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Isolation
Vol23 LN Cover
Release Date August 10, 2017
ISBN ISBN 978-4-04-893281-3
On Cover Shiba Tatsuya, Shiba Miyuki
Volume Navigation
Previous
Prologue of Disturbance Chapter (II)
Next
Escape Chapter (I)

Isolation is the 23rd volume in the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Light Novel series.

Preview

The Brazilian Armed Forces weren't the only one's to use Strategic-Class Magic, the Great Asian Union uses the Strategic-Class Magic Thunderclap Tower on the Gulf of Guinea. Magic will expand the war and shake the world.

Condemnation of those who use magic.

Condemnation of those who made magic.

In the midst of turmoil against magic and magicians, as a peaceful use of magic, a space development project called "Project Dione" is proposed from USNA researcher Edward Clark. And among the people selected, Taurus Silver is named.

At last Tatsuya is revealed as Taurus Silver and is exposed to the world.

Tatsuya and Miyuki will face a new challenge this time.

And Tatsuya clashes with the strongest enemy!

Chapter 1

Spoiler
End of April, 2097.

The exact date and time are not recorded. In the first place, the meeting was not something that could be left in the official record.

The Directors of the Intelligence Department, Inukai and Onda have finished listening to Sergeant Tooyama’s report about the attack on her facility. Tsukasa isn't able to confirm the identity of the attacker but she says without a doubt that it could have only been Shiba Tatsuya from the Yotsuba Family. To which everyone in the room agreed, they have all decided that Tatsuya is a criminal who attacked their facility and released the USNA captives.

In this case it is true, but even if they were false charges they would not mind.

They believe it is necessary to increase their surveillance of this “dangerous person”. One person questions whether or not he should be eliminated immediately. While it is a course of action they would normally take, they don’t think they can rush into this. The Yotsuba family is without a doubt the strongest among the Ten Master Clans.

They also mention that they are aware of the Yotsuba family and the 101 Independent Magic-Equipped Battalion relationship. They also mention that this is an unconfirmed report but Tatsuya might be the Strategic-Class Magician who is responsible for Scorched Halloween. They are also aware that it was the 101st Brigade was involved in it as well.

Quite a few of them were shocked to hear this report. And they all realize the difficulty of disposing of a Strategic-Class Magician and how important they are to the defense of Japan. They go on to say that even though it is unconfirmed, Shiba Tatsuya is a dangerous individual that they can’t ignore. They all agree to this and decide to move forward with something they call a “re-education” policy.

◇ ◇ ◇

Kazama who had been in Hokkaido returned to the 101st Brigade Headquarters. He is giving a report to Major General Saeki.

All 195 members of the 101st Brigade have made it home safely although it is described as a “battalion”, in terms of numbers it only about two squadrons. After hearing the report Saeki tells Kazama to give everyone special leave for three days.

Saeki moves on to discuss a message that she received for one of the leaders of the Intelligence Department, and it isn’t someone who Kazama is familiar with. The person in questions is a Major in the Intelligence Department and is also a part of Special Affairs. Saeki has no direct connection or authority over the Intelligence Department so Kazama guesses that this major has a private connection with Saeki.

Kazama asks what the Intelligence Department wanted to inform them of, and Saeki says that Ooguro Ryuuya has been on their “blacklist” for attacking a secret facility of the Intelligence Department. Kazama asks if they plan on trying to kill Tatsuya, to which Saeki says no, but they want to capture and “re-educate” him. Kazama understands that re-educate mean brainwashing.

Kazama goes on to say that it may be possible to assassinate Tatsuya, but that is impossible to capture him. Kazama is worried that this conflict in a worse-case scenario could end up with Tokyo being sunk into a sea of fire. Saeki asks if this is something that Tatsuya would do, and Kazama says that the Intelligence Department labeling him as a dangerous individual is natural and that there are certain flaws in his character. Saeki agrees that Tatsuya’s abilities are valuable and that he most likely lacks a sense of attachment to Japan.

Kazama goes on to say that it is too naïve to know how dangerous it is but there is no doubt that it could only take night to destroy the city.

Kazama: If we make an analogy to game world, Tatsuya would be a last boss.

Saeki: Then who would be our hero in this case?

Kazama: As the current time, there's no one. So in order to not make us face a last boss, it's advisable to not give him an impetus to do so.

Saeki then tells Kazama to communicate his opinions to the Intelligence Department.

◇ ◇ ◇

After school on May 2nd.

Tatsuya has returned to his daily life, even with the “kidnapping” incident just ending. But since there was misunderstandings and a lack of communication, the whole incident just seemed to pass by.

The Student Council members including Tatsuya, as usual were working in the Student Council Room.

The Student Council has begun their preparations for the upcoming Nine School Competition. They haven’t received the details about the events this year but decided to work on the basics, so that there isn’t any time wasted if a change does occur.

Tatsuya was checking the catalog of the CAD for the events, when he is interrupted by Pixie. She says that there is important news being broadcasted that just came in. Tatsuya tells Pixie to display the news on the wall, all the members of the Student Council gather around.

This time it’s Strategic-Class Magic used in Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea near the Nigerian Delta Region. The Strategic-Class Magic Thunderclap Tower was used and the allied forces have admitted to it. The news about Strategic-Class Magic in South America was still fresh in peoples minds, but with this the severity will definitely increase.

Miyuki asks about France, and Tatsuya says that it was most likely the main objective.

During the last World War, Africa struggled to find resources. And the few underground resources that were found have been the cause of many small scale conflicts. The conflicts have continued for more than 30 years, and in this particular region two forces compete with each other over these resources. With one side being backed by France and the other side being backed by the Great Asian Union.

In the last few months the forces backed by France had begun to tip the scales in their favor, and they speculate that the Strategic-Class Magic is aimed at restraining France’s support.

The magic used was Thunderclap Tower, however the user announced by the Great Asian Union was not Liu Yunde, but a girl named Liu Li Lei [Illustration]. This was attracting a lot of attention due to the fact that there is now another nationally recognized Strategic-Class Magician.

It is mentioned that Yunde has disappeared and hasn’t been seen for over a year. While the Great Asian Union has tried to keep the information surrounding Yunde a secret, it couldn’t be hidden completely. Tatsuya knew that Liu Yunde had died in “Scorched Halloween”.

They believe that this Liu Li Lei is here to replace Liu Yunde. Revealing another Strategic-Class Magician is a form of deterrent for the Great Asian Union. Izumi asks if this was used as a way to restrain France and also a demonstration for the rest of the world.

At their favorite coffee shop, Leo and Erika joins them with the main topic still being the strategic class magic used in Africa. Tatsuya gives the same information and explanation again to Leo and Erika.

They discuss the age of Liu Li Lei and that she is only 14 years old. Within an hour of the first report, the Great Asian Union gave a detailed report of their new Strategic-Class Magician. The main content condemned the inhumane acts of the armed groups in Africa and they appealed for the legitimacy for the use of Thunderclap Tower. And it named her as the newest “apostle”.

Erika seemed a bit irritated and surprised that a girl this young was being outed and announced to the world. They were all surprised at how easily the Great Asian Union gave up the information about Liu Li Lei. Tatsuya throws in a comment suggesting that he isn’t fully convinced that she is the magician responsible for Thunderclap Tower. Erika guesses at his speculation that maybe she is being exposed as a symbol for morale for her country.

Liu Li Lei backstory seems to be a young girl who wants to succeed her grandfather. And once again they are unsure if she really is his granddaughter, but it was included in the information released by the Great Asian Union.

It is said that over 800 people have died in the Strategic-Class Magic used in Africa. It is less than in the incident that occurred in South America. Tatsuya then starts to give an explanation of Thunderclap Tower.

Thunderclap Tower is a magic used over a wide area, the magic triggers the process to create electricity necessary for thunder and intermittently reduces the electrical resistance of everything in its radius as well. It continuously throws lightning strikes one after another. It is not only effective against light armored infantry but it also has other after effects. It causes serious damages to infrastructures and electronic equipment. The repeated lightning strikes in the area cause fluctuations in the electromagnetic field, which lowers the electric resistance of all objects in the area. The direct killing power of this magic isn’t as high as the other Strategic-Class Magic's but it’s effects on electronic equipment over a wide area is another thing all together. It is considered an EMP weapon.

Tatsuya wonders why they would use that magic in this area, if Thunderclap Tower is used too close to their own facilities then it could disable all of their own resource recycling facilities.

In the Nigerian Delta area, it has been said the Great Asian Union is in a recession. And with France offering unmanned automatic weapons, over half of the areas that were once controlled by the Great Asian Union were taken away.

So even if there is damage to the resource facilities, they must have prioritized neutralizing the unmanned weapons.

Tatsuya says that the number of actual casualties is likely to increase drastically due to the fact that Thunderclap Tower will paralyze all the medical facilities in the area.

Chapter 2

Spoiler
(In 2095, during the Nine Schools Competition, Tatsuya invented the magic known as Active Air Mine. Though the magic was used by Shizuku in the Newcomers Division Speed Shooting winning her victory in the event, it was recorded into the National Magic University Compiled Magic Encyclopedia Index of True Names. At the time Tatsuya wasn't treated as apart of the Yotsuba Family and as such, he wasn't treated as the inventor. The one who used it, Shizuku was the one who it was tried to be registered as the inventor of it. Though with the back and forth, the magic was registered yet not given the name of an inventor. Not until January of 2097 was the magic officially recorded under Tatsuya's name because of his position of being the son of the current head of the Yotsuba Family became known. Thus there became no more reason for the name of the inventor to be concealed anymore.)

The morning news of the day when use of the magic was revealed to be used by armed guerrillas, such a thing didn't bother Tatsuya.

That day in Class 3-E, before the start of class there was constant whispering done by students. Erika, who was hanging the upper half of her body from the corridor side window overlooking inside of Tatsuya's class.

(It became known that Active Air Mine was used by armed guerrillas and further developed into a Tactical-Class Magic. There is no limit in power for the magic, but there is a trade-off between the scale and speed of use, all of which would depend on the magician using it.)

(Two days before, the Strategic-Class Magic "Thunderclap Tower" was used in Africa, causing numerous casualties. The announcement made by the Great Asian Union who substantially controls the region had announced the day before that there were less than 900 people dead. Though in fact the European and American mass media speculate that the local people alone exceeds the number, thus thinking the number of dead being an upwards of three-thousand people dead. The armed guerrillas include the local people. Terrorists who aren't even considered as guerrillas were misunderstood. However, the count contains a lot of civilians.)

(Thus retribution took place. Armed guerrillas attacked a military base of the Great Asian Union in Central Asia. The attacking organization was the EAND: Emancipation Army of the Niger Delta. It's an armed force who follows the trend of the international terrorist organization, MEND: Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.)

(Regardless of the fact that the Strategic-Class Magic "Thunderclap Tower" was used against EAND, a timed attack against a Great Asian Union military base had been planned. Thus the countermeasure against indiscriminate attacks became the reason for the retaliation taking place.)

(The news today was about a female magician, Afua Mensah from the west coast of the Gulf of Guinea who made a statement of succeeding in retaliation. The center of the surprise attack in retaliation being the use of Active Air Mine. It enables the user to tag all solids that enter the Magic Activation Zone with oscillation waves. Humans captured within the zone when the magic is used, all of the bone within their bodies break and thus causes a blood bath causing them to die. It was discovered that Effia Mensah is the first person to use the magic on humans.)

A discussion involving Hirakawa Chiaki and Erika begins when Erika enters the classroom commenting that even though Tatsuya invented the magic, he isn't responsible for the victims caused by others. Thus causing Chiaki to turn away with an awkward expression before saying that its a moral responsibility for inventing an inhumane magic.

Erika responds with an "Oh?" in a loud voice causing Chiaki to become dazed. Tatsuya enters the conversation by telling Erika to stop along with the a light gaze of his eyes.

Those sitting around Chiaki start focusing on her.

Leo who also joins in on the conversation mentions moral responsibility before bringing up Nobel's dynamite and Einstein's atomic bomb.

The last thing mentioned in the conversation is that becoming dazed is something that will occur more often.

(With a narration that there wasn't anyone present who could deny that becoming dazed would happen.)

◇ ◇ ◇

On Sunday, a press conference being held by the National Magic University was on the television.

A reporter there asks why the Magic University insists on there being no responsibility taken, where the spokesperson mentions that the Magic University is a place for research on magic and publishing those results, thus it being only a place to fulfill the role of being a research institution.

(The spokesperson was answering the reporters questions with confidence, but wasn't easily becoming worried by the reporters momentum.)

The reporter asks if that from what was just mentioned means that they weren't taking responsibility for the high school student who invented the magic that was used for killing.

(The conversation began taking on a serious tone.)

The spokesperson erupted saying that the such a thing isn't the responsibility of just one high school student.

(Though the position taken by the reporter wasn't defeated there.)

The reporter continued on by saying that in actuality, that the magic invented by the Magic High School student for the Nine Schools Competition was used, thus causing the deaths of more than 100 people. From there the spokesperson began with saying that those people are dead, and as such the responsibility for the one's who killed the people is to be borne by the armed guerrillas who used the magic as a weapon, not the person who invented the magic. From there the reporter continued while laughing with a grin saying that he was waiting for the spokesperson to say that.

The conversation continued resulting in the reporter to mention that regular weapons such as poisonous gas and dumdum bullets are forbidden by treaties and are used in atrocities. That internationally inhumane weapons are stipulated as illegal. The spokesperson tells the reporter that Active Air Mine isn't a weapon.

(The reporter understood what the spokesperson was trying to say while, but nonetheless even if their tone was greater the reporter wouldn't stop.)

Things continued with the reporter saying that it had actually been used as a weapon. For a moment the spokesperson stops before saying that it's the responsibility of the user. Whereas the reporter said that since it has the name "Mine" that it's not like it wouldn't be used as a weapon from the beginning.

(The spokesperson continued on with refuting the words made by the reporter. Modern Magic had been developed into a weapon. Magic has been recorded into the Magic Index and can be diverted for military purposes in general, and as such Active Air Mine is no exception.

Tatsuya who had been watching the conference alongside Miyuki in the living room spoke telling her that the consensus of the international community is that ownership and development of inhumane weapons is illegal. That the University should give guidance to students from the Affiliated High Schools within the country such that the country won't be accused of being humanitarian enemies by the international community. He continued by saying that as for the matter of magic developed by the Japanese, that was used in the military conflict in Central Asia, that the University thinks that the party who used it should take responsibility.

Miyuki asks Tatsuya if it's true that the international community prohibits development as well as ownership of inhumane weapons.

Tatsuya told Miyuki that it's true that banning ownership is a fact, but that it's difficult to prohibit the development of a completely new kind of weapon, whether it's an inhumane weapon or not, that he wouldn't know until its existence was made clear.

Miyuki asks if he means whether or not it would actually be used against humanity.

Tatsuya tell her while turning his head while laughing, that a person would know what kind of weapon it would be during the design stage without even using it.

Miyuki then spoke saying that if one were developing a weapon, that a lot of things would be kept secret until it were completed, that by publishing the weapons plans, one could with confidence figure out if the weapon were inhumane.

Tatsuya then told her that in the case of magic, the story may be a bit different, for example, that in the case of an airplane, it was not developed as a weapon, but it could be changed into becoming a weapon, where except for the early military use, military aircraft in the case of magic, depending on the ability of a magician to use it, even if it weren't for military use in mind, weapons for assassination also have large scale use for also possibly being a destructive weapon.

(Tatsuya made a small sigh.)

He continued by saying that he honestly doesn't think that there aren't many magicians who could use the magic so far, that the timing is just bad and it would have been nice if he weren't bothered by the trouble of it all.

(When Tatsuya had said that, Miyuki had felt a sense of resignation. Miyuki didn't know what he was giving up about and was unsure about what Tatsuya had decided.)

◇ ◇ ◇

After school on Friday, May 10th, 2097 A.D.

(Logically thinking about the situation, Tatsuya himself wasn't responsible for the victims from the military or the base staff of the Great Asian Union, yet in the world in the short term countless people didn't think as such. Though even if it were understood, Tatsuya himself didn't anticipate the kind of influence that would come about from it all.)

Miyuki called out to everyone in the Student Council Room to listen to her.

(Everyone thought that something was going on for her to ask for the attention of Tatsuya, Honoka, Izumi, Minami and Shiina.)

Miyuki began by saying that a notice from the Nine Schools Competition Committee Conference had arrived stating that this year's Nine School's Competition would be canceled.

(Miyuki's voice was trembling a little, but it could be seen that she was fine.)

Honoka and Izumi didn't exclaim at all, whereas Minami and Shiina stood rigid.

Tatsuya asks Miyuki if he could see the notice.

(It took even Tatsuya a few seconds before reacting.)

Miyuki asked for a moment before when moving from her standing position to her seat.

Tatsuya opened a document file that had been copied and shared to the Student Council, while waiting for Miyuki to finish at her terminal.

The other four, who were astonished also accessed and opened the document like Tatsuya.

Miyuki had come over when Tatsuya had said that it was his fault, where Miyuki told him that it wasn't while suppressing her exploding anger. She then spoke loudly saying that it wasn't his fault, that Tatsuya isn't responsible.

(Along with her speaking loudly, the temperature of the room dropped sharply; Miyuki had forgotten about her position as well as control of her magic.)

Tatsuya scolded Miyuki, telling her to calm down, but that too didn't work because she was angry for his sake.

Instead, Tatsuya stretched out his index finger and middle finger from his left hand, shaking it gently from right to left.

(The room suddenly returned to normal. The frost adhered to the window disappeared without a trace, and no condensation remained.)

(Shiina was dazzled, but all five girls including Miyuki, she listened as the illusion wounded up like a magnetic tape. Tatsuya used "Regrowth" to influence Miyuki's cooling magic that had runaway, thus there was no side-effect. The information associated to the event of the "temperature" from the cooling went through the room, as a result things had returned to the state before the magic activated by ignoring the process, thus the world recovered the cooling phenomenon in the form that the world rewound. The illusion heard by Shiina was noise in the form of a magical wave, which occurred when the reversal of the causation that occurred in the Intelligence Department collided with a normal causal flow.)

Miyuki apologized to Tatsuya.

(She recognized that Tatsuya had taken the trouble to deal with herself and the fact her cooling magic was runaway. She had calmed as her magic stopped.)

Miyuki told Tatsuya that he isn't responsible for the Nine Schools Competition being canceled because the Committee Conference is irresponsible. Going on to say that the recent criticisms aren't the cause but the event from the last school year.

Honoka agreed with Miyuki by saying that it's not because of the noise caused by Active Air Mine. That it's actually about the military.

(Miyuki and Honoka were trying to comfort Tatsuya with all their strength. The mass media hysterically connected the responsibility from the inhumane magic during the National Magic University from the press conference. Though the fact is from the adoption of Steeplechase Cross-Country the year before, thus the idea of militarization was tied to the National Magic University Affiliated High Schools. There was a basis for criticism that Steeplechase Cross-Country was a training exercise used by the military, where there would be soldiers made from the results that came from competing in the training. Steeplechase Cross-Country and Shield Down were arranged for close range combat training. Rower and Gunner as well were used as a Navel training program, more so than Battle Board. The inclination was that the Nine Schools Competition was found to be for the training of military personnel.)

(Tatsuya thought that the tone of the mass media had suddenly changed. Tatsuya couldn't affirm that it would work, but perhaps that Shizuku's father would get involved himself in someway if his daughter might become a victim of the press. It was possible that munitions companies that produce conventional weapons, that in order to prevent the deterioration of the performance in conventional weapons being sold, it could be that they were trying to stop the use of magic. If it were the ladder, the goal has succeeded.)

(Committee Conference who were criticized for not thinking, expressed regret that magic a student invented was being used by an armed group, thus the regret of also the Magic University is what caused the cancellation of this years Nine Schools Competition along with creating a Board of Review.)

Miyuki agreed by also mentioning that its unnecessary to worry now.

(Tatsuya accepted the apologies made for him by Miyuki and Honoka. On the surface.)

◇ ◇ ◇

(Not all the high school students who received the disappointment of the Nine Schools Competition being canceled were thinking that it was because of the abuse of Magic from the Magic Index. No student took the information released by the Committee Conference took the information at face value.)

Senkawa asked if Takuma had asked around.

(During club activities, he is a classmate of his from the same club. Takuma and Senkawa are older high school students who were teammates in last years Newcomer's Monolith Code event.

Takuma asked if he was talking about the Nine Schools Competition being canceled, and he told him that he had heard about it a while ago.

(Takuma responded with thought out calm look. Whereas for Senkawa a tone of unhappiness was oozing out of him.)

He told him that there's always next year, but felt sorry for the seniors.

(Many people thought that this was their last chance.)

Senkawa responded with a sarcastic remark making Takuma make an un-cheerful expression. Senkawa didn't notice that he should stop, but continued on. He asks if it's just being canceled whereas he tells him that there is a Board of Review going on and things should be okay the next year around. He remarks in a curious manner if the Board of Review is just and excuse and if the truth is that it will be difficult the next year around to compete where magic would be restricted.

(Takuma made a shrug with his face, whereas Senkawa consented to his opinion.)

With a sullen tone he told him that it's usually impossible for a high school student to invent magic used in combat, but that it's unexpected that Tatsuya would be such a person. He continued by saying that it's not the responsibility that the Nine Schools Competition was canceled because of Tatsuya.

(He noticed an unexpected reaction from Senkawa. Causing him to make quick excuses.)

He told him that he doesn't think that his seniors are bad. Going on with that Tatsuya is a victim attributed to the mass media. He urged him on to talk before asking him if Tatsuya knew about the possibility that his magic would be used for military use that could bring about results.

(Takuma felt uncomfortable when being reminded again of the pictures of the victims released by the Great Asian Union, but not because of Senkawa's remarks.

He told him that even if she isn't bothered by everything, wondering if it was Shizuku's skill that won her the Speed Shooting event, or if Tatsuya was overdoing it.

(Takuma didn't speak with trying to start an argument, where in-between there was silence, but as the two continued talking he didn't disapprove of his opinions.)

◇ ◇ ◇

(There was a lot of sympathy for Tatsuya at First High since he was highly rated and that his contributions weren't forgotten from the Nine Schools Competition the year before last. Thus, criticisms against Tatsuya seldom appeared. Although the situation was different for the other schools.)

In the Third High School Public Morals Committee Room, Masaki is called out to.

(The Student Council President is a female who isn't from either the 28 Houses or the Hundred Families, but as the Chief of the Public Morals Committee, Masaki is considered to be at the top.)

Two of his teammates from the previous Nine Schools Competition, his juniors asked what's wrong. Masaki made a small sigh while telling them that it's true that the Nine Schools Competition was canceled. They asked if the cause of the cancellation is because of Tatsuya from First High.

(Tatsuya is viewed as a villain who has caused Third High to lose the Nine Schools Competition.)

Masaki lets them know that the magic used by the armed guerrillas and terrorists that was used in the Nine Schools Competition is being reviewed.

(Masaki felt that it was wrong to be treating Tatsuya as such. Though it was undeniable that he is a "bad guy", but views that he shouldn't be accused. However there was no hope that his classmates and juniors would feel the same.)

One complained that it's because Tatsuya made inhumane magic and as such its being reviewed. The other agreed with him that it's the cause (The two of them didn't hesitate to vent their frustration).

Masaki responded that it may be as they say (Masaki views Tatsuya as the "enemy", but also as a "friend". As such he hesitated to strongly defend Tatsuya before his classmates and juniors).

They talked more about the Nine Schools Competition and Tatsuya (Similar conversations were going on at every other Magic High School).

(No protests were raised by any of the other schools. Every school officially stated that there is no direct relationship between the cancellation of the Nine Schools Competition and the military use of Active Air Mine. As time went on, the truth of the cancellation of the Nine Schools Competition spread, the personal attacks against Tatsuya were made by students from all the Magic High Schools.

The event was such that the news from America caused further turmoil for Tatsuya.)

Chapter 3

Spoiler
Sunday, May 12th.

The news reported in the morning was about an international project announced in Los Angeles. The presenter’s name is Edward Clark, he is an engineer from the USNA and is apart of the NSA (National Science Agency). His statement was that the NSA is calling for cooperation from around the world for a magnificent project.

It is called “Project Dione” which is a project that is meant to terraform Venus with resources from Jupiter and its satellites. In the future where Earth can't continue to support the increase in the growth of the worlds population, the project will lead the extraterrestrial immigration of humanity with magic as the core technology. The choice was between the planets Mars and Venus but after consideration of the gravity and atmospheric remodeling Venus was chosen.

Edward Clark named nine people other than himself that would be required to help promote and accomplish this task. Some of the names included were Paul Maximilien, President of Maximilien Device. Ernst Rosen, President of Rosen Magicraft. Edward had also named William McCloud and Igor Andreivitch Bezobrazzoff two of the nationally recognized Strategic-Class Magicians of the “Thirteen Apostles”, who are also famous figures in the magic community. After listing off the names of the nine people, Clark goes on to mention that there is another engineer that he wants to join the project. And that he is Japanese high school student who is known as “Taurus Silver” and that he cannot reveal his real name yet because he is a minor and by law he can’t publicly name him.

Tatsuya and Miyuki were watching the morning news, and Tatsuya mutters “A stupid story...”. Miyuki is looking at him with concerned eyes, and Tatsuya apologizes for causing her to worry. Tatsuya smiled at her but for some reason Miyuki starts to tear up, Minami hands her a handkerchief [Illustration]. Tatsuya asks Miyuki what’s wrong and Miyuki explains that she understands that “Tatsuya-sama” is being put in a tough position and that she wants to share Tatsuya’s troubles.

She goes on to say that she is not his sister anymore but his fiancée. Tatsuya wasn't puzzled by Miyuki's reaction and realized that it wasn't an easy thing for her to say without being embarrassed and decided to move the conversation along.

Tatsuya goes on to say that this project doesn’t make sense and that in order to find the true purpose, he would have to examine the contents of Project Dione. Tatsuya says that he cannot work for the USNA in his current position. Miyuki asks that if Maya requests him to do it… would he? Tatsuya says that even if Maya tells him to go, that he would not leave Miyuki. Miyuki turns a bit red, she is a bit more embarrassed than usual due to her declaration of being his fiancée and not his sister.

Tatsuya moves on to examine the information that they know of as of right now. They discuss Dione and Greek mythology and how it relates to the name of the project. He thinks that the project consists of four elements, with the first being the use of weight type and acceleration type magic needed for launching materials and assemblies up to space.

But even with the use of extraterrestrial resources, the first mining machines and tools would be lucky to make it there from earth with the use of high-thrust rocket engines.

For that purpose, this time they would supplement the existing rockets with weight and acceleration magic. Before the war, there was a plan for a strategic weapon to replace nuclear weapons, where a hyper-sonic mass bullet would be sent into space from an installation. The thrust of rocket engines became the bottleneck. In order to operate as a strategic weapon, it is necessary to deploy massive bullets. The development of a high-thrust rocket engine was necessary in order to carry such a mass into satellite orbit, or launch a rocket bit by bit. The expenses weren't acceptable, thus even though there was a nominal amount of preparation done it wasn't an alternative to nuclear weapons.

The idea from the USNA was to put two magicians on the rocket to use the weight and acceleration magic. This would alleviate the gravitational force on the rocket and satellite, it would have been a strategic military satellite that had a missile launch pad. But the project was abandoned after six failed launches and with all twelve magicians losing their lives. There wasn’t any type of accident but the stress for the magician was too great causing their magic calculation area to overheat to a fatal point. A solution has been devised already for this matter, although it has yet to be proven it would succeed according to Tatsuya.

The second element is to extract the metal resources necessary for the project from the asteroid belt with magicians. Project Dione requires a large amount of nickel, while nickel is available on Earth there are more than just one resource to be procured from the asteroid belt. And this way it could harvested without using the Earth’s underground resources. It is also said that mining the resources in space would be easier with move-type magic in space rather than the traditional ways on Earth.

The third element is to use magic as a means of harvesting hydrogen from Jupiter and transporting it to Venus. A scheme to react water and carbon dioxide under high temperature and high pressure to produce water and methane, this would bring water to the water-less Venus, and at the same time reduce carbon dioxide. Nickel would be the catalyst.

The fourth element is to deploy a tethered satellite (orbital work leveler not fixed to the ground). The hydrogen taken from Jupiter is transported to the tethered satellite. The planet Venus has high temperatures and high pressures, and using the Sabatier reaction that occurs using nickel as a catalyst that doesn’t require applying heat or pressure.

If Venus’ atmosphere can be secured sufficiently, it is possible to produce oxygen with genetically modified algae. In this scheme, a magician is placed on the satellite orbit of Jupiter and Venus, and the process of sending a hydrogen carrier from Jupiter and the process of accepting a carrier on Venus with the use the magic from the movement system and acceleration system.

However, both (steam) and methane are greenhouse gases above carbon dioxide, and with the carbon dioxide being reduced, the temperature of Venus will decrease more and more. So there will be more ice from the surface. It is part of the fourth factor to use magic to cut out and transport this gigantic ice cube that cuts out and injects toward Venus and throws it into the atmosphere of Venus.

Since the combination of concentrated sulfuric acid and ice works as a cryogenic, placing a large amount of ice has the promise that Venus' atmosphere will be ordered efficiently. Even if water production by the Sabatier reaction does not go well, the first stage of Venus atmosphere remodeling may be accomplished by this alone.

However, this third scheme and the fourth scheme require that magicians reside on the Jupiter and Venus satellite orbits. In order to shoot out Jupiter's gravity and continuously haul a carrier and giant ice cubes a considerable number of magicians would be needed. And the magicians sent there would not be able to return to Earth for a very long time.

Tatsuya says that he might be thinking about it too much but he believes that this project’s aim is to expel magicians who pose a threat to the people of the Earth. The social turmoil caused by the cold weather in the world had interrupted the development of the space programs. Tatsuya goes on to say once again that the magicians involved in this project would not be able to return home for a very long time and that even if one were to return it would take a while for their physical condition to return to normal as well.

◇ ◇ ◇

The next morning, in one of First High’s classrooms only two thirds of the students in this classroom have arrived yet. Miyuki has yet to appear as well. There are only a few students talking about how the Nine Schools Competition has been canceled and about Active Air Mine. Most of the students are now talking about the American space development plan, Honoka and Shizuku were no exception to this.

Honoka asks Shizuku if it’s true that Taurus Silver is a Japanese high school student. It was said in the announcement that the unidentified genius magic engineer was actually a high school student like them.

Shizuku says that it could be true, that there are certain cases like Kichijouji. He is very well known, especially at Third High for his discovery of the cardinal code at the age of thirteen. Although this is not as conspicuous as the achievement of Taurus Silver’s flying type magic. There is at least one example that a high school student is capable of such things.

Honoka goes on to tell Shizuku that she believes that Taurus Silver is Tatsuya, to which Shizuku says it is a possibility. Honoka was surprised that Shizuku returned an answer so quickly, and Shizuku replies that Tatsuya was the first person she thought of as well when the announcement was made.

Just then Miyuki enters the classroom and they immediately stop their conversation. They greet Miyuki, and while doing so Honoka is trying to hide her concern about Tatsuya possibly going to the USNA.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya who had just arrived at class had to immediately leave after receiving a message on his terminal. Mizuki asks what’s going on, and Tatsuya tells her that he is going to the staff room but will be right back.

Tatsuya didn’t tell Mizuki but he was actually called to the principals office. The principal Momoyama, vice principal Yaosaka and Jennifer Smith were waiting for him.

They immediately ask if Tatsuya is “Taurus Silver”, and Tatsuya asks why they would think such a thing. Although this is usually seen as a sign of disrespect , they expected Tatsuya wouldn’t answer. Momoyama explains that he received a letter from the USNA, specifically from the NSA yesterday, but even considering his position in First High and the fact that he is nationally recognized as an authority of magical education it is very unusual. Momoyama shows Tatsuya the letter which says that the NSA wishes for “Taurus Silver”, Shiba Tatsuya to participate in Project Dione.

Tatsuya mentions that he is still a high school student and does not intend to stop his studies. (He still does not confirm that he is Taurus Silver). They go on to say that one of their own students is being asked to participate in this project and that it should be considered an honor. If Tatsuya were to participate he would be allowed to immediate graduate from high school, and they even go on to say that if the project were to get in the way of him taking classes at the university he would be allowed to immediately graduate from university as well.

Tatsuya asks if that is an official decision, to which they say “not yet” but guarantee him that it would happen. Jennifer Smith adds that he already has the skills and knowledge to graduate. They ask Tatsuya if high school is a waste of his time and that his classes are beneath his level. Tatsuya says that he does not think that way.

They tell him that the NSA did not set a deadline for his reply, but they would like him to think about it carefully and that he would be excused from any absence from school starting today. Tatsuya asks if they are recommending that he should stay home, to which they reply that this isn’t punishment and that he would get A rating’s on all his assignments regardless of him participating. Tatsuya says okay, but doesn’t give any confirmation about being Taurus Silver or whether or not he will be participating. He is just trying to buy time for now.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya returns to class and finishes out the day with more people looking his direction than normal. After his last lesson he heads to the Student Council Room, Tatsuya tells Miyuki that he needs to announce something. Miyuki asks if they should leave to talk privately but Tatsuya wants to tell everyone in the room, Miyuki, Honoka, Izumi, Minami, Shiina and Pixie are the only ones in the room right now.

Miyuki asks Tatsuya to explain, and Tatsuya tells them that when he was called to the principals office he was told he is exempt from attending class from here on out. Miyuki and Honoka both quickly stand up with Miyuki asking “Why!?”. Tatsuya says that he will explain after he returns, but that he isn’t suspended or anything and that it might be better if he didn’t come to school for the time being.

Izumi asks if it has to do with the Nine Schools Competition, and Tatsuya says that it isn’t the main reason but that it is part of it. Honoka thinks that it’s due to Tatsuya being Taurus Silver and the invitation to the USNA. Tatsuya also says to Miyuki the “family” might have something to say about this as well. Everyone there understood that he means the Yotsuba Family. Due to these reasons Tatsuya says that he wants to officially resign from the Student Council, which silences everyone in the room.

(As this was happening Pixie was taking away the cold tea, and Minami suddenly jumps in to replace it with warm tea before Pixie could).

Miyuki says that she understands in a bitter voice. She also adds that if he leaves the Student Council that he will not be able to carry his CAD around in school, and that it would be better if he stayed on the Student Council regardless. Tatsuya says that it wouldn’t be right, and Miyuki says that nobody would complain about that. Miyuki looks like she is about to cry, but finally says that she understands.

◇ ◇ ◇

After the Student Council meeting, Tatsuya and Miyuki went home but still had a problem that needed to be cleared up.

They call up Yotsuba Maya, the matter of the USNA’s NSA sending notice to the principal of First High was not something they could keep from her.

Maya asks if they have some important business to discuss, Tatsuya was slightly confused by Maya’s expression, it made him feel slightly discomforted. He goes on to explain that First High’s Principal, Vice-Principal and Jennifer Smith read a document from the NSA that had named him as Taurus Silver and their desire for him to work on the project.

Tatsuya mentions that he never confirmed that he was Taurus Silver but that since it was an official letter from the USNA, that Momoyama would believe it regardless. Also there are many people would easily accept the truth that he is Taurus Silver, due to the abilities that he has shown so far.

Maya agrees that this revelation is happening much sooner than she had planned, and asks if Momoyama has told anyone else about it yet. Tatsuya says that he thinks Momoyama is trying to avoid having politicians and the media coming to the school. Maya goes on to say that it would be best if Tatsuya doesn’t go to First High for a while. Tatsuya thinks back to the time after the Yokohama incident, where Maya had ordered Tatsuya to go to the Yotsuba Family house to lay low. Maya says that it would not only be in their best interest but it would also to be good to pretend that they are keeping the best interests of First High in mind as well.

Tatsuya wanted to speak up against Maya, but after thinking it over again it is probably in his best interest to lay low and let this situation cool down.

Maya says that from tomorrow on since Tatsuya is the only one who is exempt from school that she will make arrangements for Miyuki’s protection while he is away since it could be for a while. Tatsuya was thinking the same thing, if it was only going to be for a short period he wouldn’t have worried about it, but since this could turn into a long-term situation he wouldn’t be able to protect Miyuki. He would be able to watch her from afar but it would be unacceptable for him to leave Miyuki and Minami alone in this house for that long.

Maya looks at Minami and says that she is leaving the job of escorting Miyuki to and from school to her. Tatsuya says that knows Minami’s power and agrees that it is a good choice, which makes Minami blush a little. Maya adds that she will prepare some other people to help watch from a distance as well, not that she doubts Minami.

Maya goes on to say that as for how to best keep them safe at night that Miyuki and Minami will move to their headquarters in Chofu. Miyuki confirms that the building in Chofu was the one they had already visited before, and Maya says yes. Tatsuya and Miyuki are both okay with this arrangement.

Maya says that since this building was built as the Capital City Headquarters for the Yotsuba Family, she had planned to move Miyuki there soon, but that since this situation has come up that even if it is sooner than planned it would be a good opportunity. Miyuki is to move their Sunday and Maya will make all the necessary arrangements.

Maya turns to Tatsuya and tells him that he is to go to the Yotsuba villa in Izu. Tatsuya asks if there is a Yotsuba base in Izu, but Maya says that Tatsuya should know what is there. Tatsuya didn’t confirm and waited for Maya to continue, she says that the villa in Izu that their mother had used for medical treatment. Tatsuya asks why that hasn’t be disposed of yet, and Maya says that they have no plans to dispose of it since it was her sisters favorite villa.

Tatsuya did not think that the Yotsuba Family would respect such sentiment. After all, the Yotsuba was a clan that waged war against one nation for kidnapping a certain girl, fulfilling their revenge in exchange for half of their family members being killed. So it's reasonable for such personal memory sentimentalism to exist within the Yotsuba, or rather it fitted them very well.

Maya mentions that she will have all the workstations and machinery installed in the villa in a week. Tatsuya agrees with Maya’s decisions and they bow to her as she disappears off screen.

◇ ◇ ◇

After finishing up her conversation with Tatsuya, Maya finishes her cup of tea with a smile on her face, but her smile quickly vanished. She throws her tea cup up into the air, and the room immediately turn into “Night”. It is not complete darkness, it is similar to starry night. The stars begin to glow and meteors hit the tea cup from all directions, the “Night” faded away and the cup fell to the floor.

Hayama orders one of the maids to come clean it up. And asks Maya if she would like another cup, but she says no thanks. Maya seems to have calmed down a bit after using Meteor Shower and begins to talk with Hayama about the situation.

She admits to Hayama that they have relied too much on Hliðskjálf, and that the system has stopped working and probably won’t be awhile. Hayama says that in this case there was nothing they could do to prevent it from happening, and that they can’t so easily reach the USNA’s national institution. Maya asks if there is anything they can do to assassinate Edward Clark, and Hayama asks if that assumption is meaningless. Even if it is possible to do, she does not issue an assassination command.

Maya and Hayama were both aware that Edward Clark was involved with Hliðskjálf and that it is a hacking system for Echelon III. The fact that Maya was shut out of Hliðskjálf and with this situation involving Tatsuya overlapping makes that connection more apparent.

Chapter 4

Spoiler
The next morning, Tatsuya tells Yakumo that he wants to take a rest, after one of their sparring matches. Yakumo jumps right into it and says that he doesn’t need to think so hard about it because he isn’t one of his disciples, and that he can stop any time that he wants to. Tatsuya thanks him, and Yakumo asks for more information on the situation and whether or not this involves the American space development plan. Tatsuya says that it is the main reason, and tells Yakumo that he will be at a villa in Izu and Miyuki with be in Chofu.

Yakumo groans and looks like he is deep in thought for a second, he then looks at Tatsuya and says that he is concerned with the distance between Tatsuya and Miyuki and being that far apart he would not be able to act instantly if something were to happen.

Tatsuya mentions that the Yotsuba Family will be provided escort arrangements, but Yakumo says that he will keep an eye on Miyuki as well. Tatsuya asks why he would do that (Tatsuya knows that he isn’t a disciple, so this offer from Yakumo was surprising), and Yakumo says that it would be better if he hadn’t asked.

“If something were to happen to Miyuki-kun, would you destroy the world? I do not have the confidence to survive the flame that surpasses nuclear weapons.”

Tatsuya couldn’t say anything to that, he has no confidence in himself that he wouldn’t do anything to the world that robbed him of Miyuki.

◇◇◇

Tatsuya did not show up to class today. His friends refrained from mentioning him in front of Miyuki.

It was the second day in a row that Tatsuya had not shown up to school. After school at their favorite café, Tatsuya’s friends were talking about him. They mention that Tatsuya has been exempt from classes due to the principal, and they wonder if he will ever come back to school which makes Honoka start to feel upset. They mention that when the situation calms down Tatsuya will return, Erika mentions that “only if” this situation does calm down. Mizuki tries to chide Erika but Leo backs her up and says that he can’t imagine this situation going away even after a few months.

Izumi and Kasumi are also in the café with them, Izumi mentions that Tatsuya is unlikely to leave Miyuki at school alone for an extended period of time, and that Tatsuya would not allow Miyuki to quit school either so he will have to come back to school eventually.

Just when everyone was beginning to calm down, a news recording from Moscow was on the television. On screen was Igor Andreivitch Bezobrazzoff, one of the nationally recognized Strategic-Class Magicians, one of the “Thirteen Apostles”. He is being interviewed about Project Dione.

He mentions that terraforming Venus has significance beyond the conflict between other countries, and that for over a century mankind has been dealing with the limits of the world’s total population. He says that this is a great solution to avoid the awaiting catastrophe that mankind will face. The reporter asks if he will be directly involved in the project, to which he indirectly says “yes”. The reporter asks that if this project does proceed that it might require him to leave the country and go to the USNA, and if the government will actually allow that.

Igor says that his government wants nothing more than peace, and that they will fully cooperate with this project, even at the cost of lowering the nations defense. He also mentions that it hasn’t been decided where the new research base will be setup for this special project. The reporter asks if it’s a possibility that the base will be setup in the New Soviet Union, and Igor says that once again this is a possibility but it has yet to be decided. He says that it’s more likely that the new research base will be setup in a neutral country or a place that isn’t politically controlled by another major country.

Igor mentions that William McCloud, and the president of Maximilian have already agreed to work on the project. He is also expecting to hear a positive answer from the president of the Rosen company and particularly the Japanese student who is known as Taurus Silver. He says he would like to work together to overcome the difficulties for the future of humanity.

After the interview is over, Erika’s first comment is “Our government wants peace” in a very mocking tone. It’s mentioned that her dialogue is in comment to the Sado invasion five years ago, although the New Soviet Union never admitted to it, most of the people of Japan know that the New Soviet Union are guilty.

Mikihiko says that regardless of the past, the fact that since Dr. Bezobrazzoff is participating in the project that it has a certain persuasive power all of it’s own. Kasumi mentions that a Strategic-Class Magician leaving the country for a non-military activity almost never happens. Izumi says that’s exactly why there is such persuasive power, just as Yoshida-senpai said. Leo adds that the fact that the New Soviet Union is considered an enemy country to the USNA and is still going to participate, and with Japan being an ally of the USNA it becomes even more difficult for Japan to refuse.

Honoka mutters to herself “Tatsuya-san, are you going to be okay?”

◇◇◇

Tatsuya who had just walked Miyuki and Minami back home earlier (while his friends were at the café), was just now watching the recording from Moscow.

Miyuki asks Tatsuya if that was really Igor, one of the Thirteen Apostles himself. Miyuki is doubtful because Strategic-Class Magicians tend to hide their identities to avoid assassination. Tatsuya says it’s a possibility that it isn’t really him but that it isn’t the main issue here. He continues to say that the simple fact that New Soviet Union showing a cooperative attitude with the USNA is most important.

Tatsuya explains that the Great Asian Union and Indo-Persia Federation are also powerful countries, but the axis of world politics, is the confrontation of the Cold War, for the New Soviet Union who has regained its power, where the contemporary international community is turning around the USNA's strength which is thus increasing its national strength.

However the two major powers in the world right now are the USNA and the New Soviet Union. This is something that is taught to all junior high school students. Tatsuya continues to say that whether or not the New Soviet Union contributes or not isn’t important right now and just the simple fact that the New Soviet Union who is an enemy country to the USNA says that they plan on cooperating, which is going to make it very hard for him to refuse. He came to the same conclusion as his friends did.

Tatsuya speculates that the USNA and New Soviet Union must have found something to make them combine forces. With military forces growing around the world some of the smaller countries will start to feel overwhelmed. The Great Asian Union has been catching up as well, while it still hasn’t yet recovered from the damage they received from Tatsuya. Magic is a power all of it’s own, but normal military power is the power of the nation supported by political and economic power.

In a situation where nuclear weapons are prohibited, and with economic power becoming more prominent, countries with small economies can’t compete with the USNA or New Soviet Union unless it’s with magic power.

Miyuki says that Japan’s economic power is not that small, is it? Tatsuya says that while the economic power of Japan is great but it is still far behind the USNA and New Soviet Union. Tatsuya goes on to say that the present shape of the world stays as it is right now due to magic being the main factor. Without magic the smaller countries would never be able to compete with the greater countries.

Tatsuya is aiming for a non-military use of magic, he wants to release magicians from having the main role in the military system. For him to admit that magical weapons are meaningful left a bitter expression on his face.

Tatsuya mutters to himself that this project might be meant to collect magicians with strong “power” and to deprive the countries associated with them.

Tatsuya begins to second guess himself and sees that it will be very difficult for magicians to be freed from their role in the military. If you start to run short of high-level magicians in the military by pushing the economic use of magic, smaller countries would no longer be able to compete with the greater countries. Tatsuya can only imagine a future where regional conflicts would spread around the world again if that were to happen.

(Again, deterrence is necessary?)

(The ultimate weapon of mass destruction in his hands.)

That moving forward into the future that his name would bear notoriety. He thus decided to prepare for such a day that evening.

◇◇◇

It was late at night in Japan when the secret communication talks were being held.

Three people are present for this video conference, Igor Bezobrazzoff, William McCloud and Edward Clark. Igor starts off by greeting McCloud and Edward Clark.

Igor immediately jumps into topic at hand and asks Clark if it is true that the Strategic-Class Magician responsible for the “Great Bomb” is Taurus Silver and that he is a Japanese high school student. Clark confirms that it is a fact, he also adds that the “Great Bomb” is called “Material Burst” by the Japanese, and that it’s magic that converts mass directly into energy.

Igor was very interested in the fact that it is “direct conversion”, but McCloud says there is no point in discussing hypotheses right now when they have no data on the magic.

Clark says that Material Burst, like Tuman Bomba can target a very large area based on the data received from their reconnaissance satellite. McCloud says that it is threat that will destroy the global military balance. Igor ignored Clark’s remark about “knowing the mechanism of Tuman Bomba”.

Clark continues to say that he isn’t sure how far Material Burst can reach, but that it will not be able to reach the Earth from Jupiter. Igor confirms that Clark’s plan is to expel Taurus Silver to Jupiter. Clark says that Project Dione is the perfect stage to set this up for Taurus Silver. Igor asks for the identity of Taurus Silver, but Clark says that he will reveal it to him when they meet in person.

McCloud asks where he plans on holding this meeting. Clark says that the meeting will be located out on the Atlantic, and that it will be the best place for the meeting with very little distractions. Igor says that the three countries will join together on a ship. Clark goes on to say that he has already dispatched the “Enterprise” to the planned location and that he intends to have both of them arrive via aircraft.

The Enterprise is a new aircraft carrier of the USNA. It is said that despite the fact that it does not run on nuclear power, it has comparable power output and cruising time, the mystery of this new system has been attracting attention.

Clark says he has a few more details to go over with Igor and McCloud. (But it isn’t said what they talked about) The video conference lasted for about 30 minutes.

◇◇◇

After the rebellion in Mexico in April, several small riots have occurred in the USNA. However, it has not yet reached the point where troops needed to be dispatched.

Lina is scheduled to train all day this evening, but just after finishing her morning exercises she was called to base commander Walker’s office. Lina is told that she is to go to Washington D.C. and accompany Dr. Edward Clark as an escort to the Enterprise which is stationed in the Atlantic.

The commander explains that important talks about Project Dione are planned and that the others that will be present for the meeting are William McCloud and Igor Bezobrazzoff. Lina was very surprised to hear those names, considering it’s two of the Thirteen Apostles. But after thinking about it, Lina believes it makes sense to have another one of the Thirteen Apostles there to keep the balance.

Lina is told that she is to keep this a secret.

◇◇◇

With all these movements happening in the USNA, and the New Soviet Union. The Japanese Magic Association was also starting to move as well.

The President of the Japan Magic Association is an elected position, the election is held every June with the person taking office in July. There is no restrictions on re-appointments either.

Tomitsuka Hitsui, is the current President of the Japanese Magic Association, Hitsui is Hagane’s mother. It is customary for the position of President to be filled by a member of the Hundred Families.

She had also received the same letter that arrived from the USNA about Taurus Silver. All of the Magic Association is in an uproar being busy. Once again due to the New Soviet Union agreeing to participate in the project, is pushing Japan to agree to participate as well. Hitsui believes that this is peaceful project that will be beneficial for mankind, and it will also be an effective counter-measure for the anti-magician movement. The identity of Taurus Silver was written in the letter that was sent to her.

The president of the Magic Association has the power to convene an emergency conference that requires all the Ten Master Clans to attend immediately if necessary. One hour after sending out the notification to the Ten Master Clans, all of the family heads showed up on screen in front of Hitsui.

The conversation starts off light, with Ichijou Gouki thanking Maya for helping out with his treatment. It seems he has completely recovered. Kouichi urged Hitsui to tell them why she called them in a cold tone.

She explains that the Magic Association is being forced to respond quickly to the request of the USNA for Project Dione. Shippou Takumi asks why the association is being asked, and that Edward Clark has called for individual participation. Yatsushiro Raizou responds and says that one of the Japan’s own has been nominated. Atsuko calls the Americans selfish and that the Japanese don't have to obey the obligation.

Hitsui explains that currently magicians are taking blameless accusations for being enemies of peace. And with all the Strategic-Class, and Tactical-Class Magic that has been used in succession has made the anti-magician movement stronger. Everyone there knew that the “Tactical-Class Magic” was in reference to active air mine that was developed by Tatsuya.

She also says that the International Magic Association is preparing to express full support for Project Dione. With the United Kingdom, and the New Soviet Union already saying they will participate, it is impossible for Japan to ignore.

Itsuwa Isami asks what she wants to do specifically, and if she plans to find Taurus Silver and force him to participate. He had a bitter expression on his face, he has had to send his frail daughter to the battlefield last year, just because she was a “Strategic-Class Magician”. He is against imposing individuals with burdens, even if it is just for appearance.

Hitsui states that she already knows who Taurus Silver and asks Maya if Taurus Silver is her son, Tatsuya. Saying that she received the letter from the USNA Embassy, and that the USNA hasn't published the name of Taurus Silver publicly because he is underage. Maya laughingly tells Hitsui that the choice is up to Tatsuya while everyone stays silent. Maya says that if that is all she will excuse herself and disappears from the screen.

After Maya leaves both Mutsuzuka, and Yatsushiro disappear as well, leaving seven of the ten family heads remaining.

Kouichi starts the conversation back up by saying that this decision will be very important for the Japanese Magic Community.

They question that if Shiba Tatsuya should participate in the project, it might be a big loss for national defense. Hitsui says that she isn’t aware yet of how they want Tatsuya to participate in the project, but that dealing with anti-magician movement should take priority.

They ask who is going to persuade Tatsuya, and Juumonji is asked to try due to the fact that he personally knows Tatsuya. Juumonji says that he isn’t sure if Tatsuya will listen to him but he will try to persuade him.

Chapter 5

Spoiler
In front of the Shiba household, Miyuki mutters to herself that she is going to miss this house and asks if Tatsuya is going to miss their house as well. Tatsuya says that he will not sell the house and that they will be able to come back at a later time.

From behind them Hanabishi Hyougo says that it is time to go. Today is the day that Tatsuya and Miyuki will be moving. They will be leaving their home owned by their father, with Miyuki going to the Yotsuba headquarters in Chofu. This is to strength the protection around Miyuki while Tatsuya is in Izu.

The car pulls into the underground parking lot, it is a garage with a device that automatically checks the approaching vehicles and will only allow vehicles with the proper clearance.

They ride an elevator from the garage to floor where Miyuki will live from this day forward and this floor cannot be accessed by anyone besides Miyuki and Tatsuya unless they are given a key. The room was very luxurious to say the least, and Tatsuya could tell that Miyuki liked it with a glance.

Hyougo asks Tatsuya if he wants to stay the night here today, but Tatsuya says that he will head to the villa in Izu as soon his transportation is ready. Miyuki and Minami will be living here but this is not Tatsuya’s residence yet, and he is supposed to go straight to Izu by Maya’s instruction.

That was the main reason why Miyuki said that she is going to miss their father’s house, because she is going to be living separately from Tatsuya for a while in an unfamiliar house. Hyougo says that transportation will be ready in two hours and that Tatsuya can relax. The preparations had already been complete but Hyougo was giving Tatsuya some extra time to stay with Miyuki, both Tatsuya and Miyuki noticed but didn’t complain.

Hyougo took Tatsuya to Izu on the VTOL aircraft. The flight time was 30 minutes and as expected the villa was in the mountains. There was an old air defense base that was remodeled into a golf course after the war, it was a quiet environment.

Tatsuya asks if Miya was really treated up here in such an inconvenient place. He said “mother” at first but changed it to “mother-in-law”. Hyougo said that Miya preferred a quiet environment over everything else.

Tatsuya entered the villa with Hyougo guiding him, the inside was already prepared for him. Even all the necessary lab equipment was setup for him.

Hyougo mentions that his combat suit and his new motorcycle has been delivered here and that if he requires anything else he will have it sent over immediately. Tatsuya thanks Hyougo as he leaves on the VTOL.

◇◇◇

The USNA’s large aircraft carrier the Enterprise is on the Atlantic Ocean about 500 kilometers west of Newfoundland, and this carrier is about 2,000 feet in length or about 600 meters.

It was suspected that this ship is hiding nuclear reactors about four years ago. However, the result of the survey from close range by the International Magic Association proved that it didn’t have any nuclear reactors. The International Magic Association wasn’t allowed to board the ship for a closer inspection because the USNA would not accept “on-site” inspections for their military vessels in operation.

A small aircraft arrived on the huge carrier, Lina was watching it approach. Igor Bezobrazzoff is on that aircraft, until the recent interview his appearance was unknown to the USNA. Igor is a member of the New Soviet Academy which is an authority in the New Soviet Union for contemporary science law.

Igor’s Strategic-Class Magic Tuman Bomba is still unknown to them though, the only details that they know of it, is that it creates a large amount of damage over a very wide area. In the Arctic Hidden War that occurred in the Bering Strait area eight years ago Tuman Bomba was used against the USNA and was the reason why the former “Sirius” died.

As the aircraft was about to land it looked like it would crash into the deck, but magic was activated from inside the aircraft and brought it down safely. Lina was about to activate her CAD before this happened by she deduced that it was the “Ignitor” inside that cast the magic. Shortly after Igor’s arrival, McCloud also arrived and the meeting began.

Lina is standing behind Clark at the meeting since he is not a magician and considered a civilian here and the other two are from the Thirteen Apostles.

Igor immediately asks for the identity of Taurus Silver, the Strategic-Class Magician from Japan. Lina was shocked to hear this question, this shock could not be hidden behind her mask. McCloud says that it appears that Edward hasn’t shared this information with anyone on his side. Edward says that he didn’t figure out the identity until recently, which is a white lie.

Edward: “The real identity of Taurus Silver is a direct descendent of the “Yotsuba” Shiba Tatsuya.”

The meeting ended without any confrontation in particular. Since it was over Lina was able to freely roam about the Enterprise with the permission from the Captain.

After Lina heard that Tatsuya was the magician responsible for “Scorched Halloween” it was all she could think about, she could barely remember was else was discussed in the meeting. Not only was Tatsuya the magician that uses “Material Burst” but he is also the genius magic engineer “Taurus Silver” [Illustration].

Lina thinks back to her mission where she was undercover trying to figure out the identity of the magician responsible for the “Great Bomb”. While Lina had originally thought he was the Strategic-Class Magician, she was deceived by Tatsuya to the point that she no longer thought that. After hearing this news though, she starts to compare herself to Tatsuya. She feels pity and empathy for both herself and Tatsuya, that they both have the destiny of being only “weapons”.

Lina breaks out of her thoughts when she stumbled upon a certain area of the ship. She comes across a restricted area, she has clearance to enter restricted areas, but it’s entirely different to just walk into a restricted area because you are curious. But Lina could sense magic, but it wasn’t like anything she had sensed before, she thought at first that it was a measure to hide a nuclear reactor but immediately thought of something else.

Lina finally remembered that this sensation occurs when multiple magicians are using the same magic simultaneously. Such an ability is rare but there have been cases when two or three magicians could work together on the same magic.

However Lina sensed that there were at least 10 and maybe up to 20 magicians working together on one type of magic. Lina had heard about human experimentation in which this could be possible, it was a joint experiment involving Japan and the USNA but it was judged to be a failure and the data should have been destroyed.

Lina believes that this is how the Enterprise can operate in such an efficient matter. She realizes that magicians are the power source for this large vessel. She starts to panic and looks for the surveillance cameras and then decides to leave.

Lina heads back to the transport aircraft with Edward Clark, they are being transported back to Washington D.C. Edward thanks her for her hard work, and reminds her that she is not allowed to mention anything about the identity of Taurus Silver, not even to her superior officers. Lina says that she has no obligation to listen to this order from him, and Edwards says that if he finds out she revealed the identity of Taurus Silver to anyone that he will expose Lina’s face to the USNA.

Edward goes on to say that it was the military’s mistake for getting young kids such as Lina and Silver involved. He also says that it’s not just Silver’s identity that must be kept a secret but the truth about the Enterprise as well. Lina had nothing to say after that.

Chapter 6

Spoiler
When Tatsuya stopped coming to school at First High, it was something that was only supposed to be known by the students, but this fact spread quickly to various places.

Somewhere in Tokyo, in a meeting room the officers of the Intelligence Department had gathered once again. They are aware that Tatsuya has been living on his own for the past few days, and they believe that this is a good opportunity to make a move. However, Tooyama says that Tatsuya is very dangerous and a direct approach will not work against him. Their opponent is a member of the Yotsuba Family an “Untouchable” and they should be as best prepared as they can.

Onda says that they should not deal with Tatsuya alone, and when asked if he has someone who will cooperate with them, he brings up information that Tatsuya is in Izu and that the head of the Juumonji Family will be visiting him as a representative of the Magic Association. He doesn’t know the exact details about why Juumonji is going to visit him but he assumes that it has something to do with Project Dione. He doesn’t say it out loud but he believes that Tatusya is Taurus Silver.

They go on to say that the uncooperative attitude from Tatsuya was shown during the youngsters conference of the 28 Houses, and due to this negotiations between Juumonji and Tatsuya will most likely break down. If that happens they believe a fight between Katsuto and Tatsuya is inevitable, with Katsuto winning. This is based on Tsukasa’s analysis of Tatsuya’s capabilities after her encounter with him. The Intelligence Department holds the Tooyama Family in high regard in their department and compare them to the Yotsuba Family and Juumonji Family, they value her opinions.

They say that Katsuto will not kill Tatsuya but that Tatsuya will be weakened after his fight and it would be a good opportunity to capture him. They also seem to be aware that Tatsuya doesn’t have any guards or company at the villa.

◇◇◇

Shiina had just arrived at the Student Council Room, and was looking a little puzzled. Izumi asked what was wrong and Shiina asked where Pixie is. Minami says since Pixie belongs to Tatsuya, she will be with him while he is away.

Miyuki shows up at the Student Council Room, with Izumi greeting Miyuki. Miyuki has been taking classes as usual and has been continuing her work for the Student Council, but as much as she has been trying to hide it she hasn’t been acting normally since Tatsuya left. Erika asks if she is okay, to which she replies that she is fine. Miyuki doesn’t feel shameful to admit that she misses having Tatsuya by her side, because she exists for Tatsuya, and having Tatsuya around is absolutely indispensable for her.

However Tatsuya has been showing up occasionally to walk with Miyuki back home from school, this time around most of his friends are here as well so they stop at their favorite café.

His friends ask Tatsuya where he is staying at, and he says that he is staying at his family’s villa in Izu. Miyuki adds that Tatsuya had to move there because of some troublesome circumstances. It’s not only the third-year students here but also Kasumi, Izumi and Minami, along with the first-year's Shiina and Saburou.

They ask Tatsuya if he will be coming back to school soon, but he says that he will not be able to return to Tokyo for a while, because there are “noisy people” that are starting to get involved. Miyuki adds that there are some unfavorable visitors as well. Izumi and Kasumi reacted when they heard this line, Miyuki continues to say that they shouldn’t bother their father or brother over this and that they have no intention of opposing their father (Tatsuya and Miyuki seem to be aware of the emergency meeting of the Ten Master Clans). Erika had a smile across her face during this conversation, this affair was pretty straightforward to her, and Miyuki could only smile back at her.

◇◇◇

Katsuto is about to leave Magic University to go home as soon as possible. He was running late today due to preparation of reports being delayed, which was very unexpected for him. As he was rushing towards the station, someone is calling out to him from behind.

It was a voice that made Katsuto immediately stop, it was also so familiar to him that he didn’t need to turn around to see who it was. It is also a person that often becomes an obstacle in his plans, however it was someone that could stop him, even if he is in a rush to get home.

Katsuto tells Mayumi to stop yelling so loud and that he can hear her just fine. Mayumi comes running up to him while laughing, and asks him if she can ride the train together with him. Katsuto was a little confused because if she joins him on his train it will take her a little longer to get home since it’s not exactly in the same direction, but she doesn’t mind.

These individual cars provide a place to have a private conversation that can’t be overheard. Katsuto asks Mayumi what she wants to talk about and she says that Katsuto is planning on visiting Tatsuya-kun soon, to which Katsuto asks if she heard that from her father. Katsuto is a little annoyed but Mayumi answers “yes” in an indirect manner while winking at him.

Mayumi asks for Katsuto to take her with him when he goes to visit Tatsuya. When Katsuto asks why, she says that she doesn’t believe that Tatsuya is going to be persuaded very easily. Katsuto agrees and Mayumi says that while she doesn’t think Katsuto will lose to Tatsuya, but Tatsuya is very strong, but still not at his level. Mayumi says that Tatsuya has a special healing magic, and that he may not stop fighting until he’s near death. Katsuto was surprised to hear this and asks if this healing magic is really that powerful, Mayumi says yes and that it isn’t like normal healing magic.

Mayumi says that she wants to join him because she wants to keep this situation from turning into something that may become irreversible. Katsuto asks if she is going to help persuade Tatsuya with him and she says that she doesn’t plan on doing anything clever. Katsuto guesses that the people behind Mayumi are asking her to help because she is more familiar with Tatsuya than himself.

Mayumi asks what day Katsuto is planning to go visit Tatsuya, and he says that he is going on Sunday and that he will pick up Mayumi beforehand. Mayumi laughs and they finish up the conversation without there being an awkward atmosphere afterwards.

◇◇◇

The day after returning from her escort mission on the Enterprise, Lina was lacking her usual spirit of excitement.

Benjamin Canopus says that she seems to be in bad shape but that it only seems to be mentally. Lina apologizes for showing such a sloppy performance today. Canopus asks again if she really is okay, and Lina says that meeting two of the Thirteen Apostles at once seems to weighing on her mind more than she thought. Canopus says that she should get some rest and says goodbye.

Lina headed back to her room to take a shower, she was aware of the reason why she wasn’t acting herself today. She found out on the Enterprise, just exactly what kind of position she is in. Up until yesterday she didn’t realize how she felt about magicians being weapons, after taking a shower she sat in front of the mirror and was immersed in her thoughts.

(Tatsuya did not deny that magicians would be forced to fight.)

(Tatsuya did not deny that magicians would become soldiers.)

(Tatsuya did not deny that magicians would become weapons.)

(Tatsuya denied that he would continue to be a soldier.)

What Tatsuya is aiming for is a world where magicians do not have to become weapons. After returning home from Japan and away from Tatsuya, she had no hesitations about such things. Lina thought that magicians being in the military and being weapons was what they were destined for.

She became a soldier of her own free will. Magicians can play the role of weapons by their own free will. When you look at it from the outside magicians have the freedom of choice. Or so she thought.

But just that one encounter, the secret system of the Enterprise... it was just as Tatsuya said. Lina reached for the phone but stopped herself, she was thinking about warning him.

(What are you trying to do?)

(Warn Tatsuya?)

(What?)

(He is being targeted by Bezobrazzoff and McCloud)

Lina starts to cold sweat just after showering, she starts to nervously laugh. She is wondering just what she is trying to do, she was about to leak military information to Tatsuya with a cell phone in her room that is sure to be tapped.

Lina is still so shocked, knowing that magicians are being used as parts and fuel. She thought that soldiers knew that their free will would be restricted to a point.

(Tatsuya.)

(Why did you say such a thing?)

(If Lina wants to retire from Stars...)

(If you want to quit being a soldier...)

(Tatsuya did you know that I was not suitable to be a soldier?)

Lina didn’t realize what he was thinking about, she stood up and headed back to bathroom again and let the hot water hit her skin.

Chapter 7

Spoiler
It was Wednesday evening when Tatsuya received an email from Katsuto, asking for some of his time on Sunday. This message wasn’t sent in the form of being former schoolmates but it was the Head of the Juumonji Family asking to meet with a member of the Yotsuba Family.

Fumiya asks Tatsuya what’s wrong, he had just arrived not too long ago. Pixie brings them both a cup of coffee, but regardless of her presence Tatsuya tells Fumiya that Katsuto would like to come here on Sunday for a meeting. Fumiya rests one of his manicured hands on the table, while running his other hand through his semi-long hair hanging down to his cheek and takes a sip of his coffee. [Illustration]

Tatsuya mentions that it’s very unusual for Fumiya and Ayako to be acting separately. Fumiya says that Ayako really wanted to come see Tatsuya as well but this is an order. Tatsuya asks to hear what the order is and is also wondering why Fumiya had to come dressed like that.

Fumiya was embarrassed, in that outfit he is just as pretty as most girls in high school. Fumiya mentions that it wouldn’t be good for people to find out who he is right now. Which is a reasonable excuse, Fumiya drew a lot of attention to himself in the last Nine School’s Competition, and while it’s an open secret that the Kuroba is related to the Yotsuba Family, the Family Head doesn’t plan to publicly acknowledge Fumiya.

Fumiya says that the possibility of this villa being attacked has increased. Tatsuya asks if it’s the National Defense Army, and Fumiya says yes. Fumiya was trembling a little bit when Tatsuya asked him if “that was it?” and Fumiya also says that there will be no reinforcements coming from the Yotsuba Family.

Tatsuya says that it is only natural, Fumiya is confused and he was prepared for Tatsuya to be angry at this news. Tatsuya says that it isn’t a good idea for the whole Yotsuba Family to move against the National Defense Army at this time, because it could cause some conflict between some of the Ten Master Clans. If he deals with it alone he can save some of Yotsuba Family assets and that dealing with this in the shadows would be for the best.

Fumiya asks again if this is okay, and Tatsuya says calmly that he just has to deal with them all on his own. Tatsuya mentions that he has his combat suits, motorcycle, Silver Torus, Trident, and Lance Head. Lance Head is the CAD attachment dedicated to Baryon Lance. Tatsuya says that as long as the enemies aren’t in the same class as "Modern Kashin" aka Yakumo or "Great Tengu" aka Kazama, then he shouldn’t have a problem. Fumiya agrees and thinks to himself that even if there were dozens or hundreds of enemies, that Tatsuya would be okay.

A taxi pulls up in front of the villa for Fumiya, Tatsuya sees him outside and tells Fumiya that he plans to respond to Juumonji and that he will forward over the reply to the Family Head, but he also asks Fumiya to tell his mother directly as well.

◇◇◇

At the same time that Fumiya was visiting Tatsuya, Ayako was visiting Miyuki. Ayako says that she had heard they just moved in here and was surprised at how quickly they settled in. Miyuki and Ayako both compliment Minami on her hard work as she lays out tea and snacks for them. After Minami leaves Miyuki asks Ayako what kind of business she has here today, they exchange smiles and there is still a sense of rivalry between them.

Ayako tells Miyuki that the National Defense Forces are going to attempt to abduct Tatsuya. Miyuki wasn’t surprised by this. Ayako goes on to say that she will inform them when the National Defense Forces plans to make their move as soon as they find out. Ayako also says that neither the Main House nor the Branch Houses can support Tatsuya with anything but information.

When Miyuki confirms that this message came from Maya, the room temperature suddenly decreased. The tea on the table freezes and frost begins to show around the room. The cooling phenomenon was not just limited to that but ice began to form in Ayako’s hair and clothes. Miyuki says that if Ayako doesn’t seriously try to resist that she will freeze. Minami enters and asks if everything is okay, to which Miyuki tells her to draw a bath for Ayako.

Before Ayako heads off to the bath, Ayako compares themselves to Maya and Miya (As far as sisters go). Ayako also says that Miyuki is the only one that can help out Tatsuya this time. Miyuki didn’t feel guilty at all with her actions.

After getting into the bathroom Ayako starts to think about Miyuki and her power. Ayako had protected herself but even so her hair and clothes were still frozen, her magic defense was helpless against that phenomenon. It was as if the spirit of the world was being influenced by Miyuki’s power. Ayako knows that magic is supernatural and separate from reason, but she couldn’t help but shake violently when the she started to shower.

◇◇◇

On Thursday, Lieutenant Colonel Kazama of the Independent Magic Equipped Battalion received a call from Tatsuya.

Tatsuya apologizes for calling when he is busy and introduces himself as “Shiba Tatsuya”. Kazama understood what this meant and thanked him for his cooperation in Okinawa, Tatsuya wasn’t calling as a member of the 101st Brigade but as a magician of the Yotsuba Family.

Kazama asks for the reason why he decided to call him, and Tatsuya says that he heard that the National Defense Forces are planning to make a move against him. Kazama says that it isn’t true, he says that it is the National Defense Army Intelligence Department that are moving against him and that it isn’t a decision made by the military. While answering Tatsuya, Kazama suspected that mental interference magic was being used but immediately dismissed the possibility.

Tatsuya says that in other words it is a “rebellion” by the Intelligence Department. Tatsuya did attack a secret facility of the National Defense Forces, in that sense he should be seen as a criminal but since the military personnel that he attacked were acting independently and outside of military protocol they could be labeled as “rebels” as well. Tatsuya says that as long as its self-defense then it shouldn’t trouble the 101st Brigade.

Kazama was struggling with this issue, since the Intelligence Department is definitely acting contrary to military order, it would be best if this was dealt with secretly. However it would be bad if the 101st Brigade gave Tatsuya approval to wipe out another division of the National Defense Forces, and Kazama would not do anything that would put Major General Saeki in such disadvantageous position.

Kazama says that the 101st Brigade has no issue with what Tatsuya has done, but adds that he also can’t support Tatsuya and that he will have to get by with his own power. Tatsuya says he understands, and tells Kazama that it is good enough that he understands his situation.

Kazama almost says “Have a good fight” but changed it to “Good luck”, because he knew that Tatsuya would win easily, but wanted to wish him good luck so that the situation doesn’t turn into something worse afterwards.

This call was being automatically recorded but Kazama immediately erased the data of this call.

◇◇◇

At Magic University, Mayumi calls out to Katsuto who was drinking coffee alone at one of the cafes.

Mayumi asks to join him, and Katsuto asks if she had finished lunch yet and Mayumi says that one of her classes was canceled so she was able to eat lunch earlier than usual.

Mayumi gets straight to the point and asks Katsuto about Tatsuya, and Katsuto says that he received a reply from Tatsuya. Katsuto decided to visit Tatsuya on Sunday at noon. When Mayumi asked him why noon, and not at night, he said Tatsuya was a high school student so it is impossible to convince him during some drinks. Mayumi knew it's logical but she knew too that it wasn’t the only reason. They knew Tatsuya wouldn't have difficulty fighting at night, it's meaningless to choose a time of day when Katsuto himself would have a hard time seeing.

Katsuto also says that something unexpected could happen at night as well. Mayumi was convinced that Katsuto would be going all out and asked Katsuto whether he really needed to go all out. Katsuto says is going up against an opponent where he would have to give it his all. Mayumi was really impatient with that, she was convinced Katsuto would go 100%, and she alone wouldn't able to stop Katsuto. When Mayumi thought about that her heart trembled.

◇◇◇

Friday, Miyuki was thinking about the e-mail she received yesterday from Ayako. The contents of the email explained when the National Defense Forces plan to move against Tatsuya.

In that email it explained that they will try to abduct Tatsuya while Juumonji is there on Sunday. Miyuki believes that Tatsuya won’t lose to the National Defense Forces, and that he won’t lose to Juumonji as well but that’s if the fights are separate from each other. If Tatsuya has to fight both of them it is impossible to ignore the possibility that Tatsuya could collapse from overloading his Magic Calculation Area.

Miyuki decides right then that she is going to Izu to be there with Tatsuya for this. Maya doesn’t command her, and she doesn’t need permission to visit Tatsuya. But going to help Tatsuya might be disobeying the order that the two of them are to live separately. Ayako had told her that she was the only one who could help Tatsuya.

Miyuki is heading to the station with her fellow student council members, Saburou, Mizuki, Erika and Leo were waiting for them outside. Miyuki asks why Erika hasn’t left already, to which she says that they got kicked out of the café where they were studying and had lost track of time. Mizuki is going for magic engineering so her exam is different than the others, but for Erika and Leo to be studying together isn’t that surprising. However Leo says that his grades have been improving lately and he would like to try and get into Magic University. Erika says that she isn’t interested in Magic University but that she would be ashamed if “this idiot” advanced himself beyond her.

Erika says that when she graduates from First High she plans on going on a journey and to participate in warrior training. She explains that it doesn’t involve magic, and she really wants to learn old-fashioned swordsmanship. She will earn money with a part-time job, travel around Japan and visit other swordsmen from all over.

Erika moves on to say that she would like to go visit Tatsuya on Sunday with everyone. Miyuki is lost in her thoughts for a moment, she begins to think about what Tatsuya has done for the Yotsuba Family so far like the illegal missions that he has completed and his work as “Taurus Silver”. Tatsuya has also made great contributions to the National Defense Forces, it isn’t an exaggeration that Tatsuya was able to repel the Great Asian Union troops. At First High Tatsuya greatly increased their fame with the previous Nine Schools Competitions, and the Stellar Furnace experiment.

However even after all that Tatsuya has done, none of these people will defend him. Even though she knows that these friends will help if she asked them, she can’t get them involved. Miyuki tells Erika that Tatsuya is expecting another guest on Sunday, and Erika asks if this is an undesirable guest. Miyuki shakes her head and says that she might not think so but it is Juumonji-senpai. Erika looked a little sad, and Miyuki guessed that she felt guilty for making her talk about something she didn’t want to talk about.

◇◇◇

Raymond Clark, a juvenile who claimed himself to be one of the “Seven Sages” was in a bad mood, because he can no longer play with his favorite toy, Hliðskjálf.

It isn’t that Hliðskjálf can’t be used, his terminal is still working. But the other six terminals have stopped working when the administrator locked them out. As a result he could no longer peek into the information that the other users were collecting on the side.

That isn’t all, the fact that he can use the system now without anyone else looking ruins the thrill of the game, there is no penalty at all for him. Raymond urged for the other users rights to be restored to the system, to his father Edward Clark, who is the developer and administrator of Hliðskjálf. But his father’s response was “Please wait for awhile”.

Raymond is not good at giving things up, and he is now looking for new ways to play, something more thrilling and exciting. He had the most fun and excitement when he used Hliðskjálf to play “The Advisor” during the Vampire Incident, the feeling of playing a role in a worldwide incident was incomparable to anything else.

He needs to feel that excitement again, and if the risks related to the use of Hliðskjálf were reduced to the point where he could no longer feel any excitement than he will just have to create some himself.

Up until now he has never exposed his identity with the exception of one time. The risk of someone grasping your identity has been completely avoided until that time, but he feels the need to break this rule once again, or so he thought.

Of course he doesn’t want to just outright give away his identity, he decides that he is going to test new ways with the computer system to change his appearance and voice. Similar to how Angie Sirius of the USNA can change her appearance magically. Raymond is starting to get out of control with this childish prank.

Chapter 8

Spoiler
Saturday night.

An unscheduled visitor has arrived at Tatsuya’s villa. He gets up from his workstation and heads toward the front entrance, using his Elemental Sight he is already aware of who it is.

The large sedan pulls up and at the same time both Hyougo and Minami get out of the car, Minami moves to open the door for Miyuki and she immediately jumps into Tatsuya’s chest. Tatsuya hugs her back, and Miyuki says that she wanted to see him. Tatsuya says he wanted to as well but that she shouldn’t have come here.

Hyougo greets Tatsuya and says that it has been awhile, Tatsuya had almost forgotten that there were other people here, and he greets Hyougo back. Hyougo leaves shortly after, and Tatsuya leads Miyuki and Minami into the villa, they brought two small bags with them but in truth this villa has clothes prepared not only for Tatsuya but for Miyuki and Minami as well.

The bags were grabbed by one of the robots that is incorporated into the house and was controlled by Pixie. Tatsuya asks if they have had anything to eat yet, and Minami immediately gets up and tells Tatsuya that she will prepare something. Tatsuya asks Pixie to switch the kitchen system to manual mode, and Pixie refuses. This surprised Tatsuya at first because it is a simple order and he knows that Pixie has the capabilities to do it but then he remembered that she isn’t just a machine.

Tatsuya orders Pixie again and Pixie asks Tatsuya if her cooking is his favorite, and Tatsuya replies that this isn’t about preference but it is an order. Pixie’s ego seems to be growing, this is the first time she has refused Tatsuya’s order, and she finally agrees and Tatsuya has her switch into suspension mode afterward. Minami showed a satisfied expression that clearly said “I won” but Tatsuya and Miyuki ignored it.

After eating Miyuki and Tatsuya were sitting outside on the balcony, it is already past 9 o’clock in the evening, but it isn’t that cold outside. Although Izu is in the mountains, it is late May and the temperature is neither too hot or cold. In the darkness, some light from inside the villa was shining through on Miyuki, and Tatsuya couldn’t help but stare. When you stare at Miyuki reality fades and you can’t believe how beautiful she is, even Tatsuya feels the same way.

Miyuki tells Tatsuya that she is starting to get embarrassed by his stare, and Tatsuya finally realizes what he’s doing and apologizes. Tatsuya didn’t realize it himself but he apparently wanted to see her just as much as she did. Tatsuya asks Miyuki to show him her face, and then asks if he can ask her a serious question, Miyuki was turning red again. Tatsuya then asks if she came here today knowing what was going to be happening tomorrow.

Miyuki says yes, and tells Tatsuya that Juumonji isn’t going to be the only visitor tomorrow. Tatsuya says that he did receive a call from Fumiya about that, and tells Miyuki that he doesn’t want her to get involved in this situation. Miyuki says that she will not interfere with the fight between Tatsuya and Juumonji, and when Tatsuya says that his purpose is just for a discussion, Miyuki says that he should understand that a discussion will not be enough, and Tatsuya sighs. He finds the whole situation troublesome and has realized that a fight may be unavoidable, he recognizes that Katsuto is a strong enemy and would prefer not to fight if he could.

Miyuki says that Juumonji will most likely use their secret technique, and Tatsuya says that it would shorten his life as a magician. They had heard from Maya what the secret technique of the Juumonji Family is. Miyuki says that if he uses that technique, Tatsuya might struggle against him in his current condition. Tatsuya asks if Miyuki has been given permission by Maya, and she says no and that this is her own choice. Tatsuya says that this is a just one fight and that it would be difficult to convince Maya, and Miyuki says that she doesn’t need to convince Maya and that she will bear the responsibility herself.

Tatsuya asks Miyuki to calm down and she says “Tatsuya-sama, no Onii-sama”. Miyuki says that in the end she is Tatsuya’s sister, but as the next head of the Yotsuba Family she plans to welcome the son of the current head of the Yotsuba Family, even though it only seems to be their sibling ties that keep them together right now.

Miyuki says that she is going to remove his seal, and Tatsuya was shocked to her “remove” and not “release”. Miyuki says that she will make sure that he no longer is bothered by a seal that was imposed upon him by others.

Tatsuya’s Material Burst is sealed with Pledge by Tsukuba Touka of the Tsukuba Family, a Yotsuba Branch Family. Not only is it sealed but it also halves his magic power as well. Pledge is a magic that prohibits specific decision making, and limiting magic power is a side effect. The unique point of this magic is that it uses the magic power of another’s mental interference magic to sustain. So Pledge is usually maintained by the magician that casts it or by a third party who is paired with the subject. For a temporary release it is the responsibility of the “key” or the person providing the magic power to maintain Pledge, and any temporary release does not completely remove Pledge, the seal will eventually gain power and return to normal.

Tatsuya’s Material Burst was something that couldn’t be completely controlled by the magic power of Tsukuba, and for that reason Pledges’ maintenance and “key” was passed to Miyuki. And if Miyuki ever decided to stop supplying magic power to the seal, the effect of the magic would naturally disappear in a short time, but by the definition of Pledge which is written in the sub-consciousness of Miyuki it would begin to afflict her in a negative way.

Tatsuya says that he is grateful that she wants to him to be in perfect condition for this but that a temporary release would be enough. But Miyuki says that she can’t bear it any longer, she can’t stand the fact that she is the shackles holding him back, her words were very similar to what she had said to him before New Year’s Eve.

Tatsuya feels that he can no longer argue with Miyuki on this subject. Miyuki doesn’t think that Tatsuya is helpless and that he has no means to resist but there is still a limit to the power of one person. The Yotsuba Family should have the power to assist Tatsuya, the family that is called the “Untouchables” but they won’t help him this time. Miyuki is really angry at this whole situation and tells Tatsuya that if Maya is telling him to protect himself with his own power, that he should be able to wield his full power.

Miyuki stood up from her chair and Tatsuya finally agrees as he rises from his chair as well.

Tatsuya tells Miyuki to take a bath and to have Minami accompany her as well. Minami was a little embarrassed by this but Tatsuya says there is plenty of room for two people and that Miyuki isn’t to use anything with a fragrance. He also mentions that Pixie will give her clothes that she is to wear for this ceremony.

The outfit that was laid out for Miyuki was a white kimono with a scarlet hakama, it would be an outfit one would see a shrine maiden wearing. Tatsuya takes a bath after Miyuki and Minami were finished and his outfit is a men’s hakama that is white with short sleeves. Tatsuya asks them to follow him and he leads them to a Japanese-style room. Tatsuya and Miyuki sit down facing each other, and Tatsuya says that he will explain the nature of Pledge.

The Pledge of the Tsukuba Family is not an effect but a mechanism, it is a technique that uses magic to manipulate the spirit, and intervene in certain magic processes. Because of the nature of this mechanism, Pledge is set in the depths of the person’s consciousness near the “gate” and this system is said to be similar to Gatekeeper. Therefore Pledge can be eliminated with the application of Gatekeeper.

Tatsuya picks up a bottle and pours a clear liquid into one of Miyuki’s cups, Miyuki was confused and Tatsuya says that it doesn’t contain alcohol. Miyuki asks what it is and Tatsuya says that it is highly purified water, they drink three cups each of this purified water. This ritual is for purifying oneself in a symbolic sense and will increase the purity of their mind and body.

Tatsuya says that in order to interfere with Pledge which is set at the deepest level of their consciousness, that they must also deal with each other on a deep level. This statement made Miyuki blush. [Illustration]

Miyuki misunderstands Tatsuya’s statement to mean that they will have physical contact and that he is going to take her “first time”.

Tatsuya has a grave expression on his face, and he quickly lowers his head and apologizes for misleading her, Tatsuya looks up at Miyuki with an embarrassed and shamed expression. He says that he meant it in a “mental way” and that physical intercourse would disturb her and would only get in the way during the ceremony.

It took a minute for these words to register with Miyuki and she immediately covered her face and tried to run away from Tatsuya. It took ten minutes for Miyuki to calm down, and now they are kneeled down facing each other. Tatsuya says that he is going to start the ceremony, the distance is such that their knees are touching.

Tatsuya explains that after deallocation, Miyuki is to stop supplying magic power to Pledge. After that the activity of Pledge will increase and help reveal the magic hidden deep in her subconscious until it becomes observable. Miyuki says that she understands and will leave it to Tatsuya.

Tatsuya supports Miyuki on top him as she presses her lips against his forehead. Tatsuya hugs her closely and the softness and warmth of Miyuki is conveyed to Tatsuya due to the thin fabric of their outfits.

Tatsuya turns his “eye” to Miyuki, and he concentrates on her consciousness, this area is not a place that he can normally reach with his eyes without excessive concentration. Tatsuya endured the suffering as he looked for the point in Miyuki’s consciousness until he found it. He aims at the magic ceremony of Pledge and activates Gatekeeper to stop the connection between Miyuki and himself. He then uses Gram Dispersion to completely remove Pledge, with the ceremony’s success Tatsuya has gained his freedom.

Chapter 9

Spoiler
Sunday morning.

Katsuto went to pick up Mayumi at the Saegusa residence as expected. The car he drove was very nice, when he pulled up to Mayumi she asks if this was car given to him by the National Defense Forces. Katsuto says that this is an ordinary commercial car. This SUV is not something that can be ordered today nor is it a fully custom modified car, but is a historic commercial car that hasn’t been seen in a very long time.

Katsuto asks Mayumi why Watanabe is here, he had not been informed that Mayumi was bringing her along. Mayumi says that she isn’t the only one who is concerned about the juniors, and Mari says that Mayumi shouldn’t make it seem like she is participating because wanted to.

Katsuto gives up the argument and tells them it’s time to go, Katsuto gets back into the driver seat with Mari and Mayumi sitting in the back.

◇◇◇

Mayumi had departed towards Izu in a good mood, but after arriving the tension was already building.

Katsuto was sitting directly across from Tatsuya, with Mayumi and Mari on his side, and Tatsuya had Miyuki sitting next to him.

“I refuse.”

Tatsuya says this to Katsuto, and Katsuto asks why. Instead of answering, Tatsuya asks Katsuto why he wants him to participate in this project.

“Shiba, I said this to you two years ago... You should join the Ten Master Clans.”

Tatsuya says that he remembers, and Katsuto says that they are magicians of this country and that they are part of a system with Japan and their magicians supporting each other for mutual benefits. Tatsuya says he understands this as well, Katsuto says that he believes that those with strong or excellent power have a responsibility to help when issues arise. Katsuto continues to say that the vast majority of magicians don’t have much power, and that some magicians can’t use even use magic.

Katsuto says that those without magic consider magicians to be a different race, not only in this country but it is starting to show all over the world. Tatsuya says that not everyone thinks that but decides not to have that argument right now. Katsuto says that while that might be true, do not forget that magicians are in the vast minority among mankind, so it’s in their best interest to help each other. Tatsuya says that magicians’ mutual assistance can sometimes lead to contempt and exclusion of those who can’t use magic. Mari asks if he means that magicians will eventually overlook people who can’t use magic and label themselves as an elite class. Tatsuya says that in the future, it could become a possibility.

Katsuto once again says that Tatsuya should reach out and join the Ten Master Clans. Miyuki says that Tatsuya is already a member of the Yotsuba Family. Katsuto says that he is aware of that but the Ten Master Clans is a role and that it isn’t hereditary. Katsuto continues to say that magicians with strong power should help make their public image better to benefit all magicians, public opinion of magicians has been declining day by day, especially due to the military conflicts that magicians have been involved in lately. He mentions the tactical-grade magic Active Air Mine and that he doesn’t condemn Tatsuya for that and it’s a complete misunderstanding.

Katsuto says that this time around if he participates in the USNA project that he can appeal to the masses that he isn’t just involved in military conflicts. With the New Soviet Union’s announcement to participate in the project, it looks really bad for Japan that they haven’t agreed to participate as well, and that he can no longer ignore the slander against Japan. He says that effective counter measures are necessary.

Miyuki says that she understands his concern, but why come to Tatsuya, she says that there are plenty of other qualified people in Magic University. Katsuto couldn’t immediately answer this point brought up, because he agrees that national problems shouldn’t be the responsibility of one high school student.

However Mayumi jumps in to help Katsuto and says that Tatsuya is Taurus Silver and that he was nominated by Edward Clark. Mari was surprised to hear that, Tatsuya and Miyuki didn’t react at all when this was said. Miyuki says that even if Tatsuya is Taurus Silver, the fact that he is an underage high school student doesn’t change. She also says that the Yotsuba Family has no intention to admit that Tatsuya is Taurus Silver, and if Mayumi decides to reveal this information that she can expect a full confrontation with the Yotsuba Family.

Miyuki was prepared to simultaneously make enemies of the Saegusa and Juumonji families. Mayumi however is not prepared to say anything of the sort, and doesn’t say anything after that.

Katsuto asks Tatsuya if it is impossible for him to participate in the project, and Tatsuya says that he cannot accept it and that the project has its flaws. Katsuto asks if Tatsuya has a justifiable reason to drive this country’s magicians into a tough situation, and Tatsuya says that no one plans to understand his situation anyway.

Katsuto says that this was inevitable, and tells Tatsuya to go outside. Tatsuya stands up and they both stare each other down. Tatsuya asks if Juumonji is serious and he says that this situation isn’t over yet, and that Tatsuya’s refusal is not permitted.

Tatsuya tells Pixie to get his CAD, as Katsuto heads outside. Mayumi and Mari were still too shocked to move, until Tatsuya tells them to go prepare themselves as well. Mayumi asks if he minds that they help out Juumonji and Mari adds that he seems confident but he might regret this. Tatsuya says that regardless of the results, he will not regret it.

Mari follows Mayumi out of the villa, with Tatsuya, Miyuki and Minami following up behind them. Tatsuya tells Katsuto to follow him to an appropriate area.

◇◇◇

There is a man hidden in the trees and watching Tatsuya and Katsuto as they leave the villa. The man puts his wrist up to his mouth and says that Tatsuya has left the villa and is heading towards the closed golf course. This man’s watch has a microphone and is a communication device.

He is ordered to wrap up surveillance and join the main force. He asks if they are not going to check his destination, and someone says back that they will monitor him remotely for the time being and that they shouldn’t risk tailing him any longer.

This man is an intelligence agent that belongs to the Intelligence Department. Their unit is scheduled capture Tatsuya today, and the leader of the unit is Tsukasa Tooyama. It is mentioned that the other day the girl (Fumiya) who visited Tatsuya was someone they weren’t able to identify, the data they had from the surveillance was destroyed mysteriously. While this man wasn’t blamed for what happened he was still upset over the whole issue, and as much as he wanted to keep up the surveillance to redeem himself, he followed this order and started to head back to the main unit.

He was completely unaware that he was being watched.

◇◇◇

Tatsuya and Katsuto arrived at the closed golf course.

Tatsuya says there is no need to consider damage to the villa here, and Katsuto asks if it is okay to fight in such an open area like this, he was concerned about people seeing them. Tatsuya provokes him by asking him if he is looking for an excuse, and Katsuto says back that this should be a good fight and that he will give Tatsuya the first shot. After saying so multiple magical barriers were erected around Katsuto, as if he was saying “break through my defenses if you can”. Tatsuya said nothing and drew his Silver Horn Custom “Trident” and aimed it at Katsuto.

Around Katsuto you can see many violent flashes, light that can’t be seen by the naked eye, however everyone there is an excellent magician who could tell that it was psion explosions. The current amount of flashes total to 18 which is from Tatsuya’s attack but he wasn’t close to getting through to Katsuto.

"Interference Area, Data Fortification, Psion wall, huh."

"Good job for finding out, is what I want to say, but just figuring it out won't defeat me."

Tatsuya uses decomposition magic again, but Psion Wall... as the name implies it is magic that builds a dense wall of Psions around Katsuto. Tatsuya can decompose this barrier but each time he does Psion Wall reconstructs itself with more Psions becoming a stronger barrier. If all the barriers were constructed in the same way Tatsuya wouldn’t have an issue breaking through all of them, but since he can only recognize them as being different he has to apply his decomposition magic as a set of individual barriers.

At this rate his decomposition would never catch up to Katsuto’s barriers. Tatsuya knows that his decomposition magic is not good enough for these defensive barriers, so he stops his attack.

Katsuto takes advantage of this and activates attack-type Phalanx, but Tatsuya was ready and was able to erase the 24 barriers with a single blow. Katsuto shows some admiration and smiles, knowing that his Phalanx is compatible with Tatsuya’s magic he doesn’t appear to be upset and sits down.

Tatsuya uses Elemental Sight to observe what is going on, and he sees that Katsuto’s magic calculation area has intensely increased in activity. Last month, it was a sign of the magic calculation area overheating just like that of the Ichijou Family Head, and it is this precursor of overheating that took the life of Yotsuba Genzou.

Katsuto accelerates towards Tatsuya with a shell shaped barrier around himself, and Tatsuya holds out his left hand. From his hand a dense ball of psions is shot out, Tatsuya uses Dissolution to take out the barriers and his acceleration magic, however both magics are instantly restored, Tatsuya once again takes out the barriers but could not stop his acceleration magic this time and took a shoulder tackler from Katsuto.

“Tatsuya-sama.”

It was Minami, not Miyuki whose voice could be heard.

Tatsuya was blown away and fell to the ground, and Miyuki was staring at Tatsuya. Tatsuya had taken advantage of this attack and flash casted his own move-type magic to create some distance between him and Katsuto, but Katsuto didn’t pursue.

Tatsuya asks if Katsuto used Fortification magic, and Katsuto says that there is no reason not to use it, and again Katsuto releases a surplus of Psion light. Overclocking will lead to overheating of the magic calculation area, Tatsuya knew that Katsuto was raising the limits. A technique that raises the activity of the magic calculation area in order to surpass his potential and temporarily increase his magic power. This is a technique for ensuring victory at the price of having your life as a magician shortened, the “Capitals Final Defense”. This is how the prior head of the Juumonji Family lost his ability to use magic, through repeated use of overclocking.

Katsuto once again rushes Tatsuya, with Tatsuya disassembling his barrier but taking another tackle from Katsuto, however this time Katsuto kept following Tatsuya and raises his leg to stomp down on him, and Tatsuya avoided it and was able to rise to his feet. Katsuto uses attack type Phalanx from close range but Tatsuya erased it, Katsuto launches a punch wrapped in a barrier immediately after but Tatsuya blocks it and manages to jump behind Katsuto.

However as soon as Tatsuya’s feet hit the ground Katsuto goes for another shoulder tackle which Tatsuya couldn’t avoid. This time he is blown away 10 meters, the force behind this attack is comparable to being hit by a heavy-duty truck. Tatsuya hits the ground and spits out blood, this attack was sure to have damaged his internal organs.

“Tatsuya-kun.”

Mayumi was the one to scream out this time. Miyuki had both of her hands clasped before her chest, and endured this in silence without taking her eyes off Tatsuya.

“Hey, stop it.”

Ignoring the shout from Mari, Katsuto releases attack-type Phalanx towards Tatsuya who had fell backwards. This barrier consisting of 32 layers disappeared just before coming into contact with Tatsuya. Katsuto was surprised to see this since he didn’t think that Tatsuya had any resistance left. Tatsuya stood up slowly, there was no trace of blood, and all the blood stains on the ground had disappeared as well.

“Shiba, Is that Regrowth...?”

Katsuto couldn’t hide his surprise and immediately deployed defensive Phalanx, and Tatsuya doesn’t say anything. Tatsuya’s left hand was extended towards Katsuto, in his hand was a pistol, however this one was shaped slightly different from the one he had in his right hand before. This CAD had a metal pile at the end of it that was about 15 centimeters long. Tatsuya moves towards Katsuto with a face that has no expression, as if his humanity is lacking.

Katsuto hesitates to make a move, and decides to jump to the side but before he could move Tatsuya was right there and drew the trigger of the CAD in this left hand. No one could see or tell what had happened including Katsuto, they could only tell that magic was used.

Katsuto fell to his knees. [Illustration]

“Juumonji-kun.”

“Juumonji.”

Mayumi and Mari both screamed out.

Half of Katsuto’s left arm was no longer attached, there was a half circle at his elbow that had been carbonized, with the other half of his arm on the ground.

“What did you...”

Katsuto couldn’t believe that something had passed through his barrier.

“Baryon Lance.”

Tatsuya surprisingly returned an answer. He explains how Baryon Lance works, and that it emits neutron radiation. Katsuto says that radioactive contamination weapons are forbidden by the International Magic Society. Tatsuya says that radiation pollution doesn’t occur, and all the neutrons have been restored leaving no radioactive residual substances behind.

“Regrowth.”

Katsuto mutters this, as Tatsuya aims the Lance Head back at him, this time aimed at his heart. Tatsuya asks Katsuto to surrender, and tells him that his Baryon Lance can’t be stopped and that he should understand what that means.

Mayumi cries out to Katsuto and tries to activate her CAD but the magic formula is frozen mid-way through. She turns towards Miyuki and Miyuki says this is counter magic “Freeze Gram”, and that Mayumi will not be able to use her CAD.

Mayumi tries to activate her magic “Dry Meteor” without a CAD, while it is possible to do, only magicians with high magical power can accomplish this but it takes a long time to activate. Miyuki did not try to stop Mayumi with any offensive magic and was able to stop Dry Meteor with her interference strength alone.

“I will not let you interfere with Tatsuya.”

Mari draws a hidden knife, she knows that while she can’t use magic she can still use physical attacks. If Miyuki was alone this might have worked but Minami who is standing next to Miyuki moves in front of Mari with a pistol in her hand. Minami leaves no gap for Mari to make a move, and she regrets only bringing a knife with her today.

Mari tells Katsuto not to give up and that he can prevent Tatsuya’s attack with his Neutron Barrier, however Katsuto does not move from where he is. Tatsuya says that even if he uses Neutron Barrier it cannot stop his Baryon Lance. Mayumi repeats what Mari said, and says that it should still be able to prevent neutrons.

Neutron beam has very high penetrating power, it is very difficult to block magically. In order to prevent disasters caused by nuclear fission, Neutron Barrier was invented, magic that could completely block neutron beams. This is something that Katsuto is very familiar with, among the wide variety of magic barriers in Phalanx, it is only Neutron Barrier that can block a neutron beam.

And if you know the technique that is going to be used in advance, there is no magic that Tatsuya can’t decompose. Baryon Lance includes a process that converts the Lance Head into a neutron beam and ejecting it, a process to reconstruct the Lance Head, and another process to decompose the Neutron Barrier.

Katsuto knew that even if he tried the same result would be obtained regardless.

“I admit defeat.”

“Juumonji-kun.”

“Juumonji.”

While Mayumi and Mari both yelled out, Katsuto stood up and raised his remaining right hand and surrendered.

◇◇◇

The man from the Intelligence Department who was monitoring the fight was astounded by this conclusion.

They predicted that Katsuto would win this fight, in addition they were trying to abduct Tatsuya who was supposed to be weakened after being defeated. He turns on his communication device and sends a signal back to the commander, and he gets a reply to once again return back to the main unit. He was thinking that they should withdraw completely, his moral had completely diminished after he saw this fight. He has confidence in the Tooyama Family magic, but now he seems to be aware that this magic will not matter against this magician of the Yotsuba Family.

But an order is an order and as he stands up to leave, the moment he turned his back lots of colorful lights had flooded into his eyes, robbing his sight, and his consciousness slowly faded to escape from the light that can cause insanity.

◇◇◇

Tatsuya and Katsuto are facing each other.

Katsuto’s left arm was restored by Tatsuya’s “Regrowth”. Katsuto asks Tatsuya what he is going to do with him, he is asking for the terms of his surrender. Tatsuya says that he will let him return home with his hand this time, but if there is a next time he can’t guarantee that.

Katsuto says that although by law he can’t be revealed as Taurus Silver, if he is ever announced the public opinion will force him to participate in the project. Tatsuya doesn’t say anything, and Katsuto says that if he refuses to participate in the project he will be isolated in the Japanese magic world. Tatsuya says that even if that happens, I can’t participate in the project.

Mayumi asks him why he is refusing so stubbornly, she says that Tatsuya is being invited to be apart of an international project and that it would be an honor to be Japan’s representative. And that this project is trying to solve the difficulties that mankind is faced with and that it isn’t any worth becoming isolated in Japan. Tatsuya says that the benefits for the peaceful use of magic, should also benefit the magician as well.

Tatsuya answers in a tone similar to Katsuto which frightens Mayumi and she asks what he means by that. Tatsuya says that the Dione Project has a hidden intention, and that hidden intention is to expel magicians that are a threat on the Earth. Tatsuya says that the more he thinks about it, the more confident he is in the fact that this hidden intention is the main achievement of this project. Katsuto asks Tatsuya to explain.

Tatsuya says that the Dione Project must send magicians to one of the satellites of Jupiter, and if he is sent to work there he would not be able to return to the Earth for a very long time, and even if there is a change that benefits the Earth, that doesn’t mean he would be sent back home immediately. He also says that the number of people who meet the requirements for this project is small, relative to the number of people requested.

Tatsuya finishes by saying that in this project the magician is nothing more than a tool, and that it is no different from the present situation where magicians are being forced to be weapons.

◇◇◇

Tsukasa was shocked by the defeat of Katsuto, but she didn’t show it on her face. Tsukasa’s intuition is telling her retreat, however this operation was directed by the head of the Intelligence Department this time, so she has no authority to cancel the mission.

Suddenly a flood of chaotic color appears in front of the unit. At first glance it seems to be flickering randomly and depicting colors that will put people to sleep. Half of the attack team is knocked out by this while the other half was protected by Tsukasa’s barriers.

A girl of average height is rushing towards them at a very high speed, and is wielding a sword. She swings her sword down at the person nearest to her, with Tsukasa blocking it with her barrier. However the person still collapses, Tsukasa realizes that the hypnotism magic was used just after the collision.

Honoka's new magic is called "Hypno Eye" - It has a hypnotic effect. It's an improved Evil Eye that uses light from the Oscillation-Type magic. Instead of limiting any effects to make one sleep, it improves the power and range, including the number of people that it can be used on.

Tsukasa orders the remaining troops to shoot the girl, and they aim there assault rifles at her and just before they fired a big guy stood in front of the girl. Most of the bullets hit the man’s body, but none of the bullets make contact with his skin. Tsukasa then orders the team to use their high powered rifles, but as they were readying their rifles the sound of thunder roared above their heads, and Tsukasa shielded them with her barrier from the acoustic attack.

The ground then starts to rumble, cracks are running in every direction with roots of the trees being exposed, the depth of the crevices are not a big deal but it was enough to make the soldiers want to move away from. Tsukasa orders to retreat to outside the forest, and at that moment the sound of thunder stopped. Even though she told everyone to retreat, some of her soldiers legs were entangled by the grass, some were caught with nets and some were struck with lightning from overhead.

“Well, you’re the only one left.”

The girl swordsmen, Chiba Erika was approaching Tsukasa and blocking her escape. Tsukasa guessed her name and Erika confirms it, Tsukasa also identifies herself as a member of the National Defense Army. Tsukasa tells Erika that they are in the midst of a mission, and that she is guilty of assault, obstructing public affairs and a few more things.

Erika says that even if Tsukasa is a member of the National Defense Army, that she needs permission and notifications to carry weapons outside of the base and practice grounds. She says that even though she is a high school student, she is aware of the details. Tsukasa says Erika must be used to wielding weapons without authorization, and that being close to the police forces must have its benefits.

Erika says that there are active police officers waiting outside the forest and that in order to deal with magician crimes, the police sometimes ask private magicians for cooperation.

Tsukasa smiles, envelops herself in a barrier and activates move-type magic. She rushed towards Erika and Erika steps to the side and swings her sword at Tsukasa. As the sword collided with the barrier, it breaks with Tsukasa passing by in an attempt to escape. As she passes Erika, Leo appears and launches a shoulder tackle, Tsukasa’s barrier and Leo’s body collides. Leo isn’t trembling, Tsukasa is sent backwards and her move-type magic was cancelled. Erika moves in from the side, and swings down her sword. Tsukasa had a barrier ready, she then tries to slip past Erika and run away but her knees buckle without the bones breaking. Tsukasa tries to rise to her feet but she collapses on the ground, she looks up at the broken blade of Erika’s sword and notices psions in the form of a flame at the end of the broken blade.

“Ethereal Hidden Sword Technique - Kirikage”

Kirikage is a secret blade technique of the Chiba Family, where a magic sword causes damage to the Psion body of another. A Non-Systematic magic that when slashed at the "soul" of a person, it deprives them of their motor functions.

The consciousness of her prisoner is swallowed up by the darkness.

◇◇◇

Tatsuya’s declaration of magicians being used as tools and weapons overwhelms Mari, Mayumi and Katsuto.

Everyone here knew that Tatsuya was not refusing the Dione Project for some simple reason. Tears start to fall from Mayumi’s eyes and she says that even if Tatsuya’s reasoning is correct, that it’s going to be him that is going to suffer from this isolation. Mayumi doesn’t want Tatsuya to be in this position, and she is trying to appeal that it would be a good idea to pretend that he wants to participate.

However a voice calls out from the side of mountain near the golf course. [Illustration]

“Tatsuya-kun will not be isolated.”

Four people were coming down from the mountain, it was Erika, Leo, Mikihiko and Honoka, and although they do not show their faces Mizuki and Shizuku are also close by.

Leo is carrying a women on his shoulders, and Katsuto recognizes who it is. Leo drops Tsukasa in front of Katsuto and says that this person is an acquaintance of Juumonji and asks if he can take care of her. Honoka was a little nervous with the present company but says that she will not isolate Tatsuya. Mikihiko says that they are friends of Tatsuya, and that even if he becomes a criminal or isolated that they will not abandon or isolate him.

Katsuto says that Tatsuya has some good friends and that he is a little jealous, he turns around and walks back towards his vehicle. Mayumi and Mari chase after him. Tatsuya looks over at his friends all smiling and then turns to Miyuki. Miyuki is smiling and wiping tears from both her eyes.

Chapter 10

Spoiler
Monday morning.

While being alone in Izu, where the evening the day before Miyuki had returned home to the residence in Chofu.

Tatsuya was eating breakfast prepared by Pixie while watching a TV news program.

(He was listening to it as ambiance.)

When Tatsuya had just about finished his breakfast, an emergency news bulletin came on the television.

The announcer with dismay on their face asked viewers to listen to the message while a switch in focus occurred with the view of the screen changing to a large monitor beside the announcer. On the monitor with a blue screen, the bust shot of a suspicious person appeared.

(When glancing one wouldn't be able to tell if the person were male or female let alone knowing the age or ethnicity.)

The person was covered with a gray hooded robe, and their face was covered with a mask of fiberglass. The voice sounded like one from a monster, but is electronically generated.

(Even with a large computer, a person wouldn't be able to reproduce the voice. The tone of voice sounded like it was coming from a man.)

The person spoke stating that they are one of the Seven Sages, the person speaking stating that they are the first sage. They continued with saying that they are Japanese.

(Tatsuya knew that the person sounded like they were fluent in Japanese, but wasn't an actual Japanese person. Though at the same time Tatsuya remembered about Raymond Clark, one of the "Seven Sages" who spoke with him over a video conference during the Vampire Incident; who also was acquainted with Shizuku who studied abroad. Tatsuya started thinking about the name "Clark" before focusing back on the news.)

The person continued to speak, saying that they hope that Project Dione, which has been proposed by the USNA will be implemented promptly, further mentioning that for this reason he is hoping that Taurus Silver from Japan will participate as well.

(In Tatsuya's head he thinks of three people: Edward Clark, Raymond Clark, or the identity of the monster.)

Continuing on, the person says that they hope that Taurus Silver, Mr. Tatsuya Shiba will participate.

(Thus the identity of the monster in question, the "first sage" is Raymond Clark.)

The person finishes with saying that, Taurus Silver is Mr. Tatsuya Shiba, a student from the National Magic University Affiliated First High School. Including asking the people of Japan to convince Mr. Tatsuya Shiba.

The video message ends.

(Tatsuya finds it unexpected for Raymond Clark to be involved, and that he hasn't calculated his intervention at all.)

(There are measures taken by the Magic Association to reveal the identity of Taurus Silver.

There are measures taken by the government to put pressure on him.

The measures taken by Edward Clark are out of control.

Although such measures won't work in this situation.

Thus Tatsuya himself learns that he is being hunted down.)

Gallery

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