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Chapter: 11


Volume 2, Chapter 11

This chapter is updated by Novels.pl

In a world dyed in a madder red,

A large all-terrain vehicle reflected the rays of the setting sun as it sped through the city,

Before smashing through the main doors leading to the factory. "Nice work, Leo."

"......Nah, that was nothing."

"Man, that was exhausting."

All of a sudden, Leo was asked to encompass the entirety of a large all- terrain vehicle speeding along above 100 kilometers per hour with high level Fortify Magic at the moment of impact, an extremely taxing task that consumed all his reserves.

"Shiba, this is your plan. Call it."

Tatsuya accepted the authority and responsibility that Katsuto offered without any hesitation.

"Leo, you remain here on guard.

Erika, support Leo and take care of anyone trying to flee."

"......Is it okay to not apprehend them?"

"There's no need for such a risky action. To ensure minimal risk, just take them out.

Kirihara-senpai and the Group Leader should loop around the left to the back entrance.

Miyuki and I will enter here."

"Understood."

"OK, let's do it. I'll take care of every single one of the stragglers."

"Tatsuya, be careful."

"Miyuki, don't force yourself."

Leo and Erika both accepted this arrangement, so they did not reveal any displeased expressions.

With blade in hand — but not drawn — Kirihara charged away, with Katsuto leisurely following behind.

Tatsuya and Miyuki both walked into the dark interior of the factory with the same ease as if they were entering a convenience store.

◊ ◊ ◊

They encountered the enemy much sooner than expected.

Heedless of cover, Tatsuya advanced fearlessly out into the open, where their opponents stood in neat lines in the center of the meeting ground area.

"Welcome! Nice to meet you, Shiba Tatsuya-kun!

And this hime-sama must be your sister, Miyuki-kun, right?"

"You must be the branch commander of Blanche."

Tatsuya coldly interrogated the man who had his arms spread out in an exaggerated welcoming motion.

Roughly 30 years of age. Unusually young for this line of work.

He wore rimless glasses atop his tall, lanky figure. From his outward appearance, he seemed like some sort of scholar or lawyer.

"Oh, forgive my rudeness.

Just as you said, I am the commander of Blanche's Japanese branch, Tsukasa Hajime."

There was no sense of pressure, but that may have been a biased opinion. In Tatsuya's mind, this man gave off the impression that he was an intellectual of a failed revolution.

However, based on those ridiculous actions and mesmerized tone of voice, a glimmer of emotions as dark as the deepest abyss could be detected.

"Is that so?"

Even though he had seen through his opponent's wild antics, Tatsuya didn't flinch. It didn't matter which of the seven Hells he was in; Tatsuya would've already become accustomed to it. He did not need to ascertain the relationship between this man and Tsukasa Kinoe of the Men's Kendo Club, so all he did was ask this question, then firmly nodded his head.

Although he didn't verbalize it, his attitude was enough to express his intent. Tatsuya removed the silver CAD from its holster.

"Hm, a CAD. I thought you would bring firearms at least.

That being said, you're a bold one. You came forward without any heed to nearby cover.

No matter what kind of Magician you are, you can still be killed by bullet wounds!"

"I am no Magician."

Tatsuya's reaction was completely unlike someone under the threat of a sniper, causing the Blanche commander to stare at him with widened eyes.

"Oh, so that's how it is. You're still a student.

I forgot that detail after seeing you charge in like that."

"You talk too much.

Well, for you to incite these people, there must be some angle behind it."

"For your age, you're pretty good.

Using such a penetrating attitude to view things at your age makes you too rigid. At this rate, you're going to be an old-timer very quickly."

Ridiculous movements and tone. Along with those self-delusional words.

That being said, Tatsuya had no intention of playing along with Tsukasa Hajime's nonsense.

"At any rate, I advise you to surrender.

All of you, throw down your weapons and place your hands on your heads."

"Ha ha ha ha, aren't you a Weed that doesn't excel in magic? Oh, I'm sorry, I shouldn't use such a taboo term.

But, where exactly does your confidence come from?

If you think that magic is the be all and end all, then you're making a terrible mistake."

As he was laughing, the wildness surrounding Tsukasa Hajime seem to multiply as he raised his right hand.

To the left and right, some twenty odd members of Blanche raised their weapons at the same time.

Apart from pistols, they also had assault rifles and semi-automatics mixed in.

"You have to be equals to even reach the bargaining table, so I'll give you another chance.

Shiba Tatsuya-kun, join us.

I heard from my little brother that you can use Cast Jamming without resorting to Antinite. I am very interested in that ability.

In regards to this exercise, I have spent a considerable time preparing for it. A lot of time and resources went into indoctrinating those damnable students so they would do my bidding. I am greatly aggravated by the waste of all that time and effort, but if you are willing to join us, I am willing to overlook all that."

His face revealed a frivolous smirk, the wildness tucked behind a mask of righteousness. It was a face that would have inspired terror in Miyuki had Tatsuya not been there. If she wasn't with Tatsuya, Miyuki undoubtedly would have felt her hackles rise at this man.

"As expected, this was your goal.

Having Mibu-senpai approach me and ordering your little brother to ambush me was to test the depths of that Cast Jamming ability?"

"Hm, I do like smart children.

But to understand so much and still waltz into here without a care in the world reveals that you are still a child.

Nevertheless, children can still be stubborn.

Even when they know they have no chance of winning, they still refuse to obey."

"And what of it?"

"Yeah......

Then, let's do this."

His movements were more like those of a con artist than of a scholar.

He threw the fake pair of rimless glasses aside, raised his forehead, and caught Tatsuya's gaze.

"Shiba Tatsuya, become one of our companions!" Tsukasa Hajime's eyes took on a strange glow.

Tatsuya's already few expressions disappeared, his right hand holding the CAD dropped as if every ounce of strength had been sapped away.

"Ha ha ha ha ha, and now you are one of us!"

Tsukasa Hajime abandoned any pretense of hiding the wildness about him. Even though the aura about him did not command respect or awe, it was still something worthy of a leader's mantle.

"The first thing you shall do, is to personally execute the little sister that came along with you!

To die at the hands of your beloved Onii-sama is probably your fondest wish!"

This wasn't acting any more. He had already become accustomed to giving out orders.

Truly, he had already forced many people to obey him.

His twisted smile revealed his complete confidence in his own abilities.

"......It's about time to stop with the monkey antics. Anyone who even sees you would be embarrassed on your behalf."

However, that expression was transfixed at Tatsuya's mocking words. "Consciousness Interference Type Non-Systemic Magic, Evil Eye.

Even with that lofty name, the truth is that the light emitted from the eyes sends out hypnotizing waves, using the speed of light to bypass the limits of human sensory abilities, directly influencing the opponent through sight using light wave oscillation type magic.

It is merely a tangent from brainwashing techniques, a skill that could be replicated with a projector: hypnotism.

While this ability voids the need for lugging a machine about and is able to control an opponent's consciousness, at the end of the day, that's all it is.

Prior to the formation of the New Soviet Federation, this was a technique that White Russia developed after extensive research."

This wasn't magic. Tatsuya froze his opponents with his words alone. "Mibu-senpai's memory was probably rewritten in the same way."

"Onii-sama, if that's the case......"

At his little sister's wide-eyed question, Tatsuya nodded without any expression on his face.

"The errors in Mibu-senpai's memory were too extreme for it to be entirely natural.

If this was brought about by something she had misheard, it is true that this result may occur.

However, this sort of misunderstanding should disappear and cool down in time."

"......You, despicable scoundrel."

Miyuki's proper mouth bit out this furious sentence. Maybe the flames of fury had melted the ice within. "......You, why......"

Tsukasa Hajime groaned, speaking as if struggling with asthma. The wild smile was gone from his face. Without it, the only thing that remained was a frail scholar used to giving out orders, but unwilling to dirty his own hands.

"What an insipid fellow."

Tatsuya did nothing to cover his biting words.

"Using the right hand to remove the glasses to draw attention from the left hand manipulating your CAD. Did you think such cheap tricks would work against me?

As long as the Activation Sequence can be seen, then I know what magic you are using and can easily defeat it.

For something as trivial as your magic, removing a small portion of the Activation Sequence is sufficient. Without the hypnotism component, Evil Eye is nothing more than a simple light show."

Tatsuya had already lost interest in the con artist whose tricks had been unraveled.

"How can this be......? To do this...... Who the hell are you......?"

"Speaking of which, 'you' refers to two people, right? Being too verbose will remove that monster mask from you as well."

At this time, Tsukasa Hajime finally realized.

The youth's features and muscles slackened only after he judged Tsukasa Hajime's magic to be completely neutralized.

From the very beginning, this young man never considered Tsukasa Hajime to be on the same level as a human being.

He didn't see Tsukasa Hajime as a human. Tsukasa Hajime's features, name, personality, even consciousness were immaterial to this young man.

Tsukasa Hajime finally realized that.

For this young man, Tsukasa Hajime was nothing more than an "enemy". An "obstacle".

And now, after determining the appropriate solution, all that remained was to remove this obstacle.

"Fire, damn you all, fire!"

This was not the time to act regal or majestic.

He didn't even have time to recognize the confused looks in the eyes of his companions, no, subordinates.

Thoroughly consumed by the fear that even primitive animals dread, Tsukasa Hajime gave the order to shoot.

But— "W-what......"

"What the hell is this?"

—Not a single bullet was fired.

Full blown panic erupted in the area.

With a clatter, the various pistols, rifles and semi-automatics collapsed into pieces.

Just as the men squeezed the triggers, their weapons were broken down to their components.

In the midst of the chaos,

Only Tsukasa Hajime possessed the composure to flee. Not a single one of his companions followed him. "Onii-sama, please pursue immediately.

I will handle this."

"Understood."

Tatsuya strode towards the deepest part of the factory. The crowd parted automatically around him.

Tatsuya did not pay any attention to them, remaining focused on the fleeing Tsukasa Hajime alone.

If they let him pass, the remaining Blanche members could only sit around and wait to be arrested.

Only one of these members thought to hurtle the knife in his hand at Tatsuya.

The instant that thought crossed his mind. "Foolish plebeian."

Normally, this voice would be both charming and cute, but now it only brought despair.

"Just punish them a little.

These people aren't worth any more of your time."

"Yes, Onii-sama."

A statue completely covered in frost tilted and fell over between the two conversing siblings.

◊ ◊ ◊

Only one of them dared to raise a hand towards Miyuki's Onii-sama. That asinine man was already frozen.

However, for her, this level of retribution could be said to be sufficient, but at the same time unsatisfactory.

A sufficient reason.

An unsatisfactory result.

Before the young girl's slim figure, two rows of men stood there, unable to move at all.

Both mentally — and physically.

The floor was covered by a solid layer of white frost.

The only place that shared the same season as the outer world was a small circle that spread around where the young girl stood.

The white mist condensed into a tornado. The frost turned the air bitterly cold. She raised her right hand.

In this reality, she stood like the Queen of Ice about to render judgement upon the damned.

"You are all very unfortunate."

Her tone was entirely different from usual.

However, these words that were filled with majesty, judgement, and authority were in no way incompatible with her appearance.

"If you had not raised your hand against Onii-sama, I had planned to go easy on you."

The cold air slowly rose.

Gradually, the cold corroded their bodies.

The faces of the men were contorted with sheer terror and utter despair. "I am not merciful like my Onii-sama."

The white mist rose to throat level.

"Pray. Pray that you will retain your pitiful lives."

The chilling air that utterly covered the men from head to toe abruptly turned the atmosphere solemn.

Wide Area Oscillation Speed Magic "Niflheim". Silent screams permeated the deepening mist.

◊ ◊ ◊

No one lay in ambush.

So his opponent already considered whether to split his forces, Tatsuya thought.

For Tatsuya, who could readily detect any existences around him, ambushes were meaningless.

In the next room, ten remaining members of the terrorist cell were waiting for him.

With ten assault rifles.

Tatsuya clicked the trigger of his CAD from the other side of the wall. Physical obstacles were no impediment to magic.

Tatsuya was only able to freely manipulate two magics. The first was "Decomposition", which was able to render assault rifles into psions.

Panicked sounds were heard once more.

Relying on his sensory ability, his magic was able to disassemble not just Magic Sequences, but Activation Sequences as well. It was a side effect from a wholly different magic.

Identify the design, decompose the design.

As long as it was an object, he could translate the physical object into signals, and then rewrite or erase the base design at his leisure.

If it was an Information Body, then he could directly disassemble the design.

This was one of the most difficult magics imaginable, able to directly interfere with the design information.

And it was because he was born with such an ability, that Tatsuya was unable to use other magics.

He was only able to use imitation and theoretical magic.

His Magic Calculation Area was completely dominated by those two highly difficult magics.

However, he didn't need diverse magics today.

The first peerless magic was already sufficient for him to rule the field of battle.

There were no longer any weapons in his opponents' hands.

As Tatsuya advanced into the innermost depths of the room, what greeted him was not bullets, but hollow laughter accompanied by an inaudible sound.

"How is it, Magician? This is true Cast Jamming."

That wild laughter no longer possessed the same darkness that threatened to devour one's consciousness.

Tsukasa Hajime's ridiculous laughter was merely a front.

Backed into a corner, the only thing supporting Tsukasa Hajime's will was the bronze Antinite bracelet worn around his right wrist.

The other ten men also wore similar rings on their fingers. Antinite was a military resource limited by its production location.

These areas were certain parts of the ancient Aztec Empire, somewhere in the Mayan ruins, central Tibet, the highest peaks of Scotland, and a portion of the high plains of Iran.

In other words, only areas with ancient civilizations that dwelt in the mountains could produce Antinite.

It was just like manufactured goods that could only be produced at high elevation.

"It appears that they've prepared quite a large amount of Antinite," Tatsuya said softly.

"The employer is a breakaway faction from the remnants of White Russia. Their backer is the East Asian Union."

Faltering emotions were also passed along. Tedium welled up from the bottom of his heart. Calling them third rate was probably overrating them. Then again, nothing fit the criteria any better.

"Kill him!

A Magician without any magic is nothing more than a child!"

Using his fists would be too much of a hassle, so Tatsuya raised his right arm and squeezed the trigger on his CAD.

This wasn't a gun. It could only fire bullet-like projectiles that were composed of small lasers and electrically-charged particles.

Even so, every man that was hit by the shots collapsed with blood spewing from their thighs.

There were two small points - one in the front and one in the back.

There was a tiny hole the size of a needle that severed the nerves and completely penetrated the thigh.

Tatsuya kept squeezing the trigger.

Wounds appeared on shoulders and legs as men fell left and right.

In the line of fire formed by Tatsuya's Magic Sequence, the parts that formed the human body, including skin, flesh, nerves, body fluids, bones, and cellular structures were decomposed at a molecular level, creating a piercing hole.

He was only able to rewrite a small portion of the entire Information Body.

This was one of the most challenging techniques in modern magic. In recompense for using such a precise ability, Tatsuya's Magic Calculation

Area was completely focused on this technique to the exclusion of all others.

"Why?"

Exactly how many times had this man uttered this line?

It seemed excessively foolish to search one's memory for the answer. "Why are you able to use magic while under Cast Jamming?"

Cast Jamming was a type of Non-Systemic Magic able to create psion noise that disrupted other people from casting magic. The psion noise caused by Antinite was designed to interfere with the formation of Magic Sequences.

Tatsuya simply decomposed that design and changed the oscillations of the psion noise.

Cast Jamming was an obstacle that obstructed the path of Magic Sequences. It was precisely this obstacle that Tatsuya used magic to dissolve.

But, it wasn't only that.

The man who used Evil Eye couldn't even comprehend that.

Since he was about to take care of him, there was no time for any explanations.

Just then,

The wall behind Tsukasa Hajime split open.

The oscillating steel reflected light everywhere, releasing tiny sparks of silvery light.

This was the edge of oscillation-type magic Sonic Blade. "Eeeek~~!"

His hips giving out, Tsukasa Hajime leapt to one side in dismay. The one who took his place was Kirihara Takeaki.

Looked like he had charged in from the rear entrance and literally cut his way here.

"Yo, were you the one who took all those guys out?" There was no other answer.

Before Tatsuya could give his assent, Kirihara nodded several times. "Nicely done, bro.

So, who's this guy?"

Kirihara's gaze was scornful as he jerked a thumb at the man cowering against the wall.

"That's Tsukasa Hajime, the Blanche commander."

"This guy is......?"

The change was instantaneous.

The fury flowing from every pore on Kirihara's body would be enough to give Tatsuya pause.

"You were the one!

The one who deceived Mibu!"

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Seeing the furious Kirihara approach, maybe the fight part of the fight or flight instinct finally kicked in as psion noise several times more potent than before flooded the area.

Originally, Kirihara's Sonic Blade should be rendered useless. Against such a strong dose of Cast Jamming.

However,

"Because of you, Mibu is!"

"Ahhhhhhh!"

The blunt edge of Kirihara's blade sheared off Tsukasa Hajime's right arm with the Antinite bracelet from the elbow down.

Katsuto appeared in the gaping hole in the wall that Kirihara came through.

He frowned slightly before starting to manipulate the CAD in his left hand.

It was a Generalized CAD shaped like a portable terminal, just like the one Miyuki carried.

After a short delay to numb all five senses...

There was the acrid smell of burning flesh, accompanied by a halt to the blood loss and the screams.

Tsukasa Hajime, foaming at the mouth and wetting himself, fainted.

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