Chapter 16: The Mecha Epoch

“Zeus?” Minister Zhou veritably quaked.

Without waiting for him to continue, the golden-clad man embrace Zhou Qianlin and began to rise. The wedding site was in chaos.

Who was this person? Who would dare to interrupt a wedding between the daughter of the Eastern Alliance Chief and the son of the Western Alliance’s Prime Minister, and further more steal the bride?

Prime Minister Sylva was already standing, his face somber. The body guards who’d arrived with the Western delegation finally burst in to action, two stooping to pick up Richard while the rest flung themselves at the man in gold.

Raagh, Oooagghh! Deafening blasts rang out. Two massive figures rose to cut off the man’s escape. Just then two guards of the Austin family, before the eyes of all, began to quickly expand. Their clothing tore, ripped and fell away, revealing the grotesque figures beneath!

The man on the left grew to a massive Gigantopithecus, an towering ape, over four meters tall. The right, too, grew to over five meters, his skin becoming splotched like tiger skin and bulging with enormous muscles. His face even shook and cracked, changing in to that of a tiger.

As the men grew to monstrous proportions the flowered archway burst apart, it’s severed petals dancing in the air. Their beautiful trek towards the floor was in stark contrast against the hideous faces of the guards.

Metamorphosis Disciplines! A specialty of the Western Alliance. Judging by the look of the two beasts, the guards were at least Fifth Level Talents.

“Protect the guests,” Zhou Xueguan bellowed. The residential guards had already rushed forth, guiding the wedding guests to safety.

“D-don’t hurt.. hurt Qianlin!” Richard was unharmed, but his tongue was numb from the shock. His hair had gone from sleek and shiny to dry and cracked. Luckily, the close-fitting protective gear he’d worn beneath his suit had protected him from the brunt of the electric charge.

Ooaaghh–! The Gigantopithecus howled, leaping ferociously towards the man in gold. The guests could not help but scatter and scream in fear at the hellish sight.

“Get lost,” the golden man growled.

Crack, crack, crack! A mighty bolt of lightning crashed down from the heavens, striking the Gigantopithecus. His hideous body burned and blackened, thrust away by the lightning strike.

Rushing forward to save Zhou Qianlin still caught in the grip of the golden man, the Ailuranthrope – or werecat, as they were colloquially called – staggered to a stop.

In that instant, a terrible rumble tore across the area. Scores of forked lightning bolts tumbled from above, striking everywhere. It looked very much like Armageddon. The blood-chilling bolts of lightning nearly blanketing the entire mountain top.

Tearing blasts of lightning, thunder, unidentified stabs of light… In this chaos, everyone was only concerned with protecting themselves.

The man in gold carried Zhou Qianlin in to the air, and before anyone could react he became a dazzling bolt of golden electricity. The light enveloped Zhou Qianlin, and then vanished in to the distance.

In the midst of that hellish rain of lightning, no one was capable of pursuit. Even the ten mechas hovering in the air were powerless, forced to retreat and land with shields up to avoid destruction.

The landing pad was the worst afflicted. No matter the model, no matter how luxurious, every verti-car sizzled and smoked in an inferno.

Within the mansion, every electrical appliance sparked and flickered. The beautiful surroundings, the fabled wedding, had in just a few short minutes become a hellscape.

The golden light encapsulating Zhou Qianlin soured thousands of meters in to the distance. It was then a flash of golden light appeared before her eyes.

The man in gold, who’d become lightning, stopped suddenly a few meters before the flash. He’d returned to his original form.

As before his arm was wrapped about Zhou Qianlin’s thin waist, and in fact it was that violation that gave her the ability to withstand gravity.

Another figure appeared beside them, an impressive mecha entirely coated in gold. Suddenly she realized, this had been Cupid’s Arrow – that golden light which pierced the two hearts created by the mechas at the mountain top.

When the other mechas were forced to land, this one had left to prevent the man in gold’s withdrawal.

The mecha was eighteen meters tall, sleek and smooth. It was devoid of weaponry, perhaps because it was employed in the wedding.

Aside from standard mechas, each humanoid model was personalized, custom made from beginning to end. In short, each was made the exact specifications of it’s pilot.

The mecha hovering before them, with feminine figure and golden battle dress, was clearly made for a young woman.

“Put Qianlin down, or die!”

The icy voice of the pilot crackled from the mechas megaphone. The lower back of the mecha split open, and it’s hand reached back to draw forth a three-meter long rod. Both hands gripped the weapon and it’s dual ends shot forth an intense golden light, humming as it changed in to a battle spear.

“Make way!” It would appear this man in gold was quite gentlemanly towards women.

“Put Qianlin down, and I’ll let you go. You should know, even your Discipline won’t have any effect on this mecha.” The frigid female voice was unyielding.

As the New Era had approached, changes had occurred to the environment, and the magnetic fields of the planets. People, too, were affected, a small numbered endowed with genetic abilities called Disciplines.

Adepts, or Talents – people with the ability for Disciplines – were far and away superior to the ordinary man. But this, this was the Mecha Epoch.

Adepts were ultimately human, whereas the standard mecha weighed over a hundred tons, ran on a fission reactor, were composed of a high-strength alloy an were fitted with the highest technology. It would be no exaggeration to state that, a mecha placed in the Former Era, could easily destroy an entire city on it’s own. And so in this era, to be a Mecha-Pilot was the dream of every young person.

The man in gold didn’t care to repeat himself, and only looked toward the mecha and shook his head.

A thick blast of lightning tore forth to strike the golden mecha.

A cold grunt issued forth, the radiant spear in the machine’s hands jabbing towards the sky, striking an impressive pose. The bolt reflected harmlessly to one side.

The cold voice shot back again. “You still don’t understand. The stronger your Discipline, the more you will kneel in the face of this mecha!”

“Ha!” The gold-clad man shrugged his shoulders.

“Huh?” Suddenly the golden mecha became aware of another figure which had soundlessly appeared behind it. Two massive hands grasped it’s shoulders.

Crunch, crack. The two crisp sounds hung in the air.

The armor plating of the golden mechas shoulders shattered beneath the grisly force, and the arms holding the battle spear falling to the side.

With that a powerful blast of energy shot forth, casting the mangled mecha in to the distance.

In the golden mecha’s cockpit, two large emerald eyes stared unbelieving to the air. Where she had hovered, the golden man and Zhou Qianlin entering it’s open breastplate, floated a massive thing. She looked on with red lips slightly parted, and eyes glassy.

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