made possible by the thrusters dedicated to providing high bursts of acceleration by utilizing a prototype pulse detonation engine.

A detonation wave was a combustion-induced shockwave that propagates at hypersonic speeds of up to 3 kilometers per second.
The pulse detonation engine was a propulsion engine that was designed to make use of detonation waves.

The initial explosive sound was generated by the detonation engine activating.
In theory, the load on the machine would exceed 40 Gs.
Nothing less than a Silhouette’s multi-cockpit system would be able to withstand such force.
The resulting pressure was enough to completely flatten any normal cockpit, killing the pilot within.

Unit 5’s earlier acceleration rate should have achieved transonic speed.
More specifically, it should have reached a speed of nearly 1000 kilometers per hour within the span of 5 seconds.

The Fennel OS can enhance a pilot’s senses to the level where they can even perceive the path of a fired railgun round.
In order to create a slash that would be able to counter this sense augmentation, Kou made modifications to Unit 5 that enhanced its instantaneous acceleration ability.

「Ugh.
So you’re the same kind of monster as Takaba huh.」

「I can’t really compare to Hyoue-san.
But I won’t deny that I’m probably a similar type of person as him.」

「Gimme your name before you finish me off, will you? I’m Bardo.
I’m gonna wait for you in hell.」

「My name is Kou.」

Kou then thrust his greatsword straight through the now-armless Falco’s back.
It accurately penetrated the power unit with the in-built Whis reactor installed in the lower section of the enemy Silhouette’s multi-cockpit system.

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The greatsword effortlessly pierced through the lower section of the cockpit and emerged through the front end of the Silhouette’s lower torso.
Unit 5 raised the helpless Falco aloft as it skewered the machine with its sword.

It then casually swung its sword to the side, flinging the enemy machine away.
The Falco soared straight to a wall and crashed into it.

The Falco completely lost all its combat capability.
The Silhouette’s power system was completely shot, depriving it of any ability to move.

Once he confirmed that the enemy had really been totally neutralized, Kou walked to one side and picked up his AK2.

The Falco was completely deactivated.
The cockpit was submerged in darkness, with all its functions lost.
After all, the machine had lost its power unit.
There’s no way it would be able to move.

「Urgh… It’s my complete loss.」

The multi-cockpit system’s shock mitigation function had also been lost when it was deprived of power.
Hence, the shock from the impact when the machine crashed into the wall was immense.

Blood freely flowed down from Bardo’s forehead.

Still, he wore an amused smile.
Now, he was sure that there definitely were even more monsters out in the world aside from Takaba Hyoue.

He burned Kou’s name into his memory.
Now, he had two people he wanted to fight.
He mused that this was why it was worth it to side with the Stones.

「A transferee huh.
They sure are a damn group of monsters.
–Kou huh.
I’m gonna fight you again.
I definitely will!」

His machine should have had a better performance.
No, it’s just that the enemy’s thruster was too damn special, he thought.
But he knew in his heart that he was just making excuses for himself.

Bardo inwardly vowed to have a rematch with his new target.

Inside the hangar carrier of Kou’s group, the two lady Therianthropes gleefully cheered.

Aimer, who was usually expressionless, had the corner of her lips slightly arched up, forming a faint smile.

As for Blue, she was still gobsmacked after witnessing Kou’s battle.

To her, Kou’s earlier moves were like seeing a completely different person.
It was the same for Unit 5.

She was familiar with the name “Bardo”.
He was the captain of the Underground Force Desmodas and a genuine battle maniac.

With him defeating such a famous pilot, Kou’s name would probably become quite well-known from here on out.

And then, she remembered the alternate meanings of the name “Lanius” that she looked up previously.

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The Butcher.

The Slaughterer, The Ripper, The Impaler…… They all sounded pretty grisly.
The shrike, or butcherbird, was associated with those appellations.

The Falco, with its back impaled with a sword, was simply the “butcherbird’s” prey.

The Slaughterer or The Ripper.
No, perhaps The Impaling Sword Demon would be more appropriate.
–Kou fought in a way that well deserved such a nickname.

「That was wonderful.」

She connected to Kou’s comms and only managed to say those words to him.

Kou, meanwhile, sported a complicated expression.

「What’s wrong?」

「No, well…… It’s about the battles I fought previously.
This is the first time I actively fought with the intent to kill, so I was wondering if my actions were really alright.
That’s all.」

Kou wanted to grasp victory by preventing the enemy machines from fully making use of their capabilities.

In his last fight, he wanted to determine the power of the other party, clash with him with all his strength, and then surpass him.

Of course, soldiers were supposed to be prepared to perform even less-upstanding methods to achieve victory.
Therefore, he employed the most efficient and effective actions to win.
However, it wasn’t exactly an upfront and honest clash of skills.

「D-Don’t be an idiot! That was an amazing battle! This is a battlefield you know!」

Blue couldn’t help but shout at Kou in admonishment.

「Mm.
You’re right.」

This person was really hopeless, Blue inwardly sighed.
He was hopeless if no one watches over him.

Blue was convinced that was the case and resolved herself to keep an eye on Kou.

「Let’s move on.
Asia’s waiting.」

Kou forcefully changed the topic.
Things felt pretty awkward.

Blue let out a soft sigh and nodded in response.

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