Blade never liked talking. He nodded grimly at the leader’s command and turned to leave. Black team was the pirate leader’s security retinue, and the strongest force in the entire crew. These men were all expert mech pilots, and were numbered to be 300. They were all well trained and skilled in combat. The pirate leader decided to use his trump card, signalling the climax of this battle.
A large swarm of mechs headed towards the massive starship. Shang noticed them as soon as they were deployed. He realized their plans immediately.
"Hehe, Ye, I’ll leave this place to you," Shang said and went back into Coxcomb.
"Alright," Ye Chong replied plainly.
The pirate leader saw the sniper mech pilot returning into the starship, and felt much relieved. As expected, the enemy had squirmed. However, before he could fully appreciate the moment, he saw the sniper came back out from his holographic screen.
Was the enemy really so confident? The pirate leader did not what else they had in their sleeves.
Shang gave an evil laugh, but the electronic sound was a little creepy to hear. Not that there was anyone around to hear it. Shang’s battle lust was now fully unleashed. If the pirate leader saw what Shang had by his side now, he would probably faint.
Right next to Shang was a stack of energy cells that went up to half the mech’s height. This was what he went to retrieve. While Recursion was a powerful weapon, it consumed energy very quickly. It was a pity that the teardrop mineralite could not be used yet, else Recursion could continue shooting for a very long time.
Even so, these energy cells here should be enough.
Ye Chong wandered around the starship fleet. The starship which held Grandpa Qian was Shang’s main objective, and the pirates around the ship were all dealt with. Ye Chong had to sweep out further to find the other pirates.
Ye Chong moved across the battlefield carefully. He dared to be hasty. Puppet had exchanged its defense for better agility, so its armor was not as reliable. If an enemy hit him with a laser beam, he would not fare very well. Death by carelessness was not part of his plan.
This was a huge and chaotic hunting range, and Ye Chong was like a cunning and graceful hunter.
Ye Chong saw two mechs ahead of him, shooting at each other as they took evasive measures. It was easy to differentiate between the mechs of the pirates and the hired mech squads. The pirates’ mechs were colourful and came in all kinds of models, some even made up of parts that did not work well together. The mech squad’s mechs look more uniform, and were models that could be found in the market.
Ye Chong could tell at once the next step those two mechs would take. His rich experience in battle allowed him to do so.
Puppet moved like an assassin, quietly hiding behind the starship. It kept its body close to the hull, less than five meters away from the tip of the starship.
Puppet waited intently, like a lizard waiting to make its killer strike.
Ye Chong counted the seconds as the pirate’s mech slowly emerged above the ship. Inside the pilot cabin, Ye Chong moved abruptly, his hands flying across the controls in a blur of a shadow. It was a pity that no one was watching him.
Puppet was like a lizard clinging closely to the starship’s armor, but now it sprang up, drawing an arch in space. In the next moment, Puppet crashed into the pirate’s mech. At this close distance, Ye Chong could see all the details of the other party’s mech.
Puppet was lying in ambush behind the starship, and its silent attack came as a surprise, coming from below. As Puppet’s clown-like face appeared to the pirate in the mech, the mech pilot was momentarily stunned.
The parrying spear from Puppet’s right arm launched, driving straight through the other mech’s pilot cabin. Out of all of Puppet’s installed parts, the spear was the most valuable. The spear, mixed in with black gold, was perfectly suited for penetrating its victims.
Puppet pushed against the now useless mech in its hands and swept back into darkness.
The Oak Leaves mech pilot who was just now engaged with the pirate mech only saw a slim figure bouncing off his opponent and disappearing into thin air. After long moments of waiting in anticipation, he finally noticed that the pirate’s mech was already damaged, the pilot dead inside. He thought back to the figure that appeared and disappeared so quickly into the darkness.
Ye Chong felt like he was back on the trash planet, and the starships around were the mountains of trash. Ye Chong maneuvered Puppet around the starships, hiding in their shadows, the way he flew Winnie between the trash mountains.
Ye Chong’s attacks were all meant to kill. He did not squander any movements, and would only choose the most opportune moment to deliver the fatal blow from the darkness to his unaware enemy. His pair of parrying spears had pierced through the armor of numerous mechs, and Ye Chong did not give mercy to any of the pirates inside them. This was war, and mercy was a luxury. Ye Chong had no habit of practicing mercy.
In truth, if not for Grandpa Qian, Ye Chong would never have gotten involved. Since he had decided to step in now, though, he would do his best and leave no loose ends, giving no chance to his enemy.
Burning in Ye Chong’s cold eyes was the flame of battle.
Puppet jumped from starship to starship without slowing down. Ye Chong was already immersed in the mood for battle, a state of mind meshed from calmness and excitement. Ye Chong’s hands no longer moved quickly for his own sake, but moved more easily, slowing down or speeding up according to need. He would stay motionless for one moment, but move so quickly it was hard to see his hands in the next. This transition between moving very quickly and not moving at all was strange, but Ye Chong did not notice it. In fact, he felt it come naturally. The mech was like an extension of his body, and his every thought was translated into the mech’s movements.
Under Ye Chong’s maneuvering, Puppet moved erratically in sudden jerks of speed, or rising and falling abruptly. It flew unpredictably like a ghost, or as deftly as a monkey.
The skill of battle could only be honed on the battleground.
Shang was also in the state of mind for combat. In truth, Mu had always taken charge in battles, but even Mu had never did it more than a few times. According to Mu, only when Ye had truly matured that he would be allowed to maneuver them. Hence, unless the situation was desperate, Mu would not reveal himself directly. Shang was born even earlier than Mu, and no one would believe that he was not actually experienced in battle.
What a joke! Was a mech made of so much rare metal used just for decoration? Besides, the injury on Mu and Shang’s left arm was the perfect evidence of their history. If Shang was a conscious being, then he must have some inborn fighting instinct. However, the topic of consciousness in PSI’s was a little weird.
Now, Shang looked cold and emotionless, Recursion held steadily in his right hand. If he was performing at the mech pilot’s NR Training Center, he would earn full marks for this.
Despite his usual blabbering, Shang was now the perfect killing machine.
To Blade and his three-hundred strong advanced mech squad, it was a disaster of devastating proportions. The blue beam came as a harbinger of death, each shot answered by a loss of one of their mechs.
What terrifying accuracy! The sniper had never missed. Even someone as capable as Blade could not help but feel hopeless. Could there really be such a crazy sniper mech pilot? With his long experience walking the edges between life and death, Blade knew that no matter how strong a person was, anyone, even himself, would commit a mistake at some point. His experience had validated this belief of his time and again, but this half-concealed sniper mech pilot had yet committed any fault.
The constant explosions of mechs illuminated the swarm of mechs. An observer could easily mistook that the mechs were facing the full force of another mech squad. In truth, their enemy was only a single person.
Long distance sniping, the most difficult part of shooting training, was now performed flawlessly by this unknown mech pilot. It was a divine performance. The further the target, the harder it was to shoot accurately. At their current distance, any slight error in shooting angle would be greatly amplified. No sniper mech pilot could maintain a perfect shooting record at long distances.
There was once a famous sniper mech pilot who said, "In long distance sniping, you need luck more than half the time." This was the perfect testimony on how difficult long distance sniping could be.
What vexed Blade now was how very lucky his enemy was at the moment.
On normal days, the time it would take for him to reach the Zika class starship would be but the blink of an eye; now, however, it felt like forever. His comrades were thinning out. Blade knew that retreat was not possible at this point. Even if they turned back, they would still be within range of the enemy, and it would only make it easier for the enemy to finish them off.
Blade was not the only who understood their situation. Black team’s members were all veterans of battle, who came to the same conclusion. They braced themselves and charged forward. Once the sniper was within their attack range, they would be able to fire back.
Without the need for orders, they flew in a scattered formation, and deployed evasive measures. While these evasive measures could not prevent the death of the sniper’s targets, it was obvious that the frequency at which the blue beam appeared had decreased.
Shang continued to shoot steadily, unperturbed.
Ye Chong could not remember how many times he had attacked, but the number of mech pilots he had rescued from battle was increasing. For the first time, the mech pilots in the two mech squads outnumbered the pirates, if but slightly.
In the control room of Red Lion’s mech squad captain, everyone gaped at the holographic screen. After a long moment, the beautiful redhead sitting on the captain’s seat muttered, "Heavens, is that guy human?" This beautiful redhead was Red Lion’s squad captain, Claudia. With her fiery red hair, she was one of the very few female mech pilots who attained the title of advanced mech pilot.
At twenty five, Claudia was at the prime of her beauty. Her mature and hot personality was attractive, and made her the center of attention anywhere she went. Her snow white skin, aquiline nose and sapphire eyes were assets that she took pride in.
She was also a good leader. Red Lion mech squad was only a group of twenty when she took over, and now it had expanded into a massive five-hundred strong mech squad.
Now, Claudia was wearing a dazed expression, tinged with awe born out of ignorance. However, this beautiful sight was lost to the people around her, for everyone was as shocked as she was now. The skinny mech figure on the holographic screen did not seem remotely strong or valiant, but perhaps a little comedic, its colorful exterior making it look much like a clown. However, this clown-like mech had evoked a chilling sense of foreboding in their hearts.
This was a master of ambush, and an expert in mech combat and mech maneuvering!
The clown mech’s colorful face was silly looking, but no one in the control room was laughing. To them, the silly face was a cover for whatever chilling fear it could evoke. They can all imagine the mech pilot sitting in the pilot cabin watching those pirate mechs with arrogant eyes!
Claudia was also thoroughly convinced of the clown mech’s pilot's strength. The pilot was a master in all respects, be it in strategizing, timing, combat skills and mech maneuvering. What surprised Claudia the most was the pilot’s calm steadiness - the clown mech had dealt with dozens of pirate mechs, but he still continued to fight as systematically as when he had first started.
Such an inhuman calmness! Claudia could almost believe that this mech pilot was a top class assassin from a professional killer’s guild.
He did not like flying, but preferred to leap, or move on all fours. He kept to the darkness, and stuck to ambushing, using the rarely preferred parrying spear. All these signs showed that the mech pilot was someone rather peculiar.
She could not help but steal another glance at the starship named Coxcomb. She could not understand how an ill-named starship could have such an expert.
Was this an unconventional master of battle?
Coxcomb also had another equally intimidating sniper mech pilot, and he was now single-handedly and successfully dealing with over 300 mechs! Claudia looked at the other holographic screen. The swarm of mechs was now left with only a few dozen of them, engaged in shooting with the sniper. She felt reluctant to continue watching. These were all advanced mech pilot veterans, and a formidable power when they were deployed. Nonetheless, they were now undeniably being broken apart by a single mech with a weird energy gun.
What was Coxcomb’s story? What was its owner like? What did its two masters of combat look like? How were they related to the owner of Coxcomb?
This was all very curious!
If Shang were to find out that a beautiful woman was calling him a master of combat, perhaps he might lose a bit of his current fighting composure. Of course, that was another story.
Fortunately, Claudia understood her situation. These two masters of combat could never be hers to command. She would not try to pull them in to her mech squad.
The battle was nearing its end, as the pirates mech numbers dwindled. Ye Chong had scoured the entire fleet of starships, and killed all of the pirate mechs who wished to board the starships.
"Shang, how’s your side?" Ye Chong asked.
"Hehe, Ye, this is too much fun! Sigh, too bad there’s not enough of them going, if they only have a hundred more mechs." Shang’s excited reply made Ye Chong relax. "Shang must be in a really good mood," thought Ye Chong. In fact, Shang was not only that, but nearly mad from exhilaration. If not for the diminishing number of energy cells by his side, Shang would even try shooting with the recursive particle cannon shots.
A huge rock of ore was flying slowly past Ye Chong. Ye Chong looked towards the pirate ships far away, tightly protected, and was struck with a crazy idea. Immediately, Puppet leapt to the ore and grabbed onto it like an insect, securing itself on one side of the ore. Then, the mech fired its engines at full blast, and the ore drew an arch in space with Puppet and Ye Chong on it, headed towards the pirate ships.
Claudia took everything in and could not help but gasped, "What is he thinking?"