Horizon:Volume 6C Chapter 63
Chapter 63: Water Provider on the Thirsty Battlefield
Is the sign of a comeback
Literally having your back to the water?
Point Allocation (Where’s the Water?)
Below the night sky, the battle on the green field began with advance and retreat.
The Hexagone Française forces led by middle gods of war moved forward to secure the position for a charge.
Meanwhile, the Hashiba forces moved back to take the position for intercepting the middle gods of war.
All actions were made swiftly on this battlefield. Paris stood at the center of the war stage with the breakwaters surrounding it, so it was shaped somewhat like the inside of a pot.
The height difference was only about 10 meters, but that height was enough for Hashiba to use for their angle of fire and defense. And one’s weight became a greater issue when making a charge against them.
Also, the Hashiba forces altered their formation in response to the middle gods of war.
While the Hexagone Française middle gods of war advanced, they passed by their own warriors on the side.
Kiyomasa commented on the situation to the east, west, and north.
“From here on, the gods of war will be the enemy’s main force.”
6: “Their heavy gods of war will be coming too, so the immediate fight won’t be the end of it.”
Kuro-Take: “Then we’ll just have to keep the battlefield moving as quickly as possible.”
As the Hashiba forces discussed the situation, the Hexagone Française middle gods of war began to enter the space between Hashiba and Paris.
But they did not place Paris directly behind them.
They angled themselves diagonally to Hashiba as if to give the enemy a view of Paris.
That was a way to ensure the artillery fire from Paris could continue.
Attacks were already flying back and forth in the space between the two sides.
Hexagone Française had their middle god of war units out front and they fired from the gaps between those machines.
Meanwhile, Hashiba fired from diagonally above and from the light warships in the sky.
But Hashiba was at a disadvantage here.
While the middle god of war units opened defense barriers and blocked the aerial bombardment, the real issue was the increased accuracy of the supporting fire from Paris.
Hashiba’s supporting fire was from aerial warships, but those floating ships were shaken by their own cannon blasts. Their cannons’ aim shifted slightly with each shot, so their effectiveness dropped.
But Paris’s cannons were affixed to the city walls, so they could use all the ranging data taken from the previous shots. Their cannons were controlled by automatons, so even though the long range weakened the shots, they still had destructive power if they reached the target.
The Hashiba forces were forced to change their position while fighting a defensive battle. And…
“Here they come!” shouted Katagiri. “The enemy’s middle god of war units are charging!”
The anti-ship defense barriers raced forward while supported by hunks of metal.
The distance was approximately 800 meters. With the exception of the downstream western area, their route took them from a plain and up a slight hill.
They raised a cry and ran forward to pierce something, but that something was not the enemy themselves.
It was the breakwater walls behind the enemy.
If they were to stop Hashiba’s flooding, that had to be their priority target. And if they destroyed the downstream ones, Hashiba could make no excuses. So the middle Lourd de Marionnette units rushed toward the eastern, western, and northern breakwaters.
Of course, they knew the enemy was after something else now.
The enemy had realized they could not flood the Seine.
Readings said they were gathering ether fuel in the transport ships landed beyond the breakwaters.
Why had they given up on applying reinforcing divine protections on the breakwaters and instead returned the ether fuel to the ships?
The enemy had some kind of plan and it involved those transport ships.
But the breakwaters stood as barriers in front of the ships.
The breakwaters ahead of the middle Lourd de Marionnette units were also conduits for retrieving the ether fuel sent to the reinforcement facilities. Destroy them and the enemy would have nothing except for the large reinforcement facilities to supply the transport ships with ether fuel.
They had bought some time. It was past 7:30 PM.
Even if Hashiba began their Great Return now, the Kantou Liberation would be half over before they arrived.
If the middle Lourd de Marionnette units could fight here and delay them further…
“We’ll show you how it feels…!”
Hexagone Française had once arrived at the battlefield too late.
They had arrived, but something important had slipped from their fingers.
Back then, they had been on a hill overlooking a fortified city.
This was the same.
It was the same, but in reverse.
The enemy was straight ahead. Hashiba’s main force was there.
All the runners to the east, south, and west saw the enemy.
The middle Lourd de Marionnette units stared at the M.H.R.R. and P.A. Oda warriors and shouted a contradiction.
“Outta the way! Hit them!”
They would hit them, but they would not aim. Their targets were the breakwaters behind the enemy.
So they ran as if to pierce straight through the enemy.
A great noise raced along the slope.
The Hashiba forces took a certain action in response to the racing middle gods of war.
They did the same thing to the east, west, and north.
“All units, form ranks…!”
They all took a single step, some diagonally to the left and some diagonally to the right. And that formed ranks with thrice the side-to-side density.
With the charge of large defense barriers bearing down on them, those on the far left and right of the ranks raised their voices.
“Open up to the sides…!”
Immediately, they all activated spells.
The M.H.R.R. warriors used body strengthening spells and the P.A. Oda warriors used wind spirits spells.
And they all kicked at the ground and ran to the left or right.
Hashiba’s main force split like an opening door. However…
Meanwhile, the middle gods of war raised their voices and charged toward the breakwaters.
The breakwaters were made from layered and joined armor panels and they stood about 10 meters tall. Twice that height was embedded in the ground below them. Those walls were taller than the charging middle gods of war. So…
In the instant of impact, all of the middle gods of war took the same action.
They thrust their defense barriers straight forward.
And they did so while positioning the barriers perpendicular to the armor panels.
As a result, there was a deafening noise of breaking metal.
The middle Lourd de Marionnettes had accomplished something: the destruction of the breakwaters.
Their high-speed clash first produced a great roar. Then the perpendicular-oriented defense barriers broke through the breakwaters like the blade of a cutting machine.
The speed and weight of the Lourd de Marionnettes combined with the sharp corners of the barriers sliced through the breakwaters.
The cry of destruction was followed by the sound of the breakwaters being sliced into a top and bottom half.
It was a sparking noise combined with the creak of stubborn metal snapping.
They were sliced through.
That simple action was accompanied by a great quantity of mass and ether light fragments.
The initial defense barriers shattered after bisecting the breakwaters. The next ones pushed at the broken-off tops of the breakwaters.
The continuous destruction of the defense barriers was what tore through and pushed away the severed breakwaters.
Due to their momentum, there was nothing more than a tremor on the ground.
Instead, the many middle Lourd de Marionnettes had their shoulders destroyed by the reactive force and the motors in their hips and legs groaned.
But it had been a success. And…
“So they’re here!”
Something arrived above the middle Lourd de Marionnette units that were stopped by the clash.
It was the warships overhead.
As the giant silhouette seemed to drop down toward them, they directed their shoulders upwards.
“Here come the warship bombs…!”
The middle Lourd de Marionnette units lifted up their straining bodies and created defense barriers toward the sky.
“Come! We’re ready for you!”
“No. Henri, that is the wrong decision.”
On Paris’s wall, Henri was viewing the defensive arrangement of the middle Lourd de Marionnettes and she did not even question the Roi-Soleil’s words. She immediately sent a command using a divine transmission signe cadre.
“Middle Lourd de Marionnette units! Fall back!!”
She did not know why, but their Chancellor had pointed out a mistake in her decision.
So she raised her voice to correct it.
“Direct your defenses forward!”
Immediately, fire erupted from three directions around Paris.
These were explosions.
And they occurred where the middle Lourd de Marionnette units were.
But Henri’s vision scanned the color red blossoming at the edge of the battlefield.
The explosions she could see had not come from the falling warships.
The row of destroyed breakwaters had exploded.
“Had they placed explosion spells in the breakwaters!?”
It was entirely possible. If an aerial ship’s armor panel fell, it could do damage to the surface. For IZUMO, the Ariake, or other island and ships with a permanent position in the air, incendiary spells would be placed in their armor panels and other materials so they could be fully destroyed in midair.
The enemy had done the same thing here. And it was obvious who would have come up with the idea:
“ ‘High Damage’ Takenaka!”
Takenaka placed her hands on the edge of the Azuchi’s bow deck and viewed the explosive conflagration.
From here, she could see the eastern fire was stronger than the western one. But…
“That’s a little weak for a high return.”
□□凸: “Eh!? Didn’t this catch them right in the middle of it!?”
Kiyo-Massive: “No, they fell back and redirected their defenses just before taking damage! I doubt many of them took direct hits!”
Even so, it was still a close-range explosion. None of the middle gods of war would escape unscathed.
But that explosion had also used the portion of the breakwater armor panels that were buried underground.
So even if it was only a small hill…
“It’ll cause a landslide.”
She could hear the sound. Dirt was crumbling and sliding down.
The armor panels buried belowground had applied hoe-like damage to the crust.
The power of the explosions had ruptured the ground at the base of the hill more than the top. A vertical cross section was formed where the breakwaters had been, creating a deep drop off.
“This will make it impossible for their middle god of war units to rush the transport ships. Also…”
Takenaka saw the giant forms descending from the sky above the landslides.
Those were Hashiba light warships.
The light warships descended such that their sides were positioned alongside the crust cross section created in front of the transport ships.
The ships landed on the piles of destroyed earth.
The dirt supported the light warships like a blanket and the bottom of the ships sank into it a bit, but…
“Once the warships’ weight creates a mold of their shape in the ground, we will have created specialized landport docks.”
The flames of the explosions still burned as the black light warships landed on the collapsed crust with their lower half below the top of the hills.
That position perfectly defended the transport ships.
Takenaka’s long ears twitched at the rumbling of landing ships and further shaking of the crust.
“Now. We may have lost the breakwaters, but the transport ships have new barriers. Plus, these barriers can fire and open defense barriers.”
…If we use the remaining breakwaters to transport the fuel, we’ve both made and lost some progress.
In the end, all they had done was repel the enemy’s vanguard and fortify their defenses. That was far from a high return.
And the enemy had not taken any clear damage to their middle god of war units. In that case…
“Is it time for the next move?”
Henri read through the damage reports from the middle Lourd de Marionnette units.
Not one of them was unharmed. They had taken explosions from head-on. Those who had gotten their defense barriers out front in time had fared relatively well, but those who had not had been knocked over and taken damage to their front armor and arms.
But none had been lost. That was all thanks to obeying the Roi-Soleil’s words, but…
“Roi-Soleil, how did you know about the enemy’s trick?”
Armand said “it was his…y’know, intuition” via divine transmission, but she ignored him.
She soon received her answer.
“Henri? If they had detonated the light warships at a low enough altitude to affect the middle Lourd de Marionnettes, it would have also damaged their transport ships, right? That is why I concluded the attack would not come from the light warships.”
The Roi-Soleil took a breath.
“Middle Lourd de Marionnette units, can you hear me?”
The Roi-Soleil’s voice traveled via divine transmission.
“Middle Lourd de Marionnette units…you did well. You revealed the enemy’s main focus to be the transport ships and you also tore down the enemy’s final barrier. From here on out, the enemy will likely make a new attack, but they have nothing but the light warships to use as a shield. Meaning…”
“The battlefield has been established. Vassals and knights-in-training, well done paving this path in the night. I thank you for your kindness.”
Henri heard the response to the Roi-Soleil’s words over the divine transmission.
“Testament. …I lost an arm, but I can keep going!”
“Testament,” replied Henri as well.
Their morale had not dropped. So to ensure they were not picked off individually…
“Everyone back to your positions! And…”
Henri heard loud noises from three directions as she spoke.
Something had collided with the enemy forces after they split to either side.
“Oh?” There was a smile in the Roi-Soleil’s voice. “The heavy Lourd de Marionnette units were waiting behind the middle Lourd de Marionnette units? …Was making a charge their request, Henri?”
“Testament. The middle Lourd de Marionnette units are falling back to regroup, so they are providing cover for that. Do you have any orders?”
“Simply that you do not forget our main goal. As long as you do that, you may go on as much of a rampage as you like. And…” The smile in his voice was bitter now. “It seems there is one spot where the attack is developing differently.”
Just as he finished speaking, the distant sound of breaking metal raced quietly through the night.
While the flames and smoke of the explosion continued to rise in the west, a middle Lourd de Marionnette tumbled through the air and crashed into the ground.
The presence that had thrown the middle Lourd de Marionnette stood beyond the flames and smoke. It was…
“Hachisuka’s Hidamari Genbu…!”
Koroku thought to herself on the battlefield.
…From now on, I belong here on the front line.
This was her first time using Genbu as part of the main fighting force on a legitimate battlefield.
Before, she had secretly fought using gods of war captured from other nations or provided support from behind the scenes.
“Testament. And thanks to that, I know how much effort goes into these things.”
Koroku grabbed something in her right hand, lifted it up, and threw it away.
It was a middle god of war.
It was likely 7 or 8 meters tall. Since it was specialized for defensive charges, its arms had shoulder spell launchers built in. The legs naturally leaned forward and it could use a pile bunker ability to run.
Koroku felt it was a good design for standing on one’s toes. And…
…It’s pretty heavy.
But the enemy’s giant body soared high in the sky.
Something white fell down from the middle god of war floating in the night sky with its body sprawled out. It was likely the pilot. Since they did not have a fall control spell, they made a midair ejection while relying on body strengthening divine protections.
Even if they were injured in the fall, they had made the decision based on their guess as to what was about to happen to the god of war.
They guessed right.
Koroku swung her right arm to strike the falling middle god of war.
Genbu had expandable armor on the back and front, so its current form was of a turtle-like dragon standing upright.
The arm was shaped like a gauntlet with the elbow sticking out backwards. There was a hand at the end, but…
Lernen Figurs danced about the right arm that swung casually forward from the shoulder. They were colored black and looked something like a turtle shell. They were the Genbu’s OS program lernen figurs. They rippled across the arm from back to front, creating a growing shape.
It produced a strike.
Koroku realized her attack had produced instantaneous destruction.
The middle god of war hit by the Genbu’s strike was crushed from the surface of impact and flew forward while breaking apart.
The straining of metal joined together and broke apart in the night.
The mass of metal was crushed on the surface of impact and burst on the opposite surface, but it was not the Genbu’s physical strength that had done it.
Something had appeared beyond the fist at the end of the black heavy god of war’s right arm.
It was a thin disc of light.
A closer look showed that striking light was dark yet had light bursting from within. That light was the power that had struck and shattered the middle god of war.
“So that’s all it does when I use that much power for an attack.”
Koroku muttered that as the Genbu moved forward. The striking light dispersed from the end of the black heavy god of war’s right arm.
The ether light scattered like fog and distorted the surrounding scenery.
But the Genbu did not look at that slowly vanishing hammer of light.
It advanced down the slope. The enemy heavy god of war unit was up ahead. 12 silver machines ran forward with assault spears at the ready.
“Western unit, the real battle begins now.”
Koroku opened an OS lernen figur on her left arm and raised it while she spoke.
She did not even look at the approaching heavy gods of war. Her eyes were on Paris’s wall. The western gate was open and a giant form was exiting.
“Isaac of the Three Musketeers.”
That god of war automaton was primarily used in artillery battles.
That would be Koroku’s opponent. But first…
“Western unit, let me thank you in advance,” said Koroku while holding her left arm out toward the charging heavy god of war unit. “I am not arrogant enough to think I can handle Hexagone Française’s elites with a single god of war. So, western unit, you handle them.”
If you do that…
“I will handle the enemy’s representative.”
The heavy god of war units on the east, west, and north clashed with the enemy.
The enemy had split to either side to avoid the middle god of war units, but they were gathering back together now.
The heavy gods of war charged straight toward them.
The enemy had regathered in front of the light warship barriers, but they were ready for this new charge.
The layout was the same as at Magdeburg.
Hashiba’s tactics were to stop the charging gods of war with a closely-packed formation and buffering spells and then they would defeat the gods of war that failed to withdraw in time. However…
“We won’t let you do that again!”
The heavy gods of war had devices attached to their waist hard point parts. They were attached to the back, but they opened them out to the sides.
The swing arms pulled out short-barreled quasi-anti-ship cannons. The auspuff vent opened and they aimed the light-recoil muzzles on the opposite end.
They fired while charging forward with captain-level acceleration.
But just before they fired, the gods of war saw the enemy’s reaction.
The enemy formations activated several defense spells and buffering spells.
“Anti-artillery defenses!?” shouted one while pursing the bullet they had fired. “Sorry! This is because of our poor performance in our attack the other day.”
“Don’t let it get to you!” said their captain while rushing toward the expected hit point. “Your attack didn’t end back there! This is just a continuation of it! No, everything from the previous generation leaving us to the end of this battle is all part of the same attack!”
With those words, the wind whipped up.
In each charging god of war group, four used the flight devices on their backs to make an ascent.
But as they flew, they were fired on by the two light warships still waiting in the sky above. Sparks flew from their armor, but they took a course that avoided any direct hits and swung their wrists toward everyone below them.
“We will hold them in place from above. So…”
“Testament,” the others replied.
“It doesn’t matter who! Someone destroy that transport ship!”
The battle is undergoing a transition, thought Henri.
It had simply been an exchange of attack and defense before, but it was becoming much more jumbled together now.
It was difficult to get an overall view of the battlefield like this.
But Hexagone Française was pushing forward.
That was mostly thanks to the charge of the heavy Lourd de Marionnette units and the artillery fire. Once the enemy’s closely-packed formation crumbled, the surrounding enemy concentration could be greatly reduced even after the charge.
Also, the autonomous armor meant a lot. It was normally used for defense and it would act without instructions from the pilot to block shells and swords, but it could also be used as giant striking weapons against infantry.
After the battle at Magdeburg, they had gone as far as stopping the Lourd de Marionnette production line just to get that added in. The artillery system used the same technology, so it had greatly increased the overall cost of each unit.
“The anti-air equipped units are also doing quite well.”
Two light warships flew in the night sky to the west, east, and north and four Lourd de Marionnettes each were battling them.
Since Hexagone Française was not a naval nation, they generally did not need Lourd de Marionnettes that could travel between ships. They instead needed the sturdiness to defend their vast territory over long periods of time and the mobility to pull off ground battles.
When battling an enemy’s aerial forces, their strategy was to draw back into their vast land to extend the battle line while they cut off the enemy’s supply line and dealt with the aerial ships with anti-air fire.
But times had changed.
With the rise of P.A. Oda, the increase in population, and the national stability brought by strengthening royal authority, the trend was for nations to work toward expanding their territory.
Thus, Hexagone Française would undergo a change here. These were not aerial Lourd de Marionnettes and they had not gone through extensive flight training like pilots in Tres España or other coastal nations. But…
“If we narrow it down to assaults and ship-top battles, our knights can learn to do it for a short time.”
By showing off their combat technology here, they could deter other nations in the future.
And this flight technology was sure to come in handy for Hexagone Française down the road. After all, if they left for the outer world, they would need to move between two ships or between ships and the ground.
And if their ground Lourd de Marionnettes could also perfectly fight back in ground battles, the other nations would be unable to carelessly invade.
If they could mass-produce those, then Hexagone Française would be more than a decade ahead of the other nations as the 5th generation of Lourd de Marionnettes arrived.
“This battle paves a path to the future for Hexagone Française.”
With that, Henri reached for the battlefield information provided by the Belle de Marionnettes positioned around the city.
And she noticed something odd there.
…The northern enemy formation is moving?
Odd, thought Henri. The northern enemy formation led by Kiyomasa had moved far to the east as it fell back for defense.
Even though the enemy supposedly needed to keep the transport ship behind them.
Of the two light warships in the sky, one was descending toward the surface, but the other was moving east.
…What is this?
Henri checked a few pieces of observation data.
She saw a large movement taking place in those real-time observations.
At the front of the northern formation, the entire Kiyomasa unit was on the move.
That ground unit was moving east, which was to the right from Henri’s perspective.
Of the two light warships still in the air, one was descending and the other was moving east. None of them were waiting to see what happened.
“Are they abandoning the north and concentrating their forces to the east and west!?”
That was exactly what it was.
The observation data showed the heavy Lourd de Marionnettes hesitating over whether or not to pursue Kiyomasa’s forces.
However, their target was not Hashiba’s ground forces.
They had to target the transport ship that the enemy planned to use somehow.
But Henri raised a shout.
“Northern Lourd de Marionnette unit! Defend yourselves!”
Immediately, the light warships that had landed to the north exploded. That meant the one that had already landed and the one that was currently landing.
Two giant explosions blossomed below the night sky.
The sound had yet to reach Henri, but the spreading flames and shockwave enveloped most of the attacking Lourd de Marionnettes and blew them away.
Kiyomasa did not look back as she ran.
But she did raise her voice.
“Defense to the rear!”
It arrived just as she said it.
The shockwave wind, the sonic impact, and the flaming materials raining down from the sky.
Those were pieces and components of the light warships.
Occasionally, a metal pillar or armor panel piece would roll past them while they ran. Also, heat filled the wind and blew between their arms and hair.
But they continued to run. Paris’s wall and moat were visible to their right.
Paris was bright.
The immense light escaping over the city walls made it feel as if something like justice resided there.
The people of that city were on the side of light. So Kiyomasa’s side…
She hid that thought in her heart and gave a shout.
“Everyone, go on ahead! I will stop the Hexagone Française unit pursuing us!”
She opened her mouth while leading the group through the night toward Fukushima’s group to the east.
That eastern formation was visible ahead of them.
Fukushima had split her unit into three to defend against the enemy gods of war while staying on the move.
They were all desperate. So…
“If there is a light side and a dark side of this battlefield, then the enemy is the light and we are the dark. But you must not forget that, when the light side shines, it also illuminates the dark side. We are the ones who have not forgotten about the existence of both sides and look to the light.”
“We shall give the enemy darkness and give ourselves light. …Now, go on ahead!”
With that, Kiyomasa watched the others’ movements.
Not one of them hurried onward and they lined up alongside her instead.
It was more than just one or two of them. Every member of the northern unit was there.
Even though she had told them to go on ahead.
“What are you doing!? I ordered you to go on ahead!”
She prepared for the coming fight as she shouted at them. Her critical tone should have been convincing.
But they all turned toward her with faces illuminated by Paris’s lights. They were all serious expressions with raised eyebrows. The female student in the front spoke.
“Sorry, Kiyomasa-sama. But this is a history recreation.”
“A history recreation?”
They all nodded and the female student next to her turned toward her.
“Lord Kiyomasa, whose name you have inherited, apparently said the following during the Age of the Gods: ‘Generally, the lower ranks learn from their superiors’. We have simply obeyed the Testament by doing so.”
She knew what they meant. Those under her command were following their commander’s lead.
She wondered what to do and the female student lowered her eyebrows.
“Did we make a mistake?”
“Testament, you did. That line is meant to encourage the lower ranks to obey their orders.”
They all hung their heads and groaned.
And Kiyomasa said more almost as if responding to that.
“But…I would likely have done the same thing in your place. So you were indeed learning from your superior. The mistake came from me.”
They all nodded and the surviving light warship passed by overhead.
The eastern formation was visible ahead of them. Fukushima moved her trisected unit and stood on the front line to fight the gods of war.
Kiyomasa’s unit could arrive in time to attack the enemy’s flank.
…But first we need to strike back against the remnants of the northern enemy forces.
They had to rescue Fukushima after that.
Kiyomasa readied Caledfwlch, turned around, and raised her voice.
The number of enemies pursuing them was greatly reduced. She raised Caledfwlch toward them.
“Everyone, strike back…!”
So Kiyomasa is joining them, thought Koroku with a mental sigh of relief.
…Now the battlefield is taking the general shape Takenaka expected.
Their plan was beginning to follow the proper route. That meant Takenaka’s proposed idea was realistic.
“And if we don’t pull it off, then it’s our fault.”
She added “what a pain” from the shade below some eaves.
She was not on the battlefield. She was inside Genbu. This was the virtual cockpit she had created to perceive herself while combined with the god of war. Even though it was virtual, people generally made them look like a cockpit, but thanks to Genbu’s excellent processing power, she had constructed a more scenic location.
Of course, the movement of the outside world and control of Genbu took priority.
She did not even have to close her eyes to perceive the movements of the battlefield in addition to the scene visible around her.
But Genbu’s processing power showed it all to her in slow motion. It was not at the level of an automaton, but her senses perceived the outside world with the speed compressed several hundred times.
…It would be exhausting if it was always like this.
That was why she stayed in here during that time. It was always daytime with a sunny sky. She did not know what the temperature was because she could not establish that level of detail. She wondered if a new program could add that functionality.
Her right arm had just sent an enemy god of war flying.
That was thanks to the efforts of the M.H.R.R. students down below. A dozen or so attacked the enemy god of war’s shins.
All they did was hit it with the rocks unearthed by the previous crust bombing.
But it was a decent effort. The slope was poor footing for the enemy, so they could not move if they shut off their senses. Those attacks had smashed through the armor panels on the shins and it would have done as much damage as an equivalent attack on a human. Would the next generation gods of war prevent that by automatically shutting off their senses?
Koroku suddenly found a plate of watermelon on the bench below the eaves.
It was meaningless. It would have no flavor even if she ate it. It was the same as the background data.
But she was glad it was there.
She lightly raised Genbu’s left hand as a sign of thanks to everyone who had made such an effort below.
And she placed her hand on the enemy spear sent her way from the left.
The enemy was moving well. The charge had essentially been a surprise attack, but they properly twisted their spears forward to increase the penetrative power.
“I can see you.”
She aimed a short cannon toward the enemy’s waist.
She targeted the enemy that attempted to hide below the spear aimed at her.
It was a good combination attack. The god of war pilot had probably come up with it themselves. However…
“I can see you.”
Koroku had placed her hand on the spear. She made a forceful twist to repel the assault spear and her fingers touched the spear tip. And Koroku stood up below the summer sun.
There was a field beyond the plaza-like garden ahead of her. She directed her gaze there.
And she shut her eyes.
The Hexagone Française god of war unit saw something baffling on the battlefield.
After charging at the Hashiba god of war, one of their own gods of war suddenly transformed.
Twisting and rotating the outthrust spear had been necessary ever since Magdeburg. It increased the force of the attack, but it also prevented the enemy from grabbing or pushing back the spear tip.
Also, the pilot who had made the attack on the Genbu was an expert gunner. They excelled at firing an unseen blast along with their standard attack.
But this transformation stopped all of that.
It happened in an instant.
The god of war’s right arm twisted inward several times and ended up like a wrung cloth.
The spear held below the arm was at the center of the twisting.
The spear too bent deeply and seemed to wrap around itself before striking the god of war’s body along with the arm.
Two movements immediately followed.
The first was the pilot making an emergency ejection from the god of war’s back.
The second was the pilotless god of war’s body spinning.
The pilot’s arm was broken from elbow to shoulder. Even though Hexagone Française safety devices were on the fourth generation and they ejected the pilot as soon as possible to ensure their safety.
The god of war was twisted. As if the spiraling of the spear and arm was propagating through the rest of it, its body ducked below the arm and spear.
With a scream of tearing steel, the god of war’s body made a full rotation.
The ultra-heavy god of war bounced up as if its bent back had snapped back.
And the Genbu struck it.
In the instant of destruction and crushing created by a bright attack, the Genbu clearly spoke.
The first to notice was Katagiri who was looking up into the sky.
He saw two silhouettes in the sky to the east and west.
One was the light warship which had gone ahead of Kiyomasa into the eastern sky.
The other was a light warship from Hachisuka’s unit.
Several figures could be seen lined up on their decks. They were…
“Charging Company – Schau Essen!”
They threw themselves into the night sky with perfectly natural movements.
They threw their bodies straight into empty air like they were jumping onto their beds.
They did not spread out their arms and they did not flail their legs. It was as if to say a relaxed pose was best. However…
“Klassisch Kunst: Weight of Life…activate.”
Weight spells manifested the weight of their lives.
Their destructive power came from equating their physical volume with the quantity of their life.
Their movements awaited the falling process. They positioned their heads downward, controlled their attitude, and thrust their arms down.
“Listen, Landsknechts! Have you eaten!?”
“They’ve got nothin’ on us!”
“Well said,” laughed their captain. And, “We are those with a greater quantity of life than your average person!”
“We are those with a greater quantity of life than your average person!!”
“We are those who use that life to fulfill our duty!”
“We are those who use that life to fulfill our duty!”
He breathed in.
“So let us shout and eat our duty: Schau Essen!”
“Testament! Schau Essen!”
They shouted as they fell. They picked up speed, transformed themselves into weighty hammers, and sang.
“In the lovely Westerwald.”
It was an ode to the beautiful mountains of northern M.H.R.R.
“Over your heights the wind whistles so cold.”
They continued on.
“However, the smallest sunshine.”
They fell straight down.
“Thrusts deep into the heart!”
And a tremor ran through the depths of the night.
The battlefield was literally struck.
M.H.R.R.’s ground unit had used their bodies to provide aerial support.
They did not care if the god of war unit crushed them or blew them away.
They slammed their bodies against the enemy, crashed into the defense barriers, and stopped them.
As a result, they scored direct hits on 7 of the 18 heavy gods of war active on the east and west and 4 more were struck by semi-direct hits.
The sounds of impact had been heard far too often this night.
But there were two new noises this time.
One was the Hashiba forces cheering for some actual progress on their part.
The other was the middle god of war unit who had been forced to fall back after the explosion of the breakwaters.
Hexagone Française’s main force had gathered to the east and west.
Meanwhile, something gathered in the eastern, western, and southern sky.
“What is that…!?”
The transport ships landed there were giving off light. Ether light extended outward from fairly high above the sides of the ships like horizontally spread wings.
That light produced a spell product that everyone was familiar with.
“A virtual ocean…!”
“So that’s it!”
Henri shouted while running along the passageway from the northern wall to the eastern wall.
She finally understood the “flooding” the enemy had in mind.
Hashiba had prepared some insurance in case they found flooding Paris would not be possible.
“They intend to expand the virtual ocean of an aerial ship over an extremely wide area so that it surrounds Paris and effectively ‘floods’ it!”
That would require some interpretation, but it was plausible. After all, aerial ships could use a virtual ocean to ascend because submerging the ship in the virtual ocean supplied buoyancy. So…
…Is it too late to send forces to the southern transport ship!?
“Everyone, destroy the enemy transport ships on the east and west! That supersedes all other orders!”
Fukushima stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Kiyomasa.
They were in a defensive formation.
Outside that, the enemy had sent their middle god of war unit to the front in preparation for another clash.
But they too were preparing for a clash.
After crashing down from the sky, Schau Essen moved to the front of the Hashiba forces. They had already prepared their spells and the corners of their mouths were lifted in smiles.
“Let’s see who has more to them: us or those gods of war,” they said. “So you take care of any enemies that are too much for us.”
“Testament. I will stubbornly do exactly that. …This is the perfect chance to test myself.”
An ocean spread out overhead.
“It should take about 30 minutes for this to envelop Paris from the east, west, and south,” said Fukushima.
“So we need to see whether or not we can change history in that 30 minutes, right?” said Kiyomasa.
That did not seem to hit home with anyone, but Fukushima smiled.
“I am sure this will be an incredible thing.”
When everyone saw the look on Fukushima’s face, they altered their own expressions.
They all smiled with slightly raised eyebrows.
Essentially, this meant there were 30 minutes left. So until then…
“Everyone, prepare to resist. Kiyomasa-dono and I will…”
“Testament. We will break through the enemy’s front line and head to Paris.”
Fukushima looked out ahead and saw three figures atop Paris’s wall.
The first was Sanada’s Miyoshi Seikai.
The second was Henri of the Three Musketeers.
And the third…
“ ‘Flying Katou’ Katou Danzou.”
The three of them vanished from the wall.
They had jumped down. And they were on their way here.
“Wow,” everyone said. “They’ve sent in three officer-class fighters?”
“That means we have reached the final stage of this battle,” said Fukushima. “The Roi-Soleil will defend Paris while they use all their might to put a stop to the Siege of Bitchu Takamatsu Castle. Thus…”
The three figures slowly walked toward them while lit up by Paris’s lights.
“They are now the attackers and we the defenders. The two of us will handle those three, so everyone else defend this location.”
With that, Fukushima stepped forward. She smiled with her eyebrows raised and held a hand out toward Kiyomasa.
“I shall accompany thee partway there, Kiyo-dono.”
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