Within several days, the Qin Continent became the focus of the entire world.
One airs.h.i.+p after another took off from various continents and flew for the void continent. From there, they would transit to the border regions of the Qin Continent. Vast numbers of soldiers emerged from these vessels and marched for the capital, plundering every city along the way.
They could’ve landed around the Imperial Capital, but most of their airs.h.i.+ps would be shot down in the process. Only a small number of soldiers would walk out of the airs.h.i.+ps alive and those too would be eliminated quickly.
The airs.h.i.+ps of the Empire and Evernight fought ceaselessly in the skies above. One after the other, cutting-edge airs.h.i.+p models crashed to the ground and burst into flames. The dark races were intent on fighting to the death, so the a.s.sault went on until the last airs.h.i.+p. The imperial fleet wouldn’t back off, either. They relied on the many supply and logistics bases on the Qin Continent to quickly repair and resupply, something the other party could not do.
A steady stream of airs.h.i.+ps was also heading to the frontlines from the Western and Trasncendant Continents. They charged straight into the heart of the continent, dropping the soldiers on board at important checkpoints. Some of them would land at the border regions, where the soldiers would have to join the defensive line almost immediately.
Even the slowest person would’ve understood by now that it was a decisive life or death moment. There were no shortcuts or lucky flukes.
On the frontlines, a general could be seen shuttling back and forth as he coordinated the defense effort. The soldiers under this command thinned out over time and the retaliatory fire grew weaker and weaker. Toward the end, only scattered gunfire could be heard and the dazed general noticed countless Evernight soldiers flooding the position.
He realized that his men were all gone.
The man’s expression was as calm as still water. He simply drew his sword and charged at the incoming tide of enemies, never to return.
The commanding general in the rear command sighed, “Position four has fallen. Position ten must provide support from the rear. Who is willing?”
“I will go!”
“Me, of course!”
The group of generals volunteered pa.s.sionately.
The commanding general gazed at their faces. All of them were old subordinates and friendly faces. “No use fighting over this. We’re all destined to sacrifice ourselves for the Empire. It’s either today or tomorrow. Old w.a.n.g, you’re up next.”
A middle-aged general saluted the general with a sinister smile. “Rest a.s.sured, I’ll definitely drag a good number of them down with me!”
Moments later, a squad left the base to bolster the frontline defenses.
The flames of war spread all over the Qin Continent. The most prosperous territory in the Empire had been reduced to the same state as when the humans first set foot on it—there was fire and smoke everywhere.
The starry sky was growing brighter and brighter. Even ordinary people could now see that incoming star during the daytime.
At this point, it looked no bigger than an egg, but it was growing by the day.
Everything was solemn in the Divination Pavilion. All the white-robed experts were gathered in the main hall, operating their own origin arrays. These arrays were all part of a much larger formation.
An expressionless Empress Li was seated atop a high platform at the end of the hall. She already knew her fate, and she had chosen to accept it willingly.
The Radiant Emperor was also dressed in plain attire as he inspected all the origin arrays for defects.
Many of the diviners seemed calm, but some of the younger ones looked a bit anxious. Most of the original lineup had fallen in Qianye’s hands, so there were a lot of subst.i.tutes. These people could hardly compare to the veterans in terms of mindset and skill.
No one dared breathe loudly in the presence of the Radiant Emperor.
The Emperor had already killed countless important ministers during this period. Some of them weren’t even given a good reason except “I don’t like you.”
Everyone knew that the Emperor had his reasons. Why would someone who had endured for thirty years kill for no reason? He probably had no patience left to give people a reason, and no one dared to offer excuses after realizing the important events to come.
Flowing streams of light lit up the skies above the capital from time to time.
Zhang Boqian returned to the ground after the current wave of radiance had dispersed. His armor was in tatters, and there were wounds all over his body.
A thin layer of light still shrouded the monarch’s body, and every movement of his brought about thunderous rumbles. His personal guards and followers didn’t dare approach him in this state. It was only after he had dispersed the light that they swarmed over to help him remove his armor and treat his wounds.
Zhang Boqian sat there without the slightest movement as several famous doctors tended to his injuries. There were scars all over his body, with new ones covering the old. Many of them were still a faint pink color as they had just grown back.
After the injuries had been treated, a different follower pa.s.sed Zhang Boqian a gla.s.s of limpid green liquid, which he downed in a single gulp. Immediately, his face turned red. It was as though he had just consumed a lot of alcohol.
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“I’ll rest for an hour, do not disturb me.” With that, Zhang Boqian closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
His followers set up a tent around the monarch. Zhang Boqian would have to head out into the sky once he woke up. No one knew how many princes and great dark monarchs were there out in the void. No one could say how many times he had traded blows with a supreme.
There was a formation in the sky above the capital. It couldn’t increase Prince Greensun’s strength by much, but it could reduce his consumption rate, bolster his defenses, and improve his regenerative power by ten times. He had fought for several days without rest, keeping the countless Evernight experts at bay.
There were two extremely big wars.h.i.+ps in the void. Just from their appearance, one could tell that they belonged to the Demon King and the Queen of the Night.
The two vessels simply hovered in the void, watching all the killing going on below.
Several days pa.s.sed by in this manner, and the number of airs.h.i.+ps fighting in the void dwindled in number. Both parties had lost most of their airs.h.i.+ps in the intense fight, with each having only a few vessels left.
The remaining Evernight fleet attacked without care for survival. The Imperial first and second fleets had been wiped out to their last battles.h.i.+p, with only the third fleet barely hanging on. It was the steady stream of small airs.h.i.+ps from the n.o.bility that kept the situation in balance.
This situation was only temporary. There were more forces from the Evernight side rus.h.i.+ng over to the battlefield. Airs.h.i.+p fleets from the two farthest dark race continents hadn’t joined the fray just yet. By the time they arrived, the Empire’s once-powerful armada would be wiped out entirely.
The military department. A dozen or so military officers were seated in a conference hall, gazing at the numbers jumping on the screen. These people were the true heart of the Empire’s military, veteran generals who had fought all their lives. Even with their experience, the casualty rate on the first day was a number they had never seen before. At this point, however, they had all grown numb to the data. No one wanted to think about the number of corpses these numbers represented.
They didn’t dare imagine.
A staff officer rushed into the hall. “The latest battle report. Estimated ground force losses, including private army soldiers: 112,000. Airs.h.i.+p losses: 6, including two from the primary fleet. Report complete.”
An old general mumbled as the staff office replied, “Two primary fleet airs.h.i.+ps… If I remember correctly, that is the last of our fleet.”
“The three major clans and the Li family should have a few more.”
“It’s useless if they cannot reach us in time. Without ground support, they won’t even be able to reach the capital’s airs.p.a.ce.”
“Distribute the weapons, prepare for urban warfare,” a middle-aged officer suggested.
Having lost their aerial dominance, even the Imperial Capital’s anti-air defense system didn’t last very long. The Evernight army would soon appear right outside the city or even within the city.
It had been several hundred years since the Empire had to fight the enemy at the capital. Yet soon, this great city would be drowned in the flames of war.