Shi Xing nodded. He was someone who'd graduated from the Martial Soul Department, and thus knew quite a bit about the rivalry between the two departments. During recent years, the Soul Tool Department had grown at an increasing rate, and had signs of surpassing the Martial Soul Department. On the other hand, the Martial Soul Department was slowing down somewhat. Even Dean Yan Shaoze, who had strong views against the use of soul tools, seemed to have relented slightly, transferring a large amount of the Academy's resources to the Soul Tool Department.
At this moment, a low roar suddenly rang out in the distance. Right after that, countless beasts cried out in response.
Over two hours had passed since the light of dawn. Was the Great Star Dou Forest's beast tide going to attack again?
The soul masters who were originally meditating opened their eyes with deathly pale expressions. Although they had resolute gazes, their eyes had a tinge of despair in them.
Shi Xing looked towards Xian Lin'er, who nodded back at him.
The fact that Shi Xing was chosen as the highest city defense officer was not only a testament to how calm he was, but also how decisive he was. The moment he made a decision, he immediately handed down his orders.
"All soul masters in the City Defense Army, head down to your bunkers and continue resting. All auxiliary troops, retreat fifty meters and rest on the city walls. Wait for further commands."
The soldiers in the City Defense Army couldn't help but look at each other after hearing Shi Xing's command. They were at a loss for a brief period of time. The great beast tide was about to descend on them, but their commander was actually ordering them to rest. Just what sense did that make? Were they not able to hold the soul beasts back?
"I've already given my orders! Do you not understand?!" Shi Xing shouted angrily.
The job of a soldier was to listen to one's superior. Although the City Defense Army didn't quite understand the purpose behind their commander's orders, the strict training they'd undergone every day made them move immediately. They quickly withdrew to the bunkers below the city walls. The auxiliary troops retreated as well, and quickly, the lack of soldiers on the city walls created a large gap.
Shi Xing, however, did not retreat. He was the City Defense Officer, and regardless of how much he trusted Xian Lin'er, he had to remain to ensure that the Tang Sect truly did have the capabilities to hold back the next assault. If anything were to go wrong, he could command his subordinates to provide aid as quickly as possible.
The army of soul beasts from the Great Star Dou Forest made their move. A large number of soul beasts started charging wildly, causing clouds of dust to rise in the distance. Amid the wild roars coming from that direction, a large number of soul beasts rushed towards Shrek City.
When Shi Xing was finally able to see the large charging army clearly, his expression changed instantly.
This time around, the Emerald Swan Bi Ji wasn't the one leading the great army of soul beasts; another soul beast was tasked with that. This soul beast was an existence that resembled an enormous lion floating in the sky, but it had three large heads, and glowed with a scarlet-red light. It was this soul beast that had let out that roar earlier.
Of the Ten Great Savage Beasts, this was the eighth-ranked soul beast: the Three-Headed Scarletdevil Mastiff, the Scarlet King!
Bi Ji also had to rest. This was especially the case after she went all-out assisting the entire soul beast army, which had taxed her soul power greatly. After an entire day and night of fighting, the commander of the army of soul beasts had been swapped to the Scarlet King.
Shi Xing should've been slightly more relaxed due to the disappearance of Bi Ji, but the reason why his expression had changed earlier wasn't because of the new commander of the soul beast army. Instead, it was because of the appearance of a dark cloud in the sky above the army; an army of flying-type soul beasts had revealed itself on the battlefield.
There were quite a few soul beasts who could fly. However, there were relatively few flying-type soul beasts in the Great Star Forest. This was because of the high chance of these soul beasts being shot down by ranged attacks if they flew above the forest. Because of that, flying-type soul beasts that didn't live near the very edge of the forest, or were very powerful, would find it extremely difficult to live in the Great Star Dou Forest.
There weren't that many flying-type soul beasts before them now, only a thousand or so. However, even a thousand soul beasts could form a black cloud in the air. There were various kinds of flying-type soul beasts within the cloud, and they flickered with different colors. There was no vanguard who led their charge. Instead, they all flew steadily forward together.
An attack consisting of both aerial and ground attacks would clearly be much more difficult to handle. The reason why the Great Star Dou Forest hadn't used flying-type soul beasts before was because they were extremely precious. At this moment however, they'd mobilized their aerial troops to increase the intensity of their attack, for the sake of defeating Shrek City in one shot. Although this aerial army wasn't the strongest they could muster, their ability to harass Shrek City would definitely affect their defensive capabilities greatly.
Without the Golden Tree protecting the city, the soul tool barriers surrounding Shrek City could only block a frontal attack, they weren't able to guard against aerial attacks. The harassment the aerial army of soul beasts could thus bring could be imagined.
The soul beast flying in front of the aerial army was the one who had previously fought against Elder Song, the Six-Winged Deviltiger.
An aerial army led by a hundred-thousand-year soul beast couldn't be underestimated. Moreover, the strength of the beast tide on the ground had at least doubled in strength. With Shi Xing's eyesight, he was naturally able to tell that there were no longer any soul beasts that were weaker than a hundred years in the beast tide. The number of thousand and ten-thousand-year soul beasts had increased as well. The strong undulations of soul power coming from them made it seem as though Mount Tai was pressing down on them.
How are we going to fight this? Shi Xing was deep in thought. If he were the one commanding the Shrek City Defense Army, the only way he could deal with this would be to use a large number of stationary soul cannons to launch a simultaneous attack on both the aerial and ground-based armies. Only by launching an all-out attack that risked their lives would they have a chance of stopping this wave.
However, what would they do about the next wave if they did this? What could they do?
"Dean Xian, I'll ask the soldiers to come back. Could you go and ask the elders to assist us? Otherwise, we won't be able to defend against both the aerial and ground armies."
Xian Lin'er glanced at Shi Xing and said, "Don't just do things on your own. Trust the Tang Sect."
"But…" Shi Xing was feeling somewhat anxious. It wasn't that he didn't trust the Tang Sect, but the beast tide in front of him and the previous two were completely different!
Just as he wanted to continue speaking, a series of sudden clangs caught his ear. Right after that, a number of huge creatures quickly rose from the area behind the walls, then quickly proceeded to the top of the city wall.
What is this? Shi Xing nearly choked on his words as he stared blankly at these monsters that were completely made of metal.
Right, these things could only be described as monsters. If one had to find a living creature resembling these things, only a porcupine would fit the bill. Only, did a porcupine have this large a head? Was there a porcupine that had a diameter of over two meters? Was it a hundred-thousand-year-one?
These enormous porcupines had eight metallic legs underneath their bellies. After they scaled the city walls, they rapidly moved forward.
Other than the metallic legs underneath their round bodies, there were various metal spikes protruding from them. There were conical-shaped ones, tube-shaped ones, and other spikes of various shapes. Every single porcupine had at least sixty of these protrusions. Amidst the sounds of clanging metal, they travelled forward quickly.
After a few breaths of time, around sixty of these metallic porcupines had scaled the city walls. Moreover, they quickly arranged themselves in a tidy manner.
Right after that, several hundred soldiers who were fully covered in metal began to quickly line up. There were a few of them who looked very young, but they were all able to move very quickly. Roughly five of them followed each single metallic porcupine as they lined up quickly.
Within a mere ten minutes, a total of sixty-one metallic porcupines were lined up in an orderly manner on top of the city walls, replacing the Shrek City Defense Army.
"Dean Xian, what are these?" Shi Xing couldn't help but ask. He was extremely curious.
"These are All-Terrain Self-Driving Forts, ATSDF's. I'm a bit ashamed to say this, but they were invented by the Sun Moon Empire. Teacher Xuan brought them over to Shrek, then remodelled them for us. He reduced their flexibility and removed various abilities, but was able to increase their offensive capabilities. Just watch."
The things climbing up the city walls were All-Terrain Self-Driving Forts!
Unlike the original iteration of the All-Terrain Self-Driving Fort, the remodelled ones were slightly smaller. Furthermore, the materials used to construct them had been changed slightly. Instead of using rare metals, it used iron essence as its main material. Rare metals were simply too expensive. In Xuan Ziwen's own words, using rare metals would be a waste of resources.
Using iron essence to construct an All-Terrain Self-Driving Fort resulted in its defenses being equivalent to that of a Class 3 or 4 soul barrier. This was already enough for Xuan Ziwen. Unlike the outer casing of the fort, which he decided to skimp on, Xuan Ziwen demanded perfection in its formation arrays. Every single internal component and formation array of the All-Terrain Self-Driving Forts had been created by students of Shrek Academy and disciples of the Tang Sect, who had all been taught by him. They would only be mounted in the Forts after he had personally checked them.
The outer casing of these sixty-one All-Terrain Self-Driving Forts were all created using Shrek Academy's resources. They were originally meant to provide immediate assistance in any battles that Shrek Academy would fight in the future. However, nobody thought that they would first be used to defend the city!
Naturally, credit had to be given to Huo Yuhao, who had brought back a large amount of rare metals from the Sun Moon Empire. This was why they were able to create so many All-Terrain Self-Driving Forts in such a short period of time. Their outer shells were finished much earlier.
However, Shrek Academy was only able to perfect their weapons and formation arrays after obtaining those rare metals. After just over a month, they were able to assemble the first batch of Forts.
The Tang Sect hadn't decided whether they would put them on the market yet. Shrek Academy had only ordered a hundred of them. Right now, they'd only completed sixty-one of the hundred, and thus hadn't finished their order yet.
Every single All-Terrain Self-Driving Fort could fit three people in it, or even four if they were squeezed together. A hundred, in turn, could fit four hundred people. From the Academy's point of view, these forts were quite good at both attacking and defending. Along with the Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons, the All-Terrain Self-Driving Forts were projects that the Academy strongly supported.
At this moment, even Xian Lin'er wanted to see how powerful these Forts were. From her point of view, this was another way of fighting with larger soul Forts!