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|Witch's Struggle Arc|
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Witches Struggle Arc is the second story arc of AntiMagic Academy "The 35th Test Platoon". The arc focuses on Mari Nikaido, a witch previously affiliated with Valhalla, who suffers from a magic-induced amnesia and becomes a new member of 35th Test Platoon, much to Ouka's opposition. Meanwhile, Valhalla Officer Haunted conspires to free her from the Inquisition's captivity.
The Witch's Framed Murder ︻デ═一 Edit
Inside an abandoned church, Mari is infuriated over the city's chaos that was caused by Haunted, who later counters as he claims that he did it just for "excitement" over the destruction and death of several inhabitants. Mari shoots her magic beam at Haunted but he dodges and uses 『Belladone Garden』's vines to subjugate Mari, further warning her that her attack would be signified as "treachery" against Valhalla. The conversation however is interrupted by two oncoming Inquisitors. Both are killed by Haunted's thorny vines before Mari could even warn them. Tragically, not even Mari's best efforts were capable enough to save the Inquisitors from their demise [Notes 1] and she is incapacitated and arrested by more Dullahans as they suspect that the murders were her doing.
Summary ︻デ═一 Edit
Mari the Amnesiac Witch︻デ═一 Edit
Sougetsu and Mari︻デ═一 Edit
In Anti-Magic Academy's Underground Prison's hallway, Sougetsu is frustrated to learn from Hayato that the captured Mari had her memories tampered with, meaning that they would be unsuccessful in getting information out of her. Still, even after hearing Mari's notorious reputation due to her affiliation Valhalla [Notes 2], the Chairman decides to utilizes Mari in order to investigate the organization further, much to Hayato's unease. Upon reaching to Mari's cell, Sougetsu orders to unlock the chain to free Mari. Just as the amnesiac witch asks him several question of her whereabouts, Sougetsu instead welcomes her to the academy and has her enrolled a student much to her confusion.
Jealousy In the Air?!︻デ═一 Edit
Meanwhile, during Science Class, students are gossiping over 35th Test Platoon's victory against a Hero but still ridicule and belittle Takeru out of sheer jealousy over Ouka's sudden personality shift and the 35th Platoon Unit's new member, Lapis, who acts as his "sister" [Notes 3]. Whilst Takeru is helping Lapis over her homework, Usagi requests to change her seat as she assumes the relationship between the two as "unhealthy". To add fuel into fire, Lapis clings over Takeru while Ouka also requests changing her seat for Takeru herself, much to Takeru's further dismay.
The Club's Daily Activity︻デ═一 Edit
The Witch Joins the 35 Platoon Unit︻デ═一 Edit
Witch Enlisted︻デ═一 Edit
(To be added...)
Worst Compatibility︻デ═一 Edit
(To be added...)
Worst Compatibility︻デ═一 Edit
After school, Takeru encounters[Notes 4] Kyouya and his fellow 15th Platoon Units members who belittles 35th Platoon Unit's participation in the mock tournament, where both teams are arranged in the tournament's second round. Akira walks up and calms Kyouya down, in which 15th Platoon captain leaves in frustration. On Kyouya's behalf, Akira apologizes towards Takeru as she claims Kyouya was having a foul mood over one member's disappearance, before leaving for Kyouya and her fellow comrades, prompting Takeru to feel envious over Akira's sweet personality.[Notes 5].
One Night Stay At Kusanagi ResidenceEdit
Outside the school's gates, Takeru encounters Mari who was waiting for him as she was given the notice that she would live with him[Notes 6]. Ouka breaks into the conversation and suspects Mari for causing something to have this arrangement. On top of the school, Lapis scans for any magical presence where she senses some small amount of magic, though she does not find it threatening. Elsewhere, Haunted barely escapes after navigating the academy ground, where he finds that it was highly guarded and patrolled by Hayato and other Inquisition Guards, though that doesn't stop him from plotting the rescue as he calls someone for help.
Welcome to the Street of DarknessEdit
Meanwhile, as the trio travel into a dark neighborhood, Ouka is shaken over its eerie surrounding, especially the crows and the other ominous noises. When Mari teases her and decides to "hog" Takeru for herself however, Ouka immediately rushes for the duo's side. At nighttime, Takeru offers them his apartment room while he went to work for his part-time job until 2 A.M.
Mock Battle Tournament︻デ═一 Edit
(To be added...)
Mari's and Ouka's visit to Kusanagi Residence︻デ═一 Edit
(To be added...)
Necromancer's Invasion in Anti-Magic Academy︻デ═一 Edit
Tournament's Round 2︻デ═一 Edit
The following day before the second round of the tournament began, the 35th platoon's members were seated in the balcony where the new dragoon models garnered Ikaruga's attention.
Chairman's Anticipation of Valhalla's Appearance ︻デ═一 Edit
Meanwhile, away from the center stage, Hayato watches over the tournament and hears a report from one Spriggan Squad that the situation is normal, though Hayato reminds his men to maintain their focus and tightens the security since the Memory Spell will expire soon. During this exchange, Sougetsu arrives behind him and to watch the tournament, bringing out a box of popcorn, Hayato warns Sougetsu that Ouka has become aware of Mari's case but the Chairman is confident that Takeru wouldn't be shaken, even if he realizes the truth from Ouka and would be willing to save Mari from danger anyway, further anticipating the arrival of Valhalla members to intervene the tournament. Despite the chairman's excitement however, Hayato remains vigilant due to his intuition.
Haunted's Eerie Entrance︻デ═一 Edit
Kyouya orders all 15th Platoon Unit members to leave Takeru for him, only to be annoyed by their silence while being stabbed by a growing thorn and thrown to the other side. The vines later aim for Mari but Takeru manages to cut them off and feels confused and horrified to witness a sudden event. Akira[Notes 7]-who exits the church while being warped by parasitic thorns that grows inside her body- claims her innocence while pleading Takeru for help. Before he could even do something however, it's already too late as the thorns burst through Akira's body and grows into a demonic flower, where Haunted makes his excited entrance from its blooming buds and introducing himself to the audience, who hastily flee from the School Coliseum in horror, much to the Necromancer's delight.However, when Haunted walks toward a shaken Mari for his "rescue", Hayato orders the Inquisition Firing Squad to shoot him and tells them to not stop shooting, even if he turns into a lifeless corpse. [Notes 8] Haunted survives the gunshots while using『Belladone Garden』's tentacles to retaliate, forcing Hayato to fight via his gunshots and orders his men to secure the audience's evacuation from the Coliseum, before witnessing Haunted's『Area 666』(Magic Barrier) covering the Coliseum's center stage. To make matters worse, Hayato also learns that Dragoon units were also hijacked by an unknown source and requests permission from Sougetsu to to utilize his Relic Eater. Sougetsu permits its usage while leaving the 35th platoon to deal with Haunted.
Takeru's First Duel Against Haunted ︻デ═一 Edit
Inside the barrier, Takeru focuses on reaching to Mari while confronting Haunted, who laments over his torn-up priest costume that got damaged from the gun shots. He taunts Takeru for "interrupting" their reunion, prompting Takeru to point his blade at him but Haunted is still not intimidated by Takeru's hostility. Using Lapis's power and equipping his new form, Takeru asks Lapis about the new enemy in which she urges to be wary as she identifies him as an S-Ranked [Notes 9]Wizard. Seemly astonished over Takeru's new look, Haunted uses Nacht to stab Takeru's chest before his Soumatou could even land a blow on him, in which Takeru is surprised to realize that Haunted's weapon is also a sword. Despite his injury, whilst being pleaded by both Lapis and Mari not to push himself, Takeru insists on fighting Haunted but eventually collapse onto the ground.
Haunted proceeds to persuade Mari to return with him, while Mari still has no idea why she is a target. Haunted decides to restore her memories by clicking his fingers [Notes 10]and the aftermath of KingArthur's invasion. Wracked with guilt, Mari begins to cry and Haunted "consults" her as he claims that they are "also" [Notes 11] wanting to protect people around them and urges for her to leave academy in order to avoid getting her fellow comrades from getting involved with her. For the orphanage's sake, Mari reluctantly complies while apologizes to Takeru before leaving.
Miraculously, Takeru, despite his injury, manages to stand [Notes 12]on his feet while telling Mari a truth he learned from Ouka: the five orphans who Mari lived with were burned to death. Mari initially refuses to believe it until Takeru demands Haunted to spill the truth, in which Haunted has Nacht display the dead children who eerily reveals his murder upon them. The truth is too much for Mari as she scream in agony, which delights Haunted as he continues to torture Mari over the fact that he killed them to fool her.
Nonetheless, Takeru tells her not to blame herself over her past mistakes and encourages her to help people with her magic, and adds that he will carry half her burden prompting Mari to see sense of hope. Haunted however belittles Takeru as he deems his words as "shallow" and would be never to be resonate his heart and proceeds to enter combat with Takeru in order to "teach" him despair.
Uneasy Teamwork for Takeru's Sake ︻デ═一 Edit
Meanwhile, Ouka, Usagi and Ikaruga reconvene in the Coliseum's safe zone and Ouka receives a call from Sougetsu. She threatens the Chairman that she will press charges against him for imposing false accusations[Notes 13] against Mari, who she believes is innocent despite her status as a witch-to the Ethics Committee. Sougetsu laughs the claim off but acknowledges her intentions and tells her that he will hear out a single request.
Back to the duel, Takeru is unable to lay a scratch onto Haunted as his attacks are parried away. Takeru has a tough time evading Haunted's attacks which further inflicts lasting wounds. [Notes 14] Nevertheless, Takeru narrowly injures Haunted by utilizing Lapis's powers to change his blade's form[Notes 15], although the successful attacks makes haunted even more excited. Just as Takeru continues his attack however, he is thrown Akira's unconscious body and lays her aside while continuing the fight. Haunted further mocks Takeru's abilities while claiming that battle knows no mercy and how he find human "idiocy" interesting, prompting Takeru to realize that he's not going to be able to win at this rate.
Mari tries to save Takeru by betting her life[Notes 16] in utilizing 『Aurora Bullet』 to attack Haunted, which unfortunately misses. The special Gleipnir however doesn't explode as Ouka informs Mari that she requested Sougetsu to deactivate the device thanks to her threat[Notes 13]. As Mari asks why, Ouka reminds her that she did this solely for Takeru's sake and tells her that this is her chance to prove that magic can help people, though Mari argues that she dislikes to be bossed around. Regardless, both girls put their differences aside and (reluctantly) [Notes 17]cooperate.
As much magic Haunted casts at her, they do little effect against Ouka's anti-magic shield and his offense is also counteracted by he anti-magic grenades, frustrating Nacht. However, not even Ouka manages to keep up with Haunted's powers and just as she is about to be struck, she is rescued by Mari's『Will-o'-Wisp』that delivers a bigger blow to Haunted but he is able to survive to attack. At the same time, Mari is shocked to hear Takeru's request to shoot her magic at him, which Mari reluctantly complies while urging him to stay alive.
After causing a big enough diversion, Ouka's anti-magic shield is broken and not even Usagi's shots put Haunted down and he admits to underestimating them for too long. Mari repeatedly shoots her ultimate move『Aurora Gate』repeatedly at Haunted but the Necromancer dodges them all while mocking at the exhausted witch. To Haunted's surprise however, Takeru is back on his feet after receiving Mari's magic and enters combt once again. Haunted becomes tired of constantly putting Takeru in his place and having him get back up and he orders for Nacht to utilize her Intrinsic magic.Takeru's Unicorn's Destructive Lance meets Haunted's Berserk Enchant and the two are at a stand off where both their thrusts are stopped by the other's. Nacht belittles Takeru and Lapis for such a poor performance but Haunted and Nacht suddenly realize they're standoff is going towards Takeru's favor as Lapis' Twilight Enchantment was able to absorb Mari's mana and was able to convert it to extra power. Haunted is bested and is pierced completely through his chest and falls, but while Takeru's consciousness dimmed, Haunted rose up. For the first time, Haunted's voice became serious and asked for Takeru's name. Takeru responds with his full name and Haunted recognizes the surname as he revels at the fact that he faced someone from the once famed clan of demon hunters. Takeru is surprised to hear that Haunted knew of his household but Haunted excuses himself to recover from his sustained wounds while Takeru falls over, with Mari running to him to express her gratitude.
Unlikely Friendship between Ouka and Mari ︻デ═一 Edit
One week has passed since the incident, Takeru is hospitalized at a nearby Seelie Hospital while being accompanied by Lapis, who feeds him apples. Ouka visits Takeru in his room and reluctantly reports that Mari is staying in the the 35th Platoon Unit, as she agreed to participate in anti-magic experiments administered by the academy.
Valhalla's Unexpected Association ︻デ═一 Edit
Meanwhile, Hayato reports to Sougetsu regarding information about Valhalla Mari had disclosed. According to the document, Banshee units went missing during their investigation and to Soguetsu's curiosity, it is revealed that Valhalla has recently allied itself with the Alchemist Cooperation. Nevertheless, Sougetsu orders Hayato to deal with the incident while having Ikaruga be summoned to his office to discuss her familial matters.
Light Novel, Manga and Anime Differences︻デ═一 Edit
- Unlike the Light Novel counterpart, Takeru isn't shocked to see Haunted's survival from his fatal sword attack that nearly kills him.
Story Impact ︻デ═一 Edit
- Mari is introduced as a central character who plays a vital role in this arc. Prior her (reluctant) alliance with Haunted, Mari did not trust anyone, simply because of the general discrimination against witches, even if her intentions on using magic was to save others. After being moved Takeru's words, Mari becomes the sixth and last member to join the 35 Platoon.
- For Takeru's sake, despite her antagonistic view against witches and magical beings, Ouka reluctantly "befriends" Mari.
- In the wake of Haunted's invasion's aftermath, the tournament was postponed for a few weeks while the coliseum underwent rebuilding. However, the incident foreshadowed the inevitable Second Witch Hunt War, and also forever changes the academy and those who were involved into the incident.
- Takeru fights against Haunted for the first time and with the help from both Lapis and Mari, he manages to defeat the Necromancer before his eventual retreat. This would not be Haunted's last appearance as he continues to wreak havoc to anyone that interests him.
- Sougetsu learns Valhalla's activities and its association with the Alchemist Cooperation via Hayato's reports on Mari, which would later involve Ikaruga.
- Since the destruction of 15th Platoon, Kyouya [Notes 18] and the doppelganger Akira are the platoon's only survivors. Kyouya desired to avenge the deaths of the original Akira and his fellow comrade's death by accepting Sougetsu's offer for power and even supports the Chairman's plot in commencing the Second Witch Hunt War.
- Miraculously, the cloned Akira survives her injury from Haunted's magic but falls into a comatose state, in which inadvertently motivates Kyouya to walk on a darker path for power to fulfill his vengeance and save her.
- Moreover, the incident progressively increases his already hostile animosity against Takeru as he blames him and his allies for his losses, making him as Takeru's worst enemy. 
- Haunted's failure also prompts fellow Vallhalla member Mephisto[Notes 19] to proceed to accomplish what Haunted failed to do despite receiving orders from Mother Goose to work together, an advice which Mephisto refused to listen to due to her overconfidence.
- In the anime of this arc, Ouka is shown to be afraid of ghost despite her profession as a Witch Hunter.