Owari no Chronicle:Volume14 Chapter 12
Chapter 12: Continuation of the End
The dragon’s roar reverberates without end
Sayama moved through the white mist in the open-air church.
He stood in front of the positive Concept Core sealing devices on the port wall.
He planned to use the manual release to purge the pallets visible through the devices’ small windows.
They had a standard purge process and he found something next to the console.
“Is this an instruction guide?”
He frowned as he followed the instructions by moving the emergency lever up, up, down, down, pressed the button, completed the purge procedure on the console, and released the manual lock with the following sequence: right, left, right, left.
He finally held the seal button in the center of the console for a full five seconds.
After all that, the sealing devices vibrated.
A look through the windows showed the outer shells of the internal pallets slowly descending.
…And into the sky.
The positive Concept Core pallets fell into the empty air at eight thousand meters up.
Several lights were flying above the ground below.
They were mechanical dragons.
Sayama continued his work, assuming they would catch the pallets.
Spare pallets rose to fill the gaps left by the previous ones.
He sighed as he watched them fit into place.
Heo had called his cellphone earlier. According to Diana, Shinjou had recovered and he could relax.
Shinjou was apparently sleeping and calling for him in her sleep.
“Thank goodness,” he muttered. “It seems the lovey-dovey connection between our hearts really does tie us together.”
He breathed a sigh of relief and rested his back on the tilted portion of one sealing device.
I have finished everything I need to do for the moment, he told himself.
A philosopher’s stone to resurrect the dead would no longer be created.
They needed to take the positive Concept Cores back for the moment and have the Gear representatives confirm their presence. The later release of the concepts would happen here, but…
…It would foster the most trust to have the Gear representatives bring the Concept Cores here.
Releasing the concepts would suppress the activated negative concepts by releasing them along with the positive concepts.
The Leviathan Road had been meant to gather those positive Concepts Cores, and…
…The Leviathan of the Leviathan Road was the Concept Cores of the ten Gears, wasn’t it?
In Biblical mythology, the Leviathan was a great dragon said to bear the forms of all beasts. In the age of that mythology, the Leviathan was known as a dragon large enough to surround the ocean said to exist at the ends of the world.
Releasing the concepts of the ten Gears would combine the ten dragons into one.
“We gather the dragons together, and…”
At that point, his body stiffened somewhat, but…
He suddenly shot to his feet.
He had realized a very important fact.
Heo had ended her combination with Thunder Fellow, opened the canopy, and joined Kazami and the others on the mechanical dragon’s back armor.
They were about two thousand meters up.
The wind was strong, but it was showing signs of weakening. And…
“The Vesper Cannon.”
Thunder Fellow’s frame had been exchanged for a long cannon.
Thunder Fellow had caught the pallet Sayama had purged from Noah and swapped out his parts.
Harakawa sat at the controls and was listening to the transmissions coming in.
“It sounds like Hiba combined with Susamikado and collected Keravnos down below. Also, the American UCAT mechanical dragon unit has secured all of the other Concept Cores except for the 10th and 6th ones that the president and treasurer have. So…”
Heo and the others looked up into the sky and wondered what to do now.
The ark floated in the moonlight like a giant cloud.
Sayama was there.
“Should we go pick him up?” asked Heo while munching on a broiled chestnut.
Kazami and Izumo nodded with G-Sp2 and V-Sw in hand.
“Shinjou’s sleeping safe and sound, so this ends everything.”
“Yeah, it’s finally looking like we can safely get to the end of the year.”
Everyone smiled bitterly at Izumo’s comment.
An atmosphere of relief softened the air around them somewhat.
Heo was the first to notice.
It was a reverberation.
Some kind of odd reverberation had passed through her body.
Kazami noticed that she was looking around.
“What is it, Heo? Are you coming down with some strange disease? Or…”
She felt it again. She had definitely felt it this time.
She also noticed Kazami had stopped speaking and looked to her.
The two of them frowned and spoke to each other.
“K-Kazami, was that…?”
“Yes.” Kazami brought a troubled hand to her forehead. “I think I know what it was.”
Kazami nodded with an entirely serious expression.
“Your perverted word replacement disease has infected me too, eros. I can feel it reverberating in my brain, eros.”
“Th-that can’t possibly…!”
It happened a third time and the reverberation was stronger than before.
This time, it seemed to have reached more than just her and Kazami.
Izumo brought a hand to his forehead and groaned.
“I-I feel like I too can speak Great Erosian, the official language of the Heolusion Kingdom, eros.”
“They have Artluman Eros there, eros.”
“Wh-why do you always use me for this kind of-…!?”
She felt it again.
There was no denying the powerful reverberation.
Also, she could tell which direction it was coming from.
“The Vesper Cannon?”
Harakawa was the one to answer her.
After looking at the console, he turned toward her.
“The Vesper Cannon is reacting. For a bit now, it seems…”
As soon as he said that, she felt another reverberation.
But this one was not just the reaction from the Vesper Cannon.
It was ten times stronger.
It was not a sound or a vibration. It could only be called a reverberation.
An especially powerful reverberation came from Noah in the sky.
The inside of the church reverberated.
It was a powerful reverberation.
It seemed to lightly push up on one’s body from below.
It began to gain a set rhythm.
It was the rhythm of a pulse.
The pulsating reverberation picked up speed and began making itself known outside the church.
Sayama had shot to his feet within that reverberation.
“Could it be…!?”
He ignored his disheveled hair and fluttering armored uniform as he rose to his feet and looked overhead.
The final stained glass light on the walls had not lit.
It had stopped.
However, that meant the other lights had not gone away.
“That means the ten negative concepts are still activating.”
He saw a figure slowly rise from the mist floating above the floor.
She kept her back to him and brushed a hand through her hair.
He ran forward as he yelled at her. He raised his left fist toward her weak back.
“Did you hide your true aim!?”
She did not answer his raised voice, but something else did: the church.
One section of the mist floating off the floor suddenly rose. It looked like a table was lifting it from below.
More than one of those tables appeared, they were not small, and they arrived below Sayama’s running feet as well.
He realized what this meant.
Noah had left its emergency halted state.
“Is it changing form!?”
After receiving first aid and combining with Susamikado in the forest, Hiba’s mechanical vision saw the movement in the heavens.
There was a massive form covering the sky overhead.
At first, it had been a tower.
Then it had been an ark.
The ark shape was the same as the one he had seen in the summer sky during a dream of the past.
But if Noah was changing now…
…Is this the same form as the night Osaka was destroyed?
He had not seen its entire form in that dream, but its armor panels would have been opened up.
However, the current transformation occurring overhead went beyond that.
The residential area Thunder Fellow and Alex had raced through was hidden below the armor. In its place, cannon turrets and the engines that moved the massive aerial ship’s joints showed themselves.
But that was not all.
He heard Mikage’s slightly deepened voice.
He understood. The armor panels and cannon turrets grew to increase their forms, cables automatically extended on their own, and the engines gained additional mounting points.
The overall form changed from the boxy ark to something that protruded out more.
“A great dragon.”
It was now a draconic aerial warship measuring over fifteen kilometers long.
Clouds of mist appeared when the air struck different parts of its body and its full form could not be seen without the special sight provided by Susamikado.
However, that was why Hiba saw what he did.
The giant form continued to transform without end.
“What is this!? What is Noah!?”
Tatsumi had been sitting in the broken forest after surrendering, but she ran over.
She ran in front of the others to get a better look at Noah.
“What is the meaning of this!?”
Her voice roared upward even though it would never reach through the reverberating sky.
“Why is Noah entering full hostility mode, Mikoku!?”
The church split apart.
It split between the positive Concept Cores on the port side where Sayama stood, the negative Concept Cores on the starboard side, and the extractor on the front end where Mikoku stood.
The mist flowed like water into the opened space and the high-altitude wind rushed in.
There was an air defense filter in place, but Noah had begun a full transformation.
A great amount of wind poured in to carry the tremendous roar as far as possible.
The split in the floor rapidly grew and the distance between Sayama and Mikoku instantly expanded.
Sayama shouted through the wind at Mikoku who did not even look his way.
“Is what you really wanted about to begin!?”
She did not answer him, so he spoke more clearly.
He stated her apparent intent based on the current situation.
“Are you planning to use Noah to make the world immortal!?”
Her shoulders shook at that.
She finally turned around to face him from the pulpit’s floor as it began to rise.
The ends of her eyebrows were lowered in a troubled smile.
That expression acted like a surprise attack and left Sayama speechless, but her smiling lips opened to speak.
“I apologize for essentially deceiving you. It is true I was unable to create an immortality philosopher’s stone, but I was able to fully take back the data on the positive Concept Cores.”
She took a breath.
“Noah is currently suppressing its power.”
“I am sure it is,” he replied while looking overhead while their distance grew even greater.
The automaton Noah stood next to the bell above the pulpit and she looked down at him expressionlessly.
“I am still carrying out my orders. Over.”
Sayama explained what he thought those orders were.
“The command to create an immortality concept to resurrect the dead still exists inside Noah, doesn’t it?”
“Testament. The positive Concept Cores were purged just now, but that is why I will recreate the positive concepts from scratch and use them and the negative concepts to recreate the immortality concept instead of just producing a philosopher’s stone. Over.”
Noah gave her answer.
“I will not fail in my orders. I am a hard-worker who will undoubtedly fulfill them.”
Noah said one thing more.
“That is the personality my creator gave me. Over.”
Sayama looked to the moving floor.
He could see Noah’s surface armor through the gap there and that armor was expanding in preparation for battle.
“Toda Mikoku. I realized something from what Noah said. I realized what you are really trying to do by continuing the concept creation.”
“And that is?”
He kept his eyes on Noah’s preparation for battle visible through the gap in the floor.
“Noah’s transformation is an act of defense taken because she realized she can now continue after having her orders interrupted by our attacks. And this is a desperate defense because she is in Low-Gear, the unknown land of her enemy, and because she has almost no allies. But…”
He breathed in there and pointed across to the starboard wall that was now more than fifty meters away.
The light there indicated the control of the negative Concept Cores.
He more strongly pointed at the glowing stained glass windows.
“The negative concepts are beginning to activate, so to obtain the conceptual balance needed to create the immortality concept, she must send the positive concepts out of control and disseminate the newly-created immortality concept throughout the world. And that means…”
His voice rose to a shout.
“An explosive release of every concept! Not only that, but the release of the new immortality concept will overwrite Low-Gear’s parent string vibration and destroy the world! …Are you trying to destroy and recreate the world, Toda Mikoku!?”
Mikoku’s embarrassed smile did not change when she heard Sayama’s voice.
She simply nodded.
“That is exactly right. To control the activated negative concepts, Noah will create the positive concepts and activate them. I will use that power to create an immortality concept and…”
She breathed in.
“And the world will be made immortal by the explosion of uncontrollable positive and negative concepts within Noah. That will greatly change the world’s parent string vibration and everyone alive will likely be destroyed.”
“Do you really think I will let you do that!?”
Sayama raised his voice.
“Toda Mikoku! I swear to you I will settle the battle between us as the representative of the current world! I will destroy Noah and stop the both of you!”
“That is not possible,” said Mikoku dismissively.
She was already several meters above him and she brought a hand to her throat.
She placed her fingers on her armored uniform’s collar and looked down at the gauntlets on his hands.
“It seems Low-Gear’s ultimate weapon is the concept-destroying Georgius, but…look at this.”
She grabbed her collar and opened it.
Sayama looked there.
Moonlight washed over the blue philosopher’s stone on her skin. And…
“Do you understand now? You destroyed this, but it has already returned to normal.”
Sure enough, the stone was emitting blue light.
The light was powerful and pulsating.
Sayama gasped when he saw the light, but Mikoku gave him no expression in return.
“You may be able to destroy it, but it seems you cannot erase it or remove it. I suppose that is as far as Georgius can go.”
She quietly looked down at him.
“Your power cannot reach me. Do you still wish to settle this, Sayama?”
“I see.” She nodded. “Then you should learn what kind of power Top-Gear had. And…just how much we cared for Low-Gear ten years ago.”
She hung her head a little and a somewhat self-deprecatory smile appeared on her lips.
“We did not use our great fighting force back then specifically because we cared for that world, but I will use it here. I intend to take everything back in this world: Shino, everyone from Top-Gear, and everything else.”
She let out a breath.
He heard her speak.
“Hey, Sayama. If you lost them, could you truly wish the world would become a far, far better place by inheriting everything they had accomplished?”
He listened to the words coming from her downturned face.
“You can’t, can you? Sayama Mikoto.”
She let out a breath.
“Are you prepared to say they died because they were hopeless, that their efforts were misguided, and that they should thank us because we will not turn out like they did? Are you prepared to step over them like that? …All you do is say it will all be over if we demonstrate our understanding!!”
She placed a hand on her chest.
“But even if you demonstrate your understanding, my parents will protect me! Not you, but me! Are you prepared to kick all of them aside and create a new world even if it means becoming a villain!?”
Sayama could not answer her question. He simply replied to Mikoku’s true feelings.
He slowly hit on the real question.
“Do you intend to become the greatest villain of all that tests this world and all other worlds? …Are you using the Leviathan that bears all of the negative and positive concepts to bet on an immortal world where no one needs to be stepped over!?”
She simply hung her head, hid her eyes behind her bangs, and smiled bitterly.
And she spoke.
“Are you coming, my opposite self? A hopeless battle awaits you. And…”
“Come kill this detestable person I am, Sayama. Come kill this incompetent person who will only demand you give everything back no matter how much you lecture me. If you do not…you cannot stop me, the world, or anything else!!”
A moment later, her position quickly rose.
The high-altitude wind raged and Sayama’s footing swung downward.
He shouted up at Mikoku who picked up something precious by the pulpit.
However, she no longer looked his way.
Noah descended from the bell-ringing platform and stood by her side.
“Sayama Mikoto, please tell Alex and Tatsumi that I am no longer doing this for Shino. Tell them I simply wish to change the world even if it means destroying all of you and myself.”
“Tell them this is goodbye.”
A roof of armor began to cover Sayama’s footing.
This would likely become the base of the Leviathan’s wing.
The floor moved toward the angle that could grasp the engine and it spilled Sayama downward.
In an instant, he was thrown out into empty space.
He looked up at Mikoku far above.
“I will defeat you!!”
He spread the fingers of his left hand toward his other self.
“I swear I will defeat you!!”
He fell out from the bottom of Noah.
Itaru and Sf were stopped on the staircase leading into darkness.
Sf frowned slightly.
“Communications…have cut off.”
“Noah has placed a stealth barrier around its concept space, using an information concealing concept. Only those inside the concept space can comprehend the existence of anything in there. It’s to the point that we wouldn’t be able to comprehend the existence of any transmissions coming from it.”
“In that case,” said Sf. “Where is Noah going?”
“Where do you think?”
After a pause, she expressionlessly answered Itaru’s question.
“Most likely. Noah will have kept its memories just in case. And that included the location of Low-Gear’s UCAT headquarters.”
“That aerial ship was primarily a peaceful facility, but it was meant to become the greatest stronghold supporting Top-Gear after they subjugated the world. It contains enough firepower to confront every other Gear head-on.”
Hearing that, Sf turned to face him.
“If they had something so powerful, why did they not use it to invade Low-Gear?”
“Didn’t I already tell you? Noah was built to maintain a lasting peace, so Top-Gear’s pride wouldn’t let them send it out to attack. And when Top-Gear was destroyed…the entire world fell to the negative side far too quickly.”
Itaru bent forward and rested his elbow on the railing in a pose of disinterest.
“Noah must be filled with fear at having come to this unknown enemy world. The negative concepts that have combined with it have activated, so it needs to create and activate the positive concepts to suppress the negative ones. And…”
“The concept creation instructions from a Top-Gear resident were stopped.”
Itaru nodded and reached for his sunglasses.
He removed them and turned his bared eyes toward empty space.
“Noah must think that it is surrounded by enemies. As a ship from Top-Gear, it will want to create the kind of world the residents of Top-Gear would want. That is why it will come here, to the enemy territory found in its memories.”
“Tes.” Sf nodded but frowned just a bit. “Due to the information concealing concept, no one will realize Noah is coming here. Itaru-sama, are you not going to urge the others to evacuate?”
“Why would I need to do something so kind?” he said plainly. “That isn’t my job.”
Sf nodded and said nothing more about it.
She asked something else instead.
“If Heo-sama and the others pick up Sayama-sama and attack Noah, will they be able to destroy it?”
“Not a chance.” Itaru smiled bitterly. “We had made our predictions before making our attack. If Noah had a combat form, we predicted that no attack or defense would work against it. Of course, Top-Gear was destroyed before they had a chance to use it.”
He was not done speaking.
“But our predictions from back then will be useful now.”
“Yes, we had predicted where Noah would attack first if Top-Gear did use it to invade Low-Gear.”
He moved his gaze down.
He looked to the darkness below.
He straightened his back and gave the empty space an expressionless look.
“Sf, tell me where this is.”
“Tes. Based on the coordinates, we are at the very bottom level of UCAT. I believe it is the seventh basement.”
“Correct. You have some decent measurement devices in you. And you should know that this seventh basement is far deeper than any of the other floors.”
“Tes.” Sf nodded and cleared her ears. “But according to my acoustic scan, there is a faint echo. I have determined we are near the bottom.”
“That is also correct. So…look down, Sf.”
She looked down from the railing as instructed.
She looked into what had been nothing but empty darkness before.
“I can see a shadow.”
There were shades to the darkness.
It began directly below and continued on and on into the distance.
“What can you see, Sf?”
“Tes. This…appears to be a tower.”
“That’s right,” said Itaru as he lightly raised a hand.
Sf realized he had placed his hand on her head.
The metal maid narrowed her eyes as he stroked her head, but…
“Itaru-sama, I did nothing worthy of praise. …I have determined that is not what I wanted.”
“It’s fine. You’ll be doing something praiseworthy soon enough.”
He stared into the depths of the darkness and spoke with a sigh in his voice.
“Sf, I am about to give you a request. A very important and…silly-sounding request.”
The time was 1:27 AM.
Noah turned eastward at eight kilometers above the Mt. Ikoma region and added an information concealing concept to the concept space to keep anyone else from comprehending its presence.
Noah then used its massive white metal dragon body to slowly move east.
It ascended with heavy but certain speed and created an overwhelming surge of air and clouds.
As it travelled through the sky with a great rumbling, the American UCAT mechanical dragons inside the concept space could not keep up.
However, two things rose from the mountains and into the heavens.
One was a blue and white mechanical dragon that split the sky with a white contrail behind it. The other was a black giant that flew after the mechanical dragon.
They were Thunder Fellow and Susamikado.
The two of them flew high into the moonlit sky and made a nearly right angle turn.
They turned east.
The two of them used their acceleration to challenge the giant Leviathan flying high in the sky.
They would reach it in four minutes’ time.
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