Close range mechs were only effective in close quarters due to their short ranged attacks. A close range mech must first close in on their enemy such that the enemy was within their attack range, so that their weapons could be effectively used. If not, the mech will only serve as target practice for its opponent!
Hence, the first step in a close range mech's strategy was to desperately approach the enemy, closing the distance between itself and its opponent.
However, Ye Chong did the exact opposite. After he evaded Brent's attack, he immediately ran away. Brent was left behind, stupefied, as watched Ye Chong become smaller and smaller in the distance, quickly becoming only a tiny black dot.
"Escaping without attacking?" Brent thought, stunned. "Does he not care about being laughed at? It's only a game! Kun Ting doesn't look like a coward!"
Ye Chong's escape ignited a commotion amongst the spectators of their game in the hall. They booed at his apparent cowardice, and while it was not a loud protest, their reaction attracted the attention of the people viewing other games in the hall. Everyone could not help but shift their attention to the holographic screen featuring the battle between Ye Chong and Brent.
Ye Chong was focusing on controlling his mech in the gaming booth, undistracted!
For Ye Chong, this was a battle! Not a game! If it was a battle, Ye Chong will give it his all! A battle was a matter of life and death! There was no room for doubt!
From Brent's attack with his gun, he knew that his opponent was an excellent shooter. If Ye Chong was not prepared in the short span of time, , the attack would have definitely hit him!
The time that it would take him to close in on Brent was enough for his enemy to take another 3 shots. With Brent's skills, he would not even need all 3 shots to finish him off!
If that was the case, then widening the distance between him and his enemy would be a wise choice.
Ye Chong did not feel that his escape was something to be ashamed of. He did not take any damage, and that meant he still stood a chance of winning against his opponent! When the situation was mostly to his opponent's advantage, choosing to battle would be foolish indeed! Unless he was desperate, it was still best to battle only when the environment was in his favor. This was Ye Chong's insight after his countless battle experiences!
Ye Chong maneuvered his mech and flew swiftly ahead. He enlarged the mech's scanning radius, and found nothing! After further enlargement, there was still nothing! Another enlargement, and still, there was nothing! Ye Chong was not dispirited. He continued increasing the scanning radius. This repetitive task was not new to him! Finally, when the scanning radius was at its maximum, he found a large asteroid belt at 9 degrees from the radius vector. It was quite far, and would take around 12 hours to reach there by flight.
With a larger scanning radius, the scanning accuracy will drop. More energy would be exhausted, and the time taken for a full scanning cycle would also increase. Hence,one would rarely increase the scanning radius to an unnecessarily large range, due to its risky nature!
Brent was far behind Ye Chong. After being stunned for a moment, the distance between them had increased. With the long distance between them, shooting accuracy would be affected. Brent tried shooting a few times, and could not hit his target. He ceased fire, saving his energy.
"What is Kun Ting trying to do?" Brent thought in his confusion. "There's nothing ahead. If he just flew ahead like that, it would be just a waste of time!" Brent increased his scanning radius and found nothing ahead!
Kun Ting showed no signs of stopping, still flying straight ahead.
Brent was feeling more uncertain. During his days with Kun Ting, he did not seem like a person who would do something in vain! "There must be something ahead," thought Brent, as he further increased his scanning radius. However, the results still showed nothing!
With his current scanning radius, Brent estimated with Kun Ting's speed of flight that he would need at least 5 hours to reach the edges of his scan!
"Could there be something even further away?" Bren shook his head. Would anyone be foolish enough to spend more than 5 hours to win in something as trivial as a game?
"Impossible!" Brent dismissed the idea! "Would anyone be so foolish?" The thought made Brent shake his head and laugh a little. The thought was too ridiculous!
The spectators shook their heads and left, leaving only a few behind to watch the game.
A burly man with a red face and bushy eyebrows was frowning hard, confused by what he was seeing. He could not help but asked softly, "Big bro, what's the boy's tricks, you think? I don't understand him at all, but there's something wrong here! He looks like he's running away, but he's not exactly speeding away. He may have some tricks up his sleeves, but there's nothing ahead of him. Besides, this battleground is not good for the Meat Grinder. Unless his opponent made a blunder, I don't see any way out of his situation! Though, the guy back there sure shoots well, I don't think he's going to miss much!"
Standing by his side was a bearded, middle-aged man. His eyes glowed a little at the comment, but he replied solemnly, "You're wrong, second little bro! Hmm hmm, the guy in front is the one you should look out for! Guy's determined, must be a ruthless character! As for the guy at the back, he may shoot just fine, but it's obvious that he's never been in a real battle in his life!" He spoke the last sentence with faint but clear condescension!
Redface was surprised, as he had never heard his big brother praise someone so highly. If he did not already know that his big brother would never speak lightly, he would have thought that the man was sick in the head! He asked carefully, "Big bro, you say he's determined, but I don't see how! He's just flying straight ahead! It's all in vain!"
Beardman laughed, his glistening white teeth showing, with an expression of reminiscence. "If not for my experience with this battleground, I'd have thought the same as you! There's this one time, with another guy, we fought for twenty rounds straight, and the results were tied! And so, we decided that the next game would decide the winner!" Beardman wore a relaxed expression, cherishing his past. On his side, Redface looked eager, learning that someone could battle against his big brother for twenty rounds straight and ending with a tie! That person must be very capable!
"What happened in the twenty first round is like this - he suddenly chose a close range mech, hehe, just like the young man here, and immediately ran off at the start! I didn't think much of it back then, and chased after him! Hehe, it took twelve hours, the chasing, and I was young and all, only thinking of winning! I didn't expect to be chasing for so long, and after 7 hours of chasing, I finally figured out the b*stard's goal! I always thought that my mech's scanning radius was large enough, but that b*stard did me one better! From our initial positions, there's a huge asteroid belt at 9 degrees from the radius vector. However, hehe, it'll take a full twelve-hours to reach it!"
Redface gasped in astonishment, the answer clearly not what he expected! He could not imagine two people chasing around for twelve hours to battle in a game!
"Anyway, I lost that match! But I lost fair and square! You must have heard of him, he's called the Son of Light!" Breadman continued lightly.
"Son of Light? That legendary Son of Light?" This was obviously surprising for Redface. He looked shocked, mouth gaping wide!
Beardman did not explain any further, but watched with interest at Ye Chong on the holographic screen. "Hehe, who'd have thought I'd meet a guy like this again! If that b*stard Son of Light is still here, he would have found a kindred spirit!" He bowed his head, deep in thought.
"These - these men, are they all crazy?" thought Redface, astonished. "Chasing around for twelve hours in a game? I didn't think someone as calm as big bro would have done that!"
Beardman pondered for a long moment before lifting his head again. He looked eloquently at the holographic screen, showing a Lra mech, still flying straight ahead.
Beardman thought for a moment, and warned, "Second little bro, our job this time is to return Fred the Great's favor. Beyond that, it's not for us to interfere. We only need to keep a discreet eye on this guy!"
"Keep an eye on him? Isn't he with Brent? He should be fine!" Redface was baffled.
Seeing his baffled expression, Beardman sighed a little inside, but still tried to explain, "You have to look at the eyes to know someone. You may not have noticed, but when Brent and the guy arrived just now, I saw that they were still on guard against each other. Hehe, they're still too young! Can't hide their thoughts! Besides, though they may walk side by side, they still keep a curious distance between them. Also, if I remember correctly, the guy was not on this ship in the beginning!" While his words were speculative, his tone was decisive, and his eyes shone brightly.
Redface was surprised. "You mean he infiltrated midway? That's impossible! You can't just infiltrate Sabre like nobody's business!"
Beardman shook his head. "I'm not sure about that, however, we just have to keep an eye on him! Hehe, the ship's full of complicated characters, and anything can happen. We just have to do our best!"
"Alright!" Redface nodded, not entirely understanding.
"Ah, Ke Sang, Old Pang, you're still watching it? Those two fellows sure are boring, running around for who knows what?" A pugnacious looking man approached the two, a drink in his hand.
Beardman, or Old Pang, gave a little smile. "It's not like we have anything else to do. You must be here to ask Ka Sang for a drink! Ka Sang, go have fun with Leopard and the other men, shake off some boredom!" He hinted with his eyes at Redface.
Ka Sang acknowledged, not entirely sure of himself.
Leopard instantly brightened up, and rubbed his hands together in excitement. "Yea, that's right, it's just dull sitting around here! Old Pang, wanna have some fun?"
Old Pang smiled reservedly and declined. "I'd better not go, I'm not as much of a drinker like you all. Ka Sang will join you!"
Leopard did not insist, and dragged a confused Ka Sang along with him towards the bar counter.
Brent was growing restless. It had been more than half an hour, but Kun Ting was showing no signs of stopping. What was he trying to achieve?
Brent tried to suppress his agitation and forced himself to continue on.
Just when Brent was starting to feel impatient, his vision suddenly turned black. He felt the gaming booth automatically open, and before he could remove his helmet, he heard the mad shrieking of the alarm that was blaring deafeningly!
Somehow, although Brent's immediate reaction was shock, his next reaction was one of relief!