As Kamijou Touma descended down the Windowless Building, a mysterious figure of a woman with cat ears wearing a black mourning attire appears before Touma. This woman introduces herself in many names, including "Mina", "Mrs. Mathers", the "Black Cat Witch", the "heretic painter" and the "founder’s understander", and reveals her awareness in being created within the Windowless building as a reminder of its owner's past mistakes. Soon, Mina explains about the Golden cabal, a large magic cabal established with the foundations of Rosenkreuz and Hermeticism, and its destruction in the hands of a man named Aleister Crowley. Soon after, Touma finds himself on firm ground as images of London, particularly 36 Blythe Road in the 1900s appears around him, and Mina begins retelling of the Battle of Blythe Road, where Aleister Crowley confronted Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and declared war on the main branch of the Golden magic cabal.
Touma once more finds himself on the staircase where he and the others were attacked by Aleister Crowley earlier. Mina reappears to speak cryptically with Touma, and soon explains that Aleister Crowley currently lives in a quest for power caused by constant exposure to things that traumatize him as well as his hatred towards the world. After struggling to understand Mina's words, Touma decides to continue his ascent up the Windowless Building, only to find himself falling again.
At School District 11, Misaka Mikoto and Shokuhou Misaki head to the remains of the original Anti-Art Attachment and Mikoto begins examining the damaged parts of the A.A.A. along with Misaki. Despite their combined knowledge, they are left with more questions. Regardless, Mikoto continues prying into the inner workings of the A.A.A.
Touma finds himself again in 1900s London. This time, he and Mina are inside the Isis-Urania Temple, where Mathers argued with Westcott about their current state of affairs, while Mina suggested that their cabal, due to their focus on their occult affairs, often finds itself under financial difficulty as well as the criticisms of journalists. Soon, as Mathers beat Westcott on a game of chess, they began talking about the newest member of the cabal, a man named Crowley. Westcott immediately voiced his worries over Crowley's approach to magic, but Mathers quickly dismissed them and allowed Crowley to enter the cabal.
Shortly after the meeting with the founders of the Golden cabal, Touma returns to the Windowless Building. This time, he manages to regroup with Maika. As he tries to endure Mina's teasing, Touma and Maika continue climbing their way up the Windowless Building. Partway, Mina reveals the nature of the "dagger" that's pierced through Maika's chest as a summoning tool. Then, as they reach a more precarious part of the ascent, Maika prepares a crowbar and duct tape as their lifeline, but Touma once more slips and falls.
Back to the Golden cabal, Westcott and Mathers watched as Crowley prepared pigeon's blood for a ceremony. With Westcott seemingly anxious about this development, Mathers tried to assure him that their actions, notably the creation of a "work kit" for developing magic, are for the sake of the cabal. Westcott tried to argue that even cabals need to compromise, but Mathers simply saw his caution as a sign of skepticism. On Mathers' cue, Crowley began the ceremony, and Westcott helplessly watched as the ceremony had begun. Meanwhile, the two founders continued on bickering against each other, with Mina pointing out the impasse between Mathers who strove to bring progress to magic, and Westcott who wanted to retain established principles. Mina, however, pointed out that even Mathers lost his influence to Aleister Crowley himself, and the Battle of Blythe Road was the reason behind Crowley's supremacy.
Mikoto pins down a signal received by the Anti-Art Attachment and tries to interpret it. However, the process strains her mentally. Despite this, Mikoto continues piecing together the words in the signal with Misaki's support. Eventually, she manages to form the phrase "Kamijou Touma", which is interpreted as "the One who Purifies God and Slays Demons".
Touma returns from the vision, confused about why he receives such visions from Mina and whether Mina's intentions were related to Aleister's plan. He eventually focuses on crossing the precarious terrain further up the Windowless Building with Maika, and eventually encounters Fran along the way. The fact that Fran had a spare balloon to give her a boost during the ascent and the jealousy over such a convenient way up the building had Touma fighting with Fran over the balloon. Shortly after, Touma falls back into another of Mina's visions.
After clarifying that she now has Touma look into a timeline after Aleister joining the Golden cabal, Mina shows an Aleister Crowley who had just met a woman named Rose Edith Kelly, which would be his first wife. Touma is shocked not only by the idea that Aleister would fall in love like a normal man, but also the idea that he would bring Rose to his own occult activities as his assistant in various ceremonies, one of which would give him contact with a "guardian angel" named Aiwass. Eventually, the book he wrote about this contact would allow him to surpass both Mathers and Westcott. Aleister would later be the father of his first child with Rose, which was later known simply as Lilith. Two years later, after dedicating his life away from magic as Lilith's father, the child died, and Mina considered this as the moment where Aleister began cursing the entire world.
The last vision left Touma devastated to the point where he wanted to know more about Aleister's descent after Lilith's death instead of a way past the obstacle course he is in. However, he manages to gather his thoughts as soon as Othinus caught up with them. With the determination of Maika and Fran to proceed, Touma continues with the girls and eventually reach an area affected by unusual gravitational forces.
Mina once more drags Touma into another vision, this time within the timeline before meeting Rose Kelly and the birth of Lilith. Allan Bennett, who had been stuck under constant exposure to medical opium, explained how Aleister had foreseen his meeting with Rose Kelly and the birth of his first daughter, as well as his attempts to overturn Lilith's tragic fate (which would fail in the end). Bennett considered certain events to happen as a result of sparks occurring between two phases and, contrary to Mathers' belief, can be tampered with to avoid certain mishaps from happening. Aleister decided to take action after this conversation with Bennett and would receive a staff made of silver from him. And, after confirming his conviction to destroy the Golden cabal for the sake of his future daughter, Aleister killed Bennett with the latter's consent, thus destroying one of the founders of the Golden cabal.
Shortly, Touma finds himself back to the part of the ascent affected by artificial gravity, and he, Fran, Maika and Othinus soon find Index and Sphynx nearby. Meanwhile, as they approach the "end" of the obstacle course, a construct similar to a black hole, Touma once more slips into the vision of the battle between Mathers and Aleister Crowley.
Aleister quickly gained an advantage against Mathers' magic, and Mathers began to question Crowley's intentions in saving a daughter that has yet to exist. However, Aleister returns the question to Mathers, who had recently married to a woman later to be known as Mina Mathers, and explained about things that are important even to magicians. Mathers desperately tried to bring the battle to his advantage by outnumbering Aleister with other members of the Golden cabal, but Aleister instead stormed into 36 Blythe Road, faked a takeover under the orders of Mathers, and created a scenario where the unstable Mathers and Westcott factions would fight each other before confronting the other two founders himself. Soon, Westcott's quasi-immortality was destroyed by an unusual "arrow", an Imagine Breaker made out of flesh, and later used this to maim Mathers before killing him with a claymore.
After the Battle of Blythe Road, the Golden cabal splintered into many cabals that claimed to be its successor. Meanwhile, after failing to establish a place to further study magic, Aleister Crowley was said to have died on 1947. However, the reality was that he would later establish the Science Side and build Academy City, both of which are contrary to his nature as a magician. Regardless, Aleister continued to work for his ultimate goal of ridding the world of all magic.
Touma returns to the Windowless Building without Mina's presence. After traveling through the "black hole", he and the others reach another flight of stairs and they reunite with Motoharu, who had once more survived using magic. But, after climbing through this flight of stairs, Touma finds himself isolated once more, this time with Aleister Crowley himself. Crowley explained that Touma is at the center of the conflict, and everything, down to the existence of Academy City and espers, were all because he needed to retrieve something that he had lost during the Battle of Blythe Road. Enraged by Aleister's declaration, Touma prepares to confront the General Superintendent directly, only for something else to interrupt this confrontation.
Mikoto soon tracks down the location of the signal transmitted to the Anti-Art Attachment, and the signal points to the Windowless Building at School District 7. Despite the repercussions involved in attacking the person inside the Windowless Building, Mikoto prepares to confront that person. Meanwhile, Misaki decides to share the burden of the A.A.A. with Mikoto, which proved difficult due to the defense mechanisms Mikoto had against her Mental Out. After establishing a common disgust towards each other and a common purpose in saving him, the two Level 5s establish a link and Mikoto rushes to the Windowless Building. A result of their successful link is the Liquid Proof Railgun, a powerful version of Mikoto's ability that easily blasted through the walls of the Windowless Building.
Between the LinesEdit
The Golden cabal was established based on the ideas of Hermeticism, which dwelled on religions older than Christianity. Eventually, even after the collapse of the Golden cabal, Aleister Crowley kept studying on knowledge based on Egyptian mysticism, and eventually introduced the idea of the Aeons of Isis, Osiris and Horus. Aleister would later release a tarot card set called the Thoth Tarot, which changed the location of the Judgment card so that it coincided with the year 1904, the time when he contacted Aiwass for the first time, the time when the Book of the Law was released. Based on this tarot, the aeon has changed to the Aeon of Horus, signifying the fall of Christianity.
By order of appearance:
- Kamijou Touma
- Misaka Mikoto
- Shokuhou Misaki
- Tsuchimikado Maika
- Karasuma Fran
- Index Librorum Prohibitorum
- Aleister Crowley
- Tsuchimikado Motoharu
- Mina Mathers
- Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers
- William Wynn Westcott
- Rose Edith Kelly
- Lilith Crowley (see also Cultural References)
- Allan Bennett
- Dion Fortune, Paul Foster Case, Arthur Edward Waite, and Robert William Felkin
- Symbolic Weapon magic - Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers
New Abilities Edit
- Vision generation - Mina Mathers
- Spiritual Tripping - Aleister Crowley, Charles Henry Allan Bennett
- Liquid Proof Railgun - Misaka Mikoto and Shokuhou Misaki, Level 5
- The chapter refers to many names associated with occultism. Mathers pertains to Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, Westcott pertains to William Wynn Westcott, Waite pertains to Arthur Edward Waite, and Regardie pertains to Israel Regardie. Bennett pertains to Charles Henry Allan Bennett. The "third founder" was William Robert Woodman.
- The Four Worlds is a Kabbalistic concept of four spiritual realms. These are Atziluth (Emanation), Beri'ah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formation) and Assiah (Action).
- During his discussion with Westcott, Mathers refers to Jack the Ripper, the notorious, unidentified serial killer believed to have been responsible for five gruesome murders in the Whitechapel district of London in 1888.
- Lilith Crowley's name is Nuit Ma Ahathoor Hecate Sappho Jezebel Lilith Crowley. Mina compared Lilith's name to Jugemu Jugemu, which is probably either a reference to the rakugo story of a boy named Jugemu or the name of a pet monkey with a similarly long name in the Gintama manga series.
- Mina: “A single visual will solidify their image, trap them, and rob them of their freedom. Using that to seal off the cards in their deck and drive them into a dead end is one form of magic battle. See? You can’t picture anything other than sexy lingerie now, can you? You can only picture an elegant and glamorous lifestyle…”
- Westcott: “Only the unenlightened use alcohol to see visions, Mathers.”
- Mina: “Hee hee. Taking advantage of the fact that her hands and feet are on the ladder to go for the defenseless butt of your friend’s sister, are we? You’re quite the piece of shit.”
- Mina: “Every man and every woman is a star. When each individual is aware how they should act and fulfills those actions, there will be no meaningless work in this world. If you seek something, you must walk on your own feet and reach out your own hand.”
- Othinus: “I won’t tell you not to go running ahead. That would be like telling a bird not to fly or a fish not to swim. But if you do start running, don’t give into despair. Abandoning thought is just being lazy. When you’re running recklessly forward is exactly when you need to remain calm. You need to make use of all your power to return alive.”