Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume4 Main.12
Oumi Shuri let out a small groan. She could tell she was lying on the floor. The one who had knocked her out, Kumokawa Maria, was peering down at her face. She held a lemon slice in her hand. She must have used it to wake Oumi Shuri.
They were no longer at the passageway corner from before.
They were in a wide area filled with concentric circles of desks. The area was also filled with large monitors. It may have been a control room for the supply of hot water to Baggage City, but it was odd that they were the only two there.
Would it normally have been abandoned? Had the workers fled due to all the trouble? Or had they already been eliminated by the attackers?
Really, that did not matter.
The real issue was that she had been taken away from the fight between Kihara and Gremlin.
She had lost her once in a lifetime chance.
As she sat up, Oumi Shuri tried to stick her gardening trowel-type kunai at Kumokawa Maria’s throat, but Kumokawa easily held it back with both hands. She then performed a handstand with Oumi Shuri’s kunai at the center, spread her legs wide, and rotated like a bamboo copter.
The weapon was ripped from Oumi Shuri’s hand.
Kumokawa Maria brought her right leg to the ground and spun around her newly acquired blade.
“Like I said, you can’t win. And if you can’t handle something like this, you definitely shouldn’t peer in any deeper. It won’t just be your pride that gets hurt. Those with no experience with this kind of threat cannot react properly when faced with it. Or do you not even understand something of this lev—”
Kumokawa Maria’s sentence was suddenly cut off.
The reason was simple.
Without warning, a bazooka had been fired into the room.
Kumokawa Maria immediately placed only her left foot on the ground and bent her body like a giant bridge. The bazooka shell pierced through the area her upper body had just been in, but when it struck the wall beyond and exploded, the shockwave it sent out was unavoidable.
Kumokawa Maria lost her balance, was knocked over, and her balled up form rolled smoothly across the ground. By not fighting that flow, she had avoided any direct hits from the shell’s shrapnel or the pieces of the wall. As she rolled, she immediately tried to recover.
But instead, she felt a dull sensation.
At some point, a third party had entered the transmission control center. Kumokawa Maria had been stopped by that person’s foot.
(Not good. The bazooka was meant to draw our attention while this person quickly entered the room!)
The figure looking down at Kumokawa held up a giant tube. It was the bazooka that had fired the shell. The attacker was about to swing it down as a blunt weapon.
Kumokawa Maria had immediately taken action to avoid the bazooka shell when it had been fired, but now she felt something cold run down her back. Her movements slowly but surely stopped.
The instant afterwards, her consciousness was knocked away.
Oumi Shuri heard a heavy thud. Having no more use for it, the attacker tossed aside the blunt weapon. Despite how easily she had handled Oumi Shuri, Kumokawa Maria had been taken out in less than ten seconds. Sensing what a great threat this attacker was, Oumi Shuri started counting the weapons she had hidden in her clothes. It was meant to help her retain her calm, but it had the opposite effect. No matter what she used, she doubted she could win.
Meanwhile, the attacker said, “Umm, I really don’t like this at all. It would be best if we could resolve this without fighting, but…”
The attacker was a short girl. She seemed to be around middle school age. Her black hair had buns on the left and right and she wore a large sweater, a miniskirt, and black stockings. The lack of unity to her outfit that made it look like she had just bought everything the clerk had recommended somehow matched her hesitant mood.
Her one other notable trait was what hung down from her neck. A cell phone, a small 1seg TV, and a handheld device. The precision devices with small screens clattered against each other as they hung down.
“But as a Kihara I have no choice.”
Oumi Shuri heard a slight electronic noise and all the countless monitors lining the transmission control center turned on at once. Displayed on them were countless graphs changing at high speed. At first glance the meaning of the graphs was unclear, but the attacker girl’s pupils absorbed it all. The countless graphs danced like living things within her eyes.
“I understand, Amata-ojichan. I don’t like it. I really don’t like it, but a Kihara would do it like this!!”
Her actions clearly changed.
With quick, smooth movements, the attacker girl charged toward Oumi Shuri.
(!! What!? Did she get some kind of information from that!?)
Oumi Shuri stuck her index fingers in her socks and then quickly stood up, pulling something out of her socks. They were metal sheets with both ends pointed and that were only about the size of nail clippers. They were meant to be thrown, but they were different from bo-shuriken. She aimed for the floor rather than the attacker. A number of the pointed metal sheets stabbed into the wooden floor. They were stereotypical caltrops. She doubted the attacker would actually step on them, but it would slow the attacker down to avoid them. Oumi Shuri planned to finish off the attacker in that time, so she pulled out a new garden trowel-type kunai.
However, something Oumi Shuri did not expect happened.
Not only did the attacker girl not slow down, but she accurately kicked one of the caltrops, sending it flying straight for Oumi Shuri’s face.
Oumi Shuri immediately tried to protect her face with the kunai, but the attacker girl altered the trajectory of her foot and sent a second kick at the caltrop in midair.
The metal sheet’s trajectory greatly changed and stabbed into Oumi Shuri’s gut.
It was not some large knife, so it was not a fatal wound, but the pain still caused her body to freeze up. Meanwhile, the attacker girl precisely and accurately cleared the danger zone of caltrops and headed straight for Oumi Shuri.
“Yes, yes, I understand.”
The writhing of the graphs on the monitors grew even more intense and the attacker girl’s eyes absorbed some sort of information from them.
“Controlling hammer-level destructive power on the microscopic level. That was your combat pattern, right, Amata-ojichan!?”
(…Am I done for!?)
The girl’s right fist flew toward her.
Oumi Shuri had held up her kunai defensively, but the girl struck her arm, sending the tip of the kunai straight for her face.
Her throat grew dry.
She could not stop the blade’s movement.
She just barely managed to move her own kunai’s trajectory toward her harder forehead to avoid a fatal blow.
And then a new right fist flew.
This fist did not belong to Oumi Shuri or the attacker girl.
It was from a complete third party.
The third party wore a white coat that reached down to his ankles and a white helmet that covered his entire face.
Neither of the other two were sure when he had approached.
The third party’s right fist accurately knocked away Oumi Shuri’s kunai, protecting her skull at the last second. The attacker girl changed her target. She let loose a precise and accurate punch toward the third party’s face.
However, the sound of the blow was too quiet.
The helmeted man had determined he could not defend against her, so he had kicked at the girl’s feet at the same time she had thrown the punch. Without her weight behind it, the girl’s punch had only knocked the helmeted man’s head back slightly.
The attacker girl went on the defensive and stepped back a bit.
“Kihara Enshuu, hm? I had heard you had not yet qualified as a Kihara,” muttered the helmeted man.
“Who are you?”
“If you wish to harm these girls, I must make you my enemy.”
“If you wish to save these girls, I must make you my enemy.”
The graphs writhed within the girl’s eyes.
“I’d like some advice, Amata-ojichan.” When she spoke, the pattern of the graphs clearly changed and the color changed with each new name she spoke. “No. Ransuu-ojichan, Konshou-oneechan, Sokuryou-kun, Kaihou-obachan… No, no. Not that. Not that. Umm, umm… Yes, Yuiitsu-oneechan!!”
“So you make up for the thoughts you lack by inputting them from scripts. Was your original specialty the Testaments? I have some doubts whether your personality can safely hold the patterns though.”
“Yes, yes, Yuiitsu-oneechan. A Kihara would do this at a time like this!!”
A large change came over all the graphs in the room.
With the graphs reflected in her eyes, the short girl raised her middle finger and shouted.
“I’m gonna rattle all the carbon dioxide in your body and burst all the fucking blood vessels in your body!! …Now that was nice and Kihara-like!!”
As Kihara Enshuu charged forward in attack, the helmeted man calmly reached for the buttons of his coat.
“A convex shaped charge landmine!?”
“This is what it means to be a Kihara.”
He unhesitatingly detonated it.
A shaped charge landmine was a landmine created such that the blast went in a certain direction. If you wanted to punch a hole in the armor of a tank or other armored weapon, you could attach explosives to a crater-like concave sheet which would focus the explosive power in a single direction. If instead you wanted to spread the explosive blast over a wide area, you could attach the explosives to a mountain-like convex sheet which would spread the blast out in a fan shape. That kind was primarily used for anti-personnel mines that had to take out as many people at once as possible and they often had many small metal balls stuffed inside.
The helmeted man had held a convex shaped charge landmine under his coat.
Five hundred balls were scattered in a fan-shaped blast with a range of three hundred meters and an overall width of two hundred meters.
(Is he insane…!?)
The Kouga were knowledgeable in the use of explosives, so Oumi Shuri’s breath caught in her throat.
Shaped charged were made so the destructive force was aimed in a certain direction. In other words, in the other direction, one would not be harmed by the explosive. However, everything had a limit. If you were holding the mine when it detonated, there was no way you would escape unscathed.
Or at least, that was the case in the world of common knowledge that had nothing to do with supernatural powers.
“…Damn, she got away,” muttered the helmeted man.
The edges of his coat had been blown away. As if to explain his survival, a bent metal sheet fell from his chest, but that was of course nowhere near enough to protect him from a blast of that magnitude.
“I may have been too close. I guess I drew her in too much. At the base of the fan, the danger zone gets smaller to the left and right.”
The helmeted man turned toward the unconscious Kumokawa Maria and then turned toward Oumi Shuri. She held up her kunai.
“Don’t. You cannot defeat me with that.”
“Oh, I wasn’t looking down on you. In fact, I’m saying that you have too much strength to kill me.”
His logic made no sense.
Or perhaps anyone who could not understand it had no right to be on that battlefield. Oumi Shuri had the same feeling as if she had asked a major leaguer the key to victory and he had responded, “Don’t get nervous.”
And yet getting rid of that was her goal.
“To be honest, I gain nothing by fighting you two. I specialize in Kiharas.”
(First we have these Kiharas, then whatever Gremlin is, and now a Kihara specialist? How many different forces are present here in Baggage City?)
As Oumi Shuri’s eyes grew more and more hostile, the helmeted man merely said, “Since I do not need to fight you, I will tell you what you must do to survive. First and foremost, you must find Kamijou Touma.”
“He is here in Baggage City. Given the situation, he is likely being sent all over the place. Meeting Kamijou Touma is directly linked to your survival. To be blunt, if you do not meet him, you will die.” The helmeted man said this almost too readily. “Kihara Enshuu only attacked you for the decidedly un-Kihara-like concern she felt about uncertain elements like you being near Kihara Byouri. However, now that the Kiharas have seen as you as playing a role in this, it will be difficult for you to survive by normal means. That is why you must meet up with someone on the level of Kamijou Touma.”’
“Who is Kamijou Touma?”
“Just a normal boy. He cannot solve any and all problems and I doubt he can stop Baggage City from being destroyed by the Kiharas and Gremlin. But on the other hand, he has a way of saving each and every person he sets his eyes on. Just like the Kiharas destroy each and every person they set their eyes on. You need to use someone of his level in order to escape the Kiharas. Normally, Accelerator would be best for an anti-Kihara battle, but he isn’t here. As such, we have to use someone else.”
The helmeted man crouched down next to the unconscious Kumokawa Maria and checked her pulse and breathing. After ensuring there were no major problems, he turned back to Oumi Shuri.
“When this girl wakes up, tell her you will almost certainly die if you do not do as I suggested.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Sorry, but I have my own objective. As I said, I specialize in Kiharas. Also, I am not confident I would be able to protect you two,” answered the helmeted man as he headed for the exit with his battered coat dragging along.
His last words were spoken softly but in a tone that stuck with Oumi Shuri.
“After all, I am a Kihara myself.”