Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei:Volume 1 Chapter 4
 Chapter 4
When compared to traditional auxiliary equipment such as magic staves, tomes, or talismans, CADs possessed superior invocation speed, refinement, complexity, and were capable of executing large scale magics. They were the definitive auxiliary equipment in the modern age.
That being said, they weren't universally superior in all categories when compared to traditional auxiliary equipment.
Due to the precise nature of CADs, when compared to traditional auxiliary equipment, maintenance required additional effort.
This was especially the case when dealing with the compatibility between the user's Psion wave motions and the Receive-Release System.
CAD utilized the Psions released by Magicians as raw materials (it may be more appropriate to describe it as the ink for paintings), directed towards the Activation Sequence in the Psion Information Aide, where Magicians then use their own physical bodies as a conductor for reading the Activation Sequence before plugging the result into the magic design. Depending on the quality of CAD maintenance, this could influence the speed of magic invocation anywhere between 50-100%.
In other words, Psions are particles of thought or consciousness made concrete. Their manifestation can be extremely diverse. For every hundred people there would be a hundred different types, and a thousand users would create a thousand types. Every individual has a unique Psion wave motion, so if the CAD wasn't finely tuned to their specific use, the user would encounter difficulty managing the exchange of Psions.
Besides that, there are many essential points that lead to a custom fit CAD.
These would fall under the purview of the Magic Artificers charged with CAD maintenance, and the reason why exceptionally skilled Magic Artificers were seen as coveted treasures.
In addition, the fluctuations of Psion wave motions reflect the growth of the physical body, such as changes as a result of age, and are subsequently affected. In fact, these fluctuations could change daily.
Thus, the ideal situation would call for daily maintenance based on the user's physical status, but CAD maintenance requires equipment that is extremely expensive.
Generally, only the military, police, central government, first class research institutes, famous schools, and well-financed major corporations possess the power and funding for CAD maintenance equipment and related trained personnel, an impossible scenario for small to mid-sized companies or personal use. Magicians in the latter categories resort to using Magic Machine Customization Stores once a month, or Mechanical Service Stores once or twice for scheduled check-ups.
First High was also considered to be one of the country's premiere schools, and thus naturally possessed special facilities for student use. It was a common sight to see students or faculty undergoing CAD maintenance on campus.
However, due to special circumstances, Tatsuya's house also contained state of the art CAD maintenance equipment.
After dinner, in the basement that had been converted into a CAD maintenance room, Tatsuya turned around upon hearing the only other occupant in the house speak.
"It's OK, go ahead and come in. It's about time I took a break."
That statement wasn't a lie. Probably because Miyuki had waited for a period of time to elapse before attempting to speak with him.
"Excuse me. Onii-sama, I was hoping you could adjust my CAD..."
She was holding a cellphone-shaped CAD.
On her approach, the soft, pleasant smell of soap buffeted the senses.
She was wearing a simple, large velvet robe, something commonly seen during medical examinations.
"Are the settings incompatible?"
That apparel was for someone intent on maintenance.
"That's impossible! Onii-sama's adjustments are always perfect."
Because her response was always superlative accolades, there was little point in telling her to change. From previous experience, Tatsuya knew that trying to do so was pointless.
However, the last time they did a full maintenance was 3 days ago. Usually, they only did a full maintenance once a week unless there was an urgent reason, thought Tatsuya.
"It's just, that..."
"Don't worry about it. Go ahead and say it like you used to."
"Sorry, I actually wanted Onii-sama to help me change a few Activation Sequences..."
"What, just that. It's nothing to worry about. I was getting worried for a bit."
He softly brushed his sister's hair and took the CAD from her hands.
Miyuki dipped her head in embarrassment.
"So, what systems do you want to add?"
General CADs were limited to 99 registered Activation Sequences. Even for Miyuki's highly customized CAD, this was an insurmountable limit.
The variability of Activation Sequences were dependent on where the Activation Sequence combination ended and where the individual's Magic Calculation Area began in terms of execution. In reality, there were unlimited combinations.
Generally speaking, targets, strength, and ending requirements are set as variables to be executed by the Magic Calculation Area; all other essentials would be incorporated into the Activation Sequence. However, it was not rare to see strength as the Activation Sequence quantity to reduce hydrochloric acid execution to increase Invocation Speed. Many Defensive-Type Magics relied on using the self as a physical marker in relation to the target, whereas Contact-Type Magic quantifies all the numbers. All these were introduced in the practical skills class. (!)
Miyuki belonged to the minority who registered a wide variety of low fixed quantity, highly flexible Activation Sequences.
For fifteen year old Miyuki, who could grasp magical skills far beyond what her age could suggest and had an incredibly varied repertoire of magic, 99 types was far below her actual ability.
"Binding-Type Activation Sequence... I want to increase the types of Anti-Personnel Combat Magics."
"Hm? You already have Speed Magics, so do you need to add Binding-Types?"
Of all the different types of magic, Miyuki specialized in Speed-Type Magics. One division of Speed-Type Magic was Freezing Magic, capable of reducing a target's temperature to near absolute zero.
"Onii-sama should know that Speed Magic is rarely directed towards individual use and very difficult to work with. Partial speed reduction or partial freezing are practically impossible, and the Invocation time is very long. I thought of this after watching today's match. I'm lacking in magics that use speed as the primary focus, with the intent on using the minimal force to subdue the opponent." (!)
"Hm... But I don't think Miyuki fits that type. Attacking before the opponent is ready and using speed to disrupt the opponent is a legitimate strategy. However, striking with force born of absolute superiority, using Zone Interference to nullify the incoming magic, then using magic that is both stronger and greater in scale than the opponent's defensive capability, don't you think that orthodox style fits you better?"
Zone Interference involved using the user's own Magic Power to nullify opposing magics within the user's immediate surroundings. This occurs when a zone has been saturated with a user's magic, rendering the zone "Unable to be Changed", thus overriding the opponent's magic attempt to rewrite the surroundings.
Just as Tatsuya said, Miyuki's Zone Interference was incredibly powerful. Even in magical combat, it was unlikely she would be harmed in any way. Usually, whoever seizes the initiative has the advantage; this is a fundamental strategy in magical combat, but when up against an opponent like Miyuki, the advantage of seizing the initiative would be greatly decreased.
"...I can't do it?"
Then again, in the face of his sister's submissive question, Tatsuya didn't say "no".
"No, that's not the case. That's true... In the Student Council, if it's up against a fellow student, then this strategy would be necessary. I understand. Under the premise of not reducing the current magic, I'll readjust the systems of the Activation Sequence."
Now that his sister expressed her request, Tatsuya did not refuse. However, he did not forget his earlier suggestion.
"You're not going to consider getting another CAD?"
"Only Onii-sama can dual wield two CADs."
"If you put your mind to it, you can do it too."
Tatsuya forced a smile as he ran his hand over Miyuki's head as she stared at him. Gently rubbing her hair or head was one of Tatsuya's basic methods for improving his sister's mood.
The effect was immediate.
Miyuki closed her eyes in pleasure as her small head was completely immersed in her brother's tender care.
"Let's start with a quick examination."
Seeing that Miyuki's pleasant mood had returned, Tatsuya adopted a specialist's expression.
Reluctantly leaving her brother's touch, Miyuki stepped back and removed her robe.
What was revealed before Tatsuya's eyes was an indecently dressed body.
As she lay on the examination bed, Miyuki was only covered by her white underclothes.
Tidy and pure white, it seemed to turn the situation even more sensual.
Even though they are kin — no, against Miyuki's breathtaking beauty, no one should've been able to keep their composure. Miyuki's stance exuded enough charm to drive men mad.
His sister's eyes could not hide her sense of shame, but even under such a gaze Tatsuya remained stolid, not revealing a single emotional expression.
Right now, he was a machine. An observing, analyzing, recording machine wrapped in flesh.
Completely unaffected by emotion, objectively analyzing the situation; an ideal state Magicians strive to reach was thus manifested upon Tatsuya's body.
"Good work, it's done."
Hearing Tatsuya's words, Miyuki left the bed and stood up.
This type of examination could not be obtained anywhere.
In fact, it is extremely rare to see this sort of intensely detailed maintenance.
The maintenance facilities on campus simply involved putting on a pair of headphones and placing your hands on the touch pad for examination.
Tatsuya kept his eyes averted to the side while handing the velvet robe back to Miyuki, who wore a glum expression while gazing at Tatsuya's back.
Her elder brother sat in a chair with a backrest that only reached the upper waist and, as if nothing had happened, gazed at the terminal.
No, it was not "as if".
Actually, it was expected that nothing would happen, since this was a weekly occurring process.
This would go on without end if they were consciously aware of each individual occurrence.
Even though her embarrassment had not disappeared, and acutely aware that this sense of shame was something that shouldn't be lost, she didn't have any thoughts towards taking the next step.
She forced herself not to think of the next step.
If her elder brother could keep his composure, this was also something that Miyuki could be happy about.
—If only it was as usual.
"Onii-sama is quite crafty..."
Hearing Miyuki's tender and beautiful voice, Tatsuya quickly responded.
—It was very rare to hear Onii-sama use that kind of wavering, harried voice.
—Upon hearing that, the one whose heartbeat became erratic, whose temperature rose, and whose heart fairly sang in pleasure was none other than herself.
With the velvet robe draped over her shoulders and not closed in the front, Miyuki pressed her soft chest onto Tatsuya's back, gently rubbing her face against Tatsuya's cheek, and continued to whisper softly into her elder brother's ear.
"Miyuki was so embarrassed, but Onii-sama was just like always, completely expressionless..."
"Uh, Miyuki, I say?"
"Or, do you not see me as someone of the opposite sex?"
"If I did see you that way, then we'd be in serious trouble!"
That's true. At that moment, just as these words were about to become the topic of conversation, her subconscious formed a chain that forcibly dragged back this line of thought. (!)
"Is Onii-sama not interested in Miyuki? Is Onii-sama more interested in Saegusa-senpai's type? Or, maybe someone like Watanabe-senpai? Earlier today, your conversation seemed very affectionate..."
"You heard that?"
Seemed extremely unlikely.
Miyuki should've been in the Student Council Room being tutored by Azusa in regards to using the computer system.
On top of that, even if someone was eavesdropping, there was no way Tatsuya could not have detected them.
However, Tatsuya did not have the time right now to marshal these thoughts into arguments.
"Aha, just as expected! Both of them are beauties!"
"I say, Miyuki? Aren't you misunderstanding something?"
"Onii-sama is being pulled between two beautiful senpais on either side." (!)
All of a sudden, Miyuki's CAD was held in her left hand.
"This is your punishment!"
Unexpectedly, it was not magic, but a Psion Surge released by Miyuki that caused Tatsuya's body to spasm and fall out of the chair.
[Self Restoration, Auto Start.]
[Core Eidos Data, Read from Backup.]
[Load Magic Sequence — Complete. Self Restoration — Complete.]
The instance of losing consciousness did not last a single second.
He had never lost consciousness longer than that instance.
His physical body did not allow him to collapse for any duration longer than that time.
This was his personal magic, his curse.
As he opened his eyes naturally, what he saw was a beautiful visage staring down at him.
"Onii-sama, good morning."
"...Did I, do something to incur your displeasure?"
"My apologies, I went overboard with my joke."
Though her voice was apologetic, Miyuki's face was smiling once more.
That smile was capable of disarming even the sternest adult's attitude, a cute smile matching her age that Miyuki rarely wore.
Watching that smiling face, even he could do nothing, Tatsuya thought.
In reality, wasn't this exactly like a pair of innocent siblings playing around.
At the end of the day, his sister was incapable of actually doing something that could cause him harm.
"Please, take it easy on me..."
Grasping his sister's hand, Tatsuya mumbled this as he too smiled.
She awoke at the normal time.
But in comparison to usually getting out of bed, her mood was worse.
Maybe her brain was still muddled by sleep.
The house didn't have her elder brother's presence.
He had probably left for morning training.
This happened every day.
Her elder brother, who always went to sleep later than she did, but always woke before she did.
Like yesterday, it was very rare for her to get up first.
Before, she was worried that her elder brother was going to ruin his body.
Now she understood that such worries were meaningless.
Her elder brother, that person was special.
The people of the world call her a genius.
That was the praise that they gave to special individuals, people that were different from themselves.
—In fact, they understood nothing at all.
The truly impressive, special, bona fide genius, should be her elder brother.
That person existed in a different dimension.
They could not even comprehend that.
For those that hide their personal jealousy to flatter others, they probably couldn't understand.
True talent that towers over lesser mortals, that draws a terror that transcends jealousy.
Not awe, but terror.
The man who by all rights would be the father of these two siblings crumpled before that terror. And in the face of that terror, he belittled and abused his own son. All this she was aware of.
Her elder brother believed that she remained ignorant.
Thus, she pretended not to know.
Father — that man to this day still sought to belittle her elder brother's talent, to give him a false sense of defeatism, seeking to pinion the wings of his spirit and ambition. All this she knows.
He originally sought to imprison her elder brother, only to find himself crushed by the fact that his son's talent far exceeded his own.
That son obtained the "resources" he needed to barter for his freedom.
Their father could only watch that one last binding, and was forced to let go.
The only thing that man could do was adopt that phony title, and collect the hollow praises of the masses.
That person was not interested in this, she probably knew this as well.
...She was unable to control her own thoughts.
It's as if she wasn't herself and was someone else instead while thinking this.
Probably not fully conscious, Miyuki thought.
Must be a lack of sleep.
The cause was extremely obvious.
It was the reason behind why she acted the way she did yesterday.
That moment was perfectly peaceful.
It was rare to see her elder brother so harried; the sight was both comical and cute.
Her mood was very pleasant.
However, once separated from her elder brother and lying alone in bed, that sense of peace disappeared.
Her chest throbbed and she couldn't sleep.
Uneasiness pervaded; sleep remained elusive.
This must be love.
That can't be the passion of romantic love.
And it couldn't be the affection of romantic love.
Because that person was her elder brother. Her elder brother by blood. From that moment 3 years ago, when she first heard of their relation. (!)
That day 3 years ago, since being saved by that person and knowing the truth, I have worked hard towards being a worthy little sister to that person.
I've always had this dream, that one day I would be able to help that person, just as he helped me. I want to become the one that that person can depend upon; this was how I rationalized it.
From that person, I demand nothing.
Because this life that should have faded away into oblivion, was saved by that person.
Even though right now I am only the shackles that bind that person in place.
But one day, I want to be the key that liberates him.
I want to be the person who can be of help to him.
—The first thing is to prepare breakfast.
While he could probably eat over there,
Onii-sama would probably obediently return home on an empty stomach.
To let Onii-sama eat a delicious breakfast.
That is what I can do right now.
Miyuki smoothly rose, and stretched herself out.
 Translator's Notes and References
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