Owari no Chronicle:Volume13 Chapter 40
Chapter 40: Two Powers
Whenever I look up into the sky, I take a breath
How can that power fly
Even though no one supports it?
A single object floated above the twilit city.
The long, almond-shaped white object was an advertisement airship. The side of its fifty meter body was emblazoned with an ad for the recently released film “Sylvester Wars IV: Friendship Strikes Back”. It depicted a starry background with two macho men throwing aside their electromagnetic swords to duke it out with their fists.
It also played some audio clips.
“What!? The Dark Lord’s punch measures in at more than one ton per centimeter!?”
“The Force! Use the Force, Rocky!!”
Invisible from the ground, another form stood on the airship.
It was a girl with wings of light.
The insignia on her white armored uniform read “Kazami”.
She had set a white spear and a long bag to the side and looked to the cellphone in her hand.
“So Kaku tied and Heo lost. This says Kaku destroyed Shinjuku, so how is he still alive?”
…One tie and one loss.
“I need to win this. …I have some ideas, but maybe I should ask someone about it.”
She nodded, called a recorded number, and held the phone to her ear.
“It is I.”
“Oh, it’s the idiot,” she replied.
“What? This girl clearly does not understand my value.”
“Are you being sexist?”
“In that case…” Sayama rephrased himself. “What? This boy clearly does not understand my value.”
“That isn’t what I meant!!”
“You do not like being called a girl, but you do not like being called a boy either? …Do you live in some kind of fantasy world?”
“Y’know, is that really something Shinjou’s boyfriend should be saying?”
“Yes. Shinjou-kun is criminally cute.”
He’s hopeless, sighed Kazami. And…
…Something must have happened.
She glared forward and gave a nod of understanding.
“Well, try to get along. …Oh, but without committing any crimes.”
“Not to worry. That just means I have to avoid being caught.”
She hung up before realizing, Oops.
She had called in order to mentally prepare herself for victory.
…And I probably should have said something about next term’s student council.
That may not have been something to discuss here, but it was possible she could die in this battle.
And the school was about the only thing she had to speak with Sayama about when UCAT was excluded.
Outside of school and UCAT, he was an underclassman with no connection to her personal life.
What would this be to a normal student? she wondered. Maybe it wouldn’t be all that different.
She had given up club activities, having stupid fun afterschool, and playing around back at home, but she had earned a workplace at UCAT instead.
Whichever one she chose, she would probably want the other.
Her work on the student council was quite fun.
When arranging the budgets for the clubs and committees, she would ultimately get heated up and beat them down.
When festival preparations or talks with various representatives were not going well, she would ultimately get heated up and beat them down.
When clubs and committees could not agree on who got to use the schoolyard and classrooms during a vacation, she would once again ultimately get heated up and beat them down.
She would always tell them the same thing:
“Listen. I’m about to hit you! But it isn’t because I don’t like you! I’m going to hit you because I want to hit you!!”
That’s generally how it works, she accepted while putting her cellphone in her pocket.
“Ahh… Waiting for the enemy to show up is so boring.”
Immediately, a blast of red light blew up the airship.
Alex held a box below his stomach.
The white, knife-shaped box was three meters long and less than a meter wide and tall.
…This is Wanambi’s transportation pallet!
The cables attached to the base allowed Wanambi to communicate with the outside world, but all of them were currently connected to Alex.
This provided him with calculation power that exceeded that of any Gear’s machines.
“I now have the most precise learning and predictive ability!! In other words, I am now an excellent student and forecaster!!”
Shinjuku’s sky had been transformed onto a concept space and he accelerated full-throttle toward the smoke left by the destroyed airship.
He arced upwards and observed the smoke ahead.
“I can predict that she is still alive!!”
A moment later, the white smoke dispersed before he could charge into it.
A pressure produced within pushed the smoke out and blew it away.
“I knew it!”
A light rose into the sky ahead of him.
It was a white light.
It was Kazami’s light as she spread her wings a bit, grabbed G-Sp2, and ascended.
Despite the sky’s scarlet hue, the white light had no problem asserting its presence.
That was the proof of its great acceleration and the power of flight it produced.
…Can I match her acceleration!?
Alex’s armor and weaponry were powerful, but their great size and weight hurt his mobility. As an aerial mechanical dragon, his top speed was greater than any other weapon, but his acceleration fell behind the lighter Kazami.
However, Wanambi’s predictions gave him his answer.
“Can do it” “OK” “Not a problem” “Accelerators” “Full throttle” “All out” “Willpower” “Reticent” “Titan”
If he listened for too long, the answer would stray from the prediction. He ignored Wanambi’s curious words and lit up every single accelerator he had.
The pressurizing sensation was much like the joy of taking the first step.
He briefly started forward and then felt something holding him in place.
The acceleration was initially used to try to push his great weight, but once it exceeded his weight, the additional speed would propel him forward.
His body slowly started moving, but…
He suddenly shot upward, toward the heavens.
Just as he thought he heard himself smash through the wind, his accelerating eyes saw the scarlet sky.
The sky was vast, but the tremor of his acceleration passed from his nose and down his back as if he were breaking through that sky.
There was no sound of wind.
Gravity simply vanished and he seemed to uncontrollably fall upwards.
Some pale stars were visible in the sky.
The only sound was the mechanical creaking of his trembling body and he saw a single light ahead of him.
That one light was ascending toward the darkening scarlet sky, so he attacked.
A voice from the surveillance plane in charge of Kazami’s concept space reached the Kanda Laboratory.
“Alex-sama has locked onto Kazami-sama! They are currently ascending vertically…and he will catch up in twenty-seven seconds!”
“Oh?” said Ooshiro while munching on a rice cracker. “Not bad.”
He ignored #8’s glare and continued speaking.
“Is this the first time Chisato-kun has come across someone as fast as her?”
Kazami realized the enemy was going to catch up to her by force.
The answer that Concept Core’s calculations had reached was bad news for her.
After all, she was bad at science, so there was nothing she could do if she was attacked from that end of things.
The attack arrived soon thereafter.
As soon as she felt something like a presence or murderous intent, she used all her strength to flip around.
But she stopped.
She stopped her evasive actions because of the keyword “calculations”.
She had felt it would be dangerous to respond as she normally did.
In that instant, a red pillar of light swept upwards through the space she had just about flown into.
She felt heat, wind, power, and surprise at having her reaction so perfectly predicted.
But just as she thought this would fill her with at least a little bit of tension…
As she spoke, she looked down and saw Alex, the mechanical dragon painted in bright red, white, and blue.
“Well!? What do you think about my Deadly Wanambi Technique! My rented predictions are unbeatable!”
Kazami tried to say something in return, but…
“Right now! According to my predictions, you are just about to say ‘Kiii! I can’t stand it! I’ll never forgive you!!’ ”
“Why would I ever say that!?”
“Ha ha ha!! You’re panicking because I guessed what your evil heart was going to say, aren’t you!?”
“I have a feeling you’re a lot like an underclassman of mine.”
“Does this underclassman have a heart of justice?”
“No, he’s the evil mastermind who somehow manages to be sexist towards women and men at the same time.”
“Has he never heard the saying ‘ladies first’!? He is a disgrace even to the name of evil!!”
“You can disgrace evil?”
Kazami twisted her body into horizontal flight and accelerated.
“Ah, wait! I am not done speaking of justice!”
She wanted to avoid paying attention to his idiocy. It could be contagious.
After putting an instant’s worth of space between them, she breathed a sigh of relief.
However, he was going to catch up eventually.
His acceleration relied on his mechanical form while hers was powered by the Concept Core.
She was small, but that would give her the advantage in thrust and weight. However, there was one big reason why he would still catch up.
No matter how much protection her human body received, it could only endure so much. Her body could not keep up with her acceleration and, if she passed the limit, she would probably be thrown out into the sky.
Meanwhile, he had a mechanical body and thus lacked that limit.
She had the better acceleration and mobility, but he had the better top speed.
…This is like a race between a motorcycle and a car.
She checked behind herself using the mirror on the side of the console and realized Alex was catching up to her.
“He didn’t attack during our previous chat.”
That meant the prediction and learning system did not have greater access to his actions than he did himself.
He likely accesses Wanambi when he saw it necessary and simply borrowed its power.
…Instead of putting the Concept Core in control, he’s treating it like a partner.
A good decision, she decided while watching him approach from behind.
“He’s a dangerous enemy, but I might be able to manage!”
She pulled down her goggles and twisted the accelerator.
They accelerated below the darkening sky and above spreading snow clouds.
The wielder of the spear and the mechanical dragon raced in a straight line.
“Kazami-sama and Alex-sama have begun their battle! They are currently headed west!”
A surveillance plane flew low in the sky.
Clouds were appearing overhead and details of the situation reached the plane through them.
The speed of the battle had grown too great for visual confirmation and the surveillance plane could not hope to keep up.
It flew as quickly and desperately westward as possible, but someone sighed inside.
It was the automaton viewing the concept power readings that were changing moment by moment.
“Wanambi’s calculations are being used again and again and 8th-Gear’s Concept Core turns heat into life activity, so the shellfire and explosions are automatically following Kazami-sama with serpentine movements.”
“Why isn’t Kazami-sama being shot down?”
An impressed sigh accompanied that pure question of a machine.
Alex was trying to shoot down Kazami using conceptual homing attacks and using the greatest calculation power of any world which likely exceeded the automatons’ own.
The constantly fired attacks were likely using Wanambi’s predictive and learning abilities, but Kazami was still alive. Even as she was pursued and enveloped by attacks, she survived.
And yet the difference in weaponry meant a single hit would be instant death.
“I have determined that is a mystery,” replied the pilot automaton. “But they possess a power with which machines like us cannot equip ourselves.”
Even as she was pursued, attacked, and relentlessly fired upon, she did not stop fighting.
She chose to evade her enemy’s attacks in countless ways. She made sure that her actions did not fall into a pattern, that her trajectory did not become fixed, and that she could overturn any predictions that were made.
She opened the bag on her back and pulled out a machinegun.
G-Sp2 was a spear, so it could not attack behind her. Aware of that flaw, she had brought this equipment from UCAT.
The bullets she scattered while vibrating had their attack power strengthened, but…
“They still don’t work!?”
Sparks flew from Alex’s armor, but the blue and white panels did not even dent or bend.
Alex returned fire with his secondary cannons.
A pair of red streaks flew from each shoulder and the light pursued her like snakes.
She reflexively danced through the air.
She grabbed just the right grip and sent her entire body flying forward.
She threw herself off course so that she and G-Sp2 flew in a direction not even she could predict.
She then pulled G-Sp2 in close and repeated the process.
She hopped through the air and the red lights homed in on the spot she had just left.
…It predicted that!?
It was learning. A single evasion was not going to cut it anymore. It would statistically determine which direction she would send herself and use the data on the air currents to predict the evasive course that not even she could guess at.
Next time, two evasions might not be enough, she realized. But…
…But not to worry.
She had no basis for that. She simply had zero intention of giving up.
After all, she was riding G-Sp2 which was 10th-Gear’s Concept Core weapon.
The previous night, Izumo had told her about G-Sp2’s origin.
It was the first time he had told her about it.
A civil war had broken out within 10th-Gear, so the head god and those loyal to him had attempted to reestablish their rule by extracting the Concept Core and making a weapon out of it.
That was when Izumo’s grandfather had arrived from Low-Gear after having witnessed 6th-Gear’s destruction.
Izumo’s grandfather had gained the right to speak with the gods by wielding 6th-Gear’s Concept Core weapon.
The goddess who had shown him around had also been a priestess and she had lamented the head god and others’ desire for control, but as the Concept Core had begun to take form as Thor’s Hammer, 9th-Gear had stolen it via an underground organization.
The gods had suspected the priestess and Izumo’s grandfather were escaping their responsibility, so Izumo’s grandfather had gone and taken back the stolen Thor’s Hammer.
But the civil war had continued and both sides had fought to take possession of the Concept Core weapon as it was made anew.
10th-Gear’s underground organization had sent 10th-Gear’s concepts out of control as a dragon that devoured the world tree which doubled as the gods’ home.
The gods whose duty it was to continue to fight had given Izumo’s grandfather a new concept weapon and ordered him fell the world tree. If he did that, that world would be destroyed, but their pathetic fight and the shame of their own kind would be unable to spread to the other Gears.
And thus the world of the gods had been destroyed and the divine spear had been in Izumo’s grandfather’s possession.
Kazami wondered why the gods had wished for destruction over something as small as shame.
She did not understand, but perhaps that was because she was human. And in that case, did he think that way since he was part god?
They had been unable to seal the majority of 10th-Gear’s Concept Core in the divine spear, so it had become a divine dragon, appeared in Low-Gear, and been sealed there.
The divine spear had been completed as G-Sp and later remade as G-Sp2, a modern form that better fit Kazami.
All of that told her one thing.
…That world was passed on and it ended up with me.
That world had been destroyed, but if it had not, she never would have met him and she would not be who she was today.
Wonderful, she thought. Simply wonderful.
She had to make sure the survivors of the destroyed would see it that way. She had to make sure they knew that she and her teammates were at their best because those survivors had experienced that destruction. If she did that, would they feel proud of it?
She recalled 10th-Gear’s conceit that Jord had shown at the trial and vote the day before.
It seemed ridiculous, but what she had said allowed Kazami to think something else now.
…Those of us who weren’t destroyed are sure to make this more fun.
And she held the power to do just that.
She had been saved by that power countless times and used it to save others countless times.
…So I won’t lose.
She had the upper hand in several ways.
“So I won’t lose!”
With that shout, she began to move.
Alex’s secondary cannons were spewing light, so she evaded.
But she evaded a second time, evaded yet another time, and finally avoided the red beams of light.
Suddenly, she did something Alex was unable to predict: she fully opened the wings on her back.
She raised her air resistance and slammed into a wall of air, which caused two things.
First, the wings of light shattered and new ones were created.
Second, her speed greatly fell.
And she used both those results to collide with Alex as he approached from behind.
The movements in midair created two extremes.
First, as Kazami just about collided with Alex, she flipped behind him while tightly holding both of G-Sp2’s grips.
When her flip pointed the spear down, she fired on him.
However, Alex did not allow it.
He bent his mechanical body downwards to force his trajectory in that direction.
“Shocking Comets! Alex Circus Special!!”
Alex’s upper armor panels opened and fired a veritable wall of missiles.
He continued to shout.
“I can only call that naïve!!”
Even as the wind swept at the missiles, they continued up and toward Kazami who flipped by overhead.
The group of warheads approached, so she reacted.
“G-Sp2! Second form!!”
There was no time lag for the shift to cannon mode, but it had yet to build up its power. The attack simply closed the back end and redirected the light coming from there.
Light spread out like a burner, but that proved perfect for hitting all of the missiles at once.
However, it lacked strength and several dozen warheads rose past the explosive flames.
Each and every one of them would be deadly. These weapons were not meant to be used on humans, but they were meant for combat all the same.
And so Kazami used a similar power.
Without rushing, she calmly used a single hand to pull the machinegun from her back.
While flipping, she used her right arm to spray G-Sp2’s light and her left to place the machinegun below her arm.
As she flipped away, she fired toward the approaching warheads and toward Alex.
She fought back while flapping a new set of the wings that would continue to appear as long as she remained conscious.
The vibrations of the machinegun under her arm reached her heart as reassuring music.
The sound rang out and shook her entire body.
“Continue to play, you supreme projectile musical notes!!”
The beating drum of explosions answered her cry, but the heat of those explosions became life in this concept space.
The explosive life vanished almost immediately in the chill of their high altitude, but they still became a swarm of crimson and black butterflies that blotted out the sky.
Kazami finished her flip as those dark flames approached.
She threw away the machinegun and shifted G-Sp2 into its third form.
She was not looking at the approaching explosive flames.
“Your back end is wide open!!”
She looked to Alex’s pressurizers and tail.
The positions of offense and defense had reversed.
Despite the remaining warheads and flames flying her way, Kazami twisted the accelerator.
She used her full body to keep the tip of the spear from jerking upwards from the acceleration and she shot forward.
She closed her wings and pursued the mechanical dragon in a straight line.
She passed through the arcing flames and continued to accelerate.
The automatons in the surveillance plane could see the two pairs of wings once the clouds were blown away and the sky opened up.
The mechanical dragon flew in the lead at extreme high speed while Kazami followed with light trailing after her.
The missiles’ flames followed Kazami like living creatures and attempted to roast her, but that pair of wings flipped around and danced to avoid them.
More attacks came into view.
Evening had ended, night had begun, and the moon had entered the sky.
The chilly moonlight shined on the two pairs of wings as they exchanged attacks.
Kazami fired her cannon and flipped around, while Alex fired his secondary cannons and missiles.
The wings of light seemed to draw spirals before suddenly moving straight upwards in pursuit of the mechanical dragon.
The dragon flipped around time and again, lowered his speed, and tried to get behind Kazami, but she would shatter her own wings to slam on the brakes and prevent it.
The projectiles of heat pursued Kazami’s wings like living creatures, but a shattering sound filled the sky.
The sound of cannon fire, of slicing through the wind, of explosions, and of shattering wings all mixed together.
“This is the sound of the battle’s own will,” blankly muttered the pilot automaton. “Can you see it?”
She sent footage of the battle to all of the automatons via her shared memory.
Wings of light attempted to draw in and grasp a mechanical dragon while also attacking again and again.
Her movements were tricky and she was exposed to danger countless times, but she did not give up.
She remade herself and cast aside her old self so very many times.
The breaking and shattering wings were a form of self-rebirth.
“Can you see the power of hope that exceeds any predictions?”
The automaton spoke while watching Kazami’s blasts of light pierce the sky and reveal her will to fight.
“The power to never give up hope in oneself is battling the mechanical dragon of heat and calculation speed!”
Alex had a thought as he made his predictions.
…I cannot lose.
He continued thinking.
…Justice cannot lose!!
Justice was something his parents had taught him.
In Top-Gear, his parents had helped design mechanical dragons inside Noah.
They had always been busy, so he had often been alone at their home inside Noah.
He remembered it well.
The Nagata family, Tatsumi’s parents, had also helped with those designs, so he had often spoken with her.
She had been strong even then, but she had been hesitant in her strength.
It was always him who stopped her from going too far when she would fight to protect her underclassmen.
He had succeeded a few times, but he had once failed to stop her and been injured.
That was the first time he had seen her cry and she had told him not to worry about her.
But he had shaken his head.
…That is not what a hero would do.
When he was little, his parents left him with videos and books about heroes to give him something to do when he was alone. The people in those stories had fought to protect the world and…
…To protect their own little pieces of happiness.
When Tatsumi had first cried, he too had cried because he had made a girl cry, something a hero must never do. They had cried together and worried the automaton that managed Noah.
So after that, he had decided he would become a true hero and make sure he never made anyone cry.
But then the world had been destroyed.
His parents had been developing a mechanical dragon inside Noah, but they had run out of strength after sending it to the gate opened to Low-Gear.
There had been a few survivors, but Tatsumi had been taken in by UCAT and his own body had been badly damaged by the negative concepts, leaving him with little time left by the time he met up with Hajji and the others.
But Tatsumi’s parents had combined him with the mechanical dragon his parents had created.
They had asked him if he was willing to become a mechanical dragon and he had said yes.
He had said he would become a hero.
His answer had immediately taken form, but Tatsumi’s parents and the others had been damaged by the negative concepts and had died just as they finished the combination surgery. Tatsumi had met up with them a few days later.
In the present, Alex flew through the air and felt Tatsumi’s presence nearby.
She had never shown any tears since that one time.
By the time they had reunited, she had given his mechanical form an aloof and bitter smile and said he had finally become stronger than her.
He knew that was not the case.
A hero could not exist alone. He knew that all too well after studying what his parents had given him and experiencing it for himself.
A hero existed between the self that protected something and the others that witnessed it.
He had believed that all this time.
He had vaguely wondered a number of things. Were there others who should have been kept alive instead of him?
Should one of Tatsumi’s parents have survived instead?
If they had, would Tatsumi actually have opened her heart and cried?
But, he thought.
But I alone held justice in my heart.
That was the one clear difference between himself and any other. That was his value.
He cared for the people of that world that was no more and for the people of this world.
And his thoughts for them contained an absolute justice.
Without that, he would have rotted away.
And one day, his body would fall apart. He had not escaped the power of the negative concepts by changing bodies. His death sentence had simply been delayed.
But falling apart and rotting away were different. It was his mechanical body that contained only a mind that allowed him to think that. He could stand to have his body fall apart and his mind disperse as long as his will did not rot away.
Could the justice of someone with a rotten will stop someone from crying?
“That is right.”
I will not lose, he thought. Yes. After all…
“Justice will not lose!”
With those words, he attacked Kazami who approached from behind.
With the desire to never lose filling his mechanical heart, he fired.
Alex saw Kazami flip upwards to avoid his right secondary cannon.
He fired a homing attack from his left secondary cannon, but she held G-Sp2 in just her right arm and launched herself downwards to avoid it.
The forced course change shattered her wings.
Alex fired missiles where she fell.
But without opening new wings, she twisted the accelerator with her left hand.
She took an upward trajectory that would bring her above him from behind.
The air currents and what he had learned over the course of the battle allowed him to predict her movements.
So he ascended after her.
He heard her gasp behind him, but he had predicted that as well.
He swung up his tail to strike her from below.
She flipped to the right because she held G-Sp2 in her right hand.
He used the inertia of his raised tail to roll forward.
The forty meter mechanical dragon curled up and rolled once through the air.
On his back, he pulled his jaw back, looked up into the sky, and opened his mouth.
“Prepare main cannon!!”
He fired his main cannon as Kazami ascended.
A solid sound raced through the air and a line of red burned the sky.
A valley was torn into the clouds and the scorched air produced light.
But when Alex looked ahead of the main cannon blast, he found Kazami was gone.
As soon as he spoke, he saw where the enemy was: right in front of him.
With her wings lost, she had made a single decision.
She had made the final move her mobility and decision-making left her.
“You did nothing!?”
“That’s right. I continued fighting without ever giving up this whole time, didn’t I? That shifted your learning and predictions in that direction, so I knew choosing to do nothing at all would catch you off guard. But…”
She gave a small smile.
“I also set up a little trick using 10th-Gear’s power.”
Alex’s sight devices saw the explosions and blasts of light behind her remain in the chilly air without vanishing. And…
“That’s 10th-Gear’s healing power. Now have a taste of your own medicine.”
She immediately twisted out of the way of the missiles and blasts of light that continued to pursue her after she healed them. She also raised G-Sp2 which had returned it to its first form.
It instantly shifted to its third form and became a spear meant to pierce its enemy.
The attack was coming.
And the missiles struck him as a lead-in to G-Sp2.
In the instant of explosive pressure, he made the decision necessary to ensure he would not lose, to ensure he would not experience defeat.
Kazami tried to drive her attack into Alex’s throat.
She did not intend to kill him. Mechanical dragons were sturdy and he would not actually die unless she destroyed the reactor in his torso.
But G-Sp2’s accelerated piercing would be able to break through his frame and render him unable to fight.
So she aimed her attack toward Alex’s throat frame as the smoke and impacts from the explosives bent him and left him helpless on his back.
She made her attack.
But in that instant, something flew from Alex’s stomach and all the explosive flames enveloping him.
…A missile!? Is he prepared to self-destruct!?
But she was wrong.
She would have been able to dodge a missile.
What she actually saw was so unexpected that she briefly hesitated once it came into view.
It was Wanambi’s transportation pallet that had been connected to his stomach.
Having the Concept Core taken would mean his loss, but he had thrown it.
Before she could finish her thought, it struck her right shoulder.
The impact and its weight shifted her off course and her surprise shook her body.
The impact reached G-Sp2 just as she was going to throw it.
But she threw it regardless. She used all her strength, knowing this was her last chance to attack.
But a moment later, she realized what Alex was trying to do.
“I will not lose even if you beg me!”
He shouted back and used the pressurizers on his back to charge toward her.
Countless of his own attacks struck him and his armor was destroyed as he slammed his own body into them.
…It can’t be!
A metallic sound filled the air and she heard an impact.
G-Sp2 was on course to strike Alex and pierce through him, but he did not hesitate.
He continued straight toward G-Sp2.
“Are you trying to kill yourself!?”
He did not answer Kazami.
The flying spear stabbed into his right chest frame where his armor panels were thick.
With a draconic roar, light exploded from the newly-formed hole.
It burst out.
But he endured. He twisted his body and used his entire frame to grab at G-Sp2 many times over, even as the tip thrust out from his back and explosive blasts burst from every gap on his body.
With a fierce noise, metal broke, steel bent, components scattered, and pieces fried.
For a human, this would be the same as running a grinder from the right side of their chest to their lower back.
But Alex endured it and stopped it.
The sound, light, and impact all stopped with only shimmering heat remaining in the chilly sky.
This left behind two results:
Alex had closed his front right leg to seize G-Sp2 inside himself.
Kazami had expanded her wings and caught Wanambi’s transportation pallet in midair.
The automatons pursuing the two combatants in the surveillance plane realized the battlefield had come to a stop.
Floating in the sky were Kazami and Alex, who was spewing sparks, beams of light, and smoke as his entire body groaned.
Alex was very nearly destroyed.
The missile hits had been bad enough, but a hole had been pierced from the right side of his chest and out his back. The impact had blown off almost all of his armor from within.
He had lost most of his equipment save what was attached to his base form.
“Every time he moves, he creaks and bends…”
However, the result of the battle and his state were two different things.
The eyes looking up from the plane saw Alex rise further into the sky while producing dull metallic noises.
He spoke during his slow ascent.
“What happens when we both steal the other’s Concept Core?”
“The battle is complete,” answered one of the automatons. “In accordance with the rules…”
She chose the most accurate expression.
“I have determined both sides have won.”
“Is that so?” muttered Alex.
The automatons then heard Kazami’s voice.
She slowly flapped her wings and relaxed her body.
“I can’t believe this. Aren’t heroes supposed to grant people’s requests?”
“I am sorry.”
“It’s fine,” she replied with a shrug and a bitter smile. “As the villain, I suppose I should say this: Don’t think this means you’ve won.”
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