Kazuya emerged from the portal and at first was a little surprised to be greeted by screaming. After a moment he thought, well, okay, fair. After the lockdown people would know about demons… provided the word was allowed to get out… What else would people expect to emerge from a portal?
The screaming wasn’t at him – angels were attacking people who screamed as they fled.
Quickly he summoned his demons.
It was looking around to be sure he’d gotten all the demons that made him realize he wasn’t in Japan. The architecture looked vaguely European. With an order to his demons to stay on guard in case more angels came, he quickly casted Salvation and then went over to the nearest bodies to cast samarecarm.
“Thank you,” he heard.
“Thank the King,” Hecate corrected the speaker.
He didn’t realize anything was odd about hearing unaccented Japanese, having gotten used to Jive Talk and the other translation abilities he needed to communicate with his subjects. Naoya had programmed translation into Babel, to compensate for the loss of the Primal Common Tongue, and Babel was part of him now. Again.
“Can you tell me what happened?” he asked the woman. “Why are angels attacking humans?”
“They just… appeared. There’s a legend about God sending angels from the moon to destroy humanity and the hero Elcrest stopping it, but…” She looked helpless.
Right, a random civilian might not know much more than that. Wait. “The moon?” A base on the moon? Why would the angels bother? “Darn it.” His cellphone didn’t have service. “How would I get to Tokyo?”
It surprised him for a moment that she wouldn’t have heard of Tokyo, but he didn’t know the capitals of all the parts of the EU himself, so he didn’t have room to criticize. “What country am I in? Where’s the nearest city?”
“This is the country of Regnant. The capital is Lambert.”
Oops. Wrong world. Hadn’t this happened to Naoki once? Embarrassing, but he didn’t have to tell Naoya it ever happened. He could head back to the Amala Network and from there make another try for his world, but if angels were attacking he couldn’t just leave. Maybe he could make allies or something? “How would I get to Lambert?” he asked.
“I could show you the road, but… what if the angels come back?”
“I’ll leave Hecate here.” He could summon her when he left this world, he’d leveled her up but she had more elemental weaknesses than he preferred to take into a fight. “Can I rent a car somewhere?” He had an absurd amount of healing items he’d just kind of accumulated, they should sell for something.
He was standing in the street but there weren’t any cars. Didn’t some old towns have pedestrian areas though?
“The mayor has a carriage. You saved us, so…” From her frown, she might give the man a piece of her mind if he wasn’t amenable to handing it over.
Right, ‘car’ was a fancy word for carriage before cars-cars were invented, hadn’t Naoya said that once. “On second thought I won’t need it.” Riding a wilder demon would be faster than something pulled by mortal beasts.
He had to stop a few times on the way when the road went through towns and villages and the angels were still there or the bodies were fresh enough some of them could be revived. He left behind fairies and other demons that were less ugly or had more people skills in case the angels came back, holding on to the ones he personally fought beside. Even the weakest of his subjects had grown more powerful than they once were, fighting the angels of his own world, and none of the angels he’d encountered yet were very strong. He knew better than to count on that lasting much longer, though.
He encountered a few people fighting the angels themselves, and at the largest town he’d come across so far had a team of defenders fighting on some stairs that led up to the city. The angels facing them included one with purple hair that was the only really humanoid one he’d seen so far. He dismounted Behemoth and summed Asura and Bishamon.
“Alto?” one of the defenders called in surprise.
Wasn’t that some kind of musical term? “My name’s Kazuya Minegishi and I’m here to help out!” he called, waving. Since this place seemed kind of European he put his family name last.
“Stay back!” A white-haired woman warned him. “Giselle’s too strong!”
Yup, looked like he’d found a tougher angel. “Don’t worry, I’ve gotten pretty good at fighting angels!” The defenders weren’t doing badly themselves, using magic without comps? A world without cars shouldn’t have handheld computers. Come to think of it, everyone he’d saved had acted like healing magic was normal, although ‘tame monsters’ was a little unusual? Someone had called his demons that and he’d just gone ‘sure, whatever.’
Huh, this ‘Giselle’ – even the most humanoid angel he’d seen here looked more like an android. Metatron looked like a robot in his world – it was probably something about obedience, angels were obsessed with it.
A few of Giselle’s attendants got in the way briefly, but a Holy Dance boosted by Asura’s race skill was enough to take care of all the ones in range. A few strikes landed on Giselle, and the combined Megidolaon and Hassohappa from his demons finished her off.
“He beat Giselle?” The blonde sounded shocked.
“Oh? Where has someone that strong been hiding himself?” wondered one of the redheads. “But, a man-made angel! I want her body for science!”
There were a few more angels, but his demons and the women took care of them. Above them, the city gate opened and someone rushed out. “Guys!”
“Alto!” called the other redhead, the one whose hair was a clearly dyed pink. Or this was another world, for all he knew that and the other woman’s blue were normal hair colors here.
“You just like him,” the blue-haired one commented now, floating up to him. “Except for your eyes.”
Maybe red eyes weren’t worthy of comment here? Or… yellow, he saw as the other teenager hurried over to them.
“Is everyone alright?” Alto asked.
“We’re fine,” said the white-haired woman. “Someone who looks like you, but managed to defeat Giselle? You can’t be…” She was staring at him. “Alto has the Conductor’s powers. There can’t be two conductors?”
“You mean… Elcrest?” Alto asked her. “I met Elcrest inside my Spirit World, just now.”
“You look different.”
“You look good!” said the blonde.
They did look a lot alike. Maybe Alto was the alternate universe version of him?
“Strong enough to defeat Giselle… You don’t get that strong without a lot of experience, and yet Hilda’s never heard of you?”
“I just got here,” Kazuya said. “I’m from another…” Land? Country? Eh, why not say, “From another world.”
“Another world? You don’t mean… the moon?” Hilda asked, alarmed.
“They’re angels?” The pink-haired one looked at him and his demons nervously, and the more orange-haired one looked up from her examination of Giselle, intrigued.
“Definitely not the moon,” Kazuya said quickly. “Another… Earth?” What did they call this world? “We’re fighting angels too. Although they’re more interested in subjugating us than destroying us.”
“Well, if you’re an enemy of the angels, then we’d love to fight beside you,” Alto said.
“An alternate universe?” The redhead’s glasses shined, fascinated. “Are humans the same there? Did the Mother Qualia come into existence the same way?”
“Mother Qualia?” Kazuya asked.
“They call it ‘god’ here in Regnant,” she said dismissively. “A twisted system created by people with weak hearts and weak minds.”
That sounded like how Naoya would describe believers. “The being we call ‘God’ created humans in our world, but thinks that means he gets to tell us how to live our lives, and that he can take the Primal Common Tongue from us for ‘arrogance.’”
“Primal Common Tongue? That sounds like how ‘God’ took away song,” said Hilda. “Only supernatural beings can sing now.
“Well, the Primal Common Tongue was music.” That was why Naoya needed Haru’s teacher Aya for the Demon Summoning Program. “But we still can sing other songs.”
“Show me,” the redhead ordered.
“This is Dr. Veronica,” Alto said quickly. “She’s the last of the technolomies, the people wiped out by the angels in the last Eclipse before the one Elcrest fought. She knows a lot.”
“It’s fine, I just am not sure what to sing.” Put on the spot like that. He settled on a bit of a theme song, figuring at least it wasn’t the first thing that popped into his head (an advertising jingle).
“He sang, but I didn’t sense any magic – Oh, I’m Lisette.”
“Before we discovered that emotions could power magic and started using songs to invoke emotions on the battlefield, people sang just… normal songs,” said Veronica, then let out a slightly crazed laugh. Before that there’d been some kind of… sadness, nostaligia, in her voice. “Or you could be a witch! A new kind of servant of the Mother Qualia – but it would be easy to disprove that, if you let me examine you to see if you have a qualia.”
“I suppose?” As long as it didn’t involve actual surgery.
“But did Xeno have a qualia?” Veronica wondered. “I suppose there’s nothing for it but to keep my eye on you.” She was practically slavering at the thought.
Okay then? “I need to go back to my world at some point.” What was he going to do about his education, for one thing, and there was a war on.
“The eclipse is supposed to last only twenty-nine days, and some have already passed – oh, the eclipse is the descent of the angels,” Alto explained. “But we’re hoping to take the fight to Mother Qualia, so we can keep this from just happening again the next time the world’s emotion reaches a certain threshold.”
Kazuya nodded. That was he wanted, for God and the angels to never dare place another Ordeal upon mankind. “Count me in,” he told them.