Owari no Chronicle:Volume8 Chapter 3
Chapter 3: Clash of a Greeting
Let’s go, let’s go
Let’s go meet each other
In a place of collision
A large enclosed space measured approximately twenty meters in every direction, the north end had a height difference of about two stories, and the southern wall was covered by a screen.
A frame on the top of the screen spelled out “Japanese UCAT New Headquarters” in black.
The headquarters down below that frame contained desks covered with communications equipment and PCs. Automatons wearing maid uniforms sat at those desks.
All of the equipment in front of them was functioning. Some of them displayed a map of Eastern Japan and some were calculating some sort of trajectory.
Suddenly, the automatons looked in a single direction. The door high up in the back opened and a few people entered through it.
The visitors did not wear UCAT’s white and black armored uniforms. They were an old man in a lab coat, a boy in a suit, and a girl in a brown dress.
The old man took the lead and pointed around with an arm wrapped in bandages.
“What do you think of Japanese UCAT’s new underground headquarters? Cool, isn’t it?”
“I might not call it cool, but it is amazing.”
“Shinjou-kun, make sure to explicitly praise the people who built it so this old man does not misunderstand. Otherwise, he will feel proud despite not building it himself.”
“M-Mikoto-kun, don’t you feel any sympathy for the injured? Can you still say that after seeing this?”
Ooshiro opened the lab coat to reveal bandages wrapped around his entire body. He even had several charms saying “Begone, evil spirits!” attached to himself. Seeing all that, Shinjou tilted her head.
“Are the bandages and charms some new kind of game?”
“No. For some reason, a fist-sized depression suddenly appeared in my chest during the night. I went to the hospital and then burns began appearing all over my body. I thought it might be some kind of curse.”
“I see. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone had a grudge against you.”
“Sh-Shinjou-kun, you’ve become a lot more like Mikoto-kun lately.”
“Oh, look Shinjou-kun. There are automatons down below.”
Sayama and Shinjou looked down and ignored Ooshiro as he held his lab coat open. They saw the automatons working on the mezzanine and first floor down below. They also saw someone standing in front of the large console built on the mezzanine.
“Ikkou-san? Are you working on something?”
The oldest of the four elderly brothers turned toward them and brushed a hand through his gray hair.
“Yes. I may not look it, but I am the assistant supervisor of field operations.”
The two of them looked to the bottom floor and saw Yonkichi in front of a console just like Ikkou. When the short-haired man spotted them, he waved.
“These nyew headquarters are quite nyice.”
Ikkou pressed a button on his console and the floor opened below Yonkichi.
The man fell before he could resist, the floor closed again, and there was no sign anything had happened. The surrounding automatons glanced over but did nothing more than that.
Sayama gave an impressed nod.
“That is a wonderful system, Ikkou-san.”
“S-Sayama-kun! Is that okay? Is that really okay? Where does that lead?”
“Ha ha ha. Shinjou-kun, it is tasteless to ask that. Death to the vulgar. …More importantly, Ikkou-san, there are quite a few automatons here. Are they from Kanda?”
Rather than Ikkou, a calm female voice answered the question.
“Testament. After the group from 3rd joined, there were too many in Kanda, so Kanda’s main force was able to move. Seventeen of us came here.”
Shinjou turned around and found a red-haired automaton. #8 bowed while holding a pile of documents.
“Testament. I have determined it has been far too long.”
“I am glad to see you have not changed.”
As Sayama spoke, Shinjou noticed some movement down below. She looked down from the terrace and saw the unoccupied automatons exchanging glances and whispering to each other.
#8 gave an expressionless glance their way.
“Sayama-sama ended 3rd-Gear’s Leviathan Road, so they are all quite interested in the two of you. As you can see, they have yet to learn how to properly set their priorities.”
One of the automatons down below raised her voice.
“You say that #8-sama, but you were the first one to get up once they arrived!!”
#8 frowned, but the voice from below continued.
“Sayama-sama! For some reason, #8-sama and Violet-sama refuse to provide us with the memory of being carried by you! We have determined they are being stingy!”
#8 replied while still frowning.
“Silence. Giving you a memory of our losses would interfere with your decisions.”
“But neither of you will format those memories!”
“Without units that have experienced loss, we cannot respond to a similar situation in the future.”
More cries of protest came from below, but #8 ignored them.
While watching her, Shinjou nudged Sayama’s side with her elbow.
“Sayama-kun, you sure are popular.”
“Oh? Such adorable jealousy, Shinjou-kun. They are merely interested in me.”
“Testament. That is exactly right, Shinjou-sama. There is a logical explanation for all of it.”
“Nwaaah! Mikoto-kun, you’re so popular. It must be nice. I wish I had some automaton fans too.”
“Enough creepy jealousy, old man. Try being loved by inanimate dolls instead.”
“Testament. That is exactly right, UCAT Director Ooshiro. Looking at this logically, I have determined you should get to bed early.”
Ooshiro sat on the ground to sulk, but everyone ignored him.
#8 then pulled a ten centimeter remote control form her apron pocket. When she aimed it at the large screen and hit a channel button, the back of a giant brown monster appeared on the screen. An instant later, a red hero flew in from the upper left of the screen and got a solid hit on the monster suit actor’s medulla oblongata with a flying kick.
“Fwoooohhhhh!!” roared the monster.
“What do you think of the extra large screen we created in the Kanda Laboratory.? Even with such a large red object rampaging around, there is no blurring.”
“#8-san, what is this show?”
“Testament. That is the highlight from this week’s The Venusian of Class 3-B, a drama sponsored by IAI. The main character is a space teacher who space resolves space classroom disruptions with space lectures. He shows the kindness of a teacher by avoiding a direct hit with his deadly beam and only partially killing them.”
“Hm. So it’s a modern-style trendy drama?”
“Shinjou-kun, I would like to say that is not the case, but I would also like to ask just when this ‘modern-style’ of yours is from?”
“Eh? Modern means now, right? They were showing that kind of drama in March when I lived in UCAT. There was Tokyo Sub Story for example. I haven’t seen it since they announced a major ‘coming out’ in the next episode. I wonder what happened.”
“Be glad you did not see it, Shinjou-kun. Anyway, #8-kun, are you sure you want to show us a battle between aliens?”
“Testament,” answered the automaton as she operated the remote.
A moment later, the screen displayed a full CG map of Eastern Japan.
She pointed to the screen from the edge of the terrace. It showed several white curves extending over the Pacific Ocean.
One line in particular was moving in from the east.
“That is the flight path of an international passenger plane from IAL, IAI’s air travel division. Its path is currently veering to the north. Ooki-sama has determined that it has been seized by an object with a large philosopher’s stone reading. The American military and the JSDF are working with UCAT to gather information. At present, only Japanese UCAT and American UCAT’s forces stationed in Yokota can approach, but the latter have taken no obvious action.”
“To the American military, it is a passenger plane filled with foreigners. They will not move first and cause a political dispute. They will likely only send out soldiers if we fail.”
“Testament. As for what we are doing…”
Next, a few lines extended from Tokyo. They scattered over the ocean, leaving only one on the original path. That one approached the IAL plane’s flight path.
#8 looked to the white line.
“That is a transport plane carrying Kazami-sama, Izumo-sama, Mikage-sama, and Hiba-sama.”
“The three other than Kazami-san were excited about getting to ride a plane for the first time, weren’t they?” said Shinjou. “Huh? The line just split in two.”
A window opened next to the two lines that had appeared along the UCAT transport plane’s path. It showed Kazami’s face in a dimly-lit area. She was smiling and wore headphones.
“Okay, this is Delivery Unit 01. We’re currently over the Pacific off the coast of Iwate. Reception is good.”
“Can you hear me?”
Sayama made an annoyed pose and responded to Kazami’s large image on the screen.
“Kazami, can you give a better report than that? Something with a little more meat on the bones.”
“Oh, you want meat on the bones, do you? We already have a dedicated operator for that. Anyway, Hiba and Mikage just left. They should be flying alongside us in Susamikado. …Those two are crazy. They board the plane as two people and leave as a god of war.”
Shinjou forced a smile and asked a question.
“U-um, Kazami-san? Can you give some more detail about how they left?”
“Eh? Hiba didn’t want to be thrown out the side hatch, so I called Mikage over and had her jump out first. I told them it was just a small fall.”
A shout from Hiba cut into the transmission and the sound of the wind mixed in with his words.
“Sayama-san! Kazami-san is mean! She wouldn’t even give me a parachute!!”
“It sounds to me like you jumped out after Mikage-kun without putting one on. Ha ha ha. Hiba boy, you are either so inseparable you do not fear death or you are an absolute stalker. Which do you prefer?”
“I don’t like either. …But more importantly, how are things on your end?”
Shinjou looked around the room. Sayama, the automatons, and Shinjou herself were there.
Ooshiro was also there jumping up and down and waving his bandaged arms to make himself noticed, but Sayama was the one to answer.
“The current chain of command is built around the automatons and nothing else is needed. Also, the body of the Thunderson man who led to us coming here is being taken care of here.”
Kazami frowned on the monitor and Hiba’s transmission fell silent.
Based on what Shinjou had heard from personnel they passed on the way to the new headquarters, the old man named Thunderson had received a large gash in the chest from something sharp and had died of blood loss. He had carried no possessions and his expression had been noteworthy.
…He apparently had a triumphant smile.
Shinjou did not know what had happened.
The philosopher’s stone reading they had detected there had reappeared over the Pacific and it was now toying with a passenger plane. Communications from the plane had been cut off, but it had definitely been lightly struck a few times.
“Hurry,” she muttered.
But then she shook her head.
They were already hurrying.
However, Kazami nodded and looked to the left.
“Kaku, let’s lighten the load.”
“Sure,” he replied from off screen and a hatch could be heard opening.
Wind blew in from the left of the window showing Kazami.
“Okay, Chisato. Hand over whatever you want to throw out.”
She threw a parachute and then a kick to the left.
Finally, she reached a hand to the left and closed the hatch that the wind was coming from.
“That lightened us by the weight of a large boy and a parachute. Hiba, let’s hurry.”
“Hey, Ryuuji-kun,” said Mikage’s voice. “Did you just see a splash in the water down below? What was that? Do you know?”
“A male mermaid probably jumped from the water. Wow, I’m such a romantic. Ha ha ha.”
As Hiba gave a dry laugh, the footage shook. Susamikado had likely accelerated while flying alongside the plane. The extra white line that had split from the one extending across the map headed toward the IAL passenger plane.
#8 spoke up next to Shinjou.
“I have determined that is an excellent level of acceleration.”
Shinjou gave a deep nod and thought “thank goodness”.
Each of them was the greatest force in their individual field.
…I don’t know about myself, though.
As she thought, Sayama suddenly placed an arm around her shoulder.
“Shinjou-kun, stop looking so gloomy. Don’t you think that was a noble sacrifice on Izumo’s part?”
“Thanks. But that’s not quite what I was thinking about.”
But maybe he knew that, she thought.
Suddenly, Hiba spoke over the transmission.
“This is Delivery 02! Approaching the target. I see a white passenger plane and…something huge!”
The automatons on the bridge tensed up.
At the moment, Hiba was a god of war they knew quite well. If even he was calling this “huge”, it was worthy of concern for them.
Hiba’s next words seemed to pierce through the harsh atmosphere they had created.
“I can see it! It’s a mechanical dragon! It’s a black mechanical dragon over 300 meters long and it’s…fighting the passenger plane!?”
Hiba hesitated to use the word “fighting” and it was obvious why. The black mechanical dragon’s supposed opponent was an IAL passenger plane.
…Fighting with a passenger plane?
Hiba’s following shout gave the answer.
“There’s something there! A strange old man is standing on the plane’s roof!!”
Everyone looked over toward the ground near Shinjou’s feet.
Ooshiro was collapsed there and sulking.
After confirming he was there, they all spoke in unison.
“Then who is it!?”
Odor crossed his arms on top of the passenger plane’s roof.
The wind was flowing around him without directly hitting him. He voiced his thoughts on that high-altitude and high-speed wind and on everything else.
“Wonderful. Simply wonderful.”
He also voiced his thoughts on the attacking enemy.
“Nothing. Nothing but a pleasant target.”
As he muttered to himself, it came.
The thin clouds around the area split and a giant black form arrived from behind the plane.
The third approach already, he thought.
The mechanical dragon was over 300 meters long and made of black steel. Its slender form swam through the wind as it made its way towards him.
Either its claws and fangs were its only weapons at the moment or it did not care to use the others because the battle had not developed into a firefight. While still wrapped in wind, the dragon simply raised its head and charged forward.
Odor stood on the passenger plane which was around 70 meters long. It was smaller than the black dragon and it was almost entirely hollow, so it was like using a paper balloon against a metal weapon.
The mechanical dragon attempted to slam into the plane with its momentum, but Odor raised his right hand.
“Now, come. Come, mechanical dragon of 5th-Gear. You are the runaway dragon known as Black Sun that the records say controlled half of 5th-Gear, aren’t you? Come and see if your power can stand up to this modern age.”
He snapped his fingers.
With a solid sound, several things happened.
First, an invisible impact from empty space struck the black dragon’s face.
Second, a tremendous crashing sound filled the air.
Third, the black dragon’s armor dented inwards.
The mechanical dragon gave a confused cry of protest as it pitched downwards in the air as if struck from above.
Meanwhile, Odor watched the dragon.
“How was that? How was that, savage machine? It’s quite nice being able to stop your attack with a single blow.”
He lowered his right hand, stuck his left hand in his suit’s right sleeve, and unbuttoned the shirt cuff. He pushed up the loosened sleeve and revealed a bandage wrapped around his lower arm.
He raised the arm wrapped in the white cloth and spoke to the mechanical dragon.
“It’s my turn. It’s my turn to attack you.”
The dragon reacted to his words by shrinking down for a moment and then quickly accelerating.
However, Odor snapped his fingers twice.
With two sounds of struck metal, the dragon’s head and back were knocked downwards by something from above.
Nevertheless, the mechanical dragon continued forward. It swung its claws, thrust its sharp nose forward, and attempted to bring down the passenger plane in a single strike.
Odor responded by swinging his hand and snapping his fingers.
A resounding metallic sound filled the air.
The metal fangs, claws, and charging body flew at high speed, but Odor intercepted them by swinging his right arm like an orchestra conductor.
The claws were deflected, the fangs knocked away, and the charging body struck. Each attack bent or broke pieces from the black dragon’s armor and each one came from above or nearly above.
The mechanical dragon roared. Its bestial cry sounded like the roaring of the wind and it raised its attack speed using its forward momentum.
Odor reacted with two swift attacks using his right hand. He continued the impacts from above whenever he had an opening and he reached for his pocket with his left hand.
He pulled a single cigar from that pocket.
Surrounded by the continuing metallic noises, he placed the cigar in his mouth.
When he snapped his fingers at its tip, the tip tore off and slowly lit.
He returned his left hand to his pocket and faced the mechanical dragon while continuing to swing his right hand around and snap his fingers.
“Still? Can you still not overcome these strikes? Can you still not overcome Odor’s ‘odor’?”
He produced metallic noises with only his right hand. They continued and continued. After a short pause, they rang out in quick succession.
It sounded like a bell being run at high speed.
Amid the noise, the mechanical dragon suddenly twisted.
It had not made this motion before. Rather than attacking head on, it changed direction and tried to circle around to the side.
However, Odor’s attacks rained down upon it.
The barrage of metallic noises struck its back and it quickly sank down.
“That’s right.” Odor breathed out some smoke. “Sink. Sink to the bottom of the odor. Just as I was treated by the one I once called a parent.”
However, the mechanical dragon did not give up.
Odor saw it suddenly jump up.
“Oh?” he said in admiration.
The giant black dragon used its full strength to spiral upwards and directly above the passenger plane.
Its intent was clear. Rather than using its fangs or claws, it would crush the entire plane with its full body, and Odor along with it.
He looked up at the giant black form circling overhead and gave a bitter smile.
“I see, I see. So you’ve caught on to the secret of my odor, have you? Then I’ll remove my handicap.”
He spat the cigar into the air and moved his right arm much like before. However, he moved it downwards this time.
He snapped his fingers and a sound of impact came from the plane’s left wing.
It was the sound of Odor’s power crashing into that wing.
The plane’s altitude lowered and it moved down and to the right, the opposite direction from which it was hit.
He looked overhead and saw that the diving mechanical dragon had shifted from directly overhead. It was now showing its side and back.
Odor then raised his right hand to attack.
In that instant, something flew from behind and struck the black dragon.
It was light.
Odor frowned as he saw a beam of light.
The beam was over a meter wide and it pierced through the black mechanical dragon’s chest and out its back.
The black dragon trembled and opened its mouth to roar at the flying attack.
Then the next attack arrived.
It was a giant black god of war.
It performed a flying kick while making a cheesy marital arts yell.
It used its four wings to accelerate the flying kick accurately into the spot on the dragon’s chest where the previous light had pierced through.
The sound of metal was enough to tear into the sky and the black mechanical dragon doubled over.
It produced a clearly pained cry and fell as if it had lost all strength. It passed through the clouds and into the darkness.
It showed no sign of returning as it had before.
Also, the black god of war did not pursue it. It instead flew above the passenger plane, gave a glance toward Odor, and then flapped its wings.
The god of war flew into the western sky and Odor saw something else there.
It was a transport plane painted for use at night.
With a sound of wind, the transport plane and god of war began to disappear to the west.
Odor watched them, but the shadow of the transport plane grew smaller and smaller until it completely vanished. All that remained were the wind and the night.
He lowered his raised hand and clicked his tongue into the sky.
He then loosened his necktie.
“Ridiculous. Such a ridiculous greeting. And I’m sure they thought they were saving me.”
He looked down. In the distance, he saw a gathering of bright specks and the outline of land.
It was the Japanese archipelago.
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