The cavalry no longer looked down on the child abductors, and instead, showed respect for their determination.
Han Gehong did not order his cavalry to move faster, but continued their pursuit steadily from behind.
However, something unexpected came up.
Looking at the forest in front of him, Han Gehong could not help but knitted his thick, bushy brows tightly together. Everyone knew that the child abductors were good at hiding in the forest. They were all experts in combat in the forest.
This battle had nearly wiped out the entire force of child abductors on Dankwood planet. If any of them escaped, it would be troublesome. If they enter the forest to pursue, they might not find all the child abductors. On the other hand, these remaining child abductors would surely fight back viciously, given their desperation. The forest also provided them a huge advantage.
These days, he had chased after the child abductors at a steady pace, hoping to wear off the enemy’s determination and avoid casualties on his side. He took great care of his subordinates, and would not want any of them to be harmed due to their pursuit. No one expected there to be a forest in this area.
Could this be fate?
"These few remaining ones will probably not cause any more great harm," he thought to himself.
After discussing with Han Yue, the two of them came to an agreement on their next move. There was still business to attend to in Emerald City, and they did not want to waste too much time here.
"Never expected to see a forest here. We’ve made a mistake this time. There is still some business we need to attend to in the city, we’ll head back immediately," Han Yue said to Luo Shi and Ye Chong from his ride.
"Sigh, it is Heaven’s will. Perhaps it’s not their time yet, don’t worry too much about it, Brother Han. We plan to head east from here, towards Abyss City. It’s a shame that I cannot accompany you back to Emerald City, Brother Han!" Ye Luo’s expression was one of regret.
"Of course not, Luo Shi. If we did not get the help from you both, the Han Family would probably have fallen. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. If there comes a time when you need help from our Family, just send the word over and we will do all we can!" Han Yue said this solemnly.
After a pause, he continued, "It’s still some distance from here to Abyss. Take these two canterelles with you. That way, you would not be too burdened by your travels."
Ye Luo shook his head and declined Han Yue’s generous offer. "These quality war canterelles are not easy to tame, and it’d be waste to use them for simple travelling. We appreciate Brother Han’s offer, but we’re planning to get there on foot, and enjoy the scenery along the way."
"If that is so, then I bid you farewell! Safe travels to you both!" Han Yue bowed to them both, and Han Gehong did the same.
Ye Luo returned the gesture. "Safe travels to you as well!" Ye Chong said nothing and simply bowed back to them.
Han Yue and Han Gehong, together with their cavalry, marched into the distance.
"That Han Gehong is strong," Ye Luo looked in the direction of the cavalry where they had vanished and said.
"Yes, very strong," Ye Chong agreed.
Ye Luo looked on with yearning. "There are so many strong people in this world, too many to count. I’ve thought that at my level, I’m probably quite close to the limits of combat wor
ld. Later, when I arrived at the free space zone, I realized how wrong I was! There are so many strong people here, be it the famous, the nameless, the young, the old, the men, or the women … There’s so, so many of them! Ever since then I decided not to return. Do you know? My childhood dream is to become the best combat expert, and not a mech pilot.
"I’m going to stay here and search for the essence of combat!"
Ye Luo’s young and determined voice echoed throughout the grassy plain.
Ye Chong looked at Ye Luo, and felt a sense of forlornness. Here was Ye Luo, so sure of his goal in life. What about himself? It seemed that he had never thought about it before.
Was his goal to survive? To find Mu and Shang? What about after that?
Ye Luo interrupted his thoughts. "Hehe, however, if I want to stay here, then I gotta help deal with the Family’s business here, to earn more freedom. Come, let’s go find those tenacious b*stards!"
"You can find them?" Ye Chong asked Ye Luo. The child abductors knew the forest like the back of their hands. Ye Chong knew that he would not be able to find them himself. Could Ye Luo have some trick up his sleeves?
Ye Luo stared at Ye Chong as if the latter was an idiot for a long moment, and said, "Brother, do you not know that there is such a thing in this world called a mech?"
Its body was all jet black with a matte finish. Only the barbs at the joints glistened with warning. The mech was tall and slender, at a standard 12 meters tall. It did not look unwieldy at all. Be it the joints or its limbs, the mech was perfectly designed.
There were crescent blades at each of its wrists, and a parrying spear on the inside of each arm. A black shield that looked like a cogwheel hung on its back. Ye Chong could tell from its aerodynamic surface that it was a weapon that could be flung out. The sharp edges of the cogwheel design reminded Ye Chong of the strange star-shaped creatures he encountered in the valley.
Unlike the thick legs commonly found in mechs, this mech sported a pair of long, slender legs, like a woman’s. The knees were covered with barbs, typical of Black Cove. However, the tips of the feet were fitted with crescent blades too. Ye Chong imagined what would happen when those legs do their kicks.
Besides, Ye Chong also found that the mech’s alloy material was unlike any of the alloy he had seen used for Black Cove mechs.
"Not bad, right?" Ye Luo stood before his mech, smiling widely. "This now is top of its class. There are no more than 50 mechs of this level back at the Family. I suck at mech piloting, but well, my dad’s the Patriarch, hehe, so I get to enjoy the perks." Ye Luo smiled like one of the extravagant sons from rich families.
Ye Chong did not seem to hear him. He was studying the mech, entranced.
Mechs from the Three Aristocratic Families were undoubtedly the best of the known universe. Xue Lai Clan’s mechs were elegant; Ye Family’s were minimalistic; Xi Feng Tribe’s were inspired by nature. The Three Families had very different motives of design, and they stayed true to their own styles. The one common feature shared by their mechs was attention to detail.
In terms of manufacturing, every tiny detail was scrutinized, every one of them studied intensively through calculations and repeated experimentations to produce the perfect design. This was something that Ye Chong realized as he got to know the mechs from the Three Aristocratic Families.
This mech in front of him was a perfect example.
The mech’s proportion and measurements, positioning of installed parts, and even the streamlining designs of the leg curvatures were all perfect in Ye Chong’s eyes! The concept of minimalism was expressed perfectly in this mech’s design. Aside from the parrying spear and cogwheel shield on its back, the mech had no other weapons. However, in a way, every part of the mech was a weapon. Some may find the mech too simple, but for someone trained in the eye like Ye Chong, every detail of the mech was the result of its designer’s labor and wisdom. Every detail contributed to a slight improvement in the mech’s performance, but as the improvements were accumulated, the end result could be staggering.
Ye Chong was moved by the mech’s design. Mu and Shang’s information archive had nothing on this mech model.
This mech could probably represent the peak of Black Cove’s mechs, and reminded Ye Chong of Mu and Shang. Overall, this mech was still slightly inferior to Mu and Shang, it was still the mech closest to Mu/Shang’s level that he had ever seen, despite its different design concept compared to his friend.
Standing before this mech, Ye Chong realized that his knowledge in mech design was truly lacking.
Ye Luo was entirely pleased to see Ye Chong’s entranced look.
"What do you think? About this mech," Ye Luo asked on purpose.
"Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful! No, it’s perfect!" Ye Chong muttered to himself, answering out of reflex. He probably was not too self aware at the moment.
"You like it?" Ye Luo asked with a wide grin.
"Of course," Ye Chong replied in all earnestness. He thought Ye Luo’s question strange. After all, he could not imagine anyone saying that they did not like this mech!
"Then consider it a gift to you." Ye Chong snapped his head to look at Ye Luo upon the latter’s calm offer.
"What? You don’t want it?" Ye Luo wagged his eyebrows mischievously.
"Why?" Ye Chong asked, straight to the point.
Ye Luo shrugged and said matter-of-factly, "I’m not interested in mechs, at all. Hehe, don’t you see how new it looks? It’s actually been used a grand total of three times, and I’ve used it only as a scanner every time. You know, its scanning system is actually not bad." Ye Luo commented on his mech’s capabilities like it did not matter to him.
Ye Chong felt for the first time an impulse to yell at someone! Using a mech like this as a scanning device was just a pure waste of heavenly resources. There was no way around it!
"That’s why, I’m giving it to you. After all, we’re family," Ye Luo said this like he was gifting Ye Chong a hand towel, "It’s waste for me anyway, and you’re skilled enough to pilot this mech.
"That’s why, it’s a gift to you. Remember, it’s name is Moon King."