Chapter 0289 - Breakout!
[Book 2: The Sea of Zombies]
After killing the S2s that had chased up, under the command of Xu Zhengang, the 4 Battalions immediately gathered together and continued on with their retreat towards SY County in an orderly fashion.
Xu Zhengang was the defeated commander that Yue Zhong had brought over to his side from Qing Yuan County previously, and he was truly an exceptional commander. Under his command, even in the darkness, other than a measly few who had escaped during the retreat the rest of the 4 battalions maintained their order and spirit. This prevented any falling apart at all. Those who had escaped were also from the preliminary group that had to join in the fray at short notice.
The soldiers from the preliminary group had not gone through any tough battles. So when the S2s arrived and begin their assault, the soldiers from the preliminary group had escaped and parted from the army due to fear.
However, compared to the SY's military that had collapsed till they lacked all resemblance to an army, Yue Zhong's troops were considered to have been preserved well.
Yue Zhong's army being maintained was due to Yue Zhong's efforts in leading his Special Combat Forces to buy time for the rest of the soldiers led by Xu Zhengang.
After disposing of the group of S2s, Yue Zhong and his elite Special Combat Forces with the strongest fighting capabilities out of the entire army stayed behind. continuing to cover the retreat for the rest of the troops. At this time, the Special Combat Forces each took out their dried fish meat of the Type 2 Mutant Black Fish. Upon feasting on this meat, it replenished their depleting energy, allowing them to regain the strength to fight.
After fighting for an entire day, the Special Combat Forces were exhausted. If it wasn't for their condition that surpassed most normal humans, they would have lost the will to fight long ago.
This time, the horde that Yue Zhong and the army had to face? Firstly, the zombies numbered above 1.2 million. During the day, they had managed to kill over 400,000 of them. Unfortunately there were still 800,000 of them left. The number of S2s within this horde of 800,000 still exceeded over 3,000.
These S2s were urged by the Z-Types within the horde, and charged forwards like knives, chasing and killing the retreating soldiers of both the army and Yue Zhong's troops.
As long as they were marked by the S2s, the S1 army would quickly catch up, and the lethal combination could break down any resistance that the humans had left.
Therefore, Yue Zhong had to take his Special Combat Forces to kill those S2s in pursuit. Otherwise, if the fight dragged on too long, Xu Zhengang and the 4 Battalions would definitely be wiped out.
In the wilderness covered by darkness as well as the lack of any forms of construction? Obviously, the moment the S1s reached them, Yue Zhong's 4 battalions would not be able to last long.
Yue Zhong and his Special Combat Forces killed off a few other straggling zombies that had managed to catch up. Suddenly, 10 defeated soldiers appeared and ran towards them, with 4 S2s in pursuit.
"Help!!! Help!!!" The leader of the team saw Yue Zhong and eyes brightened as he shouted out madly.
Without any equipment, nor terrain advantage, even 30 soldiers would die against 4 S2s.
"Go save them!!" Yue Zhong glanced at the 10 soldiers and commanded.
Yao Yao, who was feeling excitement and lingering battle-lust after killing so many zombies, charged into the ranks of the 4 S2s. As she arrived her Dark Magic Blade began flashing about, and the heads of the 4 S2s instantly fell on the ground.
After killing the 4 S2s, Yao Yao immediately rummaged through the items they dropped, seeing that there was nothing of use to her, she stuffed them in a bag and threw it to Yue Zhong.
The 10 soldiers looked on with an expression of shock. They did not expect that this little loli decked in the smallest military attire, with such cute looks, would be capable of such fearsome combat skills. The 4 S2s that they, as grown men, could not handle were disposed off easily by this little loli.
The 10 soldiers came forward to Yue Zhong and the leader kneeled as he begged pitifully: "Commander Yue!! I am the Commanding Officer of Division Commander Shen's 3rd Battalion 2nd Company, Liu Lijian! Please, I'm begging you to bring your men to save our Commander Shen!! Our brothers from 2 battalions have been surrounded by zombies, if no one goes to save them, they will die soon!!"
The rest of the soldiers who managed to escape death's door also kneeled and started begging bitterly: "Commander Yue!! Please save our Commander Shen!!"
Although Shen Hongyang was not perfect, he was a commander that valued his soldiers. He could even remember the names of any officer or commander he groomed. Furthermore, regardless of any issues that his subordinates might face, he would be the first to step out and help. It was because of his nature that he was admired and loved by his troops.
Of the 6 armies, Shen Hongyang's troops were the slowest to evacuate, thus even though he had tanks and assault helicopters, he was bogged down by those S-Types. And it was because Shen Hongyang had attracted the attention of the zombies that the pressure on Yue Zhong's troops was reduced a lot.
Song Wen quipped in harshly, "Commander Yue!! That bastard Shen Hongyang didn't give the orders to take down those traitors Su Dongming and Luo Tianyi. There's no need for us to care about him. Let them feed the zombies! At least they can be useful for slowing the horde down. It's the best outcome possible!"
Shen Hongyang's decision to not pursue Su Dongming and Luo Tianyi who had abandoned their posts created a dip in morale and fighting spirit amongst the rest of the army. Based on the situation, if Shen Hongyang had deployed the 7 assault helicopters to give chase, Luo Tianyi and Su Dongming did not possess any anti-air defence, and thus would be defeated, slowing their retreat down. The rest of the army could then work together to capture the 2 of them and their troops to act as cannon fodder to slow the zombie horde down. That would have been the best course of action to take.
Yue Zhong glanced at Liu Lijian and said indifferently, "From now on, you're under me! You are no longer Shen Hongyang's men. I will bring some people to take a look, if he's still worth saving, I will lend a hand!"
Any veteran soldier that had gone through the forge of war was a prized treasure. They possessed combat ability as well as a strong fighting will compared to newer soldiers.
This time, the military had underestimated the horde, as they had retained the thinking of the prior battle where they managed to conquer SY County and the 700,000 zombies without counting for the evolved zombies this time round. This was the main reason for their loss, however, they still managed to clear 400,000 of the zombies with Yue Zhong. If it wasn't for the fact that there were selfish and personal interests, the army might still have lost, but it would not have been this bad.
After speaking, Yue Zhong directly brought his Special Combat Forces and headed towards Shen Hongyang's direction.
Shen Xue currently felt despair at the situation. Shen Hongyang had given the orders to evacuate too late, and thus a large number of the zombies had already surrounded them, cutting off their retreat. At this time, the First Battalion being led by Shen Xue was engaging in an all-out fight against the zombies together with the armored vehicles and tanks, which formed a defensive post, coupled with the assault helicopters in the air. They had managed to kill off waves after waves of S2s, however, before the total number of S2s had been killed, the S1s had come arrived.
The total number of S1s far outnumbered the S2s, and they were simply endless. Even with the constant heavy fire by Shen Xue and her unit, which resulted in a lot of deaths of the S-types, there were a still few who managed to rush past the defence line, and started killing the soldiers.
Shen Hongyang had sent in his experts to the frontlines at the first moment he could.
A few experts who were extraordinary, their strength only slightly inferior to Yue Zhong's own Special Combat Force appeared on the battlefield
With their abilities, they managed to lock down those S1s and S2s, killing them all entirely.
Yue Zhong was not the only one who knew how to raise experts, the five heads of the military as well as the 2 governing heads of the government had a handful of experts that were similar to Yue Zhong's Special Combat Force. Amongst these experts, some were even naturally awakened Evolvers.
Amongst Shen Hongyang's experts, there was a burly, dark, middle-aged man with calloused hands, his name was Xu Xiao, and he was the leader of the group of experts. He also possessed the strongest fighting capabilities as an Evolver amongst the group of experts.
Xu Xiao was a Spirit-based Evolver, and had a Ferrokinetic ability called Steel Manipulation. Surrounding him, there were 4 Tang Replica Swords and 2 Dark Magic Blades, sealing the space within 10m of him. As long as he passed near the horde, the 6 God and Devil System equipments would fly out crazily, chopping and slashing those S2s.
As Shen Hongyang's strongest expert, Xu Xiao had experienced countless battles. As of now, he was a Level 38 Enhancer. With only 2 more levels to go, he would undergo another leap in strength.
However, these 2 levels were hard to achieve, even after hunting and killing so many S2s, Xu Xiao would need to kill over a few hundreds of them before he could reach Level 40. If he were to hunt and kill the normal zombies, then he would be required to kill over 10,000 of them before he can reach that level.
In this post-apocalyptic world, the fastest way to gain levels was to hunt and kill extremely strong Mutant Beasts. As long as one could hunt these tyrants, one could gain strength rapidly. However, Xu Xiao was but one member of the army. He could not travel around alone freely to hunt and seek for high-level Mutant Beasts to hunt.
This was because he had to obey commands. The fact that he could reach Level 38, was because he had already killed many Type 2 zombies, and had slowly climbed up the Enhancement ladder.
Under the lead of Xu Xiao, the 10 experts all exhibited their abilities to the maximum. Their ruthless attacks continuously ground and killed the S-Type zombies that got too close, maintaining the morale and fighting spirit of the soldiers.
However, those who managed to take down most of the zombies, were still the normal soldiers. With the help of the seemingly unceasing firepower, huge numbers of the zombies would be slain just like that.
In the sky, flares would be fired constantly, illuminating the battlefield. Without the illumination, the 2 battalions would have long been swallowed by the sea of zombies.
Shen Hongyang initially had 4 battalions of soldiers, but all he had left now were 2 exhausted and almost broken battalions. The other 2 battalions were made up of too many new soldiers, and once they knew their comrades had abandoned their posts, they had lost their composure at the first moment. Only these 2 battalions fighting were left in Shen Hongyang's hands.
While the 2 battalions put up a brave fight, their numbers were dwindling as time passed, and their exhaustion was increasing. Facing the never ending waves of zombies, being swallowed by the sea of zombies was only a matter of time. It was just that while Shen Hongyang knew that fighting on would result in his entire army being killed, he had no choice but to fight. If he were to evacuate them right now, the 2 battalions would be slaughtered by the S-Type zombies anyway, and only death awaited.
"Division Commander!! Battalion Commander Shen Xue's side requires the aid of the tanks. They cannot hold on for much longer!!" One of the officers transmitted to Shen Hongyang.
"Ask her to hold on for 10 more minutes!! The tanks are supporting Yuan Lei and the other battalion right now!! Organize my guards right now, and deploy them over to her side!!" Shen Hongyang's eyes were bloodshot right now, and he looked as though he had aged a few years as he spoke out hoarsely.
At this time, both battalions were reaching a critical point, and needed support everywhere they could. Shen Hongyang simply could not pull out any more soldiers to assist Shen Xue, and thus could only assign his guards to go help her.
"Commander Shen! Do you require help?" At this time, Yue Zhong had brought his Special Combat Forces and entered the command centre.
Shen Hongyang saw the sudden appearance of Yue Zhong, and his eyes lit up, as though he had seen a glimmer of hope: "Yue Zhong!! You're here!! I need your help urgently. If you can save the 2 battalions, I will definitely repay you."
Right now, the situation was dire, and Shen Hongyang did not have the energy nor mind to engage in any more mind games with Yue Zhong.
Yue Zhong immediately stated his conditions: "I can think of a way to get your men out. However, I want those 10 tanks, 7 assault helicopters as well as their drivers, artillery soldiers, as well as 10 drone operators. On top of that, I will require 2 companies of veteran soldiers. If you agree to these, I would immediately lend a hand, if not, I will leave. You can rely on your own capabilities to try and kill your way out then!!"
Yue Zhong had decided to save Shen Hongyang because he was eyeing the various equipment and experience soldiers on Shen Hongyang's side. He had the machinery of his own at the Mechanized Infantry Brigade base, but he lacked the professionals and the know-how. As long as he obtained the talent, he could train a few more within a short time, and quickly assemble a powerful unit.
Shen Hongyang pondered for just a while, before accepting Yue Zhong's terms: "I promise you!"
If his men were dead, he was left with nothing! Shen Hongyang loved his troops like he loved his children, he would not sacrifice them if he could. If right now Yue Zhong wanted him to surrender, as long as the soldiers could live on, he would not hesitate to do so.
Yue Zhong said deeply: "Order your units to pack up and evacuate now! Get the experts, the armored troop and the assault helicopters to fall back orderly. I will send my guys to cover your retreat!"
Shen Hongyang nodded his head, and immediately gave a list of commands, ordering his men to start evacuating.
Yue Zhong also sent out his experts to cover the 2 battalions in their preparations to retreat.