Book 7, Chapter 21: Initiative (2)

It was difficult to actually deploy the Meteor Formation due to how stringent its requirements were. However, over the course of thousands of years, the human race had accumulated many of these shuttles. Even though some shuttles were lost with every large battle, the human race had nonetheless still accumulated around a million Cloud-Piercing Shuttles.

This was one of the Seven Kingdoms’ greatest trump cards. The millions of soldiers assigned to man these Cloud-Piercing Shuttles were comparatively far less important.

The first to appear was a large group of yellow Cloud-Piercing Shuttles packed into a tight formation. Every Cloud-Piercing Shuttle was covered in its own barrier, but the barriers of these Cloud-Piercing Shuttles were actually linked together, forming a massive entity.

The seven unique Cloud-Piercing Shuttles that made up the Meteor Formation were the Heaven’s Flame Shuttle, Flying Ash Shuttle, Cloudflare Shuttle, Raytrace Shuttle, Metal-Tipped Shuttle, Rainstorm Shuttle, and Thunderbolt Shuttle.

The shuttles that had appeared first were Flying Ash Shuttles.

And these Flying Ash Shuttles were primarily used for defensive purposes.

Cloud Rising’s Desolate Beast Bloodline, the Cloudpeck, had been the ruler of the skies in its prime.

The overall defensive barrier formed by the Flying Ash Shuttles spread out in two directions as if it were unfurling its wings. However, the barrier was concentrated around the two “wingtips” and not the center. This actually resulted in a barrier that did not entirely enclose the shuttles.

This initial deployment was just a preparatory move for a follow-up attack.

Unlike the Harpies’ Sky City, which relied entirely on its powerful defense, the humans believed that the best defense was a strong offense. Even the Meteor Formation, which was designed to be mainly defensive in nature, operated under such principles. Thus, one of its mainstay abilities was to mount powerful counterattacks.

At this moment, the horde of airborne Demonic Beasts had just arrived at the shuttles’ barrier. They immediately began clawing and striking at the newly erected giant floating wall.

The powerful defensive capabilities of the Flying Ash Shuttles were put on full display as the Demonic Beasts threw themselves at the giant wall with reckless abandon — not a single one was able to break through.

At the same time, a number of red shuttles emerged behind the Flying Ash Shuttles.

Large swaths of flames suddenly burst forth, enveloping the Demonic Beasts and their surroundings.

This conflagration covered a total area of ten thousand square kilometers, burning every inch fiercely and causing the flying Demonic Beasts to shriek and howl in pain.

The Heaven’s Flame Shuttles!

The Heaven’s Flame Shuttles were primarily ranged weapons and were produced by Owl Country.

Owl Country’s Desolate Beast Bloodline was that of the Three-Legged Golden Bird, which had exquisite mastery over the power of fire. Naturally, Owl Country’s citizens also had an innate affinity for manipulating fire, and this was represented in the Heaven’s Flame Shuttles’ ability to create an inescapable region of “Heavenly Flames.” When all of the Heaven’s Flames shuttles attacked at the same time, they could send scorching flames sprawling for hundreds of kilometers in any direction. Unfortunately, this would also weaken its effect, which meant that this area of effect fire would only really harm low tiered Demonic Beasts.

But in this situation, it almost completely wiped out the charging eagles in an instant.

However, the Demonic Beasts’ ranks were endless. The front line, which had been thoroughly dismantled by the might of the flames, was immediately re-formed as a new wave of Beasts rose to take their place.

This time, it was the Flaming Crows.

Flaming Crows were not particularly powerful Demonic Beasts, but they had an innate resistance against fire.

The effect of the Heaven’s Flames Shuttles was greatly diminished against them.

Thankfully, there were still Origin Qi Scholars present.

A large group of Origin Qi Scholars was positioned just behind the Meteor Formation. They collectively unleashed their flying swords, filling the sky with razor-sharp sword Qi that quickly rained down upon the Flaming Crows, tearing them apart.

After all, the Meteor Formation didn’t exist on its own. The whole reason for its deployment was to serve as a shield for Origin Qi Scholars to attack from safety. It was just that this shield also possessed the ability to fight back on its own.

Just the defeat of the Flaming Crows wouldn’t cause the Demonic Beasts to retreat. Instead, it prompted even more powerful Demonic Beasts to charge forwards. In addition, these Demonic Beasts were noticeably stronger than the ones in the initial wave. Most of them were high-tier Demonic Beasts, many of whom possessed some level of innate resistance against fire.

At that moment, however, small, silver-colored shuttles appeared, firing off lasers at the Demonic Beasts.

The Raytrace Shuttles.

The Raytrace Shuttles were primarily used to weaken opponents.

Long Sang’s Desolate Beast was the Dragon Centipede, which was known for the devastating curses it inflicted upon its enemies. As soon as the Raytrace Shuttles were mobilized, they would shoot rays of curse energy at any creature that entered their vicinity, causing them to experience a ten to forty percent reduction in strength.

These high-tier Demonic Beasts immediately suffered a thirty percent decrease in their strength as soon as they entered the Raytrace Shuttles’ domain. The Heaven’s Flames Shuttles once again unleashed their flames, easily turning those high-tier Demonic Beasts to ashes.

The Demonic Beasts, of course, were also attacking from range.

Streaks of powerful Demonic Qi collided with the Flying Ash Shuttles, causing their defensive barrier to flicker violently.

A few of the more powerful Demonic Lords and Kings took advantage of this opportunity to attack the human army from behind as they could rely on their powerful strength to ignore the weakening effects of the Raytrace Shuttles and the flames from the Heaven’s Flame Shuttles. Their main goal was to disrupt the Meteor Formation.

A powerful tornado whirled into existence right in front of the Meteor Formation. Sparks flew brilliantly as the gale collided violently with the barrier.

The tornado immediately dissipated as soon as it met the barrier, revealing a few dozen powerful Demonic Beasts, including a Demonic Emperor, four Demonic Kings, and around twenty Demonic Lords.

The tornado had been drummed up by the Demonic Emperor, who quickly assumed the form of a pale-faced, buck-toothed man that was wielding a whip made of bamboo leaves. He sharply cracked his whip against the Flying Ash Shuttles, each whip strike causing the barrier to flicker madly. Under his onslaught, one of the Flying Ash Shuttles finally gave out, and its defensive barrier fell. The Demonic Emperor immediately seized the opportunity and smashed the lone shuttle to pieces with his whip.

Although Demonic Emperors had a certain level of intelligence, it was impossible for them to completely overcome their primal and animalistic nature. Whenever a battle broke out, they would invariably join in. This Demonic Emperor was no exception.

Just as he was getting drunk off of unleashing his power, however, a golden shuttle suddenly charged out of the formation and into the fray, shining an intense golden ray of light at the Demonic Emperor.

Shockingly, this single ray of golden light actually dealt a significant amount of damage to the Demonic Emperor.

An instant later, hundreds more of these golden shuttles appeared, and they combined their power to summon a golden spear which careened towards this Demonic Emperor. The Demonic Emperor reached out with his hand in an attempt to stop the spear, but the spear completely penetrated his palm, and then chest. It cleanly passed through his body as if it weren’t even there. Although this attack didn’t kill the Demonic Emperor, it had significantly wounded him.

The Demonic Emperor, however, was still not satisfied and bounded into the air, recklessly swinging his whip through the air.

Suddenly, a thunderbolt descended from the sky, slamming straight onto the Demonic Emperor’s head and paralyzing him.

Immediately afterwards, countless golden spears pierced the Demonic Emperor’s body, silencing his roars as his body immediately exploded.

A Demonic Emperor had died almost immediately to the Cloud-Piercing Shuttle’s formation.

The Thunderbolt Shuttles.

The Metal-Tipped Shuttles.

The Thunderbolt Shuttles were primarily produced by Liaoye Country.

Liaoye’s Dream Beauty Bloodline was a consciousness-type bloodline, allowing them to specialize in silently ambushing their opponents. The Thunderbolt Shuttles were so named because they attacked in the form of a thunderbolt; however, this thunderbolt was actually illusory and was only manifested via consciousness power. The attack would appear incredibly powerful on the surface but would contain a hidden consciousness attack under the surface. No matter how powerful their target was, they would all temporarily fall into a paralyzed state. Their strength merely determined how long they remained in this state.

The Metal-Tipped Shuttles were responsible for attacking and were controlled by Empty Mountain.

Empty Mountain’s Desolate Beast Bloodline, White Fang, possessed the greatest offensive capabilities due to its steel-like teeth. This was why the Chu Clan was given control over them. On the battlefield, their primary purpose was to specifically target Demonic Lords and higher.

Some purple shuttles also appeared on the back lines, glowing with a mysterious luster. They were located precisely where the feral Demonic Emperor had first begun his attack.

These were the Rainstorm Shuttles.

The Rainstorm Shuttles handled recovery and repairs and were controlled by Water Sheen.

Water Sheen’s Desolate Beast Bloodline, Luo You, was a giant sea-dweller capable of bending the waves to its will, giving it powerful recovery and supportive abilities. They were the most trustworthy allies in a fight and the most relied-on backup. For this reason, Du Qingxi had specifically interceded for Jiang Jusheng to smooth over his conflict with Su Chen. Only then were they capable of fighting shoulder-to-shoulder on the same front lines.

With the repair efforts of the Rainstorm Shuttles, the region that had just suffered the most damage began to slowly recover.

The final class of Cloud-Piercing Shuttles, the Cloudflare Shuttle, were controlled by Greatwind. Their function was self-detonation.

The Desolate Beast Windbite’s speed was virtually unparalleled. The Cloudflare Shuttles attacked by blowing themselves up, meaning that they were also the Meteor Formation’s last resort. Their destructive capabilities had essentially merged the attributes of the Heaven’s Flame Shuttles and the Metal-Tipped Shuttles into one. For this reason, these shuttles needed to be extremely fast. Otherwise, they would be destroyed before reaching the target of detonation.

The captains of the Cloudflare Shuttles needed to have a resolute will and the heroic spirit to sacrifice themselves for others. For this reason, the Cloudflare Shuttles saw the least use, and would never be used until the last possible moment.

The Meteor Formation composed of these seven distinct classes of shuttles became an iron wall keeping the Demonic Beasts at bay. In battle strategy terms, this was the front line.

The Meteor Formation’s purpose was to defend and repel any enemies.

The true killers were still the Origin Qi Scholars.

Before the Boundless Sect appeared, the human race had managed to claw their way to the territory they currently held by relying on the power of their bloodlines, the Meteor Formation, and Lifesource Candles.

And the brunt of the burden was still borne by bloodline power.

Even though bloodline power had created vast social disparities, creating internal strife, it was an undeniable fact that Bloodline Nobility Clans were important.

And most of them carried out their duties responsibly, fighting on the front lines to preserve their country.

This time, when the Beasts invaded, the human race’s Origin Qi Scholars were split into two groups.

One group was the Seven Kingdoms’ armies. They used the Meteor Formation as a wall from behind which countless Origin Qi Scholars with bloodline power would lob Origin Skills at the enemy. As such, their equipment and techniques were all over the place.

The other group was the Boundless Sect’s soldiers. In comparison to the Seven Kingdoms’ armies, the Boundless Sect was much simpler. They had been issued the same equipment, wielded the same swords, and mastered similar techniques. Even if the odd disciple preferred to wield a different kind of weapon, they were also equipped with a sword.

But because the Seven Kingdoms’ soldiers had fought in tandem with the Meteor Formation before, their positioning and their ability to grasp opportunities was excellent. The Boundless Sect was lacking in experience, and all the good positions were taken from them. In terms of formation, the Seven Kingdoms’ Origin Qi Scholars looked like they had the upper hand.

But when it came to the actual fight, things were obviously different.

The Seven Kingdoms’ Origin Qi Scholars came from different clans, so their attacks were also different.

Some were more competent in close-quarters combat, while others preferred to attack from range.

Those specializing in close-quarters combat could do nothing other than wait.

The Boundless Sect was obviously different. They cultivated similar techniques. Of course, each had their own specialty, but they were still compatible in large-scale battles.

Once the battle was fully underway, the Boundless Sect’s disciples simultaneously lifted their swords. Hundreds of thousands of streaks of sword light flew through the sky.

Even though they were pushed out of position by the Seven Kingdoms’ men and weren’t in the best spots, the flying swords they controlled were totally unaffected. They danced through the air, gathering to form one giant and unleashing a vicious sword strike.

The power of bloodlines suddenly seemed quite dim in comparison.

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