Toaru Majutsu no Index:Crossover Prologue
[Series Introduction 01]
A Certain Magical Index
In a world split between a science side and a magic side, the fight over Index, a nun who has memorized 103,000 grimoires, begins for a normal high school boy named Kamijou Touma!
When Kamijou Touma thought back, he realized that day had been awful from the very beginning.
For some strange reason, the high school boy named Kamijou Touma lived in a one-room student dorm with a silver-haired, green-eyed nun. He normally slept in the locked bathroom. After wiping all moisture from the bathtub, he would grab a blanket and sleep inside it, but on this day, he was visited by misfortune from the moment he woke.
To get right to the point, it went something like this.
“Ehhhhhhhhhh!? Wh-why is the toilet acting like a park fountain!?”
As soon as he opened his eyes, he was reminded in the worst possible way that Japan was a country of plentiful water.
He pulled out the tool box he rarely used, but he had no idea where to even begin. He decided to start by removing the lid of the boxy tank and peering inside.
“What even caused this? It was working just fine yesterday.”
He had no clue what to do or even what it was normally supposed to look like.
He was so confused that he gave up and threw back his head to look upwards.
Even at a time like this, the blue sky was perfectly clear and refreshing.
He felt about ready to destroy the world, but he realized something was not quite right.
The blue sky?
He froze in place and hesitantly checked on his surroundings.
He found he was no longer in his dorm bathroom. Above, he saw the vast blue sky. Below, he saw a polished wood floor like that of a gym. The concept of walls did not apply here. He could see to the horizon for the full 180 degrees ahead of him. When he turned around, he finally saw what looked like neatly shaped mountains. He was not sure whether to call them triangles, rice balls, or pyramids. They were the only visible objects in this “world”, but even they were two or three kilometers away.
The scenery was so simplistic that he was filled with an overwhelming sense of scale that left normal reality behind. A gentle breeze carried only the scent of the ocean. That scent alone allowed Kamijou to keep his mind from floating away.
Where was he?
How had he ended up here?
When had he wandered into this strange world?
He threw aside all those legitimate questions and let out a shout.
“Waaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttt!!!??? I can’t just leave the toilet like that!! Take me back!! If it floods the floor below, they’ll be really mad!! If it causes enough of a scene, it might even end up on the news sites!!”
He needed to hurry.
Every second mattered.
He did not know what kind of secrets this place held, but he had to hurry back to his dorm. He had to do whatever it took to ensure that.
(There are a few different problems. For example, the area I have to search is extremely large and yet there are almost no landmarks. I can search around if I want, but it won’t be easy getting back here or figuring out where I first appeared.)
He switched to a new train of thought. He worked through each issue, one at a time.
He did not know how, but it was possible his starting point had some special meaning compared to any other coordinate. To make sure he could return at any time, he needed to make a mark on the ground…or was it the floor?
Fortunately, the ground was polished wood, just like in a gym.
It hurt his thumbnail a little, but he was able to scratch an X into it without much difficulty.
(There, now I can move from here. But what am I supposed to search for in this giant floor of a world? Some strange machine? A person? And would they be someone who was here from the beginning or someone who appeared here from somewhere else like me?)
He had only seen a few perfectly triangular mountains when looking around earlier, but he could not help but look around again and again. It may have been a lot like someone searching for an oasis in the desert.
And he was careless.
He had appeared here “suddenly”, so he should have considered the possibility of someone else appearing here “suddenly”.
First, he spotted Index changing quite close by.
And second, he saw Misaka Mikoto watching the two of them from a short distance away.
“Are you kidding me?”
The air grew heavy at an accelerated rate while Kamijou muttered to himself.
He then gave a yell.
“Are you kidding me!? Really, are you kidding me!? From a probability perspective, this is just cruel! Isn’t this a lot like playing Russian roulette ten times in a row and blowing your brains out on the first shot each time!? I don’t care if this is a sudden overseas location shoot for a young comedian or if I’ve been summoned to another world, but at least go through the proper steps for that kind of thing!!”
Kamijou pleaded his case against this unreasonable world, but it fell on two pairs of deaf ears.
The girls spoke with horribly, horribly cold eyes.
“Touma, there are only two options for you now: a really, really long lecture or a chomp that puts you beyond recovery in one go.”
“There really are those true idiots who have the ridiculous ability to stop time or change the world, but only ever think to use it to flip up girls’ skirts.”
Kamijou stared blankly into the distance.
But then he realized he really would die if he tried to escape reality here.
“I don’t think you should do this! That really would be overkill!! Wait! A single boke deserves a single tsukkomi! If you both do it at once, I’ll be destroyed!! W-wait, you idiot!! Don’t start preparing your Railgun like it’s nothing!!”
His appeal was rejected.
The two girls began a nasty combination play in which Mikoto fired her arcade coin in the instant Index latched her jaws onto Kamijou’s right hand.
But just before they did so, an even greater impact shook the entire floor of that world.
The entire earth felt like it was going to capsize like a boat. Kamijou and Index rolled along the ground together, the boy’s face ended up pressed against the nun’s chest, and the young lady who saw it kicked the spiky soccer ball that was his head. Meanwhile, something else happened.
It began with a low rumble.
It sounded like thick thunder clouds approaching from the distance.
“What is that?” groaned Kamijou as he rolled along with Index.
It was a metal sphere measuring fifty meters across. Its entire surface was packed full of the kind of cannons found on a warship. Especially impressive were the seven main cannons attached to the seven arms extending from its back. They had reached a point where they looked more like towers or bridges than cannons.
It had an upside-down Y-shaped propulsion device at the bottom, but it did not seem to use tires or treads. It was floating, even if just a bit. It was either using an air cushion or static electricity. A ridiculous level of technology had gone into it and that technology had clearly been used solely to make it more deadly. It looked like an entire war packed into a single spot or a crystallization of every negative piece of human technology.
Like a game of air hockey, the mountain of metal slid freely along the polished wooden ground without damaging it. The sight blasted all sense of reality from Kamijou’s mind.
Misaka Mikoto rubbed her leather shoe against his pointy head and spoke in utter shock.
“That wasn’t there before, was it? Something that huge would stand out as much as a domed stadium. We would’ve seen it if it had been there.”
“It must have suddenly appeared just like us.”
That “synonym for war” was firing its many cannons. Each time, a great tremor ran through the earth and knocked the three of them around even though it was not directly targeting them.
But if it was firing, it had to have a target.
That monster was fighting.
But with what?
Quenser Barbotage and Heivia Winchell were known as delinquent soldiers and the pair had just slammed their radios to their feet.
“Dammit!! All of a sudden, the radio won’t connect! And where are we anyway!? There’s a blue sky above but wooden flooring below? Did we wander into some messed-up artist’s painting!?”
“Let’s just pray this isn’t some stupid near-death experience after being blown away by a stray Object shell. Besides!! What is that that’s picked a fight with the Princess!? Is it some biological weapon the Faith Organization developed!?”
Their guardian deity, the Baby Magnum, was making quick movements forward, back, left, and right like a mixed martial artist while also firing its one hundred or so cannons. When its opponent was too close, it would fire its smaller cannons while prepared for some shots to ricochet back. When its opponent was frightened back, it would repeatedly fire its massive main cannons.
But despite all that, this opponent would not go down.
Their knowledge as soldiers told them nothing could fight on the same level as an Object.
So what was this opponent?
A word did come to mind if they left the realm of military jargon and checked in a safe country picture book.
A two hundred meter pitch-black dragon flew through the heavens and bit at the Object.
“This is insane.”
Quenser was about ready to throw his hands in the air and give up.
“This is completely insane!! Is that a dragon!? Wait, the damn thing just about picked up the Princess’s Object! We can just throw common sense out the window once something that huge is picked up like a mouse or a squirrel!!”
The giant mysterious creature was not as quick as the Object. As the two boys watched, the Object fired several shots of its main cannons into the dragon’s spread wings and exposed torso. But its durability must have been astronomical because it continued to fight even as it bled. A situation where the Baby Magnum was not powerful enough surpassed anything they had imagined.
“Hey, student. I don’t care what we have to do, but we’ll be completely isolated if that thing takes the Princess away like some colossal crane game. We’re in trouble if we don’t do something, right?”
“What the hell are we supposed to do against that!?”
“It’s your job to figure that out, Mr. Deadweight!!”
“How about you try using your brain for something other than complaining for once!?”
The two idiots completely ignored the situation and began grappling with each other.
And they received some divine punishment for their trouble.
The Baby Magnum had one of its changeable main cannons set to a railgun and it fired a metal shell larger than a car. The shell hit the black dragon in the torso and was deflected by the exceedingly tough surface of its body.
The main cannon’s shell ricocheted at a sharp angle and fell onto the floor-covered earth.
They did not even have time to shout “Jesus”.
A moment later, Quenser and Heivia were thrown into a vortex of explosive noise.
The Princess tilted her head inside the Baby Magnum’s cockpit.
She had short blonde hair and a slender build. She would look right at home being chauffeured to a high-class girl’s school in a safe country, but she was the Pilot Elite for one of the colossal weapons known as Objects. She was pinned down by extremely high inertial Gs that exceeded those of a fighter jet, even the movements of her eyes were read by her special goggles to help control the machine, and she was the brain of the monster that swept across the battlefield with its greater than one hundred cannons, both large and small.
She had gone through the radio communication process a number of times now, but there was no sign of reaching anyone.
She continued firing on the unknown dragon-like enemy even as she suspected she was experiencing a cyber attack that made a nonexistent enemy appear on her display.
“I have a feeling something was caught in the crossfire there, but whatever.”
Extremely long black hair that reached the ankles, a glamorous body that did not suit her name, and a red yukata wrapped around that body. An older girl who was far too sexy to be called a Zashiki Warashi tilted her head.
A metallic creaking filled the air.
Her slender hand was held up next to her face.
The palm had easily grabbed a metal shell larger than a car. There was not so much as a scratch on the Zashiki Warashi herself. How and why had she survived that mass weapon? There was no real point in asking those questions. Youkai were unaffected by mere physical attacks and the laws of physics were twisted into obeying that rule.
Two uniformed boy soldiers were curled up at her feet, but she showed no sign of caring.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but it looks like I’ve gotten myself caught in an unnecessary fight. And I’m really not the type to want to do any work at all.”
Nearby, a boy was flipped on his back with his eyes spinning in circles. He was Jinnai Shinobu, a resident of the house the Zashiki Warashi lived in. He had not been hit by the shell itself or by the secondary shockwave, but the mental shock had been enough to shake his consciousness.
A flat-chested Yuki Onna crouched next to the boy and poked at his cheek.
There was an odd ecstasy in her expression.
“Heh…eh heh heh. He’s still somewhat conscious, but he can’t move very much right away. In other words, this is my chance to create something that inseparably links us together. Eh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.”
“Before you finish removing your kimono and mounting him, how about you look up in the sky?”
“Hmph. Nothing I see is going to stop me now.”
“Yeah, but that thing looks raring to go, too. I think it’s about to attack.”
The heavens were blocked from view.
The black dragon that had been attacking the strange mass of metal had shifted its focus to the Zashiki Warashi and Yuki Onna.
But before it did, the Yuki Onna’s eyelids twitched slightly.
That was all it took.
A gust of wind grew deadly. That wind of death would freeze anything to negative fifty degrees. There was no obvious beam of light or roar of noise, but it would bring certain death to any creature on the planet earth. The local ecosystem was rearranged in an absolute attack that meant the demise of all that relied on water, air, and the sun to live.
And it was especially effective on one category of life.
“No matter how big it might be, it’s still based on a reptile and is thus cold-blooded. If the air was hot or cold to begin with, that would be one thing, but it is not made to withstand a sudden change in temperature. It can be easily stopped simply by cooling the local climate.”
Before it could flap its giant wings and before it could fire a strange beam of light from its massive maw, its hopelessly large two hundred meter body dropped helplessly down like a poorly made paper airplane. A portion of the never-ending gym floor was destroyed as the black dragon was taken down.
The pressure sent wind flying out in every direction and the wind grew into a visible wall as it whipped up dust. It slammed into the Zashiki Warashi and Yuki Onna’s bodies and continued on.
The Yuki Onna gave a triumphant look.
“Heh heh. Anyone who interrupts someone’s love deserves to be frozen in ice.”
“That’s fine and all, but I think Shinobu’s about to enter cold sleep down between your legs there.”
Not far away, two people watched in annoyance as the giant weapon, black dragon, and Youkai fought.
They were Anzai Kyousuke and Higashikawa Mamoru.
They themselves were both completely normal Japanese college students.
“Oh, c’mon. What kind of Absurdity did we get caught up in this time?”
“We weren’t thrown into some weird amusement park, so we might still be safe. Although if this turns out to be some kind of Hollywood movie village, I’m giving up and going to sleep right here.”
Some people who could clearly ignore the laws of physics were moving about in front of them, but they made no attempt to approach them. They only wanted to live a peaceful life, so if they happened across a giant robot, they would not get in. If they saw a mysterious device that let them use magic at the push of a button, they would walk right on by. If a girl fell from the sky, they would leave her with the police.
“Oh, c’mon!! Please don’t blame everything on Karen-chan, the seductive bunny girl☆”
When a shrill voice reached their ears from directly behind, the two grown men gave a large start.
But they maintained their original intention.
If things seemed dangerous, they would try not to get involved.
Without turning around, Anzai and Higashikawa took off running while looking straight ahead.
“Oh, that’s just mean!! You’re supposed to give a nice surprised reaction while shouting ‘Why you of all people!?’ or ‘I thought you were dead!!’ Wait upppp!!”
“Not good! I can hear her annoyed ‘boo, boo’ and it isn’t getting any farther away!! She’s actually approaching us!?”
“Don’t turn around! We must have been thrown inside a space where looking back is forbidden!!”
Satsuki was a girl also known as a Killer Queen. Nanajou Kyouichirou was a boy who could somehow just barely survive no matter what happened to him.
They summed up the situation with a single conclusion.
“I want no part of this.”
“The humans are one thing, but some of them clearly aren’t human. And I have no guarantee I can kill something that was never human to begin with.”
“Understood. I don’t really want any part of you right now either.”
A tremendous cracking sound exploded out.
Even after receiving several cannon blasts from the Object and having its life activity weakened on a cellular level by temperatures as low as negative fifty degrees, the black dragon tried to continue its rampage while crouched on the ground.
The closest to it were Quenser, Heivia, the Zashiki Warashi, the Yuki Onna, and Jinnai Shinobu.
However, all of the people scattered there saw what happened next.
A single line of light seemed to pierce through the world itself as it stabbed into the black dragon.
It had been fired from the peak of one of the oddly perfect triangular mountains that resembled pyramids. It tore open the heavens, passed over everyone’s heads, and easily stabbed through the black dragon that had withstood such fierce attacks before.
It had not even given time to cry out.
It had been produced by what could be called a divine spear and it sent the two hundred meter monster rolling along the ground. It rolled in the wind like an empty can or a tumbleweed in a Western duel. Kamijou was just about caught in its path, but he leaped to the side with all his might to avoid it. The black dragon continued without end, rolled over the horizon several kilometers away, and vanished. A low rumble reached them and a pillar of water rose into the air (which given the distance had to be as tall as a mountain), so it seemed there was a body of water at the end of this world.
A crackling electric charge lingered in the air.
Kamijou Touma gulped, Quenser and Heivia had been knocked onto their backs, Jinnai Shinobu was still encased in ice, Anzai Kyousuke and Higashikawa Mamoru stared up into the heavens, and Nanajou Kyouichirou was beginning to think he should stop relying on his ability to not die when he was killed.
They all turned to face the distant mountain, but at two or three kilometers away, none of them could tell who or what was standing at its peak.
After producing that impressive amount of damage, “she” silently left the peak of that neatly shaped mountain.
“She” did not look back.
Her armor produced an eerie sound as it scraped together and her long golden hair scattered a gentle floral scent in the opposite direction.
“She” carried a short boy with her as “she” continued to her destination.
This was a strange world where “everything” gathers.
This is a story that contains a once-in-a-lifetime chance to overturn the normal and a sense of danger that eliminates the usual.