Geek Mob Mercenary (LIGHT NOVEL VERSION) Chapter 24

Mob #24: “So, it means we’ll have a one-on-one duel…”

The enemy intercepting force attacked their own allies, triggering the start of the attack by the allied left wing on the enemy’s main force.
With the ally main force already engaged, the betraying enemy intercept unit, the ally left wing unit, and Miss Rosweisse’s right wing support unit which destroyed the enemy left wing and rebel forces added in, there’s no way we can lose now.
However, while they’re just pirates and scummy mercenaries, it’s not like they don’t have any skilled members, and the enemy left wing guys who fled from Miss Rosweisse have joined up too, so we can’t let our guard down too much.
For now, I’ll switch the enemy intercept unit to allies on the friendly-enemy identification device.
As expected, the group that went kinda berserk is coming at us laying down an abnormal barrage.
They’re probably trying to withdraw from the battlefield.
[Stop that group charging in now! Don’t let them get away!]
With that intercept order from the main force, our left wing including me went for that group.
But they weren’t just small fry.
From the hornet emblem, they’re probably the same pirate group or scummy mercenary band, but their skill was no joke.
They didn’t just blindly charge in going berserk, they’re trying to break through the left wing and attack the ally main force!
In that case, attacking from the sides or rear is still safer than blocking them head-on.
“Was there a pirate group with that emblem? Don’t think I’ve seen it before?”
While idly chatting that, I increased speed and attacked their flank.
Fortunately, I was able to sink some drones and 1 small craft.
But of course, counterattacks came.
While the drones are one thing, the manned small craft had crazy good mobility.
Same or better than the intercept guys from earlier.
But in exchange, their penetration power seemed to drop a bit, as the vanguard slowed slightly.
Others were also attacking from the sides and rear.
Still, the penetration of these [Hornet Unit] didn’t drop that much.
If these guys and the intercept guys had done a full frontal assault from the start and timed it with the rebels, I feel like we would have lost.
Anyway, we have to stop this [Hornet Unit] charge.
As I tried to [stick close] and aim at one large combat boat, Lady Fialka slipped through the drones and small craft first and went to latch onto the large combat boat.
Figuring Lady Fialka will be fine, some of us including me conducted covering fire to support her charge.

☆ ☆ ☆

[Side: Fialka Tiursad]

With support fire from allies, I close in on the enemy large combat boat.
At times like these, afraid of friendly fire, the barrage from medium and large ships dies down. Since hitting me risks hitting ally ships.
Somehow managing to latch onto the large combat boat and start attacking, a small craft with blue coloring appeared.
Like the other ships, it had the hornet emblem outlined in white, so I guess it’s the [Blue Hornet]?
I was sure I’d get surrounded after passing each other in a head-on position, but for some reason the main force took their distance, leaving some machines behind as they followed the vanguard.
Well, that’s more important to them, so it’s only natural.
And the few left took up position to block the route to the main force.
“A one-on-one huh…? Fine by me! I’ll take you on!”
I could run, but they’d surely chase me down, so better to strike them here.
I opened the throttle to close distance and attack the [Blue Hornet] from behind, but they evaded all my attacks as if they had eyes in the back of their head.
Just when I think I’ve got them, they dodge and almost get behind me right away.
No joke! I have to beat [that guy]!
Yet! To lose here of all places!
My impatience was a mistake. In the blink of an eye, my reactions dulled.
They wouldn’t miss that opening, and my engines and part of the thrusters got shot, exploding without destroying the ship, but my craft was now battlefield wreckage. Just staying alive is a blessing…
[Young miss! Hurry! Escape quickly!]
As Sherry urges, I need to escape quickly, but will they let me get away…?
The escape pod switch was still active. But escape was nearly impossible.
Because the machines that were blocking the route to the main force earlier were now coming at me.

★ ★ ★

I knew Lady Fialka had begun a one-on-one with someone, but stopping the [Hornet Unit] charge took priority, and with Lady Fialka’s opponent being someone who beat her, they must be quite skilled, so I focused on hindering the charge.
Managing to latch onto some large combat boats and badly damage them thanks to a few people let us greatly lower the [Hornet Unit]’s penetration speed.
Just when I thought we’d get the flagship-like large combat boat too, a transmission came from someone.
[Please help the young miss!]
On screen appeared the android maid who was with Lady Fialka, I think.
While I’m told to help, stopping the [Hornet Unit] takes priority, and Lady Fialka’s opponent is surely quite strong.
Why contact me anyway? Why did you send that message to me in the first place?
Saving heroine types like Lady Fialka is a job for protagonists with plot armor!
Or in this case, is the [Blue Hornet] who tried to turn the defeated enemy but was obstructed the protagonist?
As I thought that, the android maid let out a grieved voice.
[Please help! They intend to shoot down the young miss’s escape pod!]
Shooting down escape pods is prohibited by engagement regulations, so it should be fine, but there are guys who’ll calmly fire away.
“It was around where you fight the [Hornet Unit] earlier, right?”
[Yes! Please help the young miss!]
“Please call out to others besides me too. Since her opponent that beat Lady Leopard is dangerous for us too.”
With a Bishop-rank Fialka beaten, her opponent must be quite skilled, so surrounding them with numbers is advantageous.
When I rushed to the scene, 2 enemy machines had taken position to prevent Lady Fialka’s immobile craft from launching the escape pod, while the blue machine and 2 others oversaw the situation.
I see. So they took that method huh.
Shooting down escape pods violates engagement regulations, but it’s not a violation before they try to escape.
In their heyday, nobles would immobilize their target before launching the escape pod, then surround them to seal off escape routes and batter them to death. Some records describe that much.
Anyway, I quickly closed in on those 2 machines while suppressing them with beams to make them take distance from Lady Fialka, who promptly launched her escape pod. That should be fine now. Her maid will probably recover it.
But the problem comes after.
The one who likely beat Lady Fialka is that blue colored machine.
Looking at it, it seems customized based on Thrias Guita Inc’s latest top-of-the-line model [Storm Zero] that Ms. Noswile rode.
I was sure they’d surround me, but for some reason the allies took distance and took up position to block the route to the main force.
“So in other words, you want a one-on-one…”
No joke! That’s a job for protagonists with plot armor!
Or in this case, is the [Blue Hornet] whose attempt to turn the defeated enemy was obstructed the protagonist?
Since their ship is undoubtedly faster than mine, escaping will be hard.
But I have to buy time for Lady Fialka’s recovery.
So I’ll use decoy [feigned destruction]!
Diverting all energy except maneuvering, armaments, and radar to propulsion, I desperately tried to get behind them.
This way, when they take my rear later, they’ll be less wary.
That said, the protagonist would see through this.
I’ll prepare a second shot.
While thinking that, I repeated combat orbits of turns, somersaults, and twists to get behind them.
They did the same, occasionally suppressing me with beams as they tried to maneuver into position.
Meanwhile, neither ally nor enemy approached or attacked.
While I’d expect no enemies, why no allies? Did the maid fail the call for help?
Anyway, now while no enemies interfere is the chance.
I opened the throttle and tried to fly a straight line. The opponent follows.
When the beam grazes my hull, it’s an awful feeling.
And the moment I think we’re sufficiently apart from their allies, I simultaneously raise the nose – do an instant full thrust from the attitude control thrusters on the underside – and cut main boosters.
This causes my craft to spin and leap over the enemy’s, and timing a beam release here ensures they’re a sitting duck.
But as expected of the protagonist. Sensing it, they narrowly dodge left by making their ship vertical. Just as I thought!
So in the direction they’d likely turn, I jettisoned 2 photon torpedoes as if abandoning them.
Then reopening the main boosters, once clear of the [Blue Hornet]’s turning radius, I did a vertical turn to get behind them.
Then they try to escape using their speed. So I fired beams to draw their attention here, which makes the jettisoned photon torpedoes hard to notice, and if they panic when noticing and jerk the rudder, an opening appears.
So the photon torpedoes are painted black without gloss for camouflage.
Even shooting them down for removal, the blast would make ship control difficult.
Whether it worked was a gamble, but they nicely tried to evade. That moment!
The beam hit their boosters and part of the engines, robbing them of decent maneuverability.
I could’ve shot them down here, but the [Hornet Unit] main force is more important, and the guys who had taken position to block their route to the main force came to rescue the [Blue Hornet], so I casually fired a photon torpedo as a distraction, detonating it when the allies were hit, then left that combat space.
Then going after the [Hornet Unit] main force, they were withdrawing from combat space under fierce interception from the ally main force and pursuit by the left wing while taking damage.

Merely 15 minutes after the enemy intercept unit attacked allies, both wings were annihilated, and with the apparent ally elite intercept unit betraying them, then the [Hornet Unit] that tried penetrating the main force also retreating, their defeat was certain.
Moreover, with most of the remaining enemy main force apparently riffraff like scummy mercenaries, pirates, and punks as I expected, the Baroness’ side readily fully surrendered.
With Count Roselo accepting their surrender and saying:
[I have accepted the surrender of Baroness Griente’s army. End combat and begin rescuing survivors and recovering the injured.]
And stating his new resolve with:
[Soldiers and mercenaries. Thanks to you all, my territory was protected and the paintings will be returned. Some died in this battle. I will pray for the repose of their souls, and continue governing in a way that will not shame them.]
With these words of renewed determination, this battle has ended.

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