Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume20 Prologue
Prologue: Overturning Science and Magic – Become_to_War.
Oh, Lola, you poor, entirely innocent girl.
The children of man cannot choose their parents no matter how hard they try. If you had never been involved with that magician, none of this would have happened.
“Bwah! Pant, ah, bwah!!”
Late that December night, darkness filled Academy City in the cold rain.
The hospital where that doctor worked would normally have been a symbol of rescue, but right in front of it, a woman with extremely long blonde hair lay on the wet asphalt, opening and closing her mouth and seeking air while sounding like she was drowning.
And that was not a figurative expression.
That Archbishop would normally wear a beige habit and it looked like she had collapsed face down. But in truth, half her body had sank into the parking lot. Just like she was sinking into the pitch-black ocean late at night.
And there was one other person there.
No sign of that magician’s original form remained because he had transformed into a lovely girl with long silver hair, a blue blazer, a witch’s hat, and a cape. He smiled thinly as she whispered to the woman.
In order to kill Aleister’s baby girl Lilith, Mathers had indiscriminately sent modern Western magic into the world. That greedy man had summoned Coronzon and that Great Demon had possessed Aleister’s other daughter: Lola.
“The world of magic emphasizes symbolism.”
The Magician Aleister Crowley.
He – or in this case, she – provided a lecture, perhaps because she had sat in the seat of Academy City’s Board Chairman for so long. Or perhaps this was her fatherly side showing through since she was in the presence of her daughter.
“And that does not just apply to special individuals, silver weapons protected by a tribe, and marble ruins. Wrapping a waist band, thrusting a spear, and other perfectly ordinary actions are given an extra value. And at this point, I am not going to explain what each individual thing means. What matters is that all phenomena have meaning, Coronzon. It was not there in the first place, but just as people used up all the available internet addresses, fools like us have left almost no empty space.”
She pressed down.
Lola Stuart tried desperately to climb out of the dark and wet asphalt, but Aleister pressed down on her white forehead adorned with beautiful blonde bangs.
“Now, let us follow the story of St. Margaret who worshiped the cross. Because I know you loathe those morality plays as much as I do.”
The father pressed her leather shoe’s heel against the daughter’s forehead.
“I will step on you.”
“That is a symbol of stripping away a demon, stealing its power, removing the disaster, and retrieving peace, Great Demon Coronzon.”
Golden hair that symbolized devilishness wriggled after spending a very long time gathering power from the moonlight. It emitted a somewhat off-kilter fear that was different from that of a witch from the ancient past or an alien from the future. This was something outside the realm of imagination. If you faced this Great Demon while unprepared, your soul could be damaged and you could be forced to succumb no matter what your physical specs were.
But the magician who had created all of modern Western magic was different.
The silver crushed the gold.
The pressure from Aleister’s foot grew as if to bury Lola’s lovely face in the black asphalt. No, that was not just the silver witch’s power. Academy City was that magician’s holy ground. It was a reproduction of the Abbey of Thelema that had once stood on a small Italian island. She used all of that to apply a “seal” that resembled extreme gravity.
“How does it feel to be humiliatingly defeated by what is just? Now, let us move on from St. Margaret and discuss a clever little technique.”
It came directly from Aleister Crowley.
“The Banner of the West. Those dual symbols and color layout will reject evil. I cannot eliminate all doubt from thy nature, so I shall protect thee by severing all ties. Furthermore, I am blameless and need not leave this location, so the evil one must remove herself in accordance with her sin!!”
Aleister Crowley had not designed Academy City for this purpose.
If she had known Lola Stuart was Great Demon Coronzon borrowing her daughter’s flesh, her plan would not have taken this form from the very beginning.
But that was not what mattered.
That magician had defined what qualified as magic and controlled all that fell under that label. Even if it was a loathsome and cursed thing now, she would not allow that to hamper her skill. As much as she might hate and resent it, Aleister was still a true magician. And from that human’s perspective, everything visible in the world was magic. Inhaling and exhaling, standing and sitting, walking and stopping, weeds growing from the cracks – it was all linked to the mystical.
“So you cannot escape the contract unless you complete your agreement with Mathers by killing me? I pity even you, Great Demon.”
“Still, that is no reason to hold back.”
Nothing special was needed.
Modern Western magic was a system of techniques set up to give everyone equal access to the mystical, no special talent required. And that was exactly what had torn apart a certain magician’s family.
Aleister made an announcement to the Great Demon that could only continue following Mathers’s orders even after his death.
“I will use everything I have built up to stop you, Coronzon.”
She would not even let her opponent speak.
Even if she had been possessed for so long, what was in that father’s heart as she stomped on her daughter’s face?
“Even all this is no more than buying time. I cannot kill you the way things are. But how much can I do in the time this buys me? Give it some thought inside the seal. Just as every country and region in the world has used the exact same punishment since BCE times, having our time wasted is a burden for us all. Oh, but we know each other well enough that I am sure you will understand. And that is why this will fill you with more fear and suffering than anything else.”
There was a sticky, muddy sound.
The pressure felt like an asteroid at this point. Aleister Crowley used her heel to shove the Great Demon into the dark wet asphalt.
Then, with an odd sound reminiscent of a punishing lightning strike from heaven, an unnatural light flashed through several of the roads that acted as Academy City’s arteries.
That light drew a giant equilateral triangle with a cross carved into the center.
Anyone who knew anything about modern Western magic would immediately recognize it as the Banner of the West. That symbol of exorcism was one of the most convenient Symbolic Weapons that protected the spell user by monitoring and rejecting the approach of evil power on the ceremonial grounds – for example, something resembling Telesma that was out to get humans. The banner was so useful because good and useful powers would remain unmolested while only the evil and useless powers were affected.
It only took an instant.
Once the light vanished, nothing remained.
Not even the golden demon sinking into the asphalt.
Aleister spoke as if spitting a curse down at the wet road surface.
“…It all begins here. I will use this time to its fullest.”
Yes, this was only the preliminary round. It only treated the symptoms. That silver girl was a skilled enough magician to fully know this was no time to be optimistic. A seal that used an entire city and measured dozens of kilometers across might sound nice, but the city had not been designed for use against Coronzon. She had only connected the spider web of roads in a meaningful way. It was a makeshift method that took inspiration from the giant circle Karasuma Fran had used in her attempt to summon Kamisato Kakeru.
That Great Demon would tear through something on this level.
After all, if Aleister’s predictions were correct, Coronzon had enough direct firepower to push back Holy Guardian Angel Aiwass.
Currently, the human race had no real method of fighting back.
If she learned how to fight this makeshift delaying tactic, it was all over. The next time Lola Stuart made an appearance, no one would be able to stop her.
The silver girl could be heard coughing up blood.
This was not the conflict between scientific esper powers and occult magic. Before even getting to that, magic was a dangerous thing in and of itself. So much so that the person using it could take someone’s life without even realizing it.
She could not allow the negative effects of her magic to be released into the wide world.
She ensured the recoil of her magic was sent back to her own body. The girl held a hand to her mouth but still smiled thinly. As if to say this was the proper form of a magician. Even as the midwinter rain struck her, that human looked down at the empty ground and spoke.
“…I will take it all back, Coronzon. Along with my second daughter.”
Academy City had entirely ceased to function as a city.
Of course, the 2.3 million people who lived in the city had no way of knowing about Great Demon Coronzon. They had only seen a flash of light resembling lightning. When a blackout had followed, most of them would have assumed some largescale power distribution problem.
But they could not check social media or trending terms to see some simple statistics.
Nor was there an official announcement to prevent confusion.
…This was unavoidable because the communications infrastructure had gone out along with so much else. There were some who criticized the internet and mobile devices as a hotbed for misinformation, but it was also dangerous to have it entirely cut off and thus isolating people.
An invisible monster quickly spread by word of mouth.
Was it only an accident, or had there been some kind of attack?
Would this be an extended blackout and were there any goods they wanted to grab while they could?
Whether it was an external attack or an internal coup…were they safe where they were?
Everyone immediately chose to take action, but that may have been because they had learned how harsh infrastructure failures could be during the heat wave which had never been explained (at least not officially).
They could not just wait around.
Throwing a tantrum would accomplish nothing. Even if there was no obvious enemy, losing the necessities of life was still a threat.
In fact, it might be worse if there was no enemy to defeat and thus bring it to an end.
After experiencing the fear of the city infrastructure failing during the heat wave caused by a microwave attack, those 2.3 million people acted swiftly. They did not lament the sudden confusion and they did not swarm a convenient authority figure to vent their anger. If they did not adapt to this change, they really would die. That was the way of things in the natural world, but that harsh logic had returned to the surface here. It did not sound at all like something a city of science would do, but once they sensed that strange atmosphere, they really were quick to act.
“Don’t push! There’s no reason to panic! You don’t need to rush the busses! We are opening up the trucks and dump trucks!”
An Anti-Skill officer in a green track suit guided some children who were carrying as much luggage as they could. But even the adults shouting with their physical voices did not actually know what had happened. What had that flash of light been? Had all of the city’s countless wind turbines been taken out? Had there been a problem with the rushed recovery work, or was this a malicious attack? Their minds were full of questions, but they could not let it show. If they did, it could trigger an explosive panic among the students who made up 80% of the population. And given their esper powers, that had to be avoided.
For now, they knew Academy City had been reduced to an environment as dangerous as during the heat wave. Most of the children could not stay here. Everything had stopped, so they could not even inject them with tracking nanodevices.
How much would times change after this?
The toothbrushes and piggy banks they carried like normal were collections of bizarre technology to the outside world. More importantly, the children themselves had gone through the powers development program that allowed them to bring microscopic quantum theory to the level of macroscopic physical phenomena.
And there were some who could not follow the normal evacuation instructions.
For example, there were military mass-produced clone girls who all shared the same face.
“You aren’t coming with us? asks Misaka as Misaka tugs on your coat sleeve.”
A small girl of about 10 wore an overprotectively thick coat.
The person resting his weight on a modern design cane was Academy City’s strongest Level 5.
Accelerator clicked his tongue.
“…I’ve got stuff to take care of.”
“Shouldn’t Misaka go with you?”
“Don’t be stupid. You’d only get in the way.”
They were approached by a small, round car that did not fit the #1’s tastes at all. Yoshikawa Kikyou sat in the driver’s seat. She was a specialist in that clone technology.
A girl wearing something resembling an ao dai waved from the passenger seat with a cruel look in her eyes. She was Misaka Worst. She was a living weapon designed for use against Accelerator by outputting only the malicious parts of the Misaka Network.
The researcher in a lab coat, Yoshikawa Kikyou, opened the driver’s side door as she spoke.
“Have you finished your goodbyes?”
“You got this completely wrong, you straight-laced woman. We should’ve watched through binoculars for 20 or 30 minutes. Bya hya!! Ah ha ah ha ha!! And after Misaka hoped to intercept the #1’s lovey-dovey face through the Misaka Network☆”
The #1 clicked his tongue again, but with more malice behind it this time.
He sounded fully exasperated.
“What’s being done with the other clones?”
“That has already been arranged. We can’t gather a bunch of identical girls on a bus, so they’re being transported as cargo. But if you ask me, a sealed container is more comfortable than your average one-room apartment.”
“What happens after they leave?”
“Even with so many satellites circling the planet, there are still a surprising number of secret gardens left here and there. There may have been a better way for me to spend my time unemployed. What, did you think the outside media could actually catch wind of this?”
Accelerator lightly tapped his modern design cane against the wet asphalt.
And he spoke.
“That’s fine then.”
“Ni shi shi. You’ve changed, #1.”
“Is there something wrong with that?”
“…Oh, dear. You really have moved to a higher stage, haven’t you? As someone soaked in the evil side, Misaka feels a little lonely.”
Misaka Worst pouted her lips like a child in the passenger seat of the small, round car, but Accelerator did not care. Thinking of himself as the strongest was the same as giving up on any further growth. And could you really call that “strong”? He could actually ask that question now.
“This won’t be a long trip. I’ll deal with it and get back right away.”
“Oh? Don’t you want to use this chance to tear apart your collar and fly free?”
“Are you serious?”
Academy City was a crucible of malice.
But without this city and the external organizations that cooperated with it, the Sisters would have had no place in the world. The outside world was not prepared for those clones, both from a medical equipment standpoint and a legal standpoint. No matter who stood at the top, Academy City was necessary as the framework that protected them.
“…There’s nothing…really nothing to worry about, right?” asked the small girl.
She grabbed Accelerator’s coat and looked up at him.
“You aren’t going to fight again, are you? asks Misaka as Misaka makes sure.”
Now, what would the correct answer be for a normal human? As someone who held the strongest rank, the #1 had no way of knowing.
During World War Three, he had brought Last Order to Russia because it had been an emergency. More importantly, he had still been mentally immature at the time. He now had the “strength” needed to accept that. Back then, he had probably been unable to bear the fear of having something important to him so far out of reach. Just like in a stormy sea or on a snowy mountain, he had feared the wind would carry her forever out of reach if he let go for even a moment.
But that was wrong.
He no longer thought true trust looked like that.
Accelerator would now be looking to a different world centered on an axis entirely different from the rank he had built up so far. He could not predict what would happen. But there was one thing he had to say regardless of that. There were multiple types of strength and the #1 felt he was realizing the strength that would allow him to say this.
So he said it.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be back.”
Now, it was time to get to work.
As if shaking free of his reluctance, Accelerator turned his back on the warm world he had created while being saved by a few different miracles.
A never-before-seen battlefield awaited him beyond the darkness.
“Do you have any idea what time it is, Index!? That’s simply not an option! This pork ramen stick is just uncooked cup ramen shaped into a stick! It’ll kill you! You should only eat a mass of sodium and calories like that when you’re trapped on a snowy mountain!!”
“Leering!? I really don’t think you should be judging other people’s thoughts based on your own, Takitsubo-san! And what is this about a pale mini-China dress and a silver-haired, brown-skinned, and bandaged Egyptian woman!? Besides, you can’t use psychometry! Ehh? You have no proof there’s a signal coming from south-southwest and why was your description of the brown-skinned woman so much more detailed!? Someone, help me!!”
Accelerator sighed and stared off into the distance for once.
…Keeping one’s distance from others could be very important.
The time and place shifts to the Egyptian coast of the Mediterranean.
The sky was a clear blue and the air was dry.
This was a point on the way to their destination.
It was the kind of desert oasis seen on a postcard. A hideout had been prepared there. Instead of a villa, it took the form of a boxy RV.
With the stage in Egypt, it seemed like the time for a bandaged brown beauty to shine, but the Magic Gods like Nephthys and Niang-Niang were nowhere to be found. For one thing, where they went could not be influenced by the interests of the human world. However, a pure berserker would appear in the center of conflict regardless. That was the way the silver girl saw it.
This was no more than the sinful human world.
“I’ve repaid my final debt, Aleister,” said the blond sunglasses boy named Tsuchimikado Motoharu. “This is a safe hideout for now, but don’t forget that the situation is changing by the second.”
The silver girl, who wore a blue blazer uniform, a witch’s hat, and a cape, glanced over at someone.
Karasuma Fran, a bob cut girl in a hoodie bikini, nodded.
The rabbit-ear antennae on her head and the ball-shaped Doppler radar on her butt wiggled a bit as she spoke.
“…Nothing contradicts that. There are no EM or IR transmissions and I am detecting no faint magnetic readings from electronic circuits. We do not have to fear a locater beaming our position back to England or radio-triggered plastic explosives on the bottom of the RV.”
Those malicious hypotheticals might sound ridiculous, but they were not completely out of the question. Rather than questioning Tsuchimikado’s humanity, there were simply too many reasons to hold a grudge against Aleister.
That said, Fran was a former member of the Kamisato Faction, but she was also a magician who had blended into that extraordinary group to send reports back to Lola Stuart. She looked as absentminded as Takitsubo Rikou, but she lived in the same world as Tsuchimikado Motoharu who had infiltrated Academy City. She was better suited for detecting malice than Kamijou Touma or Accelerator.
“But do we really have to attack England head-on? I doubt they are all Coronzon’s pawns…”
“Well, they will not all be under her direct control like you were. But the good justice of a British gentleman will be in our way here. If we spend time explaining everything, we will lose the time I bought us. The British will not know what they are protecting, so even if it means a direct fight, we must grasp at Coronzon’s Achilles’ heel as quickly as possible.”
“There is no need for you to come along. There was nothing you could have done to avoid the A. O. Francisca incident, so you need not feel responsible.”
“Hmph,” snorted the sunglasses boy. “Also, there are still German landmines in the Egyptian desert. Don’t blame me if you drive over one and blow yourself up.”
“You won’t get anything else out of me. I’ll be infiltrating things behind the scenes in my own way. If you care about your family, then keep that in mind. Put my little sister in danger and I will kill you.”
Finally, Tsuchimikado Motoharu gave another look toward Fran rather than Aleister. He seemed to be asking her what she would do. The hoodie bikini girl shook her head. Just like when she had shaken free of her love, that small girl would not run away and hide. She would challenge things head-on and secure a place for herself. She did not want “the ends of the earth” like Tsuchimikado.
Fran had been directly controlled by Lola (i.e. Coronzon) using three red jewels, so she may have sensed a different sort of danger. Did she want to thoroughly eliminate the possibility of being controlled again, or did she want to repay the others for saving her? That was unclear.
“…Understood. It’s your life, so I’ll trust your instincts.”
That was all.
Almost like a Villager A, who existed only to guide the protagonist, Tsuchimikado Motoharu vanished into the middle of the desert as if fading into the sand.
Long silver hair, a blue blazer uniform, a witch’s hat, and a cape. The root cause who had transformed into a girl took a breath, opened the stainless steel door, and stepped inside the RV with the hoodie bikini and rabbit-ear antennae girl. The space was larger than a van. The sofa and table folded up and the bath was a shower room smaller than a phone booth, but they could not be picky.
The spiky-haired high school boy named Kamijou Touma had already entered to inspect the temporary home, but now he frowned.
“So you brought us here, but why Egypt?”
“For European magicians, it is a nearby holy land much like Tibet and the Dark Continent of Africa is a crucible of the mystical. This place is also closely related to the experiments for summoning Aiwass and Coronzon. …Although it turns out Mathers summoned Coronzon before I did. They have a fundamentally different axis to the humans who ascended to Magic Godhood, so I doubt we can stand up to them through force alone. If I am going to be extending myself, I wanted to start at an advantageous location. I do not know how effective it will be, but no place on earth would be better for jamming that Great Demon.”
That would be why they had chosen a mobile RV instead of a fixed villa. She did not think this would remain a safe place to the very end. In fact, continually moving to hide their tracks would be better.
A cat-ears widow(!?) in mourning clothes hid behind a corner of the RV. She tilted her head a little and awaited her orders.
At her feet, a calico cat chased after her tail which moved around like an independent creature.
Girl Aleister’s expression did not change.
“Take care of Lilith while I am away. She is a baby and the historical Lilith died of typhoid fever. Be extra careful with milk, toys, and anything else she might put in her mouth. This baby was reborn by twisting destiny, so be careful of anything related to the original cause of death.”
“Understood. According to my parameters, I am a wife, so there is nothing to worry about.”
Now. …Who was it that had tearfully curled up in front of a convenience store with a power cable in her mouth because she did not understand the concept of food? If that store manager had seen this, he might have screamed, but the silver girl was not too bothered about things that could be learned with a simple search.
Blatant hostility and mechanical politeness.
From beginning to end, everything that surrounded Aleister fell into those two categories.
She may have realized that because that former Board Chairman gave a faint smile. The one exception may have been Kamijou Touma.
A small life wrapped in baby clothes uttered a quiet voice. When working with Hamazura Shiage, she had used a number of mystical items in the form of a three-dimensional puzzle and fluently spoken human language through a wooden doll, but her natural form was a perfectly normal baby. It may have only been in combat mode that she did anything so extreme.
This may have been the final anchor for Aleister Crowley. That existence was the lifeline that held him or her in a kind world. The human shook free of that and made an announcement.
“I will rescue my other daughter as well.”
Index, Othinus, Accelerator, Hamazura Shiage, Takitsubo Rikou, Karasuma Fran, and Kamijou Touma.
She looked across those faces.
“To be honest, the British people, who innocently believe in the justice they were given, have done nothing wrong, but no one can kill Great Demon Coronzon who has been temporarily sealed in Academy City. Even after all that, she will crawl back out before long. Once Coronzon is free once more, there will be no taking back my daughter and a dark shadow will be eternally cast on humanity’s history. If the great magic nation of England is unwittingly protecting her Achilles’ heel, time only permits us to forcibly break our way through. There is simply too much we would have to explain: that Crowley still lives, that the top of the science side is a magician, that there is no wall between magic and science, and so on. I do not want to waste the time I bought us by destroying Academy City, so we will break through.”
“This is sounding dangerous already…”
It was of course the spiky-haired high school boy who interrupted with a troubled look.
The human humanly smiled with viciousness separate from the standard emotions.
“Lola Stuart controls England from within and spreads her desired destruction both inside and outside of that country. After seeing what was done to the grimoire library and Karasuma Fran, you should be familiar with her cruelty. I promise you that leaving this be will benefit no one.”
“Honestly, are we balancing evil on both sides of the scale here?” asked Accelerator.
“This seems far better than something as dangerous as pure good, if you ask me. Currently, there is no way to kill Great Demon Coronzon who is possessing my second daughter. Not even with Imagine Breaker. This is due to the way she has sewn herself to all 53 nations and regions in the British Commonwealth. I am taking measures in the other regions, so we will directly attack England itself.”
They had not just stopped by Egypt in order to follow Aleister Crowley’s past footsteps. The world map spread out on the fold-up table had a line crudely drawn in red permanent marker. It looked like the path of someone moving around the world in an old fighting game. It began in Tokyo, Japan, continued along Southeast Asia, arrived in Egypt where they were now, crossed the Mediterranean to reach Greece, traveled to France, and then crossed the Strait of Dover from Calais to reach southeast England.
“Calais has already fallen,” coldly stated Aleister Crowley. “Academy City has ceased functioning and no one can do anything to change that, so the cutting-edge scientific weapons will all be in disarray. Because even military satellite communications are shared these days. We only need to focus on their magical forces. We are about to do the reverse of the Normandy landing. No matter what kind of defenses we find waiting, we will force our way across the sea to reach England. Everyone who has come this far has their own objective here and most of those are the results of disasters, the seeds of which I sowed. I am not kind, so I will tell you this: I will not spend any time on you. This is an express train with no stops along the way. So once you find the station you want, you will have to jump off the train and fulfill your objective on your own. It is no concern of mine if you miss your stop or screw up your landing and break your leg.”
“Similarly, my objective is my own. You are not obligated to stay with me to the last stop. If things look too dangerous, abandon me and jump off. Academy City no longer exists. The adults will not protect you. So take responsibility for yourself. That is the final lesson from your former Board Chairman.”
No one told her she had no right to say that.
He or she had toyed with so many people, taken so much from them, and sent their lives off track.
But she said to take responsibility for yourself.
She was an extraordinary villain. Aleister Crowley could have used all the science side’s information technology to cover up her evil reputation, but she had not. This magician had abandoned her apparent age and even gender, but it was clear she was not lying about this.
“Now, let us begin.”
Was the indistinct aroma of death the result of her resolve?
Carrying the smell of death because she did not fear death was very much like that human.
“Magic and science. I suppose it’s time to destroy every part of the world I divided.”
All of that.
The spiky-haired high school boy named Kamijou Touma vaguely thought back to all of that.
Why was his mind so hazy? The answer was extremely simple.
“I think we’re screwed…”
Pressure weighed on his stomach. His vision harshly shook up and down. But Kamijou Touma did not even have time for ordinary seasickness. A more direct threat squeezed at his heart and sent extreme signals sparking through his brain.
“I really think we’re screwed! We’re gonna die! This time, we really are gonna die!!”
With the sound of tearing metal, his vision opened up.
It had originally been a cruiser. But this was one of those deadly things seen in stupid American videos where they forcibly strapped a jet engine to a boat to send it racing between the waves at 150km/h. However, the roof was entirely missing, transforming it into a convertible. And the dark ocean before his eyes was far too different from the usual image of the Strait of Dover.
It was a moonlit night.
But the explosions, flashes of light, and roaring flames hid both the stars in the sky and the full moon.
It was less than 40km from Calais, France, but nasty beams of light shot from the distant horizon and tore through the icy sea breeze. Aleister was at the helm, but Kamijou had no idea what she was basing her lateral evasive actions on. The boat was being gradually torn apart and the roof had just been blown off. If the line of fire had been just a few dozen centimeters lower, it would have torn off and vaporized his head before he could even raise his right hand.
Index clung to his arm and looked pale as the cruiser used the waves like ramps.
“That’s England…? How should I put it? It seems entirely different.”
Kamijou looked puzzled. She was from the Anglican Church, but she was also somewhat distanced from England due to having her memories erased each year. It may have been like seeing your homeland on TV. Index seemed to be wrinkling her brow.
“I think they have a bunch of unique emblems set up on the beach to fire the divine punishments and curses of patron saints. But that’s the same as rejecting everything yourself. It’s like they’re holing up in their shell and pushing away what they don’t want to see.”
Aleister gave a snort of laughter at that.
If everything Kamijou had seen in the Windowless Building was true, then he(?) did not have many good memories of his(?) homeland of England.
“So they can fire about 800,000 shots a minute over the entire Strait of Dover. Based on that, they’re trying to crush everything with a barrage even if they aren’t guided.”
Palm-sized Othinus sat on Kamijou’s shoulder. Perhaps because she was a god of war, she did not seem surprised by this.
It was like a fireworks festival using live artillery, but this was not a childish show put on by the magic gunners controlling the extra-large spiritual items lined up on the coast.
In fact, they were the desperate ones.
This did not come from beyond the horizon.
Kamijou ducked down when he heard the roar of carnivorous dinosaur erupt nearby.
There was a bloody monster of a man with countless swords and spears piercing his body.
There was an old woman riding a wooden broom with several holes that looked like human faces.
There was a beautiful winged young man with a lovely face and a rainbow halo.
There was a giant grotesque dragon made of organs with several giant maws that resembled carnivorous plants.
There were hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, and maybe even more of them. That bizarre army spread out with enough force to fill the dark sea and they pushed in from the French side to the English side. The Anglican Church’s most secret of techniques gave them 800,000 shots per minute, but not even that could push them back. As the monsters in the front were crushed by the beams of light, more monsters pushed past them and continued ever closer to the United Kingdom.
Most of them did not even have human form.
There was a swollen mass of octopus-like tentacles. There was a carnivorous dinosaur with its muscles forcibly contained by rusted metal armor. There was something that comically emulated a human form with pieces of concrete patched together. There was even one that looked like it could swallow a large truck or tanker whole.
Hoodie Bikini Karasuma Fran kept herself warm with an insulating gel on her belly and she held her small hands on the top of her hood as the wind blew violently at it.
“…Aleister Crowley,” she groaned.
Of course, she was not referring to the girl steering their boat.
And this was not limited to the Strait of Dover.
This war was underway in all 53 regions of the British Commonwealth.
“Call them the Crowley's Hazards. They are a disaster that bears my name.”
With the low laugh of a storybook witch, Aleister gave a simple explanation while steering and humming.
“Because Coronzon used Lola’s body to kill me in the Windowless Building, my many overlapping possibilities flowed out. And there are more than a billion of them. Keeping track of the exact number would be too much of a pain. Some of those Crowleys have mastered magic, but some of them gave up on it altogether. But, well, none of them are what you could call a normal possibility. They are still me, after all.”
Thick beams of light continued to tear through the group of Aleisters known as Crowley's Hazards, but they pushed back with even greater force. That should have been a good thing for Kamijou and the others who were hiding among those monsters as they crossed the dark ocean to reach England, but the sight was enough to send a chill down their spines. The vast sea was soaked red as if by a red teabag and flesh and bones could be seen floating here and there.
Viewed from space, the Earth may have looked like a bloody planet.
And it had already been explained that this was not limited to the Strait of Dover. The Crowley's Hazards were wielding their power everywhere. They did so directly in 53 countries. And if the surrounding countries were dragged into the chaos, no country or region would not play a role in the battle.
Aleister Crowley was not concerned with the fate of his own lives.
It was possible that was also true of the silver girl steering their boat.
An ear-splittingly raw sound rang out.
The dragon made from countless organs and mouths had split open its maws. And it released a thick deluge of what may have been stomach acid. With the force of an industrial water jet, the counterattack split the battlefield along a straight line and erupted beyond the horizon. Something like a cumulonimbus cloud explosively grew on the surface, but that may have been chemical smoke with the properties of sulfuric acid.
The bombardment of light from the Strait of Dover faded somewhat and the monsters rushed in.
They were close.
They could see the coast made of white lime. Kamijou Touma gulped while viewing their goal in the moonlight. No, that may have been the starting line. By this point, the flow of time was too confusing.
Just then, a beam of light shot by too close for comfort.
It struck the giant mass of organs that had been racing along next to them. Everything scattered around and a squishy mass the size of a light truck flew toward them.
There was nothing they could do.
When the heavy mass hit the cruiser, it was bent like a candy box someone had stepped on, it was torn apart, and Kamijou’s group was thrown into the red-dyed coastal area.