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SECT.20 - The Final Showdown
"She sure did her best, but I guess she's won't hold out much longer……"
A spectator in the bar said in pain.
From the time LLENN began dashing away till now, the majority of the spectators had supported LLENN.
Utterly deceiving her opponents, pa.s.sing under the Humvee, and then inflicting damage to the pa.s.sengers while leaping over it──
Each of LLENN's feats had caused thunderous cheers.
So, when she was mercilessly a.s.sailed by a hail of bullets, got caught in the resulting column of water and collapsed, screams could be heard in the bar.
Thus swiftly came the final moment.
On the screen, the Humvee approached LLENN a little; on its roof was that woman, aiming steadily. It was a distance where it would be impossible to miss.
When LLENN abruptly began pounding away into the air with her P90, some thought that she had been seized by panic, others thought that she was expressing her final regrets.
And then, the woman once again took aim, placed her finger on the trigger,
Some spectators heard her invoke the Buddha prematurely.
The explosion and large column of water,
"Uhi!" "Uhyaa!" "Doha!"
Prompted screams throughout the bar.
The only ones to instantly grasp the situation,
Anna and Sophie, gazing at the screen while still standing.
"I see…… that serial fire into the sky was meant to cover the noise of her partner's grenadesbeing fired."
"Just a coincidence, but because their car was moving, they didn't hear the other car's engine, huh."
Concluded Anna, but Sophie smiled,
"I wonder, is that really a coincidence?"
On multiple screens, different action scenes took place simultaneously.
On one screen, having been pulled up by the wave made by the column of water, LLENN used that momentum to stand up, applying a first aid kit to herself and inserting a new magazine into her P90.
On another screen, Pitohui turned 180 degrees and pointed the muzzle of her KTR-09 right behind her.
And on the final screen──
Another Humvee was rushing through the gra.s.s. It was about 200 metres away from the pond. And closing in.
Inside the car, made visible by adjusting the lighting, grasping the wheel on the driver's seat was a girl who had regained her limbs.
"Tsk! I played around too long!"
With a bitter shout, Pitohui began pounding away with her KTR-09 in full-auto.
The bullets sank into the Humvee driven by f.u.kaziroh, but, naturally, all of them were repelled. After firing about 10 shots,
"Oh, forget this!"
Pitohui gave up.
The enemy Humvee was charging straight at them.
"She's planning to ram us! Move it, get her!"
M started the Humvee. While Pito sat down on the rear seat.
f.u.kaziroh was stepping on the accelerator using the entire might of her small body, and driving the vehicle as if clinging to the large wheel.
Beyond the windscreen,
"Move it move it moooove it!"
She could see an identical car.
On the screen, the newly-arrived Humvee was charging towards the one M and Pito
The new one still had its bulletproof plate on the roof, thus it was easy to tell them apart. As the Humvee with the bulletproof plate continued to close in,
"Ooh! She's gonna ram them!"
"Well, that is the most surefire way to wreck a vehicle."
"Though…… the chibi riding it won't get out of this unscathed, ya know?"
"Who cares. That's one versus two. Get 'em!"
The spectators, who had been ready for a funeral when LLENN was about to die, once again got fired up.
M turned his Humvee towards the one charging at his.
Knowing that their opponent was trying to ram them, they could not just move to the side. Because the car would end up being raised from the side.
If it came to that, the car would undoubtedly topple over. This would probably lead to their bodies. .h.i.tting the various parts of the car and suffering great damage. If any neck bone fractures were registered, it was even possible to end up with instant death.
The ideal course of action was, of course, to turn tail and run away. That was because suffering a rear-end collision resulted in the least damage.
However, when there was no time for that, charging head on was the best way to dodge. If timed right on the verge of collision, it was possible to dodge with a sudden turn of the wheel to the right or left.
Right now, the two cars continued charging on a collision course──
When one of them suddenly turned.
Came the surprise from the spectators.
This was only natural. After all, the vehicle that changed course was the one with the bulletproof plate.
The two cars pa.s.sed by each other on the gra.s.sland at extreme speed and one of them charged straight into the pond.
Splashing its way through it, it arrived beside the pink running chibi in no time and, turning to face the chibi with its right side to act as a shield from gunfire, the car stopped.
Gazing at LLENN through the bulletproof gla.s.s,
"Hey there, pretty lady! Aren't we all soaking-wet! How's about going for a ride in daddy's kool lil' supercar?"
"I will I will! Take me for a ride!"
As LLENN, entirely covered in muddy water, answered, f.u.kaziroh gave a smile.
"I love honest girls! Don't think you're going home tonight!"
LLENN went for the back door,
And, upon somehow opening the door that seemed like a vault door due to its armoured plate, she got in and closed it.
She then moved to the center of the car, got up through the roof, and looking behind,
She saw that, naturally, it was closing in. The other Humvee driven by M. It was currently plunging into the puddle from the gra.s.sland. About 40 metres away.
"f.u.ka! I don't care where to, just drive!"
"You betcha! I wonder, are there any love hotels in this world?"
f.u.kaziroh stepped on the accelerator with her small foot.
And so, SJ2's first──
And undoubtedly final car chase began.
From the sky, the escaping vehicle and the chasing vehicle were caught on camera.
Going through the puddle and once again out into the meadow.
Inside one of the cars,
"M! Hand over all the grenades on you!"
Upon Pitohui shouting her order, M complied.
Steering with just his right hand, he operated his storage and materialised anything with grenade in their name, be it plasma or otherwise.
Once the particles of light took form, a great variety of explosives poured down atop the pa.s.senger seat.
Inside the other car,
"f.u.ka, does your ammo explode even when it's just thrown?"
LLENN enquired. f.u.kaziroh's MGL-140 and backpack were atop the pa.s.senger seat.
And the reply of their owner was,
"No can do. You have to fire them."
"Hey, you wanna take the wheel?"
"I can't! ──Wait, f.u.ka, when did you get a license?"
Despite being in the midst of battle, LLENN's curiosity overwhelmed her, prompting her to ask the question.
"I've started going to a driving school just recently. I figured that it was quite inconvenient without a car. Come ta think of it, I should have taken it up sooner! Rather than studying for a test! ──Ehm? Did I never tell you about this before?"
"First time I heard of it! But this is amazing! I'm surprised you can drive so well already!"
"Eh, we had the entrance ceremony just recently. Actually, I've been busy will all this prep work."
"Haaah? Then how can you drive?"
There were streamlets running through the meadow, but despite the vehicle becoming unstable when the tyres caught some of the water, f.u.kaziroh was able to maintain an almost straight course all this time by slightly turning the wheel to account for whenever this happened. That was quite some skill.
"Oh that. I've been spendin' a wee bit'a time on a driving game with a different account."
"After all that time spent in GGO! Just how much a game maniac can you be!"
"But it turned out useful dough?"
"Eeh? Uh, yeah."
The moment LLENN answered, the rear end of the car slid to the right. Explosions.
f.u.kaziroh turned the wheel to the right, stabilising the car through her counter-steering. She skillfully pulled the car together.
LLENN stuck her head out through the roof enclosed by a bulletproof plate. Through the bulletproof gla.s.s, she saw M's car keeping up with them, being only 20 metres to the left behind them.
Only Pitohui's hand stuck out from within the circular roof, throwing something. Coming in a parabola was a plasma grenade,
As it fell on the rear of the car with a sound, LLENN pulled her head back inside.
However, it did not explode. It rolled down the downward-slanting rear of the car, fell down on the gra.s.s, and exploded when it was about 5 metres away.
It seemed that the detonation timer was set to a high value. Thanks to that, they were spared.
Nevertheless, the blast considerably shook the car, lowering its speed.
LLENN once again stuck out her head from the roof and aimed her P90 at the Humvee to the left behind her. The car was shaking slightly, thus she could not lock on properly even at such a close distance. However, she did not care. She fired around 10 rounds at full power.
Sparks were made on the roof and bonnet, but she could not land a hit on Pitohui inside. As proof of this came yet another throw.
This time, it was aimed flawlessly.
The plasma grenade flew straight at her──
'Ah, it's going to fall inside the car at this rate.'
'Then, it's going to explode inside… killing… me and f.u.ka.'
The scene having switched to slow motion, she fully understood what would happen next.
LLENN had two options.
The first was for her alone to jump out right away. Knowing how good LLENN was, she could change her trajectory mid-air and land with no damage.
The other option… was what LLENN chose.
She raised her P90 with her hands and, using one of its sides,
Struck the plasma grenade just before it plunged into the car. The round ball fell outside the car, hit the ground, and exploded quite a bit away from both cars.
As LLENN took a breath,
"That was mean, LLENN-chan! Using me as a bat!"
P-chan made a complaint, but LLENN ignored it.
Although she was prepared for the next throw, M's car suddenly took some distance from them and started falling back.
'Did they give up?'
The moment LLENN questioned this,
Hearing f.u.kaziroh's scream-like voice, LLENN turned around to face forward, and witnessed and unbelievable thing.
There was a small puddle about 30 metres ahead, from which a 10 metre-high water column had arisen.
It was not a column made by projectiles. The water was blown up from the ground like an actual fountain. When she had taken a look there moments ago, there was definitely no such thing there.
"What the heck is thaaaaaaat!"
"Heck if I knoooooooooow!"
As f.u.kaziroh and LLENN shouted this, their car was about to plunge straight into that fountain. f.u.kaziroh somehow managed to slightly change their course to the right, thus they were at least able to avoid colliding with it head-first. The large fountain pa.s.sed through just tens of cm to the left of the car.
The water fell like downpour into the car,
LLENN was surprised that the water caused a sense of pseudo-pain.
Upon checking her skin, she noticed that there were some damage effects shining on it, Even her hit points, though not on the level of being shot, had clearly decreased. It was currently at around half.
"The water is boiling hot!"
"We're in a hot springs area! All of those puddles are geysers that can burst out at any moment! We sure picked one heck of a place to come to!"
LLENN understood. That this was an area filled with traps made by Mother Nature that one had to avoid stepping in carelessly.
f.u.kaziroh's surprised voice reached LLENN's ears.
"So, that means we can use all that hot water as much as we want! It's so handy for making instant yakisoba that you could die for it!"
"Eh? That's what you thought of?"
The video feed greatly surprised the audience in the bar as well.
They had already learnt about the geysers from the video some time ago, so the geysers were not the cause for this.
"How come M's car avoided it in advance?"
Just before the geyser burst out, M's Humvee changed course as if knowing what would happen, and that is what caused the confusion.
There was not a single man with the answer.
On the wall in the log house's guest rooms was a map of the valley, with the locations of the geyser (-producing puddles), as well as the timing for their eruption.
Having memorised all of that, Pitohui muttered while looking at her wrist.w.a.tch on the Humvee's back seat.
"Superbly on time. That's a virtual world for ya."
"f.u.ka! This place is dangerous! Let's get out of here!"
Looking at M's car on the left, LLENN gave an order to f.u.kaziroh, but,
"Yea, that's a great idea, but no dice."
Got this answer.
"Eh? How come?"
"This car… is going to stop soon."
"Out of gas. The lights suddenly started flashing. The lights that thoughtfully tell you 'how many metres you can still drive' has also come up."
"300 metres, it says."
That was no time at all.
There was probably not that much fuel in the car to start with. On that subject, she recalled that the hovercrafts in the previous tournament had also run out relatively quickly.
"What do we do? LLENN."
Pressed for a quick decision, LLENN,
"Well then, we don't really… have much of a choice."
Glaring at the car driven by M, with Pitohui in it, she answered.
"Crash into that thing!"
Inside the other car,
"Pito, we're out of fuel. 500 more metres."
"Oh my. That's leaves us in a bind."
Inserting a 30-round magazine into her KTR-09, Pitohui answered in a tone as if there was absolutely no issue,
"Then, crash into that thing."
The bird's eye view video showed two Humvees riding side-by-side down the gra.s.sland with puddles and brooks all around──
And now, they suddenly got close.
From the right one, the head of a pink chibi, covered in mud, stuck out.
From the left one, the head of a woman, wearing dark blue overalls, stuck out.
LLENN saw the face of Pitohui as she drew near.
Pitohui saw the face of LLENN as she drew near.
The two cars continued on until they clashed front-first──
Just before that happened, the two girls leapt from their roofs, jumping off their cars.
Landing on the gra.s.s, the two used their momentum to curl into b.a.l.l.s and roll on the ground, avoiding death.
LLENN, hugging her P90, turned even smaller.
Pitohui, on the other hand, also a.s.sumed a similar posture, but the long length of her gun backfired on her. Pitohui's KTR-09 got caught in the gra.s.s and was plucked out of her hands.
While the two continued rolling,
The two Humvees toppled over from the momentum of their collision and fell sideways to the left and right.
*Goron goron*, the two vehicles rolled sideways,
Sitting in the driver's seats, f.u.kaziroh and M got stuck in high-speed rotation, as if they were in an attraction at an amus.e.m.e.nt park.
They desperately held onto their wheels and, using their leg and arm muscles to the utmost, pressed themselves against the back of their chairs to endure.
If they were thrown out of their seats, they would either be slammed around their car, or be thrown out from the large, open roof.
The two vehicles, having similarly turned around five times and similarly went upside-down again, stopped about 50 metres away from each other.
Both f.u.kaziroh and M certainly had well-trained muscles. They somehow managed to avoid getting expelled from the seatbelt-less attraction.
f.u.kaziroh, suffering from her helmet's chin strap having dug into her chin,
"If this had been RL, I sure would have died…… If I get my license, I'm always gonna fasten my seatbelt and drive safe……"
Having jumped out of her car, rolled who knows how many times, yet still able to stand up easily, LLENN,
'Where are ya!'
Carrying her P90 at waist level, she turned to look for Pitohui.
LLENN saw her when she jumped out. She had to be close.
And so, LLENN found her figure just a mere 10 metres away.
At Pitohui, who had not yet fully stood up and did not have her gun in hand,
She unleashed her P90. A metre-high barrage. As if she was sprinkling water from a hose. If her target attempted to jump to the side, she should be hit by one of the bullets.
Pitohui did not stand up.
Instead, she used the momentum to collapse on her back, and the moment she took out the XDM pistols from her thigh holsters with her hands, she fired.
The bullet fired with her right hand brushed against LLENN's left shoulder, while the bullet fired with her left hand against LLENN's right shoulder, creating hit effects as if she had been cut. She took her finger away from the P90's trigger.
'If that's how it is!'
LLENN aimed her right shoulder towards Pitohui. Holding her P90 solely in her right hand, she pushed out her gun like a pistol, exposing only half her body.
Pitohui's follow up shots pa.s.sed just a bit away from LLENN's stomach and back. Combined with LLENN's nimble movements, it looked like she dodged the bullets.
'I can do this! If I continue firing while getting closer, I can bring her down!'
LLENN once again placed her finger on the P90's trigger──
'Last job! P-chan!'
She opened fire at full-throttle.
The gunshots of her full-auto barrage reverberated through the meadow,
At the same moment, Pitohui's coquettish voice did as well.
In LLENN's right arm, her P90 pointed upwards. Towards the sky. Naturally, the several bullets fired out of it flew towards the sky.
That was because Pitohui had fired her pistols for the third time with both hands and the 2 bullets made contact with her P90 at the same time, just below the muzzle, forcing it upwards.
The face-up Pitohui, having only lifted her head from the ground, aiming at her with the pistols in both hands, and her daunting smile.
Two Bullet Lines came out from the XDM and pierced LLENN's right and left eyes.
With her vision dyed in deep red, LLENN had a thought.
P-chan answered her.
"Oh come now, it's quite alright."
Pitohui's fourth pistol shot with both hands.
The 2 40 caliber pistol bullets were launched from their respective muzzles at the exact same time and flew at LLENN's face.
And thus, they collided with the P90 that LLENN had used to guard her face, breaking the reinforced plastic.
LLENN began running right away. Towards Pitohui. Carrying her 50 cm-long and 20 cm-wide shield in front of her.
Pitohui - fifth discharge. The 2 bullets again went straight for the P90, hitting the receiver and barrel and creating sparks.
The sixth discharge.
The P90's magazine was shot off, causing the leftover bullets that had been kept in place by a spring to whirl in the air.
The seventh discharge──
Could not be made. By then, LLENN had closed in on Pitohui at G.o.d-speed,
And trampled on Pitohui's face with her right foot, before leaping away. Upon landing, while turning in mid-air, she took off the P90's sling from her body.
Pitohui, with a damage effect on her face that made it look like was bleeding from the nose, used the opening to stand up and thrust her XDMs, which retained an ample amount of spare bullets, in both hands at LLENN.
Before the pistols could fire, they were flicked away from Pitohui's hands.
Because LLENN had made use of her Agility to close in and knock them out with her P90, held by its sling.
Even with tons of holes from bullets in its plastic body and its magazine blown away, the 50 cm-long object served as a fine weapon.
Thus, LLENN heard Pitohui's cheerful voice praising her.
As the two stood facing each other at a 3 metre distance, their motions paused for a moment.
LLENN had released the sling from her right hand, freeing up both her hands. Although she believed that the P90 could still fire, she did not have the luxury of time to load a new magazine.
Having had her two pistols flicked away, both of Pitohui's hands became free as well.
Pitohui began speaking with a smile, just like that time they enjoyed doing a quest together,
"What iiis it? Pito-san."
LLENN answered with a smile just like that time. While answering, she gradually moved her right hand to the back of her waist.
"I'm truly grateful that you came to SJ2. It's thanks to you, LLENN-chan, that I've been cornered like this! I'm truly happy we can have such an exhilarating showdown."
"You're welcome. But because of you, I've been through so much that my stomach hurts!"
Slowly, slowly LLENN's right hand advanced towards her knife's grip.
"Oh my? But you're going to win third place after this, so all's well that ends well. Last time - champion, this time - third place. That's quite the achievement! Well, if I had taken part, I would have been the champion last time, ya know!"
"Oh no no, I'll let you have the third place, Pito-san."
While speaking, LLENN searched Pitohui for any remaining weapons. As far as she could see, there was no weapon that looked like a gun.
The only thing she could see right now were thin knives equipped on the exterior of her boots.They were located in a place that made it easy to draw them out, but their offensive ability did not look all that great, thus, as long as she could avoid getting hit in her vitals, such as being stabbed in the eyes, LLENN's current hit points would be able to hold out.
The more important thing was that fearsome photon sword. Against a 1 metre blade that could easily cut her knife, LLENN had no chance of winning.
'Where is that thing?'
'Seeing as I can't see it, it's probably equipped on her back, but how fast can she draw it out? Is it at a place where she could draw it out in one fell swoop like a master of iai(1)?'
'No, that's not it.'
LLENN concluded. Pitohui's main weapons were, after all, guns. She should have equipped them at the best spots and should give priority to using them. Like those pistols just moments ago.
"Hmm, don't need it. I need nothing but victory. Actually, I don't even need victory. What I want is to 〝survive this battle royale〟, that's all. Victory is a byproduct. Well, I will take what I can get, though."
Distance - 3 metres. Knowing her speed, it was a distance she could cross in a moment while drawing out her knife.
Nonetheless, if Pitohui went into full defence, LLENN's attack would be practically useless. For example, if she closed her legs. For example, if she guarded her nape and face.
If she had even smidgen of a chance to win, that would be during the moment when Pitohui engaged in a fierce attack against her. During that opening. If she went for the hard-to-retrieve photon sword, all the better.
Continuing her search, LLENN continued talking.
"This is a game, so it is not like there is anything wrong with dying. It's not like you'll die IRL."
"That might be the case for you, LLENN-chan. But……, it has a slightly different meaning for me."
Pitohui's tone became more permeated in dreariness. Thus, LLENN asked as cheerfully as she could.
"Oh, what kind of meaning? If you don't mind, please tell me in this final moment. Because we won't really be able to talk once I kill you."
What she needed was an attack on her to grant her a moment's worth of an opening. However, for a big opening.
There was only one way to achieve that.
"Hmm, I don't really think you'd understand even if I did tell you. Hmm, for example── 〝seriously putting your life on the line in the game〟, or something like that?"
As Pitohui said this jestfully, LLENN saw a never before seen level of seriousness in her eyes. Only her lips were smiling.
'Well then, it's about time──'
'Shall I poke the oni a bit. Though it's scary.'
Breathing slowly, LLENN wished for only one thing.
'AmuSphere, I beg of you. At least this once, don't initiate a forced shutdown.'
"Putting your life on the line for a game that's meant to be played? You mean, like that Sword Art Online game that hit the big news? That's──"
Pitohui's eyes as she asked in return seemed like muzzles, causing LLENN's heartbeat to jump up.
However, there was no longer any way back. LLENN formed her biggest smile yet as she declared.
"Awfully stupid! You sure are so lucky you didn't get to play that legendary s.h.i.tgame!"
LLENN could never have predicted.
Would make such a sad expression. Such an expression on the verge of tears. Such an expression of sorrow.
Her right hand began moving for the back of her waist, giving LLENN the eagerly-awaited big opening.
LLENN kicked off the ground.
Before she took her first step, her right hand grasped her knife.
With her second step, she drew out the knife with a reverse grip, while moving in towards the tall Pitohui.
With her third step, she pa.s.sed through, splendidly slashing the inner side of her left thigh.
With her fourth step, she made a big jump to the right side, turning on the spot while twisting her hand,
And the knife's blade slashed on the left side of her nape, adding a new pattern to her tattoo.
With a deep red effect shining from her nape, Pitohui's body collapsed to the right──
And the moment her right hand landed, she jumped up like a spring.
Her move was exactly like that of a breakdancer who seemed to break the laws of physics. Pitohui supported her entire body with just her right arm, and, on top of that, even rose up──
Afterwards, her right arm swooped down at LLENN's face at a vehement speed.
A silver rod. It stretched out throughout LLENN's vision.
A strange sound came from inside her face.
LLENN's body was blown 3 metres away, sliding through the gra.s.s for another 5 metres, until finally, she fell into a large puddle there, and stopped with a splash.
The event only took a moment, but she was able to see the terrifying details clearly.
Pitohui had smacked her with the photon sword she drew out. She did not have the time to press the switch, meaning that she did not bring out the blade of light, but that was only a small mercy.
Her hit points decreased, leaving forty percent. She was still grasping the knife in her right hand, but that seemed like a miracle.
And thus, LLENN looked at Pitohui.
She should have completely cut through the left femoral artery and, more importantly, deeply cut through the carotid artery at her left nape.
If it was an ordinary character, that should have caused death.
'Ah, I forgot. Pito-san's not ordinary.'
That was a late realisation.
"Humph, I got done in."
Pitohui looked up to the sky sorrowfully.
"I only have twenty percent of my hit points left."
'You still have twenty percent left with all that! You monster! Immortal!'
LLENN thought, but, of course, did not put into words. At the edge of the 10 metre-wide puddle, she earnestly thought out what she could do.
Pitohui was 7-8 metres away.
'Naturally, if I come attacking with my knife, she'd either dodge, or cut me in half with her photon sword.
'In that case what should I do what should I do what should I do what should I do.'
Nothing could be done.
Even if LLENN were to throw her knife, with her throwing ability it would hardly even hit its target.
'No dice. I'm cornered.'
'I'm going to get killed very soon.'
'Speaking of which, is f.u.kaziroh alright?'
She still had plenty of hit points. Typical st.u.r.dy f.u.kaziroh.
However, that was meaningless. f.u.kaziroh killing Pitohui was completely meaningless.
'In the end, I'm done for.'
No longer able to come up with something, she gave up on thinking.
In her vision, Pitohui made an unbelievable action.
She picked up the P90 LLENN had used to flick away her pistols. Its magazine had been blown away, but there should still be a single bullet in the chamber. That bullet alone could still be fired.
Pitohui carefully pulled the loading handle to the midpoint, confirming the presence of the bullet in the chamber. Then, she pressed the gun against her shoulder,
"This is P-chan 2?"
'Now that you mention it, it sounds like a weird address', with this thought, LLENN nodded.
"Well then, I'll at least allow you to die by your beloved gun. Don't move, okay."
Pitohui put her finger on the trigger.
Pitohui had fired practically every gun out there, so she probably had experience with a P90 too. And, at this distance, there was no way she would miss.
LLENN's mind was occupied solely by the fact that she would be killed by her beloved P-chan. Victory in SJ2 and obliterating Pitohui was no longer in her mind.
'Oh P-chan, isn't this cruel?'
Just as she began speaking in her mind, an answer came in return immediately.
"Don't give up! Look closely!"
Getting awfully tired of all that nagging, LLENN did as she was told. P90 held by Pitohui. Finger on the trigger. And, a muzzle pointing straight at her.
'I see nothing!'
'I see… no Bullet Lines!'
'I see no red lines that should normally be pointing from the muzzle at my forehead!'
There was but one possibility.
Causing a splash, LLENN stood up.
She tightly grasped the knife in her right hand,
And began running.
"Now then… die… LLENN-chan."
Towards the smiling Pitohui.
Pitohui's finger squeezed the trigger.
"I'll protect LLENN-chan!"
She heard a m.u.f.fled plosive sound,
And Pitohui's short scream.
In her hands, P-chan was able to offer its final act of resistance.
The barrel exploded. Rather than coming out from the muzzle, the fired bullet and the pressure of its gunpowder ruptured the barrel from inside, breaking its body from inside.
The P90 that had already been battered by Pitohui's shooting became a total wreck at this moment.
LLENN predicted all of that.
Because, there was but one reason that could explain why she could not see a Bullet Linedespite Pitohui's finger touching the trigger. Namely──
The gun was unable to fire.
Bullet Lines did not come out of guns that people had forgotten to put bullets in, and guns that had run out of ammo. That also included guns that had broken down.
That is why LLENN realised this.
However, Pitohui did not notice. That was because the Bullet Circle would always be displayed, no matter the condition of the gun.
LLENN bet on that possibility and decisively charged out for the last time.
And so, her bet paid off.
When she thought whether the gun had simply misfired, she realised it was more than that. P-chan, at the very last moment, protected her.
Shouting in her mind, LLENN──
Used this moment when Pitohui's eyes were a.s.sailed by the fragments, preventing her from seeing a thing, to charge at her.
She placed her left hand on the right hand holding the knife in a reverse grip and moved it in front of her chest. It seemed like she was praying.
The moment LLENN jumped away, water spouted out from the puddle she had been sitting in. It was a geyser eruption. If she had still been there, she would have been showered in the boiling water and probably would have instantly died.
With the several metre-high fountain as her background and the sound of a heavy eruption as her BGM,
LLENN crossed the distance between her and Pitohui instantly.
Finally, she jumped, pointing the tip of the knife at the face of the tall Pitohui, and attacked her.
The black blade stretched out for Pitohui's eye, still covered by the damage effect.
The supposed-to-be-blind Pitohui's hands grabbed LLENN's wrists.
This happened several cm before the tip of the knife could stab her eye. Of course, she probably was unable to see, but she was still able to catch her. Perhaps she sensed her bloodl.u.s.t, or perhaps it was just her gut.
Using the momentum, Pitohui collapsed backwards, smacking LLENN in the abdomen with the sole of her right foot midway──
She chose a technique that would be called 〝tomaenage〟 in judo.(2)
With her world spinning, LLENN was thrown on the meadow back-first,
And let out a sound that seemed like it was made by a frog being crushed. The ground was a gra.s.sland, thus no damage was registered.
The next moment, she was pulled by Pitohui, who had stood up and raised her arms, becoming suspended in air.
Pitohui's right hand alone tightly gripped LLENN's hands, holding her knife, by the wrists and lifted them up high. The ground was a long way down from LLENN's feet.
The demon took a deep breath suddenly opened her eyes wide.
"Niiice oooooooone. To think that even your beloved gun would try to protect you."
's.h.i.t, why you.'
LLENN squirmed and struggled, bit with her feet in the air, she was not able to do a thing; she tried kicking Pitohui in the stomach with her knees and feet, but──
Pitohui's Strength was far out of her league, thus it had no effect at all.
No matter how many times she tried defying her, it was all for naught. After all, with LLENN's hand-to-hand combat skills, she could not deal any damage to anyone.
The geyser that had erupted behind her now settled down. Once it stopped, LLENN also stopped her futile attacks.
'Then, how about the knife.'
'If I drop the knife still in my hands, wouldn't it hit Pitohui's face?'
She hesitated giving up her truly final of final weapons for a moment, but she had nothing else to do.
LLENN opened her hands, hoping for a miracle as her knife fell towards Pitohui's face,
And, with a laugh, Pitohui──
Caught it with her mouth.
She held the at least 20 cm long knife blade, on the sharp side no less, with her mouth, in-between her teeth. As a result, LLENN dealt no damage at all to Pitohui,
While Pitohui got a new weapon - the worst result.
Holding the knife with her left hand, Pitohui,
"What a nice knife. You're giving it away? Or, is this your way of telling me that you want me to kill you with it?"
Asked right away.
"Neither, you dummy!"
Irritated, LLENN answered like a child,
"Well then, let's throw this away."
While Pitohui, having said this like a childcare worker soothing a child, swung her left hand, dropping the knife on the gra.s.s.
As LLENN was finally cornered,
"You sure are awesome, LLENN-chan. I should learn from your determination to not give up till the end."
Pitohui uttered some words, unclear whether she was serious or joking.
"M! Come over here."
'Come to think of it, M was also here', LLENN came to a late realisation. He had entirely slipped her mind. If M had been targeting her, she would have undoubtedly been killed.
"Yeah, coming now."
The voice came from behind LLENN.
Still hanging, LLENN looked in that direction and saw M's large figure, holding his M14 EBR. And, what's more,
Wasn't he dragging her partner, f.u.kaziroh?
f.u.kaziroh had lost her helmet and her tied golden hair was uncovered. Some duct tape was wrapped around her wrists, and there was even a piece over her mouth.
She could tell that f.u.kaziroh was alive based on her hit points and she did find it strange that she had not heard her voice even once, but to think that this is what became of her.
And since she herself had been caught as well, team LF became PM4's prisoners.
M, having arrived at a spot 5 metres behind LLENN while dragging f.u.kaziroh with him,
Sat f.u.kaziroh down on the spot. f.u.kaziroh could freely move her legs, but with her hands like that, it was pointless to run away. She remained silent as she sat down in a cross-legged position.
Pitohui gave M and order.
"Find me my XDM, 1 will do. It fell over there."
M quickly searched the gra.s.s and, the moment he found one as ordered, he returned it to Pitohui.
Pitohui took it with her left hand and had M step back. M returned to f.u.kaziroh.
LLENN struggled with her legs, hoping to kick down the pistol, but,
"Yeah yeah, you stay here for a bit, kay."
Pitohui moved her right arm away, thus LLENN had no chance of reaching it. Although she was light, the fact that Pitohui continued to keep her suspended all this time with only her right hand without paying her any heed was terrifying.
Pitohui extended her left hand in the direction of f.u.kaziroh and M, pointing her XDM's muzzle that way.
She fired again.
LLENN had seen tons of incredible sights in SJ2, but──
This one undoubtedly caused her the biggest shock.
The one who was shot and groaned was M, a hit effect shining from both of his large cheeks,
He fell knees-first. The 【Ｄｅａｄ】 marker had yet to lit up, thus he was probably still alive, but he had been shot in the face twice. It had undoubtedly caused substantial damage.
Beside him, f.u.kaziroh was, naturally, greatly shocked. Her eyes opened wide to comical extent.
"W-what the heck are ya doin'! Pito-san!"
Still suspended, LLENN shouted.
"That is not the one; not good that is your ally y'know; hey you get me huh?"
She was so shocked that even her words became jumbled up.
Pitohui glanced at her,
"W-wha, no! Why did you shoot M I can't believe this isn't he your comrade!"
"I have my reasons. Even you, LLENN-chan, were shot by M in the last tournament, right?"
"Ugh── that, well, ehm, umm."
"I'll tell you the reason. ──That M guy… betrayed me."
This sounded familiar, thus LLENN's voice broke down.
However, it seemed that Pitohui had not finished what she wanted to say,
"Moments ago, when your little partner was closing in with her Humvee, just before that happened, this guy began slightly moving the Humvee I was on. He said it was 〝to make it easier for me to aim〟, but that was a lie."
As she suddenly declared this.
Not getting what was going on, all LLENN could do was to remain silent and listen on.
M, too, remained motionless on his knees all this time while light shone from his cheeks.
"This guy, you see, noticed another vehicle closing in through his car mirror. In order to prevent me from noticing this, he intentionally made an unnecessary move with the car to cause some noise with the engine. Then, what purpose was that for? To allow your partner to arrive before I could kill you, LLENN-chan, there you see. Well, even before that, perhaps to leave you, LLENN-chan, alone, he intentionally wiped out your friends, the amazons, though he was allowed to do that."
Despite the fact that M had been so persistent about not bringing his own feelings into a gameand doing everything to help Pitohui.
'His feelings came out from deep down, huh……'
The image of Goushi's face at that moment entered LLENN's mind.
The face of an ikemen, pressing down on her in a kabedon out of true love.
As M remained silent,
"The accused, any objections?"
Pitohui asked him,
While M promptly answered. Pitohui pointed the muzzle of her XDM at M's face,
"Well then, any last words?"
"I… love you."
"I know. But bringing love into a game is a no-go."
The final bullet.
With a bullet having pierced his brow, M's figure on his knees slowly fell forward──
The moment it it collapsed on the gra.s.s, the 【Ｄｅａｄ】 marker lit up.
"He-hey! How could'ya do such a thing Pito-san! Unbelieveable, you oni! You devil! You demon!"
"Oh, demonmaou has a nice ring to it."
When Pitohui said this with serious delight, she suddenly took a breath and, while still keeping LLENN in her right arm, and while grasping her XDM in her left, she started singing all of a sudden.
"Ｍｅｉｎ Ｖａｔｅｒ， ｍｅｉｎ Ｖａｔｅｒ， ｊｅｔｚｔ ｆａßｔ ｅｒ ｍｉｃｈ ａｎ！ Ｅｒｌｋöｎｉｇ ｈａｔ ｍｉｒ ｅｉｎ Ｌｅｉｄｓ ｇｅｔａｎ！"
The song beginning with 〝Mein VaterMain fātā! Mein VaterMain fātā! (Oh father! Oh father!) sounded familiar to LLENN.
It was a song composed by Schubert, 『ErlkönigMaou』.
Her splendid voice was shockingly beautiful and clear, with no signs of a demon at all.
"Hey, Pito-san! I want to give you some applause, so let go of my hands!"
"Hahha. I'm not falling for that."
The moment Pitohui looked at LLENN's face, taking her eyes off f.u.kaziroh, the latter moved her duct tape-tied hands to the back of her head.
Once her hands slid through there, the firm duct tape was cut, restoring f.u.kaziroh's freedom.
Then her right hand moved around her head, grabbed the grip located there, and quickly pulled it out.
f.u.kaziroh's long, golden hair became untied and fell towards the ground. Before it could touch the gra.s.s, f.u.kaziroh broke into a run. While tearing off the duct tape on her mouth with her left hand.
In her right hand was an 〝ornate hairpin〟 that had been keeping her hair in place a moment ago. It was her final weapon, made from a thin and sharp knife blade.
Pitohui noticed her before LLENN──
*Bam bam bam*
And fired her XDM. The bullets. .h.i.t f.u.kaziroh in the shoulders and thigh, but that was not enough to stop her charge.
Letting out a sound of admiration for the tough f.u.kaziroh, Pitohui quickly pulled her left leg and brought LLENN in her right hand in front of her.
Naturally, unable to stab her comrade, f.u.kaziroh pulled the emergency brakes on her charge.
Understanding the situation, LLENN shouted to f.u.kaziroh.
The two words should have sounded like 〝kirekere!〟──
But f.u.kaziroh understood her partner's order.
She jumped towards Pitohui, using LLENN's body as a shield,
The blade made a horizontal slash.
f.u.kaziroh, having spent each day swinging a sword in ALO, did not know the word 〝blunder〟 .
Even with a short knife, she flawlessly seized her target.
It was an arm.
LLENN's slender arm.
Both of them.
Slightly below the point that Pitohui was grasping, she completely cut them in half.
Then, the moment she landed on her left foot, she made a strong kick with her right foot.
A kick at the falling LLENN's back that could send her flying.
In exchange for the majority of her remaining hit points and her two hands, LLENN was able to regain her freedom of movement.
And then, she received a 〝back push〟 from her comrade.
Bellowing, LLENN opened her mouth wide as she went for,
Pitohui's right side of the nape.
A never before heard and strange sound was made as LLENN's teeth sank into Pitohui's nape. A red light came out.
Pitohui, losing LLENN's hands, twisted,
While LLENN, having been shaken off, put more force into her jaw
With only that in mind.
Having her throat bitten and being unable to shake her off──
Pitohui observed how her hit points gradually decreased.
In response to the soliloquy,
LLENN answered with a strong breath from her mouth and nose.
"LLENN… chan…… just as I expected…… you…… brought…… my 〝death〟, huh……"
Without understanding whether her breath was a yes or a no,
"So that's how it is…… I… am going to die… here……"
Just as Pitohui finally muttered this, she slowly fell backwards.
As Pitohui collapsed, LLENN, still holding onto Pitohui's nape with her teeth, followed suit,
LLENN finally opened her mouth.
Then, as Pitohui looked at her with eyes that said she was about to die,
"Pito-san, you will not die! No, you cannot die! Ah, err, I will kill you in just a moment here, but I'm talking about IRL!"
"M san told me! That the Pito-san IRL is planning to die if she dies in SJ2!"
"Wha…… s.h.i.t…… that dummy……"
As Pitohui smiled while collapsed,
"Pito-san, you and me made a promise that day, remember! That 〝We will some day have a serious showdown and if Pito-san loses, you will meet with me IRL. A women's promise〟!"
Without her hands, LLENN smacked Pitohui with the cut off end of her arm.
Burst into laughter with an expression of a dying person,
"Make sure to keep it, please!"
Just as LLENN opened her mouth after a smile.
Then, LLENN firmly bit into Pitohui's windpipe, crushing it completely with the strength of her jaw──
And causing Pitohui's miniscule hit points to run out entirely.
The moment LLENN 〝killed by biting〟 Pitohui──
The bar was silent, as if there was no one there.
In reality, the bar was practically full to the brim with audience members that had been watching the tournament from the start, as well as characters who had returned from the tournament, including the members of SHINC, but,
It was truly silent.
The silence was broken by some gunshots,
"Eh!" "Aah!" "Haah?"
As the two girls on the screen were turned into beehives.
Hit effects shone throughout their bodies as they collapsed on the spot, and 【Ｄｅａｄ】 markers instantly lit up. They died quickly.
Once the scene on screen changed, people saw protector-wearing soldiers of the future on the gra.s.s 400 metres away with smoke coming out from their respective guns.
In the air behind them,
Were these characters.
Meaning that T-S, who had been running around the map the entire time, s.n.a.t.c.hed the biggest profit from the fight of others at the last of last moments.
The storm of bellows and jeers that arose in the bar at that moment could not possibly have reached them in the field, but──
The six members of T-S wisely did not return to the bar.
Match time - 1 hour 35 minutes.
Second Squad Jam concluded.
Winning team - 『T-S』.