Chapter 2194 Blinded
Task Force Predator almost made it all the way through Wreckage Paradise.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Larkinsons did not encounter many more pirates along the way.
According to the intelligence the Black Cats gathered, some of the sites they visited should have been occupied by established pirate groups.
Most of the locations were devoid of enemies.
The Black Cats deserved no blame for this.
The pirates had left plenty of evidence of their presence behind.
No one wanted to come across the dreaded Larkinson Clan, which had already defeated over a dozen different pirate organizations who were just minding their business!
This was something that the pirates were fairly accustomed to doing.
Life in the Nyxian Gap was anything but stable and the smarter ones knew when to run if an insurmountable opponent appeared.
Regardless, the Larkinson Clan increased in strength.
After studying all of their prior battles and digesting all of their gains, the overall performance of all of the mech pilots rose by a substantial amount.
The battle-hardened Swordmaidens and Battle Criers only improved mildly, but the more numerous Avatars and Sentinels which contained a large number of rookies experienced more drastic gains.
Overall, the goal of using the pirates of Wreckage Paradise as a whetstone to sharpen the task force troops had been met! The rookies were no longer as green as before and earned the trust of the veterans.
With increased confidence, the Larkinsons entered into the inner periphery of the Nyxian Gap, which many people regarded as a true pirate haven.
The asteroids floating around became considerably more dense.
The spatial warping effect had grown strong enough to cause many precision instruments to glitch at a slightly higher rate than before.
The spiritual interference field increased in strength as well, causing everyone\'s quality of sleep to degrade.
As the fleet slowed down its pace and adopted a more guarded posture, many clansmen found strength in each other.
The dangers looming over their heads and the risks they faced caused many of them to be struck with anxiety.
Various people preferred various coping methods.
Some wanted to get drunk and play Pirate Empires.
Others poured themselves into training or self-study.
A significant portion of the clan preferred to spend their time differently.
In the past, this group of adopted Larkinsons possessed a much bigger say, but the mass recruitment in the Cinach System caused thousands of them to diminish in importance.
Regardless, the tight-knit group exhibited a remarkable degree of closeness and unity.
Of all of the developing factions within the Larkinson Clan, the Ylvainans clearly fell out of lockstep with the other clansmen.
Unlike the small but incredibly influential group of trueblood Larkinsons and other Brighters, the Ylvainans embraced religion instead of scorning it.
The contrast was so extreme that it was a miracle Ylvainans managed to remain in harmony with the rest of the clan.
This was especially so because the Ylvainans overwhelmingly came from the radical True Ylvaine Dynasty faction of the Ylvaine Protectorate!
The murky past of the True Believers caused Ves and many other clansmen to view the Ylvainans with suspicion.
However, as time went by and the Larkinsons recruited an even greater number of people in the Sentinel Kingdom, the concerns surrounding the Ylvainans slowly diminished.
The overwhelming majority of Ylvainans turned out to be polite, friendly and tolerant.
They did not attempt to force their beliefs on everyone, though they did not refrain from speaking about them either.
Suspicions about the Ylvainans faded as the leaders of the clan busied themselves with integrating tens of thousands of foreigners at once.
The excursion into the Nyxian Gap demanded a lot of attention as well.
With the Ylvainans laying low, they slowly gained acceptance from secularists members of the Larkinson Clan.
What the Ylvainans shared in common with the rest of the clansmen mattered a lot more than their differences.
That said, the Ylvainans still maintained their own distinctive identity in the Larkinson Clan.
James Ylvaine, the self-proclaimed Living Prophet, held absolute sway over the Ylvainan faction.
Right now, he was standing in the observation chamber of one of the light carriers of the Avatars.
Unlike the majority of the Larkinsons stationed on the ship, James wore the plain red-and-white uniform of a general clan member.
Even though he was capable of piloting a mech, James never applied to join the Avatars of Myth or Living Sentinels.
Instead, he maintained no official position at all.
In fact, he shouldn\'t even be allowed aboard the light carrier!
Still, it was a mistake to treat him as an ordinary clansman.
No one knew what James had done to convince Commander Melkor to travel along the Avatars of Myth.
No matter what, he was a genuine, upstanding member of the clan.
Every clansman possessed the ability to detect something amiss from their fellow Larkinsons if they harbored any seditious thoughts, but James never exhibited anything but respect and admiration for the clan he joined.
As James reminiscent what it took to get this far, the hatch to the observation chamber suddenly slid open.
Taon Melin, a strong Ylvainan mech pilot and the chosen of Zeal, approached with a strong stride.
He looked out at the dim view of asteroids floating and spinning in space.
Remarkably, none of them collided into each other.
Maynard Fields would have been a lot more dangerous if that was the case.
Taon. James greeted with a compellingly smooth voice.
How goes your day
The former elite Kronon mech pilot shrugged.
Do you even need to ask
You are doing quite well in the Deliverer, but that is to be expected.
You are so willing to surrender yourself when you pilot this great machine that you are beginning to neglect your own strength.
Faith may be important, but that does not mean you should look up to a higher power whenever you want to do something.
Faith is meant to strengthen you.
You are missing the point if you are weakening yourself instead.
did not realize that.
I will mull over your advice and do better.
I know you will, my child.
The error that you have made is not an unusual one in the flock.
Remember that even if you are a believer, you are still a human.
In our mortal shells, we are each born with humans wants and desires.
Do not forsake them so readily in order to become a shell.
The mech pilot dutifully nodded.
Even if he did not realize the full import of the advice given by James, he already intended to study them later.
If you don\'t mind me asking, sir, why have you called me here
I foresee great turbulence ahead of us. James declared with a focused expression as he looked out at the asteroids.
Ves Larkinson shall encounter one of his greatest fears in this hungry vortex, and he must choose who he truly is in order to survive the perils to come.
The clan patriarch owes a great debt and must pay the price for his greed one way or another.
Larkinsons shall die.
It is only a question whether some of us or all of us shall meet our end in this haunted space.
Taon quietly listened as James apparently made another prophecy.
This sounds very grave, Great Prophet.
If I may ask, why do you not pass on your visions to the Avatar Commander or the Bright Martyr
James sighed and looked down at the deck.
You know how the Brighters are.
They think they are so enlightened that they are blinded by their own light.
The Bright Martyr shines the brightest among the people of the clan.
For good or ill, his light must dim, and the times to come shall accomplish that.
We can only pray that his brightness will not go out entirely.
As the guiding light of the Larkinson Clan, more lives are counting on him than he is aware of.
These will be difficult times.
His ominous warning weighed heavily on Taon.
The chosen never felt so uncertain as now.
If even the Living Prophet showed great concern, then Taon knew that there were some very tough fights ahead.
I will fight for the Bright Martyr and our fellow Ylvainans in the clan. The mech pilot vowed.
I expect nothing less.
The Bright Martyr needs your strength.
He needs all of our strength.
His strength as a visionary and unifier will play a great role in the times to come.
Will you be taking the field as well, Great Prophet
I shall lend what little strength I possess when necessary.
Taon showed great relief at that.
His trust in James was incredibly high.
A moment of silence passed as James appeared to read the pattern of the floating asteroids.
The hum of the light carrier faintly tickled their ears.
My grasp on the future has strengthened. The Living Prophet broke the silence.
Yet I wish it were not so.
My vision is becoming increasingly more clouded.
The Nyxian Gap had a way of unnerving anyone who entered the abyss.
James just happened to be affected more than most!
Though it seemed strange to hear James profess any weakness, Taon did not think less of him because of that.
Even the greatest people possessed chinks in their armor.
Can I do anything to help
James shook his head.
You cannot fight against the entire Nyxian Gap.
No one can.
Do not fret over my condition.
My difficulties will pass if we manage to leave the abyss.
Is there anything that I must take note of, sir
Develop your strength.
Keep up your prayers.
Do not lose heart.
While I cannot foresee what terror the Bright Martyr must confront, you must demonstrate to him what true faith can accomplish.
I shall take your words to heart. Taon placed his palm on his chest and bowed.
Shall I keep training with the Deliverer or should I transfer to another machine I have been offered the option to pilot a Bright Warrior.
That is up to you.
As I have said, do not pray for assistance when you are fully capable of resolving your issues by yourself.
Pilot the mech that gives you strength.
Thank you for the advice.
As the small discussion proceeded, James suddenly collapsed onto his knees.
Blood began pouring out of the Ylvainan leader\'s nose.
James groaned as he endured a lot of strain.
Do not be concerned. He spoke to Taon.
I shall recover.
What happened, sir
I am blinded. James spoke with a measurable amount of concern.
How can that be You are the Great Prophet! You have ascended!
I am hardly the only fish in the pond.
There are ancient horrors from eons past that still make their mark this day.
Prophecies are always tenuous and subject to change.
According to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, the act of observing something inevitably alters that which is observed.
I am afraid that I have directed my vision to somewhere I shouldn\'t have looked.
This is but a small punishment for my transgression, though I fear the rest of this fleet might suffer as well.
If you are blinded, how must we go on without your guidance
James smiled and patted Taon\'s shoulder.
This is why you must stand tall by yourself.
Remember my earlier advice I cannot watch over you in perpetuity, and it shouldn\'t be necessary.
Taon Melin inexplicably grew peaceful.
Though great threats might be on the horizon, he shouldn\'t be thinking too much.
As long as he soldiered on and held onto his faith, he would be ready to face any calamity that might beset the Larkinson Clan.
After several more minutes, James turned to leave the observation chamber.
One more thing. He spoke.
Accelerate our outreach.
I shall spread the words among our compatriots.
It is in darkness when the light of faith shines the brightest.
The Larkinson Clan is already basking in the light. Taon commented.
That is true, but some may find it inadequate.
All we must do is change one of the light fixtures with one of our own.
Our faith shall shine over the entire clan in time.
Let it be so.
If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc..
), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.
Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.