Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha:Volume 4 Chapter 3
The Sports Festival of Hijirigasaka Academy. Today, the twenty-fourth, is a cloudless, clear sunny autumn day.
As the nine o’clock bell rang, Toujou Basara was currently by the school gates together with Tachibana Nanao. They were the ones responsible for serving the reception for guests like the parents of the students and the people living nearly.
Before the reception table covered with all sorts of introduction leaflets—
“I guess most of the guests have already arrived by now…?”
Hearing Tachibana say at a time where there was no one around, Basara nodded with an ‘I guess so’. After that, while wearing sports attire and exuding a cute feminine air, Tachibana said:
“It’s about the time where the students would be entering the field, and to a parent, this would be the first opportunity to capture an excellent-timed photo; they’re probably doing the final checks on their cameras and recording equipment now.”
“Ahaha, that might really be the case, you know.”
Tachibana smiled cutely while scratching his cheek, and—
“……Anyways, it all started smoothly.”
For the rest of the week since Donoue’s outburst, the atmosphere in the organizing committee fell to an extreme low, but everyone managed to smoothly welcome the beginning of the Sports Festival.
On the day after his outburst, Donoue returned to the organizing committee and apologized to Kajiura. It wasn’t clear if Sakazaki’s words at the rooftop were true, or if there were any other reasons behind Donoue’s change in attitude, but even if his apology wasn’t sincere, the organizing committee got back on track, and did the final sprint for the preparations for the official day.
…Surely, I had thought that Donoue-senpai would try to bring down the Sports Festival.
But ever since he apologized, Donoue never pestered Mio every time he saw her again; even if there seemed to be some dissatisfaction in his attitude, he still fulfilled his responsibilities.
As for the matter about the fireworks he had brought up, it appears to have been completely settled by Kajiura and Sakazaki. All of the departments had hurried to complete their preparations on the day before, but no one will know what will happen after.
Thus until the Sports Festival starts, Basara will not leave the Organizing Committee alone, which shows that it wasn’t necessary to take into consideration attackers taking any chances as he tried to make the Sports Festival a success – even if it wasn’t [completely] and just [almost], it was the sight of Tachibana by his side with a shallow smile that made Basara understand that he didn’t have to suspect his new friends.
“…What’s the matter, Toujou-kun?”
When Tachibana asked him this, Basara shook his head while saying ‘It’s nothing’. At that moment, a new guest came to the reception table, and upon seeing the young girl wearing not the uniform of that of Hijirigasaka Academy—
“Hai – it appears that you didn’t lose your way here.”
Basara smiled and said while presenting some leaflets to her.
“Are you an idiot… My older sister studies here, so I can’t lose my way.”
Snappily returning a 'Hmph', the young girl -- Nonaka Kurumi accepted the leaflets handed to her.
“Could it be… Toujou-kun knows this girl?”
“That’s right, she is Yuki’s – the younger sister of that Nonaka from my class. Kurumi, this person is Tachibana, a member of the organising committee, just like me.”
“Um, I… I am Tachibana, Toujou-kun’s friend… Nice to meet you.”
Kurumi walked towards the field after giving Tachibana a short glance.
“Could it be, that she hates me…?”
“No, no, you’re just thinking about it too much.”
Basara smiled bitterly while answering Tachibana who looked towards him worriedly – and his expression suddenly froze.
“ ? Is something the matter, Toujou-kun… Ah.”
Tachibana’s doubts did not last long, since she very quickly realized the reason behind it. Two members of the organizing committee were heading this way from the field – it was the changing of the shifts for the reception staff. After Basara nodded as a greeting—
“……Time for changing shifts.”
One of them – Donoue coldly said while not looking into Basara’s eyes.
“Alright… Then I’ll be leaving the rest to you.”
After handing the reception table over to Donoue and the others, Basara and Tachibana did not directly return to their respective classes, but instead head towards tent assembled in the field as the headquarters of the organising committee. As they got closer to the field, the heat and noise from the crowd gathered grew bigger. Very soon, they saw many tents and equipment that have been set up – as well as the crowd that was packed into the audience area and the field that was already set up for the various events.
When Basara and Tachibana entered the headquarters, all of the other members of the organising committee not in charge of directing guests and reception had gathered.
Mio, Yuki, Aikawa, and Sakaki were present. Kajiura who was at the center of everyone, noticed the two of them and looked down at the list she was holding.
“Thanks for your hard work, with this, everyone is now here.”
And she began to speak while looking at everyone.
As the Sports Festival was mainly an inter-class competition, everyone was wearing headbands of various colours like white, red, and yellow. Of course, they were competitors while out in the field, but – the committee members gathered here were all important comrades who worked to make the Sports Festival a success. Hence—
“The time has come – let us start the Sports Festival now.”
On Kajiura’s face, there wasn’t any traces of the frustration from having too many members, as well as the worries of the humiliation caused by Donoue’s outburst; showing the dependable leadership on her face that had reunited the organising committee in the last week and managed to let the Sports Festival happen on schedule, everyone naturally gathered into a circle with Kajiura in the center. Just then, Mio and Yuki pushed themselves to Basara’s left and right side.
“…Basara -- Kurumi?”
“She’s here, she probably reached the agreed place before I came.”
Yuki had quietly asked, to which Basara replied, and Mio also asked, a little serious:
“I see… That moment, is finally here.”
Toujou Basara nodded and answered ‘Indeed’.
“Let us begin too – our own Sports Festival (Battle).”
It was time for the students to gather in the field. Following the music, the students wearing their sports attire ran one round around the field in order of their years, and lined themselves up neatly by classes in the field.
In the audience area, virtually everyone’s eyes and all lens were pointed towards the field—
Except for Nonaka Kurumi, who was doing something else while in the crowd – to check on and confirm the suspects behind the attack incident on Basara that he was mentioned while explaining.
Especially the few whom he had a strong causal relationship with on an emotional level, as well as their positions.
So far, she had looked at Tachibana who was together with Basara at the school gate, Donoue Shouhei who Basara had passed, as well as Kajiura Rikka who had stayed in the headquarters tent.
Since the Sports Festival started on time, the threat posed by Kajiura and Tachibana who wished for the Sports Festival to be a success was lower compared to Donoue who held a personal grudge against Basara – but yet Nonaka Kurumi did not relax. The hopes of the two of them not being the culprits, was due to Basara’s positive emotions amongst peers; if Basara had an obligation to believe them, then what Kurumi had to do, was to suspect them.
Right now, Maria was not allowed to leave the house because of the incident with Zolgear, and Mio and Yuki couldn’t make any big actions, so as to not give the Moderates Faction, as well as the Hero Tribe an excuse to take actions deviating from Basara’s expectations.
Hence, the only one who could move out in the open for this incident, is only Basara who had experienced an attack…
…As well me who had intervened after witnessing the scene…
Just watch as I pick you out. Kurumi thought. Not only just Yuki, Mio and Maria holds feelings for Basara, the Kurumi now was still the same as in the past, seeing Basara as someone irreplaceable. At this moment – Kurumi found the figure of Hozumi Kaiji, an avid supporter of Yuki in the headquarters tent amongst the many students.
…With this, that makes it four persons.
Making a mental note of the number, Kurumi panned her line of sight, and at the right side – she found the last two suspects in the staff tent.
One of them was Sakazaki who was looking out towards the students on the field with a hearty smile.
The other person, was the infirmary teacher who wore a white coat – Hasegawa Chisato.
That makes it six persons. The task Kurumi had taken on today, was to keep surveillance on all the suspects of the attacker who had attacked Basara. After adding on the other organising committee staff, the number would be in the thirties-zone, but that wasn’t a problem to Kurumi.
After the principal began on his speech in the stage, Kurumi closed both her eyes, and—
Gathering her consciousness, she opened a magic circle with herself as the centre, and in the glow of the magic circle that couldn’t be seen by ordinary people—
Calling out to the spirits in the surrounding area in her heart, asking them to watch over the entire school grounds and report to her of any suspicious things. Sensing the spirit’s agreement, Kurumi then opened her eyes, and her sight unexpectedly met with Basara’s. It was probably because Kurumi had used magic that allowed Basara to locate her within the crowd.
Also – this also meant that the culprit lurking on the school grounds to sense Kurumi’s presence and magic.
Once the other party makes any moves, she and Basara will immediately move to take that person down.
Under Kurumi’s and the spirits’ sights, the principal ended his speech in stage, and next up was the athlete’s oath.
A female student walked up onto the stage, and said out loud after raising her right hand up towards the sky:
“—oath. We, the students, hereby pledge to use all the knowledge and experience we have gained at school, along with the healthy bodies and minds cultivated at school, to compete fairly and honourably with each other. On behalf of the entire student body, student representative – Kajiura Rikka.”
When the speech ended, applause immediately covered the entire field.
With everyone having being that of the same mind, Hijirigasaka Academy’s Sports Festival started.
To the organising committee as a whole, with sports as the stage, today was a war.
First, they had to prepare the equipment for the various track and field events, and guide the participating students. Next, they had to record down the current progression and results, and report it back to the headquarters. When the event ends, they had to immediately prepare and change the equipment for the next event.
Other than preparations for the various events, there was also the need to co-operate with the broadcasting club, with the playing of music and commentating during the events. If there were any injuries or anyone feeling unwell, there was a need to help send them to the first aid tent; if there was any malfunctioning with the equipment or delays in the events, they had to follow the instructions Kajiura gives them through the walkie-talkie, and rush to sort out the abnormalities.
Also, no matter if it was the audience or the contestants, they could become agitated due to the results and have an outburst, so there was also the need to send out a warning and suppress it at the suitable times. If there were any situations the students couldn’t deal with, they would request for the teacher’s assistance – that, encompasses all of the organising committee’s responsibilities, thus—
“The tallying of the preliminary results for the Hundred Meter Dash is almost done, so the ranking for the first round will be announced soon!”
“Has that Class 2A boy still not reported yet? Send out the announcement one more time!”
"What’s up with the PA system!? There's no sound from the equipment at the north side!”
“The pace of the shot put event slowed down? But all they have to do is just throw an object!”
Even if the events for the first half of the Sports Festival had went smoothly, the headquarters tent became very busy after one hour into the Festival, and the various department ran around working hard according to the constantly-changing situations.
“Are there any free hands in the General Auxiliary Department, someone seemed to have been injured at the high jump event.
Hearing Kajiura accept the request for help and give out an order—
“—I’ll go and take a look.”
Basara who was beside Yuki helping her tallying the numbers immediately took the task.
Right now, the only ones doing their tasks in the headquarters tent were the second year female students of the General Auxiliary Department, and tasks like these that were like errands were usually done by the first year students. Additionally, males would generally be more suited to have the task of sending an injured person to the sick bay.
“…Be careful, Basara.”
While leaving, Basara answered the Yuki reminding him with [I know]. With that, he then went to the high jump area while going around the track.
“Ah, Toujou-kun… Over here!”
Tachibana was beside the male student who seemed to be injured, and shouted while raising a hand.
“He was too enthusiastic when jumping, and he landed on an area that was not cushioned… I wanted to help him to the sick bay, but this event still needs my help, so I can’t leave. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it, you have the things which you need to do, so leave things like this to me.”
At any rate, the male crouching by the mat is a third year student, so his physique is even bigger than Basara’s, so the thin and small Tachibana probably can’t help him move.
“Hold on to me… Are you able to stand?”
Just as Basara was about to leave the place while helping the injured move, he suddenly said, as if suddenly remembering something:
“—ah, that’s right, Tachibana. If I remember correctly, you have to take part in the 400 meter race in a while, right?”
No matter how busy one was with the organising committee, they can’t not participate in the events; the members had to find time with doing their tasks and be present at the meeting place before the event starts like the other students.
“After I send this person to the sick bay, I’ll help you ask Kajiura-senpai to find someone to take over your shift.”
Though Basara himself doing it would be an easier way, he can’t do so, as the event he was participating in was immediately right after the 400 meters race.
“ ? What’s wrong…?”
Tachibana called Basara in a low voice, but—
“…Nevermind. I’m sorry, it’s nothing.”
After Tachibana said that, he continued: [See you later], while smiling and waving at him.
After Basara returned with a nod and ‘Oh’, he brought the injured student to the sick bay.
There was still quite some time before his event would start, so other than Basara who was helping the third year student, there were still quite a number of students in the headquarters tent. Upon seeing basara, a female student manning the station asked:
“Disinfection? Or would treatment be needed?”
Broadly speaking, disinfection is also a part of Treatment, but this question was distinguish the nature of the work needed. If it was only just scratches requiring disinfection, then the female student at the station could do it; if it was problems requiring treatment like bruises or physical discomfort, then Hasegawa would be taking care of it. After Basara said that it was the latter, the senior was then sent to Hasegawa who was currently treating other students.
“..Alright, then I’ll be leaving the rest to you.”
Basara slightly bowed respectfully as he got ready to leave, but he unwittingly stopped, and took a look at Hasegawa’s appearance. He gazed at the side of Hasegawa’s face as she wrapped the injury on the senior’s knee with a bandage. Soon—
“What’s wrong, Toujou… Are you injured too?”
Hasegawa asked without turning around. After Basara shook his and and replied with ‘No’—
“……Please excuse me.”
He said that and left the place, taking the same route as just now. The bell also rang at this moment – normally, this would signal the start of the third period.
…For now, everything seems to be going smoothly, with nothing big happening.
As he recalled the schedule for the competitions lined up, he thought about the current status.
Everything was still so busy despite the number of members in the organising committee being almost double from that of last year. The reason for that was probably because the competitions they were participating in were all scheduled in the morning. In order to ensure the participants and events go smoothly, they had to frequently account for the organising committee members changing shifts, and even organising the data from the various competitions was also quite labour-intensive; and as the event in the afternoon was the competitions by classes and groups, everyone’s workload was generally lower. It would be the current time where everyone was tight – as long as just one detail was overlooked, the success of the Sports Festival would disappear from everyone’s eyes.
Basara suddenly stopped, and looked around the whole field. It was an area that was in a frenzy. The participants, the audience, the teachers, the students… All of them had gathered and were enjoying the Sports Festival Basara and the others had prepared.
As one of the members of the organising committee, this was something that made him feel proud.
The enemy who was instantly cause all of it to disappear, was somewhere in this crowd of people. There was also the possibility of the person being an acquaintance of Basara’s. Thinking about this again, caused Basara to tightly clench his right fist.
Perhaps due to Kurumi's spirit magic, the other person still hasn’t made any moves yet.
But still, Basara never forgot to keep his guard up, and began walking back towards the field.
It seems that deciding factor in almost all the competitions was one’s physical fitness. Amongst all of competitions, there was only one event, where there wasn't any objections in having Basara, Mio and Yuki participate.
That event, was one where a strong bond between participants was also required in addition to luck – the three-legged obstacle race.
『Now, we have come to the Grand Finale Event for the morning – the unisex three-legged Obstacle Race! 』
The excited voice screamed from the loudspeaker. Basara was quite familiar with this voice, since after all, the one doing the announcements is Shimada Taichi of the broadcasting club, from the same class as Basara.
『This event, where every class will be sending out a male and two females, and they will have to break through three obstacles while racing against other classes around the track with only three legs, is known as the event most anticipated by all the male students! However, the lucky guy will only be the one chosen by the two participating female representatives! First up, will be the first years, and everyone’s attention will of course be on lane six, Class B, the two girls who had captivated all of the males in the school upon their admissions, Naruse Mio and Nonaka Yuki! 』
The males in the audience also cheered with the pace of Shimada’s speech, but—
『As for the lucky guy chosen to compete with the two idols of our school – Toujou Basara! 』
With his left leg being tied to Mio, and right to Yuki, Basara then lined up at the starting line while being showered in boos. This was something that couldn’t be helped, though. Since after all, this was an event which would earn the jealousy of the males who did not participate; and now, even the males from the same class as him was also booing along with the others—
Is it me, or are they booing at just me only…? Um, do your best, give your all, Toujou Basara! While completely showered in boos, Basara could only attempt to give himself encouragement in such a way.
As members of the organising committee, Basara and the others had priority in the evens they chose to participate in; and what Mio and Yuki had chosen, was this event, that was the three-legged obstacle race.
Thus – they would naturally nominate Basara to participate with them.
—to tell the truth, it was Maria’s idea to have Mio and Yuki join such an event. However, this was not a result from consulting with the loli-ero-succubus whose instincts liberated her imagination about the events that they should chose. The reason why the three of them had chosen this event, was to deal with that attacker. That person’s target is Basara, and the easiest way to lure out the attack by exposing Basara was the competition events.
If, Mio and Yuki came along with Basara and helped him in observing their surroundings, the attacker would have a hard time to be able to make a move on him; if the person still decided to attack, the three of them present would probably make the attacker easier to deal with.
Donoue and Hozumi was also amongst the list of suspects, so he had originally planned to not join an event as intimate like this to avoid stimulating them – but if either one of them is the culprit, they probably wouldn’t want to hurt either Mio or Yuki. Since there was such an advantage, attracting the ire and jealousy of the other male students would be fine, all he had to do was just bear with it. Just then—
“Don’t think too much about it, just treat those was incomprehensible hollering.”
“Don’t worry – I will definitely protect Basara.”
Saying that, Mio and Yuki when pressed closer against Basara on purpose, letting the others see.
“……Well, everything’s fine.”
Basara put his hands around the waist of the two persons pressing against him, and sensed the warmth and softness of their bodies in his hands, in a situation of embracing the girls clinging to him; despite the amount of boos skyrocketing now, Toujou Basara didn’t care – because he had just realised something new.
“To be able to be with you like this, I’m – already very blessed.”
After Basara said that, the crisp sound signalling the start of the race rang out.
『The race started, and all the contestants dashed out from the starting line – Oh! Class D already fell down with their first step, and they dragged Class C and E down too! Seems like the other classes managed to dodge a bullet… Oohh! Amazing, the highly anticipated Class B already managed to draw distance from the other classes, and they’re only getting faster and faster!』
Hearing Shimada’s voice commentating, Naruse Mio and Nonaka Yuki thought that three of them taking first place was something that was supposed to be natural. That said, ever since the three of them decided to take part in this race, they have been spending their time in the house and even the bath in a three-legged state, and the bounds were only undone during bedtime or going to the toilet.
Originally the two of them had restrained themselves and had decided to not go into the bath together with Basara, they lifted that ban on the night Kurumi begun to stay with them. At the start, bathing together with their legs tied caused them much confusion. But gradually, the need for them to coordinate and work together became fun, they they soon got used to it; Mio and Yuki had split the job of helping Basara wash his body, and Basara would also help them wash some hard-to-reach areas.
To Mio and Yuki who had deepened their understanding and bonds in this way, the very first obstacle, the balance beam, wasn’t that much of an obstacle; the three of them lined up sideways, and synchronising their footsteps, they successfully got past the obstacle. When the already begun to run, they have already left the other classes far behind in the dust.
『Class B arrived at the second obstacle very quickly – and this is the part that makes the males most sour – squeezing the balloons!』
“The three of you, over here~.”
Aikawa who was manning the station waved her hands, and—
“Here, these two balloons are for you.”
Mio and Yuki received the balloons from Aikawa, and squeezed the balloons against Basara, with Mio putting it between Basara’s and her belly, and Yuki putting it between their backs – but no matter what, the balloons still wouldn’t pop. As Mio and Yuki were also members of the organising committee, they would of course know why; the pink balloons Aikawa had picked for them had the [Love Pink] nickname, and it was the one that was the most difficult to pop. In order to cut down on the disparity on the progress between the classes and produce a hyped mood, the Members had specially prepared both tough and easy-to-pop balloons. Hnce—
『Oh—! Class B was originally going very smoothly, but now they are stuck! Taking the opportunity, the other classes passed the first obstacle and are now catching up, and the lead Class B has is shortening! 』
Mio and Yuki felt the situation worsening and became anxious. But no matter how they squeezed, they only pressed they breasts and butts up against Basara, acting rubbing up Basara and acting sultry.
『Ooh! This is overwhelming! It as if the Sisters of Hijirigasaka Academy is using Toujou-kun’s body to dance! 』
Basara retorted against Shimada’s provoking of the audience, and the males of Class B glaring at him also booed. Mio’s and Yuki’s eyes met and after that—
They nodded their heads lightly, and begun rubbing their bodies up against Basara, as if putting up a show for the audience – just like when they were in the bathroom, with Mio using her breasts and Yuki using her butt to wash Basara’s body.
--before the race, Naruse Mio and Nonaka Yuki had made an agreement.
And that was to use this race, to announce to the whole school on who they belonged to. Their fan clubs would usually harass them, but they could still ignore them; but with their influence now reaching into the organising committee and affecting Basara, it is about time to make their stances clear.
They had to tell them, that Naruse Mio and Nonaka Yuki is no longer their idols – they belong to the one and only Toujou Basara.
Hence, with Mio and Yuki wrapping up Basara’s figure, the two of them expressed their message to the audience.
Basara seemed to be at a loss while embarrassed at the start, but he soon realised their intention and began to smile bitterly, and while he pulled Mio’s waist towards him even more, he pushed back with his full force towards Yuki.
When two classes behind them caught up to them, Mio and Yuki’s balloons finally popped – and the three of the once again ran forwards at full speed in unison to the last obstacle – Net Crawling.
The figures of Basara and other two crawling along under the net, was all captured by a certain someone’s camera.
The one operating the camera in the audience area, is the one who had requested the spirits to keep lookout on Hijirigasaka Academy’s grounds for any suspicious figures, Kurumi.
“……Really, why do I have to do something like this?”
Kurumi helplessly sighed. The reason why she was doing this, was due to Maria who was watching the house requesting her to record down the events Basara and the others were in. Originally, Kurumi had no obligation to do as Maria wanted – but she couldn’t refuse her. Since her bickering with Maria in the past, she had grabbed a handle on her. When she was hit by the succubus baptism, her body had experienced a profound and very deep pleasure as she was put under an aphrodisiac effect; in just a single night, the values she had built up to that day was toppled over. Additionally – things did not end on that night. After Basara and the others left for school, Maria secretly ‘held’ some ‘lessons’ for Kurumi, in no small quantity no less.
…That’s all because of…
Kurumi’s face slightly reddened. With Yuki and Mio both having had intimate kisses with Basara, when Maria asked her [Would you like to catch up to them?] – of course she couldn’t put up a resistance.
—this time, Kurumi leaving the Village to assist Yuki, was not due to the Elders’ instructions.
If anyone asked who had sent her, she could only say she had volunteered to. After reuniting with Basara last time and returning to the Village, Kurumi saw Yuki becoming very happy with returning to his side – and her heart was filled with envy. After meeting Basara whom she had not met for five years and learning of his suffering in these past five years – Kurumi could no longer conceal her own feelings. Thus she began to hope to be able to return to be by Basara and Yuki’s side, and have the three of them return to the times where they played around together. But right now – Basara and Yuki, as well as with Mio and Maria have already built up a new bond; if she wanted to receive Basara and Yuki’s loving care once more, she had to follow Maria instructions to chase after Yuki and Mio, to enter Basara’s world.
Kurumi recently started to go over the films Maria provided her, and observed the various situations of Basara subjugating Mio and Yuki. While hiding it from the others, she then experienced those situations one by one. Although she knew that as a Hero, getting closer and closer to one of the Demon Race like Maria wasn’t appropriate—
…But, with this, I can…
On these past five years – since separating with Basara, her older sister had become a completely different person, causing Kurumi to become lonely; but during that night, with Basara and Yuki doing various things to her, it felt as if they had returned to their childhood days. Although bodily pleasure had to come along too, as long as it could fill the hole with her, Kurumi was fine with it. Because things that Yuki and Mio could do, there wasn’t any reason that caused her to not be able to do it too.
At that moment, while lingering within that thought, Kurumi’s expression suddenly tight.
The spirits keeping watch had sent out a warning, and then—
“Are you recording Toujou-kuna and the others…?”
A polite question came at her. Turning to look, Tachibana was standing beside her, and she asked back with an indifferent expression:
“…You have business with me?”
“Nn… I’m here to ask for some help from you.”
Tachibana answered while looking straight into Kurumi’s eyes.
--The spirits only reported about Tachibana drawing near, and there was no mentions of any magic power whatsoever.
That at least showed, that the people in this area was not under any sort of manipulation.
As Basara and the others are still in the competition, Kurumi right now was completely alone. Taking into account that she and the people around her might come under some form of manipulation, Kurumi raised her vigilance, and while keeping her guard up, she said:
“Help, you say… You mean there is something that you must request of me?”
“Nn… But, this is not just for me, it also concerns Toujou-kun, and Nonaka-san – your older sister.”
“Basara and onee too…?”
This is a deal, as well as a trap – after Kurumi asked back with an eyebrow raised, Tachibana said after nodding:
“That’s why, for the Sports Festival—“
As Tachibana was speaking mid-way, his expression suddenly froze. He was not looking at Kurumi, but instead to behind her. ‘’Just what did he see behind me’’ – turning around to look, Kurumi also saw it too, clearly.
A human figure was standing on the rooftop of the central building, looking over the field.
Kurumi recognised that the person on the rooftop is Donoue, and at the same time the all spirits sent her a warning in unison, causing her to become shocked.
Donoue’s right hand raised up towards the sky, and a magic circle expanded from it. In the next moment – a large tornado appeared and began moving straight towards the field where the Sports Festival was still in progress. With a rumble and blast, the dust in the field was sent flying into the air. This sudden unexpected situational change, caused both the students and general guests to begin screaming.
In the moment Tachibana saw the tornado take shape, Tachibana Nanao said, stunned.
With an imposing expression, Kurumi turned her clothes into her battle attire, and leapt into the air with flying wind magic – flying straight towards the rooftop.
The moment Kurumi turned into her battle attire infused with magic, normal people wouldn’t be able to see her anymore; even if she uses wind magic, it would only seem to be a sudden gust of wind to normal people.
--However, all of Kurumi actions was captured cleared by Tachibana’s eyes.
And the reason why she was still frozen in place, was because something that must not happen had happened.
Tachibana couldn’t comprehend it. Donoue was able to use magic – this was something that should be impossible.
…Because of my demonic eye, shouldn’t Donoue-senpai be…
At that moment, something caused woke the stunned Tachibana.
That, was the sound of things breaking. The tornado that came from the sky, demolished and sent flying the equipment and tents set up in the field. In the countless screams that accompanied that—
Tachibana let out a groan. In Tachibana’s eyes, the Sports Festival that was Tachibana’s hard work, was being destroyed in front of her in that moment. Even if it was a human, it would still be devastated by its onslaught – the hard work everyone had put in, was gradually being turned into dust.
--something like that, however, did not happen.
Within the howling wind, *Shinn——————!* the sound of a slash suddenly sounded out.
And immediately after – the tornado near it suddenly disappeared without a trace.
Tachibana who was once again stunned, saw that in the moment when the tornado landed – in the middle of the field, a young male youth was standing there. His right arm was covered with armour, and it appeared as if he had just slashed with the large demonic sword in his hand – it was Toujou Basara who was currently participating in one of the competitions.
Before Tachibana had even thought of the reason why Donoue could use magic, this scene threw Tachibana further into confusion.
--But what really surprised him, was not because Basara could use abilities. During the Opening Ceremony, Tachibana had seen Kurumi use magic. Tachibana was afraid that she was a Hero who had come to exterminate him.
It was that to make sure that the Sports Festival could successfully end, Tachibana had used his magic eye to control Donoue’s consciousness.
Tachibana had approached Kurumi, to ask for her wait until the Sports Festival had ended.
And from there, Tachibana had speculated her older sister Yuki, her childhood friend Basara, as well as Mio who lived together with them were likely to be Heroes. In Tachibana’s sights, Yuki and Mio who just caught up to Basara’s side, their faces had no confusion or panic due to unfamiliarity of the situation; but what stunned Tachibana even more, was the speed at which they had dealt with the situation, as well as the order in which they did things.
--Donoue using magic, was without any warning.
When dealt with any sudden changes in the situation, anyone would be shocked still, just like Tachibana was just now.
But – Mio and Yuki, as well as Basara who was participating in a race, how were they able to react to the situation so swiftly?
Another thing Tachibana had doubt over, was the action Kurumi had taken after the tornado appeared. Under that situation, Kurumi did not first help the civilians around her, but instead choosing to fly straight towards Donoue.
As a Hero, there wasn’t a possibility for her to overlook the people in danger before her. Thinking from this angle, she probably knew that Basara would dispose of the tornado and thus did so.
In other words – the reason Basara had reacted so swiftly and for Kurumi overlooking the civilians around her, was because they had known in advance that this situation would happen beforehand, and thus orchestrated this together.
…But why would they…
If they were really intending to exterminate Tachibana who was controlling Donoue, how did they know that Donoue would leave Tachibana’s control and use a magic like that? As Tachibana was pondering over this—
“Could it be…”
Tachibana remembered something his mother had told him before. During the Medival Ages in Europe, there was a period of time where Witch-hunts took place – reportedly, their leader was the Heroes who was responsible for defending the European Region back then; the Heroes had sentenced anyone born with Demon blood or had inherited their blood as part of the [Witch-Hunt]. There were some who had escaped from the one-sided oppression and its remnants to this day, and Tachibana was one of them. But back then when the witch-hunt happened, there were some Heroes who also exterminated those who were supposed to be under their surveillance, not even hesitating to frame others if needed.
--Were Basara and the others doing something like that? In order to exterminate Tachibana, they purposely manipulated Donoue to discharge powerful magic, and quell the trouble before any harm was done – taking the credit of saving the innocent and putting the blame on Tachibana?
Because Basara and the others had foreseen something like this happening, and so, luckily, they were able to put a stop to it. Thus—
Tachibana Nanao’s eyes gazing at Toujou Basara turned colder and colder, Basara was no longer a friend in Tachibana’s eyes – not the first friend he had made since entering school, but instead he was now an enemy. After that—
As if Basara had felt his gaze, he slowly turned his head around.
After Basara’s [Banishing Shift] eliminated the tornado, he quickly looked up towards the rooftop.
After the gazes of the two of them met, Donoue disappeared to the other side of the rooftop after giving a crooked smile, and Kurumi who had activated wind magic quickly chased after him – mid-way she glanced back at Basara, and he gave her a nod. Up till now, both him and Kurumi could still observe the surroundings and act accordingly. At that moment, amidst the noise in the field—
Yuki and Mio reached his side from the race track of the obstacle race.
“That person just now – was Donoue-senpai, right? Is he really the troublemaker behind it?”
“That’s hard to say. He was obviously acting provocatively, so he might be controlled… But even if that’s the case, if we can track the source of his magic, we’ll probably be able to get clues about the mastermind.”
So we can’t let him escape. Basara tightly held Brynhildr’s grip, and said:
“Right – let’s still follow the plan. Kurumi and I will go after Donoue, and you two remain here and don’t let the mess grow bigger. I’ll leave it to you, then.”
The tornado just now must’ve scared many people, must the worst injury sustained from that must be only light scratches, probably nothing serious; regarding the structures, a portion of the PA equipment and tents must’ve been damaged, and if nothing else happens, it probably wouldn’t cause the Sports Festival to be ordered to a halt. Hence, the priority right now is to not let the panic and disorder amongst the students and visitors grow into fear; and the ones responsible for this support work, is Yuki and Mio. The two of them nodded. To gain control of the field, the two of them then separated. At the same time, Basara also went to take a look at the area around the headquarters tent, and seeing Kajiura giving instructions to the organising committee members before the teachers had even begun to react caused him to feel admiration in his heart. Just then—
Feeling a gaze on him, he turned around and looked. Amongst the confusion and noise in the audience area –amongst the crowd, his gaze met with someone’s.
Basara looked into the cold eyes of his friend, and murmured his name.
--Right at that moment, a barrier opened up, and everything turned dark.
Everyone else other that Basara also disappeared at this moment, leaving behind only the buildings. Probably, Basara was the only one trapped in here. As this sudden change caused him to gasp—
But he reacted just in time, immediately jumping to the side horizontally, and a gust of wind blew past his side – no, to be accurate, it was not wind. In his view, those five fingers had sharpened, and the silhouette with the right hand thrust out turned around and said:
“……You really are amazing, Toujou-kun.”
It was Tachibana. His glasses probably dropped off somewhere, and he stared into Basara’s eyes, while giving off a red glow while in the barrier. Hence—
Finding out about Tachibana’s real identity, Basara murmured out in understanding. The enemy this time was adept in manipulating human consciousness, and could make the controlled use magic. Thus, when Maria mentioned about [kin], other than the Demon Race forces, Basara had also considered another possible race.
…And that was the Vampires.
Hundreds of years ago, the demon race occasionally copulated with humans while in the Human Realm, giving birth to people and beasts of mixed races from humans having their paths of evolution crossed with those of the Demon Race from the Demon Realm. The news of them attacking human nowadays were very rare, but that’s because those who attacked humans have been exterminated by Heroes long ago. Some survivors from that extermination chose to hide themselves and live in this Realm; part of the hybrids chose to breed with humans, causing the thinning of the ancestral bloodline, and now no longer had any special abilities. Thus unless they violated the laws and raised the stakes high, the Hero Tribe would not chose to exterminate them, since the Humans would also go after them.
Everything has an exception. Though they may appear no different from a normal human, atavism occasionally happens. The reason the Hero Tribe had not found out about Tachibana’s real identity was because Tachibana had kept her powers hidden, and lived as a normal human. Yet—
“…Tachibana, it’s really a pity.”
Even if Tachibana is the one who had attacked Basara, Toujou Basara could turn a blind eye to it if Tachibana’s intention was to make the success of the Sports Festival a reality. Really.
The ones who had brought Donoue and the others into the organising committee and broke into Tachibana's peaceful life were Basara and the others themselves. Basara himself was fighting to protect Mio’s everyday life, and he knew very well how the ‘everyday life’ found everywhere was so precious and difficult. However – the tornado just now had already crossed the boundary of what Tachibana needed to do to secure his own everyday life. That tornado would only destroy the Sports Festival everyone was looking forward to, and could also destroy the everyday school life together of those around him.
--That’s why, to protect all of it, Toujou Basara, made the decision to swallow the pain in his heart.
Raising Brynhildr and forgetting about the word [Friend], he looked at Tachibana.
In the moment the sights of the two persons met – both sides began moving simultaneously.
In the moment the both of them raised their foots, the full power of their first atacks crossed.
As Basara and Tachibana began to fight.
Before Nonaka Kurumi had even caught up to Donoue, she had already suppressed him and his companions.
When Donoue and the Mio Faction rendezvoused at the back of the roof, they planned to confront Kurumi who caught up together, but they were not a match at all for Kurumi who was an Spirit Magician.
There was the possibility that this group of people who adored Mio harboured jealously enough to attack Basara, but—
“…Isn’t this too easy?”
As Kurumi looked over Donoue and the others who laid on the roof unconscious, her expression was imposing.
Indeed, when Donoue released magic towards the field and when fighting with Kurumi who chased after him, he showed strength far surpassing that of a normal human.
But their level, was way too different from those passengers who had attacked Basara on the platform. Taking into account the barrier that had come up covering Basara and Tachibana—
“They were just being controlled… Also, this feeling…”
Kurumi felt the air of a bad premonition enveloping the entire school grounds.
There’s no mistaking it – right now, there were two barriers. Not only was there a barrier covering the school building and field, there was another one covering the entire school grounds. The fluctuations of both were similar, showing that the barriers were not put up separately by different people, but instead put up in multiple layers by the same person. But—
“Even me and onee, cannot undo a double-layered barrier…”
Those in the Hero Tribe who could do something like that were only the very few persons who specialized in barrier magics; and yet the mastermind behind the current situation was able to put up a double barrier and control Donoue and the others.Since that is the case—
Thinking about the opponent’s level, an ominous foreboding quickly grew within her heart and a drop of sweat trickled down her neck.
…I have to quickly let onee and the others know.
The spirit magician Kurumi only noticed that it was a double barrier through the spirits at her service. Although Yuki’s spirit sword [Sakuya] had a spirit, she could only send her intentions to [Sakuya] as a technique-type fighter, unable to clearly understand [Sakuya]; while Mio was someone who was a wizard-type like her, she utilized the demonic energy carried within herself as a high-class wizard and since it wasn’t even a year since she had begun using magic, asking for her to maintain sensitivity towards the energy fluctuations in her surroundings continuously was really difficult.
“—No, what’s more important is—“
The mastermind was probably Tachibana who was at the other side of the school when the barrier went up and whom she had lost contact at the same time as Basara.
Thus, Kurumi asked for the spirits to trace the source of the magic power within Donoue’s body. If she wanted rendezvous with Basara on the other side of the barrier(s), searching Tachibana’s magic power to look for a gap was the best choice. However—
The reply the spirits hurriedly returned, instead caused Nonaka Kurumi to be stunned speechless.
In the trace, the magic power controlling Donoue was indeed from Tachibana Nanao; however – there was a different power hidden in Tachibana’s magic power, also controlling Donoue.
“What is this…”
As the undiscovered fluctuation caused Kurumi to be puzzled with the trace results—
She suddenly felt someone behind her back and hurriedly turned around – but she couldn’t.
Without even the chance to let out a sound, Nonaka Kurumi lost consciousness, just like that.
The Vampire Race was relatively difficult to deal with, especially their foremost representative.
Not only could they suck blood or transfuse blood causing their opponents to turn into their own kin, their, physical abilities far exceeded that of a Human’s, and they could utilize abilities with magic; additionally, with their demonic eyes, they could forcefully induce hypnotism and control a target’s consciousness, and they could even turn their bodies into mist or bats or other things at will.
--In other words, they were an opponent one must be very cautious about. Ever since the battle started, Basara had been forced to be on the defensive under Tachibana’s many various offensive attacks, but the tide of the battle was slowly turning in Basara’s favour.
Tachibana’s aptitude was really surprising. If it was the Basara who had just met Mio and reunited with Yuki, he would probably not be able to win; but – the Basara now was different.
Although the gap of those five years of his life had not been completely filled up, the senses of a real battle had already almost recovered, and adding on that he had done the Master-Servant Contract with Mio and Yuki and had deepened their relationship, his battle power has received a considerable power-up.
Also – experience from training only wouldn’t win a battle. Basara had fought against the high-class demon Zolgear with Maria who turned into her adult form and desperately broke through the death perils which came one after another, raising Basara’s strength to the next level.
--Right now, in the dark space replicating barrier.
The battle that had started in the field, had already moved into the school buildings. The sharp metallic clashes rang out in the second floor corridor – that is the sounds of Brynhildr and Tachibana’s claws striking each other in the battle. Amidst the two of them clashing—
Tachibana jumped far backwards and with a hand on the floor, he expanded a purple magic circle. Instantly, countless large conical pikes thrusted up from the floor, aiming to bore holes in Basara’s body.
But Basara was already a step ahead, having evaded it. Utilizing the speed from a Speed-type fighter, he rushed up to the ceiling from the left wall, and then circling to the right wall, he began running towards Tachibana; the pikes followed him closely, chasing him along the walls and ceiling with large sounds.
Just as the pikes appeared before Basara as if to block his path, he kicked off the surface, jumping straight towards Tachibana. Seeing Basara coming towards him in a straight line, the action Tachibana took was to simultaneously fire out all the pikes on the floor, wall and ceiling, and Basara readied his posture to slash with his sword—
Twisting in mid-air while slashing out with Brynhildr, shattering the countless pikes coming from behind his back, before twisting his body again.
Smoothly transitioning from defence at his back to attack at Tachibana before him, he slashed out without a drop in speed.
Tachibana changed his state while retreating backwards, and Brynhildr brushed past his body which had changed to mist—
But Tachibana’s expression still distorted from pain. He was late in transforming, so he had sustained injury from not being able to escape Basara’s attack. Despite that—
“Ku – Aaaaaaahhhhh!”
At the moment Basara touched the ground, Tachibana rapidly thrusted out his right hand, but the claw’s speed and path was already seen through by Basara. He pushed the tip sideways a little, utilizing minimal movements to evade Tachibana’s claw, and used Brynhildr’s hilt to impact lower jaw; Tachibana, whose brain received a shock, had his movements come to a stop momentarily.
Basara immediately slashed at his body with his sword – with the back of the blade.
With the sound from the impact, Tachibana crashed through the door of the classroom on the right back-first, and fell to the ground.
Despite having a face distorted with pain, Tachibana still tried to stand up.
“ ! …Do you really look down on me that much…!?”
Tachibana glared at Basara with eyes filled with hostility. Those blood-red eyes, showed that Tachibana’s hostility was undiminished. While receiving that hostility head-on, Basara thought—
…What is going on?
Going y the situation, Tachibana who was actually a vampire was very likely to be the culprit; but perhaps due to hiding his identity and powers for a long time, he clearly never had any real combat. If it was just that, it didn’t matter—
…His movements are too direct.
Every attack of Tachibana’s was like an emotional outburst, it was very simple. Indeed, The Tachibana Basara had known had a very frank personality; in a tight situation, attacks of someone like him would also be easy to guess.
However – Tachibana’s attacks was already direct right from the start. The enemy this time had no qualms in getting innocent people involved, the attack at the station and the tornado just now was the proof of that; at the same time, the enemy was someone very cautious, causing Basara to not be able to guess the enemy’s identity. The above characteristics, were completely different from Tachibana who was before him. Hence—
Thinking of a certain possibility, Basara grabbed Tachibana’s wrist and forcefully pulled him up, and pressed him against the blackboard, and then tried something that could not be done in the middle of a fierce battle.
“W-What are you doing…!”
“—don’t move, keep quiet first.”
Basara brought his face closer towards Tachibana’s alarmed face, and concentrated on gazing at Tachibana.
In order to activate [Banishing Shift]’s banishing ability, the target’s root of existence, [Origin], needs to be severed. Since a very long time ago, Basara was able to see the [Origin]; and recently, as if due to the deepening of his relationship with Mio and Yuki after their kiss, his strength was considerably higher than before, and he could now see the manifestation of the fluctuation of magic powers whenever he just concentrates.
Basara did not find any foreign fluctuations in Tachibana’s body – which shows that his consciousness is not being controlled by someone. However, Tachibana’s fluctuations was completely different from the barrier around them.
In other words – the culprit was someone else, not Tachibana. Then, the reason Tachibana attacked Basara, was probably—
“…Tachibana, could it be, you are thinking that I was the one responsible for the tornado just now—…?”
“What are you saying this late!? You’ve already put up a barrier like this, why are you doing something so bad…!”
Pressed against the blackboard, Tachibana’s shouted angrily with tearful eyes.
"Involving innocent people, and even messing up the Sports Festival! Just kill me inside a barrier if you wanted to kill me, there wasn’t a need for something like that!”
Hearing the shout with emotion poured into it—
…Damn it, I got tricked!
Basara finally realised that both of them who was within the barrier, were led on by the real mastermind. Basara and Tachibana hoped to be able to trust each other, so when they think that the other party is the traitor, they’ll be even more unwilling to forgive. The real mastermind used these feelings and tricked the two of them who had become friends after much difficulty, using the meaningless battle to break down the trust built up between the two of them.
…But, even then…
It great that the worst case scenario did not happen, and the both of them are still safe. So, when needs to be done now is to not let the mastermind have their way. Thus Basara kept away Brynildr.
“W-What are you doing…?”
The unexpected action, caused Tachibana to become wary.
“Tachibana – look into my eye with your demonic eye, this way you’ll be able to find out why I kept my weapon.”
“As you know, we Heroes have some resistance against magic; if we concentrate to defend, controlling our consciousness would have no effect unless it’s a really strong power. The demonic eye able to control consciousness disrupts the subconsciousness through the eyes, so you’ll be able to see through my intentions.”
“If you do that – you’ll understand why I chose to quit the battle.”
What Basara said was [Quit], not something like [Stop], displaying his intention to no longer fight. However—
“…Just what are you planning? You've come up so close to a vampire and chose to keep your weapon, so even if my demonic eye can’t control you, I can still suck blood to make you into my slave…”
Tachibana kept his guard up. That was for sure, since no matter what Basara says now, his trust cannot be regained again.
“Because I hope you’ll see for yourself clearly…”
Yet Toujou Basara said out a truth – his own real intentions. And that is—
“Tachibana… I had really hoped to make the Sports Festival a success together with you, and that holds true even now.”
Those words caused Tachibana to shudder unconsciously. The subconsciousness is affected by the words the person says, so Tachibana would be able to immediately know if what he said were lies or not by using his demonic eye to look into Basara’s eyes.
“…Alright then. If you lie, my teeth will definitely pierce your neck."
Saying that, Tachibana then looked into Basara’s eyes.
With his red eyes that can read thoughts, he gazed intently at Basara. Not long after—
Those two eyes widened, and what immediately appeared them, were tears.
“How can that…be…, then… we were…”
Tachibana who found out the cruel truth, then murmured while at a loss. His head hung feebly, and large tears flowed down his face. Thus, Basara released his hand that was holding Tachibana, and Tachibana slid down the blackboard and fell into a kneeling position, both shoulders shaking. To this reaction of his friend—
Toujou Basara, other than saying out his name softly, did nothing else. He clearly understands, that this was just a misunderstanding.
But despite that – what has been done, has been done. What has been broken, cannot be recovered completely, ever.
No amount of consoling would be able to undo the current status, and he could not stay here forever.
Since Tachibana was not the mastermind, the real enemy is still somewhere out there.
…The enemy couldn’t have closed us in here to deal with them, or not?
An uneasiness grew within him.
“ ! ————…?”
At that moment, Basara suddenly felt a certain air, which caused his hairs to stand on its end and his whole body to stiffen up.
“ ? Toujou-kun…?”
Not knowing what happened, Tachibana raised his tearful face and asked.
“Tachibana, wait here for me… ——understand!?”
Shouting those words, Toujou Basara rushed out of the classroom as if he suddenly received an electric shock.
Where Toujou Basara was headed to, are Mio and Yuki’s location as the reaction from the locating ability of the Master-Servant Contract gave him.
--If the two of them are outside the barrier, Basara who was inside the barrier wouldn’t be able to find their location.
However, the Master-Servant relation with them and Basara had been strengthened significantly. With that, would he be able to find their locations through the barrier? …Thinking that, Basara is going to try using that to try to locate Mio and Yuki.
And then, he really got a reaction from them – but it was not outside the barrier, but within it.
…Damn it! Could it really be related to that person…!?
As Basara ran towards their location, his expression gradually became bitter.
He had already eliminated possible suspects right to the end, and he had already prepared his heart to face the truth; but in a certain corner in Toujou Basara’s heart, there was still trust – that this is not that erson’s doing. Yet—
When he ran down the stairs and saw his destination around the corner, Basara saw a scene he did not wish to believe.
It was a brilliant white. It was the coat that was like her trademark, and she had her right hand directed at the door to the room she was in charge of – and a golden glow was around her hands.
“ ! –Hasegawa-sensei!”
Basara shouted the person’s name, and she must’ve heard it, but—“
Hasegawa Chisato ignored Basara, and in front of the raised right hand – a magic circle appeared on the door. The infirmary room’s door and wall then turned into gray with a sharp sound, and Mio and Yuki’s reaction then disappeared. This scene, was similar to when Mio was trapped into a special barrier that was at Zolgear’s nest.
--Only after that, then did Hasegawa Chisato turn around.
While still exuding the usual peerless beauty, she gazed at Basara with silent and calm eyes. Hence—
“…Sensei, please leave this place.”
Basara stopped around ten meters before Hasegawa, and said while facing her.
The bundle of reluctant hope that was in Basara’s heart had vanished, and what’s left is the acceptance of the truth before his eyes, and the thought of accomplishing his goals no matter what. So despite seeing Hasegawa using magic, Basara who held Brynhildr was not surprised, and had no desire to ask how. Knowing that Hasegawa had closed Mio and Yuki into some kind of barrier – was sufficient enough.
“Please leave that place… Mio and Yuki are inside there, aren’t they, please hand them over to me.”
Basara held Brynhildr’s hilt tightly, displaying the intention that if Hasegawa is not willing to leave, he’ll settle this with his weapon. However—
“…My apologies, I cannot do that.”
When Hasegawa lightly shook her head – Toujou Basara already began moving his body.
…Screw that barrier…!
No matter how strong a barrier is, [Banishing Shift] will be able to eliminate it.
--Sure, [Banishing Shift] can only be activated when the opponent attacks.
But right now, Basara is confined within the barrier covering the school and field, so the condition to activate [Banishing Shift] has been fulfilled. With that—
…If I activate it and set the target as the barrier confining Mio and Yuki…!
It was a somewhat direct brute-force attack. Basara as of now is still unable to clearly see the Origin of two targets, so it might not really be possible to completely eliminate the barrier; but even if that if the case, it should probably be able to eliminate part of it. Once there is a hole in the barrier, breaking of the barrier can proceed from there. Hence—Toujou Basara moved.
Basara who began moving in the corridor and almost immediately reached a speed amazing even for speed-type fighters, directly swung Brynhildr horizontally at Hasegawa; in response, Hasegawa only gently raised her left hand. Hasegawa’s choice is not to avoid, but to defend, probably planning to use a magic barrier or materialise a weapon to receive the attack – no matter what it is, Basara will be able to use the momentum from this attack as a pivot to further increase his speed. Brynhildr’s blade moved towards Hasegawa’s raised left hand—
But Basara who already prepared to increase his speed, stopped and stood there, stunned.
Reason feing, Brynhildr’s large sword blade, was being held in place by Hasegawa’s slim arm; forget about gaining speed, even movements had been sealed.
“—looks like you miscalculated.”
Saying that, Hasegawa began moving her right hand towards Basara, and dazzling golden light emitted from within that hand—
“—get down, Toujou!”
A shout came from behind him at that time.
“ ! ——…!?”
Toujou Basara reflexively kept Brynhildr, and hurriedly moved away.
At the same time, a pillar of fire enclosed Hasegawa within it together with a boom and a shockwave.
Basara who was still safe while facing intense heat, looked backwards. The one standing there, is someone who Basara is familiar with – homeroom teacher Sakazaki Mamoruda.
“Why is sensei…?”
“What are you staring around for, quickly run!”
The teacher's sudden appearance, caused Basara to stand there, stunned. Sakazaki then grabbed onto Basara’s hand and ran, aiming to bring him away from this scene, but Basara forcefully put strength into his legs to stop, and said:
“W-Wait! Mio and Yuki is still…”
Just as the words left his mouth, the air around him suddenly swirled with a boom, and the fire pillar enclosing Hasegawa opened.
It was not wind. What undid Sakazaki’s flames, were many three-dimensional magic circles forcefully twisting the space. Hasegawa emerged from the intense flame attack unharmed—
Saying that in a low voice, a golden aura surrounded her body. Sakazaki’s attack seemed to have enraged her, and she looked this way with hostility that wasn’t there when she faced Basara.
The pressure she released, was bigger then what Zolgear or Maria in her adult form had released. What kind of joke is this, this means that she was way past the level of an S-Class. At this mment, Sakazaki shouted towards basara who had gasped:
“Winning against her head on is not possible, we better retreat and think of a countermeasure first!”
“…You really think you can run away?”
Sayng that, Hasegawa raised her right hand towards them.
But before she attacked, a bundle of black surrounded her thickly, and—
“—quickly run, Toujou-kun!”
A shout came from the other end of the corridor. It was Tachibana Nanao who he had told to remain upstairs.
Tachibana’s tone and anxious expression, were all trying to persuade him to immediately retreat.
--he can’t leave Mio and Yuki behind, but what Sakazaki said was also the truth. Going up against Hasegawa without a plan, would mean that their chances of winning were super low. Hence—
Basara tightly gritted his teeth, and ran away from the scene with Sakazaki.
Basara and the others who had chosen to temporarily retreat, ran into a certain special classroom on the third floor. It was a space with cooking tables with sinks, stoves, drawers and lined up, the home Economics Classroom that had no equipment inferior to a culinary school.
“—are you guys alright?”
Sakazaki asked after taking a deep breath.
“Nn… I’m fine.” “…Me too.”
Basara and Tachibana nodded while answering.
“But, why did sensei…?”
And asked Sakazaki. why did he help them – and at the same time, why could he use special abilities. Tachibana too also had the same questions, and quietly waited for Sakazaki’s answer. Sakazaki only put on his usual bright smile and said:
“Actually, Jin and I are old friends. He had asked me to look after you while he went to the Demon Realm, and that is why I am here.”
"You are my dad’s…? Then—“
Basara remembered the words Sakazaki had told him on the day he transferred in, and Sakazaki gave a bitter smile.
“That’s right. On the day when we first met, you had asked me if I knew who was Jin’s acquaintance in this school, and that acquaintance is actually me. I am not one of the Heroes, but I have some special abilities, as you had seen.”
Sakazaki’s words set off some visualizations within Basara’s mind. The Heroes were an organization founded to deal against the Demon Race, and there were some who dealt with various supernatural beings like Tachibana who is a vampire, choosing to act without any limitations from an organization, people like retired magicians, exorcists and onmyōji. Sakazaki was probably part of them.
"Sorry to have kept it from you. It was to conceal my identity so that I can move about in the shadows, and give you a helping hand whenever there is a need. To tell the truth, I had wanted to help you deal with those Heroes and Demons who had bad intentions for Mio, but…”
Sakazaki’s expression became serious.
“I’m very sorry, I am a teacher of this school; I have many people to protect, including you. After Hasegawa came here, practically everyone related to the school has become her hostage; if I get caught moving carelessly, who knows just how many people she will use as meat shields – please forgive me.”
“No need for that, you helping us just now is sufficient enough… Thank you, sensei.”
The problem between the Heroes and the Demon race, is something Basara and the others must settle personally, and not be handed to them by someone else. However—
…I got helped again by dad.
Yuki not receiving punishment from the [Village] is probably a result Jin mediating in the shadows, and who knows just how much more he had planned. As Basara was once again reassured by the reliability of his father—
“However, Toujou, didn’t I tell you before – you need to be careful of Hasegawa Chisato.”
Sakazaki’s scolding, caused Basara to lower his head.
“Um, Sakazaki-sensei… Just what kind of a person is Hasegawa-sensei?”
Tachibana sheepishly asked from the side, and Sakazaki shook his head while replying:
“I’m not clear about that either… What I know is as you have seen, she possesses a terrifying amount of strength. Thank goodness that up till now, nothing serious has happened. Probably because she wanted to avoid trouble, she had moved everyone’s consciousness away from herself. That is the reason why I have been maintaining my secret observation, to avoid stimulating her… but lately the situation has changed.”
“Then, could the reason Donoue-senpai suddenly turned strange be…?”
Sakazaki nodded with s [Yes], and Tachibana who had asked murmured [How can that be…] while shocked.
But it’s no surprise. It was Hasegawa who had convinced Tachibana to join the Organising Committee, and finding out that she had been planning to do damage to the Sports Festival would give Tachibana a big blow.
“……Sakazaki-sensei, how long do you think the barriers you created can last?”
“I am not able to give you a precise answer. Each of them will last around five minutes, so all of them will be about thirty minutes.”
“I see. Then—“
Basara suddenly swung out Brynhildr. There wasn’t any preliminary actions, a complete surprise attack. Normally speaking, I is completely unavoidable. Right now—
“ ! –T-Toujou-kun?”
“Tachibana was at a loss, shock filling his voice.
But – Sakazaki was different. He jumped backwards, deftly landing on the ground after avoid Basara’s attack.
“Toujou… I can understand that you have been through many things and can’t easily trust people. As you can see now, I am not being controlled by her.”
“That’ right… I know that sensei bringing us here, is completely of your own free will. But—“
Basara held Brynhildr towards Sakazaki and said:
“This, is the irrefutable evidence that shows that you are the true enemy.”
“Listen closely. I had transferred to this school because my dad said that he has an acquaintance here, and Sakazaki-sensei claims to be that acquaintance… that is definitely impossible.”
“The pressure Hasegawa-sensei had released is extremely shocking… Undoubtedly, it is far above Sakazaki-sensei. And from Sakazaki-sensei’s words, you had known of Hasegawa’s existence for a long time; if Sakazaki-sensei is really the acquaintance of my dad, normally speaking, my dad would’ve stopped me from transferring here, by right.”
As Tachibana exclaimed as he suddenly realised something—
“Haven’t I already said it? Hasegawa’s strength is really powerful, but it wouldn’t be a big threat if she isn’t stimulated. And you coming to this school of to protect Naruse—“
“An enemy that couldn’t be dealt with if the enemy gets mad isn’t a threat? Usually under this condition, it shouldn’t be me transferring here, but instead Mio transferring to the school I was originally studying at.”
“Basara cut off Sakazaki’s explanation, and then continued:
“And my dad has also said before, he had already done some investigating about Mio and the others; so in his investigation, he will definitely have realised Hasegawa’s presence.”
“Right now both Nonaka and Takigawa who is in charge of Mio’s surveillance have not uncovered Hasegawa’s real identity… You and Jin who have left the Heroes for so long, would be even more difficult to uncover, no?”
“If that is really the case, the fact that you have not warned my dad about Hasegawa-sensei’s presence, is even weirder. And, a short blank five years basically cannot cause my dad’s senses to degrade; even me, can still see through and estimate the strength of an opponent. From what I can see, you do indeed have much strength—“
Basara said while directly looking at Sakazaki:
“But, my apologies – I do not see that you are above my dad. Since you already have found out about Hasegawa’s true strength, my dad cannot not miss it. And my dad clearly knew of the strength Hasegawa possesses, yet gave me no warnings at all… Why is that so?”
There was only one answer.
“Because there was no need at all. My dad knew of Hasegawa-sensei’s strength, and knows that it will never become a threat to us.”
Hasegawa’s powerful strength, instead had revealed the truth. And that is—
“My dad’s acquaintance is not you at all – it is Hasegawa-sensei instead.”
The irony is that, only after mistakenly thinking that he had been saved by the true enemy Sakazaki, he could be so certain. With this, Hasegawa closing Mio and Yuki into the Infirmary, must have her reasons.
They must be fine – so what’s next is to defeat Sakazaki, and things will end.
…Thirty minutes, huh.
He didn't know just how much the words of the enemy can be trusted. If that is the truth, if they just waited innocently, they would need to spend thirty minutes before being able to rendezvous with Hasegawa; if they rendezvous with Hasegawa, they’ll probably be able to defeat Sakazaki easily, and Sakazaki probably also knows that. Then—
Basara’s train of thought was suddenly broken. He saw Sakazaki still having his usual bright smile on in this situation, gazing at him. This gaze, was the same as the gaze he had felt after the attack at the station late in the night and the one he had felt often within school.
“My, my, looks like there’s no other way…”
In the moment Sakazaki said so with the same smile—
An attack that couldn’t be seen hit Basara’s abdomen, sending him flying backwards, crashing back-first into the blackboard, flattening his lungs. Just as the force of the impact cause Basara’s body to bounce from the wall—
“ ! –Toujou-ku—“
Tachibana’s shout was suddenly cut off. It was an attack exactly like the one that hit Basara, that had directly hit Tachibana. Probably because that attack had also taken his consciousness, he laid on the floor, not moving at all.
This scene, caused Basara who had difficulties breathing due to the impact and whose vision ois still blurry—
Who had barely landed on the ground feet first – to kick the ground hard at the same time, suddenly moving forward.
Since Tachibana is now unconsciousness, the option of escaping the Home Economics Classroom and getting to Hasegawa’s side after wrecking Sakazaki’s barrier is now cut off. Even if he were to carry Tachibana and run utilizing the speed of a speed-type fighter, they would be stopped by the numerous barriers Sakazaki had set up on their way here, and Sakazaki would catch up in an instant.
Those barriers were not just to delay Hasegawa, they were also probably to prevent Basara and Tachibana from escaping. Since they can’t escape… they can only fight.
“ ! –Oooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh!!”
With the roar fuelled by anger pushed out from the stomach and forcefully pushing his lungs to restart themselves, Toujou Basara attacked.
While holding Brynhildr in front of his eyes pointed at Sakazaki, Basara kept his posture low and dashed in between the lined-up cooking tables. This action, to deal with attacks that couldn’t be seen by the eyes, can block attacks that come from the front as well as the sides.
Most likely, there won’t be any attacks coming from his back. He had already locked on to have Sakazaki in front of him, and if an attack really comes from behind him, he’ll just have to immediately adjust his posture and continue going straight to attack. His expectations were quickly fulfilled, as an attack came at from in front of him, and Basara immediately increased his speed; in less than a breath, Basara had already closed in on Sakazaki, and swung the raised Brynhildr downwards at Sakazaki. He probably won’t be able to avoid this attack – but if he does manage to avoid it, Basara will use Brynhildr to destroy the floor of the Home economics classroom, opening a way down to the second floor. Since Sakazaki wants to prevent Basara from rendezvousing with Hasegawa, this will probably be the situation he wants to avoid the most. Thus, Basara thought of various countermeasures to the actions Sakazaki might take, and got ready to forcefully slash through any defence or struggle put up.
“—So that’s it.”
Sakazaki kept his smile unchanged, and used the unseeable attack to meet Basara’s attack; but as Basara’s slash had superior power, Sakazaki’s attack bounced off with a ‘Clang!’. Basara did not stop just from that, and continued swinging Brynhildr downwards – but clashing with that attack just now had caused him a very small delay, enough for Sakazaki to retreat backwards. Yet—
…Don’t even think of escaping!
Basara immediately followed. Even if Sakazaki can send out attacks outside of Basara’s attack range, there was the danger of him injuring himself when the distance between them is close to zero, and that would naturally reduce the number of attacks Sakazaki let loose. There is no weapon in Sakazaki’s hands, so he could very likely by a mage-type fighter -- once the distance between them has been shortened, the very fast swordsman of a speed-type fighter like him would be able to suppress him within a few strokes.
In other words, a close-ranged battle was Basara’s only way of victory – and that was exactly what he did.
Basara immediately pulled into Brynhildr’s effective range, and released a slash.
As any errors in dodging would cause Basara to destroy the flooring, Sakazaki casted a barrier, defending against Basara’s countless criss-crossing attacks—
“What a headache… She’ll be here very soon, so don’t waste too much of my time, understand?”
In the moment he said while having a frustrated smile on, he released a shockwave.
However – its target was not Basara, but Tachibana who collapsed at their side. It was an attack released downwards, with its strength controlled in order to not destroy the flooring. Tachibana who possesses the robustness and recovery power of a vampire probably won’t receive a very serious injury, but—
Seeing his unconscious friend unable to unable to defend and receiving the attack, Basara’s heart was unconsciously shaken and the speed of his attacks decreased. Sakazaki took the opportunity taking a step back, he said with his right palm aimed precisely at Basara:
“Hahaha – Toujou, you really are a kind-hearted person.”
In the next moment, the attack Sakazaki released hit Basara’s shoulder.
Sakazaki who had been on the defensive up till now, attacked Basara who was in mid-upturned as the target, and as if to vent his anger onto Basara’s body, released countless relentless attacks at Basara’s body which crashed into the glass case by the wall.
As the attacks pounded him, the broken glass shards carved countless scars into Basara’s body. Despite that, Basara still clashed Brynhildr at one of the attacks and immediately left the wall. Yet—
When he tried to dash towards Sakazaki once again, he suddenly stopped and gasped. That was not due to taking injuries, but instead by Sakazaki’s side – there was a young teenage girl floating in mid-air.
" ! ...Kurumi!"
Basara reflexively shouted her name, but Kurumi gave no reactions. Then, Sakazaki said:
“Don’t worry, she is only unconscious – no matter what, she is after all my precious hostage. But right now she is just merely unconscious, so if don’t wish to see her lose her life, Toujou Basara, you better do the sensible thing. Alright—“
Sakazaki’s smile got even brighter.
“My apologies, I don’t have much time left – can you please put down your weapon?”
Despite how Basara gritting his teeth could be heard audibly, he had no choice but to listen to Sakazaki’s demand in the end, since after all, Kurumi’s life is irreplaceable. But—he can’t give up just like that.
…It’s not over yet…!
Sakazaki’s target is Basara, most likely due to [Banishing Shift]; then, he probably won’t kill so easily, so there will probably be a chance to retaliate. Thinking that, as Basara was about to throw Brynhildr into the air – he suddenly heard a [Hyun] sound.
Taking a closer look, Sakazaki had raised his right hand and was pointing his index and midle finger at Basara.
--next moment, Basara’s body tilted right along with a metallic ‘Clang’ sound.
Basara immediately put strength to right himself, thinking: [What is going on?] before seeing it.
Brynhildr had fallen onto the floor – together with armoured right arm.
In the moment his thought stopped, at the leftover part of the severed right shoulder – a large amount of blood poured out from the shoulder region.
There was no feeling of pain, only the visual of seeing blood pouring out, and his consciousness thinning out.
…! This is…!
Basara became significantly anxious. This clouding of his consciousness is not due to significant blood loss, it was probably Sakazaki taking the opportunity when Basara was realising he had received grave injury causing a break in his consciousness to control his mind.
No matter what, I have to scrape by – the moment he thought that, his whole body rapidly lost energy.
When he realised it, what was before his eyes was the flooring of the Home Economics classroom, and it turned into black in the turn of an eye.
How can I be defeated here? Basara used his remaining right arm to fumble for Brynhildr, but with only black in his vision, his hand could only feel the flooring.
Very quickly, Basara could no longer muster up this much resistance. Just as he was about to give up trying to retain his consciousness—
…Who, is it…?
Toujou Basara vaguely heard a certain someone’s voice.
And his consciousness being swallowed by the darkness – is what happened next.
After Sakazaki confirmed the collapsed Basara had lost consciousness and is no longer to battle—
“Now then… I better move quickly.”
During the time when he fought with Basara, two of the barriers had already been broke through, and it won’t be long before ‘’she’’ arrives. Before that happens, he will have to leave this place.
“—but, I better clean up before I leave.”
Saying that, Sakazaki looked at Tachibana and Kurumi who was unconscious. Since he had already obtained Basara, hostages no longer have any use. Bringing a burden along with him will not only just slow him down, it’ll be much easier to leave behind traces if he decides to jump through space; why not just kill the hostages now, to not give him any troubles? Hence, Sakazaki raised his right hand towards Tachibana and Kurumi – in the corner of his eye, the figure of Basara lying on the ground suddenly disappeared.
The surprise Sakazaki let out while turning around suddenly turned into a scream. An attack he did not see from the front had sent him flying, followed by a series of booms. It was the sound of Sakazaki who was sent flying breaking through the wall of the Home Economics Classroom, as well as the walls of the classroom behind him.
Sakazaki continuously broke through five classrooms, sending the hard blackboards, lecterns, chairs and desks dotted around the room, storage cabinets, etc. flying everywhere in pieces – before finally stopping back-first on a large machine in the Crafts Classroom. Then—
“Gu… Uu… Ha…!”
Sakazaki who let out anguished moans vomited out large amounts of fresh blood, clearly showing there were ruptures in his internal organs. Even the damage to his ribcage was not simply just fractures, it was already in pieces.
The pain distorted his vision, and as Sakazaki tried to focus his consciousness, a golden aura covered him, rapidly repairing the damage to his body. Despite that, Sakazaki still wasn’t able to move, only able to slightly raise his head.
“ ! ……?”
And in the direction he had came from, he saw something like green flames casting flickers of light on the surroundings, and gasped. In the dim barrier, the bright light slowly approached Sakazaki.
That, is unmistakably Toujou Basara. From the classroom Sakazaki was knocked out from – on the many chips and shards of the broken rubble, he slowly took steps towards him at a steady pace, causing Sakazaki to unconsciously widen his eyes. he bleeding of the severed arm had been stopped, but not just that—
…how is the right arm I severed…!
Basara’s right arm that was supposed to have been severed, has been restored, and was tightly gripping onto Brynhildr.
No, to be exact, it was not restored. Previously, when Brynhildr was materialised, there was armour only on the right arm; but the Basara right now had his torso and back covered up by armour too – as if the armour was eroding into him.
Basara’s eyes, viciously turned towards Sakazaki, as if locking onto its prey, looking at Sakazaki with a gaze that was different from usual. When their eyes met—
“ ! ——Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!”
Sakazaki who seemed to have finished healing himself raised a scream as if trying to get rid of his spiralling fear.
As something called fear overcame his rational instincts, Sakazaki forgot that he had originally wanted to capture Basara alive and materialised countless golden glowing spheres and released them in one swoop of his arm, and those spheres flew very fast towards Basara while leaving a trail behind like a meteor—
Yet with a slash through the air, those golden spheres suddenly disappeared. A high-pitched ringing sound then rang out, showing that what Basara had just acyivated was undoubtedly [Basnishing Shift], but—
…He had activated that move successively…!
Impossible, how can something like this be happening… Taking into account the conditions to successfully eliminate, successively activating it is something impossible at a basic level. The surprise, caused Sakazaki’s mind to turn blank.
Basara’s silhouette then disappeared from Sakazaki’s eyes, leaving behind only some flickers of light. Immediately—
A sudden twisting of his body on reflex saved Sakazaki’s life. The glint of Brynhildr appeared, sweeping through where Sakazaki’s head was just a moment ago. But this dodge did not manage to keep him completely safe, and his the hearing from his left ear disappeared, causing the thought that his left ear had been cut off to appear in Sakazaki’s mind.
Merely cutting off the ear wouldn’t be enough to cause hearing loss. As Sakazaki’s continued evading, he touched the place where his left ear was supposed to be. There was no pain or blood, but yet the hearing of his left ear had disappeared. As if – the existence of its hearing ability had disappeared from the world.
“Could it be, it could not only just stop attacks…!?”
Amidst the unprecedented shock, Sakazaki tried to quickly draw distance between himself and Basara.
Not only could he activate [Banishing Shift], the ability to completely eliminate in succession, he could also use it to attack? How is that possible? The activation condition of [Banishing Shift] is mainly to limit its overpoweredness after all.
If it was possible to override the conditions—
“Then, it’s just as if…… Gu—aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!?”
Basara almost instantly came around to before Sakazaki – and with a sweep, the right of Sakazaki’s abdomen was taken.
Next moment, Basara grabbed Sakazaki who staggered from the pain by the throat—
“! …Uh… Haa……!?”
And held him up by force, his hand pinching a ring around Sakazaki’s neck. Sakazaki who currently had difficulty breathing, saw it at this moment.
Basara’s face as he was releasing a green glow while holding Brynhildr in his hand, that was carrying a dark smile.
--This view caused Sakazaki to want to say something to stop him.
Anything is fine, even if it were lies.
Someone had to say something to quickly stop Basara. Yet, Basara had the strength to take his neck at any time, making him not able to make any sounds. Then—
Basara raised his eyebrows, and put more strength into gripping Brynhildr – and just as he was about to release [Banishing Shift] and eliminate Sakazaki’s existence—
A calm voice was suddenly heard – and in the next moment, golden chains ensnared Basara, stopping of all of his movements.
Right in the nick of time, Sakazaki’s life was saved.
“ ! …Haah… Haah… To think that something like this, caused me…!”
Kneeling on the floor while at a loss, Sakazaki whispered while staring at Basara who was trapped in mid-air. Just then—
“—I see that even you have these kind of days, Ornis.”
That tart voice stated out Sakazaki’s real name. Turning around to look, he only saw her walking slowly this way.
“How are you able to enter here…”
“Is it something weird? Those barriers you created to obstructed me, were destroyed when Basara let loose with Banishing Shift.”
After saying that, Hasegawa Chisato gave a cold smile.
“Why do you think the Hero Tribe had decided to simply just exile Basara who had already lost control of his abilities from the Village? Even if he was trapped into barriers like these, was once the strongest Valkyrie who hunted for many souls in the name of the chief god and had sacrificed her body and soul to seal an evil spirit.”
“ ! …To think that even after being sealed, it still has so much strength.”
Probably because of the period of time Brynhildr was stuck upright in the earth and the sealed evil spirit fusing with Basara who later on became its user, the container that was called a sword was able to preserve its strength and part of itself. Basara’s right arm regenerating and his chain of out-of-control actions, was definitely due to Brynhildr who was severed and separated from Basara, in order to preserve its own existence and return to its host body no matter what, rousing its instincts to kill Sakazaki who would be a threat to its preservation of its existence.
Even if Brynhildr had forcefully suppressed Basara’s consciousness and manifested itself on his flesh and controlled it, for her who had combined with Basara’s body, what she will be able to do won’t exceed the abilities of the host. To tell the truth, [Banishing Shift] is not Brynhildr’s ability.
In other words – the continuous and successive use of [Banishing Shift], ignoring the condition of it only able to counterattack, as well as the swift speed which Sakazaki wasn’t able to react to, were all Basara’s own abilities.
Sakazaki had been trying to treat the injury dealt to his left ear and the right of his abdomen, there was no effect at all. It was due to [Banishing Shift] severing the origin of its existence, causing those parts to have never existed at all. As Sakazaki once again felt shock and awe at that power—
“But still… Why did you not choose Naruse or Nonaka to be your hostage, instead choosing Nonaka’s sister?”
“It’s because that I knew, that if I made a move at Naruse or Nonaka, you would see through it.”
Sakazaki replied to Hasegawa:
“You had enclosed the both of them into the infirmary with a double barrier – it was to protect them so that I can’t harm them, right?”
Thus, he had conversely used that fact. When Basara who harboured suspicions against Hasegawa saw that scene, his suspicions would be on the mark and Sakazaki would intervene with the excuse of saving Basara, taking the opportunity to mention Jin’s name, creating the opportunity for Basara to become careless.
“I see… So in order to obtain Banishing Shift, you made use of Tachibana’s and Donoue’s emotions and lied to Basara that I had changed Donoue’s personality, to make him become suspicious of me, right? You had originally planned to use this to incite Basara and trick me… only to be seen through by Basara and have your plan fall through in the end.”
Hasegawa continued saying to Sakazaki who expression was increasingly becoming entangled:
“—but there is still something I don’t understand. Why did you attack Basara when he was on his way back from my home? Doing something like that, wouldn’t it cause him to become cautious? If you wanted to obtain Banishing Shift, avoiding rousing his suspicions would be better, so why did you lower your chances of success on purpose?”
Hearing that question, Sakazaki – Ornis spoke:
“…Isn’t it obvious, Afreyja-sama”
He called Hasegawa by her real name, and said:
“It’s because Toujou Basara – that damned brat, received a favour from you”
Hasegawa listened as Ornis spoke with a tone of hate:
“Since you had put up an invisible barrier at the infirmary and your apartment, I am no able to look in… but from the state Toujou left your apartment, it’s not difficult to see that something had happened.”
Ornis trembled from anger while saying [Just why?], and asked:
“For someone so important like you, why did you do that…!”
“I see… so that is why you wanted to forcefully extract Banishing Shift, and then kill him”
Hasegawa raised her eyebrows, and said:
“—just like when you killed the real Sakazaki.”
Ornis's mouth curled – and at this moment he returned back to his original posture.
“Indeed, is there anything wrong with that? That human who did not know just how lowly he was dared held delusions of becoming close to you… All I did was just doing away with a dirty pest, was there anything wrong with that?”
A smile appeared on his face, clearly showing some arrogance, becoming insidious.
“That unmatched beauty of yours, is an absolute sanctuary that no one can dirty; even if you sealed your power and came to this Realm, that face still remains unchanged. And the one to protect the sanctuary, would naturally be none other than me who was ordered to guard you as a mission.”
Ornis’s words, caused Hasegawa Chisato to be disgruntled.
--not long ago, Hasegawa had opposed the knotty implications of [Jealousy], and had once spoke to Basara about that.
Back then, she had said that jealousy is something that was just as it appeared to be, but it would become messy once it crosses a certain stage. That was not her speculation or generalization, as Ornis who is near Hasegawa had such complications; yet Hasegawa had not dealt with him at all, until today. For Ornis’s convenience, Hasegawa had turned a blind eye when Ornis had killed the real Sakazaki; the reason was that Sakazaki was a scum who secretly does all sorts of nasty things to female students, so even if Ornis had not done it, Sakazaki would die one day from someone’s plot.
After that, to prevent the other male teachers from assaulting Ornis, she had diverted their consciousness away from him. It was only when their minds became relaxed from drinking alcohol then did they let loose on their clamped-down emotions.
--as far as Hasegawa is concerned, Basara is the only exception. Hasegawa had originally planned to look over him from afar, but under Jin’s arrangement, Basara had come to this school to study.
Thus – whenever she saw Basara, she couldn’t hold it back any more, since after all, the last time she had interacted with him this close, was when he was just a baby that was just born. Hence when Hasegawa saw Basara who had grown into a strong young teenager, her suppressed emotions rapidly expanded; and when Basara spoke to her about his troubles that couldn’t be discussed with Mio, Yuki or Maria, her emotions ran wild, to the point where it flooded to even push her to invite Basara into the bathroom in her apartment and give her affection to him using her breasts. Yet, Ornis who obsessively loved Hasegawa was unable to accept something like that happening, and so on impulse, he attacked Basara. At that moment, Ornis looked at Basara with vicious eyes—
“I will definitely not allow anyone to tarnish you. Not just humans who are just inferior versions of us—“
And said out the hidden major secret.
“—even that taboo, abomination of 『Three BredsBlood of Three Races』 too.”
Hasegawa Chisato emotions immediately exploded, and unlocked all the power she possessed.
Dazzling golden aura rapidly poured out, her hair and eyes then turned into golden and blue colours, regaining the air from back when she was called Afreyja.
“Mind your words, Ornis… In that child, in Basara’s body, flows『Her』blood, and to protect the honour and glory of that person, no one is allowed to slander Basara’s existence.”
“ ! …Even if you say that, wasn’t『Her』death due to this youth?”
Receiving Hasegawa's murderous intent, the shaken Ornis tried to rebut, and despite how his expression distorted from fear, he felt pure joy from once again seeing Hasegawa’s true self.
“To you, Toujou is probably your enemy, no? But yet you abandoned your position for this guy, and even sealed your power and came to this Realm… and even protecting him. Actually, I know about all of it—“
“Before when he had a battle against his childhood friends – you had hugged him after leaving the Yakiniku shop, and kissed his forehead to give him a blessing; that’s why near the end of the battle, Toujou hadn’t fallen into deep sleep from inhaling Nonaka’s drug and was just in time to settle her danger.”
“Previously before the battle against the high-class demon, you had tied a bandage that could act as a holy talisman on Toujou’s injured finger, warning him to absolutely not take it off. Right? That was the reason why despite the damage sustained from the succubus in her adult form and Zolgear left no lasting effects.”
Seeing Hasegawa’s silence showing affirmation, Ornis said:
“Why? Why are you so obsessed with this youth…?”
This question, caused Hasegawa to touch her earing with a fingertip, and reply:
“Because this child – is the proof that『She』had once lived.
What Hasegawa said while gazing at Basara, were emotions that she could never give up – Hasegawa Chisato’s true feelings.
Toujou Basara, is the child she wanted to give birth to even if it means sacrificing herself. She, was a special woman who was far older than Hasegawa, whom Hasegawa held a sister-like admiration for.
To protect this child, Hasegawa Chisato had resolved to do anything for him.
It was fifteen years ago, when she had sworn to herself on the day Basara was born.
“Is that so – then, it seems that I have no other choice.”
At the same time Ornis announced that, a radiance surrounded Basara who has in the air.
That radiance is similar to a magic circle, but in fact, dissimilar – just like Hasegawa, it radiated the sacred golden glow.
“As long as Toujou exists, you will continue sacrificing for him – in order to set you free, I will have to kill Toujou.”
“This is the holy circle I had constructed to extract the power of Banishing Shift. Although I had not expected that Brynhildr would go out of control, Toujou Basara right now is bound by you, so disposing of him wouldn’t be a problem. I, who exists to follow and serve you, knows of the nature of your power, has always been looking for ways to serve you, so – I wouldn’t cause and rebounding or repulsing of our powers.”
These words were not lies. The golden glow gradually seeped through Hasegawa’s binding, flowing towards Basara’s body.
“I see… However, do you really think that I will continue watching as you cause trouble?”
“Toujou’s Banishing Shift, is an ability that can eliminate my flesh at the level of the soul. No matter what I do, once [the people up there] know of this, this guy will be as good as dead.
Ornis continued with ‘since that is the case’, and said:
“Why not let me first extract the ability of Banishing Shift? Once I bring back this ability, I will be able to send you back to that position high up there. This place, isn’t somewhere you should be staying at.”
“Return back to the God Realm with me – Afreyja-sama”
Seeing Ornis extend a hand, Hasegawa gave a bried moment of silence before speaking in an enraged tone:
“…You really think I’ll let you kill Basara, and return with you?”
“You are free to become angry. The situation right now is different from the past, you can no longer stop me. Other than for self-protection, [the people up there] had sealed virtually all of your power; that was the condition of you coming to this Realm, is it not? So—“
Ornis tried to continue speaking – but was cut off by Hasegawa, literally.
Simply swinging her right hand, she completely smashed Ornis’s saint circle.
“ ! ————?”
After that, Hasegawa said to the stunned Ornis:
“Fifteen years ago… when I had decided to abandon everything, I received a lot of condemnation, especially from the rest of the [Ten gods]; however – there were still a few, who was willing to stand by my side.”
And in the end, Hasegawa reached a [Compromise].
“Indeed, majority of my power has been sealed, but if I meet a certain situation – for [A Certain Goal], I can release as much power as in the past.”
Do you know why?
“—if I find a time where I must protect Basara, my seal will be cancelled temporarily.”
Announcing that, Hasegawa began walking slowly towards Ornis.
Perhaps finally realising just how close to death he was, Ornis suddenly became flustered.
“T-This is a joke right, Afreyja-sama… Didn’t you just stop Toujou from eliminating me? If you really wanted to protect Toujou, you only just had to watch him—“
“—I had stopped Basara, not to save you.”
Hasegawa coldly smiled – and then said out the truth.
“If I had not intervened, the barriers you and I had put up could’ve been completely eliminated; moreover, if Basara had killed you in that situation, things would’ve happened like you said, with those people finding out of his power. No matter what, I must prevent that from happening.”
“Afreyja-sama had also put up barriers…? How? What did it even happen…”
“It’s no wonder you didn’t realise it… after all, it is the special barrier that not even the rest of the Ten Gods focusing can sense.”
“Y-You’re lying, right…? If what you said is true, then back when the situation about Toujou and Takigawa and those childhood playmates happened, you should have used the power of the Ten Gods to protect him, no!?”
“Of course, I had prepared some insurance. However, the conflict arising from the Demon Race fighting over Naruse, as well as the problem concerning Nonaka and those childhood playmates, were all hurdles Basara will overcome by himself. I was just holding back myself from intervening, to stop myself from protecting him too much.”
However—you are different.
“Since you from the God Race wants to get involved, it no longer concerns Naruse or Nonaka, it’s a problem that I must not push to someone else, and eradicate it personally.”
Hasegawa added an ‘Also’, and said:
“Just wanting to kill Basara is enough to make me not let you off alive… You even made use of me, making Basara suspect me. If not for you, I would not even need to look at myself with such cruel eyes. Say, jusy how should I make you compensate me… Ornis?”
Saying that, Hasegawa then gathered golden aura in her right hand, releasing a multi-layered holy circle.
“In Basara’s place, I shall thoroughly eradicate you until there’s no trace of you left.”
And she extended her right hand towards Ornis.
“Afreyja-sama! …I-It was for you that I—“
Those words that he blurted out, became his last words.
The power Hasegawa released was as she said, wiping out all of Ornis’s existence. Then—“
“………What you wanted to say at the end, couldn’t be that you want me to let you live, could it?”
Hasegawa sighed, and said:
“If you say that you wanted to kill Basara for my sake – that would be no different from asking me to kill you.”
After eliminating Ornis – Hasegawa Chisato still had to do something.
Hasegawa turned to face Basara who was bounded by chains and currently hung up in mid-air.
And after that said to the demonic sword that had regenerated Basara’s right arm, controlled Basara’s consciousness, and expanded the armour to his body:
“Thank you for saving me the time needed to regenerate his right hand, but regretfully, I cannot hand him to you. As for the soul of the one who foolishly attempted to harm you, you have have him – so please accept it.”
Hasegawa touched Brynhildr lightly—
With some ringing sounds of steel, Brynhildr which was embodied melted into nothingness, and his body and the armour on his right arm regained their original appearance. Hasegawa then released the chains, and Basara landed within her arms through the air.
“It’s great that you’re fine… Basara.”
Hasegawa sat down on the floor, tightly holding on to her beloved youth.
--to tell the truth, I really want to tell you everything.
Tell you about my identity, Basara’s life, what Ornis had meant when he said [Three BredsBlood of Three Races].
As well as – just how much Hasegawa Chisato loved Toujou Basara. But—
“I’m really sorry – I still can’t tell you of everything about me yet.”
After taking a breath—
“And – the matter about your two mothers.”
Hasegawa hasn’t even revealed that matter yet to his father Jin, so naturally she can’t tell Basara about it yet.
…Really, why am I even bringing this upon myself?
Caressing Basara’s cheeks, Hasegawa couldn’t help but to smile bitterly. Since she can’t reveal her own identity, Hasegawa needed to modify Basara’s memories and pretend that she herself is unrelated to this matter.
When she sent Mio and Yuki into the infirmary, she had already done the necessary preparations with only some fine-tuning left, and only Tachibana and Basara were left – just in case, it is probably best that Kurumi’s memories were also checked through. There probably won’t be any more problems with that.
Besides, Hasegawa still had to deal with the aftermath of some matters. Firstly, is to let the disrupted Sports Festival that Ornis had controlled Donoue to create a tornado continue. Basara and his companions had joined the organising committee and put in a lot of work over a long period of time, so she can’t let Ornis’s twisted love for her to cause the Sports Festival to be halted.
Next is to deal with Ornis – Sakazaki’s whereabouts. Basara had properly disposed of him, so he’ll probably be treated as a missing person in the end, but the problem caused by the tornado still remains. If the testimonials aren’t appropriate enough, the school and police would conclude that Sakazaki’s disappearance is linked to the tornado, and the Sports Festival this year will be halted. To avoid that situation, the memories of the student dean or other related personal has to be modified – for something of this degree, it would be a breeze for the current Hasegawa.
Lastly, the most important one, is to erase his memories of letting loose with [Banishing Shift] at Sakazaki from basara’s mind. Although his consciousness was seized by Brynhildr at that time and probably wouldn’t remember it – his subconsciousness would still remember it. If by coincidence one day he remembers it, it will undoubtedly increase the pain of Basara who has yet to be free from the pain from the scene of the tragedy five years ago.
Thus, to modify Basara’s memories, Hasegawa laid atop Basara. Although just making contact with her hand would be sufficient to modify memories, and she will be doing that to the other people – but to Basara, she just wanted to use this way. At a distance the both of them could feel each other’s breathing, Hasegawa Chisato who was looking at Basara’s sleeping face suddenly an emotion rushing up to her head—
She kissed Basara, unable to hold back anymore. A compensation of this level, is probably fine. Fully experienced the sensation of the lips, Hasegawa then slipped her tongue into his mouth.
And Basara who was supposed to be sleeping had a reaction, entwining his tongue with hers, and even started caressing her breast.
…Fufu, you’re still the same as always.
Not only did Hasegawa not resist, she even returned the kiss even more sexily.
Entwining with his tongue, saliva flowing into each other’s mouths, letting out sounds as they stimulated each other’s mouths.
At that moment – Basara’s mobile phone fell out from his pocket.
Hasegawa stopped her movements, and began reaching a hand for the floor – and then stopped.
Because she saw what was displayed on the screen of the phone that fell to the ground.
The phone is currently doing a sound recording. From the duration of the recording displayed, the recording was probably started after being trapped within Ornis’s barrier. It was his insurance, taking into account that he might be manipulated by enemy that could control consciousness.
He only had to listen to the recording after things settled down to be able to understand the whole truth. Hence—
Hasegawa couldn’t hold back her surging laughter. She knew that Basara and Takigawa had joined hands to bring down Zolgear – but she had not expected that she herself and Ornis would also be set up by him.
This young man, really is something. Despite how Toujou Basara is still a far cry from the Ten Gods’ Afreyja on the battlefield; his mind is much more exquisite. Hasegawa noticing Basara’s phone, is just purely luck; if she had released him directly after modifying his memories, everything she had been hiding would be found out by him. But—
“Even if you are so smart, you probably never thought that my feelings for you are so deep, right?”
Hasegawa giggled. Basara’s strategies and thinking are really amazing, but this time, Hasegawa’s emotions had won with a kiss. To continue that action, Hasegawa Chisato brought her lips closer towards Basara—
“I really look forward… to the day where I can tell you of today, understand?”
And after murmuring that, their four lips once again made contact.
And suddenly, a dazzling golden light warmly covered the two of them, as if gently giving blessings to their future.
Translator's Notes and References
- consent might be a better word, though
- this phrasing doesn’t seem very clear, so see the image examples here
- the one where participants have to crawl under a net
- not the best phrase, but the only one I could think of now. Maria had gotten a ‘handle’ on Kurumi, i.e. she had gotten some ‘blackmail material’
- ??? quite a number of ‘lessons’ were held
- Atavism is the tendency to revert to ancestral type. In biology, an atavism is an evolutionary throwback, such as traits reappearing which had disappeared generations before
- older sister
- 天元Tengen, if anyone has got a better suggestion, please say it
- a traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology, a mixture of natural science and occultism
- read: Newton’s Third Law
- reference to school days?
- a variation on the term (magic circle)?
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