The Banfield house’s fleet– the fortress-class ship’s hangar.
Avid– Liam’s exclusive machine, was stored there.
The large black* aircraft had no master to pilot it, so it wasn’t currently in use.
And manifesting itself inside such a hanger– was a dog.
Looking up towards Avid, it let out a bark.
At that moment, Avid’s two eyes started to shine.
It’s engine began to roar with life, and armaments began materializing from the magic circles that manifested around it.
Three large rocket boosters were summoned and attached themselves to Avid.
By its own power, Avid walked towards that exit hatch and pried it open.
The dog had already disappeared, leaving one of the mechanics stationed there to panic as he reported the machine’s sudden movement to his boss.
“Hey, did anyone give Avid clearance to sortie?!”
“What are you talking about? Avid can only be used by Lord Liam, who here could possibly pilot it?”
“But it’s still moving!”
“No, I’m telling you–”
Exiting out into space, the boosters on Avid’s back sprung to life as it rushed into enemy lines.
◇ ◇ ◇
I had grown bored of shooting at the enemy.
Right now I was leaving that to the originally assigned gunner as I sat in my seat yawning.
A few days had passed since the battle began, but I was surprised by how fragile the enemy actually was.
Their counterattack was pretty lukewarm as well.
How do I put it? They were weak.
Cedric called out to me,
“Special Staff Officer, aren’t you taking things a bit too lightly?”
“Haven’t we already practically won though?”
“I think it would be better to stay vigilant until it’s officially over.”
The serious Cedric was still somewhat tense about the situation.
In comparison, Wallace had already dozed off and was asleep.
–why was there such a difference between these brothers?
Of all the royals out there, I feel like the one that I chose to be my underling was probably the biggest failure among them.
Eulisia brought me a report just when I was considering returning to my room.
“Lieutenant General, we’ve received confirmation that a part of the enemy forces are charging directly towards our location!”
Turning towards the monitor, the simplified image of the battlefield showed that a section of the enemy had broken off and was beginning assault maneuvers towards our flagship.
They were coming straight for us.
Tia immediately started giving out orders to our allies.
“Pull back the flagship! Change our formations to intercept and surround them!”
Soon after the fleet formed a shape similar to a crane’s wing and tried to envelop the enemy, but the momentum they had built up was too strong, they had broken through.
I crossed my arms.
“…it’s no good. They’re going to reach us.”
As an expert in assault tactics, I instinctively knew this.
Wallace had woken up from all the noise and began to tremble.
“W-what are we going to do?! Can our battleships endure their assault?!”
Cedric twisted Wallace’s arms behind him.
“Quiet down! Special Staff Officer, you need to escape immediately. They’re probably aiming for your head.”
To Cedric’s proposal, I asked,
“Then what do you plan to do?”
“I’m sorry, but I quite like this ship. In the stagnant life I’ve lived so far, I’m lucky to have experienced this at the end. Don’t worry, I promise to keep fighting until my last breath.”
…wasn’t this guy more useful than Wallace?
Well, he was a different kind of individual than I was– he was a serious person.
“I see. Do whatever you want. However, I don’t intend to be defeated by something of this level. Tia, prepare for me a mobile knight.”
When I asked for an aircraft to pilot, Tia immediately objected,
“No, please give up on that idea. In this situation, you absolutely can not be dispatched, Lord Liam!”
To that statement, Marie then went on to refute her,
“If this is Lord Liam’s order, then it’s your duty as his knight to follow it. Don’t start causing trouble!”
Tia drew her weapon,
“You fossil! Are you going to take responsibility if anything happens to him?! Lord Liam’s life is worth far more than trash like yourself!”
The surroundings went silent at the tense atmosphere building up between the two.
…I was sick of this.
Approaching them, I grabbed their heads and pressed them down against the floor.
“W-what the meaning of this?!”
Marie and Tia were struggling against my grasp– clearly upset, but they couldn’t go against my strength.
I pushed down on their heads a bit more as their butts stuck out.
To their clear confusion, I explained,
“Are the two of you going to keep fighting in front of me forever? I don’t remember asking for my knights to be constantly in discord with each other.”
Marie hurriedly made an excuse,
“I-it’s not my fault! Lord Liam, it’s because this minced meat bitch was refuting your orde– urgh!”
When I put a bit more force into pushing down on their heads– dents were made into the floor.
“All you needed to do was prove your worth to me while building up your achievements, and I would’ve made sure to reward you properly then. How long do you plan to continue bickering like children?”
Tia looked up towards me with tearful eyes,
“P-please forgive me! Please! I beg of you!”
“…I’ll forgive you in deference of the things you’ve achieved so far, but I’m depriving you two of your statuses as my head and deputy knights.”
Tia and Marie made expressions filled with despair, but I didn’t care.
Honestly, I should’ve disciplined them earlier.
“Now what are your replies?”
When the two of them sulkily whispered “Yes” in response, I released them with a smile.
“Okay then, let’s sortie. Someone prepare for me a mobile knight.”
After lifting themselves off the floor, Tia and Marie directed flushed expressions my way.
Surely they were frustrated to the point of wanting to cry.
But it couldn’t be helped.
I had just deprived them of the statuses they had so much pride in after all.
◇ ◇ ◇
Tia and Marie didn’t follow Liam as he left the bridge.
Her face completely flushed, Tia looked completely spellbound.
Wallace was kind of creeped out by it.
“Hey, why are you so happy?”
Tia scoffed derisively, looking at Wallace like he was an idiot for not understanding her feelings.
“To have the strength to hold the two of us down with only one hand each, and the boldness to immediately intercept enemies that had resolved themselves for a suicide attack. Now this is Lord Liam!”
For Tia, even being admonished by Liam was a reward for her, so she was delighted by the fact that she got to see this side of him.
Cedric’s shoulders dropped.
“That’s fine and all, but can somebody give me my orders already?”
Against the incoming enemy forces, their allies were losing ground.
Snapping out of her daze, Tia immediately started giving out commands.
“Prepare the mobile knights for dispatch, and bring out the ships that were built for short range combat! Pull back any vessels with less armour and have them focus on artillery, but make sure they’re wary of friendly fire!”
Switching mentalities, she gave out orders one after another to prepare a battlefield where mobile knights could display their strengths to the fullest.
Eulisia looked at her figure and nodded.
“…putting her personality aside, she’s actually quite capable, isn’t she?”
The neglected commander silently prayed in his heart for his survival.
◇ ◇ ◇
The Berkley fleet.
Dolph received a report saying the enemy’s mobile knights had sortied, and immediately sent out a dispatch order for his own.
And with that, the aircrafts they specifically built to deal with Liam’s Avid would be released.
“All special models are to sortie!”
The special machines prepared by the Berkley family were mobile knights of the same size class as Avid.
Although large models were considered obsolete in modern times, these were the latest generation of weapons created by the first and second weapon factories based on Avid’s data.
However, it was no exaggeration to say that these were made specifically to defeat their predecessor.
After seeing Avid easily destroy their previous creations, they were built with all the frustrations their developers had hammered into them.
Twelve aircrafts were prepared in total.
The operator raised his voice,
“There are no confirmed sightings of Avid!”
“That’s fine! If he won’t come out himself, then we’ll just target his flagship!”
Despite not being trained in assault tactics, the Berkley fleet approached to take Liam’s head without having their numbers significantly reduced.
This was all due to Dolph’s tenacity and the guide’s blessing.
Standing next to Dolph, the guide shouted,
“Hey! Liam is actually there! Dolph, destroy the aircraft leading the interception!”
With that scream, Dolph noticed what should’ve been impossible for him to know.
“It’s the foremost aircraft! That’s where Liam is!”
Dolph rationalised it as his intuition, but it was actually the guide who gave him that information.
Spreading his arms, black smoke was emitted from the guide and dispersed towards the floor.
The dark smog then reached out and entered into the special anti-Avid aircrafts.
Growing hysterical, the guide directed the special machines to the mass production model Liam was piloting.
◇ ◇ ◇
The cockpit of one of the mass production machines.
It was a mobile knight just like Avid was, but it felt exceptionally brittle in comparison.
“As I thought, mass production machines are no good.”
When you’re rich, custom order models were the only way to go.
Following behind me was Marie, who went on to explain what kind of machine I was using,
“Lord Liam, that aircraft is one of the new prototypes for the next generation of mobile knights.”
“There’s nothing I can do about it, but that’s a bit worrying.”
In the first place, it wasn’t unheard of for prototypes to have various problems.
And even if this was a next generation model, it was still a mass production one in the end.
I didn’t know how useful it would be.
“As I thought, I should’ve brought Avid with me.”
I missed the luxury seat I had installed in it.
While I thought that, the Berkley fleet started to dispatch their mobile knights as well.
They seem to have prepared a lot, because there were thousands of them.
And their numbers were still increasing even now.
If taking the Berkley fleet’s position into account, we were attacking them from above, and the enemy was rising upwards to reach us.
However, since there was no gravity in space, the direction they came from wasn’t really relevant.
“Okay, here they come!”
Pressing down on the accelerator, I felt the cockpit shake a little.
Avid wouldn’t even budge at this.
Mobile knights approached one after another as they targeted me.
The enemies were an assortment of state of the art models and mainstream ones.
In the vastness of space, I passed by a mobile knight holding a blade, swinging through it with my own and destroying it.
I swooped down on them with a hail of lasers and bullets– avoiding enemy missiles while destroying them with sword swings.
“You guys are just a little more crunchy than Derrick!”
An allied mobile knight shot down an attacking enemy with their rifle.
“Lord Liam, I’m here to support you!”
Marie had come to my assistance.
Thanks to her taking down the troublesome enemies, I could dispatch my targets with ease.
Whenever my mobile knight swung its sword, five enemy aircrafts exploded at once.
“It’s amazing that they’ll even explode in space! How does that even work?!”
I beat them down with overwhelming power.
The mobile knight was able to use the One-Flash, but it’s reaction rate was dismal compared to Avid.
It wasn’t able to reproduce my movements all that well either.
Marie shot at and destroyed another aircraft that was trying to take my back.
Just by defeating the enemies in front of us, our kill scores were skyrocketing.
“Well, I guess it’s okay for a prototype.”
Just as I said that, a huge aircraft appeared among the enemy forces.
Marie tried shooting at it with her rifle, but the bullets and beams were easily repelled off of its armour.
“Those bastards! Lord Liam, leave this one to me!”
“Don’t be stupid, I’ve been waiting for someone like this.”
I advanced my aircraft forward and slashed at them with my blade, but the enemy deployed a spherical barrier of light around them.
It’s output was nothing to laugh at.
If the aircraft I was piloting was considered a real robot, then my opponent’s machine was a super one in comparison**.
“You’re pretty good, but that’s nothing to me!”
The enemy moved to catch me, so I cut off both of their arms.
Unable to process what had just happened, the enemy hurriedly tried to pull back.
“As my opponent you should entertain me more!”
Closing the distance and swinging down my blade, I broke through the enemy’s barrier shield– but then was stopped by their armour before I could bisect them.
I clicked my tongue, let go of my sword, and quickly backed away. Immediately after a rain of beams and bullets fell down on the place I was just moments before. Swallowed up by the attack, the enemy aircraft exploded.
“…this might be a little difficult.”
Looking upwards, there were eleven more similarly built large aircrafts.
The red eyes in each of them were shining.
Marie moved forward as if to protect me.
“Lord Liam, these ones are dangerous. We need to take them down before they surround us.”
“That sounds like a good plan, but I don’t think they’ll let us.”
An enemy battleship had pointed their bow my way and even fired at me.
Completely disregarding their allies that were still nearby.
Honestly? Looking at things I was probably scre–
Turning towards a new presence I felt approaching, there was an aircraft rocketing towards my direction while weaving between enemy ships.
Marie broke out into confusion in the comm lines,
“Avid’s here?! That’s impossible! Who’s piloting it?!”
Apparently, Avid seems to have flown out from the Banfield fleet.
All on its own– without authorisation.
“Perfect follow up, guide!”
I charged my aircraft towards Avid, and as I adjusted it to match its relative speed, enemies started gathering around me.
But Avid spread out its arms, letting out lasers to destroy them.
The boosters attached to Avid disconnected themselves.
Catching the aircraft I was piloting with both of it’s hands, it then opened its cockpit hatch to receive me.
Lowering the visor on my helmet, I opened the aircraft’s hatch and jumped out.
Immediately after, Avid reached out and caught me, sending me into its cockpit.
Inside was the nostalgic and spacious chamber I was used to.
I took off my helmet.
“It’s been a while since I rode you.”
No one was sitting in the pilot seat.
–in other words, this was all the work of the guide following up for me.
As I thought, he truly was reliable.
He brought Avid to me just when I needed it.
“I need to make sure to thank him again.”
Sitting down on the seat and grabbing the control stick, I was finally able to rampage with Avid for the first time in a while.
Brian(´; ω; ｀) “Lord Liam’s misunderstanding is painful. Lord Liam, you’re wrong! It was the dog that delivered Avid to you! The gratitude you’re giving to the guide is misplac– hmm?”
Brian(´ ・ ω ・) “…if you’re given gratitude, will you be okay?”
Written by Mishima Yomu/Wai (三嶋 与夢)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com
*Yes, Avid is described to be black. So I guess they really did only paint over the silver mythril lining instead of the black adamantium.
**’Real robot’ is a term used to refer to a machine whose specs are governed by realistic physics and technological limitations. While ‘Super Robot’ is a term used for super-sized, implausible machines that shouldn’t be able to exist, but do… its an anime trope thing.