After all, if there were still hope of surviving, no one would be willing to go die. It would be better to chase after the opportunity to preserve their guilds and retreat than staying here and spill every last drop of their blood.
“Then, let us discuss the evacuation plan. There is not much time left,” Bluesea spoke loudly. “We have no time to be arguing! We have to agree upon a getaway plan as soon as possible!”
A plan. That was a subtle way of putting it.
If the Player faction were to overlook their evacuation, then things would be all right.
However, if the Player faction were to notice it and attack with everything they had, the forces from Zero City would have to evacuate while facing the attacks from the Player forces. The level of losses would likely be staggering.
It all boiled down to who will be evacuating first, who will be evacuating last, who will be providing cover and who will be guarding the rear.
The ones to evacuate later would have a smaller chance of surviving.
Everyone understood this simple truth.
“We have done enough scheming!” Angel Wu suddenly shouted in a grim voice, “All these years… enough!”
The word “enough” was filled with so much rage and dissatisfaction that everyone there could hear it.
“The Angel Corps is the guardian protector of Zero City. We will engage the enemy to the very last moment. As such… … we will carry the duty of bringing up the rear with honour!” Angel Wu’s position came as a slight shock for everyone.
“Non-frontline combat personnel will be prioritized for the evacuation,” Bluesea suddenly said.
Both Ronan and Aderick turned to look at him.
“Non-frontline combat personnel will be prioritized for the evacuation! As for the frontline combat personnel, they will be evacuating after that.” Bluesea took a deep breath. His eyes were slightly red as he turned to face Ronan and Aderick. “Do you two have any objections?”
Ronan, the white-haired, red-faced old man laughed out in an unrestrained manner and said, “Very well! Let’s go with that! Warriors should not run! Let those non-combat personnel evacuate first! It doesn’t matter which guild they are from, they should be the ones to evacuate first!”
“Then, let’s start arranging it.” Aderick suddenly turned to face Bluesea. Those words from him surprised everyone.
“Bluesea, although we have always been at odds against each other, I personally admire your intellect and heart. Thus, I am of the opinion that the entirety of this evacuation plan should be under your command. I trust you.”
“… …thank you.” Bluesea was somewhat surprised.
“I agree.” Ronan nodded.
“Let us begin then. Time is running out,” Bluesea suddenly shouted. “Bring out all the records for the armoury! I need to make a headcount for all the transport aircrafts available for mobilization!”
Bluesea was the leader of Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild. Suffering from the suppressing actions by the six great resident guilds for years, he had had to endure using his wits. Thus, his plan making and organizing abilities were the strongest among all present here.
He used merely a few minutes to draw up a clear and simple evacuation plan.
The three great resident guilds and the Angel Corps would bring out a commonly used transport aircraft from their warehouses.
This transport aircraft was about one fourth the size of a normal helicopter. Its cabin could accommodate up to four people – if they were to force it, they should be able to increase the number to six or seven.
The aircraft moved using magnetic levitation and did not have any weapon systems installed. It was designed purely for transportation purposes.
Generally speaking, these magnetic levitation transport carriers were a means of transport inside the minor resource worlds owned by the respective guilds.
Pooling their resources, they were able to gather around 160 of these transport aircrafts. Filling all of those, they would be able to fit in at least 1,000 people.
Naturally, they also possessed large-scale aircrafts. It was only natural for Zero City to possess aircrafts capable of transporting over 100 people. However, Bluesea did not consider using them. There were two reasons for that.
Firstly, safety. Using a large-scale aircraft would put too many people at risk. The loss they would suffer would be too high per lost aircraft. Thus, it would be better for them to utilize small-scale aircrafts and use numbers to their advantage. The loss they would suffer per lost aircraft would thus be lessened. Losing one of those small aircrafts meant losing six to seven people, but losing one of those large aircrafts meant losing over hundreds of people.
Secondly, he had to consider the conditions of the passageway portal.
At present, no one knew how large the passageway portal would be. According to the norm in their utilization of Zero City’s temporary passageways, the chances of the portal being a large-scale one would be on the smaller side. The transport aircrafts they chose could fit in through a medium-scale portal. If they were to use a large-scale aircraft… … should they fail to pass through the portal, they would be in trouble.
160 small-scale aircrafts. The four resident guilds and the Angel Corps’ non-combat personnel, the logistics and engineering personnel would all mix in and ride the aircrafts. There was no time to properly divide them into groups. All of them would have to just go in whichever aircraft was available.
Those aircrafts were sufficient to transport the majority of the four resident guild’s members. As for the remaining combat personnel… …
“They will be in charge of covering the rear and resisting the enemy attacks. They will ensure the safety of the evacuating personnel,” Bluesea quickly said. “I request that everyone begin acting now!
“Behind the Board of Patriarchs building is a square. The square opens up to an underground hangar that allows aircrafts to fly out. I request that, in the shortest amount of time possible, arrange all the aircrafts that we want to use inside the hangar properly! Make sure the vehicles are running properly, check its ability to move and warm it up so that it can be ready to move at any moment!
“Once the temporary passageway portal opens up, get into formation and charge into the portal immediately! Put all the aircrafts on autopilot and do not pilot it manually! Set the portal as its coordinate!
“No matter what happens, the aircrafts must not stop or turn back. Even if the enemy shoots at the aircraft, it must not dodge!
“All the aircrafts must have only one action: Charge! Charge through the door of life!
“Even if other aircrafts fall, do not stop! Keep charging forward!
“Gentlemen, this is a life or death situation. One additionally person to successfully charge out is one additional win for us!”
Ronan, Aderick and Angel Wu showed expressions of resolution.
Angel Wu shouted, “All right! What are we waiting for? Move it! We don’t have much time left! Hurry!”
Beneath the square behind the Board of Patriarchs’ building was an underground hangar. When necessary, the square grounds could be opened up to allow the aircrafts inside the underground hangar to fly out – however, there was no way to accommodate 160 of those aircrafts inside it.
Bluesea quickly came up with a plan. He assigned numbers to those aircrafts and utilized all the surrounding spaces of the Board of Patriarchs’ building area.
The top of the building, the empty spaces on the ground, the green spaces, passageways, landscapes… … all of them were converted into makeshift landing pads.
Numbers were assigned to all the aircrafts and they were all programmed with the take-off procedures. The moment they activate the program, the aircrafts would fly up according to the sequencing in their given numbers and charge toward the portal.
“Toss out all the combat units! Battle androids, AI Sentinel mechs, armed drones… … toss them all out! There is no need to store anything right now! Activate all the combat units!
“Five minutes before the portal opens up, we must send out all of our combat units to form a counter-offensive wave. This counter-offensive must be capable of stopping the enemy advance. It would be even better if we could force them back!
“For the sake of our evacuation, we need to seize both time and space.
“Don’t feel distressed at what will happen to your equipment. This is the time to use those equipment in exchange for your life.”
This was another plan that Bluesea came up with.
No one objected to this as well.
“Finally, we also need a contingency plan.” Bluesea looked at the several leading figures inside the room. “The earlier plan assumes that everything will proceed smoothly. However… … and I am just assuming, should the enemy send in their [S] class powerhouses, we will need to go face them.”
“I will lead two of my warriors with me to act as the final force to cover the rear,” said Ronan loudly.
“I can do so as well.” Aderick glanced at Ronan. “Should the enemy send in their [S] class, count me in as well.”
Bluesea sighed and looked at them both. “I am very sorry. I would be of no help in this matter… … you know as well that I am not [S] class. It is not that I am lacking courage. Rather, should the enemy really send in their [S] class experts, no matter how unafraid of death I may be, not only would my participation be of no help, I would only drag you down.”
“Count me in as well,” said Angel Wu coldly. “The Angel Corps will fight to the very last moment. As the Prime Angel of the Angel Corps, I will honour my vows with my actions. If the enemy sends in their [S] class experts, I will be the first to step forward.”
Bluesea looked at them. He abruptly sighed to himself.
This… maybe the first time the leaders of Zero City are united to such a degree.
If only we knew this day would come, back then…
As Bluesea was assigning the tasks, Chen Xiaolian sat beside them and listened.
The members of the Angel Corps and the three resident guilds quickly left as they busily performed their tasks of preparing the aircrafts, defences and their final counter-offensive.
Only the few leaders remained inside the room.
Chen Xiaolian simply sat quietly in the corner. This action from him surprised Bluesea.
He was unaware of the guilt that was presently weighing down on Chen Xiaolian.
That… … irrevocable command! Just what is it?
Chen Xiaolian was the only one who knew. The reason why Zero City would fall into its present state of danger, the reason there would be such a war, the reason why so many people would have to die… …
If there is one who is ultimately responsible for all of these, I fear that someone would be me.
I obtained the authority, only to issue an irrevocable command to expose Zero City’s main gate! Leave Zero City’s main gate defenceless!
Remove the security system for Zero City’s passageways!
I did all these!
Although I do not know why I did all these things…
Chen Xiaolian looked at Bluesea and the others; how they viewed death like homecoming.
He secretly clenched his fists. I need to do something.
If the him from one hour ago were standing before him… … he really wanted to beat him up.
I, just what have I done?!
… Chapter 777: Pleasant Surprises
A blinding light erupted from behind the mecha with the shield as its thrusters sparked to life. Its shield also flared with illumination, and emerging through the blaze was a bright yellow tiger’s head.
A wave of vigorous energy answered Lan Jue’s own, as lofty and indomitable as a mountain. Behind the glare was the fat mecha, almost certainly piloted by Tang Xiao. He’d transformed back from the alien planet to a standard mecha shape and hid behind the defender. All other members of their team quickly followed and lined up for protection.
Gravity went wild. One moment it was almost too much for him to move his arms, the next he was completely weightless. The constant, erratic changes were making it impossible to control Thor in its descent toward the line of contenders.
A figure suddenly appeared behind him. The deadly glint of a swiping dagger was coming at him again, aiming for another energy transfer pipe.
Thor’s armor and shields were impressive. How else could they get past his defenses unless by sneak attack? His opponent knew it too, so they had no delusions of destroying Thor outright. Evidently their plan was to cripple him, and give their companions an opportunity to land more devastating blows.
The speed of these fighters was top-notch.
Lan Jue acted as though he didn’t see the mecha from behind, and did not immediately react. Thor’s sword was pointed firmly ahead toward the others. But just as the blow was about to land Thor seemed to give in to the gravity and dipped – just enough to avoid the deadly daggers.
Ting! Thor’s sword rang against the metal shield. At it did the tiger emblazoned on the shield grew clearer, and almost seemed to move like it was biting at the sword.
Unfortunately for the shieldbearer a surge of energy burst from Thor’s weapon, submerging the tiger in electric power and eventually swallowing up the mecha that bore it.
It was immediately consumed, leaving no trace behind.
The team’s defender was no more.
Next Thor swung its left fist backward, as though for a wild punch. Yet a dragging vacuum force sprang up from behind. It was strong enough to nearly freeze the sneak attacker, just enough for Thor’s fist – flickering with black and white power – to come crashing into it.
Boom-! The cloaking mecha exploded, filling the air with thunderous noise and shards of smoldering metal. Two opponents down, but they could take solace in the fact that their loss wasn’t a deficiency of skill. It was due to the enormous difference in Discipline. Lan Jue’s peak-ranked power, Thor’s outrageous construction, and his martial arts knowledge had turned the tide of battle. Lan Jue managed to defeat the most menacing of his enemies, the cloaker. Focused flow All-Heaven lightning removed their shieldbearer from the equation.
The advantage of strength was revealed.
Thor continued to power forward, through where the defender had been, following the course of the sword as it headed for the fat mecha. The sounds of crashing waves grew louder.
Momentum was focused flow’s strong suit. It struck with the strength and consistency of mighty ocean waves. Just like the ebb and flow of the tide, Lan Jue’s next attack came on the heels of the first.
The large mecha didn’t try to dodge. In fact, it couldn’t. Instead it lunged forward to meet the electric blade without hesitation.
Liquid metal can’t survive All-Heaven lightning, why is he acting stupid? Lan Jue silently chastised. But when he saw his disciple dissolve into a puddle of mush and avoid the strike he didn’t know whether to laugh or curse.
If he hadn’t had to spin around and deal with the sneak attacker he could have focused on the sword, becoming one with the technique. But as it stood his flow had been broken as had his forward momentum. Of course, part of the reason he had to stop was for fear of being stuck in the puddle of student beneath his feet.