In the Midst of the Chip War

-###-

Crag Mine…the most disputed place at Novus…center of the endless conflict between the Accretia, Bellato and Cora. At this place, all races mined the precious Ore and Holymental. The Ore was a priceless commodity in the entire universe. The economies of Three Races revolved around it. Meanwhile, the Holymental was the valuable metal that highly prized for daily life of Three Races. It also poisonous for the Herodians, yet it didn't stop them from around the Crag Mine.

A pack of Warrior and Little Lazhuardians circled the Crag Mine. The Accretians, Bellateans and Corites usually ignored them and vice-versa. This time, it would be different.

A single Little Lazhuardian noticed something; he saw the Bellateans at Northeast. The creature took out the communicator carefully and reported,

"Your Excellency! Commander! We noticed the Bellateans at the Northeast…it looks like a scouting team for Chip War. What is the next order?" For a moment, the commlink was silent until it rang again,

"Let them for a while…your mission is to observe the Chip War. After that, proceed with our plan, Over!"

"Over!" Then the Little Lazhuardian went to patrol again…and suddenly shot down by a newbie who pursued his quest."

-###-

Novus Time: 00:09:00

Bellato Side

"This is a good day to die…" Crescendo Silverlake murmured. His Commando Platoon had arrived first before the others. Armbold, Brood and…Ranskye included.

The Shield Miller grumbled, "Why are we come first? No scrapmetal or long-ears to kill! Boring!"

Brood joked, "Perhaps you could lash it to the Lazhuardian below…"

"Ha…ha…ha! Very funny, Brood!" Armbold replied with a myrrh "I am laughing now." Not for long, Ranskye called his commander,

"Lieutenant Silverlake, I saw several Corites and Accretia running…it seems they…"

"Bah!" Crescendo cut him, "Those are the newbies! There was no fun by killing them! Beside we still have an important mission!"

"But, Sir…some of us had already started…" Ran tried to explain. The Berserker commander turned around and didn't saw Armbold around.

"Damn, that guy! Always make a fuss!" he grumbled, before turning to his squad, "Commandos! Let's shave those scrapmetal and Corites!" Simultaneously, everyone shouted,

"WHOOOOO!" Then the Commandos rushed down from the hills, including Crescendo and Ranskye.

-###-

Novus Time: 00:09:15

Accretia Side

In other hand, the Science Division under Acthyon T78 and ExvionE47 had been in their position. Then the transmission from Archon Totenkopf came,

"Unit E47 and T78,hold your position until the Satetsu's 7th Division and Raxion's 2nd Division arrived!Over!"

Battle Leader Acthyon T78 replied. "Unit T78 received! Over!" Then the cyborg glanced to its partner.

"Unit E47, have you ready now?"

The Accretian Scientist answered. "Everything is ready! Traps, grenades and Guard Tower was ready, Unit T78!" The white-armored cyborg turned to Crag Mine and asked,

"Why isn't the war over yet?" Hearing that, Acthyon said,

"That's rational! According to my database, we could win the war as long as we keep the performance continuously."

"Continuously?" Exvion questioned. "According to my archive, Chip War had been gone more than century. If our performance is optimal, the war should be over a long time ago. Is the Emperor…"

The Battle Leader immediately cut. "Empire's primary doctrine is…not to question the Emperor in any situations, especially Archon! We must contribute our strength as a good citizen. We didn't always win due to unexpected variables. In the end, the Empire would prevail. Understood?"

Exvion didn't reply; the cyborg pondered.

Would the Bellato named Novem participate in this Chip War?

-###-

Novus Time:00:09:25

Cora Side

Penthesilea observed the terrain around the Crag Mine through her binoculars. She didn't find anything, yet she was certain that the Accretians and the Bellateans were in the place. Slowly, the female Hunter crouched back to her party. She said.

"Let's go to the Crag Mine!" One of the Adventurer, Shireeka asked.

"Now, Commander? Isn't it too early?"

Penthesilea replied. "That's my point! Our foes don't expect that we were already there. Beside, when our party had succeeded to destroy both Control Chip, we would've claimed the Crag Mine and Holystone Guardian would be on our side…" Shireeka nodded after hearing the explanation. Then the Scout Legion began to move. At the same time, the older Hunter spoke inwardly.

Will the damn scrapmetal that killed Atalanta join this War too?If not,then my journey here was in vain

-###-

Novus Time:00:09:30

At the Cora Portal, the huge crowd had gathered and they were composed of the Warriors, Champions, Knights, Black Knights, Casters, Summoners and Warlocks. They were led by Archon "The Blond" Astra along with her Vice Archons. This time, Holy Alliance of Cora divided their force into Assault Legion, which functioned as the attackers were commanded by the Archon herself. Revin and Almasyr were in the legion. At the rear, the Legion of Force commanded by Syrissa and Teireisias. Clytemnestra and Alcyone were the member of the legion. Lastly, the Legion of Darkness, that composed of elite Black Knights, Summoners and Graziers. This legion was different from the others, because they were fanatic and won't hesitate to destroy their foes. The legion was led by Volturi. Everybody was ready to fight

Clytemnestra had wore a new armor, but still carrying Soul Returnee Staff. She looks nervous, since this was her first Chip War. Not to mention, Archon had assigned her an important task. Suddenly, someone patted her from behind.

"AIEEEEEEE!" She shouted aloud, so everyone was stared her. It was Alcyone who had patted her shoulder.

"Oh, I am sorry Sis!" the younger Spiritualist apologized. "I don't mean to…"

"That' s alright, Alcy." Cly responded. "I am…quite nervous! This is my first Chip War!"

"The feeling is mutual, Sis!" the Warlock replied. "But you had an actual fight before." Cly remembered the past events where she tried to survive. If not because of…Ranskye and Zero, she wouldn't be here today.

She said softly, "It just a stroke of luck, Alcy." Then someone else came and called her,

"How shameful…shouting in a broad daylight!" Clytemnestra looked up and saw a punk-like guy before her. His face was full of make-up and complete with red lipstick. His gestures looks feminine. She bowed.

"I am sorry, Senior Ysmar…"

The man called Ysmar, rebuked, "Do you understand? Are you want the entire scrapmetal and midgets know we were here? Shame! I myself never shouted like that,"

The young summoner bowed again, "I am terribly sorry…" Then Ysmar commented,

"Alright, I've forgiven you this time. Beside, it was your father who asked me personally to keep eye on you, but it doesn't meant I give a special treatment for you. Are we clear?" Cly nodded. The Cora guy smiled,

"Then I go first…I have something to attend first," Once he left, the speechless Alcyone immediately spoke,

"Sis, I don't understand why the Elder choose the guardian like him. Even though I am a woman, I couldn't stand with him…"

Cly shook her head, "I don't know…what I know is Ysmar was a famous Warlock. The Inquisitors once asked him to join, but he has refused. Beside, he was a veteran of the Chip War. That's why my father assigned him to keep eye on me."

"A vet? You must be joking!" Alcyone looks confused. "Probably, it wasn't wrong entirely. I also heard that he was one of the best graduate from Mage Academy. Still…" Both noticed Ysmar was making joke to the Warrior hunks. Another reason why Ysmar agreed is because Teiresias had asked him. She heard her sister commented,

"I wonder what DECEM had in mind when creating person like him."

The young Summoner chuckled, "For sure, that wasn't what you think, Alcy! Come, we'd focus to theincoming battle!"

"Yes, Sis!" As they went to join their legion, Volturi was delivered his fiery speech to his own legion.

-###-

Novus Time:00:09:45

The Accretians force was led directly by Archon TotenkopfV8. They had gathered around the Accretian portal. Its Vice Archons, Raxion and Satetsu had awaited the order beside. Not only that, Brutez66 also brought its company.

"Come on, you lazy! We must be prepared and ready for the Empire!" the Mercenary yelled to them. Gruudx76, InvictusR46 and…Zero0XR listened its order attentively. When the general briefing was going on, three of them were chattting through their USB terminals.

"Previously..." Invictus began to explain. "the past Archons preferred to attack directly. However, the victory wasn't certain with such tactics. Therefore the Empire tried another way."

"What kind of tactic they use?" Zero asked.

The Punisher replied, "You will know it soon. Archon Totenkopf always used those tactics…of course, with some variations." Then it was Gruud's turn to ask,

"According to the Commander, we'd have a mission. But what is that?"

"Our mission is to go to the Crag Mine and guard the Holystone Guardian before the other races reached it." Invictus replied.

The Accretian Gunner asked again, "Isn't that the Holystone Guardian act hostilely to all races now?"

"Yes, but then that's was our mission!"

Zero said, "I understand! When we managed to get the Control Chips, our race would claimed it since we have been there!"

"Affirmative!" At the same time, Brutez came and pulled their terminals off, while barking.

"Don't chat while briefing!" The Mercenary left them, as Gruud said,

"Our commander now was more strict than its predecessor!" Zero was silent; they got Brutez66 as their Commander because he had destroyed GungnirTIII. Inwardly, he served the Empire according to its program, but he felt that it wasn't something he wanted. He must recovered its memories by finding those people that he saw in his 'dreams'.

-###-

Novus Time:00:09:55

In other hand, the Bellato Federation sent the Armored Division. They were called the Armored Division because the entire division rode Mobile Assault Units (MAUs). To show their seriousness, three Armored Divisions was deployed together, including The 4th Armored Division. They were supported by the Force Division under Zephyrus. The Bellato Archon was Kai, an Armor Driver and his Vices were Veritas and Shinjitsu.

Kai was gathered his commanders on a command tent, circling a map. He spoke directly,

"So, we moved according to the plan. The 3rd and 5th Armored Division would protect our Control Chip, while the 6th Force Division tried to drive those Corites. The 4th Armored Division will going to punch their defensive line. Our Commando Squad under were on the way to the Crag Mine in order to keep it. They would fend the other races until we destroyed the opponent's Control Chip. Our priority was to destroy the Corites' Control Chip. After that, all the Armored Division would join to crush the Accretian line! Do you get it?"

"Yessir!" everyone shouted. When all of them dismissed, Novem went directly to Zephyr and asked.

"What's wrong? I noticed your face and it didn't looks good…"

The Wizard explained. "I had a bad feeling. We never win this fight, even for once. It happens when the last Archon recalled…"

The female Mental Smith sighed in response. "Yes, I had to admit Archon Kai was good, however he was lacking experience. Beside, we had been hampered by the faction struggle between Hydrus, Nebula…"

"Politics…" Zephyr murmured. "I hate that, but we were only the soldiers! All right, Novem! See you at the battlefield!"

Novem smiled, "You too there!"

-###-

Novus Time:00:10:10

BATTLE BEGINS!

The war drums rolled aloud! The Chip War had started!

The participants came down from the hills, while shouting to their lungs,

"SIEGEEEEEEEE! LET'S RUMBLE! UOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH!" The fighters was ready to fight!

-###-

The Corites attacked first by striking the Bellatean and Accretian position simultaneously. The Assault and Force Legion attacked the 4th Armored Division directly. One of the Sentinels gave a signal. Kai ordered,

"Armored Division, crush those maggots! Shave them all!" A group of MAU and BMAU turned around to face the incoming attack.

In other side, Astra noticed those maneouvres and shouted.

"Summoners! Templar Knight! Neutralize those MAUs!" Without a second, the Summoners called their Animus like ISIS, Paimon and Hecate. When their distances closed, the MAUs unleashed their barrage. Many fell at the Holy Alliance, but they still persisted. A single MAU tried to shot a Paimon, but instead it faced two Paimons who cut the unit down together. When the Corites focused to the MAUs, suddenly the Bellatean infantry sneaked between the fight. That wasn't escaped from the sharp-eyed Syrissa. She leaped into the battlefield and cast.

"Blind Sight! Entangle! Aqua Blade!" The mist instantly obscured the Bellatean Millers, before they screamed due to entanglement and the slash of water-based blade. The sight encouraged the Corites, especially when they saw their Vice Archon in action.

Almasyr went into the enemy ranks, while swung his gigantic sabre. Then he stopped cold when someone blocked his way.

"We meet again here." Zephyr spoke slowly. "Like what you've said few months ago."

The Cora Warrior replied, "Yes, today our fate shall be determined!" They immediately distancing themselves for a fight.

-###-

In other location, Clytemnestra and Alcyone were busy to fend themselves. The daughter of Ladenus tried hard to not harm any enemies, because she still thinking of Ranskye.

Maybe he was among them she said inwardly. Then her sister called.

"Sis, look!" They saw Ysmar was facing two BMAU by himself. One of its pilots mocked,

"Cora freak, die!" Instead Ysmar spoke softly. "Don't make me angry…" He slowly gathered Force on both hands. "…,because you won't be like it when I was angry!" When the Warlock gestured his hands, a huge pillar of lightning hit those BMAU directly. Both were fried and fell with a loud crash.

"Amazing…" Clytemnestra commented. But the stared one merely replied.

"Don't look at me like that. It made me…blushed! Never mind, we'd have a mission to do!" Then they followed Ysmar to the Crag Mine.

-###-

Novus Time:00:10:25

At the Accretian frontline, the Legion of Darkness was attacking the 7th Division, which led by Satetsu. A scout reported to the Vice-Archon.

"Vice, the Corites went to our position with full force!"

The blood-red armored Satetsu replied. "Let them come…we've been waiting them!" Nearby, Acthyon stood and gave its order.

-###-

When the Legion of Darkness arrived, they were greeted by…rows of Guard Towers that opened fire to them.

"S#%!" Volturi cursed. "Warlocks! Graziers! Take care this quickly!" While the Corites dealt with those Guard Towers, the Accretians stood behind the line without doing anything.

-###-

Novus Time:00:10:25

The Bellato force were pinned by double attacks; Novem's division were matched strength with the Totenkopf's 16 th Division. Like what the Cora faced, a group of BMAU, RMAU and GMAU were blocked by the lines of Guard Towers. The Accretian Archon glanced to the white-armored Scientist beside it.

"Unit E47, send the Grenadiers to the frontline!" ExvionE47 nodded.

"Affirmative, Archon! Grenadiers, forward!" The Grenadiers was a group of Accretian Specialists, Scientists and Engineers that used Grenade Launcher as their primary weapons. They stood behind the Guard Tower lines. As they prepared their weapons, Exvion commanded.

"Now! Throw the Stun Grenade!" The Grenadiers simultaneously threw their grenades to the enemy lines , which filled with MAUs. Those who were hit by the grenades were stunned for few seconds. Yet, the next throw was Acid and Smog Grenade. The splash of acid immediately corroded the MAU's armor, while the smog reduced their visibility. Instantly, chaos and confusion reigned amongst the Bellato force.

Trying to restore the order, Novem ordered. "Don't panic! Call the Mental Smiths to repair the damages!" The Mental Smiths immediately worked, while the Bellato Snipesr quickly picked those Grenadiers one by one.

-###-

Novus Time:00:10:35

Crescendo's platoon had went far into the Crag Mine. Often, they met the Warrior and Spell Lazhuardians, which they took care quickly. Crescendo himself fought against a single Warrior with his axe. Biting his lips, he shouted.

"Beast Eye!" He avoided the slash quickly, and then followed with,

"Double Crash!" The Warrior didn't know what coming to him, as the Berserker chopped it into pieces. Ranskye was busy protecting his comrade, when he heard the Commander called.

"We're behind the schedule! Move your ass quickly!" They trailed the staircase downward.

-###-

Novus Time:00:10:48

Meanwhile, the Cora Scouting Legion was on the same trail. But Penthesilea had decided to wait. Shireeka asked again.

"Sis, I thought you've said that we go first. Now whom are you waiting for?"

"There was someone I had to wait…" the female Hunter replied; annoyance was visible on her face. Suddenly someone behind them warned.

"Someone is coming!" Instantly, the entire legion pointed their loaded weapons toward the incoming person…Ysmar!

"OMG! You almost made me having a heart attack!" the gay Warlock shouted.

"You…I should be the one who said that!" Penthesilea retaliated. "I thought you were a Bellato or an Accretian!" At the same time, Cly and Alcy followed.

"Sorry, we're late!" they said.

Penthesilea responded. "Never mind, you are come at the right time! Come in!" The group went downstairs until they arrived at a open space filed with Ores. But that wasn't the one who attracted the Corites. Instead…

"By DECEM…that was…" Clytemnestra was unable to continue. The others were silent. Shireeka looks frightened after she saw something.

TO BE CONTINUED

Author's Note: We move from Critters to Chip War. I am sorry for waiting so long.