The Unexplored Summon Blood Sign:Volume6 Ending2
Ending X-02: A Bouquet for Your Enemy at the Hilltop Grave
“Do you know the story of the World’s Happiest Girl?”
(Ending X-02 Open 07/09 21:00)
When You Place the Rope Around that Alluring Neck
A lot happened and it was time-consuming, so the next thing Shiroyama Kyousuke knew, night had fallen.
He had been left with the Diamond Master Key and the Golden Treasure Chest, so he left Biondetta in his cruiser while he visited Aika’s apartment in Toy Dream 35.
He had already opened the chest and checked inside, but this would be his first time to compare that with the ancient map on Sekurtiti’s back. He had chosen the apartment as their gathering place.
“Onii-chan, you reek of a widow. That old hag was trying to seduce you, wasn’t she!? That kind of niche fetish is too dangerous. I’ll fix you! Look, there’s a little sister in a sexily cute swimsuit right here.”
“I don’t really care.”
“You’re not even going to give me a yes-or-no answer any more!?”
Aika froze in place while lying on her white liger sofa and toying with the string to her swimsuit bottom, but Kyousuke was focused on something else.
“I have no responsibility to tell you anything, but he is a summoner. Every last one of us is insane.”
A girl spoke to them from a tablet’s flat screen, using the shut-in girl’s lifeline: the internet. It was of course Azalea Magentarain. Claude and Elvast might have shown up, but she had been one of the masterminds(?) behind the entire incident.
“You’ve already arrived?” asked Kyousuke.
“Repliglass is good for more than just military purposes. The quality might be reduced for civilian use, but a lot of effort is being put into developing supersonic passenger planes. With 10 hours, reaching South America’s Devil’s Island was a piece of cake. We could have arrived and returned to Japan by now.”
She made it sound like a vacation, but as its name suggested, Devil’s Island was historically a penal colony. That penal system had been abolished and it was being transformed into a sightseeing spot, but Government loved its tradition and thus maintained deep roots there.
She could not be set free after everything she did, but it would all be for naught if she was collected by someone like the Colorful Museum or Bridesmaid.
“How’s Claude doing?”
“He is trying to hide his embarrassment by running away while we chase him around in swimsuits. …Hold up, 3A! Don’t you dare take advantage of this situation. Didn’t we agree to surround Claude Onii-sama on both sides to capture him!?”
She had someone to keep an eye on her this time. Now no one had to worry about a scummy group reusing her so easily. Claude was stuck being tossed about by girls, girls, swimsuits, girls, and sometimes an old man, but he had played a role in all this too. He did not get an easy road out.
“…Looks like that’s all worked out.”
“Then we need to get started here,” began Sekurtiti with power in her light blue eyes.
He had ended his contract with her in C Block’s Chinatown, but she still seemed to remember Kyousuke and Aika. She was a tomb keeper and a Tomb Priestess. She contained a mysticism that predated the Third Summoning Ceremony discovered in 1999, so that may have maintained her memories and awareness.
“Are you ready?”
“Are you?” The brown girl smiled gently and placed a too-skinny index finger on her lips. “I spoke with Aika before you arrived. She told me what she knows about the path you walked to reach this point.”
Kyousuke looked grim.
“…That must not have been fun to hear.”
“Don’t be so sure,” replied Sekurtiti in her gold tiara. “Shiroyama Kyousuke. It seems you have happened across a variety of vessels in a variety of incidents and repeatedly said goodbye. That may have been a way to distance them from the conflict surrounding you, and it may have been because maintaining all those bonds makes it difficult for you to take action.”
“But I do not lose my memories or awareness after the contract has ended. It seems like a small thing, but do not forget it. …We are already in this together.”
“…I will bear that in mind.”
That answer must have satisfied Sekurtiti because she smiled and reached for her Y-shaped lace decoration. She turned her back and then reached for the knot at her hip for the bandages covering her body.
The apple-sized chest had contained something like a glass panel. But the iridescent glow of the surface when looked at from an angle showed that it had slight bumps carved into the surface. By viewing the ancient map on the girl’s back through that special lens, the complex lines were bent according to a certain set of rules and the true image was revealed.
“Nn… Can you…see it?”
Even if it was her back, she may have still felt some embarrassment at having someone staring at her skin. Or perhaps she was worried about the value of the information they had worked so hard to acquire…no, that she had held for so long.
She had held the ancient map, but she did not know what bringing all 3 treasures together would reveal. It was a lot like spending a long time protecting an un-appraised work of art. Of course she was a little worried.
Kyousuke smiled a little at what he saw.
“…Oh, I see.”
“Hm? Is something the matter?”
“No, basing it on an ancient map completely fooled me. Sekurtiti, about how old is this map?”
“Even a low estimate puts it at about 2000 BCE. It took many forms back then, such as wall paintings and papyrus, but when the Romans arrived, it started being passed down on the Tomb Priestesses’ backs to maintain its secrecy.”
“Thanks. That’s why I assumed some ancient ruins had been remade into the Founder’s Gallery. But the ancient map itself was honestly irrelevant.”
“I’m not saying the map on your back is a fake. I’m sure it has its own meaning. It probably leads to a hidden village that still grows the fruit loved in an ancient dynasty or the location of the treasures stockpiled for the return of the dynasty. In fact, it was probably more convenient for President Toydream if it was real. Even if someone did see the ancient map, they would discover that truth and overlook his gallery.”
By placing a new image over the old map, the ultimate destination came into view.
That meant the gallery could be located in a cutting-edge shelter or a high-rise building. By recording the ancient map’s design in a computer and comparing it to the image one wanted in the end, the overlapping areas could be removed to create the lens. That would mean combining the lens and the ancient map would reveal the new map.
Thus, the original image data could be anything.
It could be a map to some ancient secret and it could be the supermarket sales flyer from the morning paper.
President Toydream had chosen Sekurtiti because he had known an ancient map like that would be protected more carefully. Or perhaps he had been kindly placing them in the limelight to increase their mystical status.
Either way, there had been no ill will involved.
And when the new image came into view, Kyousuke nodded once more.
“That’s enough. Thank you, Sekurtiti.”
Sekurtiti kept her back turned as she gently crouched down and picked up the fallen bandages.
“But, um, where did the Founder’s Gallery end up being?” she asked. “You made it sound like it has nothing to do with us and Egypt.”
“That’s right,” readily confirmed Kyousuke. “Aika.”
“…What is it, Onii-chan?”
Sekurtiti looked confused by the sudden change of subject.
But it was not a change at all.
“When did you realize the truth and what weren’t you telling us? The Founder’s Gallery is in this apartment building, isn’t it?”
The brown girl was dumbfounded.
With the golden tiara on her head and the bandages only half wrapped around her body, she froze in place and stared in confusion. But as the leader of the tomb keepers, perhaps the possibility should have occurred to her first of all. After all, her apartment building had only contained fellow tomb keepers and had been mostly turned into a fortress.
And Aika’s attitude did not change.
She continued lying on the 5 meter beast she used as a sofa.
“Onii-chan, do you know the story of the World’s Happiest Girl?”
“The Toy Dream Company builds amusement parks around the world, but it is said the old man who founded it created the ultimate girl in the greatest fairy tale that surpasses Cinderella and Snow White. But due to certain circumstances, that picture book was never seen by the public.”
“Yes. I’ve also heard rumors that that phantom picture book is hidden somewhere in one of the Toy Dream cities. But I thought there was no basis to any of it.”
There was also all sorts of speculation about Person X who the World’s Happiest Girl from the phantom picture book was supposed to be. Some said she was based on his wife when she was a girl. Some said she was meant to be every girl who visited a Toy Dream amusement park. Some said she was a ritual meant to breathe life into an entirely fictional story.
But Aika had another theory.
“There are two reasons given for why there are no records of that book. The first is that it’s nothing but rumors and never existed. And the other is that all the records were erased.”
“You don’t mean…” muttered Sekurtiti.
She too had experienced the phenomenon of vanishing from people’s minds and memories after going through a certain process.
“Aika Toydream. I wonder what that grandkid-obsessed old man would think if he knew the World’s Happiest Girl was living here as a shut-in.”
That was her identity.
When President Toydream had first held a major press conference and announced he was writing a new story, she was the girl who would have carried the weight of even more adoration and envy than Cinderella and Snow White.
She was the lonely girl whose name would have been known around the world and who would have remained in people’s memories for ages to come, but could no longer be accepted by anyone.
She was the princess who should have been known the world over, but who no one would recognize.
She was a sun that gave off the brightest light imaginable but was blotted out by an eternal eclipse.
Kyousuke had known that becoming a summoner had led her to feel rejected by everyone and that that had led her to give up on going outside. But he had not known it ran so deep. This granddaughter of President Toydream looked different from when she had been little and she had always been covered by a veil so she would not be kidnapped for ransom money.
“I didn’t know what it meant.” she said. “I just wanted to see my grandpa smile. So I wanted to be more and more like the girl in the picture book. I wanted to be able to do anything just by waving around a wand, drawing out a magic circle, and sprinkling a magic potion. No, my vision wasn’t even that concrete. I just wanted to wish my grandpa good luck when I saw him holding that book so adoringly. That was all it was.”
There was nothing he could do.
There was nothing he could say to this.
“By the time I noticed the change, it was too late. I didn’t disappear from people’s minds before reaching Award 100, so I was so excited. If I had turned back right away or stayed in place, I might not have lost everything, but I innocently peered into the depths…”
And that abyss had taken everything from her.
Her face had been blotted out from the world.
“Holding onto my grandpa’s gallery is my form of revenge.”
Aika’s eyes contained a muddiness that Kyousuke had never seen there before.
“Guards are disguised as residents in the rooms around the gallery, but my grandpa and the Toy Dream employees have almost no connection to the Summoning Ceremony, so no one noticed when I joined them here. Yes, I was depressingly unnoticed.”
“Hoarding this gallery was your revenge?”
“Yes, by making sure no one could use it.”
Aika slowly narrowed her eyes.
“But it looks like that’s over now. …I’m so tired of it all, so this might be the time to end it. Onii-chan, I trust you to not make any girls like me.”
And then she closed them.
He had located the Founder’s Gallery. The Natural History’s missing entries were within reach. But Kyousuke remained motionless for a while.
He was trapped by the delusional idea that shaking free of this distraction would cause the girl to crumble away like sand art in the wind.
The hands of the clock marched on.
Shiroyama Kyousuke and Sekurtiti descended to the floor below the top one.
“Will she be okay?”
“I don’t know… But it’s my responsibility for cornering her like this. I need to look after her until she can get back on her feet.”
They walked down a hallway that was too clean to be lived-in. It felt like a stone chamber and they soon reached the door they were after.
They inserted the master key Aika had given them.
They turned it, grabbed the knob, and opened the door.
A colorful scene appeared before them. The entire room was full of color.
Its value may not have been obvious at first glance. There was a bizarre painting that warped the viewer’s mind, a quickly-scrawled out journal that may or may not have followed any kind of pattern, and what might have been a natural hunk of rock or a sculpture. It was so diverse and yet none of it was the same. Some paintings and sculptures of the White Queen sparkled amongst them. It brought immense relief to any who saw it but also it dragged away the soul of any who saw it.
The most dangerous of all were the few scraps of parchment inside a frame.
They were the lost pages. The Latin written there could be found nowhere else.
They were the Natural History’s missing entries.
They contained truly lost knowledge.
A normal person and even the average summoner would not have known what they meant.
The missing pages alone did not give the entire answer. They were only the final piece needed to decode the giant archive known as the Natural History. These greatly changed one’s view of the 37-book masterpiece and revealed the truth of an entirely different world.
And once that knowledge was used to view the gallery again, the treasures gathered from around the world had so many points in common. He had to wonder if this was how it felt for the scholar who had first discovered that the world had once been a single continent.
Kyousuke himself may not have found the answer before his eyes if he had not arrived here with a goal in mind and viewed the scene through that new concept.
The Founder’s Gallery contained the entire planet’s mysteries gathered and concentrated in one place.
By viewing this, he could find an answer taken from all of human civilization.
What had the president of Toy Dream imagined as he discovered all this around the world?
Transforming these oddities and grotesqueries into picture books and theme parks may have been a form of genius in and of itself.
“Is it here?”
As the manager of a pyramid, Sekurtiti may have had more of an eye for treasure than the average person, but even she seemed overwhelmed.
“Is the answer you seek hidden here?”
Only after speaking did Kyousuke realize that was his answer.
His mind was already elsewhere. The core of his personality was already shifting there. He could barely respond to anything else, but he couldn't correct himself. He could tell his soul was being sucked into a whirlpool.
It was a strange feeling, like seeing a theory or a blueprint taking physical form and actually functioning. Everything here supported him. This spring of infinite and unlimited knowledge told him there was no wish that could not be granted.
Sparks went off in his mind.
It was an explosion.
He abandoned himself to it for a while and then he spoke. Except he may not have been speaking to Sekurtiti.
“Currently, there really and truly is no way of defeating the White Queen. After all, everything that could be used to defeat her – in other words, any of the anthropomorphized versions of the world’s laws we know of as the Unexplored-class that could be used effectively against her – have been eliminated.”
Sekurtiti frowned as she listened.
It was like a divine oracle.
This was the secret technique of a shrine maiden who entrusted herself to the mystical in a similar yet very different way from a tomb keeper.
“But at the same time, we can’t forget about the presence of the Regulation-class. They’re often overshadowed by the Divine-class and Unexplored-class, but they have a very interesting trait all their own. Yes, the Regulation-class is made up of Materials that humans artificially placed in the other world to reach the gods. In other words, Materials can be freely designed and created by human hands. Knowing that means a lot.”
What was borrowing his mouth here?
This gallery was full of ancient art and documents, but who had edited them, who had gathered them, and for what purpose were they given this form?
“Yes, yes. The Three that rule over the Low, Middle, and High Sound Ranges were defeated and they submitted to the White Queen, but there’s still another possibility: putting together a Material from only the Lowest Sound Range, aka the vowels aiueo!! That unknown possibility has yet to raise the white flag!! If we could build a Material here…if we could design a new Unexplored-class and embed a brand new ‘law’ into the world…!!”
Something flowed out with tremendous force.
But Sekurtiti could not stop it at this point.
Once it had started, there was no stopping the oracle.
“We could give the world a new law with which to kill the White Queen!! A law designed to kill her!! Even if we must face the white that rules over all colors, we could still fight back using a colorless Unexplored-class! That’s it! That’s it!! That’s the one and only way of consigning that greatest evil to oblivion!!!!!”
Kyousuke’s body went limp, as if a possessing spirit had left him.
He wobbled on his feet and just about collapsed, but Sekurtiti supported him from the side. The world had shed its skin, along with a new concept. That was obvious even from an outside perspective.
Kyousuke asked the brown girl a question as their skin touched.
“Renge and Higan… Where did the Meinokawa Twins go?”
“They have already left the city. They said there was no room for them in Toy Dream 35 with so many 900 level summoners here, so they wanted to find work elsewhere.”
“I see. I see. …That’s something of a problem.”
Kyousuke no longer hid anything as he leaned on the girl and continued talking.
“Even if I created an Unexplored-class like I’m thinking, it would be too unique for a normal vessel to handle. That means I need a vessel with special traits.”
“Yes,” announced Shiroyama Kyousuke. “The original Meinokawa Series. The world’s oldest Joruri Method, which is a White Queen lookalike that has apparently become an object of worship behind the Meinokawa Shrine. I need the help of Meinokawa Aoi.”
With that, the preparations were complete.
Every last hole in the rules of the Summoning Ceremony had been thoroughly examined and the laws of the world had been strengthened until there was no gap wide enough for even a razor to fit through, but Shiroyama Kyousuke had finally found a method to overturn that.
The real fight was about to begin.
It was time for the humans to rebel against that otherworldly ruler.
But that being giggled somewhere at some time.
She seemed amused as she rolled her arms behind herself, gently bent her back, and slightly accentuated her ample chest.
That pure white yet utterly dark someone spoke with a sneer.
“But will that really work out the way you want, brother?”
- Aika’s full name is Aika Toydream. As President Toydream’s granddaughter, she was utterly adored and should have become a fairy tale heroine to surpass Snow White and Cinderella, but when she awoke as a summoner, she vanished from normal people’s minds and no one could remember who the World’s Happiest Girl was.
- The Founder’s Gallery was composed of several empty rooms in the apartment building where Aika lives. Since Toy Dream 35 was only completed a few years ago, it may have been moved there from elsewhere. In that case, the data using Sekurtiti’s ancient map would have to have been created by Aika’s network (while posing as the president) after the move.
- In the current world, there is no law (i.e. Unexplored-class) that can kill the White Queen, but that changes if a new one is created and embedded in the world. By expanding on the method of creating a Regulation-class to create an Unexplored-class that can be summoned using only the vowels which exist outside the rock-paper-scissors system, the path will open.
- But this will be an extremely unique Unexplored-class, so a normal vessel cannot handle it. A Joruri Method fully-artificial vessel will have to be fine-tuned for this purpose, so he needs to borrow the knowledge of Meinokawa Aoi, the world’s oldest Joruri Method that is worshiped as a second god at the Meinokawa Shrine.
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