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Chapter 738: Landing
His execution proved effective. They were exchanging fire, but the humans were clearly in a superior position. The aliens’ tightly knit formations worked against them. While their proximity to the human planets prevented Capital ship fire, it also prevented them from using their own advantages.
Crack! A turtle-aliens shielding could no longer hold up to the sustained fire and fractured. The squishy creature below was swiftly reduced to mangled flesh. Its twinkling vital crystal appeared, but was quickly swallowed up by another monster nearby.
Where there was one others soon followed. Before long the defensive line began to collapse. The alien forces were being slowly pushed back as they realized they couldn’t stand up to the human fleets.
For each meter they retreated the human fighters inwardly cheered. Under Kang Hui’s orders they pressed forward, maintaining optimal distance and never letting up.
The universe was on fire, a sea of angry light. Streamers of lethal energy were exchanged back and forth across a dark backdrop. For the first time in the history of their conflict, mankind was overpowering their enemies. So far things were going according to plan.
However, the aliens wouldn’t be so easily defeated. Under the cover of defensive-type creatures they continued to retreat behind the planet they knew their prey wouldn’t harm. Clearly they understood the mindset of the humans, they wouldn’t attack their own.
Kang Hui smirked coolly. Trying to draw them in deep? Not likely.
As the planet came within firing distance Kang Hui gave the order to hold. Ground teams were to prepare for landing.
He was more careful now after the bitter lessons he’d learned before. He wouldn’t easily give the enemy an opportunity to make a fool of him again. Kang Hui knew that the creatures wouldn’t retreat so easily unless they were clearly being beaten. It had to be a diversion, that was the only explanation. Since they didn’t know where the three home worlds were, there was always a chance they could show up when the humans were most vulnerable – like chasing the aliens deeper into their territory. He wasn’t going to allow that to happen.
They had to stick to the plan. Recapturing the human planets was their first priority, then they could go about exterminating the enemy.
“Admiral, ground teams are ready to move at your order.”
“Give them cover fire, clear out whatever’s in their path.” Kang Hui coldly commanded.
Lan Jue had received the order back on Zeus-1. Prepare for incursion!
“What do you think?” The Wine Master asked. They were provided the most up-to-date information. They knew that so far humans have suffered no casualties, while more than a thousand aliens had met their end. However, no vital crystals were left behind. They were all swept up and kept from the hands of their killers.
Lan Jue shook his head. “We’ve only just started, it’s hard to say. We’ll have to wait and see what develops. So far it looks like our strategy is paying off. Get ready, soon it’ll be our turn.”
“Mh.” The Wine Master nodded. One by one the other Paragons rose from their meditations. Their eyes burned, they were fighting on behalf of their species.
“Zeus-1. Zeus-1, this is Middle Heaven.”
“This is Zeus-1, go on.” Su Xiaosu was manning the controls and quickly responded to the hails.
“The incursion has begun, engage!” Majesty was also hearing the same command.
“Received, operation is a go!” She confirmed.
She rose to her feet and faced Lan Jue. Star Division’s commander nodded.
Zeus-1 was on the move, closing in on its target planet. With Majesty, they were responsible for the largest of the four worlds, Monteux. Obviously Paragons would be more effective on the largest planet, the North believed. The hardest task was delegated to the team with the highest chance of success.
Zeus-1 and Majesty closed ranks, and flew wing to wing toward Monteux. Behind them were ten more large transport ships bearing the markings of the Bloodiron Khans. Indeed, An Lun’s mighty adept army would provide aid for the mission. Monteux’s recovery had the lowest chance of failure, especially since Lan Qing was sending in his best people.
His faith wasn’t just in his own people, but in Star Division as well. He believed in Lan Jue’s command. His little brother would make sure their losses were kept as low as possible.
Zeus-1 pulled to the fore. A hail of cover fire kept them from being harassed by enemies on the way in. However, that air support would end once they hit the planet’s atmosphere. They had to be ready for a fierce battle once they reached the surface. The only backup they would be able to rely on was low-flying patrol ships or the odd battleship. Anything larger than that wasn’t going to risk friendly fire.
This presented a problem, but with the North in such a precarious position at home everyone agreed to manage best they could. Nothing was more important than saving their beleaguered compatriots.
As they closed in Lan Jue’s eyes blazed. This would be a true test of Star Division’s capabilities. Behind him the Paragons had risen to their feet and gathered. They stood in silent support of the young commander.
“Let me go!” The Pharmacist called. There was a brutality smoldering in her typically calm face.
Lan Jue shot her a glance. He answered her with a nod. They needed to throw everything they had at this fight, and take advantage of every opportunity.
Lan Jue knew this was her way of apologizing for her actions. No one had spoken ill of her or chastised her actions, but her heart was filled with shame. Lan Jue was an important member of Skyfire Avenue, yet her actions had put him in mortal danger. If something had happened to him it would have been disastrous for everyone.
Lan Jue understood, and wouldn’t dare discourage her. He wanted to help clear her conscience.
She left, then the Wine Master spoke. “Do you want any of us to help her?”
Lan Jue smiled, and shook his head. “No need. She’s the Harbinger Fairy!”
The only Paragon still meditating was Jue Di. All the rest stood behind Lan Jue, watching Monteux grow larger outside the window.
It had used to be a beautiful and vibrant world, a treasure for the North. Although not as important as Luo, it had served as a center of economy and commerce. It was for this reasons Terminator had been stationed nearby. But the planet was different now. Its surface glimmered with a strangely beautiful purple hue. Sadly, it was a beauty rife with death and decay.
From high above they could see something on the surface, moving in surging waves. A host of aliens were waiting for them.
These weren’t manifestations of an infection, like what the progenitors created. These were true aliens. Evidently their strategy had always been to bring the fight to the surface and take advantage of their close-combat strengths.
Lan Jue knew from the briefings that the West and North were sending over thirty mecha divisions and scores of small warships to the other planets. They were manned by their finest converts and acquired Talents. Here, however, the fight would be hardest and backed by the fewest infantry. That was because they had Star Division.
Closer. Their cover fire started to taper off. Five hundred patrol ships and sixty battleships continued to keep the aliens at bay with secondary cannons. Many aliens were hiding in the hazy purple atmosphere of Monteux, waiting for their chance.
Blasts of caustic purple energy were cast into the incursion force, but Zeus-1 deftly avoided them all. Two patrol boats that had pulled ahead to clear the way were not so lucky. They knew the horror they were signing up for, but they volunteered to fight anyway.
When the human ships entered the atmosphere and began to shake, the aliens made their move. Wave after wave of purple blasts streaked past them. Ten patrol boats were instantly dissolved, until the corrosion reached their engine and caused them to explode.
Lan Jue scowled. The enemy was perversely clever, they didn’t engage the humans in open space instead attack them from the ground when they came in range. Without a doubt, what their telescopes had thought were humans were actually these monsters lying in wait. These evil bastards were smart.
Lan Jue saw the truth, but it was too late to change anything. His only option was to soldier on.
Just then a white light overtook their screens. At first it wasn’t intense, but it moved with incredible speed. It cut through the atmosphere like a hot knife through butter, and toward Monteux’s poisoned surface. Whatever purple energy came close was dissolved and dispersed.
“Admiral Lan Qing, call the patrol boats and battleships back from Monteux’s atmosphere. They’re dying in vain. Leave the incursion to us.” Lan Jue called out.