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Chapter 256: What the Future Holds
The dark red Coxcomb was like an awakened maroon-coloured shark, flashing its horrifying teeth. Countless laser guns were activated. The mech pilots from the Freedom Alliance could only see a painfully blinding flash of light.

The millions of laser beams illuminated the skies as bright as day. They bloomed like flowers, and dazzled like fireworks.

The pursuing mech pilots were in no mood to enjoy this beautiful spectacle. They were all scared for their lives. To them, all these thin laser beams were fatal. Usually, laser beams like these were too weak to concern them, and they could take a few hits without considerable damage.

Indeed, the thin laser beams would only leave a shallow dent on their mechs, almost inconsequential for the mechs. However, the density of laser beams they were seeing now was beyond their imagination.

No matter how tough a mech was, it cannot withstand an attack like this. Besides, the laser guns were terrifyingly accurate, and almost never missed.

Boom boom boom! Just as these laser beams left an afterimage in their visions, dozens of mechs were already exploding. The sight of these dozens of mechs all exploding together was staggering, and even the elites of the Free Alliance, who were no stranger to such spectacles, were momentarily lost in the moment.

The rain of lasers did not stop. The explosions continued on here and there, fireballs illuminating the starlit sky like a melody.

Three seconds!

It took only three seconds! All the mechs that entered the attack range of the laser beams were annihilated.

The battlefield fell into a short, awkward silence. The mechs further away dared not advance. The dark red warship was like a massive beast, staring down at them.

They were only normal laser beams, how could they be so devastating?

With so many laser beam guns, and such an astonishing hit ratio, just how many skilled shooters were there on this warship?

All the mech pilots were shocked.

Just as the masses were lost in the moment, Coxcomb suddenly accelerated and made its escape. While it may seem like Coxcomb had the upper hand now, those onboard this warship knew that they were not out of danger yet.

After all, this was the enemy’s base. If this was all the enemy could offer, then they would be unworthy of competing with the Three Forces. Besides, the Alliance had their own warships. If Coxcomb was delayed by their mechs until their warships arrived, then escape would be futile.

Hence, Mu chose to retreat without hesitation.

"Warning, enemy warship incoming!" Mu spoke with alarm, which was rare for the mech.

Tens of black dots appeared on the holographic screen, growing larger. Everyone on the ship felt a chilling fear in their hearts.

"80 of them," Mu presented the result of his rapid calculations.

Everyone on the ship were shocked, including Ye Chong. This can’t be right. 80 warships? Did they really send out 80 warships just for their single ship? This was ridiculous!

The enemy’s warships approached in battle formation. The dense fleet
of warships was a magnificent sight, and a feast for the eyes. 80 warships! This was a reality that could blow one’s mind.

Abruptly, everyone jerked backwards. Coxcomb had accelerated! Even a fool would realise that they must escape right now. Ye Chong could not imagine why the enemy would send out 80 warships for him. Looking down at Qiu Man, lying on the floor, Ye Chong could not help but felt curious. Who was she really, that the Freedom Alliance would send out 80 warships for her?

"They’re surrounding us!" Zhu Ling gasped as she realised the fleet’s intention.

Ye Chong looked up. Some tens of mechs were already breaking away, flying off into the distance, probabl

y wanting to outflank Coxcomb.

There were 13 of them, by Ye Chong’s count.

These 13 mechs flew surprisingly fast. Two of them were even faster than Zhu Ling’s Overwing. The rest of them were at least on par with Guardian. These 13 mechs were all aggressive and ready to kill.

If Qiu Man was awake, she would have recognised all 13 mechs. 11 of them were the Freedom Alliance’s celebrated Contingent Leads, out of 13 in total. The other two were even stronger, but known by fewer. Qiu Man was one of the few. They were the Alliance’s rarely deployed Vanguards. The Vanguards of the Freedom Alliance were the equivalent of the Trump Cards of the Three Forces. Now that the Freedom Alliance had sent out all of their best, it would be humiliating if they could not capture Coxcomb.

One of the two mechs was a non-humanoid mech, shaped like a scorpion, but much more powerful than Ye Chong’s Sand Scorpio. These two mechs flew the fastest, leading the rest of the mechs.

However, these 13 mechs were wary of Coxcomb’s laser beam attack, and had to make a huge detour around the warship.

"Everyone, please fasten your seatbelts, we’re going to make a warp jump," Mu declared calmly.

Ye Chong was surprised. A warp jump? A warp jump required a long distance to accelerate, and the ship cannot be disturbed throughout the jump if the passengers were to remain safe.

However, Ye Chong quickly calmed himself. Mu’s decisions were always the best results derived from his computations.

Zhu Ling was also surprised. She looked over to Little Rock, and calmed down as well. Little Rock seemed calm; he must have arrived at the same computation result as Mu. Only Lian Yue was as white as a sheet, putting his hands together in a prayer, muttering under his breath.

When they first arrived on Rainbow planet, Mu had already chosen a few points for warp jumps as their retreat options. Now, they were heading for one of those points.

Suddenly, Ye Chong recalled the time when he sat in Mu’s pilot cabin as they escaped from the trash planet. They were facing a similarly unknown future, full of potential disasters. However, Ye Chong was feeling very much at peace. There was no panic or fear. After the initial surprise, Ye Chong quickly accepted his situation.

From his many close encounters with death, Ye Chong learned not only to appreciate life, but also to not fear death.

The war jump point would bring them to a place in the Csebesini Galaxy. Once they made this warp jump, they would be safe.

No one would make a warp jump without careful computations. A tiny mistake might send you to a far off and unfamiliar territory. You may never find your way back.

The universe is vast, and humanity will never reach its ends. The Five Galaxies may be large, but compared to the size of the universe, it was just a speck of dust.

Hence, calculations for warp jumps were made with extra care. People who could calculate the warp jump points of others quickly like Little Rock were exceptional geniuses.

Time seemed to slow down. Seconds felt like minutes. Everyone in the warship could feel the suffocating tension.

They all prayed that the enemy’s mechs did not discover Coxcomb’s intention. Everyone stared at the holographic screen unblinkingly. The 13 mechs were still flying outwards, taking their huge detour. For the moment, none of them seemed aware of what Coxcomb was up to.

Time passed. The warp jump point was getting closer. Everyone could feel the tension rising. Little Rock balled up his fists, his face turning red. Even Zhu Ling was breathing heavily. Lian Yue was even worse off, sweat covering all over him, but he did not care to wipe them off.

Almost … Almost … Almost there …

"What?!" Everyone except Ye Chong gasped almost simultaneously, their faces betraying fear and surprise.

The scorpion-shaped mech had a dark brown tail, the tip of which was now shining bright red. The sight was familiar to Ye Chong. He immediately thought of the faint blue light visible when an electromagnetic cannon was charging for an attack.

Now, even Ye Chong felt a sense of foreboding.

A dark red beam hit Coxcomb.

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