Book 2 Chapter 15.4

Book 2 Chapter 15.4 - Dagger Aimed At the Back

The woman with only half her face exposed was clearly unafraid of Kafen. Her red hair fluttered about in the chilly winds, not like a flame, but insteads like messy grass dyed red with blood. The metallic mask radiated a deep gray radiance under the dark sky. When she heard Kafen’s words, she laughed coldly a few times. With a shrill voice that was similar to that of a seagull’s, one that even carried a bit of an echo, she said, “Your big words and your strength don’t match, ‘Lieutenant Colonel’ Kafen!”

Maria purposely emphasized his rank of lieutenant colonel, and as a result, Kafen suddenly turned around, every scar on his face and neck releasing a dull bloody light. When others saw his sinister face, perhaps most of them would feel fear, but Maria was not included among them. Towards the Black Dragonriders’ similarly infamous ‘sickle’ Kafen, Maria had once made a classic comment: true intimidation wasn’t accomplished just by the scars on one’s face. Of course, as for the reason why Kafen was able to rise to the rank of lieutenant colonel, he definitely didn’t only rely on the fear his appearance gave off. When he heard those around him speak about these words from Maria, he erupted with fury. In the end, however, he still never walked up to Bloodthirsty Maria to fight to the death. 

The mission this time just happened to put together these two that had old grudges to settle. It was unknown if this was done deliberately, or if it was just a coincidence.

Kafen gave Maria a cold look, his eyes giving off a powerful glare that seemed to indicate that this was his final warning, causing her to swallow all of the other words of ridicule she was planning to say back down. After all, the two individuals’ strength were equal, and their methods were similarly ferocious. The only difference was that Kafen was more cunning, while Maria was more brutal. The two both felt apprehension towards each other and didn’t wish for their conflicts to truly reach the point where it had to be resolved through fighting. In addition, if internal strife really did happen from just a few words and as a result affect the plan this time, then these two’s conclusion would be much more miserable than just death. 

When he saw that Maria stopped before going too far, Kafen refrained from going to extremes either. He opened his tactical tablet and asked, “Lynch, what is your position?”

A deep and low laughter sounded from the tactical tablet, because he knew that Kafen was becoming impatient. Then, he said, “That is not something I can tell you. However, I can see their vehicle fleet.”

Kafen released a low curse, but he didn’t continue to ask Lynch about his position. Instead, he bluntly asked, “Will attacking this fleet be useful?”

“Definitely useless!” Lynch directly gave Kafen his reply. “They already received information about our arrival, yet they still sent a fleet like this to Dragon City. It is clearly bait, bait to expose our locations.”

“Dragonriders cherish their own subordinates quite greatly. Perhaps we should give it a try.” Kafen began to slowly advanced towards the vehicle fleet, but he was clearly hesitating. 

This time, before Lynch said anything, Maria refuted Kafen and said with a sneer, “Su isn’t someone with a weak mind. If you even have the slightest sensitivity towards numbers, you will know how high the mortality rate of the soldiers under Su is. In addition, from the way he does things, I do not believe that you will be more fierce than him under similar situations, Lieutenant Colonel Kafen.” She once again emphasized the two words that represented his rank. 

Kafen surprisingly didn’t become angry. He instead only smiled and said, “There is no need to judge Su’s character. I just want to give it a try. Amory, make your move!”

A straightforward reply sounded from the tactical tablet. “I will listen to your order, leader!”

In the clouds several tens of kilometers above the clouds, two unmanned planes suddenly appeared. The bodies of these planes didn’t have any markings on them. They were much larger than the unmanned drones of the Scorpions of Disaster, and hanging from these planes were two guided missiles. The two unmanned planes whistled through the air as they approached the vehicle fleet, as if they didn’t have any intention of hiding their whereabouts. A total of two small guided missiles released their cold aura. Anyone with common sense would know that their strength couldn’t be judged based on their size. 

When the distance reached ten kilometers, the advancing fleet discovered these two unmanned drones. It was clear that there was an ability user with Perception Domain abilities. When the earsplitting warning sounds rang through the air, the fleet immediately split apart in the wilderness. From the distance, their scattered formation seemed to still have order. The anti-aircraft machine gun on top of the armored soldier transport vehicles began to roar, sending a hail of bullets towards the sky, not caring whether or not these bullets were able to land on these two drones that were outside their range or not. 

The agile and flexible drones were like two falcons as they dove straight down from the air. Unless there was an ability user with five levels in the Mental Domain, if ordinary soldiers wanted to use the anti-aircraft machine guns or rapid-fire machine cannons to shoot down the drones, they could only rely on extraordinary luck. It was clear that these ordinary soldiers definitely wouldn’t be equipped with such requirements. 

The two drone’s wings flapped, and then four guided missiles left the bottom of the drones one after another. They drew out striking trajectories in the air and flew towards the four scattered loading vehicles. Unlike in the olden era, these four guided missiles’ tails were a dense purple color. These were ‘redbud flowers’, a distinctive trait of guided missiles. 

The ones in the fleet were mostly old veterans that had experienced many battles, so they all knew a thing or two about the Black Dragonriders’ weapons. Almost the moment they saw the four purple tails in the sky, they all jumped out from the transport vehicles in search of places to hide in and no longer concerned themselves with the vehicle and the items loaded on the vehicles. The veteran in the armored tank stuck out half his body and began to fire in bursts. The shots accurately severed the rope connecting the tank to the carriage behind it, and then he closed the cover tightly over his head. They no longer worried about the drones in the sky, because there was no way they would be able to hit them anyway. In addition, even if they did have a chance of hitting them, surviving was the most important. 

There were quite a few of Su’s soldiers within this vehicle fleet. Even though they hadn’t entered the Black Dragonriders for a long time and didn’t understand much about new era warfare, they were still rich with combat experience. When they saw the soldiers under Ricardo suddenly react so strangely, they immediately imitated them from tacit understanding. Only a few rookies were confused by their peers’ strange movements. Some of them stood in their original spots in a daze, while some continued to press down on the transport vehicle’s accelerator in hopes of chasing up to the armored vehicles that possessed far greater horsepower. 

The four ‘redbud flower’ guided missiles formed an S shape before quietly erupting. Four spheres of faint purple mist immediately filled the air, covering an area over several tens of meters in radius. From above, it looked as if there were four beautiful redbud flowers that bloomed. Then, four weak lights illuminated within the fiery purple mists, and then the purple mist immediately turned into terrifying flaming spheres that engulfed upwards. The flames spun about while taking in and sending out heat. Red and black interweaved, and then they finally turned into four small mushroom clouds that rose into the sky!

Terrifying heat and blast waves immediately swept through the battlefield. Most of the loading trucks couldn’t escape the explosion radius and were caught up within the waves of flames. A few vehicles that luckily escaped the spheres of flames were sent high into the air by the blast waves, and then they fell head first onto the ground. Even though the purple sea of flames hadn’t even burned for a whole second, all of the vehicles that were struck by the waves were already burning, and they even began to blow up one after another. 

Almost every single experienced veteran that was lying on the ground caught on fire. They quickly removed their burning uniform and then rolled about on the ice cold ground to put out the remaining flames on their bodies. However, the ones that were able to do this were only a few especially robust soldiers. The others had long died silently under the purple flames. The ones that survived the sea of flames were all seriously injured as well. However, if they were able to forcefully tear open the medical kit and inject some antibiotics into their bodies, their lives could still be preserved. 

Four enormous redbud flowers blossomed. The prairie was already in complete disorder. The ten remaining tanks were burning furiously. Small scale explosions rose and fell in succession, sending scorching hot metal fragments shooting out several tens of meters outwards. 

By the edge of this disaster where small amounts of remaining embers burned, the vehicles that were fortunate enough to escape this attack stopped. Soldiers got out from the vehicles one after another and silently watched the fiery scene that was still roiling with flames. Even the veterans from the northern front were at a loss from this sudden vicious attack. Meanwhile, apart from some scratching signal noise, only a terrifying deathly stillness could be heard from the communications channels. It was to the extent where there weren’t even any miserable cries. 

“Hurry up and rescue them! There are still some who are still alive!” It was unknown who was the one that shouted, but almost all of the veterans sprinted towards the fiery area of explosion where raging flames were still burning. While running, they brought out their medical kits in preparation of helping their comrades that couldn’t save themselves. 

“What a moving sight!” Lieutenant Colonel Kafen who was standing at the mountain peak sighed without the slightest bit of sincerity. He turned around and gave Maria a look. With a voice of ridicule, he said, “If I was wounded on the battlefield, I shouldn’t even bother hoping for you to save me. It can even be said that it might be better if you don’t find me.”

Maria laughed charmingly and said, “I will save you, and then I will turn you into my pet. Even though I really, really want to chop you up, your rank of lieutenant colonel is valuable enough to make you into a very special pet.” Her long and slender fingers swept across her red lips, and she revealed her snow white teeth. “I will raise you until you are fat and plump. Then, every day, I will slice off just a bit of your flesh.”

Kafen stared at Maria, but he only chuckled a few times and didn’t say anything. 

Inside of another hidden cave, Ricardo smashed a fist heavily against the cavern wall and roared angrily, “These human trash! They are actually using ‘redbud flower’ guided missiles on those of the same side! This time, we have enough proof. As long as I’m not dead, I will will let these scum know the consequences of doing something like this!”

“They never planned on letting you go back in the first place.” Su leaned against the wall with his eyes slightly closed, as if he was sleeping. His voice was calm and indifferent, forming a stark contrast with Ricardo’s fury. In reality, there were quite of few of Su’s men inside of that vehicle fleet, and the casualty count should be even higher for him. After all, Ricardo’s soldiers possessed far more experience and knew how to save their own lives during extreme situations. 

However, just because he was calm, that didn’t mean that he didn’t care about what had just happened. Ricardo looked at his right fist that was drenched with blood, and then he became calm again. “You are right. Since they dared to use redbud flowers, that means they never planned on letting us return to Dragon City alive. Those fellows behind the scenes really did put down quite a bit this time.”

Su suddenly thought of a problem, and thus he asked, “How much is a redbud flower?”

Ricardo stared blankly, seemingly a bit confused about why Su would ask about this. However, he still replied seriously. “About 200 thousand each, so four of them should be 800 thousand.”

Su straightened his body, and then through a hole in the cave, he gazed into the distant skies that were still filled with black smoke. “The redbud flowers total 800 thousand. Our fleet and resources are valued over a million, yet they destroyed it without a passing thought. This means that the reward behind this matter is definitely more than two million. If you add in the bait for luring in the big fish… the objective this time should be worth in the tens of millions.”

Meanwhile, as for who the target was among those Su and Ricardo knew, as well as what type of position this target was in, it would all be revealed soon. 

Su walked to the cave entrance, and then he looked into the gloomy sky. With a smile, he said, “A good hunter will never forget to leave a surprise for his prey, and we are no exception. That is why we should completely throw off these three fellows and head north!”

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