The Mech Touch

Exlor

Chapter 833 We Have Candy

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It several days of preparation to put the pieces into place. Not only did the exobiologists require some time to synthesize the most attractive bait, the mechs and transports assigned to join the attack and secure the gains in the event of a victory also required time to reach the prospective battle site.

Throughout their maneuvers, the Flagrant Swordmaidens took an exceeding amount of care in keeping their presence a secret. All of the scout mechs keeping an eye on the large tribe followed them from behind in order to avoid revealing their presence through the footsteps that they helplessly left behind.

They also tried to position themselves downwind whenever possible so that the wild gods with their sensitive noses wouldn't be able to sniff out the presence of large metallic objects. While it was likely that the wild gods would mistake a metallic smell with the blessed people and the sacred gods, it would nonetheless raise their guard and make it that much harder to pull off an ambush.

During the start of the preparations, one unanticipated variable popped up.

When Qilanxo heard that the Flagrant Swordmaidens prepared to assault a large dwarf tribe, she wanted in on the action!

"Aren't you supposed to be recovering your health?" Ves asked dubiously.

Qilanxo roared several times with a mix of eagerness and indignation.

From what Ves gathered from her roars, he didn't think she'd need to make use of her powers. She wanted to confront the wild gods in a good ol' physical brawl!

"I'm sorry, Qilanxo, but that sounds far too risky to us. We have our own methods of combat. You of all sacred gods know how powerful we can be with our ranged weaponry."

Qilanxo released another angry roar. She didn't take no for an answer!

"We really can't let you enter the battlefield. Our mechs and fast transports move much faster than you with their antigrav fields active. If we ever need to retreat, someone as slow as you would be left behind!"

None of these issues concerned Qilanxo. Through hell or high water, she wanted to see the wild gods and smash their faces in! The hatred between the sacred gods and the tribal wild gods was so irreconcilable that they would always try to eliminate each other if found!

At some point, Qilanxo even threatened to take off on her own in the direction of the wildling tribe, to Ves had no choice but to ask permission to Captain Byrd to bring Qilanxo along.

To his surprise, she didn't seem opposed to the idea. "Do you believe that Qilanxo will become friendlier to us if we let her participate?"

This question put Ves aback. "Maybe. Maybe not. She's mainly driven by her hatred of the tribal wild gods. Our opinions don't matter to her. I think that some of her old habits as a sacred god worshipped by every blessed god in Samar has cropped up again. It may be a good idea to remind her who is in charge."

"Oh, that is definitely in the cards. I'll allow her to get close, but not so that she can have a slugging match against the wild gods." Captain Byrd smirked. "If plan A or plan B succeeds, then there is no need for her to demonstrate her prowess."

If the wild gods turned out to be more formidable than they expected, then Captain Byrd had no compulsions about Qilanxo's participation. Her intervention might be of significant help.

And if the plans cooked up by the Vandals succeeded, then Qilanxo would be able to witness first-hand how powerful they could be, thereby suppressing any ill intentions she might have harbored during her time in captivity.

Ves already understood these underlying reasons, so the call quickly ended without discussing these matters.

He turned back to Qilanxo and arranged her move ahead of time.

She moved slower than a fast transport but faster than a heavy transport. That left her in an awkward position, but that only meant that the execution of the plan only needed to be postponed by an additional day in order to allow the sacred god to come into range.

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Four days later, all of the pieces fell into place. Ves had the option of staying behind with the convoy, but he opted to board one of the fast transports following on the heels of Qilanxo.

As for Captain Orfan and Lieutenant Dise, both rode atop Qilanxo's back. The beast rider project already designed secure carriages that integrated antigrav modules and many other systems.

As they both rode atop Qilanxo's back, they made sure the sacred god kept walking in the right direction.

The journey ended when they reached around twenty kilometers away from the wildling tribe. At that point, lots of mechs spread out and took positions around the unsuspecting dwarf tribe.

However, only plan B called for sending them into action. Before the Flagrant Swordmaidens sprung their ambush, they first employed plan A.

"Why do I feel like we're acting like creepy old men trying to lure a little kid with candy?" A Vandal said as he monitored the live feed of a trio of light mechs. All of them carried what amounted to giant candy bars.

This was not the hasty creation the exobiologists cooked up more than two months earlier. With time and advancements on their side, they refined the latest versions of the candy bars to an unprecedented degree.

Not only did the exobiologists synthesize the candy bars in an extremely nutritious form, they also enhanced their aroma to make them irresistible to the god species!

Not only that, but the substances the exobiologists laced the candy bars with should be able to affect the formidable biology of the wild gods when ingested!

Still, despite the promising signs of this plan, many Vandals but especially the Swordmaidens expressed skepticism and disdain at this course of action.

To the latter, the underhanded means of attempting to defeat the wildling tribe by poisoning was dishonorable.

While the wildling tribe may not be very sophisticated, as a warrior society they deserved to be fought in open combat! Only then would the Swordmaidens derive a sense of accomplishment to their victory!

To which the Vandals replied with a dismissive attitude. To the unconventional Vandals, any trick was okay so long as it worked. To avoid the enemy's strength and target their weaknesses had always been the favored mode of combat to their mech regiment!

This clash in values threatened to strain the relationship between the two forces. Only when Commander Lydia reined in her Swordmaidens did the tensions stall. As much as she instilled her Swordmaidens with a warrior spirit, she recognized that they couldn't be too indulgent during their campaign in the Aeon Corona System.

The live feed of the three light mechs eventually showed them halting in place. After the mech pilots checked the coordinates, they all threw their payloads a fair distance away before taking off.

The Vandals cast the bait!

"Now we wait for the fish to bite."

Several hours went by as the large wildling tribe slowly made their way towards the site where the giant candy bars had been tossed.

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Ves frequently directed his gaze to the footage transmitted by the scout mechs trailing after the procession.

When any dwarf tribe managed to secure the services of a wild god, they underwent an explosive growth in numbers and capabilities. With apex predators by their side that could easily hunt as many herd animals as they wanted, they never grew hungry anymore. This allowed the tribes to expand their numbers to an explosive degree.

The dwarf tribe the Flagrant Swordmaidens targeted numbered around twenty-thousand dwarves. Many of these individuals followed behind the ponderous footsteps of the three consecrated wild gods.

When so many individuals gathered at once, it became inevitable that some people had it better than others.

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The warrior caste and their wives and children rode at the front. Their godling mounts were bigger and carried much more goods such as tents, beds, clothes and bone jewelry.

The ones that followed after them should be the servant caste. They didn't look as strong and well-fed as the warriors, but they performed essential activities such as caring for the godling mounts and cooking the meat the wildling gods deliver to their subjects.

As for the dwarfs at the very end of the procession, they mostly consisted of the old, the abandoned children, the exiles, the criminals and other characters the more upright dwarfs found unpleasant. The underclass lacked godling mounts to carry them forward, and mostly subsided through abject means.

The only reason why these dwarves on foot were able to keep up was because the tribe was too large to set a fast pace. Therefore, even underfed dwarves with their short legs could keep up with the tribe as it slowly roamed from animal herd to animal herd.

They seemed so human to Ves. Even after their genes experienced so many changes, he still found a trace of humanity when he witnessed them on the move.

It felt almost cruel to Ves for a bunch of outsiders like the Flagrant Swordmaidens to barge in out of nowhere and attack their entire tribe, just so they can capture their tribal wild gods.

So long as anything happened to the giant beasts, the entire wildling tribe wouldn't be able to feed so many mouths anymore. The tribe would starve and collapse within days!

Yet Ves didn't care. He wanted all three tribal wild gods at his disposal. With more test subjects, he could gather more data. With more data, his research became more robust.

Additional test subjects also allowed the Flagrant Swordmaidens to perform multiple high-risk experiments to confirm some of their latest developments.

Therefore, Ves firmly hoped the Flagrant Swordmaidens would be able to secure all three wild gods alive.

The candy bars formed out of thousands of nutrient packs dispersed their aroma into the winds. The same winds brought the smells towards the three wild gods at the head of the moving tribe.

One of them began to pick up a faint but extremely yummy smell.

It roared, calling the attention of the beasts next to it. After all three wild gods sniffed the air, they became mad!

Without any warning, they doubled their pace! From their previous slow stride, they hastened their movements, causing the rest of the wildling tribe following behind to panic!

The Vandals witnessing the disarray from the sudden changes laughed. "Look at them running around like headless chickens!"

"So much for their faith in their gods!"

Atop each wild god rested an elaborate palanquin that housed the dwarf chieftains and their attendants. Right now, they suffered from a shaky ride as the overeager wild gods didn't concern themselves about maintaining stability.

They wanted to reach the source of the smells as fast as possible!

After ten minutes of vigorous plodding, the wild gods reached the place where the light mechs tossed the candy bars.

Though the dwarf riders sitting atop the wild gods yelled at them to stop, the exobeasts didn't listen. They became fully enthralled by the smells!

"The wild gods are eating the candy bars!"

The creatures showed on vigilance towards the adulterated food and each of them gulped them down all at once!

"They were probably afraid the other gods would steal their snack, so they all jumped in first to secure at least one of the candy bars for themselves." Someone explained.

At the very least, this showed that the three wild gods enjoyed roughly equal positions.

As the food made their way into their stomach, the substances concentrated within started to apply their effects.

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Due to the size of the beasts, it took at least ten minutes for the substances to take effect.

"The wild gods are swaying!"

But when they did, the effects were dramatic!

"They're falling unconscious!"

"The candy bars worked!"

"What?! I lost my bet! How could those beasts be so stupid?! I thought they were smarter than that!"

"Knock it off, men! Proceed to the next step of the plan! Secure the wild gods and gas the rest of the dwarf tribe!"

The Flagrant Swordmaidens almost couldn't believed the dumb plan to fool the wild gods actually worked. They belatedly proceeded with the next steps of the plan.

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