Owari no Chronicle:Volume2 Chapter 27
Chapter 27: Longing for Right and Wrong
What is a longing heart?
It is a heart that is impatient yet waits
It is a heart containing a contradictory strength
Fafner intercepted the UCAT members coming from behind.
He was not positioned behind Fafnir Custom in the grassy field. He was in the forest even further back.
That stage was more advantageous for him. He was a half-dragon whose entire black body possessed the information of “darkness”. To a certain extent, he could move freely through darkness and shadows. He could travel through them.
He charged toward the UCAT assault team that arrived first.
His enemy was a group of four people wearing white armored uniforms, but Fafner was not afraid. He used his wings to move horizontally at high speed.
As he advanced, the enemies did not hesitate to cast aside their guns and draw short swords from their waists.
While noting that they had been well trained, Fafner crashed into an arbitrary one of them.
All half dragons were at least two meters tall. Their bodies were covered in armor-like shells and wrapped in the giant muscles that allowed them to fly with their wings. By accelerating with those wings, they could produce an impact rivaling a giant stone.
Fafner slammed into the man with his left shoulder.
A great crushing sound could be heard.
That man’s body grew distorted and flew through the air. He was not even able to let out a scream.
Fafner used the recoil to kill his inertia and then he turned clockwise to the right.
A horizontal strike from a short sword came from one man to the left.
The man targeted Fafner’s belly which was the weak point of his giant body, but Fafner was not worried.
He used the motion of his rightward turn to throw a roundhouse kick with his left leg. He was targeting the man’s side. He targeted the same location the enemy was targeting on him.
But his rotation was not going to make it in time. The enemy’s short sword was going to arrive.
In an instant, Fafner flapped his left wing forward.
Wind exploded from behind as if pushing the left half of his body forward. His body rotated at high speed as if it had been struck.
He knocked away the enemy’s short sword with his left hand and slammed his left foot into his side.
The man doubled over and flew.
Instead of stopping his rotation, Fafner made a full rotation. He turned his back on his enemies for an instant and swung his right arm backwards. A third man’s face ran right into the path of that backhand.
His hand struck.
The slight vibration Fafner felt through the shell on his right fist was the sound of this man’s teeth and jaw breaking.
But the fourth man targeted Fafner’s body now that it had been left wide open.
The man held his short sword in both hands and ran forward as if planning to tackle the half-dragon. He held the hilt in his right hand and the bottom of the hilt with his left.
An excellent stance, thought Fafner with a nod.
Fafner looked up at the sky which was partially obstructed by the trees of the forest.
The moon was out. Fafner felt that arc of light which had not existed in 1st-Gear was in the way.
“But I will use it. As the mother of shadows, it will help us dispel our grudge.”
He lowered his gaze. The fourth man had arrived directly in front of him.
Without rushing, Fafner placed his right foot down at his opponent’s feet.
That was where the man cast a shadow amid the moonlight. Fafner placed his right leg up to the thigh into that shadow.
His stance moved lower than his enemy’s blade. The man’s eyes opened wide.
This is nothing worth crying out over, thought Fafner as he swung his elbow to sweep the man’s feet up as he passed by.
The man rotated around in the air and collapsed to the ground. Just as his shadow disappeared, Fafner’s body returned to normal.
Fafner only had to slam his heel down on top of the collapsed man to have eliminated all four.
“Are more enemies on their way?”
As he looked around with questioning eyes, he spotted movement in the forest. A group of white shadows was scattered out at a distance of approximately fifty meters. They were troubled by 1st-Gear’s defensive line and could not advance further. Occasionally some people such as that group of four would make their way forward, but Fafner would swiftly intercept them.
This battle may end here, thought Fafner as he moved forward.
He was moving toward the battlefield.
And just as he did, he spotted new movement.
A single white form suddenly charged forward from the group of enemies.
Guns and spells were fired at this figure, but this did not slow its momentum. In fact, it accelerated as it charged straight toward Fafner.
…What is that?
Fafner narrowed his eyes and watched it.
It was a young man from UCAT. It was the same young man Fafner had fought in the clearing earlier. The data Fafner had seen said he was the heir to the Izumo family. He held a giant Cowling Sword in both hands as a shield.
He closed the gap between him and Fafner while letting out a strange cry.
Fafner’s 1st-Gear comrades panicked when they realized where the young man was headed. The fired at him more and more, but it did not work for some reason.
What is going on? wondered Fafner as he placed a hand on the Cowling Sword at his waist.
This was a human opponent. He may have had an excellent physique, but he was not covered in hard shells like Fafner.
The young man’s body was almost entirely covered with something. It was white and looked like armor. It was perfectly defending against their attacks. Assuming it was a new weapon, Fafner shouted to his comrades.
“Listen! Target Low-Gear’s new weapon!”
And Fafner observed this approaching young man.
The new weapon he was wearing was a frilly women’s apron.
The apron’s chest and sleeves had large writing on them. Fafner’s own knowledge was only enough to tell him it resembled Low-Gear writing, but the meaning reached his mind via an image.
The writing on the chest said “sturdy” and the writing on the sleeves said “hard”.
Once he realized that, Fafner pointed at the enemy and shouted out once more.
“Target that idiot!!”
Izumo cleared the distance in the forest with tremendous speed as he ran with that impregnable defense.
Sayama and Kazami ran behind him while Boldman commanded the cover fire.
Repeated metallic noises could be heard coming from the surface of Izumo’s armor.
“Who would have thought Sf-kun’s apron would come in handy like this… I suppose she did say it was her combat apron.”
Sayama was perfectly calm, but Kazami’s eyebrows drooped.
“Um,” she began. “A-are you okay, Kaku!? I hear a lot of harsh impacts!”
“Wa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
“It is no use, Kazami. He is taking so much gunfire it is rattling his brain. Once this happens, he will never recover…”
“There are some jokes you shouldn’t make!!”
Just as Kazami began strangling Sayama as they ran, an explosion struck Izumo directly.
Sparks, an explosive noise, and an explosion of air came afterwards.
A spray of metallic noises burst out as the apron was smashed to pieces.
The shockwave created a white ring of water vapor around Izumo that burst out in every direction. However…
“That ain’t gonna cut it! Battlefield cooks are invincible!!”
Izumo’s body was unharmed.
He had lost the apron, but the armored uniform below it had writing as well.
The words “very sturdy” had been written upside down in magic marker.
“Looks like reducing the number of moving parts was worth it!”
Izumo charged forward. His armored uniform had grown even harder, so it did not have the softness needed to move. However, he was still plenty fast when moving in a straight line. He shouted toward the underclassman he saw approaching out of the corner of his eye.
“Go, Sayama! Go where you have to go!”
They cleared the forest. Fifty meters ahead was a white mechanical dragon.
That dragon was at least thirty meters long and its back was to them. Izumo charged forward without hesitation.
“V-Sw! Second Form!” shouted Izumo as he ran.
He twisted his upper body backwards.
He squeezed the button on his Cowling Sword’s grip.
The back of V-Sw’s thick blade opened up. The armor plate sank down and a linear thruster appeared.
At the same time, V-Sw’s blade changed form. The cowling forming the blade was stowed away as if it had come apart. Pure light appeared as if slowly rising out from the gap.
Izumo poured strength into his grip on the sword.
V-Sw contained 6th-Gear’s Concept Core. It was a combination of an energy weapon named Vajra and an energy entity named Vritra. It had to be used with care. He only opened it up to attack in emergencies.
And Izumo knew that this qualified.
I can do this, thought Izumo as he tightly clenched the grip.
As if in response, the sword’s will spoke on V-Sw’s console.
“Our prey is there.”
In the next instant, an explosion of light occurred behind V-Sw.
It was a jet used to propel the sword.
Using the twist of Izumo’s body as an axis, that very thick blade of light targeted the mechanical dragon while accelerating quickly.
It should have been a direct hit.
However, that high pressure blade was obstructed by something and it was deflected through the air with a great roar.
Izumo rotated his body to the right by using V-Sw as a fulcrum as it swung horizontally.
He leaped about five meters to the right while remaining parallel to the forest.
He looked toward the location he had just been in. His shadow still remained there.
“A half-dragon that can pass through shadows!”
A giant black body stood in the moonlit field. His winged form was surrounded by black shells, skin, and clothes.
Fafner the half-dragon held his Cowling Sword while standing up from the shadow.
“Perfect. I was hoping for an opponent to keep things interesting.”
Sayama and the others did not turn back toward Izumo and Fafner who had moved off to the side.
They continued running on and on. A giant mass stood fifty meters ahead of them.
That white mechanical dragon was easily thirty meters long and seven meters tall. It was walking forward at about the same speed as they were running.
They had to hurry.
Sayama quickened his pace and let out a breath. 1st-Gear’s winged unit was quickly dropping down toward them.
Seeing those approaching shadows in the sky, Sayama spoke to Kazami behind him.
“Enemies are coming from above. Please cover for me.”
“Why do I have to?”
“During the battle at the Imperial Palace, you came down from the sky, didn’t you? And you attacked from the sky when fighting that giant knight earlier. …Kazami, you have the power to live up to your name, do you not?”
Sayama watched the movements of the flying enemies as he spoke.
Kazami’s response came after a short delay. It came in the form of a question to confirm something.
“Sayama. …You understand, don’t you? Right now, you are trying to reach the peak of this battle. Are you prepared? Are you prepared to lose something and to take something from someone else?”
“I…have shot an enemy and driven them to suicide. That is something you and she have not done. The battlefield is not a kind place.”
“I see.” Sayama sucked in some air and spoke. “Is that why you left flowers by his remains? Is that also why you did so every day?”
Kazami’s presence stiffened behind Sayama.
“D-don’t be ridiculous! I didn’t leave any flowers!”
“The chrysanthemums left for the werewolf had a horizontal scrape across the stem. If you had the flowers sticking out of your rucksack while transporting them, the zipper would scrape them like that.”
Sayama lowered his body down and charged further forward. Without turning around, he gave one last request.
“Kazami, please cover for me.”
Kazami slowed her pace. She clenched her back teeth, brought her eyebrows together, and stopped running.
She ground her teeth together and looked up into the sky.
She was about thirty meters from Fafnir Custom. If she slowed down, she could not catch up to the giant dragon moving ahead of her.
She took a breath and stopped altogether.
She could see the winged soldiers gathering in a formation in the air. Their bows were targeting Sayama who had run ahead.
Kazami looked down. There she saw the light of the console on G-Sp2, the Cowling Lance in her right arm.
“Kazami? Are you not feeling well?”
After looking at that display for a while, she closed her eyes. She forcibly opened her mouth while still clenching her teeth.
“Why do boys insist on showing off?”
“Because it is cool.”
“Thanks for the valuable input.”
Kazami sighed and raised her head.
The ends of her eyebrows rose to their proper position and strength entered her eyes.
She looked into the sky. The enemy forces were here, but Kazami looked beyond those wings flying through the sky.
She looked at the moon.
While staring up at that pale arc of light, Kazami opened her mouth.
“X-Wi!” she shouted and a noise came from her back.
It was a metallic noise. At the same moment, words scrolled across her wristwatch.
—Light is power.
As if in response to those words, light grew from the backpack she wore.
A flapping noise was heard.
That cry that blew the air away was accompanied by the appearance of yellow wings of light. They began as an emission but came together in a solid form in the next instant. Two sharply angular wings of light with an effective range of two meters stabbed up toward the heavens.
That light sliced through the wind, created an emission of light, and sucked in the wind.
The light filled with a tension of power and emitted a high-pitched noise.
As the moonlight washed over the wings of light, the sound grew even higher pitched and ultimately exceeded the audible range.
Wind appeared behind her.
Kazami gathered strength in her back.
The pressure of her shoulder blades told X-Wi in her backpack what its job was.
And that job was to flap.
The wings beat at the air.
With a sound similar to an explosion, the wind roared at Kazami’s back.
She leapt high into the sky.
Kazami danced up into the air with a trajectory suggesting she had been shot upwards rather than jumped.
By the time she took in another breath, her vision saw nothing but the sky. She had reached the moonlight.
The winged enemies below her had lost sight of her and were confused.
Kazami checked to make sure the wings on her back had spread out. And then she rotated herself upside down in midair. She oriented her head downwards, pointed G-Sp2 toward the surface, and removed the long, narrow shield on her left wrist.
The action took a single instant. Kazami attached the shield along the bottom edge of the spear’s tip. And just as the shield covered up the blade…
“G-Sp2! Go to your second form!”
As she spoke, the Cowling Lance transformed.
First, the curved back of the handle rose up. Next, the grip stuck out from the base of the tip to the left of the console. At the same time, the cowling on the butt of the spear opened and a heat ejection point stuck out.
And finally, white light appeared deep in the dragon’s maw-like split between the cowling of the tip and the shield attached to the bottom. That visible commotion of light was the true form of G-Sp2 contained within the cowling.
The spear was a large rifle.
“10th-Gear’s holy spear Gungnir. It’s a bit impressive compared to your bows and arrows.”
Kazami held the curving handle under her right arm and grasped the grip with her left hand.
She placed her finger on the trigger. She already knew exactly who her enemy was.
She could see the moon below her feet in her upside-down vision.
And while smiling, she flapped her wings. She flew straight down.
Shinjou gave no response to Fafnir Custom.
She trembled. Her legs trembled. Her teeth chattered slightly
But she moved. Slowly, very slowly, she sank down and reached a hand toward her feet.
Her Cowling Staff, Ex-St, had fallen there.
From what she could see, it had not bent or broken. When she touched it, she felt the chill of the metal.
Shinjou embraced Ex-St as if taking in that chill.
She stood up and weakly aimed Ex-St. That was her answer. It was her definite answer.
And a voice arrived from directly in front of her.
“Why?” asked Fafnir Custom as he stopped walking.
Shinjou shook her head at his calm tone of voice.
“I think you all are simply wrong.”
“I will not accept defeat against someone who is wrong like that.”
What am I saying? wondered Shinjou.
She had nowhere to run. A single strike from the dragon would be enough to kill her even if he held back. However…
…I am not despairing.
She felt meaning in the words she had spoken.
Fafnir Custom lowered his body.
“Is that so?” he said. “I do not see how we could be wrong. We are simply trying to take back what is ours.”
Shinjou glimpsed his main cannon in his mouth. Light had already appeared deep in the round muzzle.
Fafnir Custom spoke a number.
Shinjou knew what that number meant, but she could not run. She spread her legs as wide as her shoulder width and faced the dragon.
She recalled certain memories: the final expression of that werewolf, the remains of her comrades, and…
A single boy.
“I…” began Shinjou. “I know someone who is truly wrong. I know someone who attacks others and lives on.”
Shinjou recalled the back he had shown her. She recalled that stance as he prepared to fight. But…
“He is different from you. He…knows that he is wrong. And that scares him. It scares him so much he is willing to stifle himself.”
For some reason, she drew excess power from her body.
She continued speaking.
“He wants to be wrong. Unlike you. He thinks what it would be like if he was right, but he does not want to be right. And when comparing himself to me…”
She took a breath.
“He said I am right.”
Her words were rooted in the depths of her memories.
Shinjou thought about him and about herself.
“You all are wrong. You are wrong and in the wrong way. Unlike him. He tries to be wrong in the right way. And that is why I will not accept defeat against you!”
A small “ahh” leaked out of her mouth.
She had to choose whether to pour strength into her fingers or not.
“His way of being wrong is the only one I will allow! And…”
Shinjou told herself to fight. Just as he desired the battlefield, she too had to desire it.
She had to be with him. She had to do more than just watch his back.
She was not choosing presented options or being given a course of action. She would be here because she personally desired it.
She had a perfectly good reason: she would be his opposite.
“And I will wield my power while remaining right!!”
Using that spoken number as her sign, she squeezed the trigger with all her might.
As light shot from her staff, Fafnir Custom let out a cry.
“Zero! Your attempts are futile!”
The mechanical dragon’s main cannon fired light.
A giant light flew silently. The line of light Shinjou fired struck that light of writing which possessed the weight of mass. It pierced through the center of the thick light and bore a hole through it.
A clear sound rang out.
The front of the dragon’s blast swelled and expanded like an umbrella. It exploded.
The dragon’s attack had been destroyed, but that was all Shinjou had managed.
The mechanical dragon let out a roar that reverberated throughout the heavens and the earth. He fired a second blast.
The second shot of dragon light swallowed up Shinjou’s attack and instantly doubled in size.
Shinjou saw the light expand before Fafnir Custom’s eyes and continue toward her.
The massive light flew toward her in a slight arc.
Shinjou stood in its path, but she did not falter. She clenched her teeth and stared straight forward.
That mass of power was trying to destroy her. The silhouette of the mechanical dragon was visible beyond it.
She shouted someone’s name.
And then that person appeared before her eyes.
That person’s back entered in between Shinjou and the light.
He took something from his pocket and threw it toward Fafnir Custom. It looked like a rectangular case.
Immediately afterwards, he slowly turned toward her.
He was a boy with sharp eyes and Baku sitting on his shoulder. His mouth moved amid the roar of the dragon’s approaching light.
“I missed you, Shinjou-kun.”
He took her in his arms, wrapped them around her, and embraced her.
Shinjou did not hesitate to wrap her arms around him and embrace him.
In the next moment, a gigantic explosion occurred in the space between them and Fafnir Custom.
- ↑ The first kanji of Kazami means wind.
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