[Vol. 4 pt. 4]
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The battle officially began, and our enemies were on their way to try and destroy my beautiful, pure, innocent greenhouse.

And by “destroy,” I mean that they were going to pop the heart-shaped balloons on it that symbolized its health while having no actual effect on the greenhouse’s state.

But I had confidence we would be able to win the fight. Did I have a reason to feel extra confident at all? No, not really. If anything, there was reason to feel the opposite of confident seeing as how we struggled with the last two battles and hadn’t upgraded any towers nor build new ones yet, and we were going to be in an even harder battle, but I felt confident nonetheless.

This is what we call protagonist plot armor.

 

“Did you come to be used as a weapon? I could always throw you into the—”

Window vanished before I could finish talking.

Though, she reappeared the next moment.

Also, I’ve nerfed the slimes. They’re like 99% less lewd now. Their slime isn’t so… thick and clumpy anymore. Now it’s a lot more watery and drips off, so anybody who gets slime will basically just look wet.

And not wet in the fanservice way.

Nobody except Vala wears clothes that should give fanservice when wet, and she’s not here, so yeah. The slimes can be fought without potentially raising the age rating of the series.

Then again… enough stuff has probably happened that semi-lewd, slimy fanservice is probably kind of weak in comparison. Especially with a lot of the previous… implications.

Oh well.

(insert vanishing SFX here)

 

Window vanished more lazily than ever before as she simply… disappeared. There was no sound nor visual effect to go with her disappearance. She was simply there and then not.

I sighed and returned my attention to the battlefield where our front line had no problem dealing with the first wave of enemies. I also shouted over to Clawdia to let her know about the change to slimes in case that was something she might have been worried about. After all, she was a princess-y type. I doubted that she wanted to get covered in lewd slime.

But at the same time… she was Clawdia. That sounded exactly like something she might like to become the victim of.

Yet, to my surprise, she was not worried, disappointed, nor relieved to hear about the change.

“I’m in a mecha. It couldn’t touch me even if it wanted to, and it doesn’t look lewd when on a robot, nya,” Clawdia responded.

Thinking about it, she had a point. Who would get excited about something like a robot getting covered in slime? If nobody would get excited over something like that, then it couldn’t be called lewd in the first place.

Then again, knowing what the internet was like, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was somebody out there who enjoyed the idea of robots being covered in thick slime.

That was when I noticed something.

“Wait, Clawdia, your robot has a gatling gun and missiles. Why are you only using your fists?” I asked.

“Because you ordered me to fight at the front line, nya. All I can do is use my mecha’s fists—wait, did you call it a robot again?” Clawdia asked as she pointed her mecha’s arm-mounted gatling gun at me.

“You’re just hearing things. I said mecha.”

Clawdia narrowed her eyes at me, which made the robot—mecha, narrow its eyes at me, too. “Hmph. Anyways… I can only use my gun at a distance, and the rockets are my special that you’ve never ordered me to use before.”

“You can just use them on your own, you know.”

“It’s not the same, nya! You’re supposed to be like, the controlling player who orders us what to do!”

“Alright, I get it. Then, why don’t you step far enough back behind the dogs to support them with your guns and only engage in melee when you need to? And you can help the bees shoot down the bats.”

“Fine. I’ll do it, but it’s not like I’m doing it because I want to follow your orders or anything like that, bakanya.”

Clawdia might have been back to acting like her usual self, but at least she still followed orders when acting like herself.

And I got to see the strength of her gatling gun once the first escort bats flew overheard. Her gun was capable of applying much more consistent damage to them than the bees since the bees had more time to wait between firing their stingers, but Clawdia’s gun spun and fired with no end in sight until not a single enemy remained. Even so, while she might have applied consistent damage that constantly chipped away at the bats’ health, she did less overall damage. Each stinger fired from the bees did a bigger chunk of damage than what she could do with her gun in the same amount of time constantly firing.

In melee, too, she struggled to out-perform our strongest dogs. Her only advantage over the dogs was doing blunt damage rather than cutting damage to the skeleton cats. So, basically, she seemed like a “hero unit” who was good at both melee and ranged, but excelled in neither. More of an all-arounder, and she was our only all-arounder at that.

And when a particularly large swarm of skeleton cats and slimes approached our front line, I figured it was time to test out Clawdia’s special move.

“Clawdia! Fire your rockets!” I shouted. I figured her rockets were her special, anyways.

“You have to call it out by name!” Clawdia shouted in response.

“What?!”

“It’s not the same if you don’t order me to use my special ability by its exact name, nya!”

“Then tell me the name!”

“Super Mecha Rocket Launch 9001!”

I blinked a few times before sighing. “Never mind.”

“Come on! Shout it! Order me to use it, you coward!”

Hearing her call me a coward caused my eyebrow to twitch. Even if it was over something trivial and stupid, I wanted to prove her wrong. “Fine! Clawdia! Use your Super Mecha Rocket Launch 9001!”

Part of me was convinced that it was a joke—that she was just messing with me and trying to get me to say something stupid, and now she was going to laugh at me for saying it.

I could already imagine it. I imagined her raising one of her mecha’s hands over her cockpit to laugh at me while mocking me for actually saying it.

But instead…

The eyes of her mecha glowed red as she planted its feet firmly against the ground, holding its arms out while leaning its torso forward to point the rocket pods mounted to the mecha’s shoulders toward the approaching enemies.

The top row of each pod fired first. Then the middle row, and then the bottom row. Six missiles per row, thirty-six missiles in total. They were small, but they completely blanketed a circular zone on the lane with explosions that decimated everything unfortunate enough to get caught in the radius.

“Yeah, I should really remember to order everybody to use their special powers more often,” I said.

Probably. You can’t even blame not using this before on a plot hole or anything. This is just you being a bad commander who isn’t making use of everything available to you. Same with the crafting. Like, there are so many things you could craft, but you’re not touching any of it. You could have way better armor and a stronger weapon right now. Your tools could also be upgraded to make gathering easier and to get new resources from gathering. Basically, if you do poorly, it’s entirely because you suck and are dumb instead of anything else.

Or in other words.

git gud, scrub

 

“Wait, Window, before you go, I have something else to say,” I said.

What? Are you going to admit you’re bad and that—

 

I grabbed Window and prepared to throw her. “I call this the ‘Informational Status Throw.’”

Throwing her like a flying disc, I sent Window flying down the path toward the enemies in my lane. The dogs up ahead saw the spinning Window coming and ducked down to avoid having their heads cut off, not that that would have happened even she hit them in the necks.

More importantly, she crashed into the skeleton cats like a bowling ball into pins… if the bowling ball was a whirling blade of death that caused their skeletons to break apart at the touch.

Papa! You’ve unlocked your first special ability!

 

“Luca, it’s dangerous to be out here,” I said.

Hmph, it’s fine. Nothing bad would ever happen to me and me saying this isn’t foreshadowing or setting up a flag or anything. Also, Mama is on cooldown now because you used her for your ability, so she can’t be your informational status window.

 

“Well… when you put it that way, alright. And did I seriously unlock a new ability from that?”

You did! Well, I created it for you since you didn’t have one yet.

Special Ability: Informational Status Throw!

Cooldown: 90 seconds

Throw Mama—umm, Window, like a boomerang to knock down enemies and stun them while dealing moderate damage!

 

“So it actually is a special ability now.”

Mhm!

 

“Good girl, Luca. Papa is proud of you. Also, no matter what your mother says, don’t change anything about it. Well, unless you want to decrease the cooldown timer so that I can throw her even more.

Ehe, silly Papa. You have to upgrade the ability if you want to do that! Also… that might make Mama really dizzy if she gets thrown even more often.

 

“She exists to be thrown, so that’s alright.”

Oh, okay! Also, you have new enemies.

 

I turned my head to look at what she was talking about. Surely enough, two new types of enemies appeared, one type for each lane.

The first new enemy looked like a cat with rotting skin, but in a cartoonish way. It didn’t look disgusting like a real zombie would. As for the second enemy, it was a black slime full of random bones jostling around inside of its body as it wiggled its way down the path.

Okay… I’m back. Everything is still spinning a little, but I can’t even be mad for you doing that after all the fire disses I’ve dropped on you today.

Anyways.

New Enemy Discovered!

Black Jelly

Threat: ★★★★

HP: Not a lot.

Damage: 10

Defense: 2

This jelly might not have as much health, damage, nor defense as the previous jellies… but it makes up for that with a deadly ranged attack. They are smart enough to stay out of range of your melee fighters and will spit bones with machine gun speed at their enemies.

 

Zombie Cat

Threat: ★★★★★

HP: They actually have really high health.

Damage: 13

Defense: 1

Zombie cats might have almost no defense, but they have a high amount of health unless you figure out the secret ways to damage them quickly! Also, they have really high damage. Also, if any of your units get defeated within three seconds of being bitten by a zombie cat, another zombie cat spawns in their place. Heroes who get bitten and defeated turn into mini-bosses.

 

Both of the new enemies actually sounded like serious threats. Now, not only were we up against swarms of skeleton cats, jellies who could debuff us, and flying enemies who could fly over our ground units and bomb them, but we were also now up against ranged ground units who could pick apart our front lines and zombie cats who could quickly overwhelm us if allowed to snowball.

These were enemies that we simply couldn’t wait to reach our lines to try and defeat. We needed to deal with them before they even had a chance to attack us.

But that would turn out to be much easier said than done, and we were only a couple of waves away from reaching the boss wave.

“Dogs! Pull back as much as you can to let the ranged towers weaken them as much as possible first!” I shouted.

The dogs were quick to obey and fall back. They were only allowed to go a certain distance away from their towers, so they switched from being as far up the lanes as allowed to as far back as they were allowed. This gave the archer and trebuchet towers time to weaken the enemy ground forces before reaching our front lines. Fortunately, the black jellies were wiped out before they could get in range of our line, and the zombie cats were weakened enough that they fell soon after reaching the dogs. I noticed that some of the dogs became infected the zombie cats seeing as how their bodies turned a flashing green color while infected, but they returned to normal after a few seconds.

As for Clawdia, she unleashed her fury upon our enemies unlike anything I had ever seen before. “How dare you raise your paws against your queen, nya! Do you not understand that you still serve me even in death?! Dying and turning into zombies is no reason to forget who you serve!”

At that point, Clawdia was actually ahead of the front lines so that she could help the ranged towers by weakening the enemies as much as possible. She just made sure to walk backwards while firing at them to stay out of their range, so she still avoided engaging in any melee combat.

Overall, though, the battle was actually going pretty smoothly even though I started to worry that we might be in trouble with the newest enemy types.

I had no idea that I started to relax too soon before I saw what was coming with the wave before the boss’s wave.

Legions of skeleton and zombie cats marched together down the lanes. There was the occasional jelly of each variety mixed in among their ranks, and two flights of escort bats with bomber bats appeared overhead.

The number of enemies was absurd and it was the only the beginning of the wave. I had no idea how we were going to survive. Spamming every tower’s special ability was probably our only chance.

At the same time, a flock of crows scattered from the spooky trees behind the enemies as if they were afraid and flying away from something.

I suddenly felt significantly less confident in our odds of winning the battle.

“Here’s to hoping that my plot armor actually exists and pulls through.”

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