“Is this all you have?” said Baba Yaga after having burnt her second victim to death, stepping on the black, burnt corpse.
The victim was a guy who called himself ‘Odin’ and had claimed that he could see a few seconds into the future, but he had been defenseless against a heat attack that he couldn’t see. He had been easily disposed of after his companion, Sylphid.
It was comical that a man named after a valiant god of Northern Europe had been burnt to death by a witch.
Baba Yaga, who had a sweet appearance for someone who called herself a witch, gave a cynical smile that twisted her face as she spoke into her communications device. “I’ve dealt with Sylphid, Odin and those other soldiers as well… about ten people in total.”
“Confirmed. Ghost has disposed of Super Sense. Marionette and Death Scythe are dead as well,” Enma replied immediately, reporting the successful outcomes of their companions’ battles. “You don’t have to deal with the other soldiers anymore. They’re being cornered by Valkyrie’s brave soldiers and Izanami’s parting gift.”
“What happened to Murakami and the others?” Baba Yaga asked.
“There are four left, including Murakami himself. But the surveillance cameras aren’t picking up the locations of any of them except for Tsuchiya Kanako. There aren’t any signals on the Mana sensors, either, so it’s likely that someone is concealing their Mana. It’s likely the Aegis.”
“Tch, so they’ve escaped.”
The remaining four enemies were the ‘Chronos’ Murakami Junpei, the ‘Venus’ Tsuchiya Kanako, the ‘Aegis’ Melissa J. Sautome and the ‘Hecatoncheir’ Doug Atlas.
The Bravers had made what abilities each member possessed open information. Using that information as a reference, there should have been none among those four with an ability to conceal their presence.
But these four were those who had left the Bravers and killed their own former companions at the request of others. It was likely that they had a secret trick or two up their sleeves.
There was a woman with the Inspection ability that allowed her to see through all kinds of falsehoods among the former companions who had been killed, but there had likely been ways to get past it.
In fact, Kaidou Kanata had been concealing his crimes from the eyes of the woman with ‘Inspection.’
“So, what should we do? Should we kill Venus? Or if Murakami and the others are somewhere in the base, should we blow ourselves up and take the whole base with us while we can?” Baba Yaga suggested.
The base was entirely underground except for the entrances via the subway system. And the final objective of the Eighth Guidance was death.
Naturally, the base had a self-destruct mechanism installed.
The reason it hadn’t been used up until now was because there had been the chance that Murakami and the others would be able to escape it with their abilities.
“No. It seems that the Bravers have arrived on the ground surface, so if we’re going to detonate ourselves, it will be after they enter the base. Let us save the rest for when the situation becomes helpless,” said Pluto’s voice.
Baba Yaga’s heart started beating fast upon hearing these words. “Wow! Amemiya Hiroto and that woman came here as well! Then we’ll have to welcome them, won’t we!”
“Exactly. Well then, I’ll be turning all of the jamming equipment on now, so this will be the last time we exchange words. Is there anything you would like to say?” Pluto asked.
“Not really. Well then, let’s be careful to not miss our chance to die. I love you,” said Baba Yaga.
“We love you too. You should be careful as well.”
Communications suddenly stopped, and after that, only noise could be heard over the communications device. The numerous jamming devices that the Eighth Guidance had stolen from the research institutions they had destroyed had been activated.
With this, all communications, including magical and satellite communications, were cut off, with the exception of cable communications. Even wind-attribute spells carrying sound to distant locations wouldn’t go more than ten meters.
“With this, I’m helpless and isolated. The only ones on the frontlines other than me are Ghost and what remains of my comrade. There are still plenty of enemies. Well, it’s much better than the ‘Undead’ who fought all on his own.” Baba Yaga walked forward, throwing away the now-useless communications device.
“As I thought, they began moving on their own without waiting for us,” Amemiya Hiroto murmured.
Thanks to the sacrifice of the ‘Noah’ Mao Smith, Hiroto and the rest of the team of Bravers had managed to reach the ground surface unharmed.
Hiroto had left Mao’s intact remains in a coffin of ice for now so that it wouldn’t be eaten by beasts, and he and his companions who mourned her death had used all of their magic and abilities to reach the Eighth Guidance’s base.
It had taken only thirty minutes for them to do this. Their speed was incredible.
However, during those thirty minutes, the special forces squads who were supposed to be surrounding the base had started moving individually, and were nowhere to be seen above ground.
“Shit! What is this, there’s not a single squad from any nation left! What happened to their words of ‘international cooperation!’” Minami Asagi shouted in rage.
“Minami-kun, everyone wants death-attribute magic. That’s how much power there is in the death attribute, so… they want it, no matter what costs they have to pay,” said Narumi, calming him down.
The other Bravers made no attempt to hide their disappointment in the special forces soldiers who had made a move on their own, and the higher-ups in each nation who had given them secret orders.
Kouya, is this the way you came up with that would create the least amount of sacrifices? Amemiya Hiroto asked his friend silently, but Kouya had already been killed by Shade, who had taken over his body.
But intelligence was in a hectic state, so news of Kouya’s suicide hadn’t reached Hiroto and the others.
“Tendou, use Clairvoyance to confirm the situation,” Hiroto ordered.
Tendou Tatsuya used Clairvoyance… or to be more precise, simultaneously used the two abilities that Rodcorte had given him which allowed him to see through objects and see through spirits, gaining a full picture of things in the underground base.
“This is a scene from hell,” he whispered, a deep crease appearing between his brows. “Most of the special forces guys have been killed, and the rest ran. We can’t rely on them to fight for us. In fact, they’re more likely to ask us to rescue them. The enemy is twelve armed Zombies, as well as a female Zombie that’s commanding them. Also, there’s something that looks like a skinless ape, rampaging around. And… I see Baba Yaga. Also, Pluto is deep inside. There’s a woman and a man… a boy, around her. They’re likely members of the Eighth Guidance.”
Several of the Bravers grimaced at this miserable situation.
“What about Murakami and the others? Have they died?” Asagi asked Tendou.
“… I can’t see them except for the ‘Venus’ Tsuchiya Kanako.”
“You can’t see them?! Your Clairvoyance is supposed to be able to find even people who are using the latest active camouflage, right?! So, they ran?!”
“No, I just can’t see them. It’s not just inside the base; I can see Tsuchiya, but there are four, including Murakami, that I can’t see. I can see the corpses of Death Scythe, Marionette, Sylphid and Super Sense. So, I don’t think they ran. It’s likely that they’re using some method to hide from my Clairvoyance.”
This was Tendou’s deduction. Indeed, as he suspected, Murakami and the others were using the Aegis’s shield to block Tendou’s Clairvoyance in order to hide from it.
Tendou and Hiroto weren’t aware that Aegis had the power to block not only attacks, but detection-type abilities. However, they couldn’t imagine that Murakami and the others had fled.
The Bravers still didn’t have a clear idea as to why Murakami and the others were working with the Eighth Guidance. However, they had deduced that they had some kind of business-like purpose in mind rather than a religious or political one.
With that being the case, their objective was likely the capture or collection of the Eighth Guidance members, the only known users in the world of the death attribute. The Bravers didn’t know whether they were already employed by a nation or were intending to sell the members of the Eighth Guidance off after achieving their objective, however.
… The Bravers were suffering in the absence of Aran’s Calculation and Izumi’s Inspection.
But if these conclusions were correct, it was difficult to imagine that Murakami and the others had run away or been allowed to escape.
It wasn’t certain whether Murakami had a future ahead of him if he failed his mission, and the base had been surrounded by the special forces squads until half an hour ago. Since the corpses of the special forces members and Murakami’s allies were inside the base, it was safe to assume that Murakami and the others were still inside.
“Then why are they showing only Tsuchiya? Did they fail to hide her? Tendou, what kind of situation is she in?” asked the ‘Avalon’ Rikudou Hijiri.
Tendou observed Tsuchiya Kanako’s situation in detail. However, he couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. “Maybe she couldn’t regroup with Murakami and the others. It seems that she’s using active camouflage to try to hide from the Undead and monsters, but…”
“We’ll understand the situation if she’s willing to talk. But right now, she’s another enemy that needs to be captured. Including her, there are still six members of Murakami’s group left, and four members of the Eighth Guidance,” said Hiroto.
The reality was that the ‘Gazer’ Minuma Hitomi had fallen to her death in a faraway location with Jack, and Odin had been burned to death. But since Tendou’s Clairvoyance ability relied on his vision, there was no way that he would discover Minuma Hitomi’s corpse that was far behind the Bravers now. It was also impossible for him to recognize a pile of scattered ashes as Odin’s corpse.
But even including those two, there were ten enemies, as well as Undead and monsters to deal with. The situation was bad, but things weren’t impossible for the Bravers.
“Hiroto, I’m sorry, but don’t talk about naïve things like capturing them,” Asagi said with a strict expression on his face. “Both the Eighth Guidance and Murakami’s group intend to kill us. The Eighth Guidance in particular aren’t going to hesitate to blow themselves up. It’s too dangerous to try and capture enemies like that alive. It’s not like I don’t know what their pasts were like, but you know.”
Asagi’s companions unanimously agreed with him.
“Sorry, but I agree.”
“Me too. It’s not like I don’t feel sympathy for them, but yeah.”
“I do feel sorry for them, but they’re the ones who killed our companions. Isn’t that right, leader?”
It seemed that even those like Hijiri, who hadn’t agreed with Asagi’s speech inside Noah, had changed their way of thinking after Mao was killed.
“I know that you sympathize with them as well, but… I don’t want you to do anything dangerous. I do feel sorry for them, though,” said Narumi.
It seemed that even she had largely reconsidered how dangerous trying to capture the Eighth Guidance was, considering that they appeared to have killed the special forces soldiers and Murakami’s allies, Death Scythe and Sylphid in particular.
“… Alright. I don’t mind if you only capture them when possible. That applies for Murakami’s group as well as the Eighth Guidance.” Hiroto had no choice but to say this.
This situation had come about because they had obeyed the prediction given by Kouya’s Oracle, but this ‘plan that should yield the least casualties’ had already produced many.
And since no clear instructions had been given for after the plan began, Hiroto had no choice but to make a harsh decision.
“Baker, use Hermes to make a map of the base, based on what Tendou has seen. Narumi, use Angel to connect us via telepathy. We’ll ask for them to surrender, and if they don’t respond, we’ll isolate everyone except for ourselves and the special forces guys. After that, give instructions to the survivors from the special forces. Tendou, stay here and support us. Baker and four others, stay here and guard Tendou. The rest of us will split up into two teams. Asagi and some others, I’ll have you rescue the surviving special forces soldiers first. The rest of us will deal with the Eighth Guidance.”
Narumi’s Angel ability was something like telepathy that could connect the consciousnesses of beings that she was aware of. The sensation was something similar to a video call. Even at long distances, no matter what interference devices were being used, she could communicate to others in real-time at will. She also possessed the Joint Sensation ability, which allowed her to share the vision and hearing of those she was connected with.
When she was connected with a large number of people, sharing the senses of all of them at once would exceed the processing power of the human brain, however.
There was the limitation of needing to know the locations of those she wanted to connect with, but it was an effective ability, even in Origin, a world where communications equipment had been developed.
In fact, without this ability, they would have become unable to communicate the moment they entered the base due to the jamming equipment.
Narumi first used Angel to connect her vision with Tendou’s Clairvoyance, and then she could connect to everyone because she knew where they were.
Because this ability could only be used on humans, it wouldn’t reach the Zombies or the Yomotsushikome and Yomotsuikusa spawned from Izanami’s flesh.
Upon hearing the demand for surrender, the surviving soldiers forgot that they had been trying to outwit the Bravers until half an hour ago, and felt relieved as they saw the hope of returning home alive.
Pluto remained stoically silent; Enma and Ereshkigal gave a scornful laugh and Baba Yaga smirked.
“There’s no way we’ll surrender after all of this, is there?” replied Tsuchiya Kanako, and then she activated Venus.
While she was still one of the Bravers, she had told Hiroto, Narumi and the others that it was simply a charming ability. That she had used this ability to charm fans and succeed as an idol.
But the reality was different.
“Copy and paste…”
Venus’s true power was a brainwashing ability that allowed Kanako to copy and paste memories, experiences and emotions to and from anyone she could engage in two-way communication with.
Kanako had used this ability to succeed as an idol. She had copied the experience from idols who sang and danced better than her onto herself, and pasted favorable emotions onto audition judges and television producers to create opportunities for herself.
She just needed to make a single fan and then copy that fan’s feelings and enthusiasm to gain more.
The end result was that she was simply charming people, but because it was an ability that didn’t work if she wasn’t able to engage in two-way communication with the target, she couldn’t sell herself to people watching her through their screens, so she had worked hard to make use of her copied experiences.
Kanako didn’t think that she had cheated. Both on Earth and in Origin, the public entertainment industry was a hell where connections and the companies that idols were affiliated with had great power. Kanako had made the best use of the talents that she had been granted in that hell.
“Hiroto went and put all of that to waste, so you can’t complain if I put you all to waste as well, can you?” Kanako murmured.
Hiding her ability had been simple. To avoid being seen through by Shimada Izumi’s Inspection, Kanako had simply needed to not lie about it. When asked, “What is your ability?” she had simply needed to reply, “I used this ability to put my fans in a trance.”
Inspection couldn’t see through a lack of words or explanation. It seemed that Death Scythe had used a similar method to make his own ability seem greater.
Over a long period of time, Kanako might have been exposed, but after interrogating all of the Bravers once, Izumi had only asked her companions unimportant questions. It was likely that she had been hurt by seeing through the lies of family members and friends before.
“Well then, I’ll keep my telepathy connected to only you, Kanako. But if you say anything, everyone will find out, so be careful.”
“Thank you, Narumi,” replied Kanako, smiling at her successful brainwashing of Narumi.
She had experienced communication through Angel numerous times up until now. She had received training so that she could control what she transmitted and didn’t transmit, so there weren’t any problems.
Kanako listened to the conversation being exchanged by Hiroto and the others through Angel as she headed for a place where a wired communications device had been placed beforehand.
“The brainwashing doesn’t work that well on others with these abilities, but unlike the Eighth Guidance guys who aren’t affected by it at all, it’ll hold for half an hour to an hour. With this, I know exactly what’s happening on their side~ ♪ If they manage to capture or kill Pluto and the others, I’ll snatch them away from the side.”
“How pitiful,” muttered Asagi, whose group had gone to rescue the surviving special forces members.
He looked past the Zombies who moved quickly and fluidly, used firearms and could even cast a few different spells through their magical media.
There was a female Zombie with platinum-blonde hair, staggering in an unsightly manner, dragging a flag behind her.
This was what was left of Valkyrie. To Asagi, it seemed cruel to think it comical that a woman whose codename came from a battle maiden who led dead warriors in battle was now moving about as an Undead.
“What will we do? Should I use my Ifrit to cremate her with the other Zombies?” asked the ‘Ifrit’ Akaki, who could control flames more freely than any first-rate fire-attribute mage.
“Don’t do it; the area you have to burn is too wide. We’re underground, so we’ll collapse from the lack of oxygen as well. So, using my Titan –” began the ‘Titan’ Iwao, who could control gravity.
“If that passageway collapses, it’ll take longer to regroup with Hiroto and the others,” said Tendou’s voice.
Akaki and Iwao clicked their tongues and stepped back. However, the Zombie warriors were strong enemies to try to defeat with a frontal attack.
With the same look of pity on his face, Asagi stepped out from behind the wall that his group was using as cover. “Leave it to my Mage Masher here.”
Ignoring his companions who tried to stop him, Asagi started running towards Valkyrie, who was standing beyond the Zombie warriors.
Of course, the Zombie warriors pointed the barrels of their guns towards him and began to cast spells.
At that moment, Asagi’s ability activated. His ability was erasing the effects of spells, and making it impossible to cast any further spells, in an area around him.
Because of this, the Zombie warriors couldn’t use magic, despite trying to use their magical media. However, this didn’t stop their ordinary firearms, which were not Magic Items.
But the Zombie warriors were unable to fill Asagi with bullet holes. They stopped moving, as if time itself had stopped for them.
Asagi ran between the Zombie warriors, closed in on Valkyrie who was continuing her sluggish footsteps, and pressed the barrel of his trusty handgun to her forehead. “Sorry about this.”
He pulled the trigger, creating a second hole in Valkyrie’s head. In fictional Zombie works both on Earth and in Origin, Undead stopped moving once their heads were destroyed; indeed, most Undead in Origin could be exterminated by destroying their heads.
Seeing Valkyrie collapse and stop moving, Asagi turned around to see the Zombies who had returned to being corpses after being defeated by his companions, and –
“‘Sorry about this,’ my ass!”
“Asagi-san, did you have a reason to charge forward just now? You didn’t, did you?”
Asagi’s cheeks stiffened at the sight of his companions, who were glaring at him. “I mean, using my Mage Masher was the most effective plan, wasn’t it?”
Asagi’s cheat-like ability, Mage Masher, nullified all attributes of magic in an area around him.
It was ineffective against natural phenomena such as wildfires and floods, as well as mechanical firearms, but it gave an overwhelming advantage against enemies using magic. In Origin, military ordnance, tanks, battle helicopters and high-explosive devices contained Magic Items unless they were extremely conventional. Although it was called Mage Masher, it was also a soldier-killer.
“You knew that they’re using death-attribute magic, right? The death attribute is still an attribute of magic. My Mage Masher nullifies it. But at the same time, it also nullifies Ifrit’s fire attribute and Titan’s earth element. It’s called Mage Masher, but even special abilities are obstructed quite a lot if they’re related to the attributes. So it was best for me to charge in on my own,” Asagi explained.
But he heard Narumi’s voice through Angel, immediately refuting that explanation.
“Asagi-kun, all of the Zombies were within range for Mage Masher to take effect, so wouldn’t it have been better for everyone to stay there and open fire on them rather than charging in? I believe your whole team is equipped with machine guns.”
“… I have nothing to say in response,” said Asagi in apology.
His companions’ irritation turned into exasperation, and they all let out large sighs.
“Asagi, you’re not an athlete who runs across fields anymore. Tone down the grandstanding.”
“Seriously. What would you have done if there was a mechanically-operated bomb implanted in Valkyrie’s body?”
“Sorry. But I can’t get used to this,” said Asagi.
He was the type who was bad at working in an organized manner. He always felt bad when he wasn’t standing at the front, when he was on standby behind his companions.
He normally suppressed these feelings, but sudden events led to him sticking his head out and acting like he had done in this case.
“And I felt sorry for this one,” he said. “There was a bullet hole in her head before I shot her. Probably the doing of someone from Murakami’s group. To turn into a Zombie and continue fighting even after being killed by allies who betrayed her, I feel a bit bad for her even if she’s with the ones who killed Mao. Akaki, please burn them.”
“Is it alright to do that?” the ‘Ifrit’ Akaki asked. “The United Nations have asked us to try to recover the corpses of the Eighth Guidance members, haven’t they?”
Even if it was only an official stance, inhumane research into the death attribute had been forbidden. However, nobody would call the analysis of residual Mana in the corpses of terrorists ‘inhumane.’
It was a small price to pay if it would lead to saving patients suffering from fatal diseases or extend the lives of influential politicians and businessmen.
“It’s too much to have even your corpse tampered with after dying twice. ‘All are equal in death*,’ right?” Asagi said.
“I don’t have any recollection of becoming a Buddhist in this world,” Akaki said, but she released flames to cremate Valkyrie’s remains. After they were turned to ash, even the residual Mana would disperse.
“Don’t you need to stop them, Hiroto?” the ‘Titan’ Iwao asked.
Hiroto responded through Angel with a strained laugh. “Iwao, if you’re going to ask, ask before Akaki has already turned them to ashes… We’ll report that Valkyrie’s remains were destroyed in a fire as a result of battle.”
Not thinking highly of research into the death attribute, and wanting to save the members of the Eighth Guidance, Hiroto had no intentions of stopping Asagi’s actions.
The continuation of research into the death attribute would mean creating more beings like the Undead and the members of the Eighth Guidance. It would indeed be good for as much happiness to be brought to as many people as possible, but creating such beings would be too cruel.
And it would be best if the death attribute… it’s a power that mustn’t exist. That’s how I feel.
The same applied to the power to transform living creatures into Undead; Hiroto felt like the death attribute was the same as human cloning, genetic manipulation and time machines that he had heard about on Earth – a domain that humans should not set foot in.
It was too much power for humanity to hold.
Those thoughts were his thoughts as an individual, so he didn’t reveal them over Angel. He quickly turned his thoughts towards other matters.
“Tendou, tell me the current locations of Baba Yaga, the monsters and Venus. I’ll deal with them, and capture Pluto at the same time,” he said.
“Alr – KAH?!” Tendou’s thoughts suddenly became chaotic.
“It’s an enemy attack!”
“Tendou-kun, umm, won’t make it in time anymore!”
The Angel network was filled with screams and angry shouts.
A tall, lean skinhead with pitch-black skin. That was ‘Ghost,’ one of the members of the Eighth Guidance.
The power that this silent man had obtained was the ability to not attract anyone’s attention. He couldn’t create monsters or Undead like Izanami or Isis, manipulate Zombies like Valkyrie, teleport like Jack or possess corpses like Shade.
However, people took no more notice of him than a stone on the side of a road. That was all his ability was.
Even his companions would lose sight of him if they were to close their eyes for a while. He caused no reactions in surveillance cameras or sensors, either. He had once repeated sideways jumps right in front of a sentry watching over a military base for an entire minute, and even then, he hadn’t been noticed.
Using this bizarre invisibility ability, Ghost had assassinated the soldiers of the special forces, disposed of the ‘Super Sense’ and ambushed the Bravers on the ground surface.
In order to assassinate the personnel who had stayed behind to support their allies from the ground surface instead of entering the base.
Astonishingly, he had been standing nearby the whole time while Hiroto and his companions had been conversing above ground.
At best, I can only kill one of them.
Even Ghost would be noticed if he called out to them or touched them by attacking them.
And Ghost’s weapon was a mere knife. His invisibility ability had poor compatibility with Magic Items of other attributes and mechanical weapons; it didn’t work if he carried such items.
But on the other hand, he had confidence in his knife. It was a knife that was long and broad enough to decapitate a cow; it could possibly be better described as a sword. He had used it to decapitate as many as ten people in a single day before.
However, his skills lay in catching his enemy by surprise and cutting their heads off with a single strike; he was an amateur when it came to close-quarters combat techniques.
Who can I kill?
Amemiya Hiroto was impossible. There were too many people around him.
The same went for Amemiya Narumi.
And then he chose the ‘Clairvoyance’ Tendou. Based on the conversation between Hiroto and the others, Ghost knew that Tendou played a vital role, and found an opportune moment to approach him, slipping past the Bravers who were standing watch.
And then he had cut off Tendou’s head from behind with a single attack. With the usual sensation and dull noise of someone’s shin-bone breaking, Tendou’s head fell to the ground, and a shower of fresh blood rose from his still-standing body.
“This guy… it’s an enemy attack!”
As the remaining Bravers stared blankly at Ghost and hastily raised their weapons, Ghost gave them a clear smile, showing them his white teeth.
And then he charged at the rest of the Bravers. His movements were not slow; it was that the Bravers had been discomposed by Ghost, who seemed to have simply appeared there without warning.
But in the next moment, Ghost’s body was torn into pieces by flaming projectiles, blades of wind and light, and electrical attacks.
He had known how things would end from the beginning. Once his invisibility was broken, Ghost was nothing more than an ordinary young man who couldn’t even use magic.
I’ve won, Izanami, everyone.
The moment Ghost died, he didn’t regret anything. The moment he had taken Tendou’s head, he had already won.
However, Tendou hadn’t simply died, either.
Narumi’s Angel could directly communicate not only words, but thoughts as wells, to others. With intense concentration, Tendou had flooded the Angel network with not the thoughts of “Help me!” or “I don’t want to die!” but all of the information that he had seen through Clairvoyance.
I haven’t… lost… either.
And then Tendou’s consciousness faded.
The Eighth Guidance: Ghost, deceased. Valkyrie and her Zombie warriors, annihilated.
Murakami’s group: ‘Super Sense,’ ‘Odin,’ deceased. Four members remaining.
Bravers: The ‘Clairvoyance” Tendou, deceased.
Remaining reincarnated individuals: 85 of 101.
“I haven’t lost, either!” Tendou shouted.
“Yeah, you haven’t.”
“You did well; it can’t be said that you were weak-spirited.”
Hearing familiar voices, Tendou looked up and saw Aran, who had white wings extending from his back and an angel’s halo above his head.
“HUH?! Why is there an angel with Aran’s face?!” he exclaimed.
“Is that what you’re surprised about?!”
“AHAHAHAHA! Well said, Tendou!”
“UWAH?! Mao, you’re supposed to be dead… hey, why is my head connected to my body?!” Tendou looked around in surprise to see not only an angel who looked exactly like Aran, but Mao, Shimada Izumi and several other familiar faces. “I see, so this is heaven… or not.”
Tendou was suspiciously eyeing quite the ominous-looking group.
“… Women are scary, women are scary, women are scary –”
The ‘Marionette’ Inui Hajime, who was crouched over, whispering the same words over and over to himself.
“You bastards, how dare you betray us!”
“Yes, yes, we’re sorry. Our bad~ we really regret it~”
“Konoe, things are getting good in the real world now, so be quiet.”
“Damn it! If I could use my ability, I could kill you all right now!”
“No, even if you could use it, you couldn’t kill us. How would you kill dead people who don’t have hearts?”
The angry ‘Death Scythe’ Konoe Miyaji, Sylphid and Odin who were treating him without concern, and the ‘Super Sense.’
It might have been arrogant to decide whether these people were good or evil, but Tendou couldn’t imagine that a place with these people could be heaven.
“Is this like a waiting room of the afterlife or something?” he asked.
“Tendou, I really failed you,” said Kouya. “I was always weak-minded, and I ended up leading you guys to a place to die. I don’t have any way of making it up to you, but please, at least let me apologize!”
“Endou…! Why are you here as well?! I don’t mind you apologizing, but at least explain things to me first!”
“Ah, no matter what he says, it’s useless. He’s been apologizing to me non-stop for a while, too. Well, it was surprising, coming to this place right after I died,” said Mao, who had come here before Tendou.
It seemed that she understood the situation to a certain extent; she seemed completely calm. Still wearing her pilot outfit, she was sprawled out across the floor that was made of an unknown material, filling her cheeks with snack food and Coke.
“… It’s surprising that dead people can eat and drink. What’s up with this afterlife?” said Tendou.
“It’s helpful that you’re relatively calm, Tendou,” said Izumi. “I want to tell you what’s going on, but the god who’s our boss is busy, so we’ll have to explain things through words.”
“Your boss is a god?”
“Yes, there were various circumstances. Aran and I are both something like angels.”
“… It doesn’t suit you.”
“You’re totally right!” Aran interjected.
Ignoring him, Tendou looked around and realized that there was one companion who wasn’t here. “From the fact that the special forces soldiers and the Eighth Guidance guys aren’t here, does that mean that only those of us who have been reincarnated once come here?” he asked.
“Generally, that’s right. From the time we died on Earth and reincarnated in Origin, it was determined that we would automatically come here once we died,” Izumi explained.
“I see. I don’t even know what kind of face I’m supposed to show to those guys; if even the soldiers and the Eighth Guidance members were here, I wouldn’t be able to calm down, so it helps that they’re not here. By the way, when you say that the god is busy, do you mean the matters concerning the ‘Metamorph’ Shihouin Mari? I don’t see her… since she died over three months ago, does that mean she’s already gone to heaven or hell?”
In response to Tendou’s question, Izumi and the others became silent and their faces fell.
“No, he’s busy because he was interfered with when he tried to bring the souls of the ‘Gazer’ Minuma Hitomi and the Eighth Guidance members here,” Aran said.
“So, Gazer died as well. What about Metamorph?”
“It seems that the ‘Metamorph’ Shihouin Mari hasn’t come here. She’s still alive,” Kouya replied with a grim expression.