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—Regardless of it being good or bad, Michelle found it rather sad.

But more than anything else, Michelle wondered if this situation could not be used to their advantage, and so she put her mind to work.

Karman and his men betrayed them?

No, they were clearly still loyal to the Empire.

Well, it was less the Empire and more South City, that had saved them.

On top of that, he seemed to be a little shaken by hearing the situation regarding the resistance.

This meant there was a good likelihood of Karman becoming one of Michelle’s personal cooperators.

Especially if she gave him internal information, yes, he would definitely help her.

But why did the mysterious enemy allow Karman and his men to live?

It was not a newly developed weapon from the other cities. If it were, it would have killed all witnesses.

So was it really survivors from the fallen city then…?

Nothing was certain, except that it was not related to the Empire.

Then perhaps if she explained the situation…

At worst, it would mean she would have to kill it herself, but it might be worth trying to have a talk with it.

After considering all of this, she came to a decision.

The truth was, that while Michelle was one of the rulers, she had few subordinates she really trusted.

There was her adjutant, Jegyll, and only a few others.

Everyone obeyed her to be sure, but it was only because she had the strength of the Empire at her back.

If she were to declare that the resistance were to be forgiven, then there would be some who would not follow her.

Not only that, but it could result in yet another riot. Perhaps Michelle and those close to her would be purged.

And…

(From what information I have secretly gathered, there are clearly dissident within the Empire… )

Yes, while Michelle was at the top of the ladder, she did not put her trust in the Empire.

In that case, wasn’t there a good chance that this enemy, which had nothing to do with the Empire, could become a valuable collaborator?

She hoped so.

And because of that—

“Damn him! So he has betrayed me!! You shall pay for this, Karman!!”

She made a show of being furious.

And since all were too scared to approach her when she was like this, she had a good excuse to tell everyone to wait while she went out to the field alone.

………

……

–And now.

Michelle repressed her feelings of surprise as she faced Veldora and the others.

There was a large man with gold hair and dark skin.

A combat doll with a mask.

And a small girl that she could tell nothing about.

She was able to single out Beretta, as the reports had described the mask.

However—

(This person called Beretta is indeed very powerful. But this man called Veldora—)

–He had immense power that was incomparable to Beretta.

Michelle had a specific method for measuring such things, and she could see through just about anyone.

She could see just just how much energy people contained within them.

Beretta’s was immense.

It was nearly unbelievable, but not exceeding understanding.

However, this man called Veldora…

She had tried provoking him, but this was not the kind of person you wanted to get truly upset.

And so she continued her act.

She would use this opportunity to test him.

Judge his true nature and determine whether or not he could be trusted.

◆◆◆

The fight began.

“So, are you ready? Give it all you got. I will show you how outmatched you are!”

Veldora declared and Michelle moved.

A flashed cut the air in half.

Michelle’s blonde hair seemed to leave a trail of blinding light as she rushed towards Veldora.

It was her right fist that was unleashed with immense power.

Machinery Arts–Vibration Fist Wave.

Even without making contact with your target, you could apply ultra waves of energy, causing an internal change that put molecules into a high-vibration excited state.

While it may have looked like a simple punch—it was so fast that the eye could not see it—and it had more than enough power to kill in the first hit.

It was a combat art unique to this world–Machinery Arts.

For cyborgs whose joints could move freely, old ideas of combat had to be changed.

Furthermore, as their fists were made of superalloys, the one who punched them would usually be the one who was hurt.

As this was all pointless, it became necessary to develop a new way to fight that allowed you to remain safe while also dealing damage to your opponent.

Machinery Arts was created during this time as a method that did not rely on direct contact.

Veldora received Michelle’s punch head-on.

He parried Michelle’s right fist with the palm of his left hand, then his torso moved forward to the left.

From Michelle’s point of view, Veldora’s arm should have blown off, and his entire body should have taken damage by that point.

She had not meant to kill him, but just deal a degree of damage.

However, Veldora was completely unharmed.

His body was made up of mysterious substances called magic essence and he was able to freely parry the vibrations.

If it had been against Beretta, he would have taken damage by this unknown attack.

However—Physical damage was not effective on Veldora.

Translations by AsianHobbyist Website.

And in a world where this magic essence did not exist, Veldora was an anomaly.

There was no time to think about the laws of nature.

Just as Beretta had been stumped by the unknown, Michelle was also confused by the irrationality of Veldora.

Veldora then tried to move behind Michelle, but things didn’t go too smoothly.

While she was confused by Veldora, her instincts caused her to act quickly in dealing with any situation.

Her momentum was not killed as she used the right foot she had planted in the ground as an axis and swung her left leg for a swipe kick.

Veldora saw this and pulled in his jaw and bent backwards to dodge it.

He continued to rotate in the air and landed a few feet away from Michelle.

And with that, he had avoided being hit by her attacks twice in a row.

“I’m surprised. I didn’t think you would be able to dodge my attacks.”

“Kahahaha! Very impressive. This is more amusing than I could have ever imagined! Beretta! I think this woman might be stronger than you.”

Veldora said with a good-humored laugh.

It had been a while since Veldora had last looked so important.

But there was one thing that one shouldn’t forget, and that was that Veldora was Zegion’s master.

Due to Veldora’s usual words and actions, it was easy to think that he wasn’t much, when he was in fact a first-rate martial artist.

In one strike, he had seen the true nature of Michelle’s art, and had even acquired it.

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