Chapter 209: Heartbeat
In the parking lot behind the technology building, a ball of fire expanded and illuminated the area.
Bai Chen and the others vaguely saw merfolk that had hidden pretty well. Their grayish-black scales reflected the crimson glow.
With the help of the many obstacles in the city ruin and the lack of a wide field of vision, they had already advanced to an area 100 meters away at some point in time.
Jiang Baimian’s rocket didn’t cause any damage because she didn’t know the enemy’s exact location.
But before the explosion subsided, rampageous firepower poured from all over the defensive line.
The firing continued as cannonballs rained down one after another, forcing the merfolk to hide in the natural fortifications around them. Five to six corpses were left behind.
Right on the heels of that, Long Yuehong, Han Wanghuo, and the others immediately had difficulty breathing again.
Although they were surrounded by air, they felt like they had been dunked in water.
Tan Jie’s loudspeaker sounded again. “F*ck! Fight me if you dare! Have you lost your balls from hiding in the lake all day?”
This time, he only repeated it in merfolk language.
Tan Jie had already roughly determined the target’s general location. He could use the loudspeaker to transmit his voice—which was mixed with Provocation powers—to enrage the other party completely and make him lose his mind. This was so that the other party would target only him.
This way, the Redstone townsfolk around the defensive line wouldn’t gradually suffocate and could focus on facing the enemy.
Of course, this was a very dangerous endeavor because Tan Jie didn’t know what other abilities the Awakened murloc or mutant opposite him had or how large their range was. However, Tan Jie was already a little accustomed to such situations after he successfully awakened and obtained the Provocation ability.
In addition to making the target angry and losing their rationality in a one-on-one battle, making it easier to resolve the situation, his Provocation ability often made him a target for everyone and placed him in a dangerous situation. But at the same time, this also made the other party unable to care about others and be successfully dispatched by his companions.
Although it was called ‘Provocation,’ Tan Jie felt that it was essentially triggering the other party’s anger. Not only could it be matched with words, but it could also be achieved through actions and poses. However, he had yet to figure out a way to expand his range of influence with electronic products other than by sound.
Just two times after the sentence was repeated, Han Wanghuo and the others felt like they had surfaced again and breathed in fresh air.
Almost at the same time, two figures jumped out of the defense line. They were a man and woman, who were each wearing an iron-black exoskeleton. The armor covered their heads, backs, necks, and chests.
On the backs of these two exoskeletons were obvious energy packs. Their arms were equipped with grenade launchers, assault rifles, and other weapons. There were no laser firing muzzles or electromagnetic weapons. It was obvious that these exoskeletons were very ancient models.
The two town guards—who were wearing exoskeletons—seemed to have springs in their joints. With a few jumps, they jumped to the ground from the collapsed building and headed straight for the parking lot behind the technology building.
They wanted to finish off the dangerous Awakened Subhuman before everyone suffocated and fainted.
At this moment, Tan Jie—who was about to continue his Provocation—suddenly felt his heart thump.
His heartbeat quickened.
Badump! Badump! Badump!
This pumped his head full with blood, making it difficult for him to breathe. His vision gradually turned black.
Mustering what was left of his strength, Tan Jie shouted through the loudspeaker, “He can… accelerate heartbeats!”
Badump! Badump! Badump!
Tan Jie could no longer stand and fell to the ground. His heart was beating so fast that it seemed like it would explode at any moment.
Heartbeat acceleration… An Awakened in the Arbiter of Fate’s realm? Jiang Baimian instantly recalled the corresponding information when she heard Tan Jie’s words.
She then came to a conclusion—that powerful Subhuman Awakened couldn’t cause a person to have a ‘cardiac arrest.’ At the very least, they couldn’t do anything at that range. Otherwise, he could’ve easily finished Tan Jie off without wasting so much time.
With this in mind, Jiang Baimian cast her gaze at the two exoskeletons that quickly approached the parking lot behind the technology building.
She felt that it was unlikely they would solve the problem. It was also unknown how much damage they could cause to the merfolk in that area.
This brought about a new problem—what should the Old Task Force do?
Jiang Baimian’s mind raced as she came up with two plans. One, they had to make the best use of their time and retreat immediately to escape the Subhuman Awakened’s abilities. Then, they would drive out of Redstone Collection and never return.
With the merfolk and mountain monsters’ target being Redstone Collection, the Old Task Force didn’t have to worry about being pursued. The Ashlands was so vast, so the chances of them encountering each other again were almost zero.
The problem with this plan was whether they could escape the other party’s range of influence in a timely manner. Jiang Baimian’s judgment was that they could. She believed that the current distance was already the Subhuman Awakened’s limit. At most, they could add an additional ten meters or so. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have taken such a risk and rushed to the front of the defensive line. The other party could’ve completely hidden in a safe area and first resolved the dangerous targets by accelerating their heartbeats before suffocating the Redstone town guards.
In addition, once they evacuated, the Old Task Force would no longer be able to obtain the military exoskeleton they had reserved. They also wouldn’t be able to collect the supplies that had been distributed. It would be a terrible loss.
The second was to advance instead of retreating. They would enter the Subhuman Awakened’s vicinity, finish him off, eliminate all the latent dangers, and bring Redstone Collection’s situation under control.
However, this plan was filled with variables and dangers. One could die if they weren’t careful.
As Jiang Baimian’s thoughts raced, she saw Shang Jianyao—who was wearing a monkey mask—look at her.
Without needing to say anything, she knew that Shang Jianyao wanted to ask if she wanted to attack.
No, he might just be informing me of his decision and wants me to be prepared… Jiang Baimian’s thoughts raced as she suddenly became vigilant.
The next second, Shang Jianyao—who was wearing a monkey mask—jumped out of the glassless, frameless window with a Berserker assault rifle in hand. He landed on a collapsed building not far away.
Jiang Baimian gritted her teeth and no longer hesitated. She abandoned the Death rocket launcher, grabbed the spare assault rifle beside her, and jumped out of the window as well.
When has our Old Task Force ever suffered a loss without getting revenge? Unless we can’t find it. After this matter is resolved, I’ll let this bastard know what the color of blood is! Just as she found her footing, Jiang Baimian turned around and shouted, “Suppressive fire!”
This was not only meant for Long Yuehong and Bai Chen, but it was also to seek help from the Redstone town guards.
Amidst the sound of gunfire were the explosions from grenades. It sent the emerging merfolk and mountain monsters back into cover.
Shang Jianyao and Jiang Baimian seized the opportunity to adroitly climb and jump onto the concrete piles formed by the collapsed building. They then quickly approached the ground.
This showed their athletic nerves and balance that exceeded normal humans, making them comparable to apes. If Han Wanghuo hadn’t seen their skin color, he would definitely suspect that they were spies sent by the mountain monsters.
At this moment, the exoskeleton in front dodged the merfolk’s bullets and grenades by jumping, running, and changing directions in an exaggerated manner. They quickly approached the parking lot behind the technology building.
He raised his arms and crazily sent grenades and bullets into the area. Several merfolk couldn’t change positions in time and became incomplete corpses under the ordnance.
Upon seeing that the real target was about to appear, the exoskeleton-wearing town guard’s heartbeat suddenly accelerated.
It sounded like a drum as the blood vessels on his body surface protruded.
In just a few seconds, the town guard’s vision had turned blood red. His breathing couldn’t keep up with his body’s condition.
If not for the fact that Long Yuehong, Bai Chen, Han Wanghuo, and the others were using firepower to suppress the area, he—who had slowed down and was on the verge of collapsing—might’ve been hit by the merfolk’s gunfire in unprotected areas, causing him to die on the spot.
But even so, he quickly fainted and fell to the ground with a thud.
Right on the heels of that, the female town guard—who was wearing the other exoskeleton and killing the merfolk in the area—heard her heartbeat. It seemed to echo in her ears.
Amidst the thumping sounds, the town guard’s heart couldn’t take it any longer, making her black out.
At this moment, she had already entered the parking lot behind the technology building. She saw a thick armored vehicle blocked by the walls and pillars.
Beside the car stood a tall murloc wearing a crown of twigs.
Nearly ten of his kind remained around this murloc. They were either hiding in bunkers or beside the armored vehicle. Their commonality was that they were all holding weapons.
The town guard fell to the ground, and the metal bones and black armor on her body emitted a crisp sound.
Upon seeing this, Jiang Baimian confirmed two things. One, the Awakened Subhuman’s ability to accelerate heartbeats could only affect one target at a time. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have dealt with the two nearby exoskeleton-wearing hostiles separately, resulting in the deaths of many merfolk guarding him. Second, he didn’t have the ability to cause a cardiac arrest. This could be determined from the time the two exoskeleton-wearing town guards lasted.
This realization made Jiang Baimian a little more certain, but she also had new concerns.
The price Shang Jianyao paid could effectively weaken an Awakened’s mental and thinking abilities, but he couldn’t deal with the type that targeted the body directly.
With this thought in mind, Jiang Baimian shrank and hid behind a heavy stone pillar.
With Long Yuehong and the others’ suppressive fire and the two exoskeletons’ ‘cover,’ she and Shang Jianyao had already bypassed many obstacles and ran to the parking lot behind the technology building.
They then separately found cover.
She knew that the Awakened Subhuman had definitely discovered her. Without hesitation, she removed a grenade, pulled out the ring, and threw it in the direction she had observed.
With a loud explosion, she stuck to the ground and jumped out horizontally. During this process, she aimed her Berserker assault rifle at the merfolk and pulled the trigger.
Ta! Ta! Ta!
Shang Jianyao also took the opportunity to dash out of his hiding spot and fire crazily at the merfolk.
The merfolk—which had been forced to escape by the grenade—swayed and fell to the ground, bleeding profusely.
At this moment, Jiang Baimian—who had just landed and was rolling for cover—heard her heartbeat.