Two victories against the deities gave a large confidence boost to the army. Even the president, who usually had a stern expression in such situations, was able to produce a smile.
“It’s time for the real fight now.” Bai Ze said as a soldier dedicated to her service handed her a big bag of snacks.
Everything went silent for a while before a light tremor was felt.
“Look, over there!” Someone yelled.
As all heads turned toward the South, an explosion of golden light was seen in that direction. After gradually dimming, a giant structure stood tall within it.
“The Southern Gate to the Heavens? So he did learn his lesson.” Bai Ze jumped onto the fence and gazed at the structure, which looked just like a city gate of an ancient city.
With the knell of a giant bell, the gate slowly opened.
“Quick! Focus fire in that direction!” Pan Junwei gave the orders swiftly.
“It seems he really is mad,” Sai Gao said as he looked at the billowing clouds.
“Heaven’s Punishment?” Bai Ze looked up, noticing the purple thunder flashing beyond.
The same ominous sensation was felt by all guardians, who looked up in anxiousness.
“I’ll take this one.” Sai Gao took a deep breath and said after evaluating the ability of the other sages capable of handling the threat.
“Why are you so eager to sacrifice yourself? It’s not your turn yet.” Bai Ze pulled him back. The rooftop of Yunding Tower, in the distance, suddenly lit up with an iridescent light; it was Fang Shui’er, who loaded four arrows and shot them toward the four cardinals of the city.
Although the four locations she targeted ranged from an open space in a parking lot to an office building undergoing renovation, they all had one thing in common: they were property of Pure Water Herb Hall. Her targets were obliterated, releasing four beams of light that shot toward the sky.
“What? The Four Spirits Formation?” Sai Gao was not expecting to see the same formation that was used back in Lianyun City.
“It’s a downgrade, actually. I wouldn’t be able to pull off the real thing. I’ve drawn a few glyphs to simulate the effects of a divine beast.” Bai Ze rectified Sai Gao as she gulped down a salted plum.
“Is this going to be enough?”
“I’m not sure, but maybe with Shao Xian’s help I’ll be able to hold off that lightning strike.”
“When did you…” Sai Gao exclaimed — a project of this scale could not have been completed in one day.
“When I confirmed that he was indeed the staff.” Bai Ze opened her soda and drank a mouthful.
A second sound came from the bell as the gate opened a little more. The missiles and artillery bombardment had already started, and the clouds now gained a purple hue, which was an ominous indication of what was about to come.
“Heaven’s Punishment?” Li Yiming squinted and extended his hands, thunder sparking at his fingertips.
“It’s okay. It’s not going to come down. Just a while longer, okay?” Liu Meng glanced at the four pillars of light from the formation and wrapped her arms around Li Yiming once more. If she let go, she doubted whether she was ever going to be able to embrace Li Yiming again.
The bombardment was soon thwarted by the erection of a barrier in front of the gates.
“Why Hangzhou of all places?” Qing Qiaoqiao asked as she looked from afar.
“Shao Xian is here, and Li Yiming too,” Qing Linglong said.
“Shao Xian too? What does she have to do with all of this?”
“Have you seen the deities falling from the Heavens earlier?” Big Beard asked with a laugh.
Another knell from the bell. The gates have now completely opened, and golden deities poured out. No longer possessing a benevolent face, the deities now all looked menacing and were ready to exterminate everything in their sight.
“Retreat to the original formation! First division of the special forces, charge in!” Pan Junwei yelled into his transmitter.
As soon as he gave the order, wave after wave of soldiers dressed entirely in black dashed toward the gate, their eyes glowing red in the dark. Charging in with them were the guardians, who quickly overtook them.
A bolt of thunder, surrounded by a ring of frost, descended upon the city. Above the clouds, the shadow of a dragon loomed.
“I hope this works…” Sai Gao, due to his predisposition, had a natural fear of lightning.
As the bolt neared the city, it suddenly vanished without a trace, like a bucket of water thrown back into the ocean.
“Where did it go?” Sai Gao exclaimed with widened eyes.
“Who knows. The formation isn’t to directly block off the lightning anyways. As long as it’s still standing, he won’t be able to lock onto us.”
“Crescent Formation, cover fire!” Pan Junwei let out a sigh of relief, as the threat of Heaven’s Punishment has finally been deterred.
The super soldiers, upon receiving the orders, paused in their charge and assumed formation behind the guardians. The guardians, with Li Huaibei at their head, began to assume the main part of the combat while the soldiers provided support fire with their laser rifles.
“Surprising… They’re really effective…” Sai Gao said as he observed the combat.
Although the soldiers were attacking using conventional weapons, they were nothing short of effective. A deity would often find itself be interfered with by several shots to the wrist whenever it tried to attack a guardian, and even the laser shots aimed at their eyes proved to be a major nuisance.
Owing to the cover fire of the super-soldiers, the guardians managed to eliminate a significant portion of the deities without sustaining a single casualty. The deities themselves tried to breach the line of guardians as a countermeasure, but even the few that attempted to do so were quickly eliminated by focus fire.
“How many more of these soldiers do you have?” Sai Gao was impressed but could not help but feel nervous upon imagining himself having to fight against those super soldiers.
“Two more regiments.” Pan Junwei answered truthfully, knowing that he could not hide anything from Sai Gao’s perception.
“As long as they can survive today, you’ll be able to conquer the world…”
“It’s a shame that they can’t fight under the sunlight.” Bai Ze looked at the sky, which was beginning to light up.
“What!? Impossible!” The president checked his watch. It was only ten o’clock at night, and yet the sun was beginning to rise.
“He has command over the entire world. It’s only a small thing to change the time of the day…” Bai Ze explained.
“Tell your men to withdraw. I’ll go. I don’t think Li Huaibei can do it alone,” Sai Gao twisted his neck and licked the corner of his mouth.
“I have a solution to this,” Bai Ze suddenly said.
Pan Junwei and the president’s eyes widened.
“The side-effects of the virus can be neutralized using blood from a beast from the legends…”
“Where are you going to find a beast like that?” Sai Gao rolled his eyes, as Bai Ze’s solution was tantamount to having no solution.
“Wait… Why are you looking at me?” Sai Gao questioned nervously.
“Well, you happen to be one, aren’t you?”
“Do you see how many people there are?”
“You don’t need to fill their stomachs. As long as you give each of them a drop, it’s enough. You’ll be fine given how big you are.”
“Really? Why don’t you do it!?” Sai Gao cried out.
“You’ve seen my size! Even if you suck me dry it wouldn’t be enough. I’ve had my turn contributing my blood, now it’s yours.”
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