Chapter 29 - Awakening (3)

"Le-… Legion! Those scumbags have finally gone crazy!"

Everyone was outraged and shouted words I didn’t understand, but I couldn't afford to care about it.

The image of the girl wailing earlier was vividly engraved in my mind like a branding iron.

‘What’s this feeling? Why does it feel so familiar?’

This was definitely my first time seeing her. It wasn’t merely because she had a chain tied to her neck that I didn’t recognize her, but it was a face that I really did not recognize at all. I even looked through my [memory], but I’d never come across a little brat such as her.

-…What’s a Legion?

-Huh, you don’t know what Legion is? How have you been living all this time when you don’t even know such common knowledge?

Ares explained it in astonishment.

- Legion is an organization comprising purely of machines, beings born out of the Artificial Intelligence of the distant past that was almost too ambiguous to understand which are now [imaginable], unlike those born out of common Artificial Intelligence. Not only are they creative, they also have the ability to think for themselves, so it is possible for them to develop civilization. Machines are a good way of categorizing them, but they actually fulfil almost all the conditions to be considered a tribe, so they are sometimes also known as the Mecha tribe… Though it’s a first step, they are in a situation where the Union has not officially recognized them.

Surprisingly, Legion is capable of advancing their science so it is possible for them to create new companions, and as long as there are enough resources, they can multiply infinitely.

And Legions that multiplied in this manner don't just exist as a program, but can take on the form of Gigas and even battleships, so dealing with them in space is difficult even for the transcendents.

-Then what. You're saying those demi-human bastards have an alliance with those Mechas of the Legion?

-Nope, that’s not possible.

-Why not?

- Legion hates life forms very much. The demi-humans aren’t human, but they’re still life forms all the same.

Kaboom! Boom!

The surroundings turned into a mess.

The war, which was closely-matched, or rather slightly advantageous, changed rapidly and the Albatross army began to lose ground.

But Ares continued talking as if the current situation didn’t matter at all.

-The Legion’s soul is incomplete. Unlike other souls born under the auspices of God, their birth is a natural occurrence under special conditions. That's why the Legion is inherently hungry for a [complete soul]… That's why they have an instinctive hatred towards life forms that have a complete soul from birth without any effort. Well, the high-grade Legions acquired a complete soul and carry a name, so they’re somewhat free from that instinct, but those who live that way now loathe the life forms due to their personal experiences.

-No, then… What's with this situation?

"Damn it! Genie stopped operating!"

"The Persona I control, Talynne, has also gone haywire!"

"How about manual control?"

"It works, but it's not like the control is simple, so how can I battle with manual control… This goddamn shit!"

Screams came from all over the place.

The Gigas who couldn’t move properly were being beaten like sandbags by the enemy, and the vulnerable automatic armaments and towers were being smashed.

But Ares continued elaborating as if it was natural.

-What have you heard so far? Legion by itself is a collection of information and a living mechanical life form. The computer-like Machine-based civilization things are a given, but once contact is made, Cracking would be possible even with the Magic-based civilization,. And in this case right now… All the Artificial Intelligence that exists around here is being blown away.

-Such a thing isn’t…

I realized that the situation was serious. In fact, the prowess of the enemy’s military force so far was higher.

The reason why it was relatively easy to withstand their attacks this far was because of Genie’s assistance, which could control the entire Albatross ship and lower the bulkheads or operate the defense system whenever necessary.

But what if Genie suddenly disappeared like this?

Bang!

Dudududu--!!

"Kill! Kill the humans!"

"Shut up! Scumbags that defied the Union Act and joined hands with the Legion! If this is reported, do you think the Union will stay still!!”

The Squadron Leader, a Swordsmanship Compléter, surrounded her sword with a clear Aura and roared to the extent that the surrounding space seemed to distort.

As if to attest to that remark, the enemy wavered for a moment, but a new presence appeared and refuted her words.

"Hahahaha!! The cowards are barking huh, so noisy! Legion? In the first place, these Mecha bitches are just tools, so it doesn't matter! A union will just drag us down!”

The shadow of the newly emerged existence hung long on the ground. His size was so huge that I thought it was a Gigas for a moment.

But he wasn’t. The bastard was without a doubt a life form.

He had a look that was so familiar even to me.

-What is this crap…Why are there dinosaurs here?

-Ooooh. I didn't expect he’d come over himself. But then again, even if all the artificial intelligence got wiped out anyways, he wouldn’t have got caught up in their self-destruction.

-You didn’t expect… him to come over?

At that moment, I realized what the nuance of Ares’s words meant and freaked out. No way? I looked up above the dinosaur's head.

Tekea Federation

Arch-Sorcerer, Morne

-Oh my God.

I gasped at the name that I’d never seen before.

However, though I had such a reaction, he ignored me and said, "For starters."

The Tyrannosaurus-like monster continued, "All of you, die."

[-----------!!!!]

The Eye of Ares blacked out. Before I knew it, I was sitting back down on the floor.

"…Transcendents."

"That’s right. It's the Arch-Sorcerer, Morne from the dinosaur tribe. I came over as soon as the wall was broken through by the God Spear Alieta. They aimed for it from the very beginning."

"This crazy...!!”

I stood up in a flash. But I collapsed again.

My head was buzzing.

The shock I felt wasn’t transmitted from the Eye of Ares.

To my astonishment… The proof was that his roar affected the entire Albatross ship.

‘He said “Die”.’

My arms trembled. Was it because of the shock or was it because I realized what his word meant?

That’s right. That bastard said “Die.”

In other words, that bastard’s outcry just now was an attack filled with murderous intent.

However, Bo-ram and Dong-min were in front of him when he roared.

“Invoke the Eye of Ares again!”

[…Goodness gracious. I'm usually not this kind of person, but why am I acting like such a pushover?]

The bastard closed his eyes as if he couldn’t understand what I muttered, and my field of view changed.

"How dare you! On my ship! To my crewmates!"

"Keke, what a shame. It would’ve been great if you came just a little later.”

Before I knew it, a white-haired polar bear arrived at the battlefield and growled at the giant dinosaur. I looked around hurriedly.

"The great universe… I really can't do this. A battlefield where the transcendents fight in the front line.”

"Hahaha. Even if you tell my master, he won’t believe you.”

I could see Bo-ram and Dong-min leaning against the back of the smashed tower. Their hair was messy and blood was flowing from the corners of their lips, but they seemed to be safe.

-That's a relief.

-A relief? What a hasty assumption.

-What?

As I was wondering about Ares’s comment, a group of enemies moved from the perforated wall to the residential area.

"Everyone, straighten up the battle formation!"

"But Squadron Leader-nim! All the experienced troops have been killed in action!"

"It's also hard for the Gigas to carry out the battle!"

"So are you just going to obediently die? Those bastards are all demi-humans! They don’t accept prisoners of war!"

Despair began to flow on the battlefield.

Major General Chun Hyun-il, a powerful transcendent who always pulverized his enemies, was in front of them, but he was not in a situation where he could help his own troops.

The Arch-Sorcerer Morne was not someone he could just leave behind. No, according to official rankings, he was no doubt a superior being above him. If he ignored him and intervened in the battle, there would be a gap and he would suffer a life-threatening blow.

And if one of the transcendents died right now in this battle, that would be no different from the end of the war.

It was because this was not a naval battle, but a hand-to-hand battle where it was almost impossible for a non-transcendent to go against a transcendent.

“Kyakyakya! Where's the momentum from before?”

“Shoot! Shred it all up!”

Dudududu!

Thwip thwip!

The bullets and the lasers blasted towards our troops. Our troops responded as best as they could, but the gap in military strength was too wide to begin with.

The attack from the dinosaur Morne destroyed half of the troops, and the whole defense system went dead while Genie was in silence.

In the first place, no one had expected that the control persona itself would be attacked and the system would go down, so they were not prepared to switch to manual control.

It was because the main system that existed at the heart of the Albatross ship was expected to be fine even if it was hit by an EMP that enveloped the whole ship.

'I have to help.'

This time, I exited the Eye of Ares and stepped forward. I was going to leave the room, and upon seeing my actions, Ares asked.

[Where are you going?]

"I’ve gotta go to my friends.”

It was obvious, but Ares said disappointingly.

[Don’t kid yourself. What can you do even if you go out there right now?]

"That’s, I'm also a Gigas pilot. I'll just get on any Gigas...”

[Don’t be stupid. Didn't you hear that the Gigas's AI, I mean their control persona is completely down? No, apart from that, how are you going to get to our troop’s Gigas? No, do you think something will change even if you get involved? You will only die a dog’s death.]

Just like what Ares had just said, there were many complications.

I was so weak that I would die instantly even if I got hit by a single bullet, and I couldn't do anything with my own strength. Even if I went out there, I’d only die a dog's death just like Ares said.

"But."

Suddenly I felt my heart pounding hard.

"Again… To stand by and watch someone die?"

[Again?]

Ignoring the curious Ares, I gritted my teeth.

We weren’t close friends. I was only in the same class as Dong-min for a year, but that was all, and I just met Bo-ram not long ago in the first place.

Of course, we became closer to a certain extent after we got on board the Albatross ship together, but… We did not share such a deep friendship that we would sacrifice our lives for each other.

Father. Master. My Creator.

My heart ached so much. To the point where it was about to burst. They were all dead. There were no signs of their death.

"Hiding and hiding… Just to keep my own life intact?”

I love you. I love you, Father. 

"Heok… Heokkkk……."

[Hmm? What’s going on dude? Are you in a state of panic because of guilt and fear?]

Ignore the murmuring Ares, I sat down and took a deep breath.

I felt like my head was going to burst. But now was not the time to sit down because of my pain.

"Ares, if it’s with your King of All Armaments, you said you could control most of the armaments that didn’t have an owner. If that's the case… Gigas is also considered an [armament] too, right?”

It was a reasonable remark. If even Metal Bodies, which mainly did all kinds of miscellaneous tasks rather than the usual fighting, were classified as armaments, there was no reason why Gigas made for combat purposes from the first place should not be classified as weapons.

[Of course. So what?]

"Acquire the rights to control all the Gigas near the battlefield. I'll be the pilot.”

[…Holy crap.]

Ares, who looked at me for a moment with those huge eyes, laughed dumbfoundedly.

[I don't know why I can't help but feel like helping you even though it is a ridiculous request. But unfortunately I can’t do that.]

"Why not?"

[Kekeke. Aren't you overestimating me too much? Even though I'm a God-grade Gigas, there's a limit to what I can do with just my mind. It's a miracle to be able to use Ability with just my mind, but you want me to control other Gigas?]

I gritted my teeth at the words that the dumbfounded Ares was saying.

If he said he didn’t want to do it, at least I could try persuading him, but he said he couldn’t do it, so it couldn’t be helped. But then I remembered.

-Just give us an order. One word and we will do anything!

-Don't be used like a fool! We can solve everything for you if you just say it!

I saw a man begging; he looked strong and sturdy.

There was also a woman throwing a fit; she was extremely beautiful, with limitless strength.

But it was their words, not their appearance, that took over my mind.

"One word of command."

I staggered and stood up.

[What the, are you okay?]

I said to Ares, who asked in a curt but worried voice.

"Control the Gigas closest to the battlefield."

[What? No, I can't do it…]

I cut off the grumbling Ares and entered.

"I'll say it properly."

I made eye contact with Ares while saying that.

He stared at me with his giant eyes which were just slightly below my eye level.

I spoke slowly, and powerfully.

"Do it."

[…!!]

In an instant, Ares’s expression was filled with astonishment. Then came the question, then the fear, and finally he had a look as if everything was jumbled up.

[This little…this ? This… how did you…?]

Kriekkkkkk----

The surroundings lit up in an instant. It was impossible to know where the source of the light was. However, I could see Ares staring at me with a blank expression.

It was an interesting expression, but it was a situation where there wasn’t time.

I declared an ultimatum.

"Do it immediately, Ares."

[You… You’re…]

The light becomes brighter. Ares was looking at me.

A lump of light flew from behind me and seeped through the middle of Ares’s forehead.

Uohhhhhhhh--!

Ares's head began to shine. Finally, he answered.

[As per your command.]

And with that… My world changed rapidly.

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