Prologue – Those Lined Up Before the Horizon
The second starboard ship – Tama had a town of stone and a natural garden on its surface.
Because the ‘tourist destination – Tama’ signposts standing everywhere in town displayed this message in foreign languages, there were many European faces amongst the crowds peering out at the clamor from the windows. All of them, who lived on the surface below, had turned their gazes upwards. They stared, all eyes reaching out to look over the wooden, thatch, and stone roofs of varying heights.
There, at a place which could be said to be above their heads, the mayhem ran.
The noise cut through them without warning.
Firstly, a cluster of light burst forth from above a commercial street at the port-side.
Everyone peering out from inside their houses saw a storm of bullets, arrows of light and an attack that looked like a wall of linked lasers.
The stationery shop’s owner muttered while closing the armored door to his shop.
“Rapidly firing unblessed shots, huh? They’re all using the same kind of Ability. On the roofs where there’s a direct line to the target, then that’s more than enough, and there’s no wastage either…that is, if they were trying to hit a normal opponent.”
The opponent. Chased by the barrage of flying light, the silhouette of their opponent ran atop the rooftops.
It was a woman. She had readied her sword before her chest as she ran, wielding her sheath in her other hand.
She took the chasing light and bullets head on, cutting them out of the air and deflecting them away.
She continued to run on the roof, even as she was facing backwards. Despite this, she sprinted in a special manner. Because she was focusing on stepping onto support pillars or building rafters and jumping off them, she did not accidentally send any debris flying.
This was not all.
She was dodging as she moved. She continued to evade as she dealt with the attacks flying at her. The roofs of the town’s central shopping street were already tens of meters in length,but her speed as she sprinted did not fall in the slightest. It even seemed that she was increasing her speed each time she was attacked.
The people chasing her were also going all out. One of them was using their teammates’ fire to hide and take cover, directly attacking the woman with a longsword. Some of them traveled a straight line across the rooftops, co-operating with the ranged team behind the. And finally, the last few circled around the eaves of the first floor, showing themselves and serving to distract the woman from the shots coming from behind.
However, even their attacks were deflected and crushed by her sheathe and spinning hilt.
There were also those who had been blown away by kicks.
Because of the whirl of speed and the multiple attacks, not to mention the sound, the dodging and the parrying, the wind howled with a violent ardour.
The resonating sound of clashing metal set the windows of the houses shaking. From time to time, an especially vicious attack would crash through the air, making it rumble like thunder.
The tremors shook the houses’ pillars, and even the ground was made to quake.
The adornments were all the colour of light. The refracted light turned to spray and scattered in each and every direction, the white fragments tearing through the air.
Everything drove past.
Yet, even though the sound and speed and light took on the Doppler effect as they distanced themselves, they did not lose their power.
Suddenly, the woman with the longsword called out.
“Hey! Adele and Hassan got knocked out!”
At her voice’s destination, two figures had fallen atop the shopping street’s thatched roofs.
There were two people who had fallen face-flat in a ‘大’, their breathing erratic. A girl with glasses, who held a white spear with a blunted tip, and a boy with a turban wrapped about his head.
The boy with glasses, who was a part of the group running along the rooftops, spoke.
“Itoken-kun! Go with Nenji-kun to rescue them!”
As he spoke these words, a figure flew out from the midst of the group. He just looked like a nude man with a muscular body, but the black batwings on his back were the proof of his status as a member of the Nightmare Races, a spiritual being. He was an incubus. The bald man raised his hand.
“…Good morning! I’m not just some weird guy! I am called Itou Kenji, an incubus of perversity! My apologies for this impoliteness, everyone!”
Everyone passing ahead flashed him half a glance, but they did paid him no mind.
A hemispherical object, about a metre in diameter, separated from the group, exiting from in between them. The object was in fact, a scarlet coloured, translucent sticky body. Black sensory parts were stuck to the upper portion of its front, forming eyebrows, eyes, and a mouth.
It chased after Itoken, who was moving forward on his tiptoes, hand on his waist, approaching the two people who had fallen on the opposite roof. Itoken raised his hand, waving to the creature who was coming up alongside him.
“Hey! Nenji-kun, you look as beautiful and lively as ever today, with your stickiness and transparency! You’re just so sticky!”
The sticky bodied Nenji said, raising his sensory organ eyebrows.
“”Mm. This time, we’re supposed to save someone aren’t we,. If so, then this is my spec-“”
Nenji was stepped on by the girl with a nametag, ‘Aoi Kimi’. She was slower than the others, and had come running from the back.
Ahead, chasing after Oriotorai were the close combat specialists and pointblank marksmanship specialists. Among the Ability users, who trailed behind, there were many who weren’t athletic. As such, they were slow. There were figures other than Kimi who could be seen, but all of them were heading past, Kimi included.
“Ufufu~, I’m sorry, Nenji! I’m really sorry. Yes, I’m serious! I’m always serious, you know!!”
The girl who was running down the street by herself shouted at Kimi, who had raised her voice at Nenji. She shook her voluminous silver hair.
“Kimi, please be a little more sincere when you apologise. Ladies sho-”
“Ehehe~, you scolding demon girl. But still, Mitotsudaira, why are you running on the ground? Shouldn’t you just go ‘smash’ with those chains you always use?”
“This area is my territory, you know!? You’re rampaging throughout…Really!”
“My, my, the female knight who can’t win our teacher is barking like a wolf! You’re like a heavy-tank class after all.”
Kimi’s voice and Mitotsudaira’s retort were immediately lost in the distance because of the Doppler effect. Left behind them was Itoken, raising his hand 90 degrees to everybody, and Nenji, who was splattered all over the rooftop.
When Itoken, who was waving his hand to everybody, looked at Nenji, the splattered scarlet coloured stickiness slowly gathered together, crawling. The telepathy, interrupting at intervals, spoke in Nenji’s voice.
“”He, hehe, that was pretty dangerous…””
“Nenji-kun! You seem like a man with a lot of spirit, but if to compare this to a game, you’re a slime with nothing but three hit points, so you can’t be reckless, you know!?”
“”Mmmm, I had taken a tight defensive position, though…””
The reformed Nenji showed his defensive posture..
After a little while, Itoken, who had knelt down, placed his hand on what seemed to be Nenji’s shoulders.
“Yeah”, Nenji muttered.
“”There’s always tomorrow…””
A voice resounded from the other side of the row of rooftops, near the bow.
Everyone who was chasing after Oriotorai had set something up.