Chapter 1908 Mech Colonel Adrian Jeivz
Kesseling VIII managed to escape the ravages of the Sand War.
It didn't escape the Komodo War.
Swept by the increasingly heated conflict between the Friday Coalition and the Hexadric Hegemony, the Ylvaine Protectorate finally buckled under the pressure!
With the survival of its faith, people and state at stake, its government chose pragmatism over idealism.
What Bright Martyr? What blessing of Ylvaine?
Would saving or shielding the Bright Martyr stop the Friday Coalition from annihilating their state?
Would allowing Ves Larkinson to escape from its territory unscathed save the Protectorate from being ganged up by the surrounding states?
The treaties the Protectorate signed with the Bright Republic, Vesia Kingdom and other states were worth nothing. The Deliverers that used to save their star systems from getting overrun by the relentless sandman swarm configurations completely lost their value!
As long as the Friday Coalition exerted some pressure, those states that should have felt grateful to the Protectorate for saving their people and star systems could easily turn into its mortal enemies!
This was the tragedy that befell all lesser states! No matter what kind of diplomacy they pursued, everything they built could easily collapse with a single word from a greater state!
In a hidden starship parked in an unknown location inside the Kesseling System, a dark command center lit up with the glows of dozens of projections.
Various officers and specialists garbed in the uniform of the CRC studied and manipulated the consoles with great attentiveness.
A single individual sat on a center command chair placed in the center of the command center. A whole array of projections displaying both battle footage and tactical overviews surrounded him from every side.
The battle in orbit is proceeding poorly, sir. An aide remarked to the man sitting on the throne. Resistance is greater than expected. While our numbers estimate has been on the mark, we have grossly underestimated the battle effectiveness of this new 'Bright Warrior' model. It is far more resilient than we have expected, which makes it difficult for our mercenary friends to damage any of the configurations of this modular platform. At best, the battle will devolve into a stalemate, but that depends heavily on whether our second-class mechs can fend off the Bright Warriors.
Mech Colonel Adrian Jeivz rubbed his stubbled chin. It is a shame if we are unable to achieve victory in space, but we invested most of our assets on land for a reason. Killing or capturing Ves Larkinson is our only objective. Taking him off the board is a crucial step in our plan to subdue the Ylvaine Protectorate and consolidate our control of the local region.
His salt-and-pepper hair and curled moustache gave the 80-year old mech officer a dignified and valiant impression.
As a senior officer from the Vanguard Group, Colonel Jeivz had worked hard to climb up the ranks of the CRC.
Compared to the Gauge Dynasty or the Konsu Clan, the Vanguard Group was one of the weakest partners of the Coalition. Though it possessed a decent military presence, its economic and industrial might was too poor to keep up with the development of the other partners, thereby causing it to grow less relevant over time.
For the sake of the existence of the Vanguard Group as a worthy partner of the Coalition, officers like Jeivz had to excel in as many aspects as possible in order to make their group respected!
That meant he was determined to succeed in his plan this time. One way or another, Ves Larkinson had to die or fall into the custody of the CRC.
Allowing this valuable element to continue its associations with the Ylvainans and Hexers would definitely hinder the Fridaymen in several ways!
As long as the Bright Martyr remained on the board, the Ylvainan people could never be pacified!
If the Bright Martyr took his alliance with the Hexers to a deeper level and designed one of his characteristic mechs for them, he might be able to swing the Komodo War just like he swung the Sand War!
Though the latter concern sounded a bit too alarmist to Jeivz and his fellow Fridaymen, the possibility of it alone was too much to bear.
Since one of their targets of opportunity just happened to be in the neighborhood when the CRC was about to subdue the Protectorate government, it might as well target one of its recent annoyances!
The battle on land is still in our favor, sir, but the insertion of the so-called True Believers and their Living Prophet is dividing the attention of our mercenaries. Our land assets are less likely to achieve a breakthrough if they are forced to split their attention.
The True Believers don't have the numbers to sway this engagement. The mech colonel sneered. The only purpose of the lesser mercenaries is to occupy the third-class combatants of our enemies. No matter how many surprises our foes present, only second-class mechs can defeat second-class mechs in this battle!
Our CRC mechs are succumbing too rapidly against the Star Dancer, sir. Venerable Brutus Wodin possesses too much of an advantage in this battle.
Does he really think we haven't taken his presence into account? Valentine will take care of him soon enough.
Though the CRC hit some snags, together with the mercenaries it hired, the defenders were being pressured at every turn!
In space, hundreds of mercenaries flooded against the Avatars, Battle Criers and Sentinel mechs as if they were completely disregarding their safety!
In truth, the CRC promised to reimburse all of their losses as long as the mercenaries made a decent effort to fight. This caused the foreign mercenaries to adopt a strategy where they pursued mutual destruction!
They disregarded the safety of their mechs and only chose to prioritize the lives of their mech pilots! As long as the pilots had enough time to eject and return to safety, it didn't matter if their mechs were trashed.
In fact, the mercenary corps participating in the attack wanted their mechs to be wrecked so that they could use the compensation from the CRC to buy brand-new mechs with better specs and modern components!
The regular mechs of the defenders couldn't keep up with the intensity exhibited by the attackers.
Only the Avatars handled the pressure the best, and of their mech companies, two of them happened to perform valiantly!
The Bright Warrior model unexpectedly performed far beyond the other mechs fielded by the defenders!
Though their regular mechs succumbed to the onslaught at a worrying pace, sometimes taking their mech pilots with them, the Bright Warriors dished out several times as much damage!
Even when they were outnumbered three-to-one, the defenders were slowly gaining the upper hand!
Hahahaha! This new mech is great, sis! Imon laughed over his private channel with his captain and superior officer. The Nova Warrior is so tough! Enemy attacks are crashing against my machine like sand hitting a wall. They can't do anything but scratch its coating!
The gold-and-black Nova Warrior in question had fallen out of formation in order to rampage in the midst of a squad of mercenary mechs!
Since the swordsman mech configuration had gotten too close, the foreign mercenaries all ganged up on the interloper. They even employed a rudimentary formation that was supposed to surround the hostile mech and cut off all of its escape routes!
Yet a dozen seconds later, the Nova Warrior withstood a score of hits while making sure to evade any powerful blows directed to its slightly-vulnerable flight system.
In return, Imon Ingvar boldly bulled through whichever mech was in the way and cut their frames with brute force!
Though the Nova Warrior seemed to be doing well, Casella Ingvar worried about her brother! Even as her Illuminating Warrior sniped at the assaulting mechs with its laser rifle, she used her authority to order some elements of the 2nd Spaceborn Company to advance in her brother's direction!
Unfortunately, they were already preoccupied with their own opponents. Even though the Bright Warriors were faring well against their current opponents, there were too many enemies to go through!
She decided to solicit help from another direction.
Joshua! She opened a channel to her friend. Please help my brother! The mercenaries are encircling his Nova Warrior!
I can't! Joshua replied with a strained voice. Commander Melkor needs me to take out the second-class mechs that are propping up the mercenaries and massacring our own forces!
Salvation came from a different direction, though. Casella observed with astonishment from her Illuminating Warrior's sensors as a large and deceptively-slow mech bulled its way to her stricken brother!
Even as more and more mercenary mechs attempted to down the overextended Nova Warrior, a lastgen space knight suddenly imposed its considerable bulk in their way!
The Shield of Samar finally showed its worth against an onslaught of melee opponents as Jannzi Larkinson smashed through their mechs!
Despite its mobility disadvantage, the Shield of Samar cleverly waited for its opponents to make their approach before bashing its heavy tower shield or stabbing with a sword!
If the defense of the Nova Warrior was already perverse enough, then the Shield of Samar conveyed an image of total invincibility!
Paired with its protective glow that mingled fairly well with the brotherhood-oriented glow of the Bright Warrior model, the Shield of Samar demoralized the mercenary mech pilots who continually failed to achieve any measurable results!
Press the attack! Jannzi barked to Imon. I'll cover your back. If we want to break the mercenaries, we must wreak havoc in their lines! Go forth!
W-Wait a moment! Casella interrupted. My mech company can't keep up with your mechs!
As Casella argued with the expert candidate and her brother, the Quint finally made its first true debut in battle!
Joshua King interfaced deeper with the masterwork mech than he had ever done before. With the survival of his boss and the Avatars at stake, Joshua felt as if he had been thrown right back into the Sand War!
The biggest difference was that he was piloting a much better mech than a Desolate Soldier!
Though Joshua somewhat missed the Deliverer he practiced with for months, he knew in his heart that he wasn't completely suitable to pilot such a mech. It had been designed to pair with an Ylvainan, and even if Joshua tried to play nice with their faith, showing respect was not enough.
Instead, a mech designed to serve the Larkinson Clan and embody all of its values was much more to his liking!
With the high-capacity neural interface offering greater depth of immersion than before, Joshua did not hesitate to merge his psyche deeper with his mech than ever before!
Despite the lack of practice, Joshua became increasingly more in tune with his fantastic masterwork mech over the course of the abrupt and chaotic engagement.
A true battle was the best practice ground! The high stakes and the lives that depended the outcome of the battle drove Joshua to push himself to the utmost!
We can't afford to lose! The space corridor must remain open!
Right now, due to the extreme threat of the second-class mechs that were downing Avatar and Sentinel mechs every other second, the Quint entered into battle with its lancer mech configuration!
With a valiant cry, Joshua drove his Quint straight towards a powerful CRC swordsman mech.
Hahaha! Do you think your pitiful charge can stop my Ecstralis? My mech's defenses are more than you can possibly comprehend!
The advanced mech held a sword in one arm and projected an energy shield from its other arm. It had noticed the Quint charging in its direction and braced itself to meet the impact!
There wasn't much time left for additional maneuvers. As the Quint reached the Ecstralis mech, its spear impacted the energy shield in a violent collision!
After a bright flash, the Quint zipped passed its target with only a moderate reduction of speed!
Though the point of its lance looked severely compromised, Joshua grinned as he exulted in his first victory!
Floating behind the Quint was a debris field composed of several large chunks that used to belong to the Ecstralis mech.
Its arrogant pilot hadn't overestimated the defense of his well-rounded second-class mech.
Instead, he failed to realize that the damage the Quint could inflict with its charges was thirty percent higher than the Shining Warrior mechs!
This distinction was crucial, and failing to recognize this difference led to the downfall of yet another precious second-class mech!