Owari no Chronicle:Volume14 Chapter 4
Chapter 4: Reason for Defeat
The corner of hope
Which simply yells how much it hurts
Wants much, much more
Kazami responded to Jord’s movement by running along the slope.
She ran as fast as she could.
X-Wi had always been her lifeline during a battle, but she had removed the straps and left it on the ground. After all, it now had the amazing ability of transforming “flying” into “falling”, so it was completely useless.
And at the moment, she was incredibly helpless.
She doubted she could even lift the spear she had brought with her, so it too was abandoned on the ground as nothing more than an obstacle between her and Jord.
Her armored uniform was also very heavy.
On that note, Izumo had removed her skirt earlier and now wore it on his head as armor.
…Why protect his head when his brain is already a lost cause?
She did not understand why she still had her speed even though her strength was gone.
Her equipment felt heavy, but her body did not.
Similarly, Izumo’s defenses had been reversed, but he could still lift things and run.
It seemed only their special abilities had been reversed.
…In that case, the strength I can use now is what’s actually mine.
She could act as something like a diversion.
She could only say “something like a” because she had no attack power.
A diversion that could not attack could not draw their opponent’s attention.
And sure enough, Jord was focused on Izumo and trying to hit him.
However, there was a way of drawing Jord’s attention without attacking.
She ran right in front of Jord as the woman was attacking.
She put herself between Jord and Izumo to hide the boy from her.
She jumped to place herself at Jord’s eye level and interfered with her attack.
She performed a midair side-flip to avoid Jord’s attack.
Blocking her view would delay her attack. Not seeing how her opponent reacted prevented her from attacking in the optimal position.
It was Izumo’s job to attack, so he swung down his large sword.
It drew a large downward arc, but…
“I hope that doesn’t hit me.”
With Jord’s words, it failed to hit.
The thick blade was swinging straight toward Jord from head-on, but it only tore at empty air.
It should have hit, but it did not.
…It’s been reversed.
Jord’s original concept had been “betrayed expectations”. Everything others expected of her would not happen.
But that ability had been reversed.
…Her own expectations come true.
If she wished “let there be light”, light would appear there.
She even did exactly that.
She swung her hand and casually fired light from it to deflect Izumo’s sword as he raised it again.
With the sound of crumbling sand, the light fell apart and vanished.
But in that instant, the vanishing light fell on the surrounding area like frost and froze Izumo’s sword.
That light would freeze anything it hit.
“Now, how does it feel to face a god? You aren’t doing a very good job of holding your own.”
“Gods these days sure talk a lot even without an oracle,” replied Kazami while feeling a little out of breath.
She turned toward Izumo who was a step behind her.
“Kaku, are you okay?”
Even a minor hit would be fatal to him right now and she did not want a repeat of what had happened in the past.
“Don’t do anything too reckless, okay?”
“Don’t worry,” he said calmly. “I’ll keep my usual spot where I can adore your butt.”
He looked down at her skirtless butt.
“Everything is okay.”
“What are you talking about?”
Her armored uniform was a full-body suit, so removing the skirt only revealed the lower layer of the suit.
But it was true this area was normally hidden.
…You don’t have to point out that you can see it.
But it’s okay. You’re wearing defensive stockings and you’ve trained enough to have a perfect silhouette.
After reassuring herself, she looked forward.
She looked to Jord.
That woman could do anything that matched her expectations and they had yet to get a single attack in on her.
However, they had yet to be hit by any of her attacks either.
With that in mind, Kazami breathed in.
Abilities are reversed in this space, she thought.
…What does that mean?
She frowned at this sudden question in her heart.
She felt she had to have overlooked a few things about the reversed abilities.
She realized a certain fact and frantically hid her expression so Jord would not notice what she was thinking.
She quickly stood tall, kept her cool, and glanced at Izumo behind her.
“Well, I guess we’ll manage somehow.”
“That’s right,” she agreed.
…We might be able to pull this off somehow.
She then sank down, opened her mouth toward Jord, and gathered her resolve.
“I’ll go first.”
“Are you insane?”
“Who knows,” she said with a smile on the corner of her mouth. “But let me tell you one weakness of your expectations.”
That weakness was…
“Even a god can only think about one thing at a time. You can only hold one expectation in your head at once. So let me tell you something else.”
She raised her hips and leaned forward.
“I’ll go first, so you had better prepare the expectation you need to defeat me.”
With those words, she launched her body forward.
She began the seven meter dash to Jord and she heard Izumo running behind her.
Jord held the hammer close in on her upper right.
Kazami ran in first, closely followed by Izumo.
She more or less knew what they were trying to do. Kazami would dodge and Izumo would attack at the same moment.
It was true that she could not think of two expectations at the same time. Parallel thoughts were not possible.
That was why her opponents were acting at the same time.
If she intercepted Kazami, Izumo’s attack would hit her a moment later.
But if she wanted to intercept Izumo, Kazami was in the way.
…In that case, I guess I should target the one in the back.
Kazami had no attack power.
While Kazami would be in the way, the only danger was Izumo behind her.
And, she thought. This Kazami girl is what matters most to him.
That meant he would attack as soon as he could to make sure the girl was not harmed and he would make an attack that was even more certain to hit her than before.
As for Kazami, she was sure to wait until the last moment to make sure Jord could not avoid Izumo’s attack.
…In that case…
Jord decided who to target, what to expect, and what to attack.
If she attacked that girl, Izumo would crumble, so the diversion was actually the better option.
As soon as she made up her mind, Kazami took action during her approach.
She made a quick cartwheel to evade and that exposed her outstretched body to Jord.
Her wrists had already reached the ground, so she twisted them to begin her evasion.
Trying to blind me again? thought Jord as she prepared her weapon.
In that moment, Jord saw Kazami’s hands stop before completing their twisting motion.
The girl pushed off the ground in a jump.
By the time, Jord wondered what was happening, it was already too late.
After making her hand-stand jump, Kazami’s back slammed into Jord.
This produced an impact, but Jord could easily endure it.
However, Kazami was not trying to knock the woman over.
She wrapped her knees and legs around Jord’s shoulders and neck and bent backwards.
Kazami’s legs were dangling down from Jord’s neck.
This was a Frankensteiner.
But she failed to throw Jord. The woman spread her legs and held her ground.
However, Kazami did not stop there. She swung her upside-down body like a pendulum and…
“Are you going to use the reaction to sit up and fully block my vision!?”
Jord understood. As soon as Kazami sat up and covered her face, Izumo’s sword would strike her defenseless body.
Even if she created an expectation that she would dodge Izumo’s attack, Kazami would continue blocking her vision, she would not see the next attack coming, and that attack would hit her.
And that was exactly what started to happen.
Kazami swung her arms as if throwing something.
And she quickly shot upwards to block Jord’s vision.
She swung her arms forward, bent her abs, and then latched onto Jord’s head to block her view.
At the same time, Jord could sense Izumo moving. He sank down toward the ground to remain hidden behind Kazami and then…
“Go for it, Chisato!”
Kazami realized Izumo had swung his sword one-handed behind her.
She had swung her arms upwards and used the momentum to grab onto Jord’s head.
Her pose was similar to someone just before performing a Frankensteiner.
Jord’s vision was blocked, so she had to choose between peeling Kazami away or avoiding Izumo’s attack.
The former would give Izumo a chance to attack and the latter would allow a second attack shortly thereafter.
…Either way she won’t escape unscathed!
A moment later, Kazami heard Jord’s expectation.
The woman spoke her coming expectation aloud.
“Can my grandson…”
She took a breath.
“…really attack this girl?”
Izumo realized the tip of his sword had turned toward Kazami’s back.
His body was automatically responding to Jord’s expectation.
He tried to stop it, but he still tightly held the hilt and pointed the blade at Kazami.
At this rate, the sword would definitely skewer Kazami. He had no doubt about that.
He saw Kazami look back at him in surprise, but a beat later, he saw her raise her eyebrows a little, close her eyes, and nod.
She was entrusting herself to him and showing that she trusted him.
…So I’ve gotta show off my good side!
He immediately decided that he could not allow himself to harm her.
So first, he let go of the sword.
The weapon slowly fell and the possibility of accidentally killing Kazami vanished.
However, he was still a prisoner of Jord’s expectation.
His right fist was proof of that. He clenched his fist and aimed it toward Kazami.
With her slender body, he would be lucky if this blow only broke a few of her ribs.
He could not allow that, but then what was he to do?
There was no way he could avoid attacking her. It was a god’s expectation.
So was there an attack that would not do any damage?
There was, so he used that.
While still forming his right fist, he raised the index finger.
He pulled off the attack with the perfect timing, speed, and power.
But UCAT’s armored uniform was overly sturdy for him and his current defenses could not even handle the reaction.
“Ow, ow, ow, ow! I jammed my finger!!”
Still, he had avoided harming that precious girl.
That was a clever decision, he praised himself.
“Man, that was a close one, wasn’t it?”
He looked up and saw something there.
It was Kazami’s left fist flying in from the side. In other words, it was a left backfist.
“What do you think you’re doing to a girl’s butt!?”
She scored a direct hit.
The impact sent him flying more than it actually hurt, but he still got a good look at Kazami.
She was clinging to Jord’s neck with her legs and left arm and she held a weapon in her right hand.
It was a spear.
Jord widened her eyes in surprise.
Kazami held a spear tip in her right hand and she was trying to swing it down at Jord.
“How can you use that spear!?”
Kazami had her left arm locked onto Jord’s neck and back and she narrowed her eyes from close enough to feel her breath.
Jord then heard what the girl said.
“I’d forgotten I had attached anchors to it to make it heavier, but that lightened it up a fair bit.”
Jord saw a single anchor attached to the spear.
Kazami had likely picked it up while wrapping her legs around Jord’s neck and leaning back.
Hiding Izumo’s attack had not been her only reason to rise up and block Jord’s vision.
“It was to keep me from seeing the spear!?”
Jord heard Izumo’s footsteps behind Kazami’s voice.
He intended to pick up his dropped sword and attack.
They would attack simultaneously, so how could she avoid that with a single expectation?
Jord then spoke her answer.
It was a simple statement that closed everything off.
“Will you be crushed?”
Kazami and Izumo immediately crashed into the ground.
Izumo felt an impact all across his body.
The rocky ground was hard and the damage was much more thorough than from being hit by something.
His organs jumped up inside him and the core of his body felt knocked out of place.
Not only did he lack his divine protection, but this concept space seemed to actually give him pain.
He could not seem to get any air back into his lungs and he had trouble breathing.
Kazami was collapsed next to him with spear in hand and she seemed to have hit her head.
She squeezed her eyes shut and gently squirmed.
Past her, Jord stood tall in her white combat coat.
Izumo saw her exhale, scratch her head, and smile bitterly.
“I really should have made that kind of expectation earlier.”
She looked to him.
“I should have just expected that you would lose.”
That expectation was guaranteed to come true.
They would lose.
And as proof, all strength left Izumo’s body.
His stomach relaxed and air finally entered his lungs.
“Y’know,” he said in a trembling voice. “You are my grandmother, aren’t you?”
“Are you hoping I’ll have mercy on you for that? Not a chance.”
Jord shook her head.
“To me, you’re a collection of betrayed expectations.” She lowered her eyebrows a little. “My world, my daughter, and everything else refused to do what I wanted, which all led to you. And…”
“Isn’t it pathetic?” Her bitter smile grew as he had his hands full simply breathing. “You probably don’t know what my daughter said to me when she turned her back on me.”
He did not answer. He only tried to get up.
She took a short step forward and kicked.
Her kick flew over Kazami and accurately caught him on the left side.
His left ribs groaned and he rotated three times as he flew to the right.
He rolled along the rocky ground and even the fallen grains of sand felt painful.
He landed face down and the bit of rock jutting up toward his chest was enough to make his sense of pain even more sensitive.
His ribs had been broken and he just about passed out from the pain.
But even so…
He tried to get up.
Another kick came. This one was to the right side as if to flip him over.
He flew through the air and rolled four times along the ground.
His broken ribs must have punctured a lung because he coughed up blood before he even began breathing again. He was choking on the blood.
Face up now, he heard Jord’s voice.
“There’s no point in moving. …Your defeat has already been determined.”
“Maybe…so,” he muttered. “Then make your case for victory, old lady.”
He forced a smile and his grandmother frowned.
“Are you joking?”
“No…not really,” he said. “I’m of course going to make a strong case of my own.”
As soon as he said that, something appeared: wings.
Black wings of reversed power grew from Jord’s back.
She quickly turned toward the black light glowing from her back.
“That’s Chisato’s X-Wi. Before I attacked with my sword earlier, I ducked down and grabbed it with my left hand. So you didn’t see that? You didn’t wonder why I only used one hand to attack?”
“And when Chisato picked up her spear, she threw one of its anchors to me. I attached it to X-Wi to lighten it, so I passed it to her when she hit me with her backfist.”
X-Wi weighed about three kilograms, so the anchor would just about cancel out all of its weight.
When attacking Jord with her spear, Kazami had grabbed onto the woman’s back with her left arm.
…But the spear was never meant to work. She was attaching X-Wi to your back with her left arm.
And now the black wings were linked to the movements of Jord’s back.
They made an awkward flap.
The wings would normally have taken her forward and up, but now they took her down and back.
Jord’s body teetered backwards.
She lost her balance.
At the same time, Izumo stood up. He endured the intense pain remaining throughout his body and stood.
He raised the sword that was miraculously still in his right hand and he stepped toward Jord.
However, Jord shouted her expectation.
“You will lose!!”
The expectation of a god activated.
Jord also spread her legs to bear with the downward pull of the wings on her back and she raised the hammer in her right hand.
“You will lose, my grandson of betrayed expectations!!”
He briefly closed his eyes when he heard that.
Not even he understood why. Was it because she had said he was a betrayal of her expectations or was it because she had called him her grandson?
…I guess it doesn’t matter.
He was expected to lose.
That was a god’s expectation, so he was going to lose.
And so he spoke.
“Sorry, old lady. It’s true that I’m going to lose.”
He did not hesitate to swing down his sword and speak his heart.
“Hitting my own grandmother means I’ve lost as a human being.”
Izumo did not stop moving. The sword dropped straight toward her.
He had called her his grandmother.
It may have been because she had called him her grandson.
She could not be sure, but she did know that a powerful attack was about to reach her.
“Old lady, I don’t know what my mom said to you,” he said. “But I do know what she said to me. She told me to reach the point where I could live without my divine protection. And she said she would protect me until that time came.”
“How am I doing now?”
Jord gave a yell in response.
She did not know if it was directed at his attack or something else, but it was single word.
That word did indeed make Izumo stop.
However, he kept his sword held high.
“Sorry, old lady. I’ll stop losing then.”
His voice was strained from the pain he was experiencing.
He called out and the response came from below.
“Right, Kaku. This is the job for the cruel wife. I’m the one that will hit her and lose.”
Jord turned around and saw Kazami directly below.
The girl’s spear was in cannon mode and its tip was aimed at Jord’s butt.
Kazami briefly brought her hands together as if praying to her and then she spoke while squeezing the trigger.
“I’ll take the defeat, so you take this cannon kancho!!”
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