Tai Zuo was the first who discerned the incoming "intruder", as he hurried the other folks to get up and hide under the shadow of Coxcomb. Wow, that’s actually pretty smart. Complimented Ye Chong in his mind.
What actually happened was, everyone regained consciousness after Ye Chong left the ship, especially after being given expert care from Meng Fei’er, where their condition had improved a lot. Tai Zuo’s reaction towards the incoming object was justified, the fact that he had taken the personality of the distant young man into consideration and had identified that if any incident were to happen, they would be the last few persons on ship to be directly involved. Thus, he ran away with the remaining members to the shadow. At least there were engines installed on their protective suits. It felt miraculous when they actually made it back to the Coxcomb despite their laid-back hovering. But the gate was already closed by then. So they only managed to sneak into the shadow of Coxcomb and wait for Ye Chong’s return.
"Ah!" And Mu opened the gate right before he arrived by Coxcomb, which left the 5 men in dismay upon seeing this never-before-seen mech flying towards them. "What are you waiting for?" shouted Ye Chong, hustling the gang in their daydreams.
They might have never seen that mech before, but they heard Ye Chong’s voice, and started space-swimming towards the opened Coxcomb.
The hunting mechs behind Mu ceased their acceleration upon seeing the Coxcomb. Anyone of them could imagine the size of an army inside a spaceship of such hugeness. They might have strong rapports with each other and also armed with something, but they would not dare to infuriate the hundreds, no, the thousands inside the ship.
"Well, Mu," stated Ye Chong, "It looks like there is a need to equip you with some weaponry, or you would be too passive in the situation."
"Agreed," said Mu, "Our achievement this time is great. The loots are sufficient to produce a few weapons."
"What kind of weapons would you like, Mu?" Ye Chong asked with full of interest, since Mu was never armed with a gun or a blade from the very beginning he picked the machine from the trash, and Mu had always been fighting with weapons "borrowed" from the opponents, which were discarded right after the duel ended. Ye Chong did recognize that bit of pride in Mu, where probably he disdained those substandard weapons so much that he would never keep them as his toys for long-term.
"Regarding that… Ye, you would know when time arrives." And the artificial intelligence returned with a brief statement imbued with slight mystery, which further intrigued the young man inside the cabin.
The 5 mechs remained afar. Apparently they had never made a wild guess that the ship could also be literally empty. They fired a yellow signal next.
Mu soared in after seeing the running men having made back inside Coxcomb. The gate was closed right after.
Ye Chong gave a sigh of relief after Mu had landed safely. Their safety would be at better guarantee as long as they were inside Coxcomb.
"Oh how glad am I to-" Ye Chong was welcomed by the gang when he left the cabin, but the corner of his lips caused an astonishment, as stained by blood. What kind of danger had this young man faced that he was actually wounded while being inside a mech? The mystery lingered within the mind of the gang. And he survived? Wow. The capabilities of the indifferent young man had convinced the gang.
"Are you alright?" asked Meng Fei’er, being the medical staff of the team, "Do you need help?"
The indifferent young man shook his head, as he took a glance at the members, who looked to be in the pink of health, well, at least their expression did not seem agonized, even though it looked a little pale. Ye Chong could have provided some help since whatever Lunatic Guan had taught him before could be used for medication as well, but he was still a novice compared to Meng Fei’er the trained.
Ye Chong’s body had also recovered from the fatigue, as he felt the strength in his muscles.
The first thing on his priority list was to change the detection mode of the Coxcomb to Photon Mode, instead of Hologramic Mode which had proven its helplessness under such strong magnetic interference. The Hologramic System had been jammed, so it would be a sane choice to use the traditional Photon Mode instead to retain the visibility of the surrounding.
Of course Ye Chong had made up his mind to depart. The planet nearby had given him ample horror, which that unidentifiable lifeform underground was the most threatening. He had fulfilled his mission here, "Time to move."
Ye Chong was going to pull the lever and blast off to infinity and beyond, but then… There seemed to be a white spaceship traveling towards them, if what he saw on the photon display was right.
Oh no… Ye Chong’s hope sank.
It could be the first time Ye Chong saw such model of spaceship, but he could tell, that obviously it was a corvette from the MPA. There was a distinctive style on all MPA ships, from the aspect of weaponry that is. To someone who had been through the weaponry production like Ye Chong, no doubt that would be the first thing crossing in his mind. Whether the ship was a warship or an ordinary spaceship, well, a ship that was sent to a dangerous zone like this, it had to be a warship. Thought Ye Chong.
So the MPA came to join the party? Even the indifferent young man could not help but to frown upon the situation, as he reminisced the times he fought an actual corvette from the MPA. It was not a good experience. And the Coxcomb had zero experience in the warfield, his potential remained something to gamble with.
Ye Chong had automatically identified the incoming warship as being hostile. But how did the MPA get here? It was puzzling to Ye Chong since Vicente had only one student but there were already two organizations hovering around. Had the whole world found out the news?
The corvette of MPA travelled quickly. It was much quicker compared to the Coxcomb.
As they inched towards the Coxcomb, Ye Chong could finally see the exact appearance of the ship. Unlike the Twin Moon he had encountered before, this corvette had merely a curved body painted completely in white. And compared to the Coxcomb which had a length of 5km, this corvette was much smaller. Probably a mere 2 kilometers, Ye Chong supposed, although that huge pipe on top of the corvette was a gasp-worthy surprise.
Gradually Ye Chong could see the weaponry on that approaching corvette. He flinched. Wasn’t that an electromagnetic cannon? Ye Chong who had produced few of his own immediately pinpointed that firepower setting. The tubes were plain white. Nevertheless they looked exactly like the tubes Ye Chong made.
"Ye, this is the Eclipse. Unlike Twin Moon, this is a warship of single-moon, a conquering model, where its main firepowers are scattered into 22 electromagnetic firings. The main cannon
Is great but only suitable for passive-aggressive position, like on a galactic stronghold for example. The Eclipse is chiefly used for its reflexibility, its petite size and mobility while retaining a certain level of firepower," introduced Mu and he sounded as if he was reciting from a textbook.
"Mu, you know this warship?" asked Ye Chong. There had been occasions where Mu showed unreasonable amount of knowledge on the working of MPA, although he was not that shocked by the detail.
The artificial intelligence went silent for a moment. "Mhm, it seemed like there is a massive amount of information regarding various aspects of Mech-Pilot Association inside my databank, where part of them has been destroyed. Ye, I might have an undeniable association with the MPA, although I have yet discovered any information to justify that hypothesis."
"Mu…" Ye Chong could not help but to ask, "Do you want to know your past?"
"Not really." Flatly Mu replied, "My past self has nothing much to do with my current self. It was solely for formation of a much logical relationship. Ye, you are the only person both of us would approve. At least on this extent, both Shang and I would mutually agree."
"Ah… i-i-i-i-i-is this the warship?" Tai Zuo’s face was pale as he stood by the horrified team of his, while watching the the visual of the Eclipse becoming bigger and clearer on the projection. This was probably the exact expression from anyone of the 5 major galaxies upon a warship’s arrival, since the warship had become a pronoun, a term of the history the moment the governments of the 5 major galaxies forbade the research and development of war units like the warship. They had gone extinct after the production was ceased, which their former glory as once a jaw-opener to everyone was fading into a discolored scenery.
But there Tai Zuo and his team were, seeing an actual warship heading towards them.
The arrival of the MPA seemed to have alarmed that 5 mechs watching at the corner. Well that was what Ye Chong speculated, since they should at least recognize that incoming warship being the MPA’s.
"Hey!" Shouted Meng Fei’er, pointing at the other side of the projection, "Look! What is this?"
There was clearly a black dot at the corner, which seemed to be enlarging over time.
Ye Chong’s expression melted…
The black dot approached them quickly, it did not take long before everyone recognized what it was.
"A-a-a-another warship?!" screamed Han Ben, as he looked at his mates in graceless manner.
Ye Chong was more silent than ever, as he knew.
It was a warship.
From the Black Coves.
The ships of the Black Coves always had a badge in the shape of a long, narrow leaf. It was really obvious, as the war units of Black Coves were thoroughly black. A glowing kind of black, probably they had infused the armor with their specialty, the black gold.
It was a major plot twist in Ye Chong’s script. There were already the MPA and the Black Coves. It would not be far-fetched if a Sanctuary warship came nonchalantly into the scene soon, supposed Ye Chong.
"Look at that!"
Right after his speculation went wild in his mind, he saw the third warship… in a shape of some kind of unnamed bird in the projection. Wait. A. Minute! Don’t tell me… is it a reunion day for the three forces? Ye Chong could no longer word his feelings.
Well, the 5 mechs watching at the corner seemed to be more panicked than Ye Chong himself, as they continuously cursed the pilot of the warship from their side, "Where the hell are they? We need backups!" The sudden participation of the other 3 uninvited guests was pressuring them to death.
They probably had never thought that it was the signals they sent off that attracted the guests.
"Leader!" shouted one man. It was a relieving sight as the leader turned back, as the warship had finally arrived. The 5 mechs were calmer the moment an antique-looking warship flew into the scene. No more delay! The 5 mechs flew to their mothership like a group of lost children, being chased by the darkest nightmare in their dream.
Ye Chong … He was at utter loss of words. The namely secret he had been holding had all gone into the light, it was as if the whole galaxy had known it. At least he made his travel fast or he would have to snatch the ores with the forces.
The reality? The planet was not wholly discovered by Vicente’s student alone. There were 4 of them, where one turned out to be a big mouth. Seemingly unable to watch his mouth, he leaked the information which then everybody else knew their discovery. Then the 4 organizations around Ye Chong now. No doubt, no organization would go uninterested on a planet like this. Not only the inhabited planet would signify a free base, but also there would be resources, countless of them, thus the income, the rolling cash into their base.
The moment they knew the pioneering folks of the inhabited planet, they raided upon them, almost simultaneously. It was such painful coincidence that they had to bump into each other every time they wanted to work something on the project. Inevitably, they had to fight for the 4 members and they realized none of them would overcome the other at this rate. So they shared the members. A member for each organization. And this particular 4th force joining the Battle Royale, had their first time banging their head against the 3 forces, and the funny thing was, they did not lose badly apparently.
After the 4 members had been escorted to each organization, their information extracted, the organization was well-aware of how their counterparts would have the same amount of information and how they would likely to lose anything if they never acted fast. So immediately after they sent off their ships to the planet, trying to get a share of the pie on the table.
It was surprising that the planet was capsuled in the magnetic force, that all their hologramic detection system had gone offline and in the end, they had never come across each other, nor they had seen the planet.
Fortunately, thanks to the 5 meddling mechs for sending off a signal, they had been guided and thus, reunited at this place. Wonder how the pilots on those 5 mechs would react if they knew themselves being the cause of the scene…
And this scene, this grand scene of a brewing storm was something not on everyone’s script as well. None of them took action. The space was boundless and dark, where 4 warships and 1 spaceships were standing against each other, freezing. The 4 warships were familiar of existence of each other, nothing surprising. But the Coxcomb, the 5th ship that should not be here, was appearing odd in between them.
Everyone’s eyes went upon the Coxcomb, as they wondered where the warship belonged to. The Coxcomb was humongous, which was a perfect walking bullseye.
They were eager… very eager.
The team at the Coxcomb had their faces distorted into something indistinguishable. It was fear, but more than fear; it was hopeless, but more than hopeless. Meng Fei’er even covered her eyes, her body quivering. It was a pitiful sight.
Ye Chong remained calm.
Tai Zuo marveled at the calmness of this young man.
The 4 warships had the same thought - one side less meant one less share, one less share meant one more loot. Simple math, simple logic. Obviously neither of the side could no longer dominate the entire planet on its own. They got to share and if that was the case, lesser the share the merrier.
The armor of a Zika spaceship could be all sturdy and mighty but would be feeble when being gashed upon by the other warships. Mech? It would be a joke, all of the forces were the expert of mech-piloting.
The forces thirsted the loot, as they approached the spaceship together, like the 4 foxes eyeing a wild hare.
Just when everyone was going to flaunt their offenses, the harmless-looking rabbit raised its fang out of sudden!
It was a plot twist. It was not in the script. And everyone was gasping, heavily.