Owari no Chronicle:Volume1 Prologue
Prologue: Saint’s Song
He called out.
Those words continued until the sound completely vanished.
It was night.
An area of land emitted light below the darkness of the heavens.
It was a city.
In the center of this city, a large white structure sat where the railways gathered.
This train station building stood eight stories tall.
The second storey of the north entrance was made into a large terrace with the words “Tachikawa Station North Entrance” displayed in blue.
The clock on the opposite building reads 10 PM. The station building’s workers had left for the night, but the last train was still a long way off.
However, no one could be seen in the station, on the station terrace, or on the traffic circle in front of the station.
Below a row of green-leaved trees along near the traffic circle was a line of cars. However, not one of these cars was moving. No buses were running either. The train tracks stretching away from the station had no trains running on them.
The entire area was deserted.
A single noise could be heard in that still world.
It came from above.
It was on the eastern side of the upper levels of the station building. Specifically, a tenant window on the seventh floor. Someone was beating on the window from within.
The silhouette visible through the glass was feminine.
She suddenly stopped moving. Then she left the window and ran in the opposite direction.
The very next moment, a new shadow appeared in the window.
Taking the place of the feminine figure was a large silhouette over two meters tall.
It slammed into the window.
The window bent, bulged out, and then broke when it could no longer withstand the force.
A single shattering sound could be heard. It was followed by the sound of shards spraying out into the air.
Three silver arcs shot out the window as if trying to scratch at those glimmers scattering through the air.
They were claws.
Those arcs of light scratched at the flying glass shards with compact movements.
The giant shadow the claws belonged to turned around as it swung its arm. In the space of half a breath, the shadow disappeared from the window frame. It was pursuing the fleeing feminine figure.
The outside wind blew into the building as if following after the shadow.
After hours, the train station building’s escalator landing only had the bare minimum of illumination. A single figure was stopped there gasping for breath. The emergency lighting showed a girl with disheveled hair and wearing a blazer.
The girl held a large black case and the floor number printed yellow on the floor below her feet read “3”. If she turned around and continued down another floor, she would reach the second floor.
“I can get to the terrace from there,” she said before coughing. She coughed twice and then thrice before raising a trembling voice. “You have to be kidding me… What is this? What is attacking me?”
The dry cough continued after she spoke and it only further dried the air in her lungs. She bent over and her lips formed voiceless words:
I’m sorry. I was an idiot to not come home right away.
She strengthened her grip embracing the black case in her arms.
A flute symbol could be seen next to the maker’s logo on the top of the case. A single piece of paper was balled up in the side pocket. She caught sight of the white of the ribbon attached to the paper.
“All my bad luck started here. Three years of bad luck. And now when I lose my nerve and come to hide in my usual spot, my security guard grandfather is gone… And then a strange shadow starts swinging blades around…”
Before that had happened, she had thought she had heard some kind of odd voice. The voice had reverberated in her head. That had woken her up.
She tilted her head while wondering what that had been, but she quickly swung her head back into place.
…I need to run away before that shadow catches up.
She breathed out and a noise reverberated from overhead as if in response.
Running footsteps that sounded like stakes being driven into the ground were approaching from directly upwards.
She grabbed the strap to her case and moved gracefully toward the escalator.
She chose to continue down. Down, down, down. Down to the second floor. Every additional element of the situation only told her to hurry.
She ran down the aluminum steps. Solid sounds rang out every time her leather shoes slammed down on the steps.
She heard footsteps from above overlapping with her own rushed footsteps.
But it did not all come to an end there.
It came from outside. It came from the building’s northern wall, the same wall as the window she had knocked on before.
A single sound approached that wall from outside. It was a deep, long, wide, reverberating, and low sound.
What? she thought and braced herself. In the next moment, the building shook as if it had been struck from the side.
The noise was tremendous. Just like the sound of a passing airplane, this explosion of air robbed her of all her bodily senses.
Her entire body trembled and the hair all across her body stood on end. Her running feet were stopped in an instant.
The great roar she could feel in the core of her body passed at high speed from the east to the west. The sound of wind that followed behind it also shot by to the west and into the western sky.
She all of a sudden realized she had been released from the noise.
She shook her body once and took a step. Her legs trembled and her body filled with strength. Her will begged her to move forward.
I need to go, she realized. She took a deep breath, looked down, and saw the escalator ended after only a few more steps.
Hurry, her feelings shouted, but the information provided by her vision brought those feelings to a halt.
A slight darkness covered her vision. It was the shadow of the escalator landing above.
The footsteps from above disappeared within her ears.
Before she could think “coming”, she acted. She strengthened her grip on the strap in her hand.
She swung the case upwards in a motion similar to a golf swing.
Her vision turned upwards. The black shadow fell down into the upwards path of her strike.
The corner of the case struck the shadow right in the flank.
It was knocked away. The case at the end of the strap and the case’s contents weighed over five kilograms. The resentment behind that weight came both from this chase and from her three years with the instrument inside.
With the sound of flesh being struck, the shadow doubled over. The case broke and the instrument inside scattered about.
The shadow’s body was knocked to the right.
But the cold light in the shadow’s hand was still swung down toward her.
And then she finally realized something. What she had thought were blades were actually giant claws. And the owner of these claws was a large beast.
As her eyes focused on those claws, the corner of her vision showed that shadow of a giant beast take the same stance as a human.
Everything after that happened in a single instant.
The claws swinging down from above smashed the side frame of the escalator, but the beast could not stop itself from collapsing. Its giant body fell down toward the neighboring escalator.
The beast let out a roar. The sound of an impact followed.
But she did not hear that cry of protest. She only heard the sound of the instrument scattering across the floor.
Sorry, she apologized in her heart.
In the next instant, she fully lost her balance due to her previous attempt to evade. She fell down atop the escalator.
She now gave her physical pain precedence over her emotional pain. Her momentum spun her around backwards.
Her back struck the corner of one of the steps and she had the breath knocked out of her. Even her skirt was in complete disarray.
But she grabbed the handrail and forced herself back onto her feet.
From below, she heard the voice of the beast. The voice was filled with anger and rage and did not seem to know what had happened.
She ignored it.
She began to run, now with nothing in her hands. She ran down the escalator and to the second floor.
On the left and right of this barely-lit floor were lines of boutiques. Every store was covered by a shutter. The girl would occasionally see this same sight when being led by a security guard. Today, she ran by it all.
She was focused on the glass door at the end of the floor. That door alone had no shutter covering it.
If she left that door, she would reach the large entrance to Tachikawa Station that cut across north to south on the second floor of the station building.
She tried her best to open or unlock the door. She then slammed her shoulder into the glass door.
It was a dull impact. However, that pain slowly pushed her through to the other side.
The door to that after-hours station building opened.
“What…is going on?” said the girl as she tumbled out into the fresh air.
Her knees landed on the tiles of the entrance floor.
She was surrounded by a vast, deserted space. The Tachikawa Station entrance was about 15 meters wide.
She suddenly felt something on the back of her right hand. It was a soft, damp sensation.
She looked down to find a cat. The brown cat still had some youth remaining.
But the presence of this cat sent a chill running down her spine. She could see no sign of anyone else in the area. She had seen no one but the shadow that had attacked her. The traffic circle she had earlier seen from above had also been deserted.
Thinking the cat might be the same as her, she picked it up. In the instant their gazes met, the cat had been looking up at her, but its eyes narrowed when she lifted it from the ground. And that was why she decided to take it with her.
She stood up.
“I need to get to the northern terrace,” she muttered as she looked to her right where the northern end of the entrance led to the terrace.
And that was when a wind accompanied by a metallic noise dropped down onto the traffic circle beyond the terrace.
She looked up and saw the wind surrounding on the traffic circle had a giant gray form.
It was a giant gray humanoid machine.
For the upper body to stick up above the terrace, it had to be at least 10 meters tall. It was a fully gray-…
As if to answer the girl’s question, the giant silhouette stood up. And then it turned to face her.
The gray giant had a single blue light where its eyes would be.
The girl felt like she was being watched.
Her pulse seemed to freeze and she cowered down. She could not breathe and she realized for the first time that she was frightened.
Meanwhile, the cat wriggled in her trembling arms. It seemed to be complaining that her arms were wrapped too tightly around it.
The cat let out a sweet meow while showing no concern for the armor’s gaze.
That out-of-place noise made a bitter laugh escape the girl’s lips.
She realized fear meant nothing to the cat. The cat did not understand anything that was happening and therefore was not afraid.
She let out a shallow breath. And as if that was a sign, strength returned to her body.
I can do this. I can do this, she thought twice.
To the left, there was a staircase leading down between the entrance and the terrace. Given that giant’s size, it would have difficulty making its way below the terrace.
She was 15 meters from the staircase. It would not even take her three seconds if she used all her strength.
And so she immediately decided to run. She went all out from the very first step. However…
Her right foot seemed to catch on something and she tripped.
Her body jumped more out of surprise than pain. She looked down and saw her leather shoe lying in front of her right foot. It had torn from the opening to the side sole. It must have ripped when she had fallen on the escalator earlier.
When she tried to stand up, she felt pain in her right ankle.
She could not stand. Strength left her knee and she collapsed to the cold tile floor.
“Kh,” she groaned while looking behind her from the floor.
The giant was holding its right arm toward her from beyond the terrace. Something like a tube was attached to the outer edge of the arm. It was obviously a cannon.
It was targeting her.
“Ah,” leaked out another noise.
She felt more noise coming, but swallowed it all down. She let out tears instead.
And then she noticed the cat was standing next to her collapsed hips.
As if worried about her, the cat was rubbing its head up against her leg.
The girl reflexively picked the cat up once more. She then looked up and glared at the giant.
In the next instant, some power exploded out of the giant’s right arm toward her.
She first saw flames. In the following instant, white smoke raced through the air.
A high-pitched sound of something slicing through the wind raced toward her.
A shell had been fired.
It was coming. It was dangerous. She tried to stand up, but her ankle filled with pain and her hips collapsed back down.
Nevertheless, she tried to stand up once more.
The noise that leaked from her throat was not a scream; it was anger at herself.
The power this enemy had fired arrived in an instant.
And it exploded.
She opened her eyes.
She noticed the wind blowing around her and also that the cat was still in her arms.
She could not hear her own voice. Her ears were not working.
She looked around while unsteadily sitting on the ground.
The floor of the vast station entrance had smoke and wind racing across it.
An explosion had definitely occurred. However, she was still alive.
She could faintly hear that question. Sound was returning to her ears.
She could hear the sound of wind. And she looked in the direction that wind was blowing from.
Backlit by the lights of the terrace and traffic circle was a single girl.
She wore a white and black outfit and stood with her back to the girl as if shielding her from the gray giant.
This feminine figure’s long hair and long skirt were fluttering in the wind.
She held a giant staff-like object in her right hand and held her left hand out toward the terrace.
In front of her outstretched hand, smoke swirled above the terrace and a chunk of its floor had been gouged out.
The wind raced by and the smoke lingering over the terrace was blown away.
The giant still stood beyond the terrace.
The cowering girl’s question regarding what was going on was cut off by a high-pitched voice. The voice belonged to this new girl standing before her eyes.
“Sayama-kun. This is Shinjou. …One intruder detected. Making contact.”
Another voice replied to her words.
“I can see all that, Shinjou-kun.”
This voice was male. And it came from very nearby.
The girl looked up with the cat still in her arms to find a young man standing there.
He was likely the person named Sayama. He wore white and black clothes that resembled a military uniform, he had a single stripe of white on the sides of his slicked back hair, and he had a sharp look in his eyes.
“Hm,” he muttered with a nod in the wind while looking down at the girl and the cat. “How unusual.”
He stretched out a hand and stroked her head. His fingers felt tough.
The girl suddenly recalled the instrument she had broken.
If this had not happened today, would she have ever broken it?
And as soon as that question appeared in her heart, Sayama spoke.
Strength left her at those words.
She felt as if her body was sinking into the floor.
Oh, no, she thought, but she was already losing consciousness by that point.
Sayama supported the collapsed girl’s back with a hand and lowered her slender body to the floor.
The cat showed no sign of leaving her side. It remained with her like a guard.
Sayama gave a bitter smile before turning toward the girl he had called Shinjou. He raised his elbow and scratched at his hair.
“What’s the situation?”
“Our enemies are 15 human-types and 3 Heavy Gods of War. Our main force has been deployed to deal with all of them. We have not had anything on this nice of a large scale in a while. I think we should have let the Concept Space fully take hold just beforehand.”
“It looked like Harakawa and Heo-kun were going nuts at an extreme low altitude a bit ago…”
“They were driving out the one over there. Ryuuji-kun and Mikage-san are battling the other two. But the northern entrance…just look. It’s been blown away.”
When Sayama heard what Shinjou had to say, he exaggeratedly shook his head and spread his arms wide.
“We even told Harakawa not to cause so much destruction. If our destruction rate goes up any further, we will never be able to apologize to the future world. Don’t you think that delinquent needs to be tortured just once?”
“I am sure Heo-kun will tell you to be gentle with him.”
“How about you shut up!?” came a staticky male voice from Sayama’s neck.
Sayama looked down at the communications phone-mic attached to his neck and tilted his head in confusion.
“What are you talking about Harakawa? I am saying this for your sake and for the world’s sake. I can introduce you to someone for that later. Depending on the voltage, I hear you’ll be much more obedient in about 5 seconds.”
“Sayama, there’s one important thing I’ve always wanted to say to you.”
“What might that be? No normal praise will get any reaction out of me.”
“Go to hell.”
After hearing the staticky sound of the transmission ending, Sayama brought a hand to his forehead.
“Honestly, he is such a troublesome guy. People with that much pride are only harmful to this world.”
“…Have you ever looked in a mirror?” asked Shinjou.
“I have. I check over myself thoroughly every morning and night, but what does that have to do with Harakawa?”
“Oh, nothing. I was only seeing once more just how strangely wonderful you are, Sayama-kun.” Shinjou spoke while continuing to face the giant beyond the terrace. “How is that girl?”
“She’s fine. She is injured, but she did not lose.”
“I see,” said Shinjou as she finally turned around. She looked at the girl sleeping on the floor and narrowed her eyes. “I am glad. It was worth using up all of my defensive concept charms on that attack.”
The giant began to move.
It lowered its hips while creating mechanical noises. With each step it loudly smashed the asphalt below its feet.
But it was not Shinjou that reacted to the sound of the ground splitting open; it was Sayama.
He first lowered the hand on his forehead to his chest, raised it up next to his face, and then sliced it to the side. He then loudly snapped his fingers.
“Now then, Shinjou-kun. Double-check the situation with everyone before we punish this idiot who is disobeying the solutions gathered in Low-Gear.”
Shinjou looked forward. The cannon on its right arm was aimed directly at her.
“So you’re motivated because I have no defenses left? What a pain.” She brought her left hand up to her neck. “This is Shinjou. We have made contact with the intruder and secured her. We are currently…”
Before she could finish speaking, the giant machine known as a Heavy God of War fired.
It all began there.
The great power flying toward her was a large artillery shell with a metal outer casing.
As this power tore through the wind toward her, Shinjou continued speaking.
“…engaging the enemy Heavy God of War.”
As Sayama watched on, Shinjou spun her large staff around vertically with a single movement of her right fingers.
The belly of the staff stopped on her right shoulder, leaving it lying vertically. With a single metallic noise, she grabbed hold of the front portion with her left hand. Her right hand ran across the side of the staff. Her right fingers were moving toward a single long panel made of something like glass.
Her fingers wrote something there.
“We fear seeking power but do not fear using power!”
The writing appeared in a blue light over the transparent panel and then disappeared.
The shell arrived as if in response.
But Sayama showed no concern about the shell from where he stood behind Shinjou.
He was looking only at Shinjou. With a hand on his chin, he looked at her thin back, her slender hips, and her round ass. His eyes narrowed and he let out a breath.
“So beautiful. Give it your best shot.”
Shinjou let out a bitter smile and operated her staff. She slid the portion in her left hand forward and a grip appeared. She grabbed that and pushed it in to cock it. When she pressed the trigger on the grip, the staff would fire a counter attack.
And she pressed it.
They could hear the sound of the air being split. Shinjou’s body was knocked back. The output point on the end of the staff split open and burst apart.
And in exchange for all that, a white light was emitted.
The white light stabbed through the air and erased the flying shell.
The light did not dim there. The white afterimage continued in a gentle upward curve and struck the gray God of War.
There was a great noise of impact.
The armor panel on the God of War’s chest was smashed. The light that burst out held great power.
A solid sound tore through the air and that giant form of over 10 meters had its head thrown backwards.
A heavy noise followed as the entire mass of metal collapsed backwards.
A hot wind blew through the entrance, passing by first Shinjou and then Sayama.
And Sayama saw something.
Beyond the wind, shadows were appearing from the staircases leading up to the entrance from either side.
These bestial shadows looked like a wolf walking on two feet. They were over two meters tall. Six of them arrived from the left and four from the right.
Sayama nodded as he saw them lower their stance in preparation for an attack.
“Now, the girl you attacked did not scream to the very end, so I hope you can give this some effort, too.”
He began walking forward through the center of the blowing wind. His footsteps sounded loudly as he gave a slight smile.
“Let’s go all out. I am just as lenient with everyone. I won’t hold back.”
Sayama’s flowing voice joined his footsteps.
Shinjou walked alongside him. She held her broken staff as if embracing it, opened her mouth, and began singing.
It was a hymn. It was a verse of Silent Night.
“Silent night, holy night.
Shepherds first see the sight.
Told by angelic Alleluja,
Sounding everywhere, both near and far.
‘Christ the Savior is here.’
‘Christ the Savior is here.’ ”
Sayama opened his mouth as he listened to the song. He spoke into the phone-mic on his neck.
“Everyone!” He swung up his right arm while staring at his foes. “Let me say it here. …The surname Sayama indicates a villain!”
Shinjou gave a slight smile while singing next to him. Sayama returned the smile.
“I am giving you an order here! Do not become lost here and do not lose them. After all, if anyone is lost here, this world will become that much lonelier.” He took a breath and raised his head. “Do you understand!? Then ahead! Ahead! Go ahead! Give these idiots a punch and a warning before they do anything stupid! And then bring them here! If you understand, then give me a response!”
As he watched the enemies before his eyes, Sayama forcefully swung his hand down to the right. The right sleeve of his uniform stretched and let out a loud sound like paper being struck.
Voices replied to him both from the phone-mic and from the area around him.
“Okay,” agreed Sayama before continuing to walk forward.
The crouched shadows before him were growling and seconds away from bursting forward.
Sayama gave a slight smile and spread out his left arm.
His right arm had already been spread, so it now looked like he was preparing to embrace his enemies.
And while continuing to smile, he said, “Now, how about we all come to an understanding!?”
The story now returns two years to the spring of 2005.
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