Chapter 54: A+A (II)
“Sir, we have successfully linked Via City’s signal station, but the signal is extremely unstable and can only monitor the scene on a very irregular basis, to briefly transmit a code.” A liaison reported.
In front of the control panel, a straight as a ramrod man in the military uniform was staring at the screen without blinking. The side of his handsome face was very distinct. His age was only about thirty and the gold star and badge on his shoulder showed his brigadier general rank.
On the screen were 24 different scenes of various angles from the cameras. The scenes would occasionally show static and rippling due to the bad signal.
“Eh? Who is the second lieutenant wearing the commander ring right now?” A captain by the brigadier general was staring at one of the videos and asked in bewilderment.
Within the video, a young second lieutenant was commanding the soldiers to oppose the anthropods. His facial expression was full of unswerving determination and a bit dusty. His eyes were bright and sharp while his right hand wore the commander ring that shone in the dusky battlefield.
The commander ring was assigned to the battle commander during conflicts. It was used to ascertain their identity, issue a signal order and be a notice to prevent soldiers from falling into confusion due to not finding their commander.
After Via City was trapped, the deployment of the army, battle reserves, military strength and the officers information all appeared at the military department table. Brigadier General Rhine Lancelot was the chief commander in charge of support this time. He was well aware of the basic situation within Via City. He stared at the Shang Ke within the video and spoke, “He is a graduating student of Royal Military University, Filmore. He was dispatched to Via City for this time’s inspection mission.”
“What? A graduate?” Captain Lin Jie had a face of disbelief, “How could they give the commander role to a graduate that doesn’t have any battle experience?”
Rhine did not reply, instead, he ordered the liaison to quickly establish a connection with Via City.
Half an hour later, the liaison reported, “Reporting to sir, we have just received news. The superior officers have almost all died in battle, only one seriously injured captain remains and over nineteen thousand soldiers have died. The current one in charge of commanding is the second lieutenant Filmore.”
“Over nineteen thousand soldiers have died in only three days while almost all of the superior officers have died in battle?” Lin Jie and the others were all shocked, “That’s impossible!”
Rhine stared at the monitor for a long time, then spoke, “The information was flawed, the invasion from the anthropods this time are not the beetles, but variants.”
The variants and the beetles look very similar, it was hard to tell them apart with just the naked eye. What was different between them was that the female variants could produce venom spawns from its back, which are small. Their jumping power was strong, their movement speed fast and their limbs are sharp. They could rip apart skin in moments and skewer the human body while also releasing a nerve paralysis poison.
What was even frightening was that the time to produce the venom spawns only needed three hours. In other words, every three hours, it was possible that there would be a venon spawn group attack.
Among the millions of variants, even if only a third of them are female, the numbers of youngs they could produce was still a fearful amount.
Rhine had only just spoken when they could see countless fist size venom spawns shooting out from the sea of bugs. They crossed over the defense wall and smashed into the interior of Via City like hail.
The soldiers raised the light shield and heard the pitter-patter striking sounds as countless venom spawns rushed into the interior of the defensive line and started to fight in close range with the soldiers. Under the situation where equipment and emergency measures were all prepared, withstanding their attacks would not be a problem. But in another two to three days where their weapons become weared down, their situation would dramatically change. They have to kill as many bugs as they could before the soldiers lose their fighting strength.
“Sir, be careful.” Just while he was in the midst of thinking, a venom spawn suddenly jumped out from the side and headed for Shang Ke’s throat. The two soldiers not too far from him paled at the sight. They were just about to jump in and save him when they saw Shang Ke’s figure move backwards half a step and the venom spawn went by his throat with a five centimeter distance. Soon after, a dagger flew out and firmly nailed it to the wall.
The soldiers were dumbstruck, that flying dagger skill thoroughly stunned them. In the several days Filmore have been at Via City, he always showed average skills. The soldiers impression of him was still at “handsome appearance, extravagant spender, a young master that did not know the difficulties of the world.” But now that they see his skills, they couldn’t help but change their opinion greatly.
Shang Ke’s strengthened Intermediate Martial Arts would not be a surprising sight in the cultivation world where experts were everything. But in this world that mainly relied on technology and science, it was a very uncommon thing. This was also the only skill he could count on right now that would determine his life and death through this battle.
“Yo, this little second lieutenant’s skill is pretty good.” Lin Jie whistled at the scene from the video. In those two to three seconds, the other had only moved half a step and swung his arm and easily solved a crisis, showcasing his exceptional reaction speed and adaptations.
Lin Jie took out Filmore’s school file and skimmed over it. He frowned, “His comprehensive grade from school is actually this bad?”
Rhine had also read that file beforehand, so he did not say anything.
“Brigadier General, do you think he is able to undertake this heavy responsibility? Should we suggest to their senior officer to choose another commander?”
“Changing the commander just before battle is not proper.” Rhine’s gaze was deep as he seriously paid attention to every move from Shang Ke.
Lin Jie no longer spoke. As a matter of fact, the outside world no longer held any hope for Via City that was in the middle of the anthropod sandstorm. The fighters in the city were foreordained to died in this battle. And their sacrifice would save hundred thousands of lifes and be a decisive battle.
The only thing the other people could do was to record the battle and be used as proof to conferred them titles as martyrs.
As the wave of venom spawns attacked, the anthropods did not stop and continued to attack without knowing of tiredness. They would only somewhat rest and reorganize the three hours between day and night. The soldiers would also have the chance to rest and catch their breath during this period.
Shang Ke ordered someone to make an inventory of what was left in reserve. The speed of weapon usage was faster than he anticipated, it would only last around five more days. Although he had known earlier that this would be a long and difficult battle, the real situation still made his mood somewhat heavy.
The first day passed, one thousand two hundred soldiers died in battle.
The second day passed, two thousand three hundred and seventy-five soldiers died in battle.
The third day passed, the fourth day… the total number of soldiers that have died already reached twenty thousand. It was increasing by leaps and bounds everyday.
This was the first time Shang Ke experienced such a tragic and realistic war as he watched the soldiers collapse one by one. The people alive didn’t even have the time to arrange the remains of the dead, the floor was full of ruined limbs and bloodstains and the smell of blood that filled his nose along with the foul tart smell of bodies.
The soldier’s spirits were devastated and their faces held despair. Their expressions were empty as if they have lost their soul.
On the fifth day, the weapon warehouse was pretty much empty. The soldiers weapons empty of bullets and wore clothing full of tears as they confronted the wave of bugs outside the defensive line. All the people wore faces filled with the breath of death.
The people that were watching the screens could all feel the vivid despair and powerlessness.
Have they reached their limit?
A new attack of venom spawns happened again, the rain of black bugs like a storm poured down. The soldiers raised their heads at the dusky sky, that appeared as if black holes were forming one after another. The physically overdrafted them, no matter if it’s reaction speed or movement, they all became very slow. For a moment, only a few moved at all.
“What are you guys doing standing around!” An angry shout broke the deathly stillness and they could see the figure jumping highly, the light of his blade flickering as he slashed venom spawns into two. Large amounts of green mucus splashed into the air as he done so.
Shang Ke’s figure flipped and he firmly landed on his feet, his long sword sweeping as he roared, “Without a gun or artillery shell, you guys don’t know how to use a sword or pike?”
While he spoke, he killed four to five more venom spawns. His efficiency was actually higher than when he used a gun.
However, most of the soldiers have already lost their will to fight. They merely resisted a bit without any true will before letting the venom spawn ripping them apart.
Shang Ke did not fear death, but he wanted to live more than anyone else. Even if everyone else gave up hope, he would not give up. Not only was it for the mission, it was also to find him.
Shang Ke’s figure flashed under the attack of the venom spawns, his long sword moving as if doing a dance and he displayed the power of his martial arts to the peak. He wholeheartedly threw himself into battle. His face and body were dirtied with green mucus, the buttons of his uniform had all fell off so his messy clothes moved and flipped with his movements. The sharp longsword shone a golden light under the evening light. The commander ring on his finger was like the eye of a brave, coldly and fearlessly watching this bloody world.
The bodies of bugs piled up on the ground, the red blood and limpid green mixed together to form an intense contrast that irritated everyone’s eyeballs.
The hearts of the soldiers acted as if it had received a boost and their will to fight that had already burnt out once more lit. One after another, they raised their weapons and roared, joining the battle…
The battle lasted two hours. While the sun and moon exchanged places, the anthropods temporarily retreated, leaving the fighters about three hours of time to rest.
Shang Ke leaned against the wall, his head drooping. Beads of sweat mixed with mucus slowly dripped down onto the sword he had place horizontally across his legs.
“Sir, eat something.” A soldier arrived before Shang Ke with some nutrient fluid. Seeing the injuries between the web of his thumb and forefinger, and his hands full of blood, admiration shone in the soldier’s eyes.
“Thank you.” Shang Ke took the nutrient fluid and did not immediately drink it. Rather, he silently observed around him. Although the scenery was still tragic, the soldiers were a bit more lively than before. They have, after all used normal weapons to successfully withstand the venom spawns attack, obtaining a great victory.
Shang Ke replenished his strength a bit then shouted for a platoon captain, ordering them to use shoot a hypnosis shell at the bugs two hours later.
The platoon captain was amazed, “We still have a hypnosis shell?”
“There are only fifteen.” Shang Ke replied, “There isn’t much of an effect on them during the battle, but now they are tired, using it would lengthen their dormant time.”
This was the last of their ammunition, Shang Ke had specifically left it for crucial points.
The platoon captain immediately went to the warehouses to get the shell once he was given the order.
Two hours later, fifteen hypnosis shells were shot out. The white fog slowly rose and quickly covered the bugs.
As Shang Ke expected, using the hypnosis shell now postponed the bug’s attack and also gave time for the soldiers to rest more.
There were forty thousand soldiers left, their ammunition were empty with three fighter aircrafts. Their defense wall was in an unusable state as well. They had to last another six days while relying on purely close combat weapons.
Shang Ke turned his head to look at the deep darkness outside the defense wall. A light lamp floated in air, giving his eyes a touch of golden halo. The bloodstain and mucus he hadn’t washed off made his fair face look like a night spirit that had just experienced the fire of war.
This scene was caught by an invisible electronic eye and sent to another cmap several hundred meters outside.
Rhine sat within the commander room. Through the video, he stared into those beautiful eyes. The battle at dusk replayed itself in his mind. The brave way the young second lieutenant fought and his graceful and flexible martial moves aroused his will to fight in moments.
If he could, he wished that this man could survive.
At this moment, the young second lieutenant in the video moved. He got up and passed by a couple other electronic eyes then entered the commander room. Rhine could not see the situation inside, he was very curious, did this young second lieutenant thinkt up of a countermeasure for dealing with the situation?
On the sixth day, the battle continued.
Shang Ke took the lead like always, holding his long sword, he killed everything in his way.
Without any firearms, using just cold steel weapons and martial skills to fight the anthropods was no doubt a great test of the soldier’s strength and perseverance.
Very soon, there were soldiers that couldn’t hold on anymore. Their breathing came heavily and large amount of sweat poured from them. The scene before their eyes were marred by a white fog and they could barely stand upright anymore.
One soldier fell down, then a second, third and fourth one followed… it was like an infection, more and more soldiers withdrew from the fight.
Forget it, why are they working hard? The only thing awaiting them was death anyway. The soldier’s expression were dim, the negative thoughts once again bubbled up.
Right at this moment, a large amount of mucus splashed onto the soldiers faces. In their hazy view, a tall and straight figure was still fighting the bugs in a fierce battle.
It was second lieutenant Filmore, their commander.
He hasn’t fallen yet, he was still persevering.
One hours, two hour… five hours… the other soldiers took turns fighting, only their commander did not rest.
Several hours of nonstop fighting, they could tell that their second lieutenant was already extremely tired. His movements became slower and the intervals of his fights longer and longer until finally, even his footsteps staggered a bit.
However, he still has not given up. He was still fighting.
The eyes of the soldiers started to feel hot as a surge of bravery went through them.
“Sir, let us do it!” One of the soldiers couldn’t help but yell, “Please rest for a bit!”
“Yes! Leave it to us!” Other soldiers pitch in loudly as well.
Shang Ke wiped the blood from his mouth and smiled, “Are you guys sure you guys can hold down the forte?”
“Of course!” The soldiers roared together.
“Haha, alright.” Shang Ke stabbed a bug to death with a flip of his hand, then pointed a finger at the soldiers. “I will give you guys thirty minutes to settle the bugs in this area.”
Yes!” The soldier’s battle spirits raged and they raised their weapons, howling as they charged the group of bugs.
Thirty minutes later, Shang Ke joined the fighting group again and the soldiers once again become bolder and more powerful. The presence of an alpha would usually be rejected by each other, but not Shang Ke’s, his was like a hormone that stimulated the soldier’s spirit and have their shine like it was their second spring, their blood racing.
As long as their commander doesn’t fall, no matter how tired they were, they would still grit their teeth and persevere.
This young second lieutenant was their pillar and will now, as well as their hope for survival.
The people outside that all believed that the Via City soldiers would not be able to hold on due to lack of weapon and equipment, yet they relied on will and stubbornly preserved until the seventh day.
And on that day, the command unit reported a good news to Shang Ke. They have found the anthropod Queen.