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After they had stocked a variety of supplies, the Coxcomb finally departed from Windstar. Coxcomb was not that prominent in the midst of the busy flock of spaceships landing and departing. Zika graded spaceships could be gigantic, but every organization who came to aid the pitiful residents on Windstar had much greater budget than Ye Chong, as shown by their even more gigantic rides; gigantic spaceships could be a rare sight on the street, as one would not see them running day by day like the mechs, still it was not *that* rare.

That would be it. The premises were in the favor of Ye Chong. He had never disliked neglects by the others, well, only Shang would love being all cool and showered by attention, "The Coxcomb is the coolest spaceship, everyone should see and appreciate it!"

Anyway, the Coxcomb travelled smoothly off the pier. They left Windstar silently.

In the boundless space, the Coxcomb floated like a soundless whale.

Ye Chong was overjoyed as there were so many things to do. Intergalactic travel could be something really time-consuming and mundane, especially when the journey between Windstar and Rainbow was exceedingly long. Even if Ye Chong owned the Coxcomb and had installed it with the best engines he got, it still was going to take some time.

It came a long way and it would be considered agonizing to most people, except for Ye Chong, who found this being quite normal. After the phases of the major warship transformation he performed not too long ago, he had gotten pretty much used to the apparatuses in the metallurgy laboratory. And he realized he was in dire need to get an useable mech, in public of course, that could provide camouflage to his identity. So he got to create a mech as well. The tools and the materials he had in the room were more than sufficient to make a mech.

Since the mech was merely made for camouflage purpose, he did not need to invest too much on it. He then took inspirations from all sorts of models, a little here and there, which formed a rather odd design plan in the end. The body was given a striped finish with colored patches. It looked like a pierrot, or in layman’s terms, a clown. Ye Chong believed it would be a very good camouflage, since the accessories were all from the market, nobody would have suspected it being a specialty from the three forces or the unknown.

The mech, despite its design being jumbled up from everything in the storage, had its essential parts improvised. Those parts were the only parts Ye Chong needed to touch. The remaining mixture of design was just something he could disregard.

"The Puppet", named by Ye Chong. And no doubt, the name was given a roaring laugh at. "You sure, Ye? Hahahahahahaha…" Shang had been ridiculing the name for the following hour. Ye Chong found the name to be quite befitting to the mech though. The parts of the Puppet were common enough, yet it was something truly from the experiment, for the experiment, by the experiment.

Ye Chong was having so much fun at the metallurgy lab. It was practically useful. The processor was amazing, that he just had to give a few tap on the screen to provide the visuals of every part and designate the sizing, then he would add in the ingredients. Pop! The part would come out in no time. Ye Chong was astounded as the capability of the processor had indicated that his thoughts could come into reality right away. He had ample alloys in his storage so he began messing with them, creating parts of all kinds. The Puppet would take everything in the end, it would be the conglomeration, a representation of Ye Chong’s storage.

The colorful mech did in fact look like a clown, but Ye Chong would not mind. If anyone were to look down upon the mech, that person would be making a deadly mistake. Ye Chong had installed miniature engines at every joint of the Puppet, to ensure it could set motion in minimal range to provide better offenses. Of course the shooting chambers were in the body as well, to cover the ground. Technically, the chambers were only a backup addition, since who knows when would Ye Chong ever really need to use the chambers to save himself?

The Puppet wielded a pair of parrying spears. It was a strange sight to see such a petite figure waving two oversized spears, although one must admit that it looked pretty disturbing. The two spears were the true killing weapons for Ye Chong. As long as the foes he encountered were from neither of the three forces, with his skills, the pair of spears would be more than enough to keep him alive. If anything would go wrong, Ye Chong would not hesitate to activate Han Jia or the Guardian right away.

The excess nuts and bolts were sent back to the crucible to be made into alloy cubes. And once again, the advantage of using metals as material was demonstrated, its recyclability of course, which was something skeleton materials could hardly compete with. But, one must bear in mind that not every single piece of metal was fine to be recycled, the scrapped metals on Trash Planet for example, the cost to recycle them was too high, which gave a discouraging return, so nobody would recycle them.

From this point, one could tell the standing of skeleton and metallic materials. Metallic materials were more common in application but skeleton materials possessed an extremely unique characteristic which metallic material could never imitate. The catch was, to produce a skeleton part, one would be required a long chain of procedures, longer than any layman would have imagined, which had determined the fate that skeleton mechs could never become common among the pilots.

If the metallurgy experts ever came to Ye Chong’s lab and saw how he used those apparatuses as if he was baking a cake, they would go nuts on spot for those apparatuses were something they would drool upon. Those apparatuses, for any metallurgy researcher or organization, were some of the most advanced kinds.

Ye Chong indulged himself in researches, as he moved around daily like a researcher. He spent the following days at the 3 research rooms he owned. Other than metallurgy, the alchemy was getting his attention as well. As he learned more stuffs from the microchip, he started to get a hold of the way to make offenses using alchemy. And Ye Chong could relate it to how Lunatic Guan treated him at the last occasion they met, it was still fresh in his mind, the sorcery. It was common for alchemists to venture into the woods, so they must have a few tricks in the sleeves to warrant their safety.

Ye Chong always caught the keys very quickly the moment the research involved offenses, for some reason. It was as if Ye Chong was born to war.

Since he owned an alchemy lab, he could perform some experiments. Unfortunately, those precious plants were not something he could purchase straight from the market. Ye Chong would have to head into woods to pluck them himself. The system designed by Lunatic Guan was noticeably different from the mainstream studies in the institutes today, on the choice of materials especially. A few of the ingredients were not that precious but it would require Ye Chong to perform additional procedures to fit them into the formation. In other words, the alchemists would have to do everything on their own, rather than being 1+1=2, the alchemist would need to build that 1, that + , that = and that 2 from scratch in exchange of being able to use a different, more common material.

Luckily Ye Chong had grown on this study, so he did not find the procedures troublesome or whatsoever. Compared to the hassles he had to deal with whenever he made a skeleton part, these procedures were fine.

"Ye!" Mu’s voice rang at the communicator.

Ye Chong placed down the tubes, "Mu, what’s wrong?" he lifted his bed and asked, anticipating something as Mu would never interrupt him if nothing had happened.

Ye Chong after experiencing different kinds of apocalypses repetitively, had gained the serenity in any situation.

"We had just received a SOS signal from somewhere. Someone is being attacked by the pirates apparently. The location happened to be on our course." Mu had planned a direct course to Rainbow in the first place, since they were in a kind of hurry. Well it was a path known to be lurked by something but Ye Chong never feared them judging by the capabilities of the Coxcomb.

"Mhm," pondered Ye Chong.

"And they are already within our detected proximity. This is the visual the camera had obtained," added Mu, then a visual was prompted in front of Ye Chong, via the processor.

Two mechs were shielding for the few engineering models behind. They seemed to be suffering. Ye Chong could tell the two mechs being some above-average pilots in the galaxies.

The pirates on the other hand… were unexpectedly small numbered, only 15 of them. It was literally child’s play compared to the time he fought with the whole gang of Red Beard’s Owl.

The 15 mechs were obviously not greenhorns. They recognized the potency of the two mechs holding their invasion, so they did not fight on full force. They wandered instead, like a pack of hungry wolves, surrounding the lambs. The two mechs knew the pirates’ blatant aim but all they could do was to constantly fire their lasers to keep the pirates away. It turned out to be a sticky situation, as one was struggling without plan, another was grumbling with plan. The gang would only have to wait, till the moment the lambs ran out of energy to fight back, they would gash upon them, a feast they called.

And as the Coxcomb approached the group, they immediately caught on the situation.

The pirates flinched, as they knew that a spaceship was not something owned by the nobody, there had to be at least 150 sailors in the ship. They would be severely outnumbered! So without an order, they already had their own consensus, they would raid, seize and run! They launched attacks frantically on their preys, striving to capture them before the pilots on the spaceship arrived at the scene. Once they could run, they would succeed, since a tortoise like the spaceship shall never be able to catch up with them.

The speed of a spaceship was much slower compared to the mech. Coxcomb for example, only ran at a pitiful speed of Mach 3, compared to those mechs that went easily Mach 5 or 6, Coxcomb was indeed a tortoise. By the way, the Guardian could hit Mach 10 in burst running mode while Han Jia could go Mach 9.

The two mechs panicked, as they knew if it was not the pirates wanted their mechs as part of the loots, they would have become the beehives.

"Eh?" Mu seemed to have discovered something.

"What was it, Mu?" asked Ye Chong hurriedly, to make a cry for a fully logical, non-expressive AI like Mu, it must be some major discovery.

"Go save them, Ye. They have something good on them." The slight excitement between the words had explained Ye Chong a thousand words, that "something good" would mean something really good. It had to be rare for it could excite Mu.

"Mhm," responded Ye Chong, as he immediately deployed the Puppet. He rolled into the cabin. The spaceship was spacious enough to accommodate the entire deployment. Well, naturally that would also mean the immense requirement on the piloting skill, to be able to fly out without hitting on anything.

Tai Zuo, one pilot of the two mechs, were tightened at their nerves. They were hitting their limits to stay this long. A little bit of distraction would have broken their protection. And then they heard their mate claiming to see a Zika spaceship flying towards them. Overjoyed he was, but… "Where’re the backups? Why aren’t the spaceship sending any help?"

Tai Zuo’s heart was aching. If they were not going to send men anytime soon, he would be collapsing with Han Ben. Assuming there were only he and Han Ben, they were confident enough to break through this pack of wolves, but they also had a few non-combat members at their backs, so they could not take any reckless action that could hurt their mates. They could only guard, till death.



Out of sudden, the pressure reduced. The force shield he and Han Ben was holding had turned lighter. He knew, with a smile, that the backups were already there.

There were only 10 mechs left before them. 5 for each of them. That was a significant reduction on workload. He was grinning, till he saw the screen.

He simply did not expect, of an army of a spaceship, only one mech was sent!

One mech? Why? Confused Tai Zuo. What for sending one mech when that one mech was likely to be slaughtered by the pirates? The pirates were more potent than he expected. As a lecturer of the pilot study from one of the top universities of the 5 major galaxies, he had the right to give these pirates a subjective rating - the pirates might had not undergone appropriate education, but they were very, very experienced in actual fights. And their rapports were great, making them really a problem to deal with.

A 5 versus 1, even if that 1 was Tai Zuo himself, he would not dare to gamble.

The 5 mechs were approaching Ye Chong. He was calm. The Puppet was inexperienced of an outnumbered fight, but the pilot was fearless.

The 5 mechs spread towards Ye Chong like the edge of fan. In their eyes, this colored mech was as ridiculous as a clown, fluttering there, awaiting them to trample on it! "Gosh, did you see that mech?" "Kekekekekekekeke!" The pilots were exchanging laughter through the intercom of their mechs, as they also discussed on how they should dismantle the mech to demonstrate their fearsomeness towards the remaining crew on the spaceship.

As everyone was wondering why there was only a mech from the spaceship, the situation had gone mutation!

As soon as the clown entered the range of their firearms, it began accelerating, under the eyes of astonishment of the 5. The speed of the mech was … was…

Too fast!

Exclaimed by the 5.

The sudden change was not something they could cope with in time. They were experienced at least, so they did not panic, even though they were shocked. One button, the shooting chamber bombarded at the mech. Well, that simple. 5 of them would work together and fire everything at once, it would cover everything. Moreover their laser beams were never aimed at the clown mech entirely, rather they focused on the gaps around it - to kill even the escape route they thought. It was a known technique among them, they had killed countless experts with this trick all these years.


Everyone could imagine the frail clown mech being shot into a million pieces in an explosion, a firework to behold! Feeble armor, no shield, and they could not even see the clown mech holding any kind of weaponry. The barehanded clown was the scapegoat to be slaughtered in seconds!

Till then…

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