Owari no Chronicle:Volume3 Chapter 5
Chapter 5: A Mutual Introduction
The present drives one to question the past
The past prevents one from protecting the answer in the present
Which one gives a more evil impression?
Brunhild and Diana’s battle moved inside the school building.
They clashed on the first floor of the third general school building. More and more of the glass in the hallway shattered.
Two forms slipped between the small shards as they moved.
To the east, Diana wore guest slippers and held her pumps in her right hand.
To the west, Brunhild took action and fired an attack using glowing writing.
In general, Brunhild would attack and Diana would receive it.
However, Brunhild was the one being forced back.
As sunlight from the setting sun filled the little-used hallway, sounds of wind came from the rushing light and splashing sounds came from the shattering writing.
With the bird still on her shoulder and the cat still at her feet, Brunhild sank down and moved forward.
She stared at her opponent and thought.
…What is this woman thinking!?
She could not read her.
Part of her did not particularly care, but she also felt a need to know what her opponent was after.
This woman had told Siegfried to leave the Leviathan Road.
…And she said Team Leviathan and 1st-Gear can no longer go back!
What could they no longer go back from?
She doubted Diana would answer if she asked, especially as someone so closely connected to the Leviathan Road.
Every single person connected to that negotiation was hiding a definite truth and only bringing forward the current facts.
And so Brunhild stepped forward in order to ask.
Two footsteps later and she had reached her opponent.
She wrote with the stone in her right hand.
The word she wrote meant “iron pipe”.
The produced light formed a two meter long weapon. It was lighter than an iron rod and harder than a wooden staff.
Diana stood directly in front of her. She targeted the tall woman’s legs which were covered with gray stockings.
Brunhild moved her knees forward to extend her reach. She swung the center of the iron pipe toward the woman’s shin from the right.
And in an instant…
Diana tried to avoid the attack.
She moved away to Brunhild’s left. She took a step toward the hallway’s window, but Brunhild could reach the wall with the length of the iron pipe. Even if the woman pressed up against the wall…
…She can’t avoid it!
In the next moment, Diana took a certain action. She placed her slipper-covered foot on the wall.
“I hope no one is looking in from outside.”
She walked up the window and circled around to the ceiling.
Brunhild straightened up but more due to the woman’s movement than due to her avoiding the attack.
Brunhild was surprised.
That fact indicated she was in danger, so Brunhild reflexively jumped back.
She tossed aside the heavy iron pipe made of light and took a giant leap back with the movements of a clockwork doll.
She looked up in time to see the woman standing on the ceiling taking a step forward.
She reached her left hand out toward the iron pipe of light Brunhild had thrown into the air.
“You need to clean up after yourself.”
It was absorbed into a piece of paper.
Brunhild landed at the same moment. The bottoms of her feet slid a bit on the wooden tiles of the floor.
“Are you using a philosopher’s stone to stick to the ceiling?”
“Yes, I am using a spell to adjust the gravitational attraction a bit.”
“I don’t know. All I know is the spell to draw out the power. I don’t know the theory behind it.” She gave an upside-down bitter smile. “If you insist on an answer, I suppose I could say this is a spell that this Gear obtained along with a few philosopher’s stones back when we first contacted your Gear and gained its culture. This method of drawing out power uses a philospher’s stone as a catalyst and writing as the key.”
Diana raised her left hand. It held a single pure white piece of paper.
“Some look down on it and call it magic.”
“I see. And here I thought clinging to the ceiling was your own special ability. Like a frog or gecko.”
Brunhild saw her opponent’s smile deepen.
Brunhild lowered her stance and turned so her left side faced forward.
“Show me this magic that is based on our techniques.”
She then nodded and held her left hand up. She raised her fingers and beckoned.
“Come at me, Little Diana.”
Diana responded by lowering her head a bit while still standing on the ceiling.
And she moved forward.
The battle intensified inside the straight hallway.
It began when Diana dashed across the ceiling.
Her pumps dangled from her right hand and she held a piece of paper in her left hand.
As she lowered her body toward the ceiling, she pressed her left thumbnail into the paper. That caused the color black to appear.
That pressure-sensitive paper was created via philosopher’s stone processing.
She continued on to draw a pattern with her thumbnail.
The pattern gave the image of fire, so the paper began to burn.
At the same time, fire was projected from the paper.
It was a flame round.
At the midpoint between the two of them, the fire transformed into a mass just large enough to reach one’s arms around.
It shot directly toward Brunhild.
But just before it struck, she sank down.
With a smile on her lips, she wrote a word in the air.
The flames burst apart in front of Brunhild’s right arm.
The pressure-sensitive paper was ripped to pieces.
The flames had been destroyed by the metal plate made of light that had appeared in Brunhild’s right hand.
Her enemy approached in response.
Diana took a step toward Brunhild and then took another running step.
She reached her left arm around and brushed up the back of her hair.
Diana’s hair spread out in midair.
White fragments flew from the hair.
They were pieces of paper. Sixteen scraps of paper danced wildly through the air. They all had patterns drawn on them already.
They meant “arrow”.
A total of sixteen sharp points flew through the air. They were of course flying toward Brunhild.
Those metal arrows soared in arcs similar to if they had been thrown.
They moved very quickly.
However, Brunhild only responded in one way.
She smiled bitterly.
And that bitter smile began to form words.
“You only need to give form to the power, but you go a step further and give it a physical form, don’t you?”
“Because our ability is inferior to your Gear’s, we had to take it farther than yours. My country is filled with perfectionists. It is most wonderful.”
“I see,” said Brunhild with a nod.
She wrote something in the air and let the arrows fly toward her.
Sixteen metal screws made of light appeared.
The screws scattered in midair and received the arrowheads with the weight of real metal.
The screws acted autonomously.
Whenever an arrowhead dug into the pile of slotted screws, all of the screws would jump up in midair.
The action wanted from a screw was of course to rotate.
They altered the trajectory of the arrows.
They all twisted around and flew behind Brunhild.
Once the attacks missed, they struck the ceiling or the floor.
Just as Brunhild heard sixteen stabbing sounds, Diana reached a suitable distance as she ran forward.
They were three meters apart. If she took one step forward and reached out, she could grab her opponent by the collar.
However, Diana swung her body instead.
As she twisted her body to the right, her left hand brushed up her hair.
Her hair waved, tubes of paper hidden within came loose, and those papers began to unfurl.
“Is that the only technique you have?” asked Brunhild. “I hope you don’t mind if I crush this repeat trick!”
Brunhild knew she could win.
Diana’s hair rushed by and the papers flew.
Brunhild moved forward to stop Diana’s movements.
When she sent out the papers, Diana had brushed her hand through her hair, leaving her body unguarded.
If Brunhild charged in at that moment, she could handle whatever happened.
…I will get an answer from you.
Why did she decide the Leviathan Road was dangerous?
As she did, she felt something on her stomach.
It was the pain of something hard striking her.
It was an iron pipe made of light.
She looked down and saw Diana’s right hand was holding a piece of paper instead of her pumps.
The paper contained a single word that meant iron pipe: Eisenrohr.
It was the iron pipe Brunhild had created.
The paper that had absorbed the pipe had moved to Diana’s right hand at some point.
And then Brunhild noticed something else.
The papers scattering from Diana’s hair had nothing written on them.
“The hair was a feint. …It wasn’t a repeat trick, okay?”
Diana smiled and sent weight into Brunhild’s gut.
Brunhild was thrown backwards, iron pipe and all.
Her light body seemed to float up into the air and away from Diana.
Why was she giving Brunhild distance?
Brunhild landed and the iron pipe made of light fell to the floor. At the same moment, she heard a shout from the black cat at her feet.
“Brunhild! …All around you!”
She looked around and found certain objects stabbed into the four walls, the floor, and the ceiling.
They were Diana’s metal arrows that she had deflected earlier.
The metal arrows had a pattern carved into them. That pattern would activate a spell.
“It can’t be. You carved the spell into the arrows?”
“Yes. This is a technique only possible once you give the power physical form. Physical arrows can be used as the catalyst for another spell. This is quite impossible for you in 1st-Gear who only give form to your power.”
Diana’s words caused the sixteen arrows to emit light.
Brunhild’s only option was to evade.
But a sudden pain filled her neck.
She looked over and saw Diana holding her left hand out toward her.
That hand contained a single piece of white paper that was emitting white smoke. Something was wrapped around Brunhild’s neck.
“Kette. You can have that back. And while you are bound, we can have some fun with one of our later-developed spells,” said Diana with a smile. “Schlag. Let’s put some curl into your hair.”
As she spoke, a lightning attack exploded out within the hallway.
Kazami and Izumo had arrived at UCAT’s fourth basement.
A woman walked alongside the two of them in that white corridor.
This woman wore the white armored uniform of UCAT with the full assortment of skirt and sleeves. Her long, soft-looking blonde hair was swept back.
“Sibyl, is this your first time in the Second Reference Room, too?”
“Testament, Chisato-sama. Even the department heads are not allowed in without a good reason.”
“I’m amazed we got permission. Is the Leviathan Road just that important? Well, I doubt Ooshiro-san would tell us even if we asked,” commented Kazami.
Sibyl gave a small smile and nodded with her blue eyes.
“Chisato-sama, why are you investigating 2nd-Gear? Don’t you meet the development department often enough for G-Sp2’s management and adjustments?”
“Yeah. To put it simply, it’s because I know them that well that I want to make sure not to be rude.”
When Kazami put together her thoughts with a troubled expression, Sibyl’s eyes bent in a smile.
“In that case, wouldn’t you want to avoid looking into anything unnecessary? Try thinking about it this way: you simply enjoy learning about people you know and gathering new knowledge.”
“Actually, I don’t really like researching things…”
“That is a fatal flaw.”
“Wah! Did you just cut me off completely!? Come to think of it, am I just an idiot!?”
“P-please calm down, Chisato-sama. My honest opinion slipped out by accident.”
“Your honest opinion!?”
“Ahhh, Izumo-sama. C-could you do something about this?”
“Sure. …Chisato! Being an idiot’s nothing to get depressed over! You can be like me!”
His last word caused Kazami to send a straight punch in his direction.
“Ahh, that’s better. At any rate, I suppose it’s all over for you if you just give in. …But today I have Sibyl to help me out. Once we’re done here, we’re headed to the training room. Training really is easier for me.”
As Kazami spoke, the end of the corridor came into view.
There was nothing there. It was a dead end at a white wall. However…
—The truth lies in unseen places.
They heard a voice.
Red text spelling out the words they had heard ran across the black wristwatches the three of them wore.
Kazami trembled slightly at the light impact she felt from her watch.
At the same moment, the space before them opened up.
A wind whipped up, a burning smell filled the air, and a large amount of smoke filled the area.
Silver hair danced in the pressure of the waves of wind. It was Diana’s hair.
Her eyes narrowed as she looked into the smoke-filled wind at the center of the blast, but a smile never left her lips.
…Now, how about that?
“If you made it through that…”
As she spoke, the curtain of smoke waved and opened.
A girl wearing a school uniform stood there. She appeared to be unscathed.
Diana’s smile deepened.
Diana looked toward the girl standing in the center of the hallway.
The girl’s left hand was on the chain around her neck and her right hand was raised.
She was Brunhild.
The expressionless girl’s raised hand showed how she had blocked the lightning.
A metal plate, metal screws, an iron pipe, and a metal chain were all floating around her right hand. They appeared to be enveloping her. They had been able to turn aside the lightning attack and prevent a direct hit because she had given her power the form of “iron”.
Only an instantaneous decision remained.
The next battle began. Diana saw it with her eyes and heard it with her ears.
She saw Brunhild’s right hand produce writing and heard her lips produce words.
“You are that which strikes the enemy.”
In the air beyond Brunhild’s fingertips, the metal plate spun and became a frame.
“You are that which targets the enemy.”
The iron pipe spun in midair and became a gun barrel.
“You are that which is very hard.”
The screws flew through the air and connected the frame to the barrel.
“You are that which obeys me.”
The chain disconnected, duplicated itself again and again, and finally attached to the base of the barrel.
Brunhild raised her expressionless head and wrote the final term: smoothbore cannon.
As Diana watched on, the connected parts linked together to produce their proper form.
They created a metal cannon.
The writing of someone from 1st-Gear held the power to control every aspect of its target.
“Was everything you did in preparation to create this?”
“Hmph. Just because you are trying so pathetically hard with your later-developed techniques is no reason for me to hold back with the original techniques. Now, take this siege engine used even before the creation of the Wotan Kingdom.”
Brunhild pulled a single paperback novel from her pocket.
She set it in the magazine slot on the bottom of the frame.
A new smile appeared on Diana’s lips and she reached into her hair.
Immediately afterwards, Brunhild unhesitatingly pulled the anchor.
That was how it felt to Kazami and the others as an endlessly large file archive opened up in front of them.
The white ceiling was low and occasional fluorescent lights illuminated the bookshelves below.
All of the bookshelves were cheap ones made from metal frames, but they were filled with a great number of documents.
There were diagrams, reports, memos, contracts, and all kinds of other labels. The bookshelves filled with these documents continued on as far as the three of them could see.
Kazami started to take a step back, but a hand stopped her from behind.
It was Sibyl. She shook her head.
“If you move back, you will return to the normal world.”
“I guess we have to do this. …Should we think of this as a concept battle against documents?”
“That mindset would be very like you, Chisato-sama.” Sibyl gave a small smile and spoke as she looked at the vast archive. “During the time of the National Defense Department, a large number of underground facilities were created as concept space experiments. UCAT inherited a lot of those and a few of them…”
“Are only known about by those at the very top, right? There are a lot of rumors about that. They say there are areas even further down than the lowest level. …Anyway, is this one of the places we inherited?”
“Testament. This is apparently based on the first archive created during the National Defense Department days. The documents that still exist in the real world are kept in the Kinugasa Library, so this must be a collection of the knowledge obtained in battle and the knowledge derived from that.”
“I see,” said Kazami with a nod. She looked around with an impressed look. “So there’s a lot of information here that they won’t let out without good reason.”
“And we’re here on the authority of the Leviathan Road.”
Izumo stepped forward and tapped on a bookshelf.
The shelf lined with knowledge and memories did not waver under his large hand.
“I think it’ll take a while before I can thank Ooshiro-san for giving us permission. Sibyl, help us find the documents related to the destruction of 2nd-Gear. …We need a good grasp of who we’re dealing with.”
“Testament. I will do my best.” Sibyl stepped forward and bowed with a small smile. “Let us gather data on the people of 2nd-Gear who we know so well. It may not be much, but I will assist with my information gathering ability.”
“Show yourself, power of majesty!”
That shout was drowned out by an intense sound of destruction piercing through the hallway.
A single change came over Brunhild’s spell and Diana’s spell at the midpoint between them.
That change was even more destruction.
The two attacks were destroyed by someone.
The annihilation of the two powers produced the great pressure of an explosion.
Wind and sparks exploded within the hallway.
First, heat and the pressure of the air rushed out. That was followed by gray smoke and the sound of shattering glass.
As if pushed by the wind, Brunhild and Diana jumped back and their clothes were flipped upwards.
As if facing each other, they both looked at the space between them.
The cannon and papers they had been using were already vanishing.
But what had destroyed their attacks?
As they watched, the smoke rising in the wind began to rotate and disperse.
The destroyer stood in the center.
It was a man.
A tall old man was down on one knee. He was bald, wore a black vest, and the palms of the leather gloves on his hands were pointed toward Brunhild and Diana.
Brunhild frowned when she saw the old man.
“That is enough, you two.”
As if in response to his words, the wind died down. However, the two witches remained motionless.
Only one person there moved.
That person walked in from the central lobby. He was a boy wearing his school uniform impeccably.
His swept-back hair had some white on the left and right and his almond-shaped eyes looked at Brunhild, Siegfried, and then Diana.
“Sorry for troubling you, Mr. Zonburg. There was nothing a pacifist such as myself could do.”
“I will ignore that obvious lie, Sayama Mikoto, but it is indeed best to leave a job like this to the most suitable person.”
“Indeed. But I have one question for all of you: what exactly is going on here?” asked Sayama.
He turned toward Diana and she gave a disappointed sigh.
“I was just about to win, uncle.”
“That is my-…”
Before she could say “line”, Brunhild trailed off.
“Uncle?” she said instead.
“Yes,” confirmed Diana before turning toward Sayama.
She brought her heels together, stood tall, and dropped the smile.
“Testament. I am Diana Zonburg of German UCAT. I was sent here as European UCAT’s inspector for Team Leviathan.” She turned to Brunhild. “And as the witness for accepting 1st-Gear into German UCAT.”
“I see. So Mr. Zonburg’s niece was sent in.”
“Hah. You look more like his great-niece.”
“That is thanks to my uncle improving his eternal youth techniques. It only prevents me from aging, though. I will not live any longer than normal.”
“Either way, you’re a little girl to me. …Well? What will you do? I don’t care if you are the witness for accepting 1st-Gear. Shall we continue?”
The cat at her feet shook his head as hard as he could, but Brunhild paid him no heed.
She remained expressionless.
“Everyone from 1st-Gear would support me. It is not our way to back away because of your opponent’s authority.”
Diana smiled once more and shook her head.
“Unfortunately, I will have to back away. …It is highly unlikely, but if I ended up showing you my memories, it would be an insult to the past.”
“Coward. But I am relieved. You don’t see many women who are willing to keep their promises after they lose.”
Both of them gave a small laugh.
Between the two of them, Siegfried stood up with an exasperated look.
“Try to get along for 1st-Gear’s sake.” He loosened his necktie. “I ask that you put constant effort into that.”
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