That semi-concealed mech on this strange warship was using Recursion, but Luo Wei was certain that it was not a White Hunter. White Hunters never made him feel so threatened before, and his combat instincts had never failed him.
It had been a few days, and he never noticed any other mech besides these two. Could they be the only passengers of this ship?
Luo Wei was confounded. The warship was strange, no matter how he looked at it.
To think that an electromagnetic cannon made of black gold alloy was found on this starship. He could not figure out how they whipped up such a powerful weapon. The close range full-skeleton mech and the always semi-concealed powerful mech armed with Recursion was not a duo that could be found in the MPA.
He also had reason to believe that this odd duo was not from any of the Three Forces. As far as he knew, black gold would never be lost to outsiders. Different black gold alloy could have different proportions of black gold and hence, different quality. Their properties would not be alike. The EM cannon used by the other party, however, had a high proportion of black gold, implying that they had the material in significant quantities.
Black Coves true nature was not as outsiders would imagine. Black Cove mech pilots were usually solitary, and spent most of their time training. Competition was strong within the organization, an important factor that led to powerful Black Cove mech pilots. Unless it was an order from the higher-ups, the pilots preferred not to concern themselves with other matters. This was why Luo Wei did not know the reason Black Cove was pursuing Ye Chong.
However, the odd warship before him was also very intriguing. If this was not the Cyana Galaxy, the Sanctuary’s territory, he would have called for backup. Now, however, he was stuck in this awkward situation.
The mech pilot of the full-skeleton mech seemed to be very energetic, more than he could imagine. He came for battle every day like he never needed to rest. At first, Luo Wei handled the battles easily, but the routine became harder and harder. That was when he realized that he was dealing with a genius, a battle genius.
Ye Chong had no time to think on his situation. In truth, he was spending his days in quite a fulfilling way. Aside from his daily battles, he spent the rest of his time studying the battle recordings. He must find the reason the opponent was better than him, and try to improve himself. Ye Chong had great talent in combat, and in just the span of a few months, he was able to undergo a transformation. Whenever he was busy, Shang would stay out of his way, holding Recursion in his lap while he sat by the hatch, like he was deep in thought.
Ye Chong was beginning to understand Luo Wei’s battle patterns. To him, it was not the most powerful moves that made a person strong, but solid fundamentals and excellent split decision making during battle.
Under this high pressure "training", Ye Chong’s talents were fully unleashed. From his initial near-death experience under the opponent’s crescent blades to his current form of being able to fend for himself, Ye Chong could hardly believe how he had transformed.
Ye Chong’s pressure on Luo Wei grew stronger. Luo Wei never expected to see anyone improve so much in such a short time. Luo Wei had always been proud of his own innate talent, but even he had spent five years to rise from Thorn mech pilot to the status of Darklight mech pilot.
This mech pilot had used only a few months to improve himself from a Thorn mech pilot level to a Darklight mech pilot level. As the person who enabled this, Luo Wei did not feel any sense of accomplishment, but only despair and humiliation. This, however, had also made him more eager to win.
Every person has something they are most proud of, that they would never allow to be trampled upon.
Luo Wei ignored the mech pilot with Recursion, and fought with his all whenever the full-skeleton mech came for a fight. After the battles, he would return to his ship to study the battle recordings. He could not stand watching how his opponent improved day by day while he stagnated at his current level.
Luo Wei’s full force attacks were immediately felt by Ye Chong. However, after the initial quick defeats, he soon adjusted and improved even faster.
This situation continued on for a few more days. Luo Wei was pleased to find that he himself was also improving, at a speed that he would have been impressed with before. However, now that there was this other crazy fellow with him, he could not exactly be happy with his achievements.
Luo Wei had already forgotten his original mission. After he realized the benefits, Luo Wei put more effort into the battles. An opportunity like this was rare. In an organization like Black Cove, where strength decided one’s status, he understood the value of strength. Besides, the higher-ups did not exactly give up clear orders. He had flexibility in his mission this time, and so he indulged in the joy of battling to improve his skills.
Ye Chong’s varied and flexible combat style greatly expanded his mind, and he worked even more earnestly to train with his "partner". The strong mech pilot never appeared again, implying that the blue beam of death never crossed the space between them again. Luo Wei believed that they had no plans of killing him in the immediate future. The other party may choose to end his life at any time, but Luo Wei did not want to miss this golden opportunity to improve himself. To him, the risk was worth it.
Luo Wei guessed right. Shang was having fun with Little Rock every day. Shang was surprised that the other party could compute his warp jump locations accurately, so he sent a message to him. This earned an unexpected reply from the other party.
Little Rock was a computation genius, and Shang was similarly capable at some level. The two of them were a good fit together. Little Rock was still young, and obviously the academic type. Once it involved his expertise, he could forget about everything else.
Thus, a strange situation arose. The enemies began to have a dialogue with each other.
Ye Chong could not fight against Luo Wei for even longer. Their battles would often take half a day to come to an end. After so many days of battle, they were now very familiar with each other’s moves, and so the battles stretched on longer and longer. However, this served to emphasise Ye Chong’s advantage in stamina. The fact was vexing to Luo Wei. How could a Black Cove mech pilot be physically weaker than another outsider? No Black Cove mech pilot would believe his story. In Black Cove, all mech pilots were physically strong, and Darklight mech pilots were the cream of the crop.
Luo Wei sometimes suspected that the fellow he was fighting with was actually a mutant.
The battle between Shang and Little Rock, however, was a game of wit and intelligence. Shang did it out of boredom, while Little Rock was too childish to let go of the fun.
In the end, both sides came to an unstated agreement of momentary truce, engaging in friendly battles of the physical and the mind.
Ye Chong enjoyed his life right now. To him, the most exciting thing was that he could clearly feel himself improving, which was what was happening most of the time now. Ye Chong did not imitate Luo Wei’s moves exactly, but introduced changes as he saw fit, making his newly learned moves different from Luo Wei’s. This was especially confounding to Luo Wei for a time. He found it hard to cope with Ye Chong’s multitude of odd moves, even though they looked very familiar to him.
Ye Chong now understood Mu and Shang’s intentions. If he had not put in so much effort into building a solid foundation in combat, Ye Chong would never be able to improve so much, so fast. Everything he learned before was now the stepping stone of his current transformation.
Ye Chong could feel his mind opening up to a whole new world of possibilities. He also came to realize how he should continue forward. Without a systematic learning history, he could only continue to train through actual combat and study his battle experiences to improve himself, until the day came that he could introduce his own system of combat.
That day was still far in the future, but Ye Chong was hopeful. This was the first time he could see his future so clearly. He believed that, with this clear goal in mind, he could pursue it with all he had and achieve it one day.
Han Jia continued to make acute angle direction changes like a mesmerizing wave, hoping to confuse the viewer’s sight. Nonetheless, Luo Wei was immune to them. After so many days of battle, he now knew that the mech was skilled at changing directions. Suddenly, Han Jia twisted and vanished from his sight. This was when visuals failed, since it could not have as wide a range as holographic scanning systems.
Luo Wei did not panic. The Darklight mech raised the crescent blade in its right hand to the back in an elusive swing. Ding! The silver crescent was met with Han Jia’s dagger. Luo Wei used the interruption to incline Darklight to its side, raising the other crescent blade and tracing another long and deadly arc in space.
Han Jia’s shield came up to meet the silver crescent, while its dagger silently went for the other party’s knees. Just when the silver crescent was about to hit Han Jia’s shield, the expected clash did not happen, and the shield missed the blade. At the same time, a silver gleam halted Ye Chong’s dagger. Ding! That was a solid clash.
They both understood that the battle had just begun.
"Ye, come back now," Shang suddenly spoke urgently to Ye Chong. Ye Chong was startled, but did not get into a fluster. Han Jia’s daggers drew a few arcs in the air, keeping the Darklight mech at a distance. Han Jia suddenly retreated, turning back and fleeing from battle, leaving a stupefied Luo Wei behind. Why was the full-skeleton mech escaping today?
Soon, he received the same message from Little Rock, asking him to return to the ship.
"Shang, what is it?" Ye Chong asked. Shang would not have him return without reason.
"There, see for yourself." Shang pointed at the holographic screen.
On the holographic screen was a small starship, pursued by dozens of mechs. They were all the Sanctuary’s Dawn mechs. However, the starship was as fast as the Dawn mechs themselves.
"40 Dawn mechs," Shang announced lazily.
That made four standard combat squads, since a standard Sanctuary combat squad had 10 members.
Who could possibly demand the attention of four combat squads?
The starship had obviously noticed Coxcomb. After all, Coxcomb was so massive it was impossible to miss it. The starship immediately adjusted it course and headed towards them.
"B*stards," Shang said, "They probably want us to fight against the Dawn mechs while they make their escape." Ye Chong agreed, since he would probably had done the same.
The 40 mechs seemed to notice the massive starship too, but they adjusted their course towards Coxcomb as well without hesitation.
The battle force of four combat squads was not insignificant. That was why the mech pilots acted so boldly.
As they approached, everyone was struck with a cold chill. Coxcomb may look dilapidated, but that was precisely why its electromagnetic cannons could not be concealed. The dark cannon barrels were a chilling sight.
No one expected to meet a warship here.
Shang was decidedly uninterested in the 40 Darn mechs, but more intrigued by their target.
Shang immediately messaged the starship to enter Coxcomb, under the threat of the powerfully gleaming electromagnetic cannons directed straight at the ship.
For a mech like Shang to be so well versed in the art of threatening, Ye Chong sometimes wondered if Shang was actually not just a PSI.
The starship hesitated, but as Shang released two warning cannon shots, it obediently docked inside Coxcomb. The starship was small, but Shang opened a larger hatch for it just for laughs.
The turn of events was unexpected.
The warship looked weird, being so dilapidated, as though it had survived a great war.
The 40 mechs assessed the situation, aware of the power of the enemy. They noticed the warship, but knew that a warship could only be as powerful as the mechs that supported it. It was not sure that the fact a warship could overcome the agility of mechs. Besides, it was obvious that this warship had been through a lot and took heavy damage.
To them, the warship was only a show.
What caught their attention was the tiny powership beside it. As a member of the Three Forces, they knew as much about Black Cove as the MPA. They knew the real purpose of the apparently tiny powership, and the strength of its crew.
Their first response was to send out a signal to call for backup. They could only be comforted by the fact that this was Cyana Galaxy, the Sanctuary’s territory. Now, they could only hope that backup arrived sooner than later.
It was almost certainly a fact that the passenger inside the powership was not their peer, the Cosmic Flare. They had no idea who was in the ship, but they knew that they were no match for that person, even with their advantage in numbers.
The balance between quality and quantity is a peculiar thing. Sometimes, quantity can make up for the lack quality, and sometimes, it cannot.
Luo Wei was feeling calm. In truth, every Darklight mech pilot would know how to sabotage the enemy, and how to escape when faced with overwhelming enemy numbers. Besides, they were only 40 Dawn mechs. It would not be a problem for him, even before his vast improvement recently. The thought filled him with pride and enthusiasm.
Luo Wei quickly calmed his mind. This was the Sanctuary’s territory. If he could not quickly vanquish the enemy and escape, then he must be ready to face even stronger mech pilots from the other party. Escape would not come so easily then.
With that thought in mind, Luo Wei made his decision. He slipped into Darklight and exited the powership.
As Darklight came out of the powership, all 40 mech pilots from the Sanctuary froze.
Heavens, it was a Darklight mech!
This intel was also quickly dispatched to headquarters. To their horror, the higher-ups ordered them to delay the Darklight mech pilot for as long as possible, as the higher-ups had already sent out the experts to aid them. Everyone knew how dangerous it was for a powerful enemy like this to wreak havoc in their territory.
With the orders from the higher-ups, everyone came to a calm acceptance of their assured deaths. This made them calmer, especially for the more weathered mech pilots.
Luo Wei seemed to gauge their intention, his gentle eyes now shining with a cold, deadly glare. He could not spare any more attention to that weird warship behind him now.
WIth two crescent blades in hand, Darklight flew towards the mechs like an elegant gentleman.
Ye Chong and Shang were completely absorbed in the starship in Coxcomb. For safety reasons, Ye Chong had slipped into Han Jia. Shang and Ye Chong went to the docking area specially made to host small starships, and approached the small starship which silently landed in there.
"Come out." Ye Chong’s cold voice came out through Han Jia, resonating in the docking space.
After some seconds of silence, the starship’s hatch slid open, and a person came out.