Chapter 88: Thor Joins the Fray

    Chapter 88: Thor Joins the Fray

    The ring was forged of a silvery material. It's top half was relatively wider than it's base, giving it an almost trapezoidal configuration. The surface was inlaid in a leopard print pattern of crushed diamond and sapphire. The very center was inset with a vibrant triangular green gemstone.

    As Lan Jue looked upon it, the gem shone with a quiet power. It wasn't unlike the glowing force living in his eyes. He flourished with his left hand, calling forth a blue bolt of lightning which lit the sky.

    The air between them split. The fissure grew as two great hands reached out from within and tore it further. The mammoth figure that emerged moved majestically to Lan Jue's side.

    "Thor!" A booming voice ripped through the area with the mecha's arrival.

    It wasn't solely by virtue of Zeus' Discipline that he was able to dominate the mercenary world. It was likely more due to his status as a God-Ranked pilot.

    By Michael's estimation, even his Adventus would be no match for the combined might and speed of Zeus' powers. Thus had he chosen to drop the transformation and conserve energy, instead calling forth his Angel of War. In this way he could minimize Lan Jue's speed advantage. However, this didn't mean that Lan Jue would be an easy foe to defeat.

    The angel of War was covered from head to foot in a golden red alloy. It's expansive wings were embossed with threads of crimson. The six appendages rose and fell as the twenty-one meter monstrosity hovered in the air. In all, it looked like a an ancient, angelic knight dressed for combat.

    Zeus, on the other hand, looked as though it was carved from a single massive piece of sapphire. It's entire length and breadth shimmered like a jewel. It rose twenty-three meters, stretched eight meters across, and stood tall and slender like a bolt of blue lightning. It's shoulders where adorned with tri-layered armor; the top-most layer was large and tapered upward in to a point, the middle layer was smooth and slid beneath, and the final layer was mostly hidden beneath, pressed against the mechanical arm.

    Thor's peculiar construction and polished, gem-like appearance made it appear more a work of art than an instrument of war. The navy-blue coloring refracted the light around it. Where the armor drew to spikes or corners, certain angles almost made it look purple. As bolts of lightning raced overhead, they flashed off of the mecha's armor and added to it's ominous appearance. As it's chest plate closed, and Lan Jue took up position in the cockpit, a dazzling azure corona of light issued forth from it.

    Ke'er and Lin Guoguo looked on with a burning fanaticism in their eyes. "Thor... Thor," they chanted, louder with each call.

    Thor, the great beast of thunder, under Zeus' command.

    Two magnificent mechas, two tremendous Adepts, stood suspended in the air in a stand-off. The Angel of War reached slowly behind it's back, producing a blazing sword of light gripped tightly in it's mechanized hand.

    When employing a top-level mecha in combat, there was really only one avenue available to achieve victory in a situation as this. Because these machines were practically immune to laser weapons and even cannon fire, close-range combat was almost required. A top-level mecha was defensive, fast, and legendary in their close-quarters capabilities. As a result almost all of them were just that - close range fighters. In the end, though it came down to the skill of the particular pilot.

    Zeus responded to the Angel of War's actions with it's own. Two giant hands stretched out, their palms glowing. Soon they were filled with a thirty-meter long, double-edged lance. The weapon was shaped like a bolt of lightning, and glowed with a gentle blue light.

    The Angel's wings spread in a smooth movement, and with a single thrust sent the mecha rocketing forward. In no time it came upon Thor. The sword of light tore through the air, leaving behind it a radiating trail of golden-red light. It's sinister arc looked set to behead the sapphire colossus.

    A mecha's construction naturally included a bevy of power gems. These gems, paired with the abilities of the pilot that controlled it resulted in the aggregate power of a single mecha. The quality of the gems also played a significant role. The result was that a suit's combat prowess and the Discipline cultivation of the one who commanded it were inexorably connected.

    Thor swayed to the side, out of the blade's path. In the same motion it's spear lashed out. Contrary to expectations, however, the spear didn't seek to block the golden sword's path. Instead it swept around and knocked it aside at the flat of the blade.

    Ting! Sparks flew at the weapons collided, the piercing ring a result of their clash.

    Gabriel, Raphael, Ke'er and Lin Guoguo scrambled back out of harm's way. Two mechas of this caliber were known to destroy everything in a large area during the course of their battles - more than your average Adept, to be sure.

    The Angel of War struggled visibly from the counter. The slight motion had set it off balance. Thor took advantage of the opening. Electric power raced over it's form, as it dropped it's shoulder and rushed in for a body-slam.

    The Angel of War didn't even attempt the dodge. To do so would have increased it's unfavorable position. Instead it swept out it's arm, aiming the spike jutting from it's elbow directly with Thor's shoulder. A dangerous red light extended forward from it.

    A millisecond before collision Thor shifted ever so slightly. It was just enough to avoid the spike and it's curious red light. The collision that followed was tooth-rattling.


    The Angel of War was launched back from the impact. Thor hung in the air like it had rammed an iron wall. The Angel had also managed to land a strike. The sword's thrash had set the sky afire, and a shock wave of energy raced from between them. Thor's shoulder plate had crumpled. A spike from the Angel of War's couter 1 was missing. The giant machine buzzed with electric energies as arcing bolts snaked over it.

    "Oscillation!" The Messenger of Death hissed under his breath.

    "Michael's in dire straights. He'd oscillated in that last second to avoid Michael's defensive strike. Zeus really has that level of control..."

    Thor's robotic eyes shone. It's massive arm lifted and with a mechanic creak threw the spear towards the Angel of War. It cut through the air, becoming a sizzling bolt of lightning. Thor was right behind it, catching up with the weapon just before thrusting it towards it's enemy's chest.

    The golden mecha abruptly lifted it's hand, in attempts to deflect the spear with it's sword. The two weapons tore through the air at each other - the spear of lightning pointed directly at the Angel's cockpit, and the sword of light racing to deflect.

    No man - not even one as powerful as Michael - could survive a direct blow from a mecha's weapon. Especially not Thor's.

    The Angel of War's arm hung in the air, it's blazing sword still. Just a moment too slow, a fraction of a second. Thor's spear found it's mark. The terrible screech of shredding metal combined with eruptions of light as the attack tore through the Angel's chest.

    But, unexpectedly, a powerful aura of light surrounded the impaled machine. The light heralded an immense magnetic attraction, which shot out to cover Thor. It was locked in place. Zeus had no means of retreat.

    1. The piece of armor that covers a knight's elbow
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