Chapter 562: Skyheart City's Countermeasures
Translator: TYZ Editor: X, TYZ
The Infantry Division's encampment.
Silver Solder looked silently at the red-eyed mummy who was covered in bandages in the mirage. Other than his voice, Silver Solder couldn't link the person in the mirage with the youth in the embroidery workshop in Central Pine City. Even his voice was slightly different despite it sounding familiar. The tranquility and resolution in his voice were forged by steel-like willpower. It was no longer young and tender like it was in the past.
Silver Soldier felt as if a lifetime had passed.
After he woke up from his injury, he was suffocated by the devastation caused by the Battle of Central Pine City.
When he saw Ai Hui plunge his sword into the body of Wang Shouchuan and Mingxiu's tear-streaked face, he was heartbroken. He felt as if his heart had been slashed by a sword.
That night, he was dead drunk.
Fate seemed to play a cruel joke on him. It first threw him into the comforting warmth of sunshine, then it ruthlessly threw him into a cold and dark abyss.
A slightly warm palm gently held his metallic hand. The texture of the palm wasn't soft since it was covered with calluses from long term swordsmanship practice.
He returned to his senses from the whirlpool of memories.
Silver Soldier laughed at himself. How could a person whose life did not belong to himself be qualified to feel sentimental?
He smiled at Karakorum Polaris and said, "I am fine. I just didn't expect this fellow to grow to this level."
Karakorum Polaris knew that her senior had thought about Central Pine City again. She could feel that her senior had been depressed all these years. Every time he thought about Central Pine City, he would become emotional.
She wondered what her senior was like before he was injured. Was he always solemn like this? Did he never smile like he did now?
"It seems like Aunt Ye has an eye on the snow lava," she said softly.
"It's not 'seems like,' but rather, she has had an eye on the snow lava all along. Snow lava is an A-grade fire liquid, and there are many uses for it. With the emergence of Pagoda Cannons, why would Skyheart City ignore such a powerful weapon?" Silver Soldier replied.
"That lad Ai Hui is very crafty. He will not allow anyone to get the better of him. He will definitely fight to his death with anyone that tries to steal from his bowl. Look at his message. He obviously knows that Skyheart City is going to target him, so he struck first and obtained the upper hand," Silver Soldier continued.
"Take a look, he is actually taking a shot at Skyheart City with his words. The combat divisions at the front line need the snow lava more urgently than those who aren't at the front line. Skyheart City must be feeling angry and humiliated right now. However, they can't do anything against Ai Hui at the moment. This lad is a bad boy. That's the way he has always been. One has to be very careful when dealing with him. A moment of carelessness will cause one to be eaten by him. I also don't know why a decent girl like Shi Xueman fell for a bad boy like him."
The eyes behind Karakorum Savant's veil curled slightly. She liked it the most when her senior pondered over something seriously. It was only in these moments that her senior would forget about all his depressing memories and become focused.
"What about us?" she continued to ask.
After thinking about it, Silver Soldier replied, "We will carry on what we have been doing until Skyheart City gives us a clear-cut order. I don't think Skyheart City dares to act recklessly anyway. Furthermore, the situation now is critical. If the situation gets out of control and creates a chain-reaction, we will not be able to hold off the blood elementalists. Eventually, the enemy forces will be able to attack Beyond Avalon directly. This is definitely an outcome that Skyheart City doesn't want to see."
Karakorum Savant wasn't a brainless person. After thinking about it, she felt that her senior's words made sense. She knew Aunt Ye very well and knew that Aunt Ye was very good at practicing forbearance. Karakorum Savant nodded her head and replied, "Senior is right."
"That's why I said this lad Ai Hui is very crafty. Look at the timing he chose to make this announcement. Skyheart City can't do anything to him at all. Even though I don't know how this lad is going to handle the situation, I know he can do a lot of things during this period of buffer time. This lad is an expert during chaotic situations. He is like a slippery loach that can make the most out of every opportunity."
"I think Senior actually admires Ai Hui a lot." Karakorum Savant laughed.
Silver Savant was stunned momentarily. Then, he nodded his head and said, "There are many unusual aspects about him. He is strong-willed and tenacious. I have never seen someone like him before. To other people, willpower might be a form of persistence with a particular faith. Ai Hui, however, seems to be born with willpower. It's an instinct to him. The words 'giving up' don't seem to exist in his dictionary."
"Senior has such a high assessment of him!" Karakorum Savant was astonished.
"Actually, what right do we have to assess him? His achievements today were obtained through his own hard work. We are inferior compared to him."
Karakorum Savant tilted her head and thought about it. Then, she nodded her head and replied, "Senior is right."
She and her senior became the division leaders of the Infantry and Sky Edge divisions only because of her father. Ai Hui became the leader of the Central Pine Faction through his own abilities. Even Shi Xueman became his subordinate.
After fighting alongside Shi Xueman, she rather admired Shi Xueman's strength and character. Ai Hui was indeed formidable if he was able to make an outstanding individual like Shi Xueman his subordinate.
"Let Skyheart City stress over the issue of snow lava. Right now, I am actually very interested in Ai Hui's Pagoda Cannon Alliance. No matter what, this lad is exceptional in combat. He can relieve us of some of our burden," Silver Soldier said.
"After listening to Senior, even I hope Ai Hui can arrive earlier." Karakorum Savant chuckled.
Silver Soldier was right. Skyheart City was stressing over Ai Hui's prestige now.
"This is what you meant by you are confident of getting it done? This is what you call getting it done?"
Madam Ye's enraged voice echoed throughout the meeting hall. Everyone kept quiet out of fear. Madam Ye had always been graceful and refined. This was the first time they had seen her lose control of herself. She wasn't even this angry when the Dread Division and the Judgement Division had left the city.
A layer of perspiration appeared on Nian Tingfeng's forehead without him knowing. He had thought of various possible moves that Ai Hui would make, but he definitely never thought of this response. Ai Hui's style of handling things was indeed surprising.
"He is slapping our face! By saying the front line needs the snow lava more urgently, he is saying that we are doing nothing at all! Hmph, he even said that he is going to the front line immediately. A smart move indeed. The slap he gave our face is loud and clear. Now, we can't even do anything against him!" Madam Ye's face had turned ashen as she chided everyone.
"This subordinate is incompetent. Madam, feel free to punish me," Nian Tingfeng summoned his courage and said.
Upon sensing the sincerity in Nian Tingfeng's words, Madam Ye's rage lessened. Following which, she snorted, "Punish? What's the point of punishing you now? Can I stop the world from mocking us by punishing you?"
Now that she talked about it, she felt extremely distressed. She always felt vexed whenever she had to deal with issues that were related to the Central Pine Valley. She regretted not razing the Central Pine Valley to the ground earlier!
"This subordinate deserves to die." Nian Tingfeng lowered his head even more.
Madam Ye took a deep breath and suppressed her emotions. "Punishment or not, we will talk about it later. Right now, let's discuss what we should do now. And I want to know what Ai Hui's intentions are for making this declaration."
Everyone looked at each other. No one was willing to say anything.
Upon seeing this, Nian Tingfeng opened his mouth and said, "This subordinate has come up with some conjectures."
"Speak!" Madam Ye said coldly.
Nian Tingfeng did not speak immediately. It was only after he reorganized his thoughts that he started to talk, "Initially, after looking at Ai Hui's declaration, this subordinate was also shocked. However, after thinking about it, I realized this is actually his last resort. He might have found out that we are interested in seizing the snow lava from him and simply used our tactic against us. By using the pretext of going to the front line and fighting, the public can't expect anything from him. Ai Hui also knows that the front line is filled with dangers. The Central Pine Valley alone can't do much to help. Therefore, he thought of the idea of the Pagoda Cannon Alliance. He wants to rope in a bunch of people to build up his prestige and influence. This will increase his chance of securing a victory on the battlefield."
"Ai Hui this bastard... On the surface, he acts as if he is being magnanimous. In reality, he is just a treacherous individual," Madam Ye snorted.
A cold shiver went down Nian Tingfeng's spine. Madam Ye spoke the words "Ai Hui this bastard" with an obvious killing intent.
Everyone nodded their heads. Before this incident, no one felt that Ai Hui could pose any threat to Skyheart City. Even though the Central Pine Valley was impressive, it was too small. How could such a small group of people pose a threat to them?
Right now, however, the Central Pine Valley was like a fish bone that was stuck in the throat of Skyheart City. It wasn't deadly, but it was extremely unbearable.
"Madam is wise!" Nian Tingfeng flattered Madam Ye first before continuing, "From the look of it, it's best that we don't do anything now. There are two reasons for this. First, the situation is critical now. Any reckless moves will cause us to lose this fight. Second, the Sword of Lightning Division is taking the initiative to fight on the front line. We can't find a reason to bring them down now. At the moment, we should cope with all actions by remaining inactive. There are still many obstacles between Ai Hui's path and his goal. He is facing a few problems now."
"Continue." Madam Ye became excited.
First, he has a low prestige. Before this incident, the Central Pine Valley was just a small power. Ai Hui's personal strength is rather impressive, but that's not enough to attract other people to join him. Even if there are people joining him, he will face the problem of insubordination. How is Ai Hui going to convince the masses?"
Everyone nodded their heads. What Nian Tingfeng said made sense.
Madam Ye clearly understood the problem of insubordination from her personal experience.
In the past, no one cared that Ai Hui became the leader of the Central Pine Faction because the Central Pine Faction only had a few hundred of people back then. It was not easy for a power that had such a small number of people to achieve anything.
Madam Ye was born from nobility. She was born in the oldest family of the Avalon of Five Elements. Even with the Great Elder paving the way for her, there were still many people who refused to support her. For Newlight City, it might appear to outsiders that An Chouchou was in charge. In reality, Yuchi Ba and the other Elders were really the ones who called the shots.
Once Ai Hui formed the Pagoda Cannon Alliance, the issue of authority would arise. On the battlefield, life-threatening situations might arise at any moment. Would people obey him just because of the snow lava? This was something that was not going to happen.
"Second, since he has already announced to everyone that he is going to the front line, he must secure a victory. Otherwise, he will become a laughingstock."
Nian Tingfeng continued, "Whether there is internal strife in the Pagoda Cannon Alliance or Ai Hui fails to secure a victory, we will have enough reasons by then to pick up the pieces for him. When that day comes, the snow lava will naturally be ours."
"We must encourage those capable combat divisions to join the Pagoda Cannon Alliance." Madam Ye softly coughed.
"Yes," Nian Tingfeng replied.
"We have to be on the offensive and not the defensive all the time," Madam Ye said.
"This subordinate will bear this in mind!" Nian Tingfeng replied respectfully.
"Even if we are bound to fail, we have to wait until this issue blows over," Madam Ye muttered.
"Understood," Nian Tingfeng acknowleged.
"I hope the Dread Division and the Judgement Division don't let me down," Madam Ye mumbled.
Nian Tingfeng did not say anything. He had become the focal point of the entire meeting hall. A few people were looking at him with disdain. He did not do anything and remained calm. After the Dread Division and the Judgement Division headed toward the front line, the Surveillance Division had been mocked by many people.
By this point in time, Madam Ye's rage has completely disappeared. Her gaze shifted to Ma Shiji as she said, "Master's Glory is our brainchild. I'm sorry for troubling Sir over this issue. There's no need to rush it. Stability comes first. Only success is allowed."
Currently, Ma Shiji did not dare to hesitate and replied with a prudent look on his face, "Yes."