Horizon:Volume 4A Chapter 12
Chapter 12: Changed One on the White Field
What should you focus on
When going on a rampage?
Point Allocation (The Meaning of Victory)
The ground was white and the sky was black.
On that battlefield, Oichi wore a Sviet Rus coat over an M.H.R.R. uniform as her voice rang out.
“If you don’t hurry up, all the dinner will be gone.”
Someone turned back toward Oichi’s voice.
It was Narimasa. He checked on the surrounding movement as he quickly turned back her way.
It was obvious what he meant. Oichi was running his way and waving her hand. Her comment was clearly directed at him, so…
“Oichi!! What the hell is Shibata thinking!?”
“Eh? Katsuie said I was free to do what I wanted. …So hurry up! I did my very best today.”
“Why do you have to make things more difficult for us!?”
The enemy was already approaching from either side, so Toshiie shouted out while pulling on Fuwa’s hand and running toward the enemy formation up ahead.
“We’ll head this way with Michi, so you take care of Lady Oichi!!”
He expanded the Israfil emblems from the tattoos on his arms, but instead of planting his feet on the ground to prepare for a punch…
He used the white lily emblems on his leg joints to make a shallow leap toward Oichi.
Narimasa made his way forward.
He was approximately three hundred meters away from Oichi who was defenselessly running his way. Instead of landing, he took a skidding first step that brought him to one hundred twenty meters.
He prepared to take his second step which would bring him all the way to Oichi.
…I’ll grab her without landing and take her back to the camp!!
He was taking the step with his right leg while his left was his dominant leg, but he was well trained. He was not about to mess up a simple high-speed leap. So he did not hesitate to make the final preparation for the leap forward.
The emblems appeared on his bent right leg. Glowing lilies appeared on the ankle and even the joints of his toes as he made that second leap.
But he was too slow.
As soon as he launched himself forward, a white form fell between him and Oichi.
A corpse with reinforced legs had jumped down from one of the boats descending from the sky above.
“You’re in the way, moron!!”
Narimasa transformed his leap into a kick. Instead of just sticking the sole of his left foot forward, he kept a downward angle to the strike. The enemy that had dropped in front of him had no time to dodge.
“Die all over again!!”
The kick hit.
He used the force of the blow to pass over the enemy that rotated three times in the air and he glided along a shallow arc.
The force of his leap had weakened, but it had not vanished. Unfortunately, the enemy was approaching quickly from either side.
…Will I make it in time!?
His second step ended at fifty meters from Oichi.
The enemies to his left had arrived too close, and…
“Eh? What is going on?”
Oichi finally noticed the approaching enemies.
The enemies on the left had almost reached her. There were still thirty meters between them, but that distance could be covered in an instant by demons and physically strengthened individuals.
Narimasa did not have time to take all of them on before saving Oichi, but something rolled and bounced quickly in from back and to the left.
It was the Living Dead with strengthened legs that he had knocked forward with his kick.
He had passed it by, but now it was rolling past him.
He took a combat stance as the mass of flesh and bones scraped and tore across the snowy surface to his left. He also looked to the enemies approaching Oichi on the left up ahead.
He sent out his left elbow and slammed his lily emblem fist into the Living Dead’s back as it bounced up into the air.
With a roar of impact, he used his left fist as the explosive to launch the Living Dead like a shell. The strike was a corkscrew that added an inward twist from his hips to his wrist. A powerful spin filled the Living Dead as it flew.
After the bursting sound of the sound barrier being broken, the corpse shell reached the enemy. The demon and Living Dead warriors rushing in from the left were blown away by the hit from a corpse spinning due to a powerful gyro effect and by the slicing wind that reached them.
The first three rows were soundly crushed.
Narimasa ran on ahead of those results. More enemies were approaching from the right, but…
…I’ll make it in time!
He would be able to snatch Oichi with only a lag of two or three meters. Sure of that, he made a third leap.
He would easily make it in time. Or so he thought.
As he made his leap, he saw Oichi hold her forehead and shrink down.
It was a bullet.
In midair, Narimasa did not so much hear the gunshot as he saw Oichi’s movements.
She wobbled on her feet and then her slender upper body bent forward toward the snowy ground.
The gunshot only reached him afterwards and Narimasa continued watching what had happened up ahead.
His leaping body went a little limp in midair.
He realized the slower group on the right had been the true threat. Demons and Living Dead primarily used physical strength and spells, so they rarely had any gunners.
“But was it that rarity that slowed down the group on the right!?”
He realized he would not make it in time anymore, so he ended his leap partway and kicked deep into the snowy ground as he landed.
The sound of breaking ice burst out as he stopped himself while the enemies on the right sped up in their race toward Oichi. They all raised their weapons toward her.
“Oichi is Shibata Katsuie’s wife and Oda Nobunaga’s sister! We will take your life as our first accomplishment!”
In that instant, Narimasa saw a color race by before his eyes.
That color was black. It moved in every direction imaginable as it raced between the warriors on the left and right.
As the raging black movement made its counterattack, something happened to the several hundred demons and Living Dead on the front rows of either side.
They were all sliced through and black blood sprayed into the air.
It did not happen instantaneously. Some time was needed for the wind to whip up.
But after that short time, everyone involved was able to see what had happened on the battlefield.
The front few hundred of the two thousand rushing toward Oichi had collapsed to the snow with blood spraying from them.
…What was that!?
Fuwa had looked back and seen what happened.
It was Oichi.
However, something about her was different from when Fuwa had seen her just a moment before.
Her build was the same, as was her hair’s length, her clothes, her shoes, and everything else.
It was her stance that had changed.
…She’s hanging her head!?
She was looking down and almost seemed to have folded her body below the chest. Her head was bent down as well, so her head was closer to navel height than shoulder height.
Every last hair on her head was dangling down, hiding her face like a tube.
And a voice left the bottom of that hair tube.
That syllable continued quietly.
The exhaled air was quiet and yet it seemed to carry endlessly across the plain.
She was sobbing.
The voice escaped from deep within the tube of hair and shining drops fell to the snow.
The drops were filled with body heat, so they melted the snow as they landed.
Soon, Oichi’s entire body trembled. At the center of the enemies scattered across the snow and at the destination of the approaching enemies, Oichi bent her body even lower. A powerful tremor ran through her. She was crying. She shook her head once and a serpentine wave ran through her silky dangling hair.
Oichi’s black exploded within the approaching army of white.
Oichi moved in curves.
When a demon approached with a sword in his right hand, she made a quick rotation back and to the right. Her backwards kick sent her heel to the inside of the wrist swinging down the sword and deflected the entire arm outward.
The sword’s trajectory grew diagonal and Oichi lowered her body in the middle of her rotation. Her hair trailed after all of her movements and she slipped out and to the left as if circling below the demon’s right arm and blade that she had sent diagonally outward.
The demon swordsman clicked his tongue as Oichi slipped below his right arm and behind him.
“I won’t let you escape!”
He tilted his body left and lowered it in order to increase the right diagonal motion of his sword. Now the blade would not hit the snowy ground and he could continue the swing of his right arm to pursue Oichi behind him.
He did so. He made a right backhand as if scooping up the blade from below. Even with its diagonal path, there was very little space to dodge it.
But Oichi chose to dodge regardless.
Something extended from her spinning body. It was the very head that was swinging her hair far out from her body.
The action seemed more careless than flexible, as if she had dislocated her neck, and it brought her head into a rotation outside her body’s rotation.
Instead of circling behind the swordsman, she entered a confused spin.
It was an inhuman movement. The twisting, unstable rotation looked like a dance and she kicked her right heel into the snow. That launched her in front of the demon who was swinging his sword back and to the right. She was just below his forward-leaning stomach.
Oichi had intentionally thrown herself off balance to launch herself over the blade and back to her original location.
The enemy had fully swung his sword, so his body was wide open. Oichi tilted her still-spinning body to the right and placed her hand on the snow as if cartwheeling away from the enemy. Except she was not trying to escape. Her hair swept across the snow as she rotated her body vertically and sent her foot up into the tip of the demon’s jaw.
The metal sole of her left heel hit the demon’s jaw with a gouging diagonal blow.
A solid sound rang through the chilly sky.
Oichi bent her body forward and stood up just as the demon’s jaw was swept sideways.
The demon’s brain shook inside his skull. He fell to his knees, his right hand left the sword, and it flew away.
But half a beat later, his fading consciousness recovered. Strength returned to his eyes as they looked down at Oichi.
“Do not hesitate!!”
With that shout, he took a certain action.
He thrust both arms forward to grab Oichi.
As soon as the thick arms wrapped around her slender frame, the swordsman’s comrades rushing in from behind or in front of him cast aside their hesitation as he had asked.
Spears, swords, and other weapons were thrust into his body.
The charm cylinders attached to the bottom of the weapons’ grips installed a spell in the blades. With almost zero time lag, flames burst from the blades.
The swordsman burned.
As the heated light grew bright, the white warriors raised their weapons high. They let the corpse of their comrade scatter in the wind after he had burned more to ashes even than charcoal.
Glory to you, comrade!
Blessings to you, comrade!
“товарищ! Славу Урааааа!”
Comrade! Glory and blessings to you!
The vanishing ashes fell. They still retained the shape of his body and clothing, but…
What their comrade held was light even for ashes.
The heat-resistant parts of the armored uniform had resisted the flames even more than bones, and based on the amount remaining…
“There’s nothing…inside?” someone muttered.
The white army was gathered around in a circle and one of those on the outside shouted in toward the center.
“Toward their camp!!”
They looked toward P.A. Oda’s camp. The sword the previous demon had let go of had fallen there, but it was now being dragged around by someone such that the tip scraped along the snowy ground.
That person was charging toward them while accelerating her rampaging spinning movements.
Black hair moved like a raging storm as she collided with the white circle without slowing down.
Oichi was hanging her head.
She spun, swept the enemy’s feet out from under them, slammed her weapon into the enemy at full power, let go of it, stole another weapon from the rolling and scattering enemies, made another full-body spin to slam that weapon into them, grabbed the weapon she had let go of earlier, slammed it into them yet again, and let go of it yet again. She would hit and let go, steal and strike, and it all happened at the leading edge of her fluttering hair.
With her head hung and her entire body trembling, she rapidly rotated while sticking her hips, shoulders, and elbows out ahead of the spinning momentum. She would send it all out ahead of her as if collapsing and she would accelerate further.
Her hair hid her face as a black tube. The only sounds were the slicing, the clashing of weapons, the breaking, the collision of flesh against flesh, and…
Her wail rose high into the sky and she seemed to be tearing at her hair with her entire body.
She stole weapons, cut down enemies, threw the blades out of reach, smashed legs, used the collapsing bodies as shields and stepping stones, and swung weapons around in both hands as additional acceleration.
She moved onward.
Even as she nearly fell over, she forced herself into a rotation to hop back up. She ran fast enough to surpass the enemies trying to fall back, she thrust and swept with blades as she passed them by, and she constantly grabbed weapons from midair after having let go of them earlier. As if moving from weapon to weapon and as if attacking with every last weapon on the battlefield at once, in every place her rotation took her, she would grab a flying weapon’s grip, spin it around with her fingers, and throw it to stab it into someone.
The wailing black hair raced across the battlefield.
For each weapon present, an enemy fell.
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