Previous Chapter: Chapter 54: Beneath the Celestial Canopy          Next Chapter: Chapter 56


*back to Paris*

Daniel: …Despite our orders, the Gaia Sabers have attacked the Steel Dragons.

Gaspard: So they’ve taken the bait…

Daniel: Should we send Alteur Steinbeck a message of our disproval?

Gaspard: There’s no need for that. He’s already broken away from us.

Daniel: He broke away? Don’t tell me he’s planning to rebel…!

Gaspard: Alteur’s a man who uses the system to his own gain. He wouldn’t force anything. He would wait for the right time…. Until he could seat himself upon the throne of this world. But because he’s thrown away his position, it means he’s probably trying to accomplish something else… and it somehow involves the Steel Dragons.

Daniel: The Steel Dragons…?

Gaspard: Right. Send them right to Grand Christmas. Just like Alteur wants.

Daniel: But if we do that right before Operation Icebreaker….!

Gaspard: Certainly, the Ruina and the Baral are a big threat to us right now.  You could call this a crisis of life and death for humanity. But at this phase in the battle, we can think of those holding us back… of Alteur Steinbeck…. As a more important adversary than the non-human foes we face.

Daniel: B-but…. Right now, we need to be fighting the…

Gaspard: The Baral haven’t moved from their little garden in the sky, and the Ruina are just tightening their defenses. And the guests haven’t made any moves against the earth. This is our best chance to get rid of Alteur.

Daniel: …! Marshal, you’re….

Gaspard: If Alteur means to act on his own, and deviate from the system…. Then I have no use for the Gaia Sabers. After this fight, all the earth needs…. All the system needs is our Federation army.  We don’t need anything else to disrupt the balance. The Gaia Sabers aren’t something that can stand up to our enemies.[1]

Daniel: But if we were to openly make a move against them….

Gaspard: Times like these are why we let the Steel Dragons have autonomy. If they win, they’re working for us. If they lose, they were acting of their own accord[2]. I’m sure they understand that as well.

Daniel: Even still, with just the Hagane….

Gaspard: They were able to do this exact thing at the exact same place during the DC wars… but if it looks like this push will become an obstacle for the later campaigns, I don’t mind if you call them back. I’m sure Jacob will be fine with that, too.

Daniel: Yes, sir.

Gaspard: (Alteur Steinbeck… this will not go as you expect.)


*briefing room*

Tetsuya: To Grand Christmas…?

Jacob: That’s right…. And we’d like you to gauge Alteur’s forces.

Ratsel: (So that’s their game…)

Tetsuya: In other words, you want us to find out what he’s really after?

Jacob: That’s the idea.

Tetsuya: … And if the Gaia Sabers try to exterminate us instead of capture us, then are we to return fire?

Jacob: …. If that is the case…. If it is possible, you are to eliminate them by force, and take control of Grand Christmas.

Tetsuya: …![3]

Kai: …

Ratsel: (So it’s come to this, then….)

Jacob: While it is extremely unfortunate that we must engage them while the Baral have encircled the world, and while we are preparing Operation Icebreaker… Marshall Gaspard feels it is better, erring on the side of caution in regards to the future, to confirm the Gaia Sabers… no, Alteur’s objective, and to stop whatever he is plotting.[4] Further…. You may find some proof to clear your names in this battle.

Tetsuya: …

Jacob: To be honest, I am not a fan of this dangerous assignment…. But regardless of my feelings on the matter, the Gaia Sabers will try to attack you.

Tetsuya: Even so, I’d like to avoid battles I can avoid. We have more pressing enemies, not just the Ruina and the Guest, but the Baral, as well. I believe we can show the world our allegiances by going after those who threaten the greater Earth sphere.

Jacob: …I see you’ve given this some thought, Commander Tetsuya. Of course, Marshal Gaspard did not wish to give you these orders, either….

Tetsuya: …if Captain Daitetsu Minase were still here, he would have said the same thing I did.

Jacob: That’s true… Certainly, he would have. In the even that you deem your objectives impossible to fulfill, you are authorized to withdraw. This is not the last fight you will participate in, after all.

Tetsuya: Roger that, sir.

Jacob: …. I’m counting on you. Good luck.


Kai: … So they’re saying we need to win here if we want to be saved.

Ratsel: Even if history is written by the victors, I don’t think the Gaia Sabers…. I don’t think Alteur will be finished just from a loss here.

Kai: We could settle the score… but this time, we’re the ones who are pursuing them. Captain, what should we do?

Tetsuya: …We go where we are ordered to go. And if they decide to bare their fangs against us…. Then…


Nibhal: Lord Alteur, it appears that the Hagane is headed for us.

Alteur: Heh. Gaspard Gillan really is brilliant. He’s protecting his position and thinking of the power balance of the world, after these battles are over. He’s saying we’re just as big of a threat as the Ruina or the Baral…. That’s not an easy thing for a military man to do.

Nibhal: Just as you predicted he would.

Alteur: Of course.

Nibhal: Further, judging from the information gained by the Gamma Sabers, the Hagane has the Re-tech machines and the EX-Exbein onboard.

Alteur: Yes, I know.

Nibhal: You already received the report?

Alteur: No…. Based on how the events have unfolded, it’s only natural that they would be there.

Nibhal: You’re saying this is divine intervention…?

Alteur: That’s right. All that’s left is to gauge the threats correctly.

Nibhal: Have you considered sending the Delta Sabers to do that observation? Professor Toumine is asking for permission to deploy. And this time, he wants to go himself. It appears he has some scheme to re-capture Jinrai.

Alteur: Very well, I’ll allow it. This too, is but a test….



Touma: Haaah! Yaaaaaaa!

Axel: Weak! Teeyaaaa!

Touma: Gaaaah!

Axel: Hmm. Your attacks are still too shallow. You can’t just kick your enemy, you need to kick through him. As if you were trying to push him through the ground.

Touma: Haaa… Haaa… Y-yes, sir!

Axel: Good… Next is simulator training. Today you’re going to show me just how your style can mesh with that technique.

Touma: Y-yes, sir!

Axel: We don’t have time to rest. Let’s go.

Touma: Yes, sir!

Rishu: …Even though Axel is harsh, Touma’s very quick on the uptake.

Kai: Yes… And it looks like he’ll be wearing Lune’s Power Wristlets and Anklets into the RaiOu. If things go wrong, he could lose his life…. He’s training quite hard.

Excellen: It’s really surprising…. Considering how Axel usually is.

Sanger: If Touma is able to clear his mind and focus on his attacks… he’ll have reached the next level.

*Wellp warnings*

Sanger: Hmm!

Kai: An ambush?!

Chapter 55: Rising Lightning Meteor

Eita: Target Alpha has entered into Range 3!

Tetsuya; Azuki, has there been any messages sent to us?

Azuki: None.

Tetsuya: Then we’ll attack them. Front cannons, VLSM, prepare to fire!

Eita: Multiple units being dropped by Alpha! They’re mass-produced Jinrai!

*Hey these islands look familiar. Also deploy*

Ryoto: This is the second time the Gaia Sabers have gone after us on this trek…

Touma: Then let’s show them! Let’s teach them just how pointless it is to send those mass-produced Jinrai after us!

Kaoru: (Hmph, so they came out. Everything’s set. All that’s left is to get him in range. In order to make sure of things, I’ll have to play this right….)

Azuki: There’s a message from the Stork!

Tetsuya: What could he want now…?!

Kaoru: …Can you hear me, Steel Dragons? This is Kaoru Toumine.

Touma: !!

Ariel: Professor Toumine is in that ship…?!

Ratsel: Looks like he’s finally shown up in person.

Touma: That’s…. Minaki’s father….!

Kaoru: I’ll give you one chance. If you hand over my Jinrai and my daughter to me, I’ll let you leave here alive.

Touma: What?!

Minaki: F-father!

Kaoru: Minaki… So you were with the Steel Dragons. That’s a shame. After I took you in and did so much for you.

Minaki: …

Kaoru: You know what I wanted better than anyone else, don’t you? After I was so unjustly thrown away by Bian Zoldark, and the setbacks I’ve faced since then… I still was able to complete my Jinrai. Despite my state, despite my hardships. Have you forgotten that?

Minaki: I… I…

Kaoru: It was a mistake to leave you in the lab. It seems like without my guidance, you get lost so easily. Minaki, there’s still time. Come back to me. You need me. You can’t live without me.

Minaki: A-aah…

Kaoru: And Jinrai is something that only I should use. You understand, right?

Minaki: Then… the BSK mode… Why… Why was that…

Kaoru: It was a necessary evil. To make sure the Jinrai was used correctly.

Touma: Used correctly?! You have no right to say that!

Kaoru: …!

Touma: You just wanted to settle your old grudges! Minaki… And this RaiOu isn’t a pawn in your game! Neither one of them belongs to you anymore!

Kaoru: Hmm… So you’re the pilot, then. You don’t look like a soldier. Heh, the LIOH System really is amazing. Even someone like you can control Jinrai with it.

Touma: Yeah, thanks to that system, I nearly met a horrible end…!

Kaoru: …

Touma: But I can control it now! Jinrai has been transformed into RaiOu! I won’t hand it over to you!

Kaoru: (Heh, so he thinks he can control it.)

Minaki: Touma is right, Father… Right now, RaiOu should be used to protect the earth from those threatening it.

Kaoru: If that’s how you feel, then return Jinrai to me. It’s mine. The Gaia Sabers will use it to defeat the Ruina and the Baral.

Ratsel: …I find that extremely hard to believe.

Sanger: Indeed. Your actions up till this point have proven that. You’ve simply used Jinrai in your petty quest for revenge. Against us, the Double G.

Excellen: And didn’t you come here because of that, anyway?

Kaoru: Heh… You’re right about that.

Minaki: W-wait, father! Please just give up on Jinrai! Fighting here is…

Touma: Minaki, I will stop your father.

Minaki: …!

Touma: I’ll change his mind with this fist!

Kaoru: If you can reach me, feel free to try.

Touma: Yeah, I’ll show you! I’ll show you how much Minaki put into the RaiOu!

Minaki: (Father….!)

Chapter 55: Rising Lightning Meteor

Victory: Shoot down all enemies

Defeat: The Hagane is shot down, Touma is shot down.

SR point: Within 2 turns, have Touma shoot down more than 5 mass produced Jinrai.

*After 2 turns*

Touma: Professor Toumine! I’ll get to you in one go!


Kaoru: Heh, he’s in range. Now I can enter in the override codes.[5] Now, Jinrai! Show them the genius of the LIOH System! Fulfill your true duty!


Touma: What?! The monitor…


Lioh: LIOH System, Rebooting.

Touma: !!

Lioh: Activating S-BSK mode. OFC, Contact.

Touma: Guaaah!

Kai: Touma?!

Touma: GUAAAAHH!!!

Sanger: Touma!

Arado: I-it’s just like what happened last time!

Ing: It’s going berserk….

Aqua: But that’s supposed to be restricted from the system’s access!

Minaki: N-no, father!

Kaoru: Minaki…. I figured out what you tried to do. You removed the ZLAI system and put the LIOH System into hibernation.

Minaki: …!

Kaoru: But for a human to pilot Jinrai, you couldn’t completely remove the LIOH system, or cut it from accessing all its abilities. You need to use the system to resist some of the feedback from to the 5-way drives. You did exactly what I lead you to believe you had to do.

Minaki: Y-you…. You reactivated the LIOH System from outside the mech…?!

Kaoru: That’s right, using something I never told you about. I guess you could call it insurance. In case something ever happened to my research projects. There were many conditions needed to ensure it would reactivate correctly…. But they all were fulfilled, just now.

Minaki: …

Kaoru: You removed the ZLAI system, but as long as the LIOH system is in place, Jinrai will still be Jinrai. If someone with the proper training boarded it, it would be able to use their enhanced judgement and senses to great avail in battle. Not as though man and machine became one, but as Jinrai using the human as a part of itself.

Lamia: Using humans as parts… just like the Bartol, then.

Kaoru: Hmmph, the LIOH System easily surpasses Jürgen’s ODE system and the GEIM System, as well as Bian’s JINKI-1. Now, Jinrai! Fulfill your mission! Destroy the wretched Double G that Bian Zoldark humiliated me with, right before my eyes! And prove to the world that my brilliance surpasses his!

Touma: Gaaaaaaahhhh!

Axel: We’ve danced to this tune twice already…

Josh: We have to stop him ourselves!

Kaoru: Impossible! Even if you were to eject the pilot, you could not stop the S-BSK mode! It’ll still keep going even if he dies!

Minaki: !!

Shine: That’s horrible!


Minaki: Father…. You said you expected what I would do…. Then what about this?!


Kaoru: What?!

Touma: Guhahh! Aaagh!

Rahda: M-Minaki, what are you doing?!

Minaki: …. I attached a self-destruct device to the LIOH System if the worst case happened… So if it went berserk again, I would have a way of stopping it.

Rahda: !

Touma: Guhh… Aaah… Y-you saved me, Minaki…

Rio: Are you okay, Touma?!

Touma: Y-yeah… somehow…. Thanks to that, I got a hold of myself….

Kaoru[6]: M-Minaki! You destroyed the system! The Lioh System we built together!

Minaki: That’s right, father…. I knew about the BSK mode, so…

Kaoru: You pathetic fool!

Touma: You… You said Minaki couldn’t live on her own….

Kaoru: …!

Touma: Minaki was so sad…. When she learned that you put that thing into the LIOH System…. But she didn’t give into that sadness… and then she destroyed the LIOH System by her own hand, to save me and the RaiOu…. That’s proof that she doesn’t need you anymore…!

Kaoru: Like a whelp like you could understand! Without the LIOH System’s help, you won’t even be able to move Jinrai!

*Oh noes*

Touma: !!

Kaoru: The plan has changed! We’re taking Jinrai back like this!

Touma: M-my body’s… heavy…. The machine….

Kaoru: Of course it is! All the DML system will do for you now is shackle you to the machine!

Touma: It’s heavy…. Of course it is…. Fighting with RaiOu has always been….

Minaki: Touma! Leave the mech! Get out of there!

Touma: But I promised myself…. I chose to fight of my own will…!

Sanger: Touma, find where the water drips down to pierce the stone. Concentrate your power on that point.

Touma: !

Sanger: You are the machine, and the machine is you! No one resists, no one obeys, there is simply one being! That is what it means to merge man and machine! You have become one! Show me the power of your will!

Touma: (No resisting… no obeying… simply becoming one….)

Axel: Take off the bracelet and anklets, Touma! Show them what you can do!

Touma: !!



Kaoru: W-what?!

Touma: Watch this, Minaki! RaiOu’s finishing blow!

*So many kicks*

Touma: I did it… I did it!

Kaoru: I-impossible! How?!

Touma: I guess you could say it’s thanks to my training.

Kaoru: B-but without the computer…!!

Touma: How I did it doesn’t matter! That’s all you care about! It’s not something you could ever understand, now that you’ve forgotten what it means to be human!

Kaoru: Ngh….

Touma: But that’s not all. No matter who makes a machine, they won’t be able to use it to its full extent right away…. It needs someone to give it adjustments, to bring it to its full potential, so it can fight! So even if this was a machine you made, It’s not your power that lets it fight…. It’s Minaki’s power, with her adjustments and improvements! It’s my friends’ power who brought me along, lent me their help, and believed I could fight with them! And it’s my own power, too!

Kaoru: But there’s no way you can keep this up for long! Everyone’s body has a limit! I will take back my Jinrai!

Touma: I will show you! Just what the RaiOu can do…. How it can protect the world!


GS Captain: This ship won’t last any longer! All hands abandon ship!

Kaoru: Impossible, this is impossible! Jinrai! My Jinrai!

GS Captain: Professor, you have to hurry!

Kaoru: This can’t be, this can’t be, this can’t be! My Jinrai! The LIOH System! My system is better than anything! Better than Jürgen! Better than Azuma! Better than Bian! My brilliance is unmatched!!! See for yourself, Minaki! I’ll… I’ll certainly…. Get them…...!!!

*nope. No you won’t.*

Touma: …

Sanger: …

Ratsel: (…And here ends Professor Toumine’s obsession.)

Minaki: (…Father…)

*sad times, now hangars*

Touma: Minaki… I’m sorry. Your father’s….

Minaki: …It’s okay Touma. Because of his obsession, it was the only way…. And with the Jinrai becoming the RaiOu… and being freed of my father’s wishes… I knew this day would come at some point….

Touma: Minaki…

Minaki: So I won’t think about the past…. I’m done with my father and Jinrai, and now I’m working with RaiOu and…

Touma: (C-could she say… me? H-have my feelings finally reached her?! N-no! I can’t think of that right now! Her father just died, and worse, I was the one who…. But still, one day, she’ll open her heart… and until then, I’ll… I’ll…)

Minaki: Um… Touma?

Touma: I’ll wait forever for you!

Minaki: Huh?

Touma: Uh… no! Forget that… No, wait, don’t forget it…. Uh….

Minaki: …Thanks, Touma. I don’t quite get it, though…

Touma: Minaki…

Minaki: I’ll fight alongside RaiOu and the Steel Dragons from here on.

Touma: (With everyone, then… Of course, that’s what she was going to say…)

Minaki: Touma…. I want you to help me, as well. I need you for the RaiOu.

Touma: Of course. From today, You, I and RaiOu are a team.

Minaki: Yeah.

Touma: I promise, Minaki. I will protect the earth with the RaiOu you created. (And one day, I’ll erase the sadness inside of you.)


Tetsuya: Our mission is to do reconnaissance, but due to their response, it seems a fight is inevitable. It will be difficult, but in order to expose Alteur’s schemes, and to wipe away the suspicions he leveled against us, we must struggle onwards.

Excellen: …This feels a lot like when you were breaking through to Aidoneus Island during the DC wars. Even if I wasn’t a part of that fight.

Rio: But this time we have more firepower.

Hugo: This is what I’ve wanted for a long time. I’ll find out just what the Tsentr Project was doing, what happened to the Chief and Foglia…. And bring to light the last ambition of the Cry Wolves.

Erde: Yeah… and we can settle things with Erde….

Rishu: Murata will also be waiting for us. When we next meet him, we will cut the threads of fate that bind us to him, Sanger.

Sanger…. Agreed.

Arado: We won’t lose to Chienne and her dogs…!

Seolla: That’s right… We’ve come so far.

Latooni: We can’t lose here…

Ing: (Grand Christmas… where I was born…. And where my past lies…)

Rio: Ing… You can’t lose heart here.

Ing: Yeah…. This fight isn’t the end of everything… I know that.

Ryoto: …Ing, Professor Oomiya should be done working on the last parts of the EX-Exbein soon.

Ing: Understood. I’ll show them what I can do…!


Previous Chapter: Chapter 54: Beneath the Celestial Canopy          Next Chapter: Chapter 56: Crimson Christmas (Part 1)

[1] I think? Our Enemies, in regards to, Proper-not existence. So either they’re not a suitable enemy or not suitable for their enemies.

[2] Actually a Japanese idiom meaning losers are always in the wrong. But this flows better.

[3] I can only picture this as Tetsuya’s o-face.

[4] Future Worries break off meaning. wat

[5] Strong-like movement codes.

[6] This is Tohmine’s O-face. I’m so sorry I made you picture that.