Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume22 Prologue
“Magic is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will.” ― Aleister Crowley
- From “Magick in Theory and Practice” by Aleister Crowley
“Magic is the science and art of causing change in consciousness to occur in conformity with Will.” ―Dion Fortune
- From “The Essential Golden Dawn: An Introduction to High Magic” by C Cicero and ST Cicero
Prologue: (Untitled) ARCHENEMY_with_the_ABYSS.
●England – British Museum – Special Repair Room
“Lola Stuart is supposedly Aleister Crowley’s second daughter.”
“What about it?”
“But we only have Coronzon’s word to go on there. That demon obstructs the world’s and people’s bonds, but you expect her to just tell the truth like that? Not a chance.”
“Lola Stuart first appears in the documents as the Anglican archbishop in 1909. Ever since, she has appeared at important turning points in history while never seeming to age.”
“What’s wrong with that? That is the same year that Aleister thought he summoned Coronzon.”
“Would his second daughter, Lola, really be fully grown by that time? His first daughter, Lilith, was only born in 1904.”
“Then who is this?”
●Scotland - Edinburgh Castle – Graveyard
“It’s okay, Aleister.”
“And that’s enough, Coronzon. Cut the act. Lola Stuart was never here. Aleister’s second daughter was somewhere else entirely and lived a perfectly normal life without knowing about any of this. Inside and out, you were only a created demon!! The real Lola would never have done that!!!!!”
“Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee!! I killed him, I killed him! I – killed – him!! Now I can finally cut all ties with Mathers. I can say goodbye to that damned contract!! Ah ha ha! I had to wait so long to burn this coffin. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!”
“You wanted to save your daughter? Not happening! Lola Stuart? Who’s that? Did you really think you would have a chance to make amends!? Hee ha ha! You wanna know why she must have hated you!? Because you’d mistake a complete stranger for your own daughter!!”
“Not even the Morning Star and Lord of the Flies have their own physical body. And the idea that incubuses and succubusses do is only a theory born of religious debate. …It’s me. Only the Great Demon Coronzon has obtained a physical body under her own power!! You don’t stand a chance against that, do you? You struggled constantly trying to give a body to your Holy Guardian Angel, but even that master plan of yours came crashing down the instant you heard the name Lola!”
“But what to do now? I am finally free. After so many years of denial, I don’t want to waste my very bite on some hard and stale bread. Ha ha! I know. Yes, that’s perfect. I think I’ll go tear Lilith to pieces!! Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!”
“Misaka, can you take care of her wound? I’ll do something about Coronzon, so use your power or whatever else it takes to overturn this ending!!”
“I’ll try, but I can’t make any promises. Shokuhou, you help too!!”
“Kamijou-san, what are you going to do?”
“I will smash that nonsensical illusion to pieces!!!!!!”
●England – Highway – Inside a Truck
“W-well, why did you…save me???”
“People controlling others and people being controlled is the most basic form of cruelty. That’s what was at the root of the century-long feud between Coronzon, Mathers, and Aleister. So I was on guard. After seeing it so many times, I could figure out how it worked and how to fight it.”
“You belong to me.”
“I don’t really get all this about a Great Demon or Coronzon or whatever, but I won’t let her interfere now. It’s up to me to decide what you do and what kind of ending you get. It’s all up to me. Listen, I won’t let anyone waste you on some meaningless cruelty. I’ll use every bit of your life for something useful. I don’t care what kind of life and death is appropriately ‘demonic’. Whether you end up smiling in the sunny side of the world, end up living in peace for a hundred years to come, or end up surrounded by tons of friends is all for me to decide! So don’t question my decisions!! You’re an artificial being? I don’t care. You were born, so you should enjoy your life. Got that, Qliphah Puzzle 545!?”
“Yesh!! I will keep that in mind!!”
“Let’s start the counterattack.”
“If Coronzon has made her move, then things must not have gone the way Aleister hoped. They went to Scotland, right? That’s the next stage. So you’ll go and save the country you made a mess of.”
“Tell me everything. Because that dumbass couldn’t end it after all.”
●Scotland – Side of the Highway – Inside a Stolen Car
“Did you see her face?”
“She looked like she just accepted it as inevitable. Dion Fortune did!! Are you kidding me!? She should have cried and yelled!!”
“I’ll do it.”
“I will take back Dion Fortune. No matter what it takes!!”
Morning arrived equally to all.
The sky above was blue.
It was so very equal and cold that some felt despair or a great weight bearing down on them.
He could stand it no longer.
He felt anger.
If he let it build up inside him any further, it would tear apart his own muscles before he could direct it toward his opponent.
That was honestly what Kamijou Touma thought.
He was at Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle.
In the old graveyard there, the spiky-haired boy clenched his right fist so hard he thought he would break his own bones.
His nails literally dug into his palm enough for dark red blood to drip down.
There was no reason at all to wait a second longer.
That beige habit had likely been chosen for its subdued color.
Her skin was white and her eyes blue.
And her extremely long and sinister blonde hair danced behind her as if in a storm.
“Ee hee hee. Nee hee hee hee hee. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!”
Something could be heard loudly beating at the air. It was her thin wings which shined with a divine light yet took the wicked form of a bat’s wings.
A human lay trampled at her feet.
That human had struggled and struggled while crawling through the blood and mud for over a century. That human had clenched her teeth and used up every last bit of her own life in the belief she could finally save her daughter here. And yet she was about to breathe her last thinking that she had been stabbed by her own beloved daughter.
The truth was different.
Lola Stuart was not Aleister Crowley’s daughter. She had not hijacked that body to use it as a human shield. That was a vessel of flesh that Coronzon had created from scratch. That temporary vessel visible before them was no more than an ugly toy that Great Demon had created.
Was Aleister at fault for not catching on?
Was she simply a heartless parent for not noticing that this archbishop had risen to the forefront far too soon after her second daughter had been born?
Of course not.
Lola was not a rare name, so it was not surprising Aleister had never connected the two before the attack on the Windowless Building.
She had been deceived by the impact of the supposed revelation.
And she had not had time to carefully inspect the claim. She had needed to act quickly to seal away Academy City’s technology so it could not be misused by the Great Demon who had taken on the full authority of board chairman. Without the Bank or network to rely on, Aleister had been forced to rely only on her own memories. One theory said that the Anglican archbishop was her second daughter and other information suggested they were not at all connected like she had initially assumed, but how was she supposed to make a proper judgment given the circumstances!?
Yet this was how it turned out?
Would she never learn the truth and would she meet her end filled with despair?
Would she remain fooled by the sweet but utterly worthless words of a demon?
Could that really be allowed to happen?
Aleister Crowley the Human was by no means a good person, but that was no reason to allow her soul to be trampled like this.
He finally exploded.
Kamijou Touma did not resist that torrent of power. In fact, he viewed it like a great wind as he ran straight toward the golden demon. From the very first move, he used his right fist: Imagine Breaker. No matter how absurdly powerful this being was…no, the further removed his opponent was from normal physical phenomena, the more vividly this boy’s power would manifest itself.
There was precedent.
There was the artificially-created Kazakiri Hyouka, there was Archangel Gabriel who had existed since time immemorial, and there was Holy Guardian Angel Aiwass who had lurked in the depths of Academy City.
Angels and demons.
Those beings were so ridiculously beyond the normal that those words barely seemed to hold any weight at all. However. The further she was removed from ordinary physical risks such as metal pipes, knives, and guns, the more critical the damage Imagine Breaker could do to Great Demon Coronzon.
It was like a golden wind.
The hair seemed far too sinister and massive to have come from a human body, but the boy slipped through the gaps and finally arrived right in front of Coronzon.
He had no reason at all to hold back.
He took aim for the delicate line of her jaw.
And Kamijou Touma swung his fist!!
A dreadfully dull sound followed.
And afterwards, all sound vanished.
With his fist still held out, Kamijou Touma’s subjective sense of time vanished for a bit.
He had finally done it.
“Isis, Osiris, and Horus. I exist beyond all Aeons, so did you really think that would be enough to break me?”
“Not good, human.”
Othinus whispered from his shoulder.
She was a complete Magic God, a human who had risen to the utter mastery of magic. And in exchange for losing all that power, she had been given the stabilized form of a palm-sized fairy.
That may have been why she understood.
This was a warning from the god who informed warriors of their death, so it carried quite a bit of danger.
“She is the same as me right now!! She is not an ongoing magical phenomenon! She is a paranormal being that has already acquired the final result of a physical body! Just like you can’t restore burned paper by touching the ashes, your Imagine Breaker cannot defeat her!!”
“I am a demon, but not from the Qliphoth where the forces of evil gather. I am the Great Demon hidden by the holy Sephiroth. I dwell in the same abyss as Da’at.”
The unbroken illusion produced a dreadful straining noise as it slowly moved before his eyes.
She held her left hand straight forward and pulled her right hand back.
And, as if overpowered, it was Kamijou Touma who took a step back.
“Every number is the same. My right hand contains Nuit of Resurrection. Watch as the possibilities expand and surpass the bounds of the finite. My left hand contains Hadit of Vengeance. The smallest point gathers and concentrates all forces to create a single meaning. Thus, an attack shall be released from the infinite acceleration of the Circle of Ra-Hoor-Khuit and shall appear on the surface layer of this world.”
Now, did Kamijou Touma realize that was the pose for wielding a rapier?
And before even that, what was the fate of one who had thoughtlessly touched an untouchable taboo?
Lola Stuart, Great Demon Coronzon, moved her lips in a bewitching and mechanical way.
A different face clearly appeared from her long, long blonde hair.
“Magick: Flaming_Sword. Manifest thyself through descent of the Sephirah and bathe him in thy power.”
It happened suddenly.
Kamijou Touma must not have had much of a choice.
But the small god managed to direct a shout of despair toward the swiftly moving boy.
“Wait, human!! The world’s reference point is not enough to suppress this attack!!”
Magic God Othinus had once obliterated Kamijou Touma’s body with the brute force of her crossbow.
A moment later, everyone witnessed that instant.
With a dull sound, that right hand and Kamijou Touma himself were utterly destroyed.