Editor: Thor’s Stone
The battle raged on.
Kou just finished engaging Telkhines in combat. He alone defeated three of them.
「The main reason why Familiars help out in battles like this is that the regular AI of conventional unmanned weapons and vehicles can be easily hacked by the enemy. The combination of the Fennel OS and us Familiar’s capabilities eliminate that risk entirely.」
「That still doesn’t justify you guys being used as cannon fodder.」
「We were built to be beholden to humans after all. Originally, armored support vehicles could be remote-controlled at great distances through the use of the extended functions of the Fennel OS, but presently, there aren’t many left that are capable of that.」
Kou kept hopping on top of small buildings and structures as he made his way to his target.
Unit 5 was able to traverse them and use them as shortcuts. These maneuvers were only possible because of Unit 5’s excellent actuator performance and the toughness of the structures themselves due to being subjected to high-dimensional projection.
「What’s the recovery rate of destroyed Familiars? Even if they can be revived through their cores, those still need to be retrieved from the battlefield. It would be impossible to retrieve them while conducting a full retreat, right?」
「Yes. Recovery of their cores is certainly essential.」
「Understood. I guess that means I have to quickly bring that thing down.」
Kou was quickly moving toward the center of the city where the Enyo was.
The enemy was heading in his direction as well. Kou stopped behind a low-rise building and had Unit 5 crouch down.
「It really deserves the nickname City Destroyer. It’s just plowing through every structure in its way, even if they were reinforced with Whis.」
「Yes. They are one of the most powerful weapons in the Stones’ hands. There aren’t many human buildings that can stand up to that thing.」
「But it’s not some invincible monster, right?」
「Of course, it isn’t. It’s still a machine that runs on energy after all.」
「Is the power unit located in its trunk. Or maybe it’s in its chest.」
As Kou was having an exchange with Master, an emergency transmission came through the comm.
「That visitor member Silhouette over there. Can you hear me?」
It was the voice of a young woman. It was a transmission from Metal Iris.
「Unnamed unit here. The name’s Kou, and my machine is called Unit 5.」
Kou opened the line and responded.
A blonde Caucasian woman’s face got projected on the cockpit screen. She was astonishingly beautiful, and Kou was even more nervous while facing her than he was rampaging on the battlefield earlier.
「Your battle results sure are amazing. You should become our official member already.」
Kou suddenly received an out-of-place scouting offer.
「This isn’t the time to be recruiting members, right?」
「I suppose you want to deal with the Enyo, right? You don’t even have a 3D maneuvering unit equipped. How reckless.」
「Back in my home country, there’s a saying that one always needs to be creative when the options are limited.」
「Judging from that attitude, you’re Japanese, right? I kinda get it now.」
The young woman laughed in amusement.
「I’ll go with you. Switch to a private line.」
「You’re gonna go up against a Queen? Ain’t that reckless?」
「I don’t wanna hear that from you.」
Kou opened a private line as he was told.
The blonde beauty’s full profile was displayed in the video feed.
「I’m Jenny. I’m the captain of Metal Iris. Nice to meet you, Kou.」
「Best regards. So, how do we take down that rampaging goddess?」
「We need to target the spot where its armor is thickest. The Whis power unit is located there. It’s on the chest. But we can’t just run up its back to reach it. We’ll be gonners once we get stabbed by that thing’s tail.」
「Okay. Guess I need to destroy its head first then.」
「How’d you suddenly come to that conclusion!?」
「We have to destroy its head sensors first to slow it down, right? We can’t just directly aim for its weak spot.」
「That’s reasonable. It’s my first time to take on a Queen as well. I’ll support you. But I have to say, that sudden leap in reasoning threw me off a bit.」
「Sorry. I’m not that used to talking with other people. Um, can I say one more thing?」
「What is it?」
「Make sure not to charge in on your own next time, captain.」
She didn’t have any of her men accompanying her. Kou could easily imagine that she was a pretty free-spirited and unruly captain.
「How rude! I’ve properly arranged for some cover fire you know!」
It was evident in the image displayed on the monitor that Jenny’s face turned a bright shade of red. Perhaps Kou was really right on the money. Kou found this side of her cute, and he couldn’t help but smile.
Another Silhouette arrived right next to Unit 5. It was Jenny’s Commander unit.
It was equipped with a large back-mounted booster unit. Both of its hands held Silhouette-use assault rifles. Rounding out its loadout was a long and thin sword snapped to its waist.
「Hou. Look, Kou. This Commander unit is a good example of a modern completed Silhouette model. Silhouettes can function both as tanks and aerial fighters on battlefields. Jenny’s unit is capable of aerial bombardment similar to an attack helicopter.」
「It’s equipped with a variable vector thruster unit for fast 3D maneuvers. It sports both high long-range firepower and an effective melee combat weapon. It’s dual-wielding Silhouette-use assault rifles. The melee weapon on its waist is a high-frequency vibration blade.」
「Eh? But isn’t Whis-powered high-dimensional projection armor supposed to be cut down or crushed with heavy melee weapons? Ain’t a vibration blade a bit too high-tech?」
「Its striking power is a bit on the lower side, but it’s much lighter in exchange. It’s also pretty sharp. There are also high-frequency heat swords available, but they consume a lot of energy.」
「Eh… Man. That makes me and Unit 5 look like some uncivilized primitives.」
「There’s one thing I need to point out before you start feeling all depressed. Are you sure you want to wield a blade that eats up lots of energy but can’t be used for parrying attacks? This simple great sword still fits your fighting style better, you know.」
It’s true that Kou’s style placed great emphasis on parrying techniques. They’ve already been implemented in Unit 5’s command inputs as well.
There were also techniques to protect from enemy attacks even without receiving them head-on. Kou wouldn’t be able to put his techniques to good use if he wielded those other swords.
「It’s about time for us to make our move. I’ll take the lead, so make sure you follow up.」
The Commander unit activated its thrusters.
It leaped up, drew an arc in the air, and started flying freely.
「Silhouettes were created to enhance the abilities of humans. The ability to fly was created out of necessity.」
The enemies on the ground started targeting it. However, they couldn’t land a hit on the Commander unit that was flying freely in the air.
It made use of its thrusters to quickly move in multiple directions while in mid-air.
And just as Captain Jenny claimed earlier, there was some cover fire assisting her from behind as well. They were coordinating skillfully with her.
「However, it can’t maneuver in the air for that long. That equipment is intended for short decisive battles.」
「Right. Let’s get moving too.」
The Commander unit headed in front of the Queen Ant-type.
It maintained its position while avoiding the attacks of the Worker and Soldier-types on the ground.
It fired two large missiles from its backpack. They were fired from a distance that made them impossible to intercept by the Ant-types below.
A tremendous explosion bloomed on the Enyo’s chest.
The Commander unit then swiftly retreated. All of that occurred in mere moments.
「What were those?」
「Probably anti-ship missiles. They’re easily intercepted, so that woman closed the distance first to get past the anti-air defense provided by the rest of the Ant-types. The enemy’s defenses are now concentrated on the Enyo’s chest. Now’s the perfect time to make a move.」
The Worker and Soldier-types were certainly focusing their attention on the Enyo’s chest.
Kou quickly made Unit 5 climb up the tallest building in the area.
He finally managed to come right in front of the Enyo’s face. It had compound eye sensors similar to a real insect’s.
Kou felt like his eyes met with the enemy.
Unit 5 jumped and unleashed a heavy downward slash onto the Queen’s head. Accompanied by the sound of crushed steel, the Queen’s head was shattered with one blow.
Because the attack was so sudden, the Queen didn’t manage to evade it in time. It’s also because it was expecting Kou to aim at its power unit as well.
Unit 5 quickly ran back down after landing on the Enyo’s back. The Enyo’s tail swiped at him, but Kou avoided it with perfect timing and proceeded to escape to the gaps between buildings in the area.
He half-expected it to self-destruct after the tail swipe, but it looks like the enemy wasn’t that stupid after all.
A transmission came from Jenny.
「You did great too, captain.」
Even though he succeeded, Kou was still drenched in cold sweat. He took deep breaths to calm himself.
「But don’t let your guard down just yet. We’re just getting started. But thanks to you, we can proceed with the next step without any problems!」
「What do you intend to do, captain?」
「I don’t have time to explain. In any case, just move away from the ant’s position for now.」
What was Jenny’s next move? Kou had gotten quite curious.