G Clan Booster 2: Commander of the Incessant Waves
This is the form of "Thavas", who has summoned and hosted his own possibility in the future by "Stride Fusion". Thanks to the advice of "Lambros" in a crisis, Thavas got a glimpse of his own future and connected to the image of himself in the distant future, and caused "Stride Fusion".
The amount of his mana is great enough that he can create "seas" by separating a portion of water content from his body and transmuting it into sea water. The fact that a single drop of his water content contains mana comparable to that of a modern aquaroid's whole body suggests how terrifying he is.
He would be confused and troubled, and thinks about his justice from now on. The form of new justice, not restricted by a single concept. It becoming the crucial part of "Aqua Force" is still a future story.
Web Short Novel (23 October, 2015)
The Storm Dominator
"Shadow Paladin" had started a civil war in "United Sanctuary". The scales of the war enlarged and almost destroyed the nation, but "Gear Chronicle"'s thorough intervention made the suppression successful. The ringleader was defeated, and "Shadow Paladin" was disbanded publicly. The Sanctuary has won back its peaceful days.
In addition, although overshadowed by "Gear Chronicle" which contributed the most, the rescue troops from nations and clans have played an important role in saving United Sanctuary. Among them, the "Neo Nectar" troop lead by "Ahsha" managed to rescue many hostages, and their work and achievement was not less than "Gear Chronicle".
However, most of the citizens did not know. Behind the main players who worked impressively on the stage, there were many people fight to protect the Sanctuary.
---this is, the story of the general and his troop fighting behind the curtain.
"Ya, we have almost reached the landing point."
Bubbles arose from the seas. Voices of sailors were mixed. Near the landing point---rallied on the coast of United Sanctuary was a massive troop of "Aqua Force".
"Good, sailors who could fight on the land, prepare for landing! Others, support from the sea surface or under the sea!"
The troop was separated into two, with clear demarcation between the vanguards and the rear-guards. The rear-guards were "mermaids" and a portion of "aquaroids" whose water content was over 90%. They fought mainly in the sea. Standing impressively were the vanguards, with aquaroids of low water content, "tear dragons" and "golems".
"Signs of enemies found at the landing point!"
"First array of vanguard troops, take position!"
"Affirmative! First array of vanguard troops, take position!"
The message was relayed, and the sailors standing at the formation's arrowhead marched at a raised speed. They took position with their rifles---
Responding to the order neatly, massive beams showered on the enemies. Of course, not all of the enemy forces were wiped out. Those who survived the attack using either the terrain or their own comrades, and the many enemy soldiers that showed up to reinforce the point, stood and took their positions at the landing point.
"Second array, take position!"
"Yes, understood. Second array, go!"
But, the attack of "Aqua Force" never ends in one wave.
The first array reduced the speed of marching and separated into two. The second array, led by "Skyros", marched swiftly all of a sudden. Unlike the previous attack, they fired a barrage of small and continuous beam bullets. It was not as deadly as the first array's, but it could easily disable the enemies, making it the perfect tool of wiping out the enemies that were not cleared by the first attack. Seeing their comrades fall one by one before continuous attacks like flow of water, the soldiers of "Shadow Paladin" were terrified and fell back a bit.
"First array, second array, rally behind. Third array, fourth array, land at the point."
A "Rear-Admiral" of "Aqua Force" had no reason to let this chance go. Responding to his third order, the sailors of the third and fourth array marched quickly, and the sailors of the first and second array, fell back at the flanks and in the sea, rallied again, and followed the attacking troop. The Rear-Admiral got down from his kelpie and unsheathed his blade silently.
"Take this chance, wipe out the enemies."
The direction he pointed his blade at... the massive forces of the navy pressed on the rear of the fleeing enemies. The beam bullets showered again, turning the screams of the pathetic enemies and the smoking land into the beacon of war---signaling the coming of the joined forces of "Troop Thavas" led by Rear-Admiral "Thavas" and "Blue Storm Fleet".
Despite the fact that the war had just begun, the morale of the sailors had reached the apex. However, although Thavas had done a perfect job in the skirmish battles, he was not moved by this results.
(Things are getting too easy... it had been reported that the rescue troops from other nations were counter-attacked near the coast or at the location of teleportation...)
Contrastly, he treated the situation, which is going too well, as a sign of danger. Although the scouting teams returned and reported that no sign of enemies were found, he felt more uneasy.
(It'd be good if that's only because we encountered a weak point of the enemies... but, if that's not the case---)
The voice stopped Thavas from thinking and returned him to the real world. In front of him was a gasping sailor.
Seeing the pale face of the sailor, Thavas knew that the situation had changed.
"I, I don't know! The guys who were scouting with us are all down...! I've done my best to run... everyone's dea---"
Perhaps moved by instinct, Thavas, standing face to face to the sailor, moved to the right reflexively. At that instant, something like a ghost flew from the sailor's mouth, and stood in the position Thavas had been standing. Thavas slashed the ghost, but the ghost wasn't cut, and instead, vanished like mist.
"Good job, good job."
Thavas, staring at the vanishing mist without letting down his guard, heard a voice. He turned and saw someone clapping their hands at the entrance of the tent.
"Who are you?"
The knight in extravangant armour decorated by gold roses---Gilvaese, paused his speech. Thavas felt an unpleasant premonition, and moved a step backwards. At that moment, a ghostly sword arose from the ground and swung as before, leaving a trivial wound on Thavas's face.
"...Rear-Admiral of 'Aqua Force', Sir Thavas. I am the man who shall take your life."
The sword didn't disappear this time. It crawled from the ground and attacked Thavas many times. But, Thavas's sword wouldn't allow its prey to escape its attacking range. The ghost was slashed at a speed beyond what bare eyes could see, and disappeared as mist again.
"...I see, you've assassinated the commanders by the same method."
"As expected from the Rear-Admiral well-known as the first aquaroid commander. You sense things well."
"Commanders are the pivot stones of the troops... killing them first to drive the enemies into chaos, and attack..."
"Normally, it's not an easy task to assassinate commanders protected by many soldiers in the midst of a battle... but, with my power---"
At the moment Gilvaese paused his speech, the ghosts whom he released attacked Thavas from different directions. But, Gilvaese had noticed, that he couldn't take Thavas's life with this method. When all the ghosts were reduced to nothing, Gilvaese held his sword.
"I haven't unsheathed my sword for a long time. Because few could look through this."
Thavas didn't respond to the knight's casual remark. He stared at the bizarre lights of eyes hidden beneath the mask, and tried to read the next move of his opponent.
"Then, let me fight joyfully as a knight."
Thavas had sensed it. Even though his opponent didn't use magic, he was quite mighty as a swordsman. If Thavas let down his guard, he would reach the same fate as the slain commanders.
"Now I am a general of an army. Let me do my task first."
Thavas couldn't hide his puzzlement when seeing Gilvaese cast the magic of sound amplification. Knowing that Thavas couldn't read his action, the knight smirked beneath his mask.
"The head of 'Aqua Force''s Rear-Admiral Thavas has been taken by Gilvaese, knight of Lord Claret Sword! All troops, charge towards the enemies' formation!"
"Rear-Admiral is down!?"
"It can't be... something like this can't be."
The magically amplified voice echoed in the base, and drove sailors into chaos in a sudden.
"W, we must find out the truth first! Find the Rear-Admiral!"
"Unable to do so! Something like magical barriers is blocking the way! Can't see the interior either!"
"That's... is the Rear-Admiral really..."
At first only those who heard the voice clearly made a fuss, but rumours got longer and more twisted if the truth wasn't found out. To make the situation worse---
"Th, the enemies' attack!"
"Wait for the instructions of the captain..."
"The captain... Rear-Admiral is down!"
Hearing Gilvease's message, the soldiers of "Shadow Paladin" attacked the base in midst of the chaos. Normally, there was no way the navy would lose to the assembly of bandits. However, in this situation, outnumbering was the key. As the enemies were familiar with mauling a single individual in groups, the sailors of "Aqua Force" fell one by one.
As if praying to deities, the sailors of lower ranks continued asking help from Thavas.
"That is your plan...!"
The magical barrier was likely formed by the mana released when the ghosts were cut down by Thavas. It blocked the sight and passage of Thavas. However, Thavas knew what was happening even though he didn't see it himself.
"Seems I don't need to explain. Your quick understanding really helps."
Driven by anger, Thavas's and Gilvease's beam sword clashed without sound, and that was the first time Thavas exchanged sight with the knight nearby.
"Ooh, you have that face. Quite scary I'd say."
"I'll defeat you soon and destroy the magical barrier! Come, Marine General of Heavenly Silk..."
"--is something I won't allow you to do."
Thavas stepped back and tried to Stride, but Gilvease didn't give him the chance.
"You can't escape my attack range in this narrow magical barrier. Overconfidence in Stride is no good."
If Thavas took time to activate Stride, the knight's flashing sword could penetrate Thavas's core accurately.
"Despite your weakness, Stride, comrades, reinforcement... relying powers that are not yours---"
"--is so idiotic."
Thavas was disarmed. His sword hit the magical barrier, pierced the ground and lost its radiance. Thavas fell on his knees, and Gilvease's sword was pointed against his forehead.
"Kukuku... perish while hearing your comrades' screams at your final moment."
"I, we... will end here!"
Gilvease summoned several mirror-like objects with his hand not holding the sword. And they surrounded Thavas.
"Without finding out our justice..."
On the objects reflected the base in grave chaos.
"Everyone calm down! Don't break the formati---"
"How can I calm down! That's enemies' surprise attack!?"
"Oh no...like this...all of us will be destroyed"
"Hahahahaha, such a ludicrous scene. Moments like this amuse me the most. Weaklings should be like this...these mo ments let me recall this."
After taunting, Gilvaese moved the point of his sword from Thavas's forehead to the chest.
"The cores of aquaroids are located in the same place as humans' hearts. There have been cases where aquaroids could be healed even if their heads are broken, given that the cores are safe... too bad, I know a lot."
"My justice, what is it, after all...?"
"Incompetent Rear-Admiral. I will take responsibility for executing your forces. Rest in peace."
(My justice is---)
At the moment of being pierced by the knight's sword, Thavas's body was enshrouded in a pillar of light.
"Examine, your own justice."
"Lambros... was it you who saved me..."
"The form of justice isn't limited to one. But, there is only one justice in one's mind."
"One's justice is, one..."
"Right. And, those who could embrace and lead the many justice in all's minds are admirals. I am one, and you are one."
"Those who could lead the many justice... are admirals."
"Those who bring justice together---admirals cannot fall before the sailors."
"...I cannot perish in such a place."
"To protect the justice of all, to accomplish my own justice."
"Thank you. Finally, I could find out the threads of my justice."
"Just go. You have something left to do."
"Surpassing the storms named turbulence, the being who dominates justice. You are the legendary---"
"W, what's happening!?"
Facing the unidentified light that showed up abruptly, Gilvease stepped a distance backwards reflexively. The sword pointed against Thavas lost its tip when it touched the light. He couldn't attack carelessly.
"Too bad... seeing that light, sailors would come to see the situation... before that, Thavas must be---"
But, the situation didn't allow the knight to think. The pillar of light released radiance that one couldn't see it with bare eyes directly, and Gilvease reflexively covered his eyes with his arm. The light was dimmed and the pillar was gone. Alternatively, standing there was---
Thavas in light of pure white. His form didn't change a lot, but his atmosphere was totally different to that of him previously.
"What, on earth..."
Following the murmur, seawater stained the ground---no, it wasn't simply staining. The base of "Aqua Force" sunk into the abruptly emerging "sea".
"I, it can't be!? Seawater... summoning the sea---no, you transmute that!? Impossible."
Gilvease managed to escape into the sky quickly, but members of "Shadow Paladin" without knowledge in magic couldn't do that. Most of them were washed away and drowned, forming a scene that could best be described as pandemonium. On the other side, "Aqua Force" was fully familiar with fighting in the sea. The navy men pursued the fleeing enemies and carried their injured comrades away quickly, reducing their casualties to a minimum.
"You, who are you!? That mana capacity, is not something a single life could possess..."
"Gilvease. Lastly, I am leaving this sentence to you."
Thavas rode on the summoned kelpie. His sword shone strongly,
"Incompetent knight. I will take responsibility for executing your forces. Rest in peace."
"Y, y... youuuuuuuu---"
The slash of light penetrated the sky, tore the clouds, separated the sea, and devoured the screaming knight.
"Talking about the success of the Rear-Admiral that time is really'."
"Wow, that is..."
After that battle, the civil war of the Sanctuary came to its end without waiting for the arrival of the navy. Thavas, hearing the report of the end of the war from the young man and the girl of "Gear Chronicle" whom he had met before, retreated from the land swiftly. He detached small troops to capture the fleeing remnants of "Shadow Paladin", and led the main forces to return to the navy's headquarter.
"If Rear-Admiral wasn't there, we would have all fallen."
Though the Sanctuary recognized them as no more than players of a support role, the reputation of Thavas rose one-sidedly. "Homerus", the sailor of Blue Storm Fleet talking fervently, was one of those who witnessed Thavas's might directly.
"His opponent was a terrifying foe who had eliminated multiple rescue troops from other nations..."
"I had heard rumours, but that was really..."
Thavas, once isolated, had become so well-known that it was said none in the navy doesn't know his name and his achievement this time. But---
"You're talking about stupid things, aren't you?"
"You have time to waste time chatting, why not train yourselves?!"
"Y, Ya! My apologies!"
It is also true that those who kept a distance from Thavas due to his concealed past became more spiteful towards him. This hard-faced man---Captain "Sebastian", disliked Thavas from the heart, and would definitely not accept Thavas. When Thavas was promoted to Rear-Admiral, he had even directly talked to Admiral "Maelstrom" to cancel the promotion.
"Admiral! Why was that man put into such an important position?! That weak-minded gutless coward! In addition to hiding his power as a Lost Number, he seemed not to use Stride that he learnt actively! A man who doesn't use every bit of his power for the navy and justice should not stand in a position to lead the troop of this navy!"
"...In the past, we had been using mighty power to achieve victory without hesitation. As a result, we stepped in the wrong way. Thavas feared and was confused about his own power a lot, but even so, he unleashed himself for the best result, and opened the path. Fearing one's own power isn't an evil. To examine the power one should use---those with mighty power must fear their own power... You may understand this some day."
Sebastian couldn't find the words to counter Maelstrom's words, and left the scene that time.
"Fearing one's own power...That's foolish!"
One wonders the day Sebastian truly accepts Thavas would be some day one or two hundred years later...
"The battle this time was impressive. Except myself, you are the only admiral who can lead the Blue Storm Fleet".
"I thank you for your words. But, please leave the words of appreciation to the perished sailors..."
"You haven't changed at all."
"No, you spoke right, but I have changed a lot."
"Hmm... then, why?"
"For my comrades... I would say only this."
"Is that so... fine then, just go and soothe the fatigue of war in your room."
"Ya, I'll take my leave now."
Speaking little, Thavas left from Maelstrom. The Admiral looked at the little back of size that is smaller than a hundredth of itself, with some envy of admiration.
"If someone like you had been in Aqua Force in the past, we might have been able to reach a different future."
(I get nervous when standing in front of Admiral even now...)
Though Thavas pretended to be calm, he respected Maelstrom deeply. Of course, not only Thavas, but also all members of "Aqua Force" respect Maelstrom. None in this navy would not respect the one who continues to lead "Aqua Force" since the navy's liberation. However, Thavas was moved by not only the admiration of respect, but the fact that Maelstrom had done him a favour.
(Even though it's to conceal the existence of Lost Numbers, it is the one who granted a weakling like me an admiral-level rank. And---)
Thavas coincidentally passed Sebastian at the corridor. Knowing that Sebastian dislikes him, he passed Sebastian without saying anything.
"Rear-Admiral Thavas, I do not recognize you as someone who could bear an admiral-level rank."
Sebastian's voice echoed from behind, and Thavas turned his head without thinking. He could only see Sebastian's back, but not the man's facial expression.
"...but, I am considering I could recognize your achievement, somehow."
Sebastian turned his head, as if to see Thavas's response. Seeing Thavas' face, Sebastian exposed his anger and roared loudly.
"Only achievement! Definitely! It is not like I am recognizing you!"
Sebastian walked away like a bear did, with rough breath. Turning aside, Thavas saw his own face reflecting on the glass window. A face which was smiling naturally.
Standing at the direction where the sound came from were all members of Troop Thavas. They were the trio of "Andrey", a cadet, and "Polo" and "Mitros", two kelpie riders. It seemed Mitros was the one who spoke and ran with small steps to reach Thavas.
"Captain, might I ask you for a lecture?"
"Okay. Wait in the training room, I'll go there in a moment."
"Great! Thank you very much!"
Seeing Mitros raise his arms in joy, Polo and Andrey approached Thavas shyly.
"M, may I ask you too?"
"A, also I'd...!"
"Of course. I am thinking these days to teach Andrey how to ride kelpies formally."
Seeing the twos' faces change from anxious to cheerful, Thavas thought.
(I can encounter them, and that's because of my ominous power as a Lost Number, is it?)
Leaving the trio, Thavas returned to his room and prepared for the lecture.
(Both power and justice depend on the way of thinking. Yes... there isn't only one justice.)
He recalled a sentence naturally.
This is a future maxim taught by a certain comrade.
(...to pass it. We, must take a new step.)
He dressed up in uniform for lecturing, and left the room. It was likely, that Mitros was telling lies to Andrey in the training room, and Polo was trying to deal with it. He could predict the daily events, probably the skills of commanders.
"Dahahaha! Andrey is lame!!"
"Hey, Andrey! You cannot put the rein this way!"
Seeing the trio in a situation as expected, Thavas laughed without even thinking. When he noticed, all members of Troop Thavas were in the training room. It was probably Mitros who told the troop members that Thavas would come to the place. Those who noticed the entry of Thavas turned their faces to him.
(Admiral... I'd like to become a being who could lead "Aqua Force" like you one day. But, now---)
---His name is Thavas. One of the legendary Lost Numbers, and the first aquaroid Rear-Admiral. And, he is the storm of blessings which would lead "Aqua Force" to the new generations.