Book 3 Chapter 4.3

Book 3 Chapter 4.3 - Swamp

What would happen if they met? Su’s rationality told him that he had to stay away from Pandora, that his current ability wasn’t enough to face the terrifying little girl. However, his instincts were urging Su to continue heading northwest. Su already vaguely sensed the Scorpions of Disaster’s formation a few days ago. Back then, there were a few times when they could break out from the enclosure and return to the base, but as he struggled to make a decision, he let those chances go one after another. 

Su brought out the portable intelligence system and set it to a specific frequency. He sent out a message, the contents extremely simple: How are things going?

Soon after, a line of message returned. “I can continue for at least another month, leader! N958 really is fucking great, but what a pity it is that we can’t go inside. There are scorpions everywhere around it, fuck!”

Su laughed and put away the intelligence system. Kane really was a good fellow, just that he was a bit too wordy. Even though he knew that the longer the message, the greater the likelihood of the Scorpions of Disaster intercepting it, he still was like this. However, it was somewhat understandable. He had been hiding by the border of N958 for quite a while, but without Su or Persephone there, he couldn’t enter the base. In addition, with the Scorpions of Disaster’s forward advancing base so close, starting up N958 was definitely not a good idea. 

After a short period of eating and rest, Su stood up. He raised his left hand, and in the end, he still pointed northwest. “In that direction, advance.”

The soldiers were now all elites that had experienced fierce battles. After hearing the order, they immediately jumped up from the ground. They already organized their belongings and weaponry after a few minutes, ready to proceed. 

Su stood there for at least half a minute before heading down from the hill first. 

Inside of Pendulum City’s Black Dragonrider temporary commander section, the atmosphere was extremely tense. The command section was set up in what used to be Roxland Company’s office building, with the large conference room transformed into a combat command room. The holographic diagram at the center of the room clearly displayed everything within several hundred kilometers of this place, and it could be rescaled based on how the user wished. 

Standing in front of the holographic diagram was a dragonrider lieutenant colonel whose brows were currently locked tightly together. His brown colored eyes stared firmly at the continuously flickering image, the veins around his arteries continuously jumping the entire time. One of his arms rested horizontally in front of his body, while the other one continuously rubbed his chin, as if he was going to completely scrub off the dense and hard gray stubble. 

The title of temporary commander didn’t provide any additional authority or benefit. Nevertheless, it was a chance for a dragonrider to prove their wisdom. For dragonriders who wanted to free themselves from a life of constant battles between life and death and become like Lieutenant Colonel Julio who enjoyed life as a tactical bureaucrat, they definitely had to grab opportunities like the position of temporary commander. 

Many colored lights continuously flickered above the projector surface. The dark golden lights represented Black Dragonriders, while the dark blue scorpions represented discovered Scorpions of Disaster combat forces. Each time a dark golden cursor collided with the dark blue one, striking red flames would erupt. 

Right now, there were flames surging everywhere on this projector surface just like a star-filled night sky. 

The flames were also becoming smaller or going out. Every time this happened, there would always be a dark golden dragonrider symbol remaining with most of the blue markings disappearing. There were also some that broke up into fragmented blue specks of light that scattered in all directions. 

It looked like the dragonriders were winning every battle. 

However, this lieutenant colonel who had over twenty years of war experience understood well that the subordinates and soldiers the dragonriders lost wouldn’t be displayed on this diagram. Even though, just like other dragonriders, the lieutenant colonel didn’t think too much of ordinary soldiers’ fighting strength, treating them like expendable cannon fodder, this inherent prejudice still wasn’t enough to affect his decision making. What the lieutenant colonel needed was victory, and for military personnel, this point had never changed no matter what era it was. 

Even though he wasn’t willing to admit this fact, the lieutenant colonel still sensed that the number of ordinary soldiers was dropping to a point where it was starting to become a critical element in affecting the outcome of this war. However, this wasn’t what made him feel so nervous and giving him such a great headache, and it was even less an element in his decision making. 

There were still more than ten subordinates around him, as well as two dragonriders that stuck close to him. They were also looking at the projection diagram. In their eyes, the reason the dragonriders were continuously beating down those tactless scorpions was only because there were a bit too many scorpions and pouring out endlessly, truly unknown where they found so many people. However, what did it matter how great the enemies’ numbers were? A single Black Dragonrider, even if it was just a private, could easily flatten a thousand population inhabited area. In the Black Dragonriders’ creed, numbers was never the deciding factor in victory. 

That was why no one understood why the lieutenant colonel’s expression was so serious. 

“Senior officer, why does your distinguished self look so worried? Up until now, haven’t we always been winning?” A dragonrider second lieutenant next to the lieutenant colonel asked the question everyone was wondering. 

The lieutenant colonel sighed. The expression on his face was extremely unpleasant. He muttered a line of profanity before saying, “God dammit, we’ve been sealed off.”

Right at this moment, a dark golden cursor suddenly lit up before quickly heading northwest. It was like a dagger, piercing open a hole in this tightly wrapped net. However, while breaking through, it also separated itself from most of the dragonrider teams. 

“It’s lieutenant commander Su!” A subordinate quickly examined the list of troops. 

“Su…” The lieutenant colonel’s eyes became filled with complex emotions. He was already more than forty years old. A forty something year old lieutenant colonel had too many reasons not to like this fellow who wasn’t even thirty years old and rose from the rank of second lieutenant all the way to lieutenant commander in less than a year. 

“Send a message to Lieutenant Colonel Su saying that his current direction of movement has the danger of leaving the base as well as the other dragonriders. Ask him to return closer to the base.” After struggling for quite a while, the lieutenant colonel still decided to give Su a reminder. 

His subordinates quickly sent out the message. However, the bright marking that represented Su on the projection diagram continued to move northwest without any sign of stopping. Together with Su’s movements, the battlefield’s situation seemed to have changed greatly. All of the Scorpions of Disaster combat forces correspondingly adjusted their own combat direction and arrangement, as if there was a formless hand controlling them all. 

While the others were oblivious to what was happening, the lieutenant colonel already felt the pressure that weighed down on him relax. However, the uniformity of the scattered Scorpions of Disasters soldiers’ movements cast a new shadow over his mind. 

Just when the lieutenant colonel thought that returning to Dragon City for some rest wasn’t a bad idea, a subordinate suddenly received a message. He frowned, and then he decided that it was still better to disrupt the lieutenant colonels’ thinking before saying in a low voice, “A woman named Li just brought over ten soldiers past our border sentry post and rushed into the battlefield.”

“Li?” The lieutenant colonel frowned. He didn’t recall anyone named Li, and there weren’t any female dragonriders in this group either. 

The subordinates discovered his own negligence and immediately added, “She is Lieutenant Commander Su’s subordinate. Two days ago, she had just brought some soldiers into this base. Your distinguished self should understand that troops without the lead of a dragonrider aren’t allowed to enter the battlefield…”

“In what direction is she going?” The Lieutenant Colonel asked. He quite disliked long-winded subordinates. 

“This place.” The subordinate tapped on the projected diagram. That direction was precisely Su’s location. 

“She wants to regroup with her owner? Seems like she truly is a loyal subordinate…” The lieutenant colonel released a mysterious chuckle before saying, “Then just let her do what she wants.”

The subordinate’s face was a bit unsightly. After hesitating for a moment, he said, “She already left.”

The lieutenant colonel that had always been thinking about the battlefield situation only now recalled what the subordinate meant when he said that she rushed past the lookout post. His face immediately fell. “Find out whose fucking subordinate was in charge of defending today’s sentry post. To actually be so useless, letting someone rush past them just because they said they wanted to!”

The lieutenant colonel originally wanted to change the subject, after all, he didn’t give the order to stop Li from finding Su. On the battlefield against the Scorpions of Disaster, a subordinate leading ordinary soldiers only had a single path, and that was towards their deaths. However, he never expected to receive such a shocking reply. 

“It was Second Lieutenant Ranger who was personally guarding the border sentry post. After conflict sparked between Li and himself, he entered the hospital just now.”

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