Toaru Majutsu no Index:GT Volume3 Epilogue
Epilogue: Cry of a Newborn Darkness — Over_the_C. Point, Now.
“Where…?” groaned the twintails middle school girl named Shirai Kuroko.
She was in the hospital and it was well past visiting hours.
She had collapsed at the Anti-Skill Chemical Analysis Center in western District 18, but she had been transported to District 7. She had no idea how that might have happened.
But she was not groaning due to the strange amoeba or bacteria injected into her by Hanatsuyu Kaai the Decomposer.
That was thanks to a test tube with a blue rubber cap.
The fact she had regained consciousness was a sign that she was improving on the inside. She had not met Rakuoka Houfu since he had risked so much to get that antidote to her. She just hoped he had managed to return from the darkness alive.
She thought in her bed.
(That means it’s time to arrange that internal investigation. I have to face my own righteousness directly, so I need to make the request as soon as possible.)
From the very beginning, hadn’t she hoped that pursuing a major incident would lead her to Misaka Mikoto?
“There you are, Onee-sama!! You might run off from our trash-collecting hell that began on Christmas Eve, but you can never escape from—gh, wait! Wh-what time is it? …Okay, there’s still time. It’s still just barely Christmas, so it’s all good!! Don’t worry, girls can get through their first time in only ten minutes if they put their minds to it!!!!!!”
She had found her target.
She had searched out a single person in a giant city of 2.3 million. That was a miracle in its own right. And it was still just barely the 25th.
But her celebration was short lived.
She found something unusual in the same hospital room: a honey-yellow shine.
“Hmm? Yawn, do you need something???”
“You’re sharing a room with Onee-sama and wearing a baby doll!? Wait just a second! What is the meaning of this, Onee-sama? I’m supposed to be your see-through lingerie roommate!!”
This was a threat.
Shirai Kuroko learned the true meaning of dread on Christmas of all days.
“Onee-sama, where were you all this time anyway? Why did the two of you end up in the same hospital after being injured at the same time!? Surely—surely—you aren’t going to tell me some horrific story about the two of you spending Christmas together!!”
Her beloved Onee-sama, who could control electricity and magnetism, must not have wanted to have this conversation because she began to open the window of the upper floor room. The sleepy #5, however, did not seem so bothered.
“Ehh?” she said while rubbing her eyes. “Oh, come on. I’m not stealing that super-rare advanced class from you. I have my own world separate from Misaka-san, so stop trying to make me a mere accessory to her world.”
“Super-rare…advanced!? Y-you mustn’t say that! Don’t you know the power words carry!? I was specifically avoiding that forbidden phrase and you say it without a second thought? H-how dare you, Shokuhou Misaki!! Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!”
A woman wore a beige habit.
Few would realize that was originally the garb special ordered for the Anglican Archbishop.
Her sparkling blonde hair was cut at shoulder length, but it did not look done at a barbershop. The cut was too violent, so it looked more like a penance than anything.
Shinjuku acted as the entranceway to Academy City’s east gate. Once on the top of the skyscrapers there, you could see the city beyond that outer wall.
The woman stood on one of those rooftops.
“You’re a shell of your former self.”
A voice spoke from behind the woman.
It came from a golden retriever. The large dog shook to scatter the water from his long winter coat.
“You hated the occult so much and here you are relying on it. You’ve fallen.”
“You’re in a pretty sorry state yourself. You look like you were swept down a chilly river this Christmas night. An old dog like you should be more careful.”
That was not inaccurate.
Academy City was surrounded by walls, but it could not cut off the flow of water in the surface rivers or the underground sewers. As long as water welled up at the mountains and flowed down toward the sea, that path would always exist.
Of course, it was built so humans could not pass through that way. The waterways had several barriers made of metal bars or height differences built in.
But Kihara Noukan was not human.
The Kihara category was not so narrowly defined.
That golden retriever would not have been taking a stroll through the sewers for no reason. It was pure chance that he had happened across the gym clothes girl being pursued by a berserk Anti-Skill officer, but that had given him the opportunity he needed.
He had needed to pretend to be defeated and dive into the filthy river, so that mass of muscles had come along at just the right time.
However, he could not rate his performance as all that clever.
(What a pain. I needed a witness to give reality to my faked death, but I still made a child cry. That violates my principle of romance. I owe her one.)
“I believe the rookie you left in charge has failed,” said Noukan.
“So it would seem.”
“Are you going to intervene? Or are you fine with watching Academy City collapse?”
“Failure inspires growth. This was his first step. If the adults took charge now, we would be robbing that promising rookie of a chance to learn.”
The dog sighed and pulled a cigar from a plastic package.
That was no laughing matter coming from the human who had met constant failure. He was probably 100% serious and talking from experience.
But the dog knew there was a part of that human that had never been able to give up. He was now ignoring his own rules by using the occult to hijack this woman’s body and maintain his existence, but that was due to more than just not wanting to die.
He was willing to sacrifice his own and other’s lives for his goal. That was something Kihara Noukan shared.
The golden retriever lit the superb product, put it in his mouth, and asked a question.
“What will you do now?”
“What do you want me to do?”
That was obvious. Kihara Noukan had always had just the one goal.
So he spoke his old friend’s name.
“Destroy all magic. I know all too well that you’re the world’s most undisciplined person, but it’s high time you got to work, Aleister.”
Someone going by the name Unabara Mitsuki viewed the sunrise with two girls.
“Is it over?”
“If so, they failed, Etzali. We should probably prepare for an aftershock caused by those thugs.”
Kinuhata Saiai brought her hands to her face and produced a ripping sound in front of the large mirror in a music club’s dressing room.
She was tearing off special makeup, not her own face.
“Bweh, my face is all puffy! Cutaneous respiration is super important!! I can see why they prefer to use CG these days. Does convenience always win out?”
Mugino Shizuri leaned back against a graffiti-covered wall, spied out at the pursuers leaving without noticing her, and extinguished the sinister light in her hand.
“What, no sudden death round? And I thought we might actually get to have a little fun.”
The girl in a dress woke up behind the chain link fence and raised her arms to stretch her back.
The dark stains that had been Anti-Skill officers could be seen immediately outside her cell, but that was not enough to faze her. She reached out through a gap in the fence and grabbed a ring of keys lying on the floor. Everyone had completely forgotten about her presence here to an unnatural extent, so she winked over toward the empty cell next to hers.
“See? I told you we would be safest in our cells.”
Kumokawa Seria and her sister stripped off their sweaty mascot costumes.
The maiden stench was too powerful. It was bad enough that only the kind of guy who could get off to girl’s locker rooms would be interested.
“Gwahhh!! That’s it!! I’m never working a job like this again!!”
“We’re not getting paid, you know? We swiped the costumes, remember? Amusement parks are ruthless when it comes to their intellectual property, so they’d take us to court if they knew we used these heads for this.”
Fremea Seivelun was still dreaming while holding onto a white rhinoceros beetle.
The silver-haired little girl named Fraulein Kreutune looked down at her inside an amusement park hotel room filled with character products.
“I-I can barely breathe,” said the beetle. “But as long as she’s at peace.”
Musujime Awaki crawled out of the morgue’s freezer locker.
The freezer mode was switched off, but it did not have a heater inside. She held her shoulders and shivered before grabbing an electric kettle meant for the workers here.
“Academy City might be in trouble. Anyone could sneak in and mess with the bodies like this.”
A crushed candy box had been left on the cold floor deep in the depths of the darkness. That box swelled out from within and something crawled out.
A human silhouette formed in the middle of the giant circular space of the Vanishing Tunnel known as Academy City’s Greatest Taboo.
She was an artificially-created ghost.
Her name was Frillsand #G.
Her long blonde hair was worn in twintails and she wore a light blue skintight dress and a long loose skirt. Her curvy figure seemed at odds with her doll-like appearance.
She was looking down at a man whose time had stopped with a happy smile on his face.
She had wanted to protect him more than anything. He had to be by her side.
There was a sound like the drain plug being pulled from a sink full of sticky filth.
And that was no metaphor. The scene around her really did change. That bizarre space gathered in toward her.
How was it Frillsand #G could exist now that the high energy emission had stopped?
Do not forget.
This space did not actually exist. It was an aggregation of AIM Diffusion Fields that appeared as a result of an experiment and could no longer be erased.
Something impossible happened.
That collection of weak energy was absorbed toward a single point.
Pitch black tears ran down her cheeks.
The artificial ghost grew into a very real vengeful spirit.
The framework known as Academy City’s dark side was destroyed on that holy night.
But that does not mean nothing was born from the rubble and embers left behind.