Clash of Hexennacht:Volume2 Chapter 13

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Chapter 13: I Won’t Let That Happen[edit]

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Wait there, you fool


Mary breathed deeply to calm her heavy breathing.

Ira was fully formed below her feet.

So I made it in time.

She had shown Hunter this direct summoning of her Magino Device. The trick to that technique was the size of one’s ether pool and the stability of their constant heat.

But there was an even more surefire way of skipping past the Normal state and forcibly summoning the Magino state.

It was to make the Magino state the foundation of one’s summoning.

The witches of this world constructed a two-stage frame-style summoning to reach toward that power.

Achieving the Normal state stabilized their ether pool and the heat of their Phlogiston Heart.

However, there was no real reason that the Normal state was necessary to reach the Magino state.

Then what came next?

It was simple: you just had to keep the Magino Frame in a summonable state.

It could be done through the Normal Frame. Once the Magino Frame was in its pre-summon state, you had to “remove” the Normal Frame.

It did not need to be canceled.

You only had to remove the Normal Frame like clothing and then live your daily life like normal.

As long as you had a massive pool of ether and the requisite management skills, you could do whatever you wanted.

Mary had just used that technique.

She had re-summoned her destroyed Magino Frame.

She had not repaired it.

In the instant it was destroyed, she had allowed almost all of the ether constructing the Device to escape. And…

“The annihilation walls were useful there.”

They had been sent from the Device in the first place. During the re-summoning, she had pulled back and reabsorbed the ether the Device had held. Since it had originally been shaped by the Device’s “mold”, she had been able to summon it as if reforming it.

“Pierce her, Ira!”

She fired toward Kagami’s Magino Device right in front of her.

She used all nine scythes instead of just three.

This was Ira’s greatest annihilation.


Kagami tried to dodge. The thrusters would be too slow, so she used the main canon she had just fired repeatedly.

“…What?”

The targeting spell in her spell circle was still blacked out.

As soon as she wondered why, Dikaio produced a spell circle from her shoulder. It provided ether detection data over a radius of one hundred kilometers.

The ether density of each area was shown with a bar graph, but the bars around them were shorter than those elsewhere. And it grew progressively more so the closer it got to them.

Is this…?

She understood. The construction of Mary’s Magino Device and the repeated use of Kagami’s main cannon had reduced the surrounding amount of ether. Plus, Mary had likely been acquiring and pooling the surrounding ether to maintain the annihilation barrier.

“Is this…?”

She finally understood why that barrier had not attacked her after the first time.

That first time had been a diversion. It had had another true purpose.

Was it to reduce the amount of ether I could use for my craft ability!?

No matter what happened, Mary intended to starve her and drive her to defeat.

This strategy was tailor made for her. So…

“—————”

The great scythe on the back of Mary’s Magino Device had fully expanded. The reddish-purple light coming from it likely meant it had fired the main cannon meant to finish Kagami off. Which meant…

“Fine then. Come…!”

She gave voice to her expectation.

“Manko!!”


A forbidden word!?

Mary heard a bold word shouted in the sky above the North Pole for the first time. She hoped it would also be the last time.

But her cannon had already fired. It was too late for her opponent to fire her main cannon now and this attack could reach her anywhere within her range of movement. And…

“Hit-…”

Before she could add the “her”, three colors expanded before her eyes.

It was not the blue and white of Kagami’s Magino Device. It was the navy blue and scarlet of the white night and the bluish white of the drift ice below.

Eh?

Then her main cannon tore through empty space. But…

She’s gone!?

Kagami and her Magino Device had vanished.

Mary seriously doubted she had fallen victim to the annihilation, so if that giant form was gone…

“Where is it?”

Just as she looked left and right, the grim reaper servant named Macabre pointed its scythe into the sky to the right.

She did not look back because she knew the location already. So…

“Dodge!”

She sent herself to the left. She slid Magino Device Ira to the side while having the entire Device turn.

That decision made all the difference.

A gust of wind blew through the area she had just vacated.

A Magino Device main cannon!?

It did not come from Kagami’s Magino Device. The girl could not yet have secured enough ether in this airspace. That meant…

“Horinouchi!”

She was there.

A vermilion and white bow-shaped Magino Device existed forward and to the right, which was technically the northeast.

There was no mistaking it. This was the Rank 3, Horinouchi, and her Magino Device, Akerindou.

Plus, Kagami’s Device was visible behind that Magino Device.

Akerindou had suddenly appeared in the airspace, but…

“How!?”

Horinouchi and her Magino Device had been sent to the South Pole.

“So how did you travel all the way to the North Pole!?”


“Yesssssss! She got there! Second in command! Everyone! Thanks!”

Hunter raised her voice and both arms. She cracked her knuckles up in the air. As the sound filled the air, she checked the spell circles and saw the night sky in various places.

“Well, I’ll be. I’m pretty confident in my eyes, but I couldn’t see that at all!” said the pilot of the F-23 in Japan’s southern sky. “To think she would reopen the closed annihilation pathway and follow it in reverse!”


“Yes. I just had to open what had been closed.”

Even though she had known it was coming this time, her senses had not sorted themselves out yet.

It hurts that my attack missed.

But she had made it here. As for how…

“Opening, unlocking, obtaining passage. It’s a common spell effect, but that’s what I used.”

It was simple in theory. Mary had created an annihilation pathway to send Horinouchi to the South Pole and Kagami and herself to the North Pole. That had closed, so Horinouchi had “opened” it once more.

Opening it was easy. It had been open already, so she only had to use an opening spell before it had settled in the closed position.

The problem had been the length of the “gate” and the time.

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To reopen it, some traces of the spell had to remain, but the “gate” had been as long as half the planet’s circumference. She had been unable to comprehend the whole thing from her point of view in the South Pole.

That was why she had used American U.A.H.F.

She had used the high-speed mobile reconnaissance F-23, YF-22, and the surveillance satellites in orbit. The Horinouchi maids who excelled at ether detection abilities had placed their “sight” on those machines to scan the important points. Once Horinouchi had worked out the general shape, she had used the opening spell.

She had known how to do it.

Shinto had one of the world’s greatest opening myths.

“Ama-no-Iwato.”

When Sun Goddess Amaterasu had hidden in a rock cave out of disgust, the world had been closed up in darkness. Tricking her into opening it from within was the Shinto opening myth.

Horinouchi had been in the perpetual night of the South Pole during summer. That matched the conditions for Ama-no-Iwato, which acted as a jinx to raise the odds of the spell’s success.

Plus, her destination was the sunlit white night of the North Pole during summer. That too had acted as a jinx for the cave-opening.

But she had one secret: something else had made her think of this idea.

Kagami…

She had seen an odd phenomenon during the morning she had first met that girl.

Something had occurred over a wide area around Yokohama, including Shihouin Academy.

Things had opened.

Every sort of door and lid had opened and apparently the more tightly sealed of the students’ clothing had opened too. She had heard there was a commotion in the Special Equipment Division when some containers of dangerous materials had opened, but…

That made me think a powerful opening spell would be able to reopen the annihilation pathway.

It had been a success.

“I did it.”

“Yes. I was thinking it was about time for you to show up. You have my thanks. What would you like? Yokohama’s specialties are an incredibly hard pudding and curry.”

“Just so you know, the lost sweets of Tokyo are more valuable than anything from Yokohama. Things like Toraya yokan.”

“I see. Then what about some Shokoku Monaka from Kinokuniya?”

That did not sound bad at all. So…

“Yes. And you can prepare enough for the maids, can’t you?”


“Is it just me or did she not mention the Head Butler just now?”

“Yes… It sounded like she completely ignored him…”

“Poor Head Butler.”

“Head Butler, my religious sect prevents me from eating the chestnut in the white bean paste flavor, so if I get one of those, I can secretly give it to you later.”

“Th-this is fine! It means she doesn’t think I need her help! I can buy my own!”


Horinouchi had a thought as she saw Kagami jot down a note in a spell circle.

She seems to have recovered emotionally.

“Can you continue fighting?”

“I was waiting to get serious until you showed up.”

Now she’s said it. It really scares me that she can say things like that so easily.

But…

“Yes, I decided to call your name as a jinx to bring you here and it seems to have paid off.”


Hunter heard some infighting from the sky above the North Pole.

“W-wait a second! What name did you call!?”

“Horinouchi… Please do not make me say anything so embarrassing.”

“M-Manko! You said Manko, didn’t you!? You shouted Manko at the North Pole!?”

“Ha ha ha. Hunter, Horinouchi will not stop saying it.”

Don’t drag me into this.

“We’re recording all this, you two, so pull yourselves together.”

Up above, the Atsugi F-23 that had accompanied the YF-22 partway was returning to base. Everyone raised their arms and cheered toward the plane as it roared past. There were an awful lot of witches, but that was likely to make sure they supported the Rank 3 properly.

A single line of light ran through the sky.

That ether light connected the South Pole to the North Pole.

The Rank 2 had placed it there and Horinouchi had forcibly reused it. The spell’s “mold” was collapsing, so it would be difficult to reuse again. But…

“Horinouchi! It’s time to get reckless!”


Horinouchi realized Mary had done something because the Suzaku reacted on her shoulder. As an ether creature, the servant could see Mary’s annihilation, so it began shadow boxing toward some empty space.

“Kyehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Oh, that actually sounded kind of bird-like. That one was safe.

“Horinouchi, was that…?”

“Safe! That one was safe!”

Oh, I’m defending it, she thought, which was kind of refreshing. I question it myself, but I cover for it from other people’s questions. I’m kind of a pain to deal with, aren’t I?

But…

“Kagami!”

She knew Mary’s attack was coming and she knew this place was dangerous.

After all, the ether detection revealed that the ley lines here had grown thin and it was possible several annihilations had been set up in the air like before.

So she activated her spell.

“Cave Opening!”

The spell she threw into Akerindou’s chamber took form. She used it like she was firing a blank.

“Ring out, Akerindou!!”


This is a prayer spell!

Mary did not let down her guard when she heard the ringing of a shrine bell from Akerindou.

If Horinouchi was using her Cave Opening spell again, she was likely planning to escape along the same annihilation pathway she had arrived on. So…

“Are you running away!?”

Her question received an immediate response.

“What are you talking about?”

It was Kagami. She was using a spell behind Akerindou. She had opened a spell circle for…

A power-boosting pressurization divine protection!?

That was a support spell used to boost other spells. If she was casting that on the Cave Opening spell…

“It can’t be…”

“Oh? You were the one that invited me on this selfish trip to see the white night. It is always nice to rediscover nature,” said Kagami. “So this time, you come with us. Come see what it is like to live in the big city. …Your teacher demands it.”

With those words, the shrine bell rang and Mary was caught in the forced transfer.

The Cave Opening spell reused the annihilation pathway to carry them away.


Hunter lined up all the data coming into her spell circle.

The situation was on the move. She no longer needed data on the poles from the bases in Australia and Canada. She sent words of thanks and sent an email to a higher up suggesting they rebuild the air force base in Iceland. Then…

“Atsugi lunar observation unit, keep going a little longer!”

After leaving and returning, they still had some hard work to do, but six FA-18s were already leaving the aircraft carrier to support the surveillance.

They were all headed toward a place filled with witches.

“Tokyo! Above Shihouin Academy!”

“They’ve appeared, Hunter!”

She could tell.

From here, she could not see the Kantou Mountains or even Mt. Fuji beyond the northern horizon, but she could see a pillar of white clouds exploding upward.

Something had appeared and stopped in the sky there at extreme speeds. She understood that all too well. After all…

“Oh, hell!”

She slammed her hands together and was well aware of the upward bend at the corner of her lips.

“I so want to join in with Hedgehog!”


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