Horizon:Kimitoasamade 2B Chapter 16
Chapter 16: Viewer in the Sky
What can you see?
What can you show?
Point Allocation (Unfair…!)
A battle had begun.
Their enemy was the two Hidden Dragons that had appeared on the aerial ship’s deck. But then something flew in toward those dragons: an interruption, a resumption, and a series of collisions and separations in the time between evening and night.
On the investigation ship’s deck, Asama found the massive noise sounded a lot like blades slicing through the air.
…It can’t be.
“The Non-Dragon Sword!?”
The reverberation and windy form were more of an answer than her voice.
On the port side of the bow, a giant form was using its entire body to slash at and push back the Hidden Dragons that faced Asama and the others. It was a made of bluish-white blades and it looked a lot like the Non-God Sword they had fought the day before, but…
The ether light emitted from it had a calm color.
Ether light was bluish-white when stable, but it grew yellow and then red when it became accelerated or overheated.
Yesterday’s Non-God Sword had been yellow, so it must have been fairly overheated as a stagnation.
This Non-Dragon Sword was different. It had a calm color, so…
“Is it something like my Cerberus?” asked Mitotsudaira.
“No, it isn’t,” answered Asama. She paused for a “you see”. “Yesterday’s Non-God Sword was a stagnation that used a local god’s mold to appear, but today’s Non-Dragon Sword – most likely, anyway – is a local god appearing using the Non-God Sword’s sword mold. Your Cerberus seems similar, Mito, but that’s because a stagnation took on the form of a weaker local god when it was gathered for tuning. So to be strictly accurate-…”
“To be strictly accurate, we’re in the middle of battle!!”
Just as Mitotsudaira shouted at her, Asama was pushed to the deck from behind.
It was Adele. She had wrapped her arms around Asama and knocked her over. The reason why soon followed.
It was a dragon cannon.
The Hidden Dragon that passed by to the starboard side of the stern had turned back toward them and attacked.
It was more of a diagonal line than a horizontal sweep.
Hearing a scorching sound brushing across her back and hair, Asama quickly lay face down on the deck with Adele.
Adele noticed a difference in height between her and Asama.
When she lay face down, she was much lower. She was low altitude.
When Asama lay face down, she was much higher. She was high altitude.
Since they were trying to avoid getting hit, Adele had a definite advantage. All right! she thought, but…
…Wait, does that make me a really selfish person?
When she thought about it, she realized Asama had lived a life poorly suited for battle due to no fault of her own. To celebrate that fact meant she was a failure to her combat style of vassal. Her proper role was to assist Asama, so…
“Don’t worry, Asama-san! I’ll lie down enough for the both of us!”
“Did you hit your head, Adele?”
Asama released the guard parts on the sides of her breasts, lowering her body. Kimi ran over after evacuating to the starboard side. She too lay down next to Adele.
She placed a hand next to her mouth and whispered so only Adele could hear.
“Adele. Did you know that anyone who gropes Asama’s boobs is blessed with bigger ones herself?”
That’s not true is it? she thought, but it might be true.
If groping them really will make mine bigger, then it’s worthwhile. And even if it isn’t true, it’s not like I lose anything.
If groping them won’t make mine any smaller, isn’t it worth a try? And the dragon cannon is zwooshing by overhead right now, so couldn’t I cop a quick feel and pass it off as an accident? Or would that not work?
Adele thought. She thought long and hard.
She decided to ask about it, so Adele made up her mind and…
“Do your boo-”
“Here it comes, Adele! Kimi!”
Heat swept by overhead.
Adele screamed and quickly pressed against the deck, but then she realized she would definitely be fine if Asama had not been hit.
I guess Asama-san has her troubles too… she thought.
…And why am I feeling so sad now?
Asama was someone who had ended up with a large hitbox due to no fault of her own.
In terms of Ultimate Savage Historical Reign, a fighting game that was popular on the divine network lately, she was like Kanou Eitoku who could be hit by the mid-height ink attack even when crouching. That was a mistake on the developers’ part, but since blocking against that provided the perfect chance to use the Screw Folding Screen Drop, it actually made him a decent character.
Meanwhile, Adele had ended up with small boo-…had ended up a very flat sort of person, so she was more like the player’s ship in a bullet hell game.
She could not say that either was superior, but couldn’t she just accept that she had evolved to give her an advantage in battle?
No, she could not. So…
“Um, Asama-san, this is a little hard to say, but could I get a quick feel of your boo-”
“It’s coming from the other direction now, Adele! Kimi!”
She got down again.
Stop doing that, she told herself. After all, the Hidden Dragon probably could not move its head enough to directly hit her while she lay down. That Asama and Kimi were unharmed was proof of that. So instead of pressing against the deck, she could relax and ask Asama her question.
And she did.
“Um, Asama-san, could I try feeling your boo-”
“It’s charging this way!! Adele, Kimi!”
“Wah!” shouted Adele as she scrambled to her feet.
Kimi slapped the girl’s butt as she did, so she looked back, worried that Kimi would not be able to escape. But when she saw Kimi lifting up her own breasts with the Hidden Dragon charging in behind her, she was reminded yet again how much of a crazy person that girl was.
Adele averted her gaze and decided to run away without her, but then…
“Did you actually believe that?”
Adele dashed to safety.
Mitotsudaira saw the Hidden Dragons helping each other.
The one on the port side of the bow had been attacked by the Non-Dragon Sword, so it had lost its front right leg and was at a serious disadvantage.
That may have been why the one that had run to the starboard side of the stern launched a second dragon cannon at the Non-Dragon Sword and charged toward it.
…But the previous dragon cannon didn’t do anything to the Non-Dragon Sword!
The blades making up the Non-Dragon Sword’s body were made from a sword mold. The dragon cannon would be made of light or heat, but the Non-Dragon Sword could absorb those things as a part of its swords and thus break apart and weaken the attack. The second dragon cannon destroyed a few of the Non-Dragon Sword’s wings, but it was erased as it reflected wildly and dispersed.
The Hidden Dragon must have decided a long-range attack was not going to work, so it kept low to the deck and used the wings on its back to make a high-speed charge toward the Non-Dragon Sword.
…It really is fast!
And right along the Hidden Dragon’s path was Asama with Adele tugging at her hand and Kimi with Asama tugging at her hand.
…They really are slow!
2/3 of Asama and all of Kimi behind her were clearly not going to get out of the way in time. And yet the idiot sister was wiggling her body.
“O-oh, Asama! You get so forceful at night!”
“The Hidden Dragon is coming!!”
Yep. It’s kind of right there, thought Mitotsudaira while somehow not at all surprised. But…
The Hidden Dragon passed through where Asama and Kimi were.
“Okutama” watched it all play out.
The Hidden Dragon had definitely passed through where Asama and Kimi were.
Her thought circuits performed a battle simulation assuming Kimi had died and estimated what other losses that would lead to and what would happen after the battle. But…
“Okutama” continued to watch it all play out.
Right next to the passing Hidden Dragon, Kimi was spinning around with Asama in her arms.
There was no point in asking what had happened.
It was a spell.
Kimi tended to use evasion and defense spells that would take charge of her location and prevent anyone from interfering with her dance. So…
…Is the previous spell still in effect?
This was the interlude or the MCing between songs.
Kimi calmly spun Asama around but then gently lowered her to the deck. And then she narrowed her eyes.
“The performance is still underway, you foolish lot. In fact, it hasn’t even begun. After all…”
She raised her left hand with the Hidden Dragon charging toward the Non-Dragon Sword behind her.
A moment later, her briefly wavering hand shot upwards and the dancer spoke.
Just as her hand rose, a great light flew through the sky.
“I have yet to sing.”
It was the Non-Dragon Sword. That dragon made of swords quickly flew high into the sky.
It avoided the Hidden Dragon’s charge by flying.
And the racing Hidden Dragon ended up crashing into the injured Hidden Dragon.
A deafening noise brought destruction and movement.
It was a one-sided collision between Hidden Dragons. The great unharmed mass slammed into the injured one at high speed.
The one with the missing leg could not hold its ground and was sent flying and its side struck what was behind it: a half-torii jib crane on the bow of the investigation ship. There was one on the port and one on the starboard which formed a full torii shape together, but the one was broken off halfway up when the giant body struck it.
The half still connected to the deck tore into the dragon with the sharp edge of the break.
It sounded a lot like tearing paper. The Hidden Dragon’s left side split wide open along a diagonal line and fragments of light spilled forth like scattering cloth.
What might have been a scream or a cry of anger split the night sky.
Meanwhile, the other Hidden Dragon tried to come to a quick stop. But due to the impact and its previous momentum, it could not stop right away and could not turn around.
“You are mine.”
A light arrived.
A spear raced past the stopping Hidden Dragon.
This was the attack that had dealt with the initial Hidden Dragon.
It flew in once more and hit the Hidden Dragon injured from the Non-Dragon Sword’s attack.
“That’s one!” shouted the silver wolf as the Hidden Dragon tore apart.
Its giant red body split open like a flower and the bands of light that spread out were like yellow flower petals.
Those petals scattered.
By that time, the other one had managed to stop and turn around. Its hips rose up and spun around, its tail stood tall, and it faced its target like a cat ready to pounce, but that target was not a person.
It was sound and movement.
The sound was a voice.
The movement was a dance.
The dancer stood in the center of the deck and moved her entire body.
Her dance remade the stage.
Defense spell sign frames had been placed on the Hidden Dragon. The fighters also had defense and divine protections cast on them. The ones that the shrine maiden had left in the dancer’s care came back to life when the dance resumed.
They all caught their breath and prepared to fight.
But that was not all that happened.
There was an additional voice. The captain automaton called out to them while producing a ship’s wheel sign frame for herself.
“I will tilt the ship! Prepare yourselves, everyone! Over.”
Asama watched Kimi singing and dancing.
“Okutama” turned the ship’s wheel while showing no fear of the Hidden Dragon. She pulled the side stick at the bottom of the sign frame first, so she was turning the ship on its roll axis instead of the usual yaw axis.
…She’s tilting the ship!
Compared to the bow, the starboard side moved down and the port side moved up for a clockwise rotation.
It was enough of a tilt that Asama and the others had to bend their left knee. At this angle, they would be fine as long as they did not move down the slope to the right.
They could place the entire soles of their feet against the deck and the hardened wood material was rough enough to provide decent friction.
But, thought Asama. The Hidden Dragon won’t be so lucky.
…This will work!
It was like comparing an ant to a human. They could easily handle this slope with their small size, but that giant dragon could not. To the Hidden Dragon, the deck of the 100 meter investigation ship would be shaky ground and the deck would seem polished and smooth.
It was an unsteady place. Sure enough, the Hidden Dragon tilted its body and braced its legs against the starboard side.
…How about that!?
It slipped. It just barely managed to stop itself with its claws, but…
It roared and Asama noticed a hint of humiliation in it.
With its footing taken away, it could not fire its dragon cannon or explosive pressure roar like it wanted. Even flight required solid enough footing for a jump that gave it some initial speed.
…Now that it can’t do any of that, it can’t move.
A divine transmission came in from Naruze.
“Maybe I should anthropomorphize it…and genderbend us. No, maybe it’s better to leave things as is…”
Asama knew better than to ask what that girl was thinking. Next to her, Adele simply hung her head.
But this strategy to seal away the Hidden Dragon’s mobility had likely been “Okutama’s” idea.
Unlike the girls, she had knowledge of battles against dragons, so she would know what was best and could pull it off in battle.
After the Non-Dragon Sword had dodged the Hidden Dragon’s charge and had it collide with its companion, the automaton had taken advantage of the Hidden Dragon’s confusion.
It was now Asama and the others’ turn to defeat the Hidden Dragon. So…
Asama looked up into the sky.
She saw the Non-Dragon Sword in the dark heavens. It was rising and seemed unsure whether or not it should return here, but…
Asama heard a smaller cry from somewhere.
It was Mitotsudaira’s Cerberus. Its triple roar was not very loud, but it seemed to reach the sky.
Asama heard the Non-Dragon Sword roaring back.
There was a tremor in it, but it was a definite reply.
…Could it be?
Asama had a thought.
She was linking together a few of her suspicions.
…Could this stagnation incident be connected to the Apocalypse’s mysterious phenomena!?
The Non-Dragon Sword looked back at them from the sky.
It looked first at Mitotsudaira, then at Kimi, and…
…It’s looking at me!?
It clearly turned its gaze toward them.
And then at the Musashi.
The giant ship was hidden in what looked like empty air, but could that ether-born dragon see it?
It released a loud roar that was different from those used to attack.
And it flew high into the sky. Ether light wrapped around it as it flew away.
But they did not have time to watch it go. There was one thing they still had to do.
“We must defeat the Hidden Dragon,” said Asama as the Asama Shrine’s representative.
“Okutama” responded with a nod while further tilting the ship.
“Judge. I have determined that is an excellent decision, Asama-sama. Now is your chance. Over.”
That was true. Adele opened a shield and nodded next to her, but…
“What is it? Over.”
“Judge.” Adele nodded and then lightly kicked at the deck with her left heel. “Well, um, how far are you going to tilt this? We’re about at our limit too.”
“That is an excellent question. Over.”
“No, not over.”
Adele refused to back down and Asama sensed danger in this conversation. So Asama asked “Okutama” another question while telling herself to remain calm and not to be surprised no matter what might happen.
“Umm… ‘Okutama’-san?” she asked. “Surely the dragon attack hasn’t caused some kind of malfunction in the ship, right? And surely that doesn’t mean you can’t stop it from tilting now that it’s started, right?”
“Okutama” looked her smiling question straight in the eye and slowly nodded.
“That is an excellent question. Over.”
“You mean that is what happened!? You do, don’t you!?”
She could not afford to waste time waiting for an answer, so Asama pointed at the Hidden Dragon as it tilted back as far as it could and dug its claws into the deck.
“Adele, start by taking care of that!”
The vassal sprinted forward with shield in hand.
Adele ran across the deck as it tilted to the right.
Her training at the 2nd schoolyard had of course only been with a horizontal surface. This was her first time fighting under these conditions. But…
“I’ll show you what it means to grow up on the Musashi!”
She continued along the diagonal deck.
She leaned forward and dashed using the acceleration spell provided by Asama.
Kimi watched Adele run.
The deck was tilting further, but the nimble vassal did not mind. Her speedy run showed no sign of slowing. Of course it doesn’t, thought Kimi. Every Musashi resident knows how to do this.
…We use the towing belts and transport ships on a daily basis, so we’re used to unsteady footing.
She had likely decided that layering four shields and striking the Hidden Dragon’s pivot leg would knock it off balance.
Kimi watched Adele race forward with her quick but long strides.
And something occurred to Kimi.
…This situation might come in handy in-…
There was more to that thought, but she stopped herself. It would introduce an impurity to her song and, more importantly, it would place a weight on her thoughts. So…
She focused. She concentrated. She kept her thoughts clear and grasped the state of the stage.
That was when she detected some movement beyond Adele’s back.
It was the Hidden Dragon. It was supposedly trapped in place as it tried to brace itself with its legs, but it had moved. Kimi saw the defense spell sign frame cast on the front of its face. It was slowly turning from the port side and toward Adele.
It was obvious what it was trying to do. It was the same thing Kimi was doing.
She took a step.
As she hopped to the right, she spun in the air and faced a different direction upon landing.
The Hidden Dragon was attempting the same thing.
To support its slipping body as much as possible, it was turning its face toward the lowering starboard side.
…And then it will fire.
It hoped to use the recoil to push itself up as much as possible. Depending on the situation, it might even be using that to take flight.
But it was also matching that blast to the enemy’s approach. Adele was the one who had created the opportunity to break and drive back the dragon that could be seen as this one’s “parent”, so it was trying to fight back.
Asama sensed what was happening and cried out.
“You’re going to get roasted with a ‘showaaa’!”
Kimi used her rotating step to smack Asama on the back of the head. “Ow,” said Asama as she turned around, but Kimi had already used the hit to rotate away in the opposite direction.
“You don’t often take the tsukkomi role, Kimi,” said Asama while holding her head.
I shouldn’t have done something so boring, she thought just as light raced out toward Adele.
Kimi thought as she spun around.
…That really is a “showaaa” sound.
Adele was entirely focused on running.
She needed to use this time to reach their opponent.
She hurried. This was a 100 meter deck and their opponent was over 30 meters long.
She did not have to go far and it would not take long to reach it.
But a counterattack arrived before she could get there. It was a dragon cannon. And it probably doubled as a way to stop the dragon from slipping down the deck.
…Oh, so it’s trying to erase me as an afterthought.
But Adele trusted her heart.
It told her to focus on running.
They had a strategy, she had friends she could trust, and her role here was the 1st step in their strategy.
That meant she had to run now, so even though the dragon cannon swept along the deck from the left…
Adele shouted as she ran.
It’s going to hit! yelled some part of Adele’s mind.
She did not know if that was the cowardly part or the anxious part, but she trusted in her feet as they pounded on the deck.
As long as they held to the solid deck and continued forward, she had not been hit.
She could decide she had been hit once she could no longer run. So…
Adele ran and stretched forward.
She moved forward as if to push away the approaching light.
One layer of her shield shattered as the dragon cannon approached.
But, thought Adele. I’m still running, so it didn’t actually hit me. So…
The part of her mind saying it was going to hit was still there.
That cowardly or anxious part of her would not go away, but she instead shouted to the part of herself that trusted in the fact that she was still running.
And then the cowardice and anxiety gave up.
Telling her it would hit did not stop her or slow her, so going for it was the only option now.
She focused on running.
The vassal sped up and she moved in an even straighter line.
The Hidden Dragon immediately realized what she was trying to do and got up.
It knew its enemy was trying to strike its front left leg with her shield.
Its front left leg was on the downward slope, so it and the back left leg supported its entire body. But the bottom of the foot was slipping and the claws were straining. A hit now would be dangerous.
The back leg would probably hold. Its claws were much stronger than those on the front legs.
But the front leg was in trouble. A dragon’s front legs were not made all that large in the first place.
Plus, its front legs were already pushed up from the deck by the dragon cannon meant to correct its position.
An attack there would be dangerous.
So the Hidden Dragon swung its body while launching its dragon cannon.
Before the vassal could reach it…
It lifted its front left side to avoid the vassal’s attack.
“Okutama” silently commented on the dragon’s action.
It was releasing its dragon cannon to recover from losing its balance.
But it had just adjusted its position in advance, using the initial speed of the dragon cannon.
It had lifted up the front left leg the vassal was headed toward. It almost looked like an animal rising up a bit to threaten an opponent.
The vassal had been dodged.
The dragon continued by swinging its dragon cannon down between its front legs and below its body.
It intended to roast the vassal from behind.
This is not going well, determined “Okutama”. At this rate, Adele-sama will be showaaa’d beyond repair. My fellow automatons who monitor her daily life are sure to criticize me. I must visually record her final moments so they know it was not my fault.
“Okutama” saw something strange.
The Hidden Dragon tripped.
And not from the front left leg Adele had been targeting. The front right leg at the top of the slope had been blasted outwards.
The dragon cannon was blown off course and struck the dragon’s own left leg as it collapsed.
It collapsed to the right.
…What is this?
What had knocked the Hidden Dragon’s front right leg out from under it?
She had seen something there: a small and dull reflection of light. In fact, she had seen several.
They were 10 yen coins. In an explosive blast, they scattered into the sky like a fountain. “Okutama” calculated that it was a sum total of 1000 yen. And using coins as weapons was traditional for merchants and Technohexen. As could be seen in fortunetelling cards, Technohexen had long been associated with medallions.
…So who was it that fired a roll of coins just now!?
There was only one possibility: the person in the sky below the starboard side.
Naito held her broom in sniper mode in the gloomy sky.
…I can’t believe this.
She had used two acceleration spells for her sniper shot: One on the back of the broom and one on the front. She had also been given accuracy by…
“Ga-chan, thanks for the guide line.”
“You don’t need to thank me when it was necessary.”
Naruze added a “but” while supporting herself in midair by placing her arms around Naito’s waist from the left. She watched the straight guide line she had drawn fade from the broom handle.
“Thank you for making a shot that could outdo that dragon, Margot.”
Naito nodded back but said nothing.
The situation was still underway.
They were on the starboard side of the rolling investigation ship and they could see the dragon collapsed on its side on the port side of the bow.
…It only fell over.
They had not shot through it and it had not been broken.
Technohexen used spell-enhanced coins as weapons, so a roll of coins was their strongest attack. Casting a unified control spell on 100 or more coin bullets was not easy, but its power was unfathomable if it succeeded.
When test firing, one of their serial shots had broken through three Pompeii-style concrete walls. The problem was the powerful recoil that prevented them from using it in flight.
…And I even had Ga-chan support me and provide a guide line.
They had sensed that the Hidden Dragon was preparing to take flight. They had wings just like it. With wings of their own, they could recognize the actions taken in preparation to use them, so as soon as it had raised its head to focus on the sky, they had known it would take flight.
If it could not take a running start, it would need to make a jump. And to brace its legs for that jump, it would need to lift its body.
That meant the dragon cannon.
They had known Adele was running in as a distraction, so they had flown to place her between them and the Hidden Dragon.
They had used Adele as a shield and yet waited for the very last moment to fire. With the dragon’s weight focused on the closer left leg, it had been possible even the coin roll shot would not be powerful enough.
“I really thought we could shoot through the rising right leg.”
Naito thought she had done well as a sniper. When the Hidden Dragon had lifted its left leg, it had created cover for them and a blind spot for the dragon, so she had shot between the left leg and the deck to hit the right leg.
The perfect shot had swept the leg out from under the dragon and tripped it.
It had been a powerful shot from an anti-personnel perspective. A direct hit would have destroyed a mobile shell. But that had not happened here.
…Oh, I get it.
Naito realized why she had felt so little excitement when thinking about the Edel Brocken tester exam.
She trained in the mornings, her friends recognized her skill, and she was near the top even among those at work, but…
…There’s an even higher level.
She had vaguely realized it already.
There was a higher level.
Not just with her friends or on the Musashi.
When looking at the other nations and the world as a whole, there would always be a higher level.
If a Technohexen could not shoot through a dragon that appeared near the Musashi, could she really be satisfied with being at the upper level of her friends?
Of course, she also had to ask what was necessary and what was adequate. She did not know if this “higher level” she was seeing was really necessary for her. But…
…It’s not just that there is a higher level.
There was always a higher level.
If she never looked up and remained where she was within Musashi and among her friends, she would be safe. After all, she could still look down without looking up. And they were already in a position where there was plenty below them.
So couldn’t she decide to just stay here?
Any higher and the differences between levels grew much more clear. If she lost, she would drop all the way down.
And in about 2 more years, she would no longer be a student. She could spend that time at a useful position that was appropriate for her age.
So couldn’t she remain carefree, graduate, and live on as a delivery Technohexen?
Naito had that sudden thought, but…
She heard her partner’s voice.
“Let’s go help finish it off!”
The Hidden Dragon looked to its enemies.
The one small girl had passed below its legs and the two Technohexen had fired on it from the sky beyond her.
But while lying on its side, it saw the small girl spin her body around. She rotated to turn her spell shield toward the dragon. Was she taking a defensive position because she was worried it would fire a dragon cannon?
The spinning small girl used that rotation to release the shield into the air.
She abandoned it.
What was she trying to do with this rotation that was worth losing the shield protecting her?
“…There it is.”
It was a spear.
Earlier, that spear had pierced the Hidden Dragon that had been this one’s parent. The small girl picked it up. She ran over, snatched it up, and spun around.
“Extra Special Duty Officer!!”
Mitotsudaira used an acceleration spell to run.
She could not yet claim she ran quickly. She was not accustomed to the acceleration spell, so she could barely control the direction in which it supported her speed and there was a great risk of tripping. And at the moment…
…I’m running on the side of the ship!
When she realized the ship was rolling down to the right, she had jumped over to the starboard side of the hull.
That was an absolute blind spot for the Hidden Dragon. And since the ship was tilting, her footing would grow more solid and she could use that rotation to…
“Jump even further!”
She shot toward the coordinates directly above the dragon. As the ship swung around, she stepped onto the port side edge and then leaped over the dragon’s head.
She was launched into the sky by the ship’s great mass.
She could see the entire Hidden Dragon below her and the spear thrown by Adele reached her spread hands.
She grabbed the handle, rotated it around, and threw her entire body through the air.
“Here I go…!”
She filled the spear with a purification spell sent to her by Asama and she threw all her strength straight down.
After shooting in a rapid fire burst of coins, Naruze saw the finishing blow.
It started with Mitotsudaira’s attack from above hitting the dragon she and Naito had knocked over.
The fallen Hidden Dragon’s torso was badly damaged and ruptured, but this accomplished something else as well.
“The Hidden Dragon is pinned to the deck!”
The dragon arched its back as it tore and scattering light spread from its belly to its limbs.
It roared and shook the deck, but Naruze saw something more.
The finishing blow arrived.
It came from next to Kimi who was continuing to sing and dance at the stern.
Asama was holding her bow, Katatsubaki, up toward heaven. And her eyes were staring straight at the Hidden Dragon.
A moment of silence pierced the dragon from head to tail.
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