Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Lerden left to join the forward reconnaissance forces on his own, and Han Xiao could only sit and wait inside the military base. However, he had already met his objective for the subclass, so there was no longer any need to enter the city again for now.
As the date of the Catastrophe approached, the effect of the waves became more and more apparent to everyone on the planet. A blurry voice would suddenly speak out from the back of people’s minds. The voice somehow sounded foreign and familiar at the same time. However, whenever one tried hard to understand what the voice was saying, it would immediately disappear like it had never been there in the first place.
When the frequency of the spiritual whispers started to match the wavelength of a living being’s brain, it would cause a ripple of emotions through their mind. The mercenaries were no exception and were all getting aggravated due to this phenomenon. The Sunil soldiers, on the other hand, treated this like any other day and carried about their business with their usual determination.
That was the mental disruption that the Prophecy Stones were capable of. More intelligent creatures would have a better chance of suppressing it and not being affected much by it. However, whenever the ‘waves’ exploded, the intensity of these disruptions would increase, and everyone would be able to experience what the beasts had been going through every day. Living in such conditions all the time meant that a tiny push would be more than enough to nudge one over the line of sanity. In other words, the ‘waves’ were the spark that would bring about the Catastrophe.
That day, ear-piercing sirens sounded throughout every single corner of the base. Everyone was already familiar with what that sound signified—enemies had attacked!
The atmosphere in the base suddenly grew tense. The Sunil soldiers ran back to their respective positions in uniform steps, and the mercenaries were also able to quickly find their way back into their groups due to the previous days’ training.
Different kinds of tanks and armored vehicles were all started up, and a dizzying number of anti-gravity turrets floated into the air.
Nine Galactic-class battleships slowly took off into the sky, causing ripples of sand and wind to spread around the area. They were like nine fortresses in the air that guarded the skies above Forest City, each facing a different direction.
Han Xiao suddenly lowered his head as he noticed that a few small rocks were starting to jump around on the ground.
The ground only slightly shook at first, but the intensity grew stronger and stronger until, eventually, the sound of massive footsteps reverberated throughout the base. One could hear the bone-chilling roars and shrieks of different beasts from every single part of the surrounding forests.
Trees were being parted by the beast hordes as if giant snakes were slithering toward them, and they were about to make contact with the border of the plains around the city.
Something was about charge out. Countless people were so nervous that they could not only gulp in fear, their sweat constantly dripping down their foreheads.
The beasts’ roars were like thunder, and the trees toppled in swaths to reveal beast hordes as far as the eye could see!
The beasts trampled over each other and charged over as if they had gone mad. It was as if a tide of darkness was washing toward them, quickly filling up their vision.
Just this scene alone terrified the hearts of many of those who were present.
“Open fire!” an officer desperately yelled.
At the next moment, the countless artillery installations around the defensive circle all opened fire at once, causing ear-shattering explosions all over.
The Catastrophe had arrived!
Forest City had a total of five main defensive walls. The first consisted of massive numbers of mines and automated turrets. According to the battle plan, this section would coordinate with the supporting fire from the back to disperse the monster hordes. The second consisted of many fortresses, ditches, traps, and electric walls, all to slow down the movements of the beasts, allowing the anti-gravity turrets, main batteries, as well as the battleships to deal significant damages to the beast hordes.
The third was the iron defense line. Squadron after squadron of armored vehicles and defense teams lined this section. When the beasts entered this part of the defenses, the battle would enter its close-quarter stages, and the defense teams would unleash the fury of their metal weapons on the beasts here. This was also where Neville was stationed.
The last two sections were full of artillery formations. Its purpose was to provide supporting fire for the frontline forces. The rapid-response troops and other reinforcements were also stationed at the second last section. During the calmer periods in the Catastrophe, personnel from the last section would carry out repairs and first-aid work for the troops.
Black Star Mercenary Group was stationed at the second last section. They were assigned to a long-range heavy armored division, with the code name G7. Three Fortress-class main battle tanks served as the core firepower of the formation. These tanks could attach themselves onto the ground and transform into a single gigantic turret. They were also equipped with eighteen mobile heavy artilleries and a decent number of ground troops that moved with the tanks.
As a mechanic, Han Xiao’s job was to control one of those heavy artilleries. He had only one mission—fire the canon! Most people with the mechanic class were assigned to similar roles in the base. With their special affinity and machinery-related abilities, they could increase the damage output of these weapons. Han Xiao was of no exception. With a crisis-level event such as the Catastrophe, it was basically impossible for individuals to influence the battle by themselves, with only a few exceptions.
Artillery shells drew arcs over the multiple perimeters and covered the sky before they smashed into the distant beasts, causing red mist to bloom all over the hordes. Flesh and bones of the beasts were blown apart, causing a horrifying scene.
The black tide was momentarily stopped. However, the beasts in the back were not afraid at all and charged over the broken bodies of their brethren, forcing their way through the storm of artillery shells and explosions.
The smell of gunpowder and gore mixed together and wafted into the military formations with a gust of hot wind due to the many explosions.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Han Xiao could feel the tremendous recoil every time that he opened fire with his artillery cannon. He fired shot after shot as he watched the shells drew a blazing arc before landing in the middle of the beasts thousands of meters away, blooming like an orange flower in the middle of the black tide.
He was starting to feel the thrill of freely firing this massive piece of artillery!
Line and line of notifications kept popping on his interface, notifying Han Xiao of all the experience points that he was gaining from the battle. Although using borrowed Sunil weaponry would automatically cause some experience to be reduced, Han Xiao was doing this mainly to calculate how much experience the players would be able to get out of this battle. Moreover, being able to participate in a battle of this scale excited the players to no end. It made them feel like they were part of a historic moment, and they contributed as best as they could.
The black tide was stopped short at the first perimeter. The blanket of covering fire from the back covered every single inch of ground that the beasts were on, and they could hardly advance without leaving behind rivers of their own blood.
A newbie mercenary, who was firing his assigned artillery next to Han Xiao, said casually, “So, the Catastrophe isn’t a big deal. The beasts can’t even get in.”
Han Xiao gave him a glance, but he did not say anything. This greenhorn most likely did not pay attention to when the Sunils briefed them on the beast hordes. This was only the first wave and only consisted of the smaller-sized beasts. The largest ones right now were not even taller than ten meters. Based on the information that they had been given, these beasts were only the appetizers. The nightmare was still to come.
The artillery bombardment lasted four whole hours before slowing. The support troops quickly rushed through the battlefield to resupply the combat troops. Flamethrower units were also sent out to burn away all the blood and gore on the plains to prevent any disease or sickness from spreading. The soldiers were also replaced by a new shift. Each position had a pre-assigned shift cycle. It was impossible for any soldier to last through a high-intensity battle such as this one without rest.
As Han Xiao also walked away from his artillery platform to rest, engines could be heard above his head. A new squadron of scout planes had taken off. The forward reconnaissance and combat troops had long gone into the dense forests. The dangers that they faced were many times higher than the defensive troops around the city, and their operations would be carried out under the constant threat of death. They were all alone like a tiny ship floating on the ocean during a tsunami.
Not long after, the forward reconnaissance sent back information. The next wave of beasts was about the arrive. The new shift of soldiers got ready in their positions in wait for the enemy.
The previous scene replayed itself. However, the black tide was able to inch ever closer to the outer perimeter this time. Just then, the fighter planes took off and blanketed the plains with explosions from their guided missiles. Fire and explosions once again engulfed the hordes. The Sunil fighters were small and agile. The propellers on the fighters’ wings had a similar design to the Amphiptere’s flight assistance propellers. Han Xiao was able to tell at a glance that these fighters were extremely suitable for fast-paced air combat.
The enemies were still far away, and although the waves seemed like they reached all the way to the horizon, the surrounding troops did not appear to be frightened. The distance between them and the beasts along with the steel fortresses around them gave them a false sense of security.
The Sunil soldiers, on the other hand, had faces full of worry and doubt.
At this moment, a few dark dots appeared above the horizon. The flying beasts were quickly approaching. There were smaller beasts that were not even a meter long as well as medium size beasts that had a wingspan of several meters among them. They looked ferocious and were not like anything the mercenaries had ever seen. Some of the beasts looked like giant cockroaches.
The information they gave us stated that flying beasts wouldn’t appear until three days into the Catastrophe. It seems like they had arrived early.
Just as this thought flashed across Han Xiao’s mind, the G7 commander shouted out a new command.
“Switch to flak shells and adjust your aim. Fire at the sky!”
The artillery squadrons followed the order and blew open the sky in the distant, causing bloody bodies to rain down.
The fighter planes flew to a higher elevation to shake of the aerial beasts and launched missiles that drew orange arcs through the air.
The fighter planes were equipped with a simple energy barrier. The first wave of aerial beasts was only capable of using their sharp claws and teeth and were unable to do much other than make screeching noises as they scratched at the barriers. The fighter planes dashed in and out of the beast swarms, looking like medieval knights that charged through infantry units.
This battle was already on the scale of a massive surface battle. Time seemed to pass by quickly amid all the intense fighting.
At first, the mercenaries fought in a laid-back manner. However, after three short days, as the beasts increased in number and size, they could not laugh anymore. The continuous fighting had started to draw out the fatigue from everyone.
Han Xiao did his best to fulfil his own responsibilities and played the role of a gear in a giant war machine.
On the fourth day, enemies that could threaten the safety of the inner perimeters appeared.
The surface of the ground rocked around like waves, as a group of beasts that could dig and maneuver around underground smashed into the reinforced steel wall of the third section and broke out of the ground. This was the first time that the rear troops had ever seen the beasts at such close distance.
The ground-burrowing beasts’ appearance signaled the start of the close-quarters combat. The Supers who had been waiting behind the third perimeter could finally make use of their powers.
The wall of steel and machinery at the third perimeter finally unleashed their fury.