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Ves grew concerned at the changes to the right side of the battlefield. The expert pilots from Vicious Mountain abided by a different set of rules and customs. That made him feel uncomfortable because Patriarch Reginald Cross seemed to act without regard to the bigger picture.
Now that the struggle between the expert mechs shifted from single duels to a full three-on-three confrontation, the danger level of their confrontation had increased remarkably.
While there was a chance the three Crossers would quickly be able to defeat their opponents, the same applied in reverse.
This was not good!
As long as one side gained a clear advantage, the entire course of the battle would instantly change. The power displayed by the Bolvos Rage and the Erin Tear far exceeded that of the Fridayman expert mechs.
If the Bolvos Rage was unleashed, then that would be fantastic. The hybrid mech seemed to possess an endless amount of energy which could be used to fuel massive area attacks that was able to wipe out dozens of enemy mechs at a time!
The Erin Tear was not as efficient at mopping up weaker mechs, but it was virtually undefeatable and unstoppable without the Bolvos Rage constraining its actions. The Erin Tear could easily fly up to the Spirit of Bentheim and carve its way inside to inflict crippling damage from within!
If the Spirit of Bentheim didn't manage to escape before the Erin Tear reached her hull, then it would be too late to do anything! Even if the factory ship hastily transitioned into FTL, the Erin Tear would just travel with the escaping vessel because the hostile expert mech had entered her envelope.
"Well, that won't happen anyway because none of us are able to escape in this way."
The Friday Coalition went through all of this effort to ambush the expeditionary fleet in order to take out Ves. There was no way it was willing to let the Spirit of Bentheim slip away at the final moment.
Ves glanced at the periphery of the projected map of the local space. Various Fridayman light mechs had stationed themselves all around the battlefield. These light mechs did not do anything aside from maintaining an active gravitic module that slightly disturbed the local space.
Not only that, but a number of artillery mechs stationed in the bunkers of the enemy deep strike fleet carriers fired special shells that inexplicably burst in the middle of the expeditionary fleet without hitting anything.
Anytime these shells exploded, they generated dispersed gravitic fluctuations that destabilized the local space. The disturbances were just enough to prevent any FTL drive from safely engaging!
With this measure, none of the ships of the Golden Skull Alliance was allowed to escape willy-nilly.
It was useless to try even if he transferred to a swift corvette like the Barracuda and attempted to flee at all costs. The Barracuda may be fast, but she was thinly-armored and not as agile as a light skirmisher.
The remnants of the Witch Slayers and the Destiny Hammers would easily be able to cripple the Barracuda!
The only way to lift the blockade was to prevent the enemy from coming close and to take out the enemy elements that maintained it. This was very difficult and would certainly distract from the overall fight.
In certain rare circumstances, excellent engineers were able to force an FTL drive to make an unstable transition by compensating for the gravitic disturbances. This was an extremely complicated and data-intensive approach that was fraught with danger.
While it was not impossible to open up an escape route, Ves wasn't willing to do so until there was no other choice.
He had already decided to commit to the battle. The window of opportunity to run away was already closed. Since he chose to meet his pursuers in battle, he had to live with the consequences.
He did not go into this battle with the expectation of losing, though. Once he turned his attention to the left side of the battlefield, the situation grew more hopeful.
At the start, the elite Fridayman mech units secured a considerable advantage. Their mechs and mech pilots were better than the opposition. The Avatars of Myth and other Larkinson mech forces assigned to the left wing were wholly outclassed by the Bloody Herons, the Holvein Grenadiers and the other Fridayman elites!
Not even the backbone of the Glory Seekers and Cross Clan managed to hold their ground!
All of that changed once additional elements entered the fray.
The Bright Spear Prime piloted by Venerable Orfan invigorated the Flagrant Vandals! The mech was able to defeat even the toughest elite mech in single combat. Its absurdly thick glow suppressed any human mech pilot in the vicinity until they lost control.
Most mech pilots simply weren't capable of withstanding the spiritual pressure that reached thousands of Ves!
Not surprisingly, the Bright Spear Prime's cheat-like glow was even able to crack the famed mental defenses of the Silent Swords.
The Konsu Clan's most disciplined and mentally-resilient mech pilots were all strong enough to withstand the suppressive glows of the Doom Guard, Ferocious Piranha and Valkyrie Redeemer.
Yet against a brute force approach like stacking lots of spiritual energy in a single mech, only expert pilots were able to maintain their lucidity under so much mental pressure!
Once the Bright Spear Prime was no longer suppressed by the Corundian Giants, Venerable Orfan drove her mech into continuous attack runs against the Silent Swords, seeking to constrain and block the Fridayman swordsman mechs from carving their way through friendly lines!
The Valkyrie Interceptors and Valkyrie Hurricanes piloted by the Glory Seekers pitched in as well! While they did not commit to a charge, their constant harassment from the side was very hard to deal with. The Silent Swords did not possess any powerful ranged solutions while the Valkyrie mechs were all armed with at least a pulse submachine gun.
The marauder mechs were much more flexible than the rigid Silent Swords who were only good up close. While the ranged attacks of the Valkyrie mechs weren't all that strong, as long as hundreds of them focused their fire onto the rears or sides of the enemy swordsman mechs, the damage they were able to inflict over time was quite significant!
The Fridaymen tried to adjust to the changing circumstances as best as possible. The enemy leader suddenly ordered the Silent Swords to break up into individual squads that all spread out across the battle line.
Breaking up the hundreds of Silent Swords deprived the Fridaymen of a powerful shock formation, but also deprived the Flagrant Vandals and the Hexers of an easy target!
The Fridaymen adjusted their formations so that the Bloody Herons, Holvein Grenadiers and Silent Swords all integrated into a combination that allowed them to cover for each other's weaknesses to a far better degree than before!
Whenever the Valkyrie mechs attempted to make another firing run, the enemy space knights moved to shield any targets that were receiving the bulk of the enemy attacks.
Enemy ranged mechs all retaliated against the Valkyrie mechs, making it too costly for them to buzz around the sides.
Even Venerable Orfan endured great opposition again. After trying out various solutions to destroy or repel the Bright Spear Prime, the Fridaymen eventually hit the jackpot when they discovered that the prime mech wasn't able to cope with excess heat!
Laser rifles fired unceasingly at the Bright Spear Prime. Whenever Venerable Orfan drove her mech close, the surviving Holvein Grenadier mechs flung any grenades in its direction that unleashed a lot of heat. Incendiary grenades, plasma grenades, thermal grenades and a couple more exotic grenade types rapidly heated up the spear-wielding prime mech until Venerable Orfan helplessly withdrew.
Her actions were not in vain. The Bright Spear Prime had exerted so much pressure onto the Fridaymen that they felt compelled to spend a considerable amount of battle resources to keep the prime mech at bay.
In fact, the Corundian Giants were supposed to suppress the Venerable Orfan's machine, yet their cannons had ceased firing at the prime mech a short time earlier.
The problem was that a single nimble prime mech was disrupting everything!
If the thickened glow of the Bright Spear Prime was already bad enough to be around, then the Ferocious Piranha was even worse!
The entire area around the mech turned into a zone where any other human aside from expert pilots and maybe expert candidates were able to remain in control.
Every other human including the mech pilots hailing from the Coalition Reserve Corps were unable to think clearly as they came under the suppression of two different effects.
First, like any Ferocious Piranha mech, the Piranha Prime embodied the conflicting glows of Lufa, Zeigra and Qilanxo.
Second, with thousands of Ves worth of spiritual energy pumped into its Unending alloy frame, just the pressure alone was unbearable to be around.
Venerable Tusa was actually surprised at how effectively his mech disabled nearby mech pilots to the point where he was always able to attack the weak points of the enemy mechs without facing any opposition!
It was as if the enemies he targeted proactively lined up their mechs in space to get stabbed!
"This is absurd! This mech is a monster!"
A vicious grin appeared on his face.
"But I like this mech."
Venerable Tusa initially intended to harass the enemy combination mechs in order to distract them from bombarding his buddies. However, seeing how he was able to make the Corundian Giants so flustered, he immediately switched to a more aggressive plan and openly dove into the middle of the enemy formation!
Even though it sounded incredibly dangerous, the prime mech enjoyed numerous advantages by doing so. It's incredibly perverse glow allowed it to discount most forms of retaliation against nearby mechs.
The Corundian Giant mechs that were a bit further away did not dare to go all out. They were more liable to hit their own comrades than a very elusive enemy light mech!
Of course, the Corundian Giants were not completely unable to defend against the Piranha Prime.
Some of the combination mechs broke up into separate space knights and cannoneer mechs. The space knights formed together and projected a shared energy shield that formed a physical barrier against the Ferocious Prime that still remained active even if the mech pilots blacked out for a time.
The cannoneer mechs sheltering behind the energy shields all adjusted their weapons and began to fire dispersed laser beams that denied an entire area at close range or shot strange nets that Venerable Tusa avoided like the plague.
"These Corundian Giants are trickier than I thought!" Tusa cursed.
Even though he wasn't able to sink his daggers into the backs or joints of the enemy mechs, his presence alone still exerted a significant threat to them. The high mobility of the Ferocious Prime along with the piloting skill and instincts of an expert pilot meant that Venerable Tusa was virtually untouchable!
The more time and resources the Corundian Giants wasted on the lone prime mech, the less damage they were able to inflict onto the rest of the Larkinson mechs.
It was a completely worthwhile exchange!
"Watch out Venerable Tusa!" A communications officer warned him. "The Fridaymen are reinforcing the Corundian Giants with striker mechs. We have confirmed that all of them are armed with flamethrowers."
"Roger that." Tusa replied as his good mood faded. "I'll be pulling back."
"That won't be necessary."
When a mech company's worth of striker mechs reached the halfway point, they came under sudden bombardment!
In a brief amount of the time, the exposed striker mechs were struck by thousands of heavy beams and rounds, peeling away their heavy armor and destroying their internals batch by batch!
The rest quickly huddled behind the space knights escorting the reinforcements. Their shields held out quite a long time, but wore away eventually under sustained bombardment.
While the number of intact Transcendent Punishers had dropped due to suffering from renewed counter battery fire, plenty of them were still left to put pressure on any enemy element!
The Corundian Giants were already moving towards the striker mechs. Venerable Tusa intuitively sensed they were able to link up in time, thereby ending most of his opportunities to distract the powerful cannonneer mechs.
"Damn. It looks like the party is over."
"Not yet!" Another young voice shouted.
Another unit charged the reinforcements! The Valkyrie Prime and the Valkyrie Redeemers piloted by the Penitent Sisters had finally joined the fray!
Around 200 Valkyrie mechs charged into the enemy reinforcements while activating their Marked For Death abilities. With multiple pale white beams shining onto each mech, the elite Fridaymen mechs abruptly froze before switching to AI operation.
It was useless!
The inflexible computer-operated mechs could not fend off the spears of multiple Valkyrie mechs at the same time!
Though flames and other weapons met the incoming charge, the armor of the Valkyrie Redeemer were more than capable of enduring the damage for a time.
None of the Fridayman space knights and striker mechs survived the charge!
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