Owari no Chronicle:Volume7 Chapter 29
Chapter 29: Ready for a Reunion
They say they have come for you
But they do not say where they are taking you
Or where they came from
The moonlight washed over a wharf.
The short wharf stuck out about ten meters from a rocky area. Enough rocks had been moved to create a path, but no one was using the path at this time of night.
No ships came to the wharf, but a person was visible at the end.
That blonde girl named Mikage sat there while embracing her cane.
She looked up to the moon with her black eyes, the roar of the sea reached her ears, and the sea breeze blew her hair.
She had seen the ocean in the past.
Four years before, Hiba’s mother had received some strange papers at a ceremony known as a “neighborhood association drawing”.
She had called them “free passes for Tokyo Melty Land” and the three of them had gone together. Hiba had pushed her in a wheelchair as she had been unable to use a cane at the time. It had a famous attraction known as the Six-Wheel Tyrrell Float in which a moderately melted bipedal mouse that walked on bird legs was forced onwards by the toe-kicking of a dog that was so melted it could only roll along. Hiba had really, really wanted to ride it and caused a commotion when his mother had reported him to the security guards.
Mikage smiled as she remembered that time, but then she lowered her gaze.
She had seen a similar expanse of water on the pleasure cruise they had taken back from Melty Land. She had seen several objects floating in that giant and flat area of water and Hiba had called them boats. He had also said boats came in different sizes and types just like gods of war and cars.
“What do you think?” he had said. “The sea really is big, isn’t it?”
She had agreed with that, but the sea before her now was much different.
The dark water had variations in height that pushed in toward land and broke. The wind was also strong.
“I an’t oh ohm.”
I can’t go home.
Back then, there had been a boat in the port, the three of them had eaten, and they had ridden the train home.
…But it’s different now.
She did not know why there were no boats.
…I don’t like this place.
She did not dislike Kazami or Izumo. If anything, she could relax around them.
She had spent the previous night with Kazami and the girl had gotten up right away if anything happened yet not spoken to Mikage too much. Mikage was especially thankful for how Kazami had learned what Mikage could and could not do after only a quick conversation.
…Some people think I can’t do anything.
But, she thought. This place is really uncomfortable for some reason.
She had been fighting alongside no one but Hiba for so long, but this place had a lot of other people who did the same thing.
There had been some things she had thought highly of Hiba for doing, but now she was learning anyone could do them. That realization had brought an odd tightness to her chest.
Also, Hiba was beginning to fit in with them.
At dinner, the tightness in her chest had returned when seeing him speaking with Izumo and the others.
She did not understand what that tightness meant and she could not speak well enough to ask.
On the other hand, he could speak.
At dinner time, she had not spoken with the woman named Ooki who sat across from her or the women named Sibyl and Diana who sat on either side of her. Sibyl had tried to read her lips, but that method did not allow for as quick communication as Hiba or the other people.
It had been frustrating and meaningless, so she had given up on speaking.
She felt that was selfish, but speaking would not make her feel any less out of place.
Hiba had once said to not reveal her identity if at all possible because it was dangerous while she could not evolve.
“We possess a dangerous power,” he had said.
That’s not it, she thought. I’m the one that possesses the destructive weapon of Keravnos.
She understood what that word meant. According to Hiba’s grandfather, Keravnos had supplied the finishing blow in destroying 3rd-Gear’s king sixty years before. It had been summoned for the first time in order to defeat Zeus.
She had no memory of it, but Keravnos had apparently been a single spear at the time.
…It became three because of my evolution.
Its abilities as a destructive weapon had grown.
Hiba had said they possessed a dangerous power, but he had not realized one thing.
…The dangerous one is me and only me.
Hiba was merely using it.
…And that’s why I don’t want to lose.
But that too was likely at its end. During the battle earlier in the day, she had learned that he could lose.
In truth, she still could not believe it. If he lost in a real battle, they would die.
…And it means he lied to me.
She wanted to believe he had simply let his guard down, but she called forth a certain scene from her memories.
She pictured Typhon.
They had run across it twice now and they had twice been overwhelmed by a strange technique. As if they were trying to rush their victory, Typhon had calmly evaded with a teleportation-like technique and then attacked.
Her power as a destructive weapon had not hit that god of war.
She did not know how to defeat it, but losing meant death.
This is the end, she told herself while looking up at the moon she had seen countless times before.
“This is the end,” she mouthed to the moon.
She had often said to the moon what she could not say to Hiba. When she woke from a bad dream, she would wrap herself in the curtain and speak to the morning moon.
“Ee ah’t in.”
We can’t win.
Typhon was powerful, Hiba could lose, and she was nothing but a destructive weapon.
…I don’t need to evolve.
She did not want to see Hiba lose again. She had never before imagined him dying, but she found herself trying to do so now.
She lowered her head, held her cane to her chest, and trembled atop the wharf, below the moon, and amid the wind and roar of the sea.
She cried silently, but something suddenly stopped her trembling.
She heard a roar that drowned out that of the sea.
She looked up and her face was struck by wind that felt like a solid wall, but her eyes did not see the darkness of the night.
A giant white form had appeared within the sudden wind.
It was Typhon.
Mikage’s eyes opened wide.
…What? Why is Typhon here?
She was able to answer her own question. Keravnos contained half the Concept Core. She was evolving into a human and thus did not have the same ability, but Typhon seemed able to detect the power produced by the Concept Core.
They were near the enemy base, so it would have been easy to detect.
She gasped at that realization and saw the white god of war stand on the ocean while blowing shimmering heat from its six expanded wings. The ocean’s waves were held in place by its gravitational control and its slender feet stood on top of them.
The pale glow of the sight devices on its facial structure looked down on her.
It was looking at her as she held her cane and bent backwards.
She twisted her waist and back to crawl face up along the rough concrete of the wharf and toward the ocean.
But she was too slow.
With a metallic noise from overhead, the two swords rising above Typhon’s shoulders were automatically removed from their scabbards.
Typhon raised its arms and grabbed each hilt.
Swinging those swords forward would launch twin attacks from above, so Typhon did just that.
The god of war cried out while swinging down the swords and it sounded like a woman’s scream.
Mikage saw the two silver arcs approaching along with the scream and she tried to call out someone’s name.
However, no voice came out.
…I knew it.
Was it all going to end here?
Just as she wondered that, the dropping force of steel reached the wharf.
She realized her body was flying through the night air, but something was odd. The sound of smashing concrete came after she was knocked away.
She wondered why while rapidly dropping.
She then saw two boys standing on the wharf.
They were Sayama and Hiba.
Hiba took action while ignoring all else.
Sayama had been the one to find Mikage, but Hiba had been the first to arrive.
Mikage was crawling on the wharf with her back to him and Typhon stood in the ocean to the left of the wharf.
He only had an instant in which to save her.
When Typhon’s arms rose toward the sword hilts, those arms slightly blocked its view. It could still monitor its surroundings with the secondary sight devices, but the identification rate would likely drop.
He charged into that tiny blind spot to draw its attention. If he created even the tiniest opening in Typhon, it would lead to a method of saving Mikage.
As soon as he thought that, he made an exaggerated charge forward. He practically leaped along the left edge of the wharf to stay just outside the god of war’s primary sight devices.
He swiftly attacked.
He now had to see whether Typhon’s secondary sight devices would notice him with their low identification rate. If they did, it would need time to double check.
And that was exactly what happened.
Typhon’s movements strayed for an instant and the closer sword targeted him.
However, the farther sword continued to target Mikage.
It had two swords and he was just one person, so he could not protect Mikage.
Typhon swung down the sword, but Hiba heard a voice.
“I suppose it is my turn.”
With that, Sayama charged forward from behind. Even though Typhon had already begun its attack, he did not hesitate to step forward.
…Does he not feel fear?
They had not made any plans together because they had not had the time.
He had simply thought Sayama would do something.
…I hoped he would do something.
But Sayama had kept up with Hiba’s speed and understood what he was doing.
What was this trembling deep in Hiba’s gut that felt like the embodiment of a threat?
Meanwhile, Sayama took action before Hiba’s eyes.
He reached Mikage and did not hesitate or slow. Hiba would have picked her up and taken evasive action while perhaps groping her breast in the process.
But Sayama pressed the shin of his running right leg against her side and instantly poured in his strength. Rather than kicking her, he gathered strength in his foot and leg in order to lift her up.
She shot into the air as if she had been scooped up and she flew to the right of the wharf. That was the opposite side from Typhon.
If she fell into the ocean with the wharf between, Typhon could not easily reach her. She could not swim, but they would have enough time to rescue her.
Hiba saw Sayama slide forward the leg he had launched Mikage with and then leap. He rushed to the opposite side of the two swords.
Hiba also twisted his body out of the way, but he slipped between the two swords to draw Typhon’s attention.
The roar of the sword strikes smashing the wharf played in stereo.
He used his hands to knock aside the concrete fragments flying up from below and he twisted his body further to return the way he had come. By distancing himself from Sayama, Typhon’s attention would be divided in two.
While thinking up that tactic, he realized something.
…Why am I so certain of a tactic that includes him even though we didn’t discuss it beforehand?
As he continued to wonder why, Typhon made its next move.
This time, it was not a sword strike. Typhon suddenly expanded the base of its wings.
Eight gun barrels extended from its back and light was already leaking from within several of them.
Hiba recognized this light, so he shouted to Sayama who he could not see from his position.
“That must be 3rd-Gear’s projectiles! They’re probably homing shots!”
He had seen smaller versions with other gods of war and it seemed Typhon was also equipped with the projectiles.
…The swords weren’t its only weapons!?
He saw pale light. That moonlight color matched Typhon’s eyes.
Hiba began to move. In Susamikado, his reaction speed was increased and the wings provided acceleration, so he was able to evade.
…But how will I fare on my own?
That was when the light arrived.
Typhon let out a roar and light fired from its back as if forming extensions to its wings.
A total of thirty-two beams of blue light filled the night sky. In an instant, they weaved about, crossed paths, and altered trajectory on their way toward Hiba.
And then behind Hiba.
He took a large step back and looked in the air behind him.
That was the opposite side of the wharf from Typhon and a giant figure had appeared there.
That black god of war was Susamikado.
As soon as he called her name, all of the light struck the god of war.
When Mikage had seen the light on Typhon’s back as she floated in the ocean, she had made up her mind.
…Ryuuji-kun is going to lose again.
This was different from during the day. She could help him on this battlefield.
In that case, how could she help without being a burden while unable to move freely?
…I can be a decoy.
She only needed to call in Susamikado. Typhon seemed to attack any prey before its eyes, so it would likely choose to target its destined enemy if that enemy appeared.
Mikage did not like Susamikado’s power. It protected and supported her, but it was still a destructive weapon. Hiba wanted her to evolve into a human, but she had a different thought.
…What if Susamikado is strengthened by my evolution?
Susamikado’s design was based on the god of war Hiba’s grandfather had piloted into 3rd-Gear.
It had been created by Cronus who had been imprisoned by his own son, Zeus.
Keravnos had only been a single spear when it had defeated Zeus, but it was now three spears.
…If that’s what it means to evolve, I don’t like it.
She felt heat on her back. That meant Susamikado was being summoned.
It began with a thin field of gravitation control that prepared her to be taken inside it. As she floated in the sea, it separated her from the water and lifted her up. She was put in the same position as the inside of the cockpit: knees slightly forward and arms slightly spread.
Next, the body frame appeared behind her. It happened in an instant. After that, the mechanical systems that played the part of internal organs and the nervous system appeared around the frame, but it all happened at once.
Then came the frame and nervous system for the limbs. Artificial muscles and drivers appeared and tens of thousands of bolts in countless different sizes arrived to hold it all in place.
After it all came together and the armor wrapped around it, Susamikado was complete.
However, Mikage did not enter the opened copilot cockpit.
Without Hiba, there would be no point. She could not move Susamikado much on her own.
The god of war’s arms were slightly spread, but then it took automatic defensive actions. Regardless of her own thoughts, the control system had sensed danger and taken the bare minimum of defensive actions.
It was defending against the approaching light.
Mikage heard Hiba shout.
She tried to say she was fine, but no voice came from her mouth.
She saw Typhon emitting the light in the center, Hiba to the left, and Sayama to the right.
As far as she could see, the two boys were working together. And just like her, they were not speaking.
…Then it will be fine. Ryuuji-kun can get by without me.
She had thought this moment was coming ever since she had first summoned Susamikado five years ago. She had known Hiba would eventually be able to fight without her.
…After all, I’m a destructive weapon. I’m nothing more than that.
She could not move, speak, or provide like the others with him could.
And so she closed her eyes.
Sayama saw thirty-two beams of light slam into the black god of war.
Water sprayed into the air and the black armor broke. The initial sprays of water must have weakened the subsequent attacks somewhat because, after the first few, they struck rather than broke the armor.
Nevertheless, the black god of war was blown away.
The armor of the right leg split open and the internal parts came into view. It likely had a lot more damage, but Sayama could not see it because Susamikado had instantly disappeared after bending backwards and falling into the sea.
All that remained in the water were ripples from the falling spray, the swaying waves, and…
Hiba called out to the girl in a white dress who was rocked by the waves.
“Do not let your guard down, Hiba boy!”
A sword appeared overhead. It was Typhon’s giant sword and Sayama was given a good sense of just how large a god of war’s blade was.
…But this is an inexperienced strike.
Just like with the previous attack, Typhon fought by slamming its power into its opponent. With half of the Concept Core, its power had to be near infinite. If used well, the god of war would be able to move about at high speed like Fafnir Custom had.
…So why does it not?
Typhon was said to be piloted by Apollo, son of 3rd-Gear’s Zeus. #4 and #8 had both said Apollo should be dead.
“But does that explain why Typhon’s attacks are so inexperienced?”
Sayama avoided the sword simply by twisting his body. The blade fell almost vertically, so its path was easy to predict. The blade shattered the concrete, but that was all it did.
Hiba faced the sea in preparation to jump in, so he did not see the blade descending toward his head.
However, something stopped Typhon’s attack on Hiba.
It was a voice. Specifically, a female voice that reverberated through the night sky.
Sayama saw Typhon tremble and stop attacking in response to that name.
…What is going on?
He saw two things happen.
First, Hiba jumped into the sea.
Second, a new god of war landed on the wharf.
The new one was red. It had no arms and instead had six swords floating in the air as if dangling down. Also, it had something on either side of its neck.
Two figures turned toward his voice: Gyes who wore a red suit and a black-haired woman in a white outfit.
He frowned and the two of them were most certainly looking toward him. However, the black-haired woman soon turned toward Typhon.
She has a powerful gaze, thought Sayama. It looks as if she came here to ascertain something.
…That is a look of great resolve.
It turned out Typhon was unable to defy her gaze.
It instantly raised the two swords, but it did not sheathe them.
Typhon covered its face with both fists and Sayama heard it let out a cry.
The cry was made with a male voice filled with emotion. The emotion could have been anguish or resentment.
A moment later, wind exploded out.
Typhon flew into the sky along with the two swords raised above it.
It moved with such speed that even Sayama could only perceive it as a white afterimage.
Next, the red god of war flew into the air. This one moved more slowly, as if flapping its wings.
As it flew higher, its ascent picked up speed. It seemed to be pursuing Typhon or perhaps travelling to the moon in the heavens.
Once the red god of war disappeared from view, Sayama finally looked back down.
“And this is all that remains.”
He saw only the smashed wharf and Hiba holding Mikage in the sea.
Several lit maglites pointed their way from the rocky area and he heard Shinjou and Kazami calling their names. He ignored Izumo’s voice which was insulting his intelligence.
He sighed as the number of lights and voices grew.
“Were we too late?”
He looked to the ocean, but he could not see Hiba and Mikage very well due to the rocking of the waves and the contrast of the moonlight on the water. However, he could tell Hiba was shouting something.
Seeing that, Sayama muttered to himself.
“No, this may be the perfect time.”
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