Italic text is Engrish (English written in katakana). Full-width alphanumeric characters are for actual English words. In cases when I needed to emphasise that the word is Japanese (or when the text specifically commented about it being Japanese), I added the Japanese version as furigana.
Feel free to point out any errors, give suggestions or just talk about the story itself in the comments.
P.S. I'm still playing around with the formatting, so don't be surprised that I keep changing my format-code. If there are any issues with these changes, please let me know.
SECT.9 - M's Battle
“Enemy! On the right!”
The first thing that LLENN thought when she heard that was,
‘Aren’t you mistaken?’
Indeed, an enemy team had survived in the swamp. They confirmed that 4 minutes ago.
However, they were 4 km away in a straight line. Moreover, there was a lake between their current position and the swamp.
If they were on a flat land that was suitable for running and had characters that had raised their agility to extreme levels, they would have to be running at a no longer human speed of 60 km per hour in a straight line; such a thing had to be considered.
‘That’s impossible, you must be mistaken’, LLENN tried to say as she stopped and looked to her right,
Discovering that she was wrong herself.
Above the lake, something that she did not see until this moment could be seen.
They were black dots. Three, no, four black dots were floating on the surface of the red lake, and moreover, they were rapidly becoming bigger.
“Drop to the ground!”
Just as she lay down as M told her, several vivid Bullet Lines passed above her head.
There was no doubt about it anymore. Those black dots were an enemy, and they were targeting LLENN’s group with their guns.
She heard the sound of several bullets from those guns flying above her head; a sound that she had heard far too much shortly after the game started.
“What’s going on? M-san?”
While on the ground and pressing her head to the asphalt, LLENN asked. M, whose posture she couldn’t see, answered.
“The enemy has obtained a convenient vehicle. That’s all there is to it.”
“Yeah, they’ll be coming considerably close to us, so you should see it.”
LLENN slowly raised her head, and looked at the lake once again. The four black dots had decreased the gap by about 300 metres, and although they were still small,
“Aah…… I get it.”
She realised what that shape was. Small motorboats. And there were people riding it. In that case, it wasn’t strange that they closed this distance, travelling at 60 km per hour on the surface of the water.
“Those are motorboats! That’s cheating!”
“It’s not really cheating. Players are free to use vehicles within the field. First come first serve.”
“Moreover, to be accurate, those aren’t motorboats.”
“Wha? Then what are they?”
“Roll to the left to get away!”
Before LLENN could process that, she rolled horizontally from her prone posture. Due to her extreme quick-wittedness, she rolled twenty times in the blink of an eye, moving several tens of metres away from her former position, and although she felt considerably dizzy, that action saved her.
Weren’t those red Bullet Lines that came flying at the place that she had been just a moment ago, the ground being showered in a hail of bullets right afterwards?
They were under fire from machine guns. LLENN had been under considerable fire some time ago, thus she immediately understood what was attacking them now.
The bullets were scattered, but if she hadn’t rolled away, it was quite possible that at least one of them would have hit her. If the bullet had hit a vital part of the body, it would obviously result in instant death.
LLENN, whose pink combat uniform was stained with grass and dust, raised her head, and saw that one hovercraft was merely 100 metres away, and traversing the lake from left to right at high speed.
She clearly saw it in detail. Its overall length was about 3 metres. At a glance, it looked like a jet ski, in other words, a water scooter.
However, unlike a jet ski, it had black rubber under its green hull, and an aeroplane-like large propeller in its rear.
Its hull floating by jetting air below it, and moving with the help of its propellers; that is what a vehicle called a hovercraft is. A high-pitched engine noise, with the *būn* noise of the propellers mixed in, could be heard.
There were two men riding it in a row. The man sitting in front grasped a horizontal handle, and the man in the back had his machine gun placed sideways on the side of the vessel.
LLENN pointed her P90 at them, wondering if she should return fire, but before she could put her finger on the trigger, in other words, before the Bullet Circle appeared in her field of vision, she stopped.
She didn’t feel that she could hit the hovercraft that was zigzagging away from them. It would be a waste of bullets.
The other three vehicles were still far away, thus it seemed that only one of them charged in for a flank attack.
“M-san, you okay?”
“Yeah. I didn’t get hit.”
Hearing the answer, she sighed in relief for now. M should be about 50 metres behind her, but she couldn’t see well from her prone posture.
The vehicle that came attacking returned to the company of their comrades. Right now, all four vehicles approximately 300 metres in front of them continued zigzagging in order not to get shot.
“W-what do we do? Since we got discovered, we can’t use the trap during the next scan if we don’t get away.”
“Let’s run to the back! Into the housing district!”
“We can’t. They’ll chase after us.”
“How? We’ll be on shore after all, right?”
“A hovercraft is an amphibious vehicle that can travel on flat ground. It can chase after us even on the road. Especially in this area, where the lake turns into a highway, making it an ideal location for them to come ashore.”
“Wha that’s cheating!”
LLENN was seriously angry, but that was just the sort of vehicle it was, so she couldn’t do anything about it.
“If we turn our backs to them and escape, they’ll accelerate and come straight towards us at once. And then, if they close the distance, it’s the end for us. They’ve probably realised that our group consists of but two people. Those guys are also a considerably skilled team.”
Even at a time like this, M’s calm voice was reassuring. However, this didn’t change the fact that they were still in a pinch.
“Then, what should we…… Should I become a decoy and run around while, you, M-san, hide? If I’m alone, I’m considerably fast, you know? Of course, not as fast as a machine though……”
“That’s a nice idea.”
“I—— I know, right?”
Feeling that her suggestion was praised for the first time, LLENN felt a bit happy, despite the current situation.
“But, I’m not running away, I’m going to shoot them from here.”
“Say what? ——M’san, you shouldn’t fall into despair, you know?”
LLENN said in a tone as if she was admonishing a person who was attempting suicide.
“Who is in despair. Do I look like I am? Right now, the enemy is far away. Try raising your head a bit.”
LLENN first lightly raised her head.
No Bullet Lines could be seen in the surroundings, thus, for the time being it didn’t seem like she would be shot in the next moment. She was scared, worrying that there could be a sniper on the other side, but it should be a next to impossible task for a sniper to shoot her from atop a moving hovercraft. She couldn’t shoot them, but they couldn’t shoot her either.
Since this was the case, LLENN raised the upper half of her body. She turned her eyes at the direction she expected M to be and——
There he was. She saw a large body lying on the asphalt road that was by the side of the lake. And, she saw his M14 EBR set up on the bipod in front of him.
‘Huh? Something’s different?’
LLENN looked for what was wrong, and noticed it. His giant backpack was not on his back, as if it had run away under the cover of the night or had relocated. M had unfastened it, placed it in front of his body, and was now trying to open it. And he opened it.
“I’m going to use this.”
While saying that, M thrust his hands into the backpack.
“S-some sort of amazing weapon?”
LLENN’s voice was filled with expectation.
‘Is the mysterious „secret tool“ inside it finally going to be revealed? Is it a an anti-tank rocket with powerful destructive force, or a grenade launcher that can fire grenades approximately 200 metres away?
With these thoughts, she believed that it would be an expensive, rare, and high-power weapon. One that was probably capable of turning the tables with a single attack in this inconvenient situation.
But M’s answer was,
“No, a protector.”
“Say what? A protector?”
What M took out was an object with large, iron plates lying on top of each other.
Its height was about 50 cm. Its width was probably about 30 cm. Dyed in green, it was an approximately 1 cm-thick plate. And there were about eight of them stacked up. They looked like tiles stacked up for a karate practitioner to break.
M took it and,
Along with a grunt, he extended it to the left and right with his hands. If M needed to shout, just how much strength was needed to extend it?
And so, after being extended, it became a 50 cm-high, about 240 cm-long in an arc, fan-shaped wall.
“What is that? M san what is that?”
“For a chicken like me, an overly chicken protector.”
While answering, M inserted his M14 EBR into the gap at the centre.
And so, the final form of it was like the emplacement of a tank’s gun turret, that hid M’s body from the front, with only the gun barrel sticking out from the centre.
“LLENN. One of them is coming again.”
LLENN returned her vision to the lake. One of the vehicles among the four were charging from the right side, in other words, towards M, in a zigzagging manner.
“Am I the target now? Fine by me, look.”
Just as he said, LLENN lied down, turned her face to the right, and she saw it.
On the right side of her own field of vision, one hovercraft was charging towards him, and finally turned the rudder horizontally towards the lake shore. A turn, which made its rear skid, characteristic of a hovercraft that would be called drifting in car terms.
The moment the port side faced the shore—— the man in the back, who was holding a German-made ≪H&K HK21≫, opened fired with his 7.62 mm machine gun. 100 meters away from M.
LLENN couldn’t see the Bullet Lines aimed at M, but she did see the bullets flying towards him this time. They were tracers. This machine gun guy seems to have increased the ratio of his tracers, and the several horizontal lines of light made by the afterimage were aimed exactly towards where M lay——
And they soared up into the sky.
They were deflected.
LLENN clearly saw it. How the fan-shaped shield erected in front of M deflected the bullets that were flying towards him into the sky. Several additional bullets hit it, but they all disappeared into the sky. Some of them hit M’s surroundings, scraping the asphalt and scattering the grass.
LLENN could hear the metallic sound of bullets hitting the shield much better than she could hear the gunshots from the machine gun 100 metres away.
“LLENN, fire at the guys with your P90 as they escape. You don’t have to hit them, just unleash all 50 of your bullets.”
The fact that she could hear M’s voice meant that he was safe, thus
LLENN firmly pressed her P90 horizontally atop her left shoulder, and pointed her muzzle at the hovercraft, whose rudder was turned to the right to escape to the open sea.
As she touched the trigger, she waited for the appearance of the Bullet Circle that was late by a beat. She didn’t measure the time, but it probably took about 0.5 seconds. A large circle appeared in her field of vision, she then confirmed that the hovercraft was mostly within it and squeezed the trigger at once.
*Baaaaaaaaaaaa*, went the full auto rapid-fire that sounded like barrage of a small drum.
Small, golden empty shells were ejected to the right.
A P90 would violently eject empty shells directly below it, but with LLENN’s super short body shooting from a prone posture, there was barely any space below it, thus there was the possibility that ejection of a large quantity of empty shells would be delayed. Thus, shooting with the gun horizontally was one of the special techniques for her that she was taught by Pitohui.
Small bullets(1) went flying towards the hovercraft that was about 150 metres away but—— they scattered in a large area as expected.
Long and narrow pillars of water were made in the surroundings of the escaping hovercraft; a bullet hitting one of the men and causing instant death, much less a bullet hitting the gasoline tank and causing a big explosion - such lucky events did not occur.
‘Well, I’m just creating a diversion, so it’s not a problem.’ LLENN, who discharged an entire magazine of 50 bullets, took out a new magazine from her thigh pouch and, while reloading,
“M-san, that shield is amazing! You were carrying such a thing on your back…… You don’t get hurt even if they shoot at you like that?”
“For weapons of up to 7.62 mm class, it’ll deflect their bullets if I’m shot from the front.”
“Wha that’s amazing!”
Some time ago, she was taught about piercing power by Pitohui in detail.
“If you pick a careless place to hide, you will be shot. You have to be careful”
She received such a lecture.
For example, grass and the like can be used to hide oneself from enemy’s eyes, but it won’t protect against enemy bullets. Since bullets can easily penetrate such cover.
The piercing power of a rifle's bullet far surpasses the imagination of a person not well versed in guns. With 5.56 mm and above class rifle bullets being mainstream in GGO, a cover might look sturdy at a glance, but it would still be penetrated. For example, if concrete-block walls are shot, after 1 or 2 shots, it would be destroyed, thus it’s a very useless item to hide behind.
The walls of wooden houses are also weak, thus it is impossible to be safe from gunfire inside. The door of an automobile would fall out after a bit as well.
“The only areas of a car that can provide safety are the back of the engine block, and the back of the wheel. Everything else can’t be used for hiding.”
Those were Pitohui’s lessons.
“How the heck can it do that?”
Returning her gaze frontward, LLENN asked. Right now, the four vehicles were regrouping.
“It doesn’t exist in RL, but it seems that they are armoured plates from a space battleship. The strongest material in GGO, or so I’ve heard. Special(2) material stores sell them at an extremely high price.”
‘Then I should avoid asking about the price of eight of those.’
LLENN thought. If she asked, she would probably end up seeing 10,000 yen notes plastered all over it.
“The shield has displayed its power. Thus, those guys are probably going to attack all together. While the machine gun guy provides a diversion, the rest will try to muscle their way through.”
“Uge? Will you be alright?”
“I’ll tell you the plan—— LLENN, I want you to stand up and run around in all directions. At full-speed. If you see Bullet Lines coming towards you, immediately drop to the ground and roll, and run from place to place. Like before, you can shoot at them as a diversion.”
‘The decoy role again!’
Rather than feeling angry, she actually felt excited.
“Meanwhile, M-san, you’re going to snipe from there?”
Hearing that answer, LLENN,
“But but, won’t it be a disadvantage for you if your Bullet Lines appear?”
This time, she asked not in concern for herself, but M instead.
Right now, with both parties having seen each other and knowing each other’s position, Bullet Lines would definitely appear before he fired.
Like the Bullet Circle, they appear right after the attacker puts pressure on the trigger with their finger. Since the opponent would know that he was being targeted when M fires,
“Wouldn’t he avoid them by suddenly turning the hovercraft’s rudder?”
“Let’s talk later. I’ll do my best in my own way. They’re coming. Run from place to place.”
LLENN also confirmed it. Four hovercrafts began moving all at once, spread out widely across the lake, and came towards them in zigzags.
The Bullet Lines extending from there that began to dance wildly in the air, like the laser beams of a live concert.
“Oh enough of this!”
M did tell her to run around from place to place, in other words, draw the enemy fire, thus
LLENN stood up forcefully. Her high-agility character began to dash at full power.
＊ ＊ ＊
The team that obtained the hovercrafts——
Consisted of high-level players that have been playing GGO for a considerable amount of time. Their leader was so skilled that he participated in the main tournament of the third BoB. Unfortunately, he was shot by someone more skilled in the early stages.
The six members were all men. Their weapon lineup consisted of a HK21, 7.62 mm machine gun as their principal weapon——
Along with two ≪H&K G36K≫, one ≪Steyr STM-556≫, one ≪FN Herstal SCAR-L≫ and one ≪Beretta ARX160≫ 5.56 mm assault rifles.
All of them were European-made, high-power guns; a considerably powerful lineup.
Furthermore, in order to be able to share magazines among the assault rifle force, the two G36K users were using adapters. Because of this, the five of them could use the same magazine.
Although their camouflage and equipment belts were all different due to personal taste, they had only two common features as a team.
The first was, a team emblem sewn on everyone’s arms. A skull, holding a knife horizontally in its mouth, mark(3) in inconspicuous black, navy blue and dark grey colours was depicted on it.
The other was that they had all equipped magazine pouches on the back of their vest. Their hands obviously could not reach them, thus they were meant for their comrades standing behind them.
In case they had to fight indoors and were close to their allies, drawing out magazines from the back of the person in front of them would be faster than from their own bodies; which was the reason they were equipped.
So far, they’ve been stoically pursuing team play, thus they had a streak of easy victories in SJ’s first half. Having begun SJ in the north-westernmost tip of the field, in the prairie, they took down several teams in their surroundings.
As for the two teams that took up position in the forest, trying to defeat each other, they had split into two groups and attacked both at the same time, forcing them to leave the tournament.
The problematic case, even to them, was the team that had camped in the crashed spaceship in the swamp.
Leaving a lookout at the highest platform of the spaceship, they set up snipers facing all four cardinal directions on the spaceship, and easily brought down teams that came along the few routes in the swamp that could possibly be traversed.
Cowardice is cowardice, but strategy is strategy. They were probably lucky, having started SJ in such an advantageous position from the beginning.
Just as they considered giving up on attacking them, and to advance toward the centre, while ignoring them, they chanced upon hovercrafts next to a shed before the swamp. They had searched for vehicles there right after SJ started, but, at the time, they could not find anything of the sort.
Although strange, this was a game. They deduced that, as the number of remaining teams decreased, a way to travel became necessary to make contact with other teams, thus these vehicles appeared. And so, with them, they decided to attack the spaceship team.
As they have had practice driving vehicles in GGO, with just a bit of practise, they managed to handle their new vehicles, and made use of their new speed to quickly traverse the swamp.
It was difficult to hit a hovercraft travelling at high speed, and due to Bullet Lines, it was possible to avoid the snipers’ line of fire. After infiltrating the spaceship, they ended up in close quarter combat on board the confined ship.
Spreading out their forces to control all four cardinal directions was the cause of the spaceship team's defeat. They were defeated one by one on board the confined ship, until finally, only the leader at the highest platform was left.
“Gentlemen! It seems that you have defeated all of my comrades! Splendid work! I probably have no chance of winning anymore! HOWEVER! I am NOT going to resign! I am not going to let you kill me either! I’ll show you! THIS, is how you lose a battle!”
The leader gave a speech in high spirits, distributed all the plasma grenades she had throughout her body, and pressed the activation button of one of them,
And jumped down.
A flashy, bluish-white explosion was created in the air, the explosion induced by other grenades spread out, and its inside shined, with red polygon fragments mixed in; my-my, that was really beautiful,
One of the attackers muttered unintentionally.
Corpses being left behind was a feature in the BoB and SJ, but, unsure of how it would work in this case, when the body is blasted into very small pieces, they looked at the sky where the explosion occurred, and saw that the scattered red polygon fragments gathering soundlessly.
And then, the created corpse, with a 【Ｄｅａｄ】marker attached, suddenly began to fall down, as if it just remembered to do so. *Bozun*, it fell into the swamp and sunk, disappearing from sight.
Another member of the group muttered unintentionally.
They then checked the 14:50 satellite scan that began immediately afterwards. Finally, the surviving teams numbered three, and the group accelerated their hovercrafts to attack the closest team, which was in the residential area, in other words, LLENN’s group.
They closed the distance in the blink of an eye, and discovered their targets. Finding out that the opponents only had two members remaining (though this was a mistake), they attacked twice with their machine gun, and examined the enemy’s forces by their reaction. It was a thing called scouting out the enemy’s capabilities.
And so, they witnessed M’s shield.
“One of them deflected our 7.62 mm bullets with a shield expanded into a fan shape. His weapon is unclear, but based on the long and narrow barrel, it appears to be a sniper rifle. The other pink one is small and fast. Armed with a P90.”
While returning to their leader’s side where their four comrades were, the machine gun man reported.
“It can deflect despite the distance…… wow.”
“It’s definitely custom-made.”
“How I want one. But it’s probably expensive.”
Mutters from his comrades reached his ears via his communication item.
The leader, armed with an STM-556, rode on the back of one of the vehicles and took command.
The remaining three men were operating the hovercrafts by grasping the handle with their right hand while holding their respective assault rifles with just their left hand.
The leader glimpsed at his wristwatch. 14:56. He thought for a moment, and instantly decided.
“Let’s settle this before the next scan! Everyone, prepare for the assault. Watch out for Bullet Lines coming from the shield; if you see one, dodge it immediately. We’ll land in the blink of an eye, and attack them from behind. Spread out, 10 metres front and back, and 20 metres in width. Jake’s group, since you’re the farthest to the right, prepare to provide covering fire.”
‘Roger’, he heard five consecutive answers. Since all of them understood that this plan was the best.
If they endlessly spent their time on the surface of the lake, the battle would never be settled. The hovercrafts had a fuel gauge, and the first half had already been depleted. The movement speed of the vehicles was an overwhelming advantage for them. They wanted to defeat the enemies ahead of them already and preserve enough fuel for the last battle that would decide the victor.
In that case, the only action for them to take was to resort to power play. By making the best use of their mobility and attacking, they could instantly land. After that, they could make the best use of their numerical advantage and bring down their enemy; that was their plan.
What put them at unease was the sniper behind the shield, but, just like with the attack on the crashed spaceship minutes ago, they should be able to deal with him by moving in zig-zags and dodging the Bullet Lines one by one.
The hovercraft with the HK21 user called Jake passed through behind them and assumed the rightmost position. The moment that they lined up in an almost horizontal line,
While giving the order, the leader tapped the shoulder of the man sitting ahead of him.
The hovercraft’s two stroke gasoline engine made a high-pitched exhaust sound, and the noise of the propulsion propeller’s wind joined in. Setting aside the question of why such an old engine was used despite this being set in the future, the four vehicles began advancing forward, as they sent a thunderous roar throughout the lake.
Spreading out in all directions and turning the rudder to travel in zig-zags, the four hovercrafts began their assault. The gale made by the propellers spewed out four sprays of water on the lake.
At the same time, a small body stood up at the lake shore, and began running to the left.
While shouting this, the ARX160 man riding on the second hovercraft to the right tried aiming at LLENN with just his left arm.
The repeatedly contracting Bullet Circle entered his field of vision, but it moved wildly due to the vibration of the hovercraft, and because he was holding the gun with one hand. It just couldn’t line up with LLENN as she was running nimbly. Even if he shot right now, it would definitely be just a waste of bullets, thus he did not fire.
“Not yet. We’ll bring them down after we get closer.”
He heard the leader’s calm voice. 250 metres until shore.
Protected by the fan-shaped shield, M’s large build held the M14 EBR. He was in a prone posture. Under his bush hat, his right eye peeked through the scope.
In his round field of vision was a black crosshair linking the top, bottom, right and left to the centre. It included small, black dots in several places at regular intervals.
The hovercraft floating on the surface of the lake was, right now, in the centre of it. Slightly deviating from it.
“200 metres remaining. Jake! Begin your diversion fire!”
Upon the leader’s giving the command, the man in the hovercraft to his right began firing.
“Roger! Rock ’n’ roll!”
LLENN ran among the Bullet Lines.
Red lines that looked like laser beams extended soundlessly to her surroundings. And then, they disappeared at the speed of soar of a bullet. *Byunbyun*, she was wrapped in the roar of bullets.
‘There’s no way you can easily hit me running at full speed! Because I’m this small! Even if you do hit me, it’ll only be a mere coincidence! Your accuracy is awfully low! I’m a lucky girl!”
Although that’s what she thought, scary things were still scary. If they hit the head, face or spinal cord.
Since this is in-game, even if she died, it wouldn’t mean that she would actually die. If it was still this scary despite that, then just how dreadful could real wars, where one’s real life is wagered, be?
‘Long live the currently peaceful Japan where war games are played instead!’ With this thought,
LLENN continued running, leaving behind the Doppler effect of her scream.
And, for a moment, she had a thought. Whether she should use the P90 that she carried in her arms to guard her head and neck. If she did, she would have a 50x20 cm rectangle shield. Even if an unlucky bullet came, she would avoid instant death if it hit her P90 instead.
However—— she didn’t do it.
If it meant exposing her beloved P-chan to such a cruel experience, she’d rather die courageously.
LLENN ran for a bit as instructed, then dropped to the ground, and rolled to avoid staying in one place.
While on the move, she glimpsed at the lake,
She saw Bullet Lines moving in the sky and four hovercraft that were now much bigger than they looked some time ago, and for just a moment, she thought.
‘Aah, is this the end to our progress?’
Hearing LLENN groan——
M brought his right hand index finger close to his trigger, and squeezed it the moment he touched it.
The strange rifle roared for the first time in SJ.
Flame and gas spouted out from the muzzle that was close to the ground, and enveloped in them, the 7.62 mm bullet began moving at twice the speed of sound.
The bullet advanced, creeping above the lake, and the air that it pushed aside created multiple small waves.
And then, it was absorbed by the face of one character.
Hearing the strange voice coming from behind him, and that the HK21 stopped firing at the same, the man who was operating the hovercraft,
He turned his head to the left and back.
What he saw was,
A red hit effect shining in the centre of his comrade Jake’s face. *Guun*, the hit point gauge shown on his right side was decreasing, turning yellow, then red, and then it reached zero.
He knew what had happened to Jake. An attack to a vital point that caused instant death.
But, what he didn’t know was how it had happened.
Before a person is shot by an enemy whose location is known, a Bullet Line should definitely be shown. In this case, Jake was the one who was shot, but the system should have judged that he was also targeted since he was really close to Jake, thus he should have similarly seen it .
But, he did not see it at all. If he did, he would have immediately put pressure on the handle to turn the rudder; and he had been straining his nerves.
And then, just as he faced forward,
He felt a shock on the left side of his chest, as if someone had stabbed him with a stick, and understood that he had been shot. And once again, he could not see the Bullet Line.
Just as his hit points began decreasing with a *guu* sound, he unintentionally turned the handle to the left with his inclining body.
Suddenly having its handle turned while travelling at full speed, the hovercraft lost its balance as it skidding to the right, and the moment the hull’s side touched the water’s surface, the vehicle immediately capsized.
Jake’s corpse, and the still-alive man who had been riding on the hovercraft were thrown out, and, after bouncing once like a stone used in stone skipping, they fell into the water.
The man attempted to shout, but underwater, it only made the sound of air escaping from his mouth.
His body began rapidly sinking. The G36K cut into his shoulder due to its sling, and along with the magazines and bulletproof plate, became awful weights.
The lake was really clear, and as expected of being inside a game, he could see underwater very clearly even with the naked eye. The bottom of the lake was far below him, submerged houses were beautifully lined up, and the man felt as if he was gazing from the sky.
‘My comrade’s corpse with a 【Ｄｅａｄ】marker is sinking by my side, but including that, it’s a scene that I can’t look at’, the man thought.
All the air left his lungs and, probably having entered „drowning mode“, his hit points decreasing pace suddenly accelerated due to being underwater.
This was a game, thus it wasn’t as if breathing was painful, but it felt as if his body was enveloped in a dull and uncomfortable feeling. There was no longer any doubt that he’d drown. Even if he operated a window and completely removed his equipment, his hit points would run out before he can rise to the surface.
‘Guys! That shield bastard’s Bullet Lines can’t be seen at all!’
The man tried shouting to inform his partners about the danger before he died, but he couldn’t voice it. Even if he could, the convenient communication item would not be able to transmit his words while underwater.
While drowning, the man pondered about the events back then.
‘How, in what way, due to what reason, can't the Bullet Lines be seen despite being shot by an enemy whose position is known?——’
‘I get it!’
Being the team’s gun maniac, he realised what the simple, yet difficult to execute trick was.
Not having a way to inform his allies about it, he continued sinking and, at the bottom of the approximately 20 metre-deep lake——
The hit points of the man who had a skull emblem reached zero.
“Two for starters……”
While muttering, M moved his scoped gaze towards his next prey.
“Two? Did you get them?”
Hearing this, LLENN, who had been running around like a mad man, suddenly stopped and dropped to the ground.
Looking at the lake, she saw that the leftmost hovercraft had completely toppled over, and, *topun*, was sinking now.
There should have been two people on it.
The fact that a hovercraft of their comrades had toppled over, its two passengers were thrown into the lake, and that neither of them could be saved,
“What the!” “What!” “Huh?”
Were all, of course, seen by the remaining team members as well.
“They got Jake’s group!”
Hearing the voice of his partner in front of him, who was controlling the hovercraft
The leader cursed reflexively, and thought.
‘We let our guard down.’
‘Jake had been pounding away with his gun, thus both of them overlooked the Bullet Lines.’
That’s why he sent an order to his comrades.
“Don’t let your guard down! Dodge the lines!”
The man who loudly shouted was sharp-eyed man who rode in the back of a hovercraft with two people on it.
M aimed the centre of his scope at that man’s chest, and then slightly moved it. A bit below. And then, he matched the horizontal movement of the hovercraft, and factored in the deviation.
He did not see the Bullet Circle.
The bullet had a strong recoil, but the M14 EBR’s weight and M’s large build supported it. A golden empty cartridge was shot out to the right with great force, bounce of the asphalt, turned into particles of light, and disappeared.
Just as it disappeared, a second one was fired.
Observed the scene while blankly standing up at the lake shore.
There wasn’t a single Bullet Line coming towards her anymore. There was no need to run around either.
While getting away, LLENN certainly saw it. How right after M discharged 2 bullets in succession, the movement of the hovercraft travelling farthest to the right stopped suddenly.
M undoubtedly brought down the two men riding it. If the people accelerating the hovercraft were gone, the vehicle would only drift about out of inertia.
The remaining two vehicles hastily turned their rudders, and she saw them beginning to make a U turn. Four people were killed in the blink of an eye, thus it seemed that they were hastily running way.
LLENN took out her borrowed monocle from her combat uniform’s pocket. And, the moment she saw the turning away hovercraft in her field of vision——
The sound of M firing with his M14 EBR resounded, and a red hit effect began shining on the right shoulder of the man who was operating it.
And then, another shot. This time, it hit his temporal region. A 【Ｄｅａｄ】marker appeared above the head of the man whose head had drooped.
LLENN saw M’s sniping skills for the first time. Although the distance between them was short, M’s opponent was moving at high speed. M hit his vitals that quickly.
Then, LLENN decreased the magnification to search for the last vehicle and——
‘Did he just turn the rudder in the opposite direction midway through his U turn and is now charging towards me?’ His comrades had been shot and he was now alone, thus it seemed that he had already given up on escaping.
She clearly saw it in her field of vision, magnified by the monocle. The man had completely lay down. The only thing that she saw was his right hand, which was grasping the handle.
“M-san! He’s coming at us!”
LLENN put down the monocle, and took the P90 hanging from her shoulder into her hands.
The hovercraft was charging in the approximate direction of her and M, who was about 30 metres to the right. He was coming at a never before seen speed, as if he went into full throttle.
Steadily becoming bigger, he was now less than 100 metres away. It seemed that he’d land in about 5 more seconds.
LLENN hesitated whether or not she should shoot him. If she did, she was close enough to hit the hovercraft, rather than the person, with several bullets. However, it really did not seem like she would stop him with that.
At that moment,
She heard M’s calm voice.
LLENN turned her gaze to the right and saw M standing up from behind the shield, and throwing something with a strong form.
Drawing a large parabola, was a plasma grenade. Moreover, it was the type called the „Giga-nade“ that was three times more powerful than normal, .
It was way too big for LLENN’s small hands to throw it, but as expected of M. He looked like an American football player.
‘He can’t be serious! Will that really hit the hovercraft?
LLENN thought, but——
Of course that did not happen - the plasma grenade fell into the open water about 20 metres away, causing a thick *dopon* sound.
It happened the moment after she had that thought.
The hovercraft passed above where the grenade fell in, and was struck by bluish-white light. That’s what LLENN saw while hearing a muffled explosion.
The plasma grenade that exploded underwater raised the lake water in an approximately 10 metre in diameter hemisphere, and that’s where the hovercraft was going.
The pressure of the blast joined in—— and with the combination of the vectors, it resulted in a splendid and long jump.
With an interesting shout, the man and hovercraft went into the air.
From the left to the right side of LLENN’s field of vision,
Went the scream of the man wearing light brown, desert-use camouflage.
The jump was around 10 metres in height and 30 metres in distance. And it was still ongoing.
Despite LLENN thinking that, flying at this rate, the man would cross the K-point(5), land with a magnificent turn and begin his counterattack——
Such a movie-like scene did not occur.
Beginning to fall forward in the sky, the hovercraft finally completely toppled over, and the man inside fell out as if it spit him out.
On the road about 20 metres away from LLENN,
The man fell on his back.
Late by a beat, the hovercraft fell even further, and the loud sound of the hull breaking resounded. The water scattered by the explosion sprayed the surroundings.
“Bring him down! LLENN!”
LLENN began running towards the man at a fierce dash. Running at a superhuman speed, she stopped in front of the man with his face up while sliding with her feet, and
Met eyes with the man with a blank facial expression.
Along with that samurai-like word, LLENN pointed the P90 down and fired in full auto rapid-fire.
In order to ensure that he wouldn’t counterattack, she had no choice but to shoot him. If he pressed the activation switch of a plasma grenade, she would also die alongside him.
Although she only fired for about 2 seconds, but in that time, thirty hit effects were created on the man’s body. With his hands bouncing and a red effect flashing from his face and body, it was a considerably nasty scene.
Just as she stopped firing, *pikon*, the 【Ｄｅａｄ】 marker appeared.
LLENN’s body shook for a moment, and she extended her right hand index finger.
It was a bad idea to shoot him more. It’s not that it would be a waste of bullets, but that it would be one of the worst manners - shooting a corpse would be ≪overkill≫—— in other words, „killing too much“.
LLENN took in a long breath, and finally transferred her P90 to her shoulder, and then,
“I am really sorry.”
She joined her palms together.
1. ^ The word used here is 弾頭 (dantou), which usually refers to a warhead, but may also refer to the projectile propelled by a firearm. Unfortunately, in gun terminology, that part is called a “bullet”, while colloquially the word “bullet” may be used to refer to the whole cartridge/shell rather than just the actual bullet. The Japanese word 弾丸 (dangan) is equally ambiguous.
2. ^ The actual word used here is アングル (angle).
3. ^ ドクロのマーク (dokuro no mark) literally means “mark of skull” or “skull mark” and refers to the skull and crossbones symbol. The formal name for the symbol is actually 髑髏と骨 (dokuro to hone; skull and bones), but it doesn’t seem like it’s used that often. But, since the author uses "emblem" in another instance, I figured I'd just leave the literal translation.
5. ^ The K-point (construction point) is a line across a ski jumping hill which indicates the hill's steepest point in meters. It was formerly used to classify the size of a ski jumping hill, and to calculate the number of points granted by a given jump.