-SLASHDØG- Volume 1 Epilogue
When Tobio opened his eyes——he was in an unknown sickroom. He himself was lying on the bed. There was an IV drip injected into his arm. Having regained consciousness, Tobio raised his upper body.
……His memory was vague, but he was able to recall to some extent what had happened in the outlook room. Someone addressed him as he was bowing his head.
“So you have awakened, Ikuse Tobio.”
Looking over, there was a man squatting on a stool a short way away. The man spoke while closing the book he had been reading.
“I will once again introduce myself. I am Azazel. I am the leader of those who watch over the children of God——the organization called ‘Grigori’.”
……This man was the ‘Governor General. Azazel. Leader of the Grigori…….
Azazel continued speaking.
“Regarding my organization……well, we study a variety of supernatural phenomenon, measuring them, and one of those is the study of Sacred Gears. What we handle is extensive, from the abilities to the users.”
The man’s gaze was directed towards the far side of Tobio’s bed. Tobio followed his gaze as well——on the far side of the bed there was a large black dog that was curled up asleep. Tobio was instantly able to understand that this was Jin.
Azazel made an announcement while gazing at Jin.
“There are only thirteen varieties, those for which it has been determined to have the ability capable of slaying God. That is what you possess, something that is theoretically capable of slaughtering even God.”
Slaughtering even God……? Tobio truly felt that this was beyond extraordinary.
“Natsume’s and Samejima’s Sacred Gears……are different?”
“Aah, they may look similar but they are different. However, one of the abilities of ‘Canis Lycaon’ is that it calls together Sacred Gears of the same wavelength.”
“……Then, the abilities of those two, Jin……no, I had unknowingly caused those abilities to be expressed?”
……Minagawa Natsume, Semjima Kouki, the other ‘Four Fiends’ who had not yet appeared, and even my fellow classmates. Everyone who had gotten caught up in these events, it was originally all the result of my ability summoning the ‘Four Fiends’……?
Azazel informed Tobio who was being tormented by his awareness of this sin.
“It does seem that they were summoned by your ability. ——However, those who abused that, that was the group from the ‘Utsusemi Agency’.”
“……Since I possessed the blood of the Himejima from the beginning though……”
To Tobio who speaking as such with his head bowed, Azazel sighed while merely scratching the back of his head.
“Your ability, it’s one of the powers capable of breaking the balance of the world. Naturally, you were a subject strict monitoring. In such cases, in order to seal you and your ability, it would be a must to eliminate you. That’s the extent of your ability. Moreover, since you had been born that way, that ability to break the balance of the world was strengthening. It would have been a natural result if you had been erased in infancy.”
Azazel spoke while looking at the scenery visible through the window.
“……However, both of your parents and your grandmother, they chose to let you live. An act of this extent can be said to be quite immense. ——However, at that time, I happened to come to lay eyes upon you when you were very young. ……Ikuse Ageha it seems had, out of love for you, placed a seal upon the dog’s power. I must say it was nothing if not magnificent.”
The memory of that strict yet simple grandmother was resurrected in Tobio’s mind. The grandmother, who until she died had respectfully raised him. His grandmother’s good intentions had taken root in the depths of his heart even now.
Ant thus, from what this man had said, he now had gained an understanding of the truth behind that experience he recalled from childhood.
“……As expected, you are……from that time?”
Before the eyes of Tobio who had inquired thus, the man grew twelve black wings from his back.
Indeed, this was the black angel he had encountered by chance.
The black angel——Azazel brushed Tobio’s head with smiling bitterly.
“——Yeah, in actuality, it was a major thing, boy of the dog. As for myself, I am what is called a fallen angel. A being that was exiled from heaven for embracing wickedness. ……It seems you’re not gushing with emotion after hearing about angels.”
Tobio shook his head from side to side.
“No, having seen Utsusemi, demons, and magicians, it wasn’t surprising that there’d be angels……. It would be stranger if there weren’t.”
“There are numerous miraculous things in this world beyond your belief.”
Azazel spoke completely straightforwardly.
“Our organization, we study Sacred Gears and also observe their owners. If we discover someone in possession of a powerful Sacred Gear, they become a target of observation. The reason we met when you were a young child, that was because there was a possibility that you were a Longinus possessor. Supposing, if one was the kind of person to abuse the Sacred Gear, even considering a case of just ability without your special characteristic, they would often times be eliminated. All for the sake of preserving the balance of the world. ——Since for things such as wars, I must apologize twice.”
Tobio as well enquired of his upfront honesty.
“——It would appear that I must have been a target for extermination, right?”
Azazel abruptly laughed.
“Originally that was the case. However, for two main reasons, that decision faltered.”
He raised two fingers.
“One was your individual ability. The case of one being naturally born with the prohibited condition to break the balance, to my knowledge, there are only a small number of such examples over the past thousand years. All of them with the exception of you had perished before we had become aware of them……. You had been raised in tranquility for all these years in spite of such an ability. Though that does seem to be due to the protection of your relatives……it certainly was very interesting.”
Azazel now held up one finger having already explained one of the reasons. While smiling bitterly——.
“As for the other reason……well, Longinus possessors other than you entreated to us their desire to cease such methods of management. One of them was a student of mine. The other one was a magical girl sent by an old acquaintance of mine. To refuse those guys’ request would have been something I’d regret for the rest of my life.”
Azazel spoke while letting out a sigh.
“At the moment, we are observing the situation of all of the ‘Four Fiends’. Well, currently, it’s a good way for my underling to become accustomed to his power. To start with, we must assemble the remainder of the ‘Four Fiends’.”
Somehow or another, it seemed things weren’t yet settled. The ones who had earnestly requested this……apparently it was the silver haired youth and the blond young lady.
He himself was still alive. However——.
At that moment Tobio began to overflow with tears.
“……I……Sae……!! I wasn’t able to rescue her……!!”
Of the events that had transpired in that outlook room, he recalled what had happened right before he chanted that spell. It had been seared into the back of his eyelids. Sae had embraced Jin who had a blade growing from his head. That blade of Jin’s had pierced through her chest.
Tobio had been unable to rescue that cherished individual——.
With Tobio shedding nothing but tears, Azazel continued while scratching his cheek.
“——Well, we gradually came to this conversation. Well, this is good enough.”
Prompted by that voice, the door to the sickroom opened. Appearing from there——was the figure of Sae sitting in a wheelchair.
Being at a loss for words at this incredible spectacle, Tobio was only able to mumble a single word.
Hearing Tobio’s voice, Sae held her hands to her mouth.
Azazel informed Tobio who thought he must still be dreaming.
“……You remember those prayer beads your grandmother had left behind?”
Before the start of the school trip, Tobio had handed a string of prayer beads to Sae as a charm——.
“About that. It had a protective spell of your grandmother’s placed upon it. What happened at that time was it had used its one time effect of substituting itself to protect the owner’s body. Even though she was pierced by that dog’s blade, there was no visible damage received by her body when it was removed. The prayer beads then shattered and dispersed.”
——She was protected by Baa-chan’s prayer beads.
…………Baa-chan. ……Baa-chan is, even after dying, still protecting me, both me and Sae…….
With his grandmother’s love, as well as Sae’s safety, Tobio could do nothing but endlessly shed tears.
Azazel spoke up.
“……Regarding the care for the students of Ryoukou High School, they are presently undergoing treatment. After the Utsusemi have been removed, they are scheduled to be released along with their relatives. However, their memories of this current affair have been fabricated to a certain extent. Memories regarding them, regarding us……and regarding those fellows, it’s all been taken care of. We will be strictly monitoring everyone from the agency, to the point that they would feel it would be better to just die.”
Indeed, the relatives of their fellow classmates had been rescued from that hideout. Their fellow classmates……they were being hidden by the Grigori. It was good that they would lose their memories. With all the misfortune involved in these unfathomable events, it was better for ordinary people not to be aware of it. With only a little monitoring, they could continue living……that was always a good thing.
Azazel again added one more thing.
“……However, this child’s memory was left as is. Since this child personally refused.”
……Tobio was speechless. Sae’s memory of all that had happened in this incident, about Tobio being a supernatural power user, about she herself being utilized by the ‘Utsusemi Agency’, they had been left behind without being erased.
“Well then, see you later.”
Leaving such parting words, Azazel left the sickroom.
Tobio and Sae were left behind. Making use of the wheelchair, Sae moved to Tobio’s side.
Sae took Tobio’s hand as she shed tears.
“……Tobio……I’m sorry. ……Was it harsh……? ……I, and everyone else……all because we were unable to fight back against them……I’m sorry, I’m truly sorry……”
“It’s okay. So long as you’re safe.”
Tobio embraced Sae raising her from the wheelchair, and said just one thing.
“——Welcome home, Sae.”
“……Tobio, I’m home.”
Finally, she had come home from her long trip——.
“You were safe huh, Ikuse!!”
Tobio was teasingly poked with a crutch by Samejima. Samejima had not yet fully recovered from his injuries, and was relying on crutches for his daily life. In a short while, it was said he would return to his regular life.
It had been ten days since that battle, and they had again gathered at the usual condominium. Tobio, Natsume, Samejima, Lavinia, Vali and now——Toujou Sae had joined their membership. Sae had not yet retired from using the wheelchair, and Samejima likewise still required a cane in his present condition.
Natsume spoke to Sae.
“That you wouldn’t choose to leave behind those memories……even though it generally would be the more pleasant choice. Isn’t it harsh?”
Such as in the case of Natsume’s friend, it had also been Natsume’s desire that the memories of those series of events be sealed. The matter of the trip as well had been covered with a skillfully fabricated memory. Regarding this, Samejima’s buddy——Maeda was also the same.
Of the former second year students of Ryoukou High School, with the exception of those who possess Sacred Gears, Sae was the only one who was aware of the truth of the entire affair.
“Uh-uh. After all, Jin-chan is so cute.”
Sae replied as such as Jin, who had transformed into a large dog, was licking her cheeks. For Jin who had undergone such major changes, it wasn’t that he had become more emotionally attached to Sae instead of Tobio, that was just an illusion caused by him getting spoiled by her.
Contrary to the transformed Jin, the Sacred Gears of Natsume and Samejima——Griffon and Byakusa, they had returned to the appearance of a falcon and cat respectively. Probably, they took on their previous forms for the purpose of convenience during everyday life, or so the 'Governor-General'——Azazel had informed them.
Looking at Natsume's appearance, Samejima was making a bitter smile.
"However, it's not possible for you to say that with that appearance, ain't that right?"
In regard to what Natsume was wearing, it was a uniform supplied by Azazel's organization——the Grigori.
Using blue as it's basic tone, the design took some small departures when compared to the typical high school uniform.
Rather than a school uniform……it had the appearance of an agency uniform, much like that often seen in anime and manga for middle and high school students belonging to special countermeasure-type organizations. At a glance, it looked like nothing other than cosplay.
"It can't be helped, can it. Since I'm going to the school prepared by the Governor-General, I was told to wear this."
While looking at her own appearance, Natsume said this.
Hearing that, Samjima's facial expression changed to one of complete boredom.
"……Seriously, this is the uniform of that aforementioned mock school?"
For Tobio and the others who had experienced the fantastic world that was the other side of this world——specifically the supernatural side, it was absurd that they would return to their previous lives. Relying on Azazel's organization that was presently aiding them——the 'Grigori', it was decided that Tobio and the others would change the school that they were attending.
It was decided that Tobio and the others would be moving into an institution under the control of the Grigori——referred to as 'Nephilim' where there were other boys and girls who possessed Sacred Gears. The 'mock school' Samejima had just mentioned, that was the place.
In truth, in regards to this apartment building itself, it was also the student dorms for students of this 'Nephilim'…….
As discussed, the class Tobio and the others would be transferring into was referred to as 'Barakiel Class'.
Even while having a premonition of their new lives, they had all met up in the room where they had watched the video of the Utsusemi at the beginning. Squatting in the middle, Lavinia again recounted the reason why they had been asked to gather together here.
“There is no other purpose for having us gather together. It was so I can once again explain why I cooperated with everyone.”
That is, what the reason was for Lavinia to participate with them against the ‘Four Fiends Project’ implemented by the ‘Utsusemi Agency’.
Her pursuit of that magician, the one who had been cooperating with the ‘Utsusemi Agency’, how that had started in the first place. Those magicians, they had disappeared to someplace without inviting the survivors of the agency.
“This is something from long ago. I belong to a magician association, one that was completely split in two due to a certain event. One half, remaining on Earth, has not had a change in management to this day. I am also a member of this organization which is called ‘Grau Zauberer’. However, as for the other group, utilizing original barrier magic, constructed an original territory in the ‘Dimensional Gap’ which straddles the boundaries between the worlds.”
Lavinia took out a single book. This was——a picture book. In all likelihood, it was a book that she wanted to show to everyone——.
“This book is?”
Lavinia continued speaking while taking the picture book in her hand.
“Appearing within this picture book is the proof behind the reality of this world that they created. The author became aware of this worlds by chance, and it is certainly the territory they had created in the ‘Dimensional Gap’.”
Lavinia then clearly stated.
“These wizards——they are the ‘Wizards of Oz’.”
……As one would expect, all of the members found this information to be astounding. Only Vali accepted everything without being perturbed.
——As far as the old woman and young girl magicians they had encountered in the vast underground chamber were concerned……they were called ‘The Wizards of Oz’?
“I——Grau Zauberer along with the Gigori have been pursuing magicians who had infiltrated from the magical domain known as ‘Oz’——they were collaborating with a traitor within the Grigori, leader class fallen angel ‘Satanael’.”
Moreover a traitor within the Grigori——‘Satanael’.
While also being concerned about the movements of the remaining fellow students who were among the ‘Four Fiends’, also approaching Tobio and company was an otherworldly visitor they had not been expecting.
Thus, in the midst of the three way conflict between the ‘Grigori’ who pursue Sacred Gears, the ‘Five Principal Clans’ who govern the Four Spirits and the Ouryuu, and the ‘Wizards of Oz’ who had won over leader-class fallen angel Satanael, becoming the blade of the gang of the black wings, the story of the ‘Dog’ that slays an endless variety of supernatural powers begins.
This was the person, the one who would later become known as ‘Slashdog’——.
- Kanji: God-Slaying tools
- Dog God of the Black Blade
- Kanji: Those who have have fallen; this is also the literal translation of Nephilim, which is Hebrew term from Genesis
- Kanji: Those Who Watch Over the Children of God
- Yellow Dragon
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