Horizon:Volume 5B Chapter 40
Chapter 40: Soarer on the Musical Stage
Point Allocation (Battlefield)
Torahide’s dragon cannon was split into a total of four parts.
A moment later, defense barriers appeared in the path of each section.
That meant this had been predicted. However, the dozens of barriers were smashed in an instant and the dragon cannon tore into the ground.
The somewhat-diagonal beam of light made a horizontal sweep that crushed the floor materials and burst the pipes for ether fuel and water. The internal pressure caused the contents to burst out and instantly turned the Musashino into a battlefield filled with glowing smoke and steam.
But the dragon cannon had still been weakened. A direct hit would have made it deep underground, but…
“The damage was restricted to only the second wide block’s second underground level. Over.”
Everyone cheered at that report from “Musashino”.
Of course, the battle was not over.
They had defended against Torahide’s attack, but he was nearly unharmed. His coagulated blood had closed up the wound in his reverse scales, so he lowered down once more. And this time…
“I will destroy you…!”
Still standing, the Lindwurm threw a right strike toward the unmoving English princess.
As soon as he did, he realized his desire to “destroy” had been granted to an extent.
His left leg was supporting his body, but the floor directly below it suddenly broke through.
Thanks to that destruction, his leg fell through the floor from the elbow to the shoulder.
Torahide collapsed onto his left side.
“The rushed evacuation and the ‘removal’ pitfall seem to have worked well.”
On Musashino’s sixth underground level, the dragon’s hand had broken through the wide block’s ceiling and fallen right in front of Urquiaga. It looked like a lizard’s, but the palm alone was about seven meters.
However, Urquiaga nodded to Noriki who stood by his side.
People involved in construction and repairs aboard the Musashi were waiting on each floor of the wide block. They used the light gods of war stored in the underground wide block to place chains around the dragon’s arm and quickly bind it in place.
Each individual one was weak, but with them all working together, hundreds of chains wrapped around the same dragon arm and attached it to Musashino’s underground frame. The last few did not make it in time, but…
“The dragon is moving!”
A powerful tug suddenly arrived.
Up on Musashino’s surface, Torahide realized he had been captured.
Was it a sign of inexperience to finish that thought with “cannot be”?
His left arm was buried in Musashino’s floor up to the elbow.
And that arm had clearly been allowed to stick that far down. The material he had broken through had not been as hard or reactive as the rest of the floor.
But even with a dragon’s arm and muscle strength, it was difficult to pull his arm out of the floor when it had sunk down up to the shoulder. After all, that required lifting his body straight up, but a dragon’s arms were attached on the left and right side on the bottom of a body with an elliptical cross-section. With that bodily structure, it was nearly impossible to pull his arm straight up.
Since his right arm was free, his only option was to place that on the floor and arch his body backwards. However…
…I’ll be in trouble if my right arm breaks through as well!
Thus, Torahide bent his right elbow and pushed his forearm against the floor.
The larger the contact area, the less likely it was to break through the floor. On top of that, he decided to bend his body back more than push with his arm, but…
Torahide emitted his awe to ensure his safety.
A moment later, he heard several shell hits. But the attacks did not affect him.
The countless hits scattered sparks and were negated before reaching his body. So…
If he rushed this, he would fall into some kind of trap.
This was enemy territory. And most likely, the enemy was executing a plan for battling a dragon.
He knew why they would have one: Sasuke and Saizou had greeted them the day before.
That was partially due to common courtesy and the Celestial Dragons’ pride, but as a Terrestrial Dragon acting as a scout, putting the enemy on guard only made his job harder. However…
“A Terrestrial Dragon completes the task assigned to him…!”
The Celestial Dragons had gone to a certain location for the future of Sanada.
Sanada’s main force would eventually abandon this land and head to Osaka. And the dragons…
…We have lived for too long…!
Torahide thought, Even among nonhuman lifeforms, dragons are especially long-lived.
But they still had a lifespan. Dragons considered a thousand years to be a full life and he had already lived for more than eight hundred years.
He still had more than a hundred years, but he was admittedly very old.
He doubted he would survive the decisive battle between the east and the west that would occur at Osaka.
After all, they had received information on modern warfare from the Ten Braves who had taken over after them and from the dragons remaining in Hexagone Française and the rest of Europe.
The Germanic age of their youth had ended.
Large organized armies and aerial ships now ruled the battlefield and the humans had a powerful king.
He liked the sound of going out in a blaze of glory in a brief showdown with an enemy like that.
He also liked the sound of spending his final moments racing across the battlefield with his companions.
But, he thought.
He had suffered a defeat about four hundred years ago and come to this land. He had followed the corps commander and the others who had left Europe for their own reasons and he had sought reconciliation with the people.
A lot had happened, but the people of the land had accepted them.
The existence of Sanada was praised in the Testament and a messenger from the Testament Union had asked them to take inherited names.
The messenger had said that, according to a note in the Testament, they would approach within a step of ruling the Far East on the upcoming battlefield.
They had accepted on the condition that their leader kept the existence of the dragons a secret.
His body was beginning to show its age.
The corps commander had not wanted to leave any of the local people with a destiny forcing them to make such a desperate charge.
He and the others have grown old too, honestly thought Torahide.
The people had been considerate, but the corps commander and the others had not given up those inherited names and had instead given the people inherited names that would not die in that battle and could live on.
However, time had passed and even Celestial Dragons had lifespans.
After living for more than eight hundred years, the Celestial Dragons were dying and their numbers were in decline.
The Terrestrial Dragons like Torahide were the same.
They had lost so many of their own kind and they were in the local people’s debt in so many ways.
On the other hand, Torahide had been a scout back when he was young and he was still doing that now.
That had not changed.
But I am old, he thought. In the past, a scout would stick to reconnaissance, avoid battle, and finish any unavoidable battle as soon as possible to return alive.
So what is this now? Yes.
“A dragon’s pride…”
The Celestial Dragons had left. The young fighters of the current generation would head out next.
An aged member of the old generation should stand aside for them. But…
“Once I have stood aside, I cannot bear to stand idly by while the enemy arrives in the land they leave behind!!”
Torahide forcibly pulled his left arm out.
Unseen below the ground, his fingers were splayed out and his arm was bound by hundreds of chains. However…
He raised a roar and worked at breaking all that bound him.
Once was not enough. Nor was twice or thrice. He had to work over and over again.
Urquiaga saw it from the sixth underground level.
The giant dragon’s left hand repeatedly tried to pull up and his three bound fingers tried to grab at the chains.
The dragon’s hand contained plenty of power, but Urquiaga could see the heat leaking from the heat radiation slits on his wrist and elsewhere.
And each time the chains strained…
Bell: “Urquia…ga-kun? There’s a bit…of an alarm on Musa…shino.”
Uqui: “Yes, I can hear it. Sign frames have been opening, too. They say ‘danger’, but is it that bad?”
Musashino: “To be blunt, my main body is bending quite a bit. Over.”
“Just wait,” said Urquiaga without worrying about it.
He looked to the side where two people approached with light steps. One was Narumi and the other…
“Teacher Oriotorai, what should we do at times like this? I would like a quick lesson.”
“Well.” She munched on the skewered croquettes she had in a paper bag. “This is a mock battle, right? I can’t really support one side over the other.”
Musashino: “Um, Oriotorai-sama? This is quite dangerous. Over.”
“That’s what the landlady’s saying, huh?”
Urquiaga saw Narumi giving Oriotorai a look of utter disbelief, but…
…Was there anything all that odd about this teacher’s reaction?
Narumi must be sensitive, concluded Urquiaga.
And that was when the continually-attacking dragon’s large arm vibrated up and down.
83: “The third underground level is now free.”
The arm could move up and down a bit without being lifted.
“He can build up a reaction now, so it won’t take much longer.”
Urquiaga pointed to the dragon’s hand. He then noticed a dog that had approached either to beg for Oriotorai’s food or for comfort.
“That’s one of the dogs that’s always hanging around Adele,” said Noriki.
“Do we smell like Adele maybe?” wondered Oriotorai. “And, Urquiaga, what’s that for? Does something interest you about the dragon’s chicken wing…no, I mean hand?”
“Judge,” he replied before pointing at the dog walking over to Oriotorai’s feet. “Some healing is in order, you see. But first I would like to ask something. Answer me this, Teacher Oriotorai.”
He asked his question.
“Is that the same as that?”
Suzu heard a deafening noise.
“Musashino” suddenly stopped moving while serving tea next to her.
“Has Torahide-sama gotten his arm out? Over.”
“ ‘Musashino’-san…are you…mad?”
“No, not really. But…I feel like I was ignored for an awfully long time. Over.”
She turned to face the bow. Suzu knew there was a large sign frame there, but she could not see what it showed.
However, the sounds she heard were enough to understand the situation.
The dragon had stood up in the center of Musashino.
That giant dragon had several chains wrapped around its left foreleg. And it was raising its head.
It roared into the night sky.
It was an overwhelming voice. The great roar sent vibrations though the bridge. But Suzu…
She felt like she had heard this before. Where was it?
Unturning: “What an unpleasant roar.”
She had indeed heard it before.
Unturning: “That is the rage-filled voice of someone with nowhere to go. Just like the Seiryu.”
Torahide took action as soon as he stood up.
He had pulled his arm out by bending backwards, but since he was supporting himself with his right arm, he mostly bent to the upper left.
That was convenient for him. After all, he could use that movement to swing his left leg to the right.
And that allowed him to swipe at the person who had been standing there:
“The English princess…!”
He swept a high-speed attack toward her location.
A human was essentially weightless when faced with a dragon’s full speed and weight.
Due to the momentum, she would not be thrown by the impact. She would simply burst upon impact like a water balloon.
It was night, so he could not see the situation clearly.
He swept his left arm across and held his left hand up toward the moons.
It only took an instant.
His bestial palm was illuminated by the moonlight and the ether light of his own awe. It was coated with something dark red.
He knew it was blood, and a lot of it.
He felt an odd sensation that could only be described as “finally”.
In the Warring States period, it seemed wrong for a scout to take the first kill. However…
And the other Celestial Dragons too.
“This is all they were…”
They had prepared a foolish decoy to draw his attack while they executed their tactic.
But they had ultimately lost to the dragon’s power and lost their valuable decoy. And as a result…
He heard several voices of surprise. From the god of war units and the warriors.
“Look! …Mary-sama is waving at us!”
Torahide heard the voices from Murayama to port.
“Ohhhh! You’re right! Her majesty as a princess is so obvious at night!”
“I-is she waving at me!?”
“Wait! That ninja might be somewhere around here! Search for him!”
The English princess was alive.
To confirm that, Torahide raised his left hand again and looked beyond it.
There she was.
He saw blonde hair and a summer uniform that combined the Far Eastern and English designs.
It was English Princess Mary Stuart. She was unharmed and she had not changed position. She was simply glowing and waving to port while her hair fluttered in the wind of his awe.
What was this?
Torahide looked to his left hand raised toward the moons. That bestial hand was wet with blood. But…
“It can’t be…”
There was something odd about the moonlit beast’s hand.
Its three claws had been half severed and it was bleeding.
He was injured.
Torahide knew a dragon’s reflexes should sensitively detect and respond to any damage. Was there any reason that would fail to activate?
Faint light surrounded his raised claws.
It was a Holy Spell healing spell. And it was an anesthetic variety that eliminated pain instead of simply healing.
“Unlike human nails, an animal’s claws have nerves running through them,” explained Urquiaga while listening to the roar arriving through the large hole in the ceiling. He was looking at the puppy playfully chasing Oriotorai as she took slow steps. “And those are not simple nerve endings; they have a certain level of circulation. Thus, an animal will lose any feeling in its claws if they are cut off at the base. But that also causes intense pain, so it was necessary to first cast an anesthetic spell on the dragon so he would not notice.”
The half-dragon raised a charm and saw Narumi store her mandible sword in empty air.
There was a pool of dark red blood on the floor and it was already starting to congeal.
“It’s only from a Terrestrial Dragon, but this will make an excellent material for strengthening metals. There is a reason even Date uses this in the higher-level processing of Orei Metallo.”
Urquiaga stared at it and ignored the vibrations and noise from above.
“I never thought I would get to enjoy this kind of outdoor hunting on the Musashi. A study camp is a surprisingly worthwhile experience. What do you think, Narumi?”
“We already did something similar at Sendai Castle, so I’m kind of sick of it.”
“These two…” muttered Noriki before looking up at the distant rumbling and asking a question. “What happens now that you’ve cut the dragon’s claws and nerves?”
“Well, he will of course lose any feeling in his fingers, so he will be unable to grab and aim properly. From a dragon’s perspective, targeting something as small as a human will not be easy. The anesthetic spell will also eliminate some feeling, but we actually severed his nervous system’s circulation. Even if he stops the bleeding with a healing spell, it will take some time for the circulation to be reformed.”
“He will be unable to attack properly with his left hand for a while.”
Torahide realized he could not support himself with his left arm.
His claws would not dig in.
That was partially due to the Musashi’s flat surface and it was partially due to his shortened claws, but…
…I’ve lost all feeling in them!
He could of course move his fingers, but he could not feel the reactive force.
He only felt a vague sensation from half of his hand, like he had a fever. The bleeding was stopping, but that meant he was losing the sensation of his pulse in the end of the severed claws.
The Holy Spell on his claws was also a problem.
That anesthetic spell cut off his sense of pain.
He recognized the light it produced.
It was a spell that had been developed and strengthened by the humans who had been scattered in the wake of the dragons as they swept across Europe eight hundred years ago. The dragons had crushed the humans many times when those humans erased their pain with that spell and returned to the battlefield wearing nothing else.
So it was technically not a healing spell.
It allowed one to continue fighting without healing their wounds.
The modern teachings tended to say not to waste your life. The corps commander and the others would surely say that nowadays.
But they were dragons. Battle was honor itself.
Whether injured, hurt, or dismembered, ceasing to fight was the same as losing your name’s honor.
Thus, this spell had been given to the Unneeded. The Holy Spell had been remade as a local spell, medicines had been added in, and it had been made into a charm that strengthened one’s body and cut off all pain. Those charms had been given to them as a last resort. And now, after eight hundred years…
“You would use it on me!?”
Torahide stopped relying on his left arm. He got down on his elbows instead.
He stared straight ahead, at the hair of the English Princess who still stood there.
And he realized she was looking at him.
Why, he wondered just before a straight-line attack arrived from starboard. It was a high-speed charge aimed at his face. And it came from…
“A Satomi god of war…!?”
The exchange only lasted a moment.
Torahide bent his entire body and used that to swing his right arm to the right in a hooked shape.
Satomi Yoshiyasu launched a counterattack on his right hand using the weapon held by Righteousness.
It was a large shield.
A preserving damper had been hastily attached to one of Musashi’s external armor panels and it had been roughly curved to reduce air resistance.
347: “That was curved under my grampa’s instructions, so it’s really accurate!”
Yoshiyasu heard Mishina Hiro’s voice over the divine transmission.
347: “Don’t hesitate to destroy it!”
That is one hell of an engineering family, thought Yoshiyasu while doing just as suggested.
First, she went beyond decelerating all of her wings and actually opened them in the reverse direction.
More than rapidly brake her, that full burst actually moved her backwards. It did not matter that the wing connections on her back, shoulders, and hips immediately cried out in protest. It would take longer for them to break.
Thus, she changed her forward charge into a rapid retreat, while…
She kicked the large shield toward Torahide’s right hand as it flew toward her.
The dragon’s fist shattered it.
It only took an instant.
The shield made from Musashi’s armor burst and scattered like dried leaves.
But the fragments of the center portion were pushed by the dragon’s blow and flew toward Yoshiyasu.
…Bring it on!
Yoshiyasu set her sights on the returning shield fragments.
Her following reaction was not a simple counterattack. She did the same thing Musashi’s Vice Chancellor had the night before.
“A midair leaping evasion…!”
She threw a piercing kick at the fragments with her toes, launching Righteousness in the opposite direction.
She tried to move away from Torahide’s pursuing fist.
But the dragon’s fist extended.
He extended his sharp claws and straightened his elbow to make a piercing jab toward her.
He was going for a finishing blow.
Yoshiyasu felt no fear when she saw that fact with the god of war’s sight devices.
Instead, she gave a mental smile.
…That’s a dragon for you!
Dragons were great. They moved differently from the tentacles of Houjou. They never tried to wrap around you, constrict you, and swing you around.
They came to kill you.
So Yoshiyasu released her wings behind her. She operated the four forward-facing metal panels on her back and released their stored-up pressure in front of her.
This backwards flight caused her entire body to compress.
The approaching dragon’s claws revealed their tips and approached close enough to reach her chest.
But she had accelerated enough to match his speed.
The approach seemed to stop and only the background flowed by in this transparent time.
A moment later, Righteousness accelerated somewhat. That gradually increased the distance between them.
Immediately after that, the enemy arrived.
He extended his reach.
The dragon extended even his shoulder toward her. That meant the length of one dragon shoulder was added to the reach of the enemy’s attack.
He was an animal but also an intelligent being. He possessed intelligence and combat ability far exceeding that of humans.
The fact that she was clashing with one brought instantaneous elation to her heart. And more importantly…
Their battlefield this time was not enemy territory. It was…
“A place of survival…!”
Yoshiyasu suddenly recalled the past.
Specifically, the times before Mikatagahara.
Back when Satomi was still around, she had had so many comrades in her coastal hometown and they had worked together to protect their nation.
Their nation had been small, but that had required they work together and they had fought toward the same goal on the battlefield no matter how much conflict there was between them. And that goal had been…
…Protecting our home.
After all, the opposite coast had been enemy territory. The enemy coming from there would quickly reach their territorial waters and arrive at their coastal city.
Thus, they had constantly been fighting with people’s homes behind them.
Victory had been a necessity and their duty had been to immediately regain anything that was taken. They had always heard the people’s cheers of support behind them and their only reward had been the path home.
They had been proud of that life and they had protected their home.
But they had lost all of that.
Ever since, she had lost that sensation and that opportunity. At Novgorod, she had appeared on the battlefield as an attacker working alongside another nation. Last night, she had entered the sky to protect her comrades and as part of the overall strategy, but it had been too indirectly related to protecting a place where people lived their lives.
But this was different.
She was fighting atop the Musashi. She was directly inside the city.
The enemy was a colossal dragon. And Musashino’s city had already been badly damaged.
Plus, this enemy was powerful, unknown, and strong. So…
Yoshiyasu fulfilled her duty. This was her response to the hopes of the people behind her.
…And it is the proof that I have not forgotten what I once gained in Satomi…
That was not all. There was something she herself wanted.
Yoshiyasu drew her sword during her high-speed flight.
“I must grow stronger!!”
Everyone on the Musashi saw Torahide’s right hand knocked upwards.
On the row of long blocks to the aft of Musashino, metal sparks flew, Righteousness rapidly braked its backwards glide, and arcs of blood flew from the dragon’s right hand and over the god of war’s head.
And three moonlit objects flew through Murayama’s sky. They were…
“The dragon’s claws…!?”
The god of war unit firing on Musashino looked up to view the 2m amber curves.
They knew what must have happened to those airborne claws.
“Did the Satomi Student Council President sever them during all that?”
In their field of view and at the depths of their sense of hearing, they saw sparks rise from Musashino’s long blocks and heard metal groan from the same area.
Righteousness had landed and finished braking at the end of the starboard side.
Shimmering heat rose from the four wings on its back and vermilion heat was visible within the thrusters.
The motors and joints were the same.
It could no longer move properly without being serviced first. That was clear to everyone watching. Inside it, Yoshiyasu had to be feeling great exhaustion and pain from the feedback.
It had been brief, but she had fought with a monster more than ten times her size. She had achieved something and she had returned alive.
“And I didn’t damage the surface city while landing and braking…”
But Righteousness maintained its fighting stance. She had pulled back the sword and her wrists and she held her elbow forward.
As if in response to that, the others took the next action.
The results of Yoshiyasu’s one-girl charge were right in front of them.
Torahide shook his right arm due to the intense pain and he had lost balance.
The dragon’s roar seemed to swell out on a path from the moon to the earth.
Immediately afterwards, everyone took action. They acted on Neshinbara’s instructions as he stood on top of Musashino’s bridge.
“Everyone on Musashino…charge!!”
Murayama and Musashino were now at equal altitudes.
When Torahide’s dragon cannon was split into four, they had been brought to the same altitude. From there, they had moved him toward Murayama and…
“We used a transport ship to make a bridge. Pay up and you may cross it…!”
Everyone threw 10-yen coins into the Treasurer’s sign frame with all their might and then ran across the ship bridge.
Their destination was the serpentine dragon lying across Musashino. Or more specifically…
They knew exactly where to aim: 37 locations along his left side. Those were his “axis of balance” that Suzu had deduced from his movements. Asama had then placed target guidance sign frames on those locations.
The god of war unit charged in with assault spears. At the same time, the warriors and the Technohexen unit focused fire on Torahide’s left side.
Intense sounds rang out and Torahide’s body shook without the support of his right arm.
So they all hit and pushed the dragon even more.
As more impacts and shots hit him from the left, the people pushed at the giant dragon that had destroyed the city.
They would roll him over to turn his belly to the left and flip him upside down.
They had a single goal.
“Don’t let him fly!”
That giant dragon was a Lindwurm. He was a serpentine flying dragon. He had two wings on his back.
The best way to defeat such a large creature was to prevent him from using his wings. And they knew how to do that:
“Flip him over!”
Wild animals expressed submission by exposing their defenseless belly.
So they would force him into that pose. That was Neshinbara and the others’ plan.
Torahide struggled when he realized what they were trying to do.
He opened all his body’s thrusters and triggered a dragon cannon explosion all around him.
It was an awe explosion.
Light burst and a deafening noise sounded. The blast caused Torahide’s body to float up fairly high.
He was launched up to the same height as Musashino’s bridge, or maybe even higher.
The blast had contained such great pressure that it had blown away the assault unit and firing unit from Murayama.
Most of the gods of war were knocked onto their butts or slid backwards along the floor, so everyone was forced to fall back to the city cage surrounding Torahide.
The warriors and Technohexen were the same. They were pushed back by the awe wind and slammed back-first into the city cage.
But then rubble and building fragments flew their way.
“Opening defense barriers! Over.”
“Musashino” ordered a windbreak of defense barriers to be opened around Torahide and they noisily shattered as they protected everyone.
But even if the defense arrived in time, there was one clear inconvenience here.
They had been moved away.
Beyond the space between them, the half-rolled form attempted to roll back while flying high in the sky.
He rolled back to the left, starting with his tail.
He powerfully curled his skinny tail to the left and that twist would propagate up toward his face to revert his body’s orientation.
And just as his giant body seemed to tremble in the night sky…
Torahide realized his body had completed its roll.
He had twisted his body, starting from the tail, but that movement had flipped him back around all the way to the head.
It was like the reactive force returning a twisted cloth to normal. He had built up a little too much momentum, but he used a thruster explosion to…
…Gather strength in my body once more!
While rolling and rotating in midair, Torahide saw the enemy.
At the moment, Musashino was surrounded by defense barriers on the left and right. He felt like he was at the bottom of a glowing canyon. Forward was the only path available to him.
Shallow in the sky ahead, he saw Musashino’s bridge and the English princess was standing on the ground.
But the dragon eyes located on the sides of his face spotted something in the corner of his vision.
A few figures stood on the port edge of Murayama and the starboard edge of Tama.
On the starboard edge was Musashi’s princess. She wore an apron and her silver hair fluttered in the wind.
On the port edge was a nudist boy. He wore a scarf on his crotch and the white cloth fluttered in the wind.
Torahide spoke aloud without thinking and only then did he notice something.
The princess’s hair was fluttering behind her and a bit above her.
Tama was descending. And that would put it at the same height as Musashino and Murayama.
…Are they going to perform a charge from Tama too!?
Just as he wondered that, two new figures were added.
First, a girl wearing only a sheet stood next to the nudist. Her hair and the edge of the sheet danced in the wind and the curves of her body were visible through the sheet.
She opened her mouth to produce a voice that carried into the distance and provided the tuning to begin a song.
On the opposite side, someone gasped for breath as they arrived next to the princess.
It was a shrine maiden.
She was out of breath and bent forward, but she held out her hands to reject the bamboo bottle that Musashi’s princess offered her.
Asama shouted to the pair on the opposite side and struck her hands together.
She clapped. And Hanami nodded from her shoulder.
A moment later, a voice reached her. It was Kimi’s voice, singing a powerful arrangement of a certain song.
“Let me pass.”
It was the Song of Passage. And Asama saw a light arrive in response.
The light came from the nudist. Countless ether supply lines drew curves as they flew from his back.
This was a race against time. Torahide was dropping down from overhead. They had to act faster than that.
…We need to deal with this and protect the Musashi!
She heard a voice.
“If I follow this narrow path, where will it take me?”
The light flying from Toori moved to the gaps between Musashino and Tama and between Musashino and Murayama. On the Murayama side, a transport ship filled the gap like a bridge. On the Tama side, there was simply empty space. The light from the nudist’s back shot out in consecutive waves. It was controlled by the two sign frames in front of Asama, which she operated like playing a keyboard.
Asama spread the sign frames like wings and her own voice joined the song.
“This narrow path leads to the gods in heaven.”
A moment later, her and Kimi’s dance and song offering received authorization from their gods. It was a joint effort between Asama and Ootsubaki. When selecting the divine protections, Asama mostly went with…
She requested amplification. The immediately-authorized power quickly doubled the nudist’s supply lines.
And that was not all. Asama exchanged a glance with Horizon. And…
“Your opinion is not needed. You cannot pass through here.”
Horizon’s lips moved to join the song.
There was no sound, so Asama simply nodded her way.
Horizon nodded back and sound left her opened mouth to form a voice.
That voice was a song.
“I have come to celebrate this child’s tenth birthday.”
Asama followed along with Horizon and included her in their song.
She submitted it and requested more. Horizon was registered as a normal person, but the request was approved.
…That means our god has approved of Horizon’s voice.
Her song would reach Musashi’s Asama Shrine every morning and evening. It was possible the god had already heard it.
As a result, all of the light racing through the sky was amplified.
On the other side, his eyebrows rose and he smiled a little. She also saw him give her a quick wave of thanks. She considered waving back, but…
…Th-that was for Horizon, wasn’t it?
Wise Sister: “C’mon, you two. Aren’t you going to respond to my foolish brother?”
Horizon raised her right thumb, so Asama did the same.
<Notification: That choreography was lame, so I’ll lower your Blessings a bit. By, god.>
Asama: “Wh-what have I done!? What have I done!?”
Wise Sister: “Just roll with it. So how are we doing, Suzu?”
That question received a definite response.
Bell: “Y-yes. Judge. This should work.”
Bell: “Rapidly lowering Musashino…!”
Falling Torahide was going in for a definite landing.
He would land in the same location atop Musashino.
There was a reason he had twisted around to make such a powerful landing.
He had wanted to provide more of an impact to damage Musashino when he did so.
Musashino’s frame had already started to bend when he pulled his left leg out earlier. Dropping his great weight on it now was sure to accomplish something.
And even if not, smashing the surface area would do damage to several blocks.
So he dropped down. Or he intended to.
But just before he did, Musashino suddenly sank down.
He was confused because this was not possible.
Musashino had not fallen.
Falling would have been slow to start out with, but this movement was just as fast as his own fall.
Then walls of light appeared on either side of him.
Tama and Murayama seemed to rise up on either side of Musashino. A massive amount of ether light was erupting out of those gaps.
As those cascades of light fell upwards, Torahide saw something beyond them.
The gravitational acceleration systems on the inner sides of Tama and Murayama were fully opened.
They were normally used for moving the ships or forming the giant cannon barrel, but now they were used for something else.
“To lower the Musashino and catch me as I fall…”
But that was not all.
“Are they negating the effects of my reverse roll!?”
Neshinbara had predicted the Lindwurm would powerfully twist his body during the instant of impact.
“Because that allows him to guide the destruction to the surface and inside of the ship. So…”
Neshinbara used a sign frame to provide instructions for controlling Musashino’s descent and he watched the giant dragon’s continued fall with narrowed eyes.
“So we moved the surface away from you.”
It had been a last-minute movement. That was why the ether supply management had to be done via Toori’s precise control instead of from the Musashi. They had activated only the necessary thrusters.
…I considered hitting back to knock him away.
But that alone was not enough to settle things.
So he had done something their opponent would not predict in order to flip him around.
“Heh. At that size, he can’t easily adjust his position in midair. If he keeps falling like this…”
Four Eyes: “Yes, yes. He will fall onto his back. We all get it and it’s fascinating, so just get on with it.”
Novice: “D-dammit! Stop ruining my moment!”
Flat Vassal: Ahhh, I’m feeling woozy after getting carried away earlier… Oh, what is it, Suzu-san?”
“Well,” said Suzu.
She was managing Musashino’s descent. It was a definite action and the Lindwurm was already located above their bridge.
But Suzu had this to say:
Bell: That dragon…person is rotating…even more? He’ll probably land…on his belly.”
Bell: “The height is…shifting.”
Neshinbara suddenly felt a chill down his spine.
But not because this was entirely unexpected.
…Here it comes!
And what happened was exactly what Neshinbara had feared. And everyone responded:
Almost Everyone: “…”
…Wah! This silence is painful!
He saw the Lindwurm work to stop its movement overhead.
Musashino’s descent had reached its set position, so it was slowing.
The giant dragon spun its body and fell relatively slowly. And then…
Bell: “Oh, yes…it’s not…going to work out…right.”
…Don’t say thaaaaaaaaat!
Four Eyes: You stuuuuupid, stuuuuuuuuuupid boy! You’re only a child who lives in the world of imagination!! Did you not even check the diagram!? Ah ha ha! This is so much fun, Toussaint! I’ve never had more fun!”
Mal-Ga; “She’s not wrong.”
Gold Mar: “What were you even trying to accomplish, Bara-yan?”
Obscene: “That is a difficult question! Let’s all give it some thought!”
Laborer: “Wait. Let’s not just assume Neshinbara is incompetent.”
My savior! thought Neshinbara from the bottom of his heart.
Novice: “R-right!? Isn’t that right!?”
Wise Sister: “That’s right! We shouldn’t just assume Neshinbara is incompetent. Wait a moment longer and we can prove it!”
Hori-ko: “How many more seconds now?”
Musashino: “The descent will end in seven seconds. Over.”
Novice: “Isn’t that a little too soon!? Right!?”
Oh, no, thought Suzu.
Neshinbara’s initial calculations had been correct. But…
…Th-that person…picked up…speed in mid…air…
The dragon had made a forced correction.
Asama: “What is it, Suzu-san?”
Bell: “Th-this wasn’t…Neshinbara…-kun’s fault.”
Almost Everyone: “…”
Mal-Ga: “How can this doujin boy make Suzu say such awful things…sob, sob.”
Gold Mar: “Ga-chan, you don’t have to pretend to cry just because things aren’t going your way.”
Huh? I feel like something about this is wrong, thought Suzu.
Bell: “N-no, not…that. Neshinbara…-kun calculated it…correctly.”
Novice: “Indeed. I-I did everything right, didn’t I!?”
Smoking Girl: “And how did that turn out?”
Uqui: “So he did everything right, but he still couldn’t make anything happen?”
Mal-Ga: “What’s this? Are you giving me some impotency material?”
Gold Mar: “Ga-chan, isn’t your mood getting a little too volatile!?”
Four Eyes: “Toussaint, can you explain what this is about?”
I feel like this is even more wrong, thought Suzu, but then…
Musashino: “The enemy Lindwurm is landing! Over.”
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