Owari no Chronicle:Volume4 Chapter 28
Chapter 28: Song of Battle
Sing the war song of unavoidable conflict
People stand on the battlefield of inevitability
They await an anticipated answer
The battle began once more.
Tsukuyomi stood on the northern field in front of the forest. From there, she saw the enemy emerge from the opposite forest.
They numbered about half of what they had when they had entered the forest. Sayama and his group were not among them.
But they advanced with great force.
…They have some sort of plan.
She heard their battle cries, their footsteps, and the blowing wind.
Riding on the momentum of those three noises, the white combat uniforms clashed once more.
With the protection of their concepts, 2nd-Gear had the upper hand.
But something bothered Tsukuyomi: the boy and girl who had charged into battle earlier. Sayama and Shinjou.
…The way Shinjou used Ex-St.
According to the records, she had never used the full ability of her Cowling Staff. Ex-St would remove its limiter in accordance with its user’s will and it would even destroy itself with its maximum power.
That wall of light had not been the weapon’s full power.
“But that was different from normal.”
What had she done?
Tsukuyomi knew the answer: she was beginning to accept her own will. It was the same as a newborn animal becoming aware of its own body and standing up to get a closer look at its parent’s face.
“Perhaps we should view this differently.”
I just hope this decision isn’t too late, thought Tsukuyomi as she spoke to the managers around her.
“Everyone, move forward!”
Many male voices let out a cry in response.
They would tread on the grass and go forward to the land the moonlight had fallen on.
As they advanced, their vanguard collided with the enemy on the other side of the field.
As Tsukuyomi watched, she saw something odd.
It was the enemy.
2nd-Gear had supposedly exhausted the enemy’s weapons and cut off their supplies, but they were firing light, darkness, flames, and ice. As she tried to remember if they had ever created weapons like that, an elderly manager spoke from next to her.
“To me, it looks like they are firing strange beams from their hands, feet, and eyes.”
A closer examination showed most of the projectiles were coming from Ooshiro Kazuo.
While striking strange poses, shouting strange things, and smiling, light shot from his hands and feet. He would even summon a strange black shadow from his laptop screen which would blow away his enemy.
“Wa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Take this! Miyoko’s Wrath!”
Tsukuyomi did not hesitate to fire moonlight at him.
This produced an explosion, but…
A dark dome appeared in the field and an unharmed voice came from within.
“What do you think you’re doing, Director Tsukuyomi!? This is my youth!!”
Once Tsukuyomi realized her words were not going to reach him, she fired more moonlight at the barrier.
“You are an embarrassment to Japan!!”
She fired five times in a row. The third shot shattered the barrier and the fifth struck him.
For some reason, the old man looked delighted as he was blown away.
And so she fired another shot. Light exploded out and the surrounding people let out a cheer.
But Ooshiro quickly stood back up and threw his arms into the air.
“St-stop that! Is it that fun blasting me across the field!?”
“Try acting your age, UCAT Director Ooshiro! Your son is going to throw you to the ground again!”
Tsukuyomi’s warning produced applause from the elderly managers around her. They then began chanting.
“Once more! Once more! We want to see you show off some more!”
“Fine then. I’ll make it flashy this time.” She smiled as she drew the bowstring. “I don’t quite have a full charge, but this will do!”
As the light dispersed, she fired the large bowstring toward the sky.
It produced a high-pitched tone and light fell from the sky.
“Come, light of the moon!”
Not as much light fell this time, but it was limited to the grassy field.
A few dozen beams of light poured down to the earth.
…Will this finish it?
But then she froze in place.
In the center of her vision, a new group exited the distant forest.
Tsukuyomi recognized them.
Sayama, Shinjou, Izumo, and Kazami were in the lead. Following them was a group of people in combat uniforms.
Kazami and Izumo ran toward her.
Sayama and Shinjou also ran toward-
Those two were not looking at anyone.
They were focused on Susaou behind her.
“Before you reach Susaou, you have to escape the falling moonlight! How will you manage that!?”
Tsukuyomi’s shouted question received a response.
It was a song. It was a Low-Gear hymn.
A female voice from the forest calmly sang Silent Night.
Silent night Holy night
Brought the world peace tonight,
From the heavens’ golden height
Shows the grace of His holy might
Jesus, as man on this earth
Jesus, as man on this earth
As if reacting to the meaning of those words, the hammer of moonlight weakened.
It grew quieter and thinner. The moonlight returned to being normal light and merely illuminated the field.
Tsukuyomi gasped and the singer’s voice continued from the forest.
The singer had long blonde hair. One of the elderly managers near Tsukuyomi spoke the singer’s name.
“Sibyl. She’s a maintenance girl who knows a lot about gods of war and automatons. She has the name of a goddess and blonde hair, so how about we invite her to the development department?”
“Don’t I provide enough femininity to the department?”
“Not nearly enough,” said all the elderly managers.
Tsukuyomi smiled bitterly, but she did not relax the hand drawing her bowstring.
“Well, this battle isn’t over yet and we have the advantage.”
The appearance of these new enemies from the forest caused her allies to change their means of attack.
Those with flight-associated names attacked from the air.
From what Tsukuyomi remembered, Kazami was the only member of Team Leviathan who could fly.
None of the others had surnames with the same meaning.
“Here they come,” said one of the elderly managers with a bit of surprise in his voice.
And then Tsukuyomi saw a few members of Team Leviathan do something unexpected.
Their movements were hesitant, but they rose into the air as if climbing stairs and they began to use their weapons.
As she wondered what was happening, Tsukuyomi drew her bowstring even tighter. And she aimed horizontally toward Kazami and Izumo.
“It can’t be!!”
Among those who had remained in the forest, a small figure stood with a cat and a bird.
“The two name system, hm?” said Brunhild in exasperation. “So that’s the simple thing related to names that Sayama was talking about before.”
Next to her, Sf nodded from next to Itaru.
“2nd-Gear’s names indicate a role, so they are analogous to Low-Gear’s surnames. 2nd-Gear is a group of engineers, so they treat their surnames as their true names. They view their given name as nothing more than a number to distinguish between family members.”
Diana, who stood next to Sf, picked up where the automaton left off.
“But in Low-Gear, surnames became symbolized and given names drew more focus.”
She went on to explain why those Team Leviathan members could fly.
“They have sky, wind, or other characters related to weather phenomena and animals in their given names. In this country, the characters for fly, mist, light, and dragon are almost always used in the given name rather than the surname.”
Brunhild nodded and looked beyond the forest.
Past the trees, the heavens opened up. Shouts and light were produced there.
“Are you worried about them?” asked Diana.
“I wouldn’t say that. I was asked to inspect, so I am watching.”
“Oh, dear.” Diana shrugged and turned toward Itaru. “Itaru, I thought your father chose her as 1st-Gear’s inspector because-…”
“That’s right. To keep an eye on you.”
“Heh,” bitterly laughed Brunhild.
She took a step back in order to move away from Diana.
And then she glared up at the woman.
“I don’t care why I was given the position. As long as I can monitor such an infuriating woman so she can’t make petty complaints about Team Leviathan, that’s enough. So let’s try to get along, just as Siegfried asked us to.”
“That isn’t a very nice way to put it. I am not going to make any petty complaints.” Diana sharply narrowed her eyes and formed a gentle smile. “As soon as I find a problem, I will crush it on the spot.”
“For German UCAT’s sake?”
“No. This is not for German UCAT or for myself. If I had to say, I would say it is for everything that was lost to reach this point.”
“Everything that was lost? Like what? The destroyed Gears?”
“You only think that because you still know nothing.”
“No one knows what truly happened in our past.”
Brunhild silently listened to that statement.
After a while, she picked up the black cat at her feet.
“Fine. I will overlook it for tonight. I cannot use my spells well in 2nd-Gear’s concepts.”
“Oh? It does not bother me if you do not overlook it. My spells are perfectly strong 24/7.”
“Is that so?” Brunhild narrowed her eyes and stared up at Diana. “I suppose that’s what happens when you carry around fuel in your breasts. Perhaps I do not need to sympathize with your lack of experience now. Just so you know, I only showed you about 20% of my true power at the school.”
“Oh, my. That was only about 15% for me.”
“Wait, I miscounted. It may have been about 5%.”
After watching those two repeatedly reassess their number with a smile, Sf turned to Itaru.
“Which one is giving a false report?”
“Neither one is true, but both of them are serious.”
As soon as Itaru spoke, Diana and Brunhild moved away from each other.
The cat looked up in Brunhild’s arm.
“Eh? Wait. Wh-why aren’t you putting me down?”
“That cat will not function as a shield. This will shoot right through him.”
“Hmph. He’s no normal cat. He can probably withstand one shot. …Hang in there, okay?”
“D-don’t I get a say!?”
The cat’s protests and struggling were stopped by a tight embrace.
The two witches exchanged a smile and both said “now then”.
And then five figures charged from the forest to the right.
“Supervisor Ooshiro Itaru of Team Leviathan! This is Mikami and Katori of the development department!”
Five young men appeared wielding swords.
The man in the lead, Mikami, turned toward the other four.
“Let’s use our standard…”
He trailed off.
He had spotted the two witches glaring at each other.
As Mikami and the other four remained motionless, Brunhild slowly turned toward them.
“Heh. Looks like we have some good targets to compare our strength on.”
“Oh? It isn’t often I agree with you. Who will go first?”
“Eh?” said the group of five as they stepped back.
“W-wait a second.” Mikami spread his arms. “Why is German UCAT and 1st-Gear…”
“Keep quiet, target! But when I blow you away, make sure to give a proper scream.”
The two witches caused the five men’s faces to stiffen and freeze.
“Please stop.” With a dignified voice, Sf ran in front of Diana and Brunhild. “The inspectors are not permitted to take part in the battle.”
The two groaned and stopped moving.
After a moment, Mikami began frantically nodding.
“Th-that’s right. If anyone is going to attack us, make it Team Leviathan.”
Sf nodded and looked at the group of five and group of two.
After making sure they were all looking at her, she nodded and brought her heels together.
“Tes. I am pleased you all understand. I have determined this is thanks to the negotiation program I have installed. If you were impressed, please email your thoughts to the SF development team of German UCAT. Lately, they have been delighted even if you write ‘bravo’, but ‘khorosho’ is still strictly forbidden.”
“U-um? Sf? That is all well and good, but what should we do about the immediate situation?”
After a moment of confusion, the 2nd-Gear men finally began to nod.
From behind Mikami, the plump Katori wiped sweat from his brow and looked toward Sf.
“Surely you aren’t going to fight us. Low-Gear weaponry is almost entirely meaningless here.”
“Tes. I appreciate your concern, but I exist as a piece of Team Leviathan’s equipment. You can rest easy while thinking of me as a piece of equipment.”
Sf’s words brought a confused look to Itaru’s face.
“I’ve never once been able to rest easy around you.”
“Itaru-sama, when you truly rest easy, you do not even realize it is happening.”
“Oh? Then what is the strange thrill I feel around you every day?”
“Tes. That is a pinch of spice to combat the boring routine of life.”
Itaru silently turned to Diana and she frantically shook her head.
“A-are you sure this thought pattern didn’t come from how you formatted her?”
“I should have known you would weasel out of any responsibility.”
“Um…listen, Sf. Itaru is saying he’s curious how you will fight.”
Diana’s frantic comment led Sf to look at Itaru. He nodded in annoyance.
“Handle this in a way that will delight your opponent, okay?”
“Tes. In that case, please look at this equipment, everyone.”
Sf bowed. She then lifted up the right side of her skirt and stuck her hand inside.
“It was developed in order to instantly defeat one hundred approaching enemies. Once it proved able to do exactly that, everyone began to refer to it by the name of its creator and that name gained the meaning of singlehandedly defeating great numbers of enemies on the battlefield.”
When she pulled her hand out, it was accompanied by a black mass of steel almost two meters long.
The thick barrel could have easily been mistaken for a cannon and it was made by fixing together six rifle barrels.
“This is the Gatling gun. As I have prepared this for tonight, I have determined I can more than meet your needs.”
Sf lowered her waist as she held up the heavy weapon.
“Also, my name is Sein Frau. I exist and fight to meet my master’s demands. I ask that you too give this everything you have.”
And as she spoke, the 2nd-Gear men’s expressions stiffened.
“Y-you ask…? And how did you fit something so large under your skirt!?”
Sf faced them as she answered.
“I have many as-yet unseen features to make every new day enjoyable. I am German UCAT’s hidden masterpiece, so please look forward to what I will do in the future.”
Sf formed a mechanical smile.
Itaru had instructed her to do so and she knew what she had to say afterwards.
Itaru had said these words would delight the person she spoke them to.
And so she spoke to Mikami and the others with the mechanical smile on her lips.
“Die or go to hell.”
The attack began.
Sibyl sang in the center of the unit while Sayama and the others ran forward.
Sayama and the others at the front of the group had to break through the enemy lines.
Sayama swung up Georgius on his left arm and shouted out.
The others cried out as they prepared to clash with the enemy.
On the grassy field and below the moonlight, Sayama ran alongside Shinjou while Izumo and Kazami ran ahead.
They kicked off the dirt as they approached the metal giant beyond the enemy lines and beyond the forest.
Kazami led the group as she ran directly toward it.
And she was backed by Sibyl’s singing voice.
“Brought the world peace tonight.”
That is exactly right, thought Sayama as he thought about the meaning of the lyrics.
He realized Shinjou was quietly singing the song next to him.
“Show the grace of His holy might.”
…That is exactly what we must do on this night.
As he thought and ran, he approached the enemy’s main unit.
They were thirty meters apart.
Tsukuyomi’s group and Sayama’s group stared at each other.
The one group ran forward to attack while the other waited.
And then the enemy took action.
Specifically, Tsukuyomi did.
While holding her large black bow, she suddenly moved away from her unit.
“Is she trying to leave Sibyl’s song?” asked Sayama.
Kazami clicked her tongue up ahead.
“They’re taking this seriously for a mock battle. They know they’ll win if they defeat us here!”
Kazami began running even faster. She began moving in the same direction as Tsukuyomi.
“I’ll take care of that old woman! And Sayama! You know Yamata’s question and answer, right? And you’ve thought of a way to deal with the flames and heat when Yamata is released, right? It would really cheer me up if you were burned to death, though!”
“Unfortunately, Kazami, I do not think you will be very cheerful once this is all over.”
Shinjou turned a worried glance in his direction, so Sayama continued speaking.
“I have thought about both and have made the proper preparations. Go, you two. Finish your battle. You have yet to get back at her for striking you with moonlight earlier, have you?”
“We’ll be making a triumphant return before you can!”
Kazami took a large step forward as she turned fully toward Tsukuyomi.
Izumo followed, so only Sayama and Shinjou continued toward Susaou.
Tsukuyomi smiled bitterly as she saw Kazami and Izumo pursuing her through the forest.
…Yes. That’s how you do it.
This was a mock battle. It was a fight between comrades where everyone held back so as not to kill anyone.
…But this is 2nd-Gear’s final battle against Low-Gear.
If 2nd-Gear had not been destroyed by Yamata sixty years prior, this battle might have happened for real.
“It may be for the best that Ooshiro Hiromasa was unable to save 2nd-Gear.”
If 2nd-Gear had not become naturalized to Low-Gear, Kazami and Izumo would not have had that strength in their gaze as they charged toward her and Sayama and Shinjou would not have headed toward their goal with such determination.
…And Kashima, Atsuta, and the other young ones wouldn’t have acted the way they have.
She wondered what her husband would have thought of this battle if he were still alive.
She had been told he had died as a secondary casualty of the great Kansai earthquake at the end of ’95, but she did not believe that.
She believed it had not been an accident and she believed “something” had happened there.
…Did he know the world would turn out like this?
She did not know the answer.
…What if he died so that the world could turn out like this?
“And as the ones who remained behind, it is our job to give meaning to this world.”
She looked up as she ran through the forest.
She could see the moon through the leaves. The shadows weakened the moonlight.
And two people energetically pursued her about fifteen meters behind.
Those people were Izumo and Kazami. Even in the dark forest, they remained perfectly by each other’s side.
They made a good pair.
But what should she do?
As she thought, Tsukuyomi looked toward the Heavenly Moon Bow in her left arm.
“I only have one shot like this.”
Sayama and Shinjou ran out from the path through the forest.
Their eyes had adjusted to the darkness, so the moonlight blinded them a bit.
However, that light did not attack them.
They safely entered the clearing in front of the lake.
Once their eyes adjusted, they looked at the weed-filled clearing, at the lake, and at the pier.
That giant dark shadow stood on the lake surface.
And two figures stood before the pier leading out to Susaou.
One was Kashima who held a laptop.
The other was Atsuta who rested a giant metal sword on his shoulder.
After exchanging a glance with both, Sayama nodded.
“We have arrived.”
“So you made it.”
Kashima sounded relieved and he nodded before looking at his laptop.
“During the battle here, I will be adjusting Futsuno’s output in real time. I want to ensure the power’s torque pattern is constantly rising. That means we will essentially have two people fighting.”
“Are you saying the two of us should take on that blade-happy man?”
“Hah! Don’t make me laugh, Sayama’s brat! Even working together, you don’t stand a chance against me!”
Atsuta’s words made Sayama notice an aching in his chest.
Atsuta’s comment had meant that he was the child of Sayama.
…Did he know my father?
As Sayama looked over, Atsuta gave a smile that showed off his canine teeth.
“Ryouko was my classmate. I always heard her speak so fondly of your father. I might know him better than you do. And I know about the bomb in your chest as well. …I saw what happened when you spoke with Kashima in the cafeteria.”
Sayama gasped a bit.
The usual pain returned to the left side of his chest.
Atsuta continued speaking while focusing on the right hand Sayama used to clutch his chest.
“Well, the night is young. I can finish you off after having some fun. Ryouko told me to stop you if you were trying to do something dangerous, so I’ll stop you from doing anything dangerous ever again.”
“I retract the request in her stead. She was being foolish.”
“She knows full well that I can only advance while experiencing danger,” he declared.
Something wrapped around his left hand. It was Shinjou’s right hand.
Her slender hand gripped Georgius on his left hand.
The ends of her eyebrows were raised slightly, but she nodded with a smile.
“Let’s defeat them.”
Her words produced a bitter laugh from Kashima.
And Sayama nodded when he heard it.
He faced forward and stared at the two men of 2nd-Gear and the giant behind them.
“We shall win,” he said as he moved forward.
Kazami and Izumo ran through the forest.
They pursued Tsukuyomi who ran fifteen meters ahead of them.
“We can’t get any closer!”
Light flew toward them. It was a shot of moonlight. In the shadows of the forest, it was slender and weak.
But at a distance of fifteen meters, it was not completely weakened.
If it hit them as they ran, they would be blown away.
“Could this be any more annoying!?”
Izumo chopped the flying beam of light with V-Sw and a word appeared on the weapon’s console.
“My tactics aren’t matching up well. If I could only use the second form…”
But the rules of the mock battle prevented that, so Kazami could only agree with him.
In the forest, she could not bring out the wings of X-Wi and fly. If she did try, she could easily run into a tree.
And so she ran and thought.
…Are we being tested?
More light arrived from ahead of them and Izumo destroyed it again. Tsukuyomi’s shots were both accurately aimed and accurately timed. She never missed the mark and she would fire whenever they were trying to catch a breath.
…But it’s weak.
That may have been due to the forest. Tsukuyomi had not fired a thick beam of light ever since entering the forest.
And since she was firing repeatedly like this…
“She can’t charge up and send moonlight down from the sky.”
Kazami then wondered what Tsukuyomi’s goal was.
The moonlight was weak in the forest, so why had she entered it?
“There isn’t anywhere convenient to the moon.”
…Wait. Yes, there is.
As she ran, she looked up. She saw what lay ahead.
Needless to say, she saw lines of trees ahead, so she could not easily judge where she was.
But she knew the terrain after investigating the forest the other day.
“This forest surrounds the artificial lake and it has rivers running through it!”
Even in a forest, the shielding trees would not exist on the river.
If Tsukuyomi stood in the moonlit river, she would be able to draw out the full power of the bow and her name.
And that was precisely what Kazami saw.
There was a break in the forest visible in the distance.
Seeing it startled her.
As if to further her panic, the sounds of a river reached her ears.
Izumo clicked his tongue next to her.
“What do we do, Chisato? Should we keep going, knowing she’s luring us there!?”
Kazami considered Tsukuyomi’s strength and their own.
She and Izumo lacked mobility.
Tsukuyomi lacked attack power. Even on the river, she would only be able to fire horizontally if she wanted to fire repeatedly.
That left a single answer. Kazami cried out to her own equipment.
“We have to defeat her before she can make it to the river! X-Wi, let’s go!”
“You idiot! Are you going to fly!?”
“No!” shouted Kazami as she leaned forward.
At the same time, words scrolled along the watch on her left wrist.
—Light is power.
As if proving those words true, wings of light shot out of her backpack.
Kazami knew what she had to do.
She had seen this method in the battle with 1st-Gear. The half-dragon named Fafner had not used his wings to fly.
“He used them to accelerate and turn!”
As soon as the wings took shape, she faced forward.
Tsukuyomi was just about to leave the forest.
If she was going to do this…
“It has to be now!”
As she cried out, Kazami moved forward. An explosion of wind appeared behind her back.
Instead of flying, she began racing forward.
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