City Series:Volume3b Chapter 9
Afternoon Section - Final Act: Akira (4:57)
Fifteen seconds after the battle began, Akira noticed her disadvantage.
The three Earth Burns were making constant hit and away attacks and she was creating spears from the wind Lives, but…
“It’s not affecting that Earth Serpent at all!”
She swung Wild Königin while yelling.
A great wind bird was instantly born. She had used an Octave greater than three million and the giant bird of prey had a wingspan of forty meters.
The bird gave a high-pitched screech and flew at the Earth Serpent.
The three Earth Burns moved out ahead of the bird as they too flew toward the dragon over ten times their size.
The dragons of blue, green, and brown tore at the Earth Serpent with their claws and fangs.
The bird of prey performed a tackle.
The beak, wings, and talons made of wind were enough for the Earth Serpent to move back a little.
But that was all.
The Earth Burns and her Tuning were showing little noticeable effect. She continued attacking, but the Earth Serpent was devouring Hong Kong all the while.
“I need to destroy that giant body,” she muttered.
At the same time, the Earth Serpent raised its head in the Wan Chai district and looked up into the heavens.
Its yellow eyes focused on the cloud-covered sky.
A beat later, it roared.
The roar was a physical blow.
Akira’s wings shook and some smaller feathers scattered into the air.
The three Earth Burns were overpowered and retreated defensively into the sky.
That cry had been more than just a roar.
The great sea surrounding Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula exploded from the very bottom.
The nighttime sea had the same color as deep darkness and its Lives had the same Word Color.
The air was pushed back by the Lives bursting from the sea and became a salty wind.
The roar created a powerful gust of wind, but even then it did not end.
In every direction, the Lives of the sea drew upward-pointing arcs and gathered around the Earth Serpent. The great dragon’s great roar was summoning the appropriate Lives.
The Lives making up the sea created giant angular wings for the Earth Serpent.
It intended to fly.
“Wait… That’s no joke!”
Wild Königin replied to Akira’s shout.
…Akira! Look down!
It was Gunmal’s Live.
She did as he said and saw a small space at Central’s wharf that had escaped the destruction.
She also saw a few of her friends there.
She gasped and Gunmal said more.
…We’re ready for the fire element! It’s only gonna last an instant, okay!?
…Don’t act so surprised! Hurry on down! It’s after you!
When she heard that last comment, Akira cleared her ears.
Lives filled with great pressure were attempting to leave the earth.
The Earth Serpent was going to fly and Akira understood everything.
She held Wild Königin under her arm and let the Lives around her ring.
…I’m going to create an Earth Serpent, too!
The three Earth Burns roared in response to her will.
It was a pleasant noise and she kicked off the air while listening to the trio.
She made a rapid descent to where Gunmal had called her.
She flapped her wings, split the air, and moved in a straight line.
The wharf grew below her and the individual people came into view.
Gunmal was there and he raised a hand as if in greeting when he saw her.
That was the signal.
The four tanks gathered in the center of the wharf exploded, producing pillars of fire.
“You want me to use-…!?”
She never finished her shouted question.
Without slowing her descent, she held Wild Königin down and flew right into the explosive flames.
Wild Königin’s blade split the rising flames.
…This will work!
She immediately started singing and the desired change was instantly achieved.
With a single swing, Wild Königin broke down the Lives of fire, heat, light, and smoke. The surrounding space was dyed in crimson.
“She did it!”
She heard the General’s voice as she flew back up into the sky and a second explosion followed after her.
Flames burst from the four tanks from left to right and four pillars of fire rose into the night sky.
Those four flaming pillars ascended in a straight line before spiraling around each other and combining.
The resultant crimson pillar swelled out much farther than the tanks from which it was born.
A red dragon was created in the sky and Akira flew right in front of it.
She lightly tapped the fire Earth Burn’s nose with Wild Königin as if greeting it.
The dragon narrowed its eyes a little and nodded.
The previous three Earth Burns joined them.
With the Earth Burns of all four elements following her, Akira briefly looked down.
Her companions were looking up at her and the dragons from the wharf.
Akira looked back down at them.
“Oh, it’s Rin.”
She spotted someone she had not seen for a while.
The woman wore a black combat outfit and a similarly-dressed young man – Fei – stood next to her.
Akira breathed a sigh of relief before her eyes stopped on another point of the wharf.
Gunmal stood there with Wild König in his hand.
She smiled a little and redirected her gaze upwards.
The typhoon had covered the sky with storm clouds.
The sky was dark, but a light illuminated it from below.
It was the Earth Serpent.
Its horns, face, body, and wings all glowed with a somewhat yellowish coloration.
That was the power of Yang provided by Double Lee’s blood.
“Is it the power of Yang and my brother’s Live that are driving the dragon higher?”
“Then I only have one option.”
The very next moment, she flew straight up.
“Let’s go, everyone.”
She flew toward heaven.
Toward a higher place.
Akira flew without looking down.
“I need to be able to reach heaven.”
She used the strength of her wings to lift her body higher and higher.
The air grew heavier and heavier, but she accelerated to overcome that weight.
To continue flying, she needed to read the wind.
She flew higher.
Toward a higher place.
“I need draw in the moonlight for the power of Yin.”
…The wind is weak.
She desperately read the Lives.
She picked up the wind even as it thinned from the great altitude and she rode that current to accelerate.
She sharpened her mind.
She closed her eyes and ears and she focused her senses on her wings and the hands holding Wild Königin.
When she did, she found she could see and hear the surrounding Lives.
Even with no wind, the wind Lives were there.
And if those were there, so were the air Lives.
Many different kinds of Lives floated in the air, even if only in small quantities: water, cloud, heat, chill, and the excitement rising from those in Hong Kong.
It all reached Akira and saw her off.
She combined acceleration and flight and felt many different Lives passing through her body.
It was the same as when she had seen Gunmal’s Live.
She sped up, flew between the floating Lives, and passed through them.
It was a pleasant feeling.
Her mind smiled a little.
Her Live was joyfully shouting that she needed to climb even higher.
…I can’t fight it.
Her heart desired to move higher, higher, and faster.
That desire cut off her senses and created everything.
She could sense the four dragons holding their breath and following her.
The wind, the air, and even gravity spoke to her with their Messages rather than any physical form.
Her own Live responded and she flew ever higher as if pushed on by them.
She needed to reach a great height, so she flew.
The Message sung by her Live desired what was there: the power of Yin that filled the moonlight.
Every time she flapped her wings, she could feel herself approaching her destination.
The word “joy” filled her mind.
A question occurred to her.
…Why did I try to get rid of this?
She had no time to answer the question.
She simply ascended.
Spatially, her destination was far. Temporally, it was close.
“Here it is,” she said.
She shifted her focus from the sensations in her body and back to reality.
Her beating pulse proved her own existence.
Without speaking a word, she looked around.
The four Earth Burns surrounded her.
Below, Hong Kong Island’s broken shape and the Kowloon Peninsula looked even smaller than on a map. The sea spread out around them and she could see small lights at the ends of that ocean.
Those were the cities of other countries.
Akira breathed a sigh of relief while looking at the lights of cities she had never visited.
Her elated senses heard the voices of Lives ringing in the heavens and the earth.
They belonged to the night, the sky, the clouds, the wind, the city, the earth, and the people.
She gave a satisfied nod.
“It’s so full of life.”
She then looked up to the dark clouds.
They formed a dome-like curtain that turned somewhat downward.
She could not see the heavens, but she still asked a question without looking away.
She spoke quietly, but Wild Königin still answered.
…What is it?
She smiled at his somehow kind tone.
“I want to see the moon.”
A few seconds after that, he continued with a bitter laugh.
…I told you what to do if you need something, didn’t I?
“Yes, but are you sure? I’m going to call your Wild Name.”
…Go for it. I wouldn’t be able to reach you otherwise.
She nodded, raised Wild Königin like a sword, and closed her eyes.
She exhaled and then inhaled deeply.
She gathered all of her senses on Wild Königin and felt Wild König reaching her.
When she realized Gunmal was doing the same thing, her smile deepened.
A moment later, they moved in unison, called each other’s Wild Names, and spoke.
Akira’s Live began with that sound.
Gunmal’s Live began with that sound.
The two Lives resonated with each other and raced through Hong Kong’s heavens and earth.
The powerful steel-colored Live fired from the surface collided with Akira’s Wild Königin in the heavens and was amplified into even greater power.
Light exploded into the dark clouds.
The wave of light tore into the eye of the typhoon and blew away the peak of the dark clouds spiraling around Hong Kong.
Like a ripple, a hole opened and spread through the clouds.
The receding clouds flowed even faster than water.
The sound of the wind contained a metallic sharpness.
It was a bursting sound.
It only took three seconds for the light to destroy the clouds.
A different light appeared afterwards.
This was not a steel-colored light rising from below, the unnecessarily bright light of Yang, or an artificial light.
This pale, refreshing light took the form of the full moon positioned above Hong Kong.
The moonlight washed over Akira’s entire body.
Each feather of her angular wings spread out to increase the surface area exposed to the moonlight.
Her wings cried out in flight.
She looked down at Hong Kong far below.
She saw a glowing beast there: the Earth Serpent.
It had stopped moving as it lay on the Kowloon Peninsula and let its wings smolder a little.
She could sense its gaze on her.
It was clearly looking up at her.
…Could it be waiting?
“That would be nice, brother.”
She nodded and spoke with her eyes stopped on the white beast.
“Gunmal, um, once this battle is over…”
She took a breath.
“How about we go to the beach?”
He did not respond, but she continued anyway.
“We can invite everyone, talk by the water…and go swimming. I did buy a swimsuit for this year.”
…It had better be a two-piece.
She smiled bitterly at his sudden comment.
“I had a feeling you’d say that. …But don’t worry. I think we have similar tastes.”
…Ha ha ha. Then I guess I should prepare a car. I’ll need to get my license.
“Hm? You’ll take me?”
…Yeah. If I didn’t, you’d fly there.
She nodded and looked up to the moon.
“Wait for me. I’ll be right back.”
…Don’t push yourself too hard.
…You’re on even footing now. So don’t rush this and go have some fun until you’re worn out. Okay?
She was the one not to answer his question this time.
She slowly closed her eyes and opened her mouth instead.
The voice that left her lips was her Live.
She hummed the Live that began with that sound.
But that gentle hum gradually filled with strength and stretched out to a longer sound.
She released a loud voice and then sang the Flight Song.
She sang the song with the perfectly round moon overhead and the moonlight washing over her body.
She embraced Wild Königin with her entire body.
Her song rang out for a long time.
Her body began to fall as if pulled down by the voice descending toward Hong Kong.
The fall began slow, but it gradually picked up speed.
As if synchronized to the gravitational acceleration, Wild Königin amplified her Live more and more.
Her body broke down into Lives. It turned to dust or a glowing mist using the same process her brother had used.
Wild Königin fell while surrounded by her song, her Lives, and the moonlight.
The single spear simply dropped while shining in the moonlight.
The four Earth Burns gathered and spiraled around it.
The four-colored streams wrapped around the moonlight in the center.
The transformation only took an instant.
A bluish-white dragon with a single great horn appeared in the heavens.
It was an Earth Serpent with the power of Yin.
It roared to express the joy of its birth.
That loud voice was as metallic as a peacock cry as it burst out.
It was the voice of the dragon Akira had become.
The Yang Earth Serpent consuming Hong Kong’s earth reacted to the cry.
It looked up toward heaven and gave a sharp roar of its own.
The dragon roars reverberated without end.
The city rumbled without end.
The two dragons flew.
The Yin Earth Serpent flew from heaven to earth.
The Yang Earth Serpent flew from earth to heaven.
They charged toward each other with nimbleness unthinkable for their size.
They were fast and they would collide in an instant.
But a certain movement appeared just before those sparks audibly scattered.
The two dragons shifted their positions just before colliding.
Just as it looked like they would wrap around each other as if to tie a knot, they rapidly parted.
The Yang Earth Serpent curved to the right and ascended while the Yin Earth Serpent curved to the left and descended.
Together, they formed a double helix shape.
A bluish-white spiral and a yellowish-white spiral raced through Hong Kong’s night sky.
The intersection of the two dragons below the moon created a puff of light.
It was a collection of Lives.
The Yang dragon split off the Lives it had created by breaking down Hong Kong and the Yin dragon absorbed them.
It almost looked like the one was handing its excess nutrients to its starving sister.
The two great dragons raised simultaneous cries.
That signaled the end of the ceremony.
The Yang Earth Serpent moved first and it pushed the air out of the way to fly toward heaven.
The Yin Earth Serpent looked up at it for just a moment before facing down once more.
The one-horned dragon descended in a straight line.
Its gaze was centered on Hong Kong Cave.
After the sound of something slicing through the wind, the Yin Earth Serpent twisted its bluish-white body and dove inside Hong Kong Cave.
Song of Farewell
Gunmal ran up the Hong Kong Island mountain path that led to Hong Kong Cave.
When he glanced upwards, he could not see the door to heaven or the Yang Earth Serpent.
A few minutes had passed since the dragon Akira had become had dove into Hong Kong Cave with a great roar.
Hong Kong had already left England’s control.
He swung Wild König to break the rocks blocking his way and he hurried to the mountain peak.
He was out of breath, but he did arrive there.
He reached the edge of the great hole once known as Hong Kong Cave.
He stood on the very edge and looked down.
There, he saw what Akira had wanted.
He saw Hong Kong Cave after it had been Tuned by the dragon she had become.
Nothing was out of place and there was not a stain to be seen. The barriers built out of fear of others were gone, but the empty city had been perfectly recreated along the sides of the great pit.
It was a pretty city.
It was so delicate that it almost looked like a paper model.
Gunmal smiled and stared down at it.
His gaze dropped down to the very bottom of the pit where he saw a light.
It was the moon.
He tilted his head but then realized what it was.
It was the spring.
The water at the very bottom was reflecting the moon.
It was a perfectly round and wonderful moon.
“I can’t believe this.”
He sat down, took a breath, placed a hand on his chin, and glanced up at the heavens.
The real full moon floated there.
He sighed and spoke to no one in particular as its light washed over him.
“You really do lose out when you try to act tough, don’t you?”
His words were carried away by the wind blowing up from the sea.
Only his silhouette cast a dark mark on the ground thanks to the moonlight.
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