Chapter 1907 Not Alone
Everything was a mess.
Dr. Lupo attempted to ruin Ves' brain.
No one figured how the Fridaymen managed to compromise an exobiologist who had always been passionate about his research and not much else. Whether he was bribed, coerced or manipulated to commit his sabotage, that was something for later.
Right now, their enemies sprung another surprise attack after their first attempt had failed!
Where did all of these mercenaries come from? Gloriana wrung her hands in worry. I thought the Ylvaine Protectorate didn't have a strong mercenary tradition!
They're all foreign outfits. Calabast noted. Not a single Ylvainan will agree to raising their arms against the Bright Martyr and his people. This is why the attackers aren't counting on the Kronon Dynasty to do their dirty work, but instead invited various mercenary corps from neighboring states to act as their cannon fodder.
The Friday Coalition seemed to have inserted a lot of mercenary outfits in the Kesseling System.
Now, they stepped out of hiding and all began to launch an offensive against Ves and his people!
What was even more shocking was that the True Believers under the lead of their 'Living Prophet' had been infiltrating the LMC, the Avatars of Myth and the Living Sentinels for months!
Fleet Coordinator Ophelia Kronon and virtually every enthusiastic Ylvainan that chose to join one of Ves' organizations turned out to be a hidden member of this prohibited but widespread Ylvainan cult!
Gloriana detested chaos. She vastly preferred to operate during a time of order where she could calmly think and come up with a plan to address her many challenges.
A time of crisis was one of her worst nightmares! When every assumption became questionable and when the ongoing situation changed by the second, she felt swamped by the deluge of emergencies that required clear direction to resolve!
Where was Ves when she needed him? He seemed to thrive whenever a crisis erupted!
Oh, yeah, he's out.
The timing of this attack couldn't have come at a worse moment! With Ves out of action, his enterprise not only lacked a unified direction, but also a figurehead who could rally his family and subordinates!
Not only that, but an unconscious Ves meant that they didn't have a Bright Martyr who could confront the Ylvainan people and solicit their support in resisting this vile betrayal!
Ves.. She picked up Clixie and hugged her in concern. What am I going to do without you?
Fortunately, she wasn't alone in this. The Larkinson Clan was under the lead of the Executive Council in times of war and crises. Raymond Billingsley-Larkinson and eight other councilors took charge of the LMC and other dependents.
Their steady leadership and high authority prevented the spread of panic and made sure to keep the evacuation efforts on track!
The ships parked at various sites throughout Krent were being filled with mechs, assets and people at a rapid pace. Though the Larkinson Clan and the mech forces had to leave a lot of valuable behind due to lack of time, right now no one cared about those heavy goods and supplies.
Their lives and freedom were much more important!
The Avatars of Myth under the lead of Commander Melkor displayed absolute dedication in defending Ves and the Larkinson Clan, whether in orbit or on land!
Meanwhile, Commander Magdalena and her Living Sentinels assisted the Avatars. What the Sentinels lacked in quality, they made up for it with quantity!
Soon enough, the first waves of foreign mercenary mechs arrived to assault the targets!
Their offensive was split up in two different prongs.
A smaller group of mechs assaulted the spaceborn mech contingents of the Avatars and Sentinels in high orbit. Their goal was to secure orbital superiority and prevent any ships on the surface of Kesseling VIII from escaping the planet!
Even though almost a thousand mercenary mechs bore down on the outnumbered Avatars and Sentinels, the Larkinsons and other fellow mech pilots did not shy away from the fight!
Defeat these mercs at all cost! Commander Melkor shouted over the command channel. We must keep the passage open in order to provide all of our people a window of escape! No retreat!
As the waves of mechs started to pelt at each other with long-ranged weapons before clashing against each other up close, the foreign mercenaries finally found out why their targets refused to give way.
Two of their mech companies were vastly more powerful than their other companies!
Unlike the Dawnbringers, Desolate Soldiers and Aurora Titans, the Bright Warriors were uniformly better than them in every possible metric!
The Shining Warriors heedlessly charged forward and smashed their nigh-indestructible lances through the armor of the few second-class mechs that had been assigned to bolster the mercenary horde!
The Solar Warriors flew alongside the Aurora Titans and other space knights to defend the more vulnerable mechs of the Avatars and Sentinels against a barrage of lasers, missiles and projectiles!
The Illuminating Warriors proved to be exceptionally tricky to defeat! Not only did they pour a huge amount of laser fire as if heat management was not an immediate concern, they also endured returns volleys without showing any damage!
Even as light skirmishers and other melee mechs sought to close in on the resilient rifleman mechs, the Nova Warriors intercepted these swift opponents and struck their opponents down while making no pretense at parrying their attacks!
Hardly any Bright Warrior suffered a scratch during this clash! What should have been a stomp by the mercenaries turned out to be a one-sided massacre as none of the enemy mechs managed to inflict more damage than a couple dents onto the tough new mech model!
A larger horde of landbound and aerial mechs emerged from hidden warehouses, containers and other hiding locations strewn throughout Krent.
What was remarkable about the ground attack was that it featured a lot more second-class mechs! Around six mech companies in total had been smuggled onto the Kesseling VIII for the last couple of months.
As the Glory Battalion directed its long-ranged scanners at these mechs that could pose a real threat to it, the sensor operators discovered that many of the second-class mechs turned out to belong to CRC instead of some mercenary outfit from the Coalition!
The appearance of these mechs with clear CRC markings proved that the Fridaymen were ultimate aggressors!
Inside his Star Dancer, Brutus practically saw red when he observed these Fridaymen mechs coming closer.
It was clear to the expert pilot that Ves Larkinson was the primary target of this surprise attack.
That did not sit well with Brutus! The Fridaymen were his most hated opponents. Not only did they threaten to kill the source of his sister's happiness, they wouldn't let her off either!
So this is what you've been hiding in your secret base of yours! You can shove your equality of yours in your throat! He cried out as he fired his gauss rifle as fast as its firing rate allowed!
The magnetically-accelerated projectiles sliced through the planet's atmosphere and punched through at least one structure or obstacle before punching through the chests or legs of the CRC mechs!
Yet for every CRC mech that fell, several more took its place! There were more than a couple of hundred second-class mechs storming towards the underground facility where Ves' crucial implantation surgery was taking place.
What was almost as bad was that almost a thousand third-class mechs approached as well!
The Glory Battalion could have mopped up these inferiors in a breeze if not for the CRC mechs bearing down on them. Even if he was an expert pilot, Brutus would have to expend a lot of time and effort to defeat so many enemy second-class mechs!
The odds are against us. Commander Magdalena spoke in a private channel to a select few mech officers. The Glory Battalion can't contain the second-class mechs of the Coalition Reserve Corps. If even a single squad directs its attention against our inferior mechs, our casualties will quickly mount.
We have no choice, commander. A mech captain from the Sentinels remarked. We have our own problems to contend with. We need to prevent the third-class mechs from getting through our lines. Once they breach our defenses, they can easily envelop us or proceed to attack underground facility!
There wasn't much time to discuss. Soon, all of the ranged mechs started to exchange fire regardless of collateral damage!
While the Avatar base boasted thick, sturdy walls and various defensive emplacements, they could only hinder the attackers at best.
As mechs from land and from the air, the amount of firepower exchanged between the two sides reached an intensity that was rarely seen outside of war!
Krent, the capital city of Kesseling VIII, instantly turned into hell as both sides completely disregarded any considerations to limit their fire!
The unwitting Ylvainans residing in Krent all cried in panic as hundreds of them died whenever a mech-grade shell or laser beam landed in a building!
Even the Grand Church of the Grey Martyr and the Grand Cathedral of Ylvaine's Mercy failed to escape the rain of fire that chaotically swept throughout the entire city!
The Kronon Dynasty, which had largey stood aside and pretended that the fighting didn't exist, finally moved into action!
The duty-bound soldiers did not attack the mercenaries and CRC mechs responsible for provoking this destructive battle.
They did not attack the Glory Battalion or the mech forces that belonged to Ves that generated the most collateral damage.
Instead, they enveloped the church, cathedral and other structures of great signature with their mechs in order to prevent any further harm from befalling them! Though many of the mech pilots and grunts wanted to do more, they received strict orders not to take any sides in the current battle!
As the waves of attackers started to approach the outnumbered defenders, Commander Magdalena looked increasingly grave.
Even though the Crystal Lords and other ranged mechs managed to soften up the wave of mercenaries, plenty of third-class mechs still made it through!
We should have hired our own mercenaries sooner! She angrily muttered to herself.
Perhaps it was better that they didn't. She recognized some of the markings on the enemy mechs and discovered that they belonged to some of the mercenary corps that they were hoping to hire to protect them as they made their way to the Sentinel Kingdom!
The collision between melee mechs was a violent affair. Landbound and aerial mechs from both sides dropped in rapid tempo as the mech pilot fought as if their lives depended on their efforts!
The Sentinels fared the worst out of the defenders. The cockpits of their mechs continued to launch into the air as the mercenaries seemed to take a sadistic amount of pleasure in bullying the weakest link!
The furious offensive pressured the defenders immediately. If not for their glows and their strong commitment to their duty, the Sentinels would have already started to falter!
The Star Dancer flew furiously in the air as it wielded both its gauss rifle and dual-type laser and particle beam rifle in both hands!
Bright blue beams of penetrating particle fire impacted the various CRC mechs which exerted a huge amount of pressure on the heavily-outnumbered mechs of the Glory Battalion.
Gauss round after gauss round spat out from the other rifle in a different direction, causing some of the more formidable and heavier-armored second-class mechs to drop after suffering critical damage to their weak points!
Even though the expert pilot was downing Fridayman mechs left and right, his Star Dancer was only a single mech!
Just as the enormous mob of mechs under the command of the Coalition Reserve Corps threatened to breach the defensive lines, a sudden volley of laser and ballistic fire struck the rear of the attacking outfits!
The Ylvainans! Have they come to help us?!
The mechs that appeared behind the waves of attackers all belonged to the Kronon Dynasty. Their mech pilots all violated their orders and went AWOL after they figured out that their own dynasty and government was prepared to throw the Bright Martyr to the wolves!
At the lead of this modest group of renegade mechs were two very familiar and very noticeable mechs.
That's Zeal! Did Taon Melin defect?! But what is that other Transcendent Messenger? It doesn't fit with the other five copies!
The Transcendent Messenger next to Zeal was noticeably different in many ways. It looked a bit rougher, and it possessed a distinctly different external appearance.
Yet there was one aspect about the mech that was remarkable. Its Ylvainan glow radiated throughout the battlefield as if a god had descended onto the surface!
Inside the cockpit, a very familiar-looking mech pilot smiled with absolute certainty as he beheld the chaotic battle. He activated the speakers of his mech as its rescue particle generator went into overdrive by surrounding his mech with an overpowering white glow!
Attacking one of my Martyred Followers is heresy! Let us smite these unbelievers and show my fallen Protectorate how far they have strayed from the truth!