Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume4 Sub.27
“It’s so cold,” said Kihara Enshuu meaninglessly in a high-pitched voice.
While shrinking down in the cold blizzard, she trudged forward through the thick snow. She was in a city surrounded by concrete, but she felt like someone stranded in a mountain.
In one corner of Baggage City, rectangular containers were piled up like toy building blocks. The area had originally been a large parking lot, but no sign remained of that. The countless containers gave it a cramped feeling.
Rather than long narrow rectangular solids, the containers were a smaller size meant to be carried by railroad. The main difference from normal containers was the business use electrical plugs attached to the side. They were not boxes meant to hold things. They were devices used to grow vegetables within.
They were plant factories.
“Hmm. I wonder if they were gathered here during the war so they could be sent to various battlefields to help with the food supply. After all, they can be harvested from 30 times in a year. But the war ended too quickly and they just ended up being put to civilian use here.”
Obviously, growing vegetables in a snowy Arctic area like Baggage City was not easy, so the cuisine focused on meat. The plant factories had a plain but definite benefit for the residents of Baggage City.
Kihara Enshuu reached out toward the metal door of one of those saviors.
She had the materials for the biological weapon in her clothes.
A rattling noise came from the door.
It would not open. The lever holding it shut would not move.
“I guess it’s locked. Are they protecting their food?”
With a quizzical look, Kihara Enshuu turned around.
She then headed for the security room the keys were likely kept in.
Ayles Bigant trembled within a small room.
He had originally come to Baggage City as a participant in the Natural Selector tournament, but everything had been destroyed on the first day of the tournament. Unknown monsters had attacked the city. However, fleeing out into the streets only dumped you into a hell of -20 degrees and the nearest city was 130 kilometers away.
That meant he had no choice but to hide somewhere in Baggage City. His only choice was to hide and wait for the police or army to come and resolve the situation.
That had been his plan, but the doorknob had suddenly started to shake. No, it was the entire door. The metal door did not open, but it was enough to make Ayles tremble. The person had not knocked or tried to turn the knob. They had simply started kicking at the door or something equally as violent.
“Shit. What is going on? What!? Shit!!”
Still crouched down on the floor, Ayles Bigant grabbed a semi auto shotgun with trembling hands. He was so panicked that he had forgotten to do something as basic as loading the first bullet, so it would not fire even if he pulled the trigger.
Someone had noticed him.
He had finally been caught.
It did not really matter who it was. Being found by anyone was a problem. Even if it was an old person seeking help and who had no connection to the overall incident, that meeting could still lead to the people behind it all finding out he was there.
Having nothing happen was ideal.
Not coming into contact with anyone was safest.
And yet this was happening.
“It doesn’t matter who it is.” Holding the shotgun, Ayles slowly and silently stood up. “I will eliminate any threat.”
Kihara Enshuu came to the edge of the parking lot filled with container-shaped plant factories. Something like a prefab storage building was there, but the door would not open no matter how many times she kicked at it.
“From the noises I can hear, I think someone is inside,” the girl muttered before removing the smartphone from around her neck.
She switched out the smartphone’s case with something that had a suction cup on it and stuck the smartphone to the center of the door.
“Yes, yes, that’s right. A Kihara would do a bit more, Amata-ojisan.”
Kihara Enshuu activated an application and then looked around.
A few large cranes were parked about. They were likely used to move the piled up container-shaped plant factories.
Who was there?
It was clear someone was.
Still holding the shotgun, Ayles Bigant gulped audibly. A strange sense of intimidation pressed at him from the door. He wanted to go ahead and pull the trigger, but he also saw the thin door as his final fortress. He felt that he would lose everything if he destroyed it himself and he wanted absolute assurance that he would kill whoever it was if he did destroy the door.
He heard footprints in the snow. The sound got progressively smaller so it must have been getting progressively more distant. Had the person not realized someone was inside? Were they leaving? As soon as Ayles Bigant had that thought, he frantically cast aside that hopeful view.
The answer would not be that simple in that hell.
The reality was likely much more cruel.
For example, the person could have been leaving to call in more people.
It would be best if he assumed that sitting there and doing nothing would lead to him being surrounded by a large group.
Ayles Bigant adjusted his grip on the shotgun and frantically headed for the door. If the person was leaving, it was possible their back would be facing him. In that case, even if the person was a monster, he had a greater chance of winning with a shotgun blast.
Even so, he was not so foolish as to suddenly open the door.
The door had a peephole in it.
“Hm hm hmm hm hm hm.”
While humming, Kihara Enshuu poked at one of the devices hanging from her neck with a finger. Something was vaguely displayed on the smartphone stuck to the door.
It was an Echo Filter.
The device allowed her to see beyond obstacles using ultrasonic waves. Basically, it was the same as the devices used to see a pregnant woman’s baby but with a strengthened output. The idea was an old one and applied research into using it in counter terrorist operations had been performed in the past. Unlike with the fiber scope used for endoscopes, no hole had to be opened in the door or wall. However, the vague images made it difficult to tell who was the terrorist and who was the hostage, so it had gone for many years without ever becoming widely used.
The smartphone displayed what was on the other side of the door.
A vague form was approaching.
He was pressing up against the door.
He was peering through the peephole.
“Hmm hm hm hm hmm.”
Kihara Enshuu smiled while watching his movements to get the timing right as she tapped at the device around her neck.
The time came.
However, Kihara Enshuu took no showy actions.
She merely pulled the smartphone from the door and lay down on the snow.
Immediately afterwards, something large approached.
Ayles Bigant had made a few errors. For one, he had not counted on the existence of the Echo Filter that showed the person on the other side everything within the security room. The other had been about the footsteps he had heard. His interpretation of the gradual lowering in volume had been that the source of the noise was receding.
In reality, it could just as easily been the volume of the device outputting the noise being lowered.
Due to this, Ayles had assumed that whoever it was was no longer right next to the door.
Inside the small room, his sources of visual information were limited.
Without information, he was uneasy.
He tried to put himself at ease by gaining some information.
The auditory information of the slowly disappearing footsteps had shown him just how starved for information he was. It was like the delicious smells coming out to the street from a restaurant’s kitchen.
That was why Ayles Bigant’s face had been naturally sucked in toward the peephole. He wanted to remedy that starvation. He had no idea that he was being led to do just that by someone.
Immediately afterwards, a great dull noise pierced through the thick door.
“That should do it,” muttered Kihara Enshuu as she lay flat atop the snow. She had controlled a crane remotely. The plant factory container hanging from the wire had been swung like the giant metal ball used in building demolitions. The heavy plant factory had passed right above Kihara Enshuu as she lay on the snow and slammed into the door.
The door and the surrounding wall had been blown away.
The steel door was buried into the opposite wall and a dark red liquid was flowing out from the gap between the door and the wall. She never even heard a scream.
“Wow, this is a messy room. It even has building materials scattered about.”
Kihara Enshuu entered the cramped security room and grabbed a ring of keys from the wall.
“Uuh…” came a groan.
It seemed the source of the dark red liquid was still moving.
Kihara Enshuu looked around the crushed room, used one hand to grab a shotgun that was on the floor for some reason, and loaded the first bullet with a quick motion.
A dull noise struck the door.
She tossed the shotgun aside and exited the room that now had nothing left moving.
“It pains me, but I have to do this kind of thing if I am to be a Kihara. Right, Amata-ojisan?”
She trudged through the blizzard and opened the door to a random container. The inside was lined with steel racks. Each rack had cabbages lining it and red and green lights lit up the area.
“Oh… It’s filled with LED lights. But I need a black light to cause the changes in the mold.”
She searched around for a bit and finally found what she was looking for. They were fluorescent lights only about as along as chopsticks. However, they were blue. They were black lights that emitted ultraviolet rays.
Kihara Enshuu gathered a few black lights and placed them at complicated angles. She then delicately adjusted the balance by using a photometer that used the camera on her smartphone.
The genetic information of microscopic life forms was easily damaged.
They had almost no defense against ultraviolet rays or cosmic rays.
However, it was incredibly difficult to use that to get a desired result.
Kihara Enshuu grabbed a cabbage from a random rack and lightly munched on it. She immediately regretted it due to how bitter it was.
“Hmm, at this output, it should take about an hour. Right, Amata-ojisan?”