City Series:Volume4b Chapter 11

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Chapter 11: Conclusion (View of the Win/Loss Score Display)[edit]

Part 1[edit]

7:17 PM

The heat of the Word Particle Cannon grazed Osaka Castle with its massive wind pressure.

A full third of the castle’s main tower was torn away.

Needless to say, the shot of light did not end there.

After shattering the mass of ice, the light collided with the ground.

The glowing spear stabbed into the ruins of Yamazato Maru to the north of the castle.

It was a beam of light and great heat.

The impact was too soft to call an explosion, but it still hit the ground, scattered in every direction, and reflected back toward the sky.

The trees, the lawn, and even the dirt burst and burned instantly.

It left a crater 100 meters across in the ground and an inaudible noise and heat burst into the sky.

The turbulent noise formed an instantaneous tornado and rose toward heaven.

The wind wailed.

The dark clouds shook with a clear hole through them after the Word Particle Cannon fired through them.

The noise of the explosion reverberated through the sky and finally became an audible sound.

The sky heavily roared.

The deep rumbling shook the city of Osaka.

The clouds, air, buildings, trees, streets, and water all shook.

The deep roar was almost frustratingly slow.

Afterwards, only the scars of disaster remained.

No one could survive a hit from an attack like that.

Part 2[edit]

Same Time

As the heat rose into the sky, something was visible on the peak of the castle tower.

It was a person.

It was Koto Chancellor Yuuki Yuuki.

She stood perfectly still as the turbulence vanished from the sky and the night quieted down.

The loud sounds of impact in the distance were the proof that someone else continued to fight.

They were the sounds of a fight she could not take part in.

“…”

She pushed her glasses up her nose and stared down below.

The first thing to enter her field of vision was the exposed wood and insulation where the roof tiles had been stripped away.

Then she looked further down below the broken edge of the roof.

“Nothing there.”

Sure enough, there was only darkness on the ground below.

Even in the night, she could see the pitch black hole 100 meters across.

That was the scar of the Word Particle Cannon hit.

It was the same attack that had destroyed the schoolyard of Prefectural #2 where Ixolde was.

Ixolde’s underground space had been there to receive it before, but that was not the case here.

The ruins of Yamazato Maru had been a park with trees, but the 1 hectare space had been entirely blown away.

The hole of destruction had devoured the stone steps and height differences that should have been there and it extended as far as the inner moat on the other side.

“…”

Yuuki said nothing and looked up into the sky.

Smoke, rather than clouds, was spreading through Osaka’s sky.

That smoke had been created when everything that had made this land had been blown away and annihilated.

That smoke could be called “priceless”.

An airplane’s identifier lights pierced through the smoke.

The corporate airplane was likely checking on the status of the battle.

She brushed up her hair as she watched it.

Small pieces of dirt spilled from her hair as she did so.

A gentle wind began to blow and it carried the scent of shimmering heat.

And…

Yuuki – Sight Tech – Auto-Take – Spot – Hit!

Yuuki looked at a certain point in the sky.

Yuuki – Army Tech – Take – Identify – Hit!

It was not an airplane’s identifier lights.

It was a more primitive light.

It was the light of fire and it was descending from the sky.

The Dog God barked quietly at her feet.

But she kept her eyes on the sky.

She confirmed the identity of the fire.

Yuuki – Sight Tech – Take – Confirm – Hit!

It was clothing.

A mountain hoodie fell as it burned.

She recognized the hoodie.

“It can’t be…”

“Oh, but it can.”

She heard a voice behind her.

It was a boy’s voice. It was Tokyo Chancellor Nakamura Hisahide’s voice.

“!”

She looked back surprise, but it was too late.

She tried to quickly turn around, but a presence much like a heated wind reached her right hand.

Immediately afterwards, an artillery-like kick jabbed into her side.

The impact rang loud.

“———!”

She could not scream.

She just barely kept herself from falling and grabbed at the roof with her left hand which did not hold Housei.

She performed a side flip.

Yuuki – Gym Tech – Take – Control Position – Miss.

When her right foot landed back on the tile-less roof, the ankle went limp.

She had twisted the ankle that had been injured in the battle with Taeko.

Yuuki – Mind Tech – Take – Ignore Pain – Hit.

She could ignore the pain and her body could obey its own functions.

“…”

She slowly stood up by extending her right leg.

A boy stood in front of her: Tokyo Chancellor Nakamura Hisahide.

He raised his right hand into the sky with a terribly serious look on his face.

The mountain hoodie fell into that hand.

“I escaped trouble like this in Prefectural #2’s schoolyard too.”

He forcefully swung the burning hoodie around.

The fire was extinguished.

Some faint ashes flew into the night air.

Yuuki spoke quietly when she saw those ashes.

“You burned the hoodie…to use it as a shield?”

“I had the fire on the hoodie spread to the Word Particle light.”

He put on the hoodie.

He pulled headphones from the pocket of the red hoodie with one sleeve burned off.

He hummed the Fire High Rhythm as he put the headphones in his ears.

And he smiled bitterly.

He looked to Yuuki.

“That attack seems to have shaken me.”

“You mean it disturbed your Lives?”

“My pulse is too disturbed to use the Flame High.”

He removed the headphones and his smile grew even bitterer.

His lips formed a smile that was barely even a smile.

He immediately rushed in at full speed.

The bottom of his red hoodie instantly spread out in the darkness.

He moved fast.

Yuuki – Dodge Tech – Take – Dodge – Hit!

It was no use.

It happened before she could dodge.

It happened too soon for her to react.

Nakamura’s Rhythm-less kick hit her right arm from the side.

The blow had the weight of a log.

“!”

The impact knocked Housei from her hand and the staff rolled along the roof.

She lost her balance and nearly rolled off of the roof.

Yuuki – Gym Tech – Take – Control Position – Hit!

But before even that could happen, Nakamura kicked again from the left.

Not even a Dodge Tech would have been fast enough.

Before the damage could even reach her, she was sent flying in the opposite direction.

She stumbled and returned to the peak of the roof.

She somehow managed to stand.

“————!”

She belatedly gasped at the weight of the blows to her body.

But she did not scream.

No, she could not.

“That’s a Killing Holder for you.”

She heard Nakamura’s voice.

By the time she realized he was right in front of her, it was too late.

He made an attack from the White Noise that prevented her Sight or Hear Techs from sensing his presence.

The Harmonist’s attack arrived instantly.

She caught a brief glimpse of a forward kick that could break through a sheet of steel.

“!?”

It was a direct hit.

Her right ankle collapse and she was unable to reduce the damage by dodging or falling back, so she was blown away.

Her body doubled over and flew through the air.

A moment later, her back struck one of the shachihoko on the ends of the roof.

“…!”

She gasped.

The breath was knocked out of her.

The vibration that hit her body had numbed her lungs.

She could not produce her Words.

All strength left her legs and her butt fell onto the roof.

Her sides were numb after the two kicks and her arms hung limply down.

She could not move.

Only her eyes moved behind the glasses that had miraculously stayed on her face.

The Dog God was to her right.

The spirit beast was within arm’s reach and it only looked silently up at her.

Her eyes met the small animal’s and she mouthed something to it.

“…”

But the Dog God did not understand. She narrowed her eyes when it tilted its head a little.

And she looked forward.

Nakamura Hisahide stood there.

He was 3 meters away.

From there, he could make a kick after a single step approach.

He rolled up the surviving sleeve of his hoodie.

“You’re not making this easy.” His breath appeared white in the air. “I think I’ll settle this and things down below all at once.”

He spread his hand and held it forward.

A silver ring glittered on his right hand’s ring finger.

He clenched the hand into a fist.

He tightly clenched it.

His lips moved and formed a statement.

“I am king.”

Yuuki said nothing.

She looked at Nakamura without even nodding.

Her gaze alone held strength.

It was far from a resigned strength.

Nakamura snorted a little when she looked him in the eye.

“It’s no use.”

He breathed in deeply and put in his headphones.

He breathed out.

That white breath was followed by fire bursting from his hands.

The crimson light of the flames danced in the darkness with Osaka’s nightscape in the background.

The fire raced out while crackling in the air.

Nakamura moved.

He took a step forward.

His straight line kick was directed toward Yuuki’s face as she sat on the roof.

A yell of focus escaped his lips.

“Sheahhh!!”

The kick flew.

And at that exact moment, a vermilion pillar rose between the two of them.

“!?”

It was a staff.

It was Yuuki’s staff known as Housei. It stabbed into the roof with a solid sound.

The unexpected intruder threw off Nakamura’s movement.

His kick changed course and hit Housei instead of Yuuki.

With a metallic clang, the giant tuning fork of a staff turned to ashes in an instant.

The kick rotated around and toward Yuuki’s back.

“Kh…!”

But he made a jump without leaving any kind of opening.

He moved away from Yuuki and landed.

He put up his guard and shouted.

“Who is it!?”

Yuuki looked in the direction he had yelled.

A boy stood on the edge of the roof with Osaka’s nightscape behind him.

The boy had a bandanna around his forehead and a red prosthetic in place of his right arm.

Yuuki recognized him.

His presence and the look in his eyes were the same as 3 years ago.

So she called his name. She called the name of the boy she had been waiting for.

She squeezed at her lungs and forced the voice from her throat.

“…Shoui-kun!!”

Part 3[edit]

Same Time

The Word Particle Cannon wind and the movements of Takahiro’s dragon had entirely synchronized.

His scarf became a dragon in the downpour of lightning.

The light wrapped around the wave of wool and became a beast.

The transformation was instantaneous.

The long bundle of light flew forward.

It spiraled around, took in the air’s ether, and rapidly grew.

Without a moment’s delay, it opened its maw to reveal rows of fangs and roared.

Instead of a tiger or lion’s, this was a dragon’s roar.

It reverberated.

The flying dragon’s body was surrounded in thorn-like scales of light as it slipped through the air.

The two-horned dragon raced between the pillars of electricity.

It knew exactly where it was going.

It would devour its target.

Its eyes were fixed on a tall girl who was struggling against her raging false arm.

It was Taeko.

She saw the approaching dragon.

It was fast.

The horns and fangs were given physical form by the kotodama, so a direct hit would likely crush the Dragon Emperor in its jaws.

She would have to use the Dragon Emperor to strike back, but how could she regain control?

“Ya moron! I’m yer master!!” shouted Taeko.

She used her broken right fist to punch the Dragon Emperor’s armor.

The dragon’s eye was there.

Taeko – Boxing Tech – Take – Strike – Hit!

The striking sound did not awaken the dragon.

But the pain from her fist did stabilize her mind.

There was one way to control the dragon.

She immediately thought of it.

So she raised her voice.

“Dragon Emperor!”

Takahiro’s dragon was right in front of her.

But Taeko smiled.

“Ya saved me once already, didn’t ya? Back up on that observation deck!”

She used a Tech amid the great din.

Taeko – Steel Tech – Take – False Arm “Dragon Emperor” Final Activation – Hit!

A powerful tremor ran through her body.

It was a pulse.

It came from her left shoulder.

And…

“Obey yer master!”

With that, the Dragon Emperor regained its own will.

Instead of going mad as a prosthetic arm, it was half-forcibly awoken as a dragon.

The dragon’s will overcame the kotodama.

The madness ceased, the downpour of lightning ended, and the final activation began.

The armor panels on her shoulder instantly opened and revealed the biological component inside.

It was a yellow dragon’s eye that looked like a plate.

As soon as that eye focused itself, the horn at the top of the shoulder lowered and a cannon stuck out.

The Dragon Emperor moved on its own.

The fist opened and the claws stabbed into the ground.

The eye and the cannon looked to the approaching dragon.

Just before the collision, the Dragon Emperor roared.

The great beast’s cry was fired from the cannon as a bundle of light.

This was the lightning dragon’s cannon blast.

The approaching dragon was instantly obliterated by a direct hit.

The light raced on.

It blew away Takahiro who raised his coat as a shield.

With an intense noise, the ground was torn up and the air was scorched.

A powerful impact raced out and the recoil sent the Dragon Emperor’s claws several dozen meters back as they dug through the ground.

Taeko had crouched down and obeyed the dragon’s will as she kept it from sliding back.

“Goooo!”

The dragon did as its master wished.

Its roar continued.

The light grew to about 20 meters wide and easily more than 800 meters long.

The bundle of lightning brought down the inner moat’s stone wall, destroyed the Kyobashi bridge on the other side, and burned away the outer moat and even the Neya River across the road.

That light and the noise reverberated across Osaka’s night, but then suddenly vanished.

Nothing remained afterwards.

The destruction lasted approximately 12 seconds.

And after that length of time, the Dragon Emperor’s wailing ended.

Part 4[edit]

Same Time

Inside the powerful turbulent air, Souichirou was slammed against the central circle’s wall and saw Aoi Hijiri standing in the distance.

She was almost entirely unharmed.

Meanwhile, his mobile shell had shattered and fallen in pieces to the ground and his coat was in tatters.

His false arms and legs had tears through them and the white internal fluid was spilling out.

“…”

Souichirou – Steel/Medical Tech – Multi-Take – Diagnose Wounds – Hit.

He could somehow move his body, but his prosthetics were in bad shape.

Whether or not he could move with all his strength was a real question.

“…That really isn’t a technique to let hit you.”

With that comment, he pulled his back from the wall.

The remains of the mobile shell still clinging to him finally fell to the ground.

His right knee gave out and white fluid erupted from the back of the knee.

“The lubricant is leaking,” calmly noted Hijiri. “You won’t be able to move the leg in another minute.”

Souichirou said nothing and stood in the chilly wind.

With a quiet noise from the back of his head, his eyepatch’s thread snapped.

His crushed right eye was exposed to the air.

That eye had been scratched by the ogre’s claws.

“…”

He touched the wound with his trembling hand.

There was a stiff scar there.

His lips moved unexpectedly.

“None of them would forgive me, would they?”

He clenched his fist and lightly tapped at his leg.

“Stick with me to the end, everyone.”

He began to walk.

His legs trembled, but his pace was steady.

Step by step, he quietly approached Hijiri.

The internal fluid spilled from the false leg and fell to the ground like bloodstains.

Hijiri responded with a sigh.

“You still haven’t given up? You can’t even dodge right now.”

“Dodging will not be necessary.”

He came to a stop.

He was about ten paces away from her.

That was the perfect distance for Kusanagi.

He lowered his hips, spread his legs diagonally, and stood firmly.

He was prepared for a one-hit win that rejected dodging.

“My Dance Combat style has evolved through attack,” he said.

“…Then you’re prepared to do this?”

“My obligations…allow nothing else.”

Souichirou held his Device low.

And he looked to Hijiri’s face.

He nodded.

“Allow me to show you what the ‘modified’ in Modified Purple Electricity Style means.”

“Enough bravado. You really will die.”

Instead of low, Hijiri held her hexagonal rod in front of her eyes with both hands.

She intended to block the attack with the Shinkage Style.

They were both using their specialty.

They began their preparatory breaths.

One.

Two.

“…”

On three, their breathing synchronized.

Then they stopped breathing simultaneously.

Silence fell.

They could only hear the wind and the distant impacts of another battle.

They were nearly noiseless noises.

They could not even feel the chill of winter with their surroundings so brimming with the sense of battle.

Souichirou started by speaking without disturbing his focus.

“I am Osaka Chancellor Nanba Souichirou. My Dance Combat is the Modified Purple Electricity Style.”

Hijiri responded.

“I am Tokyo Vice Chancellor Aoi Hijiri. My Dance Combat is the Shinkage Style.”

Hearing that, Souichirou nodded.

Hijiri also nodded and squeezed the hexagonal rod in her grip.

“…Now!”

Souichirou shouted back.

“Begin!”

Their movements were like a flash.

An attack raced up from below.

Souichirou – Kusanagi/Steel/Sword Tech – Multi-Take – Kusanagi Blast – Hit!

Wind was the first thing to race out.

The air wavered.

A shimmering rose between the two of them.

A voice followed.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

It was a simple, monosyllabic Word.

And that Word brought an explosion of air.

It flew in a straight line.

The slicing power tore up the dirt as it shot forward.

The tearing sound was like an ensemble of echoes.

The slicing wind and impact stabbed at the ground and sent it flying.

Sand flew with a roar.

But Hijiri thrust her hexagonal rod forward to block it.

If she succeeded, she would win.

Kusanagi left a large opening right after it was fired.

Even if she took some damage, crushing Kusanagi and gaining the right to attack next would be worth it.

She smiled as the impact flew toward her.

City v04b 411.jpg

“I’ll settle this!”

But it did not end there.

For some reason, she heard another yell.

“Daaaahhh!”

It was Souichirou’s voice.

He raised his Device and forcibly…

Souichirou – Steel/Gym/Boxing Tech – Multi-Take – Strength – Hit!

He adjusted how he held the Device and swung it up overhead.

“!”

His next movement only took an instant.

Souichirou – Kusanagi/Steel/Sword Tech – Multi-Take – Kusanagi Blast – Hit!

And a second voice burst out.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

It was a simple, monosyllabic Word.

This was not just a double attack.

The second attack caught up with and sliced through the first Kusanagi shockwave.

It was a straight line of spatial destruction.

By further cutting the vacuum, he created a truly empty slash that should have only existed in theory.

He had cut the cutting power of Kusanagi with Kusanagi.

The ground was stirred up as the cutting wave of destruction raced forward.

It no longer produced a sound as it flew toward Hijiri.

“!?”

The one attack hit.

The hexagonal rod broke and the power of the Shinkage Style could not fully deflect Souichirou’s attack.

A technique of intense and pure power struck her.

“————!!”

She flew through the air.

At the same time, heated internal fluid burst from all four of Souichirou’s limbs.

The Device flew from his hand and stabbed into the ground.

He fell to his knees and Hijiri collided with the ground at almost the exact same moment.

Neither of them could stand.

Their battle ended there.

Part 5[edit]

7:20 PM

The clash between Hizaka Shoui and Nakamura Hisahide began wordlessly.

Shoui blocked Nakamura’s fiery kick with a Tech.

Shoui – Boxing/Dodge Tech – Counter-Multi-Take – Block – Hit!

The Harmonist’s power kicked in.

Taking that into consideration, Shoui moved further.

Shoui – Boxing/Dodge Tech – Counter-Multi-Take – Block – Hit!

He used the Tech a second time.

He normally would have been satisfied with just once, but not here.

This was only possible with abnormal reaction speed and a Tech he was intimately familiar with through intensive training.

His red right arm blocked the flames and the kick behind them.

There was an impact and a noise.

The flames scattered.

But his right arm did not burn.

Nakamura clicked his tongue.

And Shoui moved.

Shoui – Boxing Tech – Take – Punch – Hit!

Nakamura dodged with his Harmonist power.

But Shoui did not give up.

Shoui – Boxing Tech – Take – Punch – Hit!

Nakamura dodged with his Harmonist power.

But Shoui did not give up.

Shoui – Boxing Tech – Take – Punch – Hit!

Nakamura dodged with his Harmonist power.

But Shoui did not give up.

Shoui – Boxing Tech – Take – Punch – Hit!

And then he won.

After redoing it several times over the course of a single instant, Shoui’s speed caught Nakamura.

His fist hit the boy’s shoulder.

The impact of the blow ran through Nakamura.

His body wavered.

But despite that waver, he used the blow to spin his body around.

A kick flew.

Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!

Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!

Shoui fully dodged it.

He put some distance between them.

He exhaled while sensing Yuuki’s presence behind him.

This is scary.

Nakamura must have sensed that mental state because he snorted in laughter.

“Not bad.”

“Well, I’ll do the best I can.”

“But…”

Nakamura gave Shoui an upturned glance.

“You’re pretty exhausted, aren’t you?”

Shoui responded with silence.

Nakamura was exactly right.

Repeatedly using Techs so continuously wore down his strength.

The drain on his stamina was far greater than normal.

He already felt fear in facing the Flame High.

But.

He nodded while speaking in his heart.

He began to use his left hand to pull the bandanna down over his eyes.

“…”

But he stopped.

He had to keep his eyes on his opponent.

He focused himself.

He poured all of his focus into sensing his opponent’s movements and into the entirety of his body.

He felt his heart pound in his chest.

He could feel his own body. He could tell it had nerves running all the way to the fingertips and toe tips.

His body would move as he wanted.

He had a will of his own.

He had his missing memories.

He had an opponent.

And he had something to protect.

“…”

Shoui silently looked up.

Shoui and Nakamura’s gazes seemed to audibly crash together.

Shoui fearlessly maintained his fighting stance.

Nakamura also maintained his fighting stance.

They did not move.

The one to ask a question via words was Nakamura.

“What is it…that you want?”

This was the same question he had asked Souichirou during his attack on Ixolde.

It was a simple question based on curiosity.

And Shoui answered quietly.

“To protect.”

The answer was as simple as the question.

Nakamura asked another question without nodding.

“Do you like fighting?”

“…”

No response.

As they faced each other in silence, Nakamura asked again.

“Do you like fighting?”

He received a short response.

“I’ve never thought about it.”

“Why not?”

Shoui did not answer.

He simply moved.

Nakamura’s fire roared and flew in response.

Shoui slammed his own fist toward that fire.

He used his left fist instead of the ogre’s right arm.

I can do this!

He sensed the Storm High’s presence.

His heart remembered.

He remembered the girl who had given him a prophecy and the girl who waited for him.

He moved simply to protect.

“!”

The fist and the kick collided.

An explosion rumbled out.

Part 6[edit]

7:21 PM

Flames exploded.

The Storm High strike had negated the Flame High strike.

A solid sound rang out and the undying flames surged into the air as a flare.

Two powers clashed.

Flames.

And emptiness.

Those contrasting powers collided and maintained equilibrium.

“Seaaaaahhh!”

Even greater flames flew.

In response, the emptiness intercepted them with an unarmed hand.

They clashed.

A solid sound rang out and the flames danced.

With a roar much like a wave, a cascade of flames struck the roof of the main castle tower.

The roof burned in an instant.

It was a great conflagration.

The fire burned down Osaka Castle like flowing water.

“!”

More than a third of the giant structure was turned to ashes and annihilated in an instant.

It was a great power, but it had no effect on Shoui.

The flames flew once more.

The emptiness caught it.

A rumbling shook the air.

It did so again and again.

Each time, fire blossomed in the darkness of the night.

And that was not all.

Something white began to fall from the dark clouds in the sky.

It was snow.

As the continuous rumbling shook them, the dark clouds produced snow.

Countless red flowers blossomed within the falling snow.

Red flowers bloomed in the darkness.

And white flowers bloomed in the darkness.

An empty party began in the fire and in the strength.

Two prophecies coincided.

Emptiness was born from Shoui’s heart with no Rhythm and it swept away the memory of death.

Within the rumbling and the falling snow, Shoui and Nakamura’s attacks and Words coincided.

Nakamura was slightly faster.

“A woman becomes the queen.” / “A queen smiles at him.”

“A sage reminisces.” / “A sage resigns himself.”

“Run without looking to another’s path.” / “Fall into indecisiveness while looking to another’s path.”

“Choose your own path and sprint.” / “Choose your own path and hesitate.”

“The true path lies in the future.” / “The true path lies in the past.”

More red flowers bloomed in the darkness.

But one thing had changed.

Nakamura’s Words had vanished while Shoui’s Words continued.

He recited them.

To search for his own Words, he reached for everything he had gained.

He pulled in his own current and raised his voice.

“————!!”

City v04b 423.jpg

With that roar, the Storm High pierced the nothingness.

Within the chilly and still air, a field of destruction appeared inside all of that grand power.

In that field of destruction and annihilation, nobody took the middle road.

Nothing would live and nothing would die.

It all existed to protect.

“Everyone…!”

And with those Words, Shoui brought his fist to Nakamura.

It was a quick barrage.

A series of offensive and defensive blows shook the night air.

There was no hesitation in their actions and more snow fell as if to guide them.

White flowers scattered as if to answer the desire of the dark sky.

Shoui simply recited his Words as the white snow fell through the heavy darkness.

And his voice caused the fire to scatter and brighten the darkness.

His punches cried out.

His emptiness collided with Nakamura’s flames.

They were both fast.

Blow after blow rang out so quickly it sounded like one continuous noise.

And he sped up his Words to accelerate that further.

I have no companions.

She vanishes.

A hand that can hold onto no one remains

A hand that fosters destruction remains

That hand pleads for no one to leave

He clenched his pleading right hand.

The ogre’s fist collided with Nakamura’s kick.

And as he sensed the impact and the noise simultaneously, Shoui remembered everything up to this point.

He had lost his Words.

He had lost his promise.

But he had made it this far.

Why is that?

He sought the answer in everything.

In the darkness and the flames.

In the sky and the snow.

In the wind and the noise.

And in himself…

The impact reverberating from his fist to his head cleared his thoughts.

He remembered some important Words.

They were an important person’s Words.

!!

As the winter wind cried out frigidly, he definitely heard a crying voice inside himself.

That crying voice spoke words yet said nothing.

And as it did, it simply waited, drew near, and never gave up.

Those were the Words of the most important person in the world.

Yeah, that’s right.

Shoui nodded in his heart.

And with that mental understanding, his body freely moved before he even told it to.

He felt like he was moving with no distinction between thoughts and actions.

He felt himself inside a tension and speed he normally could not feel.

It was supported by a barrage of impacts and noises.

His thoughts linked to everything he had.

His sight.

His hearing.

His touch.

His arms.

His legs.

His body.

His head.

His conscious and subconscious.

They all supported his punches, impacts, and defenses.

And he thought.

He sensed more than ever before and looked to the dance partner in front of him.

That boy was moving in the same way.

His speed sensed everything.

His thoughts felt everything.

And he thought.

I’m protecting her…aren’t I?

He was aware of the girl behind him with something other than his 5 senses.

He could not allow her to stand before him.

So he moved to protect her and thought.

Can they hear this?

He made a combination blow.

Are they listening to this?

And he defended.

He thought his Words while moving as he wished.

Who did he want to hear what?

Shoui knew the answer to that.

He moved.

He saw the answer in his movements.

In that high-speed current, he saw what was behind his enemy.

A sea of light and an abyss of darkness.

They were Osaka’s nightscape and the night sky.

He made another combination blow, continued to defend, and found himself oddly focused on that scenery.

White flowers scattered and red flowers blossomed to decorate it.

“!”

Shoui moved even more.

Part 7[edit]

7:22 PM

The movement began with Nakamura.

He made a sharp forward kick toward Shoui who suddenly nodded and crouched low.

This was the same kick he had hit Shoui with back at the student dorm.

His toes flew in a sharp curve from below.

Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!

Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!
Shoui – Dodge Tech – Counter-Take – Dodge – Hit!

Shoui dodged it.

But Nakamura had expected that.

“You’ve gotta be out of Words now!!”

With that shout, he dropped down his raised heel.

He made a second attack.

After the rapid series of dodges, Shoui could not move without stabilizing himself first.

And the Harmonist’s power would hit him before he could do that.

He could not dodge this.

But he moved.

Even as his stance almost collapsed, he thrust his Ogre God arm straight up.

The heel strike fell from the sky.

The kick was like a sword strike.

It was a lot like the attack from Yamashita Gihei 2 years before.

And it was a lot like the attack from Souichirou 2 days before.

Both of them had done grave damage to him.

Shoui felt powerful déjà vu.

But…

Shoui – Mind Tech – Take – Suppress – Hit!!

He felt no phantom pain.

The nightmare did not repeat itself.

“————!”

Without hesitation, he blocked the kick with his raised arm.

He caught the impact.

Even so, the kick tried to beat him down with its heavy momentum and the Flame High’s power.

It was powerful.

And Shoui responded to that strength with an action the Harmonist’s power could not keep up with.

Shoui – Steel Tech – Take – Remove Arm – Hit!!

He removed the Ogre God and let it fly.

“!?”

Nakamura’s kick changed course.

His heel grazed Shoui’s forehead and fell to his side.

The bandanna was cut and flew from Shoui’s head and his forehead was exposed to the air.

The scar there felt hot.

But Nakamura’s attack ended there.

Shoui saw an entirely defenseless body in front of him.

He knew he could win.

And he answered with a shout.

He shouted the Word inside himself.

“Yuuuuuuki!”

Shoui – Gym/Savate/Boxing Tech – Multi-Take – Combination – Hit!

A 4-blow combination jabbed into Nakamura’s body like a machinegun.

The boy in the red hoodie was blown away.

But…

“…Kh!”

At only 5 meters away, Nakamura regained his footing and stopped himself.

“Don’t screw with me!!”

Nakamura roared back and started forward.

Shoui was hit by killer intent not much different from a wild animal’s.

But Shoui still moved forward.

As he ran, he reached his left hand into his pocket and pulled something out: a golden ring.

He flicked it forward with his fingers.

The ring flew through the snow-filled darkness at eye level.

Nakamura saw the light of the ring.

“!”

The two boys ran straight ahead with the ring between them.

They ran.

They raced.

With a silver ring on his hand, Nakamura reached out to grab that golden one.

But at that very moment, Shoui’s left hand grabbed the small airborne ring before Nakamura could.

And he clenched the hand into a fist.

From here, he only had to make the best possible movement.

Shoui – Gym/Savate/Boxing Tech – Multi-Take – Straight Fist – Hit!

He made a full rotation, stopped while turned to the side, and threw his fist directly into the left side of Nakamura’s chest.

It was a perfect punch.

And that brought them both to a stop.


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