Published in Shounen Magazine 32 (2006)
Asuna and co. arrives at the church Nodoka located by reading Mei’s mind.
Meanwhile, Negi and Takahata discussed whether Chao’s plan is correct. Takahata says that the Thousand Master might side with Chao since there’s a possibility that a lot of people can be saved in the world she envisions. However, he personally thinks that Chao’s forcing the world to be as she likes is wrong, and leaves the decision whether to stop Chao to Negi. After the discussion, Takahata receives a phone call, and leaves the room.
Gandolfini and Seruhiko was guarding the Church. The former was drinking cheap liquor out of the sadness of having to live his life as an ermine in the near future. The latter seems to be in control, and consoles his coworker to no avail.
Then, Gandolfini receives a phone call informing him of intruders. At that moment, Asuna and Ku sneaks up behind him, and knocks out the two magical teachers without much difficulty. Even Ku herself is bothered by the fact that Asuna-and-herself combo works so well against magic users.
The gang then descends a 30-storeyed helical staircase. Yue senses that something is amiss as it shouldn’t take them 40 minutes to do so.
But before they can think of anything, Asuna is knocked out by a giant three-headed hound, which then chases after Nodoka, Chisame, and Paru. Ku tries to help them, but a griffon stands in her way, forcing her to run away from it with Konoka.
The remaining two, Asuna and Yue, are then greeted by Takahata, who says that as a part of his job, he cannot let them pass. When Asuna says that, if he didn’t let them, then her friends would be injured by the dog, Takahata simply says that she shouldn’t have brought others in the first place. As he fuses magic with ki, preparing for battle, Takahata says that Eva must have told her to prepare herself before getting entangled with the inner world.
The three-headed dog nails Nodoka down, causing Chisame to protest that her friend is just a normal middle schooler. The midget magician look-alike on the dog’s back counters that, at the moment they get themselves involved with the inner world, they are no longer normal middle schoolers.
- Gandolfini has a daughter who is still in primary school. He’s afraid that she will be teased by her classmate because her father becomes an ermine.
- The three-headed dog is in fact not Kerberos since Kerberos doesn’t have snake mane. Because of that, Nodoka thinks it may be Altoros. But then Altoros has only two heads, so she speculates that it might be their cousins instead. In any case, her reaction to the sight of the hound is just gold.
So scared that she cannot choose the appropriate reaction to have.
A fun chapter with lots of action. I found the Gandolfini and Seruhiko combo to be pretty entertaining: a duo with one person freaking about his/her predicament and the other being calm about it (like Touko and the teacher with sunglasses) seems to work well to me. Hmm… Maybe I like dark comedy? Chisame’s “This fantasy is going f*cking too far” made me smile as well. Oh, the cold-hearted Takahata also looks so badass, man.
Story-wise, this chapter sets a stage for Negi’s maturing as he has to make a decision regarding Chao’s action. How will this turn out? We’ll have to see in the next chapter.