Owari no Chronicle:Volume10 Chapter 5
Chapter 5: Feeling of Separation
When they do not know where someone is going
Those who do not want to go anywhere
Will ask them
From waist height up, a small room was surrounded by a transparent windshield.
The room was a cockpit and a boy sat in the long forward seat.
He had reddish-brown skin, unkempt hair, and a black work outfit.
When he touched the console indicator, it displayed several waves.
“Can you match it, Harakawa?” asked a voice.
“Yes, leave just the ones around here, Thunder Fellow.”
Harakawa touched one of the waves and all of those without similar amplitudes vanished
The display zoomed in and all of the waves approached a central wave.
“It’s like a radio,” said a girl’s voice behind him.
He turned around and found a girl in a blue armored uniform. She was getting up from the secondary seat and held a compact vacuum cleaner.
When he saw her smile and shake her short blonde hair, he only nodded.
“We’re trying to match the communicator to Low-Gear. …First, remove the ones with concept readings.”
“Understood,” said Thunder Fellow.
The waves overlapped and Harakawa heard a new voice.
“…kawa-san, can you hear me!? Honestly, do you have any idea how indecent it is to be closed inside a transparent room with a girl? I’m so happy to have such an indecent upperclassman!”
“Are you stupid, Hiba? No, wait. You are stupid, Hiba. …Heo Thunderson, don’t you start blushing.”
He turned toward Heo who returned to cleaning the secondary seat with a troubled look.
Harakawa averted his gaze to look out the windshield.
There, he found a dark space.
It was a storage room and hangar for a variety of equipment located on Japanese UCAT’s fifth basement. The area had been left open ever since American UCAT’s attack, so the different departments were using it for storage and emergency work. It was also used for some large concept weapon experiments.
The thirty meter blue and white mechanical dragon named Thunder Fellow stood in the center of that floor and Harakawa sat inside the cockpit located in his head.
Heo had called in Thunder Fellow so they could check over his different parts.
After the attack on Izumo UCAT, Harakawa and Hiba had brought Heo and Mikage to Japanese UCAT. They were there as guards and also because they felt it was best for Team Leviathan to stick together.
It was currently eight at night, but Kazami and Izumo would soon be arriving for the next shift. After that, they planned to spend the night at Hiba’s grandfather’s dojo.
…That way we can rush here if anything does happen.
They would also avoid putting themselves in danger by acting alone.
It had been Kazami’s idea. She had wanted to be as cautious as they could in case of a possible attack.
…It almost feels like she’s doing it out of spite over Sayama’s decision.
Harakawa wondered what would happen.
…I just don’t understand why Sayama ordered us to disband or why the treasurer is so mad.
He had joined Team Leviathan a month ago but had not taken part in a single battle since. Nor had he undergone any large-scale training.
That left him unable to feel uneasy or hopeful about the current situation.
Heo on the other hand seemed overly hopeful about having teammates for the first time.
Having the word “disband” thrown in the face of that hope seemed to have shaken her, but Sayama’s comment about searching for their pasts also seemed to have motivated her.
On the way here, she had clearly wanted to say something.
Mostly likely, she wanted to ask what Sayama had meant and whether Harakawa would help her search for her past, but she had not managed to get the words out.
“But what do I do if she does say it.”
“Eh? D-did you just say something?”
“No. It isn’t my problem, Heo Thunderson.”
Serious people always get the short end of the stick, he silently complained. Sometime soon, she’ll probably clench her fists in anger and ask if I’m seriously thinking about my past. And at the same time, she’ll have already decided for herself whether I am or not.
In Harakawa’s case, his “past” was his father.
He thought about that father while messing with the instruments.
…He was a sniper, so he must not have ever messed with a mechanical dragon like this.
He had heard his father had died after being sent by the US military to assist with the Great Kansai Earthquake. He had always thought the man had done something unnecessary and gotten himself killed without a single thought for his family, but according to the past Sayama had seen, some kind of battle had occurred in Osaka.
…And my mom must have been there too.
He had not told her about his job at UCAT and he had not asked her to explain why she knew about UCAT.
She was still hiding UCAT’s existence and he was unsure whether he should bring it up or not. Heo must have realized how he was feeling because she had not asked his mother either.
But based on what Sayama had said, he was certain his mother was hiding something about his father’s death.
Would she tell him the truth if he asked?
And would learning that help him learn why Team Leviathan should disband?
While wondering that, he quickly checked on his surroundings.
A black giant stood to the left. Even as a giant, it was only as tall as Thunder Fellow’s shoulders, but it was seven or eight times the height of the boy standing at its feet.
The boy was Hiba and he had a cellphone to his ear.
“Sounds like it’s getting through, Harakawa-san. Is it for you, Mikage-san?”
The black giant standing next to him nodded and raised its right hand with a creaking movement.
“Yes. I can hear him.”
Harakawa looked up at the black giant looking down at Hiba.
“She can use it without you?”
“She can a little bit now and she might be able to use it even more later. Also, Susamikado evolves whenever she does, so by the time she can use it on her own…”
“Susamikado and I might be able to move even more than now.”
The hint of joy in Mikage’s voice told Harakawa something.
…They’re really strong.
He then grabbed the roll bars on either side of his seat.
“How about doing some movement tests?”
As the technician replied, Harakawa moved the machine. He had been designated as Thunder Fellow’s pilot, but he did not often have a chance to pilot him outside of battle. Heo was not combined with Thunder Fellow, so he could perform a low level test of the machine’s intrinsic movements.
He heard a slight mechanical sound as he tilted Thunder Fellow to the left.
Urged on by his silent surroundings, he spoke.
“Come to think of it, Sayama and Shinjou should be arriving at the station about now.”
Heo was closer, but Hiba was the one to reply.
“Yes, they were travelling on foot, so they should be getting there about now if you include some preparation time in their dorm room. I just hope they aren’t attacked.”
“They’re going to the Okutama mountains and Sakai. I doubt they’ll be attacked in either place, Hiba. More importantly, do you know why Sayama said Team Leviathan should disband?”
“No, not at all. He might think we’re lacking. He’s so skilled himself that we might be falling behind in his eyes.”
“That makes a surprising amount of sense,” muttered Harakawa. “I see you also view this differently from our angry treasurer.”
“Well,” said Hiba while scratching his head. “That’s because we think about things differently. Personally, I’ll probably always think I have room to improve.”
“I see,” muttered Harakawa. “So everyone’s different.”
He moved his hands across the console to rearrange Thunder Fellow’s motors.
“That’s something I don’t understand. I guess Heo wouldn’t either. We’ve only been a part of this for a month and that isn’t enough time to know how powerful we are or how much we can do.”
“Harakawa-san, I think you and Heo-san are the most powerful members of the group.”
“I’ve never fought an official battle with the rest of you, but do you understand my situation, Hiba? Thunder Fellow’s power was left with Heo. I’m just the hired driver, so I don’t feel at all powerful.”
“Are you okay with Harakawa just being someone you hired, Heo?” asked Mikage’s voice.
Harakawa clicked his tongue in his heart. Working in a group was a pain because it required a lot of corrections to his standard policies.
But at the same time, he had a feeling Mikage’s question got right to the heart of the issue, so he looked over his shoulder.
He wanted to see the expression of the girl cleaning the secondary seat.
He could not see her because the back of his seat was in the way.
He lifted himself and almost wrapped his arms around the seat to see her.
“Why are you lying down, Heo Thunderson?”
She gave a weak voice while bent in half. Her right arm held her stomach, her left arm was held between her thighs, her face was dyed scarlet, and her breathing was rough.
“Do you have a fever, Heo Thunderson?”
“According to my thermal vision, she does,” cut in Mikage’s voice.
“No, um, uh…”
“Are you okay?” asked Harakawa while leaning over toward the secondary seat. As he did so, he stuck a hand on the seat’s right console.
Heo twitched and beads of sweat fell from her skin.
Harakawa quickly removed his hand from the console and heard Thunder Fellow speak.
“As time has passed since I was summoned, my synchronization with Heo has risen.”
“In other words, when I touch the controls to move you…”
He frowned and Heo answered while panting.
“I-it feels like you’re touching my stomach or-… When you use the power output system, it feels like you’re gently stirring me up below my navel. B-but I know you wouldn’t do anything bad, so…um…”
She sounded troubled.
“I thought I would just put up with it.”
“What are you talking about, Heo Thunderson? Stop putting up with it and begin the combination.”
“W-wait a minute! You’re mixing her up inside her stomach and forcing her to combine! What are you two doing in there!?”
“Shut up, Hiba.”
Harakawa scratched his head and sighed.
“Honestly, we just can’t seem to settle down without Sayama and the others. Are we going to have to look into our pasts after all?”
Sayama stood in a nighttime train station.
It was a transfer station with four platforms stretching east to west. Its name was JR Haijima Station.
He stood between the platforms second and third tracks.
He was next to the barrier surrounding the stairway leading underground.
The barrier was waist height and a white cup sat on it. The cup held a special drink.
…Hot Eround Tea Z.
He crossed the arms of his gray mountain-climbing suit, nodded, and looked up.
Baku was not on his head like usual. After announcing the temporary disbanding of Team Leviathan, the creature had been returned to UCAT.
He had probably been left with Ooshiro.
Sayama himself would soon be in the mountains of Okutama.
…But this means a long time away from Shinjou-kun.
It would normally be a two day trip, but it would actually come out to three days because he was leaving at night.
For him, it felt like a final farewell.
Haijima Station’s second and third platforms were both divided between an upper and lower platform. One line led to Oume and Okutama and the other to Tachikawa and Tokyo. Both of their trains would arrive in a few minutes and they would have to say goodbye.
Shinjou was currently changing in the bathroom.
A number of ideas had occurred to him about that, but he had decided not to do anything.
Doing anything would take time and he did not want Shinjou to miss her train.
That was the situation this time, at least. Next time could be a different story.
He had to resist now. They would do it next time. He was certain of it.
…I will let this desire build up inside me.
He nodded and felt unsatisfied by the lack of weight on his head.
He then turned to the Eround Tea Z.
It was for Shinjou. He felt it was a cheap item for a farewell gift, but nothing could have been more appropriate.
He gave a few satisfied nods at his own thoughts but then had another thought.
He would be away from Shinjou for about two days.
Could he really spend their last moments together with only vending machine tea?
He brought a finger to his forehead, thought for about three seconds, and reached a conclusion.
“Adding a few drugs should help.”
He pulled out three white pills that Ryouko had given him. They were secret Tamiya family drugs and the old-fashioned pills had a plum blossom symbol on them. He lined them up from left to right in his palm.
“A drug that makes you lewd, a drug that builds up mental excitement, and a drug that makes you honest to yourself.”
Ryouko had said they would “give Setsu-chan everything he needs”, but Sayama was not so sure. Regardless, he put the pills in the tea and slightly shook the cup.
He saw no change in the tea’s color, just as Ryouko had promised, and he wondered if they were for her work.
He was impressed by the Tamiya family’s skill.
“Sayama-kun, what are you doing?”
He turned toward Shinjou’s voice.
She wore a rucksack on her back, Sadame’s hairstyle, a jacket, and chinos.
Noting that her outfit’s color scheme was brown, he reached for the paper cup.
“Shinjou-kun, have some-…”
“Oh, I already bought my own.”
She showed him what she held in her hands.
She had a paper cup in each hand and she held out the left one with a smile.
“Here, thanks for waiting for me. This one’s for you. You like coffee, right?”
Sayama looked at the cup next to him and the one in Shinjou’s hand.
Shinjou also looked at the two cups, frowned, and tilted her head.
“Will you drink mine?”
He nodded, but Shinjou tilted her head again.
She used her chin to indicate the tea next to him.
“Then what about that?”
“Won’t you drink it, Shinjou-kun? I bought this tea for you.”
“Eh? Oh, that’s that IAI tea, isn’t it? Heh heh. …In that case, you can drink it.”
“No, it was made especially for you.”
“Really? Heh heh. Why was a tea made especially for me without anyone telling me?”
“Ha ha ha. To surprise you of course.”
“Ha ha. I see. …Well, it was definitely a surprise!!! I’m just glad you didn’t use my photo!”
“Of course not. While I want to give you a public debut, I could hardly bear to have you defiled by the gazes of the masses. …Now, how about a drink, Shinjou-kun?”
She sighed and held up the cup in her left hand.
“Sorry, but I’m already drinking the cocoa I got for myself.”
“Why not trade for my tea?”
“Why?” she asked with an emotionless smile. “I thought you didn’t like cocoa.”
…I need a reason.
It came to him in a flash of insight.
“I want to drink something you already drank from.”
“Stop recreating something straight out of a sad elementary school memory!!”
She pulled back the hand holding the coffee.
“Honestly, I won’t give you this until you drink that tea.”
I cannot have that, thought Sayama as he reflexively drank the tea.
Only after setting down the cup did a certain thought occur to him.
…Was it safe for me to drink that?
As he pondered that, Shinjou held out the coffee with a troubled look.
“Here. …And I feel a little bad about wasting your considerate offer.”
“That is nothing to worry about, Shinjou-kun. After all, you put the money in the vending machine and pulled this coffee out by hand. It is sure to taste far better than my tea.”
“Is there something wrong with your brain?”
Hearing that, he thought back on what he had said. He detected nothing strange about the logic, tone, or ideas behind his words, but it was possible he could no longer judge his own behavior due to the drugs.
That was why he asked a certain question.
“Shinjou-kun, it is possible there is something strange about me right now. What do you think?”
“I don’t really see anything different from normal. …Isn’t this your usual pace?”
“No, Shinjou-kun. Please give this serious thought. Right now, I should be… Lewd! Mentally excited! And honest to myself!!”
“How is that any different from normal?”
“Heh heh heh. It is all much more intense than normal.”
“Right, right.” She nodded with a smile. “Listen, Sayama-kun. When the original values are infinite, there’s no way to measure an increase.”
“Hm, someone with infinite lewdness, excitement, and self-honesty? What a troublesome person.”
“They really are. …And I’m talking about you!!”
Hearing that, Sayama checked who she was shouting at.
The shout travelled through him and to the office worker sitting on a platform bench behind him. The middle-aged man in a suit was focused on a red handheld game system as he waited for a train in the chilly air.
The sounds suggested he was playing a popular puzzle game. It was a former Soviet game where blocks representing rebels fell down and piled up. When the space was filled with no gaps remaining, the blocks were considered captured and thus vanished. The most points were earned by leaving a vertical gap open and sending a long red block into it. The game was said to include dangerous ideas and it often interfered with people’s work or education.
…So he is the infinite man.
People are not always what they seem, accepted Sayama before turning back to Shinjou.
She was glaring at him, but he changed the subject.
“Now, the trains should be arriving soon. It is a shame we have to part ways for so long. I will be praying for your safe return from Sakai.”
When she heard that, she lowered her eyebrows and smiled.
“My safe return? You’re making too big a deal of this.”
“After that attack today, we cannot let our guard down. It is entirely possible we will be attacked.”
She gasped and he took a sip of the coffee.
“Delicious. I can feel the touch of your skin. I wonder what beans they used.”
“I only remember it was an IAI brand and it said ‘Mito-made Ground Beans’,” she answered. “Anyway, I should only have to rely on the municipal office, but what about you? You’re heading into the mountains at night.”
“I have been everywhere a few hours into the mountains of Okutama as part of the Hiba dojo’s nighttime training, but my destination is even further in than that. If I entered the mountains during the day, night would have fallen by the time I reached unfamiliar territory.”
“#8-kun has determined the location of Professor Kinugasa’s home based on the report photograph we found in Izumo UCAT. Using that, I can ensure I will return safely, Shinjou-kun. I always try to choose the best possible method.”
“Oh, right… I know you try to do that.” She lowered her head while holding her paper cup in both hands. “But I’m still worried. You might not be able to find Professor Kinugasa’s house and even if you do get there…”
“I will be following in my father’s footsteps. But do not worry about my chest pains. Leaving you puts me in the same position as before I met you. I am very fortunate to have you with me, but I will now return to my normal self without you. That is all this means.”
He smiled bitterly.
“Even so, my wonderful memories contain my life with you and how you have helped me. I will likely desire that fortune to help with more than just the chest pains. I will yearn for it when I eat, sleep, or am feeling bored.”
“You casually say some really embarrassing things.”
She let out a relaxing and far from unhappy sigh.
They then heard a train beginning to move. It was the one they had arrived on which had been stopped on the first track. It was preparing to return to Itsukaichi and Akigawa.
The Itsukaichi Line connected to the Oume line coming from Tachikawa and its departure meant one thing.
“Our trains will be here soon, Sayama-kun. But…um…this may be sudden…”
She leaned back as if placing her rucksack on the stairway barrier.
“I think you should apologize to Kazami-san and the others when we get back. I don’t think they have the slightest clue why you’re trying to have Team Leviathan disband.”
“Why should I apologize?”
Shinjou gave a meaningless nod while looking to the third track.
She took some time to carefully choose her words.
“You said to search for our pasts. In my case, I think that’s linked with Shinjou Yukio. With the others, that probably means pursuing the truth of the Great Kansai Earthquake that we saw in that dream of the past.” She kept her eyes on the third track’s platform. “But Kazami-san doesn’t have any connections to the past. That’s why what you said might be a little mean to her.”
“And so I should apologize for giving her a riddle she cannot solve? Is that what you are trying to say?”
“I see. If she, you, and the others still do not have the answer once I return, I will make a decision.”
He immediately answered her.
“It is a simple matter. Anyone who does not have the answer will be removed from the Leviathan Road. That is all.”
Shinjou’s eyes opened in surprise at Sayama’s declaration.
However, he calmly looked directly at her.
“Do not worry. I am certain you will understand.”
“B-but…that’s way too sudden!”
“That is why I did not reveal this back in the Kinugasa Library. It would only have brought suspicion and distrust.”
He reached a hand toward her shoulder, pulled her toward him, looked up a bit, and pointed to the distant stars in the sky.
“Even if I am not very persuasive, what I am about to say is very meaningful, so please listen carefully.”
“What is the point of that pose?”
“It is a meaningless yet persuasive pose, Shinjou-kun.”
“You’re already contradicting yourself, Sayama-kun!”
“Calm down,” he said. “Now, are you listening? I told everyone to think about why we should disband, but to be honest, that is a riddle for myself as well. …I will also be searching for my past. To find out how we ended up in this situation, I will be pursuing the father I would rather not know about.”
“If I return from Okutama and was unable to pursue my own past, I will be forced to accept that I am lacking.”
Shinjou gasped, looked at him, and frantically spoke up.
“I-is the reason for disbanding that important for us?”
“It is. It is very important for our future. And that is why I have a request. …Listen, Shinjou-kun. I want you to find that reason and I want your help in reforming Team Leviathan.”
Her eyebrows shot up at the word “reforming”.
He was staring at her and she stared back.
“Sayama-kun. …Are you saying you don’t actually want us to disband? Are you actually focused on having us reform afterwards?”
He did not answer, his expression remained unchanged, and the silence continued.
They were finally interrupted by unwanted external movement.
They first heard noise from the second and third tracks and then headlights reached them.
In an instant, wind and countless lit windows intersected on the upper and lower tracks of the platform.
As soon as the wind intersected, Sayama grabbed her shoulders and turned her toward him.
She felt his lips on her forehead.
“We can continue from there after we return, Shinjou-kun. …Being patient now will make it even more exciting. And while you should be fine, I will leave you with one piece of my past.”
“A piece of your past?”
“Yes.” He pulled a white envelope from his pocket. “If you think you have found your answer in Osaka, look at this. It contains a fact about a certain individual that is a mystery even to me. Once you find your answer, you should be able to read what it says properly.”
“This is information on someone from your past, isn’t it?”
She nodded, took the letter, and looked strongly up at him.
“Testament. I hope I get to read it. I’ll do my best to make sure I can.”
She did not know what the letter said, but she could sense his trust. She felt she would come to understand something once she opened it and she nodded again to show her trust in that fact.
“Okay. I promise I’ll remember. When I find my past, I’ll read the past you’ve left with me. And…”
She looked at him with her eyebrows slightly raised. Her gaze met his sharp one and she poured her thoughts into her words.
“You make a promise too. Promise you’ll come back and see me again.”
“Why do you want me to promise that?”
“Well…” She lowered her head to hide the troubled look on her face. “It’s kind of pathetic, but…um… A long time ago, when I was still alone, Itaru-san told me someone would come for me someday. But my mom never showed up and neither did anyone else. I cried and cried, but I finally stopped once I realized the word ‘someday’ was just meant to comfort me.”
She forced a smile to feign cheerfulness and said one last thing.
“Make sure you come back, Sayama-kun.”
She clearly saw him nod and he even gave a slight smile as if telling her to calm down.
“Do not worry, Shinjou-kun. I will keep that promise and return to you. So…”
He grabbed her shoulders and turned her toward the train on the third track. He seemed to be telling her to leave.
She responded to that intention by nodding and starting to take her first step.
But he suddenly gave a quiet groan.
What is it? she wondered while looking back.
She found him frowning.
“I apologize for interrupting this moment, Shinjou-kun, but something is bothering me.”
“Eh? Wh-what is it? You mean that envelope?”
After she turned toward him and tilted her head, he brought a hand to his chin and spoke in a heavy tone.
“Listen, Shinjou-kun. While you are away from me, you will find yourself in a certain situation for the first time.”
Just as she tried to ask what that was, the doors of the upper and lower trains opened and people poured out onto the platform, but Sayama continued regardless.
“Will you be able to check on your body without my help during both day and night!?”
He spoke quite loudly.
The other people waiting for the train, the people leaving the train, the office worker playing a handheld game, and the conductor leaving the conductor’s compartment all froze in place.
Motionless silence filled the entire station and everyone focused on the two of them.
At the center of that silent focus, Shinjou was unsure which option to choose.
1: Hit him. → I have a feeling he would view it as skinship and enjoy it.
2: Run away. → He would probably chase after me shouting the same thing over and over again.
3: Give up. → Mankind must not submit to the unreasonable.
As her thoughts quickly heated up, he held out his hand.
That hand held a piece of paper.
“Here, Shinjou-kun. This is a photo of my speech during the general student meeting the other day. Taking hidden photos of yourself is a very difficult task. …This item was born from how superior you make me feel, but when you are working at a certain task during the day or night, feel free to use it if your imagination is not enough.”
He took a breath and patted her shoulder twice with a reassuring smile.
“Do not worry about me. I can get by just fine with my imagination.”
“If your imagination is that good, then don’t create these embarrassing situations!!!”
She chose Option 4: tighten the necktie in front of her as much as she could.
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