Author's notes: Wow would you look at the time. 4 months since I last updated lol.
"So you're telling me you're some kind of god?" Touma's eyes narrowed with suspicion at Othinus' words. She was wearing a red shirt to his blue, and black shorts to his white. The only difference, other than color, was the sizes. Hers was much smaller, and left more skin bare. She was a delicious little eye candy.
They were at his house. Or hers, she owned the place. They were at one of the guesthouses living room, sharing a conversation in the sofa while Mikoto, Index and Misaki sat on the floor in front of the television playing with some gaming consoles.
His lover nodded. "Yes, it is I the one and only Odin." She poked her eyepatch. "Though I walk through the valley of death I fear no evil."
Touma lightly tapped her head with his knuckles. "That's from the bible, silly. You're getting your mythologies mixed up. And what about hiding your secrets from us non-wizards?"
She preened under his touch. "But it's true though. I am one hundred percent godly. And I shan't let any foul scoundrel harm my man."
"If you're so godly can you bring me pizza?" he asked, challenging her.
She flicked his nose. "Ha. You wish."
"Yeah. I do." He raised a brow. "Does that mean you can't?"
She clicked her fingers and crossed her arms under her chest. The doorbell ringed. The intercom buzzed a moment later.
"Pizza delivery. Is anybody there? Ah, man I hope I wasn't pranked." The pizza delivery boy began complaining to himself, letting his thoughts enter the house.
Touma raised his fingers to a v, pointed them at his eyes, then at Othinus. "I'm watching you."
"I love it when you watch," she teased.
"Wow. Perverts." Mikoto voiced her complain out loud. Touma sighed and answered the door. After paying the delivery boy he returned with four boxes of pizza.
"Breakfast has come straight from the Hut." He dropped all the stacks on the coffee table. "Let's dine in."
"Dibs on the pizza with anchovy!" Index said, leaving the console on the floor.
"Ugh. You can have it," Mikoto groaned. Touma eyed her hands rubbing the bandages on her arm.
"Does it hurt?" Misaki asked, having seen the same.
"It's fine." Mikoto pouted. "But that girl was really strong. If it wasn't for you two I might've been toast."
"Don't say that," Touma groaned. "I hate it when you talk like that so flippantly."
Othinus traced a finger on the bandages over his chest and said, "I have the same complaint, Touma. Can you take care of yourself better? You're setting a bad example for these girls."
"Except me!" Index cheered between bites. She was a fast eater. "You stopped those people from hurting me. Thank you Touma." She crawled towards him, too lazy to stand, and gave a hug to his stomach.
Touma rubbed her back. "It's not a problem, Index. Though you should thank those two as well."
"I think me allowing them to win is gratitude into itself," Index laughed, referring to the games they were playing.
"You wish you were that good," Mikoto sniffed.
Misaki smiled genially. "Still. It was frustrating Touma's attackers got away. I wasn't even able to play with them."
"If by play you mean pulling their strings-" Touma stopped when Misaki nodded.
"They'll be puppets dancing to the tone of my voice!" She gleefully told him her evil plan to deprive her enemies of free will. Touma withheld a shudder. Misaki was angry and it showed.
He went behind her, knelt to her level on the floor and pulled the blonde girl into a hug. "T-Touma?"
She was so soft and warm, hair smelling of vanilla and clothes of perfume. "Sorry you got to see all that," Touma said.
She shook her head, obviously fighting the blush on her face. She glared at Mikoto, who took her smartphone out and flashed a picture of their hug.
"Aw. Does poor little Misaki need a hug from her older brother?" Mikoto grinned and waved the picture around. Sparks surged through her brown hair a moment later. "Oh! That hurts!"
"Quit it," Misaki hissed. Her anger deflated when Touma rubbed her head. She mewled to his touch and smiled like a kitten.
"That is so sickeningly sweet," Index said, after finishing her pizza roll. She raised her hand and took the high five from Mikoto.
"Maybe she should get her own whistle, Touma." Mikoto cackled.
"Whistle?" Index tilted her head and blinked.
"Oh yeah!" Mikoto clicked her fingers and hooked an arm over Index's shoulder. "Forgot you're new here. For some reason you really gell with our group. Weird. Anyway, let me tell you a little something about these two. Touma there met Misaki a year before I did. By then he's already treated her like a pet."
"Um, I met you two at the same time?"
"You spent more with her. By the time we began hanging out a year passed and you've already taught Misaki some interesting things."
Misaki quavered under Touma's arms but didn't argue.
"Hell, he even bought her a whistle. She's wearing it as her necklace right now, aren't you Misaki-chan~" Mikoto's head sparked. "Ouch! Cut it off!" She rubbed her forehead and glared at Misaki, who returned the expression.
"You wish," Misaki hissed.
"Mhm. It's true Touma can be tamed. It'd be pointless though, he's already got a master." Othinus crossed one lovely leg over the other, lazily smiled and pointed to herself. "I want for nothing with this manservant around. But if you want, Misaki, I can teach you all about taming my lovely Touma." Othinus wagged her forefinger. "For a price, of course."
"Name it," Misaki said almost immediately.
"Misaki!" Touma groaned. "Don't play with her games. Othinus is just teasing you. At least, I hope she is."
Othinus' wicked grin did little to reassure him.
Touma kissed Misaki's head. She cooed under his affectionate gestures. "Don't do anything stupid," he told her. Misaki sighed as Touma's arms slipped off her waist and he left her back.
"Aw. Don't go," she pouted. "I need more hugs."
"After you go to school," Touma chided.
"I don't even know why you bother," Mikoto said. "Misaki can just mind control the entire school board and have us passing with flying colors. Speaking of. I'm thirsty. Othinus, are there drinks here?"
"In the black fridge on the other room," Othinus said. "Get some for all of us. Please and thank you."
"You got it," Mikoto said, leaving the coffee table. While she sauntered to the other room Othinus tapped Index's shoulder and covered her mouth as she whispered some words to Index. The silver haired girl looked at Othinus curiously. The crumbs on her face was distracting. Othinus must've made her aware if Index wiping her face with her wrist was any indication.
"Wonder what they're talking about," Touma whispered to Misaki below him. She leaned her head on his knee and shrugged.
"Probably about their magic," Misaki said. Misaki and Mikoto have grown accustomed to Othinus' abilities. If Academy City was able to develop psychic powers then who were they to say other countries weren't just as successful?
That was the problem though. The two espers thought psychic phenomenon and the mystic arts were one and the same when they couldn't be farther from the truth. They were as different as night and day.
For one, psychic powers didn't make sense.
Ironic, considering he was an esper, but Touma wasn't a traditional one. He didn't even know his original ability considering the one he held predated Academy City.
Imagine Breaker. Othinus had pictures of the power in a different form back then. In the portrait that hung on the wall above the fireplace she sat on a throne with two ravens on either side of her. Hugin and Munin. Apparently they possessed Imagine Breaker before it transferred somewhere else.
Touma knew Othinus told the truth. She had an intrinsic knowledge of his powers, more than he did. Having his powers at the form of her pets explained a lot, really.
He wondered, sometimes when she thought he wasn't looking, if the fond gazes Othinus gave him were also of nostalgia towards her two birds.
Psychic powers like Misaki''s and Mikoto's were a lottery. You either win some or you don't. And they got the grand prize in the Power Curriculum Program. The majority wasn't as fortunate.
Magicians on the other hand, like Othinus and Index were able to choose their powers. They can design and perfect the arts of something like pyrokinesis, or pyromancy as Othinus told him. And still have time to learn other abilities like teleportation or telepathy.
All the good stuff went to magic. And it made sense. Knowledge passed down and honed throughout generations. Isn't that the definition of science?
Well, technically science was the study of the world through observations and experimentation. But even then that meant magic made more sense than psychic phenomenon. Still, Touma was thankful to his informer for sharing more knowledge about magic than what Othinus let on.
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulder of giants," Touma voiced his thoughts.
"Isaac Newton, right?" Misaki looked up at him and smiled. He absentmindedly rubbed her head.
"Yeah. Was just thinking," Touma said, ignoring Othinus' correction claiming it was Bernard of Chartres. "Misaki, you know I don't approve of you cutting classes and brainwashing your teachers, right?"
She shrugged. A common answer when she didn't have a reply to his questions. "If I were to dropout of school I wouldn't change that much. I'll just have some different poor sap to act as my puppet. I only have this power, Touma. I use it to further myself in life, even if it is at the expense of others. And I don't harm anyone anyway. Grades are a sad necessity in this lackluster society we live in."
"My, how philosophical." He rolled his eyes. "You're getting better at talking your way out of trouble."
She giggled and scratched the back of her head. An action she's seen from him many times and mimicked. It wasn't the only thing she copied, but it was the most obvious.
"So, are we going to talk about those people you fought the other day?" she asked.
"Oh right. The bar!" Touma groaned.
"It's fine," Othinus said, having finished her chat with Index. The girl looked troubled, worry maring her face. Othinus rested on the backrest of the couch while Index remained on the floor. It was less intimate than the way Misaki leaned on Touma's leg.
It was a position of power.
"I'm back!" Mikoto danced with the sodas in her hands.
"Took you long enough," Misaki said. "Where are the cups?"
"Pick them up yourself," Mikoto huffed. "Stop being a lazy cow and get your ass off Touma's foot."
Misaki blushed, swore, but complied. She stood up and left for the kitchen.
It was a balancing act, how Touma managed the needs of the three girls.
Mikoto was the easiest to understand. She loves violence. Touma had to satisfy that part of her before she got herself and others into trouble. They just had to look for poor muggers and delinquents willing to use force and claim self defense. Thank goodness she was altruistic, or least fought like she was a hero of justice in a shounen manga. The power really went into her head.
Misaki was a bit trickier. She craved his attention. It was extremely unhealthy. But the only thing worse was when she focused on others. Misaki wasn't as empathic as Mikoto when it came to people she gave two shits about. Like how she talked earlier, she simply saw them as puppets for her to control and play with. Simple toys that acted with the strings connecting their head to her power. In that, she was worse. Thankfully, it was balanced by her obsession with Touma. He simply guided her to the right path, or at least to the choices with the least people hurt.
Having the school as her playground was easy. It was easier than her targeting politicians and messing up the economy in a fit of boredom.
Othinus caught his eyes, who were analyzing her at that very moment. His gaze darted to Index, and then back to her. Othinus waved him off with one hand. There was nothing to worry about, she meant.
Good, because she's worse than Misaki.
He loved her, but she was a monster.
From the rumors he heard on the underworld of this city, only one man could match her malevolent depravity, and her connections span the planet.
Misaki returned with the cups. "I hope the drink's sweet," she said.
"You and your sweet tooth," Mikoto said impatiently. "Can I have my cup already? Or do you need to infect it with your germs?"
"You scared of getting cooties?" Misaki laughed. "What are you, five? This isn't kindergarten Mikoto-chan."
"Eff you too Misaki," Mikoto snarled and took the cup from Misaki's hand. While Mikoto poured herself a drink
"Speaking of. Othinus, can you do something about Misaki's puppeteering?" Touma asked his girlfriend. He suppressed the guilt at Misaki's betrayed expression.
Othinus took a sip of her cup, glanced at him, and shook her head. "Nope."
"Wow. Thanks. A real help there." Touma winced when Misaki glared at him. "Listen, Misaki, it was just something Mikoto told me at the bar yesterday."
"So this was your idea?" Misaki's starry eyes narrowed into slits as she redirected her rage at Mikoto. Touma had to get the heat off him somehow, and the middle finger Mikoto gave him was a sacrifice he was willing to make.
"Face facts girl. You're going crazy controlling teachers. What's next, the scientists in Academy City? Before you know it you're playing with the board of directors ruining who knows how many lives," Mikoto said.
"I help you too, Mikoto. I don't even ask for anything in return. The least you could do is to not talk about me behind my back. Can you do that? Can you honestly refrain from shit-talking about me?" Misaki got angrier and angrier with every word, her hands shaking into fists, her chest heaving and her breathes heavy. "All I ask, Mikoto."
"Fine, whatever." Mikoto forced a smile and gazed on Index. "Hey girl. Wanna play some games? Sorry you had to see that. One of us is a bit of a prig. Let's skedaddle."
"S-sure." Index rubbed her forearm worriedly. She was still recovering from what Othinus told her. Sparing a final glance to Othinus, she left with Mikoto, returning to the gaming consoles and the television set.
Winning against losers on the internet seemed to cool them off, distracting Mikoto from her angry arguments with Misaki and Index from whatever ploy Otinus roped her in.
"Her speech ability is second to none when getting on my nerves," Misaki said, crossing her arms under her breasts. She blew some hair getting into her face and sighed. "What am I to do with her."
"I'm surprised you two hang out at all," Touma said.
"Contrary to what you see, Touma, we're friends." Misaki spared a glance to said 'friend' and made sure her voice was loud enough for Mikoto to hear. "It's just that we get into these silly arguments all the time. It's wearing my soul."
"Wearing? As in, you wear the arguments in your soul? You really like arguing with her then huh." Touma said. Misaki pouted, scratched her legs irritably, and threw an empty cup at him. Touma laughed as he caught it.
"She means the adjective, silly human." Othinus corrected him.
"I know, I know." Touma didn't stop laughing as he approached the table and lef the cup on its surface. Misaki gave light punches to his leg like a kitten playing with yarn. "You know I was the one who proposed the idea of asking Othinus for help."
"I was aware," Misaki said, having spent the anger out of her system, finally letting go of his leg. She looked tired. A sheen of sweat glistened from her forehead. She wasn't athletic like Mikoto, and was easily wilted from arduous activity.
"Those magicians from the other day teleported away. No way they could've done that on their own. You think there was a third magician that helped them?" Touma asked, looking from Misaki to Othinus.
"Could be," Othinus said. "Or they've allied with some espers in this city. Though the latter is more unlikely."
"So we can't do anything except wait for them to return?" Misaki grimaced. "That sounds like a bad idea."
"It is what it is," Touma said. "We'll make the best out of this scenario. Looks like I'm not going to school today. Misaki, looks like I'll be leaving my academic future to your hands."
Misaki's cheeky grin didn't help him feel better. "I knew you'd come around~"
"You're already learning, my young apprentice." Othinus nodded sagely. "My work here is done."
Touma dubiously looked at his girlfriend. "But you didn't even do anything."
Othinus continued nodding, not even bothering to explain herself. Misaki giggled from their byplay.
"So what's the plan?" Misaki asked seriously.
"We go in, grab everything, and leave." Touma answered solemnly.
They entered Misaki's favorite restaurant. She wore a sundress under the jacket he leant her. It made him feel stupid, having her wear his windbreaker instead of her own cardigan. And it was freaking summer. Wasn't she hot under that many clothes? He kept it simple with a white shirt and black jeans. But she was insistent and it kept flirtatious men off their backs.
One student tried approaching her earlier, but a glare from Touma sent them running away.
"I love these meals," Misaki gushed. "Did you know most restaurants use cloned meat and vegetables grown from farming buildings? Finding restaurants cooking natural ingredients is a high hurdle, you know."
"I know, I know. You tell me every time we go here," Touma groaned. "Come on, let's find a seat."
Misaki grabbed his hand and directed him to a booth beside the window. Instead of sitting in opposite booth benches she snuggled beside him in one. Touma didn't rebuke her affectionate gestures.
Despite Misaki's obsession with him, perhaps it was a trait he indulged and even reciprocated. He was just as messed up as her in that regard, loathe as he was to admit it. Good thing Othinus was more tolerant than most clingy girlfriends, having tolerated his friendship with Mikoto and Misaki, and even Index in that regard.
"The usual, please." Misaki said. The waiter nodded and left. She poked Touma's shoulder. "Should you even be out with your wounds? At least Othinus replaced them before shooing us away."
"It's fine. You know how Othinus is when it comes to healing. I don't think anyone can bring the dead back to life, but if it's her I might believe it."
"Even if they die a million times?" Misaki asked.
"Even a billion," Touma answered. "Seriously. My body's healing faster than Genbu right now and it's not even winter."
"We're not at the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Touma." Misaki chuckled anyway. "And you don't resemble a turtle or a snake. Perhaps a lion? Courage, power, royalty, dignity, authority, justice, wisdom, and ferocity. You have them all."
Touma snorted. "Courage? More like desperate whenever I fight for my life. I don't have power. I resort to punching my enemies, remember? Othinus is the royal one, and my dignity's out because she's practically my meal ticket. I don't have any authority, I don't fight for justice, my wisdom's lacking when I encourage you to mind control others, and I'm just not ferocious when it comes to fights."
Misaki's giggle broke into a loud laugh. She bellowed and clutched her stomach. She wiped a tear from her eye with her forefinger.
"What?" Touma asked.
"You are such an idiot sometimes." Misaki beamed. Her eyes twinkled. For some reason Touma's heart was beating faster. "I love you anyway." She hugged him.
"Um…" He felt his throat dry up and gulped some saliva to hydrate himself. "Love you too, Misaki." He awkwardly patted her back while she nuzzled his chest.
"Sorry for the wait," The waiter returned with a tray of food. "Cheeseburgers, french fries, veggie salads and orange juice. Same for your boyfriend."
"Thank you~" Misaki parted from Touma's body and graciously nodded, accepting the food. "Oh, and a custard pudding pie for dessert, please."
Touma didn't correct the man's mistaken assumption of their relationship. While they began eating Misaki decided to reminisce of their past.
"Hey, remember when we first met?" she asked.
"You mean when Mikoto awkwardly fell on top of you and had you at a compromising position?" Touma asked, chewing on some celery.
Misaki growled and tried flicking his ear. He leaned a little to the side and dodged her attack. "No! Not that! I don't consider that the first time at all. Please stop reminding me."
"How could I forget?" He chuckled, finding her puffing her cheeks. She was so easy to tease.
"No! I meant when you crashed into me. Our stuff scattered into the street and you helped me put them back into my bag. You left your phone with me, remember?"
He took a bite from the cheeseburger. It was really good.
"Yeah. That was a long time ago, Misaki." Othinus drew him into magical adventures all over the world. Misaki and Mikoto dragged him into local ones in Academy City. Between all the crazy stuff that happened it was a little hard to remember trivial incidents like these.
"Just let me finish," she said. If he didn't put a stop to it she wouldn't be finished in a long time.
"I didn't return your phone. I smashed it to the ground," she spoke fondly.
"Yeah," Touma scowled. "Why did you do that?"
"Because of the mature contents you had with your girlfriend?" she answered.
"You shouldn't have gone through my phone at all!" Touma complained.
"But your screen saver made me curious. After all, who else takes a picture of their girl giving them a blow-"
"Okay, okay!" His hands covered her mouth, muffling her words. She glared at him and licked his palms. "Ew!" He pulled his arms away. "Not out loud, please."
"Anywho," Misaki said, her tone jovial, "our next meeting had you peeking on my panties in the lake at District 21."
"Christ, Misaki, please stop." Touma was getting worried looks from fellow customers.
"I thought you were an atheist?" she asked.
"I'll beg god himself to shut you up even if it meant a lifetime of worshipment."
"Touma?" Misaki's voice lost the jovial tone and her expression almost appeared crestfallen. "I was at a really bad place at the time. Dolly, I mean someone I knew went and died and there wasn't anyone to help me. Then you showed up and pulled me back on my feet. I don't think I would be here if it wasn't for you."
"Misaki…" Touma shook his head. "I refuse to believe that. You're a strong girl. Stronger than I am. You wouldn't just throw your life away like that."
She didn't meet his eyes.
"I was at a really bad place, Touma."
For some their table was silent.
"Anyway!" Misaki moved on. "Remember that time we reunited at the underground mall and you told me my body wasn't good enough for you and I needed to grow my boobs before I qualified as a young woman?"
"My word, young man!" An old customer gave a disapproval glare at Touma before leaving their table.
His face was just beet red at that point. There was no possibility he could silence Misaki. He was getting a headache with her voice alone.
"Okay, Misaki. If you're done with memory lane let's get out of here. I don't feel all that hungry anymore."
Her lips stretched into a grin that reminded him of the Cheshire cat.
"We aren't in Wonderland! This is the real world, Alice! Come on!" Touma covered his face with his hands, even as his eyes peeped between his fingers.
"What is it, Touma?"
"The next time we find a rabbit hole I'll help you dive right in."
"Remember when you fake hypnotized me and made me lift up my skirt in public?"
"Oh great Lady Shokuhou Misaki-sama what is it you desire?" Touma was ready to bow in front of her and flatter her with every word that came out of his mouth just to stop her from using hers.
She was laughing like crazy again, just seeing his reactions. "Just stay as you are, Touma. That's enough to warm me up anyday."
"Well considering it's summer we wouldn't have a hard time either way right?"
"Yeah." Misaki grabbed his forearm and leaned her head on his shoulder. Silky blonde hair tickled his skin. The vanilla scent and alluring perfume infiltrated his nostrils once more.
"Hey, look." Touma pointed outside the window. A pigeon flew down the street. Either by coincidence or design it looked at them at that very moment.
"You have incredible canny ability. I doubt there are powers as great as the coincidences you pull, Touma."
"Hey." Misaki cupped his cheeks. The heat from her hands were too warm for his face. Touma was blushing as Misaki directed his eyes to hers. "Remember this?"
She pulled a ribbon lacing from her neck, the silver trinket it fastened clicking fond memories of his past. It was like completing a puzzle, even though there weren't any to solve.
"I thought Mikoto was joking…" Touma held the silver whistle between his forefinger and thumb. "You really kept this? Why?"
She shrugged. "I felt like it? I wanted to? Do I really need a reason to do the things I do?"
"It's so silly."
She shook her head vehemently. "Not to me."
Touma pinched the bridge of his nose. "I know it's tiring having arguments with Mikoto, but did you have to share that experience with me? You're wearing me out here."
"Is that an ironic echo I hear?" She laughed and pulled out a yellow napkin from her pocket. "Here. Let me help you. You're crying, Touma."
"Ugh. This is all your fault. You haven't even used that thing!"
"Guess I wasn't in danger."
She dried his eyes free of tears. Her bright smile was infectious.
"Still~" She took the whistle from his hand and blew. The sound hissed against his ear.
"Ouch! My eardrums. What the hell was that for?"
Her forefinger pointed at the door of the restaurant. A person in a red riding suit and a full-face helmet stood at the counter. Thirty more people just like them crowded the entrance to the restaurant.
"Oh…" Touma said. "This is the cult, right?"
"Yeah. They've been obsessing about killing us Level 5's. I think they called themselves Queen Divers, or something." Misaki pulled out her remote from Touma's pocket and clicked a button.
The Queen Diver at the counter tilted their head.
"Eh? My power isn't working on them?" Misaki asked, sounding surprised. "Does that helmet have a program directing their brain?"
The door shattered, having been smashed by the masked hoodlums armed with steel baseball bats and machetes.
The 'leader' pulled out a shotgun from their duffel bag and pointed at Touma.
"This is bad," he said, realizing the horrible situation they found themselves in.
Misaki cowered beside him. He stood in front of her despite the gun aimed at him.
"You should leave," the lead Queen Diver said. The voice was masculine, hinting to their gender. He waved his gun. "We're only after her."
"Go fuck yourself," Touma snarled. Misaki was busy typing her remote control behind him. A person outside the restaurant window was frantically calling someone in their phone.
"You must be a pretty powerful esper to say that. But don't take us lightly because we use tools. We aren't limited to just Level 1s and 2s."
"I'm not that amazing." Touma gave a nervous laugh, obviously buying Misaki some time. "Just a friendly Level 0 trying to convince you to spare us today."
None of the customers moved to help them. They were the only targets, or Misaki was. And Touma by association. A normal person wouldn't endanger their lives by taking in unnecessary damage when they can safely sit in a corner and put their heads down, looking away from someone in need of help.
Unfortunately Touma wasn't that kind of person.
"I see. So you're one of us." The leader gave a sympathetic nod. "I won't spare you the theatrics since we're in a tight schedule. I'll spare your life, but I'll be taking your limb though. See you."
The shotgun muzzle exploded. The noise made Misaki flinch. Touma bit his teeth, digging into his lips and drawing blood.
It was nothing compared to the damage on his right arm.
His limb was pulverized, the shotgun shell destroying flesh and bone completely. It painted the table and booth bench red with gore. Copper scent filled the air. One of the customers vomited. Another cried. Another looked ready to bolt despite common sense would be to stay put and not draw attention to themselves.
"Touma!" Misaki cried. "Leave him alone you sick pieces of shit!"
Touma laughed. The pain got into his brain. "It hurts."
Blood leaked from his stump like a firehose. It began changing, coalescing into something else. The blood took shape, forming into the head of a dragon.
A mighty roar shook the entire restaurant. The windows, glass cups and cell phone screens all shattered in a cacophony of shattered glass.
The dragon head's teeth bared against those that dared attack its master.
"THAT FUCKING HURT," Touma hissed.
The Queen Divers were left speechless, as well as most of the customers except for the one who vomited, fainting into a puddle of their own vomitus.
It was like in those dinosaur movies where the humans stopped moving in hopes the Tyrannosaurus Rex ignored them in favor of something else. But this wasn't a dinosaur.
It was a dragon.
It's mouth widened to its maximum, and devoured all the attackers in a spray of blood.
"Are you telling me they got away?" Touma rubbed the side of his head. "What the hell happened. I was shot and then everything turned to black."
Misaki was eyeing his right arm for some odd reason.
They returned to his house. He was seated at the living room sofa. Misaki dropped ice pack dropped over his head. "There you go. And yup, that's basically it."
"So you're telling me the Queen Divers, or Deadlock or whatever the hell those assholes call themselves got away? What kind of joke is that? And none of the other customers or pedestrians were willing to talk to the cops at all? Why can't I remember anything? It's like I suffered memory lost when I blacked out. That person blew their shotgun at me, but it must've missed because I'm not even hurt. Well, not hurt from this crazy adventure to a restaurant."
Misaki giggled and slid past the armrest he was leaning on, sitting beside him. He steadied the ice pack on his head while making room to the girl despite the available space on his other side.
"Where are the others?" Touma asked, looking for the peanut gallery.
"Mikoto decided to look for those attackers herself. She was as frantic as you were, getting frustrated at hooligans and thugs not getting caught or so she says. Index and Othinus are performing a magic spell or something. I am unaware of what magicians do in their free time."
"This sucks," Touma said. "This really, fucking sucks. That's two days in a row now. I know I have a bad record attracting trouble but this is ridiculous. They all get away? What the hell!?"
"Yup. If there is a god they don't like you very much," Misaki summarized. Her thumb rubbed her chin as she fell in deep thought. "Or do they?"
"They don't," Touma gritted his teeth. "At least it can't get any worse than this. Why am I feeling a headache? Can anyone tell me? Did I hit my head when I fell unconscious or something?"
Misaki continued laughing at his expense.
"Whoever's looking down at me please send a sign." Touma looked up at the ceiling for guidance and scowled when it gave no answer.
"Achoo." Othinus sneezed cutely. She wiped her nose with the hand holding a semi-automatic pistol and smiled in the dark room littered with bodies. "Someone's talking about me. I hope it's Touma."
The light bulb hanging from the ceiling was weak in its illumination. It gave glimpses to corpses sitting on the floors and leaning against the walls, body parts and blood stains in what used to be a white room.
Three people were tied to chairs at the center of the room in front of her. Two of them were magicians named Stiyl Magnus and Kaori Kanzaki. Their magic was disabled by the clothes tying their wrists and gagging their mouth.
No normal magician could hope to dampen the abilities of a Saint.
But they paled in comparison to that of a god.
Another person was tied beside them. They wore a full-face helmet and red riding suit. Their eyes were glued to the person kneeling in front of Othinus.
It was another Queen Diver.
Specifically, the one who shot Touma.
"Index. Tell me what you see," Othinus said.
Index whimpered behind her. "A-a human?"
"A scum of the earth," Othinus said, nodding to herself. "This one tried to take Touma away. Then again most of their companions in this room were complicit in the act."
"P-please." The man kneeling in front of her sobbed when she pressed the muzzle on the back of his head. "Not like this."
"Your friends are dead," Othinus delivered in a carefree voice. "For commiting the crime of hurting my lover they have been punished."
"Wait! I don't want to die! Please let me liv-"
Othinus pulled the trigger.
Blood, flesh, and broken faceplates spread into the floor.
Her eye glowed an evil green in the dark room, focusing on the three people tied to the chairs.
They shook and tried freeing themselves from their binds futilely, trying to avert death even as it approached them in black high heel sandals."So." Othinus gave a smile so perfect it would've made models green with envy.