Horizon:Volume 3B Chapter 29
Chapter 29: Mother and Daughter in a Place of Departure
What can never catch up to anything
But can constantly grasp it?
Point Allocation (Gaze)
Futayo saw the enemy’s back in the center of her vision.
She did not hesitate to release Tonbokiri’s cutting power, but she did not stop her charge.
…This enemy is dangerous!
After all, she had detected Futayo’s approach yet had not made any battle preparations. That meant she already had something prepared.
Futayo saw a group of silver panels.
They expanded from the Reine des Garous’ hair like unfolding origami.
The panels formed countless boxes which created a structure of their own. The structure seemed to spread its arms and stand tall in an instant.
…A giant cross!?
The silver cross was three meters tall and it stood before Futayo as if supporting the Reine des Garous.
The air burst without warning and Tonbokiri’s cutting power was destroyed before reaching its target.
Futayo did not even have time to gulp.
Tonbokiri’s cutting power had previously been neutralized when Muneshige had hidden the blade or when Walter had hidden the target with his gravity sword, but this was different. Instead of hiding the target…
“She destroyed the power!?”
“Testament.” The Reine des Garous’ smiling voice reached her from beyond the cross and shaking hair. “When two divine weapons are used against each other, their effects will collide. Just as your cutting affects an entire area…”
The parts of the cross glowed and a panel of bluish-white light quickly rotated in the central empty space. As the rotation accelerated, the cross’s weight clearly increased.
“My silver cross is a striking divine weapon. Destroying everything in an area might take some effort, but it can destroy your cutting power with a diagonal counterattack, much like breaking a blade. …I have practiced hitting back attacks like yours in the batting center.”
She gave a splendid backhand swing of the cross hammer with her right hand.
It was a swift attack and Futayo could not even hear it slicing through the wind. Its path was so fast and natural that it felt more like it had suddenly been placed in a new position instead of swung there. But…
Futayo could not stop. Due to the speed of her charge, she could not immediately brake.
And so she tried to use Tonbokiri’s extension function to jump over the cross being swung in from the right.
“Not there,” said the spear.
The shaft had previously been destroyed by Narimasa of P.A. Oda, so it was gone.
I lost track of that sunglasses guy in the mist, but I really wish he hadn’t done that, she thought.
Meanwhile, the silver cross arrived.
The Reine des Garous heard a sound in the instant before the silver hammer struck the samurai girl.
It was the sound of the spear tip being thrown toward the back of her head.
Why would she throw away her weapon to attack?
“Is she prepared to take my attack to hit me!?”
Had she compared the spear tip and blunt strike and decided it was worth it?
The Reine des Garous realized what the enemy was after.
The samurai girl was not targeting the back of her head. Her attack was directed at…
Futayo threw Tonbokiri with enough force to kill the Chancellor.
She knew this enemy would not react otherwise.
The enemy was trying to take away that half-naked chain-roll, so Futayo had concluded he was an important hostage or prey. Whether she was going to eat him or whatever else, someone known as the Reine des Garous would find it humiliating to have someone else kill her prey.
She was sure to avoid the strike to protect that prey.
…And if she does not, too bad. I am not clever enough to cover for that as well. Besides, my ruler is Horizon-sama.
“But…this should work!”
The Reine des Garous bent forward and stepped away from Futayo to duck below Tonbokiri.
She moved a half step away and that half step kept the cross hammer’s rotation that much further away, so Futayo took a step with her right foot.
She leaped toward the left of her enemy and ran around the woman.
Tonbokiri stalled in the air, but she grabbed it just as heavy gunfire from the Musashi tore into the enemy.
Futayo shouted and spun toward the Reine des Garous in midair with Tonbokiri at the ready.
…I can bind the cutting power here!
Mitotsudaira broke free of her motionlessness when Futayo called her name.
She heard the word that defined only her.
Her mind grew clear and the core of her body seemed to return.
She spoke in her heart and began to move, feeling like she was breaking and remaking her body.
She gathered breath in her gut, gathered strength in her knees, and had only one thing to do: pour strength into her silver chains and strike her enemy from four directions at once.
Her mother was an enemy. Having decided that, she did not hesitate to pour strength into the chains once more and launch them.
Everything was heavy.
Her own movements felt slow and the chains’ movements appeared delayed.
She had noticed how slow she was quite a bit recently; but at the moment, she was filled with tension, impatience, and…
…The fact that I’m defying her!
That simple act placed even more pressure on her.
Even the flow of time felt heavy. Each instant seemed to stretch on and on without end. It felt like completing an unpleasant assignment, working on homework in one’s worst subject, or being home alone with nothing to pass the time.
She was defying her mother.
She had never once defeated her mother. No, that was long ago. It had been eight years since she had last defied her. She had only been around ten at the time, so she had thought things might be different now.
…That’s what I thought…
But she had been wrong.
Something seemed different between them on a fundamental level.
She could not tear off and throw such a gigantic piece of the crust’s metal frame and she was not a pure Loup-Garou. She was a half-human who could not even transform.
Long ago, she had tried to bite into a piece of metal like her mother and had cried when she had been unable.
What had her mother said to comfort her back then?
This was surely the same yet also different. She could not do the same things as her mother.
…But she won’t try to comfort me now.
They had parted ways eight years before.
The afternoon sky on that day before summer had been a lot like the one here.
She had been taught that she was different from her mother on that day. And now…
“Nate,” said her mother with the Chancellor over her left shoulder. “Watch this.”
Watch what? she wondered just as Futayo cried out from an upward striking pose to the right.
Mitotsudaira saw it.
To the right, Futayo turned back toward Mitotsudaira’s mother and fired Tonbokiri’s power.
The Musashi was to the left and smoke rose from the spell gunpowder of the sniper unit.
Her mother had supposedly been evading in front of her, but the woman was gone.
She was no longer there, but…
“Mito-tsan!! To the left!!”
She turned and saw her mother’s hair swaying to her left and a little behind her.
She did not understand what had happened.
She could guess that her mother had moved there.
She could guess that her mother had moved with tremendous speed.
She could not even guess what had just happened.
Her mother spoke to her after avoiding both the gunfire and the cutting power.
“You move so very slowly. …Perhaps you take after your father.”
Her mother had done more than point out the weakness she had noticed recently.
…She doesn’t have this weakness!?
The answer was obvious. After all…
“Evading like this is easy. Yes, any Loup-Garou can do it.”
Impossible, thought Mitotsudaira. I’ve never once done that.
In order to protest, she prepared to turn around, but she suddenly found her mother right in front of her.
She did not know how her mother had moved so quickly, but the woman had definitely avoided the bullets, cutting power, and silver chains with instantaneous movement.
She turned the silver cross toward Mitotsudaira.
“Show yourself, Argent Croix.”
A moment later, an impact struck everything.
Ether performed a spatial strike.
The source of the destruction was the cross in the Reine des Garous’ right hand.
That cross transformed.
First, the short arms raced down the side of the long axis.
The short arms were cocked much like a crossbow, they shot back at even greater speed, and the glowing panels rotating inside them lost their light.
However, the light inside the long axis grew. But instead of using the ether to rotate the glowing panels, it created a stake of light.
“Stab, Valkyrie Marteau.”
Like a large crossbow, the bottom of the spear fired a stake of light into the air. The power of the impact covered one hundred and twenty degrees in front of the Reine des Garous, an area that included Futayo and Mitotsudaira.
The stake of light was worn away in about two meters as if it had hit something. Instead, it produced a great cutting sound, a vibration, a slight glow, and…
Everything within a fifteen meter radius was struck.
Futayo, Mitotsudaira, and her silver chains were all affected equally.
Futayo was saved for a variety of reasons: she had sent herself into the air, she had faced her opponent, and she had held Tonbokiri vertically in order to use its cutting power.
However, she saw something as she was instantly blown backwards.
The girl had received a direct hit.
The attack had smashed down the surface enough for it to sink down everywhere within five meters of the Reine des Garous.
Mitotsudaira’s entire body had been knocked to the side and embedded in the ground.
“That cross is not a striking weapon! Is it a short-range cannon that seals a striking power inside!?”
“Testament,” replied the smiling wolf queen beyond the gale of destruction. “Supposedly, it was originally used as the pedestal used to bind an angel. It suppressed the angel’s power and fired itself down into the crust. Just like the silver chains, my mother’s group stole it from the scene of its use and remade it. The bearer of the cross receives the angel’s divine protection and anyone who tries to crucify that bearer is nailed to the ground in their stead.”
Futayo rotated once in midair and entered her landing pose.
…She’s too far away.
She tore into the ground as she landed, but she had been sent twenty meters away.
Meanwhile, the enemy moved. With the silver cross in one hand, she approached Mitotsudaira who was doubled over on the ground. The impact seemed to have affected her equilibrium because she only trembled and did not try to move even as the woman grabbed at her throat.
Naito took action in midair.
Naito used the silver chain wrapped around her broom to pull Mitotsudaira away.
…This could be bad if her chain supply devices are set to let the chains freely pull out!
But the chain grew taut as she tugged. Realizing it was working, she picked up speed and prepared to drag the girl along.
“This is the problem with leaving the chains connected.”
Naito saw the Reine des Garous swing her silver cross downward. She struck the obelisk on the back of Mitotsudaira’s left shoulder as if swinging a golf club.
The obelisk and the base of the chain supply device came off and flew toward the Musashi with the chain trailing behind it.
“Eh?” said Naito; because she knew how heavy Mitotsudaira’s obelisks were, because it loudly stabbed into the Musashi’s armor, and because…
The bending of the chain created sharp acceleration. Its tail end pulled wildly and affected the movements of the broom.
Mitotsudaira saw the chain pull Naito’s broom and slam it into the Musashi’s lower armor.
…This isn’t good.
She knew she was tripping up the others.
She tried to get up, but the core of her being trembled and she could not gather her strength.
She tried to lift herself on her hands and arms, but she could only shake and crawl along the ground.
“It may have been too soon to give you the silver chains.”
Every few words, she heard a metallic sound and felt herself shake.
She felt it again.
“Could you quiet down for a bit?”
As she tried to get up, something pressed down on her. She knew what was happening.
…The silver chains!
Her mother was removing the silver chain obelisks. She felt the shaking of the obelisks being removed and heard the crashing and clanging of the chains. The obelisks were being thrown into the Musashi.
She could not see it herself while being pushed face down into the ground, but the sound told her the obelisks were stabbing into the ship’s armor. She knew her mother was strong enough to do that.
She felt it would be better to deflect them using gravitational control than to allow damage to the ship, but “Musashi” must have decided they could not lose the 5th Special Duty Officer’s weapons.
Her senses somewhat returned to her and she realized her shaking had reached several centimeters.
It almost seemed her tears were forced out. The pain, impacts, and a great variety of emotions forced them out; but before they had finished flowing, she heard a voice.
Someone grabbed her leg.
“You are covered in dust from your life with humans.”
She realized she had been lifted up, she saw the sky, and she saw her mother’s hair below her.
“I need to beat it off of you.”
She slammed into the ground.
The Reine des Garous’ beating did not end with a single blow. As if striking dust from a piece of furniture, she slammed Mitotsudaira into the ground again and again.
Asama cried out when she heard and saw it beyond the thinning mist.
“We need to stop her!”
However, everyone in the loading entrance shrank down and fell silent. All of them stared into the mist with their eyebrows raised and Asama knew why they were so silent.
…There’s nothing we can do?
Futayo could not stand up to her, Toori had been taken hostage, and even Mitotsudaira, their close-quarters attack specialist, had been captured.
There really is nothing we can do, she thought.
As soon as she said that, Kimi stood in front of her and shook her head.
“Calm down, Asama. I didn’t see it, but this is the same as eight years ago, isn’t it?”
“B-but! This is very bad in a lot of different ways!”
We need to stop her, she thought again and prepared to say something.
Kimi jabbed a hand into the center of the shrine maiden suit covering her chest, spreading her breasts apart.
Asama spent several seconds staring down at the opening created by the internal pressure.
“Eh? Ah… Kyaaaah!!”
But Kimi frowned with her hand stuck between Asama’s breasts and began moving her fingers. Asama cried out at the ticklish feeling and the idiot’s sister tilted her head.
“Huh? What? You don’t keep flint and charms in here?”
“No! I! Don’t! …Wait! Stop! Take out your hand! Don’t feel around for the reverse taper on the bottom!”
“Wait. What is this? The pressure is so strong I can’t-…”
As soon as the idiot’s sister realized she could not remove her hand, her expression loosened.
“Ha ha ha ha! Wow. I hit the bull’s eye here!”
“Can you two stop outdoing my doujinshi?” asked Naruze.
She then helped in Naito who staggered inside after letting go of her broom.
“More importantly, what are we going to do about this?”
That question helped Asama calm down a bit.
…We haven’t given up.
Everyone wanted to do something. And…
“I think we can manage this. …We aren’t the same people we were eight years ago.”
Someone walked out from the long block further inside the ship.
It was Neshinbara and he pointed at Masazumi who was sitting by the wall.
“As long as Futayo-kun is investigating the situation down below, I want to make another suggestion.”
Wondering what that was, Asama and everyone else turned to Masazumi.
Masazumi nodded and gave the answer.
“Negotiations and ransom money, right?”
Masazumi had Tsukinowa open a sign frame displaying the appropriate information. It described a long-practiced tradition.
“In Europe, important prisoners of war are bought back with money. After all, a lot of European nations were connected by political marriages or family lines, so a careless execution could make an enemy of every nation involved and could lead to your own important people being killed in revenge if they were taken prisoner.”
“It came from the idea that war was meant to bring down another nation’s power, not to kill its people,” said Neshinbara.
“Judge,” agreed Masazumi. “So we should be able to request Aoi’s return in exchange for ransom money. As long as it doesn’t violate the history recreation and as long as it’s based in historical rules, Hexagone Française can’t ignore the suggestion. The Provisional Council is already working on it and has made the request. But…”
How would it turn out?
“From what I’ve heard, it’s hard to say whether that Reine des Garous will obey the human rules, so…”
“We need to plan for the worst, Honda-kun.”
Masazumi nodded and looked to Kimi and Horizon.
“In the worst case, Horizon’s position as Vicereine will make her our temporary Chancellor and Student Council President. I am confirming that now with my authority. That should work until we reach the next port. We just have to say we lost our Chancellor and Student Council President en route.”
An especially loud sound came from outside. Mitotsudaira had gone completely limp after being slammed against the ground countless times and the Reine des Garous had just thrown her down even harder.
“I see your tears have finally stopped.”
She held her daughter up by the neck.
Heat filled Mitotsudaira’s entire body.
The repeated impacts with the ground had completely confused her inner ears and her vision was shaky too. Even sounds seemed to stick and distort deep in her ears.
Her brain shook and she could not form thoughts properly. She did not know why exactly this was happening to her. No, she did know, but…
…There’s nothing I can do even if I do know.
Only helplessness filled her heart.
It did not matter what she did. Even if she struggled, fought, moved, or stayed still, she could not hope to oppose this enemy. Even ignoring it would only lead to being found and beaten.
Something different happened.
A glove-covered hand reached between her choker and neck and it lifted her.
Her mother’s voice seemed to stick in her ears.
“You understand, don’t you?”
She was unable to ask what and she felt there would be no point in asking even if she could.
Her mother was cruel. After all, there was no need for her to understand. Whether she did or not, she could not hope to oppose the woman.
And so she did not even try to understand. She simply obeyed and went along with it.
She could only leave all of the decisions to her mother.
…That is safest.
If she assumed she could never oppose her mother and only her mother, she could receive absolute peace of mind. As a child, she had defenselessly followed her mother without knowing where they were going and she could receive that same absolute peace of mind here.
Her mother must have understood that because her sticky voice spoke up once more.
Just as in the past, she admonished her daughter after calling her name.
“Nate, you understand that you must do as I tell you, don’t you? Then let me repeat something I once said: Nate, do as you are told.”
“You may think you are acting as a knight when you help this boy in his game of world domination, but I stand in the way of that goal. And I can easily crush what you and this supposed King you believe in are trying to do.”
I can’t stand up to her, she thought.
And as long as an opponent like that stood in their way, they would eventually fail.
“See? You cannot stand up to me no matter what you do, Nate. Isn’t that why you spent eight years without setting foot on Hexagone Française territory?”
Her mother laughed, shook her with a comment of “right?”, and held up the prey on her left shoulder.
She sounded almost impressed as she shook the prey.
He had lost consciousness, so he limply followed her movements.
“Honestly, I can’t believe an obedient child like you would come down here to save this boy. …I’m sure you thought I wouldn’t notice or that it didn’t count because it was just for a moment.”
She bent her arm to grab his jaw in her hand and she casually pulled his face toward her.
“Nate, you did nothing wrong. It was all this boy’s fault. He knew nothing of our difference in strength, so he probably thought he could use you to pick a fight with the world. If only he had known my Nate is a good girl who likes flowers.”
“If it wasn’t for him, you wouldn’t have to think any of these ridiculous things.”
Mitotsudaira gasped when she heard her mother.
Her mind did not clear and her body still refused to move, but…
A single thought did fill her mind and tears of denial spilled from her eyes. She tried to voice that denial, but the breath that escaped her lips was not even a voice.
Her attempted cry spilled weakly out just like her tears.
However, her mother asked another question without nodding.
“Do you want to save this boy’s life?”
Mitotsudaira’s shaking body managed a trembling nod, but her mother did not nod in return.
“Then,” she said. “Then leave Musashi, Nate. I will have you transferred to the Far Eastern academy in IZUMO. You can bring an end to this all by staying here until graduation. Then you can live in the new Far East as the inheritor of the Mito Matsudaira name.”
Her mother moved her hand from his face to his throat.
“Now, if you understand, then say it. Say you will save his life by withdrawing from all of this.”
“Now,” she urged again. “This is your last chance to save him.”
Mitotsudaira realized she had no questions inside her.
…She may be right.
She did feel this was her last chance.
She could never stand up to this opponent and neither could anyone else. This boy, who was everyone’s King as well as her own, had been captured and was about to lose his life.
In the past, she had caused everyone a lot of trouble and worries.
If she had once brought trouble and was only a hindrance now…
“You will do anything for this boy, won’t you?”
Her mother grabbed her choker and shook her.
That was right. She had started wearing the choker after deciding to give all of herself to him. So…
Once she finished speaking, she would have to remove it.
Her lips trembled and she did not want to say these words, but…
“I will…save my…”
“Your King’s life.”
No, she thought with tears in her eyes, but her mother shook her again.
“Just add ‘by withdrawing’ and you’re done. That’s all. Just say it.”
If she did not say it, he would be lost. If she did, he would not be. And yet…
But when her mother shook him by the collar and showed her his limp form, her heart sunk. Her mother gave a smile with the ends of her eyebrows lowered and spoke the inviting words.
“If you do not say it soon, he will wake up.”
No, she immediately thought. She did not want him to see her like this, she did not want him to realize she had been unable to protect him, and she did not want him to hear what she was about to say.
I have no choice, she told herself and she opened her mouth while making countless silent apologies.
Her body shook from her sobs.
Suddenly, a sign frame opened next to his face. It came from Asama and displayed Horizon’s face.
“Toori-sama, a married woman’s breasts are right in front of you.”
The idiot woke.
Still dangling from her mother’s hand, Mitotsudaira opened her eyes wide and faced the chain-wrapped boy. Even with the pressure on his neck, he looked around and ultimately down at her mother’s chest.
“Ohhhhh, it’s true! And zoomed in, too! Nice one, Horizon! …Wait. Why am I wrapped in chains? I’m being tortured and broken first thing in the morning!? That’s a new one! A-and my pants are pulled down! W-was I taken advantage of? …Wow, this married woman’s boobs really are huge.”
Mitotsudaira could not keep up with what he was saying, but was that because her mind had yet to clear or because she had poor conversational skills?
At any rate, the problem was still in progress. After all, her mother was far too healthy.
And to emphasize that this was her turn, the woman lightly squeezed the idiot on her shoulder.
She nodded and looked between Mitotsudaira and the idiot who was flailing like a fish.
“He has infected you, hasn’t he?”
“N-no, um, mother? My symptoms are still much less severe than everyone else’s.”
Almost Everyone: “Don’t bring us into this!”
Mitotsudaira ignored the complaint from everyone on the Musashi.
…They’re all here.
She knew they would be doing more than just watch and that was enough. Meanwhile, the idiot spoke in front of her.
“So what is this, Nate? A family meeting or something? But, y’know what? Don’t just go along with what your mom says. You can be too nice sometimes. Besides…”
“You’re supposed to protect me, not just let me live. …You need to fight and protect me. I’m weak, after all.”
She felt like she could finally manage to breathe when she heard that, so she cooled her lungs and…
As soon as that word left her mouth, she was released from her mother’s grasp.
She was thrown through the air to put some distance between them.
Ah, she thought in midair as her mother adjusted the Chancellor’s position.
“That is very interesting, but…you cannot have him back. He is mine.”
“Mother!? What do you mean he’s yours?”
He belonged to the Reine des Garous.
…She isn’t taking him for Hexagone Française!?
That meant they could not pay a ransom for his return. This was the worst possible case in which it was up to her mother’s mood.
Gold Mar: Ohhh! Did she just confess to the Chancellor?”
Asama: “Horizon! Horizon! You really mustn’t use the external walls for that!”
Wise Sister: “…”
Mal-Ga: “Kimi, you’re really scary when you glare silently like that.”
…S-someone really has to do something about this!
However, Mitotsudaira could not move her trembling body; so her butt landed on the ground and she rolled.
She wanted to get up, run, and save her King, but…
…I’m too slow.
She recalled her mother’s previous movements.
She could not move that quickly, but her mother could. She wished she could, but…
Her body remained limp as she collapsed onto her side.
She felt pathetic and useless.
…I have to do something.
As soon as she thought that, someone appeared from the mist remaining in the central area to the northwest.
It was a dark man who moved like a blade.
“That kid’s my target, Reine des Garous!”
Narimasa raised his speed with Israfil already expanded on his hands.
He traveled forward and to the left in a gouging arc straight toward the Reine des Garous.
…Now this is interesting!!
He had only meant to introduce himself, so he had never expected to chance across such an interesting opponent.
That opponent did not even turn toward him. She had dropped the daughter dangling from her right hand, but the Musashi Chancellor remained on her left shoulder.
She was trying to show her confidence and it pissed him off.
…But that’s perfect after coming across someone like the Reine des Garous!
He had heard the rumors. She was a legendary being, so he wanted to attack her and see how his own strength stacked up against a legend.
“I’ll be your opponent!!” he shouted as he charged toward her.
Meanwhile, she laughed quietly.
“You took your time getting here. Don’t tell me you were waiting for an opening.”
“Don’t be stupid! I wouldn’t do that! I lost sight of that spear girl I was fighting and then ran off in the wrong direction!! I saw a white aerial ship, but it turned out it wasn’t the Musashi!!”
In the central land that was still covered by a thin mist, Exiv brought a hand to his chin with Terumoto by his side. He looked behind him where he could see the white of his flagship, the Pension Versailles.
“Was he the one that stampeded through the mist and back a bit ago?”
“Don’t ask me. I don’t know the guy.”
Narimasa launched an open-handed jab with his right hand toward the Reine des Garous.
White lily-shaped emblems blossomed and shined on his forward-stepping foot, his supporting foot, his knees, his waist, his sides, his shoulder, his elbow, his wrist, and his fingertips.
The ground here had already been packed down by the silver cross and Musashi’s 5th Special Duty Officer, but his foot packed it down even further. However, that gave him even more solid feedback from the earth below.
A moment later, he felt as if his hand was piercing through the air.
He felt the tip of his jabbing hand sink into cloth and shake wildly from the air resistance, but he forced his wrist forward with his shoulder and elbow.
His hand slipped through the air. A great sound passed through the bottom of his forward-stepping foot and penetrated the ground where it sounded even louder. His hand was directly targeting the Reine des Garous’ face. It was a surefire attack with no trickery behind it whatsoever.
It happened in an instant.
To Narimasa, it looked like the Reine des Garous had simply taken a step forward.
…Is she shifting the best spot to target!?
Just before he fully extended his arm was the most crucial point for him, so the force of his strike would drop if she shifted that timing.
He saw her evade downwards.
She suddenly dropped down as if sinking.
…Did she escape!?
That was not the case. She was making a counterattack against his right-handed jab.
She was trying to attack him, so she had lowered down in order to…
The clincher had been the Reine des Garous’ step forward.
The color of metal could be seen where her silver cross had packed down the earth. That was the frame of IZUMO’s crust and she had stepped there to begin her counterattack against Narimasa.
She had immediately sunk down about sixty centimeters.
That attack was the clincher.
As her right foot sank into the giant metal frame, she spoke to Narimasa.
“The frame I threw, the Musashi’s preparations to leave, the Roi-Soleil’s descent, and your stomps had created a number of distortions in the frame, so the crust had already been warped in this area.”
The crust frame was long, but its movements required large-scale management and it did not allow for instantaneous distortion.
“The rest is simple.”
Faster than she could breathe, a vibration raced up from the ground below. Like stones colliding underwater, she heard the muffled but definite sound of something splitting.
A crack was forming and that crack was splitting IZUMO.
It ran south to north.
IZUMO snapped apart.
Asama saw it happen from the Musashi’s loading entrance.
Down below, everything blurred like looking at countless overlapping copies.
She knew why: IZUMO was shaking and beginning to split in two.
…It’s going to break!!
This isn’t good, she thought as a great rumbling filled the land below.
An alarm blared and the mist completely vanished from around the Musashi.
At the same time, the crust frame ripped away and the land port area began to tilt. Countless sounds of snapping metal came from IZUMO as that land port area began to crumble away.
Down below, Futayo managed to leap onto the bottom of the Musashi while looking worriedly toward Mitotsudaira. The outside world shook. The crust had not merely shifted. The entire frame had been destroyed, so the shaking crust accelerated as if something had thrust it outwards.
“The Musashi land port block has lost 72% of its primary couplings and is tilting! At this rate, the break will reach central IZUMO! Therefore…”
IZUMO gave their conclusion.
“The Musashi land port and the surrounding area will be explosively purged!! Over!”
The shockwave of the explosive blast accentuated the shape of the crack racing south to north along the ground.
The ten kilometers of crust below the Musashi land port were being explosively purged.
The entire area burst.
However, the action did its job. The ten kilometer land port shook and slowly but surely began to fall, but the Musashi remained floating in its place.
An explosion occurred directly below. It was meant to smash most of the falling crust before it reached the ground.
The fragments fell into forests and valleys below. The area was mostly comprised of Hexagone Française’s harmonic territory.
The crust crumbled as it fell there. The land port’s released torii-shaped gantry cranes, as well as the dock’s inner walls and bases, were all detonated and torn to pieces as they fell.
The IZUMO side performed rapid stabilization to make up for the absence of the land port’s weight. The eastern side had lowered, but they assumed it would spring back up once the weight was lost, so the western side began to ascend. This also distanced the floating island from the air currents and explosions caused by the falling fragments, but someone shouted out within the shaking and wind that had already occurred.
Narimasa had been hit by a chopping strike that had taken out the right temple of his sunglasses and a chunk of skin. He stood atop the broken frame instead of the crumbling edge of the land.
“Did I hit her!?”
A silver-haired woman stood on a broken piece of earth that was falling and wrapped in wind two hundred meters away. She still held the Musashi Chancellor wrapped in chains on her left shoulder and she raised her right hand.
She smiled as she showed off the torn right sleeve of her uniform.
She herself was unharmed, but Narimasa showed off his teeth.
“I should’ve gone a little to the right, huh!?”
He laughed, stood up, and pulled a comb from his pocket. He pressed the comb against the injury on the right side of his head, getting blood on it.
“I’ll get you next time!”
He forcibly pulled the comb through his hair.
At the same time, wind exploded down below him. The plummeting crust, frame, and other parts had fallen far enough from IZUMO to be detonated.
In the falling explosive blast, the Reine des Garous gently walked along the footing that crumbled as it fell.
She had safely captured the prey on her left shoulder, she had managed to enjoy a battle while she was at it, and…
She looked over her shoulder where the crust frame was continuing to fall apart far overhead. Her daughter had been on that frame, but what had happened to her?
…No, I should not be asking what “happened to” her.
The Reine des Garous corrected her thoughts. The appropriate question about her daughter was what the girl was “going to do”.
Would she pursue or not? Meanwhile, the Reine des Garous looked to the unconscious boy on her shoulder.
“What will I do about him? …I’m looking forward to this.”
To her, a commotion was not a bother. Instead, she was curious what would happen. That was why she had quieted him down for the time being, but…
…I can eat him, let him live, or anything else.
The choice was hers. If she waited too long, the Chancellor’s officers and Student Council would try to have their say, so she wanted to enjoy this as much as she could as soon as she could.
From approximately a kilometer in the air, she took a step toward the forest down below. It was a light, playful step like someone hopping over a puddle.
With that, she jumped down with Musashi’s King.
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