Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume10 Chapter 12
Chapter 12: V.S. “The Four Demon-Slaying Swords” Round_04.
Kamijou was unsure how long he had been unconscious.
He shook his hazy head and saw the white sky covered in snow clouds.
He could feel a low rumbling in his gut. The sound was coming from below, so he wondered if the ground was shaking. While still lying on his back, he looked down and gave a confused look.
First, he was on a wooden floor as large as a school gym.
Second, he could see the white sky to the side as well.
(Where am I? This isn’t just the ground. In fact, it isn’t the surface at all. Is this place flying through the air!?)
“Do not get up.”
He heard a low male voice below…no, within the cold sky.
He recognized that voice.
“We do not particularly care about you. It would be best if you simply watch as we bring this to an end.”
“Acqua…of the Back?”
He had once been a member of God’s Right Seat and was supposedly imprisoned by the Anglican Church.
That told Kamijou who his opponent was this time.
“Oh, you’ve woken? How boring. Letting you freeze here on the deck would have been a decent punishment for causing so much trouble around the world.”
“Second Princess Carissa.”
“Should we really have done this? We already had what we needed to handle Magic God Othinus. We did not have any real reason to bring him with us.”
“We don’t know what the other Gremlin members are doing. It’s possible they would have met up with that boy, so I see nothing wrong with nipping that conflict in the bud.”
He had learned all too well how powerful these four were during the British coup d’etat known as British Halloween. He could not handle even one of these monsters and four of them were gathered here.
He got up without thinking and began backing away from them, but that distance was trivial against an opponent that could exceed the speed of sound.
And more importantly…
“Hold on there,” said Carissa. “You can back away if you want, but you’ll fall off if you go too far. This thing doesn’t have any railings.”
He frowned and Kanzaki continued.
“This is a mobile fortress named Hotel Ariel which is floating at an altitude of 1500 meters. You can think of it as a 30 kilometer fish that swims through the sky. We are currently on the fish’s head.”
This was an indisputable checkmate.
Even if he miraculously defeated those monsters, he had nowhere to run.
“Do you understand the situation now?”
“Wait… Where’s Othinus!?”
“How would knowing that help you?”
Carissa held something between her index and middle finger. It was a sharp fragment of silver metal. The fragment came from Curtana Second which symbolized England and could simultaneously cut through all dimensions.
With a quick swing, a brightly glowing sword of light appeared.
“This gigantic piece of junk acts a booster giving me limited use of Curtana’s power outside of England. I don’t even need to get close to that magic god. I can chop her to pieces while keeping my distance.”
Othinus was apparently still on the surface and Carissa would create a sword measuring more than 1500 meters and cut her apart from the sky.
Kamijou knew just how sharp Curtana was.
It did not matter how hard the object was. That blade could simultaneously cut through all dimensions, so the target would be cut in two along with any shield it tried to hide behind.
If that was turned against Othinus now that she had lost her powers…
“I wish I was. I don’t like heading into battle with no guarantee this will kill her. But even if it doesn’t, it will slice her apart. In the worst case, we can gather all of the living parts, bottle them up, and seal them around the world to eliminate the threat.”
The tone of her voice made it clear this was no idle threat.
She seemed truly concerned this was insufficient to kill a magic god.
No one questioned the excessive use of force. Once this truly did chop Othinus into tiny pieces, they would likely all tilt their heads in confusion.
With that in mind, Kamijou forcefully slammed his fist into the wooden floor.
It had a tremendous effect.
That mobile fortress was moved by magical power, supported magical power, and amplified magical power, so its deck mercilessly crumbled. Kamijou and the other four on the “fish’s head” fell inside it.
The inside of the fortress was another vast space. In fact, it was too vast. It was even larger than a school gym. A high school boy with little knowledge of magic could not even guess what the facility was for, but the lines of rectangular boxes the size of industrial refrigerators reminded him of the university supercomputers that would occasionally appear in the newspaper or on the news.
They fell into that space from directly above.
The fall from about two or three stories up sent an icy feeling along his spine even though the situation was entirely his doing.
However, the four monsters remained unfazed.
All of them were a great force that represented Britain and they were all either a Saint or the possessor of an equivalent level of power. They would occasionally move at greater than the speed of sound, they would occasionally singlehandedly wipe out an army, and their power was said to be proportional to a nuclear weapon.
The boy had no way of eliminating the impact of falling from that height. He messed up his landing and heard an unpleasant noise from his right ankle, but the expressions of the other four did not budge.
“He has taken hostile action.”
They all turned toward Kamijou Touma who stood in the center.
The battle would likely end in an instant.
“We will do our best to hold back, but you will probably still die.”
The primary premise behind this fight was Kamijou Touma’s inability to exceed the speed of sound.
He could not put up a fight against a Saint or a princess supported by Curtana. Acqua and Knight Leader had supposedly lost their former power, but their magical skill would be far from ordinary. Even with their power lost, they were formidable monsters.
That left nothing for Kamijou to do even if he clenched his fist and faced them.
He was at a disadvantage in pure combat skill and in numbers. This was a poor match for Imagine Breaker, so it was blatantly obvious what would happen if they approached at unthinkable supersonic speed.
Under all those conditions, there was only one thing he could do in the instant the four figures tore through the air and approached.
Out of Carissa, Acqua, Knight Leader, and Kanzaki Kaori, he chose to target just one of them.
He kept his gaze fixed and took a step forward, knowing he could never keep up.
He moved toward Kanzaki Kaori.
As said before, there was nothing he could do in a fight against a Saint and this one in particular did not wholly rely on magic. He would be unable to evade the first strike, not to mention land a punch.
Then what was he trying to do?
The answer was simple.
In that instant, he moved into the path of Kanzaki Kaori’s sword. He intentionally moved to a position of certain death.
Kanzaki Kaori herself was likely the most surprised by that decision.
When she saw his much too reckless decision, she stopped just before drawing Shichiten Shichitou from its scabbard.
She had a certain personality trait.
A hand of salvation for the unsaved.
Just as that Magic Name said, she would never kill no matter the situation.
(He used that against me?)
She thought while working to rein in her own power.
(No matter where he tried to run, I could correct my course and knock him unconscious. That meant my greatest blind spot was the point directly in front of me where he would be killed no matter what he did!)
He immediately made his next move.
But from the perspective of a Saint who could move at the speed of sound, it would be more accurate to say that he began to make his next move.
His decision was simple.
He did not punch or kick. He crouched down and curled up in a ball.
One method a ninja would use to escape pursuit was to suddenly stop and curl up on the spot. The pursuer would be unable to brake fast enough, so the ninja would escape the pursuer’s swinging sword and trip them.
Kanzaki could not eliminate her momentum, but striking him with her foot at this speed would undoubtedly smash him to pieces. She immediately hopped up to jump over him, but the tip of her boot caught on the edge of his clothing.
Kanzaki could feel the boy’s ribs crying out through her foot, but focusing on that had been a mistake.
Carissa, Acqua, Knight Leader, and Kanzaki Kaori had rushed in from all four directions to deal with Kamijou Touma.
There was naturally another attacker on his other side.
She spoke in surprise and collided with Knight Leader at tremendous speed. Even if the boy’s fist could not cause much damage, another monster was a different story. The sound of destruction that burst out rivalled that of Kamijou’s ribs a moment before.
While still curled up and vomiting up blood, Kamijou slammed his fist against the floor again.
Everything collapsed and the boy felt an unpleasant floating sensation.
As she fell, Carissa raised her voice while stabbing her sword into the wall to slow her fall.
“Where is he trying to go!? No matter what he does, he can’t escape this prison at 1500 meters!!”
She landed on the lower level and found Acqua who had jumped down ahead of her. He had apparently lost sight of Kamijou Touma, but the wall had been destroyed.
“I see. So that was his plan,” muttered the large man without answering Carissa’s question. He then shouted upwards. “Is Kanzaki Kaori stopping him!?”
“Eh? Oh, now that you mention it, she’s gone.”
Acqua frowned at Knight Leader’s response from overhead.
Carissa pulled her sword of light from the wall and spoke.
“I suppose searching each and every room is our only option. He’s going to be cornered in the end, so I hope we can avoid any unnecessary damage.”
“We may not have time for that.”
“I’ve figured out what he’s after, but it relies on others a bit too much to call it a proper plan.”
Kamijou’s tactic was incredibly simple.
The direction did not matter. He simply continued destroying walls and floors with his right hand to reach an edge of Hotel Ariel as quickly as possible.
And what did he do then?
That too was simple: He jumped off.
Despite it being his decision, he began screaming after he flung himself into the sky and the wind raged about him. He had decided to jump off a building and kill himself in that infinite hell, but he would have chosen a different method had he known it was this frightening.
He dove from 1500 meters.
Naturally, Imagine Breaker had no ability to help him in this situation.
He was relying on something else.
A female voice burst out from much closer than he had expected.
It belonged to Kanzaki Kaori who had jumped from Hotel Ariel just like him.
“Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! I knew you’d come for me! You won’t allow people to die no matter what, so I trusted you to help me if I ran down a path of absolute destruction!!”
“Are you stupid!? No, really! Are you stupid!? You mean you didn’t give this any actual thought!? You threw away all hope of surviving on your own and relied on me!? And did you really believe I would conveniently decide to join your side for no reason!?”
“It doesn’t matter whose side you’re on! In a way, you’re way better suited to being a hero than me!! If you see someone about to die, you have the power needed to save them whether they’re an enemy or an ally! …Yeah, that’s right. I may be an enemy to you right now, but you wouldn’t let that enemy die so easily. That’s what happened, isn’t it!?”
Kamijou could have sworn the sound of her grinding teeth reached him.
Due to how high up they were, they had time to continue speaking even as they fell at tremendous speed.
“But in that case, why were you sent on a mission to kill Othinus!? Did you think it was okay just because she’s a magic god? Did you justify it because you thought she’s on a higher level and won’t die after being chopped up by Curtana!? Let me be very clear: that decision will make you suffer. Even if the entire mission went perfectly and peace filled the world, you would be suffering the entire time!!”
She grabbed his collar, slammed her forehead into his, and continued shouting from close range.
“I don’t need you lecturing me while acting all high and mighty!! And do you even have a way of resolving this other than eliminating her!?”
“Don’t beat around the bush with euphemisms, Kanzaki! Say you’re going to kill her!!”
“No matter her origin or background, Othinus began as a normal human. You need to remember that!!”
That was likely the last thing Kanzaki wanted to hear.
She had likely prepared argument after argument to do everything she could to avoid looking at that fact.
She clenched her teeth so strongly Kamijou was afraid she was about to bite right through his head, but then she spoke quietly.
“Is there one?”
“Another way!? A way to end this without killing Magic God Othinus! Is there some convenient other way!?”
“That’s what we were trying to do until all of you interrupted!!”
She loudly clicked her tongue.
Even when part of an organization, magicians focused on the individual over the whole. When she thought on the Magic Name in her heart, she knew what she should do concerning Othinus.
“It thoroughly irritates me that you used this part of me so easily, but we can start by making a safe landing.”
“Great. But how are you going to slow us down? We don’t have a parachute.”
“I want to punch you right here and now!!”
While quickly falling, she grabbed his collar and shook him. That violent behavior would have immediately gotten her license revoked if skydiving.
“I will use the Nanasen wires. By spreading them out and slicing the air, we will slow down. It may be closer to creating lift with a great number of wings than using a parachute.”
“I don’t care as long as we can survive.” Kamijou pointed straight up while she held his collar. “And is it just me or is that glowing like crazy? I-it looks like that princess is on a rampage!!”
Their distance finally gave him a full view of the giant manmade fish named Hotel Ariel, but the stomach of the fish was suddenly sliced apart from the inside. The sword of light was visibly growing and it finally reached a kilometer in length.
“Not good. She’s planning to take us out along with the magic god.”
“Uh, ohhh. This is baaaad. I’d definitely die if that hit meee. If only a Saint could use her full power to repel it and- bggbvh!!!??”
Kamijou finally received an iron fist to the face and heard an unpleasant noise from his neck. Kanzaki could not suppress her anger, but it was true she had to deal with this.
“I’ll slow us down first!! Please hold on tight!!”
“What exactly are you going to do!?”
“Curtana technically only works inside the United Kingdom. Think of this as the second princess relaying the source of its power via the mobile fortress.”
He reached his arms around from behind and almost touched her chest, so she swung her fist down. From his lower position, he almost buried his face in her butt, so she swung her fist up. After that, he covered his face with his hands and started sobbing, so she wrapped his arms around her waist and continued her answer.
“I will form a three-dimensional magic circle with my wires to embed additional magical symbols that will disturb that relay route. It will divert her power to the side…no, in a U-turn and destroy Hotel Ariel itself!!”
Following the supposed meteorite near Hjørring, a giant flash of light was seen in a snowy plain near Aalborg.
The great Saint had not given any thought to the explosive blast, so Kamijou was mercilessly blown away as he tried to cling to her waist. He crashed into a conifer tree forest, received scrapes from the prickly branches, and somehow managed to survive the fall into a thick layer of snow.
It sounded like a joke, but one element was anything but funny.
“Dammit. Y-you’ve gotta be kidding me.”
A thin branch was stabbed into his thigh like a fork a kid had stabbed into a piece of cake. For a while, he could not decide whether he should touch it or not, but nothing would improve if he came to a standstill.
He held his hoodie’s sleeve in his mouth, clenched his teeth, and quickly pulled it out.
As he writhed around in pain, he heard approaching footsteps in the snow.
He grew cautious, but he naturally relaxed once he saw it was Othinus.
A clenched fist struck him a moment later.
“Where have you been!?”
“U-ubfh… Were you running around trying to find me? Young lady, were you worried when you suddenly found I was gone?”
“Those might be your last words. Are you sure you don’t want to say anything else?”
He had no choice but to bow down with all his might.
She stood tall and looked around.
“A lot must have happened while I was asleep. Are these pieces of a mobile fortress scattered around?”
“Yeah. I wonder if people are going to think a UFO crashed.”
“What exactly happened? Even with your right hand, you would have to approach to point-blank range.”
“Um, well, that’s not quite what happened. While I did play a role in destroying it, it wasn’t entirely me.”
As he tried to explain in more detail, sharp sounds of clashing metal reverberated over the entire area.
Kanzaki Kaori was holding off Acqua and Carissa.
Even though Kanzaki was supposedly working with him for the moment, he had a frightening vision of two horns growing from her head and phosphorescence leaking from her mouth. After being used the way she had, it was only natural for her to be angry.
He wondered what would have happened if he had tried it with Carissa or Knight Leader, but it went beyond anything he could imagine.
Thus he made a wise suggestion.
“H-how about we discuss this while we walk? This area is still far too dangerous.”