Prepare for Bombardment!
Editor: Thor’s Stone
The number of unmanned murder weapons was evidently decreasing.
The remaining enemy units were those with high individual combat capabilities.
The mercenaries, Dome garrison troops, and volunteer militias who were defending the dome were also getting severely worn down.
There were a few casualties among the troops, and many others were forced to retreat.
Blue also struggled in a series of battles against Ant-types and Telkhines.
Although her machine’s loadout was already converted to something capable of engaging in close-range combat, the enemy numbers still had numbers on their side.
Before the enemy Ant Commander-types manage to approach her machine, she downed them through an effective combination of ground-to-ground missiles and combat rifle strafing.
Every time she managed to down an enemy machine, she would be forced to change her magazine.
Enemies using high-dimensional projection armor through Whis energy were really hard to deal with.
A Telkhines sporting a large sword suddenly appeared while she was in the middle of replacing her magazine.
Before the enemy closed in, it also fired a ground-to-ground missile at her.
Blue didn’t manage to avoid them in time.
Her machine’s armor cracked, but she was at least able to prevent it from toppling to the ground.
This was bad.
Long-range machines were quite disadvantaged in close-quarters fights.
But then, a shadow fell down from above.
The one that cast it quickly moved to shield her unit.
The Telkhines got taken by surprise.
It was cut down in an instant.
It was split directly in the middle.
Blue cried out to her savior.
It was Kou.
He jumped off the roof of a building again and surprise attacked the Telkhines.
You’re still being really reckless though.」
A machine that wasn’t even equipped with 3D maneuvering equipment actually jumped from the top of a building to attack an enemy.
If that wasn’t reckless, she didn’t know what was.
「Retreat and get your machine repaired first.
I’ll be counting on your support again once you get back.」
After telling her that, his unit disappeared between the gaps of the buildings once more.
Blue sighed as she gazed at his machine’s retreating back.
「The more you look at the guy, the crazier he seems……」
However, she was saved thanks to him.
For some reason, she couldn’t help but smile.
「Kou, do you read me? It’s about time to put a stop to that rampaging goddess.」
A transmission came from Jenny.
What are we gonna do?」
「We’ve finally completed preparations for another support barrage.
We’ll concentrate all our firepower and finish it off all at once.
Watch out for Commander-types and Telkhines.
Get them off our backs.」
A single Silhouette closed in on the Enyo.
It was probably a mobility-specialized model.
Its profile was thinner than your average Silhouette.
It held a tubular rocket launcher in one hand.
Support fire began pouring out from the surrounding areas.
It was the rest of the Metal Iris members.
Their Bears really stood out.
The mobility-specialized Silhouette jumped on top of the Enyo’s back.
Two Telkhines moved out to take it down.
Kou slashed one of them from behind and got into a heated melee battle with it.
The other Telkhines ate a barrage from Jenny’s Commander unit.
The Silhouette that jumped on top of the Enyo fired something that seemed to be a signal beacon directly behind the enemy’s torso.
Afterward, it swiftly retreated.
「Kou! Hurry and retreat as well.」
The rest of the Metal Iris members also began to fall back.
「What was that unit earlier, Master?」
「It was a Recon type.
It’s used as a Forward Observer in combat to scout the front lines.
It has managed to successfully mark the target.
An all-out barrage will be conducted soon.」
「So there’s a model like that too huh.」
「It looks like in addition to the indirect fire team of Metal Iris, the support unit made up of this city’s Familiars will be joining in as well.
It looks like they’re really aiming to finish everything with this.」
After taking a breath, Kou heard a transmission that was sent to all allied units in the area.
『All units fall back.
We will now begin conducting an indirect artillery barrage.』
Jenny’s command echoed through the comm.
Target position is indicated by the 2A marker point.
Pay close attention to the Enyo’s movements.』
The bombardment order was issued after confirming the target’s position.
『We will be conducting a three-stage barrage.
The first salvo will use ground-to-ground missiles.
The second and third salvo will be conducted using howitzers.
Commence the third salvo two minutes after the second salvo hits the target.
Each unit shall fire two consecutive shots per salvo.
Pay attention to friendlies that might get in range.』
Jenny communicated the attack method to each of the Metal Iris members and the other friendly forces.
Various transmissions came in response.
『This is the command vehicle.
The impact point correction formula has been sent to all units.』
『This is Recon.
Correction formula received.
There are no problems.』
Jenny’s cockpit monitor was flooded with transmissions from her men.
『This is the missile unit.
『This is the artillery unit.
Preparations are complete as well.』
『Familiar mortar unit, ready for bombardment.』
『All units, ready.
–Prepare for bombardment!』
Transmissions confirming their completion of the angle of attack corrections came from the various units.
The last transmission was relayed by a large, white dog-type Familiar.
First salvo! Surface-to-ground missiles, fire!』
Ten seconds to impact.』
Jenny’s firm command echoed through the comms.
After getting notified of the impact time, the shelling and Familiar support units also proceeded to prime their armaments.
Three armored combat vehicles armed with large rocket containers fired two missiles each.
『Second salvo! Indirect bombardment.
『Shell trajectory confirmed.
20 seconds to impact.』
A transmission came from the artillery unit.
Their 155 mm self-propelled howitzer shells howled as they soared through the air.
Adjust your impact time accordingly.
The last command echoed out.
The estimated impact time of the shells can be adjusted accordingly by changing the firing angle.
Landing shots simultaneously is called coordinated firing.
Jenny opted for a strategy of landing two shots per salvo, concentrating firepower on the areas weakened by the first salvo, and finishing the job with the second and third.
The Familiar mortar unit was performing support bombardment at a location that was close to the artillery unit.
Their 120 mm double-barreled mortars fired alternately.
The timing adjustments of the dog and cat-shaped familiars were impeccable.
The barrage continued relentlessly for three minutes.
If the Enyo’s head had not been destroyed earlier, most of the shells would have been intercepted by its anti-air lasers coupled with the lasers of the surrounding Worker-types.
In conjunction with that, if the number of Worker-types weren’t thinned out as well, the effect of the barrage would have been reduced by more than half.
No matter how tough high-dimensional projection armor was, even it can’t withstand a sustained barrage of highly destructive ordnance fired from a distance of several tens of kilometers.
The Ant Worker-types that got caught up in the attack were almost all wiped out, and only the barely moving giant Queen remained.
『Cease indirect fire barrage.
Target damage confirmed.
All units proceed to the mop-up phase.』
Jenny’s command echoed out from the comms once more.
The final mop-up battle had commenced.
「Guess it’s finally time to put down the goddess of destruction for good.」
Kou made Unit 5 head straight for the Enyo.
There was a Metal Iris Silhouette nearby as well.
「Get out of there!」
Kou shouted in warning.
The Bear that tried to close in on the Enyo got knocked down.
It got caught in one of the Enyo’s indiscriminate tail swipes.
And then, a giant Telkhines made its appearance.
The Telkhines gave off an aura similar to that of unbridled rage as it approached.
It was probably a Commander unit.
It was one size larger than a regular Telkhines.
It held a great sword similar to Unit 5’s.
In fact, Telkhines actually had more advantages in sword fights compared to Silhouettes like Unit 5.
After all, they’re equipped with a prehensile mechanical tail that can function as a pseudo-third leg.
This gives the Telkhines its signature stability and maneuverability.
Even a brute force sword swing from one would be enough to cause critical damage.
Kou could see it.
He could read the trajectory of its attack.
And as a result, he could aim for it with pinpoint precision.
It unleashed a full-powered and wide downward swing in order to cover its front.
Due to Kou’s unrelenting training in iaijutsu, he was incredibly familiar with the trajectory of the enemy’s sword attack.
A kesagiri wasn’t a technique that’s only used to cut the soft parts of an enemy’s bone structure.
Perhaps this was also the effect of Unit 5 enhancing his senses.
Kou instinctively realized this.
Unit 5 was making up for the weaknesses of the young man who hasn’t even participated in a serious match with an opponent back in Japan.
In return for its assistance, Kou placed great trust in Unit 5 that moved according to his inputs.
「I can do this.」
The young man muttered softly to himself.
Unit 5 will surely answer his expectations.
What would his counter move be?
He decided to meet the opponent’s slash with an upward slash of his own delivered from a low stance.
He hid the sword’s length behind Unit 5’s flank in order to mask the trajectory of the slash.
Since Unit 5 was a machine, it would largely make up for the disadvantages of swinging upward from below.
Kou matched the timing of the opponent’s kesagiri and delivered an upward slash that transitioned into a horizontal sweep.
Unit 5’s great sword cleaved the air apart along with the enemy.
Both of the Telkhines’ wrists were severed cleanly.
The enemy probably didn’t see it coming.
The moment the enemy’s movement stalled, Kou performed a follow-up thrust with Unit 5’s great sword.
The Telkhines’ torso was pierced cleanly, and its movements completely ground to a halt.
He pulled the great sword out and delivered a final full-power horizontal slash to cleave the enemy’s torso clean in half.
The severed upper body slowly slipped and fell to the ground, accompanied by a loud booming noise.
Now he was finally free to deal with the Enyo.
However, there was still an Ant Commander-type that was left.
Kou noticed this and prepared to get rid of it first.
However, the Commander-type got blown back by an explosion before he could make a move.
「Kou! I’ll cover you.」
It was Blue.
After replenishing her machine’s ammo and undergoing emergency repairs, she finally managed to return to the front lines.
I guess you just managed to pay me back for my earlier save with this huh.」
He jokingly thanked her.
It was great to have comrades who had your back at times like this, Kou thought.
「You sound pretty relaxed.
I don’t think I’ve already managed to repay my debt with just this.」
A deadpan voice replied from the comm.
Kou’s lips curled up in amusement as he made Unit 5 jump on top of the Queen Ant’s torso.
Unit 5 swung its sword and cut through a particularly damaged section of the Queen’s torso.
The Queen Ant-type Keres finally keeled over and collapsed to the ground.
The power unit supplying Whis energy to its gigantic body was completely destroyed, finally deactivating the Queen.
It was a resounding victory.
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