The Unexplored Summon Blood Sign:Volume8 Opening1
Opening X-01: The Beginning of a Rebellious Phase
“What’s the point if you don’t watch it on July 7? Right, liger?”
“…I said I’m not interested…”
(Opening X-01 Open 08/03 20:05)
The Beginning of a Rebellious Phase
It was shortly after 8 on August 3.
The front door to a top-floor apartment in Toy Dream 35 had just opened.
“Hey, I’m back.”
An adorable girl’s voice spoke fluent Japanese. It belonged to Olivia Highland. She was a small girl of around 12, her long blonde hair was tied in double braids, and she wore a strange outfit that used a school swimsuit, a decorative collar, and a pareo to look almost like outdoor clothing. Summoners and vessels would change their appearance the further their worldview shifted away from the normal world, but she was also the heir to the throne of Eastern Europe’s Kingdom F. Was it a good thing or a bad thing that people tended to interpret eccentricities as a sign of genius?
The girl was clinging to a high school boy named Shiroyama Kyousuke who said nothing at all as he succumbed to exhaustion and threw himself onto the large sofa as soon as he entered the large living room. He stopped moving altogether in a perfect example of sleeping like a log.
The summery 12-year-old in a straw hat refused to accept this, so she hopped on top of Kyousuke’s collapsed body.
She straddled him and bounced her small butt up and down while talking to him.
“C’mon, let’s play! We haven’t played nearly enough and we’ve been doing everything you wanted to do! You promised on the plane we would play a whole bunch once the work was done!”
“Who do you think you are having your way with me and going to sleep once you’re satisfied!? You’re being too selfish today, Onii-chan!!”
But no matter what his contracted Alice said, the Freedom Award 903 summoner only groaned like a zombie. How could he just drop dead like this? He was being just as rotten as a father who wore himself out working during the week and neglected to spend time with his family on the weekends.
Olivia puffed out her small cheeks, but the zombie remained a zombie. He was not going to move. And for better or for worse, she was a very curious girl. You could also say she had a short attention span. She looked around in search of something else to grab her attention and spotted her next toy.
“Unyah! Hello again, liger!”
After getting down from the hunk of rotten flesh that was Shiroyama Kyousuke, the blonde double braid girl’s face lit up, she spread her arms, and she charged toward a 5m monster. That monster had devoured 40kg of raw meat – which was more than Olivia weighed – today, but there was no fear in the girl’s eyes. The white liger was curled up just like a cat, so she leaped toward her neck and rubbed her cheek against her giant face.
“Rub, rub, rub. Did you miss me, liger?”
And Aika, the summoner and owner of the 5m beast she was using as a sofa, breathed an exasperated sigh. Thus spoke the white and green striped bikini:
“Can’t you see the liger’s tail is between her legs, dummy? And her ears are flattened down. She’s trying to look small cause she’s afraid of you.”
“Eh? That’s not true. We’re best friends, aren’t we?”
Olivia lightly bit the white liger’s ear with no apparent fear for her life, but…
“Hm? …Liger, why do you smell so bad? Have you not been taking enough baths while I was gone?”
That 5m body blatantly gave a start. She jumped up enough to push Aika into the air from below.
Yes. Due to the way their fur worked, felines generally did not like getting wet. You could not just give them a quick shower like with a canine.
“Ora! You’re a girl, liger, so didn’t I tell you you have to take care of yourself!? This calls for a thorough scrubbing!!”
“You’re just applying human reasoning here. How is this any different from those old ladies that like dressing up their cats? Then again, it is true the liger was starting to smell…”
The liger looked up at her owner with the damp eyes of a kitten, but since Aika also supported the idea, she was in real trouble. The monster pitifully shrank down, but the girls grabbed her neck and guided her toward a fairly large bath.
“Come to think of it, where’s Lu Onee-chan? We came here so she could cook for us.”
“That old lady had this dead look on her face while muttering some old lady-ish nonsense about stock prices, so she’s probably in some room or another curled up in an old lady-ish ball.”
“Eh? Then what are we going to eat!? I thought we were going to get Lu Onee-chan’s Chinese cooking!”
“Plastic wrap and the fridge are two wonderful inventions for shut-ins. Also microwaves.”
Olivia and Aika were already wearing swimsuits, so there was no need to strip off their clothing in the changing room. They immediately opened the door to the bath proper and discovered a drowned corpse. The bathtub was the size of a small pool and a dead-eyed Lu Niang Lan was sprawled out in it like a jellyfish with her head resting on the edge.
“Th-the stock prices. My precious front company…”
The girls ignored the white-eyed old lady and grabbed the shower nozzle.
Every last bit of the white liger’s fur was bristling at this point, but Olivia and Aika worked together to mercilessly soak her with the fierce spray.
“Rub! Don’t showers feel great, liger!? Rub, rub!!”
“Cold. This hasn’t heated up yet…”
The bottle labeled “for cat fur” lined up along with the shampoo, rinse, and conditioner was a sign of Aika’s true celebrity quality. Aika pushed down the head of the pump bottle to fill her palm with a thick liquid with no artificial scents, she pressed her palms together to work up a lather, and she began an attack on the wet liger’s large body.
It was a testament to the white liger’s samurai-like patience that no blood was drawn. If you ignored such a large animal’s nature and forced it to do something like this, even a professional zookeeper could get eaten. Do not try this at home, even if you do find a 5m beast in the bath.
“Oh, the liger just relaxed and her eyes are melting. See, there’s nothing wrong with taking a bath.”
“I’m pretty sure these ‘just get it over with’ eyes are a sign she simply doesn’t have it in her to resist, but that’s fine with me if it will get her nice and clean.”
After that extremely apathetic comment, Aika glanced over to the side.
To a shut-in girl who lived alone, the bath was her second paradise. She had plenty of money to burn, so she had thoroughly remodeled the place. The bath was fully air-conditioned, the large bathtub had jet sprays, you could place an order and have a waterproof robot on wheels bring you a drink or a popsicle, and there was a giant flat-screen TV filling one whole wall.
Instead of using a remote, she had it set up to turn on and change channels in response to her eye movements.
“Huh? Why are they running a special on the July Betrayers movie? Is that not out in Japan yet?”
“You can be a smug westerner if you like, but you’re not going to impress me by bragging about this. I have no interest at all in Hollywood’s heroes in full-body tights.”
“What’s the point if you don’t watch it on July 7? Right, liger?”
“…I said I’m not interested…”
The controls were set to Aika, so she rapidly flipped from channel to channel. She had it set up for terrestrial, satellite, cable, and internet broadcast. She ended up on a variety show that simply provided the week’s top played online videos. It was basically the same as an aggregation site, so it seemed wrong that producers and performers were being paid to do what amateurs did.
The top ranked videos were as follows:
“A powerful explosion rocks South America’s San Carlos Cathedral! Watch the shocking footage of a black-market tank crashed into the top of the religious institution used as a front to sell a dangerous powder!!”
“Crush the Eastern European smart gang!! This fearsome criminal group worships a mysterious white goddess and bought a satellite and stealth bombers off the black market, but watch as their convoy is blown up piece by piece!!”
“A borderless mobile cult for a new age? What is truth behind the mysterious proselytizing fleet that uses the world’s largest aircushion ship and leaves contamination in its wake wherever it stops? Now that the ship has broken in two and sunk, divers are working to explore it!!”
The world was as dangerous as ever.
Lu Niang Lan’s old lady comments about stock prices showed no sign of ending.
Bikini Girl Aika sighed lightly and then spoke to the inexhaustible Olivia.
“How much of this were you and Onii-chan involved in?”
“Hmm, all of it that had something to do with the White Queen.” Olivia’s voice was carefree and she was oblivious to the white foam on her cheek as she innocently rubbed the 5m mass of muscles. “You remember Houbi Village in July? A lot happened there. And since the Queen was killed, organizations, groups, cabals, companies, conglomerates, religions, schools, armies, and everyone else have started to go nuts. I’m so worn out after going around putting out all those fires with Onii-chan.”
“You have some nerve saying that as one of the people who evangelized the Queen. So is this the turning point between the White Queen’s third style and the Colorless Little Girl’s fourth style?”
“It’s not that simple. In Alaska, all marine products are said to have come from the flesh and blood of a sacrificed maiden, so they’ve apparently started drowning lots of girls in the ocean below the ice to breathe life back into the Queen who supposedly provided the blessings of the water. But Onii-chan is going around stopping all of those things.”
“Ugh. That does sound like him…”
“Ngah! How many countries do you think I’ve been to today? I don’t even know because we’ve gone back and forth across the international date line so many times!! We’ve been hopping all across the world map for battles, battles, and more battles just like in an old fighting game. And he promised to play with me a whole bunch once it was over, but he collapsed instead! I can’t believe him!!”
And while that chaos affected the world economy, the villains around the world who – for better or for worse – supported the financial markets were being crushed one after another by a sudden intruder. The rapid fluctuation this brought was unpredictable by any automatic investment program or expert financial analyst. That explained why Lu Niang Lan was floating in someone else’s bath like a jellyfish.
That was the state of things in the outside world.
But surprisingly, none of those were the top ranked video being introduced on TV.
That spot belonged to another:
“Leaked complaints from the cast of July Betrayers? What is the truth of this mysterious behind-the-scenes footage seemingly shot on a smartphone!?”
This was obviously a guerilla campaign set to match the month-delayed Japanese release, but it was played with a loud fanfare. If it was really shot on a hidden camera, it was unlikely the sick looking bearded star would be looking right at the camera. And the “source” listed in the corner of the screen simply gave the movie’s distribution company. If this was actually accepted as an amusing leaked video, the producer would probably be fired.
Finally, the girls spoke to each other.
“…This world really has gone crazy.” “Either that or the world is at peace.”
- Shiroyama Kyousuke has maintained his contract with Olivia Highland. Now that the Queen has been successfully killed, he is traveling around the world crushing Queen worshiping groups and organizations to keep the chaos to a minimum.
- The world is in conflict over whether to side with the White Queen or the Colorless Little Girl. More than just a turning point, a fair number of groups are starting irregular ceremonies other than the Blood-Sign method in an attempt to bring back the White Queen.
- After so many battles in quick succession, even Shiroyama Kyousuke is exhausted.
- After losing a large amount of money she uses to function in the underworld, Lu Niang Lan has completely rotted away.
- The white liger has mastered the path of the samurai. She is a true warrior who can remain calm even when two innocent swimsuit girls mercilessly scrub her entire body.
|Back to Prologue||Return to Main Page||Forward to Opening X-02|