Chapter 3464: Quick Response
Gregory Haloscar piloted many different lancer mechs in his career.
During his time with Hysphalin Industries, he bounced from assignment to assignment.
Each time, he arrived at different locations and piloted whatever lancer mech the site had in stock at the moment.
Since Hysphalin Industries was mainly in the business of selling large-scale industrial production equipment, it did not really care about sticking to a single brand or mech designer.
Every security department of every local branch of the company maintained a different mech roster.
Furthermore, Gregory also polished his skills in simulation training.
Though some people treated it was a game, professionals like him piloted virtual mechs as if they were truly real.
They fought as if they could only afford a single death in order to make the practice sessions as accurate as possible.
He must have piloted over a hundred different lancer mech models in these virtual simulations.
Many of them were substantially different from the lancer mechs he was accustomed to piloting.
He found it enjoyable to explore radically different interpretations on lancer mechs.
He had already piloted so many strange lancer mechs that it took a lot for him to get caught off guard by a new machine.
In addition to this, Gregory Haloscar also volunteered himself for events like these.
This was not his first time piloting a brand-new competition mech on short notice.
He was used to learning the traits of new mechs on the fly and dealing with all of the usual quirks and imperfections that hastily-designed and hastily-built mechs tended to possess.
In truth, it took a certain amount of courage for mech pilots to volunteer in mech design tournaments.
They were practically playing the role of test pilots for mechs that were likely the shabbiest machines that their makers had ever developed.
“At least its exciting! Mech designers are always able to come up with something new!”
The Pontifical Lance did not incorporate any extreme concepts that radically altered the formula of a lancer mech, but it was still one of the weirdest mechs he ever piloted.
It was only when his lancer mech took action that Gregory began to have a better idea on what a living mech was actually capable of.
Even as he focused his mind on what was important, he could feel his mech was much more responsive than usual.
Although the mech didnt overwhelm him with a flood of irrelevant input, he quickly noticed that it was more attentive to the current situation and more accommodating to his current needs.
What surprised him a lot was how smart it was.
It was as if the mech was driven by a particularly clever AI.
Yet unlike the automated systems that he had interacted with in the past, the intelligence of the Pontifical Lance was less harsh and less rigid when it came to sticking with its pre-programmed logic.
The mechs responsive intelligence felt a lot more vague but also more… organic.
Even as his mech rapidly advanced towards the Dominant, Gregory Haloscar was pleasantly surprised at how much better it was to pilot the Pontifical Lance.
Not only did he feel as if his mech was a willing and eager partner in battle, but there was also something greater inside the mech as well.
When this great but distant influence started to nudge Gregory to adjust his attack run upwards and to the side, he only had a brief moment of time to decide whether he should actually follow suit.
He originally intended to wait until the Dominant made a move before he altered the direction of the Pontifical Lance.
However, this was not a good plan against more maneuverable opponents.
Faster mechs were able to displace themselves so quickly that any response that Gregory could make would likely be too late to catch up with his opposition.
Therefore, if he knew the evasion pattern of his opponent in advance, he would surely be able to inflict a more telling blow!
There was no time for him to consider his choice.
Lancer mech pilots were trained to make decisions with as few delays as possible because they simply didnt have time to consider all of their choices.
It was at this time that he remembered the words of the designer of the Pontifical Lance.
Gregory decided to take a leap of faith and listen to the hint provided by his mech!
Even before the Pontifical Lance finished adjusting its course, Gregory already realized that he had made the right decision!
Hestinia Claes opted to avoid the incoming charge attack by propelling the Dominant in an atypical direction!
At this moment, there was no more time left for either side to maneuver in any other direction.
The huge momentums of their mechs could not be diverted so easily, so they were essentially locked in their respective tracks.
The only actions they could still make in this brief instant was to adjust the equipment that they carried.
Hestinia opted to change the angle of the shield carried by the Dominant.
By orienting it at a certain angle, the shield effectively gained additional thickness against an attack coming from a single direction.
As for Gregory, he could do little except to slightly change the angle of the spear held by his lancer mech in order to lessen the chance of a deflection.
The huge collision shocked everyone in the audience as loud crunching noises and various pieces of metal exploded from the point of impact!
As everyone became curious how the work of arguably the best mech designer in the tournament fared against an overpowering charge.
Ves clenched his hands as he waited for both mechs to appear in view again.
Once the spray of loose debris had scattered, his heart lifted.
[The Dominant… is wounded!]
Despite Hestinias best efforts, her knight mech had not been able to avoid the charge attack entirely.
Her opponents correct prediction of her actions meant that she failed to turn the devastating strike into either a glancing blow or a missed attack.
That said, the defensive strength of the Dominant along with her last actions allowed Hestinia to avoid a fatal outcome.
The lance first struck the shield of the Dominant at an angle.
While the sloping was not as extreme as it could be, the failure of the lance to strike the shield at a perpendicular angle caused it to encounter more obstruction than usual.
Not only that, but the forward motion of the lance also changed in direction! It veered slightly upwards, which meant that as soon as the lance drilled through the shield, it struck the Dominant in the shoulder instead of the chest!
The consequences of the blow were still huge.
The shoulder section collapsed in its entirety, which not only caused the Dominant to lose control of the arm holding its partially-ruined shield, but also destroyed the positron cannon mounted on that very same shoulder.
The visual spectacle of seeing such a huge chunk of a mech blast into ruined pieces was great.
The audience certainly feasted on the sight of seeing such a strong knight mech lose a significant amount of mass in an instant!
However, the Pontifical Lance did not come out of the attack unscathed.
Lancer mechs constantly challenged their limits on how much physical force they could endure.
Although they were designed in a way that allowed them to withstand a lot of kinetic energy from the front, the Pontifical Lances arm and other sections still cracked and deformed due to withstanding a portion of the powerful collision!
The only reason why the Pontifical Lance didnt lose its arm entirely was because the lance snapped off at the base when the force became too great.
This was a protective measure that Ves had implemented in the weapon design in order to prevent a charge attack from becoming suicidal.
Now that it had lost its primary weapon, the Pontifical Lance threw away the long but useless hilt and drew out a smaller and shorter spear that was previously mounted on its back.
With its remaining forward momentum, the lancer mech urgently circled around before it collided against the energy shield that confined the mechs in the battle arena.
However, even as the lancer mech sluggishly turned around, the Dominant was already closing in from behind!
Though the Dominant suffered serious damage that would have crippled many other mechs, it was a knight mech that featured a highly robust construction.
The damage it suffered to its shoulder was largely confined to this side.
As long as its other systems remained intact, it was still in a battle-ready shape!
As Hestinia Claes recovered quickly from the serious blow and caused the Dominant to go after its attacker, the knight mech only displayed a small loss in mobility as the damage to its upper shoulder only inflicted slight damage to its powerful and well-protected flight system.
Seeing that the Dominant would never allow the Pontifical Lance to set up another charge attack, Gregory stopped attempting to build up distance.
Instead, he instructed his mech to turn around and clash directly against the opposing knight mech.
“Youre a lot more vulnerable without your shield!”
His chances of outdueling the Dominant was much better than before.
The knight mech not only lost its shield and a limb, but also suffered a major breach in its torso armor.
As long as the Pontifical Lance was able to drive its short spear through this damaged section, the blow would likely cripple the Dominant even further!
However, as the two mechs finally closed in and began to exchange blows, the Dominant displayed a degree of agility and fluency that almost fully enabled Hestinia Claes to demonstrate her one-handed swordsmanship skills!
The Dominants still retained enough maneuverability to slowly circle around the much more sluggish Pontifical Lance.
While Gregory Haloscar was not a slouch with the spear, his lancer mech simply wasnt built for this mode of combat!
After just a dozen seconds, the damaged Dominant managed to fend off the initial barrage of stabs long enough to circle around the rear of the less-maneuverable lancer mech.
With just a few well-placed thrusts, the Dominant forcibly disabled the Pontificial Lances flight system!
Not only that, the Dominant also inflicted serious internal damage to the lancer mech as it lost control and lost altitude.
Moments before the Pontifical Lance crashed onto the arena floor, a strong field took hold of the mech.
The safety systems had engaged, marking the end of this match.
[The Dominant has secured a victory as expected, but Hestinia Claes certainly had to work for it.
The Pontifical Lance and Gregory Haloscar have fought brilliantly if I might say so myself.
Ves Larkinson may have lost this match, but he has definitely earned my appreciation!]
[Ereben Seinlin might have suffered an unlikely loss if Hestinia Claes did not angle the shield of her mech in time.
This short but intensive bout shows that the favorites of the High Tide Tournament should not rest on their laurels.]
[If the Pontifical Lance is this strong against the Dominant, how will it fare against the other competition mechs in this tournament Not every mech can handle a charge attack from such an explosive lancer mech as calmly as the Dominant!]
As the commentators praised the performance of the Dominant and the Pontifical Lance, Ves slowly let out a deep breath.
In the end, his mech failed to overcome the opposition.
While this was the expected outcome, it still hurt a lot to see his lancer mech getting defeated with such ease.
The Dominant was simply too strong.
“At least I should get a good amount of points.”
Ves had taken a look at the scoring system used by the High Tide Tournament.
The complex formulas took a lot of different variables into account.
For example, the stronger the opposition, the higher the score.
“My mech also inflicted a lot of damage before it went down.”
The serious blow inflicted on the Dominant should deliver Ves a hefty amount of points.
Yet Ves did not think it was enough.
The best way for a competition mech to score a lot of points was to secure a win!
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