Chapter 5421 Adding Fuel to the Fire
The lightning birds actually inflicted considerably more damage to the components of the Elemental Lord while the machine was in flight.
The lack of grounding caused the golden current to bounce around inside the mech frame a lot longer, thereby disrupting the internals to a considerably greater extent!
If not for the fact that every lightning bird not only carried the power of destruction but also the power of creation, the repeated strikes would have caused the vulnerable internal systems to fail a lot sooner!
Even so, the restorative effects of the tribulation lightning only provided the greatest benefits when the mech components only sustained light to moderate damage.
Any part that had either broken down completely or sustained serious damage could not be magically restored to full functionality again!
All of this meant that in order for the Elemental Lord to strengthen its capabilities and survive to the very end, it had to repeatedly expose its mech frame to a relatively controlled amount of tribulation lightning.
Blocking everything might be good in the short run, but it would doom the drone mech at the later stages of this lightning tribulation!
Allowing the Elemental Lord to get struck by powerful current in every wave would definitely boost its strength at the highest possible rate, but its parts would collapse too quickly before it could get past the first three or four rounds.
The living mech that aspired to dominate the elements had to strike a careful balance in order to meet both its short term and long term needs!
Ves, Major Jankowski and the Elemental Lord quickly shared their own conclusions with each other.
"You need to land the Elemental Lord to the ground when the birds are just about to hit." Ves quickly advised.
"Good idea. The earth fey's ammunition reserves are too limited. It is best to save the remaining rounds for later."
"You are right about your concerns, but I have made sure to stock up on a lot of additional rounds back in Diandi Base. I originally procured them in order to provide enough ammunition to conduct extensive tests, but they can provide handy reloads for us. I can instruct my assistant to ship them over. The earth fey should be able to load the magazines by itself. I purposefully designed it this way to prolong its usefulness on the battlefield."
That relieved a major concern for Major Jankowski. He was afraid that the small earth fey would only be able to make use of its weapon system for a short amount of time.
Chirp! Chirp! Chirp! Chirp!
"The next wave is coming!"
Ves used his access to the Elemental Lord's systems to study the properties of the noticeably larger swarm of lightning birds.
Not only had every energy bird grown a little more powerful than before, but their quantity had also increased by 30 percent from the last wave!
This was a significant finding because the 20th wave had also been 30 percent more numerous than the 19th wave.
If this compounding pattern continued all the way to the 27th wave, then the storm clouds would spit out so many lightning birds that they would blanket the skies!
Ves couldn't imagine how the current state of the Elemental Lord could possibly resist such a wave of attacks!
He felt a much greater sense of urgency. The Elemental Lord needed to utilize its power of the elements in an offensive capacity a lot better in order to deal with the next waves!
At this time, the Elemental Lord followed the same strategy as before and sought to kite the incoming lightning birds while launching repeated ranged attacks.
That was not all. Both Major Jankowski and the Elemental Lord knew they had to do better in order to stay ahead of the curve.
The fire fey was working hard to control more fire-attributed E energy, but it became a lot harder to do so while it was on the move!
"Use the wood fey to assist the fire fey." Ves quickly advised.
The wood fey was a little odd compared to the rest. Ves had not been able to figure out a spur configuration that corresponded with its element.
After all, who would be crazy enough to use wood in a metallic mech?
There were only a few variations of tree species that could produce wood that was strong enough to be utilized in high-end mechs, but their rarity was too high.
Ves had decided to pair the wood fey with a space suppressor in order to play a constricting role on the battlefield.
The space suppressor served no particular use at this time. The lightning tribulation did not rely on any notable spatial effects, so there was nothing for the wood fey to suppress.
However, that also left the wood fey free to utilize its power over wood-attributed energy to a greater degree.
It just so happened that the lands surrounding Diandi Base happened to be filled with grassy plains and patches of forests.
Most of the flora consisted of fast-growing, genetically modified plant species.
That did not change the fact that all of this greenery attracted a lot of nature energy.
In fact, certain species of plants had even started to mutate into more extraordinary species due to continuous exposure to E energy radiation, causing them to release significantly more wood energy as a result!
All of this provided an environment where the wood fey felt a lot more at home. There was a significantly greater quantity of wood energy for it to manipulate, and right now the living fey tried to channel as much of it as possible to the fire fey with the intent to add more fuel to the fire.
It took a while, but once enough wood fey got fed to the fire fey, the latter finally managed to produce a small purple conflagration as soon as it fired another purple fire beam!
The fire energies attracted by the fire fey successfully ignited and started to burn a quarter of the lightning birds that had come close to reaching their target.
While the strange tribulation lightning manifestations were able to withstand light hits, the purple flames happened to be damaging enough to pop the birds in just a short moment of contact.
In the end, the surviving lightning birds of the 21th wave had dwindled to a smaller quantity than before, which was just enough to give the Elemental Lord another dose of creative destruction!
Ves' hair turned more and more frazzled as over a dozen small golden currents ran through his body.
Lucky looked a little rattled as well as his archetech body began to absorb part of the power of the tribulation lightning!
Though Ves did not spot any obvious changes to his gem cat, he was sure that Lucky was benefiting from this exposure.
"The next wave is already coming." Major Jankowski warned.
The 22nd tribulation attack looked a lot more intimidating than before. Just as expected, there were 30 percent more lightning birds from the last wave, and each individual manifestation also happened to be a little stronger as well!
The sheer quantity of lightning birds started to form an oppressive aura that pressed down on the Elemental Lord.
However, the newly born mech seemed to know no fear. It clung to its identity as a master of the five elements and sought to take down even more birds this time!
The drone mech and its spurs had begun to kite the lightning birds like before. Energy beams along with the occasional physical round slammed against numerous birds at once as they seemed to squeeze into a line in their efforts to intercept their target.
The intelligence of these birds was not high, and their speed remained relatively constant as well.
This made it easier for Major Jankowski and the Elemental Lord to exploit the lightning birds.
Many birds fell from the repeated attacks, but many more were still in the process of closing the distance.
Ves already calculated that the Elemental Lord was bound to surfer more serious damage if it could not eliminate most of these birds!
"You need to produce a flame this time! It is best if you can turn it into a living form that can actively move around and burn more lightning birds."
"We are already working on it, sir!" Major Jankowski responded. "It is far more difficult to accomplish this than we thought. I do not think we will be able to present our new solution in time to defend against this wave!"
The birds eventually arrived so quickly that the fire fey was forced to fall back on producing simple flames that were fueled by wood energy.
Though the purple fire that exploded to life in front of the Elemental Lord was bigger this time, the lightning birds annoyingly did not maintain their impromptu column formation but actively spread out in a hemisphere pattern!
This meant that the purple flame only took down 40 percent of the lightning birds, leaving the remainder to strike against the main mech!
"Use the fey to block a part of the birds!"
The Elemental Lord had abruptly landed on the ground this time. The fey hurriedly converged and blocked the direct paths to the most important and vulnerable exterior modules.
The fey did their jobs. Though their relatively small silhouettes meant that they could only block a small amount of lightning birds, that was good because their damage tolerance was a lot lower.
The quantity of birds that made it through was still a bit worrisome, and their small increase in power also had a stronger adverse effect on the mech frame.
Ves shook his head to clear the noise in his head.
"We cannot use the same response to resist the next wave of attacks. Too many birds will get through if that is the case. The fire fey needs to have a better solution available right away!"
"We are still working on it, sir, but the fire fey is confident he will be ready this time."
When the 23nd wave of attacks launched from the storm clouds, the quantity of lightning birds generated a significantly greater aura of oppression.
Ordinary individuals would have become paralyzed with fear if they became subjected to this effect!
Ves grew a lot more concerned, but when the lightning birds finally came close enough, the fire fey harnessed more fire energy than ever while the wood fey provided as much support as possible!
Their combined efforts finally produced a more notable result than before because a relatively small but concentrated purple phoenix emerged in front of the incoming birds!
Although it was not a real phoenix, the fire construct was just realistic enough to fly and actively hunt down every lightning bird within reach!
A lot more of the birds fell prey to the purple phoenix as the latter moved under the fire fey's direction.
With a constant supply of wood energy feeding the flames, the purple phoenix did not have to worry about burning out for a short while!
However, the strain of keeping this aggressive phoenix active and under control was taking a severe toll on the young and weak fire fey.
The phoenix abruptly dissipated after it had flown a bit too far away, but by now the quantity of lightning birds was just a fraction as much as before.
Ves grinned through the pain. He became jubilant when he saw that his Elemental Lord had successfully harnessed the power of the elements in a more effective way.
While there was still a long way to go to make it to the end, his new mech at least showed that it was capable of improving quickly!
At the same time, his jolts of tribulation lightning was actively strengthening his body, mind and spirit in small increments. Ves could clearly sense that his body was somehow growing larger and more massive without actually looking any different.
This was a sign that he was slowly making progress in his phase lord cultivation, all without needing to absorb any additional phasewater or biomass!
Perhaps normal phase whales and phase lords needed to supplement their physical growth with a huge amount of resources, but somehow Ves was exempt from this rule.
He did not have the time to figure out why this was the case.
He was much more concerned about whether the Elemental Lord could produce an even larger phoenix next time.
"It's coming again! Get ready!"