The auxiliary soldiers went down into the city to rest. However, Shi Xing had to firmly instruct all soul masters to remain on the city walls. The soul beast army was too fast. If they waited until the moment they attacked, they would not have time to gather everyone.
He issued a death order: no soul master was allowed to sleep! To rest, they could only meditate on the spot. This was the fastest way for them to rest mentally and replenish their strength. Once fighting broke out, they could immediately be sent to the battlefield.
The members of the Tang Sect had yet to participate directly in the fight. They had thus far spent more time coordinating the logistical support they had provided. Bei Bei's face was calm as he looked at the soul beast army in the distance. He knew that in the next attack, everyone from the Tang Sect would have to fight, too.
No, someone from the Tang Sect had taken part in the fighting already. That was Mo Xuan.
Mo Xuan was a pure auxiliary-type soul master. From a certain perspective, his role in the fight was similar to Bi Ji's. However, his auxiliary abilities were not as strong as those of Bi Ji, the Emerald Swan. Even so, his wide-range auxiliary abilities massively increased the power of the defending soul masters. This had allowed them to fight far better than they would otherwise have been able to.
Shi Xing stood on the city walls with a severe expression on his face. As the City Defense Officer, his role was the most tiring one. Not only did he have to command his forces, but he also had to personally take part in the fighting, as well as manage the overall situation.
He had just finished surveying the city defenses. The situation was not optimistic. Many of his soldiers were exhausted, since the numerical difference in manpower had caused the fight to be uneven since the start.
He had no doubt that reinforcements would come. Other than the many talented individuals Shrek Academy had nurtured over all these years, most of whom were now in high positions in the three empires, the close relationship between Shrek Academy and the three empires meant that they had no option but to save the Academy.
The beast tide from the Great Star Dou Forest was not just Shrek City's problem. If Shrek City fell, all of mankind would be in trouble!
The reason why the soul beasts from the Great Star Dou Forest chose to attack Shrek was to eliminate this powerful rallying point of mankind. While it might seem dumb to attack the greatest strength of one's foe, was there anything wrong with the soul beasts' decision?
Shrek City was a hard nut to crack. However, this nut was located at the center of the three empires, and had intimate ties with the original three empires of the Douluo Continent. Since their inception, they had always played in important role in the history of the continent. While Shrek Academy was just a school, it was the number one school in the world, and was fully capable of managing the ties between the three countries. If the beast tide were to strike one of the other countries first, they would indeed be able to reap some benefits at the start, but their rear flank would be exposed to Shrek City. When that happened, Shrek Academy could organize the armies of the three empires, which, under the leadership of the powerful soul masters from Shrek Academy, could inflict heavy casualties on the soul beast army.
More importantly, if Shrek City was cruel enough, they could attack the Great Star Dou Forest straightaway. What could the soul beast army do then? That was their home, and their final shield. They were not scared of ordinary armies, but Shrek City had too many powerful soul masters. Their destructive powers could not be rivaled by any ordinary army.
Hence, even after a hundred years, the first target of the beast tide was still Shrek City.
As long as they could overrun Shrek City, it would be extremely difficult for the three human empires to form an army that could successfully resist them.
The soul beasts knew this, so how could the three original empires of the Douluo Continent not know it? Hence, they had to render aid to Shrek City. However, no one knew how long it would take for reinforcements to arrive.
Ordinary soldiers were useless against a beast tide. Only an army formed from powerful soul masters could help Shrek Academy resist the beast tide. However, for them to form such a powerful army, they would need time. Could Shrek City hold out until then?
Dark thoughts crossed Shi Xing's mind. This time, the soul beast army was determined. The overnight attack had exhausted a lot of Shrek City's resources. Resources, however, were secondary to manpower! He estimated that when the next assault came, it would devolve into a brawl. Once they started to fight at close-range, the number of casualties would skyrocket. This would drain Shrek City even faster. He feared that just one day from now, the powerful hidden soul beasts would attack. At that time, could Shrek City still stand?
He understood these principles. However, he also knew that this was no time to think about them. What he could do right now was lead Shrek City's city defense army to buy more time. Fortunately, the Tang Sect had provided many stationary soul cannon shells to provide assistance. If not, the fight would have become a close-quarters brawl even sooner. The remaining two thousand stationary soul cannon shells were Shrek Academy's last resort. While they could not truly turn the tide of the war, they could inflict massive casualties on the soul beasts!
The number of soul beasts in the Great Star Dou Forest was not infinite. If they incurred too many casualties, the entire ecosystem of the forest would be affected. This was something the Savage Beasts had to bear in mind, too.
There were a few possible methods to force them to retreat. First of all, they could inflict so many casualties on the soul beasts that they had more casualties than they had predicted. This would force them to retreat. However, this was no mean feat!
Up to now, between twenty and thirty thousand soul beasts had been lost. With Emerald Swans there, the injured soul beasts could recover quickly. Most of the deaths were ten-year and hundred-year soul beasts, who were cannon fodder. Some thousand-year soul beasts had been injured as well, but very few ten-thousand-year soul beasts had died. They, however, were the main fighting force of the Great Star Dou Forest.
Just as Shi Xing was doing his calculations, a calm voice sounded next to him, "Let the Tang Sect take care of the next round. We'll fight for at least two hours."
Shi Xing turned his head to look. He saw a middle-aged man with disheveled hair and unkempt clothes. Grease stained his body, and he looked unwell. His sleeves were rolled up. Evidently, he had been working.
"Who are you?" Shi Xing asked suspiciously. He was familiar with Shrek City, but he did not know this man. However, if he was able to walk up next to him, he must be someone the Academy deemed important.
"I'm the Hallmaster of the Tang Sect's Soul Tool Hall, Xuan Ziwen," the middle-aged man said plainly.
"Xuan Ziwen?" When he heard the name, Shi Xing was shocked. "You made the Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons?"
Xuan Ziwen shook his head and said, "No, I didn't invent the Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons, and I was not involved in their manufacture. However, I'm in charge of the Tang Sect's Soul Tool Hall. For the next fight, leave it to us."
"We can hold them off for maybe two hours. This will give the troops more time to rest."
Shi Xing finally listened to what he was saying. He replied doubtfully, "Are you saying that the Tang Sect will take over the entire defense of Shrek City?"
Xuan Ziwen's mouth twitched as he replied, "Of course not! We don't have enough men. I'm saying that we'll take care of the southern city wall. We can definitely manage for two hours."
As the City Defense Officer, Shi Xing had to be careful. "Are you serious? This is no joke. The soul beast army is huge. How many people does the Tang Sect have?"
Xuan Ziwen replied plainly, "The Soul Tool Hall of the Tang Sect has sixty-one members in total. Coupled with the three hundred people coming over from the Academy's Soul Tool Department, we will have three hundred and sixty-one people. Leave it to us. If the city falls, we'll die together. I won't boast in front of you."
While Xuan Ziwen only had eight rings, he showed no fear when talking to a nine-ringed Titled Douluo. He had been influential even in the Sun Moon Empire, much less now in Shrek City. His pride came from his abilities.
"Okay, let's leave it to Teacher Xuan." At this moment, another voice sounded. The Valkyrie Douluo, Xian Lin'er, walked over as she agreed to Xuan Ziwen's suggestion.
As the Dean of Shrek Academy's Soul Tool Department, no one knew how powerful Xuan Ziwen was more than Xian Lin'er. She was a Class 8 soul engineer too, but she could not even hold a candle to Xuan Ziwen's brilliance. One could say that ever since Xuan Ziwen had joined the Tang Sect, both the Tang Sect's research into soul tools and Shrek Academy's Soul Tool Department had improved by leaps and bounds! Xuan Ziwen had brought countless brand-new theories with him, and also helped the Soul Tool Department establish an effective pedagogy. It could be said that he had saved the Soul Tool Department a hundred years of research and development.
Even the Valkyrie Douluo, a Transcendent Douluo, had to call Xuan Ziwen "Teacher". While Xuan Ziwen did not want to admit it, he was already the Vice-Dean of Shrek Academy's Soul Tool Department, and also the Executive Vice-Dean. After a period of familiarization, the Soul Tool Department had approved every single one of Xuan Ziwen's proposals. Anyone who dared to block his proposals would face the wrath of the two Deans, Xian Lin'er and Qian Duoduo!
With Xian Lin'er's words, Shi Xing felt more at ease. He nodded and said seriously, "It's up to you, then."
Xuan Ziwen nodded and turned to leave without saying anything else.
As Xuan Ziwen walked away, Shi Xing could not help but ask Xian Lin'er, "Dean Xian, is he capable?"
Xian Lin'er smiled and said, "How did you resist the soul beast army just now? Was it through the soul skills of your soul masters? No, it was through soul tools. While many of the soul tools were made by the Academy, most of them were also made by the blood and sweat of the Tang Sect. The few soul tools we used just now could be operated simply by soul masters. Soon, I want to show you the true power of the Soul Tool Department.
"In a one-on-one fight, a soul engineer will have a disadvantage against a soul master. However, on the battlefield, we soul engineers rule. Why do you think the Sun Moon Empire is so powerful? Their strength comes entirely from their absolute advantage in terms of soul tools."