Chapter 4131 A Strong Mech
The mechers still took a fair amount of time to complete their comprehensive examination of the Mars.
On the one hand, Ves felt happy that the people who appreciated mechs the most were so fascinated by his latest collaborative work.
On the other hand, he grew annoyed that it would take more time for the Mars to deploy for the first time.
That was not to say that Ves and the others did nothing throughout the inspection.
Master Amphi Helecos regularly called them up in order to provide technical answers about their design choices or their latest innovations.
The questions made it clear that the mechers were genuinely interested in several different aspects of the Mars.
Once Master Amphi finally satisfied her extensive curiosity, she finally permitted the Cross Clan to proceed with the test.
It was as if the mechers were in charge of this session.
Are you ready, Reginald
I have always been ready. The powerful expert pilot seemed to have come awake at the news.
The Cross Patriarch had been conserving his energy for the entire day.
I knew my time would eventually.
No one can deny me from my new expert mech.
The Mars was an enviously strong machine.
It featured the latest tech and more phasewater than most organizations had in their possession.
All of the wealth and power put into its frame had produced a combination that also happened to turn into a masterwork mech.
Given all of these attractions, Ves found it admirable that Patriarch Reginald displayed enough control to hold back his desire to pilot his new machine right away!
The man\'s formidable force of will became more active as he rose to his feet.
He looked up at his waiting expert mech with an intense stare.
Ves had the illusion that the two were already resonating with each other despite being separated by a moderate distance.
As Reginald\'s suited form began to lift from the hangar bay floor, Ves issued a warning.
Ah, I almost forgot.
When you interface with the Mars, be careful.
While it is already obvious that the mech is different from the ones we made before, it is a little more special in that it already has a developed personality.
I know. Reginald gruffly said.
I designed the Mars to be a more adversarial partner to you.
Don\'t expect it to roll over for you.
It will not only challenge you, but resist you if you cannot come to a consensus with it.
Don\'t get taken by surprise by this.
I hope you can find a way to cooperate with your new mech.
Reginald continued his approach until he reached the opening of the cockpit.
He took one last look at the exterior of his pride and joy and admired its aggressive, martial appearance up close.
The fiery red coating, the streamlined martial motifs and the crested helmet that was capable of projecting a red plume all turned the Mars into a facsimile of its mythological namesake.
The expert pilot knew that as long as he entered the cockpit, he would gain his greatest chance of getting closer to becoming the war god that he had always fantasized about.
Father… Reginald gently held the thick cross that was hanging from his neck.
From today onwards, I will no longer look up to you again.
If you were still alive, I would force you to start looking up to me after this day has passed.
After issuing this extremely arrogant-sounding declaration, Reginald decisively entered the cockpit and took his seat!
Meanwhile, Ves had retreated to one of the observation rooms aboard the Hemmington Cross.
Professor Benedict and the other mech designers were already standing behind their work stations.
Each of them had received the news as well.
Is everything ready Ves asked.
Everything should be in place.
I have received word from your clan that their expert mechs are deploying into space within a minute.
Good, though we aren\'t in a hurry to conduct live combat tests.
Our expert mechs don\'t need to be in a hurry.
The pilots just want to see the Mars in person. Gloriana remarked.
Can you blame them for wanting to take a closer look
No one in the Golden Skull Alliance was more curious about the performance of the Cross Clan\'s flagship mech than the ones who would be fighting alongside it in the future.
The Larkinson expert pilots were all proud of their own mechs.
Who could blame them Each of them were works of art and many of them happened to be masterworks!
However, their stars would soon be eclipsed by an even greater celestial body from now onwards.
There was no way that any of the Larkinson expert mechs could surpass the Mars on any front, at least with their current designs!
Due to the need to leave a few expert mechs behind in Davute, the Larkinsons eventually deployed their first seven ones into the field this time.
This meant that the C-man was conspicuously absent, saving Venerable Vincent from suffering another awful bruise to his ego.
In any case, a lineup that consisted of the Dark Zephyr, the Amaranto, the Riot, the First Sword, the Shield of Samar, the Everchanger and most interestingly the Minerva was a powerful force on any battlefield!
Each of their expert pilots had seen combat and many of them had made notable gains even after the expeditionary fleet had settled in Davute.
Yet none of them were able to get close to Patriarch Reginald in terms of resonance strength, combat experience and many other factors.
The gap between them was still as wide as ever, and it might turn even into a greater gulf after today!
Let\'s just hope Reginald will allow us to retain our dignity this time. Venerable Joshua hoped.
Back inside the Hemmington Cross, a pair of Crossers mechs carefully towed the dormant Mars out of the hangar bay and into open space.
The initial activation of any expert mech could be an explosive event, and many people expected the Mars to produce an even greater spectacle this time!
As such, everyone patiently waited until the towing mechs brought the Mars far enough away to avoid accidentally harming any nearby mechs and starships.
Once the mech designers confirmed that everything was still in order, Patriarch Reginald finally received the greenlight to start.
He closed his eyes and thought back on all of the struggle and effort that took him this far.
In the end, he could not stop thinking about his father.
The prospect of finally being able to catch up to Saint Hemmington Cross with the help of arguably the most powerful second-class expert mech in the region if not the new frontier in its entirety had finally given him the mental backbone to stop looking up to his greatest mentor, teacher, parent and role model.
An invisible restriction seemed to fade from his spirit.
It was as if Reginald had finally shaken off a set of shackles that had bound him in place for many years.
He felt incredibly free and light at the moment.
His mind was on the cusp of floating away, but this was not the time for him to indulge in this strange sensation.
It was time to start.
Reginald decisively pussed the button, causing the cockpit and subsequently the entire expert mechs to come to life in earnest!
A powerful red corona immediately surrounded the Mars as Patriarch Reginald achieved immediate resonance with his expert mech.
The Mars was like a waking volcano.
In a matter of seconds, it turned from a dormant machine into a force of nature as its activation allowed Patriarch Reginald to channel his formidable strength through its frame!
Not only that, but the Mars was finally able to establish a proper man-machine connection with the expert pilot.
As soon as the two were able to communicate, a bit of tension emerged as the Mars did not immediately bend in front of Patriarch Reginald\'s formidable will and vice versa.
I am in control here. Reginald said as he tried to dominate his new expert mech.
Surprisingly enough, the Mars was able to speak right from the onset!
THAT MAY BE TRUE IN THE PAST, BUT I AM DIFFERENT FROM EVERY PREVIOUS MACHINE YOU HAVE PILOTED.
I AM THE MARS, A WAR GOD IN THE FORM OF A MECH.
I AM NOT A HORSE FOR YOU TO RIDE AS YOU WISH, BUT A PARTNER THAT YOU SHALL LISTEN TO IN BATTLE.
That seemed to trigger Patriarch Reginald! He immediately became emotional, causing his resonance bond with the Mars to roil!
No one tells me what to do anymore! I am stronger than you, Mars! You should be the one to bend to my will instead of the other way around!
If the Mars could let out an exasperated breath, it would.
I AM NOT ASKING YOU TO SUBMIT TO ME, REGINALD.
I AM ASKING YOU TO ACKNOWLEDGE ME AS AN EQUAL PARTNER.
Though the Mars sounded quite reasonable for demanding a partnership that characterized almost every mech pilot\'s relationship with a living mech, it was too bad that Reginald was too insistent on having his way!
No matter what you say, I will not accept any compromise! You will kneel before me or I will destroy every shred of you.
NOW BEND BEFORE MY WILL!
The Mars was shocked at Reginald\'s uncompromising attitude! The expert pilot never displayed such stubbornness during their prior passive resonance sessions.
It was as if the Cross Patriarch transformed into an entirely different beast when he entered the cockpit!
Outside observers grew increasingly more concerned as the Mars began to exhibit strange activity.
Ves frowned as he observed the increasingly more severe signs of stress from the incoming telemetry.
The patterns matched those of a problematic interfacing attempt.
The chances were likely that the expert pilot and the expert mech weren\'t getting along!
What did you do, Ves! Gloriana accusingly asked as she turned her head.
This is your fault, right
What Ves looked stumped.
I don\'t know what\'s going on.
Why are you blaming me all of sudden
Patriarch Reginald is having difficulty coming to terms with the Mars.
There is no reason why that would happen unless you messed with it.
What did you do that could create such a conflict!
Ves thought back on the adversarial personality he had imparted to the Mars.
Well… maybe it is because I powered up the Mars by blending its spiritual foundation with bits of Venerable Ghanso and Venerable Foster…
I KNEW IT! DID YOU EVER STOP TO THINK WHETHER IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO TRANSPLANT ELEMENTS OF TWO OF OUR MOST STUBBORN AND INTRACTABLE ENEMIES INTO A FRIENDLY MECH!
Now that she pointed it out, it did sound like a bad idea in hindsight.
As Ves tried to account for himself, the struggle between Patriarch Reginald and his expert mech continued to rage with no immediate end in sight!
The true resonance generated by the two began to wobble as they continued to remain opposed towards each other.
Just when it seemed that the opposing personalities would begin to produce anti-synergy, one of them suddenly exploded in strength!
Patriarch Reginald Cross was so affronted by his expert mech\'s continued defiance that his patience had run at an end!
I WILL NEVER SUFFER HUMILIATION AGAIN, ESPECIALLY NOT DUE TO MY OWN MECH!
An explosion of light, power and force instantly engulfed the entire space around the Mars!
It was unlike anything that the observers had ever seen!
For a moment, Ves and many others thought as if an enemy saboteur had secretly triggered a superbomb near the Mars!
It was only a few seconds later that they realized that the massive explosion was not triggered by setting off a warhead, but because a transcendent human had forcefully burst his way into the next rank of his profession!
Everyone in the fleet became utterly shocked and fascinated by the continuing outpouring of power!
There was only one possible explanation for why the Mars was able to channel power that vastly exceeded what any of its high-tech systems could release!
Patriarch Reginald Cross… has become a Saint! Ves stated the obvious.
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