Horizon:Volume 5B Chapter 51

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Chapter 51: Exiter from the Dance Stage[edit]

Horizon5B 717.jpg

The time

Has finally come

Point Allocation (Nudist)


“Now, then.”

A voice rang through the pathway.

The pathway was old and large. The walls and ceiling were made of hardened stone materials, but the floor was covered with packed-down mud.

The people walking through it looked miniscule. They formed a group of about twenty, but they would have had more than enough space to walk abreast and the ceiling was far above their heads.

The group produced mechanical noises as they moved and several sign frames surrounded the shrine maiden among them.

That was Asama. She was fully-equipped, including her binder skirts.

“Look at this…”

Her first words echoed from the ceiling and walls.

“It’s the same composition as Novgorod. But it’s a little older than that.”

“Are you sure it isn’t just in poorer shape?” asked Mitotsudaira.

Asama nodded and sent the data to all of their sign frames.

“It’s true Novgorod was being preserved and this place has definitely seen better days. I think the crust temporarily sank down on one side and the mud from the mountains poured in. But even accounting for that, I’m guessing this is about fifty years older than the one in Novgorod.”

Novice: “That connects to the history of the Age of Dawn, doesn’t it? The Far Eastern forces made a comeback by gradually working their way from the central land on out. These ruins were probably built on their way to Novgorod.”

“But isn’t this a lot bigger than that one?” Toori looked up at the ceiling as he walked alongside Horizon at the center of the group. “Hey, Bell-san? How far until we reach the back?”

“Oh, judge. T-to reach…the back…we need to go through…the entrance…down this way.”

“Entrance?” asked Adele who was walking in Raging Beast with Suzu sitting on its head. “But I see the sky back there.”

“It’s…tilted.”

“That’s true,” confirmed Narumi who wore a Far Eastern summer uniform and a combat vest. “That must lead to the main hall. The mud forms a slope leading up to that, so we can see the blue sky through the hall’s broken ceiling.”

Unturning: “Can we get any help from the surface group?”


Novice: “We can help with your location. Based on the map Principal Sakai gave us, that is indeed the main hall up ahead. Then you head down to the second main hall. Behind that, you should find a minor hall. …Principal Sakai was pointing us to that minor hall within the stealth space, but the two Celestial Dragons should be waiting in the main halls along the way.”

They’re so lucky, thought Neshinbara in the clearing by the mountain stream.

I might be the surface staff officer, but it’s still disappointing.

He had really wanted to see a Celestial Dragon up close, but preserving the exit was an important job.

The exit was a large space located alongside a stream on the mountain slope.

“These ruins sure are big since they have to accommodate dragons.”

Unturning: “Novgorod was a frigid land. Most dragons have difficulty living there, so that one would have been made for humans. At the time this was built, I imagine accommodating dragons was common practice.”

Noriki responded to Narumi while he worked at reinforcing the tents back at their base.

Laborer: “In that case, I can see why most of those Whatever-They’re-Called Academies didn’t survive. …The bigger you build something, the harder it is to keep it from falling apart.”

Uqui: “It is also possible the dragon-fearing people destroyed these ruins to keep the dragons away.”

Those are some decent ideas, thought Neshinbara. I’ll use them in my next novel.

Oriotorai spoke up while waiting for Ohiroshiki and Hassan to finish the curry.

“Good, good. The real fun of a study camp or class trip is to give some serious thought to the places you visit, so make sure you give it enough thought to write a report once we get back.”

Being a student sure keeps you busy, sighed Neshinbara before he asked a question.

Novice: “How are things down there?”

Scarred: “Oh, judge. …Lady Futayo just took off running.”

Novice: “Huh?”

Hold on, thought Neshinbara.

Novice: “While investigating her surroundings, I hope! What in the world is she doing!?”

He soon had his answer. And from Futayo herself.

Tonbokiri: “Chaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrge!!!!”


Saizou was bathing in the sunlight entering through the hall’s open ceiling.

Even as a Celestial Dragon, his body functioned much the same as a biological creature’s. The only major difference was in how they were born and how they died. There really aren’t any other real differences, he thought.

Of course, that might have been a higher being overlooking the hardships of lower beings. However…

I’m so sleepy.

The sunlight was the real problem. Summer sun was especially dangerous.

As a dragon, some parts of his body had a secondary circulatory system to supply them with blood and ether. When he warmed his body, the blood flow improved and those things naturally loosened up.

When they loosened up, his entire body would grow lethargic. And that made him sleepy.

Simply put, the summer sun made him sleepy.

Sasuke is down below, but…oh, well.

I think I’ll take a nap, he thought.

Just then, he heard a sound. It echoed through the ruins, so it was impossible to miss. The ruins were built to accommodate dragons and other large lifeforms. His hearing had been fading lately, but that made him all the more sensitive to out-of-place noises.

“Oh, fine then. I guess we’re starting the First Siege of Ueda now.”

Saizou hunkered down.

He positioned himself to protect the entrance leading underground and he looked forward. He directly faced the hall’s entrance.

There was an upward slope on the other side of that entrance. It was left over after he dug through the mud piled-up and blocking the entrance. As for why had he not cleared out all of the mud…

Sasuke takes everything so seriously…

The other dragon had insisted it remain in case pursuers or attackers showed up.

There had indeed been a time when they had been hunted like that.


That was 800 and 400 years ago, wasn’t it?

That was long ago when the dragons had been devastating Europe in the Harmonic Divine States. Their ancestors had started that during the great Germanic migration, so the dragons had begun to sweep across Europe about 1200 years before.

Their ancestors had inherited Germanic names and swept across Europe. But after the great migration, the humans had also inherited names of those who inherited the next generation and the two groups had fought over a span of centuries.

Saizou and his generation had joined the fight 800 years ago when both sides had reached a watershed decision.

Would a dragon or a human inherit the name of Charlemagne who would unite Europe? A conclusion had eventually been reached.

In the end, the humans had liberated central Europe. While most of the dragons had retreated or surrendered, Saizou and the others had occupied Sicily in southern Italy and resisted from there.

But 400 years ago, they had been defeated and forced to retreat.

However, they had heard something during those battles.

It related to 800 years ago. While the dragons had expanded the battle lines and conquered more territory, the ancient dragon king had been defeated behind their backs. And it had been done by a group of unknown humans and cooperative nonhumans.

It had been a Testament Cross-Borders Unit.

Those one-off groups were composed of people summoned to ensure the Testament descriptions were carried out or to resolve a threat to the world.

Who gathered them? Who were the ones gathered? No one knew. But Saizou and his group had refused to believe such a thing existed as they conquered the mild land of Sicily.

And 400 years ago, they had heard of a certain Testament entry.

It described a mass disappearance in a certain town in Saxony of northern M.H.R.R.

It said 130 boys and girls had gone missing and not one of them returned.

Sasuke had feared they would be blamed for those disappearances.

But that curious flying dragon had looked into it and discovered a certain fact.

Namely, nothing at all had happened in the specified town. And the humans had been so busy with the history recreation of the crusades that no one had particularly cared.

But that night, they had been attacked.

Their enemies had definitely been human, but those humans had used strange weapons and spells.

The dragons had halved the number of enemies, but over the course of a few hours, they had taken even more damage themselves. So before dawn, the nearly-devastated surrounding clans had decided to retreat.

Saizou and his group had done the same for their own reasons, but their pride had not let them flee into the European mountains. They had instead split up to the east and west.

It was 160 years ago that they had fled east and stopped in Far Eastern land during the Harmonic Unification War.

By that point, Sasuke and the rest were fed up with a combat-oriented life. It had helped that the Far Eastern people had worshiped the dragons like gods and treated them well.

But they had realized something after they began living here. Namely—

“Whoops.”

The enemy had arrived. At first, it was just one human running straight down the slope at the front entrance.

There were others behind her, but just the one warrior girl took the lead.

Seriously? Is she dumb?

A downward slope pushed your balance downwards and made it hard to move to the side.

If he fired a dragon cannon here, she was toast.

So he did.


Futayo recognized the dragon’s movements. She had seen this plenty of times the night before. Yes…

When dragons breathe their dragon cannon, they fire it after a count of three.

Vice President: “Hey, Futayo, we still haven’t reached the top of the slope. Are you okay!?”

Tonbokiri: “I am fine! I mastered dragon cannon timing last night. They fire after a count of three.”

It fired after a count of two.


Asama saw the dragon cannon launch out like a rod stretching forward.

The downward slope was torn through and destroyed. It hit almost directly to her left. That was the center of the slope.

I’m glad I was in charge of protecting the right side of the pathway!

With that earnest thought, she checked on the damage. After all, a dragon cannon had scored a direct hit where Futayo was. There was only one possible result:

“Kyaaaaaah! She was fried…!!”

“You sure are enjoying this!!”

She had evidence to argue against their complaint: she saw something white in the broken center of the slope.

They were…

“…Bones?”

“Dragon bones,” clarified Narumi as she calmly walked up behind Asama. She lightly kicked the dirt slope with the sole of a prosthetic foot. “Even if the ruins had slanted, I thought it was strange that the mud had piled up into a hill like this. …This must be a dragon graveyard. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia for ruins built in the Age of Dawn or if their ancestors came from here, but Terrestrial Dragons choose to die here.”

“But,” continued Gin while running down the right side of the slope. She faced forward and frowned while speeding up. “Why isn’t that girl dead? She dodged it by running straight ahead with as much speed as she could muster.”

Up ahead of Gin, Futayo was running with her hair fluttering behind her. She would reach the center of the hall in no time like this.

“She’s alive…!” said Asama when she saw the girl.

“You’d really killed her off in your head, hadn’t you!?”

The others’ voices were answered by Futayo’s voice from up ahead.

“To battle!”


Saizou prepared himself as Musashi’s Vice Chancellor raised her voice and poured on even more speed.

How is she going to do this!?

He saw her crouch down.

A moment later, she accelerated even more. She had used her spear’s extension device to launch herself toward him.

She closed the gap between them. However…

Not yet!

She had not yet reached the 30m range of her spear’s cutting power. So…

How about I take her out with a blow from beyond that range!?

He had yet to fully charge up a second dragon cannon.

So he just had to make a swift attack from outside the enemy’s range.

A dragon punch was more than enough to kill a human.

So that was what he did. He pulled his head back to adjust the distance between them, and…

“Hh…”

He inhaled in order to launch his right arm out.

Just then, he saw the enemy use her spear’s extension device to launch the spear tip toward him.

It was still too distant to cut, but there was something on top of the extended spear tip.

“Acceleration Spell: Racing Words. …Tachibana Gin has arrived.”


Gin accelerated.

Her acceleration spell, Racing Words, accelerated in pursuit of a target object, just like Muneshige’s Kamenuki.

So she had pursued the Musashi Vice Chancellor and remained behind the girl’s back.

And now I’m accelerating toward Tonbo Spare’s tip!

The two of them had not prepared this in advance.

Gin had simply chased after the girl, thinking she might be able to help out somehow, and she had found a chance to move out ahead.

So she had done so.

She could not intimately exchange support with this girl like she could with Muneshige. It was just that this girl’s only talent was in racing forward, which created far too many openings. So…

“There is something severely wrong when I have no choice but to lend a hand like this.”

Musashi’s Vice Chancellor had probably only launched Tonbo Spare’s tip forward as a feint. And she probably had not given much thought to what she would do afterwards.

That left Gin no choice but to move in ahead of her.

“Arcabuz Cruz…!?”

She fired that cannon. But in that very moment…

Is he going to shoot…!?

Saizou rethought his counterattack and used a dragon cannon instead.


Futayo saw Gin riding atop her spear tip.

When did she get there!?

Gin-dono is surprisingly nimble, she thought as she saw the dragon breathing out light.

That was a dragon cannon. It was a weaker blast since he had just fired one, but it was more than enough to take out Gin and Futayo.

Futayo could try to cancel it out with Tonbo Spare, but Gin was in the way on the spear tip.

If she activated Tonbo Spare now, Gin would be cut.

That would be bad, thought Futayo. And I doubt Muneshige-dono would like it.

But she calmed herself down and continued that thought.

But I know Gin-dono can find a way out of this.

“Bind! Tonbo Spare!”


Gin had half-expected the Musashi Vice Chancellor’s decision, but at the same time…

C-curse her!

That girl had actually done it.

Gin hurriedly reached a hand into the air. An Arcabuz Cruz was there. Firing it had been what prompted Saizou to use his dragon cannon. The recoil had caused it to lower, so she grabbed onto its back end with her prosthetic arm.

After floating up a bit, the recoil lowered her back down.

She was safe now and the enemy would be wide open after firing the dragon cannon, but then Gin saw a spear tip below her feet.

“————!?”

Tonbo Spare had used its extension device to shrink down.

There was no point in asking “What are you doing!?” or “Are you trying to kill me!?” The Musashi Vice Chancellor had pulled it back to match the timing of the arriving dragon cannon.

“Curse her…!”


Saizou saw a scattering spray of light between him and his enemy.

It was ether light.

He had seen these bursts of light so many times in the past and they were as beautiful as ever today.

This meant the enemy had endured his dragon cannon, but it also meant he had defended against their attack.

It was just like the past. No, humanity was even more frightening than that.

Dragons had no means of strengthening themselves outside of growth and experience, but humanity could endlessly strengthen their weapons and spells.

This was the same. Even 400 years ago, negating his dragon cannon had been a difficult feat. But now…

“You can do it with a spare weapon!?”

The light faded and the enemy was there.

They were unharmed. That much he knew. However…

I hit one of them!

Because Musashi’s Vice Chancellor had pulled back Tonbo Spare, Tachibana Gin would have been hit by the dragon cannon. Even a light hit would have been a full-body blow. So—

“————!?”

Saizou twisted his body to the left when he felt something as clear as empty air on his right cheek.

A moment later, something pierced through the space his right eye had just vacated.

It was an artillery shell.

Isn’t that the same thing that hit Torahide last night!?

Then the wind whipped up and Saizou saw something beyond the scattering light. The enemy he thought he had hit was just fine.

This is both a strong point and weak point of humanity.

“You worry for your companions!”

Musashi’s Vice Chancellor was holding the artillery girl, Tachibana Gin, in her right arm.

And a new cannon had appeared over her shoulder. At that size, it had to be a siege-class cannon.

“Pierce him. …Cuatro Cruz.”


Gin suppressed her emotions.

After all, she really should not have survived that.

She would have died if she had not made a ridiculous decision when the spear tip had arrived below her feet.

I never thought I would be using Racing Words to pursue the Musashi Vice Chancellor.

She had not had time to adjust the homing direction. She had meant to accelerate backwards, but she ended up diving into the girl’s chest because the default setting chose the target’s center point.

The girl had caught her and light had exploded before her eyes.

“Honestly…”

She had fired toward their opponent’s right eye earlier.

Living creatures would react subconsciously to visual information. Dragons had once been wild animals and this one had noticed and responded to the attack on his eyeball even if he had not consciously understood what it was.

The dragon swung his face to the left, which was to the right from her perspective.

That was exactly what Gin had wanted.

Cuatro Cruz’s shell flew toward the center of Saizou’s face.

But Gin saw something.

“Fine, then.”

With those words, the dragon’s body blurred. Or so it seemed to Gin. And…

“Too bad.”

The shell pierced through Saizou. But it had not hit or harmed him. The dragon had disappeared and the projectile had passed right through him.

“Take this.”

But a moment later, the dragon reappeared and his left foreleg flew quickly toward her.


Gin knew it was going to hit them. The dragon was going to hit them with all his great strength.

But her decision of what to do was somewhat delayed by a question.

What was that just now!?

Saizou had “hidden in the mist” just as his surname of Kirigakure implied.

The shell had passed through him and Gin heard the reverberating noise of it hitting the opposite wall.

She only let the surprise hold for an instant, but that was enough of a delay for the enemy’s attack to hit them.

She could not let that happen.

So Gin decided she would at least allow Musashi’s Vice Chancellor to escape safely.

She turned around to shove the other girl out of the way, but then she noticed something.

Musashi’s Vice Chancellor’s face was covered with a surprised but beaming smile.

“Gin-dono! Did you see what he did!? That was incredible!”

Please don’t grab and shake my shoulders…!!

While she was shaken back and forth, Gin realized they had completely lost any chance of escaping.

She decided to use Arcabuz Cruz to blow off the other girl’s head while Gin herself was killed by the dragon’s blow.

This girl will be murdered and I will die honorably in battle. That is for the best.

“————!”

But then she saw a means of escape. And…

“Eh?”

It hit.


Saizou realized his full-power attack had swished through empty air.

Are you serious!?

He had targeted someone in midair. It was a lot like catching a falling bird.

It should have been a sure thing. That was why he had gone all out.

But the enemy had just dodged his left foreleg.

They had performed a three-dimensional midair spin and passed over his left shoulder and left wing.

Something had struck the two of them.

And Tachibana Gin had caught the weapon with her prosthetic arm.

It had launched the two of them out of danger.

“…An arrow!?”

He looked over to see a shrine maiden standing by the hall’s entrance.

“…Musashi’s gunner shrine maiden!?”


Mitotsudaira honestly commented on Saizou’s words.

“Wow, even the dragons know about you…”

“I-I fired that to save people! See? Using those rules, I’m Musashi’s rescue shrine maiden! How about that!?”

Asama pointed forward just in time for Gin and Futayo to crash into the opposite wall.

They heard some cries of pain and surprise and the two girls fell to the ground while tangled together.

Seeing that, everyone fell silent and motionless, except for Kimi who glared at Asama.

“What was that about rescuing people?”

“…I really don’t think I did anything wrong.”

“Then how do you explain this?”

“Well, it’s really that wall’s fault for being there. Don’t you think?”

But Mitotsudaira could not help but ask.

“Um, Tomo? …Aren’t you not supposed to shoot people?”

“Eh? It’s okay if I’m rescuing people or training.”

She set up a breakwater of counterarguments at record speed. But it was something else that mattered here.

“Are you allowed to shoot dragons?”

“Umm, not if they’re students.”

“Are you if they aren’t students?”

“Yes. There are no rules saying I can’t.”

“That dragon isn’t a student.”

The shrine maiden immediately fired.


Saizou quickly took evasive action.

That was sudden!

He could dodge this. The attack was quite fast, but that was not a problem when he had the strength and reactions of a dragon.

Assuming, that is, this was a straight-line attack.

It was not. The enemy’s arrow drew a trail of light that showed its path was bent ever so slightly.

“…Homing!?”

He knew gunner divine protections could apply homing functionality, but if she could add that effect to such a high-speed shot…

“Talk about dangerous…!!”

Saizou raised his tail and moved.

He ran.

Instead of guarding the entrance leading underground, he charged at the enemy along an arc from the right.

He had a reason for doing so: the enemy’s homing arrow. A high-speed homing shot was an absolutely ridiculous attack, but there was a way of avoiding it: his tail.

Homing divine protections worked in one of two ways: dynamic homing that learned the enemy’s shape and pursued that, or reactive homing that pursued the enemy’s ether or heat source.

A dragon’s shape was hard to learn due to their tail, wings, and horns, so reactive homing was generally used against them.

That meant he had something to act as a decoy: his long tail.

By extending his tail, the tip would act as a decoy.

The pursuing arrow would be quite literally “tail”-ing him. Then he only had to swing his tail like a whip by the wall. Once the enemy projectile lost sight of its target, it would collide with the wall.

But to do that, he needed enough space to extend his tail.

He had to run. So…

I’ll plow right through them!

Saizou ran forward to settle this all at once

His tail was extending and the enemy’s arrow turned a forceful corner to pursue.

He moved forward.


“Oh?”

Naito looked up as she gathered Schwarz Techno spells in her broom’s Orei Metallo by the entrance of the ruins. She turned toward Naruze.

“Ga-chan, did you just feel a tremor? Like a deep ‘thoom’.”

“Eh?” Naruze looked up. She had been sitting sideways in a chair while drawing up illustrated spells on her Magie Figur, so she looked back to the drawing she held. “Maybe that would be a better sound effect for my artillery spell representation.”

“No, no. That’s not what I meant.”

Naito looked to the wide entrance to the ruins. Muneshige stood in the center of the entrance with a hand on his chin and his gaze fixated on its depths.

“What’s going on?” asked Naomasa.

Naito nodded.

“It sounded like something crashed into the wall.”


Mitotsudaira saw Saizou collide with the wall as if scraping his right side against it.

He had lost his balance while running toward them.

What was that?

It had happened just after he had gotten Asama’s arrow to pursue his tail.

She knew what the dragon had been trying to do. He had been trying to use his tail as a decoy to dodge the homing projectile while he charged toward them in an attack. He had combined his defense and his attack into a single fell action.

While running, he had raised his tail straight up but by the wall so that Asama’s homing arrow would lose sight of him.

And in that very moment…

“Toori-kun, Horizon.”

Asama had spoken very quietly.

“Want to…make some ice cream?”

An explosion had followed.

And this funnel-shaped explosion was directed toward the location of Saizou’s tail.

It was Asama’s arrow.


Tenzou recalled the past.

This is because of our gym lesson in spring, isn’t it!?

The day before the Battle of Mikawa, they had failed to accomplish anything in the deceptively simple task of pursing Oriotorai on the way to Shinagawa.

Asama had used a homing divine protection but still failed to hit Oriotorai.

What was it Oriotorai had done then?

“She cut her hair and used it as chaff to defend against Asama-dono’s arrow…”

“Yes.” Asama nodded toward Saizou whose tail had been blasted upwards by the explosion. “I learned from that. If my arrow is ever thrown off course by bodily chaff, the arrow releases its full power in the previous direction of movement.”

“I see,” said everyone who had been a part of that lesson.

“That’s Asama for you. She pulls out all the stops when it comes to slaughtering the enemy.”

“I know, sis. The same trick won’t work twice against the Asama Shrine. …That’s so cool!!”

“If you ask me,” said Urquiaga, “I want to know why our teacher has been teaching us how to fight dragons…”

“Not again!” protested Asama. “Why do you always attack me like this!?”

Nevertheless, she had been quite effective.

Blasting Saizou’s tail upwards had knocked him off balance as he ran, so he crashed into the wall on his right. However…

“Master Tenzou!”

“Judge! …Be careful, everyone!!”


Tenzou though, The enemy made the right decision there.

If he had continued down the center of the hall after his tail was hit, he would not have run into the wall.

But when he lost his balance, he would have been exposed in the center.

“So he intentionally moved to the wall…”

And he crashed into it. That had produced a loud noise and powerful tremor.

But when the dragon slowly began moving again, the wall was revealed behind him.

“He barely left a mark on the wall…!”

There was enough destruction to account for an initial hit, but there was no mark from such a large mass colliding with and scraping along the wall.

That meant the enemy had only pretended to hit the wall so hard.

“Here he comes!”


Saizou smiled bitterly.

Honestly.

To think he would pretend to run into a wall and take damage.

He would never have even considered such a tactic 400 years ago.

But this is nice too.

After all, he was the former Kirigakure Saizou now. As a ninja, he had to disguise himself while he feared and endured the samurai who were like Far Eastern knights. This was a good way of doing that.

“Besides,” he said as he moved.

He slammed his right side into the wall, used the rebound to move left, and charged toward the enemy group.

“I remember now…!”

He had a single target.

“There’s a shrine maiden here…!”


The dragon’s charge drew a shallow arc as it targeted Asama.

“Eh!? Wh-why me!?”

“Did you forget you’re the one who blasted him just now!?”

“Th-that’s true, but he just said something about remembering something…”

They did not know what had happened to him in the past, but they all rushed to react in time.

Adele moved out first.

Silver chains held Raging Beast’s tail and threw it toward Saizou’s face like a hammer.

“Here we go, Adele!”

“Maybe a little warning next time, but let’s see who’s tougher!”

She crashed into him. Or she should have.

Instead, Raging Beast passed right through him.

The blue and white mobile shell and the silver chains holding it passed through Saizou’s face and out his back.

She did not hit.

Just like before, he briefly vanished and let the attack pass through him. But someone immediately reacted to this fact. Near the entrance leading underground, Gin kneeled with Cuatro Cruz at the ready.

“How about this!?”

She swept the weapon down to spray artillery fire from Saizou’s head down to his hips.

She fired a total of eight shots at slightly different heights.

The dragon would collide with the others just as those were arriving.


Did it work!?

Gin ignored the Musashi Vice Chancellor who was dizzy and sprawled out on the floor next to her.

Gin also felt a little dizzy after Asama’s “rescue”, but the battle was not going to wait around for them.

This battle has some pretty harsh ups and downs.

With that thought, her eight shots definitely pierced Saizou.

This was not meant to defeat him.

It was meant to keep him from hitting her companions.

She did not at all understand how the dragon’s defense worked, but it negated their attacks.

So if she kept firing on him in the instant he collided with the others…

“He shouldn’t be able to hit them!”

With that, the dragon reached the others.


Asama saw the dragon’s leg sweep toward them.

It hit, but she heard nothing and felt no wind or shaking.

He vanished!?

It happened again. Saizou vanished.

And the wind passed between her and the others.

Or was it better to say it passed through them? The enemy’s physical form had vanished and they were unharmed. Overhead, Gin’s shells solidly hit the wall.

What is this?

The charging dragon had “vanished”. Most likely, that was to avoid Gin’s shellfire.

That had saved them. However…

“Mitotsudaira! Asama!”

Just as Kimi yelled their names, three things happened.

First, Mitotsudaira slammed her silver chains horizontally to the right.

Second, Horizon grabbed Asama from behind and forced her to the ground.

“Toori-kun!?”

And third, the crossdresser ran out in front of her. There was a light tremor in his back.

What!?

Asama did not understand, so she tried to escape Horizon’s grasp and get back up. But Horizon…

“…These feel a lot nicer in the hands than I expected.”

“Did Kimi infect you!? She did, didn’t she!?”

But Asama saw the idiot look back as he stood protectively in front of them. The crossdresser faced her as she struggled to stand up.

He’s okay, she thought. He isn’t hurt. But…

“Is that all?”

With that announcement, the black dragon reappeared in the center of the hall. And in that moment…

“My king!”

Mitotsudaira called out to the crossdresser just as he was split.

His blonde wig was audibly sliced diagonally in half and the line of the cut extended down to his shoulder.

“Ohh.”

The diagonal red line on his shoulder reached his upper arm as well.

He was injured. But that was not all. The same thing happened to Horizon’s left arm as she held Asama from behind.

“Oh, dear.”

It split. No, it was torn. It was like stabbing a knife diagonally into a narrow fruit.

Don’t tell me…

A lubricant warmed to body temperature flowed from her arm. As for his arm…

“…!”

Blood sprayed out.