ShangriLa Frontier Chapter 107

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Translator: Kurehashi Aiko

Editor: ryunakama


Chapter 107: This Isn’t a Battle, But Only a One-Sided Slaughter

Phoenix.

From my battle with it as well as the stories of other players, I came to a conclusion that it was a monster of a frame, and the skills of its pilot made it truly terrifying to deal with.

The common opinion of the other players was that thanks to its asymmetrical boosters it maneuverability was totally unpredictable, and that made fighting it that much harder.

Actually, if it wasn’t for the pilot’s abilities, the Nephilim in itself wouldn’t be that terrifying. But the skills of the pilot made all the difference.

「I guess that’s what Mecha games are all about.」

I am sure that Katsu would disagree with me on that subject, but…… Maneuverability, fighting prowess, reading your opponent’s movements in advance. There was a whole lot more to those games than people may initially think.

Katsu always looked down on those kinds of games, but seeing people like Rust here made me think that every type of game has their naturally born geniuses. At least Rust seemed to be that way to me.

Her main forte is close and mid-range combat, but thanks to her exquisite piloting skills she could also perform really well when it comes to long-distance combat, which seemed to make her almost invincible.

But just like everyone else, there must be something she’s weak at. Something that would give me a chance at beating her.

「Anyways, as long as she and Mold work together, it would be almost impossible for Kingfisher to beat them.」

I heard that Mold is what is called an “Operator”, and that Rust was responsible for combat and other stuff like that.

This means that if you are a solo player, your effectiveness is actively dropped by half, since the battles would change from one vs one to one vs two. That was a problem.

Due to the relatively small player base, there was a small number of players with their own Operators, but amongst this small number Mold was considered to be one of the best.

「Hey, Kingfisher. Here, you  should take this.」

「What’s this……?」

「It’s the battle record from most of the games that Phoenix played in ranked matches. You’re going to challenge her again tomorrow, right?」

「…… You sure I can have it?」

「I’m one of your biggest fans. That machine of yours…… I hope that you can show us all something truly crazy tomorrow!」

「I’m not so sure about that…… But, I would lie if I didn’t say that I’m not looking forward to tomorrow as well.」

I see that there were also veteran players who were hoping to see Phoenix being brought to its knees. In particular, I’ve managed to get some good intel on her from two strong players, number two Super Gutsy Man and its “Hellhound”, as well as the number three guy who was piloting the frame “King’s Gambit”.

I also heard that Rust refused to change her frame for as long as it stayed undefeated, so part of the reason why everyone was supporting me so much was so that they could see the next frame that Rust would come up with.

「It would be fine if she was only so stubborn when it comes to ranking matches, but apparently she even is like that when it comes down to casual play…… I can’t really deal all that well with people with an attitude like that.」

「That’s right, that’s right…… Even though Phoenix isn’t that great of a construction, it still remains undefeated. …… It pains me to say it, but right about now you are probably the only one capable of taking her down.」

「Oh, shut up! I’m sure that anyone would be able to do so if they only tried hard enough.」

「Honestly speaking, the former me would very much like the idea of conquering the ranking board all on my own. But right now when it’s like Rust vs everyone else, I would really like for someone to teach her her place.」

And just like that, the morning of my fated battle with Phoenix has finally come, as I built a new frame and received lots of support from other players.

「So that’s Kingfisher’s…… Sanraku’s new frame, huh?」

「The name of that frame is “Fiddler’s Club”. Is that some sort of word play in English translation? Fiddler can mean both a violinist and a cheat……」

「The meaning of the name is unimportant to me. I’d much rather want to know what it does and what are its weaknesses……」

「It wouldn’t hurt you to at least let me finish speaking, you know……?」

There was a sudden sound of destruction and one of the buildings collapsed. In this game there was no script for a building to collapse on its own, so that must mean that someone clearly attacked it and caused it to crumble down.

It was a message. A clear declaration of war. The message was: I am here. After understanding this and ruling out the possibility of a trap, Rust headed towards that location.

「…… There it is! That reaction…… It’s “Fiddler’s Club”!」

「It looks like it also managed to spot us……!」

「W, what is that…… Does it have two right arms!?」

「…… ScissorScisor Unit “Bookmark”. It’s not a common weapon, or at least it’s not something you’d think of putting on a medium-sized frame like that.」

「Maybe I’m blind, but it looks like every single part of that frame is meant for a heavy-class Nephilim.」

Judging by its equipment and height, Nephilims could be divided into three basic categories: Light-weight, medium-weight and heavy-weight.

For someone like Rust, who was one of Nephilim Hollow’s strongest players, recognizing the opponents strategies and basic information just from its equipment was as easy as pie.

(Its right arm is equipped with “Bookmark”, and its legs are equipped with multi-stage propulsion thrusters…… Now when it comes to the left arm and back I can’t see, and the head…… I’m not sure.)

It looked as though the “Fiddler’s Club was a huge unit with its main weapon strapped to its right arm.

“Bookmark” is a really specific weapon shaped after a pair of scissors, whose main job was to catch the opponent in between it’s blades and then cut them in half with one swift, powerful motion. It was mainly a weapon for larger Nephilims. It was hard to use, but if wielded properly, one could easily achieve one-shot kills with it. At least that was Rust’s evaluation.

If you chose a weapon like that, it means that you think you have the skills necessary to use its full potential. And if you had that potential, you’d choose a strategy that would let you capitalize on that.

And its head was equipped with two antennas, which made it resemble a snail’s eyes or that of a crab. Rust was currently digging through her memory to remember what that particular headpiece was capable of.

「It disappeared……!」

「Rust! It’s optical camouflage! The reaction is still visible on the radar!」

「Let’s get it started……!」

There was light coming out of “Fiddler’s Club” head, and in the next moment it disappeared completely.

When Rust heard Mold’s scream, she immediately knew that to do. Optical camouflage was a technology that reflected the light shining on the object, concealing its shape from others. She positioned Phoenix and started firing its gatling gun in a certain spot.

(We can determine its position based on the light emitted by the boosters……!)

「There!」

A row of bullets fly through the air and penetrate the space where “Fiddler’s Club” was just a moment ago. But it looks like that space was empty.

However, Rust didn’t fail to notice the light of the thrusters going to the side in order to avoid the incoming bullets.

Apparently it was drawing closer and closer in an erratic pattern, all the while avoiding the gatling gun fire and trying to get in the range of a melee attack. At least that much could be said from its boosters trails.

Certainly, that kind of movement was not something an ordinary person would be able to do. However, Sanraku was not an ordinary player and Rust was fully aware of that.

「Come on out, “Fiddler’s Club”……!」

「No, that’s not……!」

It happened faster than Rust’s brain could register what Mold was saying to her.

To put it in simple terms, the undefeated Phoenix was split in eight equal parts and fell to the ground.

「…………… Eh?」

Respawn indicating defeat. Rust was standing at the entrance to the battle arena, as silent as the rest of the spectators. Apparently their brains were too shocked after what they saw to fully understand what just happened.

Nephilim Hollow…… Ironically, that was the only thing that was left of the once undefeated Phoenix.


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