Translator: Irene Editor: CakeHermit
Intersection of Soundwave Street and Brightflower Street.
“Lou Lan, how do I look?” Fatty asked Lou Lan while striking different poses.
Wearing the Steady Mountain heavy armor made him look like a moving fort. He held the door-like Ironwood Shield in his hand and carried the big fire tank, an even more eye-catching weapon, on his back, effectively becoming a focal point.
“Very powerful!” Lou Lan was generous with his praise. “Fatty is gifted with great strength. I can make you some turtle dragon miracle soup to unleash your potential. It is extremely effective.”
At Lou Lan’s mention of soup, Fatty’s face turned ugly. He shook his head hurriedly. “Lou Lan, I’m not falling for your trick!”
They arrived half an hour before the scheduled time.
The wide intersection was already filled with groups of troops awaiting orders. They were going to be attacking in the same wave as Ai Hui and his team.
Holding onto Cirrus, Shi Xueman walked beside Ai Hui and said in a low voice, “The situation is looking bad. I asked around and the damage is disastrous. Many teams were dispatched but only a few came back safely. Our advancing speed is not ideal, only half the street is reclaimed.”
“This is just throwing lives away.” Jiang Wei commented helplessly.
“What do we have other than our lives?” Duanmu Huanghun responded.
Duanmu Huanghun’s words hit the nail right on the head, leaving everyone in silence.
Suddenly, a commotion sounded from up front.
“Help me! I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die! Save me…”
“I want to go home… I want to go home… Hu hu… Mother…”
The attack teams in the previous wave were retreating from Soundwave Street and only twelve fighters remained. They looked dazed, their gazes vacant with bodies covered in blood stains. Worse, the wounded were lying on rattan stretchers dragged by sand puppets. They were badly injured and some body parts were missing, exposing large amounts of flesh. Some curled up and quivered in pain, letting out blood-curdling screams and howls. Some lay motionless with a lifeless expression on their faces. It was as if their bodies had no soul, not even a tiny murmur or whisper was heard.
Those awaiting battle became restless. Their faces were all tensed up and their bodies trembled uncontrollably. Fear and dread spread like ripples.
“They’re throwing our lives away! They’re trying to kill us!”
Someone within the crowd shrieked agitatedly, dashed out from the formation, and ran far away.
He was extremely fast. As he was about to disappear around the corner of the street, an arrow suddenly appeared in his chest out of nowhere. He staggered a little, staring at his chest blankly, unable to make a sound. All the strength left his body and he lay paralyzed on the ground.
Everyone was shocked by what they had just seen. The spacious road was filled with a deathly stillness.
“Deserters will not be pardoned!”
The imposing, deep voice rang in the sky and echoed within the hearts of those present. They were struck dumb. Immediately, all the commotion was constrained.
"This person fled just before the battle and will be reported directly to the chief association. All rights and privileges enjoyed by his immediate family members will be taken away and the whole clan will be severely punished. I advise everybody here not to depend on luck. Those who died fighting are honorable and those who withdraw will live in perpetual shame. Think carefully!”
The elementalist spread open his azure wings and stood proudly, face expressionless.
Ai Hui looked up and made eye contact with the man, unable to restrain the astonishment he felt. That shot was so amazing. It had appeared on the runaway’s body even before he managed to see it.
He was totally unable to detect the trajectory of that arrow!
That meant that he would also be unable to dodge that arrow.
He quivered inwardly. The satisfaction he’d gotten from understanding [Misty Strike] and [Oblique Slash] flew out the window. He sent a deep look towards the elementalist before retracting his gaze.
Like Ai Hui, Duanmu Huanghun looked up towards the sky. The shock he felt was even more intense, his gaze filled with unconcealable heat and thirst.
“The move in [Heaven Bow] should be [Scarless Heaven Bow].” Shi Xueman glanced at the elementalist in midair. “A bow-related inheritance passed down within the Sky Edge Division. He must have served in the Sky Edge Division.”
She knew the Thirteen Divisions better than anyone else.
“Ignore him,” said Ai Hui before adding, “Are we attacking from Soundwave Street or Brightflower Street?”
“Soundwave.” Shi Xueman snapped out of it and answered hurriedly. She had long forgotten about finding trouble with Ai Hui.
She couldn’t be as heartless as him. Having a hundred students placed under her supervision was tremendously pressuring. She felt even more tense after seeing the plight of the last wave of fighters.
Idle theorizing gave her no sense of security at this point. She saw the fear in her teammates’ eyes and felt even more uneasy. She suspected that they might undergo a mental breakdown first.
The current situation was everything that the books warned against. The leader was a rookie and the team was made up of rookies who lacked training and morale. There was also a lack of understanding between the commander and soldiers...
Her only sense of security came from Ai Hui, who had been expressionless all this while, so she hurriedly snapped out of it upon seeing that he wanted to have a battle discussion. Earlier, he’d looked so unconcerned that she’d wanted so badly to prick him.
“Anyone familiar with Soundwave Street?” asked Ai Hui.
“Let me ask around.” Jiang Wei turned and walked amongst the team, quickly bringing out a member. It was Huo Yuanlong, who had already suffered fifty whips. “He’s very familiar with this area.”
“Let’s hear about the situation at Soundwave Street,” said Ai Hui directly.
“Why must I tell you?” Huo Yuanlong glared at Ai Hui as a cold smile formed on his lips, anger flickering in his eyes.
Oh no, Shi Xueman thought to herself.
“Because you don’t want to die.” Ai Hui looked him straight in the eye, continuing frankly, “I don’t care what happened earlier. If you don’t co-operate, I will make you stand at the frontline.”
“You’re threatening me?” Huo Yuanlong snarled. He was about to burst with rage.
Huo Yuanlong’s bellow caught everyone’s attention. Even the team beside them looked over, gloating.
“That’s right.” Surprisingly, Ai Hui did not deny it but coolly admitted it instead.
The anger within Huo Yuanlong disappeared without a trace, as if a bucket of ice water had been poured over his head. Ai Hui remained expressionless and his tone was as calm as ever, as if he had just been talking about ordinary matters.
Huo Yuanlong suddenly felt a little intimidated. This unusual calmness scared him.
No raising his voice, no anger, no clenching his teeth, and no unnecessary menace. He had a feeling that Ai Hui would do it.
Ai Hui’s answer had quieted the whole crowd.
“How… dare you?” Huo Yuanlong did not detect the slight tremble in his own voice.
“I’m the leader of this team. If you disobey my orders you will be dealt with by martial law. That arrow earlier? Martial law.” Ai Hui replied steadily and emotionlessly.
The students felt a chill in their hearts when they saw the complete change in Ai Hui’s gaze.
Ai Hui’s words were calm, bare, and raw, without reasoning and without trying to convince them. He was merely narrating a simple fact.
An ice-cold, unsentimental fact.
Huo Yuanlong was now totally afraid. In fact, he felt relieved when Ai Hui finally spoke. He swore to himself that he would leave this scary fellow once the catastrophe was over.
Ai Hui questioned him thoroughly, asking which houses had how many rooms, how big the gardens were, and so on. Huo Yuanlong could not answer many of the questions.
Huo Yuanlong returned to the team after answering whatever questions he could. No one mocked him. They kept quiet out of fear as well. The students couldn’t help but avoid Ai Hui’s gaze as they did not dare to look him in the face.
Unlike what Ai Hui had thought would happen, no elementalist came over to allocate a specific attack position for them. Their only requirement was to advance forward as much as possible, destroying all the blood ants they saw.
Such a simple and crude command displeased Shi Xueman. “Swarming in like bees is no different from seeking death. Why is there no concrete plan?” After speaking, she felt that complaining was useless. Even if they had a plan, her teammates would absolutely fail to carry it out.
Truth be told, they were cannon fodder. Cannon fodder used to drain the blood ants’ energy.
Duanmu Huanghun was right. Other than cannon fodder, Central Pine City had nothing. Shi Xueman believed that with her position in the mayor’s eyes, there were no other employable methods.
“You guys are up! Start attacking!” Instructed the elementalist in midair.
Each team hesitated before moving towards Soundwave Street.
“Let’s head to the gate of that shop facing the street.” Ai Hui pointed out.
Fatty held the heavy shield and walked at the forefront. His overall weight was astonishing. The earth quaked and the mountains shook as he walked. Even the elementalist in the sky was astounded.
There was no morale boosting cheer, no shouting, and no vehement emotions. Each team cautiously advanced forward along the wide street.
The elementalist in the sky wasn’t impatient, but when he noticed Ai Hui’s team, he couldn’t help but feel surprised.
Ai Hui’s team did not advance along the street and appeared by the fence surrounding a shop on the right side of the road instead.
The elementalist seemed rather interested. He recognized Shi Xueman and the rest. While they had little experience, this small team’s strength lay in its students. Not bad at all.
But he also knew that the students were all cannon fodder. The ones which weren’t expendable were the elementalists conscripted by their respective training halls and placed into small teams. They were honing their strength for the big push. Only after the ants had been sufficiently dealt with would it then be time for the main force to enter.
Nevertheless, this small team was actually quite interesting.
Shi Xueman and the rest were unable to make heads nor tails of Ai Hui’s order. The other teams were a distance away from them by now. They looked at Ai Hui, waiting for him to answer this riddle.
“Any way to raze this to the ground?” Ai Hui asked Wang Xiaoshan.
Wang Xiaoshan did not understand what Ai Hui was up to, but it wasn’t difficult for him to do so. He had great knowledge of all kinds of building structures. This shop was built normally and could easily be demolished if they could just find a few key nodes.
Wang Xiaoshan did not dare to over-deliver. He was a little afraid of Ai Hui.
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