Editor: MadTix & Masadeer
The Space Federation was a city state. As a state created by the union of citizens, the deaths of citizens were taken very seriously.
So even during a war, the Space Federation was very cautious about killing people needlessly. If a soldier was being held hostage in the middle of a battlefield, that soldier must be rescued, even if that meant sending hundreds of thousands of men to do the job. Although the efficiency of such methods was terrible on paper, that was one of the fundamental beliefs of the Federation, as well as its strength.
People would entrust their lives to the Federation only if the Federation valued every individual highly. However, Replicants and mixed-blood people were excluded from such beliefs.
They weren’t formally excluded on paper, of course. However, the pure-blood ideology was prominent in the majority of society, and thus they were disregarded from the Federation’s beliefs.
We decided to lodge a serious complaint about the mission for now.
If an Ensign lodged a complaint about a mission given by a Commodore, the Ensign would never be promoted. Ensigns could always take the issue to court, but human society was not so kind.
Making a complaint to Commodore Dae-Sik Park was meaningless for Ensign Meihowa. The mission will not change, and Ensign Meihowa will get on Commodore Park’s bad side and he will surely make her military life harder for her.
Although that was assuming that we come out of the mission alive, the fact of the matter was that a complaint was useless.
“But we must lodge one.”
Ensign Meihowa made up her mind and requested a change in the mission. Her requested change was for the main force to launch an attack as soon as they arrive to the Azoran system, hitting the Elcro Alter-Armors while our platoon launches an attack on the mining base.
The alteration was only a slight one, so it shouldn’t cause big divergence from the original plan. However, this slight change could increase the ‘bomb’ platoon’s chances of survival from slim to tremendous.
Us attacking first will aggravate the enemy to launch a full attack on us, and we will lose our lives. That was why we asked them to reconsider the mission plan.
If the Federation was indeed a city-state that valued the lives of us bomb platoons, Ensign Meihowa’s appeal for a change in the mission parameters would be accepted.
However, the Federation wasn’t like that, as expected.
Ensign Meihowa’s appeal was shot down and they only replied, saying ‘focus on your given mission’.
And so, Ensign Meihowa and Sergeant Aroha unwillingly gave a short mission briefing to the soldiers. And they showed their outraged responses.
“A-Are they crazy!”
“They’re telling us all to die?!”
“Damn it! I’m still injured!”
The soldiers broke out into fits and cursing. The leader of the Charlie squad represented his squad and voiced their suggestion.
“Why don’t we just hide out on Azoran-3 and surrender to the Elcros when they win? They are an Elcro-Asa-Replicant Alliance and our platoon also consists of Replicants, Asa and Elcro. Shouldn’t the Alliance receive us?”
“And if the Elcro lose?”
“Then we surrender to the Federation and serve our sentences from the military courts. All they’ll sentence us with is a few months of community service and jail time at the detention centre!”
All of the soldiers nodded their heads.
Their suggestion was a logical one, given their condition. Even I had nothing to say to persuade them otherwise. This Federation was not one worth risking their lives for.
However, my only issue was the concern at what the Alliance might do if we surrender to them. What will they do with me? Will they lock me up in jail? If I stay in jail, I won’t be able to know what happened over the last 120 years, and won’t I rot and die in jail?
And the Alliance was suspicious.
The only source of my suspicion was what Admiral Luise had said, but there was a dark secret that the Alliance was also hiding.
“Now then, listen to what I am about to say. If you decide to pull out from the mission after you hear what I say, I will not stop you.”
Ensign Meihowa began to talk and she looked at me.
This was a plan that Admiral Luise, Ensign Meihowa, Sergeant Aroha and I racked our brains to come up with. How could we avoid being court martialed and still be rescued? That was the goal of this plan.
Every mission plan that came out from this platoon was a life threatening and survival-based one. I used to come up with plans for victory when I was a Vice Admiral, not some small, petty plans like for these low rank operations.
◊ ◊ ◊
It was now two hours before the start of the mission given from the Ursa Major Brigade, Operation Exorcism.
They must’ve named the mission as Exorcism because they mean to ‘exorcise’ the devil (Diablo). Why were they so certain that they’ll be able to take down Diablo the Black Tyrant without even sending a Kishin?
When I asked Pencolt about this, he told me that the Federation had the tendency of looking down on Asa and Elcro Kishin Pilots, because they defeated the Asa Kishins Psychoa and Minerva 8 times, and Elcro Kishins Arc-razor and Ginnungagap 16 times.
The only reason why the Elcro and Asa Kishins were still functioning after being defeated so many times was because Kishins could travel through hyperspace on their own.
Since Kishins could traverse hyperspace independently, Kishins were able to retreat from attacks and recover from its damages before going onto the battlefields again. And even now, in the year 189 SY (Space Years), there was no way of instantly defeating a Kishin.
Kishin survival skills aside, they lost that many times by ordinary methods? Then they can certainly be looked down upon.
“By the way, why did they name the Kishins after human names like Minerva or Ginnungagap?”
I studied the area while seated on the Spider and asked Pencolt who was sitting next to me.
“Ah, they say they named them because that was what the humans codenamed them as, man. You know how the Fed had 8 Kishins… and the Kishin count jumped to 12 after the Asa and Elcro discovered 2 each? Asas and Elcros thought humans were more knowledgeable about Kishins and took on those codenames as the Kishins’ true names, man.”
“What, you mean they only got the Kishins after the humans came in contact with them? They didn’t have them before the contact?”
The Human-Race only got ahold of the Kishins after they discovered the ‘Old One’ on Mars.
And from the Old One, humans took its cells and mastered hyperspace travel from that, and also created the Alter-Armours.
The 8 Alter-Armours in strong communion with the Old One were labelled as Kishins. When the 8 Kishins were created, the Old One shrivelled up and ceased to exist.
Humans continued their efforts to create more Kishins by using the cells from the 8 Great Kishins, but only normal Alter-Armours could be produced through their efforts—Kishin creation was impossible without the Old One.
Then suddenly, four Kishins appeared. And the two races that were at war with the Human-Race discovered two each?
I thought that the two races harvested their Kishins from a different Letix Überlord when I heard about this before.
If they did indeed harvest Kishins through their own efforts, they would’ve named the Kishins after their own background. If they thought that the human names were the true names…
“If Asas and Elcros possessed Kishins beforehand, they would’ve named the Kishins after their own mythology and would not have assumed that the human codenames were their true names. They really must’ve obtained the Kishins after the contact with humans.”
Admiral Luise spoke after listening to our conversation.
“Then… someone gave them the Kishins to prolong this war?”
A cold chill ran down my back.
The Human-Race has been attempting Kishin production for the last 189 years in vain. And that was what led people to believe that Kishins were a coincidental product from Letixes.
But someone actually created Kishins artificially? And an existence like that was overseeing this war? Although this was only an assumption based on no solid evidence, the very thought of it was terrifying.
“Someone who could grant Kishins?”
“Hmm, there’s no way someone like that could exist, right?”
Admiral Luise laughed weakly at what she said. I also followed suit and laughed along with her, but I felt like a hole was blown through my chest.
Putting the question of possibility aside, let’s assume that someone wants to prolong this war. If that was the case, then maybe that person is the mastermind behind the recent Elcro, Asa and Replicant Alliance. At this rate, the Elcros and Asas were going to be conquered by the Human Race.
‘N-No way. I can’t let my imagination run wild now, can I?’
I shook my head.
“We have reached Point Bravo! We should set up the turrets!”
We jumped out of the Spider and set up the turrets at the planned point.
The ones that we were setting up were called Centri-guns, which were made up of four connected Colion Rifles, and could be used as both anti-aircraft and machine guns. They could be operated wirelessly but also could be operated on automatic, because they were equipped with AI CPU units.
I connected the wires and installed more than 8 Colion Rifles in the formation. They were all aimed at the mining base. I had them targeting predicted points that the enemy might move towards, when they start looking for the Centri-guns.
The plan was like this.
We set up the Centri-guns in various places where they would go undetected by the enemy. And when it was time for the operation to commence, the Centri-guns will spring to life wirelessly and confuse the enemy.
Although we did not expect the set-up to cause any serious damage to the enemy Alter-Armours, we would still be accomplishing the mission given to us.
The only problem was that if our platoon stays too far from the mining base… there is the possibility of the main force abandoning us and leaving ahead.
The mission directive mentioned that our platoon will be rescued only if we are in the proximity, and we might be abandoned if we are far away.
Hence, we had to approach the mining base with a do-or-die attitude.
There was a high risk of us being attacked even while the enemy is distracted by the Centri-gun attacks. Just like that incident that Bravo Squad experienced, a single squad can be wiped out in seconds if discovered.
The only difference between that time and now was that we had Ensign Meihowa’s Alter-Armour with us. Even so, her Alter-Armour was a Minion-class, the lowest rank.
Taking it into the battlefield might attract unwanted attention from the enemy, but Ensign Meihowa could be rebuked for abandoning an important piece of military equipment to save her life. So we also had to find a way for Ensign Meihowa to save face.
Although dangerous, we arranged to have her Alter-Armour secretly transported near the mining base, by taking advantage of the sea and jungle terrain. Afterwards, Meihowa must ride on the quad bike and regroup with us by taking the jungle trails.
We planned to have the Alter-Armour close to the pick-up point, just in case it had to be recovered. In which case I would have to collect it by teleporting.
“Great! Point Bravo setup complete!”
“Point Charlie also complete!”
“Point Delta as well!”
Centri-gun setup was complete in minutes. I was worried because we were so close to the mining base, but the enemy soldiers patrolling the area appeared to be quite lax about their job.
Azoran-3 was really hot. It was so hot that all soldiers were moving sluggishly.
“Whew, it’s like I’m taking a shower with my own sweat.”
I brought a water bottle closer to my lips, drank down the contents, and hopped back onto the Spider. Sergeant Aroha, who was operating the armoured vehicle, mischievously smiled.
“It’s cool in here thanks to the air-conditioning. Wanna come in?”
The two of us in that one-seater? I could feel myself blushing. Geez, this lady is really unrestrained.
Then Pencolt suddenly put his hand up.
“I, Apprentice Pencolt, would gladly come in!”
Sergeant Aroha opened the Spider’s door and walked out. And she willingly allowed Pencolt to take the air-conditioned operator’s seat of the armoured vehicle.
“Just don’t touch anything. I’ve locked down all controls, so nothing will happen even if you bump into something, though.”
And she sat next to me. I looked at her in surprise.
“And why don’t we work up a sweat together, just the two of us. Pass me the water.”
“Geez… Sergeant. Why would you leave the cool place and come out?”
I passed the water bottle to her. Admiral Luise also climbed up to us. Although it was a two-seater, it did not feel cramped because of her slim figure.
“Wait, it’s hot Luise!”
“I’m also going to be here.”
Sergeant Aroha pushed her away, saying that it was hot, but Admiral Luise demanded to have her way and sat right next to me.
Hmm, why are they like this? We were all uncontrollably drenched in sweat, even though the combat uniforms had some cooling functionality. The situation was worsened because we were sticking far too closely to each other.
Even so, neither Admiral Luise nor Sergeant Aroha chose to put some distance between us. I was caught up in a test of endurance myself, being sandwiched on either side of me by the girls.
The Spider’s electronic motors sprang to life and wobbled as it made its way through the jungle. The movements caused Admiral Luise to lean towards me and she eventually fell onto my chest.
I hugged the sweat drenched girl’s body gently. It felt like we were hugging each other while naked because of the damp clothes.
T-This isn’t good. This feeling is…
“Hey, what are you doing, Lezirth!”
And when Aroha pushed me, I could feel two fleshy mounds on my back.
Every time the Spider wobbled, that type of contact continued to occur.
“Sniff…It’s cold here. But it’s so sad, man.”
I could hear Apprentice Pencolt’s grumbles behind my back.
◊ ◊ ◊
Ensign Meihowa, gasping for breath, finally regrouped with us in the jungle after arriving here by quad bike half an hour before the mission.
She pulled out the Thorium battery from the bike, folded it up, and returned it to the storage area on a leg of the Spider.
“Ah, I should’ve helped you.”
I tried to stand as I said that. However, it was easier said than done because Sergeant Aroha and Admiral Luise were clinging onto me.
“What are you doing?”
Ensign Meihowa climbed onto the Spider via the ladder by its side while drinking some water.
“Um, you see…”
So how should I explain this situation?
Well suddenly, Sergeant Aroha looked at all the sweat she was sweating and licked herself, only to complain that it wasn’t salty at all and she licked some salt from a packet.
I also tasted a bit of my sweat, but it was close to plain more than anything. And suddenly Admiral Luise placed her hand on my cheek and licked it!
“It’s really not salty.”
Then Sergeant Aroha said she didn’t know if her sweat got any saltier and asked me to lick her sweat between her breasts. Sure, there were sweat drops there… b-but how?!
How am I supposed to lick there?
“Come now, stick your tongue out. OK? Now, come here! Don’t run away from me, Lezirth!”
Sergeant Aroha’s glare became terrifying!
When I began to panic, Admiral Luise looked at her own chest. However, she was nothing but a young girl in that regard compared to the impressive, dynamic Sergeant Aroha. Although she was already feminine enough, Admiral Luise appeared to be somewhat unhappy.
Sergeant Aroha looked at her, smiled and delivered the final blow.
“That area stays dry and not very sweaty for you, right Luise? How lucky for you, it’s nice and ventilated.”
And after that blow, things became chaotic.
Weren’t they roommates? Weren’t they on friendly terms with each other? And Admiral Luise has always been the quiet and graceful type. Who is this Admiral Luise that is before my eyes right now?
Oh my god. Women are so scary!
They’re a thousand times scarier than Letix Predators, Brain Suckers and Demolishers!
And something like that happened.
But how should I explain this?
I quickly glanced at Ensign Meihowa who was looking at me with an innocent expression. She was waiting for my response.
Her slightly sweaty, transparent-like silver hair, her emerald eyes that were as clear as the Caribbean Sea were staring right at me, with her hands resting on her waist.
Although she was wearing a military uniform, she was like a model straight from a fashion magazine. And her eyes… ah, I couldn’t lie to those pure eyes—I would be human trash if I told a lie to her.
That’s the only explanation I could give right now.
I did not lie. In a way.
Ensign Meihowa looked at me, Luise and Aroha in that order. And at that moment, we could all hear Pencolt muttering from inside the Spider.
“Even I could’ve tasted it to see if it was salty or not, man.”
“I could’ve licked her as well.”
Ensign Meihowa looked at him in curiosity.
◊ ◊ ◊
Five minutes before the mission, a message came from the higher-ups.
[This is the First Battalion of the Ursa Major Brigade: we have arrived on the fifth orbit of Azoran-3. Fourth Platoon of the Second Military School, please respond!]
Ah, so our official name was the Fourth Platoon. I didn’t even know, because everyone referred to our platoon as the bomb platoon or the suicide platoon.
[Fourth Platoon is on standby, sir. Over.]
Ensign Meihowa calmly replied to the message.
[The First Battalion will commence the operation at the set time, as planned. We expect you to fulfill your part. Over.]
After ending the communication, Ensign Meihowa began to do some breathing exercises. Sergeant Aroha returned back into the Spider; Pencolt, Luise and I were seated on top of the Spider, as assigned. The other soldiers were awaiting orders while riding on quad bikes and military vehicles below us.
The atmosphere was tense, because whether it was a small or a big mission, a mission was still a mission, nonetheless.
“Will we be able to return back safe and sound?”
“Shouldn’t we receive a medal if we return back alive? Don’t you receive a medal if you save your hostage comrades?”
Charlie Squad and the Alpha squad (the injured Alpha and Bravo Squad members recovered and reformed the Alpha squad) were already excited about returning back alive and receiving a medal. Then again, I suppose this was much better than trembling in fear.
“But that’s all assuming we make it out of this alive.”
When I muttered that under my breath, Ensign Meihowa turned to look at me. Huh? What did she want?
“If we return back alive…”
She trailed off without looking at me and began to talk again.
“We might be split up when we are reassigned to different platoons, but I hope we could stay together in the same platoon. B-Because having an experienced soldier like you increases our chances of survival! That’s all!”
At a loss as to what I should say, I could only scratch my cheeks absentmindedly and then I smiled and nodded my head.
“Sure, Platoon Leader. As long as you stop calling me a Greenie, that is.”
Admiral Luise looked at me with soft eyes this time.
“You have to stay with me, Lezirth. You know what I mean, right?”
O-Of course, we are alone in this space 120 years in the future. We must trust in each other and be together.
When I nodded my head, Ensign Meihowa asked.
“Hold on, what does she mean?”
Suddenly, Pencolt yelled after staying quiet for all that time.
“Ah, geez, cut it out guys. Why do you keep talking about ‘if we come out alive’? Don’t you know the ones who die first are people who say that stuff?”
“Then I suppose you’ll live forever.”
I spoke without putting too much thought into it. Ensign Meihowa added to what I said from next to me.
“You’ll have eternal youth.”
“You might continue to live even when the universe disappears.”
This time Sergeant Aroha added to the attack.
Admiral Luise gasped and covered her mouth with her hand.
Wow, how cute. It would look like its being faked if a celebrity did that action, but Admiral Luise actually seemed serious and natural.
However, what she said was not so nice.
“Then Apprentice Pencolt is actually the God of the Universe?”
At the quadruple hit, Pencolt shut his mouth.
“Sniff, sniff! Are these tears? No! I’m just sweating from my eyes, man.”
The God of the Universe was crying. No, he was sweating from his eyes, like he said. And the operation time drew closer!
◊ ◊ ◊
Centri-guns fired smart bombs at its maximum capacity. It fired smart bombs weighing 30kgs each, nearly 40km away.
The smart bombs flew in an arc towards the rows of Alter-Armours near the mining base.
The smart bombs exploded in mid-air and split into hundreds of miniature smart bombs, half of them releasing shrapnel, and the other half releasing plasma waves.
And because of the high oxygen density of Azoran-3, the shrapnel shards combusted, mid-air! The explosion and the smoke covered the Alter-Armours.
“What’s the situation like with the Centri-guns?”
“They’re all stuck in the ground from the rebound! Readjusting the angles now!”
The soldiers used the computer calculation system and readjusted the Centri-guns for the second round. Firing 30kg bombs 40km away was tremendous and the Centri-guns’ aim was messed up due to recoil.
“We will run out of bombs at this rate.”
A single soldier received 5kg of Colion ammo, and 300kg of the ammo were used on a Centri-gun.
Four individual Colion guns made up a single Centri-gun, and each Colion gun was shooting 30kgs worth with each shot. There wasn’t enough ammo to use after two shots.
We attacked with all our might, but the Alter-Armours were not greatly damaged. The unmanned drones were all unusable, but only three Alter-Armours were broken while the others were slightly damaged. Even the three broken machines were not completely broken, and could be easily repaired.
And the Alter-Armours began to attack.
That’s right. Get angry. Get angry and fly towards the Centri-guns! And the Federation forces will…
Speak of the devil, the Federation forces appeared. There were 4 Master-class, 8 Senior-class, 16 Major-class and countless other Alter-Armours. Although the Ursa Major was not present, this amount of force was not bad at all.
The Federation Alter-Armours flew straight down and opened fire with their Colion Rifles and missiles. Superfast plasma cannons hit the Alter-Armours and blew them to bits in an instant.
The other Alliance Alter-Armours quickly tried to respond to the attack, but the Federation had the upper hand and poured out their attacks without holding anything back.
Explosion after explosion! The sounds of Alter-Armours being torn to pieces resounded over the terminals.
Although I could not forgive the Commodore of the Ursa Major Brigade for the orders he’d given us, I had to admit that his brigade was nothing to scoff at. The brigade was almost comparable to my own Dawn Corps! If the Asa and Elcro pilots were this weak, then 4 Master-class Alter-Armours would’ve been sufficient.
The Federation’s Alter-Armours were dominating! Making use of the distraction and the attack, the Federation forces also rained down shells and sent swarms of soldiers.
“Operation Phase 2! We’re also charging in!”
Ensign Meihowa clenched her lips and gave out her orders. Soldiers from the Fourth Platoon of the Second Military School all jumped out from the jungle and charged towards the mining base.
We could only be saved if we moved with the Federation. We all knew that, and that was why we charged dutifully.
“Something is not right! Everyone stop!”
Admiral Luise noticed the unusual situation first and I understood her instantly. However, the other soldiers, as well as the soldiers of the Ursa Major Brigade didn’t seem to notice.
There was no resistance from the mining base!
There was not a single Alliance soldier in sight at the mining base. The only ones present were the Federation hostages! Did the Alliance plant explosives to wipe us all out?
“… Doesn’t look like it.”
The marines of the Ursa Major Brigade stormed into the mining base and rescued the hostages. There didn’t seem to be any traps or any surprise attacks.
The Alliance forces were quickly wiped out in the surrounding areas. They were no match to the Alter-Armours and the jet fighters.
The situation would’ve become unfavourable for us if the Alliance planted a few infantrymen in the base. The Elcros would’ve known about that, but why did they choose to leave the mining base empty?
Suddenly, a buzz sound could be heard from the sky
And black lightning fell from out of nowhere!
That was the only way to describe the object that flew down with frightening speed before the Ursa Major Brigade Alter-Armours!
The black Alter-Armour, Kishin Diablo, had revealed itself with its cape fluttering behind his back.
[Haha! So you finally appeared, you foolish people!]
[Destroy the cockpit and secure the Diablo! You’ll get a promotion if you do!]
The Ursa Major Brigade members were actually overjoyed at the sight of the Kishin. They were certain of their victory, even against a Kishin, and they had the leisure to even think about only damaging the cockpit. The Elcro pilot must be that bad.
‘Then what about the Replicants? Replicants should be at a decent level since they were part of the Federation force before. Oh, that’s right, the Replicants had the Omertà as their Kishin.’
Omertà the Shadow King.
It was a Kishin that excelled in assassinations, so it was very useful when used as a support or in a one-on-one situation, but it found it difficult to fight at its full power without any support.
Hence, while it was a powerful Kishin when used by the Federation, it was not very threatening when used by the Rebels.
But even so, the Federation soldiers were looking down on the pilot way too much. They’ll taste defeat like that.
[But hold on, aren’t our lives at stake here?!]
[A single blow from the Diablo can kill us all!]
The infantrymen around the base all looked in fear. However, the Diablo paid no attention to the hostages running away as it hovered in mid-air. How strange.
“Is he saying that he won’t kill anyone even in a situation like this?”
There were civilian miners mixed in with the hostages at the mines.
If the Alliance really wanted to anger the Federation, they would have tortured or injured these civilians a long time ago. But seeing as they did not do so, it seemed like the Alliance leaders disliked civilian deaths.
Or maybe it meant their lives were of no use to the Kishin Diablo—whether they’re alive or not.
The pilot was being arrogant in a way, but at the same time he was not. It was too early for me to tell.
Well, I should be glad about it either way though.
Now, I wonder what he’s like as a pilot.
◊ ◊ ◊
The Diablo and the four Master-class Alter-Armours of the Ursa Major Brigade were staring at each other.
We will take down the Kishin with four Master-class Alter-Armours.
That was what the Commodore claimed.
Did those four pilots have what it takes to take down a Kishin?
And how much of the Diablo’s strength could the pilot use?
The answer to those questions would be answered shortly.
The ones who made the first move were the Master quartet. They put some distance between them and the Diablo. Diablo was a close-range type, and while the Brigade’s Alter-Armours were all-purpose, they chose to rely on their mid-ranged attacks.
As the Alter-Armours tried to distance themselves, the Diablo shot lasers from its horn. The laser, consisting of pure plasma, was aimed straight at the Master-class Alter-Armours.
However, all four of the Alter-Armours turned translucent with a rainbow-tint. The laser passed right through them and disappeared into thin air.
It was the skill that made the user sit half in hyperspace and made them immune to all physical damage for a short moment. I could tell that the Federation pilots were at a proficient level, with their ability to Phase Shift while flying at high speeds.
This time, the four Federation Armours fired their Colion Rifles. The rifles were attached to their outer gauntlets so that their hands were free even while shooting.
Living up to his title of a tyrant, Kishin Diablo arrogantly stood in the way of those attacks with its arms crossed. A black curtain appeared out of nowhere and shielded the Kishin from the Colion Rifle attacks.
The difference between the Alter-Armour specs was huge; blocking the Alter-Armour class Colion-Rifle attacks with such ease.
However, the Master-class pilots did not fret and commenced their next attack.
While continuing to fire the rifles, something started to leak out from their outer armour: green light. Those green lights gathered at the Alter-Armours’ hands and shot beams at the Diablo.
Diablo fluttered its cape half-heartedly and made itself translucent. It was trying to avoid the attacks by Phase Shifting like before. However, Diablo’s body shook with sounds of explosion.
I clicked my tongue while looking at the fight. The attack that the Master quartet did was called a Phase Shift Attack and the attack itself was Phase Shifted. The attack would miss the target if it did not attempt a Phase Shift and it would hit the target if it did attempt a Phase Shift.
The attack was modified from an attack that was originally invented to attack thick armoured vehicles. The quartet used the attack to hit the Kishin because the Kishin’s defence was comparable to thick armour and the Diablo was obviously hit because its pilot attempted a Phase Shift.
But its reaction was sluggish.
The Diablo’s pilot did not plan on being hit by that Phase Shift Attack; he was just surprised at the unexpected hits.
And furthermore, there were fluorescent plasma specks on Diablo’s body. The Diablo tried to take them off, but they wouldn’t budge.
“What a fool.”
I couldn’t help but to click my tongue.
[Connecting Pegasus Shot on stand-by!]
All four Master-classes displayed the same movements. They held up their right hand above their heads, as if they were about to deliver a finishing blow. And light started to gather at their hands.
[Connecting Pegasus Shot! Commence!]
All four machines executed the same move at the same time with a shout in unison.
Connecting Pegasus Shot was one of Ursa Major’s attacks, and it was a homing-type that shot towards those green plasma specks that were plastered over the Diablo. I’ve seen the Ursa Major use it before in the past, but to think that those Master-class Alter-Armours could use it. I’m impressed.
The Master quartet activated the Connecting Pegasus Shot with a battle cry. The ball of light in their hands split into tens of rays that sprayed out.
The shots were neither fast nor slow, but they all flew towards Diablo. All four Alter-Armours bombarding the Kishin with Connecting Pegasus Shot dyed the sky with blinding light.
The Diablo began to panic, seeing all those rays of light shooting towards the green plasma on its body.
But suddenly, a red flash shone from Diablo’s eyes.
[Everyone prepare for a shockwave!]
I panicked at the flash and warned everyone via the terminal.
Diablo the Black Tyrant was about to use its Kishin Arts! Diablo’s apprehensions rang loud and clear via strong telepathy.
—Kishin Arts: Infernal Stinger!
I wrapped Admiral Luise with my arms and warned everyone to brace themselves for the attack.
At that moment, Diablo began to spin in mid-air and prepared to kick in a whip-like motion.
Although the Kishin appeared to have machine-like movements, it was very agile and its upper body and its cape started to twist before delivering the kick.
Suddenly, it kicked and the kick ripped through air, space and everything in its way.
A red-black hyperspace began to form around the centre of that spinning kick and started to suck in everything in its path. And shockwave after shockwave swept the land.
Azoran-3’s atmosphere became compressed by the shockwaves and air started to become ionized. Fireballs fell from the sky and burned as the planet turned hellish.
The shockwave shot right through the atmosphere and into outer space. A mushroom cloud, similar to an atomic bomb, began to rise.
Small bikes were blown away while the vehicles were flipped over. However, everyone was prepared for the shockwaves because of my warning and the jungle acted as a barrier for us.
Alter-Armours that were still flying in the air were swept away and were damaged as they clashed into each other. All this damage came from a single kick, but it was enough to destroy weak Alter-Armours. That kick was strong enough to split a Space Carrier in half.
However, the quartet avoided the attack by flying in circular motions. Avoiding the direct attack of the Infernal Stinger was manageable, but it was the shockwaves that dealt the most damage. Even so, the four Master-class Alter-Armours resisted the shockwaves.
The four Master-class machines began flying with great maneuvering skills and speed while shooting the Connecting Pegasus Shots. Diablo also flew at great speeds to avoid the attacks, but the Connecting Pegasus Shots chased it down and hit it square on the green plasma specks.
The green plasma responded with the Connecting Pegasus Shots and exploded while releasing plasma storms.
Those explosions occurred one after another and Diablo the Black Tyrant started to become sluggish.
“Wow, I’ve heard about it, but I didn’t expect the pilot to be this inexperienced.”
His capacity should be excellent, seeing that he could actually get the Kishin Diablo to move. The power behind that Infernal Stinger was passable as well. However, he lacked experience.
On the other hand, the four Federation Master-class Armours were avoiding Diablo’s attacks and continued to deal damage to the Kishin. They might actually be able to take down Diablo the Black Tyrant by themselves.
[But this is good. Mining base is secured. We request evac! Over!]
Ensign Meihowa requested to the commanding office after seeing the Ursa Major Brigade members rescuing the hostages. However, the commanding office operator snickered and said this.
[Wait for the Kishin Diablo to be taken care of. Over.]
Hmm… it was true that it would be unsafe to be rescued while the Kishin Diablo was still moving. We could be swept up in one of its attacks and die. However, the commanding team was more concerned about securing the Diablo than rescuing the hostages.
“Tch, I can’t believe that’s all he can do with a good Kishin like that.”
Of course, my Dawnbringer was a far better Kishin (speaking subjectively) but I suppose I would be happy with any Alter-Armour at a time like this.
—Kishin Arts: Storm Lash!
Black light came out from Diablo’s horn and it gathered in both of its hands. Diablo swung its hands and crossed them in front of his eyes.
Electric volts and shockwaves tore the sky open and overwhelmed the smaller Alter-Armours. It possessed immense strength. It was enough to destroy a Space Carrier like the Archimedes with ease!
However, the Master-class machines were far better. They flew up to avoid the Storm Lash and also Phase Shifted to avoid the rest.
Once again, they started shooting at the Diablo.
Chains of explosions took place. Anyone could see that the Diablo’s pilot was confused.
Seeing the enemy Kishin in that state, the remaining Federation Alter-Armours landed on the ground and bombarded it with their attacks.
Now Diablo was no different from a sandbag. Diablo’s pilot was still unable to maintain balance and was swaying from side to side, and the continuous attacks from the Federation did not help.
[Wow, as expected of a Kishin. It’s bloody strong.]
[I’ll say. It’s still hanging in there no matter how much we attack.]
Now, the quartet was even joking around.
[Now, now! We can’t let it escape now. We’ll pierce right through its cockpit!]
The de-facto leader of the four prepared itself.
Wow, the difference between their experiences was huge. I suppose this couldn’t be helped because Elcros, Asas and Rebel Replicants do not have a specific training facility to train Alter-Armour pilots.
I sighed in relief. I remembered how I was worried that a powerful force might enter the battlefield.
But seeing this situation, that was very unlikely. That Kishin Diablo will now fall because of its weak pilot and the pilot will be put to shame by the four Master-class pilots.
However, things started to change.
Blue light started emitting from the Diablo. The light rapidly shone out and exploded to all directions.
I quickly put up my grey barrier, without caring if someone saw me or not, and protected the Spider.
The blue electrical volts sent ripples to the heavens. Fire broke out in some parts of the jungle and all Alter-Armours, including the four Master-classes, were knocked back by the shock.
—Kishin Arts: Lion’s Roar!
Huh? What did it just say?
Admiral Luise also appeared to be as shocked as I was.
That’s right… that Lion’s Roar was my baby’s; my Dawnbringer’s technique! But how did the Diablo, a Kishin that was of a different system than mine, use the Lion’s Roar?
The voices of the surprised pilots came over the terminals. They were not seriously shocked of course, but rather, they were amused at the unexpected attack.
Kishins could imitate simple techniques from different systems. If the pilot’s ability was superb, then the technique could be performed convincingly. Also, Diablo and Dawnbringer were from similar systems.
Hence, among the 8 Kishins, no, 12 Kishins these days I suppose. One could say that Diablo and Dawnbringer were brother-like in regards to their systems.
However, that Lion’s Roar just now almost seemed like the real Dawnbringer’s Lion’s Roar.
Ah, it was nothing compared to the Lion’s Roar that I used to do, but seeing that Lion’s Roar from an inexperienced pilot like him was an insult to my Dawnbringer.
Diablo straightened itself up while still afloat. The fluorescent plasma specks were all gone after that Lion’s Roar. The damage it had taken before started to recover rapidly.
Seeing that, the Master-class pilots began to panic. They were beating the Diablo with all they had. However, all that damage began to recover in seconds.
[You puny pests, I was only going let the miners leave alive after I play around with the soldiers for a while!]
We could hear the roaring voice of the Diablo’s pilot. The voice did not come from the terminals or by the Alter-Armour. He shouted with his strength alone, amplified by the Diablo, and echoing across Azoran-3’s atmosphere.
The battlefield quickly began to change.