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Chapter 1935 One against Five

The Mech Touch
     Chapter 1935 One against Five

    The dwarves had gone mad. To the guards and workers in the employ of House Kantis, the actions of their slaves completely made no sense.

    Where did they get their gear? How could they have armed themselves with serviceable armor and deadly weaponry?

    Where could they have possibly hidden their battle wagons? Why had the guards failed to sniff out something so enormous?

    Half an hour after the start of hostilities, most of the fighting at Outpost 35 died down.

    Most of the unarmed dwarves and tall folk already managed to flee to the nearest shelters and hunker down. Most of the deaths occurred in the first ten minutes as plenty of dwarves and tall folk got caught up in the firefights that erupted all over the outposts.

    The battles between the dwarven battle wagons and the guard mechs resulted in a lot of destruction. The prefab structures may have been tough enough to endure the heavy gravity, but they were wholly insufficient in withstanding enemy fire!

    Plenty of civilians huddling inside those structures died when their buildings got crushed by collisions or raked with lasers as the mechs used them as cover!

    On the street level, the vigorous battles between the foot soldiers produced much less collateral damage, but a lot more deaths!

    Master Gion Greybeard observed silently from the top of a tall prefab as the bodies on the streets of the underground outpost increased.

    What pained him the most was that most of the bodies were fairly short. Ever since the rebels launched their offensive, the tall folk showed no restraint in killing as many dwarves as possible!

    The old dwarf held the Banner of Vulcan with an iron grip. Though few of the rebels were able to see the banner or feel its strong and distinctive glow, the rebels still fought as if their god was watching over each of their actions!

    For Vulcan!

    Kill the tall folk!

    Freedom is within our reach!

    Some of the street fighting turned exceptionally cruel as the dwarves fought far beyond what was asked of them! Combatants from both sides became so engulfed by violence that they took as much advantage of the situation as possible to unleash their darker urges!

    Dwarves formed roaming hunting parties and began to seek out the hiding holes of the overseers who tormented them for all their lives. Once the armed dwarves broke into their homes or offices, the defenseless overseers finally paid for all of the punishments they doled out when they were drunk on power!

    The tall folk did not restrain themselves either. Several guards or armed tall folk snapped and started to proactively seek out dwarves to massacre!

    Neither side considered the other to be human anymore. Hardly any dwarf showed any respect or restraint towards their opposition.

    In their eyes, every fellow of the wrong height needed to die, no exceptions! Throughout the outer districts and parts of the central districts, the streets and interiors of the prefab structures were dyed in red as the stink of blood and weapons discharge suffused the entire surroundings!

    Though Master Gion Greybeard felt increasingly more squeamish at the sights and sounds of battle, he knew that this was a necessary consequence of battle.

    He had already made peace with all of the dwarves that would perish as a result of an insurrection that he had plotted for more than a decade!

    The old dwarf gazed up towards the red-and-blue banner with an X surrounded by a cog in the center.

    Do you see our determination, Vulcan? We are more than slaves. We are more than miners. Each of us are ready to sacrifice our lives in order to regain our freedom! We shall never put down our arms until we have finally escaped this planet! This we swear!

    Eventually, an armed dwarf approached the leader.

    Master Greybeard, our ace pilot has achieved a magnificent victory! With the white mech of the tall folk, Rion has managed to demolish seven of our enemy's blood-soaked mechs!

    The old dwarf gruffly grunted. How many enemy mechs remain?

    That.. is what I am here to report. The white mech is confronting five of the armless mechs at the southern plaza. Once the tall folk restored their communications, they have become much more difficult to deal with. Their surviving guards have stopped attempting to counterattack. They are all huddling in their fortifications.

    What of their mechs?

    Their mech pilots haven't taken our bait. They're stubbornly staying in place.

    As expected. Vulcan is right. Once the tall folk suffer too many losses, they will no longer go on the offensive. Gion slowly smiled and turned around. Let us proceed to the next step of the plan. Now that the tall folk are all locked in place, their 'spaceport' is exposed!

    The dwarves around him roared in jubilation! The ultimate objective of this attack was never about taking over Outpost 35!

    They didn't even have to defeat the enemy mechs! As long as the fighting forces of the tall folk were eliminated or occupied, the rebels possessed a straight shot at the spaceport situated on the far side of the outpost!

    Let's go capture their ship! Don't let it escape!

    As the dwarves proceeded to complete their most essential objective, back at the southern plaza, the Genie Pearl slightly pressed its frame against a prefab structure.

    The mech was quickly forced to move elsewhere as a volley of laser beams systematically melted holes in the structure!

    There are too many lasers! Rion panicked as he clumsily piloted his mech backwards! I can't beat five of them at the same time! It's impossible!

    Any light skirmisher specialist who heard those words would probably feel ashamed for Rion!

    Sure, it was not very realistic for a single mech to overcome a formation of five alert mechs.

    Yet the odds weren't as lopsided as Rion thought.

    First, there was a significant difference in quality. The Genie Pearl was the personal mech of a scion of House Kantis, while the surviving hardware of the guard force consisted entirely of cheap and worn frontline mechs!

    In fact, Ves estimated that the Genie Pearl might even be more expensive than all five frontline mechs put together! Even though the latter consisted of a lot more metal and components, their market positioning was completely different!

    That said, even if the difference in market value between the two sides was negligible, the side with more mechs usually possessed an advantage.

    In normal situations, the side with more mechs would be able to surround and flank the outnumbered side.

    This was not a normal situation.

    Calm down, Rion. Ves mentally conveyed to his host.

    He began to concentrate a bit and increased the glow his consciousness emanated.

    Feeling the familiar presence of Vulcan strengthening in his mind did wonders in calming Rion down. The dwarf had become his devout believer!

    Don't forget who I am. I'm the God of Dwarves, Mechs and Craftsmanship. I might not be as omnipotent in other areas, but when it comes to mechs, hardly any mortal or immortal being can compete against my mastery of these machines!

    Though Ves exaggerated a bit, his host was too naive! Rion completely bought into his claims!

    It helped that Ves had already showed off his prowess. Not only did he manage to unlock the Genie Pearl, he also assisted Rion in battle by directing his actions and exposing the most critical weak points of the enemy mechs!

    Please guide me, my lord. Rion humbly beseeched the god in his mind. How can I defeat the enemy mechs?

    Ves inwardly smiled. You don't necessarily have to defeat them. You merely have to keep them in place. This outcome is already within my projections.

    Pardon?

    As long as these mechs are trapped in place, they won't be able to reinforce their spaceport! If the spaceport doesn't receive any heavy support in the next twenty minutes, our dwarves will probably be able to overrun the undermanned defenses and capture a transport ship!

    Rion's eyes widened. Oh.

    The problem is that once the mech pilots find out the truth, they'll probably march to the spaceport in unison! Ves cautiously warned. While the frontline mechs are rather slow, they can probably reach the spaceport in fifteen to twenty minutes while covering each other's backs.

    Once the mechs reached the spaceport, the escape plan was as good as over!

    What do I need to do?

    Fight. Ves answered simply.

    Against all five?

    You have no other choice. While it's enough to keep them occupied, it's best to take them out entirely because capturing the transport ship and trying to gain control over its systems can't be done without my help! And the only way I can offer my assistance is if you aren't needed anymore.

    In the end, Rion still needed defeat the mechs in order to ensure that the tall folk possessed no more means to foil the escape attempt!

    Don't waste anymore time. Remember that our antigrav backpack has already consumed more than half of its energy reserves. You effectively have only ten minutes to make the most of your mobility advantage.

    In addition, the dwarven rebels needed to hurry up in capturing a ship and launching into space!

    Outpost 35 was just one of many outposts on Desala X. There were larger outposts which hosted a more substantial guard presence. Once they dispatched their reinforcements, it was only a matter of time before the tall folk recaptured their fallen base!

    Ves conveyed some instructions to Rion.

    Your Genie Pearl is a light skirmisher. Not only that, but your mech is countless times faster than those sluggish frontline mechs! While their formation looks formidable, it's primarily geared towards keeping enemy mechs at a distance. Once you brave the fire and manage to close the distance, they're completely exposed! Even if they turn their weapons on your Genie Pearl, they're liable to hit their own side!

    I see!

    Though Rion wasn't the brightest dwarf, even he could see how poorly the enemy mechs would be able to fend him off!

    Once Rion understood what he needed to do, he hesitated no further and rushed his mechs out of cover.

    The frontline mechs never lost track of the Genie Pearl. Once the mech dove out of cover, the enemy mech pilots instantly opened fire with their warmed up laser weapons!

    Each mech fired twin beams of searing hot lasers. Though a medium mech could easily withstand a series of hits without suffering any significant damage, it was different for light mechs!

    Even if the Genie Pearl was a premium mech, even if it was clad with compressed armor plating, its exterior was still too fragile!

    Dodge! Ves urged! Never advance in a straight line! Just trust in your instincts and side step as much as possible!

    This street is too narrow! The distance is too close! Their lasers are too accurate!

    Don't complain! Even if you can't avoid getting hit, lateral movement will still reduce the damage by spreading out the energy of laser beams across a wider surface!

    What?

    Just do as I say!

    Though Rion was right, all of the side stepping and turning succeeded in spreading out the damage of the laser beams.

    If the frontline mechs managed to concentrate their fire on a single point, then the Genie Pearl would have definitely collapsed by now!

    Yet because the light mech was using its mobility advantage to good effect, the light mech succeeded in closing the distance!

    Even though some of the laser beams succeeded in penetrating the armor, the internal damage only resulted in a slight reduction in performance.

    The light skirmisher was still functional enough to retaliate!

    Don't stop! Keep moving! Weave between the mechs and stab your knives in the sections I've pointed out! Even if you miss, it's okay! What's more important is that you always need to put an enemy mech in the way of the other mechs!

    Rion did as instructed. His Genie Pearl clumsily danced around the befuddled frontline mechs and got in a couple of cheap shots.

    However, the enemy mech pilots weren't stupid. Once they realized that they failed to keep the Genie Pearl away, they fired at the light mech regardless of the friendly mech in their way!

    The light skirmisher suddenly suffered several malfunctions, interrupting Rion's rhythm!