Reverse Engineering Part 1


Battleship Megareus – Development Research Facility

In addition to Castor, Vasa and Alberto also made use of it to conduct bricolage research and development. It was a special section where only qualified Bricoleurs were permitted entry.

Vasa repeatedly played back footage on a large screen within the facility. He was quite taken with a certain Silhouette.

In addition to the footage taken by their troops, an intercepted Metal Iris broadcast was also playing on a small window to the side of the screen.

「Oh, if it isn’t Vasa. It appears you’re quite absorbed in watching that footage.」

Vasa, who was usually so expressionless that it was unknown if he had any actual hobbies, was scrupulously checking something out. Alberto’s curiosity was piqued.

「Indeed. There’s a machine I’m quite curious about. This one here, to be exact.」

The one displayed on the screen was a TAKABA Lanius.

「This TAKABA Lanius is quite a strange specimen. It appears to be the latest Lanius C model at first glance, but it has a blade antenna on its head just like the earliest model of the series. In other words, it’s most likely a modified machine rather than a new model. Also, from looking at the combat records, its power output and overall performance don’t make sense unless it is somehow equipped with two reactors…… Just what is with this machine, I wonder.」

Vasa’s gaze remained locked onto the screen the entire time.

「It appears that he was already quite familiar with the overall structural layout of the Silhouette maintenance hangar inside the land battleship. Though rare, the pilot might actually be a Development Engineer who has experience in designing ships. Since he’s clearly an Ace pilot as well as a Development Engineer, I first surmised that the pilot was Takaba Hyoue. However, that man’s current machine is the Accipiter. It’s definitely not a Lanius.」

「You’ve really taken a shine to the Accipiter, haven’t you?」

「It’s a wonderful machine. It isn’t a one-off that was designed with absolutely no regard for profitability. The Accipiter strikes a great balance between the armored muscles, mechanical drives, and overall cost.」

「You’ve studied and learned the essence of reverse engineering to the fullest. After all, that kind of method was highly developed in your former homeland. In fact, our newest mass-production model is based on the Accipiter, isn’t it?」

「That’s right. I’ve already developed several new models based on that machine. One is for my own use, and the others are for mass production.」

「Just how did you manage to modify the Accipiter’s design to the extent that the finished specimens look nothing like the machine they are based from? However, I do concede that the Accipiter is a great machine.」

Some mercenaries managed to bring in one sample of this new machine for them to study. That machine was the Accipiter.

After confirming the machine’s basic performance parameters, Vasa proceeded to work on reverse engineering it. It was a technique involving disassembling a weapon and thoroughly analyzing it by deducing its development process until it was possible to create a comparable copy.

They only managed to get their hands on the Huckebein’s limbs. Alberto surmised that it made use of a large amount of armored muscles and completed the Corvus based on said conjecture. However, they managed to get a complete sample of the Accipiter to analyze. Vasa returned the Accipiter to the mercenary who brought it to them, but that mercenary was reported as MIA last month.

All of the parts that Silhouettes used were basically registered parts. As long as one acquired a complete sample of a model, it wasn’t all that hard to replicate said model. This could be said as one of the major drawbacks of weapons designed through Bricolage.

「I believe that the Accipiter is the perfect version of the TAKABA-style Silhouette. That’s why I find it so strange that this particular pilot is still using an older Lanius model instead.」

Alberto took another glance at the machine currently taking up most of Vasa’s attention. He couldn’t help but let out a contemptuous guffaw.

Alberto saw a very familiar machine and finally understood. If it was that guy, then this much was a given.

「Oh, I see. If it isn’t Asia’s knight. If it’s that guy, then doing this much isn’t all that surprising.」

「Wait, Alberto! Do you know something about the pilot of this machine?」

Alberto was surprised when Vasa suddenly grabbed his arms. It was quite rare for the taciturn Vasa to be so visibly flustered.

「Excuse me. If you have any information, then please consider sharing them with me.」

Alberto wasn’t the type to mind such things. In fact, he felt that he had found a kindred spirit.

「I suppose you deserve to know about that fellow as well. The pilot of that Lanius is the one who managed to rescue Asia and released several technologies back into Planet Asia. He’s probably an A-class or above Development Engineer. But he could also be an S or even EX-class. You never know.」

「What……?」

Vasa had previously heard about a particular A-class or above Development Engineer from Alberto before, but he had no idea that the said Development Engineer was actually the pilot of the Lanius displayed in the footage.

「It can even be said that the Silhouettes of this planet are following after the evolution of that particular Lanius. He was the one who spread those previously sealed technologies to all A-class Engineers.」

「How can you be so sure of that?」

「It’s because of my run-in with him during the first battle for Asia’s custody. The prototype super-heavy tank I designed was destroyed by his damn drill tank. Bardo-kun was also defeated by him that day. He also played a leading role during the second time Asia was liberated from confinement. And during that period, the Lanius that fellow pilots has continued to evolve to new heights.」

「Hou.」

「As a Development Engineer, he isn’t one we can afford to underestimate. Those damn panjandrums littered with stuff like numerous drill weapons and stuffed with excited electron explosive charges were definitely that guy’s handiwork. He’s the only one to ever make me feel a sense of defeat when it comes to the ability to come up with new ideas.」

「So you regard him that highly.」

「You can even assume that he’s currently got a monopoly on excited electron explosives. Here’s the proof.」

Alberto pointed toward footage of Unit 5 holding an anti-fortress rifle.

「I am also following up on him out of personal interest. You can even say I’m a big fan of his. In fact, I’ve been trying to gather information regarding him all this time. However, he’s quite the cautious fellow.」

「You’ve already understood things to that extent?」

「Have weapons utilizing excited electron explosives developed by Metal Iris become widespread? There are probably little to no reports regarding them. The last time they were used in combat was when we first sent out the Arachne-types. It seems they consider such a weapon a considerable risk factor even within their forces.」

「Those who can take such considerations are usually quite troublesome.」

There were many cases of casualties being suffered by military powers due to the accidental detonation of supplies. This proved that the Development Engineer in question had enough insight and prudence to judge that the excited electron explosive charge, which held destructive power rivaling that of a small nuclear weapon, was too dangerous for general use.

However, he also had the audacity and daring to stuff it inside panjandrums. In that sense, he was truly a force to be reckoned with.

「That’s right. He virtually prevented us from getting a chance to steal and use it for ourselves. What’s more, two high-performance custom Quattro Silhouettes are actually using that particular rifle as well. The one who built the Quattro Silhouettes for the Therianthropes to use was probably that knight-sama too.」

「Just as you said, he is influencing the rapid advance of Silhouette technology.」

「Without a doubt. All the recent advances started with this man in particular.」

Alberto treated Kou as his sworn nemesis. Therefore, he had done a careful and thorough investigation on Kou.

「At first, I thought he was a crazy British guy. But he turned out to be a perverted Japanese guy instead.」

Alberto, who was German, regarded the British and Japanese eccentrics in such a light.

「So you’ve even found out his ethnicity.」

「He’s the same kind as Takaba Hyoue. I’m not sure if you can call those guys samurai or whatnot, but they are basically swordsmen. You should try asking Bardo-kun for more details regarding that. His second-in-command used the Fire of Prometheus to fight with that fellow, but was defeated even with that.」

「It can’t be……」

Vasa couldn’t help but gaze at Unit 5 in fascination.

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