Prologue – Those Lined Up Before the Horizon
This question echoed within Asama.
It was an Ability that blessed arrows to hit. She reserved its use for the most powerful of monsters.
…Why!? The power of Shinto lost to super-Amazon power!?
As if answering the cry in Asama’s heart, Oriotorai moved.
She placed the raised longsword upon her shoulder.
Having become visible, her face could be described in one word: unharmed. There was not one injury on her mouth, where a faint smile hovered, or on her cheeks.
The next instant, she sent her body flying to the roof across the road, the roof of one of the business buildings which made up the business district.
Bending her body backwards, Oriotorai took a step and accelerated. Her speed had not dropped in the slightest; Asama’s attack did not seem to have had any effect.
The moment Asama asked this. Having been left behind by Oriotorai, everyone jumped towards the roofs of the business area, still perplexed.
At that moment. Neshinbara, who had caught up from the back, grabbed something out of the air and shouted,
“It was her hair!”
Drawing everyone’s attention as they continued to run, Neshinbara raised his eyebrows.
“Just now, Oriotorai held her longsword to her neck. That was when she cut her hair slightly. In the same movement, she stuck her longsword forwards, restricting the arrow’s trajectory to a curved one and scattering a part of her own body, her hair, onto the arrow’s path. In conclusion…the arrow, caught up in the chaff of hair, decided that it had hit her and it lost the technique’s power.”
Hearing this explanation, Asama swallowed her voice with everyone.
Neshinbara looked forward. He turned his gaze towards Oriotorai, who was still accelerating.
“But when we were second years, we couldn’t even make her cut her hair. Asama-kun, what’s your total capacity of internal-fuel Bless?”
“Ah, it reached thirty-six at the start of the school year. I can use what I used just now another nine times.”
“Mmmm,” Asama groaned inwardly.
Fundamentally from charms, which were Ability-conductors that could be charged with Fluid, oral Abilities like the Loan of Divine Melody expended units of Fluid fuel, such as offerings and Bless, in order to activate.
Bless was divided into internal-fuel Bless and external-fuel Bless. Internal-fuel gathered inside oneself through activities like meditation, but external-fuel was stored in the faith’s shared Fluid storage by performing acts of devotion at shrines or churches. In times of need it could be withdrawn and used.
Several hours are needed to accumulate a single unit of Bless. Furthermore, if you offered that to the denomination’s shared Fluid storage as external-fuel Bless, transactions using Bless were possible, since others could also make use of that Bless.
Because of this, using internal-fuel Bless to use an Ability meant spending several hours of hard work in the accumulation of Bless and losing the chance of using it in transactions as external-fuel Bless.
As such, Asama activated a Shinto substitution offering just now. She could substitute for Bless by personifying the ways of Shinto or dedicating the things a God rejoiced in as offerings.
However, Asama had already cited four offerings. If she increases the number of offerings, her everyday-life would become stifling. Therefore, Asama was now thinking of using the internal-fuel Bless accumulated within her for the next few Abilities, but…
…There’s probably going to be more work to do in the shrine.
‘I can’t think so naively.‘ she thought too.
Therefore, Asama shook her head once, making her decision.
Hearing those words, everyone nodded. Chasing Oriotorai, they exited the business area and jumped down to the frontal deck and onto the thick ropes beyond, which crossed the air over to Shinagawa.