Chapter 319: The Blademaiden Appears
In the moment of truth, Geng Yang revealed his worth as an emperor-ranked pilot. His Bloodlust mecha suit rapidly swung backward blades first, in attempts to pin his enemy to the ground.
But the lion mech was too good for that. It’s clawed hands swiped at Geng Yang’s weapons. He was exhausted from the fighting, so the blades were not possessed of a great amount of his Discipline. The result was that the weapons went flying. Geng Yang was disarmed.
The beastly mech then swung around, and kicked with its back legs at Geng Yang’s hips. The wicked-sharp claws tore through the mecha’s shields, then the metal structure of the student’s mecha with a grating screech. Geng Yang was trampled to the ground.
Finished. It was all he could think about. His mind was blank except for that crushing realization. But his Discipline surged, reacting unconsciously to the danger to explode outward in a fiery display. His lion assailant was consumed by the flames.
Unfortunately, the beast’s shields were strong and protected it from any serious damage. Still, it knocked him back and gave Geng Yang some space.
The red aura around the lion mecha began to condense in preparation for a finishing blow. The young NEU pilot, prone on the ground, had no way to dodge.
His squad mates were equally helpless. Ten other enemy had swarmed them in the red mecha’s wake. They were busy fending them off – too busy to disengage and save their leader.
Geng Yang’s eyes grew wide. He stared at his opponent, waiting for the killing blow. It was then a silvery light lanced across his vision, obliquely colliding with the lion mecha.
Clang! It was like it was struck with the force of a mountain and the red mecha went flying over a hundred meters.
The silvery light was like a specter, some sort of guardian angel that flitted off in another direction after Geng Yang was free from danger. Two pirate mecha nearby stopped in the tracks as the light raced passed. They split first at the chest plate, slowly separating until the mecha was severed completely in half lengthwise. It was like their shields didn’t even exist.
“Can you get up?” A woman’s voice asked over the coms.
Geng Yang tried to maneuver his suit. Not bad – the strike landed, but handled damaged the joint. He rose to his feet. He gulped, covered in a cold sweat. He’d only just barely escaped with his life.
Geng Yang spied a silvery-white mecha standing a short distance off. It had a sleek and aerodynamic design, without any decoration or unnecessary accessories. It was covered in strange grooves, and exceedingly frail-looking for a war machine. It’s two arms where thin like blades. The mecha gave Geng Yang a cursory look, and then she was off – there one second, and gone the next.
So fast! This mecha’s amazing! There was a flash, and once again that beastly mecha was sent flying.
As he watched a red orb of energy descended from above. It was a roiling orb of flame, and it crashed in to the prostrate pirate like a meteor.
It’s silhouette was stark, set against the raging orange of the fires. A silver light swept through and pierced the beleaguered mecha’s cockpit. The silver mecha slowly lifting its arm, backlit by fire, with the beast mecha impaled upon it. She unceremoniously flung her foe aside like garbage.
Thus did Geng Yang’s would-be murderer meet his end.
A fiery red mecha descended from the skies. Its entire construction made it look like a mass of writhing flame. He could tell from the construction that it was a woman’s mecha. Her weapon was a staff – no, a scepter? A glowing red power gem was on its crown.
The gemstone was almost half a meter in diameter. It had only a hundred and eight facets 1 It shimmered, alive with an internal fiery light.
The red mecha lifted its scepter, and another orb three meters in diameter was cast forth. It landed in the midst of an enemy squadron, and exploded with frightening ferocity. The surrounding enemies were instantly immolated.
The silvery-white mecha took a different approach. She raced from one side of the field to the other, and everywhere she went, she left a trail of bodies in her wake. One, then another, and other fell before they could even see her coming.
Geng Yang by now had guessed these mechas’ origins. He’d caught a glimpse of these suits in passing during the An Lun battle. They were piloted by two of the assistants the Demon Drillmaster had brought with him. He hadn’t seen them engage anyone during that fight. He had no idea they were so strong!
The titanium-white mecha especially captured his attention. She was like a living weapon, and where she went her enemy’s shields were useless. Sharp, was the best way to describe her.
With the arrival of these two new players, the game was completely changed.
Although Geng Yang still had motive capability, he nonetheless gathered a few squad mates around him before checking on his fallen comrade, who’d been struck by the lion mech. Thankfully he’d only sustained concussive injuries, nothing that was life-threatening or would take him out of the fight. They reorganized, then under Geng Yang’s command proceeded to give their nearby brethren fire support.
Interstellar pirates were a tough breed. If a battalion of soldiers were to suffer around thirty percent damage to their unit, they were in danger of collapse or defeat. The pirates, though, fought ever harder as their losses neared half. After all, where could they retreat to?
Mika urged her mecha – Jezebel – onward 2, revealing to all its frightening power. In truth the cudgel she bore was not a weapon, but an amplifier. Mika called it her wand. Jezebel’s Hellfire Wand.
As the mecha raised its wand high, Mika’s eyes flared with an unholy light. Under Lan Jue’s direction she had been attempting to call forth the power of Satan, to control it. Under Lan Jue’s guidance, they could watch to see if she was tending toward a loss of control. He would then step in and help stabilize her. Now, she felt more confident in allowing herself to let it free. She needn’t fear losing herself to the evil.
Finally able to employ and cultivate her powers, Mika’s powers had improved dramatically. She was well through ninth level first rank, and closing in on second. As Satan’s successor, she was certainly the strongest of his Amazons in regards to potential.
The Hellfire Wand pulsed with an unsettling, dark red energy. A corona of light hung around it, expanding. A terrible, oppressive aura hung over the field. The pirates grew frightened at the sight of her. That stifling sensation slithered through them, making it difficult to breathe.
The first pirate to try and flee was near the edge of the conflict. A second followed, then a third.
Mika’s fiery hair flailed through the cockpit like it was caught in a spectral wind. The feral strands darkened until they were the same devil red as her eyes. With a grunt, she poured her monstrous power in to Jezebel.
The massive gem at the top of the Hellfire Wand shone brilliantly like a small sun. The red aura thickened, and spread like storm clouds over the area. Of course, that shimmering stone was a power gem, an a-ranked Hellfire Stone to be precise. Its function was to greatly amplify any fire-based Disciplines. It increased Mika’s by three hundred percent. In truth, no normal a-ranked stone could do what this one was doing.
The clouds grew dark, but instead of lightning their lines were painted red. Moments later, screaming balls of crimson fire came tumbling from the heavens. There were few at first, but they were soon followed by countless more. The sky was burned behind them, leaving a trail of angry fire and choking smoke while they barreled like inevitable doom toward the fleeing pirates. Where they landed, the earth was obliterated, scorched black and ruined. The land around the pirates was blanketed in all-consuming fire, deafening them with terrifying blasts.
Charlie, Delta and Echo had completed their objectives, and their foes lay slain or fled in terror. They watched in stunned silence as the world before them burned indiscriminately.
No suit was capable of this level of destruction. No, this had to be the teaching assistant. This had to be her Discipline! This red-haired, normally silent woman was unceremoniously exterminating their foes.
Alpha squad had succeeded in taking the planetary defense system offline. Tan Lingyun watched the distant horizon as it was painted red. She saw that mecha, like a demonic god, and her pupils contracted.
At her level of cultivation, she was of course capable of sussing out another’s power level. No wonder she was so confident that day, Tan Lingyun thought, she was a ninth level Talent. Her mecha was also something to behold, and powerful if it could strengthen her Discipline to this level.
The apocalyptic meteor shower continued for a few minutes more. The earth below was desecrated beyond recovery, and belched fires that would melt the student’s suits. Clearly, there were no survivors in that lake of fire.
Jezebel and Asura descended to join the others on the ground. A message from the Accountant flashed on their screens, encouraging all of them to seek out and destroy any who might have escaped. The squads fanned out in all directions and proceeded to hunt down any remaining foes. There was no more fear, or worry over the result. This battle was won, it was just time to put it to bed.
Feng Ling was furious! He ground his teeth so hard they threatened to break. He could see all that was happening below, on his Crimson Star. Alas, he didn’t even have the courage to blast the planet with the ship’s main cannons and give them support. He wouldn’t delay one second – that was Zeus, the stuff of nightmares!
- 108 is an important number in Buddhist lore. It’s also important for Hinduism and Jewish faiths, but the author likely meant to evoke the Buddhist bit. As far as I remember, the beads represent the one hundred and eight lessons of the Buddha. It’s almost ubiquitous with martial arts, and is seen often in fictional literature as a superhuman technique or series of techniques that ties the user to the universe. ↩
- Unless I’m mistaken, this is the first time we’ve seen Mika in her suit. I’ve chosen to name her Jezebel after the tale of Jezebel, which while I don’t see it here, is sometimes referred to as the ‘Mother of Harlots’, or Satan’s Whore. In Chinese the name is ‘Demon Concubine’ – close enough, I think. If I’m miss-remembering, and I’ve already named her mecha, please remind me. ↩