The Mech Touch Chapter 788
The Swordmaiden champion called dibs on dueling Hokaz, the Tyrant of the Wastes and presumably the ruler of Mulak, the city the Flagrant Swordmaidens once called A27!
Naturally, Captain Orfan strenuously objected. She wanted to hog the right to duel the formidable-looking Hokaz for herself!
Both Byrd and Clarrissa tried to hash the argument out among themselves.
"Captain Byrd, my champion is not only an experienced duelist, but also a hunter of many varied exobeasts." Captain Clarissa explained. "There are no other beast hunters among our ranks who have hunted down more exobeasts than Lieutenant Dise! While I respect you Vandals on your combat prowess, your forces are predominantly trained to fight against other mechs! Fighting an exobeast is another matter entirely than fighting a mech!"
Eventually, Byrd conceded against Clarissa's logic. She felt no guilt in ordering Captain Orfan to leave the job of dueling the biggest and baddest-looking exobeast to Lieutenant Dise!
"That's not fair!" Orfan complained. "She's just a pirate lieutenant! What gives her the qualifications to hog the big guy for herself! I should be the one to go toe-to-toe against Hokaz!"
Captain Byrd remained undeterred, however. "We know nothing about their species nor their combat prowess. Those embedded crystals possess an astonishing amount of power, and Hokaz exhibits the most of those strange crystals. Against these unknown species with unknown capabilities, it is best to reserve our best exobeast hunter against their biggest beast. Don't be too upset, Rosa. You have the honor of going first against their second-strongest creature."
Although Captain Orfan replied over the comm with a profanity-laden tirade, Byrd swiftly muted the comm channel as if it was an ingrained reflex. After ten or so seconds, she unmuted the channel again.
"Fine! Just fine! I'll go forward and serve up my mech as your guinea pig, but you better give me first dibs next time!"
The Vandal mech captain jumped back into her cockpit and directed her mech forward in a clear acceptance of the challenge.
Lieutenant Dise entered her own Devil Razor and took a step back to indicate that they agreed to a one-one-one duel.
That served the other side just right. The lead rider looked to the woman who piloted the second-strongest exobeast. They exchanged some words before Hokaz slowly lumbered backwards.
The other exobeast proceeded to hobble forward. While this creature was almost as large as Hokaz, it looked a bit more slender than the Tyrant of the Wastes, though it was also longer from head to tail. Its scales and hide took on a deep dark blue coloring, only to be broken up by a speckled pattern of shiny white scales.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
The creature looked like it embodied a star-studded night. Ves wondered if the stranded descendants even knew what night really looked like. With the bright astral winds flowing constantly over their heads, Aeon Corona VII had never once experienced what it was like to be plunged into darkness since the Starlight Megalodon crash-landed onto its surface.
The female rider began to announce herself. "I am Pirisa, Gatekeeper of the River of Souls and chosen of Naeduvis, the Life Giver! I hereby challenge you and your sword-wielding machine to a sacred duel! If we win, you godless machine riders must depart from the territory of our god-king!"
Captain Orfan broadcasted her own reply, though she merely parroted Captain Byrd's words whispered into her ears. "I accept your duel! However, are not conquerors who have come to wrest control over your territory. We have no cause to fight to the death! Also, if my machine and I manage to win, you must treat our delegation as friendly guests and promise not to do them harm!"
Pirisa, the rider of Naeduvis, spoke something to the rider of Hokaz. The female rider eventually nodded in assent. "Your demands are acceptable! "
"Then it is agreed! We shall fight until one of us surrenders or is put in a position of submission! No one else may intervene in our duel!"
The spearman mech moved forward with its knees slightly bent in order to facilitate a dodge. The mech held out its shortspear in a steady, two-handed grip, and appeared ready to stab it forward whenever Orfan spotted an opportunity.
Naeduvis on its part stomped forward in a slow but momentous gait. Just its movements caused a lot of the Vandals and Swordmaidens present to feel intimidated.
Out of respect for their opponents and their own martial traditions, the Vandals and the Swordmaidens sent out a melee mech each.
While the two forces could have sent a nimble rifleman mech to kite these lumbering brutes to a death by a thousand cuts, such a victory would never feel as satisfying as achieving victory on their strongest aspect!
To Ves, all this emphasis on honor and fairness rankled him. Once a conflict led to a dual, it seemed that every mech pilot suddenly lost half of their intelligence! They became as rowdy and competitive as thirteen-year old kids in school!
If he was in charge of the Flagrant Swordmaidens, he would have gone for Captain Byrd's initial suggestion and just stomp all over the natives with their superior numbers and firepower.
Barring that, he would have at least presented the rifleman mechs so that they could grind the lumbering exobeasts while constantly on the move and out of reach.
It shouldn't be a crime to exploit an enemy's fatal flaw!
By now, Orfan's spearman mech reached a typical starting range from Naeduvis. The long and somewhat slender exobeast stared glowering with glowering eyes at what it considered to be a godless machine. A long tongue flickered in and out of its jaws lined with razor-sharp teeth.
The staring match stretched on for a minute before the Pirisa abruptly raised a clenched fist. "Naeduvis, the Life Giver, show these godless machines what a true sacred god can do! I call upon you to draw upon the vault of the gods!"
Inside the fast transport, Ves thought that such an announcement sounded fanciful but without substance, but Chief Dakkon suddenly cried out in alarm.
"The energy levels within the crystals embedded in its hide are being activated somehow! It's stirring something up!"
"Dr. Tillman, what is going on?!" Captain Byrd asked with an apprehensive voice.
"I don't have enough data, ma'am!" The frazzled doctor replied as the wind around Naeduvis started to revolve into some kind of funnel. "The exobeast's crystals aren't part of its biology. Their functioning falls outside of my expertise!"
Chief Dakkon couldn't say much either. Without studying these crystals extensively in a lab, they only had outside observations to go on, which didn't help them much. After all, the chief never detected that the crystals were capable of whipping up this kind of phenomenon!
On her part, Captain Orfan refrained from attacking, though she would be fully in her right to do so. In her judgement, Naeduvis was starting to wind itself up and accumulate more strength. So long it didn't behave to excessively, Orfan's honor dictated that she should let her opponent do so in order to face it at its strongest!
"Look at the astral winds!" Chief Dakkon called out. "Naeduvis is affecting the higher-dimensional particles somehow!"
Every Vandal and Swordmaiden looked on with their mouths gaped open as an invisible energy tornado formed above the dark blue exobeast. This funnel stretched out so far above the sky that it actually connected to the astral winds flowing turbulently above their heads.
The energy tornado siphoned a small but bright trickle of higher-dimensional particles. The glowing wind circled downwards from the skies until it slammed into the crystals adorning the exobeast.
"The crystals are releasing stronger emissions! The entire beast is being surrounded by a weak energy field as well as an antigrav field along its entire bulk! Heat signatures are also rising! The exobeast itself is siphoning some of the incoming energy!"
The scales of the creature known as Naeduvis started to take on an even deeper and shiner luster that overlapped with the energy field the brightly-glowing crystals had managed conjure out of nowhere. The sheer amount of higher-dimensional particles compressed into the crystal interfered with their sensor readings, causing the observers to be unable to figure out exactly what was happening!
Whatever the exobeast just did, it just performed a feat that the technologically-superior Flagrant Swordmaidens had never managed to do, and that was to manipulate the astral winds!
"How can this huge creature draw upon the astral winds?" Captain Byrd asked with astonishment. "Isn't that supposed to be higher-dimensional energy that is off-limits to the material dimensions?"
"The key lies in those crystals, ma'am. I don't know what they are and where they come from, but I bet that all of this is attributed to those amazing objects!"
As Chief Dakkon blabbed on about the value of those embedded crystals, Ves made a startling observation on his own. The sensor readings that he paid attention to started to emit a faint pattern that nonetheless shouldn't ordinarily be possible!
"Captain, our sensors have picked up signs of the equivalent of a man-machine connection between Naeduvis and Pirisa! The beast rider is neurally connected with the exobeast!"
"I don't know, ma'am! I haven't detected any neural interfaces or any other artificial constructs!"
"Is it the crystals?"
"I'm not sure, but the connection is linking their brains together directly!"
Even though Ves wasn't certain about his radical observation, Captain Byrd nonetheless chose to warn Captain Orfan about the possibility.
A beast that fought on instincts was entirely different from a beast that fought under human ingenuity. Such a scarily intelligent opponent would be ten times harder to put down!
Byrd instructed Orfan to make a move. "Don't wait any longer. The energy emissions coming out of Naeduvis surpasses your mech by a factor of ten, and it's rising by the second! Just attack already!"
With a wordless cry, the spearman mech leapt into action. It held out its spear like a lance and thundered forward in a seemingly straight charge. The mech's heavy-duty gravitic backpack strained to keep the mech's entire weights within a human norm, but it drained energy like a sieve, especially during combat!
As the mech thrust out its spear with its entire momentum behind the blow, Naeduvis swiftly moved its forepaw in position to block!
Blocked! Captain Orfan's mech swiftly bounced out of the way in fear of receiving a retaliation. Orfan had taken Dr. Tillman's warning to heart. Still, she released a frustrating grunt when she saw the exobeast suffered no apparent damage at all!
"Tell Captain Orfan that she is doing a good job." Ves spoke. "That piercing blow hasn't managed to pierce the exobeast's hide, but that is only because it is infused with some kind of energy field. That single blow struck off a few percentage points of the energy field's strength, and it's recovering fairly slowly. If Captain Orfan keeps up her aggression, you can overload the energy field!"
She followed his advice and began to make a series of hit-and-run attacks. She gave up on maximizing the strength of the blows in an attempt to pierce through the exobeast's unnaturally hardened scales and instead attempted to treat it like an energy screen. Any energy screen could be overloaded once its capacity of damage surpassed a certain point!
The fundamental differences between a mech and an exobeast came into play. Under the influence of its gravitic backpack, the spearman mech smartly darted in and out, attacking just enough to land a few quick blows before pulling back.
Naeduvis released an angry as it lunged in an attempt to swat the offending mech. At some points, its antigrav field pulsed as the weight of the entire exobeast suddenly lit up, allowing it to leap forward as if it was unwounding a spring!
Prepared for such an eventuality, Captain Orfan danced her mech to the side within the blink of an eye. Her mech possessed a definite advantage in mobility and she wasn't hesitant in leveraging it in her duel against this heavy mech-like creature!