SLASHDØG Volume 2 Chapter 5

Four Fiends/Third Person, Fourth Beast

Part 1

After that they got back into the car again, progressed with vigilance, until they reached what appeared to be the entrance to the village.

Houses had been built here and there. ……There was no sign of people. Just from looking from the outside, there did not appear to be any lights inside the houses.

The surrounding landscape consisted only of fields and mountains. After that, there was nothing but the darkness of the night.

There was light from the light poles that had been set up at regular intervals, but the light they produced was unreliable. Compared with the darkness covering the village, the light was entirely insufficient.

Once they reached the entrance, they stopped the car and everyone present got out again.

As he glanced around the area, Barakiel instructed Vali,

“Vali, are you okay with investigating the surrounding homes?”

Accepting the instruction despite it being tedious, Vali entered the garden of a nearby home.

From the entrance of the village, Tobio and his companions made a rough survey of their surroundings. Due to being in the mountains away from urban areas, it was extremely chilly. Was this just the nature of this region, or else……?

After entering the village, they were assaulted by a rather cold sensation. Perhaps it should be called a pressure. Something that they couldn’t see was making their skin crawl.

There were numerous dark places. It felt as though they were being watched by that everlasting darkness.

Ri-ri-ri-.

In the world of darkest night, only the cries of insects resounded.

“An unpleasant atmosphere……”

While shuddering, Natsume hugged herself as she muttered.

Several minutes passed from when they entered the village. There was no sign they could detect of the people who lived there.

They do say that people in the countryside go to bed quickly and early, but it wouldn’t be strange for at least one or two houses to have lights on late at night. Rather, this situation was what was strange.

Jin and Byakusa had been clearly vigilant since entering the village. The look in their eyes and their gaits were free of any excess, showing no gaps.

In other words, this village had ended up as just that sort of place. It would not be strange for the Abyss Team or the ‘Utsusemi Agency’ remnants to appear here at any moment.

There was a swooshing sound.

“Hyah”

Natsume let out a pathetic shriek.

The sound came from a nearby clump of bushes. It was also a sign of life.

Tobio and the others raised their guards, but what emerged was a racoon. While twitching its nose, it quickly went off and left them behind.

“What the, a racoon?”

Samejima lowered his raised arms and took a deep breath.

“…………”

Tobio had Natsume and Sae intertwined with his own arms. He met gazes with them, at which point Natsume detached herself from his arm while acting flustered.

“I-It’s nothing. I just blindly got dragged along with the atmosphere for a bit there! It’s not what it seems……”

Natsume spoke confidently, but she was hanging her head and her face was bright red. She couldn’t look Tobio in the eyes.

With the mood of the place and the sudden appearance of the racoon, she had clearly been greatly startled. Unintentionally, she had reflexively jumped at Tobio who was nearby.

——It was then that Vali returned from investigating the private homes.

“In every house, the inhabitants are sleeping. However, they aren’t sleeping just because it’s nighttime. It would be right to say there’s an effect that compelled them to go to sleep.”

This was what Vali informed them of.

Shigune spoke as though realizing something.

“……So that’s why, even when we yelled for help nobody came out……”

It appeared she had asked this village for assistance.

Hearing this information, Barakiel put his hand to his chin and pondered.

If the people from the ‘Utsusemi Agency’ or the witches of Oz were to anticipate a battle possibly occurring here, they might have used a technique to put the residents of this village to sleep. It would be so they wouldn’t see anything unnecessary.”

If there was a chance for it to become troublesome, they’d put everyone in the village to sleep.

He thought it was good that the villagers wouldn’t become victims……but Vali then continued speaking.

“However, if the situation becomes complicated, it’s possible the entire village might be erased.”

At that single statement, Tobio, Sae, and Natsume all shuddered. Indeed, such a thing had been planned for their comrades and themselves as well.

——Then, Barakiel, Vali, Lavinia, Jin, and the other Independent Avatar Types all suddenly turned to look in a certain direction.

Tobio also turned to face the same way……and he experienced a sensation of indescribably ominous chills running through his whole body. From that direction he could sense something powerful whose nature was unfamiliar.

Vali spoke.

“It’s the aura of Satanael. Heh, so he himself came here directly.”

At Vali’s statement, Barakiel’s expression became complicated.

Satanael——. Originally from the Cadres of the Grigori, he was the fallen angel who had concocted the current incident. The Cadre who had cut ties with the Grigori…….

Barakiel spoke.

“……I’m going over there. Nanadaru Shigune.”

Suddenly being called out by name, Shigune let out a sound of, “Y-Yessir!”

“You can bring them along to where Koga Hyousuke is, right? If it’s them, they’re bound to be helpful.”

It was a request from the unusually hard-faced man, but Shigune, while tightly embracing her Sacred Gear, nodded.

Barakiel then spoke to Tobio and the others who were his students.

“I will speak with Satanael. You guys rescue your classmate. If Vali and Lavinia are with you it’s by no means impossible.”

Barakiel turned his gaze upon the masked beast Shigune was carrying.

“However, at the very least don’t make a mistake when using that Sacred Gear. What you Nanadaru Shigune are holding is the strongest of the Four Fiends, ‘TāotièToutetsu‘. It seems like it damage this whole area the moment it’s used.”

Upon hearing this statement, Tobio and the other former Ryoukou students were shocked. The demon Nanadaru Shigune was holding……for it be an Independent Avatar Type Sacred Gear that would damage the entire area…….

Shigune however was merely finding those words to be strange.

“……I don’t think Poh-kun is such a despicable child as that though……”

Natsume then asked in response.

“Poh-kun? That’s this child’s name?”

Even as Shigune nodded, the demon opened its large mouth that was hidden under the mask. From the sharp fangs lined up inside its mouth, it let out a completely unique sounding cry of “Poh”.

“From the cry of ‘Poh’, it became Poh-kun.”

Shigune spoke as she lovingly embraced Poh-kun that was ‘TāotièToutetsu‘. Just from looking at Poh, it didn’t appear all that atrocious on the surface at least…….

Even though he had just revealed various things, Barakiel immediately moved away.

Vali spoke.

“I really should go that way as well. There may be a battle with Satanael.”

Barakiel replied without even turning his head.

“For that you should first gain use over the armor.”

Hearing that statement, Vali’s fearless smile vanished, and his expression became that of an atypical pout.

“……I’ll gain use of it immediately. ……Kuh, I understand. Today I’m their babysitter.”

Hearing Vali’s response, Barakiel showed a brief smile, and then left them behind.

After seeing off Barakiel, Tobio and the others immediately went into action.

Tobio inquired of Shigune.

“Well then, do you know Koga’s whereabouts?”

Shigune pointed towards the interior of the village.

“I came from that mountain over there. On the way Koga-kun stayed behind on the mountain to oppose some scary people……”

All who were present turned towards where Shigune was pointing.

Everyone nodded, and while remaining vigilant, they began walking.

The group was walking towards the mountain——but Tobio’s arm was grabbed by Sae.

“…………Tobio.”

The hand Sae was grasping Tobio’s arm with was trembling. This was Sae’s weakness, that she was fundamentally a coward. Since they’d been children she’d been the type who’s extremely weak when it comes to haunted houses, to the point she absolutely refuse to enter.

Nevertheless she’d come this far by burying her fear within her small body.

Tobio gently clasped Sae’s hand.

“Let’s go, Sae.”

The pair of Tobio and Sae continued walking while holding hands. Tobio smiled so as to give her even a small amount of relief.

As a bright red coloration arose on her face, she gave a small nod.

Part 2

About ten minutes after they entered the village——.

The group was advancing along a country road that passed between paddy fields.

While shining the flashlight on the road they were heading towards the mountain.

“We walk and walk and there’s nothing but paddy fields.”

Once again surveying the paddy field scenery, Samejima spoke up.

While enveloped by an air of tension, Tobio and the others continued onward, but there came to them an audible chewing sound like “crunch crunch, munch munch” that was entirely unsuited to the atmosphere of that place.

The source of the sound——was the Sacred Gear “Poh-kun” that Shigune was carrying.

Just as they had been passing through the village entrance, there had been a stomach rumbling sound.

According to the master Shigune,

“Poh-kun is something of a glutton. Since his stomach in invariably empty, I keeping having to feed him……”

So it seemed.

Due to the mask covering its face, his expression was unreadable, but due to the great “Gukyurururururu” sound of his stomach grumbling, which was somewhat cute, and with the sound being able to possibly reveal their position, they immediately fed him the types of emergency rations for the independent avatar types that they’d brought along.

Jin’s type was dry dog food, but “Poh-kun” had begun munching at it without minding.

Shigune’s stomach let out a rumble at the same time, so she was provided with a type of jelly beverage Tobio and the others had brought for their own use. It was for supplying energy rather than for eating, but Shigune accepted them and immediately drank five of them.

Afterwards they continued walking as they crunched down on nutrition bars.

As they were traveling in the midst of this tension, Natsume, who had the nerve to calmly eat while walking, spoke while thinking back on their time at Ryoukou Senior High School.

“Now that you mention it, it was said that Nanadaru-san was a girl who ate a lot.”

At Natsume’s statement, Shigune’s cheeks were dyed red.

“Y-Yeah. It seems to be a familial thing, as there was always a lot on the dining table at home.”

While glancing at her stomach, Natsume continued.

“……However, you haven’t gained weight at all. H-How enviable.”

Natsume let out an utterance while comparing it with her own stomach.

In Tobio’s judgement, he thought that Natsume was also adequately slim……but he concluded that a girl’s perspective and a boy’s perspective had different world views.

As they were moving, Natsume raised an inquiry with Shigune.

“Nanadaru-san, there’s one thing I’d like to ask though……why did you reject the assistance of the ‘Governor-General’? We heard that you and Koga-kun rejected the cooperation of Governor-General Azazel, and were rampaging on your own……”

Indeed, Tobio had heard the same thing from Azazel.

However, just by looking at Shigune who was before them, he couldn’t conceive of her having rejected a friend in need to go rampaging.

Shigune’s expression became one that told absolutely nothing.

“The truth is, Koga-kun and I were temporarily captured by the enemy.”

‘——!!’

At that gut wrenching confession, the Ryoukou students, Tobio, Sae, Natsume, and Samejima, were shocked.

……Shigune and Koga, for them to have been captured by those guys…….

However, judging from appearances, she did appear to be safe with no physical issues……. The aim of the ‘Utsusemi Agency’——the ‘Four Fiends Project’, is supposed to have been Natsume and the rest who possess Four Fiends personally.

Natsume spoke in surprise.

“You were temporarily captured by the ‘Utsusemi Agency’? And you were perfectly okay……”

Shigune shook her head.

“Uh-uh. Not the ‘Utsusemi Agency’. The ones who captured us were Chaos……they call themselves ‘Those Who if Forced to Choose Would Bring About Chaos’.”

…… ‘Those Who if Forced to Choose Would Bring About Chaos’ ……even Tobio couldn’t help but to feel baffled by this completely unforeseen state of affairs.

Shigune continued.

“Shutting themselves is a place that’s something like a research institution somewhere, they desired a means to extract a Sacred Gear……to extract Poh-kun……. They subjected me and Koga-kun to something, some kind of experiment it seemed, several times. Eventually, I think he was a big-whig over there or something…… he was a beautiful man, that person reached an ‘agreement’ with Koga-kun.”

Koga had made an ‘agreement’ with a man who was a leader of the hostile organization Chaos……. Tobio couldn’t help but to feel a strange apprehension, but Shigune continued her explanation.

“As for what Koga-kun did for that big wig, it was becoming something scary……”

Shigune was hesitant to speak. Her expression had been so lifelike.

Samejima inquired.

“What, so Koga-kun became something scary then.”

It happened just as Shigune seemed about to reply to Samejima’s query.

A thunderous roar of ‘Goooon!!’ resounded from the direction of the mountain!

Everyone simultaneously turned to look in that direction. It had come from the precise direction they’d been heading……but the sound just now was not at all usual.

Shigune squeezed out a voice as she embraced “Poh-kun”.

“……Koga-kun, so you became that again……!”

Shigune shuddered. This supernatural wave——the aura that could be sensed from the mountain, Tobio’s mind and body conveyed that it was not an ordinary thing.

The party nodded to one another and started running towards the place where the aura had manifested.

As they were heading towards the place where Koga seemed to be, from out of the shadows of the countryside that had been silent, they could hear the sounds of unimaginably heavy explosions and impacts.

It was obvious that Koga has gotten dragged into a fight.

From the country road the party advance into a forest, and Vali who was in the lead muttered a soliloquy.

“What, why? ……What the hell? Is that really true?”

It seemed he was conversing with the thing inside him——the dragon that was said to reside within him.

“Vali, did you learn something?”

Natsume asked Vali about it but——.

‘It would seem that I should perhaps speak so that everyone present can hear.’

An unfamiliar voice was heard from the direction of Vali!

‘This is the first time I’ve spoken with everyone, huh.’

Looking at him the mouth of the dragon plush toy placed on his shoulder was moving, and a voice was being emitted!

“…………”

“…………”

“…………!!”

At this Tobio and the others stopped walking, having been struck dumb.

Natsume and Samejima both raised their voices as they pointed to the plush toy on Vali’s shoulder.

“”W-Who’s that!?””

Tobio hadn’t raised his voice like the pair of them, but deep down he was also surprised. To think, for a voice other than Azazel’s to come out of the plush toy…….

According to Natsume, the dragon perched on Vali’s shoulder was a means of emergency communication from Azazel. For an unfamiliar voice to emerge from it was surprising.

While resuming her walking, Natsume inquired of the plush toy.

“……W-Well then, you are the dragon that dwells within Vali then.”

‘Uhuh. I am one of the Two Heavenly Dragons, the White DragonVanishing Dragon known as the White Dragon Emperor Albion. Allow me to express my apologies for my late introduction.’

While narrowing his eyes, Samejima muttered under his breath.

“……So it isn’t just an ordinary plush toy?”

To this Lavinia responded, speaking with a smiling face.

“Governor-General Azazel and I have been occasionally conversing with Al-kun.”

‘It’s because Miss Lavinia and Governor-General Azazel have had various things to discuss when it comes to Vali.’

So Lavinia and Azazel had already spoken to him before. Or rather, judging from the tone, it seemed they’d been socializing in a way.

The plush dragon——Albion spoke.

‘Since there are numerous things in which Vali is still inexperienced, I make use of this device in order for my voice to be audibly heard by those outside.’

Vali spoke while displaying a dissatisfied expression in response to this.

“Albion, I’d prefer if you didn’t say so much.”

‘Hmph, is that so. My apologies.’

Although Vali and Albion were having such a give and take, Tobio asked the dragon about before.

“Well then, if I could ask the White DragonVanishing Dragon about before, what was it that you realized?”

‘Just now, the enormous aura from the mountain ahead, it was exceedingly similar to a certain phenomenon.’

“……A certain phenomenon?”

In response to Tobio who had asked back, Albion continued.

‘When the Sacred Gear and the owner of the ability reach a dramatic change in body and spirit, it’s a different domain that they then reach.’

“……The Forbidden TechniqueBalance Breaker.”

The phenomenon was one that Tobio was already aware, since Azazel had told him about a short while ago. Tobio had found out that, from the time he himself had been born, he had already been setting foot in that domain.

The Balance Breaker——it was the power of the Sacred Gear that would manifest when one achieved a certain domain, a phenomenon considered to be the final achievement for a Sacred Gear.

Fundamentally considered to be a power of an impossible degree, depending on the owner, this phenomenon was something that would form an exceptional power.

Regarding this thing of which Tobio had spoken, Albion gave his affirmation.

‘Quite so. The surge of this aura was extremely similar to that phenomenon.’

In other words, if what Albion said was true, that strange aura they had sensed from the mountain due to the phenomenon of Balance Breaker……?

If that was what Koga Hyousuke had become——.

Shigune spoke up cautiously.

“……Koga-kun said that that pretty man also called it that……. In that case it might just explain that power……”

Shigune, who apparently had already seen Koga’s power, was able to agree with Tobio and Albion’s describing it as a Balance Breaker.

Natsume inquired of Albion.

“So Koga-kun, by cooperating with Those Who if Forced to Choose Would Bring About Chaos, was able to evolve his Sacred Gear to the point that it transcends our own?”

However, Albion gave an ambiguous response.

‘……No, it merely resembled it. I have a good understanding of Balance Breakers. Consequently I find that aura incomprehensible……’

It seemed that even Albion who knew a good deal about Balance Breakers was perplexed by the aura.

Well then, just what happened to Koga’s body?

With that not being the only question on their minds, Tobio and the others finally arrived where the aura had originated from.

Lavinia produced light using her magic and illuminated their surroundings.

As for what was there——.

“Ugh!”

Natsume’s involuntary reaction was being at a loss for words.

What was revealed by the magical illumination was a ghastly scene coated with blood.

All throughout the area, there lay men wearing business suits who had been turned into gruesome corpses. Those who had been chopped to pieces, those whose arms and legs had been removed, and those whose heads had been mashed into a pulp.

The scene had become something they couldn’t bear to look at.

Sae and Shigune forcibly suppressed their shrieks with their hands, having turned their faces away.

Perhaps out of consideration for them, Lavinia regulated the light so as not to illuminate the remaining corpses.

In this scene that caused people to avert their eyes, there was only one living thing that was moving.

Lavinia directed the light at it——and standing there was a single boy.

The boy had unkempt black hair set with gold highlights here and there, and an indescribably ominous thing was coiled around his entire body.

——He was Koga Hyousuke.

He was wearing his old school uniform from when he’d transferred away from Ryoukou Senior High School.

……There was something resembling a gauntlet equipped on his right arm, and which concerned Tobio……. When he looked it seemed that Lavinia and Vali were also concerned with Koga’s gauntlet.

Even as Koga was looking towards the light, he was wiping the blood of the men off his face with his hand.

Koga noticed that Shigune was there and spoke with a light-hearted expression.

“Oh, if it ain’t Nanadaru. So you came back. Something going on……other than this that is.”

Becoming aware of Tobio and the others around Shigune, he began counting them off one by one, pointing at each in turn.

“Let’s see, Ikuse, Same-chan, Minagawa and Toujou……and two foreigners besides that. By any chance, the lineup of the Four Fiends……did it unexpectedly end up becoming the six fiends?”

As he inclined his head while letting that comment leak out, at his side——there existed a body that looked like a mass of deep black fur.

Under a closer look, it looked similar to a black furred dog. With a protruding mouth like a dog and four limbs with claws, the creature seemed to embody a dog’s characteristics……but with the fur covering the area around the eyes, its face was indiscernible.

A long-haired breed——was not what it seemed to be. The aura the creature was clad in was a stagnant black, to point of inducing feelings of unease.

Having noticed Tobio’s gaze on the dog-like creature, Koga spoke.

“Aah, this is Blitz. He’s what you’d call my Sacred Gear.”

……As expected, that creature was Koga’s Sacred Gear, the last member of the Four Fiends——HúndùnKonton.

Directing his gaze towards Jin who was at Tobio’s side, Koga was astonished.

“That dog……it’s exactly like my Blitz. By any chance, is Ikuse or Toujou one of the actual Four Fiends?”

Tobio shook his head.

“……No, Sae and I are not of the Four Fiends. Jin here is my Sacred Gear.”

Hearing that, Koga stared at Jin with great interest.

The black dog——Jin, and the black dog-like Four Fiend——Blitz, also made eye contact with each other.

Tobio and Koga watched as the Sacred Gears stared at one another. ——Then Koga shrugged.

“Well whatever. Leaving that aside——“

Koga’s gaze settled amidst the interior of the mountains. Jin and the other Sacred Gears also reacted, glaring in the same direction as Koga.

“It seems our guests have some business with us.”

Hearing this statement of Koga’s, Tobio and the others all simultaneously became alert, and prepared themselves.

From out of the depths of the mountain, what which appeared together with darkness was an elderly foreign woman with the appearance of a magician in a purple robe.

The sharp glint in her eye was familiar.

When he’d been taken to the stronghold of the ‘Utsusemi Agency’, Tobio had encountered this old woman.

——Augusta of the Purple Flame, there’s no mistaking that was what she was called.

Augusta had appeared having brought along a girl wearing gothic style clothes——her disciple Walburga, along with several magicians.

“We have been surrounded.”

Lavinia spoke while glaring at Augusta who was before them.

As she had said, people who appeared to be female magicians wearing robes had, without them being the wiser, surrounded Tobio and the others.

……Having not noticed when they had been surrounded, Tobio and the other Ryoukou students were especially surprised.

Augusta observed Tobio and the others one by with while narrowing her eyes.

“Since I had heard that there was a hard fight against those guy from the ‘Utsusemi Agency’, if I were to come here with my disciples——I would find that the dog from before and Glenda’s disciple would also be here.”

Augusta spoke with a pleased sounding voice.

Subsequently, a chill began to dominate the area. The season changed to a cold atmosphere, which wafted throughout the area.

The source of this outbreak was Lavinia. Her expression had become frighteningly cold, and as her breath turned white, she stated the following.

“This is just great. While assisting Tobio, Natsume, and my other companions, I will eradicate all of you.”

To Lavinia’s provocation, the old magician displayed a fearless smile.

“Those scary eyes are so unlike you, Glenda’s disciple.”

“……That was caused by you all.”

In this state of heightening tension, a loud ringing voice resounded from up in the sky.

“Hmph, one of the God Slaying ToolsLonginus, ‘Crucifixion by the Purple Flame High PriestIncinerate Anthem‘. So the user is the Witch of the East from Oz.”

Looking in the direction of the voice, Tobio and the others could only just make it out.

On a tall tree, standing on a branch overlooking them, was the figure of a silver haired boy——Vali. As for just when he had climbed up the tree, Tobio and the others hadn’t noticed.

The wings of light that were his Sacred Gear had appeared on his back.

While folding his arms, Vali spoke to Augusta with a magnificent smile.

“I am Vali Lucifer. The being that carries the White DragonVanishing Dragon with him. As those possessing similar Longinus, I wish to compete with you by all means.”

Natsume spoke to Vali who was up in the tree.

“Va-Vali! I-It’s dangerous so get down from there! Don’t go making provocations from such a place, you can do it just fine down here!”

Disregarding Natsume’s statement, Vali and Augusta glared at each other.

The old witch laughed with a “Kah kah kah.”

“Oho, so a small boy like you is this era’s White Dragon Emperor. Moreover, as rumored, it’s the successor to ‘Lucifer’. This is quite interesting.”

“Well, perhaps you’ll enjoy this as well.”

As he spoke, Vali flapped his wings of light, descending until he reached the surface.

It wasn’t possible to say anything about Vali’s statement……but since the members other than Tobio, Natsume, and Samejima seemed to have generally come to terms with it, given the situation, they decided to assume battle poses while paying it no mind.

Koga, though watching over this carefully, broke the silence, and spoke while scratching his cheek.

“Somehow, I don’t really get it, but is it fine just to say that the purple grandmother is our opponent?”

From the tip of Augusta’s staff, a magic circle for the sake of using magic was formed in midair as she herself spoke.

“That’s fine. It seems that the likes of you understands.”

At the old woman’s reply, Koga nodded and said, “I see, I get it now.”

Subsequently, after giving a single stroke of his Sacred Gear——the beast Blitz, he took a single step forward.

“Well then, I guess this is the continuation. ——Blitz.”

Koga, advancing together with Blitz, held out the right-handed gauntlet from before, and operated a slide on that gauntlet with his left hand. Just as the gauntlet started glowing, it started to release an ominous brilliance.

Simultaneously, Blitz, who was beside him, began releasing a deep black aura from his entire body, which resonated with the brilliance of the gauntlet.

The vibrations made the atmosphere tremble violently, and as a sound was emitted from the gauntlet, Koga raised his voice.

“——Balance Break.”

‘Si-xiong HúnDùn Over Booster!!!!’[?]

A massive aura filled the area with Koga and Blitz at its center, and a dazzling brilliance spread along with it——.

When the light ceased, what was there was a lustrous black exoskeletal powered suit. It had a beastial shape where the head and limbs resembled those of a dog, and what looked like the long fur which had hardened grew from the back of the head.

In the center of the body——the middle of the chest, there glittered something which resembled a gem.

It seemed that by using the thing resembling a gauntlet that he wore on his right hand, Koga could manifest that powered suit, which he would then don…….

Blitz, who had been beside him, had vanished, while the powered suit displayed an appearance that closely resembled Koga’s Sacred Gear.

Could Koga and his independent avatar type Sacred Gear, by using the gauntlet, be said to have been unified——or combined?

Did Blitz assume the form of the powered suit that Koga is wearing……?

Seemingly having understood something, Vali spoke as though in admiration.

“……I see, so research using our armors as reference has already reached this far……”

Augusta, who had been watching this, had brought her hand to her chin in great interest. She was observing the gauntlet on Koga’s right arm.

“……He used that to forcibly Balance Break. ……No, it appears as though it’s a type of rampage. Is there some degree of compensation for it? In any case, it can be said that that man is relentless. I suppose we should also act. ——Walburga.”

At her master’s call, a girl wearing gothic lolita style clothing stepped up from the rear, dancing as though for joy as she stepped into the limelight.

“Yessir, Oshi-sama𝆕”

“You shall cooperate with the Abyss Team along with the other magicians, and go run wild with that boy.”

“Ufufufun𝆕 You got it! What an interesting idea𝆕”

Walburga’s gaze came to rest on Koga——and Tobio and the others. Her innocent eyes also bore a cold hearted look.

“Now then, I shall——“

Augusta’s eyes shifted over to Lavinia.

“I guess I should tell you about Glenda. That’s provided that you can defeat me though. ——Accompany me, Ice Princess.”

Augusta calmly vanished in the mountain’s nighttime darkness.

“…………!”

In response to Augusta having distanced herself from them, Lavinia was troubled what to do next.

She wanted to pursue, but she couldn’t just leave her companions behind. Lavinia decided upon her companions and formed a magic circle directed at Augusta’s subordinates.

In response however, Natsume, with Griffon perched on her arm, shouted to Lavinia.

“Do something! At long last you can grasp at a clue to your master after all, so it’s no good not to pursue it! We’ll manage somehow on this end!”

Tobio and the others also nodded their consent with Natsume’s comment. Everyone was behind Lavinia.

During the battle with the ‘Utsusemi Agency’ the other day, she had supported Tobio and the others. This time it was their turn.

Lavinia’s expression became overwhelmed with emotion at her companions’ kindness, and she immediately turned her attention towards the direction in which Augusta had left.

“Natsume, everyone, thank you!”

Lavinia ran off in pursuit of Augusta.

Natsume spoke to the running Lavinia.

“If you think it’s a trap, escape immediately!”

“I understand!”

That exchange served as the signal for the commencement of hostilities at that place.

With Augusta and Lavinia having departed from there, Walburga issued instructions to the the magicians.

“Well then, first of all, let us start rampaging!”

As Walburga raised her hand, the magicians also held their hands forward in preparation, forming magic circles.

They were about to fire magic from those, but sound of the air being cut resounded nearby, and before the eyes of Tobio and the others something wriggled at high speeds.

In an instant——raising a momentary *prin* sound, the magicians’ magic circles were destroyed.

If they were to focus their eyes, long and narrow black whip-like things were wriggling back and forth at high speeds throughout the area, and were smashing the magic circles.

Regarding those long and narrow whip-like things, they were growing from the head of the powered suit-like object that Koga was wearing.

It was something taking the form of hair whose usual stiffness had been altered, and it was destroying the magicians’ magic circles as though possessing a will of its own.

At this Walburga smiled intrepidly.

“Wow𝆕 That’s quite a method of attacking! Isn’t this fun?”

Walburga was also forming a magic circle, from which she was about to release magic. In response Koga’s hair that had taken on the hardness of a whip extended.

Just as it had destroyed the magic circles of the surrounding magicians, it was expected the it would also shatter Walburga magic circle but——.

Walburga’s magic circle, easily repeling Koga’s attack, was launching a sphere of flame from the magic circle.

Tobio and the others evaded. They were assaulted by heat strong enough to roast their skin, but Tobio quickly gave orders to Jin, who sliced the sphere of flame in half using the black sword held in his mouth.

The flame sphere that had been sliced in half vanished into thin air.

If that mass of flames she released had spread within a mountain wood like this one……it’s possible it would have turned into a forest fire. It was scary to imagine what might have happened had reached the point of damaging the village where the residents had been put to sleep.

Just by looking at the ecstatically smiling Walburga, one could see that she thought it would be fine if such a thing befell those people.

Samejima shouted while forming Byakusa’s tail lance on his right arm.

“Ikuse! Chase after the magical girl! Birdbrain, Toujou, and Nanadaru go with him! It’s just my intuition, but I have a hunch that victory or defeat between that hag and the magical girl has yet to be determined. Vali, you’ll remain here with me and smash these guys!”

Vali gave an unusual response to Samejima’s proposal.

“It can’t be helped. It’s annoying to to be given instructions by Samejima Kouki, however I’m interested in the forced Balance Breaker of this man named Koga. While fighting here, I may get a chance to watch it from up close.”

Tobio was also in agreement with what Samejima had said.

As Natsume had said to Lavinia not long ago, it appeared that Augusta was luring Lavinia into a trap. He believed that Lavinia was aware of that to a certain degree, but…….

He couldn’t help but to feel that that old woman——Augusta was beyond her expectations.

Samejima’s proposal was correct, as even if Lavinia could be said to be stronger than Tobio and the others, it seemed unwise for her to be on her own.

Tobio spoke to Natsume who was putting up a fight with Griffon, to Sae who on alert in the rear, as well as to Shigune.

Minagawa-san, Nanadaru-san, let’s go! Don’t get too distant from me Sae!”

With the female group also depending on Tobio, the four of them quickly ran from that place.

Koga spoke in response to the behavior of Tobio and the others.

“Oh, so they’re chasing after that grandmother. ——Well, shall I form a joint front with Same-chan?”

Samejima, while avoiding fire magic that was being shot from a magician, blew away his opponent with his lance and shouted.

“I didn’t exactly get along with you ever since we were at Ryoukou but……well, I can accompany you for just a bit!”

Next to them, Vali was erasing the spells of several magicians with aura fired from his hands.

“My my, surprisingly, you’ve mellowed out. Well, I guess I could get used to it.”

The two Ryoukou Senior High School problem children had commenced hostilities against the opposing magicians——.

Meanwhile, Tobio and the others were pursuing Lavinia.

4 thoughts on “SLASHDØG Volume 2 Chapter 5

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