rent, sell, print,
auction.
Credits
Story : Yanagimi Touki
Illustrator : Ticket
Translator : krytyk
Generated on Thu Jan 2 12:37:09 2014

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