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ToaruMajutsunoIndex:NTVolume17

FromBakaTsuki

Contents
1NovelIllustrations
2Prologue:OrtheAssumptionsIncludetheConclusionto_the_Girls_ABYSS.
3Chapter1:OrCuttingOffLeadstoDiffusionGray_City.
3.1Part1
3.2Part2
3.3Part3
3.4Part4
3.5Part5
3.6Part6
3.7Part7
3.8Part8
3.9Part9
3.10BetweentheLines1
4Chapter2:OrEscapeProvidesaCounterattackSocial_Network_Slayer.
4.1Part1
4.2Part2
4.3Part3
4.4Part4
4.5Part5
4.6Part6
4.7Part7
4.8Part8
4.9Part9
4.10Part10
4.11Part11
4.12Part12
4.13Part13
4.14Part14
4.15Part15
4.16Part16
4.17BetweentheLines2
5Chapter3:OrIsolationSurpassesaGroupEngage_U.F.O.
5.1Part1
5.2Part2
5.3Part3
5.4Part4
5.5Part5
5.6Part6
5.7Part7
5.8Part8
5.9Part9
5.10Part10
5.11Part11
5.12Part12
5.13Part13
5.14Part14
5.15BetweentheLines3
6Chapter4:OraTabooBringsPeaceSalvage_XXX
6.1Part1
6.2Part2
6.3Part3
6.4Part4
6.5Part5
6.6Part6
6.7Part7
6.8Part8
6.9Part9
6.10Part10
6.11Part11
6.12Part12
6.13BetweentheLines4
7Epilogue:OrDoubtContainstheTruthBet_Time.Red_or_Black.
8Afterword

NovelIllustrations

Cover FullCover ContentsPage Pages003005 Pages006008

Page030 Page157 Page204 Page221 Pages342343 Page373

Page433 Page457

Prologue:OrtheAssumptionsIncludetheConclusionto_the_Girls_ABYSS.
TherewasaboynamedKamisatoKakeru.

Orperhapsitwouldbebesttosaytherehadbeenone.

Hehadbeenthekindofnormalhighschoolboyonecouldfindanywhere.

Oratleasthehadnevermissedachancetosayso.

Atonepoint,hehadbelatedlyrealizedhehadbeengivenapowerthatdidnotsuithimatall.Butsadlyhissensibilitiesremainedthoseofanormalhighschool
boy,sohelackedtheflexibilityneededtoadapttothissuddenopportunity.Thispsychologicalphenomenonwasnotallthatunusual.Forexample,hecouldnot
havebeentheonlyonethat,whenlookingatthelotteryticketsforsale,wouldthink,winningfirstprizewouldbegreat,butifIreallydidwinit,itwouldtearmy
currentlifeapart.

Inaway,KamisatoKakeruhadwonalotteryhedidnotrememberentering.

Hethoughtthisunaskedforfortunehadtornhislifeapart.

Eventhethingshehadalreadypossessedseemedtochangeinhisview.Justlikeanunexpectedfinancialwindfallwouldcastadarklightonanyoneapproaching
withasmileontheirface.

Whathadthatboyfeltafterallcolorseemedtofadefromhisworld?

Hehadfeltintenseangertowardthelotteryrunnerswhohadselfishlyselectedhimandhehadconcludedthateliminatingthemfromtheworldwouldnegatethat
selection.

Revenge.

Itwassimpleenoughtosay,butthatboyhadactuallyactedonit.Heandthemorethan100girlsfollowinghimhadfoundthebeingsknownasMagicGods,
corneredthem,andhuntedthemdown.AndhehadusedtheveryrighthandthatthoseMagicGodshadgivenhim.

Forbetterorforworse,thatshouldhavetiedupallthelooseendsinKamisatoKakerusstory.Buthehadchosenapoorlocationforhisrevenge:AcademyCity.
Asinglescientistgreatlychangedthehistoryoftheworld.

HernamewasKiharaYuiitsu.

ShehadgrowncruellyinvolvedwhenKamisatoKakeruhadkilledthegoldenretrieverthatAcademyCityhadsentasanassassin.

Shehadbluntlyacceptedthepoweroftheboywhohaddestroyedthebeingshelookeduptoasateacher,andthenshehadcalmlysharpenedherfangsasshewaited
forthechancetotakehishead.

Theresulthadbeenadrawduetoinjury.

ButKiharaYuiitsuhadseveredtheveryrighthandthatmadeKamisatoKakeruspecialandtransplanteditontoherownwrist.

ActTwohadbeguninanAcademyCitywithatemperatureof55degreesCelsius.

KiharaYuiitsuhadcreatedsomethinglikeasoulfromthefourclassicelementsandplacedtheminafleshcontainerknownasareducedlifeform.Bysendingout
theseartificiallifeformsknownasElements,shehadworkedtoforceKamisatoKakeruoutofhidingevenifitmeantturningherownhomeofAcademyCityintoa
seaofblood.

KamisatohadlearnedoftheElementsweaknesstohightemperaturesandfilledAcademyCitywithmicrowavesemittedfromsatelliteorbittorestricttheElements
movementswhilehesearchedforKiharaYuiitsu.

Thisbattlealsoendedinadrawduetoinjury.

KiharaYuiitsuhadbeendefeated,buttopreventthesuicidalignitionofsomerocketengines,KamisatoKakeruhadattachedWorldRejectertohiswristoncemore
forafinalattackthatwouldannihilatehimself.

Withthat,theboyhadbeenerasedfromthevisibleworld.

AndKiharaYuiitsuhadoncemoretakenhisrighthand.

Shespoketothegirlswhohadbeenleftbehind:

KamisatoKakeruhasbeendestroyed,butheisnotdead.IfthegateknownasWorldRejecterisused,theremightbeaoneinamillionoroneinabillionchanceof
rescuinghim.Areyousureyouwanttobringthatdowntozero?
Thatboundthem.

ShehadeasilycompletedthecursethatKamisatoKakeruhadmostfeared:theowneroftherighthandbecametherulerofthegirls.

Totestthestrengthofthiscurse,KiharaYuiitsuhadgivenherfirstcommand:

KillKamijouTouma.Iwillusethattomeasuretheloyaltyofmynewtools.

KamijouToumaranwithallhismightthroughagraycitythatshowednosignsofrecoveringfromitscollapse.

Hewasaccompaniedbytheonegirlwhohadnotbeenboundbythecurse:Fran.

Tohellwithallofthat.

Alongsidethisallywhocouldturnonhimatanytime,thespikyhairedboygavearoarofdefianceagainsttheunreasonableworld.

Imdonenotactinglikemyself!!IllshowthisworldjustwhoKamijouToumais!!!!!!

Thisisthestoryofthe48hoursuntilAcademyCityrecoversfromitsgreatdisaster.

ThisisthestoryofaboyattemptingtosaveKamisatoKakerudespitebeingtoldhowimpossiblethatis.

Andthatboywokeupinagrayandchillycity.

(Itscold?)

Itwasanunreasonablechillthatbothstabbedathisskinandcausedhisorganstoshiverfromtheinside.Butoncehethoughtaboutitrationally,herealizedthiswas
howthingsshouldbe.ItwasDecember9,soitwasmidwinter.Itwentwithoutsayingwhatwouldhappentosomeonelyingonthefreezingasphaltinnothingbuta
swimsuit.

Hesatup.

Hisfuzzymindstartedworkingagain.

Hereachedhisrighthandtowardthesideofhisnecktocrackthebone,butbelatedlyrealizeditwasnotworkingright.
Hishandwasmissing.Hiswristsimplyhadaragwrappedaroundit.

(Oh,thatsright.SincewesettledthingswithYuiitsu,theElementswillhavestoppedandFrancouldendthemicrowaveheatwavemeanttostopthem.)

Itfeltstrange.

Hecouldneverspeakwithorcontactthemagain,buttheeffectsoftheiractionscouldstillreachhimhere.

(Butthisiskindofmoving.Sothisistheabyss.)

Thiswasnotheavenorhellanditwasnotastrangeworldofswordsandmagicwherehissoulhadbeenreincarnated.ItwasbasedonAcademyCity,buttherewas
noonehere.Ifthesinglelineoftimewasseenassplitintoframeslikeafilm,thennormalpeopleonlyperceivedabout10framespersecond.Iftheactualamountof
informationwasseenas30framespersecond,thentherewereexcessframesthatactedlikegaps.

Fromthatperspective,WorldRejecter,whichhadbeenacertainboysrighthand,wouldshiftpeopleandobjectsintothoseexcessframes.Thatmeantthosepeople
andobjectscouldneverinteractwithanyonedespitebeinginthesameworld.Ifsomesubliminalfootagewasslippedinbetweentheframesofamovie,the
charactersinthemoviecouldnotperceivethesubliminalsodabottle.

Theboycouldnotevenguesswhatwouldhappentohimnow.Hecouldnotinteractwithanyonebuthimselfinthisworld.Hewouldtrulyhavetobeselfsufficient
here.Evenifhecouldfindfoodfortoday,hisfuturelookedbleak.Hemightbejustfine,buthemightcollapsefromhunger,thirst,orthecoldbeforethefirstdaywas
out.Andevenifhewasphysicallyfulfilled,hemightbreakmentally.Hisonlyoptionwastotryoutwhateverhecould.Therewerenomorerailslaidoutbyanyone.

Whatapain.Hm?

Hesuddenlylookeddownathisrighthandandsomethingoccurredtohim.Thehanditselfwasgone.HehadbeenblownawaybyWorldRejecter,soitmadesense
thatthetargethadbeensetaseverythingbutthehand.IfWorldRejecterhadcomewithhim,itwouldonlyhavecontinuedblowinghimawayforever.

Butthatwasnotwhatcaughthisattention.Itwasthelackofbleeding.Itwasnotquiteabandage,butanoldraghadbeenlazilywrappedaroundhiswristandithad
absorbedtoomuchbloodtotellwhatcolorithadoriginallybeen.

Unlesshehadwokenuponcebefore,stoppedthebleeding,andcollapsedagain,therehadtobesomeoneelsehere.

Oh,Igetit

Whenhestoodupandlookedaround,hesawthingsotherthanhimselflyingaround:Scrapsofmetalthathadlikelybeenweapons,theremainsofsometruly
giganticrocketboosters,atonofdirt,andadriedmarkonawallthathadoriginallybeenbubbles.Thosewerelikelythingshehadblownawaywithhisrighthand,
althoughhewashavingtroublerememberingthemallnow.

Andtherewasnoreasononlytheobjectswouldhavecomehere.
Itwouldhavebeenoddifsomeotherpeoplehadnotalreadybeenhere.

(Butinthatcase)

Thatwaswhenheheardafootstep.

Heturnedaroundandsawagirlthere.Herblackhairwascutatshoulderlength,shehadskintoosicklytoevencallpale,andsheworeashortChinadress.

Theboyhadlookedaroundamomentbeforeandtherehadbeennoonearoundthen,butthisgirlhadarrivedrightinfrontofhimintheintersectionoftwolarge
roadswithnowheretohide.

Thenewcomerspokehername.

NiangNiang?

Yougotthatright.

Evennow,hertonewaslightandjocular.

Andshewasnotalone.Hesuddenlysensedpresencesallaroundhimandgazesstabbingintohim.Hedidnotturnaroundthistime.Agreatpressurewaskeeping
himfrommoving.

Whohadbeenthemostremarkablepeoplehehaderased?

Allofthemweregatheredhere.

Likeaforestrustlinginthewindoraswarmofbugscrawlingalongtheground,Kamisatosensedsomethingbizarrenearhisears.Thiswassomethingotherthana
socalledsixthsense.Itmayhavebeenlikethetinnitusorsharpheadachesomepeoplefeltwhenenteringahauntedlocation.Oritwaslikethebuildingrooftops,
shadowsbelowcars,andgapsbetweenwallsandvendingmachines.Onceyoustartedthinkingaboutthoseplaces,itstartedtofeellikesomeonewaswatchingyou
fromthere.

Furthermore,theboynolongerhadhisspecialrighthandorthe100girlsaroundhim.

Well,wehavesomechoicewordsforyouafterwegaveyouagiftandyouslaughtereduswithit

NiangNiangsmiledcruellytowardthatexposedsoul.

Hewouldhavediedofbloodlossiftheyhadlefthimalone,buttheyhadgoneoutoftheirwaytostopthebleedingandkeephimalive.Andthereasonwhycould
nothavebeenmoreobvious.
Butletsleaveitatthis:itstimeyouhadyourasskickedbyeverylastMagicGod.

OrperhapsthiswasLimbo,wherethesoulsofsuicidevictimswandered.

Allsortsofrednessarrivedfrom360degreestoassaultKamisatoKakeruwhohadnothingnow.

Chapter1:OrCuttingOffLeadstoDiffusionGray_City.
Part1

ItwasDecember9justbefore5AM.

Itwasimpossibletoknowforsurewithnoneoftheclocksrunning,butthatwasprobablyclose.Thesunwasfinallyrisingandthemidwinterweatherturnedones
breathwhite.Theheatwavewasentirelygoneandithaddroppedbelowfreezing.KamijouToumahadbeenwearingaswimsuittodealwiththe55degreeheat,so
hefeltlikehislifespanwasbeingphysicallyshavedaway.However,hecouldnotworryaboutthatnow.Justlikesomeonewouldnotbeparticularlybotheredby
beinginarefrigeratedwarehousewhentheirbackhadbeenslicedopenbyachainsaw.

Simplyput,amuchgreaterdangerwasapproachingfromdirectlybehindhim.

Itwasthe100strangeandbizarregirlsoftheoldKamisatoFaction.

KamisatoKakeruhadwieldedWorldRejectertosavethemalldespiteknowingitwoulddestroyhim.AndhehadaskedKamijoutotakecareofthosegirls.Their
heartshadbeenboundbyKiharaYuiitsustealinghisrighthand,sotheownerofthehandruledthegirls,justasKamisatohadmostfeared.

Kamijoucouldnotallowthistostand.

Hecouldnotletthishappentotheboywhohadsavedhislife.

Sohewouldfreethosegirls.HehadtoprovetheycouldrescueKamisatoKakeruwithoutrelyingonKiharaYuiitsusWorldRejecter.Hehadnoideaifthatwaseven
possible,buthehadtoclingtothatidea.

Asthefirststep,hehadtolosehispursuerssohecouldrelaxandcomeupwithanactualplan!!

Heknewthat.

Heknewthat,butthehoodiebikinigirlnamedFransoundedhopelessasshefledwithhim.
Wecantescapethem.

!?

Imnottalkingabouthowfastweareorhowfarawaytheyare.TheyhaveEllen,atracerwhocanuseallsortsofcuttingedgeforensictechniques.Itcanbe
sweat,saliva,hairs,shoeprints,oranythingelse.Thatchemicalstalkercandetectanytraceleftontheground,soshecanfollowoureveryfootprint.Soshell
definitelyreachussoonerorlater.

Thenwhatarewesupposedtodo!?

Whatelse?

Thehoodie,bikini,andrabbitearantennaegirlsnappedherfingers.

Immediately,somethingsilentlyfloateddownaboveKamijoushead.Itwasanunidentifiedflying

Balloon?

Wejusthavetoavoidmakinganyfootprints.Inotherwords,wejusthavetofly.

Part2

Ellen,whoworeaswimsuitandlabcoat,andElza,adelinquentgirlwholookedsomethinglikeashrinemaideninherredpareowornoverawhitebikini,naturally
knewthiswascoming.

Sotheycalledforsomeoneelse.

Maya~?Howarethingsupthere?

Somethingwasswimmingthroughthesky.Itwasatallandtranslucentgirlwhoworeatrulyominouskimonoofpurewhite.Shewascurledupinthefetalposition,
herchestwasalluringexposed,herforeheadwasadornedbyatriangularcelestialcrownwithaslightnotchinit,andherverylongblackhaircurledaroundherlikea
crescentmoon.Theobserverintheskiesfaintlyopenedhereyesasshereplied.

Everythingsjustfine.Iftheytrytogoup,mycursewillsnarethemandbringthemdown.

Thereyouhaveit.

Ellenleanedagainsttherailingofanoverpasstheyhadcomeacrossandlightlywavedherbaggylabcoatsleevesintheairoverhead.
Weneedtokeepupthesearchontheground.WithMayacoveringthesky,theycantescapewithFransballoon.ThankstothepowerfulmicrowavesFranwas
sendingout,allofthebussesandtrainshavestoppedandtherearenorunningcarsormotorcyclesaroundhere.AslongasIfindanobvioustrail,wecancatchup
andtakecareofthem.

Ellenherselfwasnotafighter.

ItwasElza,theeyepatchpirategirlnamedLuca,thecosplaygirlnamedOlivia,andotherswithenoughfirepowertosinglehandedlybreakopenabankvaultwho
crossedtheoverpass.

YousaidClairewasfriedbythemicrowaves,right?

KiharaYuiitsu.Willthiskindofthingkeephappeningaslongaswerewithher?

Butwehavenochoice.WecantgiveuponKamisatosan.IdontknowwhatFranandthatboyareplanning,butwecantentrustKamisatosansfatewiththem.
OfferingupthatpointyhairedboysheadisdefinitelythemostcertainwayofkeepingWorldRejecteraround.

Dontworry.YouknowClaire.Beforeyouknowit,shellbeupandfightinglikenothingevenhappened.

Belowthatoverpass,KamijouandFrandangledfromaUFOballoonasifclingingtotheundersideofthestructure.

TheUFOballoonwasstoppedlessthan100cmawayandKamijouhungfromitbyasinglewire.Hisforeheadwassoakedwithsweatdespiteitbeingmidwinter.
Ellenhadherhandsontherailingandifsheleaneddangerouslyforward,shewouldprobablybeabletoseehim.Theextremetensionwastoomuchforhimtoeven
breatheheavily.

Hechokedonhisownbreathsandhisheartpoundedsohardinhischesthethoughtitwouldbreakthroughhisribcage.

Franhungfromthesamewire,buthestillcouldnotreadanyemotioninhereyes.Shedidnotevenlookup.Heronlymovementwastheoccasionaltwitchingofthe
rabbitearantennaeonherheadandthecommunicationsequipmentstuffedinsideherbackpack.

Sheapparentlyadjustedthebuoyancyofherhandmadeballoonbylettinglighterthanairgasinoroutandshecouldfreelymoveitinanydirection,butthatwasno
reasontorelax.

Kamijoudesperatelyheldhisbreath,buthecouldnotcontaintheinternalpressureofhisfear.

Hislipsbegantomoveasifhewerespeakingagoodluckcharmunderhisbreath.
(Youhavetobekiddingme,youhavetobekiddingme.)

(Bequiet.)

Theycouldnotwalkontheground,buttheskywasofflimitsaswell.

Theywereentirelytrapped,sothelastspaceavailabletothemwasdirectlybelowtheoverpass.Itpassedovera
steeltrack,likelyusedbythesubway.Theentrancetothesubwaytunnelwasnearbyanditlookedalotlikethe
entrancetoanundergrounddrain.

(Thatsonly20meters,shorterthanaschoolpool.Wecanmakeitfromhere.)

(Theyllseeus.Theyllseeusandkillus.)

(MayaisonlydoingairtoairsurveillanceandEllensgroupbelievestheyhaveeverythingontheground
covered,sotheyarentthinkingaboutthisloweraltitudesandwichedbetweenthetwo.Butonceshestartsamore
thoroughsearch,Ellenmightnoticethisareabelowtheoverpass,soweneedtoputasmuchdistancebetweenus
aswecan.)

Eitherway,thedecisionwasnotKamijoustomake.

ItwasUnidentifiedFlyingGirlFranwhocontrolledtheadballoonofanunidentifiedflyingobject(whichwasan
accuratedescriptioninthiscase).Theroundradaronherbuttmovedleftandrightafewtimes,andthen

Now.

Shemovedthemoutwithoutasking.

Kamijouwasalongfortherideandhenearlyscreamed,buthejustbarelymanagedtoswallowhisoutburst.Theysilentlylefttheoverpassandglidedatlowaltitude
towardthenearbytunnel.

Afewofthegirlswerestillontheoverpass,soKamijoufeltasqueezingathisheart.Heheldontothewireandpointlesslycurleduphisbacktomakehimselflook
assmallaspossible.Luckily,Ellencalledforthegirlsandtheymovedtowardtheendoftheoverpass.Iftheyhadturnedtheirheadsevenslightly,itwouldhavebeen
gameover.

Theboyandgirlcontinuedintothetunnel.

AcademyCityspowerhadyettorecover,sotherewasnoriskofbeinghitbyasubwaytrainwithoutwarning.Iftheycontinuedonandonthroughthetunnel
withoutsettingfootontheground,theywouldhavebetteroddsoflosingEllen.
Kamijouquietlysighed,butthenhefeltsomethingcoldonhisside.

Hecouldnottellwhatitwasinsidethepitchblacktunnel,butthentheentirelowersurfaceoftheballoonglowedlikeapaperlanternonaconstructionsiteatnight.

Uuh!?

Theballoonwaswellmade.Itmayhavehadatheatrespotlightinsideformakingfakeabductions,butwiththewirehangingdownfromtheroundobject,itlooked
likethefluorescentlightshangingfromtheceilingofJapanesestylerooms.

Kamijoublinkedhisdazzledeyesuntiltheyadjustedandhecouldcomparethesceneinhismindwiththeactualone.

Hesawwhatitwastouchinghisbareside.

RabbitEarAntennaeFranssmallhandheldsomethingthroughthebaggysleeveofherhoodie.Itwasasilverbladeaslongasanindexfinger.Kamijoufeltachillin
hisstomachwhenheinitiallythoughtitwasoneofthebutterflyknivesthatdelinquentsswungaroundlikenunchuks,butacloserlookshoweditwasapartofa
multitool.Thehandleofapairofplierscontainedascrewdriver,agimlet,andothertools.Annoyinglyenough,itwasSwissmade.Theoriginalcraftsmanhadtobe
crying.

Iwouldliketomakesomethingclearbeforewegoanyfurther.

IamonKamisatoKakerussideandnotonKamijouToumasside.IamonlyhelpingyouherebecauseIdecidedthiswasthebestthingforKamisatochan.

Shesoundedlikeshewasreadingofftheimportantclausesofacontract.

Therewasnochangeinhereyes.Theywerethesamewhensheblewbubblesinthekiddiepool,whenshewasontherunfromalltheothergirls,andwhenshe
pressedatoolknifeagainsthisvitals.

Shecouldstabhimaseasilyasplayingwiththestrawinamelonsoda.

ThepointyhairedboywasnomoreimportantthanthattoFran.

PleasedowhatittakestohelpKamisatochan.Aslongasyouaredoingthat,IwillassistyouhoweverIcan.ButifyouprioritizeKamijouToumaoverKamisato
Kakeruevenonce,itendsthere.Nomatterwhatthesituation,Iwillnothesitatetocutyouaway.

Iknowthat,spatbackKamijou.Hedidnotpauseatall.Hesavedmylife.Iwouldbeapieceofcharcoaldownundergroundrightnowifnotforhim.Sotheres
nothinginitformethistime.IllriskmylifetorescueKamisato.

Verygoodthen.
Shepulledbackthetoolknifewithsurprisingease.

Therabbiteargirlclosedtheknifeinsidetheplierswithasinglehandandthenherlipsfinallyformedasmiledespitehowoutofplaceitwashere.Itwaslikea
flowerbudslowlyopeningatthestartofspringafterbeingfrozenallwinter.Itmayhavebeenanexpressionofrespectandaffectionforsomeonewhowaswillingto
actonKamisatoKakerusbehalf.

Withthatsettled,Imhungry.Letsfindsomethingtoeat.

Hey,wait.Youreprioritizingyourselffivesecondsaftersayingallthat?

Part3

DirectlybelowtheWindowlessBuildinginAcademyCitysDistrict7wasastrangeundergroundspacewithcountlesslargescalerocketboostersdanglingfromthe
ceilinglikestalactites.

Inalabcoatandredbikini,KiharaYuiitsuelegantlysattherewhiletendingtoherfingernails.Herlefthandhadnailpolish,butherrighthandwasonlyquickly
clippedwithoutevenbeingfiled.Infact,theveryshapeofthehandswasdifferent.ThatwasacertainboysrighthandsewnonbyaweakenedSampleShoggothlike
astuffedanimal.

ThatwasWorldRejecter.

Butatthemoment,itstremendouspowerwaslessimportantthanhowitfunctionedaschainsforthosemanygirls.

Isee,Isee,Isee.

Afterfilingdownthenailstogivethemtheproperroundoutline,shetriedtodecidewhatkindofpolishtouse.Shedidnothaveacolorthatwouldmatchahigh
schoolboysnails.Thesamecolorasherlefthandwouldlookconspicuouslyoutofplace,butshecouldnothavetherightandlefthandscolorsclashtoomuch.
Thenagain,itwasstrangeenoughforasinglepersontohavemismatchedhands.

Itsbeen10minutessinceIorderedthemtokillKamijouTouma.Around100ofthemleftonthishumanhunt,buttheyvelostsightofhimandaresearching
blindly.Firsttheylethimescapeandthentheyalmostimmediatelygiveupandreportbacktome.Igetthefeelingtheyhavetheirfeetonthebrakesjuuustalittle,at
leastsubconsciously.

Yuiitsucrossedherlegsandspokewhileshowingoffabittoomuchalluringwhitetobecalledalady.Hergazeneverleftherfingernails.Shedidnotevenlook
towardtheotherperson.

Herchaircreakedalittle.

Nevertheless,sheletherweightbeardownonitandcasuallycontinuedspeakinginherswimsuitandlabcoat.
TheKamisatoFactionshookupAcademyCitysomuch,soIseriouslydoubtthisisthebesttheycando.OrdidIoverestimatethem?Whatareyourthoughtson
that?

Sheheardaquietgroan.

Yuiitsusmiledthinly,raisedherlefthandsindexfinger,andcasuallyjabbeditintoherchair.

No,thatwasthebrowngirlnamedSalomewhowasdownonallfoursandYuiitsusfingerjabbedintoherbackjustbelowtheneck.

Althoughthetermallfoursmaynothavebeenentirelyaccurate.Thewhiteschoolswimsuitandraincoatgirlhadlostanarmintheearlierbattle,sosheonlyhad
threelegsasachair.

ButKiharaYuiitsurestedherfullbodyweightonherallthesame.

Ifthegirltiltedevenslightly,thewomanwouldnothesitatetojabherfingerdeepintothatunresistingback.BytormentingthejointsofSalomesspine,pain
explodedinherlikelightninghadstruckher.

IfSalomehadnotbeenaselfmadecyborg,shewouldhavelongsincedied.Notfrombloodloss,butfromshock.

Pant,pant.Khah!?

Youlookdispleased.Doyoustillnotknowyourplacehere?

Yuiitsugiggledandboldlycrossedherlegsagain.

OrwouldyoupreferIdiditwithyourOniichansfinger?

!?

Theincrediblyfiercesoundofclenchingteethfilledtheentirespace,butYuiitsufounditunbearablylovely.Butnotthebrowngirl.Thatmadscientistlovedthe
situation.

Itreallydoesfeelrarerwhenitbelongstosomeoneelse,doesntit?

Shedidnotexpectananswer,butthatmayhavebeenpartofthejoyofstealingthatburnedinherheart.

Shelickedtheboysfingerasshespoke.

ItslikeIcanfeelhiscriesofsufferingthroughwhatIvetakenfromhimYesss,itisntquiteliketakingthatfirststepinafieldoffreshsnow,butitsniceinits
ownway.
KiharaYuiitsuhadnorealreasontosopersistentlypursueandkillKamijouTouma.

Basedonwhatshehadsaid,shesimplywishedtoindirectlytakerevengeonsomeonewhowasnolongerherebydirtyingthehandsofthosegirls.

AslongasitlethercrushwhatKamisatoKakerucaredabout,anythingwouldhaveworked.Shecouldhavetornofftheirlimbsandchuckedtheminsideacheap
hotelinsomeforeigncountry.

SowhyhadsheincludedKamijouToumainherrevenge?

Therewasnostrategicreasonforitandshefinishedherselfanalysisasanextensionofherwanderingthoughts.

Yes.IfIamtotakerevengeoneveryonewhohurtSensei,thenKamisatoKakerualonemaynotbeenough.

Shestuckherfingertipbetweenthetwoshoulderbladesandenjoyedhowthechairjerkedbelowher.

KamijouToumahadnodirectconnectiontoKiharaNoukansfate.

Butthistoowasawayofdestroyingsomeonespossessiontohearthemscream.

Inotherwords

AcademyCityandKamijouTouma.IbetAleisterisscreamingrightaboutnowasIruinhispreciouscollection.

Part4

Afterfloatingtwoorthreekilometersthroughthepowerlesssubwaytunnel,RabbitEarAntennaeFrancasuallyhoppedfromthewiretotheground.Shemusthave
decidedtheyhadtraveledfarenoughtoavoidbeingdirectlytracedbyEllen.

Theballoonwashers,soKamijoudidnotarguethepoint.Hesimplyfollowedherlead.

Theredoesntseemtobeanyonearoundhere

Thisisasubwaytunnel,soofcoursethereisnt.

No,notthat.Imjustsurprisedhowlittlesignofhumanlifethereiswhenwereallyarentthatfaraway.

Duringthat55degreehellfullofElements,theseundergroundspaceshadbeenofflimitsforshelter.TheElementshadpreferredtohideindarkandcoolplaces,so
thesespaceshadbecometheirdens.Eveniftheheatwavehadhadlessofaneffect,thespaceswouldhavebeenfarfromsafewithanendlessstreamofElements
rushingin.
ButitdidntseemliketheElementsatenormalfood.Asubwaystationsobarestaurantorsomethingmightnothavebeentouched.

Hey,wecancheckthefridgeifyouwant,butmakesureyouleavesomemoneyonthecounter.Everythingthatwasntvacuumpackedwillprobablyhavegonebad,
butitstillbelongstosomeone.

Idontknowthemarketvalueofindustrialingredients.

Whenheheardthatnonchalantresponse,Kamijoujustaboutheldhisheadinhishands.Shewasright,butnoonewouldbehappywitharandomguessdueto
ignorance.Infact,thewayFranwavedherroundtaillikeradarantennabackandforthasshewalkedmadeitclearsheplannedontrickinghimintothinkingadozen
chikuwaorkamabokowereonly100yen.ButKamijouToumathesupermarketsalesconnoisseurwaspreparedtoseerightthroughherlies.

Ashethoughtaboutthat,theystartedtowardtheclosestsubwaystation.

ButtheycametoastopwhentheysawwhattheUFOballoonsabductionlightbroughtintoview.

Itwaswhitesand.No,itwasmorelikethemicroplasticthatwasalltheragerecently(?).Atanyrate,apileofsandhadburiedthesteeltrackasifithadpouredinto
thetunnel.Itwasasmallpileatonlyametertall,buttheycouldnotevenimaginewhereithadcomefrom.Theredidnotseemtobeanexittothesurfacenearby.

Kamijoulookedupatthetunnelsceiling.

Itwasntfromaduct,wasit?

Idontseeanythinglikethat.

Theycouldnotstophere,sotheycrosseditandcontinuedon.Theycameacrossafewmoresimilarpiles,includinganothertunnelentirelyfilledwhereitbranched
offfromtheirs.

Itlookedlikeopaquewhiteorsilversand,butthatwasduetothereflectionofthelightanditwasactuallyacollectionoftiny,nearlytransparentgranules.

Aftersomethought,anideafinallyoccurredtoKamijou.

CouldthisbetheremainsoftheElements?

Notevenheentirelybelievedit.HeandhiscompanionshaddefeatedafewElementstosurvivethathell,buttheElementshadalwaysfallenapartatthejoints
insteadofcrumblingintosandlikethis.

Francroucheddownandscoopedupsomeofthewhitesandinherhands.
IsthisauniquereactionwhentheyselfdestructonKiharaYuiitsuscommand?

Maybe,butwehavenowayofinvestigatingitfurther.

Atanyrate,theyhadtokeepgoing.Theycrossedthewhitehillsandfinallyarrivedatthedarksubwaystation.Franplacedherhandsontheraisedplatform.

Nn,yo.

Whyareyouwigglingyourlittlebuttaround?Somekindofnewdietexercise?

Exasperated,KamijoupushedonFranssoftbuttfrombelowuntilshemanagedtoclimbintotheplatform.Thespikyhairedboythenpulledhimselfuplikehewas
climbingontothepoolsideandhefinallybreathedasighofrelief.Hehadknownnotrainswerecoming,butwalkingalongthetrackhadstillbeennerveracking.

Theydidnotevenneedthehoodiebikinigirlstoolknifetoenterthesobarestaurantbuiltalongsidetheplatform.Theshutterwasnotloweredanditwasnotlocked.
ThefirstwaveofElementsmayhavearrivedwhilethemanagerwaspreparingittoopenfortheday.Itwasnotclearwhathadhappenedtothatmanager,butthere
wasatleastnosignofbloodstains.

Franquicklygotonallfoursandliftedherbuttsradarantennaasshestuckherheadinsidetheindustrialrefrigerator.

Kamijouwaspreparedforthegreenonions,beef,andsuchtobeinsuchatragicstatethatthehoodiebikinigirlcollapsedbackwardslikeshehadbeenhitbyagas
weapon,butthatneverhappened.Thefreshfoodswereallblackandunusable,butitdidnotstinkallthatmuch.

(Hm?Oh,theyvefilledthefridgewithdeodorizerssoingredientsdontleavetheirsmellbehind.)

Hm,hm,hm,hmmm.Oh,Ifoundsomevacuumpackedduckslices!Ithoughtfishpastewastheonlythingyoucouldeatwithoutcookingit,sothisisanice
surprise.

Wait,defenselessbuttgirl.TryeatingthatwithoutpayingandIswearIllgivethatassahardspanking.

ThenKamijouTouma,theworldsgreatclassifier,beganhisgrandreview.

Andwouldntduckbeprettyexpensive?Plus,itisntevenraw.Itsprecookedandthenvacuumpacked,soontopofthecostoftheingredients,youhavethe
seasonings,theprocessing,andthelaborcosts.

But,but.Itwouldntmakesenseforittocost200or300yen.Imean,itsaysherethatduckmeatsobaonlycosts250yen!

Ineedtorememberthissobaplace!?AhemAlso,thesenarutoaresurprisinglycostly.Imean,asinglebowlofsobaonlyhastwoorthreeslices,right?Thisold
manisntgoingtoletyouhaveawholeone.
Whatiswithyouandthatweirdcharacterization!?Andthatdoesntmakesense!Kamabokoismadealmostexactlythesameway,buttheybarelycostanything!
Arentyoujustworryingtoomuchnow!?

Shutup.Weretheoneswalkinginandrummagingthroughthefridgewithoutpermission.Standardmarketvaluedoesntapply.Ofcoursetheresgoingtobea
markup.

Despitewhathesaid,Kamijoualsobegansearchingthroughtherefrigerator.Thepowerwasout,buteverythingprotectedbyvacuumpackingseemedtobefine.The
twoofthemweretryingtorescueKamisato,oneoftheworldsmostdifficultproblems,buttheyweretakingabreakfastbreakthatwasonestepawayfrombeing
bandits.

Itmayhavelookedsilly,butKamijoucouldnotlaughatit.Thepastfewdayshadtaughthimalltoowelltheimportanceofnecessitieslikefood,shelter,and
clothing.Withoutthebasicsforhisownsurvival,hecouldnotreactproperlytohelpothers.

Asexpected,nowatercamefromthefaucet,butaglassrefrigeratorcasehadsomesmallplasticbottlesoftea.Theteawaslukewarm,butithelpedtowettheir
throats.

Nn,nn.

Hey,Fran,calmdownalittle.Doyouwanttoeattheduckslicesthatbadly?

Itsashametheyreonlyflavoredwithsoysauceormentsuyu,butIstillwontletanyonehavethem.

Noonesgoingtotakethemfromyou.Here,Illopenthevacuumpackforyou.Infact,Imafraidoflettingyoukeepit.Icanalreadyseeitexplodinglikesomeone
failingtoopenabagofchips!

Yousaythat,butyoujustwanttostealmyduck!Dontmakemelaugh!!

Hisvisionprovedtobeprophetic.

SomethingburstandFrantoppledbackwardsonthefloor.

Ah

Pleasedonttalktomeforawhile.

Thisisntthetimeforthat.Getup,Fran.Thefloorisclean,soyoucanstilleatitifyouusethethreesecondrule.Plustheresduckjuiceallovertheplace.Like
yourbody.

KamijouquicklypickeduptheduckslicesandFranfinallydecidedtocrawlupoutoftheabyss.
Isntthispurementsuyutoosalty?Youshouldprobablydiluteitwithsomething,butwedonthaveanywaterThispaperpackagehascookingsake.No,that
wouldbeabadidea.Ifthegaswasrunning,wecouldhavecookedthealcoholoutofit.

Themeatitselfprobablyhadnotbeenseasonedverymuch,butithadbeensealedinwiththesauce.Thehoodiebikinigirlslowlygotupwhilewrinklingherbrow
andshelookeddownathermodestchest.

Mhh,thisisgoingtostainmyswimsuit.

Theresaraghere,butnowater.Doyouthinkteawouldwork?

Kamijoustoppedspeakingandnearlychoked.

Justasheheardtherustlingofcloth,therabbitearantennaegirlgrabbedthestringinsidethelargeVshapedopeningofherhoodieandpulledoutherbikinitop.

Wait,what?!

Stillsittingonthefloor,Franbegansuckingtheducksauceoutofherbikinitop.Herhoodiewasunzippedtotheverybottom,sotheviewofherchestasshelooked
upathimandtiltedherheadwasquitedangerous.

Shedidnotseemawareoftheproblem,sosheusedhersmalllipstodobattlewiththetop,removeditfromhermouth,andstaredatit.Onceshewassatisfied,she
stuckhertongueoutandlickedthecloth.

Nmh.Good,itdidntgettheflavorinit.Hm?

Whatisitnow?

Ithoughtmyhipsfeltrestless,butitlookslikethebottomiswettoo.

HertonewassocarefreethatKamijouhadignoredwhatshesaid,butthenhethoughthishearthadleapedoutofhischest.

Wait,youidiot!Thatsgoingtoofar!

Eiya.

TheMaginotLinehadbeendestroyed.

Afterhersillycry,Franpulledherbikinibottomfromjustabovethethighssurroundedbyherhoodie.Thezipperonlyconnectedtheverybottomofthehoodie,
makingitsomethinglikeaminiskirt,butthiswasstilldangerous.Extremelydangerous.Fransdefenseswereaboutassturdyasahouseofcards.
(Oohh.Sothatswhatthattriangleofclothlookslikewhenyouuntiethesidestringsandremoveit)

AdistantlookenteredKamijouseyesashestaredatthehourglassorHshapedsilhouette,butFransimplypreparedtosuckouttheduckjuicelikeshehadbefore.
Butthistimeshecametoastopandwrinkledherbrow.

Yes.Itwasapoormealtimetopic,butthatclothcoveredhercrotch.

TherabbitearantennaegirlshookherheadwithhertopandbottomprotectedonlybyahoodieopenedinaVshape,butthenshenoticedthepointyhairedboyin
frontofher.

Ifitmakesyoulookthatunhappy,thendontholditouttowardme.Infact,dontforceyourperversionontome!!

KamijouToumadidnotwanttoearntheinsanetrophyofsuckedonagirlsbikinibottomatmealtimelikeitwaspickledradish.

Thestandardwayofgettingoutastainistotapitwithacloth.Thisdriedragshouldbeenoughforsomethingthisminor.Swimsuitsaremadetorepelwater,soit
shouldnthavegottendeepintothefabric.

Willitreallybeokay?Idonthaveachangeofclothes,soIllbeintroublewithoutthis.

Ifyougetwhythatwouldbeaproblem,thenatleastputthetopbackon,Fran.ThisistheopenworldsurvivalgameknownasAcademyCity,soyouneverknow
whenamischievouskittyisgoinggrabthestringandrunoffwithit.

Itwasprobablyalreadyfine,butafterthatwork,hewettheclothwithsomeofthebottledteaandwipeditdownagain.Teahaddeodorizingproperties,sohewas
prettysurethiswouldkeepherfrombecomingthemysteriousducksaucegirlwhosecrotchsmelledlikeasobarestaurant.

Here.Alldone,Fran.

Nn.

Therabbitearantennaegirlmovedherhandsinsidethehiddenzonewithinherhoodietoputonthebikinibottom,butthensheshiveredlikesomeonehadtraced
theirfingerdownherback.

Ththeresanindescribablyunpleasantdampness

Iscomplainingallyoueverdo!?Quitactinglikeaprincessaboutthesilliestthings!!
Aftertheyfinishedeating,Fran(whooncemoreworebothpiecesofherbikini)heldhernosewiththesmallhandsinthehoodiesbaggysleeves.

Fweh,achoo!

Oh,yeah.ItisDecember,isntit?

ItsbecauseIgotachill.

Dontblamemeforwettingdownthebikini!Wouldntitbebecauseyoustrippedoffthebikini!?

Kamijoushoutedbackonreflex,butthenheshiveredtoo.

Hey,Fran.Insteadofswitchingtheheatwaveoffaltogether,canyouweakenitjustenoughtokeepuswarm?

Thestationinorbitwasntdesignedtomakemicrowaveattacks.Thatattackwastrickytopulloffatall,soIcantmakeslightadjustments.

Justhowtrickyarewetalkingabout?

Kamijouhadonlythoughtofitlikeburningapieceofpaperwithamagnifyingglass,but

Thatwouldbelikefryinganeggwithanuclearreactor.

Andthatdoesntscareyou?Whywouldyoumakesomethinglikethatandputitupinsatelliteorbit!?

Itdoesntactuallyusenuclearpower.Itonlycreatessimilarlevelsofenergy.

Itsscaryeitherway!

WithSalometheselfmadecyborg,Clairewhosecellswereclosertoplantmatterthanhumancells,andthis,justhowuninhibitedwastheKamisatoFaction?
Kamisatohadfearedthemlosingcontrolandgoingonarampage,butthatwaslookinglikenolaughingmatter.

Atanyrate,weneedtofindsomewinterclothing.

Nn.TheresnopointinshowingallthisskinwhenIcantshowittoKamisatochan.

Shebrieflyhesitatedinthemiddleofhersentence.

Shehadlikelynotwantedtosayherselfthathewasgone.
Hey.Kamijouintentionallychangedthesubject.WhileIdowanttogetsomewinterclothingassoonaspossible,doyouthinkitwouldbeokayifwestoppedby
mydorm?

Sinceyouevenasked,Iassumeyouknowhowdangerousthatwouldbe.

Well,yeah.

Giveuponthatidea.Ellenandtheotherswillbewatchingeverythingrelatedtoyourschool.Thatincludesyourdormandtheschoolitself.

Hm?

Theconversationhadtakenastrangeturn.

IgetwhereIlive,buttheschooltoo?

Ofcoursetheywouldsearchoutwhoyourfriendsare.

YoumeanpeoplelikeAogamiPierceandTsuchimikadoareindanger?

Astrangechillrandownhisspine.

Hewasonlyanindividual,somultiplesimultaneousattacksscaredhimmorethananything.Howmanypeoplecouldheprotectifthe100girlswithspecialpowers
attackedhisfriendsandacquaintancesin100differentplacesatthesametime?

ButFranshookherhead.

Idoubtthat.

Eh?Why?

Hewouldofcoursepreferthat,butwasntshebeingnave?Couldnttheirpursuersachievecheckmatemuchmoreeasilyiftheytookmultiplehostages?

First,theinternet,phone,andtherestoftheinformationinfrastructurearestilldownfromthemicrowaveattack.Eveniftheyhaveahostage,theycantletyou
knowthat.

Ah.

Andsecond,thiscitymightseemnormaltoyousinceyoulivehere,butitsverystrangeforthoseofusfromoutsideAcademyCity.Anyoftheboysandgirlswe
seewalkingalongthestreetmightbeanesperwhocouldsurviveahitfromanuke.Idontknowwhattheoddsofthatreallyare,butnoonewouldtriumphantly
acceptagameofconcentrationwhereflippingoverajokermeansinstantdeath.
Shemayhavebeenreferringtothe#1whohadchargedintothecenteroftheKamisatoFactionorthe#3whoseemedtohaverunintoSalome.Ifso,thosewere
extremeexceptions,butthensomethingoccurredtoKamijou.

Yes.Ellen,Elza,andtheothersdidnotknowthat.

Theremightonlybeonejokerwithinthe53cardsorall53mightbejokers.Whenthecardswerealreadyflippedover,itwasthesameasadensejungleminefield.
Thenumberofmineswaslessofanissuethanwhetherornottherewereanyminesatall.

Whichmeant

ThesafestoptionwillbeforEllenandtheotherstomonitortheplacesyoutendtogoandpreventyoufromregroupingwithanyofyourfriends.Theyhavenoidea
whotheymightdrivetoactionwithahostage,soIdoubttheyllchoosetoattackorimprisonanyone.

Ofcourse,thatwasnotanabsoluteguarantee.

IfthetruthwasrevealedandtheiranalysisshowedtheywereupagainstaLevel0,theywouldnothesitatetoabductthem.Andiftheystartedtofeelcornered,the
opportunitymightquicklyoutweightherisk.

But,sharplyaddedthehoodiebikinigirl.Thatchangesifsomeoneisalreadyworkingwithyou.Ifaconflictisinevitable,theywilllikelytrytocrushthatperson
inashorttermbattlebeforethedamagecanspread.

YoumeanIwouldbeputtingthemindangerifItriedtocontactthemorprotectthem!?

Dependingonhowyoulookatit.

Therewasnoabsolutesafetyhere.

Thatmeanthehadtolookatitintermsofprobability.

Henarrowedhiseyes,butthen

Heheardanoise.

Thesoundofthickrubbertearingatthegroundcamefromabovetheceiling.Withtheirstomachsfullofprecookedbirdmeatorfishpaste,KamijouandFran
exchangedaglanceandspokethequestionontheirminds.

Acarisrunning?
Acar???

Part5

Itnormallywouldhavebeendrownedoutbythecountlessnoisesofpeopleslives,butwiththemanycircuitboardsofthevehiclecontrolsystemsfried,theone
movingvehiclesoundedvery,veryloud.

KamijouandFranleftthesubwaystationsobarestaurant,walkedthroughthedarkstationusingtheUFOballoonsabductionlight,climbedthestairs,pushedupthe
girlssmallbutttogetherandherhugebackpackoverthenonfunctioningticketgate,andranoutside.

Theynoticedtheoddityassoonastheyleftthesubwaystationentrance.

Duetothepreviouschaos,thickwireswerestrungbetweenbuildingsandthefirstfloordoorsandwindowswerebarricaded,butsomeofthepassagewaysandwalls
hadstillbeendestroyed.Andjustlikethesubwaytunnel,therewerepilesofwhitesandlocatedhereandthere.Theywerebiggerthaninthetunnel,someeven
reachingthreestoriestall.Itlookedlikeaboutathirdofthestreetwashalfburiedinadesert.Theasphaltwasstillvisible,butthewhitesandwasmuchworse.

Kamijoudoubtedacarcoulddrivethroughthis,yettherewasindeedsomethingthere.

Whatisthat?

Heinstinctuallycroucheddowntohidehimself.

Hetiltedhisheadwhenhetriedtofigureoutwhyhehadevendonethat.

Thevehicleslowlydrivingdowntheroadcouldonlybedescribedasahalftruck.Itwasatruckwithalargebedontheback,butthefrontwheelsandbackwheels
wereclearlypoweredindifferentways.Thebackwheelshadbeenmadeintosteeltreads,whilethefrontwheelswhatevenwerethey?Whatlookedlikecountless
insectlegswriggledaroundastheydugdeeplyintothewhitesandtoclimbthehills.Itworkedentirelydifferently,butthemovementwasalotlikethemouthofan
ammoniteoranautilus.

Whatwasit?

Andwhowasdrivingit?

KamijouandFrancautiouslyobserveditasitmoved.Theexposedtruckbedhadseverallargespeakersattachedlikeitwasanadvertisementtruckforanewsong.A
politefemalevoicespokefromthose.

WearefromUsefulSpiderofAcademyCitysDisasterRecoveryCommittee.Wewillnowreportonthepresentsituation:Nowthattheenemyfactorsknownas
Elementsareconfirmedtohaveceasedfunctioning,thecurrenttimehasbeensetasthebeginningofthe48HourstoRestoreOrder.Weurgeeveryoneusingan
unofficialsheltertoobeytheinstructionsofanyUsefulSpidermember.
Kamijousighedwhenheheardthatsmoothadultvoice.

AcademyCitywasfinallymovingtowardrecovery.HecouldreturntohislifeofturningontheTVinhisairconditionedroom,messingaroundonhisphone,and
checkingonthecontentsofhisrefrigeratorwhenhewashungry.TheKamisatoandYuiitsuproblemremained,butthiswasstillprogress.Hecouldfeelhistensed
legsandhipsrelaxing.

Theadultshadlikelystoredthathalftruckdeepundergroundwherethemicrowavescouldnotreachit.Theymightlosesomepointsforwaitinguntilnowtoshow
up,butrecoveryworktendedtobeginonlyafterthetyphoonhadleft.Lookingatitthatway,hecouldnotcriticizethemforit.

ButFranremainedtenseasherantennaeextendedinalldirectionsfromherbackpack.

Asanoutsider,shehadnoattachmenttolifeinAcademyCity.

Strange.

Whatis?

HowcantheybesosurethattheElementshaveallstoppedfunctioning?Onlyyoushouldknowwhattheyareandhowtheygotswitchedoffsinceyouraninto
KiharaYuiitsuyourself.EvenIonlyheardallthatsecondhand.Howdoessomeonewhowasntunderthatbuildingknowthat?

Ah.

Thereisoneclearriskhere,whisperedFranwhileseeminglyshowingoffherflatchestwithherhoodieandbikini.Thoseadultsmightbesecretlyconnectedto
someonewhoknowsthetruth.Forexample,anotheradultlikeKiharaYuiitsu.

Thatwasahorrifyingthought.

Kamijoujustaboutsnappedbackonreflex,butthatmayhavebeenduetothefearofhavingthishopesnatchedawayfromhim.

Butthenthehalftrucksaidmoreinthesamecalmwomansvoice.

Wealsosuspectthefollowingpeoplearedeeplyconnectedtothisseriesofdisasters:1.KamijouTouma.2.KarasumaFran.Onourspecialauthority,bothofthem
willtemporarilyhavetheirfundamentalhumanrightsrevoked.Ifyouseetheminyourshelterorelsewhere,donotspeaktothemandreportittoUsefulSpider.I
repeat

!?

Kamijouknewitwaspointless,buthecrouchedfurtherdownandtookastepbacktowardthestairsdowntothesubwaystation.

Dammit,theyreafterusheretoo!?
Thiswasverybadandhefelthisstomachchurning.ThemicrowavesofFransheatwavehadalmostentirelyknockedouttheinternetandthephonesystem.And
withthatanalogloudspeaker,whoeverwasloudestwouldwin.IfeveryoneobedientlyviewedKamijouandFraninahostilelight,theirenemiescouldgrowfromthe
formerKamisatoFactiontothecitysentirepopulationof2.3million.

AretheyreallyconnectedtoKiharaYuiitsu?wonderedFran.Butthatdoesntreallymakesenseeither.

Whatisitnow!?

Yournameisonething,buttheyhavenoreasontogivemynameinAcademyCity.Idontknowanyonehere,sotheycantgetanyinformationfromfriendsof
minebymentioningit.Sowhydidtheyneedtousemyrealname?

Well,weatleastknowitwassomeonewhoknowsyourfullnamethatorderedthis.WeonlyevercalledyouFran,sowhotoldYuiitsutheKarasumapart?

No.Thegirlsrabbitearantennaedroopedalittleasshebroughtahandtoherchin.Yuiitsumightnotbeinvolved.

What?

VeryfewpeopleknowmynameisKarasumaFran.ButthenhowdidthatinformationgetfromthosegirlstoUsefulSpider?Thephonesandcomputerswerewiped
out,sodonttellme.

Afterwatchingthehalftruckpassbywithitsstrangecombinationofbuglegsandtreads,Franslowlystoodup.

Sheshookaroundtheroundantennaonherbuttandspokequietly.

Itmightbebesttocheckonthisdespitetherisk.

Whereareyougoing?Andwhatareyoucheckingon?

Theclosestshelter.Andwhatdatamediumtheyarecurrentlyusing.

Part6

Withtheheatwavegone,hehadthoughttheywouldbefreedfromthewaterproblem.

WiththeElementsgone,hehadthoughteveryonecouldwalkonthegroundwithoutworrying.

Withbothproblemssolved,hehadthoughttheirnormalliveswouldreturn.
Buttheworldhadgraduallychanged.Itwasjustlikerepairingthefrescoonacathedralwall.Evenwhenthesamepaintwasperiodicallyaddedtofixthedamage,the
originalwasgraduallylostanditwouldeventuallydisplayanentirelydifferentinterpretation.

Itwasastrangesight.

HadhefeltthisgreataweightinhisstomachevenwhentheheatwaveandElementshadthreatenedAcademyCity?

Apark?mutteredKamijouToumainthechillygraycity.

EvenwiththeheatwaveandElementscompletelygone,thenormalworkandschoolschedulehadnotreturned.Ifthenearestshelterprovidedsignsoflifetoensure
peoplegathered,theywouldeventuallyreachthatpoint,butKamijouhadtoquestionthatanewoncehearrivedthere.

Imsurprisedpeoplearegatheringinsuchanopenspace.

Theparkwasofafarhighergradethanachildrensparkwithsomeplaygroundequipmentandasandboxbuiltintheextraspaceofaresidentialarea.Itstreesand
grasspreservedthecolorsofnatureevenintheconcretecity,ithadalargelake,anditwasprobablyusedforfireworksshowsandoutdoorconcerts.Thetreeshad
witheredintheheatwave,butthelakehadprobablybeenanimportantsourceofwater.ButwhatabouttheElements?Ifthepeoplehadgatheredinthatopenspace,
wouldnttheyhavebeenwipedoutinlessthanhalfaday?

Notnecessarily,readilyansweredHoodieBikiniFran.Indoorsandoutdoorsdidntreallymatter.Evenifyoubuiltbarricadestoprotectyourschoolorhospital,it
wasobviouswhatwouldhappenifoneofthose100meterElementswasintentonbreakingin.

Hehadknownthat,butheshudderedhearingitfromsomeoneelse.AogamiPierceandFukiyoseSeirihadworkedsohardtoprotectthatschoolbuilding,butitall
couldhavefallenapartatanytime.

ThatmeansanenvironmentwheretheElementscantfindyouwouldbebetterthanthickandsolidwalls.Eveniftheresonlyathinlayerofpaperbetweenyou,
youwontbeattackediftheycantfindyou.AlthoughIcantsaywhetherthesepeoplediditintentionallyorluckedontoaspotlikethat.

Atanyrate,theyhadtoapproachthesheltertogatherinformation.

WhathadhappenedtoAcademyCitywithouttheheatwaveandElements?

WhowasthisUsefulSpiderunitstruttingaroundthecity?HowhadtheydecidedKamijouandFranwereenemies?

JustasKamijoustartedtowalktowardthelargepark,Franstoppedhimbygrabbinghishandthroughherbaggysleeve.

Waitaminute.
Whatisit?

WemaybesomethinglikewantedcriminalshereinAcademyCity.Unlikeme,theyprobablyhaveplentyofpersonalinformationonyou,suchaswhatyoulook
like.Thepeopleofthesheltermightsurroundyoutheinstantyouwalkin.

Herealizedshewasright.

TheyonlyknewthatUsefulSpiderwasafterthem,buttheycouldnotimaginehowfarthatinformationhadspreadandwhatlevelofhatredanddisgustithadcaused.
Theywouldrunintotroubleifthehostilitywasgreaterthantheythought.

Ivegottodosomething.

Fran(barely)woreapajamahoodieoverherswimsuit,butKamijouonlyworehisswimtrunks.Evenifhewasnotafteradisguise,hewantedsomenormalclothes.
Evenifthiscountrywasrelativelyfinewithswimminginthecold,hedidnotwanttowanderaroundinaswimsuitduringDecember.Andashirtandpantswerenot
goingtojustfallfromtheskyifhewishedforthem,sohedecidedtoapproachtheparkandsearchforsomethingontheoutskirts.

Ifeelliketheherobreakingpeoplespotstogatherherbs.WhencanIgetbacktomynormallifeofwithdrawingmoneyfromtheATMandrunningtothe
supermarketsale?

(Really,itskindofamysteryifthemajorbankdatabasesareevenfunctioninganymore.)

Oncetheyreachedtheparkslargeparkinglot,theyfoundatonofstufftheycouldprobablyuse.Infact

Thatsalotoftrucks.

Lookslikeafestival.

RabbitEarAntennaeFranwasright.TheheatwaveandElementsmayhavearrivedwhiletheyweresettingupintheearlymorningafewdaysbefore.Therewerea
lotofindustrialtrucksandalotofmetalpipes,plasticsheets,andsmallcompressedgascylinderswerejustsittingout.Ifitwasallputtogether,itwouldprobably
becomefestivalstands.

Therewasalsoalotofmusicequipment.Inadditiontothestandardguitars,drumset,andmicrophones,therewerealsolargespeakers,cables,andindustriallights.
Thecomputermusicequipmentandeverythingelseelectronicseemedtobebroken,though.

Ashecheckedthroughafewlargecardboardboxes,hefoundaninterestingbanner.

KigurumiRockFes?

Kigurumi?
HeandFrantiltedtheirheadsinunison.Itwasunclearwhy,butafterthateventhadbeencanceleditseemedtohavebecomeashelter.Thedateonthebannerwas
December4.Kamijourecognizedthatdate.ItwastheunforgettabledaywhentheheatwaveandElementsattackedthecity.Itlookedlikethefestivalreallyhadbeen
attackedwhilesettingup.

Andwhetheritwasacoincidenceornot,theparkmayhavebeenlucky.Thewaterqualitywouldbeaproblem,butthemanmadelakehadplentyofwaterandthe
metalpipesandplasticsheetsforthefestivalstandswouldhavebeenusefulforbuildingthings.Thegascylindersandgeneratorswouldalsohavebeenuseful.More
importantly,theyhadfood.Festivalstandstendedtomakethingsliketakoyakiandokonomiyaki,soflourwouldhavebeenplentiful.Andduringthatheatwave,any
foodthatcouldbepreservedwithoutrefrigerationwouldhavebeentrulyvaluable.

Atanyrate

Borrowingsomethingfromherewouldprobablybebest.Thosecostumeswillcovermyfaceanditwouldprobablybeniceandwarm.

Itwasunclearwhatthingswerelikeintheshelter,butduetotheKigurumiRockFes,itmightnotbeallthatunusualforabearorrabbittobewalkingaround.
Kamijouhadnorealpreference,sohepulledarandomcostumeoutofacardboardbox.

Whataboutyou,Fran?

Mnn.

Yeah,itwouldntworkforyou.Yourbackpackistoobig.

Withthatexasperatedcomment,Kamijoupickedupastrangecharacterthatlookedlikeamixtureofanalienandarabbit.Itmayhavebeengoingforacreepykind
ofcute.

ButthenHoodieBikiniFranseyesopenedwideandshesaidsomethingmeaningless.

Wwafu.

Ahem.Iitsnothing.

Hegaveheracuriousglance,buttheexpressionlessrabbitearantennaegirllookedawayandblushedforsomereason.

Kamijoucouldnotdealwiththat.Iftheinformationabouthimhadincludedaphoto,itwasdangerouskeepinghisfaceexposedinapopulatedarea.Heunzippedthe
back,climbedinsidethetorsothatsmelledabitstronglyofbugspray,andplacedtheheadoverhisownhead.

WowIhavenoperipheralvisionatall.Itslikestaringthroughthepeepholeofthefrontdoor.
Luckily,hewouldnotneedFranshelptoputitonortakeitoff.Justlikeasleepingbag,ithadazipperontheinsideandoutside.Hisvisionwaspoorandhisfooting
wasunsteady,butitwasniceandwarmwithhisbodyheatgatheringinside.

Andbeforehecouldgetusedtothecostume,someonehithimwithafiercetackle.Hedesperatelyworkedtoholdhisgroundinhissurprise,butthenhefounditwas
Fran.

Wafu!Wafuwafu!BunnyGrey!!

Whwhat!?

Shewasnotlistening.Thegirlsbrainseemedtohavebeenfried.Thehoodieswimsuitgirlsqueezedhereyesshutandembracedhimwithherentirebodylikea
smallchild.Andwhilepressingupagainsthim,shewiggledtheroundantennaeonherbuttbackandforth.Kamijoufinallyrealizedwhatwasgoingon.

BunnyGreyisstandingandmovingrightinfrontofmewafu.

Hey,stop!Itsme!ItsKamijouTouma.ForgetaboutthisBunnyGreything!

!!!???

Shemusthavecomebacktohersensesbecausesheshovedhimawaywithbothhands.Hecouldnotkeephisbalanceinthecostumeandtoppledrightover.

Yyoudisgustme!Howdareyouusesuchacheapmethodofgainingmytrust!?

Thatwasallyou

DdontthinkthisisenoughformetoBunnydontthinkBunnyGreydrool

Thisunidentifiedflyinggirlseemedtobepronetodelusions,soshewasthetypethatwouldforgetallaboutherjobandaboutgatheringcustomersonceshesetfoot
inthemagickingdom.Franfidgetedandcouldnotcalmdown,soKamijouremained120%cautiousasheslowlystoodup.

Anyway,letsgolookaroundtheparkshelter.

Nn.

ThepopularBunnyGreybeganobservingthescenewitharabbitearantennaegirlclingingtohisside.Theywalkedaroundthelakeatthecenterofthepark.

Afewcomblikebarricadesmadeofmetalpipestiedtogetherwithwirewerecarelesslysittingaround,butKamijouandFrancouldwalkrightthroughthem.Instead
ofblockingtheElementsway,therewereshowerlikedevicesinthemanmadewoods.Theyweremadetoproduceafinemisttocoolpeopledownduringthe
summer.
TheElementspreferdarkandcoolplaces

Looksliketheydivertedthemawayinsteadofbuildingstrongwalls.

JustlikeanIV,thesprayershadtheirtankssetupabovethemsothewaterwouldpassthroughwithoutneedinganyelectricity.Thebranchesofthetreesalsohelped.
Itseemedtobemadeupofconifertreesthatkepttheirleavesduringthewinter,sotheyhadlikelycreatedalotofshadeinthesun.

TheideawasfundamentallydifferentfromKamijousschoolholedupinareinforcedconcretebuilding.Ofcourse,thismethodwasnotpossiblewithoutexcess
water.

TheshelterslivingspacewasstronglyinfluencedbytheKigurumiRockFes.Itwasunclearwhatdeterminedthegrades,buttherewerehousesbuiltfromcardboard,
plasticsheets,andmetalcontainers.AndtheywerenaturallyremovedfromthedarkerandcoolerplacesthatwoulddrawtheElements.Thecostumeslyingaround
mayhavebeenusedassleepingbags.

Noneofitwasperfect,sotheysawsomeblocksthathadbeendestroyed.HadthatbeenanearlyperiodwhentheywerestillfiguringouthowtokeeptheElements
out,orhadtheyscrewedupandbeenattackedafewtimesaftersettingitallup?

Moreimportantly

What?Therearentthatmanypeoplehere.Thereshouldbefarmoregiventhenumberofhouses.

ItwastruetheheatwaveandElementsweregonenow,sothepeoplehadnorealreasontostayintheshelter.Theycouldreturntotheirhomesanddormsjustfine.
Buttheydidnotknowwhythetwothreatshadvanished.Theymighthesitantlyobservethingsoutsidetheshelter,butitwouldbehardtoboldlywalkaroundfreely.
ThefearoftheheatwaveandElementswouldbetoofresh.

Thegroupsofmiddleandhighschoolstudentstheysawhadtheirarmsaroundtheirownbodiestofightthecold,buttheywerestillonlywearingacoatorblanket
overtheirswimsuit.Theywereuncomfortable,buttheycouldnotchange.Thatmayhavebeenproofthattheirheartshadnotcaughtuptothechanging
circumstances.

Whichmeant

Theymuststillbeinsidetheshelter,soaretheymostlygatheredinasinglespot?

Grey,Ihearsomenoisefromoverthere.

HoodieBikiniFranpointedintothedistancewhileclingingtohim(orrather,theBunnyGreycostume)fromtheside.Theywantedtoknowwhatwashappeningin
AcademyCitywiththeheatwaveandElementsgoneandtheywantedtoknowwhatinformationwasbeingspread.Theshortestpathwouldbeblendingintothe
biggestcrowdofpeople.
Butforsomereason,CostumeBoyKamijouwasreluctanttogo.

Hesensedsomethingblockinghisway.Itwaslikeasinisterandinvisiblemiasmathathecouldnotaffordtobetrappedby.Itwaslikewavingatafishingboat
passingbythebankatnightonlytofindtheyweremixingchoppedupcorpsesintothebaitandthrowingitintotheocean.

Lletgoofme,Satensan!Ihavetodosomething

EvenifyoureinJudgment,theresnothingyoucandoonyourown,Uiharu!Withthatmanypeople,anyonewouldbeintroubleiftheygetcaughtinthemiddleof
it.Soweneedtogatheranevengreaternumberofadults!!

Bbut!But!!

Theypassedbytwoarguinggirls.Theywerefleeingasiftheyhadseenagiantgrayhurricanerisingabovethehorizon.

StrangewarningbellsweregoingoffinKamijoushead:Dontgetinvolved.Leave.Nothinggoodwillcomeoflearningaboutthis.

Amiasmaorapremonitionwereoccultideas,sohedesperatelytriedtoshakeoffthestickyfeelingandspoketoFran.

Letscheckthisout.

Thatarrogantrabbitearantennaegirlwasunabletosayanythingthistime.

Witheachsteptheytook,theominousmiasmagrewthicker.Thestrangesensesqueezingathisheartturnedouttobesound.Moreaccurately,itwasvoices.The
countlessoverlappingvoiceswereallcomingfromonedirection,buttheycouldnotmakeoutwhatanyonevoicewassaying.Itmayhavebeenlikeaparkspeaker
givingawarningaboutatsunamiorforestfirethatgrewincomprehensibleafterechoingagainandagain.

Whateverwasbeingsaid,theycouldtellitwasnothinggoodandtheburningnegativeemotioncamethroughalltooclear.Thecrowdofpeopleproducingthevoices
cameintoview.Itlookedlikesomekindofceremonybeingheldnearafewmetalpolesmeanttoraiseflagsbythelake.Theyweretoofarawaytotellwhatwas
happeningatthecenter,especiallywithallthepeopleintheway.

Dont!actedlikedictator!!Wetopunish!!

yourfaultsomanydied.notslaves!!

Everyonesufferingbutyoulikeaking!!Kepttheforyourself!!

Atfirst,Kamijoudidnotunderstand.

Butashegotcloser,hecouldtellthepeoplewereshoutingsomekindofcriticism.
Hiscostumedlegsapproachedtheangrycrowd.

UnlikeKamijou,Fransnosewasexposedandshemayhavebeenabletosensethesmellintheairbecausetheroundradarantennaonherbutttwitchedandshe
whisperedtohim.

Grey,becareful.

Amomentlater,hesawsomethingbetweentheheadsofthecrowd.

Amanhadhishandstiedbehindhisbackandathickwirearoundhisneck.

Andthemetalflagpolewasbeingusedasagallows.

Howdareyoucallyourselfourleader!?Youactedlikeakingwhiletakingeverythingfromus!!

Killthetyrant!!Executethedictator!!

TheheatwaveandElementsaregonenow.Wedontneedtosuckuptoyouanymore!!

Kamijoufeltatremorrunthroughhishandsandfeetandthenuphisspine.

Thetwothreatsweregone,butthepeopleinthisshelterhaddecideddosomethingotherthancheckonthingsoutsideorreturnhome:executingtherulertheyno
longerneeded.Alloftheirpentupfrustrationshaderuptedoncethedisastersvanished.

Freedomhadtobesomewhatrestrictedtokeepashelterrunning.EveninKamijousschool,noneofthestudentshadbeensatisfiedwiththewaterrationstheyhad
beengiven.Itwouldnothavelastedotherwise.Butonceitwasover,thatwasnolongernecessaryandonlytheirsimmeringdissatisfactionremained.Justlike
boilingsaltwateruntilonlythesolidsaltremained.

Therulerhereseemedtobeamanapproachingmiddleage.

Kamijoudidnotknowthismaninaworkuniformwhohadawirearoundhisneck.Hemighthavebeenoneofthepeoplewhoperformedinsidethecostumes,he
mighthavebeenoneofthepeoplewhoputtogetherthestands,andhemighthavebeentheparkmanager.

Enough!Hanghimalready!!Wevemadeourjudgment,sokillhim!!

YoucalledthisplaceademocraticTrial,sowellkillyouthewayyouwouldvewanted.Wevotedunanimouslyforthedeathsentence!!

Likehellwehadanyfreewillafteryoudrewinsomanypeoplebyspreadingourfoodandwateraround!!
Theywererightonthelimit,sotheirrulerwasstandingonhistiptoes.Thewirewasdiggingdeepintohisthroat.Hiswindpipeorarteriesmusthavebeensomewhat
compressedbecausehisfacegrewunnaturallyredandevenswelledoutalittle.

Kamijoustartedfeelingfaintjustwatchingit.

BunnyGreystaggeredafewstepsback,soHoodieBikiniFransupportedhimfromthesidewithhersmallbody.Shewhisperedwithherwhitebreathwhilepressing
upagainsthim.

(Yes,thatswhatyouneedtodo.)

(OurgoalisrescuingKamisatochan.Wecameheretoinvestigateourwantedstatusbecausethatmightgetinourway,butthisisclearlyanunnecessarydetour.It
wouldbesafesttoleavewhiletheyreallfocusedonthat.Itspossibletheexcitedcrowdwontbesatisfiedjustwithexecutingtheirrulerandwilllookforfurther
victims.)

Youcantbe

Kamijoustartedtoshoutbackonreflex,butthenheheardadullsoundnearhisstomach.Hewaswearingathickcostume,sohecouldnotfeelmuchfromoutside
andthusfeltnopain.However,HoodieBikiniFranssmallhandheldhertoolknifeandshehadstuckthefingerlongbladeshallowlyintoBunnyGreysstomach.

(WhyareyoumakingmestabBunnyGrey?)

Hegaspedandtherabbitearantennaegirlspatoutherusualemotionlessvoice.

(DidyouforgetwhatIsaidinthebeginning?AslongasyouprioritizeKamisatoKakeruoverKamijouTouma,thenIwillhelpyououtunconditionally.Butifyou
breakthatcontract,itendshere.Iwillgiveuponyouandgoelsewhere.)

Shewasserious.

Franwasentirelyserious.Ifsomethingwasgoingtogetinthewayofescapingthe100girlsandrescuingKamisatoKakeru,shewouldnipitinthebud.Andthiswas
notsomethingshehadresolvedherselftodoitcamesecondnaturetoher.

Itwastruethismightbemeaningless.

RescuingthisconvictedrulerwouldnotleadtoKamisato.Kamijoudidnotknowhowlargethecrowdwas,buthewouldbemakingenemiesofatleastahundred
morepeople.Itwouldbeaseriousproblemifhewassurroundedbythatmanyunarmedpeopleandalotofthemwerearmedwithhandmadeweapons.Somehad
longmetalpipescutatanangletomakeaspear,somehadlargehammersmeantfordrivingstakesintotheground,andsomehadpaintcansstuffedinsideclothbags.
Whatlookedlikebazookasmayhavebeenthedevicesusedtofirefireworksduringaconcert.Thefactthatithadnothingtodowithesperpowersmadeiteven
harderforKamijoutogetinvolved.

Hewouldgainnothingfromthis.Hewouldonlyendupwithbothenemyandallyafterhislife.

ButKamijoudidnothesitatetoreply.

ThisiswhatKamisatofearedaboutallofyou.

Itsbecauseyoucareforhimthatyourewillingtotakeshortcuts.Hewasprettytwistedhimself,butwhenyougotdowntoit,hehadnormalsensibilities.Afterwe
rescuehim,hewouldntwanttoknowpeoplediedforit.

Franremainedmotionlesswhilewearingherlargebackpack.

Thebladestabbingshallowlyintothethickcostumerepeatedlyhesitatedoverwhethertopulloutorpushin.

Afteraslowbreath,thehoodiebikinigirlfinallymadeherdecision.

Thetoolknifemoved.Itpulledout.

(Butwhatexactlyareyougoingtodo?Thereareatleast100andtheyvegonemadwithanger.Youcantbreakthroughthemallwithoutagiantlaserora
bomber.)

Thenletsgothebomberroute.

Shehadmeantthatasajoke,butKamijousreplywasentirelysincere.Theunidentifiedflyinggirlseyeswidened,butBunnyGreyhadmoretosay.

Itstruetheyreboilingwithangerandcouldneverbereasonedwith.Butwhatsatthefoundationofitall?Ifwethinkaboutthat,wemightbeabletopull
somethingoff.Comewithme,Fran.

Part7

ThefactthattheaccidentoccurredwhiletheKigurumiRockFeswasbeingsetupmayhavebeenfortunateforthemall.Therehadbeenplentyofmaterialsatthe
park.TheshelterresidentshadusedthosetoeffectivelydiverttheElements,securealivingspace,andcookenoughflourbasedfoodtosatisfytheirhunger.

ThematerialswereablessingtoKamijouandFranaswell.
Theyonlyhadtolookaroundabittofindwhattheyneededwithalmostcarelessease.

Agascylinder?askedFran.

Thatsright.

Thethickgraymetalcontainerheldpropane,butitwasnotastallashewasliketheonesbehindbuildings.Itwasmeanttoheatthegrillatafestivalstand,soitwas
aboutthesizeofasmallDarumadoll.

HoodieBikiniFranmusthavebeendispleasedwiththisdevelopmentbecauseshebegantoyingwiththetoolknifeinherhand.

Areyouplanningtothrowitintothecrowdandletitexplode?Theyresurroundingtheirrulerinadonutshape,soablastatoneendwontreachthemallandone
inthecenterwouldkilltheruler.

Iwouldntdosomethingsodangerous.Thelessactualdamagethebetter.Asfarasstirringuptheirshockandfearisconcerned,anyway.

FranlookeddoubtfulandKamijouskillfullycontinuedhisworkusingthecostumesmittenlikehands.Therewereafewwaystobypassthemetalcontainerssafety
devicestomakeitexplode.HerecalledonehehadseeninanoldactionmovieplayingonTVthepreviousSundaynight.IthadbeencalledHeavysomethingor
otherandhewasprettysurearemakehadcomeoutrecently.

Alighter?

Anywayofstartingafirewouldwork.Good,thisoneusesstaticelectricity,soitshouldworkevenunderwater.

Hemadesomemodifications,tiedittogetherwithducttape,andcarriedthedangerousobjectinonehand.Hisdestinationwasquitenearthatcrowdandhehadno
time.Whileeveryonewasfocusedontheirrulersimminentfate,hechuckedthegascylindertowardthecoldlakewaterwhereanyonecouldsee.

Apillarofwaterroseverticallyfromthesurfaceandtheexplosionsoundedloudly.

Everyoneduckeddownandturnedtowardthelake,butthatwasnotenoughforthemtocallofftheexecution.Atthisrate,theywouldresumehangingtheman,so
CostumedKamijougaveanextrapush.Hewentrighttowardtheoldwoundoftheirgreatestfear.

ItstheElements!Theyrehere!!Dontletyourguarddownjustbecauseyoucantseethem!Theyretranslucentandtheycanusetheirmimicrytoblendintothe
background!!Theyrealotcloserthanyouthink!!Everyone,run!!!!!

Silencefollowed.
Butthelookintheireyeswasnotoneofdoubt.Thiswassimplytoomuchfortheirmindstoprocess.Itwaslikesuddenlyfindingadumptruckbumperapproaching
beforetheireyes.

Afterthatonebeatdelay,theywerequicktoreact.

Thecrowdthathadbeensounitedinangernowscatteredineverydirection.Theyscreamedmeaninglessthingsandfledwithalltheirmight.Theysometimesran
intoeachother,trippedovereachother,orknockedeachotherover.Kamijouwantedtocoverhiseyes,buttheyatleastavoidedanyobviousdeath.Theexecution
groundhadfallenapart.

Butwhydidtheyreactsosharply?

Nomatterhowviolenttheyreacting,theydidntleavetheshelter.Theywereactingbrave,buttheyhaventescapedtheirfearoftheheatwaveandElements.I
understandhowtheyfeel.IfIhadntbeentherewithKiharaYuiitsuandKamisatoKakeru,noexplanationwouldhaveconvincedmetoventureoutofthatschool
building.

Sometraumawaslinkedtoaregionorsociety.

Itcouldbeabombing,amasssuicide,aderailedtrain,aserialkiller,oramassshooting.Afterasadincident,anythingreminiscentofitcouldtriggeralargepanic.In
AcademyCity,theheatwaveandElementshadreachedthatlevel.Ifsomeonefoundthemselvesinanunnaturallywarmspotwherethesunlighthappenedtogather
afterreflectingoffthepolishedbuildings,theymighthavetroublebreathing.Themetalliccreakingofsomethingblowinginthewindmightsoundlikeamonsterand
keeppeopleupatnight.

Kamijouhaddrawnoutthatfear.

Peelingoffahalfhealedscabcouldbemorepainfulthantheoriginalinjury.

Andbecausetheyhadbeenoutofcontrol,thefearhadspreadmuchmoreswiftly.Noonehadbeencalmlyobservingthesituation,sotheyhadallbeenthrowninto
thecrucibleofchaos.

Hecoulddoitnow.Hecouldremovethewirediggingintotherulersneck.

Ididntthinkyoucouldmakeupyourmindthatquickly,saidFran.

Itwasntmyidea.

Ijustaskedmyselfwhathewoulddo.AlthoughIbetKamisatowouldhavefoundaclevererwaytodoitevenwithouthisspecialrighthand.

Regardless,theyhadtorescuetherulerfromthegallows.
Thepanicwouldnotlastforever.Oncethepeoplestoppedmistakingeachothersscreamsforfurtherexplosions,theywouldstarttoquestionit.Kamijouhadto
rescuetherulerandallowhimtoescapebeforethathappened.

Afewboysandgirlsinswimsuitsweregroaningonthegroundafterbeingknockedovernearthemetalpole,butKamijouandFranignoredthemandcontinued
towardtheruler.

Themanseyeswerefilledwithfearashestoodonhistiptoes.

Hey,youinthecostume!WhatdoyoumeantheElementsarehere!?Ireallydontneedthissituationtogetanyworse!!

Youdonthavetofreakout.Thatwasabluff.TheywouldntrunawayunlessIsaidsomethinglikethat,right?

Thethickwirearoundthemansneckwasnotveryflexibleandtheknotwasrelativelyloose,soitwasnotdifficulttoremove.

Bhah!!

Themancoughedashewasfinallyabletobreathecomfortably.HewobbledandHoodieBikiniFranexpressionlesslysidesteppedthesweatyman.Thatmeanthe
collapsedontotheground,buthewasstillentirelythankfulasherubbedhisthroat.

Ugh,cough.Thanks,youreallysavedme.Hetearfullycoughedafewmoretimes.Assoonastheyrealizedthedangerwasgone,theypulledthis.Andwhatisthis
Trialnonsense?Ididntchoosetobecometheirrulerduringthatheatwave.Theyretheonesthatliftedmeupandpulledawaytheladder,dammit.

Youcandowhatyouwant,butyoullprobablybesaferleavingtheshelter.

Yeah,yeah.Imgettingthehelloutofhere.IftheheatwaveandElementsarereallygone,theresnopointinstayingandlettingthemturnmeintoahuman
sacrifice.Themanintheworkuniformheldhisheadinonehand.Butdammit.Howcantheycallthisthe48HourstoRestoreOrder?Theresgottobeabetter
wayofdoingit.ThatpieceofjunktheycallaSphereissopoorlymanagedthatitsfullofbullshit.

What?

Youdontknow?spatouttherulerashepulledsomethingfromhisworkuniformspocket.HetossedoverasticklikedevicethatlookedlikeUSBmemory.I
dontneedthissinceImgonnascram.ThatsthekeytotheSpherehereintheTrialshelter.ThoseUsefulSpiderpeoplegaveittome.Yougetfullaccesswiththat,
soitisntliketherestofthosemorons.Idontknowwhoyouare,butyoumustnotbefromthisshelterifyouresocalm.Ifyouregonnasneakin,findawaytoget
backatthem.Bye.

KamijouandFranwatchedtherulerwalkedoffonunsteadyfeet,butthentheylookeddownatthestickshapeddevice.

TheSphere?

Sphere?
Staringatitwasnotgoingtoanswertheirquestions.Thecostumehadnopockets,soheleftthekeywithHoodieBikiniFranbeforetheyresumedtheirsearcharound
thelake.

Thingsweredifferentfrombefore.ThatwasmostlikelyduetoKamijoubringingbacktheirfearoftheElements,butthepeoplewerenotjustrunningwildlyaround.
Thewanderingswimsuitwearinggroupfinallystartedmovinginthesamedirection.

Whatthehellisgoingon!?

WhatdoestheSpheresay?Isthereawarningthere?

Shouldwestayintheshelterorleave?TheSphere,theSphere!!

Thefranticgroupkeptcallingthatname,sotheycouldapparentlycalmthemselvesbygoingtochecksomedeviceknownastheSphere.KamijouandFrantilted
theirheadsandfollowedthepeople.Theyspottedsomecarrotandfrogcostumesinadditiontotheswimsuits,sosomeofthemmayhavegivenintothecoldand
worntheirmakeshiftsleepingbagssincetheyhadarmsandlegs.

IamcuriousaboutthisSphere,but

Istheresomethingelse?

Ellen,Maya,andtheotherswillbesensitivetoanychangesastheypursueus.Oncetheyhearaboutthatexplosionyoucaused,theyllprobablysendinElza,
Salome,ortheotherfighters.

Kh.

Theywerestillontherun,sotheyhadtohurry.

ThentheyspottedtheSphere.

Whatisthat?

Itmayhaveoriginallybeenametalspheretwometersacross,butithadopenedupinonedirectionlikealotusflower.Itlookedsomethinglikeaplanetarium.Afaint
layerofchemicalsmokerosefromthetop,andhundredsifnotthousandsofwindowswereprojectedonthesmoketoformadomewitharadiusof20or30meters
aroundtheSphereitself.Eachwindowdisplayedinformationonothershelters,theweatherforecast,whatroadswereblockedoff,theprogressofrecoveryworkon
infrastructurelikepowerandwater,distributionpointsforfoodandwater,etc.

Itsadisastercommunicationinfrastructurebase,saidFranasshewavedaroundtheroundradarantennaonhersmallbutt.Duringadisasterthatknocksoutthe
internetorphones,alotofmisinformationcanspreadandrelyingonyourowndisasterradiosorTVsdoesntseemveryreliable,soIveheardtheresbeenarushto
developadevicethatdoublesasabroadcasttowerandinformationsource.
Shewouldbetalkingaboutoutsidethecity.AcademyCitystechnologywas20or30yearsahead,sothatdevicemusthavealreadybeendevelopedhere.

Aclock.

Thecostumedboystatedtheobvious.

Yes,afewofthewindowshadthatbasicinformation,justlikethecornerofaTV.

TheresaclockOh,sonoweveryonecanknowwhattimeitis.

Withouttheirphonesortheinternet,alloftheboysandgirlsweregatheringhere.Theyalllookedmalnourishedonthenutrientknownasinformation.Itreminded
KamijouofthepeoplewatchingabaseballorwrestlingmatchonroadsideTVsinoldvideofootage.

Andasfarashecouldsee,thedevicewasmostlymadetoreceivenewsandadministrativeinformation,buttheabilitytosendouttheirowninformationwas
extremelylimited.Theycouldonlysaywhichsheltertheywereinorposttheirownnameonasimplemessageboard.

Themessageboardincludedthetimeofthepost.

Thatwasnothingspecial,butitseemedincrediblyrefreshingtoKamijou.Heunderstoodjusthowtheboysandgirlsherehadtheircravingfulfilled.

Thiscommunicationinfrastructureismeanttoavoidmisinformationandconfusion,sotheyrepreventingpeoplefromsendingoutwhatevertheywant

Thenetworkdidnotseemtobeconnectedfreelylikeaspiderweb.Itwasmorelikeatournamentdiagramsplitintoblocks.Thethicklineatthetophadamixtureof
informationfromallover,buteachindividualblockhadastronglocalcolor.

Butonceinsideablock,youcouldnotavoidbeingcoloredbyitandyouwouldunquestioninglyacceptanythingannouncedfromabove.Adisasterenvironment
functionedlikeanopensealedroomwheremisinformationcouldeasilyspread.Theboysandgirlscouldonlyreceiveinformationandcouldnotevenchoose
whichchanneltheywatched.Inaway,wasntthisadangeroussituationtoo?

Oh,Igetit.

AfterwatchingfrominsidetheBunnyGreycostume,Kamijoufinallyputhisquestiontowords.

Itisntanythingweird.Thesystemitselfisalotlikeasocialmediaaccount,butitsabroaderframework.Insteadofindividuals,eachshelterorschoolhasa
usernameforexchanginginformation.Thatswhyeveryoneissoobedient.Itslikehavingonlyonepersonwithaphoneonarunningtrain:everyoneisdesperateto
getaviewoftheoutsideworldbypeeringoverastrangersshoulder.

Rulerreallywasanaptterm.

Thatoneaccountdirectlyinfluencedthedecisionmakingofdozensorevenhundredsofpeople.
ThehoodiebikinigirlspokeinasomewhatmuffledvoiceassheembracedandburiedherfaceinthefluffyBunnyGreycostume.

Idontlikethesoundofthat.

HavingtheapprovaloftherulerwhocontrolstheSpheremightbesomethinglikeaTVkeystationsecuringaregionalstationtoexpandtheirbroadcastarea.That
letsthemdirectlyinfluencethelocalopinion,andgatheringtogetherstationswouldleadtoinfluenceoutsidetheirindividualareas.

Whydoesthatremindmeoftheenvironmentsurroundingthatrighthand?

Andtheyhadonespecialprivilegeallowingthemtobreakfreeofthatsituation.

ThissheltersleaderhadgiventhemthatsticklikedevicethatlookedlikeUSBmemory.

RabbitEarAntennaeFranandCostumedKamijouapproachedtheSpherewhichwasopenedlikealotusflower.Toreiterate,theSpheremostlyjustreceived
transmissionsanditsabilitytosendthemwaslimited.Theswimsuitboysandgirlswereatthe2030meterlinewheretheinformationwasdisplayed,sononeof
themwereapproachingtheSphereitself.Theymusthavehadnowaytouseitbesidespostingtheirnamesonthedisastermessageboard,sonoonewasfocusedon
thosetwo.

FranpulledthekeyfromherhoodiespocketandcheckedaroundontheSphere.Eachoftheopenedflowerpetalsseemedtobeacontrolbooth,butacloser
inspectionshowedasmallslot.

Afterinsertingthedevicelikeaninsectenteringaflowerinsearchofnectar,thestubbornscreenchanged.Itlookedanormalcomputersnormalbrowser,butthat
wasenoughtomakeKamijoutremble.Hefeltlikehewastouchingapieceofalostcivilization.Itwasaworldofdifferencefromjumpingfrombuildingtobuilding
insearchofwaterinthat55degreehell.

Facedwiththevirtualkeyboardonthemonitorinsidethelotusflower,Frantookoverwithherfingertipsstickingoutofherbaggysleeves.Thiswassimplybecause
Kamijoucouldnotcontrolitwithhiscostumesmittenlikehands.

Theywantedtoknowthedetailsabouttheirwantedstatus.

Theyreceivedananswerjustbytypingintheirnames.

Theheatwavewascausedbylargescalemicrowavessentdownfromsatelliteorbitandthishasbeenprovenbyinvestigationofthedamagetoelectronics.The
spacestationisownedbyKarasumaFran.Shemaintainscontrolandcanresumetheheatwaveatanytime.Usecautionaroundher.

Kamijouheldhisheadinhishands.
Noneofitwasinaccurate.ItwastruethatFranhadbeenorderedbyKamisatotobringdownthecitysfunctionswithmicrowaves,butthatlackedsomecrucial
information.Namely,whyFranhaddoneit.ThisfailedtomentionhowithadrestrainedtheElementsandpreventedAcademyCityfromsinkingintoaseaofblood.

SincetheheatwaveandElementsarethoughttobecloselyrelatedduetobeginningataroundthesametime,wecannotoverlookanyaccomplicesassisting
KarasumaFransescape.ThatmeansKamijouTouma.Bothofthemarepresumedtobedeeplyconnectedtoallofthis.Bothdisastershaveenteredalull,butsince
thereisadangerofthemeventuallyresuming,wehavedecidedtocapturethosetwoindividualstopreventthatpossibility.

Ontopofthat,anyinconvenientinformationwassidestepped.WhiletherewasaconnectionbetweentheheatwaveandElements,KiharaYuiitsuhadbeenbehind
theElements,notFran.Thismaliciousdisinformationhadnocompletelies,soithadanoddcredibilitythatmadeitsomuchhardertodispute.

Andthatinformationtoldthemafewthings.

ThoseUsefulSpiderpeoplecouldntgatherthisinformationontheirown,pointedoutKamijou.Theymightbeabletodiscoverthatmicrowaveswerebehindthe
heatwave,buthowcouldtheyrealizeyouownedthespacestationwhenyouarentevenaresidentofAcademyCity?Andtheonlypeoplewhoknowwereonthe
runtogetherarethegirlsfromtheformerKamisatoFactionwhowereunderneaththeWindowlessBuildingwithme.

EllensgroupmustcontrolthekeytooneoftheSpheres.TheyrereleasinginformationconvenienttothemselvestousethecityspeopleandUsefulSpiderto
isolateus.

Someonemighthavequestioneditundernormalcircumstances.Wasthatinformationreallyaccurateandwherehaditcomefrom?Butthephonesandinternetwere
notfunctioning.Theycouldonlyreceivetheinformationcomingin,sotheycouldnotarguewithitorcheckoverit.Andwheneveryonewasgatheredtogether,
grouppsychologysetinmuchmoreeasily.Eveniftheseedsofdoubtenteredsomeonesmind,thoseseedswouldneversproutafterseeingeveryoneelseagreeing
withit.Thentheseedswouldbesweptaway.

Andthatcouldleadtolosingcontrollikewiththeattackontherulerbefore.

Thisisnojoke.AretheyusingSNSinformationwarfareatsuchanunstabletime?

Butifweletthemcontinuetheirattacks,thefalseinformationwillbuilduplikeinapuzzlegame.Ifwedontdoanything,wellbeintrouble.

Thatsaid,theycouldnotstayintheshelter.Theyhadtriggeredanexplosiontosavetheruler,sotheformerKamisatoFactionsfightergirlswouldeventuallyarrive
toinvestigate.

Theyknewtheproblem,buttheycouldnotworktosolveit.Theywouldhavetoleavewithoutdoinganything.Withherantennacoveredbackpackon,Franprepared
topulloutthestickshapedkey,butthenKamijouscostumehandstoppedher.

Whatisit?
Wecancommunicatebetweenshelterswiththis.Withthisnormalbrowser,wemightbeabletosenddetailedinstructionsinanemailinsteadofthatdisaster
messageboard.Kamijouchosehiswordscarefully.ThatmeanswecanreachIndexorMisaka.WeretryingtosaveKamisato.Wecanrunaroundifweneedto,
butitsmeaninglessifwearentmakingpreparationsofourown.Itseasyenoughtosaywellsavehim,butwedonthaveanyactualclues.Iwantthehelpofa
specialist,whetheritsinmagicorscience.

TheyneededtomakeacomebackfromWorldRejecterwhichcouldslayevenMagicGods.Thatwasnoeasyfeat.HewantedthehelpofIndexwithher103,000
grimoiresandOthinus,alegitMagicGod.

ButRabbitEarAntennaeFrandidnotliketheidea.

Onlythesheltersrulerhasthesespecialprivileges.Itwouldntbeeasysendingamessagetoaspecificperson.

Youdontneedtoworryaboutthatwithmyschool.IdontknowifitstheJumpyBunnyorAkikawaMie,butIknowtheleaderthere.IfIsendthemamessage,
theyllpassitrightontoIndexorOthinus.Assumingtheirshelterhasntbeencaughtinthesamekindofchaosashere.

Eitherway,wecantstayhereforlong.AsIsaid,theirfighterswillbecoming.Wecantwaitforaresponse.

Hefeltimpatient.

Theycouldnotaffordtowaitevenasecondlongerthannecessary,buthehadtostoptothinksohewouldnotwasteanytime.Shouldtheycontinueonormove
back?Theywouldbesurroundedby100strangeandbizarrepeopleatthisrate.Onewrongstepanditwouldallfallapart.

TheBunnyGreythought,worried,andagonizedoveritbeforespeaking.

Imstilldoingit!!IfIleavethisuntillaterbecauseofamoreimmediateproblem,Illnevergetaroundtodoingit.WehavetostayfocusedonKamisato!!

Part8

ToIndexandOthinus.TheWorldRejecterissuetookaturnfortheworse.Iwantyourknowledge.LetsmeetattheDistrict7stationplazaattwelvenoon.Oh,and
itsalongstory,butImbeingchasedby100girlsrightnow.Itsadangeroussituation,soifthingslooktoobad,giveupandescapetosafety.

!!

Youbitch!Yourunintomeandyouarentevengoingtoapologize!?
Somepeoplecontinuedwalkingevenastheypartedthecrowdandranintopeople.

AfterlearningtherehadbeenanexplosionattheTrialshelter,Elzawithherbottleof10yencoinsandpirategirlLucawithherblackroseeyepatcharrivedatthe
largeparkinDistrict7.Theylookedaround,sawacrowdbythelakewheretheexplosionseemedtohavehappened,andsighed.

LookslikeitwasnttheElements.

Letscheckovertheretoo.

Theeyepatchgirlworealargepiratehatwithafeatherinitandathicksailorscoat.Sheworeabluebikinibelowthatanddidnothesitatetospeak.Shesweptback
hercurlyblondehairwhichfelltohershoulderbladesandcontinuedwalking.

ThensomeonegrabbedElzasshoulderfrombehind.

Whatthehelliswrongwithyou!?Imtalkingtoyouhere!

Thegirlwithroughlycuthairsilentlynarrowedhereyestophysicallyteachthisguywhatwaswrongwithher,butthensomeonecutinfromtheside.

Uuh,sob.

Agirlofabout10wearingbaggyclothingbeganwailinglikeasiren.

No,thiswassupposedlythepreviousgirlintheeyepatchandpiratehat.

Ubweeehhh!!Someoneshomeonehelpme!Thishweirdoistryingtotakemeaway!!

Eh?Wait!No!

Asthestrangeboypanicked,hewassurroundedbygazesthathadcooledtoabsolutezero.Astheoverlyenergeticapewasgrabbedonbothsidesanddraggedaway
likeapictureofalittlegreybeingcaptured,PirateGirlLucastuckherlittletongueoutathim.

ElzawatchedasLucasbodytypechangedfromelementaryschoolagedtohighschoolaged.

Shapelycurvesfilledoutthebikiniwornbelowhernavalcoat.

Thatwascruel.Youdidnthavetoplaytheweaklittlegirlcard.

WedonthavetimetodealwithsingledigitIQs.Letsgetgoing.
KamijouToumaandFranatleastknewthattheheatwaveandElementproblemsweregone.Thatmeanttheyhadnoreasontobefixatedonfood,water,orweapons.
Iftheyhadstillvisitedashelter,ithadtobeinformationtheycraved.

ThetwogirlshurriedtowardtheSpherethatUsefulSpiderhaddistributedtoeachshelter.

TheformerKamisatoFactionseemedpowerfulthankstoits100girlswithvariouspowersandabilities,buttheywereplayinganawaygameinAcademyCity.
KamijouToumahadhisownworld,soifhehadtheoptionofcontactingandgatheringhisfriends,itwasunknownwhowouldhavethegreaternumbers.Itwas
unrealistictothinksomeonewouldhave100friendswillingtorisktheirlivesatamomentsnotice,butthepossibilitywasstillthere.Orperhapsitwastheisolated
awaygamefeelingthatmadethemthinkthatway.

Whateverthecase,itsalloverforKamijouandFraniftheyrecarelesslyrelyingontheSpherehere,spatoutElza.Ihatethis.Ihateitsomuch,soletsgetitover
with.Forthebossssake.

Yes,beforeYuiitsuusesahammertosmashthatrighthandthatsbindingustoher.Weonlyhavetopretendtoobeyher.Aslongaswehavethatrighthandas
longaswehaveWorldRejecter,itmightbepossibletodragKamisatokunback.

IfAkikawaortheJumpyBunnyreceivesthis,pleasepassitontoIndexandOthinus.Werefine.ButasIsaid,werebeingpursuedbysomedangerouspeople.Ithink
AkikawaknowsaboutSalome.Thisisgoingtobeanentirecrowdofpeopleonherlevel,sodontgetinvolved.Icantprotecteveryonerightnow.

AndthepursuersarrivedattheSphere.

TheyfirstobservedthedonutshapedcrowdandthenapproachedthelotusshapedSphereitselfwhichrequiredadministrativeprivilegestouse.Theysearched
everything.

Finally,theysighed.

EyepatchPirateGirlLucaexpressedherirritationbytappingherfingersonthehiltofthecutlassatherhip.

Targetnotfound.

Damn,allthisfornothing.Hadtheyalreadyfinishedandmovedon!?

Part9
Only10metersawayfromthatdonutshapedcrowd,KamijouworetheBunnyGreycostumeandembracedthehoodiebikinigirlwithhiscurledupbackfacingthe
girls.

Hisheartpoundedirregularlyinhischest.

TheymightnotrecognizeKamijouinhiscostume,buttheywouldrecognizeFranrightaway.ThisplanwasjustlikewiththeElements.Eveniftherewasonlyathin
layerofpaperbetweenthem,theycouldescapeeventhemostformidableenemyaslongastheywerenotfound.

Slowly.Weneedtoslowlymoveaway,Fran.

Nn.

FrannoddedwhilewearingherantennacoveredbackpackandburyingherfaceinthethickfabricoftheBunnyGrey.Meanwhile,theSpherewasactive.Evennow,
itwassendingthemessagetotheschoolKamijouhadstayedat.

Theydidnotactuallyneedtostaywithit.

Franhadbeencommunicatingwithaspacestationinsatelliteorbittoemitthemicrowavesfortheheatwave,soshehadhighpowercommunicationsequipment.
AfterusingthestickshapedkeytorewritetheSpheresprivileges,shehadestablishedalinkwithherbackpacksequipmentsoshecouldcontinuesendingdatavia
theSphere.

Theyhadnoreasontostaythere.

Theyheldontoeachotherastheyleftthecrowd.Oncetheyreachedacertainpoint,theysprangupandtookoffrunningawayfromthepark.

Themessagewassent.NextwemeetupwithIndexandOthinus!

Theyknewthetime,theyhadsetalocation,andcivilizationhadrecoveredenoughforameetup.

ThetimefortheheatwaveandElementswasover.Fromhereon,thehumanswereincontrol.

BetweentheLines1

Thismayhavebeenwhatitmeanttobebeatentoapulp.

KamisatoKakeruwassothoroughlyinjuredthathecouldnotevengetupunderhisownpower.MagicGodNiangNiang,asicklypalegirlinaminiChinadress
withbaggysleeves,putherhandsonherhipsandhaughtilylookeddownathim.

Well,thatshouldbeenoughplayingaround.

Thepainandbleedingwerereal.Apparently,hewasnotjustgoingtobeeternallytorturedafterfallingintotheabyss.Eveninthisworld,hecoulddie.Thatshould
nothavebeensurprising,butKamisatofeltoddlycertainofitnow.

Cmon,dontgivemethatlook.Youretheonethatpickedafightwithus.Wewerejusttakingyouupontheoffernowthatwehadthechance.Besides,ifwereally
wantedyoudead,youwouldvebeenblowntosmithereenswiththeveryfirsthit,right?WearethegreatMagicGods,afterall.

NiangNiangkepttalkingasshesatonapieceofmetalsittingontheroadside.Kamisatocouldbarelymoveashelayontheground,buthefinallyrealizedthatwas
wreckageofthedeviceknownastheA.A.A.

Andwedontactuallyhavethatmuchofagrudgeagainstyou.

Cough,cough.Youcansaythataftereverythingyoujustdid?

Ineversaidtherewasntanygrudgeatall.NiangNiangcrossedherslenderlegsinarisqufashion.Imean,werethegroupthatwantedtorelaxwithoutcausing
anytroublefortheworld.Inthatsense,beingsenttoanisolatedworldwithnoonetocausetroublefornomatterwhatwasntabadoption.Itmightevenbeworth
thankingyou.Right,Nephthys?

ThatnameconfusedKamisato.Butbeforehecouldgatherhisthoughts,NiangNiangwasansweredbyasilverhairedwomanwithherbrownskinwrappedin
bandages.

Thatsright.Itwouldnthavebeenmy1stchoice,butitfeelslikesettlingfora2ndor3rdchoice.ItsunfortunatetheHighPriestandZombiearenthere,butthats
abouttheonlyrealcomplaint.Wejustwantedtoteaseyoualittlefornotshowingustherespectwedeserveasgods.

Hehheh.Wegaveyouapersonalsparringsessionwiththegods,soyoushouldreallybetearfullythankingus.Thiswasnttruedivinepunishment.DidntIsaywe
werejustplayingaround?

ButKamisatocouldnotspeakproperly.

Heforcedoutthenameinbitsandpieces.

Nephthys?

Yes?

Butyou?
Hetrailedoffwhenithithim.

HefoundtheanswerinthefactthatthegoldenretrieverwasnotherebuttheA.A.A.weaponwas.

The90%thathadbeentornawayatthesametimeasNiangNiangwasseparatefromthe10%thathadbecomePatriciaBirdwaysbodytosaveher.Thiswasthe
90%thathaddisappearedbeforemakingthatchoice.Thiswasthearrogantandinsolentgodofmagic.

Andthosetwowerenotalone.

TherewereMagicGodseverywhere.Onarooftop,ProserpinaworeherWesternmourningclothesandhidherfacebehindaveil.Belowacar,onearmedNuadahad
tattooscoveringhisbareupperbody.Therewasalsoashadowattheentrancetoanalley,countlesseyespeeringoutathimfromalloftheholesonamanholecover,
andsoon.Kamisatocouldnoteventelliftheywereallreal,orifhissensesweremalfunctioningfromthepowerfulpresenceoftheMagicGods.

CanIgetdowntobusiness?askedNiangNiang.Weareperfectlywillingtoacceptoursituationhere.Weveevendecidedtoacceptthisasaholygroundoffered
tousbyhumanhands.Butinthatcase,KamisatoKakeru,yourpresencehereishonestlyconcerning.Wewerejustsettlinginhere,butnowitturnsoutwewereonly
intheeyeofthestorm.Itmightonlybeour2ndchoice,butwehadalreadyfoundwherewefitinhere.Sowedontwantthatoverturned.Thatleavestwooptions
foryou.

Twofingersthatcouldtransformintoanyweaponpokedoutofherbaggysleeve.

ThisMagicGodwasmakingitclearthat,ifshefeltlikeit,shewouldinstantlyslicethroughKamisatosneckortorso.

Eitheryouleaveoryoudiehere.Chooseone.

Whichwouldyouprefer?NiangNiangsoundedcheerful.Thouhastdisturbedourslumber.Torestoreourpeace,shallthegodslendtheeahelpinghand?

Chapter2:OrEscapeProvidesaCounterattackSocial_Network_Slayer.
Part1

Whentheyleftthepark,KamijoutookofftheBunnyGreycostume.HewasonlyallowedthatgetupintheparkwheretheKigurumiRockFeswasbeingheld.It
wouldbetooconspicuouselsewhere,makingitentirelymeaningless.

UuhBunnyGreyisalllimp
WhenHoodieBikiniFransawtheemptyshellofthebodyandthedisembodiedhead,shepoutedherlipsinanamusingway.

Whatisthatcreepycutethingwithweirdeyesanyway?

Nn!

Ow!Dontkickme!!

BunnyGreyisamischievousalienwholandedaftermistakingStonehengeforalandingsigncropcircleleftbyoneoftheirinvestigators.Therehegetsthehelpof
KnowItAllJohnandPrecociousMarytodiscoverthesecretsofLochNess,getpreservedinformaldehydeattheBritishMuseum,andhaveotheradventures.

Oh,yeah.TherewasaforeignCGcartoonaboutthat,wasntthere?Thecharactersmovedtoosmoothly,sopeoplethoughttheirexpressionswereactuallycreep
gwah!?

BunnyGreyisnotamereworkoffiction!Heisaspectaclebasedinactualhistory!HeisanhonorarycitizenofLondon,sotheresnodoubtingit!!

HeyIthinkyouweregoingforapunchtothesolarplexusthere,butyouhadyoureyessqueezedshutandyouneedtoacceptthatyourfistlandedalittlelower
thanthat

Kamijouborrowedagreendowncoatforstaffmembersthatwasprobablymeanttobewornoverastageoutfittoprotectperformersfromthecoldwhilenotouton
stage(whytheywouldbeneededatakigurumifestivalwasabitofamystery,though),soheputitonoverhisswimsuitandcompletedhisescapewithRabbitEar
AntennaeFran.Italmostreachedhisknees,soitmadehimfeellikeaHollywoodvillainwholikedlounginginagownataluxuryhotelorlikeaflasheronthestreet
corner.

Letsborrowsomeshoeswhilewereatit.Heresapairforyou,Fran.

Whentheylefttheparkandreturnedtothestreets,theycouldseesomepeoplehereandthere.TheheatwaveandElementsweresupposedlygone,sothesemayhave
beenpeopleheadingintothedangerousoutsidetoseeifitwastrue.

Itlookedstrange,buttherewerealotofgirlswithadownjacketwornovertheirracingswimsuitlikealifejacketorwithablanketwrappedaroundtheirbikini.The
strangecombinationofwinterclothingandswimsuitswassomethinglikeaplatypusthathadstoppeditsevolutionhalfwaythrough.Theywantedtoreachthenext
age,buttheywereafraidtoabandonthepreviousage.Thatmindsetwasvisibleintheirclothing.

KamijouandFranwerewanted.Theirhoodie+bikiniandswimtrunks+downcoatdidnotstandoutallthatmuch,butsomeonemightrecognizethemiftheystayed
inoneplacetoolong.Theymadesuretokeepmoving.

Thattwelveoclockmeetuptimeisalongtimefromnow.

Well,excuseme,butIbettheyneedtomaketheirownpreparations,spatbackKamijou.Andtheressomethingweneedtocheckonwhilewewait,right?
?

TheSNSinformationwarfare.

Part2

Hm,hm,hm,hmm

District5wasaneighbortoDistrict7.IthadmorecollegestudentsthanmiddleorhighschoolstudentsanditslargestshelterwasnamedAcademy.Thatshelterwas
locatedinacollegebuildingturnedintoafortressbybarricades.Varioustheorieswerepinnedanonymouslytothebulletinboardinthecenterandtheonechosenas
thebestwoulddeterminetheiruseofwaterandotherresources.

Atfirstglance,itmightsoundfreeandequal,butitreallycamedowntomajorityrule.Justliketherewasatricktowritingapostcardmorelikelytobechosenfora
contestprize,thepeoplewhoknewhowtowriteinapretentiouswayhadanoverwhelmingadvantage,soafewpeoplewereeffectivelywinningeverytime,whether
theirtheorieswereaccurateornot.

Thatmadeiteasytohijack.

Thetruthoftheheatwave.ThehighpowermicrowavessentfromFransunregisteredspacestation.

Notheorycouldhavebeenmoresensational.

ThatsheltersSpherehadbecometheformerKamisatoFactionskeystation.Howfartheyexpandedtheirinfluencefromtherewoulddeterminehoweasilythey
couldmovethroughAcademyCity.

Done.Thatshouldbeagoodenoughmultistageattack.Iintentionallygetthemallemotional,fallsilentsotheyllstartarguingbackaboutthewrongthing,and
gotthem!Argumentwon!!Gwahahaha!Itstoolatenowtotakebackwhatyouposted.AndIvealreadypredictedalltheinsultsyoucanthrowatme,sotheydont
scareme!!

ThepersonplayingwiththemasterkeytothesheltersSpherewasMaya,theoneknownasaghostgirl.Thetallgirlwithlongblackhairwashunchedforwardand
worepurewhiteburialclothes,butshewouldoccasionallyfadeinorout.Shealmostlookedlikeanimageprojectedinthefog,butthatwasnotquiteaccurate.

Plasma,cognitivedisorders,andmagneticabnormalities.Therewereanumbertheorieswhisperedaboutascientificexplanationofghosts,butoneofthosewas
extremelylowfrequencywavesoutsideoftheaudiblerange.Whenpeoplewereexposedforlongperiodsoftimetoastimulustheycouldnotprocesswiththeirfive
senses,theywouldbeunabletorelaxandultimatelyseeorhearimaginarysightsorsounds.Ghostswereoftenseeninabandonedhousesorcavesbecausethey
tendedtohavedraftsandcreakingfloors.
MayagenerallyappearedbelowCensers,dronesshapedlikecranefliesthatemittedimperceptiblelowfrequencywavesandaromas.Thosewerethethingsflying
aroundherwhileemittingpalephosphorescencelikewillothewisps.Intruth,Fransmicrowaveattackhadbeenarealdangerforher.Shemighthavebeenlost
thereiftheshieldinghadbeentooweak.

Intruth,Mayadidnotknowwhataghostno,whatasoulreallywas.

Shepictureditassomethinglikeasmell.Ifshecouldrubthesmellofherlifeontosomethingelsebeforeitfadedwithtime,shecouldliveon.Butifshecouldnot
producetheoriginalsmell,shewouldhavetocontinueprotectingthisone.Onceitdisappeared,thatwastheend.

ThegirlfeltshewasnotthatdifferentfromthecoreinanElementschest.Andshedidnotmind.AslongasshecoulddosomethingforKamisatoKakeru,anyway.

Tothinkaghostwouldbefocusedonstealthmarketingonline.

ThatcommentcamefromtheoverlyenthusiasticcosplayergirlnamedOlivia.ShewascurrentlydressedastheoriginalMagicalPoweredKanamin.Shebelievedthe
originalserieswasthebest.Asheroutfitsuggested,thegirlwithhershortbrownhairintwintailswasthesubculturetype,soshegotalongfairlywellwithinternet
obsessedMaya.

Thegloomytallgirlshookherheadwhichwasadornedbyatriangularheaddresswithaslightcutthatmadeitlooksomewhatlikeaheart.

Whatareyoutalkingabout?Thereareplentyofurbanlegendsaboutghostswhodontrealizetheyredeadandcontinuetrollingmessageboards.Haventyouheard
thatpeoplesensitivetospiritscantellwhichpostsaremadebyghosts?

No,Ihavent.Andwhatdoesitevenmeantobesensitivetospirits?Idontknowwherethisallgotstarted,butitwasclearlyTVshowsthatspreaditaround.Just
likeValentinesDaywasusedbythechocolatecompanies,Ibetitsoriginalmeaningwasentirelylost.

ThecosplaygirlsspunaroundhermagicwandthatlookedtooheavytobeplasticandsheembracedMayasneckfrombehind.Theghostgirlwastranslucentand
fadinginandout,butthewayshewassupportedbyimperceptiblesoundandsmellgaveherskinwhatseemedtobeatangibletexture.

MayacontinuedcheckingovertheSpherethathadbeenleftforcommunicationduringadisaster.Itwasdesignedtosendoutpresetmessagesataspecifictimeorat
asetinterval,butitwasaconvenienttoyoncesheadjustedthatalittle.

Aprogramthatmechanicallymadepostswhilepretendingtobeahumanbeingsaccountwasknownasabot.

Wonttheynoticewhatyouredoing?

Normallytheywouldeventuallynoticeitsapostingpatternusingaflowchartwithsomerandomizationthrownin,butnoteveryonecanusetheterminalsequally
rightnow.EachshelterhasasingleSphere.Wheneveryonehastoviewtheinformationfromthesameangle,likeamoviescreenorroadsideTV,itseasierforthem
toslipintogrouppsychology.Anindividualssmalldoubtswillbesweptawaybythewhole.
Oliviasmelledcinnamon.

Acupofmilkteatoppedwithwhitefoamsatnexttotheghostgirlwhohadthecleavageofherlargechestseductivelyexposed.Shegiggledwhileenjoyingthe
powderedspiceshesprinkledontopofthefoam.Teahadbecomepopularduringtheheatwavewhentheyhadneededtoboilalloftheirpreciousdrinkingwater,but
thiswasoverlydecorated.

AndIcanalsomakemoreobviousbotsfortheothersidetomakepeoplehatethem.Itsallinhowyoudecidetoplayit.Yes,IcouldmakeitlooklikeFransent
themouttostirupthepeoplewhilesheflees.

Mayagrabbedacolorfulvegetablestickshehadgottenfromsomewhereandrestedherheadinthecosplaygirlschest.

Olivialookedexasperated.

Doyoureallyhavetoeatwhenyoudonthaveabody?

Whatareyoutalkingabout?Evenghostsaregivenfoodofferings.

Butonlythevegetableswiththedippingsauceshovedofftotheside?

Pleasedontjokeaboutthis.HowamIsupposedtoeatthatmassofartificialingredients?Itrytolookaftermynutritionalbalance,youknow?Noteverythingis
okayjustbecauseitsavegetable.

MayawhistledasshetouchedtheSpheresscreenwithherfingertipstomakesomeminoradjustments.

Letssee.WillthelittlebotsgoalongwithwhatIsaid?IjusthopeIvemadeFranintothevillainwhilealsolettingpeopleknowthateveryoneisscaredandtheyre
nottheonlyonesthatwanttogonuts.Thisisonlyatemporarybroadcastnetworkusingtheshelterrulerswhoagreewithmeasregionalstations,soIhopetheyfall
behindmeonthisone.

Arentyougettingalotofpostsarguingwithyou?

Ofcourse.Now,isthiscomingfromthesensibleadults,orisitapanickedFranorherfriendstryingtochangethesubject?Letstrynarrowingitdown.

How?

Thewaypeoplesaythingsonlinetendstobeprettyidentifiable.Attackspretendingtobefromacorporateaddresswhiletargetingaspecificpersonarentthat
unusualthesedaysandthepatternshavebeenanalyzedtothepointofcreatingasystemoutofit.

Withouteventurningaround,Mayapassedawhiteradishstickbackoverhershoulder,sothecosplaygirlaccepteditinhermouthanddrovetheconversation
further.
Moreimportantly,whereamIsupposedtogoandwhatamIsupposedtodestroy?ThatsallIneedtoknow.

Well,FransgrouphasprobablynoticedtheSpheresbynowandwillstartcontactingthem,soImightbeabletodetectherwhenshebitesalittletoohardatthebait
Ipostedforher.But

But?

Olivia,haveyoualreadybeendyedinKiharaYuiitsuscolors?Areyounotquestioningthisanymore?

ThecosplaygirlansweredwhileembracingtheghostgirlfrombehindandrubbingherowncheekagainsttherealisticsoftnessofMayascheek.

IwanttofocusonsomethingandIdontreallycarewhat.IfImnotdoingsomethingthatseemsuseful,IthinkIllgocrazy.

WecantletFranmessthisup.KamisatoKakerusfateisinourhands.Idontknowwhatthatgirlistryingtodo,buttherighthandgateisconnectedtoKihara
Yuiitsu.Idontseehowwecanimprovethissituationwithoutthat.

Peoplewhofearedghostsorcurseswouldmakesuretheirdoorwaslocked,sprinklesaltaround,andpastecharmsaroundfarmorethannecessary.Itwasalla
defensivemeansofensuringtheirpeaceofmind,butwhensomeonehadeverywallentirelycoveredincharms,wouldpeopleseethatassomeoneprotecting
themselvesfromanoddityorwouldtheyseetheactionitselfastheoddity?Itwashardtosay.

Mayaalsowantedtopreservethecurrentsituation,soshewouldfulfilltherolegiventoher.

Oh,foundher

Shemusthavegottensickofallthemisinformationbecauseshearguedbackwithinformationonlyshecouldknow.IthoughtFranwouldhavemorepatiencethan
that.IfwechecktheSpherethathonestlittlegirlwasusing,wemightfindsomeusefulhints.

Part3

ItwasjustbeforenoonandHoodieBikiniFranwasviewingacardsizedscreenconnectedtoherbackpackbyaspiralingcordlikethatofahomephone,butthenshe
slappedherownforehead.

NowIvedoneit.

Wait,whathappened?Pleasetellme!!
Kamijougrabbedherslendershouldersandshookherbackandforth,buttherabbitearantennaegirlrefusedtolookhimintheeye.

Iknowtwothings.Theyalreadyhadamultistagescenariosetup,sonomatterhowmuchIfightback,theyllcrushitallwiththeirflowchart.AndIdrathernot
getintothedetails,buttheyidentifiedmeeventhoughIwaspostinganonymously.Thisisreallybad.

Umm,soyoumeansinceyouwerentdirectlyusingtheSphereandsinceyouwereaccessingitthroughyourbackpacksequipment

Youdonthavetodelaygettingtothepoint.Franadmittedhermistakeandpuffedouthercheeks.ItstruetheycantlocateusjustbydeterminingwhichSphereI
wasusingasarelaymachine.Thinkofitlikeakeystationandthemobilebroadcasttrucksenttothescene.Wewontbecaughtinacrossfirefrom100different
warriors.

Phew.

Butumthisisreallyhardtosay,butiftheyphysicallydestroytheSpherethatslikethekeystation,thenthebroadcasttruckssignalcannevergetbackintothe
network.Andmoreimportantly,theymightanalyzethedataleftintheSpherestemporarycacheSoIthinktheyllprobablystealallthemessageswevesentorreceived.Imsorry!!

Wait,whatwasthatyousaidreallyquietandreallyfastjustnow?Sayitproperlythistime!!

Thesituationwasatrickyone.

Iftheenemyknewthetimeandlocationofthemeetup,theriskofanambushincreaseddramatically.Thatwouldputthem,aswellasIndexandOthinus,indanger.

Butthedesignatedtimewascomingupsoon.IthurtbeingforcedfromthenetworkaftertheirkeystationSpherewasstolen,buttherewasachancetheenemywould
notmanagetoextractthemessageintime.IftheywentstraighttothedesignatedlocationandfoundIndexandOthinus,theymightbeabletoleavebeforetheformer
KamisatoFactionevenshowedup.

Iguesswellhavetobetonthatfornow

Nowyouowemeone.

Youvebarelydoneanything!!

HowmanytimesdoyouthinkIvepushedyourunathleticassontooroversomething!?Therewasthesubwayplatformandtheticketgateatleast!!

!!
ThegreatFranactuallyblushedforonceasshesqueezedhereyesshutandswunghertoolknifearoundwildly,soKamijouhadtoseriouslyrolloutofthewaywhile
allhishairbristled.Hefinallytriedtoholdherarmsinplace,butthegiantbackpackgotintheway.Aftersomemorestruggling,hesweptherfeetoutfromunder
her,climbedontopofher,andtriedtopinherwriststotheground,butthebackpackgotinthewayagain.Shewasalotlikesomeonelyingonabalanceball.The
archofherbackcausedsometroubleinhowitpushedouthermodestchestandthrustforwardthebaseofherthighsprotectedbythebottomofherhoodie.Kamijou
lookedexactlylikeatrenchcoatpervertpushingasmallgirldownonatinytabletohavehiswaywithher.

Calmdown,youdelusionalgirl!Givinganidiotabladeislikepoisonforthebrain!Findabetterwaytouseyourhead!!

Imnotdelusional!Ireallydidhaveachipimplantedinmyneck!!!!!!

Stop!Thisisnotimetoforceyourclaimwithaknife!!

TrenchCoatPervertKamijouToumaprotectedthepeacebyrestrainingthehoodiebikinigirlinsteadofstrappinghertoabed.Shetriedtostruggleandthrowoffthe
pervertontopofher,butwithherarmsandlegsrestrained,sheendedupjustwigglingherstomachupanddowninanalluringwavemotion.ButFraneitherfinally
realizeditwasuselessornoticedherbikinisknotsweretrulyattheirlimitbecauseshestoppedstruggling.

Thediehadbeencast.

Thesituationwasunderway,sotheycouldnotturnthingsbacknomatterhowmuchtheywantedto.Theycouldonlychoosethebestoptionstillavailabletothem.

TheirSpherehadbeenstolen,butFransbackpackfullofelectronicswouldstillbeuseful.Thatequipmentincludedadigitalclockasifitwereabonusprize.

Itwasalmosttwelvenoon.

TheywouldhavetotrymeetingupwithIndexandOthinusintheDistrict7stationplaza.

Part4

Imstartingtofeelhungry.

Thosewordsalonemaynothaveseemedoutoftheordinary.

Buteveryonetherefrozeinplace.

ThewordsofTyrantheldalotofweight.Theyhadnoideawhatkindoforderstheywouldbegiven.Culturesaroundtheworldhadlegendsoffoodmadefrom
brainsandthegirlscouldnotdisobeyherifshestartedwonderingwhatthattastedlike.

ShewasKiharaYuiitsu,masteroftherighthand.
ButthewomanwiththequalitiesneededtopossessWorldRejecterlookedentirelyrelaxed.

Theresashelternearhere,isntthere?Andoneofyoucontrolsit,right?

Yyes

ThatscratchyanswercamefromSalomewhocontinuedobeyingwithouteverhavinghermissingarmhealed.

ThatwouldbeCharitywhereSirenisassistingMaya.

Ehheh.Thatnamesoundsinteresting.Thenletsgogetsomethingthere.Ifyouwanttoeatwithme,thenfollowthisfinger.

KiharaYuiitsuraisedhersewnonrighthandsindexfingerandspunitaroundasshereadilywalkedoutofthespacebelowtheWindowlessBuilding.

Eventhesmallestbitoftroubleoutthere,fromanattackbythugstochokingonaricecake,wouldmeanlosingthatrighthandspower.

TheraincoatmassmurdererandtheothersquicklyfollowedheroutlikeservantsandCruelQueenKiharaYuiitsuclimbedthelongslope.

Ifeellikeeatingbarbecue.

Lambmeatwouldbenice.Itcantastealittleodd,butthatmakesitsurprisingandinteresting.But,but.Thereneedtobeplentyofvegetablesontheskewersas
well.Maybeanoverallratioof6:4no,7:3.

Noonecouldgiveaproperresponse.

Theresnomeat?Thencantoneofyouliedownonthechoppingblock?Theyneverknewwhenthatlunaticwouldsaysomethinglikethat.

TheywalkedthroughDistrict7andtothenearbyshelterwhichwaslocatedinsidearesorthotel.

Itisntoftentheycanfocusonallthreenecessities:food,shelter,andclothing.YousaiditwascalledCharity?

Kh.

Please,relax.Sowhatkindofrulesdoesthisplaceuse?

Um,Ibelievetheamountofcharityyougivetoothersdeterminesyourinfluence.
Theraincoatgirlsusualenergywasnowheretobefound.Aftershehesitantlyandslowlyanswered,Yuiitsulaughedinherlabcoatandbikini.

Isee.Andthatmeansreceivinghelpfromothersreducesyourstatus,soitcomesdowntokeepingalowprofileandavoidingotherpeopleskindness.Hmm,how
twisted

Itwasmidday.Alargeindustrialpothadapparentlybeenbroughtfromthekitchenandithadbeenusedtocookoverafireoutfront.Twoyoungmenwerecarryingit
andYuiitsutiltedherheadwhensheapproachedthem.

Whatacreamysmell.Isthatawhitestew?

ThatcasualcommentsentachillrunningthroughSalomesentirebody.

No,itwasnotthewords.Itwastheglitterofcuriosityinthewomanseyes.

Sizzle

Ithappenedsuddenly.

KiharaYuiitsudidnotevenhesitatetoshoveherrighthandintotheboilingpot,soSalomehadtoquicklystopher.WorldRejecterwasthefundamentalgateneeded
torescueKamisatoKakeru,sotheycouldnotletitbeboiledawayhere.AndYuiitsuofcourseknewthat.Hereyeswerenarrowedindelight.

Ah!

Rushingforwardsoquicklytostopherhadbackfiredandtheraincoatgirllostherbalance.Herhipscollidedwiththepotheldbytheshockedmenanditfelltothe
groundwithher.

Thecontentsweredumpedontheroundaboutandonthemassmurdererwhorolledaroundasscorchingpainpiercedherentirebody.Yuiitsuthensteppedonthe
girlsheadwhilehummingcheerfully.Pinnedtothegroundandunabletoevenstruggle,thesoakedgirlclenchedherteethtoswallowascream.

Ghhhhhh!?

Hm,hm,hm,hmmm.Stayjustlikethat.Yes,justawhilelongerlikethat.

Theshoerubbedatherheadinaccordancewithamysterioussenseofaesthetics,sothegirlcouldnotevenraiseherhead.ThatwaswhySalomefirstsensedthe
disasterwithherearsratherthaneyeswithherbodyandcheeksstainedwiththeslimyliquid.

What,what?

Whoevenarethey?Outsiders?
Butthefood!Whyaretheyplayingaroundwithit!?

Themen,women,boysandgirlsofCharitynoticedandapproachedthecommotion,butthelookintheireyeschangedwhentheysawtheraincoatgirllyinginthe
pooloffoodsplatteredontheground.

Thedemonspokewithachildishsmileonherface.

Ohhh?ItstanksobadIassumeditwasaleftoverfailure.But,but.Seeingitsoakingsuchacutegirlsbodyissuretobringasmiletoyourfacesnomatterhowit
tastes,right?Isntthathowdisgustingpeoplelikeyouwork?

Youcangostraighttohellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!

Yuiitsuwhisperedasuggestiontothebrowngirlunderherfoot.

Now,MissGuardDog,areyouready?Puppydog,ifyoudontdoeverythingyoucantoprotectmehere,WorldRejectermightbetornrightfrommyarm.You
mightlosethetinythreadyouneedtosaveyourbelovedOniichan.

!!!???

Here,Illletgoofyourleash.3,2,1,go!!

Afterthatjokingcountdown,theweightleftSalomesheadinthepoolofwhitestew.

(Goddammit)

Goddammit!!!!!

ThegroupallhadhandmadeweaponsprobablymeantfortheElements,buttheraincoatgirlstillchargedintothecenterofthegroup.

Countlesshandssurroundedthebravegirllikeagiantanemone.Ifevenoneofthemgrabbedthebottomoftheraincoatthatwasflutteringupastheaircaughtit,she
wouldbepulleddownintothegroup.Yuiitsuheldhersidesandlaughedonandonasshewatchedthebrowngirlfightingasifdancingthroughahellishocean.

Theraincoatgirlprobablystilltrustedtheothergirlssharingthesecircumstanceswithher.

Infact,shemayhaveeventrustedherenemiesofKamijouToumaandKarasumaFran.

Oh,thisisjustwonderful.

Siren,thegirlwhohadtakenthespotofruleratthisshelter,walkedovertocheckoutthecommotionandwentpale.Yuiitsutookapieceofbreadfromherthathad
themoistureremovedbyslicingitthinlyandfryingit.Itwasprobablymeanttobeeatenwiththewhitestew,butYuiitsutosseditdirectlyintohermouth.
Munch,munch.HalfofYuiitsuchansordersarejustmeanttomesswithyou.Forexample,askingyoutokillKamijouTouma.Butthatmeanstheotherhalfare
notjustmeanttomesswithyou.Ihopeyoucankeepthisupandblossomintosomebeautifulflowers.Somevenomouslycolorfulflowers

Part5

AcademyCityiscurrentlyworkingthroughthe48HourstoRestoreOrder.Thereisnothingtoworryabout.However,toensuretheprocessrunssmoothly,please
provideinformationonthefollowingpeople:1.KamijouTouma.2.KarasumaFran.TheyweredeeplyinvolvedinthesocalledheatwavethataffectedAcademy
CityandwasalsoconnectedtotheElements

Ahelicopterwithseveralsteelbeamsdanglingfromwiresflewbyoverhead.AssoonasKamijouheardtheannouncement,hegrabbedFranshandandpressed
againstanearbywitheringroadsidetreethatwashalfburiedinwhitesand.

ButhehadnothiddenbecausehewasafraidofbeingspottedbyUsefulSpider.

Damn.

Heusedthethicktrunkratherthantheoverheadbranchestohideandhegroanedquietlywiththesmallhoodiebikinigirlinhisarms.

Were5minutesearly,buttheKamisatoFactionisalreadyhere.

Hecouldnotrecognizeandnameall100ofthem,buthedidrecognizetheboredlookinggirlwanderingaroundthewolfstatueinthestationplazawhichwaslittered
withpilesofwhitesand.Shehadanklelengthblackhairanddraggedalabcoatbehindher.Inaway,thattracerandforensicsgirlwasthemostdangerousone.If
Ellenspottedthemhere,theywouldbebacktoendlesslytryingtoloseher.

Franwhisperedbackwhilelookingentirelyunfazedinhisarms.

IseeEllenandMarynearthestatue.Theystandout,soyouknowwhoImtalkingabout,right?

Yeah,saidKamijou,soundingnotatallpleased.

Asexygirlinareddressandwithsplendidblonderingletcurlswaswanderingaroundonallfoursjustlikethewolfstatue.Shewasacompletestranger,buthe
wouldhavenoticedherimmediatelyeveninacrowdofamillion.Shehadjuststuckherheadinanabandonedkebabstandandtheothergirlshadbeenforcedtostop
her.Themeathadtohavegonebadagesago,butshedidnotseemtomind.

Maryisawolfgirl.Notaliteralhalfwolf,butagirlwhowasraisedbywolves.Itsagoodthingweredownwind.Beingraisedbywolvesshouldnthaveincreased
hersenses,muscles,ordigestivesystem,butsheignoresalllogicasfarasthatsconcerned.

What?Soifshebitesyou,shellbreakrightthroughthebone?
Thatspartoftheproblem.

Hehadmeantitasajoke,butshedidnotdenyit.Achillrandownhisspine.

ButthebiggestthreatfromMaryishersenseofsmell.Adogsissaidtobe6000timesmoresensitivethanahumans,buthersisevenmorethanthat.Ifshecatches
ourscent,thiswillbecomevery,verytroublesome.Dependingonhowthewindsblow,wemightbeintroublejuststayinghere.

Aforensicsexpertandnowapolicedog,huh?

WeshouldcountourselvesfortunatethatMayaisntflyingaroundinthesky.Thatselfindulgentghostisprobablyfocusedontrollingthemessageboards.

Whateverthecase,thisleftthemwithnowayofapproachingtheplaza.

ThenFranstartedpointingaroundsomemore.

Thosearetheonlytwointhecenter,buttherearemoreontheoutskirts:LucathepirateandOliviathecosplayerprovidethemostfirepower.ThentheresAileen
whosobsessedwithmodernweapons,Sandythemicrobeprofessor,Melonwhospecializesinassassinationweapons,andAmythepredatorqueen.Allofthoseare
fromthecombatunit.Anyoneofthemwouldbedangerousandtheresnothingwecandoiftheysurroundus.

Notoneofthoseintroductionssoundedveryreassuring,groanedKamijou.

(Butiftheysentintheirbestfighters,whyisntSalomehere?Isshebeingkeptinreservesomewhere?)

Franlookedupatthespikyhairedboywhoheldherinhisarms.

Whatareyougoingtodo?

Wecantfightourwaythroughthem.ThesafestthingwouldbetocontactIndexandOthinusbeforetheyentertheplazaifpossible.

ButheavenwasnotgoingtogiveKamijouToumathatkindofluckybreak.

Itwas2minutesbeforethearrangedtime,buthealreadysawthewhiteclothwithteacuplikegoldenembroidery.Hejustaboutclickedhistongue,butbarely
managedtorestrainhimself.Thefamiliarnunwasholdingacalicocatinherarms,theMagicGodwassittingonhershoulderlikeadressupdoll,andtheyhadjust
setfootinsidethestationplaza.

Theywererightontheoppositesideofthewolfstatue.Hecouldnotgethertostoporcallquietlyouttohernow.TheformerKamisatoFactionwoulddefinitely
notice.

(Dammit)
HewantedtosaveKamisatonomatterwhat,soitwouldbetrulypainfultomissthischancetomeetupwithIndexandOthinus.

Puhah.

ButafterpushingwithhersmallhandstofinallyfreeherselffromKamijouschest,Francroucheddownandbeganscratchingsomethingoutonthegroundwitha
rockshefound.

Whatareyoudoing?

Wecantmeetupwiththemlikethis.Weneedtodesignateanewplacetomeetupandthenleave.Weneedacleverwayofleavingadifficultcodeonlythatgirl
wouldunderstand.

Thehoodiebikinigirldrewoutafewconcentriccircleslikeanarcherytargetandaddedafewverticalandhorizontallinesalongtheedgeofthecircles.Itmayhave
beenanalienlanguageusedbylittlegreys,butKamijousawthingsdifferently.

Wecamethisfar.ThoseEllenandMarygirlsfoundthisplacebypullingthedataoutoftheSpherewewereusingasarelaykeystation,sotheyllbewatching
Indexfromnowon.Shecantescapethemiftheyretailingher.

Thenwhatdowedo?

Kamijouglancedtothecenteroftheplazafrombehindtheroadsidetreehalfburiedinwhitesand.Indexhadarrivedaheadofthedesignatedtime,soshewas
probablyseriouslyworriedabouthim.Heslowlysighedandmadeuphismindashewatchedhernervouslylookingaround.

Letsgiveuponmeetingupwiththem.Tryingtoforceourwaythroughwillturnthisplazaintohellonearth.Whoknowswhereastraybulletcouldendup.

And?

Needlesstosay,KamijouandFranwantedhelp.TorescueKamisatofromthenewworldhehadbeensentto,theywantedhelpfromanexpertwithplentyofunique
knowledgeevenforthemagicside.IftheycouldnotrecruitIndexorOthinusforthatrole,whatweretheytodo?Thingswouldonlygetworsethelongertheystayed
ontherun.

Fran,saidKamijou.YouvebeenwithKamisatoallthistime,soyouhavetoknowalotabouthisfriends.

Whatdoyouwantmetodo?

Wecantgetclosetothecenter,butwemightbeabletomanagewithsomeoneontheouteredge.

Kamijoucastthediewhilewatchingthedeadlybesiegementfromtheoutside.

WelltakeourexpertfromtheKamisatoFaction.Fran,pointoutsomeonewhoknowsalotaboutthemagicside.
Part6

Thestationplazawasnotanentirelyopenspace.Aspreviouslystated,therewerevariouslysizedpilesofwhitesandthoughttobetheremainsoftheElements.The
talleronesweretwiceKamijousheight,soitwaspossibletohidebehindthem.Therewerealsotrees,vendingmachines,andbenches.

Evenso,eachstepcloserwasnoeasytask.Ifanyonecaughtaglimpseofthem,itwouldmeantroublewithmorethanjustthatoneperson.Shewouldraisehervoice
tocalleveryoneovertosurroundKamijouandFran.

Andthatwaswhytheychosethisplan.

AsKamijouheldhisbreathandcrouchedbehindapileofwhitesand,hewatchedtheeyepatchpirategirlnamedLucawalkthesamecourseafewtimesbeforehe
forcefullycoveredhermouthfrombehind.

Hejusthadtomakesureshecouldnotcallovertheothersafterdiscoveringhim.

Hewrappedhisotherarmaroundthegirlsslenderbodyanddraggedherbackwhileunbalancingherbodyweight.Thetallpileofsandcreatedablindspotthathid
themfromtheplaza.

!!

Thegirlworealargepiratehatwithafeatherinitandathicknavybluecoatthatasailorwouldwear.Hercurlyblondehairfelldowntohershoulderbladesandan
eyepatchcoveredoneofherblueeyes.Thebluebikinibelowthecoatwasbrightenoughtonearlyimbalanceheroverallimpression.

Whetheritwasastrategicmoveoranactofinstinctivefear,LucausedhercoveredmouthtobiteatKamijoushand.Hecouldnotholdon.

Andassoonashisgriploosened,helostsightofher.

No,shehadsuddenlyshrunkinheight.Bizarrely,thegirlofabout15ageddowntoabout10.Thatmadeitseemlikeshehadcroucheddowntoescape.

Whyyou!

Whenthepirategirltriedtoescape,hetackledheratthewaistanddraggedherdowntotheground.Assoonashisrighthandtouchedher,herunnaturalagereturned
tonormal.Herclothingcouldnotkeepupwiththesuddensizechanges,soherswimsuitandcoatstartedtoshiftoutofplace.Evenso,thegirltwistedherbody
aroundtoslipoutfromunderKamijou.Shewasasslipperyasaneelorawetbarofsoap.Sheflippeduphercoat,triedtorolloutoftheway,andglaredupathim.

Bhah!!Howrecklessdoyouhavetobetochargerightintoourgroupwhen
Thenthewhitesandygirlnoticedsomething.Hercompanionswouldcomerunningifshecalledforthem,butshetrailedoff.KamijouToumaheldabladetoolarge
tocallaknife.Itwaslongerthantwo30cmrulers.Needlesstosay,itwasthecutlassthepirategirlhadwornatherhip.Yes,Kamijouhadnotjustbeentryingtostop
herwhenhetackledheratthehip.Hehadbeengoingforthebuckleofthethickbeltthatheldthesword.

Kh.

Thepiratealsoworealargepirateymusketonherback,butthegunrequiredthepowderandbullettobeloadedthroughthemuzzleandwasillsuitedforquickuse.
Plus,thelongnarrowramrodusedtoloaditwasheldinthesamescabbardasthecutlass.Therewasnothingshecoulddowiththattakenfromher.

EyepatchLucawaitedtoseewhatwouldhappennextwithherbacktothepileofwhitesand.

Thatisenoughtalkingoutthere.Getinherealready.

Wha?Eh?

Sheheardavoicebehindherandslenderarmsreachedunderherarmsandaroundherbody.Franwastheonegrabbingher,butthatmeantshehadtohavebeen
hidingbehindLuca.Andyettherehadonlybeenthewallofwhitesandthere.

AboywithaswordstoodinfrontofherandFranheldherfrombehindasiftosmellherblondehair.Lucacouldnolongerresistphysicallyormentally,soshewas
easilydraggedaway.

Whereto?

Intoasmalligloolikespacepresumablyduginsidethepileofwhitesand.

Itsaprettygoodhidingplace,isntit?Whenitsallwhite,thedistanceandanglesarehardtomakeout.Overseastheyveapparentlyhadfunmakingvideosinsalt
lakestomesswiththesenseofperspective.Plus,thefinewhitesandabsorbstheparticlesthatproducesmells.Itmightbelikeactivatedcharcoal.Wenoticeditwhile
watchingthatMarygirl.Wewerehidingdownwindandtherewasakebabstandintheplaza,butwecouldntsmelltherottingmeatatall.Soyoucantrelyonher
noserightnow.

Butthisthisisallamakeshiftmeasure

Yeah,itcouldallfallapartatanytime,sodontstruggle,Luca.Theresnosavingusifwereburiedaliveunderthis.

Theirconversationcouldnotbeheardoutsidewiththesethicksandwallsaroundthem.

Kamijouactuallythoughtthegranuleshadtobequiteheavytonotbeblownawaybythemidwinterwind,soitwouldbestable.Buthewasnotobligatedtotellthat
tothepirategirlwhocouldstartstrugglingatanytime.

LucaclenchedherteethandFranmovedawayfromherback.
Ofcourse,Franalsomadesuretoconfiscatethebeltholdingthepirategirlsmusketonherback.Inadditiontothegunitself,theskullshapedcontainerholdingthe
blackgunpowderwasattachedtothatbelt,soshecouldnotuseitlikeafirecracker.

Kamijougaveanexasperatedlookatthecutlassheheld.

Hhey,Fran.Aswordandagun?Areyousureshestherightone?WeneedsomeonewithmagicalknowledgerivallingIndexs.Areyousurewearentrecruiting
thewrongperson?

Thisistherightperson.LucausesaspecialformofcombatlinkedtotheVoodoofoundintheCaribbeanwherepiratesonceruled.Toperformagreatvarietyof
ceremoniesonthelimitedspaceofaship,sheisamagicianwhofollowsLegbaAtibon,thegodofthegatewhomanagesallceremonies.LegbaAtibonindirectly
appearsinallVoodooceremonies,sohedoesnotjustexistonaspecificceremonialdayandheisdefinedasexistingatalltimes.Lucahasusedthistoachieve
controlofsubjectivetime,allowinghertofreelychangetheageofherexternalappearanceandtopreparemagicthatwouldnormallybeaonceinadecadeeventin
onlyasecond.

Controloftime?

NotonlycansheapproachKamisatochanasanolderoryoungersister,butwhentherestofusaresufferingfromthattimeofmonth,thisdemonofamagiciancan
skiprightpastit.

Thisconversationgotvulgarfast!

Thatwouldbewhyshehadshrunkandgrownwhenhetriedtocaptureher.

ButKamijouhadtofrown.

KamisatohadsaidsomeconfusingthingswhentalkingaboutWorldRejecter.Insteadofsendingsomeonetoanentirelydifferentworld,itsentthemtoanother
worldinthesametimelineortotheexcessspaceinthesamefilm.

Lucawascaughtinaspacetoosmalltostandupwithouthittingherhead,herweaponshadbeentakenfromher,shewassurroundedbyenemies,andshebelieved
strugglingwouldgetherburiedalive.ThepirategirlgaveKamijouanirritatedlook,butsheseemedunabletocomeupwithanythingtodoaboutit.

Shecalmlyraisedbothhands.

Whatdoyouwant?IwillprotectKamisatokun.Andtodothat,ImwillingtoendurethehumiliationfromKiharaYuiitsuwhopossessestherighthandweneedas
agate.Nothingyoucansaywillshakemyconviction!

Killingmewontchangetheordertoexecuteyou.SurelyyouknowthatthelinefromKiharaYuiitsuisonewayandshedoesntlistentoanythingwesay.
Thatsnotwhatwereaskingofyou.Kamijouhesitantlywieldedtheunfamiliarcutlass.WeregoingtosaveKamisatoKakeruandwewantyourhelptodoit.

Withyoutwo?

Insteadofhesitatingoverananswer,BlueBikiniLucalookedmoreconfusedwhytheywouldbemakingthesuggestioninthefirstplace.

Hah.Withyoutwo!?Thatdoesntevenmakesense.ImalreadysavingKamisatokunjustbyobeyingKiharaYuiitsunomatterhowdifficultitmightbe.Im
protectingtherighthandthatmightbeabletocallhimback!!

Kamijousawthisasthefirstdistortion.

HelookedovertheeyepatchpirategirlsshoulderandexchangedaglancewithFranwhowastoyingwiththeunloadedmusket.Frangaveasmallnod,sohethought
carefullyaboutwhichofthewordsthatcametomindheshoulduse.

Youseemtobemistakenaboutsomething.

Aboutwhat?

JustdoingwhatyouredoingwontsaveKamisato.ObeyingKiharaYuiitsudoesnotleadtosavinghim.

Whatwouldyouknowabout!?

DidKamisatoeversaythat!?DidheeversayhecoulduseWorldRejectertosavesomeonehehadsupposedlyerased!?Didntheonlyevertalkaboutsending
peopleawayandneveraboutbringingthemback!?

!?

Soyourveryfoundationiswrong.Protectingthatrighthandwontleadtobringinghimback.Youhavetostartbyacceptingthat,Luca,nomatterhowharditis!!

Evenifshedid,Lucamightnothelpthem.

SoKamijoulookedtotheseconddistortion.TheyallhadtoknowsomethingwaswrongwithcontinuingtoobeyKiharaYuiitsu,sowhydidtheycontinuedoingso?

Kamijougavetheanswer.

Ifyoujustdowhatshesays,thingsatleastwontgetanyworse.

Wha?
Isntthatwhatyouwerethinking,Luca?OrmaybeyouwerethinkingyoucouldeventuallysearchforawaytobringKamisatobackwhileKiharaYuiitsuwasnt
looking.Ifso,youwerewrong.Whenexactlywouldthateventuallybe?Youkeptthinkingthat,butyouhaventeventakenthefirststep.Pretendingtothinkabout
somethingisthesameasnotthinkingatall!Youjustdecidedthatthoughtfulposelookedcool!

Dontberidiculous!IreallywasworkingtohelpKamisatokunevenasitworemedownandtrampledonmypride

Howmuchsomethingwearsyoudownisntthesameasachievingactualresults.Fransoundedexasperatedbehindthepirategirl.Andthistooisadistortion.
Humanbeingsbelievetheyareaccomplishingsomethingaslongastheykeepworkingatsomething.Thinkofajigsawpuzzle,apuzzlering,levellingupinavideo
game,orpoppingbubblewrap.Luca,hasyoureffortreallyledtoanythingpractical?Orwasitmorelikeaproductofentertainmentorahobby?

II

Timeisalwaysmarchingforward.Ifyoustandstill,thingsareboundtodeteriorate.KiharaYuiitsuisbuildingupherfoundation.Shemightnotyetknowwhat
strangepowersandabilitiesthose100girlshave,butifsheencouragesyoutoreportoneachothersweaknesses,shewillquicklyhavethatinformation.Thisisthe
onlytimetogetoutaheadofher,butallofyouarewastingthatchance!Doyoureallywanttodothat?Wontyouregretitonceyouredrivenintoadeadend?Try
thinkingthroughthisagain!!

Thepirategirlwasshaken.

Heronevisibleeyewasclearlywavering.

ItwastruetheformerKamisatoFactionwaspowerfulandmoreimportantlystrange.BackwhentheyhadactedasagroupalongwithKamisatoKakeru,theyhad
seemedlikeaswarmofarmyantsthatdevouredeventherulesoftheworld.Butthatwasalsotheirbiggestbottleneck.Whatiftheywerecutawayfromthegroupor
theylostKamisatoKakeruastheircentralpillar?Theynolongerhadtheirgrouppsychologyorleadership.Theyhadachievedtheperfectgoldenratiobefore,so
changingitinanywaynowwasentirelyunnecessary.Lucawassurprisinglyfragilenowthatshewascaughtinachangingsituation.

But

Evenso,saidtheeyepatchpirategirl.Thatsstillnoreasontotrustyou!YourenotKamisatokun.Youhaventdoneadamnthingtoearnmytrust!HowcanI
knowyouretellingthetruthandwhydoIhavetotrustyourightoffthebat!?

Yes.

Kamijousawthisasthefinaldistortion.

KamijouToumawasnotKamisatoKakeru.AndjustlikeFran,LucawouldonlyactforKamisatoKakerusbenefit.Nooneelsecouldtakehisplace,sonoamountof
persuasionwouldconvincehertoactforsomeoneelsesbenefit.

Kamijouhadknownthat,sohehadmoretosay.
Areyousureyouarentmakingafundamentalmisunderstanding?

Weneedyourmagic.No,wewantanyknowledgewecangetmagicorsciencetosaveKamisato.ThatshowridiculouslytoughaproblemWorldRejecteris.

Butsowhat?WhydoesthatmeanIhavetolistentoyou!?

Becausewecantdoanything!

Lucawastakenabackbyhisoverlybluntstatement.

Heseemedtoberejectinghisoverallpremise,buthedidnothesitatetocontinue.

Sowelldowhateverwecantosupportyou!Wellliftyouupandcarryyouwithinarmsreach!Butfinishingitoffisyourjob.Luca,useyourmagictorescueyour
Kamisato!!Isthatstillnotacceptable!?

Thepirategirlwasdumbfounded.

No,herthoughtsthemselveshadgroundtoahalt.

Ifitisnt,thenthatstheend.Werejustassistants,sotheresnothingwecandowithoutsomeonetoliftup.ThenwecantsaveKamisato!Allbecauseofyour
decision!!

Heknewthatwasacheapwayofputtingit.

Healsoknewitwasthekindofthingthatboywouldsayasheworkedtogiveeveryoneapushforward.

Thenhespunthecutlassaroundinhishand.Hegingerlygrabbedthethickbladeandheldthehiltouttowardthepirategirl.

Ifthatisntacceptable,thenendityourself.Cutusdownandreturntowhatyouweredoing,Luca!!Ifthatsreallywhatyouwantandyourereallytooafraidto
leavetherailslaidoutbyKiharaYuiitsu,thentearupandthrowawaythetickettofreedomwevegivenyou!!

Ah

Thatswhatyouvebeensayingyouwanttodo!Sinceyoudidntseemtoseewhatitwasyouwerechoosing,Ispelleditoutforyou,Luca.Sowhatwillyoudo?
Takeadvantageofthepossibilityinfrontofyou,orkillit?Choosewithyouractions!!!!

Evenafterallthis,PirateGirlLucadidnotmove.
No,shecouldnotmovesoeasily.Shefelttheweightofthisdecisiontooclearlytocallitafarceandrejecttheoffer.

Kamijoucouldnotwaitaroundhereforever.IfthegirlschangedtheirpatrolroutesonawhimorifthewindschangedenoughforMarytocatchtheirscent,they
wouldbedetectedortheiglooentrancewouldbefound.SomeonemightnoticeLucahadbeenawayfromherpostforawhile.Theyhadnoguaranteethatnota
singledecibeloftheirvoiceshadescapedthesand.Theriskofdetectionanddeathundoubtedlyincreasedwitheachpassingsecond.

Buthewaited.

Hewaitedforthewordsofthegirlhehimselfhadcornered.

Ilovedthesea.

Finally,thosewordsescapedthroughthegapbetweenherlips.Theysoundedunrelatedtothecurrentsituation,buttherehadtobesomeconnectioninthepirate
girlshead.

Imnottalkingabouttheliquidthatcovers70%oftheearthssurfaceandIdontcareabouttheliquidwith3%saltcontent.Thecramped,boring,andstiflinggray
citiescuteveryoneofffromeachother.ButIlovedtheseawhichalwaysleadstoanewland,isconnectedtoallpartsoftheworld,andalwayshassomeonewaiting
foryoubeyondthehorizon.

KamijoudidnotknowwhoLucahadoriginallybeenorwhathercircumstanceshadbeen.

Kamisatohadsaidtheyhadalllivedinapeacefulclassroomwhiletheyeachhadtheirownworldandworkedtowardtheirowndream,butitwaspossibletheyhad
hadtheirnormalproblemsinthatnormalplace.

Hewastheonlyone.Lucasvoicetrembledlikeshewasconfessingsomething.Imnottalkingaboutwinningsomeprizeorhavingsomefamouscontestjudge
takealikingtoit.Hewastheonlyonethatlookedatmycanvasandsaidtheoceanlookedlikeabluedoorway.OnlyKamisatokunsawmysoulinsidethe
painting

Thegirlhadoneeyecoveredbyaneyepatch.Hadthatbeencoincidentalorintentional?Eitherway,ithadtohavebeenmeaningfulforanartisttodamagehereye.

Areyousure?

Thepirategirlno,someonefromthatuniqueclassroomfinallyaskedaquestion.

AreyousureIcanreallybringKamisatokunback?CanIreallydoitmyselfinsteadoffollowingsomeoneelsesorders?

Theyhadnothingtosupportananswer.KamijouandFranhadbeenfocusingonwhattheywantedtodo,buttheyhadnoactualplanastohow.
ButthatdidnotstopKamijoufromanswering.

Ifthatswhatyoureallywanttodo,thennothingcanstopyou.

Lucaforcefullygrabbedthecutlassheldouttoher.ShecouldhavechosentosliceKamijousheadapart,buttheboydidnotevenblink.Seeingthat,shespunthe
bladearoundandspoke.

MynameisToyamaLuca.Nicetomeetyou.

Insteadofcuttingsomeone,shesheathedthebladeandheldheremptyhandouttoshakethehandofhernewcomradeinarms.

TakebackyourwordsandIllkillyou.Thatsmyonlycondition.

Part7

Kamijouwasreluctanttoleave.

ButhecouldnotstayintheDistrict7stationplazaforlong.Theywereoutnumberedandcouldnotbreakthroughtheenemywhileprotectingsomeone,sotheyhad
toleavewithoutwaitingforIndexandOthinus.Hehadtotrustthatwasthebestwayofprotectingthem.

ButImsurprised,saidLuca.

Onceitwasdiscoveredtheeyepatchgirlinalargepiratehathadvanished,asearchoftheareawouldbeginregardlessofwhethershehadleftonherownorbeen
attacked.Onceasearchbegan,therewouldbenoescapingForensicsGirlEllenwhowasknownasatracer,WolfGirlMarywhosesenseofsmellwasmorethan
6000timesthatofanormalperson,andthemanyothercombatmembers.

ButLucawassittingonthegroundwithherarmsaroundherkneesandnotmoving.

Theyweresafeinsideaniglooduginsideoneofthesandpileshalfburyingthecity.

Wecantwalkaroundoutsidecarelessly,butwecanusethewhitesandtomakeourselvessomethingakintoacardboardboxhouse?

Shestrokedtheskullcontaineratherwaistasshespoke.Ithadastrikingdesign,butKamijouhadseenbottlesshapedlikethatwhenpassingbythealcoholcornerin
thesupermarket.

ItlookslikethisisfoolingEllenstracingandMarysnose,commentedFran.

Thatsbecausewesprinkledthatwhitesandbehindusaswefled.
Kamijouandthetwogirlscouldnotstayinoneplaceforlong,sothiswasanimportantdiscovery.Ellenandtheothersmightnoticethepossibilityofanigloobefore
long,buttheyhadnohint.AfterleavingtheonetheyhaddraggedLucaintointhestationplaza,theyhadknockeditdownsoitcollapsed.Itwouldtaketheother
girlslongertodiscoverthetruthfromthoseremains.

Its1:30PM

Franstillkeptherbackpackonandcheckedthedigitalclockonhercommunicationsequipment.

Imstartingtogetalittlehungry.

Thesmall,microplasticlikegranulesmusthavekepttheairinsidebecausetheigloowaspleasantlywarm.

Idliketogetthingsmovingtoo.Luca,werewillingtotryanythingthatmighthelpsaveKamisato.Telluseverythingyouknow.

Justtobeclear,ifIhadtheknowledgeandskillstodoitmyself,IwouldnthavebeensuckinguptoKiharaYuiitsulikethatinthefirstplace.Pleaseunderstandthat
thisisaproblemIcantsolveonmyown.Theeyepatchpirategirlsighed.Anotherworld?Adifferentworldinthesametimeline?Ignoringwhetherornottheres
actuallyawaytointerferewiththat,ifyouwanttointerferewithPointBfromPointA,youhavetofocusontheconceptofimitation.YoucanalsocallitIdol
Worship.

Hm?

Illexplain.Intheworldofmagic,objectswithsimilarshapeswillinfluenceeachother.Forexample,adollcantakeontheinjuriesmeantforaperson.

Therewasnoguaranteetheycouldfollowherexplanation.

KamijouandFranexchangedaglancewhilesittingdown.

Um,sowhat?IfeellikeAgneseorBirdwaymighthaveexplainedthisbefore,butmaybenotAnyway,isitlikethatthingwherepeoplehammeranailintoa
dolllateatnight?

Thatharmstheshrinesholytree,soyoureallyshouldntdoit,pipedinFran.

Thisissimilar,butnotquitethesame.Youretalkingaboutinfectionmagic.Itsatypeofcursethatfocusesonthetargetshaircontainedinsidethestrawdoll.The
personsblood,fingernail,hair,oranotherpartoftheirbodyisusedtoaffectthewhole.Thestrawdollitselfisjustatraditionalmethodwithnorealoriginbehindit,
explainedPirateHatLuca.Notallofthemapply,butalotofthemagiccirclesdrawnonthegroundaresimplifiedversionsofthesunormoon.Justlikea
constellationtable,theoriginalshapeisentirelylost,butcarvingthatintothegroundisstillthoughttodrawinthepoweroftheheavenlybody.

Kamijoukindofgotit,butkindofdidnt.

Hetiltedhisheadandaskedaquestion.
Sowhatstheproblemhere?

Oh,honestly.Lucamussedupherbangswithahand.WhatevermethodweusetorescueKamisatokun,itsgoingtostartwithusingthatimitativemagic.After
preparingsomethingextremelysimilarinthisworldandthatworld,wecanopenatunnelbetweenthetwopoints.Ifweregoingtorelyonmagicalpower,thatsthe
onlywaytodoit.

Butyouunderstandthatthatseasiersaidthandone,right?Wewanttoopenthetunnel,butthatmeanssendingsomekindofsignpostintotheotherworld.Itslike
havingourkeyslockedinthecar.

But.HoodieBikiniFranhungherheadalittle.Whileitsaonewayticket,thereisawaytosendthingsfromheretothere.

YoumeanKiharaYuiitsusrighthand?Howarewesupposedtogetclosetothat?Therearemoregirlsaroundherthaninthatplaza.Sneakingin,havingheruse
WorldRejecteronjusttheobjectwewant,andescapingsafelywouldbeimpossible.

Kamijouthoughtasthetwogirlsdiscussedthedifficultproblemoneithersideofhim.

Thisworldandthatworld.

TheobjectsandpeopleblownawaybyWorldRejecter.

Imitation.Objectswithsimilarshapeswouldinfluenceeachother.

No,wait.

Wemightbeabletodoit.WemightalreadyhavewhatweneedwithoutevengettingYuiitsutolendusahand.

Whatdoyoumean?

Justsoyouknow,wecantuseinfectionmagicbetweenKamisatokunandhisseveredrighthand.WorldRejecteristoopowerfultofunctionasacatalyst.That
wouldbeliketakingametalpinsurroundedbyultrapowerfulelectromagnetsandtryingtouseadifferentmagnettocreateacompassoutofit.

ThatsnotwhatImeant.Imtalkingabouttheimitativemagic,nottheinfectionmagic.Theonewherethingswithsimilarshapesinfluenceeachother.

FranandLucalookedpuzzledandurgedhimtocontinue.

Hedidnotcareifthiswasnotaperfectanswer.Itonlyhadtoinspirefurtherdiscussion.Thatwasallhewashopingfor.
Andsohethrewitoutthere.

TheA.A.A.TheirebetweenKamisatoandYuiitsubeganwithagoldenretrieverwieldingthatweapon.IfKamisatodefeatedthatdog,wouldnttheA.A.A.have
beensenttothatthatworld?

Part8

KamijouknewverylittleabouttheA.A.A.Hecouldnotevensaywhatithadoriginallybeendesignedfor.WhatwaspoweringthatthingthatMikotohadreadily
pilotedduringtheheatwave,andhowdiditwork?Coulditevenbefullyexplainedwithsciencealone?

ButanA.A.A.hadbeenusedbyalotofpeople:MisakaMikoto,KiharaYuiitsu,andevenPlantGirlClaireifadecoycounted.Andheknewanoriginalhadtoexist
somewhere.

AnditsownerhadbeendefeatedbyKamisatoKakeruinhisprime.

ThatoriginaldevicehadprovidedMisakaMikotowithdestructiveinspirationwhenshefounditandpickedituptheotherday.

LetsfindMisaka,suggestedKamijou.

IfMikotohadbeenabletousetheoriginalA.A.A.asis,shewouldnothavegottenthehelpofTokiwadaiMiddleSchooltoputtogetherherownversionofthe
weapon.Theoriginalshehadbaseditonmusthavestoppedfunctioning.ButKamijousgroupdidnotneedtheoriginalA.A.A.toactuallyrun.Theyonlyneeded
DevicesA1andA2thathadsimilarshapesandfunctionssotheyhadastartingpointfortheimitativemagic.

ShemighthavegatheredupandstoredthewreckageorsparepartsoftheoriginalA.A.A.Ifwecanborrowthat,wontwehavethesignpostforthissideandthat
side?

ThehangaratTokiwadaiMiddleSchoolhadbeenthoroughlydestroyedbyKiharaYuiitsu.Iftheoriginalhadbeenkeptthere,theymightbeintrouble,butthatwas
onlyiftheywantedtousetheA.A.A.asaweapon.Evenifithadbeenreducedtoscraps,theymightmanageaslongastheycouldprovetheywerethesamepartson
acompositionalandfunctionallevel.

ButasanAcademyCityresident,Kamijoudidnothaveagoodsenseofwhatmagicallowedandwhatitdidnot.

ItwouldbefastertoletPirateGirlLucaseeitforherself.

Theyhadnotimetospare.

LetsstopbyTokiwadaiMiddleSchoolfornow.

Hm?Butisntthatwhere?
Yeah.ItwasdestroyedbytheElementsunderYuiitsuscontrol.Misakaandtheothersmightnotstillbethere,butwemightfindaclueastowheretheyvegone.

Someskepticismwasnatural,butFranandLucareadilyagreedsincethisgavethemanactualdestination.Theconceptsbeinglateoroutpastcurfewdidnotexistat
themoment.TheywerefreetogowherevertheywantedinAcademyCity,butthathadleftthemwithnocleardestination.Itmayhavebeeneasiertohavesomeone
elsesetagoalforthem.

Theycheckedaroadsidemaptoconfirmwheretheywere,wheretheSchoolGardenwas,andwhatroutetotake.

Anelevatedrouterunsalmostdirectlythere,soitwillbesafesttowalkunderthat,saidFran.

Mayatheghostmightbewatchingfromthesky,sowerealittlelesslikelytobefoundifwekeeparoofoverourheads.

ThelongelevatedroutewaslikelyforcarsinsteadoftrainsandtheywalkedbelowitusingthenearlyHshapedreinforcedconcretepillarsastheirguide.Itmustnot
havebeenapopularlocationbecausetherewereveryfewbuildings.Thelongnarrowspacehadbeenforciblydevelopedintoamonthlyparkinglotandsomeempty
spacehadbeenturnedintomaterialsyardsorbasketballcourts.Theysawtheoccasionalsmallstore,butthosewereallforusedtradingcards,damagedjeans,orthe
like,soitwasajunkyandchaoticspace.

Itwasaverydifferentexperiencefromwalkingtheordinarypath.

Itwasauniquetype,butadisasterhadbefallenthecity.Ittookalotoftimejusttravelingbyfoottotheirdestination.

RabbitEarAntennaeFranspokeupwhilefidgetingneartheroundantennaonherbutt.

EvenifwegetthisA.A.A.wasit?Whatareouroddsofsuccess?

Again,dontplacetheentireburdenonmyshoulders.IfIcoulddealwiththisonmyown,IwouldnthavedoneanythingKiharaYuiitsusaid.

InsteadofKamijou,itwasLucawhoansweredwhilebrushingoffherswimsuitsbutt.

Personally,ImhopingforsomekindofchemicalreactionwithAcademyCitysbizarretechnology.Youvedonealotofdisturbingresearchintotimeandspace,
right?

SomethingmusthavebotheredherbecauseFranbentherfingerlikeahook,stuckitinsidethebuttofherbikini,andadjustedit.

Hmm.Tryingtobreakthespeedoflightbarrierisprettyromantic.Imsickofhearingaboutpeoplejusttryingtouseawormhole,though.

Lucaalsotuggedatherswimsuit.Itwasalotlikehowinfectiousacoughcouldbeataschoolassembly.
Wedonthavetotryforthefarthestreachesoftheuniverse.Peoplecandisappearrighthereonthisblueplanet.Thequestioniswhetherornotwecanexpandthat
small,nearbyseedtoauniversalscale.

ThenKamijousan,atsukkomiforusall,exploded.

Whatiswithyoutwo!?Quitmessingwithyourbutts!HowamIsupposedtorelax!?

ThetwogirlsturnedbacktowardhimandFranpoutedhersmalllips.

Weretheonesthatcantrelax.

Youweretheonethatsuggestedhidinginthatigloomadeofwhitesand.Sitinthereforawhileand,um,yougetthesandinyourswimsuit.

Afterputtingittowords,thetwoofthemseemedunabletostanditanylonger.Itmayhavebeenthedifferencebetweenavaguesenseofitchinessandfindingthe
actualmosquitobite.

Icantkeepgoingwithoutgettingthissandout.Iwontbeabletogivemypeakperformance.

WeusedhotwaterandsoaplikenormalbackinthemallwithKamisatokun.Whatdidyourgroupdointhatschool?

Wehadthepoolwater,butwecouldntwasteit.Themostwecoulddowaswipeoffthesweatwithadamptowelandusesomeofthevaluablemintstufftofight
thesmell.Ithinkweonlyhadabottleortwoofwaterforthat.Butaccordingtothechemistryclub,thereareonlysixorsevenbasicsmellsandmintisoneofthem,
soitsalotlikeaprimarycolorandcanmoreeasilyoverrideothersmells.Althoughwhenwedidnthaveanyavailable,wewouldfishthroughthegarbagecansfor
usedcoffeefiltersorteabags.

Heendedupansweringwithouteventhinking,butthiswasnotthetimeforthatkindoftrivia.

Hey,wait.ThoseUsefulSpiderpeoplekeeptalkingaboutthe48HourstoRestoreOrder,butwedontactuallyknowhowmuchoftheinfrastructurehasrecovered.
Isthereevenanyrunningwater?

Nn

Theyhadjustcrossedachainlinkfenceandenteredamonthlyparkinglot.Lucatriedturningafaucetlocatedontheedgeoftheasphaltforcleaning.Theyheard
scrapingmetal,butnotadropcameout.

However,thetwogirlshadnotbeenexpectinganything.Theylookedaroundandtheireyeslandedonafewparkedvehicles.

Theresacleaningcompanytruck.

Yes,letsborrowsomeoftheirequipment.
Kamijoudidnothavetimetostopthem.

AnElementmusthavesteppedonthetruckbecauseitschassiswasbentandallofitswindowswerebroken.FranandLucastucktheirhandin,unlockeditfromthe
inside,andbegansearchingthroughit.Kamijouwonderediftheywereborrowingatowel,but

Iwishthatwasenoughtogetthispervertedsandout.

Oh,Ifoundarollerforcarpet.Wontthatworkwithoutwater?

Idalsolovetowashoffthisstickysweat,butitlookslikewewonthaveanywater.

Theressterilizationalcoholbottleduplikevegetableoil.Thatwontharmourskin,right?

Kamijoucouldhearthemrummagingthroughthings.Whenheheardrustlingclothandrealizedtheyweregettingdowntowork,hequicklyturnedtheotherway.

Andthewholeaffairwasreflectedintheglassofthenextvehicleover.

(Gyaaaah!!)

Unfortunately,thediehadbeencast.Thatmayhaveaconvenientphrase,buthonestlyconfessingwhathadhappenedwouldonlyleavescarsofsadnesson
everyoneshearts.

IfIgolikethisandthisokay!Gotitoff!Thatstubborninnerthighdemoncameoffsoeasily!!

Ow.Ow,ow,ow,ow,ow.Thetapeiscaught.Ahh,thetapeiscaughtonthehair!?

Wontitloseitsstickinessifyoupouralcoholonit?Thinkofitlikeusingoiltopeelastickeroffthewall.

Meanwhile,KamijouToumacoveredhisfacewithhishandsandsobbed.Hehadbeentoonaveandcouldonlyblamehisownnegligencefornotstoppingthem
sooner.

Butcoveringhisvisionmayhavebeenamistake.

Justasheblindlytriedtoleanagainsttheslidingdoorbehindhim,helosthissupportandfellbackwards.Thewindowhadalreadybeenbroken,butthegirlshad
apparentlyleftthebentdooropen.

Thepointyhairedboytumbledhelplesslybackintothecleaningtruck.Andtherehesaw

Its.So.Hot
FFran?

VahhhFraaaan,openthewindowmore.IneedsomewindinhereYoudidntswitchtheheatwavebackon,didyou?

Gyaaaaah!!Putyourswimsuitsbackonproperly!Oratleastusethatcoattohidesomething.Icanjustaboutseesomeprettyseriousareasthere,Luca!!!

Hisfranticcriesdidnotseemtoreachthegirlsears.Theirfacesandtherestoftheirbodieshadflushedanicepinkandtheirheadswerewobblingleftandright.

(Iftheyrethatembarrassed,whydidtheydothis!?)

Thatwashisfirstthought,butthatdidnotseemtobewhatwashappening.

Hesensedanoddaromafromtheclearliquiddrippingdowntheirbodies,soheglancedtowardthebottleslyingonthefloor.

Theywereforsterilizingalcohol.

Theyhad75%alcoholcontentandwereacategory3medicalsupply.

Thatsmorethanvodka!!Dumpthatoveryourheadsandyoullabsorbitthroughyoureyelids,nose,lips,andplentyofotherpartsofyourbody!

Ehheh.Heeheehee.

Urp.Somethingscomingbackup

Dontgetoutofthetruck!Notwithyourclothesalloutofplace,Luca!!

Butitswaytoohot

Andisitjustmeorarethoseclothesalottighternow?Whathappenedtoyourbody!?Itwasntlikethatbefore!!

IcanchangewhatageIlookliiike,soIthoughtitmightdolessdamageifIwasanadullllt

Herecalledhowshehadgrownyoungerandtriedtoescapehimwhenhefirsttriedtocaptureher.

Nowhehadtwopeopletolookafter.KamijouToumaearnedthevaluabletrophyofhelpingahopelesslydrunkgirlgetherswimsuitbackon(withatwoatonce
bonus).

Theywereshamefullyintoxicated,buttheycouldnotstayhereforlong.

Anywayletsgo.Wecantakeourtimeifwehaveto,butweneedtocontinueontoTokiwadaiMiddleSchool.
Imherhectlyhine.Hyarehoohohorried?

Imnottrustingyouwhenhisjustabouttheonlyconsonantyoucangetout.

Piipyoropyoropiikyurukyurukyuru

Andyoustopcommunicatingwithalienslikeafaxmachine,Fran!!

WithFranonhisrightandLucaonhisleft,KamijouToumalookedsomethinglikeagrandprixwinnerwithhis
armsaroundthewaistsoftwoswimsuitgirlswhowererestingtheirheadsonhisshoulders,buttheywerereally
nothingbutaburden.Survivalwasaboutmorethandeadlythreatsoftigersandbears.Thescariestpartwashow
unpredictableeverythingwas.

Its3PMHic,itstimeforanafternoonsnack.

Evenso,theyplannedtoescapethemonthlyparkinglot.Climbingthefencewouldbeimpossibleatthemoment,
sotheyleftthroughtheofficialexittoavoidthefence.

Hefeltniceandwarmduetotheproximityofthegirlswhosebodytemperatureshadrisenbyabout0.7degrees,
butthenathoughtcametomind.

(WillthisreallytakeustoKamisato,dammit?)

Andthenithappened.

Somethingsoftfellfromtheclearblueskyandtowardtheasphaltattheirfeet.

Atfirst,Kamijoucouldnotaccuratelycomprehendwhathadhappenedbeforehiseyes.

Hewonderedifhehadbeenhitbysomealcoholvaporsinthattruck,butthatwasnotthecase.

Helookedintotheblueskyinsteadoftheground,butthatmayhavebeenaselfdefenseinstinctshiftinghisfocusawayfromtheextremeabnormality.

Timestoodstill.

Itwasmorethanjust5or10gazesthatstareddownathimfromtheelevatedhighway.Hewaspiercedbymanygazes.

Wwawaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!???

Hecouldonlyscream.
Itwasasiftherapidchangefromthemidsummerweatherhadtriggeredlargehail.Incrediblyrawsoundsofimpactcamefromallaroundhim.

Hecouldnotfigureoutwhatwasactuallyhappening.

Peoplewerefalling.

Itwasadownpourofhumanbeings.

Hisvisionblurredasthetruthdawnedonhim.Thetearswereaccompaniedbyanintensedesiretovomit.

Hewouldhavepreferredtofindhewastrappedinaselfmadenightmareworldbroughtonbythepowerfulalcohol.Adreamwasonlyapatchworkscenecreated
fromhisownmemories,soitwouldnotincludeanythingincomprehensible.

Hecollapsedbackwardswiththeaccidentallyintoxicatedgirlsstillinhisarms.Thatsentthembackbelowtheelevatedhighway.Immediatelyafterwards,someone
fellrightonthespottheyhadbeenstandingin.Atthispoint,itwaseffectivelyacarpetbombing.Theentireareafeltdangerous,justlikewhenanelevatedwindow
brokeandglasspoureddownlikerain.

Nevertheless,hecouldnotignorethis.Hedidnotknowwhensomeoneelsewouldfalldown,butitwasalsopossiblesomeonecouldfallinthesamespotlikea
secondscoopoficecream.HeleftFranandLucasafelybelowtheelevatedhighway,crawledforward,andreachedhishandoutside.Hegrabbedthearmofthe
personwhohadfirstfallenanddraggedthembelow.

Itwasasmallgirl.

ShewasyoungerthanKamijou,soshemayhavebeeninmiddleschoollikeMikoto.Shewasfightingthecoldwithablanketcarelesslydrapedoverherschool
swimsuit,soshelookedsomethinglikeaturtlethatforgottodrawinitshead.Thelonghairedgirlappearedwoozy,butshedidnothaveanyvisiblebonefracturesor
internalbleeding.

However,hewasafraidtograbhershouldersandshakeher.

Heonlyshoutedinherearwhentryingtowakeher.

Whathappened!?Whatthehellhappened!?

Ahh

Theelevatedhighwaywasonlyabout10meterstall.Thatwaslikejumpingfromathreestoryschoolbuilding.Sinceshehadlandedonasphalt,hewasnotsureif
therewasanyhopeofsavingherornot.

Imabackupdancer
?

Shewastryingtosaysomething,buthercontextlessstatementmeantnothingtohim.

Meanwhile,heheardacommotionupabove.Thattoldhimwhatthepeoplegatheredontheelevatedhighwaywantedtodo.

Hurry!Hurryup!!

Onceyoureready,gettothewires!Jumptothewindowsacrosstheway!!

Grabthecoats,theblankets,thesleepingbags,orwhateverelse!Retrieveeverythinginside!!

Whenhelookedbelowthehellishelevatedhighwayagain,hesawalargediscountstorealongsideit.Ashuttercoveredtheentranceandthewallwassomewhat
buriedinthewhiteElementsand.Toforcetheirwayinside,theyseemedtohavesetupwiresfromtheelevatedhighwaytothehigherwindows,but

(Whyaretheysointentonthingsthatkeepthecoldout?Iftheyrecold,canttheychangefromtheirswimsuitstotheiruniforms?)

ButasKamijouwonderedthat,anunexpectedvoicereachedhim.

Itsnotnormalforthatheattodropbelowzerosofast!WhatwesawontheSpheremustbetrue.Aniceageiscomingsoon!!

Part9

Hm,hm,hm,hmm.

IntheDistrict5collegeshelterknownasAcademy,GhostGirlMayaletwillothewisplikephosphorescentdronesflyaroundherwhileshehummedhappilyat
howfarherinformationhadspread.

Themicrowaveinducedheatwavewasactuallycausedbysolarwinds.

AcademyCitywasquitecomfortableforherwiththeinternetandphonesout.EveryonewasviewingthesameinformationliketheywerewatchingroadsideTVs,so
grouppsychologywouldreadilykickin.Theywerelikeheadsofwheatblowinginthewind.

Thoseabnormalsolarwindsshouldbeseenasananomalyinsolaractivityasawhole,soaniceagewilloccuratthisrate.The55degreeweatherdroppedbelow0,
butitwontstopthere.Thistime,itllfallmorethan50degreesinthenegativedirection.Good,thisisworking!

Theghostgirlhunchedforwardwhilethesoundeffectsofthemonitorsvirtualkeyboardsoundedloudly.
TheformerKamisatoFactioncontrolledmoresheltersthanjustAcademy.Thegirlinburialclothesandaheartshapedheaddresshesitatedoverwhichcolorful
vegetablesticktopullfromtheglasscupinherhandandshecontactedsomeothersheltersthroughtheSpherewhichsurroundedherwithitscontrolpetals.

Marine,Scala,Milcah.Howarethingslookingonyourend?

Great,great.HereatHealth,morethanhalfofeverythingisaboutinvisiblejinxesandtheoccult.Justlikebloodtypefortunetelling,Imjustflavoringitabitwith
scienceandnumbers.Thatkindofrumorworksreallywellhere

TheresnorealproblemhereinPrison,butisntthisaweirdrumor?WealreadyrevealedthemicrowavescamefromFransstation,right?Whatgoodissendingout
misinformationthatitssolarwindsandasignthatsolaractivityisabouttodrop?

ThepeoplehereatJournalismhavestartedsurreptitiouslyinvestigatingit,soshouldIputastoptothat?

Mayahadcontrolofthenetwork,butshecouldonlydosomuchwithheronekeystation.

TheotherSpheresthatassistedasregionalstationswerenearlyirreplaceable.

(Iguessitstimetosaygoodbyetomymakeshiftbotarmy.Okay,letsusetheserealaccountstodriveupthehitcounts!!)

Thiswillnotbeaproblem.Newtheoriesdonotreplacetheoldonestheylineupalongsidethem.TheyllbesuspiciousofFranwhilealsofearinganiceage.
Humanbeingsseenocontradictioninholdingtwoconflictingfears.Justliketheylaughoffghostsasunscientificyetcantfullydenytheirexistence.

Theghostgirlsmiledthinlyasshesentoutinstructionsandusedbothhandstoliftacupofcocoathatgaveoffaslightsmellofmintextract.

Byswitchingtoanotherscreenandmessingwiththesearchmodealittle,shecouldeasilydeterminewhichofthescatteredshelterswereonherside.Theghostgirl
wasmixingapasswordorcodewordintotheinstructionsshesenttotheshelterrulerswhoapprovedofthebroadcastnetworkbasedaroundherkeystation.By
searchingthatphrase,shecouldgraphicallyseeherterritoryonthemap.

Andpeopleprefersensationalandshockinginformationmorethanaccurateinformation.The55degreeweatherdroppedrightdownbelow0,butthatisntit
returningtonormal.Itsgoingtodropevenfurther.Alotofpeoplehadtohavebeenvaguelyworriedaboutthat.NotmanypeoplehaveaccuratespecsonFrans
station,afterall.

Thefrequencyofthosecodewordsshowedhowloyaltheywere.

TheformerKamisatoFactionwouldreply100%ofthetime.Ifashelternoncommittallydiditabouthalfthetime,theywereleaningtowardherside.Iftheyonlydid
itinfrequently,theywereneutral.Iftheyneverdiditatall,sheviewedthemasanenemy.

Oh,Isee.SoifFransgroupdoeswanttogetridofthismisinformation,theyllhavetorevealthedataonherstation.Andthatmeansconfessingthatshereallywas
behindtheheatwave.
Thatsright,confirmedMaya.Neitherconfirmingnordenyingthemisinformationwillendthechaos.Thatswhatmakesamultistageattacksogreat.Peoplecan
handleinformationcomingfromonedirection,butiftheyreceiveconfirmationscomingfrommultipledirectionsatonce,theytendtogiveinrightaway.Theymight
normallylaughofftheconceptofexorcism,butiftheyrelockedinasmallroomandtoldagainandagainthatitstherightthingtodo,theycantstopthemselves
fromganginguponthesubjectandbeatingthemtodeath.Justbyhearingdifferentpeopleagreeingwithsomeamountoftimebetweenwilltrickthemintothinking
itsbeenconfirmedbymultiplesources.

TranslucentMayausedthecollararoundherexposedcleavagetofanherselfandthensnappedherfingers.

AndMilcah.YourJournalismisrunbyatriumvirate,right?Illtryapplyingexternalpressuretobreakthatdown,sobraceforimpactjusttobesafe.

Thatsfine,butyoucantimbalancetheleadershipbyfocusingonanyoneofthethreeleaders.

NotifIdoitthatway,no.AandBwouldjointogethertoshutdownCsopinion.ThatswhyIllspreadtheinformationtothepeopleinsteadoftherulers.Ifthe
peoplelearnwhatsreallygoingonafterlosingtherighttodecideanythingforthemselves,theyllloseallcontrol.Especiallyyes.Icanaddinsomehalftruths
abouttheElementsthatattackedJournalismhavingbeenintentionallydrawnintoleaveyouwithfewermouthstofeed.

Youmonster.

Ipreferthetermbeautifulghost.Itlooksnicer.

Well,weareactingasthepawnsofbrutalandmonstrousYuiitsutoholdontotheKamisatoBoyslifeline.

Needlesstosay,MayasgoalwasnotcontrollingtheSpherenetwork,manipulatingthepeopleofAcademyCityfromhiding,orusingmisinformationaboutanice
agetothrowabunchofpeoplefromelevatedhighways.

Oh?District7sShowBusinessisactingoddly.Theyreusingtheelevatedroute.ButIcantusethemtolocatethosetwounlesstheyspreadoutonthesurface.

ShewantedtolocateKamijouToumaandKarasumaFran.

ShealsowantedtodiscoverwhathadhappenedtoToyamaLucawhowasmissing.

Itwasallbaitforthat.

Meaning

Icantrelyonthem.

Mayawhisperedinalovelyvoicethatwouldsendashiverdownthespineofallwhoheardit.
SoIllspreadsomeembersfromthekeystationsinall23Districtstothenationalnetwork.Now,Fran.Whatwillyoudo?Ifyouuseyourspecialtytocrossthissea
ofchaos,wordfromwitnesseswillreachmeinnotimeflat

Part10

Giventhepaceatwhichpeoplewerefalling,hecouldnotsavethemall.

Whatdoesthatmatter?

Infact,noamountofsavingthemwouldimprovetheKamisatosituation.

Whatdoesthatmatter!!!???

Heknewallthat,butKamijoucontinuedtopullmorepeopleasmanyashecouldunderneaththeelevatedhighway.Themosthecoulddowasdigthrougha
cleaningvan,sprinklesterilizationalcoholonthem,andusemakeshiftsplintswrappedwithducttapetosettheirbrokenlimbs.

Butevenashedidthat,helearnedsomething.

Thesepeoplewerefromashelter.

ItwasapparentlyknownasShowBusiness.

Theygenerallydecidedthingsbymajorityrule,butinsteadofonevoteperperson,peoplehadasmanyvotesastheyhadfans.Touseamoreformalterm,itmay
havebeensimilartoarepresentativedemocracy.

Thefirstgirlcallingherselfabackupdancerseemedtobeconnectedtothat.Thenumberofvotessomeonehaddeterminedtheirclass.Thoseincludedregular,
center,andnational,butKamijoudidnotknowhowmanytherewereinall.Still,backupdancerdidnotsoundlikeahighlevelidol.

Thesystemhadlikelyformedbecausetheoriginalschoolhadbeenfocusedonsonganddance,butsomethingelsecaughtKamijousattention.

Whatsthisaboutaniceage!?Wheredidtheygetthatinformationfrom!?Hey,Fran,canyoufigureanythingoutthroughtheSphere!?

Hm

Franwasstillwoozyandherspinewassomewhatlimp.Shesatrightontheasphaltbelowtheelevatedhighwayandshetiltedherheadlikeastuffedbear.

AboutthatSphere

?
Itwascutoff.SinceEllenandtheothersshowedupatthemeetuppoint,theyalmostcertainlyknewwhichSphereIwasusingtorelaytheinformation,butIsuspect
theyalsophysicallyseveredthekeystationfromthenetwork.

Dammit!!

(Dotheyknowwhereweare,sotheyretryingtocatchusinthisriot?No,iftheyknewexactlywherewewere,theywouldjustsendtheirowngirlsin.Thatmeans
wereastageaheadofthat.Aretheystartingtheseriotsallover,hopingwellgiveawayourlocation!?)

TheformerKamisatoFactionwassendingoutdeadlymisinformation,butKamijousgroupcouldnotargueback.Andiftheenemywasspreadingthis
disinformationfrommultipleregionalstationsconnectedtotheirkeystation,thechaoswouldnotbecontainedtoShowBusinessalone.Iftheydidnotgetridofthe
disinformation,theriotswouldspreadthroughoutthecitysshelters.Thefearofafictionaliceagewouldleadpeopletostealblankets,destroyclothingasthey
foughtoverit,andneedlesslykilleachother.

TheSphereswerewhatmattered.Theycouldnotescapetheirhelplesssituationwithoutaccesstoanewdataterminal.

Kamijouletoutalong,quietsigh.

Andhespoke.

Letsovercomethis.AndthenletsstealShowBusinesssSpheretogetanewkeystation.Thatstheonlywaytoextinguishthisiceagemisinformationasquickly
aspossible.

ButwhatabouttheSphereskey?

Yeah,ifitsthesameasTrialbackatthatpark,theirrulerwillhaveit.

Kamijoupointedupatthethickreinforcedconcreteoftheelevatedhighway.

Iftheyreincitingtheotherstoactionwhilewavingaflagoutfrontthenletsgrabthemandstealit.EvenifthatmeansfightingtheShowBusinesspeoplewhoare
onlybeingmanipulated.Thatstheonlywaytosavethemall!

TheSpherewasalimiteddatatool.Assumingthisrulerdidnotwanttoquitliketheoneatthepark,theywouldprobablywanttoactivelyuseit.Popularity
determinedinfluenceinShowBusiness,soitwouldbeavaluableresourceindeed.Therulerwasunlikelytohanditoveriftheywereasked.

ButKamijoustillhadtodoit.

Therewerenoperpetratorsandvictimsinthisriot.Entirelybaselessinformationhadworkeditswayacrosstheentirecity,everyonewasriskingtheirliveson
somethingentirelymeaningless,andKamijoucouldonlyimagineIndex,Mikoto,ortheothersdivingfromtheelevatedhighway.Hehadtoendthisbeforethat
happened.Hehadtoputanendtothenonsensethatwasinfectingpeoplesbrainsandgoodsenselikeacomputervirus.
Butjustashethoughtthat,somethingelsearrived.

Civilizationwasstilldeadinthesestreets,butheheardmetaltreadstearingattheasphalt.Thespeakerswereoverheadthistimeandtheyproducedasomehow
crackedvoiceasiffromaloudspeaker,butacalmfemininevoicespokeallthesame.

ThisisUsefulSpider.The48HourstoRestoreOrderarestillunderway.Everyone,pleasecalmdownandobeyourofficersinstructions.Thereisnoscientificbasis
fortheideathataniceageiscoming.Pleaseviewthesituationrationallyandassistusasweworktowardrecovery.

Thiswasnotsomethingthatcouldbestoppedbyamereannouncement.

Andthepeopleinthehalftruckmostlikelyknewthat.Theydidnotevenwaitforaresponse.Oncetheycompletedtheannouncementlikeitwasariteofpassage,
thedeviceontheopenbedofthetruckrumbledasitbegantorotate.Itlookedlikeatowtruck,butitwassomethingelse.

(Agunturret?)

Kamijousimplywatchedithappenbecauseitwassuchanunrealisticsight.

Thenheheardanotherannouncement.

Wehavedeterminedthenormalmanualisinadequatehere,soweshalltakeemergencymeasures.Onourspecialauthority,thecorrespondingpeopleshumanrights
willbetemporarilyrescindedandwewillworktosecurethemandtransportthemtothenearesthospital,butpleaseunderstandthatthisisnecessarytoprotectyour
livesandpropertyasmuchaspossible.

Theyfired.

Withatremendousnoise,atorrentofextremelyhighpressurewaterattackedtheelevatedhighway.

ThetermhighpressurewatercannonflashedthroughKamijousmind.

TherewasnothingtheShowBusinesspeoplecoulddowhilemakingtheirdeadlytightropewalkacrosstheunstablewires.

Adullsoundrangoutwhentheywerehit.

Andthenagreatnumberofpeopleflewofftheoppositesideofthewideelevatedhighway.Theyslammedintothewallofentirelyunrelatedbuildings,felldownlike
abasketballbeingsuckedintothehoop,andlandedonthepilesofwhitesand.Andthiswasallontheoppositeendofathreelaneelevatedhighway.Evenwiththe
sandtocushiontheirlanding,thehitfromthewateralonehadtohavegiventhematleastwhiplash.

Whatthehellisgoingon!?
Witheverythinggoingtohellindifferentwaysallaroundhim,Kamijousmindwasnearlyoverwhelmed.Andthenheheardanoverheadsoundlikeclothbeatingthe
air.Itwasahelicopter.Hedidnotevenwanttoimaginewhatwouldhappennext.

Weareheretoassisttheemergencymeasures.Pleasegetdownonthegroundtodisplayyourintenttosurrender.

Somethingheavyfelldown,butthiswasdifferentfromthepreviousdiving.Itwaslikegiantpiecesofhailwerefallingontopoftheelevatedhighway.Afewof
themmissedandfellontheroadnexttoit.

Theywereabucketsworthofwaterorperhapsofgelatin.

Buteventhatwouldprovideadecentimpactwhendroppedfromaheightthatmadeascrewornailadeadlyweapon.Therioterswhocouldbetargetedfromthe
groundwereknockeddownbythehighpressurewaterandanywhoescapedtothecenterofthehighwaywereknockedoutbythewaterdroppedbythehelicopter.It
wasahumanhuntwithnohopeofescape.

Thatwasbadenoughonitsown,butKamijoufeltagreatmaliceinthefactthattheywereusingwaterasaweapon.

Waterhadbeenexchangedlikecurrencyjustthedaybefore,butthesepeoplehadenoughtowasteitlikethis.ThisshowedUsefulSpiderspositionofsuperiorityas
theycontrolledtheinfrastructurerecovery.

Kamijoucouldnotsitidlybyanylonger.

UsefulSpiderseemedtothinkthiswouldendthechaosasquicklyaspossible,buttheyalsodidnotcareiftheywerethrowingtheboysandgirlsofShowBusiness
offoftheelevatedhighway.Lettingthemtakechargewouldnotimprovethesituation.Doingthatwouldonlybehittingthefastforwardbuttononthedamage.

Fran,Luca!

Hecalledouttothegirls,buttheywerestillintoxicatedbythealcoholandwouldbenohelpinafight.

FuniiIfyouregoingsomewhere,youcantakemyUFOballoon.

Ican?No,wait.NotwhentheformerKamisatoFactionisprobablymonitoringthisriot.Listen,dontcallintheballoon!Itllgiveawayourlocation!!

Kamijoutookoffrunningwithoutwaitingforaresponse.Theelevatedhighwaywasabout10meterstall,soitwouldnormallyhavebeenoutofreach.Butametal
ladderforinspectionsandmaintenanceclimbedupthesideofthereinforcedconcretepillarslocatedatevenintervals.Hegrabbedtherarelyusedcoldmetaland
climbedup.

Meanwhile,thescreamsandsoundsoffiringwatercontinued.Whenhelookedtowardthenoise,hiseyesmetthoseofsomeonefallingupsidedownthroughtheair.
Heclimbedpastthetragicsceneandreachedametaldoorthatremindedhimofasquaremanhole.Hepusheditupandarrivedonthecurboftheelevatedhighway.

Itwashellonearth.
Onlyduringamarathonwouldmorethan100boysandgirlsgatherhere.Thewidethreelaneroadwaspackedfullandtheyweremercilesslyattackedbythehigh
pressurewaterfromthesideandthegelatinbombingfromabove.Thehelicopterhadasyntheticfiberbagdanglingdownlikeasandbagand,eachtimethe
helicopterturned,waterwouldfallandpeoplewouldcollapse.

Itwentbeyondasinglevictim.Eachblastofthewatercannonandthebombingcausedachainreactionthataffectedagreatmany.Thedamagespreadasthey
toppledlikedominos.UsefulSpiderwasonlythinkingaboutresolvingthisasquicklyaspossible,sowhathappenedtothepeoplewasasecondaryconcern.

(Thisisridiculous,dammit.IalreadyhaveenoughonmyplatewithKamisato!!)

Kamijouhadnoguaranteeofhisownsafetyfromthispointon.UsefulSpiderwouldnotseehimasanydifferentandShowBusinessmightganguponhimifthey
noticedhewasnotoneofthemorthathewasaftertheirruler.Thebatwhocouldnotbeofthebeastsorofthebirdshadtocrouchdownandrunacrossthebattlefield
fulloficysprayingwater.

Hehadnoinformationonwhoexactlywastherulerhere.

Hestartedbyrunningtowardagirlinafigureskatingoutfit,perhapsbothasaspectaclethatwouldbringpopularityandtokeepoutthecold.

Shockwavesburstnearbywithmoreforcethanhewouldhavethoughtpossibleforwater.Eachtime,peopletoppledlikedominosandweredraggedtothewet
asphalt.Oneboywasnotallowedeventhatandflewhighthroughtheairlikeathreepointshot.Andastheswimsuitgirlsandboysgatheredinthecentertoescape
thewatercannon,gelatinbluntweaponsmercilesslypoureddownfromoverhead.UsefulSpiderwereurgingthestudentstosurrender,butitdidnotlooklikethe
girlsandboyshadanyfightingspiritleftastheysatdazedontheroad.

Everythingaboutitwasterrible.

AndsoKamijoupouredallhisstrengthintotakingevenonemorestepforward.Hehadtoerasetheiceagemisinformationandswitchoffthishellishsceneassoon
aspossible.

ItsjustlikethevideoontheSphere!!Thefrogsandladybugsthatshouldbehibernatingareoutbecausetheyresensitivetochangesinsolarmagnetism.Thisisa
prophecy,amessage.Theabnormalweatherisntover.Itsonlyjustbeginning!!

Thefigureskatergirlwasshoutingsomethingwithaplasticmegaphonetohermouth.

Asyoucansee,theadultsinterferedthesecondwegothere.Whatmoreproofdoyouneed!?Thetalkofaniceageistrue!!Thetemperatureisntjustdropping
from50degreestobelow0.Itscontinuingondownto50below!!Dontletthemtaketheblanketsandsleepingbags!Wefoundthisoasis,notthem!!

(Isshestupid!?Ofcourseanimalsaregoingtomistakenlyendtheirhibernationwhenthetemperatureriseslikethat!!Besides,isntassumingstrangeanimal
behaviorisadefiniteharbingerofdisasteronestepawayfromtheoccult!?)

Noonewouldlistentohimifhespokealoud.
Kamijouranwithallhismightandtackledthegirlatherslenderwaist.Astrangeshriekescapedherthroatandshefellontothewetroad.Heclimbedontopofher,
placedhishandsonherthroat,andhalfcrushedherwindpipewhileshoutingdownather.

Areyoutheruler!?WheresthekeytotheSphere!?

Hecouldtellfromthelookinhereyesthatshewastryingtosaysomethingwithsomerationalityandcalculationbehindit,sohedidnothesitatetopresshisbody
weightdownonher.Shemusthavehaddifficultybreathingnowbecauseherfaceturnedblueandsheshookherheadbelowhim.

Illbeaskingyesornoquestions.Wedonthavetimeforyoutoansweranythingmorethanthat!Doyouunderstand!?Answermewithanod!!

Shefinallynodded.

Kamijoutookhisbodyweightoffofhisarmsandaskedagain.

Areyoutheruler?

Sheshookherhead.

Thenwhois?Youcanjustpoint!!

Therewasunmistakablefearinthefigureskatergirlseyes.Sheslowlyraisedonehandandpointedhertremblingfingerinonedirection.Shewouldnothavebeen
calmenoughtolieorputonanact.

Hey,you!Whatdoyouthinkyouredoing!?

Arighteoussoundingvoicequestionedhimfromsurprisinglycloseby,soKamijougrabbedthegirlscollarandgotup.Hethenswungtheweakenedgirl
horizontallytothrowherattherighteousredranger.Whiletheboywasstoppingtheimpact,Kamijoucroucheddownandranforwardtohideintheriotingcrowd.

Hemovedinthedirectionthatfigureskaterprovocateurhadpointedandhequicklyspottedalikelysuspect.Mostoftheboysandgirlsprotectedthemselveswith
coatsandblanketswornovertheirswimsuits,butonetallgirlstoodoutinanavalcoatwithgoldenembroidery.Shecouldbebestdescribedasacrossdressing
beauty.PopularitywaseverythinginShowBusiness,sothatandrogynouslookmusthavehelpedhergathersupportfromboththeboysandgirls.

Sheseemedtohavenoticedhim.Shetookafewstepsback,butshecouldnotordertheotherstosecureanescaperouteforherduringthischaos.Kamijoudecidedto
tackleherfromlowtotheground,justlikethefigureskatergirl.

Butjustbeforehedid,apowerfulforcegrabbedhisshoulder.

Iwasasking

Hisforwardmomentumwasnegatedandhewasforciblyspunaroundtofacethatpreviousembodimentofrighteousness.Theboydidnothesitatetoclenchhisfist.
whatthehellyouthinkyouredoing!!

Whentheboythrewhispunch,Kamijoucollapsedbackwardslikeasolidbranch,butnotbecausetheblowhadknockedhimout.

Hehadintentionallyfallenbacktogetlowtotheground.

Amomentlater,afrighteningblastofwaterwasreleaseddiagonallyupwardsfromtheground.

Astrangeshoutofbogyeh!!camefromtherangersmouthandhisbodybentbackwards.AndasKamijouavoidedgettingknockeddownwithhim,hesawthe
unfamiliarboyturnintoashootingstar.Heslammedintothewallofabuildingbeyondtheelevatedhighwayandhefelldown.Itwasunclearifhewouldsurvivethe
10meterfall.

(Icouldntdoanything,notevengiveawordofwarning.Dammit!!)

Kamijoustayedlowtothegroundtoavoidthecontinuingblastsofwater,butthatwaswhenhemadeamistake.

HewasinAcademyCity.

HeneededtobecautiousofmorethanjustUsefulSpidersnextgenerationweapons.

AsKamijoumoreorlesscrawledalong,somekindofpowerfulblowhithiminthesolarplexus.

Bythetimeherealizedhehadbeenknockedupwardsfrombelow,hewasalreadymorethanameterintotheair.Hefeltjustlikehehadreceivedapowerfulbody
blow,soinsteadoffeelinganurgetovomit,hehadtroublebreathing.Henoticedthecrossdressingbeautyholdingherpalmouttowardhimwithafrightenedlookin
hereyes.Whetheritwaswindoradirectshockwave,shehadhithimwithsomekindofesperpower.

Andtheproblemdidnotendthere.

Hisbodyhadfloatedupwhichremovedhimfromhisnearlycrawlingposition,sohewasexposedtothehighpressurewaterblast.

Kh!!!???

Theydidnotevenwaitforhimtohavetimetofeelthefear.

Theblastfrombelowtheelevatedhighwayscoredadirecthitonhisdefenselessbody.Hewasknockedstraighttotheside.Hishipsslammedintotheguardrailand
thenflewunnaturallyupwards.Buthemayhavebeenluckyhisvectorhadshifted.Unlikethepreviousredranger,hewasnotthrownofftheotherendoftheelevated
highwayandlandedjustbarelyontheinneredgeofthesoundproofingwall.

Evenso,hetookgreatdamage.
Hecouldnotgetupproperly.Hedidnotevenhavetheenergytowritheontheground.Itmaynothavefeltquitelikegettinghitbyacar,butitdidfeellikegetting
hitbyamidsizedmotorcyclewhilecrossinganintersection.Hecouldhaveswornthecoreofhisbodyhadbeenknockedoutofplace.

Kahhah

Hisvisionwasblurryashelayfaceupontheground,butthatupsidedownvisionshowedthecrossdressingbeautyslowlybackingawaywithherpalmstillheld
towardhim.Shewasescaping.Therulerwouldescape.Heknewthat,buthisbodywouldnotmoveandhedoubtedhisbodywouldlastifshefiredthatesperpower
again.Hedoubtedshecouldholdbackwhenshewasactingoutoffearratherthananger.

(Icantbelievethis)

Hereachedhisunsteadyrighthandouttowardher,butnotbecausehewastryingtouseImagineBreaker.

Hewasonthevergeofpassingout.

(IfIcantgetthekeyanderasethemisinformationfromthekeystationIcantstopanyofthis)

Thenthecrossdressingbeautyfiredsomethingtosnapthelastthreadofhisconsciousness.

Orshemeantto.

Justbeforeshecould,asoundlikesaltwaterpouredontoaneontubecamefromthehelicoptercirclingabove.

Thephenomenonwasaccompaniedbybluishwhiteelectricity,butKamijoudidnotimmediatelyunderstandwhathadhappened.However,themalfunctioning
helicopterquicklysearchedforanemergencylandingpointasitunsteadilydescended.

Hedidnotevenhavetimetofeelsurprise.

Henextheardanotherloudsoundfromdirectlybelowandthehalftruckequippedwithahighpressurewatercannonfellsilent.Onlytheresidualsoundof
somethingburstingechoedaroundthearea.KamijouandthenearlysuicidalShowBusinessriotersdidnotknowwhattodo.

ButthenahintofrecognitionfinallyreachedKamijousmind.

Electricity?

Aftermutteringthewordunderhisbreath,hequicklyrolledontohisstomachandpressedhisrighthandagainstthewetpavement.

Amomentlater,somethingfrighteningracedthroughtheentireelevatedhighway.Itranacrossthewatersoakedpavementandaccuratelyknockedeveryonethere
unconscious.Itreallywaslikeinvisiblefingershadflickedoffaswitchonthebackoftheirheads.Withadullsound,theboysandgirlscollapseddangerouslytothe
road.Theycouldnotresistintheslightest.Thefigureskatergirl,thecrossdressingbeauty,andeveryoneelseweredealtwithinasingleattack.
Kamijoufelthisheartpoundinginhischest.

Washealonefinebecausehehadpressedhisrighthandagainstthewetpavementjustbeforetheattack?

Ithadbeenelectricity.Andahighvoltagecurrentatthat.Kamijouonlyknewofonepersonwhocouldrivalalightningstrikebyreaching1billionvolts.Noteven
themilitaryclonesbasedonherhadthatmuchpower.

Whichmeant

(MisakaMikoto?)

Hehadbeenunabletostoptheunpleasantsweateventhoughhewassoakingwetinthemidwinter,butnowhebreathedasighofrelief.Justlikeduringtheheat
wave,sheseemedtobesavinghimateveryturn.AndnowhewouldnotneedtodirectlyvisitTokiwadaiMiddleSchool.Hefeltlikehehadbeenholdingabowstring
tautforalongtimeandthathehadfinallybeenblessedwiththepowergainedbyreleasingit.

Thatwaswhenheheardaquietmetallicsound.

No,ifthisreallywasMisakaMikotolikehethoughtitwas,thenhemaynothavebeenabletohearitfromatoptheelevatedhighway.

Itsoundedlikeanarcadecoinbeingflickedbyathumb.

Butthatmadenosense.MisakaMikotowouldnotneedtousehersignaturemovehere.Thehelicopterandhalftruckwerealreadydestroyedandalltheriotersonthe
highwayhadbeenknockedout.Thereshouldnothavebeenanyonelefttoattack.

Butthensomethingstrangehappenedbeforehiseyes.

Ablastfromdirectlybelowbrokeaportionoftheelevatedhighwaylikeachocolatebar.

Wha?

Hedidnotunderstandwhathadhappened,butsomethingevenmoreincomprehensiblehappenedregardless.Moreorangespearsweresporadicallylaunchedatthrice
thespeedofsound.Thehighwaycrumbledastheypiercedintoitfrombelow.Theroadwasbrokenintoblocksafewdozenmeterslongandthedestructionwas
approachingKamijou.

Thepersondownbelowhadtohavenoticedthesurvivors.Otherwise,shewouldnothavebotheredtosendthehighvoltagecurrentalongthewetroad.

Andyetshedeliveredafinishingblow.

Atthisrate,shewouldtearaparttheelevatedhighwaydespitetheunconsciousboysandgirlsonit.
Kh

(Whatthehellisshedoing!?)

Kamijougrabbedthetransparentsoundproofingwallthathadbrokenfromthepropagatedshockwaves,forcedstrengthintohisbatteredbody,andslowlystoodup
oncemore.Thehighvoltagecurrentwascomingfromtheground,buthedidnothavetimetoslowlydescendthemaintenanceandinspectionladder.Helooked
downthroughagapinthebrokensoundproofingwallandsawapileofwhiteElementsand.Hewasdizziedbytheheight.Herecalledtheboysandgirlswhose
brokenlimbshehadtreated.

Buthecouldnothesitate.

Justasthehighwaywasgoingtotrulycollapsethankstoablastfrombelow,heexhaledandcrossedthatline.Heleanedoutthroughthegapinthesoundproofing
wall,ontotheguardrail,andbalancedontohisstomachtotiltlikeaseesawandthenoutintotheemptyair.

Onlyafterdoingitdidherealizehehadscrewedup.

Thedivewasbadenoughalready,buthehadbeenstupidenoughtoaddaspinintoit.

Gyah!!

Hisvisionspunaroundandanimpactranthroughhisbackbeforehecouldbracehimself.Heseemedtohavesafelylandedonthepileofwhitesand,butthatwas
purecoincidence.Thesandwasheavyforhowfineitwas,soitheldhiminplacequitewell.Evenso,hemanagedtoslidedowntotheground.

Therehefoundagirlwrappedinviolentelectricity.

ThatbrutallivinggunturretworeaTokiwadaiMiddleSchoolracingswimsuitbelowaduffelcoatthatwaslikelyschoolissuedaswell.

Misaka

Badlybatteredandcoveredinsand,Kamijouapproachedthegirlonunsteadyfeet.

Shedidnotevenreact.

Whatthehellareyoudoing!?Hey,Misaka!!

Whenhesawherslowlywalktowardasurvivingportionoftheelevatedhighwaywithanarcadecoininhandandherarmraiseddiagonallyupwards,Kamijou
wrappedhisarmsaroundhertostopher.Theorangebeamwasshiftedofftarget,butitstilltorethroughthebrokenedgeoftheelevatedhighwaylikeitwasmadeof
styrofoam.

Kamijoushuddered.
Butnotatthatgreatpower.AtthefactthatMisakaMikotodidnotevenhesitatetopulloutanothercoinevenasheheldherwithallhisstrengthtostopher.Andher
slenderlegshadnotstoppedwalking.

Waitwait!!Itsover!Youendedit!!Whatmoredoyouhopetoaccomplish!?

MisakaMikotowouldnothaveknownKamijouwashere.Attheveryleast,shehadnotcomeherebecauseshehadknownhewashere.Shehadhadnowayof
knowingthat.Thenwasshegoingaroundsavingpeopleatrandomwithhergreatfirepowerlikeshehadduringtheheatwave?Hadshecaughtwindofthetrouble?
Ifso,somethingwasodd.ThiswasdifferentfromthereliablebutunstableMikotowhohadusedtheA.A.A.

Hesensedkillerintent.

Yes.ThismayhavebeenhisfirsttimeseeingMisakaMikotowieldherpowerfortheclearintentofharmingsomeone.

afteryouleft?

ThegirlslipsmovedalittleasKamijouheldherandsheburiedherfaceinhischest.Hedidnotsenseanyoftheembarrassmentorbashfulnessofskincontactwith
theoppositesex.Therewashopelesslycoldandheavyangerandhatredinhervoice.

WhatdoyouthinkhappenedatTokiwadaiafteryouleft?

WedroveoffthatscientistnamedKiharaYuiitsu.WedefeatedthoseElementthingsshebroughtin.Butdoyouknowwhatwaitedforusafterwewereworndown
byallthat?Completelynormalpeople!!Withthebarricadebroken,strangersfloodedintotheSchoolGarden.Andwhatdoyouthinkhappenedthen!?

Hecouldnotanswer.

ThatwouldhavebeenwhenhehadbeenrecoveringinthemallKamisatohadtakenhimto.AndhehadthoughtresolvingtheheatwaveandElementsproblem
wouldbethefastestwaytohelprestoreorderandhelpeveryone.

Theydidntevenglanceourwaywhenwewereworndownandinneedofhelp.

Buthadhebeenwrong?

Hadsomeonebeenseekinghelpfromadifferentdirection?

Theylookedatthecollapsedschoolbuildingandcalleditatreasuretrove!!Theysaidtheycouldmakemoneyoffofthedrugsandequipmentatsuchaprestigious
esperpowersdevelopmentinstitution.Theylaughedandsaidtheywereonlytakingwhathadbeendeniedthemwhenwelockedthemoutandrefusedtohelpthem!!
Theysaidthiswastheirrightandthatweweregettingourjustdeserts!!
Misaka

Ididhelpthem.IrevealedtheexistenceoftheA.A.A.Idmadeformyself,IprotectedeveryoneinTokiwadai,andIusedwhatstrengthIhadleftoverpatrolling
outsidetheSchoolGarden.Ididnthavetodothat,butIstilldidit!ButtheysaidIwasnegligent.TheysaidIdidntdoenough.Andsotheysaidtheyweremaking
upforthatWhydoIhavetobecriticizedbypeopleIveneverevenmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!!

Kamijoudidnotaskanythingmore.

Hesimplyheldthegirlsfragilebodytightlyinhisarmsoncemore.

Icantforgivethem

Maliciouswordsleftherlikeshewassqueezingwaterfromasponge.ButKamijoucontinuedlistening.Heknewsheneededtogetthisoffherchest.

Butwedontevenrememberwhoexactlytheywere.Theyabandoneduslikestonesonthesideoftheroadandmadetheirwaytothecollapsedschoolbuilding.The
onlyimageburnedintomymindisthosecheerfullyhopefulbackswalkingawayfromus

Mostlikely,itwasnotanyonepersonsactionsthathaddrivenMisakaMikototodespair.

Whengiven10,theydemanded100.Whengiven100,theydemanded1000.Itwasthegrouppsychologythatsawthatasperfectlynormal.Theyhadbeeninfected
bythelimitlessdesireofthosewhointentionallykeptthemselvesinalowlyposition.

Shehadsaidshedidnotrememberwhothetargetofherrevengewas.

EvenifthepeoplebehindthelootingofTokiwadaiwerecapturedandbroughtinfrontofMikoto,Kamijouwasconfidentshewouldprobablyjustlookconfused.
Thiswasnotthatsimple.MisakaMikotohadbeenfacedwiththegreatmaliceoftheextremeenvironmentcreatedbyadisaster.

ItllbeokayKamijoufinallyspokeasherubbedthefartoosmallgirlshair.Whatyouwanttodefeatmightnothavephysicalform,butIpromiseyouwell
defeatit.Hurtingpeoplewontaffectit,buttherehastobeawaytokillit.Sodontloseyourway.Itllbeokay.

Really?askedMikotowiththewaveringvoiceofasmallchild.Istherereallyawaytodefeatthatmonster?

Yes.

Onceorderwasrestoredandoncetheycouldreturntotheirnormallivesagain,thatmalicewouldhavenowhereleft.Itwouldvanishfromeveryoneshearts.That
waswhentheycouldteartheformlessmonstertoshreds.Theycouldonlytrustinthatastheycontinuedfighting.

AndtheformerKamisatoFactioncenteredonEllenandMayawereusingtheSpherestocontrolthatmonstertoacertainextent.Andfornothingmorethanlocating
KamijouandFranandtosendtheirownfightersafterthem.
Kamijoucouldnotignorethis.

KamisatoKakerusrescue,thegirlsunderKiharaYuiitsuscommand,andthemalicecoveringthecity.Italllookedseparateatfirstglance,buttheywereactually
linked,evenifunintentionally.

Workwithme,Misaka.Ineedyourhelp.

Hehadtofight.

Hehadtoprotectsomethingimportantfromthischainreactionofmalice.

Illreturneverythingtonormal.Iswearit.

Part11

Theyseemedtohavetakenalongdetour.

WhenKamijoucheckedwithFran,itwasalready4PM.Thesurroundingairhadshiftedfromdaytoevening,sothebitingcoldseemedtohavegrownalevel.

Urp.Hey,Luca?Whyareyouallsoberedupsosoon?

Icanfreelycontrolmysubjectiveage,sobreakingdownalcoholseemstobeasimpletaskforme.

Therabbitearantennaegirlhadyettoescapetheunfortunateaccidentofgettingdrunkoffofsterilizationalcohol.Shewasasexpressionlessasever,butshewould
occasionallypressherfingersagainsthertemple.

Hey,Misaka.

Dontwalksofast.Lucaseemsfine,butyouregoingtoleaveFranbehind.

Whyareyoupickinguprandomgirlsagain!?

Inherduffelcoatandracingswimsuit,Mikotolookbackandsnappedathim,butherthoughtswereactuallyelsewhere.

(Ehhh?HowamIsupposedtolookhimintheeyeafterhesaidthatandhuggedme?WhatamIsupposedtosay?WhatkindofdistanceamIsupposedtokeep
betweenus?WhatamIsupposedtodoaboutthis!?)
Shecouldtellwithoutamirrorthatherfacewasbeetred,butshedidnotwanthimtoknowthatrednesscamefromanythingotherthananger.Thatleftherwithtwo
avenuesofescape:keepherbacktothespikyhairedboybywalkingoutaheadofhimorfindareasontoactangry.

However

Whyareyouinsuchahurry?Doyoureallyhavetousethebathroomorsomethfweah!?

Thistime,shedidnotneedtoputonanact.

Shesilencedhimwithalightningspeartothetorso.

Incidentally,ithadnotbeendifficulttoborrowtheSphereskeyfromShowBusinesssruler.Thegirlinboysclothingwaslyingunconsciousonthewetelevated
highway.

TheSpherewouldbebackattheirshelter,butthattoowaseasytofind.Theyonlyhadtoshakethecrossdressingbeautysshoulderstowakeher.Theystilldidnot
knowwhatkindofesperpowersheused,butthatwasnotaproblemwhenthefirstthingshesawuponwakingwasMisakaMikotostandingoverherwhilewrapped
inelectricity.

Answerourquestions.

Thosewerethemagicwords.Butafterseeingtherulerhandoverthestickshapeddeviceinatremblinghand,Kamijoudidfeelkindofbadaboutwhattheywere
doinghere.

AndwhentheyarrivedatShowBusinesssshelteritself,theyfoundalargeboxyfitnessgym.Theboysandgirlshopingtobethebestsingersordancersseemedto
treatitlikeanextracurricularcramschool.Mostofthemembersweregoneduetotheiceagemisinformation,soitwasonlylightlyguardedandapproachingthe
Spherewaseasy.

SothiswillbeournewkeystationLucacheckedthelabelofanearbybrownbottleandtossedittoFran.Itsapparentlyaturmericdrink.Howaboutyoudrink
itbeforegettingtowork?

Ew.Thatsoundsbitteranditis!!Ishouldnthavetriedit!!

Thehoodiebikinigirlstuckouthertongueandheldthebottleasfarawayfromherasshecould,butKamijougaveherapuzzledlook.

Isitthatbad?Itsaysorangeflavor.

Whatpartofthatchemicalflavortastesanythinglikeanorange!?Howaboutyoutryit!?

Wah!Stop,youmoron!Shouldahealthypersonreallybedrinkingthis!?
AsKamijoustruggled,theracingswimsuitandduffelcoatgirlnexttohimcouldnotseemtorelax.

(Eh?Wait,butiftheydothat,wontitbeanindirectkiss?Um)

Achoo!!

Shesneezedandalightningspearflewfromherbangs.Itwasdefinitelyanaccidentandcertainlynotawayofpreventinganorallyspreadinfection.

ButwhenitwasdestroyedbythearmKamijouhadliftedoverhead,thebrownbottlealsoflewthroughtheair.

Ubh!!

Thenextthinganyofthemknew,thespikyhairedboywascoveredinthecolororange.

Mikotobegantotremble.

ThatsnotjustanindirectkissIsthatindirectlylickingalloverhisbody!?

Misaka,isthatanythingtosayinthesametoneassomeonediscoveringtheentiremansionrotates!?

HoodieBikiniFraninsertedtherulerskeyintothe2meterspherethathadopenedlikealotusflower.Thatgaveherauthorization.

Incidentally,MikotodidnotreallyknowwhoFranorLucawere.Shesimplywatchedthetwogirlsskepticallyastheyusedsomeoddtechnicaltermsandskillfully
operatedthedevice.

Cometothinkofit,cantyoudirectlycontrolthisthingwithyourpowers,Misaka?

HmmTheouterlayer,sure.Mikotolookedtroubled.Buttheinnercoreisalittlestrange.Isitquantumsignals?No,notquite.Butitdoesntseemtobea
processorthatusesnormalelectricity.

ItisalightsplittingprocessorthatusestheZeemaneffect.

Fran,stopgivingusthatsmuglookandgiveusanactualexplanation.Weknowyourethesmartestoneevenifyoudontshoehornthosecomplicatedtermsintothe
conversation.

Pleasestopmockingme.Whenlightemittingparticlesenteramagneticfield,theirsinglewavelengthwillsplitintomultipleones.ThatistheZeemaneffect.And
whenwavescollide,theywillcombine,sobybringingmultiplelightstogetherinsidethetinyprocessor,theiramplitudescanrepresent0sand1sforanonelectrical
processor.
Againwiththesmuglook.

!!Itsatransitionmachinemeantasasteppingstonetowardaquantumcomputerthatuseslightseparatelyasawaveandaparticle!Justliketheplatypusandthe
coelacanthoraPDAandPHS,itsavaluablematerialforachievingfurtherevolution,butisdestinedtovanishonceitlosesthatspecialenvironment!!Theend!!!!!!

Kamijoudecideditwasforthebestnottoaskwhysheknewsomuchaboutthosesignalsandcomputers.Shewouldprobablysaythemessagesthattheysendfrom
spacearestrangeandcomplex.Anyfurtherquestionswouldbelikeaskingacinephileforarecommendationandhavingthemgoonallnightaboutsomestrange
poeticFrenchmovie.

Thatshoulddoit.Relayprocessingcomplete.Nowwecanusemybackpackasthefieldreporterbroadcastingviathenewkeystation.

SoFran.Whatsthenetworklikerightnow?

Therabbitearantennaegirlsfacecloudedoverwhenthefeatheredpiratehatandeyepatchgirlaskedthat.

LetsjustsayitsbecomeacompletemessintheshorttimesinceIlastsawit.Theyrestillsayingtheheatwavewascausedbypowerfulmicrowaves,butnowits
splitbetweenthetheorythatitwasKarasumaFransspacestationandthetheorythatitsacountdowntoaniceagecausedbyabnormalsolarwinds.Andbothare
clearlybeingbackedbysomeone.ImbettingitsthatshutinghostMaya.

Shesdoingbothsidesherself?

Withjusttheonetheory,itcanbemoreobvioussomeoneisguidingit,sosheprobablywantedaderivativerumorunderhercontrolaswell.Bypreparingherown
outletforopposingopinionsandguidingpeoplesdissatisfactionthere,shewontendupwithanuncontrollableflamewaronherhands.Anditsprettyobviousshes
designedthembothsotheyllcausemetroubleiftheygetpopular.Shessetthingsupnicelyforherself.

ThensomeonepokedatKamijousside.

ItwasMisakaMikoto.

Hey.Hey,wait.

Whatisit?

Didntshejustsaysomethingweird?ShementionedKarasumaFransspacestationandsomethingaboutcausingmetrouble.But,um,isntFranhername?

Oh,groanedKamijou.

Theyhadcomethisfarwhilehetriedtofigureoutwheretostart,buthecouldnotavoidthisifhewantedtorescueKamisatousingtheknowledgeofAcademyCitys
sciencesideinadditiontotheVoodootimeandspacemagicofthemagicsidepirategirl.
Soheanswered.

YoumetthatSalomegirl,right?ThesetwoareFranandLuca.TheyrefriendsofKamisatoKakerusjustlikeSalome.Werefightingmostoftheirgroupright
nowbutitdoesntchangethefactthattheheatwavetheycauseddidalottoprotectAcademyCityfromtheferocityoftheElemen

Electricitysplittheairwithaboom.

IfKamijouhadnotimmediatelygrabbedMikototostopher,thehoodiebikinigirlwouldhavebecomeascorchedhunkofmeat.

Letgoofme!!Youidiot!Howcanyoujustacceptthiswithasmileonyourface!?Theyretheonesthatcausedallofthis!!!!!

Ihadafeelingthiswouldhappen!ButIstillansweredhonestly!!AndifalltheyddonewasthrowAcademyCityintoturmoil,Iwouldntbehelpingthem!!Its
complicated,buttheirheatwaveweakenedKiharaYuiitsusElements!!

Mikotofinallytensedandstoppedstrugglingwhenhementionedthatscientistsname.

KiharaYuiitsu?

Yes!Theonewhoattackedyourschool!!Illexplaineverything,sojustcalmdown!!

Explainingwasanythingbuteasy.

Foronething,MikotohadnotseenorheardanythingaboutwhoKamisatoKakeruwas,sogettinghertounderstandthestrangeenvironmentsurroundingtheboy
wouldbealargehurdle.

TheonepieceofluckwasthatshehadmetSalome.

IntroducinghimasSalomesbrotherseemedtohelpheraccepthowunreasonableitallwas.

Evenso,electricitywouldoccasionallyenvelopherbodylikeshewasflippingtheteatable,soKamijouwouldhavetowraphisarmsaroundtheracingswimsuit
girlswaist,knockhertothegroundwhilesheblushed,andfinishhisexplanationofthemostimportantaspects.

TheheatwaveandtheElementswereseparate.

ThefloodofKiharaYuiitsusElementswastherealthreatandFranhadbeenforcedtorespondwiththemicrowavesfromherspacestationtoreducethedamageas
muchaspossible.

Mikotomustnothavebeenentirelyconvincedbecauseshelookedawayandspokeinalowvoice.

Well,fine.
Bugo.Bububuu.BuheeBubuu.

Ididnthityourfacesomuchyouhavetotalklikeapig!!Bbesides,yourebeingfartooacceptingofallthis.Whendidyoujuststopcaring!?

Anyway

Despiteherlifebeingatfairlyseriousriskhere,Franseyeswereasemotionlessasever.ItwasLucawhohadbeenfocusedonthecutlassatherwaist,butshe
breathedasighofreliefnow.

WehavetheSpherenow,butwehavenoideawhenEllenorMayawillattack.Also,Iwouldliketobeabletomakemultistageattacksbylinkingthekeystation
withregionalstationsliketheyredoing.Ifpossible,IwouldliketocontrolmorethanjusttheoneSphere.

Igetthat,butwecantignorethemainKamisatoissueeither.Idontwanttotakethetimetosneakintoothershelters.

Ofcoursenot.

ThehoodiebikinigirlpointedatMikotosnosewiththeindexfingerstickingoutofherbaggysleeve.

Sowellgetjustonemore.Assumingyourewillingtointroduceustotheshelteryourestayingat.

Part12

WithMisakaMikotoguidingthem,theyfeltmuchmorerelaxedinthedeadstreetsthathadseemedsodangerousbefore.

Evenso,itwasnoteasytravelingbyfootwhenAcademyCitywasburiedinrubbleandwhitesand.Thesunhadcompletelysetbythetimetheyarrived.When
Kamijouaskedthehoodiebikinigirl,helearneditwasalreadyseven.Itwastrulynighttime.

AndKamijouwassurprisedtofindthehighclassgirlsofTokiwadaiMiddleSchoolhadmovedtoafamiliarplace.

Ahospital?AndtheoneImalwaysstayingat???

AlotofthegirlscouldbarelymoveafterfightingKiharaYuiitsu.Afterallthat,theyreluckytoevenbealive.

AndeventhoughKamijouandFranwereessentiallywantedcriminals,timepassedinamuchmorerelaxedfashionthantheyexpected.

(Whatisgoingon?)

Kamijoulookedaround.Thehighclassgirlsschoolhadhadnearly200students,sotheymustnothaveallbeenabletousethehospitalbeds.
Quiteafewobjectswerevisibleintheparkinglotoutfront.Theywerehandmadehousesmadefromcardboardboxesandblueplasticsheets.Someoftheplastic
entrancespushedopenasgirlsinracingswimsuitsandduffelcoatspeeredoutandnoddedtheirway.

ThelackofconcretewallstokeepoutElementsdidnotreallymatter.AnoutdoorbasewassafeaslongastheElementscouldbedivertedaway.Theparkhadshown
Kamijouthat.

Butevenso

Highclassgirlsincardboardhouses?Thatsnotrightatall.Areyousureyoucanadapttothis?

Areyoumakingfunofus?

Mikotosoundedexasperated,butitwastruetherewassomeexhaustiononherface.Shehadlikelybeenworkingalloutfromthebeginning.Andeventhoughshe
wassmilingonthesurface,itwaspossibleshewasstillfeelingthemalicethathadbeendirectedtheirway.

However,someofthegirlsseemedtobeenjoyingthenewexperienceofthisunfamiliarenvironment.

Thecardboardwillcollapsewithnothingbuttapeholdingittogether.Oh,Iknow.Howaboutwereinforceitwithwirehangers?

Greatidea,Kongousan!

Andwhilewereatit,letsstrengthenitfurtherwithstyrofoam!

Theyseemedtobeenjoyingitlikechildrenbuildingasecretbase.Awarmblanketandfoodalwayshadawayofsoothingpeopleshearts.Withthenecessities
fulfilled,theymayhavebeentryingtoexpelsomeofthestressbuiltupintheirchests.Hejusthopedtheydidnotgetsickofitasquicklyasacoldbathafterthe
sauna.

BunnyGrey

Francoveredhermouthinexcitementafterfindingacardboardhouseusingacharacterpicnicsheetasadoor.Kamijouwasfairlycertainshewouldtrytomovein
therepermanently,sohegrabbedherbythenapeofthenecktostopher.

Adelicioussmellwaftedtheirwayandhespottedsomegirlsintheparkinglotstirringalargepotsittingatopametaldrumwithwiremeshoverthetop.Itlikelyhad
curryorsomethinginside.Theywouldnothavehadthedozensofspicesavailable,soitsmelledalotlikethestandardrouxKamijouwouldbuyatthesupermarket.

ThankstoMikotosinfluencetheyweregivensomeonpaperplates.Therewasnowheretosit,sotheystoodaroundthefireastheyate.

ThelastthingKamijouandFranhadeatenwasthecoldduckslices,chikuwa,andnarutotheyhadborrowedfromthesubwaystationsobarestaurantrefrigerator.
Eatingsomethingwarmandflavorfulwasalmostenoughtomovethemtotears.Inthismoment,KamijouToumawastrulyalive.
Thenanextremelyyoungvoicearound7yearsoldspokeupnexttohim.

Oneechan.UmMore!

Luca!!Whyareyouusingthatvisualtotakeadvantageofpeoplesgoodwill!?

Ihavenoideawhatyouretalkingabout.MoreimportantlyOneechan,more!

Butthensomethingunexpectedoccurred.

Insteadofjustoneortwo,awholecrowdofgirlsinracingswimsuitsandduffelcoatssurroundedthetinypirate
girl.

My,whoisthislittlegirl?

Maybesheslost.

Well,wemustlookafterheruntilshecangetbackhome!Mhn!!

Eh?Wait!Wah,wah,wah,wah!?Wait,wait!!

Theyoungvoicewasburiedbythecrowdandthehoodiebikinigirlstaredintothedistancewhilechewing.

Heh.Inconventswherenomenareallowed,thenunsmaternalsidescanbesosuppressedthattheystarthaving
strangehallucinations,sotheyoftenusewoodenbabydollstoridthemofsomeofthosematernalurges.You
didntknowthat,Luca?

Kamijouhadnoideawhyshewassofamiliarwiththosehallucinations,butsincetherabbitearantennaegirl
specializedinUFOsandaliens,hedecideditwasbestnottoask.

Curryreallyusesalotofwater.Bothforcokingitandforcookingthericetogowithit.

Assumingyoujustusetapwater,yes,saidMikoto.Butalotofourgirlscancontrolwater.

Huh?Whydidyoustopeating?

Whatkindofjuiceswasthiscurrycookedin!?wonderedKamijou,buthehadalreadyeatenit.Hehadbeensomovedemotionallythatheonlynownoticedhisplate
wasempty.
But

Twomealsinoneday.NowthatIthinkaboutit,Imactuallygettingenoughtoeat.

Whenhe,thehoodiebikinigirl,andthepiratehatgirlenteredthehospitalthroughtheoutpatiententrance,hefoundmorechaos.Inadditiontothehospitalroomsand
examinationrooms,thewaitingroombenchesandthewheeledstretchersallhadpeoplelyingonthemandmaterialswerepiledupallthroughoutthehallways.With
theheatwaveandElements,thenumberofpatientshadfarsurpassedthehospitalscapacity.Itwasamiracleitwasevenstillfunctioningasahospital.Inniche
survivalguidesthatgaveatimetablefromthebeginningtotheendofafictionalzombieoutbreak,itwasalwaysthehospitalsandpolicestationsthatweretakenout
first.Evenifnoonemeantanyharm,thesheernumberofpeoplecouldpreventthemfromfunctioning.

Oh?AndjustwhenIthoughtyouhadntbeenhospitalizedinawhile.

Afamiliarfrogfaceddoctorwalkedoutfromtheback.Itwasoddforahealthyhighschoolboytobefamiliarwithadoctorlikethis,butthatwasjusthowoften
Kamijouhadbeensavedbyhim.

Butfornow,theSpherewaswhatmattered.

Doctor,IveheardthisshelterisknownasHospital.

Hm?Inevernamedit,soImnotsurewhattotellyou.Maybesomeonestartedcallingitthat,butIdontknow.

WhatabouttheSphere?

Oh,thatthing?Isupposeitsbetterthanrelyingonaradioequippedwithahandcrankedgenerator.

Hedidnotseemveryattachedtoit,butthatwasgoodnewsforKamijouandthegirls.MikotoandtheothersheredidnotseemtoknowthatKamijouandFranwere
beingtreatedlikewantedcriminals,sotheentireshelterprobablydidnotrelyontheSpheremuch.Aftergettingpermissionfromthehospitalscentralfigure,they
receivedtheUSBmemorykeyfromthefrogfaceddoctor.

TheSpherewassittingoutinthecourtyard.

Itwasnotevenindoors,sotheycouldtellhowlittlethepeoplecaredaboutit.

LucaassistedFranastheyaccessedtheinformationbasethatwasopenedlikealotusflower.KamijouwatchedthemandaskedMikotosomethinghewasalittle
curiousabout.

HowdidthishospitalkeeptheElementsout?
Idontknow,buttheysaidtheyusedultrasonicwaves.Therewereafewlongskinnythingslikeglasswindchimessetuparoundthearea,somaybethosewere
luringtheElementsaway.

Kamijoushuddered.

KamisatoKakeruhadrevealedthattheElementshadbeenusingultrasonicwavestopassdatabacktoKiharaYuiitsuthroughthemicrowaves.Thefrogfaceddoctor
hadcasuallyreachedthatlevel.ItwaspossiblehehadcapturedanddissectedafewElementslikeTokiwadaihad.

Strangepeoplewereeverywhereinthiscity.

Thatmaynothavebeensomethingtosaywhenheregularlyatemealswithagrimoirelibraryandatruegod,butKamijouhimselfhadnothingtobragabout.

Thenalightbeepintrudedonhisthoughts.

Alldone.Hehheh.Regionalstationacquired!

Fransdefaultexpressionlesslookhadstartedtogrowsmugrecently.WasshelettingherguarddownaroundKamijou,ordidshewanttoappearsuperiortoMikoto?
Thatwashardtosay.

NowIcanusetwoSpheresatonce.Wecanmakeourownmultistageattacks,sotheresalotmorewecandointheonlinebattle.

Idontreallygetit,butdidyousayhernamewasMaya?HowmanySpheresdoesshecontrol?

Ihavenoproof,butprobablymorethan15attheleast.

Bff!!spatKamijoueventhoughhedidnotreallygetit.Thatsahellofalotmore!

Letsignoretheterritorycontrolledbytheregionalnetworkstationsforthetimebeing.Ifwerejustlookingattheonlinearguments,theactualdifferencein
numbersdoesntmattertoomuch.Thereareonlythreepatternsforfocusingonanargument:1person,2people,or3+people.Addinginabunchmorepeopleisjust
awasteofeffort,sowedontneedtoworryaboutit.

Butweonlyhaveuptothe2peopleonewhileMayacanusethe3+peopleone,right?

Ineversaidwehadanabsoluteadvantage,didI?

Shemayhaveonlybeensayingtheyhadachancetoargueback,whichwasbetterthannothing.

TheystillhadtodealwithKamisato,buttheproblemsseemedtobepilingup.Kamijouslowlysighedandlookedupintothechillysky,butthenhesawasmall
figurepeeringdownathimfromoneofthewindows.Theynoticedhimandwaved.
(ThatsPatriciaBirdway,right?Shedoesntleavemuchofanimpressionbecauseshesovershadowedbyhersister)

ThatgirlhadbeeninfectedwiththeSampleShoggoth,joinedKamisatosgroup,andultimatelyhadherlifesavedwhenthepiecesofMagicGodNephthysfilled
thegapsinherbody.SeeingherwaslikeseeingadifferentsidetoKamisatoKakeruwhohadcausedsomuchtroublewithhisunpredictableactions.

Thinkingback,KamijouhadtowonderifKamisatoKakeruhadalreadybeenpreparedtokillhimselftosavesomeoneelseatthatpoint.

IfKamijouhadnoticeditsooner,hecouldhavepredictedwhathappenedbelowtheWindowlessBuildingandperhapsstoppedit.

Henoddedupatthegirlandthenopenedhismouth.

Fran,doyouthinkyoucandealwiththeiceagemisinformation?

Icantguaranteeit.Forone,ifIdoanythingtooconspicuous,MayawilldetecttherelaySphereImusingasakeystationandhaveitphysicallydestroyed.Instead
ofdirectlyrejectingtheidea,Imbusyinvestigatinghowtherumorisspreadingandpretendingtoagreewhileremakingitintoadifferenttopicfromtheedges.In
otherwords,itwonthaveanyimmediateeffects.

Youcandothatwhilewewalk,right?Anyway,keepatit.

Thatsaid,thatroutewouldnotstoptheriotsfromspreading.

Thatmeanttheyhadtostopitatthesource.IftheycouldproveKamisatoKakerucouldbesavedwithoutKiharaYuiitsusWorldRejecter,thenMaya,Ellen,andthe
otherswouldhavenomorereasontofight.

Letsgetdowntobusiness,beganKamijou.Misaka.WeneedtheA.A.A.tosaveKamisatoKakeruandendallthistrouble.AndIdontmeanthemachineyou
builtImeantheoriginalitsbasedon.Telluswhereitis.

Part13

Itwasalreadypast8bythetimetheyleftthehospital.

AndMisakaMikotoledthemtoanunexpectedplaceastheirbreathappearedwhiteintheair.

District11?

Right.Itstheeasternmostdistrictanditsusedasadistributionbaseforthelandroutes.

MisakaMikotoexplainedinherracingswimsuitandduffelcoatwhilewalkingthroughthestreetscoveredinpilesofwhitesand.
Morethan90%ofAcademyCitystrashisrecycled.Scrapmetalismelteddown,kitchengarbageismadeintocompost,etc.Buttherearesomethingsthatjust
cantberecycled.Onceitsbeenreusedsooftenitsdeteriorated,itscompressed,packedincontainers,andsenttothedisposalfacilityforthatarea.

Thenitsinoneofthosewastecontainers?askedLucainherpiratehatandeyepatch.

Right,confirmedMikoto.Bymessingwiththeshippingschedulealittle,onecontainerisforeverleftinthepileoftrash.ThatswhereIhidthesamplepartstothe
originalIfoundinthedisguisedarmorythatnightwefoughtKiharaYuiitsu.

ItwasinthatcontaineryardwhereKamijouhadfoughtGremlinsThorattheendoftheIchihanaransai.Thathonestlywasnotapleasantmemory.

TheymadealongtrekacrossAcademyCity.Theirdestinationwasonthefarendofthecity,sowhenKamijouaskedFranforthetime,hefoundithadtakenthem
morethanthreefullhours.Thedatewouldbechangingsoon.

Thestreetslookedstrangewiththestreetlightsandtrafficlightsdead.

Theyknewitwasunlikelyacarwoulddriveby,buttheystillfeltaslightsqueezingattheirheartswhentheycutacrossaroadwhilenearlyblind.

WhentheyarrivedinDistrict11,theyfoundanSFworldwhereaoneroomapartmenthadthoroughlygrowninsize.Inthedarkness,pilesofstandardizedmetal
boxescreatedgeometricsilhouettes.Largegantrycraneswouldnormallybeendlesslyunloadingtrucks,butthathadallcometoastop.Theperishablesinthe
refrigeratedcontainersmayhavebeenrotting.

Despiteallthematerialshere,theysawnosignofanyone.PerhapsnoonehadbeenabletoslippasttheheatwaveandtheElementstoarriveatthisisolateddistrict.

Wheresthecontainer?

Thisway.Ifthemicrowaveswipedoutthemanagementdata,Illhavetoalterthelistagainafterallthisisover

Itwashalfwayuponeofthepyramidlikepilesofcontainers.Mikotocouldusethereflectionofherelectromagneticwavestoscantheterrainandthenuse
magnetismtoeasilyclimbthewall,butKamijouandtheothershadahardertimeofit.HepusheduponFransbutt,gotdownonallfourswhileLucasslenderlegs
stoodonhisback,andthenhadthegirlspullhimup.Itwasastruggle,buttheyclimbedonup.

Thisisit.

Mikotoarrivedfirstandpointedatacontainerdoorwithherthumb.

Thedooronlyhadapadlockwithadialtolockit.ThatseemedstrangeforMikotowhocouldopenanylockwithherpower.Alllocksweremadetobeopened,soit
mayhavebeenlessaboutsecurityandmoreaboutdisguisingitsoitdidnotstandout.

Shedidnotseemtocheckthenumbersonthelockinthedark.Instead,sheunlockeditbydirectlymanipulatingitsinternalpartswithhermagnetism.Thenshe
placedherhandsonthedoubledoors.
Kamijoufrownedwhenhepeeredinsidethethickdarknessthatdidnotevenallowthemoonlightin.Franheldoutasmallmonitorthatwasconnectedtoher
backpackwiththekindofcurledwiresusedbyhomephones.Thebacklightshinedlikeaglowinglanternandtheycouldfinallyseeinside.

Asinistercollectionofmachineryawaitedtheminside.

Themetalcontainerwastoosmallforthelargeweaponstofit,sotheyhadbeendismantledquiteabit.Kamijouwasnotanexpertinthatfield,sohecouldnoteven
imaginewhattheywouldhavelookedlikewhenintact.

Nevertheless,heimmediatelyfeltachillinthepitofhisstomachlikehehadseenapoolofblood.Thatmayhavebeenprooftheseweredeadlyweapons.Hecould
feelanindescribablesenseofrevulsionsqueezingathisheart.

ButwhenMisakaMikotohadseenthis,shehadapparentlydecidedtouseit.Thatwaswhyshehadretrievedit,keptitonhand,improvedit,andremadeittoher
ownliking.Kamijoufeltaslightthornthere.Itwasadangerousscent,liketheenchantingpatternonakatanasbladeorthetemptingaromaofanexcellentweapon.

Kamijou,AogamiPierce,andFukiyoseSeiriwouldhavelosttheirlivestotheElementsifnotforMikotosA.A.A.ItwasalsotheironlycluetosavingKamisato.It
wasallworkingintheirfavor,buthecouldnotsimplyrejoiceatitspresence.

Whatisthis?

ThefirstonetosetfootinthecontainerwasLuca,themagicianknowledgeableintimeandspace.Franalsosteppedinwiththelightsource,butshemostlyseemed
tobepursuingherfriendsback.

Isis,Osiris,andHorusButthisisfarremovedfromEgyptiantraditions.ThatwhichwillnotobeyuponbeingsummonedAbrahadabra.Theupsidedown
trianglemadefromthesamelettersthecursereversingcharmIsee.Theinductionoftheparanormalusingadolescentmindsanddrugswastakenfromthe
TempleofThelema.Butwaitthatwouldmean!?

Luca,Luca.Um?Areyouchannelingsomething?

Scienceandmagic?Dontmakemelaugh!Ifeverythinghereistrue,thenthereneverweretwodifferentworlds.Asinglepersonswickednesswasonlymakingit
lookthatway!!Youcanexplaintheworldwithasingleunifiedtheory!!

Shewasclearlyactingoddly.Itwaslikeamania,ahigh,oratrance.AsLucatrembled,wassheeventhinkingforherself?Orwasshebeingdrawninbysomekind
ofexternalpower?Whatcouldsheseeasshearchedherback?HerbodywasmovingsomadlythatKamijouthoughthecouldhearherheartbeatevenasfarawayas
hewas.

Eiya.

ThenFranutteredasillycryandlazilykaratechoppedthebackofthepirategirlshead.
Lucasheadshookevenmorethanexpectedandthenshecamebacktohersenses.Shelookedpuzzledandshookherheadlikeawetdog.

Eh?Huh?Whatjust?WhyamI?

Luca.Canweusethisornot?

Ooh.Thatsright.

Aftertheconfusionofsomeonewhohadjustwokenup,shebeganobservingthemachineryoncemore.

ThisisevenbetterthanIexpected.IjustthoughtitwouldbesomethingthatexistedherewithusandtherewithKamisatokun,butitalreadyhasmagicaldesign
andsymbolsworkedin.

What?

ThepirategirlansweredKamijousquestioningvoicewithashrug.

Idontknowwhatelsetotellyou.Itsdisguisingitselfasscience,butthecoreisfullonmagic.ItslikeseeingEdisonsnecromancydevice.Itlookslikeanenergy
transferdevicethatguidespowerinfromaremotelocation.Youknowwhatweretryingtodo,right?CreateatunnelanddragKamisatoKakeruback.Withthis,
itsmorethanhalffinishedalready.Thetrickwillbehowtoaltertheenergylineintosomethingthattransportsmatter.

NowitwasKamijouandMikotosturntoexchangeaglance.

The#3frownedandshookherhead.

IIdontknowwhatyouretalkingabout!AllIdidwasreproducetheblackboxportionwithoutknowingwhatitis.Andwhatdoyoumeanbymagic?Youdont
justmeanamethodofmeditation,doyou???

(ThisisbadThenhasMisakabeengettingnosebleedsasthesideeffectofanesperusingmagic!?)

Hehadfigureditout,butshouldhetellher?Hewouldonlyworryherifhesaid,Idontknowthedetails,butyouhaveadisease.However,youwontfindacureat
anyhospital.Andworryinghermightevenworsenhersymptoms.HewouldneedtodiscussthiswithanexpertlikeIndexorOthinus.

Hekeptitinhisheart,buttheyhadtokeepmoving.

PirateGirlLucaleanedtowardMikoto.

Hey,hey!Canyoustartitup?Notthederivativeoneyouapparentlyhave,butthisonerighthere!

Wwell,yes.Butitsinefficient.Thisonehasntbeentunedforme.Itsalotliketryingtodanceballetinsomeoneelsesshoes.
Thatsfine!!Youredoingsomethingfarmoreincrediblethanyouknow.Turnitonandbreathelifeintothesystem.Thatshouldprovideuswithaprettymajor
clue!!

ItwasKamijouthatgulped,notMikoto.

IftheA.A.A.scorewasmagicalinnatureanditplacedagreatburdenonanesperlikeMikoto,hecouldnothaveheruseitagainandagain.Shehadbeenfinesofar,
butthatmayhavebeenlikeunwittinglycrossingaminefield.Justbecauseshehadnotsteppedonamineyesterdaywasnoguaranteethatshewouldnotdosotoday.

Waitasecond.Youreamagician,Luca,socantyoudoityourself?Magicisyourfield.

Yes,therewouldnotbeaproblemifanactualmagiciantouchedtheA.A.A.Thesideeffectsonlyappliedtoespersusingmagic.

Butthepiratehatandeyepatchgirlshookherhead.

Icanttouchthisbizarrethingrightaway.Itmightevenbiteme.Sheusedameaningfulsoundingphrasetoarguehercase.Iwanttoinvestigateaftersomeone
whoitsalreadyacceptedtriggerstheignitionandgetsthemotorrunning.Andwehavesomeonewhosdonejustthat.Wecantmeasuretheriskhere,sothatsfar
saferthantryingitoutanddamagingthegatewevefound.

Shemostlikelydidnotunderstandtherisk.

Lucacontinuedsmilingassheanswered.

ButthatdroppedaheavyweightintoKamijouToumasstomach.

TheycouldnotadvancewithoutMisakaMikotoactivatingtheA.A.A.WithoutthattheycouldnotsaveKamisatoKakeru,theycouldnotfreethegirlstrappedby
KiharaYuiitsuscurse,andtheycouldnotridAcademyCityofthischaos.

Butnowthatheknewthedanger

Hm?Whatswithyou?

Mikotoherselfpeeredupathimfrombelow.

Shelookedentirelyunconcerned.Thatwasthelookofadefenselessgirlwhodidnotatallunderstandtheriskshebore.Kamijoutoldhimselfthiswasjustonetime.
Thoseunnaturalnosebleedswerecertainlyconcerning,butshehadnotbledfromalloverherbodyandcollapsedlikeTsuchimikadoMotoharu.Thenwouldntshebe
finethistimetoo?Itwasonlyforaveryshorttime,afterall.
Meanwhile,Mikotocasuallyreachedouttowardthecollectionofjunk.Washermagnetismpullingitin,orwasittheopposite?Severalpiecesofscrapmetal
wriggledtowardherpalminpreparationtotouchit.

Hethought.

Heworried.

Andhefinallysqueezehiseyesshut,clenchedhisteeth,andyetcouldnotmakeuphismind.

No,wait,Misa!!!???

Shedidnotwait.

Ithappenedamomentlater.

DespitebeingthemostpowerfulElectromaster,thegirlsentirebodyjerkedlikeshehadbeenstruckbylightning.

Part14

Fromthatinstanton,KamijouToumassenseoftimemayhavebeenmalfunctioning.

Astimeseemedtostretchoutinfinitely,heheardawaterysoundfromthedepthsofthedarknesssweptawaybyFransbacklight.Somethingwasflowingfrom
MisakaMikotosmouthasherbodyarchedbackwards.Rounddropsglitteredlikejewelscoloredwithauniqueshadedifferentfrombothredandblack.Therewas
onlyoneanswer,butKamijousfruitlesslyspinningmindcouldnotcomeupwiththeword.

Thegirlseyeswereopenedwide.

Butnotfromfearorpain.Whyhadthishappenedtoher?Hereyeswerefilledwiththeconfusionofbeingunabletoanswerthatquestion.

Mikotocouldnotsupportherselfwithherbackarchedsosharply,sosheslowlycollapsedbackwards.Kamijoufinallyreachedhishandsout.

Buthecouldnotreachher.

Hecouldnotreachherintime.

Aheavymetallicthudrangthroughthecontainer.Thentimereturnedtonormal.Thegirllayonherbackandherentirebodywrithedandconvulsed.Theblood
dropletsthathadspilledfromhermouthwerepulleddownbygravityandsprinkledacrossthefloor.Manyredflowersbloomedwithadirtysplatteringsound.

Misakaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!?
Heyelledandfranticallytriedtopickherupinhisarms,butPirateGirlLucacutinfromthesideandgrabbed
himtostophim.Assheconvulsed,Mikotowasdesperatelytryingtomoveherrighthand.No,sheprobably
thoughtshewasraisingherhandandholdingoutherpalmtostophim.

Shewastellinghimnottotouchherwithhisrighthand.

Franalonelookedateveryoneinturnlikeshefeltleftout.

Why!?DidntthishappenbecausetheA.A.A.isanoutsideproductandanesperjusttouchedmagic!?ThenifI
usemyrighthand!!

ThisisnttheA.A.A.!!Shewashitbyacarefullyaimedexternalcurse.Shewasattacked!!

Acurse?

Kamijoufinallystoppedstrugglingandrepeatedtheword.

Hedidnotknowthedetaileddefinition,buttheoldfashionedwordwasclearlyfromoutsidetheboundsofthe
scienceside.

Whatdoyoumeanacurse!?

Part15

Someonehadanklelengthsilverhairandworeathingreensurgicalgown.

Thathumanlookedlikebothamanandawoman,likebothanadultandachild,andlikebothasaintandasinner.Heeversoslowlyletoutasigh.

Thathumanhadwaitedandwaitedforthismoment.

HehaddonesowhileKiharaYuiitsulettheElementsrunwildtotrackdownKamisatoKakeru,andhehaddonesowhilepowerfulmicrowaveshadturnedthecity
intoascorching55degreehelltofightthoseElements.Andhehadevensetasidethecurrentproblemstowaitforthismoment.

Howeverithadhappened,KiharaYuiitsuhadfinishedoffKamisatoKakeru.

Thatmeanthehadtodealwiththeotheronehimselffortherealizationofhisplan.

Thathuman,AleisterCrowley,hadafewpiecesofmagicviewedasgreatachievements,butoneofthosewasbasedonamagicphrasethatmayhavebeenthe
mostfamousintheworld.
Abracadabra.

Thephrasewaswellknowninthecontextofmockingthosewhobelievedintheoccult,butveryfewpeopleknewitwasmoreoftenincludedinmagiccharmsand
magiccirclesthaninspokenincantations.

Itseffectscouldbedescribedasacursereversal.

Whenanenemycastacurse,suchastheEyeofHorusoranankh,itwoulddivertitorsenditbacktowardthatenemy,soitwaswidelyknownasaprotectivecharm.

However,justasalltechniquesareneithergoodnorevil,itcamedowntohowthemagicwasused.

Thinkofitlikelight.

Ifalightreflectingmirrorwascurved,itcouldfocusthelightonasinglepoint.Thenthesupposedlyharmlesssunlightcouldbeusedtostartfiresorevensparka
wildfirethatcoveredtheentirelandscape.

Thiswasthecurvatureofacurse.

Theconcepthadnaturallyariseninallcultures,easternorwestern.Someonemighthaveadolltaketheirplace,orsomeonemightdivertanenemysaimbyescaping
insideamagiccircledrawnontheground.

Thecurseitselfmightnotbethatrare.

Therewerecursesthattookundirectedresentmentorjealousyandusedaspelltocreateaninvisiblearrowheadorbullet.Countlessnumbersofthoseweretraveling
allaroundtheearthlikethehighspeedconnectionsoftheinternet.

Thehumandidnotevenneedtorefinehisownmagicpower.

Hedidnotevenneedtorevealthathecouldusemagic.

HeonlyhadtocaptureoneoftheinvisiblecursesflyingaroundlikeawirelessLANsignal,slightlytwistit,andredirectit.Sincehewasusingsomeoneelsescurse,
therewasnoteventheslightestchanceofthecursebeingtracedbacktohim.

Abracadabra.

Thathumandrewoutanupsidedowntrianglewiththesamelettersarrangedinaregularfashion.

Thatmagiccirclehadbeenwidelyknownsinceancienttimes,buthehadfoundanewinterpretationandsuccessfullybuiltitintohisownmagicalsystem.

Thetruenamehehadgiventhecursereversalcirclesaidthefollowing:Isupplylightningforthydeath.
ItwasatrulyironicphraseforthestrongestoftheElectromasters.

Part16

Thisissimilar

PirateGirlLucaspokewhileholdingKamijouback.

ThecurseeatingintoherrightnowisstructuredverysimilarlytotheA.A.A.!Itmusthavebeenmadebythesameperson.IfIinvestigatethis,Icanfindtheanswer.
ComparingthetwoandsearchingoutpointsincommonmighthelpmefullyinvestigatethestrangeandcomplexA.A.A.!!

ButthenwhathappenstoMisaka!?

Therewasnoanswertothat.

No,Lucashookherheadwhileclingingtohim.

Yes,thatwasright.

LucaandFranstopprioritywasKamisatoKakeru.Iftheyhadtoweighthatvanishedboyagainstanythingelse,itwasobviouswhichsidewouldwinout.Sothey
hadmadetheirchoice.Evenifanothergirlhadtofall.

Tohellwith!!!!!!

Hedecidedtorestartitallfromthebeginning.Nomatterhowmuchofadetouritwas,hecouldnotletthemuseasacrificeasasteppingstone.

ButthenKamijouToumasawsomething.

AsMisakaMikotowrithedonthefloor,shegatheredwhatlittlestrengthshehadtocontroljustherwildlyflailingrighthand.ShehelditouttowardKamijouand
clearlyshowedhimherpalm.

doanything

Herbloodylipsmoved.

Infact,theyevenformedadefinitesmileasshewhispered.
Yousaidyouwoulddefeatthem.Yousaidtheywereformlessmalice,butthattheycouldstillbedefeated.Thenkeepgoing.Usemeasasteppingstoneand
continueon.Illdoanythingifitsforthat!!

Misaka!!

Keepyourpromise.Mikotosvoicewasheavierthanthebloodshehadcoughedup.Imnottheonlyonetrappedbythis.Youfreedmefromit,buteveryoneelse
isstilltrapped!Theymightbesmilingontheoutside,butitllhavetakenrootdeepintheirhearts!!Sodefeatthem.Defeatthemandproveit!Showthosegirls
somethingthatmakesthemgladtheywerehereinAcademyCity!!

Kamijouthoughthecouldnotdoit.

Notthathecouldnotstepoverherandcontinueon.HecouldnotgiveintoemotionbyrejectingandwastingMikotoseffortsaftershehadclenchedherteethand
workedsohardtohelp.

Notmatterhowlonghetried,hecouldnotswingdownhistremblingfist.

Mikotosmiledkindlyupathimwhilecollapsedonherback.

Andwiththatsmileonherface,sheoncemorelostcontrolofherbody.Shewrithedirregularlyandcouldnotstopconvulsing.Whatwashappeningbeneathher
skin?Shetossedaboutlikeshehadswalloweddeadlypoison.

Howlongisitgoingtotake,Luca?

Imdoingitrightnow.

WhencanIsaveMisaka!?Answerme!!

ImworkingashardasIcan!!

Thepassageoftimefeltmaddeninglyslow.

HecouldnottellhowmuchprogressLucahadmadeassheshuthereyesandmutteredbelowherbreath.Thatmadehimallthemoreimpatient.Mikotoswrithing
andconvulsionshadgrownsmaller,buthedoubtedthatmeantherconditionhadgrownstable.Itonlylookedlikeherlifeforcewasbeingsappedaway.

Howmuchtimehadpassed?

Howfarhadheworndownhisbackteethasheclenchedthem?

ThenLucasarmsrelaxedaroundhim.Hetookthataspermission,nearlycollapsedontothefloortoapproachMikoto,andforcefullypressedhisrightpalmagainst
thestomachofherracingswimsuit.
Therewasnoreaction.

Hedidnotactuallyknowiftheexternalcursehadended.

Andhehadtohaveknownhowthiswouldendifheletthosegirlsmakethedecisions.Hehadknown,buthehadletithappen.ItwasthesameaswhenKamisato
haddisappeared.Hehadbeenpushedbackbytheclaimsthatthiswasthebestoptionandhehadultimatelydonenothing.

Dammit

Kamijougroanedasheheldthatsmallandlimpbodyinhisarms.

Noonehaddoneanythingwrong.

Everyonehadmadethebestavailablechoice,yetthishadhappened.

Goddammiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!!!!

BetweentheLines2

Theboyhadnoticedsomesurprisinginconveniencesafterlosinghisrighthand.

Forexample,hecouldnotusechopstickswhileholdingthericebowl.Nottomentionusingaknifeandforkatthesametime.Hecouldstaborgrabthingswithjust
hislefthand,buthealwaysdroppedsomeofit.

(WhatamIsupposedtodoaboutmyswimsuitsstring?Icanuntieit,butIdoubtIcanretieitwithjustonehand.)

Nephthyyyys,shouldweburnthistoo?

Idontseewhynot.Wecaninterpretitassendingitbacktoheavenasanofferingtothegods.

Heheardsomeshrillvoicesaroundhim.

Hewasinthemiddleofagiantintersectionwithnopeopleorcarstobeseen.Curtains,abed,scrapsofcloth,andotherthingswerepiledupandburningasan
impressivebonfire.ThegirlinthemodifiedminiChinadresswashoppingaroundasshepleasedandthebandagedwomanseemedunconcernedbyhowshewas
dressed,soitwashardtoknowwheretolookevenforKamisatowhowasalwayssurroundedbygirls.Hekeptseeingbutts.

Thisplacewascutofffromthenormalworld,butdestroyingthingswaseasy.Kamisatohadinitiallypaledwhenhethoughtitwouldinfluencethingsbackinthe
originalworld,buttheMagicGodssaidthatwasnothowitworked.
Theycoulddestroythings,butitwouldnotaffectanythingthere.

Andattheendoftheday,alltracesofthedamagewouldberepairedatpreciselymidnight.Butinsteadofreturningtohowitwasbeforethedamage,theworldwas
remadebasedonthingsthere.Simplyput,iftheychoppeddownaroadsidetreebutitwasreplantedonespotoverinthatworld,itwouldpopupinthatnextspot
overoncemidnightarrivedinthisworld.

OnlythoseselfishMagicGodswouldrejoiceatbeingabletodowhatevertheywanteduponhearingthat.Ifalltraceswouldvanish,thentheyhadaworldwhere
nothingtheydidwouldremain.Thisworlddidnotallowfortheaccumulationthatwasthekeytohumanprogress.Andsinceitwasallbasedonthatworld,they
wouldbeabletoseeadesertformingoraniceagecoming,buttheycoulddonothingtostopit.Theycouldonlywatchtheruinspreadandbeburiedbyit.

Whathappenedtothenutrientsfromtheslicedpotatoeshewaseatingnow?Didtheupdatecomeatmidnightbecausetherepairssweptacrossthesurfaceoftheearth
inaccordancewithitsrotation?Hehadaneverendingstreamofthoughtsonthematter,buthedidnotneedtorush.Hehadmoretimetothinkthanhecouldeverask
for.

ThisstuffisprettygoodnowthatIvetriedit.Chomp,chomp.

Oh,dear.AndhereIthoughtnotevenyoupeoplewouldeatatable,evenifithasfourlegs.

Thegodswhohatedcausingchangewereentirelycarefree.IftheyweretaskedwithstackingrocksforeternityintheSainoKawara,itwouldlikelybethe
tormentingdemonsmeanttoobstructtheirworkthatbeggedforittoend.

Madeupyourmind?askedMagicGodNiangNiang.

ItsnotlikeIhaveachoicewhenIcantreturnthere.

Oh?Soyouregonnadie?

Shemadeitsoundsotrivial.ShehandledlifeanddeathmatterslikeshewastalkingtoavillagerinanRPG.

But,yknow?

Despitewearingaminiskirt,paleNiangNiangstoodononeleg,bentbackwards,andstretchedherotherlegtowardheavenlikeshewascopyingaballetpose.This
dangerouslyemphasizedherchestandslenderlegs.Godsweremagnanimous,soafterblowingoffsomesteam,shedidnotparticularlycareifsomeonewasan
enemyorally.

Isreturningtotheoriginalworldreallythathard?
Cometothinkofit,yousummonedNuadasleftarmfromemptyair.Idontrememberusgivingitthatability,butmaybeyoucouldpullitoffifyouhadWorld
Rejecteritself.

Kamisatosighedandspuntheforkinhislefthand.

Henoticedthenumberofforkshadgrowntotwoorthreeatsomepoint.

Forgods,yourenotveryobservant.Justbecausesomeonehasaparanormalpowerthatsurpasseshumanunderstandingdoesntmeaneverythingtheydousesit.

Oh,soitwasabluff?

Iwasinitforrevenge,soIwasafraidkillingyouinstantlywouldleavemeunsatisfied.IstudiedandworkedhardsoIcouldsavoritforaslongaspossible.Andas
anormalhighschoolboy,Iwasalsointerestedinawaytohideaweaponjustincase.

Heofcoursekeptitasecretthathehadthoughtitwouldlookcoolpullingaknifeorgunfromhissleevelikeanassassininamovie.Thekindofpersonwhospent
timeinclassthinkingwhathewoulddoifterroristsattackedhisschoolwouldoftenfantasizeaboutsuchthings.Whetherornotthatpersonwouldactuallywalk
downtothelibraryandcheckoutthemagictricksbookrecommendedbyliteraryandgardeninggirlClairewasanothermatter.

ButNiangNiangwasnotnormalorinhighschool,soshewentbeyondhidingsomethinguphersleeveandhadinsteadreplacedalltenofherfingerswithPaoPei.
Shehidhermouthwithherbaggysleeveandsmiled.

Idoknowhowyoufeel.WeMagicGodsarealotlikethat.Whenyougetdowntoit,legendsaremoreaboutstylethanfunction,right?Iftheywouldjustgetthe
helpofthegodsrightaway,theywouldnthaveanytroubleatall,buttheygooutoftheirwaytoovercomeitallwiththeirownpower.

PleasedontactlikeImanythinglikeyou.

Thenonemorething.

NiangNianggaveasmileofclearmaliceasshebentherlithebody.Itwasunclearhowshewassupportingherweight,butsheformedaperfectbridgewithout
placingherhandsonthegroundandshelookedathimwithherupsidedownhead.

Didyouthinkyourstorywasovernow?

Yourereallynotmuchfun,sowellhelpyoureturntoyouroriginalworld.Areyousayingyoudontcareifthatsucceedsorfails?Wasyourstoryoveronceyour
valiantdecisiongotyousenthere,sonothingyoudoherematters?

Hehadnoobligationtorespond,buthisexpressionwasenoughofananswer.
Hedidnotbite.HedidnotlookattheMagicGodsface,choosehiswords,andtrytodeterminethetruthofwhatshewassaying.Heshouldhavebeenpanicking,
flustered,andanembarrassment.Evenifthiswassaltsentbyhisenemy,heshouldhavebeenhesitantlyreachinghistonguetowarditdespitethepossibilityof
poison.

Buthedidnot.

Hechosenotto.

Evenwhenpeopledie,theyleavesomethingbehind.NiangNiangspokeinaknowitalltone.Aforgottengodlikememighthavenoconnectionsleft,butyoure
fartoofreshinthatway.Theworldistoofreshtoyou.Sothingsmightbetakingabiiiiitofaturnfortheworsebackinthatworld.

Whatareyoutryingtosay?

Letsputitlikethis.

TheShijieXiansmirkedasherbridgeposeshowedoffheralluringcurvesthroughtheopeninginthedressschest,theslitsatthehips,andacrosstherestofher
body.

ShewassomeonewhohadtakenherownlifetostripawaytheimpurityofaworldlylifeandbecomeaXian.

SuchbeingswereproperXians,buttheywerealsosometimesfearedasvampiricmonsters.

Orperhapsthebeautyofherbodywaslikefoodmadetolookandtastejustlikehumanfleshoraghostpaintingmadewithrealblood.Itmayhavehadthatforbidden
fascinationthattoldyouthatyoumustnotlookatitordoit,butthetwistedcuriosityledyoutocrossthefinallineregardless.

Youmightthinkyouhaventleftanythingatallbehind,butthingsbacktheremightbeacompletemess.TheHighPriestlookedlikeanoldman,buthewasthe
youngoneamongus.NephthysandIspentabout4000yearsuntilweachievedthetitleofaforgottengodthatwontmakeanywaves.WelivedthroughtheFour
GreatCivilizationstoaccomplishit.Butyouhaventevenlivedfortwodecades,soIseriouslydoubtyoucouldleavetheworldwithoutcausinganytroublefor
anyone.

Whatareyousaying?

Therewasaclearimplicationthere.No,givenwhoshewas,perhapsitshouldbecalledadivinemessage.

Andifwhathehaddonehadinfluencedthosegirlsinsomeway,hecouldnotjustignorethis.

Butbeforehecouldaskfordetails,somethingelsehappened.

Itstartedwithlongsilverhairandbrownskin.MagicGodNephthyssbandagewrappedbodywasalittletooalluringlyfascinatingtocallhealthyandshespokewith
someslightcautiononhervoice.
NiangNiang.

Whatisit?

Heretheycome.

ThosetwoweretrueMagicGods.Sowhointhisisolatedtimelinecouldconcernthem?

Kamisatothoughtforamomentandcouldonlycomeupwithoneanswer.

Theworldshook.Itwasaonearmedmanwithtattooscoveringhisbareupperbody.

HewasMagicGodNuada.

HewasthekingofgodsspokenofinCeltictradition.

Hehadbeendrivenfromhisthroneafterlosinghisarm,butwiththehelpofthegodofhealing,hehadmadeacomeback.

Andafterthatsuccess,hehadseveredhisownarmasatestofcourage.Hehadthencrawledbackupfromthattoovercomethetrialtowardbecomingkingofall
things.

Shallwebegin?

WhyareyoubotheringtospeakinJapanese,Nuadachaaan?AreyoutryingtoscareKamisatoKakeru???

Iwouldliketobeginthe2ndround.

Hedidnotbataneyeathercheapprovocation.

TheatmospherearoundtheminiChinadressXianalsochanged.Bynotsmiling,Nuadahadabandonedthefinalline.Hehadsentoffthelasttrainhimself.

Therewasnogettingoffnow.

Butwhywouldyoudothat?

Thedieiscast.

Hespokeonlythatonephrase.
Hedidbothercommentingonwhattheresultwouldmean.Hemadeitsoundlikehewouldbetearingoffsomeoneslimbsanddraggingouttheirentrailsjust
becausethatwasontheschedulefortheday.

Godsaresoimpatient,saidNiangNiang.

Arewe?Idsaywerestillrationalenoughsinceweatleastmakesuretoconstructareasonforouractions.

Whenheheardthatanswer,Kamisatolookedaround.

Thereweremore.

Theywereonthebuildingrooftops,underneaththecars,andblendingintotheshadowsinthealleys.Hewasonlyahumanwithhisrighthandlost,buthecouldstill
sensethemultiplegazesfocusedonthemfromalldirections.

ItwastruealotoftheMagicGodsprobablywantedtotaketheirtimetoslowlycrushKamisatoKakerusbody.NiangNianghadsaidnoneofthemheldagrudge,
butthatwasonlyheropinion.Basedonwhathadhappened,therecouldeasilybesomegodswhowantedrevengeno,whowantedtopunishtheinsolenthuman.

Thenwhydidyouwaituntilnowtocastthedie?askedanexasperatedNephthys.

IfIhadtosayThegodofwartwistedhislipsashebroughttheconceptofcrueltyintothisworld.Becausewecannottakeanythingfromhimunlesswegiveit
tohimfirst.Wepokedathimalittleearlier,buthedidntreallyreact.NiangNiang,Nephthys.Inthatsense,youtwodidquitewell.Thisisreallywheregoddesses
shine.Nowtheleathersackappearstobefilledwithsomethingworthstrikingandcrushing.

Sigh.

NiangNiangsighedasshelookedtoNephthysinsteadofNuadaandtheotherMagicGods.

Whatshouldwedo?

Well,Imthegoddessassociatedwiththecryingwomanwhoweepsatfunerals.Itdoeskiiiindofpissmeofftotrampleonanactionwheredeathisatstake.

No,no.Imnottalkingaboutanythingonthatlevel.

Perhapsnot.Or

AsNuadafrownedatthem,thetwogoddessespressedtheirpalmsagainsttheothers,pressedtheircheekstogether,smiled,andspokeinunison.

Nothingexcitesagodmorethanholdingafragilehumansdestinyinyourhands

Nothingexcitesagodmorethanholdingafragilehumansdestinyinyourhands
Amassiveexplosionfollowed.

AndbeforetheshockwaveandexpandingdustcouldreachKamisato,BandagedNephthyswrappedherarmsaroundhimandjumpedbackwards.NiangNiang
smiledasshealsojumpedbackwiththebottomofherminiChinadressrisingdangerouslyhigh.

Hahahaaa!!Ifitsstarted,thenwelljusthavetogoforit!Youclenchyourteethtoo,KamisatoKakeru!

Eh?Eh?Wha?

Heretheycome!!ThetrueMagicGodsarecomingforyou!!

Justassheproclaimedherdelightinthisendlesshellofcombatinanemptyworld,somethingslicedthroughthedust.

Acolossalcubeflewout.Itwastoowidefortheemptyroad,sothesurroundingbuildingswerecrushedatthebasewhileitrolledalong.Kamisatojustbarely
managedtolinkittosomethingsaidbefore.

Thedieiscast?

ThemodifiedminiChinadressShijieXianrespondedbygrabbingtheskinnearherleftwristwithherrightfingers.

No,thatwasastring.Andwhensheyankeditback,anenginelikerumblingcamefromherbody.

Atotaloffiverapidlyspinningchainsawsstuckoutofherbaggysleeve.Thoseweaponswerefartoodeadlytothinkofasextensionstoherfingernailsandsheused
themtomercilesslyslicethroughthegiantdietryingtocrushKamisatoasitlandedontheroad.

Andamomentlater

Kh?

AnunnaturalvoicecamefromKamisatosthroatasNephthysheldhim.

Thecubehadcomeapart,butnotjustduetoNiangNiangspower.Amassgreatenoughtoknockoverbuildingshadbeenslicedapartandnowitcollapsedintoan
avalancheofpiecesonlyafewmillimetersacross.Buthecouldnotrelax.Ofcoursehecouldnot.Hehadseenwhatitreallywasapproachinghim:bugs.

Themaggotlikewhitebugshadnofangsorlegs.

Hadbillionsoreventrillionsofthemformedthatgiantdiethattoyedwithhumanlife?

Neeheehee!!
NiangNiangwasnotconcerned.Justasfireseemedtosurroundherchainsaws,shesweptthemforward,burnedtheair,andswepteverythingawaywithexplosive
flames.Thatoneswingofherarmdestroyedtheentirelandscapeliketheaftermathofawildfire.

Theseaofbugswasforciblyburnedawaybytheimmenseflames.

TheDarbhDaol.Arethosethebugsthatsnuckintothegapbetweenthesilverarmandtheshoulderwoundtosaphislifeforce!?

Thosebugsinsolentlyfeastedondivineflesh.Myscalesarenotkindenoughtoforgivethat.Iftheydonotworkoffwhattheyate,itwouldviolateequivalent
exchange.

Metalfingertipscouldbeheardsnapping.

Nowgiveup.Youcannotescapethisplace.Afilthycriminallikeyoushouldknowthatbetterthananyone.Nomatterwhatmightbehappeningoverthere,thereis
nothingyoucando.Well,Isupposethenewowneroftherighthandmightsendafewofthegirlshere.

AfaintscorchingfeelingonthenapeoftheneckstimulatedKamisatossoul.

Thenthedustwasbrokenagainasadisklargerthanastadiumrotatedwhilelaunchingverticallytowardtheheavens.Thismayhavebeenacointoss,butifgravity
pulledthatbackdowntoearthfrommorethan1000metersup,anentiredistrictmightbecomeacrater.Andheheardmultiplesoundsupabove.Thiswasthesame
threatasanMIRVthatbrokeapartinmidairtodropamultitudeofwarheads.

ButNiangNiangsmiledfiercelyasruinapproachedfromoverhead.

Nowthisisgettingfun

AstrangesoundcamefromherasherminiChinadressflippedupanddangerouslyexposedherbarelegs.

Swords,spears,andaxesjuttedoutfromherotherbaggysleevelikewritingimplementsfromthetopofapenholder.

Wecangoalloutwithouthavingtoworryabouttheworld!!Inthisisolatedworld,wedonthavetoworryaboutaffectinganyoneelse!!Itsjustsomuchfun!!
Drool!!

Theexplosiveflamesofherburningchainsawsandtheslicingofhercountlesstraditionalweaponsfilledtheskyintheblinkofaneye.Thedownpourofasteroid
likecoinswasnotallowedtoland.Theylosttheirshape,scatteredascountlessbugs,andhadthattrueformeasilyburnedaway.

Meanwhile,Kamisatoheardwhatsoundedliketreesrustlinginagustofwind.Theseappearedtobecardsmadefromagreatquantityofbugs.Oneafteranother,
giantguillotinescapableofslicingrightthroughabuildingappearedinthedust.
NiangNiangpoutedherlipsandgaveheropinion.

Damnhim.Healwaysgoesoutofhiswaytousetoolsnotfoundinhislegends.Hereallyistryingtokillyoulikeitsagamblinggame.Althoughthatmeans
survivingitallcouldbeseenasaproductofamazingluck.

Ithoughtgoddidntplaydice.

Whowasitthatsaidthat?Wasntitsomescientist?Havingthemsaythingslikethatisreallyjustanannoyanceforusgods,calmlycommentedNephthysasshe
carriedKamisato.Moreiscoming.

Yeah,Iknow!!

NiangNiangsoundeddelighted,butKamisatowasshocked.

Beyondthemanybuildings,hesawsomethingattheendofhisviewoftheworld.Itwasthecolorwhite.Theentiresurfacewasfilledwithpurewhitefromrightto
left.Itwaslikeasandstormswallowinguptheentirecity,butthatwasnotit.Thiswasmuchsmootherandafarlessbearablepoisonforahuman.Thescentsetoff
pricklingwarningsignsacrosshisskin.

WouldthisbeProserpina?Whenshewastakenawaytotheunderworld,wasnthermother,theflowergoddess,absolutelypissed?Ibelieveshecursedtheworldso
springwouldnevercomeuntilsheretrievedherdaughter.

Asaformofdivinepunishment,itsasimilarideatothiscountrysAmaterasu.

Sowhatisit?askedKamisato.

TheweaponcoveredminiChinadressgirlshruggedassheran.

Itsthedivinepunishmentthatcoversthesunandfillstheentireworldwith60degreesnowandice.Iguessyoucouldcallitaplanetaryscaleartificialiceage
spell.

Theyhadalmostcasuallyreachedthelevelofwipingoutallhumanlife.

Kamisatohadbeenapatheticallylettingitallhappen,butevenhefeltatighteninginhischestnow.

Whatarewesupposedtodo?

Whydoyouthinkwererunningaroundrightnow?
Thegirlwassocarefreeshesoundedonthevergeofwhistling,butifthewhitedarknessthreateningtocovereveryinchofAcademyCitywasthesameasthesoot
andsmokeofalloutnuclearwar,thennowhereontheplanetwouldbesafe.TheMagicGodscouldmaybesurvivethefrigidtemperaturesthathadkilledoffthe
dinosaurs,butthehumanbodywasunfortunatelynotassturdy.

ButtheMagicGodswerethinkingonadifferentscalealtogether.

MiniChinaDressNiangNiangelaboratedwithannoyanceinhervoice.

Kamisatochan.Doyourememberwhyexactlyyoucamehere?

WellIhadtoprotecteveryonefromKiharaYuiitsusinsurance,soIerasedtherocketboostersthat

HetrailedoffwhileNephthyscarriedhim.

Hehadabadfeelingaboutthis.

Youdontmean

Neeephthyyys.Helpmeouthere.

Fine,then.Iwillgiveyouayawnsworthoftears.

Thenhereceivedtheworstpossibleconfirmationofhisfears.

HesawtheWindowlessBuilding.Hehadnoideahowitworked,butthetwoMagicGodscasuallysteppedontothesideofthebuildingandstoodhorizontallywith
noconcernforgravity.

Oh,butdidntthisboydestroytheboosters?

Wejustneedsomethingtotaketheirplace,right?

ThecontentsofNiangNiangsbaggysleevesexploded.ShefiredflameswithtremendousforceandtheypushedattheWindowlessBuildinguntilitbrokethebonds
ofgravity.Itfloated.Itflew.

Itlaunched.

Thegroundbelowwasconsumedbythegiantcardsthattoyedwithdeathandthewhitedarknessofaniceage,butthethreeofthemhadalreadybeenfreedfromthe
planetthatwasfilledwithruininall360degrees.

Kh.
KamisatoinstinctivelyclungtoNephthyswithhislefthand,but

Ahn.Oh,dear.Isthatanywaytotreatagod?

Itsnotjustmyfaultthatthosebandagesarecomingoffhereandthere.

HehadnoideawhatMachnumbertheirspeedhadreached.Nordidheknowthetemperatureoratmosphericpressure.TheMagicGodsseemedtobetakingcareof
allthosedetails.Kamisatoclungtothesideofthegiantrocketthatcontinuedtofightearthsgravity.Hecouldbreathe,hecouldopenhiseyes,theairfrictiondidnot
burnhimaway,andthemassiveinertialGsdidnotcrushhisbody.Heonlyfeltlikehewasridingabicycle.

Funnilyenough,wemightnothavebeenabletosupportyoulikethisifyoustillhadWorldRejecter,saidBandagedNephthysassheheldhersilverhairagainstthe
wind.Alossisnotalwaysastepbackwards.ItwaslosinghisarmthatgaveNuadaadramaticandtumultuouslifethatultimatelyledtogainingnewpower.

Kamisatotriedtosaysomething,butthenNiangNiangexcitedlyinterrupted.

Wow,wow!Nephthys,lookstraightup!!Ahhaha!!Theresagiganticidiotupthere!!

Kamisatolookeddoubtfullyoutaheadoftherocket.Herealizedtheywouldbethrownoutintospaceoncetheylefttheatmosphere.

Hesawatwinklingstar.

No,hehadbeennave.

AbattlewiththeMagicGodswasnotgoingtogivehimevenasecondofsafety.

Aspearoflightdroppedfromheavenandtowardearth.

Itpassedrightbytherocketasittriedtoleavetheplanet.TheWindowlessBuildingcouldsurviveanuclearweapon,butitmayhavebeenblowntopieceshadit
beenhit.

Wecantrelaxyet,NiangNiang.Thatwasatestfiringtogetabaseline.Oncethemarginoferrorcalculationsaredone,thenextoneiscoming.

DontworrrrryLetthisgodhandleit.

Withexplosiveflameseruptingfromherbaggysleeves,theminiChinadressgirlswungtheboostersaroundascasuallyasacheerleaderspompoms.

Therocketstrajectorywriggledlikealivingcreature.Therewasmoretwinklingintheheavensandmoreandmorepillarsoflightdroppeddowntoearth,butnot
oneofthemhit.Theywerealljustbarelyavoided.
Nephthyssighedandaskedaquestion.

Whodoyouthinkitistakingapleasureflightupinorbit?

Asungod,thecreatoroffire,thegodwhohasenoughpowertocreatetheworldbutusesitalltomercilesslyspreaddeath,andthegodwhowantsnothingmore
thantomakeahumansacrificeoutofKamisatoKakeru!Ahhaha!OfcourseitsTezcatlipoca!!

Tch.Forcedsacrificesjustdontsitwellwithme.

Yeah,Iguessyouwouldfeelthatwayasacollectionofthoseurgedonbyasilentpressuretobeburiedinthepharaohsgrave.AsahereticalXianwhovoluntarily
tookherownlife,Imprettyneutralwhenitcomestohumandeath.

NiangNianglaughedasthebottomofherminiChinadressfloatedupintheweightlessness.

WhenKamisatoglancedbackdown,histhroatgrewdry.

Theblueplanetwasalreadyfrozenpurewhitewithnodistinctionbetweenlandandsea.Andastheheavenlyspearsfell,theycreateddomeshapedexplosions.Based
onthescale,thoseblastshadtobeswallowingupnotjustAcademyCitybuttheentirecountry.Hewaswatchingtheverygeographyoftheplanetchanging.Ifthis
wasnotatimelineisolatedbyWorldRejecter,theseattackswouldhavewipedoutthehumanraceseveraltimesover.

No,thatwaswrong.

Iftheentireworldwastheirstageinthetruestsenseoftheword,thenperhapsitwasluckythatthedamagefromaclashbetweengodswaslimitedtoasingle
planet.

KamisatoKakeruwasdazedbytheunimaginablescaleofthebattle.

Whatarewesupposedtodoaboutthis?

Whatdoyouthinkwereinsucharushtodo?

Chapter3:OrIsolationSurpassesaGroupEngage_U.F.O.
Part1

Itwasmidnight.Thedatehadchanged.
Butinherburialclotheswithbewitchinglyexposedcleavage,MayadidnoteventhinkaboutmovingawayfromtheSpherewhichwasopenedlikealotusflower.
Shecontinuedherlongterminformationwarfarewithhertwopartners:thevegetablesticksandahighqualitysmoothiemadefrompeaches,milk,100%acacia
honey,vanillaextract,andnoartificialadditiveswhatsoever.

Ghostsdidnotsleep.

Sleepwasimportantfortheorganizationofmemoriesandcrucialformaintenanceofthebrain,butthatmeantnothingtoMayawhodidnotrelyonaphysicalbody.
Orperhapsthevengefulspiritsinmostghoststoriesweresofixatedonasinglethingbecausetheycouldnotcarryoutthatmaintenance.

ShewasinDistrict7scollegeshelternamedAcademy.

ShewoulddoanythingforKamisatoKakeru.EvenobeysomeonelikeKiharaYuiitsu.

Hm,hm,hm,hmmm.

Shehummedquietlywhilehunchedforward.Shepulledapieceofyellowpaprikacutlongandthinfromthecolorfulsticksintheglasscup.

TochasedownKamijouToumaandKarasumaFran,shewasspreadinglargescalemisinformationfromhermultipleregionalstationstocausetroubleacross
AcademyCity.Oncethosetwowerecaughtinthetrouble,theyweresuretousesomekindofspecialmethodstoescapeitandsheonlyneededtorevealthetracesof
that.Thiskindofinformationwarfarewasherspecialty,butwhileincontactwiththeSphere,shedevelopedanobsessionthatignoredefficiencyandlogic.

Theseedsshesoweddidnotalwaysbloomthewayshewanted.

Rumorswouldchangeformbitbybitastheywerespreadfrompersontoperson.Andoncetheypassedacertainpoint,theywouldbecomesomethingelseentirelyas
ifgoingthroughamutation.

AndsinceMayahadaspecificobjective,shedidnotwantthatkindofunorderedanduncontrollablechange.Whenthechangespassedtheacceptablerange,she
wouldinjectnewinformationtochangeitbackandcoursecorrect.Butthatwasnotatotaloverwritingofthedata.Itwasalotlikegivingdifferenttypesoffoodto
anallconsumingamoebatoseewhichwayitgrew.

Shefeltlikeshewasraisingachild.

Asabodilessghost,shemayhavebeentreatingthislikeanalternativetothat,butshedidnotdelvethatfarintoselfanalysis.Shewasstillaghost.Thememoryof
herdeathsleptsomewhereinsideherandsheknewshemustnotuncoverthat.

Currently,therewerethreemajorrumorsswimmingthroughthecitywidenetworkcreatedbetweentheshelterSpheres.

First,theheatwavewascausedbythepowerfulmicrowavessentoutbyKarasumaFranspersonalspacestationandthatwasdeeplyconnectedtotheElementsthat
hadattackedAcademyCity.
Second,theheatwavewascausedbyabnormalsolarwindscausedbyagreatdistortioninsolaractivity.Thedropfrom55degreestobelow0wouldnotendandan
iceagewouldsoonarrive.

Andthird,theheatwaveandElementsneveractuallyexisted.TheywereallalargescalevirtualrealityprojectrunbyAcademyCitysleaders.

Whathavewehere?

Mayafocusedonthatlastrumorassheshookherlongblackhairandtoyedwiththeradishstickbetweenherlipslikeitwasacigaretteorachocolatecoveredsnack.

Therewereofcoursecountlessothersmallertopicsofdiscussion,butthosewouldburstlikesoapbubblesallontheirown.Onlythevirtualrealitytheorystuck
aroundlikeatrulystubbornbubble.

Itwasnotexactlylarge,butitwouldnotpopanddisappearonitsown.

Thatemberhadadisconcertingpresence,likeacigarettebuttthrownintoadrymountainforestduringwinter.

(Amultistationrivalchannel?WouldthatbeFran?Butitsstrangesheisntpaintingusasthevillains)

Shepulledacarrotstickfromthecup,picturedtherabbitearantennaegirlinhermind,andbitthroughthecarrotwithherfrontteeth.

Shekindofunderstoodhowthissortofrumorcouldspreadsoeasily.

First,ifeverythingwasvirtualreality,everyonecouldstopworryingaboutallofthepreviousdamage.Insteadofworkingtowardrecovery,theycouldjustwakeup
totheirnormallives,soitwouldbeanattractiveidea.

Second,thetheorywashelpedbythefactthatsurvivingduringaheatwaveandencounteringElementsmodeledaftermimicryanimalssoundedlikesomethingfrom
avideogame.

Andfinally,AcademyCityhadtoomanymysteries.Nooneknewiftheyhadpracticaltechnologyforvirtualreality,buttherewasageneralatmospherethatthis
citycouldpullitofforIcantotallyseethemtryingthat.Also,mostoftheboysandgirlshadbeenhelplesslyhitbythedisasters,sotheywouldwantaclear
villaintoblame.Inotherwords,allresponsibilitywasshiftedontotheadults.Theymightwanttoshoutthatthiswasallduetosomestrangeprojectandraisetheir
fiststoshowtheyhadnotsimplylost.

Andwhatwouldthespreadofthisrumoractuallyaccomplish?

Ormorespecifically,whatwasinitforKarasumaFran?

Ohhh,Isee.
Needlesstosay,everyonewouldstopstrugglingiftheytrulybelievedthiswasallvirtual.Theywouldonlyneedtowaituntiltheywokeup,sotherewouldbeno
needtoputthemselvesthroughanydifficultexperiences.Theymightstarvetodeathinaweekortwolikethat,butUsefulSpiderwasmovingaroundoutside.Their
48HourstoRestoreOrderprojectwasunderway.Nearlyafulldayhadpassed,sothecrucialpower,gas,andwaterinfrastructurewouldbebackupinabout24more
hours.Thestudentscouldsurvivethatlongwithouteatingordrinking.

Thiswouldstopthesimultaneousriotstriggeredacrossthecitybythebaselessrumors.

IfthatwasFranstoppriority,thenitwasaneffectiveone.

Anditsallvirtualwasaquiteadaptable.Mayacouldcomeupwithallsortsofcleverstories,buttheywouldallbeswallowedupbyasinglephrase:Butitsall
virtual,right?AndsincenooneknewthetruelevelofAcademyCitystechnology,itwouldbedifficulttofindevidencetodisputethatassertion.

(ThebiggestflawishowshesrelyingonthestrangersinUsefulSpidertopreserveeveryoneslives.IsntsheafraidwellattackUsefulSpiderandslowdownthe
recoveryuntilthatapatheticgroupstarves?)

Theycoulddothat,buttheydidnotneedto.Andinadditiontotheriskofstarvation,itwaspossiblethedesperatepeoplewouldbeginanevengreaterriotoncethey
wereconvincedthiswasavirtualworldwheretheycoulddowhatevertheywanted.WhetherFranwasbehindtherumorornot,thevirtualrealitytheorywouldnot
beeasytogetridofifitmutatedinanegativedirection.Thiscouldbeagoodopportunitytodrivethatgroupoutwherevertheywerehiding.

(IdontlikeleavingSalomeandtheotherswiththattyrant,soIshouldprobablycheckonthatbeforedeciding.)

Shecouldseetherumorsshehadcreatedandspreadandshecouldseeanotherrumorthatmayormaynothavebeenhostile.Whatkindofartistictransformation
wouldoccurwhentheywerelinkedtogether?ThegirlinwhiteburialclothesgiggledandtracedherslenderfingertipsacrossonepetaloftheSphereslotusflower.

Andassoonasshedid,sheheardavoiceamplifiedbyaloudspeakereventhoughtitwaspastmidnight.

ThisisUsefulSpider.WearenowenteringPhase3ofthe48HourstoRestoreOrder.Wewillbecollectinganyweaponsordangerousobjectsthatcouldimpedethe
recovery.ThethreatoftheElementshaspassed.Theaforementionedobjectsareboundtohaveanegativeinfluenceonyourlivesandproperty,soweareusingour
specialauthoritytotemporarilyfreezeyourhumanrightstocollectthem.

(Useful?)

OneofMayaseyebrowsshotup,butshedidnothavetimetoturnaround.

ThechiccollegebuildingmadeofheavybrickswastornapartlikeitwasmadeofthinJapanesepaper.

Atfirst,noteventheghostgirlunderstoodwhathadhappened.
Whenshesawthedestructionstartatoneedgeandthematerialsflyupintothenightsky,shefinallythoughtofanironsheetroofbeingdestroyedbyatyphoonor
tornado.

Yes.

Agustofwind!?

Assoonasshefoundtheanswer,thegirlinwhiteburialclothingwasblownseveraldozenmetersintothesky.Mayacalledherselfaghost,butherexistencewas
reliantonthephysicalobjectsknownasCensers.Thosecraneflyshapeddronessecretlyemittedaromasandlowfrequencywavestooinsignificantforahumans
fivesensestodetect.ThatwoulddestabilizepeoplesmindsandMayagenerallyappearedbelowthem.

Inotherwords,therewasnothingshecoulddoiftheCensersthemselveswerethrownhighintotheair.

Theghostgirlspunaroundandaroundandfinallyregainedherbalanceattheheightofahighrisebuildingsrooftop.Thewillothewisplikephosphorescent
dronescouldstillfly.Thetriangularheaddresswithacutthatmadeitlooklikeahearthadshiftedoutofplaceandthewhiteburialclothingwasfallingoffinplaces,
soheralluringthighsandsurprisinglylargebreastswereabouttoslipout.However,bugsandsmallfishcaughtinatornadocouldapparentlybethrownhigherthan
Everest,soshemayhavebeenfortunatethiswasasmuchashadhappened.

Butshecouldnotexactlyrejoice.

Oh,honestly.Wheredidmyvegetablesticksandsmoothiego!?

Withadullsound,somethinglargepassedthroughMayasheadfromtheside.Thedevicehadoriginallybeena2meterspherebuthadopenedlikealotusflowerto
allowaccesstothecontrols.TheSpherehadflownashighasshehad.SincetheCensershadfinallystabilized,Mayareachedouthertranslucentarmwhilefloating
inmidair,butitwasnouse.Gravitypulledtheprecisiondevicedowntowardthelatenightdisasterscene.

Mayasgazefolloweditdownandshespottedastrangedevice.

TheAcademyshelterwasusingacollegebuilding,butshesawsomethingstrangeoutsidethecampus.Itwasagiantcylinder2030meterswide.Theflatcircular
endwasproducingagrindingsoundwhilerapidlyrotating,sothegirlinburialclothinginitiallythoughitwasalargetunnelboringmachine.

Butitwasnot.

(Agiantfan?Isitusedforwindtunnelexperiments?)

Windtunnelswerethefacilitiesusedtotesttheairresistanceofairplanes,highspeedtrains,sportscars,andsuchbeforeactuallyusingthem.Theartificialwind
createdbyagiantfanorvacuumpumpwouldsimulatetheairresistanceitwouldmeetinuse,butthelatestgenerationcouldapparentlysimulatethegales(?)needed
fortheMach7instantaneouswindspeedsseenbysupersonicfightersorballisticmissiles.
Ifthatwasusedagainstabuilding,ahouseofstrawandahouseofbrickwouldmeetthesamefate.ThestudentsofAcademywerepreparingtheirhandmadedefense
weaponssuchasagiantslingshotmadefrombicycletiretubesandametalframe,butitwaslikelyfutile.Theywouldhaveahardtimegettingclosewiththatgiant
faninfrontofthemandtheirprojectilesballisticpathwouldbefarfromstable.Infact,itwaspossiblethewindcouldsendtheprojectilerightbacktowardthe
peoplewhohadfiredit.

Theghostgirlplacedherhandsonherhipsandstareddownathercrumblingkingdomasshehoveredinthemoonlight.Shehadonlyborrowedthatkeystationafter
hijackingit,butthiswasstillnotfuntowatch.ShestillhadafewSpheresinstocksinceshehadbeenusingthemasregionalstationsforhermultistageattacks,but
shedoubtedUsefulSpiderwasattackingjusttheoneplace.IfthesamethingwashappeningacrossAcademyCity,shecouldloseallofherSpheres.

Itwasbadenoughhavingthepossiblyhostilevirtualrealitytheorygrowingominouslyinthebackground,soshewantedtoavoidbeingcompletelycutofffromthe
network.

Itdidnotmatterhowmuchtheenemyknewwhentheytookaction.

WhatmatteredwaswhetherornotitwouldimpedewiththeactionsmeanttohelpKamisatoKakeru.Itallcamedowntothatforthegirlwhoclungtotheworldof
thelivingevenafterlosingherbody.

Andashereyesglaredbrightlyfrombehindherdisheveledblackhair,thevengefulspiritspokeinalowvoice.

Doyouhaveanyideawhoyourepickingafightwith,youfools?

Part2

KamijouToumawasalsosoakedwithunpleasantsweatasheheldMikotoslimpforminhisarmsandpressedhisbackagainstabuildingwall.

TheyhadachanceatsavingKamisatoKakeruthankstoMikotossacrifice,buttheycouldnotleaveherthereunconscious.Evenifittookafairamountoftime,they
haddecidedtosendMikotobacktothefrogdoctorshospitalbeforebeginningtheceremonyusingtheA.A.A.inthecontaineryard.

Asahighschoolboy,Kamijoudidnotnormallythinkaboutit,butthelackofcarswasaproblem.Theycouldnotcallanambulanceandtheycouldnotmoveanyof
theheavyindustrycontainers.

Butsomethingelsehappenedfirst.

Itwasjustafterhe,Fran,andLucahadleftthepyramidsofmetalcontainersinDistrict11.

Theentirescenewassweptawaybyapowerfulgustofwind.

ThetargetwasanearbyshelterandnotKamijousgroup,butitwasobviouswhatwouldhappenifastrayblasthitthem.
Commencingnonlethalsuppression.Pleasesetdownyourweaponsandsurrender.ThethreatoftheElementshaspassed.UsefulSpidershallprotectyourlivesand
property.Thereisnomoreneedforyoutoarmyourselveswithweaponsanddangerousobjects.

Nonlethal?Didtheyjustsaynonlethal!?Theyreusinggiantfansthatcouldblowdownreinforcedconcreteorasmallbuilding!!

Adultsocietyisallaboutcategorizingthings,saidFran.AhuntingslingshotisconsiderednonlethalandthusdoesnotviolatetheSwordsandFirearmsControl
Law.Eventhoughithasthewordhuntingwrittenbigonthelabel.

Theywerepressedagainstthecornerofabuildingandwindsmovingatwhoknewhowmanythousandsofkphwereflyingalongtheroadaroundthatcorner.
Orangesparksflewfromalargeabandonedtruck.PirateGirlLucagulpedwithherclothesstretchedtotheburstingpointaftergrowingtoheradultsizeformore
weightagainstthewind.

Itsthatwhitesand.ThewindiscarryingtheremainsoftheElementsandthatsscrapingatthemetallikeafile.

Nottomentionthelightercarsonthesideoftheroadareflyinglikeleaves.Itstoodangeroustocrossthestreetlikethis.

Afterlearningherlessonaboutgettingsandinherclothes,RabbitEarAntennaeFranhadzippedherhoodieupallthewaytotheneck.

Asridiculouslylargeasitwas,itwasstillafan,soKamijouwatchedthetimingasitturnedbackandforthandranoutacrossthestreetwithMikotoinhisarmswhen
thegustofwindwaspointedtheotherway.

Theyhadnodetailedinformationontheshelterunderattack,buttheycouldtellitwasasfrenziedasadisturbedwaspsnestdespitethelatehour.Alotofthe
studentswerearmedwithlargewatergunswithpressurizedpumps,butafterthatheatwave,Kamijoudoubtedtheywerearmedwithequipmentthatwouldwaste
water.

HethenrecalledhowFranandLucahadtriedandspectacularlyfailedtowashofftheirbodieswithsterilizationethanol.

AretheycombiningwatergunsfullofoiloralcoholwithaPyrokinesisesper?Thatsprettydamndangerouswhenwedonthaveareadysupplyofwater!

MaybetheirsheltersnameisjustEsper.

Whateverthecase,theywereoutnumbered.UsefulSpiderusedtheirpowerfulwindtotearapartthebuilding.Windandfirewereapoormatch.Usinga
flamethrowernowcouldeasilyfilltheairwithheatandprovidethewindwithatemperaturemeasuringinthehundredsoreventhousandsofdegrees.Breathingin
thatdeadlywindwouldblisterthelungs.

Kamijouknewitwashopeless,butheperformedalariatontheneckofaboywhoranaroundanearbycornerwithtwowatergunsinhand.Whiletheshocked
shelterwarriorstruggledtobreathe,Kamijoudraggedhimbehindthebuildingandyelledintohisear.
Itsnouse!Look,therearepeoplesneakingaroundoutback.Yourrulerandhisorheraidesareescapingontheirown!Theyresendingtherestofyouintoan
unwinnablebattletokeepthemselvessafe!!

Mylittlesistersintheshelter.Shehasasthmaandcantrunaroundmuch,butshehasLevel3Pyrokinesis,soshesbeingusedastheignitionforourfightingforce!
Shecantleavewitheveryonegatheredaroundherlikethat!!

Yourekidding,right?YouarentactuallyTsuchimikado,areyou?

Who!?

Argh.Ifyoureallycareaboutyourfamily,thengrabyoursistershandandgetthehelloutofhere.Withthepillarofyourresistanceforcegone,everyonewiththe
watergunswillbeforcedtoretreat.Betraythemalltosavethemall.Ifyoudontwanttoregretthis,thengetgoing!Hurry!!

KamijouslappedtheboysbacktosendhimoffandthenslowlyexhaledwithMikotostillinhisarms.

Thenhespoke.

LetsgathertheattentionofthoseSpiderbastards.Helpingtheshelterwinisalostcause,soletsfocusongivingthemacleanlosssotheycanretreat.Thatshow
wecansavetheirlives.

Igetthat,butwhatexactlydowedo?askedAdultLucawithherclothesstretchedtightinplaces.

Kamijoupointedatherlargebreasts.No,hepointedattheleatherbeltsemphasizingthemlikeawaitressssuspenders.Needlesstosay,hewasfocusedonwhatthe
beltsheld:herpiratemusket,theskullcontainerofgunpowder,andthebulletcasemodeledafteranarmbone.

Theyrehuntingtheweaponswehave.Luca,youdontactuallyhavetofirethegun.Canyoudetonatethegunpowdertomakeitsoundlikegunfire?Itcanbe
somethingasprimitiveasamosquitocoil,butyoushouldbeabletodelaythedetonationtocreateasafedecoy.

Isee.

Assheresponded,thegirlinathicknavalcoatandbikinireachedfortheskullcontaineronherbelt.Shehoppedabittoshakethecontaineratherhip.

Sincetheshelterisprimarilyusingflamethrowers,thereshouldbeembersallovertheplace,right?

Theyhadaplan.

Butthenaroarmuchlikealargesheetstrikingtheairpassedbyoverhead.

Theylookedupandsawmultipletransporthelicoptersusingthickwirestocarryagiantcylindricaldevicethatlookedalotlikeatunnelboringmachine.
Theyreheadedelsewhere,saidFran.

Dammit,cursedKamijou.District11isthatway.

AndgivenUsefulSpiderscurrentactions,averytroublingpossibilitycametomind.Theywereintheprocessofhuntingdownallweapons.

Thisisbad.Ifwedontdoanything,theyllconfiscateandscraptheA.A.A.!!

Part3

Frigidmoonlightfellononeofmanyhighrisebuildingrooftops.

Overhead,severaltransporthelicoptersusedwirestocarryalargefanknownastheBreathofBlessing,butonthatrooftop,athinmaninashabbyworkuniform
facedtherulerofthecity.

Howdoyoudo,BoardChairman?

Yes,yes.Dontworry.Idontmindatallifyoudontrecognizemeorremembermyname.Infact,justbeingsomefacelesspersonhelpsmerepresentthewillofall
suchinvisiblepeople.

ThiswasthepatheticmanwhohadbeenliftedupastherulerofTrialinacertainparkbutwasultimatelynearlyexecutedbytheverypeopleofthatshelter.Andthat
facelesspersonwashidingnothing.Hewasnotsealingawayhistruepowerandhewasnotdeceivingeveryonewithanact.Thatsuchapatheticmancouldmeet
facetofacewiththeheadofAcademyCityheldgreatmeaning.

ThiswassomethingAcademyCitys#2hadoncefailedtoaccomplish,butthisperfectlyordinarymanhadproveditwaspossibleforanyone.

Thehumankeptthistargetinapositionwherehecouldbekilledatanymoment.

Whatdoyouwantwiththiscity?

Surelysomeoneofyourintelligencealreadyknows.Theworkuniformmanmadeitsoundsimple.Imnotaveryusefulpawn,soyoucantaccomplishmuchof
anythingwhetheryoukillmehereordoanythingelsewithme.Otherwise,youwouldntevenbemeetingmefacetofacelikethis.No,Iwasneverthinkingof
anythingasfrighteningasdefyingyou.

HewasnotlikeGrouporItemwherebizarretalentsgathered.HewasevenlowerthantheHoundDogsorScavengerswhoreporteddirectlytotheBoardof
Directors.HewaspartofanorganizationthatwasoftensentouttocleanupaftertheKiharafamilyorsomeoneelsemadeamess.
Butthethingabouthistoryis,noneofthatreallymatters.Seeminglytrivialthingscanhavesurprisinglylargeeffects.Ifithadntbeensohotorithadntrained,they
sayNobunagawouldhavelosthisveryfirstbattle.

Whenmakingwateroverflowfromacup,onlyafoolwouldturnthefaucetonfullblast.Thecleverpersonwouldwaituntilsomeoneelsehadfilleditwithwater
untilthesurfacetensionwasabouttobreakandthentheywouldputinasingledropthemselves.Preparingtheenvironmentlikethatwastheonlywayforan
unimportantpersontosethistoryinmotion.

Torepeat,hewasjustoneofthemasses.Hewasafacelesspersonwhonoonewouldremember.Normally,hecouldneveraccomplishsomethingthatAcademy
Citys#2monsterhadfailedat.

Thenwhowasitthathadfilledthecupfullofwater?

Thisiscatastropheyoubroughtonyourself,announcedtheman.Thekeytodisasterpreventionispredictionandavoidance,notrecoveryafterthefact.Inthat
way,yoursinwasnegligence.Someonewithyourintelligenceshouldhavepredictedthis.BoththeappearanceoftheElementsandtheunnaturalheatwaveusedto
combatthem.

Youknewitwascoming,butyouoverlookedit.Allforyourowngoal.Thenthatisasin.AllIdidwasplaceasingledropinthecupyouhadfilledtothebrim.

Isee.Inotherwords

Unlikeyou,IdontstandoutandIhavenograndambitions.IfIhadcontroloftherecovery,Icouldprobablybuildasystemtomyliking,butwantingthatisonly
natural.Everyonewantsasocietyinwhichtheyneednotfeardisaster.Andtothatend,Iwanttostandinfrontoftheleaderwhostoodidlybyandletdisasterstrike.
Thatsallthisis.Andtheresnorealneedforanemptypersonlikemetotakethatrole.

Boring,isntit?Butthatpointlesscrapcanbecomethecrackthatultimatelyshattersgrandambitions.Youshouldbemoreawarethatitisthegreatmenwhobuild
theworld,butitisthenormalpeoplewhograduallydistortthatworld.

Severalmorehelicopterspassedbyoverhead.Thosecrudehunksofmetalwouldhavebeendefeatedintheblinkofaneyeifwater,gas,andelectricitystillcirculated
throughAcademyCitylikeblood,butnowseveralofthosedeviceswerecarriedouttothecity.

Disastersarefullofsuperstitionandjinxes.Whenapowerfulearthquakehits,peoplesaythedolphinspredicteditanditwastheworkofanearthquakeweapon.
Whenahurricanehitsland,peoplesayitwasredirectedbyagovernmentbombingexperimentanditwasspreadingchemtrailchemicals.Countlessrumorswill
spreadasifpeoplewanttodramatizethetragicsituation.
TheBreathofBlessingdeviceshadoriginallybeendesignedtoartificiallyalterthewinddirectionandredirecttoxicsmokeawayfromdenselypopulatedareaswhen
adangerouschemicalfirebeganinanAcademyCitylaboratory.Butthecurrentsituationmadeitclearthatnonlethalfirefightingusagewasonlyanexcuseforthe
paperwork.Andtheprocessthatledtothatexcessivelypowerfulmachinesdevelopmentwasexactlywhatthisfacelesspersonhadtofight.

Disastersituationsareextremelydangerous,sothepeoplemustbedisarmed.Thatisanothersuperstitionwithnobasisbehindit,butnoonecanshakeit.The
thingis,Aleister,wearefightingpeoplelikeyousowecanletgoofthosethings.

Hehadlikelysaidwhathewantedtosay.

Attheveryleast,thathumandecidedhehad.

Thefrigidrooftopechoedwiththesoundofsomethingwetbeingcrushed.

Aleisterdidnotevenbotherwatchingastheremainsofamanslowlycollapsedbackwardswithoutevenutteringascream.Therewasnomoreinformationthere.It
wasimpossibletotellwithhisheadthoroughlycrushed,butthatfacelesspersonhadlikelybeensmilingevenasacorpse.

Part4

AdultLucasblackpowderhadbeenevenmoreeffectivethanhoped,soUsefulSpidersattentionhadgatheredelsewherelongenoughfortheshelterstudentsto
escapesafely.

Dammit,Luca!Didyoureallyhavetothrowthefirecrackerthere!?Theyprobablycapturedtherulerandhisorheraideswhohadalreadyescaped!!

Idreallypreferyoucalledthatacleverplan.

Yay!

Forsomereason,thehoodiebikinigirlandthefeatheredpiratehatandeyepatchgirlexchangedahighfive.KamijoureallywishedhecouldaskKamisatohowhe
hadscoldedthesegirls.

SeverallargefanshadbeencarriedtoDistrict11whiletheysecretlyassistedtheEspershelter,buttherewasnothingtheycoulddoaboutthat.Eveniftheyhad
stoppedhelpingandfocusedonthat,theycouldnothavereachedtheairbornetransporthelicopters.

Kamijoudidhisbesttofindsomethingtobepositiveabout.

Aretheyreallygoingtocheckthoughtheentirecontaineryard?

Whatdoyoumean?
Heheardthequietsoundofscrapingmetal.Withthewindattackfinallyover,Franhadunzippedherhoodieagain.Thebrightskinfromherflatchesttobelowher
navelcameintoview.Shedidnotseemawareoftheyouthfulallureshewasexuding,soshetiltedherheadwithunreadableeyes.

Theykeeptalkingaboutthe48HourstoRestoreOrder.Bytheway,Fran,doyouknowwhattimeitisnow?

Justbefore2inthemorning.Afairbitoftimehaspassed.

IfUsefulSpiderisseriousaboutthat,thentheyonlyhaveaboutadayleft.Meanwhile,itwouldtakemonthstocheckthrougheverythinginthatdistributionbases
containeryard.Theyllrunrightthroughtheirlimitiftheyperformarealsearch.

ThenwhydidtheysendaunittoDistrict11?

Iftheyretryingtoconfiscateweapons,theydontactuallyhavetoinspectallthecontainers.Theyjusthavetosealofftheentirecontaineryardandkeepeveryone
out.Thatwouldtakefarlesstimethancheckingthrougheachandeveryoneofthosehundredsorthousandsofcontainers.

Inthatcase,Kamijouandthegirlseffortshadnotbeeninvain.

Infact,stayinginDistrict11withtheA.A.A.mighthaveleftthemsurroundedbyUsefulSpiderandunabletodoanything.

Franpuffedouthersoftlookingcheeks.

ButweneedthathunkofjunktosaveKamisatochan.

Iknowthat.

Theyhadavoidedbeingsurrounded,butnowtheycouldnotreachtheA.A.A.whichwasthekeytorescuingKamisato.TheyknewUsefulSpidersfirepoweralltoo
wellaftersupportingthatshelter.Theyfeltliketheymightbeblastedoutofthesolarsystemiftheyfacedthosethingsheadon.

ButKamijouhadanidea.

Letsmakeanattackofourown.

Youmeancarryagunintoacontaineryardfullofsoldiers?askedLucawhowasbacktohernormalsizenowthatthethreatwasgone.Arewesupposedtopray
forthecavalrytoshowup???

Kamijoushookhishead.

No,notthat.IdontknowwhereUsefulSpidersbaseis,buteventheyllhavetocallintheirotherpiecesiftheirkingisabouttobetaken.Ifweattacktheir
headquarters,theforcesoutinDistrict11willfallback.Ifwecanmakethempaniclikethat,aholeshouldopenintheirdefenseofthecontaineryard.
FranandLucaexchangeaglance.

Andthentheyspokewithexasperationintheirvoices.

Isntthatthesamethingassayingyoureafraidofthehornetinfrontofyousoyouregoingtogodestroytheentirehive?

Itlookslikeyoureavoidingthem,butyourenotactuallyavoidinganything.

Yes,nomatterwhat,theycouldnotavoidafightwithUsefulSpider.ItfeltliketheentireworldwasworkingagainstKamisatosreturn,butKamijouandthegirls
couldnotbackdown.ThatboyhadsavedtheirlivesandhehadaskedKamijoutotakecareofthegirls,soKamijoucouldnotletKiharaYuiitsumanipulatethemany
longer.

ButtheyalsohadtoworryaboutMikoto.

TheytraveledonfoottocarryherfromeasternDistrict11tothehospitalinDistrict7.Ontheway,theycameacrosssomeofUsefulSpidersattemptstocollect
weapons.Theywouldheartherumblingofbuildingsbeingtorndownandtheywouldseetransporthelicoptersflybyoverhead.

Youcantsavethemall.

Iknowthat.

Butyourestillgoingtotry,arentyou!?Icantbelieveyou!

Therewasnotmuchhecoulddo,buthestillcalledthecorneredboysandgirlsintoabackalley,passedthemanLshapedcrowbar,toldthemtoclimbintoa
manhole,andotherwisehelpedthemevacuate.

Severaltimes,theysawfortressescrumblingfromthewindsofthegiantfans.

Justlikegovernmentofficialsusingheavyequipmenttoteardownthepeoplescheapbarracksinthenameofrecovery,thesightdemonstratedadisconnectbetween
utilityandhappiness.

Oncethewreckagewasclearedandacleanstreetwasbuilt,therewouldbeshinynewshopslineduponeitherside,butthatwoulddistracteveryonefromhowmany
peoplehadbeenhuddledtogetherandlivingthere.

Kamijoufeltmoreemptinessthanhedidsimpleanger.

Goddamnthem.

Thetriptookabout3hours.Bythetimetheyarrivedatthehospital,theblackoftheheavenshadgrownintoapurpleandorangegradation.
Itwasjustpast5inthemorning.

Mikotowasstillfastasleep,sotheyleftherwiththefrogfaceddoctor.OnlythendidKamijoubreatheasighofrelief.Hemayhavehadnorealreasontorelaxashe
watchedMikotocartedawayonastretcher,butgettinghertoaspecializedmedicalfacilitystillmeantalot.

Hecouldonlytrustinthatdoctorfornow.

Hewantedtostayhereuntilshewokeup.Hewanteddothattogivehimselfasecurefootingoftruerelief.

Buthecouldnot.

Hecouldnotwastetheopportunityshehadgivenhim.

(Okay)

Hetookadeepbreathandthenletitout.

Hismindcontinuedtoboil,butitwasstillmanageable.Hecouldkeepgoing.Heforcedhimselftothinkthatandthenfocusedonremovinghisgazefromthedoorto
thetreatmentroom.

Therewassomethinghehadtodo.

LucawasleaningagainstthewallandtakingaquicknapwithhersmallmouthhangingopenandFranwassittinginhospitalhallwaywhilepeeringatthesmall
screeninherhand.

Thisisahospital.Yourenotsupposedtousecommunicationequipment.

Nn.

Shegavethesmallestpossibleacknowledgment.

Sinceshekepttuggingdownthebottomofherhoodiewhilesittingonthebench,herlegsmayhavebeencoldandshemaynothavegottenmuchsleep.Hehadheard
thatcoolingoffoneslegswouldhelpyoustayawakewhenyouhadtopullanallnighterstudying.

WhenKamijoulookedatthescreentoo,thehoodiebikinigirlfinallyexplained.

Imcheckingonthepathsofallofthetransporthelicopters.Itlookslikemostofthesheltersweretakenout,buttheoneswithoutanyweaponsorthathandedthem
overatthefirstwarningwereleftuntouched.
Cometothinkofit,thehospitalwasfine.ThatmayhavebeenabenefitofusingtheglassdevicestodiverttheElementswithsupersonicwavesinsteadoffighting
them.

Youcantellallthat?

Dontunderestimatethegrassrootsreportingnetworksetupbetweentheneutralrulers.Haventyouheardthatcivilianappswerecapturingthesupposedlysecret
routesofgovernmentplanes?

FranmayhaveknownsomuchaboutthisbecausetherewasanotherreportingnetworkthattookastepfurtherandtrackedUFOs.Kamijoudidnotexpectmuch,but
shewasfreetotalkaboutherdreamswhilelookingattheapp.

Anyresults?

Thehoodiebikinigirlmanipulatedthescreentodrawafewstraightlinesonthemap.Shehadlikelygatheredandvisualizedthehelicoptersightingsnervouslysent
inbytherulersofsheltersacrossthecity.Itwasamatteroflifeordeathforthemtoo,sotheylikelywantedasmuchinformationaspossibleaboutthisnewconcern.
Therewouldbenohierarchyandeveryonewasactivelyuploadingtheinformation.

NotallofthemweresupportersofFranwhowasessentiallyawantedcriminal.ButsincethehoodiebikinigirlwasborrowingotherpeoplesSpheres,hedoubted
shewasusingherownname.Butherpresenceasakeystationwasstillslowlygrowing.Whetherneutraloropposed,alotofrulerswouldactifsheneededit.

Thelinesonthemapwereclearlyradiatingfromasinglepoint.

ThatwouldbeUsefulSpidersheadquarters.

District21Thatsthemountainousregion.Theresadamandastronomicalobservatorythere.

Thereisalargescalemeteorologicalobservatoryaswell.IthasaDopplerradardomeonthetop,soitmusthavethickelectromagneticshieldingtoprotectthestaff
andequipmentfromitsownpowerfulmicrowaves.

Youmeanthegiantfans,transporthelicopters,andtheirweaponswerehiddenthere?Thatwouldexplainwhytheywerentdestroyedbyyourheatwave.

IfUsefulSpiderwasoriginallyestablishedfordisasterrelief,itmakessenseforthemtobelongtoameteorologicalobservatorythatcanpredictacomingdisaster.

Thatsettledit.

Iftheyattackedthere,theexcessforcesguardingDistrict11scontaineryardwouldfallbacktotheheadquarters.Thatwouldbetheshortestpathtoreachingthe
A.A.A.

But,but.District21andDistrict11arefarapart,pointedoutFran.Itwilltakehourstotravelfromthemountaintothecontaineryard,sowontthecommotion
havedieddownbythetimewearrive?
Wedonthavetodoitinrealtime,right?Wesetoffafirecrackerwithaprimitivetimedelayearlier,remember?SincewehaveLucawhocanusegunpowder,lets
scarethemwithanevenbiggerexplosionthistime.Ifwesetitupinthemountains,walkbacktowardthecontaineryard,andthendetonateit,wecansneakinwhile
theyreoutofDistrict11.

Youcanbereallycruel.

Iwonderwhy?MaybeitsbecauseofthatmovieIsaw.

JustlikewiththeanalysisoftheA.A.A.smagicalsymbolsandcreatingtheactualspatialdistortiontunnel,PirateGirlLucawasthekeytoallofthis.Theyneeded
thatgirlwhowascurrentlynappingwithherbackagainstthewall,hersmallmouthhangingopen,anddroolabouttodripout.

Lucawokeupatjustpast6.Shehadnotevengottenafullhourofsleep.Andsincetheyhadspentalmostafulldaywalkingthroughthestreetsfilledwithrubbleand
whitesandwithoutanypreparation,thatwasnotverymuch.

Therealreasonshehadwokenupwasthedelicioussmellwaftingthroughtheair.

YawwwnWhaaat?IsmellmisosoupButIalwayseattoastandsaladinthemorning.

Shemusthavebeenhalfasleepstillbecauseshemutteredbelowherbreathwhilerubbinghereyewithonehand.

Andthen

Waitjustadamnsecond.

Hm?

Didyoujustopenandclosethatblackroseeyepatch?What,soitsafashioneyepatch?Thatdoesntaffectthepathofanartistatall!Ifyoudonthavethecourage
totrulylivetheoneeyedlife,dontwearaneyepatchinthefirstplace!!

Imreallynotsurewhatyouresoangryabout

Afashioneyepatchisasbadasculottespretendingtobeaskirt!!

WithwaterhardtocomebyinAcademyCity,thehandwipesgivenoutatconveniencestoresweresurprisinglyuseful.Theywerewrappedinplasticbags,sotheir
moisturehadnotbeenlostduringtheheatwave.Theirdisposablenaturewasaproblem,butwithenoughofthem,Kamijoumanagedtowashhisface.

Whentheywenttothecardboardhouseareaoutfronttogetsomefood,theyfoundthehighclassgirlswereconservingingredientsbyeatingsimplermeals.The
maindishwaswhitericewithporkmisosoupandthesidedishwasafewpickledvegetables.

Withthisandthecurryyesterday,theyreusingalotofvegetables.Iwonderwheretheygotthemfrom.
Justlikeyesterday,Ibettheyusedanespertofreezethemforstorage.

Bfff!Cough,cough!!Iforgotallthewaterherewasgirljuices!!!!!

Itsnotliketheyregatheringthemoisturefromtheairaroundthegirlsortakingitdirectlyfromthegirlsbodies,sodoesthatreallymatter?

WhyareyoumoreusedtoAcademyCitythanIam?

Kamijouovercamethementalhurdlebyinterpretingitaswaterretrievedwithaspecialmethod.IfhethoughtofitlikewellwaterfloatingupwithPsychokinesis
insteadofinabucket,itwasnotaproblemhehoped.

AfterLucafinishedmechanicallymovinghermouth,hermindseemedtofinallyshiftintogear,sotheybegantheirstrategymeeting.

TheywereattackingtheUsefulSpiderheadquartersinthemountainsofDistrict21todrawtheexcessforcesawayfromthecontaineryardinDistrict11.Thetwo
districtswerefarapart,sotheywouldsetupatimebombtodetonatebythetimetheywereapproachingDistrict11.

Atimeddetonatorisalotlikeawiretrapinthatyoucantpredictwhowillnoticeitbeforeitdetonates,butitshouldntbeaproblem.

Itwas7:30AMbeforetheyleft.

Theyhadmissedtheirchanceatanighttimeorearlymorningattack,buttheycouldnotwaitanylonger.SinceUsefulSpiderwasfixatedontheideaofthe48Hours
toRestoreOrder,itwasunlikelytheywouldsearchthroughallofthecontainers,buttherewasstillapossibilitytheywouldsuddenlyinspectthem.

Kamijousgroupneededtoretrievethecontentsassoonaspossible.

Sowereonfootagaintoday.

Fran,howaboutwemakehimcarrywhicheveroneofuswinsagameofrockpaperscissors?

Deal.Letsreplaythegameeverywindturbinewepass.

Stopthat!Youdontgettodecidethatwithoutmyinput!AndImdefinitelynotcarryingthatrabbitalienwhensheswearingagiantbackpackfullofmachinery!!
Whatiswithallthat?Areyouanoldpeddlerwoman!?

Icanshrinkmybodytoreducetheweight.Whatagedoyouwant?10?5?Howmuchcanyoucarry?

Thatsnottheissue!AndifIcarryyou,Illtouchyouwithmyrighthandandyoullreturntonormal!!

Theyleftwhilecontinuingtoargue.
TheystilldidnotknowifMikotowouldbeokay,buttheycouldnotstayanylonger.

Oncetheyleftthehospitalgrounds,theyheardahighpitchedengine.Itwaslighterthananormalcarandmorelikeascooter,alawnmower,orachainsaw.
Kamijousshouldersnaturallytensed.TheonlypeoplewithrunningenginesinthepowerlesscitywereUsefulSpider.

Butthatguesswaswrong.

Afewsmallvehiclespassedthemby.Insteadofmeninmilitarylookinguniforms,theywerecarryingnormalboysandgirlswearingswimsuitsandcoats.The
vehicleswerenotcarsormotorcycles.Theylookedliketoycartswithanengineattached.

Alargehelicoptercircledoverhead.

Toallowpeopleandsuppliestotravelmoresmoothly,UsefulSpiderhasbegunamotorsharingservice.ThisonlyappliestoAcademyCityrulesandto50ccAT
cartswhichareclassifiedthesameasmopeds,butifyouareinterested,feelfreetovisitoneofthe152cooperatinggasstations.

WhenKamijouobservedtheirsurroundingsagain,herealizedthesoundsofengineshadreturnedtothestreetsofrubbleandwhitesandwhichhadbeendeadlysilent
before.Hecouldnotcompletelycelebratethisturnofeventsanditwasquitedangerouswiththetrafficlightsstillout,butseeingthecartsdrivingthroughalarge
intersectionwasanemotionalexperienceevenforaboywhonevertraveledbycar.

Inadditiontothecarts,therewerealotmorepeoplewalkingaroundthanthedaybefore.Andtheyhadnotbeendrivenoutbyriotingorsuppression.Kamijoueven
exchangedanodwithanoldmanoutwalkinghisfatdog.

Therecoveryisatleastmakingprogress.

Thatshouldhavebeenobvious,butthiswasnolongerlookinglikethefrontforawickedplot.Hecouldnotdenythatitwasprobablyawayincreasingtheentire
organizationsreputation,butitdidnotseemlikeitdirectlybenefitedUsefulSpiderinanyway.

Evenso,hehadtofightthem.

Eveniftheywerenottryingto,hecouldnotletthemstealtheoriginalA.A.A.whichwasthekeytorescuingKamisato.

Stillarmedwithhercutlassandmusket,Lucamadeasuggestionwithamischievouslookinhereye.

Idontliketakinghelpfromtheenemy,butitwouldntmakesensenottouseit,right?

Letsuseoneofthosecarts.Imlicensedforanythinguptoamidsizedmotorcycle.
Withthatinmind,theyvisitedanearbygasstation,crammedallthreeofthemintoacartthesizeofaonepersonsofa,andsetoff.Thatsaid,KamijouandFranwere
stickingoutsideofthecartwhileholdingontotherollbarpassingoverthedriversseat.

Imscared,Imscared,Imscared,Imscared!!

Dontworry,Imtakingintoaccounthowwidethismakesus.Youwontgetyourheadtakenoffunlesstheresaroadsidetreewithaweirdbranchorabent
signpost.

Youregoingtoofast!!Arentyoudrivingathighwayspeedshere!?

Wehavethreepeopleandtheengineis50ccjustlikeamoped,sotheresnowayitcangothatfast.Itsjustlowtotheground,soitfeelsfaster.MaybeIshould
lowermyapparentagetolightentheloadalittle.

However,theycouldnotremaintoooptimisticbecausetherecoveryprocesswasstillunderwayinAcademyCity.Therewerepilesofrubbleandwhitesandallover
theplace,thesandblownthinlyacrosstheroadcouldmakeitslippery,andthetrafficlightswerestillout.Andsincetheyhadthreepeoplecrammedintoasingle
personcart,itwaspoorlybalanced.Everyintersectionwasariskandthesmalltiresoftenscreechedandslippedatthecurves.

Sorry,butifIpissmyself,itllgetalloveryouinthisposition.

DothatandIreallywillthrowyouoff!!

Meanwhile,theyleftDistrict7andapproachedthemountainsofDistrict21.

Huh?ThisisnttherouteItookwhenIcameherebefore.

YouexpectmetoknowmywayaroundAcademyCity?Nomatterwhereweenterthemountain,wellfindthemeteorologicalobservatoryifwegettothetop,
right?

Astheyclimbedthewindingroadupthemountain,theirspeedvisiblydroppedandthelawnmowerlikeenginescreamedinprotest,butitsomehowmanagedto
conquerthemountain.

Therewego.

Lucastoppedthecartatamidwaystationareathatwaslikelyacommonpointonthewaytoanumberoflandmarks:thedam,theastronomicalobservatory,the
campground,etc.Therewerenootherpeopletravelingaroundhere,sotheareawasdeserted.Thesmallshopandsnackcornerwereuntouched.

Ifweregoingtoattack,wecantapproachwiththisengineroaring,sowellhavetogoonfootfromhere.

Brr.Thewindisprettychilly
Thehoodiebikinigirlgavethetakoyakiandyakisobabannersabitterglare,buttherewasnothingtheycoulddowhentheshopwasnotopen.

Wejustgotsomefood.

Itsalready9.Thatwasntjust.

Accordingtothemapintheparkinglot,themeteorologicalobservatorywasnearthepeak.Lucahadprioritizedsafety,sotheystillhadawaystogo.

Apiratereallyshouldnthavetohikethroughthemountains.Letshopethatisntanillomen.

Uuh

Stopit,Fran,saidKamijou.Dontpoutyourlipsinmydirection.

Carryme.

Youreonlywornoutbecauseyourecarryingallthatcrap!Areyougoingtomakemepayforyourpoorchoices?Besides,whathappenedtothatUFOballoonof
yours!?

Thatisbusywithsomethingelserightnow.Socarryme.

ButwhenFranclungtohimandheforciblyshookheroffofhim,shesatrightsmackinthemiddleoftheroadandrefusedtomove,sohehadnochoicebuttotake
emergencymeasures.WithFranonhisbackherswollenbackpackonherback,theyclimbedthemountainpathlikeatriplescoopoficecream.

Gh!?Aagirlisntsupposedtobesoheavy.

Nmh.Sowarm.

Wwwell,thatsgoodIguess.

Butthissuddenwarmthiscausingastirringinmylowerstomach

Pleaseno!!

Carryingaswimsuitgirlwouldnormallybringtomindanumberofthoughts,suchasthechestonhisbackorthethighsandbuttonhishands,butKamijouwas
strugglingtoomuchtothinkaboutanythinglikethat.HelearnedthehardwaythelessonoftheKonakijijiandtheOnbuobake:Peoplecoulddestroythemselvesby
actingonemotionandtakingonsomeoneelsesburden.

Simplywalkinguptheasphaltroadwouldleavethemwithnowheretohideifacardrovedownfromthemeteorologicalobservatory,sotheyalwayspaidattentionto
whethertherewasaconvenientthicketaroundandworkedtorunthroughthedangerousareas.Evenso,ittookalotlongerthanwalkingnormally.
Isthatit?askedKamijou.

Itwas2or3hourssincetheyhadabandonedthecart,sothesunhadrisenhighintothesky.

Lookslikeit.

ThenImfinallyputtingyoudown,Fran.

Inthedistantgreenofthechillyconifertrees,theysawagiantspheremadefromflatpentagonsorhexagonslikeasoccerball.Itresembledtheantennaontherabbit
earantennaegirlsbutt.Thatwouldbethemeteorologicalobservatory.Therewereafewsinglestorybuildingsbelowit.Theyweremadeofwhitishreinforced
concreteandtheywouldeitherbelodgingfacilitiesforstafforanalysisfacilitiesforthedatagatheredbytheDopplerradar.

PirateGirlLucapeeredthrougharetrocollapsibletelescope.

Yeah,theyrethereallright.Iseesomedangerouspeoplewiththeirjacketsswellingoutunnaturally.Wewererightnottoapproachwiththeengineroaring.

Butyousawwhathappenedinthecitylastnight.Allofthosehelicoptersandgiantfanswouldntfitinthosesinglestorybuildings.

Thentheymusthavesomethingunderground.ThatsoundslikesomewheretheElementswouldhaveattacked,butthisisameteorologicalobservatorycomplete
withradardome.

HewasnotsurewhatFranwastryingtosay.Ifheaskedher,heexpectedhertodemandhecarryhersomemoreinexchange,sohegotstraighttothepoint.

Luca,wedonthavetowipeoutUsefulSpider.Weonlyhavetomakethemfeelthreatenedenoughtogathertheirotherunitsbackhere.Doyouseeanywherewe
canattackprettyeasily?

WaitjustasecondTherearefewstorehousesandtanksontheouteredges.Wemightbeabletoreachthosewithoutgoingtoofarin.Anditdoesntlooklike
theresanyonethere,sowewouldnthavetoworryaboutblowingsomeoneupandleavingabadtasteinourmouths.

Thatsettlesitthen.

Theycouldnotexactlyapproachontheasphaltroad,sotheyclimbeduptheslopewhichwasreinforcedwithconcretetopreventfallingrocks.Thentheyenteredthe
forestandslowlyapproachedthegroundsoftheobservatory.Itwouldnormallyhavebeenimpossibletosneakintoafortressprotectedbysecuritycamerasand
patrollingguards.

ButLucahadspottedasmallbuildingoutsidethefence.
Theguardspatrolledthefenceline,sotheyonlyobservedthisareafromthereandwouldnotwalkoutthisfar.Thesecuritycameraswerepositionedsohighthatthe
treebrancheswereintheway.Andevenrightoutsidethefence,theforestwasquitethick.Anywiresorinfraredbeamswouldbeconstantlytrippedbywildanimals.

Justtobesure,Isentthatintotheforestaheadofus,butitdidnttriggeranyalarmsandnoonecametocheckonit.

Fran,whatdoyoumeanbythat?

WhenKamijouaskedhisquestion,aroundunidentifiedlifeformpokeditsheadthroughthegapsinthetrees.No,itwasFransUFOballoon.

Isthiswhatyousaiditwasbusywithearlier?

Therewasmoretoitthanthat,answeredPirateGirlLuca.

Sheretrievedaglasscylinderthesizeofarelaybatonthatwastapedtothesideofthelowaltitudeballoon.

Kamijoucaughtonwhenhesawtheblackpowderinsideit.

Sothatsyourhandmadebomb.

IdbeafraidwhatwouldhappeninasurpriseattackfromEllenandtheothersifIwascarryingitwithme.AndFransballoonwonthavemachinetroubleand
crashlikesomecheapdrone.

Thereseemedtobeafewsparesjustincase,buttheyleftthoseontheballoon.Theballoonwouldbespottedifitflewhighintothesky,sotheyhadBunnyGreys
vehiclewaitintheforest.

Thesmallbuildingwasmadefromconcreteblocksandthedoorwaskeptshutwithchainsandalock,butFranstoolknifecameinhandythere.

ButKamijouwasdumbfoundedwhentheyopenedthedoor.

Whatthehell?Itsfullofpropanetanks.Didtheybuildupsomeemergencyreservesbecausethecitygaspipesdontreachuphere!?

Thatsperfect.Thiswillmakesomenicebigfireworks.

Lucapulledaglasscylinderfromhernavalcoat.Itwastheoneshehadretrievedfromtheballoonbefore.Itwasslightlylongerandthickerthanarelaybatonandit
wasfilledwithblackpowder.

Howareyougoingtotimethedetonation?

Ifyoudontwantanytroublegettingintocollegeorgettingajob,yourebetteroffnotknowing.
Thegirlinapiratehatandeyepatchsteppedintothepropanebase.Shecroucheddownnearthelargegraytanksliketheonesseenbehindarestaurantandshestarted
doingsomething.

Atanyrate,thiswasonelocation.

TheyneededtoputonanevenbiggershowifUsefulSpiderwastomistakeitforanenemyattackandcallalltheirunitsbackhere.Luckily,therewereothersmall
buildingsandlargetanksoutsidethefence,sotheycouldcirclethefenceandsetupbombsattheotherspots.

ButjustasKamijouwasthinkingthat,somethinghithimfrombehind.

BythetimeherealizedFranssmallbodyhadtackledhim,hehadrolledinsidethepropanebase.Thegirlwasunathleticandcouldnotclimbontosomethinghigher
thanherwaist,buttheoverstuffedbackpackhadgivenanoddweighttotheblow.

Fran,what?

Shh.

Therabbitearantennaegirlsoftlyshutthedoorwithherbacktoit.Sheseemedworriedthatthelatchwouldmakeanoise.

Thingsareoddlynoisyoutside.Theyclearlyarentfollowingthepreviouspatrolpattern.

Eh?Areyousuretheydidntfindyourballoonintheforest?

Lucahadbeencrouchingdownandworkingwithherbacktothem,butnowshewastrembling.WhenKamijouhadfallen,hischeekhadhitsomethingnoticeably
softeventhroughthenavalcoat.Hewasdefinitelykeepingitasecretthatitwasherroundbutt,butthatdidnotseemtobeherproblem.

Idroppedit.

Hm?

Idroppedthebomb.Becauseyousuddenlyranintomefrombehind.

Perhapstoassistdrainage,thefloorwasgentlyslopedinonedirectionandaguttercoveredwithsteelgratingranalongthewall.

Ithadfalleninthere.

Whathad?Why,therelaybatonfullofblackpowderofcourse.

Lucaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamgh!?
Isaidshh!

WhwhwhwhatdoIdo,whatdoIdo?Icantgetit.Myhanddoesntfit.Ialreadybroketheseal,soIcantstopit.Whatdowedo?Weneedtogetoutofhere.I
dontwanttobetheidiotwhosblowntokingdomcomebyherownbomb

KamijouwassandwichedbetweenLucasbuttinfrontofhimandFranschestonhisback,butthehoodiebikinigirlfinallyremovedhermarshmallowsofthand
fromhismouth.

Pwah.Calmdown,Luca.WehavetogetfromDistrict21toDistrict11,sothelimithastobeseveralhours.Wejusthavetoleavebeforethen.

Butthingslookprettybadoutside,saidFran.

Thengetoffofme,Fran.Imbeginningtothinkyouremorelikeakoalathanarabbit.

Theywerestilllyinginapile,butKamijoucrawledtowardthemetaldoorandcrackeditopen.

Whenhepeekedout,hefoundUsefulSpiderwasindeedactingoddly.Therewasnoloudsirenlikeforanairraid,buttheareabeyondthefencewasasfrenziedasa
disturbedhornetsnest.Alotofthemenwerereachinginsidetheirswollenjacketsandpullingoutshinyblackobjects.

What?Theydidntfindus,didthey?

Ifso,thepropanebasewouldbesurroundedorUsefulSpiderwouldabandonthebuildingandblowitupwithasinglegrenadelikeinanFPS.Kamijouhadto
wonderwhydisasterreliefexpertswereequippedsoheavily.Weretheyalsotaskedwithfightinggiantkaiju?

Whateverthecase,therewasonemainpoint.

Theyveuppedtheirsecurityandwedontknowtheirpatrolpattern.Ifwecarelesslyheadoutnow,wellbespottedrightaway,tearfullyexplainedLuca.Butthe
bombIdroppedinthegratingwilldetonateintwoandahalfhours.Ifwedontfiguresomethingoutbeforethen,wemightallbecomenewstarstwinklinginthe
nightsky.

Part5

Why?

AgirlsdryandscratchyvoicetrembledbelowtheWindowlessBuilding.

IntheTyrantskingdom,onecouldlosetheirheadiftherustlingoftheirclotheswasdeemedirritating.Severalgazespleadedhertostop,butRaincoatSalomestared
upatKiharaYuiitsu.
Justasanarmburiedinsnowforlongperiodswouldloseallfeeling,theonearmedgirlsfearmayhavefaded.

AndYuiitsureadilyansweredwithoutseemingtogiveitmuchthought.

Thisisanexperiment.

Duetocertaincircumstances,ImustbecomeauniqueKiharathatsurpassesmyteacher.ButtheproblemishowexactlytodetermineIhavesurpassedhim.

Shewasnothopingthegirlwouldunderstand.

Shedidnotevenbotherexplainingthemostbasicinformation.

Thesimplestmethodwouldbewithsomemonumentalachievement,butthenwhatprojectcouldnootherKiharahopetoachieve?Thatwouldbeannoyingly
difficult.Sheshrugged.ButthenIfoundit.

Foundwhat?

Allofyou.Youareconstantlyfacedwithmyunreasonableorders,butyouarefinallystartingtoworktowardavoidingthatfear.Justlikeacatthatfallsinthebath
willstartavoidinganywherewithwater.Youvenoticedthatthelookonmyfacecanfreeyoufromthatlabyrinthoffear,haventyou?Thatcanalsobeseenas
transplantingKiharaesquebehaviorpatterns,cantit?Youhateme,fearme,andabhormemorethananyone,butyouaregraduallygrowingmorelikeme.By
contactingandcomingtounderstandanabnormalitylikeme,yougrowtobecomesomethingsimilarbutnotquitelikeme.

Itwasalotlikeafamousexperimentinwhichpeopleweredividedintoagroupofguardsandagroupofprisoners.

Whenplacedinaspecialenvironment,peoplewouldacceptspecialroles.

Thegirlsfeltthefearandpressureofhavingsomethingmoreimportantthantheirlifetakenfromthemiftheydisobeyed,andthatwassqueezingattheirheartsmore
oppressivelythanprisonwalls.

ThethinlyspreadthoughtpatternsthatbecomelikemyowninordertocurrymyfavorwilleventuallyspreadtocovertheentiretyofAcademyCity.Justlikeyou
fearmespecifically,theresidentsofAcademyCitywillfearyouasagroup.Theywillfeartheroyalguardswhohavebeeninfluencedbythetyrantsgenes.They
willfearsomeoneotherthanme.

Itsoundedlikeanightmare.

Thattruthonlycontainedfearandpainandwouldbringhappinesstonoone.
Astheprocessrepeats,itwillspreadliketheringsofabaumkuchenoratree.FromAcademyCitytoTokyo,fromTokyotoKantou,fromKantoutotheJapanese
Archipelago,fromJapantowhoknowswhere.ThethoughtpatternsofaKiharawillchangeformlikeanamoebaandwillsurelybecomesomethingthatwill
surpriseevenme.Aswordspreadsfrompersontoperson,aspectswillbelostorexaggeratedagainandagain.[1]

Intheend,everylastpersonontheplanetwillberemadeintosomeonewhofearstheKiharasbutisapartoftheKiharas.Youcouldsayitisanexperimentthat
goesbeyondasocietyofmutualsurveillanceandformsasocietyofmutualcrime.Inthatsociety,peoplewillbecomfortabledirtyingtheirhandsbecausetheyknow
theirneighborsarealldoingthesamething.TheKiharainsideallofyouwillnotbethesameastheoneinsideme.ThiswillendlesslycreatenewKiharas.Surely
thatqualifiesasagreatachievementnootherKiharahasevercomeclosetomatching.Aslongaswearedefinedasafamilyofbizarrescientists,noKiharanot
evensenseicangrowbeyondbeingtheminority.

Shegiggled.

Moreimportantly,ifthe6or7billionpeopleontheplanetallbecomeKiharas,notevenAleistersArchetypeControllercanreachus.Hehasthepowertodivide
portionsofmankindandpitthemagainsteachotherashepleases,butwhenwestandeast,northernhemisphereandsouthernhemisphere,capitalistsandsocialists,
andeveryotherdivisionhavethecommonfactorofbeingKiharas,wellallbethesame.ItisafearofKiharathatisnotquitethesameasbeingunique.Itslike
beingdividedyetindivisible.ItcreatesaworldwhereabandoningtheKiharasmeanstodestroyallofmankind.Thennomatterhowuglyandcruelouractions
become,wewillhavebecomeabadmajoritythatcanneverberemoved.Yes,itsperfect.Althoughbetweengoodandbad,itsbad,andbetweenlikeanddislike,its
dislike

Part6

Thebombwasmeantasadiversion.TheexplosionatUsefulSpidersheadquarterswasmeanttonotkillanyoneyetconvincethemtheywereunderattackandthus
neededtocallbacktheirotherunitsfordefense.ThatincludedtheonesguardingDistrict11scontaineryardwheretheoriginalA.A.A.slept.Kamijousgroup
wantedtoavoidwastingthat.

Theyalsoverymuchwantedtoavoidfailingtodisarmthebombtheysetupthemselvesandbeingblownupwithoutanyoneeverknowing.Thatwouldbringinto
questionwhytheywereeventhereinthefirstplace.Kamijouwantedtobelievehehadnotbeenborntomeetanendlikethat.

Sotheynaturallywantedtoescapeoutsideassoonaspossible,but

Dammit.Itslikeagiantscramblecrossingoutthere.Whataretheysoafraidof?

Hedidnotknowhowmanytimesthismadeit,butKamijouclickedhistongueasheobservedthesceneoutsidethroughthecrackeddoor.

Franwaslookingatthesmallscreenconnectedtoherbackpackbythecurlycordofahomephone.
Its2PMAnhourhaspassed.

Wait,wait,wait.Cantweturntheirattentionawayfromhere?

YoumeanfireLucasmusket,orthrowhercutlassoutthere?Eitherway,theirattentionwouldturntowardwhereitcamefrom,notwhereithit.Thatwouldonly
makethisworse.

Whataboutyourballoon?Didntithavesparebombsonit?

IfIcoulddothat,Ialreadywouldhave.Thesecheapconcreteblockswereforciblyreinforcedwithanetofsteelwires,soitsdeflectingthesignalandIcant
contacttheballoon.

ShemusthavefeltresponsiblebecauseLucacontinuedherattackonthegutterrunningalongthewallofthepropanebase.Shetriedgettingonallfoursandsticking
herhandthroughthemetalgratingandshetriedliftingupthegratingitself,butnoneofitwasgoingwell.

Hey,Luca.Youcanchangeyourapparentagebycontrollingyoursubjectiveage,right?Whynotturnintoalittlekidforskinnierhandsandfingers?

Ialreadyam,Ialreadyam.Butthatdoesntseemtobetheproblem

Bothgirlsgotdownonallfoursandtriedtogetthroughthemetalgratingoverthegutter.However,Lucahadshrunktoage10withherclothesstayingthesame,so
hernavalcoatandswimsuitwerefallingoffinplaces,makingitadangerousview.Itwasstrangehowbrightherskinlooked.

Thecylinderwasrightthere,butnoneofthemcouldtouchit.

Fedupwithitall,thehoodiebikinigirlfinallystoodup.

Wehavenochoice

Fran?

Thatsusingoldfashionedblackpowder,right?Justlikewithfireworks,getitdampanditwontworkanymore.Ourhandsmightnotreach,butifwepeeonit
fromabove,wecankillit!

Wait,Fran!Letstalkaboutyourdignityasagirlbeforeyouresolutelysquatdownthere!!

Nottomentionthatitscoveredinglass,soyoucantgetitdampfromtheoutside.

Kh.Cantyoustickyourcutlassthroughthegratingandbreakit?

Ashocklikethatwouldsetitoff.ItskindofamiracleitdidntburstwhenIdroppedit.
Iswallowedmyshameandresolvedmyself,sowhydidyouhavetomakesomethingsounnecessarilyperfect,Luca!?

Forsomereason,theblackroseeyepatchpirategirlavertedhergaze.Shereturnedherphysicalagetonormalandrepeatedlypokedherindexfingerstogetherin
frontofhergrowingchest.Andthenthehonestidiotconfessed.

BbecauseyousaidIwasthekeytotheplan.Whenyoulookatmewithsomuchexpectationinyoureyes,ofcourseImgoingtotryextrahard

God,whydoyouhavetogotheextramileattheworstpossibletime!?

LucastaggeredliketheUFOgirlhadstabbedher,soKamijousupportedhershouldersfrombehindwithouteventhinking.Ifhehadnot,thetremblingpirategirl
mightverywellhavestartedcrying.

Meanwhile,timepassed.

Letsmakeadecision,beganKamijou.Wecantgetthebomboutofthegutternomatterhowhardwetry.Stayingherewillonlygetusblownup.Nothingwedo
willchangethat.

UuhSomeoneburymeinsomedampdirtfarawayfromanyoneelse.

Dontgetsodown,Luca.Youdidagoodjob.

Butifwegooutside,UsefulSpiderwillfindusandturnusintoSwisscheese.Andthemorenoticeableadiversionwetry,themoreattentionwelldrawto
ourselves.

Thatsonlyforvisibletrouble.

Kamijouslowlyexhaledandthenpointedhisthumbtowardthegraytanksfillingthesmallbuilding.

Thosearefullofpropane.Thatsheavierthanair.Letsmoveonenearthedoorandsendgasoutthroughthecrack.Onceitsflowedpastthefence,wejustneedto
throwoutaspark.Luca.

Fwhat?

Itstoosoontocry.Weneedoneofyourbullets.Fireoneshotatthegroundpastthefencetocreateasparkandthiswillprobablyallworkout.Sowipeawaythe
tearsandsnotandfaceforward.

Gasisinvisible,pointedoutFran.Wehavenowayofknowinghowfarithasspread.Dependingontheterrainandwinddirection,itcouldstayherewithout
flowingtowardtheobservatory,sowemightjustblowourselvesup.

Ofcourse.Butifwedontdoanything,theresa100%wellbeblownupalongwiththisbuilding.Whichdoyouwanttobeton?
Theywerequicktotakeaction.

Theyfreedoneofthegraytanksheldinplacebythickchainsandlatches,theytilteditdiagonally,andtheyrolledittowardthedooralongtheedgeofthecylinders
bottom.ItwasaboutastallasFran.Sinceitwasalsoathickpressureresistantcontainer,itwasevenheavierthanitlooked.

Aftergettingitnearthedoor,theylaiditfullyonitsside.Tomoreefficientlymovetheheavyobject,Lucahadincreasedherphysicalagetogiveherselfanadult
bodythatleftherclothestightinplaces.ShepointedthemetalopeningmeantforahosetowardthecrackeddoorandKamijouslowlyturnedthevalve.

Theyheardasinistersoundmuchlikeahissingsnake.

Theinvisibledangersqueezedattheirheartswithadifferentsortofpressurefromanobviousknifeorgun.

Ddoyousmellaweirdscentgettinginhere?

Youreimaginingit.

Hmm.Icanalmostsmellitmaybe.

Stopit,Fran.Youlltrickyourselfthroughselfsuggestion.

Ifhewasbeinghonest,notevenKamijouknewhowmuchgastheyweresupposedtosendout.Toolittleanditwouldnotwork,buttoomuchanditcouldbetoo
powerfulandkillsomeofthepeoplerunningaroundbeyondthefence.Infact,theexplosioncouldevenblowhimandthegirlsaway.

Itwasallguesswork.

Wouldsomeonespalmsbethissweatyiftheywerethrownintoaselfservegasstationinaforeigncountrywheretheycouldnotreadanyofthewarnings?

Theydidnothavetimetorunseveralsmallerexperimentstobuildupexperience.Withhisfingersonthevalve,Kamijouspoketotherabbitearantennaegirl,the
onlyonewhoknewthetime.

Fran,howarewedoingontime?

Itsbeenhalfanhoursincelasttime.

Yourekidding.Sowehavelessthananhour?

Lamentingwouldnotsolveanything.Andwithnothingelsetogoon,hefeltlikethatonehourmarkwasasign.Heturnedthevalvetocutofftheflowofgasand
theyrolledthetankawayfromthedoor.Itfeltalotlighterthanwhentheyhadfirststruggledwithit.Hefeltachillrundownhisspineatthethoughtthattheyhad
overdoneit,buttherewasnoredoingitnow.
Luca.Countto30andthenfireonthegroundbeyondthefence.ThetimegapshouldletthelastbitofgasflowawayfromthisbuildingIthink.Attheveryleast,
itshouldbebetterthanfiringrightaway.

Willthisreallybeokay?

Eitherway,yourmusketisouronlyhope.

Kh.

Yeah,youneedtolearnthatflatteringLucalikethatisabadidea,complainedthehoodiebikinigirl.

ButKamijouignoredherandchangedplaceswiththepirategirl.Perhapstoenduretherecoil,herclothesweretightoncemore.

(Igetthefeelingherswimsuitwillburstapartfromtherecoilifshefireslikethat.)

Youcanthopeforthattohappen,Fran.Wereonthesamesidehere.

Whilestandinginfrontofthecrackeddoor,Lucagrabbedtheskullcontainerattachedtooneofthebeltssheworelikeawaitressssuspenders.Sheshookit,and
removedthecapwithjustherfingertips.Thecapwaslikethoseforfabricsoftenerandsheusedittomeasureoutenoughgunpowderforoneshot.Shepouredthe
blackpowderintothemusketsmuzzleandcompresseditwiththethinstickheldinthesamescabbardashercutlass.

Shealsoslidaportionofthecaseshapedlikeanarmbonetopulloutaroundbulletlikeitwasaminttablet.Sheusedtheramrodtopushitdownaswell.From
there,sheheldthegunjustlikeinthemovies.Thehighlyvarnishedstockglistenedwithanamberlightlikeanoldviolinasshepresseditagainsthershoulder,she
pressedhercheekagainsttheguntopeerthroughthesight,andsheusedherthumbtoraisetheflinthammer.

Shefocusedontheimaginarylineextendingfromthemuzzleandwhisperedawarninginhercollegeagedbody.

Youshouldcoveryourears.

KamijouandFranmovedtoobeyinthesmallclosedspace,butsomethinginterrupted.

Alargeexplosionknockedthemover.

Andthatwasnoexaggeration.

Whileshestuckhergunoutfromthecrackeddoor,Lucawasstruckbythemetaldoorasitswunginwardsandshewasknockedbackwards.KamijouandFranwere
notdirectlyhitbythedoor,buttheexplosivenoiseenteringthroughthedoorwayechoedofftheconcreteblocksagainandagain.Thepressurewassogreatthey
nearlyfainted.

AsFrantearfullycurleduponthespotlikeaturtle,sheshoutedattheadultpirategirlwhoseclotheswerecomingoffinplaces.
Luca!!

No!Thetimingwasoff!Thatexplosionwasntfromthegas!

Thedoorhadbeentornfromitshinges,sothesceneoutsidewasfullyvisible.Theexplosionhadoccurredatoneofthesinglestorybuildingsfurtherin,notonthe
groundjustpastthefence.

Lucalaysexilysprawledoutonthegroundafterbeinghitbytheblastandthemusketinherhandswasstillloadedwithbulletandblackpowder.

Nn.

Justasthepirategirlgroanedandtwistedherbody,orangesparksburstfromthemuzzlewithanearsplittingnoise.Thebulletbouncedaroundthepropanebaselikea
pinball,butitwasmovingtoofasttofollowwiththenakedeye.Thistime,bothKamijouandFrangrabbedatthetroublemakerofapirategirl.

Areyoutryingtokillus,youidiot!?

Thisispartlyourfaultforpraisinghertoomuch,saidFran.Abitofcontemptmightbethebettercourseofactionwithher.

Meanwhile,moreandmoreodditiesarrived.

Theunexplainedexplosionscontinued.AlotoftheUsefulSpidermemberswereaimingupwardsandfiringtheirgunswildly.Therewassomethinginthesky,but
Kamijousgroupcouldnottellwhatwhileindoors.Andwithsomeoneelsegatheringsomuchattention,theynolongerneededthepropane.

Fran,Luca!

Headingoutsidewhenthegunfireandexplosionsneverseemedtoendwasmorefrighteningthanheadinghomefromschoolinadownpourafterlightningstruck
nearby.Butthiswastheirlasttrainback.Thesituationwasfarfromideal,buttheywouldnotreceiveanotherchance.

Thethreeofthemmadeuptheirmindsandheadedoutsidewhilekeepinglowtotheground.

Somethingcutbyoverhead.Theysawanunidentifiedflyingobjectbeyondtherustlingtreebranches.

Maya

Therabbitearantennaegirlspokeanothergirlsname.

Butwhynow?

Kamijoudidnotknowifitwastrue,butthatgirlclaimedtobeaghost.Shespecializedinaerialsurveillanceandinformationwarfareandshehadcausedthemalot
ofgriefthroughtheSpheres.
HadsheidentifiedKamijousgrouporwasshesimplydestroyingallofthebuildings?

Theydidnothavelongtothinkaboutit.

Alargemassfellonthepropanebasetheyhadbeenhidingin,sothemanygastanksandtheirbomboflovebothcontributedtoamassiveexplosion.

Kamijouwasliterallythrownthreemeterswhentheblasthithisback.

Part7

Theyhadbeenlookingatitwrong.

Ellen,Maya,andtherestoftheformerKamisatoFactionhadnotputtogetheraplantospecificallyattackthemeteorologicalobservatoryatthepeakofthatDistrict
21mountain.

TheyhadsimplyattackedtheindividualUsefulSpiderbasesaroundAcademyCityandpursuedthemintothemountainwhentheyretreated.

Forexample,therewasthegirlcradlingabottlefullofold10yencoinslikeitwasababy.Shegaveareportwhilesmellingblacksmoke.

ImsureyourepiggybackingoffofthenearbySpheres,butbeingabletouseradiossureisconvenient.ThisisElza.Iwenttoofaranddestroyedthem,sowearent
gettinganyhintsfromhere.Sorry,butyoullhavetocheckwithsomeoneelse.

Forexample,therewasagirlwithcountlessthicksquidoroctopustentaclescoveredinsuckersgrowingfromherback.Herbizarrebeautywoulddriveanyonewho
sawhermadandshewhisperedherreport.

Milcahhere.IhaveconqueredthebroadcaststationinDistrict15.Afewofthehelicoptersgotaway.Youcanusethedirectioninwhichtheyfledtoworkoutthe
locationoftheirheadquarters.

Forexample,therewasayoungwifeinaswimsuitandapron.Sheshookthekindofshakerusedbybartenderswhileherflushedfaceslowlyswayedbackandforth.

ThisisMachinatheElementalSpiritsInternalSummoner.IhaveconqueredBeeHoonStreetinDistrict4.Ibroughtdownthegiantfanbeforetheycouldliftitup
intotheair.Hic.ButIdidnttouchtheunitthatpassedbyoverhead.ItlookedliketheywereflyingwestfromDistrict11.Myyyycirculationseemsreallygood
today.Thesalamanderisrunningwildinmyblood

FranhadfoundtheradiatingpatternfromtheinformationuploadedthroughtheSpheres,butthesegirlstookamoredirectroutetowardworkingouttheirenemys
lair.

Andtheydidnotspendalongtimepreparingbeforemakingtheirattack.Asthemodernweaponsobsessedgirl(inotherwords,shewasnevertoofixatedonany
onethingandcontinuedupdatingherrepertoireastimepassed)Aileenmovedthepiecesonthegameboard,everythingmovedtomatch.
First,GhostGirlMaya,whoseexistencewassupportedbytheCenserdrones,andCosplayGirlOlivia,whoflewthroughtheskyonamagicwandequippedwitha
jetengine,bombedtheheadquartersasthefirstwave.Next,KillerPatissierBerryandAthleteSoldierLemonarrivedcloseenoughonthegroundtothrowsugar
javelinsandhammerthrowhammersalongparabolicarcsthatraineddownontheheadquarters.TheexplosionsandshockwaveshidMaryswolflikeapproachon
allfoursthroughtheforestandLimesapproachonagiantmechanicallizard.BeforeUsefulSpidercouldfightback,theyhadtrampledthefencearoundthe
observatorysgroundsandchargedonin.

WatchoutfortheDopplerradar.Iftheyvecutthelimiteranduppeditsoutput,itquicklybecomesanantiairelectromagneticweapon.Itslikeaweakerversionof
Fransstation,sofocusondestroyingitfirst.

Nooneknewifthiswasreallytherightthingtodo.Foronething,whatqualifiedastherightthingtodoinamilitaryoperationdifferedfromcountrytocountry.
Thiswasacollectionofobsessedgirlswhohadessentiallytakenonlythemostattractivebitsofeachcountrysstandardizedmilitary.Theyweresomethinglikea
theoreticalperfectfighterjet,soitwasuncertainiftheywouldbeofanypracticaluse.Theonlyreasonithadnotallfallenapartbythispointwasduetothegreat
strengthofthestrangepowersandabilitiesoftheformerKamisatoFactions100girls.Eveniftheircommandsdidnotquitematchthesituationbeforetheireyes,
theywouldeachtrampletheenemyregardless.

WhyhadtheformerKamisatoFactionchangedtargetsandstartedhuntingdownUsefulSpidernow?

WewanttouseourinformationmediatoitsfullesttohuntdownKamijouTouma,KarasumaFran,andToyamaLucawhoissomethingofagrayzone,butwecant
exactlydothatwiththeshelterSpheresblownaway,whisperedtallMayaasshecircledthroughtheskyalongwithhercraneflyshapeddrones.Plus,wecantrely
ontheSphereswhentheyweresetupbyUsefulSpidertomaketherulersfeelliketheyhadsomepower.Ishouldhaverealizeditsoonerandcutitoffatthesource.

KiharaYuiitsuhadnotdirectlygiventhemthistarget,butthatnolongermattered.

UsefulSpiderwasinterferingwiththeirsearchforKamijouandthusthreatenedKamisato,sotheywereanenemy.Theyneededtobeeliminated.

Atthisheightandspeed,itwasunlikelyhervoicecouldreachanyone.Evenifshehadaradio,herheadwasentirelyexposed,sotheblowingofthewindwouldget
intheway.

Buttheunlikelyhappened.Alatenightanimeheroinewasflyingalongsidehertooclosetoevencallitacrobatic.However,Mayawasfairlycertaintherealheroine
hadnotusedahandmadejetengine.

TheviolentlyliveactionversionofMagicalPoweredKanaminspoke.

Keepaneyeonthingsdownbelow.Theyregoingtorecoverfromtheshocksoon,soitstimeforthebossroundwithsomemonstrousAcademyCityweapon
theyvebeenhidingunderground.

Theghostgirlwithbewitchinglyexposedcleavagegaveaderisivesnort.
Withoutaphysicalbody,shewasnotafraidofbullets.Noonewouldfeelanytensionwhenplayingabullethellgamewhileusingacheatcodetoreducetheirhitbox
tozeropixels.

Adullexplosionrosefromthesurface.

Thedomeshapedradarfacilityhadbeensuccessfullybombed.Nowtherewasnoriskofthewillothewisplikedronesbeingfried.

Andsosheutteredasinglesingsongword.

Perfect.

Part8

Kamijouhadsomuchtroublebreathinghecouldnotevenpassout.

Heclungtoanearbytreetrunk,wrinkledhisbrow,andforcedhisvisiontorecoverasitflashedinandoutlikeadyingfluorescentlight.Painpassedfromonetemple
totheother,buthecoulddonothingaboutitbutclenchhisteeth.

Whenhesomehowmanagedtogatherstrengthinhislegsandlookaround,hesawPirateGirlLucasprawledoutonthegroundandgroaning.Duetothefull
backpackonherback,FranhadherbuttstickinguptowardheavenlikesomeonewhohadbeenhitbyaGermansuplexwhileupsidedown.Shelookedliketheend
resultofarobotmodeldesignedwithnothoughtgiventothecenterofgravity.

Hey,areyoubothalive?Imonlyborrowingyou,sodontdiebeforeIgetyoubacktoKamisato.Idontwanttobeindebtedtohim.

Thathadadramaticeffect.

ThenameKamisatowaslikebrandytosomeonelostinasnowymountain,sothegirlsshooktheirwoozyheadsandforcedtheireyesopen.

Theexplosionshadnotletup.

AndthesituationwasnolongerunilaterallymovingintheformerKamisatoFactionsfavor.Thosegiantfansthatresembledtunnelboringmachineshadappeared
andlargehelicopterswithheavymachinegunsstickingoutofthesidecargodoorswerepursuingtheghostandcosplayerinthesky.

Franwaskickingherfeetwildlywhileupsidedown,soKamijouhelpedherupandspatoutanirritatedcomment.

Imnotsurewhichsidearethetruemonsters.Anyway,letsgetoutofhere.

Needlesstosay,theirgoalhadbeentogettheUsefulSpiderunitinDistrict11tofallbacktotheheadquarterssotheycouldgettotheA.A.A.insidethecontainer
yard.TherewasnopointincontinuingthefightagainstUsefulSpiderhere.AndtherewasnoguaranteethattheformerKamisatoFactionwouldnotfindthemhere.
Theycouldnotlosesightofthesituation.NeithersidewinningherewouldbringbackKamisatoKakeru.Iftheypouredtheirenergyintothewrongthing,theywould
losetheirchanceatsuccess.

Fortunately,theformerKamisatoFactionandUsefulSpideraresobusyfightingthattheyhaventnoticedus.Andwiththismanyexplosions,theunitinDistrict11
issuretobescrambled.Letsgetbacktothecartandheadtothecontaineryard.Andthen

ButKamijouToumashouldhaveknownbetterthantosayfortunately.

Incasehehadforgotten,misfortunewashisconstantcompanion.

Frannoticedsomethingandlookedtoherfeet.KamijouandLucafollowedhergaze.

Severalstrangecracksranthroughthedirt.

Wait

Afteranexplosionlargeenoughtoshaketheentireobservatory,thegroundbelowtheirfeetseemedtoreachitslimit.Itcrumbledawayandtheywereswallowedup.

Owaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!?

Yes,hadntFranandLucamentionedthatUsefulSpidermayhavebeenstoringtheirnextgenerationweaponsinanundergroundfacilitycoveredinthick
electromagneticshielding?

Part9

Hmm?

TracerEllentiltedherheadwhiledraggingherbaggylabcoatbehindher.

Shecroucheddownandfocusedontheground.

Hmmm???

Whatareyoudoing?askedmodernweaponsobsessedAileen.WasntmostofyourinspectionkitdestroyedbyFransheatwave?

ButEllenscuriositydidnotwane.
ItistrueIspecializeingaschromatographyandcarbondatingusingcuttingedgeequipment.Imwellawarethatmyforensicsskillsdontworkwithoutthe
equipment.

SheformedLswiththethumbandforefingerofbothhandsandcreatedsomethinglikeapictureframetofocusontheordinarylookingground.

Butdidyouknowthathumansensesareatypeofinspectionequipment?Itcanbeaperfumersnoseoraconveniencestorebentoresearcherstongue.Whenyou
createasystemusingsensesmoredelicatethananymachine,itsknownassensoryanalysis.

Whataboutit?

AndImnotjusttalkingaboutperfectpitch.Mysensesofsight,hearing,smell,taste,andtouchareallperfectsensoryanalysisdevicesthatprovidereadingsIcan
expressnumerically.AlthoughifIdontintentionallykeepmymindinalowergear,theworldgrowsveryboringveryfast.

Someonehadpulledthatgirlupoutofthatgraybog.Hehadshownheracolorthatshecouldnotexpressnumericallywithanyofhersenses.Shebelievedthatwas
thecoloroflove.

Shewoulddoanythingforhim.Shewouldeliminateeventhesmallestrisktohim.

Maya,Olivia,andtherestofaerialgroup.Ourradiosmightbejammedbeforewehavefurtherordersforyouandanygesturedcommandsmightbespiedon.
Followthetimetablewesetupinadvance.

ThehandinEllensbaggysleeveheldaradiotheyhadstolenfromtheirenemy.

Shebasedthisonherdigitizedsensesasatracer.

Franwillbethere.ThatthreattoKamisatohanspendsallyearstaringatthestarsandchasingunidentifiedflyingobjects.Youshouldassumeshewilldetectyour
radiowavesandtheslightestflashoflight.Also

Herlipscontinuedtowhisper.

Shewasnotdoneyet.

SomethingseemedoffwhenIspokewithFranbefore.ItriedtosuppressmydoubtsbecauseIthoughtwewerefriends,buttheresnomoreneedforthat.Andnow
thatIlookback,therewasalotoddabouther.

Forexample,whycouldIdetectthescentofaldosteroneandcortisolinhersweatwhenshewouldspeakwithKamisatohan?Whywasshereleasingstressrelated
adrenocorticotropichormone?Thereisamassivebombshellhidingthere.Imnotgoingtoholdback,Fran.
Part10

Everythinghadbeenacompletemess.

EversincetheformerKamisatoFactionshowedup,nothingtheydidfeltliketheirowndecision.Theycouldonlysitidlybywhileotherpeoplemadetheirdecisions
forthem.

Somethingstrulycouldnotbehelped.

Kamijouandtheothershadfallenintoaspacesupportedbycountlesssteelbeamslikeaschoolgymoranairporthangar.Whilelyingonhisback,Kamijou
shudderedatthedistancetotheceiling.Hedidnotknowwhathadcushionedhisfall,buthewasamazedhehadsurvived.

Fran,Luca

Aftershakinghisheadandgettingup,hesawafewmetalobjectscrushedbyrubble.Somewerethehalftruckswithmechanicallegsandtreads,somewereshort
andstouttransporthelicopters,andotherswerethegiantfans.Eachofthemwasenoughofathreat,butaveritableparadeofthemwaslineduphere.Theoriginal
lightsmayhavebeeninsufficientbecausehecouldnotseeallthewaytotheback.

Andthiswasnotimetostareallthewaybackthere.

Meninworkuniformsweregivingthemsurprisedlooksfromquitecloseby.Whentheyrealizeditwasnotjustinorganicrubblethathadfallen,theyquicklyreached
intotheircoats,but

!!Itsgonnablow!!

Kamijouraisedhisvoice,placedhishandsprotectivelyoverhishead,anddovedownontotheground,sothemenlookedaroundinshock.Thepresenceofthe
crushedandsparkinghelicoptersincreasedthesqueezingintheirchests.

ThenLucaranoutfrombehindanearbypileofrubble.Withthemenfocusedelsewhere,sheattackedthemheadonwithhercutlassandmusket.Sheusedthemas
bluntweaponsinsteadofabladeandagun.Thesightwasasadhistorylessoninhow,atcloserange,itwasfastertojusthitsomeonethantotakethetimetoloadthe
powderandbullet.

Thefirstwascaughtcompletelyoffguardandknockedoutinasingleblow.

Damnyou!

Therestdrewlongknivesandattackedfrommultipledirections.

Whoops.
!?

Afterhercheerfulvoice,themenwereovercomewithconfusion.

Theydidnotfeelthefleshandbloodtheyexpectedtheirknivestohit.Infact,theirtargethadentirelyvanished.Buttheirconfusionwasnatural.Lucacouldfreely
manipulatehersubjectiveage,soshecouldchangetheapparentageofherbody.Shehadinstantlyloweredheragefrom15to10,soherlimbsandbodyshrankand
herenemywouldneedtoadjusttheiraim.

Afterslippingbelowthestormofblades,thesmallbodygrewuntiltheswimsuitnearlyburstfromwithin.

Sheusedherlonglimbsandgreaterbodyweighttoknockouttheconfusedmenwiththebackofhercutlassandthestockofhermusket.

Fearnot.Iusedthebackofmyblade.

Luca,Ihatetointerruptyourtriumphantposethere,butyourswimsuitbottomisslippingdown.Hurryupandpullitup.

Oops.

Aftereliminatingthethreat,Lucafixedherswimsuit,returnedherbodytonormal,andspunthetwolongweaponsaroundlikeshewasjugglingthem.

Nicejobdistractingthem.Youdmakeagoodpirate.

Idontthinkthatsacompliment.

Francroucheddown,tookoneoftheunconsciousmensguns,andhelditawkwardly,butKamijouputastoptothat.Peoplepulledthetriggereasilyenoughin
movies,butthatclearlywasnotsomethinghecouldleavewithagirlwhowasshuttingoneeyeandattemptingtopeerdownthebarrel.Hewasafraidshewould
accidentallyshoothimintheback.

Anyway,wherestheexit?

Theydidnotknowwhereastairwayorelevatormightbe,theexitmighthavesomekindofsecuritylock,anditcouldhavebeenblockedbytheearliercollapse.
Theyhadnorealreasontofight,sotheywantedtoleaveassoonaspossible,butthesituationdidnotallowforit.Kamijouwasalwaysexperiencingmisfortune,but
hewasbeginningtosuspectKamisatohadsomethingsimilar.

Theydidnotknowwheresomeonecouldbehidingastheycutacrossaspaceaslargeasaschoolyard.Theyassumedanexitwouldbealongthewall,sotheymoved
tothewallandcontinuedbackfromthere.

Itwasgenerallythesameasgoingonarampageinaparkinglotfullofcars.Theyusedthehalftrucksandhelicoptersasshields,checkedaroundandmadesureno
onedangerouswashidingbehindcover,andthenmovedtothenextshield.
Meanwhile,KamijouandLucaheardasmallsoundastheymovedoutahead.TheylookedbacktofindRabbitEarAntennaeFranfocusedonherdevices.

Avoicecamefromthecardsizedscreenconnectedwithacurlingcord.

Ksshhh!Fraaan,knowingyou,youlldefinitelypickupthissignalImsendingoutonarandomband.

(Ellen?)

ThegirlsoundedconfidentthatKamijousgroupwasinthesamearea.Ifthattracerhaddetectedtheirfootprintsorcaughttheirscent,itwouldbeamajorproblem.

BasedoneverythingthathadhappenedviatheSpheres,itwasobviouswhatthepointofthisconversationwas.

(Fran,turnitoff!Wedontgainanythingfromthisandshestryingtoprovokeusintorevealingourlocation.Shemightevenpickuponthesoundofyourradio
playinghervoice!)

Kamijouhadnoideahowmuchitwouldhelp,buthenaturallystartedwhispering.ButFrandidnotrespond.Shewasfullyfocusedonthesmallscreen.

Iwasoddlycuriouswhyyoualonewouldresponddifferently.LucascaseisntasoddifIviewyouasthesourceandherasasecondaryinfection.Whenyouget
downtoit,Ithinkoursingularityisyou,KarasumaFran.

Shedidnotwanttoknow,butshefelttheneedtocrushanyhintofworry.Itmayhavebeenthemindsetthatledpeopletotypetheirownnameintoasearchengine
despiteknowingitwouldleadtonothinggood.

Hey,Fran.WhywerentyoucapturedbyKiharaYuiitsusno,KamisatoKakeruscurse?Itwasntthatsomeonetalkedyououtofit.Yourheartwasnevershaken
inthefirstplace.OnceIstartedwonderingaboutthat,Ijustcouldntstopthinkingaboutit.Otherthingsfromthepaststartedoccurringtome.

WeknowyouspendallyearchasingafterUFOs.Whetherthatstrueornot,youknowmoreaboutastronomicalbodiesandelectromagneticwavesthananyofus.
AndthestationyouusedtoproduceAcademyCitysheatwaveisrealButthatisapieceofexternalequipment,soyouhaventreallyshownyourowninternal
power,haveyou?

No,itwasnotjustthehoodiebikinirabbitearantennaegirl.

KamijouandLucafoundthemselvesjustastrappedbythestickyandinvisiblestrings.Flippingoverthiscardwouldaccomplishnothing,itwouldonlyworkagainst
them,anditwasalotlikediggingupalandminesoitcouldblowupintheirfaces,buttheycouldnotstopthevoicearrivingoverthedevice.

Fraaan,saidthetracer.Youreactuallyamagician,arentyou?AndsinceyoureoddlyobsessedwithaBritishmascot,youreprobablywithsomeonefromthere.
SowouldntitbereasonabletothinkyouwereonlypretendingtobeascientificUFOgirltomonitorKamisatoKakerusactions,ifnotactuallyguidinghimhereto
AcademyCity?
Part11

ThosewordswereaheavyshocktothechestforPirateGirlLucaasshelistenedin.

Aspy.

SomeonetomonitorandcontrolKamisatoKakerusactions.

Butwhenshethoughtaboutit,itwouldbeoddifnoonehadputtogetheranykindofcountermeasureagainstsomeonecapableofslaughteringMagicGodsbythe
dozen.Kamisatohimselfclaimedtobethekindofnormalhighschoolboyonecouldfindanywhere,butthepeoplearoundhimwouldnothavebeenabletoseeit
thatway.

AndthisraisedaquestionaboutwhenLucahadbeenrecruitedhere.KamijouToumawouldnothaveknownwhotopickfromtheformerKamisatoFaction,soit
wouldnaturallyhavebeenFransdecision.

ThenhowhadaUFOgirlfromthesciencesidebeenabletochoosesomeoneasidealforthejobasLuca?HowhadsheknownsomuchaboutLucasmagic?

Bothquestionscouldbeansweredifshewasamagiciantoo.

UFOs,mutteredthepiratehatandeyepatchgirl.Mysteriouslightsinthenightskywereoriginallyresearchedasunluckystarsthatwereseenasillomens.The
ideathattheyarevehiclespilotedbyaliensdevelopedandtookoverinjustafewdecades,butthesamethingshavebeenviewedformillennia.

Fran,wereyouthatkindofmagician?Didyoureadthefuturefromthestars,sealthetwinklinglightintotalismansandamulets,anddrawoutthatpowerwhenyou
sawfit?AreyoufromtheGoldenstyleofmagicthathaditsheydayatthebeginningofthe20thcenturyandhasbecomeastandardbythispoint!?

Thehoodiebikinirabbitearantennaegirldidnotrespond.

TherewerethingsthatcaughtKamijousattentiontoo.Whentheyhadrunintothepirategirlintheplaza,thehoodiebikinigirlhadsuggesteddrawingoutacode
thatonlyIndexandOthinuscouldunderstandandthenretreating.ButwhatkindofcodecouldonlyIndexandOthinusunderstand?Shehaddrawnafewcircles
withhorizontalandverticallinesalongtheedges.Theyhadlookedlikecropcircles,buttheremayhavebeenanotherwaytolookatit.

Thosehadbeenancientrunesormagiccircles.

Andtheantennaestickingoutfromherbackpacklikeaseaurchinorachestnutburrseemedpainfullyobviousnow.Theywerealmostlikeuglythornsmeantto
protectthedeliciouscontentsfromanexternalenemy.

Ellenswordscontinuedasiftotearintothatsoftflesh.
Inthatcase,wedefinitelycantleavethistoyou.Fran,youunderstand,dontyou?IfyouweremonitoringKamisatohansactionsandinfluencinghisdecisions,
thenitshardtosayitwasthenaturalcourseofeventsforhimtoarriveinAcademyCityandmeetthatcruelfate.

Fran,yourbetrayalkilledKamisatohan.Thepresenceofanoutsiderlikeyoushatteredourageofhappiness.Idontknowwhyyoudidwhatyoudid.Itspossible
youdidntintendtodoanyofit,butyoubroughtdestructionallthesame.Whateverexcuseyoumightmake,youledKamisatohantotakeactiononhisfixation
withtheMagicGods,youincitedSunnyandRaintoaction,youcreatedtheideathatAcademyCitywassuspicious,andyouledeverythingtothisconclusion.

WecantleaveKamisatohansfatewithsomeoneasriskyasyou.Nomatterwhatyoumightthinkyourself,youmayhavebeensetuptoseverthislastremaining
threadofhope.

Shehadbeencalledatraitor,butshedidnotargueback.

Shelookedtiny.Thewayshepeeredatthescreeninherhandlookedlikeshewashangingherheadandsheshowednosignoflifeforseveralminutes.Shewasa
witheredtree.Astandinghusk.Lucawasdumbfoundedbythetrulyunexpectedshock,butthisgirlsdownfallwasaquietone,likeshewasseeingtheendshehad
knownwascomingsomeday.

Lucawonderedwhatshewouldhavedone.

Whatifshehadhiddensomethingimportantfromhimandthatcametolight?Wouldshegoonadesperaterampage?Wouldshemakeadesperatepleaandtryto
repairtherelationship?Wouldshegiveupallhopeandtakeherownlife?No,thatwasnotit.Shewouldnotevenfindthatnegativesortofenergy.Shewouldsurely
staystanding,stopbreathing,andsimplyceasetofunctionasalivingbeing.

Uuh

SoitcouldnothavebeenKarasumaFranwhostooduptothoseonesidedanddisastrouswords.

Ahhh.

Thatsenough,Fran.

Itwasthespikyhairedoutsiderwhointerrupted.

Thegirlsassumedhewouldmeaninglesslytellhershedidnotneedtolistentoanymoreofthosepainfulwordsandsheshouldswitchitoff.
Butthatwasnotwhathesaid.

Howlongareyougoingtosittheresobbing?Iftheressomethingyouwanttosay,thensayit.Dontworryaboutwhethertheylllocateusfromthesignal.Illmake
upforthat.Moreimportantly,doyounotcarethatshecanjustsaywhatevershewantsaboutyou?Ofcourseyoucare,right!?

Thewitheredtreeinitshoodieandbikinilookedunsurewhathewastellingher.

Butthepowerfullightintheboyseyesmadeitclearhewouldkeeptalkinguntilitgotthroughtoher.

Dontyouhavesomethingtosay!?Ifshessayingthatbetrayingpeopleisalwayswrongandthatyoucanttrustsomeonewhotriestobeeveryonesfriend,then
youcanargueback,cantyou!?

Whatareyou?

Thinkback,Fran!Thinkbackoneverythingyouvedone!!

Butyoudontknowthetruth.IkeptasmileonmyfaceallthistimejustsoIcouldreportbacktotheAnglicanChurchaboutKamisatochan

ThatsnotwhatImeant!!ThatsnotwhatImeantatall!!!!!cutintheboy.Imnottalkingaboutwhatitsaysonpaperorwhatyourofficialdutieswere.Itdoesnt
matterhowitstarted!WhatdidyouthinkwhenyouactuallymetKamisatoandhowdidyoufeelwhensmilingwithEllenandSalome!?Wasntthatthetrue
KarasumaFranthatwasntforcedontoyoubyanyoneelse?Then!Dontjustassumethatyouraffiliation,youractions,andyoursecretsarewhoyoureallyare!!

Hegrabbedherslendershoulders,staredintoherholloweyes,androaredatherwithoutgivinguponherstrengthasahumanbeing.

Fromtheverybeginningtotheveryend,youwereneverthinkingaboutanythingbutKamisatoKakeru,right!?Afterriskingyourlifeforthatsomanytimes,just
whatpartofKarasumaFranhaswaveredandjustwhohaveyoubetrayed!?Sotellher!TellheryouwantedtobringbackKamisatoKakerumorethananyoneelsein
theworld!Tellheryouwerepreparedtofightallofyourformerfriendsonyourowntodoit!Youhavetherighttosaythatafterwalkingthroughthewintercold,
gettinghitbyexplosions,andyetclenchingyourteethtomakeitthisfar,Fran!!!!!

Thatwasobvious.

Itwasnotevenworthdiscussing.

IfFranwastrulynothingmorethanaspysentinfromanoutsidegroupandifshesimplysawKamisatoKakeruasathreat,whyhadshetriedtobringhimbackafter
WorldRejectererasedhim?Shouldntshehaverejoicedthatsomeonesodangerouswasgone?OrifshecouldnotignoretherighthandthatcouldslaughterMagic
GodsbythedozenevenafterKamisatohimselfwasgone,shouldntshehavejoinedKiharaYuiitsusgroupwhentheowneroftherighthandbecametherulerofthe
girls?Butshehadnotdonethat.Nomatterwhoownedtherighthand,shehadcontinuedtopursueKamisatoKakeru.Shedidnotknowifitwasevenpossible,but
shehadstillbetherlifeonthatthin,thinthread.TheAnglicanChurchwouldneverhaveorderedhertodothat.

OpposingthegirlsoftheformerKamisatoFactionmeanttoopposeKiharaYuiitsu.ItwasunclearhowmuchtheAnglicanChurchknewaboutWorldRejecter,but
theymusthavefeltthreatenedtosendFranin.ButshehadexpressedherdesiretofacethatfrighteningpowerbysavingKamisatoandshehadproventhatintent
throughheractions.

Didntthatsettleit?

Whateverherofficialpositionordutieswere,wasntitobviouswhoKarasumaFranstrueaffiliationwaswithdeepinsideherheart!?

Ifyourenotgoingtosayit,Iwill.

Kamijouhadmadeuphismind.

Eveniftheirpathswouldnotmeetandevenifhewouldneverwalkbythatgirlsside,hecouldstillfightforKarasumaFran.Hehadfoundsomethingworththat.

Ifyourefinewiththat,thenstaysilent.Ifyoudontwantthat,thenyoudbetterspeakup.Theresultwillbethesameeitherway.Now,itstimeforarealfight.I
dontcarewhowereupagainst!YouvedecidedtofightforKamisatoKakeruandImwithyou!!

Thehoodiebikinigirldidnotmoveforawhile.

No,sheprobablycouldnotmove.

Therewasnoneedtopeekupatthefaceloweredtowardthescreen.Thetremblinginhershouldersfadedandhergroaningsobswerebroughtundercontrol,sohe
onlyhadtowaitforhertospeakforherself.

Finally,thegirlraisedherhead.

Andshespoke.

Pleasedontmockme.Iamperfectlycapableofdecidingmyowndestiny.

Herfingertipsoperatedthescreen,butKamijouandLucaweretakenaback.

ShedidnotopenashortrangelineusingthesameradiosignalEllenhad.SheaccessedtheentiredisasterinformationnetworkthatusedtheSpherestocoverawide
area.

Sheusedthekeystationshehadpreparedforherself.
Shehadtoknowbetterthananyonethatheraccumulatedinfluencewouldactasaweaponnow.

IfImgoingtoconfess,Imnotgoingtohalfassit.Itwontreachhimandhedefinitelywonthearit,butIhavetotrymybesttogetthisouttoKamisatochan.

Fransmiledalittle.

Shehadrecoveredenoughtosmilewithherownstrength.

Soletsmakeashowoutofit.

Part12

Theconfessionwouldbemeaninglesstothepeoplenotprivytotheinternalsituation.Butthekeystationstillsentasmall,smallmessageouttotheentirenetworkso
thatitcouldneverbetakenback.

MynameisKarasumaFran.

Mostofthepeoplewouldhavebeenconfusedbythat.

ShewasnotaresidentofAcademyCityandasearchthroughthedatabasewouldnotfindanyrecordsonher.

TheheatwavethatcrippledAcademyCitywasentirelymyresponsibility.Icausedallofyousovery,verymuchtrouble.Thehotenvironmentweakenedthe
Elementsandrestrictedthemenoughtoavoidtrulycatastrophicdamage,butthatdoesnotexcusemyactions.Imustbepunished.

But.

Eventhoughnoonetoldthemto,largecrowdsgatheredinfrontoftheSpheresthatwereopenedlikelotusflowers.Theyseemeddrawnintotheplanetariumlike
domeandcouldnotleavethefootageplayedthere.

Evenso,pleasewaitjustawhilelonger.

Ithappenedintheparkwhereorderwasslowlyreturningevenwithoutaruler.

Pleaseallowmejustonemoreselfishact.

IthappenedintheShowBusinesssheltershehadonceopposed.

Iaminlovewithsomeone.

IthappenedintheovercrowdedHospital.
Nomatterhowmanycomplicatedequationswentintodevelopinganadvertisement,afewwordsfromacompleteamateurcouldfilltheworldinstead.

Perhapsthatwasthepowerofthetruth.ThishadadifferentattractionthantheeerieoneofEllenswords.

Iwastoldhewouldneverreturn.IwastoldhehadgonesomewheresofarawaythatIcouldneverreachhimnomatterhowhardItried.ButIstillwanttosavehim.
Iwanttodowhateverittakes.

Everyoneunderstood.

Theyallthoughtaboutthisgirltheyhadnevermet.

Iknowmyfeelingsoflovewillneverbefulfilled.EvenifIdosavehim,IhavecarriedasinfromthebeginningandIcanneverclaimthathappinessformyself.But
thatsfine.Ijustwanttoseehissmileonemoretime.

Theylistened.

No,perhapsitwasbesttosaytheywerecharmedbyher.

Oncethisisover,Iwillacceptanypunishment.

Sonoonestoppedthegirlfromspeaking.

Noneoftheshelterrulersinterferedtotheveryend.

AlloftheSpheresagreedtoactasherbroadcastnetwork.Theyallbecameregionalstationsforherkeystation.

Soplease.

Andshespokethefinalwords.

Shereachedherconclusion.

Pleaseallowmethisonceinalifetimeconfession,soIcanbringthislovetoanend.

Part13

FrancuttheconnectiontotheSphere.

Kamijouslowlyexhaledandspoke.
Youreokaywiththat?

Yes.

Youreokaywiththatconclusion,Fran?Dontgivemethat!Likehellyouare!!

Ifweretalkingaboutwhatsrightorwrongandkindorcruel,thenitmightbeeasiertogoalongwithwhatyouresaying.Thegirlgentlynarrowedhereyesand
didnothesitatetorespond.Butthisisbetweenoneboyandonegirl.NooneintheworldcananswerformebetterthanIcan.

Dammit!!

Hecouldnotexactlyarguewiththat.

HehadprotectedtheworldfromFiammaoftheRightofGodsRightSeatwhenhehadsettheStarofBethleheminmotion.Hehadspentanearlyinfiniteamountof
timerepeatedlychallengingatrueMagicGodandultimatelyreturnedtohisoriginalworld.ButKamijouhadnoconfidencewhenitcametohisexperiencein
mattersofromance.Thiswasafightwherewhatwasrightandwhatwaskindwerenotenoughtoadvance,andthatwasjusttoodifficult.

Fran.

AsapurememberoftheformerKamisatoFaction,PirateGirlLucahadtohavebeentryingtojudgewhatdistancetokeepfromthis,butshespoketothehoodie
bikinimagician.

Ifyouneedtocry,Illlendyoumychest.

Illtakeyouuponthatlater,believeme.ButIhavesomethingelsetodonow.

Shestuckherindexfingerfromherbaggysleeveandsilentlypointedtowardheaven.

AndthenKarasumaFranawoke.

Letsblowawayallofthesenuisancesandleavethisplace.

Part14

Inthesky,GhostGirlMayacoveredherfacewithherhandswithhertallbodywrappedinburialclothing.

ShehadheardmostofwhathadhappenedinthenetworkofSpheres.ButduetoUsefulSpidersattack,shehadlosttheSphereshehaddirectlycontrolledasakey
station.Shehadonlyheardreportsfromthegirlswhohadbeensentelsewheretoassisther.
Yes,shehadonlybeenawayforashortwhile.

Sheshouldhavebeenabletographicallydisplayherinfluencebylinkingtoasearchservicethatcheckedforthepasswordsandcodesmixedintothemessages.But
itwasgone.Itwasalldead.No,theentiretyofAcademyCityhadbeendyedinanothercoloraltogether.

AllMayahadleftweretheSpheresdirectlyundertheformerKamisatoFactionscontrol.Thosedotsweremorelikeastainontheotherwisepuremap.

TheSpheresaresobusytalkingaboutKarasumaFranthatalltheotherrumorshavebeendrownedout!Dowhatyoulike.,Well,Icantsaynotoagirlinlove.
Nottoagirlinlove!,andLetsgodrinkingonceitsover!ThatsalltheshelterrulerswhocontroltheSpheresaresaying!!Whatdowedo?Howdoweturnthis
backaround!?

No,ourstuffhasalreadygrownoutdated.Ifwestartforcingthingsbackontothoseoldtopics,theyllonlygrowsuspicious.Wecantstoptheflowofinformation
andwehavetoavoidstandingoutasmuchasarecordscratch!!

Whatdowedo?Whatdowedo,Maya!?

Thewordsshutupnearlyescapedthroughherclenchedteeth.

Itwasover.

Thebubblehadpopped.

Therumorsshehadnurturedandraisedlikethechildshecouldneverhavehadbeendestroyedsoeasilyintheshorttimeshehadbeenabsent.

Fran

HeroutlineflickeredunnaturallywhiletheyweresupportedbythewillothewisplikeCensers.

Butshemayhavemadeafundamentalmisunderstanding.ThiswasabattleoverKamisatoKakerusfate.Soshehadnotimetolamentthelossofherchild.She
shouldnothaveassumedthatnothingFrancoulddocouldreachher.

Itstartedwithashiningstarintheheavens.

No,itwasnotactuallyastar.

ItwasapieceoffanarttitledtheBunnyGreyMessenger.

Needlesstosay,KarasumaFranhadcreatedit.Itwasahighpowermicrowavegalacticcommunicationstationmeanttospeaktosomeunseenindividualfor100
years.
GhostGirlMayawithherlong,swayingblackhairhadnophysicalbody.

SheonlyseemedtoexistbyusingtheCenserslowfrequencywavesandfaintaromastodestabilizethemental
statesofanysurroundinglifeforms.

ButwhatiftheCensersthemselvesweredestroyed?

Karasuma

Fraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!!!

Immediatelyafterthatcry,a360meterhammerswungdowntowardAcademyCityandaccuratelylandedonthemeteorologicalobservatoryonaDistrict21
mountainpeak.Andeverythinginbetweenwasbroughtdownwithit.

Thesweetdreamswerenolongernecessary.

Franhadstaredintothestarryskyandfloatedthroughtheemptinessforsolong,butnowsheplacedherfeetonthegroundandcastoffheridentityasaUFOgirl.

BetweentheLines3

Theyspentalongtimecirclingtheearth.

BreakingfreeoftheatmosphereusingtheWindowlessBuildinghadbeeneasyenough,butmatchingtheirtrajectoryandspeedtoMagicGodTezcatlipocafora
rendezvoushadbeendifficult.ThathadforcedKamisatointoatriparoundtheplanetinsatelliteorbit.

Theearthhadbecomeawhiteplanetwheremassivenumbersofwhitebugswhirledaboutinsteadofclouds.Kamisatohadinitiallythoughtitwasatyphoonor
something,buthehadbelatedlyrealizeditwasacolossalroulettewheel.ThismayhavebeenNuadaslatestobsession.

Kamisatokneweverythingwouldreturntonormalattheendoftheday,butitwasstillasightvoidofallhope.Ifthiswaswhathehadseen,whatwouldtheSoviet
cosmonauthavesaid?

Oh,thereheis,thereheisTezcatlipocaiswaytoorelaxed.
NiangNianglickedherlips,placedherhandsonherhips,andpushedoutherflatchest.Shedidnotseemtocarethattheweightlessnesswascausingthebottomof
herminiChinadresstorisequiteabit.

Theyweretrulyinouterspace,butnoneofthethingsinthetextbooksseemedtoapply.Kamisatodidnotneedaspacesuit,thewordsofthegodnexttohimreached
hisearslikenormal,andnoconcernwasgiventotheheatandradiationthatwasnolongerbeingblockedbytheearthsatmosphere.TheMagicGodswereinsanein
everythingtheydid.

ButTezcatlipoca?Whatdoesdefeatingjustoneofthemmatterwhentheearthislikethat?

Wejusthavetostartbyrepairingtheglobalenvironment.Theearthhasquiteafewproblemsrightnow,butthebiggestwouldbeProserpinasartificialiceage.
Springwillnevercomeaslongasshekeepsatit,soweneedtodosomethingaboutthatfirst.

Likewhatexactly?

Okay,timeforahint.TezcatlipocaisthegodofacertainmythologythatfoughtQuetzalcoatlforthethroneofthegodsandlost.Althoughthatbigmanyousee
floatingoverthereistheTezcatlipocacreatedtocombattheSpanishguywhowasmistakenfortheoriginalQuetzalcoatl.

NiangNiang,youregettingofftrack.

Oh,mybad.Idontknowifitsduetothatorjusthowheoriginallywas,buthesknownasagodofdeaththathasenoughpowertocreatetheworldbutinstead
usesitalltoslaughtermankind.Buuuut.Beingadeathgodisnthisonlysymbol.ImprettysureImentioneditmyselfearlier,sodoyourememberwhatitis?

Asungod?

Right.Eveniftheearthhasbeencoveredindarkness,wehaveasparesunrighthere!Soitssimple!!Letssendanewlightdowntowardthatplanetthatsclosedin
darknessandlostallhope!!Tezcatlipocachaaaaaan!!!!!!

Kamisatoheardsomeonegasp.

NiangNiangshowednomercyagainstthemuscularmanfloatingquitenearby.Themanalsohadastrangeprostheticlegwithalargecircularmirrorembeddedinit.

Sheslappedhim.

Sheremadeherarmintoagianthammerandknockedthatgodstraightdowntowardthesurfaceoftheearth.

Ashootingstarfell.

Itfellsomewhereontheearthandcausedanexplosionfarlargerthanthepreviousones.Insteadofjustonepoint,itwasmoreliketheentireplanetemittedlightlike
agiantlightbulb.Kamisatoalmostthoughttheplanetwasgoingtosetonfireandberebornasastar.
NiangNiangplacedherhandsonherhipsandgrinneddespitetheweightlessbottomofherdress.

Yeah!Nowthelightofhopefillstheworldanew!!

IthoughtIwasdefyingsomemaliciousschemers,butwasIjustlashingoutatsomethoughtlessidiots?

Oh,areyoufinallygettingoveryourissues?askedNephthys.Givetheboyaroundofapplause.

Wecancelebrateaftergettingtheplanetback.Beginreentry!!

Afterseeingtheblueplanetshowingitselfthroughthefusionofextremecoldandextremeheat,NiangNiangreignitedherhandboosters.Sheadjustedtheangleof
therockettoflybacktowardtheatmosphere.

Howmanymoretimesdoyouplanondestroyingtheearth?

Asmanytimesasittakes.Orwellkeepdoingitforever.Wevebeenholdingbackforsolongoutofconcernforeveryonearoundus,yousee.Idoubtacenturyor
evenamillenniumisgoingtobeenoughtoworkthroughallthatpentupfrustration.Nowthatsomethingssetusofflikethis,wevegotaneverendingwarof
endlessexplosionsonourhands!

Oh,butwedontmind.Thisisanendlessworldofeternalwarandaworldwherewecangoallout.Inaway,thatsoneformofparadise.Formoreinformation,
youshouldprobablyjuststudyuponNorseMythology,butoh,yeah.Thateyepatchwearingthiefislivingasafairyinthatworld,isntshe?

Theydidnothavetimetochatanylonger.

NephthysgentlyleanedupagainstKamisatoandherbandagescameapart.No,theyrewrappedthemselveswithKamisatoinside.Theyprotectedagodsbodyfrom
internalandexternaldeteriorationanddecay.

Theylandedamomentlater.

ThehitfromthelargestandfastestrockettoreapartandblewawaytheremainsofAcademyCity.Kamisatosspinefrozeoverwhenherealizedthesamethingwas
theoreticallypossibleinthatworld.

Now,now,now.

Withherfeetfinallybackontheground,NiangNiangproducedacreakingmetalsoundfromherbaggysleeves.

HowmanyMagicGodswerevisiblenearby?
Chiiimeeeraaa.Nowtheresanannoyingone.

Whosthat?

Kamisatostrainedhiseyestoseethroughthesmokyscenery.

Thenhisvisionexplodedwithpsychedeliccolors.

Hecoveredhisfaceandscreamedbeforethegoddessesgavehimabelatedwarning.

Oh,ahumanlikeyoushouldavoidlookingrightather.Itsjustlikelookingatthesunthoughanormaltelescopeandyourverysoulwillburnawayifyouhave
poormorals.

Honestly.Thatssupposedtobetoobeautifultobear?Ijustdontunderstandhumans.

Nephthyssoundedasexasperatedasawomanwhoseboyfriendstartedoglinganotherwomanwhiletheywereonadate,butKamisatowasinnostatetorespond.

Gh,bweh,boehh

Areyoutryingtoaskwhatthatis?ItsChimera.

Theresalimittothebeautyyoucanproducebypolishingthehumanbody,sothatnarcissisticandselfdestructivepervertstartedtakinginelementsandstructures
fromothercreatures.Evenifitsareactionliketherenaissancewastoformalreligiousart,itsstillfrightening.Oh,andhearinghervoiceorsmellingherscentcould
driveyoumad,sobecareful.

Somethingswereunavoidableevenafterbeingwarned.

Beyondhisdarkeningvision,heheardanunstableandhighpitchedsoundlikemetalscrapingtogether.

Giingiin,gwangwan,giin,gwingwiin,giingiin,gwin,gwan,giin!!

Yes,yes.Wecanchatlater!Iknowyoumightwanttoshowoffeverlastinchofyournakedbodysinceyoufinallyhavesomeonetoappreciateit,butifyoumake
Kamisatochangoalongwithyourpervertedexhibitionism,helldrowninhisownbrainjuices!!

Kamisatocouldfeeltearspouringdownhischeeksandhisheadwasfullofquestions.Hadthatbeenavoicehehadheard?CouldtheotherMagicGodshearitlike
normal?Butwhenhetriedtoprocessitinhisownmind,hewasovercomebynausealikeanextremecaseofmotionsickness.Itwasadangeroussortofnausea,like
hehadbeenpunchedinthebackoftheheadinsteadofjustinthegut.

Hey,Nephthys.Thehumansvisionhasbeencutoffasyoucansee,soitwouldbeniceifyoucouldletlooseandreallycry.
Idontthinkso.Imnotinthemoodthankstothatpervert.

ButyourlegendaboutcryingatagodsfuneralmeansyoucaninterferewiththeotherMagicGodsemotionsandfocus!Therearetearsofjoy,tearsofanger,tears
ofsorrow,andtearsofawe!Youcandowhateveryouwant,sojustjamthem!!

Ifyouwantmetocry,thenyouhadbetterhaveagoodemotionalstoryready.

Youalwayscrylikeawaterfallfromcheapstoriesaboutthingslikekittenslostonabattlefield!!

Kamisatocouldnotseemuchofanything,buthestartedrunningwhenaslenderfemininehandpulledonhis.Oncethepsychedelicworldfadedandthenormal
worldreturned,herealizedtheywereinadarkundergroundtunnel.Everythingoutsidehadbeenblownaway,buttheundergroundareasseemedtohavesurvived.

HeheardNiangNiangsjokingvoice.

Hey,youallright?Dontworrytoomuchaboutpoppingaboneratthatartobsessedgodssculpture.Illkeepthatoneasecret.

Thatwassuchaterriblethingtosaythatitdraggedmerightbackintoreality.WiththatandTezcatlipoca,justhowmanysunsdoyouhave?

Whatareyoutalkingabout?Ifthatobscenenightflowerwasheldupinthemiddleofthesolarsystem,theworldwouldbepitchblack.

Thegoddessesreallydidmakehimfrown.

Seeingthebeautifulbodiesofthosepropergoddessesmayhavebroughthisstandardsofbeautybacktonormal.NiangNiangandNephthyswerebothMagicGods
overflowingwiththescentofdeath,buttheywerefarbetterthanthatChimera.Thathadcompletelyleftthecategoryofhuman.

Whathaditlookedliketotheireyes?Kamisatosentirebodywaspiercedbythemixtureoffearandcuriositybroughtbycontactwiththeforbidden,buttheydidnot
havetimeforhimtogetananswer.

Somethingwaswatchingthemfromthedarknessdownthehalfcrumbledtunnel.

Ifitsnotoneofthem,itsanother.

NiangNiangsskirtfloatedupasshekickedsomethingawayinannoyance.

Ithadlikelyfallendownwhenthesurfacehadcollapsed.Kamisatorecognizedthejunk.

ThatsthatgoldenretrieversA.A.A.wasitcalled?

Oh?ThethingthatkilledHighPriestandZombie?
NephthyssoundedcuriouswithherbandageshavingcomelooseabitandsheglancedoverattheminiChinadressgirl,butthatpalegirlshruggedandshookher
head.

Youwantmetocopythatthing?Wouldntwork.AMagicGodsdeathcantbeacceptedinsideaMagicGodsbody.

Whatevenisthatthinganyway?

ThatsecretofAcademyCityhadcompletelykilledtwoMagicGodswithoutWorldRejecter.SinceKamijouToumashandhadnotkilledoreliminatedMagicGod
Othinus,itwasatrueexceptiononthelevelofKamisatohimself.

Idoubtyouwouldunderstand.

Thendontbother.

TherealissueisthattheA.A.A.itselfisprettymuchmeaningless.

Hehadsaidnottobother,butsheexplainedanyway.

Shetriedtoactallimpressive,butshemayhavebeenpronetoloneliness.

Human,haveyoueverplayedshootinggames.

Immoresurprisedthata4000yearoldChinesegodisfamiliarwiththem.

Inthose,yougenerallyhaveinfiniteammoandcanjustkeepshootingforever.Itonlyreallyworksingames,buthowdoyouthinkyouwouldgoaboutforcingthat
ontoreality?

TheA.A.A.istheanswer.ThatgoldenretrievernamedKiharaNoukanwastheplayercontrollingtheship,butthebulletswerentcontainedinthemachine.They
weretransferredinfromaremotelocationtoalwayskeepthespareammoatmax.Youcanthinkofitlikethat.

Soitslikeawarpdevice?

ImnotsureIwouldcallitthat.Letssayyouusesolarpowerorheavyhydrogentocreateelectricityinsatelliteorbitandsenditdowntoearthintheformof
microwavesoralaser.Wouldyoucallthatenergytransferawarp?

Eitherway,thischangedwhowasincontrol.KiharaNoukanwasstillextraordinaryforheadingouttothescene,accuratelyavoidingthedownpouroffireworkslike
blastsfromabullethellgame,andfightingthebossallthewhile,butitwassomeoneelsewhohadbeensupplyinghimhisfirepowerfrombehindthescenes.Ina
way,onecouldsayitwasthatpersonwhohadkilledHighPriestandZombie.
Well,whenyouvebeenclosedupinyourshellanddeceivingtheworldwhiletryingtotakerevengeagainsttheMagicGods,Iguessitsasensibleevolution.
Althoughitsatwistedonelikethesmallcrabsthatgetinsideofclams.

Hedidnotunderstandatall,butsheseemedsatisfiedwiththeexplanation.

NiangNiangspunaroundtofacehim.

Tryingtograbsomethinginyourownhandinsteadofhavingsomeonegiveittoyouisjustthatdifficult.Especiallyforanormalpersonwhosmetnothingbut
setbackslikehim.

Haveyourecoveredenoughtogivethreateninglooks?Oops.

ThelightheartedminiChinadressgirlstoppedspeaking,butnotbecauseshehadbeenoverwhelmedbythepressurefromKamisato.

Whateverwasinthedarknessofthetunnelhadfinallyattacked.

NiangNiangpulledcountlessbladesfromherbaggysleevesandswungthemrandomlyorsoitseemed.Butamomentalter,countlesssparksflewthroughthe
dimlylitspacelikeaswarmoflocustshadchargedrightintoabugzapper.Kamisatocouldnotevenseewhatitwasshehadintercepted.

Heonlyheardascrapingsound.

Nephthysschestbandageshadbeentorn,sothebrownMagicGodheldherarmhorizontallyacrossherchest.

NiangNiang.

Sorry,sorry.Shedidnotseemtocaremuch.SothistimeitstheForgottenGod.Itskindofsad.Lovecraftusedhimasreferencematerial,butthefictionand
nonfictiongotmixedtogethersobadlyhisoriginalformwascompletelyforgotten!DidntpeoplealsodecidetherewasaconnectiontoCrowley,sotheystoppedall
researchintothisMagicGodshistoricity?Firstthatnarcissisticpervertandnowyou.Iseveryonehereanexhibitionistthatjustwantstoshowofftosomeone!?

NiangNiang,Idontthinkyouhaveanyrighttosaythatafteralltheeffortyoureputtingintothisinfrontofthisboy.

ItwasnotthatKamisatocouldnotseeitduetoalackoflightorduetogreatspeed.Hecouldnotcomprehenditnomatterhowmuchhestaredatit.Onceagain,the
humanandtheMagicGodswerelikelyperceivingitdifferently.

NiangNiang,warnedNephthys.
Yeah,Iknow.Theothersarestartingtogather.Weresurroundedandallonourown.Plus,thisisaworldofneverendingbattlebetweengods,soitsnotlikea
humanwilllastlonganyway.

Kh.

Wehavenorealwayofsavingyou,soyoulljusthavetoprayyourepulledoutofherebysomeoneinthatworld.

NiangNiangusedonehandtoshootdownsomethingsflyingtheirwayandshecheerfullylookedbacktowardKamisato.

Bytheway,human.IdliketoasksomethingwhileIstillcan.

What?

Shereallydidmakeitsoundcasual.

Andshespokeinthemiddleofabattleahumancouldnotevenperceive.

Intheend,howwastherighthandwemade?

Notlongbefore,hemighthavefeltthatquestionwasworthyofdeath.Infact,hewouldnothavehesitatedtoblowherawayevenifshebeggedforherlifethrough
tremblinglips.

Butheslowlysighed.

Andheanswered.

Didyougivenothoughttohowmuchconfusionitwouldcauseme?

Yeahsorryaboutthat.Butwedidntactuallyrealizeourdesireswereleakingout.Wehadnowayofstoppingit.

Also,itsrareforthatkindofpowertodwellinahuman,explainedNephthys.Itusuallyendsupinanobjectlikeademonslayingswordoraholymirror.Who
wouldhavethoughtitwouldchoosesuchashortlivedcreature?

NiangNianggentlynarrowedhereyeswithinrepeatedandintensesoundsofclashingmetal.

Hersmilewasnolongeramockingsneer.

Itstruewewereselfish,butIalsothinkthishappenedbecauseitwasmeantto.WorldRejecterisonlycompatiblewithsomeonethatmeetstheconditionsthat
matchit.SotherewasnopossibilityofKamijouToumaacquiringWorldRejecter.Youalreadyknewthat,right?
Yeah.Imnotsureifthatsacompliment,though.

Itis.Sheansweredimmediately.Theremusthavebeentimeswhenyouwantedtocheereveryoneonandtimeswhenyoucouldnotallowadreamtobelostasit
wascrushedbyreality.

Butwethinkthedesiresthatleakedawayfromusmusthavesoughtoutsomeonewhometthoseconditions.JustlikeKamijouTouma,therewasareasonyouwere
chosen.

What?

Soitcaughtuscompletelybysurprisewhenyousuddenlyattackedus.Ofcourse,werecelebratingthatnowsinceitbroughtustothisplacewherewewontcause
anyoneanytrouble.Butevenifthatpowerhadescapedfromus,weneverthoughtitwouldcreateenoughofagrudgeforsomeonetokillus,saidNiangNiang.
Hey,human.Theresonephraseyoureallyliketouse:thekindofnormalhighschoolboyyoucanfindanywhere.

No.

Itcantbe,thoughtKamisatoasalarmbellswentoffinhisheart.

Butyouknewbetterthananyonethatthekindofnormalhighschoolboyyoucanfindanywhereissomethingyoucantactuallyfindanywhere,didntyou?

Timecametoastop.

OrwasitKamisatosthoughtsthatcametoastop?

Imean,yourlifewasfullofjealousyofothersand,inyoureyes,everyoneelsehadsomethingyoudidnt.

Somethingheavyseemedtostiruptheairwithalowrumbling.

NiangNiangpulledtwohandsfullofweaponsfromherbaggysleeves.Butevenso,herslenderbodybentbackwardswithadeafeningsoundofcollision.Kamisato
couldnotseewhathadhappened.No,hecouldnotcomprehendit.Attheveryleast,hecouldtellthiswasdifferentfromthepreviousprojectiles.TheForgottenGod
itselfhadlikelychargedinfromfurtherdownthetunnel.

Hefinallysawsomething.

ItlookednothinglikebeautifulNiangNiangandNephthys.Butwhatevenwasit?Itwasextremelysimplifiedyetincrediblyeerielikeastickfiguredrawnbya
smallchildawkwardlyholdingablackcrayon.

ButNiangNiangcontinuedinasingsongtone.
Butinthatcase,didotherpeoplereallyseeyouassomeonewhohadnothingatall?

NiangNiang,thatsjustcruel.Itslikethesmellofhisownbody.Heprobablyisntevenawareofit.

Evenso.

MorerumblingsoundscontinuedandsomethingslowlyrosetothesurfaceofKamisatosmind.

Forexample,ImagineBreakerresidedinanotherboysrighthand,butitspresencecouldnotbeprovenwithoutasupernaturalpowertonegate.IfKamijouTouma
hadnevermovedtoAcademyCityandlivedinaperfectlynormalcity,hewouldhavelivedouthisentirelifewithoutknowinghehadthatpower.

Diditnevercrossyourmind?

Thiswasthesame.

KamisatoKakeruhadsomething.SomethingvaluableenoughtoattractWorldRejecter.Butitwashighlyuniqueandonlyshoweditselfduringhighlyirregular
situations.

Whatifterroristsattackedyourschool?Whatifyouranacrossacutegirlbeingharassedbydelinquentsinabackalley?Whatwouldyoudothen?Butyoureabout
theonlyonethatcanpullitoffafteronlyputtingthatmuchthoughtintoit.Notmanypeoplecandrawoutaccurateblueprintsatthatpoint.

Thatwaswhythepowerhadchosenhim.

Ithadseentheworldhelivedinasthebestplacetoallowwhathehadalreadyhadtoshine,soithaddecidedWorldRejecterwouldbemostusefulthere.

Howdidyoulikeit?

NiangNiangseemedtobehonestlyasking.

Andasshedidso,shespreadoutcountlessbladeslikefanstoblockthecrayonsattackwitharoundshield.

Thethingaboutusiswell,weregods.Weretheonesthatgive,soitshardforustoknowwhatitfeelslikeforthechosenoneslikeyou.Butwewerealittle
worriedthatthegiftbornfromuswastoomuchforyoutohandle.

Kamisatofellsilentforawhile.

Finally,hespokeintheemptyworld.

ThatwasntwhatIwanted.

EvenifIwantedsomethingspecial,Ionlywantedsomethingthatletmebragabitatschool.Imighthavesaiditsmeaninglessifyoudontwinthegoldmedal,but
anythingwouldhavebeenfineaslongasitwasenoughofaconversationstartertofillinthesilenceatthekaraokebox.

Hecouldnothideanythinginfrontofthesegods.

Sotherewasnorealreasontoopenhismouth.

Buthestillsaidit.

Hecouldnotstopnow.

Sowhydidithavetobeatalentthatonlyshineswhenyourefightingarealgod?Whydidithavetobesomethingthatonlyshowsitselfafterthingshavegotten
thatbloody!?Imeanthatsuseless!!Icantsharethatwithanyone!Whocaresaboutwinningthegoldmedalorbeingoneofakind!?Nomatterhowgreatan
accomplishmentitis,itsmeaninglessifyoucanttellanyoneaboutit!!

Thedifferencebetweenaheroandacombataddictwaspaperthin.

Infact,itmayhavebeentheerathatdecidedacombataddictwasaherothatwascraziestofall.

Ididntwantthat!!KillingtheMagicGodsdidntevenfeelreal!SoItiltedmyheadandkepttryinguntilitdid!!EverytimeEllen,Claire,andtheotherspraisedme
forit,itfeltlessandlesslikewhatIreallywantedtodo.ItreallyhurtwhenmysisterSalomepointedatmeandaccusedme!Iwantedtoshoutbackandaskherwhy
shewasstandingonKamijouToumasside!!

Hedidnotcarehowpitifulandpathetichelooked.

Sometimesfacingthatsideofoneselfheldgreatmeaning.

ThatwasntwhatIwantedElza,Maya,andtheresttobesmilingabout.CouldntithavejustbeenabouthowgoodIwasatmakingcharacterbentosorhowgoodI
wasatkaraoke?Whenitcomestohelpinggirls,couldntithavejustbeenhelpingthemwiththeirhomeworkorstrugglingtodiscovertheirsecrethobby?Whydo
severalmetaldrumsfullofspiltbloodhavetocomeintothepicturethere?Someonelikemecantshineinaplacelikethat!!

NiangNiangdeflectedsomethingtotheside.

Assoonasherhandswerefree,thelittledevilplacedthemonherhipsandwinked.

Ifyourebotheredbythat,thenyourestillnotahero.Thatatleastyoudonthavetoworryabout.
Itsnodifferent!!Icantcontrolmyself!ImnotlikeMassMurdererSalomewhointentionallymaintainedherpositionasacriminal!!IneverfeltanyguiltandI
justkeptswingingmyarmallIwanted.Itdidntmatteriftherewasaspecialpowerinmyrighthandornot.Imean,I!!

Heclenchedhisteethandconfessedtheonethingheshouldhaveavoided.

IkilledallofyouMagicGodswithoutfeelingevenatwingeofguilt!!

Yeah,saidavoice.

NiangNiangnoddedinasomehowsatisfiedwaywithherhandsstillonherhips.

Well,hearingthatmakesitsoundlikeitwasworthbeingkilledbyyou.

Fromnowon,yourlifestillisntgoingtoshine.Infact,ifyouwanttoshine,theworldhastoenduplikethis.

NiangNiangoncemorepulledatonofswordsandspearsfromherbaggysleeves.Withoutevenlookingback,sheslashedbehindherselfcountlesstimestointercept
somethingthatproducedorangesparks.

Sowhatwillyoudo?Stayinthisbizarreworldwiththegodsandcontinuetoshine,orreturntothehumanworldandbeforeverburied?

Hehadnowords.

Butheknewhisownansweralltoowell.

SoastheMagicGodswaitedwithintheunreliablestormofslashes,thewordsescapedhim.

IknowitllendupbeinganemptylifewhereallIdoisenvyothers.

Itwasahopelesscomplaint.

ImsureIllkeeplivingwithoutunderstandingwhyitiseveryonearoundmeissokindtome.

Itwasanalmostservileselfrejection.

Butevenso

Buthemadeachangethere.
Heseemedtobedefyingsomething.

Iwanttokeeptrying.Nomatterhowmanytimesittakes,Iwanttoworktowardshininginthatnormalworld!!

TheMagicGodwhistled.

Heonlyhadtwooptions,buthehadgraspedforanonexistentthirdoption.

Agreatroarburstout.

TheminiChinadressgoddessswungherarmwidetoknockthecrayonmanawayjustastheceilingcrumbledandotherMagicGodslookeddownatthem.

Shehadheardsomehopelesslypatheticwords.

ButNiangNiangandNephthysbothlookedamusedastheyviewedtheresult.TheminiChinadressgirlslappedherownbuttandthebrownwomanretightenedthe
bandageswrappedaroundherbody.

Youreallyareanimperfecthuman.Butnowthatwevetakenwhatyoureallythinktoheart

Yes.NowIcantrulycry.

Chapter4:OraTabooBringsPeaceSalvage_XXX
Part1

AhighschoolboylikeKamijouhadnowayofcalculatingthesumtotalofthepotentialandkineticenergydroppedontheearthorhowfarthedamageandeffectsto
thesurfacewouldspread.Sohespoketheconclusionthatevenahighschoolmindcouldcomprehend.

Youoverdidit,youidiot!!Lucasaidshedlendyouherchestifyouwantedtocry!Justbecauseyoureinloveisnoreasontousetheentireearthasapunching
bag!!!!!

Uum,Iwaskindofimaginingacalmersortofcrying.Iwasntplanningonlendingmychesttoanythingthataggressive

Thepirategirlalsomusthavebeenfrightenedbytheimpactofthathardpunchbecauseshewasactingoddlyandhervoicewastrembling.

Lovewasafrighteningthing.
Kamijouspottedatornmemopadamongthescatteredrubble,sohecroucheddown.

Whatareyoudoing?

Whatneedstobedone.

Theareaoverheadwascrackedsowideopenthatitwaseasytoforgettheywereunderground.HeheldbackunathleticFranwhokepttryingtomoveoutaheadand
thenheandLucafinallyfoundthedooroutoftherubblefilledhangar.Theremusthavebeenanelectriclock,butthedoorhadbentandfallenoutofplacefromthe
previousimpact.

Wow.Howpowerfulwasthatimpact?

Thisisntgoingtotriggeravolcaniceruption,isit?

Thestairwayunitwasmadefromsteel,butithadjustbarelyretaineditsshape.Theysetfootonthestainlesssteelstepsandbeganthelong,longjourney.

KamijourealizedFranwasnolongeraskingtobecarried.

Somethingreallymusthavechangedinsideher.

Whentheyopenedthedooroutontothesurface,everythingwasdark.

Thatisntgoingtobringonaniceagelikeameteorstrike,isit?Theiceagepredictionwassupposedtobemisinformation.

Itsalreadyaround5.Thesunwouldnormallyhavesetbynow.Itismidwinterafterall.

Itwashardtotellwhetherthewreckagetheysawbelongedtothemeteorologicalobservatoryorthespacestation.Kamijoualmostsuspectedtheworldhadended.It
wasfortunatethattheonlypeopleherehadbeentheabnormalformerKamisatoFactionandUsefulSpider.Anynormalpeoplewouldhavebeenkilledinstantly.

Thisisnotimetobegladeveryonesurvived.Thatmeanstheyregoingtopursueusafterthis.

Assheexplainedthat,Lucapulledoneofthesmallmotorsharingcartsfromthewreckage.TheyhadcomefromUsefulSpider,soitwasnotsurprisingsomespares
wouldbestoredhere.

Thepirategirlwasthedriveragain,soKamijouandFranclungtotherollbarfromtheside.

Go,go.Letsgo,saidFran.Roar!Letswipethemallout!

IkindoffeelbadforKamisatosincehegotconfessedtoandrejectedwithoutgettingasayinthematter!
Thecartwassituatedsolowtothegroundthatitcouldnotdriveoverevenacoffeecanonitsside,soithadtroubleintherubble.Afterweavingleftandrightto
avoidthewreckage,theyfinallymadeittotheroaddownthemountain.

Unlikeonthewayup,theirexcessweightactuallyhelped.Theypickedupmorespeedthanexpected,thesmalltiresscreechedatthesharpcurves,andKamijoufelt
thesqueezingathisheartreturn.

Ahighpitchedsoundlikeadistantroaringechoedthroughthemountains.Itcamefromthepeakofthemountain.

Theyrebeginningtheirpursuit.Watchoutbehindus!

Illtaketheshotwhenitcomestoit,butyoullloadthebulletwiththeramrod,right?

Imnotevensurewhataramrodis,butifIscrewitup,itwontblowoffyourfingers,willit?

Andastheydiscussedthat,abeautifulbeastsliddowntheslopenexttothemandchargedrighttowardthecart.

Kamijousawgorgeouslongblonderingletcurlsandadresscoloredatoxicbloodred.Shewasdressedlikeaprincess,butsheranonallfours,baredhercanine
teeth,growled,andwentrightforthethroatlikeabeast.Thisgirlhadperfectlycombinedthetwoconflictingaspectsofhumanandwolf.

Mary!?

Mhn!!

Kamijouheardastrangevoicewhiletimeseemedtostop.

HesawFranpullanantennarodfromthesideofheroverstuffedbackpackandsheusedthattostrikethewealthywolfonthesideofthefaceasshetriedtotearout
KamijousAdamsapple.Therewaslittleforcebehindtheblow,buttheelementofsurprisehadbeeneffective.Marywasthrownofftarget,sosherolledand
bouncedafewtimesalongtheroadbeforegettinguplikenothinghadhappened.Shethenkickedoffthegroundwithallfourlimbsandpursuedthemwithferocious
intensity.

Franswungtheantennarodinacircleandbeganprovokingthewolfgirlforsomereason.

CursethatevolutionaryTurboGranny.Illaimforahomerunrightoffthecliffnexttime!

Fransbeenawakeninginaweirddirection!Arentpeoplesupposedtoturnintoacalmeradultwhenthathappens!?Likeaschooldoctor!!

Schooldoctorsareonlyseenassexybecausetheresabedintheinfirmary,arguedLuca.Dontgetdistractedbythedecorationsandlosesightoftheirtrue
essence.
No!Itsthewarmthofnursingyoubacktohealthwhenyoureweakenedbyasuddencoldthatmakesthemsoattractivetoboys!!Andthatsameaspectappliesto
dormmanagers!!

Meanwhile,thenextonearrived.

Whiletheywereforcedtodrivefullspeeddownthedangerousmountainroad,agiantformsteppedovertheirheads.

Afartoogianthumanfootshooktheearth.

Maya,thegirlinwhiteburialclothing,hadgrownsolargetheyhadtolookuptoseeherproperly.

Kamijounearlyforgotthiswasreal.

ItfeltlikehavingtheStatueofLibertychasingthemaround.

Whatthehellisgoingon!?

MayasCensersshouldhavebeencrushedwhenmystationcrashed

Youdidntknow?

Theycouldnotslowdown,soLucapresseddownonthegasevenharder.

InadditiontoherCensers,shemaintainsherownscentjustincase.Thatswhyshesalwaysmunchingonvegetablesticksandsippingatsweetdrinks.Youve
heardwhatyoueatcanchangehowyousmell,right!?

Damnher.Ialwaysthoughtshewasshowingoffherfemininitybyeatingnothingbutfruitsandvegetables,butitwasforthis!?

Youdidntnoticehowbittershewaswatchingyoueatasmuchmeatandfishasyouliked?Andhowyouviewaghostwithoutaphysicalbodycompletelychanges
dependingonwhereyoustartfrom.Thestatusofaghostinaghoststorydependsonhowthestorygotstartedandwhereitcamefrom,right?TheCensersarelikean
artificialhauntedlocation.Thinkofitlikeaprismthatseparateslight.Dependingonhowyoumixanddistributetheparts,aharmlesswanderingghostcanturninto
aspiritthatshakesanentirenation!

HerbodyissupportedbyasweetsmellandherbodyproducesthatsweetsmellHm?Hmm???What?Isntthatlikeachickenandeggsituation!?complained
Kamijou.

ThatswhyMayahasnoweaknessesandnoonecanstopheronceshegetsherperpetualmotionmachineupandrunningwiththatendlesscycle.Shecanmaintain
aninvinciblestatusthatwouldwarrantbuildingashrineandworshipingherasagod.

AndwhoeversaidthesmellcomingfromMayasbodyissweet?askedFran.Youmaketoomanyassumptionsaboutgirls.
Evenifshesanenemy,Ibelieveinthatephemeralghostgirlsfemininity!!

Farfromephemeral,shewasstompingaroundlikeakaiju,soitwouldbealloverifthatmonstersteppedon
them.Evenalargetourbuswouldbesquashedsoflatitwouldbeindistinguishablefromtheroad.Asthey
watched,hersteelpylonofalegswunglikeapendulum.AssoonasKamijourealizedshewaskickinglikea
soccerplayer,ithappened.

Alargeportionofthemountainsslopewastornaway.

Itwentbeyondwhoorwhatshewasattacking.

Thebedrockshatteredfromthefrighteningforceoftheblowandpiecesofstonelargerthansuitcasespoured
downlikerain.Thecurvingmountainroadwashardenoughtonavigatealready,sothesmallcartswervedwildly
totheleftandright.

Kamijouthoughthewasdead.Anexperienceoneonlywishedtogothroughonceinalifetimecontinuedonand
onwithoutend.Evenwithtimeslowingtoacrawl,Kamijourealizedhecouldnotsenseeachandevery
impendingdeath.Hegrewaccustomedtothefeelingandtheyallshotrightpasthim.Hisheartcouldnotkeepup
withthisdeadlyridethatcamerushingathimatsuchhighspeed.

CurseMaya.Shesnotpayingmuchattentiontoherfeetaftergrowingsobig.

Yeah,shehasprettylargebreasts,sowhenshestopshunchingforwardandstandsupstraight,shecantseeher
feetandendsuptripping.

Bff!!Cough,cough!!

Kamijoubrieflyheardsomeunfortunatechatter,butherefocusedonthebattlesoonthereafter.

BbutMayasfirepoweristopclass,soshellgetsomeoneelsetotargetforhersoshedoesntwasteherattacks.

MymoneyisonthattracerEllen.Thetwoofthemtogetherwouldbelikeaballisticmissileandradar.

Thetripdownthemountainpathwasmuchfaster.

Innotime,theyleftthemountainandenteredthestreetsofAcademyCityonthecart.

Part2
Yes.

BelowtheWindowlessBuilding,KiharaYuiitsustretchedandspoke.

Whilepretendingtofearmeandmakingmethevillain,aretheystartingtogrowaccustomedtothecruelstimuli?

Part3

KamijousgroupwishedtoretrievetheoriginalA.A.A.fromtheDistrict11containeryardanduseittocreatethemagicaltunnelneededtorescueKamisato.With
theirbaseinthatstate,UsefulSpiderwouldbeunabletocontinueguardingthecontainers.

Kamijouandthegirlsracedthroughthepowerlessstreetswithnotrafficlights.

Thereseemedtobequiteafewpeopledrivinginmakeshiftracesthathadnobearingontherecovery,butthiswasentirelydifferent.Agirlinareddressmovingon
allfourswaseasilykeepingupwithafourwheelcartpoweredbya50ccengine,amagicalgirlwasflyingoverheadwithajetengineonherwand,agirlinasuitof
armorandcoveredinweaponswasridingamilitaryhorse,ayoungwifeinaswimsuitandapronwasslidingalongtheroadiniceboots,10yencoinsfilledthesky
likeaflockofwildbirdsandpoureddownoneafteranother,andavengefulspiritthesizeofahighrisebuildingwaspursuingthemfrombehind.Anyonewhodid
notgetoutoftheirwaynowhadtobesuicidal.Someonelikethatwouldclearlylackthefundamentalhumanabilitytolearn.

ThislooksliketheHyakkiYakou!Weregoingtostartanewlegend!!

ThemostdangerousonemayhavebeenEllentheTracer.Shehadnodirectcombatskill,soshehadhitchedaridewiththegirlwhowascontrollingamechanical
lizardthesizeofasemitrailertruck.Itwasunclearhowaccurateshewasduringthiscarchase,buttheycouldnotassumetheywouldlosetheirpursuitjustby
turningacorner.Thesegirlswouldcontinuechasingthemforever.AndEllenalsoincreasedtheaccuracyofthepowerfulbuthardtoaimpeoplelikeMaya,soshe
wastoolargearisktoignore.

Luca,doyouhaveacountermeasure!?

Imalreadydoingit!

Fran,Iwantyouropinionasamagicianthistime.ThekeysaretheoriginalA.A.A.andaCaribbeanmagician.DoyouthinkwecansaveKamisatowithLucas
help?

Dontunderestimateagirlexperiencingthehighofannouncingherbrokenheart.

Isee,saidKamijouwithasmile.

Hetoomadeuphismind.
Thenleavetheresttome.

Itwasamysterywherethefunctioningvehiclehadcomefrom,butagiantyellowschoolbuschargedintotheintersectionfromtheside.

DeborahThattruckergirl!!

Thepirategirlseyeswidened.Thecarttookasharpturnandslippedrightunderthebumperoftheapproachingbus.

Oritshouldhave.

Butwhileclingingtothesamerollbar,FransawKamijouToumaletgoandusethemomentumoftheturntoleaptowardtheschoolbus.

Ifhehadjumpedtowardthehardwindshield,hewouldhavebeenkilledinstantly.

Thesidewindowswereintentionallymademorefragilesotheycouldbebrokentoescapeifthebussank,butKamijousforeheadwasstillsplitopenwhenhebroke
throughoneofthemheadfirst.Buthegainedsomethingworththeprice.Withaloudshatteringsound,heandaseaofglassrolledinsidethedeadlyweaponon
wheels.Withbloodflowingdownhisface,hegrabbedatthedriver.

Wah!Dammit,you!!

Sorry.IregretonlyrunningfromtheHighPriest.AndbecauseIstayedsilentandwatchedwithKamisato,Icantescapetheweightbearingdownonmyback.Im
sickofthatsortofthing!!

ItwasunclearhowstrongDeborahwas,butshecouldnotdomuchwhilefocusedondrivingthebus.Whenhegrabbedather,thelargewheelspunwildlyandthe
massofsteellostitsbalance.Itswervednearlyperpendiculartotheroad,rolledontoitsside,andslidalongwhilemakingamessofeverythingontheinsideand
outside.

Thearmorgirlshorsewasnearlyhitbytheslidingbus,soshefranticallypulledonthereins,lostcontrol,andfellfromhersteed.WolfGirlMarytriedtoslippast
thebusonthesidejustasthebackofthebusranintoapileofwhitesand.ThebushoppedupirregularlyandbetrayedMarysexpectations.Theheavymasshither
likearoundhousekickandthequadrupedinreddressandblonderingletcurlswasthrownthroughanearbybuildingswindow.

ThedrivernamedDeborahhadlongsincepassedout.

Kamijougrabbedthefireextinguisherkeptinsidethebus,smashedthewindowthatwaspointingupnowthatthebuswasonitsside,andclimbedupontop.He
brusheduphisbangsthatwerewetwithhisownblood.Thegiantmechanicallizardjumpedoverthebuslikeitwasahurdleandthebroomridingcosplayerpassed
byoverhead.Aweirdbicyclewheretheriderlayontheirbackhethoughtitwascalledarecumbentbicycleapproachednext.Hethrewthefireextinguisheratthe
rider,scoredadirecthit,borrowedthebicyclefromthegirlwhoslammedintoapileofwhitesand,andrightedthebicycleinbothhands.Hecouldnevergetusedto
howthepedalswerelocatedoutfrontwherethehandlebarswouldnormallybe.Hemadeafewimitativeattemptsandmanagedtostartridingitwhilelyingonhis
backandlookingdowntowardhisfeet.
Whatiswiththisbike?Thisisgoingtohurtmyneck!

Hehadtroublegettinggoing,butitwasstableenoughoncehewasuptospeed.Andthisseemedtobearacingmodel,soashechangedthegears,hefeltlikethe
sharpwindwasblowingbyevenfasterthaninthecart.Elzagrowledlikeabeastandherfingerspassedrightbyhim,buthisthroatjustbarelyescaped.Hedroveon
outahead.

HeracedtowardthegiantlizardthatEllenwasriding.

Thatwaswhenthenightairwhirledunnaturallyoverhead.

Maya!?

AfterseeingFransstationfall,itmayhavebeenwrongtocomparesomethingtoameteorsoreadily,butthefootdroppingverticallytowardhimreallywaslikea
meteor.Theonestriketookoutentirepilesofwhitesand,smashedtheasphalt,andcausedthebuildingstocreak,suggestingeithertheirearthquakeabsorbing
structuresortheiractualfoundationhadbeentakenout.

Stayaway

Thegrounditself,andnotjusttherecumbentbicycle,hoppedup.

Keepinghimselffromfallingoffthespecialbicyclewasthemosthecouldmanage.

StayawayfromourKamisatokun!!!!!!

Buttheroaringvengefulspiritstillhadpooraim.IfLucawastobebelieved,MayahadnotcrushedKamijouunderfootbecauseherbreastsweretoobigtosee
anythingdownthere,buthecouldnotrelyonthatcoincidenceagainandagain.

(IsLucahavingtroubletoo?)

Theycouldnotcommunicatebycellphoneandhedidnothaveanavigationsystemdisplayingherposition,butifhefollowedtheformerKamisatoFaction,hecould
gainageneralideaofwhereLucaandFranscartwasfleeing.TheyhadclearlystrayedfromtheshortestroutetoDistrict11.Theyseemedtobefleeingincircles.

Whateverthehorsepowerofthemopedsized50ccengine,ithadtohavegreatfuelefficiency.Theywouldnotrunoutofgassoeasily,butthedriverswillpowerwas
adifferentmatter.Theyneededtolosetheirpursuitsoonerratherthanlater.Thetracerwaspreventingthat,soKamijouhadtoeliminateEllen.

Andwithhisownwheels,catchinguptoherwasnotthatdifficult.Afterall,Ellenherselfwasbusytrackingthecartoutahead.Sinceshecouldnotchooseherown
course,itwasobviouswhohadtheadvantage.

Kamijoupedaledtheracingrecumbentbicycleattremendousspeedandkeptthemechanicallizardinhissights.Thenhethoughtheheardthegirlinthebaggylab
coatclickhertongue.
Tch!!Maya,adda+3correction.Illtellyoutheirestimatedloca

Shetrailedoffandpushedtheradioawayfromherearwhileflinchingfromaloudnoise.

Oh,curseyou,Fran!!Shesjammingusfromherbackpack!!

Kamijouwasnottheonlyonefighting.

Whilethelargelizardsloweddown,Kamijoupedaledtheracingbicycleandcaughtup.Herodeupalongsideit.

Lime!!

Withthatshout,thelargelizardswungitstail.

Kamijousrecumbentbicyclewasthrownthroughtheair.Withanormalbicycle,hislegswouldhavebeensmashedalongwiththeframe,butthestrangedesignpaid
offhere.Sincehewaslyingonhisback,thebicyclebelowhimwasdestroyed,butitdidnotreachKamijouhimself.

Infact,heremainedrightthereintheairlikewithaDarumaOtoshidollandhefellontopofthelizardsthicktail.

Hewasfullyfocusedonhistask.

Heclungontothetailasitdesperatelytriedtoshakehimoff,butthenitreactedtoImagineBreaker.Withnobrakes,therunninglizardfellapartandscatteredacross
theroad,momentumintact.

Kamijouslammedintoapileofwhitesand.

Goddammit

(Icantletitendhere.Noneofitisoveryet.Ihaventsavedanyone)

Hefeltwoozyaftertheblowtohisentirebody,butheforciblygatheredhisthoughtsandgotbackup.

Hesawasmallformsimilarlystandinginthedarkness.

Ellen.

Whyisityou?

UnlikeKamijou,shehadslidacrosstheasphaltandhadtohavetakenalotofdamage.Evenso,shegotup.Therewasgreatresentmentinhervoiceandalight
burnedinhereyes.Shesupposedlyhadnodirectabilitytofight,butshestoodbackuponpurewillpower.
YouarentFranandyouarentLuca.Whydoesithavetobeyou,theonewhodoesntunderstandanything?

HowshouldIknow?spatoutthespikyhairedboy.ButifIhadtosay,maybeitsbecausetheirtruebattlefieldlieselsewhere.Ipromisedthemtheycouldleave
theresttome,soIlltakecareofthisentirepainintheasswarmupround.ThatwayFranandLucacanfocusonKamisato.

Franwaslyingtous

Sowhat?

IfshehadntguidedKamisatohanhere,noneofthatwouldhavehappened!!Hemattersmorethanmylife,soIcantleavehisfateinherhands!!

Isntthatallthemorereasontogiveherachancetomakeupforwhatshedid?Shewantedtobeoneofyou,butshecouldnt.Yetshestillfoundherselfsmiling
happilywiththerestofyou,socantshedosomethinghere!?Kamisatoaskedmetotakecareofyougirls.AndFranaskedmetohelpbringherlovetoanend.None
ofyoucouldbemorestupid,soIvegottostickwithyoualltotheend.Ivesteeledmyselfforthisalready!!Ihavenointentionofdiggingbackuptheoldarguments
aboutrightandwrongatthispoint!!Ifthatwasgoingtoshakemyresolve,IneverwouldhaveurgedFrantoactionandpickedafightwithyouall!!!!!!

ThenasmileformedonEllenslips.

Itwastheferocioussmileofsomeoneviewingtheirenemy,butthegirlstillsmiled.

Youreallyaredifferent.

Shesoundedlikeshewasconfirmingsomethingmoreimportantthanthetruthoftheworld.

YouseemsomewhatlikeKamisatohan,butyourecompletelydifferentinside.

Tohellwiththat.Dontevencomparemetothatbastard.

Shewasnotafighter.

Shewasmeanttouseherdelicateforensicsskillstoprovidelogisticalsupport.

IamArimuraEllen.

Butthegirlinthebaggylabcoatdidnottakeasinglestepback.

JustlikeKarasumaFranandToyamaLuca,ArimuraEllenhadfeelingsshecouldnotshakefreeof.

Iwillnotholdback!!!!!!
Itonlytookoneattack.

AndthatwaswhyKamijouToumadidnoteventhinkaboutholdingbackeither.

Part4

Kamijoulookeddownattheunconsciousgirlforawhile.

Thatwaswhenafamiliarcartdoveoutfromtheintersectionssideroad.Hehadthoughttheywerefaroutahead,buttheymusthavereturnedtothesameplacewhile
tryingtoescape.

Perfecttiming.Hopon!!

Thanks.

Kamijougrabbedontotherollbaragainwhileglancingbacktowardthebaggylabcoatgirllyingunmovingontheground.

HoodieBikiniandRabbitEarAntennaeFrangaveawarningwithnoreadableemotiononherface.

Thatwastooreckless.

Notasrecklessasyou.

HesmiledbitterlywhileacceptingtheBunnyGreybandaidtheexpressionlessgirlgavehim.

Thecarttookoffoncemore.TheyhadeliminatedEllentheTracer,butthatdidnotmeanthethreatwasentirelygone.Nomatterhowpoortheiraimwas,plentyof
theirenemieshadenoughfirepowertodestroytheminasingleattackiftheydidhit.

Sowhatdowedo!?SinceyoumanagedtopickmeupafterIjumpedoff,youmustbedrivingincircles.CanwereallyescapeMaya,Elza,andtherestofthatcrazy
HyakkiYakou!?

Nottoworry.Ittookawhile,butwereabouttoleaveDistrict7andenterDistrict18.ItwonttakelongtogettoDistrict11now!!

Iwasnttalkingabout

Kamijoustoppedmidsentenceandlookedbackwhileclingingtotherollbar.

Fffffraaaan
Theghostgirlinwhiteburialclothingandvaguelyheartshapedheaddresswaspursuingthemwithhergiantlegs.Sheslippedbetweenbuildingsandtheentirestreet
shooklikeanunreliablethicketoftreesinatyphoon.

DontthreatenKamisatokuuun!!KarasumaFraaan!!!!!!

HowcanyoupulloffthemagicalceremonyneededtosaveKamisatowiththatchasingus!?Idontknowhowhardthoseceremoniesare,butweredoneforifone
ofhersoccerkicksorheadslideshitsus!!

WiththatcosplaygirlOliviaandtheothersupintheair,wecanneverescapeontheground.Itslikehavingahelicopterintheairduringacarchase.

AsLucadrovethecart,aclearchangecameoverthescenery.

Whiletheyhadbeensurroundedbycollegeprepschoolswithstrangeshapesthankstothefamousdesignersthatworkedonthem,theynowsawpyramidsofstacked
metalcontainersandgantrycranesthatalmostlookedlikegianttorii.

Itwashardtoreadwithoutanystreetlights,butthesignthatflewbyclearlysaidDistrict11.

Wemadeit

MayaandmoreoftheformerKamisatoFactionwerestillinhotpursuit.Atthisrate,theywouldbeguidingthosegirlstothesiteoftheceremony.Itwasashopeless
asattemptingariskysurgicalprocedurewhileabikergangpouredintothehospital.

ButeventhoughLucaheldthewheelandwouldbetheoneholdingthescalpel,herfacecontainedsometension,butnoirritation.

Whydoyouthinkwewerecirclingaroundandaroundthatdangerouscity?

HadntthatbeentogetasfarawayastheycouldfromtheformerKamisatoFaction?Andhadnttheyfailedtolosethosegirls?

ButKamijousguesswaswrong.

Iknewfromthebeginningthis50cccartcouldnttrulylosethem.Infact,notevenafloatingsupercarloadedwithanantigravityenginecouldmanagethat,said
Luca.Andiftheycaninterferewiththeceremonialgroundinthecontaineryard,allofthiswillbefornaught.Sosettingupthedefensivelineherewouldbea
losinggamblefromtheoutset.Failurewouldbeouronlyoption.

Butthepirategirlwasnotdonespeaking.

Shehadmoretosay.
SodidyoureallythinkIwouldsetupadefensivelinewithacountdowntotheendofthecrucialceremony?Idneverallowthat!Theonlywaytoensurethey
wontinterfereevenforaninstantistoseteverythingupsoIcancompletetheentireceremonyassoonIarriveonthescene.ThatswhatIwasdoingwhiledriving
aroundthecity!!

Part5

HowhadEllen,thetracerandforensicsgirl,beenfollowingLucaandFranscartaround?

Morethanjustperfectpitch,allofthatgirlssenseswereperfectsensoryanalysisdevices,sowhatexactlyhadshepickeduponinthiswideworld?

Hm,hm,hm.Isee.Shemustbeinarushbecauseshesspillingquiteabitthere.

BaggyLabCoatEllenhadsmiledwhileridingthegiantmechanicallizardcontrolledbyLime,whoworetraditionalJapaneseclothingyethadcorallikeangelwings
growingfromherbackwithstringsextendingfromeachpoint.

Whatcanyousee?Theirexhaustorthetiremarks?

Thereisthat,butthebiggestoneisthegunpowder.Shemusthaveneededanitrogencompoundlikenitricacid,butthatsmyspecialtysinceitsanestablishedpart
ofquiteafewinspectionmethods.Iwouldnevermistakethissmell.

Ellenhadlaughedandhidhermouthbehindonebaggysleeve.

Also,Lucausesanoutdatedmusket,soitusesantiqueblackpowder.Shessointentonusingtheoldfashionedproductionmethodsthatithasadistinctaroma.
AcademyCityisadangerouscity,butthescentofthatretrogunpowderstandsoutinthishightechcity.Thereissimplynowayshecanescapemenow.

ButEllenshouldhavewonderedifthatscentofgunpowderreallywasbeingleakedonaccident.SheshouldhaveaskedifLucamightbelettingitspillbehindthe
cartasshedroveoutahead.

Assheshookthedarkcityaroundher,GhostGirlMayaknewvictorywashers.Theenemywasonlyfleeingandhadnotputanymoredistancebetweenthem.She
didnotknowwheretheyweregoingorwhattheywoulddothere,buttheywouldbeunabletocalmlyentertheirbaseandrelaxifthiscontinued.Shedidnotneedto
givethistoomuchthought.Sheonlyhadtocontinuechasingthemtoeithercrushthemorwaitforthemtomakeamistakeandcrash.

Shecouldnotbeshaken.

TheghostgirlinburialclothescouldnotbeshakenwhenshewasworkingtoprotectKamisatoKakeru.

Afterall,hehadacceptedher.
Amysteriousshadowhadappearedonthewaybackfromschoolatnight.Everyonehadknownwhatitwas.Andinfrontofthatgirlwhocouldnotrememberhow
shehaddiedorevenwhathernamewas,theyhadaskedifshewantedherbodyback,wonderedifshewantedtorestinpeace,speculatedshehadbeenonthe
volleyballteambecauseshewassotall,suggestedtheycheckthroughtherecords,andsaidplentyofotherthings,buthehadbeentheonlyone.

Onlyhehadsaidshewasfinethewayshewas.

Onlyhehadsaidaghostwasfineasaghost.

So.

SoGoryouMayawouldnolongerrunfromwhatshewantedtodo.

Tothatend.Theetherealgirlmanipulatedtheincensecomingfromherchestandthenapeofhernecktoalterhowshelookedandwasinterpreted.Ifshecouldsee
thatboyagainandifshecouldseehissmileagain,shewouldbecomeavengefulspirit,anevilspirit,orwhateverelseittooktoaccomplishwhatshemostwanted
todo.

Butthensheheardahighpitchedvoice.CosplayGirlOlivia,whohadhershortishbrownhairintwintailsandrodeamagicwandequippedwithajetengine,used
thevoiceoftheoriginalMagicalPoweredKanaminthatitwasrumorednoteventheoriginalvoiceactresscouldreproduceanylonger.

Wait,Maya.Somethingisntright!

Whatexactlyisntright!?

ThispaththiswayoffleeingIthastobeonpurpose.IvaguelyrecognizesomeofitfromwhenIwascheckingthroughbooksonancientrunestofillinsome
gapsnotonthereleaseddesignsheets.Thisisbasedonamodifiedhexagramdrawnwithasinglebrushstrokeanditsusedtodrawoutthepowerofthesunto!?

Shedidnotmanagetofinish.

Andwereturntothepresent.

Afterarrivinginthecontaineryard,Lucakeptonehandonthewheelandspunherlargemusketaroundinherotherhand.Whenthebulletandpowderweredirectly
pusheddownthroughthemuzzle,itwasnotagoodideatoaimstraightdown,butthatdidnotmatterhere.

Anyhintofamuzzleflashwasenough.

Theorangesparksonlyneededtoignitethelineofgunpowderdrawnoutontheground.

Thefeatheredpiratehatandeyepatchgirlsang.
Letskickofftheshow.

Thesurgeofflamesracedaroundthecityat6000meterspersecond.

GhostGirlMayahadgrownastallasahighrisebuilding,butevenshewouldhavehaddifficultyseeingthewhole.

TheoneswhoweretrulyleftspeechlesswerethoselikeCosplayGirlOliviawhoflewfreelythroughthesky.

Inthedarkandpowerlesscity,orangelinesweredrawnoutlikeapartofafireworksshow.Andtheydrewoutasecretandmysticalsymbolthathadnoplaceina
cityofcuttingedgescience.

Thisisbad,Maya!!TheyrealreadyreachingtowardKamisatokunsfate!!ThiswillneverworkwithoutWorldRejecterasthegate.Theyrejustlettingtheir
emotionsgetthebetterofthemandtheymightaswellbeattemptingheartsurgeryonhimwitharustyscalpel!Wecantletthemdothis!!!!!!

!?

Buttheirimpatiencedidnotmatter.

ThecartdrivingoutaheadcontainedLuca,acomplextangleofVoodooandpiracy,aswellasFran,whohadshedhershellasaUFOgirlandreturnedasanunlucky
starexpert.Theyhadbothenteredauniquementalstateusingaspecialfocusingmethodmuchlikethoseusedbystageactorstogetintocharacter.

Theirlipsweremoving.Theysentavibrationintothemodifiedhexagramtheyhadcarvedintotheplanet.

Thepeaceofthesixpointsisobtainedthroughthefourstagescreatedbycombiningthegreattriangleoffirewiththegreattriangleofwater.Buttoachievethe
resultfirstandforemost,weseekthesecretsofthesimplifiedsixpointsdrawnfromstraightlines.Wedesiretosummonthesun,butcastasideApolloandretrieve
Horus.KnowthattheworldstrueimageisfoundinthelostLibraryofAlexandria!!

Somethingchanged.

Thefoundationofthegraysteelandconcretecitywaspulledout.

KnowthatHorusisnotameredescendentofdeadgods,butthefoundationoftheforceswhichshallcleansetheworldoftheaccumulatedstainsofthecross.
Correspondence,correspondence,correspondence.ShakethestarwhichholdstheopposingpeaksofDaatandYesod.

Itwasliketheairhadsolidifiedwithhumankillerintent.Theextremementalstatemuchlikegettingintocharacterruledthedarkcontaineryard.

Itwasallremadeintoatranquilsacredground.

Distort.
Oneofthetwovoicessometimespassedtheother,sometimeswaspassedbytheother,andsometimescoincidedperfectlywiththeother.

Itwasliketwodifferentequilateraltrianglesliningupandmovingaparttocreateadifferentshapeandprovidedifferentmeaningfrommomenttomoment.The
combinationofthelimitedresourcescalledinendlesspossibility.

TheseparateimageoftheFourWorldsfromwhichpowerisdrawnbecomesadifferentFourWorldslikethemoonsreflectioninalake.

Kamijoubegantowonderifheshouldbehere.

Hehadnotwashedhisbody,hisface,orevenhishands.Hewonderedifheshouldbestandinginthissacrosanctplacewhilesofilthy.

ThesunofHoruswhichshallcleansetheworldshallbeknownbythedivinenameofKamisatoKakeru!!

Allthewhile,wedgesweredrivenintotheworld.

Asupposedlylostnamewasoncemorecarvedpowerfullyintoit.

LegbaAtibonisafrighteningbeingwhocansurpasseventimeasthegatetomanageallceremonies.ButjustastheQliphothbecomesapowerfulcompassthat
pointstothetruthoftheworldwhenusedwithtrulyaccuratediscernment,thecurseofthesecondAeoncanbeusedasapowerfulprismtodividetheforces.This
shalldistortthelinetotheplanetwhichdescendstowardthesixpointedstarandthusshallsubstitutethesymbols.

Therewasnoobviouslightorsound.

ButthatwasonlybecauseKamijoucouldnotseeit.Justliketheboyonthegroundcouldnotperceivethemagiccircledrawnacrossthecitywithgunpowder.

Bindandstrengthentheplanetarysymbolwiththestarofpowercarvedintotheearth.

Somethingwaschanging.

No,itwasbeingintentionallychangedbyhumanhands.

Evenso,thegirlspowermustnothavebeenenoughbecausetheyrevealedtheexistenceofapowerfultrickuptheirsleeve.

ThesymbolsnameisA.A.A.

Finally,evenanamateurlikeKamijoucoulddetectthechange.

Oneofthemetalcontainersformingagreatpyramidbegantoglowdespiteitscomponentmaterialsandhowthickitwas.Itwaslikethenorthstarthatguidedsailors.
Justliketheendlessreflectionofopposingmirrors,theyoverlapliketheringsofapowerfultreeandprovidethepowertogazeintotheabyss.Astheidentical
symbolsapproach,havethemresonate,justastheslightestbreezecanoccasionallybreakastonebridgeandsenditplungingintothesea.

Whatdiditlooklikefromabove?

Itmayhavebeenlikebeingtrappedinaharmfulhallucinationafterreachingtheendofanendlesstask,suchaspeeringtotheverybackoftheimageinopposing
mirrorsorcontinuallyopeningaRussiannestingdolluntilanelectronmicroscopewasneeded

Orperhapsitwaslikepeeringintothedepthsbeyondthedeepestdepths.

Andaftertheybrokethroughthatthickwall,wouldtheyfindthatotherboytheyneededtodragbackup?

EdwardAlexander,akaCrowley,saysagreatdemonneverbeforeseenandnotmentionedinanyholytextcanbesummonedthroughacombinationoftheexisting
methods.Sohesaidtolearnthatmethodandtobreakthroughthecommonviewoftheworldwithsomethingthatcanbefoundanywhere!!

Anamewasspoken.

Itwasthenameofsomeonewhohadshakentheworldtothepointthatitwasthoughthewoulddestroyit.

Tonight,weshalldestroyoneoftheimpossibilitiesfacingtheworld!SummonthedivinenameofKamisatoKakeruwithphysicalformandfixhimtoOlamAsiyah,
thesurfaceoftheFourWorlds!!!!!!

Inthatinstant,everyonetherehadtohavebeenthinkingthesamething.ThatofcourseappliedtoKamijou,Fran,andLuca,butitwasalsotrueofMaya,Olivia,and
theothergirlspursuingthem.

TheywantedKamisatoKakerutoreturn.

Butbecausethatmissingboywassoimportanttothem,thegirlshadtakendifferentpaths.

AsGhostGirlMaya,CosplayGirlOlivia,andtheotherswatchedtheceremonybeginwithoutthem,theyallthoughtthesamething.

TheywantedKamisatoKakerutoreturn.

Buttheycouldnotentrusthislifetoanuntrustworthydoctor.

Becausetheyhadjusttheonechance,theycouldnotletthisgroupwasteit.

ThecommandwasgivenbyOlivia,thegirlwithshortishtwintailswhocouldseetheentiretyofthescenefromherjetenginemagicwand.

Mayaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!
Theyknewwhattheyhadtodo.

KamisatoKakeruhaddisappeared,buttheywouldstillprotecthim.

IftheytriedthiswithoutKiharaYuiitsusWorldRejecter,itwouldallfailandtheperiloussuspensionbridgewoulddefinitelyfall.Sotostayjustahairsbreadth
awayfromthatdefinitely,thegirlscouldnotallowanyoneelsetoactonanyotherhopes.

Theydidnothavetimetoanalyzetheentirescenefromthefoundationtothecorrespondingtools,sotheydidnotknowwhatmethodthismagicalceremonywas
using.SoMayausedherhighrisebuildingheighttoattackthemostobviousthing.

Onethingstoodouthere.

Amongthecountlessmetalboxesinthecontaineryard,asinglelightglowedlikethenorthstarabovethedarksea.

ItwastheA.A.A.

TheAntiArtAttachment.

Therewasaroar.

Theswingingfistcouldnotattackjusttheonecontainer,soitblewawaytheentirepyramidofmetalboxes.

Part6

Kh

KamijouToumacouldonlywatchasithappenedbeforehiseyes.

TheA.A.A.wastheothermirrorthatcorrespondedtothemagicalcirclecarvedintothecity.Thatsymbolcreatedanendlessarrayofimagestocreateanormally
impossibleresonance,butitwasshatteredbyanattackthattoreintotheverylandscape.

Whathappenedtotheceremony?WhataboutKamisa!!

Hedidnothavetimetofinishhisquestion.

Thepyramiddidnotvanishafteritwasknockedintotheair.Theairborneobjectswerepulledbackdownbygravity.Andtheywerenotatallconcernedaboutthe
tinycartasitdrovealong.
Astheyfellallovertheplace,bouncedaroundunnaturally,andsometimesbrokeapartorburst,PirateGirlLucadesperatelyoperatedthesteeringwheel,butshe
couldnothandleitall.ThecartcouldnotsupportallthreepeoplesweightasitswervedinasharpSshape,soitrosefromtheground.Thesituationtookadecisive
turnwhenFranletgooftherollbarlestshebetrappedbetweenthecartandtheground.

Thecartrolledsideways.

Kamijousvisionwasutterchaos.

Hehadnoideawherehewasrollingto.Afterthecountlesscontainershadfallenrandomlyaround,theyardwaslikeagiantlabyrinth.Thesurfaceofhisbodyfelt
hot.Hefeltilllikehisbodyscorehadbeenshiftedsidewaysbyaninvisiblehand.Heflippedfromhisbackontohisstomachandtookseveraldeepbreaths.Ifhehad
stayedonhisback,hehadseriouslyfearedhewouldvomitandbeunabletoavoiddrowningtodeathinit.

(WhyamIfeelingnauseousafterablowtomybody?Dammit,whatishappeningtomybody?)

Heshookhiswoozyheadandsomehowmanagedtograbontoanearbycontainerwall.Heslowlystoodup.

WhathadhappenedtoFran?WasLucaallright?

Andwhathadhappenedtotheirmagicceremony?

Yeah

KamijouToumahadnospecializedmagicalknowledge.IndexandLeiviniaBirdwayhadexplainedittohim,butthathadnotreachedtheleveloftechniqueshe
couldactuallyuse.However,therewasonethingevenhisspikyhairedheadcouldintuitivelyunderstand.

Afterall,KamisatoKakeruwasnowheretobeseen.

Sotherewasnowayithadsucceeded.

Hewassurroundedbysilence.

Noonewasmoving.

Ashestoodthere,KamijoufinallyspottedFranssmallforminthedisastrousscene.Shewasrestingherbackagainstacollapsedcontainer.Theoverstuffed
backpackmayhavesavedthatrabbitearantennaegirl.

Fran!Hey,Fran!!

KamijouToumawalkedunsteadilythroughthelabyrinthtoapproachher.
Shedidnotrespond.

Shewassimplystaringupintothenightsky.

Wasshesearchingforsomethingthereortryingtosuppresstherisingtears?

HealsospottedPirateGirlLuca.

Shewascollapsednearthetoppledcart,sohepassedhisarmsbelowhersanddraggedherawayincasetheenginecaughtfire.

Shewaslimp.

Sheseemedtobeconscious,butshefeltasheavyandhopelessasacorpseinhisarms.

(Why?)

Kamijoubithislip.

(Whydidthishappen!!!???)

Ithadlookedlikesomethingwouldhappen.Evenanamateurlikehimhadfeltthesignsofsuccess.Theyhadtohavebeensoclose.Iftheyhadgivenitjustasmall
pushmore,itwouldhavebeenlikepouringonelastdropintothecupsothesurfacetensionbrokeandwaterspilledout.Theymighthavebrokendownthewall
betweenworlds.

NooneherehatedKamisatoKakeru.Theywereallfightingbasedontheirfeelingsforhim.Andyetthiswashowithadturnedout.Ithadallstayedonthepreset
rails,theyhadfailedtosaveKamisato,andthegirlswerestilltrappedbytherighthandandonlyabletoobeyKiharaYuiitsuseveryword.

Therewasnolightanywhere.

KamijoucouldnolongertellwheretheA.A.A.scontainerwas.Andthefactthattheglowingcontainerhadfallensilentseemedtoimplythatsomethinghadended.
Afterall,theyhadnothingelsetouse.RescuingsomeonewhohadbeensenttoanisolatedframebyWorldRejecterhadalwaysbeenlikegraspingacloud.Theyhad
onlyfoundapointincommonbecauseKamisatohadjustsohappenedtofighttheoriginalA.A.A.beforehandandhadsentthatdevicetotheotherworld.Thatwas
notthekindofcoincidencetheycouldhopetofindagain.Withthatsingleopportunitystolenfromthem,noamountofstrugglingwould

No?

SomethingcaughtinacornerofKamijousmind.

Therewassomethinghecouldnotaffordtooverlook.KamijouandKamisatohadnotknowneachotherforverylong,butthatshorttimehadbeenpackedfullof
events.Hethoughtbackoverallofthose.
WastheoriginalA.A.A.reallytheonlystartingpointforrescuingKamisato?

Wastherereallynothingelse?

Heneededtorecalleverythinghehadbeeninvolvedin.

Wasthereanitemincommonbetweenthetwoworlds?

Wastheresomethingdeeplylinkedtotheworldofmagic?

Wait.

Hehadassumedithadbeenerased.Hehadassumedhewouldneverseeitagainandhaddrivenitfromhismind.

ButifhewasgoingtoseekKamisatoKakeruwhohadalsobeenerased

Ifhewasallowinghimselftothinkaboutthepeoplewhohadsupposedlyvanished

Thereissomething.

Franhadlookedlikeanemptyeyeddoll,butherheadfinallymoved.Therewasstillnolightofwillpowerthere,butthespikyhairedboyunderstoodhisnextwords
wouldgreatlyinfluencethefateofeverythinghere.

ItisntjusttheoriginalA.A.A.!Theressomethingelsewithextremelypowerfulmagicalsymbolismthatexistsinboththisworldandthatworld!!Westillhave
hope!!

Sohesaidit.

Hegavehisconclusion.

ItsNephthys!!90%ofherwaserasedinadvanceandtheremaining10%wasremadeintoPatriciaBirdwaysbody.ThatMagicGodexistsinbothworlds!!

Part7

Abrowngoddesswithlongsilverhairrubbedascaronhercheek.

Ohdear.Itmustbedifficulttosendusherewithoutleavingamark.
Part8

Onoccasion,ashortstatementcoulddramaticallychangetheworld.

!!!!!!

!!!!!!

AssoonastheyreceivednewhopefromKamijou,FranandLucashottotheirfeet.Theyactuallygrabbedhisarmsanddraggedhiminsideoneofthecontainersthat
hadburstopenfromthefall.

ThatleavesKamijouTouma

Thegroundtrembledastheghostgirlsgiantfootdroppeddownsurprisinglyclosenearby.Itdidnotseemtobeaspecificattackbecausethefootstepscontinued
onwiththesamerhythm.

Ifwebringhisheadback,wecanpreservethecurrentstatusquo.WecanprotectKamisatokun!

Thatgirlhadnoguaranteeeither.Eveniftheplanhadfailedthistime,shecouldnotallowFranandLucatoescapeifshedecidedthosetwocoulddothesamething
again.AndKiharaYuiitsuhadspecificallyorderedthedeathofKamijou.Hedoubtedshewouldleavebeforetakinghishead.

Firstofall,explainthis.IsthePatriciayoumentionedthatPatricia?

Yes!ImeantheblondegirlwhometKamisatoduringthewholeSampleShoggothbusiness.Youweretherefortheattackonmydorm,sodontyourememberwhat
happenedattheendthere?ThebrownMagicGodsacrificedherselftosavePatricia,right!?

Cometothinkofit,IthinkIsawherwatchingusfromthehospitalwindow.

Yourerightaboutthattoo.OurgoalisthehospitalMisakaledusto.ItsinDistrict7,sothatsprettyfaraway.Butcanwestilldoit!?

Therewasnowaytheywouldarguewithhim.

Theywouldgrabateventheslightesthopenow.

TheA.A.A.andNephthyswillhavequitedifferentsymbols.

Andthissoundslikeitwillinvolveinfectionmagicinadditiontoimitative.ButCrowleyisamagiciandeeplyrootedinEgypt.Ifwecansomehowlinkthistothe
secretsofIsis,Osiris,andHorus,wecanusethatasastartingpoint

Hey.
AnamateurlikeKamijoucouldnotjudgethevalueoftheinformation,sohethrewouteverythinghehadlearnedspeakingwiththattrueMagicGod.

Nephthyssaidsomethingabouthavingahabitofcrying.Othinussaidsomethingabouthernotusingasetsystemandinsteadhelpingoutwhateverhumanisaround
whenshefeelslikeit,butisthatrelatedtohertraitsasagod?

ThecryingwomanatOsirissfuneral!!Luca,whataboutthat!?

Itsabitofadetour,butwevegotourconnection.CrowleyviewedOsirislessasagodthanasasymbolofdeathandweredraggingKamisatokunupfromthe
bogofdeath.Nephthysisrelatedtofunerals,sowecantrytousethattoachievearesonancewiththehexagramdrawnoutacrossthecity!!

Thatjustleftonequestion:howtoreturntotheDistrict7hospital.Thecarthadrolledoverwhenthecontaineryardhadbeenblownaway,soitwasuselessnow.

Luca,istheresomekindofvehicleinthecontaineryardyoucandrive?Itsadistributionbase,sotheyshouldhaveplentyoftrucks,mobilecranes,andforklifts.

Imonlylicenseduptomidsizedmotorcycles.OnlythattruckerDeborahwouldbeabletodrivethosegiantthingswithweirdcentersofgravityandwheel
positions.IfItrytodriveoneofthoselikethecart,itlltoppleoveratthefirstcurve.

Anddontforgetaboutmyheatwavemicrowaves.Evenifatruckwasabandonedhere,itwouldntrunanymore.Alltheelectronicswouldhavebeenwipedout.

Thenwhatdowedo!?EvenifEllenisoutofthepicture,Oliviaandtheothersarestilloverhead.Wecantlosethemonfootoronbicycles!!

Thenagain,thatwouldbetrueeveniftheycouldstillusethecart.

WithoutenoughspeedtoloseOlivia,theformerKamisatoFactionwouldbehotontheirheelsallthewaytotheDistrict7hospital.Andinsteadoftheoriginal
A.A.A.whichwasessentiallyapileofjunk,theattackwouldhitthehospitalandPatriciathistime.

Whatcouldtheydo?

Andastheyalltriedtothinkofsomething,theyheardrotorsloudlychoppingattheair.

Theywerelargetransporthelicopters.Notmanypeoplestillhadfunctioningenginesattheirdisposalinthedeadcityandoneoptioncametomindimmediately
thankstoallthechaostheyhadexperiencedonthewayhere.

UsefulSpider!?shoutedFran.Iftheysurvived,theyshouldvejuststayedput!!

Well,itwasyourstationthatsuppliedthefinishingblowtotheirobservatory.

Withtheirbasedestroyed,theymustnothavebeenabletoacquiremoreequipment.TheywerenolongerfightingonequalfootingwiththeformerKamisatoFaction.
Theyweretryingtolandhereandthereonthecontaineryard,butmostofthemwereshotdownbyMagicalGirlOliviaandtheothersflyingaround.
AnditseemedUsefulSpiderwasaftermorethanjustachaoticbrawl.

Someonespokefromtheloudspeakerononeofthehelicoptersthatlowereditsaltitudewhilespewingblacksmoke.

Ifyourestuck,wecanlendahand!!Ifyouneedtransportation,hopontoanyoneofthechoppers!!

Thathelicoptercouldnotmaintainitspositionandmadeanemergencylandingbehindapyramid.

Kamijouandthegirlsexchangedaglance.

Isitabluffmeanttolureusout?

Theyrelosingfartoomanyhelicoptersforthat,dontyouthink?

Kamijoustuckhisheadoutofthecontainersbrokendoorandlookedupatthehelicoptersshiningspotlightsdown.

Andhespoke.

Letsdoit.

Whatifitsatrap?

Kamijoudidnotanswer.Whenthespikyhairedboytookthefirststepoutside,HoodieBikiniFranandPirateHatLucafollowed.

WithMayaswingingherarmsaroundwhilestandingastallasahighrisebuildingandwithOliviausingherjetengineforaerialcombat,thecontaineryardhad
becomehellonearth.UsefulSpiderwassporadicallyfightingbackwiththeheavymachinegunsstickingoutfromthesidecargodoors,butitfeltmorelikeawayto
distracttheiropponentsthantodefeatthem.UsefulSpiderwasbuyingtimewhileknowingtheywouldbedefeated.Theywantedtogetasmanyhelicopterstothe
groundaspossiblesotheycouldwaitforsomeone.

AbrightspotlightbrieflyshineddownonKamijouandthegirls,butinsteadofstoppinglikeinthetheatre,itquicklymovedaway.UsefulSpidermayhavedecided
drawingattentiontothemwouldonlyshowtheenemywheretheywere.

IfUsefulSpiderintendedtoshootthem,theywouldhavekeptthelightonthemandstartedfiringtheheavymachineguns,buttheydidnot.

Hm?Whatsgoingon?

Lucafrownedastheyapproachedahelicopterthathadfinallymanagedtoland.Themanoperatingtheheavymachinegunwasbeckoningthemintothecargodoor.

Hurryup!!Hurry!!
Stillconfused,thethreeofthempiledonastherotorabovegrewlouder.Thefloorrockedduetotheunstablemotion,butthehelicoptermanagedtorise.

Kamijouaskedaquestionwhilestillcollapsedonthefloor.

DidyoureadthemessageIleft?

Yeah,youmeanthememosayingtohelpoutifwereallywantedtoresolveallthis,right?Wethoughtitwasjustsomekidsnonsense,butthenthatstationfellon
us.Thatfinallytolduswhowasincontrolofthisterriblesituation,goddammit!!Thegunnerlookedupintothenightskywhileholdingtheheavymachineguns
grip.Also,weheardfromthatguythattherewasakidwhochargedrightintoariotingcrowdtosaveafilthyoldmanwhowasntsomecutegirlorrichor
anything.

Doyounotrememberthemanyoumetinthepark?Well,thatsprobablyevenbetter.Itshowsallthemorehowvirtuousyouare.Oh,right,right.

ThelastthinghesaidwasnotdirectedatKamijou.

ThegunnerturnedtoFran.

Weheardyourconfessiontoo.Iftheresachemicalfireorbiologicaldisastercoming,wellchargerightin,butnotevenwecoulddothat.

Herwordshadgottenthrough.

Theywerestandingonthesamestage.

Ithadnotbeenintentionalandtherehadbeennoplan,butthissituationwasadirectresultofthatgirlworkinguphercourage.

Theresolutionweretalkingaboutmightnotbequitethesameastheoneyoureimagining,warnedKamijou.

AnythingsfineaslongasitbringslightbacktoAcademyCity.Lookatthiscity.Itscompletelydeadandcoveredindarkness!Wellacceptwhatevernonsensethe
worldmightthrowatusifitmeansgettingthepower,gas,andwaterbackupandrunning!!ThatswhatUsefulSpiderisfor!Listen,wearentgoingtoletyouspend
Christmassurroundedbyrubble!!

Thiswasallpartofthe48HourstoRestoreOrder.Kamijoucouldnotapproveofeverythingtheyhaddonetoachievethatgoal.Hestillrememberedhowtheyhad
mercilesslysprayedhighpressurewateronriotingboysandgirlstothrowthemfromanelevatedhighwayandhowtheyhadusedgiantfanstoteardowntheshelters
thatwerehidingweapons.

Butthiswasthedesireatthebaseofitall.TheywantedtobringAcademyCitybacktonormalassoonaspossible.Theywerewillingtoplaythethanklessroleto
thatend.TheytooweretryingtoprotectAcademyCity.
ThatwaswhytheyhadsetasidetakingrevengeforthedamagetotheirheadquartersandinsteadprioritizedsuppressingtheformerKamisatoFactionthathadcaused
allofthismess.TheyhadusedthemselvesasbaitandletthemselvesbeshotdowntosendatransporthelicoptertoKamijousgroupsincetheyheldthekeytoending
this.

TheywouldnotbetrayKamijou.

Attheveryleast,notuntilKamisatoKakerusreturnhadendedthechaos.

WeneedtogettothebighospitalonthesouthendofDistrict7!Wecanendallofthisifwegetthere!!

Thatwasimmediatelypassedontothepilotandtheyaccelerated.

Perhapstohidetheirintent,severalotherhelicopterstookoffinotherdirections.

Also

Aloudrumblingreachedthem.

Areyoustilldoingthis?Youhaventgivenupyet,Fraaan!?

Thatvoiceseemedtoshaketheentireworldandthehoodiebikinigirlbitherlip.

HowcanIgiveup?

Butshespoke.

Thesmallgirldeclaredwaroncemore.

HowcanIgiveuponKamisatochansfuture!?EvenifIcanneverbewithhimagainandevenifIknowmyfeelingscanneverbefulfilled,Istillwontgiveup!!

Kamijouoncemorefocusedonthepeoplepursuingthem.

Andheresumedspeaking.

Also,thiscityschaoswillneverendifwedontlosethemandsilencethem!!

Part9

Thepursuerswerealsorackingtheirbrainsinthefaceofthisunexpectedsituation.
CosplayGirlOliviaaskedaquestionassheflewaroundwithherjetengine.

Whatdowedo,Maya?Itdoesntlooklikethisisoveryet!

Eitherway,wecantfulfillTyrantsorderwithoutKamijouToumashead.WehavetodothisifweregoingtosaveKamisatokun!!

Afterall,hehadacceptedthatghostasshewas.Hehadsupportedherveryexistencebysayingshedidnotneedtochange.AndthatwaswhyGoryouMayawasstill
here.

Soshewouldbecomeanyevilspiritandshewouldtransformintoevenavengefulspirit.

Evenaftergrowingtothesizeofahighrisebuilding,theghostwiththeheartshapedheaddressandthebewitchinglyrevealingburialclotheshadtotravelalongthe
ground.Oliviaandtheotherswhocalledtheskytheirhomecouldviewthesituationfromadifferentperspective.

Howaboutwedestroythatmagiccircle?

Iftheydontnotice,theyllessentiallystartoperatingonKamisatokunwithbrokentools.Ifwewanttoresteasy,wehavetokillthedoctorandnotjustbreakthe
tools.Themagiccircleontheroaddoesntmatter.Weneedtokeepchasingtheoneswhowilluseit!!

Butthattargetwasaproblemtoo.

Afterseveraltransporthelicoptershadlandedinthecontaineryardinanearlysuicidemission,theyhadflownoffagainindifferentdirections.Itwasunknown
whichoneKamijouTouma,Fran,andLucawereonboard.Itwasevenpossibletheyhadsplitupandwereridingmultiplehelicopters.

Whatdowedo!?

Letsgowiththeonlysurefiresolution:bringthemalldown!!

Part10

Normalhelicoptersonlyhadatopspeedof300400kph,butthatwasstillfarfasterthana50cccart.Andhelicopterscouldignoretheterrainandtaketheshortest
route,sothetimelosswasconsiderablyreduced.

But.

TheystillcouldnotloseCosplayGirlOliviawhohadajetenginebuiltintohermagicwand.Shewascontinuingtofiretracerroundsthatlookedlikeredorblue
fireworks,perhapstolooklikemagicbullets.

Damn!!Shesstillflyingarounduphere!?
Thegunnerleanedoutofthesidecargodoorandreturnedfire,butthedownpourofbulletscouldnothitthemagicgirlwhowastakingcomplexturnsthroughthe
nightsky.

Also

Onyourmark.

Kamijoucouldhaveswornheheardavoicesayingthat.

Heimmediatelygrabbedthegunnersshoulderandpulledhimbackinsidethehelicopter.

Theverynextmoment,someonejumpedinthroughtheopencargodoorandcontinuedontobreakthroughtheoppositedoor.

Kamijouthoughthiseardrumswouldburstfromtheexplosivepressureofthewind.

Thegunnerhadbeenstrappedinbyabeltinplaceofalifeline,butthatbelthadbeensevered.

Franhadbeensittingonthefloorofthehelicopterandshevocalizedwhatshehadseenfromthere.

CClaire!!DidthatplantglassesgirlmakeacomebackwithherfakeA.A.A.!?

ThatgirlhadindeedmadeadecoyversionoutofplantstomakeKiharaYuiitsuthinktheA.A.A.techwasspreading.Ithadnotfunctionedasanactualweaponand
onlyflewusingplantalcoholfuel,but

Allofyougirlsarewaytooobsessed!!

Also,ImprettysureClairehadbothherfistsheldforwardassheflew,pointedoutLuca.

Kamijoulookedoutfromthehelicopterwhichwasmuchmoreventilatednow.Theglassesplantgirlandthemagicalgirlwerecomplexlyintertwiningtheirpathsas
theytargetedthehelicopteroncemore.Onlytheothercargodoorhadbeenhit,butthehelicopterwouldbreakapartiftheytookanymoreofthoseattacks.Andthis
wastoomuchforthegunnertohitwithhisheavymachinegun.

Theywouldbedestroyedatthisrate.

Takeuslower!!shoutedKamijou.Getclosetothewallsalongtheroad!!

Thepowerofinertiaseemedtoerasethepullofgravity.Bothcargodoorswerewideopenandtheyhadnolifeline.Theycouldbethrownoutsideatanytime,butthe
pilotwentalloutinfulfillingtherecklessflightrequest.

Kamijouthoughtheheardsomeoneclicktheirtongue.
Perhapstoavoidrunningintoawallorbreakingthroughthehelicopter,thejetenginecosplaygirlsharplychangedcourseatthelastsecond.

ButClairechargedrightonin.

IfshehadnothesitatedtoavoidcollidingwithOliviasalteredcourse,thatattackwouldlikelyhavedestroyedthehelicopter.Butshestrayedabitofftargetand
brokethroughthethickreinforcedglassofabuildingalongsidethem.

Andshedidnotseemtocare.

SheactuallyacceleratedinsidetheofficebuildingandblewawaycountlessdocumentsandLCDmonitorsassheflewalongsidethehelicopter.

Icantbelieveher!Shesadjustingherglassesinthemiddleofallthis!!

Arefinedgardeninggirlisafrighteningthing.Whatiswrongwiththeworldwhenshesovershadowingacosplayerwholivesforposinginfrontofthecamera?

Clairebrokethroughanotherwindowandwasreleasedintothenightskyoncemore.WhileOliviawasessentiallyanormalhuman,Clairewasmadeofplantcells
andcouldregenerateevenafterbeingbisected.Thisdamagewouldbenothingtoher.

Shesprobablyrelaxedbecausesheknowsshecantdie.Thatjustmeansweneedtosendherintoawalltoothickforhertobreakthrough.

Thepilotmusthavepickeduponthatbecausethehelicopterdescendedevenfurther.Theyentirelyabandonedtheadvantagegainedbytheflyingmachine.They
skimmedjustoffthegroundandfollowedtheentirelyunlitstreetsat400kph.

OliviaandClaireofcoursepursuedthemwiththeirmagicwandandboosters,buttheyhadtobemuchmorecarefulnow.Theysometimeshadtoduckbelow
pedestrianbridgesorflyaboveelevatedhighwayswhilejustaboutgrazingthesurface.Clairewasfaroutsidethenormsinceshehadbrokenthroughthickreinforced
glassbefore,butevenshewouldhavedifficultyflyingafterrunningstraightintoamassofsteelorconcrete.

Butloweringtheiraltitudesofarbroughtanotherthreatbackintothepicture.

Somethingheavyandgiganticpassedbydirectlyoverhead.Fromthecargodoor,itlookedlikeacometmeasuringseveraldozenmetersacross.

Butitwasnot.

Itwas

Mayaswillothewisp!?shoutedLuca.

Thenthegiantmassdroppeddownintheirpath.Intheblinkofaneye,itremadeitselfintoagirlinwhiteburialclotheswhothenmadeafullrighttoleftswingofa
towersizedarm.
Owaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!???

Theunnamedpilotscreamed.

Thehelicopterrosesomewhatandslippedbetweenthegiantfingersbeforepassingbetweenthetwolegsbelowtherevealingburialclothes.

LookslikeshesthetypethatdoesntwearunderwearwithJapaneseclothing,commentedFran.

!?

Thegunnerquicklylookedback,buttheyhadalreadypassedbyanditwasimpossibletotellifFranwastellingthetruth.Havingmissedhertarget,thegiant
vengefulspiritletherhumanoidformcollapseandtransformedbackintoacometlikewillothewisp.

Thepursuingspiritproducedaspitefulvoice.

IwontletyouhavehimIllneverletyouhaveKamisatokun!!

Whoeversaidhewasyours?askedFran.IwillbreakKamisatoKakeruscurseandfreehim!Iwillshowhimheisnotjustapowerfulattraction!Iwillshowhim
hecanleaveusofhisownfreewillandthatthatisexactlywhyallofyouarestayingwithhimofyourownfreewill!!Doingthatjustthatwillsurelytakea
burdenoffhisheart!!

Whywouldyoudothat!?Thereisnothinginthatforyou!!

Nomatterhowthisends,Icannolongerstaybyhisside!!ButIcanstilldosomethingforhim!AndIwillseethatdesireofminefulfilled.Maya,nomatterwhat
youmightdo,Iwontletyouinterferewiththeendofmylove!!!!!!

Kamijouandtheotherswerebeinghelplesslytossedabout,buttheycouldnotjustletthesituationcarrythemalong.Kamijouhadregretteddoingjustthatwiththe
HighPriestandwithKamisato.Hecouldnotletthathappenagain.

Letsdosomethingaboutthis.WecantbringthesemonsterswithustotheDistrict7hospital.Thatlljustbearepeatofthecontaineryard!

Butwhatexactlydowedo!?askedLuca.NormalbulletscanthitOliviaorClaireandMayahaspartiallybecomeaperpetualmotionmachinebyturningherown
scentintotheincensethatmaintainsherownexistence.Icantthinkofanywaytodefeatthem!

Ivebeenwonderingaboutthat,mutteredKamijou.Hey,Luca.YousaidMayawasadjustingherscentbybeingcarefulaboutwhatsheeatsright?Andthatshes
alwaysmunchingonvegetablesticksorsippingatasweetdrink.

OnlyMayaknowstheexactratio,butitlookedsomethinglikeacombinationofvegetarianismandanextremesweettooth.

Keh,interruptedFran.Youredeadwrongifyouthinkagirlsbodyismadeoffruitandsugar.
Thespikyhairedboycontinuedthinkingandthenleanedoutofthecargodoorevenasthehelicoptershookviolently.

Whatareyoudoing!?

Thatwouldmeanhermouth,Iguess.Okay,thismightwork.

Withoutlookingback,Kamijoufocusedonthepowerlesscity.

Somewheretherehastobeawindowlessbuildingsomewhere

KiharaYuiitsusbase?ItstruethatssomewhereinDistrict7,but

No,notthatone!!

Kamijoushoutedback,butthegiantwillothewisppassedoverthehelicopteragain.TheycouldnotascendforfearofClaireandOlivia,sotheywererestrictedto
theroads.Thatmadethemeasytopursueforthosewhocouldflyfreely.

HeobservedtheareaupaheadwhereMayalandedandbecomeagirlinburialclothesandaheartshapedheaddress.Hereadthelargewritingonabuildingwall.

H552M.Thatsgottobeit!!

WhenKamijoureachedfortheheavymachinegunstickingoutofthecargodoor,theprofessionalgunnerquicklygrabbedhim.

Tellmehowtoshoot!!

MayaisntreliantonherCenserdronesrightnow,warnedLuca.Shecantbedefeatedbyphysicalattacks!!

Thatdoesntmatter!Listen,Imgoingtostartfiringwiththis!!

Itwasalotlikeathreeleggedrace.Withoutalifeline,Kamijoucouldbethrownoutsideifthehelicoptertiltedandheworkedwiththegunnertoforciblyaimatthe
flatwallofabuildingupahead.

Eachshotwasahugebulletthesamesizeasfromanantimaterielrifle.Itwasapoorlyaimedstreamofbullets,buteachoneopenedafistsizedholeinthewall,
cracksspreadfromthose,thosecracksconnected,andtheentirewallpeeledaway.Itmayhavebeensimilartopiercingawindowwithanicepicktocreatea
triangularhole.

ButnoneofitactuallyhitMayasgiantform.

DontthinkyourtrickscanstopourfeelingsforKamisatokun!!roaredtheghostgirl.
!!

Franmanipulatedthescreenofthecardsizedterminalshepulledfromherbackpack.HerUFOballoonhadbeenfloatingaroundsomewhere,butnowshesentit
towardtheghostgirl.PirateGirlLucassparebombshadbeenattachedtoit,buteventhatfailed.Mayaswungherarmandtheyonlyblewawaythewallofanearby
building.

Theghostgirlwithlongblackhairandwhiteburialclotheswasentirelyunfazed.Totargetthehelicopterdownbytheground,sheswungherfootbacklikeshewas
abouttokickasoccerball.Shebuiltupenoughstrengthtobreakalandmarkbroadcasttower.

Whatdowedo!?shoutedthegunner.

Itsalreadyover.

Theimmediatereplywastheoneeveryonehadwantedbutthatnoonehadexpected.FranandLucagaspedrightalongwiththegunner.

Mayawascarefulaboutwhatsheatetomaintainjusttherightscent.Idontknowwhattheexactratiowas,butmessingitupiseasy.WhenIwastalkingwiththe
chemistryclub,theysaidtherearebasicsmellsjustlikethereareprimarycolors.Usethemandyoucanoverpowerother,moresensitivesmells.

Henningstheoryhad6:Spicy,Flowery,Resinous,Fruity,Foul,andBurnt.

Amoorestheoryhad7:Camphoraceous,Musky,Floral,Pepperminty,Ethereal(asachemical),Pungent,andPutrid.

Unlikesightortaste,theclassificationwasnotcomplete,butthatshowedjusthowcomplexasenseitwas.Forexample,someneurophysiologistswhoresearched
smellrejectedtheveryideaofbasicsmellsandwithtwoexceptionsitwasnotknownwhyhumansdetectedthosescentsatall.

Thathelpedwhenwehadnowaterduringtheheatwave.Itwasaluxurythough,sowhenwedidnthaveany,wehadtosearchoutusedcoffeefiltersandteabags.

ThiswasKamijouToumasgoal.

Itargetedawindowlessagriculturalbuildingwherecropsaregrown.AndwithanHforherbsandanMformint!!Theentirebuildingisfullofmint.Evenifitsall
shriveledupwiththepowerout,blowingholesinthewallshouldreleaseadensearoma.Andonceyoubreathethatinthroughyourmouthornose,youlllosethat
incensecreatedfromtheoptimalbalance!!

Itwasunclearifghostsreallyexisted,butMayadidatleast.Byinducingpsychologicalinstabilitywithlowfrequencywavesandsmellsundetectablebyhuman
senses,shecreatedanenvironmentwhereshecouldbeseenandthusexist.Itwasalotlikepassingcolorlesslightthroughaprism,soshecouldcreatethecoloror
formthatshewanted.Andthathadtransformedtheslenderandetherealgirlintoanearlyundefeatableforce.

What?

Butwhathappenedwhenthatfellapart?Whatifsomeonetookahammertotheprismthatsplitthelight?Notevenshewouldknowhowthelightwouldscatter.
GoryouMayasbeautifulfaceswelledoutunnaturally.

Thebuildingsizedvengefulspiritcouldnolongermaintainherownform.Heroutlinescollapsedoneafteranother,likeherownboneswereconsumingherflesh.

Kaaamisssa

Ifshehadcometoastopandcalmeddown,shemighthavebeenabletoregainherform.

But.

Evenifshehaddiedandlostherphysicalbody,shewasstillagirlinlove.

Iwilldoanythingforhim!!!!

Therewasnowayshewouldstop.Shestayedtruetoherselftotheend.

Evenasshecrumbledaway,shetriedtokickattheroadliketherewasasoccerballthere.Shedidnotgivein.ShewouldnothandKamisatoKakerusfatetoanyone
shedidnotapproveof.Noneofthemwasavillain,buttheyhadallchosenthewrongmethod.

Kamijouleanedoutofthehelicopterandclenchedhisrightfistwithoutthinking.

Heconsideredjumpingoutatherifshecontinuedpursuingthem.

Butshecouldnotkeepitup.Byattackingasshefellapart,sheendedupdetachingherownfoot.Thegiantlegflewinaparabolicarclikesomeonethrowingtheir
shoeafterpickingupspeedonaswing.

Thehelicopterjustbarelymanagedtoavoiditandthenslippedbelowthegirlinburialclothesbyflyingrightupnexttothedestroyedagriculturalbuilding.

Butthosebehindthemwerenotsolucky.

Ah!?

First,twintailedSawaiOliviaflewinonherjetenginemagicwand.Shetriedtotakeasharpturnawayfromthegiantleg,butitgrazedhershoulderandsentherinto
atailspin.

Next,TazumaClairetriedtoflybelowMaya,butshewascaughtinthecollapseandcrushed.

Kamijousgroupnolongerhadtofearpursuit.

Theothergirlsmightcontinuepursuingthemontheground,butthehelicoptercouldoutrunthembyascendingandflyingatfullspeed.
KamijouToumarecalledwherehehadseenPatricialookingoutofthehospitalswindow.

The13thwindowfromtherightonthe8thfloor!!Wedonthavetimetoland.Fran,Luca,youtwojumprightiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!!

Part11

Thingswerenoisyoutside.

Asmallblondegirlsatupinbendandlookedoutthewindow.

Andthenithappened.

Anelevatedwindowcouldbeheardshattering.

Thetransporthelicopterwaspilotedwithmiraculousskill.Itflewrightuptothehospitalwindowandturnedtothesidelikeastuntcardriftingintoaparallelparking
spot.Thecargodoorhadalreadybeenblownoffandthegirlswerenotstrappedin,sothatwasadecisiveactionforthem.

Thepowerfulinertiaswungthemaroundandtossedthemoutbeforetheycouldevensteeltheirresolve.

Theybrokethroughthewindowandrolledintothehospitalroom.

Dh!

PirateGirlLucagroanedandgotup,butshedidnotfindwhatsheexpected.

Whatsthis?Hesoundedsoconfident,buttheresnoonehere.Didhegettheroomwrong?

No,thatmayhavebeenintentional.

Franalsostoodupandtappedonthewallwithaloosefist.Sheseemedtobeconfirmingthepresenceofapatientintheneighboringroom.

AfterseeingSampleShoggothandtheredfurofCannibalization,itmayhavebeenimpossibleforthatgirltolookawayfromthetruthoftheworld.Afterreceiving
thefleshandbloodofMagicGodNephthys,itmayhavebeenimpossibleforhertoberemovedfromthemystical.

Buttherewasnoreasontoactivelypullherintoit.

Thatmayhavebeenthethoughtbehindit.
Itsjustonethinwall.

Thatsright.Wecanfitherinsidetheceremonialgroundfromhere.

Thetwogirlsfacedeachother.

TheywereswappingtheA.A.A.outfortheremnantsofNephthys.Thedifferentsymbolswouldrequireredoingsomeofthedetails,buttheyalreadyhadtheoverall
frameworkworkedout.Theydidnotneedanyencouragement.Theyknewtheycoulddoit.

Theybreathedinandthenout.

Thankyouforstickingwithmethisfar,Luca.

ThenKarasumaFransmiledandgaveanannouncementtothegirlwhohadbeenhercomradeinarmsandherrival.

Now,letsbringanendtomylove.

Part12

WhenshereceivedthereportbelowtheWindowlessBuilding,KiharaYuiitsusfatewasalsosealed.

Theatmospherehadentirelychanged.Thegirlsshehadpositionedasherpersonalguardswerenolongerobligatedtoobeyherorders.Plus,thiswasthegroupshe
hadselectedtoprotecther.Theircombatabilitywasimmeasurable.Sooncetheirpositionschanged,everythingtooka180degreeturnandshewasthrownintoan
utterlyhopelesssituation.

Itwaslikeaclownfishbeingmistakenlyeatenbyitssymbioticanemone.

Themanyblades,gazes,andpressuresthathaddefendedhernowturnedtofaceKiharaYuiitsufromalldirections.

Isee,Isee,Isee.

LabCoatandBikiniYuiitsudidnotsoundparticularlyinterested.

OnearmedMassMurdererSalomeslowlystoodupinfrontofher.No,itwasnotjusther.Theothergirlswithequallystrangepowersandabilitiesalsoapproached.
Whileinsidethepredatorsmaw,thegreatestevillookedlikeshewasseeingtheendofanexperiment.

Thiswouldbegameoverthen.

BetweentheLines4

Someonespokefromsomewhere.

Oh?Youreleavingalready?Well,dontworryaboutus.

Thisbattlewillprobablyneverend,butthatshouldbealotoffun.

Andsomeoneelsereplied.

Yeah,everyonescallingforme.

Epilogue:OrDoubtContainstheTruthBet_Time.Red_or_Black.
Thiswaswhathappenedatdawn.

ThisisUsefulSpider.Wearepleasedtoreportthatthe48HourstoRestoreOrderhasbeencompleted.Our
AcademyCityhasreturned.Pleaseresteasyasyoureturntoyourstudies.

KamijouToumaheardthevoiceamplifiedbyaloudspeaker.

Ow,ow,ow,ow!Dontbiteme,youidiot!Dontbiteme,Index!

Firstyouvanishlikeyouknowexactlywhatyouredoingandthenyoucallusouttothestationonlytonevershowup.Touma,Ithinkyouneedtorethinkyourlife
inseveraldifferentways

Whatisthisquietanger?HaveIreallycrossedsomekindoflinethistime!?

Anddontforgetthatyoustoodmeupaswell,human.

Gnyaaahhh!?Idontneedagodpickingupthatbitinghabit!Youregonnatearmyearloberightoff!!
Onceeverythingappearedtobeover,Kamijouhobbledbacktotheshelterschoolandfoundanumberoftragedieswroughtbyhisownfailuretoexplainanything.

Fukiyosecrossedherarms(inawaythatliftedupherlargebreasts)andsoundedutterlyexasperated.

Youreapwhatyousow

Canyouexplaintomewhatexactlyhesowedtowarrantreapingthis!?Withthewayeveryonescarryingonaroundhim,Kamiyanmustvebeenononehellofan
unstoppablerampage!!

AkikawaMie,whowasstrugglinginaschoolswimsuit,andtheJumpyBunnyalsosighed.

Anyway,nowIcanleave

Youdidagoodjobthroughallofthis,Miechan!

Yeah,right.Imleavingthisimportantpositiontoyou,Oneechan.Imgettinghomeandgoingtosleep.

Whenthepeopleinthestudentcouncilroomlefttheschool,therestofthestudentsinthesheltersawitastheircue.Theyhesitantlystartedwalkingoutpastthe
fence.

Theyranintostudentsfromanotherschoolonthewayhome.

ItwasthehighclassgirlsofTokiwadaiMiddleSchoolwhohadapparentlyjustleftthefrogfaceddoctorshospital.

Whenhespottedafamiliarface,Kamijouraisedahandingreetingwithapairofjawsstillfirmlylatchedontohishead.

Hi

Nn.

ItwasMisakaMikoto.

Shegaveapuzzledlooktothegirlclingingtothespikyhairedboysbackandtothefairy(?)onhisshoulder,butthenshecaughtuptohim.

Areyouheadedbacktoyourdormtoo?

Imreallyworriedaboutthecontentsofthefridgeandthericecooker.AlthoughIguessanythingsbetterthanopeningthedoortofindastrayElementsayinghi
Kamijouslowlysighed.Moreimportantly,areyouokay?Idontknowwhatthatcursebusinesswasabout,butyourestillrecovering,right?Ifitslikeacold,you
shouldprobablygetsomewherewarmandgetsomerest.
Eh?Wait,notsoclose!

Hmm,youdontseemtohaveafeverButtouchingyouwithmyrighthandisntreallydoinganything.Maybeallyoucandoatthisstageisresttorecoveryour
strength.

IIIsaidnotsoclose!!!!!!

Squeezinghereyesshutandshovinghimawaywithbothhandswasallwellandgood,buttheelectricitysurgingformherpalmswasmoreofanissue.Kamijouwas
nottheonlyoneblownaway.Incaseyouhadforgotten,hehadafairyonhisshoulderandanunclingingtohisback.

Andwhenshesawthethreeofthemlyinginpile,thelookinMikotoseyescooled.

Nomatterwhathappens,everythingcontinueslikenormalforyou,doesntit?

Ugh,cough.Impreparedtochalkyouremotionalinstabilityuptoateenagerebelliousphase,buthowaboutyoutellmewhattherootcauseofitis?

Kamijousvoicewasquietandunstableashelayontheroad,butMikotodidnotseemtoobotheredasshestruckadauntingposenexttohim.

Idonthavetoworryaboutitpersonallysincemydormisoutside,butthegirlsinthedorminsidetheSchoolGardenarentgoingtohaveiteasy.Andwithwhat
happenedtotheschoolbuilding,therecoveryworkisgoingtotakealotofmanuallabor.

KamijourecalledthetragicstateofTokiwadaiMiddleSchoolandthatbroughtsomethingelsetomind.

TheA.A.A.

Andthemysteriousnosebleedsthatwerelikelyrelatedtothatsomehow.

Hey,Misaka

IthinkIllhavetousethatthingawhilelonger.Andinsteadofmilitaryweapons,Icanputtogethersomeconstructionattachments

KamisatoKakeruheardthevoiceamplifiedbyaloudspeaker.

Aslightsstartedcomingonintheearlymorningcity,agreatcheershooktheairlikeduringaninternationalsportscompetition.Hecouldfeelthevibrationinhis
skinandinthegroundandnotjusthisears,andheletoutadeepbreath.

Hesensedsomeotherbreathsaswell.
Thatistheendofthat,saidEllen.Ihadnoideawhatwasgoingtohappenwhenyouvanishedbeforeoureyes.

IfeellikeIunderstandyoualittlebitbetternow,Kamisatosan,saidClaire.MaybeweshouldgiveyouacollarorgiveyouaGPSanklebracelet.

Stopit,Claire,saidElza.Itsbecausewedontgivehimenoughspacethatthebosswandersofflikethat.

Thegirlswerespeakingcheerfullytohimnow,butthingshadbeenmuchworsewhenhehadfirstreturned.Inallseriousness,theyhadnearlykilledhim.Hecould
acceptMachina,theyoungwifeandkitchendrunkinaswimsuitandapron,whohadbeensooverwhelmedwithemotionshehadsmackedhimwithafryingpan.It
wastobeexpectedthatElza,thegirlwithroughlycutfoxearhair,hadhithimwithherbottleof10yencoins.ButhehadbeentrulypreparedtodiewhenPlantGirl
Clairehadwrappedhisentirebodyinvines,MassMurdererSalomehadwordlesslychewedthroughautilityknifebladetogatherpower,andTruckerDeborahhad
turnedthecorneroftheintersectioninagiganticsemitrailertruckpullinga20toncontainer.Foraninstant,hehadsuspectedthatthecruelMagicGodshadcreated
ahappylookinghellthatonlyappearedtobeasafereturn.

Inhisusualhabit,Kamisatotriedtocrackhisneckwithhishand,butthenherecalledhehadnohand.

WhatdoIdoaboutthis?MaybeIshouldgetaprosthetic.

Wait,boss!IwontletyoutakeastepintoSalomesworld!

Thatsright.Ifyouregonnadoit,atleastmakeitsomethingcooler.

Likeadrill!!

Orapilebunker!!

Thegirlsallcheerfullygavetheiropinions,buthiscyborgsisterdidnotactuallystepforward.Sheworetheincrediblyaggressiveoutfitofanakedraincoat,butshe
nowhadacoolerhangingfromhershoulderbyastrap.

Itcouldonlycontainonething.

Whatdowedoaboutthis?

SewitontomenowandIllprobablybeblownawayagain.ButIcantexactlyletsomeoneelsehaveiteither.Iguesswelljustpreserveitwhilesearchingfora
waytoeraseitspower.

HewasimplicitlysayinghehadgrownbeyondhisundividedfocusontakingrevengeagainsttheMagicGods.

Bytheway

Whatisit,goddamnstupidOniichan?
No,itsnothing.

Kamisatolookedtothecooleroncemore.

TakingitbackwasfineandheshouldcelebratethefactthattheyhadsettledthisbeforesomeonelikeKiharaYuiitsucoulduseitmaliciously.

Buthowhadtheytakenitback?

Whathadhappenedtothatusurper?

Thegirlssmilesdidnotgivehimananswer.

ImsurprisedMayacouldrecoverfromthatmuddymessshedturnedinto.

Ifanything,sheslookingbetterthaneverafterremakingherCensersfromAcademyCityparts.TherealsurprisewasgettingMaryback.

Yeah,shecanbestubborn,socatchingherwasnteasy.ShessupposedlyinheritedthenoblespiritoftheJapanesewolf,butwereallyneedtoputacollaronheror
something.WeneverwouldvefoundherifshehadntreactedtothoseUsefulSpiderpeoplessirenbyhowlingontherooftop.

HasanyoneseenFran?

No,butIveheardthecosplaygirlhurthershoulderinaminorcollision.

ShesaidshewasaboutreadytomoveonfromKanamin,soshemightactuallybehappyaboutthat.Imean,arentsicklygirlsthebigthingrightnow?Shesso
dedicatedtorealismthatifthecharactersarmisinasling,shedprobablysmashherownboneswithahammer.

AndEllen,youreprettysturdyyourself.

KiharaYuiitsuhadoncesaidthefollowing:

ImustbecomeauniqueKiharathatsurpassesmyteacher.ButwhatkindofaccomplishmentwouldproveIhaddonethat?Igaveitalotofthought.

Shehadneverbeenfocusedonthe100girls.
Shehadbeenfightingagainstsomethingelse.

AndIthinkthemostobviousansweristomonopolizethroughnumbers.Kiharaslikeuswillnolongerbespecial.Everylastoneofthe6or7billionwillbe
Kiharas.IfIaccomplishthat,evenAleisterwillbeatalossashetriestomanageuswithhisArchetypeController.Afterall,hemanagesusbytwistingthe
definitionstocrushtheminority,butthatwontworkonceallofmankindisaKihara.AndtheKiharagrowingineveryonesheartswillnotbeunique,sonosingle
methodwillbeabletodefeatthemall.

Inthatcase,thiswasnotavictoryoradefeat.

OrperhapsthefearthathadboundthosegirlsviathatspecialrighthandhadreleasedintotheworldatypeofKiharathatnotevenYuiitsuhadseenbefore.

Orperhapsshehaddrawnoutthecrueltythathadalreadyexistedwithinthemthroughsomeothermethod.

Nowforoneotherstory.

ThisoccurredbeforeKamijouToumaandKamisatoKakerupartedways.

Thepeoplefollowingmewerentbeingmanipulatedbymyrighthandspower.Imembarrassedtoadmitit,buttheyrewithmeforsomeotherreason.Imnot
abouttodenythatanymore.

Kamisatohadgivenapalesmile,butthathadnotbeenallhehadtosay.

Hehadcontinued.

ButitstillseemsweirdtomethatClaireisalotlikeaplant,thatLucacanusethemagicofLegbaAtibonwhoisconnectedtoVoodooandpirates,andsoon.
Somethinghastwistedthem.AndIthinkmyrighthandwasapartofthat.

Soasimilardistortionmightexistaroundyou,Kamisatohadstated.Butatthesametime,thethingsaroundyoushouldstillbeexplainablewithwhatyou
considernormal.Sounlikewithme,itisntadistortionthatinfectsthepeoplearoundyou.

Adistortion.

TherootofthepowerthathadcreatedtheKamisatoFaction.

Inthatcase,whereisthatdistortion?
Therewassomethingthatrivalledthestrangepowersandabilitiesofthosegirls.

Thatdistortionexistsyoujustcantseeit.Itmightbehooveyoutogivethatsomeseriousthought.

KamijouToumaandKamisatoKakeruspathsparted.

Thenwhataboutthegirlwhodidnotfolloweitherofthem?Whatpathdidshewanderonto?

KarasumaFranwalkedallalonethroughthecitythatwasregainingsignsoflife.

ShehadfoughtwithallhermighttobringbackKamisatoKakeru.

Butasaresult,shecouldneverwalkwithhimagain.

Shehadchosenthispath.

ShehaddeceivedeveryonebyclaimingtobeasciencebasedUFOfreakwhoseGemstonepowerswereamplifiedbythechipshehadimplantedinherneck.Butshe
wasactuallyamagicianfromtheAnglicanChurch.Nomatterwhatherfeelings,shecouldnotescapethesinshehadcommitted.Shehadalsosaidshewouldtake
responsibilityforwhathadhappenedtoAcademyCityoncetherecoverywascomplete.

Happinesswasnowheretobefound.

Butshewasnotseekingit.

So

Yes,thisshouldmakeagoodlocationforaconclusion.

Someonestoodbeforethegirlwhohadnowheretogo.

Thathumanlookedlikebothamanandawoman,likebothanadultandachild,andlikebothasaintandasinner.Hestaredatthetraitorwithanexpressionthat
couldnotbeexplainedbyanyoftheknownemotions.

Wereyouhopingforthisfromthebeginning?sheasked.

Ifso,Iwouldhavebeenatadclevereraboutit.
AnyonewhohaddoneevensurfacelevelhistoricalresearchwouldknowthatthemannamedAleisterCrowleyhadneversucceededinanything.Fromaveryyoung
age,hehadlivedalifeofonesetbackafteranother.Onceheresignedhimselftothefactthathecouldnotgraspthetruththroughthepropermethods,hehaddabbled
inthehiddenmethodsofmagicandultimatelybecomeoneofthesparksthatsetoffagreatinternalconflictwithintheworldslargestmagiccabal.

Hisinnocentdaughterhadcollapsedandhisbelovedwifehadbroken.

Themonasterythatsupposedlysharedtheirwisdomwithallpeoplehadmadeamistakewhentreatingthesickandithadallfallenapart.

Thankstothis,heknewfromthebeginningthatnothinginhislifewouldworkoutashewanted.Heknewthat,butheputeverythingtogethersothatitwould
ultimatelyconvergeonasinglepathnomatterwhatcrisesbefellhim.Thatwastheseriesofflowchartshereferredtoashisplan.Anyoneunfamiliarwiththefacts
behinditwouldlikelyseeitasanightmarishdestinythatcouldneverbecorrected.

Butthosewhohadbeenblessedfromthebeginningandwerefulfilledenoughtoneverquestionthestatusquowouldneverseekoutmagicinthefirstplace.

TheMagicNamestheycarvedintotheirheartswerelikescabsorscarsthatfilledinwhatthatpersonwasmissing.

KamisatoKakeruorMisakaMikoto.Fromthatdecision,Isawanotherabbreviatedline.WhileIpursuedthosetwoonthesurface,Iusedthatlinetopursueanother
targetthatdidnotshowitselfonthesurface.ThatlineconnecteddirectlybacktoLauraStuart,ithidthepresenceofWorldRejecterwhilesecretlyguidingithere,
anditevencausedgreatdamagetoAcademyCity,includingKiharaYuiitsusrampage.Myintentwastodrawoutyou.

Thereisnoneedtobesoworried.Thiswasanentirelyunplannedprize.IamnotabouttosaythisisallfollowingsomeabsoluteplanIsetup1000yearsago.The
worldofmanhasanastyhabitoftrippingmeupfromboththegoodandevilsideofthings,butaslongasIcanturnallofthatinthecorrectdirection,Ican
accomplishmygreatdesire.JustasboththeSephirothandtheQliphothcanprovidemanwithhiddenknowledgewhenusedcorrectly.

Whatdoyouplantodowithme?

Iwillprovideyouwitharesultworthyofwhatyoupaid.ThemostpainfulpartofthisentireseriesofeventswasnottheElementsfillingthecityorthemicrowave
heatwavedestroyingmostoftheelectronics.ItwasthefactthatIhadtodescendfrommyverticalshipandstepoutintothepubliceye.Thatwasahighprice,but
itmeansalotthatIhaveinturnacquiredaspywithadirectconnectiontotheAnglicanChurchsArchbishop.NomatterhowmuchpressureIputonNecessarius
throughtheofficialchannels,Ineverreceivearesponse,butthingsshouldbedifferentwithyou.

KarasumaFranrecalledthetimethathadpassedandthepeoplethathadbeenthere.

Shewonderedifthequakestartingfromherwouldreachthem.

AndifIrefuse?
Iwasneverexpectingyoutoagree.Evenifyouhavebeensetupwithatrickthatpreventsyoufromdivulgingyoursecrets,thatsecuritysystemwillnolonger
functionifIseparateyourmemoriesfromyourpersonality.Idirtiedmyhandsquiteabitduringtheconflictwithinthatcabal.Afterall,onesstockofknowledge
wasdirectlylinkedtotheirpowerbackthen.

Sowouldhecutopenherskullanddirectlyattachelectrodes?

Orwouldhesliceherbrainitselfintoblocksandthrowouttheportionsrelatedtolifesupportandpersonality?

Heh.

Whatissofunny?

Oh,justthatitsafittingendforaUFOgirltobeabductedandmutilated.

Anycamouflagewouldhaveworkedaslongasitdisguisedthatshewasamagician,sowhyhadshecontinuedtoseekanewfriendinthestarsofthenightsky?

(Yes)

Shehadbeentrappedbetweenscienceandmagic.Shehadbeentiredofturningafalsesmiletowardsomeoneshecaredforandthegirlsaroundhim.Shehadbeen
sickofthissmallplanetwhereshecouldnotescapeitsinfluence.Itmayhavebeenapureformofthejuveniledesiretobetakenawaytosomewherefar,faraway.

ItmayhavebeenthatdesirethatledhertoworkalongsideanotherboyaltogetherwhilestillthinkingaboutKamisatoKakeru.Shemayhavebeenseekingsomeone
whoexistedoutsidetherulesshewasfamiliarwithbutthatstillspokeacommonlanguagewithher.

(Inotherwords,didIjustwantsomeoneIcouldopenupto?)

Someoneshecouldspeaktoabouttheworriesshecouldnottellanyoneelseabout.

Someonewhowouldstillacceptherafterwards.

Someonewhowouldhelpherthinkofawaytomakeupwiththeothersandlethergetintoafightifitdidnotwork.

Buttherewasnoonelikethathere.

Noonecametosaveher.

ThestoryofKarasumaFranhadendedwithsavingKamisatoKakeruandtherestwasunnecessary.Sonoonewouldhearthescreamsofsomeonewhosestorywas
alreadyover.

Sheresignedherselftothatfact.
Orshethoughtshedid.

However

Thesituationentirelyignoredherintentionsandunderwentagreatchange.Thatchangewasbroughtaboutbydrygunshots.

Thehoodiebikinigirlwasnottheonlyonetowidentheireyeswithsurprise.

Thehumanhadseemedlikeanintangibleshimmeringoftheheat,buthedoubledoverlikenormalwhenthebulletsflewinfromtheside.Therewereholesinhis
greensurgicalgownandagreatquantityoffreshbloodflowedoutamomentlater.Thiswasaperfectlynaturalresult,butFrancouldnotbelieveit.Shemighthave
accepteditmorereadilyifthebloodhadbeengreen.

Oh.

Thehumantriedtocallforsomething,butdarkredbloodspilledfromhismouth.

Frantooturnedtowardthesourceofthenoise.

Thereshesawaboyofhighschoolagewithshortblondhairwhoworeaschooluniformandthinbluesunglasses.Hereadilywieldedahandgun,buthiswordswere
farfromlogicalorefficient.

Didyouexpectthistoo?Orisitpartofwhatyourplancancorrectforevenifyoudidntexpectit?Answerme,Aleister!Inyourownwords!!

Isee.

ThosetwohadbeenconnectedinapositionunseentoFran.

Thatvirtualrealitytheory

ImanipulatedthecrowdsusingtheSpheresanditwasalltoorchestratethismoment.ItwasallsoIcouldmakeprogressfromtheshadows.Tsuchimikadosvoice
washorrifyinglycold.WehadanagreementthatyouwouldsavemylittlesisterMaika.ButyoudidntdoadamnthingwhentheElementsattackedortheheat
wavestruck.Itstimetoendthis,Aleister.Yourtimeisover.Beswallowedupbyordinaryfamilialloveanddie.

Thehumanheldhismouthasfreshbloodspilledoutandheheldhisemptypalmouttowardthesunglassesboy.

Butthenthehumanstoppedmoving.

TheArchetypeController.Thenightmarishculminationofyourworkthatallowsyoutodividepeoplebetweengoodandevil,likeanddislike.Butitstoobad.I
wasalwaysadoublespythatbelongstoboththemagicsideandthescienceside.Youcanturnmetowardsonesidetorobmeoftheother,butthatfirstsidewillkill
you.Sowhichidentitydoyouwanttobekilledby,themagicianortheesper?
Moregunshotsrangout.

Thehumaninasurgicalgowncollapsedonthespot,butitwastheblondsunglassesboywhoclickedhistongue.

KarasumaFran.YouareKamisatoKakeruscontroller.Idontknowifyourestillconnected,though.

Whoareyou?

TsuchimikadoMotoharu.Heansweredquicklyasifhewereinarush.IwasanAnglicanspysenttoAcademyCity,butIsoldAnglicaninformationtoAcademy
City.YoucouldsayImtheKamijouToumaversionofKarasumaFran.

Justlikeyoufailed,Ifailedtoo.Aleisterpromisedtokeepmystepsistersafe,buthedidntactuallydoanything.AsIsaid,itstimetoendthisandretreat.But
Maikaknowsnothingoftheworldstruth.IfIhavethatnormallittlesisterrunthroughthebackalleyswithme,shellcollapse.AndifImafterthesupportofan
organization,whichorganizationshouldthatbe?Butthenyoushowedup.

AreyougoingtogettheAnglicanChurchshelp?

Theyrenotexactlygreateither,butitsbetterthanstayinginAcademyCity.Eitherway,IwasfortunatetocontactsomeonewithadirectlinktoLaura.Yourethe
lifelineformysisterandme,soIlldealwiththeproblemssurroundingyou.Itdoesntsoundverypretty,butitssomethinglikeamurderexchange.Illsaveyou,so
yousaveme.Wecanbothplaytoourstrengths,soIlookforwardtoworkingwithyou.

Franwasunsurewhetherornotsheshouldtakehisprofferedhand.

Andhedidnotwaitforhertodecide.

Anyway,weneedtogetawayfromhere.Stayingherewouldbeabadidea.

BbecauseAntiSkillhasrecoveredenoughtoshowupafterthosegunshots?

Dontbesilly.

Moregunshotsfollowed.

Heclearlyaimedfortheheadofthecollapsedhumanandseveraldarkredholesreallydidappearinit.

Nevertheless

Thismonsterwontdiesoeasily.Wellbetheonesintrouble.
Therabbitearantennaegirlfeltadefinitechillinherspine.

ShedidnotknowwhatTsuchimikadowastalkingabout,butherfearandconfusionwasnotdirectedathim.

Itwasatthesupposedlylifelessandunmovingcorpse.

However,shesensedsomekindofinvisiblemiasmaescapingtheentirebody.

Itwasmurderousintent.

Itdidnotmatterwherethebulletholeswerelocated.Hecouldreboothimselfatanytimeandspreadmuchmoreobviousdisaster.Francouldtellwithsuchcertainty
thatitfeltdownrightprophetic.

Thediehadbeencast.

Theworldwasfilledwithincomprehensiblelogic.Itwaslikespeakingwithanalien.Butwhenshewasfacedwithsomethingshecouldnotexplainwithherown
rules,itwashopethatgrewinFransheart.Thiswasnotasituationshecouldovercomewithherowndeckofcards,sothatmeanttheonlyescaperouterequired
usingtheworldsblackbox.

Shehadtograbatthealienshand.

Shehadtoboardtheirship.

MynameisKarasumaFran.

AndmineisTsuchimikadoMotoharu.

Sheleftthescenewiththeboywhostuckthehandguninhisbelt.

Butwhatexactlydowedo?IcanusemycommunicationequipmenttocontacttheAnglicanChurchwaitinginthebackground,buttheyarentenoughtosend
reinforcementsintoAcademyCityrightaway.Wecantrelyonthestrengthofanorganization.

Hesgatheredabunchofadolescentboysandgirlsinoneplace,hesspreadinguniqueteachings,andheseveninjectingthemwithdrugstoachievefurther
knowledge.ToAleister,AcademyCityisthereturnofThelema.Anindividualcantovercomethatkingdomwithadirectattack.

Thenwhatdowedo?

Ifyouchallengethepolicetoacarchase,younormallycantshakethecopcarsandchoppers.Butthingschangeifyoudriverightintoanartmuseum.Theyllbe
tooafraidofdamagingtheirsurroundingstopursue.ThispersoncallinghimselfTsuchimikadoreadilyanswered.Basically,wegotothelastthingAleisterwants
destroyedanduseitasashield.Itssuchanextremesingularitythathedoesntknowwhenhecouldgethishandsonitagain.Anditsattheveryfoundationof
Aleisterspreciousplan.

Whatisit?

Youvealreadyseenit.

Afterslowlyexhaling,theprofessionalamongprofessionalsanswered.

KamijouTouma.Whenyoureintrouble,itsalwaysagoodideatoaskaclassmateforhelp,nyah

Hewasclueless.

Hethoughtitwasallover.

Thespikyhairedboyhonestlybelievedhecouldsleeplikealogalldaylongsinceschoolwouldcertainlybe
calledofffortheday.

Buthehadforgottensomethingimportant.

KamijouToumawasalwayshopelesslyplaguedbymisfortune.

Ahh,werefinallybackhome.

WelcomebackImalreadyexhausted

Therewasabrightsmileonhisface.

Butonlybecausehehadnoideawhatfatehadinstoreforhim5secondslater.

Afterword
Ifyouvebeenbuyingonevolumeatatime,welcomeback.Ifyouboughtthemallatonce,welcome.

ThisisKamachiKazuma.
Withthis,NewTestamenthasreached17volumestoo.AndthismarkstheendofthestoryrevolvingaroundKamisatoKakeru.Theowneroftherighthandbecomes
therulerofthegirls.ThethemeherewasKamijouandFransescapethroughchaoticAcademyCityinordertobreakthatcurse.

UnlikeVolume16,Ichangedmyfocuswhenputtingtogetherthebattles.Insteadoflettingthesituationcarryhimalong,IputinalotmorescenesofKamijou
clenchinghisfistandchargingrightin.Itaskedmyselfwithseeinghowmanypeoplehecouldsavethathedidnotreallyneedtosave.Andyoucouldevensaythat
KamisatoKakeruandthe100girlsfallintothatcategory.Ilikethemboth,butwhichonetuggedatyourheartstrings?

FranwasacharacterthatgrewfrommewonderingwhatwecalledUFOsbeforethatwordexistedandhowwehandledthem.Therabbitearantennaewereanidea
fromHaimurasan,butIthoughtitreallyworkedwithhercoverstoryifherdesignincludedanelementofthemoonrabbit.

Whenpeoplesawastrangelightinthenightsky,theywouldfearsomeimportanteventwasoccurring,ortheywouldtrytouseitbygainingspecialknowledgethat
supposedlypoureddownfromthedistantplanet(orthemoonandthesunaswellwhenusingthemagicsidesterminology).Whenyoulookatallthat,using
horoscoperesultstocreateprotectivecharmsisntallthatdifferentfromcreatingaspecialdevicetocommunicatewithUFOs.

Includingher,afewgirlsintheKamisatoFactionhadtheirfamilynamesrevealedthisvolume.Maybethatwillchangeyourimpressionofthem?

ImbettingsomeofyouthinktherearetoomanygirlsintheKamisatoFactionsoyoucantrememberalltheirnames,butKamijouToumasacquaintanceshave
grownseveraltimesthatsize.Thattoowaspartoftheexperimentthistime.

UsefulSpiderwastheexactoppositeinthattheywereanimportantpartofthestoryandyetalmostnothingwasgivenabouttheirnamesorwhattheylookedlike.
TheyactedasacontrasttotheKamisatoFaction.Ithinkbymakingtheindividualsfadeawayinagroup,theygainadifferentsortofpresence.Theyarethefaceless
peoplewhothinknormalthingslikenormalanddonothesitatetotakeaction.ThatmightbealotlikewhatKamisatoKakeruwouldhavebeenifhehadnever
gainedaspecialpowerinhisrighthand.

Asfortheoccult,IusedthesenseofmysteryfromtheUFOswhilealsogettingbacktothebasicswiththemagic,suchaswithCrowleyshexagram.WithGhostGirl
Maya,ghostsmanifestingthroughincenseisanideaeveryonehasprobablyheardof,butIaddedinthemodernscientific(?)explanationoflowfrequencywavesthat
hasfollowedaftertheplasmaandelectromagneticwavetheories.Ithinkthecharmofthisseriesisinhowthosethingscanmixtogether.

Iwrotethisstoryasonetobreakfreeofalotofthings.Forexample,KamijouspatouteverythingabouthisfrustrationsaboutwhathappenedwiththeHighPriest
andKamisato.InadditiontoKamijou,IalsofollowedthatthemewithFransanswertoKamisato.Ithinkherandhersurroundingsmayhavebrokenthroughsome
thingsconcerningthestrangeandabnormallookingKamisatoFaction,creatingmoreofanaffinitythere.Really,Ijusthopeyoufoundhercute.

Butintheend,theyarestilltheKamisatoFaction.Ididntrevealtheanswerevenattheveryend,butIhopeyouwillalldebatewhethershesurvivedorwaskilled.
IgivemythankstomyillustratorHaimurasanandmyeditorsMikisan,Onoderasan,andAnansan.Therewasahugevariationincharactersthistime!Thishadto
havebeenevenmoreofapainthantheAmakusas.Thankyousomuchforstickingwithmetotheend.

AndIgivemythankstothereaders.Puttinginsomanyheroinesactuallycreatesalargeburden.TheconnectionbetweenKamijouToumaandKamisatoKakeruwas
evenmoreexperimentalthanusual,soitmaynothavegonedownsmoothly.Still,aslongasyouenjoyedseeingasurprisingsideofKamijouToumaandhisfriends,
Icouldntaskforanythingmore.

Itistimetoclosethepagesfornowwhileprayingthatthepagesofthenextbookwillbeopened.

AndIlaymypendownfornow.

Imstilltryingtofigureouthowtodelveintothenewterritoryofabrokenheartedgirl.

KamachiKazuma

1."Baumkuchen"isalayeredcakewhichlooksliketreerings.ThenameisGermanandittranslatesto"treecake".Wikipediaarticle
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baumkuchen).

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