Chapter 76 - Advent of the God of War (7)

When a pilot gained proficiency in synchronizing with the Iron Heart, they would be able to awaken one to three Abilities depending on their nature, bloodline and talent. Generally speaking, it was possible to awaken one to three Abilities; however, ordinary pilots would only be able to awaken one Ability. These Abilities were commonly referred to as Inherent Ability.

Inherent Abilities were generally determined at the first awakening and would remain the same for the rest of the pilot's life. As the pilot became more skilled with synchronization, the inherent ability or abilities would become more powerful or even evolve. In some rare cases, a pilot's number of Inherent Ability(Abilities) might also increase as they become more proficient in synchronization. Continuous training and meditation would be required to awaken the inherent potential of a pilot.

Despite that… It was an undeniable truth that pilots born with a rare Ability from the start would have a greater advantage. Thus, the future of a pilot was determined by their talent in piloting and also the type or performance of their awakened Ability.

Freeze! Don't move!

"What do you mean freeze, you idiot."

I activated the Flash Ability and blinked through space. That alone caused all the missiles, laser beams, as well as bullets to shoot through the air. Of course, the enemy laid out a barrage of artillery fire in preparation for evasive maneuvers or invoked teleportations. However, they wouldn't be able to cover the vast universe. As such, there was an opening.

Baaang!

I blew away an enemy machine with a single laser shot. There was no use in using evasive maneuvers since the enemies were reading my movements anyways.

Ha, just surrender! There is a huge difference in our power! You have no chance of winning!

"Ahhh, so noisy..."

It was annoying because the enemies kept communicating with me, so I blocked their communication frequency. Despite the situation, we were both affiliated with the Leonhardt Imperial Army, so it was easy to cut off their incoming messages since we were on the same radio frequency channel.

"Well, we're definitely lacking power."

However, if our troops were really at an overwhelming disadvantage, the enemy would not be so desperate to "urge" us to surrender. They would've just wiped us out.

Maybe the fight also felt like a nightmare for them too. However, it was a given as they were being toyed by one single Gigas despite having a numerical advantage. It also seemed that it wasn't just the enemy who felt that.

...As expected, that's unfair.

"Huh? What is?"

Your existence itself.

I shrugged at Napoleon's grumbling.

"But then again, it seems like that, isn't it? Speaking of just Abilities, how many have I used?"

Others could probably never be able to imagine the amount of advantages I had when it came to controlling a Gigas. To be honest, even I felt that the calibration I had was unjust.

'If the types and performance of an Ability equates to the talent of a pilot… This is basically a cheat-like talent.'

I had three to five Abilities; they weren't fixed and would change daily. I called them Abilities of the Day.

Of course, I had no say over what Abilities I would get for the day, so there were times where I got screwed up skills like those on the day of my first battle. On the contrary, it was also an advantage since the enemy wouldn't be able to pinpoint the exact Abilities I possessed. It was hard for the enemy to devise an attack strategy against me.

When it came to Basic Abilities, I could also utilize more basic abilities compared to others. Even if it was the same exact model - Napoleon, some of these machines only had <The Word Impossible Doesn't Exist In My Dictionary> and someone only had <The Undying Emperor>. However, the Napoleon I was riding on had everything. It was as if… All potential of this particular Gigas model was manifested.

However, just then, Napoleon said something unexpected.

…I wasn't talking about Ability.

"Hmm? Then what are you talking about?"

Well that's…

Swiiishhh~!

The waves that submerged the entire space hit Napoleon. Of course, I activated the <Energy Absorption> Ability and easily warded it off.

"Doing a surprise attack that doesn't even work!"

Even though the universe was vast and wide, it was possible to make an unavoidable attack. There would be no time to escape if the attack was fired omnidirectionally in the form of raging waves. Major Chun Hyun-il's <Fenrir's Howl> was one of those abilities as there wouldn't be any place to run to when it was activated.

However, the problem with these kinds of abilities was that it would inevitably cause the power reserves to fall significantly. Such attacks were impossible to dodge but easy to block. It would literally be a futile thing to do unless one had more than a few dozen times more power that their opponent.

Kwakkkkk!

Needless to say, I didn't just stop the attack; I penetrated through the formation and flew towards the approaching fighter jets, slicing apart both of their wings with the lightsaber. (Attacks in wave forms would weaken as they traveled, so enemy machines could approach to a certain extent. As long as the attacks aren't on the scale of a Transcendence Skill…) The fighter jets went out of control and were blasted far away. Upon seeing that, I casually took a deep breath.

"Agh, what a headache. I'm trying not to kill them, but it's difficult to predict their movements… Way to go!! Dismembered!!"

I raised my knee and dodged away from the movement trajectory of the Gigas that was charging towards me before immediately swinging the lightsabers imbued with Penetration held in my two hands. I sliced off the right arm of the enemy Gigas with the right lightsaber, and I bashed its head with the left lightsaber's pommel, forcing it to drop to its knees. Then with an X-motion, I sliced off both its legs. Lastly, I grabbed his left hand in a "handshake" and cleanly tore it off.

The pilot wasn't in danger since the Iron Heart was unharmed and I didn't deal any significant blow to the Gigas' body. However, just by slicing off its limbs, it was no different from it losing all its ability to fight. It would be basically impossible to control a Gigas' movement and change directions without any limbs.

"Napoleon! How much energy do we have left?"

90%. It's in good condition.

"Okay! I was a little anxious, but the energy absorption rate is pretty god!"

<Energy Absorption> wasn't as good as <Dry Heart> which could absorb the energy of an enemy's Iron Heart and recover rapidly no matter how dangerous the situation was. However, it was pretty efficient since it was able to absorb energy while defending against enemy attacks. This was especially so when it came to enemy wave attacks and photon bombs; <Energy Absorption> could absorb energy from time to time and use the absorbed energy to recover. As such, the Ability could also be used for defense.

Partner! Watch out! It's Goliath!!

GROARRR----!

As soon as Napoleon's warning sounded, a huge Gigas charged towards me. After getting a good look, it looked like a Human-rank Gigas, but it was of no ordinary size. If a Gigas was too large compared to the energy reserves of its Iron Heart, it would be difficult for the soul energy to circulate within the machine. As such, it was common protocol to not build such a big-sized Gigas unless it was a Star-rank Gigas. However, the Gigas by the name of Goliath was so huge that it was looking down on Napoleon like it was looking at a child. Judging from the atmosphere, that was probably the characteristic of Goliath's Iron Heart.

However, I wasn't really flustered. Certainly, it was true that it was much larger than Napoleon. Although it looks like it didn't have any techniques in particular, its power reserves itself seems to be significant.

He is this big… but so what?

"Cut off his head!"

Rather, I was thankful. Thanks to the fact that the cockpit was built into Goliath's head, there was no need to slice off the limbs of the Gigas; all I had to do was cut his head off. Just by me kicking its head far away, Goliath had lost its ability to fight. The body was still functionable, but it just struggled and couldn't move properly.

"Hahaha! He's running amok! It's the Rise of the Legend!" [1]

...What are you talking about?

"There's something like that. Well, anyways."

I was sent onto the battlefield with much burden on my shoulder due to my body's condition. However, things were better than I thought. Strangely, I was in great condition and my senses were as sharp as a knife. It felt like I could avoid any attack and destroy any kind of defense.

"Let's keep this up." I said and started synchronizing again.

*

"Oh my God."

Celestia had sent Dae-ha to greet the enemies, and groaned at the unbelievable sight upon looking at the battlefield information. Dae-ha was on board of Napoleon; he so simply and easily overpowered the enemies without much difficulty.

Yes. Overpowered… He overpowered the enemies.

"Even against an absolute majority in war, he's dealing with the enemies without killing them, and doing that all by himself?

It was hard to believe even when she saw it with her own eyes. Surprisingly, Dae-ha, piloting Napoleon, had been toying with the enemy with two lightsabers in hand as if he was using Dual Sword Arts. However, at times, he would shoot the enemy with the photon cannon, and at other times, he would stab the enemy with one lightsaber on hand.

The highlight of them all was when he made nimble movements and closed the distance between him and a Gigas before slicing the opponent Gigas' limbs with a lightsaber. The enemies resisted desperately and strengthened their barriers, but Napoleon skillfully suppressed their resistance and cut off their limbs.

No matter how desperately a fish flapped its body on a cutting board, a skilled cook would surely cut the fish's flesh and take its head off. Dae-ha was acting just like the cook would.

"That's ridiculous. This can't possibly be done just because of his bloodline. Also, that <Energy Absorption> is definitely not a defensive skill either."

It was extremely rare, but looking across history, there had been beings that possessed rarer Abilities than others. Without the need to look far and about, there were many who possessed rare and powerful Abilities even among the Imperial family of the Leonhardt Empire with the inherited bloodline of the Untouchables. Being borned with special power and talents, it wouldn't be strange to possess ridiculously powerful Abilities from birth.

At least two people in the Great Universe Era possessed the Ability Dae-ha was exhibiting -- Using the unawakened Ability of a relevant Gigas as an Inherent Ability.

However, Dae-ha's display of techniques was on a completely different level.

"How can he have such diverse and complete techniques at this age?"

"That's because he's the Master."

"…!!"

Startled by the sudden low voice, Celestia took out her double-handed pistols and released an outburst of soul energy. Despite her reaction, the opponent looked fine.

"It's okay to shoot."

"…"

Celestia quietly disarmed. She realized that the existence in front of her was an ultimate being. Even if Albatross' Iron Heart self-destructed and exploded, it still wouldn't hurt her a single bit, so shooting would prove to be futile.

'Hawa… Or should I say Eve. I never thought I'd actually see someone I've only read about in history books in reality.'

Hawa was one of the very first Legion, as well as the mother of all Legions. She was an adversary of the Union as well as a being beyond that of a high-rank God.

However, more than all of that, it was her words that caught Celestia's attention.

"What do you mean… Master?"

"It's as I said. To make it easier for you to understand, for example… There was a pilot who existed 280 years ago."

Hawa brought up a seemingly irrelevant story as she watched Napoleon fight against the enemies.

"He had excellent piloting skills, but he didn't really have much talent in synchronizing with the Iron Heart. The only Ability he could manifest was <Energy Absorption>, and that Ability could only be activated by approaching the enemy and placing the piloted machine's hand on the enemy's Iron Heart. It was impossible to use it in a real battle."

"…Is it someone I know?"

"No, he was in too far of a Galaxy for you to know of him. Even though he was an excellent pilot, he wasn't that famous to be renowned in the whole universe. Anyway, the important thing is... Instead of being discouraged, he constantly researched and trained his one and only Ability. One day, he finally made it possible to absorb the enemy's attack and restore his own strength."

Hawa's words reminded Celestia of the stunt the Dae-ha had just pulled. Certainly, Dae-ha also used that Ability in the same fashion.

"But what's wrong with that? Isn't it possible for two people to use the same technique?"

"Well, he also used the King of Adventure's Jump in the same way, but I guess it's hard to get you to understand… Then how about this? This year, no, next year, to be exact... Yes, next year, a child will be born in the Celta Galaxy. From the age of ten, he will be swept away into war and live his life on the battlefield, fighting on a Gigas. But when that child turns fifty, he will meet the mother of the child soldier he had killed; the mother was wailing over the death of her child. Because of that, he will swear by an oath to not kill."

"...Wait a minute. Wait. Don't tell me, you are saying…"

Not paying any heed to Celestia's confused reaction, Hawa continued her explanation.

"For that reason, he will be able to understand the structure and operating principles of a Gigas through countless research and hands-on-battles. Through practice, he will be able to succeed in establishing excellent piloting skills capable of overpowering the enemy in any situation without killing them. In particular…"

"…"

The hypothesis that came to Celestia's mind instantly sent goosebumps all over her. Just then, Hawa said something which further convinced Celestia of the latter's hypothesis.

"In particular, the unique technique of cutting off the enemy's limbs and rendering them incapable of combat was so impressive that he became famous in the entire universe; it became his trademark. No, I should say it was fated to be."


1. I'm assuming the author is referring to the Headless Horseman. The Headless Horseman is a mythical figure who has appeared in folklore around the world since the Middle Ages. The figure is traditionally depicted as a man on horseback who is missing his head. It's basically referring to Goliath who is running amok even though he was beheaded.

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