State-of-the-Art Machine vs.
Old Model Machine

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The narrow and dim passageway abruptly ended.

Kou and Blue suddenly found themselves in a considerably bigger passageway.

The ceiling was high enough that their Silhouettes could easily stand at full height with plenty of room to spare.

「This is a ruin…… isn’t it? We’re kinda like explorers right now, aren’t we?」

「If this is what explorers do on the regular, then I’d personally never want to be one.」

There was a lot of unknown technology that was being utilized in the world they were in.

Kou thought that if a particularly unimaginative person headed out to explore such a world, they would die pretty fast during their journey.

「Well, that’s unexpected.
I thought you’d actually like such activities.」

「I’m scared of facing something far too strange you see.」

「I suppose that’s better than being reckless.」

The two continued heading toward the target coordinates.

Suddenly, there was a response from their radars.

「Kou! There’s a Silhouette up ahead! Stay sharp.」

Aimer also gave out a warning.

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「I’ll go and fight it.
You just go ahead to the target coordinates, Kou.」

「Isn’t it better if we defeated it together?」

「There’s no guarantee that there’s only one enemy.
We have to prioritize Ashia’s rescue above everything.
This might be our one and only chance.」

「Our only chance…?」


「Alright, I got it.」

Their machines switched to bipedal walking mode and continued their advance.

The enemy Silhouette was standing right in front of the target coordinates.

It was colored with a dull dark grey paint scheme.
It was plain, without an ounce of flamboyance or pretense.

The general look of the machine was quite similar to Unit 5 before it was overhauled.
However, it was slightly more slender and had a smaller head unit.

The enemy Silhouette attempted to call out to them through the common comm line.


「I’m going.」

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Kou responded calmly to reassure the worried Blue.

The common comm line finally went live.

「Hey, the Lanius over there.
Is that you, Takaba Hyoue?」

Kou’s expression froze.
The middle-aged voice on the other side of the line mentioned a name he was very familiar with.

Blue also gasped in surprise.
Kou was actually mistaken for quite a ridiculous character, she thought inwardly.

The owner of the voice was, of course, Bardo.
The captain of the Underground Force Desmodas.

「Unfortunately, I’m not Hyoue-san.」

Although he hesitated at first, Kou eventually decided to respond.
After all, the other party appeared to be familiar with someone related to him.
So he responded just in case.

「I see.
That’s unfortunate.
I wanted to fight with Hyoue.」

The voice truly sounded disappointed.

「Do you have a grudge of some sort against him?」

Kou responded again before he knew it.

「Hm? Oh, no, not really.
I merely wanted to have a revenge match with the guy.」

The other party promptly answered.

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Kou began to hold a surprisingly good impression of the enemy after hearing his responses.
He didn’t exactly know why though.

「You’re not just any regular guy yourself.
This section can only be entered by Development Engineers.
I don’t know what’s up ahead, but I’m going to have you die here.」

「Well, that’s a problem.
I can’t exactly get myself killed you see.」

He wasn’t exactly sure what his enemy’s deal was.

But what he said was a valuable piece of info to Kou.
The opponent’s Development Engineer rank should be pretty low.
If it was high, then it was possible that he would have been able to interact with Ashia after all.

「I won’t let you have your way.」

After declaring so, Blue stood bravely before Kou.

「Kou, I’m going to handle this guy.
You go on ahead」


「You match up badly with the enemy machine.
That model is–」

Blue’s words paused abruptly as she hesitated about what to say.

Her machine, the SAS-F02 Snipe, was one of the latest Silhouette models, but it specialized in long-range shooting during group combat, so she wasn’t exactly a good matchup for the enemy either.
But she couldn’t tell Kou that.

「Image analysis through Unit 5’s video feed completed.
TSF-R10 Falco.
It’s a general-purpose model that was developed as a lightweight version of the TSW-R1.
Also specializes in close combat.」

Aimer transmitted information to the two with a tense-sounding voice.

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Kou had heard about it from Master.
TSW-R1’s production had been discontinued and that model was its successor.

And the enemy before them was sporting one such machine.

「Because it’s an advanced version of Lanius, it has high combat performance and sports a compound drive mechanism.
Its weapons are a two-handed long sword and a large caliber double-barreled light-gas autocannon.」

Falco was indeed equipped with a cannon with two distinctive barrels.
Although it looked like two cannons lined beside each other, it was actually only a single cannon that uses a seesaw-like recoil mechanism to fire rounds alternately through both barrels.

It was lighter than a Gatling gun and had a simpler internal structure.
Its reliability was also high.
Its weakness was the relatively short service span of its barrels, but that’s been mostly solved by reinforcing it with Whis.

「You can think of it as a more sophisticated machine that is lighter, faster, and more refined than the Lanius by removing the excess components from its predecessor’s design.
This also resulted in reduced production costs.」

「What do you mean by excess components?」

「For example, it did away with the plan to equip the limbs with additional thrusters to enhance maneuverability along with the connectors that would have been used to install it.
There are fewer artificial muscles within the machine’s chest, making its structural strength more dependent on the frame.
But this improved ease of maintenance as a result.」

「Got it.
Thanks, Aimer.」

Kou now mostly understood what the TSF-R10 had sacrificed to achieve its current performance.

Certainly, the TSW-R1 design’s single-minded focus on maneuverability can be said to be excessive.
Many pilots would probably not be able to make good use of all that fine control and maneuverability.
However– If one possessed the necessary skills to take advantage of the machine’s characteristics……

「The latest state-of-the-art model huh……」

Kou muttered under his breath.

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