Chapter 251: The Heat of Battle
Translator: YH Editor: X
The new disaster came so suddenly that the people who had adapted well to the fighting were immediately plunged into the bloody battle. It was fortunate that the eruption of this latest disaster was not in the initial stages of the blood disaster.
Those who had experienced the endless battles in the weeks up until now and managed to survive were the elites who had gradually become accustomed to battle. Both their mental and physical strength had vastly improved.
When encountering danger, they did not panic, but rallied to fight back.
However, serious casualties were abundant because the fighting had changed in nature and intensity. The city defences that once protected them had practically evaporated, leaving them utterly exposed to the blood fiends.
Central Pine City had become a white-hot battlefield as battles raged on throughout the city.
Contrary to the early stages of the blood disaster, wails and cries for help were now rarely heard. The survivors understood that wailing and crying were useless and that the only thing they could do was to fight to the end.
Two main necessities were responsible for maintaining the will to fight. People were driven forward by the need to become more powerful as well as the need to survive.
Staying alive was after all, the ultimate human dignity.
The distance between the main hall of the mayor's residence and its warehouse was approximately 300 meters. While 300 meters would usually be considered a short distance, in the heat of battle it felt much longer.
Just as they stepped out the front door, the piercing sound of weapons and attacks flying through the air could be heard. Soon after, a huge shadow could be seen heading toward them.
The solid walls of the mayor's residence suddenly exploded inches away from Ai Hui. Bricks flew all over the place, raining down on them like a deadly hail.
A two-storey tall blood fiend was surrounded by elementalists. Their relentless attacks had made it lose its balance, causing it to crash into the wall.
The blood fiend's large body hit the ground hard, generating a terrifying impact that made the ground rock violently.
The blood fiend's leftover momentum carried it all the way to Ai Hui, dragging huge chunks of stone along with it.
A cold glint flashed in Ai Hui's eyes as he silently thrust the Dragonspine in his hand forward. A frigid sword ray crossed the short gap between him and blood fiend and embedded itself in its throat.
A pillar of blood shot out of the blood fiend's throat as its body grew limp.
Ai Hui nimbly stepped around the blood fiend's corpse and made a dash for the warehouse.
They had encountered several groups of elementalists along the way, but simply lacked the time to provide aid.
Everyone was in a mad rush and unable to effectively form squads. There were, however, several small teams that effectively fought against the blood fiends by ganging up on them. Both man and fiend were consumed by the relentless slaughter.
Central Pine City had descended into hell.
Ai Hui took the lead and rushed to the forefront. Shi Xueman followed closely behind, firmly gripping her spear in her hand.
The warehouse was right ahead!
All of a sudden, strong waves of elemental energy pulsed through the air. Brilliant light flashed across the sky, highlighting the proud, solitary figure in the air.
Ai Hui winced slightly. Although he had barely talked to Yu Mingqiu and was not exactly familiar with him, Ai Hui felt that Yu Mingqiu was truly worthy of being addressed as Brother Qiu. If they were to meet again, he would definitely willingingly address him as such.
He continued to press on, a fire burning deep beneath his indifferent surface.
Everyone, including his master, mistress, Brother Qiu, the mayor, the dean, and the A-1 unit was fighting for the future. Every single person, dead or alive, who was involved in this disaster was fighting for their own destiny and survival. In doing so, they were also fighting for Central Pine City's future.
They were on the verge of collapsing, and it felt as though the pressure of a single added straw would crush them.
How could a person give up when even a beast would counter attack when cornered?
Ai Hui abruptly accelerated when he was 10 meters shy of the warehouse's main entrance. He leapt high into the air, curled into a ball, and slammed directly against the warehouse door.
Ai Hui crashed into the warehouse together with the debris.
He saw several frightened craftsmen inside the warehouse.
"Where are the golden needles?" Ai Hui roared loudly, trying to be heard above the noise.
Ai Hui was definitely the most recognizable face in Central Pine City at the moment. The craftsmen heaved long sighs of relief upon seeing him.
One of the craftsmen took a step forward and asked loudly, "What is going on? Why does it seem so chaotic outside?"
"The city defences have been destroyed! Grab the golden needle and get to the Heaven Pit." Ai Hui was practically shouting himself hoarse.
When they heard that the city defences were destroyed, the craftsmen's faces sank. They most certainly knew what this meant.
"What about the other golden needles?" the craftsman who first stood forward asked.
"You should bring them to the Heaven Pit with Lou Lan first. I'll defend this place and wait for Huanghun and the others!" Shi Xueman said solemnly. "We have an agreed upon signal, I'm sure they'll arrive soon."
Ai Hui nodded at her and firmly ordered the craftsmen, "Follow me!"
Several craftsmen lifted a sturdy looking pillar from one corner of the warehouse.
This was the first time Ai Hui saw one of the golden needles and he could not resist taking a second glance at it. The needle's body had a brilliant glass-like glaze that made it glow with an exotic metallic luster. More than five meters in height and more than half a meter in diameter, it was difficult to associate it with the word "needle." Instead, it was more similar to a house's support beam. Layers of intricate and sophisticated patterns were carved onto the metal column, making it a dazzling sight to behold.
"If the patterns carved onto the golden needle are damaged, it'll lose its effectiveness," the chief craftsman spoke in a severe manner. "We used a relatively hard material called glass iron which is sufficiently strong and capable of withstanding geocentric flame. It will, however, shatter easily if exposed to an impact of great magnitude. We only have nine needles. There are no spares."
Ai Hui nodded in comprehension as his eyes met those of the chief craftsman. He then hurried to lead the way out of the warehouse.
Two craftsmen stepped up to carry the golden needle by its head and tail with the chief craftsman following closely by their side.
Shi Xueman raised Cirrus in her hands as she watched Ai Hui and the others leave. A white ray shot up into the sky, forming the shape of a sword. This was the A-1 unit's signal for seeking assistance.
Sending out the signal brought her some relief. She raised the spear in her hand and leapt onto the warehouse roof.
Until support arrived, Shi Xueman had to defend the warehouse alone.
She was completely unafraid.
Yan Hai hid in the dark with several blood elementalists in tow. Seeing the chaotic scene before him, he could not help but have mad respect for Sir. Tian Kuan's visit to the casualty barrack had been incredibly fruitful, allowing him to gain an additional 45 blood elementalists as followers. This greatly increased their fighting strength and enabled them to cause so much chaos from within.
Yan Hai felt that he was different from the newly created blood elementalists. All of them were much stronger than him, yet Sir had chosen him as the team leader. Surely this meant that Sir trusted him more!
Yan Hai was secretly pleased with himself. He reminded himself to perform well and live up to Sir's expectations.
"Will they really not attack us?"
The question came from Shi Wei, who was a rather well-known student in Central Pine Academy prior to becoming infected. Many believed that he would have a bright future, but all that changed when he got injured.
Shi Wei was a rookie, and as such, he was viewed unfavorably by Yan Hai. Yan Hai was keen to make his mark and felt that rookies like Shi Wei were a major hindrance to him. However, these blood elementalists were assigned to him by Tian Kuan, so Yan Hai could not object. He could not figure out just how someone like Shi Wei managed to survive the brutal slaughter at the quarantine barracks.
Even Shi Wei, himself, did not fully understand how he managed to survive.
Afraid to relive that nightmare, he did not dare to think about it anymore. He just wanted to have a fresh start and continue living.
He convinced himself that what he was doing was not wrong. Did he have any other choice? Apparently not.
Watching the chaotic fights unfolding before his eyes terrified him, yet at the same time, brought him some relief. He felt a little ashamed when he thought of his classmates and teachers struggling, but the mere feeling of being alive made him quietly delighted.
He did not want to experience the mindless, uncontrollable rage and bloodthirst of the beastly instinct ever again.
Living dishonorably was still a kind of living.
Despite his new position, Shi Wei was still alarmed by the large number of blood fiends.
"I've told you before that it won't happen," chided Yan Hai. "We have a similar presence to that of the blood fiends, so they won't attack us as long as we don't attack them first. Did you not notice that none of the blood fiends that have walked past us have given us a single glance?"
Shi Wei felt somewhat safer.
"Are we just gonna sit here and twiddle our thumbs?"
This time, Old Lei was the one asking. He was an elementalist from a hunting unit and had both strength and experience. Accustomed to a life of killing and looting, his moral boundaries were extremely blurry. He was the fastest to come to terms with his new identity as a blood elementalist.
Old Lei had more worldly wisdom than Shi Wei and knew that performing well was the most important task they had. He was a good judge of character who quickly took note of Tian Kuan's callous nature. He knew that Tian Kuan only converted them into blood elementalists to borrow their strength.
Their lives would come to an end once Tian Kuan felt that they no longer had value.
Old Lei's ruthlessness made Yan Hai slightly uneasy around him.
"We need to find a high-value target," informed Yan Hai. "Let's wait a while longer for the elementalists to further deplete their strength before striking. Things will be much easier that way."
Old Lei sneered at him. "If you want to achieve great things, then you'd better step up your game and stop looking for scraps. You think the battlefield will simply be littered with easy-pickings?"
Old Lei did not give a hoot about Yan Hai. He could see that Yan Hai was really just a cowardly weakling. With his experience and seniority, Old Lei's words appeared to carry more weight among them. Several others nodded in agreement after hearing what he said.
Yan Hai was so agitated that he almost spat blood. However, he did not dare to fall out with Old Lei. Right at that moment, his eyes lit up as he exclaimed, "Ai Hui!"
"Who's that?" asked Old Lei, shaking his head. "I don't recognize him."
Old Lei was injured fairly early on and was unfamiliar with Ai Hui.
"The esteemed Lightning Blade, Ai Hui. He's one of the leading figures in Central Pine City. What a big fish!" Yan Hai's eyes sparkled greedily.
"A leader?" Old Lei asked in disbelief. He pursed his lips at the sky and continued, "Did you mean him? Who would dare to consider himself a military leader in front of Yu Mingqiu?"
The rest of them quietly laughed. Everyone had heard of the great Yu Mingqiu.
Yan Hai turned pale with anger and scoffed. "Forget it. You can go challenge Yu Mingqiu if you dare."
Old Lei looked up at the sky and felt a slight fear running up his spine. Yu Mingqiu was floating in the air, somehow able to keep an entire sky full of blood birds in check by himself.
One man up against tens of thousands of enemies, refusing to let a single one of them pass through.
Yu Mingqiu truly lived up to his reputation.
"I hope this Ai Hui of yours has some value." Old Lei snorted before giving a hand signal to the others, dispersing them into different hiding areas.
The group of blood elementalists had formed a circle of death and eagerly awaited for their prey.