There was no need for any difficult thoughts.
That girl was heading towards death all alone.
She may have brought it all on herself, but a certain boy could not allow that conclusion to happen.
And so he fought back.
He had many reliable allies in the place he had so yearned to return to, but he clenched his fist once more in order to proudly return there properly, even if it meant turning his back on all of them for the time being.
Clench your right fist to protect the life and smile of a single girl.
To be absolutely clear, Kamijou Touma was not going to unconditionally write off all of Othinus’s crimes.
He simply could not allow this frenzy in the name of justice to kill her without passing proper judgment on her.
If a legitimate judgment was passed on her and she was shut in a dark cell for decades to come, it would have been none of his concern.
But even if that had happened, he would have never abandoned her.
He would have visited her countless times. No matter how much time it took and even if they had to wait until they were old and wrinkled, he would have made sure she was met with a smile when she finally was released from that cell. And once all of her crimes had been made up for, they could walk together in the light of the sun.
That was the true form of this fight.
He did not think the reason of the world was forceful enough to rob even that possibility from her.
No matter what it took, Kamijou Touma would “save” Magic God Othinus.
That girl with long wavy blonde hair, white skin, and one eye covered in an eyepatch looked at Kamijou’s resolute face and asked a question.
“I understand what you want to do. This is just more proof that you can’t fix stupidity.”
They were in the complex labyrinth inside the countless drifting ships making up Sargasso, but they could not stay there forever. But not because they would eventually be found. The odds were much higher that the entire landmass would soon be destroyed by missiles.
“So what exactly do you plan to do? We’re currently surrounded by ocean, so how do you plan to safely and covertly escape?”
“………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………That’s actually a really good question.”
“Wait… Don’t tell me you hadn’t given this any thought at all.”
Unpleasant sweat poured from Kamijou’s body and he poured all his energy into averting his gaze. The girl known as a god heavily, silently, and unsteadily stood up.
“You make such a big show of rescuing me and then you do this!? And what did you hope to do if we did escape? Imagine Breaker won’t work against cruise missiles that don’t rely on the supernatural and I’m currently on the road to death thanks to that fairy spell. How!! In the hell!! Do you hope to rescue me!? Well!?”
“Wait, wait! Othi-chan, don’t climb on top of me!! Do you have any idea how revealing that outfit is!?”
“Don’t call me that!! Even if you understand me, that’s getting too friendly, human!! And I don’t like how it makes you sound like my uncle!!”
“I’m not trying to make fun of a god or anything. And if we’re gonna bring up what things sound like, let’s get into why I dropped the ‘nus’. I think that would make most people think of the word ‘anu-…”
“I’m gonna punch you! I really am gonna punch you!!”
Even with her spear gone and while suffering due to the transformation to a fairy, she was still a god. She could easily beat the snot out of the boy who stopped World War 3 with a single fist.
While gasping for breath (on top of Kamijou Touma’s stomach), Othinus finally realized this was no time for this.
“Let’s sum up the important points.”
“The first problem is of course the fact that the entire world is after me. No matter how we end this, there has to be some clear dividing line.”
Kamijou was as red as a tomato, so she shook his collar and kept his mind from travelling to Valhalla.
“And the second problem is the fairy spell that Ollerus hit me with. It is currently destroying my body from the inside, so we have to stop its advance in some way.”
“Is there a way of doing that?”
“Someone apparently said that god does not play dice, but I have to leave this up to chance. I can’t see the future,” she spat out. “But there is a hope for that second problem. The fairy spell was created to be used on a magic god, so it won’t work on a human.”
“Wait a sec.”
Kamijou frowned a bit as he thought over the information she had just presented to him.
“So if you go back to being human…”
“The internal destruction will stop. But it means sacrificing a lot of power.” She placed a hand over the eyepatch. “I rose to the position of magic god by gouging out my eye and offering it to a spring. It was a ceremonial act of destruction. You could call it a systematic sacrifice. The eye is still at the bottom of that cold spring and all that makes me special will vanish if I retrieve it and place it in the eye socket. I didn’t use this method even when I abandoned my power before. Thinking back, that was a sign of my lingering regret.”
“All right!!” shouted Kamijou.
Othinus let out a surprised voice.
This was simply because he had hugged her without thinking.
“That means we can save you!! It’s not just a dream!! We don’t have to create a goal out of thin air or anything. There was a goal prepared for us from the beginning! In that case…!!”
“H-honestly! Don’t get so friendly, human!!”
She pushed him away with her small hands, but his smile did not wane.
After all, he had just received the best news possible in that hopeless situation.
The hatred and desire for Othinus primarily came from her inhuman power. She had previously suggested that some would appear to raise her up once more if she were placed in a cell, but this would eliminate that danger.
Once he was finally torn from Othinus, he continued speaking.
“I had no idea. If I’d known about that weakness, we might have been able to resolve this more peacefully and skipped the tens of thousands or hundreds of millions of deaths.”
“Those deaths are not my responsibility. Plus, that was the single safety in case I lost control. I could not reveal it even to the others in Gremlin.”
She had now revealed it to Kamijou Touma.
That was surely due to the essence beginning to grow inside her. No matter how many disagreements or misunderstandings there were, that was not to be trampled on.
She felt as if she had found something she had to do.
“So our goal for now is retrieving that eye. Where is this spring?”
“Denmark. Mímir’s Spring lies deep in the land that refers to Odin as Othinus. My eye lies submerged in that spring of wisdom even now.”
This did not solve the first problem. It gave them no way of suppressing the world’s hatred and fear. But neutralizing her power would certainly help in getting them to disarm.
“Just to be clear, you don’t have to go with me.”
“Isn’t it a bit late for that? And be honest, god-chan. You’re breathing a sigh of relief inside, aren’t you?”
“Don’t push yourself too far. Have you forgotten you thought about killing yourself after you were inundated by the world’s malice and good will? That same tragedy is going to arrive now. And this time, you don’t need to experience it. And more importantly, there is no fixing the world this time. Fail once and you lose everything.”
“Perhaps, but I’m not facing it alone this time. The world looks different now.”
She clicked her tongue and looked away.
While still sitting on top of him, she asked a question.
“Then let’s bring this conversation full circle. How do you plan to escape Sargasso? We’re in the middle of the ocean and both magic and science have us surrounded in every way possible. Any ideas?”
“Help me, Othinus-chan.”
“So you’re all talk and your only option is praying to god?”
In her annoyance, Othinus most likely did not realize that it was actually quite rare for Kamijou to ask someone else for help like this.
Their “understanding” was not a one-way ticket.
“Listen. This is truly the last time you can do this. I’ll be using every last ounce of strength I have as a magic god, so don’t rely on me again. The internal destruction would smash me to pieces.”
As she spoke, Othinus pulled something from inside her witch’s hat.
It was a straight bone that looked perfect for a dog to hold in its mouth. It looked like some kind of animal’s leg and the side had strange writing carved into it with a blade.
“This is called the Bone Boat. Just like the crossbow, this magic item is used by Othinus but not Odin. I can freely change its size and it can cross all of the world’s oceans in an instant.”
“In an instant? Wait a minute. If it teleports you, I can’t go along. My right hand would negate it.”
“Then rethink your viewpoint,” she muttered while rubbing her fingers along the writing on the side. “It does not move the two of us. It moves everything except for us. It rotates the whole planet around.”
An instant later, the scenery grew distorted.
Index, Misaka Mikoto, Leivinia Birdway, and Lessar searched their surroundings after being left on Sargasso.
And they reached a certain conclusion. There was no other conclusion they could reach.
Birdway sounded annoyed and Mikoto snapped back.
“Wait. What is going on!? That idiot made a complete 180 the instant he arrived here! I thought we were all in agreement about defeating these Gremlin people!”
“Hmm… It seems unlikely that he was messed with using brainwashing or suggestion, but she is a magic god. To be honest, we don’t have any idea what exactly she can or can’t do.”
The only one to remain silent was the girl in the white nun’s habit.
Index held 103,000 grimoires. She was a living treasure trove of wisdom that could supposedly reach the level of magic god if she used them all correctly.
From her position, she could predict what a magic god was and what a magic god could do.
Birdway scratched at her head in displeasure.
“Whatever the case, we need to find out where he disappeared to and tear him away from that magic god. He may be somewhat special, but he’d die instantly if the entire coalition army attacked and he could easily be caught in the middle and killed as the magic god destroys that army.”
“Hee hee hee. Are you upset that your precious big bro was taken from you?”
While the two short girls (although there was a plain difference in the chest) butted heads, Mikoto’s cell phone rang.
She had received an email.
She casually opened it.
(Huh? But I thought the panic in Tokyo had cut off all communications?)
And then she was left dumbfounded.
“What is this?”
A certain group was more deeply troubled than any other by Othinus and Kamijou Touma’s disappearance.
They were inside the UN Headquarters building in New York.
The group was made up of the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations and largest churches.
“This isn’t good,” groaned United States President Roberto Katze.
Below them was every piece of information gathered from soldiers on the scene, UAVs, and military satellites. In a way, they had more accurate and detailed information than Mikoto’s group who were actually on Sargasso.
The boy who was Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church politely raised his hand before speaking.
“This does not fit with Kamijou Touma’s previous behavior. Does anyone have any ideas?”
“He has had contact with Gremlin a few times before.” Roberto held his head in his hands. “Hawaii, Baggage City, and it’s unconfirmed, but something seems to have happened in Academy City. Magic God Othinus supposedly has absolute power, so why did she let him live at Baggage City? …There may have been some complicated reason for that.”
“The truth of that is not the issue,” cut in a sickly-looking woman.
She controlled France’s politics from deep underground and was known as the Femme Fatale.
Queen Regnant Elizard then spoke up in annoyance.
“Once those doubts begin, saying he’s innocent because we know him isn’t enough, hm? The only way to stop this worldwide frenzy is to attack and eliminate the source.”
“Isn’t that the same theory used during the witch hunt?”
“For us, that never came to an end. You can be as idealistic as you want, but if we don’t do this, human society will soon boil over with fear of Othinus.”
From the English revolution to World War 3, the queen had seen Kamijou Touma’s power firsthand. No matter how it happened, having him as an enemy was a painful piece of information. The Royal Family, the Knights, and the Anglicans were made up of magicians who belonged to an organization yet focused on the individual. If they were forced to go up against that boy, it was impossible to predict how they would react.
They had already begun contacting the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The leaders of those three major churches were likely releasing the restrictions on specially sealed spells. Elizard had her own thoughts while watching them prepare spells that could literally destroy a nation.
(It might be best to leave this to the “official” groups like the SAS and MI6. Extreme irregulars using supernatural power might actually give him a way out.)
Roberto let out another heavy sigh.
It may have come from his position as the leader of a nation or it may have come from his position as the protector of something even greater.
And then he spoke once more.
“In that case, we can only continue as normal. We find the ‘Othinus faction’ that has made their way through the world and we destroy them equally. That’s the only way to prevent society from growing any more unstable.”
The email was sent out to all of them at once.
“What the hell is this? What is that piece of shit doing?”
Academy City’s #1 clicked his tongue in displeasure.
“I can’t believe it. This city is still doing this kind of thing?”
Academy City’s #2 was confused.
“What is this?”
Academy City’s #3 felt the hand holding her cell phone tremble.
“Denmark? What a pain. If they don’t pay travel expenses, even if you killed them, you’d barely break even.”
Academy City’s #4 made the calculations in her head as usual.
“Oh? I don’t know what happened, but it looks like I have more to do now☆”
Academy City’s #5 gave a fearless smile that gave no hint of her true feelings.
Academy City’s #6 toyed with the phone.
“What kind of email is this? It’s got no guts at all. Did this come from some intellectual with no common sense?”
Academy City’s #7 cracked his neck.
Those screens opened simultaneously in different locations displayed a short text:
Requesting the death of Magic God Othinus and Kamijou Touma who is traveling with her.
While standing on the deck of a cruiser, Stiyl Magnus placed his cell phone to his ear.
The storm had calmed down.
The Russian bomber formation flying above and Jörmungandr of Gremlin had both disappeared.
“Kanzaki, what do you mean Kamijou Touma vanished along with the magic god?”
“I am checking the information as well, but it doesn’t seem to be a joke. The Gremlin members who were sealing off the important transportation points around the world are also vanishing one by one. This must have been a surprise for them as well.”
He lit the cigarette in his mouth and looked up into the sky once more.
His opponent had not had a reason to flee. If it had continued, Stiyl was the one who would have been in danger.
“Then what do we do?” he asked.
“We work for an anti-magician peace preservation organization. We don’t do anything until we receive official orders, but we should be summoned before long. And if that happens…”
“We’ll be asked to go fight Kamijou Touma to the death.”
The magic side, the science side, the official organizations, those who worked behind the scenes, and even Gremlin who acted in absolute secrecy would be pursuing those two.
They had truly made an enemy of the entire world.
This was six billion vs. two.
“What is he thinking? But if he's betrayed her, I’m not opposed to killing him.”
In an unknown place, the Will of the Misaka Network writhed about.
“Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! /return.”
If she had possessed a physical body, she would have been laughing.
She would have been holding her sides and had tears in her eyes.
“As I started to disappear, I certainly didn’t expect this /return.”
She spoke with no one to listen.
“But /backspace, he wouldn’t be Kamijou-chan if he didn’t exceed my expectations /return.”
She was closer than anyone.
She was more distant than anyone.
She spoke slowly as if watching the back of a rock star who had broken out of a long slump and was stepping back up onto the stage once more.
“Welcome back, Kamijou-chan /return.”
Meanwhile, Kamijou Touma and Othinus had arrived near the Arctic. The boy shivered in the white snowy scenery.
“If you want to speak, use human language. Stop creating a language not even a god can understand. You’re destroying the laws of the world.”
“M-min-minus fifteen degrees!? What is this number my cell phone is showing!? Th-this isn’t accurate, right? Heh. Eh heh heh. The thermometer broke, right!?”
“Well, it is cold enough to break a thermometer.”
Othinus looked perfectly calm despite her outfit covering no more area than a bikini.
“But this is odd. On average, the climate here shouldn’t be enough for snow like this even during the winter. Well, I hear there’s been strange weather everywhere recently. I guess this kind of thing happens.”
“Bfhah!! I-I-I-I-I’d rather be in Russia than h-h-h-here!!”
“I doubt it. It gets to fifty below freezing in some parts of Russia.”
(Is she really dying?)
Kamijou could not resist any longer, so he spoke up while wrapping his own arms around his shoulders.
“Wh-why is my breath sparkling? Did we wander into a shoujo manga or something!?”
“That’s diamond dust. Want to take a picture?”
“I-I-I-I-I can’t take it. I need to buy a coat somewhere. D-don’t worry. I’m sure they trust the Japanese yen here!!”
“Do what you want, but don’t stand out too much. And do you even know what language they speak in Denmark?”
“I can manage overseas using body language! Beef or fish! Sightseeing!!”
Kamijou may have been hallucinating due to the cold because he started shouting nonsense and running through the white scenery. He spotted a man clearing snow from the roof of a pastoral brick house and he began trying to communicate with the gestures of a broken robot.
After a few minutes, he returned.
His drooping shoulders suggested he had not had much luck.
“What did he say?”
“He said acting out in your youth is fine, but this winter is too cold so we should stick to car sex if we want to let loose outdoors.”
“I-I’m going to destroy this world!!!!”
Kamijou Touma was forced to physically restrain the dying magic god.
He unexpectedly gained some warmth from her skin.