On the bridge of Burning Prairie, Iron Commander Zhou Hengdao and several high-ranked officers of the federal army were standing in silence. Water was still dripping down from their raincoats, adding to the coldness from them.
Luo Xingzi, who was the leader of the Cultivators from the Flying Star Sector, as well as the captain of Burning Prairie and the officers on board, was somewhat at a loss.
The situation was a hundred times trickier than they had thought. It was much more than a simple beast tide.
“At around three o’clock in the morning, the No. 22 Legion of the No. 113 Regiment was performing the drill of night rush in the environment of a super thunderstorm at the end of the Thunderous Sound Mountain!
“Their original task was to occupy the No. 2342 highland after rushing for a hundred and fifty kilometers at night!
“A cluster of new turbulence of spiritual energy fell down from the sky, increasing the intensity of the thunderstorm by at least three levels. Also, the magnetic field was jammed, and almost all the magical equipment lost effect. They were able to neither tell the direction nor reach out to the allies nearby!
“Moreover, the black rainwater that contained multiple kinds if impurities was disintegrated in the thunder into hazy fog that even the pouring rain could not extinguish. The visibility was very low. They could barely see anything!
“As it happened, a space gap came into being naturally around the No. 2342 highland. The wormhole expanded instantly and happened to stop right in front of the army!
“As a result, 3,114 soldiers of the No. 22 Legion lost their direction and accidentally trespassed on the Blood Demon Sector through the wormhole in the fog!
“Before the wormhole perished, only one soldier managed to run back!
“According to the reports of the soldier, the troop that entered the Blood Demon Sector had been detected by the demons and was fighting a bloody battle!”
Every word of the emergency was like a piece of burning charcoal that hurt everyone’s ears and eyes.
Looking at the map of the No. 2342 highland and the introduction to the No. 22 rapid response legion, and then looking at Iron Commander Zhou Hengdao who was standing like a statue, Luo Xingzi did not know what to say during the moment.
“Fellow Cultivator Luo Xingzi and other fellow Cultivators from the Flying Star Sector!”
Iron Commander Zhou Hengdao simply allowed the black rainwater to flow on his mechanical body without even wiping his face. His voice was both cold and tough, like frozen fire.
“This is about the situation right now. According to our preliminary analysis, there can’t be too many troops on the Nine Voids, the other side of the Dark Desolate Domain. If the No. 22 legion builds up bastions and waits for reinforcements, they should be able to persist for more than twelve hours.
“However, since the two parties were already engaged, the Pantheon of Demons will certainly dispatch more troops to the battlefield and annihilate the No. 22 legion after getting the message!
“The No. 22 legion is a rapid response legion with the minimal gear. They did not carry any equipment that can build up teleportation arrays. It is absolutely impossible for them to return to the Heaven’s Origin Sector on their own!
“We have no other choices right now. We cannot wait and watch more than three thousand soldiers be torn into pieces by the demons in the Blood Demon Sector. We have to get them back!”
Luo Xingzi, Ji Wende, and the other leadership of the Burning Prairie Fleet looked at each other in bewilderment, all feeling a headache.
They would likely make the same choice if they were in the same situation.
However, if they took any action, a total war between the Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector, or even one that included the Flying Star Sector, might begin!
“Right now, we have two options,” Iron Commander Zhou Hengdao said solemnly. “Firstly, the best solution. I beg the fellow Cultivators of the Flying Star Sector, for the sake that we are all human beings, to go to the Blood Demon Sector and rescue our compatriots with us!
“The reason is very simple.
“The large-scale teleportation array to the Blood Demon Sector is still under construction. Right now, it is still not able to teleport a large troop to the Blood Demon Sector in battle formation precisely.
“If our Exos and crystal tanks are sent to the Blood Demon Sector through the incomplete teleportation array, they will be sprayed all over the Nine Voids like snowflakes or even fall to somewhere deeper into the Blood Demon Sector!
“Without a battle formation, and unfamiliar with the terrain, the troop will be a bunch of mobs and a tray of loose sand. How can such a troop rescue anybody? It is possible that they will be surrounded by the regular army of the demons and wiped out before they accomplish their task!
“But Burning Prairie is different! Burning Prairie can perform short-distance space jumps with the super teleportation array on board.
“The Heaven’s Origin Sector and the Blood Demon Sector are melding in the first place. From the perspective of the four-dimensional space, we are only a single sheet of paper away from each other. Burning Prairie can stab through the sheet of paper very easily!
“If two or three legions on our side board Burning Prairie and jump to the Blood Demon Sector, we will be able to ensure the battle formation and the chain of command as much as possible.
“Also, the tremendous firepower on Burning Prairie will provide support for our rescue mission.
“In the meantime, the thorough medical facilities on Burning Prairie will allow the heavily wounded soldiers of the No. 22 legion to be treated as soon as possible. It is very likely that hundreds of lives will be saved in such a way!
“After we pick up all the soldiers of the No. 22 legion, we will return to the Heaven’s Origin Sector through the super teleportation array on Burning Prairie. There will be no need for us to build up a teleportation array in the Blood Demon Sector, which will take a lot of time!
“This is the fastest and cleanest approach! As the Chief of the General Staff of the federal army, a soldier, a Cultivator, and a human being, I beg you to give us a hand considering that we are all human beings!”
Zhou Hengdao’s request made Luo Xingzi and the leadership of the Burning Prairie Fleet shudder for a moment. Luo Xingzi replied drily, “The order we received from the Flying Star Sector is that Burning Prairie should stay in the Heaven’s Origin Sector and help the compatriots of the Heaven’s Origin Sector resist the demons.
“If the demons invade on a large scale, Burning Prairie definitely won’t hesitate to help the people of the Heaven’s Origin Sector to protect their homeland until all of us are sacrificed.
“However, to attack the Blood Demon Sector—”
“This is not an attack but a rescue!” Instead of waiting for him to finish, Zhou Hengdao interrupted him loudly. “We are not talking about conquering the Blood Demon Sector; we are talking about the lives of more than three thousand comrades and compatriots! If everything goes well, we may be able to find and rescue everybody in twelve hours before the main force of the coalition army of demons arrives!”
Luo Xingzi considered carefully for a moment and hesitated. “I have to send the intelligence back to the Flying Star Sector and ask for the authorization of the Cultivators of the Flying Star Sector.”
Zhou Hengdao laughed, with sparks bursting out of his artificial eye. “The three thousand soldiers who are now in the Blood Demon Sector on their own could die at any second! How long will it take for you to retreat from the Dark Desolate Domain, send the information back to the Flying Star Sector, receive the feedback from the Flying Star Sector, and react? Three days? Five days? Ten days?
“By then, the three thousand soldiers will be dry bones in a grave!”
Luo Xingzi wanted to say something, but Zhou Hengdao waved his hands and stopped him. The Iron Commander’s man-made eye turned dark red as he said stubbornly, “Fellow Cultivator Luo Xingzi, say no more. We are running out of time. I totally understand your stance. You do have your own responsibility and your mission! So, it is definitely understandable for you to stay here.
“If so, let’s take the second approach!
“I have gathered one crystal suit legion and two general legions for a start. Next, I will lead the three legions into the Blood Demon Sector through the incomplete teleportation arrays, rescue every one of the No. 22 legion, and return to the Heaven’s Origin Sector!
“I hope that fellow Cultivator Luo Xingzi and Burning Prairie can help us maintain the defense line in the Dark Desolate Domain while we are in the Blood Demon Sector. If any accident happens to us while we are there, and the coalition army of demons takes the opportunity to march into the Heaven’s Origin Sector, I hope that Burning Prairie can help us resist the attack!
“I’ll just thank you for your great help in advance here!”
Luo Xingzi and the rest of them felt that they were all blushing because of his bluntness.
Ji Wende stepped forward and said, “I read the construction plan of your teleportation array before. Right now, only half of the teleportation arrays are preliminarily built, with a very low precision of teleportation. If your three legions pass through those teleportation arrays, you will be like dandelions in a blowing wind and end up scattered in the Blood Demon Sector. You might even be directly teleported to the military camps of the coalition army of demons!
“How can you fight the battle if so?”
Another tutor from the Burning Prairie Fleet also frowned. “It’s easier to go over than to come back. You’ll have to build up a series of temporary teleportation arrays in the Blood Demon Sector to send back all the soldiers and their gears. How long will it take?
“I’m afraid that the coalition army of demons will surround you while you are building the teleportation arrays. It will be impossible for you to retreat in one piece during the fierce battle!”
“I know,” Iron Commander Zhou Hengdao said calmly. “However, if you were in my shoes, would you make another choice?”
The bridge was immediately caught in an awkward silence.
“Alright. It’s urgent. My staff will discuss the specific arrangements with you. I’ll have to gather the troops and prepare to march out! The rear will be all yours after I’m gone!”
Zhou Hengdao stood at attention and saluted in the most formal way.
The Chief of the General Staff’s courtesy was like a saber slashing the chest of every Cultivator from the Flying Star Sector.
“Wait!” Luo Xingzi finally could not help but say, “Fellow Cultivator Zhou, this is too important an issue. Please… let us consider for a moment.”
Zhou Hengdao’s lips moved. Circles of redness beamed out of his man-made eye as he said, “Alright, thank you for your generous help, fellow Cultivators. The lives of more than three thousand compatriots will depend on your decision!
“I will go to gather the troops now. We will be prepared in an hour and a half. If you have a different answer, please contact me before that. Otherwise, we will be leaving off through the teleportation arrays!”
After saying that, he turned around and left without any hesitation.
“Fellow Cultivator Zhou!” Luo Xingzi called him. “Should we try to reach out to the rear? This issue should be approved by the capital!”
“I will.” Zhou Hengdao stopped and nodded. “I’ve been trying to contact the rear, but the thunderstorm has been too strong. I cannot talk to them to this moment.
“The soldiers trapped in the Blood Demon Sector will be in more danger with each passing second. There’s no time for us to bother about the details now.
“There’s a motto in the army that has been passed on from the ancient Cultivators. Now that you’ve established the Burning Prairie Fleet hoping to resist the expedition army of the Imperium of True Human Beings in a hundred years, you will certainly encounter a lot of unexpected, complicated situations. So, I would like to share the motto with you.
“When a general is on a battlefield, he doesn’t take orders from the monarch!”