“For crying out loud! Do you really think you can stop us all alone!?” The enemy said.
“Shut up! I need to stop you, so that’s what I’ll do! Don’t tell me you can’t even deal with one little girl! And you call yourselves terrorists? Hah!”
As she said those provocative words, she threw away the bazooka that had run out of ammo.
In its place, she took out two one-handed swords, and glared at the enemy.
She didn’t really think she could stop 20 former soldiers alone, but all she needed to do was to buy enough time for 2 – B to flee to safety.
That’s why she pointed her sword at them.
“…Fine, let’s see what you’re made of then!” Said the enemy commander.
Although the expression on his face couldn’t be seen because of his headgear and visor, his lips were smiling.
Evidently, she was being mocked, but the situation wasn’t leisurely enough that she could afford to be riled up.
As the enemy commander held his hand gun with two hands and began shooting, he sent three shadows to attack.
Youko increased the output of her front barrier and left the incoming light bullets to it, then she blocked the blades that attacked her.
Three photon blades stretched out from their gauntlets, but despite that, they couldn’t push a single girl.
Although her equipment was trash, and theirs, military grade, there was just that big of a gap between a simple exoskeleton and a real one.
Especially, since the strength of the wielder was AA+.
Because of that the three enemies were forced to distance themselves.
They understood that attacking her from in front wasn’t going to work, so the three shadows separated and slashed at her from different directions.
“Is that all you got!?” Youko said.
But it was in vain.
And as though to say that she’s had plenty of this during class, she nimbly handled her twin swords to deflect all of their attacks.
Despite that the three enemies didn’t stop attacking. They were indeed much more skillful than her classmates.
But that also made reading their next movements easier.
Her exoskeleton’s AI would predict their movements, and then urge her to move accordingly. She just needed to follow that.
But, if their movements were so predictable, then───
───Wouldn’t her response also be predictable?
Suddenly, their pattern changed, and the movement that should’ve been correct became incorrect.
Her defense, her attack, her timing… Everything fell apart as she missed, and an unexpected attack entered her left shoulder.
While still shocked, an armored leg was raised from right in front of her.
In the next moment, she was sent flying into the sky by multiple kicks.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
The three shadows followed her into the sky and struck her from above with fists and knees.
As the impact penetrated her chest, she choked, and in the netx moment, she was hit from behind and slammed into the ground with her weight.
As a faint anguished voice left her lips, her arms fell listlessly to the ground.
“Hmph, in the end, your mouth was bigger, but then again, you’re nothing but a brat playing with our technology,” the enemy commander said.
“Stupid brats. Exoskeletons aren’t toys for you to play with.”
The enemy commander and the other enemies snorted at her pitiful state.
And then as though they’ve lost interest, the enemy commander ordered all of his men to pursue the fleeing class, but one of them suddenly fell.
“Gaha, *cough— I told you, you’re not going anywhere!”
The girl coughed because of the damage from earlier, but she firmly held onto the leg of a soldier, and then – true to her strength – she violently swung him.
They tried to attack her as she got up, but she deflected them, and then she threw the man she was swinging to their commander.
“Ku, you should’ve stayed asleep like a good girl!” The enemy commander said with annoyance as he dodged.
Despite the visor, she could feel the hate brimming from his gaze, but the girl didn’t care.
“Haa, haa, haa… So that’s the technique of a real soldier, huh.”
With ragged breath, she picked herself up and turned to the foes before her.
Although she did not want to think that the gap between them was that grave, there was a gap indeed.
Whether it was in experience, skill, coordination, or tactics, they were at a level far beyond her.
“This is the worst… Not only can’t I see myself I winning, I can only see myself losing.”
She was the top student of the normal class and a public morals officer. Such achievements led her to become overconfident, an overconfidence that led her to believe that she could at least buy enough time so long as it was a defensive battle.
Until now, that is.
As a strained laugh left her lips, her limbs trembled, and she felt as though her heart would give in.
There was a frail and miserable version of herself within her, telling her to run away.
And yet despite that, she still stood up and wielded her blade.
Was it because of her classmates behind her? Or was it because she was a public morals officer?
Was it because of her sense of justice that loathed unjust violence? Or was it because she was the older sister, so she needed to protect her younger brother?
“Ha ha, I’m so stupid.”
None of those answers were wrong, but they were fundamentally off.
When a certain scene was revived in her mind, she mocked herself.
“In the end, I’m doing exactly the same as that person I rejected and loathed so much.”
Was it hate or affection? Was it discomfort or anxiety?
No, it was a jumble, a stockpot of emotions swirled within her as she thought back to that day.
Of that time when someone faced off against a foe that could neither be defeated nor reasoned with, neither budging nor wincing, all to protect those behind him.
Looking back at it now, that was such a reckless thing to do. One step wrong, and it wouldn’t have ended in just wounds.
But it was by no means done in vain nor was it meaningless.
Because it was enough to buy time for someone else to help.
Just like how there was meaning in her standing here to buy the little time she could.
“Come, terrorists. I may not be able to win, but I can damn well be a nuisance!”
If so, then was there a reason that she couldn’t do the same thing now?
As she spurred herself on with that yell, she took out her last blade.
After all the battles until now, her weapons were either damaged or lost.
Naturally, this was not the time to go looking for them, but all that she had left was a featureless, rustic sword.
She wielded it because it was still better than nothing, but she would still stand in their way even if she didn’t have it.
“You should’ve shut up and obediently stayed asleep. Do you not realize that this is meaningless, huh, lower life form!?”
“The brat doesn’t understand reality and is just trying to appear brave. Let’s go with that plan. It’ll be a good medicine for these Earthlings that have gone stupid from peace.”
The enemy commander reasoned away her behavior as a child putting on airs, and then smiled.
With his chin, he gave them an order, and one soldier directly attacked the girl.
In response, the girl clearly saw the soldier and received his attack with her blade.
She may have incurred a lot of damage, but she still had the advantage in output in a one-on-one.
‘So, why?’ The moment she thought that, a different shadow passed by her.
And then several more shadows passed by her.
At that, she panicked and kicked away the soldier that seemed to be trying to keep her pinned, to chase after the enemies that passed her.
Her exoskeleton may have been an old model, but it was still a proper exoskeleton. It wouldn’t lose out to any simple exoskeleton when it came to acceleration.
She managed to ram the person running at the head from behind, but when she looked back after tumbling from the impact, her arms were suddenly taken by the two shadows that came after.
She couldn’t let them go, she couldn’t allow them to stop her here.
Her classmates have already retreated, but they were still far from safety.
In the mids of a real battlefield, her body trembled, but she forced herself to fight, and in the next moment, she dragged the people holding her arms, and slammed them right in front of her.
As the soldiers cried out in pain, the visors on their eyes broke, revealing their faces.
For a moment, she flustered in the face of their anguished and hostile glares, but she wasn’t so free as to be preoccupied with that now.
And then a fourth shadow yelled and started toward her.
Understandably, four people would be too much for her to resist with her exoskeleton.
If she were to fall here, then they would be free to chase after her classmates.
With their speed, they could still catch up.
And the earlier battle had already made it clear that 2 – B couldn’t fight them.
All the more so when the opponents were terrorists. Even if they were to surrender, there was no guarantee that they would be safe.
She didn’t even want to imagine what kind of treatment her classmates would receive then.
‘I’ll stop them. I have to.’ With duty brimming within her, power flowed into her arms.
The two entangled with her arms had already fallen, and all that was left now was to sweep them away, so she took her last blade, and drew a horizontal stroke to get them all.
But then a strange sensation assaulted her.
It was a sensation felt through her blade, one that was light, and yet heavy.
Although the enemy was only equipped with a simple exoskeleton, it didn’t even feel like she’d touched an exoskeleton.
The similarity of the sensation to those times when she cut a raybeast caused chills to crawl up her.
And then when she realized that something warm was pouring onto her, shock filled her, and though her eyes beheld what that was, her brain refused to process it.
As she let out a voice, she looked down dumbly.
Her heart raced, her mind finally acknowledged the situation, but her heart denied it.
“What, is this?”
A single color filled her sight, but she muttered those words out as though all colors had left her.
Alas, fooling herself could only go so far.
Within that world of red was a disquieting red that roused anxiety.
She knew what it was. She herself has come in contact with it many times.
Whether it was that characteristic ‘red’, or the hair, or that warmth coming and going, she knew it all.
After all, her own dear friend was within that just a month ago.
“This, is… Blood…”
When she finally acknowledged that that was blood, the next question begged itself, ‘whose?’
It wasn’t hers, and she didn’t feel any pain.
──In fact, her legs felt so distant.
“Ah, ah, ahhh…”
If it wasn’t hers, then whose was it?
And didn’t she just hit someone with her sword?
If so, then who was responsible for this?
Who was responsible for this thing that ‘once used to be human’?
Don’t think. Don’t understand. Don’t acknowledge it. Don’t listen to the
As something seemed to shatter, her last sword fell to the ground along with her will, even though there was
The only thing there were bodies that had been dismantled – limbs were gone, and even the heads were missing.
When her sword had fallen, it just happened to send something rolling toward her.
Those hateful eyes that were looking at her earlier were there.