Owari no Chronicle:Volume5 Chapter 9
Chapter 9: That Which a God Desires
You think you said too much
But what you are thinking is the same
It is simply a difference in the sky you live below
A river flowed through the night.
The Aki River cut east to west across the southern end of Akigawa which was west of Tokyo. The city was named after the river and the river had quite a few fields and empty lots on its northern side and several residential areas along the mountain range to its south.
In the center of one residential area was a red-roofed building at the base of a mountain next to a Shinto shrine.
The nameplate said Kazami in black characters.
The kitchen window let light into the dark night.
The sounds and conversation coming from within were those of dinner.
The ten square meter kitchen had a wooden table in the center and the three members of the Kazami family sat around it.
Kazami’s parents were eating, but Kazami herself was not. She had placed a large rucksack on the table’s guest chair and was using it to pack.
Her father sprinkled some furikake on his rice and spoke.
“If you’re leaving the morning after tomorrow, can’t you visit here tomorrow? You’re making your father sad.”
“We’re meeting at the school, so I want to be at my dorm tomorrow just in case. And you have a job tomorrow, don’t you?”
“Yes, I have a meeting to get a new game project off the ground. It’s called Father Princess 2. The first one had twelve papas. Eleven of them were dandies and experts at something and the last one was a Hanshin fan, always hilariously drunk, and a pachinko addict, but that just made it all the more popular.”
“I see your projects are as weird as ever. It must be tough.”
“Your training camp is going to be tough too, right? Children and adults are the same in the end.”
Being called a child made Kazami smile.
…I only get treated like that at home.
“Well, I’ll do my best. And sorry I can’t come back here tomorrow.”
She wondered if this was a case of a child not understanding how much her parents worried. She then wondered if wondering that meant she did actually understand, but she also felt that was just an excuse.
Whatever the case, she had a reason to leave early the next morning.
She was going to visit Hiba’s home with Sayama and the others.
In the Kinugasa Library, Hiba had asked them if they were prepared to face the first impurity and they had found their answer.
…We have no choice but to do something about it.
And she had said she wanted to hear Sayama and Shinjou’s opinions.
But they had their training camp the day after the next, so they had decided to meet the next morning. She had contacted Sayama as he returned from Kanda and he had agreed.
I have to get up early tomorrow, she thought as she packed her bag. She left an open space in the bag, but there was a simple reason for that.
“What kind of souvenir do you want?” she asked.
Her mother thought with a finger on her chin.
“Hmm. As long as you come back safely, that’s good enough for me. And I’ve already gotten most kinds of souvenirs from your father’s business trips. I certainly don’t need another giant humanoid horseshoe crab like the one hanging from the ceiling on the second floor. I’ll knock you to the ground if you give me one.”
“U-um, mom? I won’t buy anything that senseless.”
“That’s right, mama. And that wasn’t a souvenir. It’s the costume I wore in the Kansai-only tokusatsu show ‘Übermensch Purge – Soukatsu’.”
“The theme song for that was amazing. Lightning~ flashes~ from the~ electric chair~! Is that how it went? I know it’s a bit late to look into the mystery of my parents, but why do we have it?”
“Well,” said her father as he crossed his arms. “After filming, I sat next to a fountain and started feeling really dehydrated, so I collapsed right into the fountain. Everyone was watching and they laughed at the ‘swimming horseshoe crab’, but I almost died. I brought it home to dry it, but the show was cancelled and I never got to return it.”
“Another cancelled show? What was it about?”
“An excellent question. To adapt to the impatient modern children, Soukatsu fired his Special Arrest Beam and started getting torture-induced confessions within seven seconds of the show starting. The remaining 25 minutes were spent verifying the misdeeds of his opponent. He would shout ‘find the evidence!’ But reality is harsh, so it would sometimes turn out his purging had been in error.”
“You can’t do that in a kid’s show!”
“Don’t worry. He would give a cheerful apology at the end of those episodes. ‘Hi, everyone! It’s Soukatsu! It looks like I killed an innocent today! I truly regret what happened!’ I think it didn’t catch on with the kids because the setting was just too complex.”
“I’m pretty sure it was more than just the kids who had problems with that show.”
…I need to stop asking these questions. Let’s see… I need toiletries and we’ll be swimming at the beach, so I should pack twice as much underwear. That leaves…
“Chisato? Your father might be a bit crazy, but you have to listen to him. It’s dangerous to let him talk to himself.”
“U-um, mom? Can’t you listen to him?”
“Chisato, I am speaking to you, not your mother. Even if what I’m talking about is completely pointless!”
“Kyaah! Your father is always so strict about the most pointless things!”
Kazami sighed as her parents laughed. She was reminded that she would never be a match for them.
But then her mother asked a new question.
“You said this student council training camp is on a desert island in the Seto Inland Sea, right? Will the people other than you be okay?”
“I’d appreciate it if you worried about me too.”
“You’ll be fine. Door-to-door preachers from a religion big on sacrificing stopped by the other day and I asked them to pray for my daughter instead of me.”
“Please don’t do that, mom!”
“Chisato, I have an important quote for you: one for all and…I forget the rest.”
Kazami hung her head. She tried sticking her head in the opened rucksack in front of her, but no convenient concept space created an escape route there.
“Chisato? Why are you shutting yourself in there? I don’t remember teaching you to play like that.”
“You didn’t have to teach me. This was naturally created by the environment here.”
“I see.” Her mother nodded. “Anyway, will you be leaving the island?”
“No. Is there a reason to?”
“Your mother is a nice person, so she has some concerns about Kansai.”
“Stop that,” said her mother with a glance and a sigh toward her father. The ends of her eyebrows were lowered for once. “I’m sure you have heard about the great Kansai earthquake.”
“That was when you were just a little kid, Chisato. A year later, we put together a charity concert.”
“Papa, you may be trying to help me, but stay quiet. I can handle this.” Her mother sighed again and turned to Kazami with a relaxed expression. “Back then, I was still refusing to sing because I was fixated on myself. …Silly, isn’t it? There were people who wanted to hear me sing regardless of my fixations.”
Kazami froze in place when she heard this sudden comment.
She realized her pose for packing was not good for listening, so she quickly straightened up.
She was unsure what to say, but she wanted to say something befitting her position as her mother’s child.
“Do you regret it?”
I feel like I’m digging up her past, she thought, but her mother shook her head with a smile.
“I do to a certain extent, but I also feel I mustn’t sing while lying to myself. Basically, the problem is being bound by my fixations. As long as they remain, both singing and not singing will lead to regret. …Sorry I’m so selfish, papa.”
“But it does seem your mother will be taking part in an event at the end of the year, Chisato.”
Kazami turned to her mother who shrugged.
“I wonder what will happen to the lies I am telling myself. Anyway, let’s get back on topic. And hurry up with the packing, Chisato.”
Kazami raised her head and thought. After managing to break out of her previous mood, she wondered if there was a way to get some proper information out of her parents.
Asking about the Seto Inland Sea area was likely taboo. That would only lead to unpleasant memories.
“By the way…”
As she thought about the past and the Mediterranean area, she recalled the Divine States-World Interaction Theory.
“Have you ever been to Greece?”
Her parents exchanged a glance.
“Do you want to go there? I have a project coming up called ‘The 36th Chamber of Olympus’, so- gwah!”
“Sorry. My hand slipped and I dropped an alarm clock on you.”
“Don’t do that, Chisato. Only I’m allowed to beat up your father.”
“Okay, okay. But from that, I take it you’ve been there. Are you familiar with the local mythology?”
“Mythology again? Are they getting into that in world history classes these days?”
“That’s right,” she said with a nod.
Her father crossed his arms and gave an impressed groan. Her mother tilted her head, but she did not ask anything.
“What about the mythology do you want to know?” asked her father.
Kazami’s father’s question brought her relief and her shoulders relaxed.
“Well, maybe about dragons and divine swords… Y-y’know, like when I asked about Japanese mythology before. Can you tell me about that kind of thing?”
Her father crossed his arms even deeper and her mother glanced at the clock.
“Ah, isn’t that being a bit harsh!? My heart’s racing like crazy!”
After he rejoiced for a bit, he finally spoke.
“In that case, I’ll start with the topic of dragons. As you probably know, Greek mythology is quite popular with the constellations and such.”
“The thing is, that mythology doesn’t have any dragons of the type we think of nowadays. They’re mostly multi-headed snakes or great serpents. Other than that, they’re all humanoid gods with a snake texture to them. There’s also Medusa with snake hair, but most of the monsters in Greek mythology are human based. Giants, for example. That area had a lot of war, so they may have viewed humans as the true monsters.”
“Then does Greek mythology not have any obvious examples of dragons or divine swords?”
“They actually do. The dragon was an embodiment of that which humans could not stand up to. In other words, that which not even the giants could stand up to was treated as a great dragon in Greek mythology. And that was Typhon.”
“What was it that not even the giants could stand up to?”
“Think about how Typhon is spelled.”
“Ah,” said Kazami.
She had finally realized that it was one letter off from “typhoon”.
“The typhoons created from shapeless wind were thought to have a spiraling dragon in the center. That Typhon was Greek mythology’s greatest monster and he was said to have a human torso, a dragon’s tail, and countless dragon heads. After he defeated Zeus, he was tricked and sealed below a volcano. Zeus’s divine spear of heavenly thunder was used to do that.” He smiled bitterly. “But it was the three Moirai sisters who controlled fate that successfully tricked him. If you think about it, even with fate on their side and the power of a volcano and lightning, he could only be sealed.”
“They couldn’t defeat him?”
“No. In a way, that is the greatest problem of Greek mythology. The question here is simple: how can one defeat Typhon who not even Zeus, father of the gods, could defeat?”
Her father’s tone was lighthearted, but Kazami could not speak.
In 3rd-Gear, Typhon was a god of war. Also, Hiba had clashed with it twice.
But he had been unable to defeat it.
The giant white god of war had been able to instantly switch between attack and defense.
…And it is different from the Art of Walking.
They had wondered if it might be 2nd-Gear’s Art of Walking, so Izumo had used it against Hiba. Even in the cramped library and against someone he barely knew, Izumo had pulled it off.
But Hiba had said that was not it. With the Art of Walking, one still took time to move. And he said Typhon’s technique could not be teleportation because it had already been attacking the instant after it disappeared.
It had some power that surpassed even the wind.
“How do you defeat something like that?” she muttered aloud.
“Yes.” Her father looked up at the ceiling with his arms still crossed. “But there is a way.”
“Think about it. Zeus sealed Typhon and brought prosperity to the world. Why was that? Why did he face the world by turning his back on a monster he could not defeat?”
Kazami did not quite understand what he meant.
Was he saying there was a way to defeat the dragon that not even the most powerful god could defeat?
As she frowned and tilted her head, her father smiled and nodded.
“Think about it. Your training camp is on the Seto Inland Sea, right? Perhaps that will help you think about Greece which also borders an inland sea.”
Kazami let out an admiring breath and placed a folded towel in the rucksack.
“My parents really are amazing.”
Her parents cheered and high-fived each other.
Once more, she realized she would always be no match for them.
Below the moonlit night sky, Miyako and Moira 1st sat outside the emergency exit.
They were high up. Once Moira 1st had brought out what she claimed was sake, Miyako had insisted they drink it while viewing the moon. They had brought a few cooked ingredients from the crab hot pot for snacks and Miyako drank while Moira 1st sat to her right.
The moonlight was a pale blue.
A bit of light escaped the hangar door down below, but it was not enough to interfere with the moon viewing.
She had asked to be let in there earlier, but she had been gently refused.
“We would need to clean up first.”
The sake had been produced to console her realization that there was some secret there, so she drank.
The cup seemed to be made of aluminum and it grew a bit soft whenever she took a sip. It may have been embarrassed.
…What a strange world.
She looked around and saw Kurashiki in the distance. It was already past nine. Based on her memories from her school trip, that city closed early. Even the theme park to the north end of the city had shut off its lights.
“Will Mr. Rich Boy be fine after I floored him?”
“You mean Lord Apollo? Moira 2nd said he should be fine.”
That name reminded Miyako of the maid who had entered the dining hall, grabbed Apollo’s collar, and carried him out with the other maids. Miyako had seen her short blonde hair and blue eyes, but the maid had never looked her way.
…Does she not like me?
Moira 1st shook her head as if in answer and Miyako’s eyebrows rose.
“You can’t read my mind, can you?”
“No, but you are honest, so I can tell from your expressions.”
“Don’t be silly. I’ve always been rebellious.”
Moira 1st only smiled in reply.
Miyako could do nothing but sigh and rest her head on her hands. She looked up in the sky and saw the moon.
“So when you get down to it, I can’t leave this place?”
“Yes. I am very sorry,” answered Moira 1st after a short pause. “And I must apologize again because we cannot allow you to leave until our problem is at least temporarily settled. This is all because your memories returned.”
“Can’t you give me new memories again?”
“Forcing it a second time would create interference and possibly fry your brain, so you must remain with us until our problem is settled.”
To sum up what she had learned that day, 3rd-Gear had not surrendered to an organization named UCAT and they were also fighting that black god of war which was not part of UCAT.
…Both sides must want to settle this.
“That sounds rough.”
“You all are betting your world and everything else on this. It’s pretty amazing. I can’t compare to that.”
She sighed and looked up at the moon. The pale blue light of the moon was connected to her family name.
That color made her think about the white god of war’s eye color. She thought about the feeling that the yellow light had given her and that the pale blue light had not.
…What was that?
Was it something only she could understand? She was not sure if that possibility made her happy or sad. She did not understand anything.
…After all, that white god of war suddenly grabbed me and carried me away after I ran across it.
When it had the pale blue eyes, its movements had grown much more vigorous.
She suddenly became intensely curious as to why.
“I asked Moira 3rd about that white god of war’s name and she said it was Typhon.”
“Yes, but why do you bring it up? It only took you hostage because it was afraid after receiving an attack for the first time. I will apologize in the pilot’s place.”
Miyako tilted her head and opened her mouth uncertainly.
“No, I was just wondering if I could speak with it. …Well, I suppose meeting with the pilot would work, but you won’t let me, will you?”
“No. Typhon is filled with secrets. If we could erase your memories, I could receive permission, but that is not the case.”
She ended her statement with a smile and Miyako held out her cup to receive more sake.
“I apologize for all the lack of freedom, but in exchange, you may freely use us while we are here.”
“C’mon, don’t get carried away. So if I told you to strip, you’d strip?”
“Are you interested in my joints?”
Moira 1st reached for her skirt, so Miyako frantically stopped her.
She’s serious, she thought. Although she might be more stupid than she is obedient.
“When you say ‘we’, how many does that include?”
“There are three primary models with the Moira designation which are numbered 1st to 3rd and there are 63 others. We all have numbers, but they are not all sequential because our family originally had 120 members.”
“So I’m supposed to just use the numbers? You three still have the Moira name, but just a number isn’t enough.”
“But we would never be insolent enough to take a name.”
That comment made Miyako tilt her head.
“My mom always says that even machines needed some kind of designator besides a number. …This is a world of living machines, isn’t it? If you’re alive, why should you be counted like you’re dead?”
“But… what should we do?”
Moira 1st was clearly older than Miyako, so Miyako was unsure what to say when she lowered her eyebrows and asked that.
“How about they give themselves names? Or you could give them names. You’re the head maid, right?”
“Hm… There are 63 of them. This country has fifty sound combinations, so by using combinations of two, a suitable number of names can be constructed. …Names like Geru and Gugu are simple enough, right?”
“Stop that. Can’t you come up with something cuter?”
“Hm… Can’t you think of anything, princess?”
She thought about it. When she occasionally played video games, she would choose a female character.
But she would always play with her real name. Seeing a character with her name level up and defeat the enemies of the final dungeon without breaking a sweat was a wonderful feeling.
“Following that wonderful feeling won’t work.”
“Are there names that feel wonderful?”
“Play games with your real name and you’ll understand.”
As she wondered what to do, a light suddenly appeared behind her. She turned around and saw a man standing in the light. He was over two meters tall and wore a blue apron.
“Master Aigaion, what is it?”
Aigaion nodded and turned toward Miyako.
“I see the new princess is with you. She is being quite…unreserved.”
“Don’t worry about being polite, old man. …Does that apron belong to a greengrocer in this world?”
Aigaion’s laughter filled the air.
“Gyes and I bring in supplies from outside and I took such a liking to the outside world that I live near the train station.”
“And do you help out at a greengrocer?”
A sudden thought came to Miyako and she turned toward Moira 1st and her maid outfit.
“Did you choose these maid uniforms for them?”
“Hm? Was that wrong? I was looking for clothes they could use while cooking and cleaning, so I borrowed these form a large dining hall’s storeroom late at night.”
“Don’t go around robbing strange restaurants!”
“Calm down, princess. We quite like these clothes. We look cute in them, don’t we?”
“I feel I need to ask: how old are you?”
“Hm… We go through a certain level of formatting every day, so my age would be zero.”
“Machines are long-lasting. If you replace the old parts, they can live forever.” Moira 1st then turned toward Aigaion. “Master Aigaion, do you need something?”
“Yes. We’ll be heading out tomorrow morning, so anyone with nothing else to do should handle Cottus and Gyes’s normal preparations.”
“He is the one who caught you after your dive today, princess. Even as large as he is, he is still an automaton.”
“I see,” said Miyako as she thought about what Aigaion had said.
When he said they were “heading out”, it had to mean more than simply going somewhere.
“Are you heading out to fight?”
“You saw that black god of war, didn’t you? That is the one who destroyed 3rd-Gear, so we cannot forgive it.”
“But isn’t it a human from my world piloting it?”
Aigaion and Moira 1st exchanged a glance and Moira 1st chose her words carefully as she started speaking.
“Princess, we do not want to kill that black god of war. For a variety of reasons, we would like to protect it if possible.”
“It sounds to me like you’re telling me not to interfere.” Miyako smiled bitterly. “It’s true that I want to interfere when I hear about the situation, the various possibilities, and what you can or can’t do. But I don’t know anything about what happened sixty years ago and I’m not a descendant of those involved. I’m trying to keep in mind that I’m a guest from the outside world.”
Miyako recalled the black god of war she had seen the night before. As it had tried to corner Typhon, it had used a powerful lightning strike.
…But Typhon successfully defended against it.
It was not that the black god of war was superior. Given the difference in build, she guessed that the black one was actually the inferior of the two.
…That was a desperate attack.
The pilot of the black god of war had to have his own issues just as the people before her eyes did. She could do nothing but give it some thought and there was only one thing she could say.
“Try to get along.”
“Long ago when I couldn’t fit in with those around me, someone told me ‘if you can’t fit in, at least try to get along’. I knew I couldn’t fit in, so I was supposed to resist my desire to cause conflict and truly try to get along with them. …And that’s what made me who I am today.”
She smiled bitterly.
“It may not be my place to talk when you’ve probably been doing this for thousands of years, but how about giving that a try if you haven’t already? By the way, this is a lecture.”
She looked forward and found Aigaion and Moira 1st staring at her with slightly surprised looks.
“Stop looking at me funny and give me more to drink.”
“Oh, yes. Right away.
“That’s right. Fill it all the way up. And, um, don’t laugh when you look at people, old man.”
“But you are quite amusing. The people of this world truly are amusing, princess.”
“Stop calling me princess. I’m a guest and you can call me Miyako. The princess would be your master’s wife.”
And that master would be the young man she had floored in a single blow earlier. He seemed unreliable, but he also had the same eye color as the yellow light in the god of war’s eyes.
“And as a guest, I have some thoughts about all this. I think I’ll try to motivate you a bit. Old man, if you work at a greengrocer, can you help me out tomorrow morning?”
“We will be heading out early tomorrow morning, but if you need something, I can leave a note for the owner. And we should return by noon. Most likely.”
“Okay, a working man is a good man. And a good woman helps out around the house. Moira 1st, can you prepare me two things? A note to give to him and documents introducing all of you.”
“Yes, right away.”
As Moira 1st stood up, Miyako did the same and leaned on the railing in front of her.
The metal railing gently bent into a curve as it supported her weight.
This is a surprisingly soft world, she thought as she looked into the night sky.
She faced the moon floating in the heavens.
“Things around here should be a bit busier tomorrow.”
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