The Sanctuary has spread out swallowing almost the entire world.
The United States, Russia, China, and other countries has a significant amount of pollution spread upon them, and there weren't many habitable areas left for humans.
There were Inquisition headquarters in areas other than old Japan's land, but moving between the areas was limited to movement through the sky, and since its necessary to fly at an altitude of twenty thousand metres to be unaffected by the widespread Sanctuary, visiting other regions was difficult.
It was also difficult to call support from other areas because of the Sanctuary's interference which made it impossible to connect with them. On the other hand, the witches who survived by constructing a protective barrier have developed transfer magic and were doing that rather frequently.
The shelters created and maintained by the witches were spread all around the Sanctuary.
It seemed like even in the Sanctuary located in old Japan there was a small shelter.
"This place, is the European shelter. Everyone calls it Magic Academy."
The girl with blue hair, Kanaria was walking down the hallway with a stern expression and guiding Takeru through Magic Academy.
"All children born inside of Sanctuary are sent to this academy and receive magical education. It's a training institution for witches... just like Inquisition's AntiMagic Academy."
"This shelter's total population numbers fifty million people. In the spacious Sanctuary, there's a lot more witches."
Even as he listened to Kanaria's explanation, Takeru wasn't paying much attention.
After the case with Kiseki was settled, he fainted and was transferred into Magic Academy by Orochi. Since then, a month seemed to have passed already.
But even as he was told about Magic Academy, honestly, he couldn't get a good grasp on it. After all, the war is a story of the past to him, something that happened 150 years ago.
The country of witches exists, and Inquisition is hiding that fact?
If it's Ootori Sougetsu, then there's no way he doesn't know about it.
And after getting caught up in such a large-scale incident, Takeru felt completely lost on what's happening.
...I wonder what happened to the platoon members. And Kiseki...
He faced down frustrated.
Kiseki's expression as their hands separated was full of sorrow.
He could also remember the voices of his platoon members who tried to get through to him.
『"Don't go... Kusanagi...!"』
Recalling Ouka's heartbreaking voice, Takeru squeezed his hand into a fist.
In the end, everything he did ended in failure.
He rejected the option of killing Kiseki, and decided to save everything.
However, he remained without any solution, and headed towards the end not knowing what to do.
Unable to do anything, he ended up just being used...
When Takeru recalled his powerlessness, all strength immediately left his body.
No matter how much I fret over it nothing will change... let's just think about going back to where I belong for now. First and foremost I should learn what has become of the outside... I'll have to get it out of them no matter what. My comrades safety and... Kiseki's current status...!
He won't stand just being able to pray for their safety.
Intending to resist everything that comes at him, Takeru walked forward
I must go back as soon as possible. To where my comrades are.
Suddenly, Kanaria's face appeared right in front of his and she stared at him. Takeru strongly jumped back.
"Did you hear me?"
"Did. You. Hear. Me?"
When he looked at her like this, he felt that she was unrealistically beautiful girl. She had blue hair, reminiscent of blue crystal and bright yellow eyes. Although she was still young and wasn't too tall, the bodysuit that fit her tightly displayed her feminine body line.
With a stern expression, Kanaria put a hand on her hip.
"Kana is busy. If there's no need to guide you, she'll be going."
"Sorry. I was lost in thought..."
"You need some self-awareness. I would lock you up if I could. You can't walk around as you please."
"I know that. I'm a prisoner of war right... for now."
Takeru said so, and touched the restraint attached to his neck.
It was a collar that had the same structure as the explosive-type Gleipnir. The reason Takeru who had no magic power was wearing this, was to prevent him from using Mistilteinn.
If he uses Lapis and tries to go into Witch Hunter Form the collar will explode.
As he noisily messed around with the collar, once again Kanaria moved her face up close to his.
"H-hey, y-you're too close, wh-what is it?"
As her pointlessly well-featured face approached, Takeru took a defensive posture.
She narrowed her eyes further starting at him, and inflated her cheeks with air.
"............don't think you won."
He had no idea what did she mean.
"I'm talking about the match a month ago."
"Don't misunderstand. You were in Witch Hunter form. It wasn't fair. You didn't win. I didn't lose."
"D-Double-Edge style! Kana's stronger!"
Kanaria turned around on her heel.
After being yelled at by Kanaria, he recalled a little of what happened right before he was brought here.
Takeru had only a vague memory of fighting with Kanaria and the circumstances it happened in, but he was able to recall how her attacks felt.
At that time he judged that her skills were immature. It felt like it weren't his own thoughts and it was a bit weird, but as he recalled it, they certainly were immature. It was forceful, and it was a fact that it lacked the precision essential to Double-Edged style.
I'll keep that to myself.
While looking at her back, Takeru chased after Kanaria.
What was he supposed to do right now, was to meet with the Magic Academy's Chairman. Rather than trying to learn it from Kanaria, it was more efficient to question that person.
Until he understands the situation he is in, it's pointless go act impatiently.
Rather than that, there was one thing he was curious about at the moment.
"Did you learn Double-Edged style from Master?"
Still pouting, Kanaria walked forward ignoring Takeru.
"In what circumstances were you taught? I was allowed to because I'm one of Kusanagi's, even so, I had to prostrate for three days straight otherwise I wouldn't be taught. If you're not a relative, you must have had it even harder, right?"
"............why do I have to tell you that."
She looked away irritated.
Although he was outright refused the answer, unexpectedly Takeru didn't pull back.
In his heart, he was happy to get a junior pupil.
"How much did you learn? If you were taught the techniques, means you are quite acknowledged."
"Training... must have been ridiculously hard on you, a girl."
He continued to shower Kanaria with praise despite the fact that she decided to ignore him.
She opened her eyes wide only for a moment, and directed her confused gaze towards Takeru, then looked away again. She must have thought she failed, and tried to hide her face with her bangs.
With some intimacy in the gesture, Takeru placed a hand on her head like he usually did on Usagi's.
"You did your best haven't you. That's quite something."
As Takeru gently stroked her head and spoke, Kanaria's body trembled for a moment like that of a scared fox.
Her pupils shook faintly.
From a series of her actions, it was obvious that she was upset. Master of Double-Edged style, Orochi, was unlikely to praise his disciples and as such, being acknowledged like that must be a first experience for her.
As he thought that with a smile, Kanaria's face has turned red and she faced down.
"——Don't act like a senior pupilllllllll!!"
A sound like a gunshot has rang out.
With an outburst of anger Kanaria made an uppercut aiming for Takeru's jaw. At the same time as Takeru's head rose up a few centimetres, his body was lifted slightly. He predicted that an uppercut would come and right before it hit him he jumped, decreasing the blow's power, but if he received that blow squarely as it came with momentum of a bullet he would surely have died.
"What was that?! A-are you trying to kill me?!"
"M-my bad, it's a habit...! Sorry for suddenly getting over-familiar on our first meeting!"
As Kanaria was looming towards him, her fists letting out a cracking sound, he apologized in a hurry with a pale face.
Just when he was pursued until his back hit the wall, and the situation has grown tragic,
Suddenly, he could hear a voice coming from the other side of the corridor.
With his collar grasped by Kanaria, Takeru looked in that direction with a pale face.
There was a girl with a hat on her head and a muffler wound around her neck.
Seeing the appearance of his comrade, whom he thought it'll be impossible to see here, Takeru was agape.
While Mari stood there in in daze, tears started to gradually pool in her eyes.
Letting out a sobbing without any reservations, scattering things all around Mari started to cry on spot.
She rubbed her eyes like a child, and unsteadily came closer to him. Although Takeru was slightly embarrassed, he naturally hugged Mari's shoulder.
"Why are you here...?"
Mari tried to answer while crying, but she couldn't articulate any words and only sobbed.
"We brought her together with you. Orochi proposed that. 'There's no point in her staying in Inquisition', is what he said."
Beside them, Kanaria spoke in Mari's stead.
"After you've been knocked down by Orochi, this girl came all alone to help you."
Takeru fell silent and glanced at the weeping Mari.
Back then, Takeru released Ouka's Witch Hunter form and entrusted her to their comrades. Surely, Mari must have left the three behind and chased after him.
He placed a hand on Mari's head and lightly stroked it.
"I've made you worry... I'm sorry."
As he spoke with a gentle voice, Mari, whose face was already wet, has started to cry even more intensely.
Kanaria standing next to them looked at Mari puzzled, and shook her neck in a 'good grief' gesture.
"Despite acting energetically at all times, you show your weakness in front of a man. Kana really hates women like that."
Hearing sarcasm in her voice, Mari turned around and glared at her.
"I don't want to be told how a woman should act by a brat like you! In the first place, I've told you to call me immediately after Takeru wakes up! Why haven't you caledl my mobile, you're mean!"
"?! Uh...gh... w-we were supposed to go meet you now. Kana isn't mean."
"Liar! We just meet by chance because I was passing through here! Kana-chan, you shouldn't immediately make up excuses!"
"I-it's not an excuse... I'm no good with... machines. I don't know what's a mobile. K-Kana is..."
At first she acted strong, but blamed by Mari who was slowly approaching her, she started to step back.
The moment she was cornered against to wall with nowhere to run, Mari attacked her.
While Kanaria tried to escape the nelson hold, Mari used her fingers to play with Kanaria's long ears.
"M-my earss! Let off my earrss!!"
"Come〜on〜 come on〜! Admit that you had no intention of contacting me right from the beginning!"
"It's truee! I really don't know how to use a mobileee!"
Even as Kanaria's face turned red and tears appeared in her eyes, Mari had no intention of stopping to play with her ears.
While Takeru was amazed by the two's exchange, he looked at the scenery of Magic Academy spread outside the window.
Warning bells continued to resound in his head unchanged.
What was searing his brain, was not only the memory of being unable to save Kiseki, but also him abandoning his comrades.
Even now it was foggy and he couldn't focus on it, the memory of that re-contract.
...I wonder, what is she doing now.
Worried about safety of his own weapon, Takeru formed a fist.
Lapis. Relic Eater 『Mistilteinn』
Since he was still alive and breathing, she too must have been in this place.
Takeru, Mari and Kanaria started to walk around the Magic Academy the three of them.
The place Takeru was in seemed to have been called the Magic Academy's 'Medical Magic Tower'. He felt that it resembled AntiMagic Academy's Seelie's hospital ward.
Although it was similar, Magic Academy wasn't as exaggerated as AntiMagic Academy. Students wore a uniform of ultramarine colour and didn't have a gun, they looked normal.
However, a wand entered his field of vision, it was holstered by the student's waist.
Wands were Magical Heritages assisting witches in creating operative procedures. When he looked around, he saw that a number of students were carrying various and strange magical catalysts.
Probably because it's a habit, but he was on alert.
While the outside world was relying on electronic equipment for stereoscopic videos and images, it seemed like magic power was applied to mechanical technology instead. There were many devices similar to those from AntiMagic Academy, it was probably because Alchemist was involved in development of both of them. However, probably most of the items in here could be only used by witches and sorcerers.
"Surprised aren't you. I was the same at first too."
Mari walking next to him said with a complex expression.
She spent the entire past month in this Magic Academy. It seemed like that was the reason she was acquainted with Kanaria. Since it wasn't unusual for a witch to come from the outside, Magic Academy treated her as a first year. The clothes Mari was wearing at the moment too, were something given to her by the school.
"Even now, I can't believe there's a world like this."
Mari looked outside the window.
There were hardly any people walking outside. Everyone was flying in high speed on something that looked like brooms which moved along something like a light tube which connected floating buildings.
Everyone in here was a witch or a sorcerer.
Nestling up next to them were fantastic or magical organisms. A small lizard with a red jewel embedded in its forehead, there was also someone riding a huge crow that was spitting a cloud of smoke from its mouth. The former was an extremely dangerous magical organism, the latter was a fantastic organism already extinct in the outside world.
Buildings were special too. Many of them were floating in the air. There were hardly any engines using electricity or fuel, and the machinery was running powered by magic power, the magic particles leaking out were shining all over.
This place, was overflowing with magic.
It was different world already. No matter how he tried to understand, his brain's processing wouldn't keep up.
"It's great that you're safe, Takeru. Did they do anything bad to you?"
"Oh, I'm perfectly fine. What about you, are you all right?"
"It's just as you can see. Since there's quite a few witches coming here from outside world, I'm guaranteed freedom to a certain extent. The collar... they have removed it for me."
Mari looked at Takeru's collar, and placed a hand on her neck where her collar was.
There was no Gleipnir on Mari's neck. Apparently, Orochi had released her collar before they transferred to this place.
Even though she told him that Orochi released it, she had no idea how did he do that.
The moment Orochi in front of disappeared, the collar appeared in his hands, then was thrown and exploded far away.
In short, he must have cut and thrown away the collar faster than it could explode.
An outrageous forceful move, it was a feat impossible for normal people.
"Mari, there's a number of things I want you to tell me."
"...yeah, I don't know all that much, but I'll tell you everything."
When Mari meekly nodded, Kanaria who was behind them cut in.
"Flapping your mouth is not good. Women from outside have really loose lips. You two are prisoners. You're under obsh——"
The moment Kanaria tried to force herself to articulate a difficult word, Mari turned around and started moving her fingers in a suggestive way. Seeing that Kanaria moved back, and like a small fox, she hid from Mari behind the door.
Takeru ignored the two's exchange, and moved straight to the topic.
"...do you know the current situation of our comrades and Kiseki?"
"I don't know... I was looking for a way to contact them from this side, but it seems that there's no way to contact with the outside other than through Magic Academy's central. ...and Kiseki-chan is... um..."
"She was taken back by the Inquisition, I know only that. It happened right in front of my eyes, but I was unable to do anything."
Takeru's fist let out a quiet sound. His expression was calm but... inside of him was boiling an intense anger towards Inquisition, it was so strong it seemed to burn him from inside.
"But, I think all of the platoon members are safe. They should have been able to ecape thanks to you opening a way for them. Usagi-chan and Suginami are there, surely Ootori must be safe. I believe in those two, that's why I entrusted that woman to them."
I'm confident that's how it is, said Mari and downcast her eyes again.
"...however, this past month I've been hearing an unpleasant rumour."
As Takeru asked, Mari spoke in a heavy voice.
"The war, although battles are sporadic, but it seems to have begun again."
"It's something I've heard from the students in here, but apparently small-scale battles have been happening in Grey City where the witches troops and Inquisition forces meet. Valhalla's extremists arbitrarily activate large transfer magic, there's a rumour an entire battalion has entered Grey City."
"If that's true then... they might be in immediate danger."
Impatience could be seen in Mari's expression.
In contrast to that, although Takeru's expression was serious, there was no impatience in it.
Instead, what could be seen was something like a sense of mission.
"...you're surprisingly calm, Takeru."
"...is that so?"
"If it were you from before, you would charge into action immediately like a wild boar. Did something change?"
Mari asked and floated a wry smile, in response Takeru faced forward and narrowed his eyes sharply.
"Nothing changed. It's just... I decided not to give up on anything. No matter the circumstances, no matter the despair that spreads out in front of me... I will protect everything I want to protect."
"If I want to do that then surely, running wild is not a good idea. After all, there are times where hurrying won't solve anything. Right now, I think it's time to understand the current state of affairs and look for the means to act."
Takeru said so with a serious expression.
"We'll return to where our comrades are somehow. I want you to lend me your power for that."
After hearing Takeru's decision, Mari strongly nodded.
He once again faced forward, and asked Mari again.
"...do you know what happened to Lapis?'
"Oh, Takeru's Relic Eater huh..."
"Since I'm still alive, it means that she's in here even though she should have been on the Inquisition's side. Do you know anything?"
"I wasn't told anything related to our comrades. Shouldn't she be right beside you?"
Takeru touched his collar, worried about Lapis. That's when,
"About that, we're going to tell you everything so don't ya worry."
Orochi's voice sounded from the other side of the corridor.
He firmly captured Takeru with his unseeing pupils and smiled.
Takeru glared at Orochi with a hint of hostility.
The room Takeru was brought to by Orochi was white and simple.
Wallpapers, ceiling, floor, desk, dresser, clothes hanger, everything from a tea cup to book covers were uniformly white.
Floating in the centre of the white space, there was a woman brighter than anything else.
For an instant, startled by her surreal appearance he thought she was a ghost.
The woman smiled gently to Takeru.
"Nice to meet you, Kusanagi Takeru-san. I am European Shelter's Magic Academy's east side Chairman, my name is Mother Goose. Pleased to make your acquaintance."
With a smile, Mother Goose lowered her head respectfully.
Probably acquainted with her already, Mari looked at Mother Goose disgruntled.
"It must be hard for a convalescent to stand, I have prepared delicious tea so please, sit down."
Mother said so warmly, and sat down on the coach. Takeru and Mari sat down on the sofa opposite to her. Orochi and Kanaria remained standing by the wall, sandwiching the door between each other.
Despite feeling slightly nervous, Takeru faced Mother resolutely.
Mother Goose drank a sip of the tea, and tilted her neck puzzled.
"How is your physical condition?"
"...thanks to you, I'm feeling well."
"That's great. I thought of coming to visit you directly, but I've been quite busy... did Kanaria properly guide you around? She might have dragged you around too much and exhausted your stamina..."
Although Kanaria standing by the door wanted to protest, but Orochi directed his cane towards her and she closed her mouth.
Even though Mother's calm attitude and voice were driving him crazy, Takeru stared straight at her in response.
"——I didn't come here to chat with you. Hurry up and get down to business."
He said that bluntly, while releasing hostility towards her.
Mari bared hostility as well, but she was surprised seeing that, astounded by Takeru's attitude. Kanaria opened her eyes widely, and Orochi whistled.
"I am grateful to you for healing and reviving me. But me and you guys, aren't supposed to have a relationship that would let us care-freely chat over tea."
"I don't know whether you are my enemy or not... but I can assert that you aren't my allies yet."
While gazing sharply at Mother, Takeru spoke frankly.
Mother Goose didn't seem to be upset, but she slowly opened her eyes that were closed up until now.
They were ruby-colored, beautiful and intimidating.
"...what are you trying to say?"
"What do you request from me."
"Don't play dumb. After all, you too have some underlying motive you want to use me for. If there weren't any, you wouldn't have given me this kind of treatment."
Takeru who was forced into doing things up until now, decided that he will no longer dance to others tune. Moved deeply by Takeru's manly attitude, Mari's eyes who sat beside him were shining and sparkling. Blood vessels floated on Kanaria's face as she was angered by Takeru's attitude, and speaking of Orochi, for some reason he was grinning happily.
Has placed a hand on her mouth, faced down and let out a classy laughter.
To the belligerent Takeru, it was an unexpected reaction.
"I'm sorry. You have suddenly went on the offensive, and I was a bit dumbfounded by that... please forgive me. It was too sudden."
"That's not something to laugh about... I-I'm serious... here..."
Takeru continued to fidget and fixed the position he was sitting in on the coach.
"Yeah, that's right! Cut that out! You're scheming something, even I can tell that!"
Capitalizing on it, Mari yelled out.
Once again, Mother honestly apologized to the two.
"Certainly, I have a request. You two are affiliated with Inquisition, in other words, your standing is that of our enemies... it seems like such a carefree attitude angers you. Then... I'll say it openly."
Mother squinted, and told Takeru what she wishes for.
"Kusanagi Takeru-san. Please, don't participate in combat any more."
The atmosphere has frozen at the unexpected request.
Mother Goose was serious. He could immediately tell that it wasn't a joke.
"As you already know, that control collar is there because we don't want you to hold that sword any more."
"...that sword. You mean Lapis?"
"Yes. If you hold Mistilteinn any longer, then probably..."
She looked at Takeru with compassion.
"Your soul will assimilate with her, and you will turn into a completely different being."
"...what...do you mean?"
"You must have felt it. After all, the 『God Hunter Form』 was activated."
He recalled it after being told so. Ambiguous consciousness. Unrealistic driving force of his body.
The feeling in his heart as if he was undergoing something like assimilation.
"...Takeru, are you okay?"
Mari looked at Takeru's face anxiously.
"It's not surprising for you not to remember it. At that time you were yourself, and yet you weren't."
"As Mistilteinn's name suggests, it carries the meaning of 'Mistletoe'. It's a forbidden sword that acts parasitic towards the contractor, and devours their existence... also..."
Mother took a breath, and cautiously said the truth.
"It is the main cause that has led this world to ruin."
"What, impossible...! There's no way that's true!"
"The forbidden Magical Heritage called Twilight-Types are something originating from a different world, they are 『Sacred Treasures』 used by otherworldly gods, weren't you informed of it by that vile maverick... Ootori Sougetsu?"
After hearing the question, the story he heard from Hojishiro Nagaru has been revived in his mind.
Sacred Treasure. Something that shouldn't have been usable by humans, a weapon of gods.
Just as Mother says, Nagaru also said not to trust Lapis.
Looks like that story was all true. He understood that from the fact that Mother's and Nagaru's stories added up.
He could only believe it. Up until now Lapis was an existence acting as his partner. And it was going to eat his existence? Just like her name stated?
She nearly destroyed the world? The weapon he's been holding up until now?
His thought processes couldn't keep up, and the pain he felt has gotten worse.
"The Akashic Hazard that triggered the conclusion of the Witch Hunt War 150 years ago. The cause of it, was undeniably Mistilteinn... the sword you are contracted with. If you keep using it, it might lead to another Akashic Hazard. Although Twilight-Type has been effective as a deterring force against Valhalla up until now, with you contracting that sword, that fragile balance has collapsed."
What she said, meant that Takeru and Lapis were something like a trigger for the war to resume.
"Of course, there is not a single reason to blame you. You are a victim. If possible, I would like for you to quietly spend your time in this place... and not to participate in the war."
Please... like that, Mother appealed to Takeru.
Suddenly, Orochi placed a hand on Takeru's shoulder. With a wry smile, he faced towards Mother.
"Mom, leave it at that for now. I understand you're impatient, but that's too fast. This guy might have been as well thrown in to a different world just a moment ago. If ya suddenly throw these various things at him suddenly, it's no wonder that he'd be confused."
Patting Takeru's repeatedly, Orochi showed some concern.
Mother Goose retracted her body that was leaning forward slightly, and she lowered her head apologetic.
"I'm sorry... but I can't afford to do so. Even if I have suddenly came with such a request, and you are unable to understand it..."
Laughing at Mother who lowered her shoulders, Orochi strongly grasped Takeru's shoulder. Takeru raised his pale face to look at him.
From within his closed eyes, Orochi stared at Takeru.
The intimidation soared high, and Takeru was reminded of the first time he met with Orochi.
Five years ago. In front of Takeru who was unable to protect nor kill Kiseki and stood there stunned, Orochi had appeared. He didn't comfort him, nor show any sympathy. He grasped Takeru's hair, making him look at the massacre in front of him, and had it burn into his eyes.
『"——Remember this, Takeru. Burn the result of your decision not to choose anything. Don't you run away."』
At that time too, a fear like this has enveloped Takeru.
"I don't think you're a victim. Four years ago, you ignored myself when I tried to stop you, and have involved yourself with Inquisition. I have no sympathy for you... responsibility lies on you too."
"When you separated from me, you declared 『I'll change the Inquisition, and show you that I can change the world.』, haven't you?"
Even as Takeru's pupils shook slightly, he nodded slightly.
"So don't act spoiled here——you're the one that has to do something about Mistilteinn. That's your sword isn't it. If you're at the mercy of your sword, then you don't deserve to use the Double-Edged style's name."
His strong self-important voice, was nostalgic to an unpleasant degree.
That's the kind of person Kusanagi Orochi was. He didn't hesitate neither to kill, nor to protect. He lived by the sword, and would die by the sword. A man who embodies the ideals of Kusanagi Double-Edged style.
His conviction always turned into a sound argument and pierced Takeru's chest.
"...Orochi, are you really..."
Mother raised her waist, and glared at Orochi.
Orochi had drawn the sword with his free hand, and pointed it towards Mother.
"That's the kind of person I am, you should be the one to know it best. I might be on Valhalla's and the witches side now... but my way of life, will be always dictated by the Double-Edged style."
"...it's too dangerous. We can't bet on an unconfirmed, hidden card."
"Whether it's confirmed or not. I managed to do it. There is no way this guy won't be able to."
Orochi patted Takeru's head strongly.
Then suddenly, his eyes that lost their light found something in the corner of the room.
"——Hey, come out. You were listening right."
Everyone except for Mother has faced in the direction Orochi was looking to.
After a while, from the corner of the room there was nothing in, Lapis appeared while making a rustling sound.
Takeru whose headache finally subsided, stood in front of Lapis. He was relived seeing her safe, but at the same time he had a flashback of the re-contract with Lapis.
The hand he stretched out to her stopped.
Lapis didn't spare him even a glance, and was quietly staring at the floor.
"Have this one tell you the truth by herself. That will convince you right."
"Just as Mother said earlier, this one just brings harm to this world... that's what I think. Honestly, as Valhalla, I think she should be disposed of as soon as possible."
Takeru raised his face, and put on a bitter expression.
"Don't worry. Right now, Mother and I have put her disposal on hold. After all, without her magical power your body will break into two parts again. As your master, I don't want to see my disciple in such state."
"I too, do not wish for you to lose your life."
Mother agreed with Orochi, and stared at Takeru.
"Why do you go this far for me? We've been killing each other up until now."
The situation which made it seem like they intended to protect him, made him confused.
Mother smiled gently.
"Valhalla, just like Inquisition, isn't monolithic. Virtually on the top are the Senate's elders, but we need to be careful of the pureblood faction... we are split in two. As you can see, we represent the cautious faction... is what I should be saying."
Embarrassed, Mother was unable to say that they are purebloods.
"We are trying to avoid involving unrelated people with the war... but I have no intention of making excuses. In the name of minimizing the amount of sacrifices, we have assaulted you many times... Nikaido Mari-san, the one who ordered Haunted to dispose of you, was me."
Mari opened her eyes widely while sitting, but soon after she snorted spitting air, and faced away.
"...I don't care, I have no intention to blame or forgive you. I was just an external collaborator after all. I knew that I'm disposable."
"I too, am in a position where I cannot apologize. However... Haunted's practices have passed the level of intolerable long ago."
"Hmph, I'm not interested in that whatsoever. Right now, I have one goal. To return together with Takeru to where our comrades are. Other than that, I don't care. Whether Valhalla or Inquisition, it's all the same."
Mari sat cross-legged and supported her chin with her hand, no one was able to respond to that.
Mother pulled herself together, and turned towards Takeru.
"Let's return to the main story. As it was said earlier, the disposal of you and Mistilteinn has been put on hold for the time being. However, there isn't much time left. Unless we obtain evidence that Mistilteinn isn't a threat to us, you will be executed by the decision of the senate."
"If possible, I would like for you to remain here obediently but... it's true that isn't enough to give the senate peace of mind."
There's no choice, she shook her head and turned her face towards Orochi.
Orochi nodded twice with "uh-huh", and held Takeru's head from above.
"And so... you are to persuade this magic sword. Have her turn harmless, and prove that she's a beneficial existence to us."
"Nn, to put it simply——"
Orochi put his left hand on his chin, and raising the index finger of his right hand he made an indecent smile.
Takeru knew. Whenever Orochi smiled like that, he never said anything proper.
"——Have her fall for you. Make her madly in love with you to the point she will never disobey you."
When he thought it would be something incredibly serious, abruptly the story has shifted 180 degrees, making Takeru's thinking stop for a moment.