Even though Tatsuya instinctively protected his vital points, he couldn't dodge entirely. The first bullet hit his left arm, the second incoming bullet was decomposed while he rolled on the ground. The wound he received on his left shoulder was already healed by his ‘Regrowth' by the time he hit the ground.
The sniper who intervened just before Tatsuya could catch Gu Jie came from the sky. No, with such power, a better way of putting it would be that he fell from the sky.
Neither the shadow of a plane nor a helicopter could be seen. It was as if he had been shot from a human cannon to this place.
(Why is the USNA military here!?)
Tatsuya couldn't help but be surprised after reading that person's information with Elemental Sight.
Again, Zama was a joint Japan-USNA joint base. That a USNA soldier was present there was not that mysterious.
However, why would such a person help Gu Jie's escape?
Despite holding such thoughts and hesitations, as a combat magician, half of his mind had automatically reacted to disempower the appearing threat.
The High Power Rifle the opponent was wielding was instantly turned into separate parts as well as the body armor he was wearing.
If that person had been a National Defense soldier, Tatsuya would've erased him.
However, since Tatsuya hadn't thought about the USNA military possibly being involved, he had yet to decide an appropriate way of dealing with them.
(Erasing him would be —— bad.) Tatsuya concluded so after disarming the soldier. He was currently in the middle of an illegal operation. Giving the USNA a pretext to accuse Japan of abducting their soldiers would be troublesome.
Tatsuya shot at the soldier who was standing there, petrified, as he had yet to understand how exactly he had been disarmed. Once that was done, Tatsuya used his ‘Regrowth' to restore his body armor and rifle to their original state. This whole process had the sole purpose of making out which magic was used against the target next to impossible to discern.
Then, once again, he went after Gu Jie. The ambulance that Gu Jie had boarded had already driven off.
Tatsuya expanded his ‘View' to search for Gu Jie's location.
However, he was unable to. The ‘Eyes' of Tatsuya were focused on something whose priority was higher, something that he couldn't ignore.
Fumiya and Ayako were fighting hard.
He ran in the building at full speed.
Fumiya's reaction to the soldiers who landed on the rooftop was immediate.
The Magic that allowed one to inflict damage to the mind and the soul, ‘Direct Pain', deprived the soldiers' hands of their strength and made them drop their weapons. Still, one couldn't say that his reaction to the grenades that had been thrown from their back had been enough.
Ayako immediately erected a physical barrier, one that would correctly interact with the fragments released by the explosion. However, the grenades that had been shot were not exploding ones, but smoke grenades.
The rapidly expanding smoke made it even harder to see than it already was.
Fumiya was able to unleash magic without relying on his eyes, but he was still a long way from reaching Tatsuya's level.
Fumiya's ‘Direct Pain' was a magic that targeted the mind and the soul.
He apparently thought that not being able to maintain visual contact wouldn't affect the magic's effect too much.
However, it was in fact the opposite. The ‘Spirit' doesn't exist in this world. Even if one were to search for them, he wouldn't know where to look. Therefore, to aim this Magic, a link from this world to the spirit world was needed. Suddenly, a screeching like the scratching of glass came from the smokescreen towards Ayako and Fumiya.
"No, not exactly. But, this is…?"
Ayako was the one to answer Fumiya's doubt. Still, there was no trace of relief on her face at knowing that this wasn't Cast Jamming. She anxiously searched for the noise's source.
Fumiya, on the other hand, concluded that as long as this wasn't the noise of Psion obstructing magic execution, finding out its source could be postponed. At the moment, their priority was to push back this mysterious enemy.
With the CAD on his right hand, he had planned on using an Activation Sequence to blow away the smoke screen with an air flow. However…
His CAD wasn't functioning properly. His Activation Sequence was filled with "noise".
The CAD he had tried to use was a Generalized portable terminal-type CAD, and he was as used to this one as the knuckle duster Specialized CAD he used before. Someone of Fumiya's level couldn't make such a mistake.
Piercing through the smoke screen. High Power bullets struck against the barrier one after the other.
"Yami-chan, increase the amount of Psions injected into your CAD!"
While shouting this to Fumiya, Ayako maintained the barrier by pouring an excessive amount of Psions into her own CAD.
Fumiya operated his CAD once again. As per Ayako's advice, he used twice as much as Psions.
The strength of the signal that returned from a CAD was roughly proportional to the amount of Psions injected in the Activation Sequence. Despite the fact that noise was still mixed in the signal, Fumiya managed to filter it by himself and forcibly executed the magic he wanted to use previously.
The smoke screen cleared up.
The number of enemies had increased to five people. Three were equipped with High Power Rifles, the two that had suffered Fumiya's attack still had trembling arms but were now pointing towards Ayako and Fumiya some sort of flashlight whose muzzle looked like a trumpet.
Fumiya and Ayako instinctively understood that this cylindrical tool was the reason for their misbehaving CADs.
This was the breakthrough in terms of casting obstruction devices that only the USNA had developed, ‘Cast Jammer'. Although neither of these two knew about it, their deduction was spot-on.
"Nee-san, leave this place immediately."
Fumiya ordered Ayako so.
"I'll report so you come back and get me later!"
For a moment, Ayako wanted to object but after thinking about it once more, she nodded to his words. She was aware of the fact that she wasn't cut out for direct confrontation.
However, she was a beat too late. Fumiya turned away from the enemies at the front. He jumped, not caring about his long skirt, and threw a kick.
The soldier who tried to attack Ayako was thrown back in the air.
"Yami-chan, are you injured!?"
However, Fumiya didn't come out completely uninjured either. His tights were cut up, blood was trickling down from his foot. The soldier who received the kick had apparently slashed him with his knife.
The material that made up Fumiya's clothes wasn't normal, either. It wasn't on Tatsuya's combat suit's level but it was still a high-level protective suit. The knife that the USNA soldier used didn't seem to be normal metal.
Fumiya landed on his other foot and calmed down Ayako. However, simply judging from the fact that he didn't land on the injured leg, the damage must've been pretty severe. Considering that reinforcements were constantly coming from the air, he didn't even have the composure to treat his wound.
Ayako ripped off one of her buttons and threw it behind Fumiya.
An intense flash occurred, the movement of the soldier who was about to attack Fumiya was instantly stopped.
With Fumiya's magic, the soldier fainted.
In the meantime, bullets had constantly been fired at the two.
Ayako had been unable to leave the place. In order to protect Fumiya from the barrage of bullets from High Powered Rifles, she had to maintain her barrier.
If there hadn't been obstruction from the Cast Jammer, she could have easily used the interval between gunshots to escape with Mock Teleportation. Fumiya, too was badly affected by this, and normally he'd have been able to silence all of them at once. But right now, he had no choice but to use ‘Direct Pain' on a single target at a time. Neither of these two had the composure to wonder about the strangeness of their enemies.
The enemy purposely only replaced the knocked out members with soldiers.
If more numbers were sent at once, the battle would turn into an even bigger uphill struggle.
Neither Ayako nor Fumiya had noticed this.
Fumiya, in particular, had his hands full with holding his own against reinforced soldiers.
Ayako couldn't escape, either, because she had to maintain her barrier to be protected from High Power Rifles. First of all, they had to find a way to deal with those.
Just when Fumiya was about to take desperate measures and try his luck, the situation changed drastically. Two gunshots resounded.
The noise that was disturbing the CAD's functioning suddenly vanished.
Ayako instinctively called out his name.
Near the rooftop's entrance, Tatsuya stood with his face hid by a helmet.
He was pointing his gun at the soldiers who had been operating the Cast Jammer.
One of the reasons Tatsuya didn't just jump on the rooftop was that he wanted to avoid making himself an easy target for snipers, but that wasn't all. He wanted to scatter sleeping gas on the 1st and 2nd floor too.
It was now necessary to abandon the idea of preventing a ruckus but he at least needed to find a way to prevent innocent doctors and nurses from being involved.
The extra time it took for him to scatter the gas capsules in each floor's corridors made his arrival late, so much so that saying that he was "in the nick of time" wouldn't be an exaggeration. At the very least, he had arrived in time to prevent Fumiya's reckless final charge.
Along with the gunshots, the Cast Jammer effect was interrupted.
The gunshots had been nothing but a decoy, in truth, and Tatsuya had used Decomposition on the devices.
The High Power Rifles were turned towards Tatsuya.
Tatsuya did not Decompose them.
The high power bullets were propelled out of their muzzle. Reading their trajectory, he held up his hand.
It was a trick that he had already shown during the 2095 Thesis Competition, but still, it's effect was undeniable.
The soldier, who mistook this for Tatsuya grabbing with his bare hand the bullets, was petrified.
Tatsuya did not overlook this chance.
With his Decomposition, tiny holes were made in their body armor. The soldiers who had been operating Cast Jammer and the five others rolled on the floor, bleeding from the holes in their stomach.
On the other side of the rooftop, Fumiya mowed down the rest of the opposition with ‘Direct Pain'.
"You two, are you inju…"
Beginning to say so, Tatsuya frowned behind the helmet's visor.
He extended his left hand towards Fumiya's injured foot. The knife wound disappeared in an instant. The cut up tights were also repaired in the process.
After confirming that this was the extent of their injuries, Tatsuya shot the five bodies in the holes created by his earlier Decomposition.
"Umm, what exactly are you…"
With a pale face, Ayako asked the reason for Tatsuya's cruel deed.
"I want them to think they have been knocked down by a gunshot.
Though they'll probably understand just by looking…"
With what looked like a wry smile, Tatsuya used his knife to stab the enemies Fumiya had defeated.
"They won't die. If their injuries are treated quickly, then they'll be saved."
From the inside of his helmet, an excuse that would do nothing to assuage their conscience came out. This wasn't an excuse to justify his act, but an excuse to get Fumiya and Ayako's consent.
"…Are we going to leave them like that?"
Fumiya wasn't condemning Tatsuya. He was just wondering if they should leave the enemy here.
"These are USNA soldiers. Kidnapping them is probably a bad idea, and moreover, they probably have no clue about Gu Jie anyway."
Despite answering so, Fumiya wasn't entirely convinced. They intervened in his mission despite being soldiers of the USNA, and for him, that meant that they had to have some clue about the whole affair.
However, he could understand why capturing USNA soldiers would be a foolish action.
"Well then, let's retrieve the enemies that have been knocked down in the hospital."
"Two Generator corpses are lying down in the 3rd floor's corridor. I'll show you the way."
Nodding to Tatsuya's proposal, the three of them returned in the building.
"Major Canopus. The obstruction force has been annihilated."
"Wait until the Yotsuba members withdraw to retrieve them."
At that time, in the USNA aircraft that had landed in the base of Zama, such a conversation was taking place.
"Did the car that Heigu boarded manage to escape safely?"
"No pursuing vehicle detected."
"Good. Keep an eye on it with the satellite."
Canopus was currently a step ahead of the Yotsuba regarding the pursuit of Jiedo Heigu. It was all thanks to their intelligence agency. As part of the precautionary measures regarding foreign Magicians, the Psion wave pattern of Gu Jie had been analyzed when he was in their country.
That, coupled with short distance radars that could recognize specific Psion wave patterns, was a technique that Japan didn't have yet. It was as if the USNA Army had already captured Gu Jie.
However, Canopus wouldn't move in to restrain Gu Jie's course of action. He was diligently following the instructions he was given by Colonel Balance.
How to guide Gu Jie to the high seas while obstructing the movements of Japan's pursuit units? Canopus thought about this for a long time.