Toaru Majutsu no Index:Volume22 Chapter9
 Chapter 9: The time when a huge distortion has been corrected. Broken_Right_Hand.
 Part 1
The Number Four Level 5.
She was a true monster that could freely use the power known as Meltdowner. And she was also Hamazura’s archenemy who he had twice defeated in the past. As she had appeared before him after he had fled from Japan’s Academy City all the way to Russia, she could be called without exaggeration history’s most fearsome hunting dog.
From what Hamazura knew, she had lost one of her arms.
The sleeve of her yellow coat was oddly baggy. It was possible that only the portion past the wrist was made to look human and there was something like a robot arm within the sleeve.
There were no words.
As Mugino cast her eyes down, her shoulders moved up and down in an ominous almost mechanical way.
“Heh heh heh. Kah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!”
When Mugino lifted her head, her tongue was sticking out.
A small case lay on top of that damp piece of red meat. It was a small rectangular case similar to a box of mechanical pencil lead. A white powder was contained within. Hamazura was quite familiar with the substance.
It was Body Crystal.
It was the substance that had made Takitsubo Rikou suffer. The drug(?) purposefully forced an esper’s power out of control. Hamazura and Takitsubo were even then wandering through Russia in order to battle its side effects and Mugino Shizuri had appeared with the root source of it all.
Hamazura completely forgot about the boundaries of Level 0 and Level 5.
He started to wonder where Takitsubo was. Was she okay? Had someone done something horrible to her?
As Hamazura’s head boiled, he spat out some words.
“Are you still trying to make Takitsubo use that stupid shit!? And for no rational reason!! Just to make us suffer even a little longer!!!!”
Mugino sneered at his outburst.
She moved her mouth.
However, no response came. This was because she had not moved her mouth in order to speak.
Mugino Shizuri broke the Body Crystal case between her teeth.
Hamazura’s eyes trembled as if he were watching something he truly could not believe.
A crunching sound continued. It was coming from Mugino’s mouth. It was the sound of her chewing on the sharp fragments of the case after having shattered it. Of course, the human mouth was not that tough. Mugino’s mouth had to be filled with the taste of blood.
And yet that monster’s face had nothing but a smile stuck to it.
“…Takitsubo? Why do I have to care about someone as insignificant as that?” Mugino muttered as the sound of fibers tearing could be heard from within her mouth.
She was filling up with something.
A strange cycle began within the girl’s body.
“Body Crystal… It purposefully forces an esper’s power out of control. Some researcher from ‘something or other Rescue’ said it was the path to Level 6. Given that she ignored the hopeless response from Tree Diagram and used resonance and Telepaths in a vain struggle to make it work, there must be something more to Body Crystal, but I don’t need to think about it that deeply.”
Hamazura Shiage had been mistaken.
He had been mistaken about how serious the fact that he had twice defeated the Number Four Level 5 was. And he had been mistaken about just how far the strong would go to eliminate a Level 0 once that Level 0 had put himself up on the stage of the strong.
“Hey, Hamazura. If the Number Four Level 5’s power is forced out of control, how far do you think the damage will spread?”
White beams of light that were much too dreadful shot out.
It wasn’t just a few of them.
With the girl named Mugino Shizuri at the center, tens of thousands of beams of light shot out in every direction.
 Part 2
Kamijou Touma and Fiamma of the Right stood atop the Star of Bethlehem.
A burning killer intent was emitted from Fiamma in all directions. A strange power gathered around the Third Arm that was a symbol of that power. It was such an overwhelming power that even Kamijou could sense it despite not knowing the details behind the structure of magic.
Kamijou had no choice but to face that opponent alone. The magician Lessar was not on the Star of Bethlehem and even Sasha Kreutzev who had been with him just moments before had been swallowed up by the cracks in the floor Fiamma had broken causing her to fall to the lower levels of the fortress. There was no one he could rely on.
However, he was not overpowered.
Kamijou tightly clenched his right fist as he faced the enemy before his eyes.
Fiamma rolled a spiritual item in his hand. It was the item controlling Index remotely allowing him to gain the knowledge of the 103,000 grimoires.
It was so close Kamijou felt that he could reach it if he just stretched out his hand.
However, the wall of power known as Fiamma would make that much more difficult in reality. Kamijou knew it was a problem that he could not solve by just charging in randomly.
As Kamijou slowly approached, Fiamma laughed.
It was a cruel laugh.
And yet it was the laugh of one who believed that he held no evil in his own actions.
“The Star of Bethlehem has risen and I have used Gabriel to control the heavenly bodies. The four elements have been returned to their rightful positions.”
The noise of something slicing through the air could be heard.
Fiamma had lightly swung his Third Arm and it glowed palely.
“The preparations are complete. I suppose it’s about time I took that right arm of yours. If I wield the power fixed within me while using your arm as a medium, Project Bethlehem will be complete.”
“…Do you want victory for the Roman Catholic Church that badly?”
Kamijou poured more power into his right fist.
But Fiamma shook his head.
“The Roman Catholic Church does not matter. Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking of Christian society in a broader sense, but at the core, my actions are for myself,” Fiamma responded without a moment of silence. “Also, I am not the cause of this war.”
That was not a speech that had been prepared beforehand. It was not something he was reciting from memory. Those core thoughts completely permeated the man known as Fiamma. That was why there was not the slightest pause as he spoke.
“It may be true that I pulled the trigger, but the spiral of anger, resentment, jealousy, and other negative emotions at the base of this war is nothing more than what had already taken root in people all over the world. If not, the flames of war would not have spread in such a short time no matter how violently I had tried to stir up war.”
Fiamma’s words flowed between them.
“I am an indulgence.”
“As long as they are able to claim they did something because they were ordered to and not because they truly wanted to, people can let out what lies inside them no matter how inhuman it may be. That is just how ugly the creatures known as humans are.”
“Are you trying to say everything you’ve done is justified because of that?”
“I don’t think that’s true, but I don’t have to,” Fiamma said. “I had two purposes in starting World War III. The first was to gather all the materials I needed on the pretext of them being necessary for the war. The second was as a ceremony to draw out the enemy I must defeat.”
A light flickered between weak and strong like the pulse of a living creature. It came from the Third Arm that was the symbol of what made him special.
“Even if you possess a sword with which to slay the lord of the demons, you cannot swing down that sword if the incarnation of evil does not stand before you.”
Immediately afterwards, a slicing attack came.
It was a horizontal strike.
Distance did not matter. It did not even fit within the room in the first place. The giant “something” pierced through the walls as it appeared. The instant it was swung, the entire room was sliced apart and the Star of Bethlehem itself had a large piece cut off.
A loud roar resounded after a short delay.
There was a flicker as if from purple electricity.
Kamijou’s right hand could not fully negate it. If he had attempted to receive the attack, he would have been blown away as if he were being washed away by a great current. He would have flown a few thousand meters and may have even been slammed to the ground.
Kamijou Touma stood within that destroyed room. The boy had realized that he would not be able to negate such a huge attack, so he had used an uppercut-like strike from below the horizontal attack. As a result, the trajectory of Fiamma’s attack had been slightly moved upwards causing it to pass by over Kamijou’s head.
In other words…
“So you’ve learned how to turn aside an attack rather than to simply negate it,” said Fiamma as if he was impressed.
No one there was able to predict the next attack that came.
Kamijou could not and Fiamma could not.
No one else would have been able to either.
Something twinkled in the heavens spread out above the broken ceiling.
It was a white light.
Immediately after Kamijou’s mind interpreted it that way, a giant pure-white pillar of light poured down in a straight line and enveloped Fiamma.
A sound like oil poured on a hot wok reached Kamijou’s ears an instant later.
There was an explosion.
A brilliant light as if from welding made Kamijou cover his eyes with his hands. It was so bright he started to get a headache and then he felt his feet float up off the ground. Immediately afterwards, he was knocked back a few meters.
That was nothing more than an aftereffect.
There was such heat that the air exploded and the shockwave that created was enough to blow away a human body.
“An Academy City optical weapon, hm?”
That refreshingly cool voice came from within the explosive beam of light.
Despite supposedly receiving that mysterious attack, Fiamma’s manner of speech did not change in the slightest.
“If I remember correctly, their officially announced number of satellites is four, but from this, it seems I was right in assuming there was something very off about the distribution map of their space forces. Most likely, smaller satellites and space ships are being deployed from a large central station.”
The pure-white light that had shot down from overhead had looked like it had come straight down on Fiamma’s shoulder.
However, it had not.
In reality, the Third Arm growing from his shoulder was lifted straight up as if it were a giant parasol. It did not allow the falling light to encroach on his position. Fiamma then casually swung his right arm. That was all.
And yet the air shook greatly.
The white light was blown away by his Third Arm like eraser scraps being flicked away with a finger. That was all. With that, that tremendous light that had been wielded with such fury vanished. Kamijou’s vision was average, so he could not see what was occurring outside the atmosphere, but he knew. Fiamma, the man who stood before his eyes, had shot down the satellite with that simple motion.
“It’s nothing to be surprised about.” Fiamma of the Right swayed his Third Arm back and forth. “In fact, I’m rather embarrassed that I had to show off my right arm in such an incomplete state.”
“Did you forget what I announced back in the Elizalina Alliance? My right arm responds to the need, matches to the level of trials and tribulations, and uses the most suitable output. Whether it is an optical weapon or whatever else, nothing can stand up to me.”
(This isn’t normal.)
It was beyond playing rock-paper-scissors against someone who got to choose after you had shown your hand. Simply put, Fiamma was almighty. Whether you used rock, paper, or scissors, Fiamma would just use “win”. It did not matter what shape his fingers made. At the point that he made the challenge, he had already won.
That was why Fiamma did not need the things that were usually necessary.
Space between him and his opponent.
Fiamma could bring an end to the fight by merely holding out his hand, so he did not need any of the usual cards that would lead to a tiny victory when used together. He needed to do only one thing to win. He would swing his right hand and it was all over. That was all there was to it. It seemed he had been limited in the number of times he could use it before, but he had overcome that by compensating with the knowledge he received from Index. Now, Fiamma could win as many times as he wanted.
His victories were only personal victories, so they may have been different from political victories. That was why he had needed the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, but in the current situation, Fiamma simply had too much of an advantage.
How was Kamijou supposed to fight an opponent like that?
Standing on the same stage as someone and having a definite means of defeating them were two different things.
“But you should be proud,” said Fiamma cheerfully with his much too strange-looking right arm.
He was not enjoying fighting Kamijou.
He was merely enjoying obtaining the item he wanted.
“As expected of the right arm I had my eyes on. It seems my right arm cannot decide what level of output to use against that fist.”
A horizontal attack came.
Of course, Kamijou’s right arm could not receive it. Fiamma’s arm was not that simple. Kamijou stuck his right hand forward. At the point where he was on the border of touching Fiamma’s Third Arm, he twisted the trajectory of his hand so that his palm slid along Fiamma’s arm and then forced his own body to skid to the side.
A tremendous tension ate into his entire body and it felt like it was shortening his lifespan.
However, Kamijou’s right hand was clearly not normal either by the mere fact that he was able to challenge Fiamma’s right arm.
Even after doing all that, Kamijou was unable to counterattack Fiamma.
Fiamma’s body had already disappeared.
Fiamma could not move up or down, but he could travel any distance if it was perfectly level. He had fallen back 3000 meters at once and was now standing atop a different building on the Star of Bethlehem.
At the same time, he fired his next attack.
The remote control spiritual item in Fiamma’s hand fired a beam of light.
“Warning: Chapter 22, Verse 1. Seven seconds until the complete activation of the spell named Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani.”
A blood red beam of light surged out.
The pillar of light was fired from the magic circle that had appeared before Fiamma and it headed straight for Kamijou who stood in the distance ahead of him.
An odd feeling ran up Kamijou’s spine.
He had no memory of it, but an intense feeling of rejection came from something like instinct.
He immediately held out his right hand and an intense pressure that felt like it would break his fingers met it.
He could not blow the entire thing away.
Kamijou gritted his teeth.
(He’s not just relying on his right arm!? With all that, does he really not see it as anything more than awkward and incomplete!?)
“As a pure spell, it really does have its disadvantages.”
The voice came from directly behind him, but he did not have the leeway needed to turn around. Fiamma was already there. The Third Arm was holding a giant sword made of light. He swung the sword horizontally aiming for Kamijou’s neck.
Kamijou’s Imagine Breaker could not deal with simultaneous attacks from multiple directions.
It was difficult to negate both at once and those attacks were on a level where even one of them would be enough to crush him.
But Kamijou did not have any leeway in his options.
The blood red beam of light was even then about to crush his body and the sword was accurately closing in to decapitate him from behind.
“Ooooohhhhhhhhh!!” Kamijou yelled and turned his body while keeping his right hand in front of him.
Keeping his right hand in the center, he moved his legs so he was at a 90 degree angle with the Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani beam.
And then he removed his right hand from the beam of light.
He altered the location of his right hand so it was just barely grazing the beam rather than receiving it straight on.
Immediately afterwards, the red beam’s trajectory was forcefully distorted.
It was similar to purposefully missing the center of a bowling pin with the ball in order to knock it to the side. With the beam’s route changed, it flowed diagonally behind Kamijou.
It headed straight for Fiamma who was trying to decapitate him.
Kamijou turned around when he heard the explosive noise, but his eyes opened wide before he could check on the result.
Fiamma of the Right ignored the approaching red beam of light and swung his Third Arm horizontally. The sword of light blew away the red beam in one strike and continued to slice through the air toward Kamijou.
He did not have time to bring up his right hand.
Nor did he have time to use his feet to evade.
As if he were sweeping his own feet out from under him, Kamijou unhesitatingly threw himself to the floor. The large sword passed above him immediately afterwards. He could tell that it sliced straight through the wall of the fortress. An explosive noise struck Kamijou’s body like a shockwave.
Fiamma smiled thinly.
With the sword still held out, he played with the remote control spiritual item in his hand.
“Consecutive long distance attacks lose accuracy. I confirmed that in the Elizalina Alliance.”
An unnatural red light palely glowed from the remote control spiritual item.
“Warning: Chapter 29, Verse 33. Seven seconds until complete activation of the Scarlet Stone of Pexjarva.”
In shock, Kamijou pressed the bottom of his shoes against the ground in order to stand up and move to his next course of action.
Immediately afterwards, an intense pain crawled up from his toes, to his ankle, his shin, and his knee. The pain was similar to that of having the joints forcibly moved. Something invisible seemed to move along the floor and crawl into his body through his leg.
Kamijou struck his clenched fist against his own thigh.
The intense pain being transmitted from his foot suddenly disappeared.
Kamijou was kneeling on one knee, but Fiamma did not stop there.
“Warning: Chapter 35, Verse 18. Five seconds until complete activation of Sulfur Rain will Scorch the Earth.”
Orange arrow-like objects that held a scorching heat rained down.
It was not just a few.
Almost 50 arrows appeared from near the ceiling and fell down toward Kamijou like a hanging ceiling.
(He’s using both his abilities as a member of God’s Right Seat and his knowledge from Index one after another…!?)
Kamijou gritted his teeth and swung his right arm while still collapsed on the ground.
A few of the arrows turned to orange sparks and were blown away into something like spray. The minute particles were struck by the other arrows that were still targeting him which caused meaningless explosions in midair.
Even then, not all of them had been taken out.
Orange arrows pierced into the floor right next to the boy and the stone shattered. The sharp fragments struck Kamijou’s body as he moved backwards and then stood up on his feet.
Kamijou Touma and Fiamma of the Right.
They glared at each other through a white smokescreen.
“Not good. This was no time for a rehearsal, but I need to be aware of the errors between the theory and reality. It would be almost rude if I was in this state when the enemy I must defeat was dragged out.”
The room and the fortress itself had been sliced in two, so there was a cliff into the sky just in front of Kamijou.
On the other side of the rift making up the cliff, he could see white clouds and the great land of Russia.
One wrong step would send him tumbling off to his death at an altitude of 10,000 meters, but neither Kamijou nor Fiamma took their eyes off the other.
The movements of Fiamma’s limbs were not as fast as Kanzaki’s or Acqua’s. They moved at the speed of a normal person like Kamijou and yet he could smash a mountain and split the earth. That sense of unbalance was very strange.
Kamijou Touma was well aware of how fearsome an opponent he was up against, but his lips still moved.
“The enemy you must defeat?”
“Yes. I’m not after anything ridiculous. I don’t want world domination or the extinction of mankind or anything along those lines. In fact, you could say that I am in the position farthest away from that kind of ‘transformation’. After all, my goal is to have what should be flowing as it should be.”
There was a clear disparity between that statement and the things he had said before.
However, what he said next made the danger in what he said quite clear.
“This world is distorted.”
That blunt statement was enough to express the chill within Fiamma.
“With the misalignment of the four great elements and the dripping mass of negativity that is fueling World War III at the base, everything is distorted. There is not just one or two causes. All sorts of problems are spewing forth. It is as if the world itself is deteriorating. God is said to have created a perfect system and to have laid out all the gears to turn in the proper way, so why has everything become distorted so easily? …The answer is simple. A few of the gears have reached their limit.”
So he would return them to normal.
It was a simple goal to put in words.
But when one thought about how many sacrifices Fiamma had forced on other people, it seemed doubtful the process he was using was a good one.
“It is necessary to switch out the gears and in some places, it is necessary to install new mechanisms. I suppose it’s similar to how the internal wiring needs to be worked on a little bit when repairing an old house. And bringing all the ill will to the surface with World War III could be said to be nothing more than removing dust clogging things up.” Fiamma spoke as if what he was saying was not important at all. “After washing away all the dirt on the gears, Christian model lubricant will be reapplied so that they will regain their light movements. I suppose that’s a good enough metaphor for it all. I think my method is fairly discreet when compared to Noah’s ark. …and even after washing the world with a great flood, the ill will stuck there remained in the world afterwards.”
“…Lubricant?” Kamijou muttered as he glared at Fiamma. “Are you saying you’re going to use some kind magic that rearranges people’s hearts to your convenience like the Croce di Pietro during the Daihaseisai?”
“It’s nothing that complex. I’ll show you. That would be the best way to get it across. Oh, if I just swing my perfect arm just once, it will show you more than you ever wanted to know just how much of a gap there is between our abilities. Now then, I wonder how frightened humanity will have to get before they will realize the truth. When will they realize that what I am doing is the same as the legends of divine punishment in which lightning strikes those who break the norm, so they will get to see the moment at which I save everyone in the world as long as they obey. And when will they realize that the moment the Star of Bethlehem shines in the night sky, a new age will have begun.”
In the end, was Fiamma of the Right really a follower of the Christian Church?
Or did he feel that human hands “fixing” the distorted gears that God had created would be the ultimate blasphemy?
But that was not what caught Kamijou’s attention.
“You say you’re going to save everyone in the world?”
Fiamma would cover the entire world in only the blessings that fit into the limits of what he could imagine.
He saw no value in anything else.
In a way, a world like that would be a utopia.
The earth would be a planet where everything but blessings had been annihilated.
“Have you truly looked around at every single part of the world? Have you seen how many people there are smiling?”
“I see. You hold an interesting view.” Fiamma grinned. “But let’s think about that after I’ve saved the world.”
Immediately afterwards, the giant sword soared from directly below to directly above.
It passed up under Kamijou’s right armpit and headed right toward his shoulder.
He had no time to evade or even to turn aside the strike.
With an unbelievably soft noise, Kamijou Touma’s right arm was severed at the shoulder.
 Part 3
Accelerator had succeeded in defeating the water angel.
He was breathing erratically. Despite manipulating the vectors, his legs were trembling from exhaustion as he stood atop the snow.
He had surely had some success.
The water angel’s explosion had been contained to a minimum.
Normally, everything would have been annihilated to the point of not even leaving dust behind for hundreds of kilometers, but he had managed to protect the land of Russia and the people who lived there.
And yet Accelerator thought his heart was going to stop.
A car was stopped in front of him as if it had struck a wall of snow. It was the car Misaka WORST had been driving and that Last Order had been within. It was clearly not in good shape. The front was greatly dented in and the windshield was shattered.
All the trees in the area had been knocked over in the same direction.
It was the aftereffect of Accelerator’s battle.
Last Order and Misaka WORST had been hit full on by that shockwave.
Accelerator bent over and almost sank into the snow.
He no longer knew what he had been fighting for.
Misaka WORST and Last Order were lying limply within the car. They had clearly taken serious damage. Especially Last Order. She had already been pressured from within due to the effect of Aiwass’s appearance and now external damage had been added on top of that. He was afraid to even imagine how dangerous a situation her body was in.
Could he do anything?
He still did not know how to use the parchments. The war had been endlessly harsh. Amid all the fighting, Last Order and Misaka WORST had become quite battered. Would Last Order’s body last until he could find a clue that would lead him to a way to resolve it all?
“…You might be able to do something,” said a voice.
It was a frail female voice.
“You also have someone you want to rescue with your own hands, right? I am technically not human, but I understand how humans think.”
Accelerator felt cornered and so his eyes held more hostility than necessary. When he turned around, he found the scientific angel there. Her body was oddly transparent.
“I may be able to entrust my goal to someone like you. I have expended too much. My existence will not disappear, but it will be difficult for me to appear in the physical world for a while.”
“What are you saying? What do you mean I might be able to do something!?”
Accelerator’s eyes opened wide at that date spoken by the scientific angel.
That was the day Last Order had been abducted by Kihara Amata. To Accelerator, that date held more meaning to his life than any other.
“My friend named Index…removed the virus from that girl’s head by singing her a special song.”
And then she mentioned Index.
That was the keyword that both Aiwass and that Level 0 had mentioned.
He could no longer ignore what she was saying. Accelerator’s focus turned toward the scientific angel as if it were being sucked in toward her.
Yet the scientific angel’s silhouette was losing focus as if she were the flame of a candle that was about to go out.
“…The contents of the song…are within my head…because I was linked…with the virus. The original was…meant to…deal…with me, so…it may not work…for that monster…that is derived from me…but if you…change the…para…meters of…the song…”
(Song? Is it some methodology about stimulating the senses in order to control someone’s mental state? If I directly operate on the brain like when I dealt with Amai’s virus…)
She was disappearing.
It was too late.
There was not time for her to explain about the song in detail.
The scientific angel placed her finger on her temple.
Her fingertip had almost completely disappeared.
“That girl…was the one healed…by the…song…so it has been…recorded within…her head…” Her timid smile blurred. “As for…the parame…ters, you kno-”
She was no longer visible.
He could no longer hear her voice.
Accelerator hit the switch for his electrode and checked on the surrounding vectors. The AIM diffusion fields filling the area similarly to in Academy City were completely gone. That scientific angel had disappeared…or rather had been forcibly returned to Academy City.
He thought for a bit.
He called out toward the driver seat of wrecked car.
He called out toward Misaka WORST.
“…Are you alive?”
“Unfortunately. Misaka thought for a bit about just comfortably pretending to be dead.”
The girl raised her head and then moved out onto the snow with a surprisingly nimble motion. Accelerator showed no real sign that he cared.
“Then you heard all that.”
“The data on the song used to eliminate the virus from Last Order still remains within her memories,” responded Misaka WORST in an offhand kind of way. “It seems that data might be useful in healing her if you could extract it. Wow, so Academy City’s Number One can steal people’s memories by reading the vectors of the electrical signals in their brain. Amazing.”
“…My vector manipulation power can only detect the presence or absence of an electrical signal. In other words, I can only extract a string of zeroes and ones. I have no way of knowing what memory that belongs to, so I can’t replay the memories or anything. Can anyone hear the music on a CD in their head just by looking at the surface of the CD? It’s the same as that.”
“Then what’ll you do?”
“I’ll use your power,” responded Accelerator immediately. “You’re from the Sisters series as well, so you should be able to directly access the huge information source of the Misaka Network.”
“Last Order is the highest unit. A Misaka who has nothing but normal access privileges can’t look into the control tower’s head. If I could do that, I could have manipulated Last Order into attacking you.”
“You don’t need to access this brat here. She has a habit of sharing her memories with the other Sisters to make a backup. In other words, there’s a good chance you can access the data on the song as long as you can access the other Sisters through the network.”
“How careless of her. If you matched the timing with which the control tower made contact with the backup, you would have a chance to embed malicious data within the control tower.”
“Yeah, but it seems that carelessness is normally referred to as trust,” spat out Accelerator. “And thanks to that, we just barely have a means out of this.”
“Keh keh. But even if you get the song, you can’t use it as is. Where are you planning on obtaining the parameters for altering it?”
“I know where.”
Accelerator reached for his pocket.
The parchments were there.
They could not be explained by science.
But couldn’t the same thing be said of that monster in Academy City named Aiwass? Even if the being was based on AIM diffusion fields, could it really be called “scientific”? When he thought of the being as existing outside a certain set of rules, it suddenly made sense how Accelerator was so easily defeated despite supposedly being the Number One.
In that case…
“I may be able to find the parameters by looking in these. If I put together Academy City and the other type of techniques that exists outside of it, it may lead to a way to resolve this.”
 Part 4
Mugino Shizuri “exploded”.
White light shot out in all directions with her at the center.
The overwhelming flood of light wiped away the supernatural phenomena of the eerie night sky that ignored the time of day and the strange points of light glowing in 4 different colors. In the same way the lights of a city made the stars disappear, Mugino Shizuri’s power showed itself in Russia as a symbol of the negative side of science.
The raging beams of light finally focused together into one spot. It was a single arm. It was a construction almost 20 meters long. Hamazura looked up at it and almost felt a sense of majesty from it, but the arm of light then swung down above him like a collapsing building.
He frantically jumped to the side.
The Meltdowner arm did not just melt through the thick snow. It melted the earth below the snow as well.
An explosive noise rang out.
Hamazura’s large body was blown over 10 meters away. He tried to yell out in fear, but his mouth refused to move. He realized he was losing moisture.
As he forced his stuck throat to move and sucked in air, Hamazura thought.
He had not been directly hit.
If he had, he would have been blown to pieces.
(A phreatic explosion…!!)
He felt a stinging pain over his entire upper body and his entire backbone creaked, but he did not have time to complain about the pain.
The next strike was coming.
One small piece of luck amid all the misfortune was that Mugino could not aim carefully after sending herself out of control.
However, the misfortune greatly outweighed the luck.
He could no longer see Mugino Shizuri.
Her beam arm had come undone and she was firing tens of thousands of beams in every direction again. However, it was not just for an instant. Like a saber from a robot anime, she was perpetually firing the beams. The girl’s silhouette was blotted out. The intense dancing light burned afterimages into Hamazura’s vision preventing him from seeing anything else. The swirl of beams of light gave him a sharp headache and he merely lay on the ground. Mugino’s attack could fuse steel instantly, so it was nothing short of a miracle that Hamazura’s body was not sliced in two.
He could not approach her.
Approaching would bring him nothing but death.
In all of their battles up to that point, Mugino’s Meltdowner had been overwhelming. After all, she could freely fire beams that could pierce through any cover and straight through her opponent’s body. Letting her hear the slightest breath would bring death. That was how fearsome an opponent she was.
But this was different.
It was very different.
It was now the same as a blast furnace or the sun. He could no longer hold his breath and approach from a blind spot or use a mental opening to get an attack in. He had no chance left. The light was simply too great. Just by approaching, the human body would suffer a fatal wound. Needless to say, touching her was out of the question.
Amid the explosive din, he could still hear that cracking voice. He could tell the voice was getting closer. Yes, it was getting closer. Even while Mugino Shizuri “exploded” like that, she was slowly approaching. That blasting furnace that could burn away a human body just by approaching was walking toward him like death incarnate.
That was Body Crystal.
That was Meltdowner.
The power had been devilishly powerful to begin with and it had now been given an even more destructive effects with a drug(?). Having become hell on earth, Mugino Shizuri fully represented all that.
“…I have abandoned everything,” said a nightmarish voice.
The tone of voice alone squeezed that tiny boy’s heart.
“I knew what would happen if I used Body Crystal, but I made sure to abandon it all, Hamazura. It cost me everything to be standing here now, so it isn’t right for you to be unscathed, is it? …Don’t tell me you thought you could leave this place without abandoning anything...!”
Was she even human?
That was what Hamazura honestly thought. Not a single fragment remained of the vague idea of opposing powerful espers he had held during his Skill Out days. They were insane. They just lived in too different a world. They were supposed to have been racing toward a cliff in a game of chicken, but Mugino Shizuri had flapped the wings on her back to fly beyond the edge of the cliff. Even using a machine against a monster like that would just lead him straight to the bottom of the cliff.
He couldn’t win.
There was no way.
He was on his hands and knees atop the snow and he could not move.
It would not mean anything to that monster if he pulled the trigger of his assault rifle and shot every bullet he had. There was no opening. There was no blind spot. How was he supposed to hurt a Level 5 who was perpetually firing deadly attacks 360 degrees around her?
Death called his name.
Death approached him.
Turning his back would mean nothing. Any distance he could make on foot through that snow would mean nothing if Mugino just focused on her attack a little. And if he hid behind a tree, she would just blow straight through the trunk.
Even if he ran, he would be killed.
But standing to oppose her would just shorten his life.
In that case…
(What the hell am I supposed to do…!!!???)
The whiteness that had blotted out his vision suddenly disappeared. No. The attack being fired in all directions collected in one place. It collected in one place in order to pierce through Hamazura Shiage. It was solely to open a giant hole in the body of her target.
Trying to run away was useless.
That deadly attack would pierce through any type of cover.
Hamazura’s breathing stopped yet his arms still shot up. Without checking whether the safety was on or not, he aimed the barrel of the assault rifle at Mugino. In the off chance that it would increase Takitsubo Rikou’s odds of survival by 1% or even 0.1%, Hamazura started to pull the trigger.
And then Mugino Shizuri’s yell spread out explosively.
Suddenly, all light disappeared.
Mugino Shizuri’s body fell down into the snow.
Hamazura could not understand the scene before his eyes.
He had not yet pulled the trigger. No third party had suddenly appeared and attacked Mugino. No one had done anything and yet Mugino had lost all power and collapsed like a marionette that’s strings had been cut.
Hamazura was not in a position where he could wonder what had happened.
That was all he could think.
And then he realized something.
Mugino Shizuri’s body was trembling as she sank into the snow. Her face that had been stripped of its special makeup was sweating much more than one would expect in the freezing cold of Russia. Her complexion looked like that of someone with a high fever. Hamazura knew what was happening. He had seen a similar condition on the girl who had been with him the entire time.
It was the Body Crystal.
It had originally been developed to purposefully send an esper’s power out of control. In extremely rare cases that state would strengthen an esper’s power, so it was supplied to espers like Takitsubo, but it was not something an esper with no aptitude for it should take.
Mugino Shizuri did not have the special characteristics needed.
Takitsubo had the disposition for it, but the Body Crystal still gradually ate into her body. It was obvious how much damage would be done to someone who did not have the disposition like Mugino if they used it anyway.
Mugino Shizuri had gone that far.
Her powers as the Number Four were not enough. In order to defeat Hamazura Shiage who had defeated her twice, she did not care what happened to her body. That was what Mugino had been thinking when she used the Body Crystal.
(…So it was all she could do to keep standing.)
It was not something a Level 0 like Hamazura could understand.
If there was something that could strengthen one’s powers so easily and with no risk, no one would be working so hard.
Something squirmed about in the snow.
That was what the once leader of ITEM had been reduced to.
“Why, goddammit!! Goddammit, goddammit, goddammit!!!! The Body Crystal…Where did the Body Crystal go? Just a bit more…just 10 more seconds and it would have all been over!!”
Hamazura knew the situation and his hands trembled. The barrel of his assault rifle shook unreliably. He could feel that Mugino was wide open as she struggled within the snow.
He could kill her.
If he killed her there, Takitsubo and he would no longer be targeted.
His finger on the trigger cramped up.
Was it really okay to kill her?
Who was it who had regretted the fight with Mugino Shizuri just before he came to Russia?
Hamazura looked down at Mugino again.
She had been the most glamorous of the girls that made up ITEM. Her taste in clothing had not been bad. Her limbs were long and slender and all of her movements had held a certain elegance. Hamazura had been nothing but a subordinate, so he had never learned of her personal history, but he guessed that she was some kind of rich girl.
“Hamazuraaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Don’t fucking look down on me! You alone…You alone I will kill with my own hands no matter what!! It all fell apart there. It all fell apart when you shot me in that ethanol plant!! If I don’t crush you, the anger in my head will not go away!!”
Mugino was incredibly battered. She had lost an arm and an eye. She had horrible burns on her face. And that was only on the outside. Hamazura had no way of knowing what was going on inside her. Were her organs really in the correct places? Did she even have all her organs? Did she have anything else stuck in there with her organs? He did not even know the answers to those questions. What had happened to her while he wasn’t looking? It was not normal for her to have gotten back up after those injuries each time. He could not even imagine what kind of grotesque technology had been put inside her to support that abnormality.
And it all led to the Body Crystal.
She was a shadow of her former self. Her body lacked its core. It felt like just poking at her with your finger would result in your finger sinking into her skin like it was rotten jelly. It was odd that she had been standing before. She was a tool that the darkness of Academy City had completely used up.
"…Why did I turn into such a horrible monster?"
Wasn’t that what Mugino Shizuri had said in District 23? When he had heard her say that, what was it he had thought? When he had fled Academy City, hadn’t he felt like saying goodbye to all the back alley fights?
If he killed her there, would anything really change?
Hadn’t he come to Russia because he was sick of all the bloodshed caused by the darkness of Academy City?
The next thing he knew, he was rushing over to her. He had thrown the assault rifle aside. He did not need it.
Mugino had been such a powerful wall blocking his way, but no more attacks would be coming from her. She could do nothing but tremble in the snow.
Hamazura approached Mugino, crouched down, wrapped his arms around her back, and helped her stand up.
They naturally ended up in a position similar to an embrace and his hands felt both a soft feminine sensation and an odd rough hard feeling.
At first Hamazura assumed she had something hidden in her coat, but he realized that wasn’t so.
There was something in her body.
Mugino’s expression did not change. To her it may have been so normal that she saw no need to discuss it. She looked at Hamazura’s shocked face and moved her trembling lips.
“…What are you…doing…?”
“I’ve had enough,” Hamazura said spitting out his true feelings. “Why do we have to fight like this!? Even the fight between ITEM and SCHOOL that led to all this was a problem that the adults in Academy City should have settled!! Their desires created that city’s darkness. Why do we have to do all this to clean up after them!?”
“You, Takitsubo, Kinuhata, and even Frenda got along so well!! I don’t know too much about the times when the four of you were together, but I’m sure you were all watching out for each other since long before I started working under ITEM!! Why? Why did it have to end up like this!? It isn’t just because your short temper led to you killing Frenda. If the higher ups of Academy City truly held even that conflict in their hands, then wasn’t ITEM set up to lose to SCHOOL regardless of how the small battles turned out!? Weren’t we cornered and forced to fight each other to the death!?”
The higher ups who manipulated people’s fates like they were gods may have predicted that very conversation. They may have been relaxing in some dark room and laughing at the words he was saying.
“Hey, if you want to see me be pathetic, I’ll let you as many times as you want. I’ll bow down to you as long as it takes, I’ll lick your shoes until you’re satisfied, and I’ll set fire to my bankbook with a lighter. If that kind of thing will stop this fighting, I’ll do anything.”
As he spewed out what he truly felt deep in his heart, Hamazura slowly became aware of who his true enemy was. It was not a monster like Mugino. It was the people who had turned a girl into that monster.
He was not going to let anyone say it was society or the environment she lived in. A calamity on that level did not occur naturally. That was just how much of nightmare she was.
But what if there was someone who had rearranged the surroundings of the delinquents and espers in the back alleys in order to create that tragedy for their own benefit?
Would that person not be an even greater mass of evil than a mere monster?
“So let’s stop this.”
There was no reason to fight.
If they continued to take each other’s lives, the only ones who would gain from it were the VIPs who polished their claws in an unreachable place. Why did that war of washing away blood with blood have to continue just so those people could increase the number of jewels and paintings they owned? Why did a single girl have to be turned into a monster and why did he have to call her a monster and point a gun at her?
That was why Hamazura said what he did.
Hamazura finally completely broke free of the mental chains binding him to the great darkness within Academy City and he spoke like a completely normal human being.
“Let’s stop killing.”
For a while, Mugino Shizuri remained silent.
Her sworn enemy was practically embracing her and she would normally have been able to kill her target instantly without moving a finger at that range, but that Level 5 monster leaned on that Level 0 boy.
Finally, she opened her mouth.
She shook her head.
“…What are you saying, Hamazura…?”
She seemed to be squeezing out her words.
She sounded like her heart had been shattered and she was now exposing what had been within.
“You chose Takitsubo, right? You shot me twice in order to save her. How can you now say you’re going to save me…?”
“Yes…” Hamazura nodded and his voice sounded like a groan. “Yes!! I chose Takitsubo! I swore I would risk my life to protect her!! That hasn’t changed!! I can’t change my decision now and choose you!! That hasn’t changed. I abandoned you to protect Takitsubo!!”
Hamazura had said he would do any pathetic thing as long as it would stop the fighting. He understood the gravity of the violence he had wielded. When Mugino realized that, the edges of her lips loosened so subtly that it would have been easy to miss.
Her body was incredibly beaten up.
She had not just lost an eye and an arm. Her insides were so messed up that the eye and the arm were no real problem. She had undergone the strange medical treatments of Academy City and the Body Crystal had wreaked its havoc all through her body. Mugino thought back on her tragic state and then muttered a few words.
“…You selfish bastard.”
“I know. I’m probably the worst person in Academy City.”
“I killed Frenda. I tore ITEM apart. I tried to take Takitsubo’s life and not just once. How do you plan to save someone who has done all that?”
“I’m not saying you’ll get off easy. And neither will I.”
“So you need to apologize to Kinuhata, bow down to Takitsubo, and go crying to Frenda’s grave in order to beg for forgiveness. Once you do that…”
Hamazura trailed off there.
That Level 0 delinquent used his insufficient intellect to search for the proper words.
“Once you do that, we will become ITEM once more. We will!!”
She made no objections.
Mugino Shizuri’s thoughts completely stopped before she could.
In that silence, only Hamazura’s words continued.
“And until then, I will protect you! I will risk my life in order for you, Takitsubo, and Kinuhata to return to ITEM!! So stand up, Mugino. Please, stand up on your own two legs just once more!! Break the twisted mental chains known as your pride that Academy City created!!”
“You, a Level 0, are saying you’ll protect me, a Level 5…?”
Mugino Shizuri grinned.
It was the same smile as when she, Kinuhata Saiai, Frenda, and Takitsubo Rikou had held their strategy meetings in that family restaurant.
“What a joke. Don’t look down on me like that.”
She brushed aside Hamazura’s hand and slowly stood atop the snow. Her body wobbled. She held out a hand to stop Hamazura who was desperately trying to support her and used her chin to point toward the creepy night sky made up of points of four different colors.
An Academy City supersonic bomber was passing by overhead.
Three masses rained down in a straight line along the path of the bomber.
A horrible sound hurt Hamazura’s ears. It was coming from the radio the Russian soldier had dropped. Someone was jamming it so that not even the smallest piece of the inhuman things about to occur would leak out.
Hamazura felt a terribly unpleasant feeling like he was touching some terrible slime.
He detected the same “smell” as when he had faced off against the privateers. Despite it having been an Academy City weapon, the impression he got was the exact opposite from the monstrous aircraft that had repelled the Russian special unit. This one was not the kind type of opponent that had destroyed the steam dispenser.
This one was definitely there to kill him.
That was its only objective.
Hamazura’s instincts told him that much.
Mugino started muttering as she stared up at the creepy night sky.
“…It seems I was always expendable. They have concluded that the trash I am broke down before it had destroyed everything. Their secondary plan is coming down. What will you do, Hamazura?”
“Didn’t I already tell you?” Hamazura picked up the assault rifle he had cast aside before. “I said I would risk my life so that everyone would return to ITEM.”
“…Heh. You’ve got guts,” Mugino muttered under her breath so that it did not reach Hamazura.
Meanwhile, Hamazura looked around the area. There would be a bit of a time lag before the Academy City assassins completed their descent. In that time, he had to find Takitsubo who he had lost track of during the avalanche. Once he did, he had to come up with a plan to fight back against the Academy City assassins who were heading down to attack them from the night sky.
He did not have much time.
A darkness that was enough to replace Mugino Shizuri approached as if to swallow up Hamazura and the others.
 Part 5
In the underground portion of St. George’s Cathedral, Index’s attacks were relentless.
She had immediately seen through the fact that Stiyl Magnus had made the three flame giants into a single set in order to create a Trinity construction that would lower the burden. In order to destroy that construction, she had focused her attacks on a single Innocentius.
By having three Innocentii, Stiyl’s burden was lessened, but they had now been reduced to two, so they lost stability and he was forced to bear the full brunt of the burden once more.
However, he could not stop fighting.
He did not have time to rest.
Index’s fierce attacks making full use of the 103,000 grimoires did not give him a chance.
Different types of objects coiled about.
There was the glow of the magic circles in her emotionless eyes, the red wings growing from her limp back that seemed to have lost its core, and the numerous western swords created from collections of something like particles of light that floated around her. They all functioned to thoroughly annihilate her enemy and their current target was Stiyl Magnus.
Even then, the red blood wings were swung about again and again and the long narrow swords made of particles of light stabbed in from various angles. The swords were not held in Index’s hands. They floated about her. Stiyl was reminded of the sword held by the harvest god Freyr that would automatically fight and automatically kill the enemy.
(Angel wings and the harvest god’s sword…!! She’s matching my combination of Christianity and Norse mythology!!)
Within Norse mythology, there was no legend in which that sword lost. Even in the final battle of Ragnarok, Freyr only lost because he had left the sword with someone else before the war began, so a means of defeating that sword was not recorded anywhere.
Even Odin and Thor were defeated along with their weapons, but that sword alone was undefeated.
Innocentius alone was not going to be enough.
The giants would be quickly worn down and would be annihilated without being able to recover.
If that happened, who would stop Index?
How would he save her?
Thinking that, Stiyl unhesitatingly created a flame sword and put himself between Index and the Innocentii.
Because there were two of the flame giants, they could not gain time to recover.
Index’s rush of attacks gave them no chance to do so and they lost momentum.
In that case, he needed to use other means of fighting to make up for that.
If he could buy them time to recover, he could complete a rotation.
He let fly multiple slashes of the flame sword and the blood wings and giant’s arms swung around. Stiyl felt even more pressure inside his body and he sweated profusely. His flame sword was not perfect. At times he received Index’s attack on it and it was sliced apart. At those times, he twisted his body at the last second and just barely managed to continue fighting.
But he was up against John’s Pen mode that had been created to annihilate anyone who was trying to steal the 103,000 grimoires whether it was a single person or an entire cabal. The mere fact that Stiyl Magnus was managing to deal with her on his own was abnormal.
Just saying that Stiyl had grown was not enough to explain it.
Index was clearly in bad form.
(The burden from the remote control spiritual item is holding her back.)
While managing to singlehandedly cut through the 103,000 grimoires, Stiyl did not overestimate his own abilities.
(That unnecessary interruption into her consciousness is lowering her accuracy and speed. If she was the same as she was when she fought that right hand, this kind of trick wouldn’t work.)
But he was not thankful.
If that burden were not there, she would not be suffering.
Stiyl stepped forward.
There was an instant of an opening.
If he detonated the flame sword there, he could knock her unconscious. Even if she was a great magical existence, her body was still that of a delicate girl. If she was hit by the shockwave, she should no longer be able to function. And then he could place the additional rune card on her in order to mentally bind her.
Then it would be over.
And yet Stiyl’s mind caught at the last second.
Even if he was doing this to protect her…
Even if he had been forced into this battle against his will by the remote control spiritual item…
He had hurt her quite a bit up until then.
Could Stiyl Magnus’s magic name allow him to hurt her any more than that?
He shouldn’t have thought that.
He had used up time that he shouldn’t have.
“Chapter 32, Verse 44. Preparing for a counterattack,” said the ruthless voice of the girl he was supposed to protect.
 Between the lines 6
Stealing an Academy City tank had been simple.
Mikoto was at the top when it came to espers who manipulated electricity. Despite the tank running mainly on a diesel engine, most of it ran through electronics. As someone who could directly hack without using cables, that weapon had been no match for Mikoto.
There were powered suits and the like that used chemical springs that moved using chemicals and were protected by armor that thoroughly repelled all electromagnetic waves as a defense against electricity espers, but that tank had not seemed to have anything like that equipped on it.
She had stopped the engine from a distance, unlocked the hatch, and kicked out those aboard.
They had tried to report the incident, but Mikoto had interfered with their radio transmission as well. She had done the same for the photographing from UAVs and the radar that was monitoring the situation. She had separated the tank from the war front, so no one would notice.
“Hmm. Tanks move surprisingly quickly,” muttered Mikoto from within the tank that the Sister was operating.
“Modern tanks possess the output needed to run without issue on highways, but it is only Academy City technology that allows this one to move at 150 kph on a snowy path like this, says Misaka giving an arbitrary report.”
“Well, these masses of iron cost 7 billion each, so they need to be at least this useful.”
“Original, they are made of composite materials, corrects Misaka. The main guns of recent tanks can fire at about Mach 4.5, says Misaka as she idly adds on to her previous report. That is a greater output than your Railgun, onee-sama.”
“It isn’t all about the speed, you know?”
She only went by that name because it symbolized her electric powers. Her pride was not condensed into that one attack. In fact, she found her true worth in hitting her enemy with multiple attacks from multiple angles.
(…And that’s why that idiot especially gets on my nerves by negating my attacks no matter what I throw at him.)
“Misaka apologizes for interrupting you while you mumble to yourself, but…”
“It appears the independent unit preparing the Nu-AD1967 nuclear warheads has spotted us, reports Misaka.”
Heading there as quickly as possible may have backfired. The unit may have seen the snow tossed up by the treads through a night vision scope.
Something was fired from the distance.
The only thing in Mikoto’s mind was the nuclear warheads, so a chill ran down her spine, but it seemed that was not what it was. The missile was too small and there were too many of them.
“They appear to be surface-to-surface missiles used for bombings, reports Misaka. There are 30 to 40 of them.”
“You appear to becoming more cat-like, so how about it? asks Misaka suggesting a course of action.”
Mikoto reached for the hatch above her head.
She opened the circular hatch that was like a small manhole and raised her upper body out.
“This is my area of expertise, so leave it to me!!”
As she yelled, sparks flew from her bangs.
She did not fire a lightning spear. She sent an enormous amount of electromagnetic waves to the area ahead of her. She was interfering with the radar that the missiles used to search for the enemy while heading through the air at twice the speed of sound.
The missiles immediately lost their target and dropped down in odd directions.
Numerous explosions rang out and a shockwave struck Mikoto’s cheek like a slap even though she was not directly hit. She ignored it and stared ahead.
“Full speed ahead!! If we fall back, it’ll just give them time to prepare the next barrage! Let’s take care of this all at once!!”
“Misa…Severe….kami…obstruction of the signal…sakami…the network…sakamisaka…cut off…kamisa….attempting to restore….kamisaka…”
“Wah wah wah!! What’s with you!? Hah? You just now realized you have a vulnerability to jamming with a large output by an esper with the same type of power?”
The Sister was trembling in the driver seat as if in a trance and Mikoto hurriedly stopped sending out the jamming electromagnetic waves.
“Heh…The mass produced models really cannot stand up to the Original, says Misaka as she reassesses her own position with some self derision.”
Of course, ending the jamming meant the enemy’s bombings would begin anew.
“Let’s just charge in!!” Mikoto yelled. “Once we get close enough, they won’t be able to carry out large scale bombings in fear of getting caught in the blast themselves!!”
The diesel engine let out a roar as if in response. They were only 2 kilometers away from where the surface-to-surface missiles were being fired.
The independent unit seemed to have given up on the bombings, but they had brought out a tank unit that had been hidden behind a hill. Even if they were prepared to be hit a few times, they would be completely blown away if dozens of tanks focused their fire on them.
“By Misaka’s estimations, we will be hit by the blasts 20 times before we can travel 500 meters, says Misa—”
“Then we’ll finish this before that!!”
A black shadow squirmed around Mikoto’s tank.
It was a large amount of iron sand that had been sleeping below the snow. She thoroughly gathered it from approximately 200 meters around her and brought it together using magnetism.
It must have looked like a wall to her enemies.
That wall of despair was like a giant tsunami about to strike the land.
That was the Number Three Level 5.
She was not just a cannon.
There were only two people she knew who she could not handle even with skillful application of her power. Those two were the espers who stood at the extremes. One at the extreme of justice and one at the extreme of evil.
As she yelled, the huge mass of iron sand passed by overhead and crashed into the enemy forces ahead. Like an undulating tsunami or like a living snake, that mountain of iron sand swept across while vibrating at high speed. The independent Russian unit was unable to deal with it.
Of course they weren’t.
No matter how many times they shot it, the swirling iron sand did not slow down in the slightest.
The tank being controlled by the Sister leisurely drove into the center of the confused enemy lines. Mikoto pulled herself out of the hatch completely and looked forward.
There was a large truck-like vehicle in the very center of the enemy lines. It had over 20 tires and it was larger than a train car. It had a long tube loaded on the back. That object that was standing up vertically on hydraulic cylinders was most likely the missile loaded with a Nu-AD1967.
As if to speed up the situation, there were flames firing from the back of it.
Mikoto jumped from the tank that was skidding to the side atop the snow.
(Whether that’s an ICBM or a strategic nuclear warhead with the outer shell swapped out, it is still electronically controlled. A lighting spear will make it useless.)
She did not use her Railgun because she wanted to avoid letting the nuclear materials leak out. Only destroying the control circuits was the safest course of action.
Just as the arm holding the missile in place was about to let go, Mikoto focused on her bangs while in midair.
As bluish-white sparks shot out, she yelled with every last bit of strength she had left.
“…I’ll blow you away!!”
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