Owari no Chronicle:Volume9 Chapter 34
Chapter 34: White Guidance
Let loose the unattractive contents of your heart
Someone else will find them attractive
An intense battle was underway on UCAT’s runway.
Their main force of mechanical dragons was down to only two, the black god of war was on its fifth and final sword, and the red god of war only had a single blade left.
Metallic sounds rang out without end and they were joined by the sounds of hard objects being split and of bursting gunpowder.
One could also hear people shouting out special attack names, a man talking about his wife and child, and three people punching a fourth.
As these sounds repeated, the situation began to turn in the people’s favor.
In the center of all the movement, a group was firing their weapons. The gunners would surround an individual enemy and then disperse once more.
As they could use their communication devices, each group making close-range strikes could request the assistance of the gunners.
And when the dragons tried to fly and use their quick mobility, the gods of war or mechanical dragons would attack them before they could.
The wreckage of enemy and ally littering the runway functioned as barricades against the dragons as they swooped down.
The Vesper Cannon was simply placed in front of the disguised transportation building, but the black dragons glided so quickly that they would crash into the building if they did not go in for a landing. And it had already been proven that their weight and inertia would cause them to skid even if they did land. That forced them to land much farther back on the runway, but the barricades of wreckage blocked their way and they would be individually surrounded even if they made it past those barricades.
Of the shooters who unloaded bullets while surrounding the enemy, one looked down on everything else.
It was Kazami who held G-Sp2 as a cannon.
…This seems to be working well.
This formation had been Sayama’s idea.
She could no longer see him anywhere, but he had apparently entered the transport building to gather the automatons from the purged space.
Shinjou was usually by his side, but she was now exchanging Ex-St’s red hot barrel to Kazami’s right.
“It’s not often you aren’t with that idiot.”
“And it’s strange to see you without Izumo-san.”
Izumo was currently attacking with V-Sw and commanding the northern group.
Shinjou looked in that direction and raised Ex-St without bothering to wipe the sweat from her brow or the soot from her cheeks. She had already attached the new barrel and the exhaust of the initial cleaning burst from the back.
With metallic sounds and wind surrounding her, Shinjou faced Kazami.
“Unlike with 3rd, everyone is nearby, so I can relax more. Ryuuji-kun and Mikage-san are here too.”
She gave a small smile.
She’s changed a bit, thought Kazami when she saw that smile.
She wondered if Shinjou had gotten over what had made her cry the other night and thought about inviting her to go shopping without Sayama.
…I’m like a mother-in-law.
She smiled bitterly while realizing that stupid underclassman would cause some kind of commotion but settle everything in the end.
…If I leave it to him, will I never have to feel that unease I felt in Roger’s dream?
That dream had made her realize again what the scariest thing in the world was. It was no one’s fault and it was a scene she had been able to see because of who she was. And it was also the scene she least wanted to see.
She had learned how that felt two years ago when she had first learned what it meant to fight, but she had recently started to forget.
She also realized that everyone fighting here had some similar thing.
She had only heard about it secondhand, but she thought the former residents of 5th-Gear must have as well.
She nodded and held up G-Sp2, wondering where she should fire the Concept Core blast.
As she did, she heard a voice from the barricade created by a destroyed black mechanical dragon to the east.
“Hey! Something’s headed this way on an odd course!”
She saw it. She had good eyes, so she could identify it as six small mechanical dragons approaching in the night sky.
However, their course was indeed odd. They were not invisible as the previous ones had been and they showed no intention of stopping at the other end of the runway. Instead, they continued to accelerate.
“They’re using themselves as shells!”
This was a last resort for the enemy. They would give up on stealing the Vesper Cannon or protecting themselves and instead use their own bodies as shells.
It was a sort of suicide attack.
The gunners had their hands full surrounding their individual targets. The close-range attackers were all quite powerful, but there was no way they could intercept these black dragons charging in at full speed.
Then what should they do? Kazami knew the answer.
…I can do it.
And so she yelled to Shinjou who was running to her position.
“Shinjou! Take care of my position too!”
“Sure! But what are you going to do!? You can’t catch up to them even if you fly with X-Wi!”
“Are you looking down on your upperclassman, Shinjou? Just leave it to me. I’ll show you what I’m capable of.”
With that, Kazami began to run toward the barricade to the east.
As she did, Ooki turned toward her while carrying around the green creatures as the commander of the fatigue-elimination unit.
“Oh, Kazami-san! If you’re going somewhere, how about letting these little guys suck the bad stuff out of you?”
That makes it sound like you’re going to bleed me with leeches, she thought while waving her hand horizontally.
She continued on toward the sky visible beyond the barricade.
She began with a slow step but soon built up speed while running between the surrounding people who continued to fight. As her feet began to move faster, she held G-Sp2 under her right arm.
—Light is power.
X-Wi expanded and Kazami heard Sibyl’s voice from the forest.
“Chisato-sama! They are seventeen seconds from the point of no return on their approach!”
Everyone understood what that meant, so they shifted their focus to her without stopping their attacks.
She ran down the center of the path of focus created by all the attention gathered on her.
This feels nice, she thought. I really like to stand out, don’t I?
So to stand out even further, she spread her wings wide but did not flap them. She raised the wings toward the heavens and kept them there while she ran low to the ground and faced forward. She faced the sky and the six shapes approaching there.
“G-Sp2, that’s our target.”
“I see them.”
“Then it’s time for your third form. You can go that far, can’t you?”
“I can go anywhere.”
After that, Kazami operated G-Sp2’s console while running.
A transformation soon began.
Before her eyes, the firing grip jutted out on either side at the base of the tip to form a T-shaped handle.
The tip had formed the cannon’s muzzle, but that tip now closed.
Instead, the bottom end opened, foot pedals extended on either side at the base of the bottom end, and a triangular armored panel sprang out as if to form the tail of an aircraft.
The completed form looked like a wingless airplane.
The same white light used for the cannon began to leak from the open bottom.
After checking on that light, Kazami flew with a single flap of the wings on her back.
She placed herself in midair, used the handle as a grip, and placed her feet on the foot pedals.
She was already clinging to G-Sp2 and she spread her wings to the side rather than flapping them again.
This created a vehicle with G-Sp2’s output as the thruster and X-Wi as the main wings.
“You can call this the Gungnir Jet!”
She twisted the accelerator and her falling speed was slowed by the light blasting downwards.
The force of her fall and her ascent reached equilibrium at thirty centimeters above the broken runway.
She twisted the accelerator in her right hand and the white light reflected off the ground and brightly illuminated her and her surroundings.
The sound of squeezing metal came from G-Sp2 and it began to shake, but she ignored it while using her left hand to lower her goggles over her eyes and leaving everything to G-Sp2 by twisting the accelerator as far as it would go.
“Let’s finish this before the goggles leave a mark!”
She reached the night sky in an instant.
Kazami broke through the wind and suddenly found the mountains spreading out below her.
Before she could exhale even once and before she came back to her senses, she saw a band of light down below.
The three thousand meter runway now looked no longer than thirty centimeters.
A trail of light remained from one end of the runway to her current location and that line of light continued to grow.
That meant G-Sp2 was still accelerating.
Her wings were vibrating from the wind, mist wrapped around G-Sp2’s tip, and her pulse began to race. The console in front of her gave a numerical reading on the output, but it was still hovering around 25%.
She recalled that G-Sp2 lost almost all sense of self in this state.
She could not speak with it unless she forcibly turned its focus toward her.
Two years ago, she had reached 32%.
…And today is the second time.
She saw the enemy ahead in the sky. The self-destructive dragons outnumbered her several dozen times over.
She passed by them in an instant.
A moment later, she controlled G-Sp2 in a forceful way that could not quite be called braking.
She removed her feet from the foot pedals, kept her hands on the handle, and threw her body into the air as if on the horizontal bar.
She faced the heavens and swung G-Sp2 around.
It was a forced action. While her legs rotated through that extreme high altitude air, her heart pounded in her ears. She began to sweat, but the wind blew even that away in an instant.
Her wings were unable to withstand the wind and shattered, but as those snowflakes of light landed on her back, she found herself looking into the western sky.
And so she twisted the accelerator.
She received enough intense acceleration and instantaneous power to feel like the night sky was drawing closer.
As G-Sp2 reversed at a sharp diagonal angle and re-accelerated, she dangled alongside it.
With her back pointed down, she followed the horizon out of the corner of her eye and spotted the lights of Saitama.
But at that point, she finally sensed the noise.
Once she realized she could hear the wind, she relaxed a little.
She looked down over her shoulder and saw the six dragons there.
While listening only to the blowing wind, she shrank down with her back still pointed to the ground. The wind washed over her as she gathered strength in her shoulders and abs and brought herself closer to G-Sp2 which flew in a crescent moon arc.
She slowly brought her feet toward the sky, placed them on the foot pedals, and reclaimed her position embracing G-Sp2.
And she immediately kicked the foot pedals up toward the heavens.
The recoil pointed the tip down and toward the enemies below.
She twisted the accelerator and charged forward.
She created new wings on her back, held them in close, and performed a power dive from directly above the enemy force.
“Listen, G-Sp2. There’s a story behind your origin.”
She whispered while falling and operating the console with her right hand.
“You were originally named Thor’s Hammer and you were created to end a civil war in 10th-Gear. You were stolen by 9th-Gear which had temporarily assisted the resistance force within 10th, but Kaku’s grandfather took you back. However, you were then modified into a divine spear and made into both the most powerful weapon and the storage device to absorb the concepts from 10th’s world tree.”
“But you contained the genes of Zahhak, the violent dragon of 9th-Gear. That created a concept dragon that devoured the world tree, but you were successfully sealed in this world.”
Izumo had told her this. The story included his grandparents. He did not often speak of them, but his grandmother was a resident of 10th-Gear and she had apparently betrayed 10th and given his grandfather the divine spear after the creation of the concept dragon. Kazami did not know the details, but…
…All of that was passed on to create who Kaku and I are now.
She wondered if they would ever be able to inherit all of it.
We will someday, she told herself while facing forward and looking to the earth at the bottom of the sky.
She saw the shadows of the forests and mountains and she saw the group of mechanical dragons flying westward in front of those shadows.
Nevertheless, she calmly made her final preparations by punching seven letters into the console.
She pressed the button on the grip.
“Let’s go, G-Sp2. Semi-barrel open – start!”
The bottom end of G-Sp2’s aerial mobility form closed and stopped the jet of light.
Now that the light had nowhere to go, it began to leak from the closed cowling on the front end. As the light spilled out like sand, it rose like smoke and drew several overlapping lines in the sky.
Before she could let out a single breath, the internal pressure caused the front end to shake, but she kept the grip button pressed and refused to let go. It was a lot like making a pet wait for its food.
Down below, the mechanical dragons could be seen so close she felt she could reach out and touch them.
A moment later, she saw the output reading reach 30%.
“Ragnarok open. Time to fight back.”
With those words, she fired G-Sp2.
A dragon plunging headfirst suddenly appeared in the night sky.
The one-horned dragon was made of white light and it seemed almost as large as the night sky itself.
And yet the dragon had yet to show its full body. It was unclear whether it actually had a neck or not, but what looked like the beginnings of one extended down toward the surface as if breaking through the night sky. All that could be seen was a face with a giant gaping maw and that neck-like area extending back twice that length.
But that was enough.
The dragon stretched its head down with a great sound of wind that seemed more like the entire world groaning.
It did not stretch far, but for such a massive dragon, it was enough to reach the surface.
Its jaws devoured its airborne food.
That food was six objects flying down below like small black fish.
They could not escape because the dragon’s great size was a weapon in and of itself.
Fangs and a tongue of light crushed that food from above as if the sky itself was falling upon them.
This caused an explosion that rivalled the white light, but…
The massive jaws closed.
And that was all.
The light dragon head faded away as it descended to the earth.
It simply vanished as if to say its presence had not been particularly impressive.
The light obeyed the darkness and faded away, but an afterimage of the dragon remained in the sky for a few seconds.
Afterwards, nothing remained of the “food”, not even the explosion or their wreckage.
However, something new had appeared.
It was a sound arriving from the eastern sky.
It was a solid sound and it was not alone. Metallic sounds repeated again and again as if communicating with each other.
They were the sounds of a battle fought between those flying this way at tremendous speed.
The repeated sounds of high-altitude fighting approached without hiding the noise caused by the colliding power.
All of those on the battlefield began to notice the sounds and look to the night sky. This included the automatons treating people’s injuries, the people having their injuries treated, the plant creatures extracting their exhaustion, and the girl who had fired the dragon of light into the sky.
They all looked to the east and someone spoke.
“Black Sun is?”
“No,” said someone else. “The answer. The time has come to settle things with 5th-Gear which cast aside their own humanity, with the machine that went mad with anguish after trying to protect the people, and with the one who has inherited it all.”
Black Sun had not overlooked the enemy approaching from behind.
He knew what was happening because the screams of his child craft had reached him several times now.
When a child craft was ordered to die, it would send a report on the completion of its mission when it died. But when one was simply destroyed, intense static was sent back.
For a machine, being destroyed before completing your given job was the same as having the very meaning of your existence denied.
And the bearer of that denial was approaching in a straight line
He remembered this enemy. He had met it in its invisible form just after rising from the ocean.
Black Sun remembered the shape of that wind.
Its shape was familiar, but not because he had seen it earlier. His sealed memories were pointing to the existence of some record of the past as if it was leaking through.
Those sealed memories told him he had met this enemy before.
However, he had a goal: reaching the familiar scent in the west. That was likely the weapon that had once defeated him.
And so he hurried westward. He also sent three midsized mechanical dragons back toward the pursuing enemy as his final guards, but he soon noticed something strange.
As soon as he accelerated forward, static reached him.
Specifically, two bursts of static reached him.
His rear sight devices spotted the reason for the static: lightning.
Bolts of lightning raced through the sky behind him and produced two enormous explosions.
Black Sun found this “familiar” as well.
He was oddly certain that he had only ever met one mechanical dragon that attacked like that. He was also certain that the large dragon made as his pair was more offense-oriented and extremely dangerous.
It had carried a large cannon before, but it did not seem to have one now.
But why? he thought. Why do I remember this despite having no memories?
He did not know.
He had been made to protect the people, so why had he fought such a dangerous dragon?
Why had he lost that battle, why had he lost his memories, and why had he chosen to evolve?
Why was his urge to seek out those familiar scents so very strong?
And beyond those questions, beyond his destination, and beyond his victory, were the people waiting for him? If he created a world where he could protect the people, would they praise him?
The people were gone now and he did not know why, but he thought they had to exist somewhere. He was meant to protect the people and he existed, therefore the people he was to protect also had to exist. That was the logic behind his thoughts.
Beyond the barrage of lightning, he saw a familiar yet forgotten form.
It was a small blue and white mechanical dragon.
This enemy was small but dangerous. He wished he could eliminate that familiar feeling along with his lost memories. That would rid him of these unnecessary thoughts, but he could not forget what he could not first remember.
At that point, Black Sun reached a certain answer.
He found the reason for his evolution.
It was this enemy. He prefaced that high-probability conclusion with the qualifier “most likely” and raised his internal priority of this enemy.
He set the familiar scent in the west and the familiar scent pursuing him at equal priority levels.
Here, he entered combat mobility mode for the first time.
He would intercept this enemy. Even as he hurried to the west, he would intercept the past.
Black Sun ordered the final midsized dragon to ram the enemy while continuing to evade the lightning and he accepted his own intent to fight.
He consciously approved of that intent and his entire body responded. The armor panels opened up to expose every primary cannon, secondary cannon, and even sub-secondary cannon and his motors sent out lubricant and made full use of their radiators.
Finally, he raised the power output supplied by the one thing he had certainly brought from his own world: the Concept Core half.
As long as he had that, he had half of justice on his side.
Its power circulated through his entire body.
“All cannons at full power. Enter overdrive mode.”
Black Sun began to move in order to defeat his enemy.
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