City Series:Volume5b Chapter17

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Chapter 17: Death[edit]

City v05b 163.jpg

07/28/1944 – 07/29/1944



The rest I will prove

Using my actions

July 28, 1944[edit]

German Army Paris Branch Telegraph: To All Units[edit]

Urgent.

The sabotage around Paris by Panzers has been confirmed from the Verbesserung of dispatched troops. Immediately begin an Alert Level 3 response. Also, a truck carrying a Grösse Panzer was seen emerging from the entrance to the catacombs within Paris. We suspect the enemy is using the catacombs to transport their Panzers and we must respond immediately. Time is of the essence.

Over.

Guilliaum’s Letter: To a Far Distant Friend[edit]

My friend, no preface is needed any longer. A new war has finally begun.

We have 13 usable Appareils. All have had their restrictions removed, allowing use of their maximum power. They are also fully equipped with weapons.

Of the 13, three are currently being used as a diversion while the remaining ones form teams of two to attack various strategic locations.

One team to the broadcast station, one to the postal agency, one to the city hall, and two to the German Army Paris Branch.

They will conquer those locations within two hours. I told them that failing to do so would make it much harder for reinforcements to arrive. I just hope we can settle this here. I have done what I can do, so now I can only wait for the result.

How will it turn out?

Most of those working with the Appareils are so young. All of the old-timers like myself have fallen back to work as strategists and advisors. We must let them win this. If this operation fails, we will lose so many of those who can support Paris in the future. This uprising is being fought only by the Resistance members here in Paris, so our reputation is on the line.

I can’t believe that Phillip Missel. He claims to have found a surefire way of defeating Heinz Berge. I saw the equipment his unit had prepared and there was something odd within it. Phlogiston? That man is not so weak that he can be burned to death with that spirit fuel, so what is that boy thinking?

<A telegraph arrives. The broadcast station is strongly defended and they have sent out Appareils of their own.>

Do we have to send the diversion unit in to attack from the other side?

Things are about to get busy. Bye.

Telegraph from German Military Police: To Paris Army Paris Branch[edit]

Urgent. It is 13:15 and one of our Phlogiston transport trains at the Paris station has been stolen along with the tanks on board. Our Verbesserung identified the robbery’s leader as the Grösse Panzer named Expert de Épée. The enemy unit loaded the tanks onto 6 Grösse Panzer transport vehicles and fled. The unit sent in pursuit was wiped out. This is an act of defiance. Over.

Phillip Missel’s Telegraph: To All Troops[edit]

At 13:20, all Lourd de Marionnette are to ignore the infantry and attack the vehicles. My Unit 13 will act as a commando unit. After preparing for battle against Heinz Berge in the Arc de Triomphe plaza, we will move to support Units 1 and 2 at the broadcast station. Keep the communicators you were given open at all times.

Heinz Berge’s Schreiben: Entry in Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Memory Bank[edit]

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x102.”

The passage of time feels so slow.

But this is not the actual passage of time.

“The current time is 13:55:03.”

I am currently in front of the Central Paris Broadcast Station in southern Paris.

I left the en-route transport train when an emergency telegraph arrived. The Resistance has begun an uprising primarily using Grösse Panzers, the broadcast station and police station have been taken, and it is only a matter of time before the city hall is as well. But I sensed the real danger in the fighting occurring at the German Army Paris Branch. I Schreibened into Rot Löwe aboard the transport train, tore through the chains strapping it down, and left. I entered Paris.

My power output is currently at 5 times normal. My running speed is not enough to tear through the wind, but the city’s trees and windows are destroyed as I run.

<The city streets are entirely deserted despite the azure sky above.

I see destroyed vehicles, gunpowder smoke, and the occasional corpses of what are likely German soldiers and Resistance members.>

There are not many corpses. The uprising is likely a localized thing.

That poses its own risks. A localized force that intends to hole up in a fortified position will be smaller but have higher morale and they can achieve results more quickly since they will have already narrowed down their goals.

I heard this uprising began at around 13:00. The result will likely be known by 14:30.

“The current time is 13:55:47.”

I pressurize my power output to six times.

The city grows taller around me. No, I have taken a lower stance. So I can run faster. I see a bridge down the street. It crosses the southern end of the Seine which seemingly surrounds Paris.

<A red Renault suddenly bursts out of a side street.

No one sits in the driver’s seat.>

I conclude this is meant to stop my Grösse Panzer.

I keep my legs moving while using my omnidirectional vision to confirm the enemy’s presence to the right.

<A citizen presumably from the Resistance is aiming a Panzerfaust toward me from the same sideroad the Renault exited. He intends to take aim and fire when the car stops me. Around three others are supporting him.>

Too slow.

Even with the fastest human reaction speed, it will take him nearly 0.1 seconds to aim, but I can react at 102 times that speed.

<He fires. The warhead floats in the air for an instant before the smoke erupts out.>

It appears frozen in midair to me.

That Panzerfaust was developed by the German army. Since it has reached the Resistance, we must have a traitor among us.

Knowing that is enough. I draw the heavy cleaver from my hip.

I draw it and fire.

There is no need to view the result. That metal implement can slice through any and all objects with the heavy wind pressure it emits.

<An explosion erupts from the side street behind me as Rot Löwe runs onward.>

The warhead is hit by the shockwave in midair. It is crushed by the noise and shockwave and the explosion of air destroys everything there. Too easy. I Lernen that I briefly heard their screams through a gap in the cacophony of air.

I do not slow my pace.

<The bridge approaches in front of me.>

Just before arriving, I compress my power output to 10 times. To avoid the enemy ambush at the end of the bridge, I leap across the bridge in a single bound.

Phillip Missel’s Telegraph: To All Troops[edit]

This is Unit 13. We are currently supporting the attack on the city hall. Unit 8 took severe casualties and has been absorbed by Unit 7. The city hall has now been 80% taken, so I will leave the rest with them. I have received word that Heinz Berge has returned to Paris. All free Lourd de Marionnettes shall head to the Arc de Triomphe plaza and follow Unit 13’s commands. I will deal with him. Over.

Heinz Berge’s Schreiben: Entry in Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Memory Bank[edit]

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x105.”

The passage of time continues to be slow.

But it is not boring. I lack the emotions to feel that way, but I have determined I could not describe it that way regardless as I have plenty of effective uses for this time.

I have not encountered any more enemies, but I can hear the distant din of voices and Grösse Panzer movement.

The enemy is up ahead.

“The current time is 13:57:11.”

I am currently running through the center of Paris. My power output is stable at 6 times. I again see a bridge in front of me. The Place de la Concorde is beyond it.

<A single male Grösse Panzer stands within the plaza.>

Just one?

Is it waiting for me?

<The Panzer is colored black, just like Rot Löwe. It is a French male Grösse Panzer with sword emblems on its shoulders.

It is the Expert de Épée.

It stands within the Place de la Concorde across the bridge from me.>

I stop moving.

I begin predicting what this could be.

Phillip Missel is working for the German army. But here he is in this situation, alone and motionless, looking my way.

He is waiting for me.

<The Expert de Épée faces the motionless Rot Löwe and raises the sword-shaped Grösse Panzer Werkzeug that was resting against the ground. That is the Third Flame Emperor passed down by the Missel family.

Expert de Épée’s other hand beckons me forward.

And he speaks.

“What’s the hold up, you frigid old man?”

I deem him to be an enemy.

I felt no emotional response to his provocation, but it confirmed that he is not working for our army.

I move forward.

Phillip Missel’s Telegraph: To All Troops[edit]

I am engaged in battle while moving toward the Arc de Triomphe plaza. None of you should join this battle. Heinz Berge is undoubtedly the strongest ground weapon in existence. My attacks can’t even scratch him. And, sir, are you listening? Heinz Berge’s greatest attack is the shockwave created from his subsonic or supersonic movements. Rot Löwe creates destruction with its every move. The source of the attack could not be simpler: its high-power mobility. This is not like the power boost we gain when the Excède Traction links our Appareil to our willpower. He is acting as a machine and simply drawing on his Appareil’s upper limits. They look a lot alike, but they are very different. Our Excède Traction is limited to the extent of our imagination and what our physical abilities will allow, but his high-power mobility can ignore all that thanks to the Panzer Ritter Project and he gains access to the Appareil’s true upper limits. However, our Excède Traction can-

<An attack flies my way. A black Formule forms a horizontal sweep of a blade.>

I use my full power to dodge. The attack is fast but manageable. I can’t tell if the prosthetic surgery is paying off or if I too can predict the immediate future with a sort of prescience. But I might just be able to pull this off. Listen, sir. I have more to say. Our Excède Traction is limited by our physical body, but just like our willpower can ignore the machine’s automatic controls and make it run wild, it can also push the machine past its limits and to a point that not even our bodies can control. That might be the same effect we see with Heinz Berge’s maximum power output. It might be the power that can move a supposedly unmoving Appareil like when I protected Beretta. And it might be what we call an Excède Emblème. However-

<I see the Arc de Triomphe plaza behind me.>

Damn. I can’t afford any distractions now. The rest I will prove using my actions.

Heinz Berge’s Schreiben: Entry in Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Memory Bank[edit]

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x115.”

The passage of time is slow.

The flow of actions is also slow, but my bodily control is under a lot of pressure. No matter how quickly I can make my decisions, it takes some time to make corrections if I act on a mistaken decision.

The opponent I now face will not overlook a mistaken decision on my part. He is strong. And he can match my power output up to about 2 times.

In particular, the attacks made by the fire-engulfed Third Flame Emperor in his right arm are far superior to any Grösse Panzer I have ever fought in the past. They are heavy and swift.

This is an unknown power.

I assume he has recently gained a power similar to my own.

<Once inside the Arc de Triomphe plaza, Expert de Épée makes a horizontally sweeping attack.>

I dodge it instead of blocking it.

The flames of the Third Flame Emperor can negate and block the strikes from my heavy cleaver. I should assume it is a type of Werkzeug. I can amplify and weaponize the Messages of anyone Schreibening into a Grösse Panzer.

I conclude that the Missel family has a close relationship with fire.

My heavy cleaver is meant to supply a finishing blow, but it loses all meaning here.

<Expert de Épée makes repeated jabs.>

I strike and deflect the blows with my heavy cleaver.

And I move forward.

<Just before I can, Expert de Épée raises one leg.

It throws a kick.>

I see the slowly-rising foot preparing a heavy strike.

But it seems odd for a member of the Chevalier de Paris family to use a kick rather than a sword.

I suddenly recall that female Panzer Kavalier I defeated on May 12. She was also there in the Morvan Mountains and she too prepared to throw a kick my way.

Except that had been a feint.

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x124.”

I pressurize my power output to 8 times.

I determine that kick is a feint.

<The twisting of the pivot leg is insufficient.

And the knee of the kicking leg slowly folds up.

This is a different attack.>

It is a tackle starting with the knee.

I must dodge it. I pressurize my power output to 11 times.

I make a large leap toward the center of the Arc de Triomphe plaza behind me.

<Jumping 50 yards with no running start sends out a powerful shockwave.

The simple destructive force of the vibrating air tears up the plaza’s stone pavement and sends them flying into the air.

The cooling device on my back instantly lets out a scream. My constant movement has been too much for it.>

But Expert de Épée could not have escaped that shockwave unscathed. The battle will soon be over.

I land while observing my surroundings.

<My current location is 15 yards in front of the Arc de Triomphe.>

With my current reaction speed, I can see the shockwave tearing through the air, shaking the atmosphere, and producing water vapor.

<But someone easily breaks through to this side of the expanding shockwave. It is the Expert de Épée.>

The Expert de Épée? It survived that shockwave?

<The Expert de Épée is surrounded by flame-colored armor.

And its arms, legs, and face are not those of a Grösse Panzer.

It has transformed using an Ober Emblem.>

Did it use the Ober Emblem to defend against my shockwave?

The full activation of an Ober Emblem is a Grösse Panzer’s greatest attack. Expert de Épée’s Ober Emblem is Flamme Bal. Armor made of solidified fire burns through and vaporizes any and all attacks and its limbs desire constant movement.

I deem it a formidable opponent.

<Flamme Bal charges in while raising Third Flame Emperor in its right arm.

The Werkzeug linked with its Ober Emblem transforms into a 30-yard sword of fire.

A moment later, more and more heavy metallic sounds reach me from outside the Arc de Triomphe plaza.>

What is this?

<Six Grösse Panzers stand up to surround the entire plaza. They are all raising large masses of metal above their heads.

Those are large tanks of Phlogiston.

They throw those and fire the cannons on their backs.

The bullets are fire arrows.

The Phlogiston filling the tanks readily reacts to the divine spell flames, the metal shells rupture, and explosive flames and heat fill the air. The Phlogiston that does not ignite sprays across the split stone tiles of the plaza.>

Phillip Missel’s Telegraph: To All Troops[edit]

With the Phlogiston that we gathered and that we stole from the Germans, a total of 120 tons transformed the Arc de Triomphe plaza into a swimming pool of spirit fuel. That fuel was ignited by the previous cannon fire, engulfing the plaza in flames. But that is not all. An attack from my Excède Emblème will remake the ether Formules of the stone and wind, transforming those things into fire as well. The multitude of fire attacks will make this place into a fiery festival.

Heinz Berge’s Schreiben: Entry in Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Memory Bank[edit]

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x127.”

I understand the enemy’s strategy.

<Flamme Bal swung down its large sword dead ahead.

A great pillar of fire descends.>

I block it with my heavy cleaver. If the enemy is attempting what I think he is, supersonic movement would work against me.

I depressurize my power output to 5 times.

<A heavy attack reaches me.

The solidified fire bends like a whip and threatens to send Rot Löwe’s heavy cleaver flying.>

I move back to reduce the force of the impact.

<The fire pillar attack slams powerfully into the ground.

The Phlogiston soaking my feet is instantly ignited along with the light of Ton transformation.

Flickering fire races across the plaza.

And a moment later…>

It comes. The rapidly-produced flames rob the plaza of its oxygen, so more oxygen rushes in from outside and a powerful gust imbued with the fiery heat rises into the sky.

<In preparation for a blazing fiery explosion, the flames rise up all across the Arc de Triomphe plaza. Red, yellow, scarlet, and hints of blue and white. The color of the rippling heat is not like a candle’s flame. It wells up like water.

While explosive tension fills the flames, Flamme Bal continues running to approach me.>

That Ober Emblem is unaffected by the fire.

That creates a single difference.

<The cooling device on my back gives a scream.

Of course it does. The machine is meant to take in air and emit heat, but a fiery wind is blowing into it now.

The usual process is reversed as the heat entering the cooling device threatens to fry the rest of my Grösse Panzer.>

If Rot Löwe moved at supersonic speeds right now, it would be incapacitated in an instant.

The enemy had drawn the battle out this long and hid their Ober Emblem trump card in order to hit me with a fiery atmospheric explosion and to use Rot Löwe’s cooling device to incapacitate me.

I lack the emotions to be impressed, but this is likely the situation for such an assessment.

<An explosion is coming.>

I must avoid a direct hit.

So I continue moving back and end up below the Arc de Triomphe.

“The current time is 14:02:26.”

My legs are moving slow, but I use my rear vision to take the shortest path. I take a step back as if swimming through the hip-deep flickering fire.

And a second step.

<The conflagration explodes.>

Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Geschäftlich Schrift[edit]

To buffer against impact, the thought connection with the Schreiben user will be cut off for 0.0000001 seconds and reconnected.

The severity of the impact has done damage to numerous parts.

Sensory Devices: Hearing is out of order, right half of compound vision is unusable.

Skeletal Structure: Severe damage to hips, severe damage to left arm, severe damage to left ankle, all parts in need of repairs.

Power System: Light damage.

Fuel System: Risk of ignition of Extra Tank #2, purging.

Cooling System: Left side damaged, cooling effect reduced by 65%.

Ober Emblem: No damage other than structural damage, not primed for activation as Schreiben user has no emotions.

Summary: Combat mobility is possible but limited to subsonic speeds.

Due to the dangerous situation, Schreiben user’s combat-related memories are being scanned and any comparable situations will be forcibly revived within user’s mind.

Heinz Berge’s Schreiben: Entry in Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Memory Bank[edit]

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x126.”

I have lost the right half of my vision.

My hearing has been entirely lost.

I estimate my left arm’s joint has been damaged. I cannot move it.

“The current time is 14:02:30.”

Four seconds have passed since the atmospheric explosion.

The battle continues. I am below the Arc de Triomphe. I can still see fire around me.

But the previous explosion extinguished most of it. The intense flames ignited by Flamme Bal’s Ober Emblem are gone, so the only fire remaining is that licking across the surface of the fuel flooding the plaza.

The heat is subsiding. A slight shimmering covers the surviving left side of my vision.

<The enemy is nowhere to be seen.>

I conclude they took some sort of action to perform the final strike.

The fire is gone and I can still move. And my right arm is functional. As long as I do not step too strongly with my legs, I can run too. I guess that Rot Löwe was able to resist the impact of that atmospheric explosion because it was designed to endure supersonic impacts.

Paris’s Panzer Kavaliers are skilled. That female one used the power of the Ober Emblem to change the flow of battle. Now Phillip Missel has done the same.

I conclude they did very well.

Something similar once happened to me.

There it is in my memories.

This is a memory I was never able to recall before.

Is this the result of the forced revival mentioned in the previous Geschäftlich Schrift?

I lack the emotions to find this strange. This memory was revived because it is necessary. 25 years ago, I fought an Ober Emblem user I encountered in the Morvan Mountains of Bourgogne.

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x139.”

I compress my reaction speed so I can think while battling the enemy.

I recall that memory.

When I encountered Sourire in Bourgogne 25 years ago, it spread the wings of its Ober Emblem, wielded a spear, and slayed my men. The attack that destroyed my right arm was made with the spear that obliterated the Klein Panzer under my command. It was made while turning around and…yes, it was a powerful horizontal sweep of the spear, just like that female Panzer Kavalier tried to use against me at the end of that battle.

I understand.

I must have recalled this past attack back then. That is why I managed to dodge it and forcibly end that battle.

When that heavy spear strike hit me and sent me flying back 25 years ago, I let out a scream as the enemy rushed toward me.

I screamed.

For a Panzer Kavalier, that is a cry of critical failure because it means abandoning the Schreiben records.

I will not do that now.

But at the time, I was possessed by fear and abandoned the fight as quickly as I could manage.

I only survived because Sourire went berserk.

I have never fully activated an Ober Emblem, so the details of this are unknown to me.

Back then, Sourire raised its spear and prepared to pierce my Panzer, but that never happened.

Even more ether enveloped Sourire’s Ober Emblem.

The ether armor and skeletal structure surrounding Sourire’s body tried to transform into something other than Haute Ange.

That should have been impossible.

An Ober Emblem is carved into the Panzer’s armor, so it is immutable. Once activated, the different parts join together to create a specific shape and amplify the power output, but they cannot take a different form.

Yet Sourire definitely tried to change its Ober Emblem in that moment.

The wings rose toward heaven even more magnificently and the Panzer created by the Ober Emblem crumbled away. An Ober Emblem rearranges the Tons of the metal and oil creating the Panzer and transforms its structure into something else. The change begins from the surface and the ether gives the Panzer the very form of the Ober Emblem’s Message.

It fell apart before that transformation could be reversed.

While Sourire opened the mouth that had originally been its speech device and raised a bestial roar into the heavens, the wings on its back bent and retook the shape of the broken extra tanks in midair. Next, the right arm extended to nearly twice its original length before shattering and transforming back into the original components.

After that, I heard mechanical screams from the right arm, right chest, and neck.

A moment afterwards, I stood up and charged forward in something like a tackle. I sliced the enemy in two.

Which resulted in-

<I see some faint light.

Out of the corner of my vision, I see something flying toward me from outside the Arc de Triomphe plaza.

The lights number 6 in all.>

The Verbesserung cuts off my thoughts and drags my mind back to reality.

The Grösse Panzers surrounding the plaza have fired on me.

I take that as a sign of the battle resuming.

“The current time is 14:02:33.”

In real time, 7 seconds have passed since the atmospheric explosion.

The enemy is trying to end this with their attacks.

<But Expert de Épée is nowhere to be seen in the plaza.>

The enemy has some kind of plan.

I start by confirming the incoming attacks. Based on the angle of fire, 4 of the 6 will hit the Arc de Triomphe’s exterior wall and one will pass below the arc. Only the last one will hit me, so I need only intercept that one.

I cannot raise my right arm in time.

And I cannot use a sonic boom.

Thus, I jab my heavy cleaver in that direction, piercing the bullet.

<The incoming bullets are all frozen arrows. My heavy cleaver can shatter those.>

I shatter it.

Ice cannot defeat the void.

My heavy cleaver even slices through the very phenomenon of freezing brought on by the freezing Ton.

<Ice smoke ruptures, covering my vision.>

It all happens in silence since my hearing devices are broken.

<At the same time, four of the frozen arrows strike the arc.

It is frozen white.

On a late-July summer afternoon, that famous stone structure is transformed into an icy gate with a visibly white chill rising from it.>

“The current time is 14:02:35.”

My metal skin feels the chill.

<My cooling device regains full functioning as if new life has been breathed into it.>

The enemy’s strategy makes no sense.

They were using fire to attack until now, so why the sudden change to ice? This attack actually helps me by letting my cooling system work again.

Thus, I conclude this is part of the enemy strategy.

I will be in danger if I cannot figure out why they would turn the Arc de Triomphe into ice.

I must search for the important points around me.

The enemy is not here.

The arc has been frozen.

And the enemy likely still has their Ober Emblem fully activated.

The 30-yard flame sword created by the fusion of Third Flame Emperor and the Ober Emblem is not exactly sharp, but it provides a powerful blow.

I think.

“The current time is 14:02:36.”

The Panzer Kavalier known as the strongest must not lose. I will not scream. My enemy, Phillip Missel, has fought this far while keeping his scream contained within.

He must not even be considering the possibility of screaming.

I think.

Will he scream when I achieve my victory here?

It will all come after the battle has been decided.

This enemy is top rate, so I cannot let my guard down.

I can predict the general strategy. The enemy is using the Arc de Triomphe as a wall to remain hidden from me. He has not left this plaza. He is not the kind of Panzer Kavalier who allows himself to run away.

Then what is he hoping to accomplish here?

“The current time is 14:02:38.”

It all comes down to the Ober Emblem’s attack power.

That 30-yard attack can easily smash the arc now that it is ice.

I guess the enemy plans to slice through me and the arc while it hides him. Gunfire is useless against me and close-range swordplay is meaningless, so he will use a wide-range attack from outside my field of vision.

But a question remains.

Will the enemy come from the right or left side of the arc?

There is only one answer. It is all the same as when I fought that black dragon.

Phillip Missel’s Telegraph: To All Troops[edit]

Has he figured it out? Then I need to see this through to the end!

The Excède Emblème boosts the power output as far as my imagination can take it. I am currently in the sky above the Arc de Triomphe. Let’s see you dodge an attack made on the way down from a leap of about 50 yards!

Heinz Berge’s Schreiben: Entry in Grösse Panzer Rot Löwe’s Memory Bank[edit]

“The current Schreiben reaction speed is approximately x143.”

It all happened in an instant.

The moment I predicted the enemy’s action, I made a subsonic swing of my heavy cleaver to slice through the left side of the Arc de Triomphe. The stone structure had been frozen via ether transformation, so despite its weight, it easily crumbled from the impact.

<At the same time, the ceiling portion collapses.

It is Expert de Épée.

The Flamme Bal Ober Emblem is starting to deactivate. After breaking through the arc, the flame sword growing from Third Flame Emperor vanishes.

But the attack itself is not gone.

While white and blue ice spray cascades down and turns to steam on the scorched ground, the pitch black Panzer swings down its sword-shaped Werkzeug.>

The ground is covered in ice, making evasion impossible. But I have already done what must be done.

I can only wait for the result.

<Expert de Épée’s slowly-swung attack moves to slam into Rot Löwe as a slash.

However…>

City v05b 189.jpg

It misses.

I had attacked and tilted the Arc de Triomphe before the enemy could strike.

The diagonal tilt of the icy mass redirected the enemy’s attack slightly to the left.

Yes, by trusting in the accuracy of the enemy’s attack, I could shift that aim just enough to avoid Rot Löwe’s head and instead chop off the unneeded left arm at the collarbone.

<While ice scatters like a wave of white sand, Rot Löwe’s left arm flies from the broken joint.

In that instant, Third Flame Emperor crashes into the plaza ground and the force of the impact smashes Expert de Épée’s wrist.

That flaming Werkzeug soars high into the sky.>

I confirm the enemy has lost his weapon. I guess he is also experiencing a malfunction in the legs.

It is true that a jab from the side could knock my Rot Löwe aside but that could not destroy it. So he had been correct to try a surprise attack from above.

His only mistake was taking a similar action to the one I used against the black dragon. Without that, I doubt I would have considered the possibility here.

<Expert de Épée tries to stand up.

Its face is directed my way. The battle continues.>

Meaningless. The damage to your legs prevents you from moving properly and that arm cannot hold anything. I will now settle this with destruction and move on to the elimination of the 6 Panzers surrounding us.

The smallest disturbance determined the result for everything. The concept of luck does not exist here. This is a battle ruled by our respective strategies, thoughts, and memories.

In that sense, I could not have let my guard down during the battle.

And now I would end it.

<Expert de Épée moves.

It slowly stands and charges in while crouched low, as if to wrap its arms around Rot Löwe’s hips.>

It is moving slowly. It must have taken damage to the lower back in addition to the legs. Does that show just how much this enemy had poured into that attack?

That had indeed been an attack meant to truly defeat an opponent. It had not been a simple gamble.

And it just might have worked had I not fought that black dragon and that memory had not returned to me.

Even if his impending defeat was akin to self-destruction, I can guess that no one will mock it. I am known as the strongest and he is the first to push me this far. At the same time, I can conclude that no other attack in this battle poses any real threat to me.

Nevertheless, he knows escape is impossible and chooses to continue the fight. He truly is a formidable opponent.

<Expert de Épée takes a step closer.>

I split its torso diagonally from shoulder to hip with my heavy cleaver.

<The single attack slices through it.>

A Panzer Kavalier’s body receives any damage done to their Grösse Panzer.

This is a fatal blow. Phillip Missel will die here.

<But even as Expert de Épée’s upper body collapses, it crashes into Rot Löwe.

The black Kavalier latches onto Rot Löwe’s hips.>

Phillip Missel’s Telegraph: To All Troops[edit]

Fiiiiire!!

July 29, 1944[edit]

Rosetta’s Journal[edit]

I think this will be a busy day so I will write what I can during the morning. Especially since I was too busy yesterday to write much of what happened last night.

Now. Lady Beretta was released last night. The mountain railroad was apparently repaired and her identification arrived from Paris yesterday. The mayor called for us at around 8 at night. Mother Rose was incredible then. She told me to hurriedly pack my things while she stuffed all of Lady Beretta’s things in her bag.

It only took her five minutes. Then she stole the truck from the mayor – that is the only way I can think to describe it – and drove me to the police station in Autun.

I did not understand why we had to be in such a hurry. It looked to me like she wanted us out of Herlde as quickly as possible. Our tickets were for a morning train so it was already too late to use them.

We could get home easily enough after picking up reserved tickets to Paris at Autun Station. But for whatever reason she insisted she see us off to Dijon right away.

I had questions but I kept them to myself. Because of the serious look on Mother Rose’s face. When we arrived at the police station Lady Beretta was waiting for us out front.

She was surprised to learn I and our things were loaded in the back of the truck. She too must not have thought we would be heading back so soon.

But she quickly climbed into the back and we drove to the train station not far from the police station. The train arrived almost as soon as we had arrived.

We let Mother Rose go buy our tickets while we checked over our luggage in the station waiting room. That was when the platform grew very noisy.

Noisy with voices speaking German.

Several people in military uniforms passed through the ticket gate and quickly left while discussing something that sounded serious. Lady Beretta saw the look of shock from the bespectacled station chief who was standing by the ticket gate so she asked what the soldiers had said.

To be very clear about what they said I will write it out as bullet points here.

  • The Resistance staged an uprising in Paris. Some of the city was destroyed. The Resistance was crushed.
  • The German army took heavy losses too. There was a traitor within their ranks. The uprising was led by Phillip Missel.
  • Phillip Missel was killed during the uprising.

To be honest I still do not understand it very well. But I do know that Sir Phillip fought back in Paris in some kind of leadership role within the Resistance. And I know he was defeated.

That was all we learned there. But it was enough. Lady Beretta sat down next to me with a pale face. Then she fell from the seat and collapsed like the strings supporting her had been cut.

That is not all. When Mother Rose ran over and asked what happened I relayed what the station chief had told us. She too had to take a seat afterwards.

Lady Beretta has not come to. Mother Rose managed to calm down last night and looked after Lady Beretta but Lady Beretta is still asleep in the bed in our room. Her breathing is calm and she occasionally groans. Mother Rose says she has had a breakdown. The exhaustion has caught up with her so her body demands rest and she will continue sleeping until she has it.

Mother Rose had this to say while viewing sleeping Lady Beretta.

“There is nothing more I can do. We can only trust in her now.”

What am I supposed to trust in?

<I feel an earthquake. It is not a serious one but this has happened a lot over the past few days.>

But not even the earthquake is enough to wake Lady Beretta. I put in her IV. For some reason her arm was a lot skinnier than I imagined. Even though I see it all the time. How strange.

Today’s newspaper said Paris is now under martial law and you must pass an inspection before entering the city. The Resistance uprising and the German counterattack destroyed Paris’s Arc de Triomphe. The city hall and the broadcast station and the postal agency were also partially destroyed. There were a lot of deaths but Sir Phillip Missel’s name is the only one being given from the Resistance side. Yet there is detailed information on the casualties from the German side. It seems unfair to me.

But it is true Paris had been caught in the war. Blood has been shed.

I only ever spoke with Sir Phillip twice. But now I know there will never be a third time. That seems like a shame to me. I wonder if there was more I could have spoken with him about. I only ever spoke with him about Lady Beretta.

But there is so much more we could have discussed. Yes. Like how he is doing with Lady Beretta. If I seem human to him. If he enjoys the time he spends with Lady Mallette and the others. And so much more about the past and the future.

Now that chance is forever lost. Lady Beretta must be feeling that even more than I am.

I want her to wake up soon. There is so much I want to tell her and ask her. For example she has yet to teach me how to use a comma. It seems to be similar to a period but also different somehow.

There are other things worrying me too. How is master doing? I tried to write him a letter last night but could not bring myself to actually do it. I have a feeling the same will happen today.

<Lady Beretta stirs in the other bed as if from a nightmare. Her left hand – the side without the IV – is grasping at her own collar.

I feel like I understand why she likes to hold things in her sleep.

<I hear Mother Rose calling for me from the hallway.>

I must go. But first I think I will remove Lady Beretta’s hand from her collar and hold her hand myself.

That is my own bit of selfishness. My bit of selfishness toward Lady Beretta who continues to hide her fear of being alone and can only be honest about it at times like this.


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