Clash of Hexennacht:Volume2 Chapter 10
Chapter 10: I Want To Deliver This
I forgot hope somewhere
Yet I remember moving away from it
Mary wondered what to do about the bill for the drinks as she walked up the Spell Division building’s wall.
The black building had no entrance on the surface. No, it technically did, but that was only for deliveries and for those who worked inside. It was not meant for the witches to use.
The Spell Division’s entrance was on the roof.
In other words, any traditional witches were to arrive from the sky.
Mary was trained in flight spells, but she did not always feel like using them. When she went to buy drinks for her friends was one such time.
She wanted to walk.
So on the way back, she would walk up the school building’s wall to reach the roof.
She could see the sky from there. It gave her a view of the moon overhead. The black building’s roof, however, was filled with light.
The students were performing rituals and doing research with their spell circles.
A group constructing a spell for use in everyday life turned toward Mary to greet her. They worked with the school to develop the popular spells that could be used in normal households.
There were a lot of Rankers with Hexennacht approaching, but they had not forgotten their main role as witches.
…Magic in this world was a special technique used for the more troublesome aspects of everyday life.
Healing injuries, controlling or forecasting the weather, computing complicated calculations, and performing music or plays that influenced people’s emotions were all the realm of magic.
Mary had grown attached to this world as she learned of that aspect of its history.
In her home, everything had been a means of resisting the “god”. That had of course included everyday fire-starting and illumination spells, but those had only just barely been any help as their use had been limited to preserve fuel.
Her first impression upon reaching this world was that not everything was focused on the military.
The everyday was the foundation of this world and the military side had developed from that.
That was abnormal for her.
It had all seemed backwards.
She had not spoken their language and her clothes had been different, so she had assumed the people would drive her out as an outsider. But they had not. They had started by gesturing her to sit and then they had served her some food. She had later been told that they had decided she was not an enemy because she had been so well-behaved.
However, the police of this world were not part of the military and there was another organization situated above even the military.
To her surprise, that organization was a school.
By the time she had been taken in by U.A.H. and asked if she wished to join that school as an unregistered witch, she had learned how to use a translation spell.
Due to her skill, she had started off with a Rank in the double digits. She had chosen to join the Spell Division, but not because she had wanted to hone her magic. She had wanted to learn the history and workings of magic in this world.
This magic had developed from culture and civilization, not from the military and combat.
It had been persecuted and forgotten at times, but it had persisted and come to the forefront as a means of opposing the Black Witch.
By the time she had finally learned the language, she had come to love this world’s magic.
She had learned her own spell system in order to fight yet they had been unable to stop the destruction, so there were honestly parts of that system she had hated. She had decided it was useless.
But this world used magic for something else.
At first, she had considered no longer fighting.
But at one point, she had visited a town called Yokohama. That was where she had appeared in this world.
At the time of her arrival, she had not known what the people there had said.
But during this second visit, some of them had remembered her and had shown her a spell circle displaying the old news of U.A.H. taking in a Ranker-class witch.
That was when she had been told why they had fed her when she had first appeared.
She had been thankful, but then they had asked her something.
“Are you going to fight as a Hexennacht Ranker?”
It had been a simple question.
Her answer had also been simple.
After all, this had been her answer:
“No. I have already lost.”
“I see,” they had all said. “If anything happens, come here. There’s a lot you can do.”
She had nodded, but shock had filled her on the way back.
These people had taken her in and treated her kindly, but she had just told them she could not protect them.
She felt that inability to protect them was the truth.
After all, the “god” of her home was only an imitation of this world’s Black Witch. The Brigadier General had said that “god” had only been the vestiges of the destructive power. She had been no match for that, so how was she supposed to stand up to the Black Witch?
But that was not it.
That was not the problem.
This world’s magic had not originally been created to protect.
But what about her?
She recalled the words of the person she had once wished to be like.
“Do not think about what it means to others. Think about what it means to you.”
That was exactly right. And that was why she had returned to the school without looking back even once and had started fighting in the Ranker battles.
Once she reached the single digits, a witch from Yokohama had told her the people there were rooting for her. And that was enough.
This place had shown her the endless possibilities available to her and she would do what she could for herself here.
Someone truly troublesome had appeared and that person had a way of turning her back into the person she used to be.
She had wanted to go for a walk, but that was over now. She had arrived on the rooftop where the sky was so visible.
Her friends were waving her way. She had told them about her situation, so she had no trouble speaking to them.
“I bought us some drinks.”
Mary’s friends took the cans and immediately opened them. They repaid her up front by exchanging the money and the can at the same time. Mary was fairly certain she had heard that that was a jinx for good luck.
She suddenly grew curious about the restored city in the Yokohama region.
It was hard to see from here with the General Division’s dorm and school building in the way, but she could see the southwest coast of Tokyo Bay. Beyond the Uraga Channel, colors illuminated the sky from below.
The group inspecting a fire-starting spell turned her way.
“Mary, we’re going to start a fire, so what do you want us to cook for you? A sweet potato or fish wrapped in foil?”
“You’re doing that again…?”
Can’t you take your research and development more seriously? she thought. But…
“We’re working on an open-air spell this time, so this is a great way of testing it, Mary. It’s for emergency use.”
“Or rather, in my spell system, the open-air one is the original. This will smoke any offerings real good. My mom always used it on nights with a lot of dew.”
“See? So let’s eat, Mary. Tomorrow’s your big day, right?”
She could not keep up with the sudden change in topic and a group working on astronomical spells turned her way.
“You need to come on up further south, Mary. It’s a bad omen there.”
“If you’re down below again, tell us. We can make sure you get a ton of good-luck jinxes.”
“That’s right,” said a wind-reader witch. She poked her head out from the stairway up to the roof and began erecting a windsock. “That’s right, that’s right. …You’re always talking about that teacher of yours. Y’know, the Brigadier General you respect a little too much? That’s who you’re going to fight, isn’t it?”
“But…” Mary hung her head a little. “When she’s right in front of me…”
She could not do it. Her grudge always kicked in first.
But the others already knew that.
“There’s nothing wrong with a grudge.”
“Right, right. Dealing with grudges is a job for witches. You can either throw it out or try to fulfill it. You’ve decided what you want to do, so now you just have to do it. If any of it’s still with you afterwards, you can leave that to us.”
“My servant loves resentful words, so come to me if you can.”
“Now, now,” said a third-year manager who was recording the results of the various groups. “That person is still alive, isn’t she? Whether it’s a grudge or anything else, don’t reject your feelings as long as she’s alive.”
“That’s right,” said her friends who were illuminated by the fire-starting flames.
They all held up the drinks she had bought for them.
“A toast to pray for the victory of our Spell Division representative.”
“Do your best.”
She knew they were rooting for her.
She smiled. She did not audibly laugh, but she knew there had to be a smile on her lips.
This was the leading edge of witches. This magic was born from techniques made to live, something unthinkable in the world she had come from, but they still used these techniques to protect people.
Was she equal to all of them as they cheered her on?
Regardless, she was glad. And that happiness brought a smile. This was a time of joy for her, and not just resentment.
It was lovely.
All of them then looked to the two drink cans in her hands.
“Mary, why do you always buy an extra one?”
The night darkened as she answered.
She had to fight tomorrow. The day of reckoning was coming.
She saw lights on in the top floor of the General Division dorm.
They were preparing for that battle.
The battle was set to begin at nightfall.
That proposal was made by Mary, the higher Ranker. They attended morning and afternoon classes and then went to the designated location: the pier.
The artificial island’s coast and the coast of Tokyo Bay were both lit. Mary had already summoned her Normal Frame as she viewed the distant lights of the Yokohama region.
Someone else was there to meet Kagami and Horinouchi when they arrived at the pier.
The headmaster nodded and opened a few spell circles to approve the Ranker battle and receive the approval of the participants.
“Now, Ranks 2 and 3? Don’t hold back in this battle, okay?”
As the witness, she swung her hand toward the night sky to signal the beginning of the Ranker battle.
At the same time, Kagami and Horinouchi used their Normal Frames to fly up into the sky with Mary.
They made no noise and left no motion on the surface.
The battle for Rank 2 had begun.
In the Horinouchi family’s underground command center, Koutarou monitored Horinouchi and Kagami’s positions while sitting in the commentator’s seat.
“The battle has begun. Will Lady Mitsuru and Lady Kagami be able to take the Rank 2 spot away from Lady Mary? What are these three witches thinking as night begins and evening ends? Analysis will be provided by Lady Hunter who is currently with the Seventh Fleet.”
“Head Butler, you are pissing me off, so can I beat you up?”
“And are you getting our data?” asked the girl on the spell circle that acted as the command center’s main monitor.
It was Hunter who wore a track suit with the twilight in the background. The tower visible behind her was likely an aircraft carrier’s bridge.
Hunter pointed at the structure behind her.
“All the data from our mainland is being gathered here and then sent to you. There’s a decent time lag, but the Ranker battle rules only allow Horinouchi and Kagami to receive support from the Horinouchi family.”
“That is true, Lady Hunter.” Koutarou nodded. “The visual information from America’s satellites and fighters will be extremely useful. The Horinouchi family will accept that data and supply it to those two ourselves. What is American U.A.H.F doing?”
“They’re following the three of them. They said it’s been awhile since there was so much excitement in their underground Yokota facility. And…”
Hunter opened a spell circle. It displayed a map of Kantou and three dots began to intersect at a certain place.
“The Chichibu Mountains of west Kantou!”
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