Assault Lily Wunder: Chapter 3

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Assault Lily Wunder

The Odaiba Counteroffensive


Chapter 3

Choices and Consequences

Part 1[edit | edit source]

Altea Alessandrini, the commander of the Second Division, lead her troops in their advance from Ariake to Shinonome.

Shinonome was an area of Odaiba divided from the Tatsumi area by a canal. Unlike Tatsumi and Shin-Kiba, which were mostly green space, Shinonome was densely populated. In addition to its defense installations, the district contained shopping malls and other civilian buildings.

Immediately after sighting the nestless Ultra, the Lilies and those aiding them had hastened to evacuate this area. But on account of the significant civilian population, it was taking much longer than Tatsumi and Shin-Kiba had.

Shinonome’s roads were lined with civilian cars and armored trucks packed full of civilians, en route to Toyosu with their ultimate destination being the Light Wall. The military’s large gunships flew through the air above, carrying other civilians to safety in mainland Tokyo.

After Kondo Misaka had parted ways with them, the Second Division—now only nine in number—had split up in order to keep the Huge in the Ariake and Shinonome areas from getting close to the civilians and the military personnel helping them evacuate. But as the negative magie had made their Huge Searchers cease to function, it was a harsh battle simply on account of it being a challenge to know where the enemy was.

“Haaah!”

After making short work of five small-types, Altea scanned her surroundings. The city around her was dotted with rising tongues of flame. Not long before, this had been a peaceful place, but it visibly bore the scars of battle already.

“This won’t be easy. There’s only more of them coming,” muttered Amano Soraha, as she cut down the enemy at Altea’s side.

“I admit, I did not expect their numbers to increase this swiftly…”

Odaiba was the foremost line of defense against the Huge, so few children, elderly folk, or disabled people made their homes here. This meant that the evacuation was proceeding relatively swiftly, but the situation was deteriorating at an even more rapid rate.

“However, I have not sighted any more formidable types of Huge. The Third and the Fifth must be holding them in check. They’re doing splendidly, and we must not be found wanting,” Altea replied as she gunned down another small-type.

“For sure,” said Soraha with a nod. But just then, Tsukioka Momiji and Sengo Yuuna came rushing down the road.

“This is bad!” they shouted. “We just got word from the military! There’s some civilian schoolchildren who were late to leave Shin-Kiba, and are currently making their way to Shinonome. But there’s a gigant and a horde of small-types blocking the troops from getting to them and helping them evacuate!”

“Where are the Huge?” Altea immediately asked, and Momiji replied at once. “They’re near Tatsumi-Sakura Bridge right now,” she said.

“Did you hear that, my good sirs? The Second Division shall rid the earth of this gigant-type!” Altea said into her comm device, and the Lilies in her division replied as one, “Acknowledged!”

Altea’s group of four promptly made their way towards Tatsumi-Sakura Bridge. As they practically bounded down the streets in their haste, the remaining five members of the Second Division rejoined them.

Tatsumi-Sakura Bridge was a bridge in the central part of the Shinonome area. As they drew closer to it, in pursuit of the gigant and its horde, they heard an explosion and saw flames rising from a low building.

“Over there!” Seto Veronika Ichika exclaimed, directing their attention to the flames. From amidst the black smoke, an armored gigant-type came into view.

A tremor shook the ground, its origin the gap between some tall buildings. A group of soldiers on the ground there were firing tank cannons and rocket launchers at the gigant. But their weapons had no visible effect upon it.

When she saw the gigant raise one of its massive arms in preparation to crush the soldiers, Tejima Komachi shouted to her companions, “We have to stop that gigant-type!”

“Let’s use cannon fire to throw off its balance!” Amatsu Marei proposed.

The Lilies of the Second Division brought their CHARMs to bear and unleashed a coordinated volley of fire upon the gigant. Though such attacks weren’t sufficient to inflict a lethal wound on the monster, their impact was still powerful, causing it to topple over and destroy some buildings.

Seeing their opportunity, Momiji shouted to the commander, “Now, Altea!”

Altea immediately addressed her sisters-in-arms. “Second Division! Commence the Neunwelt Tactic!” she announced. Scarcely a moment later, Altea had loaded the Neunwelt bullet and fired a magiesphere from her CHARM, with a shout of “Momiji!”

Momiji caught the magiesphere and yelled “Soraha-san!” as she passed it to the other Lily, who in turn passed it to Yuuna. Yuuna, dodging fierce attacks from their enemies, announced “Marei!” as she made the next pass. From Marei, it went to Hasebe Touka, Kiko Totori, and then back to the frontline with Ichika.

“Finish this, Komachi!”

“Leave it to me!”

Tejima Komachi caught the magiesphere and swiftly charged forward on her own. Her manner of dashing about on the battlefield to aid her companions had earned her the nickname of “The Matador,” and at that moment, it was evident why. She ran right up to the gigant-type and bounded off the ground in a great leap.



“This is it!”

Komachi brought her Lichtbringer to bear and fired the magiesphere directly at the armored gigant’s face. It was consumed by the explosion that followed, ensuring that the soldiers would come to no harm.

Sengo Yuuna let out a sigh as she looked at the soldiers they had saved. “Whew,” she said. “Somehow, we made it…”

But Altea was already staring in the direction of Tatsumi-Sakura Bridge. “I would not say that just yet,” she muttered.

The Lilies of the Second Division turned their gazes in that direction. From amidst the black smoke, hordes of Soldier Ants and other small-types were beginning to emerge. The bulk of the enemy was coming via Tatsumi-Sakura Bridge, but vast numbers of Huge were appearing all over.

Kiko Totori narrowed her eyes. “No matter how many we kill, there won’t be any end to them,” she remarked.

“I hope Misaka is all right…” said Hasebe Touka in a worried voice, looking off towards the Ariake district.

Altea turned to Momiji, Soraha, and Yuuna. “Momiji, Soraha, Yuuna. I have a mission for the three of you,” she said. “I wish for you, sirs, to find the civilians en route from Shin-Kiba and keep them safe.” The three Lilies nodded, and replied, “Understood!”

“Let’s be off, Soraha-san, Yuuna-san,” Momiji said, and the three of them departed to protect the civilians.



It so happened that, on that day, many students from a private girls’ junior high school had been visiting Yumenoshima Park in the Shin-Kiba area. As an extracurricular field trip, the third-years had come to see the military facilities and the Neunwelt Tactic Technical Conference.

Whenever civilians went beyond the Light Wall, they were putting themselves in danger, but Shin-Kiba had not had many Huge sightings recently and was well defended by the military and Lilies from Odaiba Girls’ School. Thus, they had thought it would be safe enough. Thrilled by the prospect of getting to meet the Lilies they so admired, the young girls had listened to a lecture about the military and then toured their installations.

But in the midst of that, the nestless Ultra had suddenly appeared. And not only that, it had blanketed the area in negative magie, and Huge had poured out from Caves and the sea.

“The Huge are here! Run for it, everyone!”

The appearance of the nestless Ultra and the Huge had turned the park into a chaotic scene. As some Lilies from Odaiba Girls’ School who were there held back the Huge, the soldiers herded the civilian students into buses, which headed for the other side of the Light Wall.

From among the five buses, four of them had made it. But the final bus had come under attack by the Huge, and failed to reach the Light Wall before the area was closed off. Its only option was to divert to Shinonome and evacuate from there.

Their misfortune continued when the bus was attacked by the Huge again on the bridge to Shinonome, causing it to break down. There was no choice but for the schoolgirls to get off the bus, and run, while the soldiers held the Huge back.

Among those schoolgirls was a certain Hayami Katsura.

“Hurry! As fast as you can!”

Between the schoolgirls and a few young ladies who were their teachers, the passengers from the bus numbered about thirty. Breathlessly, they fled down the bridge, desperately trying to find somewhere safe and escape the monsters that seemed to appear from behind every corner to chase them.

One of the small-types pursuing them closed the distance, and leapt towards them.

“Aaaah!”

When she heard her school friend Iwai Emi let out a scream, Katsura tightened her grip on the sword-shaped CHARM in her hand. “Haaah!” she shouted as she cleaved the small-type in two with a magnificent slash, its remains falling to the ground.

“Are you okay?” Katsura asked, as she offered her hand to Emi, who had fallen down. “Yeah… thank you,” Emi said, as she took Katsura’s hand, then turned her gaze to the first-generation CHARM Katsura held in her other hand.

“I guess you really were a Lily before you transferred here, huh, Katsura?”

“……”

Katsura looked at the CHARM in her hand with a complicated expression.

In the past, Katsura had been a Lily in the junior high school division of Yurigaoka Girls’ Academy. But something had happened that had made her give up on becoming a Lily and transfer to a civilian school. She’d had many friends who were sad to see her leave, but she just hadn’t felt like she could fight any longer.

That’s what I thought back then, but somehow, I can still swing a CHARM…

Katsura had vowed that she would never fight again. But when she’d seen her school friends come under attack by the Huge at Yumenoshima Park, she’d impulsively grabbed a simple CHARM from one of the CHARM pods there and started fighting to protect them. In place of the Lilies that weren’t here with them, she was the only one who could.

“Let’s hurry! If we can just make it to Shinonome Park, I’m sure there will be Lilies there!” Katsura said. Shinonome Park was one of the designated evacuation zones for use during disasters, so she knew Lilies or the military would be waiting there. Confident that they’d be safe if they could get there, Katsura urged her school friends onward as she protected them from the Huge.

“We’re almost there!”

With one final sprint, their group of thirty rushed into Shinonome Park at last, thinking they would finally be safe there. But when she looked around the park, Katsura’s eyes opened wide.

“Oh, no…”

The small park, an open field enclosed by buildings on every side, had not a single Lily nor a single soldier standing in it. Katsura didn’t know at that time, but because a gigant-type had been sighted near Tatsumi-Sakura Bridge, the military had escorted those taking shelter in the park elsewhere and temporarily vacated it to respond to the new threat.

As Katsura stood there, dumbfounded, she heard the sound of an explosion. Then a girl’s scream. Katsura whirled towards the sounds, and amidst the smoke rising from the direction they had come in, she saw a pack of ten small-types approaching the park.

Katsura looked at her classmates, who were clinging to each other as they trembled in fear. They weren’t Lilies, who could leap from place to place if they needed to escape. Running away on foot wasn’t an option for them either. Emi, Katsura’s friend, stared at her with a face that was deathly pale.

“Is this where we’re going to die, Katsura?” Emi asked.

“…!”

A dreadful memory suddenly surfaced in Katsura’s mind. When she had been at Yurigaoka’s junior high school, an attack by the Huge much like this one had taken the life of one of her dear friends. Back then, Katsura had blamed herself. She’d thought herself powerless. She’d abandoned her dream of being a Lily, and transferred to a civilian high school. But here, the very same tragedy was about to unfold anew.

I will not let the same thing happen once again!

Katsura rushed to the emergency CHARM pods set up in the park, in anticipation of the Huge suddenly appearing as they just had, and slammed their buttons. Within those pods were basic first-generation CHARMs that anyone with magie could wield.

The three pods opened, revealing dozens of first-generation CHARMs. Katsura took out all of the sword-shaped ones, stabbing them upright in the ground. Then, holding one of those blades in her hand, she took a stance before the entrance to the park.

“Stay back, Emi,” Katsura said. “That goes for the rest of you, too.”

“What are you going to do, Katsura?!” Emi shouted. Without turning to face her, Katsura answered the girl.

“I will not let them hurt you,” she declared. “Not even if it costs me my life.”

Readying her sword, Katsura gazed at the approaching Huge. The ten small-types were coming right for her.

I’ll keep my friends safe for as long as I can. Even if I have to throw away my life to do it!

Filled with conviction, Katsura charged at the enemy. “HAAAH!” she shouted. She cleaved through the enemy immediately in front of her, then brought her blade to bear and turned it upon another of the Huge leaping at her. A third small-type lashed out, and she jumped aside, skewering the beast with a thrust of her sword as she did.

A fourth and fifth Huge fell in the same manner, but then the sixth one blocked her strike with one of its tusks, and the blade of her CHARM shattered against it. The monster’s counterattack blew her off her feet.

“Ugh!”

Sent flying, Katsura crumpled to the ground. “KATSURA!” Emi screamed. Katsura rose back to her feet, pulling out another of the CHARMs she’d thrust into the earth.

“Katsura! Help!” came a wail from behind her. Katsura whirled around, and saw a small-type about to attack one of her classmates.

“Yaaah!”

Katsura dashed in front of her classmate, protecting the girl with her own body. The small-type’s talons raked her shoulder, but she paid the wounds no heed, cleaving through the monster with the CHARM she’d picked up. Four more of the Huge leapt at her, and she cut them all down, one after another.

In scarcely more than a moment, Katsura had killed all ten small-types. Emi and her other classmates stared at her in amazement. “…Incredible…” they whispered.

When she had been in the junior high school division of Yurigaoka Girls’ Academy, Katsura’s classmates had called her the “Thousandfold Lily”—one who had the strength of a thousand others. The instructors, too, had seen great promise in her. And her valor in battle was a captivating sight for her new classmates as well.

“Hah… hah…” Katsura panted as she stabbed her blade down into the earth. She hadn’t escaped injury, but she’d been able to protect her friends. She sighed in relief, and turned to Emi and the others, but just then—

“Katsura, over there!”

With a look of panic on her face, Emi jabbed her finger towards something behind Katsura. Katsura turned around, and found herself scarce able to believe what she was seeing.

From between the buildings adjacent to the park, a second group of small-types was approaching; this time there were over fifteen of them. They surrounded the park, roaring in unrestrained bloodlust as they did.

“…!”

Though she was trembling throughout her entire body, Katsura had no intent of backing down. She took up her CHARM, and as she faced the small-types, she shouted in defiance.

“I am Hayami Katsura! If you seek to hurt these people, you will have to cut me down first!”

In unison, the Huge leapt towards Katsura. Letting loose a battle cry, she charged forward to meet them.



It was a short while later that Tsukioka Momiji of the Second Division reached Shinonome Park.

After assisting the soldiers near Tatsumi-Sakura Bridge and hearing from them that the schoolchildren were headed to Shinonome Park, she’d made her way there as quickly as she could, and found an unbelievable sight awaiting her.

The park and its environs were littered with the corpses of small-type Huge. When she counted them, there were twenty-six dead Huge. Amidst the monstrous bodies, seven simple CHARMs lay discarded upon the ground.

Within the park itself were the civilians; a group of schoolgirls and the school staff accompanying them. Several of the girls appeared to be hurt, as they were collapsed on the ground, clutching their arms and legs while wailing. Their classmates and the staff were attempting to calm them and administer first aid. However, no one was dead or critically injured.

A single girl stood at the entrance to the park, staring blankly ahead. Her uniform was tattered, and she’d been wounded in quite a few places. In her hands, she was holding two first-generation CHARMs.

What had come as the biggest shock to Momiji was that the girl wasn’t a Lily from Odaiba Girls’ School; she was a student from the civilian junior high school.



Momiji walked closer to the girl and addressed her from behind.

“Were you the one who killed all these small-types?”

“……”

The girl didn’t turn to face Momiji, nor did she answer. She was staring at her classmates, injured and crying. As she gazed at them, her shoulders trembled. The fact that her dear friends had been hurt clearly pained her.

In a quiet voice, Momiji asked, “Will you at least tell me your name?”

“…Katsura. It’s Hayami Katsura.”

Momiji picked up one of the basic CHARMs that lay discarded on the ground. It was battered to the point of being unusable. A mere look at the CHARMs around was enough to tell her how fierce the battle that Katsura had fought had been.

“All of your friends are safe, and that’s thanks to you,” Momiji said. “You have my thanks as well. For these CHARMs show me how well you fought.”

“Is it really over?…” the girl asked. Momiji nodded, and replied, “Yes.”

“Join me at Odaiba Girls’ School,” continued Momiji. “I would like the two of us to fight together, side by side.”

Even though the enemies were small-types, killing twenty-six of them entirely on one’s own was a feat that few Lilies of junior high school age, even those from Odaiba Girls’ School, would be able to accomplish. Momiji could tell that Katsura had been trained as a Lily in the past, and that she was a prodigy, no less. She couldn’t merely ignore someone with such talent. If Katsura were to study at Odaiba Girls’ School, she would become a true warrior, a Lily who would someday contribute to the defense of Odaiba and all of Tokyo.

But, despite Momiji’s certainty, Katsura’s shoulders only trembled more fiercely as she answered.

“This is the last time I’ll ever fight,” the girl said. “I… I’m not fit to be a Lily.”

“……”

Momiji supposed that Katsura regretted not being able to save her classmates from being hurt. Yet, from her point of view, it was only because of how fiercely the girl had fought that none of them had come to far worse harm.

“Katsura-san. You feel at fault that these people were hurt, don’t you? I understand that,” Momiji said. “But your efforts here were praiseworthy. Had you not fought at all, something dreadful would have happened. If you fear that you’re not strong enough, then seek others who will be your strength.”

It was upon hearing those words that Katsura finally turned to Momiji.

“…Others who will be… my strength?” she asked. There was a deep sadness, a deep loneliness, within her eyes. It made Momiji wonder whether Katsura, too, knew what it was like to lose someone dear to her. She nodded firmly, then spoke again.

“We will fight together with you. We will never abandon you, no matter what. So please join me as a Lily of Odaiba Girls’ School,” Momiji said.

“……”

After a time, Katsura met Momiji’s eyes, looking as if she were on the verge of crying. She walked closer, and offered her battered CHARM to the Lily. “I understand,” she said. “My blade is yours.”

“Thank you,” Momiji said, accepting the offered CHARM.

“Katsura!” shouted Iwai Emi, running up to the girl.

Katsura avoided Emi’s eyes. “…I couldn’t keep all of you safe,” she said. At that, Emi shook her head fiercely.

“But you did!” Emi exclaimed. “We’re still alive because you were here, Katsura! Thank you for fighting to protect us!” She threw her arms around Katsura, bursting into tears. Katsura looked confused to have one of her classmates crying for her, but tears spilled from her eyes as well as she returned Emi’s embrace.

“…Thank you, too…” Katsura murmured.

A slight smile upon her lips as she watched the two girls, Momiji then turned her attention to the armored transport vehicle that had arrived at the entrance to the park. Moments later, it was followed by her teammates from the Second Division, Amano Soraha and Sengo Yuuna.

“Sorry we’re late. Everything okay here?” Soraha asked, then surveyed the park. “Whoa. Did you kill all these Huge by yourself, Momiji?”

“I didn’t kill any of them,” Momiji replied, then looked back at Katsura. “She’s the one who kept this place safe.”

“She did that?” said Soraha and Yuuna, gazing at Katsura in astonishment.

Emi had pulled Katsura along with her, back to where their classmates were. As they all thanked Katsura for saving them, just a hint of a peaceful smile had appeared on the girl’s face.

Momiji smiled in turn, then turned to Soraha and the others. “What’s the situation in the rest of Shinonome?” she asked.

“The military, along with Lilies from Odaiba Girls’ School, have dealt with most of the Huge around here,” Yuuna replied. “But Ariake and the vicinity of Toyosu Market haven’t been fully evacuated, and we don’t have any information on how many Huge are coming from Shin-Tatsumi Bridge. We need to get these people to safety quick.”

“Then once we have done just that, we’ll regroup with Altea-san and the others and make contact with the Third Division,” Momiji decided. Soraha and Yuuna nodded in acknowledgement.



In the meantime, Kondo Misaka was in the thick of battle near Aomi Station.

Misaka had parted ways with the rest of the Second Division in order to find the Fourth Division and let them know that because the enemy was far stronger than expected, the Fifth Division could no longer carry out the strategy as planned. The Fourth should have been somewhere in the Aomi area, so that’s where she’d gone.

The plan had been that the Fourth would first cull the Huge around Aomi and Daiba so that the civilians had a safe route to evacuate, and then when the opportunity presented itself, they would back up the First Division.

But as she made her way to Aomi, Misaka found a swarm of Huge blocking her path. She clicked her tongue in displeasure. “They’re still all over the place, huh?” she muttered as she cut down a small-type.

The Second Division had exterminated each and every one of the Huge they’d spotted near Aomi Station, but more small-types and mid-types had sprung up to replace them. The nestless Ultra had stirred up the Huge far beyond anyone’s expectations. As Aomi and Ariake still weren’t completely evacuated, the military and Lilies from Odaiba Girls’ School were desperately trying to get the civilians to safety while also fighting to hold back the Huge.

At that very moment, the First Division was proceeding along the southern route, killing Soldier Ants and destroying Caves as they fought their way towards Wakasu Park, where the nestless Ultra was. Misaka had to let them know how the battlefield had changed before they crossed the Tokyo Gate Bridge and mounted their assault on the Ultra in Wakasu Park. But she was barely able to make any headway.

“Of course this happens right when I have to let Chihana and the others know about this!”

She needed to contact the Fourth Division as soon as possible, so they could in turn get this information to the First. But the Huge didn’t care. They kept pouring out of the sea, blocking her path forward.

“OUT OF MY WAY!”

At the very moment Misaka screamed in frustration, a silhouette suddenly appeared before her and sliced a number of small-types into pieces. She looked at the one who had come to her aid: a slight-figured girl with long silver hair.

“Well, well, look who we have here. Kondo Misaka, in the flesh. You thought this would be a mighty fine place to just laze about, did you now?”

When she saw the familiar face before her, Misaka’s mouth opened of its own accord. “Homare!” she exclaimed.

The girl before her was Imagawa Homare, Misaka’s friend since childhood. Misaka, Homare, and Kiko Totori had been fast friends ever since they’d all attended Yurigaoka’s kindergarten together. The three of them had promised, when they were younger, that they would fight together. Homare would go on to be another of the founding members of Legion Sanngriðr.

“You astound me. First you make me think you’ll miss the tactical conference, now you’re a lost little lamb nowhere near the Second Division. I do believe Touka must be worrying her poor head off about you at this very moment.” Homare’s merciless needling prodded an “urk” sound out of Misaka. She took a while to find her own words.

“That’s not it. I’ve got an urgent message for the Fourth Division, and the First Division needs to hear it too. Where’s Tithia? Take me to her.”

“What’s this about the First?” Homare asked, with a skeptical look on her face. Misaka opened her mouth to reply, but before she could, a throng of at least twenty Huge suddenly burst out of the water.

“Good heavens,” Homare muttered at the sight of them, shaking her head. “We’ll have to chat later. See to our unwelcome guests, would you?”

“You’d better pitch in too, Homare!” Misaka retorted. The two of them met the swarm of Huge head-on.

They cut a deadly swath through the Huge, monster after monster. Not only had Misaka and Homare been friends since kindergarten, they’d fought side by side as Lilies on many a battlefield, making them true sisters-in-arms. The enemy numbered over twenty, but it took only a few moments before each and every one of them was dead.

“Those weaklings should’ve known better than to take us both on at once,” Misaka said.

“What I wouldn’t give to carve up something satisfying,” Homare declared with a bold smile. For a moment, Misaka was taken aback by her friend’s sadism, but she found her words quickly. “You know, Homare, I’ve always thought that on the battlefield, you’re a real terror,” she said.

“I should hope you mean that as a compliment,” Homare retorted.

“C’mon, take me to the rest of the Fourth already.”

With that, Misaka and Homare set off together to the southern part of the Aomi area.

Right up to Akatsuki Port, Southern Aomi was covered by large warehouses. Long ago, container ships had docked there and unloaded their cargo, but nowadays it was mostly used as a practice ground by the military and Odaiba Girls’ School.

At that moment, on one of Aomi’s wide avenues, the Lilies of the Fourth Division were fighting a veritable army of enemies. Dozens of small-types and mid-types were advancing on them, as if to block the Fourth Division’s way forward.

The Fourth Division was diverse, having been assembled out of Lilies from Alchemilla, Kamba, Odaiba, St. Mercurius, and Yurigaoka. Their degree of combat experience was equally varied. But despite that, the group of girls were fighting as one.

And that was because of the Fourth Division’s commander, Tithia Paumgartner. Even as she wielded a CHARM in each hand, a Chrysáor and a Kerukeion, she issued precise orders to her troops.

“Chikage, do not break formation. Your moment of glory shall come in time. Yuria, come fight by my side, and you need not fear. Kurena and Minato, I would have you stop those enemies from encircling Hibari.”

“…So that’s Tithia Paumgartner, the genius.”

For a moment, Misaka was stunned by the sheer presence that was Tithia Paumgartner as a battlefield commander. But she quickly snapped out of it and, with Homare by her side, rushed over to Tithia. “Tithia!” she shouted. “I’ve got an urgent message for the Fourth Division!”

“Oh? I do believe you’re Kondo Misaka, from the Second Division,” Tithia said as she noticed Misaka’s arrival. “I am Tithia Paumgartner, the Holy Empress of Mercurius. Be mindful that you do not forget.”

Even though she was surrounded by the Huge, Tithia greeted Misaka with the majesty of a noblewoman residing in her own palace. Tithia was referred to by other Lilies from St. Mercurius as “the genius of the century,” but she was also infamously eccentric. In fact, she had bestowed the epithet of “The Holy Empress of Mercurius” upon herself.

This close exposure to Tithia left Misaka dumbfounded. “Oh, man. Are all Lilies from Mercurius like this?” she wondered out loud.

“Quit your lollygagging and tell her why you came here!”

After Homare prodded her, Misaka started talking. “There’s no time, so I’ll make this short,” she said. “The Fifth Division can’t carry out the battle plan because of all the large-types and gigant-types that showed up. The enemy are way stronger than we expected. If the First Division enters Wakasu Park, they’ll be in danger!”

“……”

When she heard Misaka’s report, Tithia’s expression became grave in an instant. Then Homare spoke as well.

“I have a report, too. There are still Huge coming out of the water in the Aomi and Daiba areas. If they aren’t stopped, they’ll be a danger to those evacuating through Ariake.”

“Acknowledged,” Tithia told her, then continued to speak.

“I had already fathomed the unusual strength of the enemy, but that they would best the Fifth Division—that I did not expect. The First Division is soon due to enter Uminomori Park. When we spoke earlier, Chihana informed me there was no small number of Caves in the park.”

“Then we’ve got to let them know right away!” Misaka said, agitated. Tithia let out a small sigh.

“So be it. I, the Holy Empress, shall deliver this message personally,” she decided. “Akehi, I would have you join me. Let us make for the First Division.” When her name was said, Homma Akemi of the Fourth Division nodded and replied “Understood!”

“Rieglider. I shall be on my way to the First Division. In the interim, I leave you in command,” Tithia continued. “Expel the Huge from Aomi and Daiba and ensure that the evacuation route from Ariake remains safe.”

Rieglider Eschenbach of the Fourth Division boldly answered “We shall see it done!” She was a fellow Lily of St. Mercurius and a trusted ally of Tithia’s, who had bestowed upon her the epithet of “Vice-Empress.”

“Can the two of you get there on your own?” Misaka asked in a worried voice. A fearless smile rose to Tithia’s lips as she beheld the enemy hordes.

“Hmph. These louts shall be made to kneel before my might!” she declared. No sooner had Tithia said that than she and Akehi set off running towards Akatsuki Port, where the First Division most likely was.

“They at least seem like they can handle it…” Misaka said with a sigh as she watched the two Lilies depart.

“Well, that’s my messenger job done,” she murmured to no one in particular, as she turned to gaze in the direction of Shin-Tatsumi Bridge. “I’ll be back with you in no time, Second Division. So until then, just hang on!”

Part 2[edit | edit source]

Shin-Tatsumi Bridge, where the Fifth Division’s last stand had taken place, was once again silent. Only a short while before, the roadway had been filled to the brim with the advancing Huge, but when the Third Division had joined the battle, they had exterminated every last monster and no others had appeared to replace them.

When the battle at last came to an end, the Lilies of the Fifth Division were exhausted. The Lilies of the Third Division were performing first aid on some of them, while others had dropped to the ground where they had stood, unable to remain on their feet.

Banshoya Ena, the commander of the Third Division, surveyed the far side of the bridge. “It seems that was their main force,” she remarked. “I don’t see any other enemies coming.”

“A bunch of gigant-types got past us, though,” said Yoshimura Thi Mai from the Fifth Division from where she’d plopped down. “We gotta catch up to ’em and take ’em out!”

The Fifth Division had managed to stop most of the Huge from crossing Shin-Tatsumi Bridge, but the two times they had performed the Neunwelt Tactic had left them utterly drained of magie and unable to deal with any further gigant-types, so those gigants had simply passed them by. That was on top of the gigant-types which had broken through the barriers shielding the other bridges and crossed over to Shinonome elsewhere.

“You said that they broke through your line four times, correct?” Ena asked, and Tono Natsuki of the Fifth Division answered her. “Yes. First there was a horde surrounding a pair of identical gigant-types, then a horde with a gigant that had gravity powers, then a gigant-sized Soldier Ant, and finally one that resembled a snake,” she said.

“Oh, I’ve seen the big ants,” remarked Fujita Asagao of the Third. “They’re just like the rest of the Soldier Ants—they won’t go near water.”

Hishida Haru furrowed her brow. “So those gigants are all in the civilian areas?” she said. “We have to stop them right away or something terrible could happen.”

“Agreed. We shall ask the Second Division to aid us, and deal with them before another of these hordes comes our way,” Ena declared. Her gaze swept over the faces of her companions in the Third Division as the Lilies nodded to her, with determined expressions.

Before they could depart, they suddenly heard the voice of Noguchi Shinano, the commander of the Fifth Division. “Wait!” she shouted. “Let me join up with you!” Upon hearing her words, Ena stopped in her tracks.

“Are you daft? You were in battle until mere moments ago, Shinano. You have no magie left. So you have to—”

“You’re going to be fighting four gigants,” Shinano interrupted. “The more people you have with you, the better. I probably can’t help charge the Neunwelt magiespheres, but I can still make passes and provide backup!”

Reluctance was written upon the faces of the Lilies of the Third, but undaunted, Shinano continued to speak. “Please! It was due to my misjudgment that the battle plan failed, and as commander of the Fifth Division, I have to take responsibility!” she insisted. “If anyone from my division would rather get to safety and rest, I won’t stop them.”

The determination in Shinano’s voice led Miyamoto Komuku and Nakabayashi Kaina, from the Fifth, to speak up as well.

“I, Miyamoto Komuku, would not have you underestimate me. I too can still fight.”

“If Komuku’s going to fight, I’ll be right next to her. We’re partners!”

Yoshimura Thi Mai sighed and shook her head. “You’re a tough bunch, ain’t you?” she remarked. “Fine, I’ll lend you a hand too. But the moment all this is over, I’m taking a well-earned break!”

“Sounds like everyone’s favorite Hotaru-chan is going to have to help out too!” joked Kawabata Hotaru. At this, Asagao exclaimed “Hotaru!”, giving her friend a look of deep concern.

“I’ll be fine,” Hotaru told her. “I promised Kiito that I’d protect Odaiba until she came back. And besides, I’m a Lily of Odaiba Girls’ School, so it’s my duty, isn’t it?”

“Ugh,” replied Asagao, with a look of exasperation. “You never even think about what you’re saying, do you?” Her retort drew a cheerful laugh from Hotaru.

Shinano looked at the remaining Lilies from the Fifth Division. “We’ll take care of everything, so all of you should rest,” she told them.

Ena and the others turned their attention to the Fifth Division as well. There was Senda Koume, who was gravely injured; she was still unconscious, her body resting on the ground as if she were sleeping. Sitting on the ground and cradling Koume’s head in her lap was Sasaki Yasuna, whose body was still too polluted with negative magie for her to go anywhere. Danzuka Erisa, Osumi Azuki, and Tono Natsuki also seemed completely exhausted.

With one last look at Shinano and Hotaru’s faces, Ena made her decision. “Very well,” she said to Shinano. “But promise me that you won’t put yourself in danger.”

“I promise,” replied Shinano.

After she heard Shinano’s reply, Ena turned to the others. “Now let’s hunt down those four groups with gigant-types in them,” she said. “In which direction did they go?”

“The gravity manipulator and the twins both headed towards Toyosu. I think the other two were headed in the direction of Ariake,” Tono Natsuki told her, and Ena nodded in acknowledgement.

“Very well. We’ll go to Toyosu in pursuit of the gravity manipulator. Contact the Second Division and ask them to handle the two gigant-types moving towards Ariake,” she instructed. The Lilies in her division nodded.

“Natsuki,” Ena said. “Stay here with the others from your division. When the military sends their next gunship, all of you should retreat to Odaiba Girls’ School. And should a second wave of enemies appear, let us and the military know immediately.”

“Understood,” Natsuki said with a nod, a serious look on her face.

“Our pursuit begins now! Move out!”

The Third and the Fifth Division set out in pursuit of the enemy.



The pursuit team soon crossed from Shinonome into Toyosu.

The Third Division had been assembled with Lilies from Yurigaoka Girls’ Academy at its core, and had four members of Álfheimr. Banshoya Ena, the commander of Álfheimr, was especially remarkable on account of how many battles she had guided them to victory in.

Many of the Third’s other Lilies were renowned as well, including Fujita Asagao, Hishida Haru and Yokoyama Azusa from the former Funada Reserve Team, and Nishikawa Miharu, one of the “Magnificent Four” of Irma Girls’ High School for the Arts.

As Ena and the others dashed between the buildings swiftly enough that they may as well have been flying, Asagao and Miharu scouted further ahead for the gigant-types.

“We’ve spotted the gigants!”

“Over there, girls!”

When the pursuit team looked in the direction the two were pointing, they saw smoke rising from between two low buildings and some artillery emplacements firing without pause. They quickly made their way over. A sturdy defensive barrier had been raised between the two buildings and was holding three unusual gigant-types back, as well as a horde of Soldier Ants.

Two of the gigants were twins.

Their shapes were like those of massive plants, with a crown of flowers in bloom atop their heads, and a vast number of tentacles that resembled a tree’s roots. As if one were a reflection of the other, every movement that the twin gigant-types made was the same.

The third gigant was the gravity manipulator.

It stood twenty meters tall, and resembled a person covered in thick red armor. It was hurling itself against the defensive barrier repeatedly. Thus far, the barrier had held all of the gigant-types back, but the fierce attacks had battered it to the point that it wouldn’t stay intact much longer.

“We’ll focus on the gravity manipulator first!” Ena shouted to her teammates, with no hesitation.

With the gravity manipulator as their target, the Lilies of the Third Division closed in on it from behind, only for the horde of Soldier Ants to turn to face them and charge in their direction.

The Third Division blasted them with cannon fire, and Ena loaded the Neunwelt bullet into her CHARM. “Third Division! We will commence the Neunwelt Tactic!” she shouted. But when she was about to launch the magiesphere, the gravity manipulator let out a roar.

“GYUAAAAAH!”


A ripple went through the air, distorting it, and the Lilies of the pursuit team were beset by crushing pressure.

“Ugh!”

Every one of them was being dragged powerfully downward, towards the ground. Their bodies felt as heavy as if they were made of lead, and it was a struggle for them just to remain upright.

Watanabe Akane had been forced to her knees. “What’s going on?” she whispered. “We shouldn’t be in its range…”

They had planned to perform the Neunwelt Tactic from outside the range of the gravity manipulator’s powers, but the gravity field extended more than 200 meters around the monster, and Ena and the others had been caught in it.

“It must be… because of the nestless Ultra…” said Akashi Manaka, through gritted teeth. The only explanation was that the proximity of the nestless Ultra had made the gigant-types grow more powerful.

With the Lilies unable to move, the gravity manipulator went back to battering the defensive barrier. Cracks began to run through it, and before long, it shattered into pieces. Their way no longer blocked, the three gigants stampeded forward into the Toyosu area and made straight for the towers of the Light Wall System.

When she saw where the Huge were headed, Hishida Haru’s face grew pale. “Oh, no!” she shouted. “They’re going to break through into Tokyo!”

Toyosu hadn’t been fully evacuated of civilians yet, so the Light Wall wasn’t closed off, and the gigant-types were making their way towards it with purpose. If they destroyed the unprotected towers necessary for the Light Wall System to function, there would be no holding back the Huge.

As soon as the gravity field moved past her, Ena leapt to her feet. “We have to stop them!” she shouted. The pursuit team immediately broke into a run, desperate to stop the gigants. But at that very moment… brilliant light shone out from the grand towers at the edge of Odaiba. Barriers formed of that light shimmered into being between those towers.

Hishida Haru stared up at them, even as she continued to run. “The Light Wall… closed?” she said.

It was most definitely the Light Wall—a powerful magie barrier that could prevent virtually all of the Huge from crossing into Tokyo—that she was looking at. But when activated, it had cut off the roads into Tokyo, trapping many civilians who hadn’t been able to evacuate yet in Ariake and Toyosu.

Her eyes wide, Fujita Asagao gazed at the Light Wall. “Is that Full Admission Mode?” she wondered aloud.

The Light Wall could operate at several levels of intensity. Full Admission Mode was the highest of them all. By focusing the energy as intensely as possible, it could block the passage of even gigant-type Huge.

“But why?” Ena whispered, dumbfounded. “The evacuation’s still in progress…” At that moment, she heard a voice among the static sounding from her comm device.

“…This is Kifuji Suzu, from Odaiba Girls’… Do you copy? Please respond.”

When she heard Suzu’s voice, Ena answered her straight away. “This is Banshoya Ena of the Third Division. Why is the Light Wall System active?” she asked.

Suzu, transmitting from the Odaiba Girls’ School campus, replied with urgency in her voice. “When it became a possibility that gigant-types would get past the Light Wall, the military and Odaiba Girls’ School made the decision to put the system into Full Admission Mode,” she explained.

“So that is Full Admission Mode…” whispered Yokoyama Azusa.

“Correct,” Kifuji Suzu said. “But Full Admission Mode has a time limit. If those gigant-types aren’t dealt with before the Light Wall comes down, they’ll be able to cross into Tokyo.” The time limit was worrying. The gigants were only being held in check for now, and once they ran out of time and the Light Wall ceased to function, there would be no stopping them.

But there was an even bigger problem, one which Serizawa Chikaru gave voice to. “Please wait!” she exclaimed. “With the Light Wall System active, that means the civilians are trapped here. They won’t be able to evacuate!” Huge weren’t the only things that couldn’t pass through the Light Wall. Upon being activated, the barrier had trapped the evacuees on Odaiba, with nowhere safe to escape to.

“That’s why we’re counting on you. Kill those gigant-types as quickly as you can,” Suzu said impatiently. “We have our Defense Team headed to your location, too. They should join you shortly.”

Aoki Kaho let out a deep sigh. “We have to do something about those three monsters,” she muttered. “For the civilians’ sake… and also Tokyo’s. But it won’t be an easy battle.”

“Right now, the evacuees should be in Toyosu Market. If any of the gigant-types go there…” Her whisper trailed off, but Chikaru’s ashen face finished the thought for her. Commander Banshoya Ena placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Have no fear,” she told Chikaru. “If we all work together, we can defeat these gigants. For we of Álfheimr will never let another tragedy like the Koshu Withdrawal happen again.”

When she saw the determination on Ena’s face, Chikaru nodded. “I trust you,” she replied.

“Let’s go, everyone,” Ena declared. “We will not let a single person here in Odaiba come to harm!” The members of the pursuit team all replied, “Yeah!”

To keep Tokyo and the evacuees safe, they’d have to completely subdue all three of the gigant-types, both the gravity manipulator and the twins. Determined to do so, Ena and the pursuit team set off towards the enemy.



They caught up with the twin gigant-types first.

Near Toyosu Station, the city streets were lined with tall buildings. They had already been evacuated, and there wasn’t a soul to be seen. The gigants were destroying the buildings around them as they continued forward, while the Soldier Ants and other Huge that had crossed over into Toyosu were swarming everywhere.

Hishida Haru took note of the lesser enemies’ movements. “This isn’t good! They’re spreading out!” she exclaimed.

“Before anything else, we’ll engage the twin gigant-types,” Ena shouted to the Lilies in her command even as she ran. “For them, the Neunwelt Tactic is our only option. We can deal with the other Huge afterwards.”

As they pursued the twin gigants, the Lilies peppered them with fire from their CHARMs. But both of the monsters had created a field around them, of the sort known as a “territory.” No matter how focused the Lilies’ fire was, as soon as it entered the fields, it was instantly caused to miss its target.

“What are those big bubbles?!” shouted Fujita Asagao in frustration. “Why can’t we hit them?!”

Not far from the Light Wall System was the area of the former Toyosu Market, which was currently sheltering civilians. Because the Light Wall had closed, there were undoubtedly evacuees trapped there… meaning the Lilies had to defeat the gigant-types and other Huge before they reached Toyosu Market. All of them were well aware of the urgency, and so they attacked as fiercely as they could.

“Keep calm, everyone!” Tada Shiera called out. “We can do this. So long as we don’t panic, we shall find a path to victory!”

“The twin gigants must be generating those fields themselves,” pointed out Serizawa Chikaru as she looked at the two monsters. “If so, that’s fortunate for us. They must be using some kind of special organ to do it. If we can find where it is, that’s how we will win!”

“Precisely, Chikaru,” said Commander Banshoya Ena with a bold grin. “Let’s all look for the organ they’re using to generate those fields, ladies!”

As she channeled magie into her CHARM, Hishida Haru remarked, “No one’s more suited to that than I!” Haru was known as the “Freak Slayer.” As the epithet suggested, she was no stranger to defeating enemies with mysterious abilities.

Calling upon her magie, Haru let Divine Possession take her.

For she had a mysterious ability of her own—Divine Possession, a state where her magie resonated with that of her CHARM and greatly increased her strength. In that state, she could use a technique, “Blade of the End”, which could fell even a large-type in a single blow.

“Haaaah!”

Haru’s Jötunn-Schwert cut deeply into one of the twin gigants. With her under Divine Possession, it was an attack so fierce that it drew a roar of pain from the monster.

“JYUAAAAAH!”


Just before Haru’s blade cut into the monster again, the twin gigants focused all the power of their territories into a shield. When her Divine Possession-empowered slash came down against the shield, a shock wave blasted out from the point of impact.

Haru discerned from the flow of magie that the shield was being generated by organs that resembled flowers. “Those flowers,” she shouted. “That’s their weak point!”

At that very moment, nine Lilies from Odaiba Girls’ School came running towards them. They were the group known as the “Odaiba Wall Defense Team.” Fujita Asagao called out to the Lily in the lead. “Subaru!” she exclaimed.

That Lily was Igusa Subaru, from Odaiba Girls’ School. She had also been a member of the Funada Reserve Team, and was an old friend of all the Lilies from Odaiba who had been set to take part in the Neunwelt Tactic Technical Conference.

Haru turned to Subaru immediately. “Let’s take out both these monsters with Neunwelts, Subaru!” she shouted.

“Understood!” replied Subaru, loading a Neunwelt bullet. “Ena!” Haru shouted, looking at the commander, and Ena in turn loaded a Neunwelt bullet into her CHARM. Then, together as one, Ena and Subaru raised their voices. “Commence the Double Neunwelt Tactic!” they shouted.

The Third Division and the Odaiba Wall Defense Team simultaneously began passing two magiespheres between themselves. With their large tentacles, the twin gigants sought to stop them from doing so. As the enemy attacks threatened to disrupt their formation, Ena shouted, “Hotaru, Shinano, we’re in need of your aid!”

“You got it!” said Kawabata Hotaru of the Fifth Division. She rushed to the front line and shouted, “Subaru, pass it to me!” The Lilies of the Defense Team passed their magiesphere to Hotaru, who in turn started passing it back and forth with her sisters-in-arms from the Fifth Division. The other Lilies were now free to stop the twin gigant-types from interfering.

Meanwhile, Commander Ena’s precise instructions to her own division never ceased. “Kaho, keep that gigant distracted!” she shouted. “Move from the side to the front, Miharu, when you can! Haru, Manaka, don’t overextend yourselves! Don’t let up with that cannon fire, Chikaru!” Under Ena’s oversight, their formation shifted between offense and defense, and the magiesphere deftly slipped past the enemy attacks.

It was soon time for the last two Neunwelt passes. Hishida Haru and Tada Shiera each caught one of the magiespheres.

“Here I goooo!!!”

“Yaaaaaaaah!!!!!”



Both magiespheres scored a direct hit upon the flowers atop the twin gigants’ heads. With one final roar, the two monsters were consumed by the simultaneous explosions. The pursuit team and the Defense Team had succeeded in killing the gigant-types without anyone coming to harm.

“Whew,” sighed Nishikawa Miharu. “That was splendidly done. But with the commander of Álfheimr here, who would expect otherwise?” She gave Ena a smile, but the other Lily’s expression was still grim.

“This isn’t over,” Ena said. “We must find the gravity manipulator, and quickly. There will be civilians trapped in Odaiba until it’s safe to shut off Full Admission Mode.”

“The Soldier Ants and the other Huge have spread out,” said Aoki Kaho, with an equally somber face. “And we don’t know the status of the two gigant-types who went towards Ariake. Until we’ve accounted for them all, the Light Wall can’t come down again.”

“We don’t know where the enemy will strike next, so we should inform the troops at Toyosu Market to be on high alert,” Watanabe Akane advised Ena. “That must be where most of the evacuees are right now.”

Igusa Subaru, from the Defense Team, addressed the pursuit team. “Allow us to handle the gravity manipulator,” she said. “I expect it’s on its way to the Light Wall. You can be certain we won’t let it get there.”

“Then Asa-chan and I will lend our support,” suggested Kawabata Hotaru. “That okay with you, Asa-chan?” When Hotaru looked at her, Fujita Asagao let out a sigh. “Gosh. You’re running yourself ragged, you know,” she retorted.

Ena nodded her assent, and looked at Haru. “In that case, I would like four of you to go ahead to Toyosu Market and assist the military there with their defenses,” she said. “Haru, Azusa, Miharu, and Kaina. Make your way there, and if you spot a gigant-type, alert us immediately.”

“Understood,” Haru replied. “You can count on us.” She, and the other three Lilies tasked to defend the evacuees sheltering at Toyosu Market, all nodded.

Ena then addressed the eight Lilies that remained with her. “The rest of us will wipe out the Huge in Toyosu and confirm that no one failed to evacuate,” she said. “After the enemy has been dealt with, we too shall go to Toyosu Market and guide the evacuees to safety once the Light Wall comes down.”

“Understood!” replied the Lilies in her command.

It was thus that, to make it safe to lower the Light Wall, the pursuit team divided itself into three. Banshoya Ena’s team would exterminate the Soldier Ants and other Huge swarming throughout the Toyosu area, Igusa Subaru’s team would defeat the gravity manipulator gigant, and finally, Hishida Haru’s team would defend the evacuees.

Ena nodded to her sisters-in-arms. “Let us begin!” she shouted, and the three teams set off towards their objectives.



The four Lilies led by Hishida Haru started running towards the former Toyosu Market, where the evacuees were.

Toyosu Market was on the south side of the Toyosu area, adjacent to Ariake and separated by a canal. It consisted of large buildings, somewhat like the Tokyo International Exhibition Center did. Normally the buildings saw use as warehouses, but at that time, they were packed full with people who had evacuated from the Ariake and Shinonome areas. The nearby roads were jammed with vehicles.

After the Light Wall System had blocked their way, those who were unable to evacuate had been left with no choice but to take shelter in Toyosu Market and the other buildings nearby.

When Haru reached Toyosu Market and saw the refugees there, she was astonished. “There are this many people…?” she said. The number was far greater than she had expected; thousands of people were there, stretching as far as the eye could see. Unable to escape to safety past the Light Wall, they were in chaos. Shouting and screaming filled the market, every last soul terrified that they would be attacked by the Huge.

If the Soldier Ants or a gigant-type were to set their sights on this place, it would lead to slaughter.

Haru and the other Lilies made their way to the entrance of Toyosu Market, looking for the military commander. They found a large crowd of evacuees surrounding some soldiers, who were desperately trying to calm down the panicking people.

Haru addressed the man who looked to be in command. “Are you the one in charge?” she asked. “We’re here to help.”

“…Are you Hishida Haru, from Odaiba Girls’ School?” he asked. As a former member of the Funada Reserve Team, Haru was quite famous.

“That I am,” Haru replied. “Right now, our sisters-in-arms are doing all we can to subdue the gigants. We’ve vowed to keep Odaiba and every person on it safe.”

“That’s a relief to hear,” said the commander. “Right now, there are six thousand people taking shelter here. Because of the Huge, we’ve destroyed every bridge leading to the market except for Fujimi Bridge. But we’ve spotted a horde of small-types on the Ariake shoreline. If they find their way here, it will be a disaster. I need you ladies to go attack them first.”

“Understood,” Haru said. “We won’t let them get past us, no matter what.” She and the other three Lilies made their way towards Fujimi Bridge. As she did, Haru glanced at the buildings of Toyosu Market and saw the faces of countless evacuees, all filled with fear. Not all of the civilians were adults; among them were many young children.

Yokoyama Azusa, also from Odaiba Girls’ School, was right next to Haru. “The Huge have attacked this place before, but there’s never been a battle of this scale,” Azusa remarked.

In time, the four Lilies reached the near side of Fujimi Bridge, where the military had set up a barricade. The bridge was at the southwest side of Toyosu Market. About two hundred meters long, it joined the Ariake area and the Toyosu area together.

“This is the only bridge to Ariake left,” Nakabayashi Kaina muttered, gazing at the bridge. “We have to protect it, at any cost.”

“That we do,” said Nishikawa Miharu. “And we shall, until Ena and the others arrive.” Haru nodded in agreement.

From Fujimi Bridge, they could look out upon the dire spectacle that Odaiba had become. Tongues of flame rose up here and there, and in the distance, they could hear the sound of artillery fire and the roars of the Huge. As she gazed out upon Odaiba wreathed in flames, Haru whispered, within her heart alone, to a dear and long-lost friend.

…Sakumi. I promised you I’d keep Odaiba safe. So please watch over me as I do.

In the past, Hishida Haru had had a close friend by the name of Imamura Sakumi. They had shared a dream and a promise: to become Lilies that would protect Odaiba together. But while she was still young, Sakumi had passed away from an incurable illness.

As Sakumi’s life had neared its end, Haru had vowed to her that she would become the student council president of Odaiba Girls’ School, and the Garden’s best Lily. That vow was the bond Haru still shared with her departed friend.

As if she could sense Haru’s resolve, Azusa murmured quietly in a voice that only Haru could hear, “We will protect Odaiba. Because that’s what Sakumi would want.”

Haru nodded, and at that moment, the Lilies heard the quaking of the earth upon the far shore. They turned that way to see dozens of Soldier Ants headed straight for them. “Let’s put an end to them, sisters!” Haru shouted.

The four Lilies charged at the horde of Soldier Ants. “Yaaah!” shouted Hishida Haru, as she skewered the first of them with her Jötunn-Schwert. Yokoyama Azusa followed up, cutting down more enemies in quick succession. Nishikawa Miharu and Nakabayashi Kaina danced across the battlefield. The soldiers fired their cannons repeatedly as well, all of them fighting fiercely to stop any of the enemy from crossing the bridge.

But more and more Huge continued to swarm onto the bridge. It was clear that they were trying to break through the Light Wall and invade Tokyo itself.

“There’s too many of them,” Kaina shouted as she cut down enemy after enemy. “We can’t hold them back forever!”

“Even so, we must not give up!” Haru shouted back, trying to encourage her allies as she fought. “No matter what, we can’t allow them to cross the bridge!”

There were six thousand people just beyond Fujimi Bridge. If even one Soldier Ant were to reach them, they would cause a bloodbath. Each and every enemy on the bridge had to be exterminated, at any cost, before they were able to cross it. But there were not just Soldier Ants now. Other small-type and mid-type Huge, attracted by their fellow monsters, were joining the throng.

Then the earth shook beneath them as the master of the horde appeared upon the far shore. When she laid eyes upon the gigantic shape, Haru could hardly believe what she was seeing.

“Is that… a gigant-type Soldier Ant?!”

The gargantuan Soldier Ant, which had gone in the direction of Ariake and then vanished, had made it all the way here unbeknownst to anyone.

“Miharu, alert Ena’s team immediately!” Yokoyama Azusa shouted.

“It’s too late! They can’t get here in time!” Miharu exclaimed.

Gigant-types could only be defeated with the Neunwelt Tactic, but there were only four Lilies on the bridge. They couldn’t possibly do a Neunwelt. And even if they called in the Third Division under Ena, or Subaru’s Defense Team, none of the other Lilies would get here before the gigant crossed the bridge.

“Fight it to a standstill!” screamed Nakabayashi Kaina, to Lilies and soldiers alike. “Do everything you can!”

But though the Lilies blasted the gigant-type with their CHARMs, and the soldiers unleashed their rocket launchers, none of them could inflict meaningful damage upon the giant Soldier Ant. Nishikawa Miharu was desperately trying to inform Ena and Subaru of the situation, but she wasn’t able to reach them due to the comm interference.

The giant Soldier Ant, and its lesser kindred, continued to make their way across the bridge.

“It’s no good… we can’t hold them back. They’ll slaughter all the helpless people here…” Haru said, as she looked over at Toyosu Market. Inside the buildings were thousands of evacuees. And if the gigant-type were to reach them, for an untold number, it would mark the end of their lives.

No matter what, I can’t allow this monster to cross the bridge!

Haru gritted her teeth. She made her decision. “All of you, retreat!” she shouted to her allies. “I will destroy the bridge, and take sole responsibility!”

When she had fought Soldier Ants as a member of the Funada Reserve Team, Haru had learned of their hatred for water. Stopping these Soldier Ants was impossible, and she was well aware of that… but if she destroyed the bridge, she could slow them down.

Upon hearing Haru’s declaration, Yokoyama Azusa turned to her in alarm. “Hold on!” she said. “There are younger girls from Odaiba over there in Ariake! And civilians, too!” Ariake still had a number of junior high school Lilies and soldiers fighting there, and not all the civilians had gotten to safety either. If this bridge—the last link to Ariake—were destroyed, all those people would be trapped, with nowhere to run.

“But if I don’t destroy the bridge, even more people will die!” Haru exclaimed. She knew that abandoning her fellow Lilies went against everything that Lilies stood for. But it was the only way of stopping the gigant-type.

Azusa grabbed Haru’s shoulder, trying to stop her. “Haru, is this… is this really what you want?” she said. “What about your promise to Sa-chan? If you do this, you’ll never be able to meet her again in the Garden of Souls!”

Haru knew that her choice to consign so many others to their fate would cause everyone at Odaiba to loathe her. She would never become student council president, as she had dreamed of. She would be breaking the vow she’d made to her dear, departed friend that she would become Odaiba’s best Lily.

She remembered the words of the promise that she had made to Sakumi, so long ago.

“We’ll protect this place… Odaiba… as the finest Lilies of all. And then I’ll bloom as a flower in the Garden of Souls, together with you.”

Haru and Sakumi had promised each other that the two of them, together, would someday become Lilies who protected Odaiba. When Sakumi had reached the end of her life with that dream unfulfilled, Haru had vowed that she would make Sakumi’s dream come true on her behalf. She would become the student council president of Odaiba Girls’ School, and the greatest protector of Odaiba, their home.

Her dream safe in Haru’s hands, Sakumi had set off upon her final journey with a smile on her face.

..Sakumi…

Haru’s hands were shaking. If she destroyed the bridge, she would also be destroying her own dream, her promise to Sakumi, and the very lives of many of her fellow Lilies. Inside her, she could hear her own voice, shouting for her to stop.

But if she didn’t destroy the bridge, it would put thousands of other lives at grave risk.

Though it brought her agony as fierce as if her heart were being ripped as two, Haru spoke, with determination.

“There’s something more important than what I want!”

Alone, she ran to the center of the bridge.

“Haru!”

Haru ignored Azusa calling out to her. She stood at the center of Fujimi Bridge, and she let Divine Possession take her. She called upon every drop of magie throughout her entire body, focusing it in one place. Her hair shone white, as it did whenever she called upon the power of Divine Possession and went beyond her limits.

Pouring her magie into her Jötunn-Schwert, Haru thrust it down into the center of the bridge, overcoming her final doubts with a scream.

“AAAAAAAAAH!!!!!”




A shockwave, followed by a boom, raced across the surface of Fujimi Bridge. With a deafening sound, countless cracks appeared in the bridge’s surface, and the earth quaked as the bridge collapsed. The foremost group of ten Soldier Ants was plunged into the water below.

Now that there was a gap several dozens of meters wide in the bridge, the giant Soldier Ant and its kindred couldn’t reach the other side. They turned around and headed back into the Ariake area.

Though the danger had been averted, there wasn’t a look of relief to be found on anyone’s face. The thousands taking shelter in Toyosu Market were safe… at the cost of those in Ariake and elsewhere in Odaiba being in far greater danger.

As still as death, Haru knelt at the spot where she’d thrust her Jötunn-Schwert into the ground.

“…Haru…”

Azusa called out to her from behind, but Haru did nothing but stare down at the part of the bridge she’d destroyed. Rubble floated upon the dark water, illuminated by the light of the flames that rose from the buildings on the far shore.

“……”

Tears brimmed in Haru’s eyes. In time, they fell, and were swallowed up by the darkness below.

Translation Notes[edit | edit source]

Toyosu Market: This is written as "the old/former Toyosu Market" almost everywhere it appears in the Japanese text, but in English I've usually left that off as it feels repetitive. There is no mention of a new Toyosu Market, so presumably "old" just means that it's no longer used as a market in the Assault Lily world.

"I'll bloom as a flower in the Garden of Souls, together with you" (あなたと招魂の園で共に花とならん)—Haru's promise with Sakumi—resembles the final line of a poem by the samurai Takasugi Shinsaku (1839-1867), written to commemorate kiheitai who died in battle during the Bakumatsu period. The promise, and the phrase "Garden of Souls" (招魂の園), were likely inspired by the poem.

猛烈の奇兵何の志す処ぞ
一死をもって邦家に報いんと要す
欣ぶべし名遂げ功なるの後
共に招魂場上の花とならん

Bold and fierce are the militia soldiers—and what is their intention?
Each one offers himself, repaying the nation with his death.
Delightful! When their fame is achieved and their merits are complete,
They will be flowers adorning the memorial to these fallen souls.

(Translation by Matthew Fraleigh)