“Hey, you heard the rumors that the [Wicked Star] is somewhere in this system?”
In the cockpit of a striker flying through the dusty atmosphere of Besaria, a young female pilot spoke to her wingman in a carefree voice.
“The [Wicked Star], you mean that Wicked Star?”
It’s kind of a bad omen.
Once you see it on the battlefield you are gone…….or so they say.”
“Seriously? That’s bad for us right.”
Replied the wingman with an upset voice.
One of the rumors that are widespread among Striker Pilots is the rumor about this unrivaled mercenary, the [Wicked Star].
“And this one is supposed to be an easy mission too.”
The wingman muttered to herself.
Their enemy’s surveillance network was loose, the interceptors they deployed were all outdated models.
A simple mission where they should be able to complete in less than half a day.
She would feel depressed to get shot down in such a mission.
“Stop spouting nonsense already.”
A rough husky voice interrupting their conversation.
It’s their platoon leader.
“With that attitude, you all should be more worried about a stray bullet from some newbie pilots rather than the Wicked Star you know.”
Hearing that mocking voice, the pilot’s mouth formed straight into a single line.
“If the rumors are true then this [Wicked Star] is apparently a cute boy you know.
Don’t you want to try capturing him and mess him up?”
In response, the pilot reflexively looks at the photo she had pinned up on her console.
It’s a photo of a beautiful half-naked young male model.
The pilot then gently licks her lips.
After all, living in the female-only army, she has a lot of pent-up sexual desire.
“Well, even if we can’t get this [Wicked Star]-sama, there should be a few catches in the city here.
We are on such a remote planet after all.
The higher up wouldn’t care if we let loose a little right.”
The wingman raises a joyful voice.
“Of course, but the first priority is the mission.
According to the information we received, there should be an elevator hatch where the enemy used to dispatch their interceptors in this area.
Following the command of their platoon leader, they activated their sensor and scanned the area.
Something strange……..there it is.
An elevator hatch for Strikers.
Although it was disguised well, it was not that difficult to find since all they had to do was scan the area where their intelligence department narrowed down for them in advance.
“Alright, all units descend to ground level.
Check the hatch to see if it’s a dummy.
If we hit the jackpot then we will call for reinforcement.
The motivated female pilots loudly replied and landed their Strikers on the wasteland.
The reddish-brown dust rolled up by the thrusters, raising a cloud of dust.
“Nn…..? Captain, my vibration sensor picked up a movement.
The enemy may be coming up this elevator as we speak.”
“Hmph, like a moth to a flame huh.
Erity, I’m leaving this to you.”
The girl called Erity readied her blaster rifle.
The aim is, of course, the elevator hatch.
Her finger is on the control stick and she can shoot the enemy striker as soon as it emerges from the hatch.
“An easy kill.
This is going to be delicious.”
Meanwhile, Kisei went ‘HoHou?’ inside the cockpit of [Gradius-kai] which is currently riding on the said elevator.
“Wha, what is it?”
“Nah, it’s nothing”
Kisei casually responded.
“10 seconds to the surface.”
The Striker’s AI announced with an emotionless voice.
“5, 4, 3, …….,2…,1”
The bright light illuminated their cockpit monitors when they reached the surface.
At the same time, a red beam of light headed straight toward them.
“Something like that won’t work on me!”
Kisei’s shout echoed out even before Schleer realized that an enemy Striker just fired upon them.
The incoming red beam was repelled by the green blade of the photo saber in [Gradius-kai]’s right hand.
Three red strikers armed to the teeth were displayed on the main monitor.
The AI onboard [Gradius-kai] then automatically scanned their model and the word [RMX-55 Jetta] was displayed on the monitor.
“But, this is……”
However, for some reason, there was a large hole that seemed to have been caused by an intense heat ray in the abdomen of the striker that is currently holding a blaster rifle.
A moment later, accompanied by a loud rumbling sound, the [Jetta] collapsed.
“It got deflected back!? With a saber!?”
Only the captain was able to correctly assess this bizarre situation.
She gnashed on her teeth and readied her rifle then fired upon the enemy with no hesitation.
The red beam flew toward [Gradius-kai] but Kisei calmly deflected it again using the photon saber.
With a high-pitched sound, the beam was deflected back to the shooter again.
Just like what a batter does in baseball.
The Captain’s striker was barely able to block the deflected beam with the shield attached to the left arm.
However, as he already anticipated that, Kisei activated his thrusters and immediately approached the Captain.
Seeing that the only long-range armament on the [Gradius-kai] is only the anti-ship grenade launcher, the Captain immediately abandoned her rifle and pulled out her photon saber from the weapon rack on the striker’s shoulder.
“Kei! I will hold this guy off! Take a distance and use your rifle!”
The Captain’s striker is stopping Kisei’s rush with its photon saber.
However, at the moment the two strikers collided, Kisei pulled back the control stick and stepped on the pedal at his foot with all his might.
The [Gradius-kai] immediately flew up and retreated, leaving a smoke cloud covering the Captain’s striker.
“Trying to blind me? Useless trick!”
Even with the optical camera blinded, the striker has both radar and infrared sensors equipped.
She doesn’t lose track of her enemy.
After the [Gradius-kai] landed with a roaring sound, the Captain charged her striker directly toward it.
However, at the receiving end of her red photon saber was not the body of the [Gradius-kai] but a green saber instead.
On top of not being able to cope with her enemy’s minor movement using the sensor alone, her striker also stepped on uneven ground and lost its balance.
Then, Kisei lightly ignited his thrusters.
A light shock shook the cockpit of the [Gradius-kai].
With a linear-guide-mechanism, the stake was discharged and plunged itself into the enemy’s striker’s stomach.
The dull-colored stake wet with hydraulic oil returns to its original position using the winding mechanism.
With the engine located in the abdomen area destroyed, the Captain’s striker instantly ceased all function and collapsed.
“Pile….bunker!? No way, the [Wicked Star]!?”
The last pilot bitterly screamed and half-instinctively pulled the trigger of her rifle.
The muzzle of her blaster rifle flashed and a red beam was discharged from it.
“If you are that desperate then you should have just retreated!”
The beam was easily deflected by the photon saber.
Kisei then floored the pedal and accelerated toward the last enemy striker.
In the cockpit of [Gradius-kai], a lock-on warning was ringing loudly to warn the pilot.
Schleer’s face completely turned blue as the chill traveled down her spine from the warning.
At the same time, the enemy pilot who had already lost it repeatedly fired her rifle toward the approaching Gradius-kai.
Once, twice, or thrice, it doesn’t change the outcome no matter how many beams she fired.
Finally, she completely gave up and abandoned her rifle as she turned to flee.
The moment she tried to ignite the thruster to flee to the sky, a stake pierced her striker from the back.
Accompanied by a roaring noise, the [Jetta] was blown away, taking a good chunk of dirt with it.
Then, Kisei ceased the movement of his striker.
With a motor sound, the stake that was glowing black was stored back inside the injection cylinder.
“…….For the time being, I just took down three strikers.
Is that enough to prove my skills?”
Kisei asked Schleer with a little dissatisfied voice.
On the other hand, Schleer could only nod.
“It’s more than enough.”
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