Chapter 3 - A Moment of Peace

 

***

 

In a rural mountain region. On the peaceful mountain covered with snow, there was a single hut.

It was the second Valhalla scout squad's standby station.

That's what the people living in this hut were calling it.

"——So, the Inquisition headquarters is on the verge of collapse?"

The blue-haired girl who was playing around with a radio opened her eyes wide, and said spoke with astonishment in her voice.

《"No, it's not like that. The VIP we're supposed to rescue is isolated in the underground facility, and only a part of the deepest prison was destroyed."》

"...I see."

《"However, according to the information there is no longer any facility that can accommodate the VIP in the headquarters. Since it will take a considerable amount of time to repair it, seems like she'll be transported to another facility."》

The girl's fingertips were loudly hitting the table.

"Then we'll pursue them. It's an opportunity to crush that academy."

《"............are you... an idiot?"》

"I'm not. Mother Goose is the one who's an idiot. Crushing that school and taking revenge for mama is my goal."

《"It's enough that Haunted is acting according to his personal feelings. We are not seeking a war with them."》

"But, that's only you Mother Goose, and Orochi. Valhalla is seeking war with them. Witches despise humans."

《"...I won't deny that, but it's not like they want to kill everyone. There are many witches who seek a world without conflict."》

The girl has gathered her fingers forming a fist.

"...a world without conflict? What's interesting in such a thing. The world Mother Goose and Orochi desire is just your ego. It's different from what everyone wants."

《"......you're thinking just like Haunted does. I've had it, Orochi, please take over."》

"No, I still haven't finished talking. Right now is the chance to atta——"

After the girl said that much, a hand stretched from behind her.

Behind the girl stood a slim man in a kimono. His age would indicate early twenties or so, he had disorderly long hair and his pale skin was strangely fitting the kimono he wore, he seemed like a ghost. Moreover, his eyes were closed shut, the fact that both of his eyes were like that meant...

He was blind. Light had already left his eyes.

Despite not seeing he took the microphone from the girl, and while eating some dried meat he took over the call.

The girl puffed up her cheeks.

"Orochi, don't butt in."

"Yes yes shaddup, shaddup. Piss off, Diluted."

Diluted. It referred to how she was drinking very weak tea and coffee.

That's a nickname the man in kimono, Orochi has given the girl.

"Don't call me 'diluted'. I'll cut you up."

"Oh-hoo, well said towards your master. Try it if you think you can."

"...........grrr."

"Here, I'll give you a candy so stay silent."

Orochi has thrown a candy to the girl and dismissed her after coming up to the radio.

"——Hey, Orochi here. Sorry 'bout my disciple."

《"...you should educate her more firmly. Although she is a valuable fighting force, there's a problem with her behavior."》

"Dahaha! Even if you say that to my great self, she's been like this ever since she was entrusted to me."

After laughing merrily, Orochi erased the smile from his face.

"...I more or less predicted that this would happen. The VIP... Kusanagi Kiseki has broke out of jail right? That girl has reached puberty. I could tell that this would happen sooner or later."

《"Yes. Haunted's and Mephisto's assaults have ended in a failure, although I determined it to be convenient, however..."》

"Hmph, that's how it'll turn out if you leave it to that pervert you know? 150 years ago it, was his fault that we were trapped in a world like this. You, who has fought along with my great self should know that."

《"Those were instructions from above, it couldn't be helped. There're lots of people who want to fight on our side, so there's a lot of madmen like him who want to start a war."》

"............so? What do we do, General."

《"Assault the convoy during the transportation and retrieve the VIP."》

Hearing Mother Goose's plan, Orochi snorted.

"And here I was sure ya would give the order to kill her."

《"Even if I gave such an order I know that you wouldn't carry it out, I too have no desire for that to happen. Above all, as long as we accomplish what we aim for we'll be able to save her, it'll be inevitable."》

Oh well, responded Orochi.

Beside him, the girl with blue hair was loudly ticking the candy against her teeth.

"...me and Diluted, we're doing it just us two? Reinforcements?"

《"The enemy will probably prepare dummies during transportation. We assume they might transport her through air."》

"Then two of us won't cut it."

《"We have prepared several 『Eienherjars』. They will arrive there shortly before the operation starts."》

Hearing 'Heroes' Orochi started to dig in his ear grumpily.

"...the Magical Dragoon guys huh. My great self will not acknowledge such things as 'heroes'"

《"Their bodies are that of a doll, but the soul is a real thing. Even so, there's no ego in them."》

"If the vessel for the soul is different, it's natural that the ego won't surface. Those idiots from Alchemist... they made something bizarre, their great ancestors would scold them for that."

《"In any case, they will become a part of fighting force. I do not know which ones are the dummies, for that you should use your abilities and attack all of them on case-by-case basis."》

"Heyhey. You know that we're several months away on a remote mountain. We're glad to descend to human habitats."

《"The operation will start in a few days, I will contact you again. Please finish your preparations by then."》

At the same time as Mother Goose turned off the radio, Orochi threw the headset on the table.

"Hey, Diluted, good for you. It's your first time going into actual combat. How's your self-confidence?"

Orochi placed his hands on his head and called the girl.

The girl who was beginning to improve a gun on the desk by the window made a stern expression despite having a candy bar in her mouth and glared at Orochi. Inside of two micro-machine guns there were strangely long magazines inserted, she turned the muzzles to Orochi.

"Perfect. I'm ready any time to crush the Inquisition."

She started to strongly chew on the candy she had in her mouth.

 

***

 

After exploring the labyrinth in the back-alley's barrier Takeru and the others have discovered the Dealer's hideout and warily invaded the interior.

The personnel inside must have escaped earlier, luckily the hideout was empty.

The interior seemed like a remodeled bar, there was a glass table and a spacious sofa, on the counter's shelves, in a row were arranged bottles with liquor. All of it was illegally produced liquor from herbs that were a natural Magical Heritage. With just this much, they could have earned a considerable amount of points.

However, it wasn't time to worry about points.

"...Kiseki."

After laying her in the bedroom in the back, Takeru stroked her cheek with the back of his hand.

Kiseki who was sleeping moved her mouth as she felt a tickle.

Just by seeing her sleep like this, Takeru was happy enough to shed tears.

It's been five years since he touched her. Takeru too hoped endlessly for this moment to come. He ascertained just how valuable was an opportunity to contact his family like this.

But while he felt happy, an anxiety echoed in his chest.

It has been five years since the tragedy during which Kiseki massacred so many people has occurred.

Recalling what happened back then, Takeru squeezed his fist.

...it's okay. It definitely won't turn out like it had back then.

Takeru calmed himself by saying that.

That's when,

"...Onii...chan?"

Faintly opening her eyelids, Kiseki woke up.

There was tension, but only for a moment. Takeru immediately made a gentle expression and moved closer to Kiseki.

"You woke up huh. How do you feel? Is there any place that hurts?"

"...? Why is Onii-chan... why is Kiseki...?"

The memory on how she came to this place must have been vague, she raised her upper body and placed a hand on her forehead.

However, she definitely hasn't lost the memory.

And it seemed like she was able to recall it in detail.

Both the memory of the slaughter from before and the massacre from five years ago.

"...Kiseki has... again..."

"It's all right. I'm here."

"But I... killed again...?!"

"You are not at fault. I know that very well."

Takeru hugged Kiseki's shoulder and pulled her to himself.

Even so, Kiseki couldn't stop being frightened by what she has done.

'...you don't know it... there's no way Kiseki isn't at fault...! Kiseki's body fulfilled her wish...!"

"...what's at fault, is your body. Not your heart."

With her face buried in his chest, Takeru stroked Kiseki's head.

The two hugged each other.

"———Kusanagi, we need to talk a litt... hey whaaa!"

Ouka who suddenly opened the doors and came in saw the two hugging, she raised a hysterical voice.

"Y-you... w-what are you siblings...!"

Despite being someone who could be described as serious-type, Ouka has blurted out something strangely comical.

Startled by that overly-serious tone of voice, Takeru released Kiseki's shoulders.

"............you've been considerably influenced by Suginami haven't you."

"——?!!"

"Don't act that shocked."

As he smiled wryly, Kiseki who was absent-mindedly staring at Ouka from the bed quickly hid behind Takeru.

Only peeking with half of her face from behind his back, Kiseki stared at Ouka anxiously.

Ouka stood in front of the two with a gentle expression and after bending her waist, she looked at Kiseki.

"Nice to meet you. I'm Ootori Ouka... I'm one of AntiMagic Academy's 35th Test Platoon's member, Kusanagi's comrade. Best regards."

She stretched her hand out.TMG_v05_123

Kiseki alternated between looking at Ouka's face and her hand, then she cried out a short "ahh". After looking at her hair she realized it was the girl with sunset-colored hair about whom she heard before.

She hesitantly overlapped her trembling hand with Ouka's.

"Kiseki is... called Kiseki. Onii-chan's... little sister."

"Yeah, I've heard. Just as Kusanagi said, you're a cute girl."

As Ouka smiled, Kiseki responded with a blush.

"Don't worry. Nothing bad will happen to you, I promise."

"............"

"You're my benefactor's little sister. I will never abandon you."

Met with Ouka's sincere attitude, Kiseki looked down showing a troubled reaction. Somewhere in that expression of hers there was a shadow.

"Sorry... as you can see she's bad with strangers. She can't have a decent conversation with anyone other than me."

Takeru said hinting that its complex, and Ouka shook her head.

"No, there's no problem... rather than that Kusanagi, come with me for a moment. Everyone wants to talk about what to do now."

He nodded, agreeing to her offer.

Ouka waved to Kiseki and left the bedroom.

Takeru tried to follow her, but.

"...Onii-chan."

He was stopped by Kiseki, and turned around.

She was facing down and gripped the bed sheets strongly.

"I'll be back soon, wait a moment."

Although he said so to reassure her, Kiseki still faced down anxiously.

"...don't worry. I don't know if I'll get everyone to help me but... I will definitely do something about you."

He had no confidence. He had no way of confirming it. Even so, that was the only thing he could say.

Suppressing the hatred he felt for himself, he opened the door and headed back to his comrades.

The moment he was closing the door, Kiseki's lips moved slightly. Takeru saw that.

"...ll me..."

Even though the voice didn't reach him, just from the movement of her lips he knew what was she saying.

Despite that, as if making it so that he didn't hear it, Takeru closed the door.

 

After Takeru left the bedroom, he found the members sitting down.

Ouka was standing while entrusting her back to the wall. Everyone was silent, staring anxiously at Takeru.

"Sorry... I made you wait."

He uttered an apology and sat down on a counter seat. Ouka glanced at him.

"Kusanagi, about what we do from now on..."

"Wait a moment. First there's something I need to tell everyone about it."

"...is that fine?"

"I can't involve them without them knowing anything. Also, I was going to reveal this today anyway."

Hearing Takeru's resolve, Ouka closed her eyes in silence.

After placing his hand on his knees finding determination, he started to relay the truth to everyone.

"That girl is my little sister, Kusanagi Kiseki. Her danger designation is SS-class and was originally confined in the forbidden area's deepest prison."

Usagi and Mari showed an expression of surprise.

Ouka who heard about it in advance showed no reaction, Ikaruga too, has only narrowed her eyes in silence.

"Probably, she left it on her own."

"Left you say... from the forbidden area's deepest prison?!"

Displaying surprise even further, Mari leaned forward.

That was understandable. Speaking of the country's deepest prison, it was the most stringent facility of Inquisition. In terms of robustness, it was comparable to the elf restoration facility in Alchemist's fifth institute.

In response to Mari's reaction, Takeru faced down.

"That's how dangerous she is. In the past... in our home town, she killed a lot of people."

"............"

"But don't misunderstand. Kiseki is unable to control her power. She didn't do it because she wanted to. Aside from the times she goes out of control and when she's harmed... she's very docile."

"............that's..."

"She——"

It was when Takeru was about to say the truth.

Ikaruga who was staying silent up until this moment opened her mouth.

"Has Overflow Complex."

Everyone's gaze gathered on Ikaruga.

"You see, Kusanagi's little sister has a sickness like that. It's a symptom some irregular witches without a lineage have. Their Phantom Instruments are cracked when they're born, or when its membrane is vulnerable, they can release magic even without intending to do so. You must have heard about it before, right?"

Both Mari and Usagi heard the disease's name.

"This disease can be suppressed by Gleipnir if it's an ordinary witch, but the amount of magic power Kusanagi's little sister has is out of ordinary. A high amount of magic power, if not converted won't cause harm to humans, but if it causes an abnormal phenomenon, she turns into a walking disaster."

"T-then... while we're speaking, isn't it dangerous?"

"No need to worry. The thing with Overflow Complex is that it's being released when the amount of magical power is at its peak. Since she must have used a large amount of it by the time she came here, it should take a while until it's refilled. Fortunately, Kusanagi's little sister symptoms are not a crack-type, it will overflow only when it's full, until then it's okay."

Usagi stroked her chest relieved, and examined Takeru's pale complexion.

Hearing Ikaruga's description, Takeru tried to raise an objection.

"Hey, Sugi——"

"Be quiet Kusanagi. It'll be faster if I'm the one explaining."

"No, it's not about that. What you're saying is..."

"Silence."

Strictly, Ikaruga stopped him from speaking.

He was forced silent by Ikaruga's serious expression. She must have known all-too-well what he wanted to say. This is what Takeru wanted to tell her.

'What are you saying it's practically all lies.'

As Takeru's gaze questioned her as to why is she lying, Ikaruga also answered with her gaze.

There is no need to say the truth, is what it said.

"So, why does Suginami know such a thing?"

Usagi asked, and Ikaruga responded to her.

"About the time I entered the school, I hacked the forbidden area's database out of curiosity. The record about Kusanagi's sister was there."

That too, was a lie.

There were no records on Kiseki in Inquisition's database. The facility and all its instruments were stand-alone and all records were stored on paper.

Obtaining information on Kiseki through hacking was impossible. Ikaruga learned about Kiseki from Takeru after his defeat to Ouka in the middle school when he was swallowed by despair.

The reason Ikaruga kept the truth about Kiseki in secret, was definitely as not to instill fear of Kiseki in their comrades.

Takeru understood that, and hit his lap with his fist.

Telling them the truth at the moment was not a good idea.

It wasn't that he didn't trust his comrades. But it was inevitable that they would fear Kiseki.

Knowing Kiseki's identity and knowing the risk, only few could remain sane.

 

"............"

Ouka was aware that Ikaruga and Takeru were feeling uncomfortable.

It was clear that the two were hiding something.

She could draw out what it was by questioning them.

However, she was unable to act so rudely towards her comrades, nor she had intention to.

...not being included feels lonely.

Smiling wryly at the fact that she felt lonely, Ouka downcast her eyes.

Honestly, she has never thought that Takeru's circumstances were this serious. With his little sister designated as an SS-class risk, there is no way he wouldn't be upset. After encountering her in the back alley, he didn't know what to do.

When she shook hands with Kiseki, it wasn't that she didn't feel scared.

It was because of Ouka's own policy and the feelings she had for Takeru.

The gratitude Ouka felt toward Takeru was real. Thanks to meeting him, she didn't stray from the path of a proper person.

The bitterness of living only for revenge and loneliness.

It was a sense of isolation which resembled walking alone through darkness.

Previously, Ouka cherished it and was resolved to accept it as the obvious retribution. As if clothing herself with sin, she continued to seek revenge.

But Takeru on top of accepting her revenge, had denied her way of living.

Ouka knew, just how little a single person can do.

Ouka knew, just how meaningless is it to isolate herself.

Ouka knew, just how great the power born from cooperating with one's comrades was.

That was why this time, Ouka reached out to Takeru.

Don't shoulder it alone. What are you doing agonizing yourself alone, fool. You who have forcefully shouldered half of my burden, why do you seem like you're about to be crushed by your own burden... and so she thought.

...I will shoulder your burden in my own way.

After separating from the wall, Ouka sat down on the chair next to Takeru.

As she stared at everyone's faces, she could tell that everyone felt lost not knowing what to do.

Normally, having Kiseki go back to the forbidden area, secured and subjected to appropriate treatment would be most appropriate course of action.

However, the person in question was Takeru's little sister. Although she was restrained by a powerful force, it was no wonder one would think about releasing her. However, that kind of half-assed thinking should be unacceptable for an Inquisitor candidate.

Because Mari was in a similar position, she could understand Kiseki's feelings the best. Understanding this, Ouka tried a suggestion.

"Everyone, I think you understand the situation. Without a doubt this is an emergency. Even I cannot let her, who is designated as an SS-class danger go unchecked."

"...b-but she's Takeru's little sister? Even I know what's the right thing to do but..."

Mari said so in a lukewarm manner.

Ouka nodded and placed her hands on her chest.

"Yeah. But I... as a member of Inquisition, I'm unable to release her."

Showing a strong will, Ouka stared at Takeru.

Takeru opened his hand that was clenched into a fist and turned around to her.

"............I know. I too intended to do that. Having her go outside like that is dangerous... and she too, wouldn't want that either."

"...I guess so."

"Passing her to Inquisition Board would be optimal."

Once again, Takeru clenched his fist.

Ouka put on a faint, bitter smile and looked down at the wristwatch-type device.

"After deciding that, let's act immediately. We should start moving."

"............"

"We will escort Kusanagi Kiseki to forbidden area."

Everyone looked up in surprise.

Takeru slightly rose up from the chair.

"Escort you say... aren't we going to contact Inquisition and call in Dullahans?"

"Although I really want to do that... actually my device and mobile phone started acting up after entering this barrier."

"...eh?"

"It won't respond anyhow."

Speaking of which, after entering the barrier Takeru's intercom also broke down.

However, there was an option of contacting them after leaving the barrier.

Takeru was confused, but after looking at Ouka's expression, he guessed everything.

Ouka unnaturally shook her head saying "good grief".

"Like this we can't contact them. There's no choice but to drop her off ourselves."

While saying so, Ouka showed Takeru a smile.

"Even I know that visitation of a witch with high-level danger designation is an enormous expanse. If it's an SS-class then that must be an explosive amount."

"...it can't be, that you..."

Takeru stood up from his chair.

Ouka scratched her cheek and averted her eyes.

"I am aware that this is an illegal act. It can't be said that there's no danger... but I believe Kusanagi's promise."

The promise.

As long as he's by her side, he won't let any of his comrades be harmed. Ouka believed him when he said that.

"...that's why, well... it's fine for the siblings to spend an hour alone together."

Takeru wasn't the only one surprised.

All platoon members had their mouths opened hearing an unlikely suggestion come from her mouth.

Probably feeling awkward, Ouka desperately turned away and tried to hide her face with her bangs.

The first one to laugh was Ikaruga.

"...on top of being bold, you said something that doesn't fit you."

"I-I am aware of that..."

"Were it to be Ootori from before, she would ignore the fact they're relatives or whatever and hurry to the call the Dullahans out of long-winded obligations."

"Even now I think it's a very dangerous idea."

"But well... you've done well despite how you are. You read the atmosphere well."

After being praised, Ouka's line of sight continued to wander around as she was uncomfortable.

Following Ikaruga, Usagi stared at Ouka puzzled.

"If it wasn't Kusanagi's little sister, she wouldn't show any mercy... but it's not like I won't praise that proposal."

"〜〜!! Who does Saionji think she is."

"How about obediently being glad after hearing a praise〜?"

Hearing Usagi laugh with "Ohohoho", Ouka couldn't respond anyhow.

Looking at Ouka acting so, was Mari stared at her in silence from the couch.

Her line of sight said she wasn't convinced, it relayed that she absolutely won't acknowledge it. Noticing that, Ouka glared at Mari.

"............"

"............"

"........................it doesn't suit you to the point of being disgusting."

Ouka stood up and came over to Mari in silence, and then with all her strength she pinched her cheeks. Not wanting to lose, Mari pinched her cheeks too.

"Yo shou hare houman ho shan wead he wood〜! (You too are someone who can't read the mood)"

"'hont het wool o hosel hust 'hos owotten hetter 't shoshialing〜! (Don't get full of yourself just because you've gotten better at socializing)."

While the two engaged in pointless grasping one another Ikaruga approached Takeru and spoke directly into his ear.

"...accept this gift in silence. It was better not to say the truth."

"But... I can't have you all take extra responsibility for——"

"Extra? Are you serious? If you are, then I'll beat you up."

Takeru was sharply glared at and silenced.

He didn't experience her glare that much before.

"I don't care if Kusanagi thinks that this is superfluous, but this is a one-in-a-lifetime thing. This is the only time that girl will be free as she is now."

"But, Kiseki is..."

"I know. If she knew about that girl's real identity, Ootori would abort the arrangement. If it's possible to use this case, make sure you use it in full even if it's at expanse of your comrades."

"............"

"...make good use of the time you two can spend together. Whether you do it or not, or will you stay indecisive as you are now, is up to you."

"Suginami... I..."

"I think that is the proper thing to do. There is no 'correct' answer to choose. It's something that can't be easily decided on... so it's all right to trouble yourself over it. But make sure to properly decide yourself. Because I, have no intention of shouldering your burden."

Ikaruga stated it firmly and looked at Ouka who sat down on the chair next to them.

Her eyes were cold, but also gentle.

Takeru looked around at the platoon that was as noisy as usual, and dropped his line of sight at the palm of his own hand.

 

Ten minutes later, the 35th platoon's members have finished a brief self-introduction and after leaving Takeru aside they have surrounded Kiseki.

"——Noww, since that's how it is, the platoon's fashion leader Nikaido Mari-san will coordinate Kiseki-chan's outfit!"

Kiseki suddenly grew impatient and has turned restless.

"U-um... what does... this mean?"

"Since you siblings can finally have a date all by yourselves with no outsiders butting in, it's decided that it has to be perfect!"

"...date?"

"Worry do not Kiseki-chann. S-sis will make you all cute and prettyy."

Kiseki slightly drew back seeing Mari come closer to her while panting heavily, and entangled fingers of her both hands looking troubled.

"...but... Kiseki isn't in a position to be able to do such a thing... for everyone too, it would be best to hurry and send me back to forbidden area... that's..."

"Come on〜it's fine! I too am a witch just like Kiseki-chan, I won't be intimidated by you."

"...witch?"

"Indeed. Look, this collar. The folks in here don't mind I'm a witch at all, with exception of a single person."

Seeing everyone's gaze focus on her, Kiseki was flustered.

"............but even so, it's not good. I'll be a bother."

"You're similar to Takeru only in weird attitude like that! You three, don't just stand there and help out!"

Mari pointed at the platoon members and started to act bossy.

"Do not try to pointlessly raise our tension, it is annoying... who put Nikaido in charge, I wonder."

"Why, ain't that obvious? Among all of us, ain't I the one most knowledgeable about fashion?"

Taking a twirl around and putting on a smile that made it seem like ☆ signs appeared beside, Mari finished it with a peace sign.

Everyone's line of sight showed no reaction.

"...what?!"

"For some reason it seems to me like she'll end up in some indecent outfit. In that case, it is my turn. I shall pick clothes befitting an elegant young maiden!"

"Ohohoho" Usagi laughed loudly.

Hearing that, Ouka cleared her throat.

"Although it might seem that I have no sense because of what I'll say... you two, make sure it's as inconspicuous as possible."

"How stiff, it's all right for just a bit. Also, on the other hand, it's unnatural for adolescent girls not to dress up a little."

Mari pouted.

"That might be so, but we don't have much clothing on hand. We must select something from the ones we had prepared for disguise beforehand. Our choice is limited."

Ouka raised her index finger and urged everyone to calm down.

Usagi and Mari looked at Ouka a bit dissatisfied, and then moved their line of sight towards Ikaruga who was sitting on the bed, or to be precise, they stared at the pointlessly big boston bag next to her.

Ikaruga guessed what they meant and she opened the bag, taking out the clothes from inside. One after another with a rustle she took out one outfit after another. It was an amount which seemed to be too big to fit in the bag.

"——Don't make a mess okay?"

"Why did you get this many?!"

Taken aback, Ouka questioned her with a bitter face.

"But wasn't it you Ootori, who have told me to prepare disguises? I did my best making these?"

"I didn't tell you to this far!"

The amount and diversity of the clothes could make one dizzy.

For a while after that, Kiseki acted like a dress-up doll.

This isn't good, that isn't good... and like that she was putting on and taking off clothes.

The first one, was a one-piece dress and a straw hat.TMG_v05_143

"...umm... w-why is it..."

"Oh my, how cute."

"It feels like summer."

"...it does fit her, but doesn't it feel out of season?"

"Hmm... she might catch a cold."

The second one, a yukata and a fan.

"...I'm sorry but... it feels cold..."

"Black hair fits yukata's after all, doesn't it."

"It feels like summer."

"Oh, Kiseki-chan... your breasts are unexpectedly..."

"Rejected. It's too out-of-season and eye-catching."

The third one, AntiMagic Academy high school's female school uniform and a desert eagle.

"...ah, this is... somewhat, easy to move in... I think."

"Nice〜dual-wielding large guns gives off a hard-working feeling, really nice〜."

"Can't see a tree in the forest, is it all right?"

"So that's how it is... she has slightly bigger breasts than I do...!"

"In the uniform, if she's asked for an ID she'll be found out immediately, rejected."

The fourth one, bikini.

"It's... embarrassing."

"Excellent."

"Again, it's turned back to summer hasn't it."

"Suginami! You're definitely making allusions to my chest aren't you?!"

"Are you an idiot——!!"

Ikaruga's proposals, which for some reason weirdly focused on summer clothes were rejected. In the end, they settled with the one Mari had picked.

A loose sweatshirt and jeans pants, also, a cap.

"I tried not to make it too plain nor flashy, and the cap will hide her face right?"

How about it? Mari puffed her chest proudly.

Although they weren't convinced by Mari's confidence, they agreed that it didn't seem any weird.

"Is it... not strange? It's the first time I've wore proper clothes..."

Kiseki moved her body, fidgeting, bothered about her appearance.

"It's okay it's okay. You're cute, Kiseki-chan."

Mari pat her head with a smile on her face.

"...thank you...very much."

Even as she faced down, Kiseki's cheeks were slightly dyed with happiness.

That gesture seemed to deliver a clean hit to Mari's heart.

"Kiseki-chan——in the future, I'll show you that I'll definitely become your sister!"

Overcome with emotions, Mari hugged Kiseki.

That moment, Ouka and Usagi strongly hit her head from behind.

"What shady thing you are saying while taking advantage of the moment?!"

"Drop your sexual harassment you perverted muffler...!"

"It's not a reason to hit me right?!"

Once again, the three started shrieking at each other.

Not knowing how to respond to that, Kiseki was completely nervous. That's when Ikaruga moved behind her back.

"Let's ignore those dumb girls and put a make-up on you."

"M-make-up...? I-I never... did it... what do I... do?"

"Don't worry. Come over here, I'll do it for you."

While saying so, Ikaruga sat Kiseki in front of a dressing table.

After removing a set of tools from the bag, they faced each other and Ikaruga started to put make-up on Kiseki.

Probably because she wasn't used to it, Kiseki's shoulder was trembling strongly with tension.

"Don't move."

"Ah, I-I'm very sorr..."

"Relax your shoulders. It's best to be natural when the make-up is applied."

As she was told, Kiseki released the strength in her shoulders and erased the expressions.

"Good girl... that's good."

It was a very small one, but Ikaruga made a smile with her soft lips.

As she was putting on foundation, Ikaruga spoke quietly.

"...about your big brother..."

"...?"

"No matter what choice he makes... please forgive him."

"............"

"I know everything. About him, about you."

"............"

Kiseki tried to open her mouth in surprise, but "don't move" she was lightly stopped by Ikaruga.

"Probably, he won't make the choice he wants to make."

"............"

"You might think that's terrible... but you aren't the one to make that choice. It's him. The one who has it hardest is definitely... not the one who's influenced by choice, but the one choosing."

"........................"

"That's why... you shouldn't hold a grudge."

"...................................."

"It's wrong to blame it on someone else. ...okay?"

In Ikaruga's silent pupils, there was some sadness as she looked at Kiseki.

Kiseki fell silent.

After getting rid of any expressions, she stared straight at Ikaruga.

And until the end, Kiseki hadn't nodded to Ikaruga's words even once.

 

Around twelve o'clock, the streets were bustling during lunchtime.

Because it was a holiday, it was filled to the brim with couples and families.

On the terrace in the town, there was a pair of siblings.

In the end, Takeru accepted the escort proposal of Ouka's to spend this fleeting moment together with Kiseki.

Ouka and the others watched over the two from a short distance away and remained vigilant.

For the two who could only meet only for five to ten minutes a month, it was incredibly precious time. Takeru was wearing a casual jacket and clothes, Kiseki was wearing a loose sweatshirt Ikaruga had brought, as well as short jeans pants Mari took with her. She had a cap on her head for disguise and seemed like a perfectly normal girl.

Not accustomed to crowds Kiseki was restlessly looking around suspicious.

"O-outside is full of people isn't it..."

"Scared?"

"No... just... a little surprised."

She was fidgeting concerned about her own clothing.

Takeru looked at her with a smile and rest his chin on his hand.

"They look good on you so don't worry."

"I-is that so... my legs feel a bit breezy."

While still embarrassed, she was happy being told it suits her and laughed lightly.

"...so outside was like this huh."

As if looking far into the distance, Kiseki looked around at the city from the café. Even seeing such ordinary scenery was a first time for her.

Wearing normal girl's clothes, normally enjoying a meal in the city, chatting normally.

All of that, was a first experience for her.

It might be boring for others, but for Kiseki it was irreplaceable time.

However, her expression hasn't cleared up.

It was as if she was still looking at it from the prison, it was dull.

"...everyone's a good person."

"The platoon members you mean?"

Takeru asked while taking a sip of coffee, Kiseki made a small nod.

"They are just as Onii-chan has described them. Despite knowing how dangerous Kiseki is, they treated me well as Onii-chan's little sister."

As if tired, Kiseki weakly laughed.

"Mari-san is wonderful isn't she."

"Yeah, though using a foul language occasionally is her flaw."

"Usagi-san seems like an onee-chan."

"She's treated like a little sister in the platoon, so she must have wanted to act like an older one now."

"Ikaruga-san, seems like a mother."

"Somehow, she's the kind of person who's good at taking care of others."

"..................Ouka-san... is beautiful isn't she."

"...yea... well, I guess."

Trying to cover it up, Takeru drank coffee fast.

In fact, Takeru was just as nervous as she was.

After all, normally he was unable to get in contact with his little sister like this. It might be abnormal, but he was unable to speak with her face-to-face like that for a long time.

Moreover, Kiseki was a girl, and she wasn't like the platoon members who all have a screw loose somewhere. Because she was a timid girl, he unwittingly turned nervous.

Because she was wearing clothes different from her usual restraint suit, she looked like a completely different person.

"Hey, Onii-chan."

"Mm? Want to eat something? You should be hungry right?"

"No, I have a favor to ask you, is that fine?"

"Sure, anything you say. It's the time everyone made with much trouble, I'll listen to whatever you say today."

As Takeru said so proudly, Kiseki made a small smile.

"I see. Then——"

With a smile still on her face, Kiseki pleaded to him.

 

"——Would you please kill Kiseki?"

 

Despite the sound being blocked by the city's noise, these words reached Takeru's ears with certainty.

It was the second time Takeru was asked to do this by Kiseki.

The first time, was during the day of massacre five years ago.

Even now he could easily recall that moment.

Her eyes, her tears.

"You see, today I was really happy, it was fun. I thought a day like that would never come in my lifetime. That's why it's already enough... Kiseki was happy."

"............"

"............you should understand right, Onii-chan."

Kiseki looked down and tightly gripped the hem of her sweatshirt.

Takeru quietly watched her.

"Kiseki has... killed lots of people. Made so many... people unhappy. Onii-chan might say it's not Kiseki's fault, but since it's about me, I can tell. Five years ago, Kiseki killed many people out of her own free will."

"............"

"Kiseki's power is growing stronger and stronger. Yesterday too, Inquisition's facility was unable to suppress it, and I have come outside like this. If left alone, Kiseki will kill many people again... probably, on a scale incomparable to five years ago."

"............"

"That's why Kiseki should die. But... not by someone else's hand, but Onii-chan's."

"............"

"It's okay if it's Onii-chan."

Tears pooled in her eyes and Kiseki looked straight at Takeru.

Takeru too, returned the stare unchanging.

"Sorry, I can't do that. Just like five years ago, I cannot kill you."

He firmly responded so.

Tears have flowed along Kiseki's cheeks.

"What kind of older brother would kill his little sister."

"............"

"No matter whatever others say, I'm your older brother. Even if the entire world wants you dead, I want you to live."

"...Onii-chan."

"That's what it means to be family."

Takeru grasped Kiseki's hand and enveloped it with both of his.

"An older brother, is someone who protects his little sister."

He smiled sadly and stroked Kiseki's head with one hand.

Kiseki looked down again, and cried in silence. Takeru put strength into the hands that held her.

"Even if it turns out that I have to kill you no matter what... if that becomes inevitable... and the time to kill you comes——"

Takeru hit his chest with his fist and said clearly.

"——That's when I'll die as well."

He stared at her with straightforward eyes, and not a single lie could be seen in his gaze.

Kiseki's endless loneliness has eased strongly as she heard his words.

Dying together.

Such simple and cliché words were enough to overcome Kiseki's desire to be killed. It was very cruel, very selfish, and incredibly sweet, it was Kiseki's greatest hope.

"Rea...lly?"

Incredible sense of relief wrapped around her.

"Yeah, it's a promise. But not now. Until I reach my very limit, I will continue to protect you."

"...are you...really fine with...that?"

"It's been already decided. I might be unable to kill you but... I will definitely show you that I'll protect you."

That's why... as if begging her, Takeru said.

"Won't you do your best until the very end for your Onii-chan?"

Kiseki's hand he was holding in his left hand was hot.

In middle of the sorrow, she smiled.

"...really... Onii-chan's stubborn parts... don't change."

She said so while looking at him with tear-filled eyes.

"Make sure... to protect the promise, okay?"

"Yeah. After today's over, I will definitely meet you again."

"...yup."

"If I become an Inquisitor, I will be able to earn more money. And so... the amount of time we're able to meet for will increase."

"...yup."

"And then... one day, definitely."

He stopped, not finishing what he started to say.

It was an absurd dream. What he once aspired to do, "Changing the Inquisition.", that goal dwelled inside him in a different form now.

Takeru's goal which was to allow his little sister, Kiseki, live a normal life was probably impossible. A pipe dream, but deep inside, he hasn't completely abandoned that dream.

"If Onii-chan keeps his promise... Kiseki too, will try to hold out a little longer."

She laughed as if she was saved, and complied to Takeru's wish.

 

——What Takeru didn't know, is the fact that only the words he said about dying together reached her ears.

That was how close to reaching its limit her heart was, and Takeru had no way of knowing that.

The two left the cafeteria and went to town.

"Waa..."

Seeing a simple scenery of the city, Kiseki raised a voice of admiration.

She walked beside Takeru and her eyes were sparkling as they moved around the town following the road leading to school.

"Onii-chan, what's that? It's turning round and round."

"That's a Ferris wheel. Currently, it seems to be the world's biggest one."

"Hoee... biiig."

"...want to try riding it?"

"R-ride? Something that big? Isn't it hard to raise up?"

Timidly, Kiseki compared Takeru and the Ferris wheel.

Stiffness disappeared from her expression and she looked like a girl her age.

To be able to see an expression like that on her, he was very grateful. He has to thanks Ouka and the others later.

"Let's go and see. You'll be able to overlook the entire city."

Takeru pressed a button on the cheap mobile phone he purchased earlier, and conveyed that they were going for the Ferris wheel to Ouka in low voice.

《"It's all right, you can't see us, but we're all nearby. We're spotting Inquisitors here and there, we'll guide you using as safe a route as possible, but try not to stand out."》

"Roger... sorry about that... having you to act as an escort..."

《"No problem. I was the one to bring it up."》

After hearing her proud voice, Takeru no longer felt apologetic.

"...thanks. I'll take responsibility for it later."

《"It was my suggestion, I'll take responsibility for it."》

"Don't be stupid. I'm the captain. A captain is the one who should take res——"

《"You're acting suspiciously. We're starting already."》

She one-sidedly cut off the communication, Takeru scratched his cheek unconvinced.

Kiseki looked at her brother contacting with his comrades and gently narrowed her eyes.

Stretched his hand reaching out to Kiseki.

"Let's go, Kiseki. Today, make sure to play lots with your Onii-chan."

With a heartfelt smile, he waited for her.

She was facing down with teary eyes but...

"Yupp."

The next time she raised her head, she had a smile from ear to ear.

When she took Takeru's hand, his heart calmed down.

...yeah, that's right.

Feeling as if his heart was filled up, his eyes were moistened with tears.

I... for the sake of this warmth...

He recalled what he had entered the school for.

Ever since he met with his little sister, it was the first time they touched this gently.

...I don't want to lose this.

No matter how dark this world is, just to protect this girl... so he thought. Takeru, was Kiseki's older brother.

There was no other way, as they were a family.

 

——However, the world wouldn't allow this bond to remain.

 

In front, among people who were waiting for a signal to change.

Melding into the flow of people, was a single person stepping between them.

The person released killing intent piercing the pair of siblings no one else took notice of.

Feeling this killing intent, Takeru unconsciously took defensive posture and faced in front.

"What a joke——monster in human skin, two heretics taking a stroll side by side."

No way, he thought.

But his premonition was right on spot.

Takeru saw him. Right in the middle of the main street, in front of major department store.

Glaring at them from the gap in the crowd, was Kirigaya Kyouya.

"...Kyouya...?"

"Don't call me by my name. Being called that by you... makes me feel fucking disgusted."

Among the noise coming from the crowd, Kyouya's voice reached Takeru's ears.

Kyouya always used a provocative tone of voice, but he never directed murderous intent at him along with it.

Why was Kyouya there?

Takeru recalled the encounter with him a few days earlier, and strengthened his vigilance.

For a while already, he felt a discomfort in his spine as if it was creaking.

He had a bad feeling and attempted to contact his comrades through mobile phone.

However, what returned was just noise.

Whether it was Usagi, Mari, or Ikaruga, no one answered.

He didn't understand. It was too disturbing. This atmosphere, this murderous intent, this situation.

Takeru turned more vigilant, and stood in front as if to protect Kiseki.

"...what did you come here for. Got any business with me?"

"What...for? Are you fucking joking?"

"I'm not. I'm just spending a holiday with my little sister. If you've anything——"

The signal turned blue, and people started to stream through.

Kyouya was no longer visible for a few seconds, and when he appeared again.

Beside him——there was figure of Yoshimizu Akira.

Takeru's words stopped to flow, and he looked at Akira.

Just like back when he saw an illusion of her in the hallway, she was smiling mockingly.

"...Yoshi...mizu... why are you..."

As he was in front of a person who shouldn't exist, his thinking stopped.

The current Akira was a clone. She was much weaker than a normal human being because of rapid growth. Even if she were to wake up from her coma, she shouldn't be able to stand.

Akira was grinning as she stared at Takeru and Kiseki, she only smiled and did not answer.

No, that's wrong...! She's not Yoshimizu!

His intuition was sounding alarm bells.

In front of confused Takeru, Akira showed her very, very long tongue.

"——Let's do it Master. We're doing it."

Kyouya, while still releasing murderous intent poised a gun to one side.

"...I'll tell you what I came for, Kusanagi."

He slowly raised his right hand and made gesture as if placing a finger on the trigger. From his mouth, anger and murderous intent overflowed.

 

"It's obvious...! For a witch hunt!"

 

His wide open eyes sparkled directed towards Takeru——no, as they stared directly at Kiseki.

He was shaken, an alarm echoed in Takeru's brain, goosebumps and a chill spread throughout his body.

He immediately shouted.

"Kiseki! Run away!"

Refusing, Kiseki turned towards Kyouya.

Kyouya, articulated words of power.

A declaration of witch hunt.

"Summis desiderantes affectibus——"

"Kyouya...!"

"——Malleus Maleficarum!"

Activating Soumatou, he sprinted.

In the world that turned slow-motion, Takeru saw it clearly.

Yoshimizu Akira's appearance has burst and turned into dark green particles which wrapped around Kyouya's body.

——Come! Lapis!

Takeru shouted a summon of his own weapon in his brain.

Momentarily, Takeru's body was wrapped in azure-colored particles just like Kyouya.

And two magic beings clashed.

 

Metallic sounds and explosions roared in the city.

Because of the huge impact, the civilians in the surroundings have fell down as if knocked off their knees by a storm.

Following that, they ran away and scattered like baby spiders.

In an instant, confusion has dominated the main street and it turned into a vortex of screams.

At its center, an azure armored knight's sword and a dark green demon's gun barrel clashed and ceased moving.

Kyouya wore a dark green armor and tried to shoot with a huge cannon which assimilated into his right hand. Takeru poised the nodachi on the edge of the muzzle, and moved it upwards.

In the nick of time, a powerful blow was emitted into the sky.

The power released was marvelous. The impact of the magic being shot into the sky above looked like a buckshot. The sky was filled with the power reminiscent of dragon's breath, and has partially destroyed a skyscraper after grazing it.

In the middle of the raining debris, both sides drew closer to their prey.

"Why do you have a Relic Eater...!"

"Ha!! It's just as you can see, quite a plight isn't it! The little sheep that shitty Chairman has gathered aren't limited to you and Ootori, that's all!"

"...! I don't know your circumstances but listen to me! Were you instructed to catch my little sister by the Chairman?! Even without you doing it like this, I intended to return her to the forbidden area!"

Takeru said the truth as they pushed against each other, Kyouya snorted and furrowed his eyebrows.

"What are you saying after all this. A huge sinner like that can't be forgiven for taking a walk while pretending to be a human! Don't make me laugh!"

"I know that. About that, I'll explain it to the Chairman later! That's why, get out of the way!"

On top of revealing the circumstances, Takeru asked him to lower his weapon.

The weapon was a huge dark green cannon. It was too big to be called a shotgun, "The Malleus Maleficarum V “Nero”" was engraved on it.

《"Wahhaha! What a man, as if it'd be that convenient for you! A sinner should be more ferocious!"》

"?!"

《"The azure one chose such a weird guy for a host."》

In his head resounded a magical resonance... it was Yoshimizu Akira's voice.

《"Nice to meet you〜♪ I'm called Nero. Take care of me from no——well, there's no need for that. After all, you'll be killed by my master right noww!"》

A hysterical laughter resounded in his head.

There were no remnants of her previous self, after all Akira's voice was always bright.

"...why does it have Yoshimizu's voice?!"

"............"

"Answer me, Kyouya! Why is your Relic Eater——"

"——Shut up! Say no more!"

Losing himself in anger Kyouya shot at Takeru's blade.

Using the opportunity Takeru flipped his sword and jumped up, emptying the place he was in.

This is bad. Kyouya's aim was something else, it wasn't Takeru.

Behind him, fallen on her butt, was Kiseki.

"——Aaa!!"

Takeru exerted all the power there was in Soumatou and instantly moved in front of Kiseki.

"Buckshot!"

After being instructed by Kyouya, a grave sound of something charging could be heard. The moment Takeru jumped in front of Kiseki, a lump of magic resembling a buckshot burst out towards Takeru.

Unlike normal bullets, the magical buckshot was attacking entire surface rather than a single point. Even if he intercepted one bullet, it was impossible to block multiple bullets fired at the same time.

Takeru thrust his sword into the asphalt and raised it up all at once. The ground burst out, and asphalt's debris rose into the air.

Although he attempted to use it to block a number of magic slugs, there was no way such a thing would block a Relic Eater's attack.

The asphalt was broken through and the buckshot struck Takeru's body.

"!!"

There was damage to his shoulder, right flank, and there was slight damage to his left thigh. It wasn't a large amount of damage, but it would turn into large damage were that repeat multiple times.

There is no other choice but to go for it!

"KYOUYAAaaaaaaa!"

It was possible to deal with a shotgun by moving to a wide space, but escaping while holding Kiseki in this situation wasn't a good idea.

Because he had someone to protect, he couldn't distance himself. He lowered his posture and drew closer at one stretch like a leopard.

Takeru's speed should have been too great for one to keep up with by using one's sight.

In the slow-motion world Takeru saw that in the vicinity of Kyouya's temples, a vast number of blood vessels emerged and he saw Takeru.

"Kusanagiii...!"

Kyouya's eyes filled out with blood and he captures Takeru's movement.

Impossible, it should be impossible for him to be seen. Human reflexes were——

——No choice but to do it!

Kyouya aimed his muzzle, Takeru poised his blade, and at that rate both of them would attack each other clashing head-on.

At the moment the two were ready to deliver to blow to one another, that's when.

"——That's enough, both of you."

Along with a sound of a hammer, a sombre voice could be heard. Both Takeru's and Kyouya's movement stopped. Kyouya's muzzle was aimed at Takeru's forehead, and Takeru's sword was right at Kyouya's neck.

Both of them captured each other's vital points and stopped themselves at the very last moment.

At both of their temples, revolver muzzles were pressed on.

The one on the right was jet black, on the left there was a huge silver revolver they have seen for the first time.

"Turning into Witch Hunt Form on the streets. Taking hostile actions towards allies. You guys, I wonder if you're prepared to receive the punishment?"

The man hailed as the strongest among all the Dullahans, Kurogane Hayato.

Hayato held his gun up to the two's heads and released intimidating aura.

They noticed, Spriggan Dragoons and personnel has gathered and surrounded the two.

"Dismissed. If you intend to continue, try taking me down first."

The one who stepped down first was Takeru.

And Kyouya——hasn't withdrawn.

The moment Takeru moved his blade away from Kyouya's neck, Kyouya's Relic Eater fired.

What followed that was shot into the sky. Just in time Hayato averted Kyouya's barrel with the silver revolver. Subsequently he bombarded Kyouya's shoulder with the black revolver, Caligula.

Rather than a sound of gunfire, it was a sound of artillery fire.

The blow which seemed like a tank cannon's fire emitted from Caligula had blown Kyouya's body far away.

"Fool."

Hayato glared in the direction Kyouya was blown away into and then holstered his guns.

After a moment in daze, Takeru immediately looked towards Kiseki. A female Dullahan has already put on a headset-type Gleipnir on her.

Kiseki looked resigned, and has quietly accepted the Gleipnir.

Takeru cancelled the Witch Hunter Form and tried to run up to Kiseki.

"W-wait a moment! Let me talk for a——guohh!"

At the same time as he reached out to her, his left arm was grabbed and raised, he's been held and pressed to the ground.

"Who told you to move."

"I understand, but, please. Just for a little, let me speak with Kiseki...!"

Ignoring his plead, Hayato rotated Takeru's arms behind his back and handcuffed them.

Unable to get up, he tried to look up at Kiseki from the ground. Suddenly, he was grabbed by the neck and made stand up forcefully.

"Two minutes."

"...captain Kurogane."

"The count has already begun. Hurry."

Hayato pushed his back roughly and told him what was the time limit. It wasn't time to think how much was left.

While thanking Hayato in his mind, Takeru moved closer to Kiseki.

"...sorry... we got caught immediately. And here I thought I'd show the outside world to you."

"No, I had a lot of fun. Moreover, it's all Kiseki's fault. Apologize to Ouka-san and the others too from me."

Kiseki made a thin smile and looked up at Takeru.

Takeru too, chagrined and his eyes moistened, he burned Kiseki's appearance into his heart.

"...definitely, I will visit you again... wait for me."

"Yup. I'll wait. I'll be always waiting."

"...... Kiseki, I——"

Unexpectedly, Kiseki threw her arms around Takeru who had his arms bound.

She embraced him weakly, Takeru's hand behind was strongly twisted.

The tears on her cheeks wet his neck, and a hoarse voice whispered into his ear.

"That promise... make sure to fulfill it. Kiseki will——"

It was when Kiseki tried to tell him the last word.

Power left Kiseki's body and she collapsed from Takeru's shoulder.

He was unable to support her, and was only able to look as she fell forward.

The comatose drugs embedded in the Gleipnir were administered. Although two minutes still haven't passed, why did...

Although he tried to protest to Hayato, Hayato didn't look at Takeru, but behind him.

"——What a moving sibling love. Even for me it was hard to get in between the two of you. But this is my duty, it can't be helped."

A white-haired man has come out from between the Spriggans who surrounded them.

Inquisition board's Chairman, Ootori Sougetsu. While raising his bangs, the ruler has moved in front of Takeru.

"...you understand what I mean don't you, Kusanagi-kun."

Takeru faced down and fell silent. Sougetsu quietly closed his eyes and continued indifferently.

"I'm not blaming you for fighting in the middle of the town. The one responsible for that is Kirigaya-kun. I have no intention to blame you, I have cancelled Lapis' restriction in advance so that you could protect yourself."

"............"

"However, assisting a fugitive with a designated danger class... that's a splendid crime. Even if she's your little sister, that's no exception. It should have been immediately reported to me."

"............"

"...I'll inform you of your punishment later. You should cool your head off in the cell."

Sougetsu turned around with a twirl and started moving away with loud footsteps.

Even though Takeru felt Hayato's presence behind him, he still called out to Sougetsu.

"...what will happen to Kiseki?"

"By what, you mean?"

"I don't care what happens to me. But, any more than this... please don't worsen Kiseki's treatment. I beg you."

While still constrained, he awkwardly lowered his head. Sougetsu smiled wryly.

"It seems like there's a misunderstanding. Despite how it seems, I intend to protect Kiseki-chan... you're saying it as if I was treating her badly."

He raised both of his hands, shook his head exaggeratedly.

"Well, I'll have to tell you that sooner or later anyway, let's talk here then. In fact, after speaking about her with Alchemist, they have offered to cooperate with me with their all. Thanks to that, there's a prospect of controlling Kiseki-chan's power. What you were seeking for many years now... rejoice, with this she will no longer be at mercy of her power."

"...i-is that true?!"

Suddenly hearing good news, Takeru's eyes shone.

Sougetsu turned around to Takeru and smiled gently.

"I might not be a good person, but I don't lie. With this, Kiseki-chan will surely be saved."

From Takeru's eyes, a single tear spilled.

He knew that was difficult even with all the power Inquisition held. The reason Takeru was relatively cooperative was because of his little sister. The only ones who could do something about Kiseki's power was Inquisition.

At first he wasn't convinced. When he enrolled in AntiMagic Academy too, in order to set Kiseki free he flared up at Chairman and said "I’ll knock you down from that seat".

He's grown compared to back then, he understood that Kiseki, as a dangerous existence has to be imprisoned and he has revised his defiant attitude towards Sougetsu.

He could do nothing but rely on him. No matter how the other dirtied their hands with blood, as long as there was a possibility, there was no other way for him but to commit himself.

Takeru accepted the limit on the visitations as well the expanses, and took part of the burden upon himself.

One way or another, he believed that he'll obtain strength allowing him to grant her normal life.

It was true that Sougetsu was a disturbing man. Takeru too, continued to doubt him and believed he will sacrifice everything for the profit. That didn't change even now, he couldn't trust this guy.

However, if Kiseki's power could really be controlled...

"But... there's one, regrettable piece of news."

Sougetsu said to Takeru, who was moved to tears by the hope.

"We will transport her the day after tomorrow, she is supposed to be moved to a different location. The innermost prison's cell has been destroyed, Kiseki-chan will be moved to the facility that was built in cooperation with Alchemist."

"Alchemist... different facility... and where is that?"

The direction this it started to go was disturbing, and Takeru became anxious. Sougetsu stood in front of Takeru, stopped smiling and turned expressionless.

"I won't tell you."

"That's... then, visitations...? If it's money, I'll pay it! Even if it's in full! Somehow m——"

"No. That cannot be allowed. The possibility she might be targeted by Valhalla is high, if something like this happens again, other executives won't stay silent."

Once and for all, he rejected all of Takeru's hopes.

"I'm sorry, but until Kiseki-chan's treatment is complete, you won't be able to meet her. The reason you were able to meet her up until now, was because it led to her suppressing her power, this time, she went berserk because she wanted to meet you, it wasn't because it had accumulated."

"............"

"She, has reached puberty after all. Just like you, it's hard for her to control her heart. As Kiseki-chan grows, so does her power. It has reached the point where we cannot suppress it by ourselves."

Sougetsu drove an arc in the air as he moved his mouth to Takeru's ear and whispered.

"I want you to understand... this is all, for yours, and Kiseki-chan's sake."

Enveloped by despair, Takeru overlooked the asphalt on the ground with empty eyes.

Even if he disagreed, he couldn't defy him. What Sougetsu was saying, was endlessly reasonable.

What is the right thing to do... he wasn't even given grace to think like that.

Sougetsu grasped Takeru's shoulder, and squeezed it strongly enough to have nails bite into him.

"Oh right... you received an invitation to join the dissidents from Hoshijiro-kun right...? I don't know how you answered her, but restrain yourself from actions that would make you lose credits. Think of it as part of the reason you're denied visitations."

"............"

"It's so that you don't turn into an enemy... that's how it is."

As if being hit by the truth, Takeru was at loss for words.

He knew... everything.

That Takeru tried to shift from the current status quo to rebelling was seen through.

Without saying anything else, Sougetsu left and Spriggans retrieved Kiseki.

Takeru absent-mindedly looked at the sky.

He felt Kiseki's hand he was connected with separating from him. Contrary to Takeru's heart, the sky was sunny and clear.

Clouds, crows, there was nothing. That was the only thing similar to Takeru's heart.

The boy continued to be tossed about. By his own powerlessness, because of his shallow prudence he continued to suffer grief.

You're definitely not the one who's holding the reins.

Takeru noticed the truth and reality he was in. You cannot do anything. You can't do anything about your little sister. That's why don't stretch yourself, just be carried by the flow.

That's what the sky was telling Takeru.

31 thoughts on “Chapter 3 - A Moment of Peace

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  1. Shishiou Ra Bey

    Where you have "expanse" it should read "expense".
    If you are in need of someone with awesome English skills let me know. Grammatical errors irk me. I have a much greater love for this LN so I try to overlook them lol.

    Reply
    1. krytykkrytyk Post author

      My English improved quite a lot over the years and I do intend to go over these volumes when I have time, but currently I'm busy trying to catch up (keep up) with everything.

      Reply
  2. Jay

    ——What Takeru didn't know, is the fact that only the words he said about dying together were reached her ears.
    i think is "only the words he said about dying together reached her ears." without this "were"

    Reply
  3. slumberknight

    Why D: I want to read yet dont want to read for fear it gets worse. Why must you do this to me!?
    suggestions again

    There is a lot of people who > are
    "And here I was sure would give the order to kill her." > add a you
    but it if causes an abnormal phenomenon > if it
    and hurry to the call Witch HuntersDullahans > call the
    Relaxe your shoulders. > relax
    it's about me,B I can tell. Five year > typo
    for a signals to change. > remove s if only one
    Losing himself in anger Kyouya and shot at> remove and
    but it'll become such were that repeat multiple times. > reword. become worse if that were to repeat
    he has revisioned his defiant attitude > revised

    Reply
  4. Sonoda Yuki

    “Heyhey. You know that we’re several moons away on a remote mountain. We’re glad to descend to human habitats.”

    Normally when "moon" is used as a unit, it refers to time, and from Japanese it'd just be translated as "Month" anyway.

    Reply
    1. krytykkrytyk Post author

      Why did I write moons there again...

      Probably tiredness huh. Or was it because of how that guy speaks...

      Reply
  5. nckeo

    Chairman said he don't lie! That the biggest lie ever! This series is as dark as Black Bullet, just not as depressing as BB but definitely dark. The baddies although few in numbers but all have game breaker powers, and the Inquisition that good guys worked isn't much better.

    Reply
  6. wing

    T^T *sob* *sob* im gonna cry in a corner now :(

    i feel bad for the kusanagi siblings

    Reply
  7. rem

    is there a chance that even with whatever happens in this volume kiseki will have a happy ending or at least an appearance in the future novels (even after volume 8)?
    can you give an answer even if it's just speculation? please.....

    Reply
    1. krytykkrytyk Post author

      She doesn't appear in volumes 6, 7, 8. Well, she partially appears in volume 8... that's how I'll call it.

      Reply
        1. rem

          hope that means she will have some sort of happy ending in future unreleased novels...

          Reply
  8. Amanies

    ——What Takeru didn’t know, is the fact that only the words he said about dying together were something to happen reached her ears.

    I feel like there's something missing with this sentence. It's saying that Kiseki didn't hear all the words Takeru said except for about dying together, which is weird in regards to what was happening since they were clearly talking to each other and Kiseki can hear Takeru's other words.

    Reply
    1. Satio

      cause she is too happy about dying together(she is in her own world After listen that),she did not listened or did not cared obout takeru' other words,i think there isn't strange about the TL

      Reply
    2. krytykkrytyk Post author

      Her heart is so broken, she's so cornered and tormented she can't even hear, pay attention, understand clearly.

      Reply
  9. Satio

    I hope they don't kill kiseki,but all the chapters so far realy give me bad feelling
    can you give me a little "spoiler",is she going to die?,is she Not?,,,sorry for my bad english

    Reply
      1. fuew12

        ughhh... not happy ending, well somehow figure it out after see the last Pic
        but still.............

        Reply
          1. fuew12

            see this vol last pic give me two hypothesis, tear jerking happy end or heart sweat sad end
            anyway Imotou the best \ :v /

      1. Sonoda Yuki

        Miracles aren't always good things; and I was trying to make a pun. In fact, I've made another.

        The true feelings within her heart, Takeru is unable to fulfill those desires.

        Reply
  10. moevora

    typo:
    “You might thing that’s terrible…
    so she must have wanted to act like an an older one now.”

    nice chapter..

    Reply

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