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The Daihasei Festival Arc is a story arc in Toaru Kagaku no Railgun. Occurring on September 19 on the first day of Academy City's annual Daihaseisai, it is concurrent with the story arc from Toaru Majutsu no Index though doesn't interact with it. The story arc deals with a conspiracy during the events of the festival involving Mikoto's Sisters, Shokuhou Misaki, and eventually Misaka Mikoto herself.

BackgroundEdit

Secret life of DollyEdit

Main article: Dolly

Dolly, a prototype clone made as a benchmark for what is now called the Sisters was create a few years prior to the start of the current year of the timeline. Already having a short lifespan as a clone, the researchers give drugs to her to gather more data, slowly deteriorating her body. This forces the researchers to put machines into her in order to preserve her body for as long as they could.[2] Mitori, part of the Clone Dolly project as well, is later asked to play with Dolly, who has taken a liking to her immediately, calling her "Mi-chan". Although she thought she was stupid, only with her did Mitori smiled genuinely unlike with the researchers. As she begins visiting Dolly everyday, she becomes suspicious with her situation. Mitori asks Dolly why she can't go outside, to which she confides to Mitori that she is being healed, so that she can help her little sister, which she has never met. She then says that if they can heal her then she can have many little Sisters.[2]

One fateful day she came in as a check-up on Dolly was being conducted, and was shocked to see the life-support machines that were embedded into her body to keep her alive. She is then told to leave the room by a researcher, who explains Dolly's situation with her. Suspicious of this, Mitori began to investigate using her Liquid Shadow ability. Here, she discovers that Dolly is a prototype clone, where she is researched to get more data in creating more long lasting clones. She finds out that the researchers have been neglecting her health and was just giving her drugs to gather data, shortening her already short lifespan. Mitori confronts a researcher regarding this, threatens to go public with the information she gathered if they do not stop the medication on Dolly. The researcher refuses and tells her that the experiment was requested by the Board of Directors, pointing towards the Windowless Building. Mitori is then beaten up by two geared men, and put alone in a room. Her life spared because her latent ability being useful for Exterior.[2] Mitori would never see Dolly again.

Meanwhile, having lost her only friend, Dolly becomes depressed, which worries the researchers. Shokuhou Misaki who is part of the Exterior Project that is being conducted in the same building as the Clone Dolly Project is later asked to brainwash a girl that is known as Dolly, which the scientist required for data, into thinking she is her friend that left her after discovering the machines implanted on Dolly's person. Misaki somehow acquiesces and begins pretending as Dolly's friend.[3] This ultimately ends in tragedy when it is revealed that Dolly's condition is steadily deteriorating even with Academy City's powerful medical technology, and by the time the two have become close Dolly falls ill and dies shortly after -- supposedly a foregone conclusion and necessary to the Exterior project. A crestfallen Misaki soon turns against the facility and its researchers, exerting her influence and control over everybody involved in the project. She learns that the Clone Dolly Workshop is related to the Exterior project, and also that the scientists are to dispose of her once Exterior is completed. By the time she enters Tokiwadai Middle School, Misaki has effectively hidden Exterior and its capabilities completely,[1] Mitori later finds herself alone in the building, long after Shokuhou Misaki has taken control and shut down the Exterior Project and Dolly's death. She returns to the floor where she was shown the Windowless Building, swearing revenge.[2]

Kihara Gensei's plansEdit

Despite the failures of the Ability Body Crystal and the Level 6 Shift Project, Kihara Gensei remains persistent in creating a creating a Level 6 whatever the cost. He turns his attention to Misaka Mikoto, the third-ranked Level 5, with the potential of becoming a Level 6 if certain conditions are met, specifically if she was to be forcefully connected to the Misaka Network, in which its power is is poured into Misaka Mikoto.[4] To do so, he needed a clone of Misaka Mikoto and Shokuhou Misaki's Exterior. However, after the events of the Level 6 Shift Project, the Sisters were sent to cooperative institutions the world over for treatment with only 10 Sisters remaining in Academy City.[5]

To obtain the first one, he secretly breaks out Kouzaku Mitori from the Reformatory. Mitori has become a terrorist that tried to attack the Windowless Building 14 months prior to the Daihaseisai. Knowing of her past with the Dolly he uses her hatred for Academy City and the Windowless Building to entice her to working for him, in the meanwhile he keeps secret from her the existence of another clone where all Dolly's experiences and memories have been moved to after she died.[6] She then begins working for Kihara Gensei after retrieving her from Reformatory and becomes part of the Dark Side of Academy City where under orders she infiltrated MEMBER for him, the latter as a middleman between MEMBER and the Academy City Board of Directors, though the Professor, leader of MEMBER, slowly came to realize that Mitori was using them for her own purposes.[3] His purpose for MEMBER is for them to find a Sister for him.

Also not knowing the whereabouts of Misaki's Exterior, it is implied that he used or even instigated the Urban Legend website Auribus oculi fideliores sunt. An esper with the ability to make extremely clear photographic pictures by using reflections and reflective surfaces eventually finds the facility where Exterior is housed through a lone drop of water.[7] Now knowing of its whereabouts, he later abducts several espers and creates his own brainwave network through the use of Level Upper,[8] easy for him as he was the one who gave the idea on how to tune brainwaves to Kiyama Harumi in the first place.[4] This would later allow him the usage of their powers through Multi-Skill, to be used by him when he sieges the Exterior facility. Moreover, his skill in tuning brainwaves to that of his own would later come in handy in taking over the Exterior without going through its complex registration process that is required for those who want to use it.[4]

Finally, knowing that Misaki would later find out about his plans and try to find him, he uses this to his advantage to lure her away from Exterior. He has a stand-in to look like him for the International Esper Powers Research Conference in School District 9, and most likely leaked information of "his" whereabouts there.[7] Knowing that Misaki will eventually figure out his ruse, he leaves a message to Misaki by talking to his stand-in for the event that Misaki finds when reading the stand-in's memories, where he also mocks Misaki for leaving Exterior as part of the message.[9] All that he needs now is a clone.

Shokuhou Misaki's plansEdit

Shokuhou Misaki came about Gensei's plans in an unexpected manner. Hearing about the collapse of the Level 6 Shift Project from researchers in a laboratory she goes to, she becomes interested in the fate of the clones apparently reminding them of Dolly. She hires Keitz Nokleben, former security supervisor of the project, and sets up meeting with him, to which he woefully concludes that he has no idea what happened to the clones. He tells him that all liability was pushed towards Amai Ao, and that another agency has taken care of the Sisters. However, he says that there is another group searching for the clones. Hearing this, Misaki tells him to investigate and continue to search about the whereabouts of the clones.[7] At some unknown point in time, the urban legend website Auribus oculi fideliores sunt begins plaguing her as they discover the whereabouts of an institute where Misaki keeps Exterior.[7]

Misaki later discovers that Gensei is the other group behind the search for the clones and is using MEMBER as his lackeys. Here, she discovers that Gensei obviously wants to use the Misaka Network through an electrical virus input on an individual Sister, and creates an anti-virus through her ability, Mental Out.[7] And for Misaki, all he needs now is to prevent Gensei from getting a clone and confronting him herself. She later discovers that Gensei is part of the Esper Powers Research Conference, and somehow manages to use her powers on some of the security as well as the scientists that would be present there in advance.[10] In spite of this, Misaki apparently couldn't attack Gensei until he was in the conference. It is either because she couldn't move until Gensei made his or she had no idea where the conference was to take place (and the reason why she had to keep on attacking his "villas" for more information.[10]

OthersEdit

Prior to the start of the Daihaseisai, the Academy City Board of Directors requested for the Daihaseisai Management Committee to include the Level 5s in the opening ceremony of the Daihaseisai, under the rationale that top-class espers should be shown as the whole world is watching. Only Sogiita Gunha and Shokuhou Misaki agree to this proposal. The latter agreed after Keitz Nokleben urged her in doing so, as the attention will become focused on her and would allow him to move freely for their little operation.[11]

Meanwhile, Xochitl of the Return of the Winged One is sent to Academy City as part of her punishment for what happened in Liberal Arts City to execute Etzali for his betrayal of the organization, and later joins the dark side organization MEMBER. The Professor, suspicious that Kouzaku Mitori is using her position as a go-between them and the Board of Directors to have MEMBER do things for an unknown, tells Xochitl of her mission to investigate Mitori during the festival.[3]

ChronologyEdit

First day of DaihaseisaiEdit

The first day of Daihaseisai opens with Gunha and Misaki reciting the sport players' pledge that is being broadcasted live, though which later completely falls apart after Gunha forgets his lines and ad-libs with his own version involving the term "guts" and later uses his powers to make powerful explosions.[12] Ruiko tells of a substance known as Shadow Metal that is formed by the clashing of multiple espers, which can be sold for a large sum of money. Meanwhile, Misaka Mikoto and Kongou Mitsuko, partake in a three-legged race and achieves victory.[12]

After their victory, Xochitl, in disguise, tries to operate the unique cellphone that is the same to the one that Shirai Kuroko uses. Confounded by the technology, Saten Ruiko overhears her and goes to her aid. However, seeing Ruiko, surprises Xochitl to the point of shouting. Ruiko seems to feel that they have met somewhere before (referring to the events of Liberal Arts City), but because of Xochitl she couldn't tell. Xochitl then says she must be seeing things as she looks like someone she knows, confusing Ruiko. Uiharu Kazari then calls out to Ruiko that they should now leave. Before that however, Ruiko focuses her gaze on her, and tells her that she feels like that they really have met before. Xochitl insists that she is just imagining things and that she made a mistake, to which Ruiko agrees and then leaves. The Professor then calls Xochitl and asks on what just happened, to which Xochitl says there was something she couldn't let go right away. With that done, they both get into the matter at hand, Xochitl's first job as part of MEMBER, telling her to fulfill her role and apparently knowing she is an Aztec magician.[12] With that, the Professor orders Xochitl to begin her investigation on Kouzaku Mitori.

Mikoto, Kazari, and Ruiko would later meet up with Misaka Misuzu. Mikoto notes that her clothes are dirty and that changing them would be difficult for the next event, to which Ruiko says that Mikoto should ask someone to go in her place. This however makes Mikoto accidentally divulge on her little bet with Kamijou Touma,[13] which entices Misuzu and later has both Kazari and Ruiko discuss the person who is "helping Mikoto a lot", much to her embarrassment.[14]

Misaka Imouto becomes involvedEdit

Misaka 10032 with her cat becomes curious of the Daihasesai, though she can participate as she doesn't go to school. Despite deciding to go back to the hospital, Misaka 10032 inadvertently arrives near the area where Tokiwadai Middle School is going to have their next event, wanting to watch the next event. Misaka Mikoto who is supposed to be part of the team for this event has yet to come back when she decided to freshen up. Seeing this, Wannai Kinuho joins in the search for Mikoto and comes upon Misaka 10032. Mistaking her for Mikoto, she is relieved to find her. She later lets Misaka 10032 borrow her a P.E. uniform seeing as Misaka 10032 was still in her Tokiwadai school uniform.[14]

Misaka 10032 later changes into the uniform and later hands her cat to Maaya who isn't part of the team for the event. Mikoto later arrives but discovers that Misaka 10032 has taken her place as everyone has mistook her clone for her, forcing her to hide and observer her own Sister.[14] Kongou Mitsuko, who is part of the team notices that Misaka 10032 is part of the team and not Misaka Mikoto, though naively assumes that she is her twin. Mitsuko tries calling out to Misaka 10032 but the event has already begun before she could do so.[15]

Balloon Hunter competitionEdit

Meanwhile, under the assumption that he is doing a mission for the higher-ups due to Kouzaku Mitori's manipulations,[3] Baba is tasked on disabling Misaka Mikoto and finding and kidnapping a Sisters clone. Yoshio participates in the Daihaseisai as student of that is Tokiwadai's competition for the Balloon Hunter ever, a perfect opportunity to get close to Mikoto and disable her as she is participating in the event.[16]

The Balloon Hunter competition begins, with the objective is that a competitor must puncture the balloon on an opposing competitor's head using special balls. With the obvious difference in power, Baba Yoshio uses his expertise in information gathering to even the playing field.[16] By the time the competition begins, the school has already established a strategy against Tokiwadai. Yoshio has them them spread out in the competition area in order to draw Tokiwadai competitors individually as so they can take them down one by one using the information he had gathered about them. Tokiwadai takes the bait despite Misaka 10032's suggestion that they should stick together in groups of three as going alone is dangerous. Their tactics later wear down Tokiwadai's numbers, especially the strongest of their espers, a bitter fact that espers like Kirifu Megumi later discover.[14] Despite this Tokiwadai still puts up a fight, and though it inconveniences Yoshio from doing his mission proper, he is unimpressed by Tokiwadai, a supposedly elite school for espers. He says that even people like his teammates, which he refers to as unenlightened, as passable pawns.[16]

Meanwhile, Misaka 10032 is sweeping the other competitors as "Misaka Mikoto", using her knowledge of the grounds gained from the Level 6 Shift Project to her advantage. Meanwhile, Mikoto watches her clone from afar, relieved that nobody can tell them apart. Not being able to do anything regarding the situation, she hopes that Misaka 10032 being her "representative" should go all out. As the event goes by, Tokiwadai Middle School is slowly being. However, Misaka 10032 continues to dominate her opponents. Believing her to be Misaka Mikoto herself, Baba takes this as an opportunity to finally taking her down for his mission. He then advises his team to stop Misaka Mikoto which he believes would cripple Tokiwadai's effectiveness. He says that the rules of the Ball Hunter competition merely noted that the ball need only to break the balloons on the competitor's head and did not say anything about throwing it.[16]

With that, Yoshio witnesses his plan unfold as his team gang on Misaka 10032 which they believe to be Misaka Mikoto, and though Misaka 10032 is no push-over, they eventually succeed in breaking her balloon. Meanwhile, as all this commotion is going on and "Misaka Mikoto's" weak electromagnetic field disrupted by the sheer number of people around, Yoshio activates his Type: Mosquito robot to prick Misaka 10032 with a drug that can render her unconscious, which she did shortly after the competition. Believing Misaka Mikoto to be out of the way, Yoshio fulfills his mission, though notes on how the mission request was unusual.[16]

Misaka 10032 later meets up with Mikoto, with the former apologizing for her performance and being unable to be her replacement. Mikoto however asks if Misaka 10032 had fun, to which she confirms. Mikoto then says after hearing her response that there is nothing to worry about, saying that there was nothing they could do about the situation and that she was at fault too for being late. Mikoto congratulates her sister for a job well done and gives her coupons for lunch. As Misaka 10032 contemplates on what to eat, the effects of Yoshio's drug finally surfaces and she collapses in a spell.[16] Shokuhou Misaki and Keitz Nokleben later finds Misaka 10032's body. Keitz notes on how she was taken down by a military nanodevice. He says that her electric powers might interfere, and as such the anti-virus that Misaki developed to prevent the invasion of the Misaka Network may not work. Misaki notes that if the Sister is presented with any sort of danger to her life she'll just have to ask Mikoto for help, though she really doesn't want to do it. This worries Keitz as Mikoto is currently being "tagged", though he notes that the situation allows them to make the first move. He then notices Misaka 10032's cat, though Misaki tells him to let it be. Back on topic, Keitz then asks what they should do with Auribus oculi fideliores sunt. Misaki says she is annoyed that they were able to figure out the location of Exterior using an esper with a psychic photography ability to take photos using a drop of water as a lens. Keitz then calls for an ambulance for Misaka 10032 to take her to a large parking garage where a vehicle is waiting to take her to the Exterior building to keep her safe while searching for the aggressors.[7] Keitz then says that he ran a program that will automatically make dummy sites, burying the website in the bowels of the Internet.[7] Misaki would later manipulate the memories of the ambulance drivers to believe that they took Misaka 10032 to the Heaven Canceller's Hospital instead of the parking garage as well as the details regarding their contact with them and the clone.[17]

LunchbreakEdit

Shokuhou Misaki meets Kamijou ToumaEdit

Prior to the lunch break, Touma's antics against Oriana Thomson eventually ends up in a explosion of one of the automated buses,[18] forcing the City to pull out its main transportation for the festival to find the cause.[3] During lunch, Mikoto and her mother later share a restaurant together with the Kamijou Family and Index. While Mikoto try to get some drinks, she meets up with Touma fresh out of the bathroom, showing his lack of delicacy to Mikoto. Touma later inquires what Mikoto is doing, mistaking her complaining about long lines as being unable to get to a lavatory, and says that she is out to buy drinks. Touma offers to buy her share of drinks, surprising Mikoto with his good nature.[19]

While waiting for him, Mikoto meets with Misaki, and their usual antagonism between each other plays out once again. Misaki reveals on how she used her powers to cancel all her afternoon events, saying that she got tired just from the morning events. Touma later arrives and comes upon the two of them. Misaki is momentarily surprised when he meets Touma, but later perks up after Mikoto introduced her as her classmate to Touma after he asks. Misaki introduces herself as Mikoto's friend to Touma and says to him that they should get along, irritating Mikoto. Misaki acts scared and goes to Touma, grabbing his arm and referring to Mikoto as Piripri. This prompts Touma to refer to Mikoto as Biribiri as well, saying that Mikoto acts the same way toward him as well. As Misaki teases Mikoto through the use of her onomatopoeia nicknames, she becomes angered and uses her powers, forcing Touma to use his right hand to negate it and Misaki to run away, teasing her all the while.[19] Misaki later returns to where Keitz is located, likely in Exterior, and apparently stays there for the duration of the first day of Daihaseisai as even her clique wonder where's she's been.[17]

Uiharu Kazari and the Urban Legend websiteEdit

Meanwhile, Saten Ruiko is still up on about with Shadow Metal despite Kuroko's warning on not spreading the rumor, and manages to convince Uiharu Kazari to aid her in finding it. Ruiko then goes to Kirigaoka Girls' Academy grounds in School District 18. With no event there scheduled, Ruiko is able to search all she wants with Kazari's help who is constant communication with her from Judgment 177 Branch Office. Searching for information about Shadow Metal on the Internet, Kazari notes on how there is an unusually high amount of hits, to which Ruiko says that there must be "something" if there is that many hits. Continuing on, Kazari says that she can no longer find the website Ruiko was looking for, which confuses Ruiko as she was sure she was saw it about a week ago. Ruiko smells a cover up and talks about on how there is an organization that targets those who get close to the Shadow Metal.[19]

Mikoto and Kuroko later arrive in the office as the former have a bit of time before her next event as Kazari jokes to Ruiko that she might be targeted by the organization who wants the Shadow Metal. Immediately after, Ruiko is attacked by men in hazmat suits. Concerned, Mikoto asks Kazari what is going on, to which he explains that Ruiko is being attacked by someone on the other line. Hearing this, Kuroko and Mikoto mobilized after Kazari says that Ruiko is in Kirigaoka Girls' Academy grounds in School District 18. Kazari is left behind for a backup as they might need to contact Anti-Skill. Arriving there, Kuroko notices them, but Mikoto, seeing Ruiko being held down angers Mikoto and attacks them. Mikoto and Ruiko later prostrate themselves in apology to them after it is revealed that they are the one who clean the grounds after an event to prevent the DNA traces of espers from being stolen by outsiders. Seeing Ruiko as a trespasser in the grounds, it was only natural for them to apprehend her. They are later let go by them. Kuroko says that the rumors of Shadow Metal spread because of the fact that the grounds were heavily guarded to prevent DNA maps from being stolen, and berates Ruiko for being carried away by a baseless rumor, as well as Mikoto for the attack.[19]

Back with Kazari, she is relieved that her friends are okay and check back to her search earlier. She notes on how it was unusual, saying that it as if someone is releasing a lot of false information in order to hide something. As Kazari digs deeper, she is able break through Keitz's automatic dummy generating programming and arrives in Auribus oculi fideliores sunt. She is at first dismissive of the urban legends and rumors cataloged there, but later comes upon the report on Shokuhou Misaki and the location of Exterior.[19] Keitz later notices someone breaking through his setup, frustrating Misaki as Keitz promised her that no one will find the website. Keitz then says that in the off chance this event happened, he had set it up to back trace the intruder. Here, they discover that it is from Judgment 177 Branch Office. Wanting to confront the intruder herself, she goes to the branch office. Shokuhou uses her powers to delete the data from the computer, though it can still be retrieved. Misaki later uses her powers to search her memories and discovers that Kazari is friends with Mikoto, she then brainwashes Kazari to forget what had happened to her.[20] Moreover, she later modifies her memories in order to have Kazari change the patrol route she and Kuroko were going to the next day in order for her and Keitz to catch up to all of them.[17] Having the foresight on Mikoto interfering, Misaki's intention on manipulating Mikoto's friends memories is to keep Mikoto in a leash and constraining her actions, as it stops her from enlisting the aid of her friends and from forcing her way out of her clique.[7]

The others later arrive, and much to Kuroko and Mikoto's chagrin, Ruiko then immediately asks Kazari if she had found any new information. Kazari then says that she has done some searching herself but couldn't find anything.[19]

Second day of DaihaseisaiEdit

Shokuhou Misaki makes her move against Misaka MikotoEdit

The next day in the hotel Tokiwadai Middle School is staying in, Kinuho inquires when she can have her P.E. uniform back. This surprises Mikoto but manages to make up an excuse on how she got it dirty and that it was still in the cleaners. She tells Kinuho that she'll just have to get her a new one and deliver it to her room, but Kinuho politely refuses her offer.[19] After she leaves, Mikoto becomes concerned on what happened to Misaka 10032. With some free time after her second event for the day, Mikoto begins investigating and hacks into nearby street cameras. She discovers that her Sister has been taken away by an ambulance, greatly concerning her of her condition as well as the fact that people may find out that she's a clone. Incognito, she finds the ambulance EMTs and inquires where they took the girl with brown and shoulder length hair yesterday, reasoning that she is her friend. The EMTs point towards the Heaven Canceller's Hospital, giving Mikoto a sigh of relief as the Heaven Canceller knows of her situation and the Sisters. She inquires about Misaka 10032 there, but is told no student was brought in there during that time. Mikoto says that the EMTs she talked to pointed to this hospital but the receptionist says that they may have taken her to some other hospital.[17]

Returning to the EMTs, Mikoto inquires once more but the drivers still say the same story despite being no records in the hospital. Mikoto notes on how whether or not the EMTs are telling the truth, since her Sister is wearing a Tokiwadai uniform the school would've been already been informed about it. Mikoto tries to press them further, asking the name of the hospital worker and the circumstances at the time. The EMT tries to answer but cannot recall anything, saying that not only does he not remember the person who took the girl from them, but the person who contacted them as well. Fed up, Mikoto goes to the ambulance to look at their navigation system. She uses her powers on it to bring up records at that time from yesterday and discover that the ambulance when into a large parking garage. Mikoto concludes that Misaka 10032 might have been transferred into another vehicle afterwards, and determines that she can hack into the cameras there to find out where she is. The EMTs later have had enough of Mikoto barging into their vehicle and pulls her out. Mikoto angrily tells them that their statement contradicts what the navigation system is showing, confusing them. However, her hat falls off to which the drivers discover that she looks exactly like the girl they've picked up yesterday. The other EMT recognizes her and says that she is one of the Level 5s and that she can control electricity. He then accuses her of tampering with the navigation system. Having enough of them, Mikoto pulls the collars of the hapless EMT and demands from him to stop lying and tell the truth. She cites on how they're forgetting things at the most convenient time, and then Mikoto realizes something—Shokuhou Misaki, an esper who can alter memories. Just as she realizes this, Mikoto is confronted by Anti-Skill and a bystanders telling her to let the man go.[17] Watanabe, already brainwashed by Misaki to take Mikoto to her clique, later picks up Mikoto, relieved that her little outburst hasn't become a major issue. Concerned, she asks what Mikoto's problem is. Though reluctant at first, she later tries to tell her that Misaki is abusing her powers, but could not fully divulge the reasons, because she would have talk about her clones. Watanabe disregards her concerns and lectures her on how she must not take any careless actions as she not only represents Tokiwadai but Academy City as a whole as well. She later leaves Mikoto with Misaki's faction, much to her horror. She is greeted enthusiastically by the benign though clingy members of Misaki's clique, one of which, Kobayashi Shimanaka, is a telepath, preventing Mikoto from going out of a certain range from them.[17]

At the same time as this, Kazari, as programmed by Misaki, takes Ruiko and Kuroko away from their proper patrol route. Kuroko realizes that they are in the wrong route, which surprises Kazari truly believed she was going the right way. Then, Keitz appears behind them, pretending to be an outsider in need as a distraction. Misaki later comes out of an alley as they are distracted and uses her powers to freeze their movements, preventing Kuroko from using her powers, and later erases their memories of Mikoto.[17] Back with Mikoto, as she tries to formulate a way to escape Misaki's clique, she notices Kuroko, Kazari, and Ruiko walk along by. She is relieved and comes towards them, but much to her horror, discovers that they too have been brainwashed by Misaki.[17] Mikoto is greatly angered by this effrontery, but is unable to do anything even if she tries to convince them that she is truly their friend. Moreover, Mikoto has another event to partake in.[15]

Kongou Mitsuko becomes involvedEdit

Mitsuko, fresh out of her latest event, later meets up with Kinuho and Maaya and later stumble upon Kuroko and the others. Kuroko later airs her frustration on Mikoto coming up to her, making an accusation, and then asking them if they were joking. This surprises Mitsuko, Kinuho, and Maaya, wondering if Kuroko and Mikoto had a fight. Back with Kuroko and the others, she wonders on how Ruiko and Kazari knew Mitsuko. They point out to her that they met when they were visiting Kuroko in the hospital, though this confuses Kuroko as she is not close with Mitsuko. The others can only conclude that there was a mutual acquaintance but cannot remember who.[15]

Balloon Sandwich competitionEdit

Mikoto is part of the Balloon Sandwich with Kongou Mitsuko as her partner. They are too run in a race while holding a balloon between them without using their hands. As Mikoto wonders what she should to, Mitsuko mentions on how she saw her "twin sister" yesterday in the Balloon Hunter Competition, though she was unable to call to her as the competition has already started. This surprises Mikoto. As race starts, Mikoto asks how she notice it wasn't her, to which Mitsuko says she has confidence in her perception and that her "twin sister" gave her a different impression compared to Mikoto. Hearing this, out of desperation, asks Mitsuko for a favor, explaining her situation regarding Misaki, her Sister, and the brainwashing of her friends. Mitsuko is sympathetic to Mikoto's situation, telling her that she will look into it while Mikoto has Misaki's clique focused on her. Mikoto apologizes for dragging Mitsuko in her personal matters, and says that Mitsuko shouldn't delve into deeply as she does not know what Misaki might do. Mikoto just asks Mitsuko to find a clue and that she will handle the rest. As they win the race, Mitsuko says that Mikoto shouldn't trust her with any information as she may have been already brainwashed by Misaki. Mitsuko also says that she shouldn't trust anyone else either. As such, Mitsuko tells Mikoto that she will instead bring back her "twin sister" instead of information, telling her that she may have told not to trust her but to believe in her. As such, Mitsuko leaves as Mikoto is greeted by Misaki's clique.[15]

As Mitsuko runs off, Mitsuko accurately hypothesizes that Misaki needed only to buy time until her goal has been achieved, and as such didn't need to make Kuroko and the others turn on Mikoto as enemies.[15]

Kongou Mitsuko vs. Baba YoshioEdit

Mitsuko later comes upon the alley where Mikoto and her "twin sister" parted ways. She notes on how Misaki did not use her powers on Misaka 10032 despite her being not powerful enough to resist it, and instead had her transported with a vehicle. Here, Mitsuko assumes that the vehicle may have not been part of Misaki's plan and that something unexpected happened. She later finds the mask that Misaka 10032 and later finds her cat. After fending off the dogs the dogs that surrounded it, she later takes it away from the alley, not knowing what to do. Mitsuko later meets up with Wannai Kinuho, who realizes that the cat Mitsuko is carrying is that of Misaka Mikoto, still unaware of the clones, Mitsuko corrects Kinuho by saying that the cat is that of Mikoto's "sister". Mitsuko explains briefly to Kinuho that Mikoto has asked her to find her missing "sister" and that she found the cat where trouble might have occurred. Kinuho is unsure what is going on but tells Mitsuko that there is a Psychometer who uses animals from Tokiwdai's swim team and that she might be able to get something out of the cat, and a clue that may lead to finding Mikoto's sister. Unfortunately, Kinuho has left her cellphone back in School Garden and tells Mitsuko to wait for her.[21]

In the meanwhile, Baba Yoshio, was just tasked to locate a Sisters clone, and makes use of his Type: Great Hound robots to scout the city for any clue. He later finds Mitsuko and Kinuho discussing Mikoto's "sister". As she becomes excited on Mikoto praising her for helping her, Yoshio approaches her, showing a veneer of friendliness to Mitsuko, telling her that he has something to talk about regarding Mikoto's sister. In spite of this, Mitsuko is no fool, though he is interested in what Yoshio might know about Misaki and follows him to a park without people. At the same time as this, Ruiko finds a Gekota merchandise that Mikoto might like and tries to send a picture of it to her, but since she has no memories of her, she is confused as to whom she is going to give it to. She then sees Mitsuko follow Yoshio.[21]

In the park, Yoshio talks about the Sisters, which confuses Mitsuko. He then says that he too was asked to shelter her sister, and that the two of them should exchange information. Mitsuko however tells him that first she would like to know who he is and why he is looking for Mikoto's sister. Yoshio understands why Mitsuko would ask. He then has one of his Type: Great Hound robots attack her, threatening her if she doesn't give her the clue about Mikoto's Sister he'll instead have drugs force it out of her. The cat runs away from the battle, but not far. Here, Mitsuko believed from the get-go that he was suspicious and may have been with Shoukuho Misaki, but now hearing him she assumes that there may be another organization looking for Mikoto's sister. As Mitsuko is surrounded by his robot dogs, Mitsuko prepares to do battle.[21]

Mitsuko dodges the relentless attacks of the robots while Yoshio gloats on how he knows her powers after watching her performance, which she can only make ejection points to blast things away though since there aren't anything to use here she is powerless. As the robot dogs attack, Mitsuko shows how wrong Yoshio's presumptions were, as she creates an ejection point on the ground and blows many robot dogs away. She tells him that there is no limit on where she can put an ejection point. On the ground or even on a parabolic antenna, she even boasts on how she can launch a radio tower into the stratosphere using multiple ejection points. She then tells Yoshio to surrender. Yoshio is shocked by Mitsuko's power and ponders his option. His robot dogs aren't powerful enough and her Type: Mosquito can't approach her because of the wind. His gaze then wanders off to the black cat cowering near a bridge on the park's artificial lake. With a smile, he orders his robot dogs to attack the cat, to which it forces Mitsuko to defend it, catching her off guard long enough for him to use his Type: Mosquito to inject a drug that weakens her severely, just like Misaka 10032. Mitsuko collapses as the drug takes effect, Mitsuko mutter Mikoto's name. Hearing this, Yoshio sees that Mitsuko is apparently doing this for Mikoto and is asking nothing in return. She mocks her actions as well as Mikoto, saying that Mikoto is a horrible person for tricking an unrelated person in being involved in all of this. However, Mitsuko crawls toward him and demands Yoshio to take what he said back as Mikoto is not the person he presumes she is. She tells him that she got involved because she wanted and that is something he would not understand. Before she can finish speaking, Yoshio, annoyed at being talked down to, kicks Mitsuko repeatedly, saying that in the end she couldn't even manage anything in the end and is completely useless. Yoshio mocks Mikoto for being only able to get trash like Mitsuko to help her. He then realizes that it would be a pain if she were to die before she can get information out of her,.[21]

Meanwhile, Kinuho and Maaya search for Mitsuko but could not find her anywhere, they apologize to the Psychometer for calling her in vain, to which she says that they could just call her again once they find her. As she leaves, they wonder where Mitsuko could have gone. At this point Ruiko runs into them, to which they ask where Mitsuko is. Ruiko later leads them to the park, where they see their friend on the ground bloody and beaten. Ruiko goes up to Mitsuko's unconscious body and sees what Yoshio has done, becoming enraged. Ruiko asks if it was Yoshio who did this, to which he doesn't deny, still calling Mitsuko trash. Yoshio says that Mitsuko was only doing what she did because Misaka Mikoto asked her to. He mocks her for being a second rate who let others think for them, and even mocks her for even failing at the role she was given. Yoshio says that if they have arrived earlier then they would've seen her like the trash she is. Ruiko is at her breaking towards Yoshio's mockery, but before she can do a thing about it, Wannai Kinuho and Awatsuki Maaya steps forward to confront Yoshio. Kinuho asks Ruiko to get Mitsuko and the cat away from the place. Ruiko tries to protest, but she sees the withheld anger of Maaya, saying that if they don't keep the cat safe then all of Mitsuko's efforts would be in vain. And as ss the waters of the artificial lake rumble and tumble about from their tranquil fury, they tell her that they too cannot hold back their anger when their friend has been insulted.[21]

Wannai Kinuho and Awatsuki Maaya vs. Baba YoshioEdit

Seeing this, Yoshio mocks their feelings as he order his robots to attack Ruiko as she begins carrying Mitsuko. His efforts however are prevented by Kinuho and Wannai's intervention and she manages to get away. Wannai uses her power to make Mitsuko lighter for Ruiko to carry, allowing them to get away. Although angered that Mitsuko got away, he is confident that the Type: Mosquito that injected her with drugs would do it's side role as surveillance well, believing that as long as she can track her he can retrieve her later.[22]

With that, Yoshio's Type: Great Dane does battle with Kinuho and Maaya. As battle goes on however, he gets an unexpected call from Kouzaku Mitori asking if he needs reinforcements, as well as if she could retrieve the clue for him. He declines on both offers, with regards to the latter, Yoshio's reasoning is that he doesn't want Mitori to hog his glory. Ending his call, he begins analyzing Kinuho and Wannai's abilities, believing them to be not at all that powerful individually, but makes up for it with their teamwork. With only a limited number of pawns, Yoshio tries to ruse his way against them. He tells them that he is looking for Misaka Mikoto's sister, and that he would like to have the clue that Wannai and Mitsuko talked about earlier, not knowing it was the cat all along. He offers them one of his Type: Mosquito robots in order to aid Kongou Mitsuko to recover from the effects of the drugs. Seeing this, Maaya believes that Yoshio is not making it up based on the fact that she touched Mitsuko a while ago and she had a fever. The both of them refuse to negotiate with Yoshio, but would take his nanodevice by force. Hearing this, Yoshio takes another but empty case and has one of the Type: Great Danes take it while he hold on to the real one. Maaya makes pursuit for the decay while Kinuho faces off against Yoshio alone. Yoshio begins walking away, intimidating Kinuho to challenge his dogs to get to him. This allows him to analyze her powers even more. Believing Kinuho to only know how to do frontal attacks seeing as how he believes that he analyzed the full extent of her abilities, Yoshio stands back as he watches Kinuho tire herself out.[22]

Despite defeating several Type: Great Dane robots, Kinuho is slowly becoming tired and has used up all the water for her Hydro Hand ability against them. Yoshio seeing this asks her what she intends to do now. Not giving up, Kinuho says that she is trained in self-defense and that she will fight him without powers. Yoshio just mocks her however as he reveals the spare Type: Great Danes he has kept hidden. He continues to mock her, making a line on the ground on what he believes to be the maximum range of her Hydro Hand if she still had water with her. With that, Yoshio asks mockingly one what she will do now, and then commands his Type: Great Danes to attack. As they charge, Kinuho tells Yoshio that though he had cleverly analyzed her power, he should pay attention more on the things he cannot see. There, Kinuho reveals that she had kept water inside one of the underground drains near them as well as the fact that she can control four clumps of water instead of three. She covers Yoshio's head in sphere of water afterwards. Panicking, he orders the Type: Great Danes to suck up all the water, falling for Kinuho's trap. With the water inside the robots, Kinuho easily destroys from inside-out. In desperation, Yoshio is forced to use the last Type: Mosquito robot that the Professor provided him. With that, Yoshio begins to ramble on in order to distract Kinuho long enough in order for the robot to inject her with drugs. However, he then sees that his Type: Mosquito has fallen and discovers that although it has enough power, it just doesn't get enough lift. There it is revealed that Maaya has acquired the other case, and that she has used her powers on Kinuho to put the buoyancy around her to zero, revealing her powers to be Float Dial.[23]

Confronted by the two angry girls, Yoshio begs for mercy, telling them that he was only hired to do what he needed to do, as well as point out the location of the Type: Mosquito he just used. Having none of it, Kinuho slaps him. She then says that his scorn for trust and relationships comes from not having anyone trust in him, and that it is the result of looking down on others and closing his heart to them. Finally, she warns him that if he doesn't accept his comrades and do not meet them halfway then one will save him. With those words uttered, Yoshio runs off into a nearby storage facility, where he keeps his mecha.[23]

Misaka Mikoto confronts Baba YoshioEdit

Meanwhile, Mikoto is still stuck with Misaki's clique, when she finds Ruiko near a hospital. Mikoto, worried, tries to go to her and finds what had happened to Mitsuko. In the hospital Ruiko tries to tell Mikoto about what happened between her, Wannai Kinuho, and Awatsuki Maaya with Baba Yoshio and his robot dogs. All the while, Mikoto blames herself for involving Mitsuko, still believing that it is Misaki's doing. She finds Yoshio's Type: Mosquito on Mitsuko and tries to leave. The girls of Misaki's clique asks for Mikoto to wait for the other members of the clique to arrive, but Mikoto tells them that if they are not prepared to kill her to stop her, then they should go out of the way. Cowed by her sudden outbursts, the girls can't help but let Mikoto leave. She later uses the mosquito robot that was attached to Mitsuko to track its owner.[22]

Yoshio, still reeling from his humiliation, believes that if he had known their powers from the beginning he wouldn't have been defeated. He activates a disguised truck to open to reveal Type: Mantis, intending to use it to humiliate Kinuho and Maaya for humiliating him. As the large robot moves, Misaka Mikoto appears before the large robot. Seeing this, Yoshio panics, but then assume that she is a Sister, and finally finding one, orders the machine to capture her. The Type: Mantis' easy destruction at her hands was enough for him to realize that it is the true Misaka Mikoto. Mikoto talks to Yoshio, telling him that she knows where he is from the communications signal. Yoshio tries to get away from his command center discovers that it may have been taken over by Mikoto already. Mikoto threatens to do to Yoshio what she did to the robot. However, believing him to be just being under the control of Shokuhou Misaki, she lets him go with a warning. She says that if she ever finds those robots around her friends again, she will find him and crush him. Yoshio later faints at the thought. He later reports his ordeal to Mitori, and asks her for a safe place to hide from Mikoto's wrath.[23] Before Mikoto could get to him, Yoshio smashes a window of his truck and gets away.[24] Misaki would later learn of the defeat of Yoshio, and though dismayed with what happened with Kongou Mitsuko, she is relieved that she doesn't need to deal with Yoshio and his mecha anymore.[7]

IntermissionEdit

Misaki who has been apparently attacking Gensei's "villas" for more data all the while, uses her powers to cover her tracks and make it seem that Mikoto is the one behind it. She later discovers Gensei's location as well as the order not to kill Misaka Mikoto.[10] Gensei sees this and knows exactly that is Misaki behind the attacks, though he doesn't inform Mitori as her job would be the same even if he told her.[10] Mitori later receives reports of this, and is convinced that Misaka Mikoto behind it, even more so after receiving Yoshio's report.[20] She, with Xochitl, are in in the Shinohara Liquid Metal Factory, being used for their current base of operations when they receive the report, Mitori is surprised by Mikoto still not stopped, and now says that she is now to head out to. Xochitl comments on how Mikoto is wrong as she has seen her in action before. Mitori says that she need not defeat her and says that her job will only take a day.[23] She later hacks into the GPS functionality of the ID system for Daihaseisai visitors to locate Misaka Misuzu and use her as a hostage against Mikoto.[24]

After Yoshio fled, Mikoto visits his truck for some information, still under the assumption Misaki is behind everything. Here, she confirms her suspicions as she finds no real information she can find there, believing it was set up to prevent her from taking it over. As Mikoto leaves, she wonders if she can the hideout of those who used the truck using the security cameras. Meanwhile, as the girls of Misaki's clique wonder on what to do to find Mikoto, the girls wonder where the Queen could be as they believe she could help them, though they had no contact with her since yesterday. Ruiko, who is waiting for Kinuho to report on Mitsuko's condition asks who the Queen is, to which Maaya says is Shokuhou Misaki, and that the girls of her clique call her the Queen. Ruiko recognizes her name as the esper who can manipulate memories. Kinuho then comes back and reports on how Mitsuko has no external wounds that are likely to give her scars and that the nanodevice will be sent to a specialty facility. And with that, the only thing they need to do is to discover the secrets the cat holds.[24]

Calling the animal psychometry girl from Tokiwadai again, she says that her power allows her to pick up fragments of the cat's qualia. So she says it is not like she can communicate with it, but she can understand aspects of what happened that the cat could not. Using her powers on the cat in the time around midday yesterday, she begins to see what the cat saw. She finds the location and sees Misaka 10032's body collapsed on the ground, as well as Keitz and Misaki, though she does not recognize them especially Misaki for she is far away from the cat's view. She tells them of their conversation, and then finally something that Ruiko recognizes: "What happened to Auribus oculi fideliores sunt?"[24]

Kinuho says that it is Latin meaning "Believe more in what you see that what you hear", and makes Maaya wonder if it is a code. The session ends as the girl says that the cat's attention turned elsewhere. After thanking her, Kinuho tells Ruiko to contact Mikoto since Mitsuko is incapacitated it would be better if Mikoto knew what has been disocovered as soon as possible. With that the two thanks Ruiko, and tells her that they will be in Mitsuko's hospital room. Ruiko tries to contact her but realizes (because of Misaki's brainwashing) that she doesn't have Mikoto's number, however, finds out that she does, confusing her.[24] She would later talk to Kuroko about on how they are friends with Misaka Mikoto, much to her disbelief. Kuroko questions Ruiko's theory on Shokuhou Misaki manipulating their memories. Kuroko then asks why she didn't contact Kazari. Ruiko, who has already suspected that Kazari has been the first one to have been brainwashed by Misaki, says that she is hesitant in telling her. In the end, she tries to call Mikoto as she has a message for her.[24]

Meanwhile, Misuzu meets with Kazari who is with a lost boy waiting for his father to pick him up. Kazari divulges on how the IDs of the visitors have GPS functionality, and as such can be tracked by Judgment headquarters if someone is lost. As they talk together, Mitori later finds them both and knocks them unconscious intending to use them as hostages against Misaka Mikoto.[24]

Confrontation with Kouzaku MitoriEdit

Back with Mikoto, she quits on checking cameras at each important point as it takes too much time. She then receives Ruiko's call, surprising Mikoto. After Ruiko introduces herself, she tells Mikoto about the information they had gathered from Misaka 10032's cat. Mikoto says that she has no clue what that girl with the man from the cat's memories, who she says is likely Misaki, is talking about. Just then, Ruiko says that there is something that she is knowledgeable about that came about in the conversation that the cat has heard, and that she also wants to know whether she and Ruiko know each other. Ruiko requests that they should meet each other, to which Mikoto says her location and it is in School District 15, which Ruiko notes is quite close. Ruiko asks for Mikoto to stay there as she'll ask Kuroko to teleport her to where she is, much to Kuroko's frustration. After Mikoto discover that Kuroko is with Ruiko, Mitori's Liquid Shadow dummy approaches her, telling her that she wants her to tell her something. Mikoto, already suspicious, says that she is quite busy and has no time to talk to strangers, but she'll make an exception to those who are connected with the guy (Baba Yoshio) who hurt her friend. Mitori is unperturbed and shows that she has Kazari hostage.[24]

After getting Mikoto to end her phone call and throw her phone away, Mitori mentions that she had no need to introduce herself seeing as how Mikoto attacked their villas and stole their information. When Mikoto asks what she's talking about, Mitori tells her not to play dumb and that she should know what they were after—where the Sisters are being hidden. Mikoto asks why she was attacking her friends but Mitori asks her back if she could really say that, calling her an oddity for living a carefree life despite knowing what was going on in the city, mentioning about experiments on Child Errors, the trick used to obtain her DNA map and the inhuman Level 6 Shift experiments, all leading up to the highest levels of Academy City. Mitori says that Mikoto was different from the average ignorant student yet she turned a blind eye and lived an everyday life, asking her how she could remain calm despite all that has happened.[20]

Mikoto starts to reply but changed her mind, saying that it has nothing to do with this and that none of this was an excuse to hurt her friends. Saying she has nothing to tell her, Mikoto warns Mitori to let Kazari go, saying her electricity would reach her before she could move her knife. Mitori then mentions how she thought she was Mikoto's friend seeing how she knew her mother. She then points to Misuzu also being held hostage. Saying that not even Mikoto could save them both and that it was clear that she didn't need to weigh their lives against the location of the clones, Mitori once again asks where the clones are. Mikoto again says she has nothing to say to her. Mitori asks Mikoto if she thought she was bluffing or if she was willing to let one of them die. Mikoto then declares she would save Kazari no matter what. Mitori laughs and asks if her mother was expendable. As she remarked how cruel that was, Mikoto attracts some pipes with magnetism to pull Kazari away while attracting her phone to block the knife, before moving in and attacking with electricity.[20]

Seeing that the negotiation had failed, Mitori attempts to carry through with her threat, saying she wouldn't like it to end with Mikoto underestimating her and telling Misuzu to resent Mikoto for abandoning her. At that moment, Shirai Kuroko teleports in and smashes her wheelchair down at her. Jumping out of the way, Mitori throws a knife at Kuroko, who evades it. She then escapes as Kuroko was teleporting Misuzu to safety. Kuroko wanted to apprehend her but knows that keeping civilians save is the greater priority. She later takes Misuzu and hands her over to Mikoto, thinking that she can just apprehend and interrogate the one that held Kazari hostage. After Mitori escapes, she has her Liquid Shadow puppet to attack Kuroko as she moves in closer, though she misses. Kuroko tries to attack with her darts though they simply right through the puppet. As the puppet comes closer, Mikoto tells Kuroko to take Kazari and Misuzu to safety, though before she can do so, the puppet merely points towards her with a smirk before it dissolves as Mitori moves out of range. In the sewers, Mitori remarks that they couldn't have Mikoto dying yet, saying that direct negotiations is hard though necessary, as she couldn't do too much over a camera. She then thinks back on the conversation regarding attacking the villas, thinking that Mikoto had no reason to feign ignorance. She recalls on how the eyewitnesses to the attack saw Mikoto, and considers that they may have lied, or had their memories altered. Thinking about Mikoto's expression back then, she then said that there may be some hope left.[20] Mitori later reports to Gensei that it was Shokuhou Misaki who was the real culprit behind the attacks on their villas, only to find to her slight dismay that Gensei already knows. Gensei then tells her to continue with her preparations.[10] She would later return to the Shinohara Liquid Metal Factory.

Putting the clues togetherEdit

After the conflict, Kuroko demands from Mikoto an explanation. Mikoto says that she didn't know who was that either, to which Kuroko explains that she wants to know why Mikoto acted like she knew she was there, saying that the line about Mikoto saving Kazari was meant for her. Here, Mikoto explains that she noticed Ruiko calling Kazari after she hung up through the electromagnetic waves, likely to see what had happened. As she has told them where she was, she expected Kuroko to come over as she can teleport and that she would be nearby. Mikoto thanks Kuroko for letting her save Kazari, to which Kuroko says that Kazari is part of Judgment and that it is only natural to prioritize visitors. Kuroko references that Mikoto left her mother's life in the hands of a stranger, to which Mikoto notes on her mother would be mad if she chose her instead of friend. Moreover, she tells Kuroko that she trusted her to protect her mother. Hearing this, Kuroko blushes and tries to shake it off, but it aggravates her injuries. Mikoto apologizes for letting her fight when she was injured and tries to help her walk, much to her embarrassment.[20]

They later return to Judgment 177 Branch Office, and later lets Kazari and Misuzu have some medicine and some sleep. With that they discuss about the situation at hand. Mikoto confirms to Ruiko that the girl that Misaka 10032's cat saw is definitely Shokuhou Misaki and has abducted her "sister. Ruiko then mentions Auribus oculi fideliores sunt, an urban legend website she knows of. Kuroko questions why Misaki would be interested in that, to which Ruiko says that the site not only gathers information about urban legends but has people go out and verify it. She relates on how yesterday after the midday break, the time after Mikoto's sister was abducted, she was out looking for Shadow Metal and had Kazari look up the site. When she returned Kazari says that she couldn't find it, prompting her to find it on her own only to find that the website got buried by a bunch of dummy sites. Ruiko explains that once something is on the Internet it can never fully be deleted. She says that somehow someone is trying to hide the website by making dummy pages that will have higher spots in the search results. Mikoto can only assume that there must be something in that website that someone doesn't want to see. Kuroko then mentions that Kazari would have noticed something and had the skills to search for the cause of it. Mikoto conjectures that someone had detected her actions and attacked her. She imagines Misaki doing it, manipulating Kazari to delete the data and then searching her memories to find that she is friends with Mikoto. Ruiko says that they have to force the clues together to reach the conclusion, but says that there still must be something remaining in the computer that could help them.[20]

Using her powers, Mikoto recovers the deleted data. She finds a picture of Misaki from the website, confirming her suspicions. Mikoto asks Kuroko if she can identify where she is, to which Kuroko says that it might be School District 2 due to the building in the background. Before Mikoto can run off to confront Misaki herself,[7] Ruiko asks Mikoto if their memories were truly altered, and that if they are truly their friends, to which Mikoto says that she will drag Misaki here and that they should wait.[10]

Regarding Kuroko, Kazari, and RuikoEdit

Ruiko becomes restless at waiting, to which Kuroko says that Mikoto was the one who told them to wait and that she shouldn't worry. Moreover, she is still honestly unbelieving that they had their memories erased. Ruiko comments on how having her memories of her friends erased would be bad and that she'd hate it. She later finds Kuroko looking up a list of girls in the Bank, to which Kuroko says that she saw the one that attacked Kazari, and that she had been looking for her in the Bank based on her powers, as well as her sending the liquid metal and knife for forensic analysis. Ruiko becomes excited over this, to which Kuroko says that she is merely acting as a member of Judgment, and that she cannot hand over the investigation to a normal person. She then says, with much embarrassment, that she can make an exception as the situation is urgent and that sharing information would be beneficial. Ruiko then has a smug look on her face, much to Kuroko's consternation as Ruiko begins helping her.[10]

Ruiko later discusses her hypothesis regarding Kazari being controlled by Misaki since yesterday, leading to them to conclude that is the reason why Kazari took them to the wrong patrol route. Ruiko then says that they should keep it a secret from Kazari, saying that she is the type that to feel responsible when no one is to blame. Just then, Kazari has woken up from the infirmary opens the door and asks them to tell her exactly what they are talking about, to which Kuroko agrees, much to Ruiko's shock. She however, says that Kazari should first make some tea. Kuroko whispers to her that she admires that she is protecting Kazari, she says that she isn't that weak to have that break her. After being briefed about it, Kazari is dismayed for being manipulated. Kuroko however says that after their break they should restart their investigation, and asks Kazari if she can look through the Bank for anyone suspicious. Kazari asks if she is sure that she can trust her, to which Kuroko says that they do not have time to have a detailed examination as they need her skills now. She then tells her that if she is really worried, then she can do her work in front of them. Kazari goes right to it, impressing Ruiko.[25]

As they investigate liquid metal, Ruiko notes that only two companies that have developed liquid metal have survived. Kuroko says that the companies have no record of loss or theft, which opens up the possibility that someone inside the company is helping the esper using liquid metal (Mitori). Just then, Kazari has finished the search according to Kuroko's specifications and they discover that the name of their attacker is Kouzaku Mitori. Finding information about her, Kazari says that Mitori is in the Reformatory for an attempted terrorist attack 14 months ago. Ruiko asks if she escaped, to which Kazari says that if she did, then Judgment should've been notified. Kazari asks again if Mitori truly was the culprit, to which she confirms. Regardless however, Kuroko wants to double-check and says she wants to go to the Bank's control center. Kazari then asks what Ruiko would seeing as she will likely not be allowed there as she is not a member of Judgment. Ruiko says that she will pass and asks about Misuzu, to which Kuroko says that she has explained the situation to Konori Mii, their senpai. She says that Mikoto wished for Misuzu to be told that she collapsed of heatstroke and that she will be kept in the office for protection under the guise of getting a new ID issued.[25]

With that they all leave the office, with Kuroko and Kazari going to the Bank's control center. When they arrive, Kuroko discovers that Mitori has been dead for at least two months due to heart failure. Kuroko wonders if she was wrong in her assumption, but then finds something odd. She discovers that her body was incinerated immediately after she was found instead of getting an autopsy. Then, the minder in the Bank comes up to them and says that Mitori may not have one. She explains that they might have something to hide and that they destroyed her body, evidence, before the true cause of her death could be found. She also says that Mitori might not even be dead. When asked, the minder says that there is a rumor about the Reformatory, and on how student suddenly disappear for some reason. When the guards report it they are waved off and ignored and it is always high level espers or excellent students who disappear. She says that Academy City makes a deal with the esper or student and releases them in secret and then fake their deaths as it is far more convenient, though she says it is just a rumor.[9]

Saten Ruiko meets Kamijou ToumaEdit

Meanwhile, Ruiko wanders the streets at the height of a Borrowing Race, with nothing much else to do to help her friends. She then realizes that one of the defunct liquid metal factories is nearby. As she ponders this, she finds a certain spiky-haired boy at the end of his wits—Kamijou Touma—asking people if they have a protective charm for the Borrowing Race. Ruiko sees him as he complains about his quarry, being in the city of science and all, and laments his misfortune.[25] Ruiko has the protective that was given to her by her mother, but doesn't want to part with it. She is sorry that she can't help Touma and tries to move away from him, but he somehow manages to end up where she is despite moving a bit of a distance away. Ruiko notes Touma's perseverance, as he still has yet to give up, and that though he will end up in last place regardless, he'll still have points. Seeing that Touma seems like a nice guy, she finally calls out to him, hoping he will not throw it away. Ruiko says she has one, much to Touma's relief, he tries to touch it, but realizes he is using his right hand. He pulls back and grabs the protective charm with his left instead, not wanting to negate the benefits it gives.[9]

Ruiko says that it may be beaten up it is still important to her, Touma understands. However, he realizes that he can't let her wait for him to finish the race, to which Ruiko says that the can just meet later in front of a store. She also says that if he can't meet her then he can just take it to Judgment 177 Branch Office. With that they're finally in agreement. Ruiko introduces herself as Saten, while Touma thanks her and introduces himself as Kamijou Touma, saying that he'll make sure to return it.[9]

Saten Ruiko in the Shinohara Liquid Metal FactoryEdit

Despite better judgment, Ruiko goes to the factory alone and finds it completely abandoned, or so she thought. She later espies men moving equipment into a room, and discovers that the building still has power. Ruiko tries to go into the opened door as it closes, and successfully manages to do so. She however is too late to realize that error of her judgment, not knowing how she is supposed to get out. Ruiko tries to contact Kazari but is interrupted by people coming down the adjacent hallway. Ruiko later flees and manages to make it deeper into the facility. Xochitl finds her however, taking out her Macuahuitl, a traditional Aztec sword, and puts it up Ruiko's neck. She asks Ruiko what she was doing there, and tells her not to turn around. She instructs her to forget everything she saw and leave the place without a word. Ruiko agrees and tries to run off, but the turns around to say to Xochitl that she doesn't know how to get out on her own, angering Xochitl for not following her instructions. Suddenly, something slices up behind Ruiko, cutting her hair and bag. There Mitori's Liquid Shadow puppet appear, prompting Ruiko to flee. Mitori asks Xochitl why she let her go, to which she says that since their plan is in the final stages, Ruiko wouldn't be able to do anything at this point. However, Mitori says that that is no reason to let her leave. She tells one of the thugs there to capture the girl who ran off, worrying Xochitl. What's more, the Professor begins calling her as well.[9]

Ruiko gets captured by the thugs. The thugs ask her what they should do with her, to which Mitori replies that after she gets to tell them what she was doing there, they can dispose of her as they see fit. Immediately after Xochitl comes to the rescue, defeating thugs easily with her Macuahuitl.[9] Seeing this amuses Mitori, believing it to be either a betrayal by Xochitl or her caring about Ruiko. She tells Mitori that she doesn't care about that idiot behind her (Ruiko) but says the real traitor is Mitori herself. Xochitl then explains that their current mission has nothing to do with what the Academy City Board of Director wants and that Mitori is using her position as a go-between for them and the Board of Directors to coerce MEMBER to act for a client. She says that the Professor has grown suspicious and instructed her to track down her betrayal. She says that it doesn't matter where the instructions came from but she must punish a traitor.[3]

Mitori says that if Xochitl tries to do that in the factory it would be a one-sided slaughter. Xochitl however states that Mitori may be sure that she is safe where ever she is hiding but she is not aware of all her spells. Mitori assumes that Xochitl may be bluffing but takes into account Xochitl's powers coming from outside Academy City and that she might produce some unexpected phenomenon. Not wanting to screw up, Mitori retreats. As her liquid metal puppet becomes more fluid, she gives Xochitl some advice. If Xochitl has something to return to she should leave Academy City now. Xochitl says that she has nowhere to return to, and that there is someone in Academy City that she must pursue at the risk of her own life. Mitori can only reply that Xochitl is quite a maiden. With that over, Ruiko comes toward Xochitl to thank her, now finally remembering her as the girl from yesterday, but is greeted with a bonk to her head. She tells Ruiko to not thoughtlessly approach the dark side of Academy City without the means to protect herself or the willingness to throw away her life. With that lecture over, Xochitl tells Ruiko to come with her as she will show her the exit.[3]

After finding the exit, an irritated Xochitl tells Ruiko to get lost. Ruiko asks what the melty person (Mitori) was after, to which Xochitl says not to get involved. However Ruiko is persistent, forcing Xochitl to acquiesce. She then says that she doesn't know what Mitori is after as they (MEMBER) were made to act on false orders. However, it is revealed that Xochitl asked Mitori about the strange part of their "mission," and though Mitori evaded the question through how she acted, Xochitl was able to determine that she and whoever hired her wanted to use Misaka Mikoto.[3] Their conversation is overheard by Kamijou Touma.[4]

The Ace and the QueenEdit

Misaki, who has finally found where Kihara Gensei is hiding, detects Mikoto coming, and decides to meet her instead. Mikoto finally confronts Misaki. The Mental Out ensures that Misaka 10032 is currently safe in her custody, and directs the Railgun to a truck. Misaki reveals that she abducted 10032 herself after she had been incapacitated to try to keep her safe while searching for the aggressors. Misaki forced information about the Level 6 Shift out of a group of researchers, realizing that Kihara Gensei was behind the plot, and also that he is attempting to exploit the Misaka Network. Moreover, Misaki uses her ability to cut off the means of infecting the Misaka Network through an electrical virus input on an individual Sister, allowing for the Misaka Network not to be taken over once a Sister falls into enemy hands. Misaki tells Mikoto that they are en route to Gensei's hideout to end his schemes. Mikoto asks why Misaki erased her friends' memories of her, at first suggesting that it was Misaki's idea of being considerate by keeping them out of danger. Misaki denies this, stating that it stopped Mikoto from enlisting the aid of her friends and also from forcing her way out of Misaki's clique, and that it was necessary to prevent any variables and irregularities from interfering with her plan. A shocked Mikoto asks why she couldn't have just worked with her from the beginning, pointing out the extent of Kongou's injuries. Misaki says that although what happened to Kongou was unfortunate, it ultimately helped her since it resulted in the destruction of Baba Yoshio's robots, which Misaki had no way of dealing with. An enraged Mikoto demands once again why she did not simply ask for her help, but Misaki states that co-operation and trust are unreliable — it was Mikoto's trust in others, after all, that led to the Radio Noise Project and the Level 6 Shift. Misaki concludes that she has no intention of working with anybody whose mind she cannot read. They are only working together, Misaki says, because of her respect for Mikoto's devotion to her friends and the possibility of finishing the job before Gensei can react. Mikoto says that she doesn't think that she will ever be able to get along with Misaki. Before they are about to begin the assault on Gensei's hideout Mikoto asks why a person like Misaki would help the Sisters, to which the Mental Out says she has no obligation to tell her that much.[7]

The impromptu alliance between the Railgun and Mental Out begins with Mikoto hurrying forward, speeding past her ally. When Misaki doesn't catch up, Mikoto believes that she has been set up since the path they took was straight and there was no way that she could have gotten lost. An exhausted Misaki catches up moments later, chastising Mikoto for losing focus and getting worked up. Mikoto says that she thought she was jogging. Misaki hurriedly responds that Mikoto is simply lighter than her in certain areas and that she is more aerodynamic. Mikoto asks if she is simply out of shape and the two argue heatedly about the importance of athletic abilities and body shapes. They finally decide that they should not be moving together and split up, both Tokiwadai students telling the other not to get in each other's way. Misaki is later seen mind-controlling a group of Gensei's thugs, forcing several to fire on each other while sealing off the rest of the complex to prevent any escape.[10] As the infiltration of Gensei's hideout progresses, Misaki's mental manipulation has completely broken apart the cohesion Gensei's troops as they cannot identify who is friend or foe. Misaki meets up with a disguised Mikoto, making a quip about her outfit as she is escorted by a pair of guards. She says that the building has been sealed off and is then told by a mind controlled guard that Gensei has been captured.[25]

Later, Mikoto and Misaki attempt to interrogate a restrained and blindfolded Gensei, but he only utters gibberish. Misaki says that she doesn't need him to talk, she only needs to ask his brain. When she uses her remote on him, she realizes that something is wrong. She grabs Gensei and yanks at his scalp, ripping it apart and revealing that they had only apprehended a disguised minion. Misaki hurries away from the body double and a confused Mikoto — her reading of the body double's mind shows that the real Gensei was a step ahead of Misaki and he quips that she is in the wrong place, and that she "can't protect Exterior like that."[9] She rushes towards Exterior before Gensei can reach it. She tells Mikoto that Gensei might have used the urban legend website that was recently buried into the Internet in order to find it. As the car she is on races towards their destination, they are suddenly stopped by a huge traffic jam. The driver tells her that an Automated bus that exploded yesterday (due to the work of Stiyl Magnus), and since the City pulled out its main transportation for the Festival to find the cause, it caused a traffic jam. Running out of time, Misaki calls out to Exterior, allowing her to control many people for kilometers on end, forcing them to drive out of the way. This event amazes Mikoto, though questions how she was able to pull it off as Misaki begins to reminisce of her past with her ill-fated friend Dolly.[3]

Level 6 Shift attempt on Misaka MikotoEdit

Main article: Level 6 Shift attempt on Misaka Mikoto
MisakaMikoto form-Level 6 Shift attempt

Misaka Mikoto as appears in her initial form at the start of Gensei's Level 6 Shift attempt on her.

Thirty minutes prior to Misaki's arrival while she and Mikoto are still in the conference, Kihara Gensei. Keitz, who is looking after Misaka 10032, later receives an alert of an attack, much to his dismay.[4] Gensei later has the building taken over by special armed forces, likely the Hound Dogs. Upon arriving there, he swiftly forces Keitz Nokleben, the security supervisor of the Level 6 Shift, and now under the employ of Misaki up on the roof in desperation with Misaka 10032 with his group of skilled special forces. He quickly takes over Exterior, going through its complex registration protocols for usage by aligning its brainwaves with his.[4]

Arriving at the building where Exterior is kept, Misaki notes that her phone doesn't have a signal, to which Mikoto says that there is a powerful jamming signal being emitted in the area. They see the hole into its entrances, and here Mikoto says that she'll be going even if Misaki told her not to. Having no choice, Misaki allows Mikoto to go with her, stating that she might be of need of her powers. They find the building mysteriously bereft of both invaders and the employers needed to maintain Exterior. Mikoto then asks about Exterior after Misaki showed her power back in the jammed highway. Misaki says that officially Exterior allows her power to be amplified, but states that its true purpose is to allow registered users, regardless of being an esper or not, to use her powers. Misaki notes that before Exterior could be used by the researchers’ purposes on brainwashing great men, she took over the project, saying that Mental Out is for people with a pure personality such as hers. Mikoto is unbelieving of Misaki's story. She asks if that is the machine that is referred to by Urban Legend sites as one that produces esper powers, but Misaki just wonders where those rumors come from. Misaki then says that it isn't a machine, and much to her hesitation, allows Mikoto to see what Exterior is a giant brain cut between the two sides inside a tube of liquid. Misaki notes that a part of her cerebral cortex has been taken out, cultivated, and enlarged to create Exterior, much to Mikoto's horror.[4]

Misaki notes on the mysterious circumstances surrounding Gensei's invasion, saying that there is no signs of damage on Exterior as well as no signs in moving it. Mikoto conjectures that Gensei maybe planning on using the brain for something, but notes that it will take several days to registration before anyone can use it. Misaki mulls over the facts again, as it would seem fruitless to take over the facility as he cannot use Exterior. Moreover, if he wants to take over the Misaka Network, he needs to get through the protection she has set-up, which requires Gensei to use Exterior. She puts her suspicions behind her and tries to direct where Misaka 10032 is treated. However, Keitz Nokleben is finally able to make contact with her. Misaki asks where he is, to which he says is on the rooftop along with Misaka 10032. Misaki is ecstatic, but Keitz interrupts her, saying that the attackers were a group of skilled special forces and that he may have been led up there in the first place. He tells her to be careful, but Misaki notes on how she has Mikoto there to aid her. Suddenly, something happens with Exterior, and Misaki falls to her knees. Gensei arrives on the roof and quickly stuns Keitz with the power of Mental Out, and later taunts Misaki on the phone regarding one he easily took over, asking her if she heard that rumors, the Level Upper. Gensei destroys the protection she implanted on Misaka 10032 with his Mental Out and quickly infects the Misaka Network. And thus every clone collapses the world over.[4]

Black electricity covers the sky as the power caused by the virus infecting the Misaka Network manifests itself through each Sister. Gensei is ecstatic of the results, but notes on how the energy is nothing more than show if it doesn't have any use. Mikoto finally arrives at the rooftop, and seeing a downed Misaka 10032, demands to know what Gensei done to her. However, Gensei can only smile at her arrival, referring to her as Aleister's favorite. Suddenly, the black lightning gathering outside gathers and jumps into Mikoto. Lightning flashes on the roof as Misaka Mikoto form changes. Kihara Gensei smiles and says that the experiments will now begin, asking if Mikoto can become a Level 6.[4]

Aid comes for Misaka MikotoEdit

Touma who has overheard the conversation between Xochitl and Ruiko, and without much fanfare hands back the protective charm back to her and then heads out to where Mikoto is. Meanwhile, Ruiko contacts Kuroko and Kazari about the situation Mikoto is in, and then later goes back to Judgment 177 Branch Office.[4] Kuroko then teleports to School District 2.[26]

The battles for Misaka MikotoEdit

With Mitori registered to Exterior she is able to use Mental Out as well. She then uses her access to communicate with Mikoto's psyche. She reminds Mikoto the atrocities in the city she has seen and the callous disregard it has for life, playing with Mikoto's innermost desires. Mitori points out to Mikoto the Windowless Building and that the bad things she has experienced will continue as long as it stod, suggesting she destroy it. Mitori watches in amazement as Mikoto unleashes a huge lightning strike on the Windowless Building. She then believes that the building has been destroyed, finally believing she has gained vengeance. To her dismay however, the smoke cleared to reveal it that it unharmed. She then calls Gensei, asking what was going on as this wasn't what he promised to her. Gensei replies that the building can't be damaged by attacking it head-on and that Mikoto is still growing. He remarks on how impatient she is, and reminds her to carry out her duty if she wants to achieve her goal, giving her another task to perform.[26]

The strike was of course noticed by Misaki and Touma. The former later takes control of the chief of Anti-Skill, who was also noticed the strike on the building, and through him, orders the evacuation of sightseers and nearby residents, as well as seal off both areas and prevent even Anti-Skill from entering. Misaki's actions would later prevent any harm to come upon any civilians during the incident.[26] As Mikoto's transformation continues and dark clouds gather in the sky, Academy City suspends the Daihaseisai's outdoor activities and has some of them moved indoors.[27]

With that done, Misaki seeks to find Gensei to end this, on her way up to the roof, she sees Touma on the streets and remarks how his timing is always so good, and if it didn't involve her, she's be worried, but since it does involve her, he looks like a prince. As Mikoto appears before Touma in her current form, Misaki sends a telepathic message to Touma giving him a very succinct summary of what happened and what he needs to do to save Mikoto, confirming his suspicions that the creature in front of him is really the Number Three. Misaki asks Touma to use his power on Mikoto at it might be able to cut her from the Misaka Network that is currently being misused and slow her transformation. With that, Touma is left alone to deal with Mikoto.[26]

Following this, she heads to the roof, where she meets Keitz, noting that Gensei has disappeared. She releases Keitz from Gensei's freezing of them using Mental Out, and then uses her power to make sure that he doesn't attack her after unfreezing him. She then orders Keitz to take Misaka 10032 to a safe place, and remarks that only someone with Mental Out can defeat someone with the same ability, and as such she must confront Gensei herself. At this time she is attacked by the liquid metal humanoid created by Mitori's Liquid Shadow in order to capture her for Gensei.[27] Both Keitz' gun and Misaki's Mental Out can't affect the puppet, but they are saved by Kuroko's arrival.[26] As Kuroko declares her intention to arrest and question everyone present, especially Mitori for falsifying of the Bank's data, Mitori attacks with her puppet. Kuroko evades her attack and on Misaki's request, teleports Keitz and Misaka 10032. Mitori attempts to attack the two but Kuroko teleports herself and Misaki away into the building, who knows that the puppet is at the maximum control range she has for maintaining control over both the puppets and Mikoto. Inside the facility, Misaki uses her powers on Kuroko to quickly brief Kuroko on what was going on, that Mitori is not a mere bodyguard but a guide for Mikoto's psyche, the likely place where she is hiding through the range of her control of her puppets, as well as the fact that they can stop Mikoto if she stops Mitori.[27]

Mitori then contacts Gensei regarding her failure to capture Misaki, and tells him that she now has to worry in protecting herself against Kuroko and tells Gensei to handle Misaki on his end. Although dismayed with this news Gensei has no choice. Thus begins the many battles for Misaka Mikoto.[27]

Kamijou Touma and Sogiita Gunha vs. Misaka MikotoEdit

As Mikoto's psyche becomes disappointed in being unable to destroy the Windowless Building, Touma closes in on her. She tries to use her powers on him but he manages to negate it with his right hand. Trying to move closer again, Mikoto then uses her electromagnetic powers on metal to sweep Touma away from her. Mikoto notices Touma, but only his right hand, becoming curious of it. Mitori however tells Mikoto that the one she is facing is a mere fly trying to get in her way and that she must shoo it away. With this, Mikoto uses her powers to attack Touma.[27]

Although Touma can only negate her electric powers, he is able to dodge the metal that Mikoto rains upon him. Becoming confident of this, Touma however then sees Mikoto magnetize large chunks of metal into a single ball, something that he has no way of dodging. As Mikoto throws it toward Touma, Sogiita Gunha, the 7th-ranked Level 5, appears before him and destroys it with his power, surprising Touma. Gunha asks Touma if he is all right, to which he confirms and thanks him. Gunha is amazed by Mikoto and wonders if her growing horns is because of her guts. Gunha tells Touma to leave it to him, to which Touma opposes, saying that he knows Mikoto and that he can't just leave it to someone else. Gunha says that Mikoto is not a normal person and tells Touma to go hide. Touma explains that he doesn't want to defeat her, and he thinks someone is controlling her. As Gunha goes on about Mikoto just needing guts to come back to normal, Mikoto attacks with two powerful beams of electricity, to which Touma negates and Gunha punches down nonchalantly. Impressed by each other, they reintroduced themselves to the other, and then tell each other not to trip the other. And now begins Touma and Gunha's efforts against Mikoto.[27]

With their teamwork, Gunha destroys the chunks of metal thrown at them, while Touma covers him by negating Mikoto's power. As Mikoto covers herself in iron sand and attacks it with them, Touma notes that if he wants to get close and touch her with his right hand to see if she can turn back to normal. After negating the attack, Gunha uses his powers to blow the sphere that covered Mikoto, and then throws him at her. Despite being unprepared for it, Touma manages to maneuver himself midair and is able to touch Mikoto. Though the area where he touches her disappears, it was only a moment and returns back to normal. Gunha later catches Touma after doing so. Touma notes on how there is some kind of power constantly is being sent in from the outside, so he can't fully negate it, as it turns back to normal after touching it. Gunha asks what they should do, to which Touma says that someone else is trying to turn her back to normal (Misaki), though he doesn't know who. He tells Gunha that they can only hold her back until that person cuts off the power source. Touma then says that Mikoto's transformation is restrained when he is nearby. Speaking of the devil however, Mikoto begins transforming before their very eyes, much to Touma's chagrin. As Touma and Gunha are observing, Mikoto attacks the latter, though he quickly recovers, though is not unscathed by it.[8]

Touma and Gunha continues to do battle with her until Gunha is felled by Mikoto, knocking him unconscious.[28]

Shirai Kuroko vs. Kouzaku MitoriEdit

Kuroko meanwhile teleports from building to building trying to find Mitori. She recalls Misaki's informing her, in that Mental Out isn't very effective on Mikoto, and as such the Liquid Shadow puppet cannot give Mikoto orders. This leads her to conclude that Mitori can only guide Mikoto's psyche if she is nearby. However, with such a high concentration of research facilities near where Mikoto is, Kuroko contacts Kazari and asks her to check every camera within 800 meters of School District 2's Judgment building. She tells Kazari to see if she can find Mitori on one of the cameras as well as a list points the cameras do not cover. Kazari asks Kuroko if she needs backup, to which Kuroko says they do not have time.[8]

As Kuroko teleports into one of the buidings, Mitori has her puppet slice through a door to attack her. Kuroko then proceeds to engage the puppet in combat.[8] As she battles, she finds out where Mitori puts the camera on her Liquid Shadow puppets so she can see, which is on her neck. She attacks it with her darts, disabling Mitori's secondary senses, and forcing her to use echolocation to grasp the situation, Mitori's primary sense for her puppet. She then uses a small device to deafen her ability to echolocate. Kuroko then teleports away as the puppet is preoccupied, trying to search for Mitori. However, the facility is so vast, she requires the aid of a clue. Back in Judgment 177 Branch Office, Ruiko manages to find Mitori in one of the cameras. Kazari contacts Kuroko, telling her of Mitori's moving into an alleyway three minutes ago, though she can't tell what building she's in as she hasn't been seen in the other cameras. Kuroko then rushes toward the likely location of Mitori.[28] Kuroko asks if they're sure Mitori hasn't been seen in any other camera, to which Ruiko confirms. Kuroko notes that Mitori would show up in the cameras if she moved into another building. Seeing this, Kuroko manages to pinpoint the building where Mitori is likely hiding in. She orders Kazari and Ruiko to turn all nearby movable cameras toward the building as she teleports in.[28]

Back with the puppet, Mitori is able to pierce the device, but then realizes that the security cameras likely gave her location away. She then has her puppet slice and enter a sewer pipe to head to where Kuroko is going.[28] Kazari notices this as well, and reports it to Kuroko, confirming to her that the place where Kuroko is in is where Mitori is hiding. Mitori, turns her attention to Kuroko, and uses the cameras of the Homing Cameras that is used for Daihaseisai events to target her. Mitori observers the battle directly during the puppet's confrontation with Kuroko in the building. After Kuroko uses the anti-listening device on her puppet again, Mitori uses the puppet to attack her, though could only spread her attack as she could not tell how high up Kuroko is. Despite being hit on the side and on the arm, Kuroko teleports away and applies a small a balm on her injuries. While doing so, she believes that Mitori is in the building based on the puppet's actions and that she is in the upper floors. After treating her wounds, Kuroko pursues Mitori from below, though notes that she may be overlooking something.[28]

Meanwhile, back in Judgment 177 Branch Office, Ruiko and Kazari becomes worried of Kuroko's injuries. Kazari, as she watches the cameras, later catches the Daihaseisai Homing Cameras surrounding the building where Kuroko is in despite being no events. Kazari researches that Anti-Skill apparently used them to see if anyone has yet to be evacuated but notes on how the powerful electromagnetic waves there are too powerful for the cameras to approach. Ruiko then gets the idea in having them use the cameras to aid Kuroko, leading Kazari to eureka moment. She asks Ruiko how long the cameras were there, to which she says that they have been there since Kuroko entered the building. Kazari then reports this to Kuroko, giving to her the possibility that Mitori is not inside the building but somewhere else.[28]

With this new knowledge, Kuroko continues her pursuit of Mitori inside the building. Kuroko finds the last blindspot of the building, only to find that she isn't there. Kuroko goes over thoughts once more, and discovers that Mitori may be hiding in the sewers and that she was led into a trap by Mitori. Mitori's puppet later catches up to Kuroko a ventilation duck. As Kuroko uses another anti-listening device to seal her echolocation, Mitori turns one of the Homing Cameras she has hacked toward the blind spot. Considering the lag when Kuroko teleports and the locations where she is likely to jump to, Mitori has her puppet fire a knife hidden inside it towards Kuroko. However, unbeknownst to her, Kazari has hacked that particular camera to display dummy footage, allowing Kuroko to escape. With this, Mitori then sees Kuroko teleport behind her puppet, the only safe spot for her to teleport to, as she predicted. She then sees Kuroko hit by it through the camera, and later has her Homing Camera roll to see Kuroko's body on the floor below. In the sewers, she laughs madly. Mitori apologizes, saying she wouldn't have killed her if she didn't interfere, though she added that she'd still meet the same fate when the city gets destroyed.[28]

Shokuhou Misaki vs. Kihara GenseiEdit

In the facility that holds Exterior, Misaki observes Gensei nearby. She surmises as to why Mitori was trying to capture her and not kill her, and that is to get the release code for Exterior's limiter. With that in mind, she decides to memorize the code for Exterior's limiters and leave no data behind, forcing Gensei to go after her as there is no other alternative.[27]

Misaki tries to trap Gensei using the facility's defenses. However, she can only watch as Gensei easily bypasses the facilities defenses by the powers he gained by using Level Upper unknown number of espers, Multi-Skill. As he makes his way deeper into Exterior he explains to Misaki that Accelerator is the only one who can achieve Level 6 and remain stable, as that his forced attempt in creating a level 6 by sending Misaka's powers out of control. At 53% of the theoretical limit her mind would transform into something from a different dimension, at 100% her mind and body would be destroyed having exceeded their limit. In the brief moment of reaching that transcended state she would melt down ether like the compression of a white dwarf or an exploding supernova, the resulting effect whatever it be would completely annihilate Academy City. Despite the fact that he would die in this result he believed that some form of progress would come from it.[8] After pinning her to a wall with ice, he states that by incapacitating her he can bypass the mental blocks she placed on herself to prevent Mental Out being used on her. While doing this he becomes distracted with his Clairvoyance power not only noticing the arrival of Touma, but also the fact that Sogiita has shown up as well. As he is caught up in thinking about the effect the combination of the two will have on the experiment and recording the latest development, Misaki manages to escape.[28]

As she escapes she comments to herself that with Sogiita Gunha now interfering as well Academy City should survive, but still believes that Mikoto will perish.[28] As she escapes using the Graviton Panels, she stops and contemplates something. She later uses her powers on herself. Misaki makes a gamble with this. Misaki considered that she would unlikely be able to trap Gensei with the facility's defenses, whether or not she still needs Exterior, the need to heal the Sisters of the virus and that it is likely her last chance to capture Gensei. As such, her gamble was switching her own concepts of the limiter release code with the self-destruct code, hoping that Gensei will destroy Exterior himself using the self-destruct code as she cannot do so herself because Gensei has the access rights to Exterior.[29]

Not being aware of her own ruse, Misaki confronts Gensei in a hallway. The game of cat and mouse continues as Misaki makes a bluff against Gensei, who sees right through it. However, Misaki tricks him, though using his Multi-Skill ability, specifically the Aero Shooter, allows him to escape the pit that Misaki hidden through the Exterior building's Graviton Panels. After being hit by and downed by Gensei, it is seemingly over for Misaki. However, she once again uses the Graviton Panels to appear inexplicably appear at the hole Gensei was going through, trapping his hand.[28] However, her relief only lasts for only a moment as Gensei reveals to her that his hand is merely a prosthetic from one of the times he nearly died when to focused on something else. Gensei says that it is due to his experiments that lead to this state. Moreover, Misaki cannot fool him, for he knew that she still had hope when she was running away and had relied too much on her power to read peoples motives. With that Gensei used his Multi-Skill to choke Misaki, making her pass out.[28]

Conclusion of the battlesEdit

Left alone with Gunha unconscious, Touma witnesses another of Mikoto's transformation. Mitori then senses that the time is ripe for her to use Mikoto again. Mitori then guides Mikoto into creating a black sphere aimed at the Windowless Building. She mentions that though Mikoto could destroy the city she had to make sure that that person would definitely be eliminated. Mitori tells them to apologize to "her" in the afterlife, yelling for Mikoto to blow them away.[28] Back with Gensei, after retrieving his hand, he also sense Mikoto's tranformation, something he claims as her "Opening Stage" and then uses the release code to fully open Exterior.[28]

Suddenly, Mitori then hears something behind her, and turns to see Kuroko, who has now discovered Mitori hiding in the sewers. Mitori is shocked that her camera, out of the thousands around, had been hacked with dummy footage, to which Kuroko replies that she had the ultimate partner for that. Kuroko then declares that she has nowhere left to run.[28] Cornered and with no time to call her Liquid Shadow, Mitori reaches for her knives, thinking about how she didn't just come down there to hide but also in case she was tracked down, as the passage limited teleportation. She then plans to shoot Kuroko with her ballistic knife when she teleports to avoid her first knife, taking advantage of her lag, taking both of them down if she attacks via teleportation instead. As Kuroko moves forward, Mitori throws the first knife, but to her surprise instead of teleporting Kuroko intercepts it with her hand. Not reacting fast enough, Mitori is then punched then kicked down by Kuroko. Screaming, she lunges at Kuroko with the second knife but Kuroko teleports and kicks her in the back of the head. As she falls in battle, Mitori could only think of Dolly before losing consciousness.[28] Kuroko later handcuffs Mitori intending for her to be taken into custody.

Back with Gensei, Misaki's gamble pays off. Gensei collapses upon activating the release code, as Exterior begins to dissolve. Misaki's consciousness comes to after he does so, figuring out what she must have done.[29] She later decides to read Gensei's memories, and later learns from it that Dolly has a little sister that was created at the same time as her.[2]

Enter the dragonsEdit

Now that there is now no one to control Mikoto's psyche and that Exterior is no longer able to connect her to the Misaka Network, Mikoto's subconsciousness wakes up, but she has no control over her transformed body, as the great black sphere of energy continues to grow, and energy exudes from the ground. After she wakes, her surroundings that have been black before slowly crumble, however, at the same time, tendril like objects coming from the darkness form a hand and try to grab her, likely coercing her to continue to destroy Academy City. This likely represents that part of her that wants to destroy Academy City. Moreover, Mikoto describes it as not her power.[30]

As the sphere continue to grow, Touma notices the change, and later explains it to Gunha who has become conscious again this and that Mikoto cannot suppress her power. Gunha tries to convince Touma, saying that the thing that hit him before was compressed energy, but the sphere now is made of something not of their world and cannot be understood. Gunha says that he should be able to stop it with a self-destruction technique, sacrificing himself. However, Touma convinces him that he will deal with it himself and that Gunha should cover him. Impressed by his “guts”, Gunha uses his power to “part” the black mass of energy that covers the ground where Mikoto is floating on, allowing for Touma to move.[30]

Meanwhile, Mikoto seeing that there is no way to stop the sphere, which she says that can now destroy more than the city, formulates a plan to compress it enough so that her body can cover the ensuing explosion. Then Mikoto notices Touma coming towards the sphere, Mikoto screams towards him, saying that what he sees before him is not an esper power, and since it was called in by her desire to destroy the parts of the city she doesn’t like she should be the one to stop it. It is implied that Touma heard all that Mikoto says to him. Touma then touches the sphere with his right hand, but the power is too great for his arm to bear and it is ripped from his body intact.[30]

DW2OPwA

The Dragon King's and other seven dragons emerge from Kamijou Touma's severed right arm.

At that moment, a dragon appears from where the right arm was ripped off, and then bites the sphere. It bites the black sphere and allows the seven other dragons to emerge from Touma's severed arm.
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The eight dragons end the experiment saving both Misaka Mikoto and Academy City.

The dragons viciously rip apart the black sphere and make Mikoto’s transformation crumbles away. The halo cracks as well as the “starry sky” form of her head and chest as if it was dried paint chipping away. Touma then taps her head with his left fist. He says that, although he knows that there is a side of Academy City that is bad and is being controlled by important people that they can’t touch, even if she eliminated it by force he doubts that it would bring about the kind of world she wants. He says that he is sure that there are people other than him who are working to help her, and that they will help her change things bit by bit, including him. And Mikoto agrees with tears in her eyes. With that Touma gives her his jacket, as the dark skies part away to make for the blue sky.[30]

Touma’s arm later regenerates, much to Mikoto’s surprise. Meanwhile, Gunha, Touma, and Mikoto all notice the metal that has appeared on the ground.[30]

Liberation of DollyEdit

Some time after her defeat in the sewers, utterly beaten, she finds no reason in escaping her handcuffs with her powers. She is later visited by Misaki, and tells her that there is a clone that has been transferred with the memories and experiences of Dolly. She tells her that though she isn't Dolly, she just can't let her be, and tells her to come with her. Mitori escapes her bonds and asks why she didn't just use her powers on her instead of explaining things to her. Misaki asks if she needed to use her power, to which Mitori says she didn't. Thus with a mutual understanding, Mitori stands once more to bring an end to the tragedy that has befallen on Dolly.[2]

As Misaki and Mitori enter the building where Dolly is kept, Misaki tells her that Dolly perceived her as Mitori, as at the time she still didn't have the ability to manipulate memories. Misaki says that at some point, Dolly noticed that she was a fake, to which Mitori notes that Dolly surprisingly good intuition. Mitori then says thanks as the elevator comes to their intended floor. She says to Misaki that with her at the end of Dolly's life, at least she wasn't alone, and says that was her biggest regret. The door opens to reveal the capsule where the clone of Dolly is kept, and runs up to it. The clone's consciousness wavers until finally it awakens and calls out to Mitori's name at the sight of her. There, after a terrible long count of years, the two friends, Dolly and Mitori are finally reunited. Dolly, seeing Mitori, asks her if she is Mitori, to which she confirms. Breaking down in tears, Dolly says she missed her and the two girls embrace. Dolly says that she though Mitori hated her because she found her creepy, to which Mitori denies. She then notes that she remembers Mitori's scent and notes on how nostalgic it is. She then says that she loves her.[6]

Meanwhile, Misaki, who is hiding in the shadows watching them, finally tries to leave. However, Dolly calls out to her, knowing who she is. Misaki tries to play it off, but Dolly says she knows she is Misaki because they are always together in their dreams, and says the time they've spent together is the only memories they both have. Misaki is loss for words, and then finally, she apologizes to Dolly. With emotions overcoming her, Misaki says that she is sorry for deceiving her, manipulating her memories, and her getting lost in the comfortable lie of being her friend. She says that if she had looked into who "Mi-chan" was then she could've reunited her with Dolly, and if she had known the truth of the experiment she is sure that Dolly wouldn't have died. Misaki says that it is her all her fault for selfishly putting herself between the two of them. And then states that she'll do anything to make it up to her.[6]

Then, Dolly with Mitori, come from behind Misaki and embraces her, telling her that she wants her to take her to the beach, let her ride a roller coaster at an amusement park, let her see a hippopotamus at the zoo, ride an airplane, and see an aurora in Finland. She continues on with many more requests, to which Mitori says that it is way too much. But Dolly can only help but laugh. She says, as she leans on Mitori, that if they are all together, anywhere is fine, and asks if they can do that. Hearing this, Misaki says that Dolly still ignores what everyone says and force her opinion on them. She turns to them to reveal the tears upon her face and says that Dolly is selfish and that there's no arguing with her.[6]

EpilogueEdit

Toaru Majutsu no Index II E14 00m 29s

Mikoto's reward—a dance with Touma—as depicted in Toaru Majutsu no Index II.

Thus ends the long day. After the events of the story arc, Mikoto later visits Mitsuko during the night on her own. Here, Mikoto apologizes for what happened to Mitsuko, to which she says that she doesn't regret what she did in choosing to aid Mikoto even if something worse befalls to her. Mitsuko says that she put her life on the line for her because she personally wanted to clear away Mikoto's troubles. She asks Mikoto if she knows about the saying of the peach and the plums, and tells her that "Peaches and plums cannot speak, but they will form a path leading to them". Mitsuko says that she still doesn't understand what that truly means yet, but says that her fondness for Mikoto's character is what led her to think about others.[31]

Mikoto says that she is not that great of a person, to which Mitsuko says that it what for people around her to decide. Mitsuko contrasts her situation with Mikoto, saying that she tried to show off how wonderful she is and yet no one recognized it leading to her being alone. Mikoto says that it isn't true at least to her or even Kinuho and Maaya. Hearing this makes Mitsuko happy, and asks Mikoto what she should do as she should feel terrible but says that she feels happy. As Mikoto leaves as the visiting hours have ended, Mitsuko says that she is glad to have transferred to Tokiwadai Middle School.[31]

Mikoto later returns to her friends, with Misaki using her power to restore the memories of Kuroko and the others' memories of her, though modified the events somewhat for them, making the believe that they were out trying to catch terrorists targeting the festival to avoid contradictions. Apparently all to hide the existence of both Exterior and the Sisters from public knowledge, as well as passing along the information on the virus to Heaven Canceller to treat the sisters. Mikoto's not participating in the festival events on the second day was changed as well to that of her eating too much and having her stay in the bathroom all day, much to her chagrin.[31]

With that, Tokiwadai Middle School continues to participate in the remaining days of the festival. Mitsuko makes a recovery and is able to participate in the festival with Mikoto as her partner again.[31] In spite of this, Nagatenjouki Academy still defeats Tokiwdai Middle School and retain their hold on Daihaseisai's championship.[32]

Now with the waning days of Daihaseisai coming, one night the girls come upon the bonfire where the folk dance is happening, where they note on how they cannot participate. Mikoto goes away to buy them all drinks. In the meanwhile, Kamijou Touma later meets up with Ruiko, and thanks her for the protective charm she lent. Touma offers her to buy her some food to make it up to her, though she says that it is all right. Mikoto later comes around with the drinks, and finds Touma talking with Ruiko. Touma says that he borrowed a protective charm from her, confusing Mikoto though later figures out it was for the borrowing race. Mikoto's stutters and awkward way of presenting herself to Touma does not go unnoticed before the eyes of Ruiko and Kazari.[31]

Capitalizing this new found knowledge, Ruiko approaches Touma and asks him to dance with her around the bonfire as a way to thank her for lending him her protective charm. Touma is fine with the idea, though asks if she is sure with it, to which confirms. Ruiko then tells Touma to go on ahead, leaving the girls alone. Mikoto is utterly shocked by what has transpired, but with a knowing look between Ruiko and Kazari, they make their move. Ruiko fakes an ailment finally catching up to her, prompting Mikoto to ask her if she is okay. However, Kuroko suddenly figures out their ruse and tries to tell Mikoto, but Kazari comes up behind her and covers her mouth. With this ruse finally set up, Ruiko says that she can't move but tells Mikoto that she can dance with Touma in her place. Mikoto becomes embarrassed by this, and makes up a bunch of excuses. Fed up with this, Ruiko forces Mikoto to say that she wants to dance, to which she does.[31]

Touma later sees Mikoto coming up to him and drags him to the dance, much to his surprise. Ruiko, Kazari, and Kuroko later observer Mikoto's dancing with Touma. Back with the couple, Mikoto tells Touma that he saved her once again, though, ever his personality, points out that other people out as well, with him helping a bit in the end. Mikoto says that she was saved by a lot of different friends, and says that she can't forgive the unpleasant parts of Academy City that view espers as guinea pigs, but it was coming to the city that allowed her to meet everyone, and that those meetings are a treasure to her. She then says to Touma that next time, she wants to protect everyone, because she thinks that's the only way to pay everyone back. Touma teases that she must also consider meeting him a treasure as well, as the way she said it included him as well. Before a flustered Mikoto can reply, Ruiko and Kazari fails in restraining Kuroko and she teleports away to kick Touma in the head, ending their dance.[31]

Finally, Mikoto later visits Misaka 10032 after the festival. Misaka 10032 laments that the festival ended while she was lying in bed. Mikoto says that she shouldn't sulk, and tells her that she should take her somewhere at some point, and asks where she would want to go. Misaka 10032 immediately answers the beach, to which Mikoto says that the beach is season has ended. Misaka 10032 says that she doesn't know why, but says that she wants to make an exciting promise with someone important with her, describing it as a sentimental sense of deja vu.[6]

Effects and future implicationsEdit

Many scenes foreshadows future events in the world of Toaru Majutsu no Index. Most obvious of these is the Dragon King inside Touma's right arm, confirming that Aureolus Izzard's encounter with Touma after he cut his arm back in the Deep Blood Arc was not a mere illusion he made up using his Ars Magna, as Stiyl Magnus pointed out[33], though this time it wasn't alone as seven other dragons each different in its own appearance accompanied it. Touma's meeting with two Level 5s would later come up during the Agitate Halation Arc as well, with Shokuhou Misaki teaming up with him briefly and even referencing their interactions during this arc.[34] As for Gunha, he and the other Level 5s would later gather during that arc as well, an event that the Board of Directors tried to get for the opening ceremony of the Daihaseisai.

The arc shows that despite blaming herself, a part of Mikoto or a part she doesn't want to admit to herself, that she blames Academy City for the suffering of her Sisters, which is later resolved during the arc. It also expands her outlook with the previously mysterious Misaki, whom prior to this arc, was only referred to in name even in the novels. Moreover, it also expands and foreshadows her growing affection for Kamijou Touma, which would later drive much of her motivations in the latter half of the Toaru Majutsu no Index novels. This arc marks the first time Kihara Gensei, essentially the primary antagonist of the side-story due to his influence and involvement behind the scenes throughout it, as an active antagonistic character. It also has Shokuhou Misaki act as a protagonist character, with much of her character explored in the latter half of the arc after teaming up Mikoto.

Franchise-wise, this marks the first time that Ruiko and Kazari, characters that are often seen by the fan-base as seemingly exclusive to the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun side-story, meeting and interacting with Kamijou Touma, the protagonist and main character of Toaru Majutsu no Index, and more so, even noting on how his presence affects Mikoto's personality.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 060
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 068
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 059
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 061
  5. Toaru Majutsu no Index Episode 18
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 070
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 055
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 064
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 058
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 056
  11. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 043
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 044
  13. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 09 Prologue
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 045
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 049
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 046
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 048
  18. Toaru Majutsu no Index II Episode 10
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 047
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 054
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 050
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 051
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 052
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 24.7 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 053
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 057
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 062
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 063
  28. 28.00 28.01 28.02 28.03 28.04 28.05 28.06 28.07 28.08 28.09 28.10 28.11 28.12 28.13 28.14 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 065
  29. 29.0 29.1 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 066
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 067
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 31.6 Toaru Kagaku no Railgun Manga Chapter 069
  32. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume SS/Chapter 1 Part 2
  33. Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 02 Epilogue
  34. Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 07 Chapter 1 Part 5