Unlike at AntiMagic Academy, Magic Academy's also had afternoon classes.
Although there was no need to earn points as part of the test platoon, everyone was supposed to regularly announce the fruits of their magic's improvement. Although you won't get expelled if you don't do so, you will be held back if the results aren't acknowledged. Since Takeru was a student of Magic Academy for the time being, he was asked to submit an article on magic for the final exam. Of course, since he had no intention of staying there that long, he only had to withstand the classes somehow.
Currently, it was time after school.
Takeru, unfamiliar with desk work stretched his shoulders rotating his arms.
Mari approached him in a strangely good mood. Also, behind her were Inia and Ananda.
"Oh, what's up you three?"
"Since there's an opportunity, we thought of guiding you around the East Side's town. It's better if you know it right?"
She placed her hands on the desk and proposed.
Takeru was a little unsure, but it would be difficult to extract any more information from Mother or Orochi, and it wouldn't hurt to know more about Magic Academy.
He whispered a question into Mari's ear.
"Can Lapis come with us?"
While saying so, he glanced to the seat beside his. Lapis faced forward and wasn't moving.
"I don't mind really... what happened, you two? Aren't you quite cold ever since coming here?"
Takeru made an awkward expression, and stared at Mari apologetically.
After getting Mari's consent, they have immediately headed outside, that's when,
"No you won't. You absolutely can't go outside. Kana won't allow it."
Kanaria folded her arms in front of her chest, moved beside them and glared at Takeru.
She reported what happened at the roof to Mother trying to take away Takeru's freedom, but has been dismissed and now was acting defiant.
Mari ignored Kanaria, raised her arms and with "let's go!" left the classroom.
"Don't ignore me! Listen to what I say!"
Kanaria grabbed Mari's shoulder with a serious expression. Takeru thought that as Mother's subordinate, it was obvious for her not to allow them go outside.
Annoyed by her, Mari turned around.
"Ah shut up. It's fine as long as you come with us right? Just say clearly that you don't want to be left behind."
"Unlike you, Kana is busy! It's not like I want to play around with yo——"
"Yes yes, I get it, yeah. I'll treat you to a bag of your favorite candies."
"——It can't be helped if you insist that much. Kana will comply and come with you."
Momentarily Kanaria also raised her arms with a "let's go!".
Takeru wondered if it's really fine for Kanaria to be won over so fast, and turned towards Lapis.
"Lapis, let's go."
He reached out to her.
Lapis slowly raised her face, and looked at Takeru's hand.
However, she didn't take his hand and instead stood up beside them without making any sound.
Not knowing what to do, Takeru put a hand his cheek with his finger and followed her.
The sun was already sinking down when Takeru and the others looked up at the magical world from the ground.
Although the buildings floating in the air looked incredibly impressive, what caught their eyes was the appearance of witches flying in the sky. Flying on chopstick-like things as fast as falling stars, their appearance was more interesting than any show.
He was impressed by the fact that none of them clashed against each other.
"Mari, can you fly in the sky like that too?"
"The "Aurora" is very versatile so it's easy for me to fly. As long as they have that band-type catalyst, I think every witch should be able to do it. For me it's easy to fly even without it though."
"...that's nice. Really nice."
Takeru's eyes were sparkling unusually. He was the type of man who always longed to fly on a fighter or helicopter.
Mari looked at excited Takeru's profile.
"...want to try flying together? It should be possible if you sit behind me."
"Two people can get on it?!"
"Two people getting on isn't that unusual... well, mostly it's done by c-couples though..."
While scratching her cheek, Mari continued to glance at Takeru. Ananda and Inia next to them started grinning.
"Ananda and I will follow you from behind, we'll make sure not to get in your way〜."
"Mhm. Avec flying it is. Wshoo wshoo it is."
"I-I don't really have any intentions like that!"
Mari rushed at the two in anger. The person in question, Takeru, was looking at the sky happily and ignored the talk about couples.
And as everyone chatted peacefully,
"Of course you can't go. You're prohibited from flying."
Kanaria came up from behind and stabbed a nail in.
Mari puffed up her cheeks and whispered into Kanaria's ear.
"Kana has no magic power. Can't fly. Can't monitor you. So you can't."
"〜〜〜〜......then why don't you just sit behind Lapis-chan."
Mari pointed at Lapis who came together with them, following Takeru a slight distance away.
"Lapis, can you fly too?"
"It is possible, but I refuse."
It was an immediate answer. Lapis looked away.
"I don't want to use my magic power for anyone else other than my contractor."
"...mm, then if I sit behind you and Kanaria sits behind Mari there should be no problem right?"
"Yes yesss! There is ! There is a problem!"
Raising her hand, Mari desperately protested.
Her expression seemed to say 'I'll be the one to carry Takeru'.
While Mari's gaze one-sidedly scattered sparks, Lapis moved over to stand beside Takeru.
And, *plop*, she stuck closely to Takeru and pulled his arm to her chest, hugging him.
Pointing her finger at Lapis, Mari made a declaration of unknown meaning.
Takeru looked down at Lapis who clung to his arm, and with a finger on his cheek he smiled.
"Wai... Takeru?! Why do you look a little happy?!"
"No... because she kinda avoided me ever since we came here, it's true that I'm a little happy to interact with her as usual."
"You're happy?! Y-y-you lolicon!"
"Don't misunderstand, she's umm... something like my partner. If I'm hated by her there will be a lot of problems..."
"P-partner...? Life partner...? I can't win if it's like that!"
"Don't add 'life' in there on your own... what kind of match are you having here? Why do you have tears in your eyes?"
"UuuuUUuuuUu! I don't know you any more!"
Mari turned around with a twirl.
Although he meant that they were fighting together as partners like those in a three-legged race, that seemed to have led to further misunderstanding. Not understanding anything, Takeru had a blank look on his face.
Ananda and Inia had already entered the box with catalysts, and brought out the brooms.
"Mari〜, you are at an disadvantage against a Magical Heritage. After all, Magical Heritage and the contractor are connected at all times."
'Mhm. Well, don't worry. Magical Heritage and the contractor are two different beings. They can't get married and she can't get pregnant, you can still aim for the wife's position."
Inia and Ananda comforted Mari.
"Co-connected... Takeru, that's lewd!"
"Wait wait, why are you blaming me?! Inia and Ananda too, don't talk things that lead to misunderstandings! Lapis and I aren't like that!"
"No, isn't worth teasing Mari? That frustrated expression on her face is so thrilling."
"Mhm. Despite her top class grades, she's so cute when teased. I love it."
As the two keenly displayed their sadistic affection, twitch blood vessels appeared on Mari's cheek. Her fist let out a sound as she approached them.
"Who the hell's a teasable character...!"
"Oh, look Ananda, Mari's angry. How about we play some tag then."
"Ohh, a race huh. Let's go at it. But there's no way Mari will ever catch up to my 『Thunder』 element with her hopeless driving."
"Kufufu", Ananda laughed, and at the same type from the catalyst's booster magic akin to lightning has been ejected. She rose up to the sky at great speed, and flew away like a meteor.
"Wait up! Damn, I'll use them to dispel this mood! Kana-chan hurry up and get on!"
Mari pulled out the catalyst from the box, and sat astride it.
"Wait! Kana didn't allow it! Don't just go flying on your own!"
"It's fine, get on!"
"I'm definitely not gett... waa.. uwah, don't touch me... don't pull me... I'll fly at this raaaaa〜〜〜〜!"
Mari grabbed Kanaria's collar and flew away like that.
Takeru looked worriedly at the two who flew away, but then he dropped his line of sight at Lapis who was clinging to his arm. This feeling was nostalgic to him. Since she was always sticking to him, although it might sound strange, he felt at ease like this.
"Why are you laughing?"
"...what I told Mari earlier was true. Being avoided by you was very painful to me."
"Please do not misunderstand."
Lapis moved away from his arm.
"My action from just now was caused by the fact I felt your life is in danger."
"My life is in danger... there was no situation like that right?"
"You will understand soon."
While saying so, Lapis too, took out a catalyst from the box.
And bothered by her skirt, she sat astride it.
"Are you not going to get on?"
"...ah, yeah. Sure."
Following Lapis, he straddled the rear seat. The belt expanded automatically, wrapping itself around his waist.
It was a strangely surreal sight like that of a small girl extending over a bike, and in addition to that, a large man rode in the back looking slightly pathetic.
"I shall start. Please hold on."
As he was told to, he awkwardly held Lapis' waist.
"Flying by using the catalyst lacks stability. Since it's dangerous, please hold me with your arms as if you were to hug me."
Then once again as he was told to, Takeru threw his arms around Lapis' back.
This is really inviting a misunderstanding...
No matter how one looked at it, he looked like a pervert hugging a small girl from behind. As he touched her like that, he thought she's just a normal girl. Her body temperature wasn't human, he felt softness as he wound his arms around her stomach.
And he felt a soft scent similar to lavender.
Immediately after the declaration, the catalyst suddenly accelerated.
Takeru's consciousness was taken in by the sweet scent, resulting with him hurting his neck at the sudden acceleration.
The feeling of tearing through the wind can be enjoyed even on a bicycle.
However, the feeling of becoming wind itself can't be tasted that easily.
Takeru enjoyed the sight of scenery rapidly flowing and the act of flying itself.
They had considerable speed. He is accustomed to using Soumatou for high speed combat, so he didn't think this kind of speed was that incredible, but since usage of Soumatou slowed down his surroundings rather than than speeding him up, it was different from high-speed flight.
Lapis slipped between the buildings as if it was a roller-coaster, rose up and dived repeatedly. However, it wasn't as if she was trying to entertain Takeru, instead she was chasing after Mari and the others who used such a random route.
Both people who used catalysts like them, and those walking on the ground weren't surprised by Takeru and the others flying. It was a part of everyday life for them.
They flew grazing the ground, and soared up on the verge of collision with a building.
And then they steadily climbed up aiming for the sky.
After they almost reached the barrier, Lapis decreased the flight speed.
As they looked below, the world of magic has spread beneath them.
It was different spectacle from what could be seen from roof. The floating buildings too, were all below them.
With a very boyish smile, Takeru watched the world below.
For Takeru who didn't have any hobbies and devoted his life to swordsmanship, part time jobs and platoon activities, it was the first time he was able to enjoy the landscape in a long time.
It might be cliché, but he felt that was truly what it meant to become a bird.
"Even though it's called a shelter, it's really broad."
Looking from one end to the other, Takeru raised a voice of admiration.
However, outside of the barrier spread a decaying world. A dead desert called Sanctuary. Although it was invisible, that place was full of "Void" magic that killed people in an instant.
The scar on the world created by the Witch Hunt War.
If war starts, will this beautiful world and my own world turn out just like the outside of the barrier. Takeru who was immersed in the fantastic scenery has been pulled back to reality.
Now that he thought about it, he came a long way. At first he was just a student, he only aimed to graduate from AntiMagic Academy to become an Inquisitor. He involved himself with the platoon members, and after many twists and turns they became comrades. 'We're going to do our best together and become Inquisitors', that's what he thought.
Everything has changed...
Takeru held Lapis' body a bit more strongly.
"Hey, you... what do you think of this world?"
"What do you mean?"
"Magic Academy. The outside and inner world, do they look different to you?"
"Magic-based Valhalla, and Inquisition that bases on science and guns. Although the organization and elements it bases on are different, I think they are not much different. The controlling outside, and inside that's better at security. The difference in strength is unknown. Although Inquisition probably has an advantage when it comes to numbers, Valhalla's forces are stronger individually. If war happens, it will definitely come to a stalemate."
Noticing Takeru's amazed expression, Lapis looked away to the side.
"What is it."
"That's not what I meant... about people who live here, and how different are they from people outside is what I was asking."
"If it's the difference between witches and normal humans, then explanation is simple."
"...never mind it."
Takeru sighed and looked at the streets below again.
"Both us and witches are living normally. I thought so back then about Mari, but with Ananda and Inia I was reminded that they are no different from the bunch outside."
"...if it was this place, even if I brought our comrades and Kiseki, they would be able to live without being inconvenienced."
He recalled Orochi's and Mother's solicitation and squinted.
Takeru never thought of what to do to save the entirety of humanity, or why did the war happen, not bothering himself with the difficult topics.
From the bottom of his heart, he wasn't interested in such things. If they want war then they can just do it on their own, he was fine with just leaving those people he didn't understand to their own devices.
All he wanted, was to protect people around him.
It didn't matter to him whether he lived outside or inner world. As long as there's peace in there, Takeru didn't mind it.
Were I bring my comrades and Kiseki here, living here together wouldn't be that bad, Takeru thought.
"You too Lapis, would be able to live here normally. There's a bunch of humanoid Magical Heritages, it wouldn't be uncomfortable like this right?"
"Whether it's Inquisition or Valhalla it does not matter. Inquisition was a well-equipped temporary accommodation. I don't mind where I am as long as it's beside the contractor who can use me."
"...so it's like that."
"That's how it is. I'm satisfied as long as I am used by a contractor. The greatest humiliation for us, Magical Heritages is when we are no longer of any use to our contractors."
...so she's still angry after all.
While the Magical Heritage's ambitions might have been just as Lapis told said they are, but he still felt it was a little lonely. Whether she has a human form or not, it would be awkward to use her like a simple object.
Even if they are a sword and its user, Takeru wanted it to be partners that trust each other.
"Like I said on the roof already, I have no intention to discard you."
"Then why, have you let go of me in that place?"
"That's... because I didn't want to kill Kiseki. I decided not to kill, but to protect everything."
"Is it fine then for me to grant you that wish now?"
"...no, don't go and fulfill it on your own, I want us to fight together and fulfill it... we're partners right?"
"My apologies, but I have no intention of being at mercy of your constantly-changing wishes. I'll pass on being discarded again."
Unexpectedly, the scar was real deep.
He knew for a while that she had strange reactions like being jealous of bashful, but he also realized that Magical Heritages valued different things from humans.
And Lapis was without a doubt the type to hold a grudge. Somehow, it felt like a couple's quarrel to him.
"I said I'm not going to discard you... I apologize for the change of heart, but there's also a misunderstanding."
"Even if that was just a change of heart for you, for me it was the rejection of fusion between me and the contractor, that is enough for me to lose trust in you."
"...that God Hunter, is it fusion? Not only erosion?"
"Yes. It's a fusion with the contractor's soul. You will quit being human, and after fusing with me you will transition into an existence from another dimension. And with that, you shall obtain power to slaughter gods."
"...I don't really get it, but what does that mean to you?"
Lapis went silent for a moment as if she were thinking about it, and answered indifferently.
"Hmm. If I were to represent it in a way easy for humans to understand——it would be synonymous with sex."
"Sex. A sexual activity. Expressing it from the human point of view, it would be as if we kissed making mood, took off our clothes and at the moment 'come on, let's start' should come, you said 『Your body is too poor so I can't get erect, goodbye——"
"Wait wait wait waittt! Is that something akin to what lovers do?!"
Hearing that, he understood that what Ananda and Inia said was entirely correct, and he received quite the shock.
"For us Magical Heritages, that's what it means. If for living organisms their ultimate goal is to produce offspring, Magical Heritage's final goal is to fuse with their contractor."
After being told that, his mood changed, and he started feeling pathetic as a man.
"Please don't mind it. In human terms, "It's my fault we can't do it, I'm not attractive enough. It's not your fault." is what I should say."
"...please, could you stop putting it in human perspective. I beg you."
It hurt him being told he's something akin to "impotent". Takeru covered his face with both hands.
"But well... I think it's a bit different from fusion after all. I know that you are trying to fulfill my wish, but my wish is mine. I'm happy with you only helping me to fulfill it, or rather, I want to fulfill it together with you."
"The result of wish coming true is the same. I don't understand what is different in there. If you just leave your wishes to me, everything will be settled nicely. Your thinking or wishes are unnecessary in there."
"I should have already said that I'm a weapon that fulfills contractor's wishes."
Lapis flatly declared. Takeru thought that it was way too one-sided. The human mind is not that simple. Having one's wish granted against their will was something very painful.
Just like Kiseki's body has done it...
Having your wish one-sidedly fulfilled wasn't a fusion, but erosion.
Takeru hugged Lapis, and put his chin on top of her head.
"Somehow, you seem similar to me after all."
"...'ha?'...hey, why do you look a bit displeased. That hurts."
"Since you said words far beyond my expectations, I unconsciously did that. My apologies, but I'm not as indecisive as you are."
"I hear no respect in there whatsoever. That's not what I meant, in past I never thought of other people and was someone who just pushed forward like a suicide bomber. When I look at you now, it doesn't feel like somebody else's problem. Humans are not so simple you know?"
"I have no intention of understanding humans. I have no intention of understanding you."
"...don't say something that lonesome〜."
Takeru ground his jaw into Lapis' head.
"Please cease grinding your chin into my head immediately. It's unpleasant."
"Think of it as of communication. Uri uri. I'm happy to know a little more about you. Don't tell me things like you don't want me to knoow, there there."
Despite knowing Lapis rejected it, he continued to grind on her head further.
Lapis remained silent, but the atmosphere suggested she was in sullen mood. Takeru thought about his interaction with Lapis up until now.
Surely, he loved this little girl. For some reason he didn't want to leave her alone, or be hated by her no matter what. Not as a different being or a Magical Heritage, he loved her as another "Human".
Although Lapis said she considers herself as just a Magical Heritage, but Takeru thought it wasn't so. He thought so for a while already, but Lapis gave off a feel of a human.
With a wry smile, he placed a hand on top of her head.
"You see, to me, whether you are a Sacred Treasure or led this world to ruin, it doesn't matter really. Surely that's something someone as dumb as I am can't do anything about. Rather than that, you should tell me more about yourself."
"I've asked on the roof already, but what kind of person was Kusanagi Mikoto? You've been together for a long time right? I no longer mean it for Kiseki's sake, I want to know about it for myself. I want to use my senior who contracted with you earlier as a reference to get along with you well."
Lapis fell silent.
Even though she was always ready to give an immediate answer, she seemed to be lost.
Takeru continued to wait endlessly. I don't know what happened in the past, but surely, that human feel Lapis has was given by that person called Mikoto, he thought vaguely.
After a while, Lapis shook her hair lightly.
"I apologize for stopping in middle of conversation, but the emergency from earlier has occurred."
"Nikaido Mari-sama has caused an accident."
Although she spoke indifferently, for just an instant she seemed to let out a "hmph", making him gasp in surprise.
"Accident?! An accident in the sky you mean?!"
"Yes. Since that person's flying is quite messy, she seemed to have caused an accident."
Lapis said while staring in the distance.
So that was the reason Lapis stopped him from getting on together with Mari. Knowing the reason for that now, Takeru tapped Lapis' shoulder.
"Is she all right? I mean, injuries... Kanaria was riding together with her right?"
"No need to worry. The flight catalysts are guaranteed 99% safety. Since shock absorbing instant charms were triggered at the moment of crash, they were unscathed."
Relieved, Takeru took a deep breath.
But, Lapis continued.
"However, the other party they have collided with seem to be a problem. I was able to identify them as West Side's student. Currently, it's on verge of developing into a conflict."
"...not good... hurry!"
A bit later, Takeru had to change his perception and thinking that living in the inner world would be good.
East Side and West Side.
Takeru still didn't know what was the difference between their forces.
They dived down from the sky, dropping their speed in between buildings they have prepared for landing.
Even from a long distance, they could see the commotion underneath. Because a lot of people have gathered hearing the commotion, they couldn't find a place to land that easily.
In the empty space in the center of it stood Mari who folded her arms in front of her chest. Behind her they could see Ananda and Inia acting timid. Kanaria looked at it from a distance as if it didn't concern her at all.
Standing in front of Mari were four students wearing military uniforms different from ultramarine ones of East Side, they were boys wearing red uniforms.
When Lapis landed on the edge of the road, Takeru waded through the crowd heading to where Mari was. When they came to his view, he saw that the situation was explosive.
"Why are you East Side bastards here? This is West Side, it's our area. Moreover, you got in the way of our training... you must be prepared for what's coming right?"
"That's why I apologized haven't I? Neither of us was hurt, so let me off with an apology...! I told you that those girls have nothing to do with it!"
On the scene that has turned into a quarrel, West Side's students held the staff and wand-type catalysts.
"No, whatever the form, I'll have you take responsibility."
"Of course. We'll report you to higher-ups and forgive you. So shut up and listen."
The student who seemed like a leader said something to his cronies stirring them up.
While Mari showed chagrin on her face, she still did her best to work it out peacefully for the sake of Ananda and Inia who stood frightened behind her.
"...fine. I'll do what you say if you forgive us with that. But those two girls are unrelated. I'll do whatever you want, so forgive me with that."
As Mari quietly backed down, the boy with glasses placed a hand on his chin triumphantly.
"Very well... that short haired woman, I'll overlook you."
Glasses pointed at Inia, and told her to get lost.
"However, I won't let off those two demihumans. Together with you they will become our slaves."
"Haa?! What the heck!"
"Those beasts defiled the West Side just by stepping on it... they deserve death. Mixes aren't allowed to oppose us, purebloods."
When Glasses said that, his henchmen started laughing.
"First... oh right, how about you take off your clothes first. Show your filthy bodies for everyone to get a look on. If you satisfy everyone's curiosity, someone might take you, you know? Well, I guess that's impossible to happen here on the West Side though!"
"...!! These guys...!"
Mari lost herself in anger, and a rainbow-colored magic aura was emitted from her body.
Then unexpectedly, Ananda grasped her shoulder.
With tears in her eyes, Ananda shook her head in Mari's direction.
"Mari, you can't use magic..."
"Why...?! I can send those guys flying with ease!"
"If you use attack magic in the middle of city, it will turn into a problem of entire East Side... demihumans still aren't accepted here... I don't want my companions to suffer any more than you already have."
"Please... you don't have to do anything, I'll be fine."
While enduring her tears, Ananda held the front of the jacket strongly, and took it off. Then, following Ananda, Inia also started to take off her jacket.
"I'll join you. Speaking of the cause, it's because the two of us made fun of Mari. Get back Mari."
"People around here are mostly from West Side. Because it's a boundary between east and west, everyone will assault you if you attack. This is where we have to bear with it."
Unconvinced, Mari downcast her face biting her lower lip.
"Don't make that face. Taking clothes off is nothing. Look, I'm quite confident in myself?"
Although Inia laughed to reassure her, Mari didn't miss the fact that her hand trembled.
The West Side's students were still laughing.
"By the way, you are to take off your underwear too! Let everyone look at your miserable figure without anything getting in the way!"
As Glasses said that, giggles and laughter came from the surroundings.
Mari faced down in chagrin, and gripped her fist.
So whether outside or inside... there's no difference whatsoever...!
For Mari who was trying to prove that people can be saved thanks to magic's usage, and fought against persecution of witches, this was a cruel and absurd reality.
Even among human beings that hold magic, there was discrimination. What was different from outside, was only the fact that inside had an illusion of peace. The dark part of Magic Academy was right in front of her eyes.
Her first friends outside of the platoon were about to undergo a humiliation, and because she tried to protect herself she couldn't do anything for them.
Frustrated by the current situation, Mari clenched her teeth soundly...
"Yo, I'm late."
Someone grabbed her shoulder.
When she turned back, she saw Takeru standing there with a bright expression. Relief surged inside of Mari.
She finally stopped trying to bear her tears, and started crying soundly.
Really, I wonder why does this man always appears with such a gentle expression whenever they are in a pinch.
Mari buried her face in Takeru's chest while crying.
"Hey hey, don't cr——hey, your nose is running!"
When he pointed out that she made his clothes sticky, Mari kicked his shin with abandon.
"You...! Show some resourcefulness and gently hold me idiot you idiot〜! And don't make any comments about a maiden's running nose dirtying clothes idiot〜! Also, you're late, idiot〜!"
"〜〜〜, it took me a while to procure a weapon. Also, Ananda and Inia, you don't have to do that any more. I'll do something about this."
"You'll do something, like what...? Eh, Takeru... your jacket?"
For some reason, Takeru wasn't wearing the Magic Academy school's jacket.
"It's fine, stand back. It's dangerous."
As Mari was about to ask, Takeru put a finger on her lips.
Takeru dragged an iron pipe he found somewhere, and stood in front of West Side students to protect everyone.
The bright and gentle man from before was nowhere to be found.
Instead, there was a man who contained his anger within.
"Kusanagi Double-Edged style initiate, Kusanagi Takeru. You guys, are you prepared? Since you have pulled out your wands, it means I can pull out my own weapon here."
Takeru spoke while hitting his shoulder lightly with an iron pipe.
"...who the hell are you. What's your affiliation."
"I just told you. I'm Kusanagi Takeru. As for affiliation, I'm not entirely sure."
"I asked whether you are from east or west."
"Sorry, but it's been only a month since I came here. I'm not from east nor west, also, I'm not from north or south either."
Although the West Side's leader tried to verify Takeru's affiliation, Takeru wasn't wearing a jacket. Magic Academy uniforms other than jackets are unified, so he was unable to determine it judging by his shirt and trousers.
"Hmph... swinging that barbaric thing, you must be one of those east bunch. You know what? If you try attacking us with magic, entire East Side's position will suffer."
"Magic, right? Unfortunately, I find it hard to use magic and can't do it... that's why, I'm going to do with this guy."
Takeru tapped his shoulder with iron pipe.
Glasses' eyes narrowed sharply.
"...bastard, an empty...!"
Hearing a word he didn't understand, Takeru blinked a few times. Lapis who stood next to him pulled his clothes. When he bent his waist, she whispered into his ear.
"Empty, meaning there's nothing inside. It's another term describing people without magical power."
"Ohh〜, I see... as expected of my partner, so knowledgeable."
"Currently, I cannot be used by you, so calling me your partner is inappropriate."
"...so you're still angry, Lapis-san."
"So, what will you do. It would be difficult to get through this situations with just your flesh and blood. I would recommend running away."
"You won't know until I try, you too should get back."
Takeru once again faced off against the enemy.
The guys from the west have already prepared themselves for battle, and directed their wands at Takeru.
"There's no place in this Academy for empties! There is no way we can allow garbage like you to breathe in this place as West Side!——Kill him! I'll take responsibility for that!"
Glasses instructed the three cronies as blood vessels appeared on his red face.
With a disciplined movements, the cronies' released a shine from their wands towards Takeru.
" " "——《Bullet》！" " "
A number of light bullets was released.
Takeru instantly expanded Soumatou and followed the fired light bullets with his eyes.
——Slow, I can do this!
Their speed was inferior compared to normal bullets, and Takeru avoided them easily by twisting his body.
Immediately after he avoided it, the light bullets hit the building's wall and burst out like a shotgun fire.
! Their power's quite high——!
Takeru turned more cautious. Unfortunately, the pipe he held wasn't made of anti-magic material, and had no resistance to magic. After blocking two, three times it turned useless.
He needed to end it quickly.
"He avoided that?!"
"Those movements... avoidance magic?!"
"What an annoyance...!"
Takeru laughed fearlessly towards the three who lost their calm.
"It's not magic——but swordsmanship!"
He lowered his waist and kicked off the ground.
Once again triggering Soumatou he approached, and momentarily moved behind the three. They stood dumbfounded with wands in their hands, unable to perceive Takeru's movements. He lightly hit the first one's on the back of his head, mercilessly broke the pipe on the second one's right arm, and sent off the third one with a strong blow to waist.
Then, Takeru released Soumatou and gliding on the ground he killed off his speed.
At the same time as his speed returned to normal, three cronies fell down to the ground.
The glasses bastard didn't understand what happened, and could only look at the cronies' backs as the fell down.
Takeru changed his target to glasses, and poised his pipe horizontally.
His eyes glowing in red, made him look like a demon.
"What's up, Glasses asshole... what are you scared about. The one who provoked first was you. How about you use all your strength to protect the honor of your friends here."
"No way... impossible...! In just an instant...!"
"You, you're a pure-blooded sorcerer right. In that case come at me in accordance what that noble blood dictates you. As your equal, I'll show you how mediocre you are."
Overpowered by Takeru's fighting spirit, Glasses stood back and raised a short scream.
"Y-y-you guys! What are you just looking! You're also from West Side right?! Don't just look and help me out!"
The Glasses bastard asked the onlookers for help. Majority of the onlookers were students of West Side. One after another, they protruded their wands in Takeru's direction.
...this number, not good.
He could no longer go easy on them. Muscles in his body groaned after the movement from before. It was easier to avoid than gun bullets, so he kept Soumatou's acceleration to minimum, but there were too many of them this time.
There's no time to be lost here. I need to take down as many of them as possible.
Raising a cry, he pounced at the West Side's group.
It turned into close combat. Five, six, dozen people. Inside of a flurry of bullets Takeru continued to take down enemies with Soumatou activated.
The moment he tried to take down the eleventh one, pain has struck muscles in his right leg.
"?! He stopped! Kill him!"
The eleventh aimed his staff at Takeru, and started to gather magic power. He aimed for Takeru's head. If it hits, he will definitely die.
Takeru forced his unsteady body and tried to lower himself somehow to avoid.
Suddenly, the eleventh's body swayed and he fell on the ground.
It wasn't something Takeru did. When he raised his face to see what was that, there,
Stood Kanaria holding a sword without a cutting edge.
Although she's been only watching with a disgruntled look the entire time, it seems like she came to assist him.
Not dropping his guard, Takeru stood back-to-back with Kanaria.
"That's why I told you not to fly. It's your fault for not stopping. You reap what you sow."
"You are right... but, is that fine? You are East Side's student as well right?"
"Wood elves can't use magic. No problem."
"Is that so——then, let's hurry up and finish this."
"Don't hold me back, Takeru."
"That's a new one, junior pupil!"
"Don't act like a senior pupil!"
The two faced the looming enemies at the same time.
Even if one storm can't take everyone down, two storms can defeat the enemies no matter how many there are. First move gives a win, defeat them before you're shot. Since they were using catalysts, it was clear that most of them relied on wands and staffs for operative procedures. So the two prioritized their catalysts.
He dived between magical bullets, and hit the opponent who used a staff in his torso. Although he accelerated quite a bit, he didn't mind breaking a bone or two.
Unlike guns, magic had to charge for a moment making the two of them enough to deal with it.
Just because the two of them were Double-Edged style users, they unconsciously cooperated with each other. Unexpectedly, their compatibility was perfect. From timing to breathing, the two's movements were perfectly matched.
In about thirty minutes, Takeru and Kanaria defeated almost all of forty sorcerers that were there.
Two demons stood on the main street full of moaning West Side students
"...that was a great help, Kanaria."
When Takeru dropped the iron pipe and exhaled, Kanaria folded her arms and faced sideways.
As expected of a sturdy wood elf, she was hardly exhausted and it seemed like there was almost no burden on her body. On the other hand, Takeru's body was on verge of overheating.
Once again he realized benefits of having Lapis. If not for the Witch Hunter form, Takeru wouldn't have survived the battles he was in up until now.
Even though he was depressed about weakness of his flesh and blood, he stood with his back straight and placed a hand on Kanaria's head.
Her shoulders twitched in surprise.
"You are really something. Like this I can't act like a senior pupil here."
As he praised her, Kanaria's gaze wandered, but she did not brush off the hand that stroked her head. She blushed slightly, but remained standing as she was.
"...d-don't pat me. It itches."
"Oh, not seeing a punch coming. So you've gotten a bit more informal after fighting together huh."
Although a punch came after he said that, Takeru predicted that and avoided it.
"Don't get full of yourself baldy!"
"Sorry sorry, my bad! I was too full of myself!"
"What's up with you, are you a beast or something? I said I'm sorry!"
With a wry smile, he dealt with Kanaria who approached him swinging her sword repeatedly.
When he was playing around with his junior disciple, a distorted voice has resounded.
"——Y-you bastards don't move! Do you know what's going to happen if you oppose us?!"
Takeru and Kanaria directed their line of sight at the completely forgotten Glasses-kun.
The moment Kanaria saw his appearance, she was amazed by the stupid development.
Glasses was holding Lapis hostage, and pressed a wand against her temple.
"If you move I'll kill her...! If you don't want you comrade to be killed then drop your weapons!"
Hearing lines of a small fry, Kanaria completely lost her motivation.
On the other hand, Takeru took a step forward and stared at Glasses expressionless.
Seeing Takeru different from usual, Lapis called out to him.
"I am a Magical Heritage. I won't be destroyed by a sorcerer of this level."
She said so to reassure him, but Glasses caught on to something and smiled.
"Ha-haha! I see, a Magical Heritage! My property exerts the most effect on inorganic things like you! A third-rate Magical Heritage can be easily destroyed with it!"
Although Lapis narrowed her eyes as she was called third-rate, she didn't remove her line of sight from Takeru.
"It's all right. Please retreat as you are. I can escape any time."
"...did you hear me?"
No matter how Lapis called out to him, Takeru wouldn't stop walking towards them.
"D-don't come over here! B-bastard, you don't care what happens to her?!"
Ignoring Glasses' screams, Takeru stood in front of him and took a thrusting stance with the iron pipe in his hand.
Then readied himself accumulating power from his entire body.
Kanaria tried move closer to stop him, but after seeing Takeru's stance, she immediately understood what was he trying to do. Takeru gathered strength to the limit and glared sharply at Glasses.
"Kusanagi Double-Edged style——Unicorn's Destructive Lance!"
Releasing the power, he thrust towards Glasses.
The air let out a noise akin to explosion, and the end of iron pipe closed on Glasses. However, right in front of him Takeru's thrust ran into something and was stopped.
A semi-transparent red wall stood in Takeru's way. The iron pipe pierced through it partially and has stopped.
"Ha...hahaha! I have stretched out protective magic in advance! Fool, it's magical power is so dense it won't break no matter how many bullets hit it! It's the result of my training for the war with Inquisition!"
Takeru pulled his body back again, and released another thrust.
A crack appeared on the magical wall, but it did not break.
For some reason, he could feel tremendous heat coming from the iron pipe he held. When he looked at the end of it, he could see that the pipe's exposed area was glowing brightly. It was as if it was being melted by heat.
"My property is "Heat Transfer"! No matter what kind of substance is it, my magic allows me to transfer heat to it! A simple protective magic can be granted the effect of "Heat Transfer"! Now that you get it back off! Otherwise, I'll dissolve this Magical Heritage!"
Deaf to Glasses' speech, Takeru continued to release thrusts time after time again.
The pipe was losing its form and dissolving into liquid, and has eventually become impossible to hold. However, Takeru——
This time released a strike against the wall without any weapon, with his bare hands.
"Wha... did he go crazy?!"
With Soumatou activated and using maximum out of his muscles, Takeru released a punch.
Naturally, the wall's heat scorched his skin and his bones broke because of the impact and acceleration.
With that said though, that blow was comparable to a projectile fired from a gun.
Time after time, Takeru continued to hit the same spot at high speed.
"N-no way... such a thing..."
Places cracking have started to spread gradually throughout the wall.
After a tremendous amount of cracks has spread out, Takeru stopped moving in with his fist still touching the wall.
And while feeling the smell of his own burning flesh, he downcast his face.
"You were the first one to pick a fight... combat might be out of your specialty, but you'll have to pay the price of tasting my fist."
"Along with that worthless pride of yours——"
Takeru pulled back his fist with all his strength, and a glanced at Glasses with eyes of a demon behind the long fringe.
"——Blow away to the ends of the earth!"
His strongest attack didn't stop at breaking the protective wall, and hit the cheek of Glasses behind it.
A merciless straight right. It broke Glasses' jaw and cheekbone, and blew his body far away into the rear.
Glasses slid on the ground, crashed into a wall, and after having convulsion he stopped moving.
Takeru spat out a short breath. Judging from the feeling he got when he hit Glasses, his neck shouldn't have broken. It has without a doubt caused a severe concussion, but Glasses' life wasn't in danger.
After calming his breath, he gently put a hand on Lapis shoulder, who was standing in daze.
Lapis glanced at Takeru's hand on her shoulder.
His skin melted, and broken bones have pierced meat and protruded outside.
"...Lapis, are you injured?"
As he said that gently, Lapis turned to look at him.
Takeru made a genuinely relieved expression.
"Are you an idiot?"
"I have told you that there is no need to worry. I can't be destroyed by a magic on the level of "Heat Transfer"."
"...well, I wasn't really worried about that though."
"Then why. I am unable to comprehend, what would have happened if it wouldn't go well and you lost your arm? While I was unable to defeat him, he was unable to destroy me. We should have just waited until he gave up."
Although Lapis told him that she can't understand, Takeru just smiled wryly.
He answered her question while withstanding the pain in his arm.
"Simple, I couldn't stand you being hurt by such scum, or even touched by him."
Takeru pressed the back of his left hand against Lapis' cheek.
"You are my sword. No... only mine sword, right? I felt possessive and was upset."
"............that's... what do you..."
"It means that I love you. That's why, I won't let anyone dirty you."
The moment he said that, Lapis opened her eyes wide open, stunned.
I don't mean it in a weird way you know? Takeru added while laughing.
"Also, you too, would have come to help me if I were in a pinch right? I've been always protected by you. That's why, I sometimes want to be the one to protect you instead."
It looked Lapis' expression wouldn't change after all.
However, when Takeru touched her cheek he could feel something like a throbbing. She stared straight at him.
Although it seemed as if time has stopped for a moment, after her limps trembled for a moment her mouth opened.
"..................is... that so."
This time, she didn't say she doesn't understand.
Takeru smiled contentedly. Finally the unpleasant feeling started to melt. Because she misunderstood that he discarded her, he should have told her that he loves her right from the beginning.
But it was fine if his clumsy straightforwardness worked.
Love, it seemed like it was a feeling Lapis was able to understand.
And while the two interacted together in a subtle manner,
"Umm, it's not a good place to flirt in... come on, hurry up and notice me...!"
Mari stood in the back looking like a demon. Behind her, there were figured of Ananda and Inia.
"Oh, Mari. Are Ananda and Inia all right?"
"Ngh, I protected them so they are fine... rather than that, show me that!"
"Yeah... it hurts...! This is bad, what do I do if it doesn't heal?"
"It's almost bare bone ain't it... really, are you an idiot? I'm not too good at recovery magic so I can only perform emergency treatment... Well, East Side's aid room is really amazing, so they should be able to do cell regeneration. It will heal, probably."
Takeru apologized while receiving first aid treatment from Mari. The surroundings had calmed down and everything worked out.
To make sure no one died, they anonymously contacted the aid room and arranged a first aid squad.
Probably, the West Side bunch won't report this incident. They wouldn't reveal that they were defeated by an empty, even if their mouths were torn open.
However, with this incident Takeru changed his recognition of Magic Academy's peace.
The only peaceful place was the East Side, and an unrelenting discrimination was going rampant on the West Side. Seeing this place as safe was just an illusion.
After the first aid was finished Takeru rose up and looked back.
The streets of West Side, were quiet unlike the East Side. Although the scenery was old-fashioned and there were no waste on the streets, it was incredibly inorganic.
People who stood in the shade of the buildings looked at Takeru and others as if they were different.
They were unable to ignore the insults in their whispers, nothing could be done even if they pretended nothing was said.
It was different from the fear of witches in the outside world.
On the inner side of the world, contempt for human beings was running rampant.
"...let's go back. It seems like it will turn bad if we linger here."
Takeru and others left the area in a hurry.
With a fast pace they left the border between West and East Side.
Meanwhile, Lapis stared intently at Takeru's back.