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Fifth Magic 3

Page history last edited by drinks 6 years, 10 months ago

Missiles strike down the flying blades of lightning like a storm. 

The hideout a magus uses as her stronghold is the first of her trump cards and her last.

Layers upon layers of defensive spells are laid in one to cut haughty challengers and insolent thieves into pieces.

The old school house is no exception, being tinkered with by master of runes and historical rarity among puppeteers, Aozaki Touko.
Her eccentric touch reflected inside, it slaughters all visitors be they human or inhuman. 

“At least slow her down you fool!”

Touko runs down the hallway while setting off the traps she planted inside.

But, none of those had any effect.

Quality or quantity, ten, twenty runes can’t even stop that girl.
Her outstanding reflexes and prediction acting in synergy with the force of the missiles she holds in both her hands, she more than easily blasts through Touko’s runes along with the walls.

“This is your idea of being a true magus, you simpleton! You are at your peak and blowing things up is all you can do– utterly hopeless!”

The ceiling opens as if on cue with her insult, and runic weighting is cast.

An invisible wall forms in the hallway. 
Atmosphere turned into gelatin in front of her, Aoko stops her running legs and brings her right foot up.

Like bringing the sky down. Her straight kick rips through the atmosphere and continues past, smashing the ceiling, runes and all.

“Right back at you and your perpetual obsessiveness! Runes, runes everywhere, why don’t you learn some restraint?! Who do you think are turning this into a goddamn space fortress! People had precious memories here, so take better care of it!”

While blowing the wooden flooring, the walls that survived decades of wind snow to smithereens, Aoko runs.

The disaster scene was only to be expected. 

Touko’s runes are still only “curses” effective against people, but Aoko’s missiles demonstrate their fury all things indiscriminately. 

“Not even a sliver of grace in you! The thought of you as my sister is– ”
Not nauseating, but it did make Touko want to exchange the blood in her body with someone else’s, but now wasn’t the time to be thinking that. 

The girl chasing after her is not the Aozaki Aoko she knows but a “completed” Aozaki Aoko. Not even a hair’s breadth of complacency could be afforded. 
“Ridiculous. You expect me to believe this is magic!”
Touko does not believe that localized individual time travel is the true nature of the Aozaki magic.
Aoko’s transformation is still only a side effect of her magic. 
She could not gauge if Aoko had arrived at the very depths of the nature of her magic, but she was certain it was not so simple a miracle.
Because the concept of time travel is already included in the second magic.
The revising of records, the rewriting of events falls under the operation of parallel worlds in other words.
For that to now be called the Fifth Magic made no sense. 

“Which leads me to this question, eh. Aoko! Where did those ten years of time come from!” 

“It came from that doofus, got a problem with that!? I’ll return it later, so don’t go bothering me about that, as if you’ve actually got the right to!”

Yes, that’s fine.
While one-sided, the total mass of time in this time axis hasn’t changed.

“And what will you do about those five minutes!? Don’t tell me you will return him to his prior state after you finish me!?” 

Aoko stops in her tracks. 

The contradiction in the Aozaki magic and the contradiction in Aoko’s human nature, they provide Touko with the opportunity to strike back. 

“Yes, exactly. Time manipulation doesn’t permit resurrection. What you did is either a mere temporary reprieve”

The magecraft crests on Touko’s back reveal their true value. 
Receiving the energy from the crests, the greatest mechanism in the hallway materializes.

“Or a graver atrocity!”

Three rune stones appeared.

Their size and the energy imbued in them were on a different magnitude on the ones from before. 
These were the works of the giants of Scandinavia, restored at the Association by Aozaki Touko, replicas of the lost “original runes”.
The three layers of liquid crystal film magnify the inscribed runes ten million-fold. 

These weren’t going to be cancelled by missiles. 
Even if Aoko’s output far exceeded Touko’s own, the colossal rock was several times greater.
With a magecraft attribute that only “discharges mystic energy”, Aoko has no chance of blocking or avoiding this curse! 

“Main, set”

She chants a brief self-hypnosis suggestion, and takes a deep, important breath.
Aoko, not bothering to block or avoid, charges headfirst into the tempest of runes. 

“You, you don’t exist in this time axis do you!?”

Touko confirms her suspicions while running her magecraft crests on full throttle. 
Her runes won’t act on Aoko because even now she is repeating instances of time travel by the seconds.
Either she is sending the impacting runes to a different time, or she is wearing thousands of “herself” over herself. 
Whatever she is doing, there is no way this nonsense, this energy output can continue on! 

“One down!”
She literally kicks the stuffing out of the giant stone.
Two remain. Ten meters away in distance.
Touko has enough remaining power. 
Her crests will be exhausted, but for ten seconds she can continue firing.

And Aoko, if abiding by what is common sense to a magus, should be out of tricks. 
She should not able to perform any more of her preposterous trickery.

But if anything is preposterous, it’s that it was preposterous from the time it was time travel.


The same events as before repeat.
Touko’s concerns at last turned to sheer hatred.
She could care less about the time travelling spells.
The problem is all that mystic power. 
Where was that woman coming up with the energy needed for time travel? 

“Just like I thought. You!” 

Shizuki Soujuurou’s death. 
She returned him to the five minutes before he died, but, then, where did those five minutes go?

Aoko’s magic is not “operation of parallel worlds”; her magic does not rewrite the world itself.
Aoko wound back only “Soujuurou’s five minutes”. But, when her magic expires, naturally he should return to being a corpse.
In the first place, time travel carried out without changing the world can’t change the past.

Which means, if she wishes to save him, she has to either resurrect him, or take those actually existing five minutes and pigeonhole them somewhere far away!

“Two down!”

Aoko’s advance doesn’t stop.

Touko glares in hatred at Aoko from behind her last protection. 

“Answer me Aoko! Where did you put his time! How did you balance out the heat that had been there!?”

“I don’t give a damn! I left his time is the far, far future!”


Five meters left. 

Touko was horrified by the irresponsibility that was coming closer. 

She took the debt incurred in the present and left it in the future!? Even a time paradox is more humane. That enormous, thoughtless consumption of heat must not be allowed. 

Time travel alone required a massive quantity of energy. 
It takes mystic power to bring in things that don’t exist here as well, but likewise, tremendous energy is lost to make what is here “no longer here”. 
And what of the mystic power used in cooling that?
Whether there’s more or less, that threatens to cause the collapse of order.
The distortion created by her magic will eventually affect this entire quadrant.

“You’re, you’re the very epitome of stupidity! Are you trying to dump an even greater debt on the death of the universe hundreds of billion years later, on to the dead end awaiting humanity!? What you’re doing is equivalent to dropping an asteroid on top of this planet, do you know that!? Is that what you want, to crush the planet with your own weight!?”


Aoko's eyes bulge indignantly.

Her legs too forgot their own strength, breaking through the floor. 

“You shut up, I’ll do something about it when the time comes, and next time I’ll send it to the past! Good enough for you!? Only the past will be crushed by the distortion!”

“You call that a solution!? You think that since the present is established it’s acceptable to erase the past!? The only ones who will fine with that are us! How do you plan to deal with the total mass, the debt of the universe!?”

Whether the universe is closed or still expanding, the increase in the amount of consumed heat will become uncontrollable. 
What is waiting at the end of indefinite expansion, indefinite consumption, indefinite growth, is not a future full of hope. 

It will be the nothing before creation. The universe will eventually suffer heat death.

“Your Aozaki magic will only make that end more definite! How will you take responsibility!”

“I don’t need you telling me that! I’ll take responsibility, I’ll do what I can while I’m still alive!”

Two meters left.

The runic spray becomes a heat ray containing Touko’s hatred and penetrates her. 

While her body is being ripped by the heat, Aoko jumps from the ground with stronger emotion, 

“You said you’d take responsibility! And that will involve what precisely!?”

“That…..I’ll start thinking about now of course!”

“You’re the worst!”

The final protection shatters.

The two magi assemble their magecraft at punching distance.
Red runes and blue ether current. 
The missiles become a waterfall and smashing Aozaki Touko together with the crests floating behind her.

Like Alice said.

The battle ended before Soujuurou would arrive.
The wooden school house, which survived decades of weathering, gave a rather easy to understand illustration of their case.

The school entrance with its dislodged door, the hallway making creaking sounds, stairs which look like they give way with a step,

These were transformed into a trail of destruction, a trail that ended deep into the second floor.

At the end of the hallway, in front of the stairs leading to the third floor, Touko lay crumbled on the ground, her back resting against the wall. 

Wounded though she was, she does not move her eyes away from Aoko. 
Internal bleeding, broken bones.

Her frame will no longer move to her satisfaction. 

Her left eye was blown out from the inside, a short circuit caused by Aoko’s jump kick perhaps, and would not open. 

Her breathing is under control despite all of her injuries, maybe as a last act of defiance, 

An act of defiance to her uninjured little sister in front looking down on her. 

“…I thought, I’d last until the roof.” 

Touko gave her non-self mocking, honest thoughts. 

Aoko only stares back coldly. 

There was no change in her blue eyes.

They were cold, merciless eyes, but even so they were irresistibly beautiful. 

Aoko does not come closer to Touko, instead staying several steps away and extending her right arm. Like a marksman finishing the job on his wounded prey. 

The battle was over. 

The magus who came to steal the land under her management is defeated with death. 


Needless silence continued. 

Moonlight seeped through the half-destroy wall, projecting their shadows in the hallway,

The racket that had gone until now was gone. 

The storm of fireworks has passed, leaving only tense coldness to rule over the schoolhouse .

“Any, last words?” 

Aoko asked abruptly. 

Touko thought this over for a while. 

While doing so, she lightly slaps the coat of her pocket, making a bitter-sweet face at the empty sound. 

“…..I thought about having a smoke before the end, but I’ve run out. Japan’s cigarettes shouldn’t be so good.”

Aoko made a small nod of acknowledgement. 

“Truly, last words no normal person could ever make.”

“Hold on, hold on. Not even I want to have my last words be mysterious. As you wish, the loser will act like the pathetic loser she is, so listen good.” 

Touko’s voice was sarcastic, but it contained no hostile intent nor hate for Aoko. 

Probably, what she wanted revenge on wasn’t Aoko herself, but the magus lineage that she and her younger sister were trapped in.

“….I would never have guessed that the Aozaki magic would have had its roots in time travel. I suspect there is more to it than that, but what can I say, I’m not involved. You’re left with a burden the ordinary can’t understand, so treat it preciously. Though, the future doesn’t bode well for you if this is how you are even after ten years. Makes me ask what Alice has been doing.”

“Alice has been more than patient with me, unlike herself, and her verdict was that I’ll always be half-baked as a magus. But, mmmm yes. Maybe I could have put up a good fight with that wolf?”

“Hm? No, he’s out, he’s learned defeat. He’s no longer perfect anymore. He may be more valuable than a greenhorn, but he’ll probably lose sight of what makes him special when faced with magic. By the way, Aoko. Is your magic a means, or a result?”

Was it what came before or what came after? 

Did she need magic to go to a certain place, or was the magic created because she arrived there? 

“The latter. I turned tail and ran right at the front of the door, so I don’t know what gramps’ true motive was.”

“The same circumstances as the First Magic, eh. Karma must have it coming for you. I heard the Second to Fourth were created to reach that place. It’s common for those to hate their own kind. Let’s hope it does not come down to you and the First consuming one another. But, a gate you say. So inheriting magic is similar to inheriting a path, huh. Then, Ymir’s entrance was here wasn’t it?”

“To a Europhile like you, sure. To me, it was something like the Gate of Akasha. You were after that from the start, weren’t you.”

Touko, like she were purging her remaining life, grunted and nodded feebly. 

“….I couldn’t stand having to wait generations for something I so badly wanted and could get, and that’s why I went separate ways with grandfather. My wish for vengeance on the Aozakis couldn’t come before that. But it’s all over anyway. I have nothing else to say. I have one final request. I would like to hear your thoughts on touching the Root.”

Taking a deep breath, Touko said it. Her hateless last words. 

Aoko does not answer and raises her right hand high.
Her grandfather had set a few rules. 

And one of them was that knowledge, impressions concerning the Root must not be leaked. 
But, it was her elder sister’s final request, she should at least tell her what she felt, shouldn’t she? 

…..Once her arm pointing to the sky falls, it’s over.
This decrepit building will become the grave of the person that had been her sister. 

Then, all the more reason to be honest, and besides, Aoko had even less intention of following what her grandfather told her. 

“….To be frank, big sister.” 

Her voice echoes in the azure hall. 

“I honestly didn’t understand it at all.”

Giving her brutally honest impressions, Aoko dropped her right arm like lightning.

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