Owari no Chronicle:Volume9 Chapter 25
Chapter 25: Desired Sky
This is fun
It is so much fun here
The blue mechanical dragons of American UCAT sought battle over Tokyo Bay.
Six of the twelve ascended and they formed three-craft units named A and B. Units C and D where in charge of attacking from the surface.
When a dark form entered the nighttime bay from the east, Unit A approached from the northern sky and Unit B from an arc skimming just above the southern water’s surface.
The large black mechanical dragon was moving slowly. It travelled west at an altitude of approximately five hundred meters.
The commander of Unit A spoke up while approaching it from the upper left.
His voice did not travel over electromagnetic radio. To lessen the burden on the large-scale concept space creation device in Kanda, the concept space contained no concept allowing electromagnetic communication.
Kanda was also developing a concept space communication device which would allow the use of radios even with all sorts of concept jamming in effect, but it was still in the experimental phase.
For that reason, they used optical radios that transmitted signals using the rapid flashing of small lights.
And so the flying mechanical dragons spoke with those voices of light.
While Unit A was approaching from the upper left, Unit B was approaching from the lower right and their commander spoke up in response.
The six dragons had transformed into their aircraft forms and they twisted toward the black dragon in groups of three.
Unit A flew from the upper left to lower right of the large black mechanical dragon.
Unit B flew from the lower right to the upper left.
A moment later, Units C and D launched a preemptive strike from the harbor. To support Units A and B’s attack, they were drawing the black dragon’s attention just before the attack.
The simultaneous attacks sounded like a single explosive noise.
The ground unit had also prepared some tanks.
The six mechanical dragons on the surface fired their dragon cannons from their mouths and the tanks fired several hundred concept-modified steel shells into the air.
The clear sound of impact was joined by overlapping shockwaves. Armor-piercing, heat piercing, and other special concept shells struck the black dragon’s nose and shoulders.
A continuous roar filled the air and explosions lit the sky.
That was when Units A and B crossed paths.
The unmoving lights of concept space Tokyo colored their intersection.
They flipped past each other at about six hundred meters in front of the large black mechanical dragon.
The commanders fired their dragon cannons, the second-in-commands fired their air-to-surface missiles and let inertia carry them, and the third member of both units primarily scanned everything around them to pick up the effects of all the attacks in real time.
By the time the intersecting attack ended, the six blue dragons had passed by the black one.
The three members of Unit A scattered toward the ocean below and the three members of Unit B scattered into the sky above. They flew in swift arcs to avoid being attacked and they gathered into groups of three once more.
While they once more began to pursue the black dragon, Unit A’s commander spoke up.
“How’s the enemy?”
He looked to the black mechanical dragon that flew through the sky with explosive flames wrapped around it like a cloud.
“Slight damage to the armor. An invisible defensive field surrounding it deflected even the dragon cann-…”
The voice coming from Unit A’s third member vanished.
Everyone saw something red in the position his dragon had been.
Due to their relative speed, that something seemed to be slowly tumbling and breaking to pieces. It was the wreckage of a blue mechanical dragon and the flames of an explosion.
It had been hit by some attack none of them had seen.
And the enemy had targeted the third member which had not attacked it.
They all felt a chill and realized something.
A wild beast would always attack the weakest prey first.
And a wild beast would make an example of the weak to rule over the others.
Unit A’s commander made a split-second decision and shouted out.
“Unit B, break! You too, ground unit! The enemy might be scanning the data from our attacks! Get away from the weapons that had the least effect!”
The people he was addressing responded.
And they did so with bright explosions.
One appeared in the sky and eleven rose up from the wharf in the distance.
Those were the third member of Unit B and the tanks on the wharf.
Smoke rose while wrapped in flames, but not so much as a scream was heard. When using electromagnetic communications, destruction brought static, but here there was only the fire.
But then each unit commander received a communication. It was the last information the third members of Units A and B had managed to get off as they broke apart and sank. That information gave the identity of the enemy attack.
That was something that should not exist. It was an optical weapon that could not be seen at night.
The black mechanical dragon had fired from all of the cannons hidden over its body. It had most likely fired from its mouth as well.
And then it accelerated. Its body shrank down for an instant and it extended in the next instant.
It let out a cry and moved forward to the harbor where more weak prey was gathered.
The remnants of Units A and B merged into a single four-craft unit and pursued the black dragon.
While facing the burning harbor, that black dragon used its acceleration to shake off the flames surrounding it.
Once it was visible again, Unit B’s second-in-command described what he saw.
He gasped as he said it, but Unit B’s commander replied.
“No. Our third told us there was light damage to the armor and that’s more than anyone managed sixty years ago. We don’t know how much it can accelerate, but we do know we can draw its attention and damage it.”
Lights flew up from within the flames on the harbor.
They belonged to the mechanical dragons of Units C and D as they drew arcs through the sky on a direct path to the enemy.
But all of the blue dragons saw the black one lower its head a little while still raising its speed.
Its dragon cannon fired from its mouth like a waterfall of black light.
But it was not targeting the mechanical dragons that were arriving from the harbor.
“Damn that thing!!”
The attack swept across the harbor in an instant.
It pierced through the moored cargo ships being used as barricades like they were made of paper.
The black light roasted all the equipment, weapons, and everything else prepared on the wharf and the impact blasted them into the sky.
The sound of spraying water rushed from left to right.
And it was after a slight delay that the explosions and destruction from shockwaves arrived.
That too swept from left to right while blasting rubble, wreckage, and pillars of water into the sky.
The pillars of destruction easily reached three hundred meters. Afterwards, the cars from the cargo ships and fifty meter square warehouse roofs poured down like rain.
Beyond all the damage, no cover remained. There was only a thick sea of tall flames.
And the city was visible past those flames. It was empty as this was inside the concept space, but that nightscape had been created by human hands.
The black mechanical dragon accelerated toward those nighttime lights.
As it continued on, the blue mechanical dragons pursued and Unit A’s commander transformed. The legs narrowed its wings, the head extended out, and the entire body grew longer and more slender.
“All units, transform into high-speed cruising form and continue the mission. Pursue the-…”
He changed his wording.
“Shoot down the enemy.”
Movement filled an underground space.
A white corridor had the characters B2F on the wall.
This was the underground portion of Japanese UCAT. The corridor ended at a large explosion-resistant door which said “New Headquarters” in black, block letters.
However, the door was opened, so those two words were split to the left and right.
Inside that place which functioned as the new center of Japanese UCAT, a voice proclaimed what was occurring there. The Japanese voice sounded exhausted and out of breath.
“Is this the final battle!?”
With that, gunshots raced across the room. Those inside the headquarters wore blue armored uniforms and those rushing inside wore white uniforms. A few of each were knocked aside by the gunfire, but the remaining ones chose a clash.
The white fired and continued running while the blue returned fire.
None of them evaded.
“You idiots!” shouted the middle-aged commander at the head of the white group. He spoke in English. “We intercepted your optical transmissions, so we know Black Sun has appeared in Tokyo Bay!”
He received a response in Japanese.
The American UCAT commander shouted back while firing a submachine gun from the top-level terrace.
“Our job is to protect this place no matter what happens! If you don’t like that, then change it!”
“If you understand that much, then prepare yourselves!”
The two of them ran toward each other, faced each other, and prepared their weapons. They then shouted a single word in unison.
They both fired their submachine guns one last time.
They were only three meters apart and gunfire filled the air as they simultaneously pulled the trigger at such close range.
The man from Japanese UCAT held his gun in his right hand and covered his face with his left. The bullets were deflected by his elbow and gouged into the ceiling behind him.
However, the man from American UCAT did not. He tried to raise his armored arm to protect himself, but he found it would not move.
He checked and saw his uniform’s actuator had been warped from the previous gunfire.
At first, he frowned at the unexpected turn of events, but he instantly realized the bullets flying toward the center of his chest had some kind of concept effect.
Once he realized that, he smiled.
He showed his teeth of as if to say this was just perfect.
“Is being this naïve your way of doing things, you yellow apes!? But I will praise you for this!”
He prepared himself to be hit and closed his eyes.
But in that instant, a female voice reached him.
“I have determined that is enough.”
A hand swept in front of the bullets and took the hit in his place.
The sound of something cracking brought everyone to a stop, but the owner of the arm moved their hand.
“This is not a problem. I can move it with my gravitational control.”
When she brought her hand to her chest and bowed, someone muttered her name.
“Testament. I decided to intrude a bit as I owe a debt to American UCAT.”
“Owe a debt? But thanks to the automatons’ shared memory, I’d heard they destroyed you.”
The commander lowered his submachine gun that was out of ammunition and frowned. Meanwhile, #8 shook her head while wearing the shirt and jeans that American UCAT had given her.
“No, unfortunately. After I sent the identity of Colonel Odor’s technique over the shared memory, I entered sleep mode, but after that…”
She looked across everyone and showed off her arm with the bullets embedded in it.
“It seems Colonel Odor caught me as I fell.”
“Then you saved him because…?”
“Testament. I command the automatons, so I saved the life of someone on a similar level. However, this body is only the one I had left in the warehouse, so we are now even. If you wish to enjoy the rest of the battle, please do. In that case, I will work to serve all of you.”
She took a breath.
“Otherwise, please return to your normal jobs. And in that case, I will still provide my assistance. That is my duty as an automaton.”
The battle above Tokyo had already shifted about twenty kilometers back from the front line at Tokyo Bay.
The black mechanical dragon travelled along the concept space corridor continuing to the west.
It may have realized that was the shortest path, it may have thought nothing constituted an obstacle for it, and it may have been able to smash through any wall if it slammed into it, but it chose to simply hurry onward.
The black dragon’s target was the Concept Core inside the Vesper Cannon located at Okutama.
That was the power of its world and it flew based on a sense of smell that resembled a homing instinct.
It simply continued west along the path formed by the concept space corridor.
Pursuing its giant form were the blue mechanical dragons.
Those blue dragons were all less than a tenth the size of the black one. While the black one calmly used its wings to accelerate, the blue ones narrowed their bodies and sliced through the air to pursue.
The number of blue dragons had fallen.
There were only five now.
Unit C had been completely wiped out, Units A and B had their commander and second-in-command, and Unit D only had its second-in-command. Even though those five remained, none of them was undamaged.
However, the same could be said of the black dragon.
Its armor was cracked or even damaged in places.
Unit C had done that damage. Near the intersection of the Chuo Expressway and the Inner Circular Route that made a circuit of Tokyo’s city center, Unit C had made an attack while using the raised highway of the Shinjuku region as cover.
The result could be seen in the present situation.
The black dragon’s speed had not dropped. In fact, it had risen, as if to say its prey was close.
The pursuing blue dragons flew below the dark sky and above the abandoned expressway.
Among them, Unit D’s second-in-command spoke.
“Dammit. Damage to the transformation structure is keeping me from deploying my cannon. If only we could have closed off the end of concept space, we could have focused our attacks on it.”
“We can’t do that,” replied Unit A’s commander. “If it managed to break through the wall and into the real world, it would spread chaos across the globe. We need to use the time and distance given by this long concept space to finish it off while it’s drawn by the bait.”
“D2, testament. You can withdraw. …Everyone else, continue.”
With that, Unit A’s commander, A1, accelerated at the head of the blue group.
“We will now begin stage two of Operation Thunder Dragon.”
As they flew above the expressway, the land near Chofu lay below them.
They saw factories and paddy fields. The collection of lights to the southwest was the area around Keio Chofu Station. A few department stores and buildings were gathered there, so the level ground contained lights and the shadows of structures.
A large area of shadow was located near there.
That was Chofu Airport.
The black mechanical dragon cut past that light and shadow at a height of six hundred meters.
One of the blue mechanical dragons had left, so four remained: A1, A2, B1, and B2.
A1 and B1, the two commanders, flew up into the sky on the left and right. And…
“Hey,” said B1 to A1. “Before entering the concept space, you saw the footage from Yokota, right? Y’know, of the great-granddaughter of that past hero.”
“Yeah, the girl the colonel is protecting. The one who’s been called demon possessed for so long.”
“Will we really be able to tell her she doesn’t need to worry about that anymore?”
“Don’t worry,” replied A1. “The colonel may be scary, but he was worried about us, remember? And we said to leave the front line to us. If we can say that to someone like him, there’s no way we can’t do the same with a girl.”
As they spoke, the two dragons flew in two arcs to reach the sky above either side of the black dragon.
The black dragon then shook slightly as the cannons across its body opened.
That was when light struck it from behind.
A2 had remained behind and fired its dragon cannon.
However, the attack from behind was blocked by the black dragon’s defensive field and armor.
The light broke and scattered, but the black dragon was slowed ever so slightly.
A voice filled their cockpits. It was A1’s voice.
“Transfer all data control to B2. We need to focus on piloting.”
With those words, A1 and B1 shot toward the black mechanical dragon from above.
A1 did not transform. While still in high-speed cruising form, it flew toward the black mechanical dragon’s back as if dropping down headfirst.
The roar of wind enveloped the craft and it bent and creaked under the stress.
However, A1 ignored that and accelerated toward the center of the dorsal fin-like armor on the black dragon’s back.
In that instant, the black dragon opened up its back.
It revealed a series of cannons. Just as the records from sixty years ago described, sixty-four holes opened on its back as the giant muzzles of cannons.
Black light was already gathering inside them.
In the very instant before they fired, A1 let out a shout.
With that, two types of light appeared.
One was the black light fired from the black dragon’s back.
The other came from a completely different direction.
In the darkness to the southwest, a tracer round flew from the ground at the Chofu Airport.
The light of the shell revealed a group of ground vehicles including tanks.
The shell struck first.
Light and noise covered the black mechanical dragon’s left side and it gave a cry.
It had opened the armor on its back and the armor panels it had moved out of the way were folded up in a number of places on its back. That meant it could not bend its body to escape the damage.
A creaking sound filled the sky and both A1 and B1 took control of themselves.
On their current path, the black light rising from below would pierce through them, so they slipped aside as if moving from the black dragon’s back and to its sides. They then transformed to normal flight form and immediately continued on to combat form.
While transforming, the frame, armor, and spread limbs received the full force of the pressure from the air.
The air slammed into their underside with a sound much like cloth being struck.
The two mechanical dragons used the recoil and air resistance to twist around. They pointed their heads down as if circling around the black dragon on either side.
Like that, they managed to evade the barrage of black light rising toward them.
And they immediately dropped down and really did slip past the black dragon on the left and right.
They continued down toward the expressway flowing by down below.
The black barrage they had evaded curved around in the sky above and pursued them down below.
The black attack split into thirty-two shots on either side and rapidly closed in on the two dragons.
But the dragons hurried down to escape them.
To support them, a second shell from the southwest struck the black dragon in the face.
A roar filled the air and flames rose from the hit, but…
A dragon cannon shot from the black dragon’s mouth and to the land in the southwest.
It hit and the straight line swept across the dark airport.
With the sound of distant thunder, the formation of combat vehicles was scattered by explosive flames.
All of it was destroyed beyond recognition.
But despite that destruction, A1 had successfully avoided the attack after it.
It slipped past the black light pursuing from overhead and reached the asphalt rushing past at high speed.
Just before colliding with the ground, A1 spread its combat form limbs and slammed itself into the expressway.
The metal smashed the asphalt and the great inertia of its speed caused the blue dragon to slip forward with sounds of destruction.
All of the cockpit’s consoles immediately turned red because the damage to every part of its body quickly entered the red zone. It was surprising that a transforming mechanical dragon had lasted even this long.
“This isn’t over yet!”
A1 continued to move. It forced its body up, which broke its front, right leg.
Echoing destruction filled the air, the dragon tilted upwards, and it faced straight up.
Just before taking that standing pose, A1’s nose targeted the black mechanical dragon’s belly.
And it transformed.
It shifted to normal flight form, purged the parts that did not survive the process, and threw all of its strength into acceleration.
It floated up for an instant before beginning to sink back down under its weight, but then…
The blue dragon slipped past the black barrage coming from overhead and forced itself to ascend.
Its front, right leg fell off and one shot of black light smashed the secondary cannon on its shoulder.
However, it did not stop.
It shot past the black dragon’s left side and circled around into the sky.
It twisted around and pointed down.
The black mechanical dragon’s back lay there. The series of cannons there contained no light after having fired the previous barrage and the armor had been removed to expose those cannons.
Light was gathering in the blue mechanical dragon’s mouth.
But even with this dragon cannon, the enemy’s defensive field meant a straight-on shot was needed.
And so A1 made a half rotation to point its head straight down.
It made a single downward acceleration because it was unlikely it could withstand any more than that given its level of damage.
The black dragon responded by slowly gathering black light in those cannons again and by opening a few new areas of armor. Small cannons jutted out to fire back at the blue dragon.
However, something else did not allow that counterattack.
To interrupt the black dragon’s preparations to fire, a great impact shook the entire dragon and caused it to float up a bit.
Something had crashed into it from below: B1.
A1 could not see from its location, but B1 had likely collided with the black dragon’s belly and was now clinging to it. It then began tearing into the armor panels with its legs.
B1 roared and white light sprayed from the black dragon’s belly.
B1 had fired at point blank range.
The black dragon clearly twisted its body, let out a cry, and shook its wings.
A moment later, a few colors other than white spread from its belly: red and black.
The mixture formed explosive flames of destruction.
B1’s roar and white light had vanished and it went without saying what had become of them.
However, A1 did not hesitate.
While facing downwards, it accelerated into a power dive that far outdid gravitational acceleration.
A disturbance came over A1’s movement. It shook and strayed a bit from its downward path.
That was when it saw what remained in the sky behind it where A2 and B2 should have been.
“Were they shot down!?”
Only two trails of smoke remained in the dark sky there. The wreckage was likely on the expressway far behind.
The shaking of its body had come from the loss of B2 which had been handling its central control. Inside A1’s cockpit, Unit A’s commander switched over to full manual control. That meant he could not use the targeting system, but…
“I can aim by sight!”
With that shout, he finished switching everything over.
However, the slight time lag proved fatal. The lessened acceleration had allowed black light to gather in the cannons down below. They were not fully charged yet, but it was enough to fire.
As if to drown out his shout, the black barrage rose with the density of a wall.
He would be shot down.
But in that instant, another blue form descended next to A1 at even greater speed.
“D2!? I ordered you to withdraw!”
“Well, you see, the damage to my craft’s transformation structure has me stuck in high-speed cruising form.”
The man continued speaking before he could be stopped.
“Go on ahead. …And make sure you and the others get the praise of that demon-possessed girl.”
The pointed front end of the blue mechanical dragon designated D2 charged into the black barrage.
It was less like a direct hit and more like an inevitable strike that destroyed D2.
The blue dragon broke apart and its pieces scattered everywhere, but it still created a path. There was now an empty gap in the wall of black.
D2 then crashed into the cannons on the black dragon’s back.
In the same way, A1 charged through the opened path in the barrage.
The black mechanical dragon’s back lay directly before it.
The black light was gone and D2’s collision had opened a hole in the cannons.
The black dragon’s internal framework and steel moving parts were visible.
That was A1’s target.
It transformed in an instant. In combat form, it accelerated toward the black dragon’s back despite its missing front, right leg. Just before hitting, it fired a full blast of its dragon cannon.
And it collided with the larger dragon’s back.
A flower bloomed in the sky near the Chofu Interchange on the Chuo Expressway.
It was a giant red flower with a core measuring over three hundred meters.
Its petals were made from explosive flames and the sound of its blooming sounded like a bestial cry.
That flower bloomed in the night sky, but it soon scattered.
Seeds trailed flames and flew through the sky as the flower scattered, but those seeds were the pieces of a black mechanical dragon. Giant pieces of framework and armor fell to the earth and smaller pieces sliced through the wind and scattered everywhere.
The great rumbling arrived later. One great roar acted as proof of the destruction and a chain of scattering fireworks sounds followed.
Once the wind swept the smoke from the air, only one thing remained: the lingering reverberation of destruction.
Nothing concrete remained.
The black mechanical dragon had been destroyed.
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