The Unexplored Summon Blood Sign:Volume10 Stage1
Stage 01: Across the Seven Planets and Twelve Constellations
“They are hacking the Summoning Ceremony.”
“Are you serious?”
(Stage 01 Open !!timestamp ERROR!!)
Across the Seven Planets and Twelve Constellations
In truth, the 10-minute time limit did not function as a real limit.
The White Queen and the Colorless Little Girl.
The world had not been designed for a situation as extreme as a direct confrontation between those two great beings, so it was hardly surprising when their clash caused the theory of relativity to fail and the laws of time and space to break down.
Everything was warped.
It happened when the Colorless Little Girl’s palm touched the very edge of the domed explosion born of the White Queen’s wrath. That attack was sent equally in every direction, so it should have been unavoidable, yet it was twisted like a vortex and it was diverted as if being swept up into the blue sky overhead.
In the end, there were no fatalities.
They could only thank their lucky stars that the extent of the damage was some shredded cumulonimbus clouds and scattering electricity.
But the Colorless Little Girl puffed out her soft cheeks with her eyes still devoid of emotion.
Almost like she had caught someone folding up her favorite dress and using it as a rag to wipe up the floor. She seemed to be saying that was the wrong way to use that tool.
<That was meaningless.>
“But it was necessary,” spat back Kyousuke.
This was not simple benevolence. In fact, his heart was filled with a deep and dark hostility. If anything, his emotion was closest to spite.
“It is absolutely necessary to lay on the pressure so she loses her cool.”
Something seemed to catch in the White Queen’s throat.
Was there more? Was it not over yet?
She seemed to be lamenting the length of the hellish path laid out before her.
She shouted and raised her right arm horizontally.
She did more than just clench her teeth.
Her lovely lips finally uttered words. And she directly spoke the language that possessed enough power to draw the gods up from another world just by linking the letters together properly.
“Obey my command (jh – a – ra – ou – v). That sword will instantly cut down that unneeded thief (ii – wuh – i – iu – qb – o – kr – fp – ei – tz)!!”
Her clothing wriggled.
Instead of picking up on its master’s will and automatically providing her with the power to fight, she manually controlled it.
The cloth wrapped around her horizontally raised arm, hardened, and produced a sword more beautifully sinister than any art could hope to emulate.
The White Queen showed no mercy.
Her target was the Colorless Little Girl’s skinny neck.
She briefly exhaled and then swung the blade to the side without so much as a glance at her surroundings!!
Just then, the scenery grew distorted.
After all, this was a full-power attack from the White Queen. The distance from her target did not matter; this attack could cleanly behead the Colorless Little Girl and slice through the surrounding scenery in the process. It did not matter how many people were outside the Artificial Sacred Ground. No matter how many lives would be lost, the Sword of Truth that gently surrounded her as a battle costume would spread destruction as she saw fit.
That was not what had caused the distortion in the scenery.
Her full-power swing of the sword sliced through the empty desert night and launched a tremendous wall of sand into the air beyond the horizon.
The Queen of all people stared in confusion with her sword still in its follow-through position.
The wall of sand covered her vision like a sandstorm and nearly blotted out the moon in the night sky, so she clicked her tongue and sliced through it all with a second sword strike. And what did she see then? The moonlight shined on a frigid desert where countless stone blocks had been stacked to form square pyramids and giant monuments stood to praise ancient rulers.
It was hard to believe, but what else could she call it?
She was the White Queen and she was not known as the strongest for her physical strength alone. She had senses beyond those of humans and those senses told her the truth. She did not know how it had happened, but her coordinates had unexpectedly jumped.
That had prevented any of the panicked civilians in the Multiple shopping center from being cut down and she had only sliced through the empty sand.
But how had that salvation come about!?
“Ignore it. It’s best if she’s confused.”
She clenched her teeth even harder.
And the White Queen voiced her raw emotions.
“Give it a rest, you pedophile (ri – ou – v – ii – ee – biq – u)!!”
She slashed her blade back from its follow-through position.
But once Shiroyama Kyousuke spun his Blood-Sign around, the scenery had already blurred.
They were in the South American Amazon. A stifling heat and humidity surrounded thick jungle trees which were meaninglessly felled with loud cracking sounds. Although the illegal logging and largescale slash-and-burn agriculture here was visible from space, so destruction may not have been anything new here.
Their coordinates had shifted.
Kyousuke’s side did not bother explaining what kind of supernatural power had been used or what surface world phenomenon it had caused.
The myths remaining in this world were highly optimized to be easily told and understood by humans. They had needed to spread among the illiterate and uneducated masses, not just the scholars chosen from the upper classes.
Those in the realm of the gods may have stooped down to the level of the human realm in that way. Even if only to drive the fear of divine punishment into those people so they would not sin again.
But the Unexplored-class was different.
Human concerns did not matter to them.
If they were not understood, they would simply push the humans away.
So if your understanding could not keep up with the situation playing out before you, you would be exposed to a unilateral attack. Expository speeches and bragging explanations were not a necessary part of supernatural fights to the death. If you did not understand, you would be driven to the verge of death without ever understanding.
They had changed continents twice in the span of ten seconds.
No, time and space were linked by the theory of relativity, so if they had this much control over space, it was possible time had been distorted as well. Were they traveling through space or through time? Even that became suspect in this battle.
And make no mistake.
The surrounding scenery was not what truly mattered; Shiroyama Kyousuke and the White Queen were. And the source of the power obeying – or possessing – the boy was the Colorless Little Girl.
You only had to remember.
Government Award 1000, Elvast Toydream, had reached an instant understanding of the Artificial Sacred Ground’s walls and of every slight contour within the surrounding terrain so he could perfectly calculate out the movement of the letter-containing Petals after the first hit and thus summon the White Queen with his first move no matter the situation.
But that was a passive technique that used the terrain that was already there.
…Then what if you had the ability to freely manipulate the surrounding terrain?
“So this is how it worked.”
The White Queen gnashed her teeth.
But not because she had figured out her enemy’s tactics. Because it had taken her this long to figure it out.
Because she was supposed to have a perfect grasp of both this world and the other.
“This is the true form of your power! I didn’t notice it at the shopping center, but you moved us some small amount. I thought it was strange that you managed to summon the Colorless Little Girl on the first move, but it was so simple. You just had to make a random shot and, if that shot wasn’t quite right, she simply shifted the entire table for you. Like she was tugging on the tablecloth!! If you can cheat like this, there are no more restrictions in the Blood-Sign system. This goes beyond auto-aim. With this, you can move the fat turkey in front of your gun so you only have to pull the trigger. You’ve created a shooting game on the most hand-holding of all easy modes!!”
If Shiroyama Kyousuke had already summoned his trump card, why had he been so focused on the White Thorns and Petals and even begun altering the world’s coordinates?
A powerful pillar had been inserted into the laws of both worlds.
(The Third Summoning Ceremony switched between countless Materials to represent all things.)
The White Queen was surprised, but her thoughts were also grinding away.
The peak of the world was not so low that being caught off guard would be enough to reduce her performance.
(Meanwhile, the Fourth does the same by switching between the Colorless Little Girl’s weapons and changing her attributes and method of attack. So even if she is an irregular Queen killer, the battle is not over from the moment she is summoned. Brother must support her based on the situation and choose the best attack and defense against my ever-changing onslaught!!)
“RQ Cat, High #11 (s – ag – ag). Standby.”
“Tease her to lure her in closer. Then block with Middle #418 (k – fh – ag – et), bring down her defenses with Middle #633 (k – st – td – td), circle behind her, and attack with Low #777 (b – sv – sv – sv).”
<Nii-sama, I will leave everything to you.>
With a series of pleasant sounds, more and more red Petals were knocked into the Spots hanging in the air.
The Queen had not seen this side of Kyousuke.
He was not spelling out the names of Materials. In fact, he was more focused on the number than the letters.
The actual phenomena caught up.
The scenery blurred. The ground below the White Queen’s feet moved like a conveyer belt and she was roughly pulled toward the Colorless Little Girl. She had already heard them explain their plan, yet she could not reach them. She immediately swung down her pure white sword, but then she clicked her tongue in regret. The Colorless Little Girl pulled a thick axe from her weapon skirt and struck the base of the sword. The blow should have been deflected backwards, but she instead made a perfect parry and twirled like a figure skater. Then she moved to the White Queen’s side. She kept her rotation going, her entire weapon skirt opened up, and all those weapons targeted the twintailed girl’s hips like a giant circular saw.
The White Queen immediately unraveled her sword to send a white beam of light between them and avoid having her flesh and blood torn into, but the close-range blast caused her to lean back a bit herself. She staggered back a few steps as well.
Bring down her defenses and attack.
As soon as Kyousuke’s words replayed in the White Queen’s mind, the Colorless Little Girl had the giant books behind her devour two bookmarks she held.
The two attacks intersected.
One was an intense acid rain that dissolved the entire world after the planet was covered by the black clouds of pollution.
The other was an extraterrestrial threat that started as a single small egg attached to a giant meteor and overran everything with its unstoppable reproductive power.
The two possible ends of the world erupted from the old tomes and attempted to slice through the White Queen’s torso like a giant pair of scissors.
“Like that would work!!”
The White Queen did not bother with any cheap tricks.
No weapon could reach her. Her greatest weapon was her own slender arms. She grabbed the large pair of scissors coming for her hips, forcibly bent them even as her gloves decomposed, and sent them back toward the Colorless Little Girl.
The Little Girl was indeed a Queen killer, but Kyousuke was managing her power.
She had only managed to execute the Queen by switching between attacks as the situation demanded, so her soft skin could not deflect any attack of any type.
“Ghghhh!! Your own attacks might just be able to harm you!!”
With a buzzing sound like power entering an old cathode ray tube, the scenery blurred again. They were in an Antarctic blizzard with an aurora in the sky. The coordinate change was no longer a surprise, but it still caused her to miss her mark. The Colorless Little Girl was not standing where she should have been, so the deluge of alien lifeforms instead devoured an entire frozen mountain behind her.
The Colorless Little Girl alone had a vulnerability to take advantage of.
But as long as she had Shiroyama Kyousuke wielding his Blood-Sign to give her accurate instructions, she could make up for that.
They were in perfect harmony. They were siblings.
The older brother looked after his vulnerable sister and the little sister relaxed and let her brother take charge.
The symbolism before her eyes caused the White Queen to softly clench her teeth.
She would not claim that should be her spot. Quite the opposite in fact. He still could not bring himself to leave his little sister’s side and the more he spoiled her, the worse it got. As the dangerous love being blocked by that familial love, no sight could have been more unpleasant.
“Forget targeting by sight.”
Snow white fingers extended from the gloves as they crumbled away.
The White Queen lightly shook her hands and brand new gloves covered her fingertips once more.
“So I will add in a non-physical curse that automatically attacks you. Move spatially away and the curse will continue to pursue you and take your life. Move temporally away and the curse will give chase to the end of time to destroy you. Your cheap tricks will save you no longer. …You ghost, you black cat reeking of death. I will kill you now (wv – i – nc – hc).”
That was a divine oracle.
And if this sort of oracle was disobeyed, she would burn down an entire world in retaliation. In the age when the Third Summoning Ceremony still ruled the world, this might have been enough for a grand altar to be erected in the central square where gloomy festivals were held.
But no more.
Now that they had arrived at the Fourth Summoning Ceremony, Kyousuke and the ghost were not cowed. This was the same as the ancient Central American calendar that had failed to catch on even in 2012. Once it had passed without incident, nothing felt emptier than a prophesied end of the world.
Shiroyama Kyousuke’s answer was simple.
“An unavoidable curse, you say?”
“Yes. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect weapon to use against those who grow lost in this world and must rely on the other world?”
“Then I just need to rely on a location that can interfere with curses. I need a power source that functions similar to a neodymium magnet for magnetic media or a high-voltage line for cellphone calls. RQ Cat, standby.”
It happened a moment later.
It was unclear who was controlling who here.
The name Alice (with) Rabbit was only an empty husk now, but the boy’s Blood-Sign gave a roar and the world was enveloped by a staticky buzz similar to a cathode ray tube.
The Artificial Sacred Ground’s protective circle rejected any lethal factors that would prevent the summoner from fighting.
Simply put, any physical attacks using a knife or bullet would be deflected and the summoner would have no trouble surviving in a fire, underwater, in a vacuum, or surrounded by poison gas. And this was not limited to external factors. For example, if a summoner threw an Incense Grenade while infected with a deadly virus, they would be temporarily freed from that hellish suffering until the battle’s end. Even if their natural lifespan ended in the middle of a battle, they would be able to continue moving until the protective circle was removed.
He could ignore any ordinarily deadly factors. He was free to choose any coordinates he wanted.
And if he wanted to escape the massive curse brought by the White Queen, there was only one option.
Shiroyama Kyousuke and the White Queen did not bat an eye as they stood on that blazing land of ultra gravity.
The light would have normally destroyed his eyes, but that was adjusted for him.
He found himself in an orange world.
The gravity was 28 times that of earth. The scorching surface temperature of nearly 6000 degrees Celsius would burn through anything at a touch. A massive prominence passed through the dark and empty night sky above like a rainbow of molten metal.
They only had 10 minutes, but during that 600 seconds, they could move anywhere they wanted.
They could throw out their grounded assumptions. There was no need to stick to the framework of earth.
There was an odd sound like a saw blade bending.
The White Queen did not even rely on a protective circle as she moved her slender legs to directly set foot on the sun’s surface and observed her surroundings curiously.
“During a less-developed era of human civilization, before they knew the difference between stars, planets, and moons, they believed all light from the heavens was influenced by the seven worlds surrounding the earth. Did you interfere with my non-physical curse by approaching one of the seven planets that laid the foundation of astrology? Much like approaching a transformer substation, broadcast tower, or other powerful EM source to escape a GPS-guided bomb meant to fall on your head.”
There was a quiet sound. No one seemed to care whether or not there was any air here for that sound to propagate through.
It came from the Colorless Little Girl.
A slight gash had appeared in the part of her hair shaped like a cat ear.
“Did you really think a small rotating system like the solar system would be enough to stop my power? Need I remind you I completely control not just this universe but another world as well? There may have been a slight margin of error, but recalculating the parameters takes no time at all. The next attack will have been corrected, so there is no escaping it.”
“What makes you think I’m only relying on the sun?”
“Now we’re talking☆”
The White Queen grinned, rolled up her right sleeve, and gathered strength in that arm. Immediately, the sun’s prominence arching above them was unnaturally caught in place. It succumbed to the Queen and offered its power to her. It would no longer function as a jammer, so Kyousuke hit another White Thorn with his Blood-Sign to accurately strike the Petals.
Space grew distorted and they found themselves on a crater-pocked natural satellite near a blue planet.
It was known as the moon and it too had been counted as a planet in antiquity.
The White Queen swung her slender arm regardless.
“At this close range, that attack from the sun can reach you directly.”
The world was filled with blazing white and the contrasting black created from the shadows.
The scorching attack launched directly from the sun approached to tear into the lunar surface like an Eastern dragon.
There was that sound again.
Before the lunar land could melt and cool down as glass, Kyousuke and the Colorless Little Girl moved on to the next planet. After a quick stop on Mars’s red sand, they moved not to Jupiter but its moon Io. It was cold enough for nitrogen to exist as a liquid rather than a gas, but Kyousuke and the Queen were unfazed.
The curse bent.
Even an entire planet could only be used once for jamming. They were fairly ineffectual as ECMs. Once the White Queen learned and adjusted for the error as if using an ECCM, the unseen curse would consume them.
“This isn’t a problem. Leave it to me.”
“Oh? We’re past the seven planets now.”
The white ice-covered land they found themselves on had once been known as a planet.
This was Pluto.
A human standing there with skin exposed was a bizarre enough visual on its own, but Kyousuke did not bat an eye.
The White Queen’s natural wickedness began to show on her face. Or perhaps she needed to indulge in those pleasure signals to avoid crying.
Either way, she laughed and brought her hands together in front of her surprisingly large chest.
“And this is the end for you☆ Even if we include the new discoveries so innocently made by the later astronomers despite how they made the world’s occultists cry, you can only reach a ten-planet system at most. There are no more planets in the solar system that are used in astrology. You can make a U-turn and head back home if you like, but I have already learned how to correct for all the planets along the way. That means you can no longer affect my curse.”
But how much pressure was there between those two soft palms?
She silently squeezed the empty air with enough force to crush a planet as she spoke and smiled.
“So how about we end this now? That took so long it was frankly boring (uu – i – lw – rx – mpe – br).”
Kyousuke spun his Blood-Sign around.
That action was meaningless.
But he was not aiming for a psychological effect like a cat licking itself to relieve tension. That meant Shiroyama Kyousuke was still confident.
“Then I’ll rely on something even further out. Who said I had to stick to the solar system?”
“Seven planets or ten planets, Pluto is the most distant one to have any effect on the occult. I seriously doubt there are any balls of dirt past this you can use.”
“Let’s get back to the basics. Back to the age before the Blood-Sign system.”
There was still no change to his expression.
With this boy, it may have been better had there been anger on his face.
The Colorless Little Girl did not seem to know what to do, so he placed a hand on her head to keep his “little sister” by his side while she ticklishly pressed against him. And he spoke coldly.
“Astrology measures people’s destiny based on which of the twelve zodiacs the seven planets pass through as they rotate around the earth. No matter what actual astronomy says, that is what they believed.”
She gnashed her teeth in a way wholly unbefitting of her lovely form.
It was nothing more than a silly sign of affection between brother and sister.
But did Kyousuke realize how scorching a fire it set in the White Queen’s chest? He probably did. This time anyway. He may have been a precision-guided missile who had rid himself of all else, but he was the kind of person who would immediately slice through his own carotid artery simply to settle a conflict between a dangerous love and a familial love.
“Fire, water, wind, and earth. The seven planets and the twelve zodiacs each have their own elemental color, so a combination with the same element will increase their power and other combinations will negate each other’s power. The circular horoscope is split in two to represent people’s inner side and outer side, the angle between the center of the circle and the different planets has meaning, and that can also introduce a multiplier to the calculation. …Except that’s all bunk. Fortunetelling looks complicated, but that’s only because making it look that way is a good way to stay in business. In truth, it’s no more than adding and subtracting a few different symbols.”
“What good is that now?”
The girl frowned in confusion while something other than earth’s gravity caused her silver twintails to trail behind her.
“Wait, you can’t mean…”
“Don’t you think the twelve ecliptic constellations will have a similar jamming effect to the seven planets?”
He made it sound so simple, yet he was referring to a journey of literally astronomical distances that would take decades even at the speed of light.
“So let’s do this in order. First up is Aries of April births. The corresponding constellation includes a giant star of spectral-class K2 that’s only 65 light years away.”
The low buzz sounded once more.
A series of solid sounds rang out.
Even though they were in the vacuum of space with no matter to propagate sound.
And it was not just Shiroyama Kyousuke and the White Queen who were fighting.
Biondetta had an Unexplored-class. Cost: 18. Sound Range: Middle.
The Wicked “Green” Woman who Fills the World with Empty Treasure (lu – o – np – e – qo – ei – r – k – a – rum – pl).
Shigara Masami also had an Unexplored-class. Cost: 16. Sound Range: High.
The Spirit of Fluttering “Yellow” Gills that Rules the Heavens (s – a – so – voz – tix – ei – yw – za).
Both were from the Three, who were especially glorious even for the Unexplored-class. They were the very laws of the world of the gods and they had originally been powerful enough to restrain the White Queen without needing the Colorless Little Girl.
Biondetta and Shigara Masami had also been inside the Artificial Sacred Ground, so Shiroyama Kyousuke and the White Queen had dragged them along into outer space.
But once outside the solar system, everything looked the same.
That meant they only had to consider the walls of the Artificial Sacred Ground set up in that empty and weightless space. The calculations were much simpler than in a forest or a city full of buildings.
Could they really build up their Materials so easily even then?
“Wah! Wah, wah, wah!!”
Shigara Masami was supposedly her enemy, but she still gave a word of caution. Like someone desperately reaching out toward a child about to be swept away in the current.
You must not forget. The White Queen and the Colorless Little Girl were exceptions, but Materials from all classes normally belonged to one of three Sound Ranges. Looking at Cost alone, Biondetta seemed to have the advantage with the Wicked Green Woman, but Shigara Masami had the upper hand in the rock-paper-scissors arrangement of Sound Ranges.
Also, Biondetta’s forte was trickery.
In addition to the usual fight over White Thorns and Petals, she had intended to use her phone’s camera flash and the sniper unit hidden in the tip of her silver Blood-Sign to mess with Shigara Masami’s timing.
<It’s no use, Detta-chan. Your cheap tricks can’t shake me.>
In that moment, Shigara Masami’s eyes were colder than the camera lenses of precision machinery.
<You can never defeat me unless you outdo me with your Blood-Sign and White Thorns.>
This was a pure battle.
Tricks and sleight of hand were not an option in this plain outer space field, so the difference in base ability was reflected in the result.
In fact, Shigara Masami seemed troubled by how easily she was overpowering her opponent.
<Pay careful attention to where Kyousuke-kun and the others are! If you are left behind when they make a jump, you will be stranded in space 65 light years away!!>
“Yes, this really throws me off my game. I mean, are we even limited by ten minutes anymore? I really don’t think that’s enough time to reach the Three at the top of the Unexplored-class without using any Chains!!”
<Oh, I’m sure the 10 minutes are still in effect.>
Shigara Masami responded more as a researcher than a summoner.
Eve if she did not like it, she was willing to accept anything and continue forward at times like this.
<But when you get close enough to the speed of light, that 10 minutes will have a very different length from ten minutes measured on a clock back on earth. Plus, Kyousuke-kun has obtained an ability to instantly travel a distance that would take 65 years at the speed of light. No one can predict what happens to a human when they travel faster than light!!>
“You’re kidding, right? We’re actually traveling those distances? Are you sure he isn’t opening a convenient wormhole to take us directly from Point A to Point B!?”
<Have you actually observed the instant of movement? I haven’t. We can make any number of theories about what’s happening here. They are hacking the Summoning Ceremony. They had already overcome the need to build up your Material and the use of the White Thorns and Petals, but now they have even overcome the time limit!!>
“Are you serious?”
<Detta-chan, you may not have thought much about choosing to help him based on your personal beliefs, but this battle is past the point that it can be controlled by human hands!!>
The Colorless Little Girl had gone berserk.
Or perhaps a chain reaction had begun within her after she reacted to a certain form of energy and she could no longer contain it.
You could call it a spiritual big bang.
It was stable as far as explosions went, but it used a completely different vector from the White Queen who had brought obvious blessings to the world.
They probably had not lied about anything.
They probably had not broken any of the rules.
So Kyousuke and the Colorless Little Girl may have taken issue with someone saying they had gone berserk.
But what if the length of a meter extended to the end of the universe or the length of a minute continued to the fall of civilization? The rules described using earth’s metric system would no longer apply. It would be as crazy as stubbornly insisting on the geocentric model, where the rest of the universe revolved around the earth, because it was “tradition”.
There was no restraining it.
The Blood-Sign system could no longer restrict Shiroyama Kyousuke and the Colorless Little Girl’s freedom!!
They moved from Cancer to Leo and Leo to Virgo.
Kyousuke and the White Queen hopped from point to point, but they were now standing on a star so massive the sun was no comparison. It looked like it was a small push away from transforming into a blackhole. Even when stars appeared to be grouped together when viewed from earth, it was not uncommon for there to be mind-boggling distances between them.
The boy and the others descended toe first onto Spica, or Alpha Virginis, like they were making a light hop to avoid a puddle.
That world of ultra-gravity was far too hot for “boiling” to suffice, but Shiroyama Kyousuke and the White Queen did not bat an eye or release a single bead of sweat.
<I can think of worse fates than being stranded in space.>
The half-serpentine Wicked Green Woman began casually speaking despite not having a specialized Box.
Was she able to behave so humanly because she had been summoned by a Divine-class like Shigara Masami, or was she making use of whatever was giving the Colorless Little Girl the ability to speak?
<Relativity links space with time and it’s the time you really need to worry about, don’t you think? Let’s hope you don’t have a nice pleasant tour around the universe only to return to earth and find giant dinosaurs stomping around.>
<And when it comes to time, I’m not so sure those protective circles of yours will help much.>
That last comment came from the Yellow Gills who was dozing off in her grotesque cradle.
She claimed reality was no more than a resource used to create dreams, so any problems in this world would be low priority for her. Even now, she was giggling.
<I mean, you can’t trust the length of ten minutes right now. That’s working in your favor now because it extends how long this lasts, but what if the world ‘fast-forwards’ and everything ages in an instant? The protective circle supporting you summoners will pop as easily as a bubble and you’ll be exposed to the vacuum of space, won’t you?>
It was the waitress demon who had a smile freeze on her face.
Yes, Shigara Masami had ultimately abandoned her humanity and become a Divine-class, so she and her squirrel-like animal vessel might not die if dumped into outer space. They might be able to endure it, or they might have some means of returning to somewhere other than this world.
<I won’t let that happen.>
But the ponytailed researcher spoke up as if to throw out her advantage. Shigara Masami actually protected her direct enemy.
<These children have already paid such a large price. And when they shouldn’t have had to pay a thing… So they must be given enough happiness to make up for that. I will not let them lose their lives without receiving back anything that was stolen from them. No matter what!!>
A dull sound exploded out.
Shiroyama Kyousuke and the White Queen had been busy while traveling between constellations.
Possible ends of the world left the old tomes behind the Colorless Little Girl, intertwined like a braid, and avalanched toward the White Queen. The White Queen sank her canine tooth into her thumb and used the drops of blood that flowed forth for curses. The curses that were not fully diverted away by the power of the stars slowly but surely ate into the Colorless Little Girl’s organs and spine.
As a result, one of the White Queen’s arms and the pure white clothing covering it was twisted and colored a bluish-purple and the Colorless Little Girl seemed to expressionlessly puff out her cheeks before coughing up an unbelievable amount of dark red blood.
Of course, the visual damage was not necessarily directly linked to the actual limits of their lives. The surface-level injuries would quickly heal.
But the two of them were undoubtedly wearing each other down.
And damage to the soul was an irreparable thing.
This went beyond frightening destructive power. Even when hit by an attack that would likely destroy the entire civilization on the surface of a planet, neither girl let out any kind of cry.
Biondetta glanced over at the pure white and the colorless clashing within the same Artificial Sacred Ground.
“Are you saying you will get between those two?”
“Do you have any idea what you’re saying, you alcoholic old hag of a teacher? This goes well beyond what you’ve been doing to stop me.”
<I came all this way with Blood-Sign in hand specifically so I could do this. I never wanted to fight one of the children I am supposed to protect, Detta-chan.>
The two Unexplored-classes exchanged another glance.
Whatever their relationship in the other world was, they were supposed to be ruled by fighting instincts and try to kill each other once they were summoned here, but the Wicked Green Woman and the Yellow Gills remained very well behaved. Was that due to the extreme singularity of the White Queen, or was it a result of Shiroyama Kyousuke and the Colorless Little Girl hacking the rules of the Summoning Ceremony?
<To be clear, we’d be killed instantly if we tried to get involved in that.>
<It would be difficult to lure them into the world of sleep when they are so worked up.>
Those two of the glorious Three were not hopeful.
<I am not expecting anything that ridiculous.>
Shigara Masami was quick to respond.
But this just confused Biondetta further.
It was true the White Queen and the Colorless Little Girl were absurdly powerful. No normal Material, not even the Three, could defeat them, so what could a summoner do without her Material?
<Did you forget? I passed Award 1000, moved from this world to the other, and became a new Divine-class.>
The ponytailed researcher answered the unspoken question by slapping the center of her chest with her open palm. She winked as she continued.
<So shouldn’t I have some power as a god in addition to my power as a human summoner? Even if it is a miniscule thing compared to the Colorless Little Girl, whose entire being was artificially embedded in that world.>
This was something no one should do.
But it was something everyone dreamed of doing.
It was in fact one ambition Shiroyama Kyousuke himself had once had to suppress within himself.
<Divine-class. Cost: 12. Sound Range: Middle. Color: Dark Blue. Number: 3. Direction: Northeast. Divine Role: Guardian Deity and God of Medicine. Prayer Responsibility: Health.>
This was the power Shigara Masami had been given as one of the divine.
In other words…
<Insert yourself here, deathless world!!!!!!>
A new paranormal power spread from the new god and across the entire world.
The existence of a sun god meant the sun moved through the sky and the existence of a death god meant people had a set lifespan.
In the same way, the existence of the god named Shigara Masami established a previously nonexistent phenomenon.
It was an incomplete elimination of death that did not quite reach total resurrection or rebirth.
That said, it was not built up from nothing.
This deathless world really just expanded the range of the protective circle that guarded a single summoner so that it would instead surround everyone. And unlike the eternally deathless world sought by the Illegal group led by Benikomichi Fuuki, Shigara Masami only temporarily extended people’s time alive to give more of a chance for fatal wounds to be closed up and CPR to be performed.
Its maximum effect only covered this entire world for half an hour.
But since the clash between beings as extreme as the White Queen and the Colorless Little Girl had disturbed the spiritual ground, she would be lucky to get even a tenth of that.
However, with Shiroyama Kyousuke and the Colorless Little Girl’s relativistic interference stretching every second out to eternity, a mere three minutes was like an inescapable cage.
Shigara Masami was a Divine-class. She was a Material. Yet as a summoner, she was receiving the blessings of a protective circle. That meant the deathless world created by expanding the protective circle would also apply to the Unexplored-classes like the White Queen.
He must have immediately realized what that meant.
For the first time after hacking the rules of the Summoning Ceremony, Shiroyama Kyousuke looked, glared, and shouted at someone other than the White Queen.
“Shigara Masami! You shouldn’t have done that!!!!!”
Neither human nor Material could be killed now.
No matter what stars they flew to, there would be no resolution to this battle.
They spoke almost simultaneously.
<We can never settle this inside the eternal 10 minutes we have created, so I suggest we do something else to reach the definite victory you want, Nii-sama.>
“I really would prefer not to keep punching each other until we have torn away each other’s flesh to the bone and look like zombies. Brother, I have a suggestion. How about we stop this boring ecliptic journey?”
Now it was Shigara Masami’s turn to click her tongue.
She was a god, but only a new one.
Not to mention that a Divine-class could not hope to fully stop the selfish actions of the Unexplored-class.
An eternal 10 minutes was an extraordinary phenomenon for the physical world, but it was not strictly necessary for Kyousuke and the Queen to settle things. If they gave up on fighting during a long journey through space, they could easily throw out that condition.
First, they would use up the deathless three minutes Shigara Masami had created.
They could settle things afterwards.
<Nii-sama, I have analyzed the pattern to the White Queen’s curses. I am certain of it after intentionally letting some hit me. From here on, we do not need the power of the stars to divert their power.>
“You are bluffing. Although perhaps I should call it an admirable bluff.”
<Even if I do take a direct hit, I can still push through and defeat her if I get in a combination of blows before I fall. What should I do, Nii-sama?>
Shiroyama Kyousuke wanted to settle things here. He was guarded by the protective circle himself, but he had already fully cut through the carotid artery on the side of his throat.
He was past the stage where he weighed the risks.
His response was brief.
“Why not the place you are picturing in your mind right now, brother?”
A moment later, a buzzing similar to a cathode ray tube gave a groan.
They descended to a familiar city.
Familiar to both Shiroyama Kyousuke and the White Queen.
The one who tilted their head was the Colorless Little Girl by the boy’s side. Biondetta and Shigara Masami had also returned to the planet. Either as an educator or a guardian, that inexperienced goddess had created a deathless world, but that had not been enough to change things. She bit her lip and checked a nearby road sign.
Yes, this city was not a familiar place for the ponytailed researcher.
<Toy Dream…35?> she muttered.
In the end, they had returned here.
Perhaps Shiroyama Kyousuke saw it as a symbol of victory over the White Queen using only his own power. He had suffered setbacks, defeat, unreasonable violence, and mockery on his way to this point, but this city had to be one of the few positive symbols remaining in his heart.
1g of gravity, an oxygen density of approximately 20%, and an air temperature of 34 degrees Celsius.
Once here, they no longer needed the eternal 10 minutes.
Shigara Masami had created a prison out of a deathless world.
But that would not last forever thanks to the extreme noise created by the clash between the Colorless Little Girl and the White Queen. The fundamental theory behind that Divine-class’s ability would collapse and the effect would not last.
They had about three minutes to use up.
So if they did away with the semi-eternally stretched-out relativistic flow of time created to fight out in space, Shigara Masami’s deathless world would disappear. And for Kyousuke, this truly was the final battle. Win or lose, his neck wound would start spewing blood as soon as the protective circle vanished.
But that was fine.
The journey through space had only been the opening round.
“Let’s start anew, Queen. And end it this time.”
“Foolish brother. Nothing you do can ensure your safety now (ng – bh – wi – ou – i – tv – eu – el – zh – i – iu – oo).”
They had found nothing in the farthest reaches of space. Humanity’s final frontier was found in their hearts.
The White Queen’s twisted arm returned to normal like a plastic doll filled with air.
The Colorless Little Girl erased any sign of her damage simply by wiping the blood from her mouth with a hand.
The tension hung as thick in the air as before a duel using katanas or revolvers sheathed or holstered at the hip.
The exact distance between them was immaterial. Those few meters mattered more than the star twinkling 65 light years away.
And they raised their voices in unison.
“It’s time to say goodbye, you sack of shit!!!!!!”
“It’s time to say goodbye, you sack of shit!!!!!!”
Between the Lines 1
This world has been altered or damaged a few times.
The most notable example would be the Rainy Girl. Umie Shouko was supposedly killed in a random attack in the past, yet she now appeared to have grown up normally and attended a high school in Toy Dream 35’s R Block.
Hers was a peaceful life.
So peaceful, in fact, that she considered the intense direct sunlight her greatest enemy.
“God, it’s hot… At least I don’t have work today, but please don’t make it so hot the asphalt melts and the train tracks bend when we have school. Humans aren’t meant to live in these conditions.”
Her younger sister, who was a stereotypical student librarian with a longish braid and glasses, was complaining to the sun. History had changed, so that younger sister had no memory of fighting in the world of the Summoning Ceremony as Shiroyama Kyousuke’s vessel.
The older sister, whose eyesight was good, found it odd that the strict rule to never view the sun through a lens did not seem to apply to glasses.
They were on a parasol-equipped bench near plenty of food trucks filled with coolers of water bottles, Ramune bottles, soda cans, various forms of frozen treats, and even shaved ice.
They remained solidly within the category of ordinary people.
The bespectacled younger sister tore apart a set of two popsicles, and…
“Here, Onee-chan, you can have half. …What, do you not want it???”
With the packaged popsicle pressed against her soft cheek, the survivor named Umie Shouko casually looked up.
And she spoke to herself.
Before and after, that girl was capable of viewing history from a detached position.
“This is getting really messed up.”
- Only when she is summoned by Kyousuke, the Colorless Little Girl can ignore the protective circle to stand by his side. That is because she is not counted as a threat to his life like other Materials are.
- Instead of using them to summon Materials, Kyousuke uses the Petals to indicate numbers and sounds which freely switch between the Colorless Little Girl’s weapons and attributes. This is something like an abbreviated number, so it is far less effort than summoning Materials like normal.
- The White Queen manually controlled the Sword of Truth using the language of the other world.
- An Artificial Sacred Ground can only last about 10 minutes after the Incense Grenade is thrown, but that can be altered by relativistically altering the length of a second. And by altering space, failed shots can be corrected into effective ones. Shigara Masami referred to this as Kyousuke and the Colorless Little Girl hacking the Summoning Ceremony so its rules could not restrict their freedom.
- The White Queen’s curses can just barely be avoided by approaching the heavenly bodies forming the 7+3 planets and the 12 zodiacs. But each heavenly body only works once, so there are no second chances.
- As a new goddess, Shigara Masami can make this a deathless world.
- After traveling through space, Kyousuke chose Toy Dream 35 as the location of the final battle. It is estimated that is based on his image of single-handed victory over the White Queen (by summoning the Black Maw).
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