The Unexplored Summon Blood Sign:Volume9 Stage2

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Stage 02: Stand Back Up and Return to the Starting Point[edit]

“Actually, what did you climb up this high to see?”

“I was watching my knight in shining armor fight against the world’s tragedies☆”

(Stage 02 Open 08/21 12:00)

Stand Back Up and Return to the Starting Point

Part 1[edit]

It did not matter if it was ugly.

He had never wanted to be the strongest who could cleverly do anything and everything.

A dull sound rang out.

It came from one of the large bridges in Toy Dream 35’s R Block where so many schools were located.

This was an unbelievable choice according to the standard theory of the Summoning Ceremony. The rogue Illegal summoner known as Monster Freak had already reached the Divine-class. He had summoned an evil Norse dragon that’s name began with “n” and that had a Sound Range of low and a Cost of 8. Challenging that while starting with a Cost 1 Regulation-class was utter suicide.

And yet.

And yet.

“Wha-?”

Shiroyama Kyousuke did not respond to the confused man who wore a black jacket made from the leather of various animals: cow, snake, crocodile, etc.

The man must have sacrificed his own allies to reach a Material with such a high Cost. The 3D Artificial Sacred Ground had already been set up, but once you used up your initial 3 White Thorns, it was possible to join in.

Kyousuke did not hesitate.

With his Repliglass Blood-Sign resting on his shoulder and his vessel by his side, he stepped right into that field ruled by a Divine-class.

The definite killer intent seemed to muffle the loud cicada cries.

Monster Freak forced himself to yell at the boy while holding a Blood-Sign carved from banned ivory and decorated with tortoiseshell.

“What, you wanna end up a smear on the pavement!?”

“Can it, rookie.”

The 10 seconds bought by that unnecessary exchange of words was more than enough.

Kyousuke gained a single new White Thorn.

The tip of his Blood-Sign struck the glowing white ball of the White Thorn and it contacted one of the glowing red Petals floating in the air. They bounced around and several different Petals dropped into the Spots opened directly in space.

It likely functioned as a psychological restraint, but the silver-haired shrine maiden reached below her shrine maiden outfit and tightened the pure white sarashi around her chest. She raised her voice as she transformed into the colorful slime of the Original Series.

“Hah hah hah!! I’ll show you what the world’s oldest Joruri Method can do!!”

Of course, Monster Freak had no reason to wait.

The black jacket man snapped his fingers and the large dragon took a step forward. That was enough to apply pressure to the entire space enclosed by the Artificial Sacred Ground. After all, there was a considerable difference between a Regulation-class and a Divine-class. A single scratch from a claw would mean instant death.

Or so Monster Freak assumed.

A metallic sound came from Shiroyama Kyousuke’s feet. But why was there another metallic sound when the Incense Grenade had already been thrown? The black jacket man was briefly confused, but then he caught on.

“Watch out, Sumomo!! Is he trying to rattle us!?”

Then something happened.

There was a bursting sound, but no flash of light or explosive blast. It really was no more than an Incense Grenade. It was an entirely meaningless action since the Summoning Ceremony had already begun.

However.

It did do something. It did release something into the air.

How would you react to a normally unthinkable situation in the middle of a battle?

Shiroyama Kyousuke had stepped in front of his Material to use his protective circle as a shield for the Cost 1 Material.

And no matter what the vessel at the core thought, the summoned Divine-class was afraid of this unthinkable situation.

It may have been a lot like a shogi or chess AI hanging up when it failed to react properly to a movement no human would ever make.

Monster Freak’s dragon roared.

That was meant to threaten what it feared.

Even though Kyousuke had only summoned the weakest of the weakest, a Cost 1 Regulation-class of the Original Series.

With the exception of rare cases like Sinceria or Olivia, a vessel did not have full control over the Material. They could only guide that mass of fighting instincts toward the target like they were moving a struggling cursor.

What would happen if the dragon itself succumbed to an irregular state of fear?

There was no way of calming it down.

“Tch!! Sumomo, regain control of Nidhoggr!!”

“Too late.”

Two icy words cut in.

It felt like a joke.

Kyousuke had already secured several Petals, so his Material had cast off the title of the weakest.

It was now a collection of red laser beams bouncing around like they were in a room of mirrors.

“You might have had a chance if you had immediately summoned a different Divine-class to reset things.”

But the man had been afraid to let go of the overwhelming power that Divine-class provided.

The confusion had bought Kyousuke 30 seconds.

That was all it took for him to catch up and grow into a legitimate threat.

It was too late by the time the black jacket man actually started thinking.

It was a giant serpent with 8 heads.

Divine-class. Sound Range: Middle. Cost: 14. An ancient Japanese dragon that contained a divine sword and that’s name started with a “y”.

The Sound Range and Cost were superior.

“Oh.”

There was nothing he could do.

Monster Freak tried to raise his ivory and tortoiseshell Blood-Sign once more, but…

“Owaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!???”

It still came from directly above.

The crushing blow squashed the Norse dragon, making it scatter and vanish. The summoner and vessel lay there like broken dolls after being hit by the shock of seeing their god slaughtered before their eyes.

<Striking back with a dragon of our own, huh? But did you really need to do that!? I thought it was standard to preserve Incense Grenades on the battlefield.>

“During an away game, sure. But this is a home game, so I have a bit of a stockpile.”

<So what now? You built up to a Divine-class, but the Chain state only lasts for 90 seconds. I’m itching for some action!>

“Don’t beg. It’s indecent. You sound like a battle-starved berserker.”

There was exasperation in the boy’s voice, but his body took precise action. As Meinokawa Aoi had pointed out, they only had 90 seconds of time to spare. He was already using his Blood-Sign to pole vault over the railing and onto another bridge running alongside this one.

And there was more than just the one rogue Illegal summoner-vessel pair destroying the everyday scenery of Toy Dream 35.

Illegal Award 900, Creation Dead.

Illegal Award 887, Killer Acrobat.

Illegal Award 910, Sinful Monk.

<Defeat this many of their elites and that sexy China dress girl is going to be pissed.>

“We can apologize later.”

By jumping down and placing his feet on that new bridge, the Artificial Sacred Ground moved to contain these veteran fighters. It was one-against-three and Kyousuke had only just demonstrated that a Divine-class was not an absolute advantage.

But it did not matter.

No matter what, that boy would do whatever it took to ensure nothing happened to the classmates who had struggled to remember him.

This was not a temporary home.

It was a line he had to defend with his life.

With the Repliglass Blood-Sign resting on his shoulder, he beckoned to the enemy with the fingers of his other hand.

“I’ll take you all on at once. If your skill lives up to your nicknames, then bring it on.”

It might as well have been an explosion.

Those three rogue summoners had been crushed by the White Queen and Colorless Little Girl’s pressure and they all took action in different ways.

But the phrase they introduced to the fray was identical.

“Down with the Queen!!”

“Posers.”

But he easily swept them aside.

“That’s my job.”

Part 2[edit]

“Wahyah!”

A short distance away, the cartoonish Aika-chan doll made a weird noise from the white liger’s back.

The modified China dress beauty next to it gave an exasperated comment.

“I thought your cameras couldn’t show you what’s happening in the Artificial Sacred Ground.”

“I can’t see it, but my Onii-chan sense is tingling.” Aika sounded like she was dreaming. “I can tell he’s back.”

“That he is.”

This was no surprise.

When that boy was carrying some kind of weight, he possessed an indomitable strength.

The enemy ranged from the high 800s to the low 900s and he was taking on three of them at once. Kyousuke never assumed his position or his Divine-class Material gave him an unbeatable advantage. At times he destroyed the ground below his feet to get a fresh start and sometimes he used his own protective circle as a shield while he continually beat down the rogue summoners.

The summoners on the receiving end of that beating were supposed to be Illegal’s secret fighters. This was a serious loss for the modified China dress beauty, but Lu Niang Lan was actually smiling a little.

How could she say it?

That boy had always kept his distance from his surroundings out of fear of the White Queen and of losing the things he cared for, but now he was baring his teeth and going on the attack. He had finally accepted the city he lived in was worth protecting like this. And now that he was fighting so fiercely, how could she tell him to stop?

“Welcome back, Kyousuke-chan.”

But then the white liger spun around to face the other way.

This time it was not a summoner or vessel. It was Repliglass soldiers with white armor enveloping them. That cutting-edge equipment was not common in underground Illegal, but the number of soldiers continued to grow: 20, 30, 40, and even more.

The obvious conclusion was…

“Government too?” asked Lu Niang Lan.

“So it seems,” replied Aika.

The chaos was worldwide, so there would be plenty of rogue fighters to go around.

The White Queen and the Colorless Little Girl.

Their conflict had created a formless madness like the world was ending tomorrow and it spread that frenzy as if by a mysterious signal. Individual morals were easily swept aside and they would spread destruction like it was the latest fad.

In this world, everyone went mad and rushed to destroy.

But Lu Niang Lan and the white liger did not stop fighting.

Down with the Queen?

Why should they care about that? The only thing on their minds was the world they wanted to protect.

Part 3[edit]

And, in what may have been a response to what had happened, a voice spoke in one of the two worlds.

<Nii-sama.>

Part 4[edit]

The last one, Illegal Award 910, Sinful Monk, collapsed to the ground with a thud.

“There, that should do it.”

“Indeed.”

Aoi lazily responded after returning to being a silver-haired shrine maiden. She held up a slender hand to protect her eyes as she looked up into the sunny blue sky that echoed with cicada cries.

“Whew, you really start sweating as soon as you turn back to normal. And I think I tightened my sarashi too much. Ugh, too much pressure on my chest.”

“Hm? Come to think of it, why a sarashi???”

“It is my restraint as a vessel. Plus I’m not an exhibitionist, so I’m not going to walk around in public with my boobs jiggling everywhere. Even an old lady worries about those things, you know?”

Releasing Aoi from her Material form was not a problem. There was no point in continuing the Chain because the ground was littered with defeated enemies. No one was left to fight them, so Kyousuke looked around while Aoi worked at loosening her white sarashi.

“Yahoo. Got things settled there?”

“Lu-san.”

“I’m here too.”

Lu Niang Lan and Aika must have fought off the ordinary firepower while Kyousuke and Aoi were battling the summoners. It was hard to say which was the harder job when a gun was more than enough of a threat to someone without a protective circle. Shiroyama Kyousuke never forgot that even when wielding his special power.

“Um, why is that white cat rubbing up against the white liger? And it seems to be offering her a captured cicada.”

“Oh, the cute little thing is going with a gift strategy?” said Aika. “That is the liger’s new follower. I believe we are witnessing the birth of a true harem.”

“?”

They had settled the Club Resistance problem.

The high school was unscathed.

But the fundamental global chaos remained. The White Queen and Colorless Little Girl’s conflict created massive pressure. Anyone could succumb to that pressure at any time and run amok while shouting “down with the Queen”. There was no division between expert and amateur here.

It had been an outside enemy this time, but what if it was Librarian-chan, Rendou Akiya, or one of the other students next time?

“I need to do something about this,” said Shiroyama Kyousuke.

This was a turning point for the world and it was obvious who he would support when the options were the White Queen and the Colorless Little Girl.

“I will thoroughly crush the White Queen and fully shift the world onto the other set of rails. I will update the entire world from the Third to the Fourth. And I will keep it there. I can’t let her keep getting away with this. It doesn’t really matter whether or not she’s doing it consciously. I will stop that cocoon and stop the Colorless Little Girl’s rampage linked to it. That is my top priority and I will attempt everything necessary to pull it off.”

“I will help. But.”

Aoi breathed an exasperated sigh while Lu Niang Lan and the white liger focused on her. She must have successfully loosened the sarashi a little.

“To be honest, I am not quite sure whether you are acting rationally or are on a rampage of your own. It’s too much to watch, so I think the medicine you need now is to take a look at that school.”

Shiroyama Kyousuke narrowed his eyes a little.

But he did not look back. He replied with his Blood-Sign on his shoulder and his back to that gentle light.

“Not yet.”

“Why not?”

“If I relax here, something will threaten to crush me. Even kindness can be toxic. I can’t afford to collapse yet.”

“You really are a fighter to the core, aren’t you? Okay, fine!! I will see this through to the end, so I hope you are ready. I will not let you screw this up after coming so far!!”

Then the cartoonish doll on the white liger’s back spoke up.

“But what exactly will you do now?”

“Chasing after the White Queen seems like the only option for now.”

“Chase after her?” Lu Niang Lan frowned. “But how? You don’t know where she is.”

Kyousuke sighed before answering.

“I just have to ask myself where she would be. That’s how the Queen and I were made.”

Part 5[edit]

Below the midsummer sun and cumulonimbus clouds was a cylindrical water tank on a school roof.

A normally obedient and unobtrusive girl sat on the very top of it.

“Hm, hm, hmm, hm, hmm☆”

Her name was Umie Shouko.

If history had been just a little different, she would have been the star of a ghost story known as the Rainy Girl, but she had instead grown into a short but feminine high school girl.

“Heyyyy, Onee-chaaaan!”

“?”

While wearing her school swimsuit, she looked down at the voice from below and saw a hand reaching nervously up from the rusty ladder. It was a girl with glasses and a braid. That very librarian-esque girl was Umie Shouko’s younger sister.

But this was summer break and that sister was apparently cutting loose somewhat, just like Shouko was by climbing up onto the water tank (in her swimsuit).

“Oh? Ryouko-chan, were you walking around school dressed like that? Your swimsuit is still wet, so you must have dripped water everywhere. Let’s hope people don’t start spreading rumors of a Wet Girl or something.”

“There was some kind of trouble, so the event was canceled! So let’s get back home, Onee-chan. I’m the lifeguard, so I’ll get in trouble if I leave anyone behind.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. But I think things should be okay now.”

“Actually, what did you climb up this high to see? Aren’t those the bird watching club’s binoculars?”

“Hm, hm, hmm. This is what everyone really wanted to do.”

The older sister (who was shorter but with a sexier figure) hummed at the younger sister’s question.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I was watching my knight in shining armor fight against the world’s tragedies☆”

“???”

Part 6[edit]

That night, the royal plane carrying Sinceria Highland arrived at the international airport in Toy Dream 35’s A Block.

This was Shiroyama Kyousuke’s home ground where he kept his cruiser, but she was not there to see him. She had apparently used a music app or online video to start learning this country’s popular songs because she hummed one of the latest hits while performing some work.

“Hm, hm, hmm, hm, hmm☆”

“What are you doing, mom?”

Olivia sat next to her mother with her two blonde braids, school swimsuit, and decorative collar, but she did not actually sit on the woman’s lap. That made Sinceria a little sad as a mother, but she held out the memo pad she had been writing on with a fountain pen.

“Tah dah! Your mother just listed up all of Kyousuke’s past girls. These are all the vessels that bunny has saved☆”

“……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………”

“Our top priority is saving Kingdom F from the cocoon, so I do not care if this is unfair or underhanded. The quickest shortcut here would be to get Kyousuke on our side! So we will give him our full support. A skilled lawyer or trainer will learn what makes their client tick and provide them with the best possible advice when things are not going well. …Yes, I see your mouth turning into a small triangle out of jealousy, but you reign supreme on this list, Via.”

“But why are you on a list of ‘girls’, mom?”

“Oh, come on. He saved me personally during that civil war as much as he saved you☆”

“Personally!? You mean you’re saying this as a woman!?”

Her daughter tearfully shouted at her, but she ignored it.

This list might be necessary to discover Shiroyama Kyousuke’s roots as a person. Even if he would dodge the questions or was unaware of it himself, the vessels who had accompanied him might be able to tell them more.

Fluffy blonde Sinceria was a skilled vessel herself.

Experience meant more than logic when speculating about things like this.

“But it seems most of the list is concentrated inside Japan.”

“National boundaries are meaningless in the face of love!!”

“Yes, of course. We welcome him to marry into the royal family. Keh heh heh. And then your mother might just borrow him when she is bored.”

It was amusing how Rachel started freaking out over that, so Sinceria left it at that.

However. Since Kyousuke’s activities had mostly occurred in Japan, that meant the White Queen had also been witnessed there most frequently. There was likely some unique trait to that country. It was technologically advanced, its religious views were willing to absorb anything from other religions, and it was part of East Asia yet had a strong Western-style capitalist ideology thanks to America’s influence. And let us not forget about the presence of the Queen’s Miniature Garden.

And one other thing.

(This land has no connection to Nostradamus, but it experienced a major frenzy related to his prophecy in July of 1999.)

Just as Sinceria pondered that in her blue dress, the plane shook violently. That was not too unusual if they ran across some turbulence, but it was in the process of landing. Being tossed about this close to the runaway introduced a serious possibility of crashing and bursting into flames.

Rachel remained standing perfectly straight despite the shaking and she barked a question into the small radio in her ear.

“What happened!?”

“It appears to be a riot! Some rioters managed to break through airport security and have entered the runway!!”

That would be what they had been avoiding by leaving their scheduled path.

But they had descended too far to rapidly ascend once more. Raising the nose might even scrape the tail against the ground. The giant tires just barely avoided the rioters as they forcibly landed off the straight line of the runway. A scream came from the control tower, they cut right past a fueling truck, and they grazed the nose of a passenger plane moving along a different runway, but they still had their momentum. Toy Dream 35 could almost be thought of as a midair city built on the many buildings rising from the ocean, so the international airport was built on the square of land supported by over 100 pillars and it did not have much room to spare. Overrunning the runways would send them tumbling right into the ocean. Just before that happened, they broke through several fairly useless safety nets and came to a stop right next to the edge of the square.

The pilot (who had fewer than 100 Awards) continued to explain.

“I must deeply apologize. If anything has happened to the royal family, I-…”

“Enough formalities. I will apologize to our queen as the commanding bodyguard. What is the situation?”

“According to our sensors, there is no risk of overheating or fires. But we are awfully close to the edge, so please use the rear exit when disembarking. The remains of the safety nets will make it difficult to call a stair truck right away. I recommend using the escape slide.”

“Oh, how fun. I have always wanted to do that at least once.”

“My queen.” The straitlaced glasses knight breathed an exasperated sigh. “If members of our honorable royal family must use emergency measures, whoever is in charge at the airport may feel the need to resign in disgrace. I apologize, but I do recommend you wait on the stair truck to help the airport officials save face.”

“Hmm. Our Kingdom F has vanished from official history, so I really doubt this will cause much in the way of criticism.” Long-eared Sinceria placed a finger on her slender chin. “And, Rachel, this may not be the time to worry about that. As the ruler of the knights, I command you to prepare for battle.”

“?”

“Those rioters seem to be making their way toward us. Looking out the window, it looks like 50 to 100 of them managed to get past airport security. But these are only ordinary people, so do not use the Summoning Ceremony. Stick to your battle hook.”

“If that is your command.”

She did not hesitate. In her silver armor and tight skirt, Rachel put on the face of a warrior. She snapped her fingers to gather the other bodyguards on the plane and then began discussing the actual formation to use.

“Let me be clear,” said Sinceria. “If we are to keep any of the airport workers from being fired, nothing can happen to me here. But if something happens to Via, I will lose control of myself as a mother, as a woman, and as a queen.

“It does not matter where we are. We knights will not allow a scratch on any member of our noble royal family.”

“Well said, Rachel.”

The knights of Kingdom F did not sneak around in the shadows. Even as the rioters approached in their self-made frenzy, the knights threw open the plane’s door as if to greet them.

“Via, excuse me a moment.”

“Wahyah!”

Kingdom F’s royal family had arrived.

The height was equivalent to a 2 or 3 story building, so the makeshift slide was not necessary. Sinceria picked up her young daughter and set foot on the asphalt runway as light as a feather.

“Wow, summer here is so humid.”

“That’s why they have such an advanced swimsuit culture. I’m so jealous everyone here can go to the beach whenever they want.”

While surrounded by veteran knights and standing majestically on the runway, the ruler in a dress viewed something other than the rioters.

She gently sighed and kept the words in her heart.

(I’m surprised. I thought Toy Dream 35 was only Kyousuke’s temporary home, but his roots are located quite nearby.)

Shiroyama Kyousuke had revealed some bits and pieces of information during the war in Kingdom F.

He could not remember his mother or little sister.

The White Queen had apparently erased the data from the world, but that may have been better than if it had been intentionally concealed. This way, there were a few hints remaining.

The rioters were still a short distance away.

But a few of them were spinning something around over their head. They appeared to be towels or belts, but they were being used differently. Someone who used Incense Grenades would have plenty of chances to see “things like that” and Sinceria had experienced that cruel civil war. Did those makeshift slings contain bricks or Molotov cocktails? She did not know what would be thrown with the centrifugal force, but their hostility was clear.

Sinceria shut her eyes and gave an order to protect her daughter more than herself.

“Begin suppression.”

It only took an instant.

Her silver-armored hounds were released like a blowing gale.

Part 7[edit]

Also in Toy Dream 35’s international airport, something was happening inside the ordinary passenger plane the Kingdom F royal plane had just barely grazed.

<Oh, wow. I didn’t expect to run into someone here of all places.>

The ponytailed researcher named Shigara Masami sank down extra far in her business class seat so there was no chance of seeing her through the window. If she was here, then two other VIPs had to be here as well.

“Urp. Why does Shigara reek of alcohol?”

“You can blame that on the in-flight all-you-can-drink service. But why do they have these lost Japanese whiskies like a Hamazaki 12 year and a Hakuzu 18 year? Anyway, she is working off her frustration at them stopping her from bringing her own drinks with her.”

Biondetta Shiroyama.

And the White Queen.

The rioters pouring into the runways were ordinary people, but they would not show up here for no reason. The world was unaware of the Summoning Ceremony, but they were still being subconsciously crushed by the pressure of the White Queen and Colorless Little Girl. There may have been so many rioters here because some half-formed sixth-sense had informed them of the Queen’s presence nearby.

If the Colorless Little Girl broke loose after storing up power in response to the cocoon, the world would end. It was no surprise that the people with more sensitivity to such things would break first.

“Down with the Queen, is it?”

The silver twintail girl repeated their words while looking out the window and rubbing together the thighs sticking out from the bottom of her short casual dress.

Yes, if they just wanted a quick resolution so they could escape the pressure, it made sense for those ordinary rioters to attack the White Queen, who was the weaker of those two powerful beings. Just like a gas pipe rupturing at its weakest point. Of course, they could only attempt something so reckless because they were unaware what they were doing.

Even a weakened dinosaur was still a dinosaur.

It was obvious what would happen to the fool who thought they had a chance just because it was lying down on the ground.

Biondetta (who wore her chest-accentuating waitress uniform even on the plane) shrugged.

“Honestly, I say just let the rioters and knights do their thing. If we do much of anything around here, Kyousuke is going to find about it somehow or another. This is Toy Dream 35, so we’re already on his home turf.”

<It would be bad to run into him now. Especially if we had attacked some vessels he once protected. He would probably mistake it for some strange cruelty by the White Queen.>

Shigara Masami chuckled at the thought, but the White Queen’s bare shoulders jumped a bit. Biondetta found it unusual for the Queen to be shaken – in other words, to appear hurt – by the words of someone other than Kyousuke. The dangerous part was how she might just summon a downpour of spears if someone mentioned a delay due to weather.

<What should we do?>

“Let’s find a way to slip out of here.”

They viewed this differently than the pure and innocent Kingdom F knights. As a demon, Biondetta was skilled in using bluffs, tricks, and detours to grant people’s wishes.

Luckily, an announcement told them the plane had decided to have the nearly 300 passengers disembark immediately. It might seem odd to send them outside where the rioters were, but airplanes were built to be light and so their hulls were surprisingly flimsy. Large passenger planes had their engines exposed and the fuel tanks were located on the thin main wing. The flight crew feared the worst if the rioters surrounded them and trapped everyone inside. An explosion was not out of the question.

“This way.”

But with her tail flipping behind her, Biondetta did not guide the other two toward the plastic escape slide the other passengers were using. Instead, they used the confusion to slip into the off-limits cargo area. One reason for this was to retrieve her silver Blood-Sign (“How careless of them to overlook that I can use it as a gun!”) and her animal vessel which was being handled as a pet. The second reason was…

“Where is it? Oh, found it. This is the wheel storage space!”

This was the place that Hollywood liked to use and that had had led to much debate: “You could sneak into the plane through there.” “No, you’d be caught in the gears and killed if you tried.” “No, no. You could totally do it.” “The hell you could!” “Oh, you wanna fight!?” At the moment, the wheels were out and the plane was stopped on the runway, so the storage space’s door was open. Biondetta, Shigara Masami, and the White Queen used the thick shaft to climb down onto the runway separate from the ordinary passengers.

<Be careful, Queen.>

“Hm? I really don’t think anything could harm me.”

<Not that. I can see right up your dress!>

The cicadas were crying, but this was not the time to enjoy the summer atmosphere. At an airport, the cicadas could easily get sucked into an engine and cause problems.

There was a good reason for moving away from the other passengers.

“That fear and chaos is infectious. The passengers were separated from it by the plane’s hull, but now that they share the same space as the rioters, they might be infected and join in.”

<Thanks for the explanation. But I really wish you had paid more attention to our surroundings.>

“Yes, I see them.”

Just as the white dress and bare legged White Queen said that, some silhouettes stepped out from behind the passenger plane’s giant tire. More and more of them appeared as if they were duplicating.

They formed groups of two.

And one member of each group held a skinny stick measuring 150-200cm long.

Shigara Masami sighed in her suit and lab coat.

<What do you think?>

“All but one pair is a bluff. They’re probably extras hired with some money. But guinea pigs know the risks when they agree to participate in the experiment.”

Summoners and vessels with a certain number of Awards would disappear from the memories and awareness of normal people when outside their line of sight, but contact could be maintained as long as they remained in that line of sight. And from the moment the battle began to the moment they were literally killed instantly, they would have no clue what kind of world this was. Biondetta herself had used a gadget known as Girl’s Backdoor to mess with Kyousuke.

Because they all acted at once, their opponent could not tell who the real summoner was.

If they were using a bluff like that, this summoner would be the quick-attack variety that ended the battle with their first strike. That meant a battle between the lowest level of Regulation-class, but if that was enough, that was enough. And that meant they would have trouble with a longer battle.

Biondetta shook her waitress uniform’s miniskirt and unfolded her collapsible Blood-Sign she had retrieved from the cargo space.

“In Toy Dream 35, there was someone from Illegal who sounded like an expert in this sort of thing. Illegal Award 891, Puppet✟Theatre✟Crime✟Device.”

Down with the Queen.

Was this a summoner and vessel who had succumbed to the pressure despite understanding the Blood-Sign System?

The rogue summoner was a lot like a lunatic being controlled by the extraterrestrial signal beaming into their brain.

The White Queen rubbed her index finger against her temple.

“The panic has reached a puppeteer too? I kind of feel sorry for the poor people drawn in by money without anyone explaining the danger.”

“Queen, the incidents caused by you and your worshipers were a lot like that.”

All of them used identical movements to pull out some kind of round sphere. Needless to say, these were Incense Grenades. Upon seeing them, Biondetta clicked her tongue and the White Queen frowned slightly. A fight here was fine, but opening an Artificial Sacred Ground and summoning a Material would draw the attention of the Kingdom F knights fighting on the runway. And it would all fall apart from there.

The White Queen sighed once.

She tugged down on the bottom of her casual dress which was shorter than she had thought.

She did not swell out with muscles or anything, but the pressure grew enough to make people imagine something was growing from her slender body. Even lying down, she was still the Queen. In fact, she could not afford to hold back at the moment. Whether to indicate that simple fact or not, she tilted her head and thought for a moment, so Shigara Masami reached out a hand to stop her.

<Don’t worry.>

The ponytail woman smiled.

And then something happened.

There was a deafening boom and then a single person was blown back from the crowd of people.

But not from one of Biondetta’s bullets.

When the lab coat researcher flicked “something” with her thumb, it flew forward with the force of a gunshot, hit her target right in the forehead, and gave them a concussion. Once the precariousness of their situation finally dawned on them, the many extras scattered and fled. The woman had apparently been correct, but despite Biondetta’s expertise in trickery, she had no idea how the woman had figured out which one was the real summoner.

The waitress demon had only figured out what had happened after seeing them lying on the runway.

It was a sunflower seed.

This was not even a part of the Blood-Sign Summoning Ceremony. But the idea of ending the battle before summoning a troublesome Material seemed like the foundation and origin point of Kyousuke and Biondetta’s fighting styles.

<Illegal Award 891. Well, you probably could have made a fair amount of money in a more peaceful era.>

Shigara Masami winked while she took some food from a small container and gave it to the small squirrel-like animal that crawled out from the neck of her lab coat.

<But unfortunately, I am Freedom Award 3000. If you want to challenge me in the Summoning Ceremony, at least reach the same number of digits first☆>

Part 8[edit]

On the border of Eastern Europe’s Kingdom F, there was a never-ending and very ominous sound of something thick being bent. This may have been what someone would hear if they could directly witness a continental plate being bent.

“It’s incredible seeing it for myself.”

A researcher in glasses and a lab coat sat inside a large transport helicopter slowly circling the site of the cocoon.

Her name was Maria Heartocean.

She was technically a Government summoner, but her specialization was actually in developing the largescale devices known as Boxes. There was of course only one reason she had been called here.

“It appears to have a diameter of about 7km at the moment.”

They could no longer fly directly above the cocoon.

7km was passing the max altitude for the transport helicopter.

Kingdom F had always been a natural fortress surrounded by mountains on all sides. From this vantage point, it looked something like someone had stuck some medieval European cities in a giant crater. But one side of that was being gradually crushed by the cocoon. At this rate, the entire crater would be obliterated.

(But we can’t wait that long anyway.)

The cocoon was the White Queen’s battle costume, but it still had a limit. It looked stable at the moment, but that was only because the battle costume’s incredible defensive power was containing the massive amount of energy inside. But what would happen once the dam cracked? In the worst case, this could form a black hole that would swallow up the entire solar system.

“Where should we begin?”

(Of course, I was really sent here to make sure no one tries anything rash.)

She did not even try to hide her exasperation when she saw the other staff members growing over-excited with an odd sense of justice.

There was only so much they could do.

It really came down to extending the time limit as much as possible. That and helping restrain those with weaker wills. For the people who were itching to take action, being told to wait would only make the pressure harder to bear. They knew this was doomed to fail, so they would want to trigger that failure themselves so they could watch the world go up in flames. The wannabe heroes would never admit it themselves, but that was the truth of the matter.

Maria knew exactly who really stood in the spotlight, so she breathed a gentle sigh.

(If I mentioned that name, the world police would probably move out in full force to arrest him. And I hear he did fight back against Government right around here.)

Part 9[edit]

Surrounded by a rhythmic shaking, Shrine Maiden Meinokawa Aoi spoke loudly as if to break through the stagnant air of that lazy midday.

“Yawn, so we’re finally on the move.”

After holing up in the cruiser for so long, Kyousuke had pinned a bunch of documents to the wall of the cabin. He had attached all sorts of colorful strings and pins to each one, viewed the entire arrangement over and over, and worked to desperately figure something out. He had gone without any sleep. Once his engine had been fired up, there was no stopping him. That was just the way he was.

And this appeared to be the result it had led him to.

The seats were made to swivel and move depending on how crowded the train was. At the moment, the two-person seats lined either side of the car like in a bullet train. Aoi had taken the window seat and she kicked her feet in a childish way that looked out of place on a shrine maiden with a white sarashi tight around her chest.

“It’s not a real train trip without a bento! And not some bread or a sandwich. A train bento has got to have rice!!”

“I have to admit I didn’t expect the world’s oldest Joruri Method to get fired up over trains.”

“Hm? I welcome all new and unusual experiences.”

Aoi gave him a puzzled look with the ends of her chopsticks still rudely in her mouth. She may have been saying this was not limited to trains and she would enjoy just about anything since she lived in a cave no one ever visited. She must have noticed the tightness only after swallowing the food because she belatedly reached into the chest of her shrine maiden outfit and loosened the sarashi a bit.

“Although having the window open would have perfected the authentic train experience.”

“The A/C is good enough.”

“But the authenticity!!”

Their destination was much closer than Aoi’s hometown of Houbi Village which required taking the high-speed Ultraloop and several regional trains. Just the one rapid train was enough. The bento that Aoi so treasured had been bought at the large station at Toy Dream 35. It was a normal seaweed bento with some fried fish and chikuwa tempura, which was not particularly rural, but Aoi did not care as long as it felt right. Perhaps eating it with someone mattered more than the bento itself.

“So we’re searching out your past, are we?”

“The White Queen is obsessed with me and only me. She ignored me over the past two weeks when she could have attacked and killed me at any time. That means she has no business with me in the present.”

“So she has business with your past?”

“Assuming it isn’t my future,” spat out Kyousuke. “If we can trust the Government information from Aika and Illegal information from Lu-san, then there are no signs of movement at the remains of the Queen’s Miniature Garden. Based on that, we can guess she is digging even deeper into my past. That means the part of my past that was erased from this world by her.”

He paused there.

This was about his own roots.

But he still resumed speaking.

“I’ve never actually gone back there. I never had a reason to.”

“…”

He had no hometown. No, he had not needed one.

How did that sound to Aoi who had been kept deep behind Houbi Village’s Meinokawa Shrine as an object of worship, even if she did find that fact irritating at times.

The train rushed right past an intervening station.

The angry shouting and yelling of a large group passed by with the distortion of the Doppler Effect.

“Down with the Queen, hm?” said Aoi. “It’s the same no matter where we go. What a waste of a summer break.”

“Train stations are always crowded.” Kyousuke did not seem interested in that. “Stopping the Colorless Little Girl requires stopping the cocoon’s expansion and that requires defeating the White Queen. So it’s simple. We just have to return to the starting point.”

Those people were being manipulated by the words, but they made no sign of approaching the meaning behind those words. Meinokawa Aoi looked just like the White Queen, but no rioters rushed at her while she ate her bento by the window. They talked about the Queen, but they had no idea who the Queen was.

A small group of high school girls was gathered near the car’s door. They were all viewing the same phone and they seemed to be watching a video. Kyousuke could hear the strange melody of the Down With the Queen Dance that used an odd fusion of styles to create a summery sound.

Meinokawa Aoi looked around in annoyance while drinking from a small bottle of tea.

“So what are these roots of yours, boy?”

“Not even I know the whole story,” he admitted. “It goes back to Doctor S. You must have seen him at Houbi Village. You would have been attacked first.”

“You mean that cruel researcher with the oxygen mask?”

She looked annoyed in a different way now, so Kyousuke smiled bitterly.

Outside perspectives could sometimes be almost too accurate.

“He was apparently a fairly well-known researcher in the field of the Blood-Sign Summoning Ceremony. As a researcher, he would probably have been ranked similarly to Shigara Masami if not a little higher. In July of 1999, he was part of the research group that first successfully summoned and measured the White Queen with real data. So without him, this world would not be overflowing with Materials like the White Queen. The residents of the other world would remain in that world.”

“You’re running through this pretty quickly, but doesn’t that make him one hell of a monster!?”

“He was only one step along the way. There’s no point in acting shocked when he’s already been defeated.”

Meinokawa Aoi had been designed several centuries ago to look just like the White Queen.

Yet Doctor S’s group had been the first in the world to contact her in 1999.

It might seem that did not add up, but there were two theories for how it could work out. The first was that, before anyone had clearly opened that “door” to contact her, there had been humans who had received inspiration from the other world through channeling and other occult means. The second was that all of history had been rewritten (just like for Kingdom F) at the moment Doctor S had contacted the White Queen.

There was no objective way of proving it one way or the other.

With the exception of an extreme singularity like the White Queen, only someone who had been expelled from history could view it from an outside perspective.

For example, the person who had freed herself from the title of the Rainy Girl.

“Doctor S managed to partially contact the White Queen, but he could not precisely control her. And the formulas for the Blood-Sign Summoning Ceremony had already been established, so further messing with them was bound to cause it all to collapse. So what was he working toward? It’s simple. He wanted to strengthen us humans so we could use the Summoning Ceremony.”

“…”

“It’s like finding a flaw an airplane’s design that prevents it from flying, but then giving it a much more powerful engine to forcibly launch it into the sky. Reckless is the only word for it. That’s why summoners these days still can’t control the White Queen. Not that that means Doctor S has given up on the white he feels is just out of reach.”

That was how unstable the world was.

It had been launched into the air with no thought given to landing.

It was desperately keeping itself airborne while unable to stop flaws from cropping up.

“Come to think of it, you mentioned something about your past I didn’t understand back when you were lying around in your cruiser,” said Aoi. “Something about trying to build an elite summoner in an ordinary home.”

“Not even I know the specifics since I can’t even remember what my own family members looked like.” Kyousuke breathed a heavy sigh. “I imagine it started out as a perfectly sterile lab much like the Queen’s Miniature Garden.”

He gave his thoughts on the matter.

“I don’t know if the first specimen was a success on the skills front, but at the very least, they must not have reached the point of being practical. A sterile lab is too twisted a location, so if a monster raised there was released outside, I doubt they could bear the various stresses of the real world. Focus is everything in the Summoning Ceremony, so noise, smells, people’s eyes, insults, and plenty of other things can distract you. The protective circle might keep out germs and air pollution since they distance the summoner from all causes of death, but that means non-deadly stressors will pass right through it. My guess is that first one ended up self-destructing. The stress of being fired on by a cannon can damage the heart or stomach even if the actual shell doesn’t hit.”

“And then?”

“Whether it was a success or failure, he would have established some kind of methodology. So the next step for Doctor S to overcome was applying stress to his guinea pig to bring them to a practical level. So instead of an ideal sterile environment, he would have tried using a lab with an intentionally inferior environment. You can think of it like taking an assault rifle constructed in a military lab and seeing if it can be produced in regional factories.”

An ordinary home.

Perfectly normal household items.

Doctor S had reproduced the lab work there. It was simple enough to say, but it was a lot like adding a special program to a juicer or food processor to use it as a centrifuge for enriching uranium. Because it used perfectly normal things, finding a successful methodology and spreading it around the world would have prevented anyone from monitoring its spread. Government, Illegal, and Freedom would be powerless in the face of a threat like that. It went without saying what would happen if summoners on Kyousuke’s level started popping up all around the world.

Of course, Doctor S had not cared at all about the balance of the world.

He had helped create the Blood-Sign Summoning Ceremony, so no one could tell him how to use it. He was not going to listen to those major powers who had shown up later on, started using the techniques he developed, and took on the title of managers.

Aoi’s hunger must have been fading because she held her chopsticks more elegantly than before. The chopsticks hovered over her bento without actually grabbing anything.

“But that collapse never happened,” she pointed out.

“It’s simple.”

There was no naïve optimism in his words.

His constant failures and losses may have all been a result of the White Queen.

What kind of life would you live if you constantly challenged someone who would always win? Nothing could be more obvious. But he had never given up and that was how he had lived a life no one else could emulate. He was not some spoiled brat who was simply satisfied with the title of strongest.

“Doctor S still failed to control her. He underestimated his experiment with the Queen and it all fell apart. Just like someone who blows themselves up with the nuclear material they enriched. Or maybe I should put it like this: the specimens that Doctor S hoped would act as a safety device were utter failures.”

“You need not look down on yourself like that.”

Aoi reflexively rejected that assessment, but then she realized something.

She frowned and asked about it.

“Specimens?”

“Yes,” readily admitted Shiroyama Kyousuke. “He may have had difficulty getting public funding and equipment after the spectacular failure in the sterile lab. Or maybe succeeding without any kind of public support was how he thought he could prove the methodology could be reproduced by anyone. At any rate, he intended to use up all of his children in that experiment. Thus, specimens. I never said I was his only child, did I?”

“Well, no. But still…”

“Remember who I said I couldn’t remember? And this is more than just amnesia. My guess is the White Queen caused too much damage to the world itself.”

He paused for a beat.

And then he said it.

“I had a little sister.”

Part 10[edit]

Meinokawa Aoi felt short of breath despite not having to breathe.

She was made to look just like the White Queen. She could follow the Queen’s thoughts and logic as far as was necessary to play that role.

And with that in mind, what word did the White Queen always use when referring to Kyousuke?

Brother.

In hindsight, that made no sense. Everyone had given it a pass because no one expected to understand a superior being like the White Queen. But, but, but. Didn’t that word hold crucially important meaning in the context of what Kyousuke had just said?

“…”

“W-wait, boy.”

She spoke as carefully as someone holding unexploded ordnance.

Kyousuke fell silent with a troubled look on his face, but then he looked to the side.

And a moment later, he hugged Meinokawa Aoi like she was a stuffed animal.

“Fwah?”

It was so unexpected her mind simply went blank.

Heat gradually filled the core of her mind and then her entire face grew pink.

Not even tightening the sarashi could have stopped the pounding of her heart.

“Fwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!???”

She just about dropped her bento.

Good news: The granny could still act like a young girl.

“Wait just a second, boy! What is the meaning of this!? Are you homesick!? Why did you invite me on this train trip!? Now that I think about it, why did I ever agree to that? There must be something wrong with my defenses to just agree to a trip alone with a young boy!”

But.

While Aoi blushed and stammered, Kyousuke’s heartrate remained normal while he squeezed and relaxed his arms as if checking on something.

He was still holding her in his arms, but he spoke like he was checking on the contents of a test tube.

Was it just my imagination?

Part 11[edit]

And.

A bit back from Kyousuke and Aoi’s seat, someone sat in a different seat rather than summoning a dragon or rivaling a stealth fighter.

She wore a short casual dress, her legs were bare, and she had silver twintails.

“………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………”

<Calm down, Queen. You mustn’t let him provoke you!!>

“This is your journey to learn what it means to be human, remember? Try not to ruin it with some impulsive act.”

The ponytail researcher and the waitress demon desperately stopped her while seated on either side of her. The end result was similar to how Kyousuke was clinging to Aoi. They were all pressed together.

And being shaken and touched like that may have been why a resentful voice escaped the White Queen’s lovely lips. The struggle had caused her dress to ride dangerously high up on her thighs.

Her Majesty spoke with a tilted head and eyes like a dead fish.

“(But it makes no sense. No sense at all. Flirting with another girl deserves countless deaths, but Meinokawa Aoi was designed to look just like me. She might as well be me as far as appearance is concerned, but look at brother. He keeps rejecting me, so why is he all over that fake?)”

<Uh, oh. I guess such a deeply-held obsession can’t be fixed in just a few days!>

However, the White Queen was fairly calm if you ignored the silver twintails wriggling like snakes. Normally, she very well might have summoned a dragon or rivaled a stealth fighter to chase him down.

But the Queen was showing restraint.

That was notable in and of itself.

<Still, this is pretty unbelievable. Does this mean great minds think alike?>

“Well, he is my brother.”

<Yes, he is Kyousuke-kun.>

Kyousuke had to have noticed the cocoon and the Colorless Little Girl.

And they knew where his thoughts would turn then.

If the cocoon was the battle costume, then it could be dealt with by killing the White Queen that acted as its core.

Kyousuke and the Queen.

Which one would save the world?

Things remained relatively peaceful, but this had caught Shigara Masami entirely by surprise. She was not familiar with Doctor S’s research. The nightmarish experiment that had transformed young Shiroyama Kyousuke into a precision-guided missile was wrapped in mystery, but this just threw another bombshell into the mix.

A little sister.

The scrunchie ponytail researcher thought about the girl in her arms.

The entire Unexplored-class was meant to restrain the White Queen. They had failed in that role, but it was said they were all female in order to match their target as much as possible.

But why did the White Queen have a form so similar to a human?

<…>

Shigara Masami’s personality prevented her from getting hung up on some unexpected turn of events. She was Freedom Award 3000. She had gained that title as a result of seeking freedom at every turn, so she was not fixated on the pre-established harmony. If you did not celebrate the unexpected as a part of freedom, you could not reach her level.

“What we must do remains the same,” whispered the White Queen in the two women’s arms. “Either way, if I do not accept your presence and words, the cocoon will continue to grow until it reaches the 10km point and triggers a supernova-level explosion. And if the Colorless Little Girl releases her power to combat that, this planet and both worlds will be at risk. If I am to conclude that your interference was best for my and my brother’s future, I must first see where he came from. That has not changed.”

<You mean?>

“Yes, of course.”

Even at times like this, she was still the White Queen.

She accepted the risks in a different way than Freedom.

“Let us continue this journey while staying just out of sight. If we do run across each other, I expect it will all fall apart, control of the cocoon will be entirely lost, and the Colorless Little Girl will break down, sending the world straight to its doom.”

<…>

“In the end.”

She slowly let out a breath and sank down into her seat.

She sadly rubbed her thighs together while whispering her thoughts.

“No matter what I do, I may be nothing but a threat to my brother. Even if I simply exist nearby.”

Sinceria Report 03[edit]

By the way, Sinceria and Olivia were not on the same train as the others. Kingdom F’s royal family still had something to do in Toy Dream 35.

“Shiroyama Kyousuke?”

“Yes.”

Sinceria smiled as she answered a brown-skinned girl with short silver hair. The girl seemed a little too skinny and she only had bandages and golden decorations to cover her nudity. She and Sinceria were both leaders, but she was dressed very differently from Sinceria’s blue dress and crown.

Her name was Sekurtiti.

She was the Tomb Priestess who led a group of tomb keepers with a connection to Egyptian Mythology.

However, she was not enclosed in a pyramid full of mysterious traps. This was a floor of a skyscraper rising from the ocean in Toy Dream 35. It looked like a cross between an apartment and an office, so it had an industrial air conditioner and a water cooler. Also, everyone there had mobile phones.

Ever since being invited inside, Olivia had been looking curiously around. What was she thinking while viewing the pamphlet for a museum’s Egyptian Mythology exhibit or a computer displaying a 3D pyramid created using VR mapping?

Sekurtiti’s group saw the location of the pharaoh’s slumber as the home of the tomb keepers, so they were not insistent on a traditional look. Their priority was ensuring their culture and civilization did not die out. That was why it was so important for them to maintain a relationship with a global entertainment company like Toy Dream.

Their brown leader wrinkled her beautiful brow.

She looked troubled.

“My feelings are complicated. It was thanks to his assistance that we confirmed the location of President Toydream’s Founder’s Gallery and were blessed with an opportunity to learn of its true meaning. But at the same time, the later events led to President Toydream’s downfall. I do not know how directly Shiroyama Kyousuke was involved in that, but it would not have happened without his actions. Although you may not care much about our reasons when Kingdom F was the one being attacked.”

Sekurtiti was aware Toy Dream had spread the Blue Film as a way of pushing the world’s largest army into a war that would have destroyed Kingdom F. That had needed to be stopped. She knew that intellectually, but people’s hearts were not always so understanding.

There were personal feelings between Sekurtiti and Shiroyama Kyousuke.

But her connection to Former President Toydream was related to her duty as a tomb keeper to preserve the pharaoh’s mummy and possessions.

“In that sense…”

The bandaged girl thought for a bit and then responded.

“I think Shiroyama Kyousuke is a summoner who acts on personal emotion rather than the fate of the world or the future of the human race. But in addition to that, I suppose you would say he has a strong enough will to do what must be done. He places great weight on personal emotion, but he does not let it compromise him. He would not hold back even if a familiar face turned out to be an enemy.”

“I see.”

It was true he had fought against old friends a few times before. Like Biondetta and Claude from his days in the Queen’s Miniature Garden or like Sinceria’s own daughter, Olivia.

Kyousuke truly wanted to fight the White Queen. He felt no hesitation there. Just like a good lawyer or trainer, Sinceria wanted to understand his weaknesses and flaws so she could give him the best possible advice.

So there was one thing that bothered her: that woman with a long black ponytail and a lab coat worn over a tight skirt suit. She had been a researcher at the Queen’s Miniature Garden and, according to Sinceria’s daughter, was actually a monster of a summoner at Freedom Award 3000.

“What if?”

“?”

“What if Kyousuke’s teacher – someone he sees as a second mother – were to become his enemy? Could you say the same thing about him then?”

“I see it the other way around.” Sekurtiti’s response was not what long-eared Sinceria had expected. “I was in contact with him for a far shorter time than you, but I believe the time that began with Azalea and ended with Elvast was densely packed. That is why you came here to speak with me. I apologize if I sound conceited, but you are not looking at his true foundation. He is not an onion where you can hesitantly peel back layer after layer to find the beauty at the center. In fact, I would say the hostility is what lies at the very core.”

“What do you mean?”

“The closer someone is to him, the more fiercely his hatred and fighting spirit burn when they betray him. Isn’t that the kind of person he is?”

“The closer they are…the more he hates them?”

Sinceria gasped as she groaned the words.

She would be lying if she said the signs were not there. She knew fairly certainly that he detested Doctor S who had remade him into a precision-guided missile. At the very least, he was not fond of the man. Olivia had told her how merciless he had been when fighting in Houbi Village.

Sekurtiti nodded.

“If someone is directly linked to his past, he views them as a powerful enemy. If they have little to do with his past, he views them more lightly. For example, he took a lighter view of the Queen worshipers like Azalea and The Saint, but he took a much harsher view of Biondetta, Lu Niang Lan, and Claude who I believe have spent much more time with him. At the very least, he saw them as someone who could speak the same language as him concerning a certain individual.”

And what lay at the center of Shiroyama Kyousuke’s past?

What was at the core of it all?

“The White Queen.”

It was not Doctor S.

Brown Sekurtiti immediately pointed to someone greater than his father.

“That greater being has to have spent more time with him than any of us. Whether he wanted it or not, she has made him who he is. The closer a summoner or vessel is to her, the greater a threat he views them as. Government Award 1000, Elvast Toydream, who could summon her with 100% accuracy, is a good example. He has almost nothing in common with Shiroyama Kyousuke’s past as far as I know, but his close connection to the White Queen must have made him look like the greatest of threats.”

Of course, once the White Queen appeared on the field, it was obvious what Shiroyama Kyousuke would prioritize.

Because they had so much in common, he could not allow it.

Because of their close relationship, he could not ignore it.

(Shigara Masami.)

Sinceria gathered her thoughts while gulping and toying with her locket to calm herself.

She did not let anything show on her face because she knew she was a leader just like Sekurtiti. But if not for that, her face would have been tense with fear.

The cocoon came from the White Queen and the Colorless Little Girl came from Shiroyama Kyousuke.

If those two peaks clashed to truly destroy each other, no one could predict what would happen. He had always acted within the framework of “resolving some kind of incident”. That was likely his compromise with humanity. But now the White Queen and Shigara Masami, who he had trusted all this time, were his enemies. If he let loose and stopped worrying about the consequences, the resulting disaster might be greater than the easily-predictable doom from the cocoon.

The most dangerous element was the Colorless Little Girl.

But Shiroyama Kyousuke would likely reach for the unstable Little Girl if he needed to.

If a complete stranger reached for the White Queen, that would be no different from the other worshipers.

But this was different.

Shigara Masami’s presence had torn into his heart from a different direction than the White Queen or Doctor S.

And what complications would that result in?

(You seem to think you are a problem-solving counselor, but do you really understand what is happening here? That might be Pandora’s Box you hold in your hands.)

Facts[edit]

  • Materials generally make destructive actions as masses of pure fighting instincts, but under certain special circumstances, they can fall into fear or a panic. They will avoid fighting when that happens, so the usual calculations using Cost and Sound Range go out the window. Discussing Divine-classes from the same mythology (like Odin and Fenrir) is simple enough, but caution is needed when crossing mythological boundaries, such as between Norse and Greek. Also, the White Queen causes some level of fear and panic in all Materials except for the Colorless Little Girl.
  • Kyousuke triggered this panic with the meaningless action of detonating a new Incense Grenade with an Artificial Sacred Ground already open, but that will not necessarily work every time. It is a complicated issue involving the type and condition of the individual Material as well as the surrounding environment.
  • Shiroyama Kyousuke and his little sister were the second generation of precision-guided missiles developed by Doctor S. The first generation was presumably created in a sterile lab and could not bear the ordinary stresses of the outside world, so the second generation was created in an intentionally inferior environment.


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