Chapter 33 - The Birth of a Specter (4)

Moreover, I was still a minor.

'Well, I guess it's plain-as-day.' -- I'm a killer of tens of millions.

Of course I didn't do it directly, but memory was no different to experience and I inherited that terrible nightmare, so maybe this status was something that was obvious.

"Well, the immediate crisis seems to have passed anyway, so I'll get going. But maybe I'll come back again."

That may be true. However, even if the battle is over, the war is not.

The enemy had made the initial retreat, but only for the melee fighters. The Albatross ship was still facing the enemy's Exa-rank Space Carrier, and the Gigas and fighter jets that came out from there as well as a number of Frigates had us in a besiegement.

"You can't stop the self-destruction now, so won't you give it up?"

What absurdity. Those bastards brought in the Legion, the greatest enemies of Leonhardt Empire and the Union which is the greatest power in the Universe. If they fought amongst themselves, then the Union wouldn't pay them any heed, but the story would be different if Legion got involved. If this becomes known to the Union, there will certainly be sanctions imposed and they will never let them get out of it alive.

"...Sanctioning members of the Imperial-Class just because of some terrorist groups?"

It's not just that, you fool. Even now, if Legion decides to do so, the whole universe will turn upside down. It's fortunate that they have now weakened, but when Dekarma, the Machine God, was present, the Legion was so powerful that even the Union couldn't do anything. If Dekarma had not been destroyed by a Martial God known for his power even in the God Realm, he would have grown into a force that could match up to the Union.

"A Martial God on top of a Machine God?"

I laughed in vain. It felt like I was listening to myths, not history, because the existence of God was mentioned so casually, but to get used to this damn Great Universe, I needed to be able to let something like this pass lightly.

'By the way, Dekarma is...'

Somehow it was a familiar feeling. Have I heard a similar name before? [1]

Anyway, if there's something wrong with the surroundings, flee and come here immediately. At any rate, the safest place when the ship is sinking is here.

I opened the door to go out, and turned my head slightly. A head which was about the size of a decent Beast-rank Gigas was staring at me.

"Thank you for worrying about me."

Huh, what? Hey! What I meant just now was...!

"Close the door."

Chiiikingggg!

I closed the door and left the workshop.

Although I had already confirmed their safety with the Eye of Ares, I still felt the urge to check on the condition of Bo-ram and Dong-min. They were the only fellow countrymen I knew in this big battleship, so it was better to stick together at times like these. More than anything else, weren't they also my bodyguards?

But at that moment, a silver Metal Body that was lying on one side of the workshop rose up.

Kwan Dae-ha-nim.

I saw a plain head with no expression or face, and a body that seemed to be made of hardened metal, so magnificent that it was impossible to physically exist. Nevertheless, she had the most beautiful breasts and relatively slender limbs, and on top of that, it was covered with translucent fabrics that looked like something a desert dancer would wear.

Last but not least, she had the image of a girl with a figure that could only be described as explosively hot. The beauty's appearance, which seemed to have come out of a Japanese comic, was the Character Image of Genie, the control persona of the Albatross ship.

"Ahh, Genie. Is your condition okay?"

Thank you for your concern. It's just... Can you explain what's going on?

I realized that she had sensed my ideality as I heard her plea. But then again, if she didn't know, that would be even more strange. Because I was the one who woke her up from her slumber.

"What if it's a secret?"

Then there's nothing I can do about it. Because I don't have the authority to force Dae-ha-nim. It's just that...

She walked up to me. And on the way, her breasts shook at her tiniest movement. (It was only an image, so there was no way she could be affected by the gravity of the Albatross ship) I clicked my tongue inwardly.

I don't know who the creator of Genie was, but I must admit that he was perverted in more ways than one. If he made a lot of control persona like Genie, I'm sure he would hear nothing short of curses and praises from the whole universe. But she spoke with all seriousness without knowing my train of thoughts.

I have no choice but to report the reason why I was able to wake up.

It was obvious. Although Genie, the control persona of the Albatross ship, could make judgements by herself and even take actions if and when necessary, fundamentally, she was a program that assisted her users and she followed their orders whenever she was instructed to. Especially if it was someone who had the authority of a Deputy Captain or above – it was natural for her to tell them everything, including secret information.

But I laughed, "Then tell a lie. Say that you don't know how you woke up."

That's not… It's impossible for a control persona to lie.

Maybe it was the principle that was fundamentally given to control personas, and it was something that should never be violated. If that became possible, it would be impossible for humans to trust the control personas, so this was a natural measure to take.

But I said again. It was a little test of sorts.

"Do it please."

It is not possible.

Her answer was the same. So, I changed the method of speech.

"Do it."

...!!!

In an instant, Genie's beautiful face became distorted with shock. She looked at me with an unbelievable expression and she was speechless.

'For sure... even control personas have feelings. Anyhow, it looks like it's something that I can dominate even if I'm not a Legion. Though it was the same with Ares.'

The level of the AIs I met in the Universe was beyond my imagination.

They had feelings and were capable of decision-making. However, if the opposite party was a user who had a high authority, it was impossible to reject their order according to the basic principles, but at this point, it was almost like a life-form that possessed its own consciousness.

'Then, the only difference is creativity and the ability to think after all. If I have to look for more, unlike control personas and AIs, the Legion does not need an owner.'

Though it had emotions and could make judgement, it was impossible to make a civilization and develop it because it lacked creativity and the ability to think. And they couldn't break away from the basic principles that were made, so it wasn't possible for them to pull a rebellion like the AIs described in science fiction novels. Rising up against their users, including humans, or violating principles was only possible if the developer of the AIs made some changes, or if the main system got hacked and they followed the orders of the enemy.

But now I found out that my orders took precedence over all that.

As you...

She got on her knees. It was a graceful posture as if a beautiful dancer was greeting her master.

As you wish.

*

I arrived at the infirmary. Needless to say, the infirmary was in a state that was no different from the battlefield. There were so many patients that many of them were lying on the floor. Medical machines and metal bodies were constantly moving without rest and Medic-Class supernaturals as well as wizards were tending to people.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm not okay. Ughhhh, I broke five bones."

"You look fine seeing that you're crying. Dong-min, what about you?"

"I'm fine."

"What do you mean you're fine, you look like you're dying."

I put a weird machine as big as my head on my chest and looked at Bo-ram and Dong-min lying on the floor. Their bodies were covered with an opaque white jelly-like substance, and the jelly repeatedly swelled and shrinked as if it were breathing.

I looked up at the unidentifiable weird machine.

 Atlantis Workshop

Specially taken out, High-Speed Healing Workshop (Small)

'What's with the specially taken out. Does it mean they're treating them? But on such grounds? With no beds and only the floor to lie on?'

I grumbled inwardly, but I didn't say it out loud. Even if I didn't know anything about medical care, I could tell that these guys were lightly injured among all the patients scattered around.

"Uggggh, they're short of beds. Honestly, it's very uncomfortable, but it's so hellish around here that it's not a situation where I can complain."

She wasn't wrong, there were sorrowful wails coming from all over the place.

"Al! Get a hold of yourself! Please wake up!"

"Ha-il! Kuuurghhhhhh! Ha-il!"

The damage the Albatross suffered in this one battle was enormous. It wasn't an exaggeration – among more than 10,000 crewmates, nearly 30% had died. The more serious problem was that most of them were combat troops. Given that the war was not over yet, the situation was pretty hopeless.

"Healing workshop! Are there no more healing workshops?!"

"We've already taken out all our reserves!"

"Then for now, get them from the people who have passed the emergency state and save the heavily-injured!"

Should I call them Combat Medics? People in white coats stained with blood ran around while yelling. Healers who had healing abilities were dispersing subtle light from their hands, treating the people around them.

"Ermmm, I'm sorry, but..."

"Ahhh! Yes, I'm fine. I can manage to breathe now, so take it and go."

Bo-ram was lying on the floor while moaning, and one of the soldiers looked apologetic upon hearing her words. But he fidgeted with the healing workshop as he had no choice. With the beep beep beep sound of the machine, the jelly that was covering Bo-ram's body was sucked into the healing workshop.

"Take mine, too."

"Ahhh, thank you for the thought, but you need to receive more treatment. You have a hole in your lungs and your internal organs are also very damaged. If we collect the healing workshop now, it'll get worse again."

"I have innate healing abilities... Take it."

The soldier hesitated for a moment as Dong-min spoke resolutely. But he bowed his head down after hearing the groans that came from all around.

"Then, if you'll excuse me."

In the same way with Bo-ram previously, the jelly was sucked into the healing workshop and the soldier ran to the other wounded while carrying the two healing workshops. Even at this moment, injured people were arriving in the infirmary one after another.

"Heok… Heokkk…"

When the jelly that was covering Dong-min's whole body disappeared, he began to run out of breath immediately. As he had a hole in his lungs, the shrill breathing sounded severe. Considering that Bo-ram only had a fever because of the broken bones, Dong-min was in an incredibly grave condition in comparison. Nevertheless, Dong-min had an expression that seemed as if it was nothing major.

"Bo-ram."

"Yes, sunbae-nim."

"I can't... fight for at least 72 hours from now on. I'll leave Dae-ha to you."

"Don't worry. Just like sunbae-nim, I also have a lot of hidden cards."

"Well, certainly… I thought so too." He chuckled and closed his eyes.

And then, bzzt bzzt zzt! Dong-min's body rapidly froze. And then there were drops of water floating over it, and he hardened into a transparent ice coffin form.

Now that I look at it properly, before I knew it, he was holding a 30 centimeter long Vajra Scepter above his chest with both hands. And Bo-ram, who discovered that just like me, opened her eyes wide.

"Wah, holy crap. That's the Vajra Scepter of King Jeseokcheon [2]. There are talks of it being an inferior version of Indra, but it's no different from a Godly Artifact, I can't believe he took it out. The fact that the Magic Tower Lord took out Gungnir without a word too, the influence of Teacher Kwan Il-han is beyond imagination."

"Is it an amazing weapon?"

"Are you seriously asking that? That thing is..."

As she was about to explain, "The guards seem unusual, too."

"...Cel?"

"Shhh. I'm in a transparent state right now, so look ahead while you talk. Well, it's you anyway, but I don't know if you can see me."

A beautiful girl with blue eyes and blue hair, which looked as if it was made by taking out every single stream of sea water from the tropical sea, floated in front of me. With her easy-to-move combat suit, a gun on both sides of her waist and an assault rifle on her back, she looked at me with sparkling eyes.

"Sunbae... There's something sitting next to me right now."

"Ahhh, it's not the enemy so don't worry. It's the Imperial Princess Her Royal Highness who came with us before."

As I made eye contact with Celestia and whispered to her, Bo-ram opened her eyes wide.

"No way, you can see her? Even when I can't see her with my Eye of Insight?"

I had never told Bo-ram and Dong-min anything about myself. I just talked about miscellaneous situations and what they should do in the future, but I didn't reveal any personal connections I had. Of course it was the same for them too, so I'd never heard about their families or the abilities they had.

"Hoho, I guess these guys don't know anything about you either, do they?"

"...What are you doing here? You're a busy person, aren't you?"

"Hoho, no matter how busy I am, it's not courteous if I don't show my face to the hero who saved all of our lives."

While saying so, she looked at me closely. It was just a simple gaze, but just that was considerably seductive already.

'Damn it. She's really pretty.'

I had seen many beautiful women throughout my life. Most of the women who tried to win over my father were beauties that would put movie stars to shame; Although the voluptuous beauty Alaina whom I met after getting on board of the Albatross ship wasn't an earthling, she was incredibly beautiful; Genie who had amazingly pretty features, was of course also a great beauty.

But nevertheless, Celestia was an existence who shined more than anyone else. Though she was wearing a combat suit that was not the least bit feminine, even I couldn't come to my senses for a moment at the sight of her beautiful face. If her face was already such a cheat, her body should at least be lacking in certain departments, but she boasted femininity and her figure was perfect, so even if she didn't carry the royal bloodline of an Imperial Princess, she would still be a star.

'I have to be careful.'

But nevertheless, I was cold as always.

It wasn't because I didn't like her, but, I could clearly foresee the thorny path that would open up the instant I was captivated by her beauty. I couldn't even imagine what would happen if I mistakenly got hooked on a woman that knew she was very beautiful.

"You know I don't prefer revealing my identity, right? Can't you keep it a secret? An unidentified hero helped us, how about that?"

I tried to silently pass it off in my own way, but Celestia shook her head.

"The Captain called for you. Ahh, just so you know, it wasn't me. It looks like you're trying to hide your identity, so you shouldn't have gone near the transcendents."

"Huh? Don't tell me..."

"I heard you loitered around the bridge deck when you were in the middle of a Universe War with the Space Carrier, right?"

"Wow, that insensitive bear." I laughed because I was dumbfounded.

'Oh my God, that means he saw me there?'

What was even scarier was that I didn't show myself there at all. And yet, he realized exactly who I was and called me out like this. He looked like a simple and naive martial artist, but as expected, he was still a transcendent.

"Erm, sunbae-nim, what are you talking about?"

"I think I'll have to go away for a while."

"Ugh, but if I don't escort you..."

Bo-ram said so while propping her upper body up, but it was an unreasonable assertion. She had bruises all over her body which were so serious that five bones were broken.

How could she guard me when she had a broken shin and couldn't even stand up?

I stopped her by grabbing her shoulder.

"It's a safe place, so don't worry. I'm on my way to see the Captain."

"I'm not worried about the Captain. It's an opponent you can't defy anyways. Phew... Damn it. I wanted to do this in a better situation, showing my beautiful back while saving everyone from danger."

"Bo-ram?"

I was about to question her unexpected words.

She raised her right arm, and muttered with the back of her hand visible to me.

"...Transformation."


1. This is a play on word, it's really similar to Dharma.

2. This is the Korean version of an entity similar to Indra, and the Vajra Scepter is his weapon.

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