City Series:Volume6a Chapter7
Chapter 7: The Wind Leaps
12/21/1937 15:29 – 15:54
Will I fight because I don’t want to run away?
But before I can ask that
The battle begins
I am unsure who I am
Am I the fighting craft?
Or am I the person not doing anything?
Berlin is a young metropolis when compared to other nearby cities, so if attacked by another country, it is thought the city would be unable to achieve a form of defense unique to the country.
The Panzerpolis Project led by the Geheimnis Agency was begun in the early 30s as a solution to that problem. The idea was to provide all people living on German land the power of Erklärung, but that power is limited to pure Germans. This led to the government and military oppressing other ethnicities and advocating a pure-blooded society starting in the 30s. Other preparations for activating the Panzerpolis Project were also made during this time.
The project can be summed up with the following points:
- Create a sense of impending doom and a need for a Messiah by bringing back the Unreif Germane.
- Lead the people by using the Messiah as a symbol of national salvation.
- Deter the other nations by bringing the Geheimnis Agency to the forefront.
The details of the plan were meant to be announced along with the Greater Germanic Reich in ’38.
The König Pseudo-Drach moved out ahead of the accelerating Sylphide.
The sun was no longer in the sky to shine on the two crafts. The Arctic winter sky was dark.
In the König Pseudo-Drach’s rear seat, Berger looked up into that sky and bit a divine charm known as a Götter Note. It produced oxygen in his mouth. He saw the bullets shot from behind passing them by at visible speed.
“Holy hell, this is fast!! This a first for an old country boy like me!!”
“Unfortunately, I am disinclined to deal with your jokes right now!”
Inertia pressed him against his seat and the roar of the engine was loud enough that he had to shout. Schweitzer’s response from the front seat was also sharp. Schweitzer also produced a slight sound of steam from his Eingeweide arm Der Held as he used it to operate the control column specially modified for him.
Berger stretched up and held his head while looking back.
The Sylphide was flying toward them.
The blue, blade-like craft was leisurely trying to come alongside them.
That aerial warship was twice the size of the König Pseudo-Drach.
Its curved armor had evolved to reduce air resistance as much as possible and the cockpit could be seen somewhat protruding above that armor. The bridge-style cockpit had windows on three sides.
Berger could see someone inside that glass box. It was a blonde girl in white clothing.
“Yes! The abandoned catgirl really is in there!!”
Just then, the König Pseudo-Drach moved right and away from the Sylphide.
But at such high speed, the wind created a barrier that tried to keep it in place.
The craft forcibly pushed against that air resistance until it suddenly broke through. It tilted all at once and managed to fly away from the other craft.
The Sylphide’s Schwert sliced through the space it had just vacated.
Berger pressed himself against the canopy of the tilted craft.
“It’s gone completely wild. Why’s it trying to bring us down!?”
“We’re trying to do the same to it,” calmly replied Schweitzer.
Berger looked over to see the other man had removed his oxygen mask. He took one of the same charms Berger was biting and tossed it into his mouth.
“Now, let’s do this!”
The Sylphide accelerated as if in response to Schweitzer’s words.
“Why’s it moving out ahead? That’s suicide in a dogfight between fighters on this level.”
“Is it hoping to use its acceleration to escape us?” suggested Schweitzer.
Then the Sylphide did something truly absurd.
It turned its nose toward the König Pseudo-Drach midflight.
To Berger, it looked like the Sylphide was sliding to the right.
Thanks to its inertial control, the shape of the Sylphide was the only meaningful distinction between its front and back. It could turn at right angles and it could instantly reverse directions in midair.
But dealing with the air resistance would consume power and creating that inertial field had to use as much power as a heavy warship.
“Are you kidding me? It can do that at this speed? Three cheers for the craft of our dreams, I guess.”
Berger muttered to himself while removing his four-point belt and standing up. He stuck a few defensive charms in his vest’s pockets and in his shoes before tapping on the back of the seat in front of him.
“You tune the Luftram like we discussed.”
“Do you have a wind resistance charm? The ram alone will not eliminate the rear shockwave!!”
“I’ve already activated it. Man, you’re overprotective.”
They both smiled bitterly at that comment.
“Once I’ve cut through the Sylphide, you need to collect her before the wreckage falls,” said Berger.
“My Der Held will cut away that area of space to rescue her along with the cockpit.”
“I see. So even an awkward bastard like you has a positive side.”
“And what might that be?”
“Your ability to sound confident about everything you say.”
Berger smiled while watching the Sylphide continue its sideways slide with its two bow Schwerts drawn. The drawn swords sliced through the air, producing white clouds.
At the same time, Schweitzer operated the König Pseudo-Drach’s only Kunst Eye. A glowing shield appeared out in front of the craft to split the wind and protect the craft from the shockwave of the atmospheric pressure.
“Go, Berger!!” shouted Schweitzer.
After the pop of small explosives, smoke burst out and the König Pseudo-Drach’s canopy was blown away.
The cockpit was directly exposed to the high-altitude wind.
Berger jumped out while the craft trembled in the wildly dancing wall of wind. The charm he held instantly became a small Luftram that shielded him against the wind.
The wind was no more than a pleasant breeze for him as he casually stood atop the König Pseudo-Drach. He spread his legs to stand firm on the armor covering the engine behind the cockpit.
The cold wind whipping at his black coat smelled faintly of the sea. The Arctic Ocean lay below them, so he would die instantly if he fell from here. His breaths became frost as soon as they left his mouth.
He brushed up his hair and looked out ahead to see the Sylphide.
He viewed its sharp bow and its cockpit as he drew Gelegenheit from within his coat.
The Sylphide moved forward as if to protest his battle preparations.
He slowly pulled a Type C Phlogiston Tank from his pocket and inserted it in the rear of Gelegenheit’s hilt. He repeated the action 7 times to create a dark blade about 30 yards long.
He started to say something as he readied Gelegenheit.
But he stopped.
He had recited a portion of a Text with a set rhythm, but a moment later, he smiled and said something else.
“I won’t let this be a repeat of 2 years ago!!”
And he activated Gelegenheit.
The darkness emitted by Gelegenheit was formed from pure destiny-severing Tons, so its weight was insignificant. He simply sliced at the sky as if testing the weight of the hilt.
The dark blade cut through everything, including the wind and the shockwave.
The Sylphide rushed in beyond that darkness.
Its three rear Kunst Eyes began to fire metal bullets.
Berger’s dark blade sliced through those bullets as it Erklärunged.
<The Destiny of the sky does not allow the darkness to waver.>
Berger made a graceful sweeping movement for each shot that was heard in the sky. His black coat danced in the wind and the dark blade sliced through the metallic destruction. His feet sounded on the armor as he moved back, pounding out a rhythm for the sword’s movements. He cut up, cut forward, cut down, spun to the right, and jabbed up without missing a beat.
After jabbing out and pulling back, he swung to the left and pulled his body toward his arm to hold the sword down at his hip. He had a distinct smile on his face within the high-speed noise and destruction.
<The severer of Destiny dances in the blowing wind.>
His black coat fluttered up from his movements more than the wind.
The Sylphide was approaching fast, causing the downpour of bullets to grow even more intense.
Those bullets were metal and, as the Sylphide grew closer…
Sylphide swung its 2 Schwerts every which way as it passed by above the König Pseudo-Drach. There was no hesitation in the action.
The right sword swung in from above and the left one from below for a pincer attack.
Since the Sylphide was about 10 yards higher than the König Pseudo-Drach, the lower attack came almost head-on toward Berger. But the higher attack was swinging down toward him from directly above.
The two attacks would hit with a slight time lag between them.
He did not hesitate to jab Gelegenheit forward into the attack coming from below.
<Destiny takes its partner’s hand at the ball.>
With almost no time lag at all, darkness stabbed through and broke the Sylphide’s lower attack about halfway up the blade.
But by then, the higher attack was already swinging down toward him.
It tore through the wind with an icy roar.
Berger still had Gelegenheit jabbed forward without enough time to pull it back and raise it to defend himself.
But he did take action.
He pulled Gelegenheit’s hilt toward his stomach just a bit and then let go of it.
He twisted his body and ducked below the hilt floating in the air.
The hilt started to move past him overhead thanks to the momentum he had given it, but he spun his body around as if sweeping aside the bottom of his black coat.
Gelegenheit was floating above him with the bottom of its hilt pointed forward.
He had chosen to turn himself around instead of the heavy hilt.
It all happened in an instant, so he grabbed the hilt again before it could drop down. And he did so with both hands.
He then stood up with the weapon held overhead.
He swung it toward the giant Schwert being swung down toward him.
<Destiny reaches behind its partner’s back to take their hand!!>
He stepped forward and unleashed a roaring attack.
The Sylphide’s sword was broken, but he did not even watch the scattering spray of light. He instead looked up at the Sylphide about to fly by overhead.
He moved his sword back again in an attempt to slice through its belly.
Just then, the Sylphide stopped launching bullets from its rear Kunst Eyes and produced three Schwerts instead.
“Stubborn little thing!!” shouted Berger as he briefly hesitated.
<Destiny cuts away all hesitation.>
After what could only be called an instant, his Gelegenheit severed the three swinging swords. But the Sylphide used that brief time to take evasive action, change its course along a right angle, and move out ahead of the König Pseudo-Drach. Then it powerfully accelerated.
It began to run away.
The atmospheric barrier created by the Sylphide crashed into the König Pseudo-Drach’s Luftram.
The König Pseudo-Drach seemed to pass through a tunnel torn through the shockwave led by a curtain of white water vapor.
Berger ran forward along its back within the wind.
Only after placing his hand on the edge of the cockpit did he realize his left sleeve had been torn and shredded by the shockwave. Fresh blood quickly flowed down his arm to his fist.
He ignored his own bleeding.
He clicked his tongue, reached his bloody hand out toward the Sylphide, and clenched his fist.
“Schweitzer! Move out ahead of it! You should be able to pull that off using your Eingeweide arm’s Ober Beweisen!!”
“So it starts there, does it!?”
Schweitzer stood up in the wind, tearing his four-point belt apart in the process.
He readied his Eingeweide arm Der Held.
“Der Held – Erklärung – Ober Beweisen.”
Then he recited the words of the Text used to activate Der Held’s Ober Beweisen.
<Stars spread across the light-scattered sky
Excellence is determined in the sky above
- Do not compare your height to others
- All power is lost before them
- The heights are for the soaring dragon
- The depths are the foundation of the earth>
The rhythm broke through the wind and raced out in every direction.
Over the span of an instant, smoke and an empty cartridge burst from his prosthetic arm’s ejector before the staff stabbed out at empty space.
With a sound more pleasant than a roar, light surrounded a cube of space about 200 yards in each direction in front of him.
The ether floating in that area of space instantly vanished. The sound of the Tons bursting on their own was similar to a cry of joy. Even the wind instantly lost its shape as the movement of all ether came to a stop.
Berger smiled with only his lips.
“You stop all ether movement within a space for just an instant. Does that mean everyone must put down their weapon before Der Held?”
He watched as Schweitzer calmly sat back down in the cockpit. Once his large back was gone, Berger could again see the Sylphide in the sky.
Its Kunst Eyes were not functioning and its speed had dropped. But it was not gliding. The engine had been briefly stopped, but it had started back up immediately afterwards.
However, that was not enough.
The König Pseudo-Drach did not overlook that brief loss of power, so it worked to overtake the Sylphide.
The Sylphide shifted its path to avoid being overtaken. It moved directly in the way of the other craft’s path.
But by then, Berger was already standing atop the König Pseudo-Drach.
He held Gelegenheit in his right hand.
With 5 Type C Phlogiston Tanks attached, the darkness extended about 20 yards into the winter air.
The Sylphide had its back turned, so it chose to attack as its inferior speed allowed the enemy to approach. Swords of light emerged from its 5 Kunst Eyes.
Berger noted the swords were longer than before.
“Oh? Are you actually trying this time!?” he shouted while opening up his black coat with his left hand.
The pale light of the Sylphide’s Schwerts illuminated the inside of that coat.
There were several dozen bags tied to the inside of the coat and each one had a Phlogiston Tank attached.
He pulled Type C Phlogiston Tanks from them and rapidly attached them to Gelegenheit like a fast reload. He ended up with a total of 20.
The sword-like hilt was now so long the weapon looked more like a spear.
He grabbed the center of the shaft with both hands and swung it around. The dark sword extended more than 80 yards from the end and was still growing. Even the blade’s width was more than 2 yards.
It was an enormous sword.
“Have a taste of Gelegenheit!” he yelled while holding the shaft below one arm.
A moment later, the König Pseudo-Drach overtook the Sylphide.
As they passed by, the sky was decorated by spraying light and a sound like shattering glass.
The blue craft and black craft passed each other by in the dark sky.
Five small swords of light and one large sword of darkness moved at the center of that exchange of colors.
<The five swords of resistance are instantly severed by Destiny.>
With its swords broken, the Sylphide used its full power to hop to the side and flee from the large sword’s path.
Berger rested Gelegenheit on his left shoulder with its large blade intact and he shouted down to Schweitzer.
The other man did not respond, nor did the craft being to climb.
Berger saw the Sylphide place itself behind the König Pseudo-Drach after its hop to the side to escape.
Unlike the Sylphide or a larger ship, the König Pseudo-Drach had no way of attacking behind itself.
If they were fired on now, this would all be over nice and quick.
Berger hopped down into the cockpit’s rear seat and kicked at the back of the front seat. The large black-coated figure in the front seat shook and then spoke.
“Sorry. The reaction to using Der Held got to me.”
He kept kicking at the seat like a child.
The König Pseudo-Drach began a rapid and rushed climb. The pressure of their speed bore down on Berger while he watched the Sylphide’s bullets fly in from behind and pass by below them.
“Pull yourself together,” he said to Schweitzer. “A hero who gets worn out from every little thing is pretty lame.”
Schweitzer said nothing and further accelerated the König Pseudo-Drach.
The black steel craft soared nearly vertically into the sky.
Berger was pushed back into his seat by the inertia directed straight down from above and he held up Gelegenheit to observe it.
He breathed a sigh of relief to confirm the large dark blade remained. He pulled a pen and pad of paper from his pocket with his right hand, prompting a question from Schweitzer.
“What are you writing?”
“Some precautions, just in case. This is a craft that can negate Nein Ton rounds, after all.” Berger smiled with just his lips. It did not reach his eyes. “This will fulfill that prophecy of yours! The one meant to save Germany!”
Hazel had her vision taken from her again as she sat in the seat the Sylphide had shaped for her.
But she no longer felt any fear of the speed.
She could see everything. Two men she knew were launching attacks her way. They were really giving it their all.
Something Bermark had said echoed in her mind.
…They aren’t your average opponent, huh?
She felt like she was fighting against that opponent now. And that she was on equal footing with them.
Of course, that was only an illusion.
“Sylphide, this is your power, isn’t it? Instead of running away to survive, you say you don’t want to run away, but you still use all this power to make sure you don’t die.”
<No one can block the Wind.>
<The Wind blows with the Messiah.>
Hazel’s lips twisted a bit when she heard the Sylphide’s Erklärung.
“I’m not the Messiah, though. …Or do you want to be with me just because I have this Messiah eye?”
There was no response. Her vision simply continued flying through the sky.
Her vision pursued the black craft with the sun visible straight ahead.
“If all I am is your eye, maybe I have no choice but to do what you want.”
The Sylphide did not respond. It only ascended. Her chair transformed a little and the back tilted to match the angle of their ascent.
She smiled bitterly and then something occurred to her.
…That explains why this craft isn’t wary of me.
“Am I the only one feeling so scared and getting so worked up over what I’m doing?”
Her smile grew even more bitter.
The Sylphide would not know what she was thinking. It only pursued the enemy craft flying up ahead of it.
Hazel’s eye saw the rear of the leading black craft. The giant sword Berger had swung earlier was trailing behind it like a tail and it was spewing powerful red heat from its back end.
The jets back there were almost all she could see.
The Sylphide’s Kunst Eyes took aim at them.
It was ready to fire and close enough to guarantee a hit.
Just then, Hazel saw the large sword trailing behind the other craft slowly rise up.
She knew who must have lifted it like that. The man with the Titel of Wild Hund stood perpendicular to the enemy craft’s back. Hazel shouted his name.
Hazel saw Berger jump down from the vertically-rising craft’s back with the giant sword in hand.
His black coat did not flutter in the wind because he had buttoned it up on the front.
His body was positioned horizontally, his limbs were spread, and he dropped straight down.
The Sylphide accelerated in response. It only used its right front Kunst Eye. By pouring all its power into that one emitter, the glowing sword grew to more than 50 yards long.
With its own giant sword at the ready, the Sylphide tilted its nose just a bit diagonally.
That trajectory allowed it to flee at a moment’s notice. And if it managed to avoid Berger’s attack and strike back, it could immediately bring down the enemy craft above it.
She watched Berger dropping down.
The Sylphide prepared to strike back. It only had the one sword on the right, so if it failed to properly predict the path of Berger’s sword, it would be destroyed.
Hazel’s vision focused in on Berger. And…
She noticed something odd.
Berger was aiming his giant sword directly at her.
It was 80-yards long, but when the tip was directed straight at her, she could only see the width of the blade.
He suddenly pulled Gelegenheit’s hilt back under his arm and then threw it into the air behind him. Gelegenheit soared back behind him without tilting at all.
He tore open his coat’s buttons to spread out his black coat.
The flapping coat blocked her view of Gelegenheit.
Hazel realized the point of this.
…He hid Gelegenheit!?
The coat prevented her from seeing where the 80-yard sword was.
It had to be falling straight toward her behind him.
The Sylphide must have assumed the same because it shook the tip of its own sword side to side.
Would Berger’s sword be coming in on the right or the left? Once it dropped in on one side or the other, he was sure to grab it and swing it down.
The Sylphide used its Erklärung to increase its reaction speed.
<Where is the Wind going?>
But Berger held his left hand out to the side as he fell. That increased his air resistance and his speed noticeably dropped. He likely intended to grab Gelegenheit as it dropped in from behind him.
He looked straight at Hazel.
And he shouted something with a smile on his face.
She could not hear what it was. All she heard was the snapping of his fingers with that outstretched left hand. Although even that was only her mind filling in the silence with the sound she knew had to be there.
But it was enough.
A moment later, she saw the answer to it all.
She saw Gelegenheit’s large blade catching up to him from behind.
The giant tip formed from darkness came into view.
But it was not on the left or the right.
It came straight down the center.
The giant tip tore through near the center of Berger’s black coat. It was so close it could have easily stabbed through Berger himself.
He had twisted his body out of the way, but his left arm was still severed at the shoulder by Gelegenheit’s darkness.
But Gelegenheit continued to drop regardless.
<Destiny falls directly upon you.>
Berger wrapped his remaining right arm around Berger’s hilt to hold it in place.
And he stabbed it straight down.
The Sylphide attempted to evade the unexpected movement.
<The Wind defies destiny.>
“Shut up,” mouthed Berger.
<The flow of Destiny is faster even than the wind!!>
With Berger’s Erklärung, the 80-yard dark blade crashed into the Sylphide.
In no time at all, Hazel’s vision was attacked right down the center.
She felt no pain, but she did scream.
Hazel felt an impact on her back.
Her seat shook and nearly flung her forward, but the four-point belt held her in place.
She held her breath and looked forward to see an expanse of mist and wind before her eyes.
Yet her vision had returned to her.
“What in the world!?”
Her shout was drowned out by the wind.
The cockpit’s heated air vanished in an instant as the chilly wind blew in. It blew in from the center of the cockpit where a line had been sliced through the ceiling and floor from front to back.
The cockpit had been bisected down the center. The entire craft probably had been.
The severing line ran between her navigator’s seat and the pilot’s seat and it covered the entire length of the floor, the control panel, and the window.
There was about a foot of width between the two sides and wind was blowing in from there.
It had all been cut through by Gelegenheit’s attack.
She shrank down.
After bisection by that 80-yard sword, the craft would soon split apart and explode.
She waited for it to happen.
She silently cowered down and held her shoulder in the chill of the roaring wind.
She waited a few seconds.
But the destruction never arrived.
Her question was answered by a slight change.
The chilly wind was weakening.
At the same time, she heard several deep sounds like metal doors shutting.
It was the sound of a heavy mass of metal fitting together like teeth clacking together.
She looked up and saw a light within the mist still hanging in the cockpit. A bluish-white light had long been known to signify ether.
The light flashed like a pulse as it ran through the center of the cockpit from the floor to the walls and the window.
Hazel heard the engine roaring. She had heard that sound only once before. That was the Sylphide’s cry when it evolved.
But that was not all.
The machine’s cry was joined by the roar of the Sylphide’s Erklärung. That Erklärung set the healing and evolution in motion.
<The Wind cannot be broken.
There is nowhere it cannot go.>
Hazel’s mouth hung open as the machine’s will was so clearly Erklärunged.
“Why do you want to keep flying so badly?” she asked.
The cockpit was shaken by a far louder voice than before.
<The Wind must protect the Messiah.>
She looked up when she heard that answer within the shouted words that sought evolution.
“Why must you do that?” she asked.
<The Wind is the dragon that serves the Messiah!>
This was all for that.
…Is that why you won’t run away!?
Her thoughts did not receive an answer, but she did reach up and touch her right eye. She touched the red glowing Messiah implant.
“Sylphide, were you created for the Messiah!?”
Her spoken question did receive an answer.
The machine’s calm Erklärung raised its voice to fulfill its evolution.
<The Wind is precisely that.>
Berger saw the Sylphide’s evolution while he fell with blood scattering from his now-armless left shoulder.
He was falling upside-down, so he had to look “down” above him to see the blue craft’s bisection emitting light while its armor rapidly rearranged, the various power conduits reconnected, and it essentially sewed itself back together.
And it also used the opportunity to adjust the position of its engine.
“That’s doubly bad,” he said while looking over at Gelegenheit in his right hand. Its large blade was gone now, so it only looked like a staff as he held it.
He clicked his tongue.
“It’s bad once because delivering a critical blow only got it to evolve.”
He looked back toward the heavens to see the Sylphide slowly moving out ahead again.
It gradually built up speed while continuing its evolution.
The König Pseudo-Drach had descended from above to pursue its supposedly fallen foe, but now it panicked and was forced to move far out of the way without even a chance to attack.
After that, the black craft ignored the Sylphide and started flying straight toward Berger instead.
“And it’s bad twice because he might not reach me in time.”
He looked down to see the ocean surface rushing up toward him.
If he hit the water while falling this quickly, the impact would kill him. And even if he was lucky enough to somehow survive the impact, this was the Arctic Ocean in winter.
He would still die.
He smiled bitterly at that very simple fact.
But the bitter smile soon vanished because he felt some powerful air pressure descending on him from above.
He heard a roar and he saw the bow of a giant aerial transport ship.
He also saw Bermark standing on that bow.
The man and bow changed course to move past Berger. They circled below him and approached.
“Still a reckless youth I see, Wild Hunt!!” said Bermark with a frown while he reached out his gloved right hand.
Berger held Gelegenheit in his mouth and grabbed the outstretched hand.
It was the hard mechanical hand of a Sein Frau.
Grabbing that was all he needed to do.
The aerial transport ship rapidly braked its descent which had surpassed freefall.
Bermark swung Berger around so he could land gracefully on the deck. After landing on his knees, Berger looked out ahead to see Bermark looking overhead while the wind blew in from the front.
He was watching the Sylphide accelerating away into the black sky.
It could only have one destination: the sky above the north pole.
As the transport ship redirected its falling speed to accelerate forward, the König Pseudo-Drach flew up alongside it.
Schweitzer poked his head up from the canopy-less cockpit and shouted a question.
“Is the lower docking port open!?”
“All the arrangements are in order,” ensured Bermark. “But there is one problem!”
“Eh? What’s that?” asked Berger while holding his left shoulder.
“The V-0 was launched,” said Bermark with a hint of annoyance.
“Hey, do you always have to sound so irritated about talking to me?”
Bermark ignored him, straightened up, and saluted the König Pseudo-Drach flying alongside them.
“It will hit in another 12 minutes. We must hurry!!”
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