Japanese swordsmanship also has techniques developed for use when wearing armor called Kaisha Kenjutsu.
But they are deemed unorthodox techniques and are not taught in 21st century Japan.

「Can’t Kou-kun counter it with his iai?」

「It’s no good.
Modern iai was developed during a relatively peaceful period in Japanese history.
It’s not suitable for this kind of battle.
It’s a quickdraw technique, but it’s very difficult to match the speed of a sword being swung down from above.
And the act of pulling out one’s sword itself presents a disadvantage.
Due to the need to pull out one’s sword from the sheath, you always have to perform one extra step compared to the opponent, so the practitioner needs to be considerably skilled to make it work.」

Kou inwardly chuckled as his mouth curled into a strained smile.
It was exactly as Fuyuki said.
Iai did necessitate performing one extra move compared to other styles.
Hence, it was only natural that some iaijustu schools prioritized speed above all else.
It’s to make up for said disadvantage.

However, its advantages lie in disrupting the enemy’s sense of distance and the capability to freely change the trajectory of a slash due to the act of drawing the sword from its sheath.
But since it wasn’t possible to perform a proper sword draw with a Silhouette, the overall effect is minimal even after perfectly replicating the movement patterns.

Hence, the confrontation between Kou and Kurt was like a duel between their two martial styles.
The sense of tension was palpable.
It was enough to make one forget that they were only having a mock battle through simulation.

The two slowly but surely closed the distance between them.
And in a split second– The backs of both their machines unleashed fiery plumes.

In the blink of an eye, the two machines went past each other and swapped positions.
They kept running forward to keep a distance from one another and fixed their stances in positions further out than their initial ones.

An explosive boom belatedly echoed out.
–It was a battle that surpassed the speed of sound.

The armor of both machines suffered cracks.
Although both hadn’t landed clean hits, they still couldn’t completely avoid each other’s huge greatswords.
Here, the more mobile Unit 5 displayed its advantage.
Kou’s machine suffered less damage.

Kou had his machine perform a high-speed turn and quickly got the Wurger back in his sights.
Wurger, on the other hand, made small and measured steps as it tracked Lanius’ movements.

「The same general concept and even similar tactics! Just what is that booster……? It’s not a detonation engine like mine.」

「Kou, that’s a ducted rocket engine!」

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Aki’s frantic warning got transmitted through the comm.

「It’s a variation of a ramjet engine.
However, regular ramjets can’t get activated at less than supersonic speeds, but it can.
It can even activate at zero airspeeds.」

「I came across it during my research…… It’s used in anti-aircraft missiles, right?」

「Yes.
You can’t really control your speed when using it.
The opponent makes turns solely using its engine.
It’s the same general concept as your machine’s detonation engine, but can be said to be even more extreme.」

「So it’s not good at performing tight and precise maneuvers huh.
Yeah, that makes sense.」

As expected of a pioneer of sword-wielding Silhouettes, Kou inwardly praised.
He somehow felt that he could understand the reason why his opponent went for such a design.

Kurt was also currently drenched in a cold sweat.

The opponent’s machine’s acceleration was even faster than he expected.
And it was also quite stable.

He had wanted to settle the match with a single attack.
His intention was to instill a sense of awe in the novice Development Engineer to encourage him further.
However, it was him instead who was nearly defeated in their earlier exchange.

「Those variable speed vector thrusters…… They are quite impressive.
You’re truly a great Development Engineer, Kou-kun.」

Its speed probably still couldn’t compare to the Wurger that’s equipped with a ducted rocket engine.
However, the opponent machine should be capable of performing nimble three-dimensional maneuvers for brief periods of time.

This meant that the Wurger’s initial velocity was higher.
However, Lanius had better sustained performance.

Despite his advanced age, Kurt couldn’t control the excitement rising from his chest.
He surrendered himself to the sense of joy that came from the bottom of his heart and laughed fearlessly.

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