Chapter 50: Nooblet vs. The Ace
The Gunner jumped, startled, and hurriedly moved to dodge the shield attack.
His control was significantly better than Jin Tao’s, which allowed the shield to skim harmlessly past his legs. Still, the screen went black.
“Defeat. Mecha damage has exceeded thirty percent. Please repair your suit, and continue.”
How’d that happen?! The Lancer’s pilot reacted in much the same way Jin Tao had, and pounded the replay button.
Nooblet hadn’t just thrown the shield, but in the next moment had thrown his sword as well. The attack had caused the Gunner to reel away, and he’d essentially impaled himself as the undefended cockpit was pierced by the titanium allow blade.
“Which one of us is long distance anyway?!” The Gunner-Mecha’s operator roared.
Hehehe! Lan Jue cackled wickedly and hit the button for his third fight. Rocking newbies really did make you feel good! And no one even knows who I am!
Another flash. Another fight. Another Saber-Mecha.
Much like Jin Tao the Saber-Mecha raced forward to attack Lan Jue’s Nooblet. As he did, Lan Jue saw clearly the name floating above it’s head: The Ace.
What ironic parallelism!
The Ace flew forward, titanium allow sword in it’s right hand, and again like Jin Tao attempting to strike at the neck.
Nooblet waited until the last moment, lifted his right foot, and tried to surreptitiously pin his opponent.
But it was Lan Jue’s turn to be surprised, for either by coincidence or from true skill his enemy lifted his leg the instant before his foot found it’s mark. The action caused Nooblet to ram his abdomen right against the rising knee, while the sweeping sword overhead buried itself in his shoulder with a staggering blow.
The two were locked together, a hair’s breadth apart, affording no room to maneuver.
Nooblet turned his wrist to point the tip of his blade upward and thrust at the Ace’s exposed arm. In the same moment he slammed his shield against his adversary’s side.
Ding ! peng!
The two sounds rang out almost concurrently. The Ace drew it’s arm back and the crossguards of the two swords clashed. The second muffled sound was Nooblet’s shield striking against the enemy’s knee.
The strike came at an angle and caused the Ace’s suit to tilt. When you and your rival’s equipment were the same, victory came down to control.
The Ace made no effort to stabilize itself, instead spinning around and out of reach. It’s steps were irregular and erratic , causing the body to twist.
But instead of toppling, it was clear the body was compensating intentionally with the steps.
Disordered Stepping? Lan Jue looked on in surprise. It was a pretty standard close combat move for intermediates, used to avoid both close combat attacks and ranged artillery.
This was a technique an unfitted cadet could pull off?
This guy was full of surprises, and it certainly piqued Lan Jue’s interest. He changed up his own footwork, matching the disordered stepping of his opponent and swerving in to his path.
Tang Mi’s pretty face was a hard mask.
What the hell was this? It wasn’t easy finding a way to re-register a new account, specific to prevent this sort of newb abuse. And who could have known a landmine would find a landmine? This Saber-Mech’s shield strike had expertly offset her rhythm. How long had it been since she’s seen something like this?
And this guy still dares rush me, you really think I’m that much of a push-over?
Suddenly a vicious thought came to Tang Mi! The titanium sword in her hand lashed out, the blade twinkling, and like mercury wound towards her rival.
But in that exact moment Nooblet saw her hand rising and the tip of his sword rose to meet the flat of her blade. The Ace’s streaking blade was knocked away. Tang Mi was mad enough to spit blood!
Nooblet’s figure rushed quickly, and almost as though he’d flashed right through her.
Clink! The soft sound wafted towards her.
Tang Mi’s reaction was could not be called slow. She sent her mecha spinning outward, slashing towards Nooblet.
However, to her continued amazement, when she turned Nooblet was nowhere to be found.
Clink, clank, chink, clang, chink! The sound of metal striking metal filled the cockpit from behind her.
Tang Mi was flabberghasted. She changed up her footwork with each step, but no matter what she did she couldn’t catch a glimpse of Nooblet.
A drop of sweat raced down her forehead. Is he.. shadowing me?
Mirroring was an expert close-combat technique. The greatest sin of close combat was giving your enemy your back, and a master at mirroring could take advantage of that when their strength is inferior to stick close to their adversary without them even knowing.
But Tang Mi knew where her assailant was, why couldn’t she shake him?
Suddenly, everything grew black and calm. A computerized voice filled the cockpit.
“Defeat. Mecha damage one hundred percent. Please repair your suit, and continue.”
What? ONE HUNDRED PERCENT damage?! Tang Mi sat in utter confusion. Simulated and real mecha combat were almost exactly the same. She knew what a hundred percent damage meant. That sort of thing only happened with massive, direct frontal explosion. How could a saber mech possible do something like that?
She reached out and slammed the button.
It started from the beginning of the fight, with The Ace rushing towards Nooblet. He squatted, she kneed him.
The Ace broke in to disordered stepping.
Nooblet, disordered stepping…
And then that supernatural strike. That one strike, that offset the Ace and allowed Nooblet to get behind her.
After that is was cut after cut, and a clear line was open to finish the fight. But he’d just kept swinging that sword .
The titanium allow sword glinted with a brilliant metallic luster. No strike was exceedingly powerful, but the speed was inhuman. Even in the replay Tang Mi had to slow down the speed to see clearly what had happened.
As she looked on in shocked admiration, she noticed that nearly all of Nooblet’s strikes found a joint – but they did not sever them completely.
When his final cut struck home, her mecha stiffened, and collapse in to a heap of slag. A pile of scrap. Like a toppled tower of toy bricks.
Tang Mi knew this technique, or to be precise, had heard of this technique!
The Brunois assault! It was a technique rarely seen on the battlefield, since it was largely impractical.
Slaughtered! The Ace slaughtered by Nooblet!