A Silhouette-sized Shotshell is Equivalent to 12 Hundredweight Tungsten Rounds Nyaa!
「It looks like I have to show you just what we are capable of.」
The Arachne-type commander unit – the Black Knight sporting two insect-like antennae – declared to Nyanta.
「I don’t really care for engaging in a fight with a spider and a cockroach nyaa. It’s just pest extermination.」
Nyanta didn’t hold back and readily mocked the other party. The opponent’s machine didn’t really resemble a pest as much as Nyanta implied, but its antennae and black paint job certainly didn’t do it any favors.
「Who the heck is a cockroach dammit!?」
The enemy pilot’s voice was tinged with anger.
Both parties endeavored to keep each other in check as they gradually closed the gap between themselves. The eight legs of the Arachne were particularly advantageous when moving laterally.
The eight legs allowed the Arachne superb performance in things like turning speed and straight-line acceleration. However, a quadrupedal machine also had its own set of advantages.
The Epona continued to close the distance. Railgun shots would probably be stopped by the armor of their respective machines. Their electromagnetic armor would effectively neutralize the shots after all.
The things that posed the most danger were melee attacks that fully took advantage of each machine’s high mobility. Nyanta was also wary of the electromagnetic net the enemy machine used previously.
The Epona jumped and took evasive action. It was to make sure that the enemy machine would be hit by the Epona’s 90mm chain gun. It was basically a machine gun that employed tank shells as bullets.
Even electromagnetic armor wouldn’t be able to hold up if a fixed point suffered a continuous stream of attacks. And the combination of Nyanta and Epona was very much capable of doing just that.
「Kuh. Its armor is quite thick. That weapon is also very troublesome!」
The enemy commander was amazed by Epona’s mobility and the thickness of its armor.
Its aim was accurate, and the rapid firing rate of the 90mm shells posed a notable threat. The electromagnetic armor of the commander’s machine was continuously activated as a result, and its metallic hydrogen was getting used up at a fast rate. The generation rate of the metallic hydrogen reactor couldn’t keep up.
The Black Widow closed the distance and allowed the Black Knight to break away from the Epona’s onslaught.
The Black Knight then drew its halberd from its back. It quickly rushed in and slashed at the Epona.
「Don’t suddenly come flying in like that, you damned cockroach!」
Nyanta made Epona evade the attack while displaying her disgust.
The Black Widow immediately launched a follow-up attack. It spat out a jet of a thread-like substance from its body.
Nyanta managed to evade the attack, but the Epona’s chain gun ended up getting entangled by the enemy machine’s artificial web.
「You’re gonna shock me, aren’t you!?」
After guessing the enemy machine’s intentions, Nyanta made her Epona let go of its chain gun. The chain gun then exploded. The hydrogen gas contained within its shells got ignited.
「You made it exploded by igniting the gas huh? Not bad!」
Having lost its weapon, the Epona quickly purged all the ammo that was still attached to its back. It then took out a barrel and a firearm body from its spare weapon box and assembled another weapon in an instant.
It held a shell in its left hand – perhaps a spare – but suddenly threw it away. It looks like the shell wasn’t the one Nyanta was looking for.
「I made this thing for Kou to play with, but…… if you guys are experimenting with prototype weapons, then allow me to experiment with prototype bullets as well nyaa.」
The Black Knight combined with the Black Widow once more and returned to the Arachne configuration.
Meanwhile, by muttering Kou’s name, Nyanta was able to regain her composure.
The Arachne spat out a stream of webbing once more, but Nyanta pulled the trigger of her newly assembled weapon and intercepted the webbing with a shower of more than one hundred shots that fired out all at once.
Hundreds of shots managed to block the webbing.
「A shotgun? I didn’t think you’d stoop to wielding the most useless weapon in the Nemesis system. As expected of a defective and trashy Therianthrope, I suppose.」
「Just keep spouting nonsense, you damned cockroach.」
Nyanta spun the gun around using the cocking lever and loaded it with a fresh set of rounds. This move was referred to as spin cocking.
The Epona’s Silhouette-use shotgun was actually designed after a lever action shotgun.
Actually, Nyanta herself preferred full-auto weapons, but there were certain circumstances that made her choose a Silhouette-use shotgun instead.
In other words, this was a gun meant for Kou’s use. When Nyanta asked Kou if he had a particular model of gun that he favored, Kou quickly answered that he would like to use a lever action shotgun. Furthermore, he also said that he wanted to load the shotgun through spin cocking like in the movies.
Apparently, he was influenced by a certain action movie he saw as a kid, and since then, he found shotguns really cool.
As a result, Nyanta had quite a headache on her hands, but she was also happy to find out that Kou did have a weapon he liked. And so, she challenged herself to make such a ridiculous Silhouette-use weapon.
「I made five prototype rounds, so…… I only have four rounds left.」
Nyanta muttered under her breath.
Shotguns were considered to be the most incompatible weapons for use by Silhouette.
Since their bullet speed was relatively slow compared to railguns, shotgun rounds possessed next to no penetration power against high-dimensional projection armor. It was also difficult to ensure effective hits with buckshot rounds. The spread and popularization of electromagnetic armor further exacerbated these disadvantages.
There was the option to employ large-caliber slugs as well, but if that’s the case, then it would be more efficient to equip a large-caliber railgun instead.
In order to get over these problems, Nyanta created some prototype shells for testing. These shells were what she’s loaded into her machine’s shotgun.
The first one she fired off earlier was a birdshot round for interception use. It was designed to intercept missiles and aircraft with hundreds of submunitions.
「A Silhouette-sized shotshell is equivalent to 12 hundredweight tungsten rounds nyaa. Have a taste of the horrors of an S12 gauge and die nyaa!」
Nyanta decided to employ a 185 mm shotgun in the end.
The Wildcat in her wanted to pay homage to ancient Earth’s historical shotguns.
That’s why she created a general-purpose standard Silhouette-use shotgun round called the S12 gauge.
Earth’s 12-gauge shell was designed to weigh approximately one pound when twelve parts of lead bullets were loaded into a shell that matched the caliber of the barrel.
The Silhouette-size shotgun had a standard caliber of 185 mm. The twelve parts of tungsten spheres that were loaded within its rounds weighed 50 kilos each. Nyanta set the standard to 1 hundredweight. In practice, this weight was negligible, and ammunition that can fully take advantage of the size of the gun’s caliber can be produced.
Since there was a concern that even the AK2’s 90 mm shell would be lacking in firepower when facing future enemy machines, research in versatile shell application was conducted that aimed at equipping the AK2 with an under-barrel shotgun option.
Nyanta immediately fired a second shot at the Black Knight. 00B ammunition. It contained 9 parts of spherical shots.
However, there wasn’t even a single dent made on the opponent’s armor.
The Arachne condescendingly mocked Nyanta’s efforts. Nyant herself was well aware that it would be useless.
However, she immediately fired a third shot. She scored a direct hit on the Black Widow’s head and destroyed the web shooter’s turret.
「It actually penetrated the armor?」
「Of course nyaa. I didn’t even think that a simple buckshot would be effective on Silhouettes nyaa.」
What Nyanta fired was a shell stuffed with flechette rounds. Simply put, they were rounds that were shaped like darts. It specialized in penetrative power and was relatively effective against Silhouette armor. However, due to its nature, flechette rounds were ultimately only effective against sections where Silhouette armor was the thinnest.
「I observed that you were also still trying to get a good grasp of the performance of that prototype machine of yours. That’s why I’ll take you on with a prototype as well nyaa.」
「What is with you purposely ending your sentences with that annoying verbal tick!? And what the heck do you even expect to accomplish with a damned shotgun!?」
Nyanta fired a fourth shot. This time around, it didn’t release submunitions. It was just a single bullet. The Black Widow seemed to have managed to narrowly avoid the shot.
However, two large explosions occurred soon after.
「W-What the– A metallic hydrogen round! The one you discarded earlier was one too!」
An Arachne pilot that was tasked by their captain to observe the battle immediately guessed the nature of the explosions.
「Dammit! What a despicable trap!」
Nyanta displayed a relaxed smile as she observed the reaction of the screaming enemy pilot.
She had made use of two high-explosive metallic hydrogen shells to set up a trap. The one she had seemingly discarded earlier was also a high-explosive metallic hydrogen shell, and when it detonated underneath the machine, it had successfully destroyed the Black Widow.
「I’m a Wildcat after all!」
Even so, Nyanta was now left with only a single experimental shell. It was something she didn’t really want to use if she could help it. She performed another spin cocking maneuver and reloaded her shotgun.
She was now too close to the enemy machine.
「Die, you fool!」
Abandoning its totaled Black Widow, the Black Knight sped forward and aggressively launched an attack at Nyanta’s Epona.
Although it had taken direct hits from large-caliber shotgun-use high-explosive rounds, it had still managed to withstand them.
Nyanta pulled the trigger without hesitation.
A single shell managed to hit the Black Knight’s chest armor. The Black Knight’s pilot was confident that his machine could take a blow from such a slow-moving shell.
The Epona had also gotten caught up in the blast radius of the shell it had fired and was blown away.
The last shell it had used was a high-explosive shell that made use of an excited electron explosive warhead. It boasted tremendous destructive strength, and the deflagration it causes had the power to instantly lay waste to even high-dimensional projection armor and electromagnetic armor.
The Black Knight that received a direct hit instantly exploded to pieces.
The explosion generated a mushroom cloud, proving its destructive power. The shells used by the anti-fortress rifle were 90 mm. The power of a 185 mm shell was overwhelmingly superior.
「You really can’t make good use of weapons that could possibly kill you as well nyaa…… The 185 mm excited electron high-explosive shotgun shell should be forbidden from here on out nyaa……」
Nyanta’s Epona staggered back onto its feet.
「My personal-use shotgun should really be an auto-loading type nyaa. I need to consider using two barrels in parallel that fire shells in turns nyaa. Or maybe firing simultaneously is still better nyaa?」
Nyanta muttered to herself.
「I’ll think about it more if I come out of this alive.」
Her machine was damaged all over. She also had almost no useable weapons left. Nyanta’s Epona pulled out the only weapon left that it could use – a kodachi-type Silhouette-use electric sword.
There were still dozens of Arachne-type enemy machines left.
「Sorry for being late! But it looks like we still made it!」
An unfamiliar voice echoed out from the comm of Nyanta’s MCS.
Black tanks with golden highlights appeared one after another from behind Nyanta’s machine and formed a perimeter around it.
「You’re pretty damn good, you cat woman!」
Nyanta picked up a transmission.
The face displayed on the screen was familiar to her. It was the face of a tiger-type Therianthrope woman who appeared to be in her twenties. She was a mercenary working for Wangheng Industrial.
She and her men were piloting the tanks called the Menghu (Fierce Tiger). They were heavy tanks that emphasized defense.
「I guess I’ll leave this to you nyaa, Tiger-san. I believe you’re called…… Yutong-san, right?」
Nyanta finally felt relieved. She was well aware of these people’s strengths. She had successfully managed to stall for time.
「Oh, you remember me huh? Hurry up and get outta here then. Your troopers are waiting for your return.」
「I’ll be back on the battlefield as soon as I finish resupplying.」
「We’ll be waiting for you guys then! Don’t worry. We’ll hold the line until you guys return.」
Yutong, the tiger-type Therianthrope, took charge of the battle in place of Nyanta and her troops.
「Don’t let your guard down, you bastards!」
「You got it, Dajie (eldest sister)!」
Familiars and young male Therianthropes responded to her one after another.
「Commence bombardment! Stop the advance of the Aberration Arms using a V tank formation!」
The armored combat vehicles sporting multiple missiles at the rear began to fire their ordnance.
The tank corps maintained the V-shaped formation, while the mercenary Silhouettes took charge of the flanks.
「We came here all fired up, but as expected, facing that many would be quite troublesome. Tank destroyer-type armored combat vehicles, circle around and hit them from the flanks. After that, pull back immediately!」
Yutong glared fiercely at the approaching Arachne-type army.
「The heck is a multi-legged tank? I’ll show you bastards just how powerful a real tank is.」
She licked her lips in anticipation. There was no hint of desperation on Yutong’s face.
Soon after, a fierce battle between the armored troops and the Aberration Arms finally commenced in earnest.