The Unexplored Summon Blood Sign:Volume4 Ending2
Ending X-02: It’s Game Over After All
“Ha hah hah!! Hey, Kyousuke-chan. I was bored, so I stopped by to have some fun.”
(“Now” Ending X-02 Open 06/03 14:15)
It’s Game Over After All
Only a few minutes had passed since Himekawa Mika had left.
Shiroyama Kyousuke dragged his aching body down from the stretcher. Two men who appeared to be EMTs lay unconscious on the ground. It had been necessary, but they may have been innocent. It pained him a little, but he could not wait around here.
He pulled his Blood-Sign from his back and used it as a cane as he walked.
He chose his route carefully and used his smartphone to contact Aika and Lu Niang Lan back in Toy Dream 35.
“Onii-chan, I understand the situation, but please get back as soon as possible. Urp…”
“Only a big brother can look after a shut-in little sister. Curse those old sacks of fat for making a constant attack of chili sauce and oyster sauce…”
“Tah dah! Today’s snack is a chewy gyoza pizza.”
“Gyahhh!! I can’t stand any more of this Chinese food around the clock!!”
His goal was to leave the Deltaston family’s D.R.O.K. international trade show as quickly as possible, but that was easier said than done. After all, it was a donut-shaped city quickly built in the middle of a Hokkaido field. He could not just take a train back home and the nearest city was probably several dozen kilometers away.
Also, he had to assume the Deltaston family would send someone after him. The vessels had someone to protect them, but he could be finished off as soon as he was found.
(I need to start with the truck base. Supporting tens of thousands of people requires a lot of living supplies and produces a lot of waste. They have to have a largescale distribution system set up.)
The strategy there was the same for a veteran summoner as it was for an illegal immigrant. He would find a random truck, open the back, and sneak inside. It was a standard tactic.
“Oh? Some of the Chinese might decide to beat you up if they hear you calling a gyoza pizza Chinese food.”
“Why are you adding Chinese seasonings to non-Chinese things!? You’re only making me sick of it all faster by dumping curry powder in hamburger steaks and fried rice! Don’t you know a shut-in is affected by these thing more than normal people!?”
“Oh, come on. Besides, Chinese food can be divided into several different types: Beijing, Shanghai, Sichuan, Cantonese, and Hong Kong. Not to mention…”
“I’ve heard enough already!!”
There were a few different truck bases, but instead of an open-air parking lot, they were mostly surrounded by a large tent like a circus. They did not want anything getting into the living supplies like the food and they did not want any of the new equipment for the international trade show being photographed in transit. Plus, they did not want anyone to know which trucks in which truck bases were carrying anything important, so they created a giant black box with the important and unimportant cargo all together.
However, this was standard as well.
There were sensors and human guards near the limited entrances, but it was still only a thick tent. If he circled to the back and cut the fabric itself, he could get in through anywhere.
A great number of trucks were parked inside, but he did not sense anyone there. For the long-range drivers, a chance to get some sleep was a life saver. A highway rest stop was one thing, but a proper distribution base would have a lodging facility for them.
Kyousuke circled behind the large vehicles, looked at each one, and compared the locations on the license plates and any unique displays.
“I’m about to leave, so can you have me picked up based on my smartphone’s signal?” he asked.
“I can manage. And there’s an important lesson in all this, Onii-chan. Any job you take from those old sacks of fat is bad news. Only an excellent little sister can look after her big brother!!”
“I don’t recall the jobs from Government going much better.”
(Anyway, if I can get out of the city, I can get through this. Metal trash would probably be best. Unlike works of art, they don’t need to worry about how it’s situated, so they won’t periodically check inside to see how it’s doing.)
Just as he thought that, something happened.
A green explosion arrived like a gust of wind.
The tent was larger than a school building, but the uncanny light filled the entire thing as it danced madly about. Trucks weighing between 10 and 20 tons were tossed about like paper boxes and they rolled along, crashing into each other. Not even one of them survived. Kyousuke himself would have been crushed by the masses of metal if he had not been careful. But this was much more stable than with the Lady of Purple Lightning.
People were of course panicking outside, but piles of trucks seemed to be blocking all of the entrances. The guards could only yell and no one could get inside.
An explosion of static came from Kyousuke’s phone and he realized the call had been cut off at some point.
And a certain being reigned at the center of the blast.
<Ha hah hah!! Hey, Kyousuke-chan. I was bored, so I stopped by to have some fun.>
First, there was a giant. A 15 meter man made of cheap tin was subserviently down on all fours. He had abandoned the concept of pride and become a piece of furniture, but a close look showed he was not a single entity. Millions, if not tens of millions, of metal scepters had been crumpled up into a humanoid shape. In both the East and the West, scepters with gold, silver, and jewels on the top had long been viewed as symbols of authority and divinity, especially in patriarchal societies.
But these were all cheap-looking scepters with their gilding peeling away.
The jewels shined with a horrible cheapness that not even glass or plastic could reproduce.
These were symbols of an authority soaked in worldly money and desire.
But peel back that outer layer of gilding and they became the filthy canes that beat the people to provide needless punishment.
And that giant made of rotten patriarchal authority was bound by the body of a great green serpent. No, it was more than just a snake. The top half of a girl no older than 12 was attached to the bottom half of a great serpent. That resident of a mythological world reigned atop the back of the giant who was down on all fours. It was as if she had stepped up onto him and sat down there.
This was one of the Unexplored-class’s Three. It was the guardian of Illegal.
Sound Range: Middle. Cost: 18.
The Wicked “Green” Woman who Fills the World with Empty Treasure (l u – o – n p – e – q o – e i – r – k – a – r u m – p l).
She looked like a lovely young girl with her short hair dyed green, but the tongue sticking out of her mouth was endlessly long. She also had an evil, belligerent, and sadistic light in her serpentine vertical pupils.
Her long snake body was pierced in places by scepters torn from the giant’s surface. And each time one stabbed into her, something like a meter-long bubble appeared out of the empty air around her. A great mountain of them was currently accumulating. And there were visions inside the bubbles like they were snow globes.
One showed a bomb no one had ever seen.
One showed the concept of a bewitching crime much like a phone scam.
One showed an extremely simple chemical formula, a single drop of which would cause the purest of holy women’s chastity to crumble away in a single night.
When the extremely thin bubbles burst, those ideas were released.
The world learned of a new form of malice and absorbed it.
It was a dreadful fertility and an abundant crop of evil. Perhaps those were mistaken directions of growth for mankind, the wrong choice among the endless options, and a crystal that would draw out countless conflicts and great ruin.
This was different again from the Red Lady who determined the one and only path.
She was a genius at making people choose the wrong path and she stood above the Red in the Three’s three-way stalemate.
Her color was Green.
She threw the world into chaos and she ruled outside the established order as the symbol of Illegal.
Himekawa Mika had worn a sin necklace that displayed her sins as icons.
Then what would the Wicked Green Woman’s show?
The mountain range of destruction built up around the area likely displayed her sins. And of course, she proudly showed it off with no shame whatsoever.
While sitting on her chair like a truly wicked woman, that Unexplored-class wore a snakeskin piece of clothing with two pieces dropping diagonally out from her neck like a bikini.
<Don’t look so shocked. That annoying-as-hell White may have stolen the show, but the palace known as Pandemonium was originally a toy made for me.>
<Of course, I’ll vanish from the world in a few minutes when the Box can no longer support my ability to speak. I understand why you would want to destroy it, but you screwed up when you didn’t ask my permission first. If you’re gonna build or tear down a god’s shrine, it’s only polite to offer up a prayer or some holy sake, right? So now it’s time to bully you a little. Try to enjoy this extreme curse, Kyousuke-chan.>
“What…are you planning to do here?”
<Kah kah kah!! Don’t get all on edge. I said I was gonna bully you, but it’s not like I’m gonna go all out and turn you to mincemeat when you don’t even have a protective circle. That’d be over in an instant, which would just be boring. My malice isn’t so kind. I prefer to stubbornly torment someone until they can’t live without it.>
The Wicked Green Woman cutely placed her index finger on her lips.
<I know the Red Lady is trying to raise you with care. But who cares what that purity-obsessed woman and her fake innocence thinks. I’m doing what I’ll enjoy most. I’ll destroy it all. This is the end for you, Kyousuke-chan. This is the day you die. I hope you’re ready.>
He did not understand her logic.
Or perhaps it was a biological issue.
At any rate, he knew one of the Three was viewing him hostilely. And that this would clearly work negatively toward his fight against the White Queen.
“Can’t we talk this out rationally?”
<Nope. And don’t feel sad, Kyousuke-chan. I’m the Wicked Green Woman, remember? I’m the Unexplored-class that loves nothing more than insulting people and beating them for no real reason. So you should be proud to be my enemy. Because that means you’ve risen to a level where I’ll actually recognize you as an enemy.>
Her logic was clearly different from the Red Lady’s.
This was also different from the White Queen’s insane love.
He doubted she even had enough rational thought to hold a real conversation. This abnormal being only judged her distance from others using hatred, hostility, jealousy, superiority, contempt, and violence. Just like dealing with an extreme sadist or a necrophile, he felt the extreme tension of expecting to receive a blade in response to whatever he might say.
<Kyousuke-chan, it has to have been eating away at you. The riddle the Red Lady left you with, that is. Humans have a fundamental misunderstanding about the Summoning Ceremony and challenging the White Queen with the Blood-Sign method is a foolish conclusion. …But you just can’t figure out what that means, can you?>
<Yeah, yeah. I’m not going to mess with you by lying. That would actually reduce the amount of despair, which would be boring. I raise my right hand and swear that I will only speak the truth…for today anyway. Now, let’s get back on topic. Kyousuke-chan, whenever you can’t find the answer to a riddle, it’s because you don’t have enough information. The Red Lady was fidgeting around like a fake virgin, but I’ll get right to the point.>
The Wicked Green Woman gave a bewitching smile as her snake body wriggled with countless scepters stabbing into it.
She raised her index finger.
<Here’s your first hint. Kyousuke-chan, why do you think all of us in the Unexplored-class look like human girls?>
Kyousuke voiced his confusion without thinking and the girl raised her middle finger.
<And your second hint. All of us in the Unexplored-class are given a color. Why? There’s a legitimate reason for it, Kyousuke-chan.>
<Heh heh. Silence this time? But not because you don’t understand. You’re starting to catch on, aren’t you? No, you’ve caught on, but you’re doing everything you can to cover it up. Ah ha ha ha!! That’s right. That’s the human despair I was looking for. Any fear you can bear to look at isn’t true despair. The truly dangerous answers are the ones you can’t see even when they’re right in front of you!! This is why I stick with you humans! This is why you’re worth handing out Awards to!!>
“Wait a minute. Let me put my thoughts in order.”
<No, the third hint comes first.>
She raised her ring finger and her mouth split into a wicked smile.
<The Regulation-class was created by you humans as a starting point to reach the gods. The Divine-class are individual beings that appeared on their own. Then what about us? The Unexplored-class is the laws of the other world. We’re based on colors which represent fire, water, wind, earth, time, life and death, good and bad deeds, and plenty of other things. Simply put, it’s what you call ‘elements’ and the world takes shape because we each support one of them.>
“That’s getting pretty abstract. The Unexplored-classes aren’t humanoid gods?”
<Humans worship the gods because they want the gods to save their world. But the gods can’t overcome the laws of their world. Just like Cronus couldn’t escape Zeus in the beginning and just like Odin must tremble in fear of Fenrir in the end.>
She seemed to be reciting something.
<You could say the Unexplored-class is an anthropomorphized version of the rules that govern the category of the Divine-class. Our role is to manage heaven and we keep the gears of the other world running…or we were supposed to.>
“You were supposed to?”
<Yes, that’s right. That’s right! It’s kind of funny really, but one day, someone noticed it. If we were only meant to manage the other world and keep it running, was this grand system really necessary? Couldn’t it have been simplified further? We each handled one of the other world’s laws and all of us together supported everything, but maybe there was some other meaning to that.>
Kyousuke thought for a bit.
“You’re kidding, right!? You mean that really is the answer!?”
<Yes, all of the Unexplored-class was given female human forms and divided up by color. And if you think about bringing all colors together, what’s the first color that comes to mind?>
“You were born to create the White…no, to oppose her!?”
<Precisely. As the laws of the world, we couldn’t exactly ignore something so dangerous. And even if the White Queen was the strongest, her power would eventually be reduced to nothing if the laws supporting her power and existence were removed, one color at a time. She would lose her light. In other words, she could be sealed.>
Kyousuke’s heart pounded in his chest.
This information was important. Incredibly important.
That was right. How could he have forgotten? During that war several years earlier, it was a saturation attack from the Unexplored-class that had driven back the White Queen. What if that had been more than brute strength? What if there had been a logic behind it? All of the colors were brought together to combat the ultimate white. By removing the seemingly infinite veils of her invincibility, her power could be taken from her. The system had been set up from the very beginning.
The world was filled with such unbelievable mercy and kindness!!
<Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Kyousuke-chan. Remember what I said up front?>
<This is me bullying you for being so rude.>
Kyousuke was confused and the Wicked Green Woman raised her little finger.
<How many was that? Oh, right. Let’s get to your fourth hint. Even with all of the Unexplored-class thrown at her with a perfect system in place for sealing the White Queen, the Secret War ultimately ended in failure if you look at the big picture. She’s still doing just fine after all. Why do you think that is?>
Then her thumb.
She smiled with her hand spread.
<Fifth hint. Open your eyes. You’ve already guessed it deep in your heart, haven’t you? The problem was how we were a group meant to stop the White Queen but also the laws that manage the other world. Hey, Kyousuke-chan. Let’s say you throw a monster into an absolutely inescapable black hole. Now, what do you do if they casually tear that black hole apart and reappear? That’s the end for logic and all the laws have fallen apart, right? When time and space are stretched and dragged around and a world that can’t explain it is mocked as ignorant, then an individual can stand at the center of it all. What good is a textbook if neutrinos really can travel faster than light? She isn’t looking to anything other than you, Kyousuke-chan. But everything is still connected. Even the ruins are being dragged around.>
The laws of the world had given in.
They had surrendered to the White Queen.
<This is dangerous. Really dangerous. I call myself wicked, but even I still have some sense of reverence. Even gang members have crosses tattooed on their backs and they’ll pray to the Virgin Mary when a storm of bullets flies their way. I don’t like it one bit, but there’s nothing I can do about this.>
His dried eyeballs began to hurt as he forgot to blink.
His throat grew dry as he forgot how to breathe.
Shiroyama Kyousuke stood in a daze as a soft sensation covered him from behind. A gentle warmth reached his back. He felt smooth skin as slender arms wrapped around his neck. The gentle rosy scent of silver hair wafted over and a warm breath blew into his ear.
He was given the worst possible answer.
“Now that I have crushed the entire Unexplored-class that formed the rules of the other world, there is no way to truly kill me even if you use every last being in existence. After all, I made sure to destroy every last law and formula that might accidentally create a way to defeat me, my – dear – brother☆”
Ah, ahh, ahhh, ahhhh, ahhhhh.
The boy truly heard all of them crumbling away into whiteness.
Tears spilled from his eyes, snot shamefully dipped from his nose, foam sprayed from the corners of his mouth, he tore out his hair with both hands, and he arched his back as far as possible. He screamed and screamed and screamed, but it was no use. The lead-like weight in his stomach remained and Shiroyama Kyousuke was the one that broke. He could not even remain standing. His body shrank down like a worm frying on the sunny pavement and he curled up on the ground.
He pressed his forehead against the ground in a pose that protected his body as much as possible, he bit at his thumbs until a dark red liquid dripped from them, and he continued screaming while his eyes refused to focus.
He heard a giggling voice.
It was the Wicked Green Woman rather than the White Queen.
Her damp eyes and heated breath expressed the joy of seeing the result she had been dying to see, but she vanished into thin air before she could savor it any longer. She was wicked, but she still had her reverence for the divine. True to what she had said before, she was leaving everything to the White Queen.
That proved it.
The hierarchy was set in stone.
The difference in power was too great and all misguided means of defeating the White Queen had vanished from the world. In Kyousuke’s mental world, he saw a pure white wall polished down to the micron like the extremely precise concave mirror of an observatory’s giant reflecting telescope.
“I’ve had enough… I’ve had enough of this woooooorld!! Why!? Why is there no hope at all!? The Unexplored-class were supposed to be the stoppers, but they were all driven out? So the structural elements needed to defeat the Queen with the Summoning Ceremony are destroyed and gone? That logic no longer exists? She can’t be defeated and there’s no method whatsoever of doing so? Then how am I supposed to attack her!? The Divine-class and Regulation-class are too afraid of her to do anything at all! And even if it’s a nuclear missile, physical attacks are worthless against a Material!! Then it really is checkmate. My one remaining chance was to borrow the power of the Unexplored-class to fight back against the Queen, but if we’re starting with the assumption that that won’t kill her, I can’t even put together a theoretical plan, can IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!?”
It was too much.
He had thought this world and the other world had their separate sets of rules, but this was just too cruel.
He had believed it was possible.
Even if there was a great gap in power, skill, and specs, he had believed that the Unexplored-class had its own pride, that those colored girls were acting of their own free will, and that they were superior beings capable of challenging the White Queen. He had believed that they were objects of worship and that they had the willpower to face down the peak of the peak and to stand their ground.
He had believed that they could reach the White Queen’s level if they worked together.
The original safeties and stoppers had already been destroyed. The laws and formulas had existed to defeat the White Queen after taking all the necessary steps and preparing each thing in turn, but they were all destroyed and gone.
What was this?
How was he supposed to fight now?
It was true that the Blood-Sign method was built for human convenience. They referred to the residents of the other world as “Materials” and only called them here as weapons. But what about the clash between the Unexplored-class that Kyousuke and the others had carried out? That Secret War had somehow managed to drive back the White Queen with a saturation attack, but had they known that would be insufficient and how it would turn out? If so, what did that mean for the lives lost in that Secret War, the many incidents caused by the confusion afterwards, and all the people caught in them? What value and meaning did they have!?
What about the loss of Madam Professor?
What about everything she had left behind?
It was all stripped away so easily.
Kyousuke curled up like a giant steamed bun and trembled on the ground.
It disgusted him.
Everything disgusted him.
The name Alice (with) Rabbit given to him by the queen did. The collection of awards carved into his soul and providing the title of Freedom Award 903 did. He hated and despised everything forming his own body and he began clawing at his chest. How happy would he be if he could only pull out his sullied soul and wash his filthy life clean?
How was he the strongest summoner, the prodigy who had established the Sewn Realm Summoning, the criminal who had triggered the Secret War, or the source of half the world’s disasters? He had acted all cool, convinced himself he could control even the Unexplored-class, and assumed he could even defeat the White Queen if he kept reaching in that direction.
And this was the result?
Everything he had done had been in the palm of the White Queen’s hand. And the Unexplored-class were nothing more than scars that were controlled whether they wanted it or not. There were no enemies or allies there. For the Queen, the Blood-Sign system itself was no more than a safe comfortable dance hall where every last needle or shard of glass had been removed.
Completely oblivious to all of that, he had obediently memorized all the detailed rules of the Summoning Ceremony and acted like it made him some kind of genius.
It had been child’s play.
It was all a game.
He was faced with the absolute difference in strength seen in a parent smiling at their small child as he walks for the very first time. He was like a monstrous baby that had grown fat in a cradle removed from all danger by the adults and then mistakenly believed his own possibilities were endless despite never putting in any work of his own. He was conceited. He was shameless.
This was why the Red Lady had been so exasperated and said he was misguided.
He could not win.
The stairway to victory was missing.
It was like playing a game of baseball where the other team was at bat from beginning to end. There was no coming from behind for a win there. It was like playing a game of soccer where the other team’s goal had been removed. No offensive play would ever score a point.
This was breaking the rules to that extent.
Even if he desperately practiced every single day to prepare for the game, this malice would turn all of his efforts into a jest.
He was a fool.
He was an unbelievable fool for continuing to rely on and entrust his life in something like this.
If he was to truly defeat the White Queen, he had to escape that curse first. But was there any way in this world to oppose the Queen without using the Summoning Ceremony? And if it did not yet exist, was it possible for an individual like Kyousuke to construct one? How long would it take? Decades? Centuries? Millennia? How many levels would human civilization have to evolve to reach that point?
“Ah, ahh, ahhh, ahhhh…”
He eventually lost the strength to continue screaming.
His vision grew dark and he no longer knew where he was.
It did not matter.
It was the same no matter where he was.
Could he find any peace at all in this hopeless world? Even if he walked across the world from one end to the other and even if he looked around the other world hidden behind it, could he find anywhere to escape the White Queen?
The answer was simple: no.
There was no escape.
“…I can’t take it anymore…”
Shiroyama Kyousuke repeated that phrase under his breath as he lay curled up on the ground.
He seemed to be begging for forgiveness.
He seemed to be cursing the entire world.
He repeated it again and again.
I can’t take it anymore.
And then he heard a solid sound.
His soul had broken long ago. His senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch had shattered, leaving him in a world of pure darkness, so that external stimulus was refreshing.
But he did not react like he normally would.
His entire body jumped like a frightened child.
A familiar face had arrived next to the pathetic boy.
It was the Red Lady.
That two-horned woman wore a kimono with a one piece swimsuit and her red eyes were feared as that which not only saw through to all calamity, but defined it as well. Her long red hair was connected to countless gears towering behind her and she controlled the world’s destiny.
Her eyes were closed and there was no contempt or scorn on her face.
Her face only displayed sorrow and grief.
“Why are you here…?”
Unable to get up, Kyousuke roared up at her with fear and hatred in his eyes.
“Why are you here now!? Are you here to laugh at me!? Are you here to mock me for getting all worked up over a fight I could never win because I was dancing in her palm from the beginning!? Are you here to look down on the loser who has nothing left after you allowed me to continue on until the despair found me!?”
The Red Lady did not immediately reply.
She let the poor child of man finish speaking and only then shook her head.
She spoke in a gentle but solid voice.
<Shout as much as you want and spit out everything you wish to say. Once you have released everything that has built up in your chest, then stand up once more, Shiroyama Kyousuke. Even if the rest of the human population cannot do it, you should have the power to fight this despair.>
His eyes contained the light of a wounded animal.
He bared his teeth in his misguided backlash and belligerence.
“Why? Why do I have to keep going? Screw that. This was supposed to be your role, wasn’t it!? This wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t let the White Queen escape! When you saw me desperately asking for help, you must have laughed at me because the world, the future, and destiny had long since been handed over to the Queen!! Dammit. I trusted you…I trusted the rules of the world!! I trusted that the laws…that you were just!! I trusted that there was still an ounce of kindness left and that everything would work out if I diligently worked to defend it!! But you made a fool of me!! Why!? Why is this cruel system the only thing leeeeeft!?”
No matter how much he wailed at her, the Unexplored-class was unshaken.
Because she understood.
The Red Lady could see through to any truth, so she deeply understood the boy’s pain.
So she would never reject it.
She kindly accepted it all and spoke.
<It is true that you cannot defeat the White Queen…no, defeat the entirety of the Unexplored-class where she stands at the center. Not because you are inexperienced, but because it is simply impossible even if all of mankind works together. Even my eyes cannot see a vision of anyone defeating that Queen…that true monster who reached for all the laws of that world and twisted them as she saw fit. That is what this is.>
In other words, this was a predetermined future.
Even if thousands or millions of options spread out before his eyes, the all too obvious answer was that he could never reach that point.
<But you promised, did you not?>
After saying that, the Red Lady placed the tiniest sliver of hope on top of her sorrow.
<You swore you would shatter that cruel destiny and defeat the White Queen…defeat us, did you not?>
- The Wicked Green Woman of the Unexplored-class Three is belligerent and sadistic, so she deepens her understanding of others by harming them. She gives humans Awards because she sees them as suitable toys and as bait to trigger conflicts between humans.
- The Divine-class are the residents of the other world and the Unexplored-class manage the laws of the other world. Also, the Unexplored-class were meant to bring together those laws to take away the White Queen’s power and strength one at a time and ultimately seal her inside the other world.
- But the White Queen was so extraordinary that she took control of them instead.
- And in so doing, the laws and formulas needed to truly defeat the White Queen were destroyed and vanished from the Summoning Ceremony. In other words, the Queen cannot be truly defeated even if every being in existence challenged her at once. No matter what.
- The Red Lady has succumbed to the White Queen and yet sympathizes with the humans like Kyousuke and she desires for all of the Unexplored-class, including herself, to be destroyed if it is necessary to defeat the White Queen. …But perhaps that is because she knows that is a dream that can never come true.
- Shiroyama Kyousuke will ultimately stand up once more. He will wipe the tears from his eyes and pile back up the rubble to challenge that heavenly girl with his own strength.
- And that is why the White Queen finds that boy so unbearably adorable.
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