And so, the three of them had gathered.
Hamazura decided that they hadn’t completely escaped the danger yet, so they took Fremea Seivelun out of the large vault. Specifically, Accelerator used his power to forcibly break the mechanism holding the vault door closed.
At first, Fremea panicked when she saw the door being forced open from outside, but relief seemed to fill her heart once she saw Hamazura’s face. Finally feeling relief after being in a constant state of nervousness for so long caused Fremea to begin to collapse, but Hamazura caught her. She began to cry, and held him tightly.
“Sorry for butting in so suddenly, but what’s going on around here?” asked Kamijou.
Accelerator leaned on his modernistic cane and frowned in annoyance before speaking.
“So you didn’t come here because you were monitoring the situation?”
“I’m finally back in Academy City after so long and things seemed pretty noisy, so I just decided to check it out.”
“Tch,” #1 clicked his tongue.
Including that disposition towards misfortune, Accelerator just had the difference between their fundamental standpoints reconfirmed for him, but Kamijou couldn’t read that far into what Accelerator was thinking.
Hamazura answered instead.
Kamijou’s face became cloudy as he heard the explanation.
In contrast, Hamazura seemed fairly interested in Kamijou’s right hand, as he kept looking at it.
“So, about that right hand of yours. Can you negate people’s powers with it?”
“Oh, that’s right. With you, it was a fistfight between Level 0s, so you wouldn’t have known.”
“Who gives a fuck?” said Accelerator, interrupting them. “You appeared at a time like this. And you’re active in a part of this world much ‘deeper’ than the scientific darkness we know. What have you gotten yourself into? Why did you return to Academy City now? Does it have to do with this incident?”
“…I think the actions of those Freshmen that attacked you were just a single step in some preparations.”
“Preparations for a fight against a new enemy… No, it’s actually more at the phase where we have to do some investigating to see if World War III really is over and whether or not this enemy really is new.”
Accelerator and Hamazura Shiage’s expressions changed at that.
Just like Kamijou, the two of them had been on the front lines of that war.
“Academy City is making preparations to fight ‘them’. The city is increasing their military preparations, of course, but they’re also fortifying the structure of the city itself and shifting in a direction that’s easier to fight from. You can think of all that as proof of how worried Academy City is about ‘them’… The city has determined that ‘they’ aren’t an enemy that can be taken on in their spare time.”
“Who are ‘they’?” asked Hamazura. “The only enemy of Academy City I can think of is Russia since they started that war, but they aren’t showing any intention of fighting anymore.”
“…This may sound like total bullshit, but will you believe me?”
Kamijou remained silent for a moment, and opened his mouth again once he thought about what to say.
“What if I told you there was a set of laws that could create supernatural phenomena that were completely different from the scientifically developed esper powers used by Academy City?”
Hamazura’s question and Accelerator’s reaction were opposites.
“The people that freely control that different set of laws have created organizations, are doing all sorts of things in the dark side of the world, and are opposed to Academy City… Can you believe that? Can you believe that Academy City isn’t behind every single mysterious phenomenon in the world?”
“Magic, huh?” muttered Accelerator.
Kamijou was surprised he knew that, but he continued on.
“I don’t know the details. Strictly speaking, I’m a resident of Academy City. I know of the people on the ‘outside’, but I’m not a part of them.”
Kamijou started to say more, but he suddenly stopped.
The reason was simple.
A small foot had shot up from behind him and forcefully sunk itself into the area between his legs.
More accurately, it hit him in the model human weak point.
“You just keep prattling on, don’t you? Before you start speaking so self-importantly, don’t you have the important job of bowing your head to those you need to bow down to? Really, how many people do you think you’ve made cry?”
Hamazura and Accelerator looked behind Kamijou.
A small girl was standing there. The blonde-haired girl who looked to be around twelve was accompanied by a large number of men wearing black. The color scheme of her chic blouse, skirt, and stockings made her look a bit like an old piano.
The short girl looked down at Kamijou who was deeply bent over, and told him, “I’ll explain the rest. You spend the time thinking up excuses you can give to the girls you made cry.”
“Th-these people are… th-the people who pulled me out of the Arctic Ocean… Actually, it’s thanks to those other people over there who had been hidden in Russia, not the small cocky one in the middle.”
“She has an aura like my little sister,” muttered the girl as she pointed at Fremea. She then looked at Hamazura and Accelerator who had heard what Kamijou had said.
“I’m Birdway,” she introduced herself. “Leivinia Birdway of the Dawn-Colored Sunlight. As you can see, I’m the boss of a magic cabal… Welcome to the entrance to a new world, children who have been made ignorant by science.”