Brent could not, for the life of him, figure out how Ye Chong managed to slip into Sabre without being noticed. Sabre was not a run-of-the-mill starship, and those who could afford this type of starships were not only extremely wealthy, but also very conscious of their own safety. Even an idiot would realize this. Slan-grade starships were all equipped with the most advanced technologies, and the unthinkable thick hull armor made it impossible to breach from the outside!
Despite the odds, Ye Chong still managed to enter the starship without being noticed. How could Brent not be curious, and even a little frightened of him? While no starship was impenetrable, an undetected entry into the ship brought a chill down his spine!
Brent was no fool, and he was vigilant against Kun Ting's unknown history. However, based on his current observations, the mysterious man before him probably did not belong to the group. In any case, offending a person he knew nothing about would be an irrational move. Besides, ever since Kun Ting slipped into the starship and won against him, he and Uncle Fred were no longer in control of their own destinies!
It would be suicidal to show any hostility at this point! Kun Ting's eyes shone cold as ice, preventing him from making any hasty decisions. No one knew what the future held!
Some time ago, a few good friends of Uncle Fred mysteriously disappeared, and were unheard of since then. The police did not uncover anything useful, and could only deduce from the way they vanished that it must be the work of a group. Fred's friends were all experts in mechs with their own specializations, and were famous in their respective fields. Now that they have disappeared one by one, how could they not be terrified?
Not long after that, Fred heard from somewhere that he was the group's next target.
After receiving news that someone had ill designs for Uncle Fred, Brent and his uncle began planning for the current space cruise. From the beginning, they acted out of character and spread news of the cruise far and wide, making a big hoo-hah out of it, such that everyone knew about their plans. They exposed themselves to the public, hoping that their publicity will prevent any actions from the enemy. However, now that Kun Ting had taken over the ship, they had unexpectedly changed course, and all for the better. This sudden change must have surprised their enemy in the darkness.
As for the idea of introducing Ye Chong to his own master, that was a sudden thought that occurred to him. With his master's crazy character, he would probably not mind Ye Chong's past. His deliberate actions these few days had finally paid off. When he mentioned about introducing Kun Ting to his master, he saw an uncharacteristic flash of eagerness in Kun Ting's eyes, a contrast to his cool expression. Brent was pleased. With this, even if something happened in the future, Kun Ting would at least not side with his enemy.
A verbal promise in exchange for potential alliance - this was in all ways a worthwhile exchange. While it made Brent feel a little guilty, what would his feelings matter if it was for his Uncle Fred? Besides, if they survived this ordeal, he would introduce Kun Ting to his master, just as he promised.
Bren watched with mixed feelings as Kun Ting made his way towards another gaming booth, his expression unreadable.
Ever since he finished his apprenticeship, Brent had never lost to anyone before. His loss against Kun Ting was something he took to heart! However, real life combat was gradually fading, and the true forces that dominated the current landscape were mechs and their pilots!
Brent's challenge this time was in part to compare their strengths, but mostly, he wanted to know more about the mysterious enigma that was Kun Ting. Brent rarely used mechs to battle against others, but did not mean that his skills were unremarkable. On the contrary, he was the student of a reputable teacher, though few knew about it. After all, his uncle was Fred the Great, and his friends include many legendary mech pilots.
As he caressed the hypersimulator console in the gaming booth, the usually gentlemanly and courteous Brent could not help but grow excited and exuberant!
Ye Chong calmly sat inside the gaming booth. After his long experience with mechs, he could now control his emotions better. After all, any hasty movements would often lead to death! However, a little excitement could make a mech pilot's reactions quicker.
A calmness lightly tinged with excitement was the best state of mind for a mech pilot to perform his or her best!
An important difference between amateur pilots and senior pilots was that the seniors could often enter this state very quickly!
It seemed that Ye Chong was born for mechs. Whenever he was dealing with mechs, he would subconsciously enter this state of mind, a state that made him obsessed with mechs!
The arena before him was very familiar. Ye Chong was reminded of his time back on the trash planet, accessing the virtual world and challenging others in the pilot training center every day.
The confusing array of mechs consisting different models kindled a warm feeling in Ye Chong. The mechs were not impressive to Ye Chong. Compared to the Harmony of the Winter Aria, these so-called top class mechs were nothing to boast about. However, even if they were not particularly powerful mechs, Ye Chong was still excited. A surge of desire for battle surfaced from the very depths of his heart!
"Hu ..." Ye Chong let out a long exhale, his eyes suddenly flared up like fire, even as his heart maintained his usual calm composure.
Ye Chong chose Lra as his mech. The Lra mech was the latest model launched by Pruist this year, and it was the only mech of its level by the company this year that was a close range mech. Its uniqueness lay in its powerful movement. Equipped with the year's new product, the Warhead-IV engine, the mech performed splendidly in terms of motion.
Its weapons were also specially designed. Instead of the standard Flaming Sword, the mech was given a blunt instrument. This may be confusing to most, but the design of the weapon was nothing short of spectacular. Three metal cylinders littered with tiny holes circled around the mech under the guidance of a magnetic field, rotating at high speeds. Upon entering the range of the magnetic field, the enemy would be instantly killed! Moreover, the mech's powerful photon processor could identify the object that entered its magnetic field range. The cylinders were also packed with another feature - once the kill command was verified, the tiny holes on the cylinder's surface would emit high powered laser beams. The seemingly harmless cylinders instantly turned into a lethal claw hammer. Under the deadly attacks of 3 such cylinders, the enemy's mech would not be able to avoid the fate of being cut into pieces.
Lra mechs were also special in that they were neither humanoid nor shaped like any animal. The mech was oval-ish, with sixteen rings circling about the mech's body. Besides, the sixteen rings did not share the same center of rotation. The rapidly circling rings orbited about the mech in a dense network of trajectories, enveloping the mech in a shroud of shadows. These rapidly orbiting rings could effectively absorb and block any attacks from energy based weapons.
In truth, Lra mechs were not actually close range mechs, but a long range mech with a reduced attack range.
Lra also had a nickname - the Meat Grinder.
Brent chose outer space as the battleground, and used Stellar Dream as his mech, a product of the East Moon Group. Stellar Dream was a classic long range mech, popular due to the dominant trend of long range battle styles. Besides, its exterior was classy and elegant, favored by many mech pilots. Stellar Dream had clear contours along its profile, its expression solemn, looking mighty and out of this world. The silver-white colour of the mech shone brightly, adding to its touch of elegance.
Overly splendid things had always stirred caution and distaste in Ye Chong.
However, Stellar Dream was not all looks and no substance. Advanced shooting systems were a must for long rang mechs, and Stellar Dream's did well in auto shooting and lock-on targeting. Unlike other mechs, Stellar Dream offered a precision higher than that of the auto lock-on system's, achieved through manual lock-on. However, this depended heavily on the mech pilot's skills. On the other hand, Stellar Dream was also excellent in other aspects such as movement and balance.
In outer space, Stellar Dream held an advantage over Lra. More accurately speaking, long range mechs were more practical than short range mechs in outer space, since the former had a wider range of action. Brent was not deliberately bullying Ye Chong, but he did not expect Kun Ting to choose Lra. The choice greatly surprised him, and Kun Ting became more and more of a mystery to him. Brent had trained under an expert, and did not hold a condescending opinion on close range mechs. However, the choice of a close range mech in an environment as homogenous as outer space seemed like a foolish decision to him!
"But Kun Ting doesn't seem to be someone foolish," thought Brent, baffled.
Ye Chong also frowned a little as he noticed the outer space battleground. The environment was a huge disadvantage for the Lra, but he had raised no objections. He understood clearly that in most cases, the battleground was not for him to decide. Instead of blaming the unfairness of the battleground to him, his time was better spent on strategizing!
A distance away, separated by the transparent walls of the gaming booth, Brent noticed Kun Ting's calm expression and muttered to himself, "Does he have a plan, or does he not care about the battle outcome?"
The game was about to start, and Brent quickly gathered his thoughts and put on his helmet.
Once in the game, Brent's Stellar Dream raised its arm and fired once, but Ye Chong was already prepared and evaded the attack easily. Brent was not aiming to hit his opponent. Instead, he used the opportunity to widen the distance between him and Kun Ting. With the wider distance, he believed that he could secure victory with his shooting skills. With this, Brent was confident.
Without any suspense, Brent achieved his goal and managed to widen the distance between him and Kun Ting!
Brent instantly felt himself calming down. He went through a few scenarios in his head, but could not imagine how Kun Ting could turn things around.
Ye Chong, however, was now moving in a way that was beyond all of Brent's expectations!