City Series:Volume6a Chapter9
Chapter 9: The Wind Rises
12/21/1937 16:59 – 17:41
I think I will give an answer
An answer to the question
“Do you or do you not have the strength needed to give an answer?”
One useful fact was discovered during the Berlin Conflict of 1935.
The moon’s identity was revealed through observations made by P. Wagner’s group.
“The moon has a core made of spirit stone.”
It has long been known that moonlight increases the power of Heidengeists and also abnormally increases the transformation efficiency of spirit fuel, which is created from spirit stones, sometimes to the point of losing all control.
Spirit stones are a crystallized form of ether and their Ton structure is almost entirely unified and static, but when they resonate with something, their Tons will rapidly change, causing them to transform in some way.
Thus, when exposed to moonlight, spirit stones and other ether products will resonate with the moon’s Tons since the moon is itself a giant spirit stone.
The two aboard the König Pseudo-Drach did not see the giant explosion behind them.
They simply heard the extended rumbling and noted a slight ripple in the clouds surrounding them.
They were more focused on the two crafts up ahead.
The one in the lead was the Sylphide which continued to fly even with its armor stripped away.
The one in pursuit was the Silber. The König Pseudo-Drach ascended and gave a scream of acceleration after arriving behind the Silber. It used the Silber’s shockwave buffering field to assist its movement.
The air shook and the sky gradually grew darker.
The three crafts soared through the night.
There was nothing but ocean to see below. They were in the northern sea near the North Pole.
Just as that ocean grew fully dark, the Silber began to change course. It tilted its nose somewhat upwards to ascend. The two in the König Pseudo-Drach adjusted their course in the same way, turning to look up into the thick clouds overhead.
A transmission reached them.
“There is snow falling near the pole. That will hinder our engines, so we will move above the clouds. After that, it will take almost 3 minutes to reach the pole area. The Silber will take the lead until then.”
“Excellent work, Bermark.”
“No, it is just that the Silber was not designed to make a vertical ascent. Plus, the task of killing Sir Marsch is too much of a burden for me.”
Bermark fell silent there and Schweitzer eventually spoke in a vanishingly quiet voice.
“If Marsch did set all this up to singlehandedly fulfill the conditions needed to create the Messiah, does it mean he had not given up on us and he was in fact working to help Germany?”
“Most likely. He was badly injured and knew he couldn’t fully control the Sylphide’s mind, but he took the gamble anyway. His pride as a creator told him the activated Sylphide would search out the Messiah implant, take it into itself in order to evolve, and thus create the true Messiah.” Berger took a breath. “But the Sylphide doesn’t need a pilot and is guided by its mechanical instincts and mission, so it’s trying to fly into space. That’s why Marsch sent me the 9th Section of the Ruling King needed to create the Messiah.”
“Even though the prophecy’s fulfilment might have originally been meant to take a different form?”
“Marsch probably thought the same thing, but he chose this destiny instead. He chose this destiny where the Sylphide is forced to sacrifice itself and either I or that girl has to see it through to the end.”
“Was Marsch’s will already inside the Sylphide when it was hit by the military’s Nein Ton rounds? Did he intentionally let that happen so it would fall apart like this?”
Berger narrowed his eyes and wordlessly tapped on the seat in front of him.
Schweitzer accelerated as if in response.
The König Pseudo-Drach ascended and Bermark’s voice arrived over the communicator again.
“We have the Sylphide on our radar. Hard to say if it will fall apart first or reach outer space first.”
The clouds approached from above like fog. They flew right into them.
Their vision was dyed white.
The air was more frozen than simply cold, so small particles flew into them. The white fog was too thick to breathe, but they plowed through it anyway.
Then their view grew pitch black. They had burst through the top of the clouds.
They could once more see the Silber’s stern up ahead.
The König Pseudo-Drach rolled to the right and shimmering heat burst from its rear as it moved up alongside the Silber.
“Continue on ahead,” said Bermark. “Please hurry, Lieutenant.”
Berger gave acknowledgment and Schweitzer expressed his appreciation.
Then Berger sank deep in his seat and looked up into the sky.
The stars twinkled coldly in the vast empty sky.
He wrapped his remaining right arm around himself and muttered a name.
The wind blew and there was no response, but he continued anyway.
“I’m on my way to see your answer, Hazel Mirildorf.”
This time he received an unexpected response.
“Why do you want to know my answer that badly!?”
“That’s an easy one. Because the rest of us have too much blood on our hands to give an answer. So…”
He was cut off by Bermark’s voice over the communicator.
“The Sylphide is incoming! From directly below us!!”
The clouds burst apart and the blue blade of a craft flew out.
It was basically right on top of them.
“Schweitzer!!” shouted Berger.
“It is already in ascent position!!”
The König Pseudo-Drach let its rear slide with downwards inertia while the nose turned up. It also forcibly slid to the side and made a wide turn to rid itself of its forward momentum.
Then it ascended. The Sylphide was there only about 200 yards ahead of them.
It felt close enough to reach out and touch it.
“Its acceleration is incredible!”
Schweitzer was correct.
The König Pseudo-Drach boasted the greatest speed in the German military, but the Sylphide was ascending just as quickly.
The ocean was behind them, an expanse of clouds stretched endlessly on either side of them, and the dark heavens full of nothing but stars awaited out ahead.
The Sylphide soared upwards as if attempting to tear a hole in the dark heavens above.
“That thing is desperate to get up there.”
Before Berger was even done speaking, a shining substance scattered behind the Sylphide.
By the time he realized it was armor, it had already fallen past them.
He maintained his calm tone even in the pressure of their acceleration.
“It’s falling apart. This is its final flight.”
“Dog!” shouted Hazel over the communicator. “Are you chasing after it!?”
“Yeah, I’ll be in arm’s reach soon. Shall I grab your butt to prove it?”
“Please stop! It’s no use chasing after it, so stop!”
He shook his head, but her shouting continued since she could not see that.
“It’s no use. No matter where I go, no one can…”
Her voice faded away and he cut her off with a shout.
“Is giving up and dying your answer? I’ve head enough of your childish complaints, Hazel!” He laughed. “Did you ever bring these objections to your dad – to Oscar Mirildorf? Outside your dreams, that is!?”
He distinctly heard her gasp over the communicator and he touched the pendant hanging from his neck as he continued.
“Let’s leave this place, Hazel. I’m sure your dad will welcome you. He hasn’t abandoned you! …Or do you want to die with the Sylphide here!?”
“I don’t. But…”
“But how are you going to stop this craft!? He protects me because he needs my eye! And he’s only ever been used by people, just like me!”
“That isn’t an issue. Even if the Sylphide needs you…”
He tried to say more, but his lips came to a stop. He erased it all with a bitter smile.
She soon protested.
“Dog!! Why!? Why are you so insistent on this? I…”
“The thing is, there’s one thing I’m the very best in the world at: doing everything I can to avoid having to take responsibility for something later on.”
“Have you been that way since that day 2 years ago when Eryngium died!?”
The König Pseudo-Drach slowed its acceleration when she asked that.
Berger immediately kicked at the seat in front of him, but the acceleration did not return.
Just then, a power conduit fell from above and grazed the König Pseudo-Drach.
They pursued the Sylphide without accelerating. A voice reached Berger from that somewhat distant craft.
“Dog! Please tell me why you’re the only one trying to get me out of here. Why do you keep rebuking me and telling me to leave instead of closing me up somewhere like everyone else is trying to do?”
“Because I made a promise.”
“Your promise to Eryngium? Can’t you tell me what that was?”
“I can’t. Because it was a personal thing.”
He spat out the words while kicking on the front seat again.
But Schweitzer still did not accelerate.
Instead, he spoke.
“Long ago, when the Heidengeist Messiah was unsure if she should use her power for the people, she was visited by a human youth with a divine name who persuaded her with a single statement.”
This made Berger quickly sit up and try to stop the man’s words.
“And 3 years ago, a certain woman made a special promise with Berger that she did not make with the rest of us.”
But he could not stop it in time.
Schweitzer’s voice rang in the slight silence of their slowed acceleration.
“Let us fulfill the prophecy here. …She had Berger promise one simple thing.” He took a breath. “To remain true to himself.”
Hazel looked up from the navigator’s seat.
She could see the night sky out the window in front of her.
But that window slowly vanished from view. Her vision was being taken from her.
It happened quickly and that eloquently stated that the Sylphide had begun accelerating in earnest.
<The Wind blows through the night sky.>
But she managed to undo her four-point belt by touch alone.
She could hear a voice from the communicator. Berger’s voice.
“Now that you’ve heard that, you’ll have to do this without my help, Hazel. Can you hear me?”
“Then never again whine like an abandoned cat!!”
She sprang to her feet.
Her vision only showed her the night sky, but her vision was not the whole of her existence. Her real senses told her that her feet were standing on the cockpit’s floor.
What she could not see was the true reality.
She spoke quietly while reaching into her shirt’s breast pocket.
The knife she had used at breakfast was there.
“Please go on alone.”
With that, she held the knife in a backhand grip.
And after a single breath, she plunged the blade into her own right eye.
Just as Hazel shouted those words, the Sylphide’s speed dropped up ahead of the König Pseudo-Drach.
The two men inside chose that moment to accelerate.
“Well done, Hazel Mirildorf!!” shouted Schweitzer with his hand on the control column.
He called her name and Berger nodded while leaning out from the cockpit and raising his own voice.
“Destiny is something you reach out and grab for yourself!”
“Come, Hazel Mirildorf! The destiny before you is one of neither death nor subjugation!”
“This was different from two years ago,” commented Schweitzer.
“Damn right it was. Hazel didn’t choose death and she didn’t rely on us either!”
“That last point is frankly a disappointment.”
With that, Schweitzer continued accelerating.
She cut out her eye.
The sound of fibers being cut rang directly in her ears and she initially felt like something was sticking into her brain.
There was pain.
Pain filled her right eye before tearing through her entire head.
But she did not scream and she pulled the knife out before throwing it away.
She ignored the metallic clunk behind her and looked forward with her left eye while holding her right eye.
She saw the control panel in front of her. Her vision had returned.
She took a breath.
Blood spurted from her right eye and dripped down in time with her pulse, but she ignored that as she removed her bloody hand from the eye and placed both hands on the control panel.
“I’m sorry! One day…once I can use this power – our power – as it’s meant to be used, I will come to you as a Messiah who isn’t being used by anyone and I won’t run away.” She coughed. “So…so please go on alone for now. Please.”
Blood dripped from her right eye onto the control panel and splattered there.
The pain was excruciating but intermittent.
However, she saw something odd through the window when she looked up with her left eye.
The night sky had come to a stop.
The Sylphide was no longer moving.
Speechless, she heard a sound like splitting wood behind her.
She looked back to find the cockpit’s rear wall had opened and the wind was blowing in. Fog instantly filled the cockpit and her one-eyed vision grew white.
“You’re letting me leave?”
<The Wind watches over the Messiah.>
The air conditioning turned on full blast to blow away the cold wind. It was warmly sending her outside.
She lowered her eyebrows somewhat but forced a smile.
She looked to the photo and bracelet on the control panel.
After some brief hesitation, she undid the bandanna tying her hair back and grabbed the photo and bracelet in her other hand. She wrapped them in the bandanna while making sure not to stain them with her bloody hand.
With the bandanna containing them like an envelope, she placed them back on the control panel.
“I will be back someday.”
With that, she turned around. That was the end of it.
She did not look back. She ran toward the back wall.
She ran outside.
The sounds of splitting metal came from all over the craft as if pursuing her footsteps.
The Sylphide was breaking apart.
The König Pseudo-Drach slowly circled around the Sylphide which had come to a stop in midair with its nose pointed upwards, so it easily caught the girl who left the Sylphide.
The one-armed Heidengeist youth in a black coat caught the Heidengeist girl who jumped down from midair.
He gently held the one-eyed girl while standing on the back of the gliding König Pseudo-Drach.
Hazel looked up while Berger wrapped her in his coat.
She saw that blue blade of a craft in the night sky.
It began accelerating even as it scattered parts. It instantly brushed aside a film of water vapor as it broke the sound barrier. It unleashed a roar and left behind a white dragon-like trail as it grew smaller and smaller in her vision. The light spraying in the sky had to be the Sylphide’s parts.
“Go for it.”
That was all she could say while narrowing her eyes.
Then she saw a small explosion in the direction of the north star at the peak of the northern sky.
The Sylphide had been destroyed.
That light briefly lit up the sky and those looking up at it.
Hazel’s voice caught in her throat, but Berger spoke to her.
“Keep watching to the end.”
Before he was even done speaking, she heard the roar of the explosion descending from the sky and…
<The Wind will tear open the heavens.>
Orbs of light burst from the site of the explosion.
There were five in all. They were brighter than the stars but far smaller and they flew forcefully in different directions before vanishing.
“It cast off its shell of wind to return home,” said Berger.
Hazel nodded. The wind blew and she belatedly shivered from the cold. Her eye turned toward the König Pseudo-Drach’s cockpit.
It was meant for two.
She looked up to ask him if three would really fit and found his face right there.
Before she could even question it, he stole her lips.
She panicked and her heart raced even in the cold.
A moment later, there was a small explosion of air and water vapor scattered in every direction to reveal her Flektieren.
Her cat form and her clothes fell onto the König Pseudo-Drach’s back and Berger picked them both up in one hand.
Schweitzer looked back from the cockpit as if to tell them to settle down.
“You see, she turns into a cat when she’s tired or whatever,” explained Berger. “But this thing’s only made for two, so that works out.”
Hazel immediately bit his hand hard and a yelp left his mouth.
Schweitzer frowned at the commotion but also tilted the control column forward.
The end of the cloudy ocean came into view where the moon was visible low in the sky.
“The prophecy, hm?” Schweitzer looked back to Berger and cat Hazel. “Two half-humans makes one full one, I suppose.”
He sang the Text to himself.
The one-armed youth holds the Messiah
The moonlit pair returns to the earth
The dragons gather and dance tonight
Every last thing returns home
“The Messiah implant was destroyed by this girl, but was the prophecy fulfilled? What does that mean, Schweitzer? Is this good enough for Hazel to become the Messiah who will save Germany?”
“I do not know. But the prophecy was fulfilled.”
“No, not yet, Schweitzer,” corrected Berger. “Hazel still has to return home, but where is that home? It’s not in Germany. You need to follow your leader’s orders and fulfill the prophecy.”
“That is an awful excuse, one-armed one.”
With that, Schweitzer faced forward and leaned the control column over even more.
They began to descend and the Silber caught up with them and flew alongside them.
The colors of the night were all that remained in the sky.
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