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Commander Casella Ingvar looked pensive as her Living Sentinels fought alongside a large number of Glory Seeker and Crosser mechs.
Just like the left flank, the Larkinson Clan was only capable of playing a marginal role at the right flank.
Perhaps the only consolation was that the Living Sentinels piloted the same commercial second-class mechs as the other mech forces. The Princess Jeckas, Vima Suns and Tamris Stellars in the hands of her troops were identical to those in the hands of the Avatars of Myth and the Flagrant Vandals.
Of course, the other mech forces utilized them a little better because of the difference that pilots made. She was merely glad that the difference didn't appear to be too big, which showcased that her men were worthy soldiers.
While she continued to pay attention to the overall state of her side of the battlefield, she did not neglect the difference she could make as a person. Her mech, a prototype Bright Warrior Version B in rifleman mech configuration, constantly fired powerful positron beams that precisely hit an exposed joint, an important sensor system or the exposed gaps of a damaged mech.
Casella was an expert candidate!
Her skill, judgement, intuition, reaction speed and other relevant attributes had exceeded human limitations, if only barely. That was still enough to turn her into a top combatant among the thousands of mechs that were clashing right in front of her machine!
In particular, her concentration, attention span and her multi-tasking ability had increased considerably, allowing her to pay attention to both the state of the battle and her own combat situation with hardly any penalties!
"5th Company, reinforce the 3rd Company and prevent the Praetor mechs from breaching through their ranks."
"Vima Suns of the 6th and 8th Company, suppress the light skirmishers coming around to harass us from below the orbital plane."
"Requesting artillery support at the marked coordinates. We need to break up the charge of the Planat lancer mechs."
The battle might look like chaos up close, but Commander Casella never lost her cool!
After clashing against the mechs dispatched by the Praetor Clan and Planat Clan, she already gained a measure of her opponents.
Just as Major Verle had alluded to her, the enemy military mechs were orderly and disciplined but not that imaginative. The intensity of battle was lower at this side of the battlefield because neither side wanted to initiate any high-risking gambits that could easily escalate and lead to massive casualties.
Instead, both sides seemed content with going through the motions, though the battle was anything but an illusion. Even if they weren't putting their all into the fight, plenty of mechs still succumbed and many mech pilots constantly perished as a result of the large-scale fighting!
Both sides had different reasons to keep the fight from escalating at this side.
The Golden Skull Alliance sought to achieve victory at the left side. Defeating the 8 Fridayman expert mechs was the primary win condition for the expeditionary forces. With thousands of mechs focusing all of their efforts on taking down 8 expert mechs, the latter's odds were not great!
Once those expert mechs fell, the enemy strike force lost a major component of their strength, thereby freeing up a lot of friendly forces which could be reassigned to attack other enemies!
As for the Praetors and Planats, they were content to maintain a stalemate because they put their faith in their expert pilots.
Back in Vicious Mountain, the status of expert pilots in battle was supreme! Whenever they were present on the battlefield, the duel between opposing high-ranking mech pilots was all that mattered!
Once an expert mech became victorious, the soldiers of the winning side received an insane morale boost while the mech pilots of the losing side fell into a pit of despair.
Unless there was a gross disparity in numbers, the latter always suffered defeat at the end!
Commander Casella briefly directed her attention upwards. An intensive clash had erupted between the expert mechs of both sides!
The Crossers and their archenemies weren't messing around! Their medium and high-tier expert mechs fought with such intensity and violence that not a single standard mech dared to get close or interfere with the destructive duel.
This wasn't a fight they were qualified to intervene in! It took too many standard mechs to put pressure on an enemy expert mech, but if Commander Casella really attempted such, she would have too few mechs to stop the regular troops of the enemy from advancing!
This was the true reason why the Praetor and Planat mechs fought in such a sticky fashion. They wanted to occupy as many Larkinson, Glory Seeker and Crosser mechs as possible in order to prevent them from interfering with the duels taking place above!
An alert sounded in her cockpit.
The Trost piloted by Venerable Kelvin Praetor briefly swooped closer to the static battle lines and unleashed a wide and devastating blast of glowing flames that enveloped 15 Living Sentinel mechs and 22 Crosser mechs!
The mechs that had been struck all burned with blue flames that melted right through their armor plating and charred the internals!
Fortunately, the majority of the mech pilots quickly understood their mechs were unsalvageable and ejected their cockpits. Only a couple of ejected cockpits were still aflame. The hardened shells only lasted for seconds before breaching the interior and turning the mech pilots inside into ashes.
Venerable Linda Cross arrived late!
Her expert space knight seemed to dash forward with great momentum! The Trost barely evaded the Amphis as the latter attempted to charge into the hybrid with its shield!
Even though the space knight missed the mark, it launched forward its sword as it passed, causing it to slam into one of the Trost's arms and deliver a deep cut that exposed its internals!
What was even more remarkable was that the thrown sword was connected by a chain. Even though the sword bounced away shortly after impacting the Trost, it seemed to gain life and attempted to entangle the Praetor expert mech with its chain!
The Trost panickingly withdrew from the range of the chained sword. Nothing good would come from getting lassoed! The chain connecting the sword with the Amphis was so thick and resilient that barely any weapon in the Trost's arsenal could cut its links apart in a short amount of time.
Just as Venerable Kelvin Praetor thought he had dodged a dangerous moment, the sensors of his mech picked up a sudden change from the other expert mechs that were dueling in the vicinity.
The Conavis Mer that had persistently fought to contain the Imperior Verdict piloted by Venerable Albert Praetor suddenly turned around in an instant and activated all of its boosters to accelerate towards the Trost's exposed rear!
The Imperial Verdict momentarily froze at the sudden turn of events. Venerable Albert Praetor had been so engaged in his duel against Venerable Imaris Cross that he had tuned out the presence of other mechs on the battlefield.
The trident-wielding expert mech rapidly accelerated forward in order to catch up with its opponent, but its speed could never match that of an expert light skirmisher!
"Hahaha!" Venerable Imaris laughed as the daggers of his mech already glowed in off-white. "Albert always fights like he's in the dueling arena. Idiot!"
Even though Venerable Kelvin was already attempting to turn around the Trost, he noticed that the Amphis had already closed in and launched its chain sword forward a second time with surprising speed!
The expert hybrid mech fell into a dilemma. The daggers of an expert light skirmisher swept in from the rear while the chain sword extended by an expert knight mech approached from the front.
There was no way the Trost could block both attacks! Perhaps other expert mechs might be able to, but Venerable Kelvin Praetor's personal machine was not geared for blocking or parrying!
"KELVIN! Defend from the front!"
The expert pilot's eyes lit up! He completely disregarded the approaching Conavis Mer and focused fully on blocking the chain sword. The mech quickly retrieved two shafts strapped to the side of its legs and slotted them together to form a short halberd!
With impeccable timing and precision, the Trost swung the flat of the glowing halberd blade against the side of the sword connected to the chain.
Two resonance glows briefly competed against each other before cancelling each other out! Without any form of true resonance amplifying the power of the chained sword, it had briefly turned into a regular weapon with regular momentum.
Though the stress to the Trost was not light, the battering impact successfully swung the threatening sword off-course!
Unfortunately, this heavy exertion left the Trost's rear completely exposed against the Conavis Mer's lethal daggers.
Small weapon ports exposed themselves from the Trost's back and fired a pair of potent missiles at the incoming light skirmisher.
"That won't work!"
The Conavis Mer's knees bent in a way that caused them to expose two gun ports that fired two separate streams of projectiles that intercepted the incoming missiles!
The Trost fired some additional weapons from the rear, but the Conavis Mer's resonance shield fended most of them off while dodging the remainder!
Venerable Kelvin Praetor was not yet out of tricks. However, the price of implementing his desperate solution was very severe.
Yet just as the Conavis Mer was about to sink its daggers into the flight system of the enemy hybrid mech, Venerable Imaris Cross abruptly jerked his light mech off course.
A gloving arrow had almost struck the Conavis Mer! If the light skirmisher had not altered its course, its relatively lightly-armored frame would have suffered considerable damage!
The four mechs that had moved closer to each other all looked above the heads of their mechs.
Having previously decided to fight far away from other mechs in order to avoid endangering their comrades, Venerable Damira Planat decided to break this accord first.
Just as the Erin Tear swung its twin axes against the battered unfolded shield of the Bolvos Rage, the weapon master mech declined to take advantage of the moment the shield finally split in half.
Instead, the boosters installed on the Planat expert mech's front engaged at full blast, causing the mech to distance itself from the Bolvos Rage and avoid the explosion of heat that Patriarch Reginald's hybrid mech unleashed from its chest!
As the Erin Tear launched backwards, it connected the ends of its two axes together as they spontaneously elongated and morphed into the shape of a bow. The Erin Tear rapidly retrieved an arrow from a slot built inside its thigh and strung it onto the flexible alloy string before pulling the bow and firing the projectile in one smooth motion!
"DAMIRA!" Venerable Reginald Cross furiously roared. "You will pay for that!"
Even though the Bolvos Rage's chest projector already unleashed a powerful close-ranged heat blast, it rapidly glowed before firing a powerful energy beam that struck the Erin Tear before it could completely dodge out of the way!
The weapon master mech had already morphed its spear into a thick radial shield that barely managed to block the powerful beam!
Even though the shield had rapidly heated up, it still remained intact!
No more attacks ensued for a moment. The three expert mechs of the traitor clan rapidly congregated together while the three Crosser expert mechs grouped up as well.
The two sides briefly faced each other. The expert pilots knew that the struggle between them would become even more precarious now that they had linked up with their peers.
"Our primary target is the Trost." Patriarch Reginald Cross decided with a repressed voice. "It is the easiest to defeat out of the three."
Venerable Damira Planat issued a similar instruction to the two Praetor expert pilots. "Target the Amphis first. I know it's a space knight, but it is the least maneuverable out of our current opponents. Just pile as much damage onto it as possible. Take out its flight system if you have the opportunity! We don't need to care about the rest of the Amphis once it loses its mobility!"
Six expert mechs clashed against each other with much more violence than before!
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