Horizon:Volume 6A Chapter 4

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Chapter 4: Manager of the Sky[edit]

Horizon6A 133.jpg

When the dragon roars

The Technohexen dance

What are the people

Doing at that time?

Point Allocation (Watching)


The explosion in the distant southern sky was made of ether light instead of flames.

It was visible from an elevated area containing a vast flower garden and vegetable garden with a white mansion in the center. A nude young man stood on the roof with his arms crossed.

"As I thought. ...They will go along with our decision, but they will not resign themselves to being ruled over."

"Roi-Soleil," said a Belle de Marionnette woman kneeling on the roof. "What is their inherited name?"

"He claims to be of Germanic descent. He is a mercenary captain from M.H.R.R. and passed through Sweden and Denmark before arriving here in Hexagone Française. He calls himself Bernard. Are you familiar with him, Henri?"

"That would be Bernard of Saxon, wouldn't it?"

"Testament. ...According to the Testament, he is the 11th son of a duke. With no hope of inheriting the position of prince-elector, he attempted to become a knight, but the current age turned him into a mercenary captain." He sighed. "He is one of those who did not respond even to Anne's search. But he did wish to be registered as part of the nonhuman unit Anne reconstructed. That was likely arranged when the Reine des Garous's former friends were being invited in. That may mean he sees Anne as his master rather than me, but I do not mind."

"I see. ...Oh, Roi-Soleil, do you want some dinner?"

Armand had climbed up onto the roof from the back. He had a maid Belle de Marionnette throw him a plate from the open-air kitchen in the backyard.

"Looks like fish today. Tomorrow will be Far Eastern and meat."

"Ho ho? Did Terumoto plan this? Splendid."

"Testament. ...But the signe cadre from the princess has something absurd listed for tomorrow's dinner: both beefsteak and pork cutlets."

"Armand."

Still down on one knee, Henri glared at her colleague who had brought a table onto the roof and began lining up plates on it.

"The Princess is using that meal plan for good luck. In Far Eastern, the English words 'steak' and 'cutlet' sound like 'wonderful' and 'victory' respectively. ...Well? Do you see what she was trying to do with those two dishes?"

Armand stared at the signe cadre for a bit.

"Beef wonderful...pork victory..."

After a while, something seemed to click for him.

"Oh, I get it! 'Beef is wonderful, but pork shall be victorious', right!? What a world we live in!"

Just as Henri kicked Armand off the roof, another loud noise reached them from the southern sky.

The tilted transport ship had broken and exploded.

The Roi-Soleil smiled as he viewed the blossom of light and the ether light scattered in a ring by the shockwave.

"Well done, Bernard of Saxon. ...After Hamelin 400 years ago, your people moved to the southern mountains and you protected central Hexagone Française during the Hundred Years' War. After your failure 400 years ago, you paradoxical nonhumans have attempted to erase your past while remaining proud of your glory days."

He was a...

"Dragon. After seeing the world prepare for the Apocalypse, did you finally realize what Anne intended?"


A total of 8 transport ships had carried the extra materials needed to flood Paris.

The course they had taken followed after the main fleet. The separated Azuchi Castle had constructed that as a supply line to Paris and a route for the Great Return from Mouri.

And those transport ships had been attacked just after leaving the forests and entering the vast field around Paris.

It happened at the division between forest and field.

The first of the 8 transport ships could not withstand the anti-air dragon cannon that came from there.

A report from their allies had said Hexagone Française had no intention of attacking, but...

"Damn...!"

A voice shouted while jumping down from the tilting, shaking, and falling ship.

"If this isn't an attack, then it's the roughest greeting I've ever seen!"

But no voices rose up in protest.

Everyone had seen something.

It was visible from the deck, surroundings, and outside of the collapsing first ship.

It was a silhouette.

The giant silhouette was clearly larger than a human and it had wings and a tail.

"What is that...?"

Also, it was not alone. There were many. They wrapped around the destroyed ship and seemed to blot out its hull.

"It's a flock of dragons!"

Some were large, but the most troublesome were the small dragons that measured only about 5 meters long.

Those bluish-black dragons used their arms as wings and used their great numbers to collide with the transport ship.

"...!"

As they fired dragon cannons and dropped down with their powerful, crushing legs, the dragons pushed the ship lower and destroyed it.


"Now." The Roi-Soleil looked up to a shallow portion of the sky. "Show me the value of Anne's invitation and your pride that rejected it, Bernard."

The Azuchi Castle had descended onto the distant wheat fields leading to Paris. Beyond that, a transport ship's ether light and the dragon's dragon cannons decorated the night sky.

The small dragons flocking around Hashiba's transport ship were all small wyverns.

But they were numerous. Their numbers easily reached the thousands and they used their roars, collisions, and dragon cannons to strike the transport ship. It sounded like consecutive tremors.

"Are those...?" Henri stood up. "Are those Celestial Dragons, Roi-Soleil?"

"Yes...I suppose you could call them Bernard's mercenary corps. Although during ancient Europe's dragon invasion that inherited the Germanic name, they were apparently known as the Germanic warriors."

Meaning...

"He is a direct descendant of the dragon king. ...He is a survivor of the oldest Celestial Dragons."

A burst of light filled the sky as he spoke.

"1 minute 13 seconds."

Armand said that just as the falling transport ship ruptured.

The dragons had sunk it.


The group attack following the initial one had concentrated on the first ship which now exploded.

It looked like many of the dragons were caught in the bursting ship's shockwave.

But that was not the case.

The large dragons had sensed the coming explosion and flown away, but the small dragons had all been shattered.

They were not dead, merely broken. And they broke by becoming small bluish-black wings.

The crew of the second ship watched it happen. They saw a dark cloud push in toward them.

The shattered pieces of the small dragons had become even smaller wyverns.

"Here they come! Defense barriers!"

The anti-ship defense barriers were meaningless for two different reasons.

First, most of the opened barriers were destroyed by the dragon cannons fired by the 6 dragons hovering in the sky.

Second, those anti-ship barriers left many openings for such small dragons so the enemy easily slipped between those walls.

The dragon bombardment tore through the barriers.

The ether light of destruction flew as the small dragons collided.

The large dragons continued firing without worrying if they would hit any of the small dragons.

The small dragons were broken by the dragon cannons, but that just meant they split apart.

"They're multiplying...!?"

As an evacuation alarm blared through the second ship, the crew slipped through the gaps between the small dragons dropping down onto their ship.

"These wyverns don't have physical bodies! They're multiplying!"

"Multiplying wyverns...!"

"Do we really have time for this conversation!?"

"Nope!"

Just as they exchanged a handshake, a dragon cannon hit and they were all thrown out into the air.

At the same time, the 2nd ship tilted and the ropes and pallets holding down the materials collapsed. The collision of the small dragons and the dragon cannons tore the ship apart and a blazing red appeared in places.

"They're going for the next one!"

With the sounds of wings flapping and feet kicking off of the ship to leap, the overall motion divided into two groups.

The vortex of small, bluish-black dragons split apart as it wriggled through the night.

One group descended on the second ship like ravenous ants.

The other group flew toward the third ship with the large dragons.

They continued.

Those watching and those defending did not have time for any kind of countermeasure.

It was the same as with the second ship. The third ship put up defense barriers and the large dragons prepared to launch dragon cannons toward those.

They fired.

It should have been a total of six white lights, but only five flew out.

One of the large dragons had been shattered.

Blood spray that looked black in the night and chunks of flesh burst and fell from the right wing and right shoulder to show it had been hit.

There was a line in the sky beyond the falling large dragon. Something shot from north to south in the dark sky and white fog trailed behind it.

Someone had flown swiftly and struck the dragon.

Everyone looked up and shouted their identity.

"Zwei Eisen!"

The second ship exploded at the same time.

Light and wind formed while two silhouettes looked down on it all from what could be called the peak.

Black and gold.

The colored pair had wings of those two colors and held long cannons of the same colors.

"—————"

They said nothing as the cannons transformed into their flight forms. Then they made a powered descent toward the third ship and large dragons below.


Oh, this is not good, thought Wakisaka to help calm herself.

This was a battle. At high altitude. Where they had to descend and fire. All of those movements required her to focus, but there was also something else she had to think about.

...Kime-chan is in a bit of a bad mood, isn't she?

Yoshiaki was the type to make a plan and follow it.

In the Ten Spears under Hashiba's command, Fukushima was the leader and Takenaka did the largescale planning as their staff officer, but Wakisaka and Yoshiaki were mostly independent members of the group.

Thanks to the mobility provided by Schwarz Fürstin and Weiss Fürstin, they were chosen when an immediate response was needed.

But even when at the mercy of various strategies like that, Yoshiaki would put together a plan of her own.

She would come up with a course for Schwarz Fürstin and Weiss Fürstin, tactics for them to use, and other things like that.

There was a reason for that.

The biggest reason was her personality, but in addition to that...

...It's because she's a Technohexen.

Technohexen spells and weapons were not fully compatible with Tsirhc, Mlasi, and Far Eastern ones.

If they were not using purely Technohexen equipment, they needed spells and tools to act as a buffer between the different systems.

And when their current method used that kind of buffering...

"It can be a concern during a serious battle."

But one wanted to eliminate all concerns during battle.

That was the greatest precondition for heading out to the battlefield.

So Yoshiaki would always make a plan before doing something. She would put together her equipment and manage herself to ensure she could fight purely in the field of a Technohexen.

But this was different.

...This rescue battle came without any warning...

They used their fall to accelerate. How did that powerful descent look to the dragons?

AnG: "Kime-chan, are you mad?"

Kimee: "Why would I be?"

...Oh, she's really mad. Really, really mad.

This was an unplanned battle.

Their part of the Paris attack was originally meant to involve a high-altitude bombing run and a three-dimensional bombardment and deterrence against the enemy gods of war.

But that had just changed to a trip to Houjou instead.

The movement of Yoshiaki's eyebrows had shown her irritation meter was filling up from that alone.

"Angie, tonight we need to take a bath, eat some good food, take it easy, and get lots of sleep before heading out early tomorrow morning."

"Ohh, that sounds great. Let's go make record time."

That was what they had said to work around the change of plans, but then they had been sent out for an emergency attack.

There was only one saving grace here:

Kimee: "Listen, Angie. ...This is a nearby battle, so we can take part without using up much fuel. We can get right back on schedule, so there's nothing to be angry about."

"Because," she said.

Kimee: "We can go full blast without even thinking about fuel."


The dragons made the first move.

The large dragons looked up into the heavens while leaving the third ship to the small dragons.

Two enemies were dropping toward them.

Not even cutting-edge Technohexen from Hashiba's main force could break through dragon shells from long range. The dragon that had been hit and shattered was proof of that.

That previous attack had been made as the Technohexen passed by.

For that reason, the dragons flapped their wings.

"—————!"

All 5 of them instantly scattered from their position a short distance from the third ship.

They were still looking up into the heavens. If they looked away, they could be hit by or lose sight of the enemy.

So they kept the enemy in their sights.

The distance between them and that enemy was shrinking.

A dragon's longest range attack was the dragon cannon.

They fired that from their mouth and the straight line leading from the bottom of their throat to their rows of fangs was identical to the direction of their gaze.

If they could see the enemy and had them in the center of their vision, then they could hit.

They fired.

"...!"

The five dragons simultaneously launched 5 white lights toward the heavens.

Heat burst from the heat release openings across their bodies and their targets were the two Technohexen.

Two of the five lines came from directly below, two were diagonal, and the final one swept across their predicted evasion route.

They burst.

The five lights passed through the sky and lit up the night.

The two diagonal ones vanished.

But not because their output dropped.

They shook violently and then sputtered out.

Those two dragons had been destroyed by an enemy counterattack.

The large dragons launching those two attacks into the heavens had lost their wings and shoulders. They had reflexively protected their heads by raising their shoulders, so those were smashed from the sides and the armor exploded.

"—————!?"

Despite already being in the air, the large dragons were sent flying.

Only then did the remaining three realize their fellow dragons had been defeated. They had been looking up into the sky, so they had been slow to react to their companions on the same level as them.

That delay proved devastating.

The dragon who had lightly spun his body to fire a sweeping shot had his shoulders smashed.

The tremor that hit his lungs prevented him from even crying out in agony.

The force had hit him from the front and it properly left him from the back.

Both his wings tore and ruptured along with the armor.

The sound arrived after a delay.

But he had not seen the enemy. He had only heard the destruction of the previous two dragons. And the reverberation of this one's defeat passed through the sky as a ringing pressure.

Only two remained. They had fired their dragon cannons straight above them and they quickly took cautious action.

To search out the unseen enemy, they shut their mouths on the weakening dragon cannons despite the internal damage it would do to their throats. They also shielded all their heat release openings while instead opening all the thrusters on the front of their bodies.

"...!"

They made a short dash backwards through the sky.

The wind whipped up as the massive dragons instantly moved back by about 500 meters.

But they concluded that was not enough.

Their previous attack had included one that swept across the heavens along the enemy's evasion route.

They heard a voice behind them.

"I thought you were going to fall back even further. Why would you stop?"


Two high-pressure umbrellas had opened in the night sky.

Destruction filled the air a fair distance away from the third transport ship that was under attack.

Two shots were fired from behind the two dragons, smashing their solid back armor and wings.

Shockwaves spread out in vertical hemispheres and black and white lines burst into the sky from their center.

Two Technohexen flew as if returning from the outside to the inside of the battlefield.

Dragons fell at their destination.

And their eyes were on the third transport ship.

"Will this reach?"

The black Technohexen jumped down from her broom and used her wings to stop in midair. She held the broom under her right arm.

The Magie Figur that appeared in front of her eyes was a vision-linked targeting spell.

A magnified image of the third ship was displayed there and the Schwarz Hexen looked to the cargo loaded on it.

"Kime-chan, I'll be knocking down the cargo, so can you do the calculations for me?"

"I'm ready when you are, Angie."

"I knew you would be," said the Schwarz Hexen, Wakisaka, as her vision raced across the Magie Figur.

She locked onto three points of the cargo. Those points were marked with upside-down crosses.

At the same time, the Weiss Hexen, Yoshiaki, had three Magie Figurs opened in front of her. And...

"Ah, they noticed. This might be bad."

The image in Wakisaka's Magie Figur showed the small dragons looking back their way.

Several of them opened their mouths as if to shout something and more than twice as many flew up into the night sky.

"They'll be here in 12 seconds."

"Ohh, we'll have to leave immediately."

The Schwarz Hexen nodded and sent a single sound toward her Magie Figur.

She smacked her lips and sent it a kiss.

"Herrlich!"

The word was just for good measure. But that acted as a signal as the shots raced out.

Three shots in all.

All three of the vision-linked shots from the schale besen were managed by the schale besen. Magie Figurs provided slight acceleration to different parts of the broom to alter its aim for each shot.

But consecutive sniper shots produced a lot of recoil. That was why Wakisaka had designated all the targets in advance. While controlled like this, she had her Schwarz Fürstin focus on the movement calculations for Schwarz Fürstin itself while the recoil-reduction control calculations were performed by Yoshiaki's Weiss Fürstin.

Their schale besen worked together.

And they fired.

With each shot, the equations on Yoshiaki's Magie Figur changed and were solved one at a time.

"Angie, we need to get flying. Those small dragons are a poor match for our current settings."

"Testament. I'm sure Shouroku can act now that we've fired this much."

Just as they said that, the shots hit.

Wakisaka had not fired on the enemy.

She had fired on the connections between the pallets and the ropes fixing the cargo to the third ship.

The total of three shots accurately hit their targets and the hardened ropes and pallets burst into the air.

At the same time, the materials spilled away. It was just like tilting a glass of water. And...

"Whoops."

They did not have time to watch. Countless small dragons were approaching.

Below them, the first transport ship struck the ground. Their schale besen measured the number of enemies lit up by the huge explosion.

"Now this is a pain-in-the-ass enemy. ...I just wish Maeda was here."

Kuro-Take: "Hmm, would it be difficult for the two of you to deal with them?"

AnG: "Wait just a moment, Takeko. Kime-chan and I are heading to Izu and visiting a hot spring tomorrow."

Kimee: "Testament. And at the inn, we'll eat boat-wrap sushi and shrimp and then go to the banana plantation that's been growing since the Age of the Gods to see the crocodiles and have a party. We have it all planned out."

Kuro-Take: "Oh, don't worry about that. We can wait until the end of your day trip."

Wakisaka broke the divine transmission lernen figur with a horizontal chop. And immediately...

Horizon6A 153.jpg

"Oh, crap."

She and Yoshiaki held onto their schale besen and made a reflexive and rapid ascent.

The small dragons were chasing after them.


On the Azuchi Castle's deck, Katagiri watched the two Technohexen fly straight up with consecutive accelerations.

...They're so fast!

He had seen them fight several times before, but they had primarily used cannon fire in those.

It was rare for them to use the vast sky for something like a martial arts battle like this. But...

...That means the enemy has gotten this close to our headquarters where I am...

He was unsure if he should rejoice at the opportunity to see this.

But Fukushima had a different opinion as she watched the two of them ascend with such speed.

"They are slower than normal..."

"Eh!? Are you sure they don't just look slower because we're watching from a distance?"

"Testament. They also seem to be ascending further than normal."

"Yes," agreed Takenaka. "I sent Yoshiaki-san a bit of an idea, so you're probably right. They're flying at the perfect speed to keep those dragons on their tail and they're continuing their ascent to search for the enemy."

...Search for the enemy?

"They already have all those small dragons to worry about. Are there even more enemies out there?"

"No, no. That's not what I meant." Takenaka narrowed her eyes behind her glasses to stare into the distance. "There's a little something that's bothering me."


Yoshiaki rose into the sky with Wakisaka.

She realized something as she did so.

...It's as Takenaka feared.

"The dragons haven't fallen down below."

The 6 large dragons they had defeated were nowhere to be seen on the wheat field below.

That's unexpected, thought Yoshiaki while holding her schale besen close.

She changed her vertical ascent into an upside-down flight to the west.

She could see the ground overhead. The second ship was falling while surrounded by ether light smoke. That scattering light illuminated the wheat field, but only the building materials had fallen there.

She could see nothing other than those materials and wreckage from the ships.

There were no large dragons or small wyverns.

...What does that mean?

They had destroyed all of those large dragons, but those were not lifeforms that died instantly. They had a heart in each section of their body and they had a ganglion that acted in place of a cerebellum to manage each section.

But because they were so large, the destruction of their wings or some other part of their body would prevent them from immediately balancing their weight and they would be unable to fly. So if their dragon cannon firing organs had survived the fall, the Technohexen had feared they would fire some anti-air blasts.

"But..."

Just as Yoshiaki said that, Angie lined up alongside her on the right while lightly shaking her upside-down broom.

"Kime-chan, will we make it in time for the third ship!?"

Yoshiaki was briefly confused when her partner pushed her thoughts in an entirely different direction. But...

...That's right.

The large dragons had disappeared. That was the result the two of them had produced.

They would be leaving this battlefield tomorrow, so they did not need to puzzle this out in the middle of battle.

"Let's leave all the details to Takenaka and the others."

And...

"The third ship is Hachisuka's responsibility."

With that, Yoshiaki poured on even more westward acceleration. She chose a route that passed directly above the third ship.

Behind them, the small dragons rose up from below and continued pursuit.

...This won't be easy.

Yoshiaki chose not to say that out loud as she increased her speed. She looked over to make sure Angie had stopped shaking her broom and was holding Schwarz Fürstin tight.

"Let's go. ...To drive away the enemy."


The third ship was still under attack as the two Technohexen flew toward it.

5m wyverns clung to the 300m transport ship.

The bluish-black dragons attacked with high-speed collisions and point-blank dragon cannons after attaching themselves to the ship.

It was difficult to find a part of the ship's surface without a bluish-black form on it. Ether light intermittently burst from between those forms and on occasion...

"...!"

A few dragons would fall away with a large stripped-off armor panel.

And the materials on the rear of the ship were spilling into the sky on the left and right. The ship itself rumbled and shook, shaking the materials off all the faster.

More materials were loaded below the deck on the front.

The engine system was in the back.

The small dragons were focused on the back and they began a new form of destruction.

The flock moved like a single lifeform.

"————"

They simultaneously fired on the deck to begin destruction.

With a never-ceasing rumbling, the joints of the deck cracked and the armor bent.

The rear deck was approximately 100 meters. More and more of the long steel armor split, shifted, and tilted. The cracks and splits spread faster than on the front deck.

It ruptured.

The speed of destruction was caused by the damage to the front deck. The small dragons had already gotten below the deck and they were firing their dragon cannons among the loaded materials while well aware this would damage themselves as well. The bending and lost support caused by that destruction had hastened the transformation of the rear deck.

And...

"————!"

The dragons floated up.

An entire armor panel of the rear deck was torn away along with the hardened wood blocks sitting on it. That armor panel was 30 meters long and 5 meters wide. It scattered wooden blocks and stood up like a seesaw.

The dragons were launched upwards and the buffering inner hull was revealed below.

The dragons swarmed in. They used their wings for a short dash and slammed their heels into it. They produced solid sounds as they bent the inner hull and inhaled.

They intended to fire their dragon cannons in unison.

In an ordered action, light filled the jaws of hundreds of dragons.

"Shouroku!"

Just then, a pair of lights raced across the sky from east to west.

It was the Technohexen of the Ten Spears.

The two passed by above the third ship with small dragons still in pursuit.


Wakisaka flew through the air and saw the third ship below her for just a moment.

...We made it in time!

It all came down to an instant.

The Magie Figur that Yoshiaki had given her displayed their course and the critical time for passing above the third ship. That time counter was stopped with 0.2 seconds remaining.

They had made it in time.

Behind them, the army of small dragons was pushing in and accelerating.

And just before the dragons overtook the Technohexen, three powerful actions occurred.

Two of them were the Technohexen's schale besen firing acceleration light and gaining a burst of speed far greater than before.

The last one occurred to the dragons below and the ones up in the sky.

"...!"

They were all blasted away from the third ship.


"Oh?" said the nudist on the white mansion's roof. "I see. I was wondering how they carried all those materials, but they seem to have put an unexpected amount of effort into it. I imagine this is what Bernard was after. He would have wanted this far more than bringing down the transport ships."

"Was that some kind of barrier?"

Henri narrowed her eyes toward the black sphere in the distant sky.

It was a ball of wyverns illuminated from below by the ether light of the fallen ships. The third ship had emitted some kind of pressure that had pushed them all a kilometer away from the ship.

Their numbers had fallen, but the wyverns attempted to approach again with their overwhelming quantity.

They flapped their wings and let their numbers produce a great cry. The din sounded like endlessly fluttering cloths and seemed like it would destroy the sky.

With that noise practically pounding on his ears, Armand held a bottle of white wine.

"Hey, Henri. I've learned something from watching this battle."

"What is that, Armand?"

"Well." Armand poured the wine into the glass raised by the Roi-Soleil. "Our Hexagone Française is a real fantasy world, isn't it?"

"And you are a moving doll."

"Then do we really need any normal humans?"

"What about the princess?"

"She's normal?"

"People might have different opinions of her emotional side, but from a biological perspective, she is a normal human."

"...Isn't the non-fantasy stuff so much more of a pain to deal with?"

Armand brought a hand to his chin and pondered his own question. He viewed the wyverns in the distant sky for a few seconds, but then he turned back toward Henri.

"Oh! Is that why humanity is said to be a high-level species!?"

Henri kicked Armand from the roof just as the bluish-black sphere in the southern night sky grew darker in color.

"Tonight is a good night. And the food is excellent. So Bernard?" The Roi-Soleil took a sip from his glass. "Show us some more. I am sure that will be Isaac's opponent before long."

As if answering the Roi-Soleil's call, the wyverns prepared themselves. They increased the density of their bluish-black encirclement and they roared.

"...!"

Those roars were dragon cannons.

They numbered in the thousands and were especially focused on the rear of the third ship.

But...

"Well done. ...Did he see through it?"

The spectators watched as the wyverns took a certain action.

They instantly left that airspace.

Thousands of dragons dispersed, yet not one of them collided with another. Just as they launched their dragon cannons, they roared together and sliced through the wind to distance themselves from the transport ship.

And when the concentrated dragon cannon attack hit the third ship, something happened.

They were reflected.

Every last one of the thousands of dragon cannons were bounced back just before reaching the ship.


Light burst in the night.

The airspace within 300m of the transport ship was shaken and grew bright for just a moment.

Then the shaking reflected all of the flying dragon lights.

They bounced back.

More than a thousand dragon cannons were knocked back toward the scattering wyverns along with more than a thousand solid sounds and fragments of light.

The angle of reflection matched an elliptical surface stretched front to back.

"————!"

The wyverns that failed to evade were shattered.

After a beat, nearly 300 dragons were destroyed, but the rear of the transport ship had also collapsed.

But that was not all.

With a breaking and snapping sound, something jutted out from the bottom of the collapsed deck.

It was a metal arm.

It was colored black, covered in large armor, and at least 6 meters long.

The powerful black arm spread its metal fingers and clutched at empty air as if to grab at the heavens.

The metal fingers grasped the empty air.

There was nothing there, yet that metal hand had a definite grip.

Then the arm bent. Using its hold on the air, it pulled up the shoulder and body it was attached to.

It rose up.

That rising motion carried wreckage and fragments of the deck with it. The sound of the crumbling ship materials sounded like spilling sand.

"What a pain."

It produced a girl's voice as it stood atop the third ship's collapsed deck.

The figure standing on its toes was surrounded by heavy armor and had a tail.

"Four Sacred Beasts God of War — Hidamari Genbu will now join the Invasion of Mouri with Hachisuka Koroku as its pilot."

Just as Hachisuka's voice said that, a light rose from the forest below.

It was identical to the initial blast. The dragon cannon that had pierced the first transport ship had been fired on the Genbu's third ship.

It was on course for a direct hit.