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However, he had no time to consider if this was actually a trap. Suddenly, the world spinned around him dizzily as he suddenly lost control of his mech!

This was Han Jia planting a knee kick into the mech! The heavy blow made Ye Chong regret not adding some barbs on the knees, or he would have put the other party out of commission permanently.

The Black Cove mech pilot was experienced, and knew that this was a normal effect from a heavy blow. There would be a short instance where he would lose control if the mech received a heavy blow, and it was important to remain calm right then, for the following attack would be the fatal blow. The faster he could regain control of his mech, the more likely he was to survive the attack.

Thoughts were idealistic, but reality was cruel. Under Mu and Shang’s training, Ye Chong now rarely committed any mistakes. Given this opportunity, how could Ye Chong waste it?

Just when Ye Chong struck the other party, Han Jia’s engine was already set to full blast mode, and as the mech accelerated to Mach 9 in that short distance, the result was devastating!

The Black Cove mech pilot watched in horror as a shadow fled past before his eyes, his calmness finally giving way to the fear of death.

Clang! Han Jia’s shield, with its knife-sharp edge, cut towards the Cosmic Flare’s throat. The iron-lizard made shield was solid and tough, its edges honed to perfection by Ye Chong.

Han Jia swept past the Black Cove mech in its attack, much like an assassin.

Just when the mech pilot in the pilot cabin was rejoicing over his escape from death, he suddenly heard a deadly shriek. Despite the circumstances, he still felt intrigued - wasn’t this from the two unidentified objects that attacked him earlier?

The two auto lock-on shurikens closed in on him from the front and back while he was still trying to regain control of his mech! The throat was the most protected part of a humanoid mech, the center node of a mech’s inner photon circuity. Once it was hit, the mech would be useless. Any slightly knowledgeable mech pilot would avoid getting hit in this vulnerable and important spot.

Now, however, the mech pilot could only watch as these two shurikens came closer and closer towards him!

Auto lock-on shurikens were, as their name suggested, fitted with auto lock-on features.

Bang! The first shuriken hit spot on the Cosmic Flare’s throat, where Han Jia’s shield had just damaged! Mach 10 was packed with formidable power, and the shuriken moved like a comet. The loud bang was followed by the decapitation of the Cosmic Flare, its head completely lopped off afar. The high frequency vibrations of the shuriken produced a jagged edge on the severed neck, as fragments flew out in all directions.

The effect was shocking.

The second shuriken seemed to sense the change, and made a small correction in its trajectory, humming as it flew towards the Cosmic Flare.

By now, the mech pilot in the Cosmic Flare was already drained of color. He watched in a daze as the second shuriken came in from the neck! There was a constant metallic buzz of impact between metals, accompanied by a howling shriek of pain, as silenced followed a few moments later. A few seconds later, something came out of the Cosmic Flare’s neck - it was the second shuriken, exiting the mech.

The two shurikens flew back obediently to Han Jia like birds returning to their nests. In the next moment, a loud explosion was heard as the Cosmic Flare blasted into pieces! It seemed that the second shuriken had destroyed the mech’s power systems.

An hour was not a long time, but Ye Chong was extremely lucky. He managed to meet mechs from all of the Three Forces. It was apparent then that the Three Forces were amassing their strengths on Windstar, just to capture Ye Chong.

Ambushing in darkness required the element of surprise. Ye Chong would not attempt to deal with these scattered mechs had communications not been cut off. Ye Chong switched between Han Jia and Guardian, and found it quite effective. At least, he had not missed a single target so far.

Of all the mechs from the Three Forces, the Sanctuary’s were the hardest to deal with, followed by Black Cove’s, and finally, the MPA’s.

This was undeniably a night of slaughter. Ye Chong had already finished off 13 mechs, of which three were the Sanctuary’s Dawns, four of Black Cove’s Cosmic Flares, and six of the MPA’s Messengers. It was a productive night.

The hour was almost up, and Ye Chong had returned to the hospital building. Here, Mu would have to fight against powerful Mavericks in another battlefield. Ye Chong had wanted to observe from the side, since this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that he would not want to miss. However, Mu had rejected his request, saying that he could not guarantee Ye Chong’s safety.

It was apparent that Mu was very wary of the Mavericks. Beside Mu was a large stack of backup energy cells.

In the end, Ye Chong obliged and waited for Mu. The wait was painful, but fortunately, his life on the trash planet had made Ye Chong far more patient than his peers.

Ye Chong rested to recover his strength from his earlier battles. Even if he was only ambushing, he found himself quickly exhausted. However, he could not sleep just yet, for there was work to do.

Mu’s computations consumed a large amount of energy, and Ye Chong had to replace his energy cells along the way. In the following hour, Ye Chong had switched 16 energy cells for Mu. One could only imagine the ferocity of the battle!

"Alright!" Mu heaved a long sigh, declaring the end of his side of the battle, and Ye Chong finally relaxed.

"How was it?" Ye Chong asked.

Mu said calmly, "The situation has stabilized. Until tomorrow morning at 8, unless there are more powerful opponents, the people I have met earlier will not be able to break through."

Ye Chong didn’t know squat about photon processors, but he could still understand Mu’s words.

Of course, Ye Chong could not know the severity of the battle between Mu and those Mavericks. Mu’s opponents were nine elite Mavericks. These Mavericks were legendary, and given the chaos at hand, they had decided to assist without hesitation. Fortunately, none of them had decided to work together; some did not even realize that they had comrades, as their solitary nature was already deeply embedded within them. Mavericks were often equated to being loners.

The battle was one that would prove unforgettable for everyone involved. Of the nine Mavericks, one had died on the spot, and another two had fallen into a vegetative state. Actual murder achieved through the virtual world was only a legend told among Mavericks, and now they were repeatedly realized.

Ye Chong was not interested in matters of the virtual world. As long as Mu was alright, he was fine with it. Mu and Shang were irreplaceable to him.

23 planets had lost contact with the outside world, and everyone could only watch in horror. It was already four hours after the virtual world was first attacked. By now, everyone had realized what was going on.

The residents on Windstar panicked, and found their world rapidly decaying into a mess. Public order was declining rapidly, and the skies were filled with mechs flown by horrified pilots. Violence sprouted on the streets.

The place was now a living hell!

Hak felt his head throbbed in pain. He never expected to meet with such a crisis. They had lost all communications with Black Cove, and his underlings had reported that four Cosmic Flares had failed to return to base. This was a bad omen.

Windstar was now in a mess. It was impossible to conduct a search, and difficult even to return to Black Cove. Who knew when the virtual world could be restored!

However, the news of the four Cosmic Flares failing to return made him uneasy. Cosmic Flares were powerful mechs, and he could not think of any other opponent that could destroy them besides the Sanctuary and the MPA. Perhaps the F-58 might be capable enough, but these were four Cosmic Flares - how could he destroy four Cosmic Flares single handedly? He would not believe it. Even if he had a full-skeleton mech, it was still impossible.

On Windstar, the only ones powerful enough to destroy four Cosmic Flares were the Sanctuary and the MPA.

Could this be premeditated? Hak felt his heart skipped a beat. Indeed, it was quite a coincidence to lose four Cosmic Flares just when the virtual world went down. Hak felt that something was amiss.

Could this be a trap? Hak’s expression twisted.

With such a large scale catastrophe, Hak believed that only one of the Three Forces could be responsible for it. Of course, it was not Black Cove, he knew that. Then, was it the Sanctuary or the MPA? What was their objective?

Hak could feel a headache coming. He may be an instructor, but strategizing was not his forte. He felt that it was already an improvement for him to deduce this much.

In any case, they should first search for those four Cosmic Flares, dead or alive. "Humph, even if it is the Sanctuary or the MPA, I have nothing to fear," Hak thought to himself. The thing he was most worried about was F-58. There was still no sign of him. His orders had come from the top; should he fail … Hak shuddered at the consequences.

He decided to lead a squad and head outside to investigate.

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