Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Wiki

Prologue of Disturbance Chapter (I) is the 21st volume in the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Light Novel series.


A freshman who is a direct descendant of the Ten Master Clans and a childhood friend! The third year part, proudly starts!

March 2097. The Strategic-Class Magic "Synchronized Linear Fusion" is used in the South American continent. In response to it, a storm of unrest that's swept the world, is about to rush in Japan.

Next month. Tatsuya and Miyuki are promoted to their third year at National Magic University First High School. An invitation letter arrives from the Juumonji Family Head, Juumonji Katsuto. An official letter inviting the two to a meeting to discuss how to deal with hostile intent to magicians, gathering the younger generation of the Ten Master Clans, and the 18 Assistant Houses. Inviting Tatsuya, more days of further turbulence are to come.

Chapter 1

It was at 7.00 p.m. , 1st of April 2097, when the news reached Japan.

Tatsuya and the others, who had reached the family home from Okinawa the night before, saw the breaking news when they were at the breakfast table.

It was local time 1700, 3rd of March, in The Santa Cruz area in old Bolivia of South America. The Brazilian army, handicapped by a three month war against the independent armed guerrillas, used the Strategic-Class magic, "Synchronized Linear Fusion".

Tatsuya's face turned grim as he read the words on the screen. While his face did not turn pale, his eyes certainly went cold. While Miyuki and Minami stared on with an uneasy expression, Tatsuya continued to speak with harsh tones in a rare display of emotions.

The Brazilian government says that the only casualties were about a thousand armed guerrillas members. But Tatsuya says that the number is very likely to rise and that it will include civilian casualties as well. Miyuki gets very upset.

Tatsuya tried to comfort Miyuki but she was far too upset. He goes on to explain that it is nearly impossible for the Brazilian government to differentiate between combatants and non-combatants.

Tatsuya then ruffles Miyuki's hair to get her to calm down, she shoots him a tender glare and fixes her hair.

Miyuki has an ominous prophecy that "it will become the time when anyone could use Strategic-Class Magic".

◊ ◊ ◊

Tatsuya and two others went to school even though it was still spring holidays.

Even though he was worried about the news related to the usage of the Strategic-Class Magic, unfortunately this was something they had planned to do beforehand. It was for the meeting for the entrance ceremony, which had its preparations delayed as they had been in Okinawa up until yesterday.

A few days after Azusa and the others had graduated, Tatsuya and the others became third year students, which was also the most advanced grade in the school. The replacements for the student council was, as done in the previous years, determined at October last year but they were, in name and in terms of strength, the top of their batch of high school students.

Tatsuya, Miyuki and Minami entered the student council room one by one, and found out that Izumi, Kasumi and a new first-year student, who was the freshman representative, were already waiting for them in there. As the freshman representative, Mitsuya Shiina, was already acquainted with Izumi and the others, when Tatsuya and the two others entered the room, they were already engaged in the middle of a lively conversation.

Izumi was very happy to see Miyuki.

After greeting everyone else in the room Miyuki turns towards Shiina and introduces herself.

Shiina greeted Miyuki with a big smile while wearing a nervous expression on her face. Her head of fluffy brown hair, not unlike cotton, bounced lightly. However, she was still wearing her headphones. Shiina raised her head and said "Ah..." as she tried to remove her headphones anxiously. However, Miyuki stopped her.

Shiina hung her head in embarrassment.

However nobody blamed Mitsuya for keeping her headphones on in front of the seniors just before she was about to enter school. Everyone present already understood the reasons behind Shiina's headphones.

Shiina was not listening to music or the radio. Her headphones were a type of ear muffs. So instead of simply calling those headphones, it should be called Headphone System: Ear Mural.

Shiina has to wear this thing because she was the kind of person who is unable to stand large sounds.

This "condition" of hers, which came about as her magical power developed, was thought to be a magic sensory ability akin to Mizuki's over-sensitivity to spirit particle emission.

However, compared to Mizuki, she was only able to read physical waves instead of Psions or Pushions waves. As a result, she had no problems in controlling her ability.

While it did not affect her everyday life, it was a huge demerit towards her career as a magician.

In the end, she had to cut off almost every source of sound. However, she was able to continue both her everyday life and career as a magician by wearing ear muffs that will automatically tone down outside sounds that are too large for her and transmit them through the speakers.

Tatsuya comforts Shiina by saying that no one here at 1st High would consider her ear muffs weird in any way. Tatsuya said that so it would make the meeting go more smoothly.

Shiina took this as Tatsuya expressing his concern towards her, and gave an apologetic smile as she lowered her head to bow lightly.

They were all from the Ten Master Clans, but they were of different ages. As they both also live in Tokyo, Shiina was also quite intimate with Kasumi and the others.

Since she was the only one who had a large age gap with all her other siblings in the Mitsuya Family, it was possible that she had more than enough opportunities to interact with Kasumi and the others too.

Shiina then took out a picnic basket from the sports bag at her feet. Shiina opened the lid of the basket to reveal neatly arranged pancake-sandwiches as big as one's palm, each wrapped in wax paper. She offers one to everyone in the room.

◊ ◊ ◊

Shiina had been worried that the handmade confections were superfluous. However, it was well-received beyond her expectations, so she strolled out of the school building cheerfully.

Her mind, which had been completely occupied with nervousness and uncertainty prior to her meeting with Miyuki, is now brimming with optimism as she thought, "Didn't that go surprisingly well?"

She might not have needed to be so scared from the start, but no matter how you put it, the student council president was the successor to the Yotsuba Family.

Even though they both belong to the Ten Master Clans, the Yotsuba Family was special. That specialness was what she was frightened of.

Nevertheless, this was why she had been scared about what kind of terrifying magician Miyuki, whom she was meeting for the first time, would be.

However, after exchanging words with her on a personal level, it seems that her impressions of her has missed the mark completely.

She felt an unknown, ominous and intimidating aura emanating from the other Yotsuba, Tatsuya. However, Shiina felt that he would not cause her any harm... as long as she was not their enemy.

Shiina then runs into a course two male student in the hallway.

The young man's name was Saburou Yaguruma. Born with just a two-day difference with Shiina, he was her faithful childhood friend who had been by her side ever since they were born.

Even though the Yaguruma family belonged to the users of Ancient Magic, they have been in service of the Mitsuya Family for three decades now. Every member of the Yaguruma family was serving the Mitsuya Family as their bodyguard and domestic helper.

Saburou was going to become Shiina's personal bodyguard as he had the favorable condition of being the same age as her. However, just before he was accepted into the Magic High School, that arrangement was canceled.

Saburou's magical powers did not develop as much as expected. Shiina and him became students of First Magic High School. However, they were placed in different streams.

The magic system that the Yaguruma Family used was incompatible with Modern Magic. His siblings received their magic education from their grandparents at a rented space in the still-functioning Third Research Institute.

In spite of this, the reason for his to aim for the Magic High School was such that he could get closer to Shiina and protect her.

In the end, even though Saburou was not assigned the role of Shiina's bodyguard, he managed to go to the same high school as Shiina.

Saburou asks her how the meeting went.

Shiina remarks that everything went better than expected.

Saburou was not concerned (or rather, wary) about Miyuki, but Tatsuya. No matter what, Shiina was a girl, and a beautiful one at that.

Shiina mentions that he is dangerous and that it would be best if she wasn't alone with him.

Saburou was still concerned but Shiina just laughs at his over-protectiveness.

◊ ◊ ◊

Tatsuya ordered Pixie to open up the news about the usage of "Synchronized Linear Fusion" on the monitor during their late lunch.

Everyone except Tatsuya put down their chopsticks reflexively. "No matter which news channel it is, they are all reporting the same thing." Pixie said, using the speakers in her robot body instead of telepathy through Parasite.

The latest information of the casualties, as reported by the news caster, was roughly nine thousand dead, and roughly three thousand injured. It was a lot more than what had been reported this morning.

Tatsuya did not know what is the structure of the spell, "Synchronized Linear Fusion". However, he understood what sort of effect it would have.

Heavy Metal Burst, Leviathan, Tuman Bomba, Zemlya ármiya: Army of Terra, Thunderclap Tower, Abyss, Synchronized Linear Fusion, 'Agni - Down-burst, Ozone Circle, and Bahamut. Within the ten types of Strategic Class Magics used by the thirteen Apostles, the only one which had effects unknown to him was the Tuman Bomba, used by Igor Andreevich Bezobrazov from the Soviet Union. The invocation appearances and effects, or even the magician behind it of the others were already known.

In Synchronized Linear Fusion, hydrogen plasma clouds, separated horizontally by dozens of kilometers, are accelerated towards each other from dozens of kilometers away. After that, nuclear fusion was achieved by colliding the plasma clouds into each other at the space above the target located in the middle, resulting in heat and shock waves that will then destroy the targeted area.

To obtain destructive power comparable to that of a strategic nuclear weapon, each of the innumerable protons that make up the plasma cloud has to collide with each other at around the same time. Even though it was unclear as to how the magician managed to handle these minute operations, which could be said to be the core of the spell, the effects were the same as a pure hydrogen nuclear bomb. The explosion power was inversely proportional to the distance to the hypo-center. In other words, the killing power will fall off very sharply at a distance from the point where the plasma clouds collide.

Nevertheless, in spite of that, the number of deaths has overwhelmingly exceeded the number of the injured in this battle.

This battle happened in the Santa Cruz area of Old Bolivia. It was an area in the middle of the swamp embroiled in the global regional conflict known as the Third World War, that had once been included within Brazilian border, but now has been largely controlled by the independent armed guerrillas.

However, it is conceivable how this might expand into labeling magicians in general to be enemies of humanity.

Izumi asked Miyuki about Honoka's condition.

Honoka was on sick leave today because she had a fever when she returned to Tokyo from Kumejima but that was just a matter of time since she did wander around with just a swimsuit when she was at Okinawa, Nankoku.

Miyuki says that she should be better by tomorrow and that they shouldn't go visit her today. Miyuki's has a hidden reason for not visiting her concerning Tatsuya.

Miyuki then says that if she isn't better by tomorrow that they will all go visit her.

◊ ◊ ◊

Though Miyuki managed to forget the shock of the carnage left by the use of Synchronized Linear Fusion, it wasn't so simple for those who aren't magicians to feel the same; viewing them as dangerous beings.

The anti-Magician movement currently can be seen to be a way for the public to vent their anger. However, even though there was fear towards the power that is known as magic, magicians are tightly controlled by the government. Nonetheless the acknowledgment of the use of Strategic-Class Magic by the government only aggravated the fear in people who can't use magic.

The Japanese government never clarified any details regarding attack that destroyed the Navel Base of the Great Asian Union at the end of October in 2095. Even so other countries were pressing for an official answer through diplomatic channels, or when there were requests from the mass media to disclose information, the government declined and simply states that it's a "national security secret".

Though it's clear to everyone that Strategic-Class Magic was used in the the large scale destruction, the Japanese government doesn't acknowledge the detail at all. Obviously it was meant to cover up the existence of the trump card of the Japanese military, Strategic-Class Magician Ooguro Ryuuya. There was also the need to avoid justifying the use of magic for mass killing and large scale destruction in the battlefield. If they started acknowledging this then there'd be a high chance that other countries would respond by attacking with Strategic-Class Magic.

As such even as a secret that can't be used openly, only under dire situations such as the one on October 31st, 2095 would a similar decision be made with great difficulty.

It's the same problem with weapons of mass destruction that were made open to the public. The official stance is that weapons of mass destruction aren't allowed to be used at a government's own accord. As such it's rare enough for the deployment of Strategic-Class Magicians into combat. Although the Brazilian government treated the deployment of Strategic-Class Magic as any other weapon they didn't state this directly, the fact that they easily acknowledged the use of "Synchronized Linear Fusion" had the same effect of doing just that. It was hard to conceal the use of the magic, and this was one of the reasons, yet it wasn't the determining factor in the public announcement of use of the magic. The Brazilian Armed Forces decided that it was not a taboo to use Strategic-Class Magic as a means to end disputes. This was the effect brought on by their use of "Synchronized Linear Fusion" and their announcement.

In military circles, the incident known as "Scorched Halloween" was unsettled and the psychological barrier of using Strategic-Class Magic still existed, but that was before the barrier was completely destroyed by the current political situation. Everyone who understood this reacted in an even more agitated manner than before.

◊ ◊ ◊

Roswell, New Mexico. USNA. Local time April 1st 3:00 P.M. Japan local time April 2nd 6:00 A.M.

At the Headquarters of STARS, the Magician unit under the direct command of the USNA Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Lina (the High Commander of Stars, Angelina Shields) asks Sylvie if it's an April Fools joke, asking about the riot going on in Mexico to which Sylvie tells her that it's no joke.

Monterrey, Northern Mexico. Local time 9:50 A.M.

A large rebellion occurs, where the state troops that were deployed to suppress it had all but joined the rebels. With no casualties to speak.

(What was known as Mexico is now drawn up and annexed by the USNA. Old Mexico was split into three: Northern Mexico, which encompassed the northern territories from the tropic of cancer, including the Baja California peninsula, Southern Mexico which was centered around Mexico City, and Eastern Mexico, which consists of the territories from the Yucatán Peninsula to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.)

Lina asks Sylvie if the state troops have joined and how come its happened. Sylvie tells her that it looks like the National Guard shouldn't have been deployed alongside the Wiz Guard. Lina comments that it's like adding oil to a fire.

(The Wiz Guard consisting of low ranked Magicians. The National Guard have no magicians among their ranks. The Wiz Guard are domestic troops commanded by the federal government, consisting of low ranked Magicians who failed to be STARS candidates.)

Both organizations are completely different in terms of their composition such that they wouldn't get along. In addition to that, the Wiz Guard comprise completely of magicians. This left space for suspicions that the government was intentionally aggravating the situation further.

Lina asks Sylvie who the hell made such an order to which Sylvie didn't understand what she meant. Sylvie told her that the group of soldiers who abandoned their mission and joined the rebellion probably resented magicians, and are most likely sympathizers for the anti-Magician Movement. Though they were hoping to suppressing this rebellion peacefully, they at least managed to establish a channel of communication with the rebels to some extent. Lina saying that the Wiz Guard butted in and were trying to apply tougher measures against the rioters. (The name, Wiz Guard is an abbreviation of "Wizard Guard", and the word "wizards" itself carried the nuance of "kind sage".) It's mentioned that it was expected that there was opposition against the Wiz Guard's suggestion, that when they suggested using tougher measures to deal with the rebels, not only the anti-Magician movement but even the locals joined the rebellion. Leaving the administration region of Monterrey in the hands of the rebels.

There is a one-hour difference between Roswell and Monterrey. Since it was now 4:00 P.M. in Monterrey, six hours had past since the rebellion started. The state troops and the Wiz Guard weren't deployed immediately after the rebellion started and it took them five to six hours just to reach the region, leaving just an hours worth that its been occupied.

Lina asked Sylvie with a sorrowful expression if the Joint Chiefs of Staff have asked for the rebellion to be suppressed. Though Sylvie responds saying that they haven't and wouldn't expect such a reckless order. Lina's stern and stiff expression softened upon hearing the response. (STARS don't play the role of the police. While they are responsible for taking out traitorous magicians within the country, most of the time they deal with foreign magicians.) Lina thought that the chances of being ordered to suppress the rebellion were low enough which relieved her in the fact that she wouldn't have to harm any USNA citizens.

At that moment her relief ended when Sylvie told her the orders had just come in from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to rescue the Wiz Guard, who were surrounded by the rebels; to restrain from harming any citizens, including the rebels. To which Lina remarks "Easier said than done...", though that she's still thankful the citizens won't be harmed. (She wouldn't like to point her gun at Americans as an American, though they were originally Mexicans, but now they are Americans; she understood that this would greatly increase the difficulty of the mission. Sylvie tells Lina that Commander Walker wants to discuss the personnel selection for the mission. (Colonel Paul Walker is the Commander of this base, though Lina is the High Commander of STARS, Commander Walker wasn't a magician, and his job was the oversee the operations of STARS.)

Lina asks where to meet him, to which Sylvie tells her the Command Center and that Major Canopus is on his way. (Canopus is the Leader of the STARS First Unit, and the Second-in-Command after Lina. Lina tells her to inform them that she'll be there in five minutes.)

(While her abilities as a magician are unparalleled, she lacks certain skills and experience, so Lina mostly hands military operations over to Canopus. To be honest with herself she isn't able to make any decisions without Canopus by her side when it comes to important situations such as what's going on.)

Sylvie left the room as Lina went to change her clothes because her combat uniform was dirty from training and all that she had left on was a tank top, thus Lina hurriedly continued to change her clothes.

◊ ◊ ◊

Berlin, the capital city of the Federal Republic of Germany. Local time April 3rd 10:30 A.M.

As an intense confrontation between anti-magician and pro-magician goes on between students at the University of Berlin, Professor Carla Schmidt watches from her research laboratory.

She receives a call from Professor McCloud (William McCloud, United Kingdom Strategic-Class Magician). He wishes her a good morning and asks how she's feeling today. She thanks him for his concern and the help he'd given her, which has allowed for her physical body to be healthy (Though McCloud isn't a Professor at a University anymore, he's well known by other Universities).

(Carla Schmidt and William McCloud are both Strategic-Class Magicians, and one of the "Thirteen Apostles"; where after Scorched Halloween on October 31st, 2095 that the value of Strategic-Class Magic has grown. At the strong request of the German federal government, she keeps her position as one of the Thirteen Apostles and only seeks the peaceful use of magic.)

He goes on to ask her how things are going and that if there are any problems, that she is free to flee to the United Kingdom. He also lets Carla know that it's safe for her to come to the UK because unlike in Germany, they've cracked down on all anti-magician movements. She thanks him for his offer, but says that she feels like she can't up and abandon her home country. McCloud tells her that the offer will always be there if she ever does think about going to the UK.

Outside of the window where her laboratory was located, the conflict between students began.

◊ ◊ ◊

New Soviet Union Black Sea Base, local time April 4th 11:00 A.M. Japan local time April 4th 5:00 P.M.

Igor Andreevich Bezobrazov (Dr. Bezobrazov) is visiting Leonid Kondrachenko as a special guest from Moscow.

Igor is a young man in his forties and the leading expert in magical research at the New Soviet Academy of Sciences who, is also a nationally recognized Strategic-Class Magician, one of the "Thirteen Apostles". Though his public position is that of a scientist, he holds political influence on the same level as that, of the Minister of Defence.

Leonid holds the rank of Major General. He has the authority to freely use personnel and goods at the Black Sea Base. He also has no obligation to obey orders from the base commander who is also a Major General. Leonid reports directly to the Minister of Defence, however he in fact only follows orders given to him by the Prime Minister (The New Soviet Union didn't adopt a Presidential System, but a Parliamentary System with a Federal Government, with a Prime Minister at the top).

Kondrachenko invites him to his private room on the base that has a reception room in his residence which is compatible to that of a international first class hotel suite.

They discuss the riots going on. The topic of a Romanian magician known as "Dracula" is mentioned. It would seem that someone like Kondrachenko who is an expert on illegal activities doesn't even know the magicians real name. There are rumors that the magician is a secret Strategic-Class Magician.

(The Black Sea Base in question is near the Romanian border; the Black Sea Fleet Base and Black Sea Base are separate.)

Kondrachenko explains that the conflict between magicians and non-magicians is spreading among the ordinary soldiers. He explains that since the movement has spread through the USNA and Japan already that one side of the complaints is about dissatisfaction with social disparity between the two sides. That this is a source of energy for the movement, though Kondrachenko remarks that in the New Soviet Union, no social disparity exists. He goes on to explain that a soldier who is not a magician is afraid that, in the near future, that they're will be only magicians active in the military, and they are afraid that their place will disappear. He notes that it is impossible to organize the military alone with magicians, even if magician units are made, it is impossible for magicians to cover all of the front lines as soldiers. He mentions that in order to make soldiers understand, that they'd need the opportunity to actually go to the battlefield.

It's noted that there is no room for them to move troops into Europe. That's when the Far East is mentioned. They know about the Great Asian Union Hong Kong troops-Australian sabotage, and what they were trying to do to Japan. Another part is that they know tensions between the Great Asian Union and Japan have eased. That it's difficult to start up tensions, so they discuss that a strategy proposal could be made to the Kremlin.

◊ ◊ ◊

Saturday, April 6th.

The entrance ceremony for the Magic University was carried out glamorously in Tokyo.

Though for those in the coastal area of the Hokuriku region, were feeling tense due to the fact of a suspicious vessel being seen near Sado the day before.

Five years previously, a similar situation occurred in which Okinawa was invaded by the Great Asian Union, while the New Soviet Union was able to land a small unit on Sado. Even though it was small, they had troops overrunning the garrison stationed on Sado and occupied important facilities on the island. At that time countless civilians lost their lives. Kichijouji's parents whom were members of the magic laboratory on the island were killed. The New Soviet Union continues to deny that troops from their country landed on Sado. Though the New Soviet Union could rejoice, it had nothing to do with the local people.

The soldiers that fought during the invasion engraved into their hearts that they would never again allow an army or armed organization to invade their homeland again; they were now gathering to fulfill that vow.

Among newly organized soldiers, those whom had their families taken from them five years ago were a part of the unit. They all share the same oath and along with them stands Kichijouji who lost his parents.

Masaki and George are among the troops organized and led by Ichijou Gouki. A total of 109 magicians were riding aboard armored vessels belonging to the Ichijou Family's Seabed Resource Mining Company. Unlike armored ships loaded with weapons, these were private vessels that were equipped with modern technology.

Three vessels left port. One would land on Sado, another would head to the suspicious vessel. Pursuit of the vessel couldn't happen because it wasn't in territorial water, however, it also couldn't be captured unless it infringed on the economic interests of Japan.

While on the ship, Masaki asks George if he's feeling fine, and if he's also scared to which George admits that he's a little scared though it's fine.

(It's generally concealed that Tatsuya prevented the destruction of the artificial island; though a summary was released to each of the Ten Master Clans. In the case where each of the Japanese families engage in a battle using magic, that there is an obligation to report such information during the Master Clans Conference regardless of the scale. It is a measure stipulated to keep track of any private abuse of magic. Which was said to be a joint operation between the National Defense Force and the Yotsuba Family. Originally the information was for Family Heads, but Izumi and Kasumi, Shippou Takuma and Mitsuya Shiina hadn't heard about this from their parents. Though Gouki had reported this information to Masaki the day before. After hearing about this Masaki felt more enthusiastic about training, full of fighting spirit).

(A belief that Masaki inherited from Gouki is that they have a duty to protect the people and the national interests of the military. Though as an organization that protects the interests of magicians, unlike ordinary soldiers who protect people in wartime, magicians who follow the Ichijou Family are "friends" who protect the Ichijou Family even during battle).

The ships heading for Sado split into two with one heading south while the other landed on the east bank near Ryotsu Port. The ship carrying Gouki and Masaki continued on to the north. The suspicious vessel was discovered fifty nautical miles north of Sado, away from territorial water. The ship Masaki was on is a private ship, so it has no legal authority for an inspection and seizure of other vessels. Under the guise of terms of war, even though the vessel was unarmed that they would board it.

(Going back to the invasion of Sado, the New Soviet Union after withdrawing left no witnesses. The Japanese side had no POW's, and thus couldn't confirm the identities of the corpses. Thus it couldn't actually be revealed that the New Soviet Union was responsible. Also, despite repelling the invasion troops, the invasion ended in defeat by the Japanese side diplomatically. It's a bitter memory for Gouki. There aren't any specifics. It's just narrated that the incident ended in defeat by the Japanese side when looked at diplomatically (Most likely the reason being that Japan had no solid proof to back up their claim of a New Soviet Union invasion except for unidentifiable corpses).

Gouki and the other troops had boarded the suspicious vessel and saw no movement with there being nothing but silence. The suspicious vessel looked to be a small cargo vessel, though its small size exceeds that of a Destroyer. Gouki called the group of troops that boarded with him, the "Scouting Corps". While on the other ship Masaki was keeping track of what was going on with information he was receiving from a stratospheric camera, and knew that they were in trouble. Masaki asks George what's going on and felt that something bad was going to happen. George tells him that no one could be seen on the uninhabited vessel. That's when propane gas (propane gas has a low limit for exploding, the upper limit only being reached when the concentration rises) was being detected and that it could go off, which is thought to be an incomplete trap at first; Gouki tells everyone to evacuate the vessel. As tensions rose Masaki on the ship is waiting. The next moment was as if there was an explosion from a landmine. The suspicious vessel suffered little damage near the deck, in the front part of the hull. It could be seen that a myriad of magic barriers were being instantaneously activated and that Masaki knew it was his father.

As the smoke clears Masaki is worried about his father with George telling him to wait before moving in.

◊ ◊ ◊

Tomorrow would be April 7th, the day of the entrance ceremony.

Miyuki and Tatsuya were taking care of the various parts of the whole ceremony and the management. It'd been announced that Miyuki is the next Head of the Yotsuba Family and was already feeling anxiety at the need to greet guests while being known as a Yotsuba magician. Tatsuya intended to let Miyuki go and rest early because of the burden she'd be facing the next day. That's when Tatsuya received confidential email that contained a report.

Miyuki entered the living room to sit on the sofa with him and Tatsuya told Minami to close the windows since indoors there was high acoustic insulation.

What's written is that the Ichijou Family Head, Ichijou Gouki was caught in a trap set by the enemy. That he's in a state of unconsciousness with no physical injuries. It's presumed that he's paralyzed. This all occurred when he tried to seize a ship of unknown nationality where he was exposed to a powerful explosion. He deployed a four-directional barrier magic to be able to protect more than 100 people.

The Ichijou who not only have superior magical power are forced to concentrate their strength on the western half of the Hokuriku and Tohoku regions while the National Defense Force concentrate their strength on northern Kysushu, Okinawa, and Hokkaido. Due in part to the Ichijou Family Head not being able to move, that there is a large hole in the defense of the regions. Thus the Ichinokura and Isshiki have stepped up to help.

Tsukuba Yuuka is studying the phenomenon in which the function of the Magic Calculation Area is impaired due to excessive use of magic through the overheating of the Magic Calculation Area. Maya is actively supporting the research, due in part because the overheating of the Magic Calculation Area is a phenomenon that threatens not only one's use of magic but also their life as a magician.

Tatsuya knows that Honami lost her life because her Magic Calculation Area overheated. Though she isn't the only person known to be a victim of such an occurrence, but that in the Yotsuba Family there have been several others including Yotsuba Genzou in which their Magic Calculation Area overheated. The development of a therapy has still been continued from when he was the Family Head.

Not only with the Yotsuba Family, but it's known that the magic technique which happens to be the real trump card of the Juumonji Family is the cause of the overheating of the Magic Calculation Area; since Juumonji Kazuki lost his magical power due in part to it. The Juumonji Family has studied methods to prevent the overheating.

Magical Researcher other than those in the Yotsuba and Juumonji Families have been studying this condition. The Magic Calculation is a black box that hasn't been elucidated yet in detail. The overheating of the Magic Calculation Area has stopped at the point where the actual existence of it is being debated by others than just the Yotsuba and Juumonji Families.

Though it's still a hypothesis, since it's still a theory, that it's understood what the cause of Ichijou Gouki falling unconscious is (his Magic Calculation Area overheating).

Yuuka is known to be excellent with the use of Mental Interference Magic among the Tsukuba Family. Unlike the magic used by Miya, Mental Design Interference and Miyuki's Cocytus; Pledge is a magic that limits the function of the mind. If Yuuka is skilled enough with this magic, she may be able to promote the recovery of the Magic Calculation Area in the unconscious area of the mind. Though it's not like the theory doesn't have any ground as an idea by Maya.

Tatsuya deduces that he'll be given more tasks in near future. Miyuki is shocked and says that it would hinder his Guardian duty, but Tatsuya remarks that his current status isn't that of a Guardian anymore since his engagement to Miyuki.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Yotsuba Family weren't the only one's who knew about the Head of the Ichijou Family falling into the enemy strategy. Though the Ichijou tried to hide the news, it had spread within a day among the 28 Houses. Though there was a difference in the accuracy of the information even among the Ten Master Clans.

Mayumi had just returned to her room after being told by her father, Kouichi, the news of what happened to the Ichijou Family Head, when she received a call from Katsuto.

Mayumi apologizes for being late and Katsuto apologizes for calling her at such a late hour, to which she predicted the matter and asks if it has to do with the Ichijou.

(Instead of having each magician having a strong power, the Juumonji Family has fewer people under their control; unlike the situation with the Saegusa Family and the Mitsuya Family who have the same kinds of abilities, those in the Juumonji Family have bodies and abilities orientated towards combat. Thus they tend to lag behind in terms of gathering intelligence. An example would be Katsuto purchasing information from the Saegusa Family with his personal connections).

Mayumi starts things off by saying that she had just heard the story from her father and was asking Katsuto how much he knew. She mentioned that after invading territorial waters, that Ichijou Gouki was seriously injured by an explosion, by the enemy on a vessel of unknown nationality. She went on to say that there were no physical injuries to Gouki, but that he has a condition that he can't be woken up from that is presumed to be a symptom from the overuse of magic.

After Katsuto asks if it is from the overuse of magic his face stiffened and was asked by Mayumi what's up before saying that it's nothing (it's greatly assumed that Katsuto knows what happened with Gouki).

It's mentioned that after analytical studying by a stratospheric platform sensor, that a large amount of oxygen and hydrogen gas, a mixture of the gases exploded. Katsuto deduced that it's possible to have been Igor Andreevich Bezobrazov, the Strategic-Class Magician that uses Tuman Bomba; though Mayumi dismisses it by saying Katsuto is just overthinking things.

Mayumi mentions that her older brother wants to talk with Katsuto. He asks where he should meet up with Tomokazu and that she should let him know after contacting him the next afternoon instead of the next night. He thanks her for providing him with information about the Ichijou.

Chapter 2

April 7th, 2097 A.D.

On the same day, all nine National Magic University Affiliated High Schools hold their Entrance Ceremonies.

In the Student Council Room Tatsuya, Miyuki and Minami are preparing for the entrance ceremony two hours before the ceremony. Meanwhile Mikihiko, Izumi, Kasumi and Mitsuya Shiina were just entering the reception room of the auditorium.

Later on Miyuki along with Tatsuya and Minami go to greet everyone and each one another greets one another with the usual morning pleasantries.

(Mitsuya Shiina is shorter than Kasumi and Izumi, but is taller than Azusa, though their physiques are similar. She has fluffy olive brown hair).

Shiina starts feeling a bit tense when Tatsuya asks her if the boy (Yaguruma Saburou) standing outside of the auditorium is her friend. She explains that she and Saburou are childhood friends.

(Tatsuya speculates that Saburou isn't in any kind of romantic relationship with her, but rather an escort chosen for her by the Mitsuya Family. Of course he couldn't say or ask anything more without getting into the internal circumstances of a member from the Ten Master Clans, thus leaving him without anymore knowledge to gain on the matter).

Tatsuya says that neither the dining room nor the cafe was open before the Entrance Ceremony and that the auditorium wouldn't open for another hour when all new students would be entering. Shiina thanks him for his concern and says that Saburou is capable of waiting.

At the last moment Honoka arrives saying she's sorry in an impatient tone. Thus Tatsuya answers that Miyuki was on time and that all the participants were present so now things could begin.

◊ ◊ ◊

The entrance ceremony ended without delay.

Members of the Student Council refrained from going to see new students, parents, and guests. This was even more so true for Miyuki not only because of being the Student Council President, but also because most students knew that she is the next Head of the Yotsuba Family. Miyuki's face is well known from the Nine Schools Competitions.

(She was conscious of her direct lineage to the Yotsuba Family, even with how she looks the new students and parents wouldn't be able to resist looking at her because of her beauty).

Unlike last time when Congressmen Ueno greeted others as a guest, he now stayed sitting.

(For those who are officials for magicians, other than the 28 Houses, the Saegusa Family is seen as one of the twins of the Japanese Magic Community, which is in line with the Yotsuba Family).

Izumi brought Shiina to the Student Council Room to talk where Miyuki and Minami were waiting. Miyuki stood up from the President's chair and moved over to the conference table, where Izumi guided Shiina to in front of Miyuki. After siting down Izumi and Minami sit down beside Miyuki.

Tea is handed to Shiina by the (3H) known as Pixie.

Afterwards Miyuki starts off saying that regarding the customs of the Student Council, that Vice-President Izumi should have already explained them to which Shiina acknowledges as such. Miyuki asks her if she'd like to become a Student Council member to which she accepts.

Miyuki tells her that as a Secretary she'll be starting the next day in the position and to ask Minami for any details.

Minami bows and Shiina thanks them, where Shiina then bows briefly herself. She then asks Miyuki and Minami to just call her "Shiina". Miyuki then goes on to call her Shiina, to Shiina's delight.

◊ ◊ ◊

Following the conversation in the Student Council Room, Tatsuya is cleaning things up in the auditorium after the entrance ceremony. Mikihiko, Honoka and Shizuku were also with him.

After leaving the auditorium, Mikihiko picked up on the fact that someone was using an Ancient Magic called, "Vigilance", which is used for eavesdropping. Tatsuya and Mikihiko are talking about the strength of the magic and the aptitude required to use it. That's when Tatsuya realizes something because he was aware of the identity of the user. They then proceed to go to investigate because there aren't any club activities going on.

◊ ◊ ◊

In the Student Council Room everyone was having tea.

Miyuki picks up on the fact that a Sensory Type Magic was being used to see into the room, and Miyuki remarks to Shiina that it's her childhood friend Saburou. Hearing about this from Miyuki shocks Shiina and when making eye contact becomes panicked. Izumi asks if she's okay. After looking at Miyuki, Izumi understood why Shiina was panicked.

(An explanation of Shiina's earmuffs being able to adjust her oversensitive hearing is given).

Miyuki asks Shiina if Saburou is her bodyguard, to which she says yes, but not exactly one would think of as well. Shiina explains to Miyuki that the Yaguruma Family serve the Mitsuya Family as housekeepers and escort guards, and that Saburou is supposed to be her exclusive bodyguard.

Miyuki tells Shiina that she can't overlook the fact that official school rules were being broken and that not even a member of the Ten Master Clans are allowed to do so. After hearing this Shiina tries to convince Miyuki that Saburou is indeed her bodyguard.

Miyuki quietly asks Shiina after she's calmed down if Saburou is trying to look into what's going on in the Student Council Room because of his desire to keep her safe. Thus Shiina says that it is as she says. She then asks for Saburou to be forgiven.

Miyuki thinks on it and asks Izumi if it's alright to let the situation be, to which Izumi says that this time it's fine with a smile and Shiina thanks her while bowing her head; understanding the meaning behind "this time".

◊ ◊ ◊

Tatsuya and the four of them stopped outside the gymnasium.

Tatsuya asks which direction the magic is coming from and Mikihikio says that the source is coming from the other side of a wall.

◊ ◊ ◊

Saburou pulls back his consciousness from the Student Council Room to the gymnasium where he starts to tell that there's two or three people nearby.

(It's said that a Sensory Type Magic doesn't overwrite Eidos unless it's a type that strengthens one's five senses and is difficult for others to perceive leaving no trace left for others to follow).

Even with his unauthorized use of magic, to see in the Student Council Room by using "Vigilance", Saburou never intended to take on any further risks.

When trying to get away, he's stopped and identifies Tatsuya, a Student Council Officer who's considered to be a super engineer, the key member of the Stellar Furnace experiment, and the fiancée to the next Head of the Yotsuba Family.

As Saburou uses a magic called "Skanda" to try and get away with high speed movement, he's stopped when his magic is invalidated and he becomes paralyzed on the ground. Saburou tries to get back up but his limbs aren't responding to his bodies commands. As he was being approached he was thinking he'd been captured while it was being noted that he still wasn't giving up. Saburou tried to get up again with every ounce of his mind, trying to concentrate when he's stopped again by Tatsuya with Gram Dispersion to the point where his consciousness is drowned out and was slowly swallowed by the darkness.

◊ ◊ ◊

Tatsuya is told that as usual he has no mercy.

Saburou wakes up and isn't surprised that he lost consciousness and was taken to the health office.

◊ ◊ ◊

When he opened his eyes, Saburou was greeted by his childhood friend Shiina. who was tearfully happy he'd woken up. She asks him why he was eavesdropping and Saburou tells her that he was trying to keep her out of danger and safe.

She tells him that she'd told the Student Council President that she'd take responsibility for him. He asks her what she has to take responsibility for and she explains that it's because he used Sensory Type Magic to eavesdrop in on the conversation going on in the Student Council Room by the use of unauthorized magic. He tells her that she doesn't have to take responsibility for him, but she adamantly tells him that she's responsible for advising him, and that if he hadn't done something wrong she wouldn't have to take responsibility.

As things ended, Shiina sprung up and smiled at Saburou with her usual smile.

Chapter 3

The night of April 7th 2097 A.D.

The day of the Entrance Ceremony at First High, Tatsuya went to the 101 IMEB Headquarters. He went to see Kazama and was told by Kazama that he and some others were heading to Hokkaido the next day and depending on the circumstances that the entire Brigade could be sortied to Hokkaido.

The topic about the suspicious vessel and Gouki is mentioned, where the Battalion thinks that the New Soviet Union is aiming to invade Hokkaido. Kazama mentions that if events play out and things go like they did in Yokohama that it'd be sometime before Tatsuya would be contacted to cooperate by lending support remotely.

Basically, it's understood that Tatsuya doesn't use any support from the Battalion. In fact the Battalion uses Tatsuya's power. Fujibayashi brings up the fact that the distance between the military and the Ten Master Clans should be used in this respect. That even the fact that Tatsuya is at the center of the Yotsuba Family now, nothing has changed when things should have.

Kazama remarks that Tatsuya is a precious strength and that there isn't any inconvenience in working together.

A narration of there being an estimated 50 Strategic-Class Magicians in the world and that Japan has two which are indispensable to its defense, hence why keeping a proper distance is needed.

Though Fujibayashi isn't convinced by his words, and this isn't the first time this kind of conversation has started; it's been brought up with Sanada, Yanagi, and Yamanaka countless times, repeatedly.

She says that they're too close to Tatsuya and that this was made clear during the artificial island mission to stop the sabotage. She brings up that Tatsuya may have to pick between the interests of the National Defense Force and the Yotsuba Family.

That's when Kazama mentions that the Yotsuba won't be in a situation where they'll be without the protection of the government, and that Tatsuya understands this; making Kazama say that he doesn't think that Tatsuya will choose a path that leads to confrontation with the government.

That's where Fujibayashi says that only if the interests of the government and military are the same. Going on with an example that if Strategic-Class Magic were to be used in a preemptive strike that doesn't necessarily lead to the profit in the interest of the government. That Material Burst is a weapon with an absolute advantage, though the circumstances for Japan could worsen by destroying the enemy.

A narration of an example is made that in South America, the Brazilian Army overcome the military of all the surrounding countries, so the countries other than Brazil have since collapsed and still can't escape from the constant regional conflict. Thus being the reason why it is said that the wars that went on around the world never ended on the South American continent.

She lastly states that it's more frightening that by deepening their friendship with Tatsuya, it could be misunderstood by the upper echelon of the military that they can use Material Burst at any time since Synchronized Linear Fusion was used; that the psychological barriers to the use of Strategic-Class Magic is coming down more so than before. Wanting that if a distance isn't kept from Tatsuya that individuals who want to use Material Burst will come out.

The outcome leading to Tatsuya possibly mistrusting the National Defense Force, and that if it were to happen that it would be best for them to take the same bad impression as the rest of the National Defense Force would have towards him.

◊ ◊ ◊

Katsuto sits down in a chair at a restaurant in the middle of the city center, where big-name politicians and leading economic figures frequent.

A minute later Tomokazu arrives apologizing for having made Katsuto wait and takes a seat.

Tomokazu asks Katsuto what he thinks about how to deal with the current trend against magicians. Katsuto asks Tomokazu what should be dealt with when coping with anti-magician sentiments.

Tomokazu admits that he ins't similar to his father, Kouichi, when coming up with ideas such as offensive propaganda.

Katsuto asks him if he thinks that the violent offenses against magicians will start to occur in succession now after the Hakone Terrorist Incident.

The both of them admit that they can't readily come up with any ideas to cope with the anti-magician sentiment. While Tomokazu shows a relieved look, at the same moment Katsuto notices that Tomokazu isn't acting and that he's more trustworthy than Kouichi.

The idea of a conference being called, not just of the Ten Master Clans but of more magicians is brought up, to convene a general meeting of Japans Magical Community.

This is when Tomokazu tells Katsuto no, that the idea should be that each House would send a representative and that it would consist of the 28 Houses with those from the younger generation under the age of 30.

The age limit is brought up when discussing Atsuko and Raizou, that Raziou's younger brother whom is his assistant would be eligible to participate.

After agreeing on the terms, Tomokazu relaxes.

◊ ◊ ◊

The day after the entrance ceremony at First High.

The Magic Engineering Course the previous year had been created, however a teacher hadn't been decided to teach the course until just recently. The Stellar Furnace experiment the year before attracted attention.

(The students were given experiments to conduct in class).

◊ ◊ ◊

This year it will be Jennifer Smith who will be teaching Class 3-E this year.

Jennifer asks to briefly talk with Tatsuya because she knows he's busty with his Student Council responsibilities.

Jennifer asks Tatsuya what kind of thesis he's thought of for the Thesis Competition. It's going to be held on Sunday, October 27th; though selection of a school representative is chosen in June.

He tells her that he hasn't decided yet, since he hasn't decided whether to participate in the thesis competition in the first place, but that it is not necessary for him to say yes or no at the moment.

She asks what his topic would be and he tells her that it's related to the idea of a Gravity Control-Type Thermonuclear Fusion Reactor. She tells him to choose a topic other than a Stellar Furnace. His expectations were met at a 50:50. He tells her that he understands and admits that he understands the dangers of the Stellar Furnace, for being an inappropriate topic as the theme for the thesis.

Then she goes on to say, "Is that so? It seems that I've meddled." (Perhaps sensing that he was going to choose such a topic). Though his real intention was different, his excuse worked in convincing her. His reason being that it wasn't because a Stellar Furnace is dangerous, but because it’s the core technology to his design for ESCAPES. It's noted that it would be trouble if other were intimidated or tried to claim a patent.

Tatsuya knows that Kent Smith is Jennifer's son because he is able to view the student roster as a member of the Student Council, and that he's entered the Magic Engineering Course.

She mentions that this year there have been many students who have earned high marks for the course compared to the year before and that the Stellar Furnace experiment helped have new students enter First High who would have otherwise gone to Fourth High.

◊ ◊ ◊

While arriving at the Student Council Room Tatsuya though to himself that objectively his conversation with Jennifer wasn't long. He opened the door to find only Pixie inside.

Pixie's connection to the security system isn't limited to just that of the Student Council Room.

When Tatsuya entered and sat down Pixie had gotten him a cup of coffee and had gone to sit down when Izumi and Minami had walked in. By the time the two of them walked in not soon afterwards Miyuki and Honoka arrive after resolving two complaints.

Minami brewed tea for the four people including herself. The only Student Council Officer not present was Shiina who was a bit late.

◊ ◊ ◊

Shiina is not late because she was delayed or anything like that. Today and tomorrow are divided into visits to specialized courses one by one magic experiment and technical.

Class A to D class visits are controlled by the instructor, so it will not be affected because of the length of the classroom after the schedule. While the Course 2 students have no tutor and are free to visit any of the specialized classes.

At First High, it is up to the students to get back to their classrooms.

Shiina was immediately invited to go to the student council room after the end of yesterday's admission, and after talking about the matter she left with Saburou. So her classmates did not have the opportunity to speak to her.

There isn't much of an opportunity to talk with Shiina at lunch either due to the tables being banquet style. And it is also a fact that the cafeteria is too noisy and so everyone has been paying attention and keeping a line of sight on Shiina.

She is this year's new class representative. She is a direct descendant of the Ten Master Clans. They are aware of her background. Faced with these facts both the men and women want to get close to her.

She is also cute and easy to get along with as well as being a beautiful girl. Unlike Miyuki who is an intimidating beauty that most people won't approach. Izumi is an exception but that is probably due to Mayumi’s influence.

As soon as the teacher was done teaching, Shiina rose up to leave, but was immediately surrounded by classmates and had no chance of escaping.

Shiina took notice of what time it was. She has not forgotten that she must go to the student council. But her character is too polite for most people. For someone from the Ten Master Clans it can be said to be very rare. Probably, there is also something to do with having seven older brothers and sisters.

Saburou calls to her from the hallway.

Facing the sudden call from the classroom door of the voice she was puzzled and turned around.

Saburou says that it's time to go to the student council room.

The other students have finally noticed that they have been taking up her time.

Shiina waved goodbye to her classmates, and then quickly left the classroom.

Shiina thanks Saburou for the help and he comments that he is used to the fact that she has always been popular.

◊ ◊ ◊

Saburou leaves and heads to the stairs, his thoughts turn to Shiina. He thinks she is a very cute girl with a great personality and she also treats him very well.

Shiina did not leave any instructions for him. So he decides to head for the roof. Even though he is not actually her bodyguard he will continue to act as her bodyguard regardless. He doesn't need to be near her at all time to monitor, he has ways to monitor her from afar.

Saburou thoughts turn to his own shortcomings as a magician, he is well aware that his magic abilities didn't develop as planned. But he still plans on honing his skills for her sake.

But it is only the possibility that things will work out as he wants. The present Saburou is not allowed to serve Shiina as a bodyguard. So at least he wanted to protect her from the distance, but that idea completely failed yesterday.

The rooftop is an air garden. Today the weather is sunny, there is no wind, even though they just entered April, the evening rooftop is still warm.

On one of the benches, there is a cat-like student there sleeping. It is like in a picture, Saburou is unconsciously fascinated by the beautiful girl. He notices that she is older than him and also a Course 2 student.

Saburou was about to reach out and wake her up so that she doesn't catch a cold but at the same time doesn't want to be accused of peeping at a beauty while she sleeps.

Just as he turned around to leave, the sleeping girl says "Where do you think you're going?"

After seeing her movements and the way she carried herself, Saburou compares her more to a tiger than a cat.

She says that she understands the situation and that she knows he had no ill will intended. Saburou was frozen in place and can't speak properly.

Saburou is very embarrassed. The eyes of the upperclassmen opened wider and her eyes are more beautiful than he imagined. But with just a look she seemed to be able to see everything, almost like having special eyesight.

After thinking about it for a minute Saburou took a guess at her name and asked if she was Chiba Erika.

Erika’s eyes were wide open, and then they turned into an interesting look.

Saburou nervously introduced himself.

After hearing his name Erika seems to recognize it, says that he must be of the kendo-style and that he probably uses short swords.

Saburou confirmed her statements.

Erika's uncomfortably unbiased attitude was starting to give him a headache.

The conversation continues on with Saburou explaining that he is training to help with his bodyguard duties.

Erika was slightly interested in his motivation and mentions that she teaches a similar style to his own at the Chiba Dojo.

Saburou asks in a very confident tone for Erika to teach him.

Erika agrees after hearing more about what Saburou would use her training for.

Erika leads Saburou to the arena where the Kenjutsu Club practices.

Erika greets the Kenjutsu Club president Aizu Ikuo and asks him to borrow one of the practice areas. Aizu is reluctant to grant Erika's request due to her troublesome nature but ends up agreeing.

Erika asks Saburou if he plans on joining any other club, to which he responds that he wasn't planning on it due to "family work". Saburou was afraid he might be forced to join the Kenjutsu Club but the leader was very understanding.

The vice president of the Kenjustu Club approaches and calls him naive. Her name is Saitou Yayoi. Saitou then introduces herself and after a handshake can tell that Saburou has potential.

Erika moves over to the practice area and picked up the bamboo knife hanging on the wall. Saburou does the same but the knife is a bit longer than what he is used to.

Erika and Saburou begin to spar.

Erika has the clear uphand with self-acceleration magic, Saburou can't keep up with her speed or power.

They start to gather a crowd of people watching their match. They are very intrigued by Saburou's use of magic. More specifically his specialized Movement Systematic-type Magic. However it is not enough to beat Erika, he eventually surrenders.

Saburou is not satisfied about losing the match, especially after the incident with the Student council. Erika says that he has a very unique fighting style and implies that he is too obsessed with winning.

Erika then asks him about his hidden power and that if he used it more often he would have had a better chance of winning. Saburou's hidden power is better used for surprise attacks and assassinations. It isn't a power used for protecting others, so he decided to develop his other skills for now.

◊ ◊ ◊

At the Shiba household Tatsuya and Miyuki were having dinner and just so happen to be talking about Saburou and Erika.

Miyuki mentions that she heard about Erika practicing with Saburou in the Student Council Room. She finds it very intriguing that Erika is showing interest in Saburou.

Tatsuya says that Erika must have sensed that Saburou has a special talent. Miyuki asks what kind of special talent he possesses, knowing that Tatsuya had probably analyzed Saburou's power.

Tatsuya explains that part of his Magic Calculation Area is occupied by Movement Systematic-type Magic, and other magic can't freely be used. He feels sympathetic to his situation considering his own.

Minami asks why Chiba-senpai would be interested in such an ability. It is rare for Minami to jump into a conversation between Tatsuya and Miyuki.

Tatsuya continues on to say that with proper training and development it could be a very powerful weapon. He explains that Erika isn't fully aware of his power but with her intuition she probably has a good idea.

At this time, there is a ringing sound that is heard in the house. It wasn't a call or a guest arriving. But a notification that a package or letter has arrived.

Minami goes to check and see what it is. She comes back with a letter that is addressed to Tatsuya-sama and Miyuki-sama.

Tatsuya asks who it was sent by and Minami replies that it was sent by Juumonji Katsuto. Minami was about to hand the letter to Miyuki but was stopped by a look from Miyuki, which confused Minami for a second. Then passed it on to Tatsuya.

Tatsuya is still eating and considers whether or not he should wait to open the letter but due to Miyuki and Minami's eager looks he decides to open the letter.

After reading it Tatsuya explains that it's an invite for Miyuki and himself to attend a meeting to discuss the anti-magician movement.

Miyuki questions why they want to invite them instead of Maya. Tatsuya says that it is a meeting between the younger generation of the twenty-eight families.

Miyuki goes on to say that this doesn't sound like a strategy that Juumonji-senpai would come up with, Miyuki's suspicion causes Tatsuya to smile.

Miyuki questions who might have come up with proposal. Tatsuya states that it was most likely someone from the Saegusa family but that it didn't seem like it was Kouichi.

Tatsuya attempts to hand Miyuki the letter for her to read but she shakes her head and ask Tatsuya what he is going to do.

Tatsuya says that he will go alone and that it would be better if Miyuki didn't come. She doesn't question his judgement. Minami on the other hand wants to know why but doesn't say anything.

The meeting is next Sunday at nine o'clock. The place is Yokohama's Magician Association Kanto Branch.

◊ ◊ ◊

The invitation letter from Katsuto arrived to the Mitsuya Family in Tokyo roughly the time as Tatsuya received his.

(Shiina has six brothers and sisters in total. It's rare for her to be in public exchanges among the 28 Houses. Her older siblings hurriedly responded to the letter, to which Shiina wasn't in the circle of discussion for. The only sibling closest to her in age, is 8 years older. She's accustomed to being treated this way since she's had feeling of alienation since she was small and from being alone).

After dinner was over Shiina went up to her room to relax.

The Mitsuya Family mansion is geographically a little bit of a distance away from the Third Institute, which is still in operation. Though instead of being lazy in her room, she went to the practice area of the mansion since at such a late hour even by car the Third Institute is too far away. The Third Institute while being in operation, is managed by the Mitsuya Family along with the Mikazuki Family. The mansion has the latest magic training equipment that isn't any less inferior than that of the Magic High Schools. The training grounds at the Mitsuya Family mansion are for those who live at the residence. Out of respect to the Mitsuya Family, countless people refrain from training at the grounds and instead go to the Third Institute to train. Thus there are large spans of time when no one uses the training grounds.

It so happens that this night Saburou is also at the training grounds.

Shiina asks him what he's doing here, when Saburou stands up and starts to explain.

He's training to become better in swordsmanship and has been training with the Kenjutsu Club. Practicing certain techniques and trying to become stronger.

While he tried to explain to Shiina with enthusiasm, she wan't interested.

She starts asking him about Erika and his training with her at the club gymnasium. Wondering if he's been going together with Erika to the gymnasium. She goes on that she's not opposed to him being close to Erika, but Saburou goes on to explain that she's misunderstanding things. She asks if he's just been invited to practice.

It's mentioned that Erika's sense of character seems to be different than the rumors that became widespread after the Yokohama Incident.

(It's known that Defense Officials and Security Officials appreciate her contribution as a daughter of the Chiba Family. Though it seems that the Chiba Family is reluctant to use her as the poster girl, including the Family Head, Jouichirou. It's been half jokingly remarked that she's the "secret weapon" of the Chiba Family, the "Phantom Sword Princess of the Chiba". Details from the Yokohama Incident are known among the Ten Master Clans. This information along with the follow-up from Saburou gives Shiina a better understanding of Erika).

(Mayumi is a good friend one of Shiina's sisters. There are individuals who interact with both the Ten Master Clans, the Hundred Families and each other. Although the social circle and networking among girls isn't large, Shiina is able to acquire more information than her father has heard).

Shiina continues on by staring at Saburou with cold eyes.

Saburou tells her that he's only been asking for guidance, to which Shiina asks if she's pretty. Then he tells her that it may be true, but that it has nothing to do with what's going on.

Shiina finishes talking with a "Hmm..." as Saburou tries to continue coming up with excuses while having a desperate expression, all the while Shiina having continued her cold eyes.

◊ ◊ ◊

Even after being promoted to his third year of high school, Tatsuya still tries to go to Yakumo's temple as much as possible every morning.

(After entering high school he would end up being completely beaten, but now wins half the time during matches. Though Tatsuya doesn't believe he's as skilled as Yakumo, they may differ at what they're good at, but when it comes to information gathering, infiltration, and close combat he sees that he's almost as skilled as Yakumo in these respects. When comparing each other, Tatsuya is equal to Yakumo in one-on-one combat when he keeps his line of sight on his opponent during matches and begins with preparation before starting. If they were to ultimately try and kill each other, Tatsuya would win though he'd end up losing a lot in the process; thus there isn't any point in victory to just kill his opponent. Tatsuya isn't Yakumo's disciple but his opponent to train with.)

After losing this morning's match, Tatsuya was about to leave for home when Yakumo stopped him, in order for the two to talk.

After Tatsuya asks what Yakumo creates a sound insulating barrier around the two, though the Magic Sequence that Yakumo used to create it is different from another he knows.

Yakumo got straight down to business by asking if Tatsuya had received an invitation letter from the Juumonji Family and of who would be attending.

(Tatsuya had received the invitation last night and it had only been half a day since then).

Tatsuya tells him that he hasn't gotten permission from the Main House yet, but that he'd be attending alone; to which Yakumo remarks is that it's best that way.

Tatsuya asks if there is anything going on. Yakumo tells him that there doesn't seem to be any plan of direct harm of any kind. While Yakumo was squeezing something, Tatsuya asked him if someone was planning an indirect attack.

(Tatsuya knew that he wouldn't be told the answer but was tying to figure out what).

Yakumo gives him a warning and tells him that there's no intention of any attack and that if there is any kind of danger, that it'll occur after the conference is over.

(Tatsuya thought to himself that if he was going to be attacked that he wouldn't be worried, but did think that it may be necessary to call the Main House for support to strengthen defending Miyuki).

Yakumo tells him that he'd better not think to sweetly, that even though society isn't a monster with fangs or nails, that it can easily eat and kill a person.

After the sudden warning Tatsuya felt like ice water had been poured over his head.

Tatsuya partially answered that he'd keep it all in mind out of reflex without knowing exactly what Yakumo exactly meant.

◊ ◊ ◊

Maya hadn't woken up very early in the morning.

(Due to the spread of flextime, it had become popular for people to work from home. It wasn't like people had to get up early like a salary worker, rather they could relax in the mornings compared to an office worker).

She had woken up half-past eight, and an hour later and had breakfast.

Hayama who was standing nearby told Maya in a gracious tone that they'd received a video mail from Tatsuya.

Maya wonders why Tatsuya would do something like send a video mail early in the morning to which Hayama tells her that it arrived just last night to which Maya wonders if its a matter that needs to be done in a hurry.

She asks to be shown it. Hayama signals the maids to come and clear the dishes and prepare the screen for Maya before being instructed by Hayama to leave.

He locked all the doors to the room himself and flipped a switch to lower a soundproof wall. He inserted a memory card into a stand-alone playback machine that decoded the message. The video mail was was as short as three minutes.

Maya remarked with a "fufufu" and a small laugh that Tatsuya would ask her permission for something so trivial.

Hayama tells her that he thinks its best done this way to which she agrees with. Though she mentions that since he's recognized as her son that she intends to give me a great amount of freedom and wonders if it's been communicated to him.

Hayama tells her that he's afraid that Tatsuya adheres to the natural attitude used by someone who is apart of the Yotsuba Family. He then brings up if she'll grant Tatsuya permission to attend the conference to which Maya says that she'll grant Tatsuya discretion on the matter as her son.

When Hayama remarks that he'll be on his way, Maya tells him to add that in the future, that Tatsuya doesn't need to ask her permission about such things.

◊ ◊ ◊

A letter from the Juumonji Family Head had arrived to the Kudou Family.

Minoru stared at the invitation on the television. It was a weekday and he would be in school, however he'd been home with a fever since the evening of the day before. As the Second High Student Council Vice-President he was busily involved with the entrance ceremony and became fatigued.

Despite being absent, he felt miserable and wondered why he was born unhealthy. He knows that he can't pass responsibility over to others and blames himself. Though he possesses magical power suitable for the Ten Master Clans, he's unable to exert it because of his constitution. Minoru started to think that the quality of his magical power isn't good or suitable for someone who could be a part of the Ten Master Clans. The fact that the Kudou Family fell from the Ten Master Clans spurred on Minoru's self-deprecation. It was irrelevant to Minoru that he lost his status from being a part of the Ten Master Clans. He has no responsibility at all, though as a successor to the Kudou Family he was able to play an active role in the Nine Schools Competition.

(Minoru unconsciously looks down on his brother and sister. Also other than his grandfather and his cousin Kyouko, his brother, sister, and father's magical power is inferior to his own).

(Minoru admires Kyouko as a real older sister who has been searching for a treatment for his body, but there has been no progress to date. He's unable to to participate in discussions that involve the future of the Kudou Family. The conference suggested by the Juumonji Family Head intended for Minoru's older brother, who is seven years older to attend).

His brother is at work and his sister is married with children, thus he was the only one home.

When it came time for lunch, Minoru told the servants he'd be eating in the dinning room and at the table were his brother and sister. When Minoru walked in his brother turned his char and attention to Minoru.

Minoru's brother was greeting him and asked if he was already back.

Then his sister asks how he's feeling and Minoru responds that he's feeling a bit feverish.

His brother says that if Minoru's condition were better that he'd take him to Tokyo with him.

His brother went on to ask him if he's acquainted with the next Head of the Yotsuba Family, that he should greet his friends.

Minoru lowered his head and left the dinning room.

His brothers thoughts were transparent to him. That since the Kudou Family lost their status of being one of the Ten Master Clans, that having the Yotsuba Family on their side would help them to revive their power. For that reason his brother thought he could use Minoru.

Apart from the childish plot, Minoru had a sense of nostalgia remembering when he met the brother and sister from the Yotsuba Family the previous Autumn; when he was guiding them through Nara and searching for the foreign magician known as Zhou Gongjin. Along with the fact that he helped confront Zhou and stop him from running away.

Minoru then felt a bit embarrassed after reminiscing of his good memory where Minami was taking care of him at the hotel. He feels envious to have friends like Tatsuya, Miyuki and Minami.

Not being tempted by his brothers desperation, Minoru starts thinking about reuniting with the Tatsuya, Miyuki and Minami in Tokyo.

◊ ◊ ◊

Masaki learned about an invitation after he got home from school.

When he arrived home he went to visit where his father was sleeping.

(Ichijou Gouki fell into a debilitating state of unknown origin the on the day before yesterday. There was no trauma or abnormalities found in his bones or internal organs, hence he was recuperating at home since the hospital didn't know how to treat him. Gouki has been sleeping for abnormally long periods of time).

Masaki asks his father if he's awake and okay. Masaki raised the electric bed Gouki was on, putting him in a leaning position. His father had regained strength in his limbs.

While awake Gouki has been making use of the time when he is awake. Normally he would leave things to an aid, however since there are signs of an invasion on Tohoku and Hokuriku he has been preparing by giving instructions from his bed.

Masaki asks his father if the ship that disappeared was from the New Soviet Union.

Gouki responds that it was an unknown ship and that it hasn't been confirmed to be from the New Soviet Union.

It's mentioned that the suspicious ship is still missing and that it could have been scuttled. Then it's mentioned that if there is debris on the ocean floor it can be brought up. Masaki's conversation was cut short when a third-party individual came to see his father.

Yuuka walks into the room and is thanked for coming by Gouki.

Yuuka answers with a welcome, where she says that it seems like Gouki is recovering little by little, and is relieved that he hasn't been exposed to incompetence. Yuuka jokingly says this.

(Gouki was in a weakened state when he was brought to the hospital for treatment. His family was crushed by anxiety where his daughters Akane and Ruri were emotional sometimes crying and his wife Midori was holding up with a high degree of dignity. Even Masaki was trying to suppress his feelings in his heart.)

(It was found surprising that the Yotsuba Family extended a hand to help. Gouki agreed for the proposal for an expert to be sent to treat him. The expert in question is a young woman, Tsukuba Yuuka, who stood in front of Masaki. She is a graduate student who attends the Magic University and has no medical qualifications. Studying the Magic Calculation Area isn't currently a subject of medical science. The purpose of returning a weakened body back to a healthy state is the "treatment" that Yuuka is providing. In the hospital letting unqualified individuals treat him would cause inconveniences.)

Masaki asks his father if he's recovering, where Gouki tells him that he couldn't move his neck the day before last, then the day before that he wasn't able to move his body upright.

Yuuka assures Gouki that he'll recover while keeping a smiling facial expression. Gouki then promises Masaki that he'll recover which relieves Masaki.

Yukka excuses herself and says that she'll come again the next day and leaves the room. One of Gouki's men who were in the room rushed out to guide Yuuka to the entrance.

With only Masaki and Gouki in the room alone, Masaki's smile left his face.

Masaki asks his father if she can be trusted. Gouki tells him that there is no doubt that he is recovering, and that there is no guarantee that it'd improve if nothing were done and that all he can do is believe. Feeling doubtful, Masaki isn't convinced that he can entrust a magician from the Yotsuba Family to treat his father.

In essence the treatment is simply done through the acceptance of Mental Interference Magic used without resistance. That even if Gouki were to safely recover, that nothing couldn't be set up to do harm later on.

Gouki tells Masaki that there is nothing to doubt, that it's a risk that is worth taking.

Gouki points out that there is a envelope addressed to Masaki on a side table, all in order to keep Masaki from falling into more suspicion.

Gouki tells him to open it up. Masaki's expression lightening when he opened it. Gouki asks if it's a letter from Juumonji-dono (Katusto). He then goes on to ask what is written on it. Masaki tells him that it's an invitation.

Gouki wondering for what is told by Masaki that it's about a conference being held next Sunday at the Yokohama Bay Hills Tower, the Yokohama Branch of the Magic Association consisting of those from the 28 Houses under the age of 30 to discuss how to cope with the anti-magician sentiment.

Gouki asks Masaki what he's going to do and Masaki responds saying that he'll reply with a letter.

(Unfortunately for Masaki he's never done an official exchange of letters among those in the Ten Master Clans.)

Out loud Masaki asks what he should write as Gouki looks back at him with his eyes.

◊ ◊ ◊

The Night of April 9th

Katsuto had just gotten home from University when a family member told him a guest was waiting. Katsuto rushed to the reception room without changing.

Having apologized for keeping his guest wait, to which a women wearing a suit stood up and bowed.

She then goes on to apologize for disturbing him and he tells her that if he had known he would have returned sooner. Katsuto recommends she sit back down and the two sit on sofa's at the same time.

She tells him that it's been a while and congratulates him for becoming the successor to the Juumonji Family. He thanks her and says he was hoping to have seen her at the Master Clans Conference back in February.

She mentions that she's been focusing on her military service based on the policy of her family. Bringing up that the Tooyama Family will be left to her younger brother.

She is someone from one of the 18 Assistant Houses, the Tooyama Family. Her name being Tooyama Tsukasa (十山つかさ), though while in the military her name is Tooyama Tsukasa (遠山つかさ). It's nothing but a fraudulent name, but her superior is aware of it. There is a secret agreement that talented members of the Tooyama Family be apart of the Army Intelligence Department, thus hiding her identity to engage in missions for the department.

Katsuto asks if she had been up to anything related to the department earlier in the day to which she remarks no. She smiled while showing no emotion when she answered with a "no".

Tsukasa is turning 24 this year, making her four years older than Katsuto. Though even with such a difference in age it wouldn't be difficult for someone to keep calm who's been educated as a member who's been raised with the number "Ten".

She goes on to tell Katsuto that she's here about the matter about his invitation, that certain circumstances of the Tooyama Family would keep them from attending.

Katsuto tells her that he's sorry to hear that.

By "circumstances of the Tooyama Family" it was meant about the connection between the Tooyama Family and the Defense Forces.

The Tooyama Family are from the Tenth Institute, where the research focus was capital defense and being the final barrier. The development focus of the Juumonji Family was to intercept missiles and mechanized troops, meanwhile the focus of the Tooyama Family is aimed at defense of important facilities and the escorting of dignitaries after breaking through defensive lines. The duty of the Tooyama Family is to protect people during state functions, and due in part to this, they have the strongest relationship with the National Defense Forces among the 28 Houses.

Katsuto asks her for the reason for their absence.

As a result, while participating apart of the Ten Master Clans system, they've never been a member of the Ten Master Clans. The Juumonji Family who are from the same Tenth Institute revealed this fact.

She says that she would like to borrow some wisdom from Katsuto.

He says that even if he were to have wisdom, that he has no tact.

She asks him if there are any others than the Tooyama Family who are going to be absent.

Katsuto mentions that he has already received a letter of apology from the Tanabata Family that they'll be absent from the conference.

Tsukasa asks for what reason and Katsuto shrugs in response.

She brings up if it could be because the next Family Head is attending the University of National Defense.

Katsuto hesitated to answer before saying that she's right.

She goes on to say that the Isshiki Family has a son who also attends the University of National Defense, that it is likely that the Gotou Family who has a son serving in the military will also be absent, and that the Hassaku Family will also be absent from the conference.

She apologizes that the Tooyama Family will also be absent for the same reason.

Katsuto knew of the circumstances behind the Tooyama Family not being able to attend the conference.

Though he did start to feel tired from dealing with Tsukasa. It being a different kind of uncomfortable feeling when he talked with Mayumi, where as Mayumi would show no malice and was inherently a good person.

Tsukasa begins a new topic by asking, "By the way." if the next Head of the Yotsuba Family, Shiba Miyuki along with her fiancée, Shiba Tatsuya if they would be attending the conference.

Katsuto tells her that he hasn't received a reply yet, but that they would probably attend.

She asks him if he's antiquated with them.

He tells her that he was they were his Kohai while he was at First High.

With a sociable smile, her eyes caught Katsuto. Instead of a sharp light her eyes had an abyss.

She asks what kind of people they are like.

He tells her that since they weren't particularly close he doesn't know much details.

She asks if he could tell her what he knows. Adding on that since the Yotsuba Family are secretive. Understanding to an extent that they'll appear during the conference.

From this Katsuto realizes Tsukasa's true aim.

When he thinks about it, although he had found out the purpose behind her excuse, she didn't have to visit to just refuse and say that they'd be absent. She's apart of an organization constantly fighting against society behind the scenes. She's a person who plays an important role. He understood that she came herself to apologize instead of sending a messenger from the Tooyama Family in order to obtain information on magicians from the Yotsuba Family.

Katsuto could ignore her request since he has neither an obligation nor a duty to answer questions asked by Tsukasa.

She asks some questions about Tatsuya, and felt some threat about where Tatsuya's loyalty lies.

Katsuto tells her that Tatsuya has a strict sense of loyalty, not someone with a strong sense of loyalty.

Katsuto mentions that once he makes an alliance, he won't betray others, but if betrayed, he wouldn't hesitate to strike back against the betrayal.

She asks if even against the country, but Katsuto tells her that he isn't someone who would do something that's profitable to another country.

With a sharp gaze from Katsuto directed to Tsukasa.

She says that she hates it. That the Tooyama Family doesn't have a plan to do a thing to the Yotsuba Family.

With a strange expression Tsukasa puts her mouth to the some tea that had become cold.

Chapter 4

USNA Roswell, local time April 10th 4:00 P.M. Japan local time April 11th 7:00 A.M.

Lina had just arrived back to base from her mission that spanned a week to suppress a riot in Old Mexico. When Lina entered the field on the morning of April 2nd, the 2nd (Arcturus), 4th (Vega) and 5th (Rigel) Units of STARS were deployed. Where the skill for political negotiation was needed, Lina was useless when dealing with the National Guard and Wiz Guard. Lina prohibited the use of force when dealing with the riot. The Captain of the 4th Unit (Vega) and Lina aren't on good terms with one another. Lina finished the mission and submitted a report to Base Command after having returned.

Lina headed over to visit Sylvie in her room and knocks on the door. After walking in Lina notices civilian wear and asks if Sylvie is going on a private trip or not. Then Sylvie remarks that no, indeed it isn't a private trip but a covert mission she is being sent on.

Lina tells her that she hasn't heard about the mission and Sylvie tells her that it's not for STARS that is using primarily those of Planetary-Class, but the mission is actually being led by the Intelligence Department thus prompting Lina to ask where she's being sent.

Due to Sylvie being a magician who's exceptional at gathering intelligence she is being sent to Japan to investigate the Strategic-Class Magician responsible for Scorched Halloween (the name of the magic being called the "Great Bomb" a.k.a. Material Burst), has been restarted. The Pentagon hasn't forgotten about the threat of Japan's undisclosed Strategic-Class Magician. The core of the National Defense Intelligence Agency is executing a plan which will be carried out by a unit to construct and secure a network for searching through Japan. This was the go ahead by given for intelligence activities to be carried out against an ally. Their thinking being that even though Synchronized Linear Fusion was used in South America, that there is no guarantee that the "Great Bomb" won't be used in the Pacific this time around.

Lina remarks that the conditions since searching for the Parasites in Japan haven't changed much. Noting that the combat power of Japanese Magicians is abnormal. Lina raises her concern to Sylvie about this bringing up Tatsuya and Miyuki specifically and about the fact that before hand she didn't know that they are members of the Yotsuba. Where Miyuki's magical power is equal to her own though when comparing close combat skills that Tatsuya's are even greater.

After hearing this, with a stiff face Sylvie shows Lina a list of 50 names.

(Thus an explanation about the combat strength of the different classes of STARS and Stardust is given about the First Class Planets, Second Class Planets, Constellations, Planetary-Class and Satellite-Classes.)

Sylvie tells Lina that since she can't withdraw from the mission because they are formal orders, which in turn makes Lina ask her to stay safe and be careful. Lastly, Lina notes that if the order to retreat by the Intelligence Department is given that the Satellite-Class and Stardust will have no chance against the Ten Master Clans; adding that if Sylvie were to ever encounter such a situation to use her name in order to refuse the order.

Since returning from Japan, Lina had been thinking to herself that she hasn't been convinced much about the value that the "Sirius" name carries, that even being raised up as being the "Strongest USNA Magician", whether it be a fictitious name, that all she can probably do is be confident in protecting her subordinates.

◊ ◊ ◊

April 12th, Friday night.

Three days had passed since the new member recruitment week for clubs has begun. It had been a frenzy this year at First High, but no large disputes erupted. It's noted that that two years previously he'd cracked down on those who violated school rules and the year before had done the same to first-years even without the authority to do so. The titles that both Miyuki and Tatsuya have this year are different. It's not about the titles of Student Council President and Secretary, but those of being the next Head of the Yotsuba Family and the son of the current Family Head that the students can't ignore.

At home, after having finished dinner the tranquil silence was broken by a phone call from Maya. Miyuki excuses herself to go and change clothes with the help of Minami and comes back later, all to which Maya thinks nothing of. Tatsuya was originally supposed to report at the Main House at the start of April and thinks about how he'll get from the conference at the Yokohama Bay Hills Tower to the Main House.

Maya having called asks Tatsuya right from the start if the conference has been scheduled for Sunday morning. She brings up that if Tatsuya were to stay too long that it would only become an inconvenience. Maya telling him that it's only natural to pay one's respects to others in the Ten Mater Clans. Where Tatsuya that it would be troublesome if he were pushed for gains by others, where he mentions the eldest son of the Saegusa Family at which Maya reads his concern and nods with a laugh. She mentions that he and Miyuki might be imposed with the leading roles. As Tatsuya was about to end the call, Maya begins on another matter.

She mentions that he will probably be called to serve. Tatsuya asks if it's about a military mission. She comments that she doesn't want to allow for any foreign soldiers to be able to make land in the country. Tatsuya asks if the situation is that bad, at which she remarks that the situation doesn't seem to be that bad; noting curiosity about the firm stance the New Soviet Union is taking. This leads Tatsuya to bring up whether there is a possibility that the New Soviet Union will use Tuman Bomba. Saying this is enough to change Miyuki's and Minami's complexions. This is where Maya says that she thinks that the magic that Ichijou Gouki encountered was Tuman Bomba at a reduced scale. Tatsuya questions about what Tuman Bomba actually does, bringing up the large amount of oxygen gas that was generated and then ignited. He's curious about the mechanism for the magic. He says that if it was used off the coast of Sado that there won't be any hesitation to use it in the La Pérouse Strait. Tatsuya asks Maya if he is being asked to counter it. He mentions to her that he can't use Material Burst since the enemy is at such a close distance. She says that if it's a magic to ignite oxygen gas that it wouldn't be that difficult for him to adjust the power by converting the material, thus limiting the blast to a fine-tuned range. He then asks Maya if he needs to analyze the Strategic-Class Magic Tuman Bomba; where she tells him that it's believed that not even Tatsuya himself can elucidate at just a glance.

They end there conversation and Maya tells Tatsuya that she looks forward to seeing him on Sunday just before ending the call with Tatsuya lowering his head.

Tatsuya after having been standing sat down on the sofa when the visiphone screen blacked out. Miyuki congratulates him for his good work, she was showing him a caring face. She asks whether or not if she should attend the conference where Tatsuya tells her that it'll be fine that she doesn't need to go. Miyuki starts blushing when she starts to try and hold out and grasp one of Tatsuya's hands. This is where he tells Miyuki to calm down. She tries again to extend her hands. Tatsuya nodes to Miyuki that he doesn't mind if she puts her hands with his on his knees. As Miyuki's doing this, she says that she feels her heart beating a lot quicker. She says out loud wondering why she feels the way she does when trying to touch him when in the past she would be comfortable doing such a thing. She tells him that her heart trembles whenever she calls him "Onii-sama". Saying that she's been doing a lot things that have been making her heart feel this way. Tatsuya narrowed his eyes and looked up at Miyuki with his face raised, where Miyuki felt the air fluctuate.

As Tatsuya turned his eyes, he saw Minami rush off to the kitchen with red ears.

◊ ◊ ◊

Friday, April 13th.

During a lecture going on in class, Tatsuya received an emergency message that was displayed on his terminal. Tatsuya leaving class interrupted the other students from their terminals having a face that was asking "What?". Tatsuya headed for the reception room where Sanada was waiting in a suit.

Tatsuya bowed to him instead of saluting, and Sanada had the school staff that were waiting leave reluctantly. Sanada had used magic to create a soundproof field. Tatsuya asks him why he's back from Hokkaido yet, Sanada tells him that he's back in a hurry to borrow Tatsuya's strength. With his usual expression, Sanada being in a rush doesn't waste any time in having Tatsuya come with him.

They leave to Kasumigaura by helicopter via the Tachikawa Base. After having left school an hour before, they had arrived to the command room of the 101st Brigade Headquarters building. Like the observation room at Tsushima Fortress, the room was equipped with equipment that produces a field of vision that shows the third-dimension of processing the information of the reconnaissance satellite and the stratospheric camera.

Tatsuya sits down in a chair holding Third-Eye. The goggles he put on were connected to Third-Eye just like the helmets of the Mobile Suits can be. Due to the seal not being released, Tatsuya couldn't use Material Burst, however he could use magic from an exceptionally long distance at any time. Though Third Eye is meant for the use of Material Burst, it's a CAD used for assisting in ultra remote precision aiming. Of course, unless the operator can master it, it's useless for long distances. Only by having the ability to process the information obtained from the reconnaissance satellite or the stratospheric camera in the same way as the information obtained from one's vision could Third Eye be used. By using the Third Eye, it's possible for Tatsuya to reach the hundreds of kilometers away.

After being called "Ooguro Ryuuya" Tatsuya stood up from the chair he was sitting in to listen to the one who was giving him instructions. The person who was giving him instructions wasn't Kazama but rather Major General Saeki Hiromi, the "Silver Fox".

On screen was an image of the La Pérouse Strait captured by the stratospheric camera.

Saeki orders him to first either invalidate the enemy's magic and if that weren't possible to obstruct the vessels of the invading Navy and to avoid sinking vessels if possible.

Sanada followed suit asking Tatsuya if preparation were good after Saeki finished. Thus Tatsuya sat back down while Saeki stood to see a perfect performance.

On the screen were a number of small vessels that turned south from Karafuto. At first glance the vessels looked like fishing boats but were actually shown to be warships thanks to identifying them as such from the on-board sensors on the satellite.

(Thus an explanation of using magic from long distance and identifying the information needed relative to the position tens of thousands of kilometers away is given.)

Tatsuya scrolled across the screen to look for any changes where magic would was about to be used. Identifying the coordinates with the assistance of Third Eye, Tatsuya uses Gram Dispersion to stop the Magic Sequence, however something interrupts the use of Gram Dispersion.

Thus Tatsuya starts thinking if it could be that Magic Sequences are being duplicated. He then changes his thought to it being that the Magic Sequences are being copied and not duplicated; all the while that the projection coordinates are automatically changing along with the trigger point. He then thinks that it's similar to Loop Casting, while Loop Casting gives the Magic Sequence a start in the Magic Calculation Area, in Eidos the a Magic Sequence can be constructed to target. Moreover, the Magic Sequence in question automatically inputs a different variable than that of the original Magic Sequence, whereas Loop Casting only duplicates the exact same Magic Sequence.

What comes to Tatsuya's mind is that what's going on is a delayed invocation of the Magic Sequence. That when the adjusting for the slight time lag of the Magic Sequence is copied, all of the Magic Sequences are activated at once igniting Oxygen and Hydrogen Gas.

At that moment Tatsuya isn't confident that what he's seeing is all of the mechanics behind Tuman Bomba. Right there deciding not to think about it anymore he switched between using Gram Dispersion to Mist Dispersion:

Event effect modification, water decomposition. Separation into hydrogen and oxygen. Combustion of oxygen and hydrogen gas, and oxygen bonds. Synthesis of water. It's clear that the Magic Sequence doesn't ignite hydrogen by giving it thermal energy, but directly binds hydrogen and oxygen. Synthesis of water and decomposition of the water. Magic to enforce the opposite event modification causing an invalidation of each other.

After stopping Tuman Bomba Tatsuya remarks that it's a nasty magic and that he isn't able to think of decisive countermeasures immediately. He proceeds to use Mist Dispersion on the enemy warships (rudders) one after another. The vessels rushing from Karafuto began to show signs of congestion. Finally Tatsuya had stopped a third of the enemy Navy and put Third Eye down on the floor.

◊ ◊ ◊

Vladivostok, New Soviet Academy of Sciences Far East Headquarters.

In the corner of the confidential building with no windows, in a throne sat Igor Andreevich Bezobrazov.

He removed a helmet that covered his face down to his nose while gently shaking his head. Bezobrazzoff uses a magic arithmetic auxiliary super computer as a device to assist the invocation of large magic like a simple CAD.

Magicians who use magic on a large scale can't perform it alone without a conscious effort by computing all the elements each time and providing an optimal starting Magic Sequence.

Even though he couldn't see outside, his line of sight was to the sky in a East-Northeast direction.

The Japanese Forces which had failed started to withdraw. Bezobrazzoff commented that it would still be possible to reverse the situation. Though his plan didn't call for an invasion of Japan. It was an exercise meant to release the dissatisfaction of junior military personnel. There wasn't any plan of a reverse-invasion of Japan like that of the large-scale conflict with the Great Asian Union. As long as he watched there wouldn't be any definitive pursuing made by the Japanese Army all the way to Karafuto.

Bezobrazzoff thought to himself who would be capable of invalidating his magic, which leads him to thinking of the individual responsible for annihilating the Great Asian Union Fleet, the Strategic-Class Magician who uses energy conversion. He was closely approaching the truth.

Chapter 5

Sunday, April 14th.

The conference of the young members of the 28 Houses is being held today.

After Tatsuya came home after his usual training at Yakumo's temple, he ponders about the day before when he decomposed Bezobrazzoff's magic. He thinks about the multiple magic's and calls it Chain-Casting. He notes that unlike Katsuto and Minami who use powerful defensive magic, that he invalidates the magic of others in order to protect others, which is his style.

When coming out of the shower, Tatsuya unconsciously wrapped a towel around his lower body leaving his upper body not covered. Minami was in the room and is blushing red after seeing Tatsuya, and walks out after being told to close the door. She let out a loud sound, and Tatsuya then proceeded to get dressed. Later on outside of the room, Minami blames herself for not noticing Tatsuya and admits all of the fault on herself.

◊ ◊ ◊

After temporarily shelving his thoughts on how to deal with Chain-Casting, Tatsuya changed his mood and headed to the Kanto Branch of the Magic Association in Yokohama. When arriving at the Yokohama Bay Hills Tower, he's greeted by Mayumi, Kasumi, and Izumi; unlike Tomokazu just being at the conference, so were the three as greeters.

He leaves and heads to the floor of the conference room. Tatsuya bumps into Shippou Takuma and Takuma is there representing the Shippou Family. They encounter Masaki and Tatsuya asks how his father is doing. Mutsuzuka Atsuko, the oldest person attending the conference introduces herself to Tatsuya and says, "Shiba Tatsuya-kun. No, Yotsuba Tatsuya-kun." At 9 o' clock the conference starts when Katsuto and Tomokazu walk in.

It was the Saegusa who planned the conference and not the Juumonji. That the intention of the conference is to discuss how to deal with anti-magician sentiment among those between the ages of 20 and 30, including Tatsuya, Masaki, and Takuma.

◊ ◊ ◊

Downstairs as the meeting began Minoru encounters Mayumi, Kasmumi and Izumi and they comment on his looks, all the while remembering him from the Thesis Competition.

◊ ◊ ◊

Kudou Soushi asks about what happened with the Ten Master Clans dealing with the Hakone Terrorist Incident. It's explained that even though it ended with poor results, that the mastermind is dead, but that his body couldn't be collected. Also that there was intervention made by the USNA having sunk the vessels the mastermind was on. It's mentioned that there is no physical evidence that the mastermind is dead and that the police are still investigating. Yatsushiro Takara comments that perhaps that events leading up to not being able to acquire the mastermind could have been avoided.

◊ ◊ ◊

Back downstairs while Mayumi is having tea, she is asked by Minoru about more information on Tatsuya, Miyuki and the Yotsuba to try and build a close relationship with them.

◊ ◊ ◊

As the conference continued, Tomokazu's true aim is brought up. He mentioned the need for magicians to aggressively take measures in increasing their popularity. Having a smile that resembles his fathers, he brought up the need for an idol to sing and dance on television. After Tomokazu said this, a few people mentioned Mayumi and that she would be a good candidate. Tomokazu agreed but also added that there is someone else who is even more beautiful than Mayumi. Someone then mentions the next heir of the Yotsuba family. And most of the people agreed with this decision. Nobody objected besides Tatsuya.

Tatsuya declined the idea and said that everything said or decided at the conference has no authority over the Yotsuba. He also adds that it would be an insult to the magicians that are already working with the public, like policemen etc.... Tatsuya is slowly isolated by the opinions of others.

(As an added note: The reason why nobody supported Tatsuya, was due to the approach of Tomokazu. When it was time for Tatsuya to object, the conversation had already progressed this far and because everyone agreed with Tomokazu up to this point. So most people stayed silent due to this fact, and because they couldn't think of a better solution themselves.)

◊ ◊ ◊

At the Third Institute, which is one of the five Magician Development Research Institutes that is still running, its emphasis is on the improvement of multi-casting where magicians from the military and the Chiba Family train to become more powerful. Shiina is there and is approached by Tooyama Tsukasa and asks where Saburou is and she mentions that he's training at the Chiba Family dojo. Tsukasa asks her about the Yotsuba and asks her if she'd be interested in helping her by getting information where Shiina thinks on it.

◊ ◊ ◊

Things move onto an explanation of Edward Clark (a.k.a. Dr. Clark). He's a Scholar that belongs to the USNA National Science Agency (NSA) who's an expert at working with large-scale information systems. He is the designer of the latest version of the eavesdropping communication system, which is operated by the National Security Agency that happens to also be called Echelon III. It's known that Edward is designer of Echelon III, which no one disputes that he is the central figure in the overall improvement of the Echelon system. Although information about the assembly of Echelon III is treated as confidential information; the number of people that know of this achievement is extremely limited.

Edward is usually involved in further improvement of the information interception system at the personal office given to him at the California Branch of the National Science Agency. He understands that confidential information about Echelon III can't be leaked. He accepts the situation in which no one can know. The information is private. Meaning that neither the Director of the National Science Agency, nor the Director of the National Security Agency, nor the Secretary of Defense, nor the Secretary of State, and not even the President have access. He has free access to information around the world and was able to build such a system without it being noticed by anyone. Clark shares this secret with only a limited number of people; though he admits to intending to share secrets with others, including not being limited to just Americans. He has no intention of betraying the USNA. It can be said that he's a passionate patriot whose loyalty isn't to the government, but to the nation. He's convinced that it's information that takes control of the world. He's also convinced that it's only his homeland and its faithful ally that are qualified to take over the world. In order to guide the world to what he wants, he collects information, selects it, and analyzes it.

He notes how stupid the Japanese are being for isolating Tatsuya after eavesdropping through a terminal in the conference room. He mentions that now would be a great opportunity to get rid of the biggest threat to the USNA.


Click on the images to enlargen them.