Date A Live Volume 7 Chapter 2
Chapter 7: The Battlefield of Only Two People
Rewind back a few minutes ago.
Shidou and Kurumi returned to the surroundings of the large-scale convention centre located in the middle of Tenguu City: the Tenguu Square.
The stage of the Tenguu Festival, the cultural festival organized by ten different schools, was also the location where the revolution had happened.
Then – now it was the fortress of the Spirit: Izayoi Miku.
“It is the main base all right, there are so many people…”
Shidou said so in a low tone, as he looked down at the ground from the rooftop of a building near the Tenguu Square. While it was true that he would not be discovered from that distance, there was no need to intentionally speak loudly.
In the darkness, at the lit up, bone chilling entrance, a large number of people poured out from inside.
At that moment, upon sensing the noise of the speakers nearby, he immediately looked for a place to hide.
A news helicopter bearing the name of a TV station flew in the air. It must have arrived to cover the unprecedented rioting… however, it was likely that even the pilot and reporter were being controlled after listening to Miku’s performance. From earlier, it was flying at an extremely low altitude around the plaza, as though to survey the area.
Although it was unclear to what extent was Miku’s range of control, but up to the point where Shidou and Kurumi had arrived at the plaza, the streets were filled with the citizens controlled by Miku, as though it was a scene from a horror film.
In reality, they were almost caught a few times. Without Kurumi, Shidou would have most likely been caught and sent to Miku.
“Even though we had barely made it here… now, what should we do next?”
Looking at the crowd below, Shidou’s forehead began to sweat profusely.
“The main entrance is already this crowded, and the other entrances are likely to be heavily guarded. Even if we try to enter from the top, there are still helicopters surveying the area…”
“What are you saying, Shidou-san. Is there a need to think through all of that”
Noticing Shidou’s troubled expression, Kurumi said so in a dismissive tone.
“Do you have an idea?”
“Mm, of course. I’ll make sure Shidou-san gets to Miku-san – But, what happens afterwards will depend on Shidou-san’s actions.”
“…is that really possible?”
“Ara, you don’t believe me? This is saddening. I feel like crying”
As she said so, Kurumi faked a crying expression as she covered her face with her hands.
“If you don’t want me to cry, you can either give me one of Shidou-san’s eyeballs, or let me suck your blood, or pet my head.”
“…here, don’t cry”
Without any room for choice, Shidou moved his hand to the top of Kurumi’s blood red headdress, and began to caress Kurumi’s hair. Kurumi then finally smiled happily.
“Alright, we are leaving. If we delay any further, the situation may worsen.”
Shidou stared with his eyes half-open at the cause of the delay, but in order to avoid further trouble, he decided not to push the matter.
“…but, what do we do? There are so many people watching the area…”
“Hehe, hehe, this is simple.”
Kurumi laughed scarily, before standing up – and carried Shidou.
“Alright, let’s go”
As she said so, she walked to the edge of the roof while carrying Shidou.
And then without hesitation, she jumped down the roof.
The two of them dropped from a ten-storey high building, from a height of over 300 metres. Without any mental preparation, Shidou screamed as though he forgot about the enemies surrounding them.
After a sense of weightlessness similar to dancing in the air, there was an indescribable feeling of landing on the ground. The moment Kurumi’s feet touched the ground, a thick shadow appeared on the surface, absorbing most of the impact of the fall.
“Ara ara, Shidou-san. What’s with the noise?”
“Don’t, don’t mention it, just let me down…”
“Ufufu, there’s no problem for me carrying you like this”
As Kurumi said so, she let Shidou stand upright.
And then, in the next instant, Shidou and Kurumi were captured by some spotlights with a “PA!”
It was to be expected. Screaming so loudly in front of prepared enemies. It was basically trying to attract attention to himself.
Shidou looked at his surroundings.
People. People. People. And more people.
There were at least several thousand enemies.
And including himself, there were just two people on their side.
There wasn’t a suitable phrase to describe, the landslide advantage that presented a despairing difference in strength.
And the people here, all looked at Shidou with a murderous intent. No matter how courageous a person, he was bound to be daunted at such a sight.
“Ara, shouting would remind them the purpose of their existence, that is you, Shidou-san.”
“Who do you think caused this, who do you think…”
Looking at the relaxed Kurumi, Shidou shouted.
But, now was not the time to do this.
It was unknown if they were observing, or awaiting Miku’s instructions. The bouncers didn’t hurry over. However, they were also increasingly surrounding their range. It was as though they were surrounding the cornered Shidou and Kurumi, into a semicircle.
In the front of the squad, were extremely strong men, as well as armed policemen.
And then, at that instant.
“–So you dare to return to my castle, you sure are confident. Shiori-san… no, Itsuka Shidou…”
The sound rang throughout the Tenguu Square. It was through the speakers. There was no mistake it was Izayoi Miku’s voice. By the looks of it, the news of Shidou’s appearance had already been sent over.
Shidou unwittingly said her name. Of course, the voice here could not be transmitted to the interior of the square. Miku continued without changing her tone.
“While I do not know what do you want, but since you’re here I cannot possibly let you escape, right? Alright, everyone, catch him.
It’s alright if he suffers a bit, but please try to treat him nicely – otherwise I won’t be able to make him suffer”
Leaving a chilling phrase, and with a “phwoosh”, Miku cut the line.
What replaced the noise were the resounding voices of Miku’s followers.[UWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO–]
As though their restraints were removed, the crowd began charging at Shidou and Kurumi. Having tried to maintain some semblance of courage so far, Shidou couldn’t help but cower at the sudden force.
“Ku, Kurumi! This is too dangerous! We have to flee!”
But Kurumi was not moved by it, and stood her ground.
This was to be expected when one thought about it. Shidou’s group was completely surrounded by a humongous crowd, without room for escape.
Everything was about to end. The man leading the charge, reached his hand out at the cornered Shidou–
At the moment he was about to touch Shidou, there was a sudden sound, and he was sucked towards the ground by an unknown force.
Shidou let out a surprised noise — and immediately pressed his knees.
The moment when the men were sucked into the ground, a strong sense of tiredness washed over him.
“This, this is…”
Shidou used his entire body’s weight, before being able to maintain the posture he had, squeezed out a noise.
Looking in front, the men that had surrounded Shidou, were all on the floor, in painful moans.
And then, the surroundings that were supposed to be lighted by the street lights, were surrounded by a layer of darkness.
This was a familiar feeling. That’s right. Three months ago – during the period Kurumi attended school, Shidou had experienced it before.
“- Uhe, hehehe. That’s right. It’s good that you remember it, Shidou-san.”
Kurumi twisted her lips, as she looked at Shidou. The left eye that was emblazoned with a clock, was quickly ticking backwards.
“While it’s also tiring to spread my shadow through a large area, ufufu, there really aren’t much opportunities to absorb so many people’s [Time]. So let me make good use of all of you”
“Kurumi, you dare to do such dangerous things…!”
“Ara ara, are you saying it’s better to be captured?”
Shidou painfully bit his teeth as he walked forward.
“Mm, mm. I know. With such a large amount, although everybody is affected, on average everybody’s time won’t be heavily affected. There should still be enough time left for everyone”
There was nothing left except to believe her words. With heavy footsteps, Shidou passed the collapsed followers.
“What, what’s that…?!”
In the control room of the Tenguu Square, looking at the displays on the wall, Miku couldn’t help but let out a cry at the unbelievable sight.
The display showed the images sent from a closed-circuit television camera installed outside the room. Yes, Miku was on the special seat, being clustered by a group of cute Spirits, while thinking about the result of that despicable man being captured.
But the followers who had charged at Shidou upon Miku’s orders, all fell to the ground. And then, Shidou and the dressed girl simply continued on without resistance.
“That girl… don’t tell me, she’s also a Spirit…?”
She squinted her eyes and looked at the girl on the display.
With this scenario, that could be the only possibility. It must have been that man, Shidou who had foreseen this, and left a Spirit by his side. How insidious! Miku remorsefully clenched her fist.
“Besides, she didn’t seem controlled by my performance… fuu, this is annoying”
Being able to reach here meant that the girl wouldn’t be controlled by her, even if she hears her performance. Yoshino and the Yamai siblings had become her own slaves… even if it was a Spirit, Miku’s songs should have been similarly effective… could it be that the girl had the same ability as Shidou?
But, while she thought so, Shidou and the mysterious girl had already entered the Tenguu Square. At this rate they would quickly arrive at Miku’s place.
–to seal her powers.
“…ku, how can I… let you get away with this…”
Miku clenched her fist, and muttered.
Yes, Miku would not have her Spirit abilities be taken away from her.
–Because, if this power, this [Voice] were to disappear–
“I would… be returning, to, that, time…”
Miku quickly shook her head, and stood up from her chair. Kaguya, who had been massaging Miku’s shoulders, widened her eyes in shock.
“Ane, aneue-sama? What is it?”
“I’m returning to the stage now! Come with me! –I’m, going to resume the performance!”
Walking through the stacked crowd of fallen people was actually a tiring thing. Shidou battled with his occasional feeling of nausea as he tiptoed, following Kurumi closely.
Even if one were to put it nicely, it was hard to say that it was an easy path, but there was nobody to interfere with Shidou’s group. In a while, Shidou and Kurumi had arrived at the entrance of the central stage.
Shidou responded to Kurumi’s instruction, as he opened the doors in one breath.
The central stage was filled with a strange air. While the seats were filled with girls – after the intrusion of Kurumi’s shadow, they were all lying on the ground.
And then, in the deepest part of the stage.
She was there.
With her back against a large organ-like Angel, a girl in an Astral Dress, stood there leisurely.
Izayoi Miku. The Spirit that controlled music and sound – and the master of the place, at that moment.
And beside her, with the limited Astral Dresses on their maid outfits, each with their own Angels: Yoshino and the Yamai sisters.
At the same time Shidou called her name, Miku sighed loudly.
“What kind of noise is that. Can you please not use such unclean sounds to pollute mine and my Spirits’ eardrums? What an appalling man. You’re the bane of the world. To use an analogy, your vileness would mean that even if you were beaten to death and buried, that patch of soil will never ever be fertile again due to the eternal curse you casted on it. Shut up, you walking piece of trash.”
Shidou frowned, having been scolded in such a cavalier tone.
But this was not the time to cower due to such trivialities. Shidou opened his mouth again.
“Miku! Listen to me! I have to go and help Tohka – that girl who was abducted then! So-!”
“Didn’t I tell you… to SHUT UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP–!”
Miku shouted loudly, and her crossed arms immediately burst open.
And then as though to cover her hands, a radiant keyboard appeared.
And then, her fingers began to play vigorously on the keyboard.
An invigorating, upbeat tune rang through the plaza.
In an instant, the girls who had collapsed in the audience, stood up, as though they were puppets controlled by a string.
“This, this is…”
Shidou turned and looked at Kurumi. However, the minute hand on her left eye was still rapidly turning backwards. This meant that Kurumi had yet to disengage her
“This is surprising. Mere humans who can still move after entering my shadow”
“Ufufufu, how is that, good enough? My Gabriel
Miku, as though to flaunt her victory, began to play even more vigorously.
“Alright – I won’t waste any more time saying things like ‘get him’. My beautiful girls! Come to me! Execute this man in front of me!”
Following Miku’s voice, the thousand girls on the audience seat turned to Shidou immediately.
His body froze at the spot, Shidou’s face revealed a painful expression.
– But at the instant they came at Shidou.
“Hehe, not yet, not yet. If you thought you have won”
Kurumi’s mouth curved into the shape of a crescent moon, as her shadow covered the whole area.
“Because, no matter how much you fortify these girls – they are no match for [me]”
Miku’s shocked voice came from the stage. But this was to be expected.
Tenguu Square, central stage. From every corner where Miku had covered the area with her voice, multiple Kurumis appeared, and began to restrain the girls’ hands, legs and bodies.
Seeing this unusual sight, it wasn’t just Miku, even Shidou was at a loss for words. It wasn’t the first time Kurumi had cloned herself… but because they were on the school’s rooftop then, there weren’t this amount that appeared.
However, Shidou immediately turned towards Kurumi.
“I understand, I won’t kill them”
Kurumi sensed Shidou’s thoughts, and cut in ahead of him.
“What, what is this! What’s going on…!”
As though to reply to Miku’s shriek, multiple Kurumis that grew out from the walls, floor and seats began to giggle softly. A creepy voice spread from everywhere. It was like an insane mangaka’s work, extremely detached and illogical.
But, to say that Miku’s side would be suppressed — that would be a big mistake.
In that instant, the voices came from above, followed by a large sound, and a gigantic gust of wind.
Shidou’s body was carried away by the overwhelming gust, smashing against the wall of the auditorium.
But — it strangely did not hurt. That was because Kurumi, who had appeared from within the wall, had gently received Shidou.
“Sor, sorry, Kurumi… is it alright for me to address you like this?”
“Ufufu, please don’t worry. Before getting eaten by us, Shidou-san should first take good care of his body.”
“…ah, I see”
He felt slightly conflicted by this, though this was not the time to bother about such details. Shidou stood on the ground, looking at the two girls that were flying towards the sky from the stage.
The twin Spirits with Astral Dresses on their maid outfits, with a single wing on their backs, struck an offensive pose against Shidou, wielding a gigantic lance and pendulum. Even if it was one of Kurumi’s clones, there was no way she can subdue a Spirit who has manifested an Angel.
“So the unrepentant fool returns again! Kuu, and you’re using such strange tactics! I will not forgive those who dare to harm aneue-sama, regardless of who he is! Disappear now, if you don’t want to go to hell!”
“Warning. This is your last chance. Disappear immediately. If you dare to cross swords with us again, Shidou-san, we will have to get rid of you.”
Kaguya and Yuzuru silently stood in the air, glaring at Shidou. They weren’t joking, neither were they playing a prank. Their piercing gaze conveyed a stance of hostility.
“O, onee-sama… I won’t let you harm her…!”
Similarly, Yoshino, on the large rabbit-shaped Angel that was on the stage — Zadkiel
“Fu, fufu… I see. Right now, I have three very very cute Spirits to deal with you…! I won’t lose to you!”
Listening to this, the Kurumis in the auditorium began to laugh together.
“Kihihi, hehe” “Hehehehehe” “Aha, aha” “That’s right, Spirit-san” “As an opponent…” “Without an Angel…” “It might be” “slightly difficult…”
The voice sounded like a wind that had passed a dense forest, as it continued sounding. It was enough to unnerve Yoshino and the Yamai siblings, with a face of displeasure.
Kurumi slowly raised a hand, and called out that name in a sing-song manner.
“–come, come, come to me, Zafkieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel
In an instant. As though to cover the entrance of the stage, a golden clock rose from the ground. On a gigantic keyboard that was several times taller than Kurumi, an ancient rifle and pistol each served as the hands of a clock.
Shidou looked at the clock and began to mutter as though he was daydreaming. Zafkiel
Kurumi twisted the corner of her mouth due to Shidou’s words. She opened her hands with a “PA!”. Following these actions, two handguns flew from the clock, and into Kurumi’s hands.
Following that, Kurumi said to Shidou, as though she was whispering.
“Alright. Shidou-san. Are you ready”
“From now, you will be alone with Miku-san. Please try to convince her. It’s best if you could change her mind. If not, please make a deal with her, to not interfere with us until we rescue Tohka-san”
As Kurumi said so, she winked and kissed her gun.
At the same time, a shadow seeped out from the “I” on the clock, and was sucked into the muzzle of Kurumi’s gun.
Simultaneously, gun-wielding Kurumis began to appear in the auditorium, and began to shoot at the airborne Yamai sisters.
“Ku… this is annoying! Yuzuru!”
“Acknowledgement. Kaguya, give me your hand”
Kaguya and Yuzuru both held each other’s hand, and using it as a center of gravity, began to spin in the air.
As such they used this momentum to whip up a strong whirlwind, easily blowing away the pitch black bullets that were shot by the Kurumis.
“Kukakakaka! Do you think such tricks will work against us, the children of gales?”
“Easy. These attacks are like peashooters in the face of Yuzuru’s winds”
The Yamai sisters exclaimed loudly. While the Kurumis continued to fire the bullets, they were all blocked by the wall of gales around Kaguya and Yuzuru.
However, the real Kurumi standing in front of Zafkiel
Holding her gun, she then turned towards the Kurumi that was carrying Shidou.
“Then, it’s up to you now, [me]”
“Mm, I understand, [me]”
After talking, a black bullet was shot towards the Shidou-carrying Kurumi between her eyebrows.
However, Shidou understood that that was not a bullet meant to kill. The power of [Aleph] was–
Shidou was silenced by the sudden incoming impact.
He was soon subject to the attacks of the Yamai sisters–no. Kurumi’s clone, carrying Shidou, quickly weaved her way through the Yamai sisters, running towards the stage that Miku was on.
The air was soon filled with Kaguya and Yuzuru’s shocked voices. While she was carrying Shidou, it was still possible to observe the hastened Kurumi’s actions with the power of Aleph[The First Bullet]. It was a scary sight.
But, the Yamai sisters’ reflexes were slowed due to being assaulted by bullets everywhere. As they were panicking, Kurumi and Shidou had already arrived onto the stage.
Yoshino and Zadkiel
However, in that instant a number of Kurumis began to fly towards Zadkiel
“Ki, kya….!”[No way! What are you guys doing–!]
Yoshino moved her hands, allowing for Zadkiel
However, there was a delay as a result of the formation of the boundary. Just before the ice barrier was completed, the Shidou-carrying Kurumi had already advanced to right in front of Miku at a speed that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
The Kurumi standing in front of Miku stuck out her tongue, and made a face.
This seemed to unnerve Miku. Miku’s angry face carried a tinge of cowardliness as she began to inhale deeply.
“Kurumi! Watch out!”
Shidou shouted out unwittingly. He remembered Miku’s action. It was a powerful sound wave that blew Tohka away. No matter how much Kurumi accelerated time, there was no way she could possibly avoid the attack.
In that instant. The shadow at Miku’s feet grew– one of Kurumi’s clones flew out, and muffled Miku from behind.
Realising her surroundings, Miku attempted to escape from her constraints.
But then, the Kurumi clones appeared from the shadows, and held Miku’s limbs. And then, they began to drag Miku towards the shadow.
No matter how much she struggled, Miku was no match for several Kurumis. Her body was slowly engulfed by the darkness.
“Ku, Kurumi! What are you doing! Didn’t we agree not to–”
Shidou stopped his sentence midway.
As he was also being engulfed by the shadow while being held by Kurumi.
He widened his eyes in shock, and tried to escape. However, Kurumi’s hands had no intention of releasing him. As though he was on an elevator, his vision slowly descended.
Listening to Kurumi’s sharp laughter–Shidou’s vision was filled entirely with a sea of darkness.
In the darkness, Shidou rapidly blinked his eyes.
Earlier, Shidou had indeed been swallowed by Kurumi’s shadow — but Shidou had maintained his consciousness and the feeling of his body.
He frowned and looked around. But, there was nothing other than a large sea of darkness.
“This… it can’t be, what’s inside Kurumi’s shadow…?”
“Aah, what’s going on–! Where is this place–?”
There was a sound from behind him. Shidou turned back and noticed the source of the voice.
Miku had also noticed Shidou’s presence. She widened her eyes in an instant, but then immediately put up an annoyed expression, as though she was about to scream.
But, just as she put up that stance. The shadows nearby began to creep out and restrain Miku.
Miku’s body froze like a statue. It was followed by a muffled voice out of nowhere.
“Kihihi, don’t be naughty, Miku-san”
At the same time, the giggles of a few people spread in the air.
“–alright, so the first promise has been fulfilled. Now, Shidou-san, it is up to you. We do not have time now. Please hurry.”
Shidou lightly slapped his cheeks. [Allow Shidou some time with Miku]… this promise had indeed been elegantly fulfilled. Although it was done through questionable means. And it wouldn’t have hurt to explain before executing the plan.
But, there were likely no other means to allow Shidou and Miku some isolation time while the latter was protected by a massive crowd as well as Yoshino and the Yamai siblings. Shidou then turned towards Miku.
Miku turned away from Shidou as he called her name.
Though she wasn’t attacking Shidou as she had understood the circumstances, it didn’t mean that she will listen and concede to Shidou’s words. With an unhappy face, she remained silent as she crossed her arms.
Shidou walked to Miku, and deeply bowed his head.
“I need to apologize to you for deceiving to you earlier. I’m really sorry…!”
Miku glanced at Shidou and pouted.
“…terrible. You’re the worst–. You hid your gender to befriend me, and you even let me see that unclean object…!” With that, Miku’s hands began to shake uncontrollably.
“…no, that’s not it, Miku, from a practical viewpoint…”
“What did you say!?”
Shidou hurriedly shook his head. Having said an unnecessary sentence, he could only bow down.
“I was in the wrong for deceiving you! But… please don’t involve others into this! Please release Yoshino, Kaguya, Yuzuru and all the others you have controlled–”
“U… ru… saaaaaaaaaaai! Would you just shut up already! My, my dignity has already been tarnished by you, so stop flattering me! I won’t listen to any of your words!”
“Don’t you dare call me th–at!”
As she said so, Miku turned away again.
It seemed that the conversation had reached a dead end. There was no other way to continue the conversation.
“This is… frustrating…”
Even so, this was what was initially expected. Considering that Miku’s initial affection for Shidou was already at its lowest, it was unrealistic to expect her to be convinced in that short period of time.
Hence Kurumi did not ask Shidou to capture Miku.
–don’t interfere before Tohka is rescued.
To make Miku promise this, was Shidou’s basic target.
“–Miku. Alright. Listen to me.”
Miku didn’t respond. However, Shidou continued.
“Tohka–you remember when we were on the stage… the girl with the tambourines? Yes, that’s her. I think you should have also realised, that Tohka is similar to Yoshino and the others, that they are Spirits. Besides–Miku, you should have also seen it. Tohka was captured by the DEM Wizard”
As though she remembered something, Miku, who hadn’t had a reaction, seemed to have one to the phrase [Spirit], and her shoulders trembled slightly.
“I… need to rescue Tohka now.”
Having heard Shidou, Miku raised her head, and let out her first sound in a while. However, she seemed to have an unhappy expression.
“Rescue her…? Why are we going to rescue her?”
“To say why… that would be because, Tohka is extremely important to me.”
Listening to Shidou, Miku widened her eyes as though she was surprised, and huffed in a mocking tone.
“Important… ah, I see, I understand now. Though right now I still don’t know much of it. But she is indeed a beautiful girl, wouldn’t it be a waste not to rescue her?”
Shidou tilted his head as he couldn’t understand what Miku was driving at.
“Because, the target of your sexual desires was abducted. If you die here, you would completely lose everything, wouldn’t you? Therefore, wouldn’t it be happier if you live–”
“Wha… what are you saying now?”
Listening to Miku speak such harsh words, Shidou was stunned and couldn’t raise an objection.
“Be-cause, isn’t that what men mean, when they say someone is important to them”
“…Your bias is very strong, indeed”
Against Shidou’s words, Miku raised her chin mockingly.
“Ha, and why is that? Are you saying that that girl, Tohka-san’s life is more important than yours?”
Shidou replied without hesitation.
As Shidou’s reaction was not what she was expecting, Miku’s face fell even further.
But Shidou didn’t seem to notice as he went on.
“Regardless of what happens, I must rescue Tohka. And then I will return here. This time, without Kurumi, just by myself. So–Miku, will you please wait a while, and not extend your range of control?”
Miku let out an unhappy sound with a face of disgust.
“You want me to believe what you say? Even if what you say was real, do you think you can walk to Tohka’s side? You might end up being killed by a Wizard along the way. How sorrowful–”
Shidou tried to rebutt Miku, who had made fun of his plight… but decided to stop. No, he was forced to keep quiet.
To be honest, Shidou could not completely refute Miku’s words.
Even if he had Kurumi, who possessed power that is literally greater than “a hundred men”, DEM were opponents that were not to be underestimated. Even if he were to rescue Tohka, he might not be able to escape unscathed.
Even another one was good enough. If he could obtain the help of a Spirit–
At this point, Shidou let out a short sound.
Miku seemed to interpret this differently, and raised her head triumphantly.
“Do you finally understand? This promise was never meant to be able to be fulfilled from the start. If you understand–”
“That’s it… a promise…”
Shidou said so as he ignored Miku. Feeling strange, Miku’s cheeks twitched unhappily.
“I’ve already said so earlier, haven’t I”
“No. What I meant was, what we promised earlier. –That. Promise. That. You. Must. Fulfill.”
Miku said so in an annoyed tone as she tilted her head… before stopping.
“It seems you figured it out. What we promised earlier. If we were to win the first day of the Tenou Festival–you must let me seal your powers.”
Shidou said so in a low tone as he looked into Miku’s eyes.
To Miku, this was a matter that she did not want to be reminded of. If this was raised, she might go on yet another rampage.
But right now, Miku and Shidou were in Kurumi’s shadow, a place that disallowed violence. This was the perfect location to make a fair agreement. Understanding this point, Miku regretfully bit her teeth, and stared at Shidou with a menacing glare.
“That, that’s invalid! You didn’t tell me you were a man–”
“I apologise for that. But, even if I was a boy, what does that have to do with the promise?”
“Uu… but we won the performance section!”
“Ah, that’s right. But, the ultimate winner is the one that won overall, isn’t that right? –how strange, for you to slip up there”
“I don’t care! To, to seal my powers… I, I WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON’T ALLOW IT!”
Against Shidou’s calm words, Miku could only scream. This wasn’t a civilised conversation, but rather, a mayhem.
Even so, it wasn’t Shidou’s goal to rebutt Miku. If he continued in this manner, it would only worsen her attitude. Shidou reached out a hand, in order to calm Miku.
“That’s right, so. Let’s make a deal. Let’s change the promise to seal your powers, to another promise”
“That’s right–another promise, as long as you are willing to listen to me.”
Shidou said so as he raised his index finger. Miku didn’t mask her disgust as she put up an unhappy face.
“What are you saying…? Isn’t that no difference from–”
“–come with me, to rescue Tohka.”
Miku was stunned as she listened to Shidou’s words. The expression of rejection and vigilance on her face was completely erased.
“That, that’s it?”
“Yes, that’s right… though I’m not willing to accept it, but it is indeed as you say. Even if we had Kurumi’s help, we might not be able to rescue Tohka. But, if you could help, we might…!”
“But… wasn’t your goal to seal my powers? Why are you–?”
“I said it earlier–Tohka is that important to me”
Against Shidou’s concise answer, Miku had a puzzled expression on her face. It was as though Shidou was spouting nonsense.
“Hmph…! I refuse! Firstly, why must I help you!”
“That’s enough! I won’t listen to you! They’re all lies! You have an ulterior motive! Selfish creatures like humans who claim to see someone else as being extremely important… they are all lies!”
“Miku, you are saying this again…!”
Shidou clenched his fist, with a pained expression.
Yes, Miku’s secret that he obtained from Kurumi, that was still questionable, was this.
“Why are you rejecting humans! Aren’t you–”
Shidou was about to say it.
In this space filled entirely with darkness, a ray of light shone in.
Looking upwards, the dark space had begun to disperse. Shidou began to tense up.
In that instant, Shidou thought it was due to Miku’s voice… however, he was completely unscathed, even though he was beside Miku. Besides, Miku was also looking upwards with a puzzled expression.
And then, as if to answer the questions in Shidou’s mind, Kurumi’s voice began to spread from the surroundings.
“While I’ll hate to intrude on your pleasant conversation… I’m afraid my abilities are reaching a time limit.”
“Eh…? Uu, uwaah!?”
Contrary to what was felt when they were pulled into the shadow, there was a sense of weightlessness around them.
Following a feeling as though their brains were being violently shaken about, their vision was immediately filled with multiple colours– and in an instant, Shidou and Miku had returned to the stage at the Tenguu Square.
It was glaring to their eyes, as they had just been pulled out from the shadows.
But their eyes quickly adjusted to it– and they saw the situation on the stage.
There were several Kurumis surrounding Shidou as though they were protecting him. Opposing them were Yoshino, on Zadkiel
“Aneue-sama! Are you alright!”
“Relief. As long as you’re fine”
Yoshino and the others called out to Miku, as they saw her emerge from the shadows with Shidou.
At the same time, Kurumi neared Shidou, and bent her knees.
“Can you stand up? Shidou-san”
“Kurumi… what, happened…”
“Didn’t I say so? The time limit has been breached. In order for you two to remain in my shadow, I must extend it. If it was damaged, that space would quickly collapse. –Although I’ve tried to salvage as much time as possible, it’s not very easy when you have three Spirits as your opponents”
As she said so, Kurumi looked at her surroundings.
Following her line of vision, a massive amount of Kurumi corpses could be seen. It seemed that there had been a violent battle.
“Our [Time] isn’t limitless either, it’s time for us to retreat”
“Wait a moment! Just a while–”
Shidou’s collar was suddenly grabbed, causing him to lose his breath temporarily.
“*cough*… what’s the big idea…!”
As he was beginning to lecture Kurumi while coughing, Shidou noticed that the ground where he was standing on has been impaled by an icicle, and was unable to continue.
As he followed the direction of sight, the normally docile Yoshino was staring at Shidou with hostile eyes.
“I won’t forgive… onee-sama’s enemies…”
“Do you understand now?”
Kurumi raised her gun as she said so in a disappointed tone.
Aiming the acceleration-granting bullet to herself, she carried Shidou with a hand, and began to run from the stage at a high speed.
Similar to the gigantic force he felt earlier, Shidou couldn’t help but let out a sound. But Kurumi didn’t seem to notice, as she stepped on the lighting equipment, and fled from a hole in the ceiling.
But, Miku would not let them get away that easily. Pressing her hand on her forehead to suppress the dizziness from emerging from the shadows, she ordered.
“Don’t, don’t let them get away…!”
“Acknowledged. I understand”
The Yamai sisters flew out after Kurumi, in response to Miku’s orders.
Even though Kurumi had used an acceleration-granting bullet, their opponents were still the Spirits that controlled wind. In a battle of attrition, they would be caught up.
“Ara ara, this is very frustrating”
Kurumi raised her gun again as she said so in an unnerved tone.
In that instant, the shadows from the stage began to move rapidly into the barrel — as Kurumi fired at the Yamai sisters.
“Hmph! Unrepentant woman! That toy is useless against us!”
“Restraint. Hold, Kaguya. This–”
At the same time as the warning, Kaguya and Yuzuru’s actions began to stop.
No–more precisely, it became unnatural.
They were moving ahead at a slow rate. That’s right. They hadn’t stopped in mid-air, but rather, were moving at an extraordinarily slow rate.
“Kehehe, Bet[The Second Bullet]. The person hit by it will have their time slowed down”
Kurumi responded to Shidou. She explained it in a simple manner, as though knowing that Shidou would ask that question.
“It would have been safer if I used Zayin[The Seventh Bullet] , but that has a greater cost–especially when we don’t have that much [Time] left. As such, this suffices for us to make our escape.”
As Kurumi had predicted, the distance between them and the Yamai sisters had grown. Even for Spirits with speed as fast as wind, they wouldn’t be able to catch up to Kurumi after being hit by a retarding bullet.
Kurumi carried Shidou as she continued to fly in the air, mingling into the streets.
Finally, the effects of Aleph[The First Bullet] vanished as their speed dramatically decreased. Kurumi weaved in between two buildings, and placed Shidou on the ground.
“Alright, right now–Shidou-san, please come over here”
“Eh? Ah, alright”
Shidou’s mind was still blurred as though he had just descended from an extremely fast roller-coaster, and he was quickly pulled into an alley by Kurumi.
In an instant, a large tornado swept past from above them. Needless to say, they were the Yamai sisters. It seemed that they were still looking for Shidou.
“Ara ara. Bet[The Second Bullet] hasn’t robbed them of their consciousness, they are still capable of seeing us with that retarded speed. What kind of vision do they have”
Their voices shouldn’t be heard at this distance. But Shidou still nervously gulped down his saliva as he looked upwards.
The clouds above were quickly dissipated as two mini tornadoes continued to revolve in the air, before heading to another place.
It seemed they had given up. As soon as the noise was no more, Shidou let out a sigh of relief.
“So– Shidou-san, what about Miku?”
Kurumi had placed the gun into her own shadow as she asked him. Shidou bit his lips, and replied.
“…mm, while we spoke a lot… there wasn’t a definite answer. To be exact, I may have maddened her in the end. Sorry, Kurumi. It’s my fault. And you’ve put in so much effort earlier…”
Hearing Shidou’s words, Kurumi widened her eyes in shock.
“Ara ara ara”
“What, what is it?”
“No, I wasn’t expecting for Shidou-san to compliment me for my work. Ufufu, how pleasing. Can you pet my head?”
“Don’t, don’t joke around”
Having interrupted his speech, Shidou couldn’t help but sigh. Kurumi stared at Shidou interestingly and giggled again.
“Maa, it’s alright. As long as we have talked to her, she won’t risk herself to interfere with us… more importantly, we don’t have to be wary of them anymore”
“Ahh… I understand.”
Shidou nodded his head as he sweatdropped. Indeed, after experiencing Kurumi’s abilities first-hand, they would be wary of Shidou’s group. As long as Kurumi was with him, Miku won’t interfere with them unnecessarily.
Kurumi opened her eyes halfway as she licked her lips and snuggled next to Shidou.
“! What, what is it, why the sudden–”
“Since Shidou-san was the one trying to ask Miku, I won’t intrude much into the details of your conversation with Miku… but in your conversation, there was one part that made me unhappy”
“Made you unhappy?”
Kurumi replied with a soft “eh”. Although it was just an ordinary phrase, it was enough to make Shidou shudder, as she had said it in his ear.
“You want Miku to be our ally…? Ne, Shidou-san? Are you saying that you still feel unsafe even with just me helping?”
“What, what I meant was…!”
No, it couldn’t be said. Against an enemy with whom they have no knowledge of, Shidou did indeed feel unsafe with just Kurumi’s help.
And then, at the same time a soft giggle was heard near his ears, Shidou could feel his earlobes being licked.
His body shuddered again on reflex. Kurumi’s mouth bent into the shape of a crescent moon as she moved next to Shidou.
“Ufufu… I was joking. –indeed, we don’t know how strong our enemy is. Shidou-san’s judgement to get more allies under that situation should be commended, and I’m not angry about that… however”
Kurumi stuck out her right index finger, and traced at Shidou’s cheek. Shidou’s entire body froze, as he didn’t know what to do against this obscene act.
“Shidou-san… will you really not lie?”
“It’s, it’s not of…”
“Ara ara, even this one is complimenting you.”
She gracefully turned away from Shidou as though she was dancing, as her finger finally left Shidou. Shidou, who had been finally released, heaved a sigh of relief.
At the same time, the shadow beneath Kurumi’s legs began to quiver slightly, and just when Shidou thought it was going to expand, another Kurumi appeared from inside.
Although he was aware of Kurumi’s abilities to a certain extent, it still shocked Shidou to see two identical faces suddenly appearing in front of him.
Although the Kurumi that just appeared was shocked by Shidou’s reaction, she didn’t seem to be annoyed by it, and instead smiled. She then turned towards the Kurumi from before and whispered into her ear.
“…fumu, I see”
The Kurumi that was listening put her hand at her jaw and nodded her head slightly.
“–thanks for your work. You may leave.”
As Kurumi said so, the Kurumi that was whispering turned towards Shidou, curtsied elegantly, and vanished into the shadows.
“That, that was?”
“Eh, they are the [Me]s that were sent out to look for information.”
“Information… does that mean–”
If they were to refer to ‘information’ now, there could only be one possibility. Shidou widened his eyes, and looked at Kurumi.
Kurumi then slowly nodded her head.
“That’s right– we’ve found out where Tohka is.”
“Re, really!? Where!? Is she alright!?”
Shidou asked in a low voice as he grabbed Kurumi tightly. Kurumi’s eyes widened in an instant, and giggled softly.
“Shidou-san truly likes Tohka-san. You’re making me jealous… I’ll have to add on a special condition if you want me to help rescue Tohka-san”
“Such as, saying ‘I like Kurumi more than Tohka’ in front of her”
“Ufufu, I was just teasing you”
Kurumi stuck out her tongue and made a face. …basically, Shidou felt unnerved easily every time he talked to Kurumi.
Shidou coughed slightly to regain his composure. He then looked at Kurumi again.
“So… Kurumi. Where was Tohka taken to?”
As she said so, Kurumi slowly raised her head.
“–The Japanese branch of Deus Ex Machina Industries, in Office Building 1. That… is where Tohka-san is imprisoned in.”
“–now, the next question. Are you aware of the term [Ratatoskr]?”
Inside the room of anti-matter. Ellen, who was sitting opposite Tohka, continued to flip through her documents as she asked in a seemingly uncaring tone. But Tohka huffed before moving her face away.
“Hmph! As if I’ll tell you!”
“I see. Then, the next question. Do you know why Itsuka Shidou is capable of using an Angel?”
Ellen didn’t seem to mind as she continued. It was already like this from the start.
Instead, it was the one who was being questioned that became exhausted first. Tohka let out a sigh.
“…woman. You’re called Ellen, right? The cameraman that was with us during the school trip.”
“It’s my honour that you can remember me”
“Why is a cameraman doing this? Are you not making enough to fill your rice bowls?”
“…no, I was merely masquerading as one. That isn’t my true profession.”
“Wha…? You’re a cameraman and yet you’re not a cameraman.”
“No, as I said–”
Ellen scratched her face as she tried to explain, before a speaker-like equipment fitted at the ceiling began to emit noise.[Don’t do it, this is too dangerous! What if something–]
At this point, Ellen began to frown in surprise.
“What happened?”[Ah… that, he said he wanted to enter the isolation room…!]
“Enter here? Who is that?”
Ellen asked. The voice over the speaker paused slightly, before resuming.[It’s, it’s Mr. Wescott…]
As if replying to Ellen, a man’s voice came through the speaker.[–yes, can you hear me, Ellen. They aren’t willing to listen to me, so can you help me out? I’m disillusioned in our own employees]
“Everybody’s worried about you. Please don’t mess around”[I see. You can think of it that way too. But this is troubling. A subordinate that listens to me and a subordinate that works for my sake, I wonder which one is better]
“Regardless, I belong to the latter”[Don’t say such things, my cute Ellen]
Listening to the voice over the speaker say such words, Ellen couldn’t help but sigh with a never-before-seen feeling of helplessness.
“…it’s alright, let him in”[But…! Is it alright?]
“Yes, even if the Spirit was to fool around, everything’s under control as long as I’m here”[I, I understand… please be careful…!]
A few seconds later, the wall cracked like before, and a door opened in there.
–and from there, entered a man.
He was a tall and slender man. His most distinctive feature was his simple silver hair and eyes so sharp that they looked like they were carved onto his face with a dagger. Roughly at the age of thirty-five, a dangerous aura surrounded him, masking his true age.
As the man walked into the room, Tohka felt an unknown sense of discomfort.
It wasn’t because Ellen had spread his Territory. But for some unknown reason, at the moment Tohka saw him, she felt as if the temperature had dropped several degrees.
“You, you, who are you…?!”
Tohka asked in a quivering tone, as she stared at the man. Having seemed to have understood what she meant, the man replied.
“It is an honour to meet you, [Princess]. No… Yatogami Tohka.”
As he said so, the man slowly moved forward towards her. With every step he took, the torturous feeling Tohka felt grew.
“I am Isaac Wescott of DEM Industries. I’ll be in your care”
The man — Wescott, used a tone that would be meant for speaking with friends. But Tohka continued to eye Wescott with hostility in her eyes.
“…am I being hated?”
“If you want to be liked, you should think of a better method.”
Listening to Ellen’s words, Wescott shrugged his shoulders and said “You’re right”.
Tohka suppressed the nauseousness that was rising from her stomach, and continued glaring at Wescott.
“You, are you the mastermind?! What–what is your aim…?!”
Following that, Wescott stared at Tohka again, and said so silently.
“My aim… hm. Yes. That would actually be very simple. All we want are your Spirit powers.”
He curved his lips as he continued.
“In order to topple the restraints of this world”
“What did you say…?”
Wescott’s words were too complex for Tohka to understand. She frowned.
“You bastard, have you mistaken something? I don’t have those kind of powers!”
“Yes, that’s right. The. You. Now. Lacks. These powers.”
“The me… now?”
Wescott dramatically spread out his hands in response to the shocked Tohka.
“The you currently residing in this world, is living too peacefully. Therefore, we need to put you into sleep first. Yes–just when you were floating in the sea between the worlds. No… to be more precise, the feeling that you got before you awakened.”
“What are… you saying…?”
Wescott continued without averting his gaze.
“How is it possible, for you to completely land in despair?”
“To hate this world, to hate humans. Even the strongest Angel isn’t capable of filling the hole in your heart. You can only rely on external assistance beyond that of an Angel. How is it possible for you to enter that state? Looking through the AST records, there was a time when you were indeed near such a stage … what exactly happened then?”
As he said so, Wescott turned towards Ellen.
“–I say, Ellen. Maybe it would be faster if we increased the physical torture on her? Let’s start off with electrocution. And then decrease the oxygen concentration in the room, and observe her reaction. Maybe we can also try changing the air pressure. If those fail, then let’s chip her nails away, and her fingers… ah, right, maybe we can chip her teeth too. The pain felt by the nervous system will be unbearable by then”
Tohka’s face turned blue, as she felt a shudder running down her back.
The methods that Wescott suggested were enough to make others scared. But compared to the uncaring attitude in which they raised it, it seemed mild enough, and their attitude was enough to make Tohka feel even more fear.
As though they didn’t seem to notice her reaction, Wescott continued with great interest.
“A Spirit’s body is much more resilient than a human… try feeding her poison. Ah, in that case, we should also give her tranquilizers. And then, yes, how do you feel about your own chastity. The pain you will feel when we completely destroy whatever dignity you have as a woman. In the long time you’ve spent in this world, have you had any friends or lovers? If we were to kill a loved one in front of you, how would you feel?”
Listening to Wescott’s words, Tohka’s face twitched slightly. In an instant–she recalled the time when Shidou was killed by Origami.
Wescott leisurely nodded his head at Tohka’s reaction.
“Yes. I suppose, the person closest to her would be Itsuka Shidou. She had a completely different reaction to when we raised his name compared to when we raised others.”
“I see. Alright, then we shall keep waiting.”
Wescott nodded, as he prepared to leave the room.
“Hold it! You bastard, what are you trying to do to Shidou?!”
Tohka shouted at the image of his back, as she tried to stand up and attack him. The handcuffs that restrained her hands began to emit a strange sound.
But–Tohka soon felt an invisible force throughout her entire body, pushing her back into the chair.
“Be honest with me”
Ellen’s cold, icy voice rang through her ears.
As she muttered Shidou’s name with a weak voice–Tohka lost consciousness.
Translation Notes and References
Refer to Volume 3, Chapter 5
This was pretty tricky. The LN had it such that the words were pretty much spread apart. I don’t know how to format it in such a way that it’d be similar to the LN, so I left it like this.
Original phrase is apparently an idiom. This roughly seems to be what it means. Unfortunately I couldn’t find an English source… the original phrase is とりつく島もない
Bet is basically 2 or b in Hebrew and other older languages. Same deal with Aleph and all of Kurumi’s other spells.
Used in V3C5, against Mana and Kotori. The advantage that Zayin has is that it immobilises the opponent, which makes it easier for Kurumi/Shidou to escape in this case. Doesn’t really apply due to plot reasons, which is basically Kurumi kicking the bucket if she uses it.
Ellen’s nickname for Wescott. Wescott later introduces himself as Isaac Wescottアイザック・ウェスコット when he speaks to Tohka; Ellen refers to him as アイク in this sentence.
Refer to Volume 1, Chapter 5.