Zetsubo stared at the giant machine that just stepped on of the ground, and began formulating a plan, He would flip hop up onto one of the diamond's shoulders, then place his hand on his shield and throw himself spinning towards Rembrandt, landing somewhere between his kneecap and his foot. He would then climb as far as he could up the giant machine's leg as he could. He would find a stable looking piece to hang on to, and he'd stay there until he felt the need to continue on his own.
Behind the massive machine, but before the troops, Cappadocius seemingly rose out of the ground, more with every step. It was as if he were climbing stairs out of the ground.
For better or worse, he assumed Aaron knew of him, how they were friendly units due to his agreement with Felicia.
His dress was different from his typical vampyric self. He wore oriental dress, a face cover that merely said, "Death," and for some reason had talons and wings of a bird. The Deathscythe was in Talwar form. He wanted some fun too.
He shouted toward the head of the machine, having seen it form out of the ground. "Lightbringer, permission to attack the enemy as a team?"
Well-instructed beforehand, the Iron Dawn troops kept up their fire. The crew of the Righteous Intent rushed to bring the backup generator online. They'd found another device in the temple, but it required an external power source. Having seen mechs in use by the HO during their last encounter, this find had been quite opportune.
The backup arc generator roared to life, the internal magnets perpetually spinning its core turbine at a blinding speed. The current flowed through several thick cables, down from the ship to the mountainside below, and to the base of the giant statue in the circle of pillars outside the temple.
Stone cracked and ground together as the ancient, enchanted machine roared to life. Large, blocky fingers began to seperate from one another, cracking away cemented dirt and grime as the golem, the temple's massive guardian seemed to flex and pose, limbering up while looking around at the scene below it. Some force was aggressing toward the temple. Its enchantment too simplistic and vague to determine intent, it stepped gingerly over the front lines and charged thunderously toward Aaron's suit of armor.
The deck gun on the Intent and its loading crew were working overtime, launching volley after volley at the frontal wave of inbound HO troops, hoping the sheer size of the round, and the subsequent explosions would shake them apart in their armor. Hopefully, the gatling guns lining most of the gun ports and their enchanted ammunition would do more if the big guns proved ineffective.
Junto and Jun met each other in a blank space. The sky above them was a dark, but vibrant red, the earth below them was plain, brown dirt. There were blood-red clouds on the horizon, but not a single sign of wind to move them any closer. They both recognized this place. They had crafted it together, when they were one person. It was the home plane of their immortal fighting arena. As they realized this, the arena rose around them as it had stood so many millenia ago by their age.
Jun stood stoic, facing the cleric that made up everything he'd given up wanting to be, everything that had kept him from peace. Even now that he had removed these qualities from himself, enough of him remained invested in them to warrant Junto's existence. Perhaps he'd been to hasty. Perhaps the separation had been a cheap short-cut to his current level of existence.
Junto stared back at Jun and grinned, walking straight up to him. "Do you like it," he asked, grabbing Jun by the collar of his robes. "I do. I remember how it was. Glorious in its day. Heroes fought here. Shiro Ooka, Saoshyant, Jing Ten..." He trailed off when he thought of the last name, but shook it off, the memories of loving someone who was unclean not of chief importance right now.
"You threw them all away. Your half decided they weren't important. I'm here to take the power to run away from things from you. I'm going to make the decisions from now on." With that, his hand slipped in to Jun's head. "I've been practicing how to use this device. Apparently... I just reach right in and demand that your spirit submit to mine. Special properties of the device will help prevent you from negating my behavior with that iron will you're so infamous for." He smiled again, enjoying the ethereal sensation of having his hand in someone's mind. "The people who built this place never accounted for misuse of this manner."
Jun stood frozen in place, feeling Junto reaching into his spirit, searching him for valuables like a burglar ransacking a house. The sensation was... unpleasant.
After hearing Jack's threat on-board his ship, the pair of eye-slits in his machine's helmet seemed to roar to life with an azure light. The wings on the helmet almost seemed to flex, and the hands' grip on their sword tightened. "BETTER IDEA!" He shouted. "IF I FIND VIVIAN DEAD, I KILL YOU! UNDERSTAND?! YOUR LIFE IS IN YOUR OWN HANDS!" He shouted, and there was a roar behind the voice, the confidence behind it complete to an almost surreal level.
His gaze turned down to Som, and the mecha's with it. "... Better idea. You get on-board and save her, alright? But be careful. The ship is warded. When you set foot on it, things will happen," he stated...
... And it was then that he heard stone grinding to life. When it did, Aaron brought his sword to bear, pointing the patently massive blade forward with intent to strike. Where he stood, the guard towers and the Intent would be unable to even get through to the Order's troops. Aaron was using his machine's form to protect them... But that would have to end.
Aaron had a few ideas in mind for how to neutralize the defenses. And the Temple Guardian coming to life brought one more to mind.
"YYYYYYY-EEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!" He roared furiously; He didn't give the golem the chance to meet him where he stood, but instead lunged forward to meet it, putting all of his mech's strength behind it with the hope of knocking it down. If he succeeded at that, he might be able to use its own weight to take out the exterior defenses.
Diamond Squad took a box formation surrounding the other groups when the mecha broke free, and immediately adjusted their shields, before locking them together. They could establish a kind of energy-shell barrier this way that would be much more effective than any single shield, and in this case, enchanted rounds would be a mistake. However, peppering them with mundane rounds of high quality and effect might get through after a time, as the shields wouldn't get any power-boost from them - they seemed to have an energy-drain effect.
The giant golem ground into the dirt and stone at its feet as Aaron's mech collided with it, but where his armor had gaps, ornaments, and pilot space, the giant construct had only dense stone. It leaned in to the attack, seeming to almost relish a fight after its long hibernation. One large stone fist came up in a jab for the would-be ribs of the mech that had ground its advance to a halt.
As that happened, the mech staggered, but immediately the massive sword was brought to bear, and Aaron slapped at the stone golem's side with the flat of the blade, applying as much crushing force as he could muster. The machine moved smoothly, quickly, where the momentum and weight of it said it shouldn't have been possible. Furthermore, the blow to its would-be ribcage hadn't felt quite so hollow. The armor certainly had something within, though whether this was for further defensive capability, or some kind of 'core' had yet to be seen.
"Very well." His attire turned red, and gained armor. It was battle time.
Suddenly, a rocky sphere appeared from the ground, encompassing Som perfectly. The rock sphere sunk into the ground, and soon thereafter was spat out at a frightening speed. The sphere was headed directly at the airship. The rock was about three times Som's height in diameter, and was hurtling up through the air like a rocket.
Jack snorted at the weak threat he received in return for his own. "You must be Aaron. You'd best watch yourself, child. You've got an awful temper." He smirked and jogged to the armory. The rounds they were using seemed to have little effect on the HO battle formation below. He grabbed cases of experimental incendiary and lighting rounds for the Gatling guns and a number of plain, armor piercing rounds for the deck gun. With the force they exerted maybe those tower shields would prove less formidable.
Jack frowned, knowing it would be easier if Junto was here, simply able to dispel most basic magic, making circumventing the dual-shield presented by the phalanx of troops on the ground below. He had a deck-hand haul the crates to the various weapons that needed them and helped load the deck gun himself, adjusting it to send the first armor-piercing shell right into the center of the HO formation.
As he fired the shot from the gun himself he felt an impact shake him to the ground. Something had struck the armor-clad side of the ship. He looked over the edge of the deck and spotted the remains of a large stone spike wedged into the hull. He barked orders to knock it loose to keep them from losing altitude and keep them on target.
Zetsubo then took the chance he felt as the armor rocked back, Hoping down and grabbing onto the under skirt, sliding down to the bottom then redirecting his momentum by grabbing hold of the skirt and flicking his legs out. Though what he ran into, wasn't what he thought it would be. He was now hurtling towards the gigantic stone golem. He wrapped his body into a ball as small as he could go and would smack into the golem where he did. Course, Zetsubo hoped that the golem moved, cause he was on a direct course for the entrance, give or take a couple feet, it was hard to aim when so far away.