Vol 14: Chapter 7-2.
The conversation between Zheng and Xuan happened in their minds so the others couldn’t know about it. Everyone else was focused on the battlefield. Such a bloody and deadly battlefield was never seen by even Kampa. Blood, corpses, and broken body parts spread throughout the ground like a collection center of human bodies. Occasionally a few bugs dug themselves out but got shot down by Kampa and Zero.
“This is too brutal. The number of bugs is way too much. No wonder they wiped the human army in just several hours.” Kampa stared at the ground. There weren’t many bugs visible but the surface was rippling. No one knew how many bugs were hidden under the surface.
Zero stood his rifle up and asked Zheng. “What are we going to do? We can’t just fly into Platoon 6.”
Zheng had come out of the conversation. He thought for a bit and replied. “Lan, how is the group of several hundred troopers now? They got wiped yet?”
Lan closed her eyes for a moment. “No. Their number is increasing as they gather the scattered troopers on the way. The leader is actually quite good. They chose the hard surfaces to walk on so the bugs couldn’t attack from beneath. They also focused fire when attacking the bugs and killed a few on the way. They are close to Platoon 6, about ten more minutes before meeting up.”
Zheng said. “Ok. We will land behind them then follow the path they cleared to catch up. Merge into this group then meet Platoon 6.”
Lan passed the message to the three people on the other side then said. “Ok, I have passed the message. I will send their location, a map of the terrain and the spread of bugs to you.”
Zheng nodded. The images appeared in his mind. On the other side of a hill not far from them was a group of about a thousand troopers. Their conditions were not good. Most troopers were wounded. Some without an arm or leg. However, the baptism with blood cleared away some of that fear they had. They could now fire back against the bugs in coordination. Small groups of bugs became less of a threat to them.
“Let’s land here. It’s a hill so they can’t see us. Put away our equipment then head over. We should catch up to them in five minutes.” Zheng chose a hill from the map that couldn’t be seen from the other side. This hill was not far away from the group.
The dim atmosphere of this planet helped them. Normal people could only see one to two hundred meters away. The troopers weren’t players with enhancements. So no one saw the Sky Stick. After they landed, everyone put the weapons back into the dimensional bag. Then Zheng brought out the weapons from the federation. Kampa complained as he received the weapon. These garbage rifles were actually the weapons in a sci-fi world.
“Ok. Run up the hill. It should only be a few minutes. There are some bugs on the way but these guns are enough to kill them. Let’s go. We are basically safe after meeting Platoon 6!” Zheng patted Kampa on the shoulder and looked at Gando. His body was still shivering.
Xuan said. “Zheng, if the group happen to encounter a swarm of bugs, you should show strength equivalent to the maximum a normal person can achieve. It’s fine even if you go over by a bit. It’s best if you can lead some of the troopers like you usually do. If you can become a sergeant or lieutenant, our plans will be much more convenient. You get what I mean?”
Zheng nodded. He checked the gun then carried Lan on his back.
The seven of them moved very fast. Lan and Gando had weaker bodies so they were being carried. Kampa got Gando on his back. They ran after the group of troopers and killed several bugs on the way. The federation’s weapons were just so weak. Hits on the bugs’ exoskeletons only caused flares. The only effective targets were the eyes and mouth. Fortunately, their focus fire was good enough and Xuan had the gauss pistols hidden under his sleeves. He was the only person that retained power. If too many bugs came, he would just use the gauss pistols to clear them.
They caught up to the group after a few minutes. Or one could say the troopers at the back noticed them. These ten troopers aimed their guns at them in the beginning until a sergeant shouted them to stop. When the troopers found out that these seven people were humans, everyone let out a sigh of relief. Zheng and the others could tell that this group had been startled. They could still fight but their mental states were breaking apart. This was a sign of struggling before death.
The sergeant waved his arm at Zheng’s group. He let out a sigh of relief after they came over. “What a miracle you survived with just seven people. You, the heavily injured one, go get bandaged in the center. The five of you report to the lieutenant. You head to the center too. All women are taking care of the injured in the center.”
The sergeant had Zheng go get bandaged. His body was covered in blood but in reality his wounds were almost fully healed. The wound did look a bit scary. Zheng thought for a bit then gestured them to go. He headed to the center of the group with Lan.
It felt rather magnificent when a thousand people gathered together. Zheng said to Lan in a low voice. “Connect me to Xuan and pay attention to the spread of bugs. Tell me immediately if the bugs are gathering in a large group. It’s fine if we clear this area again with our weapons. The most important thing is our safety.”
Lan nodded. Zheng connected with Xuan’s mind. Xuan was heading to a group of officers who were arguing. An officer with a metallic arm shouted. “We Roughnecks killed our way out of the sea of bugs but we have lost over 70% of our people. The majority of troopers joining the group are new recruits. Our only hope is to meet up with Platoon 6 and defend until the rescue ships come using our advantage in number. And you want me to go save a squad from Platoon 5? Why don’t you just go die?”
Xuan frowned and said to Zheng. “Heard it? This is the Roughnecks. They killed the most bugs in the movie and one of the units that got back alive. If the other team isn’t inside these thousand troopers, we have over 80% chance of returning to the spaceship.”
Zheng also frowned and said to Lan in a low voice. “Is there a psyche force user in this group? Or anyone that can mask your scan?”
Lan shook her head. “No. Only normal people. I don’t sense any scans or masks. If there’s someone like that, I wouldn’t have been able to find this group. He could just mask the whole area.”
Zheng let out a sigh of relief. He told the others not to move and wait for him to get there. In the center of the group were about three hundred people who could still move and ten barely staying alive. A representation of the destructiveness of war. The ten critically injured lost all their limbs. Their stomach torn open exposing the intestines. But they were lucky to be still alive. About two hundred female troopers on acting as sentries or providing the medical aids. However, fear was obvious on their expressions. Any little change would rack up their nervousness. This group seemed like disowned dogs. The troopers covering the retreat at the back were elites in comparison.
Zheng bandaged himself up then he heard a racket coming from the left. The group was turning into a chaos over there. A pillar of fire shot up and a tanker bug appeared.
P.S. I am planning to do a bit of side project for a change. Since my previous side project got picked up, there’s a poll on the right to pick a web novel.