In Academy City, magic and science coexist in an unwavering power struggle. Toma Kamijo, an academically-challenged student in Academy City, wields the power of the Imagine Breaker in his right hand, which allows him to completely negate all supernatural powers – as well as his own luck. When he happens upon a mysterious nun named Index, whose mind has been implanted with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum – 103,000 ancient texts banned by the Church – Toma’s luck is about to be pushed to its limits when he finds himself in the middle of a war he never expected!
The Magician Stands atop the Tower
If you’re an Aquarius, born between January 20th and February 18th, you will have extremely good fortune in love, money, and business! No matter how improbable the circumstances, only good things are headed your way! Go buy a lottery ticket! Just don’t get carried away with your newfound popularity with the opposite sex—no two- or three-timing, now. image
“Man…I knew this would happen…I knew it, but still…”
It was July 20th, the first day of summer vacation.
Touma Kamijou was at a loss for words. His dorm room in Academy City was sweltering because his air conditioner was broken. Lightning had apparently struck in the middle of the night and blown out 80 percent of his appliances. That included his refrigerator, the food in which was now all spoiled. When he went to open his emergency rations—a cup of yakisoba—he accidentally dumped all the noodles down the sink. Then, having no alternative but to go out to eat, he stepped on his credit card while searching for his wallet, crushing it. After that, he decided to sulk back into bed and cry himself to sleep, only to be awakened by his ringing phone. It was his homeroom teacher conveying a heartfelt message: “Good morning, Kamijou! You’re dumb, so you need to come and take your makeup classes. image”
The horoscopes on TV were being broadcast like a weather report. He’d known they’d sound like this, but they were so far off it wasn’t even funny.
“…I know this is how it is. I’ve always known, but I can’t process it unless I say it out loud…”
Fortune-telling was always wrong, and good luck charms were no better. This was Touma Kamijou’s life. Luck had long since turned its back on him. You’d think it would be genetic, but his father had won the fourth place in the lottery (about 100,000 yen) once, while his mother had scored free drinks from the vending machine jackpot multiple times. It was enough to make him wonder if they were even related by blood. But as he wasn’t harboring a crush on his little sister and wasn’t in line for royal succession, no good would’ve come of discovering that he wasn’t his parents’ son.
It just boiled down to the fact that he had bad luck.
Like, so bad it was almost a joke.
But he wasn’t going to sulk about it forever.
Touma Kamijou didn’t rely on luck, and that enhanced his ability to act.
“…All right, then. The main problems right now are my card and the refrigerator.”
Scratching his head quizzically, he looked around his room. As long as he had his bankbook, it wouldn’t be difficult to get a new card. The bigger problem was his refrigerator—in particular, his breakfast. For his summer Ability Development makeup classes, he’d need to take medicine like Metoserin pills or Elbrase for sure, so he definitely didn’t want to go in there on an empty stomach.
He figured he’d stop by the convenience store on his way to school. He pulled off the T-shirt in which he’d been sleeping and changed into his summer outfit. As stupid students are prone to doing, Kamijou had for no good reason gotten all excited about summer vacation finally arriving, stayed up really late, and now his head throbbed with sleep deprivation. Making up for four months’ worth of cut classes in a single week is a pretty sweet deal, though, he thought with forced optimism.
Cheering himself up, he declared, “And it’s so nice outside that maybe I’ll air out the futon today.”
He opened the screen door that led to the balcony. When he got back from his class later, his bedding would be all fresh and cozy.
From his balcony, he could see the side of the neighboring building a mere two meters away. “The sky’s so blue, and yet I can’t see the light!”
A sudden depression washed over him. He’d said it in a bright, jocular tone, but doing so had the complete opposite effect on his mood.
Tortured by the isolation that left him without a straight man, Kamijou hoisted the futon off his bed. He wouldn’t be able to die in peace if his futon wasn’t at least soft. Bringing down his foot, he felt a disquieting squish as he stepped in something spongy. Investigating the cause, he found a piece of yakisoba bread in its clear wrapper. It had been shoved into the back of the aforementioned annihilated refrigerator, so it was probably already sour.
“…Hope we don’t have any summer showers today.”
What was sadly most likely a premonition spilled out of his mouth. He turned again to the open screen door that opened onto his balcony, only to discover that a white futon was already draped over the railing, airing out.
Even though these were student dorms, they were basically set up the same way as studio apartments, so Kamijou lived by himself. That being the case, there was nobody but him to go hanging futons from his terrace.
It was only upon closer examination that he realized it wasn’t a futon at all.
Hanging over the ledge was a girl wearing white clothes.
His mattress fell to the floor with a thump.
The scene was baffling; it made no sense. Some girl was dangling from his balcony as if slung over a metal clothesline, limp and exhausted. Her body was doubled over the rail at her hips so that her arms and legs all drooped, suspended straight down.
She was…fourteen, maybe fifteen? She looked a year or two younger than Kamijou and appeared to be a foreigner, given her fair complexion and white hair. No, not white. Silver…probably? Either way, it was long and obstructed her inverted face from his sight. It most likely reached to her waist.
As for her clothing…
“Whoa. It’s a real-life sister…but not the sibling kind.”
A habit? You know, the kind of things nuns and sisters in churches wear. Her clothing looked to be all one piece and went down to her feet. A hat perched on her head—or rather, a hood made of a single piece of cloth. In direct contrast to the standard black pigmentation one usually saw with habits, the one the girl wore was pure white. He guessed the fabric was silk. Moreover, points on it were embroidered in gold. Despite the fact that the basic design was typical of a nun’s habit, the unusual color completely changed its impression. She looked like some kind of gaudy teacup.
Suddenly, the girl’s delicate fingers twitched.
Her head began rising unsteadily from its drooping orientation. Her long, flowing hair smoothly parted to either side to reveal her face, as if a curtain were being opened.
The little lady had a relatively cute face. Kamijou, who had exactly zero experience overseas, saw a freshness in her pale skin and green eyes. All things being equal, she looked rather like a doll.
But that’s not what had him flustered.
First and foremost, she was a foreigner. He’d once had an English teacher advise him to steer well clear of the wider world for the rest of his life. If somebody from God knows where ever started babbling at him, he’d just buy a down comforter or some other random thing to extract himself from the situation.
The girl’s pretty—though slightly dry—lips parted slowly.
Kamijou retreated one step, and then another. At which point, his foot revisited the yakisoba bread still on his floor with another squish.
In that moment, Kamijou imagined that his feeble brain had substituted the unfamiliar language she was speaking with Japanese, like when dumb elementary schoolers make up silly lyrics to foreign songs.
“Didn’t you hear me? I said I’m hungry.”
The silver-haired girl slightly impatiently addressed the calcified Kamijou.
This is no good. Clearly this is very not good. This…This just sounds like Japanese.
“Err, umm…” He stared at the girl hanging out to dry on his balcony and inquired, “So, uhh…Are you about to say you just happened to collapse here on your way somewhere?”
“You could say I collapsed here and am dying.”
“…” The girl was perfectly fluent in Japanese.
“I’d be very happy if you gave me some food to fill me up.”
Kamijou looked down at the prepackaged yakisoba bread, still under his foot and making squishy noises. It looked spoiled.
I don’t know what the hell is going on, but it’s definitely better not to get involved. I’ll let this kid be happy somewhere far away from here, he thought, taking the plastic-wrapped, sour yakisoba bread and thrusting it into the girl’s mouth. Once she smells how rotten it is, she has to run away. In Kyoto, giving someone rice with hot tea is like telling them to go home, he thought.
“Thank you, I should like that.”
She chomped down on the entire thing, wrapper and all. Also her benefactor’s hand.
And just like that, Kamijou’s day once again began with a shriek and a stroke of bad luck.