Chapter 656: Retreat

Chapter 656: Retreat [V6C186 – Sorrow of a Silent Parting]

The battle was fierce beyond expectations since the very beginning. Even Qianye himself had never expected himself to fight to such a degree. At a glance, there were dark races everywhere and their war cries filled the ears. East Peak didn’t need any intricate moves—every raise and slash was guaranteed to reap something. Additionally, the space available for Spatial Flash was also shrinking rapidly. That wasn’t a big problem, though, because he didn’t really have much blood energy left to use it.

Attacks came from all directions, including overhead. The cannon turrets in the fortress fell one after the other, and the surviving assault warships finally gained the opening to attack the ground forces. However, it was really hard for them to find any targets at this point because the fortress was already filled with dark race soldiers. All they could do was focus on the remaining turrets.

The successive use of Spatial Flash had gradually drained Qianye’s blood energy. Although his vampiric blade and Life Plunder brought in large amounts of essence blood, he had no time to refine them. All he could do was allow the blood core to digest them little by little to replenish his losses—it was utterly inadequate.

Qianye’s combat style changed after sensing his body weakening. He pounced directly into the midst of the enemy, plunged East Peak into the ground, and proceeded to engage in a melee brawl. His body swayed hard upon impact, much like a reed in the wind. Every collision would give him the force to head toward another target. Only when encountering ranked enemies would he draw East Peak and kill them with peerless momentum.

Just like that, he kept on killing and killing. Several batches of enemies had switched out around him, but he simply refused to collapse. A werewolf viscount spotted a potential opening in this. Hence, he mixed in with the low-ranking warriors and approached Qianye to launch a sneak attack. But he never expected Qianye’s domain to erupt at that point, pressing the nearby low-ranking warriors into the ground. Immediately afterward, East Peak swept horizontally and cut that lone viscount right through the waist.

This attacked caused the dark race morale to crumble. The call of a bugle arrived from the distance, beckoning the tide of dark race soldiers to recede from the fort. The airships in the sky also turned away. Most of them were already burning and would likely crash if they kept on fighting.

This was the first time the dark race army had halted their attacks since the beginning of the battle.

Qianye turned back and saw Song Zining waving at him from atop a cannon turret. He thus warped about and borrowed the force to flip himself onto the turret. Qianye was currently forced to conserve his stamina, even with small movements like this.

There was still an intact rapid-fire cannon and a giant ballista atop the turret, firmly guarded by dozens of soldiers.

Song Zining was leaning on the ballista at the moment. He had removed his armor to reveal a messy wound on his leg, where a piece of an exploding assault airship had pierced into it and almost stabbed right through.

Seeing Qianye appear, Song Zining called out to him with a weak smile, “Qianye, come help me. Remember to be gentle, you must be gentle, AH!!!”

He hadn’t even finished when Qianye grabbed the splinter and dragged it out. He had applied a vibratory force to the piece of metal which effectively destroyed the flesh stuck on it. This facilitated the extraction and prevented any further damage. Despite that, the process was so painful that it made Song Zining go pale.

At this moment, there were already stimulants and medicines delivered to them. Qianye helped Song Zining dress his wounds and ended everything with a couple of stimulant shots. There were no longer any military doctors around as the last of them had just fallen in battle. All they could do was help each other deal with injuries.

In addition to his legs, there were over a dozen wounds of all shapes and sizes on Song Zining’s body. The robes inside were all stained red as he removed his protective armor. These injuries looked quite terrifying, but every veteran knew how to handle them. Qianye flipped Song Zining over and slashed open his combat robes, revealing the bloody mess on his back.

“Endure it a bit.” The words hadn’t even trailed off when Qianye quickly pulled out two pieces of shrapnel from Song Zining’s back.

The latter was caught off-guard and couldn’t help but let out a miserable cry. The seventh young master wasn’t as fragile as other aristocratic scions and was fairly capable of enduring pain. However, Qianye’s attack was so fast that he simply had no time to mentally prepare himself.

Qianye paused briefly before extracting yet another one, and this time, Song Zining made no sound. He exhaled deeply only afterward and said, “It feels like we’re back in Yellow Springs, but back then, it was me taking care of you. Speaking of which, you were really weak back then!”

Qianye snorted as he grabbed ahold of the last piece of shrapnel. “Your alcohol tolerance was also quite bad back then. I wonder who it was that drank too much and was bound naked in the drill grounds after the military instructor found out.”

This was one of Song Zining’s few black spots in history. Moreover, it seemed the shadow it left behind in his heart wasn’t small. He quickly lost his calm and cried out, “You better forget this matter as soon as possible!”

“That’s going to be quite hard.” Qianye’s replies had always been short and concise.

Song Zining was embarrassed and furious. “Qianye, I’m warning you. This seventh young master isn’t easy to provoke!!!”

The largest shrapnel in Song Zining’s back was suddenly pulled out amidst more wretched cries.

“How long have we been fighting?” Qianye asked casually. He had been fighting in a half-mad state just now and had long since forgotten the time.

Song Zining gave it some thought and said, “Three hours, give or take.”

“The first wave lasted three hours?” Qianye sighed. This far exceeded his expectations. This also proved just how mad the dark race offensive was. If it wasn’t for the heavy casualties to their viscount grade core fighting force, the dark race army might continue fighting until the entire fortress had been destroyed.

Qianye looked back at the fortress below and saw nothing but ruins. The wall was all but destroyed with no potential for temporary repairs. A large part of the stronghold had become a frightening mix of corpses and rubble. There were a number of Zhao clan soldiers among them searching for survivors. No one cleaned up the battlefield because the lucky survivors were taking this precious time to rest and wait for the next wave of attacks.

Qianye had formed a general idea with just a glance. He lowered his voice and asked, “Our casualty rate should be over half, right?”

Song Zining nodded and replied in a similar tone. “It’s sixty percent to be precise.”

“We won’t be able to survive the next wave at this rate. What do we do?” Qianye inquired.

The situation was so bad and even Song Zining had been wounded so gravely. Qianye alone couldn’t hold the entire fortress.

Song Zining wasn’t in a panic. “We do need a change of plans. I’ve requested reinforcements from the rear, support should arrive soon.”

Qianye nodded as he sped up his movements, removing several other pieces of metal from Song Zining’s back in one go. The latter couldn’t help but let out a cry despite his endurance. “Qianye, you remember this!”

His cries were soon drowned out in the sharp whistles and violent explosions occurring in the sky. Several assault airships were rushing over under the guidance of two corvettes, drawing the curtains of battle once more. On the ground, the reorganized dark race army arrived like the rolling waves. The entire fortress was soon drowned by the dark race tide.

Qianye patted Song Zining to indicate that he was done. Afterward, he jumped off the cannon turret and smashed into the dark race horde like a boulder. Everyone around him collapsed in an instant.

The slaughter had begun once more.

This time, the dark race assault was even more violent. This time, viscount grade experts operated in groups. After pushing Qianye back, they began uprooting the cannon turrets in the fortress. The new tactic was apparently quite effective—two turrets were destroyed in the blink of an eye and the situation became extremely perilous for the humans.

However, this wave of attacks had just rolled out when a peculiar whistle echoed in the sky, and numerous high-speed imperial airships appeared on the battlefield. They possessed great firepower and managed to destroy over half of the Evernight assault airships in a single volley. The remainder could only flee in desperation.

The dozens of cannons on these warships bombarded the ground ferociously and soon paved a pathway of corpses. The airships moved rapidly and soon arrived in the air above the fortress. One of them quickly descended and hovered above the fortress. Another high-speed transport quickly opened its hatch and released numerous mini-airships from within.

These small vessels looked rather crude and could barely fly straight. Some of them even swayed about and crashed to the ground. Once on the ground, the dark races swarmed over in an attempt to capture it. However, these airships erupted in an earth-shattering explosion just as they were tightly surrounded by dark race soldiers!

Blood, flesh, and limbs flew everywhere as numerous flaming balls arose on the battlefield, later turning into rolling smoke. After the explosion calmed down, numerous spaces had been cleared out on the battlefield—thousands of dark race soldiers had been turned to ash.

After witnessing this scene, the dark race soldiers who were about to rush toward the remaining small airships were frightened. They didn’t dare approach and only shot at them from afar.

The warships hovering in the air opened up their doors and threw down dozens of cables. The Zhao clan soldiers on the turrets climbed up the cables rapidly and in an orderly fashion. In the blink of an eye, all the warriors on the turrets had more or less boarded the ship—they even had the leisure to load those expensive ballistae onto the ships.

Song Zining boarded the warship at last and shouted, “Qianye, quick!”

Qianye scaled a cannon turret from the outside, leapt out dozens of meters, and grabbed onto a cable. With some more effort, he was soon standing inside the airship.

The airships quickly left the battlefield, leaving only a single airship to bring up the rear. Moments later, that powerful airship crashed, burning, into the Evernight army below. The explosion that followed was tremendous.

Even though the ship was minimally staffed, there were at least dozens of people on them. These soldiers were aware that they were destined to fall, but they still charged at the enemy without a second thought.

The airship was completely silent, including Qianye and Song Zining. Everyone was gazing at the ball of fire receding into the distance.

The retreat this time was extremely efficient. It was as though the surviving defenders had been snatched back from the bloody maw of the dark race army. At almost seventy percent, the casualty rate among the ordinary soldiers was fairly high. However, the force of officers and champions was largely intact. Most importantly, the two most important people in the fortress had returned safely. In the eyes of the upper echelon, this was called “basically no loss in fighting-power” and could be considered a victory for the defense force.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts