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Sudden Change Chapter is the 27th volume in the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Light Novel series.

Synopsis

The 14th Strategic-Class Magician is born! Their identity is? The greatest magic battle outbreak of war!


July 2097 A.D. In preparation for the intensifying battle with the Parasites and Minoru, Tatsuya continues to train in order to complete the new magic "Seal Ball".

Almost at the same time, this conflict is welcomed as the turning point for magicians on a world-scale.

The New Soviet Union Fleet starts to advance south towards Japan. Thus, to meet the enemy, Ichijou Masaki and Kichijouji Shinkurou begin to take action. Is it possible to reject an opportunity from the enemy──!?

On the other hand, on Miyaki Island where Lina is hiding, her former countrymen have been assimilated by the Parasites, STARS comes ashore. Finally the start of the clash begins.

Strategic-Class Magicians gather in Japan!! The story will accelerate towards its climax――.

Chapter 1

Spoiler
July 1st, 2097

Minami is alone in the hospital room, but earlier both Miyuki and Erika were there with her. Miyuki has been visiting every day since she was admitted. As much as Minami wanted to tell Miyuki that she didn’t need to visit every day, she couldn’t help but be happy that Miyuki cared that much for her.

Minami was puzzled that Erika had started to show up at the hospital, since they had very limited contact. She guessed that Erika was here to help as a bodyguard, since Tatsuya wasn’t able to visit today. Miyuki and Erika passed the time by studying together, with Miyuki taking on the role of the teacher.

First High’s final exams will be held soon, so everyone was studying. The more Minami thought about it the more depressed she became. She is going to be discharged on July 9st, while the final exams are to be held on July 6st.

Minami thinks back to Minoru’s last visit and his plea to save her by becoming a parasite. She believes that his words were genuine and that his only goal was to help her. However, she doesn’t understand why he would go so far to help her. At most she had only spent three days with him, and they never tried to contact each other after that.

Even though it was a short amount of time, his good looks had left an impression on her. However, she never believed that she would leave an impression on him. She can still recall the day she met him over half a year ago. His beauty is just as great as Miyuki’s.

Minami doesn’t quite understand her feelings when it comes to Minoru. She thinks back to the three days where they spent time together looking for Zhou.

(She relives the events from the time they met to the time they left.)

While thinking about the time where she watched over him, when he came down with a fever. Minami wonders if he was suffering from the same condition that she currently has.

(But why...)

(I don’t think I can become a “special” person to Minoru)

(Why did Minoru give up being a human in order to cure himself?)

Minami couldn’t figure out the answer.

◇ ◇ ◇

Miyuki is leaving the hospital with Yuuka. Tatsuya who had finished up his mission at Zama Base was already at their apartment. Erika was picked up by some of her disciples.

Yuuka is now a graduate student, she graduated in March of this year. She now spends most of her time studying certain magics, and has a laboratory of her own given to her by the Yotsuba Family. Since she is one of the magicians of the Yotsuba Family that excels in Mental Interference Magic, she is welcomed by the other professionals there.

Tatsuya welcomes Miyuki back, and she begins to make coffee for Tatsuya before they begin their discussion. She congratulates Tatsuya on his hard work. While she didn’t receive a report on his mission, she never doubted that Tatsuya would fail.

Tatsuya asks about Minami, and Miyuki tells him that she can now easily perform daily tasks with ease. Miyuki also tells him that there were no signs of Minoru.

Tatsuya tells Miyuki that with the death of Kudou Retsu, the Defense Forces will be likely to get involved in the search for Minoru. Miyuki questions this and Tatsuya explains that Retsu had great influence in the National Defense Forces even after his retirement. In particular the 1st Division had a close relationship with Retsu.

Miyuki asks if this will restrict the movements of Minoru for the time being, but Tatsuya says it will only last for a short amount of time. With the current conflict going on between The Great Asian Union and New Soviet Union, the National Defense Forces will begin to move north. Tatsuya says that Minoru will most likely take advantage of this to make his move.

◇ ◇ ◇

At the Asaka base for the Defense Forces, Naotsugu and Mari were both called to a meeting. About forty soldiers were gathered in the room. The majority of the members here were part of the “Sword Corps”. Naotsugu and Mari were summoned as temporary members of this division.

The platoon leader explains that the cause of Retsu’s death was Minoru, and that they will be assigned to help in the search for him. The leader continues to explain that Minoru has become a parasite as well. This platoon was more than familiar with parasites, considering they were once mobilized to capture parasites in the past.

They are ordered to begin their search the next morning. Naotsugu and Mari both stood up and saluted the platoon leader.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya and Miyuki are now living alone, as they did in the past when they were considered “brother and sister”. With Minami in the hospital, there isn’t anyone here to watch them. They are now seen as cousins and fiancées, and it is easy to see that Miyuki loves Tatsuya.

Tatsuya says he can only see Miyuki as a little sister, but he has a weak sense of morality. This may be a side effect of the Artificial Magician Experiment. Tatsuya will not refuse her if it’s something that Miyuki really wants. He would have no issue mentally if he had to cross that line, so it is believed that he would have no issue sleeping in the same bed as Miyuki. However, they currently stay in separate rooms, and Miyuki is currently holding back to due the issue surrounding Minami at the moment.

Minami nearly died for them, and is currently hospitalized due to overheating her magic calculation area. Miyuki would feel terrible if she allowed herself to be immersed in happiness while Minami is suffering.

Sitting upright in bed Miyuki is suddenly reminded of the conversation she had with Tatsuya. Minoru was forced into a desperate situation and he has shown no signs of giving up on Minami. It seems that Minoru really loves Minami, and while Tatsuya hasn’t reached that conclusion, Miyuki believes that it is love.

[Illustration]

While she strongly believed in her opinion, it took a dramatic experience in Okinawa for Miyuki to realize her love. But as for Minoru, she couldn’t see a reason for him to find Minami special. However, something might have happened when Minami was left behind to take care of Minoru when he came down with a fever.

Thinking about Minoru’s current goal it is clear to Miyuki that he only wants to treat Minami. But to turn her into a parasite is something that she will not accept.

(But... What does Minami think?)

Tatsuya has stated that Minami’s life is no longer in danger, but how does Minami feel about all of this. Minami did agree with Tatsuya’s suggestion to give up on magic, but maybe deep down Minami hasn’t accepted it. Minoru’s plea to not deprive Minami of her magic might have stirred Minami’s thoughts on the matter in a different direction.

Miyuki begins to think that if this had happened to Tatsuya instead of Minami, that she would have a completely different opinion on the matter. Miyuki would give up being human and join Tatsuya without a second thought. But once again Miyuki believes that Minoru isn’t that “special” to Minami. She has never spoken of Minoru to Miyuki even once, but Minami was never one to openly talk about herself.

After being with Minami for so long, Miyuki was able to pick up her secrets and worries by reading her facial expressions and body language. Miyuki wonders if there is a future where Minami will choose Minoru, and shivers under the blankets at the thought.

Chapter 2

Spoiler
Local time, July 1st, 5:00 P.M.; Japan time, July 2nd, 8:00 A.M.

At the STARS Headquarters located in the outskirts of Roswell New Mexico, Fifth Unit Captain, Major Noah Capella is talking with the base commander, Colonel Paul Walker.

Capella tells Walker that the transfer of Canopus, Algol and Shaula to the Hawaiian base "Horsehead" has been completed. After receiving his report, Walker tells him that he could take a break since the transfer must have been tough on him. Capella, having not moved is encouraged to speak.

Capella goes on to tell Walker that he views that those from the Illegal MAP (Illegal Mystic Assassin Platoon) shouldn't be set free after the losses received from their rampaging. It is a magician unit dedicated exclusively to perform assassination missions that can't be witnessed by others. The platoon consists of three squads, "Coalsack", "Cone Nebula" and "Horsehead". They are highly skilled in close-combat, and when they are more often than naught dispatched to go after AWOL soldiers, they aren't in violation of any military codes because the order issued isn't a regular order.

STARS has had to make great sacrifices on more than just one or even two occasions. When William Sirius was killed in the "Arctic Hidden War", his death is believed to have served as the trigger for a battle between assassins against the New Soviet Union's secret military unit. The war caused a great number of vacancies of the First-Class in STARS. After the post-war process, the upper echelon decided to imprison those of the Illegal MAP at Midway Prison. This happened seven years ago.

Walker tells Capella that they have the ability to perform their duty, where his comment is countered that in fact excessive slaughter isn't one performing their duty properly. Walker goes on to sigh and finds it difficult to deal with Capella's attitude on the affair in question (Walker may hold the rank of Colonel, but in terms of age and military experience, Major Capella far exceeds him; Capella is also the oldest member of the First-Class Stars).

If Walker were possessed by a Parasite, he wouldn't be taking such things into consideration. He is still human and only a limited number of Star-Class members have become Parasites, less than a third of STARS. Walker and those below, a majority of those stationed at STARS Headquarters are barely aware of what's going on. The only reason for cautiously accepting the Parasites and cooperating with them is for the purpose of dealing with ── Tatsuya ── the unrecognized Strategic-Class Magician of Japan.

The USNA Military as a whole isn't under Parasite control. The Department of Defense is currently divided into two groups: those who want to eliminate Tatsuya and those who want to use his power for the global strategy of America. The renegade STARS Parasites are overlooked, with the former supporting them with protection.

Thus, Colonel Walker who only possesses the authority to manage the base, can't simply ignore the opinions of Major Capella, the oldest of the twelve STARS units. Walker tells him that at times like this, where the opponent is his opponent, that things such as the degree of overkill can't be avoided. Capella asks him what he intends to use them for, since Capella doesn't have the authority to know what has been told to "Horsehead". He even hesitated to say "no comment" before Capella starts asking if the target is Lina. He's told she isn't the target and that Tatsuya is.

Capella isn't close to Lina and during the rebellion kept a neutral position. He is a typical soldier who has a serious no nonsense attitude for better or worse when it comes to using military force to kill, disturbing military discipline and violent acts against comrades. Though he took a neutral position during the rebellion, its clear that Arcturus who became a Parasite isn't friendly. Capella is merely keeping his emotions in check thanks to his military discipline. He is only showing a neutral position so as for things not to grow further out of hand and that includes Walker as well.

Walker reiterates his position by telling Capella that "Horsehead" Squad undertakes jobs for the State as a Chinese Mafia, from the start of it, the strategy was always to eliminate any relationship between others and them. "Horsehead" Squad is composed of East Asian and Central Asian members. Since the squad was originally intended for illegal acts to be carried out in East Siberia and the territories of the Great Asian Union, magicians with an Asian appearance were chosen as being best suited. Walker didn't think that Capella would go alone with the camouflage where in case of combat between magicians were to occur, fake passports, equipment, the use of magic being detected, and the ability to control whatever systems at the time is to be used.

Capella asks him who is to deal with them when they get out of control. He knew that since such a plan was conceived, such concerns were already taken into consideration. He asked simply out of concern. Walker didn't return a clear answer causing Capella to narrow his eyes and involuntarily feel unhappy. Walker is aware of Capella's attitude and doesn't blame him for not getting an answer.

Capella tells him that he understands and quietly leaves the base commanders office. Behind him, Walker is unknowingly irritated.

◇ ◇ ◇

Today, being a day where regular exams are going on, Tatsuya doesn't stay at school and instead leaves after dropping off Miyuki. He himself doesn't have a hobby of taking exams he doesn't need to, like the majority of people. Especially since he is exempt from needing to do so.

Tatsuya is now in a room at a research building on Miyaki Island. He wanted to be working on further developing the new magic that applies the Chain Cast technology in one of FLT's laboratories, but decided to work on it at the island because he was worried that he needed to keep an eye on Lina. With all things considered, the research building he is currently in is actually the new research base of FLT on the island.

Apart from those who thought Lina to be someone disguised as an exile ── to be someone sent to cause destruction ── such a thought didn't even cross Tatsuya's mind. Thus, in a way Tatsuya trusts Lina since she doesn't possess the aptitude to conduct espionage and because he believes her to lack the talent. Even if she hasn't done something yet, it didn't mean he could take his eyes off of her. He believes it foolish to think of her as a small child, and in this regard, he doesn't trust Lina at all.

Tatsuya arrived at the island at 9:30 A.M. via a small VTOL flown by Hyougo instead of taking the air car. From there, Tatsuya had gone and stayed in his personal laboratory until 11:50 A.M. before leaving to get some lunch where he bumps into Lina. She asks if he's heading off to get lunch.

The residential building where Lina stays and the research building are on the west and east sides of the island. Though the island itself is a narrow two kilometer stretch of land, it isn't difficult to get to the other side.

After being asked if she could join him, Tatsuya thinks that there must be something that she wants to talk with him about and he accepts as long as it doesn't take too long. Tatsuya only mentioned this because he isn't trying to be rude to Lina, but rather wants to spend time developing the new magic using "Chain Cast" and to practice "Seal Ball".

Lina not minding his words, she agrees to make it quick after which the two head towards the cafeteria.


The logistics of running the island are still in the process of being developed and refined. The research building is already in operation and there are other researchers. After finishing their meal Lina begins to talk with Tatsuya.

Lina starts by recapping back, talking about how Canopus was the one who helped her escape during the rebellion at STARS Headquarters. Tatsuya iterates asking/saying that wasn't it Ralph Hardy Mirfak who helped her get to the airport while it was Colonel Balance who prepared things for her departure.

Lina says that it was Canopus who had Balance help her out and Tatsuya comments that he understands that she feel obligated in helping Canopus out. She continues on saying that there is a chance that he surrendered after she got away, but that its unlikely. Tatsuya tell her that there was an option, and that the rebellion could have been dealt with by using force. Lina is surprised and tells him that she wouldn't have been able to harm a friend.

He continues on that a Parasite isn't a friend and that the two should be differentiated between. Lina says that Canopus has connections to not only the other units in STARS, but also the Pentagon, and State Department. Going on that the Parasites shouldn't be able to execute him and perhaps he's been transported already to be imprisoned in a military prison.

Tatsuya asks if there is even a prison capable of inhibiting the use of magic and even a CAD that could confine someone such as Canopus. If the USNA even has the technological capability to inhibit magic. Lina tells him that there shouldn't be such technology that exists and that if so, Abby hasn't told her yet. She goes on saying that Abby is, Dr. Abigail Stuart, the Chief Engineer of STARS. Lina telling Tatsuya the full name of Dr. Stuart was meant to show that she isn't hiding anything about her position. ──Maybe.

Tatsuya asks where Canopus is and she tells him that he might be trapped in Midway Prison. He goes on to say that how would one break out of a jail surrounded by water in the middle of an ocean. He continues asking why she thinks that he would be imprisoned at such a place, to which Lina tells him that its not just a guess and that Canopus is likely to have been removed due to political reasons, to where he must have traded himself to be imprisoned on Midway.

Lina tells Tatsuya something that she had heard many a times from Canopus, that justice is only worth perusing when one is the victor. No matter how incorrect you or your opponent might be, the defeated can only comply to the victor. Although, if there is some room for negotiation, then one hasn't lost yet. Only once one's defeat is decided, is it then that you lose any advantage you might have. She continues on that its not only limited to dealing with those struggling for power, but a teaching that can lead to ending wars.

Canopus is not only an excellent combat magician, he also excels at having insight as a strategist. He is a graduate of the USNA Military Academy "West Point". If one wasn't serving as a child soldier during World War III, then after the war you became a soldier. It wasn't too long after the war that Canopus entered the academy. It's only natural that magicians were used as soldiers and even rarer for them to become commanders.

Tatsuya asks again if she is sure to assume that Canopus is in prison on Midway. She tells him yes and that it would be difficult to not only escape, but also to send in an assassin. He asks if there's any chance of other prisoners to attack one another and she says that the possibility isn't zero, however, the rooms are completely soundproof, inside is a surveillance camera, meals are prepared and dealt with through automation. A bathroom with a shower and toilet is also in the solitary prison cell. Even opportunities to go out and exercise are restricted to a single individual at a time to eliminate prisoner exchanges of anything. Tatsuya talks about the conditions that the reason there is such "comfort" is too reduce the chances of the quality of war potential dropping; where Lina agrees with him.

Tatsuya asks Lina if she's serious about rescuing Canopus and she tells him that she is. She goes on to say that even though it would take a lot of effort, but with what is going on in the States, there is a chance that it isn't impossible that Midway Prison which is considered to be safe could end up where magicians like Canopus could be made into Parasites.

Tatsuya who had looked into Canopus after the failure with capturing Gu Jie had only found out superficial details about Canopus. There is an unfavorable relationship between the two and Tatsuya can't ignore the possibility of Canopus becoming a Parasite. If what Lina wants for him to do is help only this once in freeing Canopus, the risk is still too great. Though he does keep room for consideration in keeping potential enemies to a minimum.

Tatsuya: "...Unfortunately, there is no merit to taking such risks."

However still, the conclusion Tatsuya stated was the same.

Tatsuya: "If you were to exclude the risk of Partization, it's simpler to just blow up the prison on Midway Island with my Material Burst. If it's for the purpose of dealing with the Parasite pandemic, it will divert criticism from the international community."

Lina: "Please wait! Once such a thing were announced to the States...!"

If it were known that the proliferation of monsters was found to be left unchecked, the USNA's credibility would crumble to the ground. The break-up of the country would no longer be just a nightmare.

Tatsuya: "Though if your nation were to forcibly make Major Canopus a Parasite, I wouldn't hesitate to announce the threat of the Parasites to the world."

The words Tatsuya had stated weren't just a threat.

Lina: "...If there were any merit?"

Lina thought about it, before asking Tatsuya with a stern expression.

Tatsuya: "Well, yeah. Even I wouldn't want to see what happens from roughly blowing up the entire island. If one were to generate that amount of heat, it wouldn't necessarily have a negligible impact on the climate of the world.

After Tatsuya said that with a straight face, Lina's back shook.

Magic that would destroy the climate of the world with a single blow. It was because she understood this as to be anything but an exaggeration. Lina who had become stiff, her facial expression showed her feelings.

Lina: "I will be an ally of Tatsuya's."

What Lina was trying to say, Tatsuya couldn't understand.

Tatsuya, looked at Lina with a quizzical expression.

Lina: "When I return to STARS, I will stop the hostile action against Tatsuya."

While gazing at Lina, he momentarily replied.

Tatsuya: "I don't think the matter is something that you can decide..."

Lina: "If my opinion isn't agreed on, then I will quit the military and naturalize in Japan. Since I am the daughter of the niece of Shogun Kudou, there must be a precedence for me to naturalize."

Tatsuya: "If you, were to possibly naturalize regardless of blood relations... Would the USNA permit it?"

Lina: "It wouldn't matter whether the military were to agree or not. At that time I would request for a discharge and/or then run away from the States.

Would it be so easy, Tatsuya remembering the question, he didn't imitate nor doubt Lina's determination.

If this is indeed the case, Tatsuya thought that there is merit in taking such risks.

Once Lina returned to the USNA and seeks asylum again, the Yotsuba would receive her. The Yotsuba Family with the exception of things with the USNA, such an owner would need the courage to be in Japan.

Although she would be treated as a guest for now, if she were to naturalize as an exile in Japan, then they might use Lina and himself as war potential.

Not the as war potential of the Yotsuba Family, but that of as an individual with war potential like Tatsuya. When Lina said, "be an ally of Tatsuya's" he intends on not giving her to Maya.

Tatsuya: "I understand. I can't promise anything soon, but let's devise a plan to rescue Major Canopus."

Lina: "Really!? Thank you, Tatsuya!"

Lina's face started to shine. If it weren't for the table in between, she might have hugged Tatsuya.

Tatsuya: "And Lina."

Tatsuya: "Something else."

Tatsuya: "You are the grandchild of a sibling, a grand-niece. Rather than saying the 'daughter of His Excellency Kudou's niece', it would be smart of you to introduce yourself as the 'grand-niece of His Excellency Kudou'. This may be useful to remember when introducing yourself."

Lina's face quickly turned white. It felt as if Tatsuya had dumped water on the mood of the excited Lina, is it natural, or is it deliberate.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya returns to First High early in the afternoon before 3:00 P.M. during the exam period. Though its not the case that a certain Student Council officer remains at the school, he is lucky that the student he is looking for in particular is in the Student Council Room.

Tatsuya calls out to Shiina who is wearing her earmuff headphones. She didn't expect for him to be calling out to her. Tatsuya asks Shiina if she would be willing to set up a meeting between him and her father or eldest brother. She asks him if he's sure and he affirms her question.

Izumi who is beside Shiina, asks why Tatsuya would want to meet with Shiina's father. He tells her that he wants to know about what's going on in the U.S. Armed Forces. Next to Izumi, in a faint voice, Miyuki tells her that the Mitsuya Family have an information network with militaries abroad.

Shiina finally responds, hurriedly that she'll set up a meeting for him with her father, though she only responded quickly out of consideration for Izumi. Miyuki then goes on to talk with them about the subject of their practical exams. Miyuki then goes on to leave with Izumi, where Tatsuya thinks that it would be nice to follow.

◇ ◇ ◇

After seeing Miyuki off to the practice building, Tatsuya heads over to the forest behind First High used for exercising.

Tatsuya meets up with Mikihiko and apologizes to him about the timing with the exams going on, meanwhile Mikihiko respond that what they're about to do is more important. Though Tatsuya apologized from his heart, he smiles since he has no other facial expressions, as if he said a bad joke. In the end Mikihiko tells Tatsuya that he hasn't learned how to study all night. Thus without making any further a big deal of things, the two get started on training.


As the days of training had gone by, the method of practicing "Seal Ball" was improving.

Tatsuya heads out to the forest behind First High to practice Seal Ball with Mikihiko. With the repeated practice, during the last stage of the magic, as the Psions are compressing more from the shape of a square into a sphere, in the Information Dimension a high density ball floats 50 cm in front of Tatsuya. He tests it by striking it, after doing so the sphere of Psions respond forming back into a solid.

[Illustration]

Mikihiko looks on in admiration since the beginning from when he'd met Tatsuya. It doesn't depend on spells and dolls, for sealing a spirit its a pure "art". If one can seal a spirit, they can thus seal a "demon". The technique itself feels unusual to Mikihiko.

After letting go of the Seal Ball, after seven minutes it destroys itself. The runaway spirit that Mikihiko had summoned was sealed and activity ceased.


During the following two hours, Tatsuya continued practicing achieving success and having some failures. The success rate of the day came out to being thirty-percent. Although before calling it quits for the day, Tatsuya had four consecutive successes.

Tatsuya had decided to call it for the day since Mikihiko couldn't continue on. While shrugging with a smile, Mikihiko tells Tatsuya that his goal is coming true. Tatsuya tells him that he needs to increase the success rate by at least another ten-percent. Before leaving Tatsuya asks Mikihiko if he's up for practicing again tomorrow to which he agrees. Mikihiko feels fully satisfied that he's able to help Tatsuya train.

◇ ◇ ◇

July 2nd, Tuesday night.

At the Saegusa's Mansion, while Kasumi and Izumi are struggling to study for their exams. The two of them couldn't continue on their ambush attack formation for against Minoru since school is their priority. Meanwhile Mayumi is waiting for an unplanned visitor, the visitor being Mari.


Mayumi brought Mari to her room where she prepared some drinks herself and ordered for the servants to leave them alone. Mayumi's room is a western-styled one with only a small table desk other than a study desk and a bed. Mayumi brought over a cushion and sat down with her iced tea in front of Mari. Mari apologizes for the uninformed visit.

Mari begins by mentioning Minoru's name. Mari reminds her that the Ten Master Clans made the decision for his capture and continues on asking if Katsuto is involved. Mari tells Mayumi that she is now apart of the pursuit unit to capture Minoru.

Mari explains that the pursuit unit along with the Sword Corp are being dispatched. Mayumi asks how Mari is apart of it and its explained that unlike National Magic University students, students who are from the National Defense Academy are members of the National Defense Force upon enrollment.

Mayumi mentions that since its the Sword Corp, that shouldn't they be a magicians melee combat unit that are, were enthusiastic followers of Kudou Retsu. Mari explains that the story that's been explained to the platoon is that they are seeking revenge for Retsu's death. Mari tells Mayumi about Minoru and what happened, shocking her that Minoru killed Retsu.

After letting Mayumi settle down while drinking her iced tea, Mari continues on to say that the National Defense Force have formed a search network to the west where Hakone is. Mari continues on explaining so as not to confuse Mayumi.

Finally Mayumi worryingly tells Mari that Minoru is strong, to where Mari responds showing her fearlessness that she won't go head-to-head with him one-on-one recklessly. Mayumi thinks to herself, that things are different from when they were in high school.

Chapter 3

Spoiler
Edward Clark is currently working on Project Dione at the USNA’s Scientific Bureau. He is joined by researchers from the National Science Agency. Terraforming Venus is merely an official purpose. The real aim of the project is to expel the Japanese Strategic-Class Magician Tatsuya, who has the means to destroy everything with his mass to energy conversion magic.

In reality Project Dione is collapsing. Tatsuya’s plan to build an energy production facility is steadily advancing towards realization, contrary to his expectations. Tatsuya now has a legitimate excuse to decline participating in his project.

The concept of Tatsuya’s energy plant is nothing new, however using a fusion reaction with the “Stellar Furnace” that uses gravity-controlled magic is more than efficient, which Edward can’t deny. Tatsuya’s power facility is likely to bring more energy than solar power and it will be more consistent as well. At this rate the true purpose of Project Dione will not be achieved.

Even if Edward is currently desperate, he can’t make a mistake. The mass media is more than capable of exposing the truth behind his project. With this current state of stagnation, Edward is going to use Hliðskjálf in order to gather information.

Edward is currently unaware that Raymond has become a parasite, since he wasn’t been in contact with him in ten days. Even today Edward is struggling with the massive amount of data that is collected by Hliðskjálf. It can be connected to a large computer to store and organize the data. Just as Edward was starting to get tired sorting through all the information, he received a phone call.

It is Igor, and he starts off the conversation by asking Edward how he is doing. Edward says that he is currently not feeling well. Igor immediately tells him that it isn’t his fault that Edward isn’t doing well. Clark begins to get angry and says that their situation hasn’t gotten any better. Igor says that he will still assassinate Tatsuya, and that it was unfortunate that he failed. Edward is still angry and says that his project no longer looks peaceful due to Igor being caught attacking Japan.

Surprisingly Igor presents a solution for Edward’s current predicament. He tells Edward that the conflict with the Great Asian Union will be resolved tomorrow.

“Doctor, do you plan to use Tuman Bomba?”

“Yes.”

While it seems to be a very simple solution to the New Soviet Union’s problem, the current military action taken by the Great Asian Union was planned due to Igor’s absence.The Great Asian Union has invaded the coastal area of the New Soviet Union under the assumption that there wouldn’t be a counter attack with Tuman Bomba. So when Igor uses his Strategic-Class Magic, it is easy to predict that the outcome will not be good for the Great Asian Union.

“We will take advantage of this victory in order to sail down the Sea of Japan.”

“You plan to invade Japan!?”

Igor tells Edward not to worry because they already have an excuse ready, and that they aren’t planning a land invasion. Igor asks for the location of Tatsuya’s Stellar Furnace Facility. Edward tells him that it is a volcanic island called Miyaki Island that is located 180 km south of Tokyo. Igor mentions that if he is able to destroy Tatsuya’s facility that he might have to rethink joining the Project Dione.

While Edward couldn’t refute this, he believes that if it is revealed that the New Soviet Union attacked the facility, that the USNA’s credibility would fall even more. But since Edward couldn’t figure out any other solution, he decides to go along with it. Edward asks when they plan to send their fleet out. Igor says that they plan to sail in five days on the 8th of July. Igor laughs at how quickly Edward agreed to the plan, and they end the phone call.

◇ ◇ ◇

Thursday, July 4th 2097. Today marks the seventh day of the war between the Great Asian Union and the New Soviet Union.

Today there was a great change in the circumstances of the war. The New Soviet Union troops relocated their armies east to the Siberian area, and south to the Khabarovsk area. Their naval forces also began to retreat as well. It was clear that the intentions of the New Soviet Union lie in a pincer attack. With only two options the Great Asian Union quickly chased after the New Soviet Union Army to the south. However, it took a decent amount of time for them to come up with this decision. The New Soviet Union Army was able to put 20 km of distance between them and the Great Asian Union Army.

It was then that a mist began to form around the forces of the Allied Forces of the Asia-Pacific region. The dense fog covered the majority of their troops, and the commander finally realized the grave situation they were in. He ordered a retreat, while ordering the magicians to eliminate the fog as quickly as possible.

Igor acted too quickly for them to make a difference. The mixture of oxygen and hydrogen soon formed a massive explosion that fell short only to a nuclear weapon. However, unlike a nuclear weapon this explosion was capable of creating countless repeating shock-waves that annihilated everything in it’s path.

On this day in July, the Strategic-Class Magic of Igor destroyed seventy percent of the invading troops of the Great Asian Union.

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The exams for each Magic High School happen during the same week, but the criteria tends to vary from each school.

Masaki is sitting down with his classmates, when his teacher walks into the room. Just before class was about to start, strong waves of magic could be felt by everyone in the class. A few students even stood up on reflex. The instructor didn’t blame them and says that everyone is to remain in their seats for now. The teacher then leaves the classroom with a worried look on his face.

Masaki began to think about where these strong psion waves came from and was able to tell that it came from the North-West. He could only deduce that this must be a military clash between the New Soviet Union and the Great Asian Union.

While pulling up a map on his terminal, he realized that the distance between them and the current fight would be about 800 kilometers. The only magic he could think of that could have this kind of effect is Tuman Bomba, but he was unsure due to the magnitude of this explosion.

Masaki is unaware that Igor can control the destructive power of Tuman Bomba depending of the circumstances. The strength of Igor’s magic this time around is worrying to Masaki.

◇ ◇ ◇

It wasn’t only the students from Third High that felts the massive surge of magic power. It was felt all over Japan.

Tatsuya was traveling home at the time when he noticed Igor’s attack.

(The scale of the magic is about three square kilometers horizontally and about twenty meters high.)

It seems that the scale of Tuman Bomba this time around was expanded in order to destroy a large number of military vehicles, along with the infantry. Tatsuya guesses that the New Soviet Union used the “scorched earth tactic”, considering the damage to their own country would be considerable.

It is an effective tactic considering the results. Tatsuya estimated that thousands of military vehicles were destroyed, along with the majority of the soldiers. This was different from what Tatsuya had imagined as far as the tactics used by the New Soviet Union, but the outcome was as he predicted.

Tatsuya says that the Great Asian Union will not be able to take military action for a long time. Also the New Soviet Union fleet is likely to make its move next under the pretext chasing after the invaders. Tatsuya believes that he has no time to spare and plans to concentrate on completing the new Strategic-Class Magic.

◇ ◇ ◇

Liu Lie Lei the Strategic-Class Magician of the Great Asian Union, did not accompany the main force as they advanced against the New Soviet Union. She was eventually supposed to meet up with the main force via helicopter.

While the main force was advancing south, the unit Liu belonged to daringly went north from Khabarovsk to Vozdvizhenka to seize the airport there.

After Tuman Bomba was used on the main force, headquarters ordered Liu to stay at her current location.

Despite the fact that the New Soviet Union must have known their location, they didn’t move to attack or besiege them.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya canceled his trip to Miyaki Island today, and stayed in his laboratory the entire morning. The research data on the new Strategic-Class Magic was brought back each day to his new place within the Yotsuba Headquarters in Tokyo for convenience.

Even if Tatsuya isn’t with Miyuki, she always has a bodyguard looking out for her. Also, Tatsuya never takes his “eye” off her either.

The basic design for the new magic formula using Chain Cast was completed before dinner. It isn’t meant to be used right away and is considered a concept design. However, Tatsuya did include a practical level design for initiation, but he purposely stopped at this stage in the process.

(It would be a better idea to leave the initiation process to the magician who is going to use this new magic, along with his well-acquainted magic engineer.)

Tatsuya sent the basic blueprints to the former First Research Institute in Kanazama, with a designated recipient.

◇ ◇ ◇

Minoru has been staying in his hideout for the past three days, after the incident with Retsu. As Minoru is walking around, he runs into Regulus, and he asks how Minoru is doing. Minoru says that he is doing much better now.

They both begin to discuss the use of Tuman Bomba. Regulus isn’t sure but he believes that the USNA plans to make a move now, and that he will relay the information when he receives it.

Minoru then asks Regulus to come with him to a certain location, and Regulus was a little hesitant to leave because he might receive other orders, but Minoru tells him he will be back soon.

Regulus knew that Vega, Spica and Deneb had infiltrated Yokosuka base and that Arcturus had failed to his mission and was sealed. He wasn’t the only one that knew, both Raymond and Minoru shared the information via their telepathic network.

Raymond shows up and asks to go along as well. Minoru was a little hesitant to take him but Regulus told him it would be fine.

As the car moves along, they slowly start to approach a rather large mansion. Raymond asks if this is the Kudou Family house and Minoru confirms it. Minoru tells them that his whole family should know that he has become a parasite.

As they moved towards the house, Minoru had used magic several times, but it is unknown what exactly he was doing. Minoru then informs them that they can now use magic.

Minoru enters the house and moves upstairs alone, while Raymond and Regulus move around on the first floor. As he was walking around he was overcome with a feeling of nausea as he remembered his grandfather. He realized that his grandfather’s funeral was coming up soon.

(...I can grieve when this is all over.)

Minoru told himself that and moved along. The Kudou Family residence was large and it took a little time for him to arrive at the family dining room. His family was seated at the table, with only his father missing.

As soon as he realized it was Minoru, Kudou Haruaki the eldest brother prepared his magic “Luna Strike”. Haruaki was well versed in extraneous and psychic interference systems rather than the four major systems.

However, Luna Strike failed to take effect.

“You canceled Harukai’s Luna Strike!?”

The eldest daughter Biyatsuka muttered in a tone of disbelief. Due to the speed of this spell, neither Biyatsuka nor Soushi would be able to prevent it from happening.

“What do you want?”

Kudou Shino, Minoru’s mother questioned him with a calm voice.

“Is father not home yet?”

He is told that his father is not home and is currently working at one of their many factories. The Kudou Family has invested in various military companies. Minoru asks which factory he is at and they tell him which one.

They try to probe for information regarding his actions, and what he intends to do now. Minoru says that he has no intention of doing anything to the Kudou Family, but that he needs something help him deal with the Saegusa, Juumonji, and Yotsuba families.

His family members get angry again and condemn him for betraying the Ten Master Clans, but Minoru says that they are no longer about of the Ten Master Clans. Harukai once again tries to use magic against Minoru but it never activated.

Minoru tells them that he understands how they feel and that they can’t just abide by the fact that he has become a demon and nobody answers him. He goes on to say that he will go talk to his father first, and that they should just wait here.

Minoru casts a spell that knocks out his entire family. Not only did his family members fall unconscious but also all the servants in the household. Raymond and Regulus were to knock out anyone that wasn’t affected by his spell.

Minoru meets up with Raymond and Regulus and tells them that they can go on back without him. He walks out the door and doesn’t wait for a reply.

◇ ◇ ◇

At the former First Research Institute in Kanazama, George is working in his laboratory. Even during the exam period, he doesn’t take any time to study for the exams. George is currently working on trying to figure out the rest of the “Cardinal Codes”.

George spends most of his time here at the research institute, and has a bad habit of letting it dictate his personal life as well. Around dinner time George receives an email from Tatusya. Since it was sent to his personal device, it wasn’t subject to a safety check.

George is curious that Tatsuya would send him anything, but once he starts to read the contents he can’t contain his surprise. The contents include the activation formula for a specific type of magic. It also included information about “Chain Cast” which is used in Tuman Bomba.

Tatsuya explains in the email that the magic skills required for finishing this magic formula can’t be accomplished by him. After reading the explanation of Chain Cast, George understands why Tatsuya wouldn’t be able to accomplish the task.

Chain Cast is a technique of performing a spatially large-scale magic by copying a chain of small magic formulas. However, the amount of information required to make multiple secondary copies is considerably large. Considering the overall effect, the magic scale would need to be compact.

George understands that you would need to create a CAD with the proper variables inputted within it, in order to make it feasible for a magician to use. But even then it would need a very talented magician to use.

George realizes that if he organizes the activation ceremony, along with reducing the size that Masaki would be able to use it. The basic design describes that the magic would be able to produce an extremely large radius explosion over the sea using Chain Cast.

◇ ◇ ◇

Minoru confronts his father and Makoto gives in to his demands and tells Minoru where the production facility is for parasite dolls.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya talks to Miyuki about the New Soviet Union and how they are most likely going to launch an assault on Japan. Miyuki asks him if he plans to use Material Burst, but he says that Material Burst would be overkill for this situation.

◇ ◇ ◇

Colonel Walker receives orders to attack Tatsuya’s ESCAPES Project on Miyaki Island. Walker knows that the New Soviet Union and USNA are cooperating for Project Dione.

◇ ◇ ◇

The USNA aircraft carrier "Independence" carrying Vega and Deneb heads towards Miyaki Island.

◇ ◇ ◇

Regulus receives a telepathic communication regarding the movement of the Independence. Regulus will meet up with the Independence. While Minoru plans to go release Arcturus.

Chapter 4

Spoiler
Japan time on July 5th at 9:00 A.M. The government of the Great Asian Union requested the government of the New Soviet Union, for an armistice in the Far East area. An hour later the government of the New Soviet Union presented its conditions for an armistice, those including the turning over of war criminals.


Japan time on July 5th at 10:20 A.M. Local time 11:20 A.M.

Located north of Vladivostok, even further north of Ussuriysk, Liu Li Lei has been hiding at Vozdvizhenka along with Lin, the commanding officer of the escort unit.

When asking in a stiff voice if its true that the New Soviet Union is demanding her to be turned over, Lin tell Li Lei that on the list of war criminals to be turned over, the name Liu Li Lei is on it as well.

Everyone in the escort unit are women. Commanding officer Lin and Li Lei both hold the same rank of Second-Lieutenant and Lin is more than ten years older than Li Lei. However, Li Lei also holds the special rank of "Captain", which is only applicable within the Great Asian military apart from the external ranks. This is a measure made so as to let Liu Li Lei avoid arbitrary orders given by front-line commanders on the ground. It's stipulated that she must obey the Supreme Commander during war since she doesn't follow the normal military protocol when it comes to ranks. According to the special provisional ranks, Liu Li Lei is the immediate officer below that of the Supreme Commander and then following her is the commanding officer of the escort unit.

Even though Li Lei is shocked, she understands that since Strategic-Class Magic can easily lead to killing noncombatants that there is no reason for her to ask why her name is among the list. If you are the victor, nothing will happen to you, yet when you are defeated, then you are sent to the execution platform as a felon.

After Lin wrapped both of her hands around Li Lei's right hand as to encourage her, Lin suggests that they run away. Lin tells the surprised Li Lei that she shouldn't have to leave herself to the judgement of the victor, because she was just following orders. Now worried if she were to leave that the armistice wouldn't take place and it would put their country in a difficult position. Lin changes from calling her "Captain" to "Little Liu", where she also at times has called her "Liu-chan as well. She changes her tone from that of a superior to a more gentler one when dealing with young children.

[Illustration]

Lin tells her that since she is a child, that she doesn't need to think about it. Li Lei rebukes her, telling her that she isn't a child and is a full-fledged magician. Going on Lin tells her that as a 14-year-old that she doesn't owe anything to the country since they're sacrificing her, that its necessary she live.

While being unsure, Lin tells her to think on it. Since Li Lei couldn't decide, Lin tries to convince her again. She tells Li Lei that if she were to be executed, their country would lose once again a Strategic-Class Magician. In fact, the Great Asian Union has six undisclosed Strategic-Class Magicians. This information being the greatest secret of the Great Asian Union that even Lin herself isn't informed. However, there are major flaws in the magic of the six people, and as such wouldn't be used unless the country itself were facing a crisis. Apart from Liu Li Lei, there are no Strategic-Class Magicians that they can readily use everyday. Thus, Lin's argument has merit in that Li Lei's execution would be a loss.

Lin finishes her argument, that even if Li Lei were to escape and live with the stigma of being branded a traitor, her survival will be a benefit to the country. Finally Li Lei agrees and even though she'll lose her honor, sitting in the role as a "tragic heroine" touches a chord with her. Lin asks if she is sure and has made up her mind and then its decided that they'll escape immediately and get to somewhere safe. In her heart, Li Lei feels empathy and her dependence on Lin is growing when looking at the pleased person. Li Lei thanks Lin and tells her to please call her "Little Liu" from now on since she is foregoing her status in the Great Asian military and is leaving for asylum. In turn, Lin tells Li Lei as if in a tone that destroys that of a parental one to call her Lin Jie (Lin-neesan). Before leaving the room, Lin winks at Li Lei who then shyly looks down.


At the private airport of Vozdvizhenka, where Li Lei has been hiding, there is fortunately a business jet with a range of 2,000 km readied with a full tank of fuel. Lin tells her subordinates to hurry with the fueling before they are given the green light to take off. They started work on the jet the night before since there was no plausible way for them to use their helicopter that lacked the long-range required.

After checking the work of her subordinates, Lin went to the empty control tower and switched on the radio communicator. Lin communicates in Russian using the code name "Gospozha Taiga" (In English it means Ms. Taiga; lit. subarctic coniferous forest) communicates to another individual by the code name of "Snow Sheep". The individual tells her to report her situation, where Lin tells the person that she's successfully persuaded Liu Li Lei and that she'll go to Japan. It's communicated back that troops from Khabarovsk are due to arrive in less than an hour at Vozdvizhenka and to escape before then. Lin is an agent who switched sides over to the New Soviet Union military.


Local time before noon, the jet took off flying south. Despite the conflict going on, as an armistice had yet to be established, as soon as the aircraft passed by eastern Vladivostok, the New Soviet Union military responded. A pursuit fighter was scrambled after the jet, but as soon as the jet was over the high seas, it turned back. While Japanese military radar picked this up, the New Soviet Union didn't think much of the jet since they didn't want to rile up Japan or America until the war ended with the Great Asian Union. As the jet flew over the Sea of Japan, Japanese National Defense Air Force aircraft were scrambled due to airspace infringement where there upon the jet was ordered to land at Komatsu Base in the former Ishikawa Prefecture in accordance to the guidance of the aircraft.

◇ ◇ ◇

In his private room at the California branch of the National Science Agency, Edward had been staying inside for a long time ignoring the rules of employment.

Local time July 4th at 10:00 P.M. (Japan time on July 5th at 2:00 P.M.)

At his terminal, Edward receives an encrypted email. After having finished reading the email, deep wrinkles on his forehead could be seen.

He comments out loud that letting Liu Li Lei seeks asylum in Japan and then sending a fleet south while requesting her to be turned over as an excuse. Edward views this as brute force where intelligence isn't required. Though he spoke out subconsciously, he is shocked.

Based on uncertain information, it was predicted that the prospect of the invasion by soldiers of the Great Asian Union would be viewed at with mixed feelings. It was already seen that the moment Tuman Bomba was used on the battle-line, that it would collapse. With Igor acting as the one in-charge of the conspiracy with the Great Asian Union, Edward couldn't help but shudder at remembering the magic ability he has to back it up. Though, even with such power, how it could be he hasn't been able to kill Tatsuya.

He goes on to wonder if it could simply be bad luck on Igor's part or due to the power that Tatsuya possesses. Thinking that there's no time to think of such things he holds the bridge of his nose while moving his head back and forth. Igor only sent this information to Edward because of the need for Edward's help in the next stage of the strategy.

Finally Edward notices that its still early in the morning in London. He decided that it would be better to convey this information outside of his country. Like with Igor he will email the information due to how late it is rather than call.

◇ ◇ ◇

It was after 5:00 P.M. that when Tatsuya got home, he received a message. After initiating a reply via his mobile terminal a cryptography device on the console of the visiphone in the living room started functioning to the maximum before Tatsuya began the call by opening up the line.

On the other side, Kazama apologizes to Tatsuya if he had been relaxing and Tatsuya responds in kind that he called since it seemed urgent from what he read in the fixed message.

They get down to business, Tatsuya asking what's up and Kazama explains that Liu Li Lei of the Great Asian Union has fled to Japan for asylum. Wondering why it happened, its explained that an armistice was issued by the Great Asian Union to the New Soviet Union and that the latter side will agree to it conditionally. Tatsuya comments that it was a reasonable choice that was made on the part of the Great Asian Union, where then Kazama explains that one of the conditions has the turning over of named war criminals.

Since the Great Asian Union faced dissatisfaction with the humiliating and peaceful harmony reached with Japan, political unrest has been ongoing. Compared to that time, this time around it was a virtual defeat. It's expected that their national strength will be exhausted by suppressing the rebel movements of secession and independence. Thus the breakup of the country isn't exactly something that won't not possibly occur. The conclusion that was reached is, to raise the pressure against the New Soviet Union, which would then as a result increase the unity within the country. This led to the decision of instead of waiting to let their control diminish, the Great Asian Union viewed that it was a benefit-to-cost ratio to move south.

Tatsuya thinks that the New Soviet Union thought the same thing and mean to hold a war tribunal in retaliation. After Tatsuya asks for the reason given for her asylum, Kazama tells him that her collaborator, the commanding officer of the escort unit, the individual who escorted her, had said so. Tatsuya thinks that its doubtful, where Kazama explains that it was done to preserve a Strategic-Class Magician for the future, which Tatsuya in turns calls a plausible pretext. If a Strategic-Class Magician were killed, the balance of power would shift. The betrayal and asylum of such individuals is to be viewed with utmost caution.

Kazama goes on with that the National Defense Forces aren't forgetting the possibility of her being an agent in disguise as someone seeking asylum. Finally he gets to the point that they need to borrow Tatsuya's power. Tatsuya declines that if they mean to ask for help with questioning her under duress, that he'll be of no help. Coming to an understanding that Tatsuya was joking, Kazama tells him that its not an interrogation that they're after his help with.

He asks Tatsuya if he possesses a sealing technique. Tatsuya asks if he means Gate Keeper, to where he says that wouldn't it be easier if a CAD were kept from her. Kazama explains that she can use two specialized magic's without a CAD based off the testimony of her collaborator. The magic's being "Thunderclap Tower" and electromagnetic field interruption.

What Tatsuya feels after hearing this isn't a sense of affinity, for being similarly specialized in two different kinds of magic, but instead feels suspicious if its "accidental or inevitable". He asks what the limit of the magic's are without any means of an auxiliary device. The base commander knows that he couldn't neutralize Liu Li Lei's magic himself and asked for assistance from Major General Saeki who she herself has a Strategic-Class Magician to ask for help. The thing is, that Tatsuya isn't a subordinate of hers, and that he only follows her commands during battle as a militiaman.

Tatsuya asks what base she is being protected at and he's told its Komatsu Base. He asks why she can't be transferred to one nearby and thus its difficult to find support to transfer a possible foe who happens to be a Strategic-Class Magician to the capital. Tatsuya explains that he isn't willing to leave Tokyo since there is concern of a possible Parasite attack and infiltration of the country, hence why he can't be gone for long periods of time.

Kazama tries to reason with him that Liu Li Lei is also a potential threat that can't be ignored. Therefore, Tatsuya suggests initiating cooperation with the Ichijou Family. Skeptical, Kazama asks how they'd be helpful and is told that the research theme of the former Institute of Science and Technology in Kanazawa is interpersonal magic, magic acting directly on the human body. He believes that they'd be suitable for neutralizing a magician who showed suspicious movements. Kazama tells Tatsuya that if he means for them to kill her with Rupture if need be, and that taking the life of someone who sought asylum, they would face condemnation at home and abroad.

Tatsuya goes into detail explaining that the wife of the Ichijou Family Head, Ichijou Midori, is from the Isshiki Family. That they are a family where their magic, that can directly interfere with the human body through the brain and nervous system, would be perfect to neutralize Liu Li Lei without needing to kill her. Thought the Ichijou are famous for their "Rupture" magic, its possible that Midori and her daughter have inherited the magic and even possibly Masaki as well.

Kazama then asks if it wouldn't be better then to just ask the Isshiki Family themselves. Tatsuya tells him that in such an emergency situation, it would be difficult and embarrassing for the Isshiki Family to deal with. Time is of the urgency and when the time comes, that in the case of not being able to proactively prevent Liu Li Lei who could really be a someone seeking asylum, she is still a magician who was raised to be a weapon by the Great Asian Union and that in order to seriously oppose her, killing her would be required. Especially since the possibility of her harming the national interests of Japan for the sake of her own isn't small.

Kazama understands that the Ichijou Family is the closest among the Ten Master Clans to Komatsu Base and that "when the time comes", certain things must be considered. He continues on by saying that he'll contact Saeki to advise the base commander to rely on the Ichijou Family.

Tatsuya apologizes that he can't help them, and Kazama in turn tells him that this won't be used against him when it comes to the matter of the Parasites since at the moment the 101st Brigade is focused on needing to deal with the New Soviet Union and therefore dealing with the Parasites is left to Tatsuya. In this situation, they have no choice. He thanks Tatsuya for the proposal to ask the Ichijou Family for help. Both salute one another before the call is ended.

◇ ◇ ◇

8:00 P.M. at night, at the Higashi-Fuji training grounds in a room of the officer dormitory.

Chiba Naotsugu, a fourth-year at the National Defense Academy is in the Special Warfare Technology Research Department. Although it's before graduation, he has already been commissioned as a Second-Lieutenant. Watanabe Mari who is visiting, is a second-year from the same department. She holds the temporary rank of Sergeant.

It is a small room, with a single full-sized bed, a small locker and a writing desk; including the lack of a kitchen.

While sitting on his bed, drinking some iced coffee from a vending machine, Mari talks to Naotsugu (Shu) out of concern since he hasn't been taking any breaks and seems to be struggling with some desk work. He asks Mari if she wants to help him, and she comments it isn't her strong suit. Originally he has a busy schedule everyday and is cooperating with different departments and public security. Though, today he is on stand-by.

Shu asks whether the National Defense Force is still occupied on the intelligence resources of New Soviet Union movements. Mari comments that even though its still the third day, its possible no new information will come. He tells her that she ought to go back to Tokyo since she has been dividing her attention between him and since her mission should be to capture Kudou Minoru who is after Sakurai Minami. She says that normally he'd be right, but that the platoon is staying put where they are for other than their original purpose. It's inferred if it could be them getting ready for a potential surprise attack by a landing force from the New Soviet Union to which is affirmed.

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Saturday, July 6th.

Masaki is called to his father's study after finishing up his last day of exams at school. He heads to his father's study without the chance to eat something before lunch. Masaki ends up seeing his younger sister Akane, a second-year junior high school student also waiting in the study. Gouki tells the two to sit down on a three-seat couch and that he'll explain things quickly since its just before lunch.

Gouki tells them that Liu Li Lei, the nationally recognized Strategic-Class Magician of the Great Asian Union has come to Japan seeking asylum. A surprised Masaki is told its true by Gouki, who understands his reaction. Gouki continues on that she is being protected at Komatsu Base. Masaki wonders if something has happened with the National Defense Force.

Gouki moves on. He tells them that its Akane who was mentioned and not Masaki since they are seeking a magician from the Ichijou Family that can use "Nerve Disturbance". This news shocks Akane who violently jumps out of her seat looking at both Gouki and Masaki if what she's hearing is true.

"Nerve Disturbance", the official name being "Nerve Electrical current Disturbance" or "Nerve Impulse Jamming". When used it interferes with the enemy's nervous system to paralyze their five senses and their voluntary control. As one of the 28 Houses, it is the trump card magic of the Isshiki Family. Ichijou Midori is a collateral relative who comes from the Isshiki Family. She can't use "Nerve Disturbance". It is a fluke that Akane can use the magic, since even though those who are direct descendants of the Isshiki Family sometimes themselves don't have an aptitude for the magic.

Akane is wondering why her. Gouki tells Masaki after he asks if its suspicious, that Liu Li Lei is seeking asylum, meaning that it could be a ruse. Gouki gives an affirming nod before explaining how Li Lei's magic can cause fatal damage to electronic equipment, and therefore if used at the base she is being protected at could destroy the base facilities and paralyze the air defense network. Masaki asks if there is any possibility for countermeasures against electromagnetic waves that could be taken. Gouki tells him that such countermeasures would fail due to an overload, and that such a thing couldn't simply be tested since they don't know the output of "Thunderclap Tower". Hence Masaki asks if "Nerve Disturbance" is what would be used at the slightest hint of suspiciousness. Again, Gouki affirms his question with a nod.

Gouki explains that if Liu Li Lei is seen to be suspicious, not to launch a lethal attack since if she were to be killed while seeking asylum while protected, would cause the international community to condemn Japan for any lack of evidence, therefore diminishing their standing. Even if it was confirmed, the use of magic, it would be too late to stop since Liu Li Lei doesn't need a CAD. Now understanding the need for "Nerve Disturbance" instead of "Rupture", Masaki now wonders why someone from the Isshiki Family wasn't asked. If one were not to know of the internal circumstances of the former First Institute then they wouldn't know the answer to the question.

Akane shouts out that she's only a junior high school student. Gouki himself doesn't want to impose this upon his eldest daughter, who is only a 14-year-old when thinking such as a father. He then shifts gears to the mentality of a Family Head of the Ten Master Clans. Gouki explains that the Isshiki Family lacks someone with the aptitude to use "Nerve Disturbance". Akane says that there must be someone capable, and Masaki doesn't speak up since he knows he mustn't make any complaints even for Akane. Trying to still argue a way out, Akane mentions that nonetheless, there isn't anyone more powerful than someone from the Isshiki Family. Gouki denies this and explains that even so, if the need to stop Liu Li Lei were to arise, the Isshiki Family doesn't have a magic that has the required range. What Gouki has just explained isn't convincing to either Masaki or Akane.

In order for "Nerve Disturbance" and the bio-electric current interference magic of the Isshiki Family to work reliably, it has to be used within the distance of several meters of the target. If the target were to act as a friend, and then betray the user along with inhibiting them from doing anything, then the need to use the bio-electric current interference magic at a close distance wouldn't be very useful. In the end, if one didn't mind killing the target, they would have to take action after disabling any surveillance.

Gouki finally explains the reason why Masaki was also summoned is, that in the case of an emergency he must protect Akane and then kill Liu Li Lei. Masaki turns to Akane and tells her that she can't refuse their father. Wide eyed, she turns her head to the side and said in a clear tone that she'll do it. Masaki also tells Akane that there isn't any need to obey him, but when she does need to, to not hesitate from grabbing his hand in the case of an emergency and to forgo any childish girl reactions. Gouki then asks Masaki the question and he responds that he'll obviously accept her hand. Masaki then asks for the National Defense Force to be informed about him protecting Akane.

Gouki gives Masaki a satisfactory nod, where then Masaki asks if it would be better for Liu Li Lei to be protected at their home instead of at Komatsu Base. Masaki thought that his father would reply with a, "I don't think so." He goes on saying that the risk of attack to any base facilities would be reduced. He also mentions that it would be wise to separate Liu Li Lei and Lin. Gouki stops him while he's ahead, and then in a muttering-like tone, says that Li Lei is the same age as Akane and that it would be reasonable to indeed have them be separate in order to inhibit Lin from telling Li Lei to enact any suicidal-like decisions of attack.

Thus Gouki says that he'll discuss this matter with the National Defense Forces, which Masaki pleasantly smiles to.

◇ ◇ ◇

July 6th, 4:00 P.M.

A single military truck, specifically a personnel carrier belonging to the Kinki Division, arrives at Zama Base and quickly passes through the checkpoint at the gate and entering the base.


Raymond sarcastically comments that the ride was a terrible one. It's noted that the driver and other personnel aboard are genuine, thus there being no reason for there to be suspicion. The vehicle they used was on that the Kudou Family had on hand from the National Defense Force. Strictly speaking, its improper for them to have such special treatment, though this isn't only limited to the Kudou Family, but also those of the Ten Master Clans as well. The commander of the truck didn't even doubt Minoru's intentions and just issued the truck. Raymond and Regulus are wearing the uniform of the USNA Military, as well as Minoru who is disguising himself as a young Caucasian with Parade.

Although it's inherently abnormal for USNA Military personnel to be aboard a vehicle belonging to the National Defense Forces, it wasn't checked at the gate to see who was aboard. Regulus felt it odd that while they traveled on the Tomei Expressway ― which was rebuilt after the war ― where they could have been stopped several times but weren't. They even passed by the Higashi-Fuji training grounds where the National Defense Army Affiliated First Division, Raid Infantry Platoon is and still weren't stopped. Minoru gives Regulus an honest guess that it could be due to the attention of personnel being focused up north, to which Raymond gives a quip that its as expected of Minoru, to which Minoru himself doesn't feel proud of and smiles.


Zama Base is designated as a "Japan-US joint base". During World War III, it was used as a base where troops were pulled out from, and since then there have been no U.S. Armed Forces bases in Japan. Based on the Japan-US alliance, there are bases designated for mutual use. Zama Base is one of them. Thus an individual wearing just a uniform belonging to the USNA Military, then they can simply enter without the need for an identification card check.

The three of them board the aircraft where Arcturus was sealed. The aircraft can't be flown due to the two holes Tatsuya created in the fuselage. An alternative plane will arrive in another day or two carrying soldiers who will be on duty, whereas the others will be staying in a U.S. Armed Forces dormitory. Tatsuya's attack on the aircraft is speculated to be due to an accident caused upon landing and hasn't been thought of any deeper than that by both Japan and the U.S. The Japanese Military doesn't allow the intrusion of agents engaged in sabotage, and there hasn't been any mention of any victims caused by a terrorist attack on the U.S. Military. Arcturus and the three other Parasites aboard the aircraft weren't supposed to be on it. Normally something like this wouldn't have been overlooked so simply, but the attention of the military has been focused up north on the conflict between the invasion of the New Soviet Union by the Great Asian Union. There are next to none in the upper echelons that would make trouble with the USNA currently.

After being sealed, Arcturus' body looked like a "corpse". He was put inside of a refrigerated container the size of a coffin. It was stored and prepared per the request made to the base by the transport aircraft, yet the base staff weren't aware of the request. A soldier on duty takes Regulus and company to where Arcturus was kept in a warehouse before returning to his station none the wiser.

Regulus opens the container to see Arcturus inside as if he were buried. He removes the dagger that was the seal, but it doesn't weaken. Minoru comments that its a strong seal before Regulus asks him if he understands it and then Raymond asks if he is able to remove it. Minoru says that he won't know until he tries. He says that as aforementioned its a strong seal and its tailored to the Parasites and wonders if its only possible to free it by destroying Arcturus' body. Regulus asks if he could try removing it without killing him, for he hoped that Arcturus could be saved and not the Parasite. If it were mentioned that "he couldn't", then things would have moved into the direction of discussion that they would refuse to help kidnap Minami. Minoru tells Regulus that he understands.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya is at First High in the morning as it's the last day of exams.

He's been working on the Strategic-Class Magic in preparation for use against the New Soviet Union. He thought its foolish to be feeling somewhat uneasy leaving Lina alone, but she isn't little anymore. During the time exams have been going on, he has stayed in the library and then practiced "Seal Ball" with Mikihiko. Once it was 6:00 P.M. they went back to the school to find Miyuki who had been working in the Student Council Room for a long while. Instead of heading home, Tatsuya and Miyuki got in a four-seater individual-type electric train and headed off to the Mitsuya Family residence in Machida with Shiina and Saburou aboard as well.

In order to procure information on the USNA Military stationed at Midway Island and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Tatsuya asked Shiina to set up a meeting with the Mitsuya Family Head or the eldest child. Shiina had earlier told Tatsuya that the night of the last day of exams was the set date and she'd guide him there. He himself knew where their residence is located. Although his relationship with Mitsuya Gen is less than that of a face-to-face, it was without a doubt a good choice to have Shiina bring him as to avoid any unnecessary conflict.


After they arrive, Shiina guides them to the reception room. Gen and Motoharu greet Tatsuya and Miyuki. When Shiina brings drinks, Gen asks her to leave, to her dissatisfaction. Motoharu then locks the door.

Gen then turns to Tatsuya and starts things off by asking if he can address him as Tatsuya-dono and vice-versa for Tatsuya calling them Mitsuya-dono and Motoharu-dono respectively. After finishing up with that, Gen starts off saying that what Shiina had told him is that Tatsuya wanted to inquire about any information having to do with the movements of the U.S. Armed Forces. From there Tatsuya tells him that specifically he is seeking information about military installations and troop deployments on Midway Island and the Northwestern HAwaiian Islands.

Hearing this, both Gen and Motoharu show surprise on their face. They thought what he was going to inquire about was going to be different than they had anticipated. Gen asks if what he's asking about has to do with the war between the Great Asian Union and New Soviet Union. Tatsuya tells them it isn't and then ask why in turn while looking at him with inquisitive eyes. He explains that its to judge whether or not it's plausible to free a magician imprisoned in Midway prison. Motoharu asks if Tatsuya has the consent of Maya to enact a prison break, and Tatsuya tells him that Maya has agreed.

Its not a bad thing that Tatsuya had told Maya of the request and in turn received her consent when Lina had talked to him about Canopus before. She told him "Not to push himself" and to decide "if things get harry, then to decide whether or not to pull out".

Motoharu asks Tatsuya for his reason, and is told that its a request of an exile they are protecting at home. Motoharu then in wonder asks if the client is Major Angie Sirius, since America has been requesting for the person to be handed over; including if its the Yotsuba Family who are protecting her. Tatsuya denies the question. Tatsuya had no intention of revealing the truth. He is indeed hiding a girl called "Angelina Kudou Shields". It's also true that she is "Angie Sirius", yet its only a pseudonym and a mask. Tatsuya feels he isn't obliged to reveal the lies of the U.S. Armed Forces and American government. Even if the truth were discovered and revealed, there wasn't any false truth to what Tatsuya had said to Motoharu. Motoharu didn't even doubt Tatsuya's denial.

Gen mentions that its not wise to look into Midway Prison regardless of who the client is. Tatsuya asks what Midway is like right now. He understands that Gen means that "they should stop" beating around the bush. Tatsuya is deliberately ignoring Gen's opinion. Gen then starts off saying that he doesn't know anything about about the inside of the prison, but roughly knows the circumstances. Both Tatsuya and Miyuki look at him waiting for what he'd say next.

Originally he expected that Miyuki would stop Tatsuya from asking any further, but Gen sighs seeing that she wouldn't. Tatsuya tells Gen, to tell them what he knows and that its not support that he's seeking. Gen tells Tatsuya that he understands. Gen knows that he doesn't need Tatsuya to ask him again. Neither Maya, or anyone from the Yotsuba Family, would ever seek for support from the Mitsuya Family, any of the other Ten Master Clans or 18 Assistant Houses. Tatsuya had spoken honestly and didn't say anything less.

Gen finally says that there is a standing land force for security, meanwhile there is only a maritime force made up of transport ships. Gen thought that perhaps, the Yotsuba Family already knew some of this information, but didn't need to be asked a second or third time by Tatsuya and so he explained things slowly.

He continues on explaining that there is no air force on the island, perhaps in fear of prisoners escaping aboard one. Tatsuya asks if there is a marine/air force base on another island. Gen further explains that an island or an artificial island, a semi-floating huge artificial island is built at the Pearl and Hermes Atoll. Less than half a year ago a force had been stationed there. The Pearl and Hermes Atoll is located about 250 kilometers east-southeast of Midway Island. It belongs to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. There are scattered islands made of sand inside the large atoll, but the artificial island where the USNA Military base is built, was on the outside and not in the inside on the coral reef. The naval task force stationed there consists of a single aircraft carrier since there is no airbase (it can deploy up to 70 aircraft), two anti-aircraft escort ships, two destroyers and one submarine.

Gen tells Tatsuya that unless Strategic-Class Magic is used, a single individual without such power wouldn't have a chance. It hasn't been disclosed yet that Tatsuya is a Strategic-Class Magician, though judging from Gen's tone and gaze, he seems to know. It isn't surprising. According to the story Tatsuya heard from Lina, Material Burst is known by the upper echelons of STARS. In the New Soviet Union, its unlikely that Igor has remained as the only person who has such information. When Igor had heard the information from Edward Clark, William McCloud from the United Kingdom was also present. Perhaps even in Japan, the fact that Tatsuya is a Strategic-Class Magician, must have been talked about here and there. The Mitsuya Family has a widely established information network inside and outside of the country. It's rather difficult for Gen not to hear something outside of the net.

Tatsuya asks how large the ground force is on Midway Island. The task force belonging to Pearl and Hermes Base is certainly powerful, but it's also prepared for combat with the army. He has no intention of fighting the USNA upfront, instead to deal with the soldiers stationed on Midway, whom are an obstacle to him.

Gen mutteringly asks if he intends to the end to do this before sighting. There was no surprise or unexpected feelings. He didn't think that magicians of the Yotsuba Family would even flinch at the great military force on the adjacent island. When Gen signals to Motoharu, a notebook terminal containing data is taken out where Motoharu explains that except for the staff inside of the prison, its estimated that there are roughly 200-250 soldiers, of which there is a single platoon that's a magician unit, but isn't STARS. Tatsuya asks what their level of armament is. Motoharu stubbornly explains that its confirmed there are Fleming launchers on the rooftop of the prison apart from the interpersonal equipment at the two gates.

To Tatsuya's question, Motoharu answers without stopping. The information the Mitsuya Family has is quite detailed, and Tatsuya is satisfied with the results from the visit. Neither Gen nor Motoharu asked for anything in return.

◇ ◇ ◇

After returning home, Miyuki asked Tatsuya about Midway since even though they had privacy on the train, she chose not to ask then.

Tatsuya had talked with Miyuki about the strategy to break Canopus out of jail before mentioning it to Maya. At first she didn't say anything about the matter, but after she learned about the extensive military force beyond her expectations, she started to worry.

She wonders if he really is going to go, and he tells her that he hasn't decided on when yet, though it'll be sometime soon. It's difficult for Miyuki when she worries about Tatsuya, and even for Tatsuya himself. She asks it he's doing this because of Lina's request. As Miyuki goes on asking questions, her facial expression starts to worsen out of the fact that it can't be said that she isn't feeling any sense of jealousy at all. It wasn't just jealousy, for even her voice contained a more serious tone.

Tatsuya tells her that its just a point to start with. Unfortunately for Tatsuya, he doesn't know that Miyuki knows Lina has feelings for him aren't simple. What Tatsuya can do is, not to lie, not to mislead, and to just sincerely explains things.

Tatsuya tells her that Canopus is an unavoidable opponent, perhaps he might be even more powerful than "Igor" and "Sirius." "Sirius" instead of "Lina". Lina is certainly comparable to Tatsuya and Miyuki if one were to look at magical power alone without considering personality weakness. Tatsuya's impression he's received of Canopus, is that Canopus might be tougher than "Sirius".

He further explains that if Canopus becomes a Parasite and thus his enemy, in the future he wants to avoid this as much as possible, therefore intends to nip the situation in the bud by breaking Canopus out of jail. Miyuki was still reluctant.

Midway Island and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands is the territory of the USNA. Regardless of blowing-up things from a distance, its still dangerous to infiltrate the prison to perform a jailbreak. When Miyuki first heard of this strategy, she urged Tatsuya to change it.

Tatsuya tells Miyuki that he won't push himself, and if things become difficult, he'll just blow-up the prison. This isn't the first time Miyuki has heard something like this, for its not simple to relax and appease her. Tatsuya hasn't abandoned the idea of ​​blowing-up Midway prison with Material Burst. The priority for him isn't to indulge in Lina's request, but to remove a threat.

Tatsuya goes on stating that no plan has been decided on yet, that the situation is fluid and he may review the strategy. Miyuki just goes along with what he has been saying, which is just a prevailing view. She still isn't convinced from the bottom of her heart. For the both of them, they didn't think that in the future the prevailing view would become a reality.

◇ ◇ ◇

After sending Tatsuya and Miyuki off, Gen and Motoharu talk about the previous discussion.

Motoharu with a serious expression asks Gen if its not best to report the plan of the Yotsuba Family to assault Midway prison to the National Defense Force. He continues on saying that they should consider leaking this information the the American military. Gen tells him that on the contrary, they shouldn't sell such information about one of the Ten Master Clans to the America's military.

Though he dismissed his sons proposal, what Gen felt wasn't "hesitation", what he felt was his heart shaking. He goes on further, saying that their silence today, at worse only showed that they will be seen as an accomplice of the Yotsuba Family.

Motoharu remarks that he didn't even ask for anything in return for the information given out earlier. Gen tells him that he doesn't think something like that alone will be convincing. Gen was originally silent during the end of the earlier conversation because he knew that Motoharu not asking for anything in return for the information was already known by the other side that such a thing wouldn't work as evidence.

Gen after a long silence tells him that its useless to leak the information to America. All they would receive is a misunderstanding during the next Master Clans Conference. Motoharu then says that at least they should inform the National Defense Force about Tatsuya's plan in the form of a warning. Gen agrees with him, but he himself says that choosing who to leak it to would need to be done with utmost carefulness, for if the information were used for the anti-magic sentiment, it would make the Saegusa Family and Kudou Family dance.

After both are in agreement, Gen tells him that he'll try talking with Major General Saeki of the 101st Brigade who is deeply connected to Tatsuya. Motoharu then comments that, yeah, there shouldn't be any conflict between the two. Gen then says that he'll arrange things immediately.

As Motoharu gets up from sitting, behind the door, quickened footsteps weren't heard by either Gen or Motoharu.


As she rushed away from the room and sat down with a pet on the carpet, Shiina while holding a tray for cups tells herself:

Shiina: (The serious thing, I heard...)

She has a keen sense of hearing. In lieu of being able to distinguish any slight air vibrations that can't be perceived by an ordinary person as a sound, everyday life sounds like an unbearable noise to Shiina. No physical abnormality had been found physically. Therefore, it was presumed that the magic for strengthening hearing, is always invoked unconsciously. When asleep, she doesn't suffer from auditory irritation, more like a general lack of auditory hypersensitivity. The reason her magic can't be observed from the outside, is because it is used within herself, since she can't set concrete parameters.

As far as symptomatic therapy goes, completely sound insulated headphones with a microphone and speakers can adjust the sound if its too much for Shiina. The sound picked up by the microphone attached to the outside of the earpiece is reproduced at the volume where the speaker inside the earpiece doesn't harm her. Basically she doesn't remove headphones except during when she bathes or sleeps.

Her headphones that protects her ears adjust the external sound to a volume that Shiina can endure. Instead of amplifying small sounds, it doesn't weaken or block harmless sound from the beginning. Regardless of how much faint air vibrations there are, it allows her to hear them as the sound enters into the microphone.

Voices on the other side of a heavy door that normally can't be eavesdropped on if the volume is normal, is distinguishable by her ears.

What she heard wasn't through a conscious choice since she had no intention of eavesdropping, and yet she heard parts of the conversation.

Shiina: (By "Shiba-dono" do they mean Shiba-senpai? Do they intend to tell the military about Senpai?)

What she heard of the conversation is what came after "to leak to America". Shinna doesn't know the "plan of Shiba-dono" is. Just the phrase such as "antagonistic struggle", "Saegusa Family or Kudou Family dancing" or "definitely conflicting", she felt something was wrong with the story.

Shiina: (What should I do...)

Her father and brother, they're trying to act behind the scenes against Tatsuya. Shiina understood this.

Family and Tatsuya, for if she were made to choose, she wouldn't even need to think that she wouldn't choose family.

However Shiina's values are such, that betrayal is wrong. Such talk is cowardly.

She felt that her family is wrong and because of that, she sees the situation as wrong.

Shiina: (Should I speak to Shiba-senpai about this...)

Though when would she say it.

Shiina fell into a conundrum.

Chapter 5

Spoiler
Miyuki asks Tatsuya if she can go with him to Miyaki Island today.

◇ ◇ ◇

Minoru, Raymond and Regulus are at Zama base, where a helicopter comes to pick up Regulus and Raymond to take them to the Independence. Minoru is still trying to free Arcturus.

◇ ◇ ◇

Masaki and Akane go to meet Liu.

◇ ◇ ◇

Kichijouji is working off 3 hours of sleep in order to complete the Strategic-Class Magic. He realizes that the New Soviet Union could make a move at any moment.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya and Miyuki arrive at Miyaki Island. They discuss the movements of the New Soviet Union and the USNA Parasites. Tatsuya also tells Lina that he is starting to make arrangements to rescue Canopus.

◇ ◇ ◇

Masaki, Akane, Liu and her superior officer are having a conversation about Liu and the role of the Ten Master Clans.

◇ ◇ ◇

Masaki and Akane discuss Liu’s personality. Kichijouji arrives to tell Masaki that he has developed a new Strategic-Class Magic for him. They head to a testing facility to test out the new magic.

◇ ◇ ◇

Vega, Spica, Deneb, Regulus, and Raymond are all on board of the Independence. They have Stardust members as well. The plan is to attack Miyaki Island tomorrow.

Chapter 6

Spoiler
Monday, July 8st, 2097 A.D. Midnight Japan time.

The New Soviet Union Far-East Fleet departed Vladivostok.


In response to this, temporary measures were taken for the closure of companies and schools in the area surrounding the Sea of Japan. San'in, Hokuriku, and the north-eastern regions on the side of the Sea of Japan. Evacuation to shelters was recommended. Extreme vigilance for neighboring regions was called for.

The year before, the Yokohama Incident was a surprise attack, so there wasn't any time to prepare for the threat. In other words, there was no time to be frightened by the threat of the approaching enemy military. In contrast, the New Soviet Union Fleet could be visibly seen. There is a lot of pressure on the minds of people.

Noon Japan time, the New Soviet Union Fleet stopped 30 nautical miles from the north-west of part of the Noto Peninsula. It was in a good position right outside of the contiguous zone.

It consists of:

  • 2 ground-attack ships whose main armament is a Fleming launcher
  • 4 anti-aircraft / anti-ship missile ships
  • 4 anti-submarine / anti-ship missile ships
  • With the addition of 12 small-sized combat ships, an aircraft carrier and 2 escort ships waiting 10 nautical miles behind.

On the other hand, the Japanese Military sent:

  • 4 four anti-aircraft / anti-ship missile ships
  • 6 anti-submarine / anti-ship missile ships
  • In addition to this, 8 small-sized boats are preparing to leave port and are on standby each in Maizuru, Kanazawa and Niigata.

Probably under the water, the submarines of both militaries are sure to stare down one another.

The demands of the New Soviet Union haven't changed. They want the delivery of the war criminal, Liu Li Lei who is said to have killed numerous civilians with a large magic. On the other hand, the Japanese government is proposing the opening of the International Criminal Court. One-sided crimes aren't accepted from the viewpoint of human rights protection of asylum seekers. ──The International Criminal Court is now becoming a famous and innocent organization that remains as an institution, but has not functioned for more than half a century.

It isn't as if there aren't any complaints against the government policy to protect Liu Li Lei. Is it reasonable to expose the lives of citizens to foreigners? However, when the picture of Liu Li Lei is shown on the news, such a voice received almost no approval. It seems that Liu Li Lei is still a 14-year-old girl, in addition to that she is a beautiful girl, who is receiving an increase of sympathy.

She hasn't left Komatsu Base and today with the permission of Akane, Li Lei is visiting Ichijou Gouki.

◇ ◇ ◇

July 8th Past noon, Masaki and Kichijouji (George) are on Sado Island. It was early in the morning when the two arrived.

They didn't know the movement of the New Soviet Union Fleet. While it was reported that the enemy is aiming for the west of the Noto Peninsula, it was George's idea to have Gouki take over for Masaki to watch over Akane who in turn is watching Liu Li Lei while the two of them are on Sado Island. The two of them are boldly standing in the corridor of the lighthouse built on the northern bank of the island. Instead of searching for the enemy ships, they chose a place where they would see the ships visibly.

While looking over the ocean, Masaki asks George if they're coming. Masaki was willing to repel the New Soviet Union Fleet that had been sailing to the northwestern coast of the Noto Peninsula, but was enthusiastic about repelling it with new magic that he just received yesterday. George himself who gave Masaki the magic, strongly insisted that the target for invasion is Sado Island, not Kanazawa or Komatsu. Masaki couldn't ignore what his best friend had said. News from the Ichijou Family communication network conveyed to them the situation that the enemy fleet was still northwest of Noto Peninsula.

Masaki was growing impatient, feeling that at this rate the new magic would become useless. George assured him that they'd come for sure, no mistake, feeling full of conviction when normally he wouldn't even answer back. Since the day he lost his hometown and his parents, George had been wondering why they'd been attacked. The conclusion he reached is the military value of Sado Island.

The distance to Honshu is 30 kilometers. The Island is still and Island even if its a good distance away. It's not possible to send over soldiers by land. There is a sufficient enough area for an invasion unit to be stationed, along with there being a port for military vessels. It can be said to be an optimal bridgehead for the New Soviet Union to invade Japan. Beyond the south of Hokkaido, they would be able to effectively control the central part of Japan. In actually when building a bridgehead, securing control over the air is a problem, but it is the same regardless of where you target.

These is also a serious problem on the Japanese side of thing, where 5 years ago, despite being actually attacked, there weren't a sufficient number of defensive installations on the island. There was only a small-scale military defense unit stationed on it. Even though Tsushima fortress should be an exception when it comes to intercepting military vessels, in fact it isn't. Perhaps due to the circumstances of being too close to Niigata Base, if not for appearances sake it would be necessary to relocate to Sado Island from Niigata Base. It's not Niigata that is faced with the enemy rather its Sado Island.

This is another piece of evidence to back-up George's idea. George tells Masaki that the Japanese Navy isn't weak, that the New Soviet Union wouldn't want to attack the forces in front. That although the Great Asian Union is surrendering, the situation hasn't completely ended. Masaki in turns asks him if he means for them to launch a surprise attack and George responds that he's right.

◇ ◇ ◇

In response to the approach of the New Soviet Union Fleet, the National Magic University and its Affiliated High Schools took what necessary steps they needed. Regardless of the region, all of them were closed temporarily at once. However, unlike ordinary school students, the students, they weren't prioritized because of the staff. It was a measure taken into consideration for those who would participate in national defense as soldiers.

Considering this, Tatsuya should have appeared in Tsuchiura at the National Defense Army's 101st Brigade's Base. Instead he was at home with Miyuki. Even so, he didn't stay at home all morning. He went over in the morning to the hospital where Minami is, at the Chofu Aoba Medical Center, and then went back home for lunch. After cleaning up the lunch, Miyuki went to change her clothes and met up with Tatsuya in the living room. He had been following the changes of the situation with data broadcasting and military communications, where afterwards he turned off the display on the wall and got up. The two of them went to the underground garage, and they got into the air car which had become Tatsuya's favorite car, in order to get to the hospital. It may be that their apartment home is just close to the hospital since it took them less than five minutes to arrive, yet is was because the roads were empty and it didn't take much to figure out why.

When they arrived, Miyuki asked Minami if they could enter the room and as the two came in, the two of them heard someone in a cheerful tone thank them for coming. Minami seemed to be a different person while hospitalized. She would be discharged the next day and was eager to be able to leave. It was Yuuka who spoke to the two as they entered the room.

Yuuka is the eldest daughter of the Tsukuba Family, a branch family of the Yotsuba. Since the Yotsuba don't distinguish between a male or female being the successor, Yuuka will succeed the Tsukuba Family.

Miyuki thanked Yuuka for what she had been doing, watching over Minami in the hospital room. Yuuka had been sitting down on a couch nearby the bed since the room had plenty of space. The couch was something that Yuuka had brought since one could easily get tired from standing and would want to sit down. ──However, the couch isn't her property. It was paid for by the Main House. It's been a week since the couch was left unmoved. In other words, Yuuka had been acting as a guard for Minami since then.

When the two are offered to sit down, Yuuka leaves tells them that she'll be in the security room and Tatsuya tells her that he'll be there later. Miyuki as she looks at Tatsuya, sits down on the couch where Yuuka had been sitting. It's a single-seater couch, for Tatsuya didn't sit down because he'd known that it was such. He instead sat down on a stool as usual.

Miyuki comments to Minami that it looks like she's prepared to be discharged. Minami responds that there wasn't much to prepare as its seen that there is a small suitcase near the closet.

Tatsuya asks if its at 11:00 A.M. the next day that she's discharged. He offers to pick her up, but Minami exclaims that such a thing would be too much trouble, where in turn Tatsuya tells her its no trouble at all. Minami opened and closed her mouth trying to come up with the words to turn him down, but nothing came out and she gave in to Tatsuya's gesture after a small sigh. Minami asks Tatsuya if its alright for him to not go to the base. She was hesitant to ask her real question which was, "Why are you here?". He told her that everything's fine and he has already arranged for a substitute. To Minami what he said meant like. "I can't leave this place to others" and "stay in one piece".

◇ ◇ ◇

As the the USNA aircraft carrier "Independence" was sailing on a route to Midway, a catamaran high-speed transportation ship separated from it heading east. It went south, then west. Its destination is about 90 km above the South Sea of the Boso Peninsula. The ship is carrying Regulus, Raymond, Vega, Deneb, Spica and twenty Parasitized Stardust members, who are en-route to Miyaki Island.

◇ ◇ ◇

As the transport ship changed course from Midway, the start of the strategy was to attack the Stellar Furnace, while Minoru is at Zama Base in real time.

Minoru isn't sure if Arcturus has started to move at all. Minoru is inside of the USNA transport plane. In the hangar of the aircraft, which can't fly because of two holes in the fuselage, he is trying to hide while trying to unseal Arcturus. He's been working on unsealing Arcturus since the day before and is at the final stage.

Believing that Arcturus' consciousness should wake up, Minoru shoots his finishing technique into Arcturus' spirit. His Magic Sequence of the Mental Interference Type arranged over a number of hours, it connects the Psion Information Body to the spirit and the body, where it interferes with the Pushion Information Body. Minoru certainly felt Arcturus' spirit awaken. Arcturus' spiritual body was in hibernation, so even though Minoru's magic was weak it responded.

Minoru tells himself that it was a good thing that the seal within Arcturus' spirit was broken over a period of time. The cracked seal, unless it were repaired from the outside it would collapse due to pressure from within. This is what Minoru thought from the knowledge he inherited from Zhou.

Minoru thought however, that if there was one thing that concerned him, it was the awakening of Arcturus' human mind. The seal on the Parasite was extremely powerful, and because the knowledge from Zhou is different than that of the Kudou Family along with circumventing the circumstances of the system, applying the technique to the human spirit on the outside should awaken it. Inside Parasitized humans, the natural human spirit and Parasite's main body are fused. The danger of rejection to the Parasite by magic that activates the human spirit isn't theoretically zero.

The thing is, Minoru comments that even if such a thing happens, it would just fuse back together. Once an individual is Parasitized, it's one's spirit that familiarizes with the Parasite. You won't lose your life if rejected. ──Minoru thought so, and has convinced himself of this.

Minoru disappears off of the plane. He combines using "Parade" along with "Ghost Walker". Light is unnaturally refracted due to its transparency, but there is no magic that can deflect one's consciousness to others. Minoru passed through the base gates, then through the nearby park on foot, and finally got to a car that a driver had stopped on the other side of the road. It was a car that Kudou Makoto sent over from Nara. The car that's meant for the transport of chemicals for precious metals and temperature management, Minoru got in and pretended to be a mannequin while it was stuffed with Parasite Dolls.

◇ ◇ ◇

When Masaki and George went up the lighthouses corridor, they hadn't prepared a chair. There wasn't anything at all to sit on that could act as a chair. The large suitcase CAD, though it was a rugged and protected case, it wasn't large enough for two high school boys to sit down on. Since they're young they don't tire much when standing. They would though feel the fatigue that would adversely affect their thinking although they wouldn't wait to let it take effect.

George is looking at his table terminal, watching the movements of the New Soviet Union Fleet and comments that they've moved. Masaki responds asking where to and his told that small-sized high-speed ships accompanying ground-attack ships have began to move east all together. That with their tremendous acceleration, they'll arrive to the area within an hour.

After hearing an answer, Masaki groans before George continues on telling him that their estimated speed is 140 knots, which happens to be the same speed of Japan's fastest ships.

George operates his tablet to find out more information to tell Masaki. He explains that it seems the missile destroyers that are confronting the enemy out in front have been able to keep them at bay. The Komatsu Air Force is also in combat with the enemy aircraft from the aircraft carrier. He continues on saying that eight small-sized ships have departed from Niigata Base and thinks that they're at an undeniable disadvantage.

Masaki asks what is they'll do and George tells him that they'll stop the enemy's strategy by intervening with "Ocean Blast" before Igor uses "Tuman Bomba" for the New Soviet Union. Masaki says that he'll do it and George gives him a nod of affirmation.

◇ ◇ ◇

Needless to say again, Tatsuya is an 18-year-old boy and Minami is a girl of is going to be 17-years-old this year. Even though Miyuki is in the private room, it's inevitable that things would become awkward for Tatsuya the longer he says in the room. He decided to move to a security room on the same floor, as to avoid the awkwardness.

The hospital is effectively controlled by the Yotsuba Family, the hospital room Minami is kept in on this floor is kept exclusively for use by authorized personnel of the Yotsuba Family. As for the hospital security equipment, an additional independent system is included only on this floor of the hospital. Not only that, information from the entire hospital can be monitored from the security office.

As she mentioned earlier, Yuuka was waiting for Tatsuya in the security room and asks him how he's doing. He thanks her for her work and asks if its time yet, for a shift change. She tells him that though its planned, she's going to stick around for a while. Though she has a whimsy character to her, she like any other woman doesn't like overtime. Tatsuya is thankful that she is sticking around, but he knows the reason why.

Yukka comments that in such a situation as now, bureaucrats from the Ministry of Defense wouldn't be able to prioritize personal circumstances. What she meant by "bureaucrats from the Ministry of Defense" refers to Shibata Katsushige, the next family head of the Shibata Family of one of the Yotsuba branch families. He is capable of winning with his combat ability, and is probably the best from the Yotsuba branch families. When in an emergency, he can't participate in battles, which is definitely a minus when it comes to intercepting Minoru.

Yuuka asks Tatsuya if he thinks that Minoru will come and he tells her that he doesn't know when. She says that Minoru is the cause of the situation they're in, but Tatsuya tells her that things are different, though that Minoru might already know about things in advance. Yuuka remarks that Tatsuya must have prepared for various things and he tells her he possibly has. The both of them predicted that it would be today that Minoru would attack them. This time Minoru isn't alone, Tatsuya and Yuuka both thought that he would manage to bring others along this time around.

They both thought that it wouldn't just be Parasite Dolls since the both of them knew that he had robbed them from the Kudou Family. Tatsuya had heard this from Fumiya and Yuuka submitted a report to Maya. One of them remarks that Minoru won't look kindly on them. However, it could be said that they perhaps could read through him, but neither of them thought this.

Yuuka remarks in wonder if this time around, that they'll try to distribute their forces. Thinking that they may attack Miayki Island. Tatsuya tells her that there is at least one individual from STARS that's a Parasite, he goes on to say that its not a small probability that what they're talking about and how Minoru has been acting could come true.

Lina had pointed out that, its a possibility that the Stellar Furnace under construction on Miyaki Island could be attacked. Its also clear that the soldier who smuggled into Kansai International Airport, is Regulus after confirmation from showing Lina a photo. Those who believed that the island would be attacked, Tatsuya wasn't the only one thought such in the Yotsuba Family.

Tatsuya tells her that in addition to the Parasites that had been sent recently, some have been sealed at Zama Base. You goes on to mention that there haven't been any military aircraft that have flown from the USNA. He explains further that there is a chance that the local staff alone wouldn't be able to defend Miyaki Island.

Tatsuya however, he didn't know that the newest Parasites invaded from the aircraft carrier that was in port at Yokosuka Base. It was from the aircraft via the submarine, further on he didn't know that a replenished Parasite force was on-board a catamaran high-speed transportation ship. Not only Tatsuya, Hayama, both Hanabishi's, and perhaps not even Maya knew.

Tatsuya remarks that when the time comes, he can get some help from Lina. Both Tatsuya and the Yotsuba Family, are neither "omniscient all-powerful" and are far from being "omniscient".

◇ ◇ ◇

The Wave Piercing Catamaran-type high-speed ship Midway, part of it is above the water and has a low flat and straight shape. It's a high-speed ship as well as a stealth ship. However on radar it can deflect being detected to a certain extent, but it can't deceive high-performance cameras from a stratospheric platform. It couldn't be found on monitoring systems let alone seen approaching Japanese territory, it shouldn't be possible even if its for a small island.

Vega asks Regulus if the optical camouflage he can use is any good. However in fact, the optical camouflage developed by Regulus for use along the hull of a ship not only blocks visible light but also electromagnetic waves in general. Regulus tells her in turn with an honest answer to quell her doubt that he received a technique from Kudou Minoru for use during this operation. Due to the nature of the Parasites, apart from certain circumstances, they can't hide secrets from one another, for Regulus himself couldn't afford to be surprised by his own magic and doubt it.

Spica asks Regulus if his magical skills drastically improved after simply receiving a magic sequence. He responds by since they're Parasites, why not? Since their spirits are connected, it may not only be magic sequences but also skills that are shared.

Even as an outsider to STARS, Raymond butts in saying that its not strange for such a thing to happen. Regulus asks him how it isn't strange and Raymond responds by saying that, when a magician becomes a Parasite, there becomes a tendency to specialize in special magic. Raymond couldn't help but show of using information he'd learned from Hliðskjálf.

Deneb asks if its because of one's personality and Raymond shakes his head before stating that, there must be individuality, that he thinks that they form a whole unit with the Parasites. In other words, it's a division of labor. Regulus comments if what Raymond is trying to say is, that sharing skills is funny. Raymond nods before saying, that it's about letting others use his skills. In other words, its letting others let you use their skills. HE goes on further talking that there's something strange about Minoru's ability's. That as a Parasite, Minoru is strange. That he's diverse.

Vega mutters that she doesn't like what Raymond has said. She feels that it seems like Minoru is using Regulus as if he is an evil spirit. She finishes things off by saying that, for now to focus on performing well during the mission. That whatever his nature is, the optical camouflage magic from Minoru is useful. They'll approach Miyaki Island as they are, at least for now. Those who share their consciousness understood what Vega didn't mention. The five of them are there and Minoru isn't.

◇ ◇ ◇

While in the car heading for Chofu from Zama, Minoru quietly smiled. Though the smile is beautiful and bewitching, despite it being Minoru's face, it showed the vestiges of Zhou.

Vega's suspicion of him on as noted when on the ship is correct. Vega's mission to carry out sabotage ── Minoru's diversionary tactics ── to make things a success, Minoru was using the optical camouflage magic by using Regulus's Magic Calculation Area. Regulus thought that he was the one using the magic, bit in truth is being controlled by Minoru with magic. Even for Minoru who gained the knowledge from Zhou, such a thing couldn't be done by a human being. Although it could be done by making another a puppet, it would be difficult to show that the puppet has free control. Since the Parasites share both their spirits and ego when they become uncertain of their partner, it is believed that this is free will.

Minoru didn't care about being cautious. Even for someone like Minoru, he didn't think of Regulus and Raymond as someone close. They are prisoners of the Parasites and himself the master of them. At least Minoru believes such. He is helping Regulus, not because they are fellow Parasites. He using them in order to abduct Minami. Instead of going about things one-sidedly, Minoru is using them as support. Even if they were to look at things objectively their goals were the same.

Minoru's stance remains the same. Rather than helping each other out as if they are related, they are using one another for their own purposes. ──After fulfilling one another's goals and becoming stranger afterwards, he doesn't care about them.

At this point, Minoru felt a breeze as the car entered Chofu City. The car that Minoru is in carrying the Parasite Dolls, it wasn't the only one being driven. There are five other similar cars heading to the same destination from different direction. He didn't find this out through a psychic line of the Parasites, he knew this from the traffic control information.

Minoru tells himself that Minami should wait and that he's coming for her.

Since the timing of things was about to began. Minoru felt that the sabotage work conducted by Regulus would go well at least partway, for he earnestly hoped such.

◇ ◇ ◇

At that time Minami was changing out of her hospital clothes into something more casual, then left the private room along with Miyuki.

The two of them headed for the reception room for visitors. They sat opposite each other at a desk. An A4 folding tablet was on the desk. Also on it was a completely bedazzled A3 terminal that was opened. All of the textbooks for the second-year Magic High School curriculum are all packed in it. As far as anyone could tell. Minami was being tutored by Miyuki. Last week were the final exams for the first semester. As Minami was in the hospital, due to her circumstances, she would be given the chance to take supplementary ones. However she didn't know the scope of the exams. Since she had been in the hospital since the first half of the month before and hasn't been studying very much, and now all of the time she'd been absent was catching up. Learning from a terminal instead of a teacher in school does make it possible to anticipate any number of things that would be in a course, however this idea of learning from a terminal doesn't work well for Minami.

While staring at the terminal Minami grumbled troublingly, for Miyuki's role as a teacher came out. In front of Minami who was stiff and nervous, Miyuki was gently explaining things with a smile. Minami felt guilty to be having Miyuki act as a tutor, which was being caused by a feeling of tension that she couldn't waste time on. With this train of thought, Minami concentrated excessively to everything Miyuki said.

Suddenly Minami lost her concentration. She could hear someone calling her name. Minami hurriedly shifted her eyes to Miyuki and apologized. Miyuki tells her that she shouldn't have too work so hard and that she should do something interesting as well. Minami exclaims that its nothing and she just isn't feeling well, where then Minami once again apologizes. In turn Miyuki tells her that she doesn't need to apologize with a smile after Minami had apologized for the second time. Miyuki suggests that they take a break and have some tea. After hearing that, Minami vigorously got up after saying she'll get them and rushed to the vending machines. Miyuki makes a light yet bitter smile, as she expected Minami to end up acting like this.

◇ ◇ ◇

At the lighthouse on Sado Island, Masaki directed the sight of his sub-machine gun CAD in the direction of the sea, where as George was operating a mid-sized computer integrated with the CAD at his feet.

As George tells Masaki that it should be connected, Masaki turns the sighting instrument slightly to the left. Masaki then tells him that there are only six ships in sight, and asks that shouldn't there be 12 small-sized ships? George tells him that he'll adjust the scale of things on his side. George takes a tablet terminal and connects it with a wire to the monitor and console. Masaki noticed that the image was being adjusted on his google-type monitor. Masaki tells him that everything is good now and George tells him to maintain his aim.

After saying this, George took out an information terminal different from the tablet. He then sent an encrypted email he had prepared in advance to the National Defense Navy Base in Kanazawa. The contents of the email was "I wish for approval to attack".

George saw a ship appear out of the corner of his eye that was moving northward that could be seen from the western side of Sado Island. It was a high-speed combat ship departing from Niigata Base. It was accelerating out with a speed over 50 knots.

Masaki shouts George's name in urgency and George tells him to wait since the haven't received permission from the National Defense Navy, since the order needs to move the bottom up to the top. Without waiting for permission, Masaki was proposing to attack and George had to try and restrain him. Masaki put on the goggles as he turned away from George. Without paying attention to what George would say, Masaki started to re-aim. At the same time, the expressions on their faces froze as they saw beyond the horizon, signs of a powerful magic being created at the end of the wake of an allied high-speed ship.

The both of them remembered this, it was about three months ago that the same magic was used causing an explosion at sea that landed Ichijou Gouki in the hospital. The roaring sounds of explosions were heard as water plumed over the horizon.

Masaki exclaims wondering if its Tuman Bomba. George silently nods as he is still looking at the terminal connected to Masaki's CAD, and tried to confirm the status of the allied ships. At that moment however the coordinates of the 8 small-sized ships that departed from Niigata Base couldn't be seen. Masaki begs George to assist him in aiming to attack as he redirected his goggles towards his original direction. As this was happening, George received an encrypted email from his terminal that was permission to attack.

George swore in his head about the indecisiveness of the National Defense Force, as a row of enemy ships appeared on the monitor. George yells at Masaki to deal with the time lag and to focus on the predicted frame. He continues on saying that there is a ship that seems to be a fishing boat in the water 20 kilometers off north, to take aim south of it as, if the magic isn't a direct hit it'll be sunk. Masaki takes aim and pulls the trigger.

Activation of the electronic data stored in the storage of the medium-sized computer is read out, it was re-calculating and incorporating the coordinates and size of the target. The activation sequence format was converted. The electronic data of the activation sequence is re-configured and stored, where in the grip of the sighting device is where an induction stone is incorporated that converts mental signals and outputs it. In Masaki's Magic Calculation Area, a magic sequence is created from the activation sequence.

There is a time lag of a single second. The target set is the row of enemy ships over the horizon going at an approximate speed of 120 knots. Their current position and the predicated frame that was calculated before fit together perfectly with the time lag.

After George shouts for him to go, Masaki shudders as the magic sequence is projected.

The wedged-shape enemy high-speed ships were in a row altogether, where there was a margin of 30 meters in that area on the sea in their direction, is where numerous magic sequences spread out. After completing the simultaneous expansion of the copies, all of the magic sequences of the event were re-written.

[Illustration]

At a depth of up to three-meters, the sea water was vaporized all at once. This was done by using Chain Cast together with "Rupture".


Strategic-Class Magic "Ocean Blast".


In addition to simply turning water into steam, at the moment when it was created, the power of the steam explosion was further enhanced by accelerating the molecules of water vapor, thus resulting in 12 high-speed ships of the New Soviet Union being blown-up!


──Thus the New Soviet Union Navy's Operation Assault Sado Island ended in failure. The Japanese Military sacrificed 8 small-sized ships, yet due to Masaki's "Ocean Blast" the detached force of the New Soviet Union Fleet was wiped out.


July 8th 2097 A.D. 2:07 P.M.


Ichijou Masaki became the newest Strategic-Class Magician.

◇ ◇ ◇

Northeast coastal area.

Lin had been visiting the CAD development research building that had been up and running since the month prior. Having a magician for testing out new CAD in development is indefensible. The greater the specs are for the CAD in development, the greater the required abilities of the magician are needed. The level of magician that Lina is, is at the highest standard in the world. For the development staff, she is a precious tester whom is rarely found. Lina, who always seems to act leisurely, became a popular person in the CAD development research section. Both the research staff and Lina were of the opinion that the exchange was for each others sake. However, for someone who is in the position of hiding about, building a relationship with those around oneself isn't out of the ordinary.

Earlier on when Tatsuya was asked by Lina if she could get a hold of her CAD, he told her that she couldn't and in turn gave her one of the newest CAD. Lina wasn't dissatisfied with the outcome. She had no room to complain since the performance of the CAD he prepared for her was greater than that of what she brought with her upon seeking asylum. However, she still felt somewhat unsatisfied. When she escaped from the USNA, she had put away her exclusive armament device "Brionac" in the STARS armory. It wasn't something she could simply bring out during an operation since it required the approval of the General Staff Headquarters. Thus it was only natural that she couldn't bring it with herself to Japan. When one is away from something they like, whether its a person or thing they change a bit. A week after coming to the island, Lina missed her beloved Brionac.

A special theory known as the FAE Theory is used for the armament device. However Tatsuya is able to elucidate the FAE Theory from his mouth. Lina believes that the engineers on the island under the guidance of Tatsuya are capable of replicating the Brionac using the FAE Theory. She wanted to get along with the development staff, for if she wanted to have a device to replace Brionac, she would need to ingratiate herself with them.

Today she is completely from the bottom of her heart, generously responding to the requests of the development staff. In the middle of that──

Lina raised her voice in an absurd way when felt the sudden attack of a Psion wave. She speaks out wondering what its about.

The strength of the wave itself isn't a big deal. Rather its a complete surprise attack, and felt discomfort from as if she her sudden;y being attacked from behind. Lina wasn't the only one who felt the Psion wave and didn't know it was the harbinger to something. In and around the development building, those with the ability to perceive magic felt unpleasant and frowned.

Lina speaks out loud wondering if what she felt were the excess Psions that came from someone who was trying to activate a large-scale magic and couldn't fully control it. She goes on further wondering if the dispersal of such a large number of Psion waves could have come from a Strategic-Class Magic.

If one were to take into consideration the possible Strategic-Class Magic, it would either be Igor's Tuman Bomba or Liu Li Lei's Thunderclap Tower. However, they wouldn't waste so much power so it must be a beginner.

Lina: (Is it a beginner?)

A phrase she had heard, it came back to Lina.

Lina: (Certainly, if its the first time you're using magic, you can understand how inefficient it is to scatter Psion waves... Could it be, the new Strategic-Class Magic Tatsuya developed?)

Lina reached the correct conclusion. however she, couldn't verify her own reasoning.

Suddenly an alarm sounded, forcefully interrupting her thoughts.

Staff: "Is it a suspicious ship that's approaching!?"

Staff: "With stealth magic were how were they able to get up so close when connected to the inside of the area of water!?"

Lina: (Could it be stealth magic!?)

With the voices of the staff flying about, Lina directed her senses to the sea.

◇ ◇ ◇

Minoru: (W-What was that wave!?)

In the Chofu city, the driver stopped on the road shoulder a kilometer from the hospital destination, when Minoru unexpectedly felt Psions as if they were rough waves, his mind unintentionally lost concentration.

Minoru: "Oops...!"

The reason being, he lost control of the stealth magic that he was using through Regulus.

Minoru, soon tried to regain magic control.

However at that next moment, he gave up since it was meaningless.

Now in a short time, it was a fact that the ship would be picked-up on the ocean radar network and the stratospheric platform monitoring systems, there was no doubt. Once the camouflage disappeared as it approached, there wasn't anything that could be done in order to hide where they were and to completely disappear once again.

Minoru: (...Beyond it being a successful perfect surprise attack, the positive effect it'll have on those who just noticed should be high.)

Minoru told himself this in his mind, and then consciously shifted his focus to his favorite hospital.

◇ ◇ ◇

The excess release of Psion waves, it also affected the Parasites on-board the ship Midway.

"First-Lieutenant Regulus!?"

Vega wasn't the only one to be suddenly surprised that the stealth magic was released.

"I'm sorry! My concentration was unexpectedly disturbed by the Psion waves!"

Regulus was convinced that this was the reason for his magical stealth field to have disappeared.

"I will resume immediately!"

In a hurry he tried to re-invoke his optical camouflage magic.

"No. First-Lieutenant, it's alright."

However, Vega voiced out aloud for him to stop.

"Our destination is right there. The camouflage is no longer necessary. More than that, start rushing!"

In response to Vega's order, Deneb left the cabin. In this operation flying combat uniforms ── in the USNA Military they're called "Thrust Suits" ── aren't used. The Parasitized Stardust are incompatible with the flying device. Traditional tools for landing, it's supposed to be a boat that's used. Deneb then, went to command the preparation for the landing boat.

"First-Lieutenant Spica and First-Lieutenant Regulus, go assist in preparations for landing bombardment."

"Yes, Ma'am!"

The transport ship Midway, is only equipped with a small number of anti-aircraft / anti-ship machine guns and anti-submarine launchers, and there are no Fleming launchers for ground attack.

However small-sized bombs are on-board in abundance. Even though Spica and Regulus have started to show the tendency of specialization in Parasites, they still have the ability to serve as a substitute for a field gun with their Movement-Type Magic.

"Raymond Clark. In the event that this ship is attacked, ask for protection."

After Vega spoke, she headed to where Deneb was in order to make landing together.

◇ ◇ ◇

Miyaki Island is a zone that had been used for a prison for criminal magicians until recently, where it was divided into other zones where the construction of magic research facility groups is progressing. The former is on the western coast of the island, the latter is on the north-east coast of the island, and the stellar furnace plant is also under construction on the north-east coast. The suspicious ship was approaching from the north-east of Miyaki Island. The aim is the stellar furnace plant, which the island staff soon came to understand.

The wave piercing catamaran-type's affiliation hadn't yet been revealed, had already entered into the territorial waters while decelerating at a high pitch. However, at that moment it hadn't attacked the the various facilities on the island. Stationed on Miyaki Island is the coast guard serving under the Yotsuba Family, and under these circumstances measures beyond simply inspecting weren't taken. In fact, the police patrol boats didn't act. The intentions of the military about the suspicious ship were clear. They knew that it wouldn't be possible to respond with a patrol boat, since doing so would only increase the potential number of people that could be killed in the line of duty.

Defense personnel magicians, they could use shield magic at any time. From the suspicious ship 4 kilometers offshore, it a bomb was suddenly shot out. It hadn't been shot from a Fleming launcher or grenade launcher. It had been shot by use of Movement-type Magic. Though it was a small-type bomb, there are a lot. They came down as if they were a rain of explosive shells by using multiple high-explosive warheads, and in turn the garrison deployed magic barriers all at once. One after another in the air, it was as if the light were flowers blooming. The momentum of the debris that hit the magic barriers, wasn't anything serious. The flash that accompanied the explosions hindered the sight of the garrison. One of the garrison magicians maintaining the barrier voiced that, he thought he saw a flashing bullet. However if he did see a flashing bullet, it wouldn't be able to penetrate the magic barriers. Being afraid of a flashing bullet, a bomb had a greater likelihood of to kill during an attack.

The suspicious ship was getting closer. From behind it, two landings boats appeared. Immediately the landing party started to go ashore. However, it couldn't be said that it was the entire force. Bombs raining down continued, and thus some people had to continue to deal with the defense. The interception team first, tried to attempt to directly interfere and overturn the boats. However both landing boats were protected with powerful counter magic, thus directly interfering with them failed. The magicians on the island quite trying to directly sink the boats, and then tried to interfere with the seawater in order to try and prevent the boats from coming ashore.

──Trying to counter the incoming sea water and having it flow out from the coast.

──Trying to blast the surface of the sea to create a large wave.

──Producing ice harpoons in the water and thrusting them into the bottom of the boats hulls.

However much the boats were attacked they had magic shields, thus the attacks meant to hinder the boats from advancing were prevented by Movement-Type Magic. The magical power of the interceptors wasn't weak. One of the Yotsuba branch families, magicians serving under the Mashiba Family, from the time when the island was a prison they have been in charge of its security and defense. Although they aren't blood related to the Mashiba Family, the magicians in charge have a proven record for keeping order over the heinous criminal that are imprisoned.

The reason it looked like they weren't doing well, it's simply, because of the abilities of the Parasites on-board the boats were just the powerful. The magicians in-charge of intercepting, they knew their opponents were Parasites. A radar to detect Parasites on Miyaki Island, had been installed an an experiment. The interception teams bullets hit the boats for landing, also attacking with grenades. The intercepting magicians, they got into a situation where they couldn't see behind themselves. Even if they were to try and reinforce themselves, the bombardment from the Movement-Type Magic was still sporadically going on. They couldn't reduce the number of magic barriers. At the military equivalent of a headquarters the island administrative building staff, they notified the Mashiba Family of the situation, and asked for directions.

◇ ◇ ◇

The situation where the island is under attack, it was possible to monitor it even from outside the administrative building. Lina who is in the CAD development building, was watching the images of the camera reflecting the state of the interception from behind the laboratory's large display.

Unexpectedly Lina removed her wired helmet for measurements, and went to the male researcher who was in charge of the tests.

"Hey."

"W-What is it."

Lina has a beautiful countenance comparable to Miyuki's. In front of her was a stern stare from an absurdly beautiful girl, so the researcher who was just thirty-years-old tangled her tongue.

"Other than the helmet for measurements, is there anything that's blast-proof."

Lina who is familiar with this place asked casually. Though such a thing, it was too late in this section. The researchers opened their eyes, but isn't because they didn't care.

Lina continued requesting without caring about the surprised researchers.

"If possible, even an easy-to-move armor suit."

Since there are dangers involving CAD experiments ── there is a risk that ones magic will unintentionally runaway ── Lina wears a protector that at least mitigates external shocks. However because it doesn't take in considerations the need to move around, it isn't easy to fight in.

"Ah... there are."

"Size?"

"I think that it'll be alright."

"I wonder if you can prepare it immediately."

"Why...?"

This question is different from the researcher who received the request, it came from a female staff in her late twenties.

"That is a USNA Naval transport ship."

The above ground point-of-view image, with its attention on the catamaran in the back, Lina decided on her target.

"If it's the Parasites attacking. If that's the case, then I should be the one to deal with them."

"......"

"I'm the one here, not 'Sirius'."

Lina changed her tone.

"Even so, I don't intend to ignore the mistakes of my fellow countrymen."

Even during exile, she defines herself as a USNA citizen and as a soldier of the state.

Not as 'Sirius', but with pride as a combat magician belonging to the USNA Military.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya receives an emergency message about the Island being attacked. He tells Miyuki he is heading out and leaves immediately.

◇ ◇ ◇

Deneb is surprised at the resistance on the Island but is also questioning the “Untouchable” title the Yotsuba have. Lina arrives and begins to bombard the USNA troops.

[Illustration]

◇ ◇ ◇

Minoru watches Tatsuya leave on the Air Car. Minoru has 6 vehicles with him, that are full of Parasite Dolls.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya is flying in the Air Car at 900 km/hour, heading towards Miyaki Island.

◇ ◇ ◇

Lina is facing off against the Parasite STARS and is able to hold her own. However, she is slowly pushed to a disadvantage. Tatsuya then arrives to help her out.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya is able to back up Lina and using his new magic, they are able to bring down some of the Parasite STARS.

◇ ◇ ◇

Miyuki and Yuuka are able to sense Parasites coming from 6 different directions.

◇ ◇ ◇

Minoru exits his vehicle and heads towards to the hospital with over 30 Parasite Dolls. He runs into Juumonji, and threatens the civilians with Parasite Doll suicide bombers in order to keep Juumonji out of his way.

◇ ◇ ◇

Tatsuya finishes up sealing all the Parasite STARS with his new magic “Seal Ball”.

◇ ◇ ◇

Miyuki asks Yuuka to go help the magicians protecting the hospital. Miyuki says she will hold out until Yuuka returns.

◇ ◇ ◇

Minoru is advancing through the hospital and can tell that only Miyuki remains in his way to Minami.

◇ ◇ ◇

Yuuka is using Mental Interference Magic to stop most of the Parasite Dolls from moving.

[Illustration]

◇ ◇ ◇

After sealing all the Parasite STARS, Tatsuya speaks with Lina. Ayako and Fumiya show up to talk with Tatsuya.

◇ ◇ ◇

Minoru and four Parasite Dolls arrive at Minami’s room, however they are frozen in place by Miyuki. Minoru wasn’t aware of Miyuki’s “Cocytus”. She tells Minoru to leave, and that she won’t chase after him. He refuses, so Miyuki prepares to cast “Cocytus” but Minami protects Minoru. Using this distraction, Minoru grabs Minami and escapes with her.

◇ ◇ ◇

Miyuki contacts Tatsuya and tells him what happened. Tatsuya immediately jumps into the Air Car and leaves.

Gallery

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