Chapter 25 - Demi-humans (1)

It is said that ancient humans first encountered aliens about 15 billion years ago, after leaving the Physical Realm and becoming a Type V Civilization.

Actually, an encounter with an extraterrestrial being isn't an easy feat.

Of course, it was difficult for a civilization to leave the star system where they were born, but the bigger problem was that it was rare for a lifeform to be born on a planet at a galactic level.

If you wanted to meet extraterrestrial beings (in the case where they did not approach you first), your civilization had to at least reach a level where they could leave its current galaxy without much problem. Of course, it would take a considerable amount of time to pile up a civilization from nothing, but the ancient human race cleared that condition and met up with a new lifeform, the extraterrestrial beings.

However, the first aliens humanity met were also humans.

Aliens, the beings they met in the distant universe, were of the same race as them.

Great confusion arose, of course. They did not know if it was coincidence or fate, but there was not much difference in their level of civilizations, and rather than going to war, they got to know each other through exchanging information.

And their conclusion was… They were completely unrelated beings who developed independently in the distant universe with no connections to each other.

It was confusing for them, but they chose to join hands and explore the galactic space together instead of fighting.

Of course, in the vast universe, there were some superior races and dangerous space creatures that they did not dare to do anything to, but humans used their unique affinity and adaptability to reach an agreement with these species and sometimes fought with them to expand their territorial rule.

And then, they met other humans again.

They continued to meet with other humans even after that.

However, in the end, humanity fell in fear.

They were aghast at the fact that living beings born in another galaxy or environment were of the same species, even though that shouldn't be the case. It wasn't normal for the same species to be born in places that were millions of light-years apart.

Moreover, even their DNA was matching to perfection, so there would be no problems in giving birth to another generation of them. Perhaps, it might be inevitable for human beings, who were conceited about their own power in space, to fall into chaos.

The existence of beings of the same race in completely different galaxies… was a clue to the transcendent beings who have [designed] and [created] them.

"What is the current condition of the ship?"

"The stern of the ship is destroyed! Astral Drive function is completely down due to damages in the third engine!"

"It is impossible to use the main armaments due to the damage unless it gets repaired!"

"The continued explosions have caused a fire in the residential zone! The fire is being put out right now!"

As Albatross wasn't a battleship, the usually relaxed navigation deck became as noisy as a market. The commanders called their units to give orders, and the pilots and steersmen used the available engines to widen their distance from the surrounding rocks and were preparing for the second wave of attacks.

"What kind of attack was that? How did we suffer an attack in the Astral Drive without any signs?"

"It was an aerial torpedo! It seems like they installed it between the rocks of the astral system!"

"They know our route…"

Chun Hyun-il, the captain of Albatross, scratched his neck with his sharp front paws.

Albatross was a cruiser made with the objective to explore space and course through the entire universe to accomplish long-term missions. However, being a Terra-class ship, which is uncommon even in the Leonhardt Empire, one shouldn't look down upon its combat capability.

It had a firepower capable of devastating a planet without even having to enter the atmosphere, a main battery that could penetrate a shield of Class II or lower, and upon activating Astral Drive, it could remain in overlaid acceleration for 300 hours. As such, an average ship would not even be able to bare their fangs in front of Albatross.

In addition, Albatross possessed a strong battle unit, composed of the Steel Cross Flying Brigade and the Sky-Giant Armoured Brigade. It wasn't just one or two pirate ships that were preyed on just as these pirates thought they were roaming around alone in the universe.

"Are we being attacked by the demi-humans?"

"Oh my, Captain. You should not use such a discriminative word. You are not human too."

"No, they were the ones who wanted us to address them that way, so what do you want me to do?"

The ancient human race, which started to get conceited about their own power and technology after expanding their territory from galaxy to galaxy, were bewildered by the ever-expanding traces of God.

But at that moment, they finally met a huge civilization besides the human race.

The demi-humans.

The term extends through all species that achieve self-evolution despite being neither humans, transcendents nor spirits. If 70% of the members of the alliance were humans, then the remaining 30% were composed of different races that were hostile to the humans.

In the first place, the nickname 'demi-humans' evolved from the word 'half-human' and had been used ever since so there was nothing more to comment on.

In fact, it was said that the first meeting between the [Humanity Union], which had since been dissolved, and the demi-humans went smoothly. Unlike the scholars' concerns about how meeting an alien in space would surely lead to war, war itself was impossible.

Before Star Gate was installed, the universe was so vast that it took decades for one to meet its closest civilization.

It was hard to even meet, so how could there be war?

In addition, in the galaxy where only human beings kept surfacings, the demi-humans were the most 'alien-like aliens.'

The human race, who had been preparing for a long while for an alien encounter, happily used the manual that they had prepared.

The problem was what happened after.

"A declaration of war from the Tekea Federation has arrived. They told us to stop all activities in the Seppard Star System and leave."

Natalie reported with a calm voice; she's the Deputy Captain of the ship.

Dressed in a suit paired with thick black-rimmed glasses, she was using several spells to connect with Genie and quickly accepting and organizing information on the integrated network.

"This is common from them, but… It is somewhat fishy."

Hyun-il scratched his white fur and put on a serious expression. Albatross was passing through the Seppard Star System. However, they were merely in the outskirts and were just passing through with Astral Drive activated. Normally, they would let it slide.

It was possible for a being of the star system to step in, but Hyun-il knew that and no randomly fired aerial torpedo could hit a spaceship coursing through the star system. He came up with an assumption upon guessing that the enemy had figured out the course of the Albatross and were preparing for a surprise attack.

"What if they declared war to distract us so that they can ambush us?"

"Isn't that too bold an assumption to make? Even if we are a Terra-class spaceship, to declare war just because of that…"

Natalie had a point, but Hyun-il shook his head.

"Something feels amiss. Send out all the frigates, get the Steel Cross Flying Brigade to search the perimeter, and tell the Sky-Giant Armoured Brigade to go into defensive formation."

"Yes, Captain."

Natalie nodded and closed her eyes. She had a strong telepathic ability that allowed her to connect with anyone on the ship, or even with another spaceship near them.

'They will probably attack any moment now.'

Albatross would gradually shift its charting route, such that it could evade an enemy attack the moment it was hit with an aerial torpedo. The enemy could only fire dozens of aerial torpedoes in the air, but they wouldn't be able to pinpoint the ship's exact location.

However, the enemy would undoubtedly be able to detect and track the ship once there was an explosion after being hit by an aerial torpedo.

Astral Drive required prolonged acceleration under complete safety before it could be activated, so it would be hard if they did not defeat all the enemies first.

"All units, prepare for battle! Repair the broken parts immediately and brace for impact!"

A blue sphere covered the Albatross along with Hyun-il's yell that sounded like a roar.

The great Battle of Seppard was about to start.

*******

"Move! Move faster!"

"You will set out after the last inspection!"

"Send all available mechanics to the main battery! It is already late to repair the engine anyway, so we have to at least get the main battery functioning!"

Everyone was moving busily. It was the natural thing to do as they had no idea when the battle would start.

Dozens of fighter jets were flying along the rails on one side and then shot out of the exit into space while heavily armed Gigas on the other side were approaching the ejectors.

'Oh, R-13s. There are a lot of them.'

The R-13 was merely a mass-produced machine but one of the main forces of the Leonhardt Empire.

It had been a well-loved machine for the longest time due to its toughness that could withstand the average gunfire, its highly-trusted maneuverability that functioned even if most of its body was destroyed, special armaments, and also the versatility to equip military gear.

'Ah, I want to ride on it.'

I gulped while watching the R-13s flying outside the window, but I obviously had no plans to ride one. I am not a psychopath and there is no need for me to go out to a battlefield, so I have no intention of going voluntarily.

Being killed was a problem but having to kill was another problem.

War had already been declared and some might curse and call me a coward for trying to avoid being involved, but… If possible, I truly wanted to avoid murder.

"3rd troop! Move out!"

"3rd troop moving out!"

The Gigas exited through the fourth exit with a machine-like sound.

Looking at the ratio, there seemed to be one Beast-rank Gigas in every 20 mass-produced Gigas. It looked like a squadron leader or platoon leader was riding on it.

I looked above its head.

Sky-Giant Armoured Brigade

Finished preparations, Gargantuan Tiger

It was my first time seeing that Gigas. It had an overall reddish peach hue and was about four times bigger than an R-13.

The ironclad machine had two huge cannons which were considerably big for its size on its shoulders.

"Is that meant for the artillery…"

'How would it feel to ride on it?" I thought and drew an image in my head.

First, I would use all the energy meant for defense—

"The squadron leader is going out! Get ready!"

"Fall back!"

At that moment, one side of the room became noisy and the sound of something falling down could be heard. I saw a huge Gigas when I turned my head.

"What? is that a Human-rank Gigas?" I thought at that moment, but it seemed like it was not at the level of the Human-rank Gigas like MacArthur, Guan Yu, Cleopatra, etc, in The Great War.

It also looked like a Beast-rank Gigas, just like the Gargantuan Tiger I saw before, but with excellent performance for something of the same rank.

I reflexively looked above the head of the Gigas.

And I flinched.

"Huh?"

This was written above its head.

Sky-Giant Armored Brigade

Bomb installed, Thunder Dragon

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GodSeth's Thoughts

Hi everyone! Hope that all of you have been enjoying Above Your Head so far and also this is the last chapter that I have translated so I thought I should give a closing thought before passing the baton to the next translator. Moving on, GodSeth will continue to bring all you readers on this journey with Dae-ha in space. No worries, you will still see me around as I am now invested in this story after 25 chapters. Continue supporting this novel!! ^^

-Cosyjuhye