After 9 am, Tatsuya left his condominium with a small helicopter operated by Hyougo who came to pick him up.
Their destination is Yokohama Bay Hills Tower.
From 10 o’clock today, there will be a temporary clan meeting being held in the online meeting room at Magic Association – Kanto branch.
Tatsuya was called there as a witness/person of interest.
«Saegusa-senpai, good morning»
Tatsuya called out to Mayumi, who stood in front of the meeting room.
«Tatsuya-kun, good morning. Your quite early aren’t you»
Mayumi smiles, and approach to Tatsuya who was drawing closer.
«Is senpai attending on behalf of Saegusa-dono?»
«By no means. I’m here as Juumonji assistant»
«So that’s how it is. Certainly, Juumonji-senpai may not be able to concentrate on the conference while operating the video conferencing system alone.»
«Nevertheless, an outsider isn’t allowed to help»
A dark shadow is visible on Mayumi’s face for a moment.
As expected, she seems to know what will be the subject/topic of the meeting today.
But Mayumi soon had a friendly smile on her face.
«Tatsuya-kun, do you want to drink some tea over there?»
«But the meeting will begin soon?»
«We have more than enough time,» Mayumi forcibly took Tatsuya into the cafe space.
Tatsuya knows that she is a black tea woman/fond of black tea.
Tatsuya was worried that tea could not be satisfactorily served enough, but Mayumi wasn’t too obsessed.
The ice tea that had been chilled/cold in the refrigerator was served before Tatsuya.
«Tatsuya-kun, I’m sorry that I couldn’t be much of a help before»
While putting the glass in front of Tatsuya where Mayumi sat down, she apologizes.
Do not place extra items such as syrup, milk or lemon on the table.
The least concern in not being straight other than the lack of time.
«…… Did you mean regarding the matter last month? Looking at the result that night, Minoru was being repelled. I’d rather thank you.»
Mayumi was referring to the matter at the end of June, the night where Minoru attacked Minami in the hospital.
Like what Tatsuya said, Minoru has failed to kidnap Minami that night
«At that time, it was Juumonji-kun who repelled Minoru-kun … and if Minoru-kun had been captured there…»
«I also couldn’t capture Minoru»
The air in the cafe space increased in weight and ferocity.
«… By the way, have you been to school recently?»
Mayumi tries to wipe out the dark mood by changing her tone in asking Tatsuya.
«I did go. But only sometimes»
Realistically, Tatsuya did not lie.
Even this week, he is going to school on Wednesday to bring Lina to the head principal Momoyama.
And in the first place, schools were reopened on Thursday.
It would be more of a lie to say that he did not go to school.
–That’s what Tatsuya thought.
But contrary to his thoughts, Mayumi raised her eyebrows when she heard what Tatsuya said.
«The fact that Tatsuya is exempt from attendance, I knew about that but…»
Mayumi gazes at Tatsuya with a worried look.
«But that’s not what Tatsuya-kun desired in his life, is it…? You were told not to come to school, but isn’t it better to go to school every day as much as you can? You can only be in high school for less than six months»
Mayumi herself is worried about him and thus said so.
That is where even for Tatsuya, it wasn’t a misunderstanding.
If there was a misunderstanding, it would be on Mayumi’s part.
«I will go to school whenever possible.»
This isn’t an excuse, Tatsuya truly does intend to do so.
Apart from the time when entering school, Tatsuya didn’t dislike going to First High.
Rather, he even remembers that he is attached to First High.
Apart from his likes and dislikes, Tatsuya is quite curious about how Miyuki and Lina spend their time at school.
He is genuinely worried about Miyuki, and tremendously worried about Lina not messing things up.
However, the current situation was that he could not afford to go to school.
«Did I unnecessarily meddle in too much?»
Mayumi didn’t think she understood that much in Tatsuya’s short reply, but there was something that she could feel from his tone and facial expression.
Her eyebrow which clouded with sorrow didn’t clear up, but it had become much dimmer.
Three minutes before the start of the meeting, Katsuto appeared.
He didn’t come in too late.
Preparations are arranged by the staff from the Magic Association.
An assistant is still needed after the meeting starts.
Tatsuya, along with Mayumi, entered the conference room followed by Katsuto.
There were already six faces on the large display.
Tatsuya greeted the Head of Family of 10 Master Clan by slightly bowing.
This is not because Tatsuya took lightly on the Head of another family.
Neither Katsuto nor Mayumi greeted each person in the same way, regardless of the angle at which they lowered their heads. (Only Mayumi bowed deeply).
Yatsushiro-kei shows up on the screen slightly late after Tatsuya entered the room.
Finally, at 10 o’clock.
The remaining three people—Yotsuba Maya, Saegusa Kouichi, and Kudou Makoto—are all present on the display.
«Well then, it’s time, so we’ll hold the temporary clan meeting.»
There were no exchange of ritual/ceremonial/formal words in Katsuto’s declaration.
«I want to clarify all the facts first,»
The Head of Ichijou-kei, Ichijou Gouki suddenly started with a strong tone.
«Is it true that Kudou Soushi-dono helped Kudou Minoru escape?»
«I will answer this. It is true.»
Tatsuya took on this question without hesitation.
«Kudou Soushi-dono was impersonating as Kudou Minoru using «Parade» and leading me as a decoy. Minoru escaped in the opposite direction while I was tracking Soushi-dono.»
«Kudou-dono. Is there anything wrong with Shiba’s statement?»
The Head of Futatsu-kei, Futatsu Mai asks Makoto.
The Kudou-kei is currently not a member of 10 Master Clan.
18 Assistant Houses, is one of 18 Houses that are positioned as 10 Master Clan substitutes.
Kudou Makoto was invited to the meeting as the party that needs to be for questioning, not the side to hear out the situation.
«It does appear like that on the surface, but the expression of impersonating is misleading. Soushi didn’t voluntarily become a decoy.»
Makoto answers Mai’s questions without hesitation.
«Are you saying that he is being manipulated»
«Are you saying that Minoru who became a parasite was manipulating Soushi-dono as a puppet?»
Mutsuzuka Atsuko and Yatsuhiro Raizou went on to ask Makoto.
«That’s right. Soushi couldn’t counter Minoru’s mental interference magic who already assimilated with a parasite.»
If Kudou Soushi is here, he may have testified that he was not directly being manipulated by magic.
Soushi was not willing to lend a hand toward Minoru’s escape, but he was intimidated and couldn’t help but to cooperate.
However, Minoru isn’t the only one who put pressure on Soushi.
It was true that there was a factor in fear of Minoru’s power, but it was Makoto who ordered Soushi to become a decoy.
Minoru did not use any magic to manipulate Soushi.
«Did Minoru-kun use magic in manipulating the consciousness? There was no such information in the data that we’ve received.»
«It’s a new power gained by becoming a parasite»
Makoto’s explanation is intentionally false.
Minoru did not manipulate Soushi with magic, nor did he learn any magic in manipulating the consciousness.
However, Makoto’s voice that answers Shippou Takumi’s question did not tremble as before.
«So, until the very end, Soushi-dono is saying that Minoru-kun is the one who manipulates is it»
The one who inquires this was Saegusa Kouichi.
Makoto’s answer remains the same.
He’s going to put all the blame/responsibility on Minoru.
Kouichi’s questioning was not over.
For the first time, Makoto appeared to be trembling.
«When did Soushi fall trick to Minoru’s strategy?
The self-propelled car that Soushi-dono used to serve as a decoy, I’ve heard that it was not a rental car or a stolen car, but a property owned by Kudou-kei. When did Soushi fall under the magic of conscious manipulation and took out the self-propelled car?
«Kudou-dono, did you not notice of Soushi-dono suspicious behavior?»
«… Embarrassed as it is, I didn’t realize»
Makoto’s tone changes from excruciating to abasing oneself.
His strong and confident attitude tore down.
«That’s dangerous isn’t it»
Not the tone that Kouichi uses to tease, but a serious voice that is pointing out something.
Ichijou Gouki interrupts the conversation between Kouichi and Makoto.
Gouki did not give out any kind of help to Makoto who was hesitant to answer.
The thing that was dangerously mentioned by Kouichi, he needs to know what was it.
«Kudou-dono didn’t realize that his family was under the strong influence of parasites.»
As if waiting for Gouki’s question, Kouichi’s tone was feverish.
«That means we can’t deny the possibility that other than Soushi-dono, there are those who are dominated by a parasite and are hiding in his families and servants.»
Kouichi’s theory was compelling.
However, it cannot be denied.
That is unless Makoto withdraws the claim that Soushi was manipulated by Minoru.
«Kudou-dono. Saegusa-dono concerns seem to be something that can’t be ignored.»
Futatsugi Mai talks to Makoto while trying to have a neutral attitude.
» ……I agree with you»
Makoto had to recognize those word/claim.
«I will immediately inspect everyone in the house»
«You do not know who is under parasite control right? Will you not be short of hands doing this alone Kudou-dono?»
«Are you saying that Saegusa-dono will lend a hand?»
The one who answers Kouichi’s question was Gouki, not Makoto.
If Gouki didn’t speak just now, Makoto would have fallen into silence.
«There was something that I need to think about, and over the past year, our family has been trying to find Esp user/practitioner. I think they would be useful.»
Kouichi was eager to incorporate perceptual magicians in light of the last year incident regarding the first parasite.
At least on this matter, there were no lies in Kouichi’s words.
Of course, Kouichi’s offer is not based on good intention.
«Well then, shall our family also lend a hand?»
«No, that’s alright. I’m sorry to bother Yotsuba-dono, who is already troubled with Minoru-kun and USNA.»
Towards Yotsuba Maya suggestion, even though it was a sudden remark, it was proof that it was a straight-out objection.
Kouichi was trying to steal the research results on the former ninth laboratory under the pretext of an investigation.
«How about having a face to face talk with Saegusa-dono and Kudou-dono regarding this case later»
Katsuto steps in as if he had already predicted that a spark may scatter between Kouichi and Maya.
«That’s right. It is as Juumonji-dono says»
Gouki support Katsuto without a moment delay.
«I agree. Kudou-dono, can you spare some time later?»
«I don’t mind that»
When Makoto gave a nod of approval toward Kouichi, a new air was born in the area.
<TN: I think the author is trying to say a new atmosphere has engulfed the meeting, something like that>
«Shiba-dono. No, should I call you Yotsuba-dono?»
Shippou Takumi, who decided to move on to the next topic, talked to Tatsuya with a formal attitude.
«Please use ‘Shiba'»
Tatsuya replied that it was not an identity issue, but a result that could make it difficult to distinguish between him and Maya.
«Well then, Shiba-dono. Last night, there was a shootout with a group of magicians who robbed the news helicopter near the eastern coast of Hiratsuka. Was it you?»
«The one who received the shooting from the helicopter, counterattack and annihilate them by magic, was me.»
Tatsuya subtly amends Shippou Takumi’s questionable remarks.
«I understood from the data I’ve received, Shiba’s counterattack was for self-defense»
Towards Tatsuya’s counterargument, Takumi responds with a pacifying speech line.
«Do you know who was your opponent?»
«Were they an accomplice with Kudou Minoru?»
Shortly after that, Itsuwa Isami and Mutsuzuka Atsuko continued to ask questions.
«I do not know. It was an East Asian ethnic group, but there was only a subtle difference compared to standard Japanese.»
Truthfully, from what Erika heard what Tooyama Tsukasa said, it can be speculated that the opponent is illegal IMAP.
However, since it was an information that he could not know at the time of battle last night, it was unidentifiable to Tatsuya.
«I know about their identity/background»
Like denying Tatsuya’s answer, Saegusa Kouichi opens up his mouth again.
«Who are they?»
Katsuto urges Kouichi to answer.
«USNA Illegal Magician Assassination Platoon・Horsehead Squad»
«Illegal MAP is it?»
Upon hearing the name that Kouichi revealed, Mitsuya Gen whispered in a tone saying «I see.»
«Saegusa-dono, Mitsuya-dono, what is Illegal MAP?»
Questioned by Ichijou Gouki, Saegusa Kouichi and Mitsuya Gen line of sight moves a little.
At the screen where they are mutually close by with one another, they peek at other parties’ facial expression.
As a result of compromising using a camera, Mitsuya Gen took on the explaining role.
«It is an illegal assassination unit that reports directly to the US Army – Joint Chief of Staff. All members belong to magicians with excellent interpersonal skills. It’s comprised of three squads. Among them, the assumption is the horsehead squad are from East Asia, where I learned that it was a squad consolidated by a magician with an East Asian appearance.»
«So, it’s an elite troop of illegal handicraft owned by the US Army is it»
«That understanding is correct»
Mitsuya Gen nod at Ichijou Gouki word.
«Yotsuba-dono, why does America intend to kill your son»
Gouki turns his sharp tongue towards Maya.
«Who knows? Isn’t it because Tatsuya flatly refuses their request?»
Maya shameless manner of speaking, probably means that she has nothing to hide but doing so by feigning ignorance.
Gouki didn’t care about Maya’s attitude.
«Is this about the request to participate in Dione plan? I can’t even think that they’ll send a magician assassination troop just for that. As I thought, isn’t this about the rumor about your son?»
Maya didn’t respond to Gouki’s provocation. She only slightly laughing/smiling.
«What is this rumor?»
The one who enquires this was Shippou Takumi.
«The rumor is that the Strategic Class Magician who destroyed the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, the magician who caused the so-called «Scorched Halloween» is Shiba-dono, the son of Yotsuba-dono.»
The statement made by Gouki was a formal answer to Takumi, but towards Maya and also Tatsuya, it was an inquiry.
Like always, Maya just makes a cold smile.
The one who replied was Tatsuya.
«I don’t recognize the need to answer this»
Not taking into account regarding Tatsuya behavior to reply, Gouki flush his wide eye face.
<考慮の素振りもないTatsuyaの返答に、Goukiが目を見開き顔を紅潮させる。TN: This is the part where usually it’s about when your blood is surging to your face because of anger. But I’m not sure there is saying of this in English>
«It is not part of the agenda that should be discussed at this meeting. If it is that kind of meeting, I shouldn’t be intruding here.»
Tatsuya piles up more words before Gouki could raise his voice.
«Shiba-dono, you spoke too much. Calm down.»
«Ichijou-dono too should also refrain from making statements that seek out the situation of other families.»
Mutsuzuka Atsuko and Yasuhiro Raizou hurriedly rush into mediation.
«… That’s right. It was an improper topic.»
Even though it’s only by word, Gouki admits his error. In response, Tatsuya gave a heartfelt apology.
At the conference room, the spoilt atmosphere begins to drift apart.
The head family reflected at the screen could not hide their declining motivation.
Or rather, they are not willing to hide it.
«If the armed forces that caused the riot were illegal MAP, their violence would have nothing to do with Minoru-dono or any domestic criminal organization.»
«This time, the chance for NSU fleet to retreat is by the form of entering the country, however from now on, in the honor of the defense army they need to be more vigilant.»
As it is now, the thought is there will be no benefit in dully prolonging the situation.
Mitsuya Gen summarized the discussion.
«Regarding this case, our participation is unnecessary. I think the problem here lies in Kudou-dono responsibility.»
«It’s just like Mitsuya-dono said. Even though it was the result of yielding to Minoru magic, the parasite only assists in giving anxiety to society»
Saegusa Kouichi took advantage on Mitsuya Gen’s remarks.
«Yotsuba-dono. It was Kudou Minoru who kidnap your House servant. From the viewpoint of Yotsuba-kei, what kind of demand do you seek from the Kudou-kei?»
Kouichi throws this question, Maya was forced to take on this detestable role.
«I agree……. Tatsuya, what do you think about this?»
Maya didn’t let off her smile, she throws the question back to Tatsuya.
«I don’t think he needs to take up the responsibility»
Tatsuya did not hesitate.
«If Minoru was manipulating behind the scene, then Kudou-kei is also a victim to the parasite. Looking at it objectively, the fact is that the Kudou family was the first victim where the previous generation Head was killed by Minoru. Coming tomorrow is the late Excellency Kuduo funeral, I don’t think it’s appropriate for humanity to condemn the surviving family as an accomplice».
«Shiba-dono, well done in saying that».
Probably afraid of any objection.
Futatsugi Mai had a fast talk in the form of praise and agreeing with Tatsuya.
«Just as Shiba-dono pointed out, Kudou Minoru is the criminal who killed the former Head of Kudou-kei. Kudou-kei should not be willing to join hands with such a person.»
«That’s kind of common sense, right?»
Yatsushiro Raizou strikes with a slightly ironic tone.
«I also agree with the opinion that the Kudou-kei does not need any kind of atonement. Saegusa-dono, is that alright?»
«If even Yotsuba-dono is all right with it, I have no objection.»
Pushed by Mitsuya Gen concern, Saegusa Kouichi nod with a docile facial expression.
Apart from Maya and Tatsuya, Mai, Raizou, and Gen remarks/statement/comment are those where they didn’t want to break the 10 Master Clan unity.
The Kudou family is currently not a member of 10 Master Clan, but until recently their family was at its core and draw a line on other 18 Assistant Houses.
If the Kudou family is driven to a corner more than necessary, the 10 Master Clan system may be weakened.
That was the thing that harbor their anxiety.
Kouichi also doesn’t want to break the order of the Japanese magic world where 10 Master Clan stand at the very top.
He was aiming for a decline in the status of the Kudou-kei, which still had a strong influence even after leaving 10 Master Clan. He didn’t wish for mutual destruction.
«Splendid. Also, Shiba-dono»
For Mitsuya Gen, it doesn’t fit him if he just pulls out Saegusa Kouichi to compromise.
«What is it»
«Surely this place is not a place to reveal your power.»
«Mitsuya-dono, that kind of talk is already…»
Katsuto wanted to restrain Gen.
But Gen mouth/tongue didn’t stop.
«But Shiba-dono. It is now an open secret that you are a Strategic-Class Magician. Shiba-dono actions and remarks have caused many of the military officials in Japan and abroad fell into suspicion. You need to be a little more heavily in recognizing where they are sensing the threat and the reality that elicits their overreaction.
Gen’s remarks were not based on any kind of disgust or malice.
Rather contrarily, it can be said that he worries about Tatsuya – present and future.
Not only in Japan, but Mitsuya-kei also has many channels with overseas personnel who are involved with military affairs.
Maybe it’s also part of a plot to neutralize the ‘Strategic-Class Magician – Shiba Tatsuya’.
«I’ll accept this advice. I can’t say anything regarding this, even if you say that it’s already an open secret.»
Even for Tatsuya, he seems to comprehend that.
Still, his attitude did not change.
Tatsuya circumstances were that he promised the National Defence Force where he would not reveal that he is the user of Material Burst.
Also, he is unable to ignore the information conveyed by Shiina through Miyuki.
Mitsuya-kei has informed the Defense Force of Tatsuya’s plan to attack Midway prison.
The reason why Saeki, who has a close relationship with Tatsuya, was chosen as the target of the notification is to prevent the plan from being put into place.
Thinking at it from a shrewd perspective, Tatsuya couldn’t help but think that the current remark might be to bind his hand and feet.
Credit goes to: Freakazone