Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume10 Chapter 19
Chapter 19: V.S. “The Hammer-Wielding Almighty God” Round_11.
Egeskov Castle was made of brick and constructed atop a foundation of countless oaks.
Great effort had gone into constructing that fortress and, even five hundred years later, it was a great boon to Odense and other nearby cities as a tourist attraction.
But the castle itself was not what mattered to those gathered there.
They cared about the lake.
Long before the giant castle was built, Othinus had used that lake for “something”. The castle had been built with no knowledge of that, so not even the front line magicians had noticed the traces of the enormous ritual that had occurred there.
“Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised,” said the woman known as Hel from the white wasteland next to the lake.
“Even if the coalition didn’t catch on, we were all part of Gremlin,” said the boy named Jörmungandr. “We might not be able to reach the level of magic god, but we can guess what she’s thinking.”
“I’m glad I didn’t leak the information for fun,” said the young man named Fenrir. “It looks like they still haven’t figured it out, so we’re the first ones here.”
They were the direct combat members of Gremlin and each of them could singlehandedly battle an entire army, but they were not alone. Dozens if not hundreds of figures could be glimpsed in the white curtain of snow blown into the air.
“Is Loki here too?”
“Even if he is, he’s probably hiding behind someone. That’s just the kind of guy he is.”
“It’s hilarious that the rear guard such as Iðunn and Sif are here too. It looks like we’re all pissed.”
The members of Gremlin did not understand the purpose of that lake.
They did not know she was trying to cast aside her power. They thought it contained the key to some “true plan” that she had hidden from them.
That was enough of a betrayal.
They had all helped Othinus become a magic god and fought so she would grant their wishes. No matter how cruel the task, they had dirtied their hands. They would make her pay for dangling that dream in front of them and then snatching it away. And that payment might include physically tearing her to pieces.
Suddenly, a new figure walked up through the snow.
The many figures beyond the curtain of blowing snow parted to create a path. The person who boldly made his way to the center was not someone Fenrir, Jörmungandr, and Hel could ignore.
“Yeah, it’s the real one this time.” He raised a hand in greeting while grinning. “This is pretty amazing. Are all of you waiting here to kill Othinus? It’s kind of sad that no one’s sticking with her.”
“You’re here to kill her too, aren’t you?”
“Well, yeah. But I’m not doing it out of hatred. It sounds like a fun fight, and that’s all that matters. I’d be lying if I said I was never interested in the experience points I’d get for defeating her.” He spread his arms and made a suggestion. “But if we’re gonna present our complaints to her, why not come to an agreement first? Let’s decide on a representative. If we all start shouting complaints from every direction, it’ll just be a deluge of noise. You want your complaints to actually reach her, don’t you?”
They all perked up at the word “representative”.
For better or for worse, Gremlin had always been gathered underneath Othinus’s absolute charisma. Now that they had lost her, who would lead the organization? Would they go with the standard and choose the lightning god? Or would they prepare a new position?
“How exactly will we decide on that?” asked Hel.
“Did you think I was going to use anything as boring as tradition, influence, connections, or assets?” asked the other god while closing one eye. “Let’s figure out who’s strongest in a giant free-for-all. That sounds like the most fun.”
Kamijou Touma and Othinus were soaked with blood.
They could not hitchhike in that state and so they walked through the white blizzard.
“Have you decided yet, Othinus?”
“What path you’ll head down once all this is over.”
Kamijou spoke quietly as they leaned against each other for support.
“I said it could be a bakery or a flower shop or whatever else, remember? So have you found what you want to do?”
“Ha ha. I’m not cut out for those cute things.”
“I don’t know how much you’ll have to wait, so it can be anything. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t suit you or isn’t like you. Find whatever it is you want to do the most. That’ll make it all the more worthwhile to root for you.”
“What I want to do, hm?”
She fell silent for a while.
“Can it really be anything?”
“Why are you asking me?”
“Because I want to ask you. Can I really pursue any dream I want?”
She stared at the side of his face from close up.
He had lost a lot of blood and his swollen eyelids must have narrowed his vision because he did not notice her expression.
“Of course you can,” he immediately replied.
Hearing that, her mouth opened in a small smile.
“What? Did you find your dream?”
“I have no reason to tell you what it is.”
He turned his battered face toward her, but she had already returned her expression to normal.
Asking further would accomplish nothing, so he continued on while hoping she would eventually tell him.
He was unsure how long they had been walking.
He had lost almost all feeling in his snow-covered feet.
Eventually, a giant shadow came into view through the white snow blowing through the air.
“Egeskov Castle,” said Othinus with trembling lips.
Kamijou moved his head sluggishly.
“So we’ve made it. That castle isn’t filled with traps like in a room escape game, is it?”
“The castle doesn’t actually matter. I threw the eye in the lake before it was even built. The lake is the important part, but no one’s found the eye because everyone focuses on the castle that came later.”
While taking shallow breaths, they somehow arrived on the edge of the lake surrounding the castle.
But then they noticed something.
Something they would much rather have not noticed.
“Hi there,” said a voice.
A giant stairway and throne lay beyond the white curtain of blowing snow. No, it was not a throne atop a stairway the boy was sitting on.
They were humans.
He was sitting at the top of a pile of fifty or even one hundred people.
“Lightning God Thor!?”
“Oh, these are all Gremlin members. If you ask Othinus, she’ll probably give you an explanation on each and every one of them. She can be arrogant, but she loves explaining things while looking down on you. They were planning to gang up on you, but I went ahead and crushed them all because that sounded boring. I didn’t even get all that much experience for my trouble.”
“But you aren’t about to let us through, are you?” asked Othinus.
Thor gave a short bit of sarcastic applause.
“Of course not. I’m not your ally. In fact, being your enemy sounds like more fun. Oh, and Kamijou-chan. This is a lot more like it. You had completely rotted away when I saw you back in Academy City, but I think I can enjoy myself plenty now. Having a monster like Magic God Othinus as an added bonus just makes it perfect. Honestly, this is one of the greatest servings of experience I’ve ever seen. I really think my stomach might burst.”
“Watch out,” whispered Othinus. “We already dealt with Mjölnir, so he isn’t being supported by his hammer. That means he’s lost his power as the lightning god.”
“…? Wait. You make it sound like that doesn’t weaken him.”
“If he was acting as the lightning god, even you would stand a chance of defeating him,” she spat out. “But that isn’t the case if he brings out his power as an almighty god. This massacre was his doing. Simply put, a mere lightning god couldn’t do this much damage.”
“Hah hah hah. Thanks for the explanation. See? Told you she likes explaining things.”
While speaking casually, Thor slowly stood up from the pile of humans.
“So what’ll you do? Attack me together? Or will this be one-on-one with Kamijou-chan. I’m fine with either one, but hurry up and decide.”
“Why have you decided that I can’t use my full power and will not be fighting?”
“That’s easy. If you were at your full power, you wouldn’t be relying on Kamijou-chan in the first place.”
In that comment alone, his tone was icy.
Thor had betrayed Othinus to rescue Fräulein Kreutune. He likely had his own reasons, but Kamijou could not deny that he had rescued a girl from unreasonable circumstances for nothing in return. And from Thor’s standards, it was only natural for him to scorn the actions of the “former” Othinus.
Othinus tried to say something, but Kamijou held out a hand to stop her.
“It’ll be one-on-one,” he said.
“Ha ha! Now we’re talking! I knew you’d say that, Kamijou-chan!!”
Thor laughed as he descended from Gremlin’s throne and walked down the steps made from human bodies.
“In that case, I won’t be holding back. That’d just be rude. The stage has been set so perfectly, so I’ll show you Almighty Thor.”
He spread his arms to show himself off.
And a moment later, a tremendous noise burst out.
Someone’s fist had smashed into Kamijou.
He looked down and gradually followed the fist to the arm, the arm to the shoulder, and on from there. Finally, he found Thor’s face.
“Let me enjoy this, baby.”
Kamijou did not understand what had happened.
The impact spread throughout his entire body and he literally flew to the side.
Kamijou rolled along the snow.
Instead of breathing, he coughed up dark red blood.
His breathing sounded sticky as he drowned in his own blood. He could feel his consciousness flickering in and out, but he also had another thought.
The force of the fist had been no less than that of a normal human. At the very least, it had not been as violent as a jackhammer. He was only coughing up blood because of the previous damage accumulated in his ribs.
However, that did not eliminate the threat.
What had just happened?
What sort of phenomenon had it been?
“Try to be a little more imaginative.” Thor shook his bloody right hand while smiling. “I’m known as an almighty god right now, y’know? If Othinus hadn’t gouged out her eye, I’d be leading Gremlin. You need to widen your view if you want to talk about me.”
In that moment, Thor was standing over five meters away.
But the next thing Kamijou knew, the boy had grabbed his hair.
As he tried to stand up, he was slammed back to the snow.
Thor’s heel dropped on his chest and his gut again and again. He repeatedly applied pressure to Kamijou’s organs as casually as crushing an empty can.
Kamijou tried his best to reach out his arm while all the oxygen was forced from his lungs. He tried to grab at Thor’s ankle.
Thor vanished again.
He was about one meter above and he gathered his feet to crush Kamijou’s gut with his full weight.
An unpleasant noise came from his body.
(It’s not just that I can’t touch him. He returns with an attack at the same time. Is this some supernatural power that lets him make a cross counter with 100% accuracy!?)
While lying on his back, he reached a trembling hand toward Thor’s leg.
A dull pain rushed through his side.
Almighty Thor had jabbed his toes into his side as if kicking a soccer ball and the great force sent him rolling along the ground.
For an instant, Kamijou thought the white sky had grown distorted.
He simply assumed it was his failing consciousness.
“Hm. If it was night, that might’ve worked as a simpler hint.”
“What…? You mean…that wasn’t an illusion?”
“I’m not moving.”
Hearing that, Kamijou placed a hand in the snow and grabbed a few stones underneath it.
He threw them all at once.
“There’s no need to bother heading out just to kill my enemy.”
“There’s no need to bother heading out just to kill my enemy.”
“There’s no need to bother heading out just to kill my enemy.”
Thor’s voice seemed to blur into several different voices.
Several Thors stood there such that all of the thrown stones missed. No, that was not accurate. Those were the afterimages of the boy naming himself an almighty god.
“I told you to widen your view, didn’t I?”
The next voice came from directly behind him.
Thor’s clenched fist had already jabbed into Kamijou’s spine.
He launched his elbow backwards.
His elbow flew through empty air and Thor was already standing directly in front of him. The boy’s knee jabbed forcefully into the center of his gut.
Kamijou could not breathe.
He started to stagger backwards, but Thor grabbed his collar with one hand and pulled him forward. Thor swung his forehead down and Kamijou fell to the snow once more.
The distorting sky. A method of moving in an instant. A method different from the teleportation seen in Academy City. A technique within Gremlin. Something Kamijou himself had seen. Something he himself had experienced. How had Othinus taken him to Denmark?
“You aren’t the one moving…”
While taking shallow breaths, Kamijou moved his bloody lips.
His expression made it clear he could not believe his own theory.
“It’s the world that’s moving. You just have to stand still and the entire world is altered like a conveyer belt to carry the desired target to you.”
“Took you long enough. It’d be one thing if you hadn’t had any hints, but I already showed it to you in that Academy City container yard and I assume Othinus showed you her precious Bone Boat when you two vanished. Maybe I should’ve held back a bit and made it look more like some mysterious attack. I could’ve said something like ‘Mwa ha ha. I can stop time’.”
The game piece of Almighty Thor remained in place while the world map laid below it was moved.
It sounded simply unbelievable, but Kamijou knew of a technique that would make it possible.
“The battles in Baggage City were also an experiment to see if holistic espers existed. That ridiculous system would smash together multiple distant galaxies to fire flames from the hand. Are you saying you’ve reached that?”
“That’s not what this is. Do you understand why?”
Thor grinned and placed a hand on his hip.
It was obvious he was waiting for Kamijou to steady his breathing.
He sought an even more stimulating battle to gain even more experience points.
“That would eliminate Gremlin’s reason for targeting Fräulein Kreutune,” said Kamijou. “If you already had a holistic esper, you would’ve used it in your plan.”
“I’m similar but different. It might be a lot like the relationship between Ollerus and the #7. I’m the approximation of someone from the science side. I can produce almost the exact same phenomenon, but I’m not actually one of them. I really am a magician, so I’m not an esper in any way.”
Kamijou felt as if he had caught a glimpse of why Thor had risked so much to rescue Fräulein Kreutune.
She was similar but different.
She was in a position he could have ended up in.
She had not looked like a stranger to him, so he had made an enemy of every side involved to rescue her.
That may have been why he had gotten so angry when Kamijou had been indecisive about rescuing her.
“What you’re doing is on a huge scale. Moving the entire world is so far out of the ordinary that ‘almighty’ might be right on the mark. But the actual life-size phenomenon should be no different from teleportation. You can’t accomplish this level of accuracy like that.”
“Stop it. I don’t like being praised like that. You saw Othinus at full power, didn’t you? If the predicted specs I calculated out are accurate, her power would go well beyond mine which is limited to the world we’re in now. How many times was the world destroyed on your way here? In fact, how’d you even defeat her when she had her lance? …No, merely winning in a fistfight wouldn’t get you back to this world.”
It was true that 100% Almighty Thor would likely be killed in an instant if he faced 100% Magic God Othinus. Thor ruled a single world while Othinus created infinite worlds. That was an obvious and insurmountable wall.
But that was not the current problem.
Almighty Thor stood before Kamijou as a real threat and Othinus could no longer use her power. To move on, Kamijou would have to defeat him with the fists of a puny human.
“Just to be clear, I don’t designate the coordinates. For one thing, coordinates on paper are meaningless in an ever-expanding universe.”
“The condition isn’t to always move into your blind spot either. That’d only be around Level 3 in Academy City, right? Embarrassingly enough, I’m known as an almighty god, so use a little more imagination.”
“…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………It can’t be.”
The idea made Kamijou forget about the intense pain filling his entire body.
That effect would be convenient, unfair, hopeless, and exactly what a god would do.
“Does your spell always move you to the point that will let you win?”
“Well done. It’s technically the world that moves, though.”
Thor had already disappeared.
A dull shock ran through the center of Kamijou’s chest.
How many times had he felt his fists smash into flesh and blood?
How many times had he watched the boy roll through the deep snow?
He heard a train’s wheels striking the track in the distance.
The next thing Thor knew, they had moved away from Egeskov Castle. Were they a few dozen meters away or a few hundred meters? He turned around, but the castle had vanished in the white scenery. Kamijou Touma’s repeated and futile attempts to move away and the countless blows knocking him through the snow had added up to that simple result.
He had lost sight of Othinus, but that was not a problem for an almighty god.
The concept of distance was meaningless to him.
If necessary, the world would adjust for him. As long as she was on the planet that he held in his hand, he could instantly arrive in front of her even if she had fled to the other side of the world. Although technically, she would be arriving right in front of him.
This magic automatically adjusted position and distance so he only had to swing his arm or leg to land a clean hit. This spell produced the conditions needed for none of his opponent’s attacks to reach him and for only him to attack.
A win or a draw were the only options.
Almighty Thor could always avoid defeat, so not even Academy City’s #1 Level 5 could kill him. Without the ability to destroy and remake the entire world in an instant as Magic God Othinus had done, he could not be killed.
When a god died, so did the world.
Thor let out a sigh as he watched Kamijou struggle to his feet and take shaky steps away from him.
That action was meaningless. Distance and angle would be automatically readjusted.
“Are you done already?” he asked casually while taking a step forward.
With his powers as an almighty god released, that action seemed empty and dreary. It felt like unreal effort as if he were walking on a treadmill with a false, backwards-panning scenery displayed around him.
If it felt like this for him while he was limited to this world, he wondered how the world had appeared to Othinus when she had gained her full power.
“This is all I have. From beginning to end, it’s nothing but this. With Mjölnir’s support, I can add in the fusion blades and make it a little more acrobatic, but this is all I have now. To be blunt, this is your chance. You’ll never have a better opportunity.”
Even with that incomplete power, he had fought over one hundred Gremlin members and defeated them all unscathed. Even if he enjoyed attacking at his enemy’s weak points, he had still been taking on almost the entire organization that had caused so much chaos in the world.
“If you have so much power, what did you want from Othinus?” asked Kamijou as he moved further backwards. “I can’t imagine you relying on anything. In fact, did you even need to join Gremlin?”
“Remember what I said before? No matter how high you go, there’s always someone higher. The pursuit of power never ends. I’m not all that different from the rest of Gremlin. I joined them in order to grant my desire. There was nothing more to it than that.”
Thor smiled while lightly clenching his fist.
“We may have officially wanted to destroy the science side’s victory during World War Three, but that was only one of our many desires. Gremlin was an organization to allow Magic God Othinus to perfect her power and have her grant our desires with that power. That’s why everyone’s so pissed. Othinus ran off without paying us for our work.”
The Magic God Othinus that Kamijou had seen in that infinite hell could have accomplished that.
In fact, she most likely had done it in that perfect world where everyone was happy.
Kamijou had been the one to destroy their dreams and Othinus had been the one to return the world to normal.
“They all had similar complaints, so it would’ve been disgraceful to cause a giant fuss all together, don’t you think? That’s why I brought them all together. Just to be clear, I’ll be killing Othinus. I’ve got nothing against having a nice refreshing fistfight with you here, but a definite tragedy comes afterwards.”
Othinus had not made an enemy of the world on her own.
Every member of Gremlin had rejected the world and relied on the unique possibility of the magic god. They had followed her orders at the risk of being ostracized by the great gears of the world.
For that reason, they might be warranted in holding a grudge against Othinus after she stepped down from the stage.
But after thinking that far through it, Kamijou spat out some words.
“Are you kidding me?”
“Oh? I see the fire hasn’t left your eyes. That doesn’t make up for what she’s done, though.”
“You were in a position to stop it. You knew Othinus before Gremlin did all that and before you made an enemy of the world!!”
Magic God Othinus had truly been a frightening person.
She had created the lance on her own. To prevent her plan from being found out, she had prepared a dummy plan, caused major incidents around the world, and finally destroyed and recreated the world millions or even billions of times. Without exaggeration, that was the greatest evil he had seen up to this point.
“I stopped Othinus. I can’t exactly say I ‘defeated’ her, but I still stopped her. That wasn’t something only I could do. If you had tried to get to know her… If you had truly tried, anyone could have done it!! And yet…!!”
But that was not all.
She had returned everything to normal to protect Kamijou’s dream even if it meant abandoning her own dream. She had saved him, knowing it would lead the entire world to attack her. Even when Index, Mikoto, and the others had let loose fierce attacks, she had accepted it head on without even trying to defend or evade.
“You gave up from the start! You gave up on understanding her!! You decided that was easier and you didn’t want to risk falling victim to her anger, so you didn’t truly try to face her and you made no attempt to speak with her!! …And now you’re trying to put the whole blame on her? You gave up on making your own dreams come true, you forced those dreams on someone else, you turned a blind eye to the pressure that put on her, and now you’re blaming her for failing!? To hell with that!! It shouldn’t have been me standing by her side. It should have been all of you! There were fifty or even a hundred of you and yet not even one of you managed to reach this point, so stop trying to act like you’re any better!!!”
They had been in contact with Othinus long before Kamijou had faced her, so why did they not understand?
Were they satisfied with simply throwing her into the category of “frightening magic god”?
Why hadn’t they been able to find even one bit of good in her?
Why hadn’t they found it odd that they did not find anything?
“Magic God Othinus was undoubtedly a villain,” said Kamijou. “But you hold some responsibility for not stopping her! Don’t run from your sins, Almighty Thor. This isn’t some unrealistic expectation. I did it! I did what anyone could have but no one tried to do!! None of you managed, but that wasn’t because it was impossible. It was simply because you had already given up on her!!”
Perhaps, thought Thor.
None of the Gremlin members, Thor included, had thought the words of a human would get through to Othinus. Even if she could understand the language, they had all thought she would not understand the human thoughts contained within the words.
In that way, Kamijou Touma had accomplished something unprecedented.
He may have been “stronger” than any of them.
“That’s not the issue here, Kamijou-chan.”
Almighty Thor vanished.
He had already secured the position that would allow him to defeat the boy.
No matter what, Almighty Thor could evade any and all attacks. In his battle with Kamijou, the entire world would automatically move in order to position him such that he evaded all of the attacks and could most effectively attack. All he had to do was swing his arm or leg. As if playing a dumbed-down fighting game in which smashing a single button would provide a flawless victory, he could always achieve victory if he spent enough time on it. It did not matter what his opponent did. Just hitting that same button would overcome it all.
This made him undeniably invincible and yet it made the fight unimaginably empty.
Even after thousands or tens of thousands of victories, he would obtain nothing.
If he used that almighty power too much, the information on the rotation and revolution of the earth would become irreversibly skewed like a video tape that had been redubbed again and again. He was taking such a huge risk, yet this victory would not give him even the slightest hint of knowledge.
This was why he so desperately sought battle experience points. If he had known Kamijou had opposed Magic God Othinus in that infinite world by repeatedly dying and learning, he might have clapped his hands and laughed uproariously.
(I thought I could escape this with you as my opponent.)
He felt a dull sensation pass through his fist.
By the time the positioning was complete (and he seemed to disappear to others), the attack was already over. Once he vanished it was too late to evade and moving before he disappeared was meaningless.
(I wouldn’t be able to do a thing to Othinus at full power and the other members were too weak to gain anything. I’d thought you were at a nice spot between the two, dammit!!)
He heard a clanking sound.
He did not know how much longer he had to keep hitting the “button”, but there was no way for Kamijou to escape the situation. Thor realized he was on the path to victory and that realization cooled his heart. The fact that he would gain nothing no matter what he did brought a dead look to his eyes.
The clanking sound grew louder.
Only then did he finally catch on, but it was already too late.
He was no longer standing on the snowy ground. A hard railroad tie lay underfoot and he stood on a railroad track. He had punched Kamijou from behind and caused his body to bend like a bow, but the boy looked over his shoulder and still had life in his eyes.
“Your magic moves the world to put you in a position to win your fight with me, right?”
The will to fight remained in his eyes.
“Then can you handle something unrelated to our fight?”
After turning and looking at the approaching mass of steel, Thor froze in place.
An instant later, the 12-car freight train plowed through.
It passed by with tremendous speed while just barely grazing Kamijou’s clothes.
A deafening sound of scraping metal filled the air. The freight train was belatedly slamming on the brakes after hitting someone. Orange sparks flew from between the rails and metal wheels.
Kamijou Touma sank to the ground.
His entire body was battered and he could no longer distinguish the pain of one injury from another. He felt as if his body had expanded and was completely covered in the heat of pain. He did not know what had become of him on the inside and he was afraid of what a detailed examination would show. He was not even sure he had all of his bones and organs anymore.
Even so, it was not over yet.
Defeating Almighty Thor had not been his goal. Othinus had to take her eye from the lake and abandon her power.
Suddenly, a male voice spoke from the slight space between the bottom of the train and the ground.
All of Kamijou’s hair stood on end. He had not been trying to kill Thor, but there was nothing else he could do if the boy could get up after that. That surprise attack would not work a second time.
Thor was covered in blood, but he appeared to be in one piece.
He had no special ability beyond freely twisting and moving the world, so his body was no sturdier than a normal person’s. That meant the freight train had not directly hit him.
He may have switched out his “target” at the last second, avoided a direct hit, and “fled” under the train.
“Oh, don’t worry. I’m not asking to continue the fight. That was a decent bit of experience. Including the exchange of verbal blows. I haven’t felt this great in a while.” Thor slowly waved a blood-soaked hand. “What are you two doing here in the first place? I could guess Othinus was hiding something here, but I don’t have a clue what.”
“She apparently gained her special power as a magic god by throwing her eye into the spring here. By retrieving it, she can abandon her power. Our goal is to have her surrender after that.”
“I see. Yeah, that really is like you, Kamijou-chan. But in that case, shouldn’t you hurry back there?”
“Is there still someone else?” asked Kamijou in annoyance.
However, Thor’s answer was certainly not what he had expected.
“You still haven’t caught on?”
“Your final enemy isn’t me. Anyone could figure it out if they gave it some thought.”
At that moment, Magic God Othinus was kneeling next to the lake. Both her knees sank into the snow and her hands were placed on the freezing lake.
She muttered something under her breath.
The entire lake emitted a blinding blue light and it quickly condensed into a single point within the icy water she had scooped up in her hands. A sphere the size of a ping pong ball appeared in her hand, but it was very different from a human eye. The blue sphere was hard like a jewel. No matter how a human organ was preserved, it would not obtain that color. The invisible structure of a human and magic god may have been fundamentally different.
That was her eye.
By sacrificing her body part to the spring, she had gained the special body of a magic god. By placing it within the eye socket hidden by her eyepatch, she would return to the body she had before becoming a magic god.
That would save the world from the chaos produced by its fear of that great power.
If she then surrendered, the turmoil begun by her and Gremlin would come to an end.
However, she had a certain thought.
Words of rejection filled her mind.
(Is that really okay?)
The key to it all lay in her hands and it felt immensely heavy to her.
(Should I really be saved?)
She had watched the blood-soaked boy.
She had watched the boy as he became a shield against what she had wrought and as he had continued to fight even as he literally coughed up blood.
He had fought his supposed allies, his injuries had grown one by one, and it had become hard to find a part of him that was not injured.
As she had watched him, the thought had come to her.
(Should I really be saved?)
After all, she had done so much and caused so much trouble for so many people.
After all, she had not made up for any of it and she had not asked anyone for forgiveness.
After all, her success was built on that boy’s sacrifice and she had done nothing herself.
If she were to ask him, she knew what his answer would be. Kamijou Touma, the one who understood her, would undoubtedly say she should be saved. But could she really cling to those words? Could she rely on him, lean on him, weigh him down, drag those words out of him as if it was normal, and ultimately say she had been saved?
Could she really entrust herself to that boy who would unconditionally save her?
Wasn’t that the same as saying he was to blame for the fact that she had been saved, that she had let herself be swept away by the events, and that she could not stop herself from overly relying on him?
She would be lying if she said she did not want to be saved.
After running all this way, she wanted to accomplish something rather than have it all end while leaving nothing behind. That was what she truly thought.
Could she really cast that boy into the whirlpool of hatred?
Could she really let herself be saved while knowing he would have to bear her sins from then on as well?
Could she really use a trick to escape that truly painful journey and leave the blame for that injustice on this boy?
So she made up her mind.
She heard a light sound as the blue jewel fell to her feet.
“I just can’t do it.”
She covered her face with the hands cooled by the negative degree lake water and she gave a clear announcement as if groaning.
“I can’t save myself.”
A tremendous vibration attacked the entire area evenly.
Kamijou Touma hesitantly turned toward the center of the blast.
There, he found a familiar despair.
Ten wings seemed to fill the entire world. They looked like wings, but they were not. Those complex patterns that extended forever were the crossbows that acted as Magic God Othinus’s final trump card. This was the ultimate weapon that not even Kamijou had known how to handle after somehow overcoming the lance in that infinite hell.
But Othinus could not use proper magic right now.
She was risking her life by forcing herself to use it.
“What is going on? I thought we came here to get rid of that power! I thought you were going to abandon your power as a magic god!! So why are you doing this?”
“You still don’t get it?”
Something crawled out from under the train.
It was Thor who was just as blood-soaked as Kamijou.
“You’re supposed to understand her, right? I don’t know what happened on your way here, but you had to have seen it with her. She isn’t alone and she has someone to rely on, but the more she relies on him, the more she hurts the one she cares for.”
“When she held the lance, she might have been able to happily leave herself all alone without batting an eye. But what about now? You know a side of her that Gremlin doesn’t, so you should understand.”
He could not believe what he was hearing and the definitive statement soon stabbed into his ears.
“Othinus doesn’t want to be saved. She’s choosing to reject your salvation. She’s already seen what it means to save her, so she’s keeping you from bearing that sin in the future. If she dies while fighting you, she assumes it will cancel out what you’ve done.”
Othinus knew her body would be destroyed if she used any more magic.
Nevertheless, she had decided to use magic.
She was punishing herself.
She knew Kamijou Touma would try to stop her once he knew, so she was making sure to stop him.
She was silently saying that a monster like her should not seek salvation.
Kamijou understood what Othinus was doing.
He faced his final enemy and clenched his right fist with tremendous force.
“Don’t run, Othinus!!!!!”
He shouted with every last ounce of strength in his gut. He stood from the snow, clenched his fist, faced those ten dreadful crossbows, and let out a further cry.
“You were a horrible villain!! The entire world hated you!! You had a special power and deflecting all that hatred was a piece of cake!! You were born special and you crossed the point of no return when you threw your eye into that lake!! From that point on, there was nothing ‘normal’ or ‘average’ about you!! You didn’t fit in this world and there was no place for you here!! But!!”
He walked across the snowy field as he shouted.
He approached little by little.
The girl at the base of the ten crossbows had a glowing wound in the center of her chest and something like a stake was pierced through it. That was likely the fairy spell and cracks were spreading from there to every part of her body. An ominous creaking sound came from her and she looked like she had been dunked in liquid nitrogen and was about to break.
“Despite all that, you chose to face the world, Othinus! You decided to become ‘normal’ and ‘average’!! So don’t run. Don’t run from paying for your sins, Othinus!! Don’t turn your back on happiness!! That’s…That’s not humility and it’s not justice. You’re not saving anyone like this. You’re just running from a painful journey!!”
He had been unable to defeat this surefire attack in the very, very end.
This had taken his life.
He once more faced that true despair and he prepared his fist head on.
“What are you going to do?” asked Thor.
Most likely, not even that almighty god could escape this tremendous attack that was fired in exchange for her life. Thor would be no help here. No one in the world would.
“Isn’t it obvious?”
This fight was between Kamijou Touma and Magic God Othinus.
This was Kamijou’s homework that he had been unable to complete as he wanted back then.
“If she thinks it’s better for her to die, and if that ridiculous idea is giving her the mistaken impression that she’s saving me by running from that painful path…”
He thrust his fist forward as if once more issuing a challenge to this true god and that puny human boy made his announcement.
“Then first I’ll destroy that illusion!!!!”