Horizon:Volume 4B Chapter 56
Chapter 56: Charger in the Wind
Always goes straight ahead
Is that an unavoidable law?
Point Allocation (Common Knowledge)
Narumi saw something strange.
The space was being pushed back by explosive pressure, lightning, and ether waves, but the half-dragon broke right through the wind and everything else.
That rare species was said to have developed on this planet at some point before even the Age of the Gods. In the heavens, they had been modified on a species level, so they had gained several different forms and traits.
They could supposedly read the wind, view the sky as their territory even within violent gusts of wind, and break through it all, but it seemed all that was true.
The acceleration organs across his body were opened and he breathed in the raging wind. And once he reached Narumi…
“Is that what’s causing all this racket!?”
His front wings pierced and parted the explosive pressure approaching from ahead. As for the crumbling footing…
He used a Catholic barrier spell. It was a tuning spell that inquisitors used to secure an execution ground. For several meters around them, the ground instantly solidified and everyone in the opposite passageway cried out in surprise.
“The hell is that!? Cheats!?”
“It’s…y’know! That weird half-dragon! The really weird one!”
“Oh, you mean the source of all that weird shouting about loving elder sisters!? The one who doesn’t know how to use walkthroughs!?”
I can’t really argue with that, thought Narumi as she looked up at the half-dragon standing in front of her.
“Thanks. You saved me.”
“I am a reliable half-dragon. It was the least I could-…”
The half-dragon looked back but then gave a snort.
“Not that I want a non-elder sister like you relying on me.”
“I think you should pay more attention to the situation before you speak. …Look.”
Narumi and the half-dragon both sent attacks to the center of the main garden. She used a sword and he used the end of his front wing. The double attack shattered the ether wave flying toward them as pressure.
“You can do more than I thought.”
“Ho ho? Meanwhile, I was thinking ‘Is that all you can do?’ ”
“Testament. I forgot to add ‘not that that’s saying much’.”
“Why do you insist on picking fights with me? I’m pretty scary when I’m angry. I’m a real monk, after all.”
Please spare me this, she thought from the bottom of her heart. So…
“Let’s go. I feel like getting this over with and drinking some nice sake.”
The pressure had weakened a little, but she did not know if that was confusion over the previous destruction or if Oniniwa was having some success. Regardless, Musashi’s ambassador looked up while hiding down in the stream.
Narumi could not hear her over the wind and pressure, but the half-dragon nodded.
“ ‘Onee-san’, huh? Well done, Suzu…”
“How strange… I never knew someone could leave me at such a loss for a reaction…”
When Narumi said that, the half-dragon handed her something. What? she wondered while grabbing it so it was not blown away in the wind. It turned out to be a cloth separated into a few different parts.
“That is a thong. The wind has been leaving you rather exposed and I thought that might not be appropriate for a lady.”
“…You just charge right on in with everything, don’t you?”
“You don’t get it? This is a bonus that came with the porn game I am currently playing. Oh, but don’t worry. It belongs to Toori, so I didn’t pay anything for it. Direct your thanks to God and put it on while saying nothing more.”
A number of thoughts came to mind, but she decided to put it on since it might help increase her defenses.
…Eh? Why is the fabric so nice?
Our brand is supposed to be pretty good, so is this just a good match for me?
At any rate, the half-dragon swayed a bit and started forward.
“Wait. …I want to check something first.”
“What is it?” he asked. “My birthday is September 7 and my favorite food is lamb cooked in a tomato sauce.”
“That wasn’t what I wanted to know. …This foothold spell is for executions, isn’t it?”
“If you don’t follow your precepts by executing someone in the name of god, you will receive divine punishment.”
“Do not worry about it. I will complete the execution. After all, I wish to be an inquisitor. As for the foothold, I merely wanted a place to land. That is all.”
“Then,” said Narumi as she thrust her sword out toward the half-dragon. “Hurry up and consecrate this into a sword worthy of a Catholic execution. …Then I’ll help you, inquisitor. And I’ll have you help me, Musashi 2nd Special Duty Officer. Help me retrieve our Chancellor and President.”
“I’m not good with complicated things, so sum it up in five words.”
“Just do what I say.”
The half-dragon slapped her sword with his left hand. With a definite vibration, a charm was attached and a bluish-white light surrounded the sword.
Then he moved forward. She followed and as if in response…
Light expanded in the center of the main garden.
The “gate” of ether light was clearly opening. And something arrived from the void within.
The upper body of a god of war appeared in the main garden.
Suzu perceived that form while cowering down and using the edge of the stream like an umbrella.
The god of war was shaking and wrapped in heat. Its metal body clattered together with itself like a musical instrument. But Suzu sensed something odd.
She sensed something like anger or rage coming from the god of war. Its cry was shaking and the heat came from within rather than without. Also…
…You can’t…restrain it?
The answer came as a powerful cry.
The Seiryu roared as if to say all it had was strength and that stopping would mean its death.
Unable to bear its own power, it shook and released a scream-like cry. It seemed to be saying it had no choice but to be driven on by its power even if it did not know where that power was headed.
Suzu did not understand. But as the Seiryu continued going even as it cried out in pain, she sensed something other than anger and rage in its roar.
…Why are you…apologizing…?
Suzu realized something: This god of war is…sad.
It seemed to her that something sad must have happened and it wanted to do something about it but it did not know what to do. However, it had power, so it was simply trying to do something with that power.
A long time ago, something sad had happened and someone had wanted to do something but they had not known what to do. However, they had not had any power, so they had tried to get rid of themselves.
Back then, Suzu too had not known what to do and been unable to do anything, but that person had finally learned to cry, something had changed, and something had returned.
This was the same. It had to be the same. This dragon was the same.
Something sad had happened.
But because it had power, it had trusted in and clung to that with the same determination that had once made someone try to get rid of themselves.
And in Suzu’s opinion, this dragon’s roar was not a sorrowful wail.
…It’s saying it has to save someone.
With that thought, Suzu began to move. She had been knocked over by the pressure coming from the Seiryu and even the deepest part of the stream’s water splashed up onto her, but she still moved. She crawled along the artificial stream bed and spoke to the dragon’s bearer.
Immediately, the Seiryu leaned forward overhead.
The heat of lightning raced through Suzu’s senses and even more air was blown away as it arched back and roared.
Suzu was knocked below the small bridge over the stream. Masamune still sat atop it, unmoving and with her head hanging limply down, but Suzu rolled out the other side and perceived something there.
Two figures were breaking through the explosive pressure and approaching her. They used brute force to approach at high speed.
They were Urquiaga and Date Narumi.
Narumi weighed the danger against the result as she ran.
She was no longer moving along the crumbling ground. She instead used anything her feet could catch on like fallen trees and garden stones that seemed to float there.
The loosened ground should have sunk down with each step she took, but she followed after the half-dragon by controlling her strength with rapid adjustments made by repeatedly summoning Unturning Centipede. Meanwhile, she thought to herself.
…I didn’t think the Seiryu would actually appear.
It had only ever been the gate before, so they had only needed to destroy that.
Since the Seiryu had come out this time, it must have gained much more power. That was why they had to force the Seiryu back through the gate.
She knew that would not be easy, but they had a chance.
Oniniwa had to have done quite well against the Seiryu. The current of ether that surrounded it was almost entirely gone. That was why it was trying to heal itself by drawing in the torrent of ether filling the main garden. Its upper body was exposed, but it could not move much while healing itself. So…
“Where should I aim!?”
The half-dragon’s question was sharp. No, perhaps it was only natural for a dragon. Even though he could not see her, Narumi brought her empty hand to her neck as she spoke.
“The top of the throat. There’s a weak point there on the border between the chin and the neck. The frame was bent there to fill the space needed to give clearance to the moving parts.”
That was classified information, but the situation left her with no other choice. Plus, that spot was too small to target with a god of war or cannon.
“It’s only about five centimeters wide. …Are you confident you can hit it?”
“I could hit that with incredible ease, but I’ll leave it to you. So…”
The half-dragon suddenly lowered his speed. There was no point in wondering why. To obtain acceleration power, he had opened all of his respiratory organs and started taking in the air.
“Such excellent air. It is not as pure as the higher altitudes, but the ether has dissolved in nicely.”
With that, the half-dragon took a light step forward. He placed his foot on the loose earth of the crumbling ground for an impossible step. But he took it all the same and moved forward.
“Can you keep up with me?”
“Do you think I can’t?”
He nodded and did something unexpected.
He turned to the right and grabbed her empty hand with the three fingered on hand on his left front wing.
As soon as she raised her voice in confusion, the half-dragon launched himself powerfully forward while still turned to the side and holding her hand.
He used all of this wings and accelerators for a great acceleration which was void of hesitation.
Narumi was certain they would be blown away.
She was currently hanging in midair. While holding her hand, the half-dragon thrust his right front wing forward and accelerated as if preparing to knee someone.
The Seiryu was up ahead. So was the stream, the bridge over it, and Masamune on that.
The Seiryu noticed them at a distance of twenty meters and faced them.
Its roar was like a beam attack. The invisible pressure of its voice flew toward them as a visible distortion of the air.
The half-dragon did not care. He pulled his right arm back just a little.
And he made full use of the accelerator on his right elbow. Acceleration light gave greater speed to the half-dragon, his attack, and Narumi.
…He’s breaking through!?
He smashed the pressure with brute force alone.
The sound split, several lines of vacuum raced out, and those tore shallowly into Narumi and the half-dragon’s skin.
But the half-dragon’s acceleration was not stopped.
A stable acceleration with adequate weight pulled on Narumi who was already accustomed to keeping her balance.
The half-dragon in front of her kept his back to her, broke through the obstacles up ahead, and unilaterally accelerated.
And he was on a collision course. As he moved in a straight line ahead, he asked her a question through the blowing wind.
“I have one question! …Is that god of war Masamune’s!?”
She did not know how he reacted to her answer. But after a short pause, he gave her instructions.
“I will pull that god of war’s body forward. You circle below it and pierce its weak point.”
At the same time, he let go of her hand.
He was going in without any doubt. They had a chance at victory, so he leaned his upper body forward while implicitly telling her he was counting on her. He finally thrust both front wings forward.
“I! Blast! Off!!”
He achieved even greater speeds for the remaining distance of less than ten meters.
Katakura observed the video and audio arriving at the control room. It was filled with static, but…
…So that’s how he’s doing it!
The half-dragon had placed his sights on Masamune.
It was true the Seiryu was linked to Masamune even if she had lost all control. The Seiryu was influenced by and receiving power from Masamune, so it was trying to “obtain” her rather than protect her.
To the dragon, was its very source of life nothing more than a meal? Katakura did not know, but the Seiryu would be forced to focus on the half-dragon’s charge if he targeted Masamune herself.
“So he’s trying to snatch her up to move the Seiryu.”
It was unclear whether the Seiryu was aware of it or not, but Masamune was its master. Even in the ether supply to the Seiryu, she was treated as the master.
If Masamune was moved away, the Seiryu likely would try to follow. Since only its upper body stuck out from the gate, that would mean leaning far forward.
That was the half-dragon’s aim.
He would move Masamune, which would move the Seiryu, and Narumi would charge into the gap.
Narumi was accelerating forward as well. She stepped along the stakes driven into the stream’s bank at even intervals, she held her sword down and to the left, and she charged in from the Seiryu’s right.
Then the half-dragon accelerated straight in toward Masamune.
“That elder sister character is mine!”
He smashed through the bridge’s railing and reached both arms toward Masamune who was down on her knees.
His aim was accurate, just as expected. So Katakura gave a cry.
“Ah, you fool!!”
The Seiryu had perfectly predicted the half-dragon’s move and hit him with a casually backhand blow.
Narumi just about tripped as she ran along the stakes.
She heard an impact like metal objects colliding and she saw the half-dragon spin five times through the air.
The plan had failed.
The Seiryu had not moved its upper body in the slightest. It had only swung its right arm outwards.
This means I have to do it on my own, decided Narumi. And…
The Seiryu turned toward her as she charged in.
It pulled back a little in preparation to roar. The explosive pressure would be launched just a moment later.
She could break through the pressure by charging in with her mandible sword. Then she would have to target the weak point.
…Can I do it?
However, she was not the one to answer her own question.
It was the half-dragon. Even after he was sent flying back, he forced his body around to right himself.
Suzu moved. She got out from under the bridge that the pressure had knocked her below.
…Urquiaga-kun…did that…for me…!
Urquiaga had destroyed the bridge’s railing in his charge, so she just had to reach out her arms.
She grabbed Masamune’s hand, so she pulled. She pulled not with her arms, but with her back and her entire body.
The girl left the bridge. She suddenly felt all weight vanish from Masamune, but that meant the girl’s limp body fell toward her. That was a success. Suzu tried to catch Masamune but had trouble and was knocked to the ground below her. However, Suzu was the older one, so she tried to roll on top of Masamune to protect her.
That was when pressure reached them from overhead.
It was the dragon god of war. It leaned far out to pursue Masamune, but Suzu breathed in. It did not matter that the dragon was trying to send its roar their way.
Her cry received a definite response.
Someone flew in from the side. They swung a giant sword upwards while rotating their body for the strength of momentum.
It was Date Narumi.
Her attack slid through the air and struck the top of the dragon’s throat.
A moment later, Katakura saw the Seiryu leaning far back on the staticky sign frame.
It destroyed the ceiling with a great roar, but it was also falling down to the depths of the gate.
There was an explosion of light and the sign frame shattered. Katakura clenched his fist just once, but…
“Oh, right. I’m in low spirits right now,” he muttered while listening to everyone cheering in the control room. “Honestly, we haven’t actually defeated it, you know? …What do we do now?”
But as he sighed toward the floor, he walked toward the exit while returning the guys’ requests for high fives.
“General Affairs Committee, call the Administrative Committee’s construction team and have them get on those internal repairs ASAP! And god of war unit, pass news of this onto the team collecting Oniniwa and the others! …We’re going to be busy starting tomorrow!”
They all nodded at that, but…
“Starting tomorrow? Don’t you mean starting today?”
An unexpected voice reached Katakura from directly ahead.
Both the people in the control room and the people in the hallway came to a stop.
“Testament,” confirmed a woman with a single demonic horn and a red Russian-style summer uniform in the dimly lit hallway.
This was Date Yoshihime. She was Masamune’s mother and she gestured Katakura over with her chin, so he pushed up his glasses and spoke.
“What do you need, Yoshihime, Age 12?”
“I’m glad to hear you remembered. Let’s head to the main garden to pick up Masamune. And…how about we tell the Musashi group a number of things?”
“Are you sure?” asked Katakura as a representative of the silence surrounding them. “That will mean getting into the issues surrounding Masamune and Kojirou-kun…as well as Mogami’s Komahime and Sviet Rus’s Honjou.”
“And what’s wrong with that? Trying to hide it is pointless. …Also, an elderly woman from Hiraizumi just sent me a request.”
“She said Musashi is most likely unbelievably good-natured, so we should look after them.”
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