Clash of Hexennacht:Volume3 Chapter 13
Chapter 13: Blooming of the Flower of Illusion and Rejection
Is what you love
In front of you now?
The attack was sudden.
Fleur’s Magino Device had taken on a floral shape. That fortress composed of 6 Devices slowly rotated while scattering flowers into the space around it.
They were not just released horizontally; it was a complete field of air currents, so they hovered, rocked, rose, and fell.
As the giant flower continued to spin, countless flower petals flew from what had originally been the hoe blades. Those large components had cannon openings on the top and bottom and explosive flowers spilled from there like clouds of pollen.
The only sound was the roaring of the wind.
But something else happened once 2 Magino Devices approached it while avoiding the air currents.
Spell circles opened on the flower’s upper surface.
6 of them opened in a horizontal flower shape and they bore the word “fire”.
As soon as all 6 glowed, a single attack was formed.
At the center of the 6 spell circles, glowing flowers appeared higher up in the air and flew from north to south. The cannon blast of glowing flowers raced in a straight line toward the part of the sky the other 2 Devices occupied.
The beam of light shot through and swept across the night.
The 2 Devices swiftly descended and dodged the path of the light.
But the flying light still brought destruction.
At a range of 270 km and after passing over the 7th Fleet on the Pacific, the beam drew a great arc and the ocean exploded along a straight line.
Hunter saw a long, long north-to-south stretch of light along the eastern ocean.
It happened behind them while they faced the battlefield on the mainland, but…
“That wasn’t a physical shell or a created shell! I didn’t know a beam attack could fly that far!”
Based on the power of the hit, it could have gone even further. Its actual range may have been more than 500 km.
That was far shorter than the range of Hunter’s Hedgehog, but…
“There’s nothing you can do if she fires that from the absolute defense of her environment…”
“When did this turn into something from a kaiju battle?”
“And does this mean mankind couldn’t defeat the Black Witch last Hexennacht even with something like that?”
“The Headmaster might not have had this. This is the powered up version, remember?”
But then the Head Butler called in from the Horinouchi family.
“There are records of a similar attack being used back then. …But since Lady Mitsuru’s mother was even more powerful than Lady Shihouin or Lady Lisbeth, she must have had something even greater.”
That fact was what mattered here.
What could defeat something rivalling this?
…Is what we discussed last night really going to work?
Hunter wondered what she would do if it was her, but she had to focus on the present situation.
“I doubt I’ll get an answer, but what kind of power could defeat this?”
There were of course no records of that. They had been erased by the Black Witch.
So Horinouchi and Kagami would have to figure something out. They would have to add to the previous night’s strategizing and defeat this fortress.
…If only we still had those records.
Just as Hunter thought that, the Head Butler sent another transmission.
“The combat records for Lady Mitsuru’s mother do not remain, but we do know the name of what she did then.”
“And what is-…?”
Just as she tried to ask, a bright explosion cloud appeared in the sky.
…Has it started to build up its environment!?
She saw a vast flower garden and cherry trees in the night sky. They were in full bloom.
Horinouchi and Akerindou were enveloped by the giant swirling blizzard of flowers.
The giant pink flower was sitting in the center and ether flowers were spreading in every direction – both horizontally and vertically – from there.
It all created a vortex with a vast rotation and trailing flowers that ignored the wind. Those flowers even arrived behind Horinouchi.
Information from the US military was reaching her via the Horinouchi family. The process by which Fleur’s Magino Device was constructed was displayed next to her face.
It was a single giant Device.
The engine system was focused at the center of the top and the bottom only contained the ether extraction system.
It looked like it specialized in defense and attack. The fundamental design philosophy was probably the same as European U.A.H.’s Magino Devices. But…
“What is with this expansion of the cannon portion!?”
She barely saw any of the thruster-related structures that it would need to move. Did it have a buoyancy system installed across various points and did it move by altering their balance? But in addition to that, the cannon’s shell creation system was far too large.
The entire base of the hoe’s three leaves formed the shell creation system.
The rest was only the skinny handle, so essentially 80% of the Magino Device was used to create the explosive flowers.
The design was far simpler than she had thought, but when it was this extreme, it completely restricted what tactics were available.
“Can you really focus this much on attack!?”
“Huh? I feel like I was shot down by a Device with that exact philosophy recently.”
“What a coincidence. I too had a Device with that philosophy shoot me all the way from the South Pole.”
“I-if you have something to say, come out and say it!”
“Ha ha ha. They know you will understand even if they do not. It is a sign of trust, Horinouchi.”
Honestly, sulked Horinouchi as she checked on Akerindou’s summoning.
She decided to accelerate upwards and go for the first attack.
Next to her, Kagami had finished the summoning of Dikaiosyne, so…
“Here we go!”
The Suzaku shouted from her shoulder, but she decided to assume it was only saying “rooster” and ignored it. It may have been at the age where it wanted a hen, but she decided not to think about the possibility of it being female.
She simply flew onward.
Just as they had discussed, she used multi-stage armored shells. She had to get close before firing them and Fleur’s Magino Device still had to fully disseminate its flowers and establish its environment.
This was her chance.
“Akerindou, let’s go at full speed!”
Kagami casually waved from Dikaiosyne next to her. She was a little further ahead.
This was how it always went. This was a Ranker Battle and not a time to just watch the enemy. So…
She split through the wind while having Akerindou fold up and down into its acceleration form.
She continued on.
She eventually broke through the blowing wind and only heard the sound of herself tearing through the atmosphere. White water vapor trailed back from Akerindou’s leading points and corners.
Hunter and Mary had taught them that making a quick attack was crucial against this opponent. And…
…We have to stop the Headmaster and Fleur!
With that thought, the distance between the two sides dropped below 5 kilometers.
Their opponent was gigantic. Horinouchi had no idea how it worked, but she knew this would make it easy to target.
However, the flower at the center of it all suddenly tilted. Six spell circles opened on the top.
“Horinouchi! You’re moving too far ahead!”
Just as Kagami sent her a warning, a beam of glowing rose flowers swept across their airspace.
Mary watched the footage as Horinouchi and Kagami dodged in a very forceful fashion.
The video was only static after the wide-range vortex of flowers hit it, but she could still detect the 2 Magino Devices by setting the proper band of ether detection.
Kagami proactively dodged the beam of light released into the sky.
…She fired her cannon!
Mary recognized this because Kagami had dodged her attacks like this inside the barrier she had created at the North Pole.
Kagami used the recoil to spin around backwards. And Horinouchi’s Akerindou was along that spinning path. So the rest was simple.
“She collides with her.”
Sure enough, a collision hit Akerindou diagonally.
Dikaiosyne knocked itself down in order to push Akerindou away.
An intense sound shook the scene, but the footage showed the 2 Magino Devices had indeed fallen below the sweeping beam of light.
It did not hit.
However, the movement of the beam created a shockwave.
Mary decided not to use the girl’s true name as she watched the 2 Magino Device’s tumbling through the air.
The shockwave created by the sweeping light had struck them as a wide surface.
It was a powerful enough hit for the 500-meter Devices to lose control.
The blue and vermilion Devices were thrown several kilometers and flipped 5 times before righting themselves.
After regaining control, they found themselves in a certain position.
The giant flower was turned such that the oldest of Fleur’s Magino Devices was facing Kagami and Horinouchi.
Horinouchi was aware her pulse was racing.
…Was that its main cannon!?
She had sensed some panic when up against Hunter and Mary or in her other Ranker Battles.
But she felt something else against this opponent.
That panic never left her.
It felt like everything was dangerous and that a single mistake would lead to absolute defeat. Also…
…Are our attacks even getting through?
Just as she wondered that, Kagami rested her control Device on her shoulder and spoke atop Dikaiosyne.
“I see.” Her tone did not allow anyone to contradict her. “So you can take it this far if you are willing to use any means necessary.”
Was that a bad thing or not?
It was not wrong from the perspective of defeating the Black Witch. Criticizing the use of so much power was only the jealousy of the weak.
Once she wondered that, she belatedly recalled where Kagami came from.
She was one of this world’s creators. The world was a story and a setting, but there had likely been some kind of ideal built into it.
In that case…
Kagami must have been angry. Angry at herself.
After all, she had created this world and she had made one of its residents take things this far.
If she had stopped her sister, the Black Witch, sooner, this kind of power never would have been created.
But this much power had been created, and…
A few things seemed to link together inside Horinouchi.
So she had something to say, even if her origin was different from Kagami’s.
“Do you need something?”
“Yes, I am panicking and cautious. I am wondering what in the world is going on.”
“I am not afraid of the person I must face.”
She spoke without taking her eyes off of their opponent and she did not receive an immediate response. But after the span of a few breaths, her partner spoke clearly.
But she also heard another voice.
A witch was laughing from the great flower at the center of the moonlit vortex of flowers.
The flower witch raised her hands toward the night sky.
“That should be enough, right? No.”
Here it comes, thought Horinouchi just as it and an announcement arrived.
The blowing flowers began a chain reaction detonation.
…Wow, that’s really cruel…!
A mass of light appeared in the western sky.
It was far from small. Even from the distant ocean, the air and sky covering multiple regions of eastern Japan emitted the light of ether explosions.
There was more than one light. Countless chain reactions rotated around, raced out, and burst to form water vapor explosions, clouds, and a rotating air current that turned it all into a great vortex.
It was a giant explosive typhoon. The air struck by the blasts was electrified and lightning began to race vertically and horizontally through it. Also…
“Hunter! Can you see the expansion by eye!?”
“I can, I can! It’s really spreading!”
She stood on an aircraft carrier flight deck. She used the edge of the deck to measure by and could tell the explosive cloud was spreading along the mainland.
It was spreading surprisingly quickly. She had seen the calculations the night before, but seeing it for real was entirely different.
…There was a movie with a scene like this, wasn’t there?
She had a feeling there were a lot of movies that did. It could be sharks, gators, snakes, cows, or anything really. This time it was flowers.
“Would you call this a Flowernado?”
“A Fleurnado! It would be a Fleurnado, Hunter!”
Where is the captain from anyway? But then she heard a voice over the staticky transmission.
“Heyyy, you alive?’
There was no response. Only static. So…
“I-I’m trying to dodge!!”
That exchange could not have been less surprising.
Fleur shook both hands and practically slapped the keyboard to instruct the flowers to bloom.
They did so. The front line of blooming flowers could rise, fall, or ride the rotation around as she saw fit.
Explosions danced through the sky and scattering light blew in the wind.
The wind, the air, and everything that bloomed and scattered was her power.
“Magino Device Zephyr! Let’s see how far those flowers can bloom!”
The environment had already spread its power over a 50 kilometer region.
The flowers were everywhere and they shined in the moonlight.
Everyone feared the moonlight, but she did not.
She thought it was pretty.
After all, the flowers that mama and I made glow at night.
“This light is proof that mama is by my side!”
The flower light was everywhere now. It surrounded the heavens and earth and held the moon overhead as if to bless them in the center.
Even that moonlight will eventually be ours.
And then this will all be over. I’ll never again have to worry about losing mama.
The end is within reach.
The chain reaction of overlapping explosions is shaking my laughter. The vibration in the bottom of my lungs becomes a sound of joy in my throat.
With each laugh, a portion of the sky detonated.
Even the air burst with that floral scent.
She could only produce laughter.
“Hey.” She turned back toward her mother and spread her arms to indicate everything. “We finally, finally have this many flowers blooming, mama! Isn’t it amazing!? It’s just like the flowers you had bloom 10 years ago! Let’s make it even better together! If we do, then you won’t lose again, right!? You won’t go away, right!?”
Yes, that was what she wanted. But…
They had so much freedom and power, but there were two things that opposed them: the 2 Magino Devices that had been swept through the current of explosions but escaped.
The girl standing on the sword Device raised her voice.
“There is something you have lost even if you wield that power! So why are you growing drunk on that power!?”
Fleur had no idea what this girl was saying.
…I mean, mama and I are doing so well together.
Why is she telling us to stop?
If we stop, we can’t win at Hexennacht.
If you can stop us, then you might be able to win at Hexennacht. But…
“Then what are you going to do about it?”
She decided to ask.
“If you two at Rank 2 can stand up to mama and me at Rank 1, then how are you going to do it!?”
“We will stop you!”
Horinouchi heard Kagami yelling to Fleur.
“You must not use your mother’s life to grow drunk on power!”
“Yes,” agreed Horinouchi. “We will stop that power.”
She then reached a hand out toward Kagami.
She did not look toward the other girl. And with the space between their Magino Devices, there was no way her hand could reach.
But, as if calling out to Kagami, she spread her right hand and held it out as if to hold hands.
There was a great gap between them, but when she glanced to the right…
…I knew it.
Kagami had raised her left hand in the same way. But hers was reaching out as if to reach Horinouchi.
…Is that how she does it?
She smiled a little, but that was only due to how amusing that slight difference was. Probably. She then clenched her raised hand.
“Let’s do this.”
With that, she launched Akerindou forward.
She began a charge.
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