220 – Cliche Development



Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone

We traversed through passages littered with Twisted corpses killed off by the combat bots and made our way to the underground section of the structure.

“This thing’s rather comfy to ride huh.”

“Its handling has some quirks you need to get used to at first though.”

We were currently riding newly developed hover vehicles in order to navigate the rough terrain. Although its speed is not that high, the vehicle can easily run on bumps, steep slopes, and cliffs with an elevation of several meters, and can accommodate six passengers including the driver. It seems they made it by applying the tech they used to make the Gravity Sphere.

“There aren’t any signs of enemies anywhere. It looks like they were really thorough with the clean-up.”

“Even if there were lucky survivors, our escort of high-mobility combat bot will make short work of them.”

A military combat bot with a sharp silhouette accompanied the hover vehicle that’s running at a maximum speed of merely 30 km/h. It’s a bipedal combat bot with reverse-jointed legs that nimbly navigated the terrain as it moved together with the underground structure investigation unit that included me and Commander Serena. I wasn’t clear about its exact firepower, but judging from how fast and agile it was, I’m sure it would prove quite troublesome if you engage it in combat. And it’s not even running at full speed.

I wonder what would happen if I were to fight it? Well, it doesn’t look that sturdy, so I guess aiming for its legs to crush its mobility and running away would be a solid plan. Eh? Why would I even run after crushing its legs? Of course, I would. It’s an incredibly stupid move to engage in a head-on firefight with a combat bot sporting extreme shooting accuracy y’know. Even in SOL, the accuracy of combat bots was borderline cheating. They had almost a hundred percent accuracy and if you didn’t have armor that could withstand laser fire or an energy shield, you’re basically screwed. You’d just end up taking each other down at the very least. And in the first place, a bot’s reaction speed was leagues better than a human. Civilian-use bots have been tuned to have lowered performance though.

“So, what’s the situation now?”

“They put up an energy shield and are completely hunkering down. Well, we just have to get rid of it once we arrive.”

The energy shield that was developed to protect starships from space debris during FTL navigation was quite an effective defensive tool, but it was by no means impregnable. It’s relatively vulnerable to attacks by high-powered lasers, high-calorie plasma weapons, missiles, and bombs that generate intense explosions and shockwaves, and the interference effect between similar energy shields.

The anti-ship reactive torpedoes equipped on Krishna also basically neutralizes a ship’s energy shield by making use of the interference effect via a device on its warhead. That’s what’s written in the item description in SOL anyway. I haven’t checked if it uses the same method in this dimension though.

“By the way, how are we gonna get rid of the shield?”

I was thinking they were probably gonna bust out equipment that could neutralize the shield. However, Commander Serena didn’t answer my question and just kept mum. I see. So it’s some sort of military secret huh? That’s what I thought anyway.

And what transpired in the end was–

“We only have this method at our disposal.”

I couldn’t find words to describe the scene unfolding before my eyes at first.

“What a simple brute-force method!”

A large number of military combat bots were unloading continuous streams of lasers at the energy shield covering the enemy facility, and a Titan-class combat bot with a height of 5 meters was ramming itself at the shield with all its weight. Uh, I guess it wasn’t just ramming itself at the shield…… It activated its own shield and was ramming that onto the shield covering the facility and making it crackle, I think? Though it did look like it was just stupidly ramming itself at the shield though.

“It looks like their shield was stronger than we expected, but it probably won’t last long under this punishment.”

“After the shield goes down, it would be our turn to charge, right?”

“That would be a bit later. We’ll have the combat bots charge in first.”

As we had our exchange, the shield covering the facility finally began to fluctuate and completely went down soon afterward. And the moment the shield disappeared, the lasers being fired by the combat bots burned open a section of the facility’s walls. By the way, the energy shields in this dimension don’t shatter like glass when they go down like in some sci-fi shows. Just thought I’d mention it.

After they confirmed that the energy shield had gone down, the small and medium-type combat bots rushed inside the facility in an orderly manner. The Titan-class combat bot couldn’t fit in due to its sheer size so it seems it would remain on standby outside.

“First, let’s search for the shield generator and main power generator. It would be bad if they trapped us inside using the energy shield and made the power generator go critical later after all.”

“That’s an excellent judgment. I’m not an expert though, so don’t take my word for it.”

I’m not a tactical expert, so I can’t say for sure, but I think that was a solid decision. Securing a way of retreat was fundamental in any operation, and if we took control of the enemy’s power generator, it would be possible to shut down the facility’s defense systems as well.

“You’re just saying whatever you want…… Anyway, we’ll be charging in soon, so get yourself ready.”

“Aye, aye, ma’am.”

But even though we’ve used lots of automated tech during this operation, we’re still gonna decide everything with swords in the end huh. In the worst case, we need to recover the target’s corpse, so couldn’t we just overwhelm him with a large number of combat bots? I guess they’re just being particular about honor between nobles huh.

We waited for at least 30 minutes.

“We found our target in the innermost section of the facility. Let’s go.”


It seems the combat bots finally managed to corner Geritz and his other cohorts, and the Imperial Marines began to move at Commander Serena’s orders. They were quite free earlier as well because the combat bots took care of most of the action, so they were apparently raring to go.

Commander Serena ran ahead and the Imperial Marines followed after her. I also followed Commander Serena along with the marines, but I couldn’t get rid of the bad feeling I’ve been having since earlier.

“Is there really a way to turn things around under this situation……?”

I racked my brains in thought as we continued to head deeper into the facility. Even though I had a bad feeling about it, I still had to follow orders. This was a proper military operation after all. I’m basically just a hired gun, err, sword anyway.

The interior of the building was strangely bleached white and looked really reminiscent of a research facility. There wasn’t any presence of those disgusting-looking Twisteds inside, and there were wrecks like laser turrets destroyed by the combat bots in some spots.

“So this is the central research area huh.”

“It likely is.”

There were lots of metallic tubes lined up on the left side of the passage we were walking in that you could see through just like glass. They were all empty, but I wonder what was stuffed inside of them? Judging from the place, I guess they should have contained Twisteds or samples of local species.

“In other words, what’s beyond here is……”

“The production plant, most likely. I think it’s basically similar to those artificial meat plants.”

“Have you also taken a tour inside one of those plants before, Commander Serena?”

“Yes. There have been various incidents involving artificial meat plants before after all.”

“Oh, I see.”

It looks like Commander Serena also had her fair share of hardships as well.

But an artificial meat manufacturing plant huh…… We did fight against monsters that were different from the Twisteds in the Alein system back then too. But the Twisteds were more powerful and dangerous compared to those though.

“It sounds like they’re engaging in combat right ahead of us.”

“They’re probably being pinned down by shots from the combat bots. Let’s hurry.”

I hurriedly followed after Commander Serena who already started running and arrived at a place that resembled a wide hall.

“……So I suppose that’s our target?”

“……Yes, that’s the target.”

The ‘target’ that was rampaging against the high-mobility combat bots was a humanoid Twisted which sported four arms that were holding a sword each. It stood at a towering height of 2.5 meters. I turned to Commander Serena to confirm and she nodded in acknowledgment.

Eh…… That’s him? Seriously? But it doesn’t look remotely like a human anymore, right?

“And we’re supposed to bring that back alive?”

“If possible.”

“But don’t you think it would be useless to interrogate that thing for info even if we do manage to bring it back……?”

Its entire body was reddish-black and covered with dense muscle fibers and rocky armor. It also had a total of four arms. That was the current state of the man once known as Geritz Ixthermal. You probably won’t get any info out of that thing even if it was successfully captured and brought back, and even if we killed it and provided it as evidence, the creature’s identity as Geritz would probably be brought into question.

“Aren’t its movements getting better and better?”

“He’s probably starting to get accustomed to the changes in his body and his four arms. We need to finish him off right away or it would get troublesome later.”

“Can’t we just kill it with laser fire?”

“Well, about that–”

When Commander Serena turned her gaze toward the rampaging four-armed monster, the combat bots started firing lasers at him all at once. Even though he had four arms, it would be impossible to defend against tens of hundreds of laser projectiles.


It wasn’t possible to defend against all of them, but he was deflecting what he could. His swords deflected dozens of laser shots right back at the combat bots that shot them and caused small explosions to go off. The combat bots won’t be taken out in just one or two shots, but they do take and accumulate damage.

On the other hand, the other laser projectiles that weren’t blocked managed to score direct hits.

“It doesn’t seem like lasers work very well against him huh.”

It’s not like the lasers have absolutely no effect, but the injuries the monstrosity sustained due to them all regenerated almost immediately, and the ones that hit the rocky armor were rendered practically ineffective.

“Yes. That regeneration rate is troublesome, but the rocky armor is equally as bad. It seems like plasma rounds would work, but since they’re slow, he’d dodge them easily.”

“In the end, we need to cut him down ourselves huh.”

“That’s how it is. Let’s go.”

“Ugh. I hate this……”

Commander Serena unsheathed the sword from her waist and charged forward. I followed after her and drew the swords from my waist as well.



Novel Schedule

I Woke Up Piloting the Strongest Starship, so I Became a Space Mercenary

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