Difference between revisions of "Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume9 Chapter 8"

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“…”
 
“…”
   
“But what about the opposite? If an overwhelmingly powerful player fought extremely weak enemies on and on, he would obviously get bored. His focus wouldn’t last for even half an hour. It would be nothing but work. There’s no room for trial and error and he doesn’t even gain any significant amount of experience points or money. And there’s no meaning in fighting enemies well below his league. Saying he ran across a weak enemy everyone’s seen make for a terrible conversation.”
+
“But what about the opposite? If an overwhelmingly powerful player fought extremely weak enemies on and on, he would obviously get bored. His focus wouldn’t last for even half an hour. It would be nothing but work. There’s no room for trial and error and he doesn’t even gain any significant amount of experience points or money. And there’s no meaning in fighting enemies well below his league. Saying he ran across a weak enemy everyone’s seen makes for a terrible conversation.”
   
 
They may have stood on the same stage, but their roles were completely different.
 
They may have stood on the same stage, but their roles were completely different.

Revision as of 06:55, 27 January 2014

Status: Incomplete

6/8 parts completed

   

Chapter 8: Girl Phase, Hundreds of Billions. Create_V.S._Break.

Part 1

Everyone knew from the beginning that he ultimately did not stand a chance against her.

It only took an instant.

Othinus did not even take a single step.

By the time Kamijou Touma tried to dash forward with his right fist clenched, the situation had already decisively changed.

Something exploded right in front of him.

“                     ……                                        !!!???”

The explosive noise arrived late and Kamijou felt it through his bones more than his ears. By the time his comprehension caught up, he was flying high through the air like a soccer ball.

This result had to have already appeared in Othinus’s head.

All Kamijou had managed was to slightly alter the trajectory of his flight and the spot he landed in.

He remained in the air for several seconds.

His time there was clearly too long for a human-sized mass. What did that mean?

Before fear could devour reality, his back struck the dirt of the schoolyard.

Without exaggeration, a massive amount of dark red liquid rose from his organs and spewed from his mouth.


Ksh

                                                                                  Ksh


He had trouble breathing.

Even as he tried to draw in air, it felt like something was clogging the path.

“Cough!! Cough cough!! Cough!!”

While lying on his back, he rolled to a crawling pose and stuck a finger deep into his throat. He had lost a lot of blood, but securing his windpipe came first. He coughed up the sticky fresh blood clogging his throat and somehow managed to breathe in.

“What’s wrong?”

The blonde girl’s voice slipped into Kamijou’s ears.

It sounded much, much more distant than before.

“I thought you liked simple battles. So why are you moving back rather than enjoying yourself?”

Othinus never moved from that one spot.

She merely held up her lance.

That was all.

A giant hole opened in the night sky.

It looked like a pitch black moon.

Something had split open. Kamijou caught a glimpse of that evenly black world he had seen before.

No warning was given.

That moon merely fell toward the schoolyard to crush a single boy.


                                                                   Ksshh

                                                                                                   Ksshh


Kamijou leaped to the side with all his strength. He could not worry about appearances. He merely rolled along the dirt to move even a centimeter or millimeter further from that whirl of destruction.

All sound vanished.

A hemispherical crater ten meters across appeared in the ground. This was not the scar left by an explosion. That space had been carved away in the exact shape and size of the black moon.

(I need to get close.)

A fierce light resided in his eyes.

He moved from defense to offense.

After switching over his train of thought, he sharply altered his direction as if switching the position of his feet around.

(I need to find a way to get close to her!! If I can get right up to her, she’ll have to let up on the massive attacks for fear of hitting herself! I only have my fist. Whether I’m attacking or defending, I can’t do anything without forcing down my fear and moving in to-…)

“Too slow.”

Othinus’s lovely voice was accompanied by the sound of Kamijou’s knee bending in an odd direction.


                                                                                                          Ksssshhhh!!

Ksssshhhh!!


Kamijou Touma used both his legs to charge forward at top speed.

He was right in front of Othinus. Fortunately for him, he was still in one piece. Just one more step. As he clenched his fist and came into range, he let out a short breath. He judged the timing, cut down his extreme tension as much as possible, and did not hesitate to put his entire weight behind the blow aimed at the eyepatch-wearing girl’s face.

And then Othinus vanished.

The next thing he knew, the blonde girl had moved up so close to him that they were almost touching.

The action she took was quite simple.

The lance was in her right hand, so she used her slender left hand.

With a horrible creaking noise, she grabbed Kamijou Touma’s neck and unhesitatingly lifted him up.


                                     Kssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

Ksssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!


Just realize it already.

I already have.

Kamijou Touma and Othinus’s gazes crossed for a moment.

Yes.

When it came down to it, no matter what Kamijou Touma did, he could not stand up to a Magic God like Othinus. This was not an issue of training his body further or coming up with the right idea to turn things around.

On a more fundamental level, a human could not defeat a god.

The one slight possibility of defeating Othinus through strength alone would be for Kamijou himself to ascend to Magic Godhood, but that was not much of a hope. It was not something so easily done and she would not call herself a god if it was.

And so…

“This wasn’t an even fight,” groaned Kamijou while held up by the neck. “This isn’t the first time we’ve had this fight. I don’t know if this is the tenth time or the hundredth time, but we’ve repeated it again and again. And each time, I was probably blown to pieces by the first attack. The only problem left was the integrity of my memories. I subconsciously refused to accept the pain and fear I felt, so I rearranged the memories in my head to look like a fight following a single path. That’s what made it look like I was somehow holding my own.

“That answer is worth 50 points.”

“Perhaps. Is this schoolyard not the starting point? Do I have to start from the empty black world I first woke up in?

One hundred times, one thousand times, or even ten thousand times.

Othinus merely had to repeat this. Each time, Kamijou Touma took slightly different actions and made different choices than the time before. Once he ran into a dead end doing that, he would break. It might happen in the direct battle or in one of the countless worlds. If just once, the boy wandered into a dead end and collapsed, Othinus’s objective would be achieved.

But at the same time…

“But I gradually realized something.”

“What does a human have to say to a god?”

“No matter what happens, you won’t kill me,” declared Kamijou while a vice-like grip squeezed his throat. “It’s not that you can’t. If you wanted to, you could at any time. Yet you haven’t. Even when you have announced you would. …There has to be something there. You could just kill me and end this, but you have some reason not to. If I had to guess…”

“…”

“I’d say it’s something like bonus points.”

He said nothing more.

With an odd snapping noise from his neck, Kamijou Touma’s consciousness was overwhelmed with static once more.


Ksssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Part 2

Now for a hypothetical story.

Say there was someone with the wonderful power to save and load as much as he wanted like in a video game. Say that person became a detective and tried to stop an unavoidable plan to exterminate humanity that would begin in exactly one week.

Who has the advantage there? The detective or the criminal?

Normally, one would think the detective has an overwhelming advantage due to his strange power. No matter how many times he fails, he can always try again, so it will never end until he wins.

But that is not necessarily how it would end.

After all, after making countless attempts, the detective’s mental exhaustion would be on an entirely different level. Even if each attempt is only a week long, four tries is about a month and twelve sets of four is a year.

What if he continued for years or even centuries and was never able to stop the destruction?

The direct competition between the detective and criminal would not matter.

After choosing to rush into the cage of time, wouldn’t the detective’s heart break and be crushed?

Yes.

The detective with the power to save and load would have another option.

When faced by too great a challenge, he could switch off the game and give up.


In the end, Kamijou Touma’s battle was the exact same thing.

Magic God Othinus could control everything. Without exaggeration, she controlled the world itself. If she wanted to, she could have galaxies collide to kill Kamijou Touma. Or she could break the bonds between the particles making up his body and cause his very existence to disperse. If she was the slightest bit dissatisfied with something, she could turn back time, re-lay the rails of fate that led to the future, and create the exact result she wanted.

He could not win by fighting normally.

Just as the eyepatch-wearing girl had said, there was too great a difference between the basic specs of a human and a god.

Any external stimuli from Kamijou Touma or a third party could never defeat that monster.

But what if Othinus herself created a situation that would crush her from within.

And she had made a certain comment before the battle began. She may not have realized it, but she had certainly said it.

“I am sick of trying to crush an idiot with the world.”

She was sick of it.

It might sound like an arrogant or prideful comment. But after Othinus had risen to the territory of a true god, nothing ordinary should have been able to do any mental or physical damage to her. There had been something already there which made her feel that way.

How many repetitions had Kamijou accumulated before he realized this?

It was as if a cup had already been filled to the brim and he merely had to wait for the instant in which the surface tension reached its limit.

The level of internal damage that threatened to crush Kamijou Touma was nothing but a slight scratch to that monster, but what if she had already reached a point where that scratch was enough to begin the collapse?

It was a matter of persistence.

Kamijou Touma could not rip a single victory from her grasp.

But there was a possibility he could earn one by losing enough times.

Part 3

Othinus heard a noise come from her head that sounded like her very skeleton creaking.

It almost looked like small snakes were squirming on the inside of her face’s skin.

This was the pulse of her blood vessels.

(His rate of exhaustion should be greater.)

They had repeated this tens of thousands of times, hundreds of thousands of times, and even millions of times.

All so that puny boy would fail just once somewhere along the line.

(I of course have the more accurate continuity of memories, but he still retains fragments of memories. And ignoring the amount of pure information, the static of pain and fear ensures he will break first. He is nothing more than someone who does not know his place. The more he clings to the hope of a victory that will never come, the greater the shock when it vanishes before his eyes. That is when he will break. He has merely walked down the path of destruction of his own free will.)

It was a simple truth that required no real thought.

And even if it required no real thought, thinking about it would not change its truth.

And yet…

“Why won’t you break!? Have you lost sight of what you are doing after reaching the verge of death so many times? Surely you aren’t the type of person who will proudly state he is an idiot!!”

Othinus shouted in irritation.

It was rare for a human to enrage a god to this extent. At the very least, it had never happened in Gremlin. The confrontation with Ollerus in Sargasso had been close.

It seemed the Magic God now saw this boy as equal or even greater than that other opponent.

“Why would I break now?” In that nighttime schoolyard, Kamijou Touma insolently answered the magic god he faced. “I just have to overcome this. You just have to break once. That gives me hope of continuing on. I might be able to regain the place I had lost. As long as I still have even a 1% chance, I’m not going to break!!”

“…”

This situation was beyond help and it surpassed the mercy of a god.

Just as she lightly bit the edge of her lip in irritation, half of Kamijou Touma’s body was blown away like sherbet.

“And while going along with this, I’ve started to understand the heart of the issue. I’m not being unilaterally defeated. As long as I can accumulate the information in my head, I can slowly analyze the situation.”

In the next battle, that was all he could say before his torso was sliced apart.

Just to say those few sentences, he had wandered the pitch black world, traversed seemingly infinite worlds, and experienced countless forms of pain, fear, and despair.

How could he withstand it?

These were true hells with a density great enough to drive any normal person insane before they could overcome even one. And reaching this point did not release him from it. After saying nothing more than that, he was smashed by Othinus and forced to repeat all of the infinite apocalypses he had finally overcome.

There was no hope in that.

Connecting his fragments of words to form a conversation would not change anything.

On a fundamental level, he was not winning.

Not at all.

He had no assurance Othinus would break if he repeated this tens of thousands or even hundreds of millions of times. He had no foundation to support his theory. Not to mention that a human and a god had fundamentally different specs. It was no different from writing data to an old cassette tape and a cutting edge hard disk at the same time and seeing which would fill up first.

“This is like two mirrors facing each other.”

And yet…

And yet…!!

“This world which you can freely alter is like creating an infinite landscape by setting up two mirrors to face each other. Saying you have the ability to freely walk through that landscape sounds like something from a dream, but if you took a stroll using that ability and turned back, your face would pale. After all, the exact same world would continue infinitely. There would be nothing to act as a landmark. Where had you come from and where should you return to? You’d naturally start to get worried!!”

She used an invisible power to split that impudent boy’s top half from the bottom half.

But in the next battle, Kamijou Touma continued talking as if nothing had happened.

However, that did not mean he did not remember. He knew what had happened, but forced the memory down and continued speaking.

“Othinus, I have a fundamental question for you.”

She stabbed him with the lance. She smashed open his skull with the butt of the lance. In what looked like a joke, she hit a home run using the handle of the lance.

But that insolent human boy would not stop speaking.

He felt the fear, but he continued to challenge this god.

“A long time ago, before you gained Gungnir, before you took your spot at the top of Gremlin, before you ran across the non-standard monster named Ollerus, and before you took the name Othinus…”

She smashed him!!

And crushed him!!

And destroyed him!!

Did you make this mistake? Did you gain a wonderful power and charge forward without thinking to look back? And as a result, did you not know where to return to?”

Part 4

Kamijou Touma was not very knowledgeable in the occult, so he had no way of knowing, but this is what history said:


It was said belief was initially centered on a hammer-wielding lightning god, but it shifted to a lance-wielding god of war at some point.

It was said the god of magic had fulfilled a contract by sacrificing his own body by hanging himself from an ash tree.

It was said the Norse god that became the origin of the name Othinus was a muscular one-eyed old man with a huge beard.


Each of those was “unmistakably true”.

The occasional discrepancies between accounts were nothing more than differences in interpretation between the many different compilers.

But what if the past compilers had made no lies, misunderstandings, or speculations and had only sincerely and accurately written down what they had actually seen?

What if there was something that drew a straight line, connecting all of the fragmentary information?


Didn’t a certain girl’s labyrinth possess both the power and nature needed to accomplish that?

Part 5

“That would explain most of it,” said Kamijou Touma slowly.

His slaughter at Othinus’s hand had stopped at some point.

“I was crushed in world after world, but you never rejected or took away the Imagine Breaker in my right hand. That means what I think it does, doesn’t it?”

She was a Magic God, so the human lifespan did not necessarily apply. Ollerus had spoken as if he knew what he was talking about, but he was nothing more than a human. Even if he knew a thing or two about gods, he may not have understood the true scale of it all.

Simply put, it was possible Othinus had been a Magic God long, long before what Ollerus had spoken of.

Had that power resided within her all that time?

Had she cast aside her own power at some point?

“I don’t know the details of this whole ‘phase’ thing, but you have the ability to freely change the shape of the world like clay. Due to that, you completely forgot what world you originally lived in. You desperately tried to create a world based on the scenery you remembered. You added in and removed phase after phase. …And this was the work of a god. It was probably so close to perfect that no human could tell the difference. But as a god, ‘close to perfect’ wasn’t good enough for you.”

After seeing the world she had created with her own power, she had turned back without meaning to.

Given that, she must have feared her own power. If she had truly accepted it with nothing but joy, she would not have tried to turn back.

“In a later era, you wanted the lance and you wanted to alter the world. That must have been because your unease came back. You were concerned that your supposedly perfectly-made world was not so perfect after all. You wanted to work some more on the artwork you had already presented to the public. I don’t know what you did to regain the power you had cast aside, but something must have happened for that know-it-all Ollerus to hate you so much. …You longed for the next world because you wanted to add another layer of paint to the canvas. That would explain your internal conflict.”

“…”

“Yes, internal conflict. You weighed A and B on the scales and could not decide which one to go with. You had another option that’s value rivalled that of the new world. Isn’t that right?”

Kamijou Touma lightly thrust his right fist forward.

He held out Imagine Breaker.

He thought of its original meaning.

“According to Ollerus, Imagine Breaker is an accumulation of the hopes of all magicians. He said it’s a reference point to return the world to normal after it is twisted by their desires. I don’t know if that’s its true origin, but it can be used like that. You could say this is the other card you could play. It represents the original world. Instead of adding on another layer of paint, you can use this to slowly peel away the previous layers with a palette knife.”

The original world and the next world.

If the god’s actions were perfect, there might not be any difference between the two.

From a human’s perspective, it was possible nothing out of place could be found.

But this Magic God was too perfect.

In which case…

“Even if it is the same result, you couldn’t throw away your first and ideal hope of returning to your original world by removing all of the phases you had put in place! Of course you couldn’t. The six billion people on Earth truly believe this is the same place as always, but you alone know it has changed. Your second hope of creating a diorama world would be different from the place in your head, so you couldn’t throw away the other option!! You could have easily added in a new phase and fled to a new world, but you couldn’t give up on your first hope of returning to your original world!! That’s why you continued resetting everything and going along with my selfishness even when you could have killed me ten thousand or maybe a hundred million times by now!!”

In that case, this really was a one-on-one battle.

It was a battle allowed for Kamijou Touma and no one else.

Imagine Breaker vs. Gungnir.

The original world vs. the next world.

The battle between those two cards would literally decide the fate of the world.

But there was one thing worth keeping in mind.

Kamijou Touma was undoubtedly standing on this great stage, but he was nothing more than a human. On the stage of the gods, his was as minor a role as a tree or the grass during a school arts festival.

“You should be able to do it.”

In other words, this was a fight to see which card Magic God Othinus would choose. Or perhaps it was the ultimate presentation to convince this blonde-haired, green-eyed girl which card she should choose.

“I don’t know how to use this thing. Maybe not even the professional magicians who have completely immersed themselves in this field of magic know. But you should be able to do it. You stand at the peak of magic! You’ve risen to a position with the title of god! You have to have some idea how to repair the world using this reference point!!”

If one thought about it, this was the proper form for a relationship between man and god.

Song.

Dance.

Military exercises.

Prayer.

Entreaty.

Offerings.

Dedications.

Man did not battle gods. Man had negotiated with the gods to overcome crises such as disasters and plagues.

A human could not defeat a god.

But he might be able to slightly alter that god’s path to align more closely with what was convenient for mankind.

“Let’s try to take even the slightest possible path leading back,” spat out Kamijou as he tightly clenched his right fist. “I won’t say it’s for everyone’s sake. I’ve already rejected all the smiles I saw here and decided to return to my original place even if it means completely separating myself from everyone I know. Even if it takes decades to completely reconcile with them, I’ve given up on running from the pain. I’m not going to let myself chicken out just because I’m up against a god! I’ll do whatever it takes to have you choose my card!!”

“Do you really think I would have done all this if that would work?”

The lance creaked slightly in Othinus’s grasp.

Her face showed she had treaded deeply into that territory.

“It didn’t work. I tried it and it didn’t work!! Even with a palette knife to peel away the paint and even when I peeled it away in extremely thin layers, I wasn’t satisfied with the result. There is no longer a convenient path leading back to the way things were. The age can only advance. If what I want is not before my eyes, then my only option is to create the next world!!”

“You must understand, Othinus.”

“Understand what? Is a human child going to impudently act as if he knows what a god is thinking? Your tiny head cannot even understand a fraction of the trial and error spent reaching this point, so do not think you can conveniently beat me to the conclusion!!”

“That isn’t what I meant.” Kamijou slowly shook his head. “It isn’t an issue of ability or theory. I’m sure you know what it is I long for. We have both wandered through this exact same black labyrinth! So you must understand!! Returning means losing everything and being hated by everyone, but it also means eventually being able to smile at each other again! You must know just how much you can cast aside for nothing more than that!!”

“…”

It seemed those words were sufficient to silence Othinus.

Even if only for a moment.

Even if only for an instant.

“All that’s left is a test of endurance. Let’s repeat this billions or even trillions of times. I’m returning to the original world. I won’t move on to the next world. The original world I’m talking about might be different from the original world you’re thinking of, but I’m going to force this through regardless. Do you understand, Othinus? I’m saying I’ll make my dream come true even if it crushes your dream!!

“Fine then…”

“So let’s get serious, Othinus. Stop laughing and draw out everything you have as a god. I won’t save anyone. I’m fighting for myself. We’re the only two here, so no one can save me but myself!!”

“Ultimately, this is not a fight between you and me. This is a fight for me to make my decision. In which case, I must stop hesitating. I will truly exterminate the fool who is treating my failure as his own accomplishment!!”

Part 6

He stopped counting.

Even the fact that he stopped counting had left his mind.

“…”

Kamijou Touma did not win even once.

He was crushed, sliced, smashed, ripped apart, blown up, and torn to pieces.

That normal high school boy’s flesh was always accurately destroyed. Whenever the light of life in his eyes flickered weakly like a candle’s flame and began to go out, a slight wave would rise in Othinus’s heart.

Give up and move forward.

It is not too late to go back.

She could only make one choice and two options presented themselves to her.

After the slightest hesitation, Othinus would wave her lance and return everything to the beginning before that light completely vanished from the pieces of flesh flying through the air. She returned everything to that black labyrinth she found so detestable.

She did not think about making up her mind just once and bringing it all to an end. Nor did she think about shaking off her hesitation when faced with her sporadic choices.

But…

Othinus gradually gave up. Her feelings were tilting in one direction. She was leading them that way. It did not matter if she was deceiving herself. Self-suggestion was fine. Once she made a sharp turn in the very, very end, she would be stuck on that path no matter how much she regretted it later.

After overcoming the 10,031st slaughter, she received her answer.

She did not even smile.

She would end it here. She would end her dream.

Once the dream was over, only reality would remain. Having cast aside her first hope, she would quickly create the next world and return to a normal everyday life. No one but her understood the value of this battle and it would finally be over. She would have nothing left to do but persuade herself this had been the best option. Otherwise, this unease might return once more.

Most likely, her senses would die.

A blue sky overhead and a green forest around her would no longer move her heart, but in exchange, she could bring an end to the fighting and live a peaceful life.

She had no interest in value or gaining anything.

She fought in search of meaning.

And so…

(It ends here.)

After her many victories, the heat within her had cooled.

The soft portions had been scraped away, so her heart had hardened.

She gradually transformed into something resembling a system.

(My hesitation is vanishing. I can tell that. I can see the path I must travel to simplify my thoughts. Now I can part with this foolish dream and obtain reality in exchange.)

The wavering in her eyes vanished. Her pupils grew fixed. They became something that merely reflected light.

And in exchange, she obtained true victory.

No change had come over Kamijou Touma. Despite all his talk, he had no plan to turn this around. He was only hoping for weakness in Othinus herself.

Once she understood that, Othinus truly cooled.

She realized the dream she believed in had been nothing more than that.

And so…

And yet…

An intense headache suddenly surged out from the depths of her head.

“What…?”

Without meaning to, she stopped moving.

After slaughtering him only a few more times, she would have completely given up on her first hope.

An invisible cutting attack shot right by Kamijou Touma and blasted the reinforced concrete school building behind him to pieces.

He did not even turn around to look at it.

He only stared directly at Othinus.

He stared at his enemy.

He stared at that Magic God.

He stared at Othinus’s face as it twisted in pain.

“Finally.”

The word slipped from the corner of the boy’s mouth.

The first attack had missed. Kamijou was not bleeding. Even so, he was not looking very good. That was the cost of being unilaterally slaughtered more times than he could bother counting. If people’s hearts were visible, Kamijou’s would have been torn to pieces.

“It finally…looks like I might win.”

But he still said that while directly facing the blonde-haired, eyepatch-wearing girl.

“Do not…be ridiculous. Are you saying I was stopped because the repeated battles have worn down my mind?”

“I’m not that kind of esper, so I can’t see inside people’s hearts. That means you have to decide for yourself. I’m not the only one on the verge of giving up. I may not look good, but you’re looking even worse.”

Othinus grimaced slightly.

But not due to Kamijou’s words. It was because her head felt like it was about to make a creaking noise.

“Even if I was being worn down too, our specs are fundamentally different! If we were being exposed to the same pain, your head would be fried first!! So…what is this!?”

“You don’t know the answer? I thought you were a god.”

“Or are you saying you are experiencing the exact same pain yet pretending to be fine. No, that would be impossible. A human could never keep up the deception when faced with enough pain to make a god suffer. If you were feeling this same pain, your head would have changed shape long ago!!”

Hearing that, Kamijou Touma smiled thinly.

He desperately suppressed the core of his body that threatened to make him stagger if he lost focus.

“You’re wrong, Othinus.”

“What?”

“You and I have spent the exact same time in the exact same place. It might seem natural to think we have suffered the exact same damage, but we actually haven’t.”

She did not understand what he was saying.

But she doubted it was complete nonsense. A definite difference in mental damage had shown itself.

“This might be too common a metaphor for a true god, but it’s the same as in a video game, Othinus.”

“What are you talking about?”

“When a weak player challenges an overwhelmingly powerful boss and is defeated, he doesn’t get bored. He can’t win and he’ll complain, but it’s fun to try all sorts of things against a normally unbeatable opponent to analyze their attack pattern. It may leave no data behind, but he feels like he’s accomplishing something. Not only that, but fighting an enemy that’s out of his league feels like it has meaning in and of itself. Saying he ran across a rare boss that no one’s ever seen can make for a decent conversation.”

“…”

“But what about the opposite? If an overwhelmingly powerful player fought extremely weak enemies on and on, he would obviously get bored. His focus wouldn’t last for even half an hour. It would be nothing but work. There’s no room for trial and error and he doesn’t even gain any significant amount of experience points or money. And there’s no meaning in fighting enemies well below his league. Saying he ran across a weak enemy everyone’s seen makes for a terrible conversation.”

They may have stood on the same stage, but their roles were completely different.

The weak one saw meaning in his reckless challenge. The strong one was sick of going along with it.

Ultimately, there was no clear standard for how much one’s mind was worn down.

It was all reliant on the state of one’s heart.

“We repeated this countless times. We shared the exact same events. We walked through this hellish labyrinth together. …But it was still different. We weren’t the same. We were worn down at completely different speeds!! And that difference overcame the difference in specs and caught up to you first! We can’t repeat this again, Othinus. If I can’t stop you here, you’ll crumble from the inside!!”

It was an invisible knife.

Kamijou Touma had been unable to swing his fist at Othinus even once, but he had succeeded in finding a weapon that could easily provide a fatal wound. He had found the material he needed for his negotiations with the Magic God.

“Fine then.” Her voice was low, like a growling beast. “I will give up here.

“…”

“I will cast aside my first hope of the original world and resign myself to my second hope of the next world. If I cannot put it off any longer, I will give up on your life here. This is indeed a good opportunity. You know what this means, don’t you?”

Her tone of voice showed there was one thing she could not accept above all.

But it was not the headache throbbing deep in her head.

And it was not the vague state of her heart.

It was that the human before her thought he stood above her.

“I will not return. I will not repeat. I will not be trapped by my hesitation. I will give up on everything and proceed forward. …Once I kill you this time, there is no next time, human. You cannot win. You have not won even once. The next attack will take your life!!”

Othinus did not even need to move from that spot.

She only had to lightly raise the lance.

An invisible explosion would immediately smash Kamijou Touma’s body to pieces.

She had made this same attack countless times before. She had done it so many times that she could not distinguish her memories of doing it in the past from her vision of it happening in the future. The result was already known. The ideal destruction in her mind was nothing more than following the past, so there was no chance of failure. The actual results from the thousands or tens of thousands of previous times ensured the current result.

And yet…

In the next instant, Kamijou accurately evaded the invisible explosion by leaping to the side.

Part 7

Part 8

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[v d e]Toaru Majutsu no Index: New Testament
NT Volume 1 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 2 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 3 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 4 Illustrations - Main.01 - Sub.02 - Sub.03 - Sub.04 - Sub.05 - Sub.06 - Period.07 - Sub.08 - Sub.09 - Sub.10
Main.11 - Main.12 - Sub.13 - Sub.14 - Sub.15 - Sub.16 - Sub.17 - Sub.18 - Sub.19 - Main.20 - Period.21
Sub.22 - Sub.23 - Sub.24 - Sub.25 - Sub.26 - Sub.27 - Sub.28 - Sub.29 - Main.30 - Main.31 - Period.32
Sub.33 - A_Cardinal_Error.34 - Connection Process - Chapter n - Profound Destruction - Afterword
NT Volume 5 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 6 Illustrations - ??? - The Night Before The Festival - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Epilogue - The Night After the Festival - Afterword
NT Volume 7 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 8 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 9 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6a - Chapter 6b - Chapter 6c - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 10 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 9 - Chapter 10 - Chapter 11 - Chapter 12 - Chapter 13 - Chapter 14
Chapter 15 - Chapter 16 - Chapter 17 - Chapter 18 - Chapter 19 - Chapter 20 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 11 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 12 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 13 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 14 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 15 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 16 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 17 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 18 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword - ?
NT Volume 19 Illustrations - Preface - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword - ?
NT Volume 20 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword - ?
NT Volume 21 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
NT Volume 22 Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword - ?
NT Volume 22 Reverse Illustrations - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword - ?
[v d e]Side Stories
Volume SP Illustrations - Stiyl Magnus - Mark Space - Kamijou Touma - Uiharu Kazari - Afterword
Railgun SS1 Illustrations - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8
Norse Mythology SS Illustrations - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8
Railgun SS2 Illustrations - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8
Road to Endymion Illustrations - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5
Necessarius SS Illustrations - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8
Virtual-On Illustrations - Preface - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - Afterword
Railgun SS3 Illustrations - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun: Cold Game
Toaru Jihanki no Fanfare
Toaru Majutsu No Index: Love Letter SS
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun SS: A Superfluous Story, or A Certain Incident’s End
Toaru Majutsu no Index: New Testament SS
Toaru Majutsu no Index: Shokuhou Misaki Figurine SS
Toaru Majutsu no Index: A Certain Midsummer Return to the Staring Point
Toaru Majutsu no Index: Using Final Bosses to Determine a Sociological Threat
Toaru Majutsu no Index: New Testament Bonus Short Story
Toaru Majutsu no Index: Thus Spoke the Kumokawa Sisters
Toaru Majutsu no Virtual-On: Vooster's Cup, The Day Before
Toaru Majutsu no Virtual-On: Misaka Mikoto's Dangerous Tea Party
Toaru Majutsu no Index: Birthday Through the Glass
Toaru Majutsu no Index: New Testament 20 Bonus Short Story
Toaru Majutsu no Index: Misaka Mikoto’s Teamwork
[v d e]Official Parody Stories
A Certain Prophecy Index
A Certain Academy Index
A Certain Gift Exchange
A Certain March 201st Novel
I Don't Want This First Story of A Certain Magical Index!! or I Don't Want This Final Story
An All-In "World" Tour of Academy City, the 37th Mobile Maintenance Battalion, and Ground's Nir
Kamijou-san, Two Idiots, Jinnai Shinobu, Gray Pig, and Freedom Award 903, Listen Up! …Fall Asleep and You Die, But Not From the Cold☆
We Tried Having a Group Blind Date, but It was an All Stars Affair and a World Crisis
Will the Spiky-Haired Idiot See a Piping Hot Dream of His Wife?
Dengeki Island: A Girl’s Battle (Still Growing)
A Certain Collaboration Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4
Kamachi Crossover Illustrations - Preface - Prologue - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Epilogue - A.E. 02 - Afterword
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