Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume4 Chapter.36

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Chapter n: Even If There Is Death. Dead_to...[edit]

Part 1[edit]

Kumokawa Maria witnessed it.

What remained beyond after the world shattered like glass was the Eastern European Baggage City. However, it was different from before. The oppressive reek of death was gone. The weight that Kihara and Gremlin had scattered about was gone from her shoulders.

The world had changed.

By the presence of a single boy.

Other than those invisible changes, a more obvious visual change occurred as well. They were no longer outside in the piles of plant factory containers. They were inside one of the domed facilities. They were in one of the four arenas where the Natural Selector tournament was originally supposed to take place. In the ring surrounded by chain link fence stood Kamijou Touma, Marian Slingeneyer, and Kumokawa Maria.

“What…just…?”

“It isn’t an issue of which is correct. Both the place you were in up until now and the place you are in now are the same place in terms of coordinates. However, the same location’s position shifted from before and after as if space itself had been distorted by a black hole.”

The spectators were not there.

Other than Kamijou and the two girls, no one was in the domed facility. It had not been that way all along. Clear signs of people having left in a panic could be seen such as pamphlets scattered about and crushed by many feet. Had they all fled at once or had they been unable to make it in time causing some tragedy to occur? Kumokawa Maria could only speculate.

“…”

Marian Slingeneyer remained silent.

The ominous sword Dáinsleif rested within its golden scabbard. Just by lifting the guard with her thumb and revealing only a few centimeters of the blade, that thorough weapon would cause its target’s heart to automatically stop out of fear. She held the right arm holding the scabbard casually forward.

Even though not even a millimeter of the blade could be seen, Kumokawa Maria’s body stiffened.

Ignoring Kumokawa, Marian said, “Why are you here now?”

“This was the best I could manage.”

“Bersi is…Kihara Kagun is dead.”

“I cannot deny that I was unable to stop that. There is nothing I can say.”

Even though Gremlin had started the incident and had been deeply related to that man’s death in a way, Marian Slingeneyer separated herself out from that as she spoke.

It may have been because she understood what kind of person Kamijou Touma was.

Gremlin had put together countermeasures against Imagine Breaker, so she had known Kamijou Touma’s nature before ever meeting him. Because she knew his nature, Marian may have been blaming something else other than Kamijou Touma himself for the fact that there had been someone he was unable to save.

However, Marian Slingeneyer did not hesitate.

As if cursing him, she did not hesitate to push up the magic sword’s guard with her thumb.

That ominous blade rose just a few centimeters.

Its seal was broken and it was displayed to the world.

Kumokawa Maria was not being directly targeted, but her heart still jumped.

That was not the true power of Dáinsleif. The target merely stopped their own heart because it would be better than being hit by the full power of the blade. How was one supposed to stand up to an attack on that level?

No physical projectile came from the sword.

It could not be evaded if you were quick enough or blocked by hiding behind cover.

No matter where you ran or what you did to defend, the fear welling up within your own body would automatically kill you. So you could not run. You could not defend. Nothing you did held any meaning. You were dead before you could do anything. You were dead the second you stood on the same battlefield.

All actions were robbed of all meaning.

All fighting lost its reason to exist.

As he was being directly targeted, Kamijou Touma’s heart should surely have stopped. Before Dáinsleif could actually do anything and before the sword could enter the battle directly. No reason was needed. That sword gave its target an instinctual fear that robbed them of all life. It should have completely killed that normal boy without leaving a scratch on him.

And yet…

He did not fall.

Kamijou Touma did not fall.

Even as he stood before Dáinsleif, the sword that would bring ruin to the world.

He pushed aside his fear and his heart continued to function normally.

Marian Slingeneyer frowned slightly.

In response, Kamijou Touma held up his right fist.

He would use it to deal with Marian as she held out that sheathed magic sword.

“That attack is triggered by the fear of that powerful magic, so it will not work on me. I know that magic is not something that will hit me no matter what. With the power of my right hand…no, as long as I have the will to clench my fist, I can brush aside or negate it.”

He could destroy magic.

He could break illusions.

Because he knew that, the fear was mitigated some. He was not merely on the receiving end. He knew he had a 50/50 chance of resisting, so he did not have to choose the option of giving up before fighting. That was why Kamijou Touma was able to fight. He could still stand up to that ultimate magic sword that would bring about the final battle of Norse mythology, Ragnarok.

And meanwhile, Kumokawa Maria realized something else.

She was able to calmly watch on. She had not fallen into confusion that bound her with the overwhelming fear produced by that magic sword. Kumokawa Maria did not know who that boy was and she did not know what Imagine Breaker was. However, the mere possibility of something that might be able to stand up to that magic sword was enough to lessen her fear and allow her heart to continue to beat.

She had been protected.

She had been saved.

She had been rescued.

Most likely, Oumi Shuri, Saflee Opendays, and the others who were not there had begun breathing again without Kumokawa Maria knowing. Something had appeared to force back the fear. Kumokawa Maria and the others’ hearts had not stopped due to an injury or an illness. Without the fear that had conquered Baggage City, they could return to their normal state.

That was Kamijou Touma.

That was Imagine Breaker.

He had not done anything special. Just by being there – just by standing there – he had naturally avoided a tragedy and saved someone.

A safe zone.

A protagonist.

“…So what?” muttered Marian Slingeneyer.

An unnatural creaking noise came from the golden scabbard as she tightened her grip on it.

“Bersi is dead. He died like a different type of protagonist than you. So I will respect his intent! You looked down on and denied this temporary cruel world and the actions of Bersi who died satisfied!! I will destroy all of those kind rules of yours!!”

If Kamijou Touma had been there from the beginning, Bersi aka Kihara Kagun may not have died. He may have been able to resolve his issues without dying.

She rejected that possibility.

In order to construct the opinion that it was for the best that Bersi had died, she did all she could to negate the existence of Kamijou Touma, the one who shook Bersi’s great accomplishment.

Kamijou Touma had his rules and Gremlin had its rules.

This was a battle between them.

Marian Slingeneyer knew that she could never actually give anything to the dead, but she still held up the sheathed magic sword for her lost friend.

“Let us begin this, different one. Battles over the dead are serious. After all, the dead cannot put a stop to the expanding malice of the survivor!!”

A storm of rage blew out in every direction from the brown girl. At the same time, the magic sword emitted its power of fear as a great pressure that bound the soldiers that controlled the battlefield. However, as Kumokawa Maria felt that change, she heard Kamijou Touma mutter something.

“…I know. Even so, I have continued to fight this kind of fanatic.”

And then the battle began.

It began in that world where it was already too late for everything. It began even as no path remained upon which everyone could return home safely.

The fight began between one who wished to protect the sanctity of the dead and one who wished to stop any more tragedy from occurring.

Natural Selector.

Ironically, the final battlefield was the stage prepared for the tournament named after the one who decided natural selection.

Part 2[edit]

The circular ring had a diameter of thirty meters.

Inside it, Kamijou Touma and Marian Slingeneyer faced each other at a distance of about ten meters.

The fear of Marian’s Dáinsleif would no longer work. Only a true clash remained.

Kamijou had to get within range of his right fist to get any damage in.

The two of them would have to get in close range.

“…?”

However, that did not happen.

While Kamijou tried to charge in, Marian actually moved back.

She then held the magic sword forward while it was still in its scabbard.

A small noise could be heard.

It was not the sound of her thumb pressing up on the guard. It was the opposite. It was the sound of the few centimeters of exposed blade being returned into the scabbard.

That was a sign that she was giving up on the now useless fear.

It was also a ritual for releasing the magic sword’s other power.

A slight wind ignored the flow of the air and headed toward Marian from all directions.

Immediately afterwards, a giant sword sliced through the chain link fence surrounding the ring.

It seemed to fly out from the bottom of Dáinsleif’s scabbard. The long straight sword was gray and narrow. It tore through the chain link fence behind Kamijou.

As Marian swung the still sheathed sword, the long, narrow blade followed suit.

It moved.

It tore through everything.

“Tch!!”

Kamijou stopped running and focused on defense. The large sword came flying horizontally for his neck and he immediately held up his right hand and tried to negate Marian’s magic.

However, he noticed something partway through.

The end of the little finger on his right hand was slightly cut.

The meaning of the few drops of blood was clear.

“I can’t block it with Imagine Breaker…!!”

“Didn’t we tell you we have countermeasures?”

He forcefully stopped the action he had started to take and felt his backbone and muscles straining as he did so, but Kamijou managed to change what he was doing. He swung his upper body to lower his overall posture.

The large gray sword passed directly above him.

The chain link fence behind him was torn to shreds, but the blade did not follow him for long. The large sword must have only been able to last about three seconds.

However, Marian Slingeneyer’s attacks did not end there.

If one attack had its limits, then she just had to attack again and again.

(Shit!! I shouldn’t have stopped moving for defense. It has too much range to defend against well and getting in close and unleashing a barrage is my only option!!)

Marian’s slicing attacks continued. Each individual trajectory was simple, but the range and power were incredible. The background was sliced to pieces like someone had taken a pair of scissors to a photograph.

However, Kamijou received no fatal blows.

The destruction had spread through the chain link fence, the concrete floor, and even the spectator seats. Dust flew up into the air.

That dust showed a strange silhouette.

It showed the source of Marian Slingeneyer’s power. It showed the process by which the gray swords were created and a hint as to how to avoid it.

Marian’s attacks stopped for an instant as she looked around and realized the mistake she had made.

“…That scabbard,” muttered Kamijou during the break in the attacks.

A clear sphere with a diameter of about three meters had appeared at the end of the magic sword’s scabbard. It looked something like a giant balloon, but it was likely something completely different.

“I don’t know what effect it has, but that scabbard has enough power to seal a sword as dangerous as that. If you changed what it sealed, you could bind something else. For example…”

“Gravity?” said Marian. “That power is felt equally across the earth and cannot be escaped from. As long as it is on earth, this sphere will rapidly absorb gravity. It is reflected around within the sphere where an apple will not fall down if you let go of it. As the power violently rages around within the sphere that has no exit, I just need to open a small hole at a single point.”

“So you collect the vectors in a single point and send them directly out. And the sphere has the dust and dirt from the air wrapped up in it all. That’s like the machine tools used to cut steel plates by firing high pressure water with artificial diamond dust mixed in!!”

The three meter clear sphere suddenly compressed to the size of a golf ball. A large gray sword fired out, slicing through the vaguely visible dust. Kamijou twisted his body with all his strength. Only the clear sphere that was a magical extension of the scabbard was magical in nature. The large swords fired from it were merely a physical phenomenon created by the distorted flow of gravity pushing the dust and dirt. That was why Imagine Breaker could not defend against it. If he held up his right hand, it would just be severed.

However, Marian betrayed his expectations and did not swing the blade around.

Instead she charged straight toward him with the sheathed magic sword after he had ruined his form to evade. She reached him in no time at all. Rather than the long distance attack with just the scabbard, this was the more natural form of attack. The much more dangerous attack came for him.

Without creating a gravity sword, Marian swung the sheathed magic sword in one hand from the bottom right to the upper left. The end of scabbard was aimed for Kamijou’s temple.

If one of the large swords was produced at that range of only a few centimeters, Kamijou’s entire body would be sliced in two. Kamijou used reason to suppress the urge to protect his face with his arm out of pure fear and he focused on evading.

Suddenly, he was surrounded by darkness in every direction.

Kamijou’s thoughts fell into chaos.

Nothingness surrounded him.

Immediately afterwards, he realized what had happened.

(This time, it wasn’t the air. Was I sealed inside the sphere!?)

Next, either the gravity would increase and crush him from all sides or he would be squeezed out of the small opening for energy and turned into human pasta.

That meant his only option was to destroy the sphere.

The large swords created by gravity were one thing, but the sphere extended from the scabbard could be destroyed by his right hand.

However, with only darkness surrounding him, he had no idea how wide the sphere was. Marian’s attack could begin before he managed to run to the edge of the sphere.

Kamijou wanted speed.

He did not look around.

He aimed directly down.

No matter how far the sphere had expended, his feet would be on the bottom of the sphere. So Kamijou crouched down and struck the ground beneath his feet with his right fist.

The darkness around him shattered.

The torn up circular ring returned to Kamijou’s vision. The great change to his surroundings threw his vision into chaos.

Marian Slingeneyer approached.

The hand not holding the scabbard was swinging a gold saw down toward Kamijou’s head as he crouched.

His right hand moved.

The human-altering spiritual item shattered to pieces and the light-reflecting fragments flew through the air.

And Marian smiled.

As Kamijou Touma raised his right hand above his head, she looked toward his unguarded body.

She tightened her grip on Dáinsleif’s scabbard.

A three meter clear sphere appeared from the end of the scabbard and it filled with the dust, dirt, and gravity used to create the large swords. Kamijou frantically tried to stand up, but he did not finish the action.

It would be over in the next blow.

With the appearance of the next large sword, Kamijou Touma’s body would be bisected between top and bottom.

Part 3[edit]

A bit before, Kumokawa Maria could do nothing but watch Kamijou Touma and Marian Slingeneyer’s battle in a daze. After all, the scale of the battle was simply too great. The clash between Kihara and Gremlin that had covered Baggage City had been incredible. And this was a battle between two people who had enough power to smash that other fight to pieces. Even though her limbs were functioning properly and she stood in the same location, Kumokawa Maria felt like she was reading it from a report. Even if she knew the details, she could not interfere. That was obvious. It was wrong to even think of struggling. The battle was so great and the scene so grand that the gears needed to act in the present to change the future seemed missing.

However, even when people read a set report or watch a set film, they still sometimes raise a cry. Even as they know it will not get through and it will not change anything, the words still come out.

Sitting on the floor, Kumokawa Maria forced out some such words.

“The teacher I was searching for may have disappeared long ago. He may not have been the person I thought he was.”

Her words were those of an outsider.

Her words would change nothing.

“He may have worked with Gremlin under the name Bersi and taken on all sorts of dirty jobs. He may have hurt many people and desired to hurt many more.”

But she did not stop. She did not stop

Kumokawa Maria’s mouth moved even as she knew it was useless.

“But that was not all there was to Kihara Kagun.”

Her muttering turned to a shout.

The strength increased for the very reason that nothing would come of it.

“He did not start out as Bersi. Gremlin is not the only thing in his past. Even if he was on the side of those that wanted to destroy the world and even if he did horrible things as Kihara Kagun, he was still the teacher that listened to everyone’s worries at one point!!”

She no longer cared about her pride.

Even if shouting like that hurt her pride, it would not break.

Even if it was pointless, meaningless, and would change nothing.

She was not so distorted as to think that was shameful.

“Please. Please!” shouted Kumokawa Maria. “Do not remove the word teacher from his gravestone! Do not let that word be buried by some unknown enemy that only wishes for slaughter and destruction and who comforts herself with that sword!!”

And that time came.

Kamijou Touma’s form collapsed and Marian Slingeneyer made her preparations for her attack. And of course, the brown magician did not hesitate. She immediately took action to bisect the boy who stood in the way of her goal.

But Kumokawa Maria heard it.

Amid that mayhem on a grand scale that felt like a report of the past that she could not interfere in…

She heard the response from that boy that made her feel feebly connected to it all.

“Understood.”

Immediately after that one word response, Kamijou Touma and Marian Slingeneyer both moved at the same time.

Part 4[edit]

Kamijou Touma’s form collapsed.

He could not evade now. He could not punch Marian even though she was so close. While in that half standing state, he could not move his body weight and could therefore not make any powerful movements.

Kamijou Touma immediately moved his left hand rather than his right.

He reached out for one of the gold sparkles floating in the air.

It was one of the fragments of the human-altering tool Marian Slingeneyer had used. It had already been shattered by Imagine Breaker and lost all its effectiveness as a spiritual item. Kamijou grabbed it and used it to cut his own clothing. He grabbed the portion of his sleeve he had cut off.

He threw it.

The speed did not matter.

What mattered was accurate control.

He only tossed the scrap of cloth with the strength of someone jokingly tossing an eraser and it was not headed for Marian Slingeneyer.

It was headed for the scabbard of the magic sword.

More accurately, it was headed for the clear sphere that had expanded out from the bottom of it.

The Imagine Breaker countermeasure Marian had prepared was a purely physical phenomenon. That way the large swords created from gravity could sever Kamijou’s right hand that only activated in the face of supernatural powers.

In other words, the large swords were purely physical phenomena and therefore the magician Marian Slingeneyer herself could not completely control that ultimate weapon. After all, she could only control magic.

By controlling the size of the balloon and the location of the opening, she controlled the size, force, and direction of the giant swords, but that was all she could control. She controlled the hole, so she could not completely distort the direction taken by the particles emitted from the hole by gravity.

In that case, what would happen if her control of that hole was interfered with?

It was not an issue of strength. If the hole was only lightly covered, the shape of the opening would change.

If Marian activated a gray sword in that state, it would change like putting a showerhead on a faucet.

In other words, the overwhelming sword that was produced would not be able to hold its form and would cause devastation against Marian’s wishes.

“…Ah?”

In that instant when Marian Slingeneyer was sure of her victory, she looked toward the magic sword’s scabbard in confusion.

That may have been her mistake. If she had time to do that, she may have been better off deactivating the clear sphere.

It ended up being more like holding your thumb over the opening of a hose.

The mass of particles like dust and dirt had lost their normal path out and were forced out through the multiple gaps around the edges.

An explosion.

That word expressed it best.

With an explosive noise, Marian Slingeneyer’s short body was blown back a few meters before landing.

“Gahh!?”

Her back struck the concrete floor and she started to have trouble breathing. Even so, she did not let go of Dáinsleif’s scabbard.

Meanwhile, Kamijou did not try to pursue her.

Just running up to her unarmed would lead to a repeat of the previous situation. To ensure his attack against Marian using his previous success, he had to do something else first.

“Once you know the trick, it’s simple,” said Kamijou Touma as he cut off a few more scraps of cloth from his own clothes with the gold fragment. “You fire and then swing. Your attacks always went through those two stages. Was it to hold back the recoil? That was why you stopped for an instant before opening it. You, that scabbard, and the sphere swelling out from it all stopped. That made it easy to aim. Even with my off-hand, I was able to get a direct hit with that weightless scrap of cloth. If I use my entire body and my right hand, my accuracy will increase. Also, does it suck in the dust and dirt it needs like a vacuum cleaner? If so, I just have to throw it at random and it will be sucked in toward the hole on its own. That is why the hole will always be plugged up. I have no way of knowing what shape the exploding sword will take, so there is a danger of getting taken out too, but that is your limit. If this were rock-paper-scissors, you would only be able to tie or lose. There is no way for you to win.”

“That was…still…” Scraping the scabbard on the concrete floor, Marian slowly stood up. “That was still just the scabbard. I have yet to draw the magic sword. Dáinsleif is the magic sword that causes the war that destroys the world. It was created to destroy all of humanity, so it cannot lose to a single person.”

She used her thumb to raise the guard.

A few centimeters of the ominous blade touched the air.

If she drew it all at once, it would likely truly activate.

Everything before had merely been the preparations. The fear that stopped one’s heart and the scabbard that produced swords that had sliced the ring to pieces were nothing more than the rings of Saturn around the magic sword.

If she used it, who knew what would happen?

It might be something that far exceeded what Kamijou Touma could imagine.

Even so, the boy spoke directly to her.

“You won’t draw it.”

“What…?”

“If you could use such a great power at any time, you would have drawn that sword from the beginning. And I don’t just mean of this fight. You would have done so before sending Radiosonde Castle or revealing Gremlin to the world. If you could use it, you would have been able to end all these battles before the fighting began and taken all the victory for yourself. You could have done that if you had been able to sacrifice all but yourself.”

“…”

It was possible its destructive power was so great that Marian herself was not confident she could control it. Or perhaps it was pure fear. Just revealing a few centimeters from the scabbard was enough to stop the hearts of her enemies, so perhaps she herself would be bound by fear if she drew the entire magic sword.

But…

There was one more thing.

“You did not want to draw it.”

“What?”

“You did not want to draw that magic sword called Dáinsleif. You did not want to draw that spiritual item that is simply too destructive.”

“Why do you think that!?”

“I don’t know how much of the world it would destroy, but it would definitely destroy more than you want to be destroyed,” said Kamijou as he consciously regulated his breathing and clenched the scraps of cloth in his hand. “When that Bersi or Kihara Kagun or whoever he was died, some might have felt all was lost. But you are different. While you did bring out Dáinsleif, you still did not draw it. Even if your comrade-in-arms had been lost, you did not want to destroy the place where you two had spent time together.”

A high-pitched noise drowned out Kamijou’s voice.

It was the sound of the bottom of the magic sword’s scabbard scraping across the concrete floor.

Marian Slingeneyer’s other hand touched the magic sword’s hilt for the first time.

She clenched it.

“Charge.”

Immediately after she said that, a giant light fell down from the heavens, breaking through the roof of the domed facility. The shockwave blew in all directions. The outer walls of the dome creaked. A great amount of power filled the magic sword’s scabbard and the power that had been used up little by little was replenished.

She was preparing it for use.

She was preparing the power that would destroy the world.

“I will draw it.”

“Then do it.”

“At the very least, I will have this victory.”

Even if you do this, it will not be a victory for you.”

Kamijou Touma said no more.

He took a step forward. And another. With that momentum, he charged forward. He charged straight toward Marian Slingeneyer.

She should have had time.

Marian Slingeneyer should have been able to draw Dáinsleif.

And yet…

“Gh…kh…!!”

“See, you can’t do it,” spat out Kamijou Touma.

He tightly clenched his right fist.

“That is because you are strong. You do not feel indebted. If, after your revenge, you or the entire world are gone, who will mourn for Bersi?”

Nothing more was necessary.

The gold scabbard and the boy’s fist crossed.

With a dull noise, it was all over.

Part 5[edit]

“It’s over…?” muttered Kumokawa Maria as she sat on the floor.

The circular ring had been sliced to pieces and the roof of the domed facility had been torn apart as well. It had been supported by artificially raised air pressure, but the framework seemed to be just barely holding it up for the moment. Of course, they had no idea how long that would last.

Kumokawa suddenly felt a great cold.

The destroyed domed ceiling had let in the -20 degree weather, but it was also possible Kumokawa Maria’s senses were finally returning to her.

That battle had made her doubt whether she was actually sensing anything properly.

The battle had been greatly distanced from the standard of Academy City and even those from outside Academy City could probably have noticed that it was different. Kamijou Touma, the one who had caused it, cut across the ring that had been casually sliced to pieces. He was headed for Dáinsleif which had fallen from Marian Slingeneyer’s hand.

“Wh-what are you going to do?”

“I can destroy even this,” Kamijou said without turning around. “Marian couldn’t draw it, but someone else might be able to. They might be able to hold back the fear and control it. In that case, I cannot allow it to get out. Who knows how destructive it is.”

As he answered, he unhesitatingly walked over to the magic sword that was the source of all that fear.

Kumokawa Maria felt that everything would finally be over once he destroyed it.

The chain of superhuman battles between Kihara and Gremlin in Baggage City would finally be over.

Kamijou crouched down in front of the magic sword and Kumokawa Maria asked him a question.

“How did you get here? How did you find out about what Gremlin was doing here? It seemed to be a different theory from what Academy City uses.”

“It was Bersi.”

His quick response sent pain into Kumokawa’s chest..

Kamijou continued.

“I never actually met him face to face, but he left various hints around Baggage City that led me here. Also, I still find it suspicious that a mere high school student like me was able to get here from Hawaii with no help.”

How much of it had that man planned?

It may be true Kamijou Touma’s intrusion had saved Baggage City from the worst possible ending. At first glance it all looked like a part of that magician’s plan and that he had left everything for Kamijou Touma to resolve in the very end.

However, what if Kamijou Touma had ended it all sooner?

What if he had broken the illusion sooner?

Things may have ended differently. Bersi’s own objective may have been destroyed and all those tragedy might have been avoided.

Kamijou Touma had been manipulated by Leivinia Birdway and he wanted to rid himself of that.

However, had he done the right thing?

This time he had not been manipulated by anyone, but he did not know the answer to that question.

That was how perfect Bersi was.

If Kamijou Touma had succeeded, that was good. If he had failed, Bersi had his own conclusion prepared.

He cleaned up after himself.

Was it a pure ideal or was the conclusion too pure and should be resented?

“Do you know what kind of person the magician known as Bersi…or as Kihara Kagun was?”

“I do,” replied Kumokawa Maria after she brought her own breathing under control.

As stated before, Kamijou Touma was an outsider this time. He may have simply wanted to know who the man was that had helped him and who had driven Marian on.

“I do not know much, but I do know. I may not even know whether he was good or evil in the end, but I do know him. He is the one that saved some lives including my own and – for me at least – he was a teacher whose mystery was worth pursuing.”

“I see…”

Kamijou stopped moving for a moment.

In a small voice, he spoke a truth that still had not changed.

He did not simply shout it.

His low voice seemed to carve it into him.

“I wasn’t able to save him.”

He learned a lesson in failure.

As if swearing to absorb as much of it as possible, he said it again.

“I wasn’t able to save him.”

“It’s fine,” replied Kumokawa Maria without hesitation. She seemed to be getting over something. “It was such a ridiculous death. He had this satisfied look on his face. I’m sure that was best for him. If it had stretched on any longer, it would have just lowered the purity of his happiness.”

Of course, it was not actually that simple.

Of course, it was not something with a clear explanation.

For a while, Kamijou did not move.

But remaining stopped would not change anything. If he did not move forward, the battle that began in Baggage City would never end. That was why Kamijou headed forward. He reached out his right hand. Toward Dáinsleif. He would bring it to a certain end by destroying that great power.

But…

A slender female hand grabbed Kamijou’s right wrist to stop him.

Kamijou had no idea when the person had appeared.

“Wha—?”

He let out a questioning voice.

A girl of about thirteen or fourteen stood so close that he could feel her breath. The girl had white skin and wore a fur coat that was open on the front and an outfit of black leather. However, two other things she wore drew the eye even more.

The first was a wide brimmed hat with a pointed tip like a witch would wear.

The second was an imposing eyepatch covering her right eye.

Whoever she was, Kamijou concluded she was from the magic side and he went on full alert because she had grabbed his right wrist.

However, what happened next went well beyond anything he could have expected.

The eyepatch girl whispered to him.

“…This isn’t over yet.

Immediately afterwards…

Without hesitation…

The girl tightened her grip, crushing Kamijou’s right wrist and severing his hand.


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