The Mask’s arm swung. He was too far from his opponents, and he didn’t emit anything either, yet Six was able to react precisely because he was familiar with this sort of attack.
He raised both arms up above. The steel arms deployed from his terminal intercepted the giant evil hand, but just the resulting shockwaves from that exchange was enough to send his subordinates flying into the walls, while his own legs sank halfway into the floor.
He clad himself in thick gray armor as he sought to resist the force seeking to suppress him. The design of his armor wasn’t anything impressive, appearing merely as though several armor plates had been put together for increased bulk.
It was an exoskeleton two sizes bigger than usual, yet it only somehow managed to withstand that giant hand and shift it away.
The power behind that hand was enough to reveal the ground beneath the floor. It was as if a giant had accidentally touched it, but Six couldn’t afford to leisurely contemplate that right now.
『What a plump exoskeleton. Might I recommend a diet? 』
The Mask acted with leisure as though he’d done nothing special.
“Of all the places to have my first battle with this thing… I somehow managed to parry that attack. Should I be happy about that? Are you really not wearing an exoskeleton?”
『Who knows? But I’ll praise you for being able to endure that attack. After all, in the end, that Exoskeleton-Type Apostle Armament is just a prototype of a prototype, right?』
The Mask eyed Six’s exoskeleton. Small tanks resembling Apostle Armaments could be seen embedded into it all over. Evidently, they’d merely installed those things on top of an existing exoskeleton.
“You got that right, you bastard!”
Yelling, Six lifted his buried legs and kicked off against the ground. With a single step he launched himself at a speed too fast to see.
『Get lost, guu!? 』
Instinct or experience compelled Crimson to thrust the blunt rifle forward, and the massive steel arm tore through its pedestal, displaying the sort of power one would expect from it as it sent the Red Spear flying.
Then Six kicked off against the floor and jumped for the window that led to the garden. Curse as he might under his breath, he knew how hopeless this situation was.
His exoskeleton was surprisingly mobile. In fact, it was so fast it was almost as though he’d teleported; hence, his plan was to take advantage of this to allow him a tactical withdrawal.
He would be abandoning the traitor, Venom, his subordinates, and the mission, but choosing to ensure his safety was the correct decision here.
『───But the party is just getting started.』
Unfortunately, his opponent just had to be the Mask. He had jumped as fast as he could, yet the moment his body rose, his leg was caught, and all the speed he’d generated vanished just like that.
『You need to dance some more.』
In the blink of an eye, the large armor of steel stopped. Knowing that it was the Mask who did that while – most likely – carrying Crimson in his right sent chills down his back.
Before he knew it, he’d been plastered onto the living room’s wall as though he were new decoration.
A moment later, the impact of that passed onto him without regard for his unit’s defenses, and he threw up blood from inside his helmet.
『Just being able to respond immediately is more than commendable. In the first place, that’s not something that humans should be able to deal with.』
『I see… So, when are you going to let me down?』
He’d caught her right when she was about to crash into the wall, so she was feeling somewhat complicated, but she accepted his words nonetheless.
She had questions, of course, but it wasn’t the time to pursue them. She wanted him to put her back down, but the Mask just held onto her even tighter.
Moreover, he pushed her head toward his chest.
『You’ll have to direct that question at him. 』
Masquerade ignored her panic and moved. For a moment, black crashed with silver, and that large armor was sent flying again.
『What!? Since when did that guy get back up!? 』
Crimson turned to the wall Six had been lodged in just awhile ago, and as expected, only the damage on the wall was left.
Six crouched after being sent flying for the second time and breathed heavily.
『Looks like that armor of yours also doesn’t need intricate preliminary movements. 』
“You got that right!”
At almost the same time when Crimson lost sight of him, that male voice resounded from behind them, and a metallic arm crushed down on them from above, but a swing from Mask’s left arm was all it took to send it flying.
“Do you have eyes behind you!?”
『It’s a given that you’d come at me from behind… This is going to be tight, hold on. 』
Without even waiting for his response, that large armor vanished again. The Mask held Crimson tighter to his chest, then he moved at speed.
Crimson couldn’t even afford to groan. As someone who had come to be referred to as ‘Spear’, she had been entrusted with the front lines many times. After all, she fought with a manner that could break through any formation be they raybeast or man. That’s why both her and her exoskeleton were confident in being able to withstand any sudden acceleration, sharp turns, and unrestricted maneuvering in any direction. However…
──Is this his level!?
All the countless grueling training and experiences that had made her almost vomit with blood, and even the state-of-the-art G-force tolerance and cushioning systems of the exoskeleton created by the finest bleeding-edge technology were effortlessly left behind as she entered an unknown realm of speed and space, rendering her speechless.
“I’m going this fast and I still can’t run!? Damn, you’re the worst! Ahahahaha!!”
『You sound happy, but I’m just annoyed at having encountered another problem. 』
She could tell that someone was talking, but nothing said could register in her as words. Everything was just too distorted. If not for her exoskeleton, she might not have even been able to make the connection that those sounds belonged to humans. She couldn’t see properly either.
The scenes her eyes picked up changed too rapidly. They were still in the same place, yet the angles were completely different, and everything just moved too fast for her brain to process. It felt like watching completely disconnected images in fast forward.
Having the ability to recognize each frame only added to her confusion. Above all, all of this was taking place while under the pressure of powerful G-force.
That’s why she just gave up trying to make heads or tails of the situation and closed her eyes, clinging to the Mask for dear life.
In this world of speed, nothing could provide her comfort but the Mask. There was no room here for embarrassment or love, for this was not a world that even a trained warrior could endure.
But if that was the perspective of someone within that world, then what about those who were outside?
The living room they were in might be considered spacious for a residential house, but it was a narrow space for a battlefield.
Within that narrow battlefield could be seen black and gray shadows leaping around it in such an unrestrained manner that even the word “unrestrained” seemed insufficient.
Despite the vision of the spectators having being enhanced by equipment, that was made by the same organization that produced the Apostle Armaments, all they could see were different-colored afterimages darting about.
The only thing they could be certain of was that something was indeed there, colliding repeatedly, causing vibrations and shockwaves to occur, and wreaking havoc upon the walls, floor, and furnishings of the house.