In the midst of the chaos and battle in the underground mall, Kazakiri Hyouka somehow wanders off in their presence, and is slammed by the golem of Sherry Cromwell, the magician who has invaded Academy City. After the large arm of the golem was swung upon her she discovers something strange from Hyouka. Touma later hears from Komoe a secret regarding Hyouka. Later, Touma rushes towards Hyouka, who is confused by his presence, Touma states that there are still lots of things to do with Index, and that he came here to help a friend in need. Touma says that there is still hope in the world, and Hyouka's illusions will not be destroyed easily. Touma enlists the help of Anti-Skill and manage to fight off Sherry and her golem. Touma dives under the golem as the Anti-Skill continues their barrage on it, as so he could confront Sherry herself. However, despite the successful blow on Sherry, she still has some tricks up her sleeve and manage to escape. Meanwhile, Mikoto and Index managed to escape the underground.
With tears on her eyes, Hyouka looks upon the form of her savior. He smiles and tells her that she should not cry over something like what is happening. Finally, the hand and the rock creature attached to it crumbles to the ground. Sherry hurriedly scrambles to right down something on a wall, and creating a magic circle. She calls out the name of her golem, and the circle glow red, and the wall begins to crack. From it, the form of Ellis comes out, and roars out towards Touma. Seeing this, Touma quickly goes towards Hyouka to protect her, though this only amuses Sherry, praising Hyouka for finding an idiot to protect a monster like her.
Touma however, says that he is not alone, and there on cue, Anti-Skill surround her, blinding her gaze with flashlight attached on their rifles. Hyouka does not understand, to which Touma says that there was no reason, and that he only asked for them to help him save his friend―Hyouka. Having enough, Sherry commands Ellis to attack, to which the Anti-Skill respond in kind. They set-up a phalanx-esque formation, shielding Touma and Hyouka. Then, Yomikawa Aiho comes and shields both Touma and Hyouka, and commands her unit to fire at them. They fire in full automatic above a fellow comrade who sets up a shield from below. The shots riddle golem, and dislodges debris from it, though it remains standing, and even Sherry is forced to take cover. To rectify this, Sherry writes a magic circle in the air, calling out the four archangels and the four cardinal directions. The circle glows red, and rocks, stones, and things get dislodged from the nearby walls and comes towards Ellis, reforming it after much damage. Touma has expected this. Then, Aiho asks if he really is going to do what he is going to do, and says that no one will blame him if he cowers in fear. Touma reminds her of the power of his right hand, and says that the correct term of what he should be doing is that "he has to do this".
Hyouka asks what Touma is going to do, completely out of the loop, to which he says that he is going to stop the golem. Meanwhile, the Anti-Skill continue their firing, chipping away the additions on Ellis, though it does not seem to take much effect as the golem comes closer and closer. Aiho sighs, but is impressed that Komoe has such good students. She then shouts at a shadow-faced Anti-Skill comrade to prepare, and there he counts down. The golem keeps on reforming, and the Anti-Skill answers by firing at it, apparently having no need to reload any magazines on their rifles. The countdown begins to wind down and the debris continues to fly, however, Hyouka pleads to Touma not to continue, as he would never make it. She tries to touch him, however, Touma says that she should not come close as his right hand will blow away all types of supernatural power, and she is no exception. However, Touma reminds her that just because we can't touch each other, doesn't mean we're not friends. He promises her that he would be back, and that he, she, and Index will go have somewhere again. The count winds down to zero, and the Anti-Skill ends their firing. At that moment, Touma charges forward, and time seems to slow down again. Sherry sees this, and commands Ellis to attack. With a single pounding on the ground, Touma is blown back. Ellis then starts to attack again, crushing Touma for sure, but he gets up again and charges forwards again. It seems that he would charge right into the golem's fist, much to Hyouka and Aiho's horror. However, he unexpectedly slides away from it, and here, Aiho has her cue to continue firing at the golem. Now that she is face to face with Touma, she tells him that he would not get away either, though he tells her that he does not need to, and then punches Sherry in the face, sending her flying. The Anti-Skill keeps on firing, but since Sherry has been knocked out, its form stops moving. Touma tries to touch the golem to end this madness, but then hears the laughing of Sherry, who has somehow drawn a complicated sixteen-pointed star polygon within a two circles, a hexadecagon, and another circle, with queer symbols written all over it. Touma believes she is going to create another one, but Sherry tells him she cannot sustain two of them at once, and thus activates her magic circle, and the ground below her collapses, allowing her to escape. And with one final shout, the golem collapses into a miserable pile of rubble. Aiho commands them to cease fire, and runs towards Touma. He turns his head and sees that Sherry is long gone, escaping to another level.
With that, Touma questions Sherry's motives, stating that her targets was right in front of her, and even then, she was willing to run away. Touma recalls his short conversations with Sherry: him realizing that she is of the Anglican Church that wants to create a reason for war, and the more people knowing, the better; her forgetting Hyouka's name and then saying that the one she has to kill need not be her, and killing him would be the same. Here, Touma realizes that her next target is Index.
Meanwhile, outside in the summer heat, Index and Mikoto stand next to each other for some queer reason. Despite their animosity towards each other, they can agree on one thing: it is hot. This leads to Mikoto asking Index about her clothes, though Index states it does not bother her. Looking closely, Mikoto sees that Index is just simply using safety pins to hold her clothes together, and that the dress was terribly messed. Index however, remembers why it has turned out this way, and answers Mikoto vaguely on how she does not like to recall it. Mikoto puts the matter at rest and opens up a new one, to which Index says that the magician seem to be targeting Hyouka, and hopes nothing bad happens. Mikoto asks Index if the other girl, that Index was, with was Hyouka, and Index confirms, but comments that Touma did not grab her "this time", as she met her first. The phrase "this time" sticks out in Mikoto's mind, and a shadow darkens her face, as she smiles strangely. Meanwhile, Index is pacing around worried that that girl left in a place like the dark underground mall, but is all also worried that she left Touma with a girl in a dark place like that. As she talks to herself, Mikoto asks why she is not worried about Touma instead. Index answers that she is not worried because Touma will always come back to her. Once again, another word sticks into Mikoto's mind, "come back to," and begins to assume that Index is something else to Touma. Suddenly, Sphynx jumps out of Index's arms and runs away and begins to panic. Index wants to follow it but is hesitant in leaving Mikoto alone. Mikoto says that she should go ahead. She'll stay there at that locations, as her body irritates cats. Index gives her gratitude, and begins to clumsily follow the runaway cat. As Mikoto is left alone, a tremor moves a manhole cover, piquing Mikoto's attention.
Back with Touma and company, Touma complains to Aiho on why the seals have not been lifted, to which she replies that they have no jurisdiction over the mall's administration, and that it will take a little longer before the seal is lifted. This frustrates Touma to no end. He then wanders near the unbarricaded hole that Sherry made, at which point Hyouka approaches, and thanks him for what he done. Touma then asks if she is all right, to which she responds that she is okay. She asks if the golem isn't going to attack them anymore. Touma darkly tells her that Sherry did not escape, only pursuing her next target. Touma says to Hyouka, that Sherry's objective is not to kill him or Hyouka. Specifically, she would've chose anyone if they met certain conditions, and of those people is Index. Hyouka is shocked and asks if they could use Anti-Skill to protect her, but Touma replies that Index is not a citizen of the city, and that she may be arrested, making asking Anti-Skill for help not an option. Here, Touma shows his frustration on not being able to do anything, and wonders if she could get down into the hole. Hyouka watching this, recalls on the events that have transpired. She gains an epiphany and asks Touma if he really is going to go by himself, to which Touma confirms. Hyouka says that it is all right, as there is a way to save her eve if he does not go. Touma asks what she means, to which Hyouka only replies, "A monster for a monster, that's all." Touma realizes what Hyouka is on about, as she says details on how she will take on the golem herself despite not believing that she could defeat the golem, but rather act as a bait for it. Hyouka says that she is a just a monster, to which Touma, in frustration, asks why she still going on about things like that. Touma says that she is not a monster, and rhetorically asks her if she thinks he would be happy if she did that for him. Hyouka raises her meek voice however, saying that it is for the better, saying that she is happy being a monster, and that since because she is a monster, no matter how many times the golem punched her, she did not die. And because she is a monster, she will be able to stand up to it. Touma watches complete disbelief as he hears Hyouka's monologue, saying that she will her power, her power of a monster, to protect those she cherishes, and that she is fortunate for being a monster. For a moment, the two face each other. But then, Hyouka breaks away from him, and in tears runs towards the hole. Touma tries to grab her, but stays back, realizing the tremendous power of his right hand. There, Touma could only watch Hyouka fall down into the abyss.
In the lower chasms, Hyouka comes to after falling a long way down. She smiles, apparently unscathed by the fall. She looks upon the giant craters formed by the steps of the golem on the floor, and begins running towards into the dark depths of the tunnel that she has yet to plumb.
While running, she recalls of a far-off memory, of an illusory and ephemeral world, where she alone, was real. She knows not who she is, in this bright expanse, among people who acted like people, but seemed to bear a certain falsehood in form, until a bag appears upon her person, and taking from it, a card which showed her identity that she will take upon herself—Kazakiri Hyouka. T'was a place where there was no mass or flow of air, she recalls. T'was was a place created from the AIM diffusion fields generated by all espers, she recalls still. Indeed, it seemed false, as forms come and go in any moment. She recalls of its name, The City of Shimmers. She recalls that it was an invisible place that exists in the same location as Academy City. She was scared of it, that city of shimmers, and for strange reasons, she willed the form of the phantoms that were there, giving them a role just by looking at them. She gave and took life. She was the spring force in a clockwork, and as such she could not escape to the outside world, and those who dwell in it cannot interact with her, and her cannot interact from those in the outside. And as she kept on wandering an immemorial amount of time in that strange place, she happenstance upon a certain white nun, and with a strange force that compelled her to touch that person, she touched her on the shoulder, and there, she is pulled away into the outside world. On that day, marked the first time she spoke, the first time she wore a gym uniform, the first time a man saw her body, the first time she went to a game center, and the second tme a man saw her body. On that day was the first time she had friends. Running along the railtrack in that underground tunnel, Hyouka remembered all this. She has her fears of Index hating her after discovering that she was a monster, but still, she kept on running.
But at the topside, Index manages to catch up to Sphynx, scolding it like a child. Suddenly, the cat starts acting erratically, which was followed by a powerful tremor. Looking at a shaking a manhole cover, Index behelds the ground from under it, flow upward and forming a gigantic hand. It tries to punch her, but she manges to escape. Seeing this, Index's eyes turns cold, and accesses the vast information stored inside her head, and here, discovers all there is to know of the monster before her. The golem is based from the Kabbalah; its main use is for defense and the elimination of enemies. The golem was apparently created from the mixing of Anglican Church's spells creating a new spell, with the linguistic system changed from Hebrew to English. Index's discovers that it is also being manipulated from a distance. The golem tries to attack Index, but she shows no fear as she knows of ways of defeating it without magic—Spell Intercept. By reciting codes, Index is able to hijack the magician's commands. It works, all movements of the golem are intercepted by Index, and are given new movements that are completely destructive to it. The golem attacks again, and Index uses a long code that manages to make it fall, and buy her enough time. Knowing that evading won't be enough, she takes out the pins that holds her clothes together to take advantage of the golem's regenerative powers. It took three seconds for it to regenerate, and Index predicted it. In a whirlwind of power, the golem stands up again and attacks Index, who dodges it and prepares her attack. She throws the pin at the golem, which absorbs it. The effect hinders it considerably, unable to come closer to Index. Smiling, Index prepares for another pin. However, the golem surprises her, blowing her away. She tries to use Spell Intercept again, but is interrupted by the golem's assault. Down on the ground, the golem prepares for another attack. Index tries to use Spell Intercept again, and is successful in saying a code but is no longer working. The golem slowly rips out the affected leg that Index used a pin on, and moves closer to Index. She realizes that the long distance manipulation has been switched to automaton mode, rendering her unique ability useless. Index looks up to her doom, as the golem roars fill the air. With tears in her eyes, Index whispers the name Touma before a sickening sound is heard.
- Anti-Skill, along with Touma's help, manages to slow down Sherry Cromwell's assault.
- Kazakiri Hyouka
- Kamijou Touma
- Sherry Cromwell
- Yomikawa Aiho
- Index Librorum Prohibitorum
- Misaka Mikoto
- No new characters were introduced in this episode.
- Imagine Breaker - Level 0, Kamijou Touma.
- Ellis Golem - Pratical Kabbalah, Sherry Cromwell.
- Long distance golem control
- Index Librorum Prohibitorum - Index Librorum Prohibitorum
- Golem reformation spell - Sherry Cromwell.
- Spell Intercept - Index.
No notable locations were introduced in this episode.
- This episode marks the first time Touma punches a female antagonist.
- This episode marks the first time Index is seen being angry at Sphynx.
- This episode marks the first time Mikoto mentions Touma's name.
- The Imaginary Number District, also known as the City of Shimmers is glimpsed for the first time in a flashback.
- The insert song, jellyfish, is played during Index's confrontation with the golem.
- Scenes from the previous episode as well as back in episode 21 are used for separate flashbacks.
- Index references Touma destroying her Walking Church back in episode 1.
- Sherry's magic circle is a hexadecagram, made by the arrangement of four perfect squares, contained within two circles, then a hexadecagon, and finally another circle. It seems to be a derivative of the Seal of Solomon, purportedly used by Solomon to command demons and genies.
- Sherry references Archangel Michael, Raphael, Archangel Gabriel, and Uriel in her spell.
- A "Rawson" store is seen at the moment Sphynx runs away from Index, and is a reference to the Lawson chain of stores.
- The first magic circle Sherry creates is twice her height, and the scene where she begins writing it does not show or imply that she did anything notable to cover her lack in size in order for her to write down the magic circle.
- Several animation of the Anti-Skill firing at the golem is reused in the same scene.
- In a blink and you'll miss it scene, one can see Index holding Sphynx so tightly to the point of pain.
- What are the conditions needed for Sherry to choose a target to kill?
- How long did Hyouka exist in the City of Shimmers?
- How does one enter and exit the City of Shimmers?
- Touma: "God, don't be silly. Quit crying over something stupid like this."―Said to Hyouka as he holds Ellis down.
- Sherry: "Rejoice, monster. This world is rather interesting after all... since there's always some idiot like him... "―To Hyouka after Touma protects her.
- Touma: "Let me show you now, that in this world you reside in, there's still hope! And I'll show you, that your illusion won't break down because of small things like this!"―To Hyouka.
- Sherry: "Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel. The four head angels that symbolize the four skies! Direct the right power in the right direction, and guide it to the right position!"―Sherry's golem reformation spell.
- Touma: "You shut up and take a nap!"―To Sherry Cromwell before she got punched in the face.
- Index: "Touma will come back no matter what happens."―To Mikoto after she asked a question on why she isn't worried about Touma.
- Touma: "You're not a monster!"―To Hyouka.
- Hyouka: "I will use my power to protect those I cherish."
- Hyouka: "I am the spring force in a clockwork. I breathe life into this clockwork of a society,"