The moment the junkyard’s hatch opened, Kou’s hands trembled.
It was finally time for him to face the Mantis-type Keres in combat.
According to Master, the damn thing was actually mid-boss class.
After training with Unit 5, he proceeded with analyzing the enemy’s tactics and characteristics, then thought up appropriate countermeasures.
Thus he’d passed his first night in this strange new world, but most of it was spent inside Unit 5’s cockpit.
Kou was already quite enamored with the machines called Silhouettes.
He’d already done all he could.
Now it was time to put everything into practice.
He made Unit 5 climb the Silhouette-size launching slope.
Once the final hatch opens, his ordeal will finally begin.
The main hatch slowly opened up.
The city ruin outside was dead quiet.
He came out to an open space with a wide field of view.
Both he and his enemy quickly detected each other’s presences.
They were just a little less than two kilometers apart.
Kou quickly ran through the info Master imparted to him in his head.
Now, it was finally time to fight the powerful enemy Mantis-type.
And right now, he could already sense its emotionless killing intent.
It was a machine whose sole purpose was to destroy its targets.
Kou thought that the generic name ‘Murder’ was really quite apt.
He also somewhat understood why it was shaped like a bug.
Bugs were emotionless creatures after all.
The Mantis-type deployed its railgun from a hatch on its back and began preparations to shoot Unit 5.
Kou didn’t make any evasive maneuver and headed straight for it.
As for why–
「Sorry about this, buddy.」
Kou muttered softly and sighed.
He was using an unmanned Silhouette as a makeshift shield.
As long as it was powered, the high-dimensional projection armor will continue to function indefinitely.
Thus, he thought that one would make for a good shield until he closed in on the enemy.
He found a Bear model with an arm missing among the still-functioning Silhouettes, so he decided on using it for his plan.
The railgun fired with a deafening roar that cut through the air.
The intensity of the sound it made alone was enough evidence of the projectile’s overwhelming velocity.
It advanced at a blistering 2500 meters per second.
It was a speed that exceeded Mach 7.
Even if it was possible to shift his machine’s axis by a bit before impact, he still wouldn’t be able to avoid the projectile.
The projectile swiftly landed.
The one-armed Bear his machine held up in front of it greatly shook.
Kou now experienced the full effect of his senses getting enhanced for the first time.
It did seem that the projectile was not as fast as he first expected.
The railgun projectile’s speed was reduced to a level Kou could perceive.
He can do this.
Kou gained some confidence.
One shot after another landed in succession.
The Bear was tougher than he expected too.
Its remaining left arm was blasted off.
Its legs eventually got destroyed as well.
After firing its twelfth shot, the Mantis-type’s railgun finally paused.
This reprieve was only gonna last for roughly a minute.
「It’s entered its charging phase.
Railguns aren’t suited for rapid-fire.」
Master explained away from behind.
The distance between Kou and the Mantis-type that seemed hopelessly wide at first had now been considerably narrowed.
But he still couldn’t let his guard down.
The Mantis-type deployed its autocannon while attempting to take distance.
This was the weapon Kou witnessed firsthand when he first encountered the Murder here on planet Ashia.
The autocannon fired a stream of bullets as its barrels rotated at high speed.
Unit 5 let go of the Bear and began dashing forward using its rollers.
「Your armor would be able to hold up reasonably against that level of firepower.
However, if you continue to take direct hits, the damage will gradually accumulate.
The enemy will then follow up with a railgun barrage.
Don’t advance in a straightforward manner in preparation for that.」
Unit 5 began to perform slalom maneuvers as it continued to close in on the Mantis-type.
It couldn’t hope to avoid all of the bullets by doing so.
However, it can mess with the enemy’s aim.
Will the enemy’s FCS be able to accurately predict his next positions and still land solid hits–?
Unit 5 did take some hits as expected, but it wasn’t damaged all that much.
The railgun began to fire at it again.
Evading the railgun rounds was impossible.
Kou took evasive action by utilizing quick sidesteps, but he still got hit by several shots.
Along with dull clangs, the armor on Unit 5’s left shoulder and chest were shattered.
The railgun rounds weren’t able to pierce through armor.
They instead made use of high-temperature pressure generated by getting fired at a speed that’s able to break the sound barrier in order to destroy their targets.
It was almost too unbelievable that a Silhouette’s armor can withstand such destructive force.
Even so, the force they generated was truly immense.
Unit 5 lost its balance and fell to the ground.
Because it was moving by using the rollers on the soles of its feet, its balance was unstable.
This was ultimately Kou’s blunder.
Twelve shots have been fired.
The Mantis-type’s railgun entered its charging phase once more.
The cockpit’s impact mitigation was extremely excellent.
Unit 5’s pilot was practically unharmed.
As Kou began steadying himself, something caught his eye.
It was a severely damaged skull in the middle of a dried dark-red puddle on the ground.
Some pieces of flesh still stubbornly clung onto it.
It was probably one of the people killed the day Kou found himself in this place.
It was extremely trivial to kill people with the autocannon that possesses enough power to destroy armored vehicles.
The battered skull seemed to be crying out in despair and resentment.
Kou also felt a sense of mortification.
After all, the person was killed so unreasonably, without even being given a chance.
Kou trembled in shock.
He then remembered his days spent practicing swordsmanship.
He remembered how he used his veranda’s glass window in place of a full-body mirror while swinging his sword single-mindedly.
It was a discipline that can be used for killing, but he didn’t practice it for such a reason.
He merely wanted to eliminate all his wasted movements.
His only enemy was himself.
However, there was an enemy in front of him now.
And he had obtained a way to fight it.
He addressed the unknown corpse.
He only knew it was likely once a living Japanese person as well.
However, he was still going to take revenge for the injustice the unknown person suffered.
It was a promise.
All this happened in mere moments, and the recovery maneuver he performed was quick and resolute.
One of the Mantis-type’s deadly sickles swung downward to slice Unit 5 as it attempted to get up.
Its two sickles were part of what made the Mantis-type an extremely fearsome and deadly enemy.
It was essentially a multi-legged tank that could fight in extremely close range.
This disgusting demon sported these sickles in anticipation of engaging in combat against Silhouettes.
It definitely was a mid-boss class enemy.
It was both an anti-Silhouette and anti-personnel murder machine.
Unit 5 managed to get up in time and successfully avoided the sickle that got swung down.
「Mind your position, Kou.
Positioning is extremely crucial in any battle.」
「Yeah! I gotta let that thing have it!」
Kou felt the back of his head get cold.
It was probably the sensory support function kicking in.
「There must be something I can do… That’s it!」
Although he hardly practiced it, Kou remembered a certain stance.
The waki-gamae stance.
The stance involved bringing out one’s left shoulder and dropping one’s waist.
And then, one would hide the entire length of the sword behind one’s own body.
This stance was originally developed for people wearing full armor.
With it, one can gradually close in on one’s enemy while making them wary of sudden foot sweeps while wearing armor that restricted mobility.
It was a stance suitable for performing counters.
It was perfect for an armored Silhouette.
Kou was suddenly hit by inspiration in the heat of battle and immediately put it to practice.
The enemy swung down its other sickle.
He performed an upward slash at the perfect timing and made Unit 5 retreat half a step afterward.
The speed of the Mantis-type’s attack backfired on it.
Its right arm ended up completely severed.
Kou pressed on.
He split the Mantis-type’s head in half and unleashed a second and third slash.
Low grating clangs rang out, and the head got completely destroyed.
The enemy still managed to attack with its remaining left arm, but it was already too late.
Kou was already right at its bosom.
The Mantis-type hurriedly performed a ramming attack in response.
Due to the effects of high-dimensional projection armor, a Silhouette’s punches and kicks were comparably more effective than long-range attacks.
Kou was already wary of the Mantis-type’s massive bulk and weight.
Unit 5 quickly took half a step back and avoided the attack.
Kou proceeded to slip through the enemy’s remaining left sickle and went around to its left-hand side.
With this, the Mantis-type’s movements were finally sealed.
Granted this was something that couldn’t be pulled off seamlessly when fighting with a human.
The key to mobile combat was positioning.
Kou had clearly managed to experience it first-hand during this battle.
And then, he proceeded to unleash slash after slash.
「With this, it’s over!」
The enemy’s torso was about to be split.
A perfectly timed final slash was performed.
And the Mantis-type was finally cut down.
Its upper body completely stopped functioning.
It probably lost connection with its power reactor the moment it was severed at the waist.
However, it didn’t explode.
「That was splendid, Kou!」
「Allow me to congratulate you once more.
Welcome to the Nemesis warfront.
I am truly glad that you managed to survive.」
The cat declared in a solemn tone.
Kou was almost brought to tears.
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