[GGOV3] SECT.14 - Shoot-out

Well, today I've had my fifth out of six exams, so here's a chapter of AGGO to celebrate. On a side note, that's one hard-to-spell name for a laundry pole... :/

Full-width text (Like this) is emphasising that the original text is written using the Latin alphabet. Note that most abbreviations that are not in italics are written using the Latin alphabet as well. Italic text is Engrish (English written in katakana). Abbreviations in italics means that the Japanese version used some shorter form of an English word, but in katakana. 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.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Credits

Translation: Gsimenas
Editing: Pryun, ZeHaffen





SECT.14 - Shoot-out


The spectators in the bar──

Due to one of the cameras broadcasting SHINC's situation the whole time, saw the whole thing clearly.

How the leader of the amazons, the woman with braided hair, shot her comrade with her own gun.

The prone leader half-rose up, readied her silent Vintorez sniper rifle, and fired a single bullet at the woman sitting firmly in place about 30 metres beside her.

The exceedingly heavy 9 x 39 mm bullet hit her left temple, causing instant death.

"Wha!"

"Hey!"

"Ooi!"

"Has she gone mad!"

"Haaaaah?"

"Why!"

Shriek-like exclamations enveloped the bar.

And before the ruckus settled down, they saw.

How, behind Sophie's corpse, the item she took out from her storage right before dying finished materialising.

And how the particles of light gathered, forming a long rod.


"What's going on?"

Pitohui's inquisitive voice reached the ears of M and the other members of PM4.

"Right now, one of the enemies… was shot in the head by the enemy leader and died."

M explained awfully briefly. Unsurprisingly, Pitohui seemed to be stumped by this as well,

"Excuuuse me? Why?"

As she let out in an abnormal voice.

"Dunno……"

"Friendly fire? In that case, it's just like what you did last time, huh, M!"

Pitohui was filled with excitement, but none of her teammates reacted, neither with smiles nor irritation.

And right afterwards,

"Hey, I can't really see what's going on, so how was she killed… by that person? Details please."

An additional question came from Pitohui.

M,

"Ah? Yeah. They came charging at us to close the distance, but we sniped one down. Right afterwards, at a range of 855, all of them dropped to the ground. However, one of them rose up and sat cross-legged, then was shot by an ally and immediately d──"

Was unable to finish saying 'immediately died'.

Because M's explanation was interrupted by Pitohui. With a shout.

"Drop as close to the ground as you can, now!"


The ones who knew the situation better than the ones fighting on site──

Were the spectators watching the broadcast in the bar.

When the item left behind in the dwarf woman's last moments materialised, the spectators half-understood SHINC's strategy.

The particles of light formed a gigantic gun.

Its overall length was actually over 2 metres.

The barrel was a bare, simple, metal pipe. There was a bipod attached at its middle for support. The muzzle had a part, known as a muzzle brake, used to spout gas out to the sides and reduce recoil.

The barrel alone was about 1.3 metres-long. A larger value than the 〝overall length〟 of most assault rifles.

In order for a human to use it as a gun, the trigger, grip, and stock for supporting it with the shoulder were all located behind its centre of gravity.

At its sights, protruding from the left of the barrel, was a scope that should not have been there originally, meaning that it was custom-installed.

The name of this laudry pole-like and shockingly long gun was,


"《Degtyaryov Anti-Tank Rifle》!"

Several people at the bar shouted almost simultaneously. Gun maniacs were creatures who wanted to say the name of a gun before anyone else.

And both of them were correct.

It was an 〝anti-tank rifle〟 adopted by the Soviet Union Army, which fought in World War II, in 1941.

Degtyaryov was the name of its developer and the 〝D〟 in PTRD. Hence, the name Degtyaryov Anti-Tank Rifle was also known in Japan.

It is an ultra-high calibre rifle designed to pierce the still-thin armour of tanks at the time. Such a gun became unable to pierce tanks in the latter half of World War II, thus the 〝anti-tank riflecategory no longer exists and it is instead called an 〝anti-materiel rifle〟.

It was bolt-action and its ammunition was the Soviet Russian-made 14.5 x 114 mm bullet. This meant that the bullet's diameter was 14.5 mm and the cartridge was 114 mm-long.

Considering that M's M107A1 was .50 calibre, thus his bullets were 12.7 x 99 mm, it was clear that the ammunition of this rifle was an additional size bigger and had more force. Naturally, the power of the bullets was also far greater.

At the monster rifle that followed the M107A1,

"What the heck!"

"That's some antique we’ve got there!"

"How did they get their hands on it! That thing!"

"So they're going to counterattack with that!"

"So that's why they were carrying it in their storage all this time?"

"They sure thought it out…… With that kind of firepower, they can compete with M's shield from the front."

"They didn't have it last time, did they? They must have gone out of their way to complete a super tough quest to get it."

The spectators who all shared the illness known as gun mania were fired up.

However,

"But, why? They can't really have a shootout at such a long range on such flat terrain, right?"

A natural question came forth.

They were glaring at each other on an awfully flat terrain.

Just like M and the others could not properly aim at the prone SHINC, the women could not aim at M and the others without raising their guns to some extent.

On the other hand, if they just stood up to fire, no, sat down to fire, they would be perfect targets.

And most of all, it was impossible to think that one would be able to snipe accurately with such a heavy gun even while sitting, much less while standing.

Such an ultra-heavy-class gun was intended to be fired from an elbow rest── meaning that it should be fired while set against something.

'How the heck are they gonna use that gun?'

This spectator's question was answered by the actions of the sniper using the gun.

The shooter of this monster rifle was the black-haired sniper right behind it.

Those who had seen the previous SJ would know.

That this woman, wearing a knitted hat on her black hair, was the most skilled member of the team and the person who was just a step away from using her Dragunov with a variable magnification scope to snipe LLENN down during the previous tournament.

Moreover, she was also the last character to die in the previous SJ.

She sat behind the corpse and slowly raised the approximately 2 metre-long, 16 kilogram gun that materialised in the meantime.

And then, she placed the front of the long barrel. Onto the left shoulder of the corpse of her comrade, who remained seated.

"Aah……"

At that moment, the spectators realised as a shiver of fear went down their spines.

The reason for the dwarfess sitting down in front of her enemies.

The reason why that leader woman shot her comrade to death.

And why she fired at her head from the left.

"Those women── are gonna fuckin’ use their comrade as a 〝shield〟 and 〝emplacement〟!"



In Squad Jam──

A corpse would remain on the spot for 10 minutes as an indestructible object.

In that case, during that time──

A corpse would become an indestructible shield.



Tohma raised the silver bolt handle of her PTRD 1941 with her right hand and pulled it toward herself.

Bullets so huge that it looked like just hitting someone with one would kill them materialised along with the gun in a waterproof cloth bag. They numbered 10.

Tohma picked up 1 of them with her left hand, some oil staining her gloves. A large quantity of oil was used on the bullets to improve the function of the gun.

She inserted a bullet into the gun through a hole on the underside and quickly pushed the bolt forward to load it.

1 metre behind the corpse with its arms piercing the ground, she readied her gun in a kneeling posture.

Peeking through the scope quite a bit away from her eyes, she stared through the lens at the shield she saw 855 metres away.

The moment she placed her finger on the trigger, a pale green Bullet Circle came into view, and the moment it contracted for the first time,

"I'll be── taking yer life!"

Tohma, operated by Milana, the group's Russian, muttered an aged line.(1)

And fired.


Rather than a gunshot, the sound it made was more like an 〝explosion〟.



"Drop as close to the ground as you can, now!"

Hearing Pitohui's voice,

"!"

M let go of his M107A1 and dropped to the ground on the spot. Grass and dirt entered his mouth.

"Huh?"

The fat man was slow to respond.

And, to his further misfortune, Tohma's Bullet Line was intercepted by the shield in front of him, thus it did not enter his vision.

The 14.5 mm diameter bullet──

Hit the right edge of the fan-shaped shield.

And was repelled.

As expected from a space battleship's outer wallboard. Partially because of the fact that it was oblique, it could not be penetrated even by a 14.5 mm bullet from 855 metres away. Violent sparks scattered, an intense sound rang, but it held its ground.

However──

〝It didn't penetrate〟 did not mean 〝the power was not passed on〟.

The kinetic energy of that bullet was tremendous. Due to the intense impact, naturally, extreme pressure was put on a sheet of the shield.

The shield was a powerful object that could withstand any heat or pressure.

The metal joints connecting the top and bottom of the shield, however, were not that strong.

The joints supporting the pressured sheet at two points instantly bent like toffee and broke due to the twisting.

And then the sheet of the shield burst backwards──

Landing a direct hit on the face of the man holding his Savage 110BA right behind it.

He was unable to utter a sound. Neither a scream, nor a complaint, nor a surprised squeal.

Hit by the firm sheet, the man's neck twisted to an angle that was impossible for the structure of the human body, and a red effect light, proof of the recognition of the damage dealt, came forth from it.

A 【Dead】 marker lit up, indicating the position of the first casualty of PM4.



The moment the PTRD 1941 discharged, a tremendous blast assailed the surroundings, raising a huge amount of dirt from the dry ground.

Although the intense recoil jolted her body backwards, she was able to withstand it, in part because she had shifted her body forward with her kneeling posture.

Although the gun was bolt-action, it employed a peculiar system of 〝opening the bolt with the force of the recoil and ejecting the empty cartridge〟. GGO perfectly reproduced this feature.

Upon firing, the gun itself, including the grip── namely, almost the entire thing except for the stock applied to the shoulder and the cheek pad applied to the cheek, jerked backwards by roughly 65 mm from the powerful recoil.

Due to this force, the bolt handle flicked upwards towards the metal fittings at the back, opening it up. Which meant that the action of opening the bolt handle, which would normally be done by hand, was done by the recoil.

The opened bolt would retrude further due to inertia. An empty cartridge, with improved sliding due to the oil, was dragged out──

And ejected below the gun.

Tohma picked up another oil-drenched bullet and once again slid it into the gun from below. With the lowered bolt pushed forward and locked, she was once again able to fire.

"Next!"

*     *     *

What SHINC chose for the 〝M’s shield countermeasure〟, absolutely necessary to win the tournament,

"In any case, starting now we're getting our hands on a far stronger weapon!"

Was that simple.

'If we can't beat him with our current firepower, we can just get stronger 〝arms〟 and smash down his 〝shield〟.

'In that case, what would that be?'

First, they considered using a grenade launcher like the ones Fukaziroh used. 'We could just attack from above where M's shield doesn't cover him by making use of a parabolic trajectory.’

However, the maximum 400 metre range was just not enough. They had to get something that they could attack with from outside the 800 metre range of M's M14 EBR, or at least from the same range.

In that case, only one option remained.

Their goal was to acquire a large calibre and high-power anti-materiel rifle.

'Even if it didn't penetrate the armoured sheets, it should probably have enough punch to at least destroy the joints. Or even shift the position of the shield.’

As such, the girls made use of the little time they had in between their hectic studies, club activities, and intense practices to gather information.

They knew that merely 10 or so anti-materiel rifles existed in the Japanese GGO server, but,

『That is a thing of the past. Recently, it seems that the number of them being implemented suddenly increased, thus there should actually be more of them available, and easier to get than before.』

They got their hands on such a rumour. And their hopes grew larger.

Next, as if they were data collectors, they attempted to ask people who already had anti-materiel rifles how they were able to acquire them.

Every time they caught rumours of someone having one, they sought them out, but in the end, they only managed to get ahold of four of them and, furthermore, only two of them answered their question properly.

Both of them,

『I got it as a drop by miraculously clearing a difficult quest and taking down the boss.』

Uttered the same thing. As expected, they were not things that would be sold at regular stores.

Naturally, the chances of a person who had acquired one selling it were far lower than that for other guns; when one of them did appear on auction, it went for such a shocking price that it totaled 200,000 Japanese yen when converted to real money.

One of the two people who had given them an answer was a female player. A lovely, light-blue-haired girl named Sinon.

Of course, this was based on avatar appearance; the player could be an aged adult woman. This player named Sinon was so skilled that she could fight in the finals of the BoB. She was not the kind of opponent that anyone from SHINC could rival in a one-on-one.

At that time, the ones to meet with Sinon were Boss and Anna, who managed to finish their homework early. Sinon went into quite a bit of detail, perhaps because they were all girls.

According to her, the depths of the dungeons below the capital Glocken was more difficult than the ones out in the wilderness, and thus it should be easier to get a rare weapon there. The probability should be especially high in places that you could forcibly fall into through traps. After all, that was the case for her.

Since that day, they began a reckless quest to acquire an anti-materiel rifle for the rhythmic gymnastics club.

After charging into areas that were, without a doubt, not clearable at their level, they were chased around by super gigantic boss-class monsters and huge machines, and trampled by them at times. Yet they continued this merciless battle that did not allow them to earn any experience points at all, as they kept 〝returning by death〟 to the safe zone every time their squadron was wiped out.

After who knows how many times, when they had already lost count, the goddess of fortune smiled upon them.

This took place during a battle in a long and narrow dungeon that may have formerly been a subway station.

During a back-and-forth battle with their enemy── a machine that looked like a huge tank with numerous power shovels for arms, they were all shot up by its laser beams. Then, their machine gunner Rosa failed to avoid the monster's ramming attack, thus she was squished by its large caterpillar tracks and died with her body in tatters.

However, be it the result of her tenaciousness or her grudge, her right hand continued pulling the trigger even as her body was torn to pieces.

The PKM machine gun continued to function as if avenging its owner.

During the short moment before her corpse shattered into polygon fragments and disappeared, she had fired around 20 bullets at the side of the underground space; some of these bullets hit the pipes running along the side, opening holes in them.

With extreme force, hot water used to heat the underground gushed out from them.

The water gushing out of the high-pressure hot water pipes landed directly on the machine. Perhaps because of the damage to its electrical system, its movements slowed down drastically. The steam enveloping it also dampened the power of the laser beams fired from the tips of its arms.

"Now's our chance! Attack at once!"

"Aww yeah!"

"Let's get 'im!"

"Crush it to pieces!"

"Uoooo!"

Enthusiastic, the five survivors assaulted it simultaneously without paying heed to the hot water shower──

And they were immediately wiped out.

Regretfully, the damage they accumulated till then was just too great. If it were possible to win a conflict through spirit alone, no country would lose a war.

However, they found a clue to beat it.

Invading the same dungeon again the next day, they first set up explosives on the warm water pipes. Then, they lured the enemy there and ensured that it took an even bigger shower than last time, and at an early phase of the battle.

Afterwards, it again came down to brute force.

They pounded and pounded and pounded away at the now slow-moving opponent. By shooting its arms as they were about to fire lasers, they immediately threw its aim off.

Nevertheless, the merciless battle continued for over 30 minutes and, when the boss's hit points were nearly depleted, they even resorted to using all the plasma grenades in their pockets in a suicide attack, resulting in their deaths──

And they finally defeated it.

In the end, a shot fired from Tohma's Dragunov tore off one of its panels and hit the now-exposed part that looked like a nuclear reactor.

But then, aside from her and Anna, the two snipers who had been shooting from a distance, all of their comrades were wiped out because of the flashy explosion.

While a gaudy Congratulations string floated in the musty room, a single small window came out in front of Tohma, the one who dealt the last attack.

What materialised in front of her upon touching it was a laundry pole-like anti-tank rifle, the PTRD 1941.

For them, who only used Soviet Russian-made guns──

They got yet another Soviet Russian arm, as if they had been aiming for one.

Remembering Sinon's words that, upon defeating a boss with a French sniper rifle, she got a French anti-materiel rifle,

"I see, so the gun you get depends on the gun you use to defeat it, huh."

Concluded thus. Whether that was accurate or not… none could answer.


When Tohma and Anna brought back the huge laundry pole── the PTRD 1941, their comrades, who had returned to town by death, were all overjoyed.

The way they embraced each other, cried together, and rejoiced showed not a hint of the bad relationship they had when they first met. These rhythmic gymnastics club girls had been face-to-face with death numerous times, guns in their hands, and had thus become irreplaceable comrades.

As such, they acquired a powerful armament.

Now, they had to master using it.

The PTRD 1941, weighing 16 kg, was really heavy, thus it naturally required a character to have high Strength in order to wield it.

Among their team, the only ones who could make use of it right away, that is, to run normally while carrying it, were Sophie and Rosa. Because those two had always carried heavy machine guns, a large number of spare ammunition, and spare barrels.

However, this gun was a sniper rifle.

Either Tohma or Anna, the ones with specialised skills for improving their sniping capabilities, should be the one to use it, thus the two devoted themselves to further intensive training to raise their Strength stat. Taking advantage of their spring break, they spent all of their time outside of club activities training themselves.

Eventually, Tohma raised her parameters high enough that 〝despite having a weight penalty when carrying it, she could at least fire it〟, thus the gun now belonged to Tohma.

When Tohma first shot with it while adhering to the instructions shown on the gun's window, she thought her shoulder would be dislocated due to the recoil, incomparable to that of her Dragunov. She felt that this was not a weapon that a human being (though she was using an avatar) could fire.

However, unless she tamed this monster, her team could not win. Having prepared a large number of 14.5 mm bullets, Tohma kept repeating her shooting practice. And refined her willpower to endure the recoil.

There was no scope on this gun. The anti-tank rifles of such an age did not have them to begin with. In that case, feeling uneasy about a long-range battle with M,

"#If there is none here, Proceed to put one on, Hototogisu#(Nai no nara, tsuketeshimae, hototogisu). Not enough morae."(2)

Tohma used the guns customisation function and equipped one.

She crushed the metal sights attached to the barrel's left side and welded a scope mount; a crude process, but not a problem as long as it worked.

If she used a rifle scope as-is, she feared that the gun's recoil would cause it to hit her in the eye. Thus, she procured a pistol scope with much longer eye relief (distance between the ocular lens and the eye) than that of a rifle's. And equipped it.

Thus, what they completed was,

The 〝PTRD 1941 Anti-Tank Rifle - Attached Girls' School Rhythmic Gymnastics Club Special

Alias,

The 〝Decisive Battle Weapon Against M〟──abbreviated as 〝M Gun〟.

For a test battle, the girls once again tried fighting against the machine that dropped this gun.

They restrained its movement with hot water and had Tohma snipe it repeatedly from long range. Seeing the armoured plates be so easily shot off the enemy they had had so much trouble with before,

"We can win thiiiiis!"

Boss cried in the underground hollow.

As if their hardships last time were a lie, they took down the machine. Of course, another anti-material rifle drop… did not happen, but they did earn experience points and money.

Looking at her overjoyed friends, Tohma presented a problem.

"Though, what are we supposed to do if we can't use the bipod in a place with good line-of-sight? Since I can't move with this gun……"

Once this excessively heavy and long gun was fixed in place, it would not be easy to move from there. Tohma's anxiety was apt.

And then, both the machine gunners, Rosa and Sophie, smiled simultaneously.

Rosa,

"Guys, whenever we're shooting with our machine guns, you support us by standing in front as pedestals!"

Sophie,

"That's right. We could just do the same thing ourselves. When someone as tough as us sits down firmly, you could just fire with your barrel on one of our shoulders!"

Tohma's eyes bulged open in surprise.

"But! If we do that, either of you could be shot and die!"

And then, Sophie,

"That is a problem. ──In that case, we can't fulfil our role as a pedestal properly."

"No, that's not what I meant……"

"In that case, the solution is simple!"

The dwarfess grinned and answered with the sense of responsibility of a club vice-president.

"You just need to kill me beforehand. Then I'll become an indestructible pedestal, capable of defending against any kind of attack for 10 minutes!"

*     *     *

"Next!"

Before the dust from her first bullet could clear, Tohma loaded her second.

Her target was a bit to the right of her previous one. The center of the fan-shaped shield.

If she managed to send a bullet in there, she would not only blow away the shield, but also deal damage to M and his gun there.

M bringing an anti-materiel rifle was clearly beyond their expectations.

Their plan was to shoot from as close as possible while staying just outside the M14 EBR's 800 metre effective range, but it was pointless to complain now. 〝If we managed to procure one, they should also be coming with one〟──not considering this possibility was their mistake.

"Eat this!"

She fired.

Along with a roar that shook the earth, a 60 gram, ultra-high-alloy mass flew out at 1,000 metres per second, that is, at an unbelievable speed of Mach 3.

The next moment, it hit the shield.



Tohma's aim was a bit off, thus the bullet hit the left edge of the shield, causing the sheet to burst off there.

If he had not taken cover as ordered by Pitohui, M's head would have been hit by the shield’s burst sheet, and he would have probably died as well.

M immediately raised his head and grabbed his M107A1.

M, too, had already realised their intention.

Making one of their own into a corpse, an indestructible object, and using it as a high-calibre rifle pedestal in an open field, as well as a shield; an awfully dirty, yet effective, strategy.

Through his scope, he saw a dwarfess sitting with her eyes closed, and a woman inserting a bullet into a huge iron pipe behind her.

"Enemy! Degtyaryov anti-tank rifle! The slightest graze will kill you! Don't you dare raise your heads!"

At the same moment he reported this to his comrades, he fired.

Although not as good as theirs, he, too, had an ultra-high calibre rifle. The counterattack bullet made a roar as it flew and was easily repelled by the corpse's head.

"Crap!"


The broadcast in the bar projected the exchange of blows between the great guns.

A member of the amazons fired her PTRD 1941, using her comrade's corpse as a pedestal. The roar sprung out from the speakers as well, causing the air and intestines of the avatars to tremble.

PM4's fat man was hit in the head by the shield and died immediately,

"Uooooo!"

"Yippie! They fuckin' did him in!"

"The invincible shield smashed!"

And then, with a quick reload, the woman fired her second shot.

Another sheet was blown away, but M did not flinch.

He shouted something and immediately counterattacked. However, the attack was easily blocked by the now-indestructible object corpse.

In that time, the woman loaded her third bullet. And began aiming quickly. When her face appeared on the screen, they could see a joyful… and ferocious smile beneath her black hair.

"This is… a shoot-out……"

Someone's muttering was erased by the thunder-like discharge of the gun.



The third bullet Tohma fired pressed on along the dry earth.

Underneath the route of the bullet, a shockwave drew a straight line of dust. The bullet hit the shield and tore off a third sheet.

Right after being shot, the sheet flew just above M's head just as he hit the dirt, and pierced the grass about 5 metres away.

The shield that had had eight sheets was whittled from the left and right, and was now down to five sheets. However, M was not shaken.

His opponent had automatic shell ejection but manual loading. He had an automatic loading semi-auto gun. There were still 5 bullets left in his magazine.

"Come at me!"

Raising his head and readying his M107A1, M yelled.

He stared at his enemy as if looks could kill, blurred by the cloud of dust, and squeezed the trigger.



"Taah!"

At exactly the same time as M fired, Tohma unleashed her fourth bullet.

The same composition as their last match in the previous SJ.

Tohma and M simultaneously spouted fire from their respective guns. Their respective empty cartridges sprung out from their guns.

The bullets passed by each other mid-air, about 20 cm away──

One of them hit the left shoulder of a corpse, had its forced instantly stopped by the unnatural firmness of the corpse, and fell down.

The other one hit the central part of the shield and tore it off. The shield split open, colliding with the M107A1,

"Guh!"

And hit the side of M's body.

Collapsed to the left, M pulled the gun toward him, looked at its side,

"…………"

And understood.

That this gun would be useless unless brought to a weapon shop for repairs. Meaning that it had finished its role in SJ2.

Because the edge of the shield, made out of absurdly sturdy material, that crashed into the barrel had created a deep cavity in it.

If he fired another bullet without noticing this, the bullet would be stopped by this cavity and, having lost a place to go, the pressure would end up tearing the barrel apart. This level of reproduction was only present in GGO, a game with plenty of gun maniacs who fussed over the damage to guns.

".50 calibre done in. Can no longer fire unless repaired."

Reporting this, M parted with his M107A1 by laying it on its side and slowly retreated.

And the moment he was about 3 metres away from his shield──

A fifth bullet came flying and hit the shield that no longer protected anyone.

A metallic clank that would have broken their eardrums if they were not in GGO resounded and the sheet in the centre was blown away. The shield could no longer maintain its arc and collapsed to pieces.

With one of their comrades killed, the iron wall shield broken, and a long-range sniper rifle rendered unusable──

"…………" "…………" "…………"

The three masked men turned around while lying face-down and simultaneously gulped. Although it was impossible to see their expressions, it was possible to guess.

And then,

"Not baaaad!"

Pitohui alone remarked in sheer elation.



"Not half baaaaaad!"

The roar of joy could be heard in the bar as well.

The amazons had went as far as sacrificing their own comrade to break the shield belonging to M, the previous winner, and caused the first casualty for PM4, thus everyone was awfully hyped up.

"Yippie yippie yippie! SHINC's victory is settled now!"

While there were people who supported the amazons,

"You don't get it! It's five against four, ya know? M still has his M14 EBR and, most of all, that brutal woman is still unhurt!"

There were also people who supported PM4.

The cheering teams in the bar war were cleanly split in half and exceedingly fired up.

Among them was a man who, slowly slurping his shot glass whiskey, muttered lonesomely.

"My LLENN-chan…… what happened to her…… What is she doing……"



"Haah……, haah……"

Holding the heated PTRD 1941 with smoke drifting about from its long long barrel, Tohma continued breathing wildly.

"Defea….. ted…… We defeated him…… Sophie! Thaaaaaanks!"

And shouted with a tear-stained face to her comrade in front of her, who had become a corpse and pedestal.

"Alriiiight!"

In the wide field, Boss's roar resounded while she lay prone.

Despite losing Anna and Sophie, they splendidly accomplished their goal of sealing the use of M's shield.

Looking at her wristwatch, it was half past 14:08. What an intense time that was.

"Alri~ght! What great timing! We're going to charge again, so get ready! ──Tanya, you take the lead again. Tohma, thank your Degtyaryov! Rosa, provide supporting fire as soon as you're in range."

She gave orders to her surviving comrades in succession. And received affirmative replies from all of them.

They could no longer make use of the PTRD 1941. Because Sophie was dead and there was no one to carry it.

If Tohma carried it, not only would she be unable to move freely due to its weight, she would also be unable to carry and use her Dragunov, a semi-auto rifle that would be beneficial in the upcoming battle. If she had to choose, the natural choice would be the Dragunov. The same applied to Rosa and her PKM machine gun.

"I truly thank you. Let's meet again later, okay."

Tohma thanked her beloved gun, which beautifully carried out its role, with a smile and laid it beside Sophie’s remains. She put the remaining ammunition into her storage so that no one would be able to fire it on the off chance that they picked it up.

While standing up, Boss shouted to the 〝four〟 of them.

"We defeated M's shield! The time is ripe! ──Attack!"



At the start of the amazon's assault,

"Incoming!"

The masked and goggled macho man started firing his MG3 machine gun. Making strange, suppressed gunshots.

Although they were still quite far away and only visible as dots to the naked eye, he fired in bursts of 5 bullets after aligning his sights. Empty cartridges fell to the grass, turned into polygon fragments, and disappeared.

He continued firing. Even if he did not hit, just forcing his opponents to dodge or hit the dirt upon seeing the Lines was enough. This way, he could prevent them from firing back.

At that point, a bullet struck one of them, who then switched from running in zigzags to hitting the dirt. It did not seem like she had been killed, but the moment he thought he succeeded in stopping her,

"Pull back!"

He heard M's sharp voice and, as instructed, the man forcibly pulled his beloved gun and got down.

Several Bullet Lines blanketed the area he had just been in and, a beat late, a hail of bullets came crashing down. The tracer bullets drew orange lines in the air. Grass fluttered down in various places, while some dirt was kicked up.

"Uhi!"

He had been engrossed solely in shooting to bring his opponents down, thus he was late to notice the Lines coming at him diagonally. If not for M's order, he would have probably been shot.

Their enemy continued firing. *Byun* *byun*, he heard bullets soaring above his head.

"Crap!"

He could not see them, but this way, while one of the enemies fired with their machine gun, the others undoubtedly advanced quickly. And the men── well, they were all women, so the women advanced forward to some extent before hitting the dirt, then provided cover fire for the others to move.

"It's fine. No need to panic."

A voice came from M.

"They're still far enough to use the Lines to dodge. Even if they try to flank us, they won't have cover. I'll be counting on you for suppressing fire when they come a bit closer. Until then, I'll snipe them."

"Roger that."



Having heard the reply, M crawled along the grassland at full speed, his M14 EBR in hand.

The ground was almost perfectly flat, but he was looking for a spot that was at least slightly elevated to mount his bipod and use for sniping. It would be easy to hide on the ground, as well as easy to aim.

While crawling──

'Why are they muscling through like this?'

M harboured a huge misgiving about the enemy team SHINC's actions.

His group had a shield and an ultra-long-range sniper rifle, thus they chose to take up position at such a flat location.

The enemy had an anti-tank rifle, so they chose to have their showdown there. And the enemy was declared the winner. This much he understood.

However, now that the shield was magnificently destroyed, meaning that they accomplished their goal and thus had no reason attack head-on.

Logically thinking, would it not be best for them to fall back for now to reorganise?


'Why… on a plain with such good line-of-sight with no merit to attack… why are they muscling through to us?'

'Have they lost themselves to anger after losing their comrade?'

The odds of that were not zero but considerably low for a team like that.

In that case──

"So they have some sort of plan, huh……"

Muttering, M found the perfect spot, set up his M14 EBR where there were no Bullet Lines, and aimed at the silver-haired woman he saw through his scope.

The woman was fast. She was carrying a Bizon submachine gun. In the previous SJ, she ran into LLENN and held a dogfight in a place full of rocks.

After 3 second of running, the woman changed her trajectory, then changed it again as she continued to get closer. The distance was about 700 metres.

'Is she going to turn right or left next time?'

'And what angle will that be?'

With no answer, M relied on his intuition, aimed at a spot with no one there,

"Oh whatever."

And squeezed the trigger.



The moment Tanya, running at full speed, was about to change the direction of her zig zag run,

"Kyafun!"

She was splendidly shot in her left shoulder.

The shining hit effect also entered her view. As is, she tumbled flashily, raising dust.

Her hit points decreased, immediately reaching halfway point. Turning from green to yellow.

"Crap! I got sniped! That's the Lineless sniping! He read my moves!"

As she let out a frustrated voice, Tanya took out a first-aid kit from her waist and applied it to her nape. Slowly slowly, her hit points began to recover.

"Boss! Getting closer would be nuts!"

At Tanya's usual vigour and complaint,

"I know! But we're still doing it! Just as planned!"

Boss answered, lying on the dirt.

5 seconds later, when she was about to stand up, the wristwatch on her left arm violently vibrated, thus Boss looked at the dial.

14:09:30.

"Now! It's time!"

In response to Boss,

"Roger!"

LLENN replied.




Notes

1. ^ The expression she used was o-inochi-- choudai itasu! (お命──、頂戴いたす!). It seems that it's an expression that you'd probably only hear in historical plays nowadays. Possibly an expression used by samurais or something.
2. ^ Tohma tried making a haiku, but a typical haiku has 5-7-5 morae (Japanese syllables), while hers is 5-6-5. Also, Hototogisu (lesser cuckoo) is the name of a (primarily) haiku magazine.

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