Prepare for Combat!

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“They are firing at us already huh.”

A high-power beam with intense heat flies toward them through the emptiness of space.
After he operated the [Gradius-kai] to avoid it with paper-thin margin, Kisei spoke to Schleer.

“We are going right straight at them!”

“Y, yes.”

Taking a deep breath, Schleer gives Kisei a nod.

When Kisei glanced at the monitors on the console, it appears that multiple enemy strikers are en route toward them.
It’s the enemy interceptors.

“Artillery fire…..!”

The enemy fired another artillery shot.
Once again, Kisei avoided it with only a slight movement.
The electromagnetic waves from the beam caused the radar noises to cover the screen for a moment.
After gulping down her saliva, Schleer turned her gaze to the front monitor.

“Should we not ditch this ride booster now?”

The powerful thrust it provides surely gives them speed but at the same time, their mobility is also greatly impaired.
It is common sense to disengage your Ride Booster before engaging the enemy.

“No, it is still useful.”

“…..Is that so.”

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Schleer, who has already understood that common sense doesn’t really apply to Kisei, simply nodded to his reply.
Then, Kisei used the left hand of [Gradius-kai] to pull out the photon saber.

“Reaching engagement distance in 3, 2, 1………”

The AI announced with an emotionless voice.
A moment later, a salvo of blaster rifles flew toward the [Gradius-kai].

While maintaining the Ride Booster at full output, Kisei avoids the incoming beams by utilizing small bursts from the [Gradius-kai]’s thrusters to make his movement appear to be irregular.
Meanwhile, he had to grit his teeth due to the G-force that is assaulting his body.


Seeing that, Schleer’s small voice leaked out.
For a Vuld, who possesses a much stronger body than Terrans, dealing with this much G is nothing to her at all.
In contrast, Kisei’s expression seems to indicate that this is quite painful for him.

“I’m so pathetic, to put a man in a painful situation like this…….!”

Her small voice leaked out as Schleer grabbed the control stick on the co-pilot seat.

“I told you, I’m fighting at my own free will!”

Schleer, who didn’t expect him to hear her voice in this cockpit filled with the noisy sound of the engine and various warnings from the system, groaned to herself.

“You know, I love roaming the battlefield in a striker!”

Kisei shouts as he repels the beam which was accurately fired toward the [Gradius-kai] with the photon saber.

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“There’s no need for you to pity or worry about me at all! Do you understand!?”

“Y, Yes.”

Schleer nodded and Kisei now used the [Gradius-kai] own thrusters to accelerate even further.
Due to the intense speed, Kisei’s body is being tightly pressed back against his seat.

“UWAWAWAWA! T, Too close!”

Due to the seat layout, when Kisei got pushed backward, his head would naturally be pressed to Schleer’s navel.
This made her face turn bright red.

“I had no choice! It was completely unavoidable! I didn’t plan to sexually harass you at all! Not at all!”


Because she was getting noisy, Kisei finally threw any semblance of politeness out the door and shouted back.

“I’m not going to sue you know! This is like a reward after all!”

“A reward!?”

“Ah! Awawawawa.”

“Don’t Awawawawa me now!”

The two left the enemy strikers far behind them as they were having such a ridiculous conversation.
They still continue to fire at them with their blaster rifles but Kisei simply avoids them as though he has eyes on the back of his head.

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“Argh, whatever!”

After a loud shout, Kisei grabbed the anti-ship grenade launcher from the hardpoint installed at the [Gradius-kai]’s back.
This bazooka-looking armament is a weapon that any striker that aims to attack battleships can’t do without.

The enemy fleet is already right in front of them.
Their anti-aircraft guns are firing tracer rounds at them, lighting up the darkness like fireworks.

“Two battleships, Four cruisers,…’s the standard escort formation.”

Schleer muttered as she watched the enemy cruisers forming around the crimson battleships.

“So, how are we going to…….eh.”

Schleer was dumbfounded as Kisei did not slow down at all despite the fact that the enemy fleet was right in front of them.

“W, Wait!”

As they approached an enemy’s cruiser, multiple anti-aircraft guns opened fire on the [Gradius-kai].
Kisei can still avoid the barrage with minimum movements and block some of it using the photon saber but there’s still a limit to how much a single photon saber can do.
Several shells grazed the underside of the Ride Booster and it started letting out black smoke from its hull.

“A, Are we going to be okay!?”

With the enemy cruiser kept getting bigger and bigger on the monitor, and impact after impact from the enemy’s shells, Schleer started to panic.
However, Kisei ignores her.
And at the moment when they arrived at the position where the anti-aircraft guns on the deck of the cruiser can not target them, creating a blind spot, the [Gradius-kai] jumped off the Ride Booster.

“First one down!”

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With smoke and flame still rising from it, the Ride Booster violently collided into the stern(rear) of the cruiser………the exact location where their propulsion engine was.
A fiery explosion broke out.
If they were still within the atmosphere then they would probably be subjected to the tremendous shockwave as well.
With its propulsion engine completely disable, the cruiser can no longer navigate without receiving an intense repair at a dock first.


Just like that, Kisei turns back his striker and decelerates at full throttle.
Intense G-force assaults his body once again.
However, he does not stop moving.
He warded off the bullets from the anti-aircraft guns and evaded a beam from the enemy anti-aircraft blaster cannon.


He managed to kill the extra speed and succeeded in evading the battleships’ firing range.
He then accelerated and advanced his striker to his next prey.

The total number of anti-aircraft guns of the entire fleet easily exceeded a hundred.
All of them were aimed at Kisei and made full use of their firepower.
The barrage of beams and shells looks like a wall closing in on him.
In that despair-inducing situation, Kisei avoids and wards off everything that comes at him.

“Second one!”

He approached an enemy cruiser from behind and fired his anti-ship grenade launcher.
The grenade launcher electromagnetically accelerated the 406mm shell toward the cruiser’s engine.
The missile shell which sewed through the gap between their anti-aircraft fires made its impact on the engine.
With second and third shots fired in succession, the second cruiser’s propulsion was completely destroyed.

“We did it!”

Schleer cheered at their success but this time beams from blaster rifles were flying at them from behind.
The enemy Strikers unit has caught up to them.

“Completely surrounded huh……Come at me!”

While avoiding the beams with the slightest movement, Kisei ferociously smiled at his enemies.

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