Chapter 170: The First Battle
The cultivators of the Wasteland were intrinsically more valiant than those from the inland. Their morale was boosted by the news of the arrival of the military, and they were excited by the reconstruction project of Verdant Tarn City and the nineteen crystal ore veins. Not only did the cultivators from the Azure Sun Sect jumped towards the Ghost King Venomous Toad like an unstoppable force, the several dozen cultivators in the stronghold ignited their life force to unleash a final counterattack.
Several hundred cultivators at the Building Foundation Stage or higher dropped down from the skies, specifically aiming at the Demon Generals within the beast tide. Demon Generals were front line commanders of the beast tide, and once they were killed, the ordinary demon beasts who possessed relatively simple brains would become a confused mess and incapable of engaging in tactics.
In addition, the military used their crystal warships to airdrop light crystal tanks which were ill-suited for city-centric combat. The Federation Army advanced in suppressing the beast tide from the outside.
The three-pronged attack wreaked havoc for a long while before the initial suppression of the beast tide was finally made. Quite a few civilians had been rescued from within the stronghold.
But this time, the wormhole had emerged underground. Countless demon beasts rushed through the sewers to the surface like a tide of water. Demon Kings, whose power was equivalent to humanity's Core Formation Stage cultivators, oversaw the battle from underground. The cruel street combat would have to continue for a long period of time.
In the factory district located in the southwest region of Verdant Tarn City, nine cultivators had formed a small squad. They advanced forward with complete vigilance.
They were all freshmen of Grand Desolate War Institution.
Aside from Zhao Tianchong and Lu Tieshan, who possess combat experience, the remaining members had rarely exchanged blows with demon beasts on a true battlefield.
So, their first mission was to get familiar with the battlefield as quickly as possible and to accumulate real combat experience!
The demon beasts didn't devastate the southwestern portion of Verdant Tarn City as hard as the other areas. High stage cultivators had already swept through this factory district and were unable to discover any excessively tyrannical high stage demon beasts. At most, there were a few Demon Soldiers lying in wait within the darkness, which was most suitable for these newcomers to train on.
Ding Lingdang was the leader of these troops; in other words, she was the babysitter of these newcomers.
She was extremely dissatisfied about this task. She pouted and cursed as she kicked small rocks on the roadside around.
Li Yao held the Six Barrel Revolver Cannon with both hands. Ammunition belts were wound around his body, and he carried a giant metal crate weighing over a thousand kilograms on his back. All sorts of equipment were piled atop of him like a mountain, burying him entirely inside. Cheerfully walking in the middle of the squad, no matter how one looked at him, he looked like an upstart who got rich overnight.
Zhao Tianchong's and Lu Tieshan's moods became a bit displeased. They were different from normal freshmen; they had actual combat experience since the age of ten, and by now, they could be considered be veterans of the battlefield. Executing this mission of bringing along these newcomers more or less meant that they were acting as babysitters.
And there was also Li Yao within this group of newcomers. He was like a master carrying all those big guns around, showing off his combat power.
They thought back to a moment ago when the recoil of the cannon had fractured Li Yao's bones, how Li Yao had screamed with "wa wa", implicating everyone in the scene. The two became even more depressed just thinking about it.
"When this mission is over, we'll apply for a higher level mission and engage in free slaughter. It’s best to get far far away from Li Yao, this newbie!"
The two people looked each other in the eyes, each revealing their intentions from their eyes.
The blood-like setting sun dyed the dilapidated walls with a layer of red. There was no hint of people within the destroyed factory district; it was incomparably desolate.
There were collapsed buildings and abandoned flying shuttles everywhere. There were even a few shriveled up demon beast corpses in the corners. The ground was mottled everywhere with the black color of their blood.
A faint red glow floated within the air, permeating with an acrid aura.
Ordinary people could hold on for 35 minutes before dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest tightness kicked in.
Even though these nine were cultivators, their minds were agitated and their thoughts were a mess. It was a discomfort that could not be described.
Ding Lingdang took out a box of dark green ointment from between her breasts. She smeared a bit beneath her nose and passed it along to the student next to her. As the student applied it and passed it on, she explained:
"This is demonic energy. Besides the death of a demon beast, the rotting of their corpses will generate this demonic energy. Also, quite a few demon beasts can release demonic energy naturally."
"Demonic energy exceeding a concentration of 10% isn't suitable for the survival of ordinary humans, and even cultivators would find it hard to persevere for long in a concentration exceeding 30%. In a concentration exceeding 50%, one must wear a crystal suit and rely on powerful purification magical equipment in order to fight within the demonic energy!"
"The Blood Demon Sector is the headquarters of the demon beasts. It's said that quite a few places in the Blood Demon Sector have demonic energy concentration exceeding 70%. This was one of the reasons why our human race has been constantly unable to breach the Blood Demon Sector. Our crystal suits are too few in number."
"If only there was a crystal suit that was cheap to manufacture. Squads could be equipped with this crystal suit on a massive scale, and only in this way could we assemble a great force that could engage in a great decisive battle within the Blood Demon Sector, where the concentration of demonic energy exceeds 70%!"
This last sentence was purposefully directed towards Li Yao.
Sure enough, the glow in Li Yao's eyes radiated intensely and his fighting spirit soared even higher.
Ding Lingdang laughed and continued:
"Here, the concentration of demonic energy doesn't exceed 3%. Besides assaulting the nose, it won't cause any major disturbances, but everyone still needs to be careful. The dense demonic energy shows that there are quite a few demon beasts lying in wait nearby. They can appear at any time."
Before Ding Lingdang's voice could fade away, sounds that were as sharp as needles ferociously stabbed against their eardrums thrice.
Several flying shuttles were discarded to the side of the road suddenly exploding. Three black balls with a diameter of a meter each came rolling out. They made an ear-piercing hiss and split open as jointed limbs sharp like blades reached out. They turned into three two-meter tall demon beasts that bore their fangs and brandished their claws.
At first glance, they looked like a hybrid between a cockroach and a mantis that was enlarged by a thousand times. Hard black carapaces covered their bodies, the tips of their two limbs were condensed into sabers, and two barbs even grew out from the very front. Under the illumination of the setting sun, they let out a chilling aura that made one's blood run cold!
"Black Armored Saber Mantis!"
For quite a few of the freshmen, this was their first time seeing this sort of demon beast. Each of them raised their wrists to look at their crystal processors.
A large paragraph of information suddenly jumped out from within the hologram.
The Black Armored Saber Mantis was a type of joint-limbed demon beast with an extremely savage nature. A fully matured Black Armored Saber Mantis could reach the rank of a low level Demon Soldier. It could brandish its two forelimbs, which were like chainswords, to engage in combat, and it could also curl into a ball to move at high speeds and ferociously ram its prey.
Even though the Black Armored Saber Mantis was a low level demon soldier with not the highest of offensive abilities, the life force of this demon beast was very hard to overcome. Even if the main brain located in the center portion of its body was annihilated, it can still persevere for a dozen minutes by relying on its savage instincts. All of its limbs had to be cut off in order to cause it to lose all its combat ability completely.
The remaining series of data included the Black Armored Saber Mantis's maximum speed, maximum destructive ability, etc. There were also a few videos of cultivators fighting the Black Armored Saber Mantis.
However, since they were faced with powerful enemies, they naturally didn't have the time to research these videos in detail.
The scarlet compound eyes of the three Black Armored Saber Mantis spun for a very long time at the sight of this many humans. Couldn’t help but be enticed, it pressed in closer step by step.
Slaughter was fused in the blood and nature of demon beasts. Even if it had an intelligence rivaling that of humans, it would still be compelled to move under the desires to slaughter and would commit acts with all sorts of extreme craziness!
In accordance with its strength, Demon Soldiers were divided into the three levels of upper, intermediate, and lower. The Lower Demon Soldiers were equivalent to low level Refinement Stage cultivators.
Even though demon beasts were more savage than humans, humans possessed more abilities and magical equipment. When the same level of opponents meet face to face, one must look at their on-the-spot performance to see who would be the victor and who would be the loser!
"I'm coming for you!"
Zhao Tianchong made a long hiss, not waiting for the other people to respond; his figure already transformed into a gray streak of light, flashing in between the three Black Armored Saber Mantises.
He unsheathed a sharp blade from his waist, and several hundred streaks of sword-light covered the entirety of ten-meter radius region. It was as if the mass of sword-light interweaved to form a hurricane that completely sucked the three Black Armored Saber Mantises inside!
No one was able to see his actions at all. They could only hear the long sword collide endlessly with the blade-like limbs of the Black Armored Saber Mantises as sparks scattered all around!
At practically the same time came more hissing sounds from farther away. Four Black Armored Saber Mantis had sensed this fight and came rushing to aid their comrades.
"Now, it's my turn!"
Lu Tieshan laughed. He ferociously punched his seemingly scale-covered fists together, unexpectedly producing arcs and arcs of crackling electricity. Like a tiger setting off the mountain, he swooped down charging towards the four Black Armored Saber Mantises.
Three minutes later...
Great amounts of electrical arcs coiled around the bodies of the Black Armored Saber Mantises, letting out the strong stench of burnt flesh.
Not only were their brains turned to mush from the electricity, but their limbs were also all paralyzed by it. They laid weakly on the ground, unable to move a single step.
Zhao Tianchong also finished his kill. His monster-like figure withdrew back to the team.
The sword twirled in the arc of a flower and was swung to flick off the bit of demon blood on the tip before being returned to its sheath with a click.
A great amount of purple blood sprayed like mist from the three Black Armored Saber Mantis following this sound. All their limbs separated from their bodies in an instant, and their bodies were each separated into two halves with great precision!
"Senior Brother Lu's so mighty! This Thunder Devil Fist move is far too beautiful!"
"Brother Zhao is unrivaled! Within your hands, the essence of the Phantom Sword Technique is truly displayed in great detail. It has greatly opened our eyes!"
Several of the freshmen cried out in admiration one after another.
If they had made their moves, perhaps they would have been able to slay a Black Armored Saber Mantis after a bloody fight; however, it would have been impossible for them to shed the blood of their opponents so freely, skillfully, and easily like these two experts.
Ding Lingdang coldly interrupted them:
"Don't let down your guard. These six are just guards. What's next is the real enemy!"
Before her voice could fade away, a gold beetle ball with a diameter of two meters came rolling out from an abandoned building to the side. It bore its fangs and brandished its claws, stretching to be over three meters in height. It was a giant mantis whose body flickered all over with gold light.
Its blade-like forelimbs were twice as long as the forelimbs of a Black Armored Saber Mantis, and sawtooths that flashed with a chilling aura covered and hung atop of the limbs. As soon as these teeth hooked onto flesh, a huge chunk of skin and bone would be ripped off!
The Gold Armored Saber Mantis was a variation of the Black Armored Saber Mantis. Its maximum strength can reach the level of an intermediate demon soldier, and it possessed even more powerful demonic techniques and can consume metal ores to strengthen its carapace. Its carapace was the same as being equipped with a layer of hard armor. Its defensive power was extremely high!
"The Gold Armored Saber Mantis—its maximum combat ability is equivalent to the intermediate level Refinement Stage!"
A scream came out from the group of freshmen.
Anyway, everyone wasn't too nervous. After all, they had Ding Lingdang, a Building Foundation Stage cultivator, watching over them. What's the big deal about an intermediate level demon soldier?
Zhao Tianchong and Lu Tieshan were itching to fight it.
The Gold Armored Saber Mantis was a series stronger than them, but they were all one-in-ten-thousand cultivation geniuses and they even had the support of an expert. If the two of them joined hands, even if they weren't able to surpass the gap and slay this monster, they would absolutely be able to escape unharmed!
They glanced at each other directly and were about to advance forward when someone suddenly oddly said:
"Hold on. Isn't there someone with heavy firepower within our squad? Naturally, before anything else, we should let the heavy firepower expert mow through a round against this kind of demon beast with extremely high defensive power!"
"Whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh!"
Everyone's gazes all congregated upon Li Yao's body when these words were spoken.