The Unexplored Summon Blood Sign:Volume10 Opening2
Opening X-02: A Dance on the Precipice of Death
“Why!? Why must you make me suffer so, brother!?”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
(Opening X-02 Open 08/23 12:20)
A Dance on the Precipice of Death
It was hell.
Anywhere would be when those two seriously said they were going to kill each other. With no regard for who might be caught in the crossfire. No hell could have been worse, not even the Tapana spoken of in Buddhism or the Cocytus referenced in the Divine Comedy.
The rural city’s Multiple shopping center had a large open space similar to a courtyard. It was normally used for summer break hero shows and other children’s events, so it would be a memorable place for the children.
But now someone did not hesitate to throw an Incense Grenade there.
It was of course Shiroyama Kyousuke.
Meanwhile, the White Queen could distort the world with her mere presence.
It would not matter even if the hoodie boy set up an Artificial Sacred Ground here, acquired his three White Thorns, and swung his Blood-Sign around to summon a Material. He would have to start at the bottom-level Regulation-class and work his way up to the powerful gods and demons and the Queen was not going to wait for him to do that…but that was not why it would not matter. Whether he summoned a Regulation-class, a Divine-class, or an Unexplored-class and no matter what orders he gave them, the enraged White Queen only had to make a scratching motion with her fingers to tear through that insolent being and the very space in which it existed. Not even the Three at the top of the Unexplored-class could escape that fate.
Incurring the White Queen’s wrath meant death.
She was not known as a lady or a princess; she was a queen. And it was time she demonstrated why.
So it should have been over.
With the Blood-Sign Summoning Ceremony – in other words, using anything within the bounds of the Third Summoning Ceremony – the fool would be torn asunder and killed before he could manage any kind of resistance.
But that was not what happened.
This boy had already arrived at the Fourth Summoning Ceremony.
The Queen’s fingers were deflected with an impossible sound.
The silver twintail girl grimaced as pain throbbed in her wrist. The dull pain was similar to having hit a solid concrete wall with a metal bat, but the Queen was the Queen. She was not so weak that mere physical pain could inspire anger or fear in her.
The grimace on her face came from something else.
Someone stood right next to Shiroyama Kyousuke.
A moment before, it had been Meinokawa Aoi, the world’s oldest artificial vessel, but now it was someone a head shorter than even the White Queen.
She had a translucent body.
That monster had a small, undeveloped body that appeared to be around 10 years old and she wore something like an incomplete one-piece swimsuit. Her long hair hid her eyes and poked up on the sides of her head like cat ears. Many weapons spread out around her like a skirt and 12 large and ancient tomes were spread out behind her small back like wings or a clock face. She was an Unexplored-class who should not have existed in this world.
The Colorless Little Girl Dedicated to a Single Goal (aie – a – oio – ei – ueo – ioa – e – uai – ee).
She was a pure Queen killer who asked for nothing more.
Meinokawa Aoi’s groan of agony rang directly in Kyousuke’s head.
<Curse you. This already!? But, boy, are you sure this was a good idea!? Thoughtlessly siding with whoever gives you strength and supports you is not the best ide-…kssshhhh!!!???>
Completely controlling a Material was nearly impossible to begin with, so if a vessel was thrown inside as irregular a Material as the Colorless Little Girl without warning, they could easily lose consciousness. Olivia Highland had a special inborn talent and had been injected with special artificial blood, but even she would have had trouble restraining the Little Girl and guiding her aim in this situation.
The desperate plea vanished from Kyousuke’s mind.
The White Queen also let slip a deep voice filled with more enmity than he had ever heard.
“So we meet again (rx – ht).”
The undeveloped girl calmly brushed it all off.
She tilted her head, turned deeply mechanical eyes toward the summoner, and spoke.
“RQ Cat. …This is fine.”
The situation was perfect for Kyousuke and the Colorless Little Girl.
The vessel’s role was over once that being had been summoned to this world.
It was not the White Queen who spoke without thinking.
Other summoners insolently shared the same battlefield as Kyousuke and the Queen.
One of those was Freedom Award 3000, World Complete. Shigara Masami was a ponytailed researcher wearing a tight skirt suit and a lab coat.
<You’re supposed to go through 100 Regulation-classes and 50 Divine-classes before reaching the Unexplored-class, so how!?>
“Whoops. From here on out, we must ask that all guests obey the proper etiquette and dress code while enjoying their meal. If you rudely try to cut in line, we must ask that you leave☆”
And the other was Biondetta, the waitress demon, who cut in with a smile.
<Detta-chan, what are you doing!?>
“You look at me like I am some poor, miserable thing.”
They both had one of the translucent slimes of the Original Series.
Regulation-class. Cost: 1. The lowest of the low. They were hopelessly ordinary and incomparable to the White Queen or Colorless Little Girl. But a skilled summoner could build their Material up from there using countless transformations.
“But I’m personally fine with the status quo. I’m not trying to change anything. All I want to do is irresponsibly lend a helping hand in other people’s revenge!! …That’s all it is, really. So will you please not rob this mentally and physically ruined girl of the purpose she has found in her life?”
<Are you sure you’re doing this to help with his revenge? Are you sure you aren’t trying to help Kyousuke-kun as an older sister like you did back in the Queen’s Miniature Garden?>
<I am Freedom Award 3000, you know? I am part of the Divine-class. Do you really think you are a match for me in this field when you still belong to this world, Detta-chan?>
“In a proper fight, probably not. I mean, I’m only Freedom Award 920, so I couldn’t hope to stand up to you in your area of expertise.”
The girl known as Biondetta stuck out her tongue and licked her lips in such a seductive way that the woman who had helped raise her could barely stand to watch.
“Have you forgotten? I am Liar Cat. I am the smiling Cheshire Cat who will take my customer’s revenge much further than they ever intended. I carry the Queen’s hatred. Did you think you could measure my skills using the traditional methods? You could even say I have inherited a fraction of the Queen’s distorting charisma. If I use my power to replace stability with chaos and mayhem, it will not be hard to swallow up a hardheaded rule-follower.”
The arrow-shaped tail extending from her miniskirt swished behind her and her arms further squished together the chest already accentuated by her suspenders.
She must have been sweaty because this produced an audible sound from her cleavage. Biondetta’s voice already contained a toxic level of heat and sweetness, but there was also something odd mixed in.
Shigara Masami grimaced, but Biondetta’s eyes shined bright.
It was an eerie light, like the sticky glow on the dark ocean surface as the waves rose and fell in the night or like bugs smaller than grains of rice crawling along your eyeballs.
Perhaps this was their fight too.
Shiroyama Kyousuke had not been raised by just one person.
His original home had been a nightmarish crucible of a laboratory and his later home of the Queen’s Miniature Garden had been destroyed, but he had still met people there. And the hands they reached out to Shiroyama Kyousuke must have triggered some kind of response in his immature heart.
One had embraced that change.
The other had regretted that change even after failing to die.
“I will not let anyone say that what happened in that miniature garden was meaningless. Not you who led that facility deep, deep underground and not Kyousuke-chan himself.”
<No, Detta-chan, we need to stop here. We were wrong to even try to control the Queen from the outside. If we had accepted she was a person all her own, none of that would ever have happened!!>
The older sister and the teacher readied their Blood-Signs here.
To create a future for Shiroyama Kyousuke in their own way.
Meanwhile, the White Queen clicked her tongue while holding her wrist with her other hand.
Yes, the Queen did.
The White Queen knew these were exceptional circumstances. You would normally have had to follow the steps Shigara Masami had mentioned, but if you hit all the Petals into the Spots in order, you could skip past all that setup and summon any Material right off the bat.
But this had been the very first hit.
That initial strike would shatter the three-dimensional Rose and almost randomly send the Petals every which way, so it would normally be unthinkable to spell out the name you wanted there. It was as ridiculous as the ultimate form of cheating in mahjong or hanafuda, where you set up everything on the table to give yourself the hand you wanted right away. Even the White Queen only knew of one person who could do this.
“Elvast Toydream. Have you reached the level of Government Award 1000?”
That monstrous summoner had always summoned the White Queen with his first move thanks to his spatial awareness skills. He used a unique sense to instantly scan the terrain and walls of the Artificial Sacred Ground to subconsciously calculate out what hit on the Rose would give him what he wanted.
But Kyousuke was different.
He really had simply hit the White Thorn with his Blood-Sign. He had simply sent the Petals scattering every which way to signal the start of the battle.
And yet he had arrived at this result.
Specifically, the terrain, the Artificial Sacred Ground, the arrangement of the Spots, and even the flow of the White Thorns and Petals had been forcibly altered as if sucked in by a magnet.
All so that the Colorless Little Girl would be summoned no matter what Shiroyama Kyousuke did.
In other words…
“…!? This was not brother’s doing. Did you distort the coordinates yourself, Colorless Little Girl!?”
This was cheating of the highest order.
Once her reaction began, her energy grew so rapidly there was no controlling it.
The Unexplored-class that contained a dead girl’s soul softly placed her arms around Kyousuke’s hips. The summoner was guarded by the protective circle that kept out all causes of death, but even that fundamental fact was fooled by the strange form of cheating going on here.
<I will protect you, Nii-sama.>
That had been this young girl’s goal from the very beginning.
She may have been more consistent even than Kyousuke and the White Queen at the center of it all.
<When I’m reborn, then I’ll take your side, Nii-sama.>
The White Queen could tell something here.
That was a ghost. That ghost of the past haunted Shiroyama Kyousuke. He might see it as an opportunity, but if not for that girl, he never would have thought to fight the White Queen. He was only doing this because he had a concrete method at hand. So the Colorless Little Girl really was a ghost whose regret and obsession dragged the living into the realm of the dead.
She was furious.
The Sword of Truth, which surrounded her as her battle outfit, picked up on that fury and throbbed. A great number of weapons shot out in every direction like wings, like a skirt, like countless hands, and like indescribable things.
“You pretend to take his side, you don’t even show the courage to oppose him…and you dare use that to steal my brother from me!?”
She gave a shout, but she was stopped by a high-pitched sound.
Once the dark-eyed Little Girl held out a small and soft hand, twice as many weapons shot out. Orange sparks flew, but it was the White Queen’s weapons which were pushed back.
<I will protect you, Nii-sama.>
Something new happened behind that stubborn boy.
It was not over once the Colorless Little Girl had been summoned. While the Third Summoning Ceremony had the summoner switch between so many different Materials, the Fourth Summoning Ceremony left it all in the Colorless Little Girl’s hands, meaning the method and element of her attacks was changed using the Petals.
But Shiroyama Kyousuke did not do anything so ordinary.
He removed one hand from his Blood-Sign and reached casually into his pocket. Surely he was not going to throw a new Incense Grenade now. Instead, he pulled out a knife far too small for combat. It was a maintenance tool used to carve down the holy wood cork used on the end of the Blood-Sign.
Even the White Queen had to frown at this.
She should have realized what he was doing.
Her predictions were close to being oracles or prophecies. When she opened her mouth, she could start a new religion or end a mythology. So just how much of a crisis was the world in if something she had not even considered was happening?
This is what happened:
Without pausing, Shiroyama Kyousuke slit one side of his neck.
The short knife was only as long as his thumb, but the blade sank in to the base.
There was no blood.
The boy she loved more than anyone did not even flinch.
The protective circle would negate any damage that would be fatal to the summoner, but that effect was limited to the 10 minutes of the Artificial Sacred Ground.
Causes of death already within the circle were not deflected and malignant tumors were not torn from the body. So if a tool small enough for the protective circle to not recognize as a threat were used to commit suicide, that would not be deflected to prevent the summoner’s death.
So it would instead forcibly adjust things to prevent the summoner’s death no matter how much they were slashed or stabbed.
Simply put, Kyousuke would die once the battle ended. Even if the White Queen won or if the battle was ended peaceably, she could not have Shiroyama Kyousuke.
No matter what.
A long scream echoed from the White Queen.
The cry of sorrow felt like it was going to tear her throat apart.
Even Shigara Masami and Biondetta briefly stopped their own battle.
Only one person moved amid it all.
<I will protect you, Nii-sama.>
That girl had been so permeated by the realm of the dead that this was nothing special to her.
Only the Colorless Little Girl.
<I will take your side, Nii-sama. I will help you this time.>
She threw a small bookmark behind her to be devoured by one of the giant books spread out like angel wings. And that volume widened its maw to spew forth one possible end of the world. An army of autonomous weapons had worked to annihilate their creators after being infected by viruses created for highly unnecessary reasons like making them sentient and telling them to optimize the use of the planet’s resources. That army attacked the White Queen like a flashflood of gray.
The White Queen wailed as she held them back with her hands with her feet sliding back on the tiled ground.
“Why…why!? Why must you make me suffer so, brother!?”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
Finally, the deadly weapon named Shiroyama Kyousuke opened his mouth.
And he spoke in a voice that may have been more frightening than the precision-guided missile he so loathed.
He tossed aside the small knife used to take his own life and held his Blood-Sign in both hands once more.
His words were far colder than the White Queen’s.
“If your suffering will create even the slightest opening for attack and repeating that process enough times will allow me to ultimately achieve victory, then my life is a small price to pay. Isn’t that what we were talking about?”
The White Queen’s face crumpled up.
And with an even louder scream, a bright white explosion enveloped everything as a dome.
- The White Queen could not bring herself to give up on her love.
- The Colorless Little Girl can distort the world’s coordinates to set things up so she will be summoned by any shot made by the summoner. That essentially breaks the Blood-Sign rules and the connection between summoner and Material. So instead of the summoner summoning the Material and using them to fight, the Material has the summoner summon them and drags the summoner to almost certain death.
- The White Queen views the Colorless Little Girl as a ghost who lures the living into the realm of the dead by giving them hope as a means of fighting.
- Shiroyama Kyousuke cut his own carotid artery inside the protective circle to create an opening in the White Queen. Win or lose the battle, he will now lose his life due to blood loss once the battle ends.
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