Owari no Chronicle:Volume14 Chapter 5

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Chapter 5: Beginning of the Arrival[edit]

OnC v14 0161.png

I have no voice to interrupt

I have no thoughts to interrupt

I do not even have a delaying stalemate


Sayama entered a five meter square corridor which was filled with dark blue light and he saw a single figure standing before him.

She was a maid with white wings.

She shook her black hair and bowed.

“I am Noah. I am currently the only automaton aboard this ship to have reactivated and I am a terminal that allows voice input for Noah’s consciousness. Over.”

Sayama nodded at the voice ringing from the walls, but…

“Shinjou-kun?”

His questioning gaze was turned toward Noah’s face which resembled one from his memories.

However, Noah shook her head.

“Angels are made in their master’s image. Over.”

“In other words, you were made by Shinjou Yukio?”

“Do you know my creator, Sayama-sama? Over.”

“Yes,” was all Sayama said.

So she knows who I am, too

She had likely heard from Mikoku.

Noah suddenly turned her back to him and Sayama stood a step behind her.

“You are not going to stop me?”

“I am meant to save the people. Over.”

She continued.

“But Mikoku-sama has yet to request my help. Over.”

“You are a wonderful automaton, Noah-kun.”

“I have determined there is no need to use an honorific. Over.”

Sayama spoke to her back.

“Could you say ‘over’ for me?”

“Over. Over.”

“So you really do say it twice.”

“Testament. If I am to say ‘over’, I will say it twice. Over.”

Noah began to walk.

“Sayama-sama, Noah will fully activate in another seventeen minutes. If you are in a hurry, then come this way. I will guide you to the concept creation facility. Over.”

She produced no footsteps as she walked.

As far as Sayama could see, her feet were reaching the ground, but her gravitational control seemed to be preventing them from actually contacting the surface.

Perhaps to not dirty the floor even a little, she walked without touching her true body.

He then heard a voice: Noah’s voice.

She seemed to be singing and there were no ‘overs’.

“Come, come, you stride of mud armor.

“Go, go, you pulse of metal weaponry.

“We speak on behalf of the border of blades and firearms.

“We cry out for the shore beyond life and death.

“The ark that travels between worlds meets disaster.

“The power that enters the gap between emotion and reason brings happiness.

“When the two arrive, there is conflict.

“When the two appear, there is peace.

“When the two meet, there are questions.

“When the two are finished, there are answers.”

The lyrics of Noah’s song filled her wings with light.

In response, the dark blue light from the walls strengthened.

You would almost think that light is sterilizing everything.

Sayama followed behind Noah.

His footsteps rang loudly and he left muddy footprints in the corridor.


Destruction was established in an instant.

There were three great elements of destructions below the night sky. The small elements were too numerous to count.

The three great elements came from three giant metal dragons being knocked upwards and away in the sky and forest.

The smaller elements were metal vehicles and people also being knocked upwards in the sky and forest.

The sound of the wind was greater than the sounds of impact and metal.

This was because the destroyer was wrapped in wind as it moved.

It was a white god of war, a humanoid machine measuring over ten meters tall.

But a single flap of its six wings launched its great mass upwards and white homing rounds were fired from between its wings.

With the three mechanical dragons incapacitated by the gale, the mountain pass belonged to the white giant.

It stood on the forest path as if making the moonlit wind its own.

The giant looked to the base of the mountain.

There were people there.

Countless people were hiding behind mechanical dragons with their right leg cut and smashed or their torso destroyed by a shell.

From Typhon’s shoulder, Tatsumi asked a question with the moon on her back.

“What will you do?”

The backlight hid her expression, but her voice came from that shadowy form.

“Are you sure?”

It was a quiet question.

“Are you sure you want me to decide?”

As if she could not hold back any longer, she had Typhon raise its right arm.

That arm held a sword.

Its wings rose and shimmering heat appeared behind it.

The wind was slowly rising.

“Then…”

Tatsumi’s voice reached everyone below.

“I will decide.”

A moment later, the air exploded behind her.

The white giant’s full strength would collide with the people who could not escape.

But something else happened.

“Stop!!”

A voice moved between Typhon and the mechanical dragons.

A small, skinny body spread its arms and spoke at the approaching white wind.

“Don’t you understand!?”

The shout pierced the wind with no hint of timidity.

“The understanding you want isn’t here!”

But the wind did not stop.

A quick attack was sent straight forward.


Tatsumi looked down below while wondering if the moonlight on her back was cold.

“I see you didn’t evade.”

Looking down from Typhon’s shoulder, she saw a sword stabbed into the ground.

That was the attack she had just swung down.

A girl stood only two centimeters in front of the thick blade.

She had blonde hair, a blue armored uniform, and an orange flight jacket.

Tatsumi knew her name.

She was Heo Thunderson.

There were some tears in the corners of her eyes, her shoulders rose and fell as she breathed, and she opened her mouth.

“————”

She slowly looked up and their eyes met.

The backlight from the moon would prevent that girl from seeing Tatsumi’s eyes, but she still looked Tatsumi directly in the eye.

Her blue eyes seemed certain that she was staring right at her.

She has a lot of confidence.

That thought led Tatsumi to ask a question.

“Why? Why don’t you run?”

She received an answer almost immediately.

“Because you’re wrong. This isn’t who you should be fighting!”

Tatsumi thought for a moment and finally sighed.

“Then,” she began. “Can you take on him? Can you take on your other self?”

Typhon pulled the sword from the ground.

The feeling of the sword tip in the dirt was not fed back to her from Typhon, but the motion still told Tatsumi how soft the ground was.

“Your mechanical dragon is inside the alternate space my Cowling Sword created. You have no power. So why are you here?”

“I do have power.”

“Where?”

Heo did not hesitate to respond.

“Everywhere!”

She brought her outstretched hands to her chest and flung the tears from the corners of her eyes.

“I will receive power from wherever my will can reach!!”

Tatsumi saw something as the girl shouted.

Behind her, a boy held his head in his left hand and prepared a rifle in his right hand.

Similarly, the people hiding behind the mechanical dragons checked back over their equipment.

What a stupid girl, thought Tatsumi.

“You are a demon that leads people to their deaths.”

“But…the demon that once tried to hurt me gave me happiness in the very end,” she said. “But what about you? What kind of happiness are you fighting for!?”

It was a simple question. She was asking why Tatsumi was fighting.

So Tatsumi thought about her answer.

Well…

But she suppressed her thoughts and simply spoke.

“I am waiting. It is fun…but it is also boring.”

“…Eh?”

She had no intention of saying more.

She was the one who had taken her power and Alex would likely take care of the enemies flying above before long.

I am the one that took his rightful enemy from him, she thought.

So…

“Will taking care of you fill the time as I wait? Or will I be taking responsibility for stealing Alex’s enemy?”

Typhon raised its sword.

The men beyond the mechanical dragons began to move, but she did not care.

Her target was the girl directly below.

If that girl was lost, the others would lose the will supporting their strength.

Sorry.

I’m the one at fault here, she thought.

She was tired of waiting and more importantly…

This fight began when I killed his father.

The evil would play the role of the evil and the honest would play the role of the honest.

Tatsumi had the sword swung down as if further deepening herself.

But…

“————!?”

Wind crashed into her.

That wind contained the groaning and weight of heavy metal and it flew straight down from the sky.

“Ohhhh!!”

Her vision, her sight, her gaze, and her eyes saw it all.

She saw the surprised looks on the people below and she saw what had collided with Typhon.

It was a black god of war.

“Susahito Custom!!”


The collision was instantaneous.

Typhon moved its wings and flew so it would not be knocked back.

Without a moment’s delay, it moved back one hundred meters and landed with a spray of dirt rising from its heels.

It was turned to the side and Tatsumi looked forward to the moonlit space filled with a trailing metallic ring.

It was there.

Below the sea of the stars and the island of the moon, she saw two wings darker than the night.

Its hips were lowered to protect the people and she recognized the stance.

“Oh…”

Her voice could have been a sigh or a note of surprise.

She trembled and brought a hand to her cheek.

He’s here.

Susahito Custom seemed to answer her.

“I’m here, Miki. I was slowed down helping out the other units, though.”

Yes, she thought. But it’s fine if you’re late.

“You’re here, aren’t you?”

When she heard Susahito Custom’s affirmative, she felt the core of her body shake.

For so long, her other self had fled, chosen not to fight, or tried to pacify her, but now he was truly standing in her way.

He’s finally here.

“But…why are you here?”

Her question yearned for a single response.

And she received exactly that response.

“To win.”

He took a breath.

“To win!!”

She did not know why, but those words sent tears spilling from her eyes.

She simply nodded.

“I…”

She had waited.

She had waited so long for this opponent. The battle she had waited so long for was about to be established.

It would be a head-on clash with her other self now that he was taking this seriously.

She moved as if to leap into the waiting embrace of that battle.

She launched Typhon forward.

“I…!”

She no longer had to wait, so her tears scattered in the wind and were replaced by a smile.

Susahito Custom responded with movement of its own.

The explosions of air created a racing wind and a protective power.

Meanwhile, her power was one of attack.

Her speed was greater, but he was also using his full speed.

Even on the very first step, he did not hold back.

Due to their relative speeds, the black form seemed to shimmer for a moment.

Immediately afterwards, the white wind and black wind clashed head-on with their blades.


Heo and the others could not move from their position on the mountain.

Being stopped by Tatsumi had allowed the dolls to arrive in great numbers.

They were stuck fortifying their defenses behind the destroyed mechanical dragons and the dolls were making sporadic attacks to hold them back and wear them out.

However, there was another reason they could not move.

Intense sounds rang out from nearby in the forest.

Black and white winds clashed with metal and sparks.

Heo could not take her eyes off of it.

Tatsumi.

That was Tatsumi.

Tatsumi had sealed Thunder Fellow away from Heo.

Heo was about ready to accept that Thunder Fellow was not coming back.

But…

Is there really no way of getting Thunder Fellow back?

If so, wouldn’t the hint lie in Tatsumi?

She could not be certain and she did not know what to do, but she felt like she would find the answer in Tatsumi’s Cowling Sword.

Close by, she heard sounds of gunfire and the sounds of the battle to destroy the dolls rushing through the forest.

Farther away, she heard sounds of sword fighting and the sounds of the battle that whipped up the wind and sent two different kinds of light and power against each other.

She could still hear explosions in the sky.

The mechanical dragon named Alex was using his acceleration and attack power to shoot down American UCAT’s mechanical dragons.

She could hear the transmissions coming from American UCAT.

One of the transmissions left an impression on her.

Just before being shot down, one of the mechanical dragon pilots had commented on Alex.

He’s insane.

He had acceleration, maneuverability, attack power, evasion, and the decisiveness to control it all.

All this time, Heo had heard something that seemed to tear at the sky.

That was the sound of Alex’s movements.

Without rest, he forced himself through movements that threatened to break his frame.

He was not soaring through the sky.

He was moving himself as if ripping apart or breaking the sky.

He could only manage this because he had combined with the dragon and did not need a human pilot, so the other mechanical dragons could not do the same.

But that may have been why a nearby mohawked man said what he did.

“How can he take on all of American UCAT’s dragons on his own?”

Heo knew.

He was constantly pushing himself to his own limit.

Even if his abilities were greater than American UCAT’s dragons, that was a comparison between individual machines.

A certain word was needed to overturn the advantage a group had over an individual.

And the mohawked man tilted his head and spoke that word.

“This is insane… For us rank and file anyway.”

He looked back to his comrades gathering ammunition that had fallen to the ground.

“American UCAT’s dragons always take off in units of twelve, so to fight them…wouldn’t you need twelve times the madness?”

“This enemy must have that.”

A man in a hockey mask stood up and slapped the mohawked man’s shoulder with gunfire in the background.

“It doesn’t really matter, so help us gather the ammo.”

“But I normally do deskwork, so I’m nearsighted.”

The mohawked man reluctantly joined the others and they split between those fighting and those working.

One group fought to protect that location and the other group maintained weapons, treated injuries, and prepared to join the fighters again.

Sound reached them from the sky.

Sound also reached them from the forest.

And Heo realized a certain fact beyond all that sound.

No one here could fall back.

Neither American UCAT’s mechanical dragons nor Alex could afford to admit defeat.

They both have something to protect.

Only one side could be protected, Alex’s frame continued to groan, and the other dragons fell from the sky.

I have to do something.

As soon as she thought that, she heard Harakawa’s voice from the side.

“You look like you want to do something, Heo Thunderson.”

“W-well… Don’t you want to stop this!?”

She looked over and saw Harakawa repairing the functioning motorcycles with some skinheads.

She spoke toward his back while listening to the slicing of the atmosphere that flew through the sky and to the wooden arrows striking the broken mechanical dragons.

“He’s waiting.”

“Your delusions are?”

“No!” she shouted. “My other self…is waiting.”

“Your symptoms are only getting worse,” muttered Harakawa. “For one, can you even reach the person waiting for you?”

She could not answer his question, but some words came to her rescue.

They came from the American UCAT members and some men with reverse mohawks.

“Don’t worry.”

They were trying to restart one of the dragons.

The dragon trembled when they tried to start it up, but they soothed it when it failed to move.

“Even if you or we can’t do it, someone will take you there.”

After all…

“If you wish to go and continue to try to get there, it’s bound to happen.”

“That’s right,” someone replied.

It was the people from Shizuoka and Yamanashi UCAT who had returned from the forest carrying the injured.

Their breath appeared white in the cold air and none of them was unharmed.

“That’s how we fight. We enjoy using our strength on the things we want to bet on. So if…if by some chance…”

The commander rewrapped the scarf he used as a hood and looked back into the forest.

He was preparing to head out to attack without taking a break and those resting stood up to join him.

“If you manage to fly again, then we can say that we helped you get there.”

“Th-then…!” asked Heo. “What if I don’t manage to fly again!?”

“That’s simple.” The eyes inside the scarf turned toward her with a smile. “Then we managed to protect the girl with an unbreakable spirit who we took to the battlefield. …That’s normal. That’s enough right there. You flying again would just be something extra. After the battle is over, we’d be able to brag about that to the others over our drinks. That’s how it works.”

With that, he turned back around and Heo heard a voice.

“Don’t worry.”

It was a female voice she recognized.

She turned toward the mountain stream where the mountain path reached them.

She saw two people standing there.

One was a man with short blond hair riding a large touring motorcycle.

The other was a tall girl.

Heo felt like she recognized the girl from somewhere.

Or maybe not?

The girl walked toward her. She walked slowly and surely.

Her shadow wavered as she moved.

Her long, glossy black hair waved and fluttered in the night air.

Heo and everyone else then heard her speak as the moonlight revealed her smiling face.

“Don’t worry.”

She took a breath.

“You will be able to fly again.”

Heo gave a shout at that tone of voice and the owner of the black hair.

“You’re…!”


The black and white winds repeatedly collided.

The constant fury produced sparks and crashing metal, but the wind would sweep away that light and noise the very next moment.

There was wind and noise.

There was movement and shouts.

At the leading edge of the collisions and reflections, the colors white and black rampaged through the forest.

The leading edge of the white was ruled by a giant six-winged god of war.

It used twin swords, the homing rounds from its wings, and the rushing strength of its own body.

Meanwhile, the leading edge of the black was ruled by a two-winged god of war.

It used the sword in its right hand, its left fist, and kicks from either foot.

Sword struck sword, fist was stopped by armor, and rushing was met with evasion.

They were truly in constant motion with no rest.

The black god of war, Susahito Custom, attacked.

Hiba used an offensive method that chained together attack, evasion, and movement.

He did not have Mikage to manage defense and fine-tuned control, but he continued to fight.

If I can fight here…

She was waiting for him.

Just like Tatsumi, Mikage had to be waiting for him.

He trusted in that as he wielded his blade.

He felled countless trees, jumped, flipped around in midair, launched his sword, and took a step as soon as he landed.

He stepped forward.

Always forward.

His will to advance was born from his lack of fear.

“Ohhh!”

He still could not reach the one waiting for him in the moonlight.

The blade in his hand did not even touch her body.

But she was waiting. She was waiting and waiting with a smile.

“Miki!”

He let loose his words, thinking that his thoughts at least would reach her.

The speech center of his brain had overheated from the intensity of the battle.

“What do you mean you killed my perverted dad!?”

“…Perverted?”

“Sorry! I really have to focus right now, so please ignore that!”

“Then…the answer to your question is simple.”

She hung her head a little.

A shadow fell over her face, hiding her expression.

Still, he could hear her voice through the howling wind.

The words came slow and faltering.

“That man rushed to where we were. We were gathered in front of the gate below Noah that couldn’t be opened and had been abandoned. And I assumed he was our enemy.” She gave a bitter laugh. “But when he saw me, he thought I was just a child. So…”

“So…?”

“He let down his guard. …For a moment he didn’t realize what had happened when my blade stabbed through him and out his back.”

She laughed quietly.

“He apparently died afterwards. He completed his job as one of the Five Great Peaks and ran out of strength. But…if it hadn’t been for my attack, don’t you think he might have been able to make it back alive?”

Hiba did not answer her question.

“Do you understand?”

He still could not answer.

And…

“You are allowed to ask me to give back your father.”

Even then, he still could not answer.

That…

So he gave a shout that rejected her question entirely.

“That isn’t your responsibility!!”

“But I stabbed him. I can still feel it in my hands.”

She prevented him from saying more.

“He wouldn’t have had any other serious injuries. After all…”

He could hear a sigh in her voice.

“He was your father. He was my father’s counterpart.”

“!?”

Typhon flapped its wings and moved back.

Hiba tried to pursue, but he could only manage to move forward as he deflected the barrage of homing rounds.

His sword roared as the stream of bullets struck it and he heard his opponent’s voice again.

“It was on his right side just a bit below the ribs. It must have cut through his kidney and intestines. Yes, when I came to this world ten years ago, I checked in the medical books again and again. And it all proved that what I did and what I can feel in my hands was real.”

“…!”

Hiba moved forward in protest.

An explosion of light tore at his armor and a few parts were blasted away.

The noise had essentially become an audible blow.

But he still moved forward.

His attacks were directed toward the coming bullets and his evasion was transformed into racing movement.

Dammit.

As he ran, his thoughts about his big sister figure weighed on his heart.

There was something in his heart that he did not entirely understand.

He could not tell if it was a good or a bad thing.

He could not express just what it was in words.

He could only give a smile of resignation and say it was because he was stupid.

But just this once, he did not give into resignation.

Was it his father who had told him it was okay to be stupid as long as he grew up big and strong?

He decided the stupid had to play the role of the stupid.

“—————!”

He stepped forward.

He was now less than thirty meters away.

That distance could be covered in an instant for ten meter gods of war.

And at that distance, he became aware of the weight in his heart.

Would he be able to convey that weight to her?

Oh, damn.

He leaned forward and pushed himself forward faster than he could fall.

It would be a shame if this didn’t reach her.

He ran.

He carried himself forward by taking his rising knee and stabbing the foot down toward the ground.

The wings on his back used explosions of air to blast him forward.

He raised the sword on the right, twisted his entire body for the slash, and moved onward.

At the same time, Typhon took action.

Typhon no longer fled and now readied both swords.

“From below!?”

The twin blades were lowered on either side in the shape of Mount Fuji.

In contrast, all of its wings were expanded above.

With a slight time delay between them, thirty-two shots flew from the spread wings and into the heavens above.

Hiba knew what she was trying to do.

The barrage of bullets would come from above and the two swords would come from below.

Nevertheless, he did not hesitate.

I will win.

The bullets of light illuminated his big sister figure from the sky, but her expression was hidden by shadow.

He could not see her face, so…

I will win!!

He sent out his single sword.


Tatsumi saw Susahito Custom make a full swing of its sword, but not at her.

At the forest!?

Trees were chopped down in the double digits.

They flew.

More than being “felled” trees, they became “flying” trees as the force of the sword launched them into the air.

They covered her vision in front of Typhon and they covered the sky.

Overhead, something hit a few of the flying trees.

It was the falling light of Typhon’s attacks.

The homing beams of light collided with the barricade of trees.

“…!”

In front of the bursting light and breaking trees, Tatsumi looked to Susahito Custom.

That black form was approaching from below.

The airborne trees shielded him from the overhead attacks while he slipped below those trees.

But it did not matter as long as she could see it.

“There!!”

Typhon’s arms shot up and thrust the swords forward with a snap of the elbow.

The sword tips sliced through the trees and pierced the black armor of the approaching shadow.

The swords penetrated the shadow.

A high-pitched sound rang as they gouged into the metal armor.

But…

“!?”

Typhon pulled back its swords.

That movement also pulled some black armor back through the falling pieces of the trees and exploding light.

It was the main chest armor.

However, the swords had only pierced that metal panel.

The actual god of war was not there.

Tatsumi frowned for a moment.

“It can’t be…”

A moment later, some wind blew in.

It came from overhead, through the time-delayed barrage that poured down like rain.

It was a black wind.

It was Susahito Custom after purging most of its armor to lighten itself.

The black god of war had used the removed armor as a decoy while jumping into the downpour of exploding light.

In the midst of the attacks had been the perfect place to hide.

“…!”

Typhon could not immediately send its swords back out and the black god of war prepared its sword and spread its wings overhead.

This was a power dive.

The thrust of the two wings did the talking as this helmet breaker dropped straight down.

Even as the exploding light smashed its body, its desperate attack grew in the center of her vision.

He was targeting her.

He was going to reach her.

But…

“No.”

She smiled.

She lowered her head to cover her face in shadow and she smiled.

“That still isn’t enough to reach me!!”


As he listened to the metallic roar of his full thrust, Hiba saw a certain sword technique.

From Typhon’s shoulder, his opponent drew the sword on her back.

She readied the drawn blade in her right hand and blocked another blade.

She blocked Susahito Custom’s full power slash.

Impossible…

Susahito Custom’s entire body was floating in midair.

Still in its striking pose, it was perfectly balanced atop his big sister figure’s sword.

The trees fell behind him and Typhon’s barrage struck the earth and trees.

The light shined up from below and wind burst upwards.

But…

This is bad.

Even in his mechanical body, Hiba felt a chill.

He also heard a quiet sigh.

“Why?”

Tatsumi inhaled ever so slightly with her head still lowered.

“Why can’t it get through to him?”

Eh? he thought.

Her question was directed at herself rather than at him.

What does Miki want to get through to me?

That would be why she had waited and why she was fighting.

It can’t be, he thought. Could it be? he wondered.

“…!”

As soon as it came to him, she moved.

She almost seemed to be slapping him for being so slow.

It was a quick slash of the sword supporting him.

Just as Hiba made a split-second decision, Susahito Custom received the attack.

Everything he had sent Tatsumi’s way was returned via her Cowling Sword.

It felt like a cry of rejection saying his power had been insufficient.

And as a result…

“———!”

Susahito Custom was broken and blown away.


Tatsumi watched as Susahito Custom was sliced in two.

The destruction was caused more by the great impact than by the actual cut of the slash.

Susahito Custom flew overhead in a parabolic arc and it was split in two at the waist.

The sound of tearing metal sounded like fingernails on glass.

The bisected metal body was caught by the trees, but…

“——————”

The forest could not contain the great weight and collapsed.

Trees bent, but instead of breaking, their roots just seemed to give up. Unable to support the burden, roots swelled up from the ground and trees toppled, one after another.

The view opened up beyond the collapsing trees.

There was a path there.

It was the path Japanese UCAT’s train had created on its way in.

Tatsumi saw the destroyed mechanical dragons and the people with poor combat ability.

All of them were pinned in place by the dolls.

Inertia took Susahito Custom’s wreckage to that path as if to show its destruction to the people there.

The metal body scraped along the fallen trees, rolled, and arrived at the path’s entrance with its upper body and lower body separate.

The wreckage tore at the ground as it slowly came to a stop.

Tatsumi then looked to the people on the path.

The girl who was Alex’s opposite was there.

Seeing her, Tatsumi looked around, but…

Mikage isn’t there.

The Thunderson girl had the only blonde hair and Tatsumi did not recognize anyone else.

That’s for the best, she thought.

“I didn’t have to show her Ryuuji’s death,” she muttered while sheathing her sword on her back.

Suddenly, she noticed Heo Thunderson turn toward her.

No, if the girl had simply been looking at her, she would not have cared.

Something else bothered her.

She’s surprised?

There was an amazed or dumbfounded look on the girl’s face.

“What is it?”

When she asked with gunfire in the background, Heo looked taken aback and frantically spoke up.

“D-do you need something!?”

Her surprised voice produced motion around her.

The men there – the ones with mohawks, the skinheads, and the macho men – frantically surrounded her and crossed their arms.

“We are the Great Heo’s elite guards! What do you need with the Great Heo!?”

Tatsumi frowned.

“Elite guards?”

“I-I don’t know what they’re talking about!” insisted Heo. “They’re adlibbing. C-c’mon, you say something too, Harakawa!”

The boy sitting next to her working on maintenance gave a casual comment.

“The Great Heo says she’s angry.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

The men bowed very, very deeply before Heo.

In the center, Heo took a step back, blushed, and nervously looked over at Tatsumi.

“U-um, wh-what am I supposed to do?’

“Don’t ask me.”

As soon as Tatsumi tilted her head, the boy next to Heo raised his hand.

“————?”

He had thrown something silver: a wrench.

Tatsumi looked up, but less to follow the motion and more in confusion as to why he would throw the tool.

In that instant, the bowing men turned around and shouted in unison with Heo.

“Now!!”

They were shouting toward Tatsumi, but what did “now” mean?

Needless to say, they were not speaking to her.

Then…

She found the answer almost immediately.

To her left, someone was running along the short distance of Typhon’s shoulder.

It was Hiba Ryuuji.

“…!? You’re alive!?”

There was no point in asking.

Blood flowed from different parts of his body, but he was in the process of swinging back his right arm.

He was charging forward.

Meanwhile, Tatsumi’s sword was sheathed on her back.

Oh, no!

It all went back to Susahito Custom earlier.

She had assumed the battle was over when she caught the god of war’s fall and sliced it in two.

But what if he had left Susahito Custom just before then?

The answer was approaching before her eyes. By releasing his combination with the god of war as it was destroyed, he had taken part of the damage but still lived.

He only wore the pants of his armored uniform and he had likely jumped from Susahito Custom to Typhon’s shoulder as the former god of war was blown away.

Also…

“You got this close because Heo and the others distracted me!”

His gaze came straight for her.

She instead chose to evade and she did so by moving back and away from him.

But he was faster.

He moved right up to her in an instant, crouched down, and clenched his right fist.

“————!”

His fist flew in an uppercut.

In that moment, Tatsumi made one new movement.

She moved her right hand and Typhon followed her instructions.

She had Typhon pull back its left shoulder, the shoulder Hiba was running along.

The god of war moved and the joint at its left collar bone opened up.

That briefly added some distance between the two of them, but…

“!”

Hiba had already taken a strong step forward and thrown his fist.

His fist tore in at her, so she leaned back and away.

“…!!”


In the next moment, everyone saw Hiba’s right fist stop after touching the bottom of Tatsumi’s breast.


Hiba stopped moving.

He was entirely focused on the end of his right fist.

He had meant for that fist to hit Tatsumi’s side and a solid hit might have even broken a few of her ribs.

His mistake had been to quickly stop once he realized he had missed.

The sensation rested atop his fist.

“Is this…?”

When he opened his hand, grabbed it, and lifted it, he could tell.

“Is this an 88 B? And you’re not wearing a bra.”

Just the right size, he thought before realizing something.

It can’t be.

He looked up in surprise at Tatsumi’s face.

He saw a dry look there, but he smiled.

“You dodged everything I threw at you in the past, but today, I finally got in a grope!!”

Yay!

“Yes! Under my rules, this is a win!!”

A moment later, he saw her move.

She twisted her body like the windup for a left-handed tornado pitch. When she turned back around, her face was beet red.

“You pervert!!”

She threw a slap with all her strength and Hiba was sent spinning through empty air.


Tatsumi dealt with it all almost entirely on reflex.

She had only made one conscious decision.

I must hit my enemy with the greatest attack I can!

Her right hand had already instructed Typhon to pull back its left shoulder, so she could hit her falling enemy with the same attack he had used on her: an uppercut.

The left shoulder moved forward and the metal fist swung upwards with extreme speed and weight.

“Punch him, Typhon!!”

The fist instantly broke the sound barrier and was surrounded by the sound of the splitting air and an explosion of water vapor.

The metal strike collided with her target and the fist completed its follow through.

This was an exaggerated reproduction of the night before last.

The god of war had punched him on that night too, but it had not been a solid blow and it had not been at this speed.

This time, it was perfect.

Tatsumi figured this would satisfy him, but then she saw something.

“…Eh?”

Hiba had shrunk down in the instant the attack hit him.

Is that…?

She knew exactly what it was.

It was her own technique.

That movement allowed one to absorb and neutralize any strike.

“Can you really do that!?”

Impossible, she thought. No one but me can pull off that technique.

But she heard another voice from directly ahead.

“He can!”

It was a female voice and one she recognized.

“Ryuuji-kun can do it! He did it when Yonkichi’s attack shell punched him! And when he did…”

It was Mikage’s voice. It was a dignified voice that should not have been there.

“He came to me!!”

A moment later, Hiba did exactly that.

He received Typhon’s fist on the soles of his feet, shrank down, and…

“!!”

He leaped.

He leaped backwards toward the barricade of destroyed mechanical dragons.

His powerful jump was undoubtedly taking him to one point among the enemy.

A tall form stood there.

Tatsumi looked at that form and found an unfamiliar appearance.

But…

“Is that your final evolution!?”


Hiba looked forward as he landed.

He looked to the person standing at the front of the group in the moonlit forest.

It was Mikage.

But it was not the Mikage he knew.

“…”

He was dumbfounded, so she gave him a troubled smile and averted her gaze.

“I ended up coming. I couldn’t bear to wait any longer.”

And…

“What do you think?”

She swept her hair backwards with a hand.

That hair was black.

He stared blankly at that pitch black color, but he still listened to her voice.

“The philosopher’s stone left enough power in me for one final evolution. It gave me the color I wanted.”

“The color of shadow…”[1]

“Nn.”

Mikage shrugged and looked back at him.

OnC v14 0207.jpg

When he looked her in the eye, he noticed a single tuft of blonde in her bangs.

She blushed and grabbed the blonde hair.

“I think my mom must have left this for me.”

She placed her hands on top of her breasts as if trying to shrink down.

“…Is it weird?”

“No…”

“Do you not like it?”

She looked afraid and Hiba saw the crowd behind her preparing guns and blades, so he frantically shook his head.

“I absolutely love it!”

“Really? Which way did you like better?”

Now that’s an insanely hard question to answer! thought Hiba as sweat thicker than blood poured down his body.

But he gave a frank answer.

“A busty blonde is wonderful as a symbol of world harmony! But black hair and an ample bust is a truly delightful symbol of Japanese elegance! To me, the latest Mikage-san is always the greatest!!”

“Really?”

Mikage breathed a sigh of relief.

“I see.”

She blushed and smiled before taking his hands.

“They’re bigger than Miki’s and I’m in my armored uniform, so I’m not wearing a bra either.”

His hands pressed up on the soft curve on the bottom of the bulges of her armored uniform’s chest.

She then shook her black bangs and asked a slightly concerned question.

“Do you not like them? Were Miki’s better?”

“Don’t be ridiculous!”

He ignored the others cocking their guns.

“Yours are the best!”

“I see.”

Her eyes bent as she showed her teeth in a smile and then she looked to the side.

A white god of war stood in the forest beyond the toppled trees.

Mikage wrapped her arms around his neck, clasped her arms together behind him, and nodded into his cheek.

“Let’s win.”

“Yes.”

He saw Tatsumi nod as if responding to them.

She breathed out to release the tension from her shoulders.

“Okay, then.”

As soon as she swung down her right arm, Typhon rushed in.

“!”

It used its full strength.

It shot straight forward with enough acceleration to blow away the trees growing behind it.

But Hiba was unfazed.

He signaled with a hand for the people behind him to stand back and he felt the strength of Mikage’s arms wrapped around his neck.

She was with him.

He had waited so long for her to wake and now she was with him.

She had wished to resemble her name and she had fulfilled that wish.

And her breasts were big.

He had no complaints.

But he did open his mouth.

There was something he had to say here unrelated to breasts.

It was what linked the two of them.

It was the name of the power that could oppose the white wind approaching to clash with them.

It was…

“Susamikado!!”


Mikage spread her arms and a metallic sound rang out behind her.

A torso frame made of heavy black metal appeared there.

Motors, artificial muscles, arm frames, and leg frames were ejected from the space around that frame.

They all fit into place.

After the head, limbs, chest, back, additional frames, and artificial muscles all appeared, the armor appeared, wrapped around it all, and adjusted it all into shape.

The only sounds were of metal and wind.

Susamikado’s autonomous system opened and closed its hands, pressed its feet against the ground, and defined its own existence from the extremities.

As everything connected together, it enveloped Mikage and Hiba.

As soon as they were taken inside, they were combined with it.

The sensation of becoming the machine and coming closer to her felt like a comfortable tickling to Hiba.

And there was a further change.

Hiba saw the change in his high-speed pressurized vision.

That change came from evolution.

In the span of an instant, additional armor and additional artificial muscles fit into place and he sensed something around the arms and head.

Is something coming!?

It came to the right arm first.

It was a shield.

No, it was more accurately described as a long installation platform that could also be called an ejection platform.

It looked like an extremely long piece of steel armor.

“Is that the installation platform for Keravnos!?”

Armor was also ejected for the left arm.

It was a piece of metal shaped like slender, extended claws.

They mounted on the elbow and acted as a solid shield.

There was a hilt at the bottom of the shield and that hilt hinted at the presence of a black sword.

Armor attached to the chest and other areas to create a feminine silhouette.

“——————”

Finally, something like black flames burst from the back of the head.

Those flames that fluttered and danced in the wind were hair.

At the same time, Susamikado ejected wind from its entire body.

This was a god of war.

This warrior god was a machine yet it resembled a living being.

Its large shoulder armor looked like a cloak and its spread waist armor looked like a skirt.

It drew a long black sword from the shield on its left arm.

With the transformation into a shadow-colored warrior princess complete, Susamikado spread its arms a bit and spoke as if inhaling.

“————!!”

The white wind had already arrived right in front of it.

That enemy wind had the power of a gale and could neutralize any attack, but Susamikado showed no fear.

Its black hair flowed back and it stepped forward.

“Here we go!!”

It gave a shout.

“Here we go!!”

And it began the clash.


Notes[edit]

  1. Mikage means “Beautiful Shadow”.
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