Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume12 Afterword
If you bought each volume one by one, welcome back. If you bought them all at once, welcome.
This is Kamachi Kazuma.
The theme this time was St. Germain!! He is pretty well-known as far as magic goes, but I had not touched on him yet because of his distance from the leaders of modern Western magic cabals like Mathers and Crowley and because doing any research will turn up as much material treating him like a con artist as material treating him like a mysterious individual.
But I wondered if I could mix both the pure and impure sides of him in this series and thus New Testament 12 was born.
The real themes were lies, acting, theatre, and roleplaying. For better or for worse, I think these are unavoidable factors in the occult. Not so much in pure religion or mythology, but definitely in the ritual magic organized by the same intellectuals that attended high society parties.
To accentuate this theme, I added a liar on the ally side, too. He was fully relying on that lie, but as he overcame a harsh reality, he grew enough to cast off that shell, stand on his own two feet, and announce his own name. And with that truth, he defeated St. Germain who wielded lies. That was the kind of story I wanted to tell.
People have various reasons to lie.
St. Germain did, Kanou Shinka did, and even Frenda did in her appearance from the past.
Each of those reasons approaches the true meaning of lying or acting. Take the lie Frenda told Kanou Shinka, for example. If you focus on why she did it rather than the words themselves, you might just realize that there are several different types of acting.
I kept the conclusion with St. Germain vague instead of giving a clear answer, but I do have a definite answer as the author. Was he(?) a rare sort of magician or was he just an incredible con artist? Make sure to give that some serious thought. Also, the Agitate Halation Project in New Testament 7 may look merciless at first glance, but you can also view this story as the answer to what kind of threat that project could have been a countermeasure to had it not been driven out of control by Yakumi Hisako.
As an experiment for this story, I kept Kamijou Touma in an assistance role.
That’s why he was beaten up by Hamazura Shiage and why he let Kanou Shinka have the finishing blow.
It may seem like nothing but bad news for him, but I think his “What are you talking about? The hero here was you” line in the epilogue shows how much he has grown from always insisting that he do it. What did you think?
I also focused on Frenda so that this novel would correspond with New Testament 1.
I wasn’t exactly hiding it, but when I created Frenda Seivelun in Old Testament 15, I asked Haimura-san to make her extremely cute so no one would immediately peg her as the character who would die. …But that made her one of the most popular characters even among the massive number of characters in this series, so I could not help but realize this was the work of a true professional illustrator.
And so I have defined Frenda as a character that is neither good nor evil. That may be quite a rare position in this series. Since we generally see her working on the dark side, she may seem more weighted on the evil side, but I think she has a number of different sides to her that are all of equal weight. If you start wondering where exactly she wanted to return to so badly that she was willing to betray Mugino, Takitsubo, and Kinuhata in Old Testament 15, you might be able to imagine a side of Frenda that isn’t pure evil.
Then again, I learned after the fact just how powerful a trait “a beautiful but dead girl” is. There really is a lot to learn about constructing characters.
Speaking of characters, I dug deeper into the character of Kihara Noukan this time. He seems to be a step above the other Kiharas, but his driving force of “focus on nothing but being a Kihara” is also Kihara Enshuu’s primary ideology and his feelings for the originals are irrational and fantastical things that go beyond scientific formulas. Despite being at the core of the Kiharas, he also has one paw outside the realm of pure science. He walks through the darkness alongside Aleister who has mastered and yet hates magic. I hope you were able to think about the character of Kihara Noukan based on the various glimpses you had of him.
I give my thanks to my illustrator Haimura-san and to my editors Miki-san, Onodera-san, and Anana-san. With the Dianoid, the Power Lifters, the many St. Germains, and the plant armor, there were a lot of difficult elements this time. I truly am grateful they put up with it all.
I also give my thanks to the readers. With the various Magic Gods, including Othinus, have you started to realize how Gremlin works yet? The setup is complete, so a full-scale clash with the Magic Gods will finally begin next time. I hope you will keep reading.
It is time to close the pages for now while praying that the pages of the next book will be opened.
And I lay my pen down for now
It’s about time for Mikoto to have her turn in the spotlight, isn’t it?