Owari no Chronicle:Volume3 Chapter 3
Chapter 3: Progress of Oversight
You have a question but you cannot find the answer
You are only allowed to reach out your hand
And that is why you cannot give up
The Kinugasa Library was as long as four classrooms and as wide as two.
During the lunch break, it was filled with students. In addition to the usual hardcover books, this library contained all sorts of paperbacks.
Old and new books were seen and picked up alike.
However, the students in the library were not looking at their books.
They were all turned toward the counter next to the entrance.
Two people stood there.
The first was a tall old man. He wore a white shirt, a black vest, and black trousers. He was the librarian named Siegfried.
The other was a tall woman. She wore a black suit and had long blonde hair that was almost silver.
Everyone’s gaze was turned toward the woman with looks of curiosity and interest.
But she was not looking at them. She had her back to a large whiteboard for messages located behind the counter and her smiling blue eyes were turned toward the entirety of the library.
The pale crimson lips below those blue eyes moved slightly.
A quiet voice reached Siegfried at the counter.
“Am I in the way?”
“If you are aware of that, then please leave.”
Siegfried used a pen to fill out the paperwork on the counter as he replied.
The two of them spoke quietly enough that no one else could hear.
“Even after all this time, you haven’t changed.”
“How many decades has it been now?”
“How cruel. It’s only been a bit over ten years.”
“Either way, this is a territory I know nothing about. Diana, I am not like you.”
The woman known as Diana deepened her smile in lieu of a response.
She turned her gaze toward the center of the library where the mythology shelf was located.
“Kinugasa Tenkyou, the Japanese authority on mythology, the founder of this school, and the Japanese man who prompted the beginning of Low-Gear’s involvement in the Concept War.”
“How knowledgeable of you.”
“Hee hee. I am left-handed, so I was thankful for his books. When putting together a report, I could turn the pages with my right hand and write notes with my left.”
However, Siegfried did not turn to face Diana.
“Why are you here? I am no longer involved.”
“Oh? A sorcerer can’t retire. And I heard you fought with 1st-Gear recently.”
“That was my atonement with 1st-Gear. I do not care about the other Gears. …What do you want?”
The power contained in that final statement caused Diana to lower her shoulders and sigh.
“I have a warning for you: You need to leave. If you take part in the negotiations to admonish the dragons, you will lose your place in this final remaining Gear too.”
“Team Leviathan and 1st-Gear can no longer go back.”
Siegfried finally turned around. Her expression had not changed; she was still smiling.
“That was all I wanted to say. And I am not the type of woman to repeat myself.” She stuck her tongue out a bit and narrowed her eyes as she looked through the library. “Are people reading different books than when I came here?”
“The Resolution Tsujigiri Samurai series is popular right now. When he occasionally fails to resolve something, he cannot stand it and cuts someone down, but I hear that adds a human aspect to it. …What was popular when you were here?”
“Well, I didn’t read it, but the bizarre warring states series Exciting Baron-chan.”
“We currently have up through Volume 170 of that. It takes up most of the new Bizarre Fancy corner made because there were so many books of that genre. I believe the most recent one is titled Excitement in Navalone.”
“So it’s made it all the way to World War Two. It was only on Volume 3 or 4 back in my day and that was with the Mongols.”
As Diana muttered seriously to herself, she looked back over at the mythology bookshelf.
And she narrowed her eyes.
“One of the books is missing. It’s the book on Japanese mythology that corresponds to 2nd-Gear.”
“I lent it out yesterday to a boy with the surname Sayama.”
Those words brought a bitter smile to Diana’s face.
“I see,” she muttered. “So that will be the next Leviathan Road… This has gotten interesting.”
Diana maintained a slight bitter smile as she spoke.
“When they go up against 2nd-Gear, they will face a certain problem. This is a problem we once ran across. …It comes down to the meaning of the word ‘negotiation’.”
“Do you think this Sayama can overcome that problem?”
“I don’t know. But he was at least the kind of person who can return a smile.”
She looked over and saw a small figure at the entrance to the library.
A black cat was lying down next to the door and staring intently at her.
Once she saw it, she opened her mouth and spoke in a cheerful tone.
“That boy began everything with a smile, so how will he face this problem?”
Sayama faced Izumo and the others on the emergency staircase landing and told them of the destruction of a world he had dreamed of.
“I have decided that was 2nd-Gear.”
“I see. 2nd-Gear is the world of Japanese mythology.”
“Given the Divine States-World Interaction Theory, will the stage this time be the Izu Islands?”
“No, everyone from 2nd-Gear lives in the Okutama region.”
Sayama watched Izumo grab some chicken from the multi-layer bento box spread out on the floor.
“How much do you know about 2nd-Gear?”
“Nothing at all. …What about the rest of you?”
“Um… All I know is that it’s the Gear where names have power,” said Kazami. “What about you, sensei?”
Ooki was quickly consuming the contents of the bento box with a serious expression.
“S-sensei? You don’t have to eat it all so seriously. I’ll wrap some up for you later, so slow down a bit. And I’m not sure you should eat toast with jam along with stewed meats.”
“B-but toast with jam is so delicious,” declared Ooki as she turned around.
Sayama nodded in response.
“We know that, so how about joining in the conversation?”
“Y’know, Sayama-kun. As your teacher, I think you should slow down and take things easy in life.”
“And who was it eating all of the food without slowing down for a second just now, you starving teacher? …More importantly, please give us an answer. Do you know anything about 2nd-Gear?”
“Hm… I think the development department that creates UCAT’s equipment is made up of 2nd-Gear descendants. I don’t know anything about that name thing Kazami-san just mentioned, though.”
Sayama thought on what Kazami had said about names having power.
“In other words, naming an object gives it a corresponding power? Is that it?”
Izumo nodded in response.
“Yes. By giving a sword the name of a sword and giving a person the name of a person, they become that thing. For example, if you name a sword the Sword of Warrior’s Lightning, the sword does not become lightning; it becomes a sword with the ability to send out lightning attacks.”
“So instead of having a normal sword, you name it the Sword of Something-or-Other and it gains that ability,” said Sayama as he thought on it. “In that case, can the people of 2nd-Gear use the power of their name as their own ability?”
“Yeah. Apparently, 2nd-Gear was a gigantic biosphere system inhabited by people with those kinds of supernatural powers.”
Sayama and Kazami let out impressed ohs and ahs upon hearing the word “biosphere”.
Ooki frantically spoke up next to them.
“Oh, I know about that. I really do.”
“Really? Then tell us about it, Ooki-sensei,” challenged Sayama.
“Well, it’s… How should I put it? It’s…um…um…”
“Wh-why are you looking at me with so much doubt in your eyes, Sayama-kun!?”
Sayama ignored her. Instead, Kazami patted Ooki’s shoulder with a smile.
“Ooki-sensei. To put it simply, a biosphere is an enclosed world. It can maintain the environment needed for a proper ecosystem. Do you get it now?”
“K-Kazami-san, why are you speaking to me like I’m a child?”
This time, Kazami ignored her.
“Okay, Kaku. Why was a world of people with that kind of power destroyed by the dragon named Yamata?”
“Oh, the control system for the biosphere had a mind of its own and was made from 2nd-Gear’s Concept core. It turned into Yamata.”
Sayama frowned and Kazami’s body visually stiffened a bit.
Izumo scratched at his head in response.
“It seems the control system resisted it to protect the people. The family in charge of it managed to calm it down, but the control system was unable to restrain its output enough to maintain the world. It was similar to a meltdown.”
“In other words, it tried to maintain the world but was unable to hold back and was forced to destroy the world?”
“Yes. Yamata lost control and became a blazing dragon, so it held a grudge against the people. It had taken on that form and destroyed the people and the world all because it was an object of protection.” He let out an exasperated sigh. “After 2nd-Gear was destroyed, I hear the survivors of 2nd-Gear and UCAT worked together to seal Yamata here in Tokyo.”
“I assume when you say ‘here in Tokyo’ you mean inside a concept space where nothing will leak out even if the ‘gate’ is opened. But…Yamata, hm? That’s from the legend of Susanoo,” muttered Sayama. “It was a giant serpent with eight heads and eight tails. In Japanese mythology, Susanoo’s strategy was to give it sake and then lop off its heads with the Sword of Totsuka while it slept. When he did, he found the sword named Kusanagi in its body.”
“If your dream was legit, it must be huge. How are we supposed to control something like that? We need to give that a lot of thought.”
“…So Yamata wasn’t killed.”
“No. It was only sealed. It’s still alive.”
Everyone stopped moving when Izumo stated that last word.
And Izumo continued.
“A giant concept space still exists somewhere here in Tokyo…and Yamata is inside.”
“Then the first question is where that concept space is.”
“Well, they’ll probably tell us that if we ask. I’d also like some other information on what happened when it was sealed. Chisato, leave your work to the underclassmen during the afternoon. We should head to UCAT.”
“Sure. Let’s do some research that might help with the Leviathan Road,” said Kazami.
Suddenly, Ooki tilted her head.
“Um, Kazami-san? One question.”
“Hm? What is it, Ooki-sensei?”
“Well,” she began in a curious tone of voice. “Why do we need to do the Leviathan Road with 2nd-Gear?”
Sayama instantly understood what Ooki’s question meant.
With her head still tilted, Ooki used chopsticks to grab a shiitake.
“Swallow before talking. Yes, chew it nice and slow and swallow. …Okay, what was it?”
“Ah… Right, right, right. I mean, the people of 2nd-Gear work for UCAT’s development department making concept weapons and other things. They’re our engineering group.”
“Yes, your Japanese is just fine. Feel free to continue.”
“Right, right. It just bothers me a bit. Um…The people of 2nd-Gear have the same physical abilities and appearance as a Japanese person and most of them are already naturalized, so…”
“So why do we need to do the Leviathan Road now?”
That actually is a good question, thought Sayama.
Why were they digging up the past with people who were already on their side?
Ooki continued speaking.
“If we are going to negotiate with them, I think it might end up being a lot harder than it looks. After all, we have nothing to give 2nd-Gear in exchange.”
“We can give them money or land in exchange for-…”
“If people on equal footing do that, do you really think they can stay the way they were before? What if Izumo-kun did something for Kazami-kun and she suddenly gave him money?”
Izumo fell silent.
“Sorry,” said Ooki in his direction before turning back to Sayama. The ends of her eyebrows were slightly lowered. “Negotiating poorly could bring discord into the relationship between 2nd-Gear and Low-Gear. Unlike with 1st-Gear, the Leviathan Road with 2nd-Gear is not meant to resolve something. It’s more like…”
She thought some more and tapped her forehead with the chopsticks.
“Um, uh… I almost had it… Ahh… ahh…”
“Hey, someone help her out.”
“Hm, how about this? It is more like this Leviathan Road is meant to reexamine something.”
“Ah! That’s it! That’s good! Way to go, Sayama-kun. I knew a student of mine would be able to do it. …Hey, why are you ignoring me and staring off in to the sky?”
“Oh, well, I thought I heard something odd is all.”
Kazami shrugged from where she sat opposite him.
“At any rate, it’s been sixty years since the war. If they’re essentially the same as us, most of them won’t have experienced the Concept War. As Ooki-sensei said, the negotiations won’t be easy.”
“So the first question I have to think about is what the meaning of this negotiation is.”
Kazami looked up into the sky.
A shadow resembling a black bird moved slowly through the blue sky.
It was an airplane taking off from Yokota Air Base in the neighboring town.
Sayama suddenly realized everyone was looking up at the plane.
Finally, someone let out a sigh.
It was Izumo. He spoke in an exasperated tone of voice.
“This really is something we need to investigate, isn’t it? We need to find out if 2nd-Gear is even willing to talk and why 2nd-Gear gave in to Low-Gear in the past.”
“That’s right, Kaku. If we don’t know what happened with them in the past, we can’t even begin negotiating. …Okay, we’ll head to UCAT this afternoon. What about you, Sayama?”
Ooki raised her head.
“Sayama-kun can’t go. He has cleaning duty, so he has to attend his last class of the day.”
“What is your last class of the day, Sayama?”
“Ooki-sensei’s English class. …And I am in charge of interpreting what she says and ensuring class goes smoothly.”
“Oh, I see. So it’s her class.”
“Yes. Sayama-kun is always so helpful and the other students are kind, too.”
“I assume by kind you mean submissive.”
“N-no, I don’t. They all answer in unison and bring me tea without being asked.”
“That’s what you call being submissive!!”
Kazami’s shout echoed into the distance.
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