Owari no Chronicle:Volume4 Chapter 27
Chapter 27: Your Name
What is good and what is bad?
The answer only lies within yourself
Give that fear the name of expectation
Those who had escaped unharmed gathered in a small forest clearing.
Including Team Leviathan, a total of approximately fifty people had gathered.
Through the forest, the people of 2nd-Gear were visible in the field which had been destroyed by moonlight.
But they showed no sign of moving.
Both sides needed some time to regroup before they could attack or fight back.
And Shinjou spoke in front of those who sat in the clearing.
With Sayama next to her, she lowered the ends of her eyebrows and brought her hands to her chest.
“That’s the truth. That’s the kind of body I have.”
“I’m sorry for not telling all of you.”
Sayama watched as she lowered her head.
She is very diligent, he thought.
That diligence would sometimes be a negative thing for her.
…But what about now?
Shinjou slowly raised her head.
Her slender body was examining the group. Most of those looking at her merely looked confused.
…That is not surprising.
Shinjou had made this sudden confession on the battlefield.
They would not truly understand what she meant until later.
And amid those confused looks, someone stood up.
“I don’t fully understand, but excuse me a moment.”
It was Kazami.
She pushed G-Sp2 and its shield toward Izumo and walked over.
Her expression was calm and she said nothing. In exactly ten steps, she arrived in front of Shinjou.
There, she sighed and lowered her shoulders a bit.
“Sayama, support her.”
Her words were accompanied by a high-pitched noise from Shinjou’s cheek.
Sayama supported Shinjou as she trembled a bit.
In the follow-through pose of a right-handed slap, Kazami spoke.
“That should settle that. But let me give you a piece of advice. If you apologize for something like that again, I’ll slap you again. That’s all there is to it.”
“…Are you sure that’s all?”
Shinjou’s probing question produced a sigh from Kazami.
“Y’know, our job here isn’t to reveal everything about ourselves. It’s up to you whether you tell us something or not. And the responsibility that brings is yours, Shinjou.”
Shinjou did not nod or shake her head. Instead, she thought.
As Sayama supported her back, he realized Kazami had glanced over at him.
“I of course do not have a problem with Shinjou-kun keeping silent about this.”
“See? I don’t remember ever finding it to be a problem either. …And if the idiot who’s always with you took no damage from it, do you even need to ask those who are more distance with you?” Kazami turned back toward Shinjou. “But you can’t just apologize. You apologize when you have done something wrong. And if you apologize when you haven’t done anything wrong, it means that your very existence is wrong. You told us this because you didn’t want that to happen, right?”
“Then that’s fine. Sorry for slapping you. I held back, so please forgive me.”
Shinjou gave a large nod and something red dripped from her nose to her mouth.
“W-wah! S-Sayama-kun! Give me a handkerchief or something!”
“Heh heh heh. Shinjou-kun, you look beautiful even with a nosebleed.”
“Th-this is not the time for that! Give me something to wipe up the blood.”
“Wait just a moment. …Kazami, what happened to your restraint?”
Everyone turned criticizing looks in Kazami’s direction.
“Eh? Eh?” said Kazami as all those cold eyes turned toward her. “Th-that was only 1/10 of what I always use on Kaku.”
“I’m always receiving ten times that?”
“Come now, you two. This is no time for a lovey-dovey couple’s conversation.”
“There’s nothing lovey-dovey about her violence!!”
Everyone ignored Izumo’s opinion.
Sayama pulled Baku and a handkerchief from his breast pocket.
He placed Baku on his head, used the handkerchief to wipe the area below Shinjou’s nose and around her mouth, and found the bleeding had already lessened.
Her expression seemed to say “is it okay?”, so he nodded. Kazami gave a sigh of relief before speaking again.
“By the way, why were you two so late?”
“Well, Shinjou-kun wanted to convince me of her body’s value, so she got on the bed and showed me-…”
“Waaaah!!” shouted Shinjou while grabbing his collar.
Either because they had been unable to hear Sayama’s words or because of Shinjou’s strange shout, Kazami and the others stopped moving and turned confused looks toward them.
Kazami tilted her head and spoke as a representative for them all.
“What? I didn’t catch that. She wanted to convince you of her value, so…what?”
Sayama looked at Kazami and everyone else over Shinjou’s head and nodded.
“So I spread her-…”
“You can’t tell them that!!”
As soon as he started speaking, Shinjou shook him by his collar.
As his vision shook, he had a certain thought.
…I see. So this is what it means to be lovey-dovey. Heh heh. I have never experienced anything like it. Flirting like your average person is…
Bring on the lovey-dovey. Shake me even harder, he thought just before his necktie tightened.
“W-wait, Shinjou-kun. If you keep this up, my nirvana meter will enter the red zone!”
“I’ll stop those words at the source!”
Sayama tried to stop her, but Shinjou was showing no restraint this night.
Kazami nodded as she saw the look of anger on Shinjou’s face and their struggle over their arms and the collar.
“I see. So you’re in that kind of relationship.”
“K-Kazami-san, please don’t make strange, indecent assumptions!”
“Sayama, do this properly, okay? She isn’t used to it.”
“Do not worry. I am always gentle with Shinjou-kun. I treat everyone else equally, though.”
“S-stop making misunderstandings over my head! And Kazami-san! Why did your indecent conclusion lead you back to your original position!?”
“That’s right,” said another voice. Sayama glanced over and saw Ooki. “As your teacher, I cannot allow an impure relationship with the opposite sex!”
“Calm down, Ooki-sensei. Shinjou-kun is both sexes. As both a boy and a girl, the impurity cancels itself out.”
“Oh. Um… Is that how it works?”
“Someone tell her,” whispered the rest of the group, but she did not seem to hear them.
“B-but I’m relieved,” she said with a smile. “I realized Setsu-kun was Sadame-san from the moment he arrived.”
After a one second pause, everyone shouted out in unison.
“I-I am not kidding. Any normal person would have figured it out.”
“Even if a normal person would have, I still have my doubts that you would.”
Hearing everyone’s comment, Ooki proudly puffed out her chest.
“Heh hehn. But I did figure it out. And I never thought Shinjou-kun – or would it be Shinjou-san? – was causing any trouble. I even sympathized. I have to hide my ears at school, but I would tell people if I could. I have to think about the age we live in and the world we live in, but I have my own personal feelings as well. And what matters is getting those two things to mesh.”
Sayama felt Shinjou relax in his arms.
“But,” said Ooki while obviously feeling satisfied with her previous words. “Coming out and getting rid of those worries is a good thing. For example, Kazami-san has shown her violent tendencies to everyone and- Hyaaaah! That was fast!”
A few hands reached up from behind Ooki and dragged her into the group of sitting people.
Sayama ignored the screams in the background and released Shinjou from his arms.
After she moved a bit away, she turned a troubled look in his direction.
“Was this really the right thing to do?”
“You can ask that again once we have seen the full result. The process is not over yet.”
Shinjou nodded and remade her expression.
That was when they heard a voice from the south where the main unit had been.
Sayama looked over and saw Yonkichi running over with someone following him. He wore a flight jacket and waved his hand.
“W-we’re in trouble, pi! The headquarters really were destroyed by the moonlight, pi! …Gwoohhh!!”
Yonkichi flew to the side for some reason. Soon thereafter, an old man in a lab coat, Mitsuaki, ran up.
“I apologize for our foolish younger brother’s out-of-place ‘pi’ gag! H-his older brothers will severely punish him later.”
“That fascinating introduction is nice, but please get to the point.”
Mitsuaki ran over to Sayama and slowed his pace.
“All of our supplies have been lost. In other words, we must fight the battle with only the personnel and equipment we have here!”
Everyone stood up and looked over their equipment.
They recalled what they had done as the moonlight fell and during the fighting just before that.
“We released the limiters on our concept weapons,” muttered Kazami. “We’re almost out of philosopher’s stone fuel.”
“That’s right, Chisato. The enemy got us good.”
Izumo’s complaint was followed by the remaining members of the headquarters arriving behind Mitsuaki.
The people looked like bluish black shadows.
They included Ooshiru Itaru with his metal cane, Sf, Diana, and…
“Brunhild Schild is accompanying me as a special inspector from 1st-Gear,” explained Diana.
A girl in black clothes and a three-cornered hat had a bird on her shoulder and a cat at her feet.
“You are the ones who spoke with the dragon of 1st-Gear, so what kind of battle will you show us here?” asked Brunhild. “We can’t exactly have you lose here. I never thought I would be attacked in your headquarters while drinking tea. I spilled my tea.”
“I see you are hoping for a tea-filled battle. That is quite appropriate for such a historic fight.”
Sayama then saw someone behind Brunhild and the others.
“The star player has arrived.”
Ooshiro wore his usual lab coat and he held both a metal case and something long and narrow wrapped in paper. He raised his right thumb as he approached.
“I’ve brought Georgius and what you asked me for, Mikoto-kun. But it looks like you are having some troubles.” He smiled bitterly. “What happened?”
Atsuta’s voice reverberated across the still lake surface.
“There’s nothing Team Leviathan can do now.”
He was in the center of the concept space. Specifically, he stood on the southern shore of the artificial lake where Sayama and Tsukuyomi had held the preliminary negotiations.
The thirty meter square area was created by a clearing in the forest and it was covered in weeds.
“Team Leviathan has stopped moving,” said Kashima who was there with Atsuta. “That shows that the moonlight bombing hit their headquarters as planned.”
“Weren’t the inspectors there? Won’t that give them a bad impression of us?”
“Isn’t that what you would want, Atsuta?”
“That’s for sure.”
Atsuta smiled bitterly and Kashima looked toward the lake.
A floating pier made from rotting wood stretched out over the lake surface.
It continued to the center of the lake where a giant mass of metal stood.
“It’s so big…”
The moon provided the backlight for a five hundred meter iron giant.
That was Susaou.
Its arms were made quite long to help it balance while walking and those arms were held out into empty air as if carrying something.
The remains of the bridge sank into the chest and the convection of the wind wrapped thin clouds around them.
Kashima stared up at Susaou.
…I’ve come here again.
But would the others make it?
Atsuta asked that question while casually swinging around Futsuno.
“Heh heh I wonder if they’ll make it here. I actually have a legitimate reason to punch that guy. You just can’t have a kid accepted by a grown woman. It doesn’t work that way.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about, but it sounds like a personal grudge.”
“Yeah, but what’s wrong with that? You need some kind of justification for fighting. This means I don’t have to worry when I punch him. …I think I’ll sing a song once I win.”
“Sorry, but I think you should probably lose.”
“What are you talking about?”
Atsuta spun Futsuno horizontally over his head.
Darkness suddenly fell over everything below the path Futsuno had taken.
It was a bluish darkness.
There was only one possible explanation.
Futsuno had cut the moonlight.
As Atsuta stopped swinging Futsuno around, the darkness thinned and finally vanished.
He then held Futsuno up and looked into the sky.
“I wonder how much that Sayama guy can do.”
“Are you listening? I will now give you the basic method for defeating 2nd-Gear.”
Sayama held up two handguns. As the guns hung down from his right hand like fruit, everyone formed a semicircle and watched.
He showed them the two guns.
“I had these handguns delivered to me on a certain condition. They are both nothing more than standard models from American UCAT. You can see that, right?”
Everyone silently nodded.
“And my sword has a name. Needless to say, that name comes from someone’s surname.”
Some people in the crowd raised her hand.
It was Kazami who stood with Izumo, Sibyl, and the others.
“But your sword cut the moonlight, didn’t it?” she asked. “Why? Even with sword names like Muramasa or Masamune, they’re still just Low-Gear names, right?”
“An excellent question. I will now show you what this means.”
Sayama tossed the two handguns into the air.
With a backhanded grip, he drew the sword hanging on the back of his waist.
And in the same motion, he swung it.
Two sounds rang out an instant later and three objects fell to the ground.
He looked down at his feet.
“The handgun the sword struck first deflected the blade, but the other one…”
He picked up the destroyed handgun which was now nothing more than a piece of metal sliced in half. The cut was sharp and it almost looked like a sliced vegetable.
But when he picked up the other one, it was unscathed.
“Now, does anyone know the difference between these two handguns?”
Everyone fell silent for a few seconds.
As they exchanged glances, a hand rose on the left side of the group.
It was Boldman. He pointed at Sayama and the handguns he held.
“Sayama…or should I call you commander? Anyway, let me see the side of the unharmed handgun.”
Sayama held up the left handgun.
The moonlight descending through the trees illuminated the side. This revealed something there.
When he saw it, Boldman let out a quick laugh.
“Whose gun is this?”
His answer came from right next to him.
A gray-haired elderly soldier from the standard division raised his hand. Boldman immediately looked over.
“What exactly is this carved into the side?”
“Chris. It’s my daughter’s name. She is always watching over me from heaven.”
As everyone gulped a bit, Sayama nodded.
“I apologize for treating your daughter so roughly. But does everyone understand now? That is what it means for names to hold power.”
Kazami tilted her head.
“So is power given by nicknames as well as the name you’re born with?”
“Correct. The question is how that name is perceived. If you think about it, it is obvious. For example, 2nd-Gear’s sword god is named Atsuta. The name Atsuta has nothing to do with swords, but they all perceive it as the name of a sword god.”
“Does that mean names have…?”
“Yes, names have two meanings: the literal meaning of the characters and the perception people have of the name itself. And in this concept space both of those meanings provide power.”
Sayama indicated the sword at his waist and the handgun in his hand.
“This sword was intended to defeat evil, so it was given a name that symbolizes an evil-defeating sword. And this gun was given the name of a woman who cares for her father, so it provides protection for that father. Names are a reflection of people’s feelings. A name many people care for will provide power for many people and a name an individual cares for will provide power to that individual.”
Sayama turned toward the elderly soldier.
“Your daughter is indeed watching over you.”
The old man nodded and Sayama nodded back before returning the handgun.
“Those of you with attachment to your weapons should trust in them. I also had the old man bring five more swords just like the one I have. Those who specialize in close-quarters combat should take them.”
“Oh, but, Sayama-kun? What are we supposed to do if we have no skills or weapons like that?” asked Ooki.
“I will explain that now.”
He beckoned Boldman over.
The crowd parted to allow the large man through and Sayama gestured for him to sit in front of him.
“The enemy will use the power of their names to advance on us. Tsukuyomi and her control over the moon is their cornerstone. She is their shrine maiden who can use the power of the moon and she will use that power to aid her allies.”
Sayama saw Boldman sit.
“We will use a similar method. We have a certain Greek goddess.”
“Cybele. Read it just a little different and it becomes Sibyl.” With a smile, Sibyl spoke from next to Kazami. “Sayama-sama, are you asking me to play the role of goddess in order to oppose Director Tsukuyomi?”
“Yes. And Sibyl-kun? You will also help with our equipment. If anyone has a nickname for their weapon, act as our shrine maiden and carve that name into it. And for the weapons that do not have a nickname, carve your own name to provide a goddess’s protection.”
A buzz ran through the young male personnel when they heard that.
“We can get Sibyl-san’s signature.”
“This is great. Just great. While we’re at it, I want her to sign my back too.”
“Now I want to avoid using my weapon as much as possible.”
The men excitedly lined up in front of Sibyl.
Ooshiro stood at the end of the line.
“Okay, this is the end of the line. Only one per person. Cutting in line gets you sent to the back.”
As Sayama watched the people lining up, Boldman looked up at him from the ground.
“So why am I sitting here?”
“Oh, my apologies. I forgot to explain that. Anyway, I will start with the most important information.”
He took a breath.
“We are currently surrounded.”
Everyone gasped and looked around.
The enemy was there.
At some point, some figures had appeared inside and outside the forest. They formed a wide circle around the group.
This was a different unit from those on the grassy field with Tsukuyomi.
The groups attacking the left and right units had continued on and slowly surrounded them.
“It would seem the enemy has completed their preparations. I am hoping we can hurry up as well.”
Sayama looked at the figures surrounding them. They stood in the forest without fear.
“But due to their history, 2nd-Gear has not realized the full possibilities of their concepts.”
Everyone around him tilted their heads.
“What exactly is a name?” he asked them.
Shinjou supplied an answer.
“It is a proper noun, isn’t it? It is a noun associated with something specific. It is a type of symbol used to distinguish people and things from other people or things.”
“Yes, and that is where the problem lies. In fact, I would say there are two problems there,” explained Sayama. “The first is quite simple, so let us test it out immediately.”
He grabbed Boldman’s head in front of him.
And then he looked to the west.
His gaze stopped on three figures approaching through the forest.
After a moment, they stood up.
Sayama estimated they were fifteen meters away. All three of them wielded swords in the darkness.
Sayama used a hand to stop those who wanted to take action.
“Now, let us have a language lesson. Are names given only to physical objects?”
As he asked his question, the enemies crouched down and prepared to dash forward.
As soon as they took their first step, Shinjou’s voice rang out.
“N-no! They are also given to physical phenomena and abstract theories!”
In the very next moment, roaring voices and countless footsteps filled the forest.
2nd-Gear had begun to move.
And as Sayama waited for them, he had a smile on his face.
He watched the blades of the approaching enemies.
“Precisely, Shinjou-kun. 2nd-Gear has grown so fixated on the names they give themselves that they have lost sight of everything else. And that is why this never occurred to them.”
The enemy left the forest and entered the clearing.
At the same time, Sayama shoved Boldman’s head toward the enemy.
“Attack names will give form to the attack itself!” he shouted. And then he raised his voice even further. “Baldman – Bald Flash!!”
With a roar, light shot from Boldman.
After a light appeared in the center of the forest and pointed to the west, its power took effect instantly.
It looked less like a sphere of light and more like an expanded version of Boldman’s face.
The giant face made of light had its teeth bared and it expanded even further while devouring the trees, the earth, and the air.
In the blink of an eye, it became an explosion of light with a radius of two hundred meters.
The light sounded like spraying water.
It produced enough of an impact to blow everything away.
The western side of the forest was blasted into the distance without time to breathe.
The attacking members of 2nd-Gear were not even able to cling to the ground. The expansion of the sphere of light ripped them up and into the air.
The light produced destruction.
But it disappeared an instant later.
However, even that slight time had been enough to leave its mark.
It had whipped up a wind which rustled through the remaining trees. Below that, the crust was exposed on the ground.
The people and trees that had been blown away flew into the distance in a parabolic arc. Once they landed and stopped rolling, they did not move.
Everyone who saw that destruction froze in place. That was especially true for the 2nd-Gear members who were trying to surround Team Leviathan from all directions.
They turned toward the source of the destruction and the whirling wind. There they saw a boy.
Sayama Mikoto held the head of a large black man.
Nothing was moving except for the wind and the leaves of the trees.
Amid it all, Sayama turned toward his group.
“This was a bit of a gamble, but it appears to have worked well. It appears that it must be based on a common perception that no one can deny.”
Boldman stood up in front of Sayama.
Sayama looked up at him.
“Hm. I am not sure why you look so angry. That was very useful, was it not?”
“Y-you may be my commander, but there are some things you just don’t do! …Ah.”
Boldman’s knees then collapsed out from under him.
Sayama understood why the man was shaking his head in confusion.
“It seems using this power takes away physical strength. That may have shortened your lifespan by about 100 days.”
Boldman tried to stand up but let out a strange cry and toppled forward.
Rather than catch him, Sayama let gravity take over. As he collapsed, Kazami appeared behind him with her hand up in a chopping pose.
“Kaku, tie him up,” she said with a serious expression. “We can have someone without a weapon use him.”
“Yeah, I’ve never seen a better living weapon.”
“But try not to fire randomly. You do not want to hit one of our own people. …What is it? Is something the matter?”
“I don’t care if it’s a joke. Can you at least say you’re worried about me?”
Some men arrived with a rope which they used to tie up Boldman and turn him into a weapon.
“Now, then. I am sure you have something similar in your own fantasies. As close-combat specialists, you must have given it at least some thought. You must have felt the attack you thought up is unbeatable. If you have an idea and you believe in that idea, then shout it out. If your feelings are real, the attack will follow.”
“I see,” said Izumo as he tightened the ropes restraining Boldman.
He gently grabbed Kazami’s breasts so as to lift them up.
“Kazami Boob Bea- Gwoh!?”
“I’m not letting you fire anything from there!!”
After jabbing her elbow behind her, Kazami frowned.
“We have weapons already, so we don’t need to bother with that. …Hm? What? Why do you look so unhappy?”
As everyone nodded in agreement, the circling wind of the Bald Flash finally escaped into the sky.
Sayama watched everyone as they watched the wind leave.
His gaze met Ooshiro’s and the old man held up Georgius’s case.
That was when someone raised her hand. It was Shinjou.
“U-um, Sayama-kun? I was so overwhelmed by the Bald Flash that I forgot to ask something.”
“Mh? What is it?”
“What is the other problem regarding 2nd-Gear’s names that you mentioned? You never told us.”
“Oh, that is simple, so I was planning to explain it last.”
Sayama nodded and looked around.
2nd-Gear’s forces were beginning to move after being stopped by the previous attack.
But instead of rushing in, they were now approaching slowly and cautiously.
As Sayama watched them, he spoke.
“Think of the names Susanoo, Takemikazuchi, and Tsukuyomi. From a Low-Gear perspective, they are all missing something. Something everyone in Low-Gear has. …Can you tell me what that is?”
“Eh?” asked Shinjou as she furrowed her brow.
“Think about it, Shinjou Sadagiri-kun.”
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