Ancient City Insurrection Chapter (II) is the 15th volume in the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Light Novel series.


Ichijou Masaki (aka The Crimson Prince) and Shiba Tatsuya (The Ultimate Weapon of the Yotsuba) have united. In late September at the close of the National High School Magic Thesis Competition, in order to capture Zhou Gongjin.

Chapter 6

Mayumi visited First High. She is the former student president, but the school decided to treat her as a daughter of the Saegusa family. She only chose one person to meet, Tatsuya. She apologized for visiting even though she thinks it's the best place to meet, but the school was getting noisy because of her visit. Tatsuya told her not to worry. He could say that to her because it is much better for her to visit him at school than at Tatsuya’s home. At the home, he has many things that he does not wish to show other members of 10MC. With Mayumi’s eye, there is a risk of exposing them to Mayumi.

Mayumi could search Tatsuya’s address and visit him, but by meeting Tatsuya at the school Mayumi may also become a part of gossip, so Tatsuya understand, visiting him at the school was her way of being thoughtful of Tatsuya. Mayumi asked Tatsuya how things are going. Tatsuya said, he will be responsible for the thesis competition’s security, and he said, he may be a help based on Mayumi’s objective of this meeting.

Mayumi asked Tatsuya about Nakura and asked him whether he knew anything. Tatsuya said, he read the newspaper. Mayumi said, Nakura was murdered, but she does not know the killer, but she states, her father, Kouichi, knows the killer. She said, she knew Nakura was sent to Kyoto with a secret mission, and Tatsuya knows the meaning of "secret mission," a job of the underworld; he assumed it was an illegal or something close to illegal job. 

Tatsuya asks what she wants to do. Mayumi said she wants to know the truth. She was never close to Nakura. It was a strict business relationship, and Mayumi only considered him as a bodyguard and a watcher. Tatsuya questioned Mayumi whether it is wise to risk herself for finding the killer. Mayumi replied Tastuya’s provocation by gazing at him with anger. Mayumi replies that she realized her bodyguard was killed under the order of Saegusa family. The family may not have asked him to die for the mission, but Nakura died, so Mayumi believes it is her responsibility as a member of the Saegusa family to learn the truth. Tatsuya praised her. Mayumi says that it may be for her self-satisfaction, but if she does not find out the truth, then she cannot live proudly as the eldest daughter.

Her statement made Tatsuya feel both admiration for and repulsion from her. Unlike her, Miyuki cannot say anything about her background. He does not believe the name "Yotsuba" carries any honor or pride, but he thinks that hiding oneself is sad thing. Tatsuya thought of Mayumi as someone to envy because she wants to be proud of her own lineage, and can do so in stark contrast to Miyuki and her lineage.

It was not due to emotion, but Tatsuya refuses to help her because he really does not know how to help her at this point. She stops Tatsuya and said the killer may be related to the Yokohama incident. According to Mayumi, she thinks Nakura was searching a Chinese street at Yokohama. She says that Nakura always came back with gifts whenever he left her side for other missions. Recently, Nakura gave her a lot of gifts from the Chinese street. Sometimes, Mayumi thought, Nakura is treating her as a little kid, but lately she thinks, Nakura gave gifts as some kind of a sign. 

From this conversation, Tatsuya found very important fact about Saegusa Kouichi. Even if Saegusa Kouichi is an employer, Mayumi is the objective to be protected. For Nakura, Saegusa Mayumi is not an employer. Better yet, she is the third person. Nakura’s actions proved that Kouichi’s trusted subordinate left hints to others about his activities. Tatsuya realizes that Kouichi failed to control his own man. Or, in some way, the Saegusa family does not have loyal followers. This can mean major consequences in the future.

At this point, Tatsuya thought, it is good to use Mayumi for helping him with the mission because physically she is weak, but her battle capabilities were confirmed in Yokohama. Additionally, she is a college student, so her time is more flexible than Miyuki's or Minami's. Tatsuya decided to influence Mayumi to ask for his cooperation. So, Tatsuya starts by saying that Mayumi’s assumption may be wrong because Nakura’s visit to Yokohama may not actually be related to the Yokohama Incident. This made Mayumi desperate, and Mayumi finally requested Tatsuya's help. He accepts.

The two decide to visit Kyoto. Mayumi wants to see the place where Nakura died. Tastuya replies by asking whether Mayumi will be satisfied by just looking at the location. Tatsuya’s intention was to be with her as much as the situation allows, but the question was something that Tatsuya should not have asked. Mayumi says that she knows the fact that she is only a daughter of Saegusa Kouichi, and that her talent as a magician is also limited at the individual level. She is fully aware that she does not have any power in society, much less the power to influence police force and catch the killer on behalf of the police. Everything Mayumi said was true, so he could not say anything. He knows he was able to deal with No Head Dragon and fight against invasion forces because of help from the 101st battalion. And, he could interfere with P-doll testing because of the help from Yakumo and the battle suit from the 101st battalion. He always knows the individual’s limitation, so he could not say any words to make her feeling better. So, he stopped Mayumi from talking any further and accepted her request.

Tatsuya asked about Nakura’s remains. His remains have already been cremated. Tatsuya requests his clothes or his belongings, if any. Mayumi said, she will contact cops through her family. Before her departure, she said, she was surprised with Tatsuya. She never expected Tatsuya to discuss kindly.

In this short instance, Tatsuya thought, it is highly possible that Nakura was killed by Zhou. The theory about Kouichi using Nakura to search for Zhou was also possible. If the possibility is not zero, the head of Saegusa may have been colluding with Zhou.

Tatsuya sent off Mayumi from the school and met with Miyuki, Izumi, Hanzo, Shizuka, Honoka, and Mikihiko. Miyuki greeted him and showed the sign (hand sign) to sit. Izumi started asking a question regarding Mayumi’s visit. Tatsuya apologizes for making her worry, and Izumi replied by saying, she did not worry about Tatsuya. And, Izumi’s face turned red and become quiet. After Izumi, Miyuki started asking a question regarding Mayumi’s visit. Even though Miyuki did not show any sign, she was the most worried person because Mayumi and Tatsuya met together by themselves. Tatsuya said, Mayumi has other business in Kyoto and she wants to join the First High group at Kyoto. Instantly, Izumi realized why Mayumi visited the school. And, Tatsuya continued and informed her that he rejected her request.

Hanzo sighed after he listened Tatsuya answer. It was definite, Hanzo also had similar worries. But, in order to hide himself, he rigorously asked Tatsuya why he refused her request. He stated that it should not be bothersome for her to join. After hearing from Hanzo, Tatsuya thought, Hanzo is the one who wants to join Mayumi, and he thought Hanzo is too rigid. (In here, the narrator did not directly mention whether his worry is about his love interest, or he knows about Nakura. Personally, I think, he worried about Tatsuya and Mayumi’s relationship.)

Right after Hanzo, Honoka jumped in and agreed with Hanzo. Honoka said, she thinks Mayumi visited Tatsuya because Mayumi must rely on Tatsuya even though she has Ichihara Suzune and Juumonji Katsuto at the university. Tatsuya could not reply right away because he did not understand Honoka’s motif. But, he concluded, Honoka sympathizes Mayumi. After Honoka, Mikihiko jumped in and said, maybe it is good to spare some time for her. Tatsuya couldn’t refuse Mikihiko’s request because it may create distrust from him when Mikihiko will be playing a critical role in this mission. And, it will provide a good excuse for Tatsuya to stay with Mayumi.

Tatsuya personally think, he does not really trust what Mayumi can do in this mission, but he needs as much help as possible due to the lack of manpower. He thinks the most important part of his mission is after he caught Zhou. But, Maya’s request only says, Yotsuba wants cooperation for catching Zhou. If he cannot find Zhou, there is nothing to talk about. So, Tatsuya has to at least look like he is searching for Zhou. Tatsuya looks at Izumi and asked whether it would be okay to contact Mayumi since she is Izumi’s sister. Izumi replied that Tatsuya can do whatever he wants and turns around adorably.

Yotsuba’s HQ is located in old Yamanasi district, near the old Nagoya district. It is in a small town not displayed on maps, itself located within a small basin surrounded by mountains. Yotsuba’s HQ is located in the middle of that town. Unlike other places, the Yotsuba has only a large, one-story house. The master of the house, Yotsuba Maya, is listening to Hayama's report about the military intelligence’s activity and about the intelligence division that interfered with their mission. Maya says it is okay to let it go because the military has to save its own face even though the military interfered without knowing their place. Hayama did not question Maya’s comment, which undervalued the military.

Maya stopped discussing the military and changed to its original topic, Tatsuya. Hayama reports that Tatsuya is not showing any sign of insubordination and also adds that Tatsuya did not hide his new magic. Maya is putting a lot of time in magic research as well, so it was natural for her to be interested. Maya thought, "His magic is a form of Particle Beam." However, Hayama analyzed it and stated, "Tatsuya’s new magic must be a form of Neutron Cannon based on the magic's name." But, Maya states that Neutron Barrier is already developed and assumes Tatsuya already knows about it. Then, she questioned why he chose the “Lance” s the name besides gun, cannon, or launcher. Even Hayama cannot answer that question and advised Maya to witness the magic during the family gathering event. But, Maya questioned Hayama why he did not ask the question. She thought, it is a good material to check Tatsuya’s obedience. Hayama apologized and said, he worried about jeopardizing Maya’s true objective behind the mission to Tatsuya. Maya said, there is nothing grand about her objective. And, it is not because Tatsuya is her nephew, but Maya simply felt, it is not beneficial for the family to exclude him. Hayama said, he thinks, it is okay to use his position as Maya’s nephew for the excuse. Maya scolded Hayama, and Hayama apologized. He ended with only a simple apology, and it is also related to Maya’s face turned slightly red. (This is my personal thought; Maya may turn her face red because she was thinking about using his position as her nephew to include him to the family, and Hayama hit the spot where she was thinking.)

After the discussion with Maya, Hayama was visited by Mitsugu. Mitsugu's visit was regarding Tatsuya. Hayama said Mitsugu should know that the guardian of Miyuki is being tested with the mission of catching Zhou. The narrator said, Mitsugu thanks Tatsuya for saving his arm, but it does not mean that his pride isn't damaged. Hayama continued by saying Miyuki is the best possible candidate for heir, and it is important to determine the possibility of betrayal for the sake of Yotsuba. He also apologized to Mitsugu for using this mission as a test subject. Mitsugu replied by saying, "There is no way that man holds any loyalty towards Yotsuba." Hayama questioned Mitsugu’s judgement on Tatsuya’s loyalty. After the silence between them, Hayama said, “Tatsuya-dono does not know the fact that he nearly got killed by the clan right after the birth. Are you being suspicious on everything by considering that fact?” Mitsugu yelled at Hayama, "This is secret that everyone in Hayama’s generation did not talk about. Only Shiba, Masiba, Sibata, Kuroba, Mugura, Tsukuba, and Shizuka know about it, including Hayama. Even ones with Yotsuba blood does not know about this if they are under 20 years old." Hayama’s words were an ambush that Mitsugu had not prepare for.

Hayama smiled and said, even he knows Tatsuya has no loyalty and will not have loyalty towards Yotsuba. Regardless of his loyalty, Maya asked Tatsuya to protect Miyuki. Hayama said, “Kuroba sama, loyalty is not needed. The most important thing is action. Even if he only acts as being obedient, as long as he does not betray expectation and outcome, it is much better than loyal ones who cannot produce any desired outcome. Tools do not require loyalty, and weapons do not require heart. 

Mitsugu got angry and questioned Hayama for calling a magician as a weapon. Hayama replied by saying, he is also a magician even though he is insignificant compared to members of Yotsuba. Hayama’s last words towards Mitsugu was, “Weapon does not fear. Weapon does not carry concern. There is always fear of possibility that one can fear or carry concern. Do you think, human’s heart with intention to kill innocent person is better than a weapon without heart? Hayama’s words speared through Mitsugu’s heart and Hayama walked away from Mitsugu.

Translator’s note Hayama is using “dono” (殿) towards Tatsuya. He is also using あのか, (Anokata) when he talks about Tatsuya. The translator felt, Hayama is technically putting Tatsuya above Mitsugu in the conversation, so the translator also felt, the author is setting up the situation for Mitsugu to have additional reason to get angry towards Tatsuya because Mitsugu may think Hayama is underestimating Mitsugu over Tatsuya.

October 19, Friday, Tatsuya and his friends were safe for ten days due to efforts from Kokonoe Yakumo’s pupils and mercenaries that were prepared by the butler, Hanabishi who was ordered by Hayama. Hanabishi is the number two in rank among employees. His responsibility is to prepare courageous jobs and other things including preparing people when Yotsuba family requires. (Its direct translation is courageous jobs; I think, it means jobs that require courage. Or, I think, frontal warfare unlike assassination and information manipulation that Yotsuba often does.)

Yotsuba family does not really have many magicians. Even if it includes non-blood-related magicians, the number of magicians who can be used is much smaller than that of the other 10MC. Thus, the number is smaller than Saegusa, and it is also smaller than Ichijou and Itsuwa.

Yotsuba’s magicians have the ability to offset their smaller numbers, but there are situations in which quantity is more important than quality. For those situations, the Yotsuba prepared and organized external collaborators. The Yotsuba normally gets a job from the government; the job is to take care of a magician who commit substantial treason or tried to commit treason. Or, magicians who did not directly show aggressive activities towards the country but try to export magic that can be used for military. So, extermination of magicians who performed treasons, is often handed over to Yotsuba. These jobs are important income for Yotsuba. And, Yotsuba also gains extra battle magicians through this mission.

They catch and brainwash magicians who betrayed the country. They are not making ‘regenerators’, a magician without its own will similar to No Head Dragon because Yotsuba knows will and emotions are strongly linked to power of magic. Yotsuba uses a traditional type of brainwashing. Its brainwashing technique simply imprint fear towards Yotsuba. It technically forces them to believe, if they betray Yotsuba, they will die. However, Yotsuba does not accept zealots, ones without fear. They only offer the job to ones who can fear. Yotsuba normally say, ‘based on how you work, we will let you live freely.’

The Yotsuba operates many missions with this type of mercenary army who works hard in order to get their life as the payment. For this escort mission, it requires a large number of magicians because they have to catch any suspicious magicians, so Yotsuba family used reserve brainwashed magicians. As a result, not only Tatsuya’s friends, but First High School did not experience any disturbances.

The scene changes to First High’s student council. Izumi was leaving the room and said goodbye to Miyuki. She was unhappy because she cannot follow Miyuki to Kyoto. Miyuki realized it and told Izumi that Miyuki is relying on Izumi for tomorrow and the day after. Izumi suddenly became so happy and said, it is honor, and I may not be enough, but I will work hard. Izumi left the school with a good mood. Honoka saw this and said, Miyuki has gotten used to deal with Izumi. Shizuku also added and said, Miyuki has a talent to become 悪女 (Wicked woman, evil woman, famine fatal). Miyuki replied by saying, between women, there is neither wicked woman nor celestial maiden (good woman). (Miyuki is saying, anything can be done between women.) Shizuku replied by calling Miyuki too cold, but Miyuki only smiled when Shizuku sighed seriously.

Shizuku and Honoka have been going home together. The bodyguard has been protecting them outside of their sight, but within Commuter or Cabinet in train, they are alone together. They talk about the guard who is responsible for protecting Azusa. Azusa said, her guard, Chikura Tomoko (千倉 朝子) is enough to protect her. Chikura’s ability is revealed in this chapter. Her specialty is vector reverse. As long as she knows, she is being attacked, she should be able to handle the situation. But, if she gets ambushed, she cannot block just like most magicians. But, for an example, if somebody aims the gun right in front of her, she is very powerful. (It sounds weird, but it is direct translation. Blame the author.) And, she can handle not only weapons but people who run into her with great momentum. She can handle the mass equivalent to a small vehicle with the speed under 200 km per hour. 

After the dinner, Shizuku and Honoka are having a bath together. After shampooing, Shizuku offer helps with rinsing to Honoka. Initially, Honoka refused because Shizuku tends to put a lot effort in it. But, Shizuku took the bottle of rinse and started rinsing. Shizuku praised Honoka’s hair, but Honoka said, it is nothing compared to Miyuki’s. Shizuku replied by saying, there is no point comparing herself (Honoka) with Miyuki. And, Shizuku said, she likes Honoka’s bright color hair more than Miyuki’s because Miyuki’s hair is too heavy for Shizuku’s taste. (This is direct translation. Maybe, Shizuku simply likes Honoka’s hair color, or there may be hidden messages in this dialogue.) Honoka says, Shizuku is siding with Honoka over Miyuki because Honoka and Shizuku are friends. Shizuku suddenly stalled, but she said, “It is okay for choosing you because we are friends.

Shizuka continues asking question. She asked to Honoka whether it is okay not to follow Tatsuya to Kyoto. Honoka suddenly stopped, and Honoka’s face gave chill to Shizuku. Shizuku apologized, but Honoka said, it is okay to ask if it is Shizuku because Shizuku has been cheering for Honoka. Shizuku and Honoka look at each other’s face and continue talking. Honoka admitted, she wants to follow Tatsuya to Kyoto. She cannot expect luxury of traveling to Kyoto only with Tatsuya. Honoka is fine even if Miyuki is traveling with them as long as Honoka can stay with Tatsuya. Shizuka asked why Honoka did not follow them, and Honoka said, she does not wish to be an obstacle to Tatsuya. Honoka realized, Tatsuya did not ask her to stay at Shizuku’s house because of thesis competition. She said to Shizuku, Tatsuya really worries about them and believes, the enemy is not a simple thief who is trying to still some data from thesis competition. Honoka was certain, there is a dangerous enemy just like the last year. Honoka and Shizuku thought, Tastuya is on the mission from the military and assumed, the size of enemy is big enough to kidnap Honoka and Shizuku. Honoka reasoned, if Honoka and Shizuku are staying together, the bodyguard of Shizuku could cover both of them, and, Mikihiko is at the level of professional magician, so he can protect Mizuki.

Honoka continued talking about her theory on this Kyoto trip. By considering members’ capabilities, the field research for security is one of minor objectives. She thinks, there is another true objective behind the trip. Honoka also assumed, things can get rough based on the progress of hidden objective because members of the team are specialized on the field work including Minami because of her shield magic. Shizuku told Honoka, Honoka can also provide the help, but Honoka rejected the idea and said, she can only support from the long distance, and she is afraid she may drag down Tatsuya. The narrator explained, Honoka’s battle capability is not low compared to average magicians. At least, she is the top class between high school students. But, by comparing Miyuki who is already super top class and Tatsuya who is considered to be above top class at the military, Honoka’s battle capability is at least one or two ranks below Miyuki or Tatsuya. So, Shizuku cannot say any words to comfort Honoka. Honoka said, he is okay and hug Shizuka’s head. But, the mood between them changed when Shizuku could not breathe because of Honoka’s chest. Honoka released Shizuku because when Shizuku tried to get away from Honoka’s chest, it tickled Honoka. After Shizuku was released, Shizuku looked at Honoka with bitter feeling. Honoka apologized and hided her chest. They both apologized to each other. They both laughed, and Honoka continued talking. She said, she wants to follow Tatsuya to Kyoto, but it is also true, she does not want to be an obstacle to Tatsuya. Thus, she will stay at Tokyo quietly. If Tatsuya does not want Honoka to notice, Honoka made a decision to act like she did not notice anything. Honoka wants to act as being fooled just like Tatsuya wants Honoka to be. After hearing Honoka’s words, Shizuku said, Honoka is good woman. Honoka suddenly lost her posture. 

(This is where the illustration picture starts)

Honoka: What are you talking about?

Shizuku: If I am a man, I wouldn't leave Honoka alone.

Honoka: Excuse me……. Shizuku San? Your eye is getting scary.

Shizuku: Your style is okay. Your look is friendly and cute.

Shizuku’s thin finger is touching Honoka’s chin.

Honoka: You are like Eimi (Akechi Eimi; 明智 英美).

Shizuku: My chest is bigger than Eimi’s

Honoka: That is not the problem.

Shizuku: Do you want to say there isn’t much difference compared to yours? (Shizuku is assuming, Honoka thinks, difference between Emi and Shizuku’s chest size means nothing to Honoka)

Honoka: I did not talk about that.

Shizuka: let’s see

Honoka: (screams)

Shizuka: I knew this, but this is absurd.

Honoka: Wait… Shizuku… Please stop.

The narrator states, it is hard to specifically describe what is happening and do not wish to write in detail. But, the narrator concluded it by saying, “let’s say, on that day, both of their heads really have gotten hot in the bath” (This is not my words, and this is also not translators’ words. This is the author, Satou Tsutomu’s words at the end of this part.)

Chapter 7

On October 20, Saturday morning, Tatsuya is heading to Kyoto with Minami and Miyuki. While they are traveling to Kyoto, they encountered Erika. It was a simple coincidence that three of them met Erika. Minami, Miyuki, Tatsuya, and Erika have a casual conversation. Erika enjoyed the large space where she can stretch her leg because sometimes she has to train by sitting at one place for several hours. Erika does not enjoy this training, but her father insists her by saying, it is a part of swordsmanship training. Miyuki asked Erika whether the training is her sword skills. Erika said, it is Chado (茶道), Japanese Tea Ceremony. Tatsuya thinks, it is a traditional custom for combining Chado and Martial Arts together by many ancestors. Erika still did not like the idea of doing Chado because she thinks the heir of the family should learn Chado not her. But, Miyuki disagreed with Erika because mainly females learn Chado not males, so her brothers may feel awkward about it. Erika still feel discomfort about doing Chado, but Tatsuya thinks, Chado and its environment may suit Erika based on his past experiences where Miyuki invited Tatsuya to two of Miyuki's Chado lessons.

Finally, they arrived at Kyoto Station and met with Mikihiko and Leo. Six of them are moving to hotel. At the public transportation location, Minoru was waiting for Tatsuya, Minami, and Miyuki. Erika was shocked by Minoru. She said, Minoru is a male version of Miyuki. Tatsuya introduce Minoru to Mikihiko, Leo, and Erika as a son of Kudou family, but Minoru reintroduce himself as the freshman of Second High School, Kudou Minoru because Minoru does not want others to treat him as a member of 10MC but as a fellow high school student. Mikihiko, Leo, and Erika also introduce themselves, and Minoru raised his eyebrows little bit when he realized one of them is a swordsman from Chiba family, and another one is a magician from Yoshida family. Unlike his magic, Minoru is not excelled in hiding his emotion.

After their encounter, they visited a place for the thesis competition, “New International Convention Center.” The government did not allow large scale commercial buildings to build around the convention center, so every building surrounding the convention center is only two stories high. So, it is hard for terrorists to use as hideouts nearby the convention center. On the other hand, it is a good location for small number of people to hide. They assume, magicians from traditional faction may divide into two or three men group and hide in residential areas by using magic to either hypnotize (temporal mental control) or make residents of houses not to notice their presences. So, Mikihiko used his probing magic and requested Leo and Erika for protection. Mikihiko also asked Tatsuya to investigate the downtown area as Tatsuya and Mikihiko discussed. Minoru jumped and volunteered as a guide, and Tatsuya tells (lies) Erika, Mikihiko, and Leo about Minoru’s relationship with Kyouko. And, he logically explains why Minoru volunteers to help them. But, three of them instantly sense unknown things between Minoru and Tatsuya, but they let it go by understanding that they should not ask about the true relationship between Tatsuya and Minoru. Mikihiko nearly loses his composure about this, but he managed to sustain his self-control. And, the group divides into two groups for searching magicians from the traditional faction.

Tatsuya’s group heads to Kyoto’s Northern Eastern part, Oohara(大原), which is also famous for its temple, Sanzenin (三千院) because it is the last location where Zhou was seen. From the downtown, this is the same direction as the new international convention center, but Tatsuya did not expect the distance between Oohara and the convention center to be far away because he always thought Kyoto to be small. According to Hayama’s intelligence, Zhou had a battle against Kuroba’s men nearby the grave of the emperor Kotoba (後鳥羽天皇) and the emperor Juntoku (順聽天皇). But, both parties did not enter grave sites, which are forbidden to enter. Zhou managed to run by following a small river that runs through Sanzenin (三千院). Interestingly, Zhou ran towards the location, which also has some residential areas, so the location also has both tourists and local residents. Tatsuya also thinks about the possibility of running towards upper stream of river, which leads to Otonashi (sound less) waterfall, but he ignored this possibility because of Zhou’s magic, “Ghost Walker”. Based on the information until now, this is a form of illusion magic that misdirect the magician’s location. This magic is very powerful if it is used in the middle of crowd. Even if Ghost Walker is casted in the location without crowd, the castor can be found through detecting a trace of the castor. But, if Ghost Walker is casted in the middle of crowd, the castor can only be detected through eyes because detecting a trace in the middle of crowd is impossible because there are too many people nearby. 

Minoru suggested Tatsuya to visit the mountain Kurama, which is close to the direction that Zhou ran. It is occupied by the traditional faction. But, Tatsuya made a decision to turn back to the downtown. Minoru did not know, but Miyuki realized the reason behind Tatsuya’s decision. Tatsuya thinks, he is hiding among people. Minoru suggested the new locations, Tenryuji (天龍寺), the road nearby Kiyomizudera (淸水寺), and Kinkakuji (金閣寺) because these locations have large population and are under the influence of the traditional faction. Tatsuya was surprised because he thought there are more potential locations for Zhou to hide. According to Minoru, the traditional faction is spread through Nara and Kyoto, but Tatsuya also heard, Kyoto is the headquarter of the traditional faction from Mikihiko. So, Tatsuya thought, Kyoto would be crawling with traditional faction. 

Minoru stated, Kyoto has a true traditional faction (no relation to 9th lab), and its faction is stronger than Nara. So, any new faction with only the name is pushed to nearby the mountain region. (New faction with only the name simply means a noisy group without any skills & talents.) Tatsuya asked to Minoru, “Are they labeling themselves as “traditional faction” because they feel complex (inferiority) towards the true traditional faction? After listening Tatsuya’s harsh comment, Minami shows disgusted face (dumbfounded in a good way). Of course, Minami hides her face from Miyuki. Minami thinks her master wouldn't get angry from making such face, but Minami wanted to avoid meaningless conflict with Miyuki. But, in truth both Miyuki and Tatsuya realize it. (In this sentence, I do not know whether Miyuki and Tatsuya understand how harsh Tatsuya’s comment is, or Miyuki and Tatsuya saw Minami when she made a disgusted face.) But, Minoru takes Tatsuya’s comment seriously and tries to answer his question. According to Minoru, the traditional faction is founded by traditional magicians who participate in 9th laboratory. Their objectives are revenging 9th lab and “Nine(九)” families. 

Narrator continues explaining the situation. Vengeance that the traditional faction has, is not a right thing because those traditional magicians misunderstood everything from the very beginning. They thought, 9th lab would provide the new magic as the compensation for providing their magic. The 9th lab’s slogan was the fusion between modern magic and traditional (ancient) magic, but it simply meant, the development of modern magic by absorbing traditional magic. And, this was not a secret because it was written at mission statement on the instruction manual of 9th lab, which 9th lab provided to the traditional magicians when they request cooperation. The compensation was in the form of money, facilities (infra-structure), or social status on the manual. It never stated, the compensation was in the form of new magic. Traditional magicians thought, when one side provides a magic, the other side should provide a magic, too. It was a “common sense” in their narrow view. 

Minoru did not know why the traditional faction spreads throughout the Kyoto besides Nara where everything was started, but Tatsuya explained to Minoru why they are spreading throughout Kyoto. According to Tatsuya’s analysis, the traditional faction lacks unity. It also means the faction is divided in groups. The group, who strongly hate 9th lab, stays in Nara and has been looking for opportunities to strike back at 9th lab for more than 30 years. Miyuki criticized them for wasting their passion and assumed, they could have been contributing in scholarly works or the country if they chose different paths. Tatsuya stopped Miyuki and said, “There are not many people who can stay positive anytime and anywhere at least, based on our surroundings.” Tatsuya was thinking about his father and his current wife. (I think Tatsuya is saying his father and his current wife are pessimistic.)

Tatsuya continues his analysis and assumed, the traditional factions in Nara are not very active, but they can always change and become active. Unlike them, the traditional faction in Kyoto was only acting (behaving) as an enemy of Nine families because Tatsuya thought, the traditional faction was scared of Nine families. Minoru was a little surprised because Kudou (九島), Kuki (九鬼), and Kuzumi (九頭見) did not threaten or attack any traditional magicians that cooperated with 9th lab. Tatsuya also agrees because magicians from 9th lab were also experimented just like traditionalists who participated in 9th lab. So, both parties should not feel hostile feelings towards each other, but traditionalists aim their angers towards Nine families because the 9th lab was run by the government. If they felt being used, they should challenge the government, but the traditional factions could not challenge the government. It was unknown whether they did not wish to label themselves as traitors or did not have guts to stand against the government. Either way, they should understand their hatred against Nine families was irrational, so they may also worry Nine families to make an irrational decision and attack the traditional faction. Due to their experiences at 9th lab, they knew the ability of magicians that were created from 9th lab. So, they knew if they attack Nine families, they could not win and only end up beaten down by magic that was created from their cooperation to 9th lab. Tatsuya made an ill-tempered smile and continues his talking. He thought, it is also possible that leaders of factions that participated 9th lab built the traditional faction to reduce the discontent from young magicians. But, they cannot simply change their mission (goal), so if groups had a strong stance against 9th lab, they had to stay at Nara (the location of 9th lab). And, if the groups did not have a strong stance against 9th lab, they moved to Kyoto. The location difference may be only ostentation, and based on their stance, they may even change their cover, too. Minoru agrees and says, he heard, there are the traditional faction’s magicians that are associated themselves with multiple different factions. Miyuki said, she did not understand why they continue to distress others for several decades. Tatsuya answered her question by saying, the traditional faction has been surviving several decades because they have been only distressing Nine families. If they made a decisive move against Nine families, they would have been wiped out. 

Minami interfered Tatsuya and asked the question by saying Tatsuya Onii-sama. Minami agreed with Tatsuya’s theory, but she did not understand why they accepted the foreign magician that brought many disasters to Japan. Tatsuya answers the question by providing his speculation. He thinks, the traditional faction may want to kick Zhou out, but the traditional faction has been entangled with Zhou too much, so they may not have a choice. Tatsuya thinks, the traditional faction has been relying on Zhou to gain the supply of foreign magicians to strengthen its power. It may look like, Zhou is being protected, but in truth Zhou was the one who has been cooperating with the traditional faction and its expansion. As a result, Tatsuya assumes, a reasonable size of group is composed of foreign magicians from the continent. And, he assumes, the foreign magician group is big enough to endanger the traditional faction if the group decides to revolt or betray. 

Tatsuya finalizes the discussion and wants to search the traditional bases within urban district: Kiyomizdera, Kinkakuji, and Tennouji. Tatsuya created the map inside of his head without using information utility device. He learned Kinkakuji and Tennouji are located in the same direction, and Kiyomizdera is located in different location. Miyuki suggested the meeting with Mikihiko’s team after looking into information utility device because it does not matter where they decide to travel first. Either way, they will have to travel nearby the new international convention center. However, Tatsuya disagrees because it may waste time because there is a possibility that Tatsuya’s prediction may be wrong, and Zhou may be hiding some other place. So, Tatsuya decides the team to travel to Kiyomizudera and Kinkakuji and Tennouji.

After the team was separated, Mikihiko was using his probe magic in order to create commotion from the traditionalist faction. Erika and Leo are talking while following Mikihiko from behind as his guards. They finally managed to lure magicians from the traditional faction. Nine traditionalist magicians are hiding behind trees in the forest and watch Mikihiko, Leo, and Erika. They are discussing about three of them and thought three of them have some kind of love triangle relationship because Erika and Leo have been acting as a normal boy and a normal girl from the downtown. Some of traditionalists think, it may be too much to kill students who are in a love fight while risking themselves. But, some of them are not lowering their guards because they know who Mikihiko is. According them, they know, Mikihiko has regained his formal strength, which is considered to be stronger than the eldest son of Yoshida family.

Eight traditionalists took out a small scroll, and one old sorcerer with white hair watched other seven traditionalists. Soon, the fight starts. Waves of fire ball (demon (oni) fire that you guys watched from the animation. It is one that Yakumo used to train Miyuki for Mirage bet.) In order to counter them, Erika takes out her new CAD, which Tatsuya ordered FLT’s 3rd division to produce. Tatsuya lend it to Erika for this trip. This new CAD looks like a long and thin silver rod, and she has been disguising it as an umbrella. This CAD imbued with magic that is focusing more on speed than weight. This CAD accelerates not only the body, but it also accelerates a weapon’s speed. If a magician put too much strength, he/she cannot keep up with the speed of the silver rod. And, if a magician put less strength, he/she can injure his/her tendon. It is a dangerous weapon, but Erika is using perfectly without any troubles.

After waves of fire ball ended, the blades of wind attacks Mikihiko, Erika, and Leo. This time, Mikihiko jumps in with a fan made of paper charms (I forgot what it is called in English. This is a paper looking things that Miki uses when he cast his spells.) Mikihiko also chooses the blade of winds to counter enemy’s magic. Even though the spell is casted after the enemy’s spell, Mikihiko’s spell manages to repel every blade of winds that were created by traditionalists. After Mikhiko’s magic, both Mikihiko and Erika were anticipating the enemy’s next attack. The black shadow stood up behind the group. This time, Leo punched the shadowy figure while shouting. Leo asks, “Are they ninjas? The black figure is wearing pants and sweater in dark green color. Even though he/she was not wearing the traditional ninja custom, he/she was a ninja. This person also has a kunai (a short dagger that is being used by ninjas in the anime / manga) on one hand and a small scroll on another. Leo laughs and enjoys the fight. Leo does not look for a stronger opponent, but he tends to get excited if the opponent is stronger. This may be due to the gene that he inherited from his grandfather who was genetically altered to be a weapon. Even Leo thinks, his tendency to get excited in the battle, may be due to his genetic traits from his grandfather, but Leo does not care about it because being excite is much better than thinking about losing the battle even before the battle begins.

While ninjas are distancing from Leo, Leo heard the scream from the side, one guy tried to block Erika’s silver rod with his arm and got his arm broken. Erika tells Leo to keep his heart hot and keep his head cool because he is fighting alone. Soon, Leo realizes, he nearly gets ambushed from the side. Leo apologizes to Erika and Miki for his mistakes. And, Leo took out his knuckleduster as a weapon and wear them at the both hands. They are made of silicon polymer (material may have to recheck), so they can be disguised as a toy. Leo's CAD is a new CAD from Rosen Magicraft Company. It is a special CAD that can be controlled through thinking (I forgot the English terminology for this function). Leo has gotten this CAD in the form of apology, and it is only recently that he is starting to use this CAD perfectly. (The book does not mention how and who gave CAD to Leo. It only says, it is a given to Leo in a form of apology.) This latest CAD with controlling function through thinking covers time gap and provides enough process speed. When Leo initiates his CAD, which is located at his left wrist, the knuckledusters gained the solidity equivalent to super light alloy. The magic is being continually casted. Leo’s long sleeve shirts and pants also turned into top class bullet and sword proof armor. 

Leo’s physical strength and Erika’s swordsmanship were strong enough to handle traditionalists, and Mikihiko dealt and countered magic from traditionalists by sending fire magic back to its original caster and destroying a clone, which is created by a ninja. (I think, it is similar to low ranking shadow clone magic that every ninja use in Naruto.) At the end, Mikihiko’s lighting magic takes away eight magicians’ consciousness. Miki, Leo, and Erika are thinking everything is over. Leo is still shocked from encountering ninja. Mikihiko explains, Kyoto is close to Iga (伊賀) and Koga (甲賀), which ninjas are originated from. (This is the same Iga and Koga from the animation and manga, Basilisk (バジリスク〜甲賀忍法帖〜)). In addition, the mountain Kurama is close by. This is the one of bases by traditionalist magicians. So, these guys may come from the mountain Kurama. 

Mikihiko, Leo, and Erika decide to contact police, but they were attacked by four small monsters, which are created from water at nearby pond. Mikihiko explains, it is like a shikigami, another form of golem. These monsters show the features from mythical beasts from the continent. One monster has a cow with the skin pattern similar to tiger. One monster has a face of human and a body of boar. One monster is a long-armed monkey with four arms. The last monster is a dear with four horns. All of these monsters are known to create flood. Erika takes an initiative; she attacks with her silver rod, and her non-systemic magic ripped the monster into pieces. These monsters are in the size of pet, but the number is increasing. Erika witnesses shocking thing when she suggests Mikihiko and Leo to retreat. Little monsters are gathering around unconscious traditionalist magicians, and they are starting to eat them alive. Erika, Mikihiko, and Leo decide to destroy little monsters and save unconscious traditionalist magicians. Many of them have bitten by little monsters. 

Erika notices weird thing. After little monsters were destroyed and turned into water, those waters are not absorbing into earth. Even Mikihiko does not understand. Water combined with blood is moving towards the pond that little monsters were created. Soon, water from the pond creates a massive whirlpool and creates a big snake with nine human faces. The monster is firing acidic water that can dissolve the target. While Mikihiko, Erika, and Leo are evading the attack, unconscious traditionalist magicians could not evade it. The acidic water is not only dissolving the spot that is hit by the water, but it also spread and dissolves the target. Mikihiko is thinking about the retreat, but he cannot find an opening. Finally, Mikihiko is thinking about using the magic that can be casted through accessing dragon god, which is the highest entity in the water category. But, he doubts himself because this magic was the reason why he fell into slump. (This may be the reason why Yoshida lost confidence and power during the early stage of the first year.)

Before Mikihiko made this decision, the snake monster was destroyed by Ichijou Masaki. After the victory, others try to find ninth traditionalist magician, but Mikihiko tells others to stop because he assumes the magician would not survive. Just like Mikihiko says, the magician died because of the impact of his beast being destroyed by Masaki. Masaki surprises about traditional magic because modern magic allows magicians to cut the tie with magic sequence in order to avoid information flowing backward. According to Mikihiko, traditional puppet magic requires a magician to sustain its connection with the puppet. After the discussion, they decide to report to the police, and Masaki decides to join them and visit the police station. Masaki worries about Erika because she is a girl, but Erika tells Masaki, it is okay because she is used to situations like this. Masaki shocks a little bit because of Erika’s blunt response. He never experienced any female who responded to him in this way except his sister. Masaki is feeling quiet unwell because of Erika’s response, but he introduces himself and changes the topic. Leo also introduces himself, and Leo, Erika, Mikihiko, and Masaki head to the police. 

When Mikihiko’s group and Masaki end their battle against the traditionalist faction, Tatsuya’s group arrives at Kiyomizudera. There is a large crowd of visitors in the place. While Tatsuya and Minoru are discussing about the size of crowd, female visitors collide on each other while they were looking at Minoru. Women, who lose their focus because of Minoru, are not only young female visitors, but they are also including older women. In this ruckus, Tatsuya are sensing somebody is watching them. But, he cannot identify the person, yet. At the same time, Tatsuya realizes that Miyuki wants to look around the place. 

Tatsuya has been checking people around them. He senses a lot of lustful eyes on Miyuki from men and on Minoru from women. Due to this, the amount of information that needs to process has been extremely increased. Even in this situation, Tatsuya can catch ill intention if it is aimed at Tatsuya himself, but he cannot catch it if it is aimed at Minoru who may be targeted by the traditional faction. Minoru also understands this situation because he tends to get extra attention. Tatsuya says, their visit to Kiyomizudera may not be useful because he cannot gather, process, and get the information that can lead to Zhou. Minoru apologizes to Tatsuya, and Tatsuya says, he is thankful to Minoru’s support and is not criticizing Minoru. He simply cannot get hints that can lead to Zhou. After listening to Tatsuya, Minoru smiles. Miyuki stands right next to Minoru and told Tatsuya not to torment Minoru. Even though Miyuki does not intend this scene, it looks like the situation where an unequally beautiful (絶世) girl is protecting an unequally beautiful (絶世) boy. Every man and woman suddenly stops after witnessing this. Every woman and some exceptions (males) look at Minoru, and Every man and some exceptions (females) look at Miyuki. But, some exceptions (females), who look at Miyuki, carry more lust than some exception (males) who look at Minoru. Tatsuya may not feel much about taking lives of others, but he holds a normal stance on homosexuality. In addition, he may accept platonic love, but he does not physical lust. (I think, the author is stressing, some exceptions (females) see Miyuki with lust because Tatsuya’s stance on homosexuality comes up right after this.)

Tatsuya makes his decision to leave the place, but he suddenly senses one person. Tatsuya does not feel lust, friendliness, or praise. The person’s face expresses the sign of being ridiculed for watching this kind of a kid (Minoru). Tatsuya told Minoru, Miyuki, and Minami to start moving. Miyuki suddenly catches Tatsuya’s intention and start moving. Minami initially shows hesitation but starts following Miyuki. Minoru comes next to Tatsuya and asks about Tatsuya’s intention. Tatsuya takes out the device and uses the device to write a message for Minoru. The message on the display says I have found the follower. I will try to lure him out, and you should act as you do not know we are being followed. Tatsuya realizes he fails to notice the follower until now because the follower is not a magician. Tatsuya thinks, the traditional faction must have hired the private detective to tail Minoru because they may assume Tatsuya’s group would only looks for magicians.

On the other hand, Minoru fails to catch the last part of Tatsuya’s message. Minoru misunderstands and thinks Tatsuya wants to say, Tatsuya has sensed something, but Tatsuya cannot identify the follower. So, Minoru starts acting weird by looking into multiple directions without focus. After observing Minoru, Tatsuya thinks that Minoru may not gain any other training besides magic at one glance. The follower (the private detective) also notices changes in Minoru’s behavior and must be realized that he has been detected. But, the follower continues to keep his distance from Minoru and keeps following Minoru and the group.

Tatsuya manages to corner the follower (the private detective) while the follower is disguising himself as a tourist by taking pictures. Tatsuya approaches to the follower and accuses him of taking illegal photos of his friends. By using this opportunity, he manages to turn other tourists to his side and catch the follower. Besides contacting cops, Tatsuya asks him about his employer. After giving out few empty threats, the follower gives up his employer. He leads Tatsuya and his group to Tofu store, and Tatsuya let him go after scaring him a little more.

Tatsuya and the group enter to Tofu shop. Tatsuya senses Eidos of the guy that Tatsuya is looking for. The guy does not hide himself from being detected. Tatsuya asks others to have a lunch, but Minoru shows reluctant to have a meal. Tatsuya assures Minoru, he can detect any form of poison, and Tatsuya cannot detect any sign of retreat from the guy that they are after. Minoru is impressed with Tatsuya and thinks Tatsuya can do anything. But, Tatsuya says, there are many things that he cannot do. Minoru cannot believe, what Tatsuya just said. (This is the direct translation. Minoru think, Tatsuya is being modest, and Minoru may still think, Tatsuya can do anything.) Miyuki laughs at Minoru because nobody around Tatsuya reacts like a normal boy just like Minoru. While they are laughing, their foods have arrived. Tatsuya and Minoru get Tofu, and Miyuki and Minami get Yubanabe.

After one hour later since their arrival, Tatsuya calls up the waiter and tells him, he comes to this shop because of the recommendation by Ikoma(生駒)’s Kudou. The waiter asks them to wait and finally invites them to the meeting room. The owner of Tofu shop enters the room and greets Tatsuya and his group. They start discussing, and the owner of Tofu shop expresses his neutral stance towards Nine families. He introduces himself as a factional leader of the traditionalist, and he calls himself as a shaman. According to him, he was not enough to become a trainee for neither Onmyoji nor Monk. He continues talking about his story. In the beginning, he hated 9th lab and wanted to revenge. His anger and hatred were stronger than others around him, so he became the leader of his group. But, his anger was due to the 9th lab that took advantages of him. He had no intention of betraying the country. He has decided to change his stance because of foreign traditional magicians that come into Japan. He thinks, traditionalists in Nara are inviting those foreign magicians to their group even though foreign magicians would cause a domestic trouble (internal conflict) in the future. Just like traditional magicians in Japan, he thinks, foreign magicians only hold loyalty to their own country, so he thinks inviting them to traditional faction was wrong.

Finally, Tatsuya asks about Zhou and his location. According to him, Zhou is no longer staying in the downtown of Kyoto. He thinks, Zhou moved to South, but he thinks, Zhou did not move to South of Uji (宇治) because Zhou did not cross the Uji River. According to him, he and some other traditional magicians have been using the river as a barrier. It is an ancient barrier that has been protecting the city for a long time, so he is sure that Zhou did not cross the Uji River and headed to North. At the end, he finalizes his talking by giving warning to Tatsuya and his group about Kurama and Arashiyama. According to him, traditionalists in those locations are already taken over by foreign magicians from the continent. After the meeting, Tatsuya decides to go to Kinkakuji, and Minoru suggests Tatsuya about contacting Kyouko to check out Uji area, and Tatsuya agrees on Minoru’s suggestion.

After getting questioned by police, Mikihiko, Erika, Leo, and Masaki are released. Mikihiko, Erika, and Leo make a decision to head back to the hotel. They also ask about the place that Masaki is staying. They learn Masaki is staying at KK Hotel, which is nearby CR hotel that Tatsuya’s group is staying. Mikihiko asks whereabouts of Kichijouji Shinkurou. Shinkurou is still staying at the 3rd High school because of the thesis competition preparation. Mikihiko, Erika, and Leo do not discuss about Shinkurou any further and ask about Masaki’s plan from the police station. Suddenly, Masaki starts thinking about his future plan because he does not have any additional manpower just like Tatsuya because he is alone. He knows Kyoto well because Masaki lives in Kyoto, so he tends to visit Kyoto often. But, even though he knows the area, he does not know key areas that he should watch out when he guards the thesis competition. So, Masaki was planning to go around the outskirt of the convention center. For now, Masaki makes a decision to head back to hotel.

After listening to Masaki’s intention of returning to the hotel, Mikihiko invites Masaki to join them. Erika suddenly stops teasing Leo and jumps into the discussion. She asks Masaki to join them. Masaki feels confusion from Erika’s behavior. Masaki thinks Erika is a capricious person and answers Mikihiko that he has a bike. Erika is interested in Masaki and his bike. Masaki is surprised with this because he also knows many girls have a fantasy about riding a bike with another person. But, Erika’s interest is a little different. Erika explains to Masaki about Tatsuya and informs Masaki that Tatsuya also has a bike.

After hearing about Tatsuya and his bike, Masaki starts daydreaming about a guy and a girl riding a bike together. A girl is Miyuki, and a guy is Tatsuya. And, the image of Tatsuya vanishes, and it is replaced with Masaki himself. And, he can feel Miyuki’s soft body on his back. But, his delusion gets interrupted by Erika. Erika asks Masaki what he is thinking. Masaki gains back his senses whiling ignoring the feeling that Erika is looking at him. Masaki tells Mikihiko that he will follow the commuter that Mikihiko, Erika, and Leo are riding.

Tatsuya and his group come back to the hotel. Even Minoru is staying with them at the hotel. Due to his condition, he did not have an opportunity to travel with his friends, and Minoru also does not have any close friends, so even though Tatsuya is not in Kyoto for the tour, Minoru’s family thinks, this is a good opportunity for Minoru.

After Tatsuya checks in at the front desk, Tatsuya’s group encounters Mikihiko’s group with Masaki. Tatsuya calls Masaki’s name, “Ichijou”, but Masaki only responds to Miyuki by calling her, “Shiba-san.” Tatsuya and Miyuki look at each other, and Tatsuya shows his bitter smile. After witnessing Tatsuya’s response, Miyuki greets Masaki with respect. Masaki always turns into an innocent boy in front of Miyuki.

Mikihiko, Erika, and Leo explain how they met Masaki and how he helped them. All of them head to their room, and discussion starts. Initially, Leo, Erika, and Mikihiko worry about how to avoid disclosing Tatsuya’s military rank and his relationship with army. However, Tatsuya suddenly discloses his rank and his affiliation to the 101 battalion. Tatsuya says he is on the search mission to catch a person who was working as a guide for Yokohama invasion force. Even Masaki is an heir of Ichijou family, Tatsuya’s affiliation with the army shocks him, but he instantly feels what Tatsuya is saying, is true. Tatsuya reminds Masaki that everything must be remained as a secret.

Erika is blindsighted from Tatsuya’s method. She suddenly understands how Tatsuya is dragging others into his own affairs.

Tatsuya says he is going after this person because there is a possibility that he can also plot something else in this year’s thesis competition. Tatsuya also provides the target’s name and his physical appearance to Masaki. After listening to the target’s name, Masaki becomes angry because he met the target, Zhou at Yokohama’s Chinatown. Masaki explains how he met Zhou and explains everything that happened in Yokohama to Tatsuya and others.

Masaki asks about Zhou’s magic, Ghost walker. Tatsuya and others discuss about his magic and its lineage. Minoru also provides his knowledge about the magic because 9th institution also researches about the ancient magic from the continent. The name, Zhuge Liang, also pops up when they talk about the magic. [Based on the actual history (not in Mahouka but the real history) Zhuge Liang was known to be the first one to use 奇門遁甲 (Ghost Walker; Personally, I do not think its direct translation is ghost walker) in the form of strategy.] After listening to others and how Miyuki handled the magician from Great Asian Union during the Yokohama invasion, Masaki understands how the magic works.

Tatsuya changes the topic about the traditionalist faction. Tatsuya stresses the fact that the traditionalist faction tried to eliminate Mikihiko because they thought Mikihiko’s Shikigami was used to detect them. Mikihiko adds his opinion to Tatsuya’s comment. Mikihiko says, his group was attacked by deserted ninjas from Kuramayama, but the leader was a foreign magician. Mikihiko states, it may be possible that Zhou was being protected by the traditionalist faction, but now, Zhou may manage to take over the traditionalist faction. Tatsuya corrects Mikihiko by saying, Zhou manages to take over a part of the traditional faction. And, Tatsuya explains and shares his findings with Mikihiko, Leo, and Erika. Tatsuya thinks, Zhou is hiding in Arashiyama, and Tatsuya decides to search Arashiyama with today’s group and asks Mikihiko’s group to search around the convention center to find any other magicians from the traditional faction. Mikihiko agrees on Tatsuya’s suggestion and informs Tatsuya that, Yoshida family is probably making a formal complaint to Kuramayama. The message is also sent to other families that are close to Yoshida family in Kyoto. According to Mikihiko, it does not matter even if Kuramayama or only a faction within Kuramayama is responsible for today’s attack, the complaint from Yoshida family should be able to restrain them.

Tatsuya also asks Mikihiko about the today’s event at Mikihiko’s side. Mikihiko explains about water type golem that his group faced during the day. After hearing Mikihiko’s story about making a golem with their own blood, Tatsuya thinks magicians from the traditionalist faction may have been manipulated by the foreign magician. Minoru also agrees and says, blood carries important meaning to traditional magicians, so a simple manipulation wouldn’t be enough to make them to use their own blood to create golems. Masaki also enters the discussion and suggests the possibility of providing evidences that proves that they are being manipulated to avoid future battles. Tatsuya finalizes the discussion by stating that they must end this without causing the commotion. If something like last year at Yokohama starts in Kyoto, it means Tatsuya’s group has lost. The goal is to end everything before anything is being started.

Minoru states, Nine families cannot assist them because if Nine families enters in Kyoto, it may cause a trouble with the entire traditional magician families in Kyoto, so Minoru is only one who can aid Tatsuya’s group. Tatsuya says, Yoshida family would be enough to restrain the traditional faction, and if there are ones who are determined to act, they will act either way.

Masaki asks what he should do tomorrow to Tatsuya, but Tatsuya cannot simply order around Masaki, so Tatsuya cannot answer right away. In addition, Masaki has been looking Miyuki from the side, so his intention is clear. Before Tatsuya says anything, Miyuki asks Masaki to join them (Tatsuya’s group). And, the plan for tomorrow trips has been decided.

Chapter 8

Tatsuya, Miyuki, Minoru, Minami, and Masaki were scheduled to travel to Arashiyama, and Mikihiko, Erika, and Leo were scheduled to travel to Takaraga Pond, which is located to nearby the location where the thesis competition will happen. Both groups were planning to leave early. But, unexpected situation occurred.

Minoru apologizes to Tatsuya in the bed. Tatsuya tells Minoru, it is okay, and his condition is not his fault, but Minoru is feeling pathetic about himself. Tatsuya also tells Minoru that Tatsuya already knew about Minoru’s condition before everything was scheduled, so Tatsuya assures Minoru everything is okay. In addition, Tatsuya encourages Minoru that Minoru has been helpful and reminds Minoru that Tatsuya would not be able to contact one of factional leaders of traditionalist faction at Tofu shop. Tatsuya’s words only carry sincerity. Tatsuya assures Minoru to take a rest and tells him that Tatsuya will need Minoru’s help again, and Tatsuya’s group cannot get to Zhou today, so Tatsuya tells Minoru to take a rest.

Even though Tatsuya explains to Minoru, Minoru is still depressed. Tatsuya tells Minoru that Tatsuya will leave Minami with Minoru today because Minami is a housekeeping specialist, and Minami also enjoys others relying on her just like Minoru. After hearing Tatsuya’s words, Minoru’s face turns red. Minoru feels embarrassed after he realizes Tatsuya discovered about Minoru who also likes to get relied on by others. Tatsuya asks Minoru to look after their belongings, and Minoru accepts Tatsuya’s request with happiness. Minoru realizes Tatsuya’s kindness and smiles.

(This scene happens during the Black and White illustration with Minami and Minoru in Vol.15)

At the hallway, Tatsuya meets with Minami and asks her to look after Minoru. And, he apologizes Minami for forcing her to look after Minoru. Minami enters the room and asks Minoru not to worry her presence in the room because if he starts worrying her in the room, there is no point watching over Minoru at the first place. Minoru accepts Minami’s suggestion and goes back to bed. About thirty minutes, Minami has been sitting right next to Minoru and watching him. Finally, Minoru opens his eyes and tells Minami that if he is being watched in the long period, even he gets embarrassed. Minami suddenly moves one meter from Minoru whiling sitting and apologizes to Minoru. Minami starts asking herself why she has been watching his face continuously and suddenly her face turned red. Minoru realizes Minami’s face has turned red. Minoru asks Minami whether she is okay or not and starts to get himself out of the bed. Minami yells Minoru, everything is okay and asks him to stay in the bed. And, she runs out of the room. For a short while, Minoru is frozen whiling raising his arm towards the door that Minami ran out.

Due to the absence of Minoru, the number has been declined. So, Masaki also joins Tatsuya and Miyuki in the same commuter. Tatsuya set a course for the group. Masaki realizes Tatsuya did not set the course to Arashiyama and asks where they are going. Without answering his question, Tatsuya asks Masaki to avoid talking about Zhou because Tatsuya does not wish to involve that person (Mayumi).

After Tatsuya’s group arrives at the meeting location, Mayumi shows up and apologizes for being late. Mayumi recognizes and surprises about Miyuki’s presence. Miyuki formally greets Mayumi. Mayumi only expected Tatsuya, but she cannot show discontent easily because of other person in the group. Mayumi recognizes Masaki and formally greets Masaki by wearing a mask of Saegusa’s daughter besides showing a relaxed behavior when she is with Tatsuya. Masaki also formally greets Mayumi. This is the second opportunity for Masaki and Mayumi to meet since the last meeting four years ago. Even though they are famous figures in the magic world, they did not have any opportunity to know each other.

Mayumi apologizes to Masaki and asks Tatsuya to come with her. Tatsuya and Mayumi moves about 2m away from Masaki and Miyuki in order to cross-examine (grilling; the author actually used this word) Tatsuya. Mayumi asks why Tatsuya comes here with Miyuki. Tatsuya shows an unnatural shocked face and asks her whether she would believe Tatsuya to leave Miyuki and come here alone. Without doing any rebuttal, Mayumi gave up due to Miyuki. Mayumi accepts and says, “Of course, Miyuki San would never send Tatsuya Kun alone.” Mayumi shakes her head but suddenly stops it. Mayumi shows serious face and asks Tatsuya why Masaki is here with Tatsuya. Tatsuya tells Mayumi that it was coincidence to meet him because Masaki also arrives at Kyoto for safeguarding the thesis competition just like Mikihiko’s group. So, Tatsuya simply says, he drags in Masaki with him because Masaki is also traveling around Kyoto. Mayumi asks whether Masaki knows why Mayumi is in Kyoto. Tatsuya says, he would never say anything to Masaki without Mayumi’s permission. Even after listening to Tatsuya’s word, Mayumi’s eye carries concerns. Even though he notices Mayumi is watching him, he asks her whether it is possible to explain him about the situation because Tatsuya thinks they may rely on Masaki. Mayumi sighs and asks Tatsuya whether it is okay to order around the heir of Ichijou clan. Tatsuya says, they will not order him around because he is not pushover (The direct translation is “he is not a cute bastard.”, but I used “he is not pushover” because it may be better in English.) After hearing Tatsuya’s answer, Mayumi giggles and says, if I can get a help, it would be great.

Mayumi, Miyuki, Masaki, and Tatsuya arrive at the police station and are being escorted to the evidence room. Masaki showed a positive response after he heard about Mayumi’s reason behind visiting Kyoto. He was impressed with Mayumi’s intention to search the truth about her bodyguard’s death. And, Masaki was especially impressed Mayumi because he thought Mayumi is the type of person who does not consider a subordinate as a tool for a person from the main house of 10MC. (The author notes, this is what Masaki is thinking.)

Tatsuya has been assuming the killer of Nakura is Zhou. While Tatsuya is thinking, the detective comes up with Nakura’s belongings, but Tatsuya cannot see his CAD because the CAD has been sent to Saegusa family. It is normal for the magician’s family to take CAD because CAD tends to hold every magic and magic technology that one does not open to others. So, Mayumi is feeling a sense of guilt about her father taking Nakura’s CAD. In addition, by studying CAD one can analyze what kind of magic Nakura used before he died, so it can help police to deduct the situation before Nakura’s death. In some way, Kouichi’s decision to take Nakura’s CAD is also not cooperative with police force. 

Tatsuya notices the blood and asks about the blood. Detective tells Tatsuya, the blood belonged to Nakura. Based on the examination, Nakura was pierced through his abdominal from the behind, and his heart was exploded from inside. And, other skins from the chest and muscles also exploded from inside to outside. Tatsuya instantly says, it is similar to Rupture. Masaki panics and says, Ichijou family is not involved in this murder. Tatsuya says, it is not easy to manipulate the liquid inside of magicians, and magicians who controls other magicians’ bodily liquid at the level to explode, would be rare. Then, Tatsuya asks Masaki about the difficulty of Rupture, and Masaki says, “Of course, it is not easy.” Tatsuya tells Masaki to relax because Tatsuya never says it is Rupture. Tatsuya only says it is like Rupture. Masaki’s face turns red because he realizes he has been panicking. Tatsuya thinks, Masaki may be a type of person who is weak when he / she faces an unexpected event.

Tatsuya continues analyzes the situation. Tatsuya thinks, it may be hard to manipulate others’ bodily liquid, but the difficult declines significantly if a magician is using a liquid within his / her body. Tatsuya thinks, Nakura may commit a suicide as the last attempt. Mayumi remembers Nakura uses needle made of water. The group assumes, Nakura used his magic as the last attempt in his last battle. Tatsuya uses his elemental sight to remember information from Nakura’s blood. At this moment, Masaki asks Tatsuya what he is doing. Tatsuya lies and tells him that he is trying to get any magical traces in his cloth. Not only Masaki, Mayumi also gets fooled by Tatsuya and starts to look for magical traces on Nakura’s cloths. Mayumi cannot find anything. Masaki asks Tatsuya whether he found anything. Tatsuya says, he also could not find anything, but he says the wound that pierced through Nakura’s back may be done by a magical beast. 

Tatsuya explains about magical beasts and its magical properties. According to Tatsuya, magical beasts fall into mental interference magic. It only shows itself to the target that it intends to show itself. Due to this, magical beasts cannot harm its target if the target does not recognize the existence of magical beasts. In order to strengthen the magic, the magician has to make its target to recognize magical beasts. The location does not matter as long as the target believes the presence of magical beasts. But, at the same time the target must not recognize the existence of magical beasts too much because supposedly magical beasts does not exist, and the target may learn magical beasts are beings that do not exist in the world. In order for magical beasts to work, the magician must create fear and uncertainty within the target and make the target to believe there is something else out there. Simply, worrying about magical beasts can make this magic stronger. Even Tatsuya explains to Mayumi, Mayumi was still lost. 

Masaki, Miyuki, Mayumi, and Tatsuya get into the commuter and travel to Arashiyama. Masaki continues the discussion about magical beasts in the commuter. Masaki asks about the difference between golem magic and magical beasts. Tatsuya explains about Golem magic. Golem is a magical robot that resembles animals / living organisms or a legendary monster. It is inserted with an independent information entity with specific behavior patterns through magic. For an example, if a magician makes a giant golem soldier with stones, a golem may look like a solid stone is moving like human beings. But, in truth joint parts of golem are not connected. Through magic, stones are only fixated at specific location. So, it can be even said, stones are simply piled on each other. For a golem, it has a physical entity. Sometimes, an entity is composed of organic materials such as woods. Sometimes, an entity is composed of inorganic materials such as stones. Sometimes, an entity is made of liquid materials such as water and has an indeterminate form. But, having a physical form is a major difference between a golem and a magical beast that only acts as it has a physical form.

Tatsuya’s explanation on a golem continues. In order to operate a golem, a magician has to put an independent information entity inside of golem. And, a magician needs to continuously use magic to operate a golem. Otherwise, a golem will no longer be a golem. And, if a golem uses liquid materials such as water, it breaks down instantly. So, a magician uses engraving magic when a magician fixates the magic sequences if materials are wood and stones. If a golem has an indeterminate form with liquid substances, a magician sometimes uses blood. Before the formation of modern magic, blood holds an important meaning to magicians. For a traditional magic, blood is considered to be an effective offering, so there are many traditional magic that uses blood. 

After listening to Tatsuya’s explanation, Mayumi and Masaki thinks, the biggest difference between regular Golem magic and magical beasts is having physical entity or not. Golems can have physical entity, but magical beasts do not have it. Tatsuya crosses his head and says, magical beast is inefficient magic because it gave unnecessary features of animal. If the magical beast does not use core, it can be destroyed by field interference. If the magic strengthen its entity, it can be eliminated through destroying its core. As Tatsuya explains the magic, the commuter gets close to its destination.

Minami is reading a book quietly right next to Minoru who is sleeping. Minoru’s condition has been stabilized besides having high fever. At the hotel, Minami does not have to do much housekeeping jobs or needs to compete against other (Miyuki) for preparing meals or teas. Minami is having a relaxed mood. Minami suddenly questions herself why she is being comfortable even though she is with a young boy who is at the same age as her. Not only that, the boy has an unequal beauty, and his personality is also great. Even when Minami met Minoru for the first time at Nara, and she was nearby Minoru yesterday, she was feeling her heart pounding (doki doki). She has been realizing she is being nervous, and she is reacting this way because Minoru is a boy. Unlike Tatsuya, Minoru is a boy. His magic capability is more than great; it is horrifying. He may be equal to Yotsuba’s greatest masterpiece, Miyuki. But, Minami is feeling familiarity with him. For some reasons, she is feeling similarity with him. So, she is attracted to him. And, she is feeling nervous because she realizes herself being conscious towards Minoru.

Minami presses her cheeks that have become hot. She is embarrassed about herself for turning her face red while daydreaming. She stands up in order to cool her face by washing her face. But, she sits down right away because Minoru’s breathing has changed. His cheeks were hot, and his respiration is thin and short. Minami stands up and heads to the front desk in order to call a doctor, but she stops because she remembers Minoru is from Kudou family, and she does not know whether she can show Minoru who holds a bloodline of the old 9th Laboratory’s product. She cannot make any decision, but she suddenly remembers the solution. She realizes she can ask Tatsuya about Minoru. Minami takes out and turns on her communication device.

Tatsuya gets a phone call from Minami right after his group gets off from the commuter. Tatsuya tells Minami that her decision on not contacting the hotel’s front desk was good. Tatsuya tells Minami to look after Minoru and informs Minami that he will contact Kyouko. Miyuki sees Tatsuya with worrisome eyes, but Tatsuya stops Miyuki by looking at her and calls Kyouko. After Tatsuya informs Kyouko about Minoru’s condition and location, he hangs up the phone. Masaki also asks about Minoru and shows sincerely concern about Minoru’s condition. Mayumi asks Tatsuya who they are talking about. Tatsuya tells Mayumi about Minoru. Just what Tatsuya can expect from the daughter of Saegusa, which is famous for having a good sociability. Mayumi also knows about Minoru, but she does not know about Minoru’s condition, and she only knows that he has a weak body. Because of the false information about Minoru, Mayumi thought Minoru also has a weak body similar to Itsuwa Mio. Because Mayumi is close to Mio, so it is natural for Mayumi to envision Minoru similar to Mio. Tatsuya informs Mayumi that Minoru is sick but does not have a weak body, and Tatsuya says, Minoru’s magic power is too powerful for his body and causes an overload. Mayumi is surprised but nods her heads. Miyuki changes the topic and asks Tatsuya to move forward if Kyouko will take care of Minoru. Masaki does not ask any thing about Kyouko even though he does not know about Kyouko.

Nakura’s body was found nearby Arashiyama Park. Everything has been cleaned up including blood stains. Tatsuya may be able to find something with his elemental sight, but Tatsuya thinks, it is meaningless and decides not to use the elemental sight. After observing the site and flow of the river, Miyuki says, the body cannot come from the upper stream of the river. Tatsuya thinks, Miyuki does not have any talent for being a detective. Tatsuya replies by agreeing with Miyuki, but he does not say Nakura’s body cannot come from the upper stream because there were blood stains everywhere. (Simply, Nakura did not die at another location, and his body did not travel through the river. Nakura died at the site that Tatsuya’s group is searching.)

Masaki is trying to understand the victim, Nakura’s situation and asks Tatsuya to share his opinion. Tatsuya simply says, he does not know because he has no idea whether Nakura made an appointment with the killer or ambushed by the killer. Masaki agrees with Tatsuya. Miyuki asks about the future plan to Tatsuya, and Tatsuya asks Mayumi to search nearby locations if Mayumi is okay. Mayumi is surprised by Tatsuya’s question and agrees to follow Tatsuya because she is the one who asks Tatsuya a favor.

Tatsuya is heading to the location where the traditional magicians from Tofu restaurant told him about, but he did not inform this information to Mayumi. She also did not show any discontent and follow Tatsuya. Due to the location, they are doing a little hiking. However, the group is slowing down because of Mayumi. Unlike Miyuki who is wearing pants and regular shoes, Mayumi is wearing a long skirt and loafer with heel. Tatsuya continues moving forward to the direction where a sign, “Bamboo Forest”, is displayed. Mayumi feels a slight sense of incongruity from Tatsuya. (I do not think, a sense of incongruity is good word, but it is a direct translation. [違和感]). Mayumi calls Tatsuya, and Tatsuya asks her whether he is moving too fast. After listening to Tatsuya, Mayumi realizes she is out of breath, but she is feeling irrationality towards Miyuki because Miyuki is not running out of breath like Mayumi, but she cannot show a behavior to make herself weak. Mayumi tends to be stubborn in time like this. (Again, this is the direct translation. I feel like, Mayumi cannot ask Tatsuya to take a break after seeing Miyuki who is not out of break like Mayumi.)

Mayumi changes the topic and asks Tatsuya about the destination that the group is heading because she realizes Tatsuya is not searching but seems to have a specific location on his mind. Tatsuya falls into dilemma after Mayumi’s question because he hesitates about dragging Mayumi into this. Even though Minoru and Masaki are from the direct lines of 10MC, Minoru has been involved from the beginning, and Masaki does not have any connection with Tatsuya, so dragging Masaki into the situation will not create any unexpected consequence (aftermath). But, Mayumi is not really close to Tatsuya, and at the same time she is not foreign to Tatsuya. If Mayumi gets involved and gets injured, it may create unexpected consequences that can be trouble to Tatsuya. Most likely, it will not happen, but if Tatsuya asks to be responsible, Tatsuya may become in debt to somebody that he does not wish to rely on. (This is the direct translation of the text. I feel like, Tatsuya worries about the situation where Mayumi gets in trouble and Tatsuya has to contact Maya for help. In this way, Tatsuya may have to repay back to Maya in the future.) Most of all, Tatsuya does not wish to break the relationship where Tatsuya is helping Mayumi. While Tatsuya is brainstorming how to fool Mayumi, Miyuki calls Tatsuya.

Suddenly, Tatsuya’s group is attacked by Onibi (鬼火, Will-o'-the-wisp) and blades of wind, but all of them stopped by Miyuki’s Zone Interference. Tatsuya and Masaki form the formation where Tatsuya to stand front, and Masaki to stand back of the group, and Mayumi and Miyuki are standing between them. Five strings with blue, red, white, black, and yellow colors were sent from the bamboo forest. Tatsuya catches them before they hit Tatsuya, and he feels noise similar to his magic, Casts-Jamming from strings. Unlike Cast-Jamming which is sending out Psion noise to interrupt magic, these strings are meant to entangle the target and send Psion noise directly to the target. So, this is an efficient technique to stop magic initiation. Tatsuya does not destroy strings and only decomposes noise. And, Tatsuya uses his two hands to pull strings. Tatsuya may not have strength to drag two people, but opponents are surprised because their magic was destroyed by the way that they never imagine. Traditional magicians are dragged out, but Tatsuya’s group also underestimates the opponents, too. Tatsuya realizes one traditional magician has been vanished. Tatsuya assumes, opponents initiated the barrier to protect themselves from Tatsuya’s group. But, the barrier magic is built to stop bystanders to enter to the site that they are fighting against Tatsuya’s group. In some way, it is also good for Tatsuya’s group, too because they do not have to worry about bystanders and their eyes.

Other strings are extending towards Masaki and Mayumi, but they are repelled by the wind that Masaki creates. Wind itself is the product of magic, and magic sequence does not get affected by strings. Bamboo forest is shaking because of Mayumi’s magic, Dry-Blizzard. Six men come out from bamboo forest without any serious injuries mainly because they used magic to protect themselves. Two magicians that dragged out by Tatsuya, become frozen. Miyuki does not freeze the body, but she lowers the body’s inner and external temperature. Two men falls into hibernation. Miyuki has resistance towards killing people, so Tatsuya put a lot of effort to edit power of magic sequence.

Tatsuya uses his hand as a blade horizontally while using decomposition magic. This time, he did not bring Silver Horn. But, he brought write type special CADs. By adding multiple aim supporting antennas to the wrist, it can cover and provide similar aim supporting capability as Silver Horn. The magic initiation is entered through thinking process CAD, which is location at the chest. This CAD provides a new fighting style for Tatsuya. He is still trying to learn to use magic without using both hands in the combat. But, Tatsuya does not need any supports from CAD to use decomposition magic at the close range.

Tatsuya purposely aims at bamboo trees besides directly aiming at traditionalist magicians. Four traditionalist magicians come out of the forest because they realize they were not only attacked by unknown magic, but they know Tatsuya used his magic as a warning shot. Tatsuya know attackers composed of 12 magicians. He instantly knows, one person is missing. Tatsuya calls out Ichijou, and Ichijou decides to handle six magicians, and Tatsuya decides to handle four magicians in front of him.

Six magicians in front of Masaki forms a hand seal (Something similar to what you can see from Naruto). Masaki is not surprised by it because he already knows they are from Buddhist monks faction. Masaki senses the initiation of magic sequences behind him. Mayumi is preparing magic. Even though Masaki knows about Mayumi and her power, Masaki has no intention to let Mayumi fight. Masaki analyzes that, Mayumi’s Dry-Blizzard is much weaker than its original form. Her magic may be able to drag enemies to the open field, but her magic failed to disable magicians. (It is the direct translation. It is hard to understand what the author wants to say. Masaki may think, Mayumi was being naïve when she limited her magic when she casted Dry-Blizzard, or Masaki is trying to deal with these magicians because he feels, Mayumi did her part when she dragged these magician out of the forest.

Masaki thinks, traditionalist magicians are incompetent because they should not come out of the forest. He believes, the traditional magician cannot stand against modern magicians because of the magic initiation speed. Masaki also knows about the Buddhist Monks’ technique, “Ichijishuu” that can provide speed equivalent to the modern magic, but it is still impossible to produce the speed equivalent to modern magic because modern magic is the combination of psychic power and magic, and it is the fastest version of magic. This is what Masaki is thinking. However, all the traditionalist magicians yells, “Khan”. Their magic initiation was faster than Masaki’s magic. And, their right hands are on fire. It is not an illusion. Masaki and Mayumi can smell from traditionalist magicians’ hand being burned. Mayumi closes her mouth after nearly throwing up. Even Masaki is shocked from this scene until he can witness the sword composed of fire from their burning hands. If Mikihiko is here with Masaki, he probably recognizes the sword and would call it, “Kurikara Sword”. (For the fans of Ao no Exorcist, it is also similar to Kurigara sword, but Mahouka’s Kurigara is leaning towards actual Kurigara from the actual myth related to Acala, Fudō-myōō (不動明王) in Japanese. Actual Kurigara is originally written as KrKara, and it may become Kurigara because of Japanese pronunciation. KrKara is a dragon king, an incarnation of Acala, Fudō-myōō (不動明王). It looks like the black dragon that is trying to swallow the sword that is engulfed with flame.)

Two men are charging towards Masaki and Mayumi. Masaki throws his red color gun special CAD in the air and uses his wrist type CAD on his right hand by using his left hand. (Comparing to Tatsuya, Masaki does not have and use thinking process CAD, yet.) By using wrist type CAD, he created a vector direction reverse barrier, but a traditionalist magician uses his flame sword and rips the barrier. Kurikara is anti-demon blade. (It can also refer as Anti-magic blade.) Masaki says “impossible” when he witness his barrier gets destroyed. They are continuing to charge towards Masaki but two magicians are hit by winds from the side. Mayumi tells Masaki, magic can be cut. Masaki realizes what Mayumi is warning about. Wind is natural phenomenon caused by magic. It is not magic itself, and it is a result of magic. So, the effect of flame sword cannot reach it. Masaki grabs his red CAD on his right hand and pulls the trigger. Right hands of six magicians have become much thinner than before because they have been burning by the flame. All of their faces show pains. Masaki realizes they are not using magic with their own intention. It is a puppet magic that controls a person’s consciousness. Masaki’s red CAD aims at six meat puppets. Masaki aims and cast rupture at their feet. Their magic stops and shows right hands which have turned into ashes. And, their feet’s blood vessels have been ruptured. Muscles and skins are ripped into pieces and shows white bones. Mayumi closes her mouth and restrains herself from throwing up after witnessing this. Masaki’s face does not show any anger or hesitation.

Tatsuya is also witnessing similar things. Four magicians’ right hands are on fire. The difference from Tatsuya’s side is what comes after this. Right hands of traditionalist magicians are covered by cold air. Flame tries to resist cold air, but Miyuki’s magic overpowers flames that burn magic. (This is the direct translation, but I feel like the author is doing some kind of wordplay in this sentence. It can also be translated as “Flame that can burn down demon gets defeated (surrendered) by the overwhelming demonic power.”)

Without further explanation, Miyuki’s magic that can freeze mind itself, has no problem with freezing forced magic. (Kurigara sword is being forced to use by somebody else, so it cannot resist Miyuki power.) Tatsuya points at their legs, and their blood fly out of their thighs. Their pains create noise and shake the string that controls them. Tatsuya realizes the magician who is hiding in the bamboo forest. If this is Psion wave, it cannot get away from Tatsuya’s eye. His finger from the right hand aims at the forest, and he removes spider that drops on top of his head with left hand. As spider without any physical form vanishes, there is a scream coming from the forest.

Tatsuya says, this still gives uneasy feelings. This is about his new special wrist type CAD, Silver Trace. (The author’s explanation: Trace is not Taurus (♉) (the Latin word for bull) is the second astrological sign in the Zodiac. It means Torus; it (pl. tori) is a surface of revolution generated by revolving a circle in three-dimensional space about an axis coplanar with the circle.) This is a prototype CAD combined with thinking process CAD. Unlike Tatsuya’s comment, Miyuki thinks Tatsuya uses this prototype CAD naturally. Both of them do not show any concern about six magicians lying in front of them or a magician that screamed in the forest because Tatsuya would not forget about the existence of a magician in the forest, and Miyuki does not believe, Tatsuya would lose a prey that he caught. The magician from the forest is dragged out of the forest by Tatsuya. He seems to be older than 60 years old. The old traditional magician regains consciousness because Tatsuya dragged him out violently. He pulls out a long needle and pierces it to his thing in order to stop pains, but the old traditionalist magician does not show any resistance towards Tatsuya. He knows if he tries to use magic, he may experiences more pains.

Mayumi asks Tatsuya and Masaki what to do from now. They do not think, the old magician would say anything, and the barrier that they created should be gone now. So, they make a decision to hand them to police because it may get too complicated if they interrogate them, Tatsuya’s group may get into more trouble. Even Mayumi is uneasy about this, but they decide to contact police, and Miyuki calls cops.

Searching Arashiyama area ends with getting questioned by polices because traditionalist magicians were injured too much. Even with the name of Saegusa and Ichijou, police cannot let them go. In addition, a detective who was questioning Tatsuya and his group, was not fond of 10MC. Even though detectives who are in charge of magic related crimes, are magicians, but all of them are not modern magicians. In the region like Tokyo where modern magician faction is strong, majority of police forces are composed of modern magicians. But, regions like Kyoto where traditional magician holds a certain size of faction, is composed of both traditional magicians and modern magicians (traditional magicians: modern magicians equals 50:50). Or, some of these places have more traditional magicians. A detective, who was questioning Tatsuya’s group, is a traditional magician under the Onmyōdō faction. (Personal note: Onmyoji is a practitioner of the art of Onmyōdō, so the detective may be Onmyoji.) At least, it was good that a detective was not under the Buddhist faction (Personal note: (密敎); the direct translation is “Esoteric Buddhism”. In Japan, when they talk about Esoteric Buddhism (密敎), it tends to talk about Shingon sect of Buddhisum (真言宗: Shingonshu)) Even though a detective was not falling into Buddhist faction, his antipathy towards 10MC affected negatively on the investigation. He continued doubting Tatsuya’s group for overprotection. Mayumi and Masaki were not immature to get angry over this, but if they were short-tempered, something terrible (tragedy) could happen. (Personal Note: I think, the author wants to say a detective was trying to accuse them with crime.) For Tatsuya, a detective also tried to accuse him of overprotection. Tatsuya did his best to stop Miyuki from getting exploded with anger. Finally, Tatsuya’s group gets freed from the police. Masaki returns to Kanazawa by using train. He travels to the station with his bike. Masaki is using the train that can transport a bike. Mayumi already reserved the one single room, so she is staying at the hotel. When Tatsuya returns to the hotel, Kyouko is waiting for Tatsuya. Kyouko notices Tatsuya and Miyuki are tired by looking at their face after greeting them. Tatsuya briefly informs Kyouko about their situation with cop without much detail and asks about Minoru’s condition. Kyouko sits in front of Tatsuya, and Miyuki sits right next to Tatsuya and looks at Kyouko. Kyouko tells them that Minoru has been in pain, but he is sleeping due to the effect of medicine. Based on Kyouko’s facial expression, Minoru’s condition is not simply a bad condition.

Kyouko wants to ask Tatsuya a favor, and Tatsuya asks her what it is. Kyouko cannot answer right away and avoids looking at Tatsuya for nearly one minute. Kyouko explains about Minoru’s condition. According to Kyouko, Minoru is healthy in the medical perspective. He has no problems in both immune system and nerve system. Even a doctor cannot determine why he is often getting sick. Kyouko and another researcher from Fujibayashi family think, Minoru’s condition may be due to his Psion body. Psion body is information of one’s physical body. It is one of many names of Eidos, and it exists by overlapping with the physical body. In the past, it was discussed and believed to be the identity of Soul, but this topic is still ongoing discussion. If a person is trained to control Psion body, one can command the body faster than simply using the body through the nerve system. In addition, if this is possible, one can edit and strengthen internal organ functions by controlling information on internal organs and other information that has relations to internal organs. For a magician like Tatsuya, facing unexpected body condition due to the Psion body’s bad condition cannot happen.

Tatsuya asks Kyouko what she wants him to do. The idea of Psion body affecting physical body is popular belief, and many researchers are studying this subject. Tatsuya assumes Fujibayashi family’s researcher would be one of those who are studying this theory. But, Tatsuya does not understand why Kyouko would approach Tatsuya for help. Finally, Kyouko tells what she wants from Tatsuya. She asks Tatsuya to use the elemental sight to look into Psion body of Minoru. Tatsuya and Miyuki are surprised and open their eyes widely. Kyouko continues and says, she does not know anyone who can analyze Psion body as much as Tatsuya. And, she cannot request him to fix Minoru, but at least she wants Tatsuya to find a reason behind Minoru’s condition. But, Tatsuya warns Kyouko about allowing him to look into Minoru. Tatsuya’s eye reads information on what a person is the basis of. He can read what and how a person is made of. He can read the cause and the effect. His eye reads the structural information as well as a causal relationship (cause and effect). By looking into a person called Kudou Minoru with his eye, it is the same as showing a person’s “root”.

Kyouko says, she will be responsible for everything. Even though Tatsuya hears her answer, he also knows nobody can be responsible for such decision, but he still nods at Kyouko. Kyouko also knows that she cannot handle this responsibility, but she still promises to be responsible for consequences. Tatsuya cannot know why she is so urgent. As long as he does not look into past and look into the present condition, he does not have any demerit. And, Tatsuya has been relying in several occasions on Kyouko. So, if Kyouko really wishes this, he decides to fulfill her wish. Tatsuya looks into Minoru with his eye. Because of the medication, Minoru cannot notice and resist Tatsuya’s eye. Miyuki says, “Onii-sama”. It is less than one second. But, when Tatsuya comes back to the present time, he is sweating. Tatsuya tells Miyuki not to worry and smiles at Miyuki. Miyuki shows a comfortable look and heads to the bathroom. When Miyuki comes back, she has a wet towel on her hand. Miyuki cleans Tatsuya’s sweats on his face even though Tatsuya tells her that he will do it by himself. Kyouko asks Tatsuya about Minoru’s condition after looking into him. In an instance, Tatsuya has a lot to say not only to Kyouko but also to Kudou family. He has looked into the root of Minoru and learned about the birth secret of Minoru. But, Tatsuya silences himself and only answers Kyouko about things that she has requested to Tatsuya. Tatsuya says, he thought Minoru’s body is not simply handling a strong Psion pressure. According to Tatsuya, Psion body is a vessel that holds Psion that a person has. Just like physical air pressure, Psion’s pressure is depending on how actively Psion’s size and Psion are moving around. For the case of Minoru, Psion is moving around much stronger than any other magicians. Kyouko asks whether Psion pressure is damaging Psion body. Tatsuya says, Psion body is like unaccountably many thin pipes are gathered together and bending around to form information that looks like an actual physical body. For Minoru, Psion pressure inside of pipes is breaking pipes, and its damages are being reflected to physical body as feedback. Kyouko nearly screams, but before that happens, Tatsuya continues talking. Tatsuya says, as long as Psion is actively moving around, it also means Psion body is being recovered because broken pipes and Psion that broke the pipes are also made of the same material. But, for Minoru the damage on Psion body and recovery on Psion body are happening in a short cycle. And, Tatsuya believes, it may be the reason behind Minoru’s condition. And, he points out, Minoru’s recovery speed on Psion body is much faster than average magicians.

Kyouko feels safe, but suddenly she starts worrying about the solution. According to Tatsuya, one solution for saving Minoru is suppressing Minoru’s Psion activity. But, it also means putting a shackle on Minoru’s ability as a magician, so it may not be the solution for his family and Minoru himself. Then, the best solution would be strengthening the intensity of Minoru’s Psion body. But, Tatsuya cannot provide a method for strengthening the intensity of Psion body. After Tatsuya’s answer, Kyouko put her face down to hide herself. If one puts Minoru’s health as the top priority, limiting magic power is the most definite solution, but magic is the pillar that holds Minoru, and being an excellent magician is his identity. Even Tatsuya believes, Minoru cannot be happy by limiting magic power in order to gain the healthy body. At the same time, staying at sickbed for a quarter of one year is also very painful not only for Minoru but also for his family. Kyouko says, she will ask about this with other experts. Minoru wakes up about thirty minutes after the discussion. Kyouko is also recovered from the shock. Or, she may not wish to show unsightly face to Minoru. Tatsuya asks Minoru about his condition, and Minoru apologizes for making others to worry about him. Minoru is about to put his head down. But, it is stopped by Tatsuya. Tatsuya says, there is no reason for Minoru to put his down because it is not Minoru’s fault for getting sick and stresses that it is due to his condition. And, Tatsuya says, he cannot agree on putting head down if it is not Minoru’s fault. Tatsuya’s voice is very austere. It is close to rebuking than comforting Minoru. But, it is Tatsuya’s way of encouraging Minoru from feeling guilty. Minoru shows gratitude to Tatsuya and nods to Tatsuya. Tatsuya does not speak any more of this.

Kyouko changes the topic and is about to ask Tatsuya to share the story regarding police. Before she starts the sentence, Erika interrupts. Erika notices Kyouko and remembers her rank. Erika, Leo, and Mikihiko also remember Kyouko. All of them are surprised about Kyouko’s presence. Kyouko tells them not to call her, “Second Lieutenant” because she is not on official business. She counters their surprise by showing “Smile of Adult.” Erika does not show any special response because she is also a woman, but Leo also does not respond to Kyouko’s smile. Only, Mikihiko shows a response that can be seen from a normal teenager. Maybe, it is good that Mizuki is not here.

Erika sits opposite from where Minoru is lying. Unlike Miyuki’s elegant atmosphere, Erika sits straight (正座). It may be different, but both Miyuki and Erika produce a good picture. (Personal note: 正座 is a sitting posture when a person is sitting formally. Just imagine a scene how a person sits in sword dojo or during Japanese Tea ceremony. In this scene, the author may want to stress that Miyuki may carry elegance, but Erika also carry something other than elegance that can put Erika equal to Miyuki.)

Erika asks about Minoru’s condition, and Minoru replies by apologizing to Erika for making her worry. Erika is definitely a pretty girl, but Minoru’s face is more decent. However, Minoru gets agitated from Erika’s smile. In some way, it is suitable for a boy at his age, but in a negative way, it also means Minoru does not have any girl at his age around him. Maybe, Erika considers the TPO (time, place, and occasion) and does not show any response or tries to make a joke towards Minoru’s innocence reaction.

Tatsuya sits towards the center of the room, and Miyuki also sits right next him. Kyouko moves next to Minoru, and Minami moves right next to Miyuki. Erika moves in front Tatsuya along with Leo and Mikihiko. Everyone is circling around each other. Tatsuya asks everyone to share their information, and Mikihiko starts sharing. According to Mikihiko, Mikihiko’s group did not find any locations that traditionalist magicians can hide, and no one was responding to his Shikigami. In addition, many magicians under the police have been patrolling the area. Mikihiko thinks, even if foreign agencies are trying to pull something similar to the last year, it will be hard in this year’s event. Tatsuya says, the safety for the thesis competition has been achieved due to the Mikihiko’s effort. Mikihiko shows a troubled face but agrees that his effort may be helpful. As always, Erika makes a fun of Leo and says, it is Leo’s job to suffer from the work. And, Leo says, “Stop joking.” (Personal Note: I think, when Erika says it is Leo’s job to suffer, it may be related to a joke from the vol. 14 when Erika calls Leo as “meat shield”.)

Mikihiko concludes, field research for the thesis competition has some successes, but his group did not gain much regarding the search for foreign agents. Tatsuya says, everything is fine because the police should gain an access to the hideout of traditionalist magicians. Now, they can leave it to the local government because searching for a foreign agent is also a job for the police. But, Miyuki objects Tastuya’s opinion because of the attack that Tatsuya’s group experienced at Arashiyama Park nearby Okura Mountain. He informs others that attackers are composed of 12 traditional magicians from the Buddhist faction and one foreign sorcerer. Erika is not surprised and assumes that Tatsuya, Miyuki, and the heir of Ichijou family handled them easily. Tatsuya says, they were not easy opponents. Then, he remembers something and asks Mikihiko about what they saw during the fight. Tatsuya asks about the magic that creates flame sword with a snake or a dragon decoration. About ten seconds later, Mikihiko says, it is “Kurikara Sword”. Tatsuya asks whether the blade belongs to Fudō-myōō (不動明王). Mikihiko says, it is a magic that imitates Fudō-myōō (不動明王)’s anti-demon sword. Its power represents cutting down demon (magic). In the modern magic perspective, this sword contacts on the target that magic is being initiated and destroys magic sequence that is being written on Eidos. It is a form of anti-magic. Erika is surprised with the existence of such magic among traditional magic. Even though it is a simple comment by Erika, Mikihiko shows discomfort because her words sound like modern magicians are making mockery out of traditional magic. But, Mikihiko knows Erika always talk insensitively without any ill-intention, so he has no intention to start fighting because of her words.

Mikihiko is impressed with a magician who has a capability to use this kind of advanced magic. Due to the nature of Kurikara Sword, it can also cause defeasance on a magician’s own magic, so sustaining this magic is very hard. After hearing Mikihiko’s words, Tatsuya asks what happens if a magician tries to use this magic forcefully. Mikihiko says, it is impossible because the point of magic initiation is a magician’s hand. The magic of Kurikara Sword invalidates any magic that flame touches, so it is not simply about avoiding the contact with the sword. In order to sustain the magic, a magician needs to keep the distance between his hand and the represented flame sword. If a magician cannot handle this condition, a magician cannot sustain the magic. But, Mikihiko also adds, it is a little different if another magician forces other magicians to initiate the magic. In this case, he points out that the hand will be burned. Erika screams and flips backward, and Miyuki shrinks her shoulder. Mikihiko says, even though it is magic, and Kurikara Sword’s flame is in represented form, it is still flame. If a magician grabs this sword, it is natural to get burned. According to the rumor, there are evil magic that forces others to use this magic while burning their arms in order to create Kurikara Sword. Mikihiko finalizes his comment by saying, if this magic is used in this way, it is no longer an anti-demon blade but an evil blade.

Without getting noticed by others, Tatsuya and Miyuki share eye contacts and decide not to talk any detailed information. Mikihiko praises Tatsuya’s group for such a victory, but he says merits should go to Miyuki and Masaki. Now, Tatsuya is starting to discuss about future plans. Erika asks Tatsuya whether the plan has been changed. According to the plan, they are scheduled to return to Tokyo today. Tatsuya asks everyone to return to Tokyo, and he says, he will remain in Kyoto for one more day and visit police in order to ask around traditionalist magicians that they caught today. Miyuki wishes to stay with Tatsuya, but Tatsuya objects her request because she is a student president, and it is not good to miss the school for two straight days. For Miyuki, Tatsuya is more important than the school, but if she is ordered by Tatsuya with strong tone, she cannot object him. Erika asks, she would like to stay with Tatsuya because she can pull string with cops. But, the request is rejected because she is obviously using this as an excuse to take a break. Mikihiko is also asked to go back. Mikihiko and Leo know about Tatsuya’s circumstance, and Erika knows more about Tatsuya than others. (Personal Note: I think, the author wants to remind audiences that Erika knows, Tatsuya has a relation to Yotsuba. At this point in the novel, she does not know Tatsuya is on the mission by Yotsuba. She only knows, he has a relation to Yotsuba.)

After sending others to the station, Tatsuya comes back to the hotel. It was not easy to put Miyuki on the train, but he manages to send her to Tokyo. When Miyuki holds Tatsuya’s right hand with her both hands with teary eyes and asks him to be careful, Tatsuya was even planning to change the plan. And, Minoru also wants to follow Tatsuya, but Kyouko objects and scolds Minoru for skipping the school because Minoru already missed a lot of classes.

Fortunately, the hotel has a lot of empty rooms. He moves to the single room and is meeting Mayumi at the lounge. Mayumi asks whether it is okay to skip the school, but Tatsuya tells her he has an additional business. Mayumi assumes, the business is related to the military. Tatsuya says, yes and ask her not to concern. Tatsuya changes the topic and requests Mayumi to wait at the hotel. Mayumi gets agitated from Tatsuya’s request. Mayumi thinks, Tatsuya is considering her as an obstacle because she was not as helpful as Masaki and Miyuki. Tatsuya smiles and objects her self-criticism. Tatsuya says he thinks highly of Mayumi’s ability whiling looking into her eyes. Mayumi’s cheeks turn red and avoids Tatsuya’s gaze. Then, Mayumi asks Tatsuya why he is leaving her at the hotel, and his reply is unexpected by Mayumi. Tatsuya says, it is not because tomorrow’s trip is dangerous. Mayumi thought, Tatsuya would say, tomorrow’s trip is dangerous. Mayumi looks back at Tatsuya. Tatsuya continues talking. He thinks he cannot progress if he uses the same method as today, and he is planning to use rough methods. And, Tatsuya thinks, it is not a kind of things that he wishes to show to a lady especially a lady like Mayumi. Again, Mayumi moves her gaze from Tatsuya. Mayumi says, she is okay, and she is used to rough things. It is true that she experienced the battle field at Yokohama and fought against man-eating tiger, Lu. Rough things would be okay, but their discussion is turning into strange direction. (Personal Note: the author seems doing wordplay again. It may translate in another way, but I feel like the author is trying to joke and make “rough things” not as fighting dangerous enemies but as doing rough things on the bed or something sexual.)

Tatsuya strongly states, he simply does not wish Mayumi to see how he handles things. While turning her gaze away from Tatsuya, Mayumi is rubbing both of her index fingers together. Mayumi finally accepts Tatsuya’s request. Right after she accepts Tatsuya’s request, her body trembles and realizes something. She says, she is in danger, and moves her gaze back at Tatsuya. She says, she nearly gets trapped by his methods. Tatsuya put both of his arms and says he has no intention to fool her, and he really does not wish for a woman to witness what he is planning to do. Mayumi says, “Onesan (older sister) will not be deceived.” Tatsuya does not remember fooling Mayumi or putting her into the trap, but Mayumi seems to have weird memories. But, Tatsuya was sincere when he says, he does not wish to show it to a woman. Tatsuya gives up and asks her not to faint when she follows him around. Even if Tatsuya threatens her, Mayumi laughs happily and says, it is okay because she is an adult. Tatsuya cannot believe what she just said, but he cannot say it to her.

Miyuki contacts Tatsuya and informs him that she arrives at home. Miyuki says, she worried because Tatsuya is not nearby her. Tatsuya assures Miyuki that there is no reason for him to remove his eye away from her. Miyuki apologizes to Tatsuya, and Tatsuya tells her not to apologize. He regrets about staying away from Miyuki and asks her to lock the door before going to sleep. Miyuki thinks, Tatsuya is considering her as a young child. Tatsuya says, regardless of her age, she is his sister. Miyuki says, what Tatsuya just said, is something that parents should tell to their daughter. Tatsuya says, “But, you do not wish to hear from them (parents).” Miyuki agrees and says goodnight to Tatsuya.

Right after the phone call with Miyuki ends, somebody is knocking the door. After checking the monitor that shows the outside of his hotel room, he can see dressed up Mayumi. Tatsuya asks her why she is visiting him in this hour. It is only around 8 PM, but Tatsuya thinks, it is not time for a young woman to visit another man’s room when a man is not her lover. Unlike Tatsuya, Mayumi does not seem to think this way. Mayumi asks Tatsuya to have a dinner with her. Mayumi already reserved a spot at the French restaurant through the hotel front desk. Despite of Tatsuya’s intention, Mayumi seems to decide Tatsuya to escort her. Tatsuya controls himself from not making an unpleasant face. Tatsuya asks her to wait at the lobby while he changes his dress. He makes a bitter smile while closing the door.

Tatsuya and Mayumi meet at the lobby. Mayumi says, Tatsuya looks great, and Tatsuya says, it is nothing compared to Mayumi. Tatsuya goes to Mayumi’s side and pull out the chair. Mayumi smiles while sitting on the chair. Tatsuya waits for Mayumi to look into the menu, and he starts looking at the menu. Both of them order the course menu. Due to the location, they cannot talk about their trips to Kyoto. Tatsuya also warns Mayumi from using anti-noise field. During last two days, Tatsuya have learned one thing; people of Kyoto are not friendly with magicians. Tatsuya thought Kyoto to be in good terms with magicians because HQ of magic association is located here. And, at worst, he thought the city to be neutral. But, his expectation was not right. He hides his wrist type CAD under the sleeve, and he tries to avoid looking like a magician. Mayumi also does not wear CAD. It is hard to know whether Mayumi is not wearing CAD because she does not wish to alert other people or simply because of fashion. After having desert and coffee, Mayumi asks Tatsuya to join her at the bar. Tatsuya says, he is a high school student. Mayumi says, Tatsuya does not look like a high school student even if he wears a school uniform. Mayumi’s comment is not ill-intended, but because of this Tatsuya is more shocked. Maybe, the shock is too strong. Tatsuya is dragged to the bar. Before entering into the bar, Mayumi tells Tatsuya not to call her “Senpai” and ask him to call her as Mayumi. And, she says, she will call him as “Tatsuya San” in order to avoid people from considering them as students. Mayumi grabs Tatsuya’s arm and drag him to the bar. Mayumi orders Alexander, and Tatsuya orders Summer Delight. Bartender looks at Tatsuya and nods without saying anything. Based on the bartender’s physical look and his movements, the bartender seems to be trained in professional combat. Tatsuya is wondering the identity of the bartender. While Tatsuya is wondering about the bartender, Mayumi asks Tatsuya why he chose nonalcoholic beverage. Suddenly, Tatsuya apologizes to Mayumi and behaves like a bodyguard. Mayumi was expecting to play a lover role-play with Tatsuya. But, Tatsuya does not like to be controlled by others.

The bartender finishes making the drink and places it in front of Mayumi and initiates communication with Tatsuya. The bartender thinks, Tatsuya looks strong for a young age. Tatsuya says, he is only apprentice bodyguard, but the bartender says, Tatsuya is being modest. The bartender finishes making Tatsuya’s drink and places it in front of Tatsuya. Then, the bartender asks whether Tatsuya is a magician or not. Tatsuya assumes the bartender to be a magician, but the bartender says, he was a magician, but he lost his power as a magician during the training exercise. Tatsuya apologizes, but the bartender says it is okay because it happened a long time ago, and he is the one who started conversation. While they are talking, Mayumi suddenly gets angry and requests additional drinks. Tatsuya warns Mayumi for drinking too fast. Mayumi replies, “It is okay. “Tatsuya san” should not interfere with drinking when you cannot drink.” Mayumi gets mad at Tatsuya for only talking with the bartender, or maybe Mayumi dislike doing a role-play of a lady and a bodyguard. The bartender realizes the situation and apologizes, but Tatsuya has no intention to stop conversation.

Tatsuya wishes to ask few more questions. By gazing at Tatsuya, The bartender asks whether it is okay to leave Mayumi as it is. But, Tatsuya does not feel need for satisfying Mayumi’s mood. Tatsuya starts asking questions about residents of Kyoto and the magic association. The bartender is wondering why Tatsuya is asking such questions. Tatsuya feels that people of Kyoto does not seem to have good impression towards magicians. The bartender says, there has not been a big trouble between magicians and residents of Kyoto. According to him, small matters have been piling up. If small matters were done by normal people, it could have been ignored, but they were done by magicians. So, residents of Kyoto overreacted. After hearing from the bartender, Tatsuya does not understand. The bartender continues talking. He thinks, having Magic Association HQ at the city is not a good thing for residents of Kyoto. Residents may feel, magicians have taken over the city. Tatsuya says, even magicians are residents of Kyoto. But, the bartender shares his opinion of losing his power as a magician. After he lost his power, he starts realizing how horrifying magician is to normal people. If a person cannot use magic, he or she cannot do any things against magicians. Sometimes, they may not know what happen to them. Sometimes, they may get injured or lose something precious. In the worst circumstance, they may get killed. Magic may not be much different from a gun, but magicians are carrying an invisible gun on the eye of normal residents of Kyoto. He finalizes his comment by saying that Kyoto is not special. This can happen in any other cities.

After coming outside of the bar, Mayumi is having hard time walking. Tatsuya even told Mayumi that three drinks are too much. He escorts Mayumi to her room. Mayumi looks like she is ready to sleep right away. She thanks Tatsuya for escorting her to her room. But, she sits in front of her room, but he cannot just leave her there. Tatsuya asks Mayumi whereabouts of the room key. She shows her room key while shaking it. Suddenly, she tries to put the room key into her cleavage, but Tatsuya catches it before it happens. Tatsuya is wondering what Mayumi is trying to make Tatsuya to do. Tatsuya asks Mayumi to sleep on the bed if she is going to sleep. Tatsuya learns a new thing about Mayumi. When Mayumi gets drunk, she regressed herself like child. He feels like, many people around him are like this. He thinks, it is better than people who asks others to drink or starts crying, but he thinks, it still requires extra handy works.

Tatsuya brings Mayumi right next to the bed. He recommends Mayumi to undress in order to avoid making wrinkles on her dress. Mayumi raises her both arms in front of Tatsuya. Tatsuya asks her what she wants. Mayumi tells Tatsuya to take off her dress. By listening to the answer that he is expecting based on her posture, he is experiencing a headache.

It is October 22th. Tatsuya come back to Arashiyama where his group was ambushed by traditional magicians. Mayumi is staying at the hotel. She is not feeling well from drinking alcohol and sleeping at the hotel. Among many incidents from yesterday, Tatsuya thinks, it is working in his favor. (Personal Note: Tatsuya thinks, Mayumi getting drunk is helping him.)

Tatsuya cannot see any security guards around the area. At least, nobody is investigating. The detective, who hated the 10 Master Clans, does not seem to have any intention to investigate the area. Tatsuya wonders whether there are some other incidents or not, but either way, it is also working in his favor because he does not have worry about dealing with security guards.

Tatsuya stands at the location and tries to remember information that he read yesterday. He is remembering data from a traditional magician (source of information) who was the least injured and was under the hibernation by Miyuki’s magic. By not experiencing heavy injury, this traditional magician’s Eidos did not experience any loss, and Psion wave that can interfere with reading its mind, was suppressed. So, this traditional magician could provide the data that Tatsuya needs. The data that shows where the man came from. The coordinate of a hideout that this traditional magician’s group has been staying, is found.

Tatsuya takes out the information device and open a map. He compares the map with data from his memory while moving to the destination. Tatsuya locates the destination. It is a large normal house. But, if the house is this big, it cannot be normal. In some way, it also looks like a meeting place for a village. Tatsuya scans the building with his elemental sight without getting noticed from outside of the house. Tatsuya does not find any traps that can prevent intruders. Tatsuya enters the building through the door without any concern. Within the house and nearby areas, Tatsuya cannot sense any magic, but he confirms that the house is not empty. The door is double-locked with both an electric key and a physical key (regular door key), but he does not have any magic to open this door, so he decides to open the door with magic that he has. The door’s lock breaks down. Tatsuya enters the door without any concern and enters the interior of the house. But, he was attacked by a weapon with the shape of circular wheel. It is a weapon called, Dharma Wheel (Personal Note: it is similar to chakram, but unlike chakram, it has eight spokes in the middle.) This seems to be used as a throwing weapon. As Tatsuya evades Dharma Wheel, it changes its direction and flies in the opposite direction. Tatsuya realizes these weapons are connected with Psion string. Tatsuya thinks, these weapons are showing the movement, which is similar to yoyo. As Tatsuya continues evading Dharma Wheel, the number of Dharma Wheel has increased to four, but Tatsuya use his decomposition magic to decompose the Psion string. The Dharma Wheels break the door and flies outside of the house. Tatsuya notices a commotion from the wall. After Tatsuya decomposes the four strings, he shortens the distance between himself and magicians that are hiding through the optical medium. Tatsuya can notice a glimpse of invisible person who is making stance with dual bladed dagger, Vajra (獨鈷杵). It is a training tool for Buddhists (法具). This is also remodeled as a weapon just like yoyo type Dharma Wheel. Tatsuya can see, Vajra is projected with magic sequence that fires lighting. It is projected, but it is not overwritten on Eidos, yet. Tatsuya ignores the magic that is not being initiated and uses vibration magic with flash cast and strike at the chest of Puppet (人影). By using vibration wave, which is also used in Active Air Mine Magic, body parts that palm contacts, is vibrating rapidly. Vibration is spreading across the upper body by going through bodily liquids within the target. The man’s body is collapsed, and optical magic is also cancelled. The man wears similar cloth as ambushers from yesterday. Another invisible man approaches Tatsuya from behind, but Tatsuya kicks this invisible man’s leg. As the second invisible man stumbles from Tatsuya’s attack, Tatsuya can see his back. Tatsuya attacks the second invisible man with vibration magic. The second invisible man collapses. Then, Tatsuya makes a provocation by saying that invisibility is useless towards him, and it may be wise to show themselves. By responding to Tatsuya’s provocation, ten men show up. All of them are from different age groups, but there isn’t any woman among them. Tatsuya may not go easy on a woman, but he still feels uncomfortable about fighting a woman.

One traditional magician questions Tatsuya why their Marīci (摩利支天, it is Buddhist god of war) magic does not work. Tatsuya does not say, they are simply inexperienced. If Yakumo uses the exactly same magic, even Tatsuya cannot specify the location of a magician (Yakumo). One man orders others to bind Tatsuya. He may not seem the oldest, but he seems to be strongest in magic power. Tatsuya sets the man (one that acts as the leader) as the main target. Tatsuya comes to the middle of floor that looks like a kendo dojo where does not have any obstacles such as furniture. Tatsuya is being surrounded by ten magicians. Each five magician group has formed the formation similar to the shape of pentagram. So, two groups set two separate pentagram formations. It looks like, ten magicians have formed the formation with the shape of decagon, but two pentagram formations are tilted from each other by 35 degrees. Five traditional magicians throw strings at Tatsuya. (This is the string magic that binds the target and stops the target from initiating the magic.) But, strings are not thrown towards Tatsuya. They are throwing strings at their comrades across from them. If one magician throws a string, another magician catches the end of string. Five color strings are forming the pentagram formation. But, Tatsuya is watching this from the top. (Personal Note: I think, the author wants to say, Tatsuya already foresee these magicians’ magic before they finish building pentagram formation with strings.) Tatsuya assumes, this pentagram is built to put pressure and cause pain at the target that is standing in the middle. But, Tatsuya has no reason to wait for them to finish the pentagram formation with strings. The moment, they throw strings, Tatsuya jumps on top. Before hitting the ceiling, he kicks the midair and aims at one of magicians that are forming Pentagram formation. Tatsuya kicks the target, and the pentagram formation gets broken.

Even though pentagram formation is not only magic that they have, Tatsuya continues attacking each magician one by one. By using flash cast, he builds a foothold in the midair before hitting the floor and jumps at another magician. This magic battle technic is only possible because of his flash cast that allows Tatsuya to build a foothold in the midair instantly. These traditional magicians are from Buddhist faction, and they are not physically weak. They are supposed to be the top class martial artists, but this is only the case if they fight normally. They cannot react to Tatsuya’s acrobatic movement.

When traditional magicians have gotten used to Tatsuya’s attack, there are only five magicians left. Two magicians that are located behind and in front of Tatsuya fire lighting magic towards him. Modern magic can create an electric current at the target directly. But, traditional magic’s lighting magic tends to fire the magic from a magician or a specific location to the target. For lighting magic, it normally does not matter because lighting moves at the speed of 100,000km per second. Once a person notices the attack, it is impossible for a person to evade the lighting. For Tatsuya, he jumps to side right before the magic gets initiated. Two magicians lose Tatsuya, but they cannot stop casting magic. After two lightings crash each other, traditional magicians have become reluctant to use magic. In this instance, Tatsuya finds an opening that buys him enough time. By using the flash cast, Tatsuya continues building footholds and jumping in midair, and Tatsuya knocks down every traditional magician.

Targeted man who behaved as a leader gains conscious after experiencing a piercing pain. Due to the pain, his thought is not functioning well. He is simply forced into the condition where he cannot lose consciousness. Tatsuya weakens the level of pain in order to communicate with him. The man tries to form a hand seal and initiates the magic, but the pain strikes him again. Tatsuya tells him, he will only need to answer questions and weakens the pain again. Tatsuya asks the man about whereabouts of Zhou. The man cannot think about lying to Tatsuya and nods at him. The man informs Tatsuya about the location of Zhou. Zhou told other traditionalist magicians that he was heading to Ujiro, Futagozuka grave because Zhou has a good hideout in that location. The man tells Tatsuya that this is only thing that he knows, and he cannot confirm whether Zhou lied to others or not.

Tatsuya informs the man that a foreign magician has been controlling your subordinates and asks him whether the man allowed it or not. The man says, he is not a master (teacher). Not only that, the man is not at the place where he can simply order others. Tatsuya asks the man whether he is a leader or not, but the man says, there is no leader among them, and everyone is equal. So, nobody is listening to any orders. Tatsuya appreciates his help, and the man loses his consciousness because of the sudden pain. Tatsuya sends a mail to Kyouko and informs her about the hideout of traditionalist and magicians who lost consciousness by Tatsuya. Tatsuya is measuring the authenticity of information that he gains at this location. He cannot believe, the organization does not have any form of “chain of command” because if they do not have any commanding structure, they could not perform conjoint group battle such as pentagram formation. But, the information regarding the hideout of Zhou is the same as what he earned from a traditional magician at Kiyomizudera. Tatsuya decides to report to Hayama about Zhou and his potential hideout at Futagozuka grave once Tatsuya goes back to the home at Tokyo.

When Tatsuya is done with his job and comes back to the hotel, Mayumi who is feeling angry and shameful, is waiting for him. Mayumi is saying such as “cold-hearted”, “this is different from what you promised” while making her cheeks red and avoiding Tatsuya’s gaze. Tatsuya can assume why she is acting the way she is now. Yesterday, Tatsuya was asked to take off the cloth of young woman (Mayumi). It was irrational request, so Tatsuya took off Mayumi’s dress instantly and threw Mayumi with only underwear into the bed. And, Tatsuya ran out of the bed without looking back. Tatsuya thinks, his action was violent when he threw Mayumi into the bed. But, Tatsuya has something to say. He cannot say it, but he wants to say, Mayumi should be thanks Tatsuya for not raping her even though he cannot say such words. Mayumi starts stammering and asks Tatsuya why she was sleeping with only underwear. Even though Mayumi and Tatsuya are alone in the hotel room, she is looking everywhere while asking this question. Tatsuya wants to say, Mayumi asks him to undress her, but he cannot say it. And, Tatsuya says, “Senpai, didn’t you take them off by yourself? Even though you were drunk, weren’t you having enough judgment not to get into the bed with the dress?” Mayumi asks whether a drunken person has a capability to think that much, but Tatsuya says, it is Mayumi’s business, and this is something that he does not know. Then, Mayumi finally says that she may not be strong with alcohol, but she is a type of people who would remember everything. Tatsuya wants to get away from this room. However, he understands that this is not a circumstance where a man can simply run away from. Mayumi says, “I think, you should not have to do it violently.” Definitely, Tatsuya threw Mayumi into the bed violently. But, Tatsuya is questioning himself whether this is a topic that he should get criticized for. However, if Tatsuya says, “You are talking about this besides the fact that I saw you with only underwear,” it will be like touching a king cobra. Mayumi is acting more shameful while looking at Tatsuya. In this uncomfortable atmosphere, Tatsuya still has one last mission of escorting Mayumi to the close station from the home. (Personal Note: I do not know whether it is Tatsuya’s home or Mayumi’s home. I think, it is Mayumi’s home.)

The moment when Tatsuya touches the door of his house, the front door opens up. Just like always, Miyuki welcomes Tatsuya. Tatsuya apologizes to Miyuki because Miyuki’s face carries both concern and relief at the same time. In Miyuki’s head, she knows, there is no one who can injure Tatsuya, but feeling concern for Tatsuya is a separate issue, so Tatsuya’s apology is made because of making her worry over him. Miyuki shakes her head and says “Miyuki is pleased as long as Onisama comes back without any injury.” Tatsuya shakes his head when Miyuki apologizes to Tatsuya for making him to make an apology.

When Tatsuya enters the house, he is forced to take a rest at the living room. Minami takes Tatsuya’s travel luggage, and Miyuki takes Tatsuya to the sofa. In this circumstance, Tatsuya cannot resist them. This is not really getting served by them. It is close to being forced to accept getting served by them. Tatsuya let his sisters to do whatever they want. (Personal Note: the author actually used “sisters” when he describes Miyuki and Minami.) Miyuki sits right next to Tatsuya and watches Tatsuya who is drinking coffee with happiness. But, when Tatsuya put his cup at the table, Miyuki loses her composure. Miyuki is moving her face towards Tatsuya and turns away from him continuously. Tatsuya assures Miyuki that the assignment by Maya is going smoothly and informs Miyuki that Tatsuya has fulfilled more than enough work to show some faith to Maya. (Personal Note: I used the word, “faith”. It means 義理. It also means duty and obligation, but based on the sentence, the word, “faith” would be the best.)

Tatsuya thought, Miyuki wants to hear about the result of today’s work, so Tatsuya informs her everything is going great. But, Miyuki’s concern is not related to the assignment. Miyuki says, “No, that is something that Onisama is doing.”(Personal Note: This is the direct translation. It simply means, the assignment from Yotsuba is not something that Tatsuya has to inform Miyuki.) Miyuki wants to ask another thing. Tatsuya asks what she wants to hear. Miyuki hesitates to ask even more, but at the last she throws away her hesitation and asks Tatsuya about Minoru and his condition.

Tatsuya is not prepared for this question. But, Tatsuya starts talking, but he is telling exactly same thing as what he told to Kyouko. Miyuki’s face starts showing more concerns. Miyuki asks Tatsuya about the cause of Minoru’s condition. Tatsuya asks Miyuki why she is interested in Minoru’s condition. Miyuki says, she sensed something very alarming from Tatsuya when he used his elemental sight on Minoru. Tatsuya cannot say anything, but it is the same as proving that Miyuki is right. Miyuki begs Tatsuya and say, “Onisama, I beg you. Please tell me your worry. Please share your burden with me.” Miyuki is looking up to Tatsuya with very earnest eyes. (Personal Note: I used “earnest” because I am doing direct translation, but I think, “Sincere” would better word for this sentence.)

Tatsuya says, it may be better for Miyuki not to know. Even though Tatsuya does not worry about invading either Kudou family’s privacies or Minoru’s personal privacies, Tatsuya is reluctant to share the secret that he has found. Miyuki says, “Please. Onii-sama should not be burdened alone.” But, when Miyuki starts showing teary eyes and begging Tatsuya, he cannot hide any longer. When Tatsuya realizes that Miyuki is ready, he starts talking. Tatsuya says, “Minoru and Kyouko are siblings with different fathers.” Miyuki does not show any reactions for some time. Once Miyuki understands what Tatsuya just said, she closes her mouth with both hands. Miyuki says, “What! But, Kyouko’s mother is a younger sister of Minoru’s father.” Tatsuya continues saying, “Minoru is a genetically engineered being. Maybe, he was born from the artificial insemination. So, it may not be incest, but it does not change the fact that Minoru was born between brother and sister.” Miyuki’s face is petrified by the shock. It takes her for some time to talk again. Miyuki finally asks, “Then, is Minoru’s condition due to a negative effect from the incest?” Tatsuya shakes his head from left to right, but it does not mean he is objecting the possibility. Tatsuya says, “I cannot make any definite answer. The main problem is due to the imbalance in his Psion body. His body is healthy, but there could be a problem in the process of genetic adjustment.” Tatsuya stops talking and sighs. Then, he starts talking again. Tatsuya says, “But, it cannot ignore the possibility that close genes could have been a cause. Even the magic development research institutions avoid using genes between parents and children & between siblings because nothing has been discovered about genes’ effect on Psion body and minds. Miyuki’s face becomes pale. She gets shocked just like it is her own problem.

Chapter 9

October 27, Saturday Finally, this year’s thesis competition will start tomorrow. First High’s supporter team including representatives and securities headed to Kyoto in the morning. First High’s group is positioned as 6th presentation, which will start at 13:40, so 1st High supporter team can travel to Kyoto tomorrow morning, but it has become the tradition to arrive and stay one night if the thesis competition stages at Kyoto. First High is staying at CR Hotel. The hotel can be too luxury for high school students, but First High has been using it for a long time, and it is hard to change the hotel once the school starts using a specific hotel. Furthermore, no students are requesting the school to choose a cheaper hotel. So, they have been choosing CR Hotel.

Kanon screamed, “We are at destination.” Kanon comes out of the bus faster than anyone. She has been enjoying the travel with Isori. During the last year’s 9SC, her dream of traveling with Isori on the bus was crashed, so she has been expecting to travel with Isori for this year’s thesis competition. She should have enjoyed the revenge for the last year’s 9SC during this year’s 9SC, but she may still continue thinking about the last year’s 9SC and still remembers about her failed plan of traveling on the bus with Isori.

The last one, who gets out of the bus, is Izumi. Miyuki was planning to check everyone and their belongings if anyone lost anything, but Izumi volunteered to take the job because she thought it is a mediocre job for Miyuki. So, Miyuki checks into the hotel as a representative of 1st high. Keys are distributed by Honoka and Tatsuya. Tatsuya and Mikihiko are using the same room. It is not coincidence that Tatsuya and Mikihiko are sharing the room. It was intentionally planned for them to use the same room. Tatsuya asks Mikihiko to look after other things. Mikihiko wants to go and help Tatsuya, but Tatsuya tells Mikihiko, it is unfortunate but Mikihiko cannot follow because Tatsuya cannot share any more information. (Personal Note: Mikihiko still thinks, it is a military mission, and information is limited because of military regulation.) And, when Tatsuya is about to say something more, he stops. Mikihiko asks a question to Tatsuya, but Tatsuya only says, he wants to leave First High students’ safety to Mikihiko and ask Mikihiko to stay on guard. Tatsuya wants to say, Mikihiko should concentrate on keeping safety of First High’s supporter group because Mizuki is with the supporter team. In this year’s project, the painting club contributed a lot, and Mizuki is chosen as a member for supporting team. But, words do not come out of Tatsuya. Tatsuya is assuming, Mikihiko would worry about the safety of Mizuki. But, he did not say anything because it is not something that he should interfere with. Tatsuya says, he may be late, and if he believes, he cannot come back, he will contact Mikihiko. (Personal Note: Tatsuya seems to know what Mizuki means to Mikihiko, but he does not wish to interfere with other people’s relationship.

Tatsuya wears his favorite hand gun type CAD, Silver Horn inside of his jacket and leaves the room.

Tatsuya heads to the small hotel that is not as eye catching as CR hotel. This is the hotel that Kuroba family uses for the mission. Fumiya and Ayako are waiting for Tatsuya at the lobby. Tatsuya apologizes them for coming to the hotel, but Kuroba twins think, the responsibility of catching Zhou has fallen on the shoulder of Tatsuya because of Kuroba’s failure. Ayako offers Tatsuya to sit and leads Tatsuya to sofa. Ayako sits across of Tatsuya, and Fumiya come to them with drinks. Tatsuya accepts the drink, and Ayako initiates the sound blocking field. Unlike normal places, no alarm is ringing for using magic illegally because the hotel is not only being used by Kuroba family, but it is renovated for usages of Kuroba’s and Yotsuba’s missions. Ayako shows her findings that Tatsuya requested. Fumiya says, they have prepared the bike that is the same model as the one that Tatsuya uses. They also prepare cloths with capabilities of blade proof and bullet proof and prepare battle capable boots, gloves, and helmet.

Tatsuya nearly laughs because of their determination that is much bigger than Tatsuya’s expectation. Of course, Tatsuya does not laugh because he knows Fumiya and Ayako are serious. Tatsuya shows gratitude and accepts equipment from them. After listening to Tatsuya’s acceptance, Fumiya and Ayako are happily smiled. Ayako stands up and leads Tatsuya to the room where he can change. The cloths are well prepared and fit Tatsuya perfectly to the level where Tatsuya feels uncomfortable. Tatsuya is wondering where they have gotten Tatsuya’s personal (physical) information. But, he also feels that it may be better not to ask this question. Tatsuya asks Fumiya and Ayako about the location of Zhou and their progresses. Tatsuya already sent information that he gained on Monday to Hayama. So, the information was sent to Kuroba family. Since then, Kuroba family has been searching Zhou for last one week based on evidences that Tatsuya sent. Ayako says, they nearly locate Zhou, but Ayako shows reluctant to go any further. Ayako says, it may be unbelievable, but Zhou is hiding at JDSF’s Uji second support base. She even says, it can be said that they are hiding him. Tatsuya does not show much surprise from this information because it would explains why Zhou could not get located. Tatsuya moves to the communication console. Tatsuya says, “Fumiya.” Fumiya replies by saying “Yes.” When Tatsuya calls Fumiya’s name, his voice carries strictness that can makes a person to feel a chill. This voice represents Tatsuya is at his emotional limit. Tatsuya cannot have emotion more than specific point. Once his anger hits the spot, Tatsuya can only show emotionless responses to outside.

The act of treason by the national defense army is way over the tolerance level that Tatsuya can allows. Ever since Miyuki was shot by rebels at Okinawa, he does not forgive the betrayer even more. After he hears this intelligence, Tatsuya has become like a well-polished Japanese blade; a cold and shiny but also creeping feature. It represents Tatsuya who lost his emotion because of anger.

Tatsuya asks them whether they can communicate with the outside. Fumiya asks Tatsuya to wait and use keyboard to enter security codes. Tatsuya sits in front of console and enters complicated codes. After about five seconds, female military officer shows up. It is Kyouko. The code is an emergency code that the 101 battalion commissions to Kyouko for making emergency contact. Tatsuya tells Kyouko about his current location, and Kyouko instantly realizes why he contacting her. Kyouko sighs once Tatsuya asks about the location of Zhou. Kyouko tells him that the army has found the location of Zhou. Tatsuya’s information was not only sent to Hayama, but it was also sent to Kyouko because for JSDF Zhou is the important criminal what led the foreign army. Tatsuya knew they cannot simply sit and ignore Zhou even if Tatsuya does not ask them a favor. And, Tatsuya wants to take an advantage from this.

Kyouko makes bitter face and asks Tatsuya to stand back because the military police will be sent. Kyouko says, “Special Lieutenant Ooguro should not interfere.” Tatsuya says, this does not apply to regulations under the special service (Personal Note: rules and regulations for Special Lieutenant). Tatsuya says, “Fujibayashi-san. Where is Zhou? Please answer me as a member of Kudou Family that promised me for providing cooperation.” Kyouko says, he is hiding at JDSF’s Uji second support base. And, Kyouko says, “Tatsuya-kun. Please leave this to the national defense army. It will not end well if people finds out you entered the base illegally.” Tastuya says, “Understood. I will hang up now.” Kyouko says, “Tatsuya-kun!?” Tatsuya disconnects the communication without explaining what he is about to do. Not only that, Tatsuya manipulates the console and locks the channel.

Tatsuya looks back Fumiya and Ayako who are surprised from the conversation between Kyouko and Tatsuya. (Personal Note: They seem to be surprised because Zhou is really hiding in the military base. I think, they may already know about Tatsuya’s position in the 101 battalion.) Tatsuya says, everything has been confirmed and asks Fumiya about his plan. Fumiya says, they will start moving and intrude the base at the sunset. And, number of people will enter the base through the main gate besides jumping over the fences. For the case of failure, they will place people outside of the gate. After hearing Fumiya’s plan, Tatsuya say, they do not have enough manpower while standing up from his sit. Tatsuya promises to Fumiya and Ayako that he will bring more men. Tatsuya also mentions, he may not have a chance to join them at the field, but if time allows, he will enter the base as well. Fumiya tells Tatsuya that their communication will not be connected. Ayako also asks Tatsuya to be careful. Tatsuya also warns Fumiya and Ayako to stay on the guard. (Personal Note: I think, Tatsuya says, he may not join them at the field because he may not wish to disclose his relationship with Yotsuba to Masaki. Without knowing Tatsuya’s intention, Fumiya agrees not to use communication channel with Tatsuya.)

Tatsuya heads to parking lot where the bike is prepared. Tatsuya contacts Masaki. Masaki did not expect Tatsuya to contact him. Tatsuya informs Masaki whereabouts of Zhou. Tatsuya only tells him that Zhou’s hiding location is nearby Kamigamo Shrine. Tatsuya tells Masaki that he will be waiting Masaki at Southwest entrance of Uji Hutakozuka Park at 17:00. Masaki tells Tatsuya that he will be there and finishes the commination. Tatsuya assumes, Masaki cuts the connection right away because he is already on the move right after Tatsuya informs him about Zhou’s location. Tatsuya likes a person who can understand things quickly like Masaki because it is a type of person that Tatsuya can rely on. At the same time, Tatsuya also knows making this kind of person as an enemy can be quiet troublesome. Tatsuya also decides to move quickly.

Zhou is preparing to leave JSDF’s Uji second supply base. An officer, who is barely over 30 years old, is asking Zhou whether he is leaving the base with a disappointing voice. Zhou says, “Captain Hatae. I also regrets about leaving. Unfortunately, this place has been noticed. Hatae says, “I see. This is unfortunate. As long as you stay in this base, I can stop any magicians from putting a finger on you especially parvenu magicians who calls themselves as 10 Master Clan. Captain Hatae is not only supporter of making reconciliation with Great Asian Union, but he is also fascinated with ancient magicians from the continent. And, he is a conservative soldier who considers modern magicians as upstarts with the history of only 100 years. (Person Note: At the sentence, “Captain Hatae is not only supporter of making reconciliation with Great Asian Union...” I used the word, reconciliation because the word that goes in there also can be translated into “integration”. But, Hatae only seems wanting peace between Japan and Great Asian Union, so I used “reconciliation”.)

Hatae has only trusted the words of Zhou when Zhou said, he had nothing to do with Yokohama incident. Or, perhaps He has been forced to trust. (Personal Note: the author provides a hint that Hatae may have been brainwashed or is under the spell.) Since then, he considers Kuroba’s pursuit as a personal vendetta from modern magicians, so he has been hiding Zhou as a way of showing justice towards modern magicians. Zhou says, it cannot be helped if General Kudou is siding with the pursuers while slightly smiling. His smile suits his graceful ([秀麗] beautiful) looks.

Hatae bites his own lips. As Zhou said, if the base commander gives an order for inspection, Hatae cannot resist the order because he is only a captain. Furthermore, formal major general Kudou Retsu has enough influence to overpower any form of resistance from a captain. Hatae says, he wants to learn about Senjutsu (仙術; Sage Techniques). Zhou says, he is a novice sorcerer. (Personal Note: The author used “道士”. It can be Taoist. But, I also remembers, this is a classification for a sorcerer who is right below the sage, or a sorcerer who is close to become a sage.) Zhou also says, he cannot see the path to ascension to heaven (羽化) as well as the path of Shikai (尸解). So, he is no place to teach others about Senjutsu to others. As always, Zhou is using an excuse to reject Hatae’s request.

Hatae changes the subject without showing his unsatisfying mood. Hatae asks him when he would depart, and Zhou says, he will leave in the middle of night. Hatae thinks, it is a good plan, because the base inspection will starts early morning. Zhou thanks Hatae for finding out the information regarding unscheduled inspection. As Zhou vows his head down, Hatae makes a very pitiful face and says the gate will be closed. But, Zhou says, he will at least take care of this by himself. While looking at Zhou’s confident smiling face, Hatae remembers Zhou’s magic. Hatae says, he will at least prepare for the car. The car belongs to Hatae, so Zhou should not get pursued. Not only military vehicles, but regular cars also have tracking devices for the case of possible theft. But, there is always a way to fool tracking devices, and using privately owned cars would be the most safe option. Zhou thanks Hatae for looking after him. Zhou vows towards Hatae and shows his gratitude.

[Personal Note: Okay. This is going to be a little long personal note. 1. Senjutsu from Mahouka is nothing like Senjutsu from Naruto. Senjutsu and Sage (仙人, sennin) are close to actual Senjutsu from Taoism based on what terminologies that Zhou is using. 2. In the sentence, “Zhou also says, he cannot only see the path to ascension to heaven (羽化), but he cannot also see the path of Shikai (尸解).” Normally, Taoist considers yǔhuà dēngxiān (羽化登仙) as the ultimate goal. Once Taoist reaches certain level, one will become ascend to heaven and become immortal. It means, Taoist will throw away his/her physical body and become a sage. The yǔhuà dēngxiān (羽化登仙) can be seen from the movie, Kung Fu Panda. When Grand Master Oogway vanishes and scattered himself into Peach blossom flowers, it is the best example of yǔhuà dēngxiān (羽化登仙). The name of bgm in this scene during the movie is also “Oogway Ascends”. Zhou says, he cannot see the path of Shikai (尸解) There is something called, Shikaihu(尸解法). Literally, it means a method to untie(solve) death. This means, once a living person separates his/her soul from the body and enters the state of death, after specific amount of time based on rules of spiritual world, a person solves (unties) death and comes back to life. When Taoist enters the world of spiritual world, it is like entering the world of Ying (陰) from the world of Yang(陽). The world of Ying is also being described as world of existing souls, and it means Taoist’s soul is in the spiritual world. When the soul is existing the spiritual world, the soul is not bound by time and space. As long as Taoist stays in the spiritual world, he/she can do anything and make, his/her wishes come true. In other way to say, Taoist can connect with everything in the spiritual world. But, based on purity of Taoist soul, there is a difference in responding to the world (heaven and earth). At the specific time, death gets solved, and one can come back to life. Based on the rule of Ying and Yang, the soul will return from the world of Ying and comes back into the world of Yang. In addition to previous information, there are known to be many types of Shikaihu(尸解法). Shikai(尸解) is one of Taoist technique to become a sage. In a big picture, there are Gokai(五解): Iron, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. And, there are many Shikaihu(尸解法) such as 量水尸解 and 松葉尸解. Once a person activates Shikaihu(尸解法), one can move around heaven, earth (the world of living), Nether realm(冥界), and the world of water (水府). After traveling such worlds, one can guide his/her soul back into her/her body.]

Tatsuya is waiting Masaki for 15 minutes. Tatsuya notices Masaki’s red bike, and Tatsuya thinks, Masaki seems to like red color. Tatsuya thinks, it may be due to 3rd High school’s color, and he thinks, preferring red color may be due to his love for his school. At the same time, Tatsuya also questions himself about the possibility where Masaki to prefer red color because of his nickname.

Masaki apologizes to Tatsuya once he arrives at the location for making Tatsuya to wait for him. Tatsuya says, they still have ten more minutes from the scheduled meeting time. Current time is at 16:50. Sunset is scheduled to happen at 17:10. So, Tatsuya and Masaki still have some time. Masaki asks how Tatsuya is planning to proceed. Tatsuya points the South direction and says, Zhou may be hiding at that place. Tatsuya is pointing at the JSDF base. Masaki does not understand what Tatsuya is pointing at. But, after few seconds, he finally understands where he is pointing. Masaki is surprised and asks Tatsuya whether his intelligence is correct. Tatsuya says, JSDF’s Uzi second supply base is the most likely place where Zhou is hiding. Tatsuya only says, it is a possibility, and they will have to enter and determine whether Zhou is hiding in there or not. Masaki cannot believe what Tatsuya is suggesting.

Tatsuya already has experiences with entering blockaded military area and crashing with JSDF forces. He has no reason to back out now. Tatsuya says, “in order to catch Zhou, a certain magician organization is secretly mobilized.” Masaki asks whether they are different from the military police. Tatsuya say, “Yes. It means, it is not a regular mission.” Masaki understands that this is an illegal mission. Tatsuya continues explaining the plan. According to him, these certain magician organization will enter the base from each gate. After hearing that they are entering through gate, Masaki instantly realizes these guys are magicians who use outer-systemic type magic, and he also knows there is only one organization that specializes in outer-systemic type magic and has a capability to challenge JSDF. Before Masaki says anything, Tatsuya stops Masaki from starting a question by saying he has no relation with them.

Tatsuya tells Masaki, he will jump over the fence and enter the base. Then, he asks Masaki what he will do. Masaki cannot answer right away. Sneaking into the JSDF base is illegal activity, and Masaki respects the law unlike Tatsuya who has reached to the level where he can ignore the law whenever he feels necessary. Masaki’s parents probably tell Masaki to put responsibilities of 10MC over moral ethics that the law-abiding citizens normally have. If Masaki’s father is watching him right now, he would not only push Masaki’s back, but he would kick his butt and asks him to move. But, he also has a position as a student of 3rd High school. If he gets arrested by cops right before the thesis competition by committing a heavy crime such as invading the military base, 3rd High school may have to withdraw from the competition, and everyone’s effort would be lost especially his closest friend’s effort will be gone. But, he puts himself as a member of 10MC. It only takes few seconds for Masaki to decide.

Masaki agrees to join Tatsuya because he thinks, if he was not fooled by Zhou last year, this would not happen. Tatsuya looks at the information device and says, it is five minutes before the operation begins. Tatsuya asks Masaki to start moving, and Masaki agrees. Both of them wear masks and start moving with their bikes.

At the east of Uji Bridge, one car stops. Minoru arrives and gets off the car. He shows gratitude to his driver and asks him to wait at the nearby place. People who happen to be at the bridge, loses their mind by looking at him. This is almost time for sunset, so scenery from the sunset also makes him more eye-catching. A middle-aged man walks towards Minoru from the behind. Without much explanation, he is Minoru’s bodyguard. He says, “Minoru-sama, are you waiting at here?” Minoru says, “Yes.” Minoru’s tone is completely different than when he talks to Tatsuya and his friends. Based on his tone, he is used to order people around.

Minoru says, “If Zhou breaks the blockade, he will run away towards this place. If that happens, I will have to stop him.” But, his bodyguard says, even Zhou decides to run across Uji River, there is another bridge at Oosho. His bodyguard worries about making a mistake and losing Zhou because if Zhou runs to another route, Minoru’s effort would be meaningless especially he decides to come out even though he is not in good health. Minoru explains why Zhou will not choose Oosho because Oosho is an express highway, and his choice will be limited if he chooses Oosho. And, his ghostwalker is useful if he has freedom to move in every direction. The bodyguard also suggests possibility of Zhou running to the East. Again, Minoru explains that if Zhou heads to the east, he will be heading to Takamine Mountain. And, based on Zhou’s ghostwalker magic, he prefers an urban area. The bodyguard still says, “But.” Minoru replies by saying “Be quiet.” The bodyguard stops talking not because he is ordered by a family member of the employer, but the cold ambiance around Minoru’s body silences the bodyguard. (Personal Note: It is “cold ambiance” not “cold temperature”, so it is completely different from the time when Miyuki gets angry. I think, Minoru sends out some kind of unique and scary ambiance (vibe) when he gets mad or serious. Another example would be the time when he was in the public hot spring with Tatsuya. At the moment, Minoru misunderstood Tatsuya and thought, Tatsuya was accusing Kudou family with the possibility of using humans as materials for multiplying parasites when Tatsuya was only asking how magical beasts are created. During this time, he sent out scary ambiance until Tatsuya clarified Minoru’s misunderstanding. After Tatsuya’s clarification, Minoru apologizes for misunderstanding Tatsuya’s intention.)

Fumiya says, “This is the time. Initiate the operation.” Fumiya’s subordinate replies by saying, “Yes. Botchan (坊っちゃん: Young Master).” Another subordinate of Fumiya hit the guy’s head who just called Fumiya as Botchan (坊っちゃん: Young Master). The guy says, “Fool!! It is Ojou-sama (お孃さま; young lady). Don’t you see Botchan’s disguise as a woman?” Fumiya who became “Yami” stops their argument by saying, “Be quiet!” (Personal Note: Yami is Fumiya’s codename when he disguises as a woman) And Minoru says, “This is no time for chitchat. It is time to start the operation.” Men who are wearing sunglasses, says “Yes.” All of them kneel and melt into the air like a mirage. (Personal Note: what I put in the previous sentence is the direct translation. “melt into the air like a mirage” is the same as vanishing into the thin air.)

Fumiya puts pressure on his temple (head) and says, “I cannot believe they are the best Genjutsu (幻術) magicians.” Ayako who disguises as “Yomi” approaches back of Fumiya from the behind and says, “Yami-chan, You have to give up on that part and use them. Being talented and having good character are completely separate issue. It is better to have a talented subordinate with a bad character than an incompetent subordinate with a good character. (Personal Note: Yomi is Ayako’s codename when she disguise.)

Fumiya is reluctant to accept what Ayako just said. Before Fumiya finishes his sentence, Ayako says, “Anyway, Yami Chan. It begins.” The alarm is ringing from inside of the base. Fumiya’s subordinates would never cause his kind of mistake even though they have some problems with their characters. Even, Fumiya acknowledges their abilities.

Fumiya says, “This must be Tatsuya-neesan.” Ayako also agrees and says, “Yes, he must be acting as bait. He must be planning to corner the prey from the North side to the South side. Fumiya worries about Tatsuya and says, “Tatsuya-neesan. Why is he doing this kind of dangerous thing?” Ayako assures Fumiya by saying, “Tatsuya San must have confidence that he can get away from any danger, so he is taking the most dangerous job.” Again, Fumiya reluctantly agrees with Ayako. Ayako finalizes the conversation by saying, “We must not waste Tatsuya-san’s efforts (consideration & thoughtfulness). If we wastes it, that would be the most regrettable thing. We must track down Zhou. Fumiya says, “I know”. (Personal Note: At the sentence, “We must not waste Tatsuya San’s efforts (consideration & thoughtfulness); I used the term efforts because it would be the best word for the sentence, but the direct translation of original word can be translated as consideration or thoughtfulness.)

Behind Fumiya, there is a small sedan. Of course, it is not a normal car. It is a special ordered robot car with toughness equivalent to the tank and has an engine equivalent to a racing machine. (Personal Note: The author specifically uses the term, “Robot Car”. I am just letting you know that I am not making this up. LoL. And, “Toughness” is the word that I choose. The word can also be translated into intensity, sturdiness, hardness, toughness, and solidity)

The alarm at JSDF’s Uji second supply base is starting to ring across the base. Not only that, there are sounds from gunfire. Captain Hatae yells and asks about the current situation. A subordinate says, two magicians trespass the base. Hatae is shocked because one single magician has a strong military strength. It is hard to put every magician as one category due to the gaps in abilities between magicians. But, an average battle magician under the JSDF is considered to be equal to a company of foot soldiers. (Personal Note: Fire team equals 4 or less soldiers. Squad equals 7 or 8 ~ 12 soldiers. Section equals 8~12. Platoon equals 26-55. Company equals 80-250. Battalion equals 300-1300)

If it is a strong magician, it is equivalent to one single battalion. And, these two magicians would falls into this category. (Personal Note: These two magicians are Masaki and Tatsuya) And, obviously magicians that trespass the military base and causes this much ruckus, cannot be below average magicians. Hatae asks about the situation. His subordinates inform him that trespassers are heading to the direction towards Hatae and his men while destroying supplies. Defense forces at the Uji second supply base are firing at them, but they cannot seem to stop trespassers.

Zhou is also hearing the alarm sound, but he is only preparing his luggage and quietly stands up. Zhou says, “This is a great opportunity.” Hatae asks him what Zhou is talking about. Zhou says, “This is a great opportunity. All of you should eliminate trespassers with everything that you have in the base.” When Zhou says his words, Hatae and his men are shaking their bodies just like when a person receives an electric shock. But, Hatae and his men are not only one who experiences this change. The entire company under the Hatae’s command experiences the same thing on their bodies. Zhou says, “Captain. In order to show gratitude, I will take your offer and borrow your car. Please give me the key to your vehicle.” Hatae hands over the key to his car. Then, Zhou says, “Okay. What are you guys doing here? You must eliminate enemies. Insolent people who trespass the base must be eliminated to the level that does not leave any trace of corpses. This is only way to uphold the authority (dignity) of army.” (Personal Note: the word that goes in this sentence, can be translated into either Dignity or Authority. In this sentence, I used dignity because it may sound better. The next sentence, I will use authority because authority would be better for that sentence.)

Hatae says, “Yes. This is a challenge towards authority of the army. Do not underestimate them. We will completely crush them.” His men say, “Yes” But, Hatae and his men’s words do not carry any passion. Hatae and his men salute and leave the room. And, all of them have spider bite marks on their neck.

Masaki and Tatsuya are both wearing the full-face bike helmet. In the case of unexpected situation, Tatsuya determines locations of surveillance cameras and decompose them one by one. Of course, he is not only decomposing unseen surveillance cameras. Masaki notices Tatsuya’s magic and asks him about it. But, Tatsuya says, “This is no time for asking such question.” Masaki yells, “I have not heard about any magic like that.” This is the first time for Masaki to witness Tatsuya’s decomposition. Everywhere Tatsuya’s CAD is aiming, gets decomposed. For the cars, Tatsuya turns them into parts. First, their wheels and plugs from interior of vehicles come off. Then, doors fall off. Finally, even engines get disassembled into parts.

Tatsuya say, “Besides, you are too slow with disposing fuels.” Masaki replies by saying, disposing fuels takes time. Masaki is currently separating hydrogen gas from the fuel, turning hydrogen gas into sphere form and releasing it into the atmosphere. Besides the magic’s difficulty, its process is much more complicated than Tatsuya’s decomposition. (Personal Note: The author only says, Masaki’s magic has more complicated process than Tatsuya’s magic without any details. But, I assume, Tatsuya is only using decomposition magic while Masaki is using a magic that requires three things: separating hydrogen gas from fuel, turning hydrogen gas into sphere form, and sending it to the atmosphere & dispersing them. So, the process wise, it must be more complicated. But, the author never says, magic that Masaki is using is more difficult than Tatsuya’s decomposition.) Tatsuya says, “Exploding things are not everything.” Masaki replies by saying, he understands with some discontents. Even though Masaki is showing some discontents, he is taking Tatsuya’s order because he believes, what he is doing, will help him in the future because by using magic to vaporize fuels and isolates them from fire , he can neutralize heavy weaponry on the battle field without making a lot of casualties. In some way, it can be much more useful than “Rupture”.

As two of them are destroying the weaponry, they are starting to get heavy fires. The bullets have changed from lubber bullets to actual bullets. Masaki uses the barrier magic, but it does not cover everything, but Tatsuya used decomposition magic to take cares bullets that Masaki could not stop without getting noticed by Masaki. Both of them disperse and hide behind the cover. Once they start getting gun fire with actual bullets, they notice, these guys are being controlled just like the traditional magicians. Masaki suddenly remembers traditional magicians who were used by a foreign magician to perform suicide attacks (Kurikara Sword; flame sword) at Arashi Mountain.

With loud sounds, tank shows up. Not only one unit, but four tanks are building a formation. These tanks are classified as a small vehicle for urban warfare. Normally, it can be too much for two people, but four tanks are not enough to stop magicians like Masaki and Tatsuya. Tatsuya says, “We are going to take care of them instantly. Do not blow them.” Masaki says, “That’s impossible….. Okay. Leave it to me.” As Masaki is replying to Tatsuya’s order when he says, “That’s impossible”, a gun turret is aiming at Masaki and Tatsuya. But, suddenly, the tank’s tramline and wheels are dislocated, and its gun barrel falls off as its gun turret slides down from the tank. At the end, its armor plates are removed. These are happening to four tanks at the same time. As Masaki watches what is happening, he said, “Okay. Leave it to me” to Tatsuya. Fuel from engines is leaking, but Masaki evaporates it and sends it to the atmosphere. Tatsuya praises Masaki, but Masaki says, “Your praise does not make me happy.” As Masaki pouts, Tatsuya makes a villainous smile and says, “Then, do you want me to tell Miyuki to praise you?” Masaki gets nervous and says, “Do not say such…foolish thing. This is not time for this.” Masaki is responding with very interesting agitation. Tatsuya says, “By the way, we have to catch Zhou…. It’s him.” Zhou is riding metallic color sedan and drives to the south gate. Everything is going to the plan of pushing Zhou out of the base while avoiding the possibility of leaving any evidences in the military surveillance system.

Tatsuya senses something from Zhou’s Eidos. There is a foreign substance that Tatsuya remembers. This substance is not belonged to Zhou. It is stuck inside of him. Tatsuya thinks, “This must be your last attempt. I will not waste your death.” Even though Tatsuya only met this person one time, he makes a promise to the dead. (Personal Note: Nakura’s name is not mentioned in the section. Foreign substance is belonged to Nakura, and Tatsuya will give an explanation how Tatsuya tracks Zhou right for Zhou’s suicide.)

Zhou feels something is not right. While he is driving his car towards the South, Zhou feels as something is tying him up. He has not felt this kind of sensation before. In truth, he manages to get away from the enemy by close inch. He accepts the tenacity of Kuroba and Yotsuba. It may be different from a person to a person, but he is used being hunted (chased). For the last 10 years, he has been spending safe days at the Chinatown, but he was on the run for 30 years before his days at the Chinatown. While remember his old days, he remembers and thinks, “Oh… currently I am still 24 years old.” At least, it is written as 24 years old on the identification card. When he purchased the restaurant in Chinatown 4 years ago, the documentation that he submitted, states his age as 20 years old. After remembering his old memories, he thinks, “For people like us, age is nothing but a label just like a name.” (Personal Note: first, let me clarify if some of you get confused. Zhou lived 10 years in Japan, and he was on the run for 30 years before his arrival at Chinatown in Japan. Second, the author specifically wrote, “For people like us, age is nothing but a label just like a name. If you look at the sentence closely, the author used, “for people like us”. So far, the book does not say whether he is talking about Black sage and himself (Zhou), or there are more people like Zhou.)

Maybe, Zhou has been thinking about his old days too much. Zhou does not notice a person who is blocking his path in the middle of the highway until the car’s anti-crash device activates. Zhou realizes who is blocking the road. It is Kudou Minoru. Zhou remembers Minoru. Zhou’s look may be beautiful, but Minoru’s beauty is completely in another level. Zhou considers Minoru as one of magicians that he should be aware. When Zhou sent his men to attack Minoru at Nara, Zhou painfully learned Minoru’s capability. Zhou disables the car’s anti-crash device and charges the car forcefully. Minoru raises his right hand and aims at the car. Flame starts coming up inside of the car. Zhou jumps out of the car right before the car explodes.

Zhou feels a chill from his back. He never experienced this kind of sensation when he faced Kuroba Mitsugu or Nakura Saburo. Minoru does not hesitate to blow up the car. Not only he has no hesitation to kill the target with explosion, he also does not hesitate to drag in people who are just walking nearby the location or cars that are driving on the other side. It is true that nobody is walking on the road. It is also true that no other vehicles are driving. But, Minoru never considered such thing as surroundings or environment from the beginning. Minoru’s heartlessness goes well with unnatural beauty. It makes Minoru into an uncanny being than a human being.

Zhou takes out his artifact and aims at Minoru. He summons a magical beast. Zhou instinctively feels, he has to use his strongest magic in order to deal with Minoru. Black one horned beast (一角獸) comes out of his artifact and runs towards Minoru at the speed that eye cannot follow. No man can react to this speed. Minoru cannot dodge the charge, and the black one horned beast pierces through Minoru. Zhou realizes, Minoru just used “Parade.” Zhou knows this magic is the ultimate camouflage magic that can revise not only the actual position, but it also revises position’s information on Eidos. Zhou decides to run because he just learned that he cannot break “Parade” by attacking Minoru from the first attack. (Personal Note: Black one horned beast (一角獸); this is the magic that killed Nakura.)

Minoru aims his right hand at Zhou. But, the lighting occurs at the right side of Zhou that is about one meter away from Zhou’s current position and vanishes. Minoru shakes his head left and right like a child. His action is like an angel that does not have humanity. Even though he is smiling, it holds no mercy. His expression is really like an angel.

Lighting sparks at both right and left sides of Zhou. Minoru’s aim is not off. Zhou’s ghostwalker is making Minoru’s aim to miss. But, it is Zhou who is feeling a shiver. Zhou was planning to make Minoru’s direction tilted by 90 degrees. But, in reality Minoru’s eye continuously catches Zhou and his position, so Minoru’s aim is only missing Zhou by 30 degrees. Zhou sends out every magical beast in his artifact. At the same time, he pulls out a handkerchief and opens it in front of his eyes. As all of magical beasts are simply passing through Minoru, the black handkerchief drops down to the road. Minoru is making pure smile while looking at the lower reaches of Uji River. Minoru’s eye that is looking at Eidos, does not lose Zhou’s shadow.

Zhou is running at the speed of 10km per hour. This is Taoist magic called “Godspeed” (神行法; Shenxing in Chinese pronunciation). This is a famous Taoist magic from the story, Suikoden (水滸傳). (Personal Note: I used “Godspeed” because there are games with the name Suikoden. In English version, the game maker also uses “Godspeed” for 神行法).

In order to escape from Minoru, Zhou is actually heading back towards the base. On the way to base, there is a bridge. He is planning to go across the opposite side of river by going below the bridge. But, a girl shows up on the road. She did not jump from the side of the road. She showed up from the midair. Zhou notices, it is “Mock Transportation”. Earlier, he acquired parasites, and one of them used the similar magic. But, it is not as exceptional as this mock transportation. This mock transportation allows a magician to appear without any form of precursor.

The girl with bob cut hair throws a punch with knuckleduster while flapping her skirts. The distance between the girl and Zhou is too far away for a girl’s fist to reach Zhou. However, Zhou suddenly feels an extreme pain enough to make him to fall down. Right away, Zhou takes out a white handkerchief. The white handkerchief unfolds wide enough to hide himself. After that, Zhou uses a needle and pierces it at the acupuncture point where he can shut down senses. The pain continues to exist, but he reminds himself that it is a pain from an illusion and tries to push the pain away from his consciousness.

Zhou takes out his final artifact that he has been keeping as a spare. When the cloth that blocks the view (white handkerchief), drops down, the girl with bob cut hair is gone. Besides the girl, a brave looking boy with the red color gun type CAD is standing in front of Zhou. Zhou notices, it is Ichijou Masaki. Masaki says, “A long time no see, Zhou. You made a mockery out of me.” Zhou tries to jump into the Uji River, but the surface of water blows up and creates splashes. Tatsuya says, “Jumping into the water is the same as charging into the mountain of bombs in front of Ichijou family’s “Rupture”.” Zhou looks towards where Tatsuya’s voice came from. Zhou notices and says, “Shiba Tatsuya…” Zhou uses his ghostwalker at the full strength, and he tries to pass Tastuya by going through the side of Tatsuya.

But, Zhou is facing Tatsuya’s hand blade. Zhou knows, it has a sharpness equivalent to a steel cutting demon blade, so he has to move backward with his foot that cannot feel any senses. Again, Zhou is stuck between Tatsuya and Masaki. Zhou asks Tatsuya why his ghostwalker is not working against him. Even in this situation, Zhou is still smiling. It is hard to know whether Zhou still has confidence, or he is simply bluffing. Masaki does not understand the real intention from Zhou’s smile. And, Tatsuya does not care what Zhou’s real intention is. Tatsuya says, “Ghostwalker. That is a magnificent magic. At the close range, it is known to lose its effect, but your ghostwalker magic is definitely working even at the close range. I did not know when you tried to run through my side.” Zhou asks, “I don’t understand. Then, are you saying your attack was a pure coincidence (luck)?” Tatsuya smiles. It is not as beautiful as Zhou’s smile, but its essence is the same. His smile does not contain any emotion. It is a smile with void. Tatsuya says, “I did not know where you were. But, I know the movement of Nakura Saburo’s blood in your body.” Zhou’s eyes open widely with a surprise. This is the first time when Masaki feels that he finally sees the true face of Taoist with unknown age. Zhou remembers and says, “Nakura Saburo’s blood… So, it happened at that time.” Tatsuya asks, “Did you get pierced by needles made of blood? Normally, foreign substances in the body vanish approximately within two weeks. It must contain a very strong Nen(念).” Zhou says, “Are you talking about Nen? I thought, the modern magic theory discarded it.” Tatsuya says, “Regardless of any theories, if it exists, it exists. At the same time, if it does not exist, it does not exist.” Zhou argues, “There are things that exist while do not exist.”

Tatsuya aims his Silver Horn at Zhou and says, “You should explain it inside of the jail even though we may not give you a long time.” Zhou asks, “So, are you going to kill me?” Tatsuya says, it is not him who will decide the fate of Zhou. Zhou realizes his situation and says, “So, are you saying begging for my life would be meaningless?” Tatsuya is no longer answering to his questions and says, “as long as Nakura Saburo’s blood is inside of you, you cannot get away from me.” This is the last warning from Tatsuya. Zhou accepts his situation and says, “So, this is as far as I go.”

Zhou sighs. And, he jumps towards Masaki. The magic, “God Speed” (神行法), is not a magic that reinforces running. As long as a magician has legs, the magic can initiates even if legs do not have any senses. Masaki did not expect this, but he reacts to Zhou by pulling the trigger of his red CAD. Zhou’s both feet become swollen from the inside. Zhou’s magic, “God Speed” gets broken, and Zhou falls on the road. Masaki asks Zhou to surrender while aiming with his CAD. Zhou stands up. Maybe, it is Zhou’s pride that cannot allow Zhou to lie down on the ground.

Zhou says, “Definitely, this is it.” Even though Zhou cannot use from his knee to his feet, he stands up slowly. It is like ghost. Zhou smirks and says, “But, you guys cannot catch me.” His smiling face is like a mask. Zhou continues talking and says, “I cannot die. Even if I die, I continue existing.” Tatsuya senses something, and asks Masaki to back off whiling moving backward. As Tatsuya yells, Masaki also backs off. Right after that, blood comes out of Zhou’s entire body. Soon, red blood turns into red flame while Zhou is laughing. Zhou’s laughing does not stop until the flame dies. Once the flame is gone, they could not find even a single bone. Masaki asks Tatsuya whether Zhou really died or not. Tatsuya says, “Zhou did not run. Definitely, Zhou is burned by flame, and he no longer exists.” When Tatsuya answers to Masaki, he is looking at Uji River’s upper stream. Masaki also looks into the same direction and accept Tatsuya’s answer without asking any supporting evidences behind Tatsuya’s claim.

Masaki asks Tatsuya whether everything related to Yokohama incident is finished or not. Tatsuya says, “Yes”. Masaki suddenly says, “It could be very dangerous.” Tatsuya does not understand Masaki’s comment. Masaki says, “JSDF was being controlled. They even used tanks. It could have been an insurrection." Tatsuya objects and says, “They already used showy magic in the urban area. So, they already were in the beginning phase of insurrection.” (Personal Note: the direct translation is “…. So they already put their feet in the stage of insurrection.) After listening to Tatsuya’s answer, which is only pretending to be serious, Masaki laughs and says, “So, by taking care of things before it happens, can we call it as “happy ending”? Tatsuya answer by saying, “We can also say that.” And, Tatsuya also starts laughing loudly. Both of their smiles vanish by melting into lonely autumn wind.

1. Zhou is much older than 40 years old, but the book does not give his exact age.

2. Some of you guys were discussing about Minoru's heartlessness. He is heartless. After reading this volume, I am starting to see Tatsuya as an artificially made heartless person, and Minoru as a natural born heartless person. Anyway, comparing them with Masaki, Masaki is a saint. lol.

3. I don't know whether you guys read the Chinese novel, Suikoden. One of Taoist magic shows up. It is called, "Godspeed".

4. Before Zhou decides to die, he says very interesting thing to Tatsuya. Zhou says, "There are things that exist while do not exist." I think, he is talking about beings such as himself because before he set himself on fire, he yells, "even if I die, I will continue existing."

Tatsuya heads back to the hotel in order to return the bike. Fumiya and Ayako return to the hotel earlier than Tatsuya and greet Tatsuya. Fumiya thanks Tatsuya for the hard work, and Tatsuya also praises Fumiya and Ayako for their magnificent combination that slowed Zhou down. After hearing Tatsuya’s praise, both Fumiya and Ayako are being bashful and avoid Tatsuya’s gaze.

Ayako asks Tatsuya how he managed to track down Zhou because even Ayako and Fumiya failed to track down Zhou with their car while avoiding looking into Tatsuya’s eyes in order to hide her bashfulness. Tatsuya answers by saying, “One magician’s tenacity beyond the death pushed Zhou to corner.” Ayako does not understand what Tatsuya just said, and even Fumiya is also wondering the true meaning behind what Tatsuya just said. Tatsuya tells them that even he does not fully understand how it really happened, but Tatsuya promises them, he will explain everything once it is fully confirmed.

Tatsuya enters the room where his cloths are stored. He changes his cloth while the door is open. Tatsuya tells Fumiya to inform Hayama that the mission is completed because Tatsuya has to help with other things. Fumiya says, “Okay. You can entrust me with a tedious job to me.” Tatsuya leaves the hotel after saying “Take care.”

Chapter 10

Next day, October 28. Sunday. Finally, this is the day of 2096’s these competition. This year, Tatsuya is only participating as a supporter from the 1st High school. He is not a part of Nine School cooperative security force, so he can freely move around. During the lunch break, Tatsuya is meeting Mayumi with Miyuki who is freed from being a judge for the thesis competition.

Mayumi says, “I see… So, the killer, who killed Nakura San, committed suicide.” Tatsuya partially objects Mayumi’s comment by saying that Zhou killed himself after being cornered by Tatsuya and others, so it is hard to call see as a simple suicide. Mayumi says, “It is good either way. Anyway, Tatsuya Kun settled Nakura San’s grudge.” Mayumi finally shows the smile without anxiousness.

Mayumi says, “Thanks you, Tatsuya Kun. I will also forget about what happened at that night.” Tatsuya tries to explain to Mayumi, but before he says anything. Mayumi says, “Farewell. Work hard with a security job. Miyuki San, take care.” Without listening to Tatsuya’s answer, Mayumi stands up and vanishes into the crowd.

After Mayumi left, there are only two people: Tatsuya with a bomb that is handed over by Mayumi and Miyuki who is forcefully making a smile and looking at Tatsuya. Miyuki says, “Onii-sama... What did she mean when she said, “at that night”? Can you please tell me if it does not trouble you? Or, does it trouble you?” Miyuki put her hands on top of Tatsuya’s hand while asking the question. Miyuki’s cold and soft hand is binding Tatsuya from leaving.

Isori finishes his presentation. The audience gives applause to Isori. Isori’s topic is on engravement magic. During his presentation, Isori says, “As you see, engravement magic does not always need responsive compound metal plates in order to initiate the magic. “Engraving” is only being used to guide Psion’s flow. As you just see, by projecting Psion to the pattern of “Engraving” we have a similar effect. As a result, I can conclude, essence of engravement magic does not relying on the “Engraving” itself.

After hearing the applause's from audiences, Miyuki says, “This is the loudest applause's until now.” Tatsuya also praises Isori and says, “The content of his presentation is also very innovative.” Both Miyuki and Tatsuya thinks, 1st High School can win this year’s thesis competition. Before Miyuki leaves Tatsuya and heads to the judge’s table, Miyuki notices Minoru who is coming up to the stage. Most of them are shocked with Minoru’s beauty. But, Tatsuya and his party are surprised with another reason because Minoru was not the one who was chosen as Second High School’s representative.

The next announcement is provided an explanation behind Minoru’s appearance. According to the announcement, the original presenter from the Second High School suddenly got sick, and the Second High School has to change the presenter. After listening to the announcement, Tatsuya asks Miyuki to return to the judge’s table. And, Miyuki heads back to the table after excusing herself from Tatsuya. Normally, audiences leave their seats during the period between each presentation. But, nobody is leaving from their seats. Within this weird atmosphere, the Second High School’s presentation starts.

The topic of the Second High School’s topic is “The Principle of Mental Interference Magic and the Theory on Issues that should be written in Activation Sequence”. The conference has become rowdy. The principle of mental interference magic is not mostly proven. The thesis on this topic is believed to be a very ambitious topic in Magic Studies.

Minoru starts his presentation: As you can see from this observation, when a person notices something, Psion Information Entity also forms itself. And, the Information Entity breaks down when it does not get recognize by a target. The most important thing is, if a Psion Information Entity is formed from simply being recognized, this type of Psion Information Entity starts breakdown even before a person who recognizes it, actively tries to destroy it.

The theory of Psion being a particle that makes an idea or a thought into a form is proven by many observations that you have seen until now. It shows, human’s passive cognition is not making Psion Information Entity, but it is active mental process that is making Psion Information Entity.

I think, an idea has to turn into Psion Information Entity in order for a mind (mentality) to create a reaction in physical dimension. If we apply this theory, we can translate and categorize Mental Interference Magic starting from Telepathy to Perception (sensory) type “psychic powers” as a magic that uses Psion Information Entity.

As you have seen until now, I believe, Psion Information Entity that forms through the mind, the mental activity, has characteristics that I have explained until now. Of course, I cannot say, my theory explains every characteristic, but if we can write elements (characteristics) that are shown in this presentation into activation sequence, we can speed up the formularization of Mental Interference Magic. At the same time, it will lead to magic that can counter Mental Interference Magic by nullifying it. This will also become an opportunity to remove any mythical fear towards Mental Interference Magic.

In this way, Mental Interference Type Magic is not essentially difference from Four Great Systems and Eight Major Types. Even mentality (mind) forms Psion Information Entity within the correlation with the reality. And, Psion Information Entity is formed from a mind (mentality). Thus, by building activation sequences that can alter (reform) Psion Information Entity, we can at least reform current consciousness. This magic can alter (reform) active consciousness through altering (reforming) cognition of a person.

If a person’s mind is not divided into consciousness and sub consciousness, and one consciousness has two parts within itself as present (current) part and dormant part, I believe, every Mental Interference Magic can be developed into actual magic skill through observing and analyzing Psion Information Entity.

Minoru’s presentation concluded. Everyone becomes quiet. Soon, the convention is filled with applause. 2096’s Thesis High School Competition is won by the Second High School that had a freshman presenter, Kudou Minoru. This is the moment for a new star to be born among nine schools.

At the same time, Yotsuba Main House’s mansion is having a small but more serious announcement than the thesis competition.

Hayama: As you heard, Shiba Tatsuya faithfully accomplished the mission without being forced while producing a result that was requested by the client. He is a useful talent for Yotsuba Family, and I think, his royalty to the mission (assignment) does not show any problem.

While everyone is showing a face like they just chewed bugs, Maya slowly starts talking. Maya: This mission is a test towards Tatsuya San. The outcome is the same as what Hayama San reported to you. Everyone, don’t you also agree?

The branch leader of Shiiba family opens his mouth, which has been closed. Shiiba: We don’t have any choice but acknowledging it.

The branch leader of Mashiba family also agrees and says; Mashiba: His capability is definitely valuable.

The branch leader of Shibata family does not hide his displeasure and says; Shibata: This time, he passed. But, just this time.

The branch leader of Mugura gives a proposal; Mugura: Shouldn’t we give up strange prejudice?

The branch leader of Tsukuba agrees on Mugura’s proposal and says; Tsukuba: I agree. Didn’t we expect too much from the beginning? We may need to be objective.

The branch leader of Shizuka proposes to be prudent by saying; Shizuka: I think it may be too early to make the final decision. Based on the objective valuation, it is also objectively true that Shiba Tatsuya only has disproportionate talents.

Everyone’s gazes are looking at the branch leader of Kuroba, Kuroba Mitsugu who has been quiet. Shibata presses Kuroba to express his opinion by saying; Shibata: Kuroba-sama, what is your opinion? Kuroba: I failed this mission. Therefore, I think, I am in no position to talk related to this.

The place is filled with heavy silence. A magnanimous voice that does not care this silence, finalizes the discussion. Maya: Then, let’s reserve (postpone) the final decision until the New Year meeting (the meeting of celebrating spring.) This is the statement that the final decision will be made during the New Year’s Day. Branch leaders cannot object the head of Yotsuba Family.


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    • wrote:any new information about vol15 status? This may sound harsh....  However....  If you can't be bothered to follow ...
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