Toaru Majutsu no Index:Volume5 Epilogue
 Epilogue: Night of Ending. Welcome_to_Tomorrow.
September 01, 0:00AM (Timeover).
"Operation's over. Good work, everyone."
These words caused Yoshikawa Kikyou to wake up. She didn't know what time it was or where she was. She just knew that she was lying on a bed, and could see a blue-tiled floor and walls. Only the ceiling was white in colour. The walls near the ceiling had a row of glass windows, and it looked like the corridor.
From a place she couldn't see, she could hear the clanking sound of metal. A long fibre fabric was hanging over her head like a guillotine, so she couldn't look below her head. She could only move her neck about; she couldn't even feel her other body parts, let alone move them.
At this moment, a person looked over at Yoshikawa's face.
It was a middle-aged man with his hair kept inside a green surgical cap, and his mouth and nose kept in a huge mask of the same colour. This frog-faced middle aged man looked down at Yoshikawa, as if he was looking at his childhood friend who had just woken up from a nap.
Yoshikawa finally realized where she was, and clicked her tongue 'Tch'.
"That's too much. You only used a local anesthetic for a heart operation."
"The lesser the burden, the better, isn't it?"
The local anesthetic was originally used for minor operations like removing the appendix. During the operation, the patient would remain conscious, and some patients would even request a small mirror to see the wounds of their operation.
However, they couldn't possibly use local anesthetic for heavy operations like a heart surgery. This wasn't because of whether or not there were disadvantages, but rather, it was impossible. It was like using the toes to hold a scalpel to operate.
Yet this doctor did it, and the operation went well.
Yoshikawa couldn't even imagine how he had done it. Perhaps he had developed a new operation technique.
No serious wounds or diseases were a match for this doctor. He could choose to use any means to heal his patients. The medical world 'outside', and even the management of Academy City wouldn't agree to the new skills and theories he proposed. He had only one belief, and that was to never give up on the patient. He carried this one belief and made a path for himself.
Some said that his skills could even distort God's rules. It was said that he had once created some mysterious life support device that could overcome the problems of aging and life limit of a person through some mysterious theory. No one knew what he had felt after he achieved this research, but ever since that, there hadn't been any news about him continuing with any life-related research. Right now, the only experimental device in the world was said to be placed in a windowless building.
"...So this means I was saved?"
"Of course. Who do you think did the operation?"
This doctor would never mention the hard work in front of patients and would always say things so casually.
"But really, that was a close shave. No matter how good I am, I still can't heal a dead person. If you want to thank someone, then thank that boy."
"That boy...did he do something? Hold on, I should have been shot with a military pistol through my heart, why am I still alive?"
"More accurately, what was shot through wasn't the heart but the coronary artery. Either way, if you weren't healed immediately, you would have died immediately."
The coronary artery. The largest artery in the human body. It was certain death once it broke. It was like using a knife to cut the carotid.
"If so, then how..."
"Hm. That boy seems to have the ability to manipulate blood flow. He let your blood flow through the broken artery without losing even a single drop of blood. Thanks to him, you were able to survive being sent all the way here, and I could temporarily use an artificial artery to connect your artery and push you into the operation room. Ahh, you should really thank that boy. He definitely lost consciousness, yet he was still able to exert his power onto you until you were sent into the operation room."
Yoshikawa remained stunned as she listened to the doctor.
"It's been past three hours since you were sent in here. That boy's injury doesn't look so good, and it was a headache for the other doctors to try and take out the fragments of the bullet that are lodged in the front of his frontal lobe. I'm about to go over and help right now. Do you have any message to pass to me?"
"...Local anesthetic won't be used in that boy's operation, right?"
She knew that this was impossible, but she still asked on instinct.
"Is he still alright?"
"Un? The front of his frontal lobe seems to be damaged, and it will affect his verbal and calculation abilities."
This was critical damage to Accelerator, as he had to first calculate the 'direction before redirection' and 'direction after redirection' before he could use his ability. Even if he could unconsciously use the 'redirection' ability, it was because he unknowingly calculated the simplest formula.
He wouldn't be able to use his ability, even the most basic 'redirection'.
"Don't worry, he'll be alright."
The doctor seemed to understand what Yoshikawa was thinking and said,
"My policy is to make the impossible possible. I'll definitely let him be able to use his verbal and calculation abilities. Definitely."
The last word was the only word that was spoken in a different half-joking tone with a higher pitch at the end.
Yoshikawa held her breath. The doctor then said with a casual tone,
"However, I have to get other people's agreement first. Since you created those troublesome things, I'll just use them. I just need to connect 10,000 brains and make up a person's verbal and calculation abilities. That should be simple, right?"
10,000. The Sisters. Last Order.
"Tha, that's right! What about that child!?"
"Ah. You're talking about that girl in the glass container? No need to worry about her. Luckily, we have a girl who's in a similar condition to her. Her serial number seem to be 10,032, named Misaka Imouto."
"Hold, hold on, there's...an incubator here?"
"If it's something the patient needs, I can get one. Also, I talked to her before. It's said that these 10,000 clones can form a network to do calculations. I intend to use that thing to make up for the lost parts in that boy's brain. Don't worry, that's different from bringing someone who lost his memories to me. It's not hard to replace a lost ability."
Though the doctor said it rather casually, there was a sad look on his face.
A loss of memory.
Even that doctor couldn't recover the memories of the High School student who was admitted in late July. Perhaps that was the first time he had felt the emotions of defeat.
"However, that network is created under the same brainwave wavelength. If Accelerator's to be forced into it with that different wavelength of his, his brain will be burned."
"If that's the case, I just need to make a transformer that can let both sides of the wavelengths match. As for the design, I'll create an electrode collar that's connected inside."
The doctor said it rather casually, but this would take a lot of skill and calculations. Even though he knew that it would be expensive, the doctor never hesitated, and would never charge people money. He was just that kind of person.
"Alright, I really have to go now. What do you intend to do now?"
"What do you mean by that?"
"I really don't want to add on to your troubles, but I have to tell you this. The 'higher-ups' seem to have heard of this incident. The research facility will be dissolved, and the 'experiment' won't just be in stasis, but completely terminated. In other words, you are fired. Good thing it's not a privatized firm, so you don't need to bear the debts, and the shooting incident can be considered self-defence. But causing a research facility to collapse completely will be a bad thing for your reputation. It's unlikely that you can ever be a researcher again."
"...I don't know. Do I have another way out?"
"Of course you do."
The doctor said casually,
"There are many paths you can choose."
Hearing these words, Yoshikawa looked like she was reminiscing the past.
One of the paths she could choose was that of a school teacher. One not naïve, but kind. She would teach Accelerator and Last Order, those children who couldn't even spell the word 'common' in common sense, and let them learn every normal thing. Perhaps that was a path she could choose.
That was a very attractive path.
That made Yoshikawa smile.
Yoshikawa Kikyou called out to the doctor who was about to walk out of the operation room.
"What is it?"
"You must save that child. I won't forgive you if you fail."
"Who do you think you're talking to? That's my battlefield, and no matter what, I will return from the battlefield with that patient who has always been fighting alone, healed."
The doctor walked out of the operation room.
Yoshikawa closed her eyes. A few people in surgical clothes were clearing up things beside her, but Yoshikawa wasn't mindful about it. She focused on her inside world, looking like she was asleep.
Then, she remembered what the boy had said.
The boy said,
"Who the hell do you think you're talking to? I'm the guy who killed 10,000 of that brat's companions. How can a bad guy like me save others? I can only kill, I can't save others."
Yoshikawa smiled and said,
"If he has the heart for it, he can still do it."