Owari no Chronicle:Volume6 Chapter 12
Chapter 12: One Side of Their Feelings
One side is lost
One side is gained
Where can both sides be found?
The battlefield was on the move.
It was morning on the two lane road leading into Taka-Akita Academy through the main entrance.
The concept space left the campus deserted and the road continued in a straight line for fifty meters after passing through the gate. At that point, it reached a schoolyard and took a ninety degree turn to the left.
Aigaion who was carrying blonde Mikage and Gyes who wore a red suit continued on past that corner.
About a dozen meters behind them, two motorcycles entered through the gate. Both had a large engine displacement, but one had a cowl and the other did not. The former was driven by the short boy named Hiba and the latter contained Izumo and Kazami.
Izumo recklessly turned the corner from the main road and Gyes opened her mouth while running ahead.
She held up a metal board containing a philosopher’s stone.
“We will add on another concept!” she shouted.
A moment later, the small metal board burst and the world changed.
—People understand each other’s feelings.
“Ha ha,” she laughed. “This ridiculous concept was created by rearranging the concept allowing humans to combine with machines, but it’s quite effective against human enemies.”
“Rejoice in your newfound understanding, humans!”
While riding on Izumo’s bike, Kazami heard Gyes.
…What kind of concept is it!?
She focused on her surroundings for a moment, but she could detect nothing strange with her senses. She did not notice anything amiss with gravity, sound, wind, light, or the form and state of matter.
Then what is it? she wondered just as she noticed something.
The scene around her was somehow different from earlier. The back of Izumo’s dress shirt had been visible before, but now she saw something else directly in front of her.
“The motorcycle’s console?”
The familiar site of Izumo’s arms extended from the right and left to hold the grips.
She moved her head to look at herself and realized what had happened.
“Did Kaku and I…?”
“We were switched out.”
The slightly high-pitched voice from behind caused Kazami to shudder.
She frantically looked back and found herself. To see if Izumo was inside, she asked a probing question.
“Um… Is that you inside me, Kaku?”
“No? Don’t be silly. I’m Chisato. …Gwah! You’re willing to punch yourself!?”
“I don’t give a coquettish smile like that when I talk, so stop teasing me. …Oh, no! I just punched myself without thinking!? Am I okay?”
“Y-yeah. It might be your delicate build, but I’m feeling a bit dizzy.”
“Ahh, I can’t believe I ended up hurting myself like this!”
“Face forward, Chisato!”
It was weird being ordered around by herself, but she looked forward.
The ninety degree left turn was coming up and the schoolyard lay directly ahead. To their right, Hiba tilted his motorcycle to turn along with them.
“Hurry up and take the corner! I can’t turn with you there!”
Not only would they cut off Hiba’s path, but they would drive right into the schoolyard.
A white curb formed the borderline between the schoolyard and road, so driving across it would mean a several dozen centimeter drop followed by a screen.
Kazami let out a cry, but she did not have a motorcycle license.
“Kaku! What am I supposed to do!?”
“Don’t lighten up on the accelerator!”
She obeyed her own voice’s instructions. With her arms and legs fixed in place, her body wrapped its arms around her current body. The heat and softness of the body pressing against her back surprised her a bit.
…Maybe I can be a bit more confident in myself.
A moment later, her own body behind her quickly tilted to the left.
Unable to resist, she tilted to the left as well.
The high speed flow of air around them changed.
The motorcycle tilted and took the position for turning left, but it was not enough. Hiba was circling in from the right on the outside track and he was going to hit them on the right.
She made her decision in an instant. First, she tried to remember how Izumo always handled the cornering.
She took in a breath, hunched down in the seat, and pushed backwards.
By moving her center of gravity back, she put more weight on the back wheel. That weight exceeded the frictional limit of the tire, so it began skidding and slid to the side, effectively sharpening the turn.
As Hiba came from the right, he twisted the accelerator and moved ahead as he forced his way around the corner.
He charged through the one meter gap between Izumo’s sideways drifting motorcycle and the schoolyard curb.
“I’ll be going on ahead!”
As he passed through, their back tire regained its grip and they were facing the way out of the corner.
“We’ll be going too!”
She twisted the accelerator, the roar of the engine stopped the motorcycle from vibrating, and they shot forward.
The motorcycle raced along the curb forming a boundary with the schoolyard.
She drove in a gouging arc to return from the curb to the asphalt.
“Can you handle this, Chisato!?” asked a voice behind her.
“I can manage!” she shouted back while facing Izumo’s body forward.
Hiba’s motorcycle was now several meters ahead, but they were back on track.
The two automatons ran about twenty meters ahead of him. On their current path, they would pass by the general school buildings and reach the gravel path to the student dormitories.
“Izumo-san,” asked Hiba as he looked over his shoulder.
“What is it?” shouted the voice behind Kazami.
Hiba looked confused.
“Why has Kazami-san been speaking like a guy and why has Izumo-san started acting gay!?”
“You haven’t caught on!? We were swapped out by that concept! Your mind is swapped out with a person who understands your feelings!”
The look on Hiba’s face changed when he heard that
He looked surprised initially, but then the look darkened a bit.
Kazami tilted her head and quickly found the answer to her question.
She had been swapped out with Izumo, but Hiba had not been swapped out with Mikage.
The condition seemed to be understanding each other’s feelings.
…And being human.
Regretting what she had said, she debated whether to give a meaningless apology.
Her own voice shouted out as the motorcycle moved onto the gravel path.
“Continue after them! This is our home turf, so don’t let these outsiders have their way here!”
“Of course. You’re our underclassmen, the opening act, the newcomer, and the rookie fighter who gets scared too easily. But don’t worry. If you are defeated, we can show up and dramatically announce that you were the weakest of our group.”
Hiba ignored Izumo and twisted the accelerator, but Izumo continued speaking.
“Go! We just need to make a few adjustments and we’ll be right after you!”
Her own leg placed its basketball shoe on her current left foot and pressed down to lock the rear wheel brake. Gravel flew into the air and the motorcycle came to a stop.
“What are you doing, Kaku?”
She turned around and saw herself nod, click her tongue, and fold her arms.
“This is a real pain. I’ll drive, but I’m not sure how well I can control the bike in your body.”
“That’s true… But you’re pretty tall, you know that? I’m amazed by how high up I am.”
“Yeah, and your body is strangely light, soft, and hard to use.”
“Stop casually opening my shirt and groping my breasts!”
Her own body waved a hand to calm her down and then stepped off the motorcycle. Her current self moved to the back and her body sat in front. She had never noticed how slender her body was.
…This giant bike doesn’t suit me at all.
Her body tilted its head while straddling the seat in a skirt.
“It feels weird sitting like this. The, uh…crotch area is… How should I put it?”
“Say anything more and I’ll chop this one off.”
Izumo silently gripped the clutch and put the motorcycle in gear.
Good, good, she thought while embracing the back in front of her like usual.
“Kwah! Ch-Chisato, that’s quite a bear hug.”
“Huh? Is this too tight?”
She let go and her body gasped for breath and waved a hand in defeat. This was going to be tricky.
At any rate, she wrapped her current arms around her body’s waist. She did so hesitantly and he laughed from her mouth after catching his breath.
He twisted the accelerator and the motorcycle moved forward while shaking. As they approached the sounds of Hiba’s motorcycle up ahead, she muttered aloud.
“This is a new experience, but we’ll just have to trust each other!”
Hiba pursued Aigaion after leaving Kazami and Izumo behind.
They had left the line of school buildings and reached the line of boys’ dorms on the northwest end of Taka-Akita Academy. He was currently racing westward between the lines of dormitories.
Ahead of him was an automaton carrying Mikage. He was apparently one of the three Hecatoncheires. Gyes was supported by a god of war and Cottus was as large as a god of war, so he had fought the two of them on land or air a few times in the past, but he had never seen this human-sized one before. He had only heard his name from his grandfather.
After Aigaion parted ways with Gyes, he continued running while carrying Mikage.
Hiba pursued him despite knowing he was being lured somewhere.
The automaton outdid him in size, strength, and athleticism. Aigaion ran inside the western entrance of a dorm and easily ran down the dark corridor at the same speed as a motorcycle.
…Is this the true strength of an automaton?
They were not human yet made similar to humans, but they definitely surpassed humans.
Hiba then wondered if Mikage was the same.
He was not sure.
He continued to think about long ago and his earliest memories of Mikage.
On Christmas Eve ten years before, his father had brought her to them and she had suddenly awoken the following day.
Her joints and general appearance had been more doll-like than now and her mind had been on the level of an infant.
He had initially been afraid of her because she was not human, but his view had changed after his grandfather had spoken with him.
…She will eventually become human.
Just as his grandfather had said, he had spent five years with her as she evolved. At first, his mother had taken Mikage around, but once he had seen her start to evolve, he had always been the one to push her wheelchair.
…She is an automaton that can approach humanity if she wishes for it.
Mikage had wanted to become human.
While travelling between his grandfather’s dojo, home, and other places, she had experienced and gained many things. She had gained the five senses of a human, she had gained real skin, flesh, nails, and hair, and she had gained so much more as well.
Back then, a girl his grandfather had taken in had attended the dojo. She was older than him and she had trained alongside him, but Hiba had focused on the fact that Mikage was with him and that he believed she would eventually become human.
She was unable to walk properly and she could not speak, but he had believed it would happen eventually.
But five years ago, the girl he had adored like an elder sister had suddenly disappeared, Mikage had cried, and something had arrived.
After leaving his grandfather’s dojo, a giant green armored warrior had appeared before him.
He had been blown away in an instant and he had felt his forehead split open and the pain of broken ribs.
Mikage had caught his short body from her wheelchair and he had passed out.
The next thing he had known, the armored warrior had laid defeated before him.
He had looked down at its broken body from high up and he had realized his own body was a giant black armored warrior.
Hiba remembered being ejected to the ground from the armored warrior and he remembered Mikage falling down from overhead.
A shallow wound had remained on his forehead, but the injury to his ribs was gone.
In exchange, Mikage’s ribs had been broken.
And from that point onwards, her evolution had stopped.
…She protected me back then!
He had forced her to protect him. He had made her call in the god of war and his injuries had been transferred to her when he had joined with it.
It was all because I couldn’t protect her, he thought. She wants the power to fight, so she’s stopped her human evolution to seek her power as an automaton.
He believed that was what had stopped her evolution.
He twisted the accelerator.
He sent the motorcycle and himself into the dark corridor Aigaion had run down.
He could not finish his sentence.
No matter how much he fought and won from now on, he could not change the fact that he was being protected.
She was the one that held the power to end this fight.
…What should I do?
With that word, he charged into the student dorm.
It was 7:27 AM.
Two things happened on the helicopter landing zone to the side of UCAT’s long range runways.
Two white pallets sent to the surface via the cargo lift began to vibrate.
Sibyl had intentionally left those three meter pallets off of the helicopter.
As Ooshiro supervised, the landing zone maintenance workers and the development department members circled around the two pallets from a distance. As they did, the vibrations intensified.
“The lock is releasing,” said a young man from the development department.
True enough, the locks on the thin three meter pallets burst open. They both did so at the same moment as if they wanted to be together.
With the sound of shattering metal, the two pallets opened and a large sword and long spear flew into the air.
They both had streamlined forms made from white and black and they moved further into the morning sky. Sounds resembling clanging metal fragments seemed to fill the surrounding air and the two weapons stood vertically with their tips turned heavenward.
The sword and spear shook just once.
That single action knocked away the fragments of the locks still clinging to them.
After a moment, the armor panels on the sides and top of the blades opened.
As they exposed their thrusters, green light filled the activating consoles and activation signals blinked on various parts like a pulse.
Their activation text appeared on the consoles and they named themselves.
“V-Sw. Contact – OK.”
“G-Sp2. Contact – OK.”
Seeing that, the tension left Ooshiro’s shoulders.
“So the dragons obey the heroes who subdued them.”
“Good morning,” displayed V-Sw with a gentle twist of its body.
G-Sp2 made a similar twist next to it.
“Did you call for us?”
“Did we call for you?” repeated Ooshiro. After a moment, he clapped his hands together. “Oh, I was just thinking I needed a good backscratcher!”
“Not a chance.”
As everyone else nodded as if that was the proper way to handle the old man, Ooshiro looked back up and saw the same question as before on the console.
“I didn’t call for you,” he said. “But your masters have called you to the playground of dragons.”
As if nodding, the two blades lightly tapped against each together.
That metallic noise was followed by an identical message on both their consoles.
“We are off to have some fun.”
The two weapons that contained dragons soared into the air.
They first sank down a bit, but then they shot up toward the heavens.
All Ooshiro and the others sensed was an explosion of wind, a sound like a bursting paper bag, and several people being knocked away by the wind.
“Look in the sky…”
The dragon weapons had vanished, but two white lines remained in their place.
The two lines of steam gently curved into the southern sky and the sound of their departure echoed throughout the area.
Ooshiro did not bother fixing his lab coat as it flapped in the wind and he raised his right thumb toward the southern sky.
“That was a little over-the-top, but it saves us the effort of transporting them.”
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