Chapter 553: The Battle Begins
Translator: Oneshotwonder Editor: Hitesh_
These three leaders represented the defensive forces that were stationed inside the city.
Had they ever thought of letting go of their territory and retreating? Perhaps… But, after having tasted the comfort of their former life, no one would willingly leave this bastion of civilization.
At last, Aamir slowly stood up and said, “I have talked to the Jade City in private, and they are willing to send reinforcements. But, we will be on our own at the beginning of the siege.”
Aamir had provided a different information than the messenger, but no one was surprised by it. As the leader of one of the strongest bands, Aamir had more strings to pull to get what he wanted. Everyone kept their silence, thinking and weighing their options in light of this new information.
“I hereby speak on behalf of all the warriors of Blizzard. We will defend the Maersa City until the last of us.” Aamir announced as he scanned the room with a determined glance. Blizzard had invested too much in the city to pull out without putting up a fight. Aamir was optimistic about the outcome of the war despite the sense of dread that permeated among other leaders. Without believing oneself, no one would believe in one either after all.
After a while, Marcos stood up. “Let’s put away our differences and fight for our survival! Thunder Fire is staying to defend the city!”
Aamir and Marcos exchanged a knowing glance; they had been competitors, but the situation had forced the two to and work together toward the same goal: survival. Without cooperation and unity, they might as well have already lost the war.
The strength of humans came from solidarity and unity; without it, the human race would have fallen apart thousands of years ago.
“This city is everything we have! The Eagle will be with everyone when the Zergs come!” Pamir pounded his chest; he knew that his words would lend others hope.
After the three major factions had sworn to protect the city, Hamir heaved a sigh of relief.
“We will let Captain Aamir assign our duties. This is your last chance to leave the city. When the war starts, I will not allow any cowards in my ranks!” Marcos shouted and then shot the crowd a searing glance.
“If you leave now, don’t ever think about coming back,” Pamir said softly and blankly.
The planning of the defense was way beyond Hamir’s ability, and therefore the responsibility fell on the shoulders of Aamir. He would be the one calling the shots, and no questions with regards to his decision were allowed. Democracy worked only during peacetime, and right now, the citizens in Maersa needed a strong and capable leader, as well as a highly centralized political system to ensure efficiency. Aamir was the perfect candidate for the role of leader. As a popular leader of the strongest band, he possessed both charm and power at the same time. Not even his long-time rival, Marcos could match his influence.
Since the situation didn’t allow the defenders much wiggle room, the defense plan was simple: repair walls and restock the armory. Every band handed in their stash of weapons and equipment to make sure that the defensive forces would have enough iron and steel to throw at the Zergs. After all the forces were gathered under one banner and one commander, the soldiers finally found confidence in numbers. Although there had been few soldiers who had abandoned hope and slipped out of the city, those were very rare occurrences as most of them stayed.
After all, what would be the point of being alive when everyone they knew were dead?
After the meeting, Battle Wolf was also assigned a district to defend, and Hamir accepted the duty without hesitation. He would have accepted even the most difficult task if Aamir so chose. After all, if Battle Wolf refused the duty, someone else would have to risk their lives.
Truth be told, Hamir had been very anxious as more days passed by without seeing Wang Tong and the other elite warriors. He understood the other factions’ suspicions, since nearly all the core members of the Battle Wolf had disappeared for days. Hamir took a deep breath; he knew that without the leaders, he would have to lead the band through this treacherous time.
The promise of the final showdown with the Zergs had kept Hamir sleepless in the night. He thought about his wife and the time he had spent with his sect brothers. The final confrontation with the Zergs was coming, and it would determine the life and death of all human resistance forces; Hamir was ready for it all.
As the Zergs gathered outside the city wall, the atmosphere inside the city changed as well. However, none of the ordinary citizens abandoned their homes. Instead, they joined the reserves, while the women and children helped the soldiers get ready.
The people of Maersa district had had enough of the fear and helplessness while being homeless. They figured that since the soldiers were staying to defend the city, they should too. After all, if the soldiers were defeated, the civilians wouldn’t be safe outside the city wall either.
Slowly but surely, the army of Zergs closed in on the city. They ravaged the land and razed any human settlements in their way to the ground, leaving nothing behind them. The defeat at Maersa City had aggravated them, and spur them to be more violent toward the human.
The daily report from outside the city deeply worried Aamir. Although the number of Zergs were almost the same as their initial estimate, the overall level of these Zergs might be much higher than they had thought.
Aamir inquired the whereabouts of Wang Tong and his warriors every day, but all the answer he got from Hamir were the same. No one, including Hamir, knew where those warriors were gone.
After a while, no one cared about those missing warriors any longer, since they believed that the addition of a dozen soldiers would not change their situation in any dramatic way anyway.
Since the city could not rely on the elite warriors of Battle Wolf, Aamir had to look to other ways and prepare for the worst.
Right before dusk, the vanguard of the Zergs finally arrived, greeted by four thousand heavy METAL artillery units. After an hour of shelling at the Zerg vanguard, the Zerg front line finally started to show sign of faltering. As the messenger reported the temporary back down of the Zergs, soldiers and civilians inside the city hailed their initial success. However, neither Aamir nor Marcos felt relieved: the war had just begun, and it was too early to celebrate.
After about ten more minutes, a giant Zerg finally broke through the defensive line of the heavy METAL units. The soldiers behind the heavy METAL were unprepared for the sudden attack, and they were shocked by the sheer size of the beast. The Zerg was about thirty meters long, and had ten meat trunks as legs. Every step it took sent a deep thump to the ground that could be felt hundreds of meters away.
The giant Zerg tore an opening in the defensive line. Soon, it became the target of thousands of laser beams. These laser beams shot through the shell of the Zerg and into its flesh. In a blink, green acid gushed out of the holes on the Zerg’s body. These acid blood splattered onto the soldiers nearby and melted their armor and flesh. The affected soldiers howled in agony, and the formation of the heavy METAL fell into disarray, creating more openings. Seizing the opportunity, more and more giant Zergs dashed through the defensive line, and as their blood corrupted more soldiers, the heavy METAL unit gradually lost the upper hand.
Sensing the tides turning, Aamir ordered the heavy METAL units to pull back. They could be better used behind the city wall later.
In order to cover the heavy METAL’s retreat, the cannons on the city wall started shelling at the Zergs with mini-nukes. The bombardment was able to stop the Zerg advancement for a brief moment, giving the heavy METAL units an opportunity to retreat.
However, the Zergs didn’t stop for too long. In just a few minutes, they were able to gather strength and press forward.
“Captain, the Zergs are getting closer. Let’s pull the plug!”
“Not yet! Wait.”
Aamir scanned the field with a binocular and then said calmly. The Zergs were advancing at an alarming speed. In just a few minutes, they had already reached the effective range of the high power long range laser weapon located at the center of the city.
Despite the ferocious rain of steel and laser beams on them, the Zergs didn’t slow down the slightest. The front line of the Zerg army didn’t slow down until the METAL warriors and the mastery casters started to engage them.
Seeing that the Zergs were losing momentum, Marcos ordered all his forces to engage the invading Zergs.
Despite the progress the human had made, Aamir was still deeply troubled by their situation. He had noticed that the vanguard of the invading Zergs had no dark ones among them; so, they were nothing but cannon fodders.
After a while, the Zerg vanguard was finally eliminated. However, the human soldiers didn’t even have time to celebrate as they found out that they had been surrounded by a sea of monsters, with only a thin wall separating them from danger.