Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume6 Epilogue
Epilogue: Let the Next Fight Begin. Next_Batter_Circle.
An event did not necessarily have only one conclusion.
It had as many conclusions as there were people involved in the event.
Here, a few of those will be introduced.
“Well that was a complete waste of effort,” said Silvia loud enough for the others to hear her.
The Saint was scratching her head after making her way out of the wall surrounding Academy City.
Evening had passed and the darkness of night was spreading. A liveliness illuminated by countless lights, both neon and otherwise, filled the area ahead as if to say this was where Tokyo, the capital of Japan, truly began. However, Silvia and the others were travelling while weaving their way through the gaps of darkness all that light could not fill.
“I was forced into a fight that left a real bad taste in my mouth and we got nothing out of it. We couldn’t retrieve Fräulein Kreutune. …And our countermeasures regarding Gremlin change a lot depending on whether we have her or not.”
“We couldn’t get her, so it’s useless thinking about it any longer,” replied Leivinia Birdway.
She still looked young yet she had a cold gracefulness to her features. However, all that was ruined by her swollen cheek. It may have been related to the principles she held herself to, but she showed no sign of putting ice on it or treating it in any fashion. That seemed to bring out her displeasure all the more.
“Even if we went back for her, Fräulein Kreutune has already been changed into something other than what the Magic God Othinus wants. We cannot use that to lure her in.”
“What? Are you still bothered that you were forced to fight someone on the same side? Results are everything in this world. Even if you cannot accept how it ended and even if it was based on the reasoning of that boy you cannot understand, you cannot complain after you lost.”
“…Do you want me to punch you?”
“By the way, young lady. Japan has an interesting theory. Supposedly, those with a real little sister can never imagine an ideal little sister.”
“So if you reverse that, does it mean little Birdway-chan who has a little sister but not a big brother is the type to imagine an ideal big brother? And now you’re upset that you were scolded by the person you thought would listen to everything you had to say and that you could always rely on when you were in trouble? But he still tried to talk things out with you even after all you did to him. I’d say there’s a real connection there.”
“I hope you’re prepared because I’m about to introduce you to this full set of the major arcana.”
“I noticed you never used that. The four elements of the symbolic weapon are related to the minor arcana of tarot. If you had used the 22 cards of the major arcana to bring out a combo going from the Fool to the World, you could have temporarily boosted your parameters and made supersonic movements,” said Silvia with a huge grin.
“More importantly.” Brunhild Eiktobel’s tone was completely serious despite rudely interrupting. “Where is Ollerus? You said before that he was preparing.”
“Oh, that. He is dealing with our true purpose here…the one that has nothing to do with Fräulein Kreutune,” replied Silvia as she cracked her neck. “He said his preparations are complete.”
Despite being so neatly maintained, Academy City had plenty of scary rumors.
The black garbage truck that would take away bad children that did not do what their teacher said. Specimen #502 that was the source of strange groans heard coming from within manholes but should never be investigated. A forbidden name that’s owner would kill anyone who entered the name into a search engine. The human bone colored tiles that were said to increase in number around Academy City’s roads after people inconvenient to the city disappeared. And the urban legend among urban legends that said the many rumors were given set rules and controlled by the AIM diffusion fields throughout the city and that they were a means of manipulating information.
There were so many scary rumors that children did not know what to do if they really did happen across one of the mysterious people featured in them on their way home from school.
The children doubted they would be able to escape just by running away as quickly as they could.
But they did not need to worry.
The weaknesses of the mysterious people featured in urban legends were constantly being looked into.
For example, if a rumor was spreading that said no one could escape from a certain woman who could run 100 meters in 3 seconds, a different rumor would be created saying one would be safe as long as one had some hard candy or pomade.
Of course, the rumors would change on a daily basis, so new theories would crop up saying such weaknesses did not work at all.
For example, a rumor could spread saying the hard candy and pomade only worked on the original woman, but they were completely ineffectual against the second one whose mouth had been split open by the original woman.
Legends spreading fear and legends defeating that fear would constantly spread while trying to outdo each other, and it seemed it would never reach any conclusion.
But there was one new rumor.
It was a very simple rumor, so it may have held the possibility of spreading explosively among the children of Academy City.
It was as follows:
All sorts of scary rumors spread through this city, but if you run across one of the scary people spoken of in those rumors, you just need to shout out as loudly as you can.
Shout out, “Help me, rhinoceros beetle!”
If you do that, you will be all right.
Academy City’s #2 Level 5 who uses Dark Matter will come.
Someone named Kakine Teitoku will surely come to save you.
Accelerator had returned to the apartment with Yoshikawa Kikyou and Last Order. He was lying in his room with the lights off. It was unclear if Yoshikawa would speak of what had happened that day with Yomikawa Aiho of Anti-Skill.
Kakine Teitoku the #2 had…actually, it was actually unclear if he should be called that or not. At any rate, the enemy had been defeated.
In the process, Accelerator had found a foothold towards breaking through the difficult issue before him using his own type of methods.
The conclusion had been an excellent one where no one was lost.
(Only the one who was killed can understand the feelings of the one who was killed.)
Those words left to the #1 continued to stab into his heart.
The thorn was small, but it was like a barbed fishing hook and would not be easily removed.
With humans, it seemed a single bad comment left more of an impression than 100 good comments.
“Why the hell have I been acting so spoiled…?”
Had he gotten full of himself just because Last Order, the one who spoke for the whole of the Misaka Network, and Misaka Worst, the aggregation of the network’s malice, had forgiven him?
In fact, had they even really forgiven him?
Hadn’t he just been letting everything flow in the most convenient and least painful direction for him?
He could not ask forgiveness from those he had killed.
The dead could not feel joy.
After all, the act of killing robbed that of them.
The dead could not feel anger.
After all, the act of killing robbed that of them.
The dead could not feel sorrow.
After all, the act of killing robbed that of them.
The dead could not feel gratitude.
After all, the act of killing robbed that of them.
No matter how he lived his life from here on, it would only be for his own self-satisfaction. He knew that. But there had to be something he could do for himself while he was still alive.
Getting back to the base of it all…
What had been the true intention behind the experiment that had led to the slaughter of over 10,000 Sisters?
At face value, it had been to evolve Academy City’s #1 Level 5 to Level 6 which lay beyond that, but he already knew that was not its true purpose. That experiment had either been intended to fail from the beginning or its true purposes were obtained whether it succeeded or failed.
From the information he had gained from his past experiences, the first purpose behind it was likely to scatter almost 10,000 Sisters to the cooperative institutions around the world in order to spread the effects of their AIM diffusion fields.
Since an angel-like being had been created within Academy City by messing with Last Order, the second purpose seemed to be for the Misaka Network to act as a guidance device to control a massive aggregation of AIM diffusion fields.
And there was the term Dragon he had come across in his time working for Academy City’s dark side. There was the true monster called Aiwass hidden behind it. Aiwass itself had said the angel-like thing Accelerator had seen in the past had been nothing more than the mold to give Aiwass form. That was the third purpose.
In that case…
What did creating Aiwass accomplish?
That being was indeed a trump card that’s power could not be criticized. After all, it had held enough power to instantly defeat Accelerator, Academy City’s #1. But there was no record of that tremendous power being used in World War III. Even in the midst of that war in which Academy City’s fate hung in the balance, Aiwass had been held in reserve.
In that case, Aiwass had not simply been developed as a weapon.
There had to be some clear objective behind it, but Accelerator could not figure out what it could be.
He knew Aiwass was amazing, but he could not think of any concrete gain obtained from it. Developing new technology was enough of an objective in that city, but if that was the reason, word of Aiwass would have been spread around the entire world to show off how advanced Academy City’s technology was.
A plan to land on the moon using a spaceship did not directly affect most people’s lives, but the “information” contained great influence.
Since the development of a being as great as Aiwass had been kept a secret, it had to have a concrete use other than showing it off. And it was likely some objective that held the risk of someone trying to stop it if it was not kept a secret.
Aiwass, the angel-like being, the Misaka Network, Last Order, the Sisters, AIM diffusion fields.
At the very bottom of that pyramid were the completely normal students. Whether they were involved in the dark side of the city or not, the students all emitted those AIM diffusion fields subconsciously. And that led all the way up to Aiwass.
That was the very foundation of Academy City.
Scientific psychic powers.
What if this was not a case of someone taking that existing system and using it for their own purposes?
What if the entire project had been started as an initial step towards reaching Aiwass?
And getting back to the true base of it all…
What exactly were the psychic powers that had been created in Academy City?
Where did this plan begin and what ending did it lead to?
At this point…
Accelerator finally felt like he had grasped at the edge of some great darkness. It felt like one portion of a giant trap that would swallow up everything. It felt like one portion of a giant maw that was so large that the entire thing was normally impossible to grasp conceptually. It felt like one portion of the true source behind the inescapable pitch black hole that had dragged in the Sisters…those clones humans…those people he had killed.
If Accelerator exposed whatever this was and blamed it, his sins would not conveniently disappear.
But what if…?
What if the people he had killed had cursed that environment with all of their hearts?
What if they had cursed all that had helped him kill more than they had cursed the #1 who had directly done the killing?
What would those people think if they knew the plan that had “progressed wonderfully” with their deaths was even now steadily continuing on to its next step?
Only the one who was killed could understand the feelings of the one who was killed.
Living people readily speaking of how the dead felt could easily lead to twisting those feelings for one’s own purposes.
The living could act based on their own feelings for the dead.
Accelerator asked himself what he wanted to do.
If he could do something for those lives that had already been lost, what would he choose?
The #1 would likely go to hell. Setting aside whether that was a simple metaphor or being used in a religious sense, he would certainly not have a decent end. But if there was something he could do before he arrived in that hell, what was it?
The thorn sticking into him was small, but it would not be removed easily.
That small pain would surely drag him down the path of malice and battle.
It was as if it had been arranged ahead of time.
It was as if it was an intentional code that had been inserted into him by someone. But did Accelerator himself realize that?
This “code” was meant to move him from one path to another.
Accelerator silently sat up in his bed. His gaze wandered. It finally stopped on the room’s window. The area beyond was dyed pitch black with the darkness of night. That area beyond was likely the first step towards that other path.
If he headed down it, he would lose everything he had, but he would also gain the chance to acquire things he could not acquire where he was.
With that thought in mind and a serious expression, Accelerator began groping around for his modern cane.
But a knock suddenly came on his door.
Without waiting for a response, the doorknob turned.
A small figure entered.
It should have been the girl known as Last Order.
Anything else would make no sense.
“Hey, Accelerator /return. This is about to get troublesome, so let me interfere /return.”
Something was wrong.
As he watched that girl stand straight up with her mouth moving open and closed, Accelerator felt a chill run down his spine. It reminded him of when she had been forcibly interfered with using a virus or something in the past.
But this was different.
“Normally, ‘Misaka’ fills the network but leaves the means of external interference to the individual units /return. So don’t expect me to be much of a conversationalist /return. Think of this as being like an email /return. Just so you know, I will simply finish what I am saying even if you ask questions /return.”
This was something from within the Misaka Network.
This was something superior even to Last Order who was the command tower.
No one should have been higher than Last Order on the system.
The #1 began to suspect this was related to the Third Season project Misaka Worst had come from, but then a different possibility came to him. Despite being warned she would give no response, he spoke through clenched teeth.
“Are you the will of the whole of the Misaka Network!?”
This was something created by Academy City yet different from both the angel-like being and Aiwass.
This was something he was unsure could be called human.
Perhaps it should be called the “third existence”.
“Basically, I was thinking you had been in an odd mood ever since that incident was resolved /return.” That girl’s mouth was used to emit someone’s voice as if a recording was being played. “Accelerator, by any chance are you thinking you can approach some kind of good by bringing an end to this relatively peaceful life and throwing yourself into a fight to approach the secrets of Academy City /escape? Or are you thinking you will only go to hell once everything has been put in order /escape? If so, don’t worry about it because you have been led to think those things /return. And doing that won’t make you look cool or anything like that /return.”
“What the hell are-…”
“You reacted to that with something along the lines of ‘What the hell are you saying?’, didn’t you /escape? Don’t do that /return. Let’s get rid of all the problems that aren’t actually needed, Accelerator /return. Hiding your embarrassment like that is usually quite cute, but /backspace it just gets in the way here /return. So,” whoever it was continued, “let me get down to the core of the issue /return. I know what you are probably thinking /return. You think you have abandoned what you need to do by growing so relaxed in this comfortable place /return. …but /backspace that is not the case at all /return. You’re thinking about this backwards /return. You are the #1 monster, so isn’t the most comfortable thing for you easy conflict and easy violence followed by easy victory /escape? That’s just how it is /return. You were developed to become a monster like that /return. If you head down the path of least resistance where someone wants you to go, you will naturally be stuck running down a path of bloodshed and disaster, won’t you /escape?”
“That is why I said you are thinking about this backwards /return. Accelerator, you are feeling doubts about your own existence right now /return. That is not a bad thing /return. But /backspace do not let yourself be swept away in the more comfortable direction just because you have been shaken /return. I am not lending you calculation space so that you can come to that answer /return.”
The girl gave a light shrug.
The action looked horribly out of place on her.
“Struggle for someone’s sake /return. Struggle in the way that is truly hardest for you /return. …If I wanted to, I could dredge up the memory data for the dead units that still remains on the network and provide definite yes or no answers /return. But /backspace doing that would be a waste, so I won’t /return. Let’s leave it at the feelings of the dead being only known by the dead /return. And if you take the easy road out and became a monster, I will throw you into a hell several sizes larger than you are imagining /return.”
The girl wobbled on her feet.
“And while I may have left Last Order and Misaka Worst with you, I am more interested in making a pass at Kamijou-chan than you /return. That is how I really feel /return. And he seems to be in a rather dangerous position too /return. So I would rather you did not make me use my precious ticket here /return.”
And that was it.
The “email” must have come to an end because the small girl’s body collapsed to the side.
A woman in a cheap suit and a lab coat glanced around the area.
She was in the vast underground space in District 3 that had been filled by Academy City’s #2 just the day before. But it was now empty and the pure white Dark Matter he had randomly spread around had cleanly disappeared. With everything unnecessary gone from the space, it had the same loneliness as an empty classroom.
“I just can’t get used to this. No matter how trivial a thing it is, it irritates me for numbers to drop.”
The woman held a long, narrow object about the size of a chewing gum container. It was a digital voice recorder. The woman in the cheap suit and lab coat brought the small microphone up to her lips and continued recording her memos.
“The Dark Matter has cleanly disappeared. This is as expected. Examinations have been requested for the samples taken from the surface at a total of 40 different locations on the floor, walls, and ceiling. But I doubt anything will come of it.”
A small repeated sound like fingernails scratching at something could be heard. The woman pulled a device about the size of a card holder out of her inner pocket. She looked at the screen and found comments including certain common terms were increasing on several message boards and SNSs.
“I have found urban legends relating to the #2. This is too short a time for them to appear naturally. And I doubt Kakine Teitoku – or whatever the current #2 is called – is spreading it himself. It seems someone else from Academy City’s darkness has turned their attention towards the #2. Tag this attention level yellow,” said the woman as she placed the device back in her inner pocket and walked slowly through the vast space. “Details are unknown regarding the #1. Malice was injected within him, but it is currently unclear if it will bloom into anything. As a personal aside, it would be quite a waste if he remains as he is. After having so much fun with the #2 changing forms like that, the #1 just seems too plain. It would be nice if he could become more grotesque concerning those wings of his.”
She then suddenly stopped walking.
“Takitsubo Rikou’s progress as seen in the #2 issue is going exceedingly well. Tag this one gold,” she said as she stood in the center of the vast space and looked straight up. “And of course there is Fremea Seivelun as well. Her Agitate Halation is confirmed to have been used unintentionally. That new possibility of a Level 0 gets a platinum tag. Be extremely careful when gathering data.”
At that point, the woman in the cheap suit and lab coat switched off the recorder.
She thought for a bit.
And finally she switched it back on after gathering her thoughts.
“Fräulein Kreutune is out of my jurisdiction. I am rather unhappy about that. …But from what I have observed, she has a durable body that cannot be killed no matter what, a heart that desires friends, and the possibility of being controlled regardless of her personal beliefs. For that reason, she gives me a very similar impression to the aggregation of AIM diffusion fields. It is possible she was used a baseline for Kazakiri Hyouka. If that is the case, there is a single thread connecting Fräulein Kreutune, Kazakiri Hyouka, and Dragon. …Perhaps it is reading too much into this to include the chairman of the board in his life support device into this as well. But according to that hypothesis, I suppose I can draw a line between the chairman and Dragon. At any rate, there is no lack of materials that prove to be quite interesting.”
She switched off the recorder.
And switched it back on.
She then repeated the process a few times.
“Details are unknown regarding the several people who made their way into Academy City. Some similarities have been identified with the phenomena witnessed during World War III and in Baggage City. This is also outside of my jurisdiction. I will once again leave this to a different unit that might not even exist as far as I know…”
The woman trailed off with a puzzled look.
She remained silent for a while.
Finally, she sighed and let go of the digital voice recorder.
The small device fell to the ground and she crushed it beneath her pumps. And then she spoke in a voice that she could never let anyone hear.
“Ahh, ahh. This just isn’t Kihara-like at all…”
The Lightning God Thor, Marian Slingeneyer and Mjölnir made their way to Tokyo Bay to sneak aboard one of many rental ships. They were walking through an industrial port. They were not returning by boat; they were using the boat to head to an airport in a nearby country that had poor security.
“So you let her slip through our fingers. Fräulein Kreutune was the final piece needed to manufacture Gungnir. We can’t get anywhere without a holistic esper, remember? What are we going to do now?”
Marian’s words were followed by a clattering noise. The drum-shaped girl(?) was providing meaningless support as usual.
Thor shrugged and said, “We decided on the division of labor from the beginning. I would immobilize Fräulein Kreutune while borrowing power from Mjölnir and you would use your ability to remodel humans to make sure she could not struggle. Then we would just take her out of Academy City. …But there was more of a commotion than we expected. I’m in charge of direct combat and I couldn’t manage it. You two are meant to stay behind the scenes, so you would have just gotten your asses kicked if you had come as reinforcements.”
“Even if you’re the old version, you still hold the name of an almighty. Yet you couldn’t manage it?”
“This is Fräulein Kreutune. And remember, we say almighty, but it’s only the level of almighty that humans can imagine. I’m not a Magic God, so don’t expect the kind of almighty that exceeds that,” replied Thor with an offhand tone.
Marian Slingeneyer frowned.
They then heard a slight sound.
Thor was carrying a cooler using a shoulder strap. His arm had struck the rectangular box.
“What is that?”
“Something to put her in a better mood. With this, the spear might still be a possibility.”
Thor started to explain further, but he stopped.
It happened suddenly.
Not him ceasing to speak.
The Magic God Othinus.
A girl who appeared to be around 14 had suddenly appeared in the darkness of the industrial port.
She wore a witch-like hat and one of her eyes was covered by an eyepatch. She wore a mantle over a leather outfit. In this country, her outfit could have been mistaken for a costume. That girl moved her single eye to look at Thor.
Thor and the others grew flustered.
“Should you really be here? This is right in front of the enemy’s base.”
“Distance holds no meaning. What matters is being unseen. More importantly,” said the Magic God Othinus to easily change the subject. “Where is Fräulein Kreutune?”
“Does it look like we succeeded?”
“I ordered you to retrieve Fräulein Kreutune.”
“If you’re gonna do it, just do it,” said Thor disinterestedly as he tossed the cooler towards Othinus.
The impact as it struck the ground forced open the latch holding it shut.
Othinus’s expression did not change. She did not even look inside.
Marian Slingeneyer looked impressed.
“What is this?”
“Academy City’s #2.”
Thor pointed towards a few clear bags inside the cooler. Packed inside were frozen internal organs. “Or rather, his flesh-and-blood parts. I don’t really know if you can call this Kakine Teitoku. But you need a sturdy person, right? Well, he’s sturdier than Fräulein Kreutune in a way. You might be able to reach a holistic esper using him.”
Othinus remained silent.
Marian cut in from the side.
“I thought it had to be someone not dyed by either science or magic?”
“Yeah, it might not work to just modify Kakine himself. But he is a symbol of creation. How about we use him to create a doll from nothing?”
Marian Slingeneyer looked over at Othinus.
Mjölnir could do nothing but mimic Marian.
Othinus finally ended her silence. She said the exact same thing as before.
“I ordered you to retrieve Fräulein Kreutune.”
“Then go get her yourself,” said Thor while casually pointing over his shoulder with his thumb. “But Fräulein Kreutune has already been changed. She has lost what was needed to make the spear. I don’t think capturing her would do any good now.”
“Marian,” said Othinus.
The brown girl assumed she was asking whether that was true or not.
But she was not.
With a dull noise, Thor’s right arm was suddenly severed at the shoulder.
The pain came after a short delay.
It was only after Thor’s right arm had fallen to the ground that he let out a scream.
“Even if humans are not your specialty, you are still skilled at manipulating them. Reconnect that afterwards.”
Ignoring Thor who was curled up in pain, Othinus kicked the cooler’s lid closed, grabbed the shoulder strap, and picked it up.
Marian Slingeneyer looked back and forth between Thor and Othinus, but finally made up her mind and spoke.
“What? I have no intention of amusing myself with conspiracies, but are you aware the way you are acting is very close to dependence?”
Marian frantically pointed at Othinus’s right shoulder.
Something slowly lost its form beneath her mantle.
The connection at the joint seemed to be completely ignored as the arm started to fall.
“…Tch. So it ended up in the negative 50% of the infinite possibilities.”
Before the arm could completely fall off, Othinus forcibly held it in place from over the mantle with her other hand. A wet dripping sound could be heard. It seemed she had lost a lot of blood beneath the mantle, but the Magic God’s expression did not change. Even a wound as ridiculous as that might not last for long.
She was an existence that could reach anything she wished.
But at the same time, she was an existence that had a 50% chance of failing no matter what she did.
That was who Othinus was and her objective was quite simple.
The elimination of the negative 50%.
With 100% positive possibilities, she could freely wield her power.
And what she needed for that was…
“I now have the final piece. How about we begin manufacturing the spear?”
After Othinus left, Marian Slingeneyer picked up the fallen arm and approached Thor.
“…I’ll do it myself.”
Thor grabbed the severed arm with his remaining hand that was covered in blood thanks to reflexively holding his wound.
“Sorry, but could you leave me alone?” said Thor quietly through clenched teeth. “To be honest, I feel like I’m gonna cry. I don’t want to let anyone see that. Dammit, Othinus is the same as ever. She doesn’t understand that I risked my life to balance everything out and not return empty-handed.”
“You did well.”
“But I didn’t grant her #1 wish. …Oh, I get it now. I know why I feel like crying. It isn’t because of the pain or how pathetic I feel. It’s because I was saved. I’m just so happy that I was saved at the last second.”
“Don’t worry. I would have shit myself had I been in your position.”
Marian Slingeneyer snapped her fingers and headed towards the rental ship along with the drum-shaped girl(?).
Once he was sure no one else was around, Thor let out a small sigh.
And he thought quietly to himself.
(…It all went as planned. I’ve finally managed to sneak in.)
Thor casually spun his own arm around. Looking so carefree he could start humming at any time, he pressed the arm up against his shoulder.
He did not recite any kind of spell.
He did not rely on the power of a talisman or a wonder drug.
But a magical phenomenon did indeed occur. The arm reconnected with a pale light. The fingers of the hand were already opening and closing at his command.
This was obviously not the magic belonging to the Lightning God Thor.
In fact, he was not Thor at all.
(Sneaking in would have been difficult if I had only taken on Thor’s form. I needed some powerful card in addition to that. And it couldn’t have simply been Fräulein Kreutune. Once she had been shocked to find her expected plan was destroyed, I needed to bring her a replacement idea. It was possible that great shock would prevent Othinus’s judgment from working properly.)
However, that alone was not enough to trick the Magic God Othinus.
She was an existence that could make all impossibilities possible.
Even if a normal magician tried to fool her, she had the power to see through it for no discernible reason.
That was why…
It took someone who had taken a step into the territory of a Magic God to fool a Magic God.
The person who had just snuck into Gremlin was Ollerus.
After perfectly reconnecting his arm, Ollerus purposefully wrapped an old piece of cloth around it.
With his hand still bloody, he headed into the rental ship moored at the industrial port.
(I have snuck in. And I have proven that someone with as overwhelmingly great power as Fiamma of the Right can freely act within such a collection of powerful people without being detected. All the preparations are complete.)
He would determine where Othinus’s headquarters were as she hurried to complete the spear.
(It’s about time to begin the counterattack. We will be continually fooling each other from right under each other’s noses.)
Meanwhile, the real Thor was sitting on a park bench located a short distance beyond Academy City’s outer wall.
“Dammit. Both of them are broken. Now I can’t even use the zipper on my pants.”
He set his wrists by using branches he found on the ground nearby as splints and wrapping cloth around using his mouth. He also had the gunshot wound on his stomach, so he needed to take preparations to use recovery magic. He could not do it with the objects at hand.
But his expression showed no sign of discomfort.
He had no real reason to save Kamijou Touma, but he had no real reason to kill him either. His objective was nothing but obtaining experience points. A stepping stone he had surpassed no longer had any value, but that also meant he no longer felt any persistent desire to destroy it.
Things would be different if that boy could grow to be his next stepping stone.
(I guess Ollerus is sneaking into Gremlin using my form right about now. I thought he was crazy when he first brought that deal to me in Academy City.)
Of course, if Thor had refused, Ollerus would likely have simply forced it to happen anyways using brute strength. If that had happened, Thor could be buried six feet under right now.
His reason for going along with the deal was quite simple.
Hawaii and Baggage City.
His love for Gremlin had run out when he saw those disturbances.
(But what am I going to do now?)
Once he had agreed to Ollerus’s deal, he ceased to be part of Gremlin. But he was not worried about where he should return to or where he should be headed.
(If I continue like this, Othinus will come to kill me. But if I betray Ollerus, he will probably try to kill me.)
At first glance, both possibilities looked like hell.
After all, both of them were magicians who had reached the territory of a Magic God.
What Thor took into account changed things somewhat.
(Now then, both of those could prove to be truly interesting steps, but which one will I take next?)
The world spread out infinitely.
The options available for him to choose from were too many to count.
Someone had once asked:
“What is your goal? What do you want to gain by having me help you?”
Someone had once replied:
“My goal is to save Fräulein Kreutune. The same as you.”
In a way, that goal had been achieved.
But only that initial goal had been achieved perfectly.
The hero with the power to defeat the demon king was lucky. Everyone would tell him what he should use his power for.
But the Magic God who possessed great power no longer needed a reason to destroy.
And the one who should have been one did not even realize he was straying from what he should be using his power for.
That is the kind of story this is.