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Fifth Magic

Page history last edited by drinks 7 years ago







“It looks like you're serious, eh Aoko?”

Touko released her barrier.
And by doing that, their grandfather will be freed and Misaki’s destroyed barrier should repair itself. 
But she made the quick decision that she had to use her crests right here right now if she were to survive. 
Touko’s now usable crests were two times the strength of Aoko’s. 




That threat, Aoko looked at with eyes half-closed. 
As if it weren’t important.
Rather than look to the outside, she was feeling for what was lurking inside her mind, and cautiously caught it. 
It felt like grabbing sea weed. 
It wasn’t fury, wasn’t hard, wasn’t large.
It must have been the heat of the moment. 
She ceased thinking, and holding the grudge inside her in her hand, glared intensely at her enemy.
“Fine, Touko.” 
She spoke faintly, but with more sureness than a scream. 
“I’ll show you real ‘magic’, just like you wanted.”
Focusing her mind on her right arm’s crest which had lost its brilliance, she clearly continued speaking. 



One spell.
A farewell said with deep emotion. 


They were the magic words of the color of blue, for rewinding the time of a certain someone’s happiness. 

When it comes down to it,
Magecraft is human wisdom and the world; magic is the solitude outside, included in neither.

The beginning first changed everything.
The following second acknowledged many.
The resulting third showed the future.
The linking fourth concealed itself.
And the final fifth had already lost its meaning.

Had it only ended at the third, someone had said.

Magecraft is the studying of history.
The works of man, the circle of life of the planet.
But magic is the providence of a god beyond the skies. Why would anyone on this earth call a feat not of man not of the planet a miracle? 
It is an irrefutable crime.
Magic is the enemy of humanity. 
And that is why those who have newly acquired magic are killed by that red shadow. 

“Hear me, Lord of Creation”

Her voice loudly echoed in the winter sky. Cracks ran across the space itself. The creaking of the surrounding landscape invoked images of a collapsing cathedral.

“……”

Should she retreat, should she fight? Touko, trying to keep her cool, awkwardly watched the events unfold. 

Confronted with the source of the many years of bitterness she had continued to chase, she had no way of making rational judgments. 

Their fates were now shaking with uncertainty.
Because of the magic crests behind her and the advantage of terrain, the force at Touko’s command was ten times Aoko’s.
There is no way she could lose. But magic is a different story.
If the Aozaki’s magic is of the same type as the fairy tale monsters of Kuonji Alice, the difference in the level of the practitioners’ ability becomes irrelevant.
It will then become a battle between “magic” and “Aozaki Touko.”
….It would be a hopeless battle.
The uniqueness of magic, its transcendency probably would blow away the likes of skill in magecraft.

“But,”

Touko eyed her sister, wondering could she really use it.
Her declaration had lacked power. 
Shouting loudly she may have been, what was there was only restraint, and not the strength of sacrificing someone.
What it means to carry magic in your body could not be comprehended by Touko the unchosen. 
But the recklessness of changing the world,
The haughtiness of becoming the adversary of the planet – no human mind could carry that burden. 
If she has hesitations, it makes that girl all the more unfit to handle the power of magic!




“Yeah, well”
Making eye contact with Touko, Aoko mumbled to herself self-derisively. 
She can’t dispel her uncertainty. 
The fear in her chest disappearing surely won’t happen.
“But, just because of that,”
Just because of that doesn’t mean she can keep running away from it.
She couldn’t forgive herself if she didn’t go forward because her doubts and fears wouldn’t disappear. 
She closed her eyes, flinging herself at the final step. 






She stops time to shut away the light. 

And then, she submerged herself in her own darkness.

Everything passes while stopped. 

To the vast canal of stars, where everything other than herself has died out.



Suddenly, 
The urge to disappear in the foolishness that came here arose without warning. 





_________________Ah, it’s here again. 

This time, the red figure is coming.





Unintentionally,
_____________I saw a new memory

Probably the result of exchanging__________using someone else as a medium. 
I hear that noise, familiar even though it should be the first time.




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                          Desire nothing.
                          Seek nothing.
It’s crucial to unify to
__________________the scattered consciousness travelling backward to zero.
This noise.
This dribble so tearfully frustrating, 
_____________________________it's not the time to be tearing at the back of the hair from it.
 
My greatest problem is that red specter, and-
                          You must not learn the value of life.
                          You must not think about the preciousness of death.
The noise continues. 
It wasn’t a part of this journey, 
_________________________it was none other than an obstacle from the outside.
But, that noise causing this disarray,
______________________________I finally understood what it was.

(What is this?)

The disgusted whispering was directed at the source of the noise.

Or maybe at whoever was passively listening to that voice.



The red shadow hesitated.
Its hateful eyes looked at me, who brought no answer, no resolve.





You, you wouldn’t–
For that reason, you– 
For that spur of the moment feeling, you would become my prey!


                          That is all there is to you.
                          You have nothing else.

The effect of winding back–the decision to not accept no.

His best time–his all too meaningless life.

She erased it.
Erased that noise that to him was the absolute rule, with greater force.

Like she were brushing away spider webs blocking her way. 

The noise tore, and a different noise rung in the ears. 
                 /I wish for nothing. I want nothing.
An innocent mind heeding to the decision.
                /That is why nothing will be given to me.

An insincere life led by affirmation.

(….It’s too stupid)





My legs which had been going to the future stop.
I changed my path on impulse.
It’s not so much that what’s important changed, but more like I’ve really had it, oh what to say…

(You’re saying this is your past…!)

I won’t feel satisfied until I give someone a piece of my mind!
Maybe it was the source of the voice, or him who was listening to it, or myself who was just letting it happen, or whoever it was that did this to him.

Without finding an answer, I open my closed eyes.


“I tell thee.”
She releases what she drew forth.
Whatever she saw, whatever happened, doesn’t remain in Aoko’s memories.
What is there is only the rage causing her heart to race. 




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Urged on by something even she herself didn’t understand, she opened the lid of her magic. 
The change was dramatic.
The snow by her feed disappeared, and green earth peered through.
It wasn’t from the snow melting, it was from it being rewritten to a different landscape and as if to criticize it, all factors came to erase her actions.

“-------,”
The discharging power wouldn’t tolerate her herself.
As if to say that that miracle would destroy the world. 
The world moved to eliminate her to protect itself. 

“-----,!” 

Her mind vanishes from this plane from the pain burning the cells throughout her body.
But it does not daunt her. 
This pain, this isolation, all of it is to reach the Root in flesh and blood.
From the moment she inherited the magic, she had already overcome the likes of this torment many times. 

“….”


She vies with the nature of the universe, shouting voiceless shouting.
The burden scorches her retinae, her nerves.
Beyond that, she saw light.
What it was she came back for,
What is was she wanted to scream, she at last remembers. 

“In my name representing order (blue), I tell thee”




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The correcting voice tells her to stop.

At the ends of her trance, her hands reach the true nature of magic.

The red shadow is there, rearing its fangs to demonstrate the futility of it all.
So many doubts, so much anger.
But that has nothing to do with her/me. 
The hell with the duty of the magic users, the extinction of humanity. 
I’ve had enough of hearing that. 
There’s only one reason why I’m moving my fingers.
Basically, well, it’s kind of hard saying it, but it’s because I want to save him so much!


(not sane)
“All is right”

A blue tornado swirls up.


The magic user begins her swindling of the world, with doubt-free, sorrowless eyes.

Time turns back.
The primal scene is being rewritten. 







Those were white flowers. 

Ripples of wild flowers whiter than snow erode the world, and then….



(five timeless words)
“The order has fallen”
Like she declared,
The fifth magic showed itself, in this time, in this region, only.







The secluded snowed-in clearing transformed in the blink of an eye.
A sea of white flowers blooming proudly blanketed the open space.
Only the surrounding naked trees and the old school house spoke of this being the same world as before. 
The cold wind as well became warm in this field.

Even the stars returned to fill the nighttime sky. 

The light of stars looking so close you could touch them. 
The solitude of only the buzz of bugs and the whisper of the night, where loneliness and relief become one. 
Scenery free of impurity and grief, where the acts of man have been expunged. 
There was nothing here, but at the same time nothing was needed.
And that, that had been his best time. 




She turned that barren winter land into a spring field
That this was the “magic” mentioned by Aoko stunned Touko.
Not bad in the least, but the “magic” she so wanted to see certainly was not something that was only romantic.
It seems that some large scale spell was deployed, but the surrounding mana was no different than before. 
Disappointing was putting it mildly.
It was mere child’s play compared to Kuonji Alice’s Flat Snark.


The only changes were this flower garden and–

Aoko, whose attire changed.

Although it’s reasonable to assume that her body has been boosted in some fashion, Aoko is not yet a match for Touko no matter what she does. 

“….
“……Yes, this is magic alright, but,” 
Her muttering contained the faint trace of irritation.




“We’re both well past the age of adolescence.
Don’t tell me you’re done?”





Aoko begins walking in the sea of flowers.

Her destination, none other than Touko.
“It’s over. For me and for you.”

Her terseness caused Touko to feel something was off.
It felt different from Aoko’s voice.
It was practically the same, so was it the tone that changed? No, that’s the same too. If there is anything different, then it’s……




“---------!”
And then, Touko noticed one other change.



It hadn’t been only the clearing and Aoko that were different. The dead body cut in half by Aoko’s feet has been repaired. 

Resurrection of the dead?
Healing of wounds?
There’s no indication that such an elaborate spell was applied, but more than anything else, restoring the body would not undo “death”. 

Since times of old, complete resurrection of the dead has not been granted by even magic.

Then how does that account for the breathing of the unconscious youth lying on the ground behind Aoko!? 

(“Resurrection of the dead is the Aozaki magic…..? 
No, it’s something else. It’s not so much as resurrection as it’s……”) 

Before that answer could come out, Touko realized what it was she felt wrong. 

Aoko’s gestures did not match her age.
It wasn’t the slight change in appearance she should have been paying attention to, it was the change inside. 
By the time the improbable conclusion was arrived at, Aoko closed the distance between her and Touko to 10 meters. 




(Turbine, set)
“Circuits, connect”
Her left hand rises as high as her eyes.



The mystic energy being created in Aoko’s body looked–no, you could hear the difference. 
Even Touko has never heard that jarring sound. 
Aoko’s circuits are the low grade, single function ones of mediocre magi.
The amount she generates is much lower than Touko’s.
But that speed is far too abnormal. 
It is clearly faster than the speed of blood flow, and, 

It was one thing for it to be the sound from magecraft, but for there to be noise from simply activating the circuits– that’s unheard of even in the Association!“
“Let there be victory before me.”


Dread spurring her, Touko inscribes runes in the air. 
To protect herself against what magery Aoko will attack with, she put up the protection of Tyr and enhanced it with the power of her seals, making it into a protective barrier.


However, Aoko paid no heed, and without bringing her arm up to aim, 

“Missiles, deploy,”

She made a short command to herself. 







“!!!?” 

She couldn’t see even the start of the magecraft.
The mystic missiles she fired at a word were actually 20 bolts. 

Like shooting stars, they burned through the wall of runes, which could even block rockets, and penetrated Aozaki Touko’s coat.

“Those were deployed, not loaded!?”




The protective rune cast on her coat screams. It will not take another one of those volleys.

Moreover, that hit damaged her circuits for sure. 

She didn’t want to admit it, but in direct fire power, Aozaki Aoko surpassed Aozaki Touko.
What was further harder for her to admit was that that woman wasn’t even serious……!


“Ansuz, Sowelu, Inguz”
“-----!”
Touko draws runes in the air as she jumps away.

The runes change into flame in response to her shouts. 

But.





“Slow!”



Aoko erased them with just one word.

The runes shatter before they take meaning.

The power of her word was simply greater than the mystic power of Touko to turn runes into form. 

Cancelling the runes, Aoko makes her way through the white flower garden. 

Her expression, the stable running of her circuits, even her breathing were different from what they were up until now. 

It was optimized self-control, possible only by those who have great experience in battle. 

“It's time?”

If that was the true nature of the Aozaki magic, then everything would make sense.

Aoko’s circuits were not amplified. 
That can’t be done in the first place, and even if she had attached external hardware as Touko did, only her total capacity and the amount of usable spells would increase. 

Her own talent as a magus, the degree of purity of her circuits won’t change. 

But Aoko was now unquestionably greater than Aozaki Touko as a magus

Then there could be only one answer.

That apprentice developed in an instant into an adept–no, she fast-forwarded her own time.

“---!”
The orange magus turned her back to Aoko and ran.

Her gut told her she had no change there, and she fled into the old school house. 

Aoko did not try to shoot her from behind. 

It wasn’t out of mercy, but the cool-headed judgment that she will miss from this distance. 




Aoko lunges forward determined not to let her escape, but she suddenly stopped like she had something to do. 

……She has some hesitation in saying it. 

She took a small breath,
“Alice, stay with him.”
She said, as if ashamed of her mature voice.

White flowers scatter. 

Without turning around, Aoko ran in pursuit of Touko as her long hair fluttered in the wind.

Fifth Magic 2

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