Before Xiong Baili faded away, a fiery red stream of light whizzed over.
"Brother Chao, long time no see!"
Xiong Zongchao's complexion changed. His body turned into a blur as he did nine incomparably impossible dodges. While his true body retreated by ten meters in a single breath, the remnant shadow he left behind was torn into nothing by the fiery red light.
Xiong Baili, without making a sound, came in between the fiery red stream of light and Xiong Zongchao before he said, "And this is..."
Xiong Zongchao slightly smiled:
"There is no need for me to introduce her. She is none other than one of the youngest Building Foundation Stage cultivators of our Star Glory Federation, the future star of Grand Desolate War Institution's Combat Department, Ding Lingdang. She and I have met several times in the depths of the Wasteland and have also collaborated to kill a Demon General!"
As the fiery red brilliance solidified, Ding Lingdang's strong and graceful figure was revealed.
She was dressed in a tight red combat suit which was decorated with flames, sketching out her soul-stirring curves. Her entire body was overflowing with a resplendent brilliance which was a feast for the eyes.
"Marvellous! My bones are about to rot from being holed up in the institute for the past couple of months. Finally, I can kill some demon beasts! I really can’t wait!"
Rubbing her hands, Ding Lingdang jumped up and down.
After a moment, hundreds of terrifying aurae approached at a high speed.
Xiong Baili smiled and said:
"This is the Iron Fist Club's president, Hua Tianxiong. This is Chaos Edge Hall's president, Xu Ge. Behind them are the senior students of the Combat Department, many of whom I believe you have met?"
Xiong Zongchao nodded.
The Grand Desolate War Institution and the army had close ties. Both sides often joined forces to behead demons and kill devils. Xiong Zongchao was the liaison officer sent by the army and had been long acquainted and friends with many of the senior students of the Grand Desolate War Institution.
One by one, tall and stalwart students with stubbornness written all over their faces came forward and greeted him. All of them were burning with eagerness: "Finally, I can fight shoulder to shoulder with Brother Chao and slaughter demon beasts!"
Soon, a dozen or so silhouettes appeared. Although their appearances were a bit tender, their imposing aurae was no less than that of the senior students.
These were all the best among the best freshmen.
Seeing so many freshmen excited to participate in the mission, the smiling look in Xiong Baili's eyes turned intenser:
"Come, A'Chao. Let me introduce you. This is Zhao Tianchong, a 4th level Refinement Stage sword cultivator who has been hunting demon beasts in the depths of the Wasteland since childhood. This is Lu Tieshan, a 4th level Refinement Stage body practitioner who has been painstakingly training in the Devil Fist Sect since childhood. These two are the strongest experts among the freshmen!"
Xiong Zongchao was surprised as he said with emotion:
"Advancing to the 4th level of the Refinement Stage in just half a year after entering the institute? These freshmen truly can not be underestimated! In my time, students only entered the 4th level of the Refinement Stage after spending two years at the university!"
Xiong Baili said with a laugh:
"Yes, the quality of this year's freshmen is particularly good. Not only are there two students who have entered the 4th level of the Refinement Stage, a dozen students who have entered the 3rd level of the Refinement Stage have also appeared. They are not only unusually talented, but they also cultivate with madness to the point that they did not return to their families even for the new year during their winter vacation!"
"Pleased to meet you, Dean!"
"Pleased to meet you, Dean!"
Zhao Tianchong, Lu Tieshan, and the other freshmen greeted Xiong Baili together.
All of them were members of the Hidden Dragon Hall and had cultivated together. When they came to know about the beast tide outbreak at Verdant Tarn City, they, without a moment of hesitation, came.
After half a year of painstaking cultivation, these "hidden dragons" were no longer their old selves of when they had just entered the institute; their arrogance was completely converged in the depths of their eyes, where it had been purified into a cold sharp gleam, and their temperament was calmer and more profound.
This was especially so for Zhao Tianchong and Lu Tieshan, whose profoundness totally did not tally with their age.
Only when their eyes bloomed with sparks from time to time would the others have a glimpse of the impatience buried deep within the depths of their heart.
Their deep desire could only completely bloom when they are on a true battlefield.
Having swept a gaze, Xiong Zongchao repeatedly sighed:
"When all's said and done, our Grand Desolate War Institution is unlike any other. Obviously, they are still on their winter break, but when the horn sounded, we could still gather 300 students. Furthermore, all of them are cultivators. If such a strong army arrived on the battlefield, even Demon Generals would dare not to contend with them!"
Xiong Baili’s smile turned into a frown as he said:
"That's not right. If I remember correctly, the number of people who have applied is 301. There is still one student who hasn’t arrived yet."
Before his voice could fade away, a silhouette could be seen approaching from the distance. In just a few steps, the silhouette had traversed hundreds of meters.
Xiong Zongchao was a bit perplexed:
"This student looks very unfamiliar, is he also a freshman? Why is he carrying such a huge box on his back?"
Finally, the silhouette revealed itself to be a student who was dressed in a black combat suit and had a huge metal casket on his back which was fastened onto his body with three large belts. Every step he took seemed to be very heavy, as his every step gave burst to a "Bang! Bang!" sound on the ground.
The box appeared to be very heavy, seemingly as if it weighed at least a thousand kilograms.
However, the student seemed to lift such a heavy weight with ease, as though it was light as a feather; he did not seem to mind the heavy weight. In just a breath, he had skimmed over to the front of the Thunderbird-class light transport ship.
Xiong Baili burst into laughter:
"Student Li Yao, you are a refiner. Do you still want to go to the battlefield? It's too dangerous!"
Xiong Baili had a pretty good impression of Li Yao.
Whether it was him going against the flow, adhering to the Refining Department, or the modification of the 1st Generation Tai'e Furnace which pulled over a ten million sponsorship, these matters had surprised Xiong Baili incessantly, and he deeply remembered this somewhat special teenager.
Xiong Zongchao's eyes bloomed with a sliver of radiant splendor as he cried out involuntarily:
"Is this the only student of the Refining Department? He is really powerful!"
Xiong Zongchao had been in the army for many years. He was in the special forces and had a very sinister insight. Just from the sound of Li Yao's footsteps, he reckoned that the iron crate on his back weighed at least a ton!
'Even after running countless miles while carrying a ton on his back, his breathing is still steady and there is no change in his complexion.'
'This student's body is exceptionally powerful."
At the beginning, Xiong Zongchao regarded him as a senior student of the Combat Department. Meanwhile, in his heart, he was secretly surprised. Why hadn't he seen such a strong student before?
However, much to his surprise, Li Yao turned out to be a freshman of the Refining Department!
Xiong Zongchao was astounded to the extreme.
Li Yao pursed his lips, revealing his snow-white teeth:
"Dean, I need to amass 40,000 credits to participate in the Refiners' Registration Examination, so how could I miss such a good opportunity to sweep credits?"
Waving his hand, Xiong Baili’s eyes flickered with an electric brilliance as he swept a glance over the students and spoke in a loud voice, "Since everyone is here, let me repeat it once more. This mission is extremely dangerous, and it's very likely that you will be seriously injured and some of you might even die. If there is even an ounce of hesitation in your heart, it's best for you to withdraw!"
The 301 students stood firm with their heads held high, with not a single one of them uttering a word. Everyone's face was flushed red to their ears, seemingly as if they were being burned inside an invisible and maddening will to fight.
After three seconds, Xiong Baili raised his head and let out a long roar: "Good, good, very good! Having students like you is the greatest pride in my, Xiong Baili's, life. Let us depart and slaughter those demon beasts!"
"Slaughter those demon beasts!"
Hundreds of teachers and students loudly roared. Everyone's blood was bubbling as they boarded the Thunderbird-class light transport ship.
After a moment, the light transport ship rose into the air as it whizzed towards Verdant Tarn City!
On the transport ship, Xiong Zongchao started up the large-scale master crystal processor of the ship as hundreds of telepathic thoughts were transmitted to the mini crystal processors of Grand Desolate War Institution's teachers and students.
Which included the 3-dimensional map of Verdant Tarn City, the distribution of the federation army, as well as the growing list of information of friendly forces.
When the sects within 500 km radius came to know of the beast tide outbreak at Verdant Tarn City, all of them mobilized.
Every second, countless powerful cultivators rushed toward Verdant Tarn City.
And with the vanguard troops commencing their fight after entering the city, a general understanding of the quantity and type of demon beasts was also procured.
This information was all transmitted to the main crystal processor of the Thunderbird-class light transport ship and subsequently distributed to the micro crystal processor of all its passenger.
"Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!"
Everyone checked their crystal processor with rapt attention as the colorful holographic screen was flooded with countless information just like a downpour.
Everyone was a cultivator, and as such, the speed of reading the information was very fast. In just a short moment, they had all grasped the general situation.
Xiong Zonghcao introduced:
"At present, it seems that the beast tide is of at least Level-7, and very coincidently, the wormhole had appeared in an underground abandoned warehouse in Verdant Tarn City. As a result of this, no one seemed to have noticed at the beginning. It was only when tens of thousands of demon beasts had spread across the city through its complex sewer lines and appeared within the city simultaneously did they notice. However, by then, it was too late!"
"Fortunately, in order to guard against beast tides, every city in the Wasteland is fortified from inside and outside. Many of the large scale structure inside the city were enclosed in low-rise walls and defensive array glyphs. Many of the areas even have a large number of military magical equipment installed."
"Furthermore, Verdant Tarn City is an important mining city. Many sects have mining bases in Verdant Tarn City along with a bunch of guards to protect the mine, all of whom are ex-servicemen or cultivators that are holding the line."
"And the native sect of Verdant Tarn City, the 'Azure Sun Sect', is ranked 379 among the top 500 in the federation and have ten Building Foundation Stage experts."
"Under the resistance of the Azure Sun Sect, most of the civilians were able to hide inside the fortified buildings, and the headquarter of the Azure Sun Sect even has over ten thousand civilians protected inside. Please look at the 3-dimensional map, here, here, and here. There is still a large number of civilians stranded."
"We have two missions: the first is to save all the civilians, and the second is to behead all the demon beasts in Verdant Tarn City, kill them one by one—even fowls and dogs are not to be spared!"
"Please look at the information list of the demon beasts. From the news transmitted from the frontline, this is a mixed-type beast tide. At present, we know of 43 Demon Soldiers and 5 Demon Generals; however, we have yet to discover the Demon King."
"But from past experiences, we are 80 to 90% sure that a Demon King will be commanding such a large-scale beast tide from the back!"
Along with the introduction of Xiong Zongchao, translucent, 3-dimensional images appeared one by one on everyone's holographic screen. These images included the pictures of a couple dozen demon beasts along with their habits, levels, risk factor, the heaven and earth treasures they bear... over a hundred kinds of information.
Li Yao's heart skipped a beat.
He had never imagined that the level of this time’s beast tide outbreak would be so high and that a Demon King might even appear.
The demon beasts in accordance with the strength are divided into Demon Soldier, Demon General, Demon King, Demon Emperor, Demon God, and so on and so forth, and their respective cultivation level in the human cultivation system respectively is Refinement Stage, Foundation Building, Core Formation, Nascent Soul, and Spirit Transformation.
Li Yao, on Devil Flood Dragon Island, had killed a three-eyed ape which was even weaker than the Demon Soldier. It had not even entered the lowest level and was just equivalent to an ordinary person.
Whether it was a Demon God or a Spirit Transformation Stage expert, both belonged to the legendary, peerless figures which have not appeared in the Star Glory Federation for a long time.
Even the Demon Emperor, which was comparable to a Nascent Soul Stage old monster, was also very rarely seen. Once he appeared, he would certainly be followed by hundreds of millions of Demon Soldiers, for which half of the federation would be completely mobilized. Only then was it possible to compete with them.
Starting from the Demon Soldier, demon beasts would gradually break away from the shackles of a beast, gaining high intelligence. Then, they could be called a member of the "demon clan".
The thought of actually fighting with a true member of the demon clan made Li Yao inexplicably excited!