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“Activate… [PAS].” (Sirius)
At that moment, I thought he noticed that the atmosphere I gave off had changed, and Lambda, who was watching the situation, moved the tentacles all at once.
[Are you still hiding something?] (Lambda)
[How are you going to escape this siege?] (Lambda)
[Well, whatever the attack is, you can’t get through… hmm!?] (Lambda)
I was breaking through the crowd of tentacles, which should be called a wall, not only from the front, back, left and right, but also from the sky and the ground, by using forceful techniques from the front. To be exact, if I just wanted to break through, I could create a hole with [Antimateriel] and get out of it. However, I didn’t release my magic, but simply leaped forward, and though the approaching tentacles hit my body, I forced my way through them. Lambda was amazed that it was a dangerous act that needlessly caused more injuries, but he couldn’t hide his surprise at the fact that I, who had broken through the tentacles, didn’t have a single wound.
[I should be able to gut a man’s flesh with ease…] (Lambda)
[Did you dodge it? No, you were definitely hit.] (Lambda)
[Did he repel it? Such armor is…] (Lambda)
While being surprised, the other Lambdas must be working well because the tentacles that had been tracking me through the wall of tentacles were again attacking me from behind and from the sides. A wall of tentacles was built in front of me, waiting to entangle me and I was surrounded again.
When there was no way to escape, a whip-like rope made of tentacles was wielded along with attacks from all directions, but I hit the tentacles with my fists and repel them. Lambda’s vigilance was further heightened by the fact that I was able to hit back at the tentacles, which were obviously heavier than mine, in a normal manner, and was also unharmed by some of the tentacle attacks around me.
[It’s impossible. How can the human race have this much power?] (Lambda)
[It must be some kind of magic.] (Lambda)
While the opponent was still thinking, I was shooting [Magnum] into the tree, and escaping from the tracking tentacles by kicking them in the air with [Air Step]. On the contrary, if I was flying, the number of directions to watch out for would increase, but on the ground, the reaction to the tentacles that came out from a position that wasn’t visible on the ground would be delayed, so it was better to fight in the air as much as possible.
As expected, the tentacles surrounded me again, but I got through it by crashing head-on into them as brazenly as I did before. The reason my opponent repeated the same attack over and over again was probably because he was trying to find out what I was capable of. Well, there was no reason to reveal the card, so I would adjust the mana without worrying about it. The [Pas] had already demonstrated some ability, but the magic adjustment was too precise, so it needed a little time to reach its full potential.
[Mana supply… immobilization… artificial joint… range of motion…] (Sirius)
And what I was doing at the moment, simply put, was reproducing the equipment developed in my previous life with mana. If I could visualize the magic, I would now look like I was wearing full body armor… or to be more precise, a full body suit with various machines built on it. It was equipped with a myriad of auxiliary machines and joints that matched the skeletal structure and individual muscles of the human body, increasing the physical capabilities of the wearer many times over. In addition, the body had a defensive strength that could lightly protect against light weapons, and thanks to its overal rounded surface armor, it could even deflect bullets. The official name was [Power Assist Suit] or [PAS]. By reproducing the reinforced suit, I wasn’t hurt even if I scratched the wall of the tentacles from the front.
[I don’t understand. But…] (Lambda)
[Yes, we just have to deal with it.] (Lambda)
[Let’s keep pushing.] (Lambda)
However, direct hits from tentacles should be avoided as much as possible because it wouldn’t be good if the fragile parts such as joints were intensively targeted. Therefore, while avoiding and assessing the attack to be received, I kept escaping from countless tentacles while flying freely in the sky. After all, in addition to the thoughts of several people, all of them had countless tentacles that they could manipulate at will, so I would be more at disadvantage.
Still, in between evasive maneuvers, I fired several [Magnum] and [Shotgun], but both still didn’t seem to be working. I didn’t know if there was such a thing as a front for that tree, but as I was about to attack and flank the giant tree monster, the tentacles this time weren’t attacking, but trying to catch me like a net. The nets were deployed in multiple and wide areas, and as expected, it was tough to break through them, but it seemed that… I managed to prepare in time.
“Mana transmission… clear. [PAS]… release the limiter.” (Sirius)
At the moment when I fully opened my suit, which had been finely adjusted and perfected over time, my movement changed even more. It was as if a jet engine had been mounted on my back, and my movement speed jumped nearly double, enabling rapid acceleration to reach maximum speed at once, and sudden stops as if I had hit a wall in the air. I moved through the encirclement of the net with movements that couldn’t be considered humanly.
I had now reached a level of acceleration that no human being should ever attempt. No matter how much I strengthened my body with [Boost], at this rate, not only my muscles and bones, but even my internal organs would be crushed by the load of acceleration and I would soon die. As long as it was a human being, it was a limit that couldn’t be overcome… it was a wall. However, the wall was overcome by the [PAS], which not only provided protection from bullets, but could also absorb and reduce the load caused by acceleration to a great extent. With the synergistic effect of [Boost], which strengthened the body, I thought I had at least reached the world’s highest speed that could be achieved by a human being.
Even after that, I was sometimes trapped by tracking tentacles and anticipatory nets, but I continued to escape with non-human acceleration and free movement using [Air Steps] and free movement with the tentacles as footholds. At this time, light and afterimages were produced by the residue of mana that slightly leaked from the magic suit, and from the side, it might have looked like geometric patterns were drawn in the air.
[Can you get through that gap?] (Lambda)
[I see. You’re going to challenge me alone.] (Lambda)
Since the other party had given up his human body and gained the power of a monster, I too would have no choice but to fight with a power that transcended the limits of humanity. He had become huge and made clones of himself, so I needed to avoid them with a faster rate than they could think. At first glance, I felt like I was fighting a good fight, but I was still at a disadvantage, and I couldn’t afford even the slightest margin of error. Lambda must have understood this too because no matter how much I kept avoiding his attacks, he continued to attack calmly and steadily.
[It’s no use trying to get the truth out of him.] (Lambda)
[We don’t have the concept of the rear.] (Lambda)
Then, while escaping from the tentacles, I went around to the side of Lambda, attacked him several times and then retreated backward. At that time, the foothold became loose due to insufficient mana formation of [Air Step] and my movement was disturbed for a moment. The tentacles swarmed in to take advantage of the opportunity, but Shishou, who was flying around, prevented it.
“Ugh… thanks.” (Sirius)
[Hmmph, you let your guard down.] (Shishou)
It was really dangerous. Since it was necessary to maintain [PAS] as well as attacking, my physical and mental strength were being drained at a tremendous rate. It was probably because I had to repeatedly recover from the depletion of mana in just a few minutes. Even with [PAS], the burden on the body was so great that even if the body was screaming, there wasn’t even time to whine. As I was biting my teeth and enduring pain, I hit him with several rounds of [Magnum], and Lambda, who was indeed becoming suspicious, began to speak without slowing down his attack.
[It’s a painful assault, but what are you trying to do?] (Lambda)
[I see, you’re making special armor with mana. That’s interesting.] (Lambda)
[And this movement… is it some kind of strategy? But how long can that power last in a human body?] (Lambda)
From the opponent’s point of view, I was foolishly repeating nearly meaningless attacks. Unless they were very stupid, they would think it was some kind of a strategy. Moreover, since the other party was someone who had reached the heights of knowledge alone, not power, they might have already guessed what I was trying to do. That said, I had no intention of stopping now. With the taste of blood in my mouth, I desperately continued to resist the tentacles that could be described as a storm.
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— Reus —
“Reus, get back! You don’t have to go forward!” (Emilia)
“I’m fine! I can’t catch up with Jii-chan if I can’t go faster than that!” (Reus)
After defeating Hilgan, who was a powerful enemy, we were heading for the place where Aniki was fighting, which was under a huge tree that suddenly appeared deep behind the enemy line. I met up with Nee-chan, who had defeated Luca, and we continued running through the battlefield full of monsters, but for some reason, everyone stopped me when I tried to go to the front.
“I beg of you, don’t do anything more reckless. Leave it to others to pave the way.” (Albert)
“That’s right. That princess and I have been putting up with you, so please relax a little!” (Keith)
“Hehe, I’m calm because Reus is here.” (Julia)
“Dear me… Reus, just back off. Everyone, I apologize for having an energetic brother.” (Emilia)
“Emilia-san isn’t to blame though. Anyhow, Reus-kun, please don’t get ahead of me now.” (Albert)
‘Damn it… I guess I’ll just have to back off like a grown man if Nee-chan tells me to. But you know, this time it’s Jii-chan’s fault. He was waving his sword in front of us just a while ago, but suddenly he left us and went on ahead by himself.’
As I lined up beside Nee-chan while complaining inside, I proceeded maturely behind Julia’s imperial guards who were blowing monsters away at the front. In the meantime, Al, who was watching the entire battlefield, muttered to me.
“I haven’t see Strongest Sword-dono. How far ahead did that man go?” (Albert)
“That reminds me, he is faster than us on horseback. I know I’ve said it a million times, but what the hell is really going on with that Jii-san?” (Keith)
“Hmm, he is Strongest Sword. He may have already reached the tree and is swinging his sword against Lambda.” (Albert)
“If Ojii-chan joins Sirius-sama, he would have no enemies, no matter who he is dealing with. But…” (Emilia)
“Ouh! I think we can do something too.” (Reus)
Unlike Jii-chan, who was still energetic, we were battered and bruised, but if we could fight even a little, we should be able to at least support Aniki. We kept riding our horses with our aching bodies and finally got close enough to look up. We were so close that we couldn’t see the top of the tree, but there was a sight we didn’t expect. A fence-like structure had been built around the tree with countless giant roots as if to tell us not to go in any further.
There were hardly any openings, and new roots occasionally grew out and attacked nearby monsters. And the monsters stabbed by the rooks were having their blood and body fluids sucked. They were quickly dried up to just bones and skin… no, from the way they were wrapped up in the roots, it looked like the bones and skin were being eaten as well. Just when I understood that he was eating monsters for nourishment, I noticed that there was Jii-chan with a big sword in front of the root fence. Jii-chan seemed to have noticed our arrival, but something was wrong with his behavior.
“Hmm, here you are at last.” (Lior)
“Aah, yes. What are you doing here, Jii-chan?” (Reus)
I thought he was swinging his sword alongside Aniki, but for some reason, Jii-chan was just standing a short distance away from the root fence. It would be dangerous to be there, but it seemed that if we didn’t get close to the roots, we wouldn’t be attacked. All the monsters that were around had been eaten away, leaving just enough room for Jii-chan to relax with his sword on his shoulder even though he was in the middle of the enemy camp.
‘Don’t tell me he is tired. But I don’t feel that way from what I see, and it’s not like he is bored.’ Everyone else seemed to be feeling the same way as I was, tilting their heads curiously at the sight of Jii-chan.’
“Could it be that Strongest Sword-dono is waiting for us?” (Albert)
“What are you talking about? I don’t have the time to wait around for youngsters.” (Lior)
“If that’s the case, why is Jii-san waiting around here in a daze!?” (Beowulf)
“Yeah. We have to find Aniki quickly!” (Reus)
“You’re noisy. He’s over there.” (Lior)
There was a huge tree ahead that Jii-chan was facing that I thought that it had something to do with Lambda. We were getting closer, but from the size of that tree, it should still be a long way to the base of the tree. There was one small light flitting around such a tree, and countless vines growing from the ground and the tree were attacking light. It was accurately dodging at a tremendous speed, drawing the lines of light in front of the vines, which were too many to count anymore…
“It’s Aniki! Everybody, let’s go help him!” (Reus)
“Yeah! Order the following units to charge–…!” (Julia)
“Please wait!” (Beowulf)
Everyone seemed to notice that Aniki was fighting alone, and we immediately tried to jump out. However, Beowulf loudly stopped us, interrupting Julia’s order.
“Please calm down a little bit! It’s too dangerous to jump into the middle of that attack.” (Beowulf)
“I’m not going to be intimidated by that. We need to go to Sensei immediately, you know!” (Keith)
“Wait a sec, Keith. He’s right here. We should limit who should head there.” (Reus)
‘Certainly, our damage would be great if we ran into that many vines waiting for us. No, to begin with…’
“No, it’s not about limiting the number. No matter who goes there, instead of supporting him, they will all be eaten immediately and become food for the enemy.” (Emilia)
It wouldn’t be strange to be yelled at as a coward, but even though I was a bit calm, I could understand what Beowulf meant. I knew because I usually with strong men, Aniki and Jii-chan. Even if we, who were all battered and bruised, were to go to support Aniki, we would be defeated by the mass of the numbers and wiped out. There was no mention of supporting Aniki. That was why Nee-chan, who was supposed to be the first to jump out regarding Aniki, was quiet. She had been following Aniki with her eyes since a while ago. She seemed to be desperately continuing to think about something.
“Perhaps, even I, who has the spare energy, isn’t confident that I can surpass that vine and get closer.” (Beowulf)
“But there is no way I can just stand by and watch. Someone! Gather everyone who can use magic right away!” (Julia)
“Is that a size that can be managed by magic? Dang, I’ll charge even if it’s unreasonable!” (Reus)
“Support from a long distance is good, but don’t you have something to check before that?” (Beowulf)
Beowulf’s words caused everyone’s eyes to turn to Jii-chan. Yes, Jii-chan was the one person in this group who could charge at that thing, but Jii-chan still wouldn’t move. He was looking at Aniki and the huge tree, instead of holding up his sword.
‘If that’s what’s happening, shall Nee-chan say something?’
As I was thinking about this, Jii-chan suddenly spoke in a slow voice that didn’t sound like a battlefield.
“…I was asked by him to do something for him before this battle started.” (Lior)
“What did he ask?” (Reus)
“If he’s fighting the enemy’s general, don’t get involved until he gives some instructions…” (Lior)
“Haa!? Is that why you were standing idly!? Where’s your usual selfishness, Jii-san!?” (Keith)
“You’re making too much noise, cat boy. He is the man who beat me. It’s only natural that the loser should listen to the winner, and above all, it’s a request from a man who is determined to win. So, isn’t it normal to listen to him?” (Lior)
‘Are you saying that Aniki’s strategy is to keep Jii-chan waiting? But then, wouldn’t it be weird that he is fighting alone!? By the way, I heard from Nee-chan that Aniki has a connection with an enemy like Lambda in a place called his previous life. That’s why he wanted to fight alone, and he didn’t mean that he didn’t want anyone to interfere with his decision to settle with Lambda…’
“Reus. I know what you’re thinking right now, but I don’t think it’s the case.” (Emilia)
“Eh? But to interfere with what Aniki wants to do is…” (Reus)
“If Sirius-sama really wants to settle this alone, he wouldn’t say that to Ojii-chan. He must be working to win this battle.” (Emilia)
“Hmm, as expected of Emilia! That youngster, on the other hand, isn’t ready yet. I’m the only one who was told to stay out of it, but I don’t know about you youngsters.” (Lior)
“Yes, that’s right. We have been told nothing, so we can move independently. There’s always a way to support Sirius-sama without making unnecessary sacrifices. Didn’t you guys do something similar just now?” (Emilia)
‘Doing something similar when fighting Hilgan? If you ask me, we are the same situation where he was eating monsters and recovering. And if Aniki…’
“The surrounding monsters… Julia!” (Reus)
“Hmm! We’ll split the unit in two! Even those who can use fire magic!” (Julia)
“I’ll handle the left unit! Let’s go kill as many as we can!” (Keith)
“Please prepare fire arrows! Just in case, let’s leave one unit here as well.” (Albert)
It was difficult to attack Lambda, so what we could do now was to interfere with that bastard’s recovery as much as possible. It seemed that he was eating not only dead monsters, but also monsters in positions that we couldn’t see from here. What we would do might be of little value, but it was better than nothing.
Julia and her unit, who immediately understood what I was thinking, moved to join the two wing units, and the unit that had become one, became two units again. If we burned them completely with fire magic, Lambda would indeed be unable to eat them, so the flow was to evenly divide those who could attack with fire, and went around from the left and right to the rear while destroying the monsters along the root fence. As we were discussing the possibility of a long-range attack on Lambda if there was an opportunity, and trying to get him to turn his attention away from Aniki as much as possible, I noticed that Nee-chan, who was standing next to Jii-chan, said with a serious look on her face that she was going to do the same thing.
“Everyone. I’m sorry to tell you this, but I’m going to stay here and be with Ojii-chan.” (Emilia)
“Yeah. I think it would be safer for you to be with Lior-san than with us.” (Albert)
“Got it! We’ll take care of the monsters, Nee-chan takes care of Jii-chan.” (Reus)
“Hey, how long do you want to stay here? Move along!” (Lior)
Chuckling at Jii-chan’s attempts to get rid of us with a flutter of his hand, I took Julia and all the soldiers and rode the horses along the root fence. We were trying to keep our distance so as not to be attacked by the roots, and were defeating the monsters we saw along they way as best as we could, but when we reached the side of the huge tree, we noticed something.
“As I expected… Reus, look around there. The movement of the monsters has changed drastically since a few minutes ago.” (Julia)
“Yes. It’s like he can’t see us.” (Reus)
The monsters that had attacked us earlier were heading to Lambda… to the giant tree as if they were being sucked in. It was an eerie situation where monsters that approached like beasts attracted to food were inversely fed and disappeared one after another, but that was also because Lambda was controlling them.
“Goodness, he’s eating too much. You should hold back a little! [Flame Knuckle].” (Reus)
“Reus, you don’t have to use magic. If you keep it that way, you will collapse.” (Julia)
“I’ve got to do whatever it takes! If I collapse… I’ll leave it to you.” (Reus)
“Hmm… got it. If you collapse, I will bring you back, even if I have to carry you on my back.” (Julia)
I felt that I was running out of not only stamina but also mana. Every time I blew flames gathered in my hands, I felt that I was going to lose consciousness. Even so, I could still muster up the strength I need because Julia was there to lean on. As Strong Sword Jii-chan said, Aniki was fighting Lambda with deadly determination. Then, I had to give my all too. I didn’t know how Aniki was going to win against such a big guy, but if he kept fighting, I would keep fighting until the end.
‘Aniki, you have to come back with a victory!’
— Sirius —
[That’s really unexpected.] (Lambda)
[Yes. To endure this much is…] (Lambda)
I had already circled around Lambda three times, avoiding the swarming tentacles while moving widely and continuing to attack as well. During that time, the number of [Magnum], [Shotgun] and [Snipe] shots fired into Lambda’s entire body exceeded 400 rounds, but still no response could be felt, not even the nucleus, which was considered to be the weak point. Lambda was still on the alert as I didn’t stop attacking, but he didn’t change his offensive move. It was probably because he wasn’t sure of my aim and decided that there was no need to be hasty in recognizing the weakness of [PAS].
[But it’s about time…] (Lambda)
[It looks like he’s getting close to the limit.] (Lambda)
In the previous life, [PAS], which transcended human limitations, was said to be an invention that would change the world’s conflict situation, but in fact, it was also equipment with a major flaw. There was a lack of human resources to use it, and the cost was high due to the assembly of precision machinery, but the biggest problem was the lack of a flexible and sturdy metal that could withstand acceleration. It wasn’t worth it to have billions of dollars’ worth of personal equipment that became unusable after only one or two uses even if it was a large annihilation weapon. This advantage was overcome by immobilization through dense compression of mana, but as Lambda had muttered, it was difficult to maintain for a long time. It had already reached the point of spirit and perseverance after the expected use time.
[Right arm output reduced… reinforced…]
[Left leg… danger level… reinforced… strengthened… insufficient… restrengthening…]
[23 rounds landed… playback speed… expected location calculation…]
The majority of the [Multitask] was almost entirely devoted to maintaining and adjusting the [PAS], so I couldn’t use the magic activator, and the only thing flying around me was Shishou’s knife. I was still able to move because I had avoided a fatal attack. However, the complex and fast information processing by the [PAS] control made my brain hot, and I had a headache and nosebleed for a while ago. I was definitely in a corner, and the time for checkmate was imminent.
[You’ve fought well. I admire you even though you are my enemy.] (Lambda)
[That armor of mana was interesting.] (Lambda)
[By the way, have you found out where our main body is?] (Lambda)
[We’re going to end up with no answers at this point, aren’t we?] (Lambda)
I knew that he had guessed that I was looking for the enemy’s core with my wildly firing attacks and that it was time to get in the game. If the other side was aware of this, they should probably retreat and regroup, but in my previous heyday, I was the kind of person who, once I jumped into a situation, couldn’t return until the situation had been eradicated.
It was a gamble at best, but I had made preparations, so all I could do was to move forward. The combat experience I had cultivated and the knowledge that Lambda had cultivated… …and the number of cards in each other’s hand. The time for a settlement was at hand to see which of them would outperform the other.
Simplified Author’s Note
- There is no difference between [Boost] and [PAS]. Both are physical enhancement, but [Boost] is an enhancement of the inner body, while [PAS] is an enhancement of the outer body. The fighting power of both will make Sirius three or four times stronger.
- The avoidance depiction by the [PAS] is based on the zigzag jump of Rising Meteor in second Super Robot Original Gaiden. Refer this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mRWJ7CQHEg. Special thanks to the video owner.
- Sirius’s previous life has something related to robot anime and manga.
- With [PAS], Sirius can go head-to-head with Reus.
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