Chapter 1154: Bombardmen
Within Whitetown, Song Zining had been standing on the wall all this time and observing the dark race’s movements.
Having finished patrolling the entire city, Qianye appeared beside Song Zining. “Do we not need the Martyr’s Palace? There’s still time.”
Song Zining shook his head. “The Martyr’s Palace is better used for intimidation. It’s more terrifying for them because they have no idea where the palace is. That duke will not throw his flagship into battle because that’s his only tool for escape. Without it, he might very well die here if he were to sustain a heavy injury.”
Qianye nodded in recognition.
Song Zining pointed at the Evernight airships shuttling back and forth. “I’ve observed them for the entire night. These are the newest model transports, and even a duke can’t mobilize that many of them. It seems the dark races have finally realized the gravity of the situation; they want to concentrate their forces on us and drive us away from the void continent. Be prepared, the true test begins now.”
Qianye nodded. There was a tacit understanding between the two, that Qianye would only watch the ordinary battles and not take action. His targets were the top experts of the enemy formation, including Duke Romier.
Song Zining was in charge of all command and mobilization, as well as clearing out the middle-ranked experts. Due to the special characteristics of Worldly Prosperity and the Three Thousand Flying Leaves Art, those ordinary experts had no way to lock onto Song Zining in his domain. He would be relatively safe even when moving through an army of ten thousand. The only thing he would need to worry about were surprise attacks from a dark race expert of the same rank.
At this moment, the Evernight faction had finished installing their kinetic tower, and many of their temporary defensive structures had come online. A never-ending stream of trucks was shipping things back and forth.
A mournful steam resonated across the skies as the two heavy doors of the Evernight fort slowly opened up. One heavy truck after the other converged into a deluge of steel, slowly rolling toward the front lines. These trucks were carrying heavy cannons on their back—an almost countless number of them.
Song Zining’s eyes narrowed as he turned back and shouted, “Issue the order, all heavy cannons are to disperse and take cover! Apart from the combatants of the first defensive line, all other personnel will enter the bunkers!” The aide-de-camp ran off to pass the orders.
“We can’t win?” Qianye asked.
“We don’t have much ammunition left.” Song Zining sighed.
They had prepared sufficient supplies and ammunition, but consumption in battle was astronomical. Dark Flame had exchanged these numbers for highly favorable casualty ratios. Against the overwhelming advantage of the Evernight heavy cannon unit, the only viable course of action was to preserve one’s strength first.
Romier’s cannons were superior in both caliber and range. They were being used to bombard Indomitable at first, but now, they had been shipped to the rear for urgent use against the defense-proficient humans. After the situation in Whitetown became known, the dark races transferred everything they had to deal with Song Zining.
Hundreds of heavy cannons were deployed outside of Whitetown’s firing range. It was already a great feat for Song Zining to have shipped so many heavy cannons here. Unfortunately, it was impossible for him to get his hands on top-grade ones.
Moments later, a flash of light appeared in the distance, and the sky was soon filled with specks of starlight, almost like falling meteors. A strange whistling came from the sky as cannon shells rained down one after the other. The sound of gunfire rang out in the city; it was the sound of experts trying to intercept the projectiles.
Song Zining picked up a large-caliber sniper rifle and fired three times into the air, producing three balls of fire in the sky. An expert at this level could already control his body to the finest details, so even an ordinary firearm could have the same interception effect as an origin gun. It was just that such high caliber sniper rifles were slow to fire, and even Song Zining could only intercept three rounds.
Qianye, on the other hand, had fired eight rounds into the air with his Twin Flowers, destroying a cannon shell with each shot. The consecutive fire brought about a slight dip in Qianye’s aura, but it climbed back rapidly. The Twin Flowers was limited to firing five rounds each before the origin array would have to cool down.
As more and more experts took action, eighty percent of this volley was intercepted, but the dozens of rounds that did land still produced a shocking amount of damage. Every earth-shattering explosion kicked up a cloud of dust and smoke that eventually shrouded the entire Whitetown.
The shockwaves from the first volley hadn’t even dispersed when a shrill whistle rang out in the air once more. This time, most experts found their interception abilities greatly affected by the visual obstruction. Almost half of the shells entered the city—even the highest cannon tower was blasted in half, with its top part slowly collapsing onto the streets.
Romier wasn’t about to give Whitetown any opportunity to catch their breath. The rumble of heavy cannons rang out constantly, each volley raining shells upon the city like falling meteors. The cannoneers and porters around the cannons were working frantically. As origin arrays lit up along the cannon’s body, the temperature of the metal shot up, while the cannoneers’ origin power dipped once more.
Even so, the inspection team made sure that the heavy cannons kept up the rapid rate of fire. Miserable cries would appear in the field from time to time, coming from the loaders who were accidentally burned or the porters who were being whipped for running into things. On the firing seat, one exhausted cannoneer after the other was dragged away and replaced with a new one. Some of the origin cannons would explode at times, leaving a large charred hole, pieces of scrap metal, and broken limbs.
The interception from inside the city grew weaker and weaker. Even the wall where Qianye and Song Zining were standing had been drowned in cannon fire, forcing the two to split up.
The weaker experts no longer had the strength to take action; all they could do was keep themselves alive. The ordinary mercenaries hid inside the bunkers, praying that a shell wouldn’t explode right over their position.
The rumbling seemed like the only sound in this world. There were raging flames everywhere—the entire city was shrouded in dense smoke, and no one could see what was going on in the distance. Buildings collapsed constantly as even the stone houses couldn’t withstand such barbaric destruction.
The cannon fire still went on, almost as though the end of the world was nigh.
The firing finally stopped after an unknown length of time, but everyone could still hear the ringing in their ears and nothing else.
The city walls had long since turned into rubble, and the defensive line was not even discernible anymore. The neat white street blocks had all turned into charred ruins.
The scorched ground seemed to move about as the Dark Flame mercenaries scuttled out from below. They shook off the soot from their bodies and patted themselves down to see if there were any injuries.
A veteran mercenary who was in charge of the defensive line almost jumped up in fright as he peeked out of the city. The dark race vanguard was less than a hundred meters away from their position!
He cried out loudly, hoping to call on the heavy machine guns in the bunker to provide covering fire. However, he himself couldn’t hear what he was saying because the residual effects of the heavy cannon barrage were still there. The old soldier turned around and found, to his dismay, that the bunker was long gone, replaced by a deep bomb crater.
No heavy cannon could produce this kind of destruction in one hit. This was a result of multiple cannon shells falling onto a single area. Those comrades inside the bunker had long since become one with the rubble, and even the corpses could no longer be found.
The mercenary turned back and grabbed his origin gun. He took aim calmly, locked onto a target, and pulled the trigger as the origin array became activated. There was a high-ranking vampire warrior in his crosshairs. This shot landed on the enemy’s shoulder, sending his arm flying high into the air. Without even confirming the outcome of his shot, the veteran changed his target to an arachne.
After two shots, however, the dark races were already too close for comfort. The old veteran threw down his origin gun and drew his dagger to meet the incoming army. Then, he was eventually swallowed up by the tide of darkness.
Similar fights were taking place in every corner of the front lines. The Evernight army was like a black tide slamming itself mercilessly against the walls of Whitetown. The waves immediately seeped into the city, each stream representing a gap in the defensive line.
The outermost defensive line had already fallen, and the battle was now playing out within the small city. Every street and every building was now a battlefield, where no one knew when a sniper would open fire.
An arachne was leaping through the rubble in his true form. He climbed straight up to the roof of a small building and slaughtered the snipers hiding therein. However, the rooftop exploded all of a sudden, sending his gigantic body into the air. Apparently, there was a high-explosive trap set up in that location, and the snipers were firing from atop a ton of gunpowder.
Whitetown was already in ruins, but the dark races discovered that the rubble was actually a better form of cover for the enemy. Whatever experience they had was useless here because they couldn’t even find a single trace of the enemy, and the sense of smell they were so proud of became useless amidst the smoke and gunpowder.
The neutral land mercenaries were already used to fighting in extreme environments. The towns and cities there were frequently razed, rebuilt, and razed again. There was no need for anyone to teach them—they were right at home amidst the ruins and masters of alleyway fighting.
A large number of dark race soldiers gushed into the city. Even though the battles inside were at a stalemate, they were able to take the advantage due to their superior numbers.
Far off in the sky, Romier had already walked out of his flagship and was looking down at the town below.
The first wave of soldiers had fought their way into the city, with most of them bottlenecked near the former city wall. It was at this time that raging fires erupted from beneath the city wall, followed by a gush of sticky black oil that immediately burst into flame after leaving the ground. In the blink of an eye, a wall of fire had appeared out of nowhere and separated the dark races inside the city from those outside, devouring thousands of warriors in the process.
Romier’s expression froze. As expected, the urban battle increased in ferocity, with fights breaking out at the same time in every corner of the city. Moreover, from his bird’s eye view, he could see that the number of dark race soldiers was dwindling at a rapid rate in two districts.
Even Romier could barely see two faint figures shutting back and forth through the crowd. Wherever these shadows went, dark race warriors would collapse in droves.
Needless to say, they were Qianye and Song Zining.
The duo was dealing with ordinary soldiers in person now, and this meant that the situation inside had reached the most dangerous stage. However, Romier’s solemn expression didn’t relax a bit. The ferocity of the fight inside the city was far beyond his expectations. At this point in the battle, the mercenaries should’ve suffered grave casualties, but the retaliatory fire hadn’t reduced by much.
“We should’ve shipped more cannon shells.” A thought flashed through Romier’s mind, but he quickly cast the notion aside. He knew that mobilizing so many heavy cannons and several times the normal quota of ammunition was the result of his utmost efforts.
The pressure on other fronts wasn’t any less than Whitetown, perhaps even greater. He was able to secure so much resources because the higher-ups wanted him to end this battle quickly and return to support the front lines. After all, Whitetown’s combined strength on paper was the weakest link in the chain.
It was at this time that an attendant appeared. “Sire, Vice-Duke Pratt has returned.”
Romier’s eyes lit up. “Send him into the city, now.”