Mission to Draw Attention was first published in Dengeki Bunko MAGAZINE Volume 43.
This short story follows the Yotsuba family's Kuroba Ayako and Kuroba Fumiya who are given a mission by Yotsuba Maya to draw attention towards themselves and away from the Shiba siblings as they compete for Fourth High during the 2096AD Nine Schools Competition.
It was later released as part of the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei SS Light Novel.
Scroll down for summary.
|The story starts at July 22, 2096 (Sunday).
Kuroba twins are visiting Maya in order to report about Kudo Retsu's Parasite Doll project because Mitsugu is busy with another mission.
Maya is satisfied with the report and asked them about upcoming 9SC. Kuroba twins tells Maya that they will participate in the newcomers' division (only 1st years). Maya asks them why they are not participating the main division especially when they are from Fourth High school. (Personal Note: Maya may be thinking Fourth High School does not have talented students such as Saegusa, Ichijou, or Juumonji, so Kuroba twins should be able to participate in the official division.) Kuroba twins answer that they are only participating the newcomers' division in order to avoid unnecessary attention. It also means, there were talks about using them at the official division in Fourth High School, but Ayako managed to stop it before it happened. Maya tells Kuroba twins that they do not have to hold back. They are curious about Maya's intention because it may attract too much attention. Before they ask any questions, Maya also says, once Kuroba twins perform with their full strength, they should gain attention as much as Tatsuya and Miyuki during the last year's 9SC. After they hear Maya's words, they realize Maya's true intention; Maya expects Saegusa twins, the eldest son of Shippo, and Kuroba twins who may be related to Yotsuba to gain attentions that may go to Tatsuya and Miyuki. Ayako worries, this may interfere with their works in the future, but Maya tells them not to worry about such thing and do their best.
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After the meeting, Maya orders Hayama to connect with Mitsugu. Mitsugu answers the phone right away because he cannot ignore Maya's phone calls. Mitsugu answers Maya dramatically. (Personal Note: just like previous volume, he answers the phone by saying Oh! beautiful cousin). After hearing Mitsugu's flattering, Maya cut to the point and said, she understands, Mitsugu may be unhappy with the order, but she thinks, it may benefit them; she believes, Kuroba twins' talents shouldn't be used only as a spy.
Mitsugu normally does not object (rebel) against Maya's order, but since he knows, this mission is set up for that specific person, he does not wish to accept it. (Personal Note: that specific person is Tatsuya) However, Maya also says, she wishes twins to perform jobs besides spying while Maya is working as the head of Yotsuba clan. Once Maya used the authority as Yotsuba's head, Mitsugu cannot talk back to Maya. Maya finishes the conversation by saying that she expects certain level of disregards, but she hopes for Mitsugu to get this job done. Mitsugu replies by saying that there will not be any regards towards Maya's command, and everything will be done.
Maya and Hayama are continuing the conversation. Maya assumes, Mitsugu may not follow her order. (Personal Note: Hayama uses the words, "sabotaging the mission".) Maya states, she does not believe Mitsugu will rebel against Maya, but she assumes, he may not pursue this mission objective. Maya orders Hayama to observe Mitsugu's progress with mission, and if the rumor regarding Kuroba's relationship with Yotsuba is not spreading as fast as it should be, Maya orders Hayama to report back to her.
Unlike Maya, Hayama supports Kuroba's opinion about spreading rumors. He thinks, it may interfere with Kuroba's work because in many occasions, Kuroba Mitsugu is not using alias during the mission. Maya answers to Hayama by saying that everything is under her calculation. According to her, they have been relying on Mitsugu too much, and she also thinks, other minor families should participate in jobs. Otherwise, they may become dull (or, lose their edge as a magician) In truth, she worries about the power balance of Yotsuba when it only relies on Kuroba family.
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The scene changes back to Kuroba twins. They are discussing what kind of magic that they should use for 9SC. Fumiya decide to go with mixing phantom blow and direct pain. And, Ayako decides to go with mixing movement magic and inertia neutralization magic. (Personal Note: I skipped the explanation part that explains why they decide to use Phantom blow & direct pain and mock teleportation & inertia neutralization. In short, Fumiya needs to use Phantom blow in order to hide his direct pain. Even if a person gets hit by direct pain, he/she should feel getting hit by phantom blow. For Ayako, she cannot simply use her mock teleportation because if she creates a vacuum to teleport herself or her teammate, it may interfere with other players, so she cannot use it. So, Fumiya advises Ayako not to use diffusion; it may have additional resistance from air unlike when she uses diffusion magic, but Fumiya believes even without Ayako's diffusion magic her movement magic and inertia neutralization magic cannot be compared with any high school students including Miyuki.)
Few minor details that being excluded from this part of the summary.
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Fourth High School was established shortly after Third High School, mainly because they wanted to emphasize high technical skill rather than the battle-orientated style of Third High.
However, this didn't mean that Fourth High School students were inferior to the other schools when it came to combat.
While at school Ayako seeks out Naruse Harumi, who is a 3rd Year student and he is also an engineer for the upcoming Nine Schools Competition. She asks for help on how to modify her mock teleportation so that it can be used in the competition. Harumi was very excited to work with a pretty girl like Ayako.
Naruse Harumi is Shizuku's cousin, his aunt Kitayama Benio was a female combat magician. Harumi's practical scores were ranked among the top in his class so he will be participating in Nine Schools Competition, but he is also very interested and skilled in magic engineering and volunteers to help out First Year students.
Fumiya was also seeking help for his upcoming events but was having much more trouble than Ayako. Fumiya is a boy but can very easily pass for cute girl with the right clothing. He hasn't grown much and his limbs don't grow any thicker regardless of his intense training. Which leads to his female upperclassmen to treat him like a mascot. Fumiya is aiming to be a cool and dependable man like Tatsuya and he is unwillingly to let them treat him like that.
Ayako and Fumiya are slowly starting to raise their "distinctiveness" with Fourth High.
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As the Nine Schools Competition was drawing closer, there were strange rumors starting to be spread about magicians living in the Tokai region.
The Ten Master Clans's Yotsuba family, one of the most powerful group of magicians in the world. They are also regarded to be one of the most influential families in Japan, headed by Yotsuba Maya. However, their base is unknown and all of it's members are shrouded in mystery other than Yotsuba Maya herself.
Information was beginning to spread of a family that was apart of the Yotsuba family called "Kuroba". Only this name was known, and nobody knew any other details besides that.
"Kuroba-san are you related to the Yotsuba?"
Naruse Harumi who had just begun adjusting Ayako's CAD asked a sudden question. The students around them suddenly stopped working and perked up their ears. Ayako denied Harumi's question, while Maya said that it was okay to draw attention to themselves they are not allowed to reveal their connection to the Yotsuba.
Harumi goes on to say that her magic is comparable to that of the Ten Master Clans already. Ayako says that she is honored to hear such praise, and that it would be wonderful to be a magician like Naruse Benio who was also comparable to the Ten Master Clans.
All the way through her conversation Ayako never let her expression slip or show that anything was out of the ordinary, so Harumi went back to working on her CAD.
Even though Ayako had lowered the suspicion from her classmates, it didn't stop the rumors from spreading that the Kuroba were apart of the Yotsuba family.
As Fumiya and Ayako were walking home, they picked up yet another person following them. After leaving school late due to the Nine Schools Competition practice they immediately noticed the tail, it had happened the past three days in a row. Today they guessed that it was a member of the media due to the sloppy nature of their surveillance.
Fumiya and Ayako begin to run towards the nearest station, but they underestimated the tenacity of the reporters. Even though they were now at the station, the reporters were still closing in on them. With a single glance at each other they knew what to do next, and begin to run again. They act as if they are out of breath, and they rush towards a nearby police station.
This isn't your police station, it is just a small manned station. These stations are slowly being removed due to the increased amount of street cameras. Luckily for Fumiya and Ayako this station was still manned and even had a former OB of Fourth High there as well. While this man is unsure as to why they are running away from anyone since they're magicians, but after taking a look at Ayako's and Fumiya's appearance he understood.
Ayako tells the policeman that an unknown person is following them, and the policeman told them that he will take care of it. Ayako and Fumiya could hear in the distance that the policeman and the reporter were arguing. The reporter tries to state that he has "freedom of press", however the policeman says that the kids are minors, and says that Fumiya is young boy and Ayako is a beautiful girl. With the reporters being middle-aged men and with eye witnesses coming up to the policeman, the reporters knew they were in a disadvantageous position and decide to leave.
|Night of August 2nd.
Fumiya and Ayako were given new orders from Maya. They were told to introduce themselves to Tatsuya at the Nine School's Competition.
While this wasn't considered difficult or hard to understand, but they would need to create a situation that looked natural to bystanders. While Fumiya was thinking about it, Ayako says that she will take care of it. Seeing Ayako's confident attitude, he didn't question her response. Fumiya knows that while on the outside Ayako acts like a carefree girl, she is quite serious, intelligent and responsible.
Fumiya changes the subject and asks Ayako about Mirage Bat and whether or not her magic will be completed. Ayako had a troubled look on her face and said that it hasn't been completed yet. Ayako asks about Fumiya's magic and whether or not he has found a magic that will work with Direct Pain, to which he responds yes. The two of them continue to talk about what they should bring tomorrow to the Nine School's Competition.
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The day before the Nine School's Competition, the students from Fourth High were gathering at the hotel.
Among the group of the students, Ayako was quite conspicuous, which cannot be helped. Magicians tend to have better looks than most people but Ayako's appearance is drawing the attention of everyone that passes by. Students from other schools are also looking for opportunity to speak with her.
Ayako is not looking to stand out any more than she already is and starts to walk towards Harumi. Harumi was surprised to see Ayako approach him and asks if he can help her with anything. Ayako apologizes and with a smile says that she found out that he has relatives in First High. Harumi says that his cousin goes to First High.
Harumi is starting to get looks from both the boys and girls. He isn't very popular, he is a promising magician and is related to a very wealthy family. However, his character and personality tended to make girls shy away from him. Most of the girls were wondering why Ayako is interacting with him.
Ayako mentions that there is someone from First High that she would like to meet. When Harumi asked she said that it was Shiba Tatsuya. Harumi knew of Tatsuya, especially after the his performance last year with his engineering skills. Harumi asked if Ayako was a fan of Tatsuya's and he didn't ask her in a way that made it seem like he was jealous, he naturally thought that it is inevitable for some people to admire Tatsuya.
Ayako says that she isn't a fan of Tatsuya but that Fumiya is. Harumi says that he will go speak with Shizuku, and as he walked over towards her, he noticed that Tatsuya was talking to the "Prince" and "Cardinal".
Harumi greets Shizuku and tells her that his juniors would like to meet Shiba Tatsuya. He looks back towards Ayako and Fumiya as they slowly bow towards her. Shizuku is a little confused and confirms that they want to meet Tatsuya and not Miyuki. Harumi says that Fourth High is known for their magic engineering after all.
Shizuku heads over to Miyuki, and they quickly bring Tatsuya over. Harumi introduces himself and apologizes for interrupting his conversation but Tatsuya says that he was already wrapping up the conversation with Masaki. When Tatsuya said this Harumi felt the tension relax and his opinion of Tatsuya had changed quickly. He could see why the Kuroba siblings would be interested in him.
Harumi leads them over to Ayako and Miyuki.
(Where they have the same conversation as in the light novel)
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Later that night, Fumiya and Ayako met up with each other at the hotel's garden outside. They were each wearing dark clothes, and after greeting each other they started walking.
Ayako activated Perfect Diffusion and their figures blended into the darkness of the night.
The orders that were given to Fumiya and Ayako from Maya was to "stand out" at the Nine School's Competition, and to make contact with Tatsuya. They didn't have orders to investigate the parasite situation while at the Nine School's Competition, but since they had been involved with this mission since the beginning, they had no intention of stopping just because of their school event.
They were here to survey the site of the Steeplechase event, where the parasite test was to be conducted. They don't know exactly how many parasites will be participating in this test or if there are plans to stop the test, but they guess that this will be left to Tatsuya.
As they were about to enter the Steeplechase area, they came to a stop. Fumiya asks Ayako what she thinks and she says that the placement of the active sensors is too dense and there is no way for her to get through.
Ayako's Perfect Diffusion is a magic that diffuses and levels electromagnetic waves, sound waves, and air currents. Because of its characteristics, Ayako is sensitive to the bias of electromagnetic waves and sound waves emitted in the air. There is no sensitivity to perceive up to the fluctuation of the light waves before fruition as faint visible light, but already existing distribution can be felt in a very wide range. The Steeplechase course is a four kilometer square but this is still within her detection range. (However, immovable solids can not be perceived)
Ayako says that if it was only the passive sensors that she wouldn't have an issue. Passive sensors only sense electromagnetic waves and sound waves emitted by intruders. The active sensors however would recognize that the leveling out of infrared rays and ultrasonic waves as abnormal.
While they discuss the possibilities of forcing there way onto the course, they decide against it.
Just then someone called out their names from the darkness. Ayako panicked as Fumiya greeted Tatsuya as he approached, and she was very upset that Tatsuya scared her.
They discuss the course and the security, Tatsuya asks if Ayako could break through but she lowers her head slightly ashamed of herself. Fumiya changes the subject and asks if they should try together to go view the course, but Yakumo shows up next and agrees with Tatsuya that they shouldn't force their way onto the course.
When Yakumo mentions that there isn't anything "special" on the course, everyone was surprised especially Ayako that he was able to get onto the course.
After Yakumo left, Tatsuya turned to face Fumiya and Ayako. He tells them that this mission will be handled by him and that they should concentrate on the Nine School's Competition. While their stance as a Kuroba magician believes that this is an unacceptable request, but since it's Tatsuya they accept it.
|August 11th, it is the seventh day of the Nine School's Competition, and the third day of the Newcomers battle. Today's competitions include the men's Monolith Code and the women's Mirage Bat, so it is finally Fumiya and Ayako's turn.
The twins meet up first thing in the morning, and discuss the upcoming matches for today. Ayako really wanted to face off against the Saegusa twins, but Fumiya reminded her that they are in Row and Gunner, and Ice Pillars Break. Fumiya questions if she really wanted to go against them that bad, but Ayako says that she could have really made a statement by beating them (since it was now part of her mission).
This year it wasn't out of place to not bring your teams ace to compete in Mirage Bat because of the new events involving pairs were worth more points than Mirage Bat. Fumiya guesses that Tatsuya is behind this and didn't want the Saegusa twins to face off against Ayako in Mirage Bat.
Fumiya continued to explain that her Mock Teleportation would easily be faster than flight magic, and Ayako agreed to this. Ayako believes that Tatsuya is the smartest person in Japan, she also feels that Fumiya is also one of the smartest magicians here.
The twins feel the need to meet Tatsuya's expectations and to win in an overwhelming manner in order to show how correct he is.
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Ayako ended up winning the preliminary round of Mirage Bat with an overwhelming difference between the person in second place. Ayako was now moving onto the finals of the Mirage Bat event, as the final round started Ayako was running up the score.
Tatsuya looked on at Ayako and knew that this was going to happen, the participant from First High was likely to finish in second place.
A little away from Tatsuya, a conversion is being held between Izumi and Kasumi. Kasumi asks what Izumi thinks of Ayako and Izumi says that she would not be able to beat her. Kasumi also says that she wouldn't be able to beat her as well.
Kasumi was a little shaken up by this, and Izumi asks her what's wrong, and she says that it seemed that Shiba-senpai knew it would be like this. Kasumi wonders how exactly he knew about Ayako's skills, and Izumi questions if she believes that Tatsuya knew that girl before the Nine School's Competition.
Izumi tries to deny it and says that it is unlikely that Tatsuya knew of her until arriving her at the Nine School's Competition. Kasumi throws out a hypothesis and asks what if it wasn't a coincidence that Tatsuya knew about Ayako's abilities. Izumi asks if Kasumi is referring to the rumor surrounding the Kuroba and how they are related to the Yotsuba.
While they are watching Ayako, they notice that she is using Mock Teleportation, but are surprised at the control she has over it. Normally this pseudo instantaneous movement would be a violation of the rules since it would hinder the other players movements. They both believe that Ayako's magic is just as powerful as those from the Hundred Families and the Saegusa family, which leads them to believe they might really be related to the Yotsuba family.
Izumi was deep in thought.
(Magic that is comparable to those from the Ten Master Clans)
(Similar to Miyuki-senpai)
(Miyuki-senpai's magic is obviously above us)
(Someone who's magic power exceeds that of the Saegusa family.... that is only the Yotsuba family)
(No..... such a thing, it cannot be that Miyuki-senpai is a magician from the Yotsuba family...)
Kasumi asks Izumi what's wrong, and she says it's nothing. Kasumi mentions that she has noticed another auspicious guy and when Izumi asks, she says that there is a male student from Fourth High with the name Kuroba as well and that he will be in Monolith Code.
"If that man is also related to the Yotsuba...."
"There will be trouble for us in tomorrow's Monolith Code event...."
The Saegusa twins faced each other and seemed to arrive at the same conclusion.
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Sunday, August 12th. The eighth day of the Nine School's Competition, and the fourth day of the Newcomers Battle.
Despite everyone's prediction it's First High and Fourth High with six wins and zero losses. It was expected that Third High would be the ones to make it to the final round, but they had an unexpected defeat against Fourth High.
Takuma Shippo is sitting down with his teammates Senkawa and Kajiwara. They decide to not change their formation and continue with what they have done with the past rounds. Shippo has been the main reason for their success so far by playing the defending role, he has successfully taken out every opponent that has approached.
There were bad rumors going on about Shippo before the Nine School's Competition, due to his arrogance and impatience, but he had a change of attitude at the end of April.
They begin to talk about their upcoming opponents and Shippo says that the issue with Fourth High is their vanguard (aka Fumiya). He says that it will be difficult for him to win against such an opponent. When Shippo says this they all immediately think about the rumor that the Kuroba are related to the Yotsuba.
Shippo's strategy is to have himself face off against Fumiya. He tells his teammates to avoid facing him and to go for the other two players from Fourth High, and if Fumiya does go after them they should retreat back to him.
The setting for the final match of Monolith Code is the rock stage. When the buzzer sounded for the start of the match, a player from Fourth High rushed forth like a gale of wind. He was using the rocks as cover as he quickly jumped from one to the other. And before they knew it Senkawa was knocked out by the enemy attack.
Shippo was startled by the magic used by Fumiya, while on the surface it looked like Phantom Blow, it was much too powerful and seemed to give it's opponent pain through hallucinations. Shippo told Kajiwara to fall back, however a shower of stone gravel falls between him and Kajiwara.
While Shippo told Kajiwara to fall back he decided to endure the oncoming shower of stones. Kajiwara has the ability to shield himself from such an attack but suddenly the attack using stones stopped, and Kajiwara was hit with a hallucination of pain. A small person was approaching him, and he tried to release some counter-magic against Fumiya. But another wave of pain hit him, and he lost consciousness.
Shippo's analysis of the fight was correct, but given the stage and ability of Fumiya his plan completely failed.
As Fumiya approached him Shippo prepared sixteen air bullets right in front of him and launched them towards Fumiya. Fumiya didn't defend himself with a barrier and instead just evaded the attack. Next Takuma prepared eight thin disk shaped air bullets and sent them towards Fumiya, but Fumiya once again jumps out of the way and hides behind a rock. While he was jumping towards the rock he had a specialized CAD out and Shippo was hit the hallucination of pain in his right arm.
Fumiya once again jumped from one boulder to another and this time Shippo felt pain in his right thigh. Shippo tries again to attack with another air bullet attack, but Fumiya evades it again. Shippo can't believe what's happening, the way Fumiya is evading the attacks is not something that he has seen before.
Pain once again runs through Shippo's body, pain with scratches. Shippo tries to prepare a Psion barrier to withstand the painful hallucination but it is ineffective, and he wonders how powerful his Phantom Blow magic really is. Shippo once again endures the pain and prepares a barrage of air bullets but Fumiya is ready for him. Pain strikes at Shippo's stomach this time, and at the same time Shippo prepares a magic attack called Stone Shower. But before he could complete the spell his mind goes blank from the pain, and he falls backwards as the stones all fall back down to the ground as well.
The buzzer sounds and Fourth High is the winner of the Newcomers Battle Monolith Code match.
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Fourth High won both the Newcomers Monolith Code event as well as the Mirage Bat event. With Kuroba Fumiya and Kuroba Ayako as the two leading figures, they left a deep impression for the audience members who watched their events. The overwhelming scores they produced were recorded.