Owari no Chronicle:Volume1 Chapter 13
Chapter 13: Location of the Heavens
A gaze looking down from heaven
Is actually bound to that high place
The pleasure of doing so is a different matter
As night began to fall, Sayama joined Izumo and Kazami in the Kinugasa Library.
The three of them sat around a table in that library that had a stepped floor leading toward the center.
Sayama sat on the eastern side of the table. Izumo and Kazami sat across from him.
Siegfried was making black tea at the counter where he supervised the library.
Sayama wore suit pants and a shirt and had his bandaged left arm resting on the table.
He waited for the black watch on his arm to reach six o’clock before speaking.
“Now, can you tell me the whole story about what is going on here, Kazami, Izumo?”
His sharp gaze was pointed toward Izumo who wore a black track suit over his well-built body.
“Ahh, I get the feeling an interrogation is starting here. Am I just imagining things?”
“What a coincidence, Izumo. I have that same feeling. Let us do our best to get through this together.”
“I’d rather not…”
Kazami wore a sleeveless outfit and gave a half-lidded look toward the two boys.
“This doesn’t really matter, so let’s keep it serious and cheerful. If you don’t, you’ll probably receive divine punishment.”
“You heard her, Izumo. Let us have a serious and cheerful interrogation.”
“So basically, it’s interrogation play? I know about that. At night, I’ll go like this with Chisato and…”
As he spoke, Izumo began making a kneading motion with his hands in midair before suddenly disappearing from Sayama’s vision.
Immediately afterwards, he heard a great sound of impact to his right.
Sayama looked to the right and found Izumo and his chair rolling below a bookcase. He rolled across the stepped floor once, twice, and thrice before coming to a stop.
He lay face down with his limbs sprawled out and did not move. After seeing that, Sayama turned toward Kazami.
She was lowering her hand to the table and was still seated.
“Hm?” she said as she noticed his gaze. She quickly reached her hand under the table and fixed her disheveled clothing. She finally looked over at her partner who was sprawled out on the floor. The ends of her eyebrows lowered, she brought a hand to her mouth, and spoke.
“Ahh, looks like the divine punishment really did come… God must have wanted Kaku to prostrate himself.”
“My eyes were not quick enough to catch it, but is divine punishment limited to the area below the table?”
“Yes. As they say, ‘god repays you in ways you cannot see’.”
“So he endorses assassination… But I did not expect god’s response to be quite so direct.”
“Well, it is. So what will you do? My god is the type that wants to punch with the left after punching with the right.”
“Hm.” Sayama adjusted his tie. “Then I will do as your god says and take this seriously.”
“Don’t accept this so casually!” Izumo stood up and pointed at Kazami. “What if I had been injured!?”
“But you weren’t… I have to wonder how, though,” said Kazami in annoyance.
Izumo looked down at his own body and said, “Oh, that’s fine then.”
“It is?” asked Sayama and Izumo shrugged and nodded before putting his chair back and sitting down.
After seeing the two back to normal, Sayama turned toward Izumo.
“Why are you so sturdy? I have wondered that for a while now.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s just a bit of divine protection.”
“Due to that, Kaku never learns his lesson and I catch myself reacting the same way to other people.”
“Chisato was amazing the other day when a molester touched her ass on the train,” said Kaku fondly. “She put the molester on the railing next to the seats like it was a wooden horse and shoved his crotch against the metal pole like this, again and again.”
“Evil must be destroyed and molesters must die. Never forgive them even if they shout and scream. …That was the slogan for the girls’ dorm last month.”
Kazami then nodded and loudly clapped her hands.
“Okay, let’s get started with the serious discussion! To get straight to the point, Kaku and I entered UCAT two years ago. The incident back then completed the Leviathan Road for 10th-Gear and 6th-Gear. My parents are both normal people who have no connection to IAI or UCAT. …What do you think?”
“I thank you for the quick and simple explanation.”
“Well, there’s no point in hiding any of this,” said Kazami.
Siegfried spoke up from behind the counter.
“It is only appropriate that the Izumo family handled those two Gears.”
“What?” asked Sayama with a tilt of the head.
With a small smile, Izumo explained, “My grandfather destroyed 6th-Gear and 10th-Gear.” He then asked Sayama a question. “This will take a while to discuss. Is your roommate okay? …Do you need to go and strengthen the bonds of friendship?”
“I will show him around the school later. …He is Shinjou-kun’s brother. Do you know him?”
“Oh… I have…heard a bit about him.”
“He does not know about UCAT. He is taking care of his luggage at the moment, so we should have time.”
“I see… Then, Chisato, bring out the world map. Let’s get this over with quickly.”
Kazami brought over a large map meant for a classroom. It was made of cloth and measured a meter square when spread out.
As she held onto one end and spread it out, a slight smell of wood scattered from the cloth.
A complete map of Japan which had discolored slightly with age lay on the table.
Izumo looked across it toward Sayama and opened his mouth to speak without a smile.
“It’s actually been a while since I’ve heard anything related to the National Defense Department other than about my grandfather. UCAT stores all of that sort of information in their archive and won’t let in anyone who doesn’t have permission. I did learn that old man Siegfried is a former member of the National Defense Department during the trouble a few years back.”
Sayama realized Izumo’s gaze was slowly moving up behind him.
Sayama turned his head around to find Siegfried standing there with a silver-plated tray.
The aroma of tea wafted from the four cups sitting on it.
“I would like to open a café, but I cannot do so right away.”
Kazami took the saucer and cup held out to her.
“They have tea in Germany, too. I drank quite a bit when I was there on a trip a long time ago.”
“Eh?” Izumo frowned as he took his cup. “Wh-when did you become such an international person?”
“It was before I met you, Kaku. I ended up all over the place thanks to my father’s job during my middle school years. It was my experiences then that taught me how to speak English. …Do you really have to give me that look? Sayama is even more of a threat. If I recall, he knows 12-…”
“I know 13 languages. My grandfather drove it all into me, so you cannot say it was my own ability.” Sayama took his cup and looked up at Siegfried. “Although that same grandfather told me nothing about himself or you.”
“That is unsurprising. I believe Izumo and Kazami only just learned I destroyed 1st-Gear today.”
“You’re right about that. Anyway, how much will you be helping us?”
“I tell you the bare minimum of what I remember. And I will correct your knowledge.”
Kazami gave a short whistle at that. Siegfried frowned when he heard it, but she rid him of the frown with a single embarrassed smile.
She lowered her cup and said, “That sounds good to me. The two of us have been with UCAT for about two years, but we haven’t been given much information. And yet Kaku is the heir to IAI. Not to mention that the last time his father came to visit him was-…”
Kazami stopped speaking when her name was called.
“Sorry,” she said.
Izumo nodded and so did Sayama.
“He does behave badly,” commented Sayama. “Even parents have their own feelings about things.”
“I’m not sure if I should stand up for him or not…”
“Let’s just leave it at that,” said Izumo as he placed a hand on the map. “You heard about the Divine States-World Interaction at the Imperial Palace, right? Japan is connected to the world and that condition has continued to this day. After the ten Gears were destroyed and Japan lost World War Two, Japan escaped occupation by slowing the ley line acceleration and taking on the strange phenomena of the world.”
Izumo looked over at Siegfried. The old man merely nodded.
Sayama decided Izumo’s information must be accurate. It would be safe to let him take the role of teacher.
“Continue. What I want first is a list of the ten Gears. At the Imperial Palace, you said they influenced the myths, legends, and cultures of this world. And 1st-Gear is…”
“The Volsunga Saga of Norse mythology and the more well-known ‘The Song of the Nibelungs’. It’s the story of a hero defeating a dragon and then losing his life after being betrayed by his wife and old lover. The name Siegfried even appears as the hero,” said Izumo with a nod. He tapped between Japan’s Kinki and Sanin Region on the map. “At any rate, that’s 1st-Gear. You know where 1st-Gear’s Concept Core is, right?”
“Yes. Half of it is inside the holy sword Gram and kept in UCAT’s western branch underneath IAI headquarters. But the other half is inside Fafnir Custom, the mechanical dragon of a radical faction.” Sayama lightly folded his arms. “A mechanical dragon… Have you ever seen one, Izumo?”
“Once, but it wasn’t Fafnir Custom. Simply put, it’s a dragon-shaped machine. The main body alone is over 30 meters long. I hear there are some amazing ones that can fly.”
“They were the most powerful standalone weapons of the Concept War,” said Siegfried. “As Ooshiro explained, the Fafnir I slew with Gram had only one reactor. Destroying that one killed it. However, the modified version has two reactors and the crucial Concept Core is sealed inside the weaponry reactor at its throat. If it comes to a fight, destroying the weaponry reactor will not be enough.”
“Fafnir Custom would still be running, so it could crush us?”
“A mechanical dragon can fight effectively enough with just its gigantic body.”
Sayama nodded at Siegfried’s explanation.
…If I accept the Leviathan Road, will it mean taking on that thing?
He grinned bitterly. He recalled what Shinjou Sadame had said that evening: you might die.
She might very well have been right, but for the moment, Sayama needed to gather information. He brought a hand to his chin.
“Next, I would like to ask about 2nd-Gear.”
“Oh, 2nd is easy. It’s Japan.” Izumo raised his hand and pointed toward the seven Izu Islands on Sayama’s side of the map. “That Gear is thought to be the basis for the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki. Its Concept Core is apparently a fire dragon called Yamata. The people of 2nd-Gear have mostly acclimated to life here. Negotiations with them should be easy.”
Izumo moved his outstretched arm to the side, pointing toward the Seto Inland Sea.
“3rd-Gear is the basis of Greek mythology. I don’t know much about its Concept Core. …It’s been split in half and one half is carried by something called Typhon. And…”
“And? What is it?”
“Have you seen the large humanoid machines we call Gods of War? You have, right? 3rd-Gear is a world of those and automata. That’s why I think this Typhon must be a God of War. The problem is that we can’t find the other half. Searching for it will probably be left to us. If you accept the Leviathan Road, that is,” said Izumo before adding, “Another problem is that we might have to fight those Gods of War.”
Sayama had seen it the night before in UCAT’s underground hangar. He had seen a metal giant over eight meters tall.
…First the mechanical dragons and now this. It’s all so showy.
He now further understood why he might die.
“What about 4th-Gear?”
As Sayama asked for further information regardless of the danger, Izumo gave a bitter smile. He pointed toward Kyushu.
“Africa. From what I hear, the Concept Core was made into the model of the tree serpent Mukiti and it is in UCAT’s possession. …And 5th-Gear is the Americas.” He pointed toward Hokkaido. “I’ve heard 5th-Gear is the Gear of mechanical dragons. Half of the Concept Core was apparently turned into some amazing weapon which is stored in UCAT, but the location of the other half is unknown.”
“6th-Gear is already taken care of, correct?”
“Yes. That world is the basis for Indian mythology. That Gear was ruled using a dragon named Vritra. If you see any Indian people in UCAT, you can assume they’re from 6th-Gear.”
While still smiling, Izumo slowly moved his hand over to point at Tohoku.
“I’ve been told 7th-Gear is China, but we don’t know anything about its Concept Core.”
“This is a lot to investigate…”
“Think of that as part of your duty. Next, 8th-Gear is Australia. That’s Shikoku on the map. Its Concept Core is held by the stone serpent Wanambi, but it is kept in the UCAT western branch below IAI headquarters.”
“We have a surprising number of them stored to the west.”
“Yes,” said Kazami as she stood up and pointed at the Chugoku region for Germany, the Seto Inland Sea for Greece, Shikoku for Australia, and Kyushu for Africa. “All of these were focused in the west. It seems they decided it would be useful to have them nearby in case of an emergency. Was that actually the reason, old man Siegfried?”
“It was, but it also grew difficult to move them afterwards. The remnants of the different Gears would plot to steal each other’s Concept Cores.”
“So the fighting continued even after the war ended. I suppose that should not surprise me. …Next, what about 9th-Gear?”
“9th is the Middle East. It has been suggested as the basis for Zoroastrian mythology. It seems they had some gigantic mechanical dragon named Zahhak, but 9th-Gear lost and its Concept Core is stored below UCAT. 10th is last, but it’s already been dealt with.”
“Tell me anyway.”
“Okay,” said Izumo as he pointed above Kinki. “10th-Gear is thought to be the basis for Norse mythology separate from 1st-Gear. 1st-Gear is less about the legends of the gods and more the basis of the folklore and myths. 10th-Gear is directly the world of the gods.”
“I see,” nodded Sayama.
That was the legends of 10 different locations in the world and the corresponding Gears. And…
“You may not know about 7th-Gear, but are all the Concept Cores related to dragons?”
“Yes. And they are also often contained within weapons. In almost every case where the Concept Core has been split in half, one is in a dragon and the other in a weapon.”
Sayama thought on that.
…So it is the dragon and the weapon to defeat it.
Power and restraint, wealth and influence, enemy and hero. It was a primitive symbol of that relationship.
“So it is called the Leviathan Road because it involves dealing with the dragons of the ten Gears.”
“And Leviathan also refers to the devil’s dragon in the biblical book of Revelation, right?” added Kazami. “I know a bit about it since my father is looking into that kind of thing right now for some event planning. The Leviathan has the appearance of all beasts.”
“That’s what’s wanted from us.” Izumo folded his arms. “This is just a guess of mine, but I think the Leviathan Road is a negotiation in which we confront the dragons of the ten Gears after acquiring the weapons needed to defeat them.”
Sayama began to nod at what Izumo had said, but then stopped.
There was a lot he still did not know. It was too soon to accept that deduction.
…And something bothers me about that explanation of the Gears.
He got the feeling Izumo and Kazami’s explanation had contained no conscious errors. They had been clear about what they understood and what they did not.
However, Sayama still felt something crucial was missing. But what was the problem?
Sayama crossed his arms and stared at the map of Japan. And then…
The arms folded in front of his chest felt a small movement in his shirt’s breast pocket.
It was Baku. He must have woken up from sleeping in the pocket because he looked up at Sayama.
“Wah,” said Kazami with a look that plainly said she wanted to touch Baku, but Sayama ignored her. He stroked Baku’s head and told him to stay put.
It was as Baku nodded and sank back into the pocket that Sayama realized what it was that had been bothering him.
In the dream Baku had given him that morning, he had seen some ruins.
He immediately gave voice to his thoughts.
“Babel. Izumo, do you know of a tower named Babel?”
Izumo looked up and exchanged a look with Kazami.
“Now that’s a surprise. We don’t know anything about it besides the name. How do you know about it?”
“Baku here gave me a dream with a giant tower in it. Where is it on this map?”
Izumo and Kazami exchanged another glance at that question.
From the way the ends of their eyebrows moved slightly, Sayama could guess the answer.
“You don’t know?”
“No. Since it’s called Babel, we know it’s most likely located in Japan’s version of the Middle East near Osaka. And…Babel must be related to Low-Gear’s biblical mythology.”
“You sound very certain for saying you don’t know,” said Sayama. “Are you saying this is a mythology of Low-Gear that has no influence from the other Gears?”
“Yes. Biblical mythology is thought to be a Low-Gear original.”
Izumo smiled bitterly and pointed toward the bookshelf behind him. It contained Kinugasa Tenkyou’s books that Sayama had looked at that morning.
“Do you remember the books you looked at this morning? The 11 books on mythology. Volumes one through ten correspond to the lineup of Gears we told you about. And do you know what the eleventh volume is about?”
“That’s right. Japan possesses the appearance of the world’s ley lines. I don’t know if Babel in Japan influences the Middle East or if the Middle East influences the Osaka region, but that tower definitely exists.”
“Do you really not know any details concerning Babel?”
“We tried to look into it, but the information has been completely shut down. Of course, that almost tells you it exists right there. We have no idea why it is being kept secret when it is related to our Gear,” explained Kazami with a shrug.
Sayama gave a bitter smile.
I see, he said in his heart. These two have seen the mysteries in their situation and have investigated some of them over the past two years.
Something else seemed to click in place in his head.
“Is that why UCAT uses some terms related to the bible? Like saying ‘testament’ for ‘understood’. Testament can also refer to the bible.”
“Yes. There are a total of 11 different Gears: Low-Gear with the bible and the other ten that act as models for different mythologies. Your grandfather and the others from the National Defense Department destroyed all of the others.”
“But this is referred to as Low-Gear. Why does it have such a humble name?”
Siegfried nodded in response.
“The other Gears referred to each other by numbers based on the order of their worlds’ string vibration frequencies. Those codenames were created as the Concept War continued. And so we came up with our own. American UCAT suggested naming ourselves Law-Gear because we fought for victory and justice. But…”
“Professor Tenkyou misspelled it when making the announcement. We have been Low-Gear ever since.”
“Am I supposed to laugh at that?” said Sayama with a sigh. He then took in a breath before asking, “At any rate, which of these Gears did my grandfather destroy?”
Siegfried said nothing, but he cast his eyes down.
Seeing that brought a pain to Sayama’s chest. He frowned and sucked in a breath.
Izumo must have noticed this change because he frowned. Kazami spoke from beside him.
“Sayama? Are you-…?”
The two of them were aware of his illness. That was why Kazami stood up from her chair and began to approach him. At the same moment, the entrance to Kinugasa Library opened behind him.
“Um, is Sayama-kun here?” asked a high-pitched voice.
Sayama raised his lowered head and turned toward the library entrance beyond Siegfried.
Shinjou Setsu stood there in personal clothes. Shinjou’s hair was worn up and it swayed as he looked toward Sayama.
His eyes were wide as he looked through the library and they narrowed once he spotted Sayama.
“Are you done with your work?”
Sayama nodded and realized a certain fact.
…My chest pain is gone?
He did not know why. However, it was clear that Shinjou’s presence had played a role.
Sayama smiled bitterly in his heart as he wondered why.
He stood up and looked over at Izumo and Kazami. A smile appeared on Kazami’s lips.
“Go on. I hope you can take good care of your first roommate.”
Sayama listened to Kazami’s words and nodded. He walked over toward Shinjou who was tilting his head with a smile.
In the unlit art room, Brunhild stopped her hand that was moving the brush.
Her wristwatch told her it was 7:30 PM.
“I have been focusing on this for quite a while.”
She looked to the side. The small bird was sleeping in the cardboard box placed on the work desk. The dish cloth inside the box was crumpled such that a depression existed in the middle like a nest. The bird stood on the brush placed there in place of a perch. Its eyes were cast down in sleep.
As Brunhild watched the bird, she swung a leg. This produced a voice at her feet.
“Ow. What is it? I had just gotten to sleep.”
She heard the black cat’s footsteps on the floor. Looking down, she saw its slender body standing up and looking up at her.
Brunhild pressed her index finger against her mouth.
“Are you trying to pick your nose?” asked the cat.
She gently kicked the cat through the air.
The cat turned its back to her, rolled over, and began complaining, but Brunhild ignored it. She stood up and checked the food and water in the box. She soaked a few pieces of food in the water and left them for the bird.
She then crouched down, grabbed the back of the cat’s neck, and picked it up.
“Now, let’s go to the headquarters.”
“Ah? What about the bird? Is it okay?”
“It’s sleeping, so this is our chance.”
Brunhild lowered the black cat to the floor and walked toward the lockers. They were the lockers for the art club located in the back of the room. As she walked, she loosened her uniform’s tie and removed her coat.
She draped the coat over her arm as she arrived in front of one of the lockers. She touched the door and it opened.
“Sorry, Requiem Sense. The time to use you has not yet arrived.”
The giant scythe folded up in the locker called orbs of light into the surrounding area. As she watched that pale firefly-colored light, Brunhild grabbed some folded up cloth from the bottom of the locker.
As she lifted it up and spread it out with one hand, the black cat spoke its name.
“The black clothes of the witch.”
Hanging down from her hand were a black dress and a black three-cornered hat.
As Brunhild drew the black clothes toward her, she tossed her coat into the locker.
Her empty hand ran through practiced motions. Her uniform’s skirt fell from her waist and to the floor, she unbuttoned her shirt, and she slid her body out of it.
Partway through, her hand got caught on the right cuff of the shirt, but she bit the button to remove it.
She was now wearing only black underwear and stockings.
She then lightly waved the black clothes again to spread them out.
These black clothes had no stitches along the collar or chest. She sucked in a breath to make her body as slender as possible and slipped the hem of the skirt down her body. She breathed out and the three-dimensional form created by the darts below the chest and the tucks at the waist fit perfectly to the shape of her body with no need for a belt.
Brunhild pulled a pendant with a blue stone embedded in it from the dress’s breast pocket and placed it around her neck.
She lifted the three-cornered hat up in both hands and placed it on her head.
Without even checking in a mirror, Brunhild began to move. She grabbed the shirt and skirt at her feet and threw them into the locker without bothering to fold them.
The shirt got caught on Requiem Sense, so she frantically removed it.
She blushed and looked down. The black cat looking up at her quickly shook its head.
“I-I wasn’t thinking anything! I wasn’t laughing! I wasn’t thinking ‘you fool’ or ‘you ape’!”
“Fine then,” she said quietly.
She shut the locker and the pale light floating around the area disappeared.
She glanced around to make sure no light remained. Afterwards, Brunhild looked over at the cleaning supplies locker three to the left.
She walked over, opened the wooden door, and pulled out a broom. It was a meter and a half long and meant to be used in both hands. The brush portion had a plastic cover with a floral pattern.
Brunhild spun it around in one hand to ensure the bristles had not come loose from the shaft.
“I hope this will be okay. During the major cleaning, a first year was pretending to play heavy metal on this.”
“And who was it that knocked him out by suddenly chopping him in the medulla oblongata with her hand?”
“I-I just panicked a little. I couldn’t think of any other way.”
“Your form was excellent for it being a split-second idea.”
“Shut up. Anyway, we need to hurry there and hurry back.”
Brunhild began walking and the cat sighed before following.
She unlocked the art room door and stepped out into the hallway. She then walked to the staircase. Their destination was the rooftop.
Once they reached the rooftop, the wind and moon showed themselves.
Brunhild looked up at the bluish-white glowing moon and frowned.
“This makes it more difficult. I’ll be seen if I fly.”
She looked down at herself to find her black clothing reflecting the moonlight, coloring her a bit blue.
The shadows of the broom and three-cornered hat on the rooftop were bluish black as well.
After puffing air out of her nose, Brunhild pulled a small pouch out of her vest pocket. It was leather and rectangular. The folded upper corner was the only portion made to open.
The black cat’s tail stuck up and trembled when it saw the pouch.
“I’m afraid of your driving enough already… Are you really using that too?”
“Come on. If I took off with my own power, the noise and light would give me away.”
“Low-Gear really is inconvenient…” said the cat as it hung its head down.
“Yes,” was the only response she gave before opening the pouch and tilting it downwards.
Sand spilled out.
Brunhild began to walk. She moved toward the western edge of the rooftop. She held the broom in her left hand and lightly shook the pouch of sand in her right hand.
Suddenly, she began to hum. She hummed the melody line of the hymn Silent Night.
The sand that glowed white in the moonlight fell to the rooftop amid the wind and seemed to mix together with the music in her breaths.
Despite the blowing wind, the sand fell straight down without scattering. The path Brunhild walked along and the way she moved her hand drew out a single pattern.
This pattern was a written character. This single 1st-Gear character measured a meter square.
From the center of the roof to the western edge, she lined up 40 of the same character and then lined up 20 of a different character.
After she had finished writing the 60 characters, Brunhild lightly shook the pouch next to her ear. She nodded in satisfaction at how much was left and put the pouch away in her pocket.
She then returned to the black cat who had not moved. She stood atop the first character and faced the western sky.
“Now, let’s go.”
Brunhild pulled a single blue stone from her pocket. The stone had a thin chain attached to the front. She wrapped that chain around the middle of the broom.
She placed the broom’s brush on the ground and placed her right foot atop the joint between handle and brush. She moved the right hand holding the handle forward. This created a reverse triangle between the broom and her own body.
She carelessly grabbed the neck of the black cat at her feet and tossed it onto the front of the broom.
“Not the froooooonnnnnnt!”
“Shut up,” said Brunhild as she took a light step with the left foot that was still on the floor.
The first character was located there.
In the instant the sound of her step rang out, a change came over all 60 characters.
The change came in the form of pale light and movement. The sand of the first 40 characters gave off a slight blue light and the sand of the 20 characters after them gave off an orange light. The sheet of all 60 characters began to move with the 20 characters in the lead.
Starting below Brunhild’s feet, the 60 meter long sheet created from the 60 characters created a shallow slope leading up into the sky.
After approximately 30 seconds, a slope of characters had been created with the very end raised by three meters.
This shallow slope could not be seen without ascending to the roof of one of the other school buildings.
A wind blew in from the east as if to wash across the backs of the characters.
Brunhild then stepped on the character on the floor beneath her feet once more.
It all happened in an instant.
The character beneath her feet produced a wind. This wind did not blow; it pushed.
A wind that had the mass of a wall pushed at her feet and her back. It started her, the broom, and the cat along the slope.
She picked up speed. Brunhild first felt the thickness of the atmosphere. She then felt the speed.
As her body sank down on the broom, she could see the scenery ahead and the line of characters shooting by at high speed below her feet. Once she passed a character, it would lose its light, return to being sand, and scatter across the floor.
In the period of time known as an instant, the first 40 characters scattered.
When Brunhild reached the remaining 20 orange characters, her body began to float.
She began to accelerate further in a straight line.
The wind pushing her from behind began also pushing diagonally at her back and from below her butt.
When Brunhild saw the end of the slope and the starry western sky beyond, she lowered her body on the broom even further. She clung to the broom with her entire body.
Before she could even take a breath, all of the characters on the floor scattered and Brunhild shot into the sky.
A roaring noise struck her body.
She was in empty air.
Nothing was supporting her body. For an instant, that was all she could comprehend.
Her five senses were disappearing after being struck by inertia.
However, all of her senses returned soon thereafter. She felt the cold nighttime wind tickling from the front of her neck to the back.
When her slightly darkened vision recovered, she noticed a line of private homes running along below her.
The broom moved at high speed and it was falling as if scraping away at her gut. Brunhild was clinging to the broom’s handle with her entire body and the broom was shaking violently to the left and right with no sign of settling down.
Brunhild raised her head. She checked to make sure a pale bluish-white light was coming from within the floral pattern cover over the broom’s brush. She then released the cat from where she had been pressing it to the handle with her left hand.
As she flew through the wind, the sea of light flowing by below her was approaching. It only took her an instant to decide what to do.
She needed to rise. And to do that…
“Continue in flight form.”
Brunhild squeezed the stone wrapped around the broom and used a leg to push the brush toward the ground.
By the principle of leverage, the end of the broom pointed toward the sky.
That was the start.
As if in response, the floral pattern cover over the brush began producing its own driving force.
The brush portion emitted light downwards toward the ground.
Light shot from the left, right, and top of the tip of the handle. That light transformed into small fixed-position wings that looked like bird wings.
With thrust, wings, and an upward orientation, the broom would be sent up into the sky.
The night scenery flying by below was continuing to approach, but Brunhild ignored that visible cityscape.
“Here we go!!”
The light coming from the bottom of the broom suddenly exploded.
A solid sound burst out.
The tip of the broom produced a ring of steam and it was given permission to accelerate up into the sky.
With a roar similar to artillery fire, it shot straight up toward the heavens.
By the time she felt the recoil, she was already much higher in the sky.
The broom continued to rise. However…
Brunhild silently observed the sea of light spreading out below her.
That was Tokyo.
But Brunhild let a bitter laugh out into the wind and looked up toward the heavens. She looked into the starry western sky. The moon was not visible that high in the sky.
She squeezed the stone in her right hand and accelerated further. She put all of her speed into ascending and moving to the west.
She flew. She rose up into the night sky. Every feeling in her body urged her to curve through the sky and continue west. The feeling of being thrown out into the sky brought joy to Brunhild. And so she added even more speed.
The cat was shouting something, but it fell silent when she replied with a smile.
She moved onward and upward.
As she shot by just below the clouds, she refused to let up or stop her speed until she reached her desired altitude.
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