Chapter 9:

Building a Battler

Gettin' Crafty With Robot Knights!

I kept thinking about the parts of my own Stahl-Soldat, armor, weapons, and magic features. I should learn more spells to make myself more useful. Maybe I should grind some levels. Carmine left behind a book Marvin gave her after breakfast. I looked through it, healing spells, buffing spells, elemental spells, and many more. I’ll give it back to her later, I need to catch up on my magic skills.

I went on a walk, heading to the forest again. I can do some morning practice before going back to work. Along the way I grabbed more materials and grinded some monsters. There wasn’t really anything special, but I might be taking too much at once. I took some time to sit, turning the pelts I collected into leather and thinking. Is this pretty much my purpose in this new world? To advance civilization? I had no leads on who or what gave me this power or why.

Taking in information from the magic manual, I figured out some more beginner spells. My stats were getting better at level 14. I realized that I’ve been using up too much time and need to get back. I followed the manual for a speed increasing spell to get back faster.

I got back to Zelezo’s workshop just as the spell wore off. “Sorry, I’m late. I was practicing some magic.” Zelezo looked away from the metallic arm to look at me and gave a laugh, “I was just done handling the magic components, which means you can give it a test run now!”

This was probably the best day of my life, piloting a real robot. We took everything outside. It was laying on its back with the entrance to the cockpit open on the chest. Laying my back carefully on the leather seat and powering it on, I put my hands into two gloves that acted as controllers to lift myself upwards.

The frame itself was completely finished, but we skimped a bit on the armor, a lot of the less vital parts were just made of smooth wood. I can’t see it right now since I’m inside it but it looked very knightly even if it was still unpainted. “Looking good kid!” Zelezo gave a wave. I was pretty high up, I could see some of the villagers run towards our location, looking in awe of what was probably the tallest Stahl-Soldat they'd ever seen.

I waved to all of them, I felt like I was in a giant mascot costume. I moved the legs to try to stand up. Moving the feet was a little hard but I managed to get the heels on the ground. Pushing myself upward with my arm, the robot’s butt lifted off the ground. Finally, balancing my weight around, I was now standing straight up. I could hear cheers and clapping, this is probably the most accomplished I’ve felt in my life even if it might sound a bit dumb.

I moved my arms around and walked a bit and it all went well. I was worried about falling on something but there was enough open space for about 10 steps.

I heard large footsteps, another Stahl-Soldat? It was Lazuli, Kobalta’s personally customized model. It was 2 meters shorter than the Craft-Knight, so the size difference was quite visible. However, it seemed Kobalta wanted to challenge anyway, “Hear me, Akio, I challenge you to a duel.” She lifted up a giant sword fit for Lazuli.

I entered a battle stance as everyone else ran to a safe distance. I didn’t test if I could run well so I just lightly jogged towards her, however she had much more experience. She sprinted as fast as she could, intentionally crashing into me knocking me over. As I tried to stand back she kept hitting me with her sword, breaking the wooden parts on impact.

I sweeped my left leg at her waist and knocked her off balance, giving me enough time to stand up. She swung her sword at my side, but I managed to catch it in my hand. I put my other hand on it and lifted the sword and Lazuli into the air. After struggling a little, she lets go of the sword, dropping to her knees. Kobalta, seeing the futility of continuing, forfeits, “It seems you won, you may not have piloting skills, but you made a great and powerful Stahl-Soldat.”

We both dismounted our machines. People were cheering and clapping for me, it made me feel that this was my biggest accomplishment, which made me really think of the reality of this. However, that thought was interrupted when Kobalta offered her hand, I shook it in a manner of sportsmanship.

A cloaked man walked up to us and showed me a map, “Young man, would you like to fight a dragon?”

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