Clash of Hexennacht:Volume3 Chapter 12

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Chapter 12: Flowers Blossom in the World[edit]

Hexennacht v03 277.png

Once you blossom on that night stage, there is no turning back

Those gunfire fingertips will either look up or scatter


The battlefield was established in a location Horinouchi had not expected.

They were currently flying approximately 5000 meters above Kasumigaura.

Due to the previous Hexennacht, Kasumigaura had become a region of large lakes. During this period near autumn, the temperature difference between the air and water as dawn approached created fog.

There were clouds in the sky and they flew above those.

“Kh…”

Fleur flew out ahead while putting up a surprisingly good fight.

Flowers scattered from her and, when Horinouchi and Kagami fired back…

“Oh, dear.”

The Headmaster, who wore a dress and flew alongside the girl, had her daughter dodge.

What is with this three-legged-race situation!?

One of them handled attacking while the other handled dodging. They both only had to focus on their own task, so they were more efficient than Horinouchi and Kagami.

Horinouchi considered ignoring them and summoning her Magino Device, but…

“Horinouchi! Suppress your urge to destroy! It is too soon for that!”

“Y-you could phrase that differently!”

But she did understand what Kagami meant. The lakes of Kasumigaura spread out below, but she could see the lights of human civilization on the eastern coast.

There were not many of them and the most noticeable were the streetlights of the coastal road.

There was one spot where it flourished, like a road relay station.

“The Headmaster and Fleur haven’t summoned their Magino Frame because they want to avoid getting them involved.”

“Horinouchi, do you have any guesses as to where they are headed?”

That would be awfully convenient, she thought, but then she realized she did.

Koutarou had investigated a few things connected to the Horinouchi family.

“The Headmaster is working to reconstruct the destroyed regions in northern Kantou. A 50-kilometer area of land in north Ibaraki had its terrain entirely changed and we practiced there during the summer of our second year.”

“How did that training go?”

“When firing from one end to the other, I hit with 29 out of 30 shots.”

“…And where’d the 1 you missed end up?” cut in Hunter via spell circle.

That interruption must have meant things were ready on her end.

“Are you there?”

“I just arrived with the others in the ocean off of Boso. I’m being inspected, but what’s this? Are you moving north?”

“Yes,” confirmed Horinouchi as something like a glowing cloud appeared.

It was the flower explosive spell. They were supposedly still moving to the battlefield, but…

We can’t exactly complain if they settle this here!

With that in mind, Horinouchi responded to Hunter. They were not just “moving”.

“We’re in battle!”


It was still night in the sky.

The 3 girls were equipped with their Normal Frames and the woman wore a dress. They attacked and defended while continuing north.

The pursuing Holy Knight and Shrine Maiden had the Holy Knight charge in with her sword while the Shrine Maiden provided covering fire from behind.

But the arrows she fired were not just meant to attack.

While pursuing the flower witch whose high-speed path took on a square wave shape as she jerked to the side, she fired a combination of homing and straight-line shells.

But the flower witch and her dress-clad servant did not just let the arrows reach them.

The flower witch swung the hoe-shaped Device in midair and spun her own body to scatter flowers around her.

They flew along paths not even she could predict and their innumerable quantity struck her pursuers.

But those 2 did not care.

A few of the launched arrows expanded in midair to form three-arrow barriers. They lost their momentum, but they collided with the stream of flowers and scattered the explosions.

And the few arrows that flew between them detonated on their own.

Ether light burst and detonated the flowers caught in the blast.

“I can cast explosion spells on my arrows too!”


Kagami was impressed at how well Horinouchi’s rapid-fire shots cleared a path.

Firing so often would usually drastically lower one’s mobility.

But during the battle against Hunter, in the beginning of the battle against Mary, and during their own battle with their Normal Devices, she had indeed managed to keep up with the flow of battle even as she fired.

Is it the Suzaku servant that provides her mobility even as she fires!?

The technical accumulation from the previous versions of Akerindou likely helped a lot too.

Thus, Kagami focused on lowering the burden on Horinouchi.

She continued targeting Fleur up ahead while firing down the center to reduce the total number of flowers coming her way. And she moved forward.

“Here goes…!”

When she raised her voice, her opponent had to target her.

The flower storm was almost impossible to control, but Fleur had likely given it vague directionality. And if that was headed her way, it was easy to intercept.

“…!”

She could also fly up, down, left or right to an area of thinner distribution.

Countless flowers were launched like a great mass of smoke. She detonated those, slipped through the gaps, and continued forward. And…

“Horinouchi!”

As soon as she called the name, an arrow flew over her shoulder and detonated the flowers in front of her.

The blast reverberated in her body and echoed inside her.

Her opponent was riding the wind and ether to send out explosives, so she rode her pulse and her blood flow to continue forward.

And she did so.

She accelerated down the path opened by Horinouchi’s blast and she saw the enemy.

They were there.

It was Fleur and the Headmaster.

The flower witch noticed her and tried to swing her hoe back.

But she was too slow.

Those two were a single pair splitting the roles of offense and defense, but Kagami and Horinouchi were two individuals playing to their individual strengths. If they fit well together, they could pull off double the attacks.

Even if their enemies were trying to strike back…

“We can intervene!”

Kagami fired first.

Just before Fleur could launch an attack from her swinging hoe, Dikaiosyne fired.


Headmaster Cerisier realized she was actually able to enjoy a battle for the first time in forever.

It’s so nice being able to move around like this.

Being pursued by her official duties in the headmaster’s office had been fun in its own way.

Everything was fun. It was much more fun than dying in her regrets and not being able to do anything.

And at the moment, she was embracing her daughter’s shoulders and having her fall back.

Kagami was quite good.

It was obvious the girl really had traversed many worlds. She likely had more combat experience than Cerisier herself. After all, her combination with Horinouchi was clever.

Against only Horinouchi, it would likely have begun and ended with a simple push and pull, but Kagami added her own timing and proactive style to it.

This should have been an artillery battle where the number of attacks determined everything, but she was predicting their actions to transform it into a martial arts battle.

She was targeting the daughter’s actions.

Cerisier and her daughter were splitting the offensive and defensive roles. Her daughter focused on offense while she assisted with that, dodged, and defended.

Their roles were clear, so they could draw out their full power and speed.

But that meant they only had a single person attacking.

They were not really working together.

They had fought some previous Ranker Battles with a Buddy System element to them. Their two opponents had indeed worked as a team then.

But those opponents had used a mistaken sort of teamwork. They had formed a single team with one of them assisting the other, so they either had just the one person attacking or had both of them fire at the same time for double the attacks.

But Kagami and Horinouchi worked together in a different way.

Their attacks had started out simple enough, but they were not ending.

That was partially because Horinouchi could keep up her rapid-fire for long periods of time, but Kagami was filling in the gaps to make sure their attacks truly were constant.

So Cerisier would move her daughter in order to alter the timing at which their enemy’s attacks arrived. That transformed the unending shots into scattered shots that were not quite aimed right.

But Kagami made up for that.

In order to attack, Cerisier was shifting the timing at which their opponents’ attacks hit, but then Kagami instructed Horinouchi to fire on Fleur’s attacks.

The trouble grew when Fleur briefly stopped attacking. She had to resume her firing pose and the time that took was wasted.

The enemy used that time to get closer and attack even more.

It was the same now. Their attack was intercepted, that gap opened a path, and Kagami would fire before having Horinouchi begin her rapid-fire along the new firing line.

Horinouchi was firing from behind her, but Kagami would readily change her course, which Cerisier could only call impressive. That was likely because Horinouchi knew exactly where to fire.

I accepted the Buddy System for these girls, but it looks like that was the right decision.

Those 2 were getting closer. Fleur had no choice but to scatter ashes in the air and dot the sky with flowers.

But then she spoke unexpectedly.

“It’ll be okay, mama. I just have to go where you said to, right?”

“Yes, go there and everything will be okay.”

“I can’t wait…!”

Cerisier was delighted to sense anticipation and no concern in that voice.

My daughter doesn’t hold any unneeded fear of fighting.

She faced forward while well aware that worked against them at the moment. So…

“—————”

It’s about time we made our real attack, she thought.


It was a simple thing.

Cerisier had been watching Kagami and Horinouchi’s actions this entire time.

She knew that the two of them were trying to eliminate the timing for Fleur’s attacks and that it started with Kagami.

So she intervened.

“Fleur.”

Her call got through. Kagami and Horinouchi were not the only ones who could use the Buddy System. So she added something extra to Fleur’s attacks. She did so right after dodging Kagami’s shot.

“…!”

She had Fleur fire a hoe shot as they spun around.


Kagami saw the attack.

The counterattack after dodging had been quite rushed.

That showed just how cornered those two were feeling, but…

Our attack won’t make it in time!

Kagami had only just fired. Horinouchi’s rapid-fire attack would begin next, but that was not going to arrive in time. That suggested that the Chancellor had been observing them carefully while handling the dodging, but…

“Kh…”

Kagami dodged and opened a path for Horinouchi to attack.

Due to their relative speeds, the flowers launched as a counterattack would reach her, but that would open a hole before they reached Horinouchi, preventing this from being an obstacle for her.

That meant Kagami had to deal with this on her own. Meaning…

“Bear with it…!”

As soon as she thought that, she saw movement.

Their opponent had spun around in their position 70 meters ahead.

She could tell they were rotating because it was a horizontal attack from the hoe-shaped Device. But the way it made that rotation was odd.

A single rotation should have been a compact action, but it had yet to release its flower attack and…

The rotation is oddly large!?

That question was immediately followed by understanding thanks to their own Buddy System. In other words…

“Are they doing it too!?”

It was Fleur and the Headmaster.

The rotation of the hoe-shaped Device was not an attack.

It was Fleur and the Headmaster swapping out their roles. And thus…

“————”

The movement of the rotation was small, but then it suddenly grew indiscernible.

Kagami recalled when that girl had casually slipped past them on the way to throw out the trash.

She had not fought the flow of her surroundings, she had ridden on that flow, and she had been pushed through.

It had been perfectly visible, but they had suddenly found her beyond their own flow of movement. So even though they had seen her, they had been slow to comprehend it.

Those two had done that here. Also…

“Take this.”

The Headmaster scattered ashes with a smile. Unlike with Fleur, it did not float out over a wide area.

It’s bundled together!?

The bundle of ashes was too thick to call a spear and it spiraled toward Kagami. It transformed into flowers in midair and those spread out with their spiral trajectory intact.

They did not entirely rule over that space, but this attack crashed into an opponent’s defenses and momentum.

It spread out before Kagami in no time at all.

“Superb.”

As soon as she said that, the explosion erupted.


Fleur thought their movement had put a large distance between them and their opponents.

“Mama!”

As soon as she traded places with her mother, the sound of the life-bringing explosions reverberated toward her. But it could not keep up with them and ended as a strange rumbling.

Amazing, mama!

Fleur had been unable to hit this opponent, but her mother had done it in a single shot. But…

“Mama, what is it?”

Her mother was still staring behind them. And she had already launched her next attack and a third one after that.

“Mama!?”

Fleur was briefly baffled why her mother would do that.

They had moved out ahead and one of their enemies had been defeated. As proof, the staged chain-reaction of explosion flowers was detonating behind them.

She could not imagine someone escaping that unharmed. But…

Eh?

Something split through the explosion light.

It was the not the Holy Knight. It was three overlapping arrows extending in three different directions. It was the shrine maiden witch’s defensive shot.

“She counterattacked in time!?”


Horinouchi felt a mental cold sweat as she faced the Headmaster’s multi-stage detonating flower spear.

I just barely made it in time!

She and Kagami had failed to predict the Headmaster and Fleur swapping roles, but the switch had created a slight gap.

Was she supposed to view that gap as an opening or as a danger?

She had settled on the latter. For one thing, Kagami would have charged in on her own if it was an opening. She knew she could leave that to Kagami, so she had chosen defense. She had fired a three-arrow shell along the course Kagami had indicated.

“That was a close one!”


The Headmaster had not held back and her attack had been impressive. In order to suppress the entire area, Fleur would let the flowers float out before they expanded, but the Headmaster had sent them in a corkscrew shape before having them expand.

How badly did she want to send out those explosives?

But Horinouchi had defended against it. There were 2 more shots coming, but…

“Kagami! Dodge…!”

They needed to change their course.

For one thing, the Headmaster’s first shot had not been fully eliminated. It had been sent in like a spear, so it had not all exploded.

And the three-arrow defense would not last forever. It would either shatter from the explosions or burst from the flowers that blossomed on it.

Besides, at their speed, they would quickly surpass the three-arrow defense she had shot forward. So…

Kagami, you need to change your course in a hurry!”

As soon as she shouted that, she saw something reckless.

Kagami accelerated right into the opened three-arrow barrier and kicked it out of the way.

What does she think she’s doing!?

She understood well enough to ask it like that.


Cerisier saw it.

Ah!?

The explosion she had sent their way had been kicked back her way.

She was familiar with the three-arrow defense spell. Horinouchi’s mother, Mitsuyo, had used it often. It was an excellent spell that could be held up by hand or fired as a shell. It expanded only after being activated and thus maintained its high speed while a shell, so she had known it could be sent into the middle of their exchange of fire. But…

Did she kick it!?

The wall of explosions was pushed back by the three-arrow shape and then flew straight toward her after reaching a certain point.

It had clearly been kicked or something similar, but she still had a question.

Why hasn’t it been destroyed!?

No, there was no point in wondering that. That girl could create things from ether as she saw fit, so…

“Did she replenish the ether and recreate it even as she kicked it away!?”

As soon as Cerisier shouted that, the second flower spear reached her opponents and collided with three arrows. But once again…

“Ohh…!”

Kagami gave a cry as something collided with it. And a moment later…

I was right!

The shape of the three-arrow wall appeared in the explosion and it was pushed back Cerisier’s way.


Kagami accelerated.

She did not get many opportunities to kick things in midair, but she needed to use everything in her arsenal for this exchange of offense and defense.

And this is especially useful while using our Normal Devices!

She wanted to settle this in their Normal states if at all possible. That was just how difficult Fleur’s Magino Device would be to deal with.

The Headmaster’s attack had been superbly timed, but she had still managed to respond.

Because I had heard her spell is different than Fleur’s!

The environmental aspect of the spell had only been introduced in Fleur’s generation. The Headmaster’s had not reached the point of growing flowers on the target object.

Kagami would have been in trouble if the Headmaster had shared that new trait as Fleur’s servant.

But if that were the case, they would have no reason for dividing their roles. The Headmaster had let Fleur handle offense because she had decided her daughter was the superior attacker.

And Kagami’s understanding of that had given her this opportunity.

“The 3rd shot…!”

She broke through the explosion and accelerated.

Her distance from the 2 in front of her rapidly shrank.


On the early morning rooftop, Mary realized that Hunter was relaying the data to her.

She operated the communication spell circle to check the data from multiple radars and other surveillance data.

The 4 combatants seemed to be rapidly flying north in southern Ibaraki.

“Kagami just kicked right through the explosion spell…!” exclaimed Hunter.

She’s as crazy as ever, isn’t she? briefly thought Mary before a more positive voice arrived over the spell circle.

“Well done, Lady Kagami!”

That must be how you praise people in this world, she belatedly realized.


“Ohh…!”

After breaking through the shattering light, Kagami approached Fleur and the Headmaster.

The Headmaster had fired a 4th attack, but Kagami was already close enough to move around it.

She kicked off of Horinouchi’s three arrows to slightly change her trajectory and to accelerate.

She shifted her acceleration field fully forward to cancel out the air resistance. And as soon as she arrived in front of her opponents, she swung Dikaiosyne forward.

But just before that, Fleur spun around in front of her.

They were switching attacker and defender roles. However…

“Too late…!”

Kagami cried out and sent her attack right into the hoe Device.

Sparks flew and she felt the tactile feedback of the blow.

This…?

The sensation returning to her hand through her power arm was not that of breaking through.

It was the solid rejection of her sword being deflected.


What does this mean!?

Fleur reacted as Kagami accelerated and made attack after attack.

She reacted with sword fighting that could only be called flawless.

Her hoe Device was poorly balanced for swinging around, so it was obvious she was holding it close to intercept Kagami’s attacks.

The Headmaster took care of dodging and moving and Fleur herself was likely including those imperceptible movements of hers when she moved in to attack, but even with that…

“How can she respond to Kagami’s attacks!?”

It would have been difficult for Horinouchi or even a close-range specialist like Hunter to fully respond to Kagami’s attacks. It was that level of offensive skill that allowed Kagami to use the old Holy Knight style without difficulty.

“So how can that fairy tale witch manage it!?”

“Horinouchi, is the heat of battle leading you to discriminate?”

“Sh-she uses a flower motif! What else would you call it!?”

Horinouchi could not help it if her voice was picked up by the communications. But she also realized that ether light continued to scatter from Fleur’s flower motif Form.

What is that?

It was a spell. It was one she had cast on herself. That was simple for the boys and their passive magic, but the girls had to cast it on themselves from outside using a spell that would scatter ether light. So…

“Is that a reinforcement spell!?”

“I expect she is casting a ‘growth’ spell on her Form to strengthen it. Cast it on her Form and it is much easier to make adjustments and exceptions.”

Unsurprisingly, the spell expert from the Spell Division provided an immediate answer.

“Well done, Lady Mary!”


“Kwaaaaaaaahhh! I was in the Spell Division, but the Head Butler stole the ‘well done’ I wanted to give my underclassman!”

“Head Butler… Please be more considerate.”

“That’s right. I doubt Mary wants to hear that fist from you.”

“Y-you’re all unfairly attacking me, aren’t you!? Aren’t you!?”


Kagami did not panic within the exchange of attacks.

Someone’s strength was meaningless if they did not have the skill to use it. The problem was the way Fleur had a natural sense for those imperceptible movements and that made it easy to overlook her actions.

That is a skill in its own way.

It was not a combat skill, but it was an effective substitute. That allowed her to fight as a warrior.

But that natural sense had a weakness.

Fleur was using those imperceptible movements in place of an attack spell, but she had never been properly trained in combat.

The lack of variation in her attacks and defenses made that clear enough.

So she used her sense for imperceptibility instead.

But…

Not good enough!

As they exchanged sword strikes, Kagami struck an attack she had overlooked.

“Do you understand now!?”

It was obvious once she increased the density of attacks. Even if some of her opponent’s movements were imperceptible, that only meant she could not see them. It did not mean they did not exist.

“If I simply cannot see them, then there is nothing to worry about!”

She could sense her opponent’s movement in the tactile feedback from her own attacks.

If she attacked one way, she knew how her opponent would respond.

And when she raised her weapon one way, she knew what attack her opponent would make.

By figuring out those patterns, she could respond appropriately even without seeing the attacks. Thus…

“————”

She went as far as closing her eyes while making her attack.

She made a barrage of attacks as she stepped straight forward in the sky and reacted to her opponent.

“Ohh…!”

She predicted her opponent’s actions, counterattacked, and pushed forward.

“Here goes!!”

She outdid the girl almost immediately.


“Fleur!”

Cerisier heard a series of sounds that were more like tearing cloth than solid blows.

The attacks were beginning to hit Fleur.

Kagami Kagami!

She noticed that opponent was not even looking their way. Her eyes were closed, but she could tell what they were doing from the tactile feedback in her sword and she could predict what they would do next.

There had once been someone who could fight like this. No, there still was.

“This is just like Lisbeth…!”

It would be dangerous if the girl had reached that level. And Kagami’s previous battles were more than enough to know this was unlikely to stop there. So…

“Fleur!”

She focused on dodging and tried to put some distance between them.

“Mama!”

But she sensed a note of joy in the voice she received in response. A moment later, she saw her daughter looking back her way even as her Form shattered.

She was smiling.

“Mama! Watch! Watch this!”

Cerisier did as she was told and watched.

“I prepared this spell so I could surprise you!”


“Kagami!”

When she heard Horinouchi’s voice, Kagami opened her eyes and looked.

It was a split-second decision.

It has changed!

The tactile feedback from the attack on Fleur was different now.

She had resisted Kagami up until this point, but a sudden opening appeared in that resisting strength.

Is she guiding my attack!?

And when Kagami looked forward, she saw blooming flowers.

Several roses were growing on Fleur’s Normal Form like decorations.

“These are just like your flowers, mama!”

She sounded just like someone giving some flowers to a playmate. At the same time, her Form shattered.

“You can have them.”

The scattering roses exploded before Kagami’s eyes.


Fleur saw it.

Just as the explosive created from her Form hit her opponent, the enemy raised her Device and threw it her way.

Eh!?

Getting rid of one’s Device was the same as giving up on the battle. But…

“Fleur! She can freely create her Device!”

Fleur did not know what that meant at first, but she did notice the danger in her mother’s voice.

So she shifted to a focus on dodging. She tried to get her and her mother out of that airspace.

Immediately, her flowers collided with the abandoned sword Device and detonated.

Explosive flames blossomed, but the sword split the explosion and continued flying.

“Kh…!”

Before she could dodge, the shattering sword flew right toward her. Her mother voiced another warning.

Don’t worry. I understand!

I do understand. I understand everything you’re saying, mama. Because I’m a good girl.

But her mother’s warning was not what she expected.

“Above you!”

Eh? she thought on reflex. After all, her enemy had been hit by the explosion in front of her.

But there was indeed a figure above her. The Holy Knight was there, raising her arms toward heaven.

As soon as she raised her empty hands toward the moon in the center of the night sky, Fleur saw two things happen.

First, the sword Device broke in two and shattered.

There was no one behind it, but instead…

“…An arrow!?”

It was a shot fired by the shrine maiden.

She had fired straight ahead while using the broken sword as cover.

And the other thing descended from above.

“Let us settle this, Dikaio!”

The Holy Knight held a new Device in her hands.

It almost looked like she had borrowed this power from the moonlight.

“You’re stubborn! Don’t interrupt my time with mama!”


Kagami flew right toward the enemy.

She saw the look on Fleur’s face.

Below the girl’s disheveled hair, her eyes were glaring back at Kagami. Kagami also saw the Headmaster protecting her daughter by embracing her from behind.

But Kagami had considerable experience in being stared at, so she looked the girl right back in the eye.

“Sorry, but I will be bringing this all to an end!”

“You can’t! I won’t let you! Because…”

Fleur raised the hoe Device to counterattack.

Kagami deflected it outwards and let Horinouchi’s arrow pass below her arm. But…

“Kagami!”

She knew why Horinouchi called her name from behind: Fleur was bait. She had only pretended to raise her hoe Device to attack.

“The Headmaster’s attack is coming!”

Horinouchi was exactly right. A spear of coiled roses was launched straight toward Kagami.

She used her right arm.

The Headmaster spun around with Fleur as she launched the rose spear attack. That quick attack was meant to crush Horinouchi’s arrow and Kagami did not hesitate to strike at it with Dikaiosyne.

She thrust the sword forward.

She opened her sword in cannon mode.

“I will be using that!”

And she fired a blast at the spear tip.


Horinouchi saw the rose spear instantly become an explosive fuse.

At the very last second before the spear detonated, Kagami’s shell struck its very core.

The rest was simple.

Control of the undetonated bomb spear fell to the one who detonated it.

Kagami’s shell was likely annihilated by the very explosions it induced, but a chain-reaction of explosions shot down the rose spear from Kagami’s end to the Headmaster’s end.

Dikaiosyne’s tip was shattered at the same speed as its shell had flown, and explosions of light raced down the spear toward Cerisier and Fleur.

It’s going to reach them!

As soon as Horinouchi thought that, she saw something.

It was Fleur. She accelerated the rotation of her body while seeming to embrace the Headmaster.

She had been bait, but now she quickly spun the hoe Device and the Headmaster with it.

“She’s going to cut it!?”

The dancing spin sent the hoe’s blade accurately into the center of the rose spear.

The spear was sliced in two and the induced explosions did not reach the Headmaster. And as the hoe continued swinging around, Fleur’s flowers bloomed whitely along its path.

The racing arc of white was going to reach Kagami as she held Dikaiosyne forward.

Does that mean…?

It had been a double trap. No, Horinouchi doubted either of them had planned it this way.

Those two could work together while far closer together than Horinouchi and Kagami could.

And as soon as the Headmaster threw away the remnants of the spear in her hand, the arc drawn by Fleur and the spear’s remnants released an explosive blast.


The brightness-enhanced footage from the F-23s showed Hunter the explosion between the two sides.

Even with the high-level surveillance skills of the pilots from Atsugi, following all the detailed movements of the witch battle was not easy. Currently, footage from 3 fighters was being combined and unified to create the video Hunter watched.

Even with a direct feed from the 7th Fleet’s processing system, there was a slight lag.

Dammit. I can’t really complain, but I really want to!

As soon as she thought that, two people burst from the explosive blast.

One was Kagami. She had likely used the half-destroyed Dikaiosyne as a shield against the shockwave. Horinouchi flew out behind her. She had been slowed by a fair bit, but the two of them still ascended.

“Above!?”

That was exactly right.

The two of them were flying high in the west where the Headmaster and Fleur flew as a single silhouette.

Their destination was displayed on the spell circle’s bird’s-eye-view map. When Hunter read the text there, she could feel her mouth spreading horizontally.

“Oh, c’mon. Be careful, you two! You’ve arrived on the battlefield!”


Horinouchi realized something as she pursued the enemy with Kagami.

At some point, the clouds and fog below them had disappeared.

“It would seem we have arrived, Horinouchi.”

They had left the lake region that had produced the fog. Which meant…

“This is the battlefield they prepared, isn’t it!?”

From here on, they could summon their Magino Devices. With that in mind, she looked over to see the Headmaster and Fleur turning back their way.

They were going to do it. They were going to summon their Magino Frame as the Rank 1.

But one thing bothered Horinouchi.

“Why are they moving so high!?”

Fleur’s Magino Device created a forest on the ground and towered up from there. They had assumed it positioned itself on the ground to create the environment around it. However…

“Is there some other way of using it!?”


Fleur spoke as she watched the two ether lights approaching them from a lower altitude.

“Let’s go, mama! Let’s end it with this battle!”

“Yes,” replied her mother who embraced her from behind. This was a jinx and her mother always did this when she was doing something important.

Right.

She nodded in her heart and she had permission outside her heart, so she did it.

“Summon Magino Frame!”


Horinouchi summoned her own Magino Frame while checking on the terrain with a spell circle.

This was the north end of Ibaraki where the western border with Tochigi and the northern border with Fukushima came together. The Nasu Highlands were to the west and a 50 kilometer downward slope and plain continued to the east, but…

During the previous Hexennacht, the damage continuing north from Tokyo Bay was concentrated here.

Since it was on the border between prefectures, there had been conflict over which prefecture would lead the recovery work, so Shihouin Academy had apparently settled the arguments by having it restored to its natural environment. The scars of the destructive power would be allowed to fade with time and the focus would be on restoring it as a grassy plain.

But for the moment, it was a battlefield.

Fleur did not have to worry about using her Magino Device’s full power in this deserted environment.

“Kagami, let’s finish this according to plan!”

“Horinouchi, it does not look like they will let us!”

Eh? thought Horinouchi as she looked up into the sky along with the Suzaku that had appeared to construct the Magino Device.

Ether light was gathering in the night sky to construct Fleur’s Magino Device.

There were a few strange things about it.

Its size was expanding and the summoning of its supporting parts did not stop.

Huh!?

Something was not right about how the Magino Device was created in a series of moments. It was being created far faster than her own. That was due to its simple design and the Headmaster’s assistance, but…

“What is with that height!?”

It was far different from when she had seen it the evening before. Just the hoe blade and its base were more than 2 kilometers tall.

That’s more than 4 times before!

And that was not all.

Ether light suddenly sprayed through the sky.

It came from Fleur’s gigantic Magino Device.

But the light did not produce a flowery fog. It flowed out like a roaring waterfall on either side and then something was created to the left and right of the hoe Device.

It was a tall frame with a firing system gathered at the top. It had a hoe-like shape accented by the three leaves brought together at the top.

“It’s copying itself!?”


It all continued.

At her speed, Horinouchi should only have been able to hear the roaring wind, but she did hear something else.

She heard the ley line vibrations as those gigantic objects were instantly constructed from the ether.

There were 5 copies. Fleur’s Magino Device had summoned those copies on either side of itself to form a circle around it.


Is this…?

Kagami understood what had happened. But…

Can they do that using this world’s system!?

The Magino Device had instantly copied itself and combined with the copies.

“Kagami! Horinouchi!”

Hunter’s voice arrived with some video footage.

The live footage was from a surveillance satellite overhead and it showed exactly what had been created.

Above the black color of the highlands at night, 6 different hoe Devices had attached their back ends together into a giant circle around the central one. It was…

A flower!?

Seen from above, the completed form was a giant flower with the six hoes arranged in a circle.

“It’s 3 kilometers across! This is the largest Device in our records!”

As Hunter said that, light appeared.

The giant flower was like a floating fortress and it began emitting streams of flowers


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