Chapter 227: Bad News and Good News
Translator: JL Editor: X
Ai Hui's confidence increased tremendously after he managed to successfully seal the sword pill into his left hand palace.
Now he needed to follow the same steps to "roll" the remaining elemental energy swords into sword pills.
It was a big project that required a long span of focused attention and was as dry as dust.
Due to the amount of time Ai Hui had spent roaming around the edges of death, concentration was now second nature to him, almost like breathing. Dull and repetitive content could easily make people lose their patience, but not for Ai Hui. He could concentrate for long periods of time.
When he was concentrating, he did not care about others and would be fully immersed in his own world.
As he was usually concentrating, in other people's eyes, it always seemed like he was disregarding them and paying no attention to their opinions.
Indeed, he has never taken other people's viewpoints into account. When he is caught within a wild beast's teeth and sharp claws, other people's opinions would not increase his likelihood of survival.
As such, why not spend more time on improving himself? No one would be able to easily strip him of his personal improvements. He could change his fate by improving himself.
Having his fate in his own hands gave him a sense of security.
Ai Hui took pleasure in his task.
He made many discoveries. For example, he realized that the remnants of the sword embryo's energy waves were the strongest in the sky palace. Thinking back to the sword embryo's former location, he realized that this fact was not strange. He also found that within both his hand palaces and his earth palace, there was an abundance of electric currents. This was the result of using [Dust Fall] to draw lightning into both hand palaces and the earth palace.
He also discovered that within both his left and right hand palaces, if the sword pills were rotated faster than a specific speed, the surplus electric rays would be stimulated.
What an interesting phenomenon. Ai Hui mentally noted it down and continued to "roll" the sword pills.
After scanning the remaining amount of elemental energy, he assessed the number of sword pills he'd created. He felt that he could become a grand pastry chef in the future.
He'd also considered forming eight whirlpools within the Eight Palaces to absorb the elemental energy automatically. After all, whirlpools were steady structures; however, Ai Hui gave up the thought after recalling how the elemental energy ball in his body had previously been hard to absorb.
If he managed to form whirlpools within his elemental energy palaces, it would be easy for elemental energy to enter the elemental energy palaces. It would, however, be difficult to extract the elemental energy from the palaces afterwards.
While the sword pills were not as effective or stable as whirlpools, they were easier to control. To Ai Hui, who no longer had the aid of the sword embryo, it was more important for him to be able to gain control.
Shi Xueman and the rest had been waiting for a long time, but there were no indications that Ai Hui was going to stop. Everyone started to take breaks after hearing Lou Lan say that Ai Hui would still need a long time to recover. After going through an ardent battle, all of them were battered and tired. Nevertheless, Shi Xueman still sent someone to pass on the message that Ai Hui had woken up.
Many were still waiting for the news.
The battle on the streets had solidified Ai Hui's status and prestige in Central Pine City. The scene where thunder had filled the entire sky was unforgettable to all the survivors.
Such a grand performance took everyone's breath away.
Since the beginning of the blood catastrophe, Ai Hui was the one who rose to fame during the battle on the streets. He was the first person in Central Pine City to rely on his own strength to save everyone from the desperate crisis.
Everyone was looking forward to having their own Ye Baiyi in Central Pine City to bring them out of the Induction Ground alive. Furthermore, after learning that their mayor was a survivor of the Battle of the Dawn, the comparison stuck in their heads; It had spread throughout the city overnight.
Ye Baiyi had not initially been known as Icy Flames Ye.
At the time of the Battle of the Dawn, Ye Baiyi had just been an ordinary team leader from the Icy Flames Division.
The cruel Battle of the Dawn had allowed Ye Baiyi to step onto a stage belonging only to him.
The survivors in Central Pine City strongly believed that Ai Hui, who had participated in the battle on the streets, had the calibre to walk the same route.
Ai Hui's hard laborer background, the fact that he was still a first-year student in Central Pine City, and that he has yet to achieve the Initial Completion all pointed to him being a genius.
But after the battle on the streets, Ai Hui had slipped into coma and this tugged at many of the people's heartstrings. Some of them were worried that Ai Hui had sustained serious injuries, while others were optimistic and felt that it was a sign that Ai Hui was going to have a breakthrough.
Everyone was closely following Ai Hui's condition. That thin youth was shouldering their hopes of survival.
"Our Ai Baiyi has awakened," teasingly said the mayor. He was in a good mood. After hearing too many comparisons between Ai Hui and Ye Baiyi, he decided to jokingly call Ai Hui as Ai Baiyi.
Ai Hui's rise had reversed the situation. The city gates were once again sealed and the blood fiends had been utterly defeated. How could he not be in a good mood? If Ai Hui hadn't been around, what would it have been like that day? The mayor had previously prepared himself mentally to sacrifice half of the troops who were going to seal the door.
The dean smiled, but then frowned while saying, "Such publicity would not be beneficial to his growth."
He was also proud of Ai Hui. When he had given the original [Big Dipper] to Ai Hui, he had still had some reservations on doing so; however, everyone now praised him saying that he has good perception.
"Let's focus on what's going on in the present." Wang Zhen passed a cup of water to the dean. "Everyone needs Ai Baiyi now. The higher authorities are considering Ai Hui's rewards. The number of Heaven Merit Points should be quite substantial."
The dean took the cup and took a sip. He stayed quiet; he knew what Wang Zhen meant.
Everyone needed a hero. Even if that hero might not create a miracle immediately, at least that hero could give them hope.
He was unable to rebut and changed the topic. "How's the situation in the city?"
"Pretty good." Wang Zhen's expression regained its usual stern composure. "While the number of casualties is still increasing, the trend is now going down. Most of them are the weaker students and citizens. Also, the appearance of the blood crystals allows us to increase the number of elites we have while raising our standard. If this trend continues, our situation will be better than before."
"That's good to hear." The dean heaved a happy sigh of relief.
"But there's bad news."
The dean's heart skipped a beat and his smile froze on his face.
"The support teams were attacked by the blood fiends." Wang Zhen continued, "They have suffered huge losses. Three support teams were fully destroyed and more than three troops lost half their members. One assistant leader has died and they've lost contact with two others, including Sir Yu Mingqiu."
"What?" The dean cried out in alarm and his expression changed drastically.
Wang Zhen's could relate to the dean's reaction. When he'd first received the news, he too had reacted in the same way.
He did not continue immediately, but gave the dean some time to digest the information. The dean looked dazed. After a long while, he looked up and asked blankly, "How did this happen?"
Wang Zhen replied with a sigh, "We got lucky."
The dean looked at Wang Zhen blankly.
Wang Zhen quickly explained, "The blood fiends near Central Pine City were transforming at a slower speed compared to those around the other cities. Those troops that were sent as support were attacked by a large number of blood fiends. The highest level that they encountered was a seven-trace blood fiend."
"Seven traces?" The dean's eyes almost popped out.
After dealing with so many blood fiends, they had developed a better understanding towards the blood fiends' capabilities. The fewer the blood traces, the stronger the blood-traced fiend.
Most of the blood fiends in Central Pine City had yet to show any signs of having blood traces. Nine-trace blood fiends were the next highest in number. They had yet to see any eight-trace blood fiends and there were already sightings of seven-trace blood fiends in other cities.
The nine-trace blood fiends were already difficult to deal with. How much more difficult would it be to deal with a seven-trace blood fiend? It was no wonder all of the support troops met with destruction and huge losses.
"We do not yet know the reason, but I believe that this is our luck. The rest of the cities are in a far worse situation than we are. Ninety percent of the cities in the Induction Ground have already been invaded by the blood fiends." Wang Zhen's tone was grave.
The dean was at a loss for words before stammering, "Then... How are they now?"
"The higher authorities did not release any information, but you can imagine." Wang Zhen continued dully, "There will be even more casualties. They might have to await support while defeating blood fiends in the ruins of the city, or they might meet with a complete wipeout."
The dean trembled, his face as white as a sheet.
Seeing the dean's fearful gaze, Wang Zhen continued, "As such, we need to endure for a longer period of time than we'd expected, which is why we need Ai Baiyi."
He felt grateful. If they'd heard this news before the break out of the long war, he too would have fallen into despair. Now that the situation had stabilized, it also increased his confidence in pressing on.
"The good news is that the progress of the development of the golden needles has been smooth. Given the current speed, I reckon we still require two more days before the completion of the golden needles. Master Han sent Mingxiu to hasten the progress. She is in her optimal state now and can start on it at any moment. According to Mister Wang's plan, if we are able to complete it, Central Pine City will become as sturdy as iron."
The dean regained some color in his face. "What instructions have the higher authorities given?"
"They hope that we can endure and press on." Wang Zhen glanced at him before replying, "They have already sent a new troop to give us support, but it will require some time to arrive. The support force will be stronger this time around."
In another corner in Central Pine City, the news that Ai Hui had awakened also woke up others.
"He has awoken?" A hoarse voice sounded from behind the shadows in a secret corner.
"Yes!" Yan Hai replied carefully, "He has just woken up. The rest of the details have not been passed down yet."
"The Lightning Blade..." The person in the shadows walked out; it was Tian Kuan. He was fuming with rage and his gaze was filled with hatred, but also with a thread of fear. His face was pale. As the situation in the city stabilized, he became unable to take advantage of the crisis for his own benefit. The situation would be even worse if he had not found Yan Hai.
Yan Hai did not dare to breathe. He knew how scary Tian Kuan was.
Because of Tian Kuan, he dared not have any thoughts of resisting and listened to orders without any protests. Furthermore, he felt that this was a good opportunity for himself. Tian Kuan's identity was destined to be extraordinary within the group. To an outside member like himself, it would pave many roads for him in the future.
"You have yet to bear any blood traces?" Tian Kuan shook his head, displeased.
Yan Hai's expression changed in a flash. He knew how temperamental these people could be.
At that moment, a blood crystal was thrown in front of him. The sparkling and translucent blood crystal captured Yan Hai's attention.
An indifferent voice sounded over his head.
"Hurry up and bear the blood traces. I have a mission for you."