Chapter 264: On the Way Back
Translator: WQL Editor: EbonyFrost
After his interest in the airship faded during the first two days of flight, the following days gradually became boring. Even above Blackson Human Clan Corridor, Zhang Tie still could not easily see human cities through the porthole.
When he looked down through the porthole of the airship he saw many of the same scenes. Continuous hills, rippling ranges, grasslands and endless forests. Everywhere he experienced was deserted and sparsely populated. He could not even see big towns or villages, let alone cities. After all, compared to the area of the whole Blackson Human Clan Corridor, the population here was too small. Due to people gathering in the cities in order to be protected by city walls, the chance to see a large-scaled human settlement outside of city walls would be very low.
Boarding the airship, Zhang Tie was placed in a berth cabin. After being bored with the tedious scenery outside the porthole, with the exception of eating and sleeping, Zhang Tie would always stay in his own berth cabin and quietly carried out his cultivation that could never be imagined by commoners.
He took out of the Class-5 crystal pyramid and put it under his bed. When he cultivated, he would sit on the top of the pyramid with a thin bed plate in between. The top of the pyramid was rightly facing towards the surge point on his rear end. Compared to the crystals that he used before, this Class-5 crystal pyramid's effect was much more powerful. With this Class-5 crystal pyramid, he could obviously polish his surge points faster using his spiritual energy.
Even when he didn't cultivate, the special effect of the crystal pyramid still made his cabin full of a comfortable energy and allowed him a clear mind.
The airship that Zhang Tie took was a large-scale hard-type airship which was longer than 200 m and almost as high as 70 m. The normal navigation speed of this airship was 110 km/h, which was a medium speed. Besides Zhang Tie whose status was special, there were 50 more passengers who left Kalur for Jinyun Country, including old, young, male and female. Many of them seemed like a family. At least from their clothing and personalities, Zhang Tie knew that they were the upper class who had received good education.
Zhang Tie was able to guess as to the reason why these people would leave Kalur. These people were all figures with sensitive judgment in the former Andaman Alliance. They had already noticed the potential dangers from this sudden war and many other signals. Therefore, they had started to leave the cities in the former Andaman Alliance and headed for the safer and more ideal places in their minds.
Jinyun Country would probably be the better place in their minds.
On the 4th day after the airship left Kalur, it landed to replenish coal, water and some other materials in a strange city. After rearranging for several hours on the ground, it continued its journey.
Previously, Zhang Tie thought it would be safe by airship. However, the fact was that, in this age, any trip outside the city walls would not be very safe.
On the 6th day, the airship encountered its first attack in the air.
At that time, Zhang Tie was in meditation. The urgent and short steam whistles woke him up. Zhang Tie then heard someone shouting loudly outside the berth cabin, "We are encountering attacks from dangerous creatures. We are encountering attacks from dangerous creatures. Everybody in place. Everybody in place. Passengers are to stay in their cabins!"
After that, Zhang Tie heard urgent footsteps outside the cabin.
If it was before, Zhang Tie would definitely stay in the berth cabin just like other passengers. However, the experience in Iron-Blood Camp had changed him. Zhang Tie hurriedly jumped off his bed and opened the door of his cabin before he ran out with the other people.
As the capsule was 20 m in width, the passageway outside the cabin was not narrow. When Zhang Tie ran out, much of the crew who were in uniform were busy. Some of them rushed to the deck, some rushed to the engine room and the weapon module. At the same time, those passengers who were enjoying the scenery below and taking breath of the fresh air on the opening deck hurried back inside. People who rushed outside like Zhang Tie were only the crew in uniforms.
"What are you here for?" When Zhang Tie reached the entrance to the deck, a 30-odd year old man immediately widely opened his eyes and stared at Zhang Tie. He was the first mate. When he boarded on the airship, he met him. Therefore, they just knew the opposite one's surname was Zhang.
"I was a soldier!" Zhang Tie answered in a low voice, "Perhaps I can help you!"
The first mate then took a careful look at Zhang Tie. Since this airship set off from Jinyun Country, Huaiyuan Palace sent a message to them to pick a person called Zhang Tie back from Kalur City. The first mate and the captain were the only ones on the whole airship that knew Zhang Tie might be a descendant of Zhang clan living on the outside, who was even wanted by the secret police of the Norman Empire.
A person who could be wanted by the secret police of Norman Empire was definitely not an incompetent man. Hearing that Zhang Tie was a soldier, the first mate then nodded only after one second, "Okay, the descendants of Huaiyuan Palace truly should not hide from danger!"
Zhang Tie then rushed onto the deck of the airship together with the first mate. At this time, the covers of the cross bows on the deck had been exposed. Rushing onto the deck, the crew rapidly sat back in their own launching positions to prepare to fire bolts.
Because this airship was mainly used for cargo instead of military purposes, all the cross bows on the deck were manual. The steam-driven power equipment was only used to provide a driving force for the propellers of the airship.
Each launch position was matched with three crewman. The one sitting on the launch position put his feet onto an actuator like the pedal of a bike. Then, he started to rapidly move his feet by stepping downward one after another. Driven by the chains and mechanic gears, he completed the first round of actions including winding up and launching preparations. The whole process took him less than 20 seconds.
"A1 in place..."
"A2 in place..."
"A3 in place..."
"A4 in place..."
After being prepped for firing, all the launchers started to number off loudly. Zhang Tie looked at them from aside. He found this crew had very high military accomplishments. They could even match the regular army airships of the Norman Empire.
After the crew prepared well, the two rows of crewmen on both sides of the deck were on their marks, cross bows and bolts in hand.
"Take it, put it on and buckle up!" The first mate then threw a set of special equipment to Zhang Tie along with a cross bow.
It was a set of leather equipment, which was akin to an armor. After putting it on, he could fasten the safety buckle onto the two metal sliders fixed on the shipboard. Zhang Tie noticed that all the crewmen on the deck were wearing this equipment including the first mate. They all had fastened their safety buckles onto the metal sliders. Zhang Tie then imitated them. After rapidly putting on his clothes, he also fastened his safety buckle onto it.
The moment Zhang Tie fastened it well, the airship which was flying ahead immediately accelerated and turned right by greatly inclining rightward, causing the level of the deck incline almost 30 degrees towards right. Zhang Tie felt a strong wind. At the same time, his feet slid as he hurriedly held a metal handle on the deck to stand stably.
The whole airship drew a huge half arc and adjusted in a direction towards the right. After that, all the crew on the deck saw the dangerous creatures that were attacking the airship.
They were a flock of huge birds dashing downwards from the cloud in the distance. Zhang Tie focused his eyes and found a flock of black birds were flying towards the airship. They were so huge that each of them would be close to 3 m in width when they extended their wings. There were at least 40-50 huge birds.
When they drew closer, Zhang Tie could even see the long beaks of those huge birds.
Standing aside Zhang Tie, the first mate looked solemn as he started to say loudly, "They are Iron-beak Ibis, a LV 4 mutated magical beast. Watch out!"
The airship avoided their attacks consecutive two times. But these huge birds were closely following the airship.
Looking at their beaks that were as sharp as swords, then to the gasbags on the top of the airship, Zhang Tie understood that these Iron-beak Ibis might cause huge damages to this airship.
Although there was a layer of special light-metal protective armor over the gasbags, nobody knew how long that layer of protective armor would stay safe under the continuous attack of those huge birds.
When these Iron-beak Ibis moved about 200 m away from the airship, the cross bows on the deck and inside the airship fired at the same time.
After hearing a light "weng" sound, Zhang Tie saw 6 of the dozens of Iron-beak Ibis spurting blood with feathers flying everywhere. Meanwhile, they dropped out of the sky. The other Iron-beak Ibis then fanned their huge wings and accelerated towards the airship.
In a split second, bolts rained down from the deck. The huge birds were very agile in the air. Though the bolts continued firing, only three Iron-beak Ibis were shot down.
When those Iron-beak Ibis rushed forward, Zhang Tie didn't pull the trigger at once. Instead, he just fixed his eyes on one of them. When it had just avoided from a bolt and was close to 80 m away from the airship, Zhang Tie pulled the trigger.
"Gua!" Among the bird cries, that Iron-beak Ibis was penetrated by Zhang Tie's bolt and dropped out of the sky.
Almost the moment the Iron-beak Ibis fell, Zhang Tie heard a weird chatter. He then turned his head and found the first mate was holding a crossbow and shot down another Iron-beak Ibis by making use of the cover given by the spurting blood.
The first mate seemed not having noticed Zhang Tie's gaze. He then drew the bow and pulled trigger three consecutive times. One second for one bolt. After three bolts, three sprays of spurts of blood appeared in the sky again.
The remaining Iron-beak Ibis didn't rush towards the deck, instead, towards the gasbags. All of a sudden, the jarring sound of rubbing metal drifted above Zhang Tie's head.
The airship was under attack!