Chapter 44 - Kidnapping (2)

"Excuse me… do you have any thoughts of reaching a mutual consensus?" Hye-ran stealthily asked.

And in an instant, her expression and attitude spurred another question from me.

In the first place, why was Hye-ran here instead of that Black Wildcat, and why was she personally conveying these information to me? And why was she so cautious?

It was a pretty iffy question, but I figured out the situation in an instant since I was quick at catching on.

"Ahhh, I see…"

Come to think of it, Na-rae, believed to be the pilot of Hye-ran and Black Wildcat, was one of the few people who had a Korean name on board Albatross. There was nothing strange about the existence of a country that had similar roots to Korea since there were many crew members from another 'Earth' on board Albatross.

"Why, why are you looking at me like that?"

"No, it's nothing. If I come to an arbitration agreement, what is in it for me?"

"Ahhh, of course you'll be compensated with settlement money. Roughly… this much."

Hye-ran then operated the communicator on her wrist. A hologram popped up in the air, and numbers were shown.

'It's quite a large amount.'

It wasn't a small amount. From an Earthling's point of view, it was equivalent to the amount of a handsome lottery jackpot. It was wealth that no ordinary person can amass even if they tried until they died. But unfortunately for her, my perspective of money was going haywire these days.

"Kid. What use is this meager amount? If you're going to be like that, just tell him to go to prison."

"Wha-, what?"

"And my personal information is classified, so why are you bringing this problem here? You don't even care about an oath of secrecy? What kind of soldier are you?"

As I clicked my tongue, Hye-ran turned furious.

"I haven't spilled any of your personal information out! But it can't be helped because there are no other ways to find you and Na-rae is on the verge of being punished!"

"No wait, she should be punished if she did something wrong. Why, did she say it was unfair?"

"That, it's not like that, but…"

I shrugged at the sight of Hye-ran's hesitation. She looked like she would be pushed into a corner if I teased her a little more. But it wasn't as if I was a pervert, so I didn't enjoy seeing her flustered expression for she looked like a little girl (whatever her real age may be).

"Well, whatever it is, I don't care. Is it possible to reach an agreement without revealing my personal information? Don't tell me I have to show up in court? It's not something like that, is it?"

"It's like that though…"

"Then get the hell out."

Unfortunately, I didn't have the least bit of intention to broadcast my personal information. I had already made enough money, and I planned to go back to Earth in the end anyways. Even if I was proud of my strong piloting skills on a Gigas, I would still end up dying all the same once I ran into a transcendent. I had seen a transcendent several times and I felt that they were monsters beyond my control.

'In actual fact, even being known this much is making me anxious, but…'

But it was something that was inevitable. If I hadn't stepped out there, I would've died along with all of Albatross. And now that my ability and identity were known, rather than being loathed because I didn't want to fight in consideration of my life, it was better to actively build achievements.

In fact, Major General Chun Hyun-il was a gentleman by nature. So, even in this critical situation where everyone was in the face of death, he still cared about his crew members' lives. On the contrary, if the Captain, who was no different from a king inside the ship, acted at his own discretion, things would've been pretty tough.

"Uhhh, come on, don't be like that and think about it again, hmmm? Na-rae is such a talented person that she even got second place at the Pinnell Academy. If such a pilot drops out of the war, it'll be a big loss."

Hye-ran sounded quite desperate, but I snorted, "A talent? What talent? Her piloting skills are just so-so, and her judgement threatened my life."

"Ughh… If someone else did that, I would've thought that it was funny."

But now, to be exact, I was Specter, the war hero who saved the Albatross ship from crisis and I was revered as a star equal to Superman or Batman among the crew mates. Perhaps because the extraterrestrial beings handled war information differently from the armies on Earth, the battle scenes can be 'Saved and Edited' before being viewed by people. It was even on playback on display screens all over the ship, similar to a TV broadcast.

'I never thought I'd become a war hero all of a sudden.'

I let out a soft sigh, and looked at the restless Hye-ran. I felt a little sorry to see her like this.

"Hmm. What is your relationship to her that you are acting like this? Are you acquaintances?"

"…She's my younger sister."

"Oh my."

I wondered why she was so restless, but they had a closer relationship than I imagined it to be.

"Then, is her name Kwon Na-rae? Oh, come to think of it, the pilot's a woman?"

"Of course she's a woman! You haven't seen her face, but you should've heard her voice, haven't you!"

"Ahhh, her gender wasn't the main problem at that time."

I pondered for a moment as I muttered, "What mattered was whether she was a human or a troll."

"Hmm. But I refuse to appear in court. Can't I just forgive her and leave it at that?"

"I-, I'm not sure. The process isn't complicated, but it's a martial case and not a civil case. So at the very least, it's necessary to show up in court and state your stance to the higher-ups. You'll also have to submit a written agreement."

"…I don't want to."

"Uhhhh, please, I beg of you."

Hye-ran was frowning and on the verge of tears. It was incomprehensible of her given her usual obstinate personality.

"How severe is the disciplinary action for you to act like this? In the end, there wasn't any harm done to me, so must she receive a heavy sentence even though everything worked out well?

"No. The disciplinary action itself is actually very trivial. Like you said, there was no harm caused, and Na-rae only made a momentary mistake in her judgement. Plus, she didn't do it out of any ill intent."

"Then what's the problem?"

"That's because Na-rae is one of the heirs with the right of succession to the family household… If there's a stain to her reputation, it'll put her at a disadvantage against the other candidates."

"That's complicated. Well, anyways, if so… Okay, I get it. I'll put in a word with the Captain first. Though it's not through normal procedures, but if it's the Captain…"

"Wha-, what?! Anything but that! Why do you want to tell the Captain-nim such trivial matters? Are you crazy?!"

I was dumbfounded at the sight of Hye-ran jumping up and down.

"Why? But wouldn't that be faster?"

"Of course it's faster that way, but that means Captain-nim will remember Na-rae's name with very bad connotations! It's better to have a stain on her reputation than to have her image be stuck that way with Major General Chun Hyun-il, the highest command of Albatross!"

I whistled at the sight of Hye-ran turning pale and shaking her head.

The bear's position was greater than I thought. Even in the Space Age where military discipline wasn't very apparent, if the difference in status was this big, then it wasn't very much different from how it was on Earth.

"Oh my, what a bother."

"Ughhh, please… The-, should I raise the settlement money? Thi-, we've bought a lot of parts this time, so we don't have much to spare."

I pondered for a moment after hearing her words. Come to think of it, it wasn't such an unreasonable request.

"Alright then. Instead, give me that."

"That?"

"That."

I pointed at the thick-rimmed pair of glasses that Hye-ran often wore. Although it was thick, it had a pretty elegant design, making it look like a luxury item that could be used by both men and women.

"…What? Haha? Why, why are you asking for my glasses? Are you a pervert?"

"Mmmhmm. I'll be a pervert, so give me those glasses. Then I'll write you an agreement."

"Hold-, hold on a minute. Why are you asking for what I'm wearing? I'll give you a new one, so…"

Hye-ran stuttered and turned around, but I grabbed her shoulder before she could make any move.

"Give it to me."

"…"

Needless to say, it wasn't just some ordinary glasses. Although it was pretty well camouflaged, even so, it was useless for someone like me who could see the title on things.

Manufactured by Kwon Hye-ran

Magic Armament, Udjat

After checking it several times, I roughly figured out its performance and effects. However, even though I knew, I didn't think I could obtain it, so I was very grateful that things turned out this way.

"Why. Is it not possible no matter what?"

"Ah, that's, well, it's actually a banned item. It's also a Destructive Weapon, so it's a weapon that can't be privately owned."

"But you wear them often."

"That's because… secretly… No, that aside, how did you find out? I've done the reverberation perfectly! Even the Regiment Commanders didn't notice it!" Hye-ran exclaimed as I strode towards her and furtively snatched her glasses off.

Hye-ran flinched, but it didn't stop me from taking it away.

"I'm taking it."

"Ughhhh… Ple-, please, don't cause an accident with that and don't tell anyone I made it! You must absolutely keep it a secret! It's made of Gigas parts, so it's dangerous if you got caught using it."

"I'll keep it in mind."

"Uhhhhh, I don't think you will keep it in mind. I don't think you're even listening to me properly. But Na-rae… Ughhh."

Hye-ran was anxious but at the same time I was beyond her grasp, so I left her behind and got on the elevator to head towards the workshop. I couldn't go too far away because there might be a battle today, so I was going to meet Ares for a while.

"Open sesame."

As always, the door opened swiftly and I went inside. In actual fact, this was the power of my command, so there wasn't a need to say "open sesame", but I just said it out of habit.

[You are here. Is Napoleon's Ability today bad as always?]

"No, it's not bad today. But there's no battle to go to right now, so I came to chill."

Ares' Basic Transcendence Skill, God of War's Treasure Trove, was filled with all kinds of weapons. It was full of luxury goods that were eye-opening even to the warriors, and these goods could even be regarded as Godly Divine Weapons.

However, I, who was not good at even handling a single kitchen knife, sat on one of the armor without much emotion. Ares was taken aback at first, but now he casually spoke as if he had given up on me.

Don't go out to the next battle.

"Alright, in the next battle… Wait, what?"

As I questioned his unexpected words, Ares spoke in all seriousness.

Something doesn't feel right. And for beings of divine nature like me, our sixth sense is usually correct most of the time. Seeing that I am sensing this even in the middle of war, the enemy must be preparing something.

Ares was right, it was slowly time for the demi-humans to counterattack. They were probably extremely infuriated since they were beaten up so badly despite having the numerical advantage. Even if we hid well in the lightning clouds, they would find us no matter what it took them.

"Hmm. Can you find out something more concrete?"

Tchh. If I could know that much, then it wouldn't be just a hunch, it would be a Transcendence Skill. Foresight abilities are rare high-level skills. I don't know if it can be considered Foresight with such a low accuracy.

I frowned at Ares' calm explanation. I was also worried because he had never given me such warnings even though I had fought many battles till now.

"Well, I've been fighting continuously, so there wouldn't be any problems if I don't participate once, but… Then again, I can only do that once or twice. If I continue to not step out to battle, our side will be too inferior in power."

Our side wouldn't be a complete mess. However, the problem was that the others were not very capable. If our Beast-rank and Tool-rank Gigas met the enemy's Beast-rank and Tool-rank Gigas respectively, we'd be on par, but our numbers were overwhelmingly far apart, so we would be in danger.

"Whew. It would be better if only you were at least in one piece."

Pfthaha. Then things would be totally different. Even if we are both considered Transcendence Weapons, there is a big difference between my fighting power as a Gigas compared to a battleship.

Most battleships above the Terra-class were made to be Transcendence Weapons. Manufacturing a Terra-class battleship required an astronomical amount of resources. If the battleship was running on 'pure scientific power', it would be helplessly destroyed if it went against enemies that were Transcendents or possessed Transcendence Weapons, which also meant that the enormous amount of resources would be for naught.

It was the same reason as to why so many "pure scientific power" battleships which were built in the past without resorting to magic or soul energy power were either scrapped or remodeled and used only in peaceful zones. In the first place, large battleships were forced to become Transcendence Weapons because of the emergence of Iron Hearts and Transcendence Weapons.

'But it's not as easy to deal with battleships as it used to be in the past, still, Gigas are stronger.'

Comparing a Gigas and battleship of the same rank, the Gigas would probably be more powerful than a battleship.

However, it was possible for battleships to travel super long distances with its enormous manpower and supplies, or to house numerous crew members. Battleships also specialized in performing various tasks and housed a wide range of artillery attacks. Also, depending on the type of battleship, it could also attempt to stabilize or terraform an occupied territory.

Thinking about it rationally, it was only natural that the Gigas, which specializes only in battle, was more powerful than a battleship serving all kinds of other functions.

"Oh, come to think of it, Ares." I suddenly thought of something and looked up.

Did Ares perhaps feel the sudden change in the air? Ares stared at me.

Why?

"Ahh, it's no big deal. I command you."

Wiiiiingggg--!

As I infused my words with power, a strange wave spreaded out. It was a fairly familiar state as I experienced it several times before.

I made eye contact with Ares and spoke, "Manifest into your complete state before me now!"

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