Part 21: Finnel and AkaneWe last left Aoto and his friends beating a hasty retreat from the Kniehar Signal Station, where they had been soundly defeated by a vast Clustanian force. They regrouped at the Great Fang camp.
Video Record- Returns
Hell yeah! I'm tougher than a cockroach!
Sorry for worrying you. But...did you find those two?
No, I lost them.
I see... Actually, we couldn't deactivate the Prome Wall, either.
I wonder... If it's because of what those two did.
Anyway, our mission failed. Now they'll be more alert and have better reinforcements. This is dire...
What are we gonna do?
...I'll ask Archia for back up and support.
...Is Saki going to be alright?
Don't worry, she's in a different form right now. Even if they run into her, they won't know it's her.
Ah... I guess.
I'm not happy about having to ask them for help but...the real problem with reality is that there's no BGM.
...Sorry I couldn't help you much.
What are you talking about!? It's not your fault! I feel sorry for making you waste your time and efforts.
While the Prome Wall was still active, it turned out the attack had not been totally a waste.
And that was...?
Think of it as a souvenir... The password to enter the Tower.
Are you serious!?
Yes. Please use it.
Thanks, man. Did you hear that, Filament? Good for you.
You're welcome. And I'm the one who should be thanking all of you.
Reverend, did you find Katene...?
Unfortunately, that's the bad news. We couldn't find him.
I cannot explain why when you begin discussing someone they will almost certainly contact you or just show up out of nowhere pointing out that you owe them and hey can they hide out at your place until something blows over, but Im constantly impressed by how often it happens.
Katene!? Where are you!? What are you doing!?
I'm in the Tower right now.
In the Tower...!?
What's he doing in there right now?
Listen, Gojo! I found quite a mother load over here! My research is about to take another leap forward!
What are you saying!? We were all worried about you!
Well, don't worry anymore, I'm fine! And, I'm fully motivated. When I'm like this, I'm invincible! Talk to you later!
Katene didnt bother to explain much to them in his excitement, unfortunately.
But why is he already in the Tower...? How did he even get in there!?
Maybe that girl let him in...
You mean that Reyvateil? Who the hell was she anyway...?
Your friends are all weirdos, aren't they? Well, I'll head to Archia now. You guys take some time and rest for a bit.
Finnel wanted to talk to Filament about what she wanted in the Tower.
...Now we can enter the tower... Now we can see her...
...Hey, who are you talking about? Does she happen to be Lady Harvy?
But...Lady Harvy told me she would extend my life a little...
...Her method can't save you. Only the Administrator, who resides at the top of the Tower, Tyria, can save you...
Tyria...? Never heard of her...
Finnel was still worrying about what Filament had told her later that night, when Aoto decided to drop by.
Video Record- Finnel and Akane
Hey Finnel, I'm coming in.
Whadaya doing? Go to bed early. We're going into the Tower tomorrow, and you've been looking tired all day.
...You're worried about me?
W-well, I mean, you should always take care of your health, you know?
...Hey, something's been bothering me for a while now. That thing Akane said.
She was...an old friend, right? When we ran into her, you were acting a little awkward. Is there a story behind that?
Aki was...always around me and...protected me from the other kids. She was my only childhood friend.
Finnel told Aoto the story of how she and Akane became friends.
Unlike her, I was always one of the bad students...
I didn't have any abilities, but I was still allowed in the Executive District, so... they picked on me...
...They spread a rumor that I had a dangerous ability, and that's why I was confined to the District.
I always felt hurt and lonely, but I thought there was nothing I could do about it... I believed I deserved it.
...But Akane was always by my side, and she understood my feelings.
So when the other kids teased me, she would always defend my honor...
She was such an exemplary child. None of the other kids got why she was always trying to protect me.
But that didn't matter. Akane never stopped defending me. But she did chide me sometimes.
She told me that they made fun of me because I was always so weak and needy. She told me to be tough and independent.
Because she scolded me, I tried to get stronger. Akane was my inspiration, my spiritual mentor...
Aoto was very skilled at ruining great moments.
What!? That's mean! I confided in you and you're still making fun of me!?
Don't be so angry. Anyway, I'm used to it already, so I don't mind.
...It seems like Akane isn't a bad person after all.
...! That's right. Thank you for understanding, Aoto...
Akane was surprisingly close by, it turned out.
Clustanian Soldier: If Archia did this, they could've just as easily hacked Harvestasha's data and paralyzed the entire country.
...What an oversight. Actually, it was my mistake to allow her to take part in the mission. Where's the Platoon Leader?
Clustanian Soldier: She's gone missing.
Find her immediately. Then, tell her she's relieved of her position. She's being demoted to Slave Guard.
Clustanian Soldier: Yes, General!
As of now, I shall assume command of this mission myself.
I'll report to Her Divinity, and have anti-hacker programs prepared. Replace all legitimate data with dummy files.
Then, assemble the entire army here. When we're ready, we'll head over to the area near the border of Eternus Shaft.
Clustanian Soldier: Roger that!
The next day dawned, and it was time to prepare to enter the Tower.
See you. I wish you good luck on your mission. I hear there are formidable security guardians inside the Tower.
I know! Alright, say hello to Gengai for us.
I'll tell him when I get there.
They had some things to work on first. They worked on some new moves. Aoto had a truly horrible idea.
I'm thinking of modifying my sword. What do you think?
It depends on how.
Well, to make a long story short, I'll customize it so that the blade flies out towards enemies.
That way, I can hit an enemy without getting close to them.
Uh...that means you'll shoot swords at enemies, right?
Right. Then we can do long range attacks.
I think that's a sound argument, but I'd recommend against it.
I know your sword skills are commendable, but you're not a sniper.
Plus, what if you miss the target? You'll have to fight without a sword.
I don't think just the drill is enough.
You can't continuously shoot your weapons like a machine gun or Song Magic, either.
Oh, you're right. But if I could get a ranged weapon, that would be awesome.
Aoto, can you create a shock wave or sonic boom by swinging your sword?
I don't think I can.
If you could, then the problem would be solved.
It'd be more accurate than shooting the sword itself, and you can keep shooting while wielding the sword.
It's easier said than done.
Swing a sword and shoot it, huh... If we can make an item to enable such a special skill...
...Wait. I think this weapon transforms with the power of Grathnodes...
...Let me re-examine the structure of the sword. Maybe we can do something about it.
Re-examine...? Is he actually going to shoot the sword?
I don't think that's even possible, but...let's watch what he does.
I dont even know how he started at shooting a sword and ended up where he did.
Alright, it's possible! Now I can shoot shock waves!
Just examining your sword can make you able to shoot shock waves?
Well, more precisely, it's a mock shock wave.
My sword uses the power of Grathnodes when it transforms.
So, if I swing the sword at the right time, I might be able to shoot out that power.
I looked into it, and found out that it seems possible!
Then, you can slice enemies by swinging your sword a short distance away from them.
Even more, you don't need to really aim like a rifle. You can just wield the sword like you normally do.
I know, but I didn't think you would come up with the idea of throwing Grathnode energy.
Do you think you can really do it?
Hmm...I'm sure it'll work somehow, but I don't know if it'll work well right from the get-go.
There's no use complaining...
You know, we've got a good idea, and we know it's plausible.
It's worth a shot.
I hope it'll work well. I'm looking forward to it.
Anyway, what do you want to call it?
Hmph. I've already come up with an awesome name for it.
...If you give it too cool of a name, it might not live up to its expectations.
Don't worry, it will! I'll show you my super cool new Supermove!
Doctor Gojo was also trying to create a new move to punish himself.
Aoto, I'd like you to upgrade my bazooka.
Please stop it! What are you gonna do now!? It can't shoot less than point blank range!
I want to try hitting the enemy with the bazooka itself.
That's not a Supermove. It's a regular attack.
Doctor, I understand that you feel guilty, but don't abuse yourself anymore!
What if you continue doing this and you get hurt!?
I understand that you feel like you should punish yourself, but please think about us, too!
Doc, you're not just a great doctor, but you're also a great sniper.
So, I want you to shoot enemies with it from a much longer distance.
If you attack enemies at point blank range, then what's my position? I can't use ranged weapons anyway.
...Okay. It defeats the purpose if I cause trouble for you in the name of my own punishment.
I'm glad you finally understand us.
So, Aoto. I've come up with an idea about a new skill.
Alright, you want me to customize your weapon? Let me handle it.
Gojo came up with an interesting way to alter his bazooka.
Alright, it's done. I think I can be a big help in the next battle.
Oh, yeah, but are you really sure you can use that?
What's your new move?
I learned from point blank shooting that it's actually easier to hit an enemy from a shorter distance.
So, I'm thinking of throwing a lot of bits to attack an enemy.
But how? Even if you can throw bits, you can't aim at enemies from a long distance.
Bit data will be sent to my glasses, so you don't need to worry about that.
All of the bits will be manipulated by my bag, and I'll aim through my specs.
Even if an enemy is close, I can still attack them in proximity. I call it Gojo Surgerevenge.
That does sound strong, but carrying it out seems difficult.
I'm a doctor, so I'm good at detailed maneuvers. That's not a problem.
I'll prove that to you in the next battle.
Tatsumi thought this whole Supermove thing was kind of dumb but didnt want to fall behind.
Hey, aren't you gonna invent a new move?
A new move? I don't think I particularly need one.
What are you talking about? Supermoves are only effective when updated regularly. Right, Doc?
...I don't know, because I'd never thought of using a Supermove up until recently.
Aoto, you didn't even have a Supermove until recently, either.
But I have some now!
So, Tats, what's your new move gonna be like?
Well, but I don't think anyone can invent new Supermoves so easily.
I agree. I would be in trouble if I was forced to make one.
You guys! Don't be so passive!
What if we get surrounded by 100 monsters!? If we had no Supermoves, we'd be screwed, right?
That's why we need to be able to make up new Supermoves when needed!
Hmm...when we're surrounded...
Still, he came up with something as well.
I invented a new move for a situation when we're surrounded.
Oh, you did!? That sounds awesome!
Heh! It's pretty simple, but I can certainly defeat enemies that are surrounding us.
The name is...W-Storm...maybe?
Can you really handle a bunch of enemies surrounding us?
Yeah, with one blow.
That's awesome, man! I don't even have such a convenient skill!
You're such a hypocrite...
Well, that's so like Aoto.
So, what is this move like?
I just turn.
...I just turn. That's probably the best thing to do when we're surrounded.
...Isn't that way too simple?
Well, complex moves aren't always the best.
The key is, it's simple, yet powerful.
That's the most important part of a Supermove.
Aotos new move seemed to work quite well.
Yep, how did you know?
When you brandished the sword, I saw shiny particles fly off.
If I didnt see that, Im sure I wouldve been convinced that shock wave was created by you.
I wish I could create it by myself, but thats really impossible.
I can only throw shock waves by hitting the ground.
I guess its hard to inflict them in the air
So looking at the Supermove, I came up with a nice name.
Well, if its cool, Ill adopt your idea.
Okay, well how do you like Photon Waver?
Does it really match this?
I think so. After seeing that move, I think this name is very suitable.
And despite being simple, Tatsumis was very effective.
Really? I thought my moves were all pretty easy.
They may be simple, but I dont think anyone else can do them like you.
Anyone can do it if they just train.
I dont think I could do that, even if I spent my entire life training.
Yeah, I guess some people arent built for this kind of move.
So, Ive come up with a proper name for it.
Do you want to know what it is?
Of course. What is it?
Well, what do you think about Blast Hurricane?
It sounds kind of cool, and I think it suits how it looks well.
They were almost ready to leave for the Tower. Next time, though, Ill tell you about their last little preparation measure.