Chapter 3247: Her Sword
The first melee mechs to clash against each other werent the mechs charging at each other in the center.
Space knights and other sturdy mechs took up the vanguard.
Their heavy shields and their resilient frames allowed them to resist a lot of damage, making them ideal to lead the charge.
However, the need to stay behind their limited protective envelope meant that a lot of faster mechs had to limit their speed and acceleration.
A unit of mechs only moved as fast as its slowest machine, and space knights that piled up lots of armor werent known for their mobility!
Fortunately, it was not that big of a problem for them to accelerate straight forward.
Many space knights incorporated specialized flight systems that were hardy and not that easy to damage.
While they did not have the power to induce a lot of directional forces on the mech, they compensated for that by putting most of their efforts into moving forward.
Perhaps the buildup of speed wasnt anything impressive at the start, but as long as the mech continued thrusting forward, it could build up greater and greater momentum that could turn it into an undaunted charger that could not be stopped unless the opposition was willing to pay a price!
Still, even with both sides charging at each other, neither side wanted to go full out.
There was a risk involved with accelerating too hard and building up momentum too quickly.
If both the expeditionary forces and the dwarven forces collided against each other with their full might, the chances that the mechs of both sides would suffer catastrophic damage was high!
This was not what the combatants wanted to see, so they conscientiously took their time and made sure they controlled their speeds.
In any case, the priority of the expeditionary forces at the center was to hold the line and prevent the enemy from opening a breach.
While it was fine for scattered units to bypass the front and attempt to reach the interior, they would definitely be surrounded and defeated in an instant as long as they werent accompanied by a lot of allies.
Compared to the center, the two flanks converged at each other with much greater speed! Since these mechs were more maneuverable and able to change their direction more easily, they had less to fear from self-destructive collisions or losing control.
Among the most prominent flanking units was the large number of sword-wielding mechs among the Larkinson forces.
There were two distinct groups among them that differed from each other in substantial ways.
The first were several mech companies that consisted of both veteran Swordmaidens and recent recruits.
They all piloted Bright Warriors in swordsman mech configuration, though unlike the Avatars and other mech legions they swapped their thinner and more flexible blades for giant greatswords that were noted for their heft and reach.
They were great at crushing thin to moderately-armored mechs but they were also slower and required harsh training to wield proficiently.
The Swordmaidens establish the harshest and most extreme training programs in the Larkinson Clan.
Though they had already recruited large batches of hundreds of aspiring female mech pilots each, these younger talents were far from ready to step onto the battlefield as Swordmaidens.
There were also other batches of older and more experienced swordsman mech pilots who transferred to the Swordmaidens and began to adapt to their ways.
Though these mech pilots integrated well with this mech legion, there was still some distance to those who underwent training since they were teens.
However, Commander Sendra didnt care about this difference.
Now that she and her sisters were on their way to intercept thousands of mechs of the Hivar Roarers, she felt that bringing only 40 mechs was not enough to make a difference.
The extra mech companies that consisted of recent recruits would definitely come in very handy in this battle where the amount of mechs involved in the battle exceeded anything that she had ever taken part in before!
“Were playing in the big leagues now!”
As the flanking forces rapidly closed in on each other, every mech pilot began to grow more nervous and eager.
No matter whether it was the humans or the dwarves, none of them had ever taken part in such a massive, soul-stirring action!
It was both frightening and awe-inspiring.
Just looking at the thousands of enemy mechs they had to fight caused them to feel as if their importance had shrunk.
Even if they were confident in their skills, it was unlikely for them to overcome too many enemy machines.
In a battle of this scale, the influence of individual skill and heroism was severely diminished.
What mattered more to the units was their cohesion, coordination and overall mech performance!
On the surface, both sides were roughly even in this regard.
The flanking forces of the Larkinson Clan and Glory Seekers reached military standards or close to it in many regards.
The dwarves were slightly superior in this regard due to being a part of a regular military organization.
The morale of the Hivar Roarer mech pilots was also high.
As the youngest and most recent mech division that took part in this attack, a disproportionate amount of servicemen were fanatical members of the Dwarven God Cult!
Even now, they were enthusiastically saying their prayers!
“Oh Vulcan, ye supreme dwarven authority, bless your sons and daughters so that we may smite the human infidels!”
“Great Vulcan, oh beautiful and majestic Vulcan, bless our divine mechs so that we may collapse the feeble mechs piloted by these tall folk! Let the galaxy know that dwarven mechs and craftsmanship is supreme!”
“Witness me as I smite these tortured slaves! Dwarvenkind shall always reign supreme!”
“FIRE AND BLOOD!” The dwarven mech pilots roared!
In opposition to the dwarves, the mech pilots of the Swordmaidens and the Heavensword association quickly quieted down once their greatest authority patched into their communication channel.
Back in the main design lab of the Spirit of Bentheim, Ketis had stood up from her chair and unsheathed Bloodsinger from its scabbard.
She recalled Sharpie back to her mind, causing her will and presence to grow stronger and more exceptional.
A portion of the assistant mech designers working to analyze the enemy dwarven mech models even became distracted by Ketis glow.
They had never experienced the force of will of her as a Swordmaiden before!
“Get back to work!” Gloriana snapped from the other side of the design lab.
“Were in the middle of a battle that will decide whether we will live or die.
Dont think about anything else aside from performing your assigned job.”
Ketis took no notice of what was going on in the design lab.
She had shifted all of her attention over to the Swordmaiden and the Heavensworder mech pilots who fought for both the clan and herself!
She felt responsible for the Sword School disciples who chose to leave behind their stable environment in the Heavensword Association and follow her back to the Larkinson Clan.
They admired her swordsmanship, idolized her identity as a Swordmaster and thought that she had boundless prospects.
At times, she thought that the Heavensworders were woefully naive.
They dedicated themselves to her because they thought she could lead them to greatness.
Were they right
Ketis was not so sure.
Though the existence of Sharpie as well as her dual identity as a Journeyman and a Swordmaiden granted her a unique advantage in mastering and developing other sword styles, she never considered herself as their savior or their supreme teacher.
Yet that was exactly what the Heavensworders thought of her.
They unquestionably put her up a pedestal and expected that she could help them fulfill their dreams.
She did not think she was that amazing, but she couldnt betray their trust in her.
For the sake of those who put their lives on the line because of their dedication.
This was why she did not hesitate to embrace her full Swordmaster persona at this time.
Sharpie formed her greatest pillar of support at this time as her willpower grew so strong that it distorted the air around her! Anyone who stepped close to her would increasingly feel as if they were stepping into a forest of needles!
“Swordsmen and swordswomen.” She began to speak, her powerful voice echoing in the cockpits of the various swordsman mechs from the Heavensword Association.
“The sword is a weapon, not a tool.
Each of us have devoted our entire lives to master the way of the sword.
Now, the time has come to put that practice into play and utilize your skills for its greatest purpose!”
Ketis pointed her greatsword forward, which caused her will and mind to focus onto a distant enemy!
“As a Swordmaiden and a Swordmaster, I wish for nothing more than to be at your side and charge towards the enemy mech.
Sadly, I cant.
Piloting mechs is not my calling.
As a mech designer, I can only design the machines that can fight in my stead.”
She seemed to look at the Heavensworder mechs that its owners had brought with them when they decided to emigrate from their former state.
None of them were Larkinson mechs and none of them were alive, but Ketis had already studied them beforehand and sensed the unique charms that their designers had imparted to their works!
“Your mechs may not be designed by me, but the spirit of swordsmanship is still there! No matter where you came from, no matter which sword school you joined and no matter the style you practice, you are all one now! Today, you are more than Larkinson.
Today, you are more than a mech pilot.
Today, you are more than a swordsman.”
Ketis brought her greatsword back and pointed its massive blade upright.
The Unending alloy weapon already began to glow as she resonated with it.
A pure and upright aura emanated from her body.
“Because today, you shall act as my sword, and slice the enemies who have the temerity to wish us dead!”
The morale and fanaticism of the Heavensworders who listened to her speech had peaked at this moment! The moods of many of them rose to heights that they had never reached! Even those who witnessed Ketis breaking through in the First Sword Arena had never felt so energized in their lives!
“FOR THE LARKINSON CLAN!”
“FOR THE SWORD!”
It was at this time that they finally clashed against the bestial mechs of the Hivar Roarers!
The flanks instantly turned into chaotic flashpoints!
Some of the mechs collided head-on against each other due to various reasons! These collisions did not result in a good end for either side.
Some swordsman mechs lost limbs or got crushed entirely while the bestial mechs also suffered various forms of heavy damage.
Fortunately, not every mech pilot was crazy and reckless enough to charge head-on against their counterparts.
Instead, individual squads and companies began to split up from each other in order to weave and dance around their enemy counterparts.
A battle in space often devolved into a maneuvering game due to lack of constraints.
However, a pattern immediately emerged.
The Hivar Roarers tried their best to push through the opposition as a whole in order to reach the ships of the Golden Skull Alliance.
As long as they got close enough, they could instantly change the terms of the battle and force the humans into a disadvantageous position!
The Swordmaidens, Heavensworders, Vandals, Glory Seekers and other flanking forces tried their best to thwart the dwarven mechs from getting any closer.
The defending mechs stuck to their bestial counterparts in order to compel the latter to stop going forward and defend themselves from destruction.
Though the lines of the expeditionary forces pushed back a bit due to lacking numbers, soon they stabilized as the Heavensworders began to show their worth!
“WE ARE THE SWORD OF KETIS!”
‘WE FIGHT WITH HER WILL!”
“WE SHALL NEVER YIELD IN FRONT OF THE ENEMY!”
The swordsman mechs were ready to start a slaughter!
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