Instant Death / Instant Death Chapter 19
『A notice to all passengers. It appears a Sage has entered combat with an Aggressor nearby. On grounds of official wartime regulations, all freight and carriage contracts are hereby voided. For refunds on tickets, please consult the responsible station offices.』
A loud voice sounded through the area before cutting out with a crack.
“…How should we even interpret that?”
Tomochika asked Yogiri, who was still on top of her.
“‘Whatever happens, not our problem,’ I guess?”
“They won’t even help us evacuate!?”
“Well, if those attacks from earlier are going to continue I doubt the train staff will have the time to look after passengers.”
“Then first of all, can you move? Not like this will help against one of those things from before.”
The situation seemed to have calmed down for the time being, so Yogiri got off of her and took a look around the train car. Based on the way the train was destroyed a bunch of objects must have run right through it, cleanly cutting out several parts of its frame. The scene made him recall his classmate Higashida, whose fireball caused a similar phenomenon.
By now, all the passengers had begun frantically getting off the train. Yogiri watched on and spoke up.
“Getting off the train won’t help a whole lot if that same attack happens again, will it? Then again, there’s not much point in staying here either, let’s pack up as well.”
The train had already suffered quite the damage, it was unlikely it would start up again even if the sage’s battle ended.
Because Mokomoko Dannoura was a ghost, Yogiri didn’t particularly pay attention to whether she was with them, but she would probably tag along even if they left her behind.
Yogiri looked over to the Garla canyon where he assumed the attack had come from. A good ways from the rails a steep cliff marked the start of the canyon, to the bottom of which lay a river. After that came a steep, rocky mountain that had its stone laid bare. The river went on to branch it many smaller ones, giving the landscape a labyrinthine appearance.
“What exactly even happened?”
Tomochika spoke as she turned to face the same direction as Yogiri, and found an answer right away.
What stood out were its four arms and the way its metallic skeleton was rather lackluster in armoring despite its gigantic size. Its two left hands were holding on to the mountain cliff while its two right ones were wielding a massive shield and sword.
As Tomochika pointed out it was most likely a machine; nowhere on its body was something that appeared organic.
“I’m guessing that’s the Aggressor they mentioned. Where’s the sage then?”
“Isn’t it that guy over there?”
When Yogiri looked in the direction Tomochika was pointing to he saw a floating person high up in the air near the robot. Compared to the colossus the sage barely made up a speck in the sky.
“Wow, good job noticing him from here.”
He was genuinely impressed, her eyesight really was something else.
『Don’t underestimate the physical abilities of those of House Dannoura. Like in those martial arts manga, the name Dannoura has established itself by regularly winning over the blood of famous people! Like Nobunaga Oda and Enchou Sanyuutei, a lot of legends are mixed into our bloodline!』
“Huh, I didn’t know about that… Wait, what kind of physical feats are you asking for from a storyteller!?”
The destruction continued with an energy blast fired by the sage getting blocked by the giant’s shield, rebounding off of it and erasing entire chunks of the surrounding mountains and cliffs in an instant.
In return, the giant himself went on the attack with a sword slash. Based on the sword’s massive size it must have had equally massive weight, but with how nimbly the robot handled it it almost appeared weightless. Each swing of the sword shaved off parts of the mountainscape.
The mountain it had been using as its foothold had collapsed and a quick look around the area revealed the giant’s figure on a different mountain summit ―― he had jumped. From there he used his right arms to fetch what looked like an assault rifle that had been holstered to his back and began a rapid-fire onslaught.
Neither of the two seemed to pay any heed to their surroundings and even for Yogiri it wasn’t a situation he could view optimistically. Countless stray bullets had come flying their way and the number of fleeing passengers hit by them steadily increased.
“Well this is problematic. Escaping from here looks like it’s going to be difficult.”
“Your carefree expression really doesn’t fit those words.”
Yogiri took out their map and, by considering the time they had spent traveling and comparing the landscape around them to that of the map, judged that they were about ten kilometers away from the Hayabusa train station.
“Dodging stray bullets for ten kilometers is pretty risky, maybe we should enter the Hakua forest?”
The majority of fleeing passengers could be split into three categories: those that ran along the railway towards Hayabusa, those that escaped into the forest, and those that were too shocked to take action.
“What? Aren’t you going to take care of those two!?”
“Huh? Well, because they’re in our way?”
Tomochika didn’t expect to be asked for the reason.
“You know, when you put it like that it kind of sounds like you think killing people for walking slowly in front of you is fine as well.”
“I mean, weren’t we almost killed by them earlier? You know, because of that thing that came flying?”
“Yeah, but it’s not like they were targeting us. It was just one attack, that could be called accidental shooting.”
“What’s with this newspaperlike optimism!?”
“I feel like if you don’t draw a strict line then before you know it you’ll be killing people just because they bothered you a little. I’d rather avoid that.”
“Ah, err, sorry then. I guess that was pretty narrow-minded of me.”
Tomochika seemed quite disheartened.
“It’s alright, not trying to reproach you or anything.”
Yogiri thought they wouldn’t need to kill either of them if they just watched out for the stray bullets.
At first they couldn’t tell what happened, but due to how dark it suddenly got they quickly realized: the giant was blocking the sun.
From one moment to the next, Yogiri and Tomochika had found themselves in the shadow of death.
“Oi, stop running away, damn it!”
With little delay the sage had also appeared next to them, a boy of fairly small build in a mantle far too big for him.
It was obvious that such an attack wouldn’t even have an effect on the giant robot.
“I should be the one asking that. We’re bystanders, why did you attack?”
The boy was in a fight with the giant, there shouldn’t have been any reason for him to attack random citizens passing by in a train.
“Did you just talk to me? Who even allowed you to raise your head? Get on your knees and rub your head against the ground when you see a sage! That’s your duty, so learn your damn place, eyesore!”
Yogiri was relieved.
Now Yogiri looked up at the giant robot.
Nobunaga Oda: One of the “Three Heroes” of the unification of Japan in the late 16th century.