The Unexplored Summon Blood Sign:Volume7 Chapter4
Stage 04: The Blossoming White Flower Shines Even in the Moonlight
“The Colorless Little Girl Dedicated to a Single Goal (aie – a – oio – ei – ueo – ioa – e – uai – ee).”
(Stage 04 Open 07/20 22:10)
The Blossoming White Flower Shines Even in the Moonlight
Something happened as soon as he made his declaration of war.
An incredible impact tossed around Kyousuke, Biondetta, and Olivia on the deck. Needless to say, this was the result of the ship crashing into a large boulder and coming to a stop after breaking through so many tents. The great power of inertia took them and flung them forward like artillery shells.
But that was for the best.
At the exact same moment, the White Queens rushed in from all directions and their hands tore at the empty air of the spot Kyousuke had just vacated. The Queens’ great power worked against her here. They had continued like normal despite the impact from the collision, so they failed to reach their prey.
“Tch!! How much of this did you calculate out!?”
“Would you laugh if I said ‘all of it’?”
Kyousuke used his real right hand to grab the Repliglass Blood-Sign held by the flying fake hand and he caught Olivia’s small body as she flipped around like a thrown cat. He then jumped off of the ship with Biondetta. The deck was a few meters above the ground, so they curled up to negate the shock and bounced like balls a few times to gain more distance.
The many White Queens looked down at them from the deck.
If that group of glowing eyes attacked right away, the mere humans of Kyousuke’s group would have been erased from the world like bread crumbs tossed into a flock of birds.
So he did not hesitate.
With those words, she mercilessly detonated the ship.
A great quantity of wood flew skyward like a volcanic eruption and the waitress demon’s long hair and miniskirt fluttered. But the White Queen was not about to be killed by normal explosives. Kyousuke and Biondetta had other plans.
“Will that confuse things a little?”
“It’s pretty unusual for anyone to stand before her without using an Artificial Sacred Ground or Blood-Sign. Unstable situations tend to drift toward stable ones. Just like metals rust when oxidized. She’s trapped in a cage, at least temporarily.”
The various dried herbs, powdered minerals, and other ingredients of traditional incenses were mixed based on an individual summoner’s personal data when creating their Incense Grenades. An appropriately powerful explosion scattered those ingredients across the area to mark out that space and instantly construct an Artificial Sacred Ground.
Unlike Kyousuke, Biondetta made her own and she had stuffed all of her ingredients inside the ship before detonating it. It did not produce an Artificial Sacred Ground because the ingredients had not been mixed at Biondetta’s personal ratio, but it had still scattered an incense. And since the White Queens were being forcibly summoned without using incense, they would fall into any incense-filled area against their own wishes. It was like taking a linear motor train that was forcibly lifted up by the repulsion of electromagnets and cutting off the power so it fell to the ground.
Of course, this would not last forever.
They only had a few minutes at most.
But at times, that short a period of time could change history.
Here, he did not use a simple nickname and allow the emotion contained therein to muddy his words.
Small hands pushed back against his chest.
The double blonde braid girl puffed out her soft-looking cheeks and kicked around the slender, sandal-wearing legs extending from her ridiculously short skirt and floral pattern pareo.
“If you want to fight, do it on your own. I won’t take your side, Onii-chan. I would help you if I thought this would bring you two together, but you’re seriously trying to kill her.”
“I have a question for you, Olivia: Why do you trust the White Queen so much?”
“Because! That’s what everyone says!!”
“Everyone in my kingdom!! She’s been our kingdom’s goddess forever and they say she’s appeared over and over in our time of need and ended the conflicts! That’s how everyone has ruled the kingdom: my mom, my mom’s mom, and my mom’s mom’s mom!!” Olivia shouted at him while pouting her lips below her straw hat. “There’s something wrong with you, Onii-chan! If you worked with the White Queen, you’d be the strongest duo ever. Isn’t that how it was when you saved my kingdom from civil war!? She reigned supreme from atop a mountain of rubble and subjugated everyone who stood before her!! What’s wrong with that? When there’s such an obvious solution right there, it’s wrong to increase the damage done by going out of your way to avoid it!!”
That may have been how it looked from Olivia’s point of view.
There may have been no way to overturn the weight of legends built up over centuries – and perhaps more than a millennium. The words of a boy who had only lived about a decade and a half may not have been enough to match those long-told myths.
It was time to double check the base assumptions.
“Olivia, that doesn’t make sense.”
“What doesn’t!? Anyone can tell the White Queen is the strongest, she’s obedient when she’s with you, and she can leave everyone with a smile if she uses her power! If you weren’t so touchy, we could solve everything!!”
“I wasn’t talking about that.” Kyousuke sighed. And he said, “It doesn’t make sense for the White Queen to have been helping your kingdom in the same way throughout its history.”
Preposterous theories had been whispered for quite some time.
What was the White Queen?
Was she the highest being who had existed since ancient times and helped to create the world? Or had she been created in the distant future but the past had been remade the instant she was created?
“Do you remember what Doctor S, my father, said?”
“What…did he say?”
“When his greatest desire was fulfilled in July of 1999, he saw the future.”
“Also, the Wicked Green Woman of the Unexplored-class Three said that the Unexplored-class are each in charge of one portion of the other world’s laws and that, by gathering all of those together, they can suppress all of the White Queen’s power. Although the White Queen turned out to be too powerful so all of the Unexplored-class were dragged around by her while still chained to her. …However the White Queen came to be, the current conditions were only completed partway through. Since the parameters are different than they were in the distant past, the current method would fail to summon her several centuries ago. That means the White Queen couldn’t have appeared a long, long time ago using the same methods as today.”
“Let’s say there was a way of summoning the White Queen in the distant past that didn’t use the Third Summoning Ceremony or Blood-Sign and let’s say Kingdom F accurately passed down that method throughout the ages. That method should have stopped working from the moment the rest of the Unexplored-class was defeated. But since that hasn’t happened, it means your legends were wrong. It went the other way. Instead of using the past to build up to the future, the future was referenced to rewrite the past.”
“What are you talking about, Onii-chan!? You’re the one that isn’t making any sense!” Olivia shook her head with the decorative collar and pareo worn over her school swimsuit. “I mean…I mean…I mean there are statues of the White Queen in my kingdom. There are tons of paintings and old stories, so she couldn’t have just appeared recently!!”
“And what about Meinokawa Aoi here!? Sure, she was replaced, but the original one was a lookalike of the Queen and she’d been here for hundreds of years, right!? They would need someone to model her after, so it only makes sense if the White Queen has been loved by the world and answering people’s prayers for long, long, long, long time, right!?”
The answer to that was obvious.
So Kyousuke gave it.
“And how did that work without Blood-Signs or Incense Grenades?”
They had seen the Meinokawa Shrine and Sekurtiti.
There were organizations that had existed long before that discovery. They had probably contacted the Divine-class. But what about the Unexplored-class? You could not find any mention of them in any ancient text.
The evidence did not make it correct.
The evidence was a problem.
It was like finding a barcode on the back of a hundred-year-old book.
…But the explanation was simple.
They might have had a method of accessing the Divine-class which contained the gods of existing religions. But what about the Unexplored-class above that? Were there past legends of them? The answer was no. They had only been discovered along with the Third Summoning Ceremony in July of 1999. Before then, how could it have been possible to access them with enough accuracy to get a clear picture of the White Queen?
And would such a method still work unchanged after July of 1999?
Even if they had existed in ancient times, they would have remained in the other world without being summoned.
They might have broken the rules, broken through the barrier between worlds, and appeared in this world when they felt like it, but there had been no way for humans to intentionally summon them.
Wasn’t that the most natural assumption?
“B-but, um, th-there are still a lot of people trying to summon the White Queen with twisted methods!!”
“Those simply dismantle the completed Blood-Sign method and reconstruct it to fit their own ceremony. It’s a lot like repackaging gasoline to create a Molotov cocktail. They haven’t created anything of their own.”
If it had been that simple, the Blood-Sign method would not have become so ubiquitous. If everyone could skip three steps to reach the White Queen with some random method they thought up, no one would bother with the rules.
The Blood-Sign method was the starting point for it all.
That was why humanity could not rid itself of those 150cm sticks.
“That’s not true! That can’t be true!! I mean, my kingdom has always had the White Queen and we prospered because she lent us her power!!”
“Olivia.” Kyousuke shook his head. “Do you know what the F in Kingdom F stands for?”
“Hm? What are you talking about? That’s obviously…”
With the decorative collar and pareo worn over her school swimsuit, Olivia’s tongue came to a stop.
The double blonde braid girl’s eyes widened and she froze as if paralyzed.
“A-ahh. Huh? But that’s such an obvious thing… We say it on a daily basis…”
“This is the normal way of things in foreign Houbi Village so far from Kingdom F. You could say there’s a kind of ‘atmosphere’ that doesn’t exist here. And that means there’s a chance of breaking your curse here.”
“I don’t want that!! Give back…give back my answer, Onii-chan!”
“The answer is the Flanguild Permanently Neutral Kingdom. It’s an absolute monarchy with a long history reaching as far back as 600 CE and, instead of an officially registered military, it responds to emergencies by openly using a conscripted militia and secretly sending in summoners and vessels taken from the Royal Shadows and the knights.”
“Th-that’s right, that’s right! Then what’s the prob-…”
“But, Olivia, if anyone but the two of us heard this answer, they’d probably just tilt their heads. Is that really right? they’d ask. Does that kingdom really exist? Spin the globe and you won’t find it. Search on a map app and you’ll get zero results. Can a kingdom like that really exist in this day and age?”
“Since the White Queen has worked her way into the very foundation of the kingdom, Kingdom F’s existence is far too unstable. So its appearance seems to waver when viewed from outside. The civil war I fought in was the same. A lot of theories were whispered here and there, but the truth is simple. Some of the people questioned it and some held no doubt whatsoever. Those conflicting values came to a head and led to a clash. The Queen was the source of it all. After those sparks set things ablaze, it was all erased in a great conflagration. That’s all there is to it.”
“What’s your point…?” asked straw hat Olivia with a tremor in her voice. It sounded like she was begging him to tell her it was not true. “No matter what you say, Onii-chan, the White Queen has left her mark all over the world. What’s your point!?”
“That’s obvious,” he immediately answered. “That plain and simple history does not exist. We need to assume both the past and future were overwritten when the White Queen defeated all of the Unexplored-class and rewrote the rules.”
Centuries of tradition and legends older than a millennium meant nothing to that great evil. That ultimate distortion was far greater than a black hole and she would alter everything just by being there. Who could say that her influence did not reach time and space as well? Who could claim that those remained absolute sanctuaries?
Plus, the Unexplored-class were anthropomorphized versions of the other world’s rules and the White Queen had destroyed them all and was dragging them around with her. How could anyone calmly assume that had no effect on history? It made no sense to assume that was a safe zone. In fact, the only sensible conclusion was that everything visible had been thrown out of order in that moment.
Take the Rainy Girl incident for example.
That proved the White Queen was not affected by changes to history and causality.
It was a simple matter. The distortion spread outward from the Queen like ripples, so no matter what happened, it would never change the center point where she stood. The central axis of the spinning top was the most stable point. One theory said the universe was infinitely expanding due to the Big Bang, but how true was that now? Even if it had been correct at one point, a second explosion, this one spiritual in nature, had occurred at some point. So the center point of the expansion had to be where she stood.
A nearly empty look came over Olivia’s eyes.
No, the unnatural part was the nonexistent thing that had filled those eyes before.
“You have no way of proving that…”
“It’s the opposite, Olivia.”
Kyousuke calmly corrected her.
But he was far from gentle.
“I’ve already pointed out a contradiction. If you want to prove something, Olivia, it’s your turn to prove that the White Queen has been appearing in the same way ever since the distant past. If you can’t answer my question, then our discussion is over. That will mean your kingdom’s story of salvation was wrong.”
“So what will you do, Olivia? Are you all out of arguments?”
“Awawawawa…!! But…that…doesn’t make sense. I mean, what about my mom? Or my mom’s mom? Or my mom’s mom’s mom!? You’re denying everything they did and I…I just can’t-…!!”
“No, Olivia.” Kyousuke shook his head. “Since you exist here, that long, long history must have existed. Your kingdom overcame its crises without any help from the White Queen. She came in and stole the credit for all the work your people did. You had worked up an impressive score even if you didn’t take the shortest route, but the White Queen used her cheats to take it all away. She erased all the proper records!! Just like dumping some doping drugs in an Olympic gold medalist’s test sample to get them disqualified after the fact!! We can’t let her get away with that. Everyone settled things with good, old-fashioned hard work, so we can’t let her distort the results as she sees fit using those modified test results! Or am I wrong!?”
“It’s true you might have gained an advantage if you had been able to access the White Queen. That’s the world we live in now, after all.”
He would not let her question it.
He had already given the answer.
“But if they resolved all those problems on their own without using the White Queen, that’s an even more impressive accomplishment. Your mom wasn’t amazing because she could access the White Queen! It was your mom herself that should have received that praise! It wasn’t statues of the White Queen that should have been erected in the city squares! It was statues of your mother herself!! Who needs miracles!? Hard work is what’s truly necessary!! Why haven’t you noticed how much has been taken from you? Why can’t you tell that your desire to be on the winning side has let her continue to take everything away from you!?”
“It’s time you realized you were a victim!! You haven’t won anything and you haven’t achieved true victory even once!! So escape this life of failure. Stop smiling happily while oblivious to everything you’ve lost! If all of you stop offering your family’s glory to the Queen, take it all back with the power she’s been extracting from you, and plant your own two feet on the ground, you’ll naturally rise up together, won’t you!?”
Straw hat Olivia gasped.
And that small girl had to have realized that there was something strange about the White Queen.
“Say it, Olivia.”
Kyousuke was acting like a beast at this point.
No matter how coolheaded he was, he could not contain himself here.
The boy’s original driving force was an exposed and primal humanity.
“If you want to save your family!! And if you want to free your beloved kingdom from a millennium of bondage, then say it!! Everything you need to do that is gathered here. Let’s show the White Queen what human hard work can do! So say it!! You know what kind of person I am, don’t you!?”
It was like a repeat of the past.
It was just like the cry that girl had heard in that hellish world covered in rubble and ash as a vortex of malice pressed in from every direction and dragged her down into the depths of despair.
“I wouldn’t like it either if that was true!! Then what did I believe in all this time? No, what did my mom and grandma and so on rely on for so long!? That’s what this would mean!!”
She knew what had been lost.
She thought of what had been stolen.
Olivia Highland had finally regained her humanity.
“My kingdom was split in two back then. But everyone was risking their lives for what they believed in. That’s what it was supposed to be! But if both the enemies and the allies were being manipulated by the White Queen and she wouldn’t have batted an eye whether we won or lost, then how can I forgive her!? And not just that. That wasn’t the only war! If things just like that…no, even worse than that are happening somewhere in the world every single time and I just haven’t been able to see it, then we would have to stop that!! I understand that much!!”
“I can’t… I don’t have the right…”
It was like looking up at the moonlight from the bottom of a dark, dark well.
The girl crumpled up her lovely face as she spoke.
“I can’t say that after everything…!!”
This was another side of people.
But Kyousuke discarded it.
Did someone seeking help need to be pure and unsullied? Did they have to fit all the obvious qualities of a “weak” person? The answer was no. In fact, the people who found themselves completely cornered tended to be in extremely complex situations that could not be judged on a simple good or evil basis.
He had decided to help them regardless.
He had decided he was in no position to judge whether a specific person needed help.
In that case.
“This isn’t something you need a ‘right’ to or any kind of ‘qualification’ for. I don’t care how shamelessly you’ve changed your ways. Listen, Olivia. If anything about you catches my attention and your path seems at all odd to me, that’s enough for me to take your side. If you’re being swallowed up by a great current and you’re flailing your hand around in search of something to grab onto, I will grab that hand. So what happened before this doesn’t matter!! Don’t let the self-made ghosts of your past hold you back!! Stay true to what you want to be from now on, Olivia!!!!!!”
Remove all the stops.
Forget about the hurdles.
Those things aren’t good or benevolent. If anything in your heart is holding you back from salvation, don’t call it self-sacrifice. Those things are no more than obstacles to your true desire.
The inability to resolve your own problems might hurt your pride.
Seeking out someone else’s help might be embarrassing.
But overcome it.
True salvation lies beyond that false sense of righteousness. If salvation without a struggle seems wrong, then think of the shattering of those chains as your first and last penance.
“Help me, Onii-chan…!!”
He had received her resolve.
And the boy once more rebooted Freedom Award 903, Alice (with) Rabbit.
A collection of combat instincts responded.
“As you wish.”
“I bind this covenant of blood in the name of The Spirit of Fluttering ‘Yellow’ Gills that Rules the Heavens (s – a – so – voz – tix – ei – yw – za), one of the Three which manage and guide the summoning ceremony. You are of human flesh with a proper heart and soul, yet from this moment onward, you shall be a limited vessel that can hold all things.”
This was a ceremony.
He cut his index finger and placed the drop of blood in the girl’s mouth.
The process was necessary to bind the summoner and vessel together.
“You shall be a lord of emptiness that uses the power filling you to at times bend the laws of this world.”
Something had felt off when he had done this with Meinokawa Aoi…no, with the pure white who was disguised as the Joruri Method, but this may have been the reason why.
It had not been a technical problem because his partner had been artificial or the most evil Unexplored-class.
The White Queen had not been seeking salvation.
“So I shall prepare this vessel. I am a summoner, unable to leave the world of man, yet a symbol of haughty intellect that uses power from beyond the world of man to guide the world of man to the next age!!”
That was different now.
Kyousuke finally grabbed the hand of a girl who was thrashing about in the sticky waters as she sought salvation.
The rusty flavor bound them together.
This time, the boy had acquired the strongest bond.
“Olivia, bear with it a little.”
He placed his arms around the small girl’s back and his hand held a cylindrical glass container with a jewel-like red liquid inside. Kyousuke used his thumb to reveal a thick needle. It was obvious what he was going to do.
From the back.
And deep enough to directly reach her heart.
The piercing needle injected the Jewel Blood.
The girl tensed up in his arms and he slowly removed the needle.
“Let’s do this, Olivia.”
“Let’s settle things with the Queen once and for all!!”
The shrine maiden White Queen thought back on what had happened.
This had all begun when she grew somewhat jealous of the powerful bond between summoner and vessel and decided to try out that path herself. But Shiroyama Kyousuke had only ever referred to her by the full name of “Meinokawa Aoi”. As if he were drawing out a clear boundary and maintaining an impersonal distance. And even though they had the relationship of summoner and vessel, it felt like the boy had always been more concerned about his reunion with Olivia Highland.
Was the Queen simply the Queen?
Could she not be anyone else?
For better or for worse?
(The problem may have been me wearing something other than white. Well, I’ll score this at about 50 points. Even if it deserves great praise for producing brother, I have a bad habit of expecting too much of this world.)
Even if they were the countless infected, each of them had fully identical specs which they used to break through the temporary barrier.
(That said, earning a passing grade is not all that bad. I wouldn’t mind tearing this to shreds!!)
Crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack!!
Space itself seemed to break apart as they regained their freedom.
Each individual Queen could blow away a world or two without even trying, and this was an entire swarm of them.
The few minutes of leeway had ended.
No one could stop their advance.
The White Queen possessed the power to directly grant all of the desires she held inside her heart.
She heard that beloved gentleman’s voice.
Even now, he was muttering under his breath to confirm each Petal he knocked into a Spot with his Blood-Sign. But it was too late now. No matter what he summoned – yes, even if he relied on the Black Maw that was identical to the Queen – this group of Queens could not possibly lose.
Or so it should have been.
That odd syllable escaped the shrine maiden White Queen.
The Queen was also the strongest and unmatched when it came to brainpower and she possessed an all-knowing and all-powerful form, but not even she recognized the scene unfolding before her eyes. But that was only natural since a previously nonexistent being was being forcibly embedded in the world.
She had a transparent body that seemed to reject an affiliation with any and all colors and light pulsated in the center of her chest.
Her long, wavy hair fell to her hips and her long bangs covered her eyes. She was such a small girl that her skeleton did not look fully developed.
Her heavily-equipped lower body swelled out with what looked like a skirt made of machines, which clashed harshly with the slender upper body of a lovely young maiden.
She was an incarnation of destruction with all forms of death – disaster, wild beasts, disease, execution, war, etc. – contained in the twelve giant books floating behind her like a halo.
More importantly, she was the counter-enemy embedded in the other world for the sole purpose of killing the White Queen.
“The Colorless Little Girl Dedicated to a Single Goal (aie – a – oio – ei – ueo – ioa – e – uai – ee).”
The boy’s lips uttered death.
Sound Range: None. Cost: 21.
The difference in numbers was meaningless. The time had come to reveal the abilities that made her the Queen’s nemesis.
The silver twintail girl breathed fierce laughter in her mouth.
Her shrine maiden outfit immediately burst from within.
This revealed her own clothing: a wedding dress elegantly cut down to size with silver armor attached in places.
She no longer had to play the part.
So it was time to show what she could do. Her combat clothing wriggled. The white ribbons transformed into countless swords, spears, axes, and staffs which all rushed in toward the Colorless Little Girl.
The Sword of Truth simply revealed the truth that the Queen was the strongest.
“Interesting! Yes, very interesting indeed!! Brother, let’s test this out, shall we? You built this for use against me, but just how well do you really understand the fear I bring!? It’s time for the super-hard lovey-dovey quiz show where overlooking a single fact means instant death!!”
The Little Girl, whose hair rose like cat ears on the back of her head, said nothing.
The small girl moved her right hand while maintaining a position from which she could protect Kyousuke. Bookmarks as sharp as blades and as thin as bug wings spread out in her hand like a fan. Without even looking back, she tossed them like throwing knives. They flew accurately toward the twelve giant books floating behind her like a halo and the leather-bound books opened like great maws. They devoured the bookmarks. And something was expelled from between the thick pages as if the result of some kind of equivalent exchange.
The Queen’s swords were melted with bubbling acid.
The Queen’s spears were crushed between giant gears.
The Queen’s axes were swarmed by flying insects.
The Queen’s staffs were knocked down by aerial bombs.
They all fit perfectly like plugs fitting into the corresponding sockets, so the White Queen’s violent rush of attacks was consumed and eliminated in midair.
In that instant, the Queen understood.
Those books were apocalypse encyclopedias. Each page contained enough power to bring ruin to the world, so the Little Girl could freely choose among and release any demise – yes, including purely fictional ones that the world had yet to experience.
This was different again from the Wicked Green Women of the Unexplored-class Three.
The Wicked Green Woman’s “children” would twist and rot the existing world through the eruption of new forms of malice, such as never-before-seen drugs or special scams, but each and every one of this small girl’s attacks could cleanly blow away the entire world.
She could wipe clean the very world in which the Queen was strongest.
The White Queen continued smiling and gently brought her hands together in front of her chest.
Her entire body glowed.
She once more focused on the divinity infinitely overflowing from her beautiful body, which increased its output. It was like a massive beam weapon that fired in every direction like a planetarium surrounding that pure white. The incredible heat could punch through gods and devils by the dozens. The weapons were merely for decoration. The Queen herself was the greatest and strongest trump card. This attack would teach the unbelievers that simple fact.
But the Colorless Little Girl simply took a single step to the side.
The pure white explosion of light shot through and tore away space itself where her target had been a moment earlier.
Had the Little Girl been afraid to block it?
Had she only just barely managed dodge it in time?
Something had seemed slightly off even though the White Queen had never seen her before, but that may have come from the Queen’s sixth sense or inspiration that far surpassed enlightenment or divine visions.
She swung her head to the side before she could verbalize it in her mind.
Even the White Queen had taken evasive action on instinct.
A moment later, an even more brutal white light shot out from the Colorless Little Girl as if to return the favor.
The cat-like hair on the back of her head shook and the girl had drawn a transparent sword from among the many weapons surrounding her hips like a long skirt. Even as she just barely dodged, she had intentionally exposed that blade to the Queen’s attack and stored up the great power like charging it with static electricity.
Then the Colorless Little Girl added her own power on top of that, swung the infinitely-growing blade of light as if making a grand slam, and returned the even more brutal attack.
The White Queen’s cheek tingled.
Something remained where her head had been a moment before: a white afterimage. Only she should have been able to destroy the structure of both worlds at once like that, but the Colorless Little Girl had reached that point.
“Tch. Are you going to call this the beauty of a scratch, brother!?”
A few silver hairs floated through the air.
That was all, but it held great meaning.
The Queen was no longer absolute.
She had been placed on the chopping block where life and death were both options.
And she did not have time to be surprised.
With far too light a sound, a dark red hole opened in the White Queen’s palm. It was red. The twintail girl’s temple twitched eerily, but more due to the introduction of a color other than white than due to the pain.
The gunshots were only heard after the fact.
A few of the heavy firearms from the weapon skirt had pointed forward and produced a storm of blinding light and deafening noise.
There was no mysticism or allure here. It was simply raw firepower. The violent act seemed to transform the very concept of disillusionment and disappointment and fire it as a weapon. Of course, they could not possibly be using mere hunks of lead. Each time one of them broke through the White Queen’s soft skin and entered her flesh, it would change its form and volume inside her to create giant swords, spears, axes, and staffs.
Again and again, she was skewered from within and ripped apart.
At this point, there was nothing but red. She had been shredded until not a hint of her pure white remained.
But the White Queen’s expression was still confident.
Immediately afterwards, the twintail girl’s badly injured body burst from within. But not from one of the Colorless Little Girl’s attacks. The burst flesh and blood hung in midair and seemed to follow the path of invisible fingertips as it formed the letters of a complex magic circle. Finally, a white light filled the red blood.
The three-dimensional magic circle was torn apart as the White Queen herself appeared with her previous bright skin restored.
“The ceremony of regeneration following self-sacrifice. The consumption and production of souls may not seem to fit together at first glance, but even a worthless world will be reborn after its demise. Why would I be unable to do the same?”
She extended her slender arms and stared at her bare shoulders and upper arms like she was checking the results of a beauty salon.
“I almost never use that ability since it’s hard to imagine anything that could harm me, so I was somewhat concerned I had grown a little rusty, but it seems there was nothing to worry about.”
That snake-like infinity allowed her to continually shed her skin as if removing a veil. No matter how much her flesh was harmed, she could reveal the brand new skin below it.
“Now, even if you analyze the string of letters and try to prevent me from constructing the circle, keep in mind that that is but one of my forms. Will the ten-minute Artificial Sacred Ground really be long enough to eliminate all 512 forms?”
<Interfering with theory of relativity, semi-infinitely extending timeline. Ten minutes has been redefined to an unmeasurable unit.>
The White Queen clicked her tongue, but not because the basic conditions had been so easily overturned before her eyes. The White Queen herself could extend time as easily as saying hi. Besides, extending the effective time would not change anything. The Queen simply had to use her power to slaughter this insolent challenger.
The silver twintail girl was slightly irritated because-
- The “White” Queen who Wields the Sword of Unsullied Truth. Notation: iu – nu – fb – a – wuh – ei –kx – eu – pl – vjz.
- Unexplored-class. Sound Range: None. Cost: 21.
- Identical to the Black Maw.
- Method of Killing: None. (Estimated to be a serious error in the Unexplored-class which are the rules of the 3rd.)
- Securing center point of all phenomena due to the spiritual Big Bang of the 3rd’s establishment. Negating interference due to time reversal and causal change. Fully erasing frozen standby time after executing each command.
- Rare☆ x1056 (Rank: Only Rare).
- HP: 2,690,227,504. MANA: 3,199,078,539. STR: 891,103,755. VIT: 709,925,590. INT: 90,386,619. MIN: 728,014,029. AGI: 998,799,899. LUK: 877,759,011.
- Best Range: Long, Mid, Short, Throw, Counter. Worst Range: None.
- Full resistance to: Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Lightning, Light, Dark, and Physical. Resistance to all 48 status effects, including instant death.
- All attacks can target every enemy at once (with a range upgrade of up to 128 times) and become any element (including non-elemental).
- Warning: But all of this is calculated using her normal form. It is estimated that later form transformations will greatly change these base values using an adjustment (scale factor).
- She can freely transform between 512 different forms. In her resting form, HP, MANA, and status effects automatically recover with the passage of time. (Recovery priority order is: status effects [including instant death], HP, MANA.)
- List of self-support command skills which do not consume MANA: Ignore Target Defense, Perfect Homing, Absolute Status Effect Application, Absolute Attack Evasion, Adaption to All Environments and Weather Conditions, Right to Command the Sword of Truth (normally in equipped mode), Search for Shiroyama Kyousuke, Wide Range Enemy Search, Inspiration Power Up, Negate Attack, Scale Up Own Parameters (up to 256 times), Obstruct Malicious Observation, Inviolability Power Up, Break Parameter Growth Cap, Perfect Stability Control of Self-Produced Power, Prevent Self-Destruction from Attack Recoil,… (Read More)
- Note: Her charisma is estimated to purely come from her power and beauty, not from her skills.
- Special Condition: She will unconditionally lose her cool when Shiroyama Kyousuke is mentioned. This cannot be mitigated or negated using resistances, defenses, or skills.
- ??? (39 unanalyzed black boxes confirmed. Rerun task?)
- Illegal program detected. Use of a malicious plugin confirmed… (Read More)
- Conclusion: A collection of worthless trash. Defeat possible.
Part 5 (Cont.)
“When did you start feeling around in my guts, brother!?”
The size of the values did not matter now.
Once a fear had been analyzed and quantified, you had revealed the starting point toward conquering it.
If you had numbers, you could compare them.
You could send out someone with even greater numbers to knock them down a notch.
Normally, learning just a fragment of the White Queen’s true power would have looked like such a great precipice it would break your mind and shatter your soul, but the Colorless Little Girl was different. She confirmed each handhold, scaled the cliff wall, and greedily pursued the data needed to conquer the Queen.
And more importantly…
(Did she directly view the Facts, the settings of the Third Age that I swallowed whole when I defeated all of the Unexplored-class laws…?)
Something ran down the White Queen’s spine.
If she were human, she would have immediately recognized it.
It was fear.
(No, wait. The things in our world can’t be described with digital words like “parameters” or “scale factors”!!)
A solid sound rang out.
But not from the Colorless Little Girl. From Shiroyama Kyousuke’s Blood-Sign while he was supposedly contained within the protective circle. Yes, he was still hitting his White Thorns and knocking the scattered Petals into the Spots. He continued to build up the stock which acted as his weapon.
And yet shifting to another Material now would be entirely unnecessary.
But that was not what happened.
Even as he swapped out letters and rearranged their order, the Colorless Little Girl remained the Colorless Little Girl. Only the attack she specialized in changed as she launched them toward the White Queen.
Yes, instead of firing long-range projectiles, she held a Western double-edged sword in each hand and slashed them toward the enemy in front of her.
As soon as a portion of the White Queen’s clothing became a sword and was broken, she used her fingers to scatter sparks from the Colorless Little Girl’s two-sword style.
“Brother, have you advanced the age?”
“You aren’t freely summoning Materials from the world’s mythologies. You have completed every possible pattern and arrangement using only variations of the Colorless Little Girl, gathering all miracles and mysteries into a single point. Have you brought us to the age of the Fourth Summoning Ceremony!?”
He had not peeked inside her chest. He had not decoded her.
He had embedded and overwritten.
Write, not read.
In that case…
(This is bad…)
For the first time.
Probably for the first time ever, the White Queen participated in a pure exchange of blows, unlike the defensive battle she fought at the Queen’s Miniature Garden.
(The Fourth Summoning Ceremony can’t be defeated using the Third Summoning Ceremony. I may be the peak of the Third, but if he has embedded me in that framework, then I will be captured by those rules!)
She felt a scorching sensation.
The Queen had smashed the two blades with her bare hands, but in exchange, red blood dripped from her palms. This was something other than white. And despite the swords being broken, the Colorless Little Girl pummeled her with the hilts and guards.
The Queen threw everything out.
With each blow, she changed from one form to another. Entirely different forms of despair budded and blossomed into the world before being mercilessly trampled.
…At one point, an immortal Queen rejected all harm as alluring butterfly wings grew from her back and her arms became mantis-like.
<Strongest Theory: Immortality and a near-impenetrable shell. Quasi-immortality through special alteration of the body’s surface by bathing in dragon blood or soaking in a river of immortality. Countermeasure: Precise sharpshooting concentrated on a single point of an exceptional non-protected part.>
…At one point, a clockwork Queen was adorned with giant gears and countless artillery weapons.
<Strongest Theory: The circle that binds the hit with the return. When using a projectile weapon with great destructive power, safety is ensured by always returning the divine weapon to its owner after use so that it may not be stolen. Countermeasure: A single throw can only defeat the enemy being targeted, so evasion is possible by scattering decoys.>
…At one point, the Queen gained gills by her ears, flippers between her fingers and toes, and tail fins from her ankles as she crushed everything with a body far larger than the king of marine creatures.
<Strongest Theory: A giant form and proportional divinity. Divinity is seen in anything that grows large enough to reach units too large to display. Countermeasure: Increase strength to the limit and attack head-on with a special weapon.>
…At one point, a gorgeous Queen extended roots from her feet in every direction, grew giant flowers from all across her body, and burned them like torches.
<Strongest Theory: The destructive effects of flames and explosions. The deification of fire’s wrath. Especially the destructive act of an extra-large fireball destroying entire cities or civilizations. Countermeasure: End the combat state by avoiding direct combat and putting her to sleep, etc.>
But you must not forget.
If she was changing from form to form, that meant each form was being destroyed in turn.
The Colorless Little Girl’s hair rose up like cat ears in the back and she launched a fierce attack much like a Gatling gun. She went beyond a mere Swiss army knife. Under the guidance of Shiroyama Kyousuke’s Blood-Sign, she accurately countered each of the threats.
But the White Queen noticed a certain frightening phenomenon more than she did the simple firepower.
“It’s categorized…? You’ve taken my white light, used a prism to split it into tens of thousands of colors, and tagged each and every form of fear I bring? And now you are passing that light through colored cellophane to erase that color!?”
“People could only ever look up at that mystical light.”
It was Shiroyama Kyousuke who answered.
That boy’s strength was different from the White Queen’s. His transformed defeat into power.
“So we’ve observed it over and over, for as long as we’ve longed for it. You were the strongest from the beginning and could gain even more than you wanted whenever you wanted it, so you might not understand the flavor of a single grain of rice. But we have long dreamed of that grain we could never reach.”
Drops that resembled red jewels splattered on the ground.
Clear sweat appeared on her brow.
Heated breaths escaped her lips with an irregular rhythm.
Each of those “unthinkable” things would be unremarkable from a human, but they came from the White Queen here. She easily stirred up the world. She bent and tore space and she caused impossible phenomena. She entirely ignored the structure of the air and boulders around her to tear them away and ball them up like scraps of paper. In the blink of an eye, they took form, filled with color, and gained individuality. One looked like a clockwork dragon covered in red rust. One looked like a cruel flying drone designed from human bones and skin. But that was not their true essence. Their balled-up gaps provided glimpses of non-matching eyeballs, fingernails, and long hair.
These were not even from the Regulation-class, Divine-class, or Unexplored-class of the other world. The Queen’s power was overflowing with such great force that these soulless things crawled out with no concern for the ecosystem or mythological structure.
But it was too late.
If the full-power Queen was no match for this opponent while systematically managing her energy, could these splashes of excess energy leave any claw marks in her?
The Colorless Little Girl only needed to take a single step back to measure the distance between them.
A kitchen knife and frying pan had appeared in her hands at some point and they produced a storm of flashing light as they instantly transformed the threat into colorful food. The Colorless Little Girl bit off piece after piece and swallowed them like some kind of joke, but the effects were instantaneous.
<Damage recovery and MANA resupply complete. They were delic-…>
“Okay, infected Queens, all of you attack her at once!!”
Identical White Queens rushed in from all directions. They had a different origin, but their specs were no different. And Shiroyama Kyousuke had forbidden himself from killing. He could not erase the infected Queens from both worlds because that would mean killing the vessels along with them.
<Damage Restriction: Non-Lethal Mode. Remaining HP set to 3.>
A giant explosion seemed to erupt outwards from the Colorless Little Girl in the center. In actuality, the countless weapons forming her skirt had all fired, the twelve giant books behind her had produced various forms of demise, and the Colorless Little Girl herself had used her small hands to grab them, tear them apart, and throw them. Altogether, a storm swept out horizontally, tore the flesh and blood of the infected Queens to pieces, and accurately reduced them to only the Silhouette that contained the vessel’s mind. Those hunks of flesh had lost the majesty of the Queen and they simply pulsated on the ground before reverting to their original human forms. And yet all of the infected Queens were supposed to have specs identical to the main Queen.
This would not have been possible just by mastering physical destruction.
It was a more fundamental matter.
(Is she entirely blocking off the power of my invisible role as it leaves me through invisible wires?)
This was truly the Queen’s twilight.
This absolute blade of rejection not only affected the White Queen herself but all of the influence she had on the world.
<Illegal program detected. Deleting it along with the malicious plugin.>
“Don’t use such boring words to describe me!!”
It must have been acting on its own now because one of the broken swords caught the reflected heat of the flames and stabbed down into the White Queen’s shadow that stretched across the ground.
After the Colorless Little Girl grabbed it once more and pulled it out with a sticky sound, it had grown a blade by absorbing the very color of the shadow.
That too was a portion of the Queen’s power.
Once she realized that, the Colorless Little Girl used her small hand to casually grab, crush, and toss aside the mysterious blade portion. Weapon destruction. After robbing the White Queen of her many mysterious powers, she would destroy it so it could not be recovered.
The Queen lost her other forms.
Her special skills were forcibly stripped from her.
The Queen spread the fingers of her right hand and directly struck space itself.
It did not matter that she was out of range. The Queen’s attack contained the power to destroy, crush, and overwrite both worlds with nothing but white.
(All I have to do is smash this coordinate of this fragile world!!)
As cracks of light spread through space itself, the White Queen brought her hands together in front of her chest. Immediately, the entire scene was smashed inward and a great mass of pure white pressed in toward Shiroyama Kyousuke and the Colorless Little Girl. Those massive claw marks were like two giant walls. And they showed no concern for the fate of all that lay between them. That strongest compression dyed everything in its own colors, destroyed it, and brought absolute white to the world.
The Queen found she could not bring her hands all the way together. A strange repulsion pushed back like there was a clump of invisible rubber between them.
And the Colorless Little Girl had her arms spread horizontally to stop the white compression. Nothing on the ground beyond that point was crushed. An incomprehensible barrier much like the protective circle had saved them. There was no point in asking where it had come from.
The only person not protected here was the White Queen.
So she could predict what the hunter would do next.
The Colorless Little Girl forcefully extended her arms to the left and right as if prying open an elevator door. The compression stopped, then it actually spread outwards, and finally the scenery that had supposedly been crushed into whiteness regained its original colors. The White Queen’s arms followed suit, so an odd sound of something shattering came from her shoulders.
The twelve books behind her nemesis’s back began to glow.
If everything but her target was protected by a barrier, there was no need to hold back any longer. On top of that, the Queen’s arms were broken, so she could not defend. There would never be a greater opportunity.
Shiroyama Kyousuke set up the final situation by using his Blood-Sign to enter the appropriate name…no, command. And then he leaned in toward the Colorless Little Girl’s ear and whispered to her.
“RQ Cat, the rest is up to you.”
<Yes, Nii-sama. As you wish.>
“Ahh!? Do you want me to obliterate you, you latecomer!!!!!”
Even her thoughts vanished from her mind.
What did her shattered shoulders matter? So what if this was a perfect game where no one else could be affected? She could always tear apart her old flesh and blood and recreate that container of flesh into a new body. Who cares if her other forms had been taken from her and her many mysteries had been destroyed?
She could not give up that position.
That spot was hers.
An ominous sound came from the White Queen’s shattered shoulders. The willpower in the glint of her eyes gave a clear message: Yes, that’s right. Why bother going through a full regeneration? I can just grow another five or ten arms with weapons attached.
As the White Queen seethed and boiled, she never managed to launch her next attack.
Just before she could, a quiet sound struck her sense of hearing just once.
She heard it via bone conduction, so it had not come through her ears. The Colorless Little Girl’s soft index finger had gently pressed against the center of the White Queen’s forehead.
When had she done this? And how?
The Queen had no time to wonder that.
The “change” had already begun.
“It…can’t be… Brother, is this…?”
“Yes. From the outset, the Colorless Little Girl was created for a single purpose. So all her other functions are superfluous. They were only meant to pave the way for her to directly touch you.”
“Spiritual gravitational collapse… My appearance caused a spiritual Big Bang, so you prepared this ridiculous method just to gather that infinitely-expanding influence back into a single point!?”
“Killing you in this universe is impossible. So first, I have to absorb and eliminate all of the influence you have caused. All of the abnormalities you have spread around must be regathered in you, the center point. And once we are back in a proper and unchanged world, you can be eliminated with a normal sword strike.”
This was a lot like creating a super-massive black hole that would swallow up the entire infinitely-expanding universe and gather every last particle in a single place.
But that was how far you had to go if you were to defeat the White Queen.
He would create the Fourth Age.
And that meant rejecting everything of the Third Age.
<Search Range: the entirety of this world and the other world. Search Target: White Queen. Comparison to bodily tissue complete.>
After being cornered to this extent, the final expression on the silver twintail girl’s face was, unsurprisingly, a faint smile.
“Yes, yes. If you were able to corner me so accurately and if you were able to seal off and strike down every last one of my cards without missing a single one…”
<Final check complete. Nii-sama, I will now begin.>
“…It just shows how deeply you understand me. Right, brother?”
“You don’t need to say anything at this point. If that is what this means, then I suppose it’s not that ba-…”
<Commencing execution. Once the White Queen has been absorbed from the entire world and gathered in this single point, I will cut her down and throw her out.>
Once it was all over, Shiroyama Kyousuke released a silly-sounding voice.
It seemed too easy.
Laws that surpassed all laws were the same as an ordered string of code.
He had simply displayed the proper “answer” to the world.
He may not have believed it himself. His belief in that illusion of the strongest being may have been even stronger than he had thought. He was unsure how to accept this sudden “ending”.
Was it over now?
Could he really relax?
He could not remove the tension in his body. He seemed to be waiting for something to happen.
It was more like there was an empty hole in his heart…?
But while that happened, the Chain period began, the full 90 seconds passed, and the Artificial Sacred Ground itself vanished. The vessel that had become a highly irregular Unexplored-class returned to being a slender girl with two blonde braids.
The paranormal had left.
“Onii-chan, is it…over now?”
Olivia Highland had to question it too.
Kyousuke did not know how to respond to the girl looking worriedly up at him or to Biondetta who stood by his side.
“Hello, hello. So it’s finally over, is it?”
They heard a muffled voice.
They looked over and saw a man in a lab coat and riding suit. He wielded a Blood-Sign sword and a giant spider vessel crawled across his body.
“You seem surprisingly calm for someone whose target of worship was just annihilated.”
“That’s because I continued my research out of phobia, not philia.” His tone was casual. “I want to approach as close as possible to the greatest fear possible and experience it as much as possible with as much safety as possible. But, well, you can have too much of a good thing. Since I couldn’t guarantee my safety no matter what, I couldn’t transform that danger into an attraction. It was probably best to get rid of it. She could be resurrected at any time since the conditions for killing her are still an unknown, but this should end it for the time being anyway.”
“Don’t give me that look. I was supporting you in a number of ways. Hey, Kyousuke, if the White Queen had immediately obeyed her desire and driven a hand through your back while disguised as Meinokawa Aoi, it would’ve all been over before you could even put together this plan. Who was it that presented her the conditions for the most delicious way to consume Shiroyama Kyousuke and thus held back the Queen’s desire as long as possible?”
He had wondered about that.
Especially when it came to the initial meeting at the Meinokawa Shrine before encountering Olivia. If the Queen had been unable to hold back and immediately devoured Kyousuke, his fate would have been sealed there.
Also, why had Olivia of Bridesmaid made an appearance now? And why had Doctor S ended his contract with her on a whim and traded her for a different vessel?
Consider them each in turn and the answer was obvious.
Doctor S had followed a plan to entertain the White Queen while actually working to support Kyousuke’s plan.
“I see, I see, I see,” said Kyousuke. “So you made sure to maintain a position where you could smugly say ‘just as planned’ no matter who won. You really are a thrill-obsessed freak, Mr. Wait-and-See. Now, it is true I might not have been able to get this far without your assistance.”
“Defeating the Queen without borrowing the Queen’s power. That incredible achievement might not have been possible for anyone.”
“Anyone with half a brain would reach the same conclusion.”
Shiroyama Kyousuke marked a dividing line with that word.
Was that chilling voice something one should never direct toward their parent? Or was it something he could use specifically because this man was his father?
“That doesn’t mean I’m just going to wipe the slate clean. You don’t get to just forget everything you did here in Houbi Village, Doctor S.”
That man definitely smiled behind his medical inhaler.
He had to know he was on the losing side. He had to know what fate awaited him from the moment he chose fight over flight.
Both of them pulled the pin from an Incense Grenade and threw it.
The two explosives collided at the midpoint like they were making a toast and the Artificial Sacred Grounds expanded simultaneously.
It did not take even ten minutes to settle everything.
- A Material summoned some way other than the Blood-Sign method will be temporarily restrained by the scattering incense of an Incense Grenade. However, this does not apply in all cases.
- The White Queen changed the rules when she defeated all of the Unexplored-class and began dragging them around. Thus, the ancient methods and the current methods of summoning differ.
- The official name of Kingdom F is the Flanguild Permanently Neutral Kingdom, but the White Queen was not originally needed for its founding. When all of the Unexplored-class were defeated, the past and future histories were both instantly rewritten. This essentially allowed the Queen to encroach on the kingdom’s history and destabilized the very existence of the kingdom.
- The civil war was actually caused by the great discrepancy in values between those who had – for some reason or another – noticed the White Queen’s distortion and those who had not.
- The Colorless Little Girl Dedicated to a Single Goal (aie – a – oio – ei – ueo – ioa – e – uai – ee) really did function as an exclusive nemesis created to instantly kill the White Queen. And it was proven that she can be freely accessed when Olivia Highland uses the Jewel Blood.
- As soon as the Colorless Little Girl’s appearance was confirmed, humanity advanced to the Fourth Summoning Ceremony. The old strongest will not necessarily apply in the new age.
- Shiroyama Kyousuke settled things with Doctor S.
|Back to Stage 03||Return to Main Page||Forward to Ending X-01|