Chapter 32 - The Birth of a Specter (3)

The highest score I got in The Great War was 1.28 billion points, and it was earned while riding the Golden Constellation, Goldrian.

I succeeded in razing the battlefield to the ground and I also captured the opponent's Terra-class battleship Punishment in just one attempt.

'Well, the battle itself turned dull, like I used a cheat or something. So, I won't do it again.'

Unfortunately, however hard I tried, I couldn't score more than 500 million by using a machine that was of a lower-rank. This was because there was a four-dimensional wall that couldn't be overcome. It was impossible to achieve the level of points that could be scored by a high-rank machine with a lower-rank Gigas.

It was partly because of the performance of the machine, but more than that, it was due to the number of Abilities available for use.

When I used a Gigas with a lot of good Abilities, the range of strategies I could use was beyond imagination.

-Ahh, come to think of it, how many basic Abilities do you have? Except for the transcendence skill.

Kwakkkkk!

As I was asking Ares, I stabbed in between the underarm of the Gigas that was rushing forward from the side with the Ultra-Vibration Blade. I cut him lightly, parried his swinging arms, then turned around and used his body as a meat shield to block a few bullets, and cut off the rest of his limbs.

Aghhhh! What the! What the heck is this!? Who the hell are you!?

-What do you mean 'Who the hell are you'? What are you even saying to an enemy on the battlefield? You're not stupid, right?

I was in a state no better than an astral body, but I muttered anyways even though I knew Ares was the only one that could hear me. Of course, I didn't stop moving even for a moment, even when I was blabbering away.

Kwakkkkk! Katatak!

The enemy Gigas struggled desperately and resisted, but it was all to no avail.

Reminiscent of the situation of a blue crab on the cutting board snapping its pincers menacingly, and the skillful cook that would just disregard it and cut off its legs and pop the shell off, I naturally cut off his limbs and shut down his system.

Whether he turned his body to the right or left, I adapted accordingly and used his own strength against him to finish the job faster.

And then Ares, who was in a daze by this time, answered.

- ...If we're talking about Basic Ability, I have three.

-Eckk? Less than a Star-rank? I guess the Transcendence skill must have taken up a lot of slots…

Uuushaaa.

I stepped and jumped on the Golem that was running my way, and I activated an Ability — Stealth.

The bastard who lost sight of me released a grotesque aura at random, but I stepped in the air and fell as light as dust on a chair that was on one side.

Different from R-13 who was only around 3.5 meters tall and could be considered very small-sized among Gigas, he had a frame of about 11 metres long which limited his movement trajectory. It was the right decision to get Stealth or something like that if I wanted to move with a body like that.

'Anyhow, I got lucky.'

I had played The Great War numerous times and thus experienced a lot of Ability while riding on machines (I'd also ridden a lot of enemy machines).

Among them, there were those that had common Abilities, and those that had rare Abilities that only existed in that one machine.

'A Gigas that has all the top three Abilities.'

Penetration, Stealth, and Sniper.

But no matter how many other great and unique Abilities there were, I regarded these three as the greatest.

This was because I realized through countless fights that these three were the most efficient rather than uselessly flashy Ability.

The Penetration+Stealth combo or Penetration+Sniper combo was especially formidable.

Booom!

"Kuwaackkkk!! This cowardly human bastard!”

I held the Ultra-Vibration Blade and got rid of the enemy with the Penetration Ability. While using Stealth and disappearing, I used the Sniper and Penetration Ability to snipe at the bastards that were trying to bomb our troops from afar.

While attacking, I always focused all of the energy that went into maintaining the shield to attack, so for more than half of the time, I maintained an extreme 100% on offense and 0% on defense. On a Tool-rank, perhaps this was something that could prove to be fatal in a single hit, even with a handgun.

But it didn't matter. What use would it be if a hit didn't land?

To overwhelm the enemy with less power, it was natural to have to dance on the edge of the blade.

If it was a conventional battle situation, wouldn't it be typical for a Beast-rank to deal with another Beast-rank? However, I didn't even think something like this was dangerous from the very beginning.

Kwakkkkk! Kwatakkkkk! Bang!

The enemy's battle prowess decreased rapidly as it literally received a one-sided beating, which felt like a dream.

But then, when I exposed my body for a moment to attack, a Spaghetti man holding about 10 swords rushed at me.

“Hiyahhh!”

He charged at me with spirit. Although there was a considerable distance between us, he accelerated in my direction with a momentum similar to a sports car that had overcome friction even though he was just a creature. Of course, I fired a few distractive shots at him.

Tatatak!!

- ...I can't believe it. Cutting it with a blade?

It was absurd.

From my point of view, as someone who was exposed to an alternate world for the first time in The Great War, this superhuman... No, these supernaturals were quite bizarre. I was getting accustomed to it to a certain extent as I played fantasy-genre games before. However, I always had a wake-up call every time I saw an existence that exceeded the Future Weapons. [1]

Well, in any case, if I allowed him to approach, it was obvious that it would be trouble, so I fired a shot at the noodles above his head.

Taaaank!

Flustered by the aim at his leg and not the eyes, he flinched for a moment and blocked it with the nearest blade. But I shot at him to induce that sort of movement, so I went ahead and fired two more shots diagonally without a hint of panic in my movements.

Taaaank! Taaaank!

And with that, the noodle-hands that were holding swords No. 3, No. 6 and No. 8 were twisted.

This disastrous accident took place because he failed to broaden his horizons and look at the big picture, and instead just blocked the bullet with the nearest swords in a panic.

"Keuk? Uckk? What? what the hell?"

He untangled his arms in bewilderment. There was no way a race that could twist their own body into the shape of a hand would get injured if their body got a little twisted, but... The problem was that the three swords were tied together and there was a loophole in the defense for a moment.

Thuckkk!

I drove the armor-piercing bullet through the gap and rolled forward, concentrating the shield to one side.

Katatatatak!

The sudden rain of bullets hit the shield and were deflected away.

In fact, it was possible to pierce the shield of a Beast-rank Gigas if the bullets were infused with enough Intent, but I quickly avoided and they missed, so only the shield was broken and no other damage was received.

-Ahhh, I was so close to dying. If this was the Universe War, I would already be beaten to a pulp.

While grumbling, I shot a photon bullet.

But surprisingly, the Dilophosaurus with heavy firearms all over his body counter-attacked with a double-handed gun!

Bang bang bang!

And the flying photon bullet was intercepted in the air.

-Oooohhh, what a great shooting ability!

I laughed in vain against the exclamations of Alex who was astonished.

-Haih, doing all sorts of bullshit now huh…

I shot the photon bullets again. The Dilophosaurus intercepted as expected, but one of the photon bullets faintly faded out of thin air and reappeared, ignoring the interception and flying ahead--

-You do all sorts of bizarre things huh.

Booom!

A crested head was crushed just like that.

"Keucckkkk!? This fucking shit! Cain?"

"Did Cain the Lunatic just get defeated by a regular photon cannon?”

Not just the enemy, but even my allies were in shock.

But Albatross' crew members were not idiots, so they did not miss this timing where there was a sharp decline in the enemy's forces and launched an all-out attack.

The golem-like bastard with a big jewel embedded on his head wanted to do something to escape the crisis, but his subordinates had already been shot down by me, so it was a situation where he couldn't do anything. The only thing he could do was block the incoming attacks.

And seeing the bastard being cornered, I controlled the cannon on the back of the Thunder Dragon. With a 'Wiiiing' sound, the cannon was mounted on the right shoulder.

Lightning Cannon.

This was the reason why this machine was named Thunder Dragon.

"Keukk! This shitty!"

Kwaaatatak!

The Golem bastard stretched out his right arm, as if he could sense a life-threatening crisis at the image of the cannon barrel aiming at him. And suddenly, the machines that got destroyed and the pieces of the broken wall swarmed towards me. But it was something that was impossible.

Paaaat!

His attack went beyond space itself. I saw all kinds of stuff being compressed from where I was standing, but it didn't matter.

I moved my index finger without hesitation.

Kwareukkkkkkk!

And the lightning struck. With that, the battle came to an end.

Wiiiiingggg…

The Thunder Dragon stopped operating.

The Iron Heart was overworked to the limit and entered sleep mode.

-...What the hell? Why isn't this Gigas moving? it's not working even though I'm controlling it?

-It's because he ran out of energy. You've been using Abilities one after another, so considering that, he held out for quite some time. If it had been a different Gigas, you might have had to change to another one.

Almost all of the attacks were imbued with the Penetration Ability.

Well, I didn't use the Ability for attacks that wouldn't be an effective hit, but the problem was that most of my attacks were effective hits.

And that wasn't all – I even used Stealth every now and then, and Sniper a few times too. In fact, I expected it to collapse any moment, so the last attack was done with the Lightning Cannon, not a photon bullet that had Penetration imbued in it.

"Lieutenant Alex! Who's riding the Thunder Dragon?"

"I-, I don't know. I left it in the maintenance room because it got hit by the EMP. No, putting that aside, this is not battle prowess that Thunder Dragon can produce!! And there was even no control persona too, so how on earth?”

The woman deduced that there was nothing more to find out from seeing the flustered owner of Thunder Dragon, and the Noonim[2] wearing thick black horn-rimmed glasses and suit came closer. To be more exact, she approached the Thunder Dragon, which was right in front of my field of vision.

She could basically be called a beauty with a slender figure, but she looked a little mature with the corners of her eyes raised, and she appeared nervous.

"Thank you for your help! I'm Natalie, Deputy Captain of Albatross."

-Ares, disconnect me.

-Got it. Wait a bit.

My line of sight widened again as Ares replied. My consciousness was disconnected from Thunder Dragon and I flew back up into the air in an astral-like body.

But then, “Huhhhh...?”

I made eye contact with the pretty woman in blue hair who was looking at me with an interested expression. It was Celestia, the only familiar face on the bridge deck that I could recognize.

-...Can you see me?

As she casually muttered, Celestia evidently stared at me and silently spoke.

I read her lips as she mouthed the words. As expected, I didn't see wrongly.

That was all I could read as the surrounding changed rapidly. Ares safely shut down the connection. The display that was covered by snow and trees disappeared and I was inside the head of the open Ares.

"...what was it hmmm?"

After taking off my gloves, I got up from my seat and recalled Celestia's gaze. She was always beautiful and her glistening eyes were also very pretty, but even then, I could only sense uneasiness as I looked at her. Her devil-like smile made me feel anxious, as if things would become very complicated.

What's wrong? Is there something wrong with your body?

"No... It's just, my arm hurts a little, so I can't muster up any strength. I didn't take the control persona seriously, but having to do everything myself is draining the life out of me."

It wasn't just empty words – both of my hands were shaking after having to go through several fierce battles.

Basically, because the control method itself was to use both hands, it consumed a little bit of physical strength, and on top of that, to handle the tasks that the control persona had to do at the same time, I had to move both arms and fingers at an incredible pace.

Well, it couldn't be helped. All the control personas went to sleep because of those Legion bastards just now.

"Couldn't you have done it for me instead? In the first place, you're a control persona too.”

I was already in remote control mode. You want me to take on the role of a control persona on top of that too huh... It would be better to just use the brainwave control system setting instead.

I shook my head at his grumbling voice.

"It was an important battle, so I couldn't choose an unfamiliar control method. Just changing the keyboard and the control would be a mess, so it would've been too big of a risk."

There were three main ways to control the Gigas, and among them, the most common was the Magic Hand.

Magic Hand was the method that many pilots other than me used, and as I played in The Great War, it was the type that I learned to use while sitting in the cockpit, and I used it to solve everything.

But this method was only available for humans to use.

Given that the Gigas itself was a human invention in the first place, it was obviously natural, but this method of control was not suitable for other species whose hands were not well developed.

The Magic Hand method would be very inconvenient for the ship's Captain, Major General Chun Hyun-il, and for those like Nathan, the Research Institute Director, who existed as a ball of light and had no hands and feet, similar to a Spirit of Light. They would not be able to control a Gigas at all.

And that was why the brainwave control system existed.

It was capable of shooting the Iron Heart's Intent-imbued blast just by concentrating on the mind, and movement was possible just by thinking about it, so the size of the cockpit could be innovatively reduced, and more technical skills could be used as compared to the Magic Hand method, which had to be used directly with hands.

But basically, the operating difficulty was relatively high, and it was inconvenient to operate it for long periods of time because of the high consumption of mental strength.

 If that's the case, what about the Power Armor method?

"It's already taxing just to move my arms, and you want me to move my whole body?”

And the third method was Power Armor.

This was a way for even those who had no idea how to control a Gigas to quickly adjust to it, and wear it like armor.

However, this method could only be used on small-sized Gigas with a size of less than four meters tall (of course, some exceptions existed), and since it required direct movement, the consumption of the users' physical strength was extremely high, so only supernaturals that had increased physical strength could use it.

Command Room informing all crewmates aboard the Albatross ship! All battles have ended as of now. Informing once again. All battles have ended as of now. All crewmates are advised to participate in the rescue of the injured and the restoration of the destroyed areas.

But then, a broadcast resonated in the workshop. I was flustered because of the unexpected message it was relaying. Because there was a problem that had not been solved yet.

"What happened to that transcendent from the dinosaur tribe? Was he defeated?”

No way. If he was in a fit of anger, he would have destroyed beyond the residential area and even here. It was a strategic retreat as the situation was looking bad, and also because the control persona of the Albatross ship had been revived. If he fought with Major General Chun Hyun-il, he would have been doomed; and even if he won, the Albatross ship would have self-destructed.

There were many different battle strategies to take, but Major General Chun Hyun-il, the strongest of the melee-fighters was still on the Albatross. If it weren't for Major General Chun Hyun-il, that Morne bastard wouldn't have had such a difficult time. Against a transcendent, the power below that was of little use, so even if other forces struggled hard to win, it would be of no use if Major General Chun Hyun-il collapsed.

If non-transcendents wanted to kill transcendents, they would either have to use a Gigas or a fighter jet, or use a battleship to kill him from long distance, so it would be very difficult to deal with it if the transcendent penetrated inside the ship just like right now. The only way was to seize the opportunity to kick him out to space and kill him from a distance, but transcendents weren't idiots, so he wouldn't fall for it easily.

'Even if it's me, it's hard to deal with transcendents. It'd be difficult even if I rode on a Star-rank.'

Transcendents were life-forms whose attacks and defenses transcended battleships. So no matter how well one could pilot, it would be in vain.

Don't mention attacks imbued with Penetration Ability – other attacks wouldn't go through too, so what was the use of controlling it? The wisest move would be to avoid confrontation.

Ahh, by the way, are you okay?

"Yes, what's going on with you... Ahaaaaa."

I understood the underlying meaning of his words and laughed in vain.

I took part in a war today. And I killed countless enemies.

Even if the targets were extraterrestrial beings, it would be normal to be under a great deal of stress.

But I shook my head.

"I'm fine."

Did you say you're fine?

"Yes, strangely, I'm fine. Is this what they call a terrifying game sense?"

I forced a laugh inwardly, thinking that I had gone crazy amidst the war.

Moreover, I was still a minor.


1. This refers to super weapons that we all know of, for instance, nuclear weapons, stealth drones and so on.

2. Formal way for a guy to address an older sister

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