Owari no Chronicle:Volume9 Chapter 24

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Chapter 24: Heart of Identity[edit]

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If nothing is correct

But pure things become correct

Is it correct to wish for them?


Fluorescent light filled a small entranceway.

The door was shut and two people stood below that white light: Harakawa and Heo.

They were facing each other.

“Um…”

Heo began to speak and Harakawa listened silently.

Her gaze dropped to his neck but soon rose again.

“It seems the demon appeared again.”

“And it brought us on a trip to Chiba.”

“Sorry about all the trouble.”

“What you’re saying doesn’t follow, Heo Thunderson. Let’s have a proper conversation.”

“Eh?”

She tilted her head and finally looked him in the eye.

“You’re right.”

Her expression softened a bit. It now looked weak and resigned.

Meanwhile, he sighed and placed a hand on the wall.

“Why are you here, Heo Thunderson? You met the group called UCAT, didn’t you?”

During the car ride back home, he had been told about the death of Heo’s great-grandfather.

He had not been given the details, but they had said UCAT would be protecting Heo and ensuring her a place to live in the future. If she wanted anything, they would support her as much as they were able.

So if she said she wanted to run, they would continue to support her as long as she did not stop running.

She’ll have all the freedom she wants.

“Isn’t that just perfect? You’ll live in America where you don’t have to use any weird Japanese and you can do whatever you want. You can be surrounded by people without having to fear anything.”

He said that because he thought it was the best thing for her to hear.

That’s the opposite path from me.

That’s right, he silently complained.

It was best for her if she did not simply give up like he had. And she had been given this blessing because…

“Someone is wishing for your happiness.”

With that, he nodded. He directed it both toward Heo and toward his own heart.

She initially reacted with silence.

“…”

She then lowered her hands from below her neck, lowered her head, and lowered her shoulders with a sigh.

“…”

But even as she hung her head, she smiled with the ends of her eyebrows lowered.

Why…

Harakawa thought to himself.

Why are you giving me that look, Heo Thunderson?

He felt like he knew why, but he had another thought as well: You’re simply afraid of having your environment change again.

Just as people could adapt to unhappiness and accept it as normal, people could adapt to happiness as well.

You should do the latter.

At that point, Harakawa wondered if that was what he had thought while speaking with Ooki earlier.

He did not know.

He had not settled his thoughts at that point.

Even now, he simply thought it was best for Heo if she went along with this and left the country.

“…”

He heard someone sigh.

It was Heo.

She finally opened her downturned mouth.

“H-Harakawa.”

She leaned toward him a bit and gently clenched her hands near her chest.

She then looked up and their gazes met. She tensed her shoulders as if demanding something, but…

“Yes. Don’t worry. I will do my best in my new home.”

Only then did she finally straighten up.

Her lowered eyebrows rose a bit and supported the smile in her eyes.

“So you do your best at opening a bookstore.”

He froze in place when he heard that.

How does she know about that?

Without even thinking, he realized it had to have been his mother.

But by that time, she had lowered her head.

“Thank you very much.”

Before he could say anything, she turned around and opened the door.

The wind blew, the night air entered, and her orange and blue form vanished outside.

He could see outside for just a moment. He saw the woman named Diana waving toward Ooki who left on a bicycle, the black car, and Heo rushing toward it.

“…”

The door closed.

By the time his hand reached the doorknob, he heard the car starting up.

By the time he turned the doorknob, he heard the car leaving to the left.

And so he stopped moving.

All that remained was the air that had grown as motionless as him.


Chilly night air washed over Shinjou.

She was just outside the entrance of IAI Headquarters.

She had left the reference room for a single reason.

“I need to cool my head a little. There’s just been so much that I’m feeling overwhelmed.”

The automatic door into the lobby closed behind her and she sighed when she heard it.

Sibyl had contacted them earlier. Japanese UCAT was fighting back against American UCAT and they had retaken up to the third basement. There had been gunfire in the background and Sibyl’s voice had sounded exhausted but delighted as she had said the following:

“By the time the two of you return, we will definitely have taken it all back. That is our duty as caretakers.”

“Please do,” Sayama had said before ending the call.

Everyone was working hard and, just as Sibyl had said, the fight to retrieve the facility was theirs.

And there was something else Shinjou and Sayama had to do here.

“So we can’t rush this and lose sight of our job.”

She said it aloud to drive it home.

She faced forward. She was just outside the white building’s entrance.

She saw the roundabout in front of the building and a large fountain that was not currently running.

There was light illuminating the large IAI building, but that light seemed to be absorbed by the night, the mountains, and the forest.

She gently spread her arms and walked into the wind that brought the chill of the air to her.

Beyond the fountain, she saw a lawn and then the runway and mountains.

Sayama was currently gathering a few more documents, but after that, they would wait for the periodic report and head out.

“Are we returning so soon?”

I hope everyone is okay.

She looked up into the dark sky and the white IAI building.

It’s so big, she thought before lowering her gaze once more. A few vending machines were located along the building’s wall to the right. They may have been for those who drove to work and they were covered by a canvas roof.

Both to calm herself and as a favor to Sayama who was working down below, she thought it would be nice to buy some drinks.

She turned to the right and approached the machines. She brushed a hand through her hair while making sure not to knock out Mukiti’s flower. The night air entered through her hair and chilled her spine and the back of her head.

The touch of the chilly air helped calm her a little. Or at least she thought it did.

What should I do?

She muttered the question in her heart, but the answer came from her mouth.

“I guess I’ll go to Sakai.”

Once the athletic festival ended, the midterm exams began. After that was the school festival. She would have to go during the preparations for the school festival, but she was worried the others would resent her for that.

She was interested in the preparations for the greatest of Taka-Akita Academy’s bizarre festivals, but some things were more important.

After all, there would be another school festival the following year. Assuming the world still existed in some form or another, that is.

She understood her search for her parents was not actually related to the Leviathan Road. From the perspective of the Leviathan Road, they had made their trip here to pursue Shinjou Kaname as a member of the National Defense Department.

Sayama had also gathered information on Professor Kinugasa for future use.

After confirming his death, their research on Shinjou Kaname was as good as complete.

So searching for his granddaughter is my personal issue.

“I wonder if I can ask Sayama-kun to come along,” she said while stepping up to a vending machine.

She pulled a pink change purse from her pocket and pulled out 120 yen.

However…

“Oh, it’s only 100 yen. That’s a good price.”

She smiled and inserted the 100 yen. She heard the coin fall and the LCD screen next to the coin slot lit up with a message.

“No getting it back now.”

A very bad feeling entered her heart, so Shinjou immediately launched an attack on the coin return lever. But…

“Why isn’t it returning my money?”

She repeated her attack a second and third time before looking at the coin return lever. The bottom of the lever had a warning printed on a silver foil sticker. She read it aloud.

“ ‘This is actually a no-return acceptance lever. Too bad.’ This was a trap!!”

As if reacting to her shout, the LCD screen displayed a new message.

“Don’t worry about it!!”

She reflexively slammed her hand against the machine but only received an aching hand for her trouble.

“Fine then,” she said while lowering her shoulders and checking the drink options starting from the upper left. “Freshly Squeezed Mackerel. My Sweat – Lemon Flavor. Hot Yogurt. Drinkable Cheese. …Is this full of test products?”

“5, 4, 3.”

The LCD screen suddenly began a countdown. Sensing danger, she hesitated for one last moment, realized they were all the same, and frantically slammed her palm against the “random” button.

A slapping sound filled the air, a can could be heard falling through the machine, and it finally came out on the bottom.

She picked up the can.

“Indometacin Tea.”

“Winner!!”

Eh? she wondered as the vending machine lit up in front of her. Smoke blasted from it, it opened up, decorative lights popped out, and a multicolored relay of lights flashed as it played the Warship March.

It then spat out another can. She cried out and managed the catch the can in midair.

“Iced Mitsumame Soda?”

She decided to give that one to Sayama and sighed. But as she lowered her shoulders and looked forward again, she noticed something.

“Why haven’t the lights stopped?”

She saw numbers moving along the LCD screen. Two sevens were lined up next to each other and it was vertically cycling through several numbers to the right. Soon, the speed dropped, another seven came down from the upper right, and…

“Noooo! Don’t get another one!!”

As Shinjou shouted and hit the machine over and over, the seven passed by.

“Ahh.”

Thank goodness, she thought with another sigh.

Her shoulders lowered in relief, but then the seven at the bottom of the screen ended its feint and hopped back up into place. The decorative lights all flashed, the Ride of the Valkyries played as a fanfare, and Shinjou…

“Nwaaaaah!!”

“Winnnnnneeeeeeeeerrrrrrr!!”

“N-no! This isn’t a joke anymore!!”

“Isn’t it great!?”

“No, it isn’t! Why aren’t you listening!? And stop!!”

“No stopping it now!!”

Can after can shot out like a waterfall and piled up at her feet with countless heavy metallic sounds.

She cried out, stepped back, and looked around while trying to figure out what to do.

“A-a trash can! I need a trash can!”

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She held her hands forward and hurriedly looked behind her. That was when she noticed something.

Someone was standing on the edge of the runway past the roundabout and the lawn.

A girl in a black men’s suit stood alone in the night.

Shinjou recognized her.

“Toda Mikoku-san?”


After speaking her name, Shinjou waited for Mikoku to respond.

However, Mikoku said nothing, as if speaking her name was completely natural.

She simply stood there with her bag over her right shoulder.

She’s part of the Army, right?

This was certainly the girl Gyes had described and even drawn a portrait of.

Shinjou wondered what to do and was suspicious of Mikoku’s presence, but then she recalled her own situation. She had no weapons.

However, another thought came to her.

She isn’t a bad person, right?

That may not have been the right thing to think about someone who had defeated one of 3rd-Gear’s Hecatoncheires.

However, she calmed her breathing. Whatever the case, she had to keep the girl from moving and she could only wait for Sayama to come out as she was unarmed.

As she began to move, she thought about buying time and also about communicating.

She picked something off the ground and held it out toward Mikoku.

“U-um, Toda Mikoku-san? Do you want some…Eround Tea? …Why does this can have a picture of me on it!?”

“Is it a region-limited character product?”

“Who made this!? …And why is the answer so obvious!?”

She began to carry the can inside the building to complain to the culprit, but…

“Where are you going, Shinjou Sadagiri?”

Mikoku walked over to her.

Having her name called and the speed of the girl caused Shinjou to shrink back.

She froze in place and Mikoku’s footsteps filled the air as she approached but then stopped.

The two of them came to a stop with the fountain in between them.

And…

“Sorry I kept you waiting, Shinjou-kun. I had Miyako-kun create a philosopher’s stone of a weakened 5th concept. It is a handheld optical stealth concept, so now I can place hidden cameras more easily. Now we only need to wait for Kazami’s report and then return to Tok-…”

The entrance’s automatic door opened and Sayama stepped out with two travel bags.

When he saw the two girls, he stopped and faced Mikoku.

He did not hesitate. His eyes narrowed for just a moment and he turned back to Shinjou the next moment. He then gave an expressionless nod.

“So to sum it up, you won a lot of Eround Tea, didn’t you?”

“No!! Well, actually yes!! But the problem is over there!”

She pointed the hand holding some documents toward the fountain.

“Look! It’s someone from the Army!”


Mikoku watched Shinjou.

Shinjou waved the can of tea in her hand and spoke to Sayama who had exited the building.

“Do you see her!? You do, don’t you!? In a way, this is our first real contact with someone from the Army! You don’t see this every day!”

This is a lot like a scene from that exploration party show on Wednesdays, thought Mikoku. Wasn’t last week’s episode about searching for the cameraman who went on ahead of them into the depths of the unexplored Amazon? Shino was really getting into it, but I did not think they would really find Team Leader Kazami.

Meanwhile, Sayama raised his hands a bit as Shinjou shouted an explanation at him.

“Calm down,” he said while pointing his palms at her. “It is dangerous over there, so come over here.”

“Oh, sure.”

Shinjou turned her back and started toward Sayama.

“Wait,” called Mikoku on reflex.

Shinjou jumped and stopped while Sayama raised his head to look toward Mikoku.

His gaze could only be called sharp as it pointed directly at her. She did not hesitate to accept it head on and she showed no fear as his gaze almost seemed to audibly pierce through her.

“I have something to tell Shinjou.”

“To tell me?”

Shinjou timidly looked over her shoulder, but Mikoku did not turn toward her. Her mind turned focused on her right hand which held her sword and bag. She made sure she could grab the cloth cover and draw the sword at any moment.

However, something stopped her intent to fight: Shinjou’s voice and anxiously lowered eyebrows.

“Why me? And…who are you?”

“Someone who knows a lot that you do not.”

Silence fell.

But Mikoku did not remove her gaze from Sayama. She saw Shinjou stiffen out of the corner of her eye, but she could not focus on her with an enemy present.

But she did notice that Shinjou gently held her own body, lowered the ends of her eyebrows, and opened her mouth.

Mikoku knew more or less what question was coming from Shinjou who had lost her memories.

She will ask if I know about her.

Just as she thought about replying that she did know, the mouth directly in front of her gaze opened.

“Toda Mikoku. Don’t tell me you too are the type that checks on certain things by tugging on them.”

“What? You ‘too’? And tug on what?”

“Waaaah!!”

Shinjou frantically waved her hands and stirred up the air around her. She faced Mikoku with some anger in her expression.

“N-nothing! Don’t let the words of a crazy person fool you!”

“Shinjou-kun, whose side are you on? More importantly, Toda Mikoku. Leave.”

He pointed to the forest behind her.

“Shinjou-kun and I are extremely busy. If you have something to say, make an appointment first. Call IAI and say you wish to speak with the emperor of the universe. That will get you transferred to UCAT’s complaints department.”

“Shinjou, is this boy always like this?”

“He’s usually a lot worse.”

She felt somewhat sympathetic.

How sad, she thought. If only she had someone as normal as me nearby. Then she would not have so much trouble.

And so she spoke with Shinjou still in the corner of her eye.

“Shinjou.” She took in a breath. “Nothing I say to you now will get through to you and it is better if you know nothing. That is why I beg you to take this one thing to heart: could you perhaps leave UCAT while you still know nothing?”

“…”

“All of this… All of this comes down to our fight with UCAT.”

“Wh-why would you say that!? Why do I have to leave?”

Mikoku answered Shinjou’s question without preparing the words ahead of time. She spoke in a dignified voice so the girl could hear.

“Because you are someone who should not be involved in the fighting. This is for the sake of the world’s future.”

That is the role I’m trying to have Shino bear, she thought.

And then she continued.

“The reason for this is only known by us and a few within UCAT. …And it is best if you do not know.”


Sayama watched Mikoku’s face.

Her eyes were sharply narrowed and she pushed back his gaze.

But he spoke up without hesitation.

“Let me ask one thing. Was Shinjou-kun on your side?”

Shinjou’s shoulders trembled at that. If Mikoku answered yes, it would mean Shinjou had belonged to the Army, their enemy.

But Mikoku shook her head.

“No. Shinjou’s parents did not wish for that. Neither did we or UCAT. But I know Shinjou. That is all that matters.” She shrugged. “I am not about to give you any proof, but I do not change gender. I know Shinjou from before she lost her memories, but that is all.”

“I…see.”

Shinjou’s voice spilled to the ground with some disappointment mixed in. She had likely been hoping to find someone else of her same race.

And so Sayama spoke to Mikoku in order to draw out some information to dispel Shinjou’s discouragement.

“I see. In other words, that warning was a personal one removed from our positions as the Army or UCAT.”

“That is a valid way of looking at this.”

“I see. Then…”

This is what that meant.

“To sum up, you are unable to forget Shinjou-kun, you casually approached her in Kurashiki, and you came all this way to see her. You are quite the stalker. …Now, listen carefully.”

He took a breath and pointed at Mikoku.

“Shinjou-kun hates perverts like that. You disgust me.”

A can crashed into his forehead.

He heard the heavy sound of the drink inside and his vision filled with darkness for an instant.

However, the light soon returned and he saw the sky and the can that had bounced off his head.

Hot Eround Tea.

He could not let that fall on the ground, so he recovered in an instant, grabbed the can in midair, opened it, and took a drink. It was delicious and it woke him up. Shinjou was smiling on the printed label. He was glad he had secretly photographed her for this.

“Excellent.”

“S-Sayama-kun? What exactly is ‘excellent’?”

“That is simple, Shinjou-kun. Your warm liquid is so incredibly delicious that-…”

“Don’t say it like that while rubbing your cheek against it!!”

Shinjou shouted at him, but her shoulders drooped in exhaustion and she turned her head to look at Mikoku.

“Thank you for the warning, but I am a member of UCAT.”

“I know that and I have no intention of recruiting you into the Army. But remember this: your parents did not want you to be on either side and you would be honoring their decision if you stopped fighting.”

“Why? Why am I in that kind of position?”

Shinjou’s question filled the night air and she tilted her head toward Mikoku.

“Who were my parents? Do you happen to know Shinjou Yukio?”

“Well…”

Just as Mikoku was trying to decide whether to agree or disagree, Sayama felt a slight wind to his left. The wind was blowing toward Mikoku.

That wind contained the color red.

The red was a women’s suit worn by…

“Gyes-kun!!”


Gyes ran.

She had thought carrying Sayama and Shinjou’s travel bags to the main entrance was a job for the Moirai, but she was glad she had gone through with it without complaining. She had never expected this.

“I have determined I am fortunate to receive this chance for revenge!!”

She shot past Sayama’s right side and then Shinjou’s right side.

The fountain lay between her and the enemy, but she did not hesitate to step over the fountain’s stone edge. Travelling over the water was the quickest route.

She rerouted the same amount of gravitational control used to control one of her swords and opened it below her feet to support her body on the surface of the water.

She kicked off the flat surface of the deactivated fountain.

She charged onward while bending backwards.

Nine swords expanded from the bottom of her suit.

“Ohhh!”

By the time she crossed the fountain and swung her body forward in midair, she was within five meters of Mikoku.

She moved her arms like wings and beat the air with her spread fingers to move ever onward.

The swords crashed toward Mikoku.

One swung toward her head from the upper left, one swung toward her right shoulder from the upper right, one was thrown toward her neck from the upper right, one flew toward the empty air to the left to prevent her from evading, one swept horizontally toward her side from the right, one swung diagonally down toward the hand holding her bag from the left side, one jabbed toward her stomach from the left side, and one jabbed toward her waist from the right side.

Mikoku fell back. That avoided all but the jabs and the throw and she likely planned to draw her sword before those attacks caught up.

And that was exactly what she did.

She took a large leap backwards.

Mikoku showed her skill by throwing her bag forward before drawing the sword.

The jabs to the side and waist were obstructed by the bag, so only the throw to the neck remained.

“…!”

But she swung her head to avoid that last attack.

She stopped falling back and drew her sword.

Gyes was still in midair and she determined Mikoku planned to target her just before she landed.

“You fell for it!”

“!?”

Gyes shouted back at Mikoku’s confused voice.

“How many swords did I attack with? Did you count them!? There were eight!”

She had one left and she drew it from where it was hidden behind her back.

She threw a single-handed strike while leaping forward.

Meanwhile, Mikoku stuck with her counterattack. She did not step back to gain enough space to attack after Gyes landed. She instead stepped forward to fill what gap there was.

Is she that confident in her sword technique!?

A moment later, Gyes smiled.

“I have determined that is the case!”

If this girl was skilled enough drive back Aigaion, she would view Gyes, another of the Hecatoncheires, on the same level.

Having predicted that with high probability, Gyes went in for her true attack.

She tossed her raised sword into the air.

Mikoku frowned and that was exactly what Gyes had predicted would happen.

And while acting in accordance with her predictions, Gyes grabbed the empty air with her right hand.

“Come!”

With those words, something did indeed arrive.

It was a sword, but it was far too large.

A giant blade measuring eight meters appeared in the air.

Holding the hilt and swinging it down was a giant red arm synched with the movements of Gyes’s own arm.

This was Gyes’s god of war.

As soon as she landed, she sank down and slammed her right hand against the ground.

Her automaton palm tore into the asphalt and a spray of asphalt shot into the air. At the same time, the giant blade sliced through the roaring wind as it swung down toward Mikoku.

It was going to hit.

But just before it did, Mikoku did something else.

“…!”

She threw her sword toward Gyes.

When faced with this sudden action, Gyes’s artificial mind chose to evade.

Oh, no!

Her failure had been in not releasing her self-preservation limiter.

She had not been prepared to go down with her enemy and that had resulted in this automatic evasion as a machine.

“!”

Her body tilted to the left and Mikoku’s sword grazed her right cheek and flew behind her.

And the sword wielded by Gyes’s god of war slipped to the left.

It fell as if tearing through the air to Mikoku’s left.

With a great roar, the giant sword tore apart the asphalt.

However, Mikoku still lived. In fact, she was unharmed and still moving.

She first spun her body around, reached into the air, and grabbed one of Gyes’s swords that had previously fallen to the ground. The tremor in the ground from the god of war’s attack had knocked it back into the air.

Her hand began a snapping motion as if to throw the sword toward Gyes. Meanwhile, Gyes was crouching down after landing and she was in the process of releasing all of her gravitational control to prepare for its next use. In short, she could not immediately move.

What have I done!?

That thought was immediately followed by a sudden change to Mikoku’s expression. Her eyes opened wide.

“…!?”

She let go of the sword, raised the lightened hand in front of her, and grabbed something in the air.

“A new enemy!?”

With that shout, she leaped backwards.

She held something in her hand. It was what had stopped the attack against Gyes and caused Mikoku to fall back.

It was a single silver fork. However, it was a promotional anime product, so the handle was pink.

Is that…?

Gyes turned and found two people standing in the entrance. One was Miyako and the other held her arms toward Gyes.

“Moira 1st.”

“I borrowed that from Lady Miyako, but I cannot fire it well on my own.”

The automaton narrowed her eyes in a smile as she spoke and Gyes heard the footsteps of Mikoku falling back even further.

Gyes tried to stand and pursue, but Miyako stopped her.

“Calm down, Gyes. This isn’t someone you can defeat if you rush things. And this is their problem right now.”

Miyako pointed forward but not at Gyes.

She pointed at Sayama and Shinjou.


Mikoku threw away the fork and ran backwards.

The asphalt below her feet turned to grass and then the runway.

She saw Gyes’s god of war vanish and she saw Sayama and Shinjou run around the fountain and next to Gyes.

“What is the Army thinking!?” asked Sayama. “What are you thinking!?”

She could not exactly answer that. What are you asking? she thought, but that seemed funny to her.

She took a breath and showed her teeth in a smile.

“Do you not get it!? Do you understand nothing!? …You’re a lot like your father, Sayama Mikoto, son of Sayama Asagi.”

Those words scored a direct hit.

Sayama’s blank expression broke a bit. He frowned and the look in his eyes grew sharp.

“Why do you know my father’s name?”

“Do you really think I am going to answer that? If you want to know, then pursue the past. Although you might find something that makes you want to stop partway. …But if you can overcome that, then you will see the flow of history that everyone has chosen to ignore!”

She took a breath.

“And Shinjou, let me tell you what I failed to say a moment before. This information could lead to good or bad.”

“Wh-what are you-…?”

“I refer to your parents. They were both members of UCAT.”

She spoke as if throwing the words away, but she saw Shinjou’s eyes open wide.

It was a look of surprise. However, it was a joyous surprise, not a fearful one.

So she is happy to hear her parents were members of UCAT.

She momentarily closed her eyes to think on that fact and she gave herself over to running.

A moment later, she jumped past the runway and toward the forest.

She then heard the roar of something slicing through the air.

Just as Shinjou’s mouth opened to ask a question, something caught Mikoku’s airborne body from the side.

The object snatched her away in midair.

“Alex!”

It was a mechanical dragon.

Previously, the steel color of his mechanical body had been exposed, but he was now colored red, white, and blue. She was surrounded by a barrier of air he held and she shouted down below even as they began to ascend.

“We will next meet on the battlefield!”

Down below, the large white structure grew more distant.

The two people standing before it also grew smaller and the surrounding scenery came into view.

Her field of vision rose and she realized they were rising into the sky.

“Mikoku! Down below!”

Alex spoke while ascending with a roar of wind and Mikoku looked back down.

She searched for something different from before that would make Alex cry out.

“Is that…?”

Someone stood on the roof of the giant white building.

It was a well-built middle-aged gentleman in a white suit. His hair was slicked back and his likeable eyes and mouth were turned toward them. Even though it was night, he made a show of placing a hand over his eyes as he looked up. It was as if he were seeing them off.

“Who is that?”

Mikoku answered Alex without looking away from the man below.

She sat on the mechanical dragon’s back inside the barrier that protected her from the atmospheric pressure.

“He was once one of our enemies. But from what we have seen, he seems to have lost all will to fight.”

She crossed her arms and looked up into the night sky. It felt like her view stretched on forever.

“His name is Izumo Retsu. He is currently IAI’s executive manager, but he was the leader of Japanese UCAT during the Great Kansai Earthquake.”

“I see. More importantly, we must hurry back, Mikoku. Tatsumi has contacted us. Word has reached the harbor that some kind of large object is traveling through the ocean near Tokyo Bay. Most likely, that woman and the automaton who threw the fork at you were on their way to inform that Sayama and Shinjou of the same thing.”

“In that case…”

Alex’s words were brief.

“Tokyo will soon be the site of a battle between a mechanical dragon and the evil organization of UCAT.”


It chose to move.

Its evolution was progressing smoothly and it had developed beyond what could be called necessary. It had used that evolution to overcome the subconscious wariness that came from a past it did not remember.

Even if someone had fought back against it in the past and even if that person had harmed it, it had surpassed all that with its current evolution.

But it also wondered if this sense of superiority was nothing but self-conceit. Was it simply relying on its own predictions and not looking at reality?

But it made a further decision. It used its predictions to their fullest to create the greatest enemy it could imagine and evolved to oppose such an enemy.

When evolving, it had to choose one of two basic types of mechanical dragon.

One was a non-transforming type that could somewhat alter the position of the exterior over its primary framework to create a generic form that could both fly and fight. As the frame did not change shape, it was more durable, but its abilities in flight and combat were lacking as it had elements of both built in.

The other was a fully transforming type that could transform the primary framework and fully transform the exterior to create two distinct forms for flight and combat. As the frame was made to come apart, it was less durable, but it could produce great mobility and attack power. The main problem was the lack of defensive power.

It chose the former.

It had a reason: its giant form. It was large and therefore needed durability to maintain its body. And so it was born as a non-transforming type.

As it evolved, it needed to strengthen its weaponry to handle large enemies and to thicken its armor and strengthen its accelerators to handle smaller enemies that would attack and immediately withdraw.

However, it wondered if it would be defeated and injured using that method. It was the failure of that method that had sent it to the bottom of that water and set its evolution going once more.

It then found another answer.

Its previous evolution had not been wrong. It had simply lacked something.

It wanted to move once it had gathered everything.

“…”

It moved through the ocean.

It moved to fight. It moved for the sake of the people that should have been by its side but were not.

All the while, it wondered where those people had gone.


It was not the humans who first noticed the change.

A large white facility existed in Kanda, a portion of Tokyo’s center. The automatons in the underground facility spotted a single philosopher’s stone reading on the radar.

“Reading detected! At this size, it is almost certainly Black Sun! Activating experimental large-scale concept space creation device!!”

A moment later, a long, shallow V-shaped concept space opened from Tokyo Bay to the Chuo Expressway and from the Chofu Interchange, along National Route 20, and to Okutama.

At the same time, the American UCAT mechanical dragon unit deployed to Tokyo Bay ascended into the sky.

A giant object was already flying into the air above the ocean while surrounded by massive amounts of water.

It was a black mechanical dragon over three hundred meters long.


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