Chapter 169 - Death Squad
"Chi! Chi! Chi!"
The Thunderbird type light transport ship was like a lonely boat amidst a tempestuous storm; it was shaking more and more.
Upon hearing the strange noise coming from underneath their feet, everyone wondered what was corroding the hull.
The senior students who had experienced many battles could not help but have a pale complexion, and a few freshmen, even more so, constantly swallowed their saliva to ease their tension.
"Everyone, we are already flying over Verdant Tarn City. There are many hidden demon beasts underneath us who are launching attacks against us. However, they won't be able to break the spiritual energy shield within a short period of time, so you don't need to worry!"
Having calmly said that, Xiong Zongchao seemed to have thought of something as he headed to the cockpit.
In a short moment, the walls of the transportation ship started flashing as they turned into a huge, ring-shaped holographic screen, displaying the scene outside the ship, seemingly as if the hull had turned transparent in the blink of an eye.
Li Yao gazed into the distance, peering at the azure lake, Verdant Lake, at the front!
Verdant Tarn City was built by the lake and was a flourishing city whose population numbered in the tens of thousands and had sky-rise buildings. It was an extraordinarily bustling city.
At this instance, Verdant Tarn City had lost its former glory. The entire city was shrouded in a faint cloud of dust and smoke, and explosions were ringing off the hook. Meanwhile, demon beasts were attacking the human bases, causing the defensive array glyphs to be stimulated to the extreme as colorful streams of light soared into the high heavens.
At this moment, a couple of gray streams of some kind of vicious liquid quickly shot out amid the cloud of dust and smoke and struck dead-right on the bottom of the transport ship.
The transport ship fiercely jolted a bit while its passengers bounced up from their seats.
Fortunately, the transport ship had promptly launched a spiritual energy shield, guarding the transport ship against the bombardment of the gray liquid. The gray liquid stuck onto the spiritual energy shield, seemingly as though the mass of gray liquid were sentient entities that were brandishing their claws and baring their fangs as they constantly corroded the spiritual energy shield and made ear-piercing noises.
Li Yao was secretly astounded. He now knew why low-level cultivators were not willing to ride their swords in the Wasteland.
The gray liquid was certainly highly toxic and corrosive; even after the Thunderbird type light transport ship had launched its spiritual energy shield, it was unable to withstand them even for a bit.
If some low-level cultivator were hit directly, perhaps they would melt into a puddle of pus in the blink of an eye!
Xiong Zongchao simmered in anger as he shouted:
"Do you think that your father's transport ship doesn't have any offensive ability and you can target your father so unscrupulously? Analyze the trajectories of their attacks for me and fire the mystic ray. Let’s crucify all of them!"
Under Xiong Zongchao's order, all the lights in the transportation ship dimmed down as all the spiritual energy was directed to the main crystal processor for analyzing the trajectories of demon beasts' attacks.
After a moment, three milky white beams were fired from the nose of the transport ship and pierced through the cloud of dust and smoke.
Wherever the mystic beam went, nothing could hide from it. Not only was the dust and smoke no longer blocking their line of sight, but even the interior structure of the buildings was visible. The mystic beam also brought a mystifying magnification effect.
Li Yao's mind was astir, as he seemingly "noticed" three toad-like demon beasts squatting amid a broken building a few dozen kilometers away. The toad-like demon beasts were a hundred times bigger than a toad and weighed almost a ton. Their bellies engorged and shrunk alternatively and could bulge up to as much as five meters in diameter before vigorously contracting and shooting some kind of poisonous liquid into the sky!
Xiong Zongchao burst into laughter:
"So it was three Venomous Ghost Toads. Let's see where you are going to escape to now!"
The three poisonous toads also seemed to have realized that they had been locked onto by the mystic rays. One by one, they revealed a panic-stricken look and the ghost face-like pustules at their glabella burst open, shooting a mass of gray mist as their stature suddenly started to shrink.
When the Venomous Ghost Toad shot the poison, its body would expand to ten times their original size, making it difficult for it to move quickly.
As long as the Venomous Ghost Toad had a minute, it could shrink its stature by 90%, making it a lot easier to escape.
Xion Zongchao sneered a few times as he started up the crystal processor and used the long-distance transmitting mode:
"Command center, this is Ship No. Ait, Fower, Siks, Fife(8465). My ship has already used the Nine-by-Nine Mystic Rays to lock onto three Venomous Ghost Toads. It is estimated that they would finish shrinking in 57 seconds. Requesting for a Flying Sword Strike! I repeat, the enemy will flee after 57 seconds! Requesting a priority level-1 Flying Sword Strike!"
After 31 seconds.
From the three military barracks around Verdant Tarn City, a couple dozen flying swords overflowing in resplendent brilliance respectively rose into the air where they formed a full circle and ruthlessly whizzed towards the position locked onto by the Nine-by-Nine Mystic Rays.
Over a hundred flying swords shot down together from three different angles. The three Venomous Ghost Toads had yet to finish contracting before they were mangled into pieces in the blink of an eye along with the building which was filled with holes and was crashing down!
The teachers and students aboard the transport ship raised cries of jubilation.
The Thunderbird-type light transport ship flew straight ahead into the city.
"Five hundred cultivators of Grand Desolate War Institution have come to fight shoulder to shoulder with the fellow daoists of Verdant Tarn City!"
Completely surrounded by the sea-like beast tide, a twenty-floor high edifice at the heart of Verdant Tarn City where demonic energy was soaring into the sky—
Was the "Azure Sun Center", the headquarter of the native sect of Verdant Tarn City, the Azure Sun Sect.
A particularly fat demon beast was hiding in the basement of a building a kilometer away. It looked just like the Venomous Ghost Toad, but it was three times bigger, giving off an impression of a huge mass of tumor.
It was a variant of the Venomous Ghost Toad and also the king of poisonous toads—the Ghost King Venomous Toad!
The Ghost King Venomous Toad's entire body was spotted with countless pustules, which were spewing a huge amount of gray mist, covering the entire sky and disrupting the cultivators' telepathic thoughts search.
Even the Nine-by-Nine Mystic Ray was unable to pierce the gray mist and accurately lock onto its position.
Along with the contraction and expansion of its humongous belly, a huge mass of poison was shot out from the Ghost King Venomous Toad's mouth and directly attacked the Azure Sun Sect's headquarter, whereupon the defensive array glyphs of the edifice, which were on the verge of collapse, flickered from the bombardment.
Thousands upon thousands of demon beasts were eagerly watching the venomous toad's display of power. As long as the defensive array glyphs were eroded, they could force their way into the building and chow down everything with relish!
Tens of thousands of civilians were nestling together inside the Azure Sun Center. Upon hearing the "Chi Chi" sounds of erosion and the constant bombardment coming from outside, they turned pale from fright; however, no one cried. The elderlies and the women comforted the children in a low voice:
"My dear child, the Azure Sun Sect's cultivators are here. Everything is going to be alright!"
Whereas, the men had long stood together with the clansmen of the Azure Sun Sect and had taken up magical equipment to join the bloody battle.
At this moment, a tall old man was restlessly pacing back and forth in a hall. He was the leader of the Azure Sun Sect, Han Tianyang.
A ragged disciple whose entire body was bathed in blood and had a large chunk of his face corroded away staggeredly ran back.
"Elder Ji and more than half of the people he had brought along have fallen, yet we had not even seen the shadow the Ghost King Venomous Toad!"
Han Tianyang trembled and was almost about to fall down. Gritting his teeth and pondering for a long while, his eyes flickered with an ominous gleam as he firmed his mind and said:
"Prepare for the third charge. I am going to personally lead the team. All the elders, deacons, managers... every disciple above the 6th level of Refinement Stage, gather all of them and create a death squad of cultivators. We are going to fight it out!"
The disciple was frightened. He broke into tears in anxiety as he quickly got down:
"Leader, please think twice. If we do that, the entire Azure Sun Sect will be finished. It will be over for us!"
A red-faced old man who was standing behind him also cried:
"Leader, it doesn't matter if we, the old men, and you charge together, but please leave some of the seeds of the Azure Sun Sect. We can not sacrifice every one from the Azure Sun Sect!"
Han Tianyang repeatedly laughed coldly. His laugh was incomparably sad and shrill:
"At this moment, can we still leave some seeds behind? If we can't kill the Ghost King Venomous Toad, its poison would soon erode our defensive array glyphs, and at that time, tens of thousands of demon beasts would flood-in—any seed would be completely finished!"
Han Tianyang paused for a bit before the expression in his eyes turned as sharp as a saber. He swept a glance at the numerous disciple and spoke in an imposing manner:
"Everyone who is left here are the core disciples of the sect, many of whom had been members of the Azure Sun Sect for several generations. I am also not going to utter some heroic or noble words like there are tens of thousands of fellow countrymen behind us... I am not going to speak some nonsense like that. I am only going to say one thing and only one thing!"
"Our Star Glory Federation pays more attention to meritorious military service and advocates courage!"
"In the past during a beast tide outbreak, there were also many sects who took all their forces to fight, a vast majority of whom were disabled and crippled, and as a result, the sect was almost destroyed!"
"After the battle, these sects were completely supported by the country and received vast resources for reconstruction. Not only did they rise from ashes, but they were ever more prosperous!"
"In contrast, the sects who cowered during the beast tide outbreak and withdrew from front lines were all ridiculed by the entire world. Not only did they no longer receive any support from the country, but their business partners also severed all ties with them, and even the general public were reluctant to buy the products of those sects, leaving no one willing to conduct business with them."
"These sects survived the beast tide outbreak, but after the beast tide, they had thousands of fingers pointing at them and were ridiculed by tens of thousands of people, branded with the title of coward. And ultimately, not only did they vanish from the face of the Star Glory Federation, but they had also gone down in history as a byword of infamy!"
"At this moment, we have become a beast in the cage and the only thing we can do is risk our lives. Even if you are unable to come out alive, we can fight a bloody battle till the end and show the world the courage of the cultivators of our Azure Sun Sect. Only then would we have the possibility to rise from the ashes after the battle!"
"What is a seed? You think it's a human, but that’s wrong, absolutely wrong! Only courage is the seed of our Azure Sun Sect! As long as our Azure Sun Sect has this kind of courage and uprightness, our sect will remain forever!"
Han Tianyang paused a bit before he raised his voice as his voice turned resonant like a bell:
"Members of Azure Sun Sect, listen up!"
"Under the leader, elders, deacons, and managers... every disciple in the 6th level of the Refinement Stage or higher, prepare to attack!"
"Those who have the higher cultivation will charge in the front, while this leader of yours will lead the charge!"
"If the high-level Foundation Building cultivators are dead, intermediate-level Foundation Building cultivators will lead the charge. If the intermediate-level Foundation Building cultivators are dead, low-level Foundation Building cultivators will lead the charge. If all the Foundation Building cultivators are dead, the Refinement Stage disciples will lead the charge!"
"Whoever is afraid of death, roll out now and leave the Azure Sun Sect. We will part ways right here!"
The attacks of the Ghost King Venomous Toad were getting fiercer and fiercer, and most of the defensive array glyphs had been corroded by the poison. In at most half an hour, the demon beasts would charge into the edifice and start a bloody massacre.
The disciples of the Azure Sun Sect also knew that their leader’s every word was true and that they already had no room for escape.
In any case, they were going to die, so why not die a heroic death? That way, they can receive the support from the country, and once the Azure Sun Sect is reconstructed, their parents, wives, and children would receive great care.
If they cower and sit still like a turtle retracting its head and hiding in its shell, then once the demon beasts broke the array, the building would be flooded with them and their death would just be a trifling matter!
None of the disciples withdrew as they took guns and sabers out of the sheaths and prepared for a fight to the death!
At this moment, a thunderous cry rang forth in the sky:
"300 cultivators of Clear Heart Palace have come to fight shoulder to shoulder with fellow daoists of Verdant Tarn City!"
—That was just the beginning.
Within ten minutes, billowing thunderous cries rose one after another:
"150 cultivators of Fire and Ice Peak have come to fight shoulder to shoulder with fellow daoists of Verdant Tarn City!"
"80 cultivators of Permanent Sky Mansion have come to fight shoulder to shoulder with fellow daoists of Verdant Tarn City!"
"500 cultivators of Grand Desolate War Institution have come to fight shoulder to shoulder with fellow daoists of Verdant Tarn City!"
The disciples of the Azure Sun Sect were first astounded for a moment before they became wild with joy as they jumped and cheered in jubilation.
"Leader, the reinforcements have arrived. Cultivators of a couple dozen sects within the 500 kilometers have rushed over. Even the Grand Desolate War Institutions have sent 500 teachers and students to participate in the battle!"
Han Tianyang slightly quivered before he heaved a sigh of relief. His taut nerves were suddenly relaxed down. He could not even utter a word.
He waved his hands with exhaustion as though a weight had been lifted off his mind. He was drenched in sweat.
At this moment, thunderous cries once again rang forth in the sky:
"Cultivators of various sects who are bravely fighting the enemy, the federation government has just announced that all the reconstruction work of Verdant Tarn City will be handed over to the sects who are participating in this battle. Furthermore, the rights to operate the 19 mines near the Fertile Valley for a hundred year will also be awarded depending on who has performed the most bravely during the battle!"
"City reconstruction work!"
"Right to operate 19 mines for a century!"
"No matter what kind of reward is obtained, the profits would be an astronomical figure. It would be sufficient to expand our Azure Sun Sect by four to five times!"
"Forget that, just one mine would bring so much crystal resources, enough to allow our cultivation to advance by a few levels!"
"Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!"
Everyone cast their gaze at Han Tianyang. Everyone's face was laced with excitement, and their eyes were blooming with a resplendent aura.
An elder could not help but ask:
"Leader, are we still going to charge?"
Han Tianyang burst into laughter as his body was surrounded in a powerful aura. At the same time, his white hair radiated with a dazzling silver radiance, and his emaciated skin turned moist and shiny again; all of a sudden, he became a hundred years younger.
He was burning his life force to impact the limits of evolution.
"Of course, we are going to charge!"
"Many fellow daoists have come to help us, and the beast tide must be in chaos. At this moment, rushing through the front would be as easy as a hot knife cutting through butter!"
"Furthermore, you have all heard about Verdant Tarn City's reconstruction work, and there is also the right to operate the 19 mines near Fertile Valley for a hundred year. You just have to summon up your courage, suppress your fear of death, and bravely fight for the sect!"
"Even if we are assigned just 10%, it would be sufficient for our Azure Sun Sect to prosper for the next hundred years. We can even be ranked among the top hundred in the federation!"
"A hundred years of foundation! If we are not going fight in this battle, then when will we?"
"Disciples of the Azure Sun Sect, listen up! Release all your energy and ignite your souls! Blast to your strongest state and charge with me—kill for the future of the Azure Sun Sect!"