Horizon:Volume 3C Chapter 77
Chapter 77: Attacking Woman by the Water
This action is needed
To incite repentance
Point Allocation (Prostration)
In the park a bit north of Magdeburg’s cathedral, the evacuees and hemispheres were being loaded onto the transport ships supplied by the city.
There were three Dragon-class ships there. Guericke and the other Europeans boarded one, Masazumi, Kimi, Asama, and the Far Easterners boarded another, and the hemisphere cart was loaded onto the final one by Righteousness and the Palais-Cardinal. Adele guided them as they loaded it.
“Okay! Oh, over there! Over there! Over there! No, not there! Here!”
While the girl gave her instructions and gestures, Yoshiyasu had a thought inside Righteousness.
…The Musashi is supposed to be a transport ship, but is all of their work this careless?
Anne and Mazarin commented from the Palais-Cardinal’s shoulder.
“Milady, how are you able to work with instructions like this?”
“That’s a good question, Luynes. I think it’s because I’m too nice.”
The Palais-Cardinal then addressed Yoshiyasu while holding half of the hemisphere cart.
“This took a fair bit of time. If it wasn’t for the barrier ceiling, we could have flown this here.”
Hearing that, Yoshiyasu looked up at the glowing barrier covering the sky. She judged the distance by eye and then looked to the six large wing-shaped flight devices on the Palais-Cardinal’s back.
“So you have the same flight ability as our Yatsufusa.”
“Isn’t that confidential information?”
It took Yoshiyasu a moment to respond.
To hide her feeling of wrongdoing, she pushed the cart into the hangar. The Palais-Cardinal helped with Anne smiling bitterly on its shoulder.
“There. …Anyway, so much has happened that I’m feeling a little scatterbrained,” said Yoshiyasu.
“Oh, sorry. Our people did do a lot to you.”
Adele bowed her way after climbing down from the hemisphere cart and leaving the ship.
…That they certainly did, but…
“I may have lost my focus a bit after this much contact with Musashi’s strange atmosphere. Satomi is a small nation, so you have to stay focused on whatever you’re working at, be it politics, economics, or defense. So…I had come to a decent understanding of the Palais-Cardinal’s power when you pulled on my hand and trained with me, but I mistakenly assumed that meant we were sharing our information.”
“That’s fine. We can let that be our little secret.”
Anne added “right?” while looking to Adele and the others working in the hangar.
They had all started working tying down the hemispheres inside the hangar, but they turned back toward Anne, and…
Every last one of them looked her in the eye and nodded. Some said “testament” and some replied with “judge”.
This is a nice atmosphere, thought Yoshiyasu.
She had seen similar scenes in Satomi. While maintaining Righteousness, her sister had used to bring her homemade snacks, but recently…
…Yoshiyori brings me food.
She stopped thinking there and wondered why her sister and that man tended to overlap in her mind.
…But I don’t feel anything wrong with my sister and Anne overlapping in my mind.
Then what was it about her that insisted on rejecting that man?
Yoshiyori sensed a bad habit of hers.
Whenever she thought about something, she would use that man who killed her sister as a comparison or example.
She glanced over at Anne and the vassal below noticed before Anne did.
“What is it?”
The girl tilted her head as she asked, so Yoshiyasu gave a mental sigh that could not be expressed by the god of war’s voice device.
“I’m not sure how to put it.”
A thought had come to her after leaving Satomi. She had noticed this after seeing other leaders such as Anne and after having a chance to compare them to her sister and that man.
…There are a lot of similarities between Anne, my sister, and that man.
That may have been what a leader was.
That thought had led her to another one during the few days of this journey.
“I need to see so many more things and accept so much more.”
“I see…” said the vassal.
The silver god of war turned around and the girl on its shoulder spoke.
“That would be good. You do have a lot of room for growth. …In the chest for example.”
“This isn’t just about my chest!”
However, she did feel better now that she had said that. This may not have been something to think about in the middle of a battlefield, but…
…Is this why Yoshiyori forced me to go along with him?
Even if she did not try to understand Yoshiyori himself, she could learn a lot by watching the leaders of other academies. She could observe their attitudes, where they placed their gaze, and their toughness or flexibility.
Her sister was gone, but the other academies were supported by people like her sister. And…
…Does that man play that role for Satomi?
She did not feel entirely certain of it, but that may have been her way of resisting the idea. When she made enough of a concession to think she was bringing too many personal feelings to her official position, a feeling of self-deprecation filled her heart. Regardless, she spoke while listening to the cannon fire and watching the light in the sky.
“Once this battle is over and I return to Kantou, it might not be a bad idea to visit the other nations there a bit. It could be useful to expand Satomi’s trade and political connections.”
If she did that, would she find more approval when she returned?
She was not sure, but the vassal smiled down below.
“The Musashi is great for taking a trip. The travel fees are cheap.”
“Can you at least make sure my bed won’t be destroyed each morning?”
“What are you talking about?”
Hearing Anne’s confused voice, Yoshiyori began wondering how to explain.
I really am feeling a lot better, she thought.
But a sound suddenly reached her auditory device in addition to the continuing cannon fire.
“Impacts? And they seem to be on a pretty large scale.”
“Yes. The defense of the riverside path has started in earnest.”
Work tying down the hemispheres was continuing inside the hangar, but the transport ship was not waiting for it to finish. Bands of mist began to appear around its waterline. Seeing that, Righteousness asked a question.
“So it’ll be leaving as soon as everything’s ready?”
“Testament, as soon as the defensive barrier is removed. …We’ll be closing up shop quite quickly.”
“Will you be fighting by the river?”
“No,” replied Anne. “Unless it’s an absolute emergency, protecting Magdeburg is a job for the M.H.R.R. Protestants. Well, them and the Musashi which is helping them. If anything, we are only guests. The Satomi family has only been fighting ‘because of possible damage to your cargo’, right?”
“I wasn’t accusing you of anything, so don’t apologize.”
Anne smiled from the silver god of war’s shoulder. As if protecting the three transport ships, she had the god of war take a step north and place a hand on the scabbard at its waist.
Another powerful sound of impact came from the direction of the river.
“That’s quite the noise. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.”
Anne explained who was charged with defending that area.
“M.H.H.R.’s secretary and Protestant representative. …Tomoe Gozen clearly still has her strength.”
The path traveling three hundred meters south to north was approximately six meters wide.
To the west was an earthen slope and to the east was a barrier of white rising into the heavens from the edge of the path. A muddy river reached two meters high just beyond the barrier.
Six cannons were lined up at the city entrance to the north.
A unit of one thousand M.H.R.R. Catholic mobile shells descended the riverside path from the south, but they had been stopped about two hundred meters along. Or more accurately…
“Don’t let them push you back!”
Those in the lead were being worn down, blown away, or torn into.
The loss of the warriors was pushing their ranks back.
There were two reasons for this. The first was the constant fire from the six large cannons. However, the cannons were stuck at a fixed angle and could be dealt with if the front row held their shields just right and set up a rotation.
The real problem was the enemy charging into the front line.
It was a demonic long-lived woman with two horns. She wore Far Eastern armor over an M.H.R.R. girl’s uniform and her white headband fluttered in the wind.
“You can call me Luther if you want. After all…”
Tomoe swung her arms, both of which held a Testament hammer. Protestant spell charms flew from her wide kariginu-like sleeves. Instead of falling, those spell charms decorated her surroundings and rotated.
“Yes, because I created the foundation of the Modern Kunst.”
Six cannons’ worth of shells pierced straight down the path.
They reached Tomoe, whose spell charms were rotating around her, and the M.H.R.R. Catholic mobile shell unit, who were confronting her at close range. The mobile shell unit raised their holy spell shields in preparation for the shells.
“C’mon, now. How about we keep fighting without worrying about defense?”
Tomoe rushed in toward them.
The enemy formed a row of three and she stepped between the middle one and the one to her right.
Aiming for the enemies on her left and right, she swung up her two Testament hammers.
First, the right hammer caught on the right elbow of the mobile shell on the right.
Its elbow broke and was knocked upwards. The shield was lifted up along with the arm and a shell struck it.
The impact on the shield knocked the right mobile shell backwards.
However, the mobile shell in the center jumped to his right, which was toward the river, to avoid the left hammer coming his way.
He managed to dodge, but he also ran shoulder-first into the shield-bearing mobile shell by the river.
The one by the river caught and supported his comrade with his shoulder.
That was when Tomoe attacked.
As her left hammer had missed, she swung it straight up as if to pull her body toward the sky.
She had already swung her right hammer upwards, so she swung it downwards and to the left like a pendulum.
The right hammer made a scooping swing with her floating body at the central point.
“Your feet are wide open.”
Ignoring the two shells passing by her back and below her chest, she swept out the feet of the central mobile shell whose balance had been thrown off by the shell hits.
Rather than hit the mobile shell’s legs with the striking surface, she snagged and threw its legs with the joint between the hammer and handle.
The mobile shell and shield spun around and a flying shell struck its back.
The remaining mobile shell by the river held a weapon in the arm that had supported his comrade.
It was a long, thick spear meant for assaults. He used the mobile shell’s reinforced framework to provide powerful speed to an attack directed at Tomoe, who was wide open after swinging her two hammers.
The high-speed attack broke through the wind in an instant, but…
“That height was a mistake.”
As soon as she spoke, a shell from the city hit the spear. A sound of destruction filled the air as the spear was bent and knocked upwards.
“Sorry, but I decided when they would fire, so they aren’t going to hit me,” she said, sounding bored.
By then, the right hammer swinging down below caught up to the left hammer pulling her up into the air.
Both of the hammers now stood straight up, and…
She swung the two hammers to the left like a golf club to attack the riverside mobile shell.
The two attacks landed at the same moment she did and the enemy was knocked away, along with his shield.
The shield was knocked upwards, both the enemy’s arms were pulled up with it, and a shell hit his body.
The riverside mobile shell was blasted high into the sky, but…
Another row of three charged in.
They had waited for the gap between shells. Tomoe had also created an opening by swinging both hammers up toward the river. She was facing the river and stretched upwards, so the three enemies rushed in toward her side.
The two on either side wielded long spears and the central one wielded a rifle.
Even if she held off the outer two with her hammers, they were prepared to safely finish her off with the central firearm.
The spears came and the gunfire flew.
Tomoe showed a single response.
She jumped straight up and pulled her legs up, as if being lifted by the hammers she had swung upwards.
Her feet surpassed the coming spears, so she stepped on them and made a light additional jump.
The spell charms flying around her followed her movements.
At this new height, she pulled her legs up further and the bullet passed by below her feet.
She then let go of the hammers and had them rotate in midair.
At the same time, she performed a half spin to turn her back on the group of enemies.
Next, she raised her hands toward the vertically rotating hammers.
By grabbing the handles and swinging them down from front to back, they automatically formed an attack rotating past her legs from top to bottom.
The two backwards-facing midair attacks accurately struck the faces of the two spear-wielding enemies.
She heard a solid sound of collision, the armor broke, and the two mobile shells stopped moving.
Then the cannons fired.
The two enemies were blown away.
However, the central mobile shell charged in after abandoning his rifle. He drew a long sword from his back and targeted Tomoe’s waist and back as she dropped down.
Tomoe looked over her left shoulder toward the simple, straight-line attack.
“Please take this.”
She threw her left hammer toward the central sword-wielding charge.
However, the mobile shell swung his sword up toward the flying blunt weapon and deflected it into the air.
He immediately went on to slash down toward Tomoe’s stomach as she turned around in midair.
In that instant, Tomoe opened her left hand that no longer held a hammer.
And she spoke.
“Activate – Consecutive Style.”
As soon a Tomoe spoke, a spell charm rotating behind her shoulder began to glow.
Smoke rose from the usage meter printed on the charm and a brand appeared there.
While still falling, she swung her left hand.
Just as the rectangular scorch mark appeared on the spell charm, a single large book made of ether was ejected into her hand.
The bluish-white ether book had no decorations and it was six meters tall, six meters wide, and almost a full meter thick.
“This is a copy of the Testament. Nothing could be more important to us Protestants.”
With a movement of her wrist, Tomoe slammed the giant glowing Testament copy into the mobile shell with the sword.
It was a vertical attack.
“You Catholics love idol-worshiping your images of Jesus or the cross. You’re so focused on those things that you’ve lost sight of the teachings in the Testament copies.”
The attack landed and Tomoe spoke quietly to her enemy while the sound of smashing metal rang out.
“Bow before the Testament copy.”
She landed just as the enemy was crushed to a prostration on the ground.
The ether Testament copy vanished at the same moment as the brand for a single usage was completed on the spell charm.
Tomoe then moved forward.
She raised her left hand and smiled toward the row of enemies that moved back a bit.
“Read through it again, Catholics.”
Several spell charms around her began to glow and seven giant books were produced in a straight line along the path.
The Testament copies made of light opened themselves in the instant they were ejected into midair. They flipped through their glowing pages with a sound like flapping wings.
At the same time, Tomoe crouched down and struck the ground with her left hand.
The mobile shells cried out as the opened books crashed into them.
The sounds of impact sounded like crashing waves and the ground shook seven times in quick succession.
Destruction and cries of pain sounded out as several dozen mobile shells were destroyed.
They were crushed.
Tomoe grabbed the handle of the fallen hammer with her left hand and moved forward. She leaned forward and raced toward the enemy as if pursuing the giant vanishing books of light.
That was when the muddy Elbe River shook to her left.
As soon as she turned to look, the wall of light holding the flooding river back was cut by a horizontal attack.
…Is he here!?
Tomoe focused on the position on her left that she was just about to pass.
With the enemy group up ahead, turning her body and focus to the left was dangerous; but the person who had suddenly rushed in outdid that.
…He’s even more dangerous!
This person had temporarily sliced through the defensive barrier holding back the river.
“So you’re here, Shibata Katsuie!?”
The man was soaking wet after easily crossing the muddy river and breaking through the barrier with Kamewari.
Not only was he of the demonic long-lived race, but he was from a combat tribe.
Once he arrived on the path, his eyebrows twisted and he glanced toward the city.
“What the hell!? I thought I was a lot closer to the city than this! Dammit, Narimasa! It’s times like this when you’re supposed to convince me to bring more weight with me!”
Only then did he seem to notice Tomoe.
“Huh?” He tilted his head. “What!? What’s this old hag doing here!? Go up in the mountains to die already!”
“What!? Who the hell are you calling an old hag!? I might as well still be a child!!”
“Huh!?” Katsuie got up and pointed at her while ignoring his wet clothes. “Who in the world would call you a loli hag!?”
Tomoe threw a hammer strike his way.
The hammer and Kamewari collided and sparks flew.
Their weapons were not the only things knocked back; they themselves were knocked back.
After taking up a position five meters away, Tomoe noticed the timing of Katsuie’s footwork.
She realized he had begun his attack at the exact same time as she had hers.
…He’s gotten pretty good.
She was from the direct line of the demonic long-lived race which was very similar to humans. However, he was from the combat type that had apparently come about during the era in which the gods had ascended to heaven.
And both types had seen a sharp decline during the Genpei War and the later Kamakura period.
She had lived on and used her experience to strengthen herself.
Katsuie had been born much more recently, but he had still trained and grown stronger in order to improve himself.
Even though he was of the combat type, his age was only a bit over one hundred. She had heard he had joined P.A. Oda in order to experience the intense fighting there, but if that was enough for him to move at the same time as her…
“Well done training yourself this far so quickly!”
“I’m not some stubborn spot on the ground, so don’t look down on me!”
A moment later, Tomoe realized she had stopped moving.
There was a single reason for this: ether light had wrapped around the silver shield attached to the right hard point on Katsuie’s back.
That was the Testamenta Arma named Animus Caritas – Novum and she knew what it did when activated.
…It interferes with any attack or defense made in combat and stops them for just an instant!
No, she thought. This isn’t “stopping” them.
It adds a moment of hesitation.
It was a feeling of not wanting to crush your opponent or of wanting to see how much they had grown. It was like the look of charity a parent gives to a child.
Of course, what was charity to a family member was nothing but danger to an enemy, but…
Their speed was equal, but he still did not hold back. This was not an ideal challenge of blades meant to compare their pure skill because all else was equal.
This was a method used purely to win a fight.
“Are these the principles you learned from Nobunaga!?”
“That’s too complicated for me!”
Katsuie attacked with Kamewari with a magnificent smile on his face.
“Winning feels good! That’s all there is to it, you old hag!”
“Then I’m going to be feeling great!!”
Tomoe raised her voice as she turned her head and looked up into the sky.
“My Testament copies activate automatically to defend me!”
Three giant books had already been ejected into the air above her.
This spell activation was essentially a conditioned reflex and therefore not a conscious attack or defense, so how would Animus Caritas – Novum respond?
“That thing wasn’t made to battle something without a will of its own. It’s an idealist’s weapon!”
With those words, the three giant books struck Katsuie with three vertical blows.
Katsuie did not even have time to look up before the attacks hit his shoulders and head.
His legs were instantly embedded in the ground up to half the shin.
His shins tore into the dirt and he nearly fell to his knees, but…
He endured it. The strength filling his entire body caused him to heat up and his sweat turned to steam, filling the surrounding air with heat.
He was fortunate he had not looked up or bent backwards. His forward bent back and neck had absorbed the impacts from above, so he was able to gather strength in the feet buried in the dirt.
He jumped up. The three giant books scattered into particles of light, but he did not bother looking at them.
“I hate books full of words!!”
Tomoe had yet to recover her movement. Having her initial movement forcibly stopped meant she had to prepare herself anew. Katsuie, of course, had to redo his own attack, but he could convert his standing motion into an attack and that gave him an advantage when it came to speed.
He decided to swing Kamewari as he stood up, but that was when Tomoe suddenly looked to his right and raised her eyebrows.
“Ah,” she said as if she had noticed something.
It’s a feint, he thought. She’s trying to distract me so she has a chance to attack.
…I’m not falling for that!
“Heh! What do you think you’re doing, you stuuuuupid old hag!? Die!!”
A shell flying in from the right collided with the right side of his face.
That was a close one, thought Tomoe. And I was the one that decided when and where the cannons would fire, so I really should have known exactly where they would be coming from.
However, she had completely forgotten about the cannons once Katsuie appeared and she had to deal with him. That was why she had reacted to the shell that flew in as if to remind her of their presence.
If her reaction had allowed Katsuie to notice the shell, it would have been her mistake.
Fortunately, the idiot had taken the full force of the blow, but…
His body swayed and his eyes were not quite focused, but strength filled his brow before long.
He was coming to and forcing his body into motion.
He may have suffered a concussion because he started to collapse backwards, but Kamewari shot forward nonetheless. And it was a high-speed slash made from a snap of the wrist similar to throwing a slap.
Well done, she thought again. You are a combat-type demonic long-lived.
…So well done becoming so obsessed with combat!!
As soon as she prepared to intercept his attack, two things suddenly appeared in the air behind her: noise and light.
They came from above the city of Magdeburg near the park behind the cathedral.
…Directly above the transport ships!?
She looked back in shock and saw what was there.
An aerial ship had stabbed into Magdeburg’s sky.
It was a straight-line attack.
An aerial ship stood vertically at the very top of Magdeburg.
The three hundred meter ship showed no hesitation because it was unmanned.
A roar rang out and metal broke.
The defensive barrier surrounding Magdeburg glowed pure white and a flare of intense lightning appeared in the sky.
Naruze saw it as she fought Narimasa.
“They’re using an aerial ship as a battering ram!?”
The M.H.R.R. aerial warship was almost three hundred meters long, which put it at Kraken-class.
It had collided with the defensive barrier from directly above.
Despite the armor and solid structure of the warship, its length had shrunk by half. The crushed frame burst in the sky above and the broken parts scattered across the barrier like rain.
The barrier’s light looked dense enough to grab.
…That isn’t good!
The redirection type of barrier redirected any weight outwards, but the damage it could not redirect would accumulate and, if a weight constantly pressed down on it, the ether would gather and create the same phenomenon as a solid.
…That makes it easier to break, doesn’t it?
That thought was followed by something else.
Naruze thought a second ship had been dropped.
She thought a second body-slam had descended from the dark, cloudy sky.
But she was wrong.
She what had actually happened a moment later.
“A second and third ship!?”
Two simultaneous attacks showed themselves in Magdeburg’s sky.
They did nothing but continue their descent.
Righteousness and the Palais-Cardinal reacted to the weights falling from the sky.
Righteousness saw that the evacuation transport ships had already begun to float. Wary of the enemy attacking and boarding them, they had prepared to get moving the instant it was time to escape, but that had half-covered them in water spray.
“Can you not land!? Then can you escape from the deck!?”
But the Palais-Cardinal stopped Righteousness from calling out to the ships.
“Don’t say that. Leaving the ship is exactly what the enemy wants. They fear that the various academy leaders will use the transport ships to escape to where they can’t reach them. That’s why they attacked from above.”
The transport ships were slowly beginning to move. They tilted to the west and slowly moved out of the way. That way, they could avoid the wreckage that would fall from above once the barrier was destroyed, but…
“There are more of them!?”
The second and third ships hit at supersonic speeds.
The sound arrived a moment later. What sounded like a heavier version of a slap shook the light of the barrier. The transport ships directly below were slow-moving and had yet to escape the range of the hits, so Righteousness took action.
She flew to the side of the westernmost transport ship.
She saw Guericke and the others on board gasping and she sent Righteousness’s right shoulder slamming into the ship carrying the Europeans.
She fully opened the flight devices on the god of war’s back and spread them like butterfly wings.
She accelerated to get the transport ship away from the overhead attacks as soon as possible.
“That was a good decision, Satomi Yoshiyasu!”
The Palais-Cardinal arrived next to Righteousness.
“If the outside ship isn’t moved out of the way, the Far Eastern ship can’t move!”
Righteousness did not respond.
The two gods of war simply pressed against the transport ship and accelerated.
Naruze saw the entirety of Magdeburg lit up by a white dome.
…The barrier is still holding up!!
The color white was focused on the area of sky where the aerial ships had hit. Their falling wreckage was stopped by the light and fell no further. Occasionally, wiper-like spell light would wash across the sky like a wave, but it had not been made to handle three objects as large as these ships. All it did was whip up the wind.
Naruze could not say they were safe.
She looked directly below the enemy ships stopped by the barrier above Magdeburg.
…The Maurice Cathedral and the evacuation ships containing Masazumi and the others are there!
The barrier could not be removed when it was being pressed on from above, but the evacuation ships were too close to the overhead dome to perform any major evasive maneuvers.
They had essentially been stopped where they were.
“Dammit!” shouted Narimasa as he ran along the wall. “It still hasn’t broken!?”
That told Naruze what the enemy was after. It can’t be, she began in her heart.
…Flooding the Elbe wasn’t meant to weaken the barrier so they could break through the gate!?
It was not.
While attacking Narimasa, Naruze realized just why the enemy had flooded the Elbe River.
“Was it to make us think the city was dangerous and gather the leaders of the different nations in one place to evacuate them!? And then you could use warships as giant shells to take them all out at once!?”
The entire battle and the entire Sack had only been a way of gathering international leaders in one place and separating them from their bodyguard forces.
“You weren’t after the city or the history recreation at all! You were after the international leaders, weren’t you!?”
“Yup.” Narimasa threw stone toward her attacks while dodging them. “Once the international leaders had boarded their escape ships, we just had to attack the barrier above them enough to break through.”
He smashed the flying stone with his own fist and ran forward.
“Do you get it now?” he pointed at the light in the sky. “Then we crush their ships too! Of course, that’s not all we’re going to do here! But if they’re gonna gather together so conveniently, setting that as our goal is the logical thing to do!”
This is insane, thought Naruze. They flooded the Elbe, started such a large-scale invasion, and brought in so many powerful people, but it was all a diversion?
“You aren’t a diversion. …If you’re going to do it, you’re going to do whatever you want. Is that it!?”
“Shaja. That’s right.” Narimasa re-combed his bangs as he ran. “We’ll flood the place and we’ll drop ships from the sky, but our master’s policy goes beyond that. If we can accomplish even more, then we’re free to do what we want.”
“If this had happened just a few hours ago, I could’ve killed that bastard Suleiman. Well, I guess I’ll have to put that one off until later.”
Naruze was left speechless for several moments.
…This is dangerous!
Those were their enemy’s tactics.
…So they put together a strategy and then allow their people to show off if they’ve already accomplished that.
Of course, it was probably only those with considerable strength that were allowed to do that, but some of them could indeed do it.
No, she thought. We have official positions too and the strength to pull that kind of thing off.
Nevertheless, they had entirely relied on their strategy and had not even thought about doing anything more.
“We were careless!!”
“Do you finally realize why people say P.A. Oda is so great!?”
Naruze mentally agreed with what he said as he ran, avoided her attacks, and made attacks of his own.
…They think about things on an entirely different level.
She became strongly aware of Nobunaga’s existence, but not because she was impressed. She had another thought in her heart.
“What a troublesome enemy!!”
“Then learn just how inadequate you are and die!!”
Narimasa made a stomp as he ran and a long stretch of the stone wall hopped up.
Naruze accelerated. Carelessly lowering her speed would get her hit by a scattershot of stone, so…
She drew some reverse focus lines and the stone wall exploded out the other side.
Then the stone bullets arrived. The cluster of fragments flew her way, so she accelerated around them.
Or she tried to.
This was not stone. Something longer flew through the air, blocking her way.
It was a large cannon.
…When did he do that!?
The answer was obvious. Narimasa had not sent the wall upwards with a powerful stomp in order to defend himself or gain the stone he needed to attack. He had done it to hide the cannon he was sending her way.
She had accelerated to evade, so she could not avoid the cannon.
It collided with her as if catching on her right shoulder.
She saw two things as her vision rotated.
First, Narimasa had kicked the wall’s stone her way.
A fourth warship had fallen on the bright white defensive barrier.
Oh, no, she thought.
The barrier above the transport ships was already unable to redirect the weight pressing down on it, so it had solidified. A new rapid strike would mean one thing.
“It’s going to break!?”
Tomoe sensed two dangers.
First, the falling warships were going to destroy Magdeburg’s defensive barrier.
Second, the first danger had distracted her.
…And I was too slow to react to Kamewari!
She had been trying to avoid Kamewari, but…
Her movement had been briefly stopped by the Testamenta Arma and she had already used all of her reactionary defense spells.
Nothing she could do would make it in time.
She would of course take evasive action again, but the blade was still going to reach her just below the chest.
A moment later, she heard a female voice.
With the sound of shattering glass, the Testamenta Arma’s power was cut.
As she accelerated and leaped along the path, Futayo saw Katsuie try to drive Kamewari into Tomoe as he avoided collapsing.
Past them, the battalion of M.H.R.R. mobile shells was beginning to climb the slope to slip past those two.
Futayo was worried about the enemy battalion, but the slash approaching Tomoe was more worrying.
Tomoe was trying to move back again, but Futayo decided that was not quite enough.
She moved to jump between them and to catch Kamewari on Tonbokiri.
But she was moving too quickly and missed her chance to stop. She had been too distracted by predicting the damage to Tomoe.
Oh, no, she thought while acting on a certain solution.
She decided to make sure Katsuie would not cut down Tomoe.
“He’s going to hit you!”
She used the momentum of her dash to kick Tomoe out of the way.
Katsuie awoke in an instant.
Something unbelievable was occurring before his eyes.
An idiot had just kicked Tomoe Gozen. Of course, he had been trying to cut her down.
“Clearly, you’re the one that was going to hit her!!”
However, kicking Tomoe Gozen had eaten up enough momentum for the girl to come to a stop. She took a quick step and turned to point both her eyes and spear tip toward him.
Sparks flew from Kamewari.
The girl, Musashi’s vice chancellor and the wielder of Tonbokiri, had deflected Kamewari.
Katsuie straightened up, stood tall, and quickly moved forward.
He swung Kamewari to push Musashi’s vice chancellor down the path and toward the city.
“But what do you hope to accomplish!?”
He smiled and jerked his chin toward the sky.
“The final warship is already falling!!”
The fourth warship was coming.
It was on a direct vertical course for Magdeburg and the transport ships below.
“Everyone but the crew get up on the deck to prepare for the barrier breaking!”
Masazumi and the other Musashi passengers frantically moved through the Far Eastern ship which was the central of the three transport ships. They were all rushing through the narrow corridor.
“Hey, hey. Asama, are you really not going to let go of my hand? Are you going to marry me or something? In fact, if those things are falling from above, can’t you do your fwoosh and make them go boom to make everything nice and boing?”
“I’m not sure how to respond to that… But since I’ve been working against M.H.R.R.’s divine transmission jamming, I’ve used almost half of my internal Blessings. There are three ships up above, but I would probably only be able to destroy one of them.”
The others looked at Asama in consternation, but she ignored them. Everyone had their own standards, so she decided to change the subject.
“A-anyway, is everyone here? There’s Masazumi and Kimi and…um… Where’s Adele?”
Flat Vassal: “Oh, I’m here. I’m here, okay?”
Asama: “Are you already on the deck? That was fast.”
Flat Vassal: “Eh? No, um, I’m still inside. I’m a little busy is all.”
Vice President: “Hm? Are you working on something? Or are you carrying something?”
Flat Vassal: “No, um… To put it nicely, I’m, uh, in the restroom. You know how when you’ve been really tense, it sometimes hits you all of a sudden after you relax? Anyway, since we were about to leave on the ship, I – ah ha ha – thought this would be my best chance. You know what that’s like, right?”
ANA: “Come to think of it, I haven’t had to worry about that since combining with the god of war.”
Dragon Dog: “Milady, I have determined that is not necessary for you.”
Righteousness: “Well, now that you mention it, I don’t have to worry about that when I’m combined either.”
Flat Vassal: “Ah… That must be nice. The mobile shell isn’t that convenient… And another thing, everyone.”
“What is it?” asked Asama as she and the others tilted their heads while evacuating to the deck.
Flat Vassal: “You know the – to put it indirectly – health screening we do before the school trip? The sample we have to give? That’s coming up soon, isn’t it?”
Almost Everyone: “Oh, no!”
Asama: “A-anyway, warriors use that kind of set during their detailed medical testing after their battles, right!? There should be some on this ship, so you can use those instead after the battle! And once you finish your ‘battle’, Adele, hurry to the deck!”
Flat Vassal: “Please stop piling on the pressure like thaaaaat!”
As soon as Adele’s typed-out shout reached them, a voice was broadcast throughout the ship.
“The fourth ship is coming from directly above!!”
With a roar of destruction, Magdeburg lost its ceiling of light.
The defensive barrier had shattered.
An instant of bursting and wind sent the fragments down like a blizzard, but directly below…
The loss of the barrier allowed the flooded Elbe to assault Magdeburg like a five meter tsunami.
Something similar happened to the wreckage of the four warships supported by the barrier above the park behind the Maurice Cathedral.
“Are they coming!?”
They fell. It began slow, but they began to accelerate a moment later.
“Here they come!!”
Despite their damage, the warship wreckage was still almost one hundred meters long and they fell quickly toward the three transport ships lined up below.
The wind roared, surging waves pressed in on and struck the city, and a great din fell from the sky.
It all brought destruction.
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