Editor: MadTix & Masadeer
In order to retrieve some energy-gels and other medical supplies, we had to hide ourselves. We were stepping onto Diablo’s territory and we could be killed in an instant if we were noticed.
I could feel Ensign Meihowa becoming more and more nervous as we approached the Diablo.
“Are you okay, Ensign? You can always get off if you’re scared.”
The Alter-Armour was switched on, so things should be fine somehow. There was no need to take her with me to the lion’s den.
However, Ensign Meihowa shook her head.
“I’m not scared.”
“Really? A Minion-class like this will disintegrate in an instant from a blow from Diablo. You would be gone before you even feel any pain.”
“I-I am scared, but I’m not scared!”
She spat out words that made no sense. I smirked, seeing her slightly turning her head to look back at me.
“You’re not lying, are you? Fine, let’s get going then! You can’t get off now, Meihowa! My fighting style can work with tandem piloting! No! We would die if we don’t pilot a Minion-class in tandem! We must tandem it! Help me!”
Meihowa’s voice was energetic! Great, let’s go!
—Imitation Change: Camouflage!
The Alter-Armour instantly made itself transparent. Although it was not shifting into a different dimension to allow physical objects to pass through it like Phase Shifting, it just blended into its surroundings.
Alter-Armours that had been based off the Letix; hyperspace creatures, had the ability to change the laws of physics while obeying them at the same time.
But of course, those built-in skills of the Alter-Armours were useless unless the pilot knew about the skills and knew how to bring those skills out. However, the pilot who was operating this machine was I, the greatest pilot in the history of the Federation, Vice Admiral Lezirth Dawnbringer!
I operated the machine to go straight into the destroyed jungle ahead of us, while staying in this state. The jungle had already been reduced to ash because of the fire and I saw a glimpse of some military supply boxes in the ashes.
I snuck some of the boxes into the cockpit while Diablo wasn’t paying attention. I opened the boxes with psychic powers to check the contents, and threw out everything apart from energy-gels, adrenaline and atropine.
I stocked up greatly on the energy-gels in particular, because this was the key element to my plan.
“Good. I suppose we’re all ready.”
I finally finished preparing for the fight after stuffing the cockpit full of medical supplies.
Then suddenly, the communication channel opened.
Admiral Luise was on the screen, rubbing her eyes. I was surprised and stared at her, frozen.
[Why… why are you with the Ensign? Are you going tandem? Are you in tandem right now?]
“Ah, you see… because I didn’t have the operational right.”
[Wait a minute! If you fight the Diablo with Federation equipment, then the battle records will remain anyway. And if you fight like that, your combat prowess will be revealed instantly! I’ll delete the record, so there’s no need to operate it in tandem!]
Admiral Luise really instantly deleted this Alter-Armour from the Federation database and turned this into an unregistered Alter-Armour. I could indeed operate this without tandem mode now. However, I shook my head.
“I need an assistant to fight with a Minion-class. It would take time to bring Ensign Meihowa to a safer place, and I need an assistant… so I will fight like this.”
[Hmm… that may be true, but for a male and a female to be in a small place like that is…!]
“The Tetragrammaton could attack the rescue force, so I think it would be wise to hurry.”
I quickly grabbed the cockpit handle. I used the nerves in my hand to contact the Alter-Armour.
Although the Alter-Armour was operating without any problems, it was still a Minion-class, it would be defeated by the Diablo in an instant.
I had to bring out the full potential of this Alter-Armour.
I concentrated my mind.
—I have to send my heart to this Alter-Armour and become its strength. Hence, I had to become the heart of this Alter-Armour.
“I am Lezirth Dawnbringer, and a partner to the Kishin Dawnbringer. Will you also lend me your strength?”
The Alter-Armour replied with a positive ring to my question. I quickly became sorry for this machine.
“My methods can be quite extreme. Can you forgive me?”
The Alter-Armour again replied with a positive ring. It did not know what suffering really was because it was more or less a newborn.
Alter-Armours couldn’t feel pain of course, but they could feel suffering. And this little one will soon taste it.
“Amazing. The Alter-Armour… is responding like a real organism!”
Ensign Meihowa exclaimed. Hmm, I felt this all the time, but this must’ve been the first time for her.
“I really do feel bad about making a newborn go through a lot of suffering!”
Even as I said that, I raised my body. Now was the time to challenge the Diablo!
“Then I shall name this Alter-Armour, Dawnbringer Minion. Dawnbringer Minion! Activate battle mode!”
At that instant, golden light started to radiate from Dawnbringer Minion’s body, below its dull armour.
◊ ◊ ◊
The unregistered machine, this small Minion-class machine walked up to the Diablo and boldly stood before it.
The mad black beast, measuring 40 meters tall, was emitting lightning from its horn and was burning down the sky, the ground and the seas. The Minion-class machine was no different from a boy confronting a giant.
However, the Minion-class was glowing with a golden aura and pointed its finger at the black beast, Kishin Diablo.
My amplified voice came out not from the communication channel, but from the Alter-Armour’s external speakers.
“I will save you, so you just wait there!”
The Minion-class measured 10 meters in height, a quarter of Kishin Diablo’s height, and its strength was miniscule in comparison. If anyone was watching this scene, they would think that the Minion-class pilot was out of his mind.
But luckily, there were only five people who were watching this scene.
First was the pilot stuck in the Kishin Diablo. There were two pilots on board the Minion-class; Meihowa and I. And finally there were our two supporters, Luise and Aroha.
The fate of Azora-3 rested in the hands of these five people.
—Kishin Arts: Lightning Fire Piercing Fist!
Diablo extended its fist at the sudden challenger. No, it wasn’t quite ‘extended’. It was closer to ‘fired’.
It measured a staggering height of 40 meters, and its limbs were disproportionately long. Its long arm flew towards us in a blink of an eye. Its speed was faster than the second cosmic velocity!
Air around the path of the fist was instantly ionized and turned to plasma, and the lightning flew at everything within a 300-meter radius. The punch performed exactly as it was named, Lightning Fire Piercing Fist!
If the punch makes contact with this Minion-class Alter-Armour, it would disappear without a trace.
However, something amazing happened. The gigantic, 40-meter tall black Kishin, Diablo, fell into the sea.
A gigantic pillar of water rose from the sea and caused a small tsunami on the shores.
“Wh-What?! Can you really save me?”
The pilot stuck inside the out of control Diablo realized something at that moment.
That the Minion-class Alter-Armour before its eyes was the one who was going to save him; not some Kishin from the Federation!
◊ ◊ ◊
“Wouldn’t this do?”
I opened a pack of energy-gel as I said that. Ensign Meihowa was in the process of pouring the energy-gel into the emergency energy slot under the cockpit.
“H-How did you throw the Kishin away with a Minion-class? Was it Kishin Arts?”
I answered Ensign Meihowa as she looked back at me in shock.
“What is this warning noise from the cockpit? I’ve never seen this before.”
Red light was flashing inside the cockpit like lights in a nightclub.
“Ah! That’s just a sign to say that the Minion-class was stepping out of its limits. It’s something like humans getting dizzy from excessive or sudden exercise. It's comparable to taking excessive insulin.”
That was why we were squeezing energy-gel into the machine.
My plan worked, for now.
I used my telekinesis to direct Diablo’s fist towards the ground.
After making the Lighting Fire Piercing Punch hit the ground, I used the opening to land a kick on its leg.
Would the Kishin-class machine even be affected by a kick from a Minion-class?
But thanks to the Kishin losing its balance after the misdirected punch, Diablo the Black Tyrant was already falling forwards.
“I’ll show you how to really use a Kishin!”
“This isn’t a Kishin-class, but a Minion-class!”
Ensign Meihowa retorted, but I silenced her retort.
“I am the Dawnbringer!”
—Martial Arts! Yama Arashi!
I had kicked Diablo’s foot and planted Diablo straight into the sea.
However, the Minion-class Alter-Armour fell into a state of confusion because of the explosive amount of energy I forced it to attack the Black Tyrant with.
The warning light in the cockpit flashed like the lights at a nightclub on a Saturday night! What a great beat!
The screaming belonging to either Diablo’s pilot or the Kishin itself exploded out. Diablo swung its fist into the sea and raised itself up.
Its neck and limbs had broken from the fall, but it was recovering rather quickly.
I would’ve secured the victory at an opportunity like this, but our Alter-Armour was half dead from using the technique.
Diablo charged at us again. It spread out its arms and charged like a wild animal. Hyperspace was formed between its claws and became a giant net.
A normal pilot would be scared shitless at the sight, but Diablo had to do a lot more to scare me.
I performed a sidestep feint. I jumped to its side and dug deep without giving it a chance to respond.
As expected from an inexperienced pilot, it left its side wide open.
“Here I go!”
I threw a power fist onto Diablo’s body. With the clear hit, I let out an explosion! Activating the Coil Rifle, the punch accelerated and pierced through Diablo’s armour!
Unlike the Kishin Diablo that was already blessed with strong abilities, lower-ranked Alter-Armours were equipped with Colion Rifles and electrically-powered power fists.
Although I wasn’t sure how much damage I could deal… it was better than nothing when supplemented by my psychic powers.
—Kishin Arts! ...Is what I’d like to call it, but just Martial Arts! Lightning Fire Piercing Fist!
The Cherenkov radiation seeped through the Diablo’s body with the attack.
Although this Lightning Fire Piercing Fist was just a psychic-powered one, its strength still couldn’t be ignored. I could probably take down a Minion-class Alter-Armour when I perform it barehanded. But performing it with an Alter-Armour should’ve strengthened the attack by a fair amount.
If the Diablo was just an ordinary 40-meter tall robot, it would’ve been reduced to dust by the punch.
However, Kishins possessed defensive ability that could disperse some of the received damage into hyperspace. The punch wouldn’t have been enough to deal a great amount of damage to a Kishin.
But what if I attack in a chain combo?
I continued to attack Diablo’s body. The pilot inside still didn’t know what to do and was taking the beating.
But it was as tough as I expected! Diablo’s armour certainly was cracking from the continuous hits, but it was recovering itself at the same time. What was even worse, Diablo began to get its head straight and tried to counter attack.
I could hear Ensign Meihowa screaming loudly. And at the same time, Diablo raised its claws and swung them at Dawnbringer Minion!
“I’ve been waiting for that!”
As soon as the Diablo attacked, I escaped to the area under its armpit.
I knew of course that the Diablo possessed a hidden arm under its armpit and that it could slice apart a Minion-class Alter-Armour instantly.
But I dealt a strong blow to its hidden arm as I avoided it and swung around to Diablo’s back and stood on the back of its neck. And a kick!
—Kishin Arts! ...Is what I’d like to call it, but just a normal kick!
The kick was measly compared to the Infernal Stinger from the Diablo, but a great amount of energy was behind the kick. Air ionized and plasma bounced off Diablo’s head with the kick.
The 40-meter tall giant was kicked on the back of its head, fell and rolled across the sea. Pillars of water shot up and tsunamis slammed against the nearby islands.
“The difference between our skills is like heaven and earth! Now, I’ll end it here!”
I supplied more energy to the Alter-Armour to finish off the Diablo.
But suddenly, the cockpit became dark. The Dawnbringer Minion that was hovering in mid-air suddenly stopped moving and began to fall.
“Kyaa!? What’s going on?!”
Ensign Meihowa yelled. I protected her from the shock with my psychic abilities as I shouted.
“Damn, it turned off. Meihowa, pass me the atropine shot!”
“Oh my word! I don’t know if we’re dealing with an Alter-Armour, or a patient in an emergency ward here!”
Ensign Meihowa poked the atropine needle into the inner wall of the cockpit and the Dawnbringer Minion sprang back to life.
I quickly spurred Dawnbringer Minion from crashing into the sea and slowed down in mid-air.
“Whew, this guy can’t handle it when I use too much strength. I guess it’s too much for a Minion-class.”
“Will it be OK? The Alter-Armour will become a drug addict at this rate!”
“It should be fine, I suppose. There is no scientific report that shows that Alter-Armours can become drug addicts. Probably. Now, we’re not that far away! We have to set Diablo free!”
When I grabbed the handle inside the cockpit, I could hear the machine groaning in complaint. Although it couldn’t feel pain, it was feeling disheartened. Its confidence was now nowhere to be found.
As expected! This Alter-Armour probably didn’t think that a pilot as harsh as me existed.
But it can’t be helped, can it? This was the only way to fight a Kishin-class without dying while using a Minion-class. I was pushing this Alter-Armour to its absolute limits to fight the Kishin, but even a scratch from the Diablo could turn all of us into space dust.
Diablo the Black Tyrant slowly turned its head. It appeared to be extremely angry.
“We’re going straight away! Give it a lot of energy-gel!”
“Ah… I should’ve brought a trench shovel.”
Would you have shovelled the energy-gel if you’d brought one? Ensign Meihowa regretted her lack of preparation and threw in the energy-gels while opening the energy-packs half-heartedly.
Diablo let out a war cry and swung its arms widely to attack. Its attacks created lightning that was far too powerful to be avoided, even with Phase Shifts.
A single hit can kill us! So I had to avoid all of its attacks.
“You’re slow! Weak! How pitiful! Florid Dance!”
Dawnbringer Minion radiated golden light and jumped, weaving in and out of spaces, to avoid Diablo’s attacks. I was in an Alter-Armour, so teleporting didn’t scare me now!
Diablo turned around to chase my movements but I jumped to the back of its head to attack.
[You little pest!]
Suddenly, Diablo crossed its arms. Pale blue light began to radiate from its body.
This is dangerous!
—Kishin Arts! Lion’s Roar!
As predicted! An EMP shockwave radiated from its body in all directions. I couldn’t avoid this attack!
Lion’s Roar was a relatively weak attack, but that was only in the cases when battling against another Kishin. A Minion-class can easily be shattered by the shockwave alone.
I have to face this one!
—Kishin Arts! Lion’s Roar! …Is what I’d like to call it, but just EMP!
I activated the EMP generator on Dawnbringer Minion’s shoulders. It was pitifully weak because it was being performed mechanically, not via a Kishin Art like the real Diablo.
However, this weakened the Diablo’s attack. I seized the opportunity to use telekinesis to kick Diablo’s head again.
Diablo’s pilot screamed in pain and was knocked backwards. Thanks to that, the Lion’s Roar from Diablo stopped.
However, Dawnbringer Minion was briefly nuked by the attack.
It was in this state even when I protected it with a psychic barrier and an EMP generator.
“This is not good! We’re nearly out of energy-gel!”
I heard Ensign Meihowa screaming. Damn it! I was holding my ground relatively well, but Diablo’s regeneration power was far too powerful. Won’t I end up in the same state as the Master-class quartet from the Ursa Major Brigade?
“Meihowa! Give it some adrenaline!”
I drove the Alter-Armour to Diablo’s chest firing off the Coil Rifle as it was unsteady from the impact to its head. Diablo must be laughing at my attacks, because it didn’t even bother to avoid them.
A series of explosions sounded. I quickly ran out of Coil Rifle ammunition because I was shooting at maximum output.
This time, I abandoned the Coil Rifle and slashed away at Diablo with the giant sword. Trying to avoid the attack, Diablo stepped back, but tripped and landed on a rocky mountain.
The mountain was scraped away as Diablo slid off it. However, Diablo’s finger moved as it slid.
Diablo had flung a boulder with its finger—at the speed of sound, at that. It broke as it flew and sprayed plasma trails as it flew.
I put up a psychic barrier and took on a defensive pose. Even I could defend myself, unarmed, if it was an attack of that level.
However, the problem was that Dawnbringer Minion was unable to fight at its full potential because of fatigue. The psychic barrier broke and the plasma jets struck Dawnbringer Minion.
—Danger! Inertia control has reached the limit!
The built-in computer inside the cockpit screamed at me. I protected Ensign Meihowa with telekinesis and backed off to land on the sea.
I was left defenceless because I was protecting Meihowa, and I felt the full impact of the attack. Everything before me turned red. I was bleeding internally in my eyes and my stomach was churning. I threw up blood from my mouth. I felt hot with dizziness and something slimy fell from my eyes.
Meihowa screamed. But I shook my head.
“I’m fine! This was something quite common back in the days. The new cockpits have really improved.”
But the differences between the machines’ abilities were too great. The Kishin was perfectly fine even after all that beating I inflicted on it. My Alter-Armour on the other hand, couldn’t even use Kishin Arts and could be instantly reduced to rubble by a half-hearted attack from it.
My vision started to become hazy. Was I bleeding too much?
Suddenly, Diablo’s body began to vibrate. A tree-like object began to grow from Diablo’s neck as it lay collapsed on the mountain.
It was a flora-type form that the Letix took on when they absorb energy and nutrients to recover themselves. Did Diablo form that to recover itself?
[Now is the time, Lezirth! That’s Dawnbringer!]
Admiral Luise suddenly called me via the communication channel.
Now that she mentioned it, it did feel familiar. However, Dawnbringer Minion, the Alter-Armour that I was riding, couldn’t move properly because of the Kishin Arts attack.
“We’re out of energy-gel! There’s some canned coffee, but can we use it?”
“Geez, I feel like a coal feeder back in the steam-engine era!”
Meihowa began to move while seated on my lap. However, I couldn’t see inside the cockpit now, because I was blinded. However, I could feel her feeding the Alter-Armour canned coffees and adrenaline shots.
“Dawnbringer! It’s me, Lezirth!”
I didn’t know if it could hear me, but I called out to Dawnbringer and climbed up the mountain. The Alter-Armour, unable to fly, crawled up the mountain weakly. Rocks before the machine’s feet broke and rolled away, and Dawnbringer Minion fell forwards. But I still pushed it to crawl forward.
Diablo, the Black Tyrant, slowly moved. The damage I dealt was miniscule to it. If it wakes up, we will die. Maybe it would be wiser of me to flee?
The thought crossed my mind, but… no, I can’t. I can’t leave now, when Dawnbringer is right before my eyes.
“Dawnbringer! Answer me!”
Lezirth Dawnbringer, the war hero who protected the Human-Race from the Letix invasion with one hundred thousand marines and the Kishin Dawnbringer.
People thought that the Kishin was named after me.
However, that was wrong.
I was one of the Children of Letix, and Dawnbringer was also born from a Letix Uberlord, the Old One. Dawnbringer and I did not only share a simple pilot and machine relationship.
◊ ◊ ◊
“Lezirth! Where did he go?”
I could hear people looking for me outside. However, I curled up into a ball like a fetus and enjoyed the coziness.
The pleasant sound of the beating heart. I quietly closed my eyes and nodded my head while enjoying the beat. When I nodded my head, its heart sang back to me with an enjoyable rhythm.
“You. I knew you would be here again.”
[Replicant Sample Boy B, secured!]
Researchers dressed in white coats often found me curled up and sleeping inside Dawnbringer’s embrace. No, words such as Dawnbringer, Kishin or Alter-Armour did not exist back then. There were only the words ‘Letix Uber Replica’ that existed to label us.
“Why does he sleep here instead of the bed?”
“Well, that’s because the boy was found in the research centre, not born here.”
“We found this boy here.”
They pointed inside Dawnbringer’s body.
◊ ◊ ◊
Dawnbringer was no simple machine. It was my brother, my flesh and my soul.
I was a first generation Replicant. I was born as a Replicant even before such a term existed.
Don’t you think I was conflicted!?
Don’t you think I was conflicted about my genetic makeup, being different from other humans, because I was created by humans as something different?
However, even Dawnbringer had a will of its own, no matter how much it appeared to be a machine. I could feel Dawnbringer’s support for me as it soothed me, protected me and became my strength.
That was why I could have a will of my own as well as a personality of my own.
“Dawnbringer! Come to me!”
When I called out to Dawnbringer, something unexpected took place.
A golden light fell from the heavens and onto Diablo. Dawnbringer was finally freed from Diablo.
“No way! This is unbelievable!”
Diablo’s pilot screamed in surprise. Diablo lay sprawled out on the floor after all that struggling.
Meanwhile, Dawnbringer, or Dawnbringer’s core—the Alter-Core rather, slammed itself onto Dawnbringer Minion’s body, where I was riding.
Dawnbringer answered my call!
I described this as unexpected, but I must correct myself. This was not expected. It was only obvious for Dawnbringer to respond to my call! Because I would've done the same had it been the other way around!
Suddenly, Dawnbringer Minion’s strength began to recover. The lighting inside the cockpit became stronger and the Alter-Armour’s condition stabilized quickly.
—Thump… thump… thump….
The heartbeats that watched over me in my younger days came back.
Ensign Meihowa was lost for words.
“Today is really full of surprises. To think… that Alter-Armours were like this! They have a will of their own?”
I felt proud as I listened to her exclamations, and nodded my head. I could hear Dawnbringer’s heartbeat and feel its presence. Yes, this was my Dawnbringer!
I was happy.
My dear friend that I’m finally reunited with.
We were separated for 120 years without even knowing each other’s whereabouts, but I suppose it was fate that brought us together.
We were finally united in this vast universe.
“This must be fate, partner!”
Dawnbringer let out a cry in reply.
“That’s right. Alter-Armours are no simple machines. Now then! Let’s get this party started!”
Then, Dawnbringer Minion’s body glowed in brilliant gold.
Dawnbringer Minion’s body began to grow! It ate away its old external armour and digested it to create a new layer of armour. The EMP generator on its back was also sucked into Dawnbringer’s body, but Dawnbringer’s biotic EMP generator—electron eye was formed.
But at the same time, Diablo raised itself up. It must’ve come to its senses after being freed of Dawnbringer. It now had a different aura than before.
[I… must thank you for now, pilot of the Federation!]
[I should be thanking you! For delivering Dawnbringer to me like this!]
I smiled. I couldn’t help but to smile. This Alter-Armour was no longer the weak Minion-class machine like before! The real Dawnbringer came back to me!
[This is a showdown! I can’t back down like this!]
[You took the words straight out of my mouth! I will show you how to really use a Kishin, after seeing you get beaten to a pulp by the Master-class quartet, when you’re piloting the Black Tyrant!]
I answered like that and lifted up the giant sword. I’ve been fighting mostly unarmed before, but Dawnbringer’s title was Sacred Sword of Justice!
—Dawnbringer the Sacred Sword of Justice, go forth!
The giant sword began to disintegrate and re-form. The sword measuring 6 meters long quickly turned into a 100 meter long sword of light.
—Kishin Arts! Stormlash!
Diablo the Black Tyrant spread out its claws and attacked with a storm of black lightning and hyperspace. It was an immensely powerful attack!
It was powerful enough to create a moon when executed properly, but the Black Tyrant was not at its full strength. The pilot was far too immature to bring out Diablo’s full potential.
I swung the sword of light and met the black storm from Diablo head on. The radiating sword of light slashed through the darkness and sliced through both of Black Tyrant’s arms.
Both of Diablo’s arms were lopped off. I saw the inflicted damage and manoeuvred Dawnbringer into the sky.
“This will hurt, so brace yourself!”
Dawnbringer spun in mid-air at high speed. As it did, the sword of light that it was holding, the Sacred Sword of Justice spun with frightening speed and began to slice Diablo recklessly.
—Kishin Arts! Sacred Sword of Justice! Schrödinger’s Cat Slash!
Dawnbringer jumped over Diablo and skidded over the water as it leapt off Diablo’s back. It skidded like a water ski and Dawnbringer spun to a stop, brandishing the sword.
“Hmph, don’t worry. I only struck you with the back of the sword.”
Dawnbringer’s Sacred Sword of Justice had no back. The sword was an invincible sword that was able to cut down gods, fiends, and even the Schrödinger’s Cat.
I just felt like saying it.
As I put the sword away, Diablo the Black Tyrant was completely down.
◊ ◊ ◊
“Lezirth… your eyes… your body!”
I could hear Ensign Meihowa making a fuss next to me. However, I closed my eyes while seated in the cockpit.
“It’s OK. The medical nanomachines are already healing me. Let me just rest here like this for a bit.”
I could feel Meihowa’s hand stroking my face.
Was she wiping my blood? I slowly opened my eyes and saw Meihowa’s crying face before me. My eyes must’ve recovered.
“Meihowa, why are you crying?”
“I-I’m not. I do not cry. You are mistaken!”
She cried and laughed at the same time as she hugged my neck. I licked my lips and extended my hand to her back and touched her wings.
Ensign Meihowa quickly stood up and glared at me.
“I-I told you not to do that! Didn’t you promise me! Why are you so disloyal?”
I laughed and tried to move Dawnbringer. However, the Alter-Armour suddenly shut down.
—Entering human mode.
Huh? What’s it saying?
Sacred Sword of Justice was indeed one of the more powerful techniques that cost a lot of energy, but it was not the Ultimate Kishin Technique. I did consider using the Ultimate Kishin Technique since it’s been such a long time, but I held back knowing that I would kill both Diablo and its pilot if I did use it.
But why did the Dawnbringer go to sleep?
[Lezirth! The Alter-Core that you just recovered was only 5% of the entire Dawnbringer.]
Admiral Luise informed me over the communication channel.
“Eh? So that means?!”
[The Federation holds the remaining 95%.]
Damn! I knew something was wrong when Dawnbringer’s attack was weaker than usual. I just suspected that it was because it was trapped inside a 10-meter tall Alter-Armour, compared to its glorious former height of 40 meters. So this was not the whole Dawnbringer?
[Wow, so you defeated the Black Tyrant with only 5% of the Kishin’s strength?!]
I heard Sergeant Aroha’s surprised voice.
Hey, I just faced off against the Black Tyrant with a Minion-class machine, you know! That’s what you should be surprised about! And the current Black Tyrant cannot even be considered as a complete Kishin.
The pilot is still wet behind the ears.
A Kishin can only be called true and complete if the Kishin-class pilot and Kishin are in unison.
[Is the Diablo dead?]
Diablo won’t die. It was simply knocked out and Diablo was quickly recovering itself from its severe damage.
It wouldn’t be able to wake up for a few weeks, but Diablo’s state has stabilized. It was because the Dawnbringer’s core that was forcefully planted inside is gone.
Diablo was also Dawnbringer’s brother in a sense. The circumstances brought the two brothers to fight, but… I suppose letting the brothers kill each other was far too much.
But will this Alter-Armour be okay? Even if it was of the same system as Dawnbringer, it might be dangerous to keep it fused with foreign cells.
Suddenly, someone called be via short distance wireless communication. I opened the connection and saw a silver-haired Elcro boy looking at me from what looked to be inside the Diablo.
His dark green eyes were sharp and he was a handsome man with sharp features. He looked like a prince out of some old shoujo manga.
Could he be an Elcro prince? Seeing that he was an unskilled pilot, that certainly was a possibility.
[I am the fifth prince of the Elcro Oden Kingdom and a captain of the Alliance, Captain Tenseron. I thank you for the mercy you have bestowed upon me. May I hear your name?]
[My name is quite well known, so it would be troublesome for me to say it recklessly. But I will allow you to hear it if you swear to keep it off the records.]
Tenseron’s expression quickly turned sour. It must’ve been because of my egotism and the fact that there was an Elcro in the cockpit.
Tenseron whispered absentmindedly.
Meihowa hugged my neck in surprise. What was he saying?
[No, th-there is no way. Fine. I will promise to keep it off the records. I swear on my pride.]
“My name is Lezirth Dawnbringer. I am the Commander of Dawn Corps.”
[Wow. So you are the legendary hero that all Replicants worship.]
“Eh? Really? Geez, how embarrassing, there’s no need to worship me. Wait, why do you believe me without doubting?”
No one believed me before and often treated me like a greenie, but I was taken aback, having an enemy I’ve never met before accepting what I just said. I wanted him to doubt me, but how dare he believe me?
[Well, who else could stand up to the Kishin Diablo with a Minion-class machine? Do not worry. I will keep my promise. However, I will challenge you again in the future when I grow stronger. Then oh Great Artus! Please collect your servant!]
When Tenseron prayed, white light began to glow beneath Diablo’s feet. Surprisingly, Diablo appeared to melt and slowly faded into the light.
A warp gate.
It was Elcro white magic that allowed them to travel between space, but carried no consequences to either the user or companion, unlike Teleport. Although it was not as efficient as a hyperspace leap, it allowed the user to travel greater distances than Teleport.
Rumour has it that warp gates were much safer than teleporting because they are blessed by their god Artus.
Although that prince Tenseron was inexperienced as a pilot, his must be one of the best white magic users, even among Elcros. He did move Diablo by himself after all.
‘Then I suppose that means he has great potential.’
If he achieved perfection in one field, then his potential as a pilot would be high. The Elcros must have expected the boy to be able to pilot the Kishin when his potential was measured to be high during the testings.
Maybe I’m letting a formidable foe walk away alive here?
‘Well, he can’t do much to me even if he improves.’
Those skills… well, he wouldn’t have a chance against me even if he came back 200 times stronger. He thinks he can defeat me when he lost to me, piloting a Minion-class, and he had a Kishin-class? Hahaha!
[You should’ve defeated him. Then we could’ve recovered Diablo as a bonus. Isn’t it better to have more Kishins?]
Sergeant Aroha grumbled over the comm channel. She sounded bothered by the fact that I allowed Diablo’s pilot to leave. However, I bitterly smiled.
[I, as a Replicant, don’t want to do that much for the current Federation. My identity will also be revealed if I do reclaim the Kishin.]
“S-So, you really are… um…”
Ensign Meihowa cleared her throat and looked at me.
“You really are the Vice Admiral… Lezirth Dawnbringer?”
Ensign Meihowa worded her question while looking at my face. I’ve drilled that fact to her hundreds of times, but it looks like she finally believes me.
I smiled broadly and pulled down her cap over her face.
“And you thought I was a maniac when I told you before.”
She was fidgeting nervously, unaware of how to address me. Seeing her like that, I saluted her.
“Ensign Liu Meihowa. My name is Lezirth Dawnbringer, an Apprentice. I may be new, but please look after me!”
Both the Federation and the Alliance hid secrets yet unknown to us. I must not let others know that I am Lezirth Dawnbringer so easily until I figure out what is going on.
This was the future that the ones who purged Admiral Luise and I 120 years ago made. Assuming that they were still in power, revealing our identities will just get us purged again.
I did just tell the Diablo’s pilot my name, but now that I think about it…
It was crazy of me to tell him my name and expect him to believe it. I said it out of the mood, so it can’t be helped.
“Well, the detailed story is quite long, so I’ll tell it to you some other time.”
[To think that I can treat the Vice Admiral any way that I want. I’m glad I joined the Armed Forces.]
Sergeant Aroha smiled brightly as she said that.
“Hey, don’t you think you should change your attitude towards me now that you found out that I am the Vice Admiral, Sergeant?”
[Lezirth, Ensign Meihowa! I will re-register that Alter-Armour onto the Federation records, so you can exit the tandem mode. Please hurry up and get out!]
Admiral Luise spoke with a higher tone. Hmm, she can see us right now because the visual channel is also open, isn’t it?
Ensign Meihowa also realised that point and quickly stood up.
“Huh? Ah! W-We should. Then let us return, Lezirth.”
“But hasn’t this machine become the new Kishin Dawnbringer because it absorbed some of the Dawnbringer’s core? What if this gets taken away by the Federation when it is re-registered? And its height must be at least a Minor-class, not a Minion-class.”
[Don’t worry. I can adjust the regular maintenance records. That’s nothing too difficult for me. Hmph.]
Admiral Luise appeared to be upset for some reason. Sergeant Aroha hugged her and giggled.
[Gee, Luise, you’re so adorable! Here, give your big sis a kiss!]
Like I said, Sergeant Aroha, that person is the former Chief of Staff. I doubt her attitude would change even if I tell her again though.
Ensign Meihowa and I stepped out of the Alter-Armour and jumped back onto the Thorium electric bike. I was on the wheels this time, with Meihowa seated behind me.
“It’s because you keep touching my wings…”
“No, it’s because they have this attractive charm.”
She pouted and hugged my waist after sitting down behind me.
I didn’t realize this because I was always seated behind her on the bike and during the tandem, but something touched me when she hugged my back.
“Why aren’t you moving?”
“Ah, I-I should.”
If Meihowa had this type of impact, then how much impact would Aroha, who is visually bigger than her, have? W-Wait, what am I thinking? No. I have to concentrate on driving! Concentrate!
1. T/N: The technique was already written in Japanese. Literally means Mountain Storm. ←
1. T/N: The technique was already written in Japanese. Literally means Mountain Storm. ←