|Yotsuba Succession Chapter|
|Release Date||May 9, 2015|
|On Cover||Shiba Tatsuya and Shiba Miyuki|
Ancient City Insurrection Chapter (II)
Master Clans Conference Chapter (I)
Yotsuba Succession Chapter is the 16th volume in the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Light Novel series.
In December, Miyuki receives an invitation for the Yotsuba's new year family gathering (庆春会). However, unlike previous years, they specially added "Everybody must attend" on the invitation. Miyuki understands that "the time has come" — it is time to decide the next head for the Yotsuba Clan.
— If she is elected, her brother will be free.
— If she becomes the next head, she will be forced to marry someone else.
Miyuki's heart is in a mess.
In the Winter break, Miyuki, Tatsuya, and Minami head towards the Yotsuba main residence. Walking an unknown road, they arrived at the house. The trio is greeted with the smile of Yotsuba Maya, and finally, on the last remaining day of the year 2096, Maya personally says to Tatsuya "Miyuki is not your sister". The impact of this "lie", the true meaning of Maya's intent is —
The truth of the Brother and Sister relationship is finally unveiled!? (Yotsuba Inheritance Arc) begins!
|December 25 was the last day of school for AD 2096. Everyone in class 2-E had been checking their end of term results before classes end for the day. Tatsuya noticed Mizuki was looking at him nervously. He asked her what was wrong. Mizuki wanted to ask Tatsuya about his test grades but was embarrassed that she might have to tell him hers as well. She told him nothing was wrong. Then Tatsuya headed to the Student Council Room while Mizuki went on to the Arts Club.
Later that day, the 2nd year friends met up at Einebriese for an informal Christmas gathering. Minami, nor any of the other 1st years were attending because they had to attend a much larger party thrown by their classmates (1st year students). Erika commented on wanting to have their party a day earlier, but everyone had prior commitments to their families’ own social gatherings.
As they enjoyed their cake, they reflected on the year's events. Each one added their own perspective on the previous year’s events. As usual, Erika picked on Leo. When they left for home, Honoka asked Tatsuya if he was going to attend Hatsumōde with everyone on New Year. She had done some preparation beforehand and wanted to invite all the group, and so personally invited Tatsuya. But Tatsuya painfully rejected her and answered that Miyuki and himself could not attend this year due to a previous commitment. Miyuki seemed nervous after Tatsuya said this to everyone because she knew Tatsuya and herself would have to attend the Yotsuba's New Year family gathering. Shizuku was worried about Miyuki and inquired if she was okay. Erika quickly changed the topic since she knew, if Miyuki were sick, Tatsuya would have reacted immediately.
Once back home, Tatsuya noticed Miyuki had still not recovered. He told her to rest in her room until she feels better. Once in her room, she used her magic to increase the temperature, then changed out of her school uniform. She saw the letter from the family ordering everyone to attend this year. She knew that ordering everyone to attend meant that her Aunt, Maya was going to name her successor as head of the family. She was one of four candidates from among her generation. The other three were all her cousins; Shibata Katsushige, Tsukuba Yuuka and Kuroba Fumiya. She knew that she was the most likely candidate to become the next head of the family due to her superior magical abilities.
She dreaded becoming the next head of the family because that meant she had to become engaged and be married to someone else, separating her from Tatsuya. She's also conflicted because she knows that she could improve her brother’s standing within the family if she were the head of the family. She reflected on the fact that it was others that had always pushed her on becoming the next head of the family. But, since the incident in Okinawa four years earlier, she no longer had any desires to be the next head of the family.
Miyuki then had a conversation with her perceived younger self in her mirror. She tried to convince her image in the mirror that she had no control over the coming events and that she must do her duty. Her mirror image challenged her and tried to convince her that she was in love with her brother and to not give up on that. She confessed her romantic love for her brother to herself and her dread of never being able to fulfill her desire to be with him. She resigned herself to her fate, to have to spend her life with someone other than Tatsuya.
|December 26, AD 2096. Tatsuya went to FLT's 3rd Division Lab as the server at home was slower. He left Miyuki at home with Minami. He was starting a new project called “ESCAPES” or Extract both useful and harmful Substances from the Coastal Area of the Pacific for Electricity generated by Stellar-generator. He expected ESCAPES to be a multi-year project. He considered his development of the Loop Cast System in AD 2093 as the first step for ESCAPES.
His work was interrupted by a visitor from outside the lab. It was his uncle, Kuroba Mitsugu. Even though he was irritated that Mitsugu would interrupt him at FLT, he was also curious enough to still meet with him. Mitsugu was in a sullen mood when they met. Tatsuya asked Mitsugu what he came to talk about and Mitsugu asked him not to attend the Yotsuba New Year’s family gathering. Tatsuya said he’s never been invited before and that Miyuki was the only one who has been invited. Mitsugu thought Tatsuya was playing with him. He asked him to make Miyuki not attend either. When Tatsuya suggested Mitsugu to ask Miyuki himself, Mitsugu said that she will not listen to him. Mitsugu then added that he has repeatedly asked Maya to change her mind because it is too soon. Tatsuya stated that even if Miyuki refused to attend, Maya wouldn’t accept that as an answer. Tatsuya then implied that, if it’s Mitsugu’s intent to push Fumiya as the next head of the family over Miyuki, Fumiya too lacked enough experience and is also too soon at that point. Mitsugu’s strong objection to this being his intent convinced Tatsuya that the exact opposite is true.
When pressed by Tatsuya to explain why he thinks it’s too soon to name a successor, Mitsugu admitted Maya planned to name Miyuki as her successor at the gathering. He explained that he is joined in this opinion by four other Yotsuba branch families, the Shiiba, Mashiba, Shibata, and Shizuka families. Tatsuya concluded that the remaining two branch families, the Mugura and Tsukuba, were on a different opinion. Tatsuya asked why the other five families are concerned with the timing of Miyuki’s appointment. Mitsugu answered that they want to deal with Tatsuya first. He said that eventually, Minami would be capable of being Miyuki’s only Guardian and that Tatsuya could then go to Magic University and eventually work exclusively at FLT as ‘Taurus Silver’. He also suggested that Tatsuya would no longer need to be a part of the 101st Battalion anymore. Tatsuya sensed darker intent in Mitsugu’s offer. Mitsugu then added that Tatsuya’s father’s shares of FLT would be transferred into Tatsuya’s name.
Tatsuya told Mitsugu he wasn't interested. Tatsuya then implied that either this is Maya’s idea since Mitsugu doesn’t have the authority to make this offer on his own or this offer constitutes a ‘rebellion’ against Maya. Mitsugu then said vehemently that rebellion was not his intent. Tatsuya then pointed out again that Maya herself had ordered them to attend and that they cannot refuse. Mitsugu then stated that he doesn’t want to upset his children to which Tatsuya asked incredulously if he was being serious. This implied directly that the other four opposition branch families intended to stop Tatsuya and Miyuki from reaching the Yotsuba main residence. Mitsugu said he would not do anything against them, for the sake of his children’s feeling towards Tatsuya, even though he considers Tatsuya to be his enemy. Tatsuya asked why he would go this far to separate him from Miyuki, but also added that he didn’t expect Mitsugu to answer. On his way out, Mitsugu told him that if he could make it to the main house in time, he might tell him why.
While Tatsuya is busy at the lab, Miyuki received an unexpected guest in the afternoon; their cousin Tsukuba Yuuka, who was also a candidate as the next head of the family. She was a senior at the National Magic University and the former Student Council President of First High School. Miyuki was surprised by her visit since she never had a strong relationship with Yuuka in either a good or bad way. She thought of their relationship as neutral towards one another. They sat together in the living room to discuss why Yuuka has visited.
For Yuuka, it’s strange that they never see each other even if both of them live in Tokyo. Miyuki pointed out that the city is very large. Yuuka then asked her about being First High’s Student Council President. Miyuki was surprised that she knows so much but Yuuka pointed out that First High is her Alma Mater. Yuuka said that Miyuki has been succeeding at her position very publicly. Miyuki acknowledged that it might be better to not draw attention to herself, but she didn’t feel it would be fair to not give her best. Miyuki redirected the topic to Yuuka’s coming college graduation and asked if the main house was not been helping her with college. With polite words, Yuuka had subtly criticized Miyuki for standing out too much, and Miyuki had implied that Yuuka was trying to hide her abilities while also risking revealing the Yotsuba’s secret techniques to the Magic University.
Minami brought tea to them which broke the tension and allowed Miyuki to change the topic to the reason of Yuuka’s visit. Yuuka immediately said to Miyuki that they should travel together to this year’s family gathering in her car. When Miyuki asked why Yuuka said that there’s no reason in particular and why shouldn’t they travel together. When Miyuki acts coldly to this answer, Yuuka informed her that her own guardian had recently died. Miyuki was shocked, realizing Yuuka’s guardian probably died protecting Yuuka from a threat. She speculated that Yuuka, who herself is also a rare Mental Inference Magician, might have been targeted for her genetics. She also speculated that Yuuka might have actually been on an assignment from the main house as well. When she offered Yuuka her condolences, Yuuka pointed out that her Guardian died doing her job and that she was probably relieved in the next life to not have to put up with Yuuka anymore. Yuuka’s nonchalant attitude toward her guardian’s death upset Miyuki who then told Yuuka she shouldn’t be so flippant about it. Realizing that Miyuki’s guardian is her brother, Yuuka apologized; but Miyuki was still upset and pointed out that their cousin, Shibata Katsushige, holds his guardian, Tsutsumi Kotona, in high regard as well. Yuuka laughed at this example since it was well known in the family that Katsushige and Kotona were romantically involved with each other.
Miyuki, still irritated, asked Yuuka why she didn’t ask the Tsukuba family for additional protection on her journey to the main residence, implying there’s no need for them to travel together. Yuuka responded that Tatsuya possessed the rare skill for a guardian and that it wasn’t a bad deal for them either; since they couldn’t get a cab to the main house and that the motorcycle was impractical for a trip of that distance. Miyuki said that the main house would send a car to pick them up at the nearest station and that they never had an issue with that way of travel before. She then pointed out that’s how Yuuka normally goes to the main house herself. Yuuka then stated that just because they never had any issues traveling by cabinet train and then by private car before, doesn’t mean there won’t be any issues this time, and finished by telling Miyuki she had her reasons for saying so, but wouldn’t tell her more.
Miyuki then knew beyond doubt that there was some form of threat but when she asked point blank what Yuuka knew, Yuuka responded that she wouldn’t tell. Miyuki asked again why she should change her travel plans for them to travel together, to which Yuuka once again said she won’t tell her. Realizing that Yuuka wouldn’t explain further, Miyuki briefly reflected that Yuuka’s particular mental interference power would allow her to use her magic on someone to get the truth out of them, had their places been reversed. Miyuki then stated that as to their travel arrangements, she had to consult with Tatsuya first. Yuuka said she hoped for both their sake that they decide to travel together. She complimented Minami on her tea then left.
After Tatsuya returned home, Miyuki discussed Yuuka’s visit and her offer to travel together to the main residence. Tatsuya pondered on her offer and reflected that it had to be related to Mitsugu’s unreasonable request to them not to attend. He also realized that the Tsukuba family had to be behind her offer as well, but couldn’t determine their intentions. Tatsuya acknowledged that Yuuka plainly didn’t hide the fact that there was a threat, only that she would not reveal the nature of the threat. Tatsuya speculated that maybe Yuuka’s offer was supporting Mitsugu's position and designed to make them afraid and to thus not attend; but he thought this the least likely possibility. He pondered if the target was either Miyuki or himself. If it were him, there was the possibility it was supported by some outside organizations that he previously had dealt with harshly. Tatsuya had always been careful to hide his true identity and clean-up after his missions, so this possibility was also low.
If Miyuki was the target the numbers of possible suspects were reduced to only those concerned about the Yotsuba succession. Tatsuya realized that if Miyuki wished to turn down the appointment he would be unable to change her mind. He thought about how none of the potential candidates seemed excited about potentially become the next family head and that it was their parents that seemed to be the most concerned. He realized that the area around the main residence was considered Yotsuba “home-territory” and that it was the perfect place for shady-dealings since the local authorities secretly operated under the aspics of the Yotsuba family. He thought that having Yuuka with them might cause the attackers to pause since attacking her would be seen as attacking the Tsukuba branch family as well. He then thought about the fact that if they accepted Yuuka’s offer they would then be beholden to the Tsukuba and overall Yuuka would benefit over them from that situation. He suggested to Miyuki that they decline the offer after weighing the pros and cons, even though his intuition suggested it still might have been better to accept. Miyuki agreed and left to call Yuuka and inform her of their decision.
Miyuki told Yuuka they declined and apologized. Yuuka replied to her not to worry, that the offer was very sudden and that if they changed their minds to call her again. After hanging up Yuuka stretched out on her couch. She currently had no servants in her apartment to lecture her about her unladylike position. Before she turned 20 her mother or a housekeeper had taken turns living with her. After 20 it was just her and her Guardian and now that she was gone Yuuka realized her relatively free lifestyle wasn’t perfect. She hadn’t been surprised that they declined. She would have been disappointed had Miyuki accepted the offer on the scant details she had provided her. She acknowledged that she didn’t really want to be the next family head herself.
She had to maintain the appearance that she wanted to be the next Yotsuba head for the Tsukuba family’s political position, but her family had long since decided to support Miyuki for the position because none of the other candidates could match Miyuki in magical ability. Her reward for doing so was her relatively free life style as a university student. She also acknowledged that with Tatsuya at her side no one could compare to Miyuki. She knows about Scorched Halloween and Okinawa three years before that. She stated that Miyuki having Tatsuya’s support beside her own abilities should be illegal. She pondered why her uncles would be foolish enough to treat someone with Tatsuya’s powers as an enemy, especially since Tatsuya’s abilities made him the family’s greatest asset. Then she wondered why the servants of the main house had also been encouraged to treat Tatsuya so poorly. Even her mother won’t explain to her the reason for Tatsuya’s low status in the family. She then realizes that Miyuki being appointed the next head might reveal the truth behind Tatsuya’s poor treatment.
After hanging up with Yuuka, Miyuki called the main house and asked the Butler Obara to arrange a car to pick them up at the station on the 29th, two days ahead of schedule. She did this because of the potential for delays due to the unknown threat. This phone call would result in the entire staff being made aware of the change in plans to prepare for their earlier arrival.
Katsushige Shibata, the sibling’s cousin and another candidate for next clan head, had just come home from his new job at the Ministry of Defense and was relaxing when his phone rang. His father and leader of his particular branch family, the Shibata, Osumu had called him. They briefly discussed his new job before Katsushige asked him if this call is about the family gathering. Osumu informed him that Miyuki had arranged to go up to the main residence earlier than expected. Katsushige asked why that is a problem to which his father instructed him to prevent Miyuki from reaching the gathering. Stunned, Katsushige asked his father why, to which he was informed Miyuki would be named next clan head at the gathering. Katsushige reflected to himself that this was no real surprise given her strong MI magic, but believed himself to be superior in raw magic fighting strength. He then told his father that if doing this were for his benefit, to help him become the next family head instead, that he was alright with Miyuki becoming the next head instead.
His father replied that that was not the reason, that preventing Miyuki from being named next head was the only goal; to which Katsushige reminded him that to oppose Maya’s decision in this way was treasonous. Osumu told him the goal was not to prevent Miyuki from ever becoming the next head, but to delay the official announcement until the branch families could find some way to separate her from Tatsuya. Katsushige didn’t understand why they would want to do such a thing and pointed out Tatsuya’s magic abilities. Osumu replies that Tatsuya’s Material Burst was the reason. That he was too close to the military and that he was being used by the government as a bargaining chip to form a new defense alliance. Having him as the adviser to the next clan head was unacceptable to the branch families and that was the reason they had to stop Miyuki from reaching the gathering, to buy more time to deal with Tatsuya.
Katsushige bluntly asked his father why the branch families wished to eliminate Tatsuya, to which his father said their goal was the protection of the family, not to have a world altering power like Tatsuya’s. They planned to find some way to eventually contain Tatsuya’s powers permanently. Katsushige finally resigned himself to that answer and then asked what he should do. His Father said that the Mashibas and Shizukas were already making plans to arrest Tatsuya. Surprised that the Kuroba were not mentioned, his father adds they have their support, but because Ayako and Fumiya value Tatsuya, Mitsugu will not participate directly. Osumu then instructed him not to hurt Miyuki; he also adds that Katsushige will only be used against them on the 31st if the other attempts failed. His father then laid out the details of the plan to him.
Chui Yaguchi of the National Defense Army woke from his bed on the Matsumoto base. He had become increasingly depressed due to the fact that that previous summer his “No Compromise with the Great Asian Union” faction in the army had fallen out of grace. It’s leader, Taisa Sakai, had been arrested along with several other prominent faction members due to their parts in the parasite incidents at and around the previous Nine Schools Competition. For his part, he avoided incarceration but was reassigned to Matsumoto as a mechanized armor test pilot.
He then noticed a presence in his darkened quarters. The mysterious presence told him that the ones responsible for the downfall of the No Compromise faction where the Ten Master Clans and specifically the Yotsuba. Despite his suspicions Yaguchi listened. He was then informed that the mastermind behind the plot was not satisfied with Taisa’s downfall and planned to assassinate him and the other arrested leaders in their prison cells. When Yaguchi replies that they are too well guarded the mysterious presence says the Yotsuba will make it happen. The presence then informed him that a Yotsuba VIP, a young girl, will be at the Kobuchisawa Station at 1pm that very day. If he were to take that girl hostage, he could then use her to get Taisa and the others freed. When Yaguchi expressed doubt the presence reassured him. When he told the presence he didn’t have the means to accomplish this he is reminded that the Matsumoto base is the detention center for the army’s former strengthened psychics (ESPers) and that he can use these modified soldiers to capture the girl. When he replied he has no access, the presence said they shall make the access arrangements for him. Wishing to protect Taisa’s life and sure of the corruption of those bringing false charges against Taisa, Yaguchi finally and reluctantly agreed to act.
At the same time at the Army second supply base at Uji, the same presence appeared to Taii Hatae, leader of the Appease the Great Asian Union faction of the army. Hatae had been accused of letting a foreign magician into the base; but had been diagnosed as having been under the influence of mental interference magic. Despite this he had been punished financially by having half a year’s pay deducted from his salary. He still professed his staunch support for the Appeasement faction, despite warnings to tone it down. The presence’s sudden appearance seemed to be a phantasmal projection to him. The presence informed him that the ones responsible for the base invasion that summer were the Ten Master Clans and specifically the Yotsubas. When Hatae casually informed the presence he already knew that, it informed him that they were still hunting down Great Asian Union sympathizers.
The presence then informed him that if he didn’t act he’d be next to fall to them. He replied that he is already prepared and the presence offers him an honorable death. It said that he was already considered a traitor and that his family and friends would view him with shame. In response he asked what he should do. The presence suggested he can still redeem his reputation and live a long life. It informed him that the next morning the magician that invaded his base would be at the Kobuchisawa Station. This magician supposedly would be there to talk with the Yotsuba about restarting the campaign to eradicate the Appeasement faction. When Hatae asked if he was to reduce himself to an assassin, the presence replied that it was up to him, but he must resist this magician if he were to go on living. When Hatae appeared distraught by all of this, the presence said he should be happier because his new allies were powerful and would support him.
|December 29, AD 2096, before noon Tatsuya, Miyuki, and Minami left for the local cabinet train station. A little less than an hour later they arrived at Kobuchisawa Station, the nearest station to the Yotsuba main residence. The car to take them to the main house had already arrived and Minami interacted with the driver as if she knew him. Tatsuya also thought he was familiar. The driver looks at Tatsuya as if he were nothing. Tatsuya ushers Miyuki into the car since she is becoming agitated at how the driver is looking at her brother. Tatsuya also realized the car was under some form of surveillance already. He is more concerned that there are fewer eyes watching them than expected, and determines that an ambush may already be in place for them down the road. Minami took the front passenger seat so Tatsuya joined Miyuki in the back.
Immediately after leaving the town a suspicious vehicle was observed. Tatsuya immediately perceived an attack was under way. Two sets of self-propelled grenades came at the car from the rear and front. Minami deployed her anti-material, heat-resistant barrier magic. Her sequence could not fully deploy since 21 other magic sequences interfered with it, producing a cast jamming effect. Tatsuya recognized from the proficiency of the cast jamming technique that they were dealing with highly trained opponents. He commanded Minami to stop her magic, which she did. Tatsuya had a Silver Torus CAD on his wrist that worked with the mind-controlled CAD pendant he was wearing. Using Mist Dispersion, he eliminated the grenades. He switched to Gram Dispersion technique to detonate only the fuses of the oncoming explosive shells, allowing the car to proceed forward unharmed.
He ordered the driver back to town. The driver finally makes the U-turn after Miyuki repeats her brother’s instructions. Tatsuya then tells Miyuki and Minami that they will rendezvous at the station, to which Miyuki is surprised. As the driver commits the U-turn Tatsuya opens the window and allows centrifugal force to carry his body out of the window. Landing on his feet, he disintegrates the attacker’s weapons while continuing to stop the shots aimed at the retreating car. As the attacking vehicle attempts to turn to pursue the car, he causes its wheels to come off. Attacking the nearest opponent, he was surprised at the attacker’s skill and lack of surprise at losing his weapon. His opponent took out a knife and brass knuckle combo. Tatsuya immediately ponders if they are the Army’s former ESPers soldiers. The knife blade is also electrified. Using Elemental Sight simultaneously with normal vision, Tatsuya knows the electrical discharge is of a fatal level. By flying backwards and executing a small Gram Dispersal spell, Tatsuya escapes the discharge and the attacker was momentarily stunned by his own weapon as a result.
Despite his opponent’s disguise as a delivery man, he can tell the attacker is in his 50’s. More of the attackers begin pressing in on him from all sides. They are as fast as Erika, but lack refined body control. Two come at him from either side. Tatsuya rushes the one on the right so he will pass him, then grabs the wrist of the following knife-wielding attacker and applied vibration magic. Thinking he had killed this one due to the amount of vibration he was forced to apply, he was only mildly surprised the attacker still gave off vital signs.
Tatsuya concluded from this his opponents were not only the Army’s failed ESPers, but they had also had their bodies strengthened as well. These experiments were deemed failures because the range of their artificially induced magic never exceeded less than their arm’s reach. Only broken psions could be projected further, and thus cast jamming was all their abilities tended to be good for. Having now developed his plan to deal with the attackers from the information he had gathered, Tatsuya dealt with the returning attacker that had passed him moments earlier. Because his opponent was using acceleration magic that was faster than his body could handle safely; when the attacker behind Tatsuya went to impel him with a knife Tatsuya was able to leap over the attacker’s outstretched hand. Restoring his weight he forced the attacker down and kicked him in the head.
Tatsuya then turned his attention to the remaining ESPers as the normal men with them were already fleeing the scene. After taking care of 20 of his 28 attackers, Tatsuya was forced to flee himself as the police arrived.
Having ran, he reached Kobuchisawa Station at 4 PM. He found Miyuki in the waiting room. He inquired after their car and driver. Miyuki informed him she ordered it back to the main house since traffic cameras had undoubtedly followed it. After a brief moment of affection between the siblings, Tatsuya notices Minami’s awkward expression, but decides to not pursue that line of thought at that moment. He then informs them they will return home tonight and attempt to reach the main residence again tomorrow. Miyuki contacts the main house and reaches Obara, who apologizes profusely for their difficulties. She informs Obara they will return home tonight but will need the car to come pick them up tomorrow at 10 AM. Miyuki added that she will make a report of the incidence to her Aunt when she reaches the residence.
Back home and resting, the three of them discuss the incident from earlier. He tells them that their attackers were members of the Army and special soldiers that had been altered physically and mentally in an attempt to produce artificial magicians. They are shocked to learn this. Tatsuya then explains their attackers’ history to them, including that after they were deemed a failure and had been imprisoned on the Matsumoto Base for the last 40 years. Minami was shocked that they were simply incarcerated and not given useful tasks to perform. Tatsuya points out that they are living proof of illegal human experimentation and that is why they are not allowed freedom. Miyuki asks if this means their attackers are operating against them under orders from top military officials. Tatsuya refutes this theory since it would have been a much better planned attack. Miyuki said that Yuuka must have known they’d be attacked, which Tatsuya agreed with and also brought up Mitsugu’s warning. Miyuki blamed herself for their difficulties but Tatsuya says that Mitsugu’s warning was for him instead. He theorizes that no one is particularly was opposed to Miyuki becoming the next head, but they wished to delay the decision. He said if Miyuki was the primary target they could have assaulted the house while he was at FLT. Miyuki then called Maya to apologies for not arriving.
That night at the Matsumoto Base an officer died for his involvement in the day’s attack outside Kobuchisawa Station. Newspaper reports the next day would say he died trying to break up a fight between colleagues.
|December 30, AD 2096, 8:50 AM, Tatsuya calls their destination before the three leave on their 2nd attempt to reach the main residence. After instructing the rude housekeeper that answered to get Obara on the phone, Obara mildly chastises Tatsuya for intimidating the staff. Tatsuya reflects that Obara is generally nicer to him than most of the staff below Aoki’s level, but he also means to remind Tatsuya that he is technically higher ranked than Tatsuya. Tatsuya informs Obara that it’s urgent, which causes Obara mild irritation. Tatsuya then asks that the car be sent not to Kobuchisawa Station but instead sent to Nagasakashiraisawa Station for 9:50 AM pickup. Obara replies that the driver just left to which Tatsuya says he can still catch him inside the residence grounds. Obara complains it’s too sudden of a change and that Tatsuya was being rude changing Miyuki’s plans this way. When Tatsuya offers to let Obara confirm the changes with Miyuki he simply responds that the car will be there as requested. Tatsuya then asks that no one but the driver be informed of the change. Obara asked if that was due to yesterday’s incident to which Tatsuya only says again to keep it secret, and then ends the call.
Tatsuya has concluded there was a leak within the staff of House Yotsuba and that the four opposed branch families were intentionally trying to prevent them from reaching the family gathering with help from that leak. Tatsuya doesn’t understand their rationale since there’s no rule or tradition that the next head must be named at the New Year’s gathering. Since the family was first established as such only under the relatively recent tenure of his late grandfather Genzo, it was irrational to assume Maya would delay naming the next head just because Miyuki wasn’t there in person. Maya had been named head only in Eisaku’s will and till then the succession choice had been between either his mother or aunt. Despite thinking the opposition families' strategy was fundamentally flawed, Tatsuya realized that they have been ordered to attend and will make every effort to ensure Miyuki’s safe arrival.
The sudden change of time and location for their pickup seemed to have worked at first, but that quickly changed. Once in the car no one seemed to be tailing them, but when Miyuki asked, Tatsuya informed her that a Psionic Spirit, also known as a Familiar, was following them. Miyuki mistook the Familiar for a shape-shifter from the continent, but Tatsuya informed her it was only made of psionic particles. Tatsuya informs everyone they should expect an attack shortly. Under ten minutes later a helicopter appeared. He rejects Miyuki’s suggestion to take it down and instructs the driver to expect a large vehicle to block the road ahead. The helicopter is being used to herd them towards the ambush. Tatsuya orders brakes before the intersection ahead; a semi-trailer comes out to block their path. Tatsuya orders Minami to form a shield if he gets separated from them. Miyuki is told to stay in reserve for the proper moment.
As Tatsuya exits the car 32 men leave the trailer with automatic rifles. As he rushes them he detects 16 magicians in hiding and two men in the helicopter. Tatsuya considers if this is a diversion. It’s a larger group and better organized than the day before, but they seem to be missing something. Half those rushing him stop and begin to fire at him but Minami was able to deploy her shield before the bullets struck him. The other men moved toward him on either flank. They were being furnished with anti-magic defense from ancient magic practitioners. Tatsuya deployed Disintegration to neutralize their magic barriers. This causes them to pull back but Tatsuya neutralizes them by taking out their nerves with his magic. Tatsuya then turned his focus on taking out the other 16 infantrymen shooting at him.
Next Tatsuya took out the helicopter, neutralizing the magician on board in the process. He also captured their commander. The remainder had already fled the scene. Tatsuya decided that since they only brought rudimentary magic and regular weapons, that they probably wouldn’t provide him with useful info since they clearly didn’t know what they had gotten themselves into. Minami had accidentally allowed the car to be rendered useless because her particular shield allowed Electromagnetic Bombs to take out the car’s electronics. Their CADs, with superior EMP shielding, were unaffected. Despite being a car for the safety of the Yotsuba family its EMP features appeared to have been substandard. Minami continuously apologized but Miyuki and Tatsuya reassured her it was not her fault. Tatsuya asked Miyuki to call for another car. Instead Miyuki received a call at that moment, from Yuuka, asking if the semi-trailer could be moved. She was in her car on the other side of the semi-trailer blockade. After the driver moved the trailer, Yuuka asked the three to get in quickly. They left the driver with the disabled car and proceed away from the scene. When Miyuki notices they are not headed toward the main residence Yuuka explains they are avoiding the police. Tatsuya explains that the police will be setting roadblocks on the roads leading to the house, but not the other roads. Since entering Yuuka’s car he had been listening to police communications on his ear set. When Miyuki asked why the police were only setting blockades on the roads to the main residence, Yuuka explained that they, and not their attackers, were the police’s targets.
Yuuka brought the group to a villa at the foot of Mt. Amigasa in the Yatsugatake Range. After inviting them in she told them to relax in the living room, and that they should spend the night here. She says that they should take her car in the morning so they can leave on an unknown schedule and reduce the chances of being intercepted again. With Tatsuya’s agreement, Miyuki accepts Yuuka’s proposal. A servant brings tea but does so in an improper manner, which irritates Yuuka. She says he constantly chided her for her manners but lacks them himself. Minami brings the milk jug closer to Miyuki so she can use it. In contrast to Yuuka’s servant Minami performed perfectly. Yuuka asks Minami if she had to show off, to which Minami deadpans that it wasn’t her intention. Yuuka comments that she’ll get even with her own servant later for his lack of manners.
Miyuki began asking Yuuka questions. Yuuka picks on her to try to lighten the mood, but Miyuki squashes that with her no-nonsense response. She says it’s pointless to ask her directly, to which Yuuka says she’ll answer what she can. She asked how Yuuka was able to be there today at the right moment to which Yuuka replies she knows that looks suspicious, but that she would never plot behind the scenes against her. Miyuki asks why, to which Yuuka says she was secretly tailing their car. After seeing Tatsuya shake his head at that answer, Miyuki, in disbelief, asks why Yuuka waited to help them. Yuuka then says she’ll be honest and says that Maya plans to name Miyuki next family head at the New Year’s gathering and that some of the branch families want to get in the way to delay the announcement to another time. When Miyuki asks if they didn’t want her to be the next family leader, Yuuka says she thinks only Katsushige’s father thinks that way. She says he’ll eventually change his mind because he knows Katsushige is only an average magician.
Yuuka then says no one would really oppose Miyuki and add she feels that way too. She then explains that her family, the Tsukuba, decide two years before to promote Miyuki as next head and that she only remained a public candidate because it would guarantee the family an influential voice in selecting the next head. When Miyuki asks why they’d prefer her over Yuuka, Yuuka replies that Miyuki ranks 9 out of 10 and that the last tenth was made up by guilt they felt toward Miya. Miyuki replies she can’t believe that Yuuka’s mother and the head of the Tsukuba branch family, Lady Tooka, would be making this decision for atonement sake. Lady Tooka’s unique MI magic, Oath, is the power that seals Tatsuya’s abilities to Miyuki, and has been used to do so since Miya died. Yuuka says she can’t comment on her mother’s reasons. Miyuki says she now understands the Tsukuba family’s position, and asks her why the other branch families wish to delay her appointment. After sending a nervous glance toward Tatsuya, Yuuka begins to explain.
She says that the Shibata and Mashiba families wish to separate her from Tatsuya, then she elaborates that they'd like to separate him from the entire family and the rest of the world, applying some form of greater control on him. Miyuki is stunned and works to regain her composure before proceeding. Yuuka elaborates that she doesn’t understand why but the uncles don’t want Tatsuya to become a magician and that hindering her appointment as the next head buys them more time to find a permanent way to seal his powers. When Miyuki asks why, Yuuka explains that Tatsuya will become powerful within the family when she is named heir and will be unassailable after that point. She says the uncles hope to delay her appointment till Minami can fully replace Tatsuya as her Guardian. Miyuki then states that if this were the case then her appointment would secure Tatsuya’s position and asks Yuuka if they can’t leave tonight instead. Yuuka points out that the police will still be on the roads looking for them and it would be best to wait till tomorrow.
They then eat an early dinner after which Tatsuya retires to his room. Miyuki asks to come in as Tatsuya is pondering which CAD to use the next day. She comes in and starts refolding his clothes before sitting on the bed beside him. After some teasing by him to improve her mood, Miyuki finally asks him if he didn’t already know about the branch families’ plot. He said he did and reminded her that Mitsugu had come to FLT to talk to him before and that his words matched what Yuuka had just told them. When Miyuki becomes concerned that Mitsugu and the other Kurobas were acting against them Tatsuya tells her he believes in Mitsugu’s neutrality and that naturally Fumiya and Ayako have had no part in it. She then asks why he didn’t tell her, to which he said he didn’t want to bother her with trivialities since the main goal is to reach the main residence. Miyuki rejects this explanation and says that it’s her natural right to worry about Tatsuya. She states that being upset and crying for him is not meaningless to her. When he goes to comfort her she jumps up and hugs him instead and asks him if he doesn’t remember her promise to him during their 1st Year Nine Schools Competition, that she would always be his ally and that his time will surely come.
Maya receives news from Hayama that Miyuki and company has made it to the Tsukuba’s villa. Hayama states that the branch families have underestimated Tatsuya. He then states that Tatsuya could use flying magic and disintegration to breach the magic barrier around the village if he had too, and that rebuilding the barrier would be troublesome. Maya then points out that it would be the branch families that would be doing any repairs. Maya is pitying the branch families’ leader’s foolishness. Hayama then states that the whole thing isn’t completely a waste and points out that in their attempts to stop Miyuki and Tatsuya they have effectively undermined the remaining parts of the Military’s two opposing factions that also have been working against the Ten Master Clans, and specifically have annihilated any thread from the Army’s Psychic soldiers. Maya then laughs and says none of these were real threats in the first place. When she asks Hayama if other “year-end cleaning”, referring to Zhou and his allies, has been completed, he states that Tatsuya took care of a good portion of that “cleaning” on his own. She then asks if preparations for the gathering were complete to which Hayama says they are only waiting on Miyuki’s arrival. Maya says there’s no need to worry in that case. Hayama then asks if they shouldn’t try to stop Osumu’s plan to use Katsushige against the siblings. Maya laughs heartily at his suggestion and then says they can never stop Tatsuya no matter how many Katsushige’s they could throw at him. Even knowing that Katsushige is one of the Yotsuba’s top battle magicians there is no way he could stop Tatsuya. Maya begins fantasizing about Tatsuya defeating Katsushige.
|December 31, AD 2096, the group left the Tsukuba villa on their third attempt to reach the Yotsuba main residence that morning. The journey would take two hours if there were no issues with snow on the way. They reached the tunnel that marked the boundary of what is considered Yotsuba territory unscathed. A secret fork in the tunnel can only be opened if particular psionic wave patterns are used. Other such secret gates existed but this one was considered the main entrance. These measures were originally in place to hide the Fourth Research Institute on which the Yotsuba main residence and village reside. After the family took over the institute, they improved its hiding features and used MI magic to remove all knowledge of its location from the memories of others. Tatsuya speculates this would be the perfect location for an attack, but the main residence would know immediately if any attack occurred here as well.
Right before the tunnel entrance an avalanche begins. Tatsuya instructs Miyuki to melt it, and orders Minami to applied a barrier around the car. The now muddy water surges around the barrier. After ordering Minami to lower the shield, Tatsuya gets out with the others following him. Noticing that boulders where now blocking their path, Miyuki asks if this was merely to block their path. Tatsuya says instead that it is an ambush. Yuuka then angrily shouts out and threatens their attackers if they don’t show themselves. Yuuka then takes out her new collapsible CAD, which is based on the combo CAD Tatsuya had developed for Shizuku’s Speed Shooting Finals matches of their 1st Years’ Nine Schools Competition. Its top acts as a directional antenna supporting the Generalized CAD it’s attached to. Yuuka casts “Mandrake”, an MI magic that causes the subjects to have intense fear. Someone else cast “Silent Veil” before Mandrake was evoked, which can partially block Mandrake, but also exposes who the user is to the group. Silent Veil is a specialty of Katsushige Shibata’s Guardian Kotona. Yuuka calls out to them that they are revealed and demands they show themselves. She accuses Katsushige of hiding behind a woman. After distracting the group with a sudden heat haze, Kutsushige, Kotona and her brother Kanata emerge from behind a boulder.
Katsushige says they weren’t hiding and that it took them that long to get to them. Yuuka shouts at him to ask why he didn’t respond. Katsushige responds he wished not to shout at them, as he does so he uses a hand gesture to keep the agitated Kanata from moving forward. Then Katsushige claims it was Yuuka who attacked first, to which she mocks him. Yuuka accuses him of causing the avalanche to which he responds he was just blocking their path, not attacking them. Kanata shouts loudly his agreement to Katsushige’s words while Katsushige continues that he also made sure the Phonon Maser blast was not directed towards them. Realizing that Phonon Maser was Kanata’s doing, Yuuka asks Katana to please shut up, which irritates him greatly. She tells him bluntly that two members of the Yotsuba were talking and he should mind his place, to which he calls her a bitch. Kotona commands her brother to stop. The two of them serve together as Katsushige’s Guardians. She reminds him they are Katsushige’s servants, and to not bring shame to Katsushige. This causes him to back down. Katsushige then tells Yuuka he strives to be a worthy master to his two indispensable Guardians but he is too sentimental. He adds that he can take a lesson from her in how to be more callous towards Guardians, reminding her of her own recently deceased Guardian. This enrages Yuuka, but Tatsuya steps in before she can respond.
Tatsuya says it was not his place as a Guardian to interrupt; Katsushige then says he doesn’t mind since he is also family. Tatsuya then asks Katsushige to let them pass, to which Katsushige replies that he cannot. He then asks them to turn back and there will be no need for a confrontation. Tatsuya asks if they really needed a confrontation with Katsushige’s group in order to pass, which Katsushige confirms. Tatsuya then adds a suggestion, as everyone else stood ready for combat with CAD’s at the ready. Tatsuya points out Guardians are there to protect their charges from harm, and that Katsushige's Guardians must feel the same way. Kotona verbally confirms this passionately, confirming her deep feelings for Katsushige. Before Katsushige can interrupt him Tatsuya says that since battle was inevitable that it should only be between the Guardians, he alone versus Kotona and Kanata.
Katsushige tries to refuse but Kotona begs him to allow it. Katsushige declares this is too dangerous and that Tatsuya isn’t defective like the rest of the family claims. He acknowledges that even he may be inferior to Tatsuya in combat skills. Kotona points out she’s a third generation Bard Series Guardian genetically designed specifically for combat. Katsushige then says she’s underestimating Tatsuya and that he killed his first opponent at age six, killing a skilled and battle hardened magician in his 30’s. Everyone, including Kotona herself and Miyuki and Minami are stunned by Katsushige’s words. Katsushige frantically asks Kotona what she was doing at age six, but then Tatsuya interrupts them, asking him to not reveal any more of his personal information. Kanata then steps in and asks to fight Tatsuya as well, saying that though Tatsuya looks tough, two on one gives them the advantage. Katsushige rightly points out it's Tatsuya’s plan to make them think that way, but Kanata is certain they will still prevail.
Miyuki then speaks up and tells Katsushige that she was ordered to attend by Maya and that having the Shibata family impede her was the same as the Shibata being in rebellion to the Yotsuba. Katsushige has no answer for her, but Miyuki adds she will not press the issue with Maya and will leave it in Tatsuya’s hands. If Tatsuya is beaten they will leave. This puts Katsushige in a position of placing his whole family at Maya’s mercy for their treasonous acts, or allowing the Guardians to decide the outcome. She then adds that time is growing short and she needs his decision. He then offers to fight Tatsuya alone, but Miyuki states that she will do as Tatsuya wishes and that is for the Guardians to fight. Kotona then steps forward and accepts Tatsuya’s challenge. Katsushige realized his attempts to talk things out has exposed the woman he loves to mortal danger. Katsushige desperately tries to stop her; but she says to him she will not die and then points out how confident Miyuki is in Tatsuya. She asks him to have the same confidence for her and Kanata, to put his faith in her. She and Kanata knew they had to prepare for Tatsuya and have been strategizing since. They understand about his Disintegration ability and they know he’s been trained more towards eliminating enemies, than typical Guardian protection training. Katsushige can only now accept the inevitable in the face of Kotona’s determination and tells both his Guardians to go win.
Kotona and Kanata approach Tatsuya, who waves Miyuki back with his hand. Tatsuya backs away from them through the boulders towards the side of the road. Kotona asks why he has an odd expression on his face. He apologizes for putting a damper on her previous emotional statements to Katsushige, but he has no intention to kill her. Kotona is embarrassed by this comment and claims it’s a tactic on his part which he denies. Kanata, embarrassed for his sister tells Tatsuya to not hold back, because they won’t. Tatsuya then asks if they were going to start or if they’d rather change location. Kotona looked back to make sure Katsushige was far enough way and then said this will do. She was immediately flung up into the air and towards Katsushige. Tatsuya used a gravity control magic related to flying magic on her and she landed on the ground hard, but under Katsushige’s deceleration magic it was not extreme. Katsushige rushed to her side as Kanata attacks Tatsuya. Katsushige gives her some advice on Tatsuya’s Flash Cast and invocation speed before she rejoins the battle.
Kanata, distracted by his sister suddenly being flung through the air, receives Tatsuya’s palm strike right above his heart, delivering virtual wave motion vibrations into his body. Kanata released counter vibrations to nullify this effect. At the same time Kanata snapped his fingers beside Tatsuya’s ear to apply acoustic amplification magic, the same magic Tatsuya used to defeat Masaki in their Monolith Code competition. Tatsuya used disintegration to stop the acoustic attack as Kanata was able to push away from him. Kanata compliments Kanata on the surprise tactic and then removes a revolver shaped CAD. Sound producing magic begins to propagate each time he fires the trigger. Tatsuya nullifies the effect with disintegration, to which Kanata asks if it’s Gram Dispersion. Tatsuya briefly considers if Kanata is the type that must “talk himself up” in a fight. Kanata then brazenly asks Tatsuya to watch as he points his CAD for another attack. Tatsuya fills his body with psions to help fine-tune his bodily control and then launches a purely martial arts technique learned from Yakumo called a Shukuchi. Before Kanata can active his next magic sequence Tatsuya is within striking range to Kanata’s great surprise. Tatsuya knocks the CAD from his hand while delivering a punch to Kanata’s stomach. Kanata fell to the ground in pain, his attempts to use vibration magic to nullify his pain being ineffective since Tatsuya had used no magic to take him down.
Tatsuya leaped back and nullified the “Acoustic Bombs” Kotona was launching at him to force him away from Kanata. She went to her brother’s side. Bard Series Guardians specialize in sound related magics. Her particular magic skills are better for defense than her brother’s more assertive sonic magics. She was shocked at Tatsuya’s ability to neutralize 24 of her acoustic bombs simultaneously. Her surprise at his abilities resulted in her not launching her next attack, and then to her surprise Tatsuya disappeared from her field of vision. He had used two separate acceleration magics to change his position twice in mid-air, which her eyes could not keep up with. After a third mid-air direction change, he was beside her. He realized he would have kicked her by now had she been Kanata instead, but didn’t do so because her body was less resilient than her brother’s. Instead he grabbed her by the throat and laid her now unconscious body on the ground.
Kanata, just now somewhat recovered from his encounter with Tatsuya, rushed towards him screaming to take his hands off his sister. He had retrieved his CAD and was preparing to launch Phonon Maser at Tatsuya, who realized he’d take a fatal shot at this range. Suddenly the activation sequence was dispelled. Kanata couldn't believe the result, as each time Kanata fired again his activation sequence failed. Tatsuya then jumped towards Kanata but a compressed air wave pushed him off course. This was a result of Katsushige’s specialty magic “Density Manipulation”. Tatsuya recovered and struck back with Decomposition, causing Katsushige’s next attempt to be a misfire. Katsushige was unperturbed by this result and prepared his next attack when Miyuki surrounded him in an updraft caused by her Niflheim magic. Super cold Nitrogen Sleet began to bombard Katsushige, forcing him to cast a barrier of vacuum and material repulsion around himself.
Tatsuya takes advantage of the distraction and leaps three times at Kanata, who is unable to keep up. All three times Tatsuya lands flying kicks on him. With both Kotona and Kanata unconscious, Miyuki inquires if her brother is alright. Tatsuya confirms he has no serious injuries. Minami rushes towards him with a towel. Miyuki then demands of Katsushige why he interfered, but before he can answer Yuuka is verbally assaulting him for his underhanded attack. Tatsuya immediately stops them both from interrogating him and asks if they can wait till a better time, which causes Katsushige himself to inquire why. Tatsuya responds that Kotona and Kanata might have lasting injuries if Katsushige doesn’t get them to medical care soon. Without waiting for Katsushige’s reply Tatsuya instructs Miyuki that they should continue towards the main residence, and asks Yuuka to drive them. Miyuki responds immediately but Yuuka asks in her anger toward Katsushige if it’s really OK to leave things like this. Katsushige was applying medical treatment to both his Guardians, but even seeing this Yuuka was still agitated. Tatsuya answered her that he didn’t blame Katsushige, which surprised Yuuka. He explained he knew all along that it was Katsushige’s mission to somehow stop them. Yuuka then asks if that was why he threw Kotona at Katsushige in his first strike, to distract Katsushige. Tatsuya replies his only goal was to get Miyuki to the gathering safely. Yuuka then inquires of him if his plan was to keep Katsushige busy treating his Guardians' injuries instead of trying to stop them. She then replies she understands his motivations now and will leave things as they are. As they drive away, Katsushige makes no further attempt to stop them.
|The group reached the Yotsuba main residence at 3 PM. Yuuka was guided towards the Tsukuba family’s rooms. Minami was taken to the servants’ quarters because she was expected to work the gathering. Tatsuya noticed the servants were treating him as a family member and not a servant like usual. Minami greeted them at their rooms in a servant’s outfit, using the honorific “sama” with both of them. Tatsuya told her she didn’t need to use that out of concern the other servants would think it odd since he himself was technically also a servant. She told them that Mrs. Shirakawa, the head housekeeper, had instructed her to relay a message from Maya to them. She told them they were both invited to dinner with Maya at 7 PM. The non-tonal way she relayed the message meant that she had received it in the same fashion. Both siblings did not fail to note then that Tatsuya was being called “sama” instead of the normal “dono” or “san”. They also realized because dinner was in Maya’s smaller dining room, that she wanted to talk to them before the announcement was made tomorrow. Miyuki asked Minami if any of their cousins would attend dinner as well, which Minami only replied that she knows the Kuroba twins are already at the main residence. Miyuki then discussed this development with Tatsuya. She was concerned that Katsushige might make a further move against them; but Tatsuya didn’t believe that to be the case. Tatsuya then asked Minami to confirm he was invited to dinner, which she does. Before she could leave, Tatsuya asked Minami to see if Mitsugu would see him. When Minami left, Miyuki asked Tatsuya what business he had with the head of the Kuroba branch family. He said to her that he wanted to ask Mitsugu some questions. Miyuki then asked why she couldn’t attend to which Tatsuya replied he thought her being present would prevent Mitsugu from being truthful. She asked him to tell her everything said afterward, but he replied that he would tell her after the next day’s announcement to not overburden her. Minami returned to report that Mitsugu would meet him now, and guided him to the location.
Minami took Tatsuya to the Kuroba’s mansion on the Yotsuba main residence property. It was the current home of Mitsugu’s mother, who was also Tatsuya and Miyuki’s grandfather and family founder, Genzou's sister. Tatsuya then was guided to a room where tea was prepared. The housekeeper poured him tea and then Mitsugu arrived. He sat and took his tea. He seemed much calmer than he had at the previous encounter at FLT. When Mitsugu inquired as to why Tatsuya wanted to meet, Tatsuya answered he came to collect Mitsugu’s promise to him. Mitsugu pretended not to remember, but Tatsuya added that it was the promise he made at FLT in the event that they had managed to make it to the main residence. Mitsugu’s expression then seemed to be one of regretting his own carelessness. He then told Tatsuya he’d regret hearing it to which Tatsuya replied he’d regret not hearing it. Mitsugu made it clear to Tatsuya that he would answer no follow-up questions, and then he began.
With a far-away expression in his eyes, Mitsugu related to Tatsuya the events from 18 years previously. The family had gathered for Tatsuya’s birth. Everyone was nervous because it wasn’t that long before that over half their numbers died to destroy Dahan for what happened to Maya. He said that Maya was very excited for her sister to have a child, as if it were her own child. Everyone thought that Maya and Miya would become close again too, because of her excitement for the new baby. Everyone was excited and they used gene manipulation to try to ensure that Tatsuya would be born with superior Mental Interference magic. They hoped that he would have his mother’s Mental Structure Interference abilities. Miya predicted that because the fetus had no ego, she could imbibe it with superior Mental Structural Interference powers. He told Tatsuya that since Maya’s tragedy the family had become obsessed with producing a child capable of protecting the family from any threat, even whole nations. They wanted to create a transcendental super-magician.
At this point Mitsugu stopped and angrily rang the bell for the housekeeper. He ordered her to bring him water to drink. Once she left to complete his order Mitsugu started his story again. He said that everyone visited Miya in her labor, praying for the safe delivery of the baby. He said it was their desire that the baby free them from the uncertainties of the cruelty of the world, that he should have the power to make sure all the other children in the family would be safe. He added that they were selfish in their prayers, that they took nothing but the family’s safety into consideration; but Maya was different, she would tell Miya that she seemed to remember what love was when she looked at her belly.
The Housekeeper returned and poured Mitsugu some water. His hand and lips were now shaking slightly. He needed another cup of water before he could continue. He then told Tatsuya that protection was never Miya’s true wish. Instead she prayed for a son with the power to punish the world for hurting her sister. They only learned at his birth that Miya got her wish instead. At this point Mitsugu’s breathing became erratic and Tatsuya proposed a break, but Mitsugu continued. He said that the late family head, Tatsuya’s great uncle Eisaku, had the MI power to analysis magic abilities in others. He was also the person that had developed the technique to analysis magic calculation area. Everyone waited for Eisaku to complete his analysis of the newborn’s powers with anticipation; they had even planned a celebratory party. Eisaku told them that Tatsuya could destroy all material and information bodies. That he could also restore those to original form within a 24 hour period. As long as a person didn’t die, Tatsuya could restore them to original condition. The family was overwhelmed by his powers, but still happy. It wasn’t the power to protect them but was even more, the power to be unbeatable. They rejoiced, not realizing what they had done. Their selfish prayers had turned an innocent baby into the ultimate weapon, a demon capable of destroying the entire world.
Eventually the family began to realize a child with that power could have no real control of it; that a simple temper tantrum could result in the destruction of the world. The family leaders debated what to do with Tatsuya. They decided the only way to prevent this was to kill Tatsuya, and they tried to convince Eisaku of this. Mitsugu’s own father, Juuzo, tried to convince Eisaku that it had to be done. Eisaku rejected their proposal, saying that Tatsuya had an indispensable power that couldn’t be replaced. He wouldn’t allow the family to absolve their mutual guilt by killing the child. He proclaimed that Tatsuya’s unique gifts would make him the ultimate combat magician, and said they must develop a way to suppress Tatsuya’s emotions. From that point forward Tatsuya had been raised as a warrior. Tatsuya was treated harshly to cause him to suppress his own feelings. Once he began to walk Tatsuya was then taught how to kill. When Eisaku died he named Maya his successor and she continued Tatsuya’s training. Tatsuya then told Mitsugu that he knew the rest of his story from that point. All memories from before his magic calculation area operation seemed more like a movie he had watched instead of his own life. Mitsugu added that Miya supported Tatsuya’s harsh training for her own reasons, assuming she wanted revenge upon the world. Mitsugu added that because they didn’t understand Miya’s anger at the world, they had sinned and brought Tatsuya’s destructive power into existence. He added this is why they opposed him and wanted to keep him away from the Self Defense Forces and the center of power in the Yotsuba family, because he would become too powerful otherwise and compound their original sin.
Tatsuya realized this was the end of the story and added that he understood the branch families’ motivation now; to which Mitsugu said if that’s the case he should immediately step down as Miyuki’s Guardian. Tatsuya sneered back at him and said he understood that their confusing behavior was motivated by a fake sense of guilt. Enraged, Mitsugu stood up and Tatsuya did as well. One glance at Tatsuya convinced Mitsugu he could no longer kill him, but Tatsuya clearly saw many ways to kill Mitsugu. Tatsuya then said to Mitsugu, having completed his promise to him, he’d now leave. Mitsugu angrily replied he has no further use for him either, and Tatsuya left.
That evening Minami guided the siblings to dinner. When they entered the room Fumiya, Ayako and Yuuka were already present. Miyuki was sat beside Maya’s chair in the obvious place of second most importance, with Tatsuya beside her. They faced Fumiya and Ayako across the table respectively. Katsushige soon joined them. Tatsuya still couldn’t determine why he was here, because while Ayako was considered to be Fumiya’s escort, he was never considered such for Miyuki before. Since none of the others were offended by his presence Tatsuya had underestimated their esteem for him, though he still didn’t realize this himself. Maya joined them with Hayama and welcomed everyone. She offered sake to the two oldest cousins who both very politely refused. She told them to stop being so formal. Everyone began to have dinner once Maya started, and relaxed a bit since Maya wanted to have a less formal meal.
Before the main course was to come out Maya said it was time to discuss why she gathered them here. At this point all the servants except Hayama had already left. She said she didn’t want them to be surprised tomorrow at the gathering before the whole family, and would tell them her choice of next family head that night. Miyuki seemed the most nervous at this announcement. Fumiya asked politely if he could make a statement first, which Maya playfully granted. Fumiya then proclaimed that he was giving up his claim as next head and formally supported Miyuki for the position. Once he sat down, Yuuka then asked for permission to speak, which Maya amusedly granted. Yuuka then proclaimed that the Tsukuba family supported Miyuki’s nomination as next family head. Maya playfully asks if they think she should not be allowed to pick the next family head herself. Ayako then begged forgiveness for interjecting, but added that their father agreed to respect their decision to support Miyuki instead, and that it was not their intention to thwart her from deciding the next head. Maya then adds that it’s apparently the Kuroba family’s intent to support Miyuki as well. Fumiya confirmed this and Maya proclaimed him to be a good son. Maya realized that Fumiya was assisting his father from being connected to the opposition families by stepping down as a candidate and supporting Miyuki instead. Since she had no intention to punish the opposition families, she felt this was a wasted effort on Mitsugu’s part.
Maya then turned the table’s attention to Yuuka and asked why the Tsukuba family was supporting Miyuki. Yuuka stated that there was no opportunity to deceive themselves to which Maya said it was also a good chance to sell themselves to Miyuki as allies. Yuuka confirmed this and stated that the Tsukuba’s magic abilities were falling behind the other branch families. Maya refuted this as just the difference between combat magic and MI magic, but agreed that supporting Miyuki so quickly was a good strategy. Miyuki responded to Maya saying Yuuka was in her favor, by tactfully adding that she agreed with Maya's assessment that a magician can’t be measured solely by combat ability.
Maya then asked the previously quiet Katsushige if he wanted to support the majority opinion. He responded that as a family, the Shibata had decided to also support Miyuki as next family head. He then quickly added that for doing so he had a request. Maya seemed mildly irritated at this since she had already decided not to punish him for his part in trying to stop Miyuki from arriving. When she implied that he wanted a deal he quickly said that it was just a request, she then asked him what it was. He immediately asked her permission to marry his Guardian Kotona, which caused Yuuka and Fumiya to react with surprise. Maya pointed out to him that the Bard Series has an unstable genetic history, and that she might not be suitable as his wife. He acknowledged that his father Osumu also said the same thing. Maya then suggested she only be his mistress, which caused Fumiya to blush profusely. Maya said the reason he was given a female Guardian was so that she could escort him in public without seeming out of place, and that he didn’t need to marry her to keep her by his side. Katsushige replied that she has more to offer than just that, but then acknowledged his goal was to keep her. Maya pretended to be troubled by all of this, but then said she wouldn’t tear lovers apart, she added this while staring at Miyuki. Miyuki considered that Minami might have been spying for Maya and informed her of her feelings toward Tatsuya. Maya then said she would allow Katsushige to marry how he wished. Maya and Tatsuya both noticed Miyuki now had a slight trembling. She said she would speak to his father on his behalf about it. To this Katsushige rose and bowed deeply to her. Once he returned to his seat Maya said there was no reason to say so any longer, but Miyuki would be the next head of the Yotsuba Clan. Miyuki bows to everyone afterward in gratitude for their support. Maya then had Hayama call the main course out and dinner resumed.
After dinner Maya, Tatsuya and Miyuki remained for hot beverages. Maya congratulated Miyuki and thanked both of them for their efforts to reach the main residence. She added that she wanted to discuss another important matter for them and mentioned as the next head of the family Miyuki must now marry and that as future family head it was not her choice. Miyuki tensed up but acknowledged this fact. Maya then shifted to Tatsuya, which caught him off guard. She then, to Miyuki and Tatsuya’s astonishment, asked if he realized that Miyuki wasn’t his real sister. This info caused Miyuki to freeze, mortified and covering her open mouth. Tatsuya was less dramatic because he was having difficulty even processing what Maya had said to them. Tatsuya finally answered he cannot believe this and that there is significant evidence to the contrary. Maya smiled back at him as said it was true because Tatsuya was her son. While Tatsuya was trying to process this new revelation, Maya explained that Tatsuya came from one of her preserved eggs and that Miya had carried him as a surrogate. She added that Tatsurou was thus not his father and that Miyuki was in fact his cousin. Once he had recovered, Tatsuya immediately thought none of this was possible and asked Maya for the details. Maya replied she understood this was hard to process so suddenly and that they would have a “parent-child” discussion afterwards.
Maya then switched back to Miyuki and apologized for depriving her of choice in who her husband would be. Miyuki responded stiffly but she now had a sliver of hope. She clutched the back of her knees to not leap for joy if her hopes were fulfilled. Maya added that she would announce Miyuki’s fiancé(Tatsuya) at the same time as her promotion to future clan head. Maya then said Tatsuya’s name which caused Miyuki to cover her mouth with both hands in order not to scream. Trembling, Miyuki then covered her heart and was experiencing tremendous joy. She couldn’t keep the tears of joy from flowing from her eyes. Maya then asked Tatsuya to attend the gathering tomorrow where he would be named Miyuki’s betrothed. She then told Miyuki to make sure she polished herself up for the next day. Miyuki thanked her while still trembling and sobbing. Maya asked Hayama to have Minami arrange for Miyuki’s bath. Tatsuya was busy wiping Miyuki’s tears with his handkerchief. Minami arrived and on Maya’s instruction led Miyuki away to her rooms.
Once Miyuki had left, Maya suggested to Tatsuya that they change locations. Hayama lead them to another area of the main residence. Tatsuya took particular note of how reverently Hayama bowed to him. This was Tatsuya’s first time inside Maya’s private study. Hayama indicated that Tatsuya should sit on the sofa. Maya asked why Tatsuya seemed so interested in the room to which he replied it was not the room that Maya usually spoke to Miyuki in. Maya then explained that even the HAR for the room was separate from the rest of the residence and that it was a completely offline room. This wasn’t entirely true since her connection to Hliðskjálf was in the room. Hayama used the honorific “sama” when asking Tatsuya if he wanted some coffee, another first. When Hayama brought it to him he was disappointed that it was actually better than Miyuki’s coffee. When Tatsuya inquired, Hayama explained he actually used magic on the coffee, impressing Tatsuya with his magic precision. Maya then asked if they should start their discussion, to which Tatsuya asked if he could ask her something first. Maya, seeming to know what he was about to say, consented with a smirk. Tatsuya asked her why she would tell them such a lie as Miyuki was not his real sister. Maya playfully pretended to be naïve on what he was talking about, and then said it was not a lie. Maya then said that he claimed there was ample evidence of their sibling relationship. She then joyfully pointed out that paperwork could be forged, DNA tests faked. She then added the heads of the branch families only knew Miya was pregnant, nothing else about the baby’s origins. Tatsuya then calmly reminded Maya that he has Elemental Sight and knows for a fact that Miyuki and he shared the same genetics. Maya and Hayama are mildly surprised by the fact that Tatsuya can analyze down to that level. Maya playful surrendered and admitted that he is Miya’s son and not hers, to which he immediately inquired why she would have told such a lie in the first place. She then added that it was not entirely a lie that he was her son and that he and Miyuki were not siblings. She then revealed that Miyuki was genetically engineered. This stunned Tatsuya and he replied that there was no evidence of genetic manipulation in Miyuki. Maya proudly explained that Miyuki was the most perfect genetic modification possible. When he asked her why they had modified Miyuki Maya stuns him again by saying it was all for Tatsuya’s benefit.
Tatsuya was dumbfounded to learn that Miyuki was created for him. Maya added that because Tatsuya possessed such an incredible power that they had to find a way to keep him from using it indiscriminately. Miya’s MI magic “Gate” was able to stop him but she would eventually die before him, so Miyuki was made as her permanent replacement to limit his powers. She was designed to always be by his side to accomplish this goal. Tatsuya was still stunned by this news. Maya responded by saying Miyuki was a girl made just for him. She pointed out that Miyuki was too beautiful and perfectly symmetric and that surely that was not a natural result. She added that they probably couldn’t even reproduce the results if they tried, that Miyuki was a scientific miracle. Tatsuya asked if Miyuki knew about her modifications. Maya soothingly replied no and that she didn’t want her to know either. She added that the only people who knew were Miya, Hayama, Kurebayashi (the Yotsuba butler in charge of the laboratories), and his predecessor. She pointed out that emotionally Tatsuya and Miyuki were closer to each other than parents and children; but that genetically Maya was closer to him than Miyuki was.
Maya then added that saying he was her son was also not exactly untrue, and mentally they were mother and child. She said everyone else in the family feared him, but she welcomed his birth with joy because his magic was the fulfilment of her greatest wish. The world had violated her and took her ability to have her own children, but Tatsuya’s power would be the means to avenger herself. She added that it was her prayer that was answered with his birth, not Miya’s; and so he is Miya’s son biologically, but her son from a magic perspective. Tatsuya pointed out that she didn’t have MI magic, to which she replied that it was a miracle. She speculated that because Miya was her twin that somehow her fervent wishes for him affected Miya’s own MI influence on his development. She added that Miya realized that somehow Maya had taken her son from her, and said that it was seen as retaliation for Miya taking away Maya’s emotions after her kidnapping. Maya has become quite passionate and animated by the discussion. Maya said that Miya had tried to love him and gave him her every effort but in the end she could not. She said that when Miya preformed Tatsuya’s Magic Calculation Area experiment it had been for her specifically about keeping Tatsuya from destroying the world; and that leaving him some emotions had actually shortened her own life for his benefit.
Maya then said that his mother’s indifferent treatment of him and her encouragement of Miyuki to do the same; was so that Miyuki wouldn’t stop him with her “Cocytus” magic out of emotions but use it rationally. That if Miyuki was indifferent to him that she would only act out of necessity to stop him. Tatsuya was stunned that his mother’s poor treatment of him had such a deep meaning to it. Maya added Miyuki’s training as a lady was also so that she would never allow her own emotions to get out of control and effect Tatsuya. Tatsuya then added that Miyuki only loses some magic control because of the fact that Lady Tooka’s “Oath” magic forced her to use half her magical ability to constantly suppress his own magic. Maya commented that the siblings had such a good relationship that he’d do a great job as her fiancé. Tatsuya then pointed out they were still siblings and that it was impossible for them to marry. Maya asked if his concern was genetic defects in their children and she once again pointed out Miyuki’s DNA was perfect. She added again that Miyuki was designed specifically for him, and then guaranteed that there would be no issues like with Minoru Kudou. Maya then said that Miyuki would probably be happy to learn they can have children together. Tatsuya admitted to himself that she was probably correct in that assumption about her reaction. He also acknowledged to himself that though they had the same parents, there were always a few components in her that he couldn’t explain. Maya changed her mind and told Tatsuya he can tell Miyuki she was genetically modified and that there were no mental or biological reasons they couldn’t marry. Tatsuya stated it wasn’t something that should be keep from her in the first place. Maya added they shouldn’t let Miyuki worry about such things.
Maya then shifted towards a prophetic tone and told Tatsuya that if her ever lost Miyuki, then he was designed to become “broken” and then he would unleash his destructive powers on the world. She instructed him to cherish Miyuki and give her his hand in life. She added she didn’t care either way. That if Tatsuya did destroy the world her revenge for what was done to her would be complete. On the other hand, if he did successfully protect Miyuki from the cruelty of the world, then her revenge would be satisfied as well. She then told him what a wonderful son he was, to give what she considered to be the dead 12 year old Maya Yotsuba her revenge. Tatsuya replied to her that she was crazy. She ignored him and her only reply was that he will marry Miyuki with no objection.
Hayama then refilled her empty tea cup and she suddenly shifted her mood again and asked Tatsuya if he’d like more coffee. When he replied no, she then said it was late and they had a busy day tomorrow before asking if he had any other questions. He decided to tread lightly in order not to inflame her madness again. He asked her why she had chosen now to announce that he was her son and his engagement to Miyuki. Maya calmly replied she hadn’t originally planned to do so; but because Tatsuya had used Material Burst against the Great Asian Union attack fleet he had drawn too much attention from the world’s magical community. First the USNA came to investigate and once that died down there was the Parasite issue afterwards followed by the incident with Zhou. Basically she said that it had become a very busy year and she wanted things to die down before making her announcements. At this point Tatsuya realized this was as far as he’d get with her and said goodnight before leaving.
When Tatsuya had left, Maya became exhausted and Hayama praised her efforts. She dismissed his praise by saying that she became too excited. Hayama dismissed that and reminded her she always became excited when discussing Tatsuya’s story. This made Maya make a childlike expression of frustration that amused Hayama. Hayama then praised her plan. She had told him after Scorched Halloween that Miyuki had to be the next family head in order to keep Tatsuya loyal. Maya then added that even though she had gotten too excited, the rest all depended on how far Miyuki would go next. Hayama then praised Miyuki and said that her feelings were well established for Tatsuya. Maya pointed out that the person the most in love usually had no power in a relationship. Hayama assured her that in this case it was Miyuki who will win out in the end.
After his bath Tatsuya had returned to their rooms to find Miyuki gone and the futon set for two people. Miyuki immediately entered the room and was stunned to find the bedding set for two people. Tatsuya quickly tried to assure her this was not his doing, but was himself stunned by her post-bath beauty in her hitoe. Miyuki began to ask why the room had been set this way but Tatsuya regained his thoughts and assured her it was not his doing. Both relaxed some and sat but neither was comfortable enough to close the sliding door since it had only been a few hours since all of their aunt’s revelations. Miyuki finally asked if she could still call him “Onii-sama” to which Tatsuya replied yes. Miyuki nervously asked if what Maya had told them were true, to which Tatsuya immediately replied it was a lie. This caused her great consternation since she was happy to be siblings again but sad to know they couldn’t marry. She then asked why Maya would tell such a lie. Tatsuya explained that his answer was an over-simplification but it was so they could marry each other. Tatsuya wasn’t sure just how much he wanted to reveal to Miyuki yet. When she was in understandable confusion Tatsuya added that their children would have no birth defects. When she asked how that was possible, Tatsuya was torn about giving her the truth. After seeing her resolute interest, Tatsuya told her that she was genetically modified before birth. She took the news better than he had expected with her only concern being that she would live a normal human lifespan to be with Tatsuya. Once he had confirmed that she was expected to live a normal lifespan she asked him if they were to live as cousins from then on, which he confirmed for when they were in public.
Miyuki was happy at receiving this confirmation and asked him to confirm they were still getting married. When she saw his confused expression at her joy she assumed he found her disgusting and said as much to him. Still confused, Tatsuya could not understand her sudden mood swing. When he asked her why he should be disgusted, she stated in a depressed manner that it was unnatural for a sister to be in love with her brother. Stunned, Tatsuya cannot process that Miyuki basically admitted she was in love with him. Now crying, Miyuki admitted her joy at being his fiancée, that she wanted him to see her as a woman and that she wanted to be his bride. Tatsuya thought to himself that he has never truly understood Miyuki’s love for him. Miyuki continued that as a normal brother he must be disgusted with her desire to be more than siblings. She broke down and silently sobbed. Tatsuya felt that it was heartless of him to not understand her true feelings and pain they caused her all these years. When he reached out to console her she grabbed his hand to her chest and held it tightly. At that moment she confessed that she was indeed in love with him. She then begged him to not leave her even if he found her abnormal. He told her he would never leave her side. She then begged him to repeat his words and he did. He said he still saw her as his sister but he didn’t think she was abnormal and again said he would always be with her. He said that for the time being he could only see her as a sister, but that he would try to see her as a woman. They embraced and Miyuki confirmed that he would try to see her as a woman and was satisfied when he said he would.
Tatsuya then pointed out that they needed to sleep. Miyuki went to get another futon for him, but he said that their aunt had gone through the trouble to set them a double bed and it was fine to sleep together. Miyuki began to panic thinking he meant more, but seeing this, Tatsuya quickly confirmed that it was just for them to actually sleep. She was relieved by his words but couldn’t hide a bit of disappointment from her expression. Tatsuya left the room to change and when he returned he got in the bed with her. She moved in closer to him and rested her head on his arm. She began to reminisce about the last time they had slept together. It was on the day of their mother’s funeral. She then timidly asked him if he really hadn’t known of her romantic feelings for him, which he apologized for to indicate he really hadn’t known. She said that she was prepared to marry someone else; but that had it not been with Tatsuya..... He interrupted her thoughts by stroking her head and told her to just sleep.
| Both Tatsuya and Miyuki were busy getting prepared for the New Year’s Gathering. Miyuki felt like she was being dressed up like a doll and requested no whitening makeup since she was already so pale. By the time the servants had finished with them they both felt like going home. In the antechamber they were greeted by Fumiya and Ayako, who were also wearing formal kimonos. Fumiya and Ayako compliment Miyuki on her furisode. Yuuka approached the group in similar attire, and commented that Madam Shirakawa must have thought that the most formal attire was the only appropriate dress for this occasion. Fumiya wondered aloud if Katsushige would be joining them as well, to which Tatsuya says due to the time, he is probably already inside.
Minami emerged in a less formal kimono and asked if they would follow her into the main chamber. She seemed both nervous and embarrassed as she led the Kuroba twins in first. Yuuka then asked Tatsuya if he was familiar with the way they enter the room. When he gave a generalized answer Yuuka realized they didn’t know the seating arrangement and asked if Miyuki also didn’t know. When Miyuki confirmed this Yuuka offered them some advice. She told them to enter quickly and bow, then take their seats because the room is in Japanese style. Minami returned then and escorted Yuuka in. She then returned and the siblings followed her. Miyuki inquired if Minami was alright, since she looked so tired. Minami deflected the answer and apologetically asked them to hurry.
They were announced as they entered the hall. Both were stunned by what they saw. The servants of the house bowed to them in unison. Both gracefully returned their bow. After Minami asked them to take their seats, everyone seemed to be in awe of Miyuki’s beauty. Then as Minami guided them everyone seemed stunned that both of them were led to the seats beside Maya. Maya then greeted everyone again. Maya had on a Black Tomesode with gold trim. Everyone returned her greeting. Maya then announced that she had some happy news and announced Katsushige’s engagement to Kotona. Most everyone cheered and congratulated them, then Maya told them that the hard work of marriage was ahead of them, to which most of the older family members nodded agreement.
Maya then informs everyone she is going to announce the next family head, and everyone becomes somber again. She tells them it’s as everyone expected; the next family head is to be Miyuki. Everyone, particularly the servants, greeted this news with enthusiasm. Maya then stunned the group by announcing Miyuki will marry Tatsuya and that Tatsuya is her son. While everyone else beings whispering amongst themselves at this revelation; Yuuka’s mother, Lady Touka, asked Maya if she would clarify what she just said. Maya explained that Miya had carried Tatsuya but that he had been created from her egg, preserved from before the Taipei incident. That she now, with Miya’s previous knowledge, will now claim him as her son. Mitsugu then asked Maya about the announcement of their engagement. Maya answered that since Tatsuya was still in school he and Miyuki would continue to live together, since she said she was certain they would behave properly. Mitsugu was about to reply when Maya suddenly asked Ayako if she were OK. Ayako said she was but she clearly was not. Maya asked for someone to take Ayako to another room so she could rest. Fumiya asked to accompany his sister, which Maya granted. Then he and Minami led Ayako away.
A while later Fumiya went to check on Ayako, who was being watched over by Minami. When he entered she tried to rise but he stopped her. He asked if she felt better to which she asked if he understood, since they were twins. He replied back to her that since no one is closer to Tatsuya than Miyuki, there’s nothing they can do about his situation. Ayako didn’t reply, so Fumiya took it as admission that she had deeper feelings for Tatsuya. Fumiya then stated that he couldn’t believe that Maya would work so hard to make Miyuki her ally, to which Ayako says he’s wrong. She then says that Maya’s announcement wasn’t for Miyuki’s benefit, but for Tatsuya’s benefit instead, to ensure his place in the family. Only then did Fumiya realize his sister was right.
Since Ayako had taken ill and left the hall, even though the family was still conversing amongst themselves about the engagement and Tatsuya being Maya son, no one raised any further objections. This meant that Tatsuya’s new position in the family was now established as a fact. He did acknowledge to himself that it would be difficult for the family and staff to change their attitudes toward him quickly, and he resolved to react gently towards them. Hayama in the other hand was extremely polite and genial towards him. He bowed deeply and congratulated both of them. Miyuki and Tatsuya thanked him, and Tatsuya asked for Hayama’s help to familiarize him with the family’s inner workings and traditions. Hayama told him to ask him for anything, and then surprised Tatsuya by reminding him he had a new spell to demonstrate to them. Maya then excitedly asked Tatsuya if the new spell was ready, which he confirmed. Maya then gleefully asked Tatsuya to demonstrate it. Tatsuya noticed Hayama looking on at Maya’s glee like he was her grandfather. Then Miyuki, trying out calling him “Tatsuya-san” for the first time, also indicted she wanted to see as well. Tatsuya could no longer refuse. He rose with his CAD and moved to point it toward the yard beyond the wall. A wild boar was in a cage at the far side of the yard. Tatsuya spoke up so everyone could hear him and announced his new spell was called “Baryon Lance”. He said it was designed against organic matter and thus if anyone didn’t wish to see bloodshed they should leave. No one left. Tatsuya had one of his Silver Horn Trident Custom CAD but on the end was what looked like an oversized, blunt bayonet. Tatsuya aimed at the wild boar, and pulled the trigger.
Material Baryon Decomposition occurred first. Atoms of the CAD’s carbon-steel protrusion decomposed into electrons and atomic nuclei. Then the nuclei’s protons and neutrons were decomposed into baryons and leptons.
Next came FAE Process Execution – Particle Convergence. Baryons are condensed into a disk shape. Leptons and electrons are excluded from the target degradation.
Then came FAE Process Execution – Injection. The Baryons collected in the disk are released toward the target at 10 kilometers per second speed, which exceeds the speed of other known magic forces.
Finally Tatsuya used Regrowth to restore the carbon-steel protrusion to its original condition.
The collected group responded in confusion since it happened so fast. The wild boar fell, flailing on the ground before dying. Tatsuya bowed to everyone and attempted to put the CAD away, but Katsushige stopped him. He went into the yard and examined the dead boar. He then asked Tatsuya if he had used high density neutrons. Tatsuya replied that the process is a secret, which Katsushige replied to angrily with a sarcastic answer. Tatsuya decided to explain a little to him. He explained the process of decomposing the carbon-steel stake into particles in baryons, collecting them, and using them as the projectile. He didn’t explain Free After Emission Theory to him though, since that would have revealed the key to making the spell work. Katsushige seemed to understand the basics and Tatsuya was curious as to why he was so interested. Maya interrupted them, proclaiming that he used the word “lance” because his Regrowth allows it to be used repeatedly. She adds that because he Used Regrowth all the Neutrons used in the process are recovered and no trace is left behind, then she praised him before everyone. Tatsuya bowed in recognition of the praise, and as he did so Katsushige whispered in his ear that such a powerful magic allowed Tatsuya to scoff at the rest of them. Tatsuya then explained to Katsushige that he created Baryon Lance to defeat opponents he couldn’t defeat with Decomposition alone, and that it’s usually faster just to use decomposition. Katsushige recognized that Tatsuya had just confirmed he had always been able to defeat him, but his pride would not allow him to show his anger before the whole family.
Tatsuya felt fortunate that no one else asked him how he had overcome the neutron barrier, since that would require him revealing more details about the process that he didn’t want others to know about. He had also resolved himself to accept his new position as Maya’s son and Miyuki’s fiancé. The next day the 28 Families and the Hundred Families received official notice of Miyuki being the next Yotsuba clan leader, Tatsuya being Maya’s son, and their formal engagement to marry each other. Congratulatory messages were sent back. However, on the 3rd of January, an official objection to Tatsuya’s marriage to Miyuki was filed by Gouki, the head of the Ichijou Family of the 10 Master Clans.