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Erika and Saijou story, Temptation from Rose
MahoukaSS-LN-Cover
Release Date May 10, 2016
ISBN ISBN-13 978-4048659529
On Cover Chiba Erika and Saijou Leonhart
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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei SS is the 13.5th volume in the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Light Novel series.

Preview

During Nine School Competition event on Second Year, Tatsuya is fighting against a humanoid weapon. Meanwhile, on other side, students are fighting and struggling to get the highest score in competitions.

Scroll down for summary.

Summary

Spoiler
June 2096.

A certain man's death sent waves to the international business world.

Although the market size is relatively small, magic engineering products have become the utmost importance to the military. Bastian Rozen, the former president of Germany's Rosen Magicraft took his last breath.

He was 96 years old and died from natural causes.

◇ ◇ ◇

Rosen Magicraft is currently competing in sales for the top position in the world with the USNA's Maximilien Device company. In the newly established Japan branch of Rosen Magicraft, Ernst Rosen is watching some recorded videos from the previous years Nine School's Competition.

Ernst is watching the Monolith Code competition and is closely watching a certain boy wearing a mantle, who swings around a weapon that looks like a sword. While this weapon would normally be the center of attention to most viewers, he is still closely watching the boy. Just then the boy was blown away from a magic attack, and after a short while the boy suddenly stood up.

This would normally be impossible, this boy was blown away nearly one meter, and should have sustained heavy damage. But his current movements suggest otherwise. The boy then throws his cloak, it takes a solid form as it flies through the air. It protects his teammate from the oncoming earth and sand attack, and the boy then attacks with his sword once again and 1st High ends up winning the match.

Ernst comments that no matter how many times he watches it, that it is unmistakable that the grandchild of Georg has inherited the "First Type" ability of Burg Folge. He was also annoyed that this information was only now just given to him since he became the head of the Japan branch.

The "First Type" ability of Burg Folge was genetically added to a few magicians and one of them in particular was called Georg Ostburg, who fled to Japan fifty years ago. However, the German military officials judged that since all the other "First Types" had died prematurely due to Burg Forge, so they decided that there was no reason to pursue him.

Ernst could easily tell that Leo has the features of Burg Folge, which is product of Rosen Magicraft, and believes that it should be recovered. The only question was how to acquire this boy.

He had called for an investigation to be conducted on Saijou Leonhart, and was currently looking over the documents. From what he had read through, it just seemed that Leo was living a normal high school life.

Ernst had thought of forcibly bringing Leo to Germany, but magicians were strictly restricted when it came to leaving the country. The Japanese government would be even more strict when it came to the Rosen Magicraft company moving products or magicians between Germany and Japan. So he would need Leo's cooperation in order to accomplish this.

Ernst Rosen was sent to Japan shortly after the release of Flight-type magic by Japan's FLT company. His goal was to figure out how they realized the impossible and to learn of the identity of Taurus Silver. The identity of Taurus Silver is a well kept secret, and the information surrounding this magic engineer is amazingly powerful and clever. This mission was given top priority from Rosen's management, however with the discovery of Saijou Leonhart, he was forced to change his priorities.

Germany was one of the earliest countries in the world to establish manufacturing technology involving magic engineering. As a pioneer in this field there was a lot of trial and error experimentation, which tended to viewed as inhumane.

While the subjects weren't broken physically, they would often end up mentally broken. With half of the subjects committing suicide, and the other half going insane. And while the "First Type" series was the most powerful, the "Second Type" and "Third Type" of Burg Folge were much more stable.

Therefore, Saijou Leonhart who doesn't show any signs of mental deterioration, and has the "First Type" series is considered a very valuable subject.

Ernst decides that further investigation is needed before he approaches Leo. In his hand is an invitation to the upcoming Nine School's Competition, which would be the perfect opportunity for him.

◇ ◇ ◇

August 4th 2096.

The Nine Schools Competition will be starting tomorrow.

Leo is participating as a practice partner for the new Shield Down event, and is considered part of the staff. With these new events being put into practice, many students are looking to prove themselves as combat magicians. Magic is considered a military power, so this undeniable fact of magicians becoming weapons is well known.

Leo believes that regardless of the change in events, magicians are quick to adapt to the appropriate situation. Leo has decided that he doesn't want to be a soldier, but believes that Erika will want to become one. He doesn't think he is suitable for the military and is interested in joining the Riot Police or the Mountain Corpsman.

Leo isn't afraid of fighting but he also doesn't want fighting to become the only thing he knows. He also knows that a quarter of his genes have been modified to help him become a weapon, but he doesn't want to be tied down by his genetics.

Ernst Rosen was in the lobby of the hotel when Leo entered the hotel. He immediately recognized him from the previous recordings of the Nine School's Competition. Ernst also recognized Shiba Tatsuya, he was also another one that Ernst wanted to scout, especially after the Stellar Furnace experiment in April.

Even though this would be a good opportunity to introduce himself, he held back. Not because of Miyuki, Honoka, or Shizuku but because of Erika.

Anna Rosen Katori. She was Ernst's cousin and the mother of Chiba Erika. Erika is counted as one of the main members of the Rosen family, and is another objective for Ernst. However, he knows that dealing with Erika could be troublesome and will require some delicate handling. Regardless of Leo, he wants to avoid contact with Erika in front of Shiba Tatsuya.

◇ ◇ ◇

August 5th.

Ernst is eating breakfast, and he hands a sealed letter to a female secretary. It is an invitation card for Chiba Erika, and after the secretary leaves the room, Ernst sighs.

Finding out the identity of Taurus Silver and trying to recruit Saijou Leonhard are both jobs that he looks forward to accomplishing. On the other hand the job of trying to approach and convince Chiba Erika to join the Rosen family is a much more troublesome task.

At first Ernst had no intention of approaching Erika, but she does deserve the right to inherit a portion of the legacy of the Rosen's. While Ernst finds it troublesome to have to deal with family matters like this, it is also something that he can't ignore.

◇ ◇ ◇

Ernst was surprised to find out that Erika had accepted his invitation to meet with him. He was expecting her to stubbornly refuse.

Ernst was waiting in the lobby for Erika but he didn't want to give the impression that he was "waiting" on her either. Luckily, Leo happened to be walking through the lobby, so Ernst called out to him.

When Ernst called out Leo, he turned around and immediately knew who it was. Leo had known who is it from the news program that happened after the Stellar Furnace experiment. Leo asks Ernst want he wants and also tells him that he isn't a magic engineer like Tatsuya.

Ernst tells Leo that he would like to recruit him, and Leo says that he has no magic engineering skills to boast about. Leo has a good opinion of Ernst right now, he had helped with the anti-magician moved with his interview of the Stellar Furnace experiment. Rosen Magicraft is one of the leading manufacturers of CAD products, and can't be said to be an enemy of magicians. But they are a German company, and they may have plenty of reasons to have an abrasive attitude towards Japan's magicians.

Ernst goes on to mention Leo's grandfather and that he has some stories to tell him. Leo was pretty happy to hear that, but he couldn't break off his previous appointment with a friend.

Just then Erika arrived and slapped Leo on the back. She was accompanied by the secretary that Ernst had sent to deliver the invitation to Erika. She asks Leo what he is doing here, and had her usual spiky attitude.

Ernst teases Erika a bit and asks if she is dating Leo, to which she says that if he continues with that kind of attitude she will leave right now.

The female secretary gets up to leave followed by Ernst and Erika, and Leo is called to come along as well. Leo isn't coming along because he is worried about Erika but because he is interested in what Ernst knows about his grandfather.

As Leo sits down on a couch in the hotel room, Ernst tells him that he saw last year's Monolith Code match. Leo just answers with a simple yes, due to the fact that Erika is sitting next to him and is still in a terrible mood. She is unconsciously showing slight bits of murderous intent, Leo isn't frightened by this but is uneasy about it considering the current company.

Ernst asks Leo if he is participating in this years Nine School's Competition, but he says he won't be. Ernst goes on to say that it is surprising considering his magic is very practical for Monolith Code. Leo smiled, due to the fact that he could tell why Ernst would say that.

At this time Erika is taken to another room by the female secretary for business negotiations. As she leaves Leo is staring at Ernst, looking for an answer to his question of what her connection is to Rosen. Normally if this was Tatsuya, he wouldn't care, but Leo is different.

Ernst directs the conversation in another direction by saying that the story about his grandfather will be far more interesting. Leo agrees and reminds himself that he shouldn't involve himself in Erika's situation.

Ernst asks Leo how much he knows about his grandfather, along with his magic abilities and physical prowess. Leo says that he knows that he was a magician modified with emphasis on strengthening the body rather than magic skills. Leo also says that this method has a high fail rate with most individuals self-destructing.

Ernst tells him that Burg Folge isn't defective work, and says that the "First Model" was only destroyed in battle and never self-destructed. Leo says that his grandfather told him that they all the "First Models" died except for himself. Ernst also says that his grandfather deserted just before enlistment by the German government.

Ernst explains that Rosen Magicraft was the one that produced Burg Folge. Leo questions whether the military made it, but Ernst says that while the idea came from a military scientist, it was the Rosen company that developed it.

Ernst goes on to say that his grandfather was an usual, cheerful and friendly person and that Lucas had a close relationship with him. Leo asks if he helped him escape to Japan, and Ernst says yes but with the agreement that he would not cooperate with any other country.

Leo understands that Ernst had helped out his grandfather and was grateful but still does not fully trust Ernst. Ernst goes on to say that it is regrettable that all the "First Types" have died except for Georg, and Leo can't see any lies in this statement. Ernst says that his family is deeply involved in the magic community and that there are things that he can't decide on his own. Leo understands this, but on a much smaller scale considering the size of his family.

Ernst says that he would like to recruit Leo, and Leo asks if he means as a "laboratory experiment". Leo is well aware of the way that magicians are treated and used, but Ernst says that they no longer partake in barbaric things such as human experiments. Leo says that they used to, and Ernst doesn't deny it but also says that they weren't the only ones to do that.

Ernst explains that he would like Leo to help train new recruits. When Leo questions this, Ernst explains that it would be similar to how a magic skill development program would work at a Magic High School. Leo says that he isn't an instructor and is still a high school student and a poor one at that.

Ernst says that his progress is slow because the curriculum at First High isn't suited to fit his style, and that Burg Folge is specialized for close combat. He also says that the Rosen company already has a great program in place for this type of fighting style.

Leo is confused at Ernst's proposal, especially since it would be as an instructor and not as a combat magician. Leo isn't dull or stupid but he can't see how he would be useful as an instructor. He thinks that if Tatsuya was here that he would arrive at the conclusion of what Ernst was really trying to get out of this deal.

Ernst promises that he will be treated well, and that he will personally oversee that he is given a good position within the company. But Leo says that while it sounds like a great deal, he can't accept it. Leo says that he isn't dissatisfied with his current life and that he can't see himself abandoning Japan for another country.

Ernst says that while it would be a foreign country to Leo, there are companions there that need his help. Leo questions whether Ernst is still creating magicians similar to his grandfather, and Ernst confirms that they still are and that this project wasn't something that they could abandon.

Ernst explains that they have developed the project to the point where the procedure is no longer life threatening but that they would never surpass the "First Type" this way. Leo's hands were trembling when he heard this, even though he heard that it was reduced performance to increase survival rate, it was still human experimentation to Leo.

Ernst could tell that Leo was angry but wasn't discouraged by this, he then asks Leo if he would like to join the Rosen family. Without waiting for his reply, Ernst goes on to explain his relationship with Erika.

Ernst says that Erika is the grandchild of Lucas Rosen and the great grandchild of Bastian Rosen. Leo was surprised to hear this, it had a greater impact on him than when he was told that Burg Folge was still being produced.

Erika was asked by the Rosen family if she wanted to keep her rights and connections to their family. But Erika has chosen to sign a form of renunciation, which will make it so she has no rights to claim anything that belongs to the Rosen family. However Ernst says that if Leo wants to join the Rosen family that they could arrange for him to marry Erika.

Leo was upset, he thinks of Erika as a close friend and couldn't hold back his anger about using her that way. But Ernst continues to say that he doesn't need to act this way, and that this way he could build blood ties with the Rosen family by having a child with Erika. He says that Erika is beautiful and that this shouldn't be an issue for Leo. (Ernst is purposely trying to anger Leo right now)

Leo kicks the table that is in-between him and Ernst which rolls into the wall. He then moves towards Ernst and throws back his right hand. Ernst acts with a surprisingly fast speed, but it wasn't fast enough to evade the punch coming towards him. However, a barrier forms right in front of Ernst's face, but even with this barrier the force that is dispersed by the punch makes a loud noise.

Leo asks if he is a magician, to which Ernst says that he is a "Third Rate" one.

The female secretary bursts into the room followed by Erika and asks what happened. Ernst says that it's fine and nothing happened, while the secretary knows this isn't true she doesn't say anything else. Erika asks what Leo did, but he says he didn't do anything. Erika could tell what had happened between Leo and Ernst without being told but asked anyway.

Erika says that if they need anymore formal documents signed to send them over to her house and she will sign them, and that they no longer need to come see her in person. Erika turns her back to Ernst and leaves with Leo following behind her.

◇ ◇ ◇

After everyone left the room Ernst left the cleanup to an employee from his Japanese branch office. His interview with Leo was unpleasant but it is something to be expected when it comes to business.

Ernst pours himself some whiskey and begins to think back on the history of this whole situation. His thoughts go back to Erika's grandfather Lucas Rosen.

He considers Lucas a stain on the his family's name, a sneaky fugitive and shallow person. Lucas trampled over the obligations and credibility of the Rosen family when he selfishly eloped with a Japanese women named Katori.

Because Lucas abandoned his fiancee for a Japanese women, the Rosen family had a sense of shame in the social circle of Europe. It even hurt them to the point that the USNA's Maximilian company took a stronger hold of the European market.

It also made it harder for them to enter the Japanese market place, due to the German government wondering if more of them would immigrate to Japan.

The contents of Ernst's story to Leo wasn't completely true. The Rosen company didn't willingly release Georg, and they never forgave his exile to Japan. But it was Lucas Rosen that had helped Georg's asylum.

As Lucas traveled the USNA, Georg was elected as his bodyguard. Although he was a 14 year old boy, he was allowed to travel there and since there were regional conflicts (that would eventually lead up to the Third World War), it was only natural to nominate Burg Folge which was considered the strongest soldier in melee combat.

But this was part of Lucas' strategy and had Georg escape to Japan. It was a year later before they confirmed that Georg was alive and living in Japan. At this time regional warfare had begun in the world, so it was impossible to force Georg to return from Japan with the current procedures required.

When the truth of Georg's escape was revealed, Lucas was removed as an eligible candidate of inheriting the Rosen family. However, this hurt the Rosen family because Lucas was considered the most gifted of the family since Bastian.

Ernst's thoughts now turn to Leo, and he begins to analyze the events that happened. He was able to confirm Leo's power to an extent, the fact that Leo could break through a barrier that neutralizes kinetic energy with arm power alone.

Even though Ernst's magic power is considered "third rate" he was able to block Leo's fist and the answer to his trick is his new CAD. It is a completely thought operated CAD, the newest model that Rosen has begun to commercialize to the world. Due to the speed of the thought operated CAD he was able to bring up a barrier in time.

However, even if the speed is increased, the interference strength can only match the ability of the magician. Ernst had intended to turn Leo's "punch" into a "push" by killing the momentum, but Leo's attack had surpassed his expectations. This power is something beyond human strength, and if Leo really wanted to hurt him, it could have turned out much worse.

He is now sure that the genes of Burg Folge have been passed down to Leo, and is something that he must obtain. Ernst decides to call in his own "Third Type" magicians with Burg Folge, the Wahrheit Sisters from his home country.

◇ ◇ ◇

The venue for the Nine School's Competition is within the premises of the Defense Forces, but it isn't only the Defense Forces keeping an eye on the students. Other intelligence agencies are also at work behind the scenes.

Ono Haruka is a public safety operative, currently working at the Nine School's Competition this year. Her current task is to monitor Ernst Rosen, the branch manager of Rosen Magicraft.

Because the market size of magic engineering products is small, if you look at the sales, Rosen Magicraft isn't a large company. However, considering the value of magic products to the military as weapons, it could be considered to be very valuable. Especially since the "Scorched Halloween" incident last autumn.

Haruka was aware of the meeting with Ernst, Erika and Leo, as well as fact that unauthorized magic was used in hotel room. Leo had attempted to assault Ernst and he had blocked it with barrier magic. Ernst had been justified in his self-defense but was none the less trying to cover it up, which leads her to believe that there are troublesome circumstances lurking in the background.

Haruka also knows that Erika is the great granddaughter of Bastian Rosen the former president of the company, and that there was an ongoing inheritance problem within the company right now.

Haruka thought that this year's Nine School's Competition would be easier on her when she was given this task. But was beginning to think that it could become more difficult than dealing with Tatsuya.

She knows about the specialized fortification body developed by Germany, as well as the latest magical equipment that has yet to be commercialized. She begins to think that this task is going to be very troublesome.

◇ ◇ ◇

August 14th.

First High was basking in the victory of today's Monolith Code victory. While it seemed stressful in the beginning, First High is now leading by 95 points over Third High. First High's victory hasn't been decided yet, the possibility of Third High making a comeback is still very high.

While most of the students were celebrating, there are some that have more important things to attend to. For example Tatsuya is meeting with Fujibayashi Kyoko and Kokonoe Yakumo. And Erika is secretly meeting with Leo, so that their other friends wouldn't find out.

Leo and Erika are exchanging information for their meetings with Ernst Rosen. Erika's deal involved being offered money in order to withdraw from any sort of inheritance into the Rosen family. While Leo says that Ernst was trying to recruit him to and having him come to Germany.

While Leo told Erika about his connection to the Rosen family, he didn't tell her everything because he didn't fully trust everything that Ernst had told him.

Erika says that they should prepare for a confrontation. While they won't be coming after her directly, she does believe that Ernst will come after Leo. They both believe that it won't be easy going up against a company such as Rosen Magicraft. Normally this would be a problem but since they are in Japan, Erika doesn't think it will be as difficult.

Erika and Leo start to form a counter plan, and they both finally start to relax after Erika returns to her usual attitude and teases Leo.

◇ ◇ ◇

Ernst Rosen was forced to act with caution while at the Nine School's Competition. Surveillance was too tight, and he couldn't afford to stick out too much. It became much more difficult after he made contact with Leo and Erika.

But it was now the last day of the Nine School's Competition and Ernst could no longer wait. He decided that it would be best to settle things here on a military base instead of an urban district area.

Rosen Magicraft is a magic engineering product manufacturer, but since magic is mainly used for military purposes, his company has strong ties to the military. So just in case something does go wrong, he would have something to fall back on. Ernst contemplated over whether he should capture Leo, and risk opposing the Japanese authorities.

However, his secretary brought him a report that would prove helpful to his dilemma. The report says that at this moment there is an internal conflict occurring in the Japanese military. He immediately calls for Linda and Emma.

Two women appear before Ernst, both of them look to be in their early twenties. Both of them are tall, nearly 170 centimeters tall, with slender muscular figures. Their eyes are both hazel, and have short silver hair. They look like twins, but couldn't be called identical twins. These two are not sisters born from the same mother, but can be safely assumed to have the same genes. The Wahrheit Sisters.

While these two were called over to be escorts for Ernst Rosen, the actual reason was to help acquire Leo. Ernst tells them that it is time to go after Leo, and the sisters ask about the Japanese military.

Linda and Emma are both eager to fight against Leo, the sisters are both "Third Types" of Burg Folge, while Leo isn't an actual "First Type" but he has inherited the genes of a "First Type" so he is recognized as such. If Linda and Emma were to defeat Leo in combat they could possibly overturn their ranking to show that they are above the "Third Type".

Ernst mentions that the Japanese military has an internal conflict going on right now, which is unlikely to develop into a large dispute. But he feels that it will be harder to make a move after the Nine School's Competition is over.

Ernst tells the sisters to lure Leo to a secluded place after the Nine School's Competition is done and to capture him. He also says that they are allowed to used the Phantom Anzugs (Phantom Suits).

◇ ◇ ◇

August 15th.

The last day of the Nine School's Competition, it was five minutes before the start of the women's Steeplechase Cross Country event.

Mizuki finds Mikihiko sitting in the stands by himself, and he greets her. Erika and Leo followed behind Mizuki, and Erika begins her usual teasing of Mikihiko. They ask about Tatsuya but it's mentioned that after adjusting the CAD's for the female athletes participating in Steeplechase Cross Country.

The men's Steeplechase event will be in the afternoon, and Tatsuya is in charge of Mikihiko's CAD for that event as well.

As the women's event begins, they begin to question what kind of obstacles will be waiting for Miyuki and the others. Erika points out that with no cameras and no way to monitor the students in the forest it will be hard to see what's happening inside. She also says that contestants could go missing without anyone realizing, and Mizuki quickly tells Erika not say such things.

In that next moment, an image of Kanon was displayed on the screen and she was completely covered in mud. But the mud was completely blown away shortly after, and she was seen saying;

"Is this a freaking joke!? What kind of military training is this?!”

As the students in the stands cheered and laughed, none of them knew what was going on behind the scenes.

◇ ◇ ◇

In the women's Steeplechase Cross Country event, Miyuki took 1st place, Kanon took 2nd place, Honoka took 5th place, and Shizuku took 6th place.

In the men's Steeplechase Cross Country event, Masaki took 1st place, Mikihiko took 2nd place, and Hattori too 3rd place. As a result First High wins the Nine School Competition for the fourth consecutive year. Both Leo and Erika who weren't players but training partners would most likely be invited to the celebration party. Leo doesn't dislike festivities but since he didn't make a big contribution like he did last year, he doesn't care to make an appearance.

So Leo left the hotel before the party began, and indulged in one of his hobbies. But rather than call it a hobby he would call it a habit. The habit of wandering, whether it be walking, running, or wandering in the evening.

As midnight draws closer Leo begins to wander towards the artificial forest that was created for the Steeplechase Cross Country event. The security was extremely low due to the Parasite experiment being disrupted and removed quickly to get rid of any evidence.

Leo who knew nothing of it, proceeded deep into the forest.

◇ ◇ ◇

Ernst was quick to know that Leo had left the hotel.

It was planned to lure Leo out to a secluded place, but with this opportunity arising he couldn't pass by this chance. Ernst ordered the Wahrheit sisters to pursue Leo, the sisters who watched Leo enter the forest moved to a Rosen Magicraft container-type lab.

In this mobile lab was the Phantom Anzug (Phantom Suits). These suits were high mobility equipment for the infantry. This is very similar to the mobile suits that Tatsuya used during the Yokohama incident. However, to emphasize mobility and higher power in hand to hand combat it has some differences.

Linda and Emma check on the functionality of the suits, due to the risk of hacking they limit the amount of wireless functions down to only voice communication.

[Illustration]

After confirming that there are no irregularities, Linda and Emma activate the stealth functions of the Phantom Anzug and chase after Leo into the forest.

◇ ◇ ◇

It wasn't just Ernst that noticed that Leo had left the hotel. Erika who had noticed that Leo had left was upset by this because she knew that Leo understood that he could become a target for Rosen.

Mizuki could tell that Erika was concerned about something and asked her about it, but she denied it. She tells Mizuki that she has errands to run and that she should go meet up with Mikihiko. Mizuki could tell that this wasn't the case, and last time Erika had work to do as a waitress but this year she had no obligations.

Erika couldn't afford to worry about Mizuki right now, Erika ran away from Mizuki who was looking very embarrassed because she would have to hang out with Mikihiko alone.

Erika grabbed her armored integrated CAD baton and headed towards Leo's direction. While attempting to leave the hotel she noticed patrol guards and hid herself in a corner of the building.

Erika was thinking of excuses to say to the guards to get through, but at that moment someone called out to her from a blind spot. It was Ono Haruka, Erika was very surprised at how she hadn't noticed Haruka until she called out to her.

Haruka could tell what Erika was thinking and says that she has no way of winning against her, but that her concealment magic is special. Haruka offers to bring Erika's device into the training forest for her so that she can get past the guards.

Erika thinks back to the Blanche incident, when Haruka was able to provide information on the whereabouts of the terrorist group to Tatsuya. Erika asks if Haruka could hide her as well so that they could both slip by the guards, but Haruka says that she isn't capable of that.

Haruka asks Erika if she can't trust her, to which Erika says that she has no basis to trust her. Erika asks for an explanation to help with this predicament but all Haruka can say is that if something happens to Leo, than her part-time job manager will be angry at her.

Erika eventually gives in to this explanation, and hands over her weapon to Haruka so that she could reach Leo sooner rather than later.

◇ ◇ ◇

The Wahrheit sisters were chasing after Leo, and just before they reach him they decide to try and use persuasion against Leo first. Although they both believe it will be pointless.

Leo who was wandering through the forest, stopped and immediately turned around. He could hear the sound of footsteps in the distance, and could tell that they were human. Even as he was roaming around he didn't forget that there was a chance that he might be attacked, so he had brought along his CAD.

However, it didn't seem like his potential enemies were going to launch a surprise attack against him. Two figures emerged from the darkness, they were wearing combat suits but judging from their looks Leo guessed that they were both women.

The visors of their helmets raised up and exposed their faces, and it confirmed to Leo that they were women. To Leo they looked to be in their early twenties.

They call out to him and ask him to come with them, and he asks if they work for Rosen. Linda asks if Leo purposely meant to lead them out to this location, but Leo never meant for such a thing to happen and was just wandering around. Leo asks what they have planned for him if he actually did go along with them, and Linda says that this was already explained to him by Ernst.

Leo asks if he is allowed to refuse, and after hearing this Emma was about to attack but Linda stopped her. Linda continues to say that a quarter of his genes were made by Rosen Magicraft and that they has certain rights to him.

Linda and Emma slowly close in on Leo until he is backed up against a tree. They tell Leo that he is one of the only samples that didn't self-destruct and that his genes have great value. Leo questions whether or not it will be through human experimentation or dissection, and they say that Leo would provide genes naturally through fertilization with superior individuals (In other words have sex with multiple women to create stronger soldiers).

Leo was disgusted by this, and the sisters even taunt him by saying that Chiba Erika could be his first if he wants it. Leo overreacts and the sisters pull down the visors on their helmets preparing for a fight. Leo launches an attack against Emma but she doesn't try to avoid it and the sound of a metallic collision could be heard.

Leo asks if that was Fortification Magic, to which Emma says that he shouldn't be surprised since they have similar genes. She goes on to say that they are superior to him and that they plan to prove it. Emma attacks this time and once again they collide to a deadlock, the mobile suite that the sisters are wearing are equipped with the completely thought operated CAD.

Linda asks Emma if she should help her out, and Emma says that he is better than what she expected. Linda then launches an attack of her own with Emma following up with a kick herself. Just as it seemed that Leo was at a disadvantage a silver light flashes out of no where. Suddenly a voice calls out to Leo asking if he is still alive, and it was Erika who came into view.

◇ ◇ ◇

Erika who had left Haruka at the entrance of the training forest was headed towards Leo. She honed her senses and could tell that Leo was straight ahead along with two others that were steadily approaching him.

There is certain training in her swordsmanship in which one would be able to grasp the position of an enemy and the surrounding situation depending on the psions. In order to master Yamatsunami vision and hearing alone was sufficient.

Erika had decided to keenly practice this technique now, especially after the Parasite Incident. This technique uses three aspects; "Shape", "Shade", and "Shadow", and Erika had already mastered "Shape" and "Shade" but needed to master the "Shadow" aspect. She had been unable to detect where a parasite was when it was outside of it's host because she hadn't mastered the "Shadow" aspect.

After mastering all three aspects she had developed an awareness to detect psion light using those aspect and by fusing her senses as a swordsman with her senses as a magician.

She didn't have special "eyes" like Mizuki and Tatsuya, but this was only an excuse. She was now able to detect psion light up to 800 meters ahead if she narrowing her field of vision.

As Erika chased after Leo and his pursuers she heard a sound similar to metal clashing together. She saw that Leo was fighting against the Wahrheit sisters, and she intrudes on the fight by calling out to Leo and asking if he is still alive.

◇ ◇ ◇

Linda and Emma both stopped their attack when Erika called out to Leo. Erika asks if they would mind if she joined in on the fight since it is two against one.

When Linda calls out her name, Erika isn't surprised since she knew she must be apart of the Rosen company. Linda says that she hasn't been given permission to hurt Erika, but Erika says that she will not charge Rosen for the treatment costs. Both Linda and Emma could tell that Erika wasn't worried about that and that she was instigating the fight.

The sisters decide to capture Erika as well. Linda headed straight for Erika, while Emma attacked Leo. When Linda approached Erika a blade immediately approached her neck, but Linda managed to block it. The blade did not hurt Linda due to the blade blocking capabilities of the Phantom Suit as well as the effect of her Fortification magic.

However, Linda felt uncomfortable about the feeling when she blocked the attack, it was almost as if it felt too light. She doesn't know if Erika had actually planned this from the start, but she was struck from the side. Linda used the attack to draw some distance between her and Erika, and activated the Flight-type magic to put some distance between her.

Erika rushes forward but Linda jumps vertically not to escape but to counterattack and aimed a kick at Erika's head. Erika was surprised at this and took the blow, she endured the pain and fixed her posture as Linda landed on a tree with Flight-type magic.

Linda put her hand on the side of the tree and lowered her right leg on the branch, and fortunately for her there wasn't any abnormality with her leg.

Erika comments and says that the suit is strong, but apparently Linda can't absorb the impact unless she uses a certain amount of magic. Linda was surprised at how Erika saw through that detail, but regained her composure.

Linda covered the entire suite with Fortification magic and jumped towards Erika. Leo was fighting Emma one on one, and his real feelings on the matter was that Emma's fighting skills were superior to his own.

Even though Emma is only a "Third Type", she is equipped with the Phantom Suit which gives her superior abilities compared to Leo. Leo's voice activated CAD is outmatched by Emma's thought controlled CAD. Leo is just barely able to keep up with her speed in order prevent critical damage to himself. In order to overcome this situation, it is necessary to have a special technique.

Leo has that kind of magic, but magic that is good for both attack and defense has another weakness. But he can't afford to waste time thinking about it.

Erika keeps pressing the attack against Linda with overwhelming speed, but hasn't done any damage to her yet due to the Phantom Suit and her Fortification magic. Erika on the other hand is not wearing any armor, she hasn't received any damage yet but even if one of Linda's attacks were to make contact it could be a decisive factor in this battle.

Linda is baffled at how fast Erika is, even with the mobility of the Phantom Suit with Flight-type magic she can't match Erika's speed. Not only is she fast, but her movements are incomprehensible for Linda, especially at night.

Linda's strategy is to be patient and wait for Erika to run out of stamina. Her Phantom Suit and Fortification magic should be able to outlast Erika but she is growing impatient since it is taking much longer than expected. Especially since her Flight-type magic requires a large amount of psions to maintain over an extended period of time.

In the past psion count was part of the rating criteria of magicians but has since been obsolete since modern magic was introduced. The thought-type CAD doesn't help in this aspect due to the degree of modification required, and it creates a larger strain on the mind for more complicated magics.

With the Eidos in effect trying to correct the events that were written onto the world by magic, it has an even stronger effect on magic that lasts for a long period of time. Flying-type magic reduces this issue by reactivating itself with Loop Cast.

Leo remembers the trick to reducing the burden of using magic for an extended period of time, by occasionally releasing magic when it's not in use. However the Wahrheit sisters have never fought in these type of conditions before, since they have always held superiority with their CADs.

Linda is already showing signs of exhaustion, it was impossible for her to maintain a defense against Erika. However, it is also true that Erika can not break through the Phantom Suit, she decides to use Fortification magic and attack once more.

Emma's punch-kick combo was blocked by Leo, and he delivered a low kick. He aimed at Emma's feet with the purpose of trying to break her formation and posture. However, her body suddenly rose into the air and she landed back on the ground.

Leo prepares his trump card "Siegfried". It is a voice activated command and the event modification works on Leo's entire body. Emma rushes towards Leo and uses Fortification magic on her right hand and forms it into a spear. But her fingertips could only pass through Leo's clothing and couldn't make a depression on his skin.

Leo aims a left hook at Emma's helmet, the Phantom Suit is durable but can't withstand the force of his punch. Emma is blow backwards, she quickly rises to her feet and raises the visor that has now been cracked. She can't help but be surprised at his technique.

Siegfried is Fortification magic that hardens ones own body. Normally Fortification magic is a magic that hardens a specific object and stabilizes the relative coordinates of molecules within a narrow area like his "Panzer". On the other hand Siegfried works directly on the body itself, it doesn't stabilize relative coordinates. It creates a force field that cancels any external force that is inflicted on the body, it protects against piercing, cutting, striking, pressure, and the majority of chemical and electromagnetic attacks that can't permeate the skin and muscle tissue.

Leo presses the attack and gives Emma no chance to escape. She tries to keep her defense up with Panzer but can't hold out against Leo's attack. This technique used by Leo can be disadvantageous for him if used for an extended period of time so he must finish the fight here. After his barrage of attacks, Emma's body collapses like a broken marionette.

Linda takes a defensive stance against Erika, and is preparing for her assault. As Erika is rushing towards her, she prepares a counter attack but Erika disappears from Linda's line of sight and she can't find her. Erika decides to use one of her special moves but is hesitant to do so since she doesn't have the proper equipment.

She doesn't have Orochimaru with her, so she doesn't think she can activate Yamatsunami correctly, but decides that she must do it. She activates Yamatsunami and is able to reverse the inertia control on her attack and it exceeds the limit of impact absorption of the Phantom Suit. Linda being blindsided by this attack crumbles to the ground, Leo and Erika both win their own fights.

[Illustration]

◇ ◇ ◇

Erika stood there for a moment to catch her breath. Although it was a complete victory for them, it was still quite the tightrope.

Yamatsunami was the deciding factor for Erika but since she used it without her usual equipment it had taken a toll on her. If she had messed up the timing on her inertia neutralization and inertia enhancement even a little it would have caused a great deal of damage to herself.

Erika asks if Leo is okay, and he says that he doesn't have any physical injuries. When Erika asks what's wrong again, he says that he is very hungry and that using that magic makes him more hungry than usual.

Since Siegfried is directly applied to the body, it raises his core temperature higher than normal and depletes all the stored nutrients within his body.

Just then about 10 people were approaching Erika and Leo, it was the guards stationed at the hotel. The sensor inhibiting function of the Phantom Suit had stopped working since both Emma and Linda were knocked out.

One of the guards recognizes Erika, since she used to take lessons at the Chiba dojo. When asked what happened Erika says that they fought these two intruders. The other guards detain Emma and Linda, and the female guard asks Erika to hand over her armed device, after looking at it she returns it to Erika. Erika and Leo start to head back towards the hotel.

◇ ◇ ◇

Erika went back to the hotel and immediately went to Ernst's room. She barges into room and Ernst says that they don't have a scheduled meeting. He also stops the bodyguard in the room from attacking Erika.

Erika says that she is here because his soldiers attacked Leo and she came to complain about it. Ernst dodges the complaint and asks Erika to listen to him, but what he is trying to do is distract her in order to use his CAD.

Erika's baton is covered in psions, and she swings it in the direction of Ernst and the magic he was trying to cast was disrupted.

Erika says that she has been studying up on the completely thought-type CAD that the Rosen Company had released. Ernst was surprised that she was capable of such a technique. Ernst asks her if she wants to be adopted officially into the Rosen Family and that he would be her guardian. But Erika says that she doesn't wish for that and leaves his hotel room.

◇ ◇ ◇

The end of August.

The second semester began at First High. On this day Leo was on his way to Class F and ran into Erika on the stair landing, this path is normally taken by staff members so it is never busy.

Erika asks him if he received a letter from Rosen, and he says that he did. Erika asks if he has guessed the reason why, and he says that he already knows. Leo says this in a slightly troubled tone, due to the fact that it also entailed a certain arrangement with Erika and when she asks what's wrong, he says it's nothing.

Leo is trying to be calm about it but in the letter Rosen mentions the if Leo wanted the potential marriage arrangement between himself and Erika, it could be possible in order to become a son-in-law of the Rosen Family. If Erika found out about such a plan there is no telling what kind of physical abuse is waiting for him.

Leo has no intention of accepting these proposals from Rosen, and fortunately Erika doesn't push him for more details. However, Erika mentions that a women from the Rosen Family said something strange to her, something about making her possibly become a "mother or something". Cold sweat ran downs Leo's back and he wasn't sure how to reply.


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