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Adolescent Adam - Volume 7 - Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

Adolescent Adam 7: Chapter 7 - Over Heat

That was a painful mistake. Machina regretted allowing the enemy to get so close. The reason why was obvious: She had been holding hands with Fujita Mutsuki. Her mind had gone blank and she had failed to keep tabs on her surroundings. She could not believe she had overlooked such a large enemy. The attack was made by an AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter. There was no one in the cockpit, so it had been made into a Springloaded. She could tell that much, but... ’’Eek...’’ She had thought the Gatling gun was targeting Fujita Mutsuki, but it turned toward the surrounding customers and waitresses who were unrelated to any of this. This was an indiscriminate attack. ’’Summon hard carbon. Forcibly inject the target with the all-range anti-lithography code.’’ Golden threads left her hand and just barely reached the gun in time. Bullets were launched from the flame-spewing machineguns, but their direction was smoothly changed by the solid threads and they only punched holes in the ground. The heated wind pushed at them and the ground shook as it was turned to Swiss cheese, so Saya and the others fell onto their butts. But luckily, no one was hit by a bullet. ’’Mission failed. Switching to Plan B...positive.’’

The helicopter did not give up on its massacre. With the central gun neutralized, it instead ignited a missile on each of the wings. But by then, Machina's threads had already reached the helicopter as a whole. She overwrote the machine's command for an emergency shutdown of the missiles. At the same time, the helicopter itself was given new orders and it slowly descended where it was. A military helicopter was one of the greatest weapons of the publicly-known world, but a mere Springloaded was no match for a Witch. ’’Fujita-kun, this way.’’

And because she won so decisively, she knew this had to be no more than a diversion. The enemy would be on their way to reach Mutsuki. She had already sent another thread to the seat where Mutsuki sat in a daze and she attached it to him to bring him to safety... ’’ !’’ But the enemy was faster. Another girl stood on the heart-shaped table. She was short, her red hair was cut to shoulder length, and she wore a fox mask. She held a strange sword in her hand. It looked like human and animal hands, legs, and faces sewn together into a rod shape with a blade crudely attached to one end. It had already cut away the golden thread meant to secure Mutsuki. ’’Hee hee. I'm impressed you took care of my Viper in just 3 seconds. I guess that means I'm still not as good with tools as a Witch.’’ The girl giggled while pointing the tip of the blade toward the boy's paled face. Machina knew he had been taken hostage, but she did not panic. It was true she had taken care of the helicopter in 3 seconds, but 5 whole seconds had passed since the attack. She had bought plenty of time. ’’Move away from Fujita.’’ With a rude noise, the girl's horrific sword was deflected. The face visible on it wailed as if in pain. It had been struck by a short sword beautifully decorated with a platinum color. It belonged to Ren who immediately pulled Mutsuki to her and sent her sword toward the girl's mask. The girl dodged at the last second, but... ’’I have to agree with you there: Don't touch my Mutsuki-kun.’’ Her foot hit something as she dodged and the parfait float fell over on the table. The unfinished juice seemed to have grown dark red and then it shot out in the shape of a blade and coiled around the girl's neck. The hilt portion grew to form a scythe and Lucia had appeared on the other end to hold it. Ange had apparently been in the middle of changing. She was still fixing her uniform's ribbon, but she was already just outside the café. That was 10 seconds since the helicopter attack began. The attacker already had Ren and Lucia right next to her with Ange and Machina in place to cut off any route of escape. ’’Kh...tch. Looks like your bodyguard layer is perfect, Fujita Mutsuki. And here I thought I could take you pretty easily.’’ The girl clicked her tongue below the mask. ’’I have to say, that was some nice teamwork. Angels and demons working together and getting along with FeTUS? Aren't you embarrassed as representatives of your respective worlds?’’ ’’I'm not getting along with anyone.’’ ’’This is no more than a job.’’ ’’I'll use anyone if it's for Mutsuki-kun.’’

The human, angel, and demon were all unfazed by the provocation. Even if they were enemies, they would not be shaken when it came to protecting Mutsuki. The teamwork that Fujita Mutsuki had built up between them was not going to be broken, so the girl raised her hands as if to surrender. But then her body rapidly floated upwards. She had golden threads wrapped around her hands and the other ends were attached far, far overhead. There was apparently a second floating object waiting up there. By attaching threads to it, she could escape into the sky. ’’I won't let you escape. ...Hey, human, make sure you protect Mutsuki-kun!’’

The girl shot up to a height of 500m and Lucia was the first to respond. Angels and humans required some preparation to fly, but a greater demon who was familiar with all sorts of lifeforms could easily use the same movements as a flying animal. The back of his band outfit split apart as his shoulder blades swelled out. Then they spread out to the side like a transparent membrane. They were wings. Insect wings. They moved so quickly they seemed to just be vibrating. ’’Hold on! Taxi!’’ ’’Wah! You're way too heavy, idiot!’’ He wobbled when Ange climbed onto his back, but he still managed to ascend. Left behind, Machina and Ren considered finding another route into the sky, but... ’’We can leave the pursuit to them. Miss E, we have another job.’’ ’’Yes.’’ Ensuring Mutsuki's safety came first, so they could let the other two handle the enemy. 30 seconds had passed since the helicopter arrived. The cultural festival was in complete chaos now. People were screaming and something had to be done about it. ’’What happened? Miss B, was it an enemy attack?’’

’’Miss C...you're late! The people are going to panic, so bring out the illusion tool.’’ Subaru arrived quite late. The enemy targeting Mutsuki seemed to have left, so she worked with Ren to settle the situation here. ’’Kurikara-san, are you hur-...ah.’’ Since he was not hurt, the boy ran over to his friend who had been shot at. She had avoided being hit by the bullets, but she must have been hit by a few fragments sent flying in the attack. Her white clothing was covered in dust and had a few small red stains. Saya had tears in her eyes from the pain and the shock of the abnormal situation. Mutsuki was somewhat used to these things, so he called out to her to calm her down. ’’...’’ Machina stood behind him while entirely expressionless. She stared at injured and frightened Saya. Almost like she was trying to suppress some kind of intense emotion welling up within her. It was not another helicopter waiting 500m up in the sky. It was a transport plane. It was a proper aircraft with no propellers. It could not hover in place, so it had a masked pilot keeping it in a slow rotation. ’’Tch. Get us out of here! Hurry!’’ ’’Understood!’’ The plane flew off as soon as the masked girl arrived and climbed inside. Lucia and Ange pursued with all the speed they could muster, but while the insect wings allowed them to ascend rapidly, their top speed was limited. The enemy's transport plane could move at 400km/h and they could not keep up if it used even half of that. ’’This isn't going to work. ...Sorry, Satowa.’’ ’’Eh...?’’ Ange kicked off of Lucia's shoulders. ’’I really do feel bad about this!’’ ’’Dwah!’’ Metatron's flames burst from her shoulders. Metatron used physical flames, so she could use it as a rocket engine that launched her small body weight forward at Mach speed. Although that surrounded her with an explosive blast, so she had been afraid it would half-destroy the school if she used it in the schoolyard. But now that she was this high up, she would only do damage to a single demon boy. Ange caught up to the transport plane without even glancing back at Lucia who was fried and fell from the sky. She kicked through the door the masked girl had jumped through and she climbed inside. ’’Hi♡’’ The bizarre sword immediately grazed her throat. She avoided the tip with shocking reflexes and squeezed the wing pendant that was already in her hand. ’’Prominence!’’ It grew into a large sword that deflected the enemy's weapon. There was nothing inside the transport plane except for 12 black cylindrical objects standing in the back, so they had plenty of room to fight. That was perfect for Ange who was confident she could win any fight. ’’Loop!!’’ She split the sword in two, spun around, and sliced at the masked girl waiting for her there. Prominence was a heavy sword, but the enemy easily blocked it and made a counterattack. That was not possible with human strength. And based on the horrific weapon she used... ’’A demon. ...You're one of those rumored Bioroids, aren't you?’’ The human organization known as Kurosaki had developed the Bio Springloaded, a new variety of Springloaded that incorporated demons into their design. Micha had mentioned that one had shown up that had grown to the level of a greater demon that possesses human-level intelligence. So it made sense this girl could match an angel's strength like this. ’’Wah!?’’ The floor suddenly tilted. Ange quickly worked to regain her balance, but she could not keep up the attack and had to move back. The airplane was rapidly descending. She had forgotten that the ground they fought on was the loyal servant of this demon. The enemy was both a demon and a human who could freely control machines. That was a Bioroid. ’’Tch...what a pain.’’ Whoever this enemy was, the situation was not in Ange's favor. The plane rapidly descended and ascended. She was naturally tossed around by the unstable footing and the rising and falling gravity. As long as the enemy had control of this place, fighting here was too reckless. That said... ’’Perfect. I had wanted to test this out, but I didn't want to use it on Ibekusa.’’ She had plenty of options. Metatron's golden glow filled her blue eyes. ’’Let's see how useful this is in practice. ...Helio!!’’ Golden jet streams burst from her back and then formed particles. ’’Gyah!’’ Those balls of light exceeded a million degrees and they all flew toward the masked girl. Mere contact was enough to vaporize her flesh and they filled her body with holes. A human would have been killed instantly...but she only flinched back a bit and did not seem to take much actual damage. She really was a demon. Ange prepared to continue the fight. The girl's body began filling in the holes and regenerating the scorch marks as if that were perfectly normal. ’’Eh...?’’

But the mask could not be regenerated. The fact that it melted and dripped away was enough to decide the battle. Ange found the girl's face was the same as hers. She also realized the red hair was the same as hers, albeit cut to shoulder length. ’’Kwah...! Waaaaahh!’’ The girl released a golden thread in that moment of hesitation and it wrapped around Ange's arm. Electricity immediately passed through it and filled her with an angel's greatest weakness: a heat-radiating current. But that pain was not the worst part. ’’M...me?’’ ’’Nee hee hee hee hee. I had heard we looked a lot alike, but it look like that's true. I'm cuter, though.’’ The girl's smile contained a mixture of playfulness and toxicity not found in Jiyuuni Ange. She was Kagari Enju. The structure of angels and demons could be seen as two sides of the same coin. An angel was born from a dead human's soul (i.e. the Fruit of Knowledge) and a demon was born when the Fruit of Life resided within an empty shell of a body. That meant it was theoretically possible for a single human's soul to become an angel and body to become a demon. It was possible, but the odds of both being reincarnated were so low that it was astronomically unlikely. Unless the process had received some outside help, that is. That aside, it was impossible not to be shaken when ’’what you used to be’’ suddenly appeared before you. The thread was tangled around Ange's hand before she could even struggle. (Wah...gh! Oh, no. I need to focus...aaaaah!) Angels were weak against heat reduction, so she was neutralized before she could even tremble in fear. Once she had challenged an enemy to combat, she had known that even an instantaneous opening would cost her her life. ’’Hee hee. We just met, but I guess it's goodbye already. The world only needs one of us.’’ Enju mercilessly aimed her sword at the girl who could only writhe from the electricity. With both her hands restrained now, the angel had no way of dodging it. So the sudden intruder saved her life, no matter how much she hated that fact. ’’Uuh, I'm glad this thing descended so much... Oh? So she was your pair.’’ Lucia had kicked through the opposite door from Ange and jumped inside. He must have caught on earlier because he was not shocked to see two identical faces wielding deadly blades against each other. His burns had already healed and his insect wings had been replaced with large wings that were probably based on a bird of prey. Those wings provided decent speed while gliding, so he had easily caught up with the airplane as it wildly descended. ’’Oh, dear. Your friend showed up.’’

The airplane had descended too far, so it began to rise once more to stabilize its altitude. Meanwhile, Enju aimed the tip of her sword at him. Ange was already neutralized, so she ignored the angel and made sure she did not show an opening to Lucia. ’’She's no friend of mine. Why not go ahead and finish her off?’’ ’’Hmph.’’ ’’Why wait? Just go ahead and do it.’’ Lucia shrugged and it was impossible to tell if he was joking or not. But after waiting for the plane to return above 500m, he snapped his fingers. ’’Wha-!?’’

When had he gathered this? Blobs of black water vapor burst in through the broken doors. ’’You must be crazy to challenge a demon to a fight here.’’ ’’Kwaaaah!’’ All of the cumulus clouds at this altitude had been turned to Succubi and sent inside the plane. A greater demon like Lucia could bring all water within eyesight to his aid - and water vapor was no exception. The cargo bay was quickly filled with black vapor. It did not approach Ange because the flames bursting from her body shielded her, but the other girl was easily swallowed up. And the attack had yet to truly begin. ’’Gh...! Gah...hah!’’ Scythes identical to the one which had shot from the juice were now filling her surroundings. They shot out from all of the Succubus-possessed air, including what was in her lungs. There were far too many to deal with, so her entire body would be sliced to pieces in an instant. The entire plane made a wide turn to shake free of the black cloud. The vaporized Succubi were not sticky, so that maneuver managed to eject them. ’’Hee hee❤’’ Except for the black fog that moved with a will of its own. The extra-thick mass of cloud gained flesh color while still tangled around Enju's body. Lucia reconstructed his body after having fused with the black cloud. ’’How amateurish.’’ ’’What...?’’ He appeared behind the girl. Enju could not turn around even though she heard the voice. ’’As your senior, let me tell you something: we are not savage angels or humans. Only an amateur demon would get so delighted about swinging around a weapon.’’ Lucia must have worked his way into the moisture in the girl's cells. His arms stabbed through the girl's body without harming her. Perhaps it was better to say they sank through her. His right hand sank into her right elbow and his left hand sank down to the wrist inside her shoulder blade. ’’A demon needs to start by attacking the heart❤’’ He grabbed her heart with his left hand. She was now restricted from more than just turning around. The slightest movement would tear an artery. ’’And then you thoroughly change them from within.’’ ’’...Ghhh!’’ Enju screamed. The right hand inside her elbow instantly robbed it of all moisture so it dried out like a mummy. A Bioroid had a demonic body and human techniques. But even if that gave her an advantage against an angel like Ange or humans like FeTUS, she had no such advantage against a demon like Lucia. ’’...I see. Thanks for the lesson.’’ But the same was true of a demon against a Bioroid. ’’I'll have to try that out myself. Like this?’’ The girl drew a golden circle with her left hand. That was a FeTUS technique, so Lucia should not have needed to worry about it. However... ’’Gh...!’’ His knees unexpectedly gave out. He had not been attacked, but he collapsed on the spot and his arms pulled out of Enju. ’’Impossible... Lilith Ether?’’ The magic circle did not produce a sound or image. It could only be described as a ’’presence’’ and it forcibly stopped his attack. It also caused his hips to collapse out from under him. He fell to his knees. ’’That's right. Your mother commands you to do nothing more.’’ ’’Kh... Curse that old hag. Has she hit menopause? She has no patience whatsoever.’’ Lucia could not do anything as the girl mocked him with pigeon-like laughter. The very life that constructed him as a demon had submitted to that ’’presence’’. Just like a trained dog. A thread from her left hand bound the boy and she tugged with her mummified right arm that she could somehow still move. ’’Gwah!’’ Ange was captured by that right thread. Pulling the angel's body over turned her into a deadly weapon spewing demon-roasting flames. ’’Again, thanks for the lesson. Now get lost along with my dregs here.’’ Enju used both her hands to keep her two enemies bound as she kicked them out the cargo entrance. With threads wrapped around them, Ange and Lucia could not avoid crashing into the ground. But only if they remained bound. ’’Oh...thanks.’’ ’’Wah, wah, wah, wah.’’ Just before they fell, the golden threads came undone and they were grabbed by something nearby. Enju looked puzzled. She had not ordered the restraints to stop and it should have been impossible for those two to break the threads. Realizing that only a FeTUS human could have done this, she could guess what had arrived down below. A rising helicopter had arrived alongside the airplane. It was an AH-1Z Viper. She had used it as a distraction and left it at the school, but it must have been made into a Springloaded again because it was matching the transport plane's speed even while facing the plane. Ange and Lucia hung from the wings. Machina stood in the cockpit with had the glass removed. ’’I am detecting a more than 99% match with Jiyuuni-san. And yet I have also deemed her to be a demon.’’ ’’That was my toy...’’ Enju pouted her lips. The control system had been entirely hijacked and the helicopter's ’’owner’’ had been overwritten. ’’If you are the same as Jiyuuni-san, I doubt there is any convincing you...but I will give you one warning. Disarm yourself and prepare to land in the next 5 seconds.’’ The Witch's voice remained entirely calm. The demon girl shrugged, but Machina still calmly counted down from 5. The helicopter was far louder than her quiet voice. The sound of the rotors... ’’I have concluded you have no intention of heeding my warning.’’ ...and the roar of the engine both drowned out her voice. ’’Hwah!’’ ’’Hwah!’’ Ange and Lucia both screamed when the countdown ended. They were holding onto the helicopter's wings and the objects attached to them had started to move. ’’I will shoot you down.’’ Those attached objects were 16 missiles. ’’Eh? Wait just a-...’’ Enju panicked because she had not expected such an extreme measure, but Machina did not hesitate. ’’Hellfire.’’ Every last one of the air-to-surface missiles was fired at close-range against an unarmed transport plane. The blast nearly sent Lucia and Ange flying. ’’You...are completely insane!’’ Enju must not have expected such a powerful attack because she shouted in anger while protecting the plane with a shield formed from golden threads. But her face was soon dyed in the colors of further panic. Machina held a small revolver in her hand. If that was all, it would have been like a peashooter against the shield that had stopped the missiles. But the Springloaded helicopter's parts had gathered around the barrel like living creatures. The barrel grew thicker and longer, until it looked as brutal as an anti-tank rifle. To the shield, the difference between an armor-piercing round and a revolver round was like the difference between a peashooter and a BB. The problem was the fact that it had also swallowed up the battery that supplied power for an entire helicopter. ’’Forming magnetic field. Magnetic flux density restrictor setup complete. Beginning Lorentz processing...positive.’’ The battery must have been sucked dry in an instant because it fell away from the long cannon just as Machina mercilessly aimed it at the transport plane. ’’Sublight railgun, ready to fire.’’ ’’Ibekusa...’’ ’’...Are you angry?’’ Ange knew nothing of science, but she realized what was about to happen and covered her ears just like Machina. ’’Fire.’’

With a dull sound like the air itself exploding, the transport plane tilted far to the side. ’’Kwaaah!’’ The revolver bullet was fired at near light speed. Enju had known it was coming, so she gave up on protecting the plane and concentrated the entire shield down to the size of her palm. The length of the barrel made it easy to predict the ballistic path. By catching the bullet on the concentrated golden thread shield, it did not break through, but her small body was sent flying. Without even a second's hesitation, Machina cocked the long cannon's hammer. She loaded the next bullet and aimed at the transport plane's cargo bay. She mercilessly fired a second and third shot top keep Enju pinned down, and... ’’Shoot it down.’’ She gave a command to the Springloaded helicopter. The Gatling gun that had attacked Saya, a powerless normal person, produced a great roar like it finally had a chance to fulfill its proper role. The three barrels rotated while firing armor-piercing rounds that hit the transport plane from nose to tail. Enju was too busy protecting herself to stop it. The fuel tank must have been hit because the rear of the plane noisily burst into flames. The plane rapidly lost propulsion. ’’Capture complete...positive.’’ The Springloaded helicopter's landing skids grew outwards like living things. They struck the transport plane like a scorpion capturing its prey and supplied the lift needed to avoid a crash. At the same time, the revolver railgun finished firing all 6 of its bullets. Machina stopped firing, and... ’’I will repeat my warning: Disarm yourself and surrender.’’ Her tone remained plain. Ange and Lucia were already regaining their strength and the plane's engine had stopped. It was impossible to fight or flee. However... ’’Hee hee.’’ Enju was unharmed. Or rather, her hole-filled body and mummified right arm had easily regenerated. And she cutely stuck out her tongue. Ange could not believe her own face could look so hateful. Then she heard a sound like chains being pulled out. Machina had opened a hole in the cockpit and pulled out the entire Gatling gun attached directly below. The magazine rattled from the several hundred shots still remaining. At the same time, she reached a hand behind her. ’’I will shoot you down again.’’ Golden threads wrapped around and pulled off the helicopter's rotor. It abandoned its job of providing propulsion and become the simple and deadly weapon that was four rapidly-rotating metal panels measuring more than 7 meters long. As the two connected aircraft slowly descended, Machina jumped into the cargo bay with the Gatling gun in one hand and the rotor in the other. ’’...Waaahh!’’ She sent the rotor toward Enju's face. She switched from the scientific railgun revolver to a much more primitive weapon that tore apart the narrow transport plane's entrance and was swung toward Enju. But that was not going to break the golden thread shield that had withstood the sublight bullets. She could still protect herself. However... ’’Checkmate.’’ The repeated blows from the heavy metal panels kept her from moving, so she could not prevent Machina from aiming the Gatling gun at her. Machina did not hesitate to pull the trigger. That machinegun was meant for use against an army or a tank, but it fired on a girl who stood less than 140cm tall. And at close enough range that even the flames bursting from the muzzle reached her. ’’Gwah, ow, owww, wait, I said wait!’’ Of course, she was not just a girl. Enju's body was filled with holes and transformed into shreds of flesh, but only an angel's flames could kill a demon. The holes would instantly regenerate and the process would repeat. ’’Ibekusa, give us a turn.’’ Ange and Lucia had hopped into the cargo bay too. An angel and a demon could do a lot more against a demon than a human from FeTUS. They would be more suitable opponents for the demon girl, but... ’’Negative. FeTUS will capture this unit.’’ Machina held out a hand to stop them. And it was true she had saved the other two, so they did not interfere. ’’Ah ha ha. Capture me? I don't think it'll be that easy.’’ ’’...’’ Enju cackled and Machina clearly frowned for once. The demon girl knew FeTUS techniques and had all the traits of a demon, so it was true FeTUS had the greatest disadvantage against her. Enough so that everything Machina could use against her would be burned away in a ball of fire. At the very least, capturing her for research would not be possible with her current techniques. However... ’’I will capture you. I will use you for that experiment.’’ Machina abandoned the Gatling gun and returned the rotor to the helicopter. Enju regenerated while forcing out all the bullets fired into her. But before she could stand up, a golden magic circle spread out at her feet. ’’Analyzing molecular sinusoid within target space. Confirming presence of particle fluctuation...positive.’’ Machina held her hand out toward the opened circle with the coldness of someone dissecting a frog in an experiment. ’’The reaction has begun. ...Jiyuuni-san.’’ ’’Eh...?’’ ’’Thank you for your cooperation.’’ The circle containing the target emitted a pale and still light. But that was all. The cold light of activation was a standard effect, but there was no other visible change. There was no sound, smell, wind, or anything else. ’’Anti-Metatron Tool: Dimensional Transfer...activate.’’ Not that anyone could detect, anyway. If you divided all elements down into their smallest units like molecules, atoms, and leptons, it was said you would end up returning to unobservable quantum fluctuation in the same dimensional space. The movement of all matter came from that fluctuation. So if you could interfere with that unobservable realm, you could essentially influence another dimension. In this case, it was unclear if that other dimension was higher or lower than the third, but... At the very least, it became possible to control the molecular movements in the specified space. Not even FeTUS had proven this and it was still a theory in the experimental phase. This was a method obtained during Machina's training with Ange. By analyzing the phase difference between the unobservable angel flames and Metatron's standard flames, she could predict the sine wave of the unobservable fluctuation. By applying that, she could then control any molecular movement. Theoretically, she could apply a phase transition to a vacuum and create a new three-dimensional universe. Of course, the equations for that were still unknown and there was no need to work them out later. She was doing the same thing Ange had. She was applying the formula for the ’’non-fluctuating’’ elements within the angel wings that could not be physically interfered with. ’’Gh...!’’ Enju realized there was something wrong with the space around her, so she turned her body around. But no matter how much she tried to flee, her body would not move. In fact... ’’I'm frozen...? Wah, wahhhh!’’ Her body had filled in the holes, but it was too numb to even stand up. Her body felt terribly cold and frostbite visibly spread across the newly-healed skin. The osmotic pressure of her cells must have changed because the liquid burst from them while half of it froze and half of it vaporized. The vaporized portion froze in midair and sparkled there. ’’What is this...? Ah, it's so cold.’’

Ange and Lucia noticed the change as they watched. The temperature in the cargo bay was dropping and fog was forming. Even though the engine was still spewing flames from its newly-created holes. ’’I see. Even an immortal demon requires water and osmotic pressure to maintain the fluidity of their flesh, so extremely low temperatures will cause the cells to necrotize. She can't create the cells needed to heal her wounds.’’ ’’Wh-what does that mean?’’ As a demon, Lucia seemed to understand the principle behind it. And... ’’Capture complete.’’ Machina calmly summed it up. What would happen if that space underwent a phase transition that eliminated the elemental fluctuation? The effect was not as great as the complexity of the formulas would suggest, but one result was the elimination of molecular friction. The concept of heat would infinitely vanish from that space. ’’Gh...gwaaahh!’’

Enju screamed as she realized she had been closed in a room at absolute zero. She clawed at her chest because the moisture of the oxygen in her lungs had frozen. No matter how much they hurt her, Machina lacked the power to kill this lifeform. But she could leave her with an eternally unmoving body. At some point, humans had reached the point that they could threaten demons, so Lucia gulped. ’’...You're taking Metatron too lightly.’’ Even Ange felt a cold sweat. Machina had called this an anti-Metatron tool, so it was meant to resist angels, not demons. She could predict what its effect would be. A temperature of less than -300 degrees could easily be negated with their flames, but the problem was the creation of a space without any heat whatsoever. That would block all heat energy, physical or otherwise. That would likely negate Metatron or even a flame that contained all the energy of the sun. ’’At the moment, I have no intention of using this against you.’’ Machina maintained a passive hostility. More importantly...she looked to Enju. That immortal lifeform could regenerate, but she could not recover. ’’She should be useful in revealing Kurosaki. Do you mind if FeTUS holds onto her?’’ ’’Hmm? Well, I'm not really interested in those Kurosaki people anyway,’’ said Lucia. ’’You saved me today, so I'll let you have this one. ...But make sure you report on what you find. She looks just like me, after all.’’ ’’Thank you.’’ Now that they were all in agreement, they knew what to do with their enemy. However... ’’...Hee hee. No, let me thank the three of you.’’ Despite the frozen hell she was experiencing, Enju suddenly gave an eerie laugh. ’’Now I know just what you can do. The angels, demons, and FeTUS are all worthy of caution. However,’’ she grinned. ’’You do not pose a threat to Kurosaki and their Bioroids.’’ Then she fully froze over. ’’Eh...?’’

The three stared in confusion, unsure what had happened. The unmoving demon girl turned into a literal ice sculpture covered in white frost. Lucia hesitantly touched a portion not covered in frost. ’’...She's dead.’’ ’’A-a demon died?’’ ’’She voluntarily stopped regenerating. This isn't hibernation or a deep freeze. She ended her own life functions.’’ ’’...So suicide?’’

The three were shocked that an immortal being would do that so readily. But they soon learned why. ’’Hee hee.’’ Laughter identical to the ice sculpture's reached them from the back of the cargo bay. One of the round cylinders loaded there had opened and a girl had stepped out. A girl who looked just like Ange. It was Enju. ’’There are two...?’’ Lucia was touching the one that was undoubtedly a corpse, so he panicked. He found it hard to believe there had been two from the beginning. And he was half right there. ’’Hee hee.’’ ’’Hee hee hee.’’ ’’Hee hee hee hee.’’ The laughter multiplied. More and more and more of them opened. All 12 of the cylinders in the cargo bay were opened. All 12 of the dolls that revealed themselves had that thin smile on their face. There were 12 Kagari Enjus. Once you developed something, it was human nature to attempt mass production next. There was more than one Bioroid. In fact, the Bioroid research had been about mass production from the beginning. ’’You're kidding.... This many?’’ ’’How cheap do you think my appearance is...?’’ ’’...’’ The three prepared for a fight. They looked worried. They were far too outnumbered. This had been a difficult opponent when it was just one of her, so with this many... ’’Time to withdraw, Miss E!’’ Fortune reached them a moment later. Ange and Lucia could only count themselves lucky that they were standing next to Machina. With a familiar voice from outside the plane, a circle was cut in the cargo bay floor where Machina stood. The three of them and the frozen corpse all fell out of the transport plane. The 12 Bioroids tried to pursue, but golden fire rose up to plug the hole and they could not get out. That artificial holy fire was Miss B's anti-demon tool. The transport plane flew into the distance while taking the helicopter with it. Megutono Academy stood atop a hill and its clock tower stood even higher. From that highest point, it was easy to track something in the open sky. ’’Fwehh, what if the students see?’’ ’’Just hurry up, Miss D.’’ ’’Yes, yes.’’ Ren - aka Miss B, aka Lavriel - had kept the academy's commotion under control and then immediately made her way to the tower. Once at the top, she had climbed onto the shoulders of 190cm Miss D who had come with her. ’’Kaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!’’ Then every last part of Miss D's body had rapidly expanded. She grew to 5m tall and her arms and torso became thick masses of muscle to match. Lavriel climbed down from her shoulder and landed on her giant palm, which was plenty big for a person to stand on. ’’Seiyaaaahhhh!!’’ Then Miss D used her powerful arm as a catapult. She was strong enough to toy with an Indian elephant, so when she threw someone of Lavriel's weight, they easily reached the speed of sound. ’’Time to withdraw, Miss E!’’

It only took her a few seconds to catch up to the transport plane. They landed outside the residential district, so there was fortunately no one around to see. ’’The enemy was so quick to retreat that I assumed they had an ambush planned and came to assist...but that was more than I expected.’’ ’’Thank you, Miss B.’’ ’’Hmph... I'm not going to thank you.’’ ’’No need. Rescuing you was just happenstance.’’

Lavriel and Ange got along as poorly as ever, but... ’’More importantly.’’

Lucia had no interest in others, so he glossed over the fact that he had been saved. He was only interested in one person. ’’If you're here too, I hope Mutsuki-kun is all right.’’ ’’Not to worry.’’ Miss B proudly puffed out her chest. ’’Miss C is protecting him.’’


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