Chapter 30 -The Birth of a Specter (1)

Thud thud thump!

Chwanggg!

"Ugh! Damn it all!"

Rale, the pilot of the Tool-rank Gigas R-13, gritted his teeth and fired armor-piercing bombs at the flocking enemies. Although he operated the Gigas in manual mode as urgently as possible, the combat capability dropped sharply as the control persona was not working.

"Damn it, this dude that could only tackle and was even boring to talk to due to his crappy performance... I never thought I’d miss him this much.”

The control persona assisted the pilot in all actions such as motor assistance, shooting assistance, system assistance, and many more.

A pilot was certainly needed to move the Gigas, but in order for the Mecha to move like a human being, and at the same time, exhibit sufficient combat capabilities, it was essential to have a control persona.

"Huh! You're meddling too much just because you’re wearing that piece of iron, you insignificant bastard!"

To make matters worse, the dinosaur tribe appeared among the demi-humans.

Unlike dinosaurs on Earth, they had successfully evolved without walking the path of extinction, and were a superior species with a huge build, strong mana, and high intelligence. They may not have been comparable to transcendental species such as dragons and Kendler Saints, but the fact that the dinosaurs, which received the recognition of the masses, were on the battlefield meant that Morne's prowess was at least at the level of a Compléter or higher.

Wiiiiingggg-!

The photon cannon of R-13 began to charge. Rale began to sync with the R-13’s Iron Heart and he directed his focus to the photon cannon of R-13.

Although mass-produced and of very poor quality, the R-13 had an Iron Heart installed that could generate mana. Even for those with superpowers that looked down on guns and cannons, it was impossible to easily stop a Gigas’s photon cannon.

"Having that doesn’t make a difference. Are you trying to take me down with an attack of that level right now?"

That would be the obvious case if this was an ordinary situation.

Baaaaam!

With the sound of air bursting, the tri-horned dinosaur tribesman’s swift response allowed him to avoid the shot.

A magical barrier had already formed around his body. And that was not the only problem.

Booooom! Kriekkkkk!

Surprisingly, the dinosaur tribesman grabbed R-13's arms with both hands to restrict his movements and a contest of power ensued.

R-13 had enough power output to throw cars on Earth with one hand, but the superhumans that had entered the realm of a Compléter were already monsters that couldn’t be regarded as normal life forms. This was especially true for the dinosaur tribe which was unmatched when it came to strength and vitality even among the demi-humans.

They had a height of only two meters, but weighed over a ton and had muscle strength that was beyond imagination.

"You monster-like brute!"

"Hmph! A Gigas that couldn’t become a superior machine. It’s nothing but a piece of junk that a greenhorn is riding on!"

As the dinosaur raised his head while shouting, a gray sphere formed between the three horns. Powerful mana reacted to his will and reenacted a mighty ‘miracle’ in the present situation.

"Ugh, this motherfu-!"

Realizing that both arms were held in place which meant he could neither evade nor attack, Rale immediately broke the safety plate located at the bottom of the seat and pulled the lever all the way.

Bang! Kwakkkkk!

As the explosions were heard, Rale’s body flew backwards like a bullet. Simultaneously, the right arm of the Gigas, which popped out as a reaction of the emergency escape, was cut off obliquely.

It happened in a flash. If Rale had hesitated for just a second, his head would have been cut diagonally along with the Gigas.

"Uck huckk, I almost died, goddamn it.”

He flew tens of meters away and collided against the wall.

Fortunately because of the energy shock absorber installed in the seat, he didn’t take any serious damage, and he got up with ease. But grimness struck his face when he saw the unfolding scene surrounding him.

"Be careful... Kuwaackkkk!"

"Kahahaha! Die humans!"

"N-, no! Stop... Ackkkk!"

Blood was splattering around and screams were rampant. The Albatross ship’s forces suffered tremendous damage and were being pushed back hecticly.

The Legion’s attack that the demi-humans called upon caused all the control personas to fail, and Major General Chun Hyun-il, a transcendent who was the most powerful fighting force in Albatross, had his hands tied as he was dealing with the notorious Arch-Sorcerer Morne and couldn't do anything.

However, apart from all that, the Albatross ship’s military prowess was nothing compared to that of the demi-humans.

"This, damn it. Let’s at least retreat to the bunker for now…”

Rale, being an Inner Qi user, immediately lowered his posture. It was to retreat, but before he knew it, he realized that the surrounding background was spinning.

"To feel reassured after only securing that much distance, really befitting of an insect ehh.”

Normamus, the Advance Squadron Commander, chuckled while cutting off the enemy’s head by releasing a mana blade.

But it was then.

Wiiiiingggg-

"Hmm?"

The pilot’s quick escape caused R-13 to stare blankly as his eyes gleamed.

Although it was a short instant, Normamus, who had lived on the battlefield all his life, reflectively formed a barrier to protect his body.

Thuckkk!

And then, the Tool-rank Gigas R-13 that got his right arm blown off, turned around with his left foot as the axis, just like a dancer.

Before he could realize, the photon cannon that had fallen on the floor had been lifted up by his left arm that was still intact.

Kiing-kiing-kiing-kiing-kiing!

The photon cannon shot out laser beams in the form of a bullet. R-13 didn’t care whether he hit the enemy or not, and shot nearly a hundred rounds of photon beams in every direction.

It was an indiscriminate fire at random in the most literal sense.

"Hmph! What a stupid thing to do. What tricks are you trying to do on that Gigas? Do you really believe this would inflict any damage at all?"

Normamus, who took the photon beams lightly as he had a barrier, snorted.

This was a world where supernaturals, wizards and martial artists existed, but at the same time, guns and cannons dominated the battlefield.

It was only natural that those who used superpowers would develop the ability to respond against such firepower, and such random shots would not be able to hurt any of his Assault Squadron members.

Basically, it was obvious that it wouldn't land a hit, and even if it was shot in an accurate direction, it was possible to enter into evasive maneuver in lightning-speed,or even blocking it was doable.

"Kahaha! These things are such a surprise! Charge at once, you idiots! If you get grazed by it, there'll be hellish training today!"

Normamus was the first one to run forward.

He was the Advance Squadron Commander for a reason. He was an existence that smashed the enemy's battle formation by being in the front line.

But there was no one that followed after his footsteps.

"Huh?"

He turned around. And he was speechless at the sight that unfolded before him.

"...What the?"

There were no subordinates around to follow him. No one could do so.

Because... the members of the Assault Squadron that he was so proud of were all down.

It was total annihilation.

-This, really now. Though it’s less costly as it’s not a humanoid...

And as the Tool-rank Gigas R-13 rose up among the corpses, Normamus’s eyes flared up.

A big part of R-13’s upper body was cut off along with the right arm, and the cockpit in the body section was visible. But, there was no one there.

"The pilot... is not there?"

Unable to understand the situation, he looked down at his subordinates and strengthened the barrier to protect his body.

And he realized how his men got a fist-sized hole in their heads.

"Haaaa..."

Normamus had been through countless wars, and he quickly realized the situation.

The ridiculous Tool-rank Gigas that used his left foot as an axis like a dancer and shot hundreds of bullets while spinning like a top, had been right on the mark with all of them. And that was even against enemies that went into evasive maneuvers or activated their defences.

"Haha…"

He laughed in vain. It took him only a short time to figure out this absurd situation.

However, all that confusion was soon pushed aside and turned into wrath.

"This... puny insect!!"

Crackle!

Normamus manifested a mana blade and slashed at R-13.

But R-13 simply took a light step and ducked to avoid the attack and burrowed in.

That’s right. The 3.5-meter Gigas that could be considered a giant was able to burrow into the chest of the dinosaur tribesmen that was larger than humans but only about 2-meter tall.

It was an incredibly elegant movement to the extent that it was unbelievable for it to be a Mecha.

Boom!

The heavy barrel of the photon cannon crashed against Normamus’s barrier. And in that situation, Normamus' face distorted and turned fiend-like.

"You dare! A Tool-rank Gigas like you, to my barrier--"

Klaaangggg!

The photon cannon drew a white line in mid-air. And just like his subordinates, there was a fist-sized hole in the head of Normamus.

Even if he was a demi-human, it was a given that he wouldn’t be able to survive with a hole of that size on his head.

‘Wait, what kind of Tool-rank...’

A God-rank Gigas that executed the Ability, Eye of Ares, oversaw the whole fight. And Ares screamed inwardly.

‘What kind of Tool-rank would have an Ability?’

To be able to use Ability, at the very least it would have to be a beast, in other words, at least on the level of Beast-rank.

Although the factory's mass-produced Tool-rank Gigas were of course equipped with an Iron Heart, the Iron Heart's function was to prevent a situation where the magical defense got clogged up due to the attacks from armaments such as the photon cannon that contained intent. That was all it amounted to, and anything more than that was very rare.

Of course, a few of the specially made prototypes among the Tool-rank could also activate Ability, but that was only possible by taking various measures with the existing Iron Heart.

In the first place, for a mass-produced Gigas, what was this monstrous Ability?

'That's not all. It’s not an Inherent Ability, but a Basic Ability. There’s no way that a Tool-rank would have an Ability...’

A Gigas' Ability (or Transcendence) was divided into two types: Basic Ability and Inherent Ability.

Basic Ability referred to the Gigas and not the pilots, to be more specific, the Ability of the Iron Heart itself, and Inherent Ability referred to the Ability a pilot had.

Between Basic and Inherent Ability, Basic Ability was the power of the Iron Heart itself, so it could be activated by anyone as long as they were qualified to be a pilot.

It was because of this Basic Ability that the price of Gigas that were made of exactly the same material, differed by as little as a few times, and as much as a few hundred times.

The price was usually not set until the Gigas was completely finished, because it would not be known whether there would be Basic Ability or not, and even if there was, until the Iron Heart was made, the type of Ability wouldn’t be known (Though it could be induced to some extent).

'Don’t tell me this is his Inherent Ability? Using a Basic Ability that hasn't been awakened yet? I think I've heard of a General in the far-off Antarren Galaxy that had that ability…’

While he was thinking about this and that, Dae-ha piloted R-13 and changed locations.

It was a pity that he lost one arm, but it was a dire situation, and he couldn’t change to a new Gigas now.

-But even then, I was lucky. It just so happened that the Gigas I rode has one of the top three skills, Penetration.

Ares questioned Dae-ha about his words. Because he heard something that was unfamiliar.

-Top 3 skills?

-Penetration, Stealth, and Sniper. Three of the most useful Ability.

-...Who decided that?

-Who else? Me, of course. I picked the most useful ones after trying. Sigh, if the Ability it had was Conservation, Maintenance, or Repair, it would’ve been a pain in the ass to try and defeat that bastard. If it was Pressure, it would be easy to defeat him, but I would then have to find another machine.

Although Dae-ha’s playstyle when playing new games would be to refer to the existing strategies, in the case of The Great War, he could not find an existing community, nor could he see other users. But there was a kind of implication that only those with the talent of pilots could play in The Great War, and because of that he arrogantly participated.

Therefore, Dae-ha played with absolutely nothing, and only had a manual prepared for The Great War, and sorted out the useful skills and bad skills, as well as the game style and attack methods.

In fact, if he wrote a collection of battle strategies now, he would create a masterpiece that would even surprise the pilot instructors.

-Huh? By the way, what's your plan? No matter how I look at it, I don't think you’re planning to be involved in a fight with those bastards. Those guys, so to say, are all Martial Arts-type Transcendents facing each other at the entrance of the residential area. I’m referring to Major General Chun Hyun-il and Arch-Sorcerer Morne.

And of course, even for Dae-ha who was full of confidence once he got on the Gigas, he had no thoughts of getting involved in their fight.

-I don't want to get involved and die for nothing. Besides, if they’re transcendents... Maybe they’ll be able to hurt me in my current state.

At present, the body of Dae-ha was still inside the God of War’s Treasure Trove, but his consciousness was out of that space while he was controlling the Tool-rank Gigas from a distance.

In other words, even if he was defeated by the enemy, his life would be completely intact.

-Though it may seem a little cowardly while other people are fighting with their lives on the line, there’s no reason for me to risk my life just to be fair.

I headed for the bridge deck while muttering, because I knew the enemies were moving to take over the bridge deck of the Albatross ship.

-But before that... I'm gonna have to turn the tides of war in our favour.

Dae-ha looked at the stationary defense towers and the Metal Body lying on the floor that stopped working.

And said with [force].

-Genie.

Kiinng-----

Kiing…...

Dae-ha continued to speak as he watched the machines around him starting to flinch and move just by calling out their names.

-Get up and carry out your mission.

The Legion’s power was strong.

They were existences that were based on the Mecha civilization. Even for magical beings, it was difficult for them to say that they were completely free from the erosion of Legion. Organisations that had a large number of transcendents would find it burdensome if they had a Universe War with the high-ranked Legions.

But Dae-ha, even though he didn't know it himself, was able to appease all of them with a single word of command.

'I don't understand. What on earth… is this power?'

In fact, Dae-ha was a strange existence to Ares from the very beginning.

The place where Ares was located was the Transcendence skill, [God of War’s Treasure Trove]. This was an ability that even Ares cannot activate alone, and he only maintained what his master had invoked before his death. Of course, it was a Transcendence skill in name. Hence, the only being from the Albatross battleship that could break into it was the transcendent, Major General Chun Hyun-il.

What’s more, Ares was a God-rank Gigas who had a compatible Iron Heart, so if he decided to blow himself up, not even the transcendents would be able to survive, so no one forced Ares to do things against his will.

'But then the door just opened. No, not just that. If he were to ask... I would just want to listen. Haaa, what the hell is this?'

It was driving him crazy because he could not even feel the power that was forcing him to comply. Perhaps it was just that deep inside, he was genuinely worried about him and wanted to help.

And beyond that, when Dae-ha gave him orders.

Ares even managed to do the things that were impossible.

And when Dae-ha gave orders like that, behind Dae-ha’s back…

‘This doesn't make sense. It’s impossible.'

He was in denial.

And he muttered again while his point of view followed along with R-13.

'It’s impossible.’

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