The Mech Touch Chapter 560
Relia piloted a special swordsman mech provided by the Quistas training camp. The Neyvar model excelled in fighting against the creatures. It boasted an even armor coverage that strengthened its weak points at the cost of reducing its frontal armor. That was not a problem for her, because she could easily deal with any beast attacks that came from the front.
The mech further distinguished itself with its strong mechanical power. The augmented artificial musculature combined with a strong engine allowed the Neyvar to burst out with a humongous amount of strength.
The only downside to the mech was that it drained a lot of energy when Relia pushed its capabilities. Training Camp Quistas pointed out her lack of care regarding her energy levels.
Most of her engagements up to now consisted of ambushing pirates. The Hostland Warriors only deployed her unit when the carrier she was on had taken an advantageous position against the pirates.
Working with the Neyvar taught Relia a brutal lesson on how to conserve her energy. Attempting to survive more than a day in the monster-filled forests of the Kamwin continent couldn't be done unless she rationed her energy.
Though she made good strides this day, all of her concerns about conserving her energy went out the window as soon as pirates tracked her down. She gritted her teeth in fury as she beheld the surviving scum. The cowardly pirate light mechs backed off after she demonstrated her skill with her sword.
Her Neyvar picked up a score of incoming enemy mechs. She couldn't stay still for long. Between flight or fight, she picked the latter any day.
"We won't be able to shake these pirates off without a fight! Cover me! For Hafner!"
"For Hafner!" Her escorts repeated over the comm channel.
The Neyvar groaned as Relia put the swordsman mech to its paces. It wielded its long and straight blade in wide, sweeping swings, demolishing a couple more light mechs until the Vandal mechs pulled back out of range.
Relia entered a heightened state as she pushed her Neyvar onwards. She needed all of the power she could get in order to get rid of this nuisance. She released a guttural growl as her mech gained power and speed. All forms of grace disappeared from its movements as Relia focused on gaining maximum efficiency.
With a mental thought, she diverted extra power to the Neyvar's legs. This boosted the swordsman mech's speed, allowing it to spurt forward in a dangerously unbalanced dash. Only her exquisite control allowed the mech to keep its footing.
The Vandals attempted to scatter and wear her down with ranged weapons, but the light ballistic rifles hardly dented the Neyvar's compressed armor. Training Camp Quistas had been conscientious enough to provide her with an excellent mech.
The Vandal mechs that tried to flee from her reach all stumbled a bit due to the uneven terrain. The kilometer-long trees that towered over the entire Kamwin continent all developed extremely extensive root systems that occasionally penetrated above the soil.
These extraordinarily hardy roots provided mechs with an extra challenge. To the trainees who spent months trekking through the forest, they had already gotten used to the uneven footing. Their mechs also utilized specialized feet that made it easier to travel on uneven terrain.
Unfortunately for the pirates, they entirely lacked these preparations. Several mechs stumbled as they fled as their feet inadvertently dug into roots. They were operating on completely foreign soil compared to Relia.
"You can't run!"
The Neyvar's sword pierced the rear armor of the slowest mech. A minute amount of blood dyed the blade as the mech pulled out its sword.
Relia went for the killing move!
"No mercy for pirates!"
The Neyvar expended more and more energy to outsprint the fleeing light mechs. Unlike Relia, the foreign mech pilots couldn't sustain their speed as well due to the strange terrain that limited their sprinting ability. It was as if they were running through mud!
Relia's escort mechs struggled to catch up with her as she ran down the squads of Vandal mechs. Each time she reached an enemy mech, the Neyvar only took a single stab or swing to disable the light mechs. The expert candidate showed off her full prowess by unconsciously utilizing the most effective means to defeat each enemy mech in range.
Her eyes had gone red with blood as she hunted the Vandals with rabid fury.
What she didn't know was that the Vandals had not just run and scattered from her grasp. Instead, covertly lured her into a prepared kill zone where a whole host of Vandal mechs lay in wait.
"Captain Foster! There's an ambush ahead! Cease pursuit!"
Relia barely registered the warning from her escorts. She had already inferred that enemy mechs lay in waiting around her through interpreting the complex sensor data that had been dumped in her mind. Ordinary mech pilots couldn't handle so much sensor input at once, but the expert candidate willed herself to endure the strain.
"That's enough, Captain Foster!" A medium spearman mech that looked a little fancier stepped out from behind a tree trunk. "You're outnumbered and outmatched! This fight doesn't need to go on any longer!"
The Neyvar slowed and halted into place. Relia faintly realized that she faced a mech captain. Still, she felt no fear despite the threats arrayed against her. To her, every pirate was a pushover.
Her squad of escorts eventually caught up to her. They spotted the enemy mechs as well and took up defensive positions behind some massive tree trunks.
"Captain! More enemy mechs are inbound from the site of the former training camp! According to the sensor data, the Flagrant Vandals are moving to encircle us!"
The pressure piled up on Relia's shoulders. Even though she was an expert candidate, she wouldn't be able to withstand the fury of several mech companies by herself. There was a limit to how much she could defy the odds.
Nonetheless, Relia thought nothing about retreat. "This crisis had already reached a critical point. Running is pointless. I would rather fight and give these pirates a lesson they won't forget! Are you with me, trainees?!"
"We're with you, captain!"
The mech pilots that accompanied her all consisted of young elites. All of them assented to Relia's plan. Surrender was not an option, especially against pirates!
She uttered no more words than that. Relia could trust her escorts to know what to do. Right now, they were more useful to her alive than dead, so her fellow mech pilots didn't follow her into battle.
The Neyvar endured an onslaught of enemy fire as it charged forth. This time, Relia didn't opt to run in a straight line. Since her opponent believed that they had enough numbers to take her down, they stopped trying to run.
"Astral Swordwind Starwalker Steps!"
Relia utilized her homemade movement technique. The Neyvar became as domineering as the astral wind, blowing in each direction with purpose. She developed her incomplete Astral Swordwind techniques in order to unify the necessary movement and attack moves on land and in space. Thus, the Neyvar's current movement seemed especially strange.
Most of the Vandals missed their shots. The few hits that impacted the Neyvar came from luck rather than skill. The average Vandal pilot fell far short to Relia in terms of skill. She easily hoodwinked their aim and successfully reached the closest squad of mechs.
This time, she faced a number melee mechs, including a hardly medium knight. Yet Relia didn't slow down her approach.
"Astral Swordwind Swallow Stab!"
The Neyvar bent over at an angle and put its full weight behind its stab. The tip of its sword amazingly went through a gap in the opposing knight's defense and pierced its left chest armor! Relia didn't waste any time and instantly retracted the sword before slashing a light skirmisher that attempted to spring an ambush from the side.
"Triple Redemption Slash!"
"Double Redemption Slash!"
Barely twenty seconds after making contact, the Neyvar left a trail of ruined mechs. An entire squad of Vandals was no more! Relia's opponent didn't stand a chance! Even worse, at least half of the mech pilots had been killed before they managed to eject!
"Death to pirates!"
Relia barely took a breath and continued her assault. The Vandals meanwhile didn't expect that one of their squads would last so short against the expert candidate. They fully underestimated the prowess of an advanced pilot with one foot in the realm of experts!
As the Neyvar crashed into another squad of Vandal mechs, Relia put her Astral Swordwind techniques to full display. A violent orchestra of speed and power tore through the foreign-operated mechs. Despite resembling popular Vesian mech models, the enemy mechs appeared completely tainted in her eyes. Only slaughter would cleanse the sins of these mechs!
There was barely any obfuscation in her moves. Relia disdained the use of feints and forms of misdirection. However, her seemingly simple movements belied her strong foundations and the inherent grace behind her strength. Her Neyvar danced to her palm as it evaded through volleys of incoming laser beams and projectiles.
With each mech she felled, Relia became more and more aware of the flaws to her piloting skills. She had fought against too many monsters lately and had gotten used to their instinctual fighting style.
Battling against human opponents was much more difficult than she thought!
The Vandals surrounded the Neyvar and her escorts in a horseshoe-like formation. No matter where Relia fought, she always needed to be aware of mechs approaching from behind.
While she was able to resolve most of the attacks from the rear, sometimes she simply couldn't do anything but endure the battering. In this situation, her escorts had no choice but to step in. They diverted over a third of the Vandal mechs sent to deal with her with great difficulty.
Their choice did not come without a price.
"Pritchard!" She yelled in pain as her mech sensed the collapse of a friendly mech.
The other participants of the training camp may have been some of the best that Hafner had to offer, but they all lacked the heaven-defying capability of an expert candidate like Relia.
Two more mechs fell in quick succession, causing Relia to falter in her aggression. "Moseley! Veronique!"
Soon enough, her entire escort squad had been felled. The Vandals had not been merciful to the Hafner mechs, opting to go for the killing blow in revenge against Relia's deliberate cockpit targeting.
Relia did not even think about who was to blame. All she thought was that she lost all of her new friends. They had trained together and fought together for several months. She remembered each and everyone of their faces.
The Vandals thought that Relia had given up once she realized she was the lone Hafner mech pilot standing.
They were wrong.
"You murderers." She wheezed out as she beheld the mechs that surrounded her. Another mech company had caught up and cut off her escape route. "ALL OF YOU MUST DIE!"
An invisible explosion emanated from the Neyvar, causing the Vandals to be taken aback. Relia didn't waste the opportunity and moved her mech into attack. Like a furious tiger, the Neyvar sprang towards the Vandal mechs and slashed them down one by one in quick succession.
As the Vandals spread out from the Neyvar, the Hafner mech pushed against its limits and outright broke its speed limit as it dove into another squad of enemy mechs.
The Vandals didn't stand a chance up close!
Mech pilots started to eject by the dozens as the Neyvar performed far above its nominal performance. Within a span of five minutes, the Neyvar slaughtered over fifty mechs with no signs of rest! The Neyvar radiated a lot of heat, causing the air around the overstressed swordsman mech to distort.
"DEATH!" Relia screamed into an open channel as she chased down the Vandals that desperately wanted to widen the distance.
The hunters had become the hunted!