Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 539: Operation
Chapter 539: Operation
An answer quickly came from the other end of the line. “We aren’t sure, but they suffered casualties.”
That still makes sense… The Reformist Elder—who had accepted Gaius’s commission—nodded and said casually, “Send Asus’s corpse over. As for Christina’s, h-hand it to the Hunter’s Guild.”
As for which city defense team did it, he didn’t care. After all, Phocas would report it to the new consul subsequently.
Genava, Han Wanghuo, and Zeng Duo traveled without stopping. They used up a full tank of gas and finally arrived at Early Spring Town from the Red River coast.
The sky had already turned dark, and the distant stone perimeter could barely be seen.
It had been nearly ten hours since First City’s Citizen Meet. If not for Zeng Duo being familiar with the terrain and traveling straight lines wherever possible, they wouldn’t have been able to travel so quickly given the North Shore wastelands’ road conditions and complexity.
Han Wanghuo took out his binoculars and observed the situation in Early Spring Town.
There were much fewer troops now compared to before. There was almost nobody in the camp outside the town.
The armored vehicles at the main entrance were gone, and only a khaki-colored tank stood alone.
Above the stone perimeter, the patrolling personnel were more vigilant than before. They were completely perked up and paid close attention to their surroundings with the help of the searchlights.
“Maybe only one-third of the troops remain.” Han Wanghuo wasn’t a smart bot and could only make a rough judgment. “The rest have returned to First City.”
Zeng Duo estimated the speed at which the troops crossed the North Shore wastelands. “After Gaius used the radio to announce that there would be a Citizen Meet today, they should’ve received orders to start returning.”
“The remaining personnel don’t have sufficient firepower either,” Genava said with a red glow in his eyes. “Besides, although they appear more focused, their hearts are actually wavering. They are worried that First City’s chaos will affect them. If it weren’t for the long delay because of our traveling and that it’s very likely they’ve already used the telegram to understand the outcome of the chaos and gain a certain level of confidence, we might have them surrender simply by saying a few words.”
The content of the shout would, of course, be: The party supported by the defense forces has been defeated. The higher-ups have sent people to clean up the area and requested that they immediately put down their weapons and stop any form of resistance.
Genava had chosen this move from Jiang Baimian’s behavior database. If one could influence the heart of the opponent, one would avoid war!
Zeng Duo didn’t understand what was going on in the beginning, but the more she thought about it, the more she realized how sinister people were.
Fortunately, Genava—who came up with this solution—is a smart bot. According to him, this is chosen through the method of exhaustion, the outcome of an optimal choice. It has nothing to do with being sinister… Zeng Duo thought.
“Shall we attack now?” Han Wanghuo asked Genava.
Genava moved his metal neck up and down. “Yes, we have to make the best use of our time. If we delay any longer, the Mind Corridor-level Awakened will arrive soon even if the majority of the troops that have been transferred away don’t return that quickly.”
This opportunity couldn’t be missed!
Han Wanghuo immediately turned his head and said to Zeng Duo, “Put on the military exoskeleton.”
“Aren’t you going to wear it?” Zeng Duo subconsciously asked. From what she knew, a military exoskeleton was equivalent to a stronger safeguard and stronger offensive firepower. On such a battlefield, it was equivalent to having a few more lives.
Therefore, it was only natural for Han Wanghuo—who was closer to the Old Task Force—to wear the military exoskeleton.
To her surprise, Han Wanghuo chose to let her use it!
Han Wanghuo pointed in the direction of Early Spring Town. “The person wearing the military exoskeleton will lead the charge with Old Ge. The remaining one can stay behind and focus on sniping. It’s safer to go over when the enemies at the main entrance are cleared.
“I’m a selfish person. All decisions are definitely for my own good in the end—just like how I did so many good things and strictly fulfilled my promises just to make myself more like a human and not be rejected.”
“Is that so…” Zeng Duo felt that it made sense.
Genava glanced at Han Wanghuo. “You don’t usually say so much. Do you have other thoughts?”
“…” Han Wanghuo shook his head. “No.”
Genava didn’t ask any further. He watched Han Wanghuo take out the military exoskeleton from the SUV’s trunk and helped Zeng Duo adjust the height and put it on.
After completing the preliminary work, Han Wanghuo raised his rifle and placed his yellowish-white eyes at the scope.
Genava relied on himself while Zeng Duo relied on the military exoskeleton to ‘raise’ their electromagnetic weapons as they looked at Early Spring Town in the distance.
Han Wanghuo pulled the trigger.
In the dark sky and at such a distance, the bullet from his rifle muzzle accurately arrived at Early Spring Town’s main entrance and drilled into the head of a First City soldier—who had come out for some fresh air—above the tank.
The head immediately exploded like a burgeoning watermelon.
Genava and Zeng Duo also finished firing. The bullets—which were wrapped in silver-white electric currents—hit a patrolling soldier on the outer perimeter and penetrated their bulletproof vests.
As the two corpses fell, the two of them jumped out at the same time and ran toward Early Spring Town.
They used grenade launchers to bombard the enemy at the main entrance.
Han Wanghuo remained in his spot. He relied on his talent and rifle to target the enemy’s suspected officers one after another, preventing First City’s garrison from organizing themselves in the panic.
In just dozens of seconds, the garrison at Early Spring Town’s main entrance collapsed. They left behind corpses, some fleeing into town in an attempt to rendezvous with their companions inside and reorganize the defense line.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
Zeng Duo—who was wearing a military exoskeleton—jumped over the khaki-colored tank and landed on Early Spring Town’s outer perimeter. Genava did the same.
They continued to use grenade launchers to suppress the garrison.
Han Wanghuo put away his rifle, bent his back slightly, and ran toward the khaki-colored tank.
After a round of bombardment, Zeng Duo used the evening light to take in the town clearly.
The houses and roads were no different from when she left. They were still simple but clean, but she couldn’t see any Early Spring Town residents.
Are they all locked up? Just as this thought flashed through Zeng Duo’s mind, half of her body suddenly turned numb. She couldn’t help but fall to the side.
Genava blasted a grenade at a two-story building, and the surging flames blazed through a few shattered glass windows.
The numbness in Zeng Duo’s body vanished, and she quickly used the military exoskeleton to maintain her balance.
First City, Green Olive Zone, Antanna Street, the area behind Grimm Watch Shop.
Jiang Baimian, Shang Jianyao, and Bai Chen had sent Long Yuehong here for a mechanical arm transplant. Nearly three hours had passed.
Adding the time from the previous major surgery, the sky had already turned dark, and the sun was about to completely sink below the horizon.
Bai Chen looked at the underground workshop’s work area and asked, “Team Leader, do you really not need Hey and me to raise the money?”
The Old Task Force’s remaining Oray had already been given to the unlicensed doctor. It happened to cover the cost of the equipment, blood, and drugs.
Of course, ‘happened to’ was a claim by Jiang Baimian. The doctor from the unlicensed clinic didn’t dare to raise any objections. After all, he was Shang Jianyao’s ‘friend.’
He was only a little regretful that he didn’t get a syringe of the FECA biological agent.
“There’s no need.” Jiang Baimian shook her head. “First City is still under martial law, so it won’t be worth it if something unexpected happens. If Mr. Grimm doesn’t accept us paying with some FECA and additional weapons later, we’ll leave Little Red here. That T1 mechanical arm is much more expensive than their surgery fees. We’ll raise money to redeem him when First City returns to normal.”
Considering that Long Yuehong wasn’t suitable to travel around for the time being, Bai Chen found her team leader’s solution rather ingenious.
She thought of something and exhaled. “We were in such a rush. I wonder if Little Red likes a mechanical arm…”
“It’s fine.” Jiang Baimian waved her hand. “If he doesn’t like it, he can undergo a second surgery when he returns to the company and recovers. He can then replace it with a biological prosthetic limb to ensure that there’s nothing wrong with his appearance.”
“How casual.” Shang Jianyao expressed his thoughts.
Biological companies were just that casual!
The three of them waited for a while before they suddenly heard a commotion coming from Antanna Street.
The commotion quickly subsided, and the environment was so quiet that it made one nervous.
Soon, the sound of helicopters and drones sounded in the sky.
Jiang Baimian frowned slightly. “A wanted remnant escaped here?”
“Will they search in our direction?” Bai Chen was rather worried.
Jiang Baimian thought for a moment and said, “You and I will wear the military exoskeleton and stay inside. Hey, wait at the door. Be prepared to make friends.”
After giving the instructions, she turned her head and shouted at the underground workshop’s work area, “How much longer?”
“About half an hour,” replied the blond-bearded Grimm.
Shang Jianyao inserted his pistol back into his belt and walked to the watch shop’s closed door.
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