The whispers of wind Chloe heard was the reason she felt something amiss.
She might have missed it if it wasn’t for that.
“What happened? Chloe senpai?”
Yuri asked while flying at the back to her right.
They were in the patrol flight right now. The height was 3200m. On the day before, after the incident of a squadron not returning, the patrol rotation was changed to focus on Royal Guards as the center.
In the direction 「Mystogan」 was advancing, there was something that resembled the structure of a cumulonimbus cloud, they went towards it to investigate.
There was no need to be alert if it was scattered thin clouds, but if it was a thick and dense cloud cluster, there was a danger that something malicious to the Floating City was lurking in it.
Chloe’s squadron had already mobilized once that day, this was the second time. Just as they were returning to 「Mystogan」 after confirming no danger.
“Un, there is somehow an ominous feeling.”
Ignoring Yuri who showed an incomprehensible look, Chloe stared at the gaps in the big and thick cloud cluster. Is there something there, Yuri became cautious.
Small black dots could be spotted, but it was too far from here to judge what they were. Yuri thought that they should investigate, and was about to use the communication crystal to inform the surrounding to raise their alert.
Gashan. A sound came from the activation of the nearby mechanical device.
She turned her head back to see Chloe readied her Magic Cannon Staff sternly, locked on through her scope.
Converge. Aim. Shoot.
This series of action was carried out fluently, the cannon muzzle flashed red, surrounded those black dots and exterminated them. It was not just that, the strength of that shot also dug away the cloud cluster within its trajectory.
“It seems to be eliminated.”
Yuri informed Chloe whose destructive power was astonishing as usual without sparing her praise.
Her nickname 「Nirvana」 was not just for show.
Her normal personality was graceful, but would display an attitude fitting of S-rank squadron leader once battle commenced.
Despite Yuri showing a relieved face, Chloe did not lower her guard but raised it instead.
“No, it’s not over yet.”
“……Yes, sorry for saying something improper.”
In the cloud cluster Chloe dug out, a large amount of small black dots overflowed from inside. The level of threat could not be determined from this distance, but it would probably become a fight to death.
“Looks like they were ambushing in there.”
During the emergency situation, Lloyd who was grasping the situation with composure since just now put his hand on the communication crystal to respond. He received a communication from another squadron patrolling nearby.
“What is it?”
“Looks like it’s a bad news.”
Lloyd reported calmly.
“The news of a squadron losing contact happened at the same time when the figure of Chimera is confirmed near 「Mystogan」. 「Mystogan」 has announced an emergency situation order. They want us to return asap.”
“Even if they tell us to return……”
“Well it’s just an announcement. Anyone would notice that this is not a situation that can let you return if you want to.”
“I-Is that fine! Chloe senpai and Lloyd senpai……!”
Chloe readied her Magic Cannon Staff, then aimed at the 200m away Achernar class, and the bigger sized, mantis-shaped Procyon class Magical Armoured Insects.
“But Yuri. Surely we cannot bring all these back with us right?”
She shot again. A red stream rushed out with a big recoil, but the eliminated number was less as the enemies had spread out.
“I understand that much! But if the two of you do not return, there will be noone to take on the Chimera! I will distract them here……”
Chloe turned to Lloyd with a troubled look after hearing it. He provided his opinion after understanding the intention of the squadron leader.
“It’s impossible with just Yuri. If only just maintaining current situation, but you won’t be able to handle an unexpected situation.”
Hearing those words of concern, Yuri’s expression clouded. Chloe comforted Yuri who was disheartened gently.
“Besides, Yuri. 「Mystogan」has Kanata.”
“That traitor senpai should be the first to run. Like that time……”
“Yuri. About Kanata……Please believe in him.”
“Kanata’s personality will not let him leave those in trouble alone.”
“That’s right. He is someone simple enough to move once someone is in danger.”
Chloe declared with an angelic smile that did not show a speck of insecurity, Lloyd also agreed with her. They started to confront the Magical Armoured Insects that closed in. Yuri also joined the fray to support them.
Kuusen Madoushi Division Control Center.
In the dim underground with lighting concentrated, multiple monitors were displaying the outside images. With the hologram of 「Mystogan」 at the center, multiple large scale communication crystals were connected to the headphones worn by the operators standing by for emergency.
The moment Feron entered the room, she saw the anxious faces of other Division Heads and overall-in-charge. The siren rang right after she just finished the paperworks before noon, she had to give instructions down to squadron level for warning and evacuation according to rules, hence reaching here late.
Feron who held the full authority during battle instructed.
“Explain the situation.”
“A large scale Magical Armoured Insect assault. Please look at here.”
The operator immediately displayed the red dots around the hologram. It was not just a single or few dots. Thousands, or even tens of thousands of red dots flooded the surrounding air space.
Every one of them represented a Magical Armoured Insect. On the other hand, the Kuusen Madoushi from 「Mystogan」that were deployed, represented by blue dots, were overwhelmingly less.
“This is……Quite overestimating our battle strength.”
Feron stared at the red dots that were increasing even now. Twenty minutes had not even passed since she received the communication in her office and rushed here. The countless red dots seemed to be led by something, forming a semi-circular encirclement formation in front of the path 「Mystogan」 was advancing.
Feron had experienced assaults of this scale a few times before. Despite them desperately defending, they invaded into the city, causing three-digit casualties including both Kuushi and citizens.
“Has the evacuation been carried out?”
“Yes. However, the injured continues to rise from this disturbance……”
“There is no problem if it is going well. We are fortunate if it’s just the level of injuries.”
The overall-in-charge that replied with a grim face, from here on ── injury was nothing considering the large scale encounter battle against the Magical Armoured Insects. The Kuushi would be putting their lives on the line from here onwards.
“Situation is situation. Our current victory condition is to repel the enemy Magical Armoured Insects and Chimera as soon as possible. Defeat condition is the fall of 「Mystogan」, letting the enemy invade into the shelters within the city. Our deployment of battle strength will be the same as usual, forming seven battalions with A-rank squadrons as core. Let them defend the key locations.”
In the battle against Magical Armoured Insects, Kuusen Madoushi Division Head’s authority would be higher than even the overall-in-charge of 「Mystogan」.
The staffs rushed about in order to convey Feron’s decisions right after. Feron encouraged them.
“Battle is always like this. The situation is always changing, we won’t be able to move according to our will all the time. But please do your best for the sake of survival. That is the rule of this place. And those defeatists should get out of here now. You can still make it if you run away now.”
The imposing Feron mentioned the words of running away. Everyone in that place was half a step slow to understand her meaning. There was no place to escape in the Floating City. Abandoning the city to run away was another matter, but abandoning what they should protect was ── a serious act of betrayal.
Feron surveyed her surrounding. Not a single person dared to defy her sharp glance as she was the person in charge of Floating City defence.
“Very well. Then, commence the battle. Provide instruction to every unit. The first, second, fourth, fifth battalion with A-rank squadrons as core will set up a double defense line at the Floating City air space, the seventh battalion will defend directly above the city ──”
Suburb zone three. It was originally a sparsely populated rural area, now even more quiet like a ghost town due to the evacuation of residents. Misora in charge of evacuation ushering reported.
“I have confirmed that there are no stragglers from evacuation within this area.”
“Fuu, I have completed my side as well. There are no stragglers from evacuation. Seriously, I am disheartened to have fallen so far to be doing this kind of plain work.”
Confirming if there were stragglers during evacuation, if there were anyone using this chance to conduct crime, were the tasks given to E-601 squadron that was assigned to the rural area.
There were less population in the suburb zone near the dome wall, so the evacuation was carried out more smoothly, but.
“I have also finished confirming my side……Speaking of which, where is Lecty?”
Kanata and co went to search around, only to find Lecty squatting at a narrow road in the shade of a building, facing a black cat that was frightened and hid into the crevice on the road side.
Nyaa, she imitated a cat’s meowing and rescued the frightened cat. Even animals lowered their guards before the innocent and pure her.
Hugging the black cat, Lecty looked up with an expression of wanting to say something.
“Bring it along to the shelter.”
“Thank you very much!”
Holding the black cat like that, Lecty, with renewed spirit, ran towards the elevator connected to the shelter.
Watching the scene unfold, Rico questioned.
“Why are you here?”
“Naturally, it’s to see if there are any stragglers from evacuation.”
“I don’t want to hear that. I know your real strength. As a former ace, you should be going to the front line and trample the enemies.”
Even though he was a traitor, he was still a resident of this city, but Kanata behaved as if the commotion was unrelated to him in Rico’s eyes.
In truth, Kanata also wanted to to participate in the battle right this instant. However.
“I also have various circumstances. Being a traitor and all.”
Kanata replied blandly. Rico silently took a despised glance as if saying you are a traitor after all, then continued to search for any stragglers in the town area again.
However, Misora felt suspicious while listening at the side.
Although it was difficult to comprehend what that carefree Kanata was thinking, she understood that he was someone with a strong will through the Hope of Hill incident.
Kuusen Madoushi Division had casualties every year, but she believed that at least Kanata was someone who would not abandon those people to the last of the last moment. Since he treated herself who was a failure enthusiastically, providing her guidance. There was no way such a passionate guy like him would not fight to protect others.
Then, why is he not sortieing out? Perhaps there are some reasons that he cannot sortie? Then maybe……
“Umm, Kanata-san. I have safely sent the cat into shelter.”
“Nn, Lecty. Thank you for the hard work.”
When she returned from the shelter, Lecty looked elated.
Kanata also changed back to his usual carefree face.
“What is it? Did something good happen?”
“Yes. When I was sending the cat, the people from the shelter are cheering for us.”
Those residents must be believing in the students from Kuusen Madoushi Division.
“I see. Then we cannot let their expectations down.”
At that time. The seventh battalion flying in vigilance directly above 「Mystogan」 suddenly began to panic, the countless existences swarming in from the surrounding like a black mist were……
Countless buzzing noise from beating wings overlapped to generate a deafening noise like the groaning of earth could be heard.
Devouring humans, slaughtering, exterminating. Such were the wills of the Magical Armoured Insects.
The power residing in their bodies was Curse. A destructive power that humans could not comprehend.
Swarms of thousands of them flew in to assault as if burying the sky. The corner where they were gave people a hallucination of dark clouds looming over.
When 「Mystogan」 entered their sight range, tens of light rays suddenly shot out, hitting the center of the Achernar class swarm.
Tens of them were shot down in an instant. Then the light continued to pour down mercilessly, things that touched were burnt to nothingness in an instant, but the damage was minuscule due to the overall number.
The first, second, fourth, fifth battalion were assigned to the outer air space of the city. With each battalion numbering 300 people, their total numbered 1200. Though the Kuushi that had real battle experience were few, they were the elite group of the Academy City. They each mercilessly repelled the Magical Armoured Insects with the weapons held on their hands without fearing them.
The Magical Armoured Insects turned their red compound eyes towards them. The small-sized trembling Finders advanced forward, assaulting the Kuusen Madoushi with violent speed.
The Kuushi arranged themselves in line abreast and released their Magic Cannon shots together. Uneven light rays shot towards the black swarm, exploding in the middle of the swarm.
However, the Magical Armoured Insects did not cower from the force. They used their overwhelming numbers to overflow past the Magic Cannon shots easily, reaching the Kuushi specialized in close-ranged combat stationed as vanguards and began the dogfight against them. Many were defeated in an instant, but it was an insignificant damage to the swarm of thousands as they made a beeline for 「Mystogan」 with a furious assault.
“All students from Kuusen Madoushi Division in charge of evacuation of the city are to prepare for battle. Use your best possible skills to annihilate the Magical Armoured Insects that are landing into the city.”
Feron’s voice did not contain a ‘yes or no’ choice. It conveyed just how desperate their situation was.
The reason was because the squadrons in charge of evacuation in the city were all E-rank. They were the squadrons sheltered in the city without joining in any real battles.
The first battle. The first real battle. The first fight to death.
“Suddenly joining the real battle like this is outside of my expectations, looks like they are even calling for the F-rank squadron huh.”
“Hey, it will be our first sortie soon, so don’t lower our morale! Stop with the F-rank squadron!”
“Fuu, being the opponent of small fries does not suit my personality.”
“I will w-work hard!”
Each of their pupils shone with resolve.
Although the things involved were different, he thought that this light represented the strong willpower that humans held. Not a single person would run away from the warning. It was sufficient to give him such an instinct.
“There are buildings in a city battle so be careful. It will be bad if you knock your head flying too fast.”
Kanata confirmed the determination of Misora and co, and they sincerely nodded their heads.
“I will defend the back. As an instructor, I will follow up when you all are in danger. So you all can fight like usual.”
Then after he said that, Kanata took out the Broom and dagger from empty space and readied himself leisurely. Protecting the back of the students was the responsibility of the instructor.
Misora and co nodded towards Kanata who was standing solemnly, then each of them activated flying magic, entering combat mode against the landing Magical Armoured Insects.
At the height lower than the dome wall, the low height aerial battle to defend the city.
The Magical Armoured Insects were moving about freely, while the movements of 「Mystogan」 defense side were dull. E-rank squadrons mostly had not made up their resolve to fight, the students entering their first battlefield would obviously have rigid movements.
In the midst of the clash, one Magical Armoured Insect was coming after Misora with high speed. It was a Magical Armoured Insect like a giant fly with red compound eyes ── Achernar class.
With a body length of about two meters, it was the weakest of Magical Armoured Insects, but due to its habit of moving in swarms, the threat level increased when multiple ones assaulted together. Although only D-rank and above were allowed for real battle sortie, E-rank should be sufficient against an enemy of such degree.
She voiced out each of the points to note he had taught her.
“First maintain a wide view, must keep the opponent within my range of sight……”
Misora confirmed that there were no other enemies in her surrounding. He told her before that with her current power, she had to run away if multiple enemies went after her, but there was no other enemies aiming at her right now. There was only one enemy wanting to shred her up and devour her.
“Next is to suppress it, and try to get behind the opponent. Just suppressing without the need to hit.”
She did not narrow down her aim, and began deviation shooting after slightly lowering her flying speed. There was no need to outmaneuver with speed against one enemy. One out of three shots grazed the target.
A lucky shot. The Achernar class suddenly dropped its speed and exhibited irregular mobility, zig zagging towards Misora instead of a straight line.
“No way! I can’t aim like this! But ──”
In the instance the two crossed, Misora intended to quickly aim with her Magic Cannon Sword and pull the trigger, but she had not reached the level of being able to shoot at the moment the two crossed each other in high speed flight. When she was practising with Kanata, Misora did not manage to make a single close shot in such a situation. Hence she endured the impulse, gave up on pulling the trigger and focused on flying.
“Then try to get around to the opponent’s back……”
Just like the iron rule of aerial battle, not lowering the speed when crossing with each other and make a small turn. As she did not randomly accelerate, she was able to execute a smaller turn than normal. She further delivered suppressing shots during the enemy’s right turn to obstruct. Then she closed in on the position at the back of her opponent while maintaining her speed.
“Then make sure the body exceed the area of the scope aim……”
Misora curved her finger on the trigger.
“H-Hit ─── !”
Shoot. The recoil shook her entire arm.
Probably due to the slight distance between the two, the Achernar class realized and tried to make a left turn to dodge. However, its left hind leg was blasted off.
After half a beat, Gishia ─── a painful cry was heard. Even so, the Achernar class rotated upwards and charged at Misora. After its foot was blown off, it looked full of hatred and madness. It closed in in a straight line. It tried to gnaw Misora into pieces with its abnormally developed mandibles. However, Misora was not afraid.
“I will not lose!”
Stopping in her flight, she stared at the Achernar class coming straight towards her. Then as if she was hiding a huge knife, she aimed the muzzle of her Magic Cannon Sword suddenly and shot out her magic cannon. The response was there but she could not determine if it hit. The figure of the enemy could not be seen. She succeeded in avoiding the move to kill her but.
“……W-What’s the result!?”
Misora turned towards her back nervously.
The Achernar class that crossed her was splashing out green fluid from its body and its limbs were making death struggles, but the scene of it falling helplessly onto the city street was shown.
Despite not finishing it off in one shot, she still succeeded in inflicting a fatal damage.
“Her accuracy is still nowhere good enough……”
Kanata smiled fearlessly while riding on his Broom. He flew dexterously in order not to let Magical Armoured Insects detect and catch him.
“However ── You did it, Misora.:”
And he praised her gallant figure.
Misora’s advantages were her stamina and acceleration speed, then the root of all that was the magic power inherited from her mother.
She still had a mountain of problems such as high altitude aerial mobility, or accuracy proficiency on the shooting itself, although she a bad habit of shooting blindly, following the probability rule, she could still score a hit if she shot plenty enough.
Furthermore, despite being inexperienced, Misora had learned one of the Magic Cannon Sword battle skill.
“I d-did iiiiiiittt ────!”
Before Kanata who showed a confident smile, Misora was hopping up and down in the air with an innocent expression and cheerful voice, she even did a somersault due to the momentum.
She was overjoyed on her first kill record.
Kanata felt as if Misora’s growth and joy was part of his own, he cheered her on in his heart.
There was no problem at all up to this point. Up to this point……
It was not known if Kanata’s thoughts had reached her. Then after that, Misora who was overjoyed encountered another Achernar class. As it was her second time, she faced it with confidence from the start, maintaining an advantage in the battle. Then Misora flew low with her back facing the city ground facing the Achernar class, shooting out many times.
However, all of them were evaded.
She probably got frustrated. Her aggressive pupils shone mysteriously. Charge, charge, charge. Hovering in the air, she poured in an amount of magic power as if to destroy a Procyon class. Then.
“Geh! Oi oi, if you shoot that in this street……!”
── Magic Cannon Sword battle skill ── Strike Blaster
Towards the Achernar class still flying in super low altitude, she shot the strike blaster. Appalling blast noise and overwhelming magic light exploded. Rico and Lecty who were fighting somewhere else probably became speechless after witnessing this.
“T-This is……Not my fault ok.”
Even Kanata was also shocked, unable to speak nonchalantly like usual.
Strike blaster had vaporized the target Achernar class in an instant. However, it was not satisfied with just that, the road below, metal frames and compound reinforced plate between the surface and underground level were all penetrated through, allowing the underground facilities to be seen from the sky directly.
Of course, the surrounding buildings of the landing point were hit by the shockwaves and aftershocks of the crash, resulting in a half destroyed state. There were also buildings Kanata went to before, but probably because he was as shocked as the person who made the destruction herself, he had not thought about that. Speaking of which, the culprit Misora was opening and closing her mouth anxiously for some reason.
“Fuu, that’s a bit collateral damage. Luckily there is no citizen casualty though……”
“……I-I think this is something that should not be done.”
The proud Rico and humble Lecty showed up.
They were fighting individually, Rico sniped two enemies, while Lecty killed five Achernar class with her Magic Twin Sword.
“Fuu, this is a war crime. Activating a high power magic cannon within the Floating City, causing a large scale indiscriminate destruction. Why have you done such a despicable act?”
“T-That’s awful Misora-san! I-I didn’t know Misora-san is someone who does such a thing!”
Kanata, Rico and Lecty looked down to the hole penetrated through the street in the sky. There was not a trace of anything in the ten meter radius hole. Soon the other warning-evacuation squadrons would probably come to investigate the incident. Which meant.
“This is the worst.” (Kanata)
“It’s the worst.” (Rico)
“This is the worst.” (Lecty)
The three spoke at the same time, showering Misora with eyes of condemnation.
“~~! Why nobody wants defend for me that it is a misfire!”
Misora awkwardly tried to defend for herself after being dumbfounded for a while.
“I-I also……didn’t intend for things to happen like this! C-Coincidence, coincidence! W-When I realized, the strike blaster has already blown the area away! N-Not to mention y-you are the one who taught me this blast! Y-You also have to take responsibility!”
As expected, this was beyond his expectation, Kanata still responded.
“I don’t remember telling you to use that blast to destroy the area. Heck, your family’s café is also blown away.”
At that instant, Misora realized that she had just blown away her own house cum café, her face paled.
In the Kuusen Madoushi Command Center, Feron’s expression was grim in the dark room dimly lit by monitors.
She was staring at the hologram of 「Mystogan」 that was getting surrounded by red light dots wordlessly.
In the instant the battle began, 「Mystogan」 was surrounded by countless red dots from every direction, even allowing the enemy to invade the city air space after a moment.
“This is bad. The enemy total force is over ten thousand……”
“I don’t feel that many Magical Armoured Insects from the display. Also, the main battalions have not received much damage yet, you are being overly worried.”
The short and chubby Economic Division Head interrupted. He had a bad habit of voicing his opinions outside of his expertise.
“Since we have Chimera as our opponent, the other side must have a battle plan. Apart from the battle force displayed here, it is logical to consider their reserve forces. Also, all the seven battalions are engaged in battle. The Kuushi are fine now as they still have stamina, but what do you think will happen when they are worn out?”
As Feron questioned back, the still young Academy overall-in-charge replied instead of the Economic Division Head who was showing a bitter face.
“The damage to the battalions will speed up. And the point of the question is, the existence of the Chimera that is controlling the Magical Armoured Insects right?”
“Yes, that’s the point.”
Feron bit her lower lip and asked the operator.
“Is the enemy Commander type still not found?”
“Yes, we have not seen it yet……”
Those that resembled more like the shape of insects were called Primitive type Magical Armoured Insects. If they could find the individual Commander type Magical Armoured Insect Chimera that was issuing the commands, it would be possible to overturn this disadvantage but……The figure of that enemy could not be found.
One of the operators suddenly reported loudly.
“A report has arrived! A squadron engaged in battle at second defensive line has discovered the figure of Commander type Chimera. It is closing in above the city air space. The enemy is medium type Chimera 「Chimera·Deneb」. It is rushing towards the city with countless Achernar class. The location is in Northwest direction of 「Mystogan」, D-field, distance approximately 500, height 3000.”
Strange, Feron held her chin with her hand. With such a scale of enemy, the commander was only a single medium type Chimera. However, they could not leave it alone.
“Send a squadron that can take it out immediately.”
“However, all the troops are having their hands full right now. They are desperately holding their defensive line against the unexpected large number of enemies, there is no troop with any spare force.”
“Is there not a single defensive line that can temporarily extract party of the battle force?”
“Yes! The defensive line will be in danger of breaking if it is thinned out any further.”
Feron was deep in thought for a while, and made up her mind.
“Then, I have no choice. Pass me the speaker for within the city……”
“What exactly are you planning to do?”
“Let E-rank squadrons participate in the interception as well.”
“However, there will definitely be sacrifices if do you that……”
The operator speechlessly glanced over to Feron.
In order not to let her subordinates see her trembling hand, Feron still showed a firm smile under such situation.
Not letting people die inefficiently like that was her job.
“It does not matter. Someone has to go exterminate that Chimera, and since there is no other squadron available except E-rank squadrons, it is only obvious that they need to do it. Even if there will be many sacrifices, it is their duty to give their lives for the best future of humanity. Order to all E-rank squadrons. Go and slay the Chimera.”
The spare troops from the squadrons defending the city streets. Despite being told in a roundabout way, it meant all of the E-rank squadrons deployed in 「Mystogan」 now.
The content was to slay the Chimera 「Chimera·Deneb」 that was approaching. The squadrons that moved after being told that defeating it would change the current flow of battle were……none.
This situation had caused chaos, or fear in them. Or perhaps both.
However, someone had to do it. Not doing anything would just cause more people to get hurt.
E-601 squadron gathered up for a discussion. It seemed that Kanata had many experiences of witnessing that kind of individual.
Just let Kanata defeat it directly in that case, then all the problems would be solved. Misora was thinking so, but he sat on the rubble with his arms crossed, showing a troubled face. He then slowly raised his face as if he had decided something.
“Hey, you girls.”
Dusting off his bottom, he dropped a bomb.
“You girls will defeat that 「Chimera·Deneb」.”
The sudden announcement shocked Misora, Rico and Lecty speechless.
“W-We have not even won in the ranking battle, suddenly having a Chimera as opponent……W-What is this impromptu going after the real deal!? There is no way we can do that! If we are unlucky, we will die if any of us three makes a mistake!”
“Just like Misora said. I seriously think that you got a screw loose.”
“S-Suddenly defeating that big thing is unreasonable……”
Misora and co immediately showed a defeatist face.
The people who thought that those girls who were treated as the weakest F-rank squadron in 「Mystogan」 could win were none, at least amongst the 6000 citizens.
“You didn’t train for the sake of losing your lives. You girls trained in order to survive, and then protect the whole lot of people. And then, you girls have become strong enough to defeat 「Chimera·Deneb」 despite being a Chimera. I can promise that as your instructor.”
However, the only exception was said by Kanata like that. He displayed the seriousness without a trace of his usual carefree attitude he once showed on Hope of Hill, the face of being stronger than anyone, to look at Misora and co.
They who were despised by the surrounding as F-rank squadron received the trust of this instructor. In that case……Misora as the squadron leader should answer his expectation intuitively.
“Hey. Although he is a pervert, he is still our instructor and trusts us, I also trust Rico and Lecty. So, let’s resolve ourselves alright?”
Misora persuaded the other two as a squadron leader. She had already done her best to gain their trust as their squadron leader in between the trainings. The rest would be up to their own judgement.
“I-umm-I am……aiming to become a Kuusen Madoushi to protect the people in the Floating City! S-So, this……this isn’t the time to give up! T-The strength to protect. So……if there is even a small chance of winning, if it is still possible to protect everyone in 「Mystogan」, I cannot just watch at the side without doing anything!”
Lecty timidly took a step forward after saying so.
“Fuu, Misora. Since when have you become enough to order me around?”
“However, Misora’s act just now is not bad. Taking your order once is also not a bad thing. This is also a chance to be active and solve that woman’s distress along the way, showing her how excellent I am is also not bad.”
“Well, you can ignore that for the time being.”
Rico elegantly took a step forward.
“So you girls have resolved yourselves.”
Kanata calmly spoke.
Those that were too scared to move under this situation would only be a drag in the battle later. Hence he was testing if Misora and co would be willing to step forward themselves when it counted.
Those not able to rely on comrades would not do, those relying on comrades from the start would also not do. And then based on what Kanata saw, Misora and co all passed.
“Maintain your vigilance in the sky. Instructions will be given by the squadron leader Misora.”
Glancing over everyone present, Kanata announced loudly.
“I have no intention to let any of you die, nor to let the citizens of 「Mystogan」 get hurt……You girls can do it.”
The three nodded with their best confidence until now.
D-field. Second defensive line. Height 3000.
Endless rings of cannon shots and sword artes. Angry roars and screams. The shadows of Kuushi and Magical Armoured Insects mixed around in the battlefield.
The figure of an enemy on a different level appeared. The vestige of bug could no longer be seen on that monster, it was incomprehensible how a creature had evolved to that extent. Some Kuusen Madoushi had witnessed the figure of the enemy commander type already, but hesitated to attack.
“Listen up. The foundation of the tactic is like what I have said many times before, vanguard Lecty will distract the opponent, rearguard Rico will support, mid guard Misora will fire the one shot to end it.”
Kanata explained with a serious face on his Broom.
“That is 「Chimera·Deneb」……? Uwa, it’s full of tentacles, disgusting.”
“A~ah. But those tentacles you see move fast, don’t let your guard down.”
It had a huge mouth like a giant walnut covered in green moss, with countless tentacles surrounding itself. A Chimera existence that did not exist in the evolution of living things.
In addition, countless Achernar class surrounded around 「Chimera·Deneb」 as if guarding it. Hence, despite scattered shots coming from far away, it seemed to be difficult to land a fatal hit.
The majority of Kuusen Madoushi Division students already had their hands full defending their respective air space. This was not the scale of a colony that they could find an opening and defeat. Not to mention if they attracted its attention, that troop could face the possibility of collapsing.
“Then all members commence as planned.”
Misora and co nodded. Then the F-rank squadron challenged the Chimera.
“── Here I come!”
Lecty rapidly descended with her Magic Twin Sword 「Ama no Habakiri」in both hands. She targeted 「Chimera·Deneb」 and charged at the same time.
The wind pressure and counter-convection current beat against her skin. Then the Achernar class group intercepted her after noticing her presence. There were too many to count, at least no less than fifty. The figure of 「Chimera·Deneb」 could be seen beyond this solid defense.
It was a one against fifty battle. This probably could not be called a battle anymore. At least not something that a student belonging to the E-rank could handle.
However, the only exception would be this person called Lecty·Eisenach, the inheritor of the Sword God Eisenach’s Magic Twin Sword style.
She took a hassō stance, taking an irregular movement without fear by slowly circling them in a spiral shape. First the three scout Achernar class passed by her, the magic swords in both her hands flashed at the same time. The blade that was supposed to be connected to the handguard seemed to vanish for an instant due to the slash speed.
The Achernar class could not comprehend what happened. Their bodies broke apart a mere moment later. Along with green body fluid, tentacles, wings, front legs, back legs, mandibles that were the parts making up the structure of their bodies were severed.
“W-What have you done! Lecty!?”
“What I did……I just cut them.”
Two flash ten kill. Why is Misora-san so surprised about Eisenach Magic Twin Sword Style (such an obvious thing), Lecty tilted her head in her heart. She just revealed a fragment of her sword skill that was drilled into her since childhood……
This was not a battle against a human opponent, she did not need to mind about eye contact, nor need to be polite. Especially she who had anthrophobia had an easier time against monsters instead of humans as opponent. Whether she was afraid of battle or not was another matter.
“Lecty. The last one was only slashed five times. The other two were seven times. You still seemed nervous so just relax yourself more.”
“Y-Yes! Kanata-san, I will be careful next time!”
Misora saw the enemies breaking apart by the time she came back to her senses.
Lecty used the Achernar class as a stepping stone, as if hopping around on floating stones towards her next prey.
Her opponent was not human. She did not have to worry about making eye contact, nor accidentally injuring her opponent. She still could not use her full power as she was still somewhat nervous, even so she could still somehow do it……No, she had to somehow do it. For the sake of her comrades ──
“Lecty, please advance straight just like that.”
The message came from Misora. Following her instruction, Lecty set 「Chimera·Deneb」 as her target. There were still many Achernar class loitering around it, but she was closing in bit by bit vigilantly.
Lecty judged that she should be able to reach 「Chimera·Deneb」 and moved. In that instant, her skin felt a humming from the air and she used her twin swords to guard.
At the back of that Lecty was an eerie wing beating sound and presence. The surrounding Achernar class closed in to devour her.
Sensing that presence, she turned her head back at the instant she was about to be eaten ── a blue magic bullet flew in from somewhere and shot the enemy down.
Before the eyes of her who showed a relieved face, the figure of Rico moving up to mid guard while holding her sniper rifle in stance was there.
“Heh, though you are sniping as you like, your skills are still superb as usual. Rico.”
“Fuu, that much is only obvious.”
Rico, holding her sniper rifle shaped magic gun 「Athena」 in stance, pulled the trigger again and again.
The sharp magic bullet caught the Achernar class in flight as if it had expected the opponent’s movement.
Long distance shooting and high speed moving target sniping. Even Kanata could only provide support fire at best, but Rico could accurately snipe them.
Though both were shooting type, the world of sniper was something Misora could not understand.
The world of magic gunner was harsh. One shot of magic bullet could take away the life of an ally. Not to mention someone who could make correct judgement of situation, accurately predict the movement of the enemy, and to execute the sniping was extremely rare amongst the Kuusen Madoushi Division.
The sharply released magic bullet passed through with pinhole accuracy and correctly penetrated the target.
Rico matched the movements of the vanguard Lecty, covered not only the rear but also the air space of mid guard, shooting down the Insects closing in from blind spot. This could only be achieved with a shockingly large peripheral view and judgement ability.
And when other witnessed her sniping form, it simply looked like taking aim and pulling the trigger. Rico’s excellent sniping skill caused such a misunderstanding.
If it was true that she did not put in effort, then she probably had truly genious sniping talent.
“If I defeat that Chimera or something, my evaluation in Kuusen Madoushi Division will probably take a big leap.”
Chasing behind Lecty were the countless Achernar class colony followed by the figure of 「Chimera·Deneb」.
As planned, Lecty had attracted the enemy.
Rico supported with sniping. The colony of over 300 Magical Armoured Insects with Achernar as core were kept in check by only two people as calculated.
This was due to Lecty’s Magic Twin Sword skill and Rico’s Magic Gun skill as well as judgement ability as preface. They did not defeat all the enemies, but only attracted them away.
And there was also a limit to Lecty’s stamina and Rico’s concentration. If any of them were to be exhausted, this optimal movement would fail. The two would become fodders for the Magical Armoured Insects ──
However, there was the last person who preserved her strength for the one shot to end everything there.
“Fumu, the historians of next generation would probably say this. Rico·Flamel does possess the matching power of the reincarnation of a Goddess.”
Even though she was in the middle of sniping, Rico looked away from the scope, looked at Kanata and told him.
Releasing a Hah sigh, Kanata pointed the front with his right index finger wordlessly.
“It’s fine. No problem.”
In the direction Kanata’s finger pointed, there was an Achernar class rapidly descending from directly above. It probably closed in secretly.
However, Rico did not even look up and raised her magic gun up with her right hand confidently, then pulled the trigger. After that, viscous green fluid and ugly flesh pieces splattered in the sky.
“Fuu, that one just now is unfortunate. This kind of ugly existence that can only feed on humans, even dared to try and eat me. Know that it is not strong enough to have a Goddess as an opponent.”
“Misora. There is an opening at seven o’clock. The opening is always changing, first continue your charging.”
The voice fluttered from somewhere Kanata was at.
“I-I know already!”
……But even though he said so.
The deafening noise from beating wings. She was surrounded by the flying Achernar class loitering around. Misora was under attack from twenty individuals since just now. It was one fifteenth the number Lecty had attracted away, but it was sufficient to heavily pressure her.
Misora desperately looked for a gap in the encirclement. Desperately looking for top bottom left right front back in all direction for a gap.
No matter where she ran to, the Achernar class would follow her like shadow and block her. There was no way she could charge like this. Using random movement to escape the attacks was already taking her all.
The black shadows that was gradually closing in on Misora who was running around. The shield formation in her Protector could prevent fatal injuries, but activating it would cost magic power that she had stored up.
“Not there. In the reverse direction.”
“I know what you want to say, but it’s not that easy……Kuh!”
The mandibles suddenly appeared from the front. Anxiety caused her to falter, making an unstable movement. Then her posture broke, causing her to be late in opposing. She could not avoid. But in the next instant, that unit was split into two and green body fluid spewed out.
“Calm down Misora. You are necessary for this battle plan.”
The figure of Kanata holding a dagger with dripping body fluids on his left hand was there.
“Hey Misora, stop idling and start moving desperately. Rico and Lecty are working hard to buy time for you.”
I cannot escape with my speed.
She flew along with Kanata who was riding his Broom. Even so, Misora was toyed around by the enemy, ended up facing back to back with Kanata. Everywhere was enemy. A squadron with just three people facing that number of opponent was just too disadvantageous, it could even be thought as reckless.
However, the man at her back said that they could win.
“Misora, forget about the complex evasion and just fly straight. Your speciality is most effective when flying in a straight line.”
Dodging the Achernar class’s attack with paper-thin margin, Kanata spoke after slashing it from the side.
“So just fly up in the sky without any hesitation. Use the vertical boost to shake them off. You will definitely shake off all the enemy that way.”
She stopped taking those complicated evasion course like she did until now ── just flew in a straight line towards the sky.
Achernar class assaulted her like bullets, but Misora’s acceleration created afterimages. It was a hallucination of speed caused by the distance judgement and acceleration speed. There was only a difference of less than even a hundredth of a second in this chaotic battle. However, that instance of time could exceed all expectations.
Misora tucked in her chin and looked at the faraway sky, she accelerated upwards as if to break through the stratosphere.
Height 3200. 3400. 4000. 4800 ──
The shocking acceleration speed that caused even the Magical Armoured Insects pursuing her to give up.
Her trail extended in a straight line, she had reached a height to overlook the whole battlefield while dragging her afterimage. This was Misora’s world.
“This is a move that can only be used once. The other side is not stupid, so they will be able to see through your acceleration speed. Once the enemy reached the same height as you, you will be restrained. So you must charge your magic now.”
The remaining enemies were easily avoided by Kanata.
Looking down at the air space from the sky above, she could clearly see Lecty luring away many Achernar class and 「Chimera·Deneb」, Rico supporting it, and Kanata effortlessly covering them.
During this period of time, she had to charge enough magic power to defeat it. The six-chamber cylinder type magic converter spinned, the white silver Magic Cannon Sword 「Razgriz」 released a mysterious shine.
Misora shouted with all her might.
“……Lecty is luring the enemy, you will descend towards Lecty.”
The time spent on charging her magic power was exchanged from her comrades desperately bought time. To answer their efforts, Misora dived towards Lecty with the thought of wanting to help everyone as soon as possible.
Before her line of sight, Lecty was desperately retreating while wiping away large drops of sweat.
“Hurry up and come here! Lecty!”
“It’s fine, Misora-san. I can still somehow……M-Misora-san! Behind you!”
Misora anxiously turned her head. Although she raised her guard towards her back, there was no sign of enemy.
She shifted her line of sight down. There was an Achernar class dashing up from below like a horn.
She thrusted her Magic Cannon Sword in a hurry. However, leaving aside Rico or Lecty who excelled in battle skill, it cleanly dodged Misora’s Magic Cannon Sword with a normal barrel roll.
Misora activated the magic shield of her Protector in panic. She tried to defend herself from Achernar, but due to overcharging her magic power just now, there was no magic power left for the shield.
The moment Misora judged that she could not avoid, she held onto her Magic Cannon Sword without letting go no matter what happened.
Soon after, a strong impact assaulted her.
My shoulder is probably eaten away. But it felt less painful than that. Misora timidly opened her eyes, only to see Kanata riding his Broom next to her with his right shoulder bleeding.
“Misora, Chimera is coming……Have you resolved yourself?”
Kanata somehow stabbed the compound eye of Achernar with his dagger, issuing a manifesto to Misora.
“I said it before, I have no intention of letting any of you die.”
Kanata calmly spoke as if it was nothing at all. It should have been very painful, but his face only twisted slightly without groaning in pain.
Misora still did not know about the depth of willpower at Kanata’s core he had displayed.
“Hey, there is a group of scattered Achernar class heading towards you. Be careful. Lecty is luring 「Chimera·Deneb」 to your side.”
“Tch, can’t be helped. Lecty, please just keep up like that. I will lure away all the leftover.”
Misora glanced at Kanata who was still acting fine despite the bleeding anxiously.
“Alright, the enemy is finally coming here after so much trouble. Misora, you possess the sniping sense to even destroy your own house, you won’t miss this right?”
“I-I won’t miss. After so much preparations are done, I will be disqualified as a squadron leader if I miss!”
Leaving those words from her, Kanata immediately moved out to divert them.
Is Kanata fine? She could not ask him.
She saw the wound that could not be fine.
She was frustrated at her amateurish. With that feeling, Misora took aim at the enemy. The target was 「Chimera·Deneb」 further behind the Achernar class that was behind Lecty.
It was the commander type that raised the chaotic battle of this air space. Everything would end once it was exterminated.
Hence she put all her thoughts into this one strike.
“Remember this! You tentacles!”
Lecty crossed past Misora. Lecty seemed to have said some cheering words as she passed by, but it did not reach Misora’s ears.
She was just desperate. For the sake of her comrades that fought together, for the sake of Kanata who accompanied her through all the hard work in her special training.
She tucked in her right armpit in stance, supported the gun body of the Magic Cannon Sword 「Razgriz」 with her left hand. Misora shouted, representing the thoughts of all the Kuusen Madoushi who were protecting this air space, this city, this world.
“── We are the Kuusen Madoushi of 「Mystogan」!”
Then she pulled the trigger.
Rumbling noise. A recoil that seemed to tear off her wrists and dislocate her shoulder. And then white silver light streamed out as if burning the sky.
A stream of purifying light torrent containing strong thoughts, first enveloped the vanguard Achernar class.
An instant evaporation. Everything.
The white silver light reflected in their eyes made the struggle between power seemed like a joke.
「Chimera·Deneb」 was at the back. Even that was mercilessly annihilated by the one strike. A big hole opened up in its walnut-shaped body and it sank.
Just one strike. However, it was the first and last strike containing all the power of thoughts which penetrated through everything.
Misora’s thoughts, Kanata’s belief, the thoughts of all Kuushi in 「Mystogan」……
“Haa, haa……Did we win?”
“W-We won right?”
“Umu. I cannot see us winning, but we won?”
Lecty and Rico gathered next to Misora. They could not determine if they had won the battle.
However, the Magical Armoured Insects surrounding them immediately retreated away.
“A~ah, for the time being we did not lose. But do not let your guard down yet.”
Kanata nonchalantly said. Although he was injured on the right shoulder, he did not exhaust much stamina and magic power.
“B-But why is everyone still fighting?”
Misora looked towards the air space that were still in battle. This D-field and the neighbouring area were still in battle. The light from magic cannon shots never dwindled.
The commander type Chimera was slayed. By right the enemy should have started to retreat. Even so……
“W-Why are the enemies not retreating after we beat the commander type Chimera!”
Kuusen Madoushi Command Center.
“Even though the enemy Chimera is defeated, why is the attack still not stopping!”
“Yes! Still only one portion of the Magical Armoured Insects retreated……”
The Economic Division Head roared back angrily after hearing the operator’s report.
On the magic projection hologram of 「Mystogan」, a part of the red dots representing the enemy had withdrawn, more than half remained and continued to attack the defensive lines.
Over 2000 Kuushi continued their battles. It proved that the enemy did not retreat.
The report of the Chimera’s defeat once raised the morale of the operators, but now they were greatly disappointed. Even the staffs were like this, the Kuusen Madoushi Division squadrons at the front line would probably be even more confused.
Feron asked as she held her chin with her hand.
“The report on Chimera’s defeat is not a mistake right?”
“Yes, the front line confirmed it before reporting.”
“Please confirm it once more. And if the figure of Chimera could not be confirmed, shrink down the battle line gradually. Each battalion will be reaching their battle limits if this continues.”
She felt something amiss the moment 「Chimera·Deneb」 appeared.
Could such a scale of Magical Armoured Insect colony be controlled only by one medium type Chimera? Not to mention commander type appearing at the second defensive line itself is very rare.
It was a move that was not normal. Such a move must have a reason.
Appearing unnaturally. An act to attract attention. Chimera revealing its appearance from the start……Could it be a diversion tactic? Thinking up to this point, Feron realized the source of her amiss feeling.
“Hey, have you heard anything about Magical Armoured Insects having intelligence?”
“Can that kind of monster have intelligence……”
Economic Division Head who was suddenly questioned shook his head.
“According to the latest Medicine Division’s anatomical study, Chimera’s intelligence is much higher than what humans have recognized. The figure of strange monster-like Magical Armoured Insects can cause fear to humans, but at the same time make us feel contempted that they are monsters do not possess high intelligence. They even hypothesized that if the Magical Armoured Insect Chimera continues to rapidly evolve, there is a possibility of individuals appearing with same intelligence as humans or even higher.”
“H-How is this talk related to the current situation……”
The hologram of 「Mystogan」 before their eyes. The number of those red lights did not decrease, they were moving organizedly even now. Feron widened her eyes a little as her eyes shone.
“There are multiple Chimeras!?”
As Kanata declared it so casually, Misora almost misheard him. And then in contrast against the shocked expression of Misora and co, Kanata showed confused face instead.
With the retreating Magical Armoured Insects as background, Kanata and co were discussing in the sky.
“Nn? I said that ‘For the time being we did not lose yet’ just now, right?”
“Yes. Kanata-san did say that……”
“Then I properly said it. We did not lose.”
“W-What do you mean?”
“Don’t tell me did not lose also mean we did not win……?”
“A~ah, that’s what I meant……”
“W-Why you! You are saying such an important thing so casually!”
“But I did say ‘do not let your guard down yet’……”
Kanata nonchalantly answered. But what his words implied was.
“── D-Don’t tell me you……You know that there are multiple Chimeras from the start!?”
“Nn? I didn’t tell you? There are so many primitives, it’s obvious that just one Chimera is too few.”
“““── You didn’t tell us!”””
Everyone retorted Kanata.
Misora realized at that moment. Why he did not participate in the earlier battle……
It meant that judging from the scale and force of the Magical Armoured Insects at the start, he predicted that the enemy had more than one commander type Chimera and preserved his strength. He calmly analyzed the situation, predicted what actions the opponent Magical Armoured Insects would take.
Misora looked at Kanata with a mixed shock and respect gaze, but he did not show any proudness for his achievement and maintained his usual face, making others unable to perceive what he was thinking.
“But I don’t know where it is. Did you girls receive any communication……?”
“Umm, any special communication……”
They confirmed that the Chimera was definitely present. Even so, they could not locate it.
Now then, how to find out where the enemy is, as Kanata was thinking so, Rico opened her mouth.
“Simply put, it is necessary to locate the big Chimera in order to protect the people in 「Mystogan」.”
“Well, something like that. And with the battlefront gradually shrinking, we are reaching the finale soon.”
“W-What should we do!”
“Fuun, it can’t be helped. I will get serious for a bit then.”
Kanata noticed a change in atmosphere and turned around, only to see Rico wearing a red-framed glasses there……
“Nn? Rico, why are you wearing glasses?”
“Fuu, it can’t be helped. Since the Kuusen Madoushi Division senpais are too useless, they probably cannot return if I the Goddess do not use my full power. Since I actively defeated one Chimera, it will be lonely if there is noone there to worship me.”
Rico seemed to supplement reluctantly.
“When I activate my senrigan, my eyes cannot focus, so the glasses are necessary despite obscuring my beauty.”
As she willingly used it before he requested, Kanata looked at her with a somewhat touched feeling.
However, her shoulders slightly trembled as she wore the glasses, she prodded her fingers together as if feeling embarrassed.
“L-Like this……Obscuring my beauty with such a thing, I am very reluctant about it……”
“But, I think that the glasses suit you though?”
He expressed his honest thought.
“I-Is that so? But to that degree……Maybe true.”
She had gotten used to hearing all the courtesy praises, but she looked a bit shy after being plainly praised like that.
After regaining her composure, Rico activated the highest rank detection type unique skill 「Senrigan」. Rainbow colored light shone in her obsidian pupils.
Senrigan used magic power reinforcement to abnormally develop the sense of sight, allowing humans to obtain a peripheral view as well as super long distance view that they originally could not see. Simply speaking ── Able to see everything.
In the first place, things hidden behind obstacles could not be perceived, it also put an abnormal burden on the calculation territory of the brain, so it was not something that could be used easily.
“……I found it. Number is……one. However, it is quite far away from here. And also ──”
Rico who was rarely shocked reported.
“── It’s big. Tremendously big. Achernar class sticked to its body, but the Achernar class that sticked to it looked like tiny bugs. The 「Chimera·Deneb」 just now cannot even be compared to it……In the direction of the sun, outside the battle air space!”
In the middle of hearing the report, Kanata’s expression shaded for an instant.
“That is probably the highly intelligent existence that the Medicine Division mentioned, the carrier type Magical Armoured Insect Chimera 「Chimera·Antares」. Apart from being the carrier for Achernar class, it also seemed to possess higher intelligence than other Chimeras. It’s actually my first time seeing one myself.”
Kanata glared at the direction of the sun after saying so, then turned his Broom towards that direction and continued.
“As the battle line is gradually shrinking, you all should also retreat together with them. I will do something about it.”
“Don’t tell me you are going to defeat that giant one all by yourself!”
“A~ah, that’s right.”
“I-It’s definitely impossible!”
“It’s totally not impossible.”
He said so clearly. Then he looked towards Misora and co with his mysterious pupils that seemed to suck people in.
“Thanks to you all desperately defeating one Chimera, I am able to reserve my power. Then it’s my turn to answer your perseverance. Not to mention that I will not pick a fight I cannot win.”
Normally speaking, he should inform his comrades and oppose that strong enemy together. However, Kanata purposely did not do that. Kanata as the traitor did not have much voicing power, and there were nobody strong enough that could keep up with him.
When he was going to defeat it all by himself as if it was natural, he felt someone clinging onto his waist.
“Nn? Why are you riding on my Broom?”
“……I want to go and watch you fight as a Magic Cannon Blader.”
Misora who unreasonably squeezed onto Kanata’s Broom mumbled with an agonized look.
Honestly speaking, she was worried about Kanata. If what she witnessed before was really magic power exhaustion……she felt that she must go with him.
“Hey Rico, Lecty. You two return first. I will go with him since I still have enough magic power.”
“It’s dangerous so you also go back.”
He noticed the determination in Misora’s eyes when he was going to throw her off. It was the same eyes he saw that time on Hope of Hill.
“No. I am absolutely going with you.”
“Can’t be helped then……This is how it is, you two be careful on your way back.”
Kanata sensed Misora’s determination, he felt that she probably had some other purpose for doing so.
He judged that he could not dissuade her, and decided to leave this air space before more people accompanied him.
Not being able to comprehend why Misora wanted to go with Kanata, Rico and Lecty were confused but suddenly came back to their senses.
The two had already been drawn towards the sky beyond.
D-field. First defensive line.
Chloe and her comrades who were on guard duty finally returned to the front most defensive line of 「Mystogan」.
Defense. Intercept. Counterattack. Defeat.
They were able to move the surrounding troops with their Royal Guard authority, instructing them to deploy in the most beneficial way to the battle situation. However, facing against the endless incoming giant herd of Magical Armoured Insects, one by one they continued to reluctantly leave the battlefield.
“It seems like the battle line is shrinking.”
“Reducing the amount of battle can lighten the fatigue within the troop, but it’s not going well when the enemies are so persistent.”
Like what Chloe and Lloyd mentioned, Feron made acted to make a breakthrough to the battle, but people were making blunders on the scene due to fatigue.
Chloe noticed that Yuri was idling in the midst of all these.
“What happened, Yuri?”
Even as she asked, Chloe was shooting small magic cannon shots with high homing ability continuously without any useless movement. The four shots of small magic cannon with red trail drew a gentle curve, pulverizing a giant fly monster.
She still had enough magic power, it was possible to make a wide area cannon shot. In this chaotic battle with the enemy and allies mixed in, she had to command the allies to evade in order not to cause friendly fire, but it was impossible with the current formation. Feeling vexed about it, she focused on the enemy in front of her.
“I’m going to charge through with full power. The longer this drags on, the more damage our allies will suffer.”
“W-wait you, n-no way ──!”
“D-Don’t tell me it’s Kanata senpai!”
Despite being in the middle of the battle, Yuri stopped and looked up at the faraway sky.
Before her line of sight, the figure of the traitor who was the former ace was rushing through the battle field by diligently handling his Broom, and a girl riding behind him.
The 「Black Hawk」 Kanata was riding drew sharp spiral trails with multiple Magical Armoured Insects pursuing behind, indicating a clear will of moving towards a target while avoiding the enemy attacks.
It was not the mobility of a normal Broom. That movement could only be executed by the user reading the wind direction, wind strength, wind pressure and other atmosphere information.
The moment Chloe recognized that figure, her line of sight was blocked by the Achernar class flying in from the surrounding, she was forced to continue her battle and could no longer see it, but.
“I said it before right, you can believe in Kanata……”
Even so, she confirmed that it was Kanata after witnessing it for an instant.
“Lloyd senpai umm……Do you know the matter regarding Kanata senpai?”
“No, I don’t know about it at all. However, I know that Kanata will protect the people in the city.”
In the midst of the battle, Chloe who felt relieved spoke gently.
“Kanata has not changed from the time he was admired by Yuri. It’s just that……something happened. It’s something he can’t tell even Yuri who he trust, you see. So next time you see him just act normally……Yuri?”
“He doesn’t seem to be running away……”
“Un. Kanata will never do something like abandoning his comrades and run away.”
“……Actually I have noticed a bit already.”
Yuri looked down as if she thought of something.
She already noticed that something happened to him and he did not want her to worry about him. Just that they had always been fighting together as the two-top, she felt lonely when he did not tell her anything, and that always dwelled in her heart, causing her to be frustrated ──
Five Achernar class tried to attack the two who were conversing. The ominous sound of wing beat made Yuri tighten her expression and took stance with her Magic Sword.
“No, please excuse me. Let’s focus on battle for now.”
If I can return safely from this battle, I will go see Kanata again.
Yuri swore in her heart.
Witnessing that existence for the first time, Misora thought it was rain cloud ── a nimbostratus cloud. A black piece of cloud big enough to cover the sunlight. But she soon realized that she had been wrong.
Carrier type Magical Armoured Insect Chimera 「Chimera·Antares」.
The nimbostratus cloud that covered the sunlight was a part of it.
A body measuring over a hundred meter. It had a disk-shaped appearance like two bowls pressed together face to face. That enormous body reminded her of ── the floating iron fortress in the sky ── something like that.
It opened the eyelids that spread across its whole body, and at the same time its red eyes caught sight of Kanata and her, countless Achernar class residing on its enormous body assaulted towards them.
The first and the biggest threat obstructing them was the Achernar class.
Each individual did not have high battle power. However, the number one threat of this specie was the large number. Based on the actual statistics, this specie had the highest human kill count.
“T-This will really be fine right!”
Misora looked at him anxiously.
The first strike. Kanata’s left wrist rapidly swung down from his right shoulder to left waist.
The 「Gladius」 on his left hand scattered storm-like sword pressure. Then the blade slashed apart three Achernar class at the same time as if splitting apart the air itself.
“Nn, just like this.”
One swing three kills. Two more kills as he sheathed back. With regards to defeating the incoming enemies, Kanata’s sword arte was 「Strength」. Different from Lecty’s sophisticated elegant form, his sword arte was like mowing down everything in its way.
“B-But no matter how strong you are, just you alone……”
Misora who exerted her full power to use her strike blaster had not much magic power remaining. Even so, she came along as she was worried about Kanata, and could only watch him as he fought.
Kanata had been fighting defensively since just now, let alone closing in on 「Chimera·Antares」. He was fighting on defense to prevent suffering a fatal injury.
Although Misora had no talent in Magic Sword skill, she could see a disordinance in Kanata’s movement.
His Magic Cannon Sword somehow moved strangely dull. Although he used agile body movement to cover up his opening, the Magic Cannon Sword which was categorized as greatsword required two hands to swing.
“……Don’t tell me because of your injury back then!”
Misora pointed out after noticing the unnatural movement. Kanata had always used his left hand to swing his sword.
Just shooting was one thing, to continuously strike against small type opponents, wielding with two hands would be better than one. However, Kanata murmured.
“Getting injured during battle is my own responsibility. I was late in judging the situation. That’s all.”
Although he was avoiding using his injured right shoulder to reduce the burden, the pain from the wound still transmitted to his brain. However, even under such a situation, Kanata showed no sign of cowardice while enduring such a disadvantage.
“B-But! Can you win like this!?”
“Who knows you say……”
“You won’t know the outcome until the end. However, I do not plan to lose before I fight, nor am I stupid enough to fight with no winning chance. What’s left all depends on luck.”
Not good. I will lose if this continues.
Kanata held his jet black Magic Cannon Sword in his left hand, the Protector he wore was worn out, cut open and full of holes, it had already lost its original function.
It’s about time to decide.
Kanata made sudden breaks to his left and right after he finished charging, shortening the distance between him and 「Chimera·Antares」. His chance was only one shot. He did not have enough magic power for any more.
He had been storing his magic power while enduring the attacks since just now. Swinging 「Gladius」 with his left hand alone was difficult, so he had a hard time against the pursuing Magical Armoured Insects.
However, this would end everything.
Kanata’s sword tip formed a straight line with his left arm, the muzzle aimed towards the enormous body of 「Chimera·Antares」.
This is the end. He pulled the trigger on the hand guard.
The magic cannon shot was the crystallization of magic power up to the limit of his whole body.
The pitch black light torrent that devoured everything ── was deflected.
It was going to suck in the hard shell of 「Chimera·Antares」, but the converged light was deflected and scattered once it touched. Even though it was a high density magic power on top of being degenerately compressed, it was still not able to penetrate a point of its body.
“Strike blaster is deflected……!”
Misora idly mumbled, then noticed Kanta’s sudden change.
“H-Hey! Are you ok!”
She rode the Broom towards Kanata in a hurry. Sweat appeared on his forehead and his breathing was rough, he was obviously weakened.
Like I thought, I did not see wrongly at that time……
Kanata’s body would not listen to him as he heavily panted, he was barely able to maintain his posture with Misora supporting him from the side.
“I don’t know what happened to you, but your magic power is ── extremely low right?”
As Misora was asking, they were surrounded by the Achernar class.
It seemed that 「Chimera·Antares」 issued an attack order.
“……We are surrounded!”
Misora yelled. It was all over. However, Kanata calmly spoke.
“Well, can’t be helped. It’s about time I get serious.”
“What are you saying at this point of time ──”
Slip. Instantaneous fear rushed from Misora’s back suddenly.
The moment she felt that aura, the surrounding Achernar class were shaken.
Their movement hesitated for an instant as if fearing something.
“H-Hey, what was……? Not magic power……?”
Misora focused her sight on her side. Kanata was floating there as if nothing.
There was no change in appearance. There was no new arms growing, nor any horn appearing on the forehead. At least there was nothing abnormal as far as her eyes could see. Except that Kanata showed a serious face.
“Who knows. However, what I’m about to show is a negative battle reference. So you should not refer to it and absolutely not try to imitate it……And no matter what happens, do not move from the Broom.”
There is not really any change to my body. Kanata thought as he looked at his left hand holding the Magic Cannon Sword. It’s just that right now my hidden power ── Curse is unsealed.
His body was only wielding the power of humanity’s nemesis.
The wing beat noise from the Achernar class flying around them furiously lowered a beat. Then they took distance away in fear as if they saw something they should not see.
Misora was confused about the sudden behavior of Magical Armoured Insects that was originally not possible. Next to her, Kanata closed his eyes to concentrate.
Organize my breathing and then empty my thoughts.
Feel the flow of everything unconsciously, call out towards the two powers in my subconscious.
One is magic power. The other is Curse. Human power. Non-human power.
Project the image of merging the two power into one and wield it.
Mix, refine, knead and repeat, converge.
In the depth of Kanata’s body, something like a black swell was born. Then everything mixed together, creating a unified power.
What was created was the power that could break down everything.
It was the compound of the two originally opposing power, the rebellious power that the Alchemist people could not prove to exist which could destroy the law of this world.
Since that incident, this joker power sprouted from depth of Kanata’s body when he was about to be absorbed by the Magical Armoured Insect in order to protect Chloe.
Kanata’s aura changed. In the instant Misora felt it, a mysterious sudden gust of wind furiously blew from Kanata without any warning.
What Misora was able to feel apart from the amazing wind pressure, was the multiple afterimages left by Kanata’s upper left arm.
However, she could only hold tightly onto the Broom in order not to be blown away by the gust of wind, and did not see what happened after. Just that after the mysterious gust of wind died down, Misora looked around and could not find any Achernar class that were surrounding them a while ago.
Were they blown away by the furious storm just now, or Kanata who is hovering in front eliminated the Achernar class somehow. Or perhaps both.
Misora was unable to deduct the correct judgement.
The only fact that she could acknowledge was that when she came to her senses, that menacing number of Achernar class completely disappeared.
Her words got stucked. She wanted to ask Kanata what had happened just now, but she could not open her mouth anymore.
Even an amature like Misora could understand. Kanata was surrounded in an atmosphere with sharpness like a sharpened knife. It was heterogeneously sharper than the time he was called 「Kuronos」 during his active period.
“It will be dangerous, so fall back. I am going to settle this.”
Announcing so, Kanata flew towards the enemy.
From there onwards, a world Misora could not comprehend spread out.
From the countless red eyes all over 「Chimera·Antares」, twenty rays of light different in sizes shot towards Kanata.
The rain of light that would be absolutely undodgeable by the time he saw. Kanata dodged it with paper-thin distance calmly, flew around the enormous body that was like a floating iron fortress.
If it’s me……I would probably be shot down over twenty times in the skirmish just now.
Misora thought that she and Kanata were already not in the same world despite being in the same air space.
Kanata maintained his flight close to the hard shell, exposing himself in the enemy’s attack.
The figure of him defeating 「Chimera·Antares」 all by himself, caused her to associate it with a foot soldier conquering a huge stronghold by himself.
Even strike blaster could not penetrate its hard shell, what can he do just by himself……?
However, in the surrounding along the trail Kanata was flying, green body fluid from the enemy was splashing out when it should not be possible.
“No way! Did he do something just now……!?”
Right before the body fluid splashed out, she saw Kanata’s upper left arm vanish for an instant.
Perhaps I see wrongly, Misora suspected herself. However, she noticed that a change occurred to 「Chimera·Antares」.
The scale of light shot out from its red eyes decreased unknowingly, its enormous body began to retreat to take distance away from Kanata. And then, Kanata chased after it as if not letting it escape.
「Chimera·Antares」 shot out light with its remaining red eyes. Kanata flew towards it at the same time, his left arm and Magic Cannon Sword vanished for an instant. The places that launched the attack just now splashed out green fluid.
“Don’t tell me……Limit skill!?”
It was a skill that had restricted usage due to the overburden on physical body. The traitor who was once called 「Kuronos」 had a skill called flash sword.
It was a sword arte that used magic power to accelerate his arm speed to the limit.
It could not be used by the normal body, and ignored the human body engineering category, a sword arte that would definitely raise the evaluation of vanguard when used at close distance. On the hindsight, it caused conspicuous burden on the body, even Kanata in the past could only use four times continuously at the limit……
Misora did not care about the number of times he used the limited ability, she was more wary of that dangerous power that was like Magical Armoured Insect. However, that kind of limited ability did not exist in her knowledge.
Speaking of which, she heard about a rumor.
Although the Alchemist suggested its existence, it was still an imaginary product, the amalgamation of the two opposing power. It should be called 「Hōryoku」.
Despite using this miraculous power, Kanata was not looking good. Probably lacking in oxygen, his lip tinged blue from the tip.
However, the movement of 「Chimera·Antares」 became even slower. Misora understood that the fluctuating skirmishes were still continuing. And then Kanata suddenly took distance away from the enemy.
He probably realized his defeat and resolved himself to run away. Misora was suspecting so, but Kanata’s pitch black Magic Cannon Sword released mysteriously light, five-chambered cylinder revolved with a jakinsound.
Then the sword tip of the Magic Cannon Sword faced towards 「Chimera·Antares」.
The light released towards him displayed like slow mode.
Twenty heat rays advanced with light speed. If someone could dodge those that were shot at the same time, it was no longer something the human reaction speed could achieve.
However, Kanata easily avoided all of them.
It was like child’s play.
He did not feel contempted at that. He just used those strong-willed pupils to see through everything.
Upon arriving at 「Chimera·Antares」 through high speed flight, it opened its red eyes in order to freely shoot Kanata. However, the instant it opened its eyes, Kanata’s upper left arm vanished for an instant and its red eyes were pulverized at the same time.
Un, it’s slow after all.
Kanata flew at a distance on the verge of touching the hard shell of the enemy. He executed flash sword with the 「Gladius」 on his left hand towards the hard shell at the same time.
The slash line ran towards his diagonal left. Soon after, viscous green fluid splashed out profusely.
However, Kanata’s figure disappeared at that instant. He maintained his high speed flight, continue to fly around the enormous body in a figure of 8. If he did not do so, the light released from the countless red eyes would catch him.
Kanata worked hard to make calm and mechanical movement, continued to toy around with the enemy. Although his attack had tiny effect against the surface of that enormous body, he still stuck to the repeated attacks.
The deflection of magic cannon shot before probably meant that this individual had high resistance against magic power. Perhaps, because its enormous body was a good target for sniping from far away, it obtained this trait during the process of evolution. However, the slashes from Mithril were hard and sharp.
Kanata continued to slash all over its body as if to rough up its enormous body.
Of course Kanata was also getting breathless, but he did not have the leisure to take a break.
Using the instance of gap to wipe the sweat from his forehead, he did not fail to be wary of his enemy and resumed his attack.
Facing such a huge enemy all alone, exactly how many Kuushi could remain this calm.
「Chimera·Antares」 gradually recognized the abnormality of the situation, that floating iron fortress in the sky began to retreat.
If Kanata was the instructor of the enemy, he would probably evaluate its judgement as appropriate.
However, he would probably point out that it was foolish more than that. Its underestimated his existence in this situation.
It’s indeed slow.
Prying open its hard shell with flash sword while puncturing its red eyes, he did feel something awakening in his body.
I don’t know why, everything looks slow to me.
Reaching the top of the two pressed bowl shape, it opened eight of its red eyes at the same time and captured Kanata’s figure to kill him.
Three eyes were punctured by flash sword before the light was shot out, then he dodged the remaining five light by tilting his head and rolled aside with paper-thin margin. The Protector that grazed it was charred, but he used flash sword to puncture the remaining five eyes before the eyelids closed up, causing body fluid to splash out at the same time.
During this time, only two seconds had passed.
……No, am I just too fast?
Only he was moving quickly in that space which was close to stationary.
The actual combat that was long ago and the sharpened senses. The only sound that he could hear was the murmuring of wind near his ears ── hearing the whispers of wind.
At the same time he recognized the fact, Kanata coughed severely from his lungs.
The sleeve that wiped his mouth was stained red. It was not from the attack of Achernar class. It was the movement that matched Kanata’s sharpened senses, his physical body could not keep up.
Looks like it’s about time to decide the outcome.
Although he casted body strengthening magic, his physical body would reach its limit first.
The power that was too strong for him tormented his body. He could not endure using the power that was too much for his body.
「Gladius」 released mysterious light. Its pitch black blade released released dazzling light.
“You can’t defend against my magic cannon anymore.”
Kanata mumbled as he circled around to the top of 「Chimera·Antares」.
This enormous chunk of body that could cover up the sun, as if moving in accordance to Kanata’s threat, shot out light from all its remaining red eyes. Kanata made a big detour to the bottom right.
The light grazed past his skin. After thinly cut his cheek, it left a trail of burn mark. Kanata ignored it and arrived on top of 「Chimera·Antares」 with rapid ascend.
The light attack disrupted for an instant. The sun was behind Kanata. Then without missing that opening, he held down towards the enemy’s head from the sky above.
“── I have something that I must protect.”
Over sixty red eyes opened at the same time towards that Kanata.
There were still so many remaining after puncturing that much. Smiling bitterly, Kanata aimed the sword tip of his Magic Cannon Sword towards 「Chimera·Antares」.
“Magic cannon is ineffective against it! Has your head gone crazy from fatigue!”
Misora’s voice came from the communication crystal at his ear. However, Kanata ignored her and locked his aim at the enemy’s top with his Magic Cannon Sword. It was the most wounded and slowest to heal.
“Y-You should escape quickly! You are being locked on already!”
「Chimera·Antares」 released the light with all its red eyes that could be used at the same time. The attack with a scale never seen before was released towards Kanata.
However, Kanata calmly spoke.
“Nn? I didn’t tell you?”
Saying so, Kanata leaked a confident smile and pulled the trigger on his Magic Cannon Sword.
“── The victory is decided the moment I used my full power!”
Magic Cannon Sword battle skill ── Strike Blaster.
Compared to the first shot Kanata released, this black torrent contained much stronger energy as it swung down.
The one strike released with 「Hōryoku」 deflected all the light shot by 「Chimera·Antares」.
Hurry up and disappear. This is the sky of Kuusen Madoushi.
The cannon shot filled with willpower easily penetrated the hard shell that was yet healed.
In the first place, he was damaging the enemy to find the weakest place of the hard shell. The hard shell with magic cannon deflection property was also not in its best condition like before.
The torrent that destroyed the hard shell continued to rush forward. Nothing obstructed its way, after the whole power devoured and destroyed all its internal organs, it extinguished everything.
An instant of silence. Then the enormous body that could cover the sky exploded in the next moment. Green body fluid and organs splattered out together, Kanata’s figure could not be seen.
The shock wave from the destruction transmitted through the atmosphere, reaching Misora who was watching over from far away. Even so, she fixed her posture and desperately searched for Kanata.
Found it. He was free falling as a result of using that power.
His body fell without any movement. His body squeaked, his flesh, bones, all the substance that made up his body screamed in pain at cell level. Kanata who should have won was falling with a fatigue and haggard pale face. Misora controlled the Broom she was not used to while desperately chased after him.
“You, are you alright?”
Misora grasped Kanata’s hand as she asked.
“What is it?”
“Are you injured?”
His face was devoid of blood, one could tell at a glance who was worse off.
“You are the one who is injured, idiot!”
Misora forcefully pulled Kanata onto the Broom, then immediately drew closer to him who was lying down.
“W-What was that power!? Why are you hiding such an amazing power……!?”
She did not praise him for the battle result, but instead asked with a confused voice.
If he had that kind of power, it could have reduced the damage done to 「Mystogan」.
However, this question did not receive an answer. Kanata had already lost his consciousness.