Lanius – The Name’s True Significance 

Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone

Falco took up its sword once again.

Unit 5 was still within striking distance. Both men opted not to use their machine’s rollers to dash forward. They knew that if they didn’t switch to bipedal locomotion, they’d find themselves easily toppled down by the other.

There was still enough of a gap between them that thrusters wouldn’t be able to bridge in an instant.

The opponent’s machine was the Lanius, Bardo thought. It was more heavily armored than Falco.

He knew his autocannon wouldn’t prove to be much use against it. But it should be the same for his opponent as well.

Lanius placed its right hand on the hilt of the large sword hanging on its back as it held its gun with its left– No. Bardo soon realized that his assumptions were entirely wrong.

The opponent was certainly pointing the muzzle of its gun directly at him.

Too directly, in fact. The pressure made the muzzle seem bigger in his eyes than it actually was.

No. The opponent’s limbs were moving subtly but surely, and it was advancing steadily forward. Little by little, it continued to close the distance.

Bardo tried to retreat backward while sporting a taut expression, but Unit 5 didn’t let him do as he wanted.

Within mere moments, Bardo suddenly found Unit 5 right in front of him. It had already thrown its gun away.

An explosive sound rippled through the air.

The opponent advanced in a posture with its waist lowered. As the machine shot forward, tremendous sparks scattered from the soles of its feet.

Using its rear thrusters, Unit 5 generated an explosive amount of thrust that enabled it to basically skate forward without the use of rollers.

It immediately unleashed a powerful slash.

「When did you manage to close in? –No, when did you even draw your sword dammit!?」

Bardo couldn’t help but scream in disbelief.

Kou had already pulled out his sword.

He used the auxiliary thrusters on Unit 5’s arm to instantaneously draw its great sword.

He used a move in iai that allowed one to rapidly draw a sword that was hung from one’s back and unleash a deadly slash.

One first preemptively placed ones right arm on the sword’s hilt, and in the middle of drawing it, one would proceed to hold the sword with both hands and perform a slash.

This move wasn’t required to be performed during a swordsman’s promotion test. Hence, there weren’t many dojos that taught it in the 21st century.

Naginata iai techniques are viewed by some modern swordsmen as a kind of performance art and spectacle.

However, it was a different story in a far future where Silhouettes with simplified movement controls constantly fought on battlefields. It transformed into a sufficiently effective technique.

It was a move that seemed to assert that the Lanius should never be underestimated even though it was an old model. Kou had already made modifications to cover its shortcomings.

It was a technique that made the best use of Unit 5’s auxiliary thrusters that TSF-R10 had already discarded. Hence, it was impossible for Falco to perform such a technique itself.

Bardo managed to receive the slash by a hair’s breadth, but he couldn’t parry all of the force.

Unit 5 was inevitably heavier and more stable compared to his machine. That’s why Falco was overpowered.

Due to parrying the slash at an unstable position, Falco’s sword was pushed away in the end, and its chest armor got torn apart.

Unit 5 proceeded to slip to Falco’s left-hand side. Sparks continued to fly from the path Kou’s machine covered in moments.

Bardo made his Falco quickly turn counterclockwise in a fluster in an attempt to follow after Unit 5.

But Unit 5 was nowhere to be found.

「Where is it!?」

Bardo’s spine froze.

He couldn’t believe that his opponent managed to instantly move to its current position.

Unit 5 had already moved right behind the Falco.

「Dammit…… Just when–」

Bardo tried to turn back, but his machine’s arm had been cut off and sent flying before he could do so.

「You were the one who actually let me get behind you, you know.」

Unit 5 passed the Falco’s left-hand side.

Usually, one would use a leg to pivot and change course or proceed at an arc to take some distance.

Kou did neither.

At the moment he passed the opponent machine, he used Unit 5’s right leg as a pivot, did a half-turn, and just slightly moved back afterward. That was all.

It was positioning made possible by the high braking power of Unit 5’s legs. Its design, which took weight distribution and stability of the limbs into high consideration, minimized chances of Lanius sliding uncontrollably after advancing at fast speeds.

The Falco turned counterclockwise to chase Kou’s machine down. Kou, however, performed minimal movements in response.

That’s how it took the Falco’s back seemingly with no effort at all.

Falco’s mobility and tracking ability were high. Bardo moved on the assumption that Kou’s machine had already advanced ahead and took distance.

Bardo should have moved forward or jumped to the side instead.

Kou, however, felt he just treaded on thin ice.

Positioning using minimal movements. His first move was a surprise attack that took the initiative from the enemy before he could react.

His use of the AK2 earlier was derived from a sword thrust technique. It induced an optical illusion that made the muzzle of the gun bigger than it actually was in the eyes of the opponent. By pointing the tip of a sword straight at an opponent, they eventually get overly conscious of it. This leads to their sense of distance being thrown out of whack.

The next technique he used was Shukuchi, that’s also known as “Ground Shrinker”. It was a technique that allowed one to quickly close the gap between one and one’s opponent. This was made possible by the thrusters dedicated to providing high bursts of acceleration by utilizing a prototype pulse detonation engine.

A detonation wave was a combustion-induced shockwave that propagates at hypersonic speeds of up to 3 kilometers per second. The pulse detonation engine was a propulsion engine that was designed to make use of detonation waves.

The initial explosive sound was generated by the detonation engine activating. In theory, the load on the machine would exceed 40 Gs. Nothing less than a Silhouette’s multi-cockpit system would be able to withstand such force. The resulting pressure was enough to completely flatten any normal cockpit, killing the pilot within.

Unit 5’s earlier acceleration rate should have achieved transonic speed. More specifically, it should have reached a speed of nearly 1000 kilometers per hour within the span of 5 seconds.

The Fennel OS can enhance a pilot’s senses to the level where they can even perceive the path of a fired railgun round. In order to create a slash that would be able to counter this sense augmentation, Kou made modifications to Unit 5 that enhanced its instantaneous acceleration ability.

「Ugh. So you’re the same kind of monster as Takaba huh.」

「I can’t really compare to Hyoue-san. But I won’t deny that I’m probably a similar type of person as him.」

「Gimme your name before you finish me off, will you? I’m Bardo. I’m gonna wait for you in hell.」

「My name is Kou.」

Kou then thrust his greatsword straight through the now-armless Falco’s back. It accurately penetrated the power unit with the in-built Whis reactor installed in the lower section of the enemy Silhouette’s multi-cockpit system.

The greatsword effortlessly pierced through the lower section of the cockpit and emerged through the front end of the Silhouette’s lower torso. Unit 5 raised the helpless Falco aloft as it skewered the machine with its sword.

It then casually swung its sword to the side, flinging the enemy machine away. The Falco soared straight to a wall and crashed into it.

The Falco completely lost all its combat capability. The Silhouette’s power system was completely shot, depriving it of any ability to move.

Once he confirmed that the enemy had really been totally neutralized, Kou walked to one side and picked up his AK2.

The Falco was completely deactivated. The cockpit was submerged in darkness, with all its functions lost. After all, the machine had lost its power unit. There’s no way it would be able to move.

「Urgh… It’s my complete loss.」

The multi-cockpit system’s shock mitigation function had also been lost when it was deprived of power. Hence, the shock from the impact when the machine crashed into the wall was immense.

Blood freely flowed down from Bardo’s forehead.

Still, he wore an amused smile. Now, he was sure that there definitely were even more monsters out in the world aside from Takaba Hyoue.

He burned Kou’s name into his memory. Now, he had two people he wanted to fight. He mused that this was why it was worth it to side with the Stones.

「A transferee huh. They sure are a damn group of monsters. –Kou huh. I’m gonna fight you again. I definitely will!」

His machine should have had a better performance. No, it’s just that the enemy’s thruster was too damn special, he thought. But he knew in his heart that he was just making excuses for himself.

Bardo inwardly vowed to have a rematch with his new target.

Inside the hangar carrier of Kou’s group, the two lady Therianthropes gleefully cheered.

Aimer, who was usually expressionless, had the corner of her lips slightly arched up, forming a faint smile.

As for Blue, she was still gobsmacked after witnessing Kou’s battle.

To her, Kou’s earlier moves were like seeing a completely different person. It was the same for Unit 5.

She was familiar with the name “Bardo”. He was the captain of the Underground Force Desmodas and a genuine battle maniac.

With him defeating such a famous pilot, Kou’s name would probably become quite well-known from here on out.

And then, she remembered the alternate meanings of the name “Lanius” that she looked up previously.

The Butcher.

The Slaughterer, The Ripper, The Impaler…… They all sounded pretty grisly. The shrike, or butcherbird, was associated with those appellations.

The Falco, with its back impaled with a sword, was simply the “butcherbird’s” prey.

The Slaughterer or The Ripper. No, perhaps The Impaling Sword Demon would be more appropriate. –Kou fought in a way that well deserved such a nickname.

「That was wonderful.」

She connected to Kou’s comms and only managed to say those words to him.

Kou, meanwhile, sported a complicated expression.

「What’s wrong?」

「No, well…… It’s about the battles I fought previously. This is the first time I actively fought with the intent to kill, so I was wondering if my actions were really alright. That’s all.」

Kou wanted to grasp victory by preventing the enemy machines from fully making use of their capabilities.

In his last fight, he wanted to determine the power of the other party, clash with him with all his strength, and then surpass him.

Of course, soldiers were supposed to be prepared to perform even less-upstanding methods to achieve victory. Therefore, he employed the most efficient and effective actions to win. However, it wasn’t exactly an upfront and honest clash of skills.

「D-Don’t be an idiot! That was an amazing battle! This is a battlefield you know!」

Blue couldn’t help but shout at Kou in admonishment.

「Mm. You’re right.」

This person was really hopeless, Blue inwardly sighed. He was hopeless if no one watches over him.

Blue was convinced that was the case and resolved herself to keep an eye on Kou.

「Let’s move on. Asia’s waiting.」

Kou forcefully changed the topic. Things felt pretty awkward.

Blue let out a soft sigh and nodded in response.

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! May God bless you!

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