Chapter 1910 Emerging Heroes
The influence of the Living Prophet's damning decree couldn't be understated.
The sudden disappearance of all of the glows that had continued to reassure and inspire the Ylvainans was immense.
Mournful shouts and yells rang throughout the streets as the patrolling Holy Soldiers suddenly lost their sacred quality!
Angry shouts and ferocious accusations started to fling in every direction as mech pilots, mech technicians and mech designers mistakenly blamed each other for 'killing' their mechs!
As the parties that made the decisive choice to defect to the Friday Coalition, the leaders of the three leading dynasties immediately came under an immense amount of pressure.
Though they had instituted a communications blackout that cut off every Ylvainan's awareness of what was going on in a different city, planet or star system, not all of the quantum entanglement nodes connected to the galactic net fell under the government's sway.
Many starships possessed their own individual quantum entanglement nodes, and if they weren't controlled by the three leading dynasties, then there was a considerable chance that their captains defied orders to block their nodes.
Furthermore, some obstinate Ylvainans also defied the orders of their superiors, especially when they learned that this was all part of a plot to hide an attack on the Bright Martyr!
All of this defiance meant that a scattered and sporadic network of communication was still in place when the Battle of Kesseling VIII erupted!
Not only did billions of Ylvainans learn about the battle, a portion of them even figured out that the Protectorate government was complicit in the attack!
While the authorities managed to exert enough control to suppress the unrest and limit its spread, all hell broke loose once the damning decree came into effect.
The wrath of Great Prophet descended on the Ylvainans without warning and with no chance for mercy!
Aside from the score of mechs piloted by the Kronon defectors at Kesseling VIII, every other LMC mech that was under the protection of Ylvaine's spiritual fragment suddenly lost their greatest and most valuable property.
All life went out from the mechs as the Great Prophet seemed to have forsaken the people that allowed the three leading dynasties to turn the Protectorate away from his faith!
Millions, if not billions of Ylvainans collapsed onto their knees! They cried and pleaded forgiveness towards the heavens!
PLEASE! I'M SORRY FOR CHEATING ON MY WIFE! I WILL DO EVERYTHING TO ATONE FOR MYSELF!
It's not our fault! It's not our fault! It's not our fault! I'll overthrow our greedy leaders ourselves if that is what it takes to bring our Protectorate back to the light!
Please enlighten me, prophet! What will it take to regain your grace? I want nothing more than to deploy my mechs against the Fridaymen that are targeting the Bright Martyr, but I'm in a completely different star system!
No matter how much the Ylvainans decried the unfairness, the Great Prophet had made his choice.
Through his actions, the founder of their faith had signalled that the state founded by the three leading dynasties no longer represented his will!
As more and more Ylvianans came to this conclusion, their rage, despair and desperation instantly reached new heights!
Many Ylvainans began to flaunt martial law in order to protest or riot against the administration. Some of the enforcers and soldiers that were supposed to maintained actually joined the civilians instead of trying to suppress them! Their own mechs had all lost their blessings in front of their eyes, causing them to experience just as much despair!
Though the entire state rapidly descended into fury, anguish and chaos, the Battle of Kesseling VIII still raged on! Regardless if the entire Protectorate was on the brink of collapse, the CRC still wanted to win this battle!
With Brutus Wodin pressed to his limits by Raen Valentine, the rest of the combatants had to fend for themselves without the support of their expert pilots.
This was very bad news to the defenders as the influence of the glows and the intervention of the Living Prophet and his band of defectors was not enough to overcome the disparity in numbers in and might!
The crucial advantage held by the Fridaymen was their crushing numbers of second-class mechs. Each of them were able to fly or run on the ground, and all of them were clad in superior alloys consisting of alloys that cost as much as several third-class mech companies!
Not only that, but the mercenary mechs that screened these precious mechs posed a very huge hindrance against any attempts at ganging up on them. The Avatars, Sentinels, Battle Criers and Kronon defectors failed to gain any advantage against the flood of mercenaries that numbered roughly a thousand mechs at the beginning.
Even though the quality of mercenary mechs and the training of the foreign mech pilots weren't stellar, their huge advantage in numbers and willingness to trade blows for blows caused the Larkinson mech pilots and their comrade to fall back again and again!
Unlike the battle in space, the battle on land featured less individual heroes that could rally the defenders and serve as a beacon of hope in this crucial clash.
The best that the landbound mech contingent could offer was Tusa Billingsley-Larkinson!
His aerial light skirmisher darted through the skies with immense speed! The Blazing Zephyr dodged and weaved through a huge barrage of enemy fire, evading most of it while enduring just a couple of hits on its light layer Breyer alloy that had recently been applied to the mech.
While the hasty replacement of its armor system severely affected his light skirmisher's balance, Tusa thanked himself for accepting this offer to upgrade his mech, because in a major like this, his Blazing Zephyr would have already been downed if he insisted on maintaining the original form of his mech!
As he took out aerial threat after aerial threat, he zipped and weaved past several enemy light mechs that constantly tried to take his Blazing Zephyr down!
Damnit! These second-class mechs are unshakeable!
Against regular mercenary mechs, his mech possessed a decisive advantage, but the mechs fielded by the Coalition Reserve Corps proved to be unassailable.
Their superior performance and vastly tougher armor caused Tusa to feel profoundly helpless!
Even if his considerable skills in battle allowed him to outmaneuver his arrogant opponents, the heated daggers wielded by his Blazing Zephyr barely sank into his targets even if Tusa specifically targeted the seams or weak points!
Goddamn Fridaymen! I'm never piloting a mech as weak as mine again if I have any say about it! He murmured to himself. Ves should better design a new mech for me after this is over. I can't stand letting these Fridaymen get the better out of me. Just because your mechs are tougher doesn't mean you're better!
The disparity in skill could not overcome the disparity in performance, at least not to this degree.
Every Larkinson, retainer and employee shared Tusa's frustrations. The mechs fielded by the CRC were better than their own in every way!
Not only that, but their mech pilots exhibited superior skill as their training allowed them to make the most out of their machines!
If not for the flank attack and the initial suppression from Venerable Brutus, the CRC would have been able to overrun the defenders at this point!
Even though the Larkinsons lost the protection of a friendly expert pilot, none of them despaired. Instead, their will to fight burned hotter as they resisted with as much valiance they could show!
While the Avatars and Sentinels were unable to pose a threat against the CRC mechs, they could at least assist the Glory Battalion by shielding them from the tides of cheap but voluminous mercenary mechs!
The mercenaries showed little cohesion between their outfits or even within their outfits. The Fridaymen hadn't been very discerning when they hired them, which meant that the skill of their pilots and the quality of their mechs were noticeably below standard.
Yet for every skilled Larkinson mech pilot, there were at least two or three uncouth mercenary mech pilots who were more than willing to gang up on their opponents!
Such a significant number disparity caused the defenders to suffer continuous losses in both mechs and mech pilots!
Though many mech pilots managed to eject to safety in time, some attacks were simply too sudden to avoid. In a large and intensive battle like this, deaths couldn't be avoided.
The amount of Larkinson blood being spilled would make many clan members weep!
However, this was no time to think about the losses. The continued survival of the nascent Larkinson Clan was still in question!
If the Avatars and Sentinels collapsed, if the CRC managed to reach Ves or if the Larkinson Clan lost heart, then all would be lost!
It was in these moments when the courage and duty displayed by the Larkinsons showed their true value.
Even if they were at a disadvantage, even if they weren't entirely sure why the Fridaymen wanted to kill them, the Larkinson mech pilots each fought as valiantly as they did against the Vesians.
For the clan!
For the Larkinson bloodline!
For the cat!
Never mind, just fight!
With the Larkinsons setting an inspiring example, the non-Larkinsons employed by the Avatars and Sentinels also endured. While their morale was not in the best condition, at the very least they weren't trying to abandon the fight and flee the battlefield!
Of the combatants taking part in the battle, the modest number of Battle Criers made a significant difference as well.
Their unflinching dedication to hold the line was absolutate! As Kinner bondsmen, the Battle Criers were bound to defend their owner at any cost!
Dietrich Krotz was one of the few members of the Battle Criers that wasn't part of the Kinner Tribe. As such, he possessed a much more sober outlook towards this battle than his Kinner comrades.
They're mad! They would rather die than fail their orders!
He didn't understand the Kinners. Despite serving with them for quite some time, Dietrich still failed to learn why the Kinners were so absolute in their obedience to their employers or buyers.
He even felt as if they weren't human sometimes!
Humans were selfish. Humans only looked out to themselves. Humans would never die for the sake of a stranger!
Throughout his time growing up among Walter's Whalers, Dietrich thought he already understood the depth of human nature.
The betrayal that occurred after his father's death showed him that he had been too naive in his outlook!
After losing his father's legacy and suffering an immense blow to his confidence, he thought that no one was different from the Whalers.
For example, he believed that Raella refused to take their fling any further because he didn't bring enough benefits.
He guessed that Ves only desired to hire him because he still possessed some value.
He thought the Kinners were only pretending to be absolutely loyal in order to maintain the reputation of their people and tribe.
While all of that may be true, in this perilous battle, Dietrich discovered that the Battle Criers viewed loyalty in a much different way from other people.
Whereas other people were like fickle and duplicitous cats, the Battle Criers were more akin to slavishly loyal dogs!
Though he always knew that the Battle Criers he fought alongside with were reliable, this was the first time that Dietrich saw their true nature.
For the Battle Criers!
For the Kinner Tribe!
For our sons and daughters!
Though the Battle Criers showed plenty of fervor and enthusiasm, their foes still downed their mechs one by one at a worrying pace. While the attackers lost their mechs faster than their defenders, soon the latter would run out of mechs to fight!
Meanwhile, the CRC's advantage over the dwindling number of Glory Warriors continued to increase!
As the battle seemed to turn for the worse for the Larkinson Clan, a rear formation consisting of rifleman mechs and other ranged mechs suddenly suffered a major upheaval!
The vulnerable mercenary mechs all exhibited cuts that separated their arms from their torsos or outright cut their frames in half!
Several companies that predominantly comprised of swordman mechs emerged from another flank!
The battle is not yet over, Larkinsons! The Swordsmaidens shall fight by your side!
With Commander Dise's announcement, the mob of mercenary mechs came under heavy pressure as their other flank were being savaged by a ferocious band of sword-wielding mechs that employed both savagery and skill!