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Chapter 628: The Critical Situation

    Chapter 628: The Critical Situation

    Translator: WQL  Editor: Aleem

    After entering the bar, with a short glance, Reinhardt had noticed that equipment on Zhang Tie's back; he then walked towards him right away.

    Zhang Tie felt that someone was watching him. He then turned around and found Reinhardt was walking towards him in the military uniform of colonel.

    Since they met in Mocco City last time, Zhang Tie had not seen Reinhardt for a long time. At the sight of him, Zhang Tie found a 4-cm long new scar on Reinhardt's left face. Reinhardt looked more experienced.

    However, Reinhardt almost could not recognize Zhang Tie as Zhang Tie not only changed his look but also changed his qi. Last time, Zhang Tie was only LV 9 when his qi was not oppressive. However, at this moment, Reinhardt felt Zhang Tie's qi was oppressive. The reason was that they both cultivated Iron-blood Battle Qi. People who had not cultivated Iron-blood Battle Qi would not have such a strong sense like Reinhardt.

    Zhang Tie revealed a smile towards Reinhardt who sat on his side.

    "Dude, one more beer!" Zhang Tie told the bartender.

    Reinhardt glance at Zhang Tie carefully, "I almost could not recognize you!"

    "Had better do this lest any trouble!"

    Although they had not seen each other for a long time, the moment they sat together had they started to chat about what happened these days like friends who were separated for only a couple of days.

    Zhang Tie didn't explain how did he change his look; therefore, Reinhardt just owed it to some disguise medicament.

    "What happened several months ago?" Reinhardt asked him after finishing up a glass of beer in front of him and making a gesture to the bartender for one more glass.

    "That was a trap from the beginning. They'd long been waiting for me to seek for death over there. Fortunately, I escaped out of there after experiencing too many tortures!"

    As Reinhardt knew Zhang Tie well, he didn't even ask Zhang Tie whether had he surrendered to demons. Because that was impossible. Anyone who knew Zhang Tie would know that was a conspiracy of demons.

    "B*stards!" Reinhardt swore ferociously. He knew that Zhang Tie was telling the truth. However, he could not change the publicity. Because not everyone knew Zhang Tie. Most of the commoners were easily influenced by publicity and propaganda. Therefore, at this moment, many people in Selnes Theater of Operations had treated Zhang Tie as the traitor of humans who had surrendered to demons after being influenced by the propaganda of demons and Three-eye Association. They started to swear and curse Selnes Eagle. The news that Zhang Tie had surrendered to demons was truly a great blow to the morale of frontline troops. Even If many people didn't believe that, they would doubt that. If they doubt that, their will to fight demons would shake. As a result, they would not be able to maintain their morale. If Zhang Tie showed his original look, he would bring troubles for sure.

    The bartender pushed another glass of beer to him. Reinhardt finished it up once again and pounded it onto the bar counter, "Have you ordered the room?"

    "Not yet, I've not imagined that you could come so fast!"

    "I met Lieutenant Colonel Stevenson on the way. He told me about you and here I am!"

    "It's a coincidence. On the way back, I saw them being chased by demonized puppets; therefore, I gave them a favor!"

    "Let's go to another place. It's a bit noisy here!"

    Zhang Tie nodded as he finished up his beer and dropped some gold coins on the bar counter. After that, he picked himself up and followed Reinhardt away from Demon Hunters Bar.

    Reinhardt didn't drive over here. Therefore, they walked and chatted. When they left the bar and found no other people on the street, Zhang Tie started to inquire some sensitive topics from Reinhardt.

    "Why did Jinyun Country's troop evacuate from Selnes Theater of Operations?'

    "Do you know what happened in Volv City?" Reinhardt asked Zhang Tie instead of answering his question.

    "Haven't Volv City been collapsed?"

    Reinhardt revealed a solemn look, "Common fighters might not understand how Volv City was collapsed. Actually, demonized puppets didn't encounter any resistance before rushing into Volv City. Real combats started from inside the city."

    Zhang Tie was really shocked by this news, "What the hell?"

    "Before the demonized puppets corps arrived, the alliance command changed two corps which were garrisoning outside the city in the name of the shift. The two corps then both received a new garrison map. On the two maps, there was an overlapped area. On the overlapped area of the map, the other corps was garrisoning in it. Therefore, neither human corps dispatch troops to that overlapped area. However, demonized puppets corps fought all the way to Volv City from that overlapped area. When the demonized puppets rushed to Volv City, the two city gates were opened; the defensive equipment on the city walls didn't work at all!"

    "Three-eye Association?" Zhang Tie had not imagined that Volv City was collapsed in this way. When he remembered the assassination that he encountered in the illegal demon hunters market of Volv City, Zhang Tie understood that the power of Three-eye Association in Volv City was actually much greater than that he had imagined.

    Reinhardt nodded forcefully, "The allied human forces lost three corps. After Volv City was collapsed, the two human corps of over 1 million soldiers garrisoning outside the city were surrounded by over 4 million demonized puppets. Finally, only less than 100,000 of them broke out of the encirclement. Through investigation, we found that the garrison map was replaced. In the original garrison maps, the forces of the two corps were clearly marked on the maps. In the investigation, a respondent even died in Volv City. However, it was the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the alliance command which made the decision to adjust the deployment of the two human corps. After the event broke out, General Howard, the top chief of staff of alliance command had resigned. His two sons also died in Volv city. However, besides, General Howard, the allied human forces couldn't even find a mole of Three-eye Association. After Volv City was collapsed, Jinyun Country's airship troop left Selnes Theater of Operations!"

    After hearing Reinhardt's explanation, Zhang Tie felt chilly inside. In Selnes Theater of Operations, what was really terrifying was not demons from north but power of Three-eye Association in human forces who served demons. Three-eye Association's power was too deep-rooted in Waii Sub-continent that they were as firm as worms in bones. Three-eye Association was excelled at hiding their darkest side in the brightest place. You knew the moles of Three-eye Association were in the alliance command who were scheming the whole thing; however, you couldn't find who was that? That was really terrifying.

    Given the joint forces of Huaiyuan Palace and the other major clans of Jinyun Country could not find the hidden force of Three-eye Association in Selnes Theater of Operations, after losing the Crystal Battle Fortress, the Jinyun Country's airship troop directly left Selnes Theater of Operations in case of being screwed up by Three-eye Association once again.

    In Zhang Tie's opinion, the evacuation of Jinyun Country's airship troop predicted that the defense line of allied human forces could not stand too long in Selnes Theater of Operations.

    "Have the airship troop of Jinyun Country returned?"

    "No, although Jinyun Country's airship troop have left Selnes Theater of Operations, they are still fighting for humans. They are helping Norman Empire transfer their population to the south."

    "It seems that even Norman Empire have prepared to evacuate. As Jinyun Country's airship troop had over 1000 fury-level battle airships, if they could go full stream ahead, they could transfer over 500,000 population once in total. If the human defense line in Selnes Theater of Operations really collapsed, the removal of 500,000 population means that demons would reduce one corps' demonized puppets. From a certain perspective, it indirectly exterminated a demonized puppets corps. Perhaps Jinyun Country's airship troop made this choice out of this reason."

    "The dozens of demonized puppets corps pouring in from the north awakened all the people in the Selnes frontline. After knowing that demons could produce demonized puppets, humans have to try their best to cut off the source of demonized puppets from then on. Additionally, they have to clear b*stards of Three-eye Association out of the human camp. If humans could not make the above two points, they would be defeated by their own force."

    "Where's Lan Yunxi?"

    "Before Jinyun Country's airship troop left Selnes, Lan Yunxi had been dispatched back to Huaiyuan Palace. I don't know why. The commander of Jinyun Country's airship troop is Wang Hu!"

    Zhang Tie had a bit impression about Wang Hu. After knowing that Lan Yunxi was safe, Zhang Tie became completely relaxed.

    "Is there anyone of Jinyun Country still in Selnes Theater of Operations?"

    "Only a few. It's said that those left are all elites and powerhouses above strong fighter from the major clans of Jinyun Country. However, all of them took off their military uniforms. They stayed in Selnes Theater of Operations not in the status of soldiers, but paladins. Nobody knew about their traces."

    "How about those people of Hoorn Republic? They have a glider base outside Mocco City. Have those people escaped out of there?"

    As the Hoorn Republic was a small country. Reinhardt thought a while before replying, "When demonized puppets beset the Crystal Battle Fortress, all the garrisons of airship and glider bases between Crystal Battle Fortress and Mocco City had evacuated. They might have been transferred to the rear bases. Thanks to Crystal Battle Fortress which slowed down the main force of demonized puppets corps, the garrisons in those bases could evacuate rapidly!"

    "When I fell in the trap of demons and Three-eye Association last time, major general Ford might have played a negative role or might have cooperated with Three-eye Association. Is that guy still in Mocco City?" Zhang Tie asked as he gritted his teeth out of fury, 'That guy must know the details.'

    "Major General Ford had died soon after you were caught by demons!"

    "Dead?"

    "Yup, dead. Your event had a great influence. Therefore, alliance command dispatched exclusive personnel to make an investigation about that. Due to great stress, Major General Ford committed suicide. Of course, we all know that civilian posts like major general might be easily disguised as committing suicide! After the death of Major General Ford, the alliance command could not figure out anything at all."

    After hearing this news, Zhang Tie abandoned his plan. According to his previous plan, Zhang Tie was going back to Mocco City to investigate Major General Ford so as to catch the moles of Three-eye Association out of the alliance command. After this clue was cut off, Zhang Tie didn't have any other methods anymore.

    "What about the alliance command? Who's responsible for it?"

    "Since Volv City was collapsed, the alliance command had only been an empty title. At this moment, you cannot find anybody in the station of the alliance command except for a plate."

    After knowing the current situation of the alliance command, Zhang Tie's heart filled with emotions, "What about the rest troops in Selnes?"

    "There are still over 2 million human soldiers in Mocco and Sladic. After the remaining airships and some ground troops evacuated to the rear base, each human troop is occupying a piece of land in the frontline and acting willfully!"

    "Ah? Won't it be a mess?"

    "Almost like that. The situation in Mocco City is more sophisticated. As many troops are gathering there, it's rather complex to coordinate with their relationships. By contrast, Sladic City is better. There're two trump-card corps of Norman Empire over there. Although they suffered some loss, it was not severe. After Volv City was collapsed, our prince had already taken over Sladic by force. Some troops of other countries had been invited to leave Sladic by our prince!"

    Zhang Tie knew that other countries' troops could never be chased away from Sladic City without using force. As Norman Empire's corps outnumbered those of other countries' troops in Sladic City, of course, they could take control of the overall situation of the city by force. However, they also needed to pay for it. Based on the current situation, the troops of different countries in the frontline might have been administered in their own way. If not the army of demons in front of them, they might have been fighting each other.

    Although they didn't fight each other, the troops of countries had been suspicious about each other. They even became afraid of each other. Because of the existence of Three-eye Association, each country's troop was afraid that the other human troops were lackeys of Three-eye Association who would combine with demons to attack them at the critical moment. Therefore, each troop's commander became very meticulous lest being framed by others. How could such troops join hands with each other to fight demons sincerely?

    After hearing Reinhardt's reply, Zhang Tie had a deeper comprehension about the evacuation of Jinyun Country's troop. The main force dispatched by Jinyun Country was an airship troop which could not fight demons independently without the support of ground troops. Airship troop had to depend on ground troops on many key aspects such as supplies and defense. Given the current situation in Selnes, once there was any problem about the ground coordination, the entire airship troop of Jinyun Country might be destroyed. Jinyun Country's airship troop might be forced to leave the frontline in Selnes because of concerns from all aspects.

    After thinking about the problem from the perspective of a higher position, Zhang Tie almost figured out what he had not considered at once. For those decision makers of Jinyun Country, they were committed to dispatch troops to Selnes Theater of Operations out of their responsibilities or for the purpose of drilling newbies. However, they didn't want to have a lot of Chinese disciples lose their lives here which was far away from Jinyun Country. Such a decision might only be made by those extremely ferocious clan elders. As to that airship troop of Jinyun Country which went to help Norman Empire transfer population, there might also be an unknown trade behind it.

    "How many airships are available in the Selnes Theater of Operations now? When I escaped out of Titanic Duchy, I saw many gravetower demons in the north of Selnes Plain. They could produce a lot of demonized puppets each day. If not destroy them timely, Mocco City and Sladic would not stand long!"

    "Although the gravetower demons outside the Tokei City have been destroyed, the airship troops of allied human forces also suffered a great loss. In the last 2 months, they were raided by the large units of wing demons for a few times and lost a lot of airships. Now, the power of human airship troops has been sharply weakened. As a result, humans also completely lost their air supremacy above Selnes Theater of Operations. There are only over 3000 airships in the theater of operations now. All of these airships have already evacuated to the airship bases within the territory of Symbian Republic. They could barely guarantee the safety of the rear airspace of Mocco City and Sladic City and provide limited air support for the two cities. They could not even surpass the middle line of Selnes Plain at the moment!" Reinhardt couldn't help but sigh.

    The holy war had just started. However, the demons and the Three-eye Association had already been overwhelming. This unavoidably made humans a bit pessimistic.

    Zhang Tie also became silent. He had not imagined that the Selnes Theater of Operations could develop to such a degree only after a few months. Compared to the demons which were as unified as a piece of iron plate, the power of allied human forces was not only weaker but also dispersed, which could hardly be unified. Even though they were barely unified, they would also face various problems. The nominal existence of the alliance command actually symbolized the failure of the first allied human defense line across Waii Sub-continent in the 3rd holy.

    Zhang Tie didn't know how would the rest human countries fight demons. He couldn't work out any effective way either. Zhang Tie also became pessimistic about the battle situation of Selnes Theater of Operations. What he concerned most was that how long could Mocco City and Sladic stand?

    Reinhardt directly led Zhang Tie into a high-end garden apartment. After arriving at the top storey of the 4-storey apartment, Reinhardt directly threw a bunch of keys to Zhang Tie, "Some rich people lived in here before. After they escaped away, this house was confiscated. Now, those living in this apartments are all commission officers. Common soldiers dare not find trouble here. Take the keys. When you come to Mocco City later on, just live here. I can also easily find you!"

    As it was just a house, which was not important for Zhang Tie and Reinhardt, Zhang Tie didn't say anything; he directly took the keys.

    "Are you going to converge with the airship troop of Norman Empire and Jinyun Country? If you want to go there, I can arrange it for you. You can leave Mocco City tomorrow!"

    "No, I don't want to leave out of here yet. I feel good being alone. Additionally, I've not gotten back to Senel Clan yet. I've not killed enough b*stards of demons!" When Zhang Tie talked about Senel Clan, a shrew light flashed across his eyes.

    Reinhardt burst out into laughter before asking Zhang Tie, "What's your level now?"

    "5-star battle master!" Zhang Tie told him honestly.

    "Good boy, you've really surpassed me. I'm just LV 10..." Reinhardt burst out laughing hysterically as he patted Zhang Tie's shoulder with one hand while he reached another hand towards Zhang Tie, "Come on, let me try whether you lied to me."

    Zhang Tie directly reached out a hand and resisted against Reinhardt's hand in the air. Only after a few seconds, Reinhardt let out a muffled harrumph as he was forced to retreat backward three steps. Meanwhile, his face turned a bit pale. Until over 10 seconds later did he recover a bit composure.

    "How much force did you use?" Reinhardt asked Zhang Tie.

    "80%!"

    "Come on, tell me the truth!" Reinhardt looked solemn as he stared at Zhang Tie.

    Zhang Tie could only force a bitter smile as he scratched his head, "60%!"

    "Ha...ha...ha, that's more like it. It seems that the Iron-blood Camp of our No. 39 division will have a powerhouse for sure!" Reinhardt didn't mind it at all; instead, he burst out into laughter.

    "Boss, aren't you jealous?" Zhang Tie called Reinhardt like how all the members of Iron-blood Camp of No. 39 Division called him before.

    "F*rt. So many people are sharper than me in the world. How could I be jealous about my brother's talent? Of course, I'm glad about that. I think you might be a knight in the future." Reinhardt touched his thorny mustache as he watched Zhang Tie seriously, "Maybe I will also choose to be struck by a lightning bolt a few days later. I will see whether I could make a great progress in battle strength!"

    Both of them then burst out into laughter.

    ...

    After the talk, Zhang Tie saw Reinhardt walking downstairs. Until Reinhardt left the apartment did Zhang Tie see his hands and mumbled, "I'm sorry, boss, actually I just used 30% of my strength just now..."

    ...

    After opening the door of the apartment and entering it, Zhang Tie found everything inside it was well arranged. It seemed that nobody lived in here recently. Besides those furnitures and sofa which looked a bit luxurious, there was no problem.

    After taking a bath, Zhang Tie laid on the bed with his hand behind his head. Watching the crystal ceiling lamp which had not been turned on, he started to think about his next plan.

    After knowing that those people whom he was concerned about were safe, Zhang Tie had been reassured. He had really not imagined about the current battle situation of Selnes Theater of Operations. However, as he had tried his best to do what he deserved, Zhang Tie didn't have any mental stress. Neither was he an alarmist. Instead, he had a sense of relief. 'Now that the airship troop of Jinyun Country had evacuated from here, I would be free here. No matter how long could the human defense line stand in Selnes Theater of Operations, I only need to consider how to improve my battle strength in Selnes Theater of Operations and find Senel Clan troubles. No matter how worse the battle situation would be, I would be able to escape at the critical moment.'

    'Perhaps I could also be a paladin in Selnes Theater of Operations! In this period, I need to find an opportunity to fly to the seaside and increase energy storage for Castle of Black Iron greatly.'

    'If I kill some more wing demons, I would have a ripe fruit of source, as long as I find the settlement of wing demons.'

    'Additionally, I only have a thunder hawk and a rat to use my soul-based animal controlling skill on. By far, I have not found any side effect of soul-based animal controlling skill on my body. It seems that I can find some more incarnations so as to deal with more situations.

    Thinking of incarnation, a weird whim occurred in Zhang Tie's mind. Zhang Tie then instantly became thrilled, 'According to the "Great Wilderness Sutra", all the living beings could be incarnated except for humans, does...it mean that I can also incarnate demons...'

    ...

    Zhang Tie was driven excited by this fantastic whim. Gradually, he fell asleep...

    ...

    Zhang Tie slept like a dead pig overnight. After waking up, Zhang Tie refreshed himself before leaving his residence. He prepared to leave Mocco City. However, he found it was too late to leave as the gates of Mocco City had been closed while the atmosphere both inside and outside the city became much more intense than that of yesterday at once.

    Looking in the distance, Zhang Tie saw over one million demonized puppets as he felt his scalp numb.

    In a distant and sharp clarino, the demonized puppets started to march towards Mocco City. At the beginning, the demonized puppets just wandered; gradually, they paced up; finally, they started to run like a tide, causing booms...
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