Having exhausted half of their bags of tricks, the Vandals began to grow concerned about their ongoing battle against Pairixan and his coterie of god beasts.
The sacred gods hostile to the Flagrant Swordmaidens continued to crawl their way forward under continuous and intense shelling. Their artillery cannons and artillery mechs already expended half of their ammunition, and would soon run out if they kept up their frantic rate of fire.
The laser rifleman mechs poking Qilanxo's incredibly strong space barrier started to build up a large amount of heat. Their energy reserves emptied out at an alarming pace as they continued to fire their hot barrels while maintaining a constant distance. Their heavy gravity backpacks also groaned under the extensive amount of time they remained active.
What the Flagrant Swordmaidens needed was some way to break through the space barrier shielding the entire attacking force from attacks fired from afar.
The Vandals and Swordmaidens each unfolded gimmick after gimmick, but nothing seemed to faze Pairixan and his subordinates.
They tried to blast their ears and deafen the beast riders by launching incredibly loud noise generators near their positions. Pairixan caused the entire terrain to submerge the noise grenades and stifle them beneath layers of soil.
They tried to displace the oxygen in the air by launching subsequent waves of incendiary shells. The beast riders managed to hold their breath for up to ten minutes until the sacred gods took care of the fires.
The exobiologists outright broke a taboo and quickly synthesized a lethal airborne poison so deadly that it might wipe out a quarter of the population of Samar if released into the city!
Yet deploying such a highly concentrated poison didn't appear to affect the beast riders in any substantial way.
It was as if they were just as tough as the incredible sacred gods they rode upon!
Each time the Flagrant Swordmaidens failed to take out the sacred gods or their chosen, the attackers became more determined that they would win. Their morale soared!
As for the Flagrant Swordmaidens, while their morale hadn't plummeted to rock-bottom due to their discipline and experience, none of them held out any hope of winning an easy victory anymore.
The enemy forced possessed considerably more defenses than anyone had anticipated. In their first proper clash against an organized force of sacred gods, the Flagrant Swordmaidens learned that their previous duels against Hokaz and Naeduvis weren't indicative of their actual battle performance.
Just like how a mech force grew stronger than the sum of its parts by leveraging the synergies between the different classifications of mechs, so did the Eastern Pantheon achieve greater results.
In truth, out of the four subordinate sacred gods who followed their leader, three of them outright didn't matter. They were so young and weak and their powers were so unimpressive that they were only a little stronger than a wild god.
Only Pairixan and Qilanxo mattered, as their combined defensive and offensive power was enough to wipe out the Flagrant Swordmaidens if they came into range!
Though every mech scrupulously maintained a constant distance, the same couldn't be said for the artillery cannons and the camp.
It had been a mistake to camp out so close to the ancient city of Samar!
Nothing the Flagrant Swordmaidens came up with worked. The sacred gods continued their slow but inexorable march to the camp.
Pairixan would soon come close enough to see the camp and all of its artillery cannons. Though some of the heavy salvos caused the procession of exobeasts to slow down or halt, they never incurred any actual battle damage.
Both Commander Lydia and Captain Byrd fell into a heated argument as the shelling which came predominantly from the Vandals failed to achieve any effect.
The Swordmaidens didn't fear the sacred gods! Perhaps the ranged attacks might not have achieved any effect, but melee combat was another story altogether.
If hundreds of Swordmaiden mechs stormed the sacred gods, would Qilanxo's energy field still hold up?
The two commanding officers argued whether to unleash their melee mechs or not. Captain Byrd felt very apprehensive about this course of action because they couldn't predict whether Pairixan would have the time to bury them all in a landslide or an earthquake!
"It's too risky!"
"We have already tried every other solution." Commander Lydia retorted over the comm. "Many opponents that pretend to be invincible always fall short as long as you confront them with overwhelming numbers and might. We aren't as adept in ranged combat as you, but we know how to slaughter exobeasts up close. We've been hunting all kinds of beasts for decades."
"These aren't your average exobeasts. I hate to admit it, but calling them gods isn't entirely undeserved."
Once a sacred god grew old enough and embedded enough god crystals into their hides, they became as formidable as expert mechs or ace mechs!
It took more than a hundred regular mechs to defeat a single expert mech, though the exact outcome differed widely depending on various factors. Still, this loose rule of thumb applied just as well against sacred gods!
And the Flagrant Swordmaidens weren't just facing one of them, but five of them at the same time! Even though only two out of the five really mattered, the synergy they displayed so far countered everything they threw at them without any signs of faltering!
"Qilanxo's energy reserves have halved!" Someone reported.
"That's too slow!" Captain Byrd barked. She was starting to lose her composure as the pressure of the battle got to her. "We need to intensify the damage and exhaust her energy reserves before the sacred gods get into range. That is the only way we can win this battle without sending our melee mechs into a suicidal charge against Pairixan!"
The formidable earth manipulation powers gave Pairixan an unprecedented amount of control over the surrounding terrain. Engaging it in melee gave the sacred god the perfect opportunity to devastate all of the melee mechs at once.
Some of the Vandals held out hope that Venerable Xie could reverse the battle situation. So far, the Vandals held him out in reserve, as his accuracy mattered more than the marginal amount of firepower he could contribute to the ongoing one-sided firefight.
Ves knew that the expert pilot wouldn't be able to do anything. The Pale Dancer had been designed as a skirmishing ranged mech meant to run rings around other mechs.
Not to mention that the Vandals fielded the Pale Dancer with a laser rifle instead of its ballistic rifle. Most of Venerable Xie's resonance powers became invalid as soon as his mech switched weapon types.
While the Pale Dancer and its mech pilot still retained its incredible level of accuracy, particularly while on the move, this dueling capability didn't matter against the sacred gods that relied on brute force and sheer might to overwhelm their opponents!
Ves couldn't hold himself back any longer. He stepped forward. "Captain, I have a couple of suggestions. Since every other method of incapacitating the sacred gods and their riders have failed, the only way to defeat them is to exhaust Qilanxo's energy reserves."
"We are already doing so. Quickly get to the point."
"While our shelling is inflicting a great amount of damage, it is not the greatest damage source that we have in our possession."
The captain frowned. "Are you referring to our expert mech? I'm afraid I don't believe his intervention at this time will make much of a difference."
"No, not that. Rather, I'm thinking about employing our largest power generators. What if we overload them in proximity to the sacred gods? The sheer amount of energy unleashed will rival the power of a large tactical nuclear weapon!"
"That's a war crime!"
"It's not as if we skirted some of the other taboos already." Ves shrugged nonchalantly.
"Even if we can overload our power generators, it's too late to bring them forward."
"Is it? If I recall, one of the flying transports of the fleet has recently landed to supply our artillery cannons with shells. It has more than enough cargo space to drop the power generators on top of the sacred gods!"
This time, Captain Byrd and some of the Vandals looked thoughtful. If they were willing to sacrifice their power generators by inducing them to critical levels, then the amount of damage they could do would be enough to blast an entire area with hot, explosive fury!
Since time was short, Captain Byrd didn't hesitate for long. She opened up a comm channel and filled in the chief engineer. "Let us execute Mr. Larkinson's plan! Chief Dakkon, please select the most easily movable power generators in our camp and bring them up to the flying transport with haste!"
"It will take time to enact this harebrained scheme!" The chief complained over the comm. "I can't unmoor those power generators with the snap of my fingers."
The technical challenges to keeping the power generators running with all of its safeties disengaged were considerable. The engineers and technicians needed to perform so many procedures because power generators simply weren't meant to blow up!
Even if they incurred fatal damage, it was rare for them to actually blow up and wipe out an entire base because they consisted almost entirely of safety features. The actual components responsible for generating energy out of the reactants only consisted of a relatively small portion of the construction.
In short, the Flagrant Swordmaidens needed to stall the march of the sacred gods.
"I have another suggestion." Ves spoke up. "We can slow them down by perplexing them. The sacred gods don't know we are trying to buy some time."
"And how do you suggest we do that? Come forward and try to engage them in a dialogue?"
Anyone who walked to the sacred gods would be going out on a limb. Nobody knew if the sacred gods would stop and talk, but there was a very large chance that Pairixan would grow angry and toss a boulder at the poor fellow!
Ves grinned underneath his helmet. "We don't necessarily have to send out one of our own. Remember the dwarves we imprisoned at the Mind Blender? I think the Samarrans will be very astonished to encounter a bunch of wildlings in the way. While they may kill them out of hand, they might also grow curious enough to halt their march."
"We'll follow both suggestions." Captain Byrd commanded. "Fetch the dwarves and throw them onto a fast transport. Send in a diplomat as well. Once the fast transport nears the sacred gods, drop off the dwarves and see what the sacred gods will do. If the dwarves failed to buy enough time, then release our diplomat and have him or her try to stall the enemy."
It was a haphazard plan but it was better than nothing. The main concern was that the fast transport needed to come well into visual range to drop off the dwarves anywhere near the sacred gods.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
However, the Vandals had no more tricks up their sleeve. They enacted the spurious plans suggested by Ves even if many of them had misgivings about them in private.
It didn't take much time to drag the ignorant dwarves out of their cells and lock them into a cabin aboard a fast transport. The Vandals also selected an unlucky low-ranking serviceman to be their spokesperson.
The man was known for his fast talk.
As the fast transport moved out towards the threat as fast as its limbs could manage, the shelling continued. Qilanxo's space barrier continued to erode, but not fast enough to prevent Pairixan from coming close to the camp.
"Captain! Our scouts keeping an eye on the western side of Samar report that the western gate is opening! Pailanon and two of his subordinate gods are exiting the gate!"
Damn! More sacred gods!
"What are Pailanon intentions?!"
"Unknown, our spy drones haven't picked up any chatter about his motivations."
For some reason, the older brother decided to throw himself into the fray as well! Whether Pailanon intended to help Pairixan defeat the outsiders or confront his younger brother in a fateful duel, Ves couldn't tell!
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