The moment her vision was blocked by a red wall, Ootori Ouka had seen it.
It had emerged behind Takeru, who made a twisted, shocked expression.
White skin with red variant wrapped around it. Black hair standing up on their ends. A crimson horn protruding from the forehead.
And, the chaotic eyes harboring hatred for everything in this world, have glared straight at Ouka.
Kusanagi Kiseki. Hyakki Yakou. Kusanagi Takeru’s little sister.
There was not even a glimpse of Kiseki that Ouka knew.
All there was in her, was desire to kill.
The wall of meat blocked her path and Ouka was unable to reach Takeru with her outstretched hand.
Ouka tried to call his name, it was then.
The demons’ voices interrupted Ouka.
The scream had resounded throughout the ruined school——and quickly spread throughout the city.
Ouka saw the huge eyes embedded into the demon wall in front, stare at her. Following the eyeballs appeared teeth, then tongues, lips, noses, fingers, claws and bones. Body parts reminiscent of a human's have started growing haphazardly. The entire mess continued to grow and wriggle infinitely.
No matter how strong spirit one had, there was no one who wouldn’t feel fear in front of this variant.
——It was a mere shadow of what demons once were. The hatred of several thousands years has gathered all inside Kiseki’s body, turning into a curse incarnate.
Ouka’s courage and fighting spirit disappeared. The fear of an organism called "human" had rose up from her feet, making her body tremble.
The sob she let out wasn’t caused by the meat wall in front of her, but by the sight of the city she could see from the top of the hill.
Numerous demon pillars have emerged in the city from underground. The city that used to function as a country’s capital was made seem tiny compared to the growing pillars that protruded from the ground.
The pillars were like towers aiming for heavens. They outgrew buildings, extended above the clouds and undulating, they formed a huge tree that swallowed the city.
It all looked just like a world tree that appeared in mythology——
Being swallowed by the demon, the world, the atmosphere, the planet itself seemed to have raised a cry. As to cancel it out, the demon tree had howled.
It took a mere a fraction of a second to complete the scenery worth calling the "Apocalypse".
Way too suddenly, way too fiercely, the end of the world had come.
The sky was stained red by the miasma spit out by the demons, turning the other side of the horizon hazy. The sky itself turned into a sea of red.
There were hardly any people remaining in the city. Still, how many people have been swallowed by the demons? She wondered.
Just like a catastrophe occurring abruptly, Hyakki Yakou swallowed everything in an instant.
Seeing the all-too overwhelming incarnation of chaos in front of her, Ouka nearly dropped her gun.
《"Master, keep thy sanity! Our fight is not ov’r yet!"》
"But...this...what do I do...?"
It was difficult for her to maintain her sanity.
With speed beyond comparison with the previous time it went berserk, Hyakki Yakou devoured the city.
What should she do against an opponent of this magnitude? Since Kiseki and Takeru had broken apart with each other, it didn’t seem like persuasion would work.
Hyakki Yakou was no more than a vortex of hatred. Chaos itself which devoured the entire world upon Kusanagi Kiseki’s wish.
Human instinct had whispered into Ouka’s ear.
Run away, it said.
『"Let me walk... by your side."』
However, she recalled the words Takeru told her in prison.
I vowed I won’t let him bear the burden of Kiseki’s problem alone, haven’t I. I vowed to everyone that I’ll do what I can, haven’t I.
Ouka clutched Vlad’s handle, the trembling out of fear had changed into trembling of excitement.
What she could do——was to stay by Takeru’s side and protect his back.
She turned forward and glared at the wall separating her and Takeru.
I need to break through it no matter what...!
It’s not time to feel fear...!
"Vlad, can you go on?"
《"Of course. T’s thanks to the witch girl’s blood."》
Ouka resolved herself and directed the muzzle at the meat wall.
The meat wall wriggled. Feeling Ouka’s hostility, its eyeballs have been filled with intent to kill.
It happened the moment she put her finger on the trigger and tried to turn into Dullahan form.
The wall of wriggling meat had taken a human form. First, it was a distorted meat puppet. However, it soon took the shape of a girl.
Before long it had grown long black hair and glared at Ouka with hollow pupils.
What the humanoid meat had formed was undeniably Kusanagi Kiseki herself.
Ouka’s finger that was supposed to pull the trigger had stopped.
What should she combat was Hyakki Yakou and not Kusanagi Kiseki herself. She didn’t have the qualification to hurt the person herself.
She hesitated for just an instant.
And that instant——wasn’t overlooked by the Hyakki Yakou.
Kiseki’s hand had stretched and wound around Ouka’s neck.
"Hh...! Sto...p... Kiseki...!"
Hearing Ouka’s voice, Kiseki tilted her head, still expressionless.
The next moment, Kiseki’s shape had collapsed and it turned into red meat that was its source.
Ouka hurriedly squeezed the trigger. The stake was fired and blew away the Hyakki Yakou that was wound around her neck.
However, Hyakki Yakou flowed like water and circling around Ouka, it assaulted her from behind.
It laughed as it didn’t give Ouka time to turn into Dullahan form.
Laughing mockingly at Ouka’s resistance, Hyakki Yakou swallowed her like a tsunami.
I’ll become part of it once it touches me. Despite knowing that uncertain characteristic of the "Demon" ancient property, she could do nothing about it.
As she was swallowed by the sea of flesh, a voice full of resentment whispered into her ear.
"I’m not giving you Onii-chan."
Ouka realized that these weren’t words of Hyakki Yakou, but Kiseki’s herself as she was on verge of being completely swallowed.
Usagi and Ikaruga who retreated along with Heretic Alliance were caught up in Takeru’s secret art’s blast.
After pulling out Mari from under the rubble, Ouka had immediately followed Takeru.
She left Mari to other platoon members and chased after Takeru by herself.
Mari who had remained in the back, prioritized rescue of her comrades.
"...Suginamiii! Usagi-chaaaaan! Kanaria-chaaan! I bet you’re aliiiive anyway, so c’mon, answer alreaaady!"
Blowing away rubble with magic, she looked for Ikaruga and Usagi. She regenerated the limbs she lost during the fight against Mother Goose with her own magic power, but she was far from being in top condition. Regeneration was highest of high spells among of recovery magic and a very useful thing, but it was hard to call it as universal as that of a high level Magical Heritage.
It was unknown whether the feeling in her limbs will return in future.
As she looked around, she saw the Heretic Alliance’s Dragoons working to rescue people who were blown away.
Mari herself didn’t receive much damage since she put up a protective barrier on verge of being hit, but she didn’t expect the blast to be so strong as to blow away the barrier itself.
When she turned towards the groan coming from the rubble, she saw Ikaruga covered in dust and lie face down. Below her, there was the appearance of Usagi and Kanaria, both flailing their limbs.
Ikaruga had twisted her body on top of the two, covering them.
"...I feel like vomiting."
"Suginami, you okay?"
Although there were no visible injuries, Usagi trapped below Ikaruga was suffocating with Ikaruga’s breasts pushing against her so Mari pulled them out.
"Pwah! ...I was about to die with the cause of my death being "crushed by huge tits!"."
"I could see Mama on the other side of the river..."
Breathing heavily Kanaria and Usagi put their hands on their chests.
They were unexpectedly energetic, but seeing the school’s buildings are gone, they were all in shock.
"...what on earth happened? We moved so far away and yet..."
When Usagi said that, Kanaria squinted and turned towards the cherry blossom forest Takeru was in.
"The secret art was used... I don’t know which one, but I think either Orochi or Takeru has died."
"Died...?! How’s Takeru?!"
As Mari questioned her, Kanaria stroked Lævateinn’s blade.
"He’s probably safe. Lævateinn’s resonating in response to Mistilteinn."
As Mari stroked her chest with relief, next to her, Ikaruga held down her hair and furrowed her eyebrows.
"...I don’t think it’s over yet. We defeated Valhalla’s top, but our real enemy is——"
It happened the moment Ikaruga said so.
Assaulted by the violent earthquake, their feet shook.
There was an uproar among Heretic Alliance and the platoon’s members also realized something.
As they listened carefully to the rumbling, they heard something like a faint laughter mixed in it.
Hearing the familiar voice, Mari was horrified.
As all the members turned speechless, Ikaruga alone squinted calmly.
"...she has no hesitation at all, has she... just like her brother. What an outrageous little sister."
In that moment, red color had mixed in among the rooftops far in the distance.
Splitting the ground it had toppled over buildings. The red mass of demons had covered the city in an instant.
The people from Heretic Alliance had become as still as death, everyone in the location was stunned seeing the city collapse.
"...Hyakki Yakou... did Kiseki-san do this...?"
"Just like she told Kusanagi. She will kill all humans in the world and then kill us in the end. She probably started on it."
As the city and the world had continued to collapse, a cry had resounded from all the variant.
The roar of the demons has turned into wind and stroked Mari’s cheeks and hair.
"Does she really intend to destroy the planet...?"
She heard about this from Takeru, but seeing it turn into reality was whole another thing.
It was completely different in scale and momentum from the first time Kiseki went berserk, which had turned into a trigger for them to leave AntiMagic Academy.
The city was swallowed in a moment and the demons have filled the sky.
Seeing such apocalypse in front of them, it was impossible to retain sanity.
Ikaruga held down her hair fluttering in the wind and looked at the collapsing city with a cool expression.
"That girl was like this right from the start. Just like Kusanagi she carries through with something once she says she will. Right from the start there was only hatred in her. She was just putting up a façade."
The reason only Ikaruga was able to maintain her calmness was because she was always aware of the danger Kiseki was.
When Kiseki had escaped from the forbidden area and appeared in front of the 35th Test Platoon, Ikaruga told Kiseki this:
It’s wrong to blame someone else, she said.
Kiseki didn’t respond anything to that.
She only looked expressionlessly at Ikaruga who was reflected in the mirror.
Ever since then, Ikaruga had recognized Kiseki as an enemy, nothing else.
"Really, the type I hate the most."
Staring at the world’s destruction, Ikaruga closed her eyes.
There was no longer anything they could do.
All there was in Kusanagi Kiseki’s world was her brother.
Ikaruga and the others didn’t have the power to stand against Kiseki and didn’t have any relation with her.
The only human who could possibly stop Kiseki was Takeru alone.
They couldn’t do anything.
——The 35th Test Platoon’s members were nowhere as wise as to think so.
"Ahhh c’mon, what the heck, Kiseki-chan you dumbass! This whole thing reeks of a huge mess! What about our desperate battle so far, huh?!"
"I should say, as expected of Kusanagi’s little sister... we get all covered in wounds just to get covered in wounds again soon after... I would like a little break first."
While talking Mari moved her both hands and expanded a magic circle.
Usagi too, had filled Rabbit Fang with the remaining bullets she had.
Seeing the two, Ikaruga scooped up her hair.
"There’s surely something we can still do. We have to rejoin Ootori and kick that good-for-nothing Kusanagi’s ass."
"Woah! Suginami is unusually full of motivation!
"I just hope it doesn’t turn into some kind of weird flag〜."
The three confirmed with each other that they can still fight and were about to throw themselves into combat.
Seeing the platoon members act as usual despite the huge pinch the world was in, Kanaria was in huge shock.
Kanaria heard how horrifying Hyakki Yakou is from Orochi. It was an existence that could destroy the entire world depending on the main body’s feelings, a monster human beings could do nothing about.
A hundred and fifty years ago Orochi had fought against Kusanagi Mikoto as Hyakki Yakou tried to devour the world and the two struck each other down. As a result Kusanagi Mikoto had self-defeated herself by fusing with Mistilteinn, but if that battle continued the world would have undoubtedly been destroyed. Hyakki Yakou was an existence one could fight against only if they had the god-slaying sword and the demon-slaying Kusanagi Double-Edged style swordsmanship.
Although it was an opponent on a completely different level from human, they tried to confront it.
Truly foolish. It only made Kanaria think they were suicidal.
Still, despite that, when she compared them with herself who nearly accepted destruction without doing anything, she thought that was a much better choice.
Clenching Lævateinn’s handle, Kanaria had decided as well.
It was because there still was a person she felt like being with.
Resolving herself Kanaria tried moving next to Ikaruga——and it happened at that time.
A rumble different from before had assaulted Kanaria’s feet.
Something——something was coming from below.
At the same time Kanaria shouted, she grasped Ikaruga’s shoulder and tried to pull her to herself.
But at the same time, Ikaruga pushed Kanaria’s chest from the front.
As if tackling her, Ikaruga charged at Kanaria.
Blown away, Kanaria looked at Ikaruga speechless.
Ikaruga stared straight at Kanaria.
As she fell on her back, Kanaria stretched her hand out towards Ikaruga.
But the next moment——Ikaruga was swallowed by the demon pillar that had protruded from the ground.
Although Mari and Usagi could react in time, there was nothing they could do about it. The amorphous demon pillar had took away all three from in front of Kanaria in an instant.
Kanaria fell on her butt and stunned, she looked up at the demon pillar right in front of her.
When the pillar extended to be as tall as a building, numerous eyeballs appeared and looked down at Kanaria.
As if aiming for the place the 35th Test Platoon concentrated in, the crystallization of the demon had grown just there alone.
The demons narrowed their eyes and grinned, then stretched out tentacles towards Kanaria.
"Why...do you always... always, always have leave Kana behind..."
Making a strongly distorted expression——Kanaria gripped Lævateinn.
She tried to cleave down the tentacles with a sword, but a gunfire had echoed from behind her.
It was the covering fire from the Heretic Alliance’s Dragoons and Kanata’s "Nobunaga".
Seeing the Heretic Alliance’s army, the demon pillar squinted and started returning to the ground.
Kanaria tried to chase after it, but Kanata ran up to her and grasped her shoulder from behind.
"Let go! She’s——!"
"You want to be swallowed as well?! We should pull back here! There’s nothing we can do!"
"Shut up! LET GOOO!"
Another pillar emerged from the ground beside the raging Kanaria and wriggling like a dragon, it assaulted Kanata and Kanaria.
In Witch Hunter Form, Kanata raised Kanaria up and retreated from the spot.
Although she was beaten by struggling Kanaria, Kanata prioritized what she should be doing.
Withdrawing with all of the Heretic Alliance and finding a safe place to hide in.
There was nothing Kanata and others could do now.
The city was filled with demons which have converged into a tree, as if to bless something.
It seemed like it was sucking out the planet’s life to grow.
The apocalypse has began.
The destruction is here and now.
Human feelings, even grief, all of it was being swallowed up——the Hyakki Yakou was bringing the end of the world.