Mahouka koukou no rettou.., p.1

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei - Volume 07 - Yokohama Disturbance Chapter (II), page 1

 

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei - Volume 07 - Yokohama Disturbance Chapter (II)
 


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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei - Volume 07 - Yokohama Disturbance Chapter (II)


  Magic Blades

  In magic-based combat tactics, apart from using magic as a weapon in itself, there are techniques to magically enhance and manipulate weaponry. Majority of the technique styles are in combination with projectile weapons like guns and bows, but in Japan [Fencing] (fighting using magic and sword arts in tandem) is also in development; both Ancient and Modern magic are working out a specialist branch of magic that should also be called [Magic Blades].

  Koushuuha Blade (High Frequency Blade)

  A cutting magic where a target solid is liquefied at the point of contact due to subjecting the blade to high speed oscillations, oscillations that exceed the bond strengths of molecules in contact with each other. Can be paired with techniques that prevent blade disintegration.

  Heshi-kiri (Crushing Slash)

  A cutting magic where the blade edges, in contrast to slashing attack, generate lateral and vertical repulsion forces, pushing open objects where the blade connects with the object. The blade edges become a black line when seen up front due to the strong light interference at the locations where the forces generate, despite said locations being less than 1 mm in width.

  Douji-giri (Kiddie Slash)

  An Ancient Magic handed down as Genji's legendary secret sword art. A magic blade technique where three blades (two remotely controlled, one hand-held) surround and synchronously cut down an opponent. Its original name [Synchronous Slash] has been concealed as [Kiddie Slash].

  Zantetsu (Iron Cutter)

  The Chiba's secret sword art. Here the blade is not a lump of iron and steel, but a Movement-type magic where a cutting edge has been configured by a magic sequence where the singular notion of [blade] has been defined and moving along with said cutting edge. Where the single notion of [blade] has been defined is like a mono-molecular crystalline blade -- never breaking, never bending, cutting off everything at the edges.

  Jinrai-zantetsu (Thunder Cutter)

  An advanced form of [Zantetsu] wherein a unique arms device [Ikazuchi-maru] is utilized. By defining blade and swordsman together as a single set concept, a series of actions (from enemy contact to actual slashing) is executed in one smooth motion at extreme speed.

  Yamatsunami (Landslide)

  The Chiba's secret sword art which utilizes a unique 180-cm max length weapon [Orochi-maru]. A swordsman reduces his/her own and the blade's inertia then rushes onto an enemy; at the moment of impact, he/she spikes up the suppressed inertia, amplifying the blade's inertia and striking at the enemy. The longer the approach run, the bigger the increase of fabricated inertial mass, maxing out at 10 tons.

  Usuba-kagerou (Thin-winged dragonfly)

  A magic where an extremely thin (5nm thick) carbon nano-tube made sheet is fixed with Fortification magic, hardening the entire plane and turning it to a blade. A blade created by Usuba-kagerou is sharper than any sword and razor, but since the magic sequence does not include support for moving the blade, sword skills and arm strength is required for the caster.

  Chapter 8

  Saturday, October 29, 2095 AD. Although class was still in session, each class was essentially self study. Aside from the practical skills classes, all the other classes were practically self study anyways, though for Course 2 students, half of their Practical Skills class was also self study, so it wasn't like this was any different than usual. —That being said, the typical class wouldn't be as rowdy as this.

  Every so often, an explosion would sound off during Practical Skills, giving off the impression that the "tranquil campus" was blatantly false advertising. Actually, normally there would be some degree of ruckus, but they were usually more organized or settled. The reason for today's insanity was that the entire campus was filled with noise caused by the final examination for the materials required for tomorrow's Thesis Competition.

  However, as one of the primary contributors, Tatsuya was in his classroom quietly doing his homework in front of a terminal.

  Tatsuya was not concentrating on his homework that had no bearing on tomorrow's preparation because he was procrastinating or had been fired.......Strictly speaking, high school students leaving their homework to the last day to work on other preparations should still constitute "procrastinating".

  His responsibilities for the day included verifying the run time conditions during the dress rehearsal and fixing any errors (all other inspections had been completed). Still, since the integral piece that is Suzune hadn't arrived, the dress rehearsal went on hold. Yesterday, he received a message saying that "she'll come to school in the afternoon", so there was no need to worry or be concerned, but that meant he had nothing to do for the Thesis Competition preparation.

  After the end of the first period, just as he was about to relax and stretch, a sound caught his attention from the front.

  Tatsuya didn't turn to Leo, who sat in front of him with his elbows on the back of the chair, but to Erika standing next to him as she called out to him.

  "Tatsuya-kun, when do you enter the conference hall tomorrow?"

  Although Erika tried her utmost to feign disinterest, her effort was dashed by Leo pricking his ears at the conversation.

  These two, what the heck are they planning......? Tatsuya thought with astonishment, but this wasn't anything confidential.

  "We meet at 8 AM before the conference hall and the opening ceremony is at 9 AM. The ceremony lasts 30 minutes, so the official contest starts at 9:30 AM. Each team is allotted 30 minutes, and there will be a 10 minute break in between, with four teams presenting before lunch break from noon to 1 PM. Five teams will present in the afternoon, so the competition will end around 4:10 PM. Afterwards, there will be evaluations and the awards ceremony, so the expected end time will be around 6 PM."

  "......So, when will our school be presenting?"

  Erika was a little dizzy since her first question received such an overwhelming response, but she finally managed to get it straight.

  After failing to thoroughly confound her, Tatsuya simply switched over to an honest answer.

  "First High is second to last and will start at 3 PM."

  "Then don't you have a lot of time?"

  "Indeed. That's why the primary speaker, Ichihara-senpai, is entering the conference hall after noon. Isori-senpai and I will be in early to take care of the equipment and handle any emergencies."

  "Hm~. At any rate, you guys will meet up there. What about the demonstration device?"

  "The Student Council will arrange for a transportation company. Hattori-senpai will ride along."

  "Hattori-senpai, wasn't he going to be Ichihara-senpai's bodyguard?"

  "I heard that Saegusa-senpai and Watanabe-senpai are going to get Ichihara-senpai tomorrow. Speaking of which, why do you want to know?"

  At Tatsuya's unexpected question, Erika fidgeted and could not come up with a reply.

  Sparing a glance at the indecisive Erika, the hitherto silent Leo finally opened his mouth.

  "Well, those bodyguards, could we get in on that?"

  Seeing the blatantly displeased Erika keeping mum, the contents were likely something the two of them had already discussed ahead of time.

  "That shouldn't be a problem...... But why would you want to get involved in such an irksome task?"

  To Tatsuya, this was an obvious line of inquiry, whereas Leo let out an embarrassed smile.

  Tatsuya glanced at Leo, then towards Erika. Leo wore a self-mocking smile as he returned Tatsuya's gaze while Erika sought to dodge Tatsuya's look.

  "I already asked for time off from school to train thi
s guy. Wouldn't I look like a complete moron if everything was handled without giving us a chance to shine?"

  Her eyes elsewhere, Erika added in an unhappy tone. She appeared to be aware of the unpublished incident at the Special Detention Center and was complaining because she estimated that she missed out because of her absence. Unfortunately, even though Erika wanted to use someone like Lu Gonghu to serve as a punching bag to train Leo, that plan seemed doomed.

  "Regardless of your motive, we need all the help we can get. Also, there's no guarantee that nothing will happen."

  "Eh? I thought everything was already settled?"

  Suddenly, Mikihiko jumped in on the conversation as if he had been eavesdropping the entire time.

  There was no need to point out the fact he was listening in on them — if they did, their other friend who was engaged in the same activity may panic and cause a ruckus — so Tatsuya answered the question with this.

  "Is there a rule that states incidents happen singularly and by themselves?"

  Tatsuya did not inform his friends that the chief suspect for the mastermind of this entire incident, Chen Xiangshan, remained at large. Nor did he plan to do so in the future. His answer remained purely theoretical, but Tatsuya believed that was enough at this standpoint.

  "There are people taking aim at the Thesis Competition every year. An example of this would be being ambushed on the way home from the event proper. Even if we handled the incident before the competition begins, that doesn't mean that nothing will occur during the competition itself, correct?"

  "Well...... You're right. Then can I also help with security?"

  After deeply contemplating those words, Mikihiko was suddenly highly motivated as he made his offer, to which Tatsuya nodded with a smile.

  "Then, we're relying on you."

  Even if they handled one hurdle, that doesn't mean they can let down their guard. That was only human nature.

  Yet, strictly based on the results, Tatsuya undoubtedly was dead wrong at this juncture.

  ◊ ◊ ◊

  The day before the Thesis Competition, Suzune asked for the day off from school and pushed the dress rehearsal to the afternoon before arriving at the hospital.

  Hattori tagged along because he was worried that Suzune would run into danger if she ventured alone, hence Mayumi, Mari and Hattori...... At any rate, everyone around her fiercely disagreed, but finally reached the compromise of Hattori accompanying her.

  She lightly knocked twice on the sickroom door.

  "Come in."

  A solemn, feminine voice replied from within the room.

  Hattori remained in the corridor. The one who met Suzune at the door was a resident doctor at the magic university affiliated First High, Yasuyado Satomi. She must have come earlier to visit Chiaki.

  The young girl was sitting in bed with her head bowed. Chiaki didn't even respond to Suzune's arrival.

  "Doctor, does Hirakawa Chiaki have any psychological disorders?"

  Completely out of the blue, Suzune bluntly directed this question to Dr. Yasuyoda.

  "No, there's no sign of psychological trauma that would pose a communication issue. Still, since there's no way to directly diagnose her 'mentality', I cannot say she is entirely healthy."

  "It will be fine so long as she can hear my words."

  Hearing Yasuyoda's response, Suzune rose to her feet. She went around the bed to stand before the window and spoke to Chiaki with her back facing the young girl.

  "Hirakawa Chiaki-san, you are unable to rouse Shiba-kun's interest with your methods."

  Suzune's words were oddly calm. She was coldly pointing out the facts without applying any comfort, encouragement, sarcasm, or ridicule.

  "Favorable impression is of course out of the question, you cannot stir enmity or even hostility. To him, the current you is nothing more than a face in the crowd."

  Most people who heard Suzune's words would accept this simply as the truth. Yet, this was sufficient to bring out her rebuttal.

  "So what!"

  That, was enough. Suzune was able to successfully tap Chiaki's words and emotions that lurked beneath her combative and resistant attitude.

  ......Even if it was 100% negative, this was still a crucial first step.

  "I know that I'm inconsequential to someone like him. I don't need senpai to point out each and every detail!"

  Regardless of whether she was facing Sayaka or Kanon, Chiaki maintained a resistant stance which she also adopted towards Suzune.

  However, Suzune had a different reaction compared to those two.

  "On some level, I believe that your assessment of Shiba-kun is spot on."

  Heedless of Chiaki's screams, Suzune continued on with her back facing Chiaki.

  "True, he is an arrogant person. He couldn't care less how the mortals cry and sue for help. Forget compassion, he would not even waste his time to ridicule the masses. Even when harassed, he would only dispel the irritation like one shoos away a fly."

  Her head lowered, Chiaki bit her lip in frustration. After listening to Suzune's words, she recalled the incidents surrounding recruitment week back in April and more or less understood what she was saying.

  At the time she felt that there was nothing they could do to him aside from harassment, but now many high school students like Chiaki realized they were dead wrong.

  If he desired so, that man could capture any opponent who dared to use magic to try and lay a snare for him.

  The sole reason he refrained was that he simply had no interest in doing so.

  In reality, the level of harm those magic attacks inflicted on him was nothing more than mosquito bites, and she who could not even do that much was lower than even those pests......

  In order to hold back the tears of frustration that seemed to well forth from her heart, Chiaki couldn't help but clench her fists to the point that her nails dug into her palm.

  Ignoring Chiaki's current state — or simply feigning ignorance — Suzune kept her back to the girl as she continued.

  "Hirakawa-san, did you know? During the final examination for the first semester, Shiba-kun received a top score that sowed despair in the hearts of everyone beneath him. Especially in Magic Engineering, where he received an astonishing full marks."

  "......What's your point?"

  "And the one who received Second Place in the Magic Engineering portion of the exam for Year 1 students is you."

  Suzune turned to look at her now. Although her expression remained calm, her eyes were smiling warmly.

  "You scored 92 out of a possible 100. Normally, no one would be surprised if you took First Place with that score."

  "......And what of it?"

  "Unfortunately, you stand no chance of threatening Shiba-kun in any other field. Yet, if restricted solely to Magic Engineering, I believe it is still possible for Hirakawa-san to surpass Shiba-kun."

  Chiaki suddenly lifted her head.

  Her eyes widened at the same time her "disbelief" transformed into a "may be possible" hope.

  "Since three weeks ago, after working alongside him, I noticed that Shiba-kun is much handier with software compared to hardware. Of course, his hardware abilities far exceed those of a high school student, but are certainly not so advanced that the gulf can't be bridged. Although Magic Engineering in Year 1 focuses largely on software, after advancing to Year 2, hardware becomes the focus. I recall that Hirakawa-san specializes in hardware, correct?"

  The point Suzune was trying to make was that once she advanced to the Year 2 courses dominated by hardware, she would have a chance for a reversal — that was how Chiaki rationalized this.

  A small voice in her consciousness whispered that this was an overly optimistic outlook, but she chose to ignore it.

  Seeing the self-destructive attitude fade from Chiaki's face only to be replaced by positive emotions shining from her eyes, Suzune's expression softened.

  "If you continue to hold onto that indomitable spirit, I believe one day y
ou can accomplish this."

  Suzune did not say what she could accomplish.

  Nor did Chiaki ask.

  There was no need to go into detail here.

  An overarching "something" was sufficient as a goal.

  "Please come to the conference tomorrow. I believe you will benefit quite a bit."

  Suzune's retreating figure from the sickroom was not reflected in Chiaki's eyes.

  Maybe she could accomplish something — the anesthesia named "possibility".

  After injecting revitalizing medicine into the flagging spirit that may have walked to its doom, a momentous change came over Chiaki's heart.

  ◊ ◊ ◊

  "Err...... Ichihara-senpai? If you don't feel well......"

  Seeing the terrible countenance on Suzune's face as she left the room, Hattori asked her in a wavering manner.

  "No, there's no need to worry. Just going through a bout of self-loathing right now."

  Suzune was not a talented speaker. While she excelled in debating, she generally refrained unless there was a pressing need. Though it must be owned that she was more verbose in Mayumi's company, generally she was a taciturn individual.

  Well aware of this, Hattori picked up on the words "self loathing", but wordlessly followed her without asking any further questions.

  From Suzune's perspective, she allowed Hattori to accompany her because he was someone who knew how to read between the lines. As she expected, he did not pursue the conversation any longer.

  (Seriously...... It looks like I have all the talents necessary for a con man.)

  Beneath the calm exterior of her poker face, Suzune repeatedly ridiculed herself.

  Rather than trying to help Chiaki pull herself together, her goal was more in line with that she felt it was a great pity Chiaki's talent was going to waste.

 
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