"These clothes were chosen in line with your frames. Put them on and take your weapons. Then, we can set out!"
Zerom and his partners were so surprised as they hadn't imagined that Zhang Tie could deal with these things in such an efficient way. Without any hesitation, they then took their own clothes and started to change them as soon as possible.
After professor Simon took off his pants, Zhang Tie found a leather toolkit over this emaciated old man’s calf, which contained various tools like a lance and small hooks. With these items, he could almost finish surgeries. Zhang Tie then knew that his senior brothers must not have meant to search him judging from his emaciated look. Therefore, they didn’t notice the toolkit over his calf.
When they were changing clothes, Zerom introduced his other 2 partners to Zhang Tie. "The taller guy is Jordan, as a squadron leader of Thor Mercenary Army, he’s LV 8 and the one with the highest fighting strength among us. According to the military establishment of Armes, Jordan is a captain."
Although mercenary armies were different than regular armies on establishment, it was still clearly divided into fighting units. In Armes, mercenary armies could be divided into team, corp, squad, detachment, group, league and column, which almost equal to that of class, platoon, company, camp, regiment, brigade and division respectively in many human countries’ armies.
Zerom came here with the other 8 people as a standard team in a mercenary army. However, except for professor Simon, the other 8 were all above LV 6. Such a team was qualified to be called "luxury" in a mercenary army.
"The guy with brown short hair is Shrek, the only one among us who can speak Chinese. LV 7, a senior scout in Thor Mercenary Army. He has a deep insight and is very agile. He’s excel at spying and street battle in city.
Gazing at this "luxury" team, Zhang Tie didn’t have any special feeling. By comparison, when he was in Blackhot City, he and his elder brother both dreamed of being LV 6 fighters. However, Zhang Tie abruptly found that he didn’t awe those fighters below LV 10 anymore.
In Zhang Tie’s eyes, except for some LV 9 guys who might bring him some trouble, most of the fighters were nothing different than soldiers below LV 5 as Zhang Tie could solve them with only one javelin or a punch.
After these days of fighting against demonized people, Zhang Tie had been able to apply his Iron-Blood Fist in a much more eye-catching way. Gradually, he could use his Iron-Blood Fist as unrivaled as that used by the first emperor of the Norman Empire which shocked the Blackson Human Race Corridor.
After a short while, the 4 guys had put on their field combat clothes. Additionally, they had put on the hat being connected to the field combat coat and had pulled down the respirator which was filled with soft activated carbon. The respirator could filter fresh air, resist coldness and hide their faces, only exposing their eyes.
After that, they took their own weapons.
"Is this okay?" Zerom asked carefully.
"No problem. Some elites of Hurricane Army are still surrounding Heavens Cold City. As the soldiers of Hurricane Army are from everywhere, including all human races, if you just follow me, nobody would ask anything." Zhang Tie answered confidently.
Zerom then nodded, "Thor Mercenary Army owes you!"
Zhang Tie revealed a smile. "Due to various reasons, big figures don’t want to expose too much information to commoners about the coming holy war. However, I feel that the more people know about it in advance, the better. After they know about it, at least they would not be easily pushed to the frontline to be fodder ashes. If not, they might even not know how they were killed!"
"Your thinking is very special!" Professor Simon glanced at Zhang Tie, "Few people in a big clan would consider it this way."
Zhang Tie shrugged. "Perhaps it's because I lived at the bottom of society. I know more about commoners. In holy wars, if the frontline was broken, it would be very dangerous. Rich and powerful people would then escape by airships, leaving those innocent commoners to be killed by demons. Those commoners won’t even have a chance to escape. I feel this is unfair. If commoners could know more about this in advance, they would have more time to prepare for escape."
"Members in Thor Mercenary Army are all dauntless, instead of cowards who only think about escape. If there’s a chance, I will kill those abominable demons with my ax!" Weighing his axe, Jordan said in a low voice.
"Although you are fighters, you also have family members and friends, who were not all fighters. If you were told that demons’ army would launch an attack towards Armes 1 year later, would you lead your family members and friends to fight together with you in Armes? If you know that Blackson Human Race Corridor might be covered by demons in 2 years, would you lead your family members and friends to escape to a safe place first? If you know that the holy war would break out in half a year, would you let your family members stockpile food and drinks?"
Jordan then became quiet. Hearing Zhang Tie’s words, Zerom nodded inside as he seemed seeing the same diligent and tough teenager in the survival training in Wild Wolf Valley and the handsome boy who didn’t slash towards his opponent who had already lain on the duel platform. During the past 1 year, many things and people had changed. However, that teenager was still kind inside.
‘Kerlin might also be proud of having such a student if he knew that!’ Zerom mumbled inside.
The other guys in the tent started to consider Zhang Tie’s questions.
Zhang Tie didn’t talk any more, instead, he carried that heavy metal container of 9 bolts inside which had been used to kill so many people these days and opened the tent, "Let’s go!"
The other 4 people then followed him out.
After being several hundred meters away from the camp, they came to the wild, from where they could already see Heavens Cold City in the distance. On the way from the camp to here, although many people had noticed the 4 people after Zhang Tie, nobody asked about them.
"This place is 15 km away from Heavens Cold City. It would take a long time to get there if we just walk like this. How fast is your marching speed?" Zhang Tie asked professor Simon considering his age.
"Although I’m not a fighter, at least I’m a LV 5 soldier. I can keep jogging there for 1 hour!" Professor Simon said proudly.
"That’s fine. Follow me then. In order to save time, I will choose a route with fewer demonized people! Remember, unless you chop off their heads or break their whole body or head in to pieces by destroying their brain tissues can you kill them!"
Zhang Tie reminded them once again. Everybody else then nodded. After that, with Zhang Tie’s guidance, they started to jog towards Heavens Cold City.
On the way, they met many other teams, the sizes of which varied from 3-5 people, dozens of people to over 100 people. They came from everywhere. Some of them were the unrivaled cavalries from Taishi Clan, some were elite troops from Huaiyuan Palace, some were some healthy adolescents recruited from the refugee camp. They scattered outside Heavens Cold City to hunt those demonized people that ran out of the city then collect, burn or bury them.
After encountering so many teams, Zerom’s group started to understand that without Zhang Tie, they could hardly get close to Heavens Cold City even if they were not arrested in the refugee camp.
At this time, Zhang Tie’s heavy metal container of 9 bolts on his back had almost become his symbol on the battlefield as anyone who caught sight of Zhang Tie dared not to find trouble for him. Instead, many teams even exclaimed out of excitement when they saw him.
"Mie Mo Shen Mo (灭魔神矛）..."
"Mie Mo Shen Mo..."
Except for Shrek, none of Zerom’s group spoke Chinese. Therefore, when they saw a team yelling towards them, they were even a bit nervous and thought they might have trouble. However, after seeing this several times, they started to understand that they were exclaiming towards Zhang Tie.
"Shrek, what are they yelling?" Jordon asked behind Zhang Tie while panting.
"They were yelling a slogan!" Shrek then looked at Zhang Tie calmly, "That slogan means marvelous demon-killing javelins. They might be yelling towards Zhang Tie!"
"Is that a praise or honor for Chinese?" Jordan asked surprisingly.
Shrek didn’t know how to answer about this question. Because of the cultural difference between Chinese and them, it’s hard to explain. In Chinese, the word "魔" and "神" always contained dozens of meanings, such as "魔" referred to demon, ghost, evil, darkness, villain, malice, inhumanity or difficulty in comprehend while "神" referred to marvel, holiness, deity, creator, fantasy, wonder even one’s spiritual awareness.
In Hebrew-spoken regions, if a fighter was received an honor, it would be very significant. Because people could never gain any honor without any performance. Additionally, according to the conventions in this age, like being conferred with a title of nobility, a fighter has to gain his honor through fighting with demons. Additionally, honors always had fixed patterns, were always composed of the place where one made a meritorious deed plus his performance or feature (noun). Observably, they were not yelling an honor, neither a eulogy; it should be something between two of them that only existed under Chinese cultural background.
When Shrek scratched his head. Zhang Tie who was ahead of them opened his mouth. "That’s not an honor, neither an official and holy eulogy. You can take it as an appreciation and praise, just like some of your nicknames!"
"Like I am called Steel Ax in Thor Mercenary Army, right?" Jordan asked out of curiosity.
"Just like that!"
"However, only a few people in Thor Mercenary Army know me. Nobody knows my nickname on the outside. But it seems that so many people know your nickname!" Jordan became a bit depressed and admirable.
‘This tough man is cute." Zhang Tie then revealed a smile, "That’s because your nickname is not loud enough or special. If you try harder and go to the extremes when you use your axe on the battlefield such as speed, I will give you a nickname then. I’m sure that more people would know you by then!"
"Argh? What nickname?"
"Black Cyclone!" Zhang Tie joked.
It was really out of Zhang Tie’s imagination that Jordan became spirited after thinking for a while seriously, "Fine, that’s it, Black Cyclone sounds cooler than Steel Ax. "Shrek, Zerom, you can call me Black Cyclone from then on!"
1 hour later, they had successfully arrived in the suburban area of Heavens Cold City after only meeting 10 more common demonized people. Before Zhang Tie moved, Jordan who wanted to show his qualification as "Black Cyclone" had chopped them all into pieces in a split second.
When they arrived at the suburban area of Heavens Cold City, everything became different.
It was already past 9 am when the sun had already risen up. The temperature over the land was gradually increasing, causing a terrifying, suffocating and disgusting stink to drift from inside Heavens Cold City. When they were about 1 km away from the city, Zerom and the other guys’ faces instantly turned pale when they smelt this.
Although they were nothing strange about this odor in the morning breeze, they had not met such a heavy odor before.
Even Zhang Tie who didn’t pull down his breathing mask on the way here had also pulled it down at this moment in order to ease its stimulation.
"How many people were killed here?" Professor Simon turned and asked.
"They are not human, they are demonized, people. From July 7th to now, we’ve killed at least 100,000 demonized people within 1 km of the four city gates!" Zhang Tie answered in a low voice. "Now, there are still over 1 million demonized people in Heavens Cold City. We can hardly clean their corpses. Our men only controlled a part of regions near the four city gates. After killing them, we will maintain the city gates so that living could still escape out of there!"
As long as the over 1 million demonized people continued under the guidance of the parent puppet worm, they could easily shock 2 common human armies. Additionally, as Langye Prefecture was relatively remote, all the local forces only contained less than 400,000 soldiers, how could they fight an over 1 million strong demonized army.
This also indicated that the Zhen Clan was very vicious. If the Zhen Clan aroused trouble when the holy war broke out, the whole Langye Prefecture would deteriorate heavily in a few days. Langye Prefecture was in the northwest of Jinyun Country and there were no powerful forces and clans within 1000 km of the surroundings. Nobody would know what the Zhen Clan could do in Langye Prefecture with over 1 million demonized people
In the Second Holy War, the most powerful parent puppet worm controlled by demons could even control over 3 million demonized people at the same time.
At this moment, unless assigning more than 2 corps from 1000 km away and prepared to pay for a high price, they could only surround Heavens Cold City and annihilate those demonized people in Heavens Cold City with small teams. They could only weaken the force and reduce the number of those demonized people in Heavens Cold City. Thankfully, demonized people could not deliver babies. Otherwise, it would much more troublesome.
When they were outside a city gate of Heavens Cold City, they would meet some corpses with each step forward. All of them were demonized, over 90% of them had been chopped or cut into pieces. Many corpses had started to rot and grubby——where’s hell? Right here!
Although the guys from Thor Mercenary Army had been used to death and blood, they all started to vomit after only 100 steps forward.
Except for Zhang Tie as he had long experienced this period. He also contributed a part to this scene. Those whose heads were still linked to their necks yet had exploded were mostly the work of his javelins. Glancing over corpses, Zhang Tie looked a bit sorrowful while icy flame gleamed in his eyes.
These corpses were once people like him!
Zhang Tie had made 2 targets silently since he was born.
First, he determined to be an alchemist in the auction house in Kalur.
Second, he made it to Heavens Cold City. Several days ago, standing in a gate tower in Heavens Cold City, Zhang Tie looked at the abstruse night sky. He then determined that he would never close his eyes until he killed 1 million demons and lackeys of Three-Eye Association and covered Heavens Cold City with those corpses.
From then on, watching all this, Zhang Tie didn’t vomit anymore. Instead, his eyes were filled with grief while a cold flame was burning in his heart...
Having almost vomited everything that he had eaten, bending his body, Zerom watched Zhang Tie’s back as straight as usual and felt that Zhang Tie was like a steel statue which contained a foreboding and hard strength that should not belong to this age.
‘Although this teenager looks the same as before in some aspects, he’s different in some places.’ A thought flashed through Zerom’s mind.
Zhang Tie just waited there for them calmly. When they finished vomiting and stood up, their eyes had turned red and tearful. Zhang Tie then nodded, "Let’s go, you will be fine after that. There are more corpses than that inside. But it is more dangerous inside!"
The 4 people then continued to follow Zhang Tie and walked over to the hell-like place. They soon came to the south gate of Heavens Cold City where they watched a rapid fight.
A batch of people in the same uniform as them was killing some demonized people gathering over the passage in the city gate. After that, they pulled away those corpses and cleaned up the passage.
Zhang Tie then walked over there and casually stamped a pink worm two
"Zhang Tie", one of them walked towards him. Seeing this, Zerom and the other 3 guys shut up.
"What’s up? Is anyone alive out of there?" Zhang Tie asked as he watched Liu Xu.
"None!" Liu Xu waved his head while his half-covered face didn’t look good obviously, "It’s been almost 1 week. Fewer people could escape out of there. These are..."
Liu Xu then turned his eyes to Zerom’s group.
"Some of my old friends. After hearing the event in Heavens Cold City, they want to have a look inside. Therefore I'm taking them here." Zhang Tie put it straightly and didn’t mean to cover the status of Zerom’s group at all.
Liu Xu then moved his eyes from them like having not seen them at all. Thus, he lowered his voice and moved closer to Zhang Tie, "I heard our clan seniors were negotiating with some big figures from other clans on dealing with the event in Heavens Cold City. There are always powerhouses lurking in some sensitive places in the inner city and some banks in the outer city. There are also some guerrillas. Take care of yourself!"
Zhang Tie understood Liu Xu’s good intentions. He also knew what Liu Xu was hinting about. Therefore, he slightly patted on his shoulder, "Don’t worry, they are just figuring out something inside. They would leave in several hours after having a look near the camps of the original city guards!"
"That’s fine, watch out!" Liu Xu understood it instantly.
Zhang Tie then nodded before guided Zerom and the other 3 into Heavens Cold City through the bloody passage...