Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Toaru Kagaku no Railgun/Toaru Majutsu no Index
The Trinity of Tokiwadai
Chapter Eighteen: Sisters' Battlefield Resolve
"Get lost you pest." The Number 1 shouted dismissively as he tilted his head towards Kuroko and Mikoto. In the same move, he sent a massive tornado screaming towards the two roommates.
Kuroko was on the ball however and grabbing a hold of Mikoto's shoulder, promptly teleported the pair of them to safety. They barely escaped in time as the tornado completely devastated their previous location.
"Onee-sama, I really need some context!"
"There's no time!"
As if to prove this point, Accelerator swept his feet across the graveled ground and sent a dozen of the pebbles hurtling at them like hypervelocity missiles.
Kuroko again managed to teleport away just in time. Mikoto herself joined the ride as they rematerialized a safe distance away from their previous location.
"Nice try, amateur." The Number 1 grinned, as he casually waved his hand dismissively at Saten and sent her flying with a aerokinetic blast. Both Mikoto and Kuroko called out in horror, but that only distracted them from their own problems as the area around them was engulfed in an air burst.
Mikoto covered her head as she landed with a thud, a hastily created electromagnetic shield having absorbed most of the force of the attack. She was still sporting a host of new bruises though and she hissed at the pain, but nevertheless pushed past it.
Worried about how her roommate fared, she called out to her. "Oi, Kuroko!"
She didn't get a response. This caused a chill to crawl up her spine. Looking around, the girl gasped when she found her roommate flat on the ground.
"Kuroko!" Mikoto shouted in distress as she scrambled to her friend. Checking her, the [Railgun] sighed in relief that the Teleporter was breathing.
"One down, three more to go." Accelerator cackled as he created an air bubble. With a flick of a wrist, the air bubble spontaneously collapsed, the sudden rush of air as it filled the empty space was so intense that it created a powerful explosion and massive sonic wave. An effect that he, of course, used his redirection to focus on Mikoto.
"I knew watching Animal Planet like Ruiko suggested would come in handy." The psycho said with a chuckle as his attack roared down the narrow paths between the shipping containers at the roommates.
Shit! I don't have anything that can block that! Mikoto realized as she mentally ran through her options and came up with nothing. Trying to drop some shipping containers in the path of the firestorm might work, but she honestly didn't know if she had the power to move enough of them to make a difference in time. She couldn't even evade, not without abandoning Kuroko to annihilation.
Have to try it anyway! Mikoto thought to herself as she began to reach out with her powers, even as her calculations told her she wouldn't make it.
She'd only managed a single container into the way of the explosion, which it easily consumed, before it was upon her.
Thankfully, just before the devastating attack struck home, a wall of earth shot up out of the ground and shielded them.
Still carrying the clone, though she had by now just resorted to throwing the poor girl over her shoulder and carrying her like a sack of potatoes, Namikaze stepped out from around a corner of the maze of containers.
"That stupid Saten! Giving the psycho more ideas? He was dangerous enough without imitating the Pistol Shrimp." The blonde muttered indignantly under her breath, as she stalked over to glare at Mikoto.
"And you!" The Number 2 said raising her voice. "Stay out of this!"
Mikoto got up and pushed Namikaze out of the way, "Don't tell me what to do!"
Any further conversation was shelved, as the earth wall separating the girls from the fight exploded as a railroad spike flew past them.
Mikoto just launched a bolt of lightning through the new hole at Accelerator. In response, the psycho smirked as he effortlessly deflected the attack, right into a battered looking Saten who was already sporting a couple railroad spike piercings.
Both of the other Tokiwadai girls screamed in horror as they watched their friend writhe in agony before collapsing to the ground.
Turning away from the seemingly beaten Number 3, Accelerator focused on Mikoto and Namikaze. Even as in the background, Saten's body visibly repaired itself.
"She is so lucky Auto-Rebirth is kicking in." Namikaze said as she dropped the clone, who was in the process of looking wide-eyed in shock at what was transpiring. "Saten, tag in!"
"N-No! Just keep Se-Sempai away." The Number 3 said weakly as she pushed herself to her feet.
"Done already, Ruiko?" Accelerator asked with a vicious smirk. "Ready for another round?"
He didn't wait for the raven haired girl's nod before charging in and kicking her in the gut. The blow must have been enhanced by his power because it sent her flying. Not done, he raced after her with his ability enhanced speed presumably to continue pummeling her.
"Fuck." Namikaze cursed as he disappeared among the stacks. Gritting her teeth, she turned to look at Mikoto with determination burning in her eyes, "Stay here. Dammit, I swear to god you better or I will break your legs."
Naru's fingers curled into her palms as she let out an angered growl.
"You know. I was right. Saten was wrong. I knew I had to kick your ass."
Her Sempai looked stunned by this, but narrowed her eyes and slowly picked Shirai-chan up and carried her over to the relative safety of a nook between the stacks. Naru did the same with the clone.
"You," She ordered the clone, "Keep an eye on the Level 4."
"Don't tell her what to do." Misaka scowled at her.
A kick to the gut told the older girl otherwise.
I really don't want to be doing this, but sweet hell that felt cathartic.
Wouldn't beating on Number 1 be even better? The blonde's resident demon chimed in.
Winding up her arm, Naru advanced forward and beat some sense into her moronic Sempai with a powerful right hook.
Yeah, but we have a plan.
A stupid plan.
As the Electromaster staggered to her feet, the [Elemental Empress] created nine sets of chakra chains.
Shut up! It's the best we've got.
Doesn't make it any less stupid. Besides, don't you think fighting your precious Sempai now is weird as hell? I mean, doesn't it look like you're protecting that psycho?
Don't remind me! Now take over the chains so I can pound her brain in.
You mean keep her safe.
I know what I said.
As the fox seized control of the chains, they came alive and began moving through the air like they were living snakes. Or perhaps more accurately as if they were his tails. Fanning out around her they painted a intimidating picture.
Not that the Number 5 was unnerved in the slightest. She simply raised a brow and asked, "You've been watching too much hentai lately, haven't you?"
"There is no such thing." Naru smirked as the chains lashed out.
The Electromaster jumped out of the way, using her electromagnetism to perform impressive feats of mid-air agility to easily avoid the chains as they pursued with a serpentine grace.
Wow, she is surprisingly flexible.
Yeah. Wonder how that affects her skill in-
Don't go there! Naru warned as she helped her tenant out by launching a fireball at her Sempai to try to box her in.
As the chains were close to ensnaring the [Railgun], Saten's beaten body flew between the two.
On it! The fox acknowledged as he redirected the chains to pluck the battered girl out of the air before she made a nasty landing.
Even then she looked like a wreck as he slowly lowered her to the ground. Her legs were twisted awkwardly as the brunette struggled to get up.
"Seriously, tag me in Saten. You can't keep this up." Naru said with worry seeping into her voice.
The other girl just shook her head and took a fortifying breath before biting back a scream as the bones in her legs reset themselves. Once done, she gave Naru a nod and teleported back to being Accelerator's punching bag.
The blonde sent Misaka a vicious look, "We're trying so hard for you, but all you keep doing is getting in the way. Why couldn't you just sit and do what you're told!? I need to help Saten before that psycho kills her!"
"And I have a plan, so don't get in my way! Once I'm done, you can just get out of here and get Saten to a hospital."
"You are insufferable!" Naru shouted as she decided it was time to end this and charged in gunning for a quick take down. Enshrouding her hands in a chilly aura, she aimed a punch at the stubborn Number 5's face.
Misaka barely avoided the blow, but a deep seated chill crept over her clothes and skin. She was covered in a layer of frost that made her break out into shivers.
The older girl wasn't so easily taken down it seemed and fought off the paralyzing effect of her chill touch by causing electricity to dance up and down her body. That was not all though and with a shout, a static burst erupted from her body. The last of the ice on the Electromaster's body melted away and Naru was forced to jump back to avoid the blast.
The two Level 5s eyed each other menacingly and the next bout was about to begin when a voice called out to them.
"What are you two doing?!"
They both turned to see that Kamijou Touma had arrived.
"What are you doing here?" Misaka-Sempai cried out in shock.
"I invited him." Naru grinned at her. If it wasn't such a dire situation, the blonde would have milked this awkward moment more. Sadly, the time and place wasn't right. She glanced at the older teen and blinked at his disheveled appearance, "The hell happened to you?"
"There was a breakdown on the light rail on the way here. So I was stuck in a dead tram with two pregnant women. One gave birth. Such misfortune."
Suspicion overcame the twintailed blonde, that breakdown sounded awfully convenient, but she shook it off in favor of focusing on the fight. Her momentary distraction had given her Sempai an opening however and she had chosen to use it to break out in a sprint towards where Accelerator was.
"Yo Ruiko, enjoying the game?" Accelerator asked his old friend tauntingly.
The girl looked like she been put through the wringer. Not only did she did look utterly exhausted, her clothes told the story of just how badly injured she'd been since their game had began. There were plenty of holes in her usually immaculate Tokiwadai uniform and its fabric had been irreversibly stained by her blood.
The only thing keeping her standing is all those fancy regen powers she's got catalogued. The pseudo albino thought to himself with pride. There after all weren't many people who could push the Number 3 to her limits and definitely no one who could do it with such ease. And that's why I'm the Number 1!
Despite her flagging strength, the raven haired girl still somehow found the will to continue nagging him.
"This… This isn't some game, Accel!" She hoarsely declared as blood dribbled from her lips. "I'm only trying to save y-you from-"
"Yeah, yeah," Accelerator waved his hand dismissively, "You said that like a dozen times already. So what game we playing next?"
Ruiko looked towards where that blonde runt and that whiny [Railgun] were duking it out. Or rather the runt was just playing with the lower ranked Level 5.
Who am I to judge? I play with my food too.
"How about some knife throwing?" The boy mused idly even as he sent a vacuum blade cutting through the air at the girl. "I've always wanted to have fun playing circus."
Ruiko's eyes widened as the blade closed in on her at high speed. She raised one of her shields to defend herself. It wasn't fast enough and the first blade cut deeply into her right shoulder.
"Gaah!" The Number 3 cried out as her arm was nearly cut off at the shoulder.
Come on? No counterattack? You're getting boring Ruiko. Still, a smile made its way to his face, Meh, let's see how long she can play defensive. She's gotta attack sooner or later.
Deciding to amp up the barrage, with a burst of computations and an application of will, he turned the number of razor sharp constructs he was flinging her way into a blitzkrieg.
The sheer look of pained concentration Ruiko was wearing was a clear indication that she was having trouble keeping up with his attack. Good. Maybe getting torn up will finally force her to get with the programme and let loose.
Sauntering towards his beleaguered opponent, he smirked in anticipation as he took down one desperately raised shield after another.
His timing was just right and just as her latest shield collapsed, he stepped right in front of her face. He raised his arm in the air and said, "If you're not even going to fight me, then run back to your mama."
He swung his limb down and released a massive crescent shaped vacuum blade at high velocity towards the girl.
A strangled cry of utter pain left the brunette's lungs as she was sent flying even as the blade left a deep gash that ran from her previously unblemished right shoulder to her left hip. Blood fountained into the air from the terrible wound in a truly beautiful way.
"Damn! I make good art!"
"AAAAH!" Saten's scream rang out, distracting Naru from any ideas of intercepting the chestnut haired girl. Instead, all her focus was on the brunette as she ragdolled in the air, her blood arcing through the night sky.
"Saten!" Mikoto cried out in alarm as she changed course and pulled off an Olympics worthy jump to pluck their friend safely out of the air.
Naru turned to Kamijou, who was already shaking in anger at Accelerator.
"Oi, you jerk!" The boy shouted as he charged at the Number 1.
"Tch, even more trash?" Accelerator said aloud. With a simple wave of his hand, a typhoon force wind blew the Level 0's way. Meanwhile, the albino just kicked a rock right at Saten at bullet-like speeds. Thankfully, Sempai acted quickly and called up a wall of iron sand that took the hit, even if the hastily assembled construct collapsed from the blow.
Accelerator tsked at his attack being blocked and was readying another one when the sound of shattering glass filled the air. While he was distracted, Kamijou had thrust his right hand forward and negated the squall. By this point, he'd also finished clearing the distance with the albino and he roared right in his face, "I'm talking to you, asshole!"
His right hand clenched tightly, the brunette boy threw his fist forward. The supernatural defying hand bypassed the Number 1's previously impenetrable auto-defense with nothing but the sound of shattering glass and met his face in a staggering impact.
Stunned by the way this nobody had managed what even his most powerful opponents had never done, Accelerator could only look on in shock as the street fighter pulled back for another blow.
I want in on that. Naru decided. It was time to pay the jerk for beating up her friend when she wasn't even fighting back. Screw the plan! Now that Kamijou is here, so long as he deals the finishing blow it should be enough.
Dashing forward, Naru brought out her Panzer Frame, speeding towards Accelerator like a freight train. Taking the hint, the Level 0 let up on his beat down of the albino and took a step back.
"[Double Sudden Impact]!" The blonde screamed as she slammed her two power fists into the albino while he was still recovering from getting what might have been the first real beating in his life.
Unfortunately, the force of her attack was instantly reflected back upon her, shattering the Frame's arms and sending her flying.
Ow! Shit! Not even for a second, huh?
This guy isn't known as the monsters' monster for nothing. Kurama idly noted as he worked at healing the damage, dispelling the wrecked Frame to use its chakra as fuel for Naru's regeneration in the process.
Is that respect I hear?
...No. He's a stupid human.
While Naru and Kurama chatted, they had landed harshly even though Naru had done her best to use her Frame's thrusters to bleed off some of her momentum. A testament to the force Accelerator had casually reflected back at her.
He was so nonchalant about it in fact that he didn't even seem to notice that he'd done it at all. Instead, all his focus was on Kamijou. Sweeping the ground in front of him, he fired off a barrage of pebbles at the other boy.
[Imagine Breaker] crossed his arms and ducked his hand. This and his exceptional durability saved him from being being killed on the spot, but it nevertheless left him battered and barely standing.
Observing the results of his attack, the Number 1 hummed in thought. "Only one of those rocks slowed down before impact. The one that grazed your right hand."
Naru felt the bottom drop out of her stomach, as the albino burst into a psychotic laugh.
Shit! He's figured it out.
"Oh man, that's hilarious! You've got the one thing that can actually hurt me but it's limited to your right hand?" Accelerator noted with a demented smile while keeping his distance, "What now, punk? All I've gotta do is avoid that hand of yours and you're fucked."
"Leave it to the Number 1 to figure all that out in less than a minute. You Level 5s are a scary bunch." The heroic teenager noted grimly, even as he defiantly straightened his posture and indicated he was still ready and willing to fight.
The other boy didn't reply, he simply reached out to touch a nearby shipping container and sent it flying at his spiky haired opponent.
Naru readied an attack to intercept, but Sempai beat her to it and a railgun shot streaked through the sky. Accelerator seemed to expect it however and kicked a pebble at hypersonic speeds to slam into the electromagnetically accelerated round mid-flight, deflecting it. Fortunately, Saten had also decided to intervene and teleporting next to Touma, she tackled him out of the way.
The container crashed to earth inches from squashing the high schooler and his savior into red paste. Their ordeal was far from over however as Accelerator refused to let them recover and pressed his advantage.
With a single ability enhanced lunge, the murderous Number 1 closed the distance with Saten and Kamijou in a split second. In the same motion, his outstretched left arm lanced right through the girl's gut and burst out the other side in an explosion of gore.
If it had been most other girls, Saten would have been dead. Thankfully, her copied regenerative powers kicked in enough to not only save her but keep her conscious. Too bad they were only effective enough to let her feebly claw at the arm impaling her even as her assailant casually swung his arm to the side and sent her flying once again.
"Saten!" Naru and Sempai cried out in unison as they saw their friend land and not get back up.
While the girls were freaking out at their schoolmate's fate and rushed to her side, Kamijou decided to try and mete out some justice.
"What the fuck did you just do!?" Naru heard the spiky haired trouble magnet shout at the Number 1 as he launched a punch at the madman.
She barely paid the ongoing fight any mind though. Mainly she was focused on Saten's battered form. She was unconscious for the moment but she was healing. Slowly, yes, but after the beating she'd been taking the whole fight, slow was better than nothing at all.
"Is she-" Misaka-Sempai asked as she fell to her knees next to their friend.
"She's gonna be fine." Naru assured the older girl, even as she noted the white haired boy had learned his lesson from his earlier thrashing and with a quick burst of his power had jumped out of the melee range as Kamijou threw his punch. All whilst simultaneously retaliating with a gust.
"Just keep an eye on her. Just in case." The blonde added as the [Imagine Breaker] negated the torrent of air.
"What are you going to do?"
"Watching the fight and making sure that asshat doesn't get anywhere near Saten again." Naru said through gritted teeth as she turned away from the badly injured girl to focus on the fighting boys.
"To answer your question," The Number 1 said as he eyed the other boy with a scrutinizing gaze. "I was playing with a friend."
"You call almost killing her, "playing"?" The black haired boy said, glaring at Accelerator.
"Kill her?" Accelerator scoffed. "Ruiko has taken far worst beatings than this. To her this isn't even a Tuesday at the office."
"You rotten bastard."
"Like I care what you think." The psycho shot back. "But I answered your question. So why don't you answer mine now?"
Kamijou nodded, even as he tensed himself, telegraphing that he was about to charge.
"Then tell me, punk, what the hell are you?"
Kamijou ran at the strongest Level 5, his right arm cocked back.
"The guy that's going to kick your ass!"
"Funny, a lot of guys used to think that. You might have a weird power, but it's not invincible." Accelerator grinned and jumped back, keeping his distance from the Level 0. "So far you've only been able to stop the effects of my powers, you can't actually deflect objects or take away the effect of natural forces."
Seeing the distance gained, Kamijou ground his teeth, "So what?"
"Simple, gravity's a bitch." Accelerator declared with a smirk as with a casual touch he sent a shipping container flying in a parabolic arc with Kamijou as the target.
"...Fukou da!" The spiky haired boy screamed as he scrambled for safety and barely made it.
Shit! Shit! Shit! Now he's figured out his weaknesses too? We're screwed! Naru panicked as a cold sweat broke out on her brow.
Relax. This fight isn't over yet. Kurama said encouragingly, his voice calm despite the dire situation. Reminding his host that he was someone who had literally lived through centuries of conflict. That boy is a hero. And they always manage somehow, even when things look impossible.
You believe in heroes?
My father was one. So yes, I do.
WTF!? You have a father?
Not now, focus and trust him.
"Ha! Nailed it!" The Number 1 smiled victoriously, eying his panting opponent. "Now to finish you off."
Still smirking like the lunatic he was, the albino lifted his arms into the air. As he did so, the winds rapidly began to pick up. Within moments, a massive storm had engulfed the railyard. In a testament to the Number 1's control this powerful typhoon was entirely contained within the confines of their battlefield. That didn't in any way detract from its strength however, as evidenced by how it easily picked up any and all the loose gravel in the yard and even the lighter shipping containers into its spiraling winds.
Kamijou curled up into a ball as a means to protect himself.
"Sempai, protect Saten!" Naru ordered as she tried to get near the Level 0. She blasted several containers that were about to crash into either him or herself while fighting against the high speed winds as best she could in a bid to protect their ace in the hole.
But in spite of her best efforts, the brunette was hit several times causing her to wince at each hit. The strength and speed of the winds were so great that she barely made any progress whatsoever.
All the while, Accelerator was cackling, his voice somehow carrying over the roar of the twister.
"This is awesome, haha! Let's try something else!"
At his declaration, the winds shifted and traveled around the Number 1. Everything previously in the air, plummeted to the ground as the wind died down everywhere else as all the wind focused on a point several hundred feet in the air.
With a gleeful look on his face, the albino began to use the rapidly moving winds to compress the air at that single arbitrary point he'd chosen. As a result, slowly but surely the intense pressures he was creating was turning the air there into plasma. He was creating a literal miniature sun!
"Hey punk!" Accelerator said to Kamijou's unconscious form. "You managed to punch me earlier, right? So why don't I return the favour and let you have a taste of some plasma?"
Dammit, he's out cold! Naru thought, seeing the build up of the winds, she focused her chakra to exert her own control over the air. I may not be able to stop him, but I can at least slow him down.
"A-Accel!" A weak shout from Saten called out, "Please, stop t-this."
The brunette looked like she was just barely clinging to life. She coughed up some blood as Misaka-Sempai helped to prop her up, looking on worriedly all the while.
Damn! His control of the winds are too strong! I'm not making a dent. Naru noted with frustration, even as she worriedly eyed how Accelerator leveled a look at Saten. Naru was pretty sure it was a mix of irritation, amusement and dare she say it, affection, as he looked at her.
In response, Saten whispered something to Misaka-Sempai and gently pushed her away before feebly getting to her feet. The [Railgun] shot Saten one last look before bolting to where Naru had left the clone.
What does she think the clone can do?
Maybe she's taking her and running away?
She won't do that!
Kurama just shrugged. It won't matter either way. Not when the hero finishes this.
Not that nonsense again! Naru would have given her tenant a tongue lashing right then, but she was a little too preoccupied with trying to stop the Number 1's attempt at playing god to worry about the demon being an idiot.
"P-please, Accel. Listen to me." Saten begged, her voice growing steadier as her powers got further along in repairing her body.
The Number 1 just ignored her and continued to look at her with that strange look of his. Though exasperation seemed to have seeped into his gaze.
Meanwhile, Sempai seemed to have reached the clone and was pleading with it to do something to stop Accelerator.
"You want to live, right? Then you have to stand up for yourselves! All of you!" She begged them at the top of her lungs, too out of sorts to maintain the manners that their school drilled into all its students.
All the clones? Wha-
The answer to Naru's unfinished question came as a new wind current blasted into the area, beginning to destabilize the precise patterns that Accelerator was using to maintain his stellar nursery. Turning quickly, she noted that the many windmills throughout the City were one by one turning in their direction and sending torrents of wind at them.
"The clones." Accelerator hissed as he turned, ready to march towards the lone clone in the yard.
He was stopped as Saten limped into his way.
"Ruiko, get out of my way." He said, his eyes narrowing dangerously.
"No." The Number 3 said as she spread her arms and blocked his way. At the same time, the wind around her began to spiral erratically as she joined in on the efforts to stop the madman.
Kurama! Festung, now! Naru screamed as she saw where this was going.
"You bitch!" Accelerator snarled, causing Saten to flinch from the insult. "You're still standing in my way? And you call me a friend? Die!"
With a thought, the psychopath directed the relatively small quantity of plasma he'd created so far to come streaming down at Saten in a massive beam of raw destruction. Thankfully, Naru's Festung Frame settled around her an instant before the beam began streaking to earth and she was able to intercept it with a beam of raw chakra of her own, thus deflecting it.
The resultant explosion as the beam impacted the earth was nothing short of cataclysmic in magnitude. As the shockwave rushed over the surroundings, Naru watched in horror as the Number 1 redirected a whole chunk of the powerful overpressure directly at the still recovering Saten.
[Multi Skill] had managed to bring up a shield to protect herself but it proved utterly insufficient to withstand the fury unleashed upon her. For what seemed like the umpteenth time, she was flung into the air. She impacted one of the shipping containers with such immense force that it indented. Between the exposure to the shockwave and the impact with the container, any progress her healing might have made was wiped clean and she was once more bleeding like crazy.
Seeing that, Naru felt like something snapped within the her mind as raw fury ignited in her veins.
"Accelerator!" The blonde roared as her blue eyes turned to a burning vermillion. "Die!"
Even before she finished speaking, the many guns of the Festung roared to life and an immense barrage of chakra projectiles flew downrange towards the unflustered Number 1.
Unfortunately, his confidence proved warranted as his automatic redirection kicked in and the entire barrage was deflected. Right back at Naru!
"Oh shit!" The blonde shouted as she used the limited thrusters of her Frame to try to evade the projectiles heading her way, not willing to take the risk of being able to reabsorb the volatile masses of chakra before they exploded. She did a good job at first, but all good things must come to an end and eventually she swerved left when she should have veered right and was hit dead on by one of her chakra mortars.
The explosion rocked her and threw her through several containers until she landed in a ten feet deep crater in the earth.
Ugh, my everything. Touma thought as he blearily opened his eyes. Only to be greeted by the sight of the brave little girl standing up to the psycho Number 1 get brutally sent crashing into a stack of shipping containers. Again.
The perpetually unfortunate boy moved to do something but his muscles spasmed, and he fell to one knee. He screamed at his body to move, but the pain flared something fierce. As he was fighting through the agony, he saw the blonde loli lose her temper at seeing her friend's state and try to bombard their enemy with what looked like a barrage of mini nukes.
Seriously, why do all these girls have massively dangerous powers?
The terrifyingly powerful assault didn't amount to much however since the Number 1 just reflected it right back at her. The Number 2 tried to evade, but she was still hit by her own attack and sent flying.
Gritting his teeth, Touma shakily got to his feet.
"Hey! You think you're so tough?" Touma called out the demented Level 5, "Beating up little girls?!"
"Whaddya say, punk?" Accelerator asked with a snarl, turning to face Touma.
"You heard me. You're not tough, not when all you seem to know how to do is beat on little girls." The Level 0 said fearlessly. He should have been terrified of facing off against much less pissing off, the most powerful Esper in the world. The boy who caused even the most dangerous goons in the City to shake in terror at the mere mention of his name. But he wasn't feeling a hint of fear, not when righteous indignation at his cruelty was boiling his blood.
The crazy eyed Esper flared his nostrils and cackled lowly, "You know? I was going to save you for last, but fuck it." The albino's white hair whipped wildly as he charged at Touma like a bullet, "I'll tear ya apart right now!"
In a second, the strongest Esper was in range and swung his fist wildly at the Level 0.
To Touma, the swing was… sloppy. For someone who had been in his share of brawls, it was more like an angry child trying to hit someone than a proper punch.
"Your punch needs work." Touma told the other boy honestly, as he easily stepped into his completely open guard and delivered a punch with his right fist into the loon's smug face.
The albino stumbled and looked ready to take one of his super leaps to create distance, but Touma was having none of it. Reaching out with his right hand, he grabbed hold of the boy's shoulder and negated his power while simultaneously pulling him into a left hook.
The other teen let out a gasp and almost went limp in his grasp for a moment. Touma didn't have mercy on him and left him choking on his own blood as his latest punch nearly broke the seemingly fragile guy's jaw.
"You should have clenched your teeth because I'm going to shatter that messed up illusion of strength you have!" The brunette roared as he punched the Number 1 ranked Esper in Academy City in the face.
It was damn satisfying!
Touma released the Accelerator, who wavered on his feet, and reared his right fist.
"Lights out!" The eternally unfortunate boy shouted as the blow cracked right into the albino's nose. The force of the punch sending the thin teen flying through the air to land in a crumpled heap.
The railyard turned silent as the battle finally ended.
For a moment, Touma stood there ready for anything as he eyed the Number 1. However, when it became clear he wasn't getting back up, he let out a sigh of relief.
"Holy shit. Never thought I'd see him flat on his ass. Damn, where's my phone?" The blonde loli said, causing Touma to almost fall over at the broken tension.
"Uh, didn't you get blown up?" He turned to ask the girl, finding that the only sign of her recent intimate acquaintance with an explosion was her clothes looking scuffed up.
"Huh? Oh! That's nothing. I've gotten through worse." She shrugged and patted him on the back, "Nice going, tough guy. Glad you lived."
"Namikaze? You alright?" Biri-Biri said as she cautiously walked over, one of her sisters trailing behind her.
"Yeah. You and your clone okay?"
Clone? Well, that explains a lot.
Biri-Biri turned to her clone for a moment, who nodded, and replied. "We're fine."
"Good, then I can do this." The blonde said as she stepped up to the Electromaster and promptly slapped her.
Touma winced and had a feeling he shouldn't be here.
Just in case things got explosive.
Biri-Biri, stunned, touched her reddening cheek.
"You are so freaking stupid!" Namikaze roared like a tiger, "You're already in trouble for going all lone wolf, but this? Saten and I were trying to keep you alive and what do you do? You walk right into a suicidal fight with the Number 1! You are in so much trouble for trying to throw your life away like a dumbass!"
The blonde girl didn't seem to notice the tears in her eyes.
"What about your friends? What about your family? How do you think all of us would feel if something happened to you, huh?" She demanded from the chestnut haired girl.
"I-I…" The older girl stammered, at a loss for words.
Getting called out like that? I'm not surprised. Touma noted with sympathy.
While the two Tokiwadai girls were talking, their battered schoolmate - Saten was her name, right? - had regained consciousness and was dragging herself towards the unconscious Accelerator.
The blonde walked over to the other two Level 5s and said, "Oi, Saten, leave that maniac alone. We need to get you home to rest."
The genuine worry was clear in her voice even as the blue eyed girl tiredly rubbed her eyes.
"I-I'm fine." The girl croaked out. "I n-need to make sure A-Accel is okay."
Everyone, Touma included, shot the girl incredulous looks. The guy had beat her within an inch of her life and she was still worried about him? Is she a masochist?
Fuming, the loli just stalked off towards that teleporter girl that always seemed to like hanging around Biri-Biri. He hadn't even noticed she was here until now which might have something to do with the fact that she was unconscious and tucked away in a safe corner of the battlefield.
Picking the tawny haired girl up carefully, the blonde said. "Why are all my friends impossible! First Sempai tries to commit suicide and now Saten's acting like a masochist for the psychotic sadist! You're all weird!"
Oi oi, a little girl shouldn't be talking about those things! Touma paled as this was something Aogami would jump on for sure.
"But I guess I helped you lot anyways." The shortest of the girls said with a resigned sigh. "So I guess I'm just as weird as the rest of you."
With one last exasperated, affectionate look over her friends, the blonde teleported away.
I see why both she and Biri-Biri are friends. They're both tsunderes.
Any further thought on the matter was interrupted as the sounds of sirens screeched through the now still night.
"You called Anti-Skill?" Biri-Biri asked the Saten girl who by now had managed to pull herself into a sitting position next to Accelerator.
Anti-Skill, already? This must be a new record! Touma noted with sarcasm at the uncharacteristically quick response time for the organisation. Wait! If Anti-Skill is on the way, then… Shit! This is so gonna suck.
Naru sat in a pretty white sun dress, gold bangles along her arms and heeled sandals strapped up to her shins. She carefully stirred her drink as she sat across from Shutaura.
The two were in a cafe, seating in a far off booth to discuss what had happened the previous night.
"Do you realize the amount of property damage you caused with this latest stunt? The railyard is out of commission for two weeks!"
Naru struggled to keep her eyes up. Not an easy feat considering that Shutaura wasn't in her usual skin tight bodysuit. Instead she was wearing a low cut blouse that showed plenty of cleavage, which was further enhanced by the closed blazer she wore over it that just emphasized the girl's assets even further. This was paired with a tight pencil skirt which showed off her toned legs and perfectly proportioned posterior. All in all, the other girl was rocking the sexy professional look.
Shaking off the distraction, the blonde replied, "It wasn't my fault, all I did was dodge."
"And use Festung." The brunette narrowed her stern gaze.
There was no way to hide the wince from that one.
Someone's in trouble.
Shut up! Naru whined at her tenant. They had been going back and forth all night, ever since the fight. He'd been insisting that her friends had come to mean more to her than she'd ever thought possible, while she tried her best to deny it. Quite futilely.
In her heart of hearts, the blonde could admit he was right. But she wasn't about to let him know that. Or anyone for that matter.
She'd grown up as an outcast, [The Alien]. She had thus naturally desperately tried to find family, and now that she'd found people who might just fit the bill… Naru just didn't know how to handle it. Not yet, at least.
"Alright, so I might have fired… a few rounds."
"Enough with the excuses! You know how dangerous that Frame is." Shutaura crossed her arms, pushing up her breasts even more and momentarily distracting Naru. She refocused her attention onto the conversation however as the older girl's next set of words raised her hackles. "Even more with the Number 1 being able to reflect them. What if they flew off into the distance?"
Naru's gaze turned chilling, "He was literally ripping Saten apart. I. Got. Angry."
A growl escaped her throat and her eyes flashed vermillion for a second. The thought of seeing Saten, fragile hearted Saten, getting torn apart?
How else was the Number 2 supposed to react to that?
"And if one of the CROWs got hurt like that? You wouldn't get angry?" Naru cut her off, her grip on her drink tight.
"...I would, but I would keep my cool nonetheless."
Looking to the side, the blonde mumbled, "I'm sorry for not being perfect."
Sighing, Shutaura took her drink and sipped it. Setting it down, she said, "Look, I'm merely saying this because this is the third incident that [Multi-Skill] has been a part of. I am concerned over this."
"Gonna apply the three strikes rule?" Naru asked, her voice low and threatening.
"Hmph, it's not as if I have any authority over the Level 5s. As one of the few reasonable ones, I'm just asking you to keep her out of more trouble. Or else, someone who does have authority over you lot will intervene."
Naru's blue eyes narrowed, "We'll take it under advisement. Still, I have a question."
"Who dressed you up? Because last I checked, this so doesn't seem your style." Naru teased her, a wide smile on her face. "Sexy secretary? You cosplaying or something?"
If Shutaura was going to bust her chops, well, Naru was willing to dish it right back.
An adorable flush on her cheeks, the Leader of the CROWs explained, "I lost a bet with Ladylee-sama."
"Ha! Knew it."
Omake: Canon's Thoughts
"Wow!" Uiharu said as they finished seeing the last video. "That was kinda intense."
"I dunno," Kuroko said with a shrug. "It looks like pretty much what we went through ourselves."
"Y-you sure?" Saten said, her voice trembling. "I-I don't think me getting nearly torn to pieces was anything like what I went through."
"At least you have some type of regeneration." Mikoto cocked her head to the side, "Did that damned loli have to slap me though…"
"Yes, Onee-sama." Kuroko gave her a dirty look, "I would have done it if I had known about this!"
"You did slap me when you found out."
"My point exactly."
"I cannot believe you have clones though. An army of Ojou-samas."
"Oi, Uiharu, snap out of it!" Saten chided, "You're drooling."
"Honestly," Kuroko said cutting in, as Uiharu cleaned herself up and Saten giggled at her best friend. "I think the weirdest thing is Kiyama-sensei being Saten-san's mother."
"Or me being a Level 5." The Level 0 admitted. "I mean the powers were cool. I thought it was great at first, but after finding out what it cost the other me… Well, I'm kinda glad I'm a Level 0 here in this world. Less complicated and dangerous!"
"Yeah," Mikoto agreed. "The powers are cool, but it can have its costs too."
"On a happier note, at least these videos might give you some clues on how to awaken your powers." Kuroko suggested to Saten encouragingly.
"True, I wonder if I'm an AIM manipulator in this world too."
"Now that would be scary." Mikoto couldn't help but confess, making all the girls laugh despite the harrowing event they viewed.
Done and done. Thanks to the team of Nameless as usual.
Whoo! Man, this was a rush of a chapter. I love our big fight chapters. Always a blast! Still, got pretty crazy. I hope we showed all the characters at their best or the peak of the emotional states in this section of the story.
Nameless: That was an intense fight, huh? Saten got thrashed didn't she? You might wonder why? Well, the simple answer is that Accel is just that OP. The more complex answer is that Saten was completely unwilling to attack Accel at all, and was sticking to defending herself with shields alone. And we know Accel can dish out a truly impressive amount of firepower and of course can easily smash through her shields. Lucky for Saten, she has regen powers. If not for those, she'd be dead.
Naru's revelation of how much she cares for her friends was a big thing for her. Because we all know she is an outsider, an alien, so the idea that she finally has a family of her own? It's new and well, alien, so she's adjusting. In a good way of course.
Nameless: Yup, hopefully all the CD in this arc was tastefully done and not excessive like some of our reviewers criticize us for being. On this front, I think a bit of clarification is required, namely with Saten. Why was she so weird throughout this arc in regards to Accel? Well, this is simple. She's not the most stable person, after everything she's been through she lives with a constant anxiety that everything can fall apart for her in an instant and this leads her to desperately latch onto the people precious to her. Think back to what she called Uiharu in the Graviton Bomber mini-arc and her utter devotion to her family. She has a similar, if slightly different, irrational attachment to Accel as her first friend (albeit a bad influence to her). Now confronted with a situation that he's doing something wrong and is even hurting her other friends who she is building a similarly strong attachment with? She's basically short circuited and is behaving irrationally. Hence, her apparent masochism.
And Touma, ah Touma, so much fun to write him. Despite the odds, he just grabs onto Accel and whales on the dickwaffle. So much fun.
Nameless: The generic Deus Ex strikes again. I honestly don't really like Touma, but he's essential to the Toaruverse so yeah, expect to see more of him in the future.
The last bit with Shutaura was just the genuine impressions of those who cannot control the Level 5s. Naru is one of the few sane ones to talk to, so of course she's going to get her ear talked off about almost half of the other Level 5s, the top 3 even, brawling within the city. The board of directors must have been peeing their pants.
Nameless: Yup, everyone except Aleister probably had a stroke when they heard what was happening/happened. Betcha he was having a grand ol' time watching the fight though. To him, it would be quality entertainment.
Another thing, in hindsight, we have failed to make this truly a Mikoto arc. To that effect, we'll make the next one about her instead. Sorry about disappointing you guys in this regard.
One last thing, some reviewers brought up the fact that Naru and Saten are not pursuing the best options that are available to them to solve the problems they encounter in this arc. However assuming that they do so all the time basically would mean an expectation of hypercompetence in Naru and Saten just because they are experienced Dark Siders. It does not consider circumstances. The whole confinement of Mikoto is a quick temporary fix since they fully planned to have the experiment shut down quickly, if they failed they would have moved Mikoto. They also definitely underestimated Uiharu and Kuroko, having not expected them to find Mikoto that quickly. More importantly, the situation is taxing them emotionally for Saten especially, but for Naru as well since she's suddenly faced with a situation she's honestly hadn't considered before i.e. opposing, in a way, Aleister. And for friends no less! As such, they are not responding at their best. They can't be expected to always do the 'smart' thing. They are people who can fall into patterns of behavior (Saten's favoring of barriers over other options, Naru's overconfidence leading to getting distracted or underestimating enemies in battle) or simply just not choose the best options when faced with a difficult situation. In fact, you could say that this whole arc is designed, unintentionally from the start, to show this fact. If that's still not enough to convince you, then see it from the perspective of us trying to not write Mary Sues and making the characters hypercompetent is a major step in doing just that.
E4E: Well, you all know what to do! Smash that review button and tell us what you love! No flames and peace out my peeps!