Sea of lightning flame in the sky. Sea of clouds of death whirling below.
It could be seen as the sight of the end of the world, or perhaps as the sight of the creation of the world. Surely the impression would differ depending on the person.
But, in any case, there wasn’t anyone who doubted that this was a scene of legend that would be engraved into the history of this world.
――Where art thou going?
The solemn soul of language came from the sky. All the people who heard it would be made to hold awe whether they wanted it or not by that voice.
That voice was directed toward the flagship that was trying to escape first by making the whole fleet into sacrificial pawn. No, more accurately, it was toward the master of flagship Durgrant that gave the order――the god king of pillage Gregor.
Even that person himself must understand that the question was directed to him. Inside the bridge of flagship Durgrant that was already turning around and moved to escape, Gregor who was watching dumbfounded at the absurd sight behind the ship through the display twitched and trembled.
『Don’t listen-. Full speed――』
Gregor yelled in panic toward the helmsman with shaken eyes. However, he was unable to speak his order until the end.
――O false king, know shame
『Yo, your majesty-』
A scream came from the helmsman. Because suddenly a giant tornado descended from the sea of lightning flame. The tornado of scorching heat that burn the air with hell fire and heat wave spiraled and dyed the inside of the bridge with brilliant light.
The helmsman reflexively tilted the ship faster than Gregor’s command to dodge. The flagship Durgrant veered right away to the right with a motion that didn’t suit that giant frame.
――Thou couldst not escape
Along with those words, the second blazing tornado descended. It didn’t stop there, as though to invite despair toward the flagship Durgrant that was tyring to slip through somehow, the third, fourth, fifth tornado descended.
『-, impossible to dodge! It’s coming!』
『Barrier full strength! Breakthrough-』
The loud yells of the helmsman and Gregor echoed.
Flagship Durgrant tried to slip through the countless flame pillars that were connecting heaven and earth, but it finally couldn’t evade and came into contact.
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Instantly, the giant body of flagship Durgrant was attacked by fierce vibration. The posture control system didn’t work and the ship’s bow was lifted up as though it got hoisted, the ship was rotating uncontrollably. In addition, there were even consecutive impacts that followed. The thunderbolts that were generated inside the tornado were assaulting the ship.
The crew who was in charge of the silver barrier control saw how the ship’s energy was consumed with frightening speed and he raised his voice with pale expression.
『The barrier output-, it decreased by fifty percent! Your majesty-, at this rate-』
『Chih, start replenish……sheet-』
Gregor unconsciously cursed when he was about to give instruction. In order to maintain the barrier’s output, they needed to exchange the pod of dragon core fuel, but he remembered that there were no more dragon for that.
『Turn around……turn the ship around! At the same time, fire at full power toward that black dragon!』
They couldn’t retreat.
Gregor who made that judgment then ordered to turn the ship around while feeling indescribable rage and unease.
At the same time, the weapons loaded on board the flagship Durgrant fired simultaneously. Missiles in the amount that was absurd to be counted, storm of bullets that should be called as a wall already, and naturally the silver bombardment too.
Of course――all those were shot down. Anything and everything, without a single exception. By several hundred, several thousand lightning showering from the sky.
While flagship Durgrant was retreating, the other fleets were naturally joining in offense using their full power to push back Tio. Yet regardless of that, Gregor was unable to even retreat.
The reason of that was this.
From all directions. In the range diameter of several dozen kilometer. Sniping of roaring lightning was shooting out every target under the heaven simultaneously and swiftly.
The world that was covered with the sea of lightning flame was literally the absolute territory of the black god dragon.
『Charge the Henkhaborg-. All fleets, buy us time!』
The fact that their attack didn’t reach caused Gregor’s voice to turn increasingly disarrayed. Even so, all the fleets reflexively obeyed the words of the king who symbolized terror and violence.
The barrier fleet form multi-layered formation to protect the flagship Durgrant, the other fleets aimed their maximum firepower without pause from all directions, sky battlecraft squads were unleashing attacks suicidally.
At the same time, flagship Durgrant’s multi-column 3-turret cannon was focusing silver light with terrific momentum. However, that light was something mixed with black color like what mother ship Ostinato showed in the end, so it was obviously different in aspect with the normal bombardment.
――Main cannon Henkhaborg
It was a silver bombardment that took in the property of the black rain to become an abominable energy wave. The bombardment that focused and mixed the impure energy that filled this world, when it hit the target, even if the ship’s frame itself was protected by the barrier, the energy that caused necrosis to the cells would encroach inside the ship and annihilated the crews.
Of course, after it was fired, highly polluted energy would get scattered at the surrounding area, so one’s own army also would not escape the effect. It was a forbidden weapon that was hard to use, it bared its fang not just to enemy and ally, but even to the world.
And now, it was fired.
A flash shined and filled up the burning world completely.
It didn’t matter even if it was against existence that had veered really far from the beaten track, as long as it was still a living thing, it should be possible for it to experience cell necrosis. And then, as long as they could just succeed in eroding its body, the would be able to kill it for sure!
A twitching smile emerged on Gregor’s lips.
It was fired in no time.
The black god dragon’s――breath!
The flash that was fired from the jaw that was opened wide was pure black. It was an absolute color that wasn’t polluted by anyone, painting over everything.
The bombardment of silver and black that exemplified taboo was certainly mighty, it could pulverize even a mother ship in a single shot. But, the breath that was fired from the black god dragon far surpassed it. The difference in power was overwhelming, like a needle that was thrust to intercept a log.
*GOU-* When the atmosphere growled, this world’s strongest bombardment was easily swallowed by the black breath after a moment of resistance.
Gregor’s yell echoed.
But, the scene before his eyes was a definite fact. The strongest attack of flagship Durgrant was swallowed right from the front, and it didn’t stop there, it was getting annihilated along with the negative energy by the aberrantly scorching heat.
The first layer of the multi-layered barrier that was deployed by the barrier fleet was smashed open like a paper waste. The second layer was also breached like scattering glass after a moment of resistance. The third layer, the fourth layer……
At the same time with the barrier’s pulverization, several ships of the barrier fleet were hit by the breath and they exploded everywhere. Gregor recovered his sanity seeing the figure of the defensive ships going up in flame and he gave his command, and then the helmsman who similarly managed to go back to reality steered the ship with miraculous reflex.
When flagship Durgrant rotated, the last barrier was broken through at the same time.
『All hands-, brace for impa――』
The yell that was raised by someone couldn’t be finished until the end.
Right after that, a terrific impact attacked flagship Durgrant. Thunderous sound and fierce alert sound rang.
The breath Tio released didn’t stop and opened up a large hole in the whirling sea of clouds and vanished toward the ground. No one had the leisure to observe where it landed, but if they could actually do that, surely they would experience the feeling of a block of ice thrown on their spine without doubt.
After all, the place that was impacted by the breath that descended from the sky――a mountain with elevation around two kilometer was hit directly and it got blasted away spotlessly.
It was the breath of a god dragon that changed the geography.
Flagship Durgrant got hit by that, however, it still wasn’t sinking. Its mobility that didn’t suit its large built and the great reaction of the helmsman saved them, that they got away with only its main cannon part wholly gouged out.
Although, the figure of the flagship tilting diagonally while on fire and smoking was giving a shock to the whole fleets as though it had been sunken down.
The captains of the fleet were staring dumbfounded without giving any order at the symbol of despair the flagship getting cornered, as though time had stopped. The attack of the fleet also stopped and naturally the sky battlecraft squadrons were also staring at the flagship with their eyes opened wide.
There was no way Tio would overlook that opening.
――O proud warriors. Flap thy wings. Raise thy howl. Drive into the heart of these invaders who acted as though they owned the sky, just whose territory this place art
Those who answered was naturally the black dragons who were protected from the all-directions fleet attack. The dragon howls that shook the soul resounded through the blazing sky.
It was too late even when the enemy returned to their senses in shock.
The pilots of sky battlecrafts that were staring at the flagship Durgrant while circling saw the opened large mouth and fangs of dragon through their cockpit at the next moment――right after that, they were swallowed by scorching heat breath and vanished.
The other sky battlecraft squadrons also got their back taken instantly and they exploded due to the black dragons’ breath, others got hit by the tackle of the falling black dragon and they got crushed along with their cockpit.
The airships and mother ships resumed their attack.
However, the current black dragons didn’t let go of the opening of the paused barrage.
The last sight that a male captain who was sitting on the command seat inside the bridge saw, was the scene of a black dragon swooping down while flapping its wings in a big way, its large mouth opened across the windbreak. Right after that, his consciousness was expulsed into the perpetual darkness along with the black flash that blanketed his field of vision.
Black dragons were clinging on a mother ship. They were outside the firing range because they were too close. The sky battlecrafts who originally should be playing active role so this kind of situation didn’t occur were unable to protect their ship due to another dragons attacking them with clever cooperation and suicidal resolve.
Like that, with deadly attack toward the bridge, the black dragons were sinking the fleets one after another.
Even in that battlefield that presented a chaotic situation, there were also tough ships that were defeating the black dragons using skilled maneuver, but the black dragons that should be shot down already were revived as though nothing happened at the next moment and attacked again.
Of course, there were black dragons who got hit by main cannon class attack and they were exterminated without reviving back. There were also those that were falling in tailspin and vanish into the sea of clouds without the revival making it in time.
『These guys……don’t they have any fear?』
A captain of a certain mother ship whispered.
Immediately after that, a black dragon on the verge of death whose wings were turned into tatters and its dragons scales smashed, even so its fighting spirit wasn’t dulled even by a fragment, it was howling as though to burn its life into ash and charged toward the bridge. And then, it destroyed the bridge with its breath!
They didn’t have anything like fear. If they had fear, then it would be fear toward death without even fighting, living with their soul rotting.
『Sheet-. Why, are they not stopping-』
The captain of a certain airship screamed.
A black dragon received all attacks with its body while protecting a comrade behind it, even so it advanced forward without stopping. Even when half its body was blown away from a missile’s direct hit, the strength dwelling inside those dragon eyes didn’t waver in the slightest.
It definitely, delivered its comrade toward the enemy’s location! Of course, the breath of the protected black dragon blew away the bridge.
They wouldn’t stand still anymore for the second time. Because this was the sky. This was their territory.
Therefore, they were outdoing their opposition.
They were outdoing their greatest enemy. And above all else――their past self!
「Aa……really, what a sight this is……」
The voice that was blurred with the overflowing feeling came from the descendant of the country that loved dragon, and swore to live together with dragon――Roze Phiris Avenst’s.
Their greatest friends who were oppressed, their dignity trampled down, even their right to live stolen, now they were reborn once more. She had no words. Roze didn’t understand any way to express this emotion inside her.
However, the one thing that she understood was――
And the last monarch dragon――Kuwaibel also felt the same like that. The heroic and grand battle of his brethrens, with their existence staked on the line caused a roar to leak out naturally. He dreamed it, longed for it. They floundered, to make it reality. And then, the sight of the future that they ought to struggle to arrive at, was right here right now.
He didn’t know his mother and also his mother. He also had no sibling. When he was born, there was only the human girl who was his partner before his eyes. He didn’t think that he was lonely. However, actually he was wishing from his heart from brethrens that would fight together with him.
That was why, their awakened figures made Kuwaibel’s young soul trembled. He wondered what should he do to express that overflowing feeling……
But, there was only one thing that he understood……
『Do you want to fight?』
A question suddenly resounded.
Roze and Kuwaibel turned their face together at that voice’s owner.
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The silhouette standing above the coiling black god dragon. There was no need to ask, it was Hajime. There was a lot of distance between them, but they understood that Hajime was turning his face toward Roze and Kuwaibel.
The reply of the two was concise.
Yes, they wanted to fight.
With dignity, betting their right to live. In order to proof, that the flag they hoisted up was indeed right.
They wanted to stand shoulder to shoulder with their brethrens that were demonstrating a fierce battle. So that they could call themselves their “friend”, their “king” with their head held high.
Roze and Kuwaibel looked behind. Over there, they saw the figure of Avenst’s people clenching their fist staring hard at the battlefield. Everyone saw the figure of their fighting friend, their will to fight ‘We cannot just remain a spectator in this kind of place!’ seething inside.
Hajime who made a small smile toward such them was,
『Queen-san. I’ll ask one thing, for fleets that big to depart for here, doesn’t that mean that the battle strength in their country right now is relatively few?』
『Eh? That’s, certainly……most likely, there is only a defense fleet that excelled in defensive battle remaining there I think.』
Even though the sudden question caused Roze to be taken aback, she answered like that after pondering for a bit. Hajime’s expression distorted fearlessly.
『This battlefield is the battlefield of this world’s dragons. Perhaps it’s also fine for you to join the battle as friend, and as king but……in this battlefield there is Tio, the black god dragon. And then, there are the “awakened” dragons who obtained the divine protection of the god dragon. Then, defeat is impossible even in one in a million chance.』
『But-, while that may be true, to remain a spectator in this battle that be our existence――』
『That’s why, I’m saying to use this chance to overthrow the divine country.』
『I don’t really understand what are you saying.』
Roze reflexively returned a reply that sounded joking to those words that sounded like a joke. Kuwaibel and other people were also making a bemused expression thinking「Just what is this person saying?」toward the content of the telepathy that they hear.
Hajime’s expression suddenly turned serious toward them all.
『Roze Phiris Avenst. Right here is surely the turning point. Even after they lost their king and their battle strength plummet rock bottom, if the divine country hardened their defense when they grasped that information, will you be able to defeat them then? Just with those two airships and few sky battlecraft pilots?』
『In a battlefield, to be separated from those important to you, to leave them to face formidable enemy……such things will be accompanied by terrible pain. But, did such brittle relationship that couldn’t do that exist between the human and dragon of the dragon kingdom of the past?』
Even if their body was separated, but their heart was always beside each other. Sometimes they were separated by heaven and earth and advanced for the sake of their purpose. That was the bond between human and dragon in the dragon kingdom of the past.
『Right now they have Tio’s divine protection, they are able to display the greatest strength as black dragon. But, later after we leave, the infinite regeneration and also the enormous magic power will be gone. Even if the black dragons cooperate with you all to retake the kingdom, the obstacle you have to overcome will be great.』
Hajime asked the wordless Roze.
『Don’t you all, have your own battlefield?』
Once in the battle in Holy Precincts, Hajime left behind his comrades in the battlefield and advanced forward. It was done under a definite bond. That was why his words now was conveyed to Roze with a definite weight.
『……But, the distance from here until Qwailent――』
『If you wish, then I’ll open the door. It’s a little bit of present from the instigator. ――Now, what will you do, queen of a ruined country?』
In a sense, this battlefield was ideal. There were the awakened dragons, there was the supreme ruler of the sky, and there was the divine protection from such being. If they fought together, Roze and others would be able to clear up the pent-up resentment of the many years almost unharmed.
But, indeed it was just like Hajime said, even with only the black dragons there wouldn’t be any problem here. What’s more, there wasn’t any reason for Roze and others that they had to join the fight no matter what. It was nothing but the problem of emotion.
They didn’t understand how Hajime would send them until the divine country, but if he said that he could then surely he was really able to do it. Roze was convinced of that.
And then, a surprise attack toward the divine country was certainly also their biggest effective chance to retake the kingdom.
However, there was no doubt that the danger would be far above this battlefield. Most likely, many of the soldiers gathered in this place right now would lose their life.
Roze shut her eyes.
The enemy’s battle strength. This move to recover from their hopeless situation. The degree of damage. The chance of victory. The merit and demerit after they took a step forth. In case they didn’t depart for battle here, the state of things in a world with cleared sky. The action prediction of the divine country that lost its main fleets……
Roze came back to herself suddenly and she looked back. There, she saw the figures of Bovid and Sabas staring at her with a strong gaze. No, it wasn’t just the two. The Crow siblings, the other top brasses, and then, all the people regardless of gender and age, they all were staring at Roze with a gaze that contained a flame that was even hotter than the sea of flame spreading in the sky.
(Aa, that’s right. If it’s resolve, then we already have it.)
Didn’t they decide to fight already? Didn’t they wish, that they want to fight?
Wasn’t the will of dragon kingdom Avenst, displayed already?
Roze made a bitter smile at herself who was flinching back now when the time came for that. And then, right after that she declared loudly with definite dignity and resolve as the king of a country.
「People of dragon country Avenst. My beloved people. It looks like the time has come.」
The explosive sound of battlefield struck the eardrums. However, no matter how much noise resounded, their ears didn’t fail to hear their queen’s words.
「If we leave all the fight to our awakened friend and run away because we treasure our own life――our heart will die. Even if we plunge into this battlefield following our emotion――there won’t be any significant meaning. To consider escape as battle, that escape is fighting just like what we have done until now in the cleared up world――that’s something that our pride won’t allow anymore. I’ll say it one more time. ――The time has come.」
Breaths were held. Everyone corrected their posture and they stared straight at Roze.
「Resolve yourself. From here on, we will challenge a next to impossible battle.」
Let’s rescue the friends of the dragon kingdom that are born merely to be exploited and killed. Let’s liberate the people of the dragon kingdom that are captured and treated like slave. And then……
「We will make over the world. As the first step of that――let’s take back our kingdom!」
The answer was naturally a soul-stirring war cry that wasn’t outdone by the dragon howls.
At the same time with that war cry that sounded like it would blow away the thunderbolts and explosions, the top brasses were giving instructions one after another. Everyone was starting to move swiftly. In the middle of that, Roze turned her gaze toward Hajime.
『Hajime-sama. Please guide us. To the land of our longstanding desire.』
『Welcome to the battlefield. Queen-sama.』
Hajime who made a wide and villainous grin made his fingertip shined and took out an artifact. It was a sparkling key colored with mystical blue. A key that opened even a door that crossed over worlds――the Crystal Key.
Hajime threw it with just a movement of his finger tip. The crystal key flew while leaving behind trail of azure light and it pierced the space between Hajime and mother ship Avenst.
The crystal key that had been given improvement with gravity stone inserted in it rotated at the same time when Hajime twisted his wrist, as though it was unlocking something.
The sound of opened lock rang in the world.
Of course, it was an optional extra. The sound was meaningless, but Hajime was struck with the idea so it couldn’t be helped. This too was also Hajime Quality!
Incidentally, previously the opened gate looked like shining membrane, but right now the gate looked like an impressive two-leaf door that appeared from thin air that was opening while making solemnly heavy sound *gogogo-*.
Of course, that was an optional extra! It was meaningless, but Hajime got carried up from excitement so it couldn’t be helped! This too was also Hajime Quality!
By the way, the door was merely three-dimensional projection, so the size and also the design could be changed based on Hajime’s current mood! It was his prided item that he made from a month of hard work combining the film technology of earth and magic of Tortus!
『……Hajime-sama. By any chance, are you someone that is affiliated with god?』
No, he was just an obsessive inventor desu. To the level that he would even forget eating and sleeping once he got absorbed into something, and he wouldn’t stop until he got drained dry by the legal wife, or eating the suplex of the rabbit-eared wife.
『Go. May the luck of war be with you.』
『-. Thank you very much. ――I’ll pray that someday, we will be able to meet once again in a world where the world, the people’s heart, and also the dragons’ soul are all cleared up.』
Roze bowed, and then she turned on her heel toward airship Rozeria in order to take command over the whole force.
『I feel a bit uneasy with only those children. ……Oho? Fumu, is that so. Very well, leave thy brethrens to me.』
Tio who was staying still above the sky to watch over the battle of the black dragons sent a sidelong glance at Roze and others. And then, several black dragons came back from the battlefield and soared toward airship Rozeria while sending their gaze at Tio.
It seemed they were conveying to Tio that they would follow them, so they asked her to take care of their brethrens.
『What an overprotective god dragon-sama.』
『What art thou saying? If Goshujin-sama say that, even thou were lending thy hand that thou open the gate.』
『Something like that doesn’t count as lending hand. I was only sending those guys to hell.』
『The act just now art something necessary for them to be able to live proudly holding their head high in the future ahead. The act of instigating also count as lending hand. Fufu.』
While they were talking telepathically just between the two of them, airships Rozeria and Averia vanished inside the gate followed by the nation on ship Avenst.
……They passed through the impressive shining door that was created by the throwing tantrum Hajime「Just a bit more-. Just a bit more until it’s finished-. That’s why, I’ll eat properly when it’s finished okay!」even while having his cheeks stretched *munii* widely by Yue and his body locked by Shia’s Cobra Twist.
『You bastard-, where are they going-? Just what the hell are you two!?』
An angry yell rose from the battlefield that had reached the one-way intensification. Gregor’s voice that was filled with unease and confusion didn’t have even a speck of its former dignity anymore.
『This kind of incomprehensible power-, suddenly appearing out of nowhere-. Don’t screw with me-. How can something like this is allowed! Damn it-, damn ittt-. I am, the king of the divine country you know!?』
Gregor’s yell complained to Hajime and Tio――or rather, it was closer to a soliloquy. The number of the ships was already decreased until half. They were unable to even replenish their dragon core energy. The energy output of the fleets that was declining didn’t even have the spare energy to fire their main cannon anymore.
There was already no trace left from their majesty when they first appeared from the dawn.
That must be cornering Gregor’s mind even further. He was continuously yelling things like『This kind of reality, this kind of absurdity, how can this be allowed-』.
Toward such him, Hajime said……
『You are weaker. That’s all there is to it right?』
Gregor’s clamor that was like a child throwing tantrum stopped still.
――Gregor Cluzet Qwailent was weaker.
Certainly, that was all there was to it.
The foundation of the king of pillage, was a conviction toward strength.
Whether it was violence or ingenuity, anything was fine. Anyone that could surpass their opponent would be able to make the other submit, trampled on them, or destroyed them. A person who could that was right, the words of the weak was nothing but nonsense.
The strong was right, the weak was wrong.
That was the thing that Gregor exactly believed in.
『……Is that so. So I’m the weaker one even after becoming the supreme ruler huh. Hahah, that’s really a harsh joke yeah.』
Gregor raised a dry laugh that sounded somewhat comprehending.
There was no more defensive ship nearby, flagship Durgrant was also raising white smoke everywhere while tilting. There was no energy replenishment and the ship was in a state where maintaining its floating power was the best it could do. The great number of weapons the ship was equipped with were laying out barrage using physical attack like bullet and missile, because of that it still wasn’t sunk down yet but……
『Yoo, tell me. Just what the hell you two are?』
That was likely Gregor’s last question of his life.
Hajime showed a thinking gesture for a bit before he answered with a grin.
『Just a passing by monster.』
A black dragon finally slipped through the barrage even with wounds all over its body and arrived in front of the bridge’s windbreak. It opened its jaw widely. Light of death converged inside there. The crews screamed and ran away.
Amidst that, Gregor threw his body on the commander seat and sat down heavily. He then rested his chin on one hand while, with a small voice,
「So I pull the utter failure at the very end huh. Good grief, what a joke.」
He whispered such thing.
The bridge of flagship Durgrant was destroyed. The sight of it falling down powerlessly was enough to dishearten the surviving ships.
The black dragons raised their howl toward they who couldn’t even took satisfactory battle maneuver and got reduced into a disordered mob.
And then, the dragons threw their body into the last decisive battle.
It didn’t take that much time until the whole of this world’s greatest battle strength became a squall of wreckage showering down on the ground below.
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