Chapter 11 – O
The time on my MP3 player reads 2 o’clock in the afternoon. It took us a while, but we’ve finally reached the power plant outside of Andoria City. We could have arrived here a couple of hours sooner, but I intentionally led everyone through a detour, so I could enjoy the views of the city a little more. Obviously, no one knew that.
Andoria City… I miss this place so much. If possible, I really want to sidetrack to my house for a bit. Thinking about it, I left the house in such a hurry, taking only stuffs that are really important.
As for mom’s body, it’s probably under the custody of the police right now. One of my biggest regret was not being able to give her a proper burial.
…… But now, I guess it’s not the time to worry about that.
The six of us hid behind the corner of the block, peaking over to the power plant. The facility is fenced by a five-meters high concrete wall with barbed wires installed on it. Miki scouted the area right after we came. It seems that the only entrance to the plant is through the front gate. Once inside, it is a straight path into the generator.
“Well, we’re here,” Orica spoke up, “Any idea how we are going to do this?”
“Think you can blow this place up with your thunder spell, Auria?” I asked her.
“I probably can… But I don’t think that is a good idea,” Auria asked, “The fragment is what is generating the powers, right? If we just take the fragment out, then we wouldn’t have to create a hassle. Plus, I don’t know what kind of impact it would create if we really blow up the place. It’s a power plant after all. If the place blows up, there’s no guarantee that it won’t create a bigger explosion.”
I definitely don’t want this place to blow up my Andoria City.
“I know! How about we sneak in like how we did at Auriga Research Center?” Lauress suggested.
“That’s what I was about to suggest too,” Auria said.
“It’s not gonna be easy like last time. We sneak inside the center at night time, remember?” Miki said.
“Not easy… So it should still be possible?” I asked.
“Getting inside the main facility shouldn’t be a problem. The problem is getting over that fence,” Miki explained, “From the looks of it, I bet that they have security alarms on those walls. If we attempt to cross over without a plan, we might as well barge in through the doors.”
“What if we draw their attention to somewhere else?” Sarin suggested, “We can command our Zodiac Beasts to hit the fence behind the plant. That’ll draw attention from the securities. Then, while they are occupied, we’ll sneak inside during the mess. Once we are inside, we can dismiss the beast to safety.”
“That’s not a bad idea. I’ll have Zubenes do it then,” I volunteered.
“… Um… Viola. You know that if our beasts got hit, then we’ll get hurt too, right?” Orica asked.
“Yeah. But that’s okay. My beast’s shields can guard against most firearms, so he should be fine,” I said.
“In that case, I’ll help cover you to,” Orica volunteered as well.
“Haha. If it’s Orica’s beast, then I’m sure these guys are in for a surprise!” Lauress said laughing, “I’m so glad you’re on our side this time!”
“… Oh. You got me curious there. What’s your beast’s ability?” I asked her curiously.
“No no no! Let Viola see it for herself!” Lauress stopped the younger caramel haired girl.
“… Okay then.” The girl shrugs.
That’s… not really a good idea to go into the battle without knowing what is going to happen. But Auria and the others don’t seem to object, so I guess it’s fine…
“Well, that’s okay, I guess.” I shrug too.
If anything, I’m more than confident that Zubenes should be able to handle the firearms just fine. Well, unless they pull out something a lot more powerful, which is unlikely.
“Then it’s settled. Once you get their attention, I’ll handle the guards in front,” Miki said.
“Okay, let’s do it then.”
The six of us moves further away from the corner we were peaking. Once we made sure no one is around, I called out to my humbled servant to the top of my voice.
Answering the call, the iron giant immediately emerges in front of me, standing tall and firm.
“Wow. He looks so cool!” Lauress commented.
“I want you to distract the securities. Do you think you can handle that?” I asked the giant.
“Of course, my lady.”
The giant spoke back to me via telepathy like usual.
“Good. Give me the pictures too then, so I know when I can get you back.”
The giant then runs across the block to the other side, moving towards the rear of power plant.
“What about your beast, Orica?” I turned to the younger caramel haired girl.
“I’ve already sent her out along with Zubenes,” she replied.
When did she do that?
I don’t see her summoning her beast at all…
“Don’t worry. Sandalsuud is on her way. Just give me a cue, and I’ll let her attack immediately,” said Orica.
“I’m on standby my lady. Ready to attack when you give a signal!”
Suddenly, the pictures from Zubenes’s eyes flashed into my sight. The iron giant is hiding behind a corner of the block at the back of the power plant.
That was fast…
“… Okay then. Zubenes has reached his destination, everyone. I’ll make him blow up the fence and call for the attention. Once the alarm goes up, you help cover my beast, okay, Orica?” I said.
“Got it!” the girl replied.
“Okay! Here I go!!!”
On the other side of the power plant, once the giant got my signal, he hurls his circular shield at the concrete fence. The walls might be solid, but it was no problem for Zubenes at all. The moment the wall cracks opened, the siren alerts the whole plant. Even though we are standing on the other side, we could hear the alarm clearly.
“All right! Do we move now!?” Lauress asked eagerly.
“No. Not yet. We need to wait until they get their attention to the back!” I said.
On Zubenes’s side, the iron giant marches into power plant’s vicinity. He looks around, capturing the picture of the whole area for me. The officers are moving towards the rear as expected. They were startled to see the iron giant standing there. As a result, they immediately open fire. Zubenes takes up his right shield and blocks the volley until the clips are emptied. After that, he hurls the left shield at the walls of the power plant facility, dropping the rubbles down on the security officers. The second batch of officers quickly moves in and launches another volley. This time, they came from many directions and some were even shooting from the high grounds. The giant kneels down and puts up his shield, covering himself from the shots, leaving no opening for him to counter.
“Okay, Orica, come in! Are you around there? I don’t see your beast at all!” I asked the younger caramel haired girl.
“Yeah. I’m on it!”
Suddenly, a stream of water gushes out of nowhere and sweeps the batch on Zubenes’s right, destroying the officers’ formation. The water stream then forms the shape of a transparent sea serpent as it thrashes at all the officers trying to reform their lines.
…That must be Orica’s beast. He looks so powerful…
The officers tried to shoot the serpent, but the bullets simply passed through the serpent’s body, creating ripples as they went through. It was as if the serpent was made out of water, so there is no way the bullets could have done any harm.
“Viola! Take care of the batch on the left!” Orica ordered me back.
“I got it!”
Since the batch on the right has been taken care of, Zubenes’s right shield is now available for attack. While blocking the volley with the left, Zubenes hurls his right shield forward and swipes the officers that are forming a stand at the left side.
“I think we got enough attention. Miki!” I turned to the dark pony tailed girl.
The dark twin pony tailed girl hops out of the corner and rushes at the officers guarding the front gates of the facility. The two of them were distracted by the siren, but they were still able to notice Miki rushing at them.
“Hey!? Who are you!? Stop right there!” One of the two officers threatens the girl and aims his gun at her. But Miki shoves a spear made of ice forward at the officer, piercing the gun and pinning the officer’s shoulder against the gate.
“Oh crap!!! Zodiac Angels!?” The other officer cries loudly and aims his gun at the girl as well. However, before he could do anything else, the blonde archer next to me quickly takes out her bow and shoots an arrow at the officer. The arrow flies passed the twin pony tailed girl and hits the guard, knocking his aim away. Before he could get his aim back, Miki already got close to him and knocks him down with her dagger’s hilt.
The guard who was pinned against the gate tries to send an emergency signal for reinforcements, but Miki quickly knocks him out as well.
Once everything is taken care of, Miki turns around and waves at us, giving us the signal to move on.
“Okay. We’re going in. Orica, dismiss your beast!” I said.
I send a signal to Zubenes, dismissing him from the area. Once he is gone, the visions I saw through his eyes are cut off as well.
“I don’t see the pictures on Zubenes’s side any more. Let’s hurry!” I told everyone and led them towards the plant.
“We better hurry. These guys seem to know about us. They could be calling for reinforcements any time,” Miki told me as we rushed inside.
“Yeah. Let’s just wrap this up and leave,” I replied.
The six of us quickly barged through the front gate into the main facility. The lobby is completely empty as the staffs have been evacuated to safety.
“So, where to now!?” Lauress asked.
“To the generator! We’ll snatch that bloody stone and we’re out of here!” I said.
Auria quickly moves towards the computer terminal behind the reception counter and searches for some information.
“…… Okay. I got the map of this place everyone. Follow me!” The elder caramel haired girl announced and leads everyone into the plant.
Wow. That was fast.
Following her, the six of us run inside along the halls until we reach the huge double metallic door that says ‘Generator Room’. Once inside, we found ourselves in a tall and wide cylindrical room, about 10 meters in radius. The bulb on the ceiling is the only light source in the room. There are two levels of balcony lining on the walls, so the only lighted area is in the middle of the room, and the walls on the ground level are all under the shadows of the balcony above. On the other side of the entrance is a machine similar to the one we saw in mom’s footage. In the middle of the machine, a circular chamber radiates an eerie reddish glow.
“Okay! That must be the fragment!” Orica cried.
“Right. I’ll crack it opened now!” Sarin said and moves for the generator.
“I can’t let you do that.”
An unfamiliar voice suddenly spoke up, startling everyone. After that, a huge muscular man drops down from above, barring the path between us and the generator. This man wears a thick black fiber vest over tight leather suit. His right arm is equipped with a huge iron gauntlet.
“Holy moly. What the heck have this guy been eating!?” Lauress cried upon witnessing the man’s height. He stood somewhere around two to three meters tall and his body shape simply screams that he has been through some serious workouts.
“So curious to see girls like you running inside a dangerous room like this. You must be the infamous Zodiac Angels my boss has been talking about,” the man spoke up, tightening the gauntlet on his right hand.
“Well, we are. And based on what I know and the confidence you had to show up alone against us, you must be a Star General, am I right?” I interrogated him.
“Woah!? For real!?” Lauress cried.
“Hmph. So, you’ve heard of us!” the muscular man smirked, “That is right. I am Star General, codename Arcturus!”
“Just our luck, running into one right after they’ve been deployed,” Miki muttered nervously.
“We just wanted to take the fragment away without a fight. But with you showing up, I supposed we can’t settle this peacefully, right?” I asked, reaching for the spear strapped behind my hips.
“Of course, girl. The stone you are trying to steal is the property of the corporation. I cannot let you have it. But more importantly, now that you’ve come this far, I cannot let you continue living as well!”
“Well then, I guess we just have to do this the conventional way!”
My right hand pulls the spear out to its full length and charges forward at Arcturus. Miki, Sarin, and Orica closely followed me, although Sarin falls slightly behind due to the weight of her axe.
While we move forward, Lauress shoots three arrows from behind us at the muscular man, officially opening this battle. Arcturus raises his iron gauntlet up and blocks the arrows shot at him. His physical prowess is indeed impressive just like what Myria explained, so I was not surprised to see him block Lauress’s arrows.
I swing my spear, aiming for his left unequipped arm, but Arcturus blocks the slash with his right arm and brushes my spear away with ease, sending my body flying into the air.
This guy’s strength is beyond ridiculous!
I quickly flip back in the air to land safely. Meanwhile, Orica and Miki launched a volley of attacks, alternating between whip lashes and dagger dance. However, both of their attacks do not seem to do that much damage to Arcturus at all, as he directly took on many hits on his armor without even flinching. In a single arm swipe, the Star General smacked Orica far away from him. Miki was able to foresee it, so she quickly hops away before she was hit.
“Orica!” Auria cried out to her sister who was blown away. However, the girl simply flips back in the air like I did and lands safely.
“I’m fine, sis! Don’t worry about me!” the girl told her sister.
For someone with that slender body shape, Orica appears to be surprisingly durable. I heard Lauress and Auria talking before we arrived at this plant. It seems like Orica’s ability heavily favors defense.
Anyway, Sarin finally closes in at Arcturus and swings her giant axe at him. Even though the muscular man was able to parry the smash with his gauntlet, the impact from Sarin’s deft strike forced him to suffer a stagger and took a step back. Immediately after the stagger, Lauress quickly shoots another arrow straight at the man’s body, hitting his armor. Even though it does not seem to do any significant damage, Arcturus still staggers back another step. Miki quickly rushes in while his guard is still opened and swings her dagger upwards, creating a spiky icicle ramp from under. Arcturus turns down his gauntlet and blocks the ramp as it forms.
“Just as I heard. Zodiac Angels really are an opponent to reckon,” the muscular man spoke up while he punches the ramp, shattering it instantly. After that, he aims his right fist at Sarin – the closest target. The silver haired girl parries the jab with her axe but the impact blows her away several meters from him.
Even Sarin and her axe are blown away that far from just a single punch!
“What the heck is that gauntlet!? All of our attacks aren’t connecting at all!!!” Lauress grumbled.
“You didn’t think you are the only ones with fancy toys, do you? This is Nebula Corp’s finest invention – The [Alpha Arms], created from the strongest alloy on Athenia! Don’t expect to put a dent on this gauntlet without a fight!!!!”
“[Thunder Flare]!!!!” While we were all busy handling this man’s ridiculous physical prowess, Auria announces out loudly, and suddenly, a cluster of electricity surrounds the muscular man.
“What’s this!?” Arcturus tries to break free of the Thunder Flare’s embrace, but the electric currents heavily burden his movements.
“Now, Viola!!!!” Auria cried.
I quickly swing my lance down, releasing a wave of energy at the Star General. Since he could not lift his gauntlet up to block the blast, his fiber vest took full impact from the wave, causing him to take a step back. Before he could regain his balance, I thrust my spear forward, releasing a thrust of energy that reinforced the previous wave and blew him across the room. The muscular man cried as his body flew against the wall and lies down on the ground, unconscious.
“…Is he… dead?” Auria asked as she takes a step towards me.
“No way. Don’t you see how thick that guy’s armor is?” Miki said, “Let’s just finish the job!”
“W… Wait!!!!” Auria stopped the pony tailed girl from making any more moves, “We’re here for the fragment! Let’s just take the fragment and leave.”
“What? You taking pity on this guy!?” Miki grumbled.
“Miki’s right, Auria! If we leave him here, he’ll definitely come back to get us again!” Lauress agreed.
“But… Do we really have to kill him?”
“You’re way too soft, Auria,” Miki said, “I thought I’ve told you this many times. If you wanna live while on this road, you forget mercy and sympathy!”
“Well well well. Look at what we have here.”
That moment, a voice echoes from the balconies above this room. After that, the sound of footsteps echoes the place as a man in white shirt and light grey pants walks onto the balcony overlooking this room. The man seems to be in his 50s, judging from the amount of wrinkles on his face. His head is still covered with hair, although they are already completely grey.
“…Orson?!” Sarin cried.
“Who the heck is he!?” Lauress asked the silver haired girl.
“Where on Athenia did you grow up, Lauress? That man… He is the president of the Nebula Corporation!” Miki replied.
Just as I thought…
That man looks extremely familiar. I’ve seen him from the news several times, but I’ve never expect to see the real guy.
So this is him…
Orson Nebula… The president of the Nebula Corporation – the big boss of our enemy!
And here we have the grand entrance of the boss of the evil Nebula Corporation! o.o
After talking about the corporation for so many times, now the angels finally get to meet with the head honcho of the enemies.
Stay tuned for next week’s update 😀