Date A Live - Volume 9 - Chapter 5
Chapter 10: Fall downDespair Is Falling
After Ellen clicked her tongue in contempt, she condensed her Territory and dashed on the ground with crazy speed. After Ellen cut across the road, all the pedestrians opened their eyes in shock but, she had no time to pay attention to that. She was just single-mindedly continuing running to her target spot.
Her course was east---------the direction of the hotel Westcott was lodging at.
With this speed, the time needed to reach was------around 30 minutes. She does not know exactly what time until the [Impact] but, thinking about distancing from Tenguu city after that, was definitely something not reassuring.
’’-----I have no choice’’
Ellen sharpens her sights before making an order in her brain.
In an instant, Ellen's body made a pale glow and her whole body was equipped with the platinum CR-unit <Pendragon>in an instant. Compared to a few seconds ago, an even thicker maryoku compiled Territory was deployed.
Ellen kicked the ground and activated the thrusters attached to her back before flying high up into the sky. She then made a straight line towards her targeted location just like that.
At that moment, a call came from the in-cam internally equipped in the unit.
’’Ex-executive chief Mathers! Just what is happening!?’’
It was the subordinate she made to stand-by outside when Ellen entered the Itsuka house. She was probably surprised because Ellen ran out of the house suddenly. Ellen maintained her sights in front while, improving her speed and replied back.
’’It's an emergency. Currently, the artificial satellite <DSA-IV>which was planned to be disposed is now falling directed at Tenguu city. What's more, its coming from -------’’
After hearing the continuous explanation, her subordinate let out a astonished voice.
’’Wha..............even if it is to defeat the Spirits, why would they do that..........! And what's more, for the executive chief to not be informed about that plan is-------’’
’’No, the aim isn't the spirits, it's Ike’’
’’Huh...........!? Wes-Westcott MD............!? What does that mean!?’’
The subordinate said that in a shocked manner. Well, it was only normal. That's because the blade DEM is holding, is now directed at its top.
’’There was contact from the HQ just now. It seems the board directors that brought out the dismissal request on Ike a few days ago is running wild’’
After she said that, Ellen clicked her tongue. ------like I thought, I should have chopped off their heads instead of their arm at that time.
In the end, just moments before the execution of the plan, it seems a member of the board got scared of Westcott and leaked out the information to the 2nd executive team. It's not like that decision cannot be called smart but--------if he wanted to sell-out the plan, it would be better if he done it sooner. Ellen felt like cursing.
Nonetheless, now wasn't the time to do something like that. She has to secure Westcott as fast as possible and get far away as possible from here.
’’------I am heading towards Ike. Every one of you, please evacuate so that you all won't get dragged into the blast. After that, look out for Reiha readings in the surroundings and if you find a spirit dragged in the explosion then, retrieve the saphira crystal from her’’
Leaving that reply, her subordinate cut the line.
Nonetheless, she isn't really expecting anything related to the spirits. As long as they are involved with <Ratatoskr>, the <DSA-IV>would be detected before it reach the danger air zone anyway, and if that happens, all they have to do is to secure the Spirits with the airship before running to a safe zone. Most likely, Itsuka Shidou's phone that rang just now was also probably to inform him about this too.
And, flying halfway in a straight line in the sky. Ellen twitched her eyebrows.
The reason was simple. Coming from everywhere, Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu-------the sound of the siren started to ring in her ears.
’’Spacequake alarm......don't tell me, a spirit?’’
She mumbled that but however, she noticed another possibility.
---no matter how much a bother Westcott is, if they drop an artificial satellite on Japan's city then no matter if it is DEM company, they would not get off easily. If that is the case then, the board of directors would not achieve the goal of taking over the company.
The case is that, the board members are planning to blame this disaster all onto the spacequake. I see, it was a logical thought.
’’I won't let them’’
After Ellen grinded her teeth, she headed to Westcott at her maximum speed.
No time at all after Ellen left the house, the space quake alarm echoed throughout the city and the sound of the residence nearby evacuating could be heard.
’’Spacequake alarm!? At a time like this!?’’
’’No, you're wrong’’
When Shidou looked out the window in shock, Kotori said that through the phone.
’’We did not detect any shaking in the space nearby..................It is a false information that occurred in this miraculous timing-------it's the work of someone that is planning to put the blame onto spacequake for all the damages from the falling artificial satellite’’
’’Blaming the spacequake...........wait, who would do that!?’’
’’..........It's most likely DEM company’’
Kotori say that as if she was grinding her teeth. However, Shidou raised his eyebrows.
’’Wai-wait a second. DEM..............? Isn't that impossible?’’
’’You sure say weird things. An organization that could do something like this, in terms of the ability to get things done and in terms of a health problem with a few screws loose in their heads, there is no one I can think of’’
’’Iyaa, it's true but............’’
Shidou explained everything that happened just now.
About the fact that Ellen was there when he got home. And also-------the fact that Ellen ran out of the house, panicked.
’’Ellen Mathers did that? It's true that it's weird...............if this action is a plan to round up all the spirits then, there is no way she would not know about it...........no, even before that.............’’
Kotori groaned difficultly. However, she immediately noticed that now wasn't the time to be immersed in thought. She regained her composure and continue her words.
’’Anyway! There is no mistake it will be dangerous if you stay there. We will pick you up with <Fraxinus>immediately so, please come outside’’
’’A-aah......... how about Tohka and the rest?’’
’’No need to worry. The preparations to escape from the underground just got ready. We will immediately head there after we pick up Shidou’’
’’I get it. Then------’’
Shidou then wrung back his neck when he was about to reply.
’’Escape from underground? Doesn't that facility have the endurance equal to that of the shelters?’’
When Shidou said that, Kotori took a breather as if she was leaving a beat before replying.
’’------Yes, that's right. If the spacequake is until rank B then it will almost unmistakably withstand it’’
’’...........wait a second. That means-----’’
’’Thinking normally, there should not be a problem. But, there is something bothering me’’
’’Something bothering you..................?’’
’’Yes. ------we detected slight Maryoku readings coming from the concerned artificial satellite’’
Shidou raised his eyebrows at Kotori's words.
’’Wha-what does that mean?’’
’’We still don't know the details. But-------it is hard to think that DEM is just going to let the artificial satellite's wreckage fall. We think that they are going to make it breakthrough the atmosphere using some kind of method. You should prepare for the worst scenario’’
’’............yes. The shelters that have started to be deployed in the world since 30 years ago, was something mainly set for the damages from the spacequake. Basically, since it is observed that spacequakes often occurs, above ground, above sea, and the sky, the possibility to escape the damages by just hiding underground is high’’
But, Kotori continued.
’’The case this time is a different story’’
’’If that artificial satellite falls straight onto the shelter then.............are you saying the people inside won't be saved!?’’
’’.........like I said, we still don't know the details. But, please understand the fact that this possibility exist’’
’’..............! Wha-what the hell! Just because they are aiming for the Spirits, isn't this just overboard............!’’
After Shidou shouted while clenching his fist, Kotori once again groaned difficultly.
’’I still don't get-----that point’’
’’The DEM too should know that we have an airship. If they were to aim for the spirits then, I don't think they would take this method which has no certainty’’
’’The-then, what does this mean...........’’
’’I can't say anything at this stage. Maybe there is an idiot in the higher ups that could not get to that decision or, they straight off lost their minds, or maybe------they have another goal’’
Shidou gulped. Just what on earth is that [Goal] they have to achieve even if thousands of victims are produced?
’’-----I understand your feelings but, please hurry now. We are losing time until the crash just by doing this’’
Kotori said that impatiently. However, Shidou stayed still.
’’Wa-wait a second. Is there any way!? If this keeps up, even if we are saved, the people in the city will-----’’
’’Please listen to the end’’
Kotori flat out said that as if to interrupt Shidou's words.
’’Even I don't feel like seeing everyone in the city die. I have a way’’
’’Yes. ------it's simple. Just before the artificial satellite crashes, we will shoot it down with <Fraxinus>main cannon. If we do that, even if by any chance the explosion arts activates, and the blast or fragments pours down to the ground, the shelter below should be safe..........well, the surface might become something nasty but, it is the same with the spacequake, they have to be grateful that they got saved even though it is only their life. We will let the JGSDF's restoration team, work hard handling the rest’’
’’I see..........if that's the case!’’
’’Satisfied? Now hurry up’’
Shidou strongly nodded before cutting the phone call and headed to the front entrance and putting back on his shoes.
And------at that moment, *Koron* something tumbled down from Shidou's pocket because he was leaning over to wear his shoes.
When he looked over to it, he found out that it was a chupa chups wrapped with a red wrapper.-----it was something Natsumi dropped when she was disguising herself as Kotori in the underground facility.
The moment he saw that. Shidou reached a certain thought. He froze on the spot for a few moments and became dumbfounded.
That's right. Shidou has forgotten something. It's true that the residence in the neighbourhood has evacuated to the shelter because of the spacequake. Everyone would be safe if <Fraxinus>succeeds in shooting down the artificial satellite.
But-------there is one person. Still escaped from underground, there is only one person that might still be left on the surface.
When Shidou stopped at the front entrance, the sound of a rhythm started to echo from his cell phone again. After he pressed the call button, he could hear Kotori's voice which has irritation mixed in.
’’Hey, what are you doing Shidou. I told you there is no time.............’’
Kotori said it in impatience, and then stopped. Maybe she felt something was up with Shidou, Kotori continued her words in doubt.
’’What is it, what happened?’’
’’Aah. There is something I want to ask you to do............could you retrieve Tohka and the rest first?’’
’’Huh? Why again.-------aah, are you perhaps referring to take everyone else to a safer place first before me? You don't really have to worry about that, since we will properly retrieve everyone’’
’’No.........there is still something on the surface I have to do no matter what’’
When Shidou said that, Kotori [Haaa!?] echoed a voice filled with anger.
’’I told you this is an emergency, didn't you get the message!? I don't know what you have to do but, its not worth risking your life for! First and foremost-----’’
Kotori gasped at Shidou's words.
’’You all still haven't find Natsumi right.............?’’
Yes. It would be a big problem if she is still on the surface.
A normal person would run to the shelter when the spacequake alarm rings. That is only normal. But for Natsumi who is a spirit, he has no idea whether or not she would obey that alarm. Natsumi was locked up in the underground facility in the first place, so he doesn't think that Natsumi would want to go back into the shelter once again, with her own will because it's underground.
’’That's............but, even Natsumi isn't stupid! Even if she does not enter the shelter, there is a possibility that she has already run far away---------and even if the blast and fragments of the artificial satellite falls down, she is a spirit you know!? She can protect herself from something like that!’’
’’That might be the case. But.............Natsumi's wounds she got from Ellen should not be healed completely yet. There might be chance’’
Kotori groaned softly before, falling silent. As If he was making a supplication, Shidou let out his voice to Kotori who was on the other side of the phone.
’’I beg you.....................Can you let me search for Natsumi until the last minute? It might be running with no reason. No..................that possibility is probably high. But, as long as Natsumi is being exposed to danger, I can't just..................keep quiet’’
When Shidou said that while clenching his fist, Kotori continued being silent for a while before-----
Like that, she made a sigh as if she given up.
’’................I understand. Rather, you won't listen anymore even if I say anything’’
’’However, the time limit is until we finish preparing our intercept attack. I won't allow any longer than that. Also, you have to put on your Incam so we can contact you anytime’’
’’Aah, I get it’’
’’Then, hurry up and go. We will try to use the remaining automatic cameras to find Natsumi's whereabouts too. Well, it'll be a problem if you expect something though’’
When Shidou said that, Kotori *fuun* snorted through the phone.
’’..............That is my line. I panicked and lost sight of something important. I am counting on you, Shidou’’
After Shidou tilted his head forward, he put the chupa chups that fell in the corridor into his pocket and went outside the house.
Maybe the evacuation of the residence in the neighbourhood was almost done;almost no sight of anyone could be seen on the road. The only thing left was a hint of the presence of many people just a little while ago;it was such a miraculous silence. Shidou has walked in the city with no one in it many times to have a conversation with the spirits but, no matter how many times he experience this, as expected he could not bring himself to like this kind of weird feeling.
But, now was not the time to be making wry smiles. Shidou ran on the street while taking deep breaths, he then raise his voice as if to make an echo in the surroundings.
Shidou's voice echoed throughout the unnaturally quiet residential area of the city. But of course-------there was no reply.
However, that was within his predictions. Shidou did not bother about that and continued shaking his throat.
’’If you are nearby, listen to me! From now, countless artificial satellite fragments will fall around this whole area! It's dangerous to stay on the surface! You have to hurry up and evacuate! That's why, even if it is just for a little time! Please come with me! We won't lock you inside a room! Once everything ends, you can go anywhere you like! That's why!’’
Shidou's shout echoed in the city street of the residential area, and vanished nearby. There was no reply as expected.
But, Shidou did not think this was a useless action.
He has no idea where Natsumi is. Just like Kotori said, she might already run away to another place, or she might have mixed in with the residents and went underground already.
However, if she is still up on the surface---------and what's more if she is in Tenguu city then, he stumbled upon a possibility that in order to have revenge for being confined underground, she might be examining Shidou while hiding somewhere.
Betting on that small possibility, he continued shouting.
’’I don't mind if you don't have to like me! Please hide in the shelter with the citizens or run away to another city as fast as possible! Worst comes to worst------you can run to the other world! Anyway, it's dangerous to stay in this city! I beg you! Get away from here!’’
Shouting while running has forced a huge burden on his lungs. Even though he did not advance that far off, his lungs hurt and it was hard for him to breath.
But, Shidou did not stop his legs. Maybe, Natsumi wasn't hiding around these parts.
In order for Shidou's voice to reach Natsumi, he once again took a deep breath.
’’------Natsumi! I beg you! Reply back if you can hear me!’’
Shidou was shouting for the unknown number of time while running in the empty city.
Natsumi silently heard that voice.
Mostly likely, Shidou still thinks that the escapee Natsumi is still nearby and what's more in a place which she can observe him.---------actually, that thought is correct.
’’Natsumi! Natsumi! Are you here!? Natsumi!’’
Shidou's imploring voice echoed in the city.
His voice was dried out and his breathing was faint. He looked very pathetic.
However, Shidou did not stop shouting. When he tripped over a stone, he would immediately stand up afterwards and would start shouting Natsumi's name over and over again.
---Why would you go that far.
Just moments before Natsumi was about to spill those words, she stopped.
It's not like she thought Shidou would find out her position if she let out her voice. It's just simply;she knew the answer without even letting out those words.
It's obviously to save Natsumi.
Fragments of an artificial satellite will fall in this area. What Shidou was saying was most likely the truth. Looking at the residence in the surroundings evacuating, there is no mistake there is some kind of disaster predicted.
Of course if that is the case then, it is possible to think that the organization backing Shidou and the rest, rang the alarm to draw Natsumi out but------listening to the slight sounds coming from Shidou and Kotori phone just now, that possibility is denied.
Shidou did not consider about the danger towards him and with a reason of, Natsumi might still be left behind;he remained alone in a city with no one in it.
When she thought about that, a weird feeling once again expanded inside Natsumi's chest.
It was fluffy, whirly, and irregular, and it felt disgusting.
---The first time Natsumi came over to this world silently. No one in this world would look at Natsumi.
Natsumi hated that very much. She wanted to be talked to;she wanted to be bothered and wished to be acknowledged by someone. That's why------she used <Haniel>'s power to remake her own appearance.
When Natsumi transformed into a beautiful one-san, everyone became gentle to her. Everyone would fawn over Natsumi and would listen to her words. But-------no matter how many times it repeated, Natsumi's heart was not satisfied.
In the end, no one would look at Natsumi. In the end, no one would acknowledge Natsumi. That feeling only gets stronger, the more she gets pampered.
But right now, the one Shidou was looking for was the [Real Natsumi] that no one acknowledged.
---He tried to find the Natsumi who was ignored by everyone.
Events that occurred one after another floated in her head.
The fact Shidou protected her when Ellen attacked her.
The fact everyone transformed Natsumi.
The fact he made me think I was cute.
---And the fact he acknowledged someone like me.
’’.............don't tell me, I’’
She didn't have to think about it anymore.
Natsumi-----does not want Shidou to die.
Without her noticing, she didn't really bother anymore about the fact that he saw her secret. More importantly, she was very happy that someone would look properly at her real self.
At that moment her name was just called, and she almost let out her voice in an instant.
She did not really mind if her voice comes out. If that happens, Shidou will definitely find Natsumi. It would be better if they both ran to a safer place.
However, now that Natsumi is aware of that, she has no idea what she should do with the new emotions she now holds.
’’I-it will be alright.........alright’’
She mumbled that in a soft voice so that she won't be detected by Shidou.
Even Shidou would evacuate once the fragments are going to fall. Worst case, there is no mistake that the organization behind him will do something about it like when they saved Natsumi.
Natsumi chanted [It's going to be alright, It's going to be alright] in her heart as if to let herself hear it while, praying for Shidou to give up looking for Natsumi as fast as possible and evacuate to a safer place.
’’Coming from the D3 underground facility, Tohka-chan and the rest have been retrieved!’’
’’Retrieval of the 13 accompanying organization members is complete!’’
’’The wall of the facility is closed with the remote control!’’
After swallowing Shidou's suggestion, it has been almost 20 minutes since sending him out to the empty city. Kotori opened her lips after confirming the report of the crew echoing in the bridge.
’’Okay------How about Shidou's current position?’’
’’Yes, Shidou-kun is currently running towards the northern main street at the 3rd district. It seems he is heading towards the school’’
’’How about Natsumi from the automatic camera?’’
’’Sadly, we have not found her’’
Kotori made a short reply. She did not think it would be that easy to find Natsumi who holds the power of transformation in the first place.
’’! Commander! The artificial satellite has started falling!’’
Normally, when an artificial satellite falls, it would gradually fall off orbit and while turning around the earth's surroundings, it would slowly lower its altitude from the influence of the gravity and atmosphere before burning up when it breaks through the great atmosphere.
But in the icon shown in the monitor, coming from the satellite orbit, it was falling straight towards earth as if there was something pulling it in a vertical line.------it's was clearly abnormal.
’’------It's here huh’’
After Kotori licked her lips, she brought forward her hand and made an order to the crew.
’’Calculate the fall prediction point immediately! Parallel activate the Ar-008, and machine no.3 to no.5, also please make it so that <Mystletainn>could be fired! After we retrieve Shidou, we will then move to the interception point and destroy the target!’’
Normally, pin pointing the falling point of the artificial satellite precisely is very difficult. But, if they use the calculative power of the AI installed in the <Fraxinus>then it is possible to calculate the falling point with a few kilometers error.
’’Roger! Ar-008, no.3, no.4, no.5, has started generating Maryoku!’’
’’The predicted point of the fall is out! It is aim precisely at the vicinity of east Tenguu in the Tenguu city!’’
After she heard Mikimoto's report, Kotori clicked her tongue.
’’Tsk, Shidou's position is unexpectedly near’’
The only time when they are able to use the <Fraxinus>teleporter device, is when the target is right underneath without any obstructions. Which means;they must move directly on top of that target if they want to retrieve someone on the ground.
But nonetheless, as long as there is a fear of the explosion arts activating at the same time with the interception, it's not a good plan for the <Fraxinus>to be too close to the target. After retrieving Shidou at the area near the impact predicted point, there came the need to take distance once again to prepare for interception.
’’What's the limit of the time after we move to Shidou's retrieval point?’’
’’Estimated to be............5 minutes 30 seconds!’’
’’It's a little off, thinking its preparations for an interception attack. Please pick up the pace’’
At the same time with Kawagoe's reply, the bridge was wrapped with a low tone motoring sound-------<Fraxinus>that was remaining still in the air started moving.
After recognizing that, she made more orders.
’’Connect a line to Shidou’’
Nakatsugawa operated the console. And then, at the edge of the monitor, Shidou who was running around the city while finding Natsumi was shown out.
She pulled the mike closer to her mouth and sends her voice to Shidou's Incam.
’’Shidou, can you hear me?’’
Shidou in the screen then made a small reaction and stopped his legs.
’’..........a-ahh.........I can, hear you...........’’
Pressing the incam with his fingers, Shidou replied back while breathing heavily. His voice was raspy just like when someone gets a cold. It seems he has been running the whole time while continuously calling out to Natsumi.
She hesitated to say the next word when she looked at Shidou like that. But, she could not allow him to keep on looking for Natsumi. She swing her head a little to regain her composure before letting out her voice at the mike.
’’Sadly, it is time limit. We will head there to pick you up so, don't move from that spot’’
’’Wha...............Time..........already.......!? I beg you, a little more-----’’
’’No. you promised’’
Shidou implored back. Kotori *crack* bit her chupa chups.
’’Don't make me say it again.................inside the lives you want to protect, please properly add yours in it too’’
When Kotori said that, Shidou kept quiet for a while before making a soft sigh.
’’.................., ................I understand. Sorry, for being so selfish’’
’’Not really. I am used to it’’
After Kotori fluttered her hands while saying that, she then looked back at the monitor.
At that moment when she did that, the buzzer that announces an emergency started echoing from the speaker installed in the bridge.
’’Uh, what happened!?’’
’’Thi-this is.............The falling speed of the artificial satellite is suddenly rising!’’
’’What did you say...............!?’’
The same time with Kotori raising her eyebrows, the fore said artificial satellite was showed out in the monitor. It's square frame type with solar panels attached to both its sides. In a fashion of cramping the upper part, there was some kind of unshapely round object clinging onto it. It seems one part of it was serving as a thruster. It is clearly not a normal artificial satellite.
Kotori opened her eyes wide and let sweat flow down her cheeks. It seems they seriously went that far to cause huge damage when it falls. Or maybe-----they foresaw that <Fraxinus>was in the Tenguu city, and was cautious of an interception.
No matter which one is correct, there is no mistake that this situation is something not good for Kotori and the group. She hit the commander seats handrail while standing up and bounced her voice at the lower bridge.
’’Hurry with the correction of the predicted arrival time! What's the time!?’’
’’.........., ................., the predictions are out! Jud-judging by these values, we won't make it if don't enter interception now!’’
Kotori distorted her face painfully. But, she immediately immersed herself in thoughts and
’’..........Shidou, sorry but there's a problem with the plan’’
’’We cannot go pick you up anymore. ------but, if we intercept the artificial satellite, there should be no damage done underground. Please hurry to evacuate to the a nearby shelter’’
’’------, aah, I get it. Don't worry about me. -----I am counting on you’’
He probably guessed the situation from Kotori's voice. Shidou did not ask anything extra and said that. Kotori restrained her trembling voice while [Yes] making a nod before cutting the transmission.
’’.........There is no problem. More importantly, please hurry with the preparations for interception.-------we have to accurately shoot it down’’
The crew shouted and operated their consoles. <Fraxinus>changed its course and headed towards the interception point.
Kotori grinded her teeth and clenched her fist.
Kotori's decision was supposed to be right. If they prioritize retrieving Shidou there, it will make it impossible to intercept for <Fraxinus>and in result, many people will lose their lives. But-------
And after some time of thinking, Shiizaki's voice shook Kotori's eardrum.
’’We reached the interception point!’’
’’The target will pass the prescribed point in 30 seconds!’’
’’Ar-008 has finished loading the Maryoku! We can go anytime!’’
The voices of the crew echoed in the bridge. Kotori swung her head to throw off any unnecessary idle thoughts before, staring straight at the monitor.
And as if to match with the countdown displayed in the corner of the screen, she followed the numbers by counting in her heart too and when the target fell into the screen perfectly------she raised her voice.
At the same time with Kotori's shout, a strong torrent of Maryoku was shot out from the <Fraxinus>cannon.
The giant cluster of Maryoku released from the giant Realizer installed inside the airship headed towards the target shown in the middle of the screen and swallowed it up.
It was in a perfect timing. There were even some in the crew that made a guts pose even though they haven't checked it was shot down or not.
In the next moment, Kotori made an unbelievable face while raising a dismayed voice.
However that was only natural. The moment the convergence Maryoku cannon reached straight at the artificial satellite, it distorted and only pierced one side of the solar panel and thrusters before disappearing into the sky.
Although the artificial satellite loses its balance because it flicked away the maryoku cannon-------it then continued falling down as if it was pulled down by gravity like that.
’’Wha-what was that.........!’’
’’It is most likely, a Territory........’’
Kannazuki standing beside the commander seat was the one who answered Kotori's shout. He placed his hands on his chin and *Fuumu* groaned. ’’Territory you say........!?’’
Kotori shouted and-------at that moment, she found a weird point inside the artificial satellite inside the image.
The round object that got pierced through by the <Mystletainn>.
Inside it, a familiar looking face peeped out.
Yes. The DEM's mechanical doll <Bandersnatch>. More specifically, it was a unit quite similar to it. It was able to use the Realizer without the assist of a Wizard, and thus is able to deploy the Territory;it was the DEM's unmanned weapon.
That was completely docked onto the artificial satellite.
’’Impossible-----they had such a method........!’’
Looking at that, Kotori understood the outline of this artificial satellite in an instant.
Most probably the DEM Company launched the custom type <Bandersnatch>from the ground and made it dock with the artificial satellite which was planned to be disposed of.
Even though it is an artificial satellite cruising with crazy speed, it is possible to seize it if it is a unit with a Realizer installed.
And having the <Bandersnatch>attached on it would mean------it is possible to attach a Territory onto the artificial satellite.
’’I see................That's the reason why the artificial satellite is not damaged even a little when it breaks through the atmosphere............!’’
After Kotori clicked her tongue in detest, she heard the sound of Reine fiddling the console.
’’.........This is not a good situation. If an artificial satellite with this size crashes down while maintaining that mass, the high-rank explosion arts owned by DEM, and what's more all of that would be amplified by the Territory made by the <Bandersnatch>..............’’
*Kaa* the sound of a key was produced and a number was shown on the screen.
’’..............I don't know the exact numbers so, it would just approximate but.....most likely, it would be equal to a tactical nuke’’
Hearing those words, Kotori gasped.
She planned to expect the worst case scenario but------in reality, it crossed her assumptions by a lot. If something like that falls, the Tenguu city would wholly turn into scorched earth.
And inside them, Kannazuki was the only one making a difficult face while stroking his chin.
’’No, it is unthinkable that the Territory generated by the Realizer from the installed <Bandersnatch>would deflect <Mystletainn>’’
’’Then what is......no, anyways, striking it down now is our first priority! Reload the Maryoku! We have to do it before the artificial satellite reaches the ground------Kyaaa!?’’
In an instant, the <Fraxinus>frame shook intensely and Kotori cut her voice.
’’It's a bombardment! The Realizer has reduced by 15 percent!’’
’’The image is out!’’
At the same time with Minowa's voice, the image of the sky was shown out in the monitor. Wondering when it appeared, an airship bigger than <Fraxinus>was floating there. Even though it was organized in a straight line, it has a frame which makes them think it was somewhat coordinated. DEM's common, eerie weapons could be seen on it.
’’Kuh..............so that's the reason why our cannon attack was averted’’
Kotori clenched her teeth in regret. Most likely, they predicted that the artificial satellite would be intercepted by them.
They don't know the details of the enemy ship's performance but-------it's true that it was powerful enough to generate a spontaneous point with the Territory to avert the <Mystletainn >. They could not shoot down the artificial satellite unless they do something about that enemy ship. On the other hand, if they do that, the artificial satellite will fall to the ground.
That result was probably easy to predict. The crew made horrified face while raising their face.
However. After Kotori made a sigh in a very calm manner, she once again sat back at the commander seat.
’’Kannazuki, I will leave this to you.-----we will use the <Gungnir>’’
When Kotori said that, everyone twitched their eyebrows.
’’............are you alright with that, Kotori’’
’’Yes. It's not like I am going to shoot it in my full form. And I can't take away Shidou's regenerative abilities now’’
After Kotori answered Reine with that, she then brought her sights towards Kannazuki.
’’Don't miss this, Kannazuki’’
’’Leave it to me’’
Kannazuki said that while standing straight. After Kotori nodded in satisfaction, she then placed the palm of her hand on the verification device attached to the side of the console.
When she did that, the commander seat Kotori was seating, slide back downwards as if it was being sucked to the ground.
And after a few seconds, Kotori who was sitting in the chair came out in an open area.
It was a round shaped space with a radius of 3 meters. Since the outside condition could be projected on the smooth curved wall in real time, she felt a delusion as if she was floating in the air.
But, Kotori does not have the leisure of enjoying a walk in the pleasant air now. After Kotori jumped off the commander seat, she stood in the middle of the circle and made thin exhales while calming her heart.
’’Well then, let us begin.-----My war’’
Inside the cage of her consciousness, she felt the reeling in of a thin thread.
She imaged a scorching hot fire covering her body.
Not long later, that imagination turned into reality and when Kotori thought a swirl of fire was covering her surroundings, it turned into the shape of a magical raiment. And after that, the fire crawled up to Kotori's hair and-----horns of an oni[9E 1] appeared on the side of her head.
--Astral Dress. The absolute armor covering the Spirit.
There was once a time when, Kotori's reiryoku was sealed by Shidou but, thanks to her controlling her own mental state, it became possible to reverse the reiryoku from Shidou spontaneously.
Nonetheless, if she brings out 100 percent of her power then, there is a danger of her consciousness being eaten by that power. By ensuring her reiryoku to a certain level, she would close the pass deliberately and maintain a limit release astral dress.
After Kotori quietly said that, the flames concentrated in Kotori's hand and it turned into a giant battle-axe.
At that moment, an explosion echoed and the ship shook a little.
It was most likely because they received an attack from the foresaid enemy ship. It seems the protective territory was defending right now but, if more time was wasted, then <Fraxinus>would get damaged before the artificial satellite falls. Kotori hanged <Camael>while releasing her voice.
When she did that, the cylindrical shape of <Camael>changed and was equipped on Kotori's arm perfectly. The appearance was like-----a giant cannon. The giant cannon that did not look suitable on Kotori's small body, was equipped onto Kotori's right hand.
And at the same time, a giant connector like equipment descended in front of her. When Kotori then touched it with <Camael>'s tip, a small electronic sound was produced and <Camael>was linked towards the connector tightly.
’’Let's do this, Kannazuki’’
’’Yes, anytime as you wish’’
When Kotori said that, she could hear Kannazuki's voice from the speaker.
After acknowledging that, Kotori concentrated her mind and gathered her reiryoku in the Angel.
Yes. If it was able to flick off the convergence Maryoku cannon <Mystletainn>then, there was only one method left.
The Spirit Reiryoku cannon <Gungnir>.
Just like its name, she would convert the power of the Spirit and release a amplified mortality attack;it is <Fraxinus>'s strongest weapon.
---in the surrounding of her body,
’’Now! Spirit Reiryoku cannon <Gungnir>!’’
At the same time with Kannazuki's voice echoing from the speaker, the Spirit cannon fired from the giant cannon located in the center of <Fraxinus>.
That was. It was something that could no longer be called a laser cannon or beam anymore.
Suffice to say-------a pillar.
The giant light pillar made up of thick reiryoku, extended out to the artificial satellite from <Fraxinus>like a straight line connecting.
If it was pierced with this cluster of reiryoku then, just what would happen to the target.
Immediately, that peerless illustration got shown.
The instant the cannon hit its target, the artificial satellite once again averted its course and had the Territory deployed on its surroundings.
But, after the <Gungnir>attack slaughtered that in an instant--------the artificial satellite that was falling to Tenguu city got annihilated without leaving any shadow or shapes left.
The explosion art. Countless fragments. All those predicted damages, got evaporated without a trance with that simple ultra-high output attack.
’’-----Target, destroyed! It's a success!’’
The crew's voice echoed through the speaker. After hearing that, Kotori fell to her knees on the spot.
A light headache and drowsiness attacked Kotori. Although it was a part, maybe because she used her spirit powers, a mysterious destructive impulse started licking Kotori's heart as if it was scorching it.
This was the reason why they could not frequently use <Gungnir>which holds absolute power. By any chance, Kotori's consciousness got eaten by that destructive impulse then, Kotori would become a threat to <Fraxinus>. Because of that, they could only fire the main cannon during really critical moments.
Kotori took a deep breath while erasing her angel and released her Astral dress. She then sat on the ground like that.
She then let out her voice to call out to the crew in the bridge.
’’Good work. But we still can't rest. We have to do something about the enemy ship-----’’
But, at that moment.
As if to interrupt Kotori's voice, a very loud emergency rang and echoed.
’’............., what happened! Did the enemy ship do something!?’’
’’N-no! it's not! Thi-this is------’’
At the same time the crew's words, the radar image got shown on a part of the wall showing the sky's scenery.
Looking at that readings shown on it------she gasped.
’’Wha.............this is------another artificial satellite...........!?’’
Yes. A reading similar to the one's that got annihilated has appeared on <Fraxinus>'s higher air again.
’’Impossible-------are you saying the last one was a decoy.......!?’’
Kotori distorted her face in detest.
Most likely the enemy prepared several artificial satellites in the beginning as they saw through the fact that they had an airship and they had a method to shoot down the artificial satellite. Kotori clenched her teeth before placing her hand on her knee and putting strength in it to stand up on the spot.
’’Bring it on............! One more time..........!’’
’’............no, you can't, Kotori. Continous <Gungnir>would bring big burden to you and <Fraxinus>’’
Just when Kotori hung her hand up to manifest her angel again, Reine said that softly.
In an instant, another sound of an explosion echoed and the ship shook harder compared to just now.
The attacks from the enemy ship probably increased. It was dangerous to stay defensive. Either they have to switch to retaliation or took evasive maneuvers.
It was the worst thinkable situation. Even now when the 2nd artificial satellite was falling towards the ground, they could not shoot the <Gungnir>and they are unable to shoot down that ship's territory with <Mystletainn >'s output. No, even before that, if they were to concentrate their attacks onto the artificial satellite then, the <Fraxinus>would sink before that.
’’Just what should we------’’
When Kotori was lost in her decisions for a few moments, she could hear the door of the bridge opening from the speaker.
’’Mu................Wha-what is happening’’
After confirming securing them just now, Tohka and the girls were the ones that entered the bridge. Maybe she saw the noisy bridge, the enemy ship shown n the screen and also the image of the 2nd artificial satellite continuing its fall;she echoed her voice in surprise.
’’Ah-Ahnoo........what is this..........’’
’’Uhhaa. Don't you feel we are in a pinch?’’
’’Kuku...........how miserable. To think you would panic with something like this’’
’’Agree. You all should be calmer’’
’’Ah-re? Is that the artificial satellite we were told just now on the screen? Somehow..........it feels like it's still falling though..........’’
Following after Tohka, the next that entered the bridge were, Yoshino, [Yoshinon], Kaguya, Yuzuru, and Miku;all of them said that.
After Kotori opened her eyes wide and answered back, Tohka replied in wonder.
’’Kotori? Where are you? I don't see Shidou but, what is..........’’
Kotori gasped unintentionally at Tohka's question.
Maybe she felt something from that Kotori manner, Tohka made her expression a little stern.
’’-----Kotori, what's wrong. Please tell me. Is there something we can help?’’
Kotori silently clenched her teeth. The Spirits are targets to be protected. Even if there is a mistake, they should not send them to the dangerous surface.
But-----Shidou is on the ground.
If they find out that the artificial satellite is still falling then, Shidou, that kind brother would without a mistake oppose it.
Commander and sister.
Each position's intentions fought each other------ Kotori opened her lips half unconscious.
’’Please..........everyone. That stupid...........my only Onii-chan.......save him............!’’
After the transmission from Kotori got cut, Shidou looked downwards and clenched his fist.
In an instant, he was about to ignore Kotori's evacuation advice and the thought of resuming to find Natsumi scratched his mind. Even if he gets heavily injured by the poured down artificial satellite fragments and blast, if it is Shidou who has Kotori's protection then, he would not die straight away and would probably resurrect back.
But, when he thought about that, Kotori's words revived in his mind.
(------inside the lives you want to protect, please properly add yours in it too)
’’That's right......sorry, Kotori’’
Shidou said that as if he re-thinks back, and raised his face.
He has been shouting while running around for this much. If Natsumi is observing Shidou then, she would probably run away after realizing the restless situation. He could only pray for that.
Shidou crawled his sights and, looked for the public shelter nearby. During the time when the spacequake alarm is announced, the electric signs and electric noticeboard would show the path to the nearest shelter.
After Shidou confirmed the direction to the nearest underground shelter, he once again raised a shout to his surroundings.
’’---Natsumi! I will now evacuate to the underground shelter! If you don't know where the shelter is, then follow me!’’
A reply........there was none, like he thought.
Shidou prayed that his voice would reach Natsumi and ran towards to the shelter.
Since he ran around to find Natsumi, it was hard for him to breath, and his legs were in dull pain. But he could not stop. He does not know how much time he has left. If Kotori and the group were to destroy the artificial satellite then, an explosion would probably occur. Before that happens, he has to run inside the shelter------and if Natsumi was hiding herself while following Shidou then, Natsumi would probably be dragged into this too.
He appealed to his body which wants to stop and somehow manage to reach a nearby shelter.
Since quite some time has passed since the alarm was announced, the main entrance has already closed down. But, basically these types of public shelter would make an emergency entrance for late runners like Shidou. He moved towards that.
Having reached the emergency entrance, Shidou made a small sigh before looking behind.
’’Natsumi! it's over here! It's okay to hide yourself! Before the fragments fall------’’
He then raised his chin for his voice to get through, before leaving a last appeal.
Shidou stopped his body there.
The reason was simple. When he raised his face, he saw some kind of small shadow coming from the rift of the clouds.
Shidou opened his eyes wide in surprise for an instant but, he immediately noticed its identity.-----It was the artificial satellite Kotori told him about.
’’Oi, You're joking right.........?’’
Shidou squeezed out his trembling voice from his throat.
That was only normal. That's because, instead of thin fragments, right now the thing falling down to Tenguu city was-----a giant cluster of metal.
If that artificial satellite falls down the ground like that, the surrounding shelters won't end up safe. He recalled back what Kotori said just now. Shidou felt something cold expanding in his stomach.
Don't tell me, <Fraxinus>failed to shoot it down..............!? Shidou raised his voice towards the Incam in panic.
’’Kotori! Oi, Kotori! What happened!?’’
When he did that, he could hear a voice with noises mixed in from the Incam.
’’-----dou!? Right now, with enemy ship............., .............failed to shoot........., ........right now-----’’
’’Eh!? Wha-what did you say!?’’
He asked again but, at the same time he heard some kind of explosion, he could not hear anything anymore from the Incam.
He doesn't know the details. But, he could at least understand that there was some kind of emergency situation happening in the sky.
After Shidou gasped, he once again looked back at the sky.
That black boorish silhouette was slowly-----but certainly getting bigger.
After Shidou shouted that, he did not enter the shelter and ran away from that spot.
Even if he enters the shelter now, it would be meaningless if that artificial satellite remains un-destroyed and crashes down. The whole area would be scorch down because of the explosion arts and impact of the crash, and the people evacuated in the shelter would die too.
Tonomachi, Ai, Mai, Mii and his other classmates, his homeroom teacher Tama-chan-sensei, the neighbor he exchanges greeting with every morning, the people in the shopping district that are always kind to him....................countless lives would disappear in an instant.
’’I won't let..............something like that happen............!’’
He glared at the sky while shaking his throat and ran towards the bottom of the artificial satellite.
Shidou did not think he could do something with that giant artificial satellite with his powers alone in the first place. But, there was no one else that can move in the ground. If Shidou gives up then at that moment, everyone losing their lives would be definite. Shidou would never allow something like that.
But even so, the speed of the artificial satellite falling was crazy. it got bigger in a blink of an eye-----and the whole picture could be seen by Shidou eyes.
Shidou ran while grinding his teeth.
If this goes on----it would be no good. Even if he reached the point where the artificial satellite was going to fall to, it would end with Shidou and the city getting blasted off.
It was essential to have a giant power strong enough to sink that embodiment of despair coming from the sky in one hit.
But even so, Shidou was human. A normal...............although he walks a life decorated with misfortune, he was still human in the end. Thinking logically, there was no way he would have that power.
But. Even if Shidou does not have it------if it's the Spirits powers that Shidou was borrowing then.
’’I beg you..............there is only me! Please lend me your power.........!’’
After Shidou shouted, he thrust out his right hand. As if he wanted to cling onto something invisible.-----or possibly-----he grasped something.
And then. There was only one thing in his heart. He only pictured the wish of wanting to save everyone.
’’-----I beg you.........<Sandalphon>!’’
At that instant when he did that, a dazzling light shined in Shidou's sights and------a feeling of holding something in his right hand was born. When the blinding light faded away, a giant sword giving off a pale glow appeared in Shidou's hand.
The Angel <Sandalphon>. It was the absolute sword Tohka holds.
’’........! I did it!’’
Shidou raised his voice unintentionally. It was the angel that he has manifested many times until now. This was the first time he was able to hold <Sandalphon>by his own will.
’’With this I could-----!’’
After Shidou sharpen his sights, he stopped his legs and glared at the falling artificial satellite while making a stance with <Sandalphon>using both his hands.
He made a thin exhale and calmed his heart down. He threw away any unnecessary worries and only thought of protecting the people in the ground. Shidou then swung down <Sandalphon>----and made a line towards the sky.
Light overflowed out from <Sandalphon>'s blade and Shidou then extended it to the sky as if he was following swordsmanship. An absolute strike from the powerful Angel. No matter if the opponent has a territory put up;it should break easily in front of the Angel's slash.
Shidou opened his eyes wide.
The moment the strike Shidou released approached the artificial satellite, it then changed its direction unnaturally just before it hits and then extended to the sky just like that.
The artificial satellite was still going strong. It was spreading thunderous roars while, approaching the ground to annihilate Tenguu city.
’’Damn.......! Once more-----’’
After Shidou clenched his teeth, he once again lifted up <Sandalphon>. But at that moment, a strong pain ran through his body and fell to one of his knees after distorting his face in reflex.
It's the price for using the power of Angels which is too much for humans. Shidou's whole body turned worn-out in just one swing.
Next off, a scorching feeling of him being thrown into fire attacked his body. It was the fire regenerative ability he gained by sealing Kotori's powers but, it half-forced heal Shidou's injured body.
His faced was dyed in pain and he put in strength into his right hand to avoid dropping <Sandalphon>.
But, while he was doing that, the artificial satellite was still approaching to the ground. If he waits for his body to heal then, everything would end before he could release the next strike. Inside the pain and heat which is almost causing him to faint, Shidou somehow managed to stand up with both his legs.
’’Kuh, ah, ah ah.............!’’
He lifted <Sandalphon>with all his might. However, the artificial satellite was already showing its giant appearance towards Shidou's sights. Most likely in another 10 seconds, the whole of Tenguu city would become scorched earth.
Shidou recklessly swung <Sandalphon>. But, there was no way he could use an angel after having lost his concentration. The point of <Sandalphon>sliced the sky fruitlessly and produced loud sounds when it touches the ground.
But, Shidou did not give up. He did not let go of <Sandalphon>even when his muscle fibers are torn, bones cracked and his whole body was burned in scorching heat due to it getting forcefully healed.
’’The hell....I will let you..........!’’
He put strength into his legs when he was about to fall.
The moment, if Shidou gives up, the people evacuated in the shelter will be killed. He would never let something like that ever happen.
’’My.............city..........! Don't you fall...........on itttttttttttttttt!’’
Shidou mustered his strength into his whole body and swung <Sandalphon>down. The sword strike turned into light and stretched out to the artificial satellite as if to swallow it. But-----that strike could not even break the Territory.
--at that moment.
Shidou suddenly twitched his shoulders.
The moment Shidou swung the sword, a cold wind suddenly blew passed by suddenly.
It was a sudden cold wind that feels like the arrival of winter. But immediately, Shidou noticed that he was familiar with that feeling.
Next, Shidou looked up at the sky and lost his breath.
The artificial satellite has stopped in a position just few hundreds meter from the ground.
No-----more specifically, a wind pressure blowing upwards like an updraft and a wall compiled with ice, just barely stopped the artificial satellite was approaching to the ground by emitting its thrusters.
A familiar voice echoed from behind. Shidou moved his painful body and turned around.
Over there, Yoshino clinging to an angel that looks like a giant rabbit was there.
’’Yoshino........why are you here!?’’
’’Kuku, Yoshino isn't the only one’’
’’Unsatisfied. I wished you would see Yuzuru and Kaguya's great effort’’
He then heard 2 voices coming from the sky next. When he looked over, he found out that the Yamai sisters were floating there while manifesting their angels and astral dress in limited release mode in the sky. It seems Yoshino and the Yamai sisters have hold back the artificial satellite from falling in the nick of time.
The next ones that echoed were Tohka and Miku's voices. Both of them were covered in a pale light dress and Tohka was holding in her hands a sword with the same shape as the Angel Shidou was holding in his hands.
’’Tohka.......even Miku too........!’’
Tohka nodded, when Shidou said that in a surprised face.
’’Umu, we heard that Shidou and everyone was in danger so, we quickly had them teleport us here. It's good that we made it’’
’’I see..........how about Kotori and the rest?’’
When Shidou asked, Miku was the one who raised her voice this time.
’’They are fighting with the enemy ship. Well, I think is alright to leave that to them’’
He was convinced after hearing those words. It was probably their fault that <Fraxinus>failed in shooting down the artificial satellite and the transmission got cut just now.
Although he was worried about <Fraxinus>but, he could only believe Kotori and the rest now. He looked back at the girls and slightly lowered his head.
’’Sorry........you saved me. I honestly thought I was going to die’’
’’What are you saying. Isn't Shidou the one that saved us. We have already received the debt to repay back for something like this’’
After Tohka said that, everyone in the surroundings nodded.
And when Shidou looked at everyone faces, Yoshino and the Yamai sisters suddenly distorted their faces.
’’Kuh, what is with this guy, it suddenly gotten more energetic’’
’’Resent. I wish it would read the atmosphere’’
It seems the custom type <Bandersnatch>combined with the artificial satellite increased the thrusters output. The artificial satellite that was being held back gradually got closer to the ground once again.
When Miku saw that, she spread out both her hands and then crossed both of it In front of her body like that.
’’I will.........not let that happen!’’
After Miku made tracks with her hands, a light keyboard appeared on the spot. Next off behind Miku, a big piano organ-like shape angel was manifested.
At the same time when she shouted, Miku's thin fingers started dancing fluently on top of the light keyboard. When she did that, a gallant tone echoed throughout-------the wind and ice holding back the artificial satellite got even stronger.
’’Kuku, this song is the best like I thought. My blood is boiling and body is dancing.....!’’
’’With all might. Nice assist’’
Yoshino and the Yamai sisters bounced their voices. The song controlling Angel <Gabriel>Miku holds. Just by changing the song tone it is performing, it is possible to grant several types of results to the target.
Hearing that song, the people that hears the brave [March] will have their heart and body invigorated and made them able to use their powers, stronger than usual.
Feeling power flowing into his body too, Shidou clenched his fist.
’’Okay.........if it's like this! Tohka, help me! We are going to destroy that big thing! We can do it if it is the both of us!’’
Yes. Right now and right here, Shidou and Tohka, there are 2 <Sandalphon>existing here. If they attacked at the same time then, there is no mistake they can break the enemy's territory.
However, Tohka swung her head with a difficult face.
’’No, we can't’’
’’Can't...........? Wh-why can't we?’’
’’Mu.............I don't get it but, Kotori said we can't. It seems this thing has an explosion art thingy attached to it so, it would activate once it is destroyed. That's why, we have to break it higher up in the sky’’
’’-----uh, i- I see.....!’’
What she said was true. Thanks to Yoshino, Kaguya and Yuzuru, they managed to kill off the falling speed but, this artificial satellite still has the ability of a pure bomb. If it explodes this close to the ground then, the shelter right below won't stand a chance.
’’Th-then what should we----’’
Shidou then mumbled that painfully, and the Yamai sisters echoed their voice from the sky.
’’Kuku, the reason is very simple. If we can't destroy it here then, we should just push it back to the sky’’
’’Consent. That is the only way’’
’’Wha.........can you do that!?’’
When Shidou asked that, Kaguya and Yuzuru looked at each other before, *nii* making a smile.
’’Ku-Kuku.............who do you think we are. We are the child of the hurricanes which mows down everything, the Yamai's’’
’’Undertaking. Leave it to Yuzuru and Kaguya. We will throw away this small luggage’’
After saying it with confidence, the both of them nodded.
But, there was faint droplets of sweat oozing down their cheeks, and he could see that they are only putting up a brave act. That's only normal. The artificial satellite can be easily estimated to be a few tons. What's more, it was currently having the thrusters propelling downwards. It might still be okay if they use full power but, Kaguya and Yuzuru were still currently in a state where their Reiryoku is being sealed by Shidou. There was no way they could carry it that easily.
However, the Yamai sisters did not make even a simple complain and after making a small nod, both of them spread out both their hands.
’’Fuun..........okay, let's do this Yuzuru’’
’’Reply. Whenever you are’’
At the same time when both of them said that, the wind swirling nearby turned stronger by one layer. The surroundings signboard, road signs, traffic lights and other various things got dragged in while turning it into a giant tornado.
’’Uu, ooo, ryahhhhhhhh!’’
’’With all might. Teiiyaa----’’
Both of them then raised both their hands upwards and the artificial satellite bit by bit, but was certainly going up.
This might work with this. Shidou felt his fist naturally clenching harder.
But, at that moment. When he thought a small missile-like object flew towards the Yamai sisters from the sky, it then landed on both of their backs and an explosion occurred.
At the same time with the Yamai sisters echoing an anguish sound from the sky, the wind weaken down and the artificial satellite that was heading upwards once again dropped down on the wall of ice.
After Shidou called out to both of their names, the thick smoke shrouding them was blown off by the wind and the Yamai sisters with a little sooty appearance compared to just now appeared. It seems, even if it is a limited state, since they manifested their Astraldress and was covered with wind in the surroundings, they both end up safe.
’’Guh.........Who is it! To hinder us like this........!’’
’’Inelegant. How annoying’’
The Yamai sisters glared up at the sky.
Shidou raised his eyes to chase both of their sights and-----gasped.
Across the sky, countless <Bandersnatch>'s were heading towards Shidou and the girls direction. They does not know the exact number but, it is under around 50 units at the very least by estimation. Each one of them had CR-units equipped in their hands and legs making them prepared for battle.
Thinking back, there was a DEM airship in the sky now. Most likely this <Bandersnatch>team was sent from there.------in order to eliminate Shidou and the girls who were preventing the artificial satellite from crashing.
After the group of <Bandersnatch>was deployed to up, down, left, right directions in the sky, they launched an attack at the Yamai sisters who were making the artificial satellite rise up, Yoshino who was preventing it from falling, Miku who was amplifying everyone's power with her performance and Shidou and Tohka who were waiting to make a decisive hit to blow up the artificial satellite.
’’Kuh-------Be careful, everyone!’’
At the same time with Shidou's shout, the <Bandersnatch>group that spread out in the sky shot micro missiles at the same time.
But, since everyone was just barely holding back the falling artificial satellite, they were unable to cope with that. Yoshino with cold air, the Yamai with the wind and Miku with the sound made walls respectively and tried blocking but, they could not completely kill off the impact. One of the explosions induced the surrounding missiles to explode causing it to shake the surrounding atmosphere together with the flames of the explosion.
’’Dull pain. Ukyuu..........’’
’’Wai-wait! What is thiss!’’
Everyone's screams could be heard nearby and the wall of wind and ice stopping the falling artificial satellite started to creak.
’’Nu.......! Damn you!’’
Being the only one who mowed down every missiles heading towards her, Tohka *kii* sharpen her sights before contracting her legs tightly and kicking the ground.
She then advances in the sky in one straight line and one after another, she cut off the <Bandersnatch>'s that attacked Yoshino and the rest.
’’Now, Kaguya, Yuzuru! The artificial satellite------Uguh!’’
However, the number of the enemies was too many for one person to handle. From the enemy that was approaching in four sides, she was immediately pushed with the launched micro missiles and laser guns as if they were trying to weave that distance.
While shouting-----Shidou leaped backwards. The reason was simple. That's because a <Bandersnatch>came attacking up by swinging its laser blade.
After Shidou inserted strength into his hand which was holding the grip, he then swung <Sandalphon>sideways. The upper half and lower half of the <Bandersnatch>in front of him were separated beautifully and sparks were scattering about from the severed surface.
However, the true horror of the <Bandersnatch>was its numbers and combinations. It would not care if its allies are down and the dolls, fearless of death would keep on attacking.
Shidou continued avoiding the attacks, handling it, and counter back when there is a chance but------his limit immediately arrived.
Of course, there was no way the <Bandersnatch>would not give mercy and pity to him. The expressionless grim reapers did not let this good chance go and headed towards Shidou.
Tohka and the girls noticed that and raised their voices but, they were currently surrounded by countless <Bandersnatch>'s too. Even if they want to run towards Shidou's side, they were currently in a situation where they can't move.
The <Bandersnatch>stood in front of Shidou and swing up the laser blade.
Inside the echoes of Tohka's voice------the <Bandersnatch>swung its sword down accurately at Shidou's eyes.
In the suite room of the imperial hotel located at east Tenbuu, Westcott looked behind at the voice that suddenly called out to him.
Nonetheless, behind Westcott was not the room's entrance but instead there was a giant window showing the Tenguu city's townscape. Thinking normally, there should not be a voice calling out.
But, he immediately knew the situation the moment he looked behind. Wearing a CR-unit and floating in the sky, Ellen was calling to Westcott through the glass she gouged a rectangle out from. Most likely, she hated the labor of entering through the lobby and flew directly to the room.
’’Hey, Ellen. It's a wonderful entrance but, it's a little violent though’’
When Westcott said that while looking at the beautiful surface of the cut glass, Ellen entered the room through the glass hole she opened.
’’Now isn't the time for jokes. Please run away immediately. The rebels in the previous board's meeting are planning to kill you by crashing an artificial satellite’’
’’Aah, I heard. There was a contact to me too just now’’
Westcott raised the side of his lips before giggling.
’’I never would have thought Murdoch would have this much execution power and courage. It's an interesting method to use the artificial satellite that was planned for disposal instead of sending an assassin. Iya iya, I might have underestimated him. What a wonderful personal. I have to praise him if I head back to Great Britain’’
Ellen said that as if she was unsatisfied with Westcott's happy manner.
’’Anyway, it is dangerous to stay here. I will maintain my Territory while flying as far as possible. Please gather everything you need’’
’’It's going to be alright here. What, it won't become a big deal’’
’’..................., it's true that if you are with me then, it is possible to restrain the damages with the Territory. But, this is just in case’’
’’No, before even that, I predict that Murdoch's plan is going to fail’’
When Westcott said that, Ellen raised her eyebrows in suspicion.
’’What do you mean’’
’’----here in the Tenguu city, there is Itsuka Shidou's house and it is the foundation of the Spirits daily life. Also, there is no mistake that the <Ratatoskr>airship is here. If they are the one then, they would probably do something about it. That's because------that is the organization that Elliot created’’
The moment the name Elliot was brought up, he found out that Ellen's face distorted in unpleasantness.
’’I can't believe this. Are you stopping here just because of that reason?’’
’’Aah. I can't?’’
’’Obviously. Don't you understand of importance of yourself?’’
Ellen said that in a threatening tone. Westcott made a small sigh before slightly raising both his hands.
’’I understand. Let's do this then. It's true there is a one in a thousand chance. Murdoch is meticulous. It is thinkable enough for him to have 2 or 3 methods. That's why------’’
Towards the direction Ellen was facing towards to----Westcott faced back to the center of the room.
Over there, there was one girl standing there without saying any words from just now.
’’Let's dispatch her’’
’’..................., her you say’’
’’Aah. Don't you think it's a perfect chance to test run <Modred>’’
After Westcott said that, he then narrowed his eyes while asking the girl.
’’-----I want you to show your power. How about it?’’
The girl didn't say anything as expected and only nodded.
’’........., ......, ........’’
Natsumi somehow managed to kill off her rough breathing.
*Dokun**Dokun*. Her heart was beating unwantedly fast from just now. Like a titan's footstep, Natsumi's insides to her eardrums were shaking.
It was unnecessary to think for the reason. It was Shidou, and his comrades.
It was good until half-way. It seems Tohka and the girls had already evacuated and Shidou who has been contacted by Kotori, honestly headed to the shelter. Everything was going as what Natsumi had planned.
But, just when she thought Shidou noticed about something and ran out to the city, he started trying to stop the giant artificial satellite.
---And now, a life-threatening predicament was approaching Shidou.
Around the time they were pushing back the artificial satellite to the sky when his comrades came running, countless machine dolls called <Bandersnatch>appeared and started attacking Shidou and the rest.
A <Bandersnatch>raised its sword up at Shidou who was kneeling down. After an instant, once that blade concentrated with Maryoku was swung down, Shidou's body would probably get slice easily. Natsumi recalled back the pain when she got cut by Ellen on her stomach and shivered in reflex.
Shidou will definitely die if this goes on. When she thought of that, rather than recalling the wound she got from Ellen, Natsumi felt a vigorous pain in her chest.
It's alright, it's alright, and she kept repeating that in her heart as if to make herself hear it. It will be okay anyway. Even if Natsumi doesn't goes out, Shidou will not die.
Currently, things somehow managed when Shidou got attacked by Ellen in his house, and even though Shidou was about to be crushed by the artificial satellite, Tohka and the rest saved him. Shidou has many trustworthy comrades. It was not a scene where someone like Natsumi should come out after such a long time.
’’..................it's alright........someone will save him anyway right........? Hurry up already.........’’
While saying that with a soft voice, she waited for someone to save Shidou.
But because Tohka, Yoshino, the Yamai sisters and Miku were being stopped by <Bandersnatch>, they were unable to run over to him. Adding on, speaking of which she realized that they said Kotori and the rest were in a middle of a fight in the skies, from just now.
Although Natsumi distorted her face at her painfully pulsating heart while saying that-------no one appeared. The <Bandersnatch>swung down its sword at Shidou.
At that moment, Natsumi finally realized, that there was not a single [someone] existing in this spot.
Shidou opened his eyes in shock.
In front of Shidou who was unable to move, the <Bandersnatch>swung its blade down and in the instant of the given up life-threatening predicament------
Something in Shidou's pocket wriggled around.
He thought it was his cell-phone was reaching a call for a moment. But-----it was wrong. The chupa chups Shidou picked up in the underground jumped out from his pocket vigorously and protected Shidou from the <Bandersnatch>attack with its small body.
’’Heh...............? A ca-candy..........?’’
He opened his mouth wide blankly at the unexpected event.
That's only normal. A sphere small enough to be fit inside the palm of Shidou's hands was floating in front of him and was defending the laser blade attack while scattering maryoku light. Getting surprised was probably what this meant.
After the chupa chups flick away the laser blade, it destroyed the <Bandersnatch>head like that before starting to give out a pale glow. That small silhouette then gradually grows bigger.
After a few seconds, a petite girl wearing a witch-like astral dress was there.
Shidou shouted unintentionally. Yes, that was the Spirit girl Shidou was running in the city looking for.
It's true that if she was left on the surface then, she would probably be in a position observing Shidou's movements.......he thought of something like that but, he never would have thought she was hiding this nearby him.
When Shidou said that, Natsumi remained still, not matching her sights with him and slightly opened her mouth.
’’...........hurry up. You are going to break that big thing right’’
After saying that, she used the visor of the hat to hide her face while facing her back at Shidou.
But, that was enough for Shidou. Of course, there was the case about the increase of trustworthy comrades in this predicament. But more than that, no matter what reason it may be for Natsumi who did not open her hearts to Shidou and the group, he was very happy for her to say she wanted to help.
Shidou made a strong nod, and put in strength to the hand holding <Sandalphon>.
At that moment, when he thought he heard Miku's scream coming from behind, the brave march song flowing nearby was suddenly cut.
It seems, she was unable to continue performing due to the <Bandersnatch>'s attack. Miku jumped behind and started attacking the group of <Bandersnatch>with her [Voice].
At the same time with the performance being cut off and her doing that, cracks entered in the ice wall that was barely holding back the artificial satellite and it started collapsing. And at exact timing with that, the wind swirling around also lost its energy.
The Yamai sisters and Yoshino's Reiryoku which was increased because of Miku's performance was probably unable to circulate into preserving the wall. With its shackle lost, the artificial satellite once again accelerated and started falling towards the ground.
At that moment, after shaking off the <Bandersnatch>in the sky, Tohka descended towards Shidou and Natsumi's side.
’’Are you okay, Shidou!’’
’’A-aah.........I am okay. More importantly----’’
When Shidou looked up at the falling artificial satellite, Tohka nodded in horror.
’’Umu.........but, what should we do!? If we destroy it here then, a giant explosion will occur here right!?’’
After Tohka said that in panic, Natsumi snorted.
’’...............anyway, just break that thing already. Don't you two have that amazing sword’’
’’No, that thing has something called explosion arts on it------’’
Just when Shidou said that, Natsumi snorted unhappily again.
She then thrust her hand forward and shouted.
When she did that, a broom-like Angel appeared in her hand and when he thought the tip of it opened up, a blinding light wrapped the surroundings.
Shidou and Tohka covered their eyes reflexively in an instant.
Next, the moment they opened their eyes.
Shidou looked up at the sky, and opened his eyes in surprise, contrastively different from just now.
That was only normal. That's because, the artificial satellite that has reached until a few hundred meters off the ground was transformed into a giant fat round Mr. Pig mascot.
It was unmistakably <Haniel>'s transformation ability. Shidou immediately looked at Natsumi.
In mid-October. He recalled back the time he first met Natsumi. During that time, Natsumi changed the appearance of the AST members into mascots and the approaching missiles into carrots just like right now.
And even when those carrot missiles landed on the floor, only comical-like explosion from mangas occurred.
Of course, it would turn out the same way since the difference between its original power and size is too different but, maybe with this------!
’’Come on, hurry up...........!’’
Natsumi said that irritated. There was still a giant pig approaching Tenguu city. The ability of it being a bomb has dropped drastically but, if something that size falls down then, a tremendous impact will probably occur.
But, it does not change the fact that it became possible to destroy the target in the spot with this. After Shidou express his thanks to Natsumi, he brought his sights towards Tohka.
’’Let's do this, Tohka!’’
’’Umu! Ready when you are!’’
After Shidou and Tohka nodded at each other, both of them prepared <Sandalphon>at the target at the same time.
Originally, this angel was the only one in existence. It was [A miracle that holds a shape] that definitely has nothing that can oppose it.
With that miracle, Shidou and Tohka swung it down at the same time.
The shining sword strike released by Shidou and Tohka, made a cross in the sky and exploded at the target.
However, maybe since it still has its <Bandersnatch>ability even though it has its shape changed, it put up a territory to defend against the attack made from both of them.
It was still an angel attack. There was no way the <Bandersnatch>territory would defend against it easily. But, not only is Tohka also quite exhausted from fighting the <Bandersnatch>s;being not the true user of the angel-----Shidou's body was reaching its limit because of frequent force usage. The strike barely broke through the territory and was approaching the giant pig as if it was leaning forward to it.
A little more. It was seriously a little bit more. However, he could not fill in that little bit no matter what he does.
Whether it's Yoshino or Kaguya or Yuzuru or Miku. If one of them could provide assistance then it could probably be destroyed but-------Yoshino and the others were still being blocked by the <Bandersnatch>and could not move.
’’If, this, goes on------’’
Shidou made an anguished expression and was about to fall on his knees.
Natsumi raised the angel she was holding in her right hand and shouted once more.
It can't be because she saw Shidou and Tohka unable to destroy this Mr. Pig that she planned to transform it into something else. No------ she would do that in the beginning if that was possible. Then what is she..........
When Shidou thought about that, Natsumi then continued raising her voice.
In an instant.
A change appeared on the broom Angel that Natsumi was hanging out.
The broom's whole body was covered with a mysterious color like a polished mirror and the broom itself transformed its silhouette like clay. Moments later.
Shidou opened his eyes wide in surprise when he saw that in Natsumi's hand.
It was a [sword].
It has a blade with the width just around Natsumi's body. It has a glowing gold guard and black grip. Yes-----
---The Angel <Sandalphon>manifested there.
’’What are you doing to Shidou............! The only one that can mess with him is----------only meeeeeeeeeeeeee!’’
After Natsumi shouted, she then swung as hard as possible at the Mr. Pig with <Sandalphon>.
When she did that, the blade was overflowing with light and Natsumi performed a sword strike at the target as if she was following swordsmanship.
It was not only the shape. Although it is inferior to Tohka's, it unmistakably has the same powers as the real <Sandalphon>.
Shidou, Tohka and also----Natsumi.
The <Sandalphon>sword strike from 3 of them, bathed the target's territory.
The invisible wall put up around the Mr. Pig, made sounds as if it was cracking-----and gradually get smashed up.
Once it loses its Territory, there will be nothing left to protect the mascot which only has its giant size. Thanks to the remains of the sword strike that broke through the territory, Mr. Pig made a comical sound like the ones from Mangas and burst------countless chupa chups then poured down nearby like rain.
’’Kuku, you did it’’
’’Aah, darling was so cool--’’
After succeeding in destroying the artificial satellite. Having defeating all the <Bandersnatch>, Yoshino, Kaguya, Yuzuru and Miku went over to Shidou and the others side. It seems everyone got light injuries but, they seem to be alright.
After Shidou took a sigh of relief about that fact for now, he then deeply lowered his heads towards everyone.
’’Everyone..............thank you. If it was only me..............I could not have saved everyone from the city. Really, thank you all very much’’
When Shidou said that, the girls lined up there swung their heads uniformly.
’’I told you already Shidou. All of us wanted to help you’’
’’I also, like..............this city so’’
’’Ufufu, that's about it. Well, just let us help this much’’
’’Fuu...........well, it was thanks to you in the first place or else we won't be here now’’
’’Agree. Even this much isn't enough to repay you back’’
’’That's right you know. Rather, I would be so happy until the level of writing a new song, just by being relied on by darling’’
After saying that, everyone *nii* smiled. Shidou scratched his cheeks while making a wry smile and-----said [Thank you] once more.
But, inside there, there was only one person not saying anything and was about to leave the place.-----it's Natsumi.
When Shidou called her, Natsumi made a big twitch with her shoulders and stopped on the spot.
She then slowly looked over to Shidou and the girls, and *fuun* snorted in a manner as if she was a little afraid.
’’..........wha-what is it. Are you saying I should come out faster rather than that moment? Or maybe, are you saying it's disgusting for me to transform as a candy and hide in your pocket..........?’’
Again in a negative manner, she said that. After Shidou made a wry smile at that unchanging manner, he *fuu* made a sigh.
’’------Glad you're safe’’
When Shidou said that, Natsumi opened her eyes wide and stood still on the spot.
’’Wh-what.......are you saying. I..............hide as I pleased..............and still cause trouble to you..........’’
While saying that with difficulty, Natsumi's body started to tremble a little.
’’Before even that.........I did a lot of bad things to you all........but even so, why, why.............’’
Gradually, her voice started to have sobs mixed into it. Large drops of tears started to fall from her emerald eyes and her voice gradually got louder.
’’What.........just what is with you all, every one of you.........! Aren't you all stupid, aren't you all stupid.......!? I don't get it.....! Why, why would you all go...........!’’
The last part of the sentence was no longer words anymore. Road of tears formed on her cheeks and she started to cry loudly.
’’U-ue............,ku, uaa,aaaaaaaaaaaaa, uaaaaaaah-----’’
Shidou did not think she would cry. Not knowing what to do, he moved his hands hastily to try to calm her down. Maybe they realized the weird situation, Tohka and the girls started to try and stop Natsumi from crying too.
But, Natsumi did not stop crying and---------continued, echoing her tear filled voice.
’’So..........sorry...........I did so many bad things.................cause trouble for everyone.........sorry...............even though everyone was nice to me..............I am sorry for saying only bad things..............’’
Even though she was making hiccups, Natsumi did not stop her words. She continued on as if to release all of the pent up emotions she accumulated in her heart until now in one go.
’’When you all gave me a massage.........I was happy..........when you all cut my hair............I was happy.........., when you all chose clothes for me.......I was happy..........., when you all put make-up on me............I was happy.........uh, when everyone told me I was cute............I was happy...........!’’
She then slurp up the running mucus from her noise-----
’’Even........when I was that happy.............I did not say it at that time............sorry.............’’
Natsumi looked at Shidou's eyes with bloodshot eyes.
After Shidou opened his eyes wide, he looked at Tohka and the others faces. Tohka and the rest also made the same faces.
But, they immediately relaxed their mouth and faced Natsumi.
’’Don't worry about it. We are thankful too. Without you, I have no idea what would happen to everyone by now’’
’’..........also, you don't have to bother about it. I was the one that got taken care off anyway’’
After Shidou said that, he made a soft sigh before putting out his right hand to Natsumi.
’’Errr..........well, about that. I promised you that you can go anywhere you like once everything is over so, even though I can't stop you anymore, if it is okay with you..........’’
After saying that, Shidou this time stared at Natsumi's eyes.
’’-----Can we...........become friends?’’
Natsumi gasped in shock and looked at Shidou, Tohka and the others in turns.
After that, slowly-----in a timid manner, Natsumi grabbed Shidou's hand before, nodding.
Once again, large drops of tears flowed down her eyes and she started to cry.
’’Aaah--, oh darling, you made Natsumi-chan cry again--’’
Miku said that while teasing him. Shidou twitched his shoulders.
’’I can't leave Natsumi-chan to someone like that. So with that, Natsumi-chan lets become friends too ’’
’’Mu! Shidou, don't bully Natsumi. Let's be friends too!’’
’’Yoshinon too---! Yoshinon too---!’’
’’Kuku, it's dangerous to leave your body to Shidou. Alright, Natsumi. I specially allow you to be my kinsman’’
’’Consent. Who knows what kind of perverted plays Shidou would force onto you. Yuzuru and the others will protect you properly.
And, continuing right after Miku, everyone started to gather around Natsumi too. Shidou could not stand it anymore and raised his voice.
’’O-oi, you girls! Don't say things that could make misunderstandings about me!’’
After Shidou shouted, everyone started to laugh.
He then looked over to Natsumi-----and although there were still tears left on Natsumi's cheeks, Shidou made an expression as if he saw something the first time.
That's------a very cute smile.
- Jump up↑ A kind of youkai that appears in the Japanese folklore and has two long horns growing out from its head