In visuals of every ship, the Coxcomb suddenly rose its bars, and within the opening, countless pipes were raised towards them. The laser firing devices were filled between the remaining gaps.
And they thought they were the foxes, hunting for the hare, which turned out to be quite the opposite. The dark tubes were exerting fearsome brutality. The laser firing devices were quiet, inactive but one could imagine the density of the firing with that amount on a giant ship.
The change in the script was unacceptable to the forces, where most of them dazed upon. That expression of theirs would make people wonder if they were really the elites in combat.
"Hey! Aren’t those electromagnetic cannons?" The scream of one man from the Eclipse caught the attention of everybody else. They knew their cannons and a glance was more than enough for them to verify the validity of the object before them. They crowded upon the visuals and got into a noisy discussion. The leader of the ship however, was pale.
"Oh my MPA, that’s really an electromagnetic cannon."
"Stop messing around, the cannon is our secret weapon, how would that warship have it?"
"Beats me. Someone has probably leaked it."
"The confidentiality department should be executed, like right now."
The captain was at loss of idea too. He had been the captain for years and there had been cases where he led the entire crew on the Eclipse successfully. No one had known the ship much better than himself. The main firepower of the Eclipse, the electromagnetic cannons, their properties were something he knew like the back of his hands. The weapon could give a large area a heavy blow, in spite of its deadly weakness, the high energy consumption, which eventually limited the performance of the Eclipse in offenses since they lacked the space to install more batteries.
And there was this Zika graded spaceship precisely, the warship holding an outrageous amount of electromagnetic cannons, that had outnumbered those on the captain’s ship. The captain was overwhelmed that he corrected his perception of this warship before him, that it was clearly no longer an ordinary spaceship, rather it was a killing warship. Although he could not give the exact figure on the number of tubes at that ship, he was well-aware that he and his crew would be the one sinking under the foe’s bombardment instead. Being an experienced captain, his comment did stand a certain extent of credibility. Of course, if the foe wanted to launch the cannon and initiate the war, he as the captain himself would not hold back but to send off his elites and demonstrate what true rapports between the captain and his crew were. His crew was not something to be defeated by some random warships. With his expertise, it should be a 50:50 in the end.
Furthermore, the outnumbering electromagnetic cannons would also suggest that the foe depleted the energy of the ship much faster. Zika-graded warship might be giant in size to be convincing enough to have tons of batteries, but one must know that it would also require a major crew to fully pilot the entire ship. Thus, there would not be a sustainable amount of batteries for multiple electromagnetic blows, since this ship was not for warring purposes in the first place, as justified by the sturdiness of its armor, which was something never competent compared to the real warship. It also would sail sluggishly and make turnings much later than the others. These would inevitably be the lethal weaknesses of the ship.
The SWOT analysis ran rapidly in the mind of the captain.
His expression would be priceless if he were to be informed that there were no more than 6 persons on that ship.
"Observers!" The eyes of the captain froze the moment they lay on a specific spot of the ship, as if they made a major discovery, "Enlarge the visual! Now!" The voice roared throughout the room, as the face of the captain tightened. Temper, agony resounded and silenced the remaining crew as their eyes set upon the enraged captain, wondering what had gotten into their wise and usually undisturbed leader.
The observers on duty who had been adjusting the Photon Visual System shuddered. Their experience and knowledge saved them for they managed to perform what the captain asked within milliseconds although being extremely panicked.
"Enlarge the cannons." The voice was profound.
The electromagnetic cannons of the Coxcombs were immediately enlarged, to a point where everyone in the room could see the details, how dark the tubes were.
And the face of captain ran as cold as the tubes in the visuals.
What … is this? How would the captain not immediately identify it as being made out of something he recognized, after all these years he had been warring with the Black Coves? Black gold was the metal exclusive to the Black Covers and any metal coated by the black gold would exert a kind of strange glow, just like this. It was something impossible to be imitated by the other alloys, which the members of the MPA authority would resentfully covet upon. These were only extractable deep inside the Black Coves, they were likely going to stay as a green-eyed monster for all eternity, although their research on a replacement, a replica never stopped once. Their research had shown that the black gold had much stronger expression in energy-based weaponry compared to physical weaponry for its energy activity was very high, which would be perfect for energy-based weaponry production.
The details of the research were not something open to the public, not even a frontline member like the captain himself, but he was once informed the information on the black gold accidentally during an occasion. It was irony although Black Coves had such a god’s gift, they were lagging way behind in development of energy-based weaponry. It would be considered as a miracle despite all the overpowered effects of black gold, they remained at a similar standard of capabilities.
And there he was, with his eyes wavering at a thing he was confused of. The tubes were obviously made out of black gold, which were installed on electromagnetic cannons, something that should be exclusive to the MPA. The foe was one with the technological standard of MPA and the amazing metallurgical development on the black gold application, who also built an actual set of electromagnetic cannons. The firepower… the firepower… It would be something the captain too feared to predict. The MPA never once had the opportunity to perform sufficient experiments on the black gold infusion as the ores were very scarce.
Assuming only the captain understood such fact on the MPA’s Eclipse, the Black Covers should be well-aware of the situation as well. They knew their black gold better than the MPA, even though their focus on close-combats had led them an underdeveloped weaponry. It was a known fact among the Black Covers on the application of black gold on energy-based weaponry, while also the electromagnetic cannons were something they long coveted. No matter how hard they had tried in the past, they never got their hands on the actual print of electromagnetic cannon.
Now, after that round of astounding discovery, there was one question in all of them.
Where did he get this much of black gold?
Black gold was in fact exclusive to the Black Covers but it was uncommon. Quite the contrary to the captain’s assumption, being naturally a strategical material as well as an expensive metal ore, its transport was carefully watched the whole time. It would be impossible for it to accidentally leak to someone out there to be made into tubes of electromagnetic cannon.
Also, not only the Black Coves and the MPA were at confusion, the Sanctuary and that mysterious organization seemed to have noticed the same.
And everyone was there, speculating, wondering, hypothesizing, inferring the identity of the leading one in the Zika ship.
The hare had transformed into something beyond their control. The supposedly weakest one had ascended and outraced them to be one with the strongest firepower, which made everybody else hold their fire. The weaponry on that ship was one to be feared of. No one was confident enough to assure their victory upon fighting against the ship officially, since it was simple - the moment they were damaged, they would be weakened and very likely they would lose their former share of the loots in the end as they would be forced out of the race prematurely. Moreover, it had been a bloodshed known fact that each force had bad blood with each other, written in countless bleeding histories one would gash upon, given one of the forces were weakened, how would they miss the golden opportunity to deliver the necessary final blow?
A new rule, in the form of a new balance was set upon the playing teams.
Out of sudden, the shrill came after. Everyone was shocked. Ye Chong frowned, his men were astounded, as never they would expect an undisturbed young man like Ye Chong having such a disturbed expression. What kind of monster would make such sound? The question sprouted in their heads.
It was merely a frown, which Ye Chong withdrew from soon after.
"Mu, let’s leave this place now," Ye Chong first contacted Mu.
"Yes. Logical suggestion accepted. Execute promptly," Mu acknowledged.
The combat squads of the 4 warships looked at their mates, especially after seeing how that largest warship was backing away upon hearing that strange shrill.
Did the ship… chicken out?
The Coxcomb might seemed to chicken out and backed away, but his cannons were still pointing right at those 4 warships around, so the warships around did not take any action, although their leaders were dissatisfied of their helplessness. On a second thought, that would be good, one less member to the game, one less share to be given away. The captains snickered, as experience had reasoned the Coxcomb as the foolish one who seemed to be assuming a war was happening between them. "Well, not today." They would not be warring each other and this foolish ship would not stand a chance to steal the loots from them in the midst of chaos. If the ship still insisted his uninvited participation, no doubt the 4 ships would join forces and get rid of him.
The strange shrill did slip through their ears. It was never part of their attention. It would be a joke if a warship powerful like theirs to be defeated by a mere living thing.
Ye Chong was relieved. His exit was a peaceful one, as he saw the remaining warships shrinking in his visuals. He wondered how the warships would handle the monster if the monster ever got out of the ground. But he already speculated a painful fight if he were the one involved. Regarding what could happen to the 4 warships, "None of my business."
Ye Chong felt safer. There was no medium for the hypersonic to travel in the space, so he would not be wounded. That hypersonic was not something to mess with.
Ye Chong was at peace, especially after he confirmed to have left out the proximity of that peculiar planet.
The other members on his team, well, were at horror. Their injuries remained and now they were shocked almost to their death.
"Was…w-was that a warship?" asked Meng Fei’er, biting her lips, never wanting to believe what she saw and what she was going to say, but she said it anyway. Their eyes set upon Ye Chong, who were nonchalantly on his seat. Obviously the young man had known more darkness in the background than the team.
"Yes." Ye Chong found her question a little strange so he took a glance at her and nodded, "Those were the warships." Well it was because the Coxcomb was also a warship in disguise, just that the members never got to see his true appearance.
"No…No…" Out of the blue, teardrops rolled off the maiden’s cheek, "Is there going to be a war soon?" Her expression was not agitated, softly her question went.
The question was probably what everybody else was thinking. The impression upon seeing a warship appearing out of nowhere, they would associate its appearance with war itself. Fear filled the men’s eyes the moment Meng Fei’er voiced her doubts. They were not the young folks, they had experienced, and had understood the brutality of war.
"We would know after we got into Tappero galaxy." Ye Chong’s voice was low, "But, whether there would be a war, it would be only a matter of time." He was surprised that the 3 forces could retain their balance and relationship for so long. But there was already a plot twist in their book, the emergence of the 4th force would no doubt lead to a transition period, the balance had already been broken, and to build a new balance to accommodate the 4th force, they would have to do it the painful way.
"Ha… H…" Her voice was shaky, her tears were streaming, her mates were escaping the reality. No way Ye Chong would comprehend her feelings, the feeling of a resident re-experiencing the war itself after years of peace being in the 5 major galaxies.
Even if Ye Chong could compute her feelings, he would only think of ways to improve his strength, rather than being somber over what already happened, to give better chance of his survival if a war were to happen.
Ye Chong got to a single room, where Multipede was placed. It was an isolated room for Ye Chong believed, the lesser people knew the source of his strength, the better it was to himself.
And it was Ye Chong’s favorite past time - counting the loots.
He took out the Teardrops from his bag. One… Two… Oh he had seven of them. The Teardrops were indeed a marvel but similar to Do-Kun stone, they were something unusable at the moment, unlike those ores inside Multipede, practical and immediately useable.
Speaking of Multipede, it was terrorizing to look at its appearance. The hypersonic attack nearly murdered the machine. The armors were either cracked or shattered. Most of its mechanical legs were broken. And Mu forced Multipede to travel through the winding tunnels, one could say it was close to malfunction.
The transmutated energy ores on the other hand, were doing good
And after Mu’s explanation, Ye Chong finally understood what exactly the ores were.