Owari no Chronicle:Volume7 Chapter 34
Chapter 34: Battlefield of Farewells
To the place that calls to us
Miyako opened her eyes.
She had apparently fallen asleep and the cloth-like sensation wrapped around her up to the shoulders was a 3rd-Gear blanket.
After a few breaths, feeling returned to her body and her pulse throbbed in the left temple that was touching the blanket. She was currently on her side with the blanket up to her shoulders.
Her dim vision saw the faint light of the room, white sheets, and…
He lay on his side while facing her, but his eyes were closed and he seemed to be sleeping.
She thought about touching his defenseless face.
She decided against it, but she let out a breath that did not feel bad at all.
“I don’t know what I’d say if I woke him.”
“Hey” or “morning” would sound strange, but tapping him on the shoulder and saying “you gave it a good effort, boy” was a little too oddly fitting.
…More importantly, what time is it?
She did not know. She had slept with Apollo just before evening. Despite everything that happened and then sleeping for a bit, she doubted it was very far into the night. After all, the man sleeping before her eyes had not yet been called by Typhon.
“But then why did I wake up?”
She would wake up when she had plans, but she would just let herself sleep otherwise and there was no sign of him having touched her after she fell asleep.
She slowly sat up as she realized something was off.
She carefully crawled across and off the bed while making sure the blanket on him did not move.
She was not wearing anything, but she saw some clothes on the bedside table. Moira 1st or someone had likely prepared them.
…I wish they hadn’t seen me like that.
But she stood with a genuine smile and dressed. Some parts of her body ached a little from using muscles she did not normally use, but that pain only strengthened her smile as she passed her arms through the sleeves.
She turned around and saw he was still sleeping with a peaceful expression.
…That’s for the best.
“If I join with Typhon, you can sleep like that every night. You can walk onward with the automatons…and become a king.”
She turned her back, shook her hair, and opened the door without looking back. She entered the hallway to find Moira 1st or Gyes and tell them what she wanted to do.
She wanted to finish it before Apollo woke.
However, she found something unexpected in the white hallway with red carpet.
“There’s no one here?”
What’s going on? she wondered as she quickened her pace toward the emergency exit.
At that point, the sense that something was off returned to her.
Something down below was shaking the building with a set tempo.
…The gods of war!
Before she could think, her impatient reflexes sent her into a run toward the emergency exit.
Something was happening. A single god of war would not cause this much of a tremor.
“What is this?”
She took a breath and moved her arms, but strength left her knees after a few steps and she collapsed. It was partially due to having just woken up, but she was truly having trouble using her body.
“Shit,” she swore while placing a hand on the wall and using that to balance herself as she ran.
After turning a few corners, some wind reached her. The darkness of the night lay directly before her and the city nightscape formed the borderline between earth and sky.
She left the building and stepped onto the emergency elevator.
She looked down while catching her breath and forcing her weak knees to stand.
Far down below, she heard Moira 1st’s voice and saw a familiar sight.
That sight was the many maids and the gods of war.
There were eight green gods of war with their back and shoulder thrusters lit and warping the air. Moira 1st looked up at her from the center of them all.
“Lady Miyako! Congratulations! You can prepare your own sekihan tonight!”
“You idiot, that’s the wrong tradition! That was over a decade ago for me!”
…And that’s not why I’m here.
“What are you doing!?” she shouted through the blowing wind.
“UCAT is attacking.”
“This is a festival. 3rd-Gear’s final festival. We will handle everything, so you run away with Lord Apollo!”
Miyako shouted down at Moira 1st’s smile. Her eyebrows rose and she grabbed the railing.
“You idiots! Do you know what decision I want to make here!?”
“Running away is an acceptable choice, Lady Miyako.”
“But you’re going to fight, aren’t you!? You’re maids, so can you even fight!?”
“3rd-Gear automatons are the greatest of any Gear. We may have areas we are less skilled in, but that does not mean they are impossible for us.” Moira 1st narrowed her eyes. “We will buy you some time and we will achieve victory. We will also take all responsibility, so you elope in Typhon with Lord Apollo!”
“You can’t call it eloping if it’s officially approved!”
“Wh-whatever you want to call it, just make sure there is something of 3rd-Gear left over!”
“What are we, the uneaten part of a meal!? But those can be good with some hot rice, so remember that.”
“We will! And I will trust that we can eventually serve it.”
Moira 1st closed her eyes in a smile.
“We have told you what we want, Lady Miyako. You are the one who gave us names and taught us to sing, so perhaps we really should refer to you as our princess.”
Moira 1st bowed and Miyako tried to stop her with a shout.
…Once that bow ends, they’ll disappear!
But there was a small smile on Moira 1st’s face when she raised her head. That smile was less perfect, less neat, and more crooked than any she had given before.
“We will be taking a short break from our duties,” she said.
In that moment, all of the maids bowed and began to run in unison. They ran through the forest, down the mountain, and to the city. To the battlefield.
And as if that was their cue, the eight gods of war kicked off the ground.
Eight roars shot through the air.
Those eight warriors flew quickly into the sky and toward the city. They drew paths of wind, clouds trailed them, and they flew into that night scenery.
All that remained were the wind, the scattering leaves of the trees, and…
“Dammit,” groaned Miyako.
“Huh? What’re you doing here, Miyako?”
She turned around and found the short maid named Moira 3rd.
“What are you doing here? The others already left.”
…Not that I want any of you to go.
Moira 3rd nodded.
“Yeah, how should I put it? I had a quick job to do.”
“Yeah, adjusting the concept space. It’s been spread out pretty big, after all. This place might be taken over too, so you should leave with Lord Apollo before that happens.”
Miyako let go of the railing, stood in front of the maid, and took in a breath.
“You know how to sync with Typhon, right?”
Moira 3rd stiffened and tilted her head such that her semi-long hair shook.
“Are you serious, Miyako? It’ll probably hurt. How should I put it? It’ll be like having your medulla oblongata stirred up by chopsticks.”
“Why are you so good at describing things you don’t even have? Anyway, this is what I’ve decided to do.”
She glanced down the empty hallway.
“I was whipped into shape here, so I can probably get by even if I leave this place. Even if everything goes wrong, I feel like I can still get by.”
“I see. To be honest, we all feel the same way. They’re all using our joint memory to say they think we can now do all sorts of things without growing tired of it.”
“I see.” Miyako smiled, nodded, and gave Moira 3rd a soft look. “But there’s one person here who hasn’t been turned around yet. And yet it was him that helped turn me around.”
“Is he important to you?”
“He is,” she answered without hesitation.
“I see,” said Moira 3rd with a smile.
She took Miyako’s hand from her shoulder and pulled it toward the elevator railing.
Facing that way brought the night scenery into view. Moira 3rd looked up while standing in front of the railing and she folded her hands in front of her.
“What is with you right now?”
“Well,” she said with a nod. “You can punish me later until my hip joint comes loose.”
Miyako gave a questioning voice just before a light pain reached the back of her neck.
It was a light impact, but it hit just the right spot and her consciousness easily faded.
The surprise attack sent her collapsing forward and her mind went dark.
As she collapsed, she saw the one who had made the attack.
It was Apollo.
That was her last thought before her consciousness cut out.
Moira 3rd looked up at someone from the top of the elevator.
It was a blond young man carrying a woman in white clothes under his arm.
“Are you sure, Lord Apollo? Miyako will probably cry.”
“I’m sure. I’m glad I made it before she did anything rash. Can you lower the elevator?”
Moira 3rd hesitated for a moment, but she finally nodded and lowered it.
As the wind blew up from below, she asked Apollo a question.
“What are you going to do, Lord Apollo?”
“Find the answer I need to become a king and to settle everything surrounding 3rd-Gear.”
“The first and second options we have long spoken of are gone. That leaves the third path that I will now choose. It’s good that Moira 2nd was repaired. We all have something we must do now.”
He looked up into the sky.
The moon was out, but it was very low.
“Today is perfect. I will be able to remain myself for a long time.”
He then faced Moira 3rd and shrugged.
“Keep this a secret from the others. I want to surprise them.”
“A book from this world said a kingdom ruled by someone who loves theatrics will quickly fall to ruin.”
“That’s probably true.”
His laughter spilled out into the night.
The elevator lowered and reached the side of the fully-open hangar door. As it continued further down, the light of the hangar came into view and the ends of Apollo’s eyebrows rose as he watched that light.
“Now, it’s time we went and finished this, Artemis.”
At 10:30 PM, five trucks suddenly appeared at a three-way junction in southeast Kurashiki.
The streetlights illuminated the trucks’ blue text on a white background saying “Surprise Attack Delivery – Hair Clipper Service” and a drawing of a shouting middle-aged man with closely-cut hair.
The front two trucks moved first. They turned into a hospital parking lot to the right of the junction, turned around, and came to a stop.
The other three remained on the road and came to a sudden stop on the left curb.
A moment later, people wearing white and black armored uniforms left all five trucks.
The boy named Sayama looked around after exiting the third truck on the road.
The streetlights and the buildings were lit up.
Electricity was flowing.
“Everyone, so as not to affect the concept space, its expansion was stopped before it reached Kurashiki’s transportation networks. Also, UCAT’s Okayama and Izumo branches supplied every generator they had so we could have power within the concept space. This concept space is very nearly a deserted version of Low-Gear. Do not forget that!”
“Testament,” replied the others.
“Find the enemy!” shouted Sayama before they had even finished the word.
The trailer of one of the trucks in the hospital parking lot rose and a tent-shaped pallet with a slanted roof made of bulletproof material came out.
The pallet was mechanically lowered to the ground and it was set up to the east. Its low roof had a viewing platform where Ooki peered out with binoculars. She folded her fingers next to the binoculars to count something.
“Found them! There are four big ones next to the road south of here! Um…two are on the other side of the Achi Shrine! And two are moving from the Achi Shrine to the Kurashiki Station area! That’s more or less how it is!”
“Thank you for that explanation that killed all of the tension.”
Sayama watched as the second tent meant as a medical area was lowered into the hospital parking lot.
“The hospital trucks will continue down the road to the Achi Shrine area. They will function as barricades against the gods of war. They can fly, so the first truck should charge in and the second one should roll on its side after seeing what they do.”
He looked to the left where the train track to the Mizushima area was separated from the road by a single building.
“Ooki-sensei, can you see the disguised train that is arriving after us?”
“Here it comes!” shouted Kazami from the roof of one of the truck trailers on the road.
The proof of her words came soon thereafter. A black form passed by on the track visible between the northern homes and paddy fields to their left.
The steel track creaked as the unmanned and remote controlled train carried a great weight at approximately sixty kilometers per hour. Ten canopied freight cars followed the blue car in front.
“Will it work as a decoy?” muttered Shinjou who looked north while sitting in the trailer of the third truck.
“They will have to deal with it somehow. If that creates an opening, it will be worth it. …Stand up the first and third gods of war!”
“Testament,” replied a voice as the trailer Shinjou sat in began to tilt.
With the sound of motors, the large pallets on the first and third trucks stood up.
The pallet covers automatically unlocked and fell as if being lowered down. This revealed two white and black gods of war. They contained UCAT’s emblem and one of the nearby UCAT members clenched his fist and spoke quietly as he watched it.
“Please stand up. You should even be able to fly with this concept.”
Sayama mentally nodded toward the man’s words.
…Will Low-Gear be able to fall into step with many different people and be better off for it?
The two gods of war took their first steps forward almost simultaneously.
Everyone cheered and they raised a hand to reach for the weapons on the pallets behind them. They contained a sword and an anti-god of war SMG.
“Good,” muttered Sayama as he watched them take the weapons.
At the same time, a giant form stood up from the second truck on the street without a pallet rising up.
It was Susahito Custom.
The black god of war lowered one leg from the back of the truck and easily stood up.
Its movements were so natural that those who had watched the UCAT gods of war could not help but gulp.
Susahito Custom was based on a 3rd-Gear god of war and it far outdid the UCAT models that used their greatest technology. Sayama felt that was a gap they needed to fill. The others watched Susahito Custom check its bladed equipment and they all sighed yet kept perfectly serious expressions. They were seeing what they had to catch up to.
Sayama was satisfied with the strength in their gazes, so he spoke.
“Unit #3 will defend this spot! #1 and #2 will continue on! #1 will attack Kurashiki Station! #2 will follow, but do not forget to drop off the combatants on the way!”
He ran forward as he gave instructions and Shinjou ran alongside him. The second truck’s trailer shook the exhaust as it began to move. Once they caught up to it, Sayama and Shinjou grabbed the edge of the trailer and pulled themselves toward it.
The first truck lowered its raised trailer and moved forward, the second followed, and the third ejected the equipment aboard and began to lower its trailer.
As everyone began to move, someone appeared from a side road. It was a white-haired maid.
Sf lifted her skirt slightly, ran alongside the others, and bowed.
“Tes. It is fortunate I arrived in time. I have a warning before you run another one hundred meters,” she said while facing Sayama. “I have detected a powerful philosopher’s stone reading in the Kurashiki Station region. I believe it to be some form of concept weapon. Something is headed this way. The time until impact is-…”
An instant later, something struck the raised cargo pallet on the trailer of Unit #3’s truck.
Everyone lost their sense of hearing as they watched it.
The white cargo pallet for Unit #3’s truck was still slightly raised when something smashed through the center.
In that instant, everything grew silent and even the movement felt delayed.
The hole in the center of the cargo pallet that had carried a god of war was frayed like melted plastic and it expanded on the opposite side.
However, it stopped at about two meters across. The shimmering of heat momentarily rose from around the hole.
The sound arrived, but it was not a roar or a crash.
It was a tremor.
It pierced through the entire body of everyone listening, shook the surrounding buildings, and shattered a few windows in an instant.
The vibration of the air formed a mist that was blown along by the wind.
Meanwhile, the trailer of Unit #3’s truck was launched into the air by the impact.
The base of the trailer was destroyed and the giant metal panel that had lost its support almost seemed to bend backwards from the impact. It flew almost directly above the rest of the trailer.
The giant white metal panel made it over a dozen meters up into the air.
Below it, the truck that pulled the trailer had its back end pulled up by the base of the trailer.
The truck could not move as the metal panel fell down on it while oriented horizontally.
The impact sliced right through it.
A quick and clear noise left the truck sliced in two by the pallet that was stabbed into the ground like a wall.
The air was filled with the sound of wind and the other two trucks beginning to move.
Those sounds were joined by Sf’s distancing voice.
“The second shot is coming. It is going elsewhere, though.”
It arrived that very instant.
The sound came from the left as they continued onward.
They all looked to the left which was the north.
The train track was there and the disguised train was moving along it, but that train was easily pierced all the way through by some kind of power.
They could not see the bullet, but they could hear it.
First, they heard multiple quiet metallic noises.
They began at the very front of the disguised train and left the very back of the last freight car.
So far, it was all sound and nothing had actually happened.
Everyone held their breath and it arrived a moment later. “It” being destruction and much louder noises.
Trailing the first noises, everything on the train track split apart and flew into the air.
Everything on the train car chassis was thrown into the air and scattered like scraps of paper. With the sound of breaking metal, the remaining parts of the chassis were disorderly lifted into the air and bent.
Everyone heard an explosion that sounded like surging waves.
Next, the track itself exploded.
Like a reverse waterfall, dirt and the twin lines of metal were blasted upwards and the train tossed itself into empty space.
The eleven cars rolled, stabbed, and slid onto or into empty houses and paddy fields. Destruction and noise were scattered everywhere.
As everyone held their breath, one voice carried through the air.
That female voice belonged to Kazami.
“I know what this is! I just heard shouts from Kurashiki Station!”
She stood up and looked at the others.
“The only sound of the bullet being fired was the sonic boom. Since they could quickly fire on the road and the train track as two separate targets, it can’t be some giant cannon, but it still fires at ultra-high speeds. Also, the shouts I heard were female.”
“We’re up against automatons!”
At the south entrance of Kurashiki Station was a large roundabout for buses and taxis.
It was deserted in the moonlit concept space, but something other than people stood on the asphalt.
“Let us show you the hidden power of 3rd-Gear’s finest automatons.”
About half of the automatons below Moira 1st and excluding Moira 2nd and 3rd were there.
“Counting me, there are 37 of us. …Time for the third shot!”
Moira 1st looked from the roundabout to the road. A white object was visible about a kilometer down that road. One of UCAT’s truck trailers had raised its empty cargo pallet as a barricade.
…It is unfortunate we must do this to another machine, but you are in the way.
Their only choice was to destroy it without letting it feel pain.
“Okay! The distance is approximately 1200 meters. The angle is 8 hours 12 minutes to the southwest!”
The maids ran as if to continue her words. Their footsteps passed by and they formed two columns with Moira 1st at the end.
Each of the automatons faced one in the other column and held their hands up and down toward them.
With a large vertical gap between their hands, each pair formed a circle together.
Moira 1st spoke as she saw the series of circles formed from the maids’ arms.
“We are using the gravitational control that is standard with any 3rd-Gear automaton. Our individual powers may be weak, but if this many of us point that power in the same direction…”
They had formed a series of rings.
Moira 1st stood at the end where she counted a total of 18 rings and could see the white trailer through that straight line of rings.
The other maids looked to her and nodded, so she nodded back.
A distortion grew in the 18 rings formed by the maids. The scenery on the other side looked warped as if viewing it through a lens.
That distortion came from the flow of high gravity and that gravity was oriented from Moira 1st and toward the road.
Moira 1st quietly spoke toward the white truck trailer that appeared warped through the lens of gravity.
“These 18 gravity acceleration lenses will turn any object into incredibly destructive acceleration.”
She took a breath.
“We call this the 18-Layer Maid Gravity Acceleration Gun. What can you do against this, UCAT?”
Moira 1st pulled two plates from her maid uniform and held them up with a smile.
“Today’s bullets are 3rd-Gear’s heat- and explosion-resistant plates that can withstand one hundred gods of war stepping on them without breaking. Quite affordable weapons if you ask me.”
She placed the plates together like a shellfish and held them together with gravitational pressure. She then used her gravitational control to levitate the resultant disk between her hands and held them next to her waist.
“Get ready! And a question, everyone. What is the primary job of a maid?”
“Yes, sir! Attending to the guests with a smile!”
Seeing them all form artificial smiles and face the road, Moira 1st’s eyes narrowed in a smile.
She then fired the disk with her maximum power.
The disk’s journey began with enough force to produce an explosion of steam behind her.
The disk sliced through the wind as it passed through the rings formed by the maids’ arms and the warped space therein.
From there, it was repeatedly accelerated by the frictionless gravity. They did not fire it at the absolute greatest speed possible because they held back just enough to not be swallowed up by the sonic boom themselves.
“There is nothing that cannot be pierced by this gravity acceleration railgun formed by 36 smiling maids!”
In an instant, strength gathered in the maids’ hands. The air grew even more distorted and they suppressed the recoil. The 18 gravity rings continued to accelerate the disk and it finally reached the last ring.
It was fired and it flew.
The wind whipped up by the disk felt like an explosive blast and the disk itself could no longer be seen.
An instant later, Moira 1st and the others saw the raised cargo pallet blow apart.
Despite the distance, they vividly saw the white metal tear apart, fly through the air, and destroy the nearby buildings.
The clear noise was audible even at that distance.
The maids gave cries of joy, but Moira 1st frowned as she watched the pieces of the trailer scatter through the air.
…I’m sorry. It would be faint, but you must have been alive while in this concept space.
Without opening her joint memory, she decided to gather it later and recreate it.
But, she thought as her frown grew. This is odd.
Once she realized why, she let out a shout with her eyebrows thoroughly gathered together.
“Prepare the next shot!”
Taken aback, the others stopped moving and turned toward her, so Moira 1st opened their joint memory and sent high-speed words to inform them of the situation.
…This is dangerous.
“Unmanned target,” said a voice in midair.
She looked up and saw a large blue automaton in the sky with the moon.
“Master Cottus, that trailer really was empty?”
“Enemy approach confirmed!”
That shout was followed by a sound from the south of the city.
It was a war cry as well as…
“Explosions and metallic noises.”
Moira 1st saw people in white armored uniforms much closer than the truck.
They made their way forward through gaps in the explosions.
Moira 1st determined they had split into two groups while using the truck as a decoy. One group had approached them on the north of the city while the other had cut down a central road to advance toward the base to the southeast.
The enemy had made the correct decision and that fact set Cottus in motion.
“Acting as vanguard.”
He began toward the enemies spread out on the road, but Moira 1st shouted out.
“Master Cottus! You take care of the enemies advancing to the southwest! We will defend here!”
Cottus turned back toward her and nodded.
He expanded the wings on his back and flew to the south as if jumping.
Moira 1st nodded toward his rear vision. All hesitation had vanished from her face and her eyebrows were raised.
…I am being unreasonably angry, but some things are unforgivable.
They had used a metal truck trailer as a decoy.
“If you do not win, that trailer’s destruction will have been in vain.”
She raised both her hands and two white disks floated above her head. They were plates, but she did not wait for them to fall back down. With a snap of the wrist, she prepared another plate in each hand.
She caught the two falling plates on the two plates in her hands.
She now held a bullet in each hand and she slowly swung them down and backwards.
She leaned forward to bring the plate pairs even further behind her. She swung them up like wings and let out a shout as she bent her body.
“Prepare two cannons!”
The maids wordlessly did so. They lifted their skirts slightly and flipped them around as they took a step and rotated their own bodies. They now formed two rows of nine pairs each.
The cannons were shorter, but there were two of them.
“The strength drops in half, but rapid fire is more important now.”
Moira 1st used an underhand toss to throw forward the plates in her right hand.
The right cannon whipped up the wind and fired. In that instant, she threw the left one while twisting and then spinning her body to the right.
Her hair danced, her apron flipped around, and her blouse’s sleeves flew.
Over a hundred white plates flew out from within those places and into the air.
She began forming bullets from those midair plates and throwing them into the cannons.
As if dancing, she grabbed plates, served them forward, and spoke with a smile.
“Come visit us. Come visit us, our guests. This is the place in which we serve using the discipline of steel. A white apron over black clothes is our uniform, receiving and seeing off a guest with a smile even when in pain is our external appearance, and ensuring our guests’ satisfaction is our internal desire.”
Her smile deepened, her body rotated, and she formed countless bullets as if dancing.
“No refusal or restraint is necessary when receiving our services. Simply demand, and demand, and demand some more. Leave your heart in our service, leave your body in our comfort, and leave your life in our control.”
“We will take care of everything.”
And she fired.
The maids sending the bullets through the acceleration lenses would spin around in turn as the bullets reached them. As they rotated around, they eliminated the old acceleration lens and gathered strength in their arms once more.
“Contact! Continue serving!”
The way the pairs brought their hands together after spinning looked like a dance.
Once they were done, Moira 1st sent a new bullet with her right hand and she had already prepared a new plate in her left hand.
They fired again and again and they did not stop.
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