A Serious Error in Chihaya-chan’s Reputation – Volume 1 – Chapter 22

𝐅𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐑𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭, 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟐: 𝐅𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐑𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭, 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰

Carrying a compressed hydrogen cylinder, the All-Rounder races through the forest.

If the opponent is attacking the Unison Human-Machine Technology base, there might be multiple enemies lurking around the base. Winning alone as an All-Rounder would be impossible.

Chihaya passes the base once and heads up towards the peak of the Wagawa upstream mountain range. If she can get to higher ground, she might be able to figure out the enemy’s positions.

“Eek?!”

A nearby tree trunk splinters. A bullet targeting the All-Rounder has struck.

It’s dark, and Chihaya can’t tell where the shot came from, but the power is low for a sniper rifle.

She hides behind a tree, taking a quick glance in the direction of the gunfire, but there’s no shadow that looks like an Actanoid, and no footsteps. The absence of footprints in the snow is unnatural.

“…A, A drone.”

If it’s a Lannoid type of Conductor, using drones as an attacking method, there would be no footprints. Since it’s night, it’s less likely to be discovered, and the Lannoid’s vulnerability is less of a weakness.

However, this is the habitat of fern-legged scorpions. If the Lannoid type is alone, it won’t be able to cope with an attack from the scorpions.

The likelihood of multiple enemies increases, and Chihaya, tearfully, moves further away from the Unison Human-Machine Technology base.

Chihaya dodges the persistent drone, using the trees as shields, but takes a few shots.

It doesn’t seem to have the power to pierce the armor of a light All-Rounder from a distance, but still, the armor displayed on the monitor was dented. Repair costs would undoubtedly be incurred.

As a bullet grazes the compressed hydrogen cylinder, sending a chill through her, Chihaya manages to shake off the drones without firing a single shot.

She slides the All-Rounder into a densely wooded area and lets out a big breath, clutching her chest.

The opponent is more persistent than imagined. It feels like they’re targeting Chihaya, not the base. The lack of gunfire from the distant base is also worrying.

Moreover, it’s strange that the drones are still following her despite the considerable distance from the initial attack point. With all the trees in between, even if the Lannoid type strengthens the signal, there should be faults in the drone’s control.

Besides, there’s probably not just one drone. At least two, perhaps three, is Chihaya’s estimate.

There seem to be two kinds of drones, one capable of rapid fire but with less power, and another with a single shot that can significantly dent and stagger the All-Rounder’s armor. It’s unlikely that one large drones could carry two types of guns, and considering the ammunition, it seems reasonable to think there are two of the rapid-fire type.

“. . . . . .Also, it doesn’t seem to be automated control?”

The movements of all three drones are human-like. The drones controlled by the Conductor she had worked with on retrieval missions followed set routes or specific units.

A prominent feature of AI-controlled drones is how they avoid obstacles. They recognize an obstacle, stop, avoid it, and then accelerate.

However, the three drones targeting Chihaya’s All-Rounder don’t stop but avoid obstacles in advance while accelerating. They must take evasive action early to avoid collisions on Earth, considering the lag.

Compared to AI control, they are slower, probably accounting for the lag. Thanks to that, Chihaya’s All-Rounder was able to shake them off.

“But where is the Actanoid…?”

It should be in a location where the radio waves can reach, but if it’s hiding in the forest, the signal strength is too strong.

To send radio waves to the three drones, it might be on top of a snowy mountain. However, there were no drones interfering with the All-Rounder heading to the peak.

Chihaya takes the opportunity to hide the requested compressed hydrogen cylinder in the snow. Even if Chihaya’s All-Rounder is destroyed, it won’t immediately lead to a failure of the mission.

While burying it and pondering the location of the enemy Actanoid, Chihaya looks up at the forest, thinking it can’t be true.

To evenly deliver radio waves to the drones, above the sky – a position where it can bypass creatures like fern-legged scorpions.

The night sky is dark, and clouds are forming due to the moist wind colliding with the mountains. There’s no moonlight inside the clouds.

While searching for a gap in the clouds and zooming the camera, Chihaya moved away from the spot where the compressed hydrogen cylinder was buried.

Hiding among the trees, without touching the ostentatiously flying drones, Chihaya commits entirely to stealthy behavior.

After about ten minutes of observing the sky and drying out the eyes, Chihaya finally found it.

A slender Actanoid with springboard legs is hovering in the air. It seems to be hovering with thrusters that spread like a flying squirrel’s membrane on its back, and a faint flame from the thrusters can be seen.

“It’s really flying. . . . . .W, What do I do? It’s a cheat, this is a cheater. . . . . .Fu-hehe. . . . . .”

Just keeping the metal human-shaped Actanoid in the air must consume considerable fuel; it probably glides when moving. It doesn’t look designed to fly freely.

Since it’s flying in the sky, its armor should be thin for weight reduction, and even assault rifles or pistols could penetrate it if in range.

However, the deployed drones won’t allow an approach.

Such a shaped and capable Actanoid is not available commercially, so it’s almost certainly a custom-made model, an Order series Actanoid. It wouldn’t be surprising if it has hidden abilities other than flight.

It’s impossible to compete with a rental machine called an antique, All-Rounder, or anything like that.

“I, I’ll contact them.”

Chihaya sends a report and footage of the enemy machine’s discovery to Unison Human-Machine Technology. If there’s covering fire, there might be a chance for Chihaya to escape.

However, the reply was ruthless.

『Because it’s nighttime, we cannot detect the Actanoid flying from the base, and covering fire is impossible. We also cannot send forces from the base without knowing the enemy’s objective.』

Chihaya slumps the shoulders at the directive to deal with it alone.

The attached note that destroying the enemy mech would result in a bonus is no comfort to Chihaya.

“I don’t want to do this anymore. . . . . .”

With a pathetic cry, Chihaya digs up the fern-legged scorpion’s corpse buried in the snow. This is the prey she caught with a wire trap when she first came to the Wagawa upstream mountain range. Thanks to the deep snow, it had remained without rotting.

Even if it were rotten, the smell wouldn’t reach Chihaya, who only operates the All-Rounder.

Chihaya hooks the wire to the fern-legged scorpion’s corpse and controls the All-Rounder.

A message is sent to Unison Human-Machine Technology.

“I, I’m failing the mission.”

The lack of an apology is due to resentment towards the client, who wouldn’t even provide support.


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