City Series:Volume3a Chapter 10
Morning Section - Final Act: Rotation (10:32)
A certain noise could be heard in the distance: gunfire.
The sharp yet low-pitched tone rumbled through the power station.
Akira and Gunmal heard it as they made their way to the center of the power station.
They heard more gunfire that seemed to match their pace.
“That’s Rin,” muttered Akira as she jogged along and kept an eye on her surroundings.
Gunmal made long strides next to her and nodded.
“I guess they’ve already started. …Worried?”
“Well, yes. Especially after what you said earlier.”
…That she’s prepared to die.
She looked to Gunmal.
His sword Device was resting on his shoulder and he faced forward with a look that made her think he had dropped his tension somewhere. In other words, he was the same as always.
“Sorry about forcing you to come with me.”
…But why are you here?
“And if you say because you ran here, I’ll smash your head open.”
He trailed off there, so she had apparently guessed right.
“…This stupid guy.”
She clicked her tongue and looked to his Device.
It was shaped like a bladeless mixture of a musical instrument and a sword. It was named Nein König and was a lot like him.
“I’ve been wondering. Did you create that Device?”
“How would I give birth to something like this? I’m not equipped for that.”
“I-I didn’t mean it like that!”
…If you can make something like that, then why did you quit Busting?
He did not answer her.
He only faced forward and said something else.
“We have some opponents.”
She saw them too.
About fifty meters straight ahead, two figures stood before the reactor.
It was a similar group to Akira and Gunmal: a female Nein Engel and a human Buster.
Akira and Gunmal gradually slowed to a walk and then stopped altogether.
Both sides could see each other’s faces at that range.
For those who used Lives, they were already within range.
“Long time no see, brother. You’re not looking too hot.”
J-Gun did not reply.
Instead, Genius spoke next to him.
“Leave, both of you. This is not worth dying over.”
“No one said we’re going to die.”
…Gunmal, is that woman Genius?
Gunmal silently nodded.
“Your beauty’s wasted on my mute brother.”
“You don’t go easy on your own family, do you?”
“Don’t worry. I make sure to praise myself.”
As soon as he spoke, the mercury lamp next to them burst.
The area grew a little darker and the lamp’s glass fragilely clattered to the asphalt.
…What just happened?
Akira realized that Genius held a sword and that light was wrapped around the blade.
That light was not a Live; it was actual light.
It slithered up the weapon like a snake and the fine grooves along the blade formed an emblem.
Gunmal whistled lightly.
“Wow. Now that’s SF.”
“What are you talking about, you idiot? She has four wings, so she’s a cherub. That’s the kind of Nein Engel that controls light.”
“Miss Akira? If you’re Double Lee’s sister, you must know how strong I am. No matter how powerful you are in Busting or Tuning, you can’t react to flying light.”
She lightly swung the sword and the light flew like a whip.
She targeted the mercury lamp positioned opposite the previous one.
With a solid sound, this white light also burst.
Gunmal heard the glass falling again and gave Akira a serious look.
“Akira, listen carefully to what I’m going to say.”
“I’m a normal civilian, so can I leave now?”
“That’s just mean. You said earlier I could leave, didn’t you?”
“Shut up. From now on, I’m going to automatically reject any ideas like that.”
“Fine then. Busting without producing a Live is hard, though.”
With that, he raised his Device in his prosthetic right hand.
“Hey, lady! Where’s Akira’s brother!?”
“About one hundred meters beyond this reactor. …But you’ll have to defeat us first.”
“I see,” he muttered before changing his tone. “Hey, Akira. Is Tuning fun?”
Akira tilted her head at the unexpected question, so he asked again.
“Well, there’s a lot to it, but let’s keep it simple. Is Tuning fun?”
“W-well, I suppose.”
Her answer was vague, but it seemed to convey her thoughts because he nodded.
“I see. Then maybe you can make Busting fun for me.”
He said nothing.
“So you’re going to fight?” asked Genius.
Gunmal nodded and so did Akira.
J-Gun did not, but he did take a single step forward.
They all raised their weapons at once and a distant gunshot was their cue to attack.
Rin and Kouga were in the power station’s courtyard.
It was a gravel-covered space surrounded by school-like buildings.
The buildings were abandoned and all of the windows were dark.
“Is that a security center? Since this is a power station, we can’t do anything too reckless.”
“Where’s the enemy?”
“I don’t know. He can move fast and I saw him moving this way earlier, but…”
“Ahh, maybe we should have stayed on the motorcycle. …I left it right back there, so should I go get it?”
“No. We should stay where we can see each other.”
With that simple reply, Rin looked up and gave a shout.
“Here he comes!”
The two of them split to the left and right.
At the same time, a series of light bursting sounds arrived.
Their feet sent some of the gravel flying and the spot they had just vacated was blown away.
The gunfire was pursuing them.
Specifically, it pursued Rin while scattering gravel everywhere.
It was fast.
…He certainly is confident.
While running, Rin cocked her shotgun and fired once toward the roof she had had seen a figure on before.
Instead of normal shot or a normal bullet, she used a specialized anti-demon round. Unlike those made for handguns, this one did not send out a spear. Instead, it fired a three meter stake made of light.
The barely-aimed bullet flew and burst in every direction once it hit the edge of the roof.
If one carved a deep groove in the tip of the bullet, it would scatter like that.
With the sound of shattering stone, a portion of the roof was blown away and the pursuing bullets stopped.
…Did I hit him? No, I doubt it.
Without stopping her running feet, Rin pressed up against the wall ahead. She looked up and saw pieces of the concrete roof pouring down as powder.
There was no sign of the enemy.
She used her Tune power to listen for his Live, but it was no use. The residual ringing of the previous gunfire was still too strong, so the area’s Lives were still disturbed.
She exhaled, looked down, and saw Kouga behind a tree in front of the opposite building.
When they exchanged a glance, he pointed to the roof over her head and tilted his head.
…So he can’t see anything from there either? Did he run away?
“No, it wouldn’t be that easy.”
She only wished this opponent had fled.
He was a Galgallin with a Custom Body.
“Galgallins are said to be the chariots of heaven, but it looks like that holds true even with a Nein Engel.”
She cocked her shotgun as she spoke. She shoved a round into the chamber and loaded it.
She attached a new tube-shaped magazine and counted how many she had left: two.
There were seven rounds in each, so she had twenty-two rounds left, counting those inside the gun.
She had her combat knife Device and a handgun inside her body armor. The handgun was a Colt New Service she had received from her father.
It was loaded with the normal light spear anti-demon rounds.
She was ridiculously over-stocked for a normal firefight.
…But will this be enough to defeat him?
Her opponent had a lot of firepower even without considering the advantages of the Galgallin race.
“That Custom Body is dangerous even for one custom made by Archs RDC. Even one of Detroit’s virtual Custom Bodies would only be an even match.”
Suddenly, Kouga moved behind the tree. He pointed overhead.
Rin reflexively fired her shotgun into the sky.
“Ah,” she uttered in surprise.
What she saw in the sky was not their enemy.
It was a band of light. The gathering of white points resembled stardust as it flowed through the sky like a river.
She eventually realized it was a group of Nein Engels and the white came from their wings.
These would be a portion of the six hundred Nein Engels who had vanished from Hong Kong Cave.
They had somehow arrived in the sky above Hung Hom where they decorated the night sky like stars.
They looked like angels flying around god and forming a great white wind to decorate heaven.
“Are they waiting for the Earth Burn to fly?”
At some point, the stream of Nein Engels formed a massive white ring in the sky.
Rin’s shoulders trembled because it felt like they were looking down at her.
She was certain a similar dance had begun above Beaufort Island, Lamma Island, and Tsing Yi Island as well.
She shook her head a little and looked back to the rooftop from which the enemy had vanished.
And just as she raised the shotgun again…
“Boss!” shouted Kouga.
Before she could wonder why, she heard a rumble.
It sounded a lot like collapsing rubble.
It was the sound of a great mass being destroyed.
And it came from the wall directly behind her.
Their opponent had broken through the concrete wall behind Rin and appeared there.
She could not turn around in time.
Countless stone-like chunks of concrete poured down to crush her. The powdery crumbling sounds continued as they struck her.
And amid that concrete cascade, an attack hit her from the side with the weight of a log.
It was a powerful strike.
The great impact plowed into her and she could not even cry out.
She was only aware that her consciousness cut out.
Destruction and rebirth went hand in hand.
This was a standard law, but it normally took a good bit of time.
It could take years, decades, or even centuries for green to return to war-torn land or for a destroyed city to be rebuilt.
However, the battle Akira and Gunmal fought was different.
J-Gun would send out a Live as if swinging a baseball bat and Gunmal would negate it.
Gunmal did not use his own Live.
He would strike the ground with his Device and amplify the Live of the “striking sound” that produced.
And when their colliding Lives broke apart, Akira would Tune them.
She would Tune them into hounds or large birds and sometimes swords or spears.
And sometimes when Gunmal tore the ground away, she would simply remake it into a “wall” that would block their opponent’s attacks.
It was Genius’s job to destroy what Akira’s Tuning created.
The light she fired with each swing of her sword easily pierced through the Tuned animals.
Once destroyed by her light, the animals would immediately return to their original forms.
The torn ground would return to normal and the weaponized air would stabilize.
The cycle of destruction and rebirth was stuck on repeat.
Each time, their aim grew more accurate and their speed increased.
They had a clear division of offense and defense.
Unless they broke through their opponent’s defenses, they could never harm them, so all of their attacks had been focused on the defender.
J-Gun’s Live did not expand as a sphere. It was a direct attack produced by swinging down his Device.
Gunmal would swiftly “break” it.
Akira would send her Tuning after Genius.
Genius’s beam of light would shoot toward Akira’s Tuning.
The cycle sped up.
J-Gun attacked, Gunmal defended, Akira Tuned, and Genius fired light.
That sequence grew tighter as it continued.
J-Gun – Gunmal – Akira – Genius.
It gradually grew faster and reached tremendous speed.
Attack, defense, attack, defense, and then attack once more.
It accelerated further.
Light mixed in with the Tuning and Busting.
On the fourteenth cycle, something changed: Akira.
When Gunmal “tore apart” the air and produced a Live, she stuck the tip of her spear in it and Tuned it.
“Oh, you Lives swimming in the 440,000 Octaves around me! You cries of the dirt and excitement of the wind! Can you hear my Live!?”
The Tempo of her “la” was a long and somewhat low andante.
The Tempo rang thrice.
It reverberated nicely through her Device and she focused her feelings.
She sent her Message into the Live and completed her Tuning in approximately three seconds.
She created a normal-sized white tiger. It was not as large as the Qinghu because it had a greater Live density.
“Oh? You’re trying something bigger, are you? Since it’s a tiger…”
“This isn’t the time for lame jokes.”
Akira smiled bitterly.
“Let’s settle this!”
She sent the white tiger running forward.
Unlike the previous Tunings modelled after small animals, Genius’s light did little damage despite piercing through the tiger. The light was so sharp it simply broke through without breaking apart the dense Live.
The tiger charged in and Genius moved back a little.
“Gunmal!” shouted Akira.
Without responding, he “tore apart” the air.
“Oh, you Lives running through the 240,000 Octaves around me! You roars of the wind! Can you hear my Live!?”
She quickly Tuned that Live to produce a bird that flew after the tiger.
Just as the bird flapped its wings, the tiger pounced on Genius.
With a shout that could be interpreted as a scream or a cry of focus, Genius jabbed her sword into the tiger’s face.
After a short delay, light raced out from the within the tiger. Genius had likely stabbed the beast and then fired the light from inside.
The white tiger audibly burst.
Akira noticed claw marks on Genius’s cheeks and arms.
She was bleeding.
As a fellow woman, Akira felt a little guilty for harming her opponent’s face.
But it was not over.
The bird born from the torn air flew toward Genius.
It charged toward her feet, so even a direct hit would not be fatal.
Akira had no intention of taking the other woman’s life; she just wanted to reach Double Lee.
The bird raced through the air and Genius’s movements were too slow.
She tried to raise her sword again while looking at her wounds as if she found them unbelievable.
…She won’t make it in time.
But just as Akira realized that, someone else moved: J-Gun.
And he did not use his Busting.
He fired light from his Device.
That light had the same qualities as the light Genius fired.
It was less powerful than his Busting, but it was sharp and fast.
It instantly sliced through Akira’s Tuned bird and the creature scattered into the wind.
“My brother exchanged Lives with you in a Live Session!?”
It was only natural for Gunmal to be surprised.
J-Gun, a Buster, had fired a Cherub’s light. And while he had previously been mechanically using his Live to attack, he had done this to protect Genius.
The cycle was broken.
The first to begin anew was not Akira, Gunmal, or even J-Gun.
It was Genius who had already started to raise her sword overhead.
She briefly glanced over at J-Gun and then stepped forward.
She swung down her sword and the light wrapped around it.
Her voice shook the air despite not including her Live and her light reached Akira in an instant.
A strange sensation raced through various parts of Akira’s body.
It was entirely different from the pain she had predicted.
…Am I just imaging this? Did it not hit me?
But then the pain arrived.
Her feathers scattered and her right side split open.
She instinctually squeezed her eyes shut.
A deep and sharp pain stabbed through her body as if a thick pin had been driven into her spine. Her heart skipped a beat when the fingers holding her side sank deeper than her skin.
She opened her eyes at Gunmal’s voice and saw a wall in front of her.
…Why is there a wall?
Then she realized why.
It was not, in fact, a wall. It was the ground. She had collapsed without even noticing.
She groaned and got up.
Ahead, she saw the Device she had dropped.
Beyond it, she saw J-Gun and Genius preparing their second attack a distance away.
She moved the hand from her side and reached for the Device.
The bloody hand looked like a stranger’s.
To wipe away that feeling, she squeezed the Device tightly in her hand.
And she got up on her knees.
She tried to force her breathing into order so she could Tune, but then she heard a voice.
“You don’t have to fight here.”
It was a horribly cold yet kind and calm voice.
She looked up just as Gunmal tapped her shoulder with Nein König.
As soon as he did, a blue Live burst out of her and scattered.
Before she could ask what had happened, she found the answer: the pain had vanished from her.
He had Busted the pain Lives in her body to destroy them.
He had already lowered the Device a little and faced their opponent.
He had gone completely expressionless.
The look there made her forget her pain, sent a chill down her spine, and yet still showed some emotion.
She had never seen this look on his face before.
“I’ll deal with those two,” he said.
…Can you do that?
He did not answer her question, but he did speak.
“If the Earth Burn is activated, call me. …I’ll give you your next chance.”
“How…can you do that?”
He still did not answer. He only stepped forward with lowered Device in hand.
She looked up at his back and prepared her own Device.
She closed her eyes, calmed her breathing, and gathered Message of “herself” that her Live was singing.
…It’s really disturbed.
Maybe because of the blood loss, its Tempo was quick yet weak. And she was more than just injured. There was an odd Message in there, too.
…I’m surprised by Gunmal.
Strangely, it was not a bad feeling.
She did not know what to call this Message, but she felt it would be a shame to Tune it away.
…But I need to hurry up and heal myself.
She was driven to do that by the blood that had reached her thigh and the enemy’s movements.
She could tell even with her eyes closed that J-Gun and Genius had both begun to move.
Meanwhile, Gunmal was not revealing his Live.
He was defenseless.
However, she did not panic.
“Oh, you Lives within me. You shouts that form my Wild Name. Can you hear my voice?”
She released her Live.
It was a gentle yet vivid Tempo and Word Color. It was her own Live that she remembered from long ago.
She sang a Live with some pointed bits.
She amplified her own Live in her Device and felt it reside in the spear tip.
Immediately afterwards, she plunged the spear into her own chest.
The Live, its Message, its Tempo, and its Word Color all echoed through her body.
It was not quite a wave, not quite an impact, not quite a ripple, not quite a vibration, and it covered her with goose bumps.
However, it cooled some of the unpleasant heat covering her.
She opened her eyes, stood up, and pulled the Device from her chest.
In that instant, a massive Live exploded before her eyes.
Gunmal fought by amplifying a Live of destruction without using any kind of preliminary Up.
She heard him shout.
The exploding Live blew away all other sounds, so she may have imagined hearing his voice.
Still, she obeyed it.
She looked up slightly, took two or three steps, and flew.
She arrived above the twenty meter reactor in the span of a breath and then continued forward.
The floor of the concrete reactor’s rooftop released a strangely thick Live of heat and produced a visual shimmering.
…This region is producing the fire element Earth Burn, isn’t it?
With that on her mind, she spun her Device around and gathered Lives of wind and heat.
“Oh, you Lives floating in the 1,280,000 Octaves around me. You roars of wind and proclamations of heat. Can you hear my Live?”
She cleared the reactor’s rooftop with a single step and gathered quite a few Lives in the process.
The wind was blue and the heat red. She gathered those Lives around her like heavenly raiment and descended from the rooftop.
She saw a small park-like space lit by mercury lamps from all sides.
A Tune Emblem was drawn in the center and someone holding a sword Device stood at the center of the large Tune Emblem.
Double Lee looked up at her voice.
A look of slight surprise appeared on his face.
…This doesn’t look like the start of an emotional reunion.
She put up her guard and he nodded. He had read her Live.
“So you are finally here, Akira.”
He looked up at the night sky.
The moon was visible as the Nein Engels danced.
“Such a lovely moon. Perfect for a reunion of siblings.”
He then asked Akira a question.
“But why are you here?”
She landed and held her spear at the ready as she answered.
“Why? To stop you of course.”
“Are you serious?”
“What do you mean?”
Double Lee laughed when she answered him with another question.
“Interesting. So you didn’t notice on your own?”
His deep laugh continued but suddenly stopped.
After that moment of silence, he spoke directly to her.
“Are you kidding me?”
“Do you really think you have any chance against me?”
She tensed up, but only for a moment. She soon squeezed her Device and spoke.
“Stop this. …Can’t you just turn yourself in?”
The brother frowned at his sister’s words.
“You want me to stop this? But this is what father, mother, and Master Huang wanted. …No, not only that. This is what the two of us wanted as well.”
“Stop!” she shouted. “A lot of lives will be lost if you destroy Hong Kong! Don’t you get that!?”
“I do. That is reality. …Did you not think about that when you used to talk about creating a dragon?”
“If you wish to stop me, then do it by force. I am a criminal at the moment.”
Akira Tasked herself.
She Tuned the Live residing in her Device.
The Tempo was powerful and long. The color was red. The Message in her mind was strong.
After a short time lag, the Live transformed. She felt it happening.
…This will work!
She created something large indeed.
It was a dragon.
The crimson-scaled dragon wrapped around her spear was about ten meters long.
It would be classified as a Lesser Dragon, but it still had proper fangs and horns.
She let Double Lee see her thought and raised her spear.
He looked a bit surprised to see her Lesser Dragon and she did not hold back.
She suddenly swung down her spear.
The Lesser Dragon roared as it was released from the spear.
It shook the air as it flew toward Double Lee.
It was fast.
It raced through the air with the speed of something sliding down an icy slope and it raised its head.
It opened its mouth and roared again.
Its red eyes were focused on Double Lee’s right arm which held his Device.
He remained silent.
He stared straight at the charging Lesser Dragon and made no attempt to run.
All he did was quickly tilt his body and raise his empty left hand.
The Lesser Dragon must not have known how to react because it tried to latch its jaws onto his left arm.
…Not that arm!
And just as Akira tried to say something…
“Word Accel, you Live with an Octave of 1,280,000.”
He spoke quietly and the Lesser Dragon burst.
The tearing sound drowned out Akira’s shout of protest.
The Lesser Dragon came apart from head to tail and released the original Lives.
The sound of the dragon’s destruction continued as the red and blue Lives scattered into the air.
It took the span of only three breaths for the Lesser Dragon to completely vanish.
Red and black Lives flew and Double Lee remained unscathed. His left arm was still raised overhead as if nothing had happened.
“Targeting my dominant arm? You always were naive.”
He slowly lowered his left hand and spread it out before his face.
He wore Device rings on the middle and index fingers.
“I can destroy your Lesser Dragon with Devices this small.”
Akira said nothing, but he must have read her Live because he smiled bitterly.
“What’s wrong? I had heard you and the rest of Hong Kong saw you as the city’s #1 Tuner.”
As he spoke, the scattering Lives of the Lesser Dragon wrapped around him and stayed in place. He intended to Tune the Lesser Dragon he had destroyed.
…Is it coming?
She raised her guard.
“Word Accel, you Live with an Octave of 2,080,000!”
It suddenly appeared above his head.
“The Vermilion Bird!?”
It was a large bird with a burning red Word Color.
He had placed his Message inside the Lives of heat, wind, and the night.
As if flapping its wings, it throbbed with a refreshing yet heavy and deep Tempo and it did nothing else.
“I suppose you wouldn’t be able to pull off a trick like this. …Not if you haven’t changed in the last three years.”
The Vermilion Bird responded to him with a cry.
It was a high-pitched voice.
It then spread its wings.
The vermilion wings were over twenty meters across, so it was more than enough to outdo Akira’s Lesser Dragon.
Some yellow and black feathers were mixed in as decorations and the coloration gave a sense of heat and pressure as soon as one looked at it.
The wings moved and produced a sound of flight.
The Vermilion Bird flew toward Akira.
It flapped its wings once, glided just off the ground, and prepared its beak. It targeted her torso and would crush her with its wings if she dodged.
…Will I make it in time!?
She did not have time to answer her own question.
She flew while throwing pencil-like Discord Bombs so that they would not scatter.
She flew upwards.
She moved her white wings to fly up the reactor wall behind her.
The Vermilion Bird raised its head and slammed its red wings on the ground to flap them. Its body was small for the size of its wings, so it was launched upwards.
It was not going to let her escape, but then the Discord Bombs exploded.
The Vermilion Bird’s body, shoulders, wings, and tail were blown away with the Lives composing them.
The cry that escaped its beak sounded like a scream.
“Did I get it!?”
She looked down from halfway up the reactor.
The Vermilion Bird was not dead. It moved its wings even harder, broke through the Lives that had scattered from itself, and ascended.
It pursued Akira as if crawling up the reactor wall.
The only place left to escape was the sky, but the bird would be faster than a Nein Engel there. It would catch up and attack her.
So she gave up on escaping.
She reversed her grip on her Device to point it straight down.
Without averting her gaze, she targeted the spot where a Discord Bomb had hit the bird’s right shoulder.
That was where its Live was most shaken.
…Its Octave should be lower there!
The contact lasted an instant. It was only long enough for her to take three running steps.
Her spear accurately pierced the enemy’s weak point.
She auto-reversed the Live in her Device to read the Vermilion Bird’s Live.
She was searching for a Live she knew very well: her brother’s Wild Name.
Her heart shouted that Wild Name, which was the key to an individual’s Live.
“Oh, you Live with an Octave of 1,480,000…directly in front of me! You shout of heat, roar of wind, and Live of a name with an eternal form!”
It reacted to her call.
The Vermilion Bird’s Live lost its balance. The bird gave a small scream during the quick pause.
“Can you hear my Live!?”
That settled it.
She released her Live and the Vermilion Bird crumbled.
The resistance reaching her spear weakened, she twisted her body, and she passed the bird by.
…I did it!
Just as she was certain of her victory, the Vermilion Bird noisily exploded.
By the time she cried out in protest, she had already been slammed into the ground.
The impact made all the bones in her body ache.
At the same time, she heard a hard metallic sound in her hand.
The sensation in her hand told her that her Device had broken.
However, this was no time to be groaning in pain.
She clenched her teeth, got up, and faced forward.
Double Lee still stood at the center of the Tune Emblem.
“You took far too much time. …Can you not grow any stronger without our mother?”
She started to answer but then froze in place.
The wound in her side had opened a little. Blood was flowing and spilling out once more. She reflexively threw aside the broken spear and held her side.
The liquid wetting her hand felt like warm oil.
Still, she faced her brother.
She did not look up or down at him. She looked straight at him.
Her brother responded with a bitter smile.
“With that look in your eyes, you would think I was in the wrong here. …As a Tuner, you should have better judgment.”
“Both Tuning and Busting are not just for fun. Have you never heard about the past wars? These are true weapons meant to kill.”
He slowly raised the sword Device in his hand.
After gently, gently raising the straight line of silver light overhead, he took a breath.
His eyes were looking to the center of the Tune Emblem at his feet.
Akira stood up and tried to run.
…I have to stop him!
Double Lee watched her take the first step.
Their gazes seemed to audibly collide.
The Live carrying his voice knocked her out of the way. In the span of a breath, she was knocked back to the reactor and her winged back slammed into the wall.
She felt the impact and the pain while also hearing a dry sound much like a breaking branch. Her main right wing and the small, deformed wing had broken.
She grimaced but still faced forward as Double Lee spoke with his Device still raised.
“This is not something someone as weak as you can participate in. You know nothing. You do not know what our parents and the Archs they fought wished of us, so there is nothing for you to do here.”
…What are you saying our parents wanted!?
She asked him a question.
“All mom said was that she wanted to see heaven because dad died! She only wanted to see him after he had died! She never said she wanted anyone to kill people with Tuning!”
“You are simply ignorant,” he spat back at her before closing his eyes. “Either way, you are no match for me with your spoiled style of Tuning. …Just watch.”
He took a breath.
“This is true Tuning!”
He moved his Device in an absolute straight line to use it as the Baton.
With an ear-splitting metallic sound, the Device’s tip stabbed into the asphalt.
“Word Accel, you Live with an Octave of 40,960,000!”
After his shout, he released his Live.
Pushed on by his voice, the Device sank further down.
The sword seemed to actually fall straight down as the guard and hilt were swallowed up by the asphalt.
It vanished almost immediately.
A short pause followed.
In contrast to Double Lee’s previous actions, all sound vanished.
However, that great silence was soon broken.
The reactor was destroyed.
The top of the concrete structure split open like a rice bowl and flames burst out.
A scarlet pillar rose toward the heavens.
The sound of the blaze shook the air and did not stop.
More pillars of flames rose at set intervals like an echoing sound.
There were just as many as there were reactors in the thermal power station.
The sixteen pillars reached the night sky.
The Nein Engels were gathered there.
However, the sixteen pillars of fire surpassed the Nein Engels and rose further and further, where they slowly pressed together and overlapped.
The sixteen pillars spiraled and intertwined until they had become one.
By that time, a bestial face had formed at the end.
It was a dragon’s face.
The scarlet dragon began to gain a real body instead of one made of fire. It bent its nearly kilometer-long body in the night sky, each and every scale twinkled like the stars, and it opened its great maw.
Its voice shook the atmosphere from the sky.
And other voices answered.
They were also dragon voices. They belonged to the three dragons produced elsewhere.
And at the same time, Hong Kong shook.
Akira looked down at the vertical shaking of the earth below her feet.
Double Lee used his six wings to float in the air before her.
Roaring dragons shook the sky overhead.
There were four dragon cries in all. The dragons of the four elements had been activated.
The ground was torn away before Akira’s eyes.
By the time she voiced her confusion, the ground became Lives and flew up into the sky. Similarly, the ground, the grass, and even the lamps became Lives and lost their form. They all floated upwards.
Akira knew where they were headed.
They were joining that which the white Nein Engels clung to as they decorated the sky. They were joining the body of the Earth Burn that ruled this land.
The red earth Burn’s long body formed a white spiral and rose further and further toward heaven.
Its roar shook without end.
The rumbling of the earth never ended its groaning.
With those two performances in the background, Akira heard an unpleasant Live.
Her questioning thoughts were crushed.
She heard screams at overwhelming volume.
This was not just one or two and it was not a solidified chorus of voices. These were probably the screams of the tens of thousands of humans and Glossolalians who had failed to escape in time.
The simple Tempo pierced through Akira as a Live with a yellow Word Color.
And amid it all, she heard a Live similar to the ringing of a bell.
She knew what it was.
This was the scream of Hung Hom’s Holy Carpenter Church. It was the screams of the people praying there.
She covered her ears to escape it all, but that was not enough to block out the ringing Lives.
Hong Kong’s scream produced a Message carrying the word “tragedy” and she heard the crying voices of the panicked, fleeing people vanishing into the sky. It was enough for her knees to give out below her.
Speechless, she heard Double Lee speak.
“Look. This is Tuning!”
He moved his wings to take flight.
Surprised, Akira grimaced at the screams and reached out toward her brother.
But there was no way she could reach him. Her fingers tightly grasped only empty air.
And she reflexively gave a shout.
She was nearly in tears as Double Lee joined the chorus in the sky.
“Remember this! Our parents used Tuning and Busting as a weapon! Do you understand!? This is how Tuning is used! It is meant for destruction like this!”
“No!” she shouted. “That…that has to be wrong!”
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