Horizon:Volume 5B Chapter 39

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Chapter 39: Dragon Visitor in the Straight Line Night[edit]

Horizon5B 359.jpg

If the greeting is a tackle

What should your response be?

Point Allocation (Counterattack)


The visitor arrived along a straight line.

The dragon was 120m long. The Lindwurm variety was a high-speed flying dragon that had wings but lacked rear legs.

He had a very long body. But he was not all that large for the Musashi which was used to having aerial ships coming and going.

The problem was how he was flying.

That 120m mass of flesh, bone, and armor was dropping headfirst from the sky like a hammer.

The enemy-detection team of Musashi automatons had been unable to immediately define his approach and trajectory. The flight of wild Terrestrial Dragons was often seen while cruising and it was not all that unusual to have one pass by overhead.

That was why they had allowed him to suddenly drop down from a point 4km directly above the Musashi.

Musashi’s enemy-detection team had of course made an immediate decision. As this was a dragon, they had used directional voice projection instead of a divine transmission to contact him.

“A question: Are you falling because you are feeling unwell or overcome with sudden illness? Or have you fallen unconscious? Over.”

There was no response, so the automatons sent more words.

They asked for his affiliation, identification, age, name, address, personal history, etc. They also asked why he was falling and what his future plans were.

But there was no response.

So the automatons were unsure what to do. They were out of ideas. The more persistent ones attempted to convince him to stop his fall by singing songs that would remind him of his homeland or asking him about memories of his mother, but there was no sign of it having any effect.

They sent their opinions to Musashino’s bridge. As aides to “Musashino”, “Kunitachi” and “Kokubunji” gathered the opinions and published 78 suggested solutions. As a result, “Musashino” guessed this dragon was from Sanada and passed the issue off to someone else.

“ ‘Musashi’-sama, please check with Sanada about this information. Over.”

“Why me? Over.”

“Judge,” said “Musashino” while welcoming Suzu who was carried onto the bridge piggyback style by “Nishi Kokubunji”. “Please have Sakai-sama check with Sanada about this information. Over.”


“Sakai-sama. Your tea. Over.”

“Musashi” served tea to Sakai who sat on a bench in the central street’s rest area below the academy. A strained roar reached them from the distant sky, but Sakai did not bother looking up.

“Oh, thank you, ‘Musashi’-san. …Do you have today’s evening paper?”

“Judge. I handed that to ‘Okutama’ because you said you had something to look at, but should I go retrieve it? Over.”

“Oh, right. Tamako detected something up above, didn’t she?”

“Sakai-sama, have you realized something about that thing up there? Over.”

“ ‘Musashi’-sama, could you wrap this up a little more quickly? Over.”

“Musashi” immediately closed the sign frame that appeared from “Musashino”.

Sakai looked back and tilted his head.

“ ‘Musashi’-san? What is it?”

“Only a trivial matter, so don’t worry about it. Anyway, Sakai-sama, about the dragon falling straight toward us. Is he perhaps a friend of yours? Over.”

“Yeah, that’s probably Sanada’s Kakei Torahide. He was a pretty major Lindwurm in England. I had a slight scuffle with him back when I went to Sanada. He’s got to be pretty old by now.”

Sakai then asked a question.

“So what do you want me to do? Confirm who it is with Sanada? I could ask Masayuki-san, but I bet he’ll just say it’s part of the entertainment to welcome us.”


When they checked with Sanada Masayuki, he did indeed announce it was some entertainment to welcome Musashi to Sanada.

“This is an act of welcoming from one academy to another. We can view it as a mock battle. Thus, we have identified the approaching dragon as an ‘enemy’. Individual name ‘Torahide’ confirmed. Over.”

The enemy completed his fall immediately afterwards.

The counterattack began with a decision on Musashino’s bridge. The cannons across the Musashi were already aimed at Torahide, but…

“Suzu-sama.”

“Y-yes?”

“About the dragon descending from above, shall we shoot-…”

“ ‘Musashino’-sama! The enemy is accelerating! He is moving too fast to intercept!!”

“Musashino” frowned slightly.

“I apologize, Suzu-sama. The delay introduced by my superior has had some detrimental effects. I believe we can get your approval to fire next time. Now, please look forward to seeing the defense barriers activate. Over.”

“R-right. Judge.”

As soon as Suzu nodded, light filled the large sign frame at the front of the bridge. It displayed the sky above Musashino, where…

“Activate defense barriers at anti-ship density! Over.”


The dragon named Torahide saw the enemy’s reaction.

Defense barriers stacked up along his path down.

Defense barriers were a defensive method, but from the looks of this…

“Ho ho…”

He let out an impressed breath.

“That is a perfectly fine weapon for attack…!”

He did not hesitate to drop down.

He used his divine protections as a dragon and blasted his dragon cannon from all of his body’s thrusters to propel his 120-meter and 520-ton body straight down.

He flew in a straight line.

Torahide was a Terrestrial Dragon. The Celestial Dragons of the old Sanada Ten Braves had come to this land, but that did not change how he was born. Celestial Dragons were noble spirits born from the world itself, while Terrestrial Dragons were beasts with a father and mother.

As a beast, he was not a god and not a human. He did not need to follow the human practices of courtesy and reason. He was merely an old and experienced Terrestrial Dragon. He had no one to teach like the Celestial Dragons of the Ten Braves did. And that was why…

“As part of Sanada’s Nobushige Faction…I am here to investigate your strength in a mock battle!”

He sought a direct collision with the defense barriers protecting Musashino’s bridge below him.


“Musashi” saw a series of shattering lights falling toward Musahino’s bridge.

Those defense barriers were set up for stopping a collision from a ship. There were enough of them to stop one of Hashiba’s transport ship shells.

And yet every last one of them was destroyed in an instant.

Torahide crashed right through the barriers without trying to avoid them.

The sounds of destruction continued without end and light filled the sky above Musashino.

Is that…?

“That Terrestrial Dragon is smaller than the average displacement of a Dragon-class, so how can he continue to break the defense barriers? Over.”

“Torahide is somewhat special even for a Lindwurm.”

“Why not just come out and say what you want to say? Over.”

“Well, Sasuke – oh, and I mean the dragon one – only told me after the fact, but most Terrestrial Dragons apparently had their species modified up in heaven. …If what Torahide was bragging about is true, his ancestors were dropped from satellite orbit onto surface bases as the vanguard for conquering a planet.” Sakai looked to the light of the shattering barriers in the sky. “Look, the Lindwurms have serpentine bodies. Their joints run in a straight line from head to tail and they’ve been reinforced, so any shock entering from the horn on the front of their head will pass right through them and leave through their tail. …A transport ship is a metal balloon surrounded by a frame, but Torahide is more like a spear made of metal bones. The transport ship hits with a surface while the spear pierces with a point, so you probably can’t hope to stop him with defense barriers designed to stop a transport ship.”

“You heard him, ‘Musashino’. Over.”

“ ‘Musashi’-sama!? Are you really passing this off to me now!? Over.”

“Musashino” complained just as the light above Musashino’s bridge came to a stop.

The defense barriers had all been broken.

They quickly tried to open more of them further down, but it was too late. Only a handful appeared in time.

But Torahide had energy to spare and he used it on that inadequate protection. He launched acceleration light from his thrusters, and…

“——————!”

The dragon did not hold back as he fell.

He opened his mouth to fire a dragon cannon at Musashino’s bridge-shaped ship’s bridge.

“Oh, dear.” Sakai spread his mouth horizontally. “You need to look forward, Torahide, not down.”


Torahide was hit by a small attack from the front.

Huh!?

He was falling at high speed and he was just about to fire a dragon cannon, but an enemy had charged in from the direction of Takao.

Ridiculous, he thought. Clashing with a high-speed flying object like me is suicide. He was already surrounded by a shockwave, so anything he touched would be smashed on contact.

And yet the enemy…

Where are you aiming!?

He had just one weak point during his straight-line fall.

It was not the reverse scales on his throat. Attacking there would not affect his solidified straight-line skeleton. But that very structure introduced another weak point.

“…Are you aiming for it!?”

Torahide saw something fly in from directly ahead of him.

It was a vermilion god of war. The heavily-equipped form had a launch-reinforcement frame attached and it was definitely aiming for that weak point.

“The ultimate legend of Takao’s derrick…!” shouted the girl on the god of war’s shoulder as she smiled at him.

A moment later, the god of war’s right knee and external frame collided with his weak point.

That weak point was his back end as he dropped straight down. It was the end of his pointed tail which existed far behind his head.

But it was not the very tip.

It was the side just a bit further forward from the tip.

“Well done…!”


The shockwave surrounding Torahide broke the god of war.

The outstretched right knee split as if struck, the external frame shattered, and it was blown away, starting from the joints.

But within the disturbed air current…

“Ohh…!!”

A girl with a prosthetic right arm spun the god of war around.

The god of war used the wings on its back to swing its entire body around to launch a left spinning back kick.

That was the real attack.

She had let the right knee collide first so its scattered pieces would disturb the air current and rupture Torahide’s shockwave. And once inside…

“Hey, corrupt merchant…!”

“Thank you for your purchase!”

With a carefree voice, ether took a certain shape as it surrounded the god of war’s right heel.

It was a fox. A white fox that breathed wind. It protected the god of war’s right leg while further accelerating it.

The leg continued on and hit.

The fox surrounding the god of war leg shattered and the ether fragments took the form of many, many coins.

Then the god of war’s right leg also broke during its follow-through motion.

The entire god of war cut by in front of Torahide’s tail.

“Kh…!”

It was blown away by the shockwave and the shockwave’s side effects.

But it had gotten its hit in.

“How about that…!?” shouted the prosthetic-armed girl on the shoulder of the god of war that had lost both legs and half of its right arm. “You’re going for a collision with all your weight focused on the front end, so we went for a light attack on your back end. …It wasn’t much force, but the principle of leverage will still move your front end!”


Torahide sensed the result of the enemy’s attack.

You can pull that off just above the surface!?

Due to his speed and his weight at the front end, his charge could deflect any attack from straight ahead or at his front surface. But the back end was different.

Due to his balance, leverage would take effect with his neck as the fulcrum, his head as the point of action, and the tip of his tail as the leverage point.

There was about 100m from the fulcrum to the leverage point. His head was 20m long, so if the tip of his tail was moved, his head would only move one-fifth as much.

The enemy had just knocked his tail toward Musashino’s bridge.

It had been a small attack.

But of course, slight movements like that were dangerous during such a high-speed fall.

“…Well done!”

After all, he had just destroyed all of the defense barriers and begun reaccelerating.

He could not make any corrections then.

And his head had been redirected. The ram at the end was shifted to aft instead of aiming straight down.

Any corrections he might make would not be quick enough. He would collide with the bridge before he could correct his angle.

The few barriers that had opened in time had predicted this. They were positioned to catch the diagonally-diverted ram, knock it aside, and allow it to slide along the bridge’s upper armor.

In that case, his jaw would hit the edge of the bridge. Due to the momentum of his fall, that would destroy the bridge to an extent, but the shock would not leave him properly and his body would be severed from the neck down.

That would be meaningless.

So he took action.

“…I was careless!”

To avoid Musashino’s bridge, Torahide breathed his dragon cannon. And instead of in a straight line, he let the blast disperse so it would stop him.

He released it.


Futayo saw the scene as she raced across the towing belt from Okutama’s port bow to Musashino.

The falling dragon turned his face a bit in her direction and breathed explosive light.

Is that…?

This was her first time seeing a definite dragon cannon.

“I never thought I would get to see such a massive and destructive attack here…!”

Musashino’s bridge was a bit in the way, but that was unavoidable since it was about to be destroyed from a direct hit. The destruction of Musashino’s bridge is going to cause a lot of trouble, but there is no way I can make it in time from here.

In that case, she simply had to make sure she was watching the final moments of the bridge.

“I could learn something…!”

She used a three-step to stop herself on the towing belt and she raised Tonbo Spare.

Now, bring on the destruction of Musashino’s bridge!!

Just as she gave an excited snort, she heard something behind her.

“Ah, Gin!?”

Muneshige cried out and something crashed into her back.

Futayo looked back to see Gin who had apparently been running after her.

With a “wah” or an “ah”, their visions spun around together.

“…Oh.”

An explosion soon followed.

The dragon cannon blast had erupted near Musashino’s bridge.


Suzu covered her ears.

When she pressed down on Noise Neighbor, the pressure sensor controller detected the action and cut off all sound. But even when she did that, ducked down, and tensed…

“Wah…”

The sound reached her ears through her nose and mouth. The dragon’s roar reached her body by shaking her skin, her densely-packed organs, and the empty space between.

And that told her…

“This is…dangerous…!”

Musashino’s bridge was hit. The attack had been meant to alter the dragon’s course, but it hit the bridge as a wide-area impact. It did not completely destroy the bridge, but the surface armor and most of the windows and frames shook and were probably torn apart or snapped inside.

But even with her ears covered, Suzu sensed something.

That something was a figure standing atop the bridge:

“Neshinbara-kun…!?”


<The dragon’s roar spread out over a wide area.>

<But that scattering power was not the dragon’s intention.>

<Would a dragon do to others what is in defiance of its own will?>

<There is but one answer: nay.>

<Thus the roar is heard. It is heard in the night sky. It provides only the response the dragon sought and the rest is erased.>

<All that remains in the sky is the dragon’s roar, the dragon on its altered course, and…>

<“There is nothing more. You may rest easy.”>

When Neshinbara looked up into the sky from atop Musashino’s bridge, there was nothing there.

Only the moons floating in the evening sky and…

“What a pain.”

He removed his hands from the sign frame for Mountains of Words, lightly raised them, and spoke.

“To think I would find myself fighting a dragon in the skies of Sanada. …This is excellent material.”

A deafening crash sounded from below.

After having his course changed and being blown away by Mountains of Words, Torahide had fallen into Musashino’s central city.


Novice: “How about that? It might be slow to activate, but do you see now how useful my spell is at times like this?”

Worshiper: “I’ll admit it’s impressive…but didn’t the dragon just fall with a great crash?”

Novice: “Eh?”

Asama: “Um, Neshinbara-kun? You just dropped that dragon into the center of Musashino’s surface city, didn’t you?”

Novice: “Eh!? Huh? Wasn’t that what we had planned? Crossdressing Honda-kun!”

Vice President: “That’s news to me.”

Me: “Hey, some wreckage just flew into my house’s backyard. Will my sis and I be okay playing porn games here?”

Silver Wolf: “Eh!? I-if it’s the same one as before, y-you can continue if you want.”

Laborer: “It looks like I have a lot more work to do…but how are things there?”


Th-this stupid girl…!!

Gin realized how careless she had been as she tumbled along the towing belt with the stupid girl.

The Musashi Vice Chancellor had been running ahead of her, but her actions were nigh impossible to predict. Gin should have known to keep a greater physical distance from her, but…

“I grew careless and rear-ended her!”

Her mistake had been testing out her own acceleration spell.

It was called Racing Words.

Its effect as an acceleration spell was clear.

It locks onto your opponent and seeks the coordinates leading to them…

She had taken the idea from the guidance of Kamenuki which Muneshige had borrowed from Sakai, but the acceleration portion would accumulate her own speed.

She had constructed it as a backup in case Muneshige lost Kamenuki on the battlefield and she had been testing it out herself. Of course, when using it herself, she primarily focused on keeping up with Muneshige’s Racing Toes acceleration spell. She had learned her lesson after failing to keep up with Oichi’s movements during the Battle of Novgorod, so she had tasked herself with following Honda Futayo and begun pursuit.

But I got too excited when Master Muneshige complimented my speed.

I, Tachibana Gin, have learned my lesson.

After rolling seven times, she forcibly spread her false arms and slammed her palms against the gravity floor of the towing belt. That impact slowed her down enough that her face pitched forward and pressed into something.

It was a butt.

Futayo collapsed forward with her butt sticking into the air.

“Hitting a warrior with your butt…?”

How rude can you be? she wondered, but then Muneshige caught up to them.

“Gin! In a rear-end collision, the person in the back is at fault. You need to apologize.”

“Uuh…”

Gin knew he was right, but she could not bring herself to say it.

So she looked back, and…

Whose side are you on, Master Muneshige!?

She so wanted to say that, but she stopped herself because he had done nothing wrong. Futayo had not hit Gin with her butt; Gin had run into Futayo’s butt.

So Gin got up and faced forward.

She saw a butt.

Even as a girl, Gin could tell it was tight and yet nicely plump. It was the unique shape of a runner. Futayo was taller than Gin and her overall amount of flesh was different as well.

This butt and Master Muneshige at Mikawa… she thought as the number “fifty times” flashed in her mind. She considered using her twin swords to take revenge, but she took a deep breath instead. And…

“I am very sorry. I was not looking where I was going.”

Then the other girl moved.

The butt and the rest of her body stretched out like an inchworm so she was lying face down and then she rolled to the side and got up. That was a method used to avoid further attacks.

And then she realized who it was.

“Oh? Gin-dono and Muneshige-dono, you were behind me?”

“Judge,” replied Muneshige while kneeling in front of Futayo. “Musashi Vice Chancellor, even if it was due to her carelessness, you ended up shoving your butt in my aide’s face. It seems you did not particularly notice, but please be more considerate.”

Master Muneshige!?

“Y-you don’t have to do that, Master Muneshige! I can bear with a butt or two to the face if I have to! You don’t need to go out of your way to ask her for-…”

“Gin. You bear the Tachibana name.”

“—————“

Gin was rendered speechless.

And she realized she had been looking at this on too personal a level. So she sharpened her gaze and turned back toward Futayo. And Futayo…

“Yes. …Sorry about that.”

She readily apologized, so Gin was rendered speechless once more.

Uuh.

This made Gin feel so childish.

She was trapped between Muneshige’s welcome presence and Honda Futayo’s excessive honesty, so…

“…Let’s go.”

She stood up.

No one asked where to. They all knew the answer.

They could hear the noise. It was not just one noise and it was far from quiet.

The city was being destroyed and the giant beast’s roar echoed from Musashino.

So Gin spoke.

“Musashi Vice Chancellor, you take the lead. …We will follow you.”


Musashino had become a night cage.

Some student dorm wide blocks formed the center. Among them, an area four wide blocks long and four wide blocks wide had collapsed under Torahide and formed walls around him.

They were fortunate that “Musahino” had sent out an evacuation warning and that most of the students had been in Okutama to prepare for the school events. Most of the residents had completed a quick evacuation and those in the underground levels had been evacuated to at least the fourth level down.

The rubble piled up in the center area had no artificial light to illuminate the night. There was only the dragon with ether light wafting out from the thrusters across his body.

That flying serpentine dragon was 120m long. He had a ram on his head and two front legs.

He was slowly turning around to face Musashino’s bridge.

Torahide had used most of the ether inside his body to accelerate his descent and for the scattered dragon cannon, so he could not yet fire a dragon cannon that could target the bridge from this range.

And…

“Fire…!”

Tama and Murayama, the second port and starboard ships, ascended.

There were god of war units on the Musashino-side edge.

“Dammit! First Shirasagi and now a dragon!? The furries must be happy!”

“N-no! Do you have any idea how angry I am that I have to kill a dragon!? Uuh…sob, sob.”

“Don’t cry…! The MILF lovers made it through the Shirasagi battle, so you can get through this.”

With their own individual thoughts on the matter, they opened fire from the left and right.

The rapid-fire blasts formed rows of shells that raced toward Torahide. The impacts produced sparks, but…

“They aren’t reaching him…!?”

The shells were deflected just before hitting Torahide.

The shells burst into sparks before arriving at their target.

They all continued firing while amplifying the sensitivity of their sight devices. Then they saw something in the night.

“Are those defense barriers!?”

No.

All of his thrusters were opened and emitting light.

This was not the side effect of post-acceleration ether like before. He was protected by…

“The awe of a dragon!?”


Hori-ko: “I am watching from Tama, but how does that work?”

Novice: “Oh, you don’t know, Ariadust-kun!? Well, you see-…!”

Sticky King: “It is one of his special abilities as a nonhuman.”

Obscene: “Indeed! Just as we can change form, dragons have their own special abilities. And dragons in particular are known for having multiple such abilities!”

Uqui: “A dragon’s awe effect is, well…you know that thing I do when I blow out my ether charge as a radiating dragon cannon? It is that but as a constant thing. It is not often a Terrestrial Dragon can do it, but that Torahide must be at a high enough position.”

Hori-ko: “Judge. Then how do you break through that awe?”

Novice: “We’ve skipped over quite a lot, but I have measures in place for this. And they should kick in any time now.”

Hori-ko: “I see. …Then begin.”


Everyone on the Musashi noticed a momentary pause.

Torahide was crouched low and emitting his awe while gradually building up ether inside his body.

The god of war firing units were holding him down by continuing to fire despite knowing it would not get through.

A slight pause occurred between the two sides.

It was caused by Torahide taking a breath, the god of war units swapping out magazines, and the second port and starboard ships ending their ascent.

And just after everything came to a brief stop, the next action occurred.

“————!?”

The giant form stuck his arms forward and bent backwards.

That was not normal behavior. It was an action of rejection, meant to forcefully avoid something below him.

“Huh?” said everyone on the surface, including the gods of war, as they tilted their heads forward.

They saw a light beyond the wind created by Torahide’s action.

Something reflected the moonlight as it stabbed into Torahide’s throat where it had been lowered a bit before.

“Is that…?”

It was Excalibur.

It pierced the reverse scales of the dragon’s throat. As Torahide bent backwards, it revealed where the glowing blade’s wielder had to be.

“Underground…!?”

There was an opening on the ground where his throat had been.

The hole was for the lift in the center of the long block. And someone rose from the depths of that hole.

“Oh, dear.”

A golden color danced in the wind in front of the giant form.

It was Mary.

That English princess ignored the dragon as she looked left and right.

She gave a quick bow to the gods of war to port and starboard.

“Everyone, thank you for your hard work tonight.”


As Mary said that, the lift came to a stop.

Now that she was on the surface, Torahide’s fangs snapped together over her head. He had launched an attack on the person who had driven a blade into his reverse scales.

But he could not bring his head low enough with the blade in this throat.

Mary seemed to know that as she looked up at him.

She showed no fear of the great dragon and spoke quietly but clearly.

“If you will calm down, I will remove Excalibur.”

But…

“If you will not calm down, Excalibur will be removed.”

“Huh…!?”

Torahide had no idea what she meant and he moved his pair of front legs.

While leaning back, he swung his head and left leg.

He tried to swipe at Mary with the shell and claws of that 15m front leg.

It was a brute force attack, but something flew in toward him before it could hit.

It was a blue mass of metal.

It was a round mobile shell.

A chain was wrapped around the tail ballast. The chain extended to the edge of Murayama, where…

“Here we go, Adele!!”

The silver wolf’s high-speed swing threw Adele’s Raging Beast like a hammer and she flew right toward Torahide’s exposed reverse scales.

The flying mobile shell passed through the white of a water vapor explosion, and…

“Here I gooooo!!”

Raging Beast seemed pushed on by the reverberating howling and barking of dogs from across Musashi.

It only took an instant to hit.

She had been aimed for Torahide’s reverse scales, but…

“Excalibur! In you goooo!”

Adele used her arms to adjust her position in midair and collided with Excalibur like a hammer into a nail.


Suzu heard a dragon’s roar of pain for the very first time.

Wow…

It was not the cry that surprised her.

It was the fact that the dragon had reflexively roared in pain.

“He immediately…reacted…to the pain?”

Suzu thought, Humans don’t scream from the pain.

Humans screamed once they realized what had happened to them or figured out what was about to happen to them.

Pain was no more than one of the triggers to help them realize that and they would not scream until they noticed if they received a painless injury.

So a human’s scream was related to future anxiety or sorrow. You could say they had already accepted that future by the time they screamed.

But this dragon was different. According to “Musashino” next to her…

“Judge. A human will scream or cry out once they understand the injury. Thus, they can hold it in if they are sufficiently mentally prepared.”

She was not done speaking, so there was no “over”.

But “Musashino” created a “pause” to help her understand, so Suzu nodded.

“That is…true…isn’t it?

When she stubbed her little toe on the support pillar for her home’s loft, she would curl up silently. That restraint came from a sort of mental preparedness and experience. It came from the knowledge that you could bear with “this much” damage.

But…

“With creatures as large as dragons, it can take a long time to notice an injury. They have many blind spots, such as their tails. And for a wild animal, not realizing their state until they notice the injury can be fatal.”

So…

“Most dragons have a sub-brain that sends a reaction back to the appropriate part of their body the instant they take damage. Their body reacts to the pain before their mind. That was the reaction you saw to this attack. Of course, this is an intelligent dragon. He too can restrain himself with enough mental preparedness, but…”

Suzu sensed what was happening on Musashino: After colliding with the dragon, Adele was instantly pulled away when Mitotsudaira swung the silver chain in the opposite direction.

And Suzu realized something else about Adele’s mobile shell.

She’s pulling it out!?

The machine’s arm was holding Excalibur.

Upon leaving, she had forcibly pulled the sword out.

The dragon roared in pain again and “Musashino” spoke calmly.

“Generally, large dragons are not prepared to be injured by anything as small as a human. Over.”


Torahide realized he was bleeding from the wound to his reverse scales.

Ether surrounded his blood which gathered inside his shell and spurted out like a pump from the movements of his muscles.

“Kh…!”

It began like a geyser, but it eventually grew to a waterfall and then swiftly coagulated to stop the bleeding. It took 12 seconds in all.

That was only the span of a single breath for a dragon. But in that time…

“Damn you all…!”

He fired 70% of his accumulated ether from deep in his throat as a dragon cannon.

But he did not aim at Musashino’s bridge or at the surrounding gods of war.

He fired at the ground below him.

The floor of Musahino’s crushed surface city was exposed.

The city was constructed from packaged structures, so it had poor defense. So…

“Even if I cannot bring down the bridge, I still win if I pierce through the entire ship!”

Torahide fired the dragon cannon.

He had a single target: the English princess who still stood below him.

She looked up at him with a hand on her cheek as the powerful ether light crashed into her.


It took two moments and one moment.

The first to arrive was a single voice:

“Bind…Tonbo Spare!”

It was Futayo.

She was running at full speed.

A path had been made from the port side of Musashino’s stern to here so she did not have to slow Soaring Wings’s speed.

The automatons and evacuated students had opened all the doors, placed boards across any height differences or holes, and otherwise created a nearly straight path.

Her arrival was slightly later than planned due to the rear-end collision with the Tachibana Couple, but…

“Get going, Vice Chancellor!”

“You can ignore the ninja who’s probably around there somewhere! But save Mary-sama!”

“Ponytails are the best!!”

Futayo answered everyone’s cheers with speed. She did not let Soaring Wings shatter as she followed the straight line path.

“…!”

And she made a cut from straight ahead.


Torahide saw his dragon cannon split in two.

So a dragonfly can cut a dragon’s power!

The vertical blast had been bisected.

The light split into two distinct blasts and the power was cut apart. The dragon cannon was split to either side of the English princess.

But…

“This is still enough!” Torahide shouted from high enough to call the sky. “It just means the damage occurs in two places!!”

But Torahide saw a man run up from behind Musashi’s Vice Chancellor.

Is that…?

Torahide of course knew the name of the Peerless in the West. But he had heard rumors from the west that the boy had lost his inherited name. And that he was training at Musashi.

According to Torahide’s comrades who had gone to Novgorod, the Peerless in the West’s current weapon was…

Kamenuki!

That quasi-divine weapon pursued and approached its target.

He was probably using that power to follow after Musashi’s Vice Chancellor.

But, thought Torahide. How can he oppose a dragon cannon with Kamenuki?

He saw the answer.

The Peerless in the West took a certain action: He caught Kamenuki’s shaft on his shoulder and spun it.

While the spear with a longish blade was rotating, he raised his free hand over his head.

A line of something flew over.

The object had formed a horizontal wave as it was pulled back and flew in from behind the Peerless in the West.

The curved horizontal line was a chain.

It was one of the silver chains.

The chain was being pulled from starboard Tama and toward Murayama, so there was a height difference.

Torahide realized Tama had grown quite low at some point.

What is this?

Before he caught on or figured it out, the silver chain grew taut. The pulling acceleration had reached its max and it formed a straight line from Tama to Murayama.

And then something flew into the Peerless in the West’s hand.

Torahide had never seen the weapon before, but he knew its name:

“Lype Katathlipse!”

“It is known as the Muneshige Cannon now. However…”

The Peerless in the West used his legs to stop himself while he raised the blade to the side and cried out.

“Bind… Lype Katathlipse!!”