Editor: Thor’s Stone
The Enyo got sniped from afar.
The Keres that attempted to shield it was easily shattered to pieces, and the projectiles mercilessly slammed onto the Enyo’s damaged chest.
It finally decided to get down on the ground and started to crawl.
「It looks like it’s not planning to withdraw at all.」
Kou let out an exasperated sigh.
No matter how you looked at it, the Queen was already battered beyond recognition.
「It’s because the enemy wouldn’t be able to recover such a large weapon.」
Master also let out a sigh.
「How does the enemy usually recover their units from the field anyway? Don’t tell me they just treat them as disposable pawns.」
「An Enyo taking this much punishment is almost unheard of.
Usually, it would undergo repairs after completely taking over an area and would immediately proceed to its next objective.」
「Isn’t that kinda bad?」
「There aren’t many instances of an Enyo getting repelled in battle in the first place.
The enemy probably didn’t expect to face such a setback this early at all.
These Metal Iris guys are good.
They probably just stopped by here while working on a separate mission.」
「It’s like several forces trying to clumsily cooperate while waging all-out battles however they pleased.
I guess they’re after the rewards huh.」
「There’s an organization that offers corresponding rewards depending on one’s battle records against the Stones after all.
They’re doing their best in order to avoid being in the red.
You’d better register as well, Kou.」
「We don’t have that kind of leeway right now though.」
Continuously dealing with the Ant Workers that kept piling on chip damage through their lasers was plainly taxing on Kou.
He didn’t even remember just how many he’d cut down.
「Kou, you should head back to resupply first.」
A transmission from Jenny came in.
「I only use a sword so I don’t really need to.」
「You’re getting constantly battered by laser fire, mister! At least send your machine in for some emergency repairs.
Our Force’s Hangar Carrier is located at this point.」
Jenny sent the location data of their Force’s Hangar Carrier to Kou.
The Hangar Carrier was a large vehicle with a Silhouette maintenance facility built-in.
There were various kinds such as wheel and hovercraft-types.
「……Actually, I don’t have an ID or any money to spare.
I’ll be fine like this.」
「You’re bothered about that sort of thing? You idiot! We don’t need any payment! Just hurry up and get your machine repaired! Now!」
After getting yelled at, Kou shrugged his shoulders in response and went toward the Hangar Carrier as he was told.
「You should learn when to accept other people’s kindness, Kou.
You deserve at least that much for your efforts.」
I suppose I should just honestly accept their goodwill then.」
The Hangar Carrier was located in a spot well away from the current frontline.
It was pretty huge.
It looked like a gigantic hovercraft at first glance.
It was practically a huge mobile base that a Silhouette can enter even while standing at full height.
「The Silhouette over there? Do you read me? We’ve already heard about you from Jenny.
Go ahead and come over.」
Kou was guided to approach the side of the Hangar Carrier.
A Worker-type Silhouette appeared from within the Carrier and proceeded to scan Unit 5.
「It looks like you didn’t actually take much damage out there.
You’re pretty skilled.」
Kou didn’t know exactly how he should reply, so he just responded with a curt thank you.
「This unit is what you’d call a Repairer.
It’s used for performing emergency repairs on Silhouettes.」
Unit 5 was then inundated with a mysterious beam spouting out of something that looked like a jet sprayer.
「What about this beam and this sprayer thingy?」
Kou was a bit apprehensive about the unknown beam.
「It sprays high-temperature liquid metal and then rapidly cools it down to fill in the armor cracks and damages.
Afterward, it sprays coating material for added protection.
The light beam is the result of the entire process being performed in one go.
Your armor’s been chipped off by laser fire after all.」
「Heat treatment… Inspection reports…… Ugh, my head…… This sure brings back some unpleasant memories.
Uh, so what happens if the armor gets scraped so much that this treatment isn’t effective anymore?」
「Then the armor simply gets replaced.
If they don’t do that much, then pilots wouldn’t be able to truly push their machines in combat.」
As Kou chatted with Master, a transmission came in once more.
「Emergency repairs are done.
We have some refreshments here, so come on board and rest for a bit.」
「Is it okay?」
You’ve already fought more than your fair share out there.」
Kou moved his Silhouette inside the Hangar Carrier.
It greatly dwarfed super-large dump trucks.
It really was a huge Hangar Carrier.
Its height alone was about 15 meters.
Some Silhouettes were in the middle of getting resupplied within.
Kou parked Unit 5 and got off the Silhouette.
It seems Master didn’t want to go outside.
It remained on the cockpit’s back seat.
Mechanics, arm-type robots, and a bear-type Familiar were busy working inside the Carrier.
The bear-type Familiar waved at Kou and pointed at the back of the hangar.
It seems the bear wanted him to head over there.
When he went to the back, he found a small glass-enclosed room with a vending machine inside.
This was probably the break room.
There was already someone inside.
It was a young girl.
She was in the middle of enjoying her drink.
She had lustrous blue hair that you wouldn’t see on Earth, and it didn’t seem like it was the result of dyeing it that way.
Her ears were also pointed.
Her slender eyes and long lashes were really beautiful.
It was an el– err, Nereid.
She was part of that artificially created race.
This was Kou’s first time encountering one.
Kou got a carbonated drink from the vending machine and sat on the bench right next to the girl.
It was pretty awkward.
Kou wasn’t accustomed to interacting with women in the first place, so he couldn’t even bring himself to glance at her for more than a couple of seconds.
Furthermore, the other party was an out-of-this-world beauty.
The girl sat up and move to the bench Kou was sitting on.
The awkwardness level quickly reached the max.
「Um, nice to meet you, Nereid-san.」
Kou felt that his brain was having a meltdown.
He didn’t have any opportunity to interact with a girl this beautiful back on Earth.
The girl gazed past Kou’s bangs to determine his expression.
「Nice to meet you.
It’s my first time hearing a Japanese person actually referring to me as a Nereid.
Everybody else I meet calls me an elf.」
Uh, I’m really sorry about my countrymen’s antics.」
What the heck were the other Japanese doing? Kou inwardly berated his predecessors.
You can just call me Kou.
I was just transferred over here a few days ago.」
Kou found her voice somewhat familiar.
He was sure he was meeting this girl for the first time.
He couldn’t recall just where he’d heard her voice from.
「A few days ago? You’re the pilot of that great sword-wielding Silhouette, right? I was on sniper duty and attacked the Enyo right after you split its head open.」
So that was you.
That was some pretty impressive sniping.」
「It kinda feels weird to hear that kind of praise from someone who’s as skilled as you.
Actually, it feels like you’re patronizing me, you know?」
Kou wondered which part of his remark made the girl upset.
He was at a loss.
He really didn’t know how to talk with girls.
「Um…… I’m sorry if I upset you.
I only piloted the Silhouette for the first time about two days ago, and today’s my third time going into combat with it.
I’m still not familiar with the norms here.」
「Just your third time going into combat? With those moves? What’s really going on with you?」
Suddenly, he was being interrogated by the girl.
No, it probably just feels that way.
Kou hesitated on how to answer her.
In the end, Kou told her about how he suddenly found himself on this planet, how he was left behind, and how he fought with a Murder for the first time using Unit 5.
You’re telling me you only took a language capsule? You didn’t do anything after that?」
I took one without water and fainted right after swallowing it.」
「Come with me!」
Blue pulled Kou’s hand and brought him to another room.
「Oh, hi there, Blue.
Is this your boyfriend?」
Inside was a dog-type Familiar wearing a lab coat and glasses.
That was what Kou thought at first, but in the next moment, the dog turned into a human.
She was still wearing her white lab coat.
The dog turned into a gentle-looking bespectacled woman.
It seemed she was a member of the Therianthrope race.
It was also Kou’s first time encountering one.
「Don’t give me that, Lozere.
This guy’s a transferee, but he only took a language capsule and nothing else.
Prepare a planetary environment adaptation capsule for him, please.」
That certainly wouldn’t do.」
Kou took the capsule handed to him by Lozere and washed it down with some water.
「Because the gravity on this planet is stronger than that on Earth, it would gradually affect and degrade a transferee’s internal organs without countermeasures in place.
It’s great that we were able to find out early.」
As Lozere said, it would have been dangerous for Kou if his condition was left unattended.
「I think I didn’t notice because I’m always riding inside my Silhouette.」
「That was for the best.
A Silhouette has an impeccable gravity control system after all.」
「Come to think of it, I didn’t feel much shaking when I landed after jumping off of a building earlier.」
「You sure are one reckless guy……」
Blue sighed in exasperation.
「You must really be quite the character if even Blue is reacting like that.」
Lozere chuckled good-naturedly and let the topic pass.
Afterward, Kou and Blue made their way back to the break room.
「Don’t worry about it.
Are you going to join Metal Iris?」
「I still have something I need to do at the moment.
I can’t join a Force for now.」
「Even though you transferred over only recently?」
At that moment, an announcement was made through the Carrier’s intercom.
「Blue, we’ve finished working on your unit.
As instructed, we changed the configuration from Sniper to Marksman style.」
The Marksman style changed Blue’s unit to a mid to close-ranged support shooter.
It was a configuration specialized in providing continuous support fire.
「I have to go.」
「I’m heading back out too.」
「You’re gonna charge in again, aren’t you? I’ll cover you.
Don’t die out there, okay?」
Kou wondered if it was just him, or did Blue really sound a bit upset just now.
It felt like she really was worried about him.
Blue’s loadout changed from a huge sniper rail cannon to a smaller large-caliber combat rifle.
The pile bunker on its left arm was also removed and its backpack unit was changed to another type.
Kou boarded Unit 5 once more and headed out.
He told Master about taking a planetary environment adaptation capsule.
I was worried about that as well.」
「We can travel without worries after this is over huh.」
「I think it would also be good if you joined Metal Iris after this you know.」
「I already decided to accompany you, after all, Master.」
Kou was adamant about not backing down from his decision to accompany Maste.
And so, they threw themselves into battle once again.
Kou checked the city map.
The enemy advance has been delayed considerably, but they were concentrating their forces were poised to begin a concentrated attack to forcibly break through.
The defenders were boxing them in as they continued to reduce their numbers.
For now, it looks like the defending side had the advantage.
They were making full use of the Silhouette’s ability to freely traverse complicated terrain and the excellent mobility of the armored support vehicles.
The enemies were all unmanned weapons, and their only goal was to take over the central control tower.
There was no indication of the enemy offensive letting up any time soon.
All the defenders could do was to continuously destroy the enemies.
Kou repeated his tactic of cutting down enemies as he made Unit 5 traverse in between the narrow alleyways.
The Ant Worker-type’s numbers have already been considerably reduced.
「I was actually able to cut down so many of these guys.
It looks like everyone’s pretty surprised.」
「I’m actually pretty surprised as well.」
Master replied in a serious tone.
Kou’s combat performance was just that overwhelming.
「Even you, Master?」
「I have to say, your hobby and Unit 5 seem to be extremely compatible.」
「If my hobby-level swordsmanship can already impress you this much, then a real sword master would probably seem even more insane.」
「Your piloting style is also a good match with this guy.
Since you can’t achieve performance rivaling a true swordmaster on your own, Unit 5 is probably complementing and enhancing your skills.」
「I’m no match for Unit 5 after all.」
「Remember, the Silhouettes are machines specifically designed to expand a human’s potential.
So it’s well within reason that Unit 5 is capable of enhancing your swordsmanship skills.」
「Uh… Even so, I still put in quite a lot of effort whenever I trained in swordsmanship you know.
But it’s probably true that I can only achieve such skills while I’m piloting this guy.」
Kou simply accepted such a fact without any qualms.
He felt really good whenever he was piloting Unit 5.
It felt… right.
It felt even better than the times he swung a sword with his own hands.
「Is it just me, or have our allies actually increased?」
There were battles occurring all over the place.
The units that were fighting weren’t there when they had a hard time defending earlier.
「It looks like the evacuation is finished and the rest of the garrison has returned to reinforce the defenders.
They might have predicted that the battle’s conclusion is near.」
Was the battle really about to be over?
In any case, Kou felt that having something to aim toward was truly nice.
A few days ago, he was just another face in the crowd who continued to listlessly commute to work in the morning and went home dead tired in the evening.
Master would probably scold him, but if possible, he wanted to continue traveling the land together with Master and Unit 5.
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