Owari no Chronicle:Volume9 Chapter 33
Chapter 33: Announcement of Acceleration
To not recognize that which was lost
To recognize that which was lost
To discover which is stronger
At 9:41 PM, several small enemy craft were sent ahead to Japanese UCAT in the mountains of Okutama where the lights of the city center could be seen to the east.
Those small craft tore quickly enough through the eastern sky to call their approach “sudden”.
But instead of showing themselves, they used their optical camouflage concept.
That left their visual form unclear and left only the sound and movements of the wind to indicate their presence as they flew straight down toward UCAT’s runway.
Six roars and four times as many sprays of broken asphalt filled the air. Their weight and momentum tore up the asphalt as they slid across it, but they stopped about halfway down the runway.
Still invisible, only their footprints appeared.
A cannon sat on a pallet in front of the white building at the end of the runway.
All of the footprints turned toward the motionless blue cannon and the leading set took a step toward it.
The asphalt broke and earth trembled.
In that instant, an old man ran out of the southern forest next to the runway.
He spread his lab coat as he ran onto the runway and the words “Manly Spirit” were written in ink on the inside.
He raised his thumb toward all of the invisible enemies and spun around.
“Ha ha ha! Well done making it this far! But your luck ran out the moment I showed up!”
He pointed randomly into empty air as a substitute for pointing at the invisible enemies.
“Get them, everyone!!”
His words reverberated across the runway, but that was all.
The old man fell silent while still pointing into empty air. He waited for some kind of response, but tilted his head after a few seconds.
He pulled back his pointing hand, stared at it, pointed again, and looked around him as he spoke again.
He looked around yet again but still saw nothing.
He checked in the forest behind him, but there was no one there.
He peered deep into the forest with a puzzled look and he crouched down to peer even deeper. He turned to the runway as a feint and quickly turned back around, but still saw no one.
“How strange,” he said while still looking into the forest.
Then something touched the tip of his extended pointer finger.
“Oh, there you are,” he said with a smile.
But once he faced forward again, there was still nothing there.
And yet his finger was touching something. It was touching something invisible.
He gently poked what existed in that seemingly empty air.
“Oh, you’re hiding. …Don’t. Be. So. Shy!”
His final word rose to a shout and he turned around and began to run.
He drew out his full strength from the very first step.
A moment later, a great pressure of air quickly began to run after the fleeing old man.
They raced onward.
The “manly spirit” old man ran out ahead with a great rumbling and smashing of asphalt pursuing him down the runway. He tested out a few different running styles and settled on an intense and girly style.
His shout reached the forest and finally something began to move.
A group of white and blue burst from the northern forest on the opposite side of the runway.
At the lead was a boy in a white armored uniform.
“The enemy fell for our ‘natural’ decoy! Listen! Blow them away without worrying about the decoy!!”
The boy yelled instructions, ran onto the runway, raised his left hand, and looked up into the sky.
Gunfire filled the air and direct attacks continued after that.
Light exploded on the runway.
Light weapons, heavy weapons, and other projectile weapons struck the invisible enemy from the right using light, explosions, and even large slashes.
The explosive pressure of the direct hits shook the air, the forest, and the sky.
And those armed with close-range weapons charged directly into the blast.
A sword unit led by a boy with a large white sword and a reinforced armor unit from American UCAT both charged right in. They practically slammed their entire bodies into the right sides of the small mechanical dragons that had explosive blasts rising from them.
The attacks hit with countless sounds much like ringing bells.
Fireworks scattered and the colliding force had nowhere to go but up into the sky.
Amid the lingering light of the attacks, the small black dragons’ optical camouflage concept deactivated. They could no longer afford to use any output on that.
They sank down against the attacks from the north and thus from their right and they prepared themselves to fight.
An instant later, they had taken the stance to fire their secondary cannons and swipe with their claws.
But that was when all of those who had approached for close-range attacks took the exact same action: they ducked down.
The small black dragons saw that the firing unit was already preparing to fire again from the forest to their right.
Two girls in white armored uniforms stood in the center of that firing unit. The one with short hair held a white cannon that resembled a spear and the one with long hair rested a cannon almost the size of her body on her shoulder.
“Gather your will power!!”
The two blasts rivalled a dragon cannon and they were joined by the rest of the firing unit’s attacks.
“Begin the primary attack!!”
By the time that was over, the boy in command gave a shout and a powerful attack came from the sky.
It took the form of several dragons and a few giants.
There were two giants: a black one and a red one. The black one wielded a sword in both arms while the red one had no shoulders and instead raised six swords. The dragons descending around them were all blue.
They fell directly toward the small black mechanical dragons that had lost control as they tilted to the left.
Giant blades were swung down and the lights of dragon cannons were fired straight down.
The six black dragons cried out and a great rumbling filled the air.
But within it all, the boy in command did not even look to the enemy.
He alone was not looking at the enemy before his eyes.
He instead turned east as an old man ran up behind him.
“M-Mikoto-kun! Deceiving the elderly is wrong! Are you even listening!?”
“I am not, so do not worry.”
The boy even ignored the explosions, light, and wind of the battle as he looked east.
“The second wave is coming!” His voice cut through the others’ cheers. “Sibyl-kun! How close is Black Sun!?”
A girl with a peaceful expression stepped from the forest with a cell phone between her head and shoulder and a laptop on one hand.
“Black Sun is currently travelling above Haijima and he will arrive in another twenty minutes,” she said. “Also, Sayama-sama, the mechanical dragon of unknown affiliation I reported on earlier is eliminating Black Sun’s child craft while approaching Tachikawa.”
“Unknown affiliation, you say? Let me take care of that.”
He pulled out his cellphone and pressed a button. After a moment, a voice came from it.
“Who is this!? I’m kind of busy right now!”
“I will try to make this as polite as I can, but may I ask a question, you bastard? Japan or America? Choose one.”
“Japan of course! That’s where I live!”
The call suddenly ended and Sayama muttered “what an impatient person” before addressing Sibyl.
“The affiliation of the mechanical dragon is up to Heo Thunderson, but her protector seems to side with Japan.”
“W-wait! I cannot approve of that argument!”
A middle-aged foreigner in glasses cut through the group of blue armored uniforms, but Sayama spoke back to him.
“It is all up to her, Roger-kun. But…” He gave an exasperated sigh. “I cannot believe she would choose to fight when she can simply quit. This will only wear her out.”
Despite his words, he had a smile on his lips as he looked back up into the eastern sky.
A small disturbance of air could be seen along with the lights of Tokyo.
That was the enemy’s second wave and Sayama slowly raised his left hand while staring at it.
A total of eight disturbances could be seen in the eastern sky.
Everyone there prepared for a fight when they saw them, but Sayama spoke calmly as he stood in front of them all.
“Listen, everyone. The conclusion awaits.”
They all quietly nodded and Sayama continued with his back to that motion and sound.
“We have seen the past and solved the mysteries of the present. And now a girl who represents our world is making her way between a human who has forgotton he is human and a machine that has forgotton himself.” He took a breath. “So what is it we should do? Protect her? Cry for the dragon who cared for his people enough to become a villain? Or simply watch over this battle? What do you say!?”
He turned around and all of the white, blue, and others gave their answers.
They all stomped one foot into the ground and shook their heads.
Someone gave their answer.
“We are the power to end all conflict.”
“We are the spirit to brighten all futures.”
“We are those who learn of all grudges yet continue forward.”
“Yes,” replied Sayama.
He looked to Shinjou, Kazami, Izumo, the combined form of Hiba and Mikage, and to all the others with great power and spirit.
“I am the one who does not hesitate to advance into any and all ill will!”
“Let me say it here: the surname Sayama indicates a villain! And let me say this as well: we will save this caring villain and arrive in the same place as that girl and the others!”
They all nodded and Sayama continued.
“Our duty here is to protect her and drag all the lost memories back into reality!” he shouted. “Listen, everyone. Light the beacon of the showdown and teach this caring villain that this battle is not for those that were lost! Teach him it is for those who will move forward and gain more from here on! Hit him with your fireworks to teach him that we are the bearers of reality and that everything has not come to a stop!! Now, everyone!”
He took a breath.
“Where is your answer!?”
Both those that were human and those that were not replied with that binding word.
And Sayama used that as a stepping stone for his next loud words. He swung down his left arm and looked to the disturbances of air approaching in the eastern sky.
Thunder Fellow flew toward the sky above the north entrance of Tachikawa Station.
The station building stood eight stories from the surface and stretched from east to west.
The north entrance had a large bus roundabout with a terrace and those were surrounded by the city’s buildings.
When arriving from Kunitachi to the east, the only paths away were the roads stretching north and west from the roundabout.
The northern road had four lanes, but the ninety degree right turn would be impossible at their speed.
The western road continued straight on, but it was a narrow road with only two lanes. Also, the multi-tenant buildings lining that road on either side created a canyon, but the canyon gently curved to the northwest which prevented them from seeing what lay ahead.
Flying along the roads in front of Tachikawa Station’s north entrance would mean taking that unknown western route, but Thunder Fellow did so regardless.
He had decided that travelling through the buildings would make them harder to detect from the air. And if the enemy did not aimlessly overlook them, this would give them more chances to fight back.
Lastly, Harakawa was the pilot and he of course knew the streets of Tachikawa.
That was why Heo left the decision in Harakawa’s hands and Thunder Fellow accepted her eagerness.
The blue and white mechanical dragon used all of its current power to soar toward the roundabout north of the station.
Its great speed naturally created a shockwave. The side of the parking deck attached to the eastern end of the station was blown away and the panels making up its walls flew through the air.
The windows of the opposite multi-tenant building burst from a strike to the side and the glass shards and tenants’ counters and chairs were blasted into the air.
As Thunder Fellow continued past all that, three small mechanical dragons caught up overhead. They took steep dives to make up for their unsufficient acceleration using the speed of their fall and they tried to shoot the blue and white dragon’s back.
However, Thunder Fellow avoided the black light by moving further down.
He was approaching the large terrace covering the roundabout.
He was only about forty meters to the north entrance and terrace, which would take approximately 0.1 seconds to travel at the speed of sound.
The leading two black dragons moved toward each other, tilted a bit so their undersides faced each other, and chose to pass over the terrace.
Thunder Fellow, on the other hand, could only continue straight due to the enemy up above. The last black dragon calmly remained behind to finish him off and dragon cannon light began to gather in its mouth.
His blue and white body was about to crash into the side of the terrace, but just before he did, he lowered even further.
He chose the path below the five meter ceiling of the terrace.
He folded up his tail that functioned like an airplane’s tail, pulled up his legs that were used for landing, and launched himself into the darkness below the terrace.
The wind roared and the pursuing dragon missed its time to ascend.
The black dragon collided with the terrace and embedded itself deep in the metal floor.
The intense sound of impact shook the air and the inertial force lifted the terrace a little.
Ultimately, the black dragon’s body was sliced in two.
The crushed top and bottom halves of its body shot above and below the terrace and its various components and oil were thrown into the air.
The two small dragons pursuing from above the terrace did not turn around.
In only an instant, black light wrapped around the secondary cannons at the base of their front legs. They moved to either side of the pillar in the center of the terrace and they tilted away from each other to view what lay below.
They intended to attack the blue and white dragon the instant it left the terrace.
And after what felt like only a few moments even to their mechanical dragon senses, the time came.
Something flew out from below the west side of the terrace and the two small black dragons fired their secondary cannons on it from either side.
As they continued to fly toward the narrow western road, they watched the destruction of their target.
They both scored direct hits.
Four blasts of black light instantly exploded as if letting out a scream. The explosion struck the ground, bounced back up, and launched their target high into the sky.
The black dragons confirmed its destruction.
But at the same time, they realized they had fired on the wreckage of their comrade.
It was the bottom half of the small black dragon that had been bisected by the terrace.
The blue and white dragon had sent the wreckage ahead of him below the terrace. He had likely thrown it with his gravitational control.
The small dragons momentarily stopped once they realized the truth and that was when something shot out down below them.
It was the blue and white dragon.
Thunder Fellow had drawn his swords. He flew as if running through empty air and let loose his acceleration while piercing the small dragon on the left as if using iai.
The two swords broke through both lungs of the small dragon that was even larger than him.
And he did not stop here.
He accelerated with his enemy still held in place by the swords.
Both of them had tilted ninety degrees to the left, but Thunder Fellow let his acceleration do the talking and chose to exit the roundabout from the west while carrying the black dragon with him.
That took him to the canyon of buildings, but he did not care.
He brought himself and the captured dragon toward the southern buildings, staring with the Daiichi department store next to the station building. He moved in at a shallow diagonal angle that would scrape against the front of the building.
He collided and the expected sound of destruction reverberated along the road.
The manmade stone and glass making up the building greeted the dragon with the sound of everything scattering. The contents of the large bookstore, model shop, and other tenants were thrown into the air, but the dragon maintained his speed with more acceleration and the force of his inertia.
Thunder Fellow used the forty meter black mechanical dragon as a surfboard to slip across the side of the buildings. The gentle corner taking the canyon of buildings to the northwest acted like a rising jump for him. He ignited his afterburners and rode the wave of destruction with the screams of the surfboard as his background music.
The one surviving black dragon fired as it approached the corridor, but it was too late. Most of its shots hit the wreckage of the buildings or the black dragon being used as a surfboard.
Thunder Fellow continued to ride the largest wave of destruction of that long autumn night and of the entire year.
But soon, a temporary break in the buildings arrived. He was approaching an intersection.
To jump over that gap, he withdrew his swords.
And he kicked off the surfboard and into the air.
The black board had already been mostly destroyed by its comrade’s attacks, but as soon as it shot out into the quick gap of the intersection, it crashed into the building on the other side.
After a rumble filled with the sound of shattering glass, the small black dragon exploded.
And that was all.
Thunder Fellow had already jumped to the center of the corridor using his kick off the dragon.
That sharply angled jump brought him to the side of the last black dragon that had accelerated to catch up.
And he had not put away his swords.
The two light swords easily sliced the black armor in two.
He had won, but in that instant, he quickly broke away from the black mechanical dragon.
An instant later, black light pierced into the back of that dragon and out the front.
The instantaneous explosive blast pushed Thunder Fellow onwards and he saw a formation of black dragons pursuing him from behind.
He accelerated while emitting a groaning sound that resembled grinding one’s teeth.
More attacks arrived from behind and he began to hear the windy sound of the enemy’s approach.
The sounds and attacks of a literal army slowly grew closer, but…
A voice reached him from the roof of the multi-tenant building at the end of the corridor of buildings.
The hoarse voice spoke in English.
Thunder Fellow looked forward without letting up on his speed. The buildings came to an end and two people stood on the roof of the one building that acted as an entrance to the vast sky.
One was a woman holding a paper broom and the other was a slender old man in a suit.
Odor removed his suit coat on the windy roof.
The battle had left the coat in tatters and the bandages around his arms were mostly gone.
He kept his annoyance over losing those bandages from showing on his face as he spoke.
“Go. Go, Heo Thunderson. This is our battlefield.”
He looked past the blue and white mechanical dragon and to the pursuing black dragons.
The blue and white one quickly approached and Odor felt a thought reach him in the instant it passed by overhead.
He nodded at the girl’s thoughts.
But the thoughts left behind a question as the dragon began to leave.
“That is simple. That is simple, Heo Thunderson.”
He answered the dragon that had already left and thus could no longer hear him.
He threw aside his coat and rolled up his shirt sleeves to reveal his arms sans bandages. The arms were covered in countless scars.
As the passing wind struck the building, he raised his bare left arm.
It was of course scarred and the scars were all from scrapes and abrasions made by someone else.
But that was not all. Diana’s eyes opened wide when she saw something else.
“Honey, what is that?”
He had some special scars on his left arm.
These were from cuts deep enough to reach the muscle. They were clearly whiter and glossier than the others and they protruded from the rest of his skin more as well.
Most notably, these scars formed letters and Diana read them in the wind.
“That is my real name. That is the real name of the odor. I was constantly called an odor and constantly scarred in the place that took me in, but I gave myself these scars above all the others so that I could trust in my own name,” he said. “Richard. Richard Davis. My father named me after his friend. And now, a girl who carries my father’s blood and has inherited everything from that friend desires help in her fight.”
He turned east toward the approaching black army before continuing.
“Diana. Diana Zonburg. Can I ask one thing?”
“What is it?”
She gave a sigh containing a hint of relief and he spoke with his back turned.
“Our marriage. Let us revoke our marriage. Now that I have spoken the truth I never revealed even to Richard Thunderson, I will accept that girl. I had thought Odor was past having any family, but now…”
“You have a relative to watch over your death instead of me?”
“Yes. Yes, Diana. So we will now part ways and-…”
He stopped when Diana stepped up next to him.
“Unfortunately, that is not possible. I simply can’t help with something that would make that girl sad.”
She formed the largest smile she could.
“And how can I leave you now that I’ve seen such a cute side of you?”
He said nothing in response. He simply raised his left arm and prepared his fingers.
“I did not want to use this! I did not want to use this because it is terribly exhausting!”
He snapped his fingers toward the black dragons flying over a kilometer away.
Heo felt an earthquake.
She wondered how that was possible while in the air and she realized the shaking reverberation came from behind her.
She looked behind with the rear sight devices and saw something unexpected. The city of Tachikawa they had just flown through seemed to have grown quite a bit shorter than when she had seen it before.
She understood what this meant. The station area had been so bright before, but all that artificial light was gone and they were replaced by sparks and explosive flames in the surrounding sky.
“Thanking people is important, Heo Thunderson, but looking where you’re going is also important.”
Eh? she thought as she looked up.
The ground flowing by down below was the railroad stretching west from Tachikawa Station. It was no longer an elevated railroad and it ran straight through a residential district.
When she looked far above that railroad, she saw something else.
“What is that?”
It was a giant black shape so large that it almost looked like a storm cloud.
“Thunder Fellow, what is that?”
“I am sorry. I do not know. But…”
“But it’s our enemy, right? An enemy who was kind and had many friends but who was led to sadness by those very facts,” said Harakawa. “Our ‘enemy’, hm? To be honest, a mere student really shouldn’t be saying something like that. But Heo Thunderson and Thunder Fellow, I don’t think this is anything special.”
“What do you mean?”
“The way I see it, there’s a world where this kind of thing is as normal as breathing. It may be on a whole different level from the small battles in my everyday life, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a small thing on the level of breathing.”
Heo narrowed her mental eyes. Hearing him speak from the heart for once made her smile.
“Then let’s go and breathe, Harakawa. Fortunately, there’s one thing I was taught a long time ago.”
“And what’s that?”
“How to breathe when running.”
“I think Black Sun will be my very first rival in reaching the goal line.”
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