Giant Drill

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「Hey, Voy-san is a bear and not a mole, right?」

「I’m 100% bear.
But I guess I turn more like a badger when piloting this thing! Wahaha!」

Voy responded to Fuyuki’s question.

The shield tunnel excavation armored vehicle chewed through the ground at a very fast pace.

It looked like the hardening material for reinforcing the tunnel walls was functioning properly as well.
It hardened almost instantaneously when exposed to the air.

The tunnel’s length would not go past 500 meters.
All they had to do was get past the shelter after all.

Crouched Silhouettes walked through the tunnel a little distance away from the drill tank.

「I want one of these things for the engineering unit.
It’s too amazing.」

「I’m gonna disassemble it once this operation is over you know.」

「This thing’s too good to waste like that!」

Fuyuki continued to mutter about how much he wanted a drill tank for himself as he walked behind Kou.

「I don’t think that can be used to build a really long tunnel, but it would be more than enough to get past shelters for sure huh.」

「The tunnel walls are even reinforced by Whis emitted by the tank itself.」

「Yeah.
The hardening material is mixed with a Whis-transmitting agent after all.」

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The tunnel was quite tough.
Hence, there was no danger of a sudden collapse resulting to getting buried alive.

「We’re going to surface soon.」

Voy informed the group through the comms.

The shield tunnel excavation armored vehicle changed heading and began to go upward.

「The area above us is layered by concrete reinforced with Whis generated by an A-Carbuncle.
It’s a lot thicker and tougher than crude steel floors.」

「Right.」

The facilities within Fortress Areas and Defense Domes can also be reinforced by Whis generated by A-Carbuncles, and they wouldn’t even budge an inch even if a Silhouette carrying a railgun were to jump on top of them.

「So I gotta use this! Cutter face, transfoooorm!」

The cutter bits of the cutter face meshed together to form a huge spiral step drill bit.
It was shaped similar to a bamboo shoot.

「Drill goooooo!」

「I told you not to scream like that man! Shut it already!」

Voy screamed excitedly like usual as Kou writhed in agony and embarrassment.

The drill rotated at high speed and began to pierce the concrete layer of the Fortress Area.

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「So it’ll expand the hole created by the machine using the drill huh.」

Barry continued to be impressed by the drill tank.

「Aw yeah! Like I thought, there’s nothing like drills!」

「Drills are nice, aren’t they?」

Mike and Fuyuki had gotten pretty worked up after seeing the giant drill in action.

「I really want one of those after all.
Hey, Blue-san.
How about Metal Iris buys one of these for our use?」

「It does look like it would be pretty useful.」

Fuyuki started to seriously suggest buying one for themselves.
Blue didn’t seem to be against the idea either.

「We’ve reached topside guys!」

The shield tunnel excavation armored car finally broke through to the surface.
Kou and the others went outside the tunnel hole one after another.

They emerged within a forested area just like the one outside the shelter.

They were in a spot a good distance from the target area.
The target area’s position was located beneath the industrial block.
The humans generally stayed in the commercial blocks of Fortress Areas and Defense Domes.

Their current location was at the outskirts of the Fortress Area’s interior.

Gazing above presented the view of a wide and blue sky.
The shelter’s walls were made of an asymmetric metamaterial that had a negative refractive index.
You can see a clear view of the sky from within because the light outside passes through the walls unobstructed.

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That’s why there are regular day and night cycles even if one lives inside Fortress Areas and Defense Domes.

「We didn’t dig through to the target area directly?」

「Yeah.
Just like I told you before, we need to head there via a hidden entrance located somewhere in a corner of this forest area.」

Kou promptly answered Blue’s question.

They were in an area near the coordinates indicated to him by Astraea.
The entrance leading to their target destination might be hidden by an optical camouflage system just like the one Kou encountered when he first came to the location of the underground arsenal.

「Kou, you’ve been detected by radars within the Fortress Area.
There’s a high chance that Keres will be deployed to your location soon.」

Aimer gave Kou a warning through the comms.

「Understood.
Let’s move, everyone.」

「I’m gonna head back for a bit.
I have something to do out there.」

「Mm.
Got it, Voy.
Be careful.」

「I will!」

The tunnel excavation armored vehicle retreated back into the tunnel it had dug.
The machine unexpectedly seemed to be quite compatible with Voy.

Joining up into a tight formation, the five Silhouettes quickly started heading for the target coordinates.

Before long, the group reached the target coordinates.

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Unit 5 and Blue’s Silhouette suddenly disappeared from view, leaving the others behind.

「So this is the secret entrance hidden by optical camouflage.」

「I ended up triggering it huh.
Dammit……」

It was probably Ashia’s defense mechanism.

The moment Kou approached the coordinates, the entrance of the passage that was buried beneath the ground surfaced.

It should have gone back underground after confirming Kou and Blue’s entrance.
Fortunately, communication with the rest of the group remained unobstructed.

「This is fine.
Those guys shouldn’t know about this place either.
We’ll head to another route and rampage around for a bit.」

Barry calmly analyzed the situation.

If the enemy forces knew about the passage, the security should have been more stringent.

「Be careful out there guys.」

「That should be our line.
Make sure to keep your guards up.
We don’t know what could happen down there.」

Kou nodded and cut the comms.
He then proceeded to advance deeper into the passage.
He went down the dark passageway while relying on Unit 5’s night vision sensors.

Barry and the others moved out as well.
They began scoping out the area to find a spot that would prove advantageous to them in preparation for the enemy pursuit.

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