○Prologue

Two girls walked through the empty hallway.

One of them would be regarded as a beauty to everyone that saw her. Fair black hair, white skin like a porcelain doll, a clock piece device for a pupil, and an elegant Astral Dress called Spirit Dress of God’s Authority No. 3 <Elohim>.

The other one was a white girl with lavender hair. Although the whiteness of her skin wouldn’t lose to the previous girl, her eyes shining in curiosity stood in stark contrast. Above all else, she was dressed in a pure White Astral Dress that gave an illusory atmosphere surrounding her.

If the former girl was a diamond, then the latter girl would be a rose quartz. The faintly red-colored crystal-like girl was snuggling close to the sparkling diamond.

The girl jumped into the opened gate──Tokisaki Kurumi, as the other girl followed after her──Higoromo Hibiki. Both of them departed for the Seventh Region Netzach.

“Kurumi-san, this is too boring. Let’s play Shiritori.”

Hibiki vigorously approached Kurumi after having enough of the long and monotone <Shamayim Kaveesh>, but that girl was walking forward with her thoughts focused on another matter.

──Kurumi thought about the White Queen.

Banouin Kareha was forced to die because of that love. In other words, the White Queen has an understanding of what love is.

Then what was that love for?

The more she considered it, the more disgusting the premonition became……the perception of an icy malice crawled up her spine.

If the White Queen was an inverse, then that would mean the awakening of her love would also be twisted and distorted. ……What twists and turns brought the Queen to this conclusion?

There was too little information to be used in a conjecture.

However, the danger the White Queen presented to that person was imminent.

What should she do now? Even though she was moving towards the Seventh Region Netzach, the First Region Keter was still so far away.

Not only that, even now she still──

──Couldn’t remember that person’s name.

And her love was growing day by day. She wanted to hear his voice, to walk besides him.

No, even if that was impossible to hold true──at the very least, she wanted to be near him.

The problem she put on hold reared its head once again. Tokisaki Kurumi, a Spirit, and also clone of herself.

What was the reason for her existing in this Neighboring World?

Did she fall into this world dying like any other Quasi-Spirit, or perhaps──

“Ku─ru─mi─san!”

Opening her eyes, Kurumi felt dizzy. As Hibiki’s face pressed close to her own, it felt like her cheeks were swelling up in frustration.

“……”

For the time being, just out of amusement, Kurumi used both her hands to pinch Hibiki’s cheeks. Pushu, a noisy cry echoed across the air.

“Nya! Stop that! What do you think someone else’s face is!?”

“I don’t know why I want to do this, but the voice coming from my heart is telling me to do so.”

Kurumi clutched her stomach as she laughed. Hibiki adjusted her mood as she returned to walking side by side with Kurumi.

“So, what were you thinking about?”

“I don’t want to say it.”

“Aah, so it’s about that person as usual.”

Having been suddenly exposed, Kurumi turned her head around while looking embarrassed. Hibiki grinned, giving a look as if seeing through it all.

“Please──stop──that──”

“I──won’t──stop──”

Kurumi grabbed Hibiki’s cheeks and swayed it up and down. To be honest, this was a little fun.

“Speak up, why do you know what I am thinking?”

“That’s easy. Because that’s a face that Kurumi-san has never shown to me, an enemy, or anyone else besides that person.”

Hearing those words, Kurumi reflexively buried her face.

“……S-So, what kind of expression is it?”

It felt embarrassing. When thinking about him, sometimes it was sorrowful and inconsolable, and on other occasions she was beaming with happiness. But no matter when, she would always have no peace of mind thinking about him. So her expression must look completely entranced.

“That’s not to say it is wonderful. However, as a Kurumi enthusiast, that expression just can’t be missed! I really want to decorate it in a picture frame!”

“Please stop.”

If she didn’t ward off that girl’s words right now, a picture like that might actually be hanged in the future. Therefore, Kurumi quickly moved to stop her.

After all, a long term friendship had been formed between the two.

After her revenge was completed in the Tenth Region Malkuth, Hibiki became Kurumi’s partner. She was the sort of girl who would never give up her goal and do everything to her utmost ability.

If she ever spoke of decorating a picture frame, then that means she would really do that──

“……I’m asking you as a reminder to never do this, but how big is the picture frame size?”

“Eh, it’ll probably be a picture frame scale of 1000/1.”

So that was it. 1000/1 rather than 1/1000. Kurumi couldn’t help but imagine a nightmarish scene of Hibiki, saying “Ladies and gentlemen, Kurumi’s face while in love is super cute! Why!” with a photo of her face magnified to a 1000 times

“You listen well, absolutely, absolutely──never allowed.”

“Fine──”

Despite that carefree reply, Kurumi’s vigilance increased in a single run. It was to the extent of being on alert the moment there’s an opportunity for a camera to be taken out.

 “……Speaking of which, has Hibiki-san also visited the Seventh Region Netzach?”

“Yes. But Ace of Spades-san wrote out an outline of Seventh Region Netzach. Would you like to read it?”

“Sure, let’s read it together.”

Kurumi peeked into the letter that Hibiki opened.

──Yes!

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Isn’t that a greeting?”

──Ah──he─llo──he─llo, always in your debt, Ace of Spades.

“It seems to be like a frank business greeting.”

“So is the beginning also like this?”

──About the Seventh Region Netzach. To sum it up, it’s more or less like this. First of all, the greatest characteristic of that region is the currency circulation. In that world, money is eeeeeeeeeverything!”

“Why is the face of a loan shark the first thing that comes to mind?”

“It’s a representation of how one needs to make a best effort in knowing how important money is……right?”

──As for why a currency circulation, the answer is simple, the region holds a casino establishment for gambling. Slots, roulette, mahjong, playing cards, everything used for wager is there, the best paradise for some people.

“Gambling.”

“Casino region.”

──Because it is like this, fraud and scams run rampant. Please be careful. My master, a beauty in male clothes, who went first, recalls that it is absurdly easy to be swindled and thus wrote those words in a hurry.

“Carte-san, she does have a face that looks easily deceived……”

“Aren’t there too many attributes there? Hibiki is once again in pout mode!”

──I am presently heading to the Ninth Region Yesod from the Eighth Region Hod to ask a request for an important Quasi-Spirit from Banouin Mizuha. If something should happen to my master……I’ll be eternally grateful if you’ll protect Carte À Jouer.

“Important……Quasi-Spirit?”

“Who could that be?”

“Is it a lover?”

“Or maybe a love card?”

──It’s a Quasi-Spirit lawyer.

“Ah…… (understanding)”

“Aah…… (understanding.)”

──Ah, also the Dominion Sagakure Yuri-dono is mad siscon scientist who manufactures a mechanical doll little sister and sends her out every region. No matter what you think, please be careful because she is that sort of type.

“That’s quite fanatical.”

“It’s true. No wonder that person always felt a little lacking in human warmth.”

──Farwell, until next time.

“Ace of Spades-san, she feels like a Quasi-Spirit that would frequently come and go on Internet chats of the past.”

“I don’t get why Hibiki-san is using such metaphorical expression.”

The letter ended there. Both of them sighed and folded the letter.

The door to the Seventh Region Netzach soon appeared right in front of them. It wasn’t locked. Touching this door would immediately open it.

“Then, let’s proceed.”

“By the way Hibiki-san, are you the type that is easily deceived?”

“Hmm……I consider myself average. But I am confident in having a strong sense of smell.”

“Then I feel relieved. I will never be deceived.”

“That’s setting off a very dangerous flag!”

“It doesn’t matter. I can just use <Zafkiel>.”

“……Threatening with a gun, isn’t that a tactic of a criminal syndicate……”

In spite of this, Kurumi was capable of crossing over numerous scenes of carnage, the title ‘Quasi’ could not be attached to her.

It would be impossible for her to be swindled through. After all, they were only planning on passing through this region. In any case, it was difficult to imagine Tokisaki Kurumi being obstructed by Sagakure Yuri.

Both the Eighth Region Hod and Ninth Region Yesod tried to safeguard themselves by obstructing her. But on the other hand, neither of them chose to confront her with violence.

That was to be expected.

She was likely the only Spirit currently in the Neighboring World.

Governing the laws of time and shadows, she was a monster that should have been excluded from this Neighboring World.

“Yes, yes. There’s no need to be afraid.”

“Right──!”

It was because she was Tokisaki Kurumi.

Both of them smiled fearlessly as they clapped their hands.

Here was a gambling house filled with various schemes. A vulgar world, a place where the currency humans yearn for the most fluttered and interacted with each other in the air.

Tokisaki Kurumi and Higoromo Hibiki have stepped into the Seventh Region Netzach───