Wings of Unity
“Status report?” Colonel Ozaki asked as he walked back into the command center.
“Sir, nearly a sixty-percent loss since the arrival of the Leviathan… It’s not looking too well there,” an officer replied. “The Void Clearers have arrived, as you requested.”
“Void Clearers are on the scene? They’re going to need all the help that they can get,” Colonel Ozaki said as he overlooked the holographic map of Urasaki. “Hopefully, this will help…”
“Why haven’t we sent in any more troops since the Leviathan appeared?” Akane asked her father with a frown. “We had to rely on the Void Clearers to appear?”
Colonel Ozaki looked at his daughter. “The Commander Council has declared Urasaki as a possible loss.”
“What do you mean?” Akane asked.
Colonel Ozaki pressed a button that zoomed the map out – revealing nearly more than a dozen ASC ships surrounding Urasaki from a safe distance. The map zoomed out even more, showing an Orbital Defense Platform hovering in low orbit over Urasaki.
The Headmistress let out a deep sigh before she looked away.
“If those at Urasaki fail…” Colonel Ozaki looked at the map before looking back at his daughter. “The ASC will have no choice but to destroy Urasaki in order to eliminate the Leviathan.”
“WHAT!?” Akane slammed her hand down on the table. “YOU CAN’T LET THEM! KITARU – YOUR OWN SON IS THERE!”
“I have no other options,” Colonel Ozaki gritted his teeth. “If we don’t destroy Urasaki and the Leviathan, the rest of the Haven will be lost. It will only be a matter of time before the Harvesters will overrun us if we fail at Urasaki. Kitaru – your brother, I have faith in him. But we need a plan in the case they do happen to fail.”
“For a father who was absent for more than half of your own son’s life…” Akane looked away for a split second. “You end up becoming responsible for his death. Pfft, some father of the year award you deserve.”
“Akane…” Colonel Ozaki frowned.
Toyosaki had a sad look on her face and she put her hand on Akane’s shoulder for support.
“Akane-chan…” the Headmistress uttered. “Your father is right.”
“This is war, Akane,” Colonel Ozaki said. “All we can do now is count on Kitaru. I already disobeyed a direct order by sending in the Void Clearers – we just have to wait.”
Akane shook her head and glared at her father.
“Kitaru…” Akane sighed as she looked at the map. “You better survive this.”
“TOSSING A GRENADE!” a Black Wolf shouted at the top of his lungs as he threw a fragmentation grenade that exploded in the middle of a pack of Runners that sent them flying in pieces.
The sun of the early morning was now shining down upon us.
It was an advantage to have the light as it was helpful to see the Harvesters in plain view. It was a better experience than combating them at night, where the only thing that was visible was their glowing red eyes.
The sun seemingly only affected the amount of Stalkers that were present on the battlefield. They were either wiped out by the sunlight or had gone into hiding among the wrecked buildings and debris around the city.
I pushed forward and shot my T05 at a Runner, seeing the pellets pierce its body and killing it. Another Runner came at my side and I pushed it back with my shoulder before pumping my T05 and firing another round that annihilated that Runner.
“The Leviathan is firing!” Nobu shouted.
The Leviathan opened its mouth, firing a volley of fire towards us.
“BLACK WOLVES, STEEL WALL!” Sergeant Tomasu shouted.
A line of Black Wolves moved ahead of us and created a tall Construct wall instantaneously. The Construct wall absorbed the Leviathan’s blast before it evaporated into tiny crystals that fell to the ground and slowly trickled away.
“Move forward!” Lieutenant Zenko yelled as he hovered above us with his wings made of blue flames and held his sword in his hand.
I glanced around as there were Troopers all around me along with the Blue Team, both regulars and Void Clearers. Our plan had been working.
The Black Wolves were to create Constructs to shield us from the Leviathan as we slowly pushed up to regain the ground we had lost earlier. The Storm Ravens and other Troopers were tasked with taking on the Harvesters on the ground.
Our previous plan of having three different flanks had slowly merged into one whole. With the arrival of the Void Clearers, we were now at an equal fighting chance among the hordes of Urasaki.
But will Danketsu be strong enough?
“More Runners inbound!” Sayaka yelled.
“We need reinforcements to the center position!” I said into the radio.
“No, we won’t!” I heard someone shout. I looked over and found Ren jumping over me, twirling in the air. “Royal Flush!” she threw her cards made of majutsu at the approaching Runners and exterminated them.
More Storm Ravens moved ahead of the rest of the Troopers, sending out their own majutsu attacks that completely made everything seemingly easy to them. They advanced forward, continuing to dish out their powers.
“Ne-nevermind!” I yelled back into the radio.
I fired a majutsu blast at the Runners, decimating a few in one shot before I moved forward with Danketsu tightly gripped into my hands.
On the other side of the streets, I watched as Yusa was with a few other Troopers and Black Wolves. The Black Wolves created Construct shields for the Troopers behind them, with the latter activating electric Constructs and utilized their jump-packs to spring over the shields and into a large group of Runners – destroying the undead into bits and pieces.
“Senpai! The plan, it’s working!” I heard Yukino’s voice as I soon found her by my side. “Raven’s Mercy!” she shouted and used her majutsu to kill other Runners.
Erika zoomed past us, wielding her katana as she cut through Runners as if they were nothing. She jumped into the air, using sets of shurikens to take out more of the undead. “Summon: Darkness Blade,” she spoke as a black katana made of majutsu formed in her free hand.
She sliced down a Stalker as she landed, going into a killing frenzy on more of the Harvesters around her.
Shadow fired his SR2 Sniper Rifle that pierced the skull of a Stalker before throwing the rifle onto his back and pulling out an H45 Pistol and the tantō that Erika had given to him.
As if he was an ice skater, Shadow showed great agility as he maneuvered through the rushing waves of Runners and took turns firing his pistol and cutting them down in a one-by-one fashion.
“It’s like they’re not human…” Mika gasped as she fired her M22 Assault Rifle.
“We’re like cookies and they’re cakes!” Tomoko exclaimed as she engaged the undead with her own rifle. “They’re way tastier than us!”
“I agree!” Ayano instantly replied, before pausing for a second. “Wait, what the hell does that even mean!?”
“Aheh!” Tomoko dropped a magazine to the ground and bent over to pick it up, in just enough time where a Runner that threw itself at her missed her completely, before being shot in its face by Shadow. “I don’t know! I’m just craving sweets!”
“Interesting that this one’s still alive,” Ren said to me with a raised brow before she annihilated the undead.
“Oh, Tomo-chan has definitely carried her weight!” Sayaka remarked.
The ground began to shake around us.
I turned around and found a portion of the park behind us beginning to move apart, revealing a hidden hole underneath the park. The sounds of mechanical whirring sounded and I watched in awe as a giant cannon slowly ascended into view from the hole.
“Sorry we’re late! Took us a while to figure out the controls to get this thing moving!” I saw Morita wave.
“It’s about time!” Ayano exhaled. “We’ve been waiting for you!”
“Unfortunately, you must wait a bit longer. We’ve only managed to raise the ICE Cannon. We need more time to discover how it charge up the coils in order for it to fire!” Tatsuharu’s voice said.
“How much time do you need!?” Mika asked.
“I’m… Well, a rough estimate of possibly fifteen minutes!”
“Damn it, Tatsuharu, hurry the hell up!” Ayano shouted.
“I’m working as fast as humanly possible!”
“Senpai, there’s too many!” Tomoko said. “What if there isn’t enough time?”
“Then we make time!” I shouted.
“Captain Higona is holding our rear,” Zenko said as he appeared. “Harvesters are trying to kill our wounded at the headquarters. We’re scattered again. Without that ICE Cannon, we don’t stand a chance. We must stall!”
“You heard the Lieutenant!” I shouted as I wildly fired my M22 Assault Rifle. “Hold!”
“Lieutenant, we have another horde approaching us this time,” Kenta replied as his visor scanned the horizon. “Detecting double variants within the horde – Runners and Brutes.”
“Incoming Brutes!” Zenko shouted. “Nobu, Mika, and Tomoko! Fall back to the headquarters and join up with Captain Higona. I want the Storm Ravens to focus fire on the Brutes. All Black Wolves and Troopers, continue to move forward to the Leviathan! Vanguard, take care of any stragglers that pass through our ranks!”
“Yes, sensei!” Nobu, Mika, and Tomoko shouted in unison before they activated their jump-packs to fall back.
“Sergeant Eizo! Get those Rhinos up here, on the double!” Zenko ordered.
“Right away, sir! All tanks, forward!” Sergeant Eizo’s voice replied.
“You heard the Lieutenant, Black Wolves!” Sergeant Tomasu pointed forward. “ADVANCE!”
I heard furious shouts come from the Troopers as we charged towards the enemy ahead.
“Kitaru and the rest of you are with me! We’re going to push forward and get close enough to the Leviathan to attack!” Zenko said as he ran. “Summon: Dawnblade!” His wings and sword made of flames formed as he pushed forward.
“The Leviathan!” Yusa shouted.
I looked up and saw the Leviathan hovering over a few buildings in the near distance, heading straight towards us as it grew closer with each gigantic step.
We’re running straight into hell…
“We’ve set up an advanced position!” Zenko said as we took cover behind the ruins of a building, the bodies of the dead Brutes all around us. “All unit’s move up to our position and prepare for the final push against the Leviathan!”
The Storm Ravens and Blue Team, along with a squad of Black Wolves, took cover with us as the rest of the ASC forces continued to advance.
“What’s the plan now, sensei?” I asked.
“Watanabe-san, Morita-san, and the others should be getting the ICE Cannon to activate soon,” he replied as he looked around as Sergeant Tomasu and other Black Wolves showed up. “We’re a bit early to reach this point, but we’ll be able to devise a plan to eliminate the Leviathan. Sergeant Tomasu, move your Black Wolves to a position fifty meters ahead and set up Construct walls.”
“Will do, Lieutenant,” Sergeant Tomasu nodded as he began running forward. “Up to the front!”
The other Black Wolves followed Sergeant Tomasu and Yusa, along with the majority of the Storm Ravens, appeared and knelt next to Zenko and I.
“Change of plans here. I’m planning on saving you and Danketsu as a last resort,” Zenko said to me and I nodded. “My Storm Ravens and I are going to see if we can weaken the Leviathan with our majutsu first before you deliver the killing blow.”
“Sensei, would that be the right idea?” Yusa asked.
“Kitaru is the guardian of Danketsu,” Zenko said as he turned to face her. “I can’t sacrifice the power of Danketsu if he’s killed.”
“The Lieutenant’s right,” Ren said. “We’re doing this for your own good, kid.”
“I told them about the condition you were in before the Leviathan appeared, senpai,” Sayaka added as she looked at me before scanning me with a medical device. “Your body isn’t ready to utilize majutsu from Danketsu yet.”
“Death by the Leviathan or death by majutsu,” Zenko said. “Either way, you’re the one person we won’t be able to afford to lose, Kitaru. I applaud you for pushing through, but next time something like that happens, you need to let me know.”
“Understood, sensei,” I nodded.
“Would the Storm Ravens be enough to hold them off?” Yukino asked.
“Heh! We’re the strongest majutsu users in all of the ASC, kid,” Ren said with a smirk. “I’m sure you’ve heard the stories.”
“I have,” Sayaka remarked. “I’ve also heard stories about the Leviathan.”
“While this may be the first Leviathan ever seen in a century, we’re prepared,” Kenta remarked. He scanned the area ahead of us with his visor. “Incoming, another wave. The Black Wolves could use a hand.”
“Erika, Shadow, and Yukino. Give them a hand, it’s going to be a close fight again,” I ordered them with a smile.
“Consider it done, senpai,” Erika bowed her head and tucked her face into her scarf before taking off towards the enemy, with Shadow nodding and following her.
“Yes, senpai!” Yukino said and without any hesitation, she charged towards the Harvesters.
“She sure has changed a lot in a day,” Ayano said with a smirk. “Even after all of our training, she wasn’t the one to jump on the gun into battle.”
“Yukino-chan certainly has endured a lot in less than a day, that would be the factor,” Sayaka said.
“But haven’t we all?” Yusa noted.
I felt my head begin to spin and I shook it, feeling a small headache in the back of my brain.
Ugh… My head…
Zenko began to converse with Yusa and the Storm Ravens, and their voices became distorted in my ears. The world around me became heavily blurred in my vision and I looked down at Danketsu, finding the Divine Weapon lighting up with a bright blue light.
What’s… happening… to… me?
Danketsu’s light grew brighter and before I knew it, everything around me turned black.
I opened my eyes and I looked around, seeing nothing but grass and green plains around me surrounded by trees. I looked up and saw Itsuko standing before me, her arms crossed and a worried look on her face.
“Itsuko…” I nodded as I brought myself up to my feet. “Wh-what am I doing here?”
“Danketsu called you to return,” she replied. “Come with me.”
We began walking through the plains quietly before we entered the forest. As we walked through the forest, we came to a stop at what seemed to be an entrance to a cave deep within the woods.
“Itsuko, I’m not too sure I understand.”
“I’ve seen the threat you’re tasked with defeating. That beast exhibits an extraordinary amount of majutsu…” she stated. “I fear it’s more than what the current amount of energy within Danketsu may be able to fight against.”
“So, you’re telling me, Danketsu won’t be able to defeat the Leviathan?”
“No. Not at the current state Danketsu is in,” she answered as she pointed to the cave. “Danketsu is much more than a Divine Weapon, it’s a learning tool. You learn more about Danketsu as you continue to use it. A much more modern term would be – you need to acquire new skills to use in combat in order to maximize Danketsu’s power. Only then would you be powerful enough to defeat this Leviathan.”
“I see…” I rubbed my chin in thought. “Then what do I need to do?”
“I may be a spirit within Danketsu, Kitaru-dono,” she said. “But I may be of some help even now. Within Danketsu, I have the ability to craft new skills and powers for you to learn. Unfortunately, Hachiman’s Armor and Cerulean’s Illumination aren’t the ideal powers you need to defeat this so-called Leviathan.”
“Cerulean’s Illumination isn’t enough?” I touched my chest. “When I used that power it… hurt me. Others have told me that it took a lot of energy for me to cast and it’s dangerous for me to use…”
“Majutsu takes a toll on a user’s energy – their life source,” she looked away. “It definitely would have killed you if you used Cerulean’s Illumination again… However, I have some worrisome news for you.”
“What is it?” I asked, feeling my heart sink.
She ushered for me to follow her into the cave and I did. A light lit up within the dark cave and an image appeared on the walls – it was me holding Danketsu, with a golden aura surrounding me.
“Unity’s Reach is the skill I’ve crafted,” she said. “It will temporarily grant you access to fifty percent of Danketsu’s full power. You’ve currently only learned about twenty percent.”
“What’s the catch?”
“It takes… a tremendous amount of energy to cast,” she shook her head slowly. “It’s almost a one-time use for you as of right now due to your experience… Kitaru-dono, listen carefully.”
“Will it kill the Leviathan?”
“Kitaru-dono, you must understand…”
“Will it kill the Leviathan, Itsuko?”
“Yes… but it may cost you your life…” she looked down. “It’s the most I could’ve done in such a short amount of time, but it’s a tool for you to use.”
It may cost me my life?
“Itsuko, if I die… what happens to Danketsu?”
“We’ll have to find a new guardian. If you touch the wall before you, you’re granted Unity’s Reach. From then on, it’s your decision on if you’re willing to cast it, Kitaru-dono,” she said.
“What’s the percentage of me dying?” I asked her, feeling my chest tighten.
“… Statistically speaking, it’s a ninety-five percent chance you’ll succumb to the injuries from casting Unity’s Reach. However, it’s a guaranteed victory as it will destroy the Leviathan,” she said.
Do I risk my own life? In order to destroy Leviathan?
“Everyone’s lives are at stake,” I told her. “If we don’t defeat the Leviathan, we’ll have to destroy the city and… everyone’s counting on me.”
If I don’t use Unity’s Reach, everyone will die. This was the final charge to destroy the Leviathan. I can’t… let their efforts go into nothing.
“You were tasked with protecting everyone from the very beginning, Kitaru-dono,” Itsuko nodded. “I sacrificed myself to save others… it’s as if Danketsu knows. That those it chooses are bound to always worry about the safety of others rather than their own. That we will always make a decision that will save others.”
“You’re right…” I said and I felt my hand begin to move towards the cave wall. I looked at Itsuko and she looked me in the eyes. “It’s our duty as the guardian of Danketsu, am I right?”
“We’re mere humans who were chosen for a greater purpose,” she nodded. “I wasn’t the one to save the world… as much as I would have preferred that. Think highly of the five percent – your willpower to continue to fight. It just may be what you need to hear.”
“Five percent chance of survival?” I scoffed. “From the very beginning, I knew getting assigned first-years would be the end of me. But hey, I made it this far, right?”
“Correct, Kitaru-dono,” she said. “I’ll be with you.”
My hand touched the wall and I felt myself begin to envelop in a bright light. I looked at Itsuko as she slowly disappeared, and I could see nothing but the light.
“Thank you, Itsuko…” I whispered to her as I closed my eyes.
“Good luck, Kitaru-dono.”
The loud sound of gunfire and the Rhinos firing came into my mind.
I opened my eyes and found myself back in the street of Urasaki, surrounded by the Blue Team and the Storm Ravens.
“Kitaru?” Zenko looked at me. “Did you hear me?”
“Uh, what?” I shook my head. “Aheh… Sorry, sensei…”
“Idiot,” Yusa looked at me and frowned. “You choose now out of all times to black out? Are you stupid?”
Think of something. Quick.
“Well…” I scratched the back of my head. “I might’ve been dozing off thinking about the mattress we have back at our room, Tachibana-san.”
“You two share a room at Miyamoto?” Ren batted her eyes. “Is that even allowed?”
The other Storm Ravens gave each other looks before turning their attention back to us.
“Idiot!” Yusa’s face turned bright red. “How dare you share that information out loud! It’s so embarrassing…”
Zenko cleared his throat. “We still need a plan of action here, everyone. The Leviathan, as predicted, is barely taking any damage from our weapons and Rhinos. Watanabe-san, how’s the ICE Cannon?”
“It’s… close to activation, sensei!” Tatsuharu’s voice said over the radio. “Expect some heavy firepower soon!”
“We’re running out of time,” Zenko said. “Ren? How are the Storm Ravens?”
“We’re ready, sir,” Ren said with a nod. “All of the offensive majutsu users are ready to strike.”
“Perfect,” Zenko nodded. “Kitaru, are you ready with Danketsu?”
I nodded my head. “Yes, sensei.”
Do I tell them now?
“We move in on the Leviathan once the Storm Cannon’s activated,” he said. “Sergeant Tomasu, create a hole for us! We’re moving forward to your position!”
“Will do, sir,” Sergeant Tomasu replied.
Lieutenant Zenko took off with the Storm Ravens following behind him. Blue Team and I followed behind as we ran through the lines of Troopers to reach the Construct wall.
“Sensei! I believe we’ve managed to activate the ICE Cannon!” Tatsuharu’s voice said over the radio.
“Fire on the Harvesters in front of us! Everyone! Shields up! The ICE Cannon’s firing!” Zenko shouted into the radio.
All around us, the Black Wolves activated bubble shields, with the Harvesters surrounding everyone. The undead clawed and scraped the shields in an effort to get in, but to no avail.
I looked at the ICE Cannon and saw that the barrel charged up with electricity. Electric energy formed in its coils and it turned to a solid light condensed within the coils to trap the energy within.
“Opening fire! Let’s burn these sons of bitches to a crisp!” Morita shouted.
The ICE Cannon fired, shaking the ground, and a large beam of energy emerged, enveloping us within the beam as I watched that in seconds, the undead around us were reduced to ashes. The power of the ICE Cannon cracked the bubble shields as its electricity was at a greater power than Constructs.
In seconds, the ICE Cannon shut down and the Harvesters were gone, leaving us with only the Leviathan left. The bubble shields were deactivated as I heard Troopers cheering.
“I need one of those!” Ayano exclaimed as she held a fist in the air.
“It’s going to take time for the ICE Cannon to charge up for another round,” Morita said. “Around a couple minutes before we can send another one to the Leviathan.”
The Leviathan let out another roar, sending chills to my veins.
We need to buy time for the ICE Cannon to fire. The Leviathan won’t want a time-out until then, especially after we wiped out the rest.
“Sergeant Eizo! All Rhinos focus fire on the Leviathan! Target key areas to maximize your effectiveness,” Zenko said before pressing his radio. “Captain Higona, how are you doing on your side?”
“We’ve just about finished up the remaining Harvesters. With the ICE Cannon taking out the majority of the undead, we’re going to shift our focus to the wounded,” Captain Higona replied.
“All Rhinos, open fire!” Sergeant Eizo shouted and the thundering sound of the tanks firing sounded in my ears.
“Hokiyama, Gōbei!” Sergeant Tomasu barked. “Take your own squads, use the Hounds and attack the Leviathan from the side!”
“Yes, sir!” the two Black Wolves shouted in unison.
Soon enough, Hounds zoomed past us. Black Wolves that were on the mounted machine guns began to rain fire on the Leviathan.
“All units, open fire!” Zenko barked.
I gripped onto my M22 Assault Rifle and fired at the Leviathan, seeing everyone around me do the same with their own weaponry.
From rifles to pistols, and even some rocket launchers mixed in – we fired everything we had.
The Leviathan stood still and it was being covered with bullets and explosions from the tanks. It was as if we weren’t phased by our weapons at all.
Just why are we doing this? It’s not working. Maybe it did want a time-out, it’s doing nothing!
“Sensei, we’re able to fire! Ready at your command!” Tatsuharu shouted into the radio.
“FIRE! CLEAR THE BLAST ZONE!” Zenko shouted.
The Storm Cannon fired, shaking the ground and causing a minor tremor. The powerful shot pierced the Leviathan, causing the beast to let out a ferocious roar of pain. It stumbled backwards, shaking the ground even more.
“MOVE!” Zenko said as he stepped forward. “SUMMON: DAWNBLADE! INTO THE DARKNESS WE GO!”
His wings and sword emerged, and he ran towards the Leviathan before soaring into the air.
“THE STORM RAVENS BRING LIGHT!” the other Storm Ravens shouted in unison, sending chills to my veins.
The Storm Ravens followed behind him and activated their own majutsu powers of flight. Those that didn’t utilized their jetpacks and rose into the air behind Zenko.
If they do this, I won’t have to use Unity’s Reach…
They began to attack the crippled Leviathan with their majutsu. All sorts of energy were suddenly being used to attack, ranging from elemental majutsu such as flames and ice to others such as beams and summoned weapons.
“Awesome…” Ayano said.
“It’s a showcase of majutsu’s true power,” Erika said.
As soon as it had started, the Leviathan regained its strength. Utilizing the claws in its hands, I watched in silence as it swept a few of the Storm Ravens with a powerful attack – killing them instantly with the impact.
The Leviathan breathed fire on a group of Storm Ravens in front of it, burning them to a crisp.
“What…” I muttered.
“N-no…” Yusa said quietly.
Zenko, Ren, and Kenta were immediately caught in another one of the fires and they activated their own shields to block the flames. Other Storm Ravens did the same, but the power of the Leviathan caused their shields to crack and some of them broke – burning the Storm Ravens alive.
“If they don’t get out of there, they’re all going to die!” Ayano shouted.
“Kitaru-senpai, they won’t make it,” Yukino shook her head.
“You have to call them back, senpai,” Sayaka said.
Yusa looked at me. “I don’t know what we’re going to do if you do, Ozaki.”
“Damn it…” I looked at the Storm Ravens, their numbers now less than half. “Zenko-sensei! You have to fall back!”
Instantly, the Storm Ravens retreated from attacking the Leviathan, who attacked them as they did so. A few Storm Ravens fell from the skies, landing hard on the ground to die.
I gritted my teeth as Zenko and the few remaining Storm Ravens arrived, out of breath and showing injuries. Sayaka and a few other medics began to treat them with their medical devices.
“Sen-sensei…” I said to him. He looked at me and his eyepatch blinked red. “Wh-what happened?”
“The Leviathan… We underestimated it up close…” he winced. “I could feel that my majutsu wasn’t at its full potential – it’s as if… it took it away.”
“Took it away?” Mika asked.
“That’s… pretty crazy, sensei,” Ayano smirked.
“Crazy, sensei!” Tomoko exclaimed.
I shot the two of them glares and they looked away.
“Perimeter’s secured,” Sergeant Tomasu reported. “It’s just us and the Leviathan now.”
I looked at him and saw a golden medallion with an eagle on his hip, instantly remembering who it belonged to.
“Sergeant Tomasu… that medallion…” I pointed at it. “That… belonged to…”
“Kid named Hayato,” he finished for me. “We found him and his team butchered on their first mission…”
“They didn’t stand a chance,” Trooper Gobei said.
“We still wish we could have been there with them…” Trooper Hokiyama shook her head.
“… It was his lucky medallion,” I said. “They were the ones who gave me… hope.”
“Well,” Sergeant Tomasu took the medallion off his hip and handed it to me. “They’re going to give you luck now.”
“And you’re going to need it,” the voice of Sergeant Eizo said as he arrived in his Rhino. “My tanks didn’t do a thing, your guns didn’t do a thing, and the Storm Raven’s majutsu didn’t do a thing. The ICE Cannon only annoyed it from what it seems like. If we’re going to kill that thing, we need luck.”
“We need a plan here,” Zenko said as one of the medics finished scanning him. “Kitaru… Danketsu?”
“No way,” Yusa said. “If humanity’s finest can’t even defeat it, what makes you think–”
“He has Danketsu,” Zenko interrupted. “He has the ultimate Divine Weapon.”
“Ozaki,” Yusa pulled me to the side. “You can’t.”
Tachibana-san…. I’m the only one who can, from what it looks like.
I looked at her and I gave her a half-smile and she looked away.
Sergeant Eizo looked at the Leviathan. “It’s mocking us! We have to send everything we have at that thing – it’s the only damned Harvester left! We can take it.”
“Sending everyone to attack the Leviathan won’t work,” Sergeant Tomasu shook his head. “The Storm Ravens are the best of the best, and even they couldn’t scratch the Leviathan.”
“We didn’t even get close enough,” Ren said in a low tone.
“We can’t risk everything we have,” Zenko said. “Not now.”
“Well, then, what the hell are we supposed to do?” Sergeant Eizo looked down.
“Well…” I began.
The battered Storm Ravens looked at me.
“I have an idea,” I said. “I have something that’ll be able to destroy the Leviathan, but… it might kill me.”
“What?” Yusa instantly took a step towards me. “Listen, Ozaki, there’s no way in hell that you’re going to be casting another one of those majutsu abilities to kill the Leviathan! Not when your life is at stake!”
“Just what the hell do you think you’re going to do, kid?” Ren spoke up. “We’re humanity’s best majutsu users and we got completely stomped in seconds.”
“Statistics show that you have a two point five percent chance at killing the Leviathan, even with Danketsu,” Kenta said.
“Shut the hell up with your statistics!” Ren barked. “We’re done for. It’s over.”
Zenko held his hand up and the two of them went silent.
“What is it, Kitaru?” Zenko asked.
“It’s called… Unity’s Reach,” I said. “It allows me to utilize up to fifty percent of Danketsu’s energy.”
“That’s a lot for a Divine Weapon,” Erika said. “It’s more than when you casted your other power… and that didn’t end too well.”
“But it’ll be enough to defeat the Leviathan,” I nodded.
“Senpai…” Sayaka said as she scanned me quickly with her medical device. “Your vitals could drastically change. I fear if this is done… you’re going to die.”
“He won’t. There’s no way in hell! Ozaki, where are you even getting this information from!?” Yusa instantly shouted.
“Itsuko-san,” I said.
“You mean the ‘woman who lives in a sword’,” she scoffed. “You’re crazy. Ozaki, do you not remember what I said before?”
“Danketsu is here. I’m here. We’ve reached our mission, Tachibana-san, and this is it,” I barked. “Our mission changed. The Cores are gone and this Leviathan is here, and it’s going to either kill all of us or get us all killed… but I can change that!”
“Kitaru…” Zenko looked at me and his eyepatch glowed with a static yellow. “I fear you may be our only hope.”
“That Leviathan…” Ren winced as a medic began to administer a first-aid kit to her wounds. “… We never knew what hit us. We thought we were the most powerful majutsu users in all of the ASC? Look at us now.”
“We need to hit the Leviathan with everything we have in order to buy Kitaru time to get close enough,” Zenko said. “Do you know what you’re going to do, Kitaru?”
“What!? We haven’t made a decision yet!” Yusa stammered.
“Tachibana-san, I’m the only one left who stands a chance,” I muttered to her before I looked at Zenko. “I know what I have to do, sensei.”
“Tatsuharu, Morita!” Zenko said into the radio. “On my count, fire the ICE Cannon at the Leviathan!” he turned his attention back to me. “When that ICE Cannon goes off, it’ll buy you enough time to get up close and personal. Danketsu’s power should be able to keep whatever the hell it is from taking away any of your majutsu… or so I hope.”
“Will do, Lieutenant,” Morita replied. “Ready to fire on your command.”
“Ozaki… please,” Yusa looked at me, her golden-yellow eyes beginning to tear up. I saw the look on her face – hurt and worry. “I don’t want you to do this. As much as I think of you as an idiot… this isn’t worth it…”
“I don’t have a choice, Tachibana-san… I can’t let you or anyone else be hurt if there’s a chance for me to stop this!” I whispered as I hugged her slightly to comfort her. “I’m… I’m sorry…”
“I never even got to tell you…” she looked away. “I-I…”
“Kitaru!” Zenko’s voice shouted and I looked over and saw him. “Whatever it is you’re going to do, do it now!”
I nodded to him before I looked back at Yusa. “I’m lucky I met you, Tachibana-san.”
I began to run away from Yusa towards the Leviathan, taking Danketsu off my back and holding onto the Divine Weapon with my hand tightly.
“Kitaru!” Yusa called to me and I looked back at her. “Come… Come back in one piece, okay?”
“For you,” I smiled before I resumed running.
She called me by my first name.
I ran past the line of Troopers and found myself in what seemed to be no man's land. There was nothing but space in between me and the hulking Leviathan. I continued to run and with every step I took, it was as if my speed was getting faster.
“Kitaru, I have a Crane pilot who’ll bring you as close as possible to the Leviathan,” Zenko spoke to me over the radio. “He’s the only one with the skills as a pilot and is crazy enough to do so.”
“This is Kilo 9-1, on approach,” a male voice said over the radio.
Instantaneously, a Crane arrived in front of me and opened its hatch. I hopped in and held onto a handle to stand inside the Crane and we ascended. I watched as the Troopers below soon became ants to me as we went higher and higher with each passing second.
“Thanks for the lift!” I shouted.
“I’ll drop you off at the nearest building by the Leviathan’s head,” Kilo 9-1 said. “On my mark, you jump! Once you finish the job, I’ll swoop back in to pick you up!”
Okay… jumping out of a moving Crane… Marked off my to-do list…
“Roger that!” I yelled back.
“Morita, Tatsuharu. OPEN FIRE!” Zenko’s booming voice sounded over the radio.
“ICE Cannon firing! Give it hell, senpai!” Tatsuharu’s voice shouted into the radio.
I watched as the ICE Cannon below fired, sending another powerful beam at the Leviathan, stunning it before it could get a chance to send any fireballs towards the Crane. It roared as it stumbled backwards in pain.
“3, 2, 1… green light! Go, go, go!” Kilo 9-1 shouted.
I jumped out of the Crane, finding myself falling through the air. I activated my jump-pack and glided down to a rooftop that was high enough where I could be face to face with the Leviathan.
The Leviathan spotted me and fired multiple fireballs at me. I ran across the rooftop to evade the fireballs and jumped off the side of the roof, seeing another building ahead. I activated my jump-pack and bursted into the air, seeing a fireball heading straight for me.
With Danketsu, I carved the fireball in half mid-air and I landed on the roof. The Leviathan seemingly stared at me in patience as I finally found myself facing the monstrous beast.
“Your destruction ends here, Leviathan.”
“And what brings you to say that, mortal?” I heard a deep, demonic voice in my ears that came out of nowhere. I looked at the Leviathan, not seeing its horrid mouth move to those words and I stood in awe. “Shocked? You mortals believe us Harvesters are nothing more than the undead. No… We are not.”
The Leviathan’s talking to me! But… But how? Telepathically?
“Wh-what the hell are you?” I pointed Danketsu at the Leviathan.
“Mere mortal, I am more than what you believe me to be. I am the Harbinger Leviathan, summoned to bring wrath upon your puny ‘Haven’,” the Leviathan responded. “I do not fear your Divine Weapon.”
“Oh, I’ll show you something to fear about it!” I gritted my teeth. “CERULEAN ILLUMINATION!” I shouted.
The high-powered beam shot out from my wrists, heading straight for the Leviathan.
A red, see-through shield appeared in front of the Leviathan and my attack collided with the shield, sending a massive explosion around it.
It… It blocked my attack…
I felt my insides burn up and I coughed, seeing blood fly out from my mouth as I felt my energy begin to disappear. My vision blurred for a split second as I almost fell over before I regained my balance.
Wh-what’s happening… to me?
“Fool. Your mortal body is not capable of continuing to harbor your powers, you will die before I get a chance to kill you,” the Leviathan said to me. I took a deep breath and looked at the monstrous beast. “Why do you think your sword was not functioning? You used up more than enough of your life-force than I believed you would have. No wonder the girl truly believes you are an idiot.”
“What… WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?” I screamed. “WHAT ARE YOU!?”
“You humans think that majutsu is a simple combination of life-force and your foolish martial arts,” the Leviathan’s voice grew louder. “You have been overestimating for centuries. I am the one who ceased Danketsu’s power until you arrived here. I am the one who toyed with your Storm Ravens’ power. I will be the one who will bring you all death.”
I coughed again, feeling an intense pain in my stomach as more blood came out from my mouth. It became hard for me to breathe, and all I could feel was the iron taste of my blood.
“Y-you… You won’t…”
I… I have to cast Unity’s Reach…
“Such dedication,” the Leviathan paused. “Allow me to show you the true meaning of pain.”
The Leviathan’s eyes turned red as it gazed at me.
I… I can’t think…
I felt my eyes roll to the back of my head and all I could see white. I lost control of my body and felt myself scream as loud as I could before everything turned black and I couldn’t hear anything anymore.