Plan to Assassinate Tatsuya Shiba Volume 1 is the first light novel adapted from the web novel spin-off of the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei series.
A new ‘Mahouka’ production with a new heroine! And Shiba Tatsuya is the last boss!?
The Spring of 2094AD. A young girl who's calling is assassination, Hashibami Yuki, is witnessed by a young middle school boy at the scene of a crime.
Suppressing misgivings about erasing a young middle school boy, Yuki’s superior abilities cannot compete at all. The name of the mysterious boy is Shiba Tatsuya.
If the opponent was a normal boy,
If the opponent was not a magician
If the opponent was not Shiba Tatsuya—.
An irregular boy and an assassin girl. The meeting of these two will alter fate and bring misfortune.
|The business district at night has a dark side and from dusk until dawn it is a lawless space. Amidst the shadows of the big city ruled through violence, an animal befitting its atmosphere prowls its streets. A young girl stands over a fallen youth, blood dripping from her knife as a fountain of blood pours forth from his throat.
Anyone witnessing the scene would be perplexed as the man was over 180cm tall with a muscular physique, but the girl was at best 150cm with a petite frame and despite being armed she didn’t seem capable of killing such an opponent. Even so, she was the one still standing, and she folded the knife and swiftly left the scene.
The girl walked to a grey box wagon and opened the passenger seat door and got into the car. The girl, called Nut's, reports to the man driving the main target didn't appear. The man tells her the next target has been seen entering a club. To get around the security Nut's reluctantly replaced her knife with an ornate Kanzashi hairpin and gets changed to infiltrate the club.
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It was a popular night club geared towards youths. From a relatively lifeless alleyway, 2 people, a man and a woman, appeared. The first silhouette belonged to a tall, young man, having a shape resembling an inverted triangle. The other was from petite girl with a hairpin – Nuts.
In the alley, they man begins to bring the girl into an embrace. Just as he was about to kiss her she stops him, her eyebrows wrinkled in pain, indicating her hair. The man then relaxed his grip on her head. The girl then raised both hands to her back and retrieved the barrette and hairpin. This time, the girl embraced his neck with both hands. Even if she was tiptoed, there was still a difference in height of over a head. Thus, the man bent down to bring his face closer to hers, his right arm still tightly held around her waist.
In response, she shyly dodged his lips, teasing him. The young man then grabbed her jaw with his left hand and forced her to face him. She smiled as she removed her right hand around his neck, pulling the ornamental hairpin’s string. An exposed blade instantly materialized and disappeared into the man’s neck. The man shrieked and shoved her away in a reflex action. As a result, the thin blade held by the girl severed the carotid in his neck.
The man collapses, her job was complete. She throws away the weapon and turns to quickly leave. However, her eyes met another’s at the entrance of the alley.
(I was seen!?)
The boy in question had a very mature appearance, from his stature, she gauged him to be either a middle or high school student, but he wasn't reacting to the scene at all, completely emotionless. His gaze then left like he simply lost interest.
He walked away.
Nut’s panicked as there could be no witnesses and gives chase, carefully tailing him. Closing on the boy Nuts channelled psions to reinforced her body and augmented the function of her body tissues. She had the ability of physical reinforcement, a physical boost psychic, that allowed her to enhance her agility to the absolute limit, but not superhuman levels. This trump card was the reason for her confidence to be able to overcome anyone, killing even without a weapon.
The moment Nuts lunged at the boy from his behind, she was slammed onto the road. A pair of cold emotionless eyes glanced down at her. Enduring the pain, she rose to her feet. Staying down just means death. The boy faced her with his expressionless mask, as Nuts regained her footing and backed away. The boy showed no indication of wanting to attack but showed no openings. Nut's realises she cannot win and doesn't know what to do.
This deadlock did not last very long as the boy’s opinion also reflected her own. He walked up to her in an easy-going pace and at that moment, the situation abruptly changed.
A grey box wagon suddenly appeared and tried to run him down but the youth dodges the wagon. Nuts jumped into the passenger seat and the wagon then sped away. During this time, the boy didn’t interfere with their exit.
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In the passenger seat of the wagon, Nuts panted heavily in a cold sweat. Their standoff lasted less than a minute, with the entire ordeal from him witnessing her job occurring was less than 5 minutes but it had doubled her fatigue from the 3 hours spent in the club.
Nuts tells the man he was a witness but couldn't kill him. The man is shocked as he fully understands her abilities and knows she's one of the best I the organisation, yet she just failed to silence a school student
He asks if the boy was a magician but Nuts isn't sure. She asks the man, Croco, to investigate the boy.
Although hesitant to do so due to an eerie feeling he had over engaging the boy they had no choice in tracking him down as the mistake could cost them their lives.
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The boy lost interest in the girl as soon as the box wagon vanished. He goes to a private middle school in Tokyo, but he was not just a student. In a sense, he was similar to the killer girl.
He resumed his walk until he reached the backdoor of an old building. Tracing his finger around the lock, the locked door opens and the boy descends inside the revealed stairs. In less than 5 minutes, the boy reappeared at the entrance. His appearance was exactly the same as before he ventured into the basement earlier.
He calmly passed through the back streets and came out into the main street. A compact, white sedan pulls up and he gets into the car. He reports to the driver that the spies are erased and he recovered their storage device and hands it to the driver for data recovery. He then asks why she's here when it's a job for the family and not the military. She tells him she was sent by Captain Sanada who is too busy to come himself. This female officer’s name was Fujibayashi, a second lieutenant in the Self-Defence Force 101st Brigade Independent Magic Battalion. Captain Sanada is a technical officer from the same unit. He reports to her the new CAD is working as desired.
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A series of murders broke out in downtown Shibuya. The victims are said to be members of a street gang active in the Shibuya area. There were no eye witness accounts in this case. Although there was evidence that just before the murder a middle school girl was seen with one of the victims, because such students were the gang’s drug customers, that fact was dismissed as she would be too weak to be involved.
That same night, among the exiles of the Great Asian Union, around 10 people disappeared. They were a group marked by public safety as being in contact with New Soviet Union agents, but as no one reported the incident of disappearance, it did not become a police matter.
|No longer a legend or fairy-tale, magic’s existence has been reliably validated since its first confirmed occurrence during the incident in the year 1999A.D.
After nuclear terrorism was stopped by a policeman with superpowers the USA launches a search to find others with the same power, the power to neutralise nukes, due to it’s potential to alter the worlds power balance. Non are found but many other powers are discovered, proving the ability wasn’t a mutation but a talent which humans possessed. Developing this power would lead to the early stages of the development of modern magic and its incorporation into military technology. As a result of scientific analysis magic and superpowers were proven to be essentially the same power and a generalised system was developed. This generalised, modern technology to interfere with natural phenomena with the power of the mind, alongside the ancient techniques once believed to be the products of fiction combined became known as magic. This led to a global rush to develop magicians who have become precious weapons.
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It’s morning and the Shiba’s are commuting to their middle school alone as the other students, awed by Miyuki, won’t join them and follow at a respectable distance like always.
Watching them is Hashibami Yuki, disguised as a fellow middle school student and the shock of seeing Miyuki shocked her, leaving her briefly stupefied and doubting her sanity. Rebuking herself she turns her gaze to Tatsuya and is bewildered by him and his unnatural lack of presence, raising her vigilance levels. She thinks back and recalls all they could find out was his name, school and address. Normally they’d wait but as he’s a witness the matter of dealing with him is urgent. She tries to take measure of his abilities but is unable to do so, despite it being an essential skill in the trade.
Tatsuya notices her gaze and looks over his shoulder, sending a chill down her spine. Realising his skills must be excellent she decides infiltrating the school, which was all that was planned for the day, was to risky and pulls out, running straight to the station.
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With the plan to infiltrate the target’s middle school ending in failure, Yuki returned home and had breakfast whilst reflecting on the situation and trying to decide a plan and the fact, despite the embarrassment and teasing from the staff, the infiltration failed before the gate. She’s summoned by her boss as she finishes her meal.
Yuki works for Abousha, officially it’s a business in foreign trade but that’s just a cover. She heads to the companies building and on arriving she’s told by Croco to head straight to the president’s office.
Arriving at the office Yuki is greeted by the president, Morozumi Kuruma. Getting straight to the point Morozumi states it’s unusual for her to mess up and asks for an explanation, not apologies. She explains everything openly, including being immediately detected at the school that morning. Thinking it over the president agrees Tatsuya isn’t a normal person and agrees to offer the companies support but she is to take him down herself, much to her relief at essentially having a stay of execution for her failure.
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That evening Tatsuya calls the Yotsuba main house to report the situation and speaks with Maya. Confirming she’s unrelated to the New Soviet Union agents they deduce it’s because he’s a witness he’s being targeted. Maya asks if he wants reinforcements but Tatsuya declines.
Passing the call to Hayama they discuss his plan, which is to ‘erase’ literally. They agree to leave it in Tatsuya’s hands with him being given permission to act as necessary and they end the call.
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The call over Maya moves over to greet Kuroba Mitsugu and Fumiya. Mitsugu brings up the call and Maya looks back at him reproachfully for eavesdropping and then with a sigh, she tells him it was a report on the dealing with of the New Soviet Union agents.
Mitsugu tries to debase Tatsuya by scornfully criticising him for the issue with Yuki. Maya overturns his objections pointing out it was a small job and to leave things to Tatsuya. Mitsugu tries another approach by timidly suggesting it be good for Fumiya’s training. Maya agrees but says he’s only to investigate and orders Mitsugu to not interfere.
|Two men are disintegrated in a Tokyo residential area.
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Yuki is still in bed despite it nearly being noon when she is awoken by her phone. She answers the phone, reluctantly, to find it’s Wanizuka calling. Somewhat bewildered he explains two of their co-workers who were watching Tatsuya’s house disappeared without a trace this morning. There are no leads as to what happened to them leaving Yuki to wonder if Tatsuya is more connected than they realised. Wanizuka says it might be unrelated to Tatsuya as the area is near Kyuuchouji Temple where Kokonoe Yakumo resides. This shocks Yuki as the man is notorious for his hate of guns and may well have been the one who dealt with them, rather than the target, nor do they know if he’s related to the target.
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It’s just past three o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday April 10th when Kuroba Fumiya arrives at Tokyo station, having travelled by train as soon as he collected his luggage after school finished and. He had had to delay due to not being allowed to miss school due to his father being dissatisfied with Fumiya’s task.
Blood ties between magicians are stronger on average than their non-magician counterparts and Fumiya adores his cousin Tatsuya as much as a true sibling. Hearing that he was being targeted infuriated Fumiya. But he couldn’t take matters into his own hands without the support of the main house as he couldn’t handle the clean-up.
Upon seeing his subordinate who was waiting on the platform Fumiya is annoyed as he’s not being discreet enough. After briefly reprimanding him the pair quickly head out.
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It’s getting dark out when Yuki is picked up by Wanizuka that evening in the usual box-wagon which has been repainted. Getting in the car Yuki asks Wanizuka the plan and he states it’s to watch over the targets house, shadowing the target and strike when there is an opportunity.
Upon reaching Tatsuya’s house and stopping two blocks away, Yuki gets out to survey the area when an automated car pulls out of the Shiba’s household with the Shiba siblings aboard. Swinging the car around the pair follow the Shiba’s sedan.
The destination is a etiquette school for young ladies, which makes Yuki wonder if Miyuki is a celebratory. To their surprise the Shiba’s car reappears quickly with Tatsuya aboard, leading Wanizuka to realise the school doesn’t allow boys inside so Tatsuya will have to come back later. Finding it convenient the pair continue to follow Tatsuya’s car.
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Around that time, Kuroba Fumiya was running a little late as he headed towards the etiquette school Miyuki was attending. Disguised as a young girl, Fumiya is unable to stay still when Tatsuya is in danger, despite knowing the assassin is no threat to him. Tracking Tatsuya using his traffic system ID, Fumiya orders the driver to drive manually to catch up to Tatsuya’s car as quickly as possible.
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Tatsuya goes to a nearby restaurant with an attached carpark and heads inside. Watching Yuki realises there are too many witnesses and orders Wanizuka to park inside the parking lot and head inside to observe the target while she lies in wait to ambush him.
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Fumiya arrives at the restaurant and has his people park up before entering the restaurant while dressed as a cute girl, attracting the attention of the men inside, and settling at a table where he observes Wanizuka watching Tatsuya and from his behaviour realises he’s one of the people targeting Tatsuya.
The three remain in the restaurant for two hours until Tatsuya gets up to leave and Fumiya sees Wanizuka sent an email. Fumiya then heads to the bathroom before sneaking out the back door without a soul noticing.
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Yuki had been comfort eating to calm her nerves whilst waiting in the car and keeping herself concealed for the last two hours. Upon receiving the signal email, she silently leaves the car and heads downstairs and hides in the shadow of a pillar as Tatsuya arrives.
Tatsuya doesn’t seem to have noticed as he heads to his car and so she readies a mental image to activate her special ability and prepares to take him out to be stopped in her tracks after a single step as he turns and looks at her, leaving her reflexively paralysed.
A scream is loosed by the silhouette of a young girl.
Thinking she must have seen the knife; Yuki quickly leaves the scene.
|Yuki gets called into the office Sunday morning. Wanizuka picks her up in his car and they discuss the night before and Yuki having to withdraw, though neither is optimistic about how the meeting will go.
Yuki returns from the meeting looking worn out. She explains to Wanizuka they are being reinforced by Jack and Bobby. Neither is happy about this development, especially Yuki who hates bombs, Bobby’s speciality. Wanizuka reflects on Yuki’s youthful idealism, despite her occupation.
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That afternoon. Fumiya reports alone to Maya at the Yotsuba main. Fumiya wishes to supress Abousha as it might be useful to make use of them in future. Hayama provides a complete report, more detailed than the one Fumiya submitted, to Fumiya’s chagrin. Hayama informs Maya that Abousha appears to be a group of taijutsu shinobi, stray psychics and not ancient magicians.
Maya reviews Yuki’s file but is unimpressed. Out of concern of the ability’s potential to take out magicians in surprise attacks, Maya permits Fumiya to intervene. Not because she’s worried Tatsuya will die, but because she wants to avoid him drawing attention. Maya gives Fumiya two weeks and advises him they will take care of matters at his middle school which the Yotsuba secretly run.
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That evening Yuki is watching the Shiba household from the house across the street. It’s nearly nine in the evening when Tatsuya finally emerges. Yuki tails him discreetly, looking for an opportunity to strike but he is suddenly attacked by four men. Yuki tries to assassinate him with a throwing dagger as he’s shoved into a car without resistance but misses. Two of the men get in the car while two of them move to deal with Yuki. Yuki uses her extraordinary talent to backward somersaults over the two men blocking her path, onto a wall and then onto the vehicles roof as it begins to drive off. The van takes evasive action and Yuki jumps off. As it escapes the other two men attack Yuki. She dodges one and the second stabs a gas filled pad in her chest, releasing gas which dazes him and allowing Yuki to quickly kill him with her knife. The other man then gets ready to strike but Yuki pops the other gas filled pad and kills him while he’s dazed.
Yuki abandons hiding the bodies and flees the scene. When she’s three blocks away she radios Wanizuka and tells him Tatsuya was abducted, but she saw the licence plate and installed a tracker. The pair agree to meet up at the station and drive the chemical factory where the tracker is as quickly as they can within the speed limit. Arriving at the factory the pair see the vehicle but Wanizuka cannot get a read from inside the building with his scanner. Expecting this, Yuki decides to head in. Wanizuka moves to stop her but a single bitter smile makes it clear there is no choice, despite the danger, leaving him no choice but to reluctantly watch her go.
|Yuki enters through the gate which is the safest option having not done a preliminary investigation. She’s poorly equipped with only the basic equipment she always carries, having not even been able to replace her gas filled pads.
The nostalgic atmosphere causes her mind to think of her parent’s murder and how she first became a killer. Her parents were non-magician ninja, though her mother had an extraordinary talent like Yuki. Growing up she knew only what she learned in school about magic and ninjutsu users. They trained her secretly by imprinting the knowledge whilst she slept unaware. She found out the truth after they died.
When she was twelve, she came home from school to find her parents bodies and fainted. When she woke, she was in the care of her mother’s friend and colleague who told her the truth, her parents were ninja mercenaries and they were betrayed and killed in a turf war with a foreign mafia. They were together for two weeks. When she too became a victim, Yuki resolved to fight. It was around this time she met Wanizuka and with his help she assassinated over ten people, a mix of mafia officers and professional killers. Then she tracked down the person who betrayed her parents, in a factory like the one she is in now, and took her revenge, but nearly died in the process.
Bringing her sense back to the present Yuki continues her search, but the entire time she has yet to sense a presence or gaze, and the atmosphere is becoming more and more ominous and making her have second thoughts, her intuition telling her to leave now.
Pushing on, she reaches the rear entrance without finding anything, leaving her confused. She wouldn’t be surprised if Tatsuya escaped, but where did the kidnappers go? She called Croco to make sure no one had left, and he confirms they haven’t. Thinking about it, Yuki suspects the men having colleagues waiting here for them and they wouldn’t need to hide from her leading her to suspect Tatsuya turned the tables and got rid of them, but she can’t figure out where the bodies went as it takes time to dispose of them. The thoughts sent a shiver down her spine.
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Yuki and Wanizuka head to his apartment, a privately owned one he’s allowed due to his side job for the company. After some banter, Wanizuka cuts to the chase and asks what happened. Yuki tells him the factory was empty, with no trace left. Wanizuka states from the signal they don’t appear to have got out elsewhere. This leads Yuki to conclude Tatsuya is a magician. Wanizuka says that possibility is being investigated but if it’s true he can erase bodies without a trace then he’s extremely high level, even for a magician, and beyond their ability to handle. Yuki affirms they have no choice as getting rid of Tatsuya is essentially her trial. It’s decided they’ll get help from the demon bomber and demon slasher.
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Morozumi Kuruma, president of Abousha, contemplates the current situation with Shiba Tatsuya, who he believes is under Kokonoe Yakumo’s protection.
All the professional killers at Abousha are ninjas who cannot use magic. Although there is work for ninja, the training which begins in infancy is considered child abuse, so they have to be hired secretly. As recruiting is not done it’s hard to find work with no connections. This leads to many falling into crime, an issue not shared by ninjitsu bearing ancient magicians.
Morozumi is also a ninja who is not a magician with a clairvoyance ability that helps him find what he desires. When his former employer retired, he started Abousha out of a mix of resentment for the way ninja like him are treated and to provide those who cannot find work more fulfilling lives.
Thinking Kokonoe Yakumo is hindering his business he decides to go all in to assassinate Shiba Tatsuya and deploy not just Yuki, Bobby and Jack, but order a general mobilisation of everyone who is free.
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It’s Monday morning. Fumiya arrived in Tokyo last night and is keen to begin his operation. He’s about to leave when he’s stopped by a subordinate and reminded that he needs to protect his identity. Fumiya tries to resist but ultimately is forced to don his female disguise.
After changing, Fumiya heads out and he and his men monitor Tatsuya’s surroundings in a five-shift rotation. Fumiya believes Tatsuya will have noticed them as he thinks on the situation whilst taking a break at a café near Tatsuya’s school. He’s joined by his subordinate Kurokawa Shiraha, and they subtlety discuss the situation. Kurokawa reports nothing is amiss as infiltrating the school would be difficult. They discuss the possibility of a bombing as a way around Tatsuya being a magician by catching him off guard since he’s so strong, a view held by many of the Kuroba subordinates despite their boss’s obsessive hate towards Tatsuya. The chances are higher than normal due to the enemy being ninja who, even without ninjutsu, will have knowledge of magic. Noticing their conversation is drawing attention due to the talking in whispers whilst close together, the pair decide to leave.
|Wanizuka is dropping Yuki off so she can set up for another attempt at Tatsuya’s life, but he is concerned about being in Kokonoe’s territory. Yuki point’s out there is here or at the school as they can only rely on his commute and gets out of the car.
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Fumiya is receiving a report that nothing happened at school from Kurokawa in his car. Fumiya orders Kurokawa to plan an infiltration into the school and to get to the station near Tatsuya’s home before Tatsuya’s cabinet arrives.
Fumiya’s car arrives at the same time as Tatsuya’s cabinet, though Fumiya is unconcerned as he stationed people here beforehand. Instead of tailing Tatsuya, Fumiya heads up to the roof.
Tatsuya himself is just ignoring the enemy as he is assigned to cleaning up New Soviet Union agents and these assassins are no threat to him.
Fumiya went to the roof in order to use Mock Teleportation magic so he can immediately respond if his men detect someone planning to attack Tatsuya. Although his sister Ayako is a prodigy with the spell, Fumiya’s own skill is still well above the average magician. The only issue is detecting the enemy, but that is Kurokawa’s duty as he is the best of the Kuroba subordinates at detecting killing intent, even when it’s directed at others.
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Yuki and Wanizuka were waiting near the station of for the Shiba’s to arrive. Wanizuka sees the Shiba siblings and informs Yuki, who after a brief exchange with Wanizuka, tails the Shiba’s at a distance. At this distance her disguise, a local high school uniform, shouldn’t stand out, but she unintendedly closes to twenty meters due to Miyuki’s slow pace.
Yuki is waiting for the public’s eyes to disappear, but she is hesitant to strike as she will also have to kill Miyuki who would witness the murder. Tatsuya passed the halfway point to his home when she finally got past her hesitation.
Before she could act Yuki sensed another’s killing intent, her colleague Jack’s.
Of the thirty-six professional killers at Abousha, Yuki only knows the faces of ten but the codenames and modus operandi of them all. And Jack is infamous. Abousha is political assassination association with the founding principle of to ‘judge evil that cannot be judged by the law’. That said those people who appear to believe in righteous murder, will not be hired though targeting bad people is not a complete lie, as the company decides which requests to accept and won’t kill just anyone. Simply put, if Morozumi decides the matter in question is ‘not the work of a ninja’, it won’t be accepted no matter how good the terms are.
Jack doesn’t think about that. He works fast and with skill but leaves a lot of bodies. Not due to collateral with gas and bombs, that’s Bobby’s strong point. Jack uses knives but always leaves more bodies than needed. He makes excuses of them being witnesses, guards or sentries but no one believes that at face value, Jack lets them see on purpose so that he has an excuse to kill.
Yuki realises if Jack does it not only will the siblings die, but anyone nearby as well. For the sake of avoiding the excess bloodshed, Yuki decides to act first, but she’s too slow.
Jack jumps out to attack Tatsuya but collapses to the ground with a look of agony. Yuki looks up to where he’s looking and sees a young girl (Fumiya) standing high on a wall. The sight left Yuki perplexed and unable to move.
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Kurokawa had perceived Jack’s thirst for blood slightly earlier than Yuki’s and directed Fumiya via the goggles with a head mounted display they were both wearing.
Fumiya activates Mock Teleportation and arrives in the sky ten meters above the road, before floating down. Fumiya, who’s wearing several CADs, targets Jack first as he’s started to take action.
Using his innate magic Direct Pain, Fumiya causes Jack to collapse to the road by making it feel like his legs are broken as he himself lands on top of a wall. He glances at Yuki and affirms his suspicious she’d be the other killer. Fumiya turns back to Jack to find he’s getting back up despite the pain. Fumiya then uses magic to close to in front of Jack, dodges a throwing knife as he pulls out a needle gun armament device and shoots Jack with paralysing needles three times. The pain causes Jack to faint.
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Seeing Jack faint releases Yuki from her paralysis. Realising she can’t escape she activates her physical boost to full and launches at Fumiya. Fumiya is surprised but tried to open fire at Yuki, but she dodges, jumping sideways and running on the wall and gets behind Fumiya, swinging her knife at his neck. Fumiya dodges and turns around, taking aim again. Yuki dodges by jumping to the road, up to a lamppost and launching a kick at Fumiya. Fumiya dodges backwards, but the kick is a faint and Yuki attacks with her knife, however, her arm is blocked by Fumiya’s boot. Fumiya has fallen to the road. Yuki uses this chance to escape by jumping over a wall and running.
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Yuki’s escape surprises Fumiya. He couldn’t hit her with magic as Yuki’s movements prevented his casting. He still needs to maintain line of sight, an issue both his father and Tatsuya have both surpassed. Deciding that they were repelled as planned, Fumiya activates magic to leave. Leaving Jack’s unconscious body in the road.
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After running over a kilometre, Yuki stops and calls Wanizuka to pick her up.
On seeing her pale face and irregular breathing, Wanizuka becomes concerned, thinking she’s injured. Yuki then asks Wanizuka to prepare her a concealed gun, she can’t take the girl (Fumiya) on half-heartedly and realising the ‘girl’ will remain an issue until Tatsuya is dealt with.
|Abousha’s president Morozumi Kuruma is irritated at not being able to strike decisively. Due to the limitations the occasional witness is unavoidable, but Yuki has left a witness alive for over five days but as she’s skilled the company cannot easily discard her, hence her getting support. And now codename Jack was driven into an impossible battle with an unknown girl, sending the message we can defeat you without killing. The girl’s appearance has further confounded the situation as she used a needle gun but Kokonoe notoriously hates all firearms so her methods conflict with his involvement. The needles themselves had no mechanism so Jacks burns seem to have been caused by magic, yet the girl didn’t use magic fighting Yuki. There is just too much he doesn’t understand.
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Next day, Yuki infiltrates the school before Tatsuya was due to arrive, using an ID they acquired from an absent student and conceals herself in the school’s infirmary until classes start.
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Fumiya observes the school from above in an advertisement blimp. Kurokawa informs Fumiya there are two people with killing intent inside the school, one being Yuki, but he can’t confirm any more as the students are interfering with his technique.
Fumiya, disguised as Yami, infiltrates the school by using magic to descend to the roof from the blimp and uses magic to identify the two enemies and heads towards the one who isn’t Yuki, using the Mental Interference magic Evil Eye to avoid being stopped by any teachers.
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The chime signalled the start of classes and Yuki slipped out of the bed she was hiding in and left the student ID behind to avoid the security system tracking her through it. Yuki then heads towards Tatsuya’s classroom on the fourth floor.
Her plan was to use a non-lethal gas grenade on the classroom and take down Tatsuya whilst avoiding doing any harm to the other students. Keeping an eye out for anyone to obstruct her, specifically Fumiya, Yuki reaches Tatsuya’s classroom to find it empty. She realises he must have a class in another room but before she can leave, she notices someone coming up the stairs.
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Fumiya arrives at the room for the school’s cleaning contractors to prepare. Seeing the room Fumiya realises what’s going, as Tatsuya currently has physical education, so it’s the perfect time to set up a bomb. Fumiya rushes to the stairs as although the device is already prepared, there is still time to remove it.
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Yuki is hiding under the teacher’s lectern when the other person enters the classroom. She realises it’s her colleague Bobby, who is disguised as a cleaning contractor. Yuki realises he’s setting up a bomb, a method she detests as it harms uninvolved innocents. She considers stopping him due to the potential number of victims but remains in hiding under the teacher’s lectern, even though it would be easy to simply leave.
Just as Bobby is about to leave, having switched out Tatsuya’s chair for one containing a bomb trap, but comes face to face with Fumiya who had approached completely undetected by either of the professional killers. Bobby tries to play it off but Yuki, recognising Fumiya as the girl from before, throws her gas grenade. Realising it’s not working on Fumiya, Yuki grabs Bobby and drags him out of the room to escape.
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Fumiya hears the pair leave and ejects the gas though the windows which had opened automatically. Fumiya radios Kurokawa and reports the situation with the bomb. Fumiya then uses magic to put a barrier around the chair for safety and sends it up to the blimp. Kurokawa asks if Fumiya will need a disposal team (for bodies) but Fumiya tells him to keep them on standby. With the bomb dealt with Fumiya returns his attention to pursuing the enemy while erasing his presence.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki is helping Bobby, who is under the influence of the gas, escape but progress is slow. Realising they are being tracked Bobby tells Yuki to leave him and escape. She refuses and picks him up to carry him on her shoulder like a cement bag, increasing their pace. Bobby asks why she’s going so far, something she herself doesn’t know given he loathes the man.
As she’s descending the stairs to the ground floor Bobby suddenly screams and starts struggling, causing her to drop him. As he falls, she sees a familiar needle sticking out of his waist.
She turns around to see Fumiya looking down at her with cold eyes while aiming his needle gun at her.
|Fumiya had no trouble in catching up to the two escaping professional killers. One is under the effects of the gas, the other helping them escape.
Using magic to block sound he descends the stairs and upon seeing the pair shoots the man Yuki is carrying with his armament device.
The man screams and thrashes around causing Yuki to drop him. His neck breaks as he falls down the stairs. Fumiya feels regret for killing him as he hasn’t yet become desensitised to killing but maintains his poker face.
Yuki looks up in anger and demands to know who Fumiya is.
Fumiya mulls over replying and deciding it might pressure the opposite side, gives his code name, Yami.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki is watching the girl with the needle gun. She wanted to check Bobby but can’t due to having a gun pointed at her, looking away was suicide. The gun might be designed for non-lethal use but that doesn’t mean it won’t kill if it hits in the wrong place. Unable to remain silent, Yuki asks for her name.
The girl responds with Yami. Yuki mulls over the meaning of the name from its various spellings but none matched her.
Yuki jumps horizontally on instinct, dodging a fired needle, and crawling down the wall, jumping to the other wall part way to stop Yami from shooting her, and descends to the ground floor.
◇ ◇ ◇
Fumiya, having lost sight of Yuki, runs down the stairs. If she escapes it might endanger innocents, though she doesn’t seem the type. The corpse forces Fumiya to remain on the left side, hindering his view.
As he reaches the corner Yuki lunged with a knife, forcing Fumiya to fall on his backside. Yuki follows through, but Fumiya pulls the trigger twice, aiming for both shoulders. Though it should be impossible to dodge Yuki does so by jumping over Fumiya, the needles grazing her skirt. She then ascends to the landing whilst dodging until she’s behind the railing for the second set of stairs, blocking Fumiya’s aim. Fumiya loops back but upon reaching the landing finds Yuki waiting with a prepared pocket pistol in her right hand. He reflexively dodges back.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki ran up to the second floor from the landing in one go and readied the pocket pistol from the small holster coiled around her thigh. It’s a real gun with two rounds of live ammunition. To escape she’d have to leave herself open, so she needs to land an injury on her opponent in close combat in order to open up a chance for escape.
Yuki waits for Yami to appear and when she dodges reflexively, as anticipated, Yuki dives down the stairs while remaining below the railing. As she hits the floor she fires while rolling before kicking the floor with enough force to stand up. She was hurting from the maneuvers, but she ignored it for now and dashed up the wall.
Yami had dropped to avoid the shot, leaving Yuki out of her line of sight.
Yuki leaps from the ceiling at Yami, who looks up suddenly.
Yuki swings down her knife but her wrist is caught by Yami’s forearm. They both fire the weapons in their other hands at the same time.
Yuki’s bullet penetrates Yami’s thigh.
Yami’s needle hits Yuki’s left arm and gives her an electric shock.
Before the pain took effect Yuki cuts off the sense in the arm, an application of her Physical Boost, dropping her gun in the process. Yuki turns and runs. Dodging instinctively in response to a sense of impending danger from behind. Until she reaches the corridor and escapes at full speed.
◇ ◇ ◇
Fumiya’s right leg is full of intense pain but stopping Yuki takes priority. Dropping the armament device, he operates a CAD under his sleeve, intending to use Direct Pain. But before it activates Yuki dodges, stopping the spell as Fumiya still needs line of sight to invoke. Yuki’s acrobatic movements are too fast to follow, and she escapes into the corridor before he can find her again.
Fumiya sits down and now turns his attention to the body, still enduring the pain. Using his CAD, he opens the window and launches the body into the sky using Mock Teleportation. He hadn’t called Kurokawa’s team on the blimp to warn them, but he expects they will handle it. Next, he collects the armament device and gun and pockets both, though there is nothing he can do with the bullet hole in the wall. Out of strength Fumiya leans on the wall.
That peace of mind lasted all of ten seconds before he notices people approaching. He tries to stand but his panic causes him to squat in pain. The bullet had pieced the bullet proof material of his tights and wedged into his thigh. Likely due to the type of bullet used.
Tatsuya and some of his classmates arrive. As the others think it’s a sick girl, Tatsuya takes charge and sends them ahead as he’ll take her to the infirmary. Tatsuya confirms the codename is still Yami as he heals Fumiya’s gunshot wound with magic. The bullet dropping to the floor. He then restores the wall, before handing both bullets to Fumiya. Fumiya apologised for disgracing himself by letting her go. Tatsuya states its because he didn’t use direct Pain. Fumiya makes no effort to deny it. Looking at the footprints on the wall Tatsuya realises it was due to fast evasive movements blocking his aim. Tatsuya makes an analogy to boxing which cheers Fumiya up.
With the end of the period closing in, Tatsuya suggests Fumiya make his exit, prompting Fumiya to ask why Tatsuya is not in class. Tatsuya admits they are skipping under the pretense of being thirsty.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki lean her back on a wall behind the school building, finally taking a breath. She heard from Wanizuka with area was a sort of dead zone she could use. She pulls the needle out of her arm.
After suppressing the pain and getting her breathing in order, she reflects on the failure of the mission and how she failed to make contact with the target, her co-worker was taken out and left behind and she left evidence behind in the form of the gun. It was beyond careless and she would have no grounds for complaint if she were fired. Not that she could be fired, per se, but she had no intention of losing her head.
◇ ◇ ◇
Fumiya separated from Tatsuya and ascended to the roof. Feeling around with Shouinkyou, Fumiya could detect any thirst for blood was confident there would be no further attempts to infiltrate today. Fumiya calls the blimp and has them open the door for him before using Mock Teleportation to enter the gondola.
There Fumiya confirms they have the body, and a polite request to inform them beforehand next time. Kurokawa states the cause of death is a broken neck and his personal belongings included tools, one kilogram of plastic explosive and a number of other small explosives. Fumiya then asks about the chair and Kurokawa states had it gone off it would have caused damage in more than a ten-meter radius, saying his deed was meritorious. Fumiya disagrees as he let the girl escape.
Fumiya resolves to bring her down next time.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki conceals her presence and escapes by jumping over the school’s rear wall to where Wanizuka is waiting in his car. She gets in, reports it was a failure, and as he drives off, she gets changed to avoid attention.
When she’s changed Wanizuka asks as to Bobby's whereabouts as he was asked to pick him up too. Yuki tells him he was taken out, shot with a needle by the girl from before, and she doesn’t know if he was captured. He also states the girls code name is Yami and that she took a needle to the arm but landed a shot on her in exchange.
As they head back to the company to report Wanizuka makes a joke about it being certain death if their patience runs out, making Yuki laugh but inside she knew it’s not an unjustified joke and she understands the truth.
|At Abousha all the professional killers work directly under Morozumi, with the managing and executive directors supervising the support division. This makes him Yuki’s direct superior.
Abousha has thirty-six professional killers, though it appears it’s now thirty-five.
This is the fourth time Yuki has been summoned over Shiba Tatsuya within a week and it’s becoming a problem.
Yuki gives her report.
Morozumi makes it clear that though he values her skills, if this continues, she’ll be forced to do unpleasant work, including that which makes use of her body to seduce targets for assassination and kill them upon the bed, the work of a Kunoichi, and something she’s been able to avoid as she’s been assessed as been suitable for work relying completely on strength. Yuki hated the idea so much the thought of fleeing the company and being hunted crossed her mind.
Morozumi goes on to say he knows things go wrong, they haven’t been able to verify Tatsuya’s background and Yami needs dealing with. He tells her that he’ll lead the next dispatch personally, with her focusing on Tatsuya while another team deals with Yami. This leaves Yuki shocked as she can’t understand why he’s going so far on this.
After Yuki leaves, Morozumi decides to go all in and deploy every free pair of hands for this, deciding not to send any support personnel, just the professional assassins. Ten in all. Morozumi is convinced Yami and Tatsuya are disciples of Kokonoe Yakumo.
◇ ◇ ◇
Fumiya is in a slump in his temporary apartment. Kurokawa tries to provoke him to get him out of the slump but fails. Kurokawa asks why Fumiya is so depressed about the situation when even if Hashibami escaped, the bomber was dealt with. Fumiya then reveals it’s because Tatsuya healed him. This leaves Kurokawa confused as it’s logical to take advantage of Tatsuya’s ability, not knowing the details of how Regrowth works. He asks if Tatsuya has to pay a price to heal someone, a fact that could have a huge impact on modern magic theory. Fumiya confirms there is but he can’t elaborate, so Kurokawa drops the subject.
Fumiya goes on to say they need to resolve things quickly as the other side is taking more drastic actions and a large disturbance would be undesirable. Kurokawa asks for directions and Fumiya says they need to target the source.
Kurokawa suggests calling in reinforcements as they are seasoned ninja, surprising Fumiya as they aren’t magicians. Kurokawa corrects him, pointing out that magic isn’t needed to kill and that there are at least ten B.S. magicians working there.
Fumiya accepts Kurokawa’s warning, realising he was being careless, but advises there won’t be reinforcement.
Kurokawa questions this, as they might not be able to get results without aid from Mitsugu. Had this been heard by a member of the Ten Master Clans other than the Yotsuba, it would have caused them to become uncomfortable and brag, but the Yotsuba still remember the incident thirty years ago, a blow that they have not fully recovered from even now.
—— Yotsuba magicians are powerful, but few.
But that doesn’t mean they lack manpower. The Yotsuba consist of the main family and seven branch families, but only those with blood ties to these eight families are called Yotsuba magicians. Underlings and even protégés will never be included in the Yotsuba’s powerful few.
The Yotsuba family’s war potential is by no means few. Every magician trained and recruited by the Yotsuba is on par with those of the Ten Master Clans and surpass those of the Hundred Families. Each of the Yotsuba branch families has equal combat strength to one of the other members of the Ten Master Clans.
Without a master on the level of Kokonoe Yakumo, no matter how skilled, a group of Ninja cannot compete if its full force was brought to bear.
Fumiya explains to Kurokawa that if he talks to his father he’ll be recalled.
Fumiya decides to take two days to prepare. As it will be twelve people, himself included, against an assassination association of over one hundred people, careful preparation will be needed. He also asks for his CAD to be remodelled to include a shortcut button for Direct Pain. Kurokawa advised it will take two days.
◇ ◇ ◇
Thursday, two days later. Wanizuka and Yuki are tailing Tatsuya, who has dropped Miyuki off at her etiquette school and is going to a different café to kill time this time.
Wanizuka reports when Tatsuya goes inside and confirms his orders. He’s to head inside while Yuki waits in the car.
Wanizuka heads in as planned.
◇ ◇ ◇
Fumiya’s men had been watching Abousha’s movements and know Yuki is approaching Tatsuya. Upon hearing of this Fumiya has Kurokawa gather their men, with two supporting Fumiya and the rest blockading the escape routes.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki receives a call from head office advising her that she is being surrounded by Yami’s people, even if they don’t know who the enemy are.
She’s ordered to switch to the second strategy.
Yuki gets out of the car and a few seconds later Yami gets out of a sedan that parks up by the road.
Yuki immediately flees across the parking lot, instinctively dodging to avoid an unknown source of attack, runs up the wall and jumps to the nearby houses.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki getting out of the car tips Fumiya and Kurokawa off that they’ve been spotted, and rush into action. As he gets out the car he tries to use Direct Pain on Yuki but there is a slight lag due to his not having time to test the remodelled CAD, so he misses when she dodges. Fumiya orders Kurokawa to have the men follow his signal and kicks off the road using a combination of the spells Jump and Self-Acceleration to pursue Yuki alone.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki is escaping at full throttle. She’s supposed to be slowing down so she can be tracked but has no choice but to go at full speed whilst staying out of Yami’s line of sight to avoid getting caught. Even then, Yami is closing in.
Enduring the ominous pressure, Yuki dashes towards the designated building.
◇ ◇ ◇
Fumiya had intended to snipe Yuki, but she skilfully used obstacles during the pursuit to break line of sight. He’d had to track her using the trail of her Physical Boost left in the Idea as he’s lost line of sight from the onset.
He considered removing the goggles but it was securing the wig so he couldn’t risk taking them off.
Fumiya has decided to take Yuki out this time and is closing to a range he’ll be able to see her as though her Physical Boost is faster overall as she’s having to conceal herself, which is slowing her down.
Finally, Fumiya tracks her to a vacant building undergoing construction work. He hesitates for a moment to decide whether to wait for the backup or not but decides to go in as it’s unlikely this place was selected by choice, so she likely has an escape route planned.
His mind made up; Fumiya invades the building.
|Fumiya cornered Yuki in a five-storey tenant building, which appeared to have formally been for clothing stores.
Visibility is worse than expected.
Fumiya is sensitive to psions and pushions but is inexperienced at detecting people. Modern Magic tends to focus on altering phenomena, so perception abilities have been neglected, though the Kuroba Family trains them much more than normal magicians do.
The lighting has been removed so Fumiya uses the night vision function in his goggles to move around while searching for psion light. Though psions are easier to misrepresent, they are easier to see than pushions.
Fumiya reaches the stairs back of the floor, which are suspiciously clean, but Fumiya decides to use them anyway as the only other option is the escalator which can be easily tampered with remotely. The thought of stopping never crosses his mind.
He can see nothing.
Something slashes his blade resistant sleeve but doesn’t quiet cut. Before he can find the source, he has to dodge throwing knives aimed at his neck and falls back down the stairs.
He fires the armament device as he falls.
The man attacking dodges, and Fumiya finally realises that the opponent isn’t Yuki.
A katana comes swinging at Fumiya, which is blocked by his armoured glove.
Fumiya then hits the wall and drops the armament device to throw a decorative button from his dress containing a flash grenade.
The flash stuns the attacking man and Fumiya promptly invokes Direct Pain.
The man falls screaming, and Fumiya invokes the spell again to knock the man out with intense pain.
The light from the flash grenade expires.
Smiling bitterly that his father’s silly gimmick worked, Fumiya heads upstairs.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki was hiding on the second floor and sensed Yami was engaging her co-worker.
Yuki’s only part in the plan is to lead Yami into a trap. Her colleagues will take over the rest.
Her feet are heavy as she leaves, filled with guilt of not just troubling her colleagues, but also for both getting two people who aren’t ‘villains who cannot be judged by the law’ involved and killed due to her mistake, and failing to handle it herself.
Yuki leaves the building via a pre-prepared escape route on the second floor.
◇ ◇ ◇
Given how flashy the fight had been, any remaining foes must be aware of Fumiya’s raid, and as such he decided to regroup with his men if he didn’t find Yuki soon.
The decision came too late.
Though the rest of the building is abandoned, part of the second floor has suits and jackets hanging on coat hangers near the space for a tea house near a large window.
The sight surprised Fumiya, who pauses a moment, giving the enemy an opening.
A blow dart hits the hidden choker protecting his neck. In response Fumiya raises a magic barrier and uses his goggles heat source detection mode to find the ninja’s breath. Fumiya then tries to shoot the ninja while shuriken are thrown at him from outside his line of sight, but they dodge. He then shoots at the one throwing shuriken who is exposed but they dodge using Utsusemi no Jutsu, The Technique of the Empty Cicada Shell, which uses trickery and sleight of hand to escape. This doesn’t phase Fumiya however, as the Kuroba also have masters of the technique.
Fumiya takes cover and switches to his CADs as the opposition’s level of skill is too high to hold back. Fumiya readies both offensive and defensive magic and then leaves cover.
Fumiya uses the now persistent barrier to block projectiles while launching his pre-prepared spell, Air Blade, at the row of jackets, shredding both them and the hidden ninja readying his crossbow.
The ninja collapses in a pool of his own blood.
The ninja then self-destructs, a suicide technique for taking out an enemy checking a fallen enemy. The blast scatters sparks which jam the night vision and heat source detection modes in Fumiya’s goggles.
Seven ninjas then launch a coordinated offensive at once.
Fumiya is forced on the defensive, using his barrier and knife for defence, blocking a strike from a tekko-kagi (iron claw weapon) coated in poison. Fumiya’s face is protected from the splattering poison by his face paint.
The weapons locked; Fumiya activates Direct Pain.
The ninja falls screaming.
The other ninjas are agitated by this and attack more ferociously, so fiercely that Fumiya cannot counterattack and is slowly driven back.
Suddenly one of the ninjas screams and collapses to the floor. Three turn to see three men in black suits standing by the stairwell glaring at them. With the number of attackers reduced, Fumiya quickly uses the reduced number of attacks to counterattack, and with three shadowboxing jabs, brings all three down. Simultaneously, the other three are taken out by the men in suits, ending the fight.
After the fight, Kurokawa and another two black suits appear by Fumiya. They had gone around the long way to check for any hidden ninja. The three by the stairs head out to check for more ambushes.
Fumiya thanks them and asks about Hashibami Yuki.
Kurokawa reports she escaped.
Fumiya then gives the order to mobilise against Abousha immediately.
◇ ◇ ◇
On the roof of a building approximately two-hundred meters a single woman is lurking on the rooftop. Her codename is ‘Jane’. One of Abousha’s professional killers who specialises in sniping assassinations with a rifle.
She is taking aim at the sight where Fumiya was ambushed, her target is ‘Yami’. The plan was for the nine ninjas to act as decoys to lure ‘Yami’ into the line of fire and shot them. Caught of guard like this, even an elite of the Ten Master Clans would be helpless to defend themselves.
However, when she tries to fire, her rifle falls apart. And while she’s still stunned in shock she disintegrates.
Behind the closed stairwell door, Shiba Tatsuya turns to leave.
◇ ◇ ◇
Yuki, who had gone straight home has received a call from her partner Wanizuka just before midnight.
Yuki is shocked as she is told the company was hit by ten people, leaving the executives severely injured whilst the president was abducted.
When Wanizuka reports they were led by a girl in a bob cut, Yami, Yuki loses all composure.
Yuki asks about Jane and the others, but Wanizuka can only tell her they cannot be contacted, meaning they likely failed.
Wanizuka asks Yuki’s intentions, pointing out that without the president, Abousha is finished. They discuss running but Yuki states she can only work as a professional killer. Wanizuka confirms Yuki is ok with that and when she confirms, he tells her he might have a new employer lined up.
Yuki states that before they go, she needs to make a distinction. Realising what she means, Wanizuka remains silent, another supporting to stopping her.
|A Friday in the middle of April.
It is raining, but not very heavily. Tatsuya is running home after his morning training with Kokonoe with a speed comparable to a car. The streets are empty, save for a young girl he recognises as the assassin girl from Shibuya last Wednesday.
Tatsuya stops five meters away.
The girl, Hashibami Yuki, calls out his name, and then gives her own. She then states she is here to settle things and will break into his house if he escapes as she pulls a knife.
Tatsuya stats giving off an ominous fighting spirit, so intense it makes Yuki reflexively wince. Scolding herself she forces herself to activate her extraordinary ability and get ready to fight.
Wanizuka objected to Yuki challenging Tatsuya head on but she was convinced.
——On Shiba Tatsuya, popular methods such as surprise attacks and the like will not work.
There is no basis. But she realised. According to her instincts, the absolute best plan for the sake of surviving, was to challenge him to a bout head on.
Yuki charges, clearing the distance in a single bound.
A sharp pain in her hand makes her drop her knife, not feeling the pain until after she realised that she had dropped her knife. She had been hit effortlessly with pinpoint accuracy.
Yuki had predicted this and jams the muzzle of the pocket pistol she had concealed in her other hand into Tatsuya’s side and pulls the trigger.
She misses. Tatsuya had brushed her hand and averted the shots trajectory.
On Shiba Tatsuya, using the popular method of a surprise attack will not work.
It is what Yuki personally believed but having that proved in such a manner fell completely outside of her expectations.
Tatsuya knee kicks her in the abdomen mercilessly, and she falls to the road’s surface. The impact which nearly causes her to black out, but Yuki manages to force herself up.
Tatsuya is still standing where he kicked her.
Yuki fires her second shot right at Tatsuya.
He catches the bullet, his hand moving faster than she can see despite her enhanced perception.
Dumbfounded by the impossible act she just saw Yuki stands up having completely lost her stance. She could not believe what she had seen, so surreal it would not even be put into a manga. Yuki has a basic understanding of magic and has thought magicians, so she knows they are just people. But catching a bullet is impossible for a human.
Tatsuya casually points out it’s easy if you read the trajectory and Yuki refutes that pointing out that bullets don’t fire in a straight line, but Tatsuya points out at this range most of that can be ignored. Yuki counters saying he is not even wearing a glove and Tatsuya responds with a derisive smile.
Yuki throws away her pistol. She has more ammunition, but they appear useless. Yuki pulls out a knife, raising her skirt quite a way up deliberately but it does not faze Tatsuya at all. Yuki then attacks in silence, jumping around while throwing knives at Tatsuya, but he easily dodges them all. Yuki then lands and launches a right-sided spinning kick. Tatsuya grabs her by the ankle and is held in place my inertia control. He then kicks her again in mid-air. As Yuki enters an uncontrolled fall Tatsuya kicks her again sending her flying onto her back.
Yuki realises Tatsuya did it to adjust her landing, so she did not hit her head badly. Tatsuya’s mercy let Yuki confused and Tatsuya emotionlessly states it was because she can no longer stand.
Tatsuya calls Yuki’s name, though she cannot respond.
“Never again show yourself before me.”
Yuki is suddenly assailed by such a strong force even her heart stops beating for a moment.
“Next time, you’ll be erased.”
Yuki understood that was meant literally. As she watches Tatsuya resume his run, she realised he never took a single step in the entire exchange.
Muttering in a trembling voice, Yuki relaxed her arms and lays on the surface of the street in the rain.
◇ ◇ ◇
Five minutes later Fumiya, disguised as Yami arrives with some men, but realises he is too late.
Wanizuka, restrained by Fumiya’s men calls out to check Yuki is ok. She assures him it is just bruises with a look that made it clear she’d resigned herself.
“……It would appear to me that we tried to lay a hand on something that should not be touched.”
Fumiya tells her she realised it too late and signals his men to bring her with them.
Yuki does not resist.
◇ ◇ ◇
When she came to, Yuki was tied to a chair in a room with no window, nor recollection of how she lost consciousness.
After about a minute Fumiya, as Yami and a male attendant in a black suit enter the room.
Fumiya checks on Yuki’s condition and then cuts to the chase.
Abousha has surrendered and submitted to them the moment Morozumi heard who they were. This sets of an alarm bell in Yuki’s mind but she cannot avoid discovering the answer.
“We are the Kuroba Family. A branch family of the Yotsuba Family of the Ten Master Clans.”
Yuki knew the name Yotsuba. Officially they are one of the Ten Master Clans who serve Japan.
As far as Yuki and those of society’s underworld were concerned they were regarded as ‘untouchable’. It was not that you were prohibited from touching them. It was that if you did touch them the demons would return a calamity of destruction. Because they cannot be comprehended, nor could the power they possessed, nor were their identities known, they were an existence to be feared like a superstition.
Fumiya offers Yuki a choice, submit as a vassal, or lose her memory. All of them, even her own name back to the moment of her birth. Only knowledge would remain.
Yuki points out that is not a choice but felt chills when Fumiya did not stop smiling.
She realises she is not an opponent for them. It is not just Shiba Tatsuya. This ‘Yami’ is also a monster.
That night. From the moment she was seen at the murder scene, she had been enthralled by a clan of monsters…
Yuki agrees to submit but attaches a condition. She wants to work for Yami specifically, though even she is unsure why. Fumiya makes a call and tells her it is approved. Yuki now works for him personally. Yuki then asks after Wanizuka and Fumiya tells her he had left the decision in her hands so will remain her partner.
Fumiya and his attendant leave and are replaced but four other men in black suits who release Yuki.
◇ ◇ ◇
After Yuki swore to become Fumiya’s subordinate, she was returned to her apartment.
Abousha has been absorbed in its entirety so Yuki’s daily life does not change, and she remain in her apartment, owned by Abousha but she is now paid by the Kuroba.
It is business as usual for Abousha, with Morozumi going in the very next day after his release and getting back to work despite this going against Yotsuba policy of not influencing the progress of politics no matter how much money is offered. A stance they have had since liberating themselves by usurping the Institute Four. However, should Abousha, a major player in the political field, suddenly disappeared then it would create chaos as others vied for the vacant position. To avoid such chaos, the Kuroba Family would immerse themselves instead, taking a stance of ‘leave it alone for the time being,’ and Abousha was immediately allowed to carry on its assassination business in accordance with that.
There was never any risk of Abousha being reported to the police in the first place, Tatsuya included.
As Wanizuka drives her to the meeting with Fumiya, he informs her that Fumiya is the boss’s son and successor and telling her he has come to Tokyo to meet her. Wanizuka asks her to mind her manners but Yuki makes it clear her boss is Yami specifically though Wanizuka points out that is simply a matter of chain of command.
That the Kuroba Family make use of the ambassador’s official residence like they own it reminds her again of the power of the Yotsuba family and the sheer ominousness of them.
This time the room is set up as a reception room and Yuki seats herself on the sofa.
There is a knock and Wanizuka rushes over to the door and opens it for Fumiya and his aide. Wanizuka prompts Yuki to stand but she does not but Fumiya makes it clear he doesn’t care, soothing the flustered Wanizuka, commenting it’s a bit late to worry about the state of their relationship at this point, given they tired to kill each other.
This leaves Yuki confused as the only people her own age she has fought are Tatsuya and Yami.
The realisation hits and Yuki asks him if he is Yami.
Fumiya explains that is the code name for that disguise and asks her not to use it at other times. Yuki is so shocked she is left speechless until she can squeeze out a single question.
“……You, aren’t you Yami disguising yourself as a man?”
Fumiya’s expression transformed and he lets out a clamouring roar. In this way, Yuki was able to repay Fumiya with a single retort.