This marks the start of me trying to clear Hyouketsu Kyoukai in 2 weeks.
The dark skies. The dark purple mist emitted from Yuugenshu were blocking off the rays of the sun. The surrounding vision were gradually getting obscured.
The visibility in darkness was reduced to below one meter, and it was spreading outwards......
"Everyone, I'll be dispersing these mist. It will be slightly blinding."
Meimel's telepathy message rang in their minds.
In the next instant, a strong ray of light appeared above Run's head, it was so bright that Run could hardly open her eyes. After emitting blue light that was more brilliant than that of the sun, Meimel's large-scaled shinryoku barrier expanded outwards in a flash, thus dispelling the mist that were lingering above the skies.
Beneath the glittering rays of the sun, were tens of Yuugenshu. Their body size ranged from that of a small cat to a lion, and one could vaguely see the four limbs in their mist-like body. They were Yuugenshu that walk on land.
Oe/ Dia =U xeph cley, Di shela teo phes kaon
<■ ■, ■ ...... ■ ■, ■ ■ ■ , ...... ■ ...... ■ ■>
The curse was changing into chilly and uncomfortable sound waves, that will cause decay to one's eardrums just by listening to it.
Mateki, the mysterious powers unique to Yuugenshu. However-
*Kra*. The sound of the road cracking from her steps.
Prior to the release of the purple lights of mateki, Run dashed into the group of Yuugenshu. Possessing superhuman reaction, nerves and muscles, Run's start to her sprint was already at a speed barely detectable by human eyes.
At the same time, the lights of mateki spread into the shape of a fan, with the possible intention of protecting the Yuugenshu.
...... A defensive barrier?
Clenching her shinryoku-filled fist, which was made possible via the ritual marks, Run slammed it into the light barrier created by mateki - however, her fist was repelled away. That was the repulsive effect created when shinryoku and mateki were to clash into each other.
"Stop hindering me—!"
Run let out a roar while riding on her unstoppable momentum.
She forced her repelled fist back, and broke the purple barrier. The fist blew away the mist of the Yuugenshu as well, and hit straight into the core in the middle.
The Yuugenshu gave a painful cry before it was destroyed.
"Is there no way to solve the problem of shinryoku and mateki repelling each other?"
She shook her hand, in order to relieve her numb arm.
Shinryoku and mateki are two opposing forces, and they repulses each other. Even if she is to attack with her shinryoku-filled fist, its power will decrease considerably from the repulsive effect of the mateki barriers created by the Yuugenshu.
"But Run. Thanks to that, the Priestesses are safe."
"............ I know."
Run's face cringed a little when Meimel pointed that out.
The same applies to both humans and Yuugenshu. If Meimel is to come under the attacks of Yuugenshu, her shinryoku will repels the mateki as well, resulting in a decreased in the strength of the attack.
— Meimel actually has the spare time to tsukkomi me.
Suppressing a bitter smile, Run felt a sense of relief.
"Then again...... Their target is still Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> huh?"
As Run had already destroyed over ten Yuugenshu, there were only a few remaining Yuugenshu left before them. However, the troublesome thing is that the Yuugenshu were not targeting the humans at their current area. They were always look for opportunities to avoid the battle, and head straight to Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>. Up till now, from what Run knows, there were already tens of Yuugenshu that had bypassed their defense line. She was in no mood to calculate the actual numbers.
— I can't let anymore through.
Run bit on her lips tightly, and took a leap. With the aid of the streetlights, she moved to an even higher position.
She destroyed two winged Yuugenshu with a single kick. She then allowed her body to fall, and swung her fist into the Yuugenshu which was directly below her. Within a short time span of only a few seconds, she had already destroyed three Yuugenshu.
"With that, I should be able to buy some more time—"
Just when she was about to wipe the sweat off her face, one of her subordinates suddenly gave a yell.
"Ah...... ah......? ...... Ah...... Ahhhhhhhhh......... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
It was neither a scream nor a cry before death, but a strange cry from insanity.
He swung his twin swords madly, without caring whether he could have slashed anyone in accident. One could see a faint deep purple mist enshrouding the back of his head.
"...... It's mind control!"
That is one of the abilities of mateki - the power to send the person that it has cursed into a state of panic. Even though it will not directly result in death, the effect is way worse than decay and poison in a hectic battlefield. That is especially so if the person cursed is a well trained soldier. Even if he was just slashing about wildly in confusion, he would still be posing a huge threat.
"I'll restrain him. Meimel, purify him while I do so!"
Even though that would result in some Yuugenshu breaking through the defensive line, such a curse would have to be removed as quickly as possible. Just as she was suppressing her anxiety, and was about to act against her subordinate—
"There is no time to be purifying right now."
A young man with tea-red colored hair appeared before her all of the sudden.
The surrounding members could not react to the sudden intruder. The young man easily dodged the slash from the swordsman of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, then slid past the swordsman's side to his back. He raised his hand—
He gave a vicious chop at the back of the swordsman's neck. The swordsman collapsed on the spot, and fainted immediately.
"For mental control in battle, it is much more effective to just knock the cursed person out cold. Isn't it so?"
The young man gave a slight smile.
"Eh...... Ah...... Ahhh."
Regaining her senses, Run hurriedly nodded her head in agreement. Indeed, she could not be more familiar with the method used by the young man.
However, at the same time, she knew very well how difficult it is to knock out a swordsman of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> from his back. If it was not properly done, there is the chance of the executor getting injured by the swordsman instead.
As the commander, Run preferred the much safer option.
Then again, who is he?
He seemed to be extremely familiar with the attacking radius of the swordsman. After baiting the enemy's attack, he had skillfully avoided the slash with his clever movements. Aside from Sennenshi, how many people in Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> can actually execute a move like that?
Obviously, he was not an ordinary intruder. Who exactly is he?
"— Well then, I'll leave things here to you!"
"Ah, wait! Don't leave!"
Ignoring the looks from the surroundings, the young man turned around and escaped. There was a huge electric vehicle waiting in the direction that he was running to, which obviously looked like it had been illegally modified.
"Sheltis! What are you doing? Now is not the time to complicate matters!"
The name which the girl in overalls had called out sounded very familiar to Run. It was a name which she had heard of not too long ago.
"Sheltis is my childhood friend."
"Could it be...... Oi, are you Ymy's—!"
Just as Run was about to stretch out her hands, the modified vehicle had already gave a roar from its activation.
...... Could that person be the one who had fallen into Garden of Corrupted Song <Eden>—
"Sh—el—tis—? Can you please tell me if you are planning to go or stay?"
After nodding to a unhappy Eyriey, Sheltis jumped back into the vehicle.
"Sorry, I just want to obtain a weapon before reaching Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>."
A pair of thin swords that was kept in a white sheath - Sheltis took the opportunity to borrow it after the swordsman had fainted from his attack.
"Whoa! Right after the illegal intrusion, you have committed yet another crime of stealing. Sheltis is becoming more and more of a criminal!"
"...... I'll return it back to him later. Ah, I won't be needing the sheath."
While sitting in the galloping vehicle, Sheltis threw the sheath out. What was left were the frozen blades bathed in azure light - it was a pair of swords made from Hyouketsu Kyoukai, and both carried strong shinryoku in them.
"Oh, how beautiful. Just like a crystal. Do all guards of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> use weapons like this as well?"
"Generally. Since weapons will not possess any destructive powers against Yuugenshu, if they do not contain shinryoku."
He held the blade under the sun, and the mirror-like blade reflected the surrounding landscape - a black dot appeared in the azure scene.
"Eyriey, turn left!"
"Don't ask, just turn the vehicle to the left!"
The vehicle spun leftwards with a skid. Just as the wheels were giving off a sharp screeching sound, the walls to the house on their right collapsed suddenly.
A strange-looking beast emerged from the decaying walls.
"Eyriey, maintain the current speed! Just keep going straight, no matter what happens!"
"B-But, it is chasing us!"
"Just do as I say!"
The monster chased them with a terrifying speed. It gradually caught up with the vehicle that was going at speeds of two hundred kilometers per hour. It leaped upwards with its weird limbs, with the intention of crushing the vehicle from above - at the same time, Sheltis jumped up from the vehicle as well.
The silhouettes of the mist beast and the young man overlapped, and—
*...... Rinnnnnn...... inn......*
The sounds of a bell. A ringing sound, beautiful enough to make one nearly forget about the current situation, rang throughout the street. Above them, was the mist beast hanging in mid air, with its crystal core destroyed.
"That's dangerous. These Yuugenshu are indeed elusive."
While listening to the melody of the breaking crystal core of the Yuugenshu, Sheltis landed back into the backseat of the galloping vehicle.
"...... You have defeated it?"
"Mmm. But this is just the beginning. Those that are attacking Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> will be even stronger."
The difference in strength between each individual Yuugenshu is huge, even if they look roughly the same. Some possesses mateki that is more than ten times stronger than your average Yuugenshu. One can only gauge their strength after having engaged with them.
— The real fight starts from there on.
The sharp white tower. A huge gate before its grounds came into their sight.
"Alright, we are breaking through!"
After breaking through the unguarded front gates, the three-wheeled vehicle sprinted on the grass turf.
The turf had already turned black, while the defensive and outer walls of the tower were already melted. Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> coming under the attacks of Yuugenshu is already an indisputable fact. They have no idea how many Yuugenshu had infiltrated into the tower currently. Not a single person was in sight - as a precautionary measure, all staff except for the guards should have already escaped to the shelters.
"Where are we going now? Are we going to enter the first floor via the main door?"
"Can't. There should be a line of defense set up there."
The first floor is a wide foyer, which should be one of the most efficient places to engage the infiltrating Yuugenshu. An impregnable line of defense should be there already.
"Eyriey, turn right at the next forked road! Circle the exteriors of the tower!"
The vehicle started to speed around the huge tower, which had nearly occupied all of their sight.
The tower is a gigantic building with a diameter of over a few hundred meters wide. The journey seems to be never-ending, as they traveled along the curved walls.
"Alright, destination? Since we are not entering via the main door, what is left are the side doors by the two sides?"
"Mhmm...... Ah, there's a red door over there! Stop the vehicle there."
A door which opened by parting both ways from its center was installed at the side of the tower. Different from the main door, which are shining in grandness under the lights, this is a heavy metallic door which was painted bright red.
"Hopefully, the password is still the same as before......"
Standing in front of the electronic screen next to the door, Sheltis began to key in a complicated password consisting of more than ten characters. The electrically locked door then began to open slowly from both sides.
"Oh- this should be a lift, right? The walls look pretty sturdy."
Eyriey took a knock at the the vertical walls, and listened closely to the sounds. It was a space enclosed by four walls. Aside from the pale colored carpet beneath them, all the other walls are of cold metallic color.
"A mechanical sound like that...... Could this be a catapult?"
"Yes, it is a type of mechanical cannon, which is said to be able to fire objects weighing over hundreds of kilograms to the foyer located at the two hundred and fortieth story. Though it is not designed to carry human passengers, now is not the time for us to be caring about things like that."
He turned his body, and the door in front of heavy metallic door in front of him closed once again.
— There is no turning back.
They could only depend on themselves, during the journey to the two hundred and fortieth story.
"This is indeed a most convenient shortcut. So we are to be fired upwards like a rocket...... Yuto, grab onto the hand rails tightly. It will be dangerous."
Eyriey extended her hand, and grabbed onto the lever that controls the firing mechanism of the catapult. Next to her, was Yuto, whose whole body was hugging onto the hand rails tightly.
"Sheltis, here we go?"
While holding onto the twin swords that were giving off an azure shine, Sheltis looked upwards. At a place beyond the ceilings, located at the highest story two thousand meters off the grounds into the sky, 'she' is right there waiting for him.
And so, I'll just go upwards.
To take back all the things that I had left in this tower two years ago.