Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume4 Sub.17
Kumokawa Maria and Oumi Shuri walked down an untouched underground passageway while not knowing where it led. A large scale battle must have been occurring above ground because irregular tremors shook the small passageway.
“May I ask a question?” asked Oumi Shuri in a low voice.
“What is it?”
“Do you know of an individual named Kamijou Touma?” she continued with no real change of expression. “He was mentioned by that helmeted man in the coat who seems to be the person you are pursuing. Apparently, if we do not find this individual, we have very low odds of survival now that we have become this deeply involved.”
“I only know the name. I think my older sister would know more.”
“I take it he is from Academy City then. If he is able to deal with a situation like this, he must be involved at a very deep level.”
“From what I’ve heard, he is cute because of how he has no connections to that kind of thing.”
Oumi Shuri frowned, but she did not receive a proper response from Kumokawa Maria.
However, this was not because Kumokawa refused to tell her.
Instead, the situation quickly changed.
With a loud crash, the passageway in front of them collapsed from above and a heavy tank fell down with a rain of debris.
“Cough! Cough cough!! What the hell!?”
As Kumokawa Maria coughed amid all the dust, Oumi Shuri remained calm as she was used to chemicals and smokescreens.
“It is a 50 ton Russian bento box. It must have fallen through the ground. Something like that was not meant to be running through the city area!”
“Russian? …So it’s part of the Baggage City forces?”
The hatch on the machinegun emplacement on top of the turret was open. Kumokawa Maria started to approach the tank in order to drag out any injured soldiers, but…
“You idiot! Do you want to die!?”
Oumi Shuri tackled her to the ground.
Immediately afterwards, the outer surface of the tank exploded. It did not seem like the fuel or shells had ignited. It was more like a large scale shotgun blast.
“It’s completely covered in explosive reactive armor. Basically, it’s a giant piece of unexploded ordnance. Getting close will only get you caught in the blast.”
“I see. Then it’s time for static electricity.”
“We’ll cause a reaction in the fuses to safely detonate it all. With all this dust floating around, a little science experiment should cause a simple discharge.”
“The lightning phenomenon that uses volcanic ash?”
“Oh, do they talk about it in your ninja scroll of secrets?”
They were going to artificially cause static electricity, but Kumokawa Maria and Oumi Shuri did not search for anything to create the electricity. It was going to come from the friction caused by the dust floating in the air.
What they needed was a tool to move that dust in a set direction with a set strength.
In other words, they needed something like a fan.
“So I took off my maid uniform.”
“…Couldn’t you have just taken off the apron?”
“Why didn’t you say something before I had taken the whole thing off?”
Wearing only her underwear, Kumokawa Maria waved her maid uniform up and down in both hands like she was trying to beat the air with a washed sheet.
With a great flapping noise, the light gray dust started to move.
Immediately after a bluish-white flash, small sounds of explosions came from various places across the tank blocking the passageway. It sounded like a firecracker only louder.
“Has all the popcorn been popped? Then it’s time for the rescue,” said Kumokawa Maria as she cheerfully put back on her maid uniform.
However, Oumi Shuri frowned before peering into the open hatch below the machinegun emplacement.
“…It may be unmanned.”
“The machinegun has a motor attached and the cable leads inside. It also has an added antenna that would not be needed for searching for the enemy.”
“So there’s no one even worth saving?”
Kumokawa Maria peered inside the hatch along with Oumi Shuri, but the kunoichi was right and no one was inside. The cover of the control console had been removed and a tablet device had been attached to the motherboard within using a cable.
The screen displayed S. Berylan which was likely the name of whoever was controlling it.
“It’s mostly electronic, so they can control it remotely. The outer machine gun alone could not be controlled by a program, so they had to attach that motor to it.”
“I don’t know about Academy City’s technology, but this looks very hurriedly thrown together.”
“Well, yeah. Ways to reuse outdated weapons are ideas produced in thought experiments. Basically, they are nothing more than something like ideas developed from a discussion on an online message board. Academy City would not use a method like this that could probably be easily hijacked by someone else.”
“What do you think about the fact that Baggage City is using something like this?”
“Their actual military might may be less than what they announced.”
At any rate, the underground passageway was blocked by the tank and the debris. To move forward, they had to exit to the surface through the hole the tank had created.
However, they regretted this two seconds after crawling out.
It was a blizzard outside.
It was a hell of -20 degrees.
“It’s cold! This is no place to be wearing a maid uniform!!”
“Is anywhere a good place to be wearing a maid uniform?”
“I don’t want to hear that from a cheerleader kunoichi. Anyway, let’s just get to the nearest building! We can think after that!!”
Unfortunately, the gas station Kumokawa Maria pointed toward was blown to smithereens immediately after she finished speaking. Viscous flames as if from a Molotov cocktail rained down on the buildings near the gas station. Kumokawa Maria was knocked to the ground by the shockwave and she finally noticed the straight line of black smoke passing by over her head. However, she could not see what was causing the smoke.
What she could see was some strange aircraft that looked like an aggregation of wires passing by at tremendous speed and following the smoke.
Kumokawa Maria gave voice to her guess.
“Is that an Academy City supersonic bomber sending out that smoke? How much damage has it taken? Fragments and bombs are being scattered all over the place!”
“Well, at least we won’t be worried for lack of warmth.”
Kumokawa Maria spotted a soldier at a distance toss aside a tablet device and flee from the approaching flames. She did not know which side he was on, but he may have been the one who had been controlling the tank.
“These blasts are hurting my skin but not warming me at all… Oh, crap. That building is falling this way!!”
The two of them got up from the snow and ran the other way.
Unlike with a proper building implosion, the supporting pillars were only partially broken and the building was falling completely to the side. The lower floors had been unable to withstand the weight and had been destroyed, so the building had collapsed down a bit before falling over like a giant collapsing from his knees. Due to this, Kumokawa Maria and Oumi Shuri managed to escape safely even if just barely.
However, they had just been passing through underground passageways directly below that area.
The ground collapsed under the great weight.
Kumokawa Maria and Oumi Shuri were swallowed up by the broken ground.
“Cough cough!! The surface is just as bad!!”
“Well, at least it isn’t a sewer under here.”
They crawled through gaps in the collapsed underground passageway and made it to a safe area. Oumi Shuri sat with her back leaning up against the passageway wall and suddenly asked a question.
“What is this Kamijou Touma supposed to be able to do in this situation?”
“I-I have no idea. Let’s just pray that we don’t find out he’s already been killed or something. With this city, it wouldn’t surprise me.”
They had no room to count on others.
To survive, they had to walk on their own two feet.