Chapter 779: Again the Main Guns Brighten

    Chapter 779: Again the Main Guns Brighten

    Lan Jue sat quietly aboard his ship, looking out at Angel through the window. Qianlin sat behind him with dull expression, although from time to time her eyes would flit his way. She had come to rely on him, and when he wasn't around she was visibly agitated.

    Lan Jue's team, Team Three, was led by the Photographer. Under her command, besides Lan Jue and qianlin, were the Arhat of the Descending Dragon, the Driver, the Harbinger Faerie, and the Gourmet - seven people altogether.

    Zeus-1 would drop them off on Angel first before moving on to the other planets. Because of Angel's importance to their overall battle plan, they would be dispatched first. They were just waiting for their moment.

    The Driver made his way over to Lan Jue's side. "Are you nervous?" He asked quietly.

    Lan Jue cast him a sideways glance. "Are you?"

    His friend chuckled in response, his words heavy with pride. "Don't forget my name - I'm the Driver! I've been chasing adrenaline my whole life. It doesn't look like there'll be a more heart-pounding mission for me to participate in for all the rest of my days. I'm thrilled. If you're scared big brother can intervene, ask the Photographer to leave you behind."

    "We're all going!" Lan Jue quickly retorted in irritation.

    The Driver sat beside him. "My only regret is never having found a wife. I was always looking for the next adventure, keeping women at arm's length. Ah..."

    "Are you afraid you won't be coming back?" Lan Jue asked.

    The Driver shook his head. "Whether I do or not isn't an issue, really. I just wish I had a son of my own. Someone to pass my skills on to from a young age. I would have trained him to be the greatest Driver in the universe. Who knows whether that day will ever come."

    Lan Jue shrugged. "Who's to say it won't? On the contrary, it must. Did you think you would be a Paragon one day? Now you are, what does that tell you?"

    The Driver laughed gently. "This is true. You know these ladies that follow you around are quite something! When did you plan on introducing one to me?"

    Lan Jue stared at him flatly. "You have a mouth, introduce yourself and leave me out of it." Introducing other men... it would spell the death of him. Those ladies were already nursing hefty resentments against him, Lan Jue didn't dare even think about offending them again. If they survived this fight then he would have to find a way to solve his women problems, but they had to live first. Thinking about it made his head hurt. These weren't the old days, when having many wives was common practice. He couldn't just wed them all, nor was he such a man.

    At this time Luo Xianni also came wandering over. "What are you two young gentlemen talking about?" She asked. Outwardly she didn't look much older than either of them, but they knew the truth.

    He glanced at her and chuckled. "Auntie, we're talking about having children."

    Her eyes immediately lit up. "Children? Children are wonderful! A-Jue, have you decided to have kids soon? You should, quickly and en mass. I'll help look after them, I'd love the opportunity since I've never had any of my own."

    Lan Jue cast his adoptive mother a helpless look. "Alright, alright - at least wait to see if we live through this fight." He didn't dare tell her the prospect of her looking after his kids worried him. Without question the sentiment would not go over well.

    "Eh?" She said suddenly. "It's starting?"

    Lan Jue's pupils contracted. He shot to his feet and peered out the window toward the armada. Just as she said twelve ships had separated from the others. They weren't moving forward, but instead were spreading out. Middle Heaven was in the lead, a bright spot against a deep black backdrop.

    The twelve ships followed as the East's bastion pressed forward.

    The other two bastions - Poseidon and Tyrannosaurus - were on the move as well. They slowly moved forward in a triangular formation with Middle Heaven in the front and the support ships filling in the spaces in between.

    They weren't fast. On the contrary, they moved at a snail's pace, but ever forward toward their destination. It filled everyone with a suffocating sense of pressure, like a rolling war machine that promised to crush anything before it into dust.

    The aliens reacted, with beasts surging toward the planet from all directions. They also arranged in formation. It was then a strange scene emerged.

    A thick and impenetrable mist gushed out around them - a violet smokescreen that was belched from beasts that looked like mutated pufferfish. They waddled to the front lines with their big bellies and spat the smog before the arrayed defenders. It took only a few moments before everything was lost in a purple haze.

    The Keeper stared at the spectacle with furrowed brow. "This smoke likely isn't just to hide their positions. It will affect our radar systems, too."

    Zeus-1 was still keeping its position secret, so its systems were still offline, including radar. However the Keeper's hypothesis was sound, and they knew enough about their cunning foe to know their actions were anything but random. There was a reason for this.

    As time stretched on even Angel disappeared in the poisonous fog. A vast swath of space was hidden from view.

    But the human armada made no signs of stopping. They advanced with the same slow, indomitable pace. Middle Heaven revealed its honeycomb of guns once more, their barrels glowing ominously.

    As it had shown before, Middle Heaven could use this barrels to launch itself backward and out of harm's way. This time the rest of the human army was spread out behind it like the wings of a swallow, with nothing behind it. This meant Middle Heaven could advance and retreat at a moment's notice.

    Meanwhile the smog was only growing thicker. It billowed like a cloud of cosmic dust that no human instruments were able to penetrate. Indeed the aliens had many tricks up their sleeves, and this was one they'd never encountered before. It was a tactics well suited to their weak ranged fighting capabilities.

    Human ships could not see the enemy, nor could their systems get a lock on any target. The advantage of their ranged guns was severely curtailed.

    "Admiral, sir! All of our scanning and targeting systems are unable to penetrate the fog. Our guns can't find their targets." Lan Qing and his people discovered the problem quickly.

    He nodded. "Keep our scanners up, stick to the plan."

    "Aye, aye!"

    Lan Jue was seated behind his desk in the control center, with a hundred soldiers busily checking systems all around. Middle Heaven was different from traditional bastions. The Admiral was, of course, responsible for all of the ship's final decisions. However, he also personally managed several of the ship's systems. The control board in front of Lan Qing was large and complicated.

    The opposing sides were drawing nearer by the second, and human ships had all begun to shine as their weapons were charged. The battle was about to begin any moment. Yet the humans could no longer see any sign of their enemy through the fog.

    Lan Qing spoke through the special communications channel they'd set up. "Begin!"

    "Aye, aye!"

    With his calm command Middle Heaven's myriad guns blazed orange in much the same way it had before. The aliens, meanwhile, remained a mystery though there was no sign of movement. They hid behind the screen, seemingly unperturbed by the threat of Middle Heaven's weapons. Their bastion's guns would strike the planet first, and the explosion of a planet would obliterate anything near it - including the humans. What's more, the aliens were sure their attackers wouldn't put their own planet in danger.

    Judging solely by Middle Heaven's size, its main guns were more than likely capable of destroying a planet. The aliens believed this without a shadow of a doubt. This was their reasoning behind using the planet as a shield.

    If their leaders decided to cast out their misgivings and destroy the planet, the morale of their people would collapse. It would be pointless anyway, because the humans could not know the location of the home worlds behind the seven planets. If they dared to push through they would be surrounded and summarily destroyed. The power of the home worlds had been revealed to the stubborn humans more than once.

    Finally, Middle Heaven slowly came to a halt a short distance behind where it had been during its first attack, though still within firing distance. The aliens did not rush to meet them. They just waited... waited for their prey to come closer.

    If the humans fled from the mist that would serve their purposes just as well. They would not pursue them. Their main objective was to stall for time, so they did not rush to engage.

    Suddenly Middle Heaven lit up - more accurately, its guns flared to life. A wall of angry red energy burst forth. They fired without pretense, not in a sustained stream but instead as a hail of energized orbs. They sizzled and burned as they made their way toward Angel.

    Without question, this was Middle Heaven's main weapon.

    Were the humans really going to disregard the safety of their own planet?

    Because Zeus-1 was position closer to the side of the planet, Lan Jue could spy some of the condition behind the mist. He saw the aliens moving erratically as the orbs neared.
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