Owari no Chronicle:Volume8 Chapter 9
Chapter 9: Approach of Intention
Here it comes
And here it is
The footsteps telling you to determine yourself have arrived
Kazami was up against a cutting power.
She repeatedly dodged the invisible power that sliced down from above.
She stood on a straight road lit by the evening sun and she was approximately seven meters from her opponent.
“Not having a weapon really is a pain!”
If she called for G-Sp2 outside of a concept space, people would see it. She had Izumo on her side while Roger was alone.
…But without our weapons, we can’t get a decisive blow in on someone using a concept.
Due to the distortion in the air and the drifting sand, the cutting power Roger used looked like wind to her.
The attack always followed a snap of his right fingers and it was as fast as a sword strike. However, the slice undulated through the air like a whip and it could slice through both metal and asphalt.
She had nothing to use as a shield and no weapon to block with.
Izumo charged in from the left and Roger snapped his right fingers to attack, causing the wind to launch a counterattack against Izumo’s charge.
His charge was reckless, but Kazami sensed his intention. At the moment, Roger’s left side was open, so his actions were urging her to charge in.
And she did so.
She had to wait for the right timing, but she could not wait too long either. She worked best with quick bursts of strength, but Izumo did not. If she was too slow, he would be hit by the enemy attack rather than just drawing it his way.
She charged forward just as Roger held up his right fingers and began to twist them.
It began with the sound of her basketball shoes digging into the sand. When she gathered strength in her knees to accelerate, her shoes sank down to the bottom of that sand.
The returning force of the ground launched her body forward and she repeated the action to sprint onwards.
She had to travel about seven meters and she formed a hook-shaped trajectory to the right. That path kept her as far away from Roger’s right side as possible while still taking the shortest path.
As she ran, Roger snapped his fingers toward Izumo.
She saw the fluctuation of wind fly directly toward Izumo ahead and to her left.
It was an attack from above.
She almost called his name, but he would not want her to waste her breath like that.
She instead silently asked him to dodge the attack and she saw him take a fairly forcible evasive action.
He intentionally tripped and fell to their left and Roger’s right.
He threw himself onto the asphalt so he would stay out of her way and further split Roger’s aim between the two of them.
She continued running. To her right, she could see a road sign and a field that had grown corn during the summer. The field was divided from the road by a stone wall only about ten centimeters tall.
Roger was also there.
He was right in front of her now, so she straightened up in an instant. If her body was stretched out when she attacked, she could only cause light damage. To throw her full weight into the blow, she needed to straighten up and then crouch down again as she attacked.
While taking a quick breath, she rose up and clenched her left hand.
Her right foot kicked off the ground behind her and she charged in with her left shoulder in the lead.
By the time her left foot reached the ground, she had already rotated her left arm and waist clockwise. In order to launch her left fist from the elbow, she moved it forward and slightly upwards.
But the strike did not reach because Roger had already jumped back.
She was slightly surprised, but that was all.
…I suppose he is the assistant inspector of a nation’s UCAT.
If she assumed he was on the same level as German Inspector Diana or 1st-Gear Inspector Brunhild, it was obvious she would not defeat him so easily.
She did not fight the forward motion of her left arm. As if letting the fist pull her, she rotated her shoulders and body clockwise which swung her body into a certain stance.
…Now I can continue with a roundhouse kick!
She did so.
She quickly raised her right leg and let it rotate. Meanwhile, Izumo spoke as he picked himself up off the asphalt.
…You shut up.
She changed that thought into acceleration and targeted Roger’s jaw with her swinging right heel.
However, the man dodged once more.
He bent back his falling body to just barely avoid her kick.
Before she could lower her rotating right leg, Roger took a step back while crouching down.
“The left hand!?”
She could not help but shout when she saw him raise that hand toward her.
Before she managed to ask if he could use his left hand too, he gave the answer by snapping his left fingers.
She saw the wind, but she could not avoid it because she had yet to fully lower her right leg.
In that instant, she took her next action. She kicked to the right with the left leg supporting her in order to knock herself to the right.
The added tilt brought her right leg to the ground more quickly than expected. No, it actually landed on the stone wall dividing the field from the road.
She kicked off the wall with her right leg as if ricocheting off it and she leaped once more. She swung up her left knee, used that momentum to launch her body upwards, and gathered strength in her stomach to pull up her lower stomach and below while in midair.
She leaped over the wind Roger had fired at her.
However, he then snapped the fingers of his raised right hand.
He had been waiting for this attack and she could not do anything while jumping. She could only be hit.
However, she spotted a hope.
The hope located between her and Roger was the road sign next to the field.
She kicked off of the sign in mid-jump to avoid Roger’s second attack.
“This ends here!!”
She brought her heel down on his head from above and he could no longer intercept her because he had already lowered both of his hands.
However, he snapped his right fingers with the hand pointed downwards.
The answer to her question was clear.
His right hand was pointed down and to her left.
In other words, towards Izumo.
She stopped in surprise and all sound vanished from her ears in an instant.
Her heel drop lost its edge and Roger managed to move out of the way, but she did not even care as she landed.
She quickly corrected her posture, turned around, and saw a certain color.
It was the red of blood.
Izumo had to have been knocked away by the slicing attack because he was sitting with his back against the roadside guardrail. He held his left side where the color red covered an area with a width of about ten centimeters.
The red was visibly spreading along his shirt.
She ran over to him and heard a voice from behind.
“I suppose this settles it.”
She turned toward Roger’s voice but saw nothing there.
She had a general thought about “the next time I see him”, but her imagination went no further.
The red before her eyes and the surrounding wind were everything to her now.
Kazami crouched down on one knee next to Izumo.
She was out of breath, but she decided that was due to the battle. She placed a hand on his shoulder and straightened his upper body by pushing it back against the guardrail.
“This is no time to act so casual!”
He smiled a little but gave none of the verbal abuse or excuses she was used to. That smile gave her a chill.
“Kaku, I’ll call for an ambulance, okay? Okay?”
“What’s this, Chisato? You look like you’re about to cry.”
She started to call him an idiot, but realized it was not the time and then had another thought.
…I can’t even say something so simple right now.
She finally realized just how far from calm she was.
A slight voice escaped her throat and her vision wavered.
She all of a sudden found she was trembling.
She could see a color spilled on the ground at her feet. The asphalt and sand were soaked with Izumo’s red.
She shook her head and tried to pull out her cell phone. She tried to stick a hand in her skirt pocket, but for some reason could not find it.
She looked down and realized why. Her hand was visibly shaking. It was so bad she could not get it into her pocket.
Her voice was trembling. She wanted to do something, she knew she had to do something, and a thought she did not want to speak began spreading through her mind.
It was possible there was nothing she could do.
She finally managed to get her hand in the pocket.
She pulled out the cell phone and pressed the button to reach the local fire station.
But she received no response, so she frowned and looked at the phone.
“It’s cut through.”
Her hand went weak and the black phone fell to the asphalt where it finally split in two.
“K-Kaku, I need your pho-…”
He did not have it. They had checked that when leaving the dorm.
…He said he didn’t need his because I had mine.
It had been during the morning that they had discussed that and how they might as well use the same wallet as well.
She prepared to say “no” despite it being meaningless, but she suddenly felt strength reach her. The power on her shoulders pulled her forward.
Before she could say anything, Izumo held her in his arms.
She called out to him, but he said nothing. Instead…
She followed his lead and brought her lips to his.
Feeling the gentle wetness, she thought while still trembling.
…He must be worried too.
“Kaku, u-um? Is there anything you…want to do?”
He slowly hugged her closer.
Before she could let out a gasp, he rested his weight on her as if collapsing forward.
What am I doing? This really isn’t the time, she thought.
…This is all I can do.
She embraced him and tried to ignore the muddy but warm wetness she felt in her right hand. He trembled in pain, but she selfishly felt it was fine as long as he did not pass out.
They kissed again and his hand touched her right breast.
She hesitated for a moment but accepted it.
If she did not accept it now because someone might see or because of what could happen later, she knew she would regret it.
But then she felt something was wrong.
She exchanged tongues with Izumo and a large hand entered her unbuttoned blouse, but…
Something was out of place. It was a cold sensation that did not fit the urgency of the situation.
The sensation was too strange. It was the sort of sensation that should never occur in such an urgent situation.
She decided her next words would act as a dividing line.
“This will be the last time, so do as you please.”
He then embraced her in his right arm. His left hand tore open the lower buttons of her blouse and moved from her navel, around her left side, and to her back. There, it stroked between her shoulder blades.
She just about cried out, but she felt the odd sensation reach its peak and spoke before it could settle into the specifics.
“This isn’t right!!” she shouted.
Kazami suddenly shoved Izumo away, but the difference in weight sent her backwards and rolling along the asphalt.
He lay on the asphalt looking at her with the ends of his eyebrows lowered.
“This isn’t right.”
She held her own body as it trembled, but this tremor was not due to Izumo’s injury.
“Everything I’m seeing and feeling here is strange.”
“What do you-…”
“Quiet! You aren’t Kaku!”
She gathered her strength as she shouted, exhaled, inhaled, and looked around.
As she viewed the landscape, she heard Izumo’s voice.
“I really am me, y’know?”
“No, you aren’t,” she replied after spotting something.
“Why? Why would you say I’m not me?”
“This, for example.”
She pointed at something in front of her.
“That’s your motorcycle that was destroyed earlier. It was cut in two. But you know what? I don’t know anything about the internal structure of motorcycles.”
She stood up with her back to him and picked up the piston from the motorcycle’s engine.
“Look at this part. I sometimes see it in motor oil ads.” She looked at the unharmed piston. “The engine was split in half, so why wasn’t it cut? Are you going to tell me this unharmed component fell out because it wasn’t attached to anything?”
She turned toward Izumo and he looked back at her with a relaxed smile.
“Am I really not me, Chisato?”
“I’m sorry, but I simply can’t believe that you are.”
“I’d like to hear a little more evidence than that.”
“Fine. With your right hand, you always touch my left breast first. When I do it on my own, I start with my right, though. …But just now, you started with the right. And you know what else?”
She gave a bitter smile.
“I still haven’t told you my back is my biggest weak point. It’s kind of creepy when you do everything exactly the way I’d want it,” she said. “Thank you, my ideal Kaku, but you’re simply too boring, just like this world. So…”
She raised her right fist and threw it into her own face.
She felt dizzy and gasped.
A moment later, the world seemed to sway before her eyes. Just like when Sayama’s Baku showed her the past, everything went black and she felt like she was falling.
Izumo’s smile wavered and vanished from her vision as she woke up.
Kazami came to.
…Where am I?
She was on a road. It was the same road between the large field and the railroad. She sat on the back of the parked motorcycle and Izumo’s back was right in front of her.
…This is the same as when we met Roger.
The only difference was Roger’s absence.
“The sun is setting.”
It seemed a fair bit of time had passed.
Oh, no, she thought just as she heard a sound from her cell phone.
She hesitantly pulled it from her pocket and found it was not cut in two. She breathed a sigh of relief and brought it to her ear.
“Hello? This is Kazami.”
“Ah, Chisato-sama! Are you okay!?”
“Oh, Sibyl. Yeah, I guess we’re okay. Did something happen?”
The usual response of “testament” did not arrive.
Kazami tilted her head at the silence she got instead, but then a shout reached her ear.
“What do you mean, ‘did something happen’!!?”
“L-listen, Chisato-sama. A powerful philosopher’s stone reading was detected by your cell phone about an hour ago!”
Oh, yeah. I forget this did that, she thought but did not say.
Sibyl took a breath before continuing.
“I thought something might have happened and tried to contact you, but I wasn’t able to get through! I have been calling you every minute like a stalker, but you haven’t been responding at all! So I…I…I was so panicked I started hacking into a Russian missile silo!”
She really is panicking, thought Kazami.
But then she remembered herself just a bit earlier.
…I guess I’m not one to talk.
“Anyway, Sibyl, try to calm down.”
She heard crying and assumed all of Sibyl’s emotions had switched over to relief.
Kazami gave a pleasant bitter smile and looked around.
…But what was the powerful philosopher’s stone reading?
The field and the railroad track were the only things around and Roger had arrived afterwards.
“There’s nothing like a philosopher’s stone here.”
She then noticed the trail the motorcycle tires had left in the sand down below. The sand was not dirt or dust from the field and it was slightly bluish-white.
…That’s made from philosopher’s stone powder, isn’t it?”
“Sibyl, I’ve figured it out. It looks like we really were attacked. Is the American inspector there!?”
“No, but he should be arriving from Yokota soon.”
“Be on your guard!”
“What do you…?”
Sibyl trailed off but quickly replied.
“Testament. Then listen carefully, Chisato-sama. It would probably be best if you did not come to join us right away. You would not make it in time for the inspector’s arrival anyway.” Strength had reentered her voice. “Come by once the situation has settled and we are both at a stalemate. If something does happen, I will send an email containing information on UCAT’s back entrances. See you then.”
“Right,” said Kazami before ending the call and sighing.
…This isn’t good.
Something was about to happen and they did not have their weapons.
“Hey, Kaku. What should we do?”
She was relieved that he was not actually injured, but he did not answer her question.
When she frowned and looked over his shoulder, she found him staring into empty space with a serious expression while silently kneading and stroking the air. And the movements of his hands followed the curves of her body.
Naturally, she hit him.
“Gwah! Ah…eh? Wait? Huh?”
He turned around, saw her, spread his arms with a look of relief, and grabbed her breasts from below.
“Good, this really is the land of Chisato’s tits.”
“Stop groping me like you don’t have a care in the world!”
The damage of the second hit caused him to sway like a pendulum.
“Ah! Wh-what was I just doing?”
“Looked to me like you were kneading my breasts in a dream.”
“O-oh, yeah. Now that you mention it, I was. Yeah, I definitely was.”
He nodded, looked at her, and then frowned as if he had suddenly realized something.
“Oh, c’mon.” He looked like he was about to cry. “What are you doing dressed? So it really was a dream. What a disappointment.”
“I get the feeling our dreams were completely different.”
She lowered her shoulders in exasperation, but she was also relieved that it had only been a dream.
But Izumo’s expression suddenly grew serious.
He tilted his head and spoke more slowly.
“What’s this, Chisato? You look like you’re about to cry.”
She repeated her questioning voice, but she began to tremble.
What is this? she wondered as she felt something fall down her cheek.
She held out her hand and could see it shaking. A drop fell to the palm. More and more fell and refused to stop, so she frantically wiped at her eyes.
She was crying.
“What is it, Chisato? Did you have a bad dream?”
“Yeah… How did you know?”
He fully turned around, wrapped his arms around her shoulders, and embraced her even tighter than in the dream.
He did not hold back. The strength somewhat took her breath away, but she gave herself into the embrace.
She gave a sobbing breath before speaking.
“It was a terrible dream.”
“What kind of dream was it?”
“You…You were dying.”
“I see, I see. That must’ve been scary. But I’m not gonna die and I’m with you, so don’t worry.”
He gently patted her back and she nodded while attempting to suppress her trembling.
“It was scary. And…”
She was unable to continue because he brought his lips to hers.
She took a breath and pressed toward him even more strongly than in the dream.
There was something she had to silently apologize for. Even if it had been a fake…
…I betrayed him a little.
He suddenly touched her breast. The fact that it was her left breast made her smile bitterly and relax.
“We can’t do this here,” she said after removing her lips. “And we can’t do it now. Sibyl and the others might be in trouble.”
“I see. Did you manage to calm down?”
She thought his comment did not really follow from hers, but she still nodded. She wrapped her arms around his neck again, rested her chin on his shoulder, and took a deep breath.
“I learned something today. Even I have something I’m afraid of.”
In her dream, someone other than her had been hurt.
…What would happen to me if something like that actually happened?
That’s a scary thought, she said in her heart.
“I have something I’m afraid of too,” said Izumo.
“Really? Is it the same as mine?”
“Yeah,” he said while lightly embracing her. “I’m afraid of wasting this perfect mood we’ve got going here. What do you say to that?”
“I say this!!”
She bent backwards and then slammed her knee into him.
Japanese UCAT’s new underground headquarters was a large but enclosed space. It was about three stories tall and one of its walls contained a large screen.
Desks were gathered on the first floor portion and dolls were currently gathered in the center of those desks.
Sibyl wore her white armored uniform while surrounded by people in black maid uniforms and other white armored uniforms. She looked across the people waiting for her to speak.
“American UCAT’s inspector still has not arrived?”
“Yes, sir. We have received no word from the lobby.”
“Testament. Abram and the rest of the field operations group are on standby behind the lobby just in case. The German UCAT and 1st-Gear inspectors have not noticed any of this, correct?”
“Yes, sir. German UCAT’s inspector was offered the ‘extra soupy’ course at the fourth basement beauty salon Transient Beauty. 1st-Gear’s inspector is supposedly preparing a stand for the athletic festival at her school.”
“Testament,” replied Sibyl. “Then please prepare to help the people inside the building evacuate or find shelter.”
Someone then stepped forward. It was a red-haired maid.
“Sibyl-sama, what exactly should we do to prepare for that?”
“Testament. #8, the corridors between posts are separated using a concept space, so do your best to combine them all.”
Sibyl then reached into her pocket and pulled out a remote control for the large screen.
She used it to produce a black screen where T- and L-shaped blocks began to drop down from the top.
“The blocks falling from the top are abstract representations of the corridors. The locations that do not link together well will arrive in order, so do your best to line them up without any gaps. If they are combined well enough to form a full line, they will vanish, but switch out with someone else if they pile up to the top of the screen. Also, if you eliminate four or more lines at once, they will be pushed over to the next person’s screen, so try to use that if you can.”
“I see,” said #8 with a nod.
As the red-haired maid stepped back into the group, Sibyl spoke to them all.
“It is possible the American inspector will not do anything, so be careful not to cause a commotion. In case we must evacuate, please clear the corridors of trash. The corridors are especially bad right now because they are filled with piles of toys and books people have grown tired of after buying them in the summer. Throw them all out.”
“Yes, sir. We sometimes see UCAT Director Ooshiro sleeping in the corridors. What should we do about that?”
“Testament. In that case, be quiet so you do not wake him as you throw him out. He counts as burnable trash.”
“I’m right here!!”
That sudden shout was followed by an arm in a lab coat rising among them all. They all took a step back and Ooshiro walked through the gap to reach Sibyl.
“Sibyl-kun,” he said with a hand on his chin. “What is the meaning of this dangerous planning meeting?”
“We were merely talking about throwing out the unneeded trash.”
“I was not talking about me. I was referring to the American inspector.”
The 3rd automatons began whispering among themselves when they heard that.
“ ‘I was not talking about me’? So he’s aware that he qualifies as trash?”
“That’s why he protested. He knows no shame.”
“Wh-why would you say that kind of thing aloud instead of with your shared memory!?”
“Please calm down, Ooshiro-sama. Conversation helps their work progress more smoothly.”
“You’re just trying to justify these personal attacks against me!!”
Sibyl held out her remote control with a smile and he took it.
“What is this, Sibyl-kun?”
“Testament. Do you understand what your job is now?”
“Of course. To run away.”
“Testament. I assumed a coward would say that. However, you are the leader of Japanese UCAT and are thus needed to handle the arrival of America’s inspector, so please wait here.”
“I’d love to, but my legs will carry me away on their own.”
“Testament. I assumed you would say that. Please press the External Input 3 button.”
He did so and an image appeared on the large screen. It was a game screen with a black background, a line of buildings of four different colors at the bottom, and white lines representing missiles falling down from above.
“Oh, I see.”
Ooshiro used the jog wheel to align the cursor on a missile and shot it down.
“Testament. Well done, Ooshiro-sama. More and more are falling, so please keep it up.”
“Um, Sibyl-kun? What exactly is this?”
“Testament. It is directly linked to a nuclear missile silo belonging to a certain country. If you get game over, a real missile will be fired back at you, so please do your best.”
“Are you pinning me here!?” shouted Ooshiro.
A maid facing the communicator frantically turned around.
“Everyone! We have an intruder! The intruder is currently on the runway and moving this way!”
“Testament, how quickly?”
“Yes, sir.” The maid checked the console. “Slowly. I have determined it to be walking pace. They have also given an identification signal!”
She took a breath.
“It’s American UCAT!”
Everyone straightened up upon hearing that.
Sibyl’s voice tore through the silence and she raised a hand.
“Everyone, please get to work!”
Many voices responded and the maids all turned their backs and scattered.
Sibyl brushed a hand through her hair and joined the flow of people leaving the headquarters.
However, something stopped her: Ooshiro. He spoke up while using the jog wheel.
“Sibyl-kun! Can I ask one thing!? There’s a reward screen if I clear the stage, right!?”
Sibyl nodded with a smile, pulled a new remote control from her pocket, opened the large screen’s option menu, and changed the game’s difficulty to “hardest”.
She ignored the shouting old man and gave a shout of her own.
“Enter Type 3 Defense! Everyone, hurry to your posts!!”
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