Magika Vol 5 Ch 2 – Discarded Fox Diary

Chapter 2 – Discarded Fox Diary


Part 1

The collapsed Karin was immediately transported to the school infirmary.

And then Headmaster Amasaki informed Kazuki and his companions who were gathering beside Karin’s bed―he entered the gravity of bearing the burden of a student’s fate into his voice.

“A seal will be performed on her Stigmata to make her unable to use magic power completely. I have made an arrangement with the Knight Order for a <Limiter(Stigmata Suppression Device)>. It’s the newest measure for illegal magicians with minor offences.”

“You are not going to use the <Stigmata Removal Operation> that was recommended before for Otouto-kun?”

Kaguya-senpai asked. In comparison to seal by tool, removing Stigmata by operation was thought to be a more fundamental solution. But Headmaster Amasaki shook his head.

“If the link between Stigmata and Diva is destroyed, the injury to the mind cannot be avoided. The former Headmaster Otonashi, who advanced the research by his own accord, claimed that it had become a technique for practical use; but in reality, it’s still too inhumane. Even the illegal magicians who are caught by the Knight Order are currently restrained using the Limiter.”

“That thing called Limiter, what kind of item is it?” Kazuki asked.

“What is called Limiter is a tool that reads the wavelength of the magic power that flows inside the Stigmata and makes it so magic power cannot flow into the Stigmata. On top of fixing this tool on her, she is also going to be sent to a <detention facility>.”

Detention facility―the establishment that detains the illegal magicians who the Knight Order captures. They are safely managed there; at the same time, it is also a facility for keeping them away at a distance so that they wouldn’t become a victim of persecution and revenge.

It could also be reworded as [the prison you wouldn’t be able to leave until you die].

“Please wait a second, there is no need to go that far, right!?”

Kazuki objected in panic, but Headmaster Amasaki opposed imposingly.

“Why do you think so? Of course there is a need to go that far. You realize if the limiter is broken or removed, this girl is just going to use dangerous Summoning Magic again?”

“Headmaster, the logic that she is [dangerous because of illegal magician status] is also going to be completely disadvantageous for our position that claims the safety of Hayashizaki Kazuki and the others though.”

Liz Liza-sensei interjected in the middle and covered for Kazuki. “What kind of pretext is used to send the girl to the detention facility? Is there a basis to hand down an even more harsh treatment compared to Hayashizaki and the others?”

“There is. This girl, while there were still students in an unconscious condition remaining in the match venue, used a large scale offensive magic. Her riskiness has already been proven.”

A resolute fury stained the words of Headmaster Amasaki―in regard to someone that exposed the students to danger. ‘I’m going to send this girl to a detention facility for sure’, that is the kind of face that he is currently making.

“That was because of Hayashi Shizuka’s order that made her do it! This girl was just manipulated! Despite so, for this girl’s life to be closed here, I won’t allow such behavior!!”

“How could you know that she did it just because of the brainwashing? How much of it was by Katsura Karin’s own will, how much of it was not, can you really judge it accurately?”

“That…when the person concerned herself wakes up, we could ask her…”

“The word of the person concerned herself couldn’t become a proof.”

That was just like a suspect that cried of his own innocence in a trial. There was no persuasiveness inside it at all.

“Hayashi Shizuka is the mastermind of everything, Katsura Karin just got dragged into it. Katsura Karin is completely innocent…if such thinking is considered normally, it sounds forced, don’t you agree?”

“But to be punished just for doubt and simply get sent to the detention facility like that…!”

He got the reasoning of Headmaster Amasaki that regarded Karin as a danger. However, even so…!

“Don’t fuck with mee―!”

At that time, a voice came from beyond the curtains that partitioned them from the neighboring bed.

“Don’t screw around, I won’t allow you bastard to send Karin-chan to a place that looked like jail huh!!”

The curtain was opened violently. The source of the voice was Mibu Akira. The girl, together with Asamiya-senpai, who fainted in the finals, were laid in the adjacent bed.

“Karin-chan didna’ do anything bad…no really she might do something just a little bad but…but Karin-chan isn’ someoneee bad okay!”

“That’s right―, what Aneki said you know―!”

Snapping at the headmaster the moment they woke up, the small statured protégée Asamiya-senpai too gave her backing at that timing.

Facing defiance from an unexpected place, Headmaster Amasaki made a shocked face.

“…You two, are you going to give testimony that Katsura Karin was brainwashed? …But the testimony of the both of you is not going to fly. Both of you also continued to fight even without being under the brainwashing of Joka. Both of you also conspired with the sleeper agent of China by your own will, a dangerous element.”

Sometimes, he really felt like wanting to say something like [choose your words a little more carefully] to Headmaster Amasaki.

Against that high handed attitude, Mibu-senpai and Asamiya-senpai became even more worked up.

“I was fightin’ for Karin-chan’s sake! Karin-chan…honestly I don’ know how far she was brainwashed. There is also some aspect of Karin-chan that choose to fight. But, that was only because she was made to choose! Karin-chan’s [own will] was not regarded at all! This girl just wanted to get recognized by her stepsister as family!! I wanna help her with that. Me and also Karin-chan don’t give a damn one bit about whether China is backing us up or whatever! No way I’m fighting for such thing!!”

“Wishing to get recognized as family…?” Kazuki was dumbfounded and leaked out a voice in a murmur.

“Karin-chan is not a bad child! Even if she doesn’t get slammed into prison she could still start over!”

“Hmph.” Headmaster Amasaki snorted his nose without changing his attitude.

“If she could still reform than that way is better. She is still a young girl of fifteen years old, even I think so. But why can you declare that so confidently? What’s your basis? If the worst possibility should happen, what are you going to do?”

Mibu-senpai faltered. After looking down with anxious eyes, she said a [girlish basis].

“…Because that girl always made lonely eyes. If she really had gone bad, if she didn’t give a damn about the world and despaired, she won’t even feel any loneliness or the like. If she had really gone bad then she gonna become a monster that keeps cool no matter what screwed things she get done. But it’s still not too late for guys that get lonely. If a kind hand is reached out to ‘em by someone, there is no way it’s too late for ‘em!!”

From those words, the infirmary became enveloped in silence.

That was by no means a logical argument, but it had the persuasive power of a plea from the heart.

Was there something inside Kazuki that couldn’t come to agree with this development? He had a feeling that he could understand her argument.

This was a conceited talk, but never once did Kazuki feel as strongly about Karin.

The girl, always raging and shouting at Kazuki, always clinging onto Hayashi Shizuka [wanting to get approved]. That frailness completely like an infant raising a crying voice was really transparent.

Hayashi Shizuka used that girl’s weakness to the bone without leaving anything untouched.

Even in the case that brainwashing magic was not even used, that was already the same as brainwashing.

I…if there existed a powerless person that got oppressed and fell into a fate of sorrow, it was something that I couldn’t allow.

As expected, I wanted to help Karin. Even in the case of the existing possibility that the girl was a future [enemy], even so he wanted to discover the possibility of happiness for the girl.

“It’s not worth considering. What you called as your basis is only a really subjective story from your side.”

Despite the bitter face that Headmaster Amasaki was making, he cut Mibu-senpai’s argument without a second thought with just a sentence.

“Anyway you two, don’t forget that you are also people in suspicion. No matter how much you say that she is not bad, it was nothing more than your attempt to cover for your comrade.”

“Shit-, is it because we are delinquents…?! Really until now we just kept doing whatever the hell we wanted and then suddenly askin’ to just believe what we are sayin’ it’s really askin’ too much but still…”

Mibu-senpai dropped her shoulders dejectedly, Asamiya-senpai too “Aneki…” had her eyes glistening with tears.

“Mibu-san, why did you become a delinquent…rather than saying delinquent, why didn’t you spend your school life seriously as a knight candidate until now?”

Kaguya-senpai once again inquired about Mibu-senpai’s real intentions.

“I didn’t…even though I didn’t even wanna become something like a knight I was forced to enter the Knight Academy, of course I won’ have any motivation. No way I’m gonna go along with it.”

”Yes, before we also had a talk like that hadn’t we?”

Until now, Kaguya-senpai had already tried to reform Mibu-senpai many times and it really weighed on her mind.

“But that kind of you really made so much effort like this with all your power in this battle election. For the sake of this child named Karin. Why in the world would you do that?”

“…Karin-chan was treated like shit by Shizuka. I too am this academy’s shit, that was why I wanna do something. Really, I don’ even know about things like with China or Japan at all.”

Kaguya-senpai suddenly became flustered.

“I said that you are delinquents, but I don’t think that you are this academy’s shit or the like at all! I just thought that I wanted us to do our best together as a fellow Knight candidate, that’s all!

“I get it, really. But I couldna’ take an offered hand like that! Because that’s too shameful right!? When I got treated kindly, that just made me get awareness of my own wrong!”

“Aneki…” Asamiya-senpai watched over Mibu-senpai whose eyes were wet with tears.

“Actually, I wanted to enter confectionery school…and become a cake store owner!”

“Ca, cake store!?” Hearing those too unexpected words, not only Kaguya-senpai, everyone was surprised too.

“What’s strange with that, isn’t a cake store the best! I’m gonna open my own shop in a small town, getting the auntie and the girls going home from school as my regulars…. At Christmas or birthday, if there is something to celebrate everyone is gonna come to my shop, picking out the cake with eyes bright with hope…. For the sake of answering that hope every morning I’m gonna wake up early, I got confidence in my magic power so I’m gonna make my own flavor with Alchemy Cooking, everyone gonna say that it’s delicious…even though I have a dream like that…this arm that is for the sake of whipping up cream was suddenly got fixed with Enigma!”

From Mibu-senpai’s eyes, tears were overflowing in drove, spilling out messily.

“That’s why…what responsibility of knight, I don’ know anything like that, like that I rebelled against the academy. I don’t have any plan of doing anything mistaken, so I don’t plan to reflect on myself or anything like that. But…I noticed it while looking at Kaguya-chan.”

“M, me? Looking at me?” Kaguya-senpai pointed at herself and blinked with surprise.

“Kaguya-chan was always piling up harsh training on herself, she even challenged dangerous quests energetically. Moreover, many times she reached out her hands to shit like me sayin’ [let’s do our best together]. Not just that, despite being the student council president of the Magic Division she insisted to have an equal relationship with the Sword Division…even though there is dissenting opinion, she stuck to her own will for the sake of those guys in weak position. …That made me think if this kind of person is what a [knight] really is. I got aware of that. If no one is fightin’ as a knight then it’s gonna be like that [Tokyo Great Destruction] fifteen years ago, there is gonna be no place for cake store. If no one is gonna fight…even I get it that I canna’ just waste away the great power that I finally got my hands on uselessly like that. But after thoroughly saying [This academy is the one that’s bad] [I’m not the one that’s bad] continuously, I slapped away Kaguya-chan’s hand. There is no way after all that I coulda just suddenly say shameful things like [I’m going to aim as a Knight]! Kaguya-chan is just too bright, I cannot take that hand…. When I see Kaguya-chan….my own shittiness is just too pathetic!”

“Aneki is seriously…Kaguya-chan’s fan really…”

Asamiya-senpai too, together with her elder sister figure, Mibu-senpai, became messed with spilling tears.

“Err, someone like me is really not that great.” Kaguya-senpai was all shook up.

“I want to become like Kaguya-chan, so I secretly piled up magic training. But this late I already cannot go back to become an honor student. Then at that time, Shizuka came invitin’ me into the battle election. If I made great showin’ in the battle election, then maybe everyone woulda looked at me differently. Everyone would get to recognize that I’m not a shit, that I coulda take Kaguya-chan’s offered hand unashamedly like that, that was what I was thinking.”

“Me and Aneki, didn’t get told of Shizuka’s objective or anything like that. We know that girl sometimes gave us special training in a secret location, she called us out. She planned to make us pawns that were easy to handle and also quite strong as the occasion suited. For that girl, we were nothing more than pawns. But for us, whatever those guys’ objective were didn’t really matter at all.”

“But gradually the matter about ourselves too didna really matter! Karin-chan had a much more crappy experience than someone like me. Compared to her, my worries are just a simple half-baked thing…she was treated like trash by Shizuka! If we complained or whined that Shizuka beat us blue until magic intoxication…after that, we became reluctan’ to say any complain to Shizuka…”

…Mibu-senpai definitely received brainwashing. But what was overwritten by the brainwashing was not their motive for fighting but only the pecking order between them.

“Please I beg you Kaguya-chan! Just like what you tried to give to us, reach out your hand to Karin-chan too! You’re an ally of justice right!?”

Mibu-senpai caught hold of Kaguya-senpai’s shoulders, while doing that she brought her tear stricken face near.

“I’m, I’m not really an ally of justice though…”

“Inside me you are ally of justice anyway―!!”

Mibu-senpai kept shaking Kaguya-senpai’s shoulders. Looking at that appearance, Kazuki too naturally sympathized. …Kaguya-senpai reached her hand to me too, I was saved by her.

“Headmaster Amasaki, we don’t need anymore reason or proof don’t you agree? Right now, I absolutely don’t want to think that these two are lying.”

“Ugh…” Headmaster Amasaki’s expression soured.

“Before, I became concerned about whatever happened to the illegal magicians that I captured, so I had went to inspect the detention facility. …It’s no good you know, to do something like sending a child to that kind of place because of false charges.”

Hikaru-senpai who once went through bitter experiences because of Karin too, that gentle face of hers distorted in sorrow.

“Tou-san, if you are a teacher, then there are times when you had to have faith in your students even without any proof right!? In drama, this is not the time to say such things!”

Mio, who until now had kept quiet and watched the situation, gave her assistance to Kazuki as well.

“Ughh…even though papa is just taking a prudent stance for the sake of the academy, even up to Mio…”

Headmaster Amasaki made a grimace that added even more wrinkles in his wrinkled-covered face.

“Well then headmaster, at least please wait before sending her immediately to the detention facility. I will take the role of monitoring Karin for a while and make sure of Karin’s true feelings. Just like when before Kaguya-senpai did that for me and I was put in the Witch’s Mansion!”

“Yo, you―, you’re gonna help Karin-chan!?”

“Don’t say stupid things! Katsura Karin is aiming for your life, you know that!! If you asked what is the most dangerous, it’s to be put and left here near you, that’s the number one danger!”

“Saying it in reverse, the only one who can prove that this girl is not a dangerous character by being together with her is the target, just me. Moreover, even in the case that the girl bared her fangs as an assassin, I am already beyond her ability to kill. If it’s this girl, that’s impossible.”

“Kazuki, didn’t your heart get stopped once already?”

From the side of Kazuki who was saying so while puffing up his chest, Mio made a swift tsukkomi and flustered him.

“Tha, that was just because I didn’t understand the opponent’s technique, that’s why I intentionally got hit to test it, that’s all! A second hit won’t succeed anymore! I have perfectly grasped this girl’s true strength!!”

“Certainly only seeing from the match, I think the difference in strength was evident. Nevertheless, can you really assert that so certainly? If for example you are to be attacked when sleeping…”

Kaguya-senpai murmured worriedly.

“Hayashizaki-style is surprise attack proof.”

“When we first met, didn’t I creep up behind you unnoticed and prank you [Who― is it?]?”

Kaguya-senpai too launched a swift tsukkomi, Kazuki was “Tha, that was because senpai didn’t have any killing intent!” and made some justification in fluster. Moreover, just before this, he had been pranked [Who― is this?] by Beatrix.

This was bad, from some time ago, he let out too many excuses. The persuasiveness was just too doubtful even if he said so himself.

“Nii-sama…that being the case, are you planning to don the <War Preparation Spirit>?”

As if to throw out a life saving boat, Kanae said that.

“War Preparation Spirit?” Everyone other than Kazuki tilted their heads. In place of Kazuki, Kanae made her explanation.

“Hayashizaki-style is an old school of Iai. Iai’s original doctrine is [to never let shown an opening no matter what kind of time, always being ready to sword draw and counterattack immediately no matter against any kind of attack], like that. That surprise attacks don’t work against Nii-sama is a fact. Hayashizaki-style can detect [killing intent] even while sleeping….What is called killing intent is not a concept that like an occult. Killing intent, namely the emission of offensive-like magic power. In order to be able to sense it even in the subconscious, the subconscious of oneself has to be mastered―that is the War Preparation Spirit. In short, it is a kind of Trance technique.”

The surrounding bunch felt the persuasiveness inside Kanae’s words and nodded their heads “I see”.

“Putting on the War Preparation Spirit, in short if I sleep with my mind still in a half-awakened state, even if I am attacked in my sleep I could immediately wake up. That’s why it’s impossible for Karin to kill me. Headmaster, please give me time to spend with Karin! …If you recognize me as a possessor of the power of King, then please!”

King. With that word brought out, Headmaster Amasaki grudgingly accepted that proposal.

“…One week. After one week the student general meeting will be carried out, the counting of the votes will be performed and the seat of the Chief Student Council President will be settled. Until that time, keep Katsura Karin company and don’t leave her side for even a moment. Smell out her true feelings.”

One week…if there was that much time, then it was enough.

“You said don’t leave her side for even a moment…Certainly if she is a dangerous character, then a monitoring around the clock is needed, but then that means Kazuki is going to have a life of constant attendance with this child Karin? For one week too?”

Mio talked in whisper. And then with a blushing red face, she claimed an unparalleled thoughtless remark.

“…That’s totally unfair!!”


 

Part 2

“…Here is?”

The time when Karin, who was laid atop the bed in Kazuki’s room, opened her eyes was several hours later.

“This is my room.”

Kazuki answered so in a posture of sitting on top of the chair of his desk.

“…Hayashizaki Kazuki!?” The instant she saw Kazuki, Karin sprang up with the force of Jouchouho.

“Wait, calm down. You don’t need to be on your guard. By the way the sheets of that bed and pillow had been changed into new ones, so it shouldn’t smell like me!”

“Smell or whatever doesn’t matter!”

That might be so but…when Hikaru-senpai said to Kazuki that his bed [smelled the smell of boy] he became bothered by it.

“You, I’m going to…!”

Kazuki quickly interrupted the words Karin was going to say.

“Hayashi Shizuka, who gave that order, has already gone.”

At that time when Shizuka left, she left behind a discarding talk of [I’ll give that puppet to you]. That kind of thing.

Karin looked around restlessly *kyoro kyoro*…she instantly comprehended the meaning of Shizuka’s nonexistence there, that after the fight the one who was captured was only herself. And then that expression of hers changed into a hollow expression.

“…Is that so? So I have been discarded.”

In Kazuki’s room which has a width of about six tatami mats, so that he could put Karin on the bed, Kazuki also brought the futon for his share inside. It made the room even more cramped. In there, even more monitoring equipment was arranged.

First was a lock and buzzer at the door and window. If those were attempted to be opened forcibly, alarms would ring out throughout the Witch’s Mansion. The alarm’s volume was so loud that it would make any who hear it leap out from their bed.

At the corner of the ceiling, a lens of a monitoring camera was shining. Kazuki’s own privacy was also taken from him, this camera took the film and transmitted it to the staff room in real time.

The guaranteed article was the bracelet type Limiter that was installed on Karin’s wrist. It was the item sent from the Knight Order that was arranged by the headmaster. It was accompanied with vicious functions that would create a powerful shock to the mind through the Stigmata and drive the wearer into unconsciousness when they tried to destroy the bracelet forcibly or when the identified wavelength tries to perform Access.

“In short, you are put into a situation where it’s impossible to escape from cohabitation with me!”

“You, are you a pervert?”

When he explained the situation with high tension, an extremely natural tsukkomi was returned at him.

Looks like it was difficult to have a bright atmosphere in his conversation with Karin.

“If I don’t do this, you are going to be sent to the detention facility you know? You’d hate it right, to be sent there at this young age.”

“I don’t particularly mind. Whatever happens to someone like me…”

magika_no_kenshi_to_shoukan_maou_vol_05_097

Karin, who had a thoroughly vacant expression murmured, crestfallenly.

“Hey, I have one thing I want to ask you though.”

“There is nothing that I can answer. If I get interrogated with truth serum or mind magic it’s going to be useless to resist anyway so I’ll say this beforehand, but I don’t know anything.”

“I’m not asking about that. Are you a family with Shizuka?”

Against Kazuki’s question, Karin’s expression stiffened.

“You’d know if you look from the name, right? The family name of Hayashi was not given to me.”

According to Eleonora, it seemed Hayashi Shizuka had the real name of Lin Zhijing (AN: Lin is read as Hayashi in Japanese).

From the simple fake name they were using, their underestimation of Japan’s intelligence network was clear as day.

“I’m called as Gue(Katsura) Farin(Karin). Losing my original name of Katsura Karin, I became an existence of nobody.”

“But you wanted to be recognized as family right?”

“…No. I’m a puppet. There is nothing that I wished for.”

“Is that so? …Actually I was also an orphan.”

Karin, who was averting her face to the side, looked back here. An interest was growing from a faint sympathy.

From that action, an emotion that was unlike a puppet bled out for an instant.

“I was treated kindly by Hayashizaki household. I obtained a family. …I who became happy and you who was treated as a puppet, what’s with this difference?”

“Are you planning to boast and feel good about yourself? Just so you know, I don’t feel any jealousy or anything.”

“No. This slight difference of fate that separated you and me…I really cannot tolerate it.”

After Kazuki spat out those last words behind, he went out of the room and went to the kitchen.

And then he served the girl’s share of the dinner on a plate and brought it back. It was the food that Kazuki made while Karin fainted. The usual fried chicken. Rice. Salad. The time was not enough so it became just a simple menu.

But he wanted to make the girl eat his own homemade food.

“Do you think I’m going to receive any charity from you!”

Karin knocked down the plate of food that Kazuki presented to the floor.

Kazuki wordlessly tidied up the food that was scattered on the floor. It’s great that it was a menu that didn’t have any soup on it.

“I didn’t put any poison in it. It’s delicious you know. Even though I have confidence in this food.”

Kazuki didn’t even get angry, then he put the part of fried chicken that was still safe on top of the plate into his mouth with a snap and made a show to her of him eating. “…” Karin was glaring silently at that situation.

And then they went to bed that night. There was no conversation between the two but there was also no attack.

“Karin, here is breakfast.”

The menu is freshly toasted toast garnished with homemade butter and crispy bacon egg. Puffing up vapors are still visible on top of the plate, filling up the whole room with fragrant aroma.

The exquisite grilling adjustment made the appearance and the aroma very stimulating, making the one who sees it unable to stop imagining how good it would be to feel the food texture in the mouth.

“Don’t need it. Take it back.”

“Is that so? Even though it’s so delicious.”

With the intention of proving that there was no poison inside the food, Kazuki made a show of eating it in front of Karin.

With homemade butter melted in brim on top of the dry surface of the toast that was toasted into light brown color, when Kazuki bit it, a *saku* sound resounded. When the fork was stabbed into the sunny-side-up fried egg, the half-cooked syrupy egg yolk soaked the bacon, the egg mildly enveloped the bacon’s richness. When it was brought into the mouth, both things mixed together spread out the flavor of microcosmos.

Right there black tea was also included into his mouth. In truth, in making black tea, Mio’s way was far more detailed than even Kazuki’s, this tea was made by her for him. The fresh aroma reset his tongue and he once again took a round of taste of the butter toast.

In that situation, Karin kept taking a small glance from the side. Her lips were trembling all over as if enduring something.

―After the breakfast was over, for the sake of monitoring Karin, Kazuki had taken a break from the academy.

There was plenty of time, but it presented a space where there was only Kazuki and Karin, just the two of them together. Kazuki didn’t have any intention of doing something like an interrogation. In exchange, he tried making small talk many times to relax the atmosphere, but he was ignored.

“Karin, it’s lunch time.”

In the afternoon, it was Oyakodon (AN: Chicken and egg on rice.). Kazuki brought over two bowls covered with lid into the room, then he suddenly removed the lid. With a puff the steam puffed up from the bowl, a gentle fragrance form parsley and soup stock filled the room.

“…Don’t need it. But I’m going to say one thing. Don’t eat it in front of my eyes.”

Karin said it with sharp tone of voice, that stomach of hers was rumbling ‘kuuu’.

When he thought about it, the girl will have not eaten for a whole day soon.

He was unaware of it, but by perchance, he had made a behavior of awful torture already.

“But I’m the monitor of Karin, so as much as possible I have to be here.”

Reluctantly, Kazuki consumed the food, including the share that was also prepared for Karin’s sake, heartily right in front of Karin’s eyes. Then the last remaining rice grains that had absorbed the broth were picked one grain by one grain by chopsticks. It was really fun that he cleaned the bowl until it shined.

Karin became teary eyed while her eyes were nailed looking on that situation.

At the afternoon, he studied the self-learning textbook that was prepared by Liz Liza-sensei and he also thoroughly performed muscle training and magic training that could be done in that room. For Kazuki, he went through a productive afternoon…then it became the time for dinner.

“Karin, it’s dinner but…”

For dinner, it was sukiyaki (AN: Hotpot). So he could just take the shortest possible time being away from this room, he made the meal as simple as possible. Furthermore, it must be something that he wouldn’t get embarrassed to serve for a guest that came from afar.

He brought the iron pot that was filled with gently boiling sukiyaki together with the gas stove. The gas stove was put onto the tea table. Inside the iron pot, the cooking hadn’t been completed already, rather it was still halfway cooked.

Enticed by the aroma, Karin unconsciously peaked at the pot’s content, then finally she cried out messily.

From her stomach, ‘ku―kyurupi―’ groaning voice that sounded like a small animal leaked out.

“Oi…your stomach is hungry right? Though I think that patience is meaningless.”

“…My stomach is hungry. My throat is parched…”

Karin talked in resignation.

“Your stomach is hungry…. Strange. Why is that? Why, despite being a puppet without any home to return to…even though you think that it’s okay even if you die…your stomach is hungry.”

In front of the girl that refused even drinks, Kazuki put and presented the cooled black tea pot, then he served the sukiyaki from the pot into a bowl for the girl.

“It’s really natural. You still haven’t lived in a way that would make you able to say [I can die satisfied]. Eat up. You are not a puppet, but still a human.”

After Karin drained the cup of tea in one gulp, she took and gripped the chopstick with trembling fingers. After mixing the beef meat seeped with salty-sweet flavor and raw egg, she brought it to her mouth.

“…Delicious. This is the first time I eat something this tasty.”

“It’s a cooking I have confidence in after all. Sukiyaki is decided by the quality of the beef meat. I know an old man that used alchemy to raise good cows. Are you listening, the cow breeding is very deep. This is second-hand knowledge from the old man, but to raise a good cow, good grass is needed. To start with the soil is important. For the sake of choosing the soil first he needed to lick and eat the soil, he ascertained the chlorella with his own tongue you know…That pH value is…”

“You’re annoying.”

“…Sorry. In the house of Hayashi, what were you normally eating?”

“Bean sprouts or something like that.”  It was curt, but that was the first time she gave a reply to his question.

“Something like stir fried bean sprouts?”

“No, directly from the bag just like that.”

“Raw!? Just as I thought that guy(Hayashi Shizuka)’s personality is the worst…!”

Karin continued to move her chopsticks in a daze without even wiping her tears. This time she ate with vigor that didn’t even leave Kazuki’s share untouched.

“Why, even though you are treated like trash until that much, do you still listen to what Shizuka was saying?”

“…Because I’m a puppet. There is nothing that I think as painful.”

“Wrong. You listen to me, you are not an unfeeling human to the degree of a puppet.”

Rather, even though she was an assassin, she immediately lost her cool from some provocation. Mibu-senpai too, she said that Karin had [lonely eyes that were waiting for someone to reach their hands for her].

The Karin at that time when she was treated as a meatshield by Hayashi Shizuka, that expression….

And then mixing the egg with salty-sweet beef meat and bringing it into her mouth with that brightness, this expression….

“You were coming to this point enduring that harsh way of living for a long time while hoping, wishing to become happy someday. That decided it. You are not something like a puppet.”


 

Part 3

“Karin, let’s watch anime or something.”

Choosing the one that he hasn’t watched yet among the anime URD that he borrowed from Lotte, Kazuki called out to her.

“Anime…?” Karin tilted her head looking at the URD package in his hand with deep interest.

“This is an appliance that projects a story, isn’t it…? How foolish, this is just a child’s amusement.”

“Is that so, well even if you don’t watch I’m still going to watch alone.”

Kazuki set the URD into the Phantasmagoria and it projected three dimensional images. At his back, Karin kept sneaking glances this way.

“Hayashizaki Kazuki. Oi Kazuki.” Along with the sudden voice, his shoulder was shook from behind.

“What is it, even though now is a great scene, gusu- (AN: Sniffing voice)”

Kazuki paused the images temporarily and looked back while wiping his tears.

Even though a great scene that even made him forget Karin’s existence was currently going on.

“…I can’t comprehend the action of Ivlahimopitch just now. It’s irrational.”

Karin said with a serious expression.

The one she called Ivlahimopitch was the main character of this anime [Magical Girl Ivlahimopitch].

“Ivlahimopitch who was a female delinquent ruffian was reformed by her master Park Chison and she accumulated training of magical taekwondo. Finally, she surpassed the strength of her master and then she proceed forward into a destiny of various magic martial arts battle together with the enemy of her parents, the user of magical Muay Thai Pon Saklek, I wonder if it’s that kind of scene.”

“Haven’t you grasped the story well already?”

“Ivlahimopitch is supposed to be a girl that dedicated her life to fighting. Despite so, why did she suddenly neglect the enemy of her parents and head to Mourinyo’s location. This Mourinyo was an ally but parted company with her for the sake of pursuing her revenge. Currently, she is supposed to be an enemy.”

“That’s because she noticed the futility of revenge and the awakening of her love for Mourinyo, right?”

The girl who stopped the revenge realized that she was loved, not only by Mourinyo, but also the whole world and she liberated herself from the curse that bound her life. A really moving scene.

However, Karin shook her head. “I don’t get it, how irrational.”

“That’s because the thing called love is something irrational in the first place…”

“Love…what is love (AN: The word she is using for love here is different, the love said before this is more of a general love, while here she is using the word love in romantic sense)?”

“Tha, that’s…I too don’t get it…. Don’t ask such philosophical matters so suddenly!”

“You bastard, so you are showing something you don’t understand well yourself to me!”

“You don’t think about this kind of matter! Feel it!”

Kazuki and Karin raised their voices and quarreled, suddenly ‘BATA―N!’ the door of the room opened.

“Tell the story to me, Kazuki-oniisan! To talk about Ivlahimopitch without me participating is unforgivable desu!”

The one who came along was Lotte, who was wearing a dog-modeled pajama.

“Kazuki, what’s with this girl?”

“This living thing is Charlotte Liebenfrau…when she finds humans who share interest in anime, she will bite the prey and won’t let go until the prey had talked with her through three days and three nights. A ferocious anime lover wanwan (AN: Dog barking).”

After Kazuki made that totally unthinkable introduction, Lotte “wanwan!” barked happily.

“What’s with that, scary.”

“She will be silent when you pet her head, see? Though she is going to immediately talk again after that.”

“Wanwan! Tonight let’s treat ourselves with all night anime admiration & debate! I will make newcomer-san not fall sleep too desu!!”

―When he noticed, the three were already sleeping together in a huddle.

Kazuki roused Lotte, who was supposed to go to school, out of the bed. Lotte, who was awakened from sleep, seeing Kazuki himself, who was taking a break from school murmured “Unfair desu…” while leaving the room. And then Kazuki and Karin, the two of them had breakfast with eyes that were still half-asleep.

“Karin, I noticed an incredible thing.”

“What?” Karin said with her head kept nodding off *kokukoku* from lack of sleep.

“You stink.”

Karin who was a target of monitoring…hadn’t entered the bath at all.

Now that he entered this topic, her attire too had been the Sword Division uniform all along.

“You didn’t use Extra Sense and Psychokinesis together to remove the filth from your body and clothes? I have been together with you continuously but I have done so with my body at the same time with my magic training though.”

An advanced magic user could remove the filth from their body with the power of magic. Because of that, in the occasion when they took a bath they put more importance in smell rather than washing and used things like <fragrance soap>.

“…I have never done that kind of thing.”

But it seemed Karin had always washed her body normally with soap. There was no mistake that she had never used luxury items like fragrance soap. She didn’t know the concept of washing her body with Psychokinesis.

“It can’t be helped huh, we are going to bathe.”

Even if he said that she stinks, it was not to the degree that would make him uncomfortable with being together with her.

Having said that, Kazuki was not a maniac; so he wanted a girl to be hygienic.

When Kazuki pulled Karin’s hand, she lost her presence of mind.

“Wait a second! I cannot enter a bath alone right!?”

“You are in the middle of monitoring after all, so of course that is so but…as expected it’s embarrassing in the end.”

“Hm, hmph. I am a puppet. Such human-like emotions don’t remain inside me.”

He totally didn’t understand her need to bluff in this area.

“Is that so? Then don’t mind it. I’m going to persevere too and exposed my nakedness to you. Let’s go to the bath.”

“Wait! Anyway wait a second for that!!”

“Got it, then let me give a call to Mio so that she could bring a change of swimsuit. It’s going to get hard to wash the body, but let’s enter the bath wearing swimsuits.”

…Gradually, it felt like he was picking a pet.

“Well, it’s not like it’s not embarrassing just because we are wearing swimsuits, isn’t it?”

Entering the changing room in turn, Kazuki and Karin changed into swimsuits alternately.

“U, useless feelings like shame does not exist in me.”

Karin was wearing a swimming race type school swimsuit on her body with the slenderness of a fist fighter. She hung her head down in embarrassment. It was a swimsuit that Mio brought and gave to him, but it was a little too big and baggy.

The bathtub of the Witch’s Mansion had the space that could be enjoyed by all the dwellers of the mansion altogether if they went for it.

“You understand how to use the shower, right? You enter the bathtub after cleaning your body first.”

“I know the shower, but what is a bathtub?”

“…So in Hayashi house you used nothing other than the shower huh.”

“HAWTT(hot)! Hayashizaki Kazuki, this shower lets out hot water!?”

“You didn’t get any hot water there…basically it was just all-out abuse there…”

Though if it was just setting the water temperature, it could be controlled however they like by just using elementary Pyrokinesis.

Kazuki and Karin stood back to back in the washing area and began washing their respective bodies.

They looked completely like a family. That kind of emotion welled up, Kazuki’s chest became slightly warm.

“Then that thing called bathtub, what kind of item is it?”

Even if she asked what kind of item it is, it was just a mere bathtub. Kazuki explained with serious expression.

“Listen well, first you place the towel on your head. And then you submerge your body inside this hot water until your shoulder, relax your whole body, then you say ‘Fuih―, it’s absolute heaven’. This is the custom so follow it absolutely.”

“Like this? …Fuih―, it’s absolute heaven. Fun, how stupid.”

Having said that and submerged herself inside the bathtub, her expression relaxed to the point that she looked like she was going to drool, her limbs became very loose. …The former assassin exposed her simpleton face in a school swimsuit appearance….

magika_no_kenshi_to_shoukan_maou_vol_05_003

Kazuki too submerged himself together inside the spacious bathtub. According to what Kaguya-senpai said, this hot water was from some famous artificial hot spring. However Kazuki, who was raised with a poor person’s mentality, didn’t have the habit for long baths.

“Oi, are you not going to get out soon?”

“Wait!” Karin let flew an intense voice.

“Just wait a little bit…Fuih―, it’s absolute heaven.”

“You are that pleased huh?”

“What stupid things are you saying, I am a puppet. This kind of thing is by no means…fuhii―, it’s absolute heaven.”

Karin, who was warm and flaky, couldn’t help her mouth from loosening up slovenly and leaking ‘fuhii―fuhii―’ breaths.

“You are a really simple idiot, aren’t you?” Kazuki was amazed.


 

Part 4

And then it was the third night after Karin came into Kazuki’s room.

If Karin was going to try to kill him, it was supposed to be on the first night. Having that kind of thought, Kazuki went to sleep while feeling a peace of mind.

Inside the room with its lights turned off, there was a shadow that woke up while suppressing the creaking sound of the bed to the very minimum.

That shadow―Karin was slowly creeping up unnoticed to Kazuki’s spread out futon.

The moonlight shining in from the gap of the curtain illuminated Kazuki’s sleeping face. Karin looked down on that sleeping face for a while. …It was just for ascertaining the depth of his sleep, there was no other intention.

After holding her hand in front of Kazuki’s nose and making sure there was the breathing of someone fast asleep, she crouched down near his pillow.

If she wanted to aim for his heart then she must circle the futon, but that made her hesitate. Karin decided to aim for the nape of Kazuki’s neck and held her palm aloft. If it was with the power of Shintoukei, the bone of the neck could be easily broken apart.

Humans wouldn’t die instantly from just having their neck snapped. The opponent was going to have his consciousness returned from the sleep and he was going to try to call for his comrade while his magic power prolonged his life. To prevent that event…after breaking the bone of the neck, Karin was going to twist the neck immediately and block the flow of blood to the brain. She constructed the flow of sequences inside her head.

[A certain one hit kill in this age of magic] ―for the sake of achieving that, the required knowledge had been engraved inside Karin.

For the sake of this moment.

―’You are a puppet but this technique is the only thing you can be proud of’, that was what Hayashi Shizuka said. Those words were everything for her.

Karin perceived the wavelength of Kazuki’s defensive magic power with her palm. Defensive magic power that was the product of the subconscious kept protecting the whole body of the magician thinly even while in the middle of sleep.

Magic power kept flowing without pause at all. This flow was not a simple phenomena, it possessed warping *gunya gunya* and a complex mysterious wavelength. It was a complexity that was as if expressing the chaos of a human’s heart itself. There were no two humans existing that possessed the same wavelength of magic power.

Karin, who had accumulated training, perceived that wavelength of magic power. She crashed that wavelength with the exact opposite wavelength of magic power, achieving counterbalance for just an instant. This technique was without doubt the <Ki (AN: Spirit, essence) of Yin and Yang>.

With the magic power counterbalanced, that instant he became defenseless, she punched him with Shintoukei. It was difficult to succeed in the middle of a real battle, but…it was child’s play when he slept.

Now that his magic power was read thoroughly, clashed with the exact opposite magic power, and then―that instant. Like a snake aiming for its prey, Kazuki’s one arm raised like a snake head and grabbed Karin’s wrist as if snapping at the prey’s neck.

“!?” With her dominant arm sealed in the nick of time with the strength of a thousand, Karin floated an expression of terror.

“You are awake!?”

“No, I was asleep without doubt. But the highest summit of an Iai swordsman is a [continuous battle preparation].”

Immediately clearing away his sleepiness with Trance(Mind Unity), Kazuki opened his eyes in a snap.

He was having a peace of mind from looking at Karin’s situation but―it was not to the degree that made him undo his <War Preparation Ki>.

“In the first place, if you wake up Leme, things like surprise attacks won’t come true though.”

Furthermore, Leme materialized with a pop beside Kazuki.

“…Well, I don’t have any plans to pamper you until that much though―”

Leaving only those words behind, Leme’s figure disappeared with a pop again.

“If you kill me and bring that achievement back…are you thinking something like that?”

While asking, Kazuki became aware of the depressed tone of his own voice. Kazuki was disappointed.

“…I don’t think of anything like that. I don’t know the place I can go back to with my achievement. Because I don’t even know where Shizuka is right now.”

“Then why?”

“If it keeps like this, then I will be changed. …Shizuka said that the world is a scary place. I am more scared of living not following what Shizuka said, even more than dying. …It’s supposed to be like that.”

Karin’s arm desperately struggled. However, Kazuki was not going to let go of that arm.

Karin became scared of the feeling that she had never known until now.

“Shizuka was only trying to use you. …The world without a doubt is a happier place.”

It was an obvious fact that should even be said to be the significance of living. However, Karin was scared even of that fact.

“I’m not wishing for anything like happiness! I’ll kill you…and I’ll get killed too!! It’s fine already with that…!!”

“Don’t abandon yourself!”

{But…with your current strength you cannot kill that boy though.}

In the middle of the arguing two people, a voice appeared―it was not a voice. Reverberating directly inside the head of Kazuki and Karin, it was a telepathic voice. It was a voice that he remembered hearing before. But, it couldn’t possibly be…that voice was impossible.

{Wrong, it’s possible, you know? Karin, if you want to kill that fellow, it’s fine to use my power.}

“This voice is, <Dakki>!”

Behind Karin whose hand was gripped by Kazuki, a dim avatar was floating.

Karin’s contracted Diva, Dakki…!

But even though Karin and Dakki’s contact was supposed to be sealed by the Limiter…!

{Wrong, boy. Fufufu. The name of the current me is not Dakki. Know this. What is known as Diva is the state of things that are altered by the human hearts, that illusion.}

Altering the state of Diva―like how Baal became Beelzebub.

During the change of history, civilization, there existed Divas that possessed several faces.

The stigmata was shining on Karin’s body. It changed into a totally different shine compared to when he fought her in the final!

{Right now, my name is, the fox of hundred faces golden fur nine tails <Tamamo no Mae>! Things like a Limiter that identified the stigmata of Dakki, is already useless!!}

The faint shadow that was floating behind Karin gradually linked into a clear contour of beautiful woman. Golden hair, golden tail, beautiful face accompanied with sharpness as it was. The clothes that wrapped her body transformed from China-style into motif of Japanese clothes.

This fellow…was she transforming from a Diva of Chinese Mythology into a Diva of Japanese Mythology!?

Kazuki leaped out from the futon, his hand grasping his beloved katana <Doufuu> that was waiting at the side.

{Come Karin, let’s kill this boy together!}

“I can kill Hayashizaki Kazuki…I can, Hayashizaki Kazuki will…?”

{What’s wrong Karin? Don’t tell me…[I can’t kill him anyway] you are already half giving up like that and yet you are still trying to kill him, that’s so not right?}

Asked like that, Karin twitched as if in fright and her line of sight wandered around.

“I, I am…even if I use your Summoning Magic, I can’t win against that guy at all…”

{That might be so huh. But―it’s going to be different if you assimilate with me. Materialization, if you chant your magic with a speed that far surpasses even Contract Summoning, there is no reason that you can lose in a one-on-one fight. That’s right…if you yield your everything to me, you can kill that boy in this place!}

“Yielding my body, to you…?”

{That’s right. You planned to kill that guy and get killed anyway, right? But that…surely it’s scary, isn’t it? Living too is scary, dying too is scary…then offer everything to me…!}

A voice so sweet that even a chill ran through, Tamamo no Mae whispered. {Inside my pitch black womb, you would have no need to fear anything anymore. That is without a doubt the most comfortable choice…}

“Stop!” Kazuki yelled. Throwing away oneself―that was something that must not be done the most!

“Karin! Don’t run from this world!! This world is not a scary place!! Because the meal is delicious, because anime is interesting, because you can go to bed after entering a warm bath…everything is something ordinary you can find anywhere!! There is no meaning at all in running away!!”

Karin whose gaze was sucked in by Tamamo no Mae looked at Kazuki as if she had just woken up.

The eyes of Karin at that time were…what Mibu Akira expressed as [lonely], that kind of eyes.

That was why, Kazuki resolved himself to reach out his hand.

Just like the hand offered to me from Tou-san, from Kaguya-senpai.

“If you are not alone, there is nothing you need to fear!!”

“If I’m not alone…”

“I am right here!!”

{Don’t lend him your ear. Close your eyes. Shut yourself. Believe in me!}

“Believe in me! Running away is useless!!”

“I, I’m…” From both of Karin’s eyes, tears were spilling out in droves.

“…I don’t want to kill. Ac, actually, I don’t want to kill Kazuki…”

Karin fell onto her knees at that spot with a slump.

Hanging her head like a withering flower, drops of tear *drip drip* were spilling out onto the floor.

“…Karin.” Kazuki let go of Doufuu. Ignoring Tamamo no Mae, he hugged Karin.

Rather than regarding her as a woman, it felt like he was embracing a child.

“Scary…it’s scary. Hayashizaki Kazuki…living by myself is…”

Karin pressed her crying face into Kazuki’s chest, she was talking while her shoulders were heaving with sobs many times.

“It’s okay, the place Karin is currently in now is not a dark scary world. I’m right here.”

“Fu. Fuffuffu…”

Suddenly, Tamamo no Mae leak out a laughing voice. Kazuki reacted to the voice and looked back, then he glared at the avatar.

Towards Kazuki, who was on guard whether she was planning to do anything else, Tamamo no Mae grinned…and smiled.

{Fufufu…o devil king of Solomon 72 Pillar, Lemegeton. Tamamo no Mae and that contractor, Katsura Karin are surrendering under your banner. It’s fine to add this one to the lowest seat of the 72 Pillar.}

“…Eh?”

{Hayashizaki Kazuki. Don’t you dare forget the proclamation that you made in the presence of I…a Diva. I’m entrusting Karin to you.}

Kazuki who was taken aback with surprise, slow by one beat, he finally comprehend the thinking of this Diva.

“Were you…pushing Karin’s back forward? You are planning to betray Chinese Mythology?”

Karin, who was cornered until she was stuck between a rock and a hard place, she made Karin be true to her own feelings…?

{In the first place I don’t belong under any Mythology. I went along with Joka, but it has also been established in the Mythology about how I betrayed Joka. Surely because of that Shizuka had arranged to use and discard Karin. But how dull it is if it ends like that, I too, and also Karin’s life.}

Tamamo no Mae stared at Karin with an unexpected gentle smiling face. And then when she looked back on Kazuki again, her gaze had a different quality compared to when she was staring at Karin. Only her mouth was grinning…and it warped showing a terrifying smile.

{I won’t let you off if you slight my Karin.}

“Hayashizaki Kazuki…” Karin too stared at Kazuki as if clinging onto him.

Katsura Karin―41

He had a feeling that somehow, he had burdened himself with something terrific.


 

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