『I know right. Apparently, some influential old geezers instigated some stupid soldiers.』
『Damn it, did the civillians they were controlling go out of control!? They must’ve known about the volunteer army’s plans!』
“Huh?” Cherry said.
“What!?” Joyce said.
The two commanders of the volunteer army were shocked, but the timing was just too good for these interlopers not to have known of their plans.
There was no way that someone with the resources to own nuclear submarines, who happened to also be looking to start a war, just happened into this situation accidentally.
『Sharp, and you’re likely right too. These criminals intend to push all of the blame onto the terrorists, while they themselves hide. After all, even now, it’s not easy to find submarines or identify which country they belong to. But Garesto isn’t stupid either, so they’re bound to become apprehensive toward Earth, and the relationship between the two world can only worsen. Well, that’s the original script anyway. But thanks to you making it so that the terrorist incident ‘never happened’, everything is now much more complicated. A happy accident, if you will. 』
The voice said as though the situation couldn’t be any worse.
Shinichi found that laughing voice annoying, but he didn’t have the time to argue with him right now.
No matter the result after this, the backlash in either world was bound to explode.
What’s more was that Shinichi had even hid the terrorists that were supposed to be the scapegoats.
Even if they were to announce the terror incident later, too few people knew about the terrorists. What’s more they were all from Kutoria.
It was doubtful people would believed their claims.
And because they weren’t actually related to this incident, the backlash on Garesto’s side would be inevitable too.
That would be no different from handing the extremists everything they wanted on a silver platter.
Ideally, Shinichi would like to shoot down all the missiles and keep any information from leaking, but too many eyes were on Kutoria, so an incident like this that was occurring in Kutoria’s open seas could not possibly go unnoticed.
As such, only a more extreme poison would be able to cover up this incident.
Shinichi did have an idea what could fit the role of such powerful poison, but he still looked glum.
『Fu fu fu… So, what will you do? 』
The Doctor said as though he’d seen through him already.
It was clear as day that he wanted him to show him what he had in mind.
『 Just so you know, I’m on the terrorists’ side. I’m not fond of these old geezers’ methods, but it will bring chaos all the same. Unlike me, though, you’re an illegal force that doesn’t wish for chaos, right?』
Shinichi was pissed, not because of what the voice was saying, but because of how he talked.
He intentionally scorns the person he’s talking to, leads the conversation to a painful direction for the person he’s talking to, and then presents a choice that wasn’t actually a choice.
『Will you protect the two to save the world and abandon the world? Or will you abandon those two and cut yourself, a joker that no one yet knows?』
But such things weren’t worth Shinichi’s time, and they were not worth worrying over either.
Shinichi had already decided what to do. It didn’t matter what others told him.
But this voice just talked too much
『I hate how you talk… One day I’ll beat you up, so wash your neck and wait!』
After saying that, Shinichi snapped his fingers, and kicked off the surface of the water.
Not a single person understood what he’d just done.
After all, the married couple behind him had vanished, and the call with the black screen was suddenly cut.
As for the
Before he knew it, a black space darker than the darkness had unfolded before him.
By the time he realized that the enemy had caught him by the face, he was slammed into the water.
The enemy had not just approached him quickly, he had suddenly appeared before him.
But regardless, he was slammed so hard that the surface of the water felt as hard as a powerful weapon, and the resulting impact shook his brain.
His consciousness left him, only to return a moment later, so he could witness his face being constricted by that vice-like hand.
Reflexively, he reached out to move the arm away from his face, but it didn’t even budge.
It seemed as though his S Rank in Strength and Resistance didn’t even matter.
Unlike their earlier clash where he lost because he failed to ascertain their respective capabilities, the overwhelming difference between them was made clearer in a much more simple way this time.
He didn’t understand what was happening, but his instincts told him that a ‘power’ beyond what the enemy used earlier was now crushing him, and he trembled in fear.
“Aga, uu, guhaa!?”
『There’s no time, so I’ll let you off with this…』
As Shinichi raised the man and clamped down tightly on his face, he sent a punch to his defenseless stomach.
He’d only closed the wounds on his arm, so it still ached like hell, but he ignored it as usual, and said.
『I’ll drop by on that day, so make sure you tell your master! 』
After forcibly making an appointment that was just 11 days from now, he spun him around while holding onto his head, and then threw him like a discus, giving rise to a shooting, screaming human-shaped bullet that before long vanished into the horizon.
When he saw that he was gone, the light from teleportation covered Shinichi, and he vanished.
The defense force detected the missiles only when they were already 800 kilometers from impact.
A patrol plane from the United Nations had tipped them off when it spotted them.
But at the same time, that was a part of the ocean that the military of Earth couldn’t reliably intercept.
The defense force of Kutoria was made up of people transferred from Garesto’s military, so the security of Kutoria’s open seas was managed by the UN special forces that were specifically organized for that role.
The ‘sea’ was still a mystery to Garesto, so it made sense to leave its management to the Earthlings that were fully outfitted and experienced for it.
But this missile attack today had completely taken their security by surprise.
The information must’ve leaked from somewhere.
It was physically and financially impossible to position the patrol boats, aegis-class cruisers, patrol planes, and exoskeleton patrols to cover all of the open seas of the floating city, so holes were bound to show up at some point.
That’s why they’ve been changing the position of the patrols on a daily basis, but the invaders managed to figure out their shifts and took advantage of that.
The UN forces immediately moved to intercept the attack, but it was doubtful that they’d make it to Kutoria.
And even if they did make it, it was doubtful that they’d be able to shoot down every missile.
The situation was so urgent that it wasn’t the time for the defense force and the UN troops to be having a turf war.
When the missiles were 700km from impact, a team of the defense force outfitted with sniper rifles had gathered on the ocean roughly 100 km away from the shore.
For better or for worse, this was a makeshift team made up of the people that just happened to be assigned nearby, and their respective understanding of the threat of cruise missiles was all over the place.
From people overly tense to people confused by the seemingly excessive defenses, there were all sorts, but regardless who it was, the soldiers and equipment of Garesto had zero experience intercepting missiles.
Guard robots meant for maritime defenses were lined up, and a field barrier was also erected along them.
Yet it remained to be seen whether all that would be enough to stop the otherworld weapon known as missiles and shoot down all 10 as well.
Although such a feat was indeed possible in theory, the lack of experience was too big as far as uncertain factors went.
And unfortunately, rhe problem before them was problematic either way.
If they failed to intercept it, some people will be sacrificed, and the weakness of personal tactical weapons will be made apparent.
Believing that Garesto couldn’t be defeated was one of the deterrents that prevented hostile groups from starting a war, but if their strength were to come to question, one of the reasons keeping the hostile groups from attacking would vanish.
Unfortunately, there indeed existed a fool who would attack even before their weakness was disclosed.
And yet what would happen if the public opinion were to be manipulated to make it out so that the Garestonians were actually the ones at fault?
It was best to presume that the invaders have already made preparations in case the missiles were shot down.
By shooting down these missiles, they would find momentary reprieve, but in exchange, tension would rise between Garesto and Earth.
After all, they would be creating a precedent wherein Garesto’s weapons were able to contend Earth’s weapons.
The sense of inferiority that Earth can’t win against Garesto might just turn into an excessive fear that would urge them to attack before they’re attacked.
This too was likely prepared by the people behind this attack.
A precision attack by unknown people that prodded at this important time where both worlds were still getting to know each other.
Despite that they had no choice but to intercept the attack.
It would be best if the United Nations could take down the missiles themselves, but that was unlikely.
They needed more time to get their equipment in range of the missiles.
And even if they did make it in time, there was a high probability that the cruise missiles were equipped with a guidance system that would make them dodge any interception.
With otherworld technology being used in the open, the existing systems of Earth have also undergone an upgrade.
It was one thing to intercept an attack, but it was another to intercept an attack after being outsmarted.
And yet every passing second only added to the urgency of the situation, so they could only play whatever card they had.
That was true for the people inside Kutoria as well.
Under Teacher Frire’s recommendations, the people were being evacuated under the pretense of a drill.
Platoons and interception equipment were also being deployed at the coast to prepare for the worst.
Frire, who had ‘no recollection of giving such an order’, had gathered the students at the back of the mountains, or at least that’s how it looked from the direction of the missile.
The students were gathered under the pretense of testing their ability to move quickly in the case of an abrupt change in order.
“I know I told him to use me as much as he wanted, but…”
While the students were lining up and doing a roll call, Frire palmed her face.
She’d intended to be nothing more than a piece in this game of war, a mere sword.
But if he didn’t at least explain what he was doing to her, she wouldn’t be able to understand the meaning behind his actions.
Because of that there was a discrepancy in their communication with Garesto.
“Teacher Doneju, no one is missing! All that’s left now are the classes at the goal or nearby!”
“I understand, please continue to have them in standby! …Ahh, Teacher Saland? I see you’re able to leave the campus now. In that case, please lead the students at the goal and in the vicinity to the campus. There’s no time to explain, please hurry!”
When Frire got that report, she put her thoughts aside, and gave orders to bring the students to the campus.
She knew that in the worst case scenario, that sturdy building itself would serve as a formidable shield.
At the very least, it was much safer than being outside.
That’s why she had forcefully ordered the teachers to lead the students there, and then cut the call.
“I’ve done what I can… I should go too…”
There was nothing left for her to do as teacher, so as the person said to be the strongest in Kutoria, she now had to carry the responsibility that came with that power.
Given the situation, she could use the Sacred Sword one more time.
Having that as an option would greatly affect their response to this attack.
She understood the problem that came with intercepting the missiles, but she could not allow any of the people here to be sacrificed.
She was some way away from the defensive line, but consecutive short-distance teleportation would allow her to quickly get there.
〈 Master, I have received a text-only communication request. 〉
Just when she was about to advise the head quarters of the defense forces, a message came.
A text-only communication request in this situation couldn’t be more suspicious, so she asked, “who’s it from?”
〈 The sender is unknown, but no viruses were detected in my scan. 〉
〈 Roger 〉
The moment she heard that the sender was unknown, Frire more or less knew who it was from.
True enough, the message was written in textbook Garesto as though it had been ran through a translation software.
─────Don’t move, don’t do anything.
For some reason, or perhaps as expected, Frire believed that the message could’ve come only from him, however…
“Wait, you want me to stay still? Then what are you planning to do? …Shirayuki, what happened to the call!?”
〈 The person can’t be reached. Either he is out of the foster’s range or his foster is out of battery. 〉
Upon receiving that report, she half-reflexively flew up, past the shadow of the mountains, and stood in the sky.
At the end of her sight were weapons filled with evil and malice, as well as someone that couldn’t be picked up even by her exoskeleton’s radar.
But Frire was certain that the boy was there.