Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume10 Chapter 18
Chapter 18: V.S. “The One who Opposes the Magic God” Round_10.
They crossed the bridge and reached the island of Funen, but Kamijou was unsure how exactly it differed from the peninsula. They were still surrounded by snow and it did not even feel like an island.
“It may be called an island, but it’s 50 kilometers across,” explained Othinus. “It won’t seem much different than before unless we follow the coast.”
“Where do we go next?”
“We’re almost there. This is the same island as Egeskov Castle where my eye is submerged. We’ll arrive after passing through the city of Odense.”
Funen had not been the site of frequent battles, so the chaos had yet to spread there. A few cars were even travelling along the snowy roads.
They tried hitchhiking for the first time in a while and easily got a ride. Tourists on their way to the railway museum carried them to the Odense in their rental car.
The boy in the back seat continued pestering Othinus, so Kamijou finally asked her about it.
“He’s asking me what picture book witch I am. He seems to think this is a costume from an Andersen story.”
It was likely better for the boy not to know the truth.
Odense was another stone-paved and brick city, but it was much larger and livelier than the previous cities. It had a large number of church steeples and similar structures, so it looked like a conifer forest silhouette made in stone.
Kamijou quickly left the rental car.
“L-let’s finally buy some coats. I don’t want to freeze right at the end.”
“After coming this far, don’t you think we’ll be fine like this?”
“You’d be more convincing if your lips weren’t blue.”
They walked around the shopping district but found nothing worthwhile. They did find coats, but they were all too expensive.
“Odense is one of Denmark’s leading tourist areas and they know what their customers are going to be looking for. We won’t find anything reasonably priced here.”
“You’re kidding. I feel like the snow is about to pile up to my head.”
That meant they needed to hurry up and find the next vehicle to hitchhike with.
“Just twenty kilometers to go. It isn’t too far to walk if we have to.”
“Even though we don’t know who’s waiting for us? I don’t want muscle pain to trip me up and get me defeated right at the very end.”
They would find the most vehicles in front of the train station, so they walked through the city to reach the station north of the theatre.
A large park was located between the theatre and station.
According to Othinus, it was known as the King’s Garden, but Kamijou frowned as soon as he set foot in it.
No matter how much it was snowing and how much snow covered the ground, it was clearly odd for there to be no one around in this tourist area. Snow was apparently rare in Denmark, but wouldn’t that mean children would be taking advantage of the great event by playing in the snow? There were plenty of fun things that could only be done in the snow, yet there was no sign of anyone else in that white landscape.
“A people clearing field. It’s standard practice, but they’ve set one up in the middle of the city and in broad daylight.”
As soon as they spoke, two new figures appeared to cut off their path in the white park.
Kamijou had no idea how they had approached. There were no extra footprints; Kamijou and Othinus’s were the only ones.
“Do you remember us? We did meet in Academy City before.”
One was a woman with short blonde hair and who wore thick pants, a sweatshirt, a work apron, and goggles to create the overall silhouette of a maid.
The other was a woman wearing a short dress, pants, a bulletproof vest, and elbow and knee protectors to create the silhouette of a warrior woman from a video game.
Kamijou did not know the details, but he recognized these two as being on Ollerus’s side.
“I’m Silvia and this is Brunhild. We’re both Saints, but I suppose that isn’t all that unusual. After all, you already ran into one from England, didn’t you?”
He shuddered at how carefree her tone was.
Two Saints. Those monsters could move at supersonic speeds and attack from two directions at once. And this time there were no “invisible blind spots” he could exploit as he did with Kanzaki Kaori. Fighting normally was his only option and fighting normally would undoubtedly lead to his death.
And on top of that…
“Does this mean he’s here too?” he asked while moving his eyes around to check his surroundings. “Ollerus isn’t here too, is he?”
Silvia’s eyebrows twitched at that question.
He did not know what had become of Ollerus. Othinus had told him the man had used the fairy spell, but he did not know that the man had been weakened with the exact same spell or that he had been defeated by the fierce attacks of a full-power magic god.
And so he rubbed her the wrong way.
“He’s here too,” replied Silvia. “But there’s a good reason why he isn’t out here. Othinus, you should understand why. And you should understand what I want to do after seeing that horrific scene.”
Othinus merely narrowed her one eye.
She was not going to say much.
As Kamijou looked over his shoulder, the woman named Brunhild shrugged.
“Just so you know, I’m not part of her personal grudge.”
A dull sound filled the air as she kicked up the giant sword at her feet and grabbed the hilt with one hand.
“But if this magic god will bring harm to that boy, I have no choice. I will ensure his peace even if it means turning her to a stain on the road.”
(This is bad.)
He had no hope of winning. He could not even picture the first step in his mind. No matter which direction he moved in, he could only imagine himself being instantly killed.
And that line of thinking was not wrong.
Silvia vanished, a tremendous impact struck him, and he flew over ten meters like a bullet.
His mind couldn’t keep up.
The next thing he knew, Othinus and the others were incredibly far away. His lungs were trembling too much to take in a proper breath of air, his legs were shaking, and he heard a horrible scraping noise from his back.
He did not feel the pull of gravity.
It took him several moments to realize he was floating above the surface.
It took him several moments more to realize his back had struck the thick trunk of a conifer tree and he was falling to the ground from there.
“Cough…cough cough!! Gweh! Gbah!!”
His body slid down and the white snow covering the grass was dyed red. More clumps of blood flowed out every time he let out a breath.
Othinus tried to shout something, but she was suddenly cut off. Instead, he heard a sound of impact so spectacular he thought it had used gunpowder.
His vision was blurry and his consciousness was sinking into darkness, but that sound sent his blood boiling. He could barely move his limbs, but he bared his bloody teeth and shouted out.
“Othinus!! Stop… Don’t touch her!!”
His desperate attempt to stand was enough to produce strange popping noises from his body. The impact may have dislocated some bone or another. He ignored the continuing waves of intense pain from an unknown source and gave a yell as he stood up once more.
All sound vanished.
Silvia had already approached right before him.
Their eyes met for an instant and her eyes contained the emotionless look of an insect.
Another impact came.
Her slender arm and small fist stabbed into the center of his chest as if targeting the heart. His back was slammed against the thick tree as if by a wooden hammer. The impact and inertia pinned him to the tree and Silvia whispered to him at close range.
“Your circumstances no longer matter.”
“I don’t care if you were in cahoots with Gremlin ahead of time, if Othinus gave you some kind of suggestion, or if you truly came to understand the girl named Othinus and joined her side.”
“Joining her side is enough. Joining with the one who not only took all of that giant idiot’s power but also tore his body apart is enough! That’s all it takes to be in my murderous sights!!!!!!”
Chest, gut, face. Her ultra-heavyweight fist struck him again and again. One strike would knock away his consciousness, but she would not allow him to pass out and the next strike would shake him back to consciousness. During this, the hard sensation on his back vanished.
The thick trunk had broken from the impacts passing through his body.
With nothing to support him, he flew further backwards. He was almost nothing but a bloody lump and he stained the snowscape as he bounced across it.
He could no longer speak properly. Most of his vision had darkened, but even in that narrow dark tunnel exit, he could see the monster known as a Saint approaching.
If that was all, he would not have had the strength to stand back up.
But he remembered something: there was another Saint.
Why had the monster named Brunhild not attacked him? If she was not targeting him, who would that Saint be attacking?
After thinking that far, strength returned to his legs.
His head shook and he could barely tell up from down, but he still desperately stood on unsteady legs.
But that angered the Saint named Silvia all the more.
He heard the sound of a group of fine threads tearing.
It was the sound of the corners of Silvia’s mouth splitting in the shape of a smile.
“I’ll disembowel you with my bare hands and show each of your organs to that magic god. You’re the treasured partner she abandoned all of Gremlin to be with. Even a magic god won’t find it easy to watch as you’re vivisected before her eyes.”
The threat approached.
“He” watched on.
Brunhild Eiktobel narrowed her clever eyes.
She stabbed her large sword into the snow and dryly observed. As she watched, a wooden bench was smashed to pieces and an eyepatch-wearing girl lay in the center of the rubble.
She had not held back.
In fact, she had been more cautious than necessary.
(She’s showing surprisingly little resistance.)
That was her honest opinion.
Was something interfering with Othinus’s power as a magic god or was she trying to make Brunhild let her guard down? Brunhild was not sure, but if Othinus wielded the power of a complete magic god, it would not matter if Brunhild had her guard up.
Brunhild had once created a high-quality Gungnir. She had not reached the level of magic god herself, but the abilities of the lance may have given her a general idea of what a magic god was and what a magic god could do.
In truth, she was bound by her imagination and Magic God Othinus’s abilities had gone well beyond that, but that was not the main point here.
(Should I simply accept that she can’t use her full power?)
She used a single hand to pull out the sword that had enough weight to crush a car. She rested it on her shoulder and approached Othinus and the crushed bench.
(Is her loss of power temporary or permanent? It’s hard to say, but I should kill her while I have the chance.)
She frowned a bit as she thought.
She herself was a magician whose power increased and decreased between extremes on a set cycle, much like the waxing and waning of the moon. A cruel magic cabal had once taken advantage of that and destroyed those around her.
She was doing the same here.
But to ensure safety, she would justify her own suspicions and launch a harsh attack.
A bitter feeling filled her chest, but she did not stop walking.
The boy in his hospital bed was all that mattered.
She would put up with contradicting herself for him.
“Who is a god supposed to pray to…?”
“The proper answer at times like this is to picture the face of one you love.”
Brunhild spat out her words and placed her other hand on the hilt of her sword. She would hold it in both hands to crush Magic God Othinus with all her might.
“He” watched on.
Just before she acted, something flew over like a bullet. The dark red mass came from the side. She accurately spotted the object flying her way and knocked it to the ground with the bottom of her sword’s hilt.
A disgusting sticky sound filled the air.
The “object” was what had been an Asian boy a moment before.
“Wait, Brunhild,” said a devilish voice.
The figure that walked over was stained a dark red.
“Don’t kill her that easily. That isn’t enough to pay for what she’s done. Before killing that damn magic god, I want to take at least one precious thing from her. That will be a lot more fun.”
Brunhild frowned at Silvia’s state, looked down at what was supposedly a boy, and frowned even deeper.
“I have nothing against killing the magic god now, but I have no obligation to go along with your cruel fun.”
“Then do I need to make another bloody mass like that? I will if you insist.”
“He” watched on.
The dark red mass was still trembling slightly.
He was breathing.
That simple fact brought movement to the utterly destroyed bench. The eyepatch girl could not stand, so she moved as if crawling along the snow. She moved slowly and sluggishly, but she still made progress toward the bloody mass lying on the snow.
She moved her bloody lips to squeeze out the word.
Her eyes sought him.
She looked like the Little Match Girl seeing her dream inside the final flame.
“This is why…I told you…nothing good would come of…going with me…”
She would not allow that flame to go out. She would not have this hope taken.
The way the magic god used her battered hands to drag her body along made that clear.
But Brunhild remained perfectly dry.
Her expression remained unchanged and she stomped on the magic god’s right shoulder. That was all it took to stop her slow progress.
“What will it take to satisfy you?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I’ll tear out this brat’s organs as she watches. I’ll make sure he’s still alive and moving his mouth the whole time like a fish served alive.”
Othinus was pinned to the snow by the great pressure from above, but she reached out her bloody hand.
No matter what she tried, she could not reach the dark red mass before her.
“You’re after me. If you eliminate me, you can end the chaos filling the world. He has nothing to do with it. Just killing me is enough to eliminate your own chaos, so…”
“I don’t care.” The words spilled from Silvia’s mouth and more sticky words continued. “As long as I can kill you, nothing else matters. As long as I can take revenge for that bastard Ollerus, I don’t care if I go insane. You don’t understand. You really don’t. I don’t want to go back to normal. If I do, it’ll end there. I get the feeling I’ll end up forgiving you. But I don’t want that. Do you understand? It’s not whether I can or not. I don’t want to, so I’m choosing not to.”
Brunhild had a silent thought when she heard that.
(I need to kill the magic god without waiting for Silvia’s instructions.)
Even now, she was not underestimating Othinus’s power. She would show no kindness and she would kill when she could kill. She did not want to allow some “fun” now and regret it later.
“Then let’s get started,” said Brunhild coldly while secretly holding the sword’s hilt with tremendous strength.
In the instant Silvia was focused on the boy, she would crush and kill Othinus. She was prepared to battle an enraged Silvia afterwards, but she would make sure to swiftly kill Othinus now. That was her top priority.
Othinus’s dim voice continued and she desperately reached out a hand as if someone had taken a stuffed animal from her.
“Stop!! He has nothing to do with my sins! There’s no reason to make him bear them! So please!!”
Her desperate plea did not reach them.
The two Saints took decisive action and a tremendous wind roared.
“He” watched on.
A sticky explosive sound burst out.
The great noise came from Ollerus as he cut between the two Saints.
But due to the fairy spell, he did not possess any of his special power from being near magic godhood. The strength of his body and the magic he could use were both weaker than the average magician’s.
His will made up for what he lacked.
The action he took was simple. He enclosed his arms around the large sword Brunhild swung down. However, he could never stop an attack launched at the speed of sound. The incredible friction tore his hands to pieces.
Even as his hands continued to be destroyed to divert the path of the large sword, he moved those hands.
He tugged so as to pull the sword and Brunhild toward him. He had the sword cross paths with Silvia’s empty-handed strike.
“Ollerus!! You idiot!!”
The women spoke up in surprise, but it was too late.
A great roar rang out. To someone watching on, it may have looked like the two Saints collided at frightening speed and collapsed into the deep snow.
The two Saints had been defeated at the cost of Ollerus’s arms.
Those arms fluttered in the wind like plastic string and it was clear the damage had gone well beyond a broken bone.
Othinus coughed up blood and could not even stand.
“Have you come to kill me too?”
“Do you remember what I said before?” answered Ollerus with a composed face and with his bloody arms dangling down. “I have no more attachment to the bonds of being a magic god. As long as I can defeat you, nothing else matters.”
“But it seems it was someone else who accomplished it.” He smiled thinly. “I had hoped he would act as bait to lure you out, but I certainly didn’t expect him to take it this far.”
“You have reason to kill me, don’t you?”
“Undoubtedly.” His tone was calm. “But if Kamijou Touma dies here, you will develop into a more frightening monster than anything you have shown so far. Similarly, if you die here, a great change might come over Kamijou Touma’s nature. I do not like the sound of either one. As I said, I have no more attachment. If you hold a relationship that will weaken you more than anything else, acting to preserve it is not a bad option.”
“Your ‘kindness’ is as irritating as ever.”
“That’s just who I am. I’m aware I’ve lost quite a bit because of it, though.”
“Is that ‘kindness’ really worth choosing even if it means defeating your own allies?”
“The one with you has done the same. Silvia especially is the type who won’t be swayed by words, but she’ll return to her usual clever self if she has time to cool her head.”
He looked toward the two collapsed in the snow.
“I’ll work to persuade them and I’ll keep at it until they understand, so you don’t have to worry about anything.”
While coughing, Othinus finally managed to stand on unsteady legs.
She stroked Kamijou’s back as he continued to breathe even as a dark red mass. She wrapped an arm around his shoulder and somehow managed to get him to his feet.
“I won’t…thank you…”
“Even this is an attack against you in my mind.”
Ollerus shrugged while ignoring his arms swaying as they dangled down.
Only after cautiously backing away to a certain distance did Othinus turn around. She lent her shoulder to Kamijou who was barely conscious and Ollerus asked her one final question.
“Did you find what you were looking for?”
“You weren’t the one who understood me. He was a lot stronger than you.”
With that, the distance of their destinies opened infinitely wide.