——Two minutes before 《Catastrophe》 was discharged.
"——Ootori! Do it!"
Takeru avoided the enemy's attack and slid between the Dragoon's feet, and shouted to Ouka immediately after.
Ouka leaped into the air, and fired two shots from Vlad.
At the same time as Takeru who rushed after rebuilding his posture, Ouka started running after she landed.
"Vlad! Wallachia's power is too low!"
《"Wallachia is a specialized physical stake it overwhelmingly lacks power. It is a special stake for penetrating magic, don't put too much confidence into it."》
"Bastard... at this rate...!"
《"If thou wishest of more power from me, sign the contr——"》
《"Obstinate. Truly obstinate."》
Continuing the usual familiar exchange, Ouka chased after Takeru.
Ouka's body strengthening was minimal, so catching up with Takeru's speed was very difficult. Still, she had to reduce the burden on Takeru as much as possible.
Currently, their greatest fighting force is Takeru. If Mistilteinn's magic is exhausted, their assault will be much harder.
It was the same for Ouka and Vlad, because she didn't make a contract with Vlad, the amount of magic provided was even lower than Mistilteinn's.
"Lapis! How much magic power have you left?!"
《"Currently it's still alright, I will reach the activity limit in ten minutes. Please refrain from changing the sword's shape as much as possible, it's a small amount, but it does consume magic."》
"Understood! Stay as zanbatou from now onwards!"
He prepared the zanbatou as he ran and trampled over the Dragoon's that kept surging.
Even when he got hit by bullets, he continued to run unconcerned.
Damn, there's too many of them!
He cursed and stopped his feet as not to commit a suicide, an army of Dragoons formed a barricade in the front.
To force his way through, he has to change the sword's shape to a huge zweihander and hit them all at once.
Reluctantly, Takeru tried to pull the trigger.
A sniper support came from afar.
It was Usagi sniping, the majority of Dragoons fell down to the ground after being shot in the head.
"You saved me, Usagi."
《"You move too fast!"》
"Sorry, I don't have time to stop, I believe in your aim."
《"...uguu, that line, its unfair."》
"Ammo? How much do you have left?"
Takeru asked Usagi while running.
On the outer wall which had artillery installed on the rails, Usagi was checking the remaining bullets left in her gun case.
Two magazines were left. Now that she completed loading, there were only twenty shots left.
Ahead of Takeru as he moved, there were still around a hundred Dragoons.
Although the Inquisition's Dragoons in the rear were making good progress, it wasn't nearly enough to catch up to Takeru.
She was afraid of not having enough ammunition.
While readjusting her heart, she peeked through the scope and pulled the trigger after aiming towards a Dragoon that tracked Takeru.
Not a single shot can miss. Since she used a special anti-Dragoon rifle taking one down with a single shot was possible, however, for that she needed to head shot the Dragoon. The probably of a head shot was about 50%. She had confidence to do it at this distance, but the situation was the worst for Usagi who was weak to pressure.
The eye-patch on her left eye was worrying as well, her hands trembled.
Being unable to use one eye was a considerable disadvantage for a sniper. When an amateur looks through the scope, he closes his other eye instead, but professionals never close their eyes. Those who leave their eyes open and are able to adjust their reticles obtain immeasurable amount of information from the other eye.
In a situation like this, the field of view is narrowed and searching capability is reduced.
Usagi feeling a presence behind her looked away from the scope.
When she looked behind, she suddenly saw a Dragoon on the rail used for the artillery that landed remotely five meters away from her.
Normally she would have noticed it approaching. But because she was focused on helping Takeru and Ouka, she missed it.
《"I've got you, you shitty sniper! It sure must be fun to shoot people from a long distance!"》
Because many comrades of his were slain, blood rushed to the pilot's head, and he aimed his gun at Usagi.
What to do? What should I do?
Thoughts continued to rotate in Usagi's head again and again.
No matter how much she thought, she couldn't find a solution.
No time to circle around, no space, no speed.
In the first place, it's not time to think about something like that!
That's why she——
"Don't look down——on sniperssssssssssssss!!"
Usagi hugged her gun and started to run at the Dragoon.
Instead of circling around, she ran at straight line.
The Dragoon opened rapid fire with his assault rifle.
Fortunately the bullets passed by the side of her head by a small margin.
Usagi rushed in tears. It was nearly desperation. A suicide attack of a fool.
However, even though it was confusing, it wasn't a completely thoughtless action.
When Usagi approached the Dragoon like that, keeping the momentum she slid lowering her posture. It was the same movement she saw Takeru do earlier.
Usagi slid diving below Dragoon's crotch, and came out behind,
And rose up not losing the flow, and made a quick turn. She held back the rifle that was nearly blown away by the force of her slide while raising her fighting spirit with a shout.
Fired up, she vigorously set up the rifle she was pressing to herself, aiming it forward.
The rifle's muzzle aimed from behind at the new model——
And immediately after——*zudon*
She stabbed the muzzle forcefully into its head and pulled the trigger.
With that, the Dragoon went completely silent.
Finally, the silence came.
Unable to bear it, she wanted to drop on her knees and start crying.
But, she calmed herself, and stiffened her legs.
Her comrades were fighting below. There was no time to slack off like that.
Usagi knew that she was the one who held back the platoon the most. She was always being a bother.
As not to be left behind, she had to do her best. Usagi raised her spirits and loaded bullets.
At the same time.
Suddenly, rumbling sounded under her feet.
"...what is this?"
She hurried to the opposite edge of the outer wall in a hurry, and looked around the entire facility.
The top floor of the tower emitted light.
《"Kusanagi! Please look at the top floor of the tower!!"》
Hearing the transmission from Usagi, Takeru withdrew his sword.
The entire facility was rumbling and shaking.
It wasn't an earthquake. Rather than that, it was something more powerful.
Just like Usagi told him to, Takeru looked at the top floor of the tower.
That moment——along with a dazzling light the tower burst open.
The blast hit Takeru on the others who were on the ground with slight delay.
In the middle of the blast, Takeru called Ikaruga's name.
In addition to the top floor, the explosion destroyed about half of the tower as well. It happened instantaneously.
The experimental site was blown off without a trace, only debris remained.
And, Ikaruga was,
Ikaruga landed on middle of the barely standing tower while maintaining a firm defensive magic barrier.
She was embracing Isuka's body with both of her hands.
Ikaruga put Isuka down on the debris, and was gently stroking her cold cheek.
Isuka was barely breathing, her body was as hard as a stone, it started to crack and turn into sand.
"Just wait, I'll use the "Nanomachines" soo... guh——"*cough*"
She vomited blood.
Also, Ikaruga's body which was turned into elf's, was about to go back to original any moment.
The cells on her chest were cracking, turning to ashes and carried away by the wind.
The mutation, couldn't last even a minute longer.
The "Nanomachines" developed by Ikaruga weren't perfect. Even though she remade her body based on the cells of a captured species, the cells themselves were already dead. Even though Ikaruga forcibly assimilated and activated them, it was natural they wouldn't last for long.
Incomplete "Nanomachines" were made under assumption that they will be used for decomposition and reconstruction of inorganic materials, adapting it to living organisms was done in the last minute.
Also, because a margin of errors occur during the process of reconstructing the body, the burden on the flesh and internal organs is tremendous.
"...impossible, give up."
Isuka opened her eyes and declared that while losing her breath.
"...that "Nanomachines" are... incomplete."
"But if I input your genetic information...!"
"Then... your body will collapse."
It was just as Isuka said. Ikaruga's body would break down without the『Nanomachines』 at the moment.
If she tried to apply it to someone else, death awaited her.
Isuka didn't want that.
"...you can't... die yet."
"Why are you acting like a good guy now! You have no reason not to take advantage of me, but I do have a reason to be taken advantage of by you!"
"...wrong. That's not it... it's not you... that's... no good."
Isuka stretched her hand to Ikaruga.
Ikaruga noticed she reached for her ears, and moved her head right next to her mouth.
She confessed that, and as if she was released from pain, her expression changed to a relaxed one.
"...aah...it no longer...hurts."
Ikaruga resolved herself, and held Isuka's hand.