"Before the Outbreak of War" (開戦前 Kaisenmae?) is the 116th chapter of the Toaru Majutsu no Index manga, released on April 12, 2017.
After taking Vento of the Front away, Acqua stops a few kilometers from Vento's previous battlefield and contacts someone on the phone. It is revealed to be another member of God's Right Seat: Terra of the Left. Acqua reports on the status of the operation and asks for necessary actions to be done. Terra advises them to wait for the perfect moment to strike and orders the troops of the Roman Catholic Church to retreat. Acqua, however, prefers a display of sheer might than strategic offense.
After their conversation, Acqua exposes his inner doubts towards the true weakness — or rather, strength — of Academy City. Despite the dubious reuse value of the "fallen angel" and the extent of damage of Academy City, he thinks that there is much to the city than expected...
The next day, Touma is in his apartment making food but doubts the quality of what he is making. When he goes toward Index, he sees her praying but that piousness is shattered when Index once again is hungry and chows down the food that Touma made.
Back in A Certain High School, lunchtime begins and Aogami and Motoharu causes trouble for Komoe. Touma brings out his own lunch. Himegami Aisa accompanies him with her own boxed lunch, and the blunt girl with the hime-cut proceeds to comment on Touma's preparation of his boxed lunch.
Touma decides to stop Aisa's comments by offering a potato, which she instantly accepts. However, as Touma returns to eating, Aisa's face shows an uncomfortable expression. She appears to have choked on the potato and asks help to Touma, who offers his hand to loosen the clogged potato. Touma's gentle approach did not work at first, and when he puts force into it, he unexpectedly unhooks Aisa's bra.
Touma receives a sharp right hook to his stomach and curls up in pain as an embarrassed Aisa flees.
Fukiyose Seiri then appears, and decides to eat a bland but nutrient-rich bread, much to Touma's disappointment, and Touma offers a potato to her, which she instantly turns down. Seiri also reminds Touma that she wears a front-hook bra.
Soon, several of their classmates talk about what is going on outside the school and its effects on their academic schedule. According to them, travel restrictions will cause their next field trip to be canceled, and might also affect Ichihanaransai. Also, midterm exams might also be affected because of the faculty (who are Anti-Skill members as well) will be deployed as defense forces.
Seiri soon mutters that a war might be coming, and it would affect the prices of commodities like meat, vegetables and petroleum products.
Touma then picks up an idea: "How about having hot pot before the prices rise?"
The very mention of the word "hot pot" creeped throughout the classroom almost immediately, and the take out between close friends becomes a class dinner trip. However, someone needs to organize the trip no matter how simple it is, and Fukiyose stands up for the job, tying her hair back and exposing her forehead.
Then, the meeting for that night begins.
Meanwhile, Tsukuyomi Komoe walks with colleague Yomikawa Aiho. Aiho comments on Komoe opening her apartment room for another "run-away kid", and Komoe tells in response that things got lonely after Aisa left her apartment room for the school dormitory, and that now is fine since Musujime Awaki is living with her. Likewise, Aiho remembers Accelerator leaving her house.
At the middle of the feast with the entire class, Komoe voices out her worries, especially with the impending war that would involve Academy City. However, neither Seiri, Touma or Aogami worry about such things, and instead focus on their hearty dinner. Especially Touma, who although pampered too much by Seiri, has to take care of Index, who is taking the meat by storm. Unfortunately, Touma is yet to get his share of meat.
Touma later leaves to get a whiff of fresh air and is joined by Tsuchimikado. The agent of Necessarius assures him that the war is not entirely Touma's fault, but because of various mistakes that built up over time. Nonetheless, Tsuchimikado warns Touma on what's to come, with tougher battles that might get him killed.
Touma knows this, and upon clenching his fists, he declares that... he will learn English.
This warranted him a strong blow from a disappointed Tsuchimikado, since learning English is the last thing he would have thought as a survival method.
- Acqua is contacted by Terra of the Left and leaves Academy City with the defeated Vento.
- Three days after the incident, Kamijou, Index and his entire class go out for a dinner.
By order of appearance:
- Acqua of the Back
- Vento of the Front
- Kamijou Touma
- Index Librorum Prohibitorum
- Himegami Aisa
- Fukiyose Seiri
- Headband girl
- Aogami Pierce
- Tsuchimikado Motoharu
- Tsukuyomi Komoe
- Yomikawa Aiho
- Musujime Awaki
- Spiky-haired glasses girl
- Terra of the Left (cameo)
No abilities were featured in this chapter.
- The manga celebrates its 10 year anniversary.
- Shown in a single panel, the chapter depicts Awaki for the first time in her brief time living with Komoe.
- The BBC is featured in this chapter.