Title: A Certain Magical Index, Vol. 4
Author: Kazuma Kamachi
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Yen Press
It was around one week after the defeat of Accelerator, and Touma Kamijou was not in Academy City. Instead, he was at the Wadatsumi beach house in the Kanagawa Prefecture, a far cry from the terrain of Academy City, which is located in western Tokyo.
An Esper being out of Academy City is a relatively rare occurrence since they’re essentially test samples that could be poked and prodded for scientific secrets if left unsupervised. Tons of paperwork had to be signed, microscopic transmission devices had to be injected, and they needed to be with a guardian, so it could be assumed that most who had yearnings to leave only did so for holidays or such.
But since Touma defeated Accelerator, the strongest Esper, the city was actually imploring him to leave for a while so they could mitigate the severity of the rumors spreading. Level 0s were getting big heads about trying to become the strongest themselves after rumors of Accelerator’s defeat began to run rampant, and some research groups weren’t too fond of Radio Noise ceasing.
Index, also here, was initially not intended to be present because she did technically enter Academy City illegally, yet she was somehow granted guest identification, discovered upon her departure. It was a mystery as to who crafted that, or was it?
So here Touma was, out on a vacation with Index, his parents, and his…sister? An oddly familiar female voice kept calling out to him from beyond the room, referring to him as “big brother.” But, as far as he knew, Touma Kamijou had no siblings, so who was this rambunctious girl?
After she finally presented herself, it was revealed that Touma Kamijou’s “sister” is Mikoto Misaka—the Railgun.
Confusion understandably took hold of his mind. This was obviously impossible. So, what in the hell was happening here? Was Mikoto also exiled here temporarily after the rumors began to spread? Did one of the Sisters glitch out? Or was she perhaps pretending to be his little sister as a bizarre act of repayment for all he’s done for her? She was acting all cutesy, after all, entirely unlike Mikoto.
Those possibilities coursed through his mind, but he wouldn’t get an answer. Not yet, anyway.
Mikoto left the room, and Touma eventually did, too, running into his parents. This meetup was awkward in more ways than one, with the most apparent being how this was “this” Touma Kamijou’s first time meeting his parents. Maybe it’d be more accurate to say this was the new Touma Kamijou’s first time meeting his previous self’s parents. Well, it’s implied they visited him after his head injury from the Index arc in volume one, but that was more of a safety check than anything else. This vacation was more of an established, fully-fledged meeting.
His dad, Touya Kamijou, is a businessman who traveled overseas a few times a year and meant well, while his kind mother, Shiina Kamijou, was a bit of an eccentric with her hobbies, notably paragliding.
“As a high school student, even college students two or three years older than him represented people living in a functionally different world, one whose life and habits were completely foreign to his experience. The age difference between Touma and his father was even greater than that, which made it all the more challenging to figure out how to bridge that gap.”
However, when encountering his parents this morning, he immediately noticed that his referenced supposed mother looked like Index, identically so. Except she was wearing fancy clothes he was sure neither he nor she had the budget for.
Actually, they reminded Touma a bit of his mother’s own attire from the previous day.
Touma was starting to question his sanity. Oddly, his mom (Index) was flattered by the insinuation that she looked young enough to be compared to Touma’s companion. The boy had no idea what the hell was going on. Between having a younger sister who looked identical to Mikoto Misaka and a too-youthful mother who looked precisely like Index, he wasn’t sure if his brain was messed up or if this was some elaborate prank concocted by who-knows-who. His dad tried to give him weird occult-like charms to cheer him up, and they were phallic-shaped for whatever reason. Touya had a tendency to collect memorabilia.
Alas, the true terror of the still-developing situation reared its ugly head via Touma Kamijou’s classmate Aogami Pierce, who arrived in attire identical to Index’s.
After Touma understandably screamed out in pure fear, he grabbed Aogami(?) and threw him to another room, shutting the door in his face. His dad was alarmed and reasonably angry, while his mother seemingly assumed it to be a kink(?) of Touma’s, laughing it off.
Touma eventually left the trio in their varying perplexed states, finding Mikoto Misaka(?) on the first floor of the beach house, trying to watch the television. She was still acting like your everyday little sister, albeit maybe too forward in her affections, but nothing out of the ordinary for the role. He was still mocking her tone, fully believing it was a facade for who knows what ends. She then asked Touma if he could ask the shopkeeper if they could watch TV, to which Touma reluctantly agreed.
Would Mikoto Misaka really be so weak-willed that she’d fear asking about watching the television, of all things?
When Touma met the shopkeeper, his previous instances of shock were somehow surpassed.
Somehow, someway, the individual standing before him, wearing casual beach attire and cooking food, was the sorcerer Stiyl Magnus.
Except, like Mikoto(?), Index(?), and Aogami(?), they were perfectly acting like the selves they were supposedly meant to imitate. Perhaps too perfectly. The Stiyl standing before Touma Kamijou was like your everyday middle-aged man, nothing like the cold-blooded killer and magic-wielder he was familiar with. Then, his daughter, assisting him with his work, arrived. And wouldn’t you know it, she was a Sister of Mikoto’s wearing a naked apron. She was far from the emotionless and expressionless artificial human the Sisters were made to be.
Clearly, the scope of this matter propelled far past the feasibility of a prank. This realization was bolstered by Mikoto(?) turning on the television. A reporter informed the masses of an escaped convicted serial killer, Jinsaku Hino. Except this reporter was Touma Kamijou’s teacher, who liked like a grade schooler, Tsukuyomi Komoe.
When Touma stole the remote from Mikoto(?) and flipped through the channels, he saw that everyone’s appearances and roles weren’t quite right. So, was Touma under hallucinations, or was there something more supernatural at work?
On the beach, Touma seeing Index(?) wear a stupidly scantily clad swimsuit that covered practically nothing, pushed his anger to the limit. His father, who saw Index as how his wife normally looks like, bought this particular swimsuit for her. He was quite the horny individual. Accusing his dad of something less than savory and facing an accusation from his parents, labeling him with an Oedipus Complex, Touma chased his family around with a toy shovel.
It was a strange moment of family bonding that Touma wanted nothing to do with. Then, seeing Aogami, who was Index, parade around in the latter’s swimsuit was disturbing enough on its own, so he dug her into the sand and fled.
While pondering the truth of what was going on, a certain classmate and neighbor arrived, Motoharu Tsuchimikado, the brother of the maid-in-training Touma was already acquainted with. He was a jokester, the kind of guy who had too much confidence in trying to pick up girls and had a teensy bit of an infatuation with his stepsister, Maika—just a little. Further, Tsuchimikado, Touma, and Aogami made up the trio referred to as the Delta Force or the Three Idiots of A Certain High School.
Tsuchimikado asked Touma who he looked like, revealing that Tsuchimikado was in the know about what was happening. However, this was interrupted by the arrival of another familiar face, Kaori Kanzaki.
She believed Touma to be the caster of this spell, Angel Fall, which caused everyone’s bodies to swap. But this caused another urgent dilemma to be addressed. How was Tsuchimikado, a student of Academy City, so friendly with a sorcerer?
The answer was starkly simple. He was a sorcerer himself. Not only that, but Tsuchimikado was part of Necessarius, the same organization Stiyl and Kaori are part of. And he was a spy for the magic side, reporting the goings-on of Academy City to the English Puritans. Plus, due to his unique position as both a Level 0 and a sorcerer, he couldn’t use the former’s abilities.
At this revelation that Kaori showed uncertainty toward the necessity of, Touma was in shock. Tsuchimikado’s casual references to matters beyond Touma’s perception, like the ” ith School District, the Five Elements Society,” alongside the mentions of the horrid darkness lurking within Academy City, made it abundantly evident just how different of a world he lived in.
Still, Touma Kamijou took it rather well, disturbingly so. “The few mental images he possessed of Motoharu Tsuchimikado stayed intact,” so despite this inherent alteration in perception, Touma still saw Motoharu Tsuchimikado as Motoharu Tsuchimikado. Even if the persona he embodied at Academy City and school was a veil, there had to be some authenticity to it all.
The conversation shifted back to Angel Fall, with Tsuchimikado revealing that the body swapping is just a side effect of the real issue. Also, Touma, seemingly being the only one unaffected by this change in bodily perception, made him a prime suspect. It was a faulty accusation, seeing as Touma has no idea what magic really is, let alone how to cast it, but the suspicion was retained.
Angel Fall was an on-the-fly term made for this scenario, a spell that didn’t exist in the British Library, and to explain it all, Tsuchimikado took the reigns.
Going back to the Sephirothic Tree from Kabbalah mentioned by Index in the previous volume, it’s a ten-step ranking system depicting the souls of God, angels, and humans. To put it simply, the categorization of these souls is all predetermined, and changing one’s placement is impossible. But that impossibility has now occurred with Angel Fall. As the name implies, an angel has now fallen to the rank of a human.
As for how these different planes of beings can interact in the first place since Touma was under the impression that heaven can be reached through flight, it can be loosely compared to infrared and ultraviolet rays. People can’t see or hear those ordinarily, respectively, but the rest is best explained by Tsuchimikado verbatim:
“The whole ‘high’ and ‘low’ here is like that. It’s the high or low of the range that humans are able to sense. If it’s too high, then you can’t detect it. Same if it’s too low. Like, if God were right next to you, Kammy, you’d never be able to notice it.”
Tsuchimikado grinned happily. “Incidentally, when we say low, we mean things like hell or demons. It’s the ultraviolet rays in comparison to infrared light, and low-frequency waves compared to high-frequency ones. They’re of opposite phases. They just have different wavelengths, but they’re all the same waves. So normally, if an angel were standing next to a demon, neither of them would realize it. They would have to interfere with the wavelength in between heaven and hell, or Earth.”
On the other hand, if you shoot infrared rays into an object, it’ll heat up, and if you shoot high-frequency waves at glass, it’ll smash all over the place, right? To put it really roughly, divine punishment and miracles and stuff correspond to that, nya. Heaven may not seem to the untrained eye to have any point of contact with Earth, but depending on the time and place, it can still have effects on Earth. Even the opposite is possible.”
Interestingly, religions that use idols of representation as worship actually bring forth the presence of angels and God to heavily restrained degrees. Even the crosses atop churches, while fake, are effective to certain extents because of their designed function and form.
Moreover, angelic power, Telesma, can be borrowed and embedded within tools depending on the act of reverence used to call for angels. Still, that type of summoned power is minimal, meaning an actual fully-fledged angel making its way to the human world is impossible. That’s why this Angel Fall incident was unprecedented outside of the Old Testament scriptures.
Regarding the body-swapping, it can be understood as a game of musical chairs with the aberration that there aren’t enough chairs for each participant, and the one who doesn’t end up with a seat gets ejected to heaven, essentially becoming an angel themself.
This situation was perilous since it was on a global scale, and there was a time limit since it was still incomplete. So, there were two methods of resolving this mess. The first was that since this magic was so complex, there had to be a casting site that could be disrupted, and the other option was simply taking out the sorcerer who initiated this spell altogether. As for motive, it can be assumed they want to become an angel, like with the musical chairs example, or they want to somehow take control of one.
Granted, questions remained, such as who the hell Touma’s supposed little sister was and how Tsuchimikado and Kaori appeared unaffected despite the incident affecting the whole world. As for the latter, since the duo resided in Windsor Castle in England, a magical stronghold, a combination of the barriers in place with the distance from the spell’s casting where Touma was partially protected them.
Yet, it was only partial. To others, Tsuchimikado looked like a famous idol named Hajime Hitotsui, while Kaori looked like the one and only Stiyl Magnus. Thanks to Tsuchimikado using magic for protection, the effects weren’t quite as potent as with others. As for how he was able to use magic, well, you can technically use spells while being an Esper. It just comes at a great physical cost, resulting in massive injuries, as evidenced by Tsuchimikado’s bandaged waist.
Touma was suspected as the caster since the effects of Angel Fall seemed to occur with him at the epicenter. And a wildly frustrated Kaori, highly annoyed at how others perceived her, suggested that even though Touma lacked knowledge of magic and was an Esper, he had Index by his side, a magic walking encyclopedia.
So to investigate if he had any injuries from casting magic, she… examined him thoroughly, much to his chagrin. Alas, he was healthy, perhaps too healthy under Kaori’s touch.
Touma and Kaori were eating dinner with the Kamijou family that night, with Tsuchimikado needing to hide due to his newly perceived visage as an idol. Kaori was not having a great time, to put it mildly, since she was being treated like she looked like Stiyl Magnus. Like with Touma, Touya tried to give the exhausted Kaori weird occult-like charms as gifts.
While Kaori endured that, Touma decided to bite the bullet and ask his mother, quite rudely, about who the little sister character fawning over him was. As it turns out, she was Touma’s cousin, Otohime Tatsugami, who arrived at the beach house by the time Angel Fall was already active.
Having finally had enough, Kaori fled the scene with Touma in tow, requesting him to keep a lookout for anyone while she was in the communal bath. While doing so, she brought up how her fleeing the dinner was also out of guilt since the happy look on Index’s face, even though it was on Touma’s mother, did not feel deserving to her. She did not feel like she earned the right to be looked at so favorably by that child.
Of course, since this Touma Kamijou was unfamiliar with that incident, he kept his mouth shut.
While Kaori was bathing, Tsuchimikado arrived and apologized to Touma since, unbeknownst to Kamijou, he was aware of the previous incidents he got caught up in and did not aid him in any way.
However, while Touma should’ve arguably been upset, he paid it no mind. In his eyes, regardless of Tsuchimikado’s actions or inaction, he was still Motoharu Tsuchimikado, his neighbor and classmate.
Tsuchimikado was taken aback but didn’t let it show on his face, instead choosing to lighten the mood by having the duo peek on Kaori. Knowing Touma’s misfortune, his family arrived to use the communal baths soon after, causing him to enter the baths out of panic and walk in on a nude Kaori. After an awkward silence right before Kaori beat him with her katana, Touma tried to bring peace by saying the best line in the volume:
“New, sensational katana-thrusting action?!”
Alas, he got bodied.
Later that night, Tsuchimikado and Kaori were conversing about how Touma’s ineptitude with magic and overly earnest nature made him a non-suspect for Angel Fall, even though it seemed like he was the only possible candidate. In the meantime, Touma was alone, lounging, thinking about the incident while watching a television report about the escaped convicted serial killer Jinsaku Hino. He suffered from a split-personality disorder, which Touma learned about in class.
Touma remarked that the current incident lacked the tension of the two incidents he previously dealt with since he had two experts on his side. Yet, that missing tension was suddenly instilled by a certain pair of eyes watching him from beneath the floor. Whose eyes were those eyes? None other than those of the escaped convicted serial killer himself, Jinsaku Hino.
He was manic, attacking Touma with a knife while screaming and yearning for an angel, begging that he fulfilled whatever task it imparted him. Suddenly, a nun Touma had never seen before arrived and saved him by utilizing torture-like tools, the Seven Implements from the Tower of London, but not before he was cut by Jinsaku’s knife, which was coated with poison. With the nun choosing to prioritize Touma, Jinsaku fled.
Touma eventually awoke by Tsuchimikado, the new nun, and Kaori, with the lattermost informing him that the nun is a member of Annihilatus, part of the Russian Orthodox Church. As Tsuchimikado elucidates, The Russian Orthodox are outfitted for hunting down ghosts, while the English Puritans excelled at hunting down rogue sorcerers.
This Russian nun, Misha Kreutzev, saved Touma from Jinsaku’s poisoned blade by sucking it out of him. However, she only did it out of uncertainty, not of kindness. She did not know if he cast Angel Fall, so she asked him with a tone akin to her being a machine. Her speech patterns were strange, as she’d start questions and answers by saying those literal words while keeping track of the number of exchanges per conversation. The same went with observations.
Kaori explained why Touma couldn’t be the one behind Angel Fall, mentioning Imagine Breaker in the process. This caused Misha to attack Touma with a spell to justify the validity of this claim, which was proven.
Around that moment, the shopkeeper’s daughter with the body of a Misaka Sister asked if all of these wild events involving Jinsaku Hino and the supernatural moves from the nun were part of some television show.
Touma then realized that Jinsaku Hino’s appearance was not changed in the eyes of others, meaning that he must be the culprit.
The group assessed, much to Misha’s chagrin, that they would wait on confronting Jinsaku since Touma was still weak from the injury and needed to be guarded. This, of course, made Touma feel like a burden, but he was still told to rest. A shocking epiphany coursed through him, though, that being in referral to bed. Since his parents were around, his father would be sleeping with his wife…who, unbeknownst to his father, was Index.
Touma, alarming the magic side dwellers, ran from the premises and up to his parent’s room. As they lay in bed, he performed:
“Special technique: special operation ‘family bonds’!”
Touma stayed in the same bed as his parents that night, not choosing to sleep lest his father do something inappropriate or, rather, appropriate in his eyes. When morning came, Touma interrupted his parents about to kiss each other by attacking his father with the “Guillotine Upper!!” uppercut that knocked him out cold. Touma then fell asleep, but not for long, as Mikoto(?) and Aogami(?) woke him up and tried to sit on him.
As a result, Touma Kamijou was feeling pretty miserable, dehydrated, and down with Summer sickness. Still, in order to keep the investigation and current truce between the English Puritans and the Russian Orthodox intact, he took the reigns by initiating a strategy meeting.
They all concluded that Jinsaku was the most likely suspect, so they had to track him down. By examining a notebook dropped by Jinsaku at the scene of his attack on Touma, it’s determined that an angel has somehow commanded him to do his 28 serial killings, at least based on his writings.
In the Bible, specifically the Old Testament, angels are established as puppets of God with no mind, will, or desire of their own. They always set to fulfill whatever orders God inputs in them, so to speak. Demons, on the other hand, could stop taking orders. So, it was quite strange that a being without a personality of its own, an angel, would be commanding Jinsaku. Still, that’s the only conclusion that could’ve been drawn.
If an angel was indeed attacking humanity, then mankind was doomed.
At that moment, the nearby television news channel reported on the whereabouts of Jinsaku, showing an aerial shot that looked familiar to Touma based on the limited knowledge he’s had since his recent birth.
Yes, Jinsaku Hino was hiding out in the household of the Kamijous in the Kanagawa Prefecture.
Preparations were made, with Touma convincing Kaori that, thanks to the capabilities of Imagine Breaker, he should go with them. After all, Jinsaku could potentially use magic. But Touma Kamijou lost his memories. So, after sneakily stealing his father’s keys to the house, discovering the residence’s address, and inputting the GPS coordinates on his phone, Touma and company made their way to the Kamijou household.
In hindsight, his actions were quite disturbing. He was able to look past his memory loss and obtain information related to his past with practically no reservations. When giving the information to Kaori and Tsuchimikado, he did it so impressively casually.
On the way, he seemed to get along with Misha. While appearing emotionless, she did take the pieces of gum he offered and enjoyed them, showing some humanity.
At the house, traps and protections were made in wait for Jinsaku. It was also full of Touya’s strange occult-like charms, fueling his obsession. Touma offhandedly noted how his right hand got cut off in the battle against Issard, calling it misfortune. This was in reference to the current misfortune he was facing. At the mention of that word symbolizing Touma’s life, Kaori stormed away in silence. She seemed to have a poor relationship with the word ‘misfortune.’
Touma was concerned about how almost lackadaisical Tsuchimikado was treating this whole situation and how there may not have been enough preparations in place for the confrontation against Jinsaku. But in response, Tsuchimikado emphasized how sorcerers are not the genius weapon machines that Touma believed them to be.
In fact, they were akin to immature kids, driven by emotion more than anything else.
“Sorcerers are children in those terms. We’re kids holding knives. In fact, we’re crying, trembling brats complaining that the world has betrayed us.”
Sorcerers engraved their souls with their magic names, signifying their newfound purpose for being. It was foolhardy yet courageous. It meant they were staking their integrity, their identity, and their life’s self-given mission into something vocally tangible. So, if they failed at the objective they gave themself a magic name for in the first place, it could be understood that a “life” of theirs had passed on.
Kaori was a Saint, one of fewer than 20 in the world blessed by God, meaning her strength, fortune, and speed were immensely supernatural. But being blessed by God doesn’t necessarily guarantee delight since those surrounding Kaori were never shared the blessing. Since birth, she was predetermined to be the leading priestess of a Christian organization called the Amakusa-Style.
And while she technically thrived in the role, she saw countless allies of hers fall and suffer, all because God’s blessing elevated her capabilities far beyond an average person. Eventually, she gave up the position to protect her allies, choosing to be part of the English Puritans, and Necessarius in particular.
Tsuchimikado insisted that Touma shouldn’t feel bad since Kaori was just acting childish, but the wielder of Imagine Breaker still couldn’t help feeling guilty over his unwittingly callous remark.
Tsuchimikado, Misha, and Kaori made preparations, with Touma essentially left on standby. He didn’t have much purpose here, admittedly. He understood the combative capabilities of the three magicians before him. When it came down to it, Kaori had her wire magic for defensive measures and unparalleled swordsmanship. At the same time, Misha was powerful in her own right, and who knew what Tsuchimikado was capable of despite being a simultaneous Esper and Sorcerer?
Still, Touma couldn’t help but feel anxious.
“Do they really understand…how difficult it is to fight in the dark like that?”
When Touma was ambushed by Jinsaku earlier that day, it was a battle for his life. Touma got into countless street brawls, but open space and light guided him. It was an entirely different playing field in the dark, and Jinsaku Hino undeniably knew how to take advantage of that.
It was at that moment, with only Touma and Tsuchimikado present, that Jinsaku attacked. He fought like an animal both vocally and physically, using shock value as a tactic to alarm Touma. In the meantime, he tried to set the house aflame with gas, and even Tsuchimikado, the trained spy he was, almost lost his life in the battle. Touma thankfully managed to shove him aside from a knife strike he almost didn’t see coming.
However, Tsuchimikado chose to exclaim that Touma shouldn’t come closer, a bait tactic that made Jinsaku turn toward Touma, letting Tsuchimikado take advantage of the shift in focus to take him down. Even when Jinsaku took action with his broken wrist and laughed manically to catch Tsuchimikado unaware, the spy was unaffected. He was trained. Those methods did not work on him.
Kaori and Misha finally appeared, and with Tsuchimikado in tow, the latter planned to interrogate Jinsaku via unsubtly implied torture. Touma came to a realization, though. If Angel Fall switched the insides and outsides of everyone, then where did that leave someone with split-personality disorder? When talking to the serial killer, Touma confirmed his suspicions. The “angel” that Jinsaku Hino spoke of was diagnosed by his doctor as part of his disorder, meaning that Angel Fall did substitute his interior and exterior. It’s just in his case; he already had two cases to switch.
Jinsaku Hino did not cast Angel Fall.
Touma’s deduction shocked the sorcerers in the room, and no one knew what to do. That was until Touma noticed a nearby photo in the Kamijou residence. Like on television, everyone’s appearances were switched here, except there was one notable exception.
Touya Kamijou, Touma’s father, looked the exact same.
Touma didn’t realize it until this point. His father was the same, meaning only one conclusion could be reached.
Touya Kamijou cast Angel Fall.
Touma hated himself for realizing this fact, but he couldn’t lament for long. Misha took off to kill Touya and end the casting, leading Touma and Kaori to chase afterward while Tsuchimikado investigated elsewhere. Misha was nowhere to be found at the beachside house, but after asking Mikoto(?), Touma and Kaori learned that the former’s father was nearby.
Deciding to forego pretenses and dismiss Kaori’s job here, Touma took matters into his own hands. He would confront his father by himself. He would save Touya Kamijou.
At the beach, Touya relented his false ignorance at Touma’s pleas for the truth.
The father told the son about the past he wished never unfolded. When Touma was a kid, before he went to Academy City, he was loathed by those around him. Called a “curse,” his misfortune was prevalent ever since his childhood years. Kids his age would throw rocks at him while the adults encouraged it. Everyone distanced themselves from Touma because they assumed that if the root of the “curse” was by himself, it wouldn’t spread to others.
There was a time when a man suffering from debt stabbed the young Touma with a kitchen knife. This tragedy was then used as the justification for a television show to film a supernatural-themed episode with Touma as the focus, entirely without his permission so that they could treat him like a monster the whole world over.
Touya and his wife sent Touma to Academy City so he wouldn’t suffer from this kind of life any longer. Even if he had to be separated from his parents, it was better than being killed by superstition.
Still, even though Touma wasn’t being violently assaulted in Academy City, that wasn’t enough for Touya. He wanted his son to live a happy, misfortune-free life. And that’s what led to him getting involved with the occult.
Touma Kamijou was furious. Not at his past, nor those who attacked him in his youth, but his father. He roared at Touya, emphasizing that even though his life is full of misfortune, that trait doesn’t define him. Besides, his misfortune got him involved in the incidents involving Index, Himegami, and Mikoto, so was it really all that bad?
Touma Kamijou claimed he was happy. He didn’t want good luck if it meant it would cause him not to get involved in conflicts where people needed help.
At this exclamation, Touya was taken aback but smiled. It turned out that he didn’t need to turn to occult stuff like charms after all. At this, Touma was confused. He questioned his father about Angel Fall, but it became abundantly clear that he had no idea what magic was, meaning he did not cast Angel Fall. Or did he? All he did was try to give his son some items supposedly infused with fortune.
At that moment, Misha arrived and, with no words, aimed to kill Touya Kamijou. But Kaori and Tsuchimikado made their way to the scene, informing Touma of the circumstances surrounding this red-robed nun.
You see, while it’s understandable for those from different churches to use aliases, Misha’s didn’t make sense. Because in Russia, Misha is a boy’s name. Kaori and Tsuchimikado contacted the Russian Catholic Church and learned that they had a Sasha Kreutzev, who was probably replaced by whoever this Misha was.
As for their identity, Tsuchimikado made it clear. There were beings who had indeterminate genders, and “a name, for them, is their objective itself, for which God made them. They would never be able to exchange names.”
The name of this incident, Angel Fall.
As Misha used monstrous strength utterly unattainable for a human, it became clear who Sasha was replaced by. Kaori revealed:
“Known as the POWER OF GOD. A winged archangel who sits at the right hand of God, was it?”
“An angel is a power that knows neither good nor evil. If it obeys the will of God and saves people, it is respected as an angel, and if it falls to the Earth and is tainted with mud, it is feared as a demon,” Kanzaki explained sourly. “It’s exactly like the legends in the Old Testament. POWER OF GOD…Would you go that far to return to your original place?”
POWER OF GOD was trying to reach its place in heaven near God’s side, regardless of whatever destruction ensued. It was its objective, its mission. It seemingly needed to know its target’s face beforehand definitively, and there was now only so much time until the spell’s effects would conclude. The angel summoned countless rays of arrows that, if used, would destroy the planet.
After convincing Touma, Kaori decided to fend off POWER OF GOD while Touma fled with Touya and tried to undo Angel Fall in just 30 minutes. The Saint fought the angel with all her strength, even if the creature was far beyond her in every way, shape, and form. But she put her trust in Touma Kamijou. She trusted in him ending Angel Fall as soon as possible so no one would needlessly lose their life and the world would stay intact. She trusted in him to save the angel.
Touma and Touya encountered Tsuchimikado at the lodge. The father had no idea what was going on, and Mikoto(?) was knocked out by chloroform, thanks to the spy. Tsuchimikado revealed that while Touya cast Angel Fall, he did it by accident. He had no idea he did what he did.
The arrangement of the countless occult charms Touya amassed in the Kamijou residence, the site of Angel Fall, were coincidentally arranged in a manner that triggered the spell. Its nature didn’t require a person’s mana to activate, and, more concerningly, if those charms Touya bought were arranged in any manner of other ways, other dangerous spells could occur.
It was a one-in-a-million chance—a coincidence among coincidences.
“No reason, no origin, no logic, no theory, no cause, no objective, no meaning, no value—it was just totally nothing. Kammy, you would understand that.”
It was just misfortune.
Could Touma’s bad luck have caused this incident without his knowing? Regardless, this was no time for self-derision. It was time to stop it. They were at the lodge, and the house was too far for the time limit. So, there was only one way to stop Angel Fall: to sacrifice someone.
Touma quickly realized what the spy implied. He meant to kill Touya Kamijou, the one who cast Angel Fall. Of course, such a notion was immediately objected to. Touma tried his hardest to fend off Tsuchimikado, but he couldn’t even last a minute. The difference in combat experience was far too vast. Touya and Touma were down for the count, and even when Touma forced his body to move when it should have been biologically impossible, grasping onto the last semblance of strength he held, there was nothing he could do.
But Tsuchimikado started to cast a spell, which, as an Esper, should not be done for account of the physical consequences. Then, the spy revealed he had no intention of killing Touya Kamijou. He instead meant to cast a spell that would destroy the Kamijou residence, the site of Angel Fall, from afar. He didn’t tell Kaori or Touma of this plan since he knew full well that they wouldn’t allow such a method when it put Tsuchimikado at such a significant risk.
He could’ve used chloroform on Touma, as he did on his cousin and mother, but when considering Touma’s sheer strength of will, he could’ve resisted such a method for minutes; time they couldn’t waste.
With all the pieces in place, Tsuchimikado cast the spell that destroyed the Kamijou residence, returning POWER OF GOD to heaven and ceasing Angel Fall. And the spy collapsed in a pool of blood.
In the hospital, Touma believed Tsuchimikado to be dead, but the spy arrived as if nothing happened. As it turned out, he lied. Well, kinda. Tsuchimikado’s Level 0 ability is Auto-Rebirth, meaning he had a weak bit of regeneration, so he managed to survive the Angel Fall ordeal.
He was also a spy for multiple organizations on both the science and magic sides, not just the English Puritans, so in retrospect, his lack of admittance to the truth makes sense. He’s practically a liar at that point. Still, he took one for the team at the end of the day, and all’s well that ends well.
And to add to that point, rather than ratting out Touya to the church for being the caster of Angel Fall, he told Touma he’d just lie about what happened. So Angel Fall was now behind them. Everyone was safe and back to normal. Even Index, who was out of the loop for the whole incident, bit Touma’s head like normal.
Angel Fall is not a confusing arc when you actually read it and pay attention, but writing it up like this took considerable effort. Between the body-swapping, emphasis on Touma’s family, and all of the magic exposition, there are just many new elements to note.
As for what I think of the arc itself, it’s pretty great. Even though the pacing is all over the place with the magic side exposition, there’s a genuinely gripping mystery here with a satisfying payoff most wouldn’t see coming. Tsuchimikado is one of my favorite characters in the franchise, too, so seeing him introduced here again was neat. He’s such a wildcard, but you can tell he ultimately means well when the going gets tough.
Touma’s past being brought up also deserves mention. In truth, you don’t ever learn too much about Touma’s life before Academy City, so what you get here is the general rundown, and it’s quite tragic. It goes to show his strength of character back when he saved Index and any other incidents we currently aren’t privy to. Even with those scarring memories in his heart, he still had it in him to put others first. Still, it’s to a rather alarming degree. The way Touma moves past the reveal of his non-existent childhood and needing to find out the address of his house so naturally paints him as genuinely disturbing.
The anime version of this arc is pretty different. Nothing about the serial killer is included, but there are parts of the anime adaptation I like more. For instance, Touma’s parents visit him in the hospital at the end, as opposed to here, where it’s just Tsuchimikado and Index.
Next time, we’ll be back in Academy City for an inherently different style of volume, focusing on Three Stories with one familiar hero and a former villain.
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