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The second row of star shells illuminated the night sky, but this time, the werewolves had learned their lesson. They fell to the ground as soon as the brightness changed, and those on high ground covered their eyes with their hands or used darkness origin power to seal their line of sight. As such, this round of flares was fairly ineffective and only served to slow the werewolf legion’s movements.
However, the guards on Whitetown’s walls were now free after dealing with the elites who had charged in. They immediately took this opportunity to attack the enemies in the periphery. The mercenaries fired ruthlessly, blasting the enemies’ vitals with each round. The werewolves possessed powerful defense, but they were busy defending themselves from the star shell. It was only natural that they would be overwhelmed.
The second round of attacks came with great ferocity and accuracy. A splash of blood erupted amidst the werewolf formation as the soldiers fell at shocking speed.
The tall werewolf count at the rear was ashen-faced, but in the end, he howled loudly at the sky. Upon hearing the howl, the werewolf warriors turned about and retreated. Only a small number of berserk werewolves refused to fall back, but they were soon torn to shreds amidst the concentrated fire.
“Why are you retreating?” A vampire count appeared in the frontline base, roaring at the werewolf leader.
The werewolf count pointed at his battered squad. “You never mentioned anything about those damned flares! And where was the covering fire when we were charging?”
The vampire count said with a frown, “They have gunships! Our heavy cannons have suffered heavy damage and can’t be transported in time. Don’t you know that?”
“Can’t be transported? Look at the sky, do you see a single gunship? Where is our own fleet? Didn’t your race mobilize a powerful squadron? Where are they?”
The vampire count narrowed his eyes. “The void battles are above my paygrade. You’ll have to explain your bad results to Duke Pratt yourself.”
The werewolf count growled deeply. “So many of my clansmen have died because of you white-skinned bats. And you want me to explain? Shall I explain to your corpse?”
The vampire count’s expression shifted drastically. He took a step back and shouted, “What are you doing? The second command is about to arrive. If you kill me, your clansmen will all suffer the same fate!”
The werewolf count’s eyes were filled with ferocity as claws popped out of his fingertips. Just as he was about to attack, a sudden voice rang out, “Hunter, stop. The duke’s orders have arrived, your unit will be integrated into mine and continue the attack. As for that idiot, he’s the one who needs to explain why he lost half a cannon squad.”
Appearing before the duo was an even taller werewolf with long brown hair. His powerful momentum bore down on the vampire count until he couldn’t breathe. The latter forced out a bow and left hurriedly, not even daring to say a word.
The werewolf count called Hunter said hatefully, “If it wasn’t for him…”
The marquis stopped him. “It’s meaningless to talk about these things now. We must take down that base without any artillery support. The good news is that the humans no longer have their gunships.”
“They’ve been destroyed?”
The marquis snorted. “How can those mobile squadron idiots have that kind of ability? They can never hit the target unless it's right under their noses. There’s no way we’ll be in this condition if they hadn’t lost two duke-grade flagships back then. The human commander is smart, he has moved away the gunships because he knew I would come.”
These neutral land airships had no other merit except their sturdiness. With the current addition of extra armor, ordinary origin guns simply couldn’t deal with them. A marquis’ long-range attack, on the other hand, was a different story. Having suffered badly in the hands of these gunships, the dark races would surely come prepared for their next wave.
The werewolf marquis had brought several giant ballistae which could easily pierce through the gunships’ armor. However, Song Zining had already moved all the gunships back into the void, rendering the anti-air ballistae useless.
At this moment, a blood-colored signal flare rose up in the distance. The werewolf marquis found the scarlet hue rather offensive to his eyes. “That idiot Pratt, does he think the vampires are so kind?”
He turned about to face the werewolf count, saying, “I’ll give you fifteen minutes to reorganize your troops. We attack in half an hour!”
Hunter said, “Is it just our race again?”
“Of course not. Pratt’s private army has also arrived, but I have a feeling it won’t be that easy for him to reap accomplishments.” The werewolf marquis glanced at the nearby Whitetown, a deep glint in his eyes.
Hunter said, “Since he wants the highest merit, why not let his men charge first?”
The marquis replied, “We can’t be too obvious since his position is higher. We’ll charge together when the order is issued, but tell your children to lie low and don’t go berserk for no reason.”
“I understand.” Hunter turned and left.
The marquis stood on high ground, looking down at the army rolling toward the designated attack point. “The one inside this city is Song Zining. How can we capture him alive without paying a price?”
Moments later, Hunter returned in a hurry and said, “Our forces are ready.”
Nodding, the marquis summoned his personal guards. “Issue the order, we attack in ten minutes!”
The guards growled and ran off in werewolf form. Hunter’s blood also started to boil, and he wanted nothing more than to roar with his head to the sky. He stepped forward in large strides, planning to run into the battlefield.
Unexpectedly, he was dragged back by the collar before he could leave.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Hunter’s eyes were filled with killing intent. “Of course to the front lines! I must personally break those lowly human necks.”
The marquis replied calmly, “You’re not allowed to.”
“Is there a different mission?”
“No mission, just watch from here.”
Hunter was confused. “Why?”
The marquis said in a meaningful tone, “Although that arachne idiot hasn’t said anything useful since he escaped, I have a feeling that Qianye is in Whitetown. He’s Pratt’s enemy, so we don’t need to join the fray.”
As brave as Hunter was, he was astonished upon hearing this name. “Qianye?”
The marquis’ expression was gloomy. “Pratt has been hiding it quite well, but I think he has fallen a rank from the injuries caused by Life Plunder. That’s a powerful talent of the ancient vampire race, and I haven’t heard of any other vampire who has awakened this ability.”
“Life Plunder… ancient vampire race? Isn’t that just a legend those bats use to boast?”
The marquis said with a smile, “The vampires love to boast, but they’re indeed powerful. From the past battle records, Qianye’s ability looks like Life Plunder. It’s just that the vampires themselves haven’t been able to confirm it.”
Hunter’s raging blood slowly calmed down. “If we charge carelessly into the front lines, I’ll definitely become Qianye’s target. Maybe…”
“There are no maybes. Even if you run into the man, think of a way to escape if you can’t defeat him in the first round. Otherwise, you’ll likely die in battle.”
Hunter was astonished at the marquis’ high evaluation of Qianye. His expression was unsightly, but he stood to the side in silence. If Qianye was indeed as terrifying as the marquis had said, there was little meaning in him leading the charge.
Experts integrated into the troop formation were used to control specific nodes on the battlefield. However, there was little meaning in doing so if the power difference was overwhelming. It would be better to just unleash a vast number of cannon fodder.
The flames on the battlefield illuminated the dense formation of dark race soldiers marching forward like an army of ants.
Streaks of fire shot through the sky like falling meteors, resulting in huge explosions upon landing. Dark race soldiers were sent flying with each strike, their limbs and flesh shooting off in all directions. This was a result of heavy cannon fire between the two factions.
The humans possessed complete fortifications, so many of their soldiers were able to remain under cover until the bombardment was over. There were snipers in some of the defensive lines, who would blast the incoming shells before they could land.
The casualties on the human side weren’t high, but the same couldn’t be said for the dark races. Song Zining placed great importance in supplies, and the amount of ammunition he had prepared was shocking. Whitetown wasn’t big, and there were only fifty thousand mercenaries from the neutral lands. Song Zining, however, had brought over five hundred heavy cannons for this force.
The number of shells raining down on the narrow battlefield was so dense that it made one’s hair stand on end. Some of the dark race experts tried their best, but they could only block a small part of the artillery.
Higher-ranked nobility were either hiding behind like Hunter and the werewolf marquis, or unwilling to spend their origin power blocking cannon fire. On the contrary, they didn’t feel any pain for the loss of cannon fodder because there were simply too many of these throughout the Evernight faction’s continents.
Most of the dark race’s heavy cannons had been destroyed by the gunships, so the firepower was highly uneven. The dark race soldiers did not have cover, either, so their casualties were significant. The dark races had always used human wave attacks on the lower levels, and this time was the same. There were so many of them that the damage couldn’t stop their advance.
The assault forces this time weren’t just werewolves. There were large servspiders and elite arachne warriors in the mix. There were also hill-sized arachne who would shake the earth with each step.
The dark races soldiers at the van had already rushed past the bombardment zone and within sprinting distance. The mercenaries in Whitetown fired with all their might, but the tide of dark race soldiers dwarfed their efforts.
A middle-aged mercenary was picking his target from the trenches. He only had a couple of shots with the origin gun, so it couldn’t be wasted. The stronger werewolves and arachne were usually bigger than their peers in combat mode. This werewolf was clearly the leader.
Before he could pull the trigger, he felt a sting from his leg and lost all sensation from it. The mercenary looked down to find a fist-sized spider climbing onto his limbs. It had bitten through his combat suit and was injecting poison into his flesh.
The mercenary slapped at the creature despite the disgust and terror, turning it into meat paste. Only at this point did he notice an odd rustling sound around him. The noise was previously camouflaged by the sound of firearms on the battlefield, and he only noticed it just now.
Sensing something strange underfoot, he glanced down at the ground under the light of the next explosion. He immediately jumped up in fright!
There were innumerable spiders big and small.
The experienced middle-aged mercenary managed to calm himself down at the last moment and stomped the spiders to death one after the other. These creatures were fast and menacing in appearance, but there was little difference from ordinary spiders otherwise.
The man’s movements suddenly slowed down during this process, and he fell on his back, never to move again.
A dense wave of spiders crawled over his body and devoured him amidst cringe-worthy noises. Very soon, the spiders—now fatter than before—left only a white skeleton behind and kept moving forward.
The entire formation fell into chaos as soldiers fell down in droves, and the survivors were left stomping about and crying hysterically.
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