Exchange transmissions were signals sent between starships upon encounter to exchange information and as an act of friendliness. Ships would send out information on their identities in plain code. In the vast universe, the probability of encountering another starship was very low, even in densely traveled flight paths. However, when two starships encountered each other, experienced captains would send out an exchange transmission!
After the exchange transmission was sent out, the captain was obviously relieved, apparently believing that nothing could go wrong from now on. He had sent out the exchange transmission to prevent any unwanted conflict with Black Cove, since they had a guest on the ship that absolutely cannot be harmed. The captain recalled the situation clearly when he received his orders from the Elder, who spoke with severity and placed great importance on his current mission. He was surprised, but quickly realized the importance of the guest.
On the other hand, an open war with Black Cove was undesirable in all respects. As for the relationship and situation between the Sanctuary, Black Cove and the MPA, none of the Sanctuary’s members were oblivious to them. If he caused an open war between the Sanctuary and Black Cove, the captain could never bear the consequences! Fortunately, there was Sir Mu on the ship, a great relief for the captain!
Mu Fei’s expression was less tense now. Usually, both parties would pass by each other with great restraint. However, even if they were to engage in battle, Mu Fei was not worried, since the ship had four standard combat squads onboard, a powerful combat force. Besides, he was there himself. There should be no problems.
Nonetheless, this was not a good time for war. He did not wish for the young talent that the Sanctuary highly desired to be involved in any accident. During his time as his guide, he understood better than anyone the extent of the young man’s abilities! Furthermore, the young man must be hiding his true strength! Mu Fei’s instinct told him that Ye Chong’s full-skeleton Raven was not his best work yet. He fully supported the Sanctuary’s decision to keep Ye Chong with them at all costs. To prevent any accidents, Mu Fei had even volunteered for this mission.
Everyone on the ship relaxed. They believed that it was ultimately nothing to worry about, and some even teased the officer who reported the other starship earlier, saying that he was only trying to get on their nerves.
A dark sense of humor seemed to flash past in Ye Chong’s half lidded eyes, and his eyes smiled momentarily like the thin leaf emblem on the front of the Black Cove ship.
"Ah!" The officer who reported the starship just now suddenly gasped!
"Hah, Ah Da, are you still trying to scare us?"
"Yeah, Ah Da, you’re too bold! Look at my weak heart, it’s still thumping non-stop from your trick earlier …"
The round of laughter drowned away any sound from the office.
Mu Fei closed his eyes, thinking it comedic.
"Look, guys! I’m not lying! Look!" That officer tried hard to explain, his face red. When the crowd recognized the fear in his words, they immediately realized that something was not right. All the officers on the ship had good discipline, and would not joke on such matters.
Mu Fei felt the change, and opened his eyes wide.
Tens of black mechs in standard battle formation were closing in on them. The captain’s expression twisted as the photon processor returned a mech count of 50. They were all Cosmic Flares, Black Cove’s war mechs. Mu Fei was very familiar with them. Johansson, who died in Ye Chong’s hands, also used a Cosmic Flare.
50 Cosmic Flares! Why would Black Cove send out such a strong force? Mu Fei was baffled.
"We received the other party’s reply!" One of the ship officers reported.
"Forward it here!" The captain spoke chillingly. Since the other party had showed hostility, he had no need to hold back. While he was cautious against Black Cove, he was not afraid of them. The other members of the Sanctuary shared the same attitude as their captain!
"We suspect your ship has one of our members, please open your hatch for our inspection!" The words were direct, and typical of Black Cove.
For a moment, with the exception of Ye Chong, everyone in the captain’s quarters were enraged! The other party’s high and mighty tone was a blow to the pride of the Sanctuary’s members! Even the usually calm and collected Mu Fei felt his facial muscles twitch!
What an insult! Since when would the Sanctuary allow such humiliation?
The other party had approached fully armed, and a few laser beams were already shooting their starship. If they do not retaliate soon, the situation would turn dangerous for them!
While they knew that this was the time for retaliation, it was potentially a move that would lead to an open war with Black Cove. This long term consequence was what made the captain hesitate!
"Attack!" Mu Fei shouted. He understood better than the captain that if the enemy kept closing in, they would be severely disadvantaged! While he did now know why the other party would choose such an irrational action, the situation did not allow for further contemplation!
The Sanctuary’s honour must not be trampled upon!
Mu Fei’s orders had the same effect as the captain’s. None of the mech pilots objected to his words, not even hesitating at them! The four standard combat squads moved out swiftly to meet the enemy!
Thus, a full scale battle between the Sanctuary and Black Cove began!
Everyone found their eyes glued to the live feed on the holographic screen, including Ye Chong. Ye Chong had seen the Cosmic Flare, but Johansson had not managed to attack him before dying from his ambush attack. Hence, Ye Chong was very curious about this mech model!
Close range battle with Black Cove mechs was a foolish act! The Sanctuary and the MPA both agreed on this!
Hence, as the Black Cove Cosmic Flares came into range, all the Dawns immediately opened fire!
Numerous laser beams were shot from both sides across the space between them! However, in a long range battle, Black Cove was definitely at a disadvantage!
Unlike the MPA’s accurate shooting, the Sanctuary fought with their unique group battle strategy. Usually a few Dawns would focus on attacking the same Cosmic Flare, but the way they weaved around each other and cooperate was an astonishing sight to Ye Chong. The laser beams from the Dawns were directed towards the few potential defensive positions for the other mech!
Ye Chong was equally amazed by Black Cove’s evasion skills! Ye Chong’s most familiar Non-orderly Wave Leap was used throughout the battlefield, alongside other stranger, varied and unexpected evasion techniques! Ye Chong watched in suspense, his eyes shining brightly!
At the same time, Shang reported to Ye Chong on important details of the battle!
The Sanctuary’s battle strategy had delivered a heavy blow to Black Cove. In the span of less than half a minute, 15 Cosmic Flares were destroyed, the result of the Sanctuary’s effective strategy.
However, Mu Fei did not look happy at all, since he knew that the real battle was only just beginning!
Cosmic Flares were small mechs, and this significantly reduced the probability of being hit! While 15 Cosmic Flares were destroyed, the remaining 35 Cosmic Flares had managed to close in on the Dawn mechs!
The Dawns suddenly broke formation, and gathered in groups of three before they charged ahead fearlessly.
Once approached by Black Cove mechs, the nightmare began! This was another fact proven by the Sanctuary!
The Cosmic Flares showed their fangs for the first time before Ye Chong!
Black Cove mech pilots expertly flew, their wild and bloody techniques made Ye Chong realize the true horrifying potential from these Black Cove war mechs!
As three Dawn mechs moved to cover each other, their excellent cooperation and battle skills still failed to prevent themselves from being smashed into pieces by this Black Cove model’s brute force impact!
Black Cove battle strategies were chilling to watch! They accelerated to high velocities and ran into the Dawn mechs with all the momentum they gathered, the barbs in their joints enough to inflict fatal damage to the Dawn mechs, while the curved blade on the outside of the right arm would amputate the Dawn mech into pieces! Blood sprayed out from the pilot inside, the red mist quickly crystallizing, suspended in space, no longer as vivid as before! Their long chains moved in unpredictable ways, strangling and wrapping around the enemy, or even lending momentum from their targets. The weapon was used well, and the chain itself was made with a very strong material!
The Sanctuary’s group strategy also caused Black Cove heavy casualties!
The battle between the two sides happened quickly, with no room to breathe! Both sides fought with excellent strategies, and fought cruelly. If one was hit, there was basically no chance for survival! Damaged mechs had no chance of leaving the battlefield, and would run straight into the enemy’s mech for a suicide attack!
The battle was fierce and merciless!
In the span of just under 10 minutes, only about 17 to 18 Cosmic Flares were left. The Dawn mechs were even fewer, with only 12 of them left! The situation was not against the Sanctuary, since close range battle was Black Cove’s specialty. Additionally, they were outnumbered. As the number of Dawn mechs decreased, the remaining Cosmic Flares survived without any damages.
As the battle reached this stage, with heavy casualties on both sides, none of the mechs backed down. The mech pilots from both sides were equally steadfast in battle!
However, the overall situation was slowly siding with Black Cove, as the remaining Dawn mechs continued to struggle!
Inside the captain’s quarters, all the crew members paled in fear. Even the hardened captain wore a terrible expression. This was the first time they had encountered such a terrifying battle!
Mu Fei could stand it any longer. He stood up abruptly and said, "I’m assisting them!" before turning to exit the captain’s quarters!
Upon hearing his words, everyone in there with the exception of Ye Chong felt invigorated. It seemed they were very confident in Mu Fei’s abilities!
Mu Fei exited the captain’s quarters. Behind him, the cabin door to the captain’s quarters automatically slid close, quick as usual.
He could never have imagined what happened next in the captain’s quarters!