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Chapter 661: Difficulties

    Chapter 661: Difficulties

    It wasn't long before the energy deficiencies began to get painfully apparent. Without long-range support, the mechas starting to get overwhelmed. What's more, the students hadn't had much time to rest during the two-hour long battle. They were starting to tire out.

    Su He darted from one area to the other, his yellow mecha a flash of light across the field. The crack of his heavy sniper rifle rang out again and again, each time bringing to an end another powerful alien. He filled in the gaps where needed.

    Boom-! An alien was blasted away by oen of the students and slammed against the wall. It felt like the whole structure shook. Luckily, the university's defenses were made out of titanium alloy, but even so the impact had left a dent.

    Overhead a host of flying aliens were approaching. They looked a little like seagulls, but none were less than ten meters tail to tip. Over a hundred of them were bearing down on the university from on high. It was the first homogeneous unit of creatures, and it made them look inexhaustible.

    For just a moment, despair was plain on Su He's face. He knew the second their line broke the enemy would flood through and there would be no stopping them. These seagulls could be the straw that broke the camel's back.

    He bit the tip of his tongue, focusing on the pain to push his hopelessness down. He raised his gun and took aim at the beast just in front of him. He waited until there was a lock, then pulled the trigger. A beam of angry red light carved a path through the air, leaving a scar where it passed.

    Boom-! An intense blast of power ripped the foremost alien apart. But the others charged on, for they did not know fear. They spread out and swarmed toward Su He.

    He swung the rifle over his shoulder and attached it to the mechas back. With a flick of its metal hands, two glinting swords appeared in his grip. The rifle was powerful, but it used a lot of energy. Now it was time to show them what he was made of! If he could cut these creatures down before they got to the university, they could hold for a little while longer. If he didn't, their defenses would likely crumble.

    Su He used his own Discipline to push his mecha to its limit. His suit flitted through the air, nimble as a sparrow. He charged straight, then changed directions suddenly and without warning to avoid the purple projectiles spat at him by the creatures.

    He flew faster until at last he engaged, appearing behind one of the alien birds. He cut cross-wise like a pair of scissors and his foes head tumbled from the sky to the ground below.

    He didn't stop. In a flash he inserted himself in the midst of them and spun like a steel tempest. The aliens fell away amidst a cloud of blood and chunks of meat.

    The yellow body of the mecha shivered, and suddenly one became two - doppelganger! As a God-ranked pilot Su He was final able to move his hands at the necessary speed to use the technique. The identical images split, spread out, then merged together again in the blink of an eye. Two more aliens dropped dead.

    Below, the students and teachers looked on as the beasts dropped like flies and it filled them with steely resolve. Their line - dangerously close to being routed - firmed up.

    But they were stretched to their limit.

    At last the final alien bird was cut apart by Su He's longswords, reduced to a thick purple paste. The acidic fluid covered the yellow mecha, and some portions of it were almost beginning to smoke. He was a mecha pilot, but his suit was not god-tier. It couldn't hold out for much longer.

    He noticed only ten percent energy remained. Su He needed to return and charge up. But just as he was turning back, the skies darkened to an ominous violet.

    More birds, but ten times as many were coming his way.

    Done for!

    He didn't have time to charge his suit. He stared at the control panel before him, closed his eyes, and pushed a button.

    Thump! Su He was fired out of the back of the mecha like a bullet. He watched at the mecha that had served him honorably for years fell away and crashed into the ground below.

    A dead mecha suit was just a ton of metal, and Su He still had some fight left in him. Without it he could push himself a little farther. He made a solemn promise that he would not stop until his last drop of blood was spilt.

    He knew this next wave would probably bring him to that point.

    ζ

    Crack! A red light fired from Xiao Han's rifle and killed another beast. His mecha staggered dangerously and nearly fell. The last one had clipped his left leg and nearly toppled him over.

    He gulped great breaths of air within the cockpit even though his lungs felt like they were on fire. His heart beat so hard it threatened to burst out of his chest. He knew it meant his energy was depleted, and his body was close to collapse. Both he and his mecha were drained, but he didn't let up. Only one final regret nagged at him.

    His life's greatest regret was losing to that fat-ass from National Eastern University. All his hard work since has been to strive for another chance - to get revenge. Now it looked as though he would never get the chance. Fat bastard, he snarled inwardly, if I die I'll be a hero! How about that?!

    "Classmate, be careful!" His mecha's comms lit up as someone called out to him.

    He snapped back to reality and urged his suit to duck, just in time to avoid an alien's swipe. But the move put too much weight on his suit's damaged left leg and it gave beneath him. He hit the ground.

    A mecha suit out of control was no help to anyone. Aside from Su He's own, Xiao Han's Sovereign-class mecha had killed more aliens than anyone. It had also sustained a great deal of damage.

    He slapped the eject button, just like Su He. Fearing death wasn't going to help anyone. So long as he fought to the end, he would be dying a man's death!

    Bang! There was a screech, a shock, and Xiao Han spat out a mouthful of blood. The ejection mechanism failed! Just as he was prepared to fire out an attack from one of the aliens damaged the exit point.

    It's over! His mind went blank, focused on that one thought. Once he hit the eject button he'd lost all control over the suit and the systems died. He was a sitting duck, an alien's meal wrapped up in a pretty metal coffin.

    Boom-! He felt the ground shake as a thunderous blast tore through the area. He and the suit were thrown up into the air and hit the ground again with bone-jarring force. Then everything went dark as he lost consciousness. When he came to, he was surprised to find he was still alive. His vision cleared, and through the mecha's eyes he could see a large metal figure - one could almost say portly.

    Vicious spikes bristled all along its body, and a spiked mace cradled in hand lashed out fierce as a tiger. Any alien daring to get to close was crushed beneath its weight.

    Was this...? Xiao Han couldn't remember any classmates with powers like this. The metallic aura that surrounding him pulsed with powerful Discipline. He used his mace like a meat grinder, opening up a wide area carpeted by the remains of aliens.

    The fat mecha leapt into the air and the spikes around it fired off in all directions. Tens of the creatures unfortunate enough to be in the blast radius were impaled and killed outright.

    The aliens were corrupted versions of local wildlife, so their weak points were similar. Once the spikes found their target, they disappeared only to reemerge from the fat mecha's body.

    Then, an even stranger scene was revealed. The brawny mecha squatted and all at once became a giant metal sphere covered in blades. It lunged forward, spinning on an axis. He'd gone from using a meat grinder to becoming one. The aliens caught in front of it were effortlessly swept away. The students in a hundred meters around the metal orb had some room to recover.

    Then, one after another silhouettes descended from overhead. The earth shook as they made landfall. Scores of well-equipped mechas drew their weapons and shored up the students' defensive positions. The aliens who'd threatened to destroy these beleaguered students half a moment before were mowed down like paper tigers - like they had no means to defend themselves. The mechas moved like one entity, intuitively knowing where they were needed. The aliens couldn't advance an inch.

    Reinforcements had arrived! Xiao Han fell back in his seat and sighed in relief. What incredible reinforcements they were! None of these pilots could have been anything less than Sovereign-class, he determined, and strong Adepts to boot. What were those insignias on their breastplates? A flame? What did that mean? They were damn fine pilots!

    Another mecha with the flame insignia appeared in front of Xiao Han's mangled mecha. It used its two large blades to carve open the ejection chute. Xiao Han had by then recovered, and clambered out into the fresh air.

    "Are you alright?" The pilot asked in an alluring voice.

    A female pilot? Xiao Han couldn't entirely hide his surprise. "I'm fine. Who are you guys?"

    "We're Star Division from Skyfire, here to save you. Relax, you're safe." The pilot ended their conversation by leaping back into the fight.
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