GOR Chapter 527 This Is My Home!
Time ticked away.
For the people of Zero City, never had they felt such an excruciating pain while they watched the time tick away.
Billowing smoke and flames filled the various monitor screens of Zero City. The bustling flea market was now in ruins and the orderly street area a battlefield. The Sea of Love, usually filled with people, had turned into a desolate place. The same was true for the workshops belonging to the various great resident guilds. The invading Player forces had looted and destroyed all of them.
The warehouses were currently wide open as the Players seized the reserve equipment for the various resident guilds.
In other areas, those outsider Awakened ones who remained within Zero City found themselves being brutally hunted and exterminated.
Zero City had over a thousand surveillance cameras, all connected to the main system. Although it was presently a state of war and a large number of those surveillance cameras were destroyed as a result, the remaining cameras continued sending the images of what was happening throughout the city back.
The sounds of explosions, smoke, flames rising to the sky, the screams of misery, the cries, the bloody images… …
“Turn it off.”
Angel Wu, who was standing inside the main control room, patted the staff member seated before him.
As the leader of the guardian protectors of Zero City, Angel Wu felt anger and humiliation overflowing out of his heart.
The large screen turned dark and the screams of misery and images of brutality were cut off.
Angel Wu raised his head to look at the large countdown timer within the control room.
They had set up the countdown timer just now. At present, there were 13 more minutes before the appearance of the temporary passageway portal.
“It is time to evacuate.” Angel Wu took a deep breath and looked at the people inside the room.
Truth be told, most of the IT staff members have already evacuated from here. At present, there was only a quarter of the original number of people left inside the main control room. The large room was now only playing host to tens of IT staff members.
Hearing Angel Wu’s words, the rest of them stood up. There were expressions of sorrow and humiliation on all their faces. Some pulled off their earpieces and nodded toward Angel Wu before leaving. Some slammed down on their desks in frustration while others gripped the corners of their uniforms tightly.
As the IT staff members within the room began leaving, Angel Wu noticed the IT staff member seated before him.
He appeared to be a man in his thirties.
“Are you not leaving?”
“There is a need for someone to stay.” The man shook his head. After gently pulling out the shoulder sleeve insignia of the Angel Corps on his uniform, he said coolly, “Sir, even if we are going to be evacuating, there will be a need for someone to remain here to monitor the situation. Should any variables pop up, I will be able to give the evacuation teams a reliable pair of eyes as I monitor the enemy movements.”
After a pause, the man continued slowly, “So you see, there is a need for someone to stay here. I will stay here.”
“… … …” Angel Wu looked at this subordinate of his. “You…”
The man cast a tranquil look at Angel Wu. Then, he slowly spoke up.
“This…” The man’s voice was not loud. However, it contained unyielding determination. “Is my home!”
“After we leave, we can find somewhere to rebuild our home…”
“No!” The man clenched his fists and an agitated expression appeared on his pale face. His eyes were like that of a wounded animal and he said, “This place is my home, this city is my home! I have lived here for 23 years!”
He abruptly turned on the large monitoring screen that was just turned off before pointing at a burning street.
“The corner of that street is where my favourite bakery was. Every time my shift is over, I would go there to buy some freshly baked bread home. The third building on the left belongs to Rodriar Guild. The one in charge of the building was my best friend in Zero City. Whenever we have the time, we would meet up to go fishing.
“He has even invited me to Rodriar Guild’s resource world to catch a fish that is bigger than a dolphin.
“But now, he is dead. During the first few waves of enemy offensive, he was decimated along with the buildings in the vicinity.”
The man then looked at Angel Wu and said, “Sir, you may believe in the possibility of rebuilding a new home somewhere else, but to me, there is only one home. That home is here, in Zero City.”
Angel Wu’s throat suddenly felt choked and he was unable to say anything.
“I have nothing to say about your and the others’ choice to leave, but… … I have my own choice to make. Please forgive me for disobeying this one time.”
The man then turned his head. He no longer looked at Angel Wu. Instead, he picked up his earpieces and placed them back into his ear. His fingers moved to tap on the virtual keyboard. “I will stay in my post to the end.”
Angel Wu noted the revolver placed before the man on the control desk.
He did not say anything. Instead, he silently observed the man for a few seconds before patting his shoulder. After doing that, Angel Wu turned and left the room.
Within the control room, all the control desks were turned off. The only exception was the desk where the man was at. There, lights continued to shine… …
“Eight more minutes! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! All combat personnel assume combat positions!”
Bluesea stood outside the main gate of the Board of Patriarchs’ building. They had set up War Bastions on both sides of the stairs. These War Bastions were oval shaped and with flat shaped muzzle turrets. Those War Bastions were stacked together before the Board of Patriarchs’ building in such numbers that one might think that War Bastions were free.
After stepping out, Angel Wu moved to stand beside Bluesea. He asked in a whisper, “How is it?”
“We are entering a critical time,” answered Bluesea with a frown. “All the men have boarded the aircrafts. The last batch has just finished boarding. As for our first counter offensive, it will begin in… …”
He checked his watch and said, “90 seconds.”
“Isn’t that too soon?” Angel Wu knitted his brows in response. “After starting our counter offensive, there is another six minutes before the portal opens. Can our counter offensive last for six minutes?”
“We have no other choice.” Bluesea sighed. “Our surveillance informs me that the enemy have begun gathering. As the other districts have no ability to resist them, they were lured over to the other areas just now. Right now however… … it would appear that they have recollected themselves. They are now assembling their forces on the south street. It is likely that their plan is to charge at us. If we do not launch a counter offensive now and they finish assembling their forces, I fear that things would become more difficult for us.”
“You have the command then.” Angel Wu nodded. “No need to hold anything back for the counter offensive. Throw everything in our armoury at them. At any rate… we won’t be able to bring those things with us.”
“Not what I had in mind.”
Shen stood in the ruined central square. Placing his palm on his forehead, he peered into the distance.
He was looking at the demolished Sea of Love.
Due to the high temperature of the explosion, the bottom part of the sea had crystallized while the seawater evaporated completely. The destruction of the facilities meant there were no new supply of water into the area, turning the Sea of Love into a large ‘basin’.
The exposed parts of the Sea of Love were now an image of devastation.
“I hear this was Zero City’s famed holyland of love.” Shen smiled.
The muscular driver, who was standing beside him, looked in another direction.
“The Alliance forces are assembling,” the muscular driver said in a hushed voice.
“You are already calling them the ‘Alliance’?” asked Shen with a smile.
“Your agent has died,” said the muscular driver with a bitter smile. “You should consider it. This organization that you came up with might actually turn out to be our enemy in the future.”
Shen waved his hand nonchalantly. “The air is filled with the scent of war. Don’t you think this place is too hot?”
Shen walked to a place that used to be the Sea of Love’s beach area. He then casually picked up a crystal, a result of the high temperature explosion from earlier. After examining it for a moment, he tossed it away.
“Guild Leader, do we maintain our standby state?” the muscular driver asked. “Those fellows have seized quite a number of places… … some of those places are really enticing.”
“I don’t mind letting others act as cannon fodders for us. In wars, deaths are aplenty. Since someone wants to take up this dirty job, why should we go do it?” Shen shook his head and turned his head to look back at the teleportation matrix. Another Player Guild had teleported in.
This Player Guild was obviously of the melee-type. To Shen’s surprise, two of the Players were riding on monsters with a long horn on its head and sharp spikes jutting out of its ribs.
“What is this? Monster riding cavalry?” Shen furrowed his brows and continued, “Did no one tell them that the present battlefield is one of technological warfare? Are they planning on going up against mechs and tanks while riding those monsters?”
“Not all Players follow the technological route.” The muscular driver shook his head. “There will certainly be some Players who are unsuited for this battle. However… … in order to entice more people, the Alliance could not stop them from joining. Now that the situation is under control, they can finally allow these people in.”
Shen observed them. The two fellows who were using monsters as mounts wore thick leather robes. They covered their faces with a layer of leather while desert goggles covered their eyes and the rest of their faces from view.
“I bet these fellows must look fugly,” said Shen with a smile.
One of the figures with a monster mount had a slender body shape. With a lowered head, this figure deliberately shrunk back.
The figure then reached out a hand to shove back the hair that was sticking out from the hat.
The number of people appearing on the teleportation matrix gradually grew and the central square became increasingly chaotic.
The slender figure suddenly and quietly slid down from the monster’s back. Putting up a pretence of picking up the water bag tied to the waist, the slender figure then moved to the side.
The slender figure entered the crowd. None of the Players inside the bustling crowd noticed that the fellow had moved away from them.
After reaching the back of a broken wall of a building that was caught within the explosion earlier, the figure tore out a corner of the leather mask covering her face, revealing her mouth. She then brought the water bag up to take a gulp.
After downing the first gulp, the fellow’s brows knitted together.
“What crappy luck… … he is actually an alcoholic.”
The water bag contained highly concentrated alcohol. The figure had to put quite the effort to suppress the desire to cough.
After tossing the water bag down the ground, the figure disappeared.
A few seconds later, the slender figure reappeared within one of the bombed buildings on the south street area. Standing upon a partially collapsed building pillar, the figure reached out with a delicate looking hand to gently pull away the leather mask. Next, the desert goggles came off to reveal an exquisitely charming face.
“This is Zero City… … not quite what I had in mind.”
Miao Yan released a gentle sigh .
“The Alliance’s forces are assembling. They are getting ready to launch a brutal attack upon…” The muscular driver held onto a map that he had somehow obtained. After glancing over it for a moment, he said, “The Board of Patriarchs’ building. It should be the final defensive line for Zero City’s defending forces. From what I could gather, the previous battles the Alliance forces had to face were not that intense. Most of them were sporadic. The strongest acts of resistance came from the south street area. I believe the enemy is turning the Board of Patriarchs’ building into their final line of defence.”
“So, this will be an all-out offensive in one go?” Shen laughed. He suddenly turned to look at the distant south street. “Looks like they have begun their rallying speech. Listen, can you hear their cries?”
At a certain spot one kilometre away from the Board of Patriarchs’ building…
The residences within this area had been flattened. This place was originally an intersection with buildings around it. However, those structures were destroyed and the tanks trampled over what remains of them.
Over 50 mechs, hundreds of battle androids and convoy after convoy of hundred-metre long tanks filled the area.
“… this will be our last battle! The last battle in our conquest of Zero City! After today, all of the Player world will laud our glorious accomplishment! We will sear our names, our mark upon this city! Fellow warriors! Raise your weapons! Let us seize the fruits of our victory!”
A Player stood on the third floor of a damaged building and used a loudspeaker to speak. His hoarse voice echoed through the place.
All the Players who heard this Player’s rallying speech raised up their weapons in response. Even the mechs raised up their blades and energy rifles.
As for the tanks, the excited Players opened up the tanks’ hatches and fired into the sky.
The muscular driver held onto a miniature device, which transmitted the speech given by the Player.
Shen, who was listening beside him, suddenly smiled and said, “This fellow is quite an eloquent fellow. Which guild does he hail from?”
“After Captain Scola’s death, this person is now the highest-ranked person in the Alliance.” The muscular man knitted his brows and continued, “Should they win this war, and should he survive, he may be your enemy in the future.”
“Enemy? Mine?” Shen revealed an amused expression. It was as though someone had just cracked a joke at him. “Stop joking.”
After a pause, he then said in a hushed tone, “Record down his name. In a few days’ time, arrange for him to meet me – that is, if he is still alive.”
Shen then turned his attention back to the Board of Patriarchs’ building. “Don’t you think… … it is too quiet? Also, those fellows are gathering into one spot for their speech… … are they not afraid of getting hit by enemy fire? Our enemies are not dead yet. Didn’t your informants say that they have been preserving their strength behind that line of defence? Are those fellows actually that naïve to believe that this one charge would end the battle?”
“Now… go and seize the fruits of our victory!”
After those words left the Player’s mouth, an air piercing sound suddenly reverberated out amid the joyful clamour of the crowd of Players.
“This sound is?”
Some of the Players atop the tanks became dumbfounded after hearing the sound.
Others however, were quick to respond. They swiftly jumped back into their tanks and shout, “Activate the energy shield! Hurry!”
Those Players who were slow to respond raised their heads to find the source of the sound. As for those who realized what was happening, they hastily used all their might to charge into the nearest makeshift shelter.
“Electromagnetic Cannon blast!”
Someone finally shouted out what the sound was. However, by the time those words were uttered out, the first counter offensive by Zero City’s defenders had descended upon them.
160 fully charged Electromagnetic Cannons were fired simultaneously.
It was as though they did not care about preserving their weapons’ energy. They did not even bother considering the strain that such a level of usage might bring. They seemingly did not care what would happen after unleashing this attack.
The strain of such a move overloaded many of the War Bastions, causing their energy reactors to explode in the very first second.
However, amid the faint orange coloured light resulting from the explosions, 160 Electromagnetic Cannon blasts that carried with it the rage of Zero City’s residents rained down upon the Players’ congregation spot on the south street.
A mech on the third floor of the building instantly reacted and its silvery white body surface emitted an energy shield with a diameter of 10 metres. The energy shield acted like an umbrella placed before it.
In the next second, cannon blasts enveloped the area.
Tanks that were struck by the Electromagnetic Cannon blasts had their body surface punched right through and they exploded on the spot.
Likewise, some of the mechs that failed to put up their energy shields on time were pierced by the Electromagnetic Cannon blasts. They fell and exploded, engulfing the nearby Players with flames.
While some had reacted fast enough to activate their energy shields to block off the incoming Electromagnetic Cannon blasts, they were unlucky enough to be caught in the resulting explosion when those around them were struck down.
This first wave of barrage bombarded the entire intersection area of the street.
Orange coloured fireballs of various sizes spread out within a range of a hundred metres.
In that one instant, it became impossible to properly observe the place as the intense light of the explosions blazed… …
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