It looked like Qiu Man was really someone very important. The mechs standing in his way all avoided him. This allowed Ye Chong to move as fast as he could.
Du Yun was still following Ye Chong tightly from behind. He was now being very careful. The gold figure’s crazy strength had left a deep impression in him.
Ye Chong ran, and felt his chest growing warmer, and his breathing disturbed. His injury was not light. Usually, this level of running would be a piece of cake for Ye Chong.
Even with a hostage in hand, Ye Chong dared not be careless. He was now in a very dangerous position, and any mistakes could lead to his death. Besides, it seemed that currently the only expert around was the one following him. Ye Chong knew that Rainbow planet must have more than one person of his caliber. There was no way his opponent’s base would be missing capable guards.
"Ye." Ye Chong’s comms sounded.
"It’s Mu," Ye Chong thought, startled, but immediately felt overjoyed. Mu was contacting him now, meaning that Mu had control over the virtual world.
The truth was about as Ye Chong guessed. With his heart worried for his granddaughter, Qiu Yuanlie could no longer focus in his battle. The combined efforts of Mu and Little Rock had slowly overpowered their opponent. Of course, the entire process was still quite risky. Qiu Yuanlie, the veteran, quickly realized his mistake, but by then he had lost control of the battlefield.
Even so, Qiu Yuanlie had prepared a few impressive traps, intended to turn the tides towards his favor. Fortunately, Mu was careful in his calculations and did not give Qiu Yuanlie that opportunity. Understanding the futility of his defense, Qiu Yuanlie still managed to stop Mu from entering any further. All of the Freedom Alliance’s classified information were still under his protection.
Ye Chong asked Mu, surprised and happy to hear from him, "Mu, you beat him?"
Mu sounded calm as always, with none of the joy from his triumph, "The opponent made some obvious mistakes, reason unknown."
Ye Chong continued asked, "What’s the situation now?"
"Rainbow planet is now in the highest state of emergency. Ye, you had just stirred up the hornet’s nest," Mu made a rare joke. Hearing that, Ye Chong felt his tension relieved to some degree.
"I just intercepted their internal orders. Their First, Fourth, Ninth and Thirteenth Contingent Leads are heading in your direction. Estimated time of arrival is between three to eight minutes."
"Contingent Lead?" Ye Chong asked, confused. While this was obviously a title of some sort, Ye Chong could not deduce its implications.
"Contingents are the Alliance’s mid-sized combat units. A Contingent Lead is the strongest of their contingent. While they do not issue orders in battle, they are the best of their own contingent, the representative of their own units." The reply came from Qiu Man, whom Ye Chong was carrying under his armpit.
Even in her dangerous situation, Qiu Man still held herself calmly as she explained in her cold voice. Given the circumstances, she knew just how bad it was. She usually behaved in a carefree and playful manner, only because she was in no danger. Now, threatened by death, her intelligence shone through.
Her priority was to make the opponent let down his guard. If that happened, the Alliance’s Contingent Leaders would have an opening. However, how can she achieve that? If it were another person, she would have opted for seduction, but this man before her was clearly not that kind of man. The memory of her broken hand was still painful. Even though it healed immediately after treatment, she did not wish to experience that kind of pain again.
The only choice she had now was t
o cooperate with this d*mned fellow. That way, at least her situation would not be worsened.
In just a short time, Qiu Man had deliberated over these matters.
"That silver mech back there, what’s his position in your organization?" Ye Chong asked. While Qiu Man’s cooperation struck him as odd, he would not waste this opportunity.
"He’s a Contingent Sentinel. Every contingent has seven Sentinels, charged with protecting the commander of their contingent," Qiu Man explained.
"Who’s stronger, the Lead or the Sentinel?" Ye Chong asked.
"The Lead, of course, how can the Sentinel hope to compare?" Qiu Man answered as if the answer was obvious.
Ye Chong picked up his speed instantly. The silver mech back there was already a difficult opponent for him, and now he just found out that the Leads were even stronger than Sentinels. From Qiu Man’s tone, it seemed that the Leads were far stronger than Sentinels.
With four mechs that were even stronger than the silver mech, and with the silver mech itself following him closely behind, he would not dare to face them even if he was uninjured, much less with his current condition.
Ye Chong suddenly came to a halt. This surprised everyone around him. What was he doing?
Ye Chong quickly deployed Han Jia. WIth Guardian’s aid, he did not even need to climb the mech. He leaped and stepped on Han Jia’s protruding parts before quickly reaching the pilot cabin and entering it.
The guy had a mech!
This came as a shock to the members of the Freedom Alliance. Their target had only wore a golden coloured battle suit all this while, so they had assumed that he was only a very powerful combat expert. Now, it appeared that he was actually a mech pilot.
They were all combatants here, so they knew exactly what this implied!
Besides, it was obvious that the guy’s mech was different. Many of the more knowledgeable ones immediately recognized Han Jia and gasped, "A full-skeleton mech! It’s a full-skeleton mech! Heavens, there’s actually a full-skeleton mech out there …" Their dispirited expressions were pitiful to watch.
However, someone finally could not help but asked, "Big brother, what’s a full-skeleton mech?"
"Young man, clearly you’re not civilized. Bet you didn’t pay attention in civilization class, now you pay for your ignorance." The man looked condescendingly at the inquirer. Everyone’s attention immediately went to him, and this encouraged him and pulled him out of his gloom. He coughed slightly and continued on seriously, "Full-skeleton mechs are mechs made completely out of skeletons. Hmm, you should know that the mutant creatures are growing stronger and stronger. I bet you have experienced them yourselves."
Everyone nodded in agreement. Mech pilots of their level would have crossed paths with mutants at some point in their lives. They fully agreed that mutants were not to be treated lightly.
"These mutants, their skeletons are very strong, some even stronger than alloy materials. More importantly, they’re much lighter than alloys."
The crowd understood then. Someone asked, "If this full-skeleton mech is so good, why don’t we have them?"
"Sigh, if only it were that easy! Skeletons are grown naturally, and no two sets of skeletons look the same. Only the most experienced skeleton carvers of skeleton artisans could clearly identify the properties of each skeleton. Heh, in this day and age, where could we find any skeleton carver or artisan? All these years, our organization has only found some half-ass*d skeleton carvers. They can’t make even make reliable skeleton parts, much less a full-skeleton mech. However, this is normal, considering that we never heard of the Three Forces making full-skeleton mechs too." The man spoke with a sigh.
"Then why would this guy have a full-skeleton mech?"
The man could not help but roll his eyes at that. "Why don’t you ask him yourself?"
Now that they identified him as mech pilot with such a powerful mech, it was only to be expected that mech was not just for ordinary travel.
Soon, news of the man called Gao Ye with his full-skeleton mech spreaded to every corner of the Freedom Alliance. All this while, the higher-ups of the Alliance had been troubled with their disadvantage against the Three Forces. Technological advancements did not come easily. If they did not have their advantage in numbers, they would have been annihilated by the Three Forces.
Soon, orders came from the higher-ups. Lady Qiu Man must be rescued, and the man called Gao Ye must be captured alive. If it were anyone else in Ye Chong’s hands, the Freedom Alliance would probably have sacrificed her. Unfortunately, this was Qiu Man, Qiu Yuanlie’s only granddaughter. No one dared to even suggest the possibility of sacrificing a single person for the Alliance. As such, they gathered all the capable combatants to capture Gao Ye alive and rescue Qiu Man.
Ye Chong deployed Han Jia to conserve his strength and to prepare himself against the so-called Contingent Leads. Using Guardian to battle against those mechs would quickly wear him out physically, and physical strength was something he was lacking now due to his injuries.
Once inside the pilot cabin, Ye Chong withdrew Guardian. He once fantasized about controlling Han Jia while wearing Guardian. Wouldn’t that increase his strength? After some experimentation, he found it to be the opposite. Guardian’s black-and-white vision was only effective against solid objects. Han Jia’s holographic scanning results could not be visualized with Guardian’s black-and-white vision.
"Ye, I’ve destroyed Rainbow planet’s communication system, but the opponent might have their own internal comms channel." This was reported calmly by Mu, and Qiu Man could only listen in horror. Who was this man? Even for her grandfather, destroying the entire planet’s communication system was not an easy task.
"Bad news, Ye, the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Contingent Leads are all heading in this direction. Estimated time of arrival is between 10 to 15 minutes." Mu sounded more urgent.
Even Qiu Man was a little dazed. By her count, it seemed that besides the 7 or 8 contingents sent out for their own missions, the rest of the Contingent Leads were deployed here. Even with her grandfather’s position, it would be impossible to deploy so many Contingent Leads at once. The organization must have found something of value in this man before her. With Qiu Man’s upbringing in her family of status, she was keenly sensitive to these matters.
Ye Chong said nothing, but Han Jia had already sped up. From motionless to Mach 9, Ye Chong took only two seconds. The acceleration evoked another heavy feeling in Ye Chong’s chest, injured as he was. Qiu Man, together with him in the pilot cabin, was even worse off. She was bleeding from her nose and mouth, and her face was pale and contorted in pain.
Han Jia was slower than Guardian by a single Mach, but the sky was without obstructions, so Ye Chong’s advance was even faster.
Mu cooperated seamlessly. The entire city’s traffic was already paralyzed. Mechs were flying around everywhere, confused. The chaos was problematic for the Freedom Alliance.
Ye Chong moved like a fish swimming amongst the coral reef, not slowing down one bit. Compared to the current situation, he had flown through worse territories.
Qiu Man was already unconscious. The acceleration earlier was dangerous for someone without training like her, and possibly even fatal.
This way, however, Ye Chong did not have to worry about her obstructing his piloting.
Mechs were everywhere in the sky, and the full-skeleton mech was nowhere to be seen. After searching for a while, Du Yun finally gave up on this futile mission.
When Han Jia arrived at the docking zone, the Freedom Alliance finally reacted. Mechs flew swiftly towards Ye Chong’s location. This was the largest military operation in the history of the Freedom Alliance. They had deployed a grand total of 11 contingents, with all 11 Contingent Leads in the field, and 77 Contingent Sentinels close behind. The number of average combatants was even larger.
Coxcomb’s hatch was already wide open. Zhu Ling stood guard by the hatch in Overwing. As she saw Ye Chong approaching, she tilted to the side, and Ye Chong flew straight into the warship. The hatch closed immediately behind him.
Coxcomb was all ready for flight, and immediately undocked.
In the next moment, the dark red starship delivered a lesson that the Freedom Alliance would never forget.