Along with the gust of wind, his back appeared.
Homura raised a disarrayed voice and looked at the back that appeared in front of him.
That speed which overturned the moment of life and death couldn’t even be compared with the speed of lightning.
The boy who appeared instantly, far exceeding human perception speed, caught the swung down battleaxe of Minotaur who was three times the size of human with just his right hand.
Although it was able to cut through specially composed armor like cotton, it couldn’t budge this boy in the slightest.
He was so sturdy that it seemed as if the axe was thrust at the steep cliff instead.
If one were to compare, it would described as nothing but a splash hitting the rock on the water side.
But what truly surprised Homura was not that.
It was that back which was bigger than his own. Since both of their heights had changed, there appeared to be some differences compared to the time he saw him when he was younger.
However, even if his appearance has changed, he would never mistake him for someone else.
On his neck were hanging the Nekomimi headphones which he had supposedly failed to give him five years ago.
In a corner of his mind, he knew that only he could save him from this predicament, but he thought that only this person would definitely not come ───It was a back which wasn’t supposed to be here.
The one who saved Saigō Homura – Sakamaki Izayoi declared with angry voice as he caught the battleaxe.
“......You bastard. What the heck are you doing to this little brother of mine!”
Homura was astonished but that only lasted for an instant.
He threw angry words towards Sakamaki Izayoi who leapt in between him and the Minotaur.
“You are laaaate!!! What took you so long Iza-nii!!?”
“Haah? Is that the first thing you say after three years? What the hell are you doing at this place in the first place!!?”
“Can’t ya see by looking! I’m being attacked by that bull monster! And it’s been five years since the last meeting, don’t mistake it you dumbass!”
As if his mental strings were cut, Homura showered him with questions.
Certainly, it was apparent that he was being attacked by the mysterious bull.
But the true meaning behind his question was not that.
Besides, there were many other things he wanted to ask, but both of them understood that now wasn’t a good time for that. After both of them had frankly said what they wanted to say, they displayed a truly similar behavior.
“I’ll keep company to this bull! You go and quickly escape!”
“I would run but Kōhai’s treatment comes first! Ayato’s condition is critical!”
Ah? He raised a quizzical voice while turning just his head.
“.........I see. Heard that, Suzuka?”
From somewhere, Ayazato Suzuka’s voice was heard. And along with it, Homura and Ayato’s figures vanished from that place.
And the moment their forms disappeared, Izayoi twisted his body like a spring and drove a kick to the Minotaur’s stomach in front of him. The kick used the whole of the body’s muscles to throw the Minotaur inside the burning school building. It was a herculean strength that was unthinkable for a human, but as if it was nothing special, Izayoi turned his shoulders and took an imposing stance.
“We finally met again eh, Taurus. It took quite some time, didn’t it!”
He plunged inside the burning school without hesitation. He was well aware that the opponent wouldn’t be taken down by that degree of attack.
Within the view distorted from heat haze, the Minotaur raised a cry and charged.
Its battleaxe cut through the flames as it traveled. It was a blow far faster and stronger compared to the time when it was chasing Homura.
On the contrary, Izayoi was empty-handed. If he did not block or avoid it, his internal organs would definitely scatter apart.
But Izayoi didn’t show any signs of defending.
───And punched the battleaxe.
Minotaur raised an emotional cry for the first time. If one were to put its emotion in words, it would’ve been something like “That’s crazy!?” And what happened just now was by no means a metaphor. Izayoi stopped Minotaur’s full-powered blow of battleaxe with his first and forced it back.
Minotaur, whose momentum was stopped in it’s tracks, immediately leapt back to reaffirm the situation.
On the other hand, Izayoi laughed fearlessly while shaking his fist that became numb.
“It was quite a nice blow, but too bad. Just like you govern the Taurus, I hold the Leo. Thanks to that, I have gained a body that’s immune to bladed weapons like that. No matter how you attack with that weapon, you’d better be ready to get beaten to death.”
Izayoi provoked it with finger. It wasn’t apparent from the bull’s expression, but it seemed to have understood. After preparing the battleaxe, the bull behaved as if it was examining the situation.
(.........? That’s strange. It seemed to have no intelligence some time ago.)
Did it undergo some dramatic change?───Before he could find answer to that question, the Minotaur rushed at Izayoi while raising a roar.
But it wasn’t stupid enough to repeat the same attack over and over. The Minotaur charged in the burning school and attacked by throwing the nearby debris using its giant body and battleaxe.
He reflexively leaked an exclamation from the unexpected tactics. The flame bullets swallowed up the previously broken armor fragments and rushed at Izayoi. Each one of them seemed to have the power to destroy buildings. After scattering and covering everything in front, as expected, avoidance was impossible.
That’s why Izayoi───decided to return the hit.
With a roar, Izayoi’s fist smashed the wall of debris as if he was repelling a billow.
However, he didn’t just smash it.
Towards the entire debris in front, he responded with a fist that blew away everything in surroundings. If one returned a tsunami against the spray of rocks, it was no wonder that they would be swallowed up.
Minotaur, whose entire body was pierced by debris fragments and a sweltering heat, couldn’t endure the pain and raised a scream.
“Now now, you are slowly starting to scream more like a beast.……… Good grief, even though you should’ve stayed obediently inside the labyrinth, you came till the outside world while behaving unusually.……… Moreover, to be pinpointing my relatives and making a move on them, what’s the big idea?”
Izayoi Sakamaki’s mouth warped into a smile. Right now, he was unusually angry for real.
Naturally, he didn’t expect that Minotaur would answer that question. Despite the foam gushing out from its mouth, the Minotaur’s will to fight didn’t loosen a bit.
Izayoi also clenched his fist and prepared for battle.
Meanwhile Saigō Homura and Kudō Ayato appeared in the middle of third department laboratory room.
Although Kudō Ayato’s consciousness was hazy, she raised a voice full of wonder towards the phenomenon she experienced moments ago.
“Teleportation………! Could it be that this is Suzuka’s………?”
“Aya-chan, are you okay!?”
While surprised, this time she unmistakably witnessed phenomenon with her own eyes.
Inside the third study and research building, there didn’t seem to be anyone other than Homura and Ayato, but in spite of this, Ayazato Suzuka suddenly appeared before her eyes.
“Suzuka……… Just now, what did you...”
“Let’s save that for later. Stopping the bleeding comes first! Homura, would the bandages suffice!?”
“It’s impossible with just that! Get the needle and antiseptics, also get the case that’s below the desk of lab manager!”
“Got it! Are these needles and antiseptics!?”
From empty space, the medical instruments appeared one by one. As Suzuka randomly moved her right hand, medical instruments seemed to appear one after another below her left hand.
Ayato’s surprise grew even even more.
(This……… Isn’t a simple Teleportation………!?)
“Ayato. I’m gonna apply anesthetics and stitch the wound, so I’m gonna take off some of your clothes. Please endure it.”
Meanwhile, Homura continued to skillfully do the emergency treatment. It was a relief that the wound did not reach to the internal organs, but she had still lost too much blood. It seemed that the blood kept flowing rapidly thanks to the heavy rain outside.
“It will be bad if she doesn’t get blood transfusion. Suzuka, quickly move us to the hospital”
“Ah— .........That might prove to be difficult?”
“What?” Homura said in surprise.
“.........Why? It shouldn’t be a problem with your Apport&Asport right? That bull beast is being kept at bay by Iza-nii so this is the only time for us to escape.”
“I also thought so at first…….. But, the moment I left the school building, I was attacked by a thunderbolt you know? If Iza-nii didn’t come to the rescue, I think I would’ve been burnt black.”
Homura showed a dubious look to Suzuka’s words. Although he was partly doubting it, the bit of what she said about being attacked by lighting meant that carelessly leaving the research room was also not a good idea.
“It can’t be helped. I will use blood-producing medicine. And one more thing, this is a precious research material that Everything Company entrusted to be…….. But, this is a matter of life and death. I’d be grateful if you overlook this, Ayato-Ojōsama”
“.........Alright. I’m leaving it to you Senpai.”
After saying that, what he took out were three round capsules with an opaque liquid inside them. On the surface of capsules was written 3S. Nano Machine Unit.
(There are just three precious “Origins”, but Ojōsama’s life is on the line here. No choice but to sacrifice it.)
Before long, he sucked up one of them into the syringe and injected it to Ayato while hiding the remaining two inside his coat. With this, the emergency treatment had ended for now, thought Homura with relief.
But without giving him time to rest, the lightning now pierced through the lab window.
“Both of you get down!”
The broken fragments of glass scattered around whole place. Homura felt slightly confused, but that was only natural. He hid under the lab desk while looking at the thundercloud to confirm the situation.
There, he saw something that shocked him the most tonight.
(A cumulonimbus cloud…….. took on the form of a bull………!!?)
It was a cumulonimbus cloud that wriggled like a living thing. It’s overall length seemed to be dozens of kilometres. It didn’t take long for him to realise that such phenomenon and form didn’t exist in nature. And the worst part of it was that the cumulonimbus bull was glaring and directing hostility towards the laboratory where three of them were hiding.
“......What the heck. Isn’t that truly a “Taurus” already……..!!!”
Typhoon #24 “Taurus”. Homura grit his teeth from that ironic name.
He desperately though of a new plan, but all the wildcards were used up. He couldn't do anything else.
When he thought that every means were used up――Ayato started talking.
“.........Senpai. Haven’t you received a letter?”
“A letter. In this situation……… It should have been delivered to you as the final means of escape………!”
――Letter. Speaking of it, both Ayato and Tokuteru were saying the same. It was about whether some “Absolutely Impossible” letter had reached Homura or not.
“It should’ve absolutely……… Absolutely reached you. Senpai should have enough achievements to be invited. If it’s Queen, she would never allow Senpai to die in such abnormal situation. As the final means, she should have sent the written invitation………!!!”
Ayato called out frantically. The “Taurus” further increased in density, seeming as if it was falling from the sky. There was no other means to escape so he had no choice but to trust her words.
Homura began to rapidly recall the events that happened in the last few days.
(A letter……… Absolutely impossible letter, to begin with, in what kind of circumstances………! Letter falling from the sky? Letter in locked room? A calico cat arriving with letter in it’s mouth? If something that amusing ever happened, there’s no way I’d forget it even if I only saw it once you idiot!)
Homura frantically kept recollecting memories as his desperation grew. Leaving Tokuteru aside, he knew very well that Ayato was not a person who would make such meaningless joke. In that case, he should’ve absolutely received it.
But he could not remember it no matter what. Even if he did, the sender was so mysterious he might as well have been unknown. What Ayato was saying was that it was incredible to the extent that it was impossible to receive such a mail───
“The sender is……… Queen? I see, so it was that mail huh!”
It was the mail he received from an unknown sender to the email address that only the members of study and research should’ve known. Certainly, the email address of the sender seemed to be Queen.Hallowe’firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Shit, make it in time!”
Retrieving the phone, he searched for the mail contents.
“Taurus” clad in the cumulonimbus cloud started rapidly descending down. That was by no means a metaphor and it seemed as if the sky was falling down. Homura, who finally found it in the mailbox, barraged the buttons without confirming the contents of the mail. In that moment, the aurora filled the room as if wrapping around three of them.
But without faltering, the “Taurus” fell to the ground from the sky. Right after that, the third study and research building where three of them were was destroyed, without leaving a trace as if it was bombarded.
───Suddenly, the field of vision of those three underwent a drastic change. The veil of darkness that was supposed to be dim, was broken apart by the bright sunlight, and as if informing them about the opening of stage curtains, a dazzling world was reflected in their eyes.
The strong atmosphere kept on rubbing their cheeks. However, that didn’t seemed to be a sudden gust of wind.
Saigō Homura, Kudō Ayato and Ayazato Suzuka were……… freely falling from a place 4 000 meters above ground.
Before their eyes spread out the scenery that had never been seen before.
A giant tree that created the illusion it was piercing the sky.
A giant bird had a nest on it’s trunk and an aquatic city spread out at it’s roots.
Despite suffering from the pressure that accompanied the fall, Saigō Homura and Ayazato Suzuka’s impressions were identical and their hearts also carried the similar feelings of shock.
“Wh……… What is this place!?”
Their confusion had now reached the extreme. As expected, they didn’t anticipate this development. More importantly, if they continued freefalling like this and hit the water’s surface, it was apparent that they would die instantly.
――That said, there was no need for worry.
The visitors had the Gift of buffer applied to them before they reached the ground, but only Kudō Ayato knew about that fact.
(Ah……… It seems I was fated to return to this world after all………)
Ayato alone was accepting everything with tranquil eyes while thinking of something.
Yes――The place they were summoned to, was the perfect alternate world.
1 This why he said she’s a psych. Apport is a is the paranormal transference of an article from one place to another. Asport is the opposite. ↩
2 Third Type Star Particle Body. ↩