Chapter 107 - Scarlet Calamity
Once again, a melodious female voice came from the broadcast array glyphs:
"May I please have your attention. Ladies and gentlemen, just a moment ago, a ball lightning had struck the few coaches at the rear of the train. For your safety, coaches 12 to 15 will be undergoing examination and repairs. Please follow the federation soldiers instructions and evacuate to the coaches in the front. After the coaches have been completely examined and repaired, you can return to your seats. Thank you for your cooperation."
Melodious music that was similar to the sounds of the stream flowing in the mountains was then broadcasted from the broadcast array glyphs. “Ding ding dong dong.”
The music seemed to carry some kind of spiritual power, one which may have put everyone at ease, calming their minds. The passenger that were restless a moment ago had now become completely calm as they blusteringly moved forward.
The defensive array glyphs of the crystal train had already been pushed to the limit, allowing them to withstand any kind of damage from the lightning. Even if they were unable to resist, the lightning could still go through the lightning conductor equipment, which would guide the lightning to the ground. So how could it destroy the coaches?
After ten minutes that felt as long as a year, for the third time, the female voice was broadcasted from the broadcast array glyphs; however, this time, the announcer seemed to be rather tense. Her voice was astringent and sharp—it seemed as if she was bogged down by extreme fear.
"Ladies and gentlemen, ball lightning has disrupted the propulsion array glyphs of Coach No.14. We are currently trying to completely repair them. In the journey ahead, you may experience some bumps, so please pay attention to your safety and try not to walk around in the aisle. Also, please be careful of the heavy luggage on the luggage rack and avoid getting injured... In addition, if there are any experienced magical equipment technician among the passengers, please proceed to Coach No.14, I repeat, if there are any experienced magical equipment technician, please proceed to the Coach No.14!"
"Something terrible has happened," Li Yao thought.
To admit that the propulsion array glyphs of a coach had been disrupted by a ball lightning would undoubtedly cause a certain degree of panic among the passengers. However, the truth must have been a hundred times more frightening than the ball lightning, even to the point that the army's magical equipment technician could not handle it, forcing them to seek help from the passengers.
Li Yao, without any hesitation, proceeded to Coach No. 14.
The closer he proceeded towards the rear end of the train, the intenser the vibrations he felt.
The last few coaches, instead of having even a single passenger, was completely guarded by the federation soldiers.
Several of the soldiers looked young; they seemed to have just enlisted and haven’t yet been tested. A majority of them were tightly gritting their teeth. One could even hear "cluck cluck" sounds coming from their molars.
The gate of Coach No.14 was shut closed. An officer with a pair of red eyes who seemed as if he had been suffering from conjunctivitis was checking the identity of a young man.
On a closer look, Li Yao recognized the young man—it was the low-level cultivator, “Jiang Tao”, who he had encountered in Waiting Room No. 8.
Straightening his back, Jiang Tao calmly said:
"I am a third-year student of the Star Nebula University's Refining Department and am also a 3rd-level Refinement Stage cultivator. I have already passed 2nd step refiner registration examination, and as long as I pass the 3rd step, I will become a certified refiner approved by the federation. Repairing ordinary magical equipment is nothing to me!"
"Awesome, what about you?" The red-eyed officer turned to Li Yao.
Only then did Jiang Tao notice Li Yao, and obviously, he was stunned for a moment.
He was having a hard time understanding what someone from a backwater place was doing here.
Li Yao honestly said:
"I am a new student of the Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department. I was traveling to the university to report, so I still don't have a rank; however, I can do some normal maintenance work."
Jiang Tao slightly smiled as a trace a contempt flashed past his eyes.
He had already heard that the Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department was the worst refining department in the "Nine Elite Universities". Today, he got to see that it truly "lived up to its name"; a new student was actually a farmer from the countryside. It was a truly interesting.
The red-eyed officer was a little disappointed as he let out an "Oh" and indifferently scanned Li Yao's identity spirit mark.
When he discovered that Li Yao was actually receiving the "Class 1 Federation Disabled Servicemen Treatment", his attitude instantly changed. Straightening his back, he could not help but shout, "Awesome, we are short on staff. Quickly come!"
The red-eyed man grabbed Li Yao's wrist and walked inside the coach.
Jiang Tao was, once again, stunned. He could not understand why the red-eyed officer was so friendly towards Li Yao, who was just a new student of the Grand Desolate War Institution's Refining Department, instead of him, who was a top student from the Star Nebula University's Refining Department. He wanted to ask yet was too ashamed to ask. With a hesitant look on his face, he could only follow behind Li Yao's ass.
Coach No.14 was very hot and suffocating, and there was a faint smell of blood lingering in the air. Seven or eight gloomy federation soldiers were wiping the magical equipment. Some of the relatively younger soldiers had pale complexions as their legs trembled, while several bearded veterans were laughing next to them as they said some silly jokes to relieve the tension in the atmosphere.
The gate behind him was closed; only then was the gate in front opened. Immediately, a burst of blood-curdling screams came over.
Li Yao and Jiang Tao were both scared to the point that their backs were drenched in cold sweat. Summoning up their courage, they proceeded to Coach No.15.
Coach No.15 had been modified into a field hospital. All the chairs had been removed, and in its place were soldiers with broken limbs lying on the floor. The wounds were irregular; it was as if some wild animal had torn them up. Among them was a person with half a body that had shriveled up, giving off an appearance as if his blood and bone marrow had been sucked dry in an instant!
Next was the last armored battle coach.
The thin gate of the coach could not stop the sounds coming from the armored coach.
Blood-curdling screams, furious roars, sounds of explosion, and sounds of thunder were mixed together to create a terribly frightening melody!
"Wear the protective suit!"
The red-eyed officer put two camouflage vests on the two. The front of the vest was inlaid with a crystal-clear luminous pearl, inside of which were over a hundred bright and shining 8-pointed star patterned spirit glyphs floating.
Li Yao pressed the start array glyph on the vest. "Weng!" A translucent light gold spiritual energy shield spread around his body, closely protecting him within.
"All good to go. I'm going to open the door!"
The red-eyed man said with a grim look on his face as he clenched his teeth. He then violently pulled open the giant door leading to the armored battle coach.
A sudden, strong gust of wind and heavy rainfall made it hard for Li Yao to widely open his eyes. The only thing he was able to hear were ear-piercing wails, which were so loud that not even torrents of water rushing down a mountain could drown them out.
"Come on, you swines! All of you, come! Let this father slaughter you!"
"Damn it! I'm out of crystal cells. Quickly bring me another box!"
"There's too many! This isn’t just the outbreak of a Level 9 beast tide—it is at least Level 7! Quickly ask for reinforcements! We can’t hold on any longer!"
"It’s impossible! I’m trying, but since we are in the Thunderstorm Stone, it is very difficult to contact the outside world!"
Li Yao finally adapted to the oncoming wind and rain. Somehow widely opening his pair of eyes, the scene presented before him was one of slaughter taking place in the depths of the netherworld.
The armored battle coach looked as if it had been torn by a pair of invisible claws of some devil; the entire roof had been pried open, and the several dozen centimeter thick armor of the battle coach had been torn to shreds.
The floor was littered with corpses, the majority of which were federation soldiers dressed in black battle uniforms. The rest were the sticky remains of some octopus-like demon beast. The corpses of both the humans and the demon beasts were mixed together, and there were even some federation soldiers who had bit the throat of the octopus-like demon beasts, causing both sides to perish together.
A vast majority of the crystal railguns were falling over; they had been seriously damaged.
On the few remaining railguns sat federation soldiers, who seemed to have been lost in madness as they blast spiritual energy towards the dark clouds without any regard for their safety.
And in the dark clouds—
As Li Yao raised his head to look, he sucked in a cold lump of air.
In the layer of clouds where lightning flashed and thunder rumbled, an enormous gap had been opened, resembling a giant hole that was trying to engulf the world.
And the surrounding was distinct from the dark sky; this blood lotus-like, giant red hole gave the impression of being an entrance to a bizarre demon world.
This was a breach in space, one which connected the Heaven Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector.
Among the vast majority of the population, it also had another aggravating name—
Countless eight-tentacled demon beasts waved their tentacles, and as if they were swimming in water, they ruthlessly scurried over to the crystal trains from the wormhole one after another.
A huge majority of the eight-armed demon beasts, when attacking the crystal train, would burst into dazzling sparkles much like fireworks, electrocuting into masses of unbearably stinky black charred remains one by one.
The defensive array of the crystal train had formed an airtight electric net in the air.
But a few of the especially powerful eight-tentacled demon beasts would forcibly endure the electric shocks of the defensive arrays, breaking through the electric net and charging towards the train.
Before they could recover from the dizziness due to the electric shock, they were torn to pieces by the crossfire of the crystal railguns, turning them into bits of remains floating in the air.
In just a short moment, under the collective attacks from the defensive arrays and the crystal railguns, hundreds of eight-tentacled demon beasts had been sent to the netherworld.
However, for every one that died, a hundred eight-tentacled demon beasts would rush out of the wormhole in steady streams, shrieking ear-piercing screams, as wave after wave of new demon beasts charged towards the crystal train!
"It's a beast tide outbreak!"
Li Yao's complexion became pale.
The beast tide outbreak was the most terrible scourge of the Heaven Origin Sector and was second to none.
As many as a hundred thousand, a million, ten million, or even hundreds of millions of low-level demon beasts would tear open the barrier of the Boundless Universe and invade the Heaven Origin Sector through the wormhole, engulfing everything in sight.
Farms, cities, humans, animals, plants. Even the demon beasts native to the Heaven Origin Sector could not escape—this was the beast tide outbreak!
The lowest level "Level 9 Beast Tide Outbreak" could gather hundreds of thousands of low-level demon beasts.
Even the weakest demon beasts, the “mouse demon” and the “insect demon”, could pose a great threat to cultivators so long as their numbers surpassed a certain point.
In the history of the federation, there was even an instance in which a Core Formation Stage cultivator had been eaten alive, leaving only his skeleton behind, by a swarm of locust demon beasts that had blotted out the sky and covered the land.
Before a beast tide outbreak, ordinary humans, even more so, had no room for escape.
Fortunately, the barrier between them and the Boundless Universe was not so easy to tear.
The vast majority of the Heaven Origin Sect was very solid; it was extremely difficult to tear, thus the probability of the formation of a wormhole was minimal.
Only in the Demon Beast Wasteland, which happened to be between the Heaven Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector and had many places that were extremely fragile, could wormholes appear quite easily, allowing for demon beasts to invade.
This had brought about the endless suppression and killing situation of demon beasts in the Wasteland. However, no matter how many demon beasts were beheaded, more powerful demon beasts from the Blood Demon Sector would continue to invade in a steady stream.
With the Star Glory Federation's strength, besides being unable to enter the depths of the Blood Demon Sector, all the demon beasts had been razed to the ground. The federation could only create a large number of cities and military fortresses in the Demon Beast Wasteland, carefully marching step by step as they used attrition warfare to suppress the areas with demon beast activity.
In the past five hundred years, while dealing with the beast tide outbreaks, the federation army and cultivators had accumulated plenty of experience. Under ordinary situations, if they encountered a beast tide outbreak, as long as a distress signal had been sent, a large number of reinforcements and battle-type cultivators would arrive in half an hour.
Unfortunately, this beast tide outbreak just happened to take place in the "Thunderstorm Zone", where it was very difficult to send information.
Even now, the outside world had no idea that they had encountered a beast tide outbreak.
They were all alone!
 - Ball Lightning - A lightning phenomena which may occur during a thunderstorm. For further information, you can visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_lightning.