The Battle Royale Arc (学園都市暗部編 Gakuentoshi Anbu Hen?, lit. The Dark Side of Academy City Arc) is a major story arc of Toaru Majutsu no Index. Occurring on October 9th of the current year of the timeline on Academy City's Independence day, five factions from the Dark Side of Academy City try to subvert each other in order to attain their goals due to the weakened security of the city, and the effects of their actions on a few point-of-view characters.
It is the second story arc that is part of the Dark Side of Academy City story cycle, which in turn, is part of the larger God's Right Seat Arc. The story once again focuses on Accelerator in his continuing struggle against the Dark Side of Academy City, and his development as a protagonist with a nature in contrast to that of Kamijou Touma. It also marks the debut of Hamazura Shiage, a minor antagonist from the Skill-Out Uprising, as a protagonist with half of the story focusing on his development from a lackey for ITEM to a protagonist. It is currently the only Toaru Majutsu no Index story arc where Kamijou Touma doesn't appear physically, though in spite of this, his influence looms large over both Accelerator and Hamazura Shiage.
Far away from the City of Science, Academy City has been making enemies and has allowed the sides in war to be drawn, with Academy City allied to the Anglican Church, while the Roman Catholic Church is allied to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Busy with the preparations for war after the events of the 0930 Incident, Academy City has strengthened their defenses against outside forces, but the defenses within the city has considerably weakened as a result. This is exacerbated by Academy City sending Powered Suits to attack Avignon, and then search for Terra of the Left's corpse. Because of this, a few organizations that up until that point worked for Academy City, have broken free from their handlers, who are left powerless due to the Powered Suits they command being used in Avignon, and have started their plans of rebellion against the city.
SCHOOL and ITEM conflict
Kakine Teitoku, apparently aware of Aleister's plans and finding the idea of being the Spare Plan to Accelerator distasteful, likely took over SCHOOL with the intention of forcing Aleister to negotiate with him. Becoming aware of the UNDER_LINE and the secrets that is held within it, Kakine opted to steal the Tweezers in order to see into it. However, he had a back-up plan that would force Aleister to give him an audience, which involved killing the main plan, Accelerator. It is likely that he was the one that led SCHOOL to rebel, severing contact from their liaison.
For his main plan to work, Kakine would use a sniper for the purpose of assassinating Oyafune Monaka to create disarray in the Elementary Particle Engineering Laboratory, where the Tweezers are kept. However, on October 6th, their sniper is killed by ITEM, forcing them to go to Management to cover up their shortcomings to get them a sniper and arrange the assassination of Monaka. Sunazara Chimitsu is later hired for SCHOOL to replace their previous sniper, and 10 or so hours prior to the events of the arc, he deals with Chimitsu and acquires him a MSR-001 sniper rifle, it is likely that he has already given the assassination plans to SCHOOL at this point.
ITEM continues to do their job and remains loyal to Academy City. For ITEM's part, their killing of SCHOOL's sniper served as a "warning" to them. Despite this, however, they did not debate why they targeted Monaka, someone who had low value even amongst the Board of Directors. This unfinished business sets up the stage for the two organizations' conflict in the arc.
Meanwhile, Hamazura Shiage, after his defeat at the hands of Kamijou Touma, leaves Komaba Ritoku's Skill-Out faction under the belief that he had ruined it as well as the fact that he didn't want to face punishment. He later joins up with ITEM's subordinate organization and somehow ends up being assigned to deal with the girls directly.
Saku Tatsuhiko and the other members of BLOCK, already having animosity towards Aleister Crowley, become emboldened by the events of the 0930 incident, and with the growing chaos of the world that would lead to war, decided that they could challenge his will. Tatsuhiko successfully manages to take control of the organization, including its subordinate group, from the BLOCK liaison and somehow managed to hire 5,000 mercenaries from outside of Academy City. Their plan was to storm the Reformatory using the mercenaries, and take Musujime Awaki's comrades who had were being held there, hostage, as leverage to force her to cooperate with them regarding the secrets of the Windowless Building, Aleister Crowley's base. This plan, if successful, would then allow them to execute their masterstroke; transporting a Synchronous Multilayer Bomb into the Windowless Building and assassinating Aleister. It is implied that BLOCK used Management as well.
MEMBER remains loyal to Academy City, or more specifically, to Aleister Crowley, fitting to them being called his dogs. Xochitl, a member of the organization whose first mission started back in September, was a magician from the magic cabal, Return of the Winged One, with her status as a magician being known to the Professor. Due to some extraneous circumstances relating to her cabal, she has her body merged with an original grimoire and is then sent out to deal with Etzali of GROUP, who is currently using Unabara Mitsuki's appearance after having defected.
GROUP remains loyal to the city as well, and does missions for them, though only because they are coerced into doing so because of the threat of reprisal on the people they care about. Meanwhile, Accelerator, who was part of the plan during the invasion of Avignon (likely to ensure the elimination of Terra of the Left or the Document of Constantine), apparently realized that he could make up for the weaknesses of his choker-style electrode, and opted to take the plans for it from the Heaven Canceller.
Return of AcceleratorAccelerator arrives in Academy City in a huff. After Last Order leaves in a taxi upon being released from the hospital, the Heaven Canceller goes to a vending machine to get some coffee, to which a gun is immediately pointed to the back of his head by Accelerator, newly arrived from Avignon. He demands that Heaven Canceller hand him the designs of the electrode as he was its inventor. Heaven Canceller asks why Accelerator needs it, and follows by asking why he isn't letting him fix it if it’s not working, though Accelerator does not answer. Heaven Canceller continues the conversation and tells Accelerator that Last Order wanted to see him, to which Accelerator says it has nothing to do with him. However, Heaven Canceller rebuts this, saying that she was his patient, and she wanted to see him, and arranging such a meeting is his job, leading Accelerator to complain. The frog-faced doctor takes out a USB stick from his coat and hands it to Accelerator, who takes note of his preparedness, leading the doctor to say that it is his job to be prepared for patients like Accelerator. As he waits for his cup to fill with coffee from the machine, he tells Accelerator that it'd be difficult to apply its contents, as he created the important parts himself, and says that if he wants to make an identical electrode he needs to manufacture those using machine tools. Accelerator hears this but doesn't answer, instead taking the USB with him and silently departing. The doctor then turns around and finds Accelerator gone, as his coffee finishes preparing.
GROUP deals with Management
Tsuchimikado Motoharu and Management
Apparently GROUP received word of Management conspiring with some kind of criminal organization ten hours prior, and was sent to handle it despite being incomplete, as Accelerator was on a mission in Avignon.Tsuchimikado Motoharu meets with Management inside the janitor's closet of a large department store, which was re-fitted to be like a small bar. Once in the meeting, he does battle with Management, easily tricking him and coming out unscathed with the man having not even drawn a weapon against Motoharu. Management tries to surrender but is ignored by Motoharu, who shoots him in the side instead of killing him. He later calls some grunts to transport Management, as well as send Unabara Mitsuki (Etzali) to investigate Management's apartment as part of his GROUP assignment, and is informed that Accelerator is gone likely due to being sent to Avignon for a mission. He later stays behind to search for information regarding Management's actions with the organization, communicating with Etzali all the while.
Attack on the Family SideWith Motoharu to communicate with, Etzali begins his investigation of Management's Family Side apartment, looking for places where the man could hide information. Motoharu says that even if it is a small possibility he should take them all, like memory chips from rice cookers and washing machines, to which Etzali remarks that he feels like he's doing grunt work. Motoharu informs Etzali on how Management organized something for an organization, and believes that the thing that Management organized for them will be happening soon, and that stopping it before it happens is their job. Etzali asks if it was really necessary to call in GROUP for the task, but Motoharu just tells him to do his job. Etzali later finds a stack of paper money on a shelf, which he notes as being unusual. He then asks Motoharu if they have devices to read the information stored on IC chips, saying that he has found stacks of paper money and that they need to check them out as well. He answers that he will prepare them, and says that that there is no more valuable information on his side in the department store's cleaning room. Just as Motoharu continues to speak, an explosion occurs inside the room due to a rocket, then a group of armored men from BLOCK, led by Yamate, enters the room.
They were there in order to prevent other organizations like GROUP from discover SCHOOL's plans. This is due to the fact that they were forced to modify their plans to accommodate SCHOOL's actions in order to keep the organization from getting in their way, giving up on dealing with SCHOOL's actions. Etzali survived, having jumped into another room at the same time the rocket smashed through the window. Trapped, Etzali ponders what to do. He considers using his obsidian knife, but decides against it due to the huge disadvantage of numbers stacked against him. Ultimately, he decides to attack one of them and take on their appearance using his magic; Yamate being the unfortunate victim. He later stuffs Yamate's corpse inside a closet, as well as stuffing the stacks of money in a microwave oven to aid GROUP as the BLOCK grunts take away all appliances that could allow people to discover information.
Death of Management
While being interrogated and transported by GROUP grunts in a paddy wagon, it is attacked by the boy with goggles, breaking him out of the vehicle. The boy, however, instead of rescuing him, subsequently kills him after crushing both his hands and his head as he was a liability to them. The boy leaves afterwards, having only killed Management.
After the higher-ups manipulate Anti-Skill and have them swarm Family Side, Tsuchimikado Motoharu and Musujime Awaki find themselves in the very same apartment complex fifteen minutes after the explosion had occurred. While Awaki is disappointed with the destruction of evidence, Accelerator appears before them. Motoharu asks if he has finished with his errand, though he tells him to shut up. Accelerator then asks if this was the spot where Unabara Mitsuki (Etzali) disappeared to. Motoharu confirms this, and tells them that Management is currently being transported for interrogation, though he doubts they can get much from him. As such, he sent Etzali to Management's apartment for data, but mentions that the third floor was attacked and that the appliances have been taken away, something that Etzali mentioned in his report to him before the explosion. Awaki, however, points out that not all the appliances have been taken away, and shows them a microwave oven, blackened by the explosion, believing that it was probably not loaded with AI, and as such cannot be inputted with additional information. As Accelerator whines about their situation, he kicks on the microwave oven only to discover stacks of money inside it. Awaki notes that the bills have anti-counterfeiting IC chips and that they might be able to get some information from them, and that Etzali protected them from radio signals by using the microwave oven. Accelerator wonders if Etzali hid them in advance. Then Motoharu notices a man stuffed inside a closet and sees that the skin by the right calf leg was torn off, disturbing Awaki. Motoharu then explains the "magic" behind it, but summarizes that Unabara Mitsuki (Etzali) has the skill to substitute as other people. Motoharu informs them that Mitsuki is still alive, and is currently masquerading as one of those who attacked the apartment, and he has no idea where he is.They later leave Family Side and go to one of their hideouts in the underground shopping center. They later receive word that the paddy wagon that held Management was attacked by an unknown assailant, with only him as a casualty and everyone else knocked unconscious. GROUP sets aside their investigation of Etzali's disappearance and begins scanning the money from Management's apartment. Using the reader Motoharu had asked from their supplier, the machine starts analyzing. He discovers Management's shopping list, dealing with a single sniper as well a special sniper rifle, Sunazara Chimitsu and his MSR-001. Motoharu relates to them the specifications of the rifle as he continues to swipe the stacks of money for more information. By the fourth one, they find out that IC chips have been damaged, likely from heat or shock of the explosion, the stack having information regarding the business partner that hired the sniper. Giving up, Motoharu swiped the last pile of bills and discovers that they are the plans for the sniping, including the location of the sniping, the School District 7 concert hall. Motoharu notes that the plaza is being chartered for an address by Oyafune Monaka, one of the Board of Directors, and that she may be the target for assassination. He says that they should forget Mitsuki (Etzali) to prioritize the assassination, and that the lowest "score" in the job will have to go and save him. Accelerator then whines about stopping the assassination, asking why they couldn't just stop the address. Motoharu of course gives the perfect response to this: the address has already started.
Attempted assassination of Oyafune Monaka
- Main article: Attempted assassination of Oyafune Monaka
By the time Motoharu arrived at the hotel room where Chimitsu was hiding, he had already left. He later calls Accelerator to report this, and states that the likelihood of Chimitsu continuing his sniping is low. Motoharu then tells Accelerator to have Monaka's speech suspended, and have it transferred after security measures are set up again. Accelerator then informs Motoharu that Musujime Awaki has finished analyzing the IC chips in Management's stacks of cash, and tells him that SCHOOL was behind the assassination attempt.
Aftermath of the assassination
During lunch GROUP once again gathers together and are in an RV, where Accelerator asks if they have something on SCHOOL. Motoharu says that he tried accessing the Bank but nothing came up other than their name, concluding that they likely have the same level of secrecy as GROUP. Awaki cuts in, saying that she also tried to dig into the matter, saying that multiple organization names like SCHOOL and GROUP came out as well, surprising Motoharu. Awaki summarizes what she knows; GROUP, SCHOOL, ITEM, MEMBER, and BLOCK, all unofficial units created by putting a few people together. Accelerator listens in on the conversation between Motoharu and Awaki, in which they could not confirm that it was SCHOOL that attacked Management's apartment.
Reactions to the assassination attempt
The constituents of MEMBER are in an open-air cafe during all the commotion. The Professor is doing some research on a couple of papers related to AIM diffusion fields and gives a small lecture to Xochitl about it and the possible applications that can be done with it. Baba Yoshio via his Type: Great Dane then appears before him immediately after the attempted assassination of Oyafune Monaka. He informs the Professor that SCHOOL and GROUP have made their move. The Professor asks Yoshio if they have made contact yet, to which Yoshio says that GROUP has failed in capturing them, and that it is currently unknown whether they can catch up to them. Hearing this, the Professor concludes that the other organization has made their move as well. The Professor states that from the start. organizations like them have reasons for their complex behavior, being repressed by the powers at the top and were subject to control. However, the Professor states that because of the riots that rose along with the 0930 incident, the majority of the Powered Suits were sent out to mop-up at Avignon. The Professor then says that it is a big opportunity for them as the suits cannot be used freely. Saraku then appears and asks if the opportune time will be soon, which the Professor confirms. Xochitl then asks how the Professor could predict the other organization's movements even though the information from the higher-ups might be incorrect, to which the Professor responds that it is because the top brass possess the technology to make that possible, most likely referring to UNDER_LINE.
ITEM's investigation on the assassination attempt
Their conversation begins with Kinuhata Saiai pointing out how she was sure that they took out SCHOOL's sniper three days before. Mugino Shizuri says that SCHOOL likely hired a new one and ignored their "warning". Frenda Seivelun states that back then they didn't debate why they were targeting Monaka, but realizes that there must be something up if they still wanted to assassinate her, despite her low value even amongst the Board of Directors. Takitsubo Rikou adds to Frenda's conclusion, repeating what Mugino said. As Mugino tries to think of a reason why SCHOOL would go out of their way to try to kill Monaka again despite her low value, she asks for Shiage's opinion. Shiage tries to give an answer but his response didn't actually have anything in it. Disappointing everyone, with both Frenda and Saiai calling him disgusting, while Rikou says she'll root for him even everyone else is calling him disgusting. With this disappointment, Shiage kneels on the ground and is promptly ignored. Mugino goes back on topic and proposes that SCHOOL targeted Monaka because there's no value in killing her. Saiai is confused, to which Mugino says that SCHOOL probably didn't care who it was as long as it caused a disturbance, choosing a VIP whose death wouldn't have much of an effect and didn't have strong security. Frenda then states that she feels sorry for Monaka. Feeling proud, Mugino gives her hypothesis on what SCHOOL is after, starting on how if a VIP of Academy City is in danger, people are called in from all sorts of places. She says that roads are blocked off in order for ambulances to travel on, as well as important people from various medical industries gather at the hospital for them. Saying this, Mugino asks what would happen if someone attempted to assassinate a VIP, and she responds with the fact that people will be called in to protect the facility where the VIP will undergo treatment. Mugino concludes that SCHOOL will do something amidst the confusion, with Saiai stating that their methods are boring. Mugino then speculates on what facility they would be targeting after creating the commotion. Frenda concludes that Monaka was just SCHOOL's insurance for their plan to be in order and that they are still planning on attacking their real target, to which Mugino agrees. Shiage then speaks up again, asking if what SCHOOL did was really an attempted assassination. Mugino says it probably didn't matter as Monaka may be revived by Academy City's mysterious technology even if she died. Mugino then orders that they need to find the facilities that have insufficient security due to the assassination attempt. She then adds that they also need to see what would have changed had the assassination been successful, stating that SCHOOL may have made a situation where they could move whether the sniper succeeded or not, indicating that there might be a facility that has its security reduced regardless as it may be where SCHOOL is headed. She then orders Shiage to find a car for them as they may be heading out soon. Shiage becomes irritated on how Mugino gave her orders, but he is forced to acquiesce. However, Shiage complains about how he was once the leader of over 100 Skill-Out, to which Mugino says that it is true, though she doesn't see his point. Shiage then leaves to find a car with a heavy heart.
BLOCK begins their move
Etzali (as Yamate), and the group that attacked Family Side, later return to BLOCK's base in School District 10 near the Reformatory. Unbeknownst to Tatsuhiko, there is a spanner in the works, as Etzali has killed Yamate during the operation and has taken on his appearance. Disguised as Yamate and suddenly being in BLOCK's base, Etzali is anxious. Seeing this, Megumi asks what's bothering him, to which Etzali replies that it's nothing. Megumi then says that he should pull himself together as the plan's success depends on his power. Tatsuhiko then tells Megumi that SCHOOL has made their move and laments on the fact, despite giving them the information regarding Management. Megumi then says that it won't be easy outwitting Academy City but says it's also a reason why they can't give up. She then asks about the Man on the Phone, to which Tatsuhiko says that both he and the Hound Dogs are of no concern. After Etzali ponders on how the subordinates are supporting an actual rebellion, Tatsuhiko then orders Tetsumou to use her Skill Polygraph to make sure there isn't a traitor among them, their usual safety check. Etzali becomes surprised, though manages to hide it. He quickly concocts his plan, playing around with hand cream before his turn and spiked it with a small quantity of liquid explosives. After analyzing Saku and Teshio Megumi, the latter's past disturbing her enough for Megumi to advise to stop reading her mind, it was Yamate's turn. Before Tetsumou could get to him, Etzali pretended to lose his grip on the hand cream container, forcing a minor grunt to pick it up for him.
Etzali goes to it and has him get analyzed by Tetsumou first instead of him, rubbing the dangerous explosive on his hand. As Tetsumou touches his hand to read his mind, their hands suddenly burst into flames, and she loses a few fingers of her right hand. The shock and blood loss then renders her unconscious, which prompts the grunt to reach for the first aid kit, but Tatsuhiko executes the grunt despite his pleas, believing him to be the traitor inside their group all along. Noticing that Tetsumou could no longer function as a polygraph, Saku shows no interest in her condition, saying that there isn't any time to "find a replacement" and instructed some of his men to take care of her body. With that done, Tatsuhiko goes to his laptop and begins the next phase of their plan.
Thus BLOCK begins hacking the Virus Isolation Center and spread the viruses through the External Connection Terminals and at the same time hack Hikoboshi II's satellite control center as so they can use the satellite in order to split the forces that would be sent out to deal with it. BLOCK's main goal with the hacking however was to take down the surveillance system that the Hikoboshi II satellite had and deliberately spread false information of using its large caliber ground-attack laser to attack School District 13.
GROUP response to the hackingNews spread to related organizations in the Dark Side of Academy City regarding the hacking. While GROUP is in the RV, the driver reports to them that the Virus Isolation Center is being hacked. Accelerator whines about how they shouldn't be the ones to deal with it as there are other organizations like them, but Motoharu says that they have different duties so there's no guarantee that those organizations would act, moreover, he says that the others may have betrayed Academy City. Realizing that the hacking may be used to spread a virus from Academy City to the Internet, the External Connection Terminals have all been shut down to prevent leakage, with the exception of one; the west terminal in School District 13. Motoharu references that whoever is behind the attack may be luring them to the district. As the driver takes to them to the district, he asks them about the deal with Oyafune Monaka, where he is informed that they'll deal with it later. When asked about saving Unabara Mitsuki, he is informed that they never intended to save him. Then, as they head towards the district, they are informed by the driver that there is currently a hacking in progress on a satellite control center belonging to an aerospace engineering laboratory in School District 23. Accelerator frowns at the news as it means the hacker is targeting Hikoboshi II, a satellite with a large caliber ground-attack laser. Awaki is uneasy from the news as well, as the cracking on the Virus Isolation Center is still ongoing. Motoharu points out that they are splitting up the countermeasure team, and they can't just ignore one or the other as they don't know which one is a decoy or not. Reaching an impasse, Accelerator says that the answer is obvious. He gets out of the RV while it's moving, already using his powers, to which Motoharu yells at him. Accelerator explains to him that he doesn't like dealing with decoys and that he's going to School District 23 to stop the hacking by destroying the antenna used to contact the satellite. He then tells them to do the odd jobs without him. Accelerator then jumps on a car, pointing a gun to its driver, saying that he'll pay him gas and labor, ordering him to go School District 23.
ITEM response to the hacking
As ITEM prepares to leave in order to deal with SCHOOL, the ITEM liaison receives word of the hacking and contacts ITEM. Mugino tries to ignore her calls but eventually gives in. The liaison says that there is an emergency in the Virus Isolation Center and tells them to deal with it. Mugino is apathetic about the situation, prompting the liaison to complain and that the Powered Suits are currently busy searching for the body of someone called Terra of the Left. Mugino replies that they are busy and asks if they can do it later, which prompts the liaison to complain again, telling her of their purpose, and reminding her that they weren't able to protect Monaka from SCHOOL even after they said they killed their sniper. Apparently fed up, she tells her that she'll ask someone else to deal with the Virus Isolation Center and that they need to write a report on the attempted assassination. Mugino says, however, that they can't do that as they are about to destroy SCHOOL. Hearing this, the liaison stops complaining and asks them to shoot each member of SCHOOL at least 10 times for her. Mugino says that her reply was awkward and tells her she's supposed to try and stop them. The liaison says not to worry about, stating that she hated SCHOOL for a long time, and that everything that worries her should be eliminated from the Earth. With that, the liaison ends the call laughing, leaving Mugino quite confused. Mugino then tells Shiage to get them a car. The girls get in the car Shiage had just stolen for them, impressing Mugino. Shiage asks where they are going, to which Mugino states that they'll be going to Kirigaoka Girls' Academy in School District 18 as there is a particle engineering laboratory nearby that she believes is SCHOOL's target as the place has become disrupted after the assassination attempt on Oyafune Monaka. Mugino mentions that there are multiple places that she suspected but states that the particle engineering laboratory. Hearing this, Shiage asks what they are after there, though Mugino says that she doesn't know, but says that it is better than dealing with the whole Oyafune Monaka thing. They later leave with the automatic transmission car Shiage stole.
Etzali contacts AcceleratorAfter Accelerator contacts the GROUP liaison for information on the Hikoboshi II, Etzali successfully manages to sneak away long enough to contact him. He tells Accelerator that he is currently in disguise. Accelerator assumes that he is hiding behind SCHOOL's back and says that he is busy dealing with the satellite hacking as such he can't answer his plea for rescue. Etzali clears to him that he is not with SCHOOL but with BLOCK and that they're the one who is doing the hacking. Accelerator references SCHOOL's attempted assassination with Oyafune Monaka, which surprises Etzali as he had no idea it had happened. Etzali continues with his report and says that BLOCK is the one behind the attack of the Virus Isolation Center and one of the External Connection Terminals, doing so in order to confuse the city's network countermeasure team. Etzali says that the Hikoboshi II satellite will fall into the hands of BLOCK in 20 minutes. Accelerator asks why School District 23 hasn't temporarily frozen the satellite control center, to which Etzali replies that he believes freezing it takes over an hour. Accelerator then asks about Hikoboshi II, to which Etzali then concludes that they are using the laser to strike a target—School District 13, specifically the kindergartens and elementary schools. Both of them knew that attacking a district where children resided would be disastrous to Academy City, a city of schools that needs children to operate. Accelerator asks Etzali if he could stop them from where he is, to which he says he wouldn't have called if he could. Accelerator then asks if Etzali can evacuate the residents of School District 13, but says that it would cause panic and is unfeasible as the children are outside due to the holiday. Accelerator insults Etzali for his uselessness and whines about how he has no choice but to destroy the antenna that communicates with the satellite. Etzali agrees and says that he will continue to gather information and pass it to Accelerator when he can. Etzali then hangs up, with Accelerator telling the driver to hurry up.
ITEM vs. SCHOOLWhile Shiage waits outside of the Elementary Particle Engineering Laboratory with the getaway car and later meets Yomikawa Aiho, the rest of ITEM go inside. ITEM and SCHOOL then clash in the laboratory, with ITEM (most likely Mugino), ending up eliminating the Boy with goggles. The latter apparently not risking a battle later tries to escape in a station wagon. Not wanting to lose her quarry, Mugino Shizuri later takes Rikou with her (likely because she is the only one who can track SCHOOL) and leaving Saiai and Frenda behind. Shiage asks where Saiai and Frenda are, to which Mugino says their battle back in the laboratory won't be enough to kill them. As Shiage follows the station wagon, he sees Mugino sporting the marks of battle, with her face swollen and clothes burned. Shiage asks what had happened, commenting on how she's supposed to be the 4th-ranked Level 5. Mugino then says that SCHOOL had a Level 5 as well, the 2nd-ranked Kakine Teitoku. However, Mugino comments on how, in spite of him, they took care of one of them. Shiage then asks what she'll do when they catch up to the station wagon, to which Mugino says that they'll defeat them and take back what they stole. Mugino then says that they stole the Tweezers, though she fails to explain it to Shiage, stating that the only thing he needs to do was to catch the station wagon. Mugino then begins doubting that they can catch SCHOOL with the car they have, to which Rikou says not to worry. Rikou says that her AIM Stalker can track down the owner of any AIM diffusion field she has recorded, as such she can search and find them even if they leave the solar system. Shiage then reassures Mugino, saying they have an excellent navigator, as such they won't get away. Suddenly, they see a mobile crane before them operated by a certain girl, intercepting the car ITEM was in. With her skills, she is able to hit the car, pushing it towards a wall. Mugino explains to Shiage that the ones who are attacking them are SCHOOL, wanting the station wagon to get away. The Girl in the dress backs up the mobile crane about 10 meters as she tries to strike the car again. Seeing this, Mugino orders Shiage to smash the windshield of the car, as the crane had crushed the doors too much. They are able to escape the car just in time as the Girl in the dress crushes it with the wrecking ball, with the car exploding shortly after. With the crane's engine apparently stalling, the Girl in the dress comes down to go after them personally. Mugino tells them that they should split up, but Shiage asks why she couldn't stay and fight, to which she responds that she is after the Tweezers in the station wagon they were chasing, and does not care for subordinates like the Girl in the dress. Furthermore, Mugino states that the Girl's power is troublesome. With that, they leave in different directions.
Hamazura Shiage and the Girl in the dressShiage goes into an alley between buildings but discovers the Girl in the dress following him. He continues to run, climbing up an emergency staircase on one of the buildings. Entering a student dormitory, he keeps on running straight through a hallway but then hears a door open behind him. The Girl had caught up to Shiage with a small gun in her hand. Shiage then frantically pushes the button to activate the steel shutters between them, used for protection against out-of-control esper powers. The Girl is shocked and tries to shoot at the shutters twice, but to no avail. The two of them looked at each other on the monitor next to them. As Shiage taunts her, the Girl puts away her gun and takes out a 40mm grenade launcher. Horrified, Shiage runs along the hallway again as the Girl launches a projectile towards the steel shutter. Shiage did not fully escape the blast as fragments him and propelling him 5 meters down the hallway. Finding his bearings, he staggers to run away again and finds himself on a terrace with a three story drop below. Not wanting to face the Girl, Shiage jumps down, exclaiming that being a loser is the best. He later sees a young mother pushing a baby carriage down in the alley. Believing he will crash with the carriage, Shiage helplessly swings his arms and legs around trying to get some distance them. He later lands 15 cm from the carriage. His appearance both shocks the mother and the baby, the former asking who he is, to which Shiage says that he is the kind of hero that falls from the sky. He then says that it is dangerous in these parts and advises her to leave before running down a nearby alley.
When the Girl arrives at the terrace, she only finds the woman and her baby in the carriage. She later calls a comrade, reporting that she has lost her target. She then says that there is a mother and a baby carriage nearby and posits a question that Shiage could have disguised himself as a baby, a mother, or baby carriage. She was later called an idiot and told to die afterwards as a response. She is later annoyed by the fact that she let her guard down as she thought Shiage was not too bothersome, and laments on how she should've used her powers from the start.
After escaping the Girl, Shiage gets a call from Mugino. She asks him if he managed to screw up, get himself detained, and have someone put his phone up to his ear. Shiage says that he is fine and assumes that Mugino is too. Mugino commends Shiage for his efforts, saying that she had things a lot easier because of it. She then apologizes, stating that he needs to come back as she needs him to dispose of a body.
Hamazura Shiage's lament
Joined by Rikou, Shiage tries to do so as he was ordered, having been given advice by Mugino not to think much what was inside the bag. As he carries the bag with the body in it, he feels the contours of the bag and wonders who could've been in it. Shiage tried to get his mind off of that feeling and then throws the bag into the furnace. As he tries to operate the furnace that would destroy everything that would remind people that the thing inside the bag was a person, Shiage's thoughts begin to wander again. He tries to not think about it, but fear grips him and he fumbles with the control and the furnace begins to burning the body. Seeing this, Shiage stared upon the furnace and sat down on the floor. Shiage wondered who could've been in the bag, and contemplates their cruel fate. Rikou asks Shiage what's wrong, to which he asks what exactly human life is as he stares upon the furnace where the corpse is being turned to ashes. He continues by asking why a Level 0's life is such a cheap thing. Rikou continues to call out to him but he continues to stare into the fires of the furnace.
Annihilation of MEMBER
Accelerator vs. Kill PointThe convertible Accelerator was riding in stopped near the terminal station in School District 23. After handing some money to the driver, he decides to use his powers to get to the antenna as it was still far away. However, he is then attacked from behind by Saraku before Accelerator can use his choker. Accelerator is injured but manages to get the upper hand and shoots behind is back, injuring Saraku, though without Accelerator's knowing, he manages to mess with the sight. When Accelerator turns to look at his attacker, he saw that Saraku is injured. Accelerator asks if he is from BLOCK, to which Saraku says that he is from MEMBER and that he is there to stop him from destroying the antenna. Accelerator then turns on his choker, activating his powers. As he turns around, he discovers that Saraku is already behind a railroad worker, and uses him as a hostage, holding a saw to his neck. Accelerator gives a laugh, discovering the true nature of his power, that he cannot manage true teleportation's calculations and uses the positioning of other people to calculate where he can teleport. Accelerator mocks him, prompting Saraku to say that he doesn't want to hear that from someone who uses a choker. Saraku says that Accelerator won't abandon the hostage as evidenced by the fact that he wouldn't have come to School District 23 in the first place to stop the Hikoboshi II. Accelerator, having now dubbed him as Kill Point, says to Saraku that he has no aesthetics of a villain and points his gun on him. Saraku however reminds Accelerator that there might be something wrong with the sights of his gun. Realizing that he might hit the hostage instead of Saraku, Accelerator did the next best thing, he shot himself in the temple and using powers, calculated and redirected the trajectory of the bullet. This method easily fells Saraku, making him bleed on the shoulder. Accelerator then motions the railroad worker to leave. Saraku continued to face Accelerator, though tried to look around using only his eyes to find someone to teleport behind. Seeing this, Accelerator mocks him as Saraku is consumed by fear. Accelerator then says that he will now teach him of the aesthetics he lacked and what a true first-class villain really is. Accelerator then shoots at him several times enough to incapacitate him.
Accelerator later arrives and faces against the Anti-Skill, defeating them all without killing them, and then destroys the antenna, allowing BLOCK to continue with its plans.
Kakine Teitoku vs. the Professor
The station wagon that ITEM was chasing later stops at a warehouse in School District 4. After Kakine Teitoku shows off the Tweezers to the driver and what it does, the Professor from MEMBER accompanied by one of Yoshio Baba's Type: Great Dane. The Professor uses his Mimosa to attack Kakine who has begun wearing the Tweezers, killing his driver in a gruesome manner. Kakine becomes aware of him, to which the Professor laments on how losing a Level 5 would be a shame. Kakine ponders on which faction he is from, to which the Professor states that is of MEMBER. The Professor then asks Kakine if he smokes, though he does not reply. The Professor makes a metaphor of the situation, comparing Kakine's actions to a child doing something because he thought it was cool, annoying the latter. Using the Tweezers, Kakine notices the Professor's Mimosa for the first time, noting them as Nanodevices. The Professor claims that the Mimosa are not as grand as Kakine presumes and explains its properties to him. At which point, Kakine becomes surrounded by them and attacked.Kakine survives, however, and creates a loud explosion, inadvertently dispersing the Mimosa and making it useless. There, the Professor discovers that Kakine Teitoku is alive and without a single scratch on his person. Kakine overheard the Professor's short story of his life, to which the Professor tries to attack him using the Mimosa but discovers that they have been dispersed too much by the explosion. At his wit's end, Kakine tells the Professor that, "It’s about time you had another dose of despair." Kakine kills him afterwards, though in what manner is unknown.
Yoshio Baba's fateSeeing that the Professor has died, Yoshio makes plans to leave the Summer Resort, for his enemies will soon discover his location. He later discovers that the exit elevator will not work, as well as the fact that he cannot open the door to the stairs. At that moment the lights in the shelter turned bright, to which Yoshio discovers that the shelter has been put into lock-down for security reasons. He later hears water behind the walls. Believing that his shelter has been flooded, Yoshio realizes that he cannot escape on his own. Since the Professor is dead and Saraku is indisposed after his fight with Accelerator, Yoshio emails the only other functioning operative of MEMBER, Xochitl. However, she crushes her hopes by saying that since the information he collects on the organizations is stored in different servers for each organization, she doesn't need him to pursue her enemy and she doesn't have time to clean up her mess. This of course angers Yoshio but he has no time to complain. He invites the idea of laying down his pride and asking grunts from their subordinate organization or from the Person on the phone, but discovers that the communications cable had been physically severed. Now he can no longer get new information. And thus he was trapped, and though he was in the safest place in the world where he had enough food and oxygen to last him for an entire year, Yoshio succumbs to despair and his thoughts are later overtaken by his imagination.
BLOCK's next moveBack with BLOCK, Megumi asks if Tatsuhiko has done it, to which he says that he did so. He says that he used the Virus Isolation Center as a dummy while School District 23, where the antenna for Hikoboshi II is located, was understaffed. He then tells that what they have done is the first step toward the world Aleister is in. As Etzali ponders what to do, Megumi reports that something has happened in School District 23. Here she states that a number of Anti-Skill operatives have been defeated though none of them were killed or had fatal injuries. She continues that from there, at high speed, the offender went to the antenna. Tatsuhiko asks which organization is behind it, presuming that it may be MEMBER. Megumi then says that it is GROUP's doing and it may have been its most recent member, the Level 5 known as Accelerator. Etzali sees a photo of Accelerator on Megumi's monitor, and thinks it was taken in School District 23 by a member of BLOCK's subordinate organization. At first Etzali becomes nervous with BLOCK discovering Accelerator, but then realizes that BLOCK may not be able to snipe or attack from the distance where the photo was taken. Megumi then asks what they should do, to which Tatsuhiko says that it is obvious and that is pray for success. At first Etzali doesn't understand his reply, but then realizes something, they were trying to take down Academy City’s surveillance capabilities. Tatsuhiko says that a frontal assault on School District 23 would have been difficult for them, but their current situation wouldn't have occurred if the antenna wasn't destroyed first, as such they needed the likes of those who are powerful but stupid to do the job for them. Megumi says that they may have overthought as Accelerator has already reached the antenna. Tatsuhiko says that the higher-ups must've opened up a path for him as Accelerator should've been attacked by HsAFH-11 helicopters already, though it doesn't matter since Accelerator can defeat all of them. Megumi then asks if they should really use the mercenaries waiting outside the outer wall of School District 11. Tatsuhiko then chastises her for having second thoughts of having unrelated people getting wrapped up in their plans. With that, Tatsuhiko ends the hacking done by his laptop and turns it off. He then tells them that they should go now, as 5,000 mercenaries are waiting for them outside.
Massacre near the outer wall of School District 11BLOCK arrives in School District 11 near the outer wall of the city. With the city's surveillance down, BLOCK is waiting for an opportune time to make their move with allowing their mercenaries in. Etzali is aware of this, though he does not know if the other members of GROUP or even the higher-ups know of this. Etzali wonders what BLOCK's goal is with the mercenaries is, not knowing what they're going to attack with such a massive amount of forces. Megumi who stood nearby asks Yamate believing him to be nervous about their big plan, the person Etzali is disguised as, if he is worried, to which Etzali responds in the negative. Tatsuhiko then complains about the Security robots still moving around in his impatience. Megumi asks if that is a problem, though he says that they are unarmed, and that the mercenaries can get over the wall if they time it right. Etzali then asks why they aren't armed, to which Tatsuhiko explains to him the reason. Basically, what the security robots do is not shoot at targets but use a special communication line to sound an alarm in School District 23. This would then mobilize unmanned attack helicopters HsAFH-11, the Six Wings, to attack the intruders. Tatsuhiko then looks at his watch and determines that in 10 minutes, the rotation of security robots will begin to recharge, allowing for a 20 to 30 minute gap in the security. As communications with Hikoboshi II, which usually fill in the gaps of the security in this rotation, this gives the mercenaries that BLOCK hired some time to enter into Academy City. Tatsuhiko then orders to prepare vehicles for the 5,000 mercenaries that are coming. Tatsuhiko is unaware of Etzali's thoughts as he radios and instructs the mercenaries outside via radio. Etzali decides to attack now as he had no way to contact GROUP. He later finds a nearby parking garage and takes out his Spear of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli to destroy it. Tatsuhiko and Megumi witnesses this inexplicable action by their comrade and, as they have no knowledge of magic, they merely stared at him. However, shock dawns upon them as they see him running towards the parking garage as it collapses. As Tatsuhiko yells at him, Etzali is fired at by BLOCK and the others. However, he was protected by the collapsing parking garage and then used his obsidian knife to make a hole on the ground to the sewers, allowing him to escape Tatsuhiko's wrath. Shortly after, an emergency signal is sent to School District 23's Air Superiority Preservation Control Center, and due to the surveillance satellite's special defense conditions being out, allowing him to immediately mobilize the Six Wings attack helicopters to School District 11. Tatsuhiko curses Yamate as chaos falls upon them. The HsAFH-11 unmanned attack helicopters with their Flame Crash bullets easily slaughter thousands of BLOCK's mercenaries. Both Tatsuhiko and Megumi are in cover as the attack takes place. The latter then yells to Tatsuhiko that they need to give up on the mercenaries as traveling in large numbers while being watched would make them sitting ducks. Tatsuhiko says that if the abandon the 5,000 mercenaries, then all their efforts in getting them would be for naught. However, Megumi says that the mercenaries may have already believed that BLOCK betrayed them. Furthermore, she says that the ones left outside will not come anymore. Megumi suggests that they need to retrieve those that are inside and retreat. Still angered by Yamate's (Etzali) betrayal, Tatsuhiko curses him and promises to kill him.
Aftermath of the massacreMeanwhile, Etzali is amazed by the power of the HsAFH-11s as he hid in the rubble, and is glad to have kept as many mercenaries from getting killed as possible. Finally, Etzali removes his Yamate disguise and puts on his Unabara Mitsuki disguise again. As he moves around the rubble, he is noticed by one of the HsAFH-11s, seeing him as one of the mercenaries as well. He takes out his Spear of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli and uses its power to destroy it. However, two others detected his presence and gave him chase. His obsidian knife only able to be used at one target at a time, Etzali flees; however, they are much faster than him. Just as he believes that he is going to die, Accelerator appears and destroys them. His appearance surprises Etzali. Accelerator says that he heard about something happening near the outer wall after Motoharu and Awaki had finished with the External Connection Terminal and him destroying the antenna for the satellite, and found the commotion when he got there. Accelerator then asks where BLOCK is as he says Etzali didn't call in the Six Wings without good reason. Etzali tells Accelerator to get away and that he managed to gather about 100 mercenaries from the outside. Despite Etzali's successes in preventing the onslaught of more mercenaries from entering Academy City, Accelerator berates him for his failure. They later witness the last of the HsAFH-11 helicopters leaving after finishing their "clean-up". After the massacre near the outer wall, Motoharu and Awaki later join up with Etzali and Accelerator. After Motoharu explains to them how they destroyed the center of the western External Connection Terminal, Awaki asks Etzali if BLOCK was behind everything, despite SCHOOL being behind the assassination attempt on Oyafune Monaka. Etzali answers that they probably have their own plan as they caused separate incidents, and that they just happen to have a point of contact with Management. Accelerator references MEMBER as well. GROUP then moves on to the area near the outer wall where the massacre happened and comes upon a survivor of the onslaught of the Six Wings. Motoharu demands answers from the man on what they were going to attack using 5,000 mercenaries. After some hesitation, the man says that they were planning on attacking School District 10, specifically the Reformatory. Hearing this, Awaki demands to know why, as her comrades are being kept in the facility as well. The man tells her that they were after Move Point. Hearing her ability name being mentioned shocks her. The man says that they had information that Move Point's companions are being held in the Reformatory, and that if they capture her comrades they can negotiate with her. As she asks herself why they had to single her out, the mercenary reveals that it is because she is the guide to Aleister Crowley's Windowless Building. He says that BLOCK acquired information that the guide is Move Point despite the identity of the guide being confidential, and had her investigated in order to find materials to use in a negotiation. Motoharu asks him what they were going to negotiate with the guide about, to which he says they wanted information on the route through which materials are brought into the building, so they could blow it up using a Synchronous Multilayer Bomb. The mercenary says that the chaos in the world needs to be stopped before War comes. The man continues by saying that negotiating with Move Point would be difficult, and that they worked under the assumption that she wouldn't help them. Awaki agrees, and asks if he knows who he is talking to. Horror dawns upon the man as he realizes this, before he could utter his surprise Awaki cuts him off, driving metal stakes all over his body, though it seemed he was still alive. Motoharu urges the others to go to School District 10 to stop BLOCK.
Traveling in an ambulance to School District 10, GROUP discusses the layout of the Reformatory, discovering that there are secret rooms for the likes of Awaki's comrades, as well as its esper countermeasures such as the AIM Jammer. Motoharu warns that they can use their powers in spite of the AIM Jammer but says that it is possible to have their powers go out of control, especially those that use complex calculations, making it dangerous for the likes of Accelerator and Awaki.
At the ReformatoryWhen GROUP arrives at the Reformatory, they notice that eerie lacked of gunfire. As the pass through the gate and came to a traffic circle for vehicles that shuttered prisoners around, Accelerator notices the slightly painful effects of the AIM Jammer. Luckily however, it doesn't hinder his walking, though he notes he should avoid switching over to esper mode. His thoughts on the devices used in the facility against esper facilities is cut off after they find the strange state of corpses of BLOCK mercenaries. Motoharu comments on how they all lost their lives to their own weapons, to which Etzali asks if it was suicide. However, he realizes something, but before he could speak of it there was a voice behind them. It is Xochitl, who calls out to Etzali who was in the guise of Unabara Mitsuki. Seeing this, Accelerator thinks she's from BLOCK, but she says that she is from MEMBER, though she just used them and had no intention of joining them. Etzali reacts to Xochitl, asking for who she is, to which Xochitl responds and says his real name. Etzali was shocked and then Xochitl finally removed her disguise. Xochitl states that she needs to thank BLOCK on account of the esper powers being halved in the Reformatory as so she doesn't need to worry with his companions getting in the way. Etzali then asks why she's there, telling her that she's not supposed to have a spell that can do what she did (regarding the mercenaries getting killed by their own weapons). Etzali says that Xochitl was supposed to be in a position in their cabal that kept her away from any dirty work. She tells her reasons and that is to kill him as he had defected to Academy City. Hearing of this Tsuchimikado Motoharu realizes Etzali's situation. Etzali tells the rest of GROUP that he will deal with Xochitl while they go on ahead. He then tells to them her name is Xochitl, an Aztec magician who also belonged to the organization he was in before coming to Academy City. Xochitl then says that she only came for Etzali and doesn't care if they go off. However, she then says on how she wonders if "they" will let them. At that moment gunshots are heard, prompting Accelerator and Motoharu to take cover. Motoharu discovers that BLOCK's mercenaries were waiting to see what would happen between them, and asks Xochitl if they really have to deal with them but she just ignores him.
With time of the essence Accelerator tells Motoharu and Musujime Awaki to go on ahead. He tells them that he can't walk without his cane, and that he can't use his powers carelessly due to the AIM Jammer. Moreover, they can't count on Awaki's Move Point ability. He then states that it makes sense for the slowest person to stay back to hold the mercenaries off. He instructs Motoharu to provide support to Awaki as they have no idea how many people from BLOCK are inside the Reformatory, and that they need to plan on there being a large group inside they have to fight. With that their duties have been confirmed, Unabara Mitsuki (Etzali) will deal with Xochitl, Accelerator will deal with the mercenaries coming out of the building, and Motoharu and Awaki would rescue the people in the special cells.
GROUP vs. BLOCKTsuchimikado Motoharu and Musujime Awaki were able to enter deeper into the Reformatory, noting on how the AIM Jammer gets stronger the deeper they go. Motoharu then tells Awaki that her power is strong but that also means one wrong move could take her life. He tells her that she does not use it where they are. This perturbs Awaki, saying that it sounds like she has no value beyond her power. Motoharu however gestures her to keep quiet as they hear noises. Saku Tatsuhiko with Teshio Megumi were already before a solitary confinement cell trying to break the metal doors open with explosives. Seeing them, Tatsuhiko says that they must be from GROUP. Awaki didn't act immediately due to the effects of the anti-esper devices including the AIM Jammer in the facility. Motoharu tries to fire a gun on Tatsuhiko, but before he could do so, he sticks a wire into the door and tells them that he is using a plastic explosive and an electric fuse. Megumi then shouts at him, but Saku says that they must use the hostage behind that metal door. After removing his hand from the bomb he then takes out a detonation device. He says that the amount of explosives he has set has been adjusted, and the blast will all go into the door. He laments on how though it is easy to destroy the door, since the two from GROUP arrived the safety of the hostage cannot be guaranteed as he couldn't finish setting it up. Suddenly, a loud explosion rang out in that hallway where they gathered due to an enraged Awaki using having teleported a few objects into the wall. Tatsuhiko smiles, recognizing that they are before the Move Point, the very reason why they attacked the Reformatory in the first place. Tatsuhiko is glad that he has the hostage and the person to negotiate with before them. Awaki then asks if what would happen if she refuses their demands. However, Tatsuhiko is confident that she won't refuse, knowing about the AIM Jammer and the anti-esper devices in the facility. This silences Awaki. Tatsuhiko then asks if they have learned anything fromt the 0930 Incident. He says that because of that incident they have learned that Aleister Crowley doesn't always have control and that there are ways to escape his grasp. Awaki replies however that they are also trampling others in the process, and comapres it to the massacres of the Age of Exploration. But Tatsuhiko says that what is he wishing for, a paradise or heaven that he doesn't have, is something all humans do. Motoharu is hesitant on firing Tatsuhiko in the fear that the detonation device might accidentally trigger an explosion, while Awaki is too enraged to do anything. Seeing the empasse, Megumi tells Tatsuhiko that using the hostage won't help. Tatsuhiko is confused by her words, saying that the hostage's value just went up. Megumi explains on how the hostages were supposed to draw Move Point, Awaki, into a negotiation because BLOCK didn't know where she was, but now since she is right in front of them, the hostage and the bomb is not needed any longer. She then tells Tatsuhiko that since from the beginning she was against what they were doing, and that she only agreed to take hostages as it was absolutely necessary. Tatsuhiko then states that they cannot do that as they have 38 hostages now, a big opportunity that they cannot waste. He asks her if she started feeling empathy for the kids inside the cell due to her history in Anti-Skill. Megumi tries to reply but Tatsuhiko continues his tirade against her, saying that he will kill Aleister and that if she gets in the way he will kill her too. Before he can finish his sentence however, Megumi punches him. Her punch was enough to knock him unconscious and make him foam in the mouth. Because of the AIM Jammer, Motoharu couldn't rely on Awaki and her power. Not knowing how Megumi would attack, Motoharu was careful on not approaching her carelessly. Motoharu took his gun and shot an even scattering of bullets to stop Megumi from escaping. As a response to this, Megumi kicks up the bag of explosives Tatsuhiko was using to stop Motoharu's shooting. Seeing him stop to avoid hitting the explosives, Megumi runs toward him as he tries to shoot at her. She bends down, missing his shot. Before Motoharu could adjust his aim, she tackled him down square in the gut. The force was powerful enough to hurl Motoharu a few meters back. Motoharu asks if what she is doing is an Anti-Skill technique, but Megumi says that if it was used by Anti-Skill the children would get killed. As they spoke Motoharu fired his gun, but she easily dodge his shots. As the clip of Motoharu's gun emptied, Megumi went towards him and took the gun from him. Once again Megumi tackled him to the wall, knocking him out this time. At this moment, Awaki takes up her flashlight and tries to strike it down on Megumi, but she just merely blocked it with her hand. Megumi then says that a professional has no need for strange powers or one-liners. She responded to Awaki's attack with a backhand blow with her other hand, flinging her upon a door. Megumi once again speaks and says that a professional needs only to use their knowledge of basic strategy to rationally defeat the enemy. Megumi then kicked Awaki. So great was the force that it knocked Awaki and the door down into the cell. Awaki immediately felt sick afterwards. One of Awaki's companions that were locked up may have been in the cell as she hears the calling of her name. With that, a bit of strength returns to Awaki's body. With her comrade's urging, she took her flashlight and once again tries to stand up against Megumi. Awaki asks if she really wants her to tell them how to get their bomb into the Windowless Building. Awaki points out to Megumi that they can't defeat Aleister Crowley through that method, because if it did any teleportation-type esper could take him out. She asks if she truly thinks that Aleister has not created a counter-measure for that likelihood. Megumi agrees but says that his life support system can be destroyed if Aleister could not. Awaki still however denies this possibility, basically stating that all the information regarding the Windowless Building maybe an outright fabrication, a manipulation of information by Aleister. Awaki tries to buy some time and recover by continuing in speaking. She says that so great is Aleister's plan that a cliche method that BLOCK came up could not possibly overcome him. Hearing this Megumi is adamant in her actions, prompting Awaki to ask why she wants to kill Aleister. Megumi then refers to a great tragedy she experienced in Academy City and wants to know if Aleister is involved. Awaki then says that her reasoning is clichéd, to which Megumi agrees. Awaki continues by comparing her previous situation in being "obsessed with the truth," and says she didn't obtain any inner peace by chasing after it. She tells Megumi that she will never be satisfied even if Aleister told her that he was invovled with the tragedy. Megumi agrees again with Awaki's observations but she will not waver, and here Megumi asks what Awaki intends to do. With her powers guarded by the AIM Jammer, Awaki is but a mere high school girl. This time however Awaki did not hesitate. With a smile on her face, she pulled away her Low-frequency vibration therapy equipment that aided her in teleporting herself, signifying her determination. She then throws away her flashlight, and knowing what Awaki intended to do Megumi asks her if she is truly going to use it. Decisively, Awaki confirms it to her and that she is going all out. Awaki teleports a metal stake into her hand, injuring her palm a bit due to the AIM Jammer's effects. Once again, Awaki used Move Point, but this time on herself. Awaki felt sick but ignored it as she tried to stab Megumi's gut with the stake, but Megumi simply stepped back to dodge it. Immediately after, Awaki tries to strike once more, but then realizes that her calculations were off and that her right leg got stuck in the ground. Awaki knew of the feeling well, remembering the time when she was younger when her leg got stuck inside a wall. However, despite the pain, fear, and shock, Awaki overcame it all. She tore her leg from the ground, tearing the skin, but Awaki did not avert her gaze. Awaki moved towards Megumi, the last BLOCK member standing, and struck her down. Teshio collapses, but whispers to Awaki that she went easy on her, revealing that Awaki used the flat end of the stake to hit Teshio instead of stabbing her. Awaki replies that it was the kind of leadership she wanted.
Etzali vs. XochitlEtzali and Xochitl are later in the facility's exercise area. Here, she pulls out a feather and put it next to her ear. She then asks Etzali why he doesn't use his real face. Etzali says that he likes Unabara Mitsuki's face, and that he no longer has a right to use his face since he left the cabal. But Xochitl tells him that he doesn't even have a right to live. Feeling the deadly aura, Etzali pulled out his obsidian knife, the Spear of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, without thinking, though he didn't intend to use it on her right away. Then, it a shocked sounding voice, she asks Etzali what he was looking for when he came to Academy City. There, his right arm from the wrist to the elbow froze, and the obsidian knife he was holding turned towards his face against his will. Etzali immediately had his left hand seize his right wrist, and without a choice, dislocated it. In spite of the pain he was successful and he lost his grip on his knife though the feeling on his right hand disappeared. Without changing her expression Xochitl mocks Etzali and asks him to pick up his obsidian knife. Etzali believes that her spell must have been one that interfered with people's weapons and have it kill its wielder. With that disavantage, Etzali cannot help but think that there's must be something wrong as Xochitl he knew didn't use such a spell as she was someone who was not used to hurting people. Etzali demands Xochitl on what happened to the organization to make her do this, but she did not respond. Instead, she summons her weapon, the Macuahuitl. She then says that she'll listen to whatever he'll have to say later if he's lucky enough. With that Xochitl starts towards him with the Macuahuitl, trying to cut him with the weapon without hesitation. Etzali dodges and tries to attack with his body, and is reminded of the old Xochitl who hesitated on the use of deadly weapons. As Xochitl continues to attack and mock Etzali, he tells her that the weapon she is using does not suit her. She counters his question by asking if what he is wearing suits him, the one who left the organization, hid his face, and lived in the peace of Academy City. Before he can answer, Xochitl concludes that either Etzali truly is a traitor or is only deceiving himself and have no right to say anything. With Etzali's very own eyes he sees that his junior is truly trying to kill him. She continues to attack, and says to him that it is over. She steps forward and brought the weapon at a distance from which she was sure to hit and in a timing where Etzali cannot avoid it. Etzali however lifted his dislocated wrist above his head, and though when Xochitl saw it she believed that she had won as she put her entire weight on her weapon. The blade drew blood, tearing Etzali's jacket and the flesh of his arm. However, even though Etzali was in pain he did not die. It did not sever Etzali's arm. With that, Etzali slammed his foot into Xochitl's gut, and thus she is defeated. Here, Etzali shows the reason why he said she was not suited for her weapon as it cannot cut bone. He says that if he continued to dodge he would've eventually lost because of blood lost. With Xochitl down and weaponless, Etzali tells her that he will not kill her and says that she should just leave and go somewhere as he relocates his right wrist. Then a smile appears on her face and she collapses. Before Etzali's very eyes, Xochitl's body begins to unravel like a bandage. Here, Xochitl says that her body has reached the limit, and says she made up for her lack of power using a grimoire. Etzali assumes that she has read one, but she says that she has done more, as their Aztec traditions hold. She has made her body into a living weapon. Etzali realizes that the true meaning of her spell is her dried flesh turned into a powder and was spread around. Still qualified as "a part of her body," it was like an extra limb through the use of magic and could control things where many of it was closely packed. Etzali knows the limits and tells her that before long her body will fail, and that no spiritual item can aid her. Xochitl says that she doesn't mind so long as she punished the one who betrayed their cabal. Etzali is enraged with his former magic cabal for their actions, and wonders what happened to them when he was gone. Xochitl can only smile as Etzali yelled while her body slowly comes apart by the power of that grimoire. Thinking of it deeper however, Etzali determines that for Xochitl to acquire something so out of the ordinary then the grimoire that merged with her must've been an original grimoire. He confirms this however after reading the words written on the inside of her skin that has come undone before them. Looking at it, Etzali screams in pain and realized that he was correct. Despite knowing of the poisonous nature of the contents of the grimoire and their indestructibility, Etzali will not allow her to die. There were many things he would like to ask of her so he will not let her die.
With that, Etzali determines that though he has no power to save her, he will have to borrow the power of the original grimoire himself to do so. Knowing the properties of original grimoires wanting to be read, Etzali will gain the ownership of the grimoire, and trick the original grimoire that it can't pass knowledge on if Xochitl dies. And from there, he can teear the original from her body. Despite that there has been a precedent for what he is about to do, Etzali does not give up just so he can save her. Etzali later successfully takes ownership of the grimoire and meets up with the rest of GROUP, all of whom were not unscathed.
Hamazura Shiage meets with Hattori Hanzou
As a means to stay his mind from the unpleasant thought of dying like the person in the bag and being thrown like waste, Shiage scattered the person's ashes into a river. As he walked on the riverside however, he is called upon by thugs. Shiage ignores this and for his trouble gets attacked by one of the thugs who recognized him from Komaba Ritoku's Skill-Out, wanting revenge for the man giving them trouble from before. As he gets beaten, Shiage's thoughts wander off again to those of the corpse. However, a metal pipe then rolled next to him, and without hesitation Shiage took it and stroke back. Shiage takes down his attacker until the man is bloody, not minding that he has comrades nearby. One of them takes out a hammer as he continues beating on him, to which Shiage hears someone call from afar. It is Hattori Hanzou, a friend from Skill-Out. He knocks out the thug holding the hammer and proceeds to run away with Shiage afterwards. Hanzou berates Shiage for being hung up with victory over the thug to the point that he could've been killed. After checking that no one was following them, Shiage asks Hanzou why he saved him despite running out of Skill-Out. Hanzou points out that isn't something for him to say, as Skill-Out doesn't bear a grudge against him. He tells Shiage on how they don't think their fall was his fault and that no matter who was their leader at that time they would've still fallen. Shiage could not respond but Hanzou keeps on speaking, saying that though it was fun with Ritoku and him with all their little plans, it wasn't at all a nice path to make him want to cling to it. Shiage agrees that it was a terrible life they had but it was at least fun. With that, Hanzou asks what he is going to do now. Shiage says he doesn't know as he thinks that hsi situation will be the same no matter where he ends up in, even if he wents back to Skill-Out, and that there is no value in going back to it. Hearing this as Shiage started to walk away, Hanzou takes a small handgun from his pocket and tossed it to Shiage, saying that he needs it. Shiage points out that it was a lady's handgun, though Hanzou says that it doesn't matter as a weapon that's a little hard to use is perfect. Shiage then puts away the gun and leaves the alleyway they were in without looking back at Hanzou.
ITEM vs. SCHOOLShiage goes to ITEM's Private Salon in School District 3, regrouping with the rest of ITEM minus Frenda. When Shiage arrives after escaping the Girl in the dress of SCHOOL, he asks where Frenda is, to which Mugino says that she is gone, dead or captured. She says that in a manner in which she is not particularly caring of her fate only inconvenienced by it as there are only three members left of ITEM that could take SCHOOL down. Mugino then becomes optimistic as they have Rikou for searching. Rikou notices Shiage is hurt, but tells her to not mind, he then asks what they are going to do now as SCHOOL has already stolen the Tweezers. Mugino asks Rikou if searching for Dark Matter is fine, to which Shiage asks who that is. Mugino answers that Dark Matter (Kakine Teitoku) is the one who leads SCHOOL. Rikou then prepares to use the Ability Body Crystal to use her power. Here, Saiai sympathizes with Rikou's handicap, as she is unable to activate her power without the use of the drug. After licking the powder of the Ability Body Crystal, Rikou's power begins to activate and searches for Kakine. There, she concludes that he is within the building. Before they could react, Kakine Teitoku himself appears before them, kicking down the door to their salon. Kakine tells them that he has come to declare victory, but Mugino just mock him for being the Spare Plan and running away a while ago. The two of them banter regarding the teammates SCHOOL lost thanks to ITEM. They are however interrupted by Saiai picking up table and smashing it on Kakine. However, his expression remains unchanged, only exclaiming that what she did hurt. Seeing this, Saiai runs towards a wall and destroys it with her fist. She then grabs Rikou and Shiage, winking towards Mugino as she leaves into the hole.
She then knocks out every other people she comes into contact with, not taking her chances if they are subordinate members of SCHOOL or not. Saiai then asks Shiage to get a car for them. She tells Shiage that one of the reasons SCHOOL is there is for Rikou, since they know where their hideout was it is also likely that the know all of their other information, and it is likely that they have discovered that they can be searched out through the use of Rikou's power. Saiai states that if Rikou is killed, ITEM will be restricted as she determines if they are the chasers or the one being chased. She continues by saying that as long as Rikou is fine they can still turn the tables around. She urges him to get a car and go into a hiding place where it isn't ITEM's hideout. She then gives Rikou a stun gun, saying that she needs a weapon as she's always staring off into space. Just then there is an explosion due to Mugino and Kakine's clash, to which Saiai goes after telling them to hurry.
Kinuhata Saiai vs. Sunazara Chimitsu and Kakine Teitoku
She is in the lobby of the indoor leisure facility, easily defeating men from SCHOOL's subordinate organization. Suddenly, she gets hit by sniper bullets, knocking down her small body despite being penetrated by them due to her power. Figuring out that the sniper was using a magnetic sniper rifle and then analyzing the bullets to determine the sniper's distance from her, she then takes out Handheld anti-tank missile warheads to attack his approximate location, destroying part of the building and ending the sniper's attack.
Hamazura Shiage confront Kakine Teitoku
As Shiage and Rikou try to escape by elevator, they come upon the 25th floor of the building. However, much to their misfortune, Kakine Teitoku himself appears looking for Rikou. Here they discover that Kakine is dragging Saiai's injured and unconscious body and tossed it before them. Here, he praises Saiai for making the right decision and having Rikou get away as she is the core of ITEM. Shiage whispers to Rikou to go to take the elevator down and escape. Rikou tries to protest but Shiage is insistent, saying that even if he could get away from ITEM by abandoning her, ITEM would still be destroyed. Kakine having grown impatient, asks them how long for them to say goodbye, to which Shiage shouts Rikou to go, shoving her into the elevator. However, Rikou maneuver herself in order for her to move Shiage into the elevator. Confused by the sudden action, Shiage falls down to the floor of the elevator. Before he could make a reply, Rikou apologizes to him. She says that she told everyone what he said by the furnace, and continues by saying she doesn't want him to become ash like the corpse. Rikou smiles and tells him not to worry as she is a Level 4 and he is a Level 0, as such she will protect him. Before Shiage could say anything the elevator door closes, and thus Rikou face off against the 2nd-ranked Level 5.
As he sits on the floor of the elevator, Shiage is surprised on how espers like Rikou did not care about the life of someone like him. Recalling how Rikou defended him, Shiage wonders why. However, knowing that she was facing against Kakine to save him, Shiage could not sit idly by. He curses as he stops the elevator, thoughts of facing Kakine and even his subordinates filled his mind. Then, Shiage remembers Touma's words on how there are paths for a Level 0 other than preying on others. He recalls Toum saying on how Shiage could've used his strength to help those weaker than him, help those in need instead of fighting back against powerful epsers, things would change for him, and the people of Academy City would've accepted him. Shiage now agrees with Touma's words, as he presses the button back to the floor where he left Rikou, determined to face against a Level 5.When Shiage returns back to Kakine after deciding to protect Rikou, he finds her collapsed before him. Here, he is surprised by Shiage's return. He tells Shiage that Rikou did well against him despite having no direct battle power. He tells Shiage that she must've used her search power to try to interfere with his AIM diffusion fields to reverse the flow and take control of his power. He then comments on how if Rikou developed more then she could've become the 8th-ranked Level 5. Having none of it, Shiage tries to use his handgun. But there, the Girl in the dress arrives, where Shiage immediately recognizes as the "Crane Woman" from earlier. As Shiage struggles who to aim at, the Girl then says that he should stop whatever he is doing. With those words, Shiage couldn't move his body. Here, the Girl in the dress used her powers on him, to make him not shoot at them because it is seemingly against his nature. Seeing Shiage's struggle, the Girl comments on how he may be fairly kind on the inside. She smiles and then says that her power Measure Heart she can freely regulate "the distance between people's hearts." She advises Shiage to stop fighting against them, as she has him set-up to make it seem that the distance between their hearts are the same between him and Rikou. He can't shoot her just as much he can't shoot Rikou. Seeing this display, Kakine begins speaking, saying that the situation made it seem like they were the bad guys. He comments on how Shiage and Rikou, a man and a woman, protecting each other is a moving story, and that it is such a rare sight that he feels that he shouldn't destroy it. He then tells him that Rikou will die regardless of what they do, shocking Shiage. Kakine kicks the Ability Body Crystal case towards him, and says that she was using the Ability Body Crystal to activate her powers. Kakine then explains the usage of Ability Body Crystal and on how it affects Rikou. Kakine tells Shiage that Rikou will not last long in her current state, stating that she'll be fine as long as she doesn't user her powers ever again. As Shiage is frozen in shock, Kakine tells him that they don't need to kill her if she can; use her searching powers and that he doesn't care if she died or not. The Girl then tells Shiage that she collapsed on her own as she kept forcing on using the Ability Body Crystal in order to fight them, and tells him that none of her would be left if they attacked her seriously. As Shiage stares them down after their revelation, he manages to press the button for the elevator. As Shiage waits for the elevator, Kakine wonders if he should kill or let her go. The Girl says that they can just leave her alone as a member of ITEM on the edge of her doom can't stop them. Shiage grounds his teeth after what the Girl just said, despite this he still can't attack her. Kakine says that it'd be easier to kill her, but the Girl counters by saying that since Rikou used his AIM to mess up his Personal Reality, Kakine should check up on that. She says that his power going out of control would be much more dangerous than Rikou, and that she would rather not die if an ally of hers went out of control. Kakine becomes annoyed at being bossed around, but acquiesces to the Girl's warnings. He tells her that they should leave as though checking up is easy they don't have the necessary equipment. At that moment an elevator arrives, at which point Kakine and the Girl leave, allowing Shiage and Rikou to escape harm.
After they leave Shiage checks up on Rikou's condition. She was still unconscious and was in the throngs of a fever, worrying Shiage. Saiai also regains consciousness. She sees Shiage with the collapsed Rikou, and figures out the situation through Shiage's impatient demeanor. She tells Shiage to take Rikou and disappear. Shiage says thank you to Saiai, but she tells him that she didn't say as thanks. She says she was speaking ill of him as she doesn't need useless people like Shiage and Rikou in ITEM, as such she tells him to go out their way. There was a smile on Saiai's lips despite her injuries. Knowing what Saiai actually means, Shiage asks if there is anything she can do for her. Saiai orders him to contact their subordinate organization and call in the information suppression team and an ambulance, as she can't do it herself currently. Shiage complies, and later leaves Saiai.
Hamazura Shiage vs. Mugino ShizuriAfter leaving, Shiage gets a call from Mugino Shizuri wanting to counterattack SCHOOL and use Rikou again to use her power to track them even if it kills her. Shiage does not follow her orders, trying to find a way to get her as far away from ITEM as she could. While carrying her, Shiage comes upon a bridge where Yomikawa Aiho comes upon them and tells Shiage that although she doesn't know the situation, she'll be taking Rikou with her. Seeing this as an opportunity to allow Rikou to escape from Mugino, hands her over to Aiho, surprising her. Shiage hastily explains that she has been using Ability Body Crystal, which is slowly killing her. At that moment, a bloodied Mugino appears before them, carrying the upper half of Frenda's corpse, whom she killed for her betrayal. Shiage pleads to Aiho to leave with Rikou as she has no way to take on Mugino, the 4th ranked Level 5. Aiho hesitates for a moment, but acquiesces and tells Shiage not to die, as she will bring a fully armed Anti-Skill team once she gets Rikou safe. With them gone, Mugino crosses the bridge and says to Shiage on how battling with one's life on the line makes on feel numb. Shiage tries to reply but Mugino tells him to quiet as she didn't ask for his opinion. She then punches hard on his gut, making Shiage nearly vomit. Mugino still hasn't given up on using Rikou and finding SCHOOL. Shiage laughs and asks if she should really be finishing him of that moment. She turns to him in an irritated way but is then surprised on what Shiage does next. He shows his hand holding the case for the Ability Body Crystal that is needed for Rikou to use her AIM Stalker ability. Mugino is enraged, but before she can do anything about it, Shiage jumps over the metal railing and off the bridge, landing, though not gracefully, on a train that had just passed by. Here, Shiage intends to lead Mugino away from Rikou using the Ability Body Crystal. His smile as he got away from Mugino is cut off however as the train suddenly stopped. Nearby, he saw that Mugino has stuck her hand into the ground and cut off the power cables that the trains used using her ability. From afar, Shiage could tell what Mugino was saying through her lips—she was going to kill him. With the train stopped, Shiage hurriedly tries to shake off Mugino. He comes upon a crowd and here discovers however on how relentless Mugino could be, already sighting among the people there. Seeing as how he cannot get away from her by mixing in with a crowd, Shiage continues running and goes inside and discovers to find that he is in a deserted refinery for biological ethanol fuel with all its machinery and paraphernalia. As he wonders about the place, Mugino arrives behind him, complimenting him on finding a deserted place for him to die alone. Before he could turn around, something hits his back, making him fly a few meters before landing, knocking over containers as he does so. Despite being pain, Shiage didn't suffer any broken bones and can still move. He leaves the large area and comes upon a room with lots of machinery, allowing for blind spots and hiding places. Here, he ponders how to defeat Mugino. He knows she isn't invincible even if she is a Level 5. He cites their encounter with the Girl in the dress and the train power cables, thinking that since she didn't destroy the wrecking ball with her power, and destroyed the power cables underground instead of the train, there must be some limitations to her power. Here, he believes that Mugino's power takes a certain amount of time to aim in exchange on how powerful it is, making her weak to surprise attacks, a fundamental flaw of her power being too powerful that it could endanger even her. Then, he hears her calling out his name. An intense sense of danger fills Shiage, and he decides to quickly go down on the ground, only to discover that immediately after the place where he stood was then covered by her beams. Small explosions occurred afterwards due to the alcohol, a few of its heated debris landing on Shiage, making him shout in pain. Since the areas for cover were in her way, Mugino was just going to destroy them all, forcing Shiage to face her. Mugino comments on how the machinery reminds her of the goldfish scooping games at festivals though she forgets the name. Nevertheless she says that they are no match for her Meltdowner. The machinery has now been reduced into rubble and even the outer wall have been damaged. Mugino stands in the center of it all. Here she states on how researchers have said that her survival instincts keep her from putting on more force that what she usually gives out but says that it was originally enough to kill the Railgun instantly, though she states that if she does so it would blow her body to pieces. Then Mugino approached Shiage. Moving to a different floor in the plant, Shiage keeps dodging Mugino while she continues her pursuit. Mugino shouts to Shiage on how he should stop getting out of his way and give her the Ability Body Crystal and Rikou as she won't be satisfied until she destroys SCHOOL. Of course, Shiage rejects her as Rikou is in her limit. Mugino gives a callous response to this, saying that she can be replaced as long as they can find SCHOOL. Shiage persists and states on how she would be unable to defeat the 2nd-ranked Level 5 based on facing him twice and the fact that he met the man himself. Shiage asks on what good Mugino would gain in finding where Kakine is. He tells Mugino that he will not allow Rikou to die for something so pointless. Mugino however laughs scornfully at his remarks. She asks on how Rikou drew her in, noting that he might've fallen for her cute face or kind words. Mugino asks him if he thinks everyone who speaks kindly to him is a good person and everyone who talks to him harshly is a good person, stating that it makes himself look like the center of the world. Shiage doesn't deny Mugino's words, and believes that if Rikou wasn't nice to him he wouldn't have made his decision. However, Shiage shouts to Mugino on how Rikou didn't want someone like him to die simply because she was like that. He states that a person like Rikou needs to be happy, saying that if they don't create a society where the kind idiots like Rikou could stand at the top, their world would never get any better. Mugino did not reply to this and fired off another beam towards the metal rubble where Shiage, knocking him back. Then, before Shiage could turn around, Mugino comes upon him from behind and sticks a screwdriver in his right ear. Stuck in place, Mugino held out her other hand and demanded for the case of the Ability Body Crystal. Shiage had a plan however. He gritted his teeth as he took the case from his pocket, and completely ignored the screwdriver and forcefully spun around. This act shocks Mugino as the screwdriver carves the inside of Shiage's ears. Despite the pain Shiage's plan has been fulfilled and he sticks the case of the Ability Body Crystal into Mugino's right eye. Immediately after Mugino screams in pain as her right has been crushed, gripping the affected area of her face. Shiage smiles and taunts her. Mugino screams in rage. She tries to use her Meltdowner on Shiage, but fails to aim properly, obliterating her left arm. What was worse for her is her shot missed Shiage. Still relentless, she shoves Shiage down and climbed on top of him, making him lose his grip of the case, slipping across the ground away. Mugino however was too consumed in rage to care anymore as she stares Shiage down with her remaining eye. She mocks Shiage's words, saying that he can tear of her arms and legs and crush her organs but he can't change the difference between their strengths for he is a Level 0 and she is the Number 4, the Meltdowner. As she grabs Shiage's neck, he smiles. He says that he is no idiot and knew their confrontation would end up like what was happening now. Mugino listens as Shiage sums up her relentless and obsessive personality using videogame metaphors. Mugino is someone who doesn't like messing up even slightly, and when someone like messes up, they'll find another goal that they could accomplish absolutely. He tells Mugino that she could've picked him off at a distance instead of obsessing over a Level 0 like him. He then says that it is her ridiculous obsession with victory left a decisive opening for him. At that moment, Shiage took out the ladies' handgun that Hattori Hanzou gave him a while back as final ace in the sleeve. Shiage then empties all the bullets of her handgun on Mugino's upper body. Mugino continues to stand and looks down upon herself in shock. Then Mugino falls and stops moving, with Shiage remarking on how it was too easy. He picks back the case of the Ability Body Crystal and begins leaving with his battered body. However, as he does so he hears Mugino muttering his name, and as fear grips him again Mugino howls loudly for his name. Despite her injuries, Mugino Shizuri stands up once again and once again tries to use her Meltdowner. With no options left, Shiage runs toward Mugino and there they clash again. Shiage punches Mugino in the face, and there Mugino is finally felled by Shiage. He then picks up the handgun he casted aside and contacts Aiho on how back-up isn't needed anymore as it is all over.
Members of the ITEM's subordinate organization waiting outside of the facility later enter it after Shiage leaves in order for them to destroy evidence. Knowing that Shiage just defeated a Level 5, they don't do anything to stop him. Hanzou appears and calls out to him, saying on how he heard of Shiage's victory over a Level 5 all on his own. Although Shiage is surprised on he could've known, he remembers the handgun and says to Hanzou on how it came in handy. Hanzou praises Shiage for defeating a Level 5 using the handgun as he took out two cigarettes for the both of them. Hanzou says that with that kind of accomplishment no one will reject Shiage now, despite the fact that were not many people who hated him in the first place. Hanzou then tells Shiage to come back to Skill-Out as there are people waiting for him there. Shiage however apologizes, saying with a smile on how he has something he has to do. Hanzou clicks his tongue and remarks on Shiage makes him jealous, but accepts his explanation, not pressing Shiage any further. Hanzou tells Shiage on how he'll now be consolidating Skill-Out for the moment, until Shiage decides to return to them after he is done with what he has to do. With that, they bumped fists and parted ways once again.
SCHOOL's next stepSCHOOL returns one of their hideouts, with Kakine trying to use the Tweezers for their plans. When the Girl in the dress returns after she does her little dating service for lonely men, she meets up with Kakine again. He asks where she has been, to which the Girl immediately complain about scientists not giving her tips and only paying the basic rate. Kakine wonders and says that an hour is not very long, but the Girl says that she should not be guilty as they were talking in the hotel room while she flipped through a magazine. Kakine asks if the Girl does not do anything sexual, to which she says that she does not need to. She then explains her business to him. She then mentions to Kakine on the fate of ITEM and Mugino. This surprises Kakine, especially with Mugino apparently escaping his attack on her earlier. He asks on who was the one to have defeated her as Frenda betrayed ITEM and fled (now dead), him defeating Saiai, and Rikou not having a directly battle ability. But Kakine then trails in his words, realizing that it may have been someone from the subordinate organization. There Kakine and the Girl recall Shiage back in the elevator hall who was trying to protect Rikou. Kakine then whistles in praise for him. The Girl then asks about the analysis with the Tweezers. Kakine answers by referencing on how Aleister seems to know a little too much about their actions beyond the use of conventional surveillance technologies. He then says that Aleister does so by using UNDER_LINE after having spreading about ten million invisible machines throughout the city. He explains on how they needed the Tweezers to capture the microscopic machines that make up UNDER_LINE and get information out of it. The Girl then asks again regarding the results of the analysis, to which Kakine laments on how the data in UNDER_LINE are not enough to compete with Aleister with equal footing. The Girl then asks if he truly must kill Accelerator, to which Kakine confirms as it is the only way for him to ensure the negotiations with Aleister would go well. Hearing this, the Girl in the dress states that she will not be taking part in a battle against Accelerator, explaining on how his reaction to her using her powers on her would be too unpredictable, and liable to get her killed. Hearing this, Kakine is not disappointment as he has expected that she would not be much help in the battle anyway. The Girl then looks again on the Tweezers and says to Kakine that if he has the result then she should tell her as she would like to know they can directly negotiate with Aleister, to which Kakine agrees. Kakine, apparently alone, wanders the city trying to find Last Order in order to get to Accelerator, knowing of her relationship with him.
Due to BLOCK's collapse things have settled down. Motoharu was taking care of wrapping things up, Awaki was taking care of her wounds, and Etzali was safe and likely took Xochitl to a hospital. Meanwhile, Accelerator went back to School District 7. He later receives a call from the GROUP liaison, though as usual he doesn't receive him well. He thanks Accelerator and GROUP for his efforts against BLOCK, saying that he is fortunate to have such capable subordinates. This however annoys Accelerator. The liaison points out however that he is thanking him from the bottom of his heart, and to prove it, gives him useful information related to Last Order's life.
Uiharu Kazari confronts Kakine TeitokuUiharu Kazari is a girl from Judgment that accompanied Last Order after she left the taxi cab that Heaven Canceller put her in in order to take her to Yomikawa Aiho's house in the Family Side. Last Order decided to search for Accelerator, which she refers to as a "lost child" to Uiharu. Last Order later tires herself out in her search for Accelerator, prompting them to rest at an open-air cafe, where Uiharu orders a parfait for herself. Last Order says that she is sure that the person she is looking for was nearby but suddenly went off somewhere. She then however notices a free gift key chain from a fastfood outlet and hurries towards there. Uiharu is perturbed by this as Last order still needs to find that person she is looking for and that she wants to finish her parfait. She however, suddenly reminds her of the change from the taxi, to which she hurries off. As Uiharu tries to eat her parfait, Kakine Teitoku approaches her, not even bothering to hide the conspicious Tweezers he has equipped. He shows her a photo of Last Order and asks where she is. Uiharu denies ever seeing Last Order, and advises Kakine to go to the nearest Anti-Skill booth and ask them there. Kakine seems to accept her answer, however, he suddenly hits her in the head. He tells her that he knew that she was with Last Order hence why he didn't ask Uiharu if she knew the girl in the photo. Kakine dislocates Uiharu's shoulder with his foot, and begins torturing her. Kakine knows that Uiharu has noticed him and had Last Order escape. He says that he understands that she is not that capable, and though he is a scumbag he prefers not to involve normal people. He tells her that if she had cooperated with him in the first place he wouldn't have to resort to violence. He continues by saying that however he has no mercy for his enemies and that she has become one the moment she decided to protect Last Order of her own free will. He then asks her not to allow him to kill her. Uiharu continues to be tortured by Kakine, all the while bystanders don't even approach to aid her. In deep pain, Kakine asks her again, to which Uiharu mocks him, saying that Last Order is at a place he will never see. She then sticks her tongue out as a final gesture of defiance. Hearing this, Kakine decides to finish her off with his foot. However, before he can do so, Accelerator arrives and throws an ATM machine at Kakine, mocking him for attacking someone like Uiharu. Kakine's feet missed its aim, but Kakine still however achieved his goal, something he tried to do through Last Order, and that is finding Accelerator.
Accelerator vs. Dark Matter
Despite Accelerator's attack, it barely made a reaction on Kakine, saying that he was hurt. However, he says that he was irritated and that it was only right for him to come and kill him first. Accelerator mocks him for talking and then taking a hostage (Uiharu Kazari). Kakine replies that Uiharu was only a little insurance as no one would fight Accelerator fairly. Kakine then mocks him for believing that protecting weaklings made him out as a good guy. Accelerator however states that Kakine still doesn't understand, and that he will show him on how even villains have standards. With that the two of them clashed in the city. Kakine is knocked back by this and then smashed into a cafe. Despite this, Kakine is fine and comes out of the cafe. He notes Accelerator's power of controlling any vector and asks him what would happen if he was smash into a large mass that can't be moved regardless of all the vectors he can gather, though says that it would likely not work. He tells him that as long as his vectors aren't being controlled it is meaningless. Not only is Kakine unhurt, he was apparently enveloped by six wings like that of an angel's. Now spread behind him, Accelerator mocks him for being unoriginal, though Kakine says that he doesn't have to worry about it as he already knows.
And thus they do battle once more, and upon the air they meet. As Accelerator gets close, Kakine references the particles that make up the world, and then states that kind of knowledge doesn't apply to his Dark Matter, as it is is something that doesn't exist in the world. Despite the wings that defied the laws of physics, Accelerator's will is unshaken, and continues to come close, declaring that he will blast him and his Dark Matter as well. But Kakine says that Accelerator still doesn't understand, and then his wings projected out a light that hurt Accelerator, surprising him for he believed he could reflect all his vectors with his ability. Kakine says that it was the diffraction of sunlight through the unseen gaps of his Dark Matter wings, changing the light's nature and use it to attack him. Kakine asks him how it felt to be burned by sunlight. However, Accelerator calls Kakine a fool, saying that no matter how he diffracts sunlight, it doesn't change its nature into something like a beam of light that kills. Kakine says that would be the case for normal physics of the world, but not for his Dark Matter. With that boast, he blew a gust at wind at Accelerator, who tried to subdue the wind through the use of his reflection. As he pondered what to do, he found Kakine smiling, saying that his reverse calculations are complete. Then, his wings struck and felled him in spite of his power. Kakine says that Accelerator is wrong that he can reflect everything as Accelerator tries to fly towards him, but his wings were ready to meet him. Kakine gives examples as he presses his advantage over Accelerator, injuring him. Here he says how not everything is reflected by him, explaining to him that he has a subconscious filter that reflects anything that could harm him. He says that using the energies that are infused by Dark Matter like the sunlight or the wind, he can chooses which energy is the most suitable in bypassing his filter after he had analyzed it. This complicates things for Accelerator as even if changed the rules of his reflection, Kakine would merely inspect the change his Dark Matter and then continue his attack. Despite this they continued to clash. Accelerator made four tornadoes through his power, and wing by wing, Accelerator and Kakine's blew and swept each other apart. As they continued to attack each other, wreaking havoc upon their surroundings. Kakine mentions on how killing him, the #1, is the fastest method in accomplishing what he wants, which is to to directly speak with Aleister himself. As they exchange blows, Kakine reasons that since Aleister has a web of plans up his sleeve, he needs to destroy all other plans, allowing him to the only viable plan left for him, the so-called "Spare Plan".The two of them stood face to face, gauging each other. Accelerator thinks that there must be some truth to what Kakine has said about Aleister having many plans, and wonders what tragedy has struck him in the Dark Side of Academy City that shaped him to what he is to push him to what he does. Accelerator however mocks what Kakine said, to which Kakine says that despite Accelerator having the right to directly communicate with Aleister he doesn't use it and that he has no right say that to him. He tells Kakine that that the moment he spoke those words of his, he became common filth passing themselves as a great villain. Kakine however is unconvinced, giving his explanation as to why, saying he doesn't want to touch normal people, and if he's in a good mood, he'd let bad guys live, though all in all he doesn't really care whether they live or die. He tells Accelerator that they are the same as in their battle he asks him how many bystanders got hurt by their attacks. Accelerator says that including the person (Uiharu Kazari) that shielded Last Order, they are all the same, and that Kakine, someone who kills bystanders has no right to lecture him, and that Kakine is not exempt from his own ideals. As Kakine doesn't believe this, Accelerator shows to him why he is #2 and he is #1, why there is an impassable wall between them. Here Kakine discovers, much to his disbelief, that despite the destruction caused by their battle, no bystander was hurt due to the efforts of Accelerator, everything was under his control from the beginning of the battle. Here Accelerator tells him that what he is what should be called a villain. Angered by Accelerator, Kakine increased the power of his six wings and prepared to do battle once more, confident that he has no way to defend himself as he knew about his filtering system, though Accelerator is unintimidated. Accelerator admits how his Dark Matter can work against his reflection, to which he tells Kakine that all he needs to do is add Dark Matter into his calculations, using his ability to control Dark Matter. Kakine laughs at this prospect. After a couple of banters, the two clashed once again. Accelerator defeats Kakine Teitoku, taking control of his white wings and stabbing him with it. Though terribly injured, Kakine still lives. As Accelerator was not one of those "good guys" and since Kakine willingly involved civilians and Last Order, he prepares to execute the unconscious Kakine with this. Yomikawa Aiho appears before Accelerator and begs him to put down his gun and spare Kakine. Accelerator points a gun towards Aiho, as even though she was one of the "good guys" she impeded in what Accelerator believes to be his "path of evil". Accelerator hesitates, to which Aiho says that he can't do it, as he hasn't "rotted" that much. With Accelerator unable to fire, she slowly takes the gun from Accelerator's grasp and took away its ammunition. As Accelerator stared blankly after what had happened, he suddenly hears something: Kakine Teitoku has stabbed Aiho. Accelerator is in shock as Kakine restores his white wings and mocks Aiho's words to Accelerator. Afterwards Kakine rants on about the darkness and on how the both of them are still the same, unable to protect anybody, and will continue killing. Kakine stands up and uses his powers to step upon Aiho. Accelerator begs to stop, but Kakine continues to torture Aiho, wanting him to push him to the edge, wanting him to be as low as him, mocking him for becoming soft. And thus, Kakine shatters the pillar that supported Accelerator.
Seeing the black wings, Kakine deemed to be made from Dark Matter. Impressed by its power, Kakine that Dark Matter is only suitable as a spare plan, though he says that it doesn't meant it's all decided. With that his wings spread out and glowed, Accelerator and Dark Matter, black wings and white wings, the organic and inorganic, the One Who Wields the Power of God and the One Who has Touched the Territory of God, face to face. Then an unprecedented power expanded within Kakine, perfectly mastering his power. Kakine laughs at the implications of what would happen now, as he waved his completely awakened six wings down at Accelerator. He tries to test his new powers on Accelerator after seeing him as no longer a threat. Immediately after, Kakine is splattered onto the asphalt and his right hand is torn from the shoulder. Despite his injuries, Kakine is too shocked to take in what happened, believing he was untouchable and believing that Accelerator changing vectors and energies of some sort to redirect it towards him as an attack was impossible. Torn apart and unable to do anything, Accelerator walks toward Kakine and slaughters him.Accelerator continues to go on a rampage with his black wings, forcing Anti-Skill to respond. Luckily, Aiho was able to survive, and tries to stop Accelerator after she comes to. However, she is stopped by Saigou Ryouta, who tells a great distortion is taking place with regards to the AIM Diffusion Fields. She breaks from Ryouta's grasp, only to discover several armored Anti-Skills and armored vehicles. Aiho demands them to put their guns down, and tells that it is their duty to protect Accelerator. Aiho tries to come close to Accelerator, though because she is injured, blood spurts from her mouth, and is restrained by Ryouta. However, their last hope, Last Order, appears, coming out of the crowd at great speed towards Accelerator. As his black wings continued its rampage, Last Order approaches, and says that she has finally found him. However, Accelerator tries to attack, and though everyone flinches believing that Last Order has fallen to her demise, the black wings stop before Last Order. But Last Order is undeterred as it shows that Accelerator is still has control. An Anti-Skill opens fire without permission while Accelerator is distracted, responding to this his black wings try to attack, only for Last Order to plead him to stop, and he does. Last Order holds out her arms and says that all is all right now and there is no need to do what he is doing. As if to blow apart those words, the black wings try to again but once again stops before her, his conflicted heart consuming his action. He continues to scream in turmoil, and finally he roars and the sounds of the black wings wave once more. They try to attack the unperturbed Last Order, all of which miss its mark. And then it swelled up greater than it has ever been and tried to strike down Last Order again. It reached in front of Last Order, Accelerator's movements have stopped. With his head lowered, the black wings disappear and Accelerator falls, all of his strength leaving his body. Last Order catches Accelerator with arms wide open, and held him with all the strength she could muster. With that Last Order whispers to Accelerator's ear of her relief. Finally the lost child is found.
After Accelerator's triumphant battle against Kakine, the liaison calls him to remind him of the gravity of his actions in the battle. He tells him that he was the one who gave him the information regarding Kakine in the first place and as such won't be too hard on him. Accelerator asks him what his penalty is, though the liaison wonders as both increasing his debt and killing him just is inappropriate, his tone irritating Accelerator. Then the liaison asks an unexpected question, asking him if he has not given up on coming back to the "warmth" after falling that far and declaring that he will stand at the very top of the darkness. Accelerator answers that he still hasn't and asks him if he is going to stop him. The liaison answers that he will give them right to struggle, though he cannot guarantee him that he has the right to grant him that. Accelerator, satisfied with his answer hangs up on him, swearing that he will outwit the darkness.
Etzali later leaves a hospital after putting Xochitl there despite the effects of the grimoire on her body. Etzali's consciousness wavered due to taking the grimoire, knowing quite well that if he relaxed his attention intense pain would erupt. Etzali then reaches into his pocket and pulls out his grimoire. He spreads the scroll written on animal skin and scanned through it, lessening the pain a bit. Here if all the pain is gone he would truly understand the grimoire. He laughs to himself that the Anglican Church would surely take him out if they discovered what he has. Regardless, he needed power. He was desperate when he entered the dark side of Academy City, and as he puts the scroll back into his pocket, he resolves once again to go back into the darkness in order to answer the questions surrounding Xochitl and their organization.
Awaki looks toward the Reformatory after having her injuries treated. Her bloody leg was wrapped up in an organic artificial skin made of corn fiber, which would later shape into human skin due to the body's regenerative ability, leaving without a scar. He contemplates on how the City did not call Anti-Skill when the Reformatory was attacked, but sent out the HsAFH-11s when the BLOCK mercenaries infiltrated the outer wall, proving to herself that Academy City can only be trusted so far. Despite the grievances she had against Academy City, she however knows that she can't just rise up in revolt against it, knowing of the city's power. She starts thinking that Academy City sent her out on a mission to suppress Skill-Out earlier in October in order to have Awaki get the connection that if she recklessly let her comrades flee then they would meet a similar fate. And yet, Awaki swore in her heart that she will definitely rescue them. Afte one finaly look at the Reformatory, she leaves.
Enter the DRAGON
At some unknown point in time later in an unknown location, Accelerator, Tsuchimikado Motoharu, Unabara Mitsuki (Etzali), and Musujime Awaki gathered together. Motoharu shows the Tweezers that he had recovered from the confusion after Accelerator's fight with Kakine, shocking him that he was hiding among the onlookers. Motoharu references on how SCHOOL was able to collect a nanodevice known as UNDER_LINE and store it inside the Tweezers in order to examine it. Accelerator becomes suspicious on how much Motoharu, and realizes that he may have been taking secret actions of his own. Motoharu shows to them the information inside the UNDER_LINE, the core of Aleister's direct communications network. Seeing that it was all a bunch of information they were able to get on their own, and that it was just information the higher-ups are gathering to keep an eye GROUP's actions, they become dismissive of it. However, Motoharu reveals that there is one more, and says the last one the list of information displayed on the Tweezer's screen is the word DRAGON. After all that fighting, they made at least one little discovery, a key that they could potentially use.
Effects and implications in future events
More of a character driven, the arc showcases the contrasting personalities of its two protagonists: Accelerator and Hamazura Shiage. This would mark the first time that Accelerator’s intrigue with the concept of “heroes and villains” truly begin, and the strange standard he sets up for himself as a “villain,” which has been first referred to during the Skill-Out Uprising when he chose to save Misaka Misuzu. Accelerator would continue to hold on to this perception up until the World War III. For Hamazura Shiage, his character would later be defined by his constant struggle against the darkness of Academy City and protect Takitsubo Rikou; a hapless man who became a hero to protect the person he cares for. His survival against all odds against Mugino would later pique the concern of Aleister Crowley, whom have calculated that he would die in his confrontation with Mugino. As for Rikou the Ability Body Crystal’s effects would continue to deteriorate her health.
Mugino Shizuri survives her ordeal and her obsession with revenge against Shiage would later drive much of her motivation for much of her appearances up until World War III. Kakine Teitoku, though slaughtered, still lives through his Dark Matter. He would not make an appearance in any future story arcs until ‘’Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index’’.
As for the story, with the various organizations from Dark Side of Academy City destroyed, they would later reform into a single entity. As war continues to loom large over the future, the city continues to remain vulnerable. Finally, with the discovery of DRAGON, gives an ace to the four field operatives of GROUP in their effort to escape their bondage in the service of the Dark Side of Academy City.
- Despite the English fandom referring to it as a "Battle Royale" there is a clear distinction between the organizations involved, one moving for Academy City the other moving against it. Indeed much of the story revolves around this distinction and only once does two organizations from the same "side" fight each other, the battle between Accelerator of GROUP and Saraku of MEMBER, both doing their missions in order to prevent the fruition of BLOCK's plans.