-SLASHDØG- Chapter 3 Second Half

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Companion/Fourth Person (Conclusion)[edit]

Part 2 (Continued)[edit]

Ascending through the second floor, and again through the third, they then finally reached the fourth floor.

Whereupon, waiting for them——was a swarm of Utsusemi, surely no fewer than thirty of them. There were all sort of varieties of grotesque monsters, all glaring at them with an ominous glint in their eyes. Being watched by no fewer than thirty monsters like that was quite simply an astounding spectacle. It was his first time seeing something with a body that seemed similar to a gigantic plant.

Samejima’s sight was focused on a single point. Tobio followed his gaze, and there was the figure of a man who was obviously out-of-place.

It was a man in the latter half of his twenties wearing a business suit.

While showing a fearless smile, the man approached. He spoke while wearing a sarcastic smile.

“Yah, this is all there is. Only two people. Or else, is there some third person down below as well?”

Samejima asks in a threatening tone.

“……The mastermind?”

“——You could say that I am one of them. I am called Doumon Kazuhisa. I am someone who is participating in the current ‘Four Fiends Project’. Since it seemed fun, I came to inspect this scene.”

“……Four Fiends? Wha’s that?”

Samejima asks again regarding the phrase that Tobio as well had never heard before. ……’Four Fiends Project’?

Seeing that reaction, the man then put on a puzzled expression.

“Hou, did that one from the ‘Grigori[1]’, as usual, not yet mention that? Well, good.”

The man beckoned with his finger. ——At that moment, the monsters that had been on standby behind the man simultaneously began to move.

The man who had called himself Doumon spread his hands, as he spoke to Tobio and company.

“In any case, I will be taking you guys back with me. Since we are in need of the cat and dog you guys carry. The ‘Utsusemi’ and such, that was no more than a minor experiment for the sake of this.”

Despite hearing that, Samejima, without backing away at all from the situation, boldly spoke up.

“The genuine sacred treasures——the Sacred something or other was it? You involved them in this for such an incomprehensible reason. Since this is a good chance, why don’t you release my pal?”

“For sure, your friend was the experimental body called Maeda Nobushige I believe. Yeah, he has been changed into an Utsusemi.”

With those few words, Samejima’s expression became one of rage. Tobio was struck with a feeling of unusually intense fighting spirit from beside him.

Tobio had a memory of that name. Maeda should have been one of the few comrades of Samejima. Often, he would catch sight of the two of them hanging out at Ryoukou High School.

“In that case, let me reply like this. I’m going to pummel you, you damn bastard!”

Again the lance formed on Samejima’s left arm. He was at full combat readiness.

“Truly, how vulgar.”

The man immediately spat such words from his mouth.

Taking a stance, Samejima inquired of Tobio.

“……Have birdbrain and the witch girl not come up yet? This guy will likely be difficult despite all the trouble spent trying to capture the mastermind.”

With a nod Tobio held his ear and began to question those two.

“Minagawa-san, Lavinia-san, how are things over there? We’re battling with a large crowd upstairs here.”

Such was his report, but what was heard was Natsume’s frantic voice.

‘Here as well, we’re caught up in the middle of hostilities with Utsusemi invading from outside and can’t get away! In spite of Lavinia both burning and paralyzing them there’s no end to it. I’d say, perhaps, about forty of them are approaching.’

——Forty! That’s not much different than here, not at all!

It seemed there was a fierce battle on the first floor as well.

‘If it has become like this, I will just “freeze” them then.’

‘Th-that’s to be done as a last resort. This whole place might become frozen over I would think. This! Demise Girl[2]!’

Something that appeared to be a trump card……though it seemed that nothing had changed as reinforcements would not be arriving at their location.

“……Understood, we will persevere at least so that we will not die here.”

‘Eeh, us as well, we will survive.’

Having been listening to this communication going on beside him, Samejima smiled bitterly.

“……Well, that’s just like birdbrain, so unreasonable. Goodness, just doing what must be done to attain victory would be good.”

Samejima spoke to Tobio.

“That bastard called Doumon or whatnot must not be allowed to get away, since I have various questions about this case for him.”

“Yeah, I know.”

The two of them having confirmed to that extent with each other, each of them took a step forward with their partner——the puppy and the cat. Additionally the large crowd of Utsusemi began to move in response. The forms of the monsters began making agile movements. Assaulting the figures from the front, the black puppy and Samejima’s lance cut down gigantic centipede and grasshopper monsters, piercing them to death. This was easily accomplished with only a simple charge at the opposing party. ——However, for the type that extends things like ivy or tentacles to engage from a distance such an approach was not very good. Ultimately, this meant that Tobio and Samejima were not able to deal with opponents that were anything other than short to mid-range.

In order to advance the two had no choice but to cut through the tentacles of the reptile types and the ivy of the plant types. This promised to be a hard fight since it seemed to be inevitable that an arm or a leg would get entangled even once. As they scrupulously took care to clear the way, Tobio’s puppy and Samejima wielding the lance severed each of them one by one.

The duo were feeling puzzled. Why didn’t they gather all of that large number of people together and attack all at once? Only a group of about four from the numerous opponents would attack at once…….Samejima aside, for Tobio who had possessed his awakened powers only for yesterday and today, it would probably be possible to subdue him if about ten people attacked him at once, yet those guys made no attempt to do so whatsoever.

The reason——was apparently due to that man named Doumon. The man, his hand on his chin, was directing his gaze towards them seeming very interested. Without any exaggeration he would issue instructions to the Utsusemi, simply directing them with just a few tiny moves with his index finger. Seeing that Tobio arrived at a single conclusion.

Most likely, Doumon is observing the direction of the battle. Purposefully, he was only dispatching a set number of Utsusemi, all so that he can experience watching the development.

Like Tobio, Samejima it seemed was also suspecting the same, as he clicked his tongue.

“……Being a spectator is he? That’s a good social status. ——A total waste!”

Doumon’s behavior it seemed had had dangerously affected Samejima’s mood.

It was just as Tobio and Samejima had defeated a wasp and dragonfly monsters that had come flying in. While nodding his head at that moment, Doumon inserted his hand into his breast pocket.

“Yes yes, it’s become clear. As before, the genuine ones are different. I have become aware of the fact that continuing to display the difference with the artificial ones is seemingly unnecessary. Particularly, the condition with which Samejima Kouki handles his sacred treasure is top notch. As one would expect of the one who carries one part of the ‘Four Fiends’. ——That is to say, shall we switch things up next?”

What the man took out——were several scraps of paper similar to talismans. These objects, which had magical characters written on them, were something for which Tobio knew nothing of their significance. With the talismans in his hand, Doumon began muttering something like a spell in an undertone.

“……That which is born out of earth, whose spirit was cast out of iron, by means of water purified, hasten forth before me.”

The man released the talismans——and the talismans drifted through the air as though possessing a will, taking the form of a pentagram. After all the talismans gave off an ominous radiance, a large shadow was born on the floor. The shadow bulged forth, taking on a visage.

……What had appeared before Tobio and Samejima, was a seemingly three meter tall human-like mass of clay. It was so tall that its head was close to hitting the ceiling. Like a faceless ghost it had neither eyes, nose, mouth, nor ears, and simply the sight of the arms that were nearly as thick as telephone poles filled one with a chilling sensation.

Doumon laughed.

“This, though, is my family’s prized lineage. Come now, my clay doll will capture you.”

Responding to the man who then snapped his fingers, the clay doll slowly came to life.

While taking a stance with the lance, Samejima spat out in response.

“……It’s good enough for that witch girl’s magic, it’s good enough for the monsters summoned by a little shit like you, and it’s certainly alright for this.”

“Nevertheless, if they were to be compared, that which you guys possess might as well miniscule. Truly, such an unpleasant state of affairs.”

The clay doll sent out a large punch. The force of it caused the air to vibrate. A direct hit——no, even being just grazed by such an attack would cause massive damage. Samejima jumps back to take some distance, and then immediately thrusts with the lance. ——However, only a dry note reverberated off the floor, the lance having been completely repelled by the clay doll’s body. It seemed to be the case that the hardness of the clay doll exceeded the offensive ability of the lance Samejima possessed. At this point the black puppy slashed at it with a pair of blades it had grown from its back like wings——but only that same dry note was produced as it seemed to not have inflicted any damage on the clay doll.

Seeing that result Doumon sneered.

“As it would seem, presently my doll is surpassing you. ——Well then, shall we finish this.”

The man, once again, uttered a spell while producing talismans. The talismans flew through the air, spreading out behind Tobio and Samejima to summon a second clay doll. Reinforcements had appeared at their back. From the front the clay doll from before was also approaching.

“……Asshole!”

“……Kuu.”

Before long, Tobio and Samejima were being completely subdued by the clay doll——.

“Well then, how should we do this?”

Due to Doumon’s clay doll, Tobio and Samejima had been subdued on the floor. The clay doll was pinning Tobio with its right arm and Samejima with its left arm respectively. Tobio could feel the atrocious power being given off by the arm of the clay doll that was pinning him. He was able to understand from this that he couldn’t slip out using only his own strength. The puppy and the cat were now being held in the hands of the other clay doll, snatching away any chance of freedom.

Doumon again stroked his jaw with his hand, calmly pondering something as he looked at a handheld mobile device. The hand operating the mobile device stopped moving. Sending a repulsed look at Tobio, he said this.

“Right, it would seem you were leading that person to the vicinity of this place.”

The man told the Utsusemi on standby behind him.

“Get going before that person following from behind gets here.”

Thereupon, from those at the front of the group behind him came several people who could not be identified.

——!!

A friend of Tobio was among them.

“……Sasaki?”

Indeed, it was the friend that he had reunited with yesterday. On that occasion, when the lizard monster he had been leading was slain, the magic square transported him away……. Sasaki was once again leading the lizard monster at this place as part of the group.

Doumon spoke.

“Yesterday, this child was defeated by you, right. However, with the technology here, we are able to resurrect them with even a single body part. It would be impossible if it had been the child as well that was slain, but it was his good fortune that his case was the type where resurrection was possible. Therefore, he is once again able to lead his partner.”

……Rather than the description of Doumon, Tobio was experiencing a confused mental state due to once again encountering the figure of his friend.

“Stop it Sasaki! It’s me, it’s Ikuse!”

That time he wasn’t able to——. Tobio desperately appealed to him. However, Sasaki didn’t reply at all. He merely stood there expressionlessly.

Samejima frustratingly narrowed his eyes and said.

“……It’s useless. As long as you don’t take down the company manipulating these guys, they won’t fucking stop attacking.”

While Doumon was enjoying this reaction, he made Sasaki stand in front of the clay doll that was holding the puppy and cat. Doumon, his grip on Sasaki’s neck, made him draw even closer ahead. Just ahead——the puppy still had a sharp blade showing on its forehead.

“Still, I suppose you wouldn’t slay a human would you? What would happen if the ‘Four Fiends’ that serve as your sacred treasures were to memorize human blood, how could I not look forward to something so truly interesting?”

Speaking cheerfully the man’s eyes——were dyed with insanity.

……He was going to murder Sasaki with the puppy’s own body……!!

Tobio was left speechless by such startling conduct, yet he continued to struggle to slip free of the clay doll’s hand. ——However, against such robust brute strength, Tobio couldn’t even budge.

“…………!!! You bastard, such a cowardly action……!!”

Samejima cried as he struggled the same way, but the man just let out a sigh.

“What are you saying? Speaking of the origin of all this, it’s you guys who are at fault for not boarding that luxury liner. Well, I believe that the Sacred Gears you possess sensed the peril and induced your fever. Moreover, as a result of the involvement of that annoying group of those who fell from heaven, we weren’t even able to realize your abstentions beforehand. Thanks to that we weren’t able to make drastic alterations to the plan. How dare they forestall us by manipulating information like that, those black winged people!”

The man completely switched to a bitter smile.

“Well, due to such reasons, it seems they are called the Grigori[3]. Fumu fumu, the Sacred Gear is a gift from God after all.”

Sasaki was——looking towards Tobio, his mouth was shifting.

“Traitor.”

“Sasaki……”

Heartrending emotions overwhelmed Tobio.

——Traitor.

That’s right, if that was the case, then it seems he was a traitor. By not participating in that trip, he had gotten them involved. Having been thrown into this abnormal situation merely due to something so absurd, he had started fighting with his fellow students who were leaders of monsters.

Was this some kind of exception to treachery……!?

Suddenly Tobio’s mind recalled a conversation scene he had with Sasaki before the trip.

After school, while returning home Sasaki spoke with an embarrassed mood.

‘Say, Ikuse. I’ve been thinking, about conveying my feelings to Morose from class C on the upcoming school trip……’

Sasaki would often speak of the issue with Morose. Although Tobio was ignorant when it came to romance, he was at the very least aware that Sasaki yearned for her. Sasaki thumped Tobio of the back.

‘Supposing I get completely rejected, you’ll definitely be there to console me! Please I beg you!’

An ordinary student. Sasaki was just an ordinary senior high school student.

He would study, he would exercise, he laughed, he got angry, he cried, he loved. Yet all of this was typical for a young senior high school student.

As Doumon was bringing Sasaki close to the puppy’s blade, Sasaki let out a muffled voice.

“…………I……kuse……”

——! ……That was, his name…..?

While still expressionless, Sasaki was shedding tears.

“……He……elp……”

He shouldn’t have been conscious. His fellow students——his classmates had all been remade into beings that simply commanded monsters. Even just earlier, they had come at him trying to kill him. Because right now, his consciousness was stolen, and was functioning under the control of Doumon and his group.

And yet, Sasaki had……called out his name. He’d asked for help.

Due to this occurrence, Tobio——had tears pouring down his cheek.

Seeing this series of events, Doumon began trembling.

“This is……magnificent! So he was still partially conscious to this extent! This is quite interesting! Seize them, this absolutely must be immediately reported to the staff! Since the data on artificial Sacred Gears thus far is insufficient, obtaining something like this is valuable!”

……To the end, as this man regards them, Sasaki, the students of Ryoukou, they were nothing but objects to him……? How can it be that he should be capable of such cruelty? How could such an inhuman individual possibly exist?

“…….Don’t fu…..!!”

Tobio——could not hold back his rage.

“Don’t fuck with me……!! Why, why don’t you bastards stop having Sasaki and the others assist with your research if they aren’t any good……!?”

Doumon sneered.

“It’s you guys who are at fault for not having participated. No, it would be that group of those who fell from heaven who concealed you. Due to that, since we couldn’t contain ourselves, do you think we had any choice other than to resort to plan B? For said plan, naturally it was necessary to have an abundance of young people serve as experimental bodies for the ‘Four Fiends Plan’. Their cooperation was entirely necessary.”

I don’t care. The way that things should be, they shouldn’t be involved! Because of them——they were unable to live ordinary lives! Even if they could receive that kind of power, not one of them would have asked for something like this! They should just be living life as always!

Recalling something, Doumon spoke with amusement.

“Ikuse…..huh. Aah, speaking of which, I’m sure there was data saying that you were intimate with Toujou Sae. That seems good, you should meet her. She’s become an excellent Utsusemi. I remember her!”

——Sae.

Having seen Tobio react strongly when he heard that name, Doumon smiled even more offensively.

“She cried out so many times in the middle of the experiment. ‘Tobio, Tobio’——. In that way, she was calling out to you. I understood.”

………….

…………………….

Tobio, lacking any words to say——violently ground his molars, overflowing with frustration and anger, as tears endlessly poured down. His eyes glared at Doumon full of murderous intent.

……Aah, it’s like that huh.

……These guys……are so ‘evil’……!!

……These guys, there isn’t anything they wouldn’t do for their greed, whether it’s to me, to Sasaki, to Sae——they’ll do anything to satisfy their evil intentions.

——I won’t allow it.

I won’t allow them to do as they please……!!

These shitty guys, I won’t just let something like this be overlooked……!! To rescue Sasaki, his friends, Sae! These people, he would absolutely rescue the people important to him from their demonic hands.

It was at that moment. His mind recalled the words of Lavinia.


——The power of desire. The sacred treasure——Sacred Gears become strong from strong desires, responding to the possessor.

—— It is almost certain that that Doggy responded to Toby’s strong desire.


He looked over at the black puppy that was being restrained.

Hey, you were born from my shadow. Can I lend you my feelings, my desires? For my sake can you become that [Blade]?

While the puppy was being restrained by the monsters, its red eyes began to shine red.

DOKUN…….

From within him something gently pulsed. There was a sense that he and the dog were connected, even stronger than it was last night.

In that case, for my sake, become that <<Blade>>——.

Kill those guys by becoming that <<Blade>>!

Something inside of Tobio vigorously burst open——.

——Kill. Kill kill kill kill kill kill kill kill!!

Completely annihilate those guys!!! Slaughter them!!!

“I’ll lend you my desiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeee!!! You will be my <<Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddddeeeeeeeeee>>!!”

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddeeeeeeeeeee……….

The puppy responded to Tobio’s scream, which spread and resounded throughout the floor.

In an instant——something dark was produced from the puppy’s body, which then spread. It also came out of Tobio’s body finally enveloping the clay doll. Tobio slowly began to get up. Regarding the powerful strength of the arm of the clay doll that was restraining him, it was dissolved little by little, until at last he was released upon the gigantic arm’s destruction. This unbelievable power of his had originated from within his own body. Gradually swelling up within him, there was a feeling that it was completely consuming him. The number of pulsations kept increasing. Acting in concert the black puppy had grown countless blades from its body which had destroyed the arm of the clay doll.

Together Tobio and the puppy had been freed from their restraints, while Doumon who was ahead stood completely erect. Enveloping the bodies of Tobio and the dog, there was something like a black aura.

Tobio wasn’t affected by this ‘power’ from within himself——he was simply able to recognize how to use the ‘Blade’.

Extending his hand in front of him, Tobio muttered a few words.

“——Pierce, everything.”

Much more intensely than before the black aura enveloped the puppy’s body. An instant later, the Utsusemi on standby behind the man——countless blades appeared from the shadows beneath the feet of the monsters accompanying them, successfully skewering them!

Looking over, by means of gigantic blades that were born from the shadows beneath their feet, the two clay dolls restraining Samejima and the white cat were vertically bisected.

Indeed, this was one ability of the puppy. The ability to deliver attacks from shadows. So long as it was within Tobio’s field of vision, the puppy’s blades could be grown from any shadow. This way of using the ability had just now appeared within Tobio’s head.

“……Wh-what, what is this!? Blades from shadows!? Countless numbers of swords!? How can this be!?”

With such an intense scene Doumon was extremely confused, displaying such confusion by looking back and forth.

Tobio spoke while the puppy stood ready at his side.

“……It suddenly struck me, what your name should be.”

Natsume had said it. It was necessary for their partners to have names. Tobio, at this moment, was certain as to which name to choose.

“——[Jin][4]. You’re Jin. My blade for the sake of killing everything.”

And so, this was the name he had generated for his other self——.

Tobio commanded the puppy——Jin.

“Jin, slash.”

The puppy’s blade rushed forward at what could be said to be god speed. The speed was so excessive that the monsters of the Utsusemi were being cut down without being able to respond at all. It closed the distance once again getting underfoot of the monsters——or else countless blades would rise up from the shadows, and, utilizing penetration techniques, they were subjected to being minced. The floor of the fifth story was being turned into a strange space in which countless distorted blades had sprouted.

Flustered by the dramatic sudden reversal, Doumon’s face was twitching as he shook his head from side to side.

“Ridiculous! Cleaning up scores of them in an instant!? What! What's, that sacred treasure!? It isn’t one of the Four Fiends, is it!? Blades that appear from the shadows!? Such an ability was completely unknown!!”

Tobio approached the man. He had no plan on forgiving him. Since this assuredly was one of the ringleaders——.

Doumon produced fresh talismans from his breast pocket, and tossed them at Tobio after reciting a spell. ——But, as a result of Jin emerging from out of the shadow at Doumon’s feet, they were completely turned into trash. He had been transferred through the shadow. He had already learned how to use that transfer ability from before. So long as it was within his field of vision, he was able to freely transfer Jin from within shadows. Jin thrust his forehead’s specialized weapon at Doumon. His partner Jin did not provide Doumon even a single break.

“You’re all that’s left”

What was seen before Tobio’s eyes, regarding the man who had fallen on the spot on his rear, he was creeping to try to get away. The composure from a little while ago was not present in the slightest.

“Hii. Don’t come! Don’t come near here!”

The man’s eyes were corpse-like in appearance.

As Tobio was raising his hand, a dazzling brilliance was appeared horizontally on the floor. As he watched, a magic square-like thing appeared, from which the figure of a person emerged.

A man who was about forty appeared from the center of the magic square and approached the shrieking Doumon.

“Kazuhisa!! Retreat from here!”

Doumon recognized him.

“Section Chief Himejima!”

——Himejima. Himejima was it?

Tobio had a reaction to that name.

……No, by no means, such a thing cannot happen.

At that instant, Doumon took advantage of the chance from his spirit being shaken to retrieve a cylinder-like object from his pocket, and fired it his way. Instantly, a flash spread through the floor, depriving Tobio and company of their sight. With their vision dazzled, only the voice of the man who had appeared from the magic square could be heard.

“——Interesting. To have met you. <<Dog>>.”

By the time their eyes had recovered, it was too late as the men were vanishing from the floor. Similarly, the Utsusemi had also completely gone. By means of that magic square, they had seemingly fled from this place.

“……Heh, they got away huh.”

Samejima sighed as such while short of breath.

The black aura around Tobio disappeared and he suddenly seemed tired, immediately sitting down. Due to the effort of having been exploding with anger, it seems that he burned through his stamina all at once.

From a short distance away, two sets of footsteps were ascending the escalator.

“Ikuse-kun, Samjima-kun! Are you safe!?”

It was Minagawa Natsume and Lavinia. Given the uncleanliness of their clothes, it could be inferred that there was a fierce battle down below.

“Shut it, birdbrain.”

In response to Samejima’s shocking statement, Natsume angrily scolded him.

“Who are you calling birdbrain!? You’re the cause of this due to having plunged in here as you pleased, right?”

As those two started an argument somewhere else, Lavinia spoke while approaching Tobio.

“……Toby, you desire reached that child, right.”

The puppy——Jin was wagging his tail beside him. Seeing that Tobio smiled.

“Aah, thanks to you.”

Indeed, thanks to Lavinia’s advice, Tobio had expressed strong thoughts, strong desires. Through that, Jin had gained power.

Smiling, Lavinia simply said, “That’s excellent.”

Natsume, who had finished arguing, let out a deep breath behind him saying

“Well, since all the members have now been gathered, it’s time to once again meet with the ‘Governor General’. Last time he did not explain things in detail.”

Samejima’s stern eyes offered no objection. He as well had things about the current situation he wished to hear about from this supposed ‘Governor General’.

After a short break, the foursome slipped out of the department store, and advanced towards the location of the ‘Governor General’.

Part 3[edit]

The afternoon of that day, having disembarked at the designated station, Tobio and company, following Natsume’s guidance, were walking hastily.

From the station it was about a fifteen minute walk to the multi-tenant building that was their destination. This was the location designated by the ‘Governor General’ where Natsume could establish contact.

The presence of the man could not be felt from outside. In order to check the interior, Tobio had entered the multi-story building. The room of concern was on the fourth floor. The elevator was broken though, and was therefore unusable. Thus they all ascended the stairwell, with the fourth floor as their destination.

Having ascended, there was a dim light coming from a certain door. They turned the doorknob, and while making a *kii* sound, they opened the door. The room was arranged like that of a cram school classroom, with who knew how many long white desks and chairs lined up. They were able to confirm something like an enormous screen.

Even though it was daytime, there was a black curtain hanging over the window. If it were not for the light on the ceiling it was likely the room would be pitch black.

At a short distance, the room was installed with a speaker that began to make noise.

<<……Hello, ladies and gentlemen, those who formerly were second year students at Ryoukuu High School.>>

Abruptly, there was a male voice heard through the speaker. Tobio and Samejima responded to the spoken words ‘Ryoukuu High School’. As for Natsume, being the only one who was acquainted with this voice, she remained composed.

……There was something about that voice that caused one of Tobio’s memories to suddenly be recalled. He remembered it from somewhere.

<<It would appear, Minagawa Natsume, that you have diligently accomplished your goal.>>

“It would seem so. As promised the three of us have gathered, so aren’t there various things we should be informed of?”

<<So it would seem.>>

At Tobio’s feet, Jin was seated. Griphon was near Natsume. The white cat was on alert on chair immediately next to Samejima.

<<First let me introduce myself. I am the leader of an organization that studies supernatural abilities like those of the Sacred Gears. The name of this organization is ‘Grigori’. Beyond the study of Sacred Gears, we also do things like safeguarding the owners. That condominium where you all have been hiding, that is one such hiding place for people with such powers.>>

……‘Grigori’. Speaking of which, the name the man spoke was also said by Doumon. In that case Tobio’s memory was certain of one thing, that that name should be something that appeared in the records of the Bible.

Tobio turned to face in the direction of the speaker.

“There are numerous questions, and I would like to hear the answers to them.”

<<Aah, even if I’m in a position of superiority, though I can get in contact at a moment’s notice, I am not in a position to discuss confidential information……but, it’s good that you all seem to have decided to take the next step any time now.>>

“We understand that we carry these things called Sacred Gears. This power which by common sense is unimaginable. Those guys, who are colleagues as part of a certain agency in this country, attacked the ship during the school trip, and it was our power that was the goal of that mayhem——.”

<<That’s about it, Ikuse Tobio. Before we speak about that agency, I want you guys to hear about those guys’ plot. From the underside of this country, since ancient times, there has been numerous groups of people who had been waging war against evil spirits. That was the power of the man you all encountered. Onmyoudou[5], or possibly magic, such a method is used to call supernatural power to appear in one’s hand——. It is exceedingly similar to the witchcraft practiced by Lavinia, but also extremely different.>>

……So supernatural powers wasn’t limited to just witchcraft, but even extended to include Onmyoudou as well. The heck, how did we get ourselves mixed up in these things? The minds of Tobio and company were unsettled.

The ‘Governor General’ continued.

<<From among these Inou Tsukai[6] there are five families that possess especially potent power, who are known by those in this country as “The Five Principal Clans”.>>

“The Five Princely Clans?”[7]

To Natsume’s words, the ‘Governor General’ explained further.

<<Doumon, Kushihashi, Shinra, Himejima, and lastly Nakiri. These are the “Five Principal Clans”. Those descended from these were evil spirit eradication specialists who have protected this country from the shadows, possibly even giving their lives in the intimate fulfillment of their duties. ——Nevertheless, people on the fringes of each of these clans have been rampaging. This is the group presently attacking you, and they are the masterminds behind this affair.>>

Samejima, while sitting in a pose of poor manners with his feet propped up on top of the desk, spoke.

“Now that you mention it, when Ikuse and I were attacked by that guy this morning didn’t he call himself Doumon?”

Right, the man who had displayed that offensive smile had named himself as ‘Doumon’. And then, the man who came as his relief who appeared through the magic square, he had called him ‘Himejima’.

<<They discovered the owners of the sacred treasures in which the evil spirits known as the “Four Fiends” had been sealed. Those ones possess top class abilities among the independent-avatar types. Minagawa Natsume, Samejima Kouki, there seems to be no mistake that you possess “Four Fiends”.>>

Natsume and Samejima looked at the falcon and cat respectively. Tobio turned towards Jin.

……This is one of ‘The Four Fiends’? To begin with, we haven’t even been informed about these ‘Four Fiends’. I understand that, for some reason or another, they are called evil spirits. These animals, there exists plenty enough for one to perceive that they aren’t exactly ordinary animals.

……But, that this would be related to the ‘Four Fiends Project’ Doumon had previously spoken of.

<<The Four Fiends, consisting of Konton (Chaos), Toukotsu (Ignorance), Toutetsu (Gluttony), and Kyuuki (Deviousness), they are legendary monsters that appear as bringers of ill fortune. They were exterminated in ancient times, and were turned into Sacred Gears. Those have been passed down until today, and have now become your power.>>[8]

……One could sense something eerie from those names.

Samjima was taking out his mobile phone, and was searching for information on the ‘Four Fiends’.

“……And like poof after lazily searching for these incomprehensible things, I’ve learned that those aforementioned named seem to be associated with something called The Four Divine Beasts or such. Something Genbu (Black Tortoise) and Suzaku (Vermilion Bird) or whatnot. Is there some relation to these ‘Four Fiends’?”

<<——There is. Each family from the Five Principal Clans respectively governs one of the Four Divine Beasts and the Ouryuu (Yellow Dragon). When a person is born within the family possessing this almighty power there’s a rule they be bestowed with the name of the ability such as Suzaku or Genbu. The ones involved in this affair at this time are the reverse, they are all from among those who did not inherit the name of their household.>>

“……Somehow, it’s become strongly reminiscent of fantasy. It was all one could handle with magical girls and Sacred Gears, but even so from the underside of this country there’s things like exorcists and people with supernatural abilities and whatnot……”

Natsume was pondering while holding her hand to her forehead. As one would expect of Natsume she was struggling to understand the situation. Tobio was the same way. What with monsters, Sacred Gears, witchcraft, and now the Four Divine Beasts, considering they had all been ordinary high school students until quite recently, such things greatly exceeded their degree of comprehension.

Tobio asked.

“……Those guys who are attacking us, they desire the Four Fiends——our sacred treasures?”

<<Ahh, that is so. Those guys acting from the underside this time——those who are affiliated with the ‘Utsusemi Agency’, from the start, were forcibly expelled from their households as a nuisance so they are nothing more than outcasts. Those people have gathered together, and they bear a severe grudge against those heads of households that completely cut ties with them. They are in need of power to triumph over them. Accordingly, they mobilized to obtain the power of the ‘Four Fiends’.>>

“——So that’s the reason behind the attack on the luxury liner. They seek to utilize the Four Fiends in opposition to the Four Divine Beasts and such.”

To Samejima’s statement, the ‘Governor General’ affirmed with ‘That is so’.

<<Those guys attacked in the middle of the school trip merely to retrieve all of the students. It was beneficial for those guys, the fact that half the ship sank deep underwater the way it did. Beneficial since it seemed to save them time arranging for the several missing human corpses. After that all that remained was dealing with the bereaved families. At any rate, for that they used hypnotism so that the relatives would mourn for the children whose survival was unknown. It should be that those of you who were in attendance at the funeral service had a feeling of discomfort. To some extent, that funeral service would have appeared to be an act. Those guys smothered any hope for their children that existed in the minds of the parents. All for the sake of achieving their ambitions——>>

……In that way, the ‘Governor General’ had explained the origin of the uncomfortable feeling from the joint funeral service. The people who were now targeting them, they had been controlling the minds of the students’ relatives……!!

……From the story he had acquired fury towards their extreme selfishness. The people of that agency, the ones who’d been exiled from the Five Principal Clans, all for the sake of triumphing over the ones who’d expelled them, had attacked the students of Ryoukuu High School. It wasn’t that the power he, Minagawa Natsume and the rest possessed was the cause, wasn’t it the case that such situation, one where they had not been targeted to begin with, would not have transpired from the beginning?

For him and Sae to have peacefully and ordinarily spent everyday together, would appear to have been a highly unlikely situation——.

Natsume inquired.

“So then, what is the reason you are cooperating with us ‘Governor General’? Even though I realize that you have arranged things like following up with strangers like us at this place, how do I know if you’re not a good person?”

That is what Tobio was also feeling. There doesn’t seem to be a reason to give them so much care, is there? Naturally, he was entrusting the fighting to them, but with the exception of his face, he was supplying them with this much information at this time.

<<Regarding the Utsusemi, the technique that was being used to develop them is from within my organization——they are a result of a leak of information relating to artificial Sacred Gears. Information regarding you all and the matter of the Four Fiends was also leaked to that agency by an informer within the organization. From the beginning our organization effectively caused this calamity. In this case, essentially, it can surely be said that we should be the ones who set out to stop it……but there are complicated circumstances related to this world, so we cannot readily interfere. Even though we’d be supporting you, from a different perspective there’d be no choice but to view it as a scandal. Our organization wishes to obstruct the current experiment on artificial Sacred Gears, and also to seize the one who has become a traitor.>>

——!

……They completely lost it at his words. Only Lavinia, who had been aware of the circumstances, acted composed, but Tobio and company couldn’t hide their shock.

As his expression changed to one of anger, Samejima violently struck the desk.

“Njya, so we had to go through such things because of your incompetence!? This is no jest!”

Samejima was unable to conceal his rage, and Tobio as well was only managing to not succumb to his fury, it was just so completely outrageous. Lavinia raised her hand.

“Shark, please don’t just blame the Governor General. To be honest, on this occasion, given that my organization——the magician’s association has also been pursuing a group that’s participating with those people, it is therefore not just a deficiency on the part of the Governor-General’s organization. While there are some bad factors, we are all tied to the current scandal. Despite this, the ‘Grigori’ and I are cooperating, and have planned to pursue those people, and so here we are. Until now I haven’t discussed this with Shark and the rest and I believe that is my responsibility. If you’re angry, then I ask you to be angry at me. But, I simply wanted you to be aware of this. Had we had this extraordinary discussion all at once, surely Natsume, Toby, and Shark would have all felt as though their heads were going to burst, so as to have you all come to grips with the hard facts little by little, we choose to explain things gradually.”

Lavinia rapidly bowed her head in apology. Her tone of voice had seemingly dropped to some extent.

……So it wasn’t just the traitor in the ‘Governor General’s’ organization, there were also some suspicious people that the magician’s association was pursuing, and both were collaborating with the ‘Utsusemi Agency’, and were taking part in both the Utsusemi——the artificial Sacred Gear experiment as well as the ‘Four Fiends Project’……?

Samejima put on a complex expression in response to Lavinia’s apology, as he scratched his head and, with no place to go, “Ah, damn it!” he cursed.

Forcibly suppressing his rage, Samejima cut off the conversation in order to inquire of the ‘Governor General’.

“By all means I suppose you can keep piling on the unreasonable excuses at this late hour. It’s good enough that we’ve all come to annihilate those bastards. Other than that I have just one more thing to ask of you.”

Samejima turned and glared at the speaker.

<<What is it?>>

“Those that were changed into Utsusemi by those bastards, can they be returned to how they once were again?”

That question, it was also one harbored by Tobio and Natsume.

<<——They can be restored. I personally guarantee it.>>

Hearing that Samejima struck the palm of right palm with his left fist. His expression was full of energy.

<<Maeda Nobushige——. He was your friend. He will be safely brought, restored to his original state, I promise. The same for the friends of Minagawa Natsume and Ikuse Tobio.>>

Hearing that Tobio and Natsume’s expressions brightened.

“Seeing as you’re someone I know nothing about, as of yet I can’t believe what you say, don’t you agree? I cannot consent to how you guys brought about this current affair……but for restoring my buddy to how he was, in that case I’m willing to give you a shot, so this is your chance to repay your debt. Because after what that agency did I didn’t feel alive at all. For the sake of annihilating them you have my support.”

<<What I did was unforgivable. I would like to apologize for not showing my face at this time. But, I promise that we will without fail meet face to face someday.>>

The voice of the ‘Governor General’, until the end he responded with complete sincerity.

Natsume whispered to Tobio, “That attitude of Samejima-kun, that’s what you would call a tsundere,” and gave a small laugh.

The present matter, it would be some time until they got to the bottom of it. There were secret maneuvers that likely exceeded their imaginations. But, there was at least one piece of excellent news. Hope——could now be clearly seen!

——He would take Sae back.

As of yet he had not been able to meet his childhood friend. But, now he had comrades with whom he would be taking her back.

He would save her without fail. Without fail——he would reclaim those ordinary days.

Natsume asked about a different matter.

“Say, ‘Governor General’. The other children——the rest of those who survived, what has become of them?”

Indeed, it’s as Natsume said. In addition to themselves there were others who had not participated in the trip. Themselves included, there were nine altogether——. That they would be caught up in the present scandal, due to obtaining the same abilities as them, that shouldn’t be the case, right?

The ‘Governor General’ said.

<<While there were nine people who didn’t participate in the trip, there is no mistake that there are only four people that are ‘Four Fiends’. However, other than those that survived, the rest were all normal humans, not those who possess Sacred Gears. It is presently known that seven of the nine have Sacred Gears——they’re people with special abilities. Among them, four of them are ‘Four Fiends.>>

“So the remaining two are ordinary humans?”

To Natsume’s query the ‘Governor General’ answered, “Uhuh.”

<<For those who were ordinary people, they have been removed from this affair, and are living ordinary lives that are unchanged. But, as for the Four Fiends and the three others with special abilities, they are being pursued by those guys. Regarding the Four Fiends who are not among you guys, they have refused to cooperate with us and are rampaging on their own. Regarding the three remaining, our side is already concealing their location.>>

It’s possible to say that such inquiries for information of the other survivors are quite precious. If it was possible for everyone to fight together…… though from among the survivors, those students who were picked may have possessed an ominous atmosphere while in school, supposing it were true that those who come into contact with the Four Fiends are met with misfortune. ……I pray that, for those student who don’t possess abilities, they may continue to live ordinary lives, Tobio thought strongly.

<<Regarding the “Four Fiends”, naturally it is often the case that the four of them are all drawn to the same place. Since ancient times, whenever they awaken, this has been the unique invariable principle of the “Four Fiends”. Whether fortunate or unfortunate, that is the reason you have all assembled in one building. Sooner or later, you are bound to come across the remaining two people.>>

……Two people? The threesome of Tobio, Natsume, and Samejima all felt puzzled over the ‘Governor General’s’ words. Regarding the Four Fiends——wasn’t there only one left? Speaking of which, when the ‘Governor General’ made his assertions some time ago he did not include Tobio among them. The ones he designated as such——were only Natsume and Samejima.

The ‘Governor General’ spoke to Tobio.

<<——Boy of the black dog, Ikuse was it. That dog of yours I would guess was not hatched from the ‘egg’, right? It appeared next to you by itself——. Isn’t that the case?>>

——!

……Right, Jin was not hatched from that egg. He arose by himself from the shadows.

……Having been guessed correctly, Tobio gulped.

“……How, regarding that……?”

He timidly asked in return.

<<Truly, you are an existence that exceeded the present scheme of those guys. You're an irregular one, much in the same way as Lavinia I would guess. Those guys introduced a foreign element into process of stealing the ‘Four Fiends’. Ikuse Tobio, that dog you possess——seems to be an existence from an entirely different dimension.>>

Looking over at Lavinia, she was narrowing her eyes curiously.

“Probably, Toby is a foreign element that was beyond all expectations of theirs.”

……That black aura-like thing, that wasn’t the power of the Four Fiends? If so, regarding its true strength……Jin’s true identity, what was it? Just a short while ago, he had said that the three who had special abilities who were not among the ‘Four Fiends’ were being concealed……that is to say, he was one of those that comprised those he’d spoken of.

It would appear that Lavinia and the ‘Governor General’ had somehow or another guessed at the truth behind Tobio’s power…….

<<Ikuse Tobio, where is your Obaa-chan currently living?>>

“She passed away around the time I was in middle school.”

Tobio spoke with no lies.

<<Is that so, I wonder if you wouldn’t inform me of your Obaa-chan’s former surname.>>

“……It was Himejima.”

……When Doumon had named the man who appeared at that time as Himejima, Tobio had been momentarily surprised. It wasn’t by chance, since it was the same name as his grandmother’s former surname.

Hearing that the ‘Governor General’——began laughing.

<<…………Kukukukuku>>

“……Governor General? Did something happen?”

Natsume spoke while having a question mark floating over her head.

<<……No, not really. It’s just that that punch of sarcasm was so effective that for the first time in a while I have nothing to say. ……No matter how much you try to purify the darkness in that family, it seems that there’s nothing that can be done about this generation, Chief-dono. Kukuku, so the “dog” is only a “dog”.[9] You who hated the feathered lightning, will now go as far as to purify the “dog”?>>

Amused the ‘Governor General’ chuckled himself like that. No one could fathom his true meaning.

“……By some chance, what you were saying earlier about the ‘Five Principal Clans’, is there some connection between Obaa-chan and that guy?”

Apparently Samejima was thinking of the same thing as Tobio, as he was voicing such an inquiry.

But the ‘Governor General purposefully said nothing about it.

<<No, don’t mind that now. If it’s true that everything has already been determined, then I guess everyone is related to it. But, youth of the black dog. You have other things to occupy your mind outside of the matter of “Himejima”. Regarding that name, it is part of a very weighty affair involving things with the underside of this country.>>

As of yet Tobio did not understand.

They had a rendezvous with the ‘Five Principal Clans’, where they would be defying their destiny——.


Translator's Notes[edit]

  1. Kanji:Gang of Fallen Angels
  2. The Kanji here reads 'Indiscriminate Ice Princess' while Demise Girl is written in Katakana above. This is a somewhat common format in Japanese. In DxD, most Sacred Gears, Balance Breakers, and such have both a Japanese and English name.
  3. Kanji:those who watch over the children of God
  4. Alternative way of pronouncing the Kanji for blade
  5. Think of this a Japanese magic. The term refers to the principles of Yin and Yang
  6. special ability users
  7. It seems Natsume misheard 五大宗家 as 五代宗家 which has an identical reading. 五大 usually refers to the five elements in Japanese philosophy while 五代 refers to the five dynasties.
  8. Words in parentheses are approximate English translations
  9. ‘Dog’ can be derogatory so I think that’s what’s being said


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