The Unexplored Summon Blood Sign:Volume4 Chapter4

From Baka-Tsuki
Jump to: navigation, search

Stage 04: Who Made the Original Request?[edit]

“Ebh!? Agoh! Obhgah…!!!!!!”

“Oh, dear. Oh, dear. This is checkmate, isn’t it? My – dear – brother?”

(“Now” Stage 04 Open 06/03 13:30)

(“Past” Stage 04 Open 06/03 00:00)

Who Made the Original Request?

Part 1[edit]

(Timeline “Now”)

Below the blue sky of early afternoon, Kyousuke had already built his route to invade the colossal Repliglass mobile fortress named Pandemonium. This would be his third time. Several flooded craters covered the large plain. If he swam through those, he could escape the anti-personnel sensors and infrared searchlights to safely move in close. The White Queen had destroyed the solid main entrance before.

At the time, he had imagined the worst case scenario: forcing his way in with the Queen’s power would gather too much attention from all three major powers, he would win in the moment but be in trouble a year down the line, and he would be forced to rely on the Queen. But now that he knew he was only up against Perfect Game’s Max Layard and Incense Expert Ellie Slide, that hurdle was much lower.

As for the main problem at hand…

“Okay, brother, what kind of swimsuit should I wear?”

“I don’t have time to deal with your jokes.”

BloodSign v04 230.jpg

“But if I’m showing my sexy body off to you, shouldn’t that be more important than the fate of the world? Blue sky, the bright sun, a never-ending beach, and the smooth skin of two lovebirds! I need your opinion to help stage a scene from that romantic adventure in advance. Should I go with the standard bikini? Or a one piece? I understand there are a lot of men who are obsessed with school swimsuits. Oh, but it might be fun to go all out and try out a shells, palm leaves, a micro-bikini, or even a slingshot! After all, after all! I will be unveiling myself for you, brother!!”

The White Queen dreamily placed her hands on her cheeks while her clothing wriggled around and became each swimsuit she mentioned, but Kyousuke was not interested in any of them and shoved his palm into the center of her chest.

“Hyah!? B-b-b-b-brother! Did you just touch my chest! How bold of-…bwah!?”

She splashed back-first into the crater lake and Kyousuke calmly dove in after her while wearing a wetsuit and oxygen tank.

The Queen was truly extraordinary, so she continued speaking even underwater. A little thing like a lack of oxygen was not about to bother her.

“Hrother! This is hupposed to he a date! I am hoing to run out of hatience soon…”

He ignored her and embraced her from behind.

Just like with Himekawa Mika, he supported her while swimming to his destination.

“O-oh, hy. How daring, hrother… If this was your hlan, you hould have haid so. I am more han hilling to offer hyself to you.”

Kyousuke had learned from experience that it was best not to react to her nonsense.

After crossing the linked crater lakes, they climbed onto the land where Pandemonium sat like a giant black squid. Kyousuke removed the wetsuit and changed into his original hoodie and track pants. The White Queen pretended to cover her face while actually watching him change and she did not even bother toweling off her silver hair. The water simply evaporated on its own and she was back to normal.

There was nothing to stand in their way.

They walked to Pandemonium’s front gate that the White Queen had destroyed before.

But they did not immediately walk in. Kyousuke operated the authorization panel to the side. He had used Max Layard’s biometrics before, but he used something else this time.

He used the Deltaston coat of arms he had borrowed from the hotel room.

The machine was meant to read the details of someone’s hand, but it began reading that emblem instead.

“Oh?”

“I had a feeling they would do this,” spat out Kyousuke. “Ruby, sapphire, and I think the white jewel is pure corundum. Regardless, this reads the piezoelectricity pattern in the crystal structure and uses it as a master key. With their obsession with authority, I figured they would use their family’s traditions or emblem even if it isn’t logical. Plus, if they used a part of themselves as the crucial master key, it introduces a risk of being kidnapped or having that body part cut off. Just in case, they prepared a lizard’s tail they can safely hand over to a criminal.”

“But, brother, you didn’t need to unlock it. The door was already blown down.”

“…I did need to.”

This would leave a record showing he had broken in without any help from the White Queen.

Even if it was ultimately useless, Shiroyama Kyousuke entered the demon’s palace on his own. The Queen happily followed him.

Thanks to his past memories, he walked straight to the central processing core without getting lost.

And he of course did not run into any summoners or vessels on the way.

He had no memories of the intervening time, but Max and Ellie had likely done something after taking control of Pandemonium.

They crossed the narrow metal bridge passing over the hundreds of transparent spheres and continued on to the central processing core.

Just as expected, the Perfect Game pair was waiting for them.

“Now this is dangerous.”

The man with a black pompadour used his shoulder to support his ski material Blood-Sign with a swollen bottom end. He was more referring to the smiling strongest of the strongest than he was to Kyousuke.

“I can feel it. She’s brimming with reasons she should win. But we’ve got to do this. We’re carrying the name of Government Award 501, Perfect Game, so we’ve got to do this. I doubt you’d understand. Winning comes naturally to you and you don’t accept anything else as Miss Strongest, so there’s not a single reason you should lose.”

“Shiroyama Kyousuke.”

The next to speak was Ellie Slide, the blonde-haired, brown-skinned glasses girl with an eagle feather in her black and orange witch’s hat.

She exposed the piercings in her ears, her navel, and even her tongue.

“How much have you remembered?”

“I’m sick of going along with Himekawa Mika’s self-righteousness.”

Hearing that answer, the incense expert adjusted her large hat which shook the sleeved cape with the bottom split into feather-like shapes.

She hid her eyes and giggled.

“Good, this’ll be easier if you understand everything. So choose which path you’d prefer,” urged Max Layard with his vulgar personality revealed by his baggy T-shirt and shorts. “Will you ask the White Queen to blow us away along with everything around us? Or will you refuse to use her power and be killed by us in a normal Summoning Ceremony? We’ll accomplish our goal either way. Will the Box be destroyed directly, or will the Queen snap and destroy it all? Anything’s fine as long as Pandemonium’s processing core is broken.”

Kyousuke’s answer was also simple.

He reached for his back.

He was pulling out his Blood-Sign. Instead of hiding behind the Queen and grabbing at the bottom of her skirt, he would fight as a summoner in the Artificial Sacred Ground.

And he spoke.

“To hell with that.”

Several shoes could be heard scraping against the floor.

The White Queen could settle this at any time in exchange for robbing all humans of their dignity, but Shiroyama Kyousuke and Max Layard ignored her to swiftly judge the distance between each other with weapons in hand.

But the pompadour man was confident.

“You’re not very smart. Summoners are nothing without summoning. What can you do without relying on a Material!?”

They were Government Award 501 and Freedom Award 903, but that overwhelming gap was meaningless now. For one, Kyousuke’s vessel was occupied by the White Queen, so he could not use her. Even if he charged into an Artificial Sacred Ground, he could not summon a Material. Nor could he set up a protective circle. There was nothing he could do. An Award 1 summoner would only need to summon a Cost 1 member of the Original Series to easily crush him.

So when Max threw his pineapple-shaped Incense Grenade, it should have all been over.

Shiroyama Kyousuke did not put up any kind of futile resistance such as grabbing it and throwing it far away before it could detonate.

As soon as the Artificial Sacred Ground appeared, Kyousuke’s Blood-Sign struck a White Thorn with ferocious speed.

It may have looked like a meaningless action.

He would gain nothing by shattering the three-dimensional Rose, scattering the many Petals, and knocking them into the Spots. As long as the White Queen was occupying his vessel with an unnatural method, he could not summon the Material he wanted.

But that was not what Kyousuke was trying to do.

“What!?” shouted Max in surprise.

The pompadour man made his first shot. Just as he tried to start the match by hitting the three-dimensional Rose with a White Thorn, Kyousuke’s White Thorn flew in to interfere.

The white path veered far off course and missed its giant target. In fact, Max’s White Thorn ricocheted and fell into a Spot before it could accomplish anything.

This was no mere coincidence.

After the 2nd and 3rd shot, Max finally realized what was going on.

“Damn you!! Since you can’t summon your own Material, are you playing a thorough interference game by shooting down my Thorns with yours!?”

“Of course. And are you sure you should continue? We summoners start with 3 White Thorns. And if you hit a White Thorn into a Spot with no more in stock, you trigger a severe penalty. But if you’re just an insane believer who wants to be devoured by the Black Maw, I won’t stop you.”

“…!?”

Max Layard’s large body stiffened slightly.

And Kyousuke used that slight opening to spring forward with his Repliglass Blood-Sign in hand. He ran right up to Max.

Yes.

Even inside the Artificial Sacred Ground, you don’t get a protective circle until after you summon your first Material.”

“Wait…you!!”

Sounds of primitive violence echoed through the room as the long poles collided together. The pompadour man roared as sweat poured from his body.

“You’re trying to win without a Material!? And when you’re up against a summoner who’s going all out!?”

“A Summoning Ceremony battle begins before the Materials are summoned. You’re naïve if you thought you would just end up with enough time to summon the Original Series as long as you challenged me to a fight.”

“Tch!!”

They exchanged more blows.

Max had used up all of his White Thorns, so he could only wait the 10 seconds for one to replenish. It was only 10 seconds, but that was 10 whole seconds. Sensing the dense tension in his skin, Max immediately cast aside his nearly suicidal pride.

He adjusted his grip on his ski material Blood-Sign and swung it around like a morning star while shamelessly raising his voice.

“Boss!!”

A quiet sigh followed.

The brown girl in a black and orange witch’s hat moved her hand along a silver handle to operate something. She pressed the flute-like row of keys and pulled the trigger. That giant armor-breaking axe included an electronic cigarette device and could efficiently spray incense as a mist. Strangely sweet water vapor wafted out.

That extreme incense could manipulate an individual’s recognition or memories and it could even cancel the enemy summoner’s Artificial Sacred Ground in some cases.

But Kyousuke was unfazed.

By the time his feet were heard pounding on the floor, he had already circled behind Max. There was no fear or pain on his face. His eyes were zeroed in on his target.

He had clearly escaped the incense expert’s spider web.

“It’s true Ellie Slide’s incense is powerful. Compared to our Incense Grenades that can only produce a predetermined effect, the way she can manipulate the effects like magic might indeed be best described as an amplifier.”

“!?”

“But something caught my attention. If that incense was dangerous enough to make changes to my body and mind just by smelling it, then why weren’t its effects more indiscriminate? Specifically, why didn’t it affect Ellie or you? If she has confidence in her position as an incense expert, it’s hard to imagine she uses some other chemical…like an antidote or immunization.”

There was a deafening sound, but the clashing Blood-Signs were only a distraction.

Kyousuke’s leg swept Max’s entirely unguarded legs out from under him.

“Ellie Slide’s incense uses a cocktail system. In other words, she uses that armor-breaking axe to spread several different harmless chemicals in advance and she uses those to produce the optimally mixed incense at only the coordinate she wants. Just like a spider web’s vertical and horizontal threads play different roles, I’m guessing you kept a safe zone for yourself in the middle of the deadly web.”

“Gah!!”

The surprise attack slammed Max’s back against the floor and knocked the breath out of him.

But he did not take the time to cough.

He realized something before he could.

“I fell victim to this once already. Did you really think it would work again?”

Shiroyama Kyousuke raised his Repliglass Blood-Sign while standing over the man. Something deep in Max’s survival instincts told him this was no time to be reacting to the pain.

“Oh, ohh, owwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”

Max screamed at the top of his lungs, but he was ignored.

He was beaten repeatedly.

More than 10 seconds had passed and Max’s added White Thorn floated around him, but he could not even think about launching it. He could not even raise his Blood-Sign. Even as he curled up to protect his vitals, more and more blows rained down like meteors and seemed to slip through the gaps in his defenses.

This was Freedom Award 903, Alice (with) Rabbit.

With nothing more than his own body, he could defeat a summoner that could freely summon any Material.

“Y-you…”

Even after being thrown into the crucible of pain and even with a rusty flavor filling his mouth, the pompadour man still managed to groan some words.

“You wouldn’t…understand. You know you’ll win…and you can only fight because you can win…so you don’t know how it feels for those who…have to keep fighting when they can’t afford to lose…and aren’t allowed to lose…”

“Screw that.”

This man sounded like he stood on the side of the weak, like he was on the side of the minority, and like he was doing the right thing. Kyousuke felt a dark flame burning in his core when he heard it.

“You can’t afford to lose? You aren’t allowed to lose? And who was it that drove Himekawa Mika to this point? An expert summoner and vessel approached her with some self-satisfied look on their faces, thrust her down into despair, and then tried to blame your own weakness on the rest of the world!? Do you have any idea how those 353 vessels had to feel when the experts gave up on them!?”

“Yeah, that’s right. We’re the worst. To be honest, I can’t think of any way of saving Himekawa Mika or the 353 vessels. No, we only ever pretended to be working with them and never intended to save them in the slightest.”

The pompadour man smiled despite his broken teeth.

Max still had something supporting him even after collapsing. He had not broken?

“But compared to that White Queen, even all 7 billion of us are the minority! We’re the pathetic wandering travelers who can’t afford to lose but have no way to fight!! …So was that old man who could speak with the wind and waves…or should I call them fairies? Even a Divine-class clouded those wise men’s judgement. Then what about an Unexplored-class? How mad will we be driven by the peak of that peak!? We can’t allow that to manifest here! Humans can’t do anything against her! All 7 billion of us will be swallowed up. It isn’t about being strong or weak. We’ll be charmed by her overwhelming presence before the fight even begins!!”

“…”

“So we have to fight by any means necessary. I don’t care how it happens, but we have to destroy Pandemonium if it can permanently summon the White Queen at max specs. This goes beyond just Himekawa Mika or the 353. I…no, we!! We have to turn this into a victory to save the 7 billion weak humans!!

A solid sound burst out.

Max Layard had shifted from defense to offense even though his ribs were broken and he had struck a White Thorn with his Blood-Sign while lying face up on the floor.

“It isn’t that I know I’ll win,” spat out Max. “I’m fighting because I can’t afford to lose! It doesn’t matter how dirty it gets or if I have to spit on the concept of glory! There’s something here I absolutely have to do!! If I lose here…if I let this become a loss, I’ll be left with no choice but to succumb to that Queen’s temptation!!”

But whatever had happened to him, if the Rose shattered, the many Petals scattered, and one entered a Spot, he could summon a Material. He would have a monster immune to physical attacks and he would be surrounded by a protective circle. Kyousuke was no match for either.

A triumphant look covered Max’s bloody face.

“Laugh if you want. Make fun of me all you like. But I’ll win. I’ll do it for the 7 billion minority and for the fight against the White Queen I can’t afford to lose! Even if I have to sacrifice 353 people here, I swear I’ll tear down Pandemonium!!”

Ellie Slide’s body rapidly transformed. She seemed to spiral around as she was remade into a yellow translucent slime.

But something happened just a moment beforehand.

Shiroyama Kyousuke threw his Blood-Sign with perfect accuracy and the tip tore through the dreamcatcher hanging from Ellie Slide’s neck and collided with the center of her flat chest.

“Wha-?”

This time.

This time Max Layard truly stopped moving.

“It’s true that Materials can deflect all physical attacks, but things are different when they’re only ‘half formed’. And if the vessel herself is knocked unconscious, she is considered defeated and the Summoning Ceremony process is canceled.” The White Queen crossed her arms and explained while watching on in boredom. “And more importantly, did you really think you could make a fool of my brother just by robbing him of a Material?”

“Gah.”

The shock of defeat was coming.

No matter how it happened, the summoner and vessel had lost according to the rules of the Summoning Ceremony, so they would be hit by the shock of seeing their god slaughtered before their eyes.

Still on his back, Max moved just his eyes to look up at Kyousuke.

That summoner had not hesitated to let go of his greatest weapon, the Blood-Sign, but his expression had not changed.

“You were on the right track there. I kind of liked that you viewed the Queen as a threat and that you were desired so greedily to defeat her at all costs. But don’t forget that nothing will change if you try to oppose her by accepting sacrifices and becoming a monster yourself.”

As he spoke, the Blood-Sign denting Ellie Slide’s chest was pulled down by gravity.

It clattered to the floor.

“And if you want me to laugh, I recommend cracking a joke that makes people happy.”

“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”

A moment later, Max’s defeat was confirmed. An invisible shock raced out from his chest and covered his entire body.

Part 2[edit]

(Timeline “Now”)

Government Award 501, Perfect Game.

Max Layard and Ellie Slide had been defeated. But even if the people guiding it had vanished, the fundamental problem had not been resolved. Pandemonium was still up and running, the 353 vessels’ bodies were still contained inside the many spheres in the other room, and all of their souls were inside Himekawa Mika who was about to burst. And on top of all that, the White Queen was still around.

Kyousuke had to resolve all of that.

After some thought, he spoke.

“Ellie Slide.”

The small figure on its side twitched slightly.

After a summoner and vessel were defeated, they lost the ability to think and became zombies in the original sense who could only slowly repeat a single action. They could only obey gestures or simple commands.

But this reaction was clearly different.

After an irritated sigh, Kyousuke spoke again.

“I know you’re only pretending and I don’t have time to deal with it. If you keep wasting my time, I’ll throw you to the White Queen.”

“…Oh, honestly!!”

The blond-haired, brown-skinned glasses girl with an eagle feather in her black and orange witch’s hat quickly got up.

But she was not obeying him in a zombie state. She was clearly moving under her own will.

And Kyousuke did not seem surprised.

“You already did this once in the past. After I defeated you in the Summoning Ceremony, you made a surprise attack not long afterwards. Do you have incense that softens the shock of defeat? I’m honestly impressed by your skill, but you’re only using it for cheap tricks.”

“What do you want from me?”

“I want some help from your incense. I want something to properly redistribute the 353 souls that were forcibly gathered into a single body.”

“I am an amplifier. There is no good or evil in that. Save me your sob story, but I won’t feel any motivation if it isn’t about achieving Award 1000.”

“Stop pretending to be evil. If all you cared about was reaching Award 1000, why would you bind a contract with Government Award 501? Even if you can amplify them up to around 500 Awards, it would still be faster to pair up with someone in the 800s or 900s. But since you chose Perfect Game regardless, I can only assume you sympathized with him in some other way.”

“…”

“I won’t ask what that was, but did you predict things would end up this way when you first shook hands with Max Layard? If you were envisioning something else, then work with me. None of us can afford to lose. So I’ll show you a different path. A path that doesn’t require abandoning Himekawa Mika and the rest of the 353.”

He was clearly stating his intention to harm the White Queen, but the silver twintail girl only smiled in amusement.

And Ellie Slide breathed an exhausted sigh inside her sleeved cape.

“Did you think I arrived at this extreme answer without trying anything else?”

“…”

“I tried everything I could. I even put together theoretical plans for the things I couldn’t do. And there was no way of saving Himekawa Mika and the other vessels. There is only so much my incense can accomplish. There is no saving them.”

He had expected that answer.

So he was not taken aback.

“True, the two of us alone cannot save those 353.”

“Then who is supposed to help us? Surely you aren’t going to suggest the White Queen.”

“…You really thought I would reach for that worst possible option?”

His voice grew too cold to even call icy.

After focusing on forcing down his emotions, Kyousuke continued.

“Ellie Slide. There’s something else you’re still hiding from my mind, isn’t there?”

He pointed right at the center of Ellie Slide’s flat chest.

He pointed at the broken spider web or the fallen rose.

In other words, the dreamcatcher.

The Native Americans saw special meaning in dreams, so they used that protective charm as a filter that kept out bad dreams and gathered only the good ones.

He pointed at that selector.

And he said it.

The name of Madam Professor.

Part 3[edit]

(Timeline “Past”)

Himekawa Mika longed for it. Would Shiroyama Kyousuke ask the White Queen for help, or would his death send the White Queen on a rampage that would overheat the system? Either way, Pandemonium’s central processing core would be destroyed just as she hoped.


Shiroyama Kyousuke knew the Miniature Garden developer known as Madam Professor was a very devil-may-care kind of person. If there was anything she disliked about the job requested of her, she would rewrite the script and secretly build in a loophole more to her liking. Just because she found a system coldhearted and lacking in humanity, she would fill the empty space with descriptions that could easily trigger a critical bug or error.


Incense Expert Ellie Slide had feared that. If Kyousuke were to learn of this information, wouldn’t he stop working toward one or the other of the two options Himekawa Mika longed for? There was a chance he would stray onto a third path she had not accounted for.


And so…


“Shigara Masami.”

Inside the 50 meter Box of Pandemonium’s central processing core, Shiroyama Kyousuke had muttered that name while placing his hand on a wall decorated by countless geometric patterns.

He held an analysis filter glass made from quick-drying manicure repair solution and the vibration of his voice, just like the one he had used to read the surface armor that redirected the Lady of Purple Lightning’s summon bombing.

He read the structure.

No matter how precise it was and even at a level invisible to the naked eye, a magic circle was still a magic circle. And those circles always listed the important factors: what it summoned, the date, the place, the symbols, the related heavenly bodies, the important directions, etc. So instead of a chaotic collection of lines and curves, it was a message meant to be read by a human mind.

His voice quickly rose to a shout.

“Shigara Masami!! Madam Professor’s name was inputted into the empty space… She was originally a Government developer. If she was involved in the initial design of Pandemonium while jumping from project to project before arriving at the Queen’s Miniature garden…if that’s really the case…!!”

Ellie Slide held her giant armor-breaking axe. She had operated the flute-like keys on the handle and pulled the trigger to activate the incense of forgetfulness.

Kyousuke desperately held onto his fading thoughts and moved his weakening tongue to voice a plea.

To who?

To Max Layard, Ellie Slide, and Himekawa Mika.

To everyone who was using Kyousuke to destroy Pandemonium.

“That woman would never allow such a coldhearted system to exist. No matter what the user’s manual says and no matter how perfect the design was, she must have prepared a loophole more to her liking!! The answer was inside Pandemonium from the very beginning!!”

“…”

“So destroying Pandemonium would have the opposite effect. There’s a way to return Mika and the others to normal here, so it would be wrong to blow this away without using it. We need to investigate further! We need to check over every nook and cranny!! If this coldhearted system only looks coldhearted to you, then you must not have found the true meaning that Madam Professor left behind!!”

He had no proof.

No actual data had turned up to support his conclusion.

But Himekawa Mika, who stood at the center of all this, widened her eyes in surprise. Her lips trembled and her shoulders shook. Yes, she knew the person named Shigara Masami, she knew that woman’s kindness, and she knew her bad habit of implanting things.

And when she heard Kyousuke’s words, Ellie Slide realized they were falling out of step. The atmosphere and the trends were beginning to move. More importantly, Himekawa Mika was beginning to waver in her intent to destroy Pandemonium even though that meant destroying herself.

Would she continue on or fall back?

This was the final watershed.

Incense Expert Ellie Slide toyed with the dreamcatcher around her neck and left the decision to someone else.

Not to Max Layard but to Himekawa Mika.

“What will you do?”

It was a simple and thus cruel question.

The answer contained hesitation, doubt, fear, and uncertainty…but she still spoke clearly.

“                                                         ”

And.

The range of memories to be erased was reselected.

Part 4[edit]

(Timeline “Now”)

In the present, Shiroyama Kyousuke clenched his teeth.

He looked around his surroundings once more. This was an unbelievably large cubic Box. Before, it had only looked like a symbol of the malice and joy created by the Deltaston family who viewed themselves as a privileged class.

“The path to salvation was right before our eyes all along.”

“Not necessarily. Tens of thousands of developers worked for years to create this detailed system. How is an individual supposed to fully investigate this monster now? That’s like searching for a ring that fell into the ocean.”

Who set that limit?

“…”

“At the very least, it wasn’t Madam Professor who threw that ring in to leave behind a slight chance. The receiver has ignored her situation, given up on their own, and brought out some convenient numbers for a justification and validation that can fight the guilt. …I’m sick of that. I’ll end it all right here.”

Each side was 50 meters.

The area was far larger than a school gym and its size grew even larger when the great height was taken into account. Kyousuke directly faced the geometric patterns covering all six surfaces.

“Hand it over.”

“Hand what over?”

“I assume you have at least a moderate desire to look after yourself as a lady, so hand over your makeup tools. A hand mirror and some quick-drying manicure repair solution would be perfect.”

She clicked her tongue and tossed over a pouch.

He caught it and prepared a frightening device with just those ordinary products.

Those massive patterns were more than just lines. If someone understood the system behind them, they could read plenty of information just like passing a needle through the groove of a record.

When he viewed one of the walls through his makeshift filter glass, he found a deluge of messages. It was like having every page of an encyclopedia pasted on the wall. All the information he needed was there, but if he did not accurately focus in on what he needed, he would be swallowed up by the flood of information.

If he lost control, he would instantly lose sight of the answer.

The answer he had pulled out would likely never rise to the top of his mind again.

If he was simply searching randomly while focusing so intensely, it would likely take years. He doubted the souls of Himekawa Mika and the rest of the 353 vessels had that long.

But he had a hint.

Shiroyama Kyousuke knew Madam Professor.

He understood that devil-may-care developer named Shigara Masami.

What would she do?

Through what process would she have arrived at what truth, how would it have angered her, and what would she have added in? And what simple but hard to notice hiding place would she choose so the coldhearted developers would never find it yet it would appear like magic to anyone truly in need?

———…

It was only a thin, thin thread at first.

Not even Kyousuke knew if he should continue in that direction. He suspected it was the entrance to a labyrinthine forest that would send him running in circles forever.

———If…

Even so, he grabbed for it.

He felt something solid in his hand and he relied on that slight sensation to continue further. He crossed the sea of countless words while desperately connecting one small and vanishing point to another.

If he let go even for an instant, it would all be over.

It was like desperately holding onto your lover’s hand while being tossed in the waves during a storm at night. If you let go, you could never find that hand again no matter how much you regretted it.

———If you see Pandemonium activate before your eyes and your furious heart cannot forgive what has happened, then please make use of what I have left behind. I do not have the right to stop the damned project or to change its cursed use, but I still want to leave behind a chance to stop the tragedy that is sure to eventually occur.

The fingers of his mind traced along the line formed by the connected points.

Once he found that direction, he could see more and more points gathered around. Just like seeing the stars twinkling in the sky after sunset, he could not believe he had not noticed them sooner. He connected the countless points of light with further lines. The single unreliable thread joined the others to create a thick string and ultimately transformed into a sturdy rope.

———Pandemonium’s permanent summoning of the Wicked Green Woman will, in a way, succeed, but the safety of the 353 vessels is not theoretically guaranteed. In the worst case, all of their souls will either rupture or their bodies will fuse together.

He slowly shifted the weight of his heart.

He checked on the strength of this lifeline. Inside the vortex of information that raged like the stormy sea, he confirmed it was safe enough to support something more important than his life.

It was fine. There was no more need to hesitate.

———But there is a way to save them. In addition to summoning the Wicked Green Woman, Pandemonium supports 353 secondary summoning systems as camouflage. If the vessels’ bodies and souls are bound together and the correct souls are placed inside the twisted embryos, their regressed bodies will regain the proper experience points and may rapidly grow back into their original forms. How to do that is given here.

Shiroyama Kyousuke crossed the sea of information using that sturdy lifeline.

And on the far side, he found it.

A deep sea treasure had been placed there such that no one else would find it. That final glimmer of humanity had been secretly thrown into the otherwise coldhearted system.

———I only hope that whoever is seeing this has the normal sensibilities to be enraged by what you have seen.

Kyousuke’s mind focused in on a single point.

He touched the core of it all.

———And if so, please save the vessels who will have been caught in a future tragedy.

“…I found it,” quietly said Shiroyama Kyousuke.

Alice (with) Rabbit had heard it.

The student had reached Madam Professor’s domain.

“Ellie Slide!! Use memory and cognizance incense to read my thoughts and use corrosion incense on the six surfaces! Sever all the unnecessary lines in the geometric patterns and rewrite it the way I want!! Think of it like an insect’s…no, a reptile’s incomplete metamorphosis!!”

“Wait, wait, wait, wait!! That’s one ultra hard mode request after another. Those grooves are even thinner than the surface of a video disk and this Box is sturdy enough to survive an attack from the Lady of Purple Lightning. That’s just not possible!!”

“I’ll put together the theory. You read that with your incense too. Pandemonium redirects the power instead of using pure armor strength, just like how a magic circle is made to allow otherworldly power to flow through it. So if you focus on how you apply the power and guide it to collide head-on along the same line, you can naturally burn it out. It’s perfectly possible to do by human hands!”

“But!”

“You can do it! Aren’t you the amplifier that can strengthen any summoner!? Then do what I say and amplify Shiroyama Kyousuke’s power here!!”

The incense expert clicked her tongue and steeled her resolve.

She pulled a small bottle from the belt around her waist and swapped it out with one on the back of her axe.

She operated the flute-like keys and pulled the trigger.

A sweet smell spread.

The area filled with a sizzling sound like that of Chinese cooking. Parts of the dimly-lit Box flashed white as if from a blow torch. Each of those lights was accurately cutting a groove more than a fiftieth thinner than a hair. It was like a tadpole casting aside its gills and gaining lungs to breathe on land as a frog.

Anyone watching may not have been able to tell what was happening.

Had it succeeded or failed?

But there was one parameter even an amateur could perceive.

“…”

Kyousuke silently turned around.

The White Queen was still standing immaculately by his side and smiling.

But a moment later, the silver twintail girl burst from within and scattered in every direction as particles of light.

It was a sublime sight.

At first, the particles scattered wildly like a firework accidentally detonating before it was launched, but they belatedly gathered together and flowed in a certain direction. They passed through the wall and vanished toward the large room full of hundreds of transparent spheres. The many bound souls were being cut apart and returned to their original bodies.

Those masses of flesh had yet to regain their proper form.

Those souls had yet to find their proper place.

If they were brought back together through Pandemonium, the vessels could return to themselves. The original 353 people would recover.

They would regain their stolen experience points and the giant embryos would grow back to their proper ages.

Their bodies would return and their souls would settle in there.

That would save all of them.

Kyousuke only had to watch the process automatically play out.

He looked over to the person who had carried everything all this time.

Only the beautiful woman with a bluish-black ponytail and a tight skirt suit remained.

“This is a present,” added the incense expert. “I left only Himekawa Mika’s soul in that container. You wouldn’t want to lose the experience points she gained here, would you? Both for technical reasons and so she can bear the burden of her deeds, both good and bad.”

Himekawa Mika was entirely limp, so Kyousuke gently supported her.

“Didn’t I tell you?”

“Uuh…ah…”

She could not believe what had happened to her.

She was Alice (with) Rabbit’s enemy.

She had lied to and deceived Alice (with) Rabbit.

She was a wicked woman who had given no one any reason to protect her.

She had given up on walking toward the future.

She had only held the mistaken hope of finding something she could leave behind.

And she had gotten so many others involved for that.

And yet…

And yet…

And yet…

As if to cut off all of those thoughts, Shiroyama Kyousuke spoke.

He did so without any hesitation.

The next step is prying open the thick doors and saving the 353 vessels trapped inside.

“Ahhhhh…!!!!!”

Nothing more was necessary.

Himekawa Mika wrapped her hands around Kyousuke’s shoulders and buried her face in his chest. The sobbing woman was not Madam Professor, but she was still a human being with a unique heart capable of shedding tears. She was not a disposable tool meant to reach something else, whether it be the Wicked Green Woman or the White Queen.

(Pandemonium…no, the central processing core’s Box shouldn’t be working now that the geometric patterns have been destroyed. But it would be a problem if they built a 2nd or 3rd one, so I should probably do a more thorough job of destroying it.)

Himekawa Mika was safe.

They had a path toward saving the 353 vessels.

They could destroy Pandemonium.

The White Queen was gone.

The situation could not have been more exceptional, but Shiroyama Kyousuke’s expression did not relax. At first, Himekawa Mika and Ellie Slide did not know why.

So it took them a moment to sense it.

Hee hee.

They heard a feminine laugh that should never have been there.

A pure white that rejected all darkness stood less than 20 meters from Shiroyama Kyousuke.

She had waist-length silver twintails and skin so white it seemed to glow. Her exceedingly luxurious clothes looked like a wedding dress cut down to size with silver armor added on. That clothing could transform into any weapon and yet her two slender arms were feared as the greatest weapon of all.

She was the strongest of the strongest.

She was the White Queen.

“What…?”

Himekawa Mika stared at her like she could not believe her eyes.

“But…! But if we were freed, there is no more vessel supporting the Queen…!”

The twintail girl did not respond. She simply waved her index finger back and forth.

This was an enjoyable bit of fun. You have my praise for that.

But if you speak up again, I will crush you as a hindrance to our date.

Kyousuke understood the meaning hidden in her gentle smile and bewitchingly glowing eyes, so he opened his mouth again.

“This is a counter summoning, isn’t it?”

“Yes, brother. The Pandemonium Project was developed to strengthen the Wicked Green Woman with its primary system while also summoning the White Queen to be defeated. Everything got all switched around, but if you focus back on the original purpose, this shouldn’t be confusing. …Simply put, Pandemonium was built to summon two Unexplored-classes at the same time.

Kyousuke and the others had destroyed one of those and the White Queen controlled the other.

They could not summon a strengthened Wicked Green Woman as was originally intended. And even if they could, Kyousuke would never allow it. He would not sacrifice Himekawa Mika and the other vessels again.

“Now, brother, you have saved the 353 who were supposedly beyond saving, but the task is not yet complete. It will take about 10 minutes for all of the souls to settle into their regressed bodies, recover their experience points, and grow back into their original forms. If any critical damage is done to this mass of Repliglass known as Pandemonium, to its arteries or veins, or to its heart reactor before that is complete, what do you think will happen?”

The transformation was like rewinding the footage of ice cream melting on hot asphalt, so would it simply stop?

Or would it all burst?

“…Do you really think I’ll let you?”

“Yes! That is exactly it!! I do not care what is good or evil, pleasant or unpleasant. I simply want to enjoy my date with you for as long as I can possibly enjoy my time with you! So if this will keep your focus on me for even a second longer, I am willing to play even the most reviled role!!”

He doubted he could defeat the White Queen even if he gathered every last weapon in the world and called in every last person on the planet. The only people here were Shiroyama Kyousuke, Himekawa Mika, Ellie Slide, and Max Layard. Even if one of them started the Summoning Ceremony beginning from Cost 1, they would never stand a chance against the already completed Queen.

They were woefully unprepared.

Shiroyama Kyousuke knew that, but he still grabbed his Blood-Sign.

“Hee hee.”

The girl laughed in delight.

She laughed innocently, as if she truly did not know anything else.

“Three attacks. Since you altered the structure of the Box, my summoning here is limited. You have already calculated it out too, haven’t you? If I use my full specs, three attacks is my limit. After that, I will disperse once more and our date will come to an end.”

Three attacks.

Only three attacks.

But that number would come to crush Kyousuke as a barrier more hopeless than the end of the world in any mythology. For one thing, the average Regulation-class or Divine-class would be too frightened to move when faced with this opponent. Something on that level would attack him thrice.

“Oh, dear. If even that is not enough of a handicap, just tell me what you need, brother.”

The White Queen sounded like she was joking and a portion of her dress transformed into a Japanese sword nearly 2 meters in length. She casually tossed it his way.

The blade rotated through the air and fell vertically down.

It split the floor in front of Kyousuke and remained standing.

“Do you remember the Attach Saint Project? That camouflage project summoned a Divine-class’s weapon instead of the Divine-class itself and they incorporate that into something manmade to wield the power of the gods without losing control. Hee hee. Come to think of it, you looked upset when you saw that, didn’t you?”

The White Queen clasped her hands in front of her chest and smiled.

“The ‘White’ Queen who Wields the Sword of Unsullied Truth (iu – nu – fb – a – wuh – ei –kx – eu – pl – vjz). The sword mentioned there is actually my clothing…but that sword contains my own power instead of just a Divine-class’s. Since that is a part of me, it can harm me. This is the very strategy you used during the Guard of Honor business. How about it? I would very much enjoy a sword fight with you, brother.”

That weapon could kill the peak of the Unexplored-class.

Shiroyama Kyousuke could not have wanted anything more.

But his answer was clear.

“Hell no.”

“My.”

“Fighting you with the power you gave me? I’d just be dancing in your palm. From then on, I’d only be able to resist you within the rules you had set up! I won’t rely on something like that, Queen. I’m done with relying on the strongest because it’s easy!!”

He had the courage to brush it aside with his own willpower.

He had the character to reject the extreme temptation of the simple term “strongest”.

He was rejecting the White Queen’s very existence, but she gently narrowed her eyes in a smile as if she found that unbearably adorable.

And Kyousuke did not bother with her any longer.

“Mika, lend me your strength.”

“That’s Mika-san. And I never imagined I would be on your side. I was prepared to forever part ways with you after deceiving you like that.”

“That doesn’t matter. I’m not letting her cheat us out of what we’ve accomplished here! I need your strength to defeat her. It’s just three attacks!! Only three!! Lend me the strength I need to overcome the end of the world three times!!”

Kyousuke was cut off by a shrill noise.

It came from the whistle hanging from Himekawa Mika’s neck.

“Tsk, tsk, tsk. That’s not how to say it.”

She finally – truly finally – wagged her index finger in her usual way.

With the sides of her navy blue tight skirt ripped and her stockings intentionally torn, that bluish-black ponytail beauty smiled.

And she spoke like a true member of Illegal.

Her voice was as clear as a small bell but also somehow fearsome.

“Say it, Kyousuke-kun. At times like this, you need to honestly shout help me!!”

He was caught off guard.

He understood what she meant, but it still took him more than a moment to accept it.

After all, that boy was the sinner who had released the White Queen. During that Secret War, all of the truly powerful had been wiped out, Government, Illegal, and Freedom had thoroughly lost their way, a great many problems had scattered across the world, and thus half of the world’s problems were thanks to him. It was possible that had even indirectly led to the construction of Pandemonium.

So how did he have any right to use those words?

Could he really say them? Was he allowed to?

He clenched his teeth, bit his lip, and just about swallowed them on reflex.

“The scope of salvation is not determined by qualifications or conditions.”

A soft sensation reached the summoner’s head as he stood in that extreme position.

The woman by his side had gently placed her hand on it.

It was just like an adult comforting a child lost in a strange city.

“I believed that sacrificing the 353 souls was the best answer. You forgave and saved a sinner like me, so why would I reject your salvation?”

He had continually walked a hellish path much like walking barefoot across scorching coals.

He had spent so much time alongside the greatest evil.

Even as the cross on his back nearly crushed him, he had needed to become the strongest to prevent it from doing so.

As those days continued, he had eventually stopped hearing those words.

Himekawa Mika was not the Madam Professor from his memories, but just like that woman, she may have given him a goal he needed to pursue.

A metallic taste seeped from his bit lip.

He slowly removed his teeth which had become a tool of self-harm.

And…

The absolute summoner feared as Freedom Award 903, Alice (with) Rabbit, let out a pure voice just like when he had known nothing of another world.

Yes.

“                                   ”

Those few words were the trigger that burned down the world.

An Incense Grenade fell to his feet, his vessel partner nodded in satisfaction, and the two of them watched the White Queen smile as dark flames enveloped her.

The final battle was beginning.

The power known as the human heart would clash head-on with the strongest that lurked in another world.

Part 5[edit]

(Timeline “Now”)

Three attacks.

Just three attacks.

“Owwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”

As soon as the Artificial Sacred Ground was set up, Kyousuke launched a White Thorn with all his might. It struck the three-dimensional Rose, the many red Petals scattered, and they poured into the Spots.

“Hee hee. Ah ha ha!! Relying on a mere Regulation-class? How brave, brother. And yet those are no more than imitations that humans artificially created and placed in the other world to reach the Divine and Unexplored-classes.”

The Regulation and Divine-class could do nothing to the White Queen. Before even thinking about their strength, they would succumb to their fear and stop moving.

They could move freely if he built them up to the Unexplored-class, but the Queen’s power would still be overwhelming. He had once seen the Lady of Purple Lightning slaughtered in a single attack. He doubted even the strongest ones known as the Three could stand up to the White Queen. After all, Pandemonium existed to turn that impossibility into a possibility.

So he did not even need to think about fighting, defeating, killing, or destroying her.

He had to survive these three attacks. To do that, he transformed his vessel into a Material and surrounded himself with a protective circle.

That may have been logical for a human.

“Hee hee.”

But with refreshing laughter, the White Queen brought all of those assumptions crumbling down!!

It was not a question of something actually happening.

It was simply the fact that the White Queen had him in her sights. He had the protective circle defending him, and thus the entire ceremony, from all external and internal factors, but he lost sight of that basic fact and nearly forgot how to breathe. Unpleasant sweat poured down his body and his eyeballs were shaking too much for his vision to settle down. If he did not remain focused, his thoughts would have faded like he had severe anemia.

That was the sense of the White.

It was an omen of the greatest and most evil fate that would tear away the basic elements of either world and would not allow him even a normal death.

Shiroyama Kyousuke obeyed his biological instincts more than his human rationality.

He cast everything aside and used every last ounce of strength to leap to the right.

The very next moment, a portion of the Queen’s clothing rippled and instantly formed a double-edged Western sword measuring several dozen meters.

Destruction seemed to recite a single word.

“One.”

Light.

Sound.

Both were entirely erased by the horizontal slash. That was more than just a sword. As it swung around, it came apart and formed a storm of thousands or tens of thousands of thin wires. The ends formed sharp fish hooks, the sides formed vicious jigsaw blades, and the storm of violence would tear flesh and eat into bone. The interior of the 50m cubic Box was torn whitely apart and even the barriers of time and space were easily shredded as the very essence of destruction poured down all at once.

(The Material…Mika will be killed!!)

He did not even have time to cry out.

He forcibly changed direction after fleeing to the side. To avoid the penalty of losing and – more importantly – to avoid having his beautiful partner smashed as easily as styrofoam, Kyousuke did his utmost to suppress his fear and stepped forward. He used the entirety of the protective circle to save Himekawa Mika who was no more than the Original Yellow (s).

A deafening roar followed.

The protective circle could supposedly defend against all deadly factors, but it bent like an unreliably fragile water balloon. Incredibly, it did not actually break and as the invisible wall dented inward, it struck Kyousuke’s entire body.

He literally coughed up blood.

He had no idea how many years this had shaved off his life, but a clean hit would not have left a single shred of flesh behind.

“Two.”

And he was not even given time to correct his posture.

The next thing he knew, he heard a gentle voice from directly behind him. His heart leaped in his chest. An overwhelming presence or aura slowly approached from behind him. That alone held enough violence to beat down and bring an enemy to their knees. Kyousuke felt like his nerves had been fried by a stun gun, but he desperately turned around.

That was precisely when the White Queen slowly raised her slender arm.

Shiroyama Kyousuke honestly thought he was dead.

And since he could not prevent his body from being destroyed, he rationally calculated out what percentage he could allow to be destroyed. Until an arm or a leg had been torn off? Until one of his eyes or ears had been plucked out or ripped away? Until a portion of his kidneys or liver had ruptured?

(I should be thankful as long as my brain and heart survive!!)

A tremendous sound immediately followed.

The White Queen wielded no weapon, but that was exactly what made her the strongest. Her slender arm pierced Kyousuke’s protective circle with no hesitation.

Her outstretched fingers continued right into Kyousuke’s chest.

His ribs broke and she accurately grabbed the muscular organ protected inside. Her smooth fingers rubbed across it as if enjoying how it felt.

Simply put, it was his heart.

BloodSign v04 278.jpg

“Ebh!? Agoh! Obhgah…!!!!!!”

“Oh, dear. Oh, dear. This is checkmate, isn’t it? My – dear – brother?”

His pounding heart sounded like it was coming from somewhere else.

The White Queen gave an entranced smile as she felt the sign of his life in her hand.

“Will you be giving up now? Or would you like to enjoy the third attack as well?”

“Don’t make me…laugh…”

“I thought you would say that. You wouldn’t be my brother otherwise☆”

Kyousuke was overwhelmed by extreme tension and sweat poured from his entire body, but he showed no fear on his face even as she physically held his life in her hands. For one thing, this was what it meant to fight the White Queen. It made no difference if her opponent was on the other end of the galaxy or if she was close enough to touch their heart. From the moment she had manifested in the same world, he had to assume the very next attack could kill him.

Meanwhile, the twintailed girl was entirely unchanged.

The strongest was not shaken no matter what.

And unfortunately, the third attack is already complete.

Kyousuke’s eyeballs saw something wriggling in the corner of his vision. It was something he had cast aside but could not afford to forget about.

It was the large white sword the White Queen had tossed to him as some sort of provocation. It was stabbed into the floor like a stereotypical ultimate weapon and it began making its presence all too apparent.

The Queen’s weapons could transform into anything.

So there was no reason that it had to remain a sword.

What form had the blade – that stabbing tip – taken?

No.

How far did it extend!?

“I told you to endure three attacks.” The White Queen smiled. “This attack to the heart was the third and final one. Because the very, very first attack had already been made before you began your efforts!!”

That attack had not targeted Kyousuke or the others here.

It had been a cruel attack which made the entire structure of Pandemonium its target.

In other words, the 353 vessels.

“Now, a question: What did that first attack stab?”

“…”

“The 353 souls were in the process of settling into the 353 bodies. Brother, I know you of all people can imagine what would happen if Pandemonium was forcibly stopped in the middle of that.”

She had interfered with the return of the souls to take the lives he had worked so hard to save.

“Ah ha ha!! Ah ha ha ha ha ha!! In other words…in other words, brother!! No matter what you did, your despair was ensured from the very beginning!! You did not save the 353!! My very first attack tore apart the frame and pierced the Repliglass heart reactor, so Pandemonium is guaranteed to explode from within. It should have been obvious, right? Did you really think you had defended yourself against even a single attack from the White Queen? That alone is a form of irreverence.

The first attack had ended everything.

Of course it had.

“That’s why I told you in the very beginning to use that sword! I gave you the choice, but – my, my – you went out of your way to reject it!! Hee hee hee. Ah ha ha ha ha!! If you had pulled it out yourself, things might have been different, but you went out of your way to overlook it! Heh heh heh. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Now, now! Make sure to savor the nightmare you yourself invited in by trying to act so cool, my – dear – brother.”

The strongest of the strongest’s back trembled as she spoke.

The Queen’s ring of evil was complete.

He was trapped and his fate was sealed.

He was faced with the frightening truth that he had failed to save anyone after all that work.

“So what?”

But just before that happened, the boy’s extremely icy words sliced apart that path to despair.

“What..?”

The White Queen sounded puzzled even with her hand plunged into Kyousuke’s chest and her fingers gently squeezing his heart. She looked around.

There was nothing.

Nothing had changed.

“What is the meaning of this?”

“I understand you and your evil. It was the same with the Rainy Girl, Queen. If I made my decision on the assumption that you were telling the truth back then, I would have brought about the worst case scenario and you would have delighted in that fact. So it was obvious you had built some kind of malice into this series of events too. After all, you had no reason whatsoever to give me any kind of handicap.

She literally held his life in her hands, but the boy still gave her a daring smile.

“ ‘How about it? I would very much enjoy a sword fight with you.’ …Who said that? Don’t screw with me, Queen. I know you don’t still have that kind of innocent good will inside you. You made an unnatural suggestion right after announcing the three attack limit. You saw the perfect way to throw me down as I obediently followed the rules.”

“Don’t be silly. Then what did you do? My first attack with that sword perfectly and undeniably pierced straight through Pandemonium’s heart reactor…”

“Shigara Masami was a devil-may-care developer.”

A puny pawn could challenge the queen just this once.

The boy could reveal the answer to the Queen instead of the other way around!!

“And when she was displeased with the request she received, she was well-known for adding in her own script not found in any of the designs or manuals. She would always say the system was too coldhearted and lacked humanity.”

“You can’t mean…”

“You may indeed have made your greatest attack on exactly the correct spot.”

“This was one of predicted possibilities? But…by who? If it was in the designs, it couldn’t have been you, brother!!”

“But Shigara Masami altered Pandemonium’s design and shifted each part by just a few millimeters. The body alone is 800 meters long and it’s even more with the tentacles included and there are millions if not hundreds of millions of parts in all. Each individual alteration might be small, but they add up to a great error. I don’t know where you saw the plans, but the difference between those and reality caused you to miss the crucial reactor by a hair’s breadth. Just like you’re touching my heart now. So I only had to focus on my position and adjust the coordinates at which you threw the sword!”

Things had seemed slightly off here and there.

For example, in the break room where Himekawa Mika had recovered from her Imaginary Flashback.

———10m x 20m x…

———17.04m? What a shame. It’s so close to being 1 x 2 x √3.

For example, when he had first set foot in this central processing core Box.

———50 x 50 x…

———…49.998?

“I-I…”

The silver twintail girl seemed unsure what expression to make.

But it was definitely something other than a smile.

“Someone other than you…someone else predicted what I would do…?”

“I later met that developer in the Queen’s Miniature Garden, so she was pretty clearly a genius.”

It was now Kyousuke’s turn to smile.

“She wrote this in the Box’s blank space: ‘If Pandemonium is activated, it will bring about 59 major categories and 187,600 specific methods to end the world. I included countermeasures for every last one of them, so please use your judgement to hold off those worst case scenarios’!”

“…Ah…”

“And she also wrote this: ‘Just because the White Queen is the strongest is no reason to allow her to kill’!! I inherited Madam Professor’s will and, in so doing, I tore victory from your grasp, Queen. You may be the strongest or whatever else, but you can’t interfere with the bonds between people. You can’t intervene in the time people have spent together. Taking someone’s life isn’t enough to break those bonds! That final trap was probably meant to spit not on me but on the effort she put into planning the destruction of Pandemonium, but these things can’t be shaken by that!!”

“Don’t…don’t come between…my brother and meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!”

The Queen screamed and some slight strength entered her hand.

That should have crushed the boy’s heart as she gently stroked it in her hand.

‘White’ Queen who Wields the Sword of Unsullied Truth. Right now…

But that did not happen.

There was a simple reason.

I’m not afraid of you.

He had endured three attacks.

This time, the White Queen truly lost all power, dispersed, and returned to the world where the Materials lurked.

“It’s…over,” he muttered.

With the “cork” gone, dark red liquid spilled from the five holes piercing his body.

Kyousuke fell to his knees.

Was it Himekawa Mika or Ellie Slide? Whoever it was called out to him, but he lacked the strength to reply.

(She…)

But the boy still smiled in victory for the first time in a long while.

(She really was a hell of a person.)

Facts[edit]

  • Perfect Game’s goal was to destroy Pandemonium in order to save the 7 billion people who they viewed as a minority in comparison to the White Queen. That matched Himekawa Mika’s goal, but they had no intention of guaranteeing her survival.
  • The Regulation-class are Materials that human summoners artificially created and placed inside the alternate world. They are meant as a starting point to help summon the Divine-class and Unexplored-class.
  • The sword mentioned in “The ‘White’ Queen who Wields the Sword of Unsullied Truth (iu – nu – fb – a – wuh – ei –kx – eu – pl – vjz)” refers to the Queen’s ever-changing clothing.
  • Madam Professor, aka Shigara Masami, predicted all of the 59 categories and 187,600 methods of catastrophe and wrote countermeasures for them all into the blank space. She seemed to have approached the White Queen’s nature and behavioral patterns from a different angle than Kyousuke.


Back to Stage 03 Return to Main Page Forward to Ending X-01