Chapter 319: The Offensive [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
After midnight, Qianye brought his guard unit and appeared at the east-west street block. The tallest building here, a ten-storied hotel, had been completely emptied at this moment.
Glancing out of the french windows of its top-floor room, one could vaguely see the silhouette of the entire seventh division in the neighboring street block. This distance of less than a thousand meters was nothing for Qianye with his extraordinary senses—everything was in plain sight without even the need for a scope.
Qianye stood beside the window watching the brightly lit military base on the other side and could vaguely feel the atmosphere of jubilation therein. He suddenly let out a sigh from the bottom of his heart. These people, these warriors had thrown away their lives just for that tiny bit of present benefit. They had no idea that their current merriment would probably be their last.
They had been abandoned.
Qianye pulled out his Scarlet Edge in silence and slowly wiped it with his finger, oblivious to the fact that he had been cut. His blood was already flowing freely upon it.
The expressions of the few officers who had come to deliver reports shifted slightly, but no one reminded him about it. They only concluded their reports and left immediately.
Du Yuanze was sitting on the sofa opposite of Qianye. All this time, he had sat ramrod straight, and his nerves had been extremely tense. So much so that he felt somewhat exhausted and would occasionally feel that everything before his eyes was a dream. He suddenly glanced at his own hands and realized that it was suffused with an unprecedented pallor.
There were officers knocking and entering continuously to report on the most recent situation with no intention to avoid Du Yuanze. The latter, on the other hand, felt the blood on his face drain away after hearing each of them.
Blood—it dripped continuously toward the tip of the Scarlet Edge and fell to the ground.
After an unknown length of time, the unsleeping city finally started to calm down, and the lamps everywhere began to turn dim. This night, there were very few nocturnal animals in Blackflow City, and the entire city was beginning to fall asleep.
The room regained its silence as two officers completed their report and left.
Du Yuanze finally couldn’t hold back and said, “You’re causing too much of a ruckus and won’t be able to handle the aftermath! Stop it now!”
Qianye had already put down the Scarlet Edge and was currently performing maintenance on his grade-five vampire sniper rifle.
This gun was eight-parts new and was part of Wei Bainian’s collection. The latter saw that the weapons Qianye carried were all vampire products and, hence, gifted him this sniper rifle, believing that he was particularly fond of vampire armaments. This was originally a pretty good piece of decoration, but in Qianye’s hands, it was a complete killer weapon.
Qianye didn’t bother to deal with his wounded finger and kept on inspecting the tactical accessories one by one, slowly dying the entire gun red.
After hearing Du Yuanze’s words, Qianye replied indifferently without even raising his head, “You people are the ones who should be thinking about how to handle the aftermath.”
Du Yuanze had already discerned that Qianye wouldn’t kill him. Moreover, he wasn’t avoided during the troop deployment. This was likely to let him see how Dark Flame would take down Blackflow City, and he even anticipated that Qianye would let him go after this battle so that he could tell General Dong about all that he had seen here. However, he didn’t feel the slightest bit secure.
The expeditionary army was a special existence in the Great Qin military. Du Yuanze was originally a high-ranking officer in the regular army and was, of course, familiar with such common knowledge. But only at this point did he recall those rules and suddenly realize their hidden meaning.
All numbered units apart from the two corps under the headquarters’ direct control would only receive half the pay. During the most difficult phase of land expansion, some division commanders had led a numbered unit and conquered a certain territory at the borders, gradually establishing a division therein.
The authority of an expeditionary army division commander was significant. Below the level of county capital, division commanders were granted full governmental and military authority as well as an equally big responsibility. From this perspective, the expeditionary army was like a miniature empire—each division was akin to an aristocratic clan, and the territory they conquered would be added to their domain. The empire only demanded nominal sovereignty, the right to mobilize them during war and the collection of taxes.
Compared to the dark races, the empire’s internal parties seem relatively peaceful. However, it wasn’t entirely free of infighting and the rebel army was one such example. Wars might also be declared between two aristocratic clans. Although the imperial family would step in to mediate after the incident, the cities and territories that were occupied might not necessarily be restored.
Thinking up to this point, Du Yuanze couldn’t help but shiver and his clothes were so moist that they stuck to his skin. Could it be that Dark Flame intended to swallow up the entire seventh division’s defensive region?
At this time, Song Hu walked in and said, “General Wei handed all military authority to the deputy division commander and left Blackflow City before midnight. Our men have already taken control of the southern city gate, and all of the combat units are ready to move out at a moment’s notice.”
Qianye glanced at the time and said, “Take action at 0500 hours. Kill all who resist.”
The hours felt like years to Du Yuanze. He was restless and fidgety, but time still passed by little by little.
Ten minutes before the appointed time of 0500 hours, all of Dark Flame’s officers had gathered in the room and were reporting their statuses to Qianye. In the end, they each confirmed their missions and left after accepting their orders.
Five o’clock arrived.
The peace in Blackflow City was broken by the rumble of machine guns. A series of heavy weaponry seen only in medium-scaled battles such as trucks, armed jeeps, and mobile artillery rushed out of the Dark Flame headquarters and ran over the empty streets.
The civilians along the way were jolted awake. Some of them opened their windows amidst curses and were planning to spew out some profanities. However, they were left trembling after witnessing the scene outside. They quickly closed their windows tight and dared not let out any unwarranted sounds.
There were sentries from the seventh division at important crossroads within the city, but just as they were alerted, the doors to the lookout posts were blasted open as Dark Flame soldiers who had been hiding nearby poured in. Within the blink of an eye, they had taken control of the guard post, disarmed the guards, and placed them under watch.
These sentries were in hidden locations and weren’t easy to take down. But since all of them had been arranged by Wei Bainian, they were like naked sheep before a pack of wolves. All of the seventh division sentries in Blackflow City were disabled the moment Dark Flame formally began their operation. The regional powers were completely silent—it was as if they had turned deaf and dumb.
Dark Flame moved out in full force and split into three forces. The main force and the company of elite special forces headed straight for the seventh division headquarters and rapidly took control of the entry and exit passages in the surrounding street blocks.
The other two teams marched out of the southern gate and made for the seventh division garrisons in Cloud Sail City and the Four Rivers Military Base. Their orders weren’t to attack the encampments, but to prevent their forces from exiting the camp.
A military-use airship rose into the air outside of the city. There was finally a place for this big fellow Wei Potian had gifted Qianye to shine. It would serve to supplement the somewhat weaker military power of the two Dark Flame units and also prevent the seventh division from using any heavy weaponry. It was common knowledge that airships were the bane of all land-based heavy weaponry.
Du Yuanze also saw the airship rising from the south of the city, the blazing lights on its wings somewhat distorted by the powerful airflow. It was exceptionally eye-catching against the pitch-dark city background. Although it was quite far away, he immediately recognized it as an armed airship.
Although he had already been astonished by Dark Flame’s situation up until now, Du Yuanze still let out an audible gasp.
Lifting the heavy and almost gigantic grade-five sniper rifle, Qianye got up and said to Du Yuanze, “You will stay in this room here on out. You’re not allowed to leave. If you take so much as one step out, there won’t be a second chance to live. I hope you can return in one piece and with news of what happened here.” After saying this, Qianye no longer paid attention to Du Yuanze and left on his own.
Du Yuanze sat rigidly on the sofa within the empty room. His mind had gone completely blank, and he had no idea what he should do.
Qianye climbed onto the flat roof atop the hotel and found a suitable place to set up his sniper rifle. From this point, he could take in all of the changes in the seventh division headquarters and the surrounding street blocks.
Near the seventh division, two mobile heavy cannons appeared at the end of the long street where they lowered their supporting legs and began to extend their dark muzzles. Only when they began preparing for a bombardment did the sentries at the gate realize things weren’t looking good and urgently set off the alarm.
The mournful alarm thoroughly ripped apart the silence, but the entire division camp was obviously slow to react. Not only were they sluggish, but also badly disorganized. The soldiers rushed out of the barracks in disarray, but most of them ran around the camp like headless flies and seemed to have no idea what they were doing.
Qianye observed this scene and realized that Wei Bainian’s plans had taken effect.
Wei Bainian’s management in the army was extremely strict. The seventh division had also experienced numerous changes and great battles throughout the year. As such, the soldiers were almost never granted such a period of relaxation.
But on his last day in office, the general had not only given them a holiday, but also added an extra meal and lifted the alcohol ban. The officers were more or less worried regardless of whether they had hooked up with the new division commander. However, the soldiers were simple—how could they not grasp this rare opportunity to enjoy the drinking? In the end, both the officers and their men ended up as drunk as a lord.
It was five o’clock at dawn and precisely when people were in their deepest sleep. Most of the soldiers in the barracks hadn’t sobered up from the intoxication and were sleeping soundly despite the blaring alarm.
Through this, Qianye had once again experienced Wei Bainian’s abilities. A small stratagem had collapsed most of the seventh division’s combat strength.
At this time, armored jeeps and heavy trucks loaded with soldiers appeared in quick succession. The Dark Flame soldiers, armed to the very teeth, jumped off the car one after another and pushed toward the seventh division headquarters.
Numerous Dark Flame officers shouted at the same time, “Dark Flame has come under orders to reorganize the seventh division. Everyone lay down your weapons! All who disobey will be killed on the spot!”
Within the headquarters, a lieutenant colonel jumped onto a combat vehicle and shouted loudly, “They’re rebelling! Everyone pick up your weapons and converge on me! We must wipe out these insignificant mercenaries!”
A dark red light suddenly tore through the night sky as he was shouting. Following which, the lieutenant colonel’s head along with half his shoulder completely disappeared—the badly damaged carcass fell slowly from the car and collapsed onto the ground.
“Sniper! There’s a sniper!”
The seventh division warriors were all thrown into disarray as they sought individual cover. The few officers who had rushed onto the drill grounds immediately halted their steps. They had to find a safe location first and had no time to care about stepping in to organize the soldiers.
A certain major was fairly brave. He raised his voice to calm down the warriors around him and ordered them to assemble near the armory to prepare a counterattack.
The major’s position was quite ingenious. He was at a blind spot below a row of buildings, and there was a half-enclosed stone wall nearby. Unless the sniper came from straight ahead, he would encounter obstructions in every other angle.
Qianye scanned the position of the voice source and took note of all the obstructions along the firing trajectory. He then loaded the sniper rifle with a physical origin bullet and knelt down. Then, he calmly applied Heavy Caliber and Elemental Shot before pulling the trigger.
With a loud bang, the origin bullet, flickering with a deep yellow radiance, easily pierced through the stone wall and opened up a huge hole on the major’s chest. Elemental Shot was a new ability Qianye had gained at rank-eight and could apply certain attributes to an origin bullet.
The camp was once again thrown into chaos. The officers only dared to stealthily gather up the soldiers who were close by; no one else was willing to raise his voice and take the lead. With such a terrifying sniper suppressing them, whoever dared to stick out would surely die.
Numerous snipers from the seventh division had already been outfitted, but the situation outside was too chaotic. Although they had already deduced the general direction of the enemy sniper from the previous shots, they didn’t dare to rush out without any cover fire since it would be equal to throwing their lives away.
Fortunately, the division gates had been sealed shut. The machinery on each side rumbled and shot out large amounts of steam as two massive steel doors slowly came together, adding another layer of safety to the main gates. These doors were usually activated only in times of war.
Qianye saw this clearly but had no intention to stop it. He believed Duan Hao who was in command would know what to do.
As expected, the two mobile canons they had set up just now began to rumble. At such a close distance, the cannons were almost firing straight ahead and their firepower was fully exhibited.
The massive explosion left the greater half of the city shaking. After a dozen or so consecutive shots, the seventh division’s main gates finally collapsed with a boom!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Chapter 3/7 Kaboom!