All the Dimensional Exploration team captains who were familiar with each other began to greet each other. Even if some of them used to have disagreements, everyone tried to laugh it off and reconcile with each other. Usually, these team leaders would argue or even fight each other during the process of snatching tasks and resources for their teams, but as long as they did not have deep hatred for each other, it was better to let those differences go in this special period of time.
After all, no one was absolutely confident of returning to the Holy City alive this time. The people that they could rely on the most during this battle would be the ones on this particular platform, that is, your comrades belonging to the same battalion. It was sort of impossible to rely on other teams to have your back, but it was necessary to at least maintain harmony on the surface and attempt to resolve all differences. This was to avoid getting backstabbed during battle.
These exploration teams had sent out at least two to three mini squadrons. The numbers were not fixed, but they were all basically between a dozen to twenty or so. The Wanderlust Team was definitely a special case. It merely consisted of nine people: Oscar, Feng, Small Eyes, Asher, Wang Zhong, Grai, Napier, Sharmie, and Mario. Although Scarlet had already joined the team, she couldn't decide where she would go during the battle.
Hale stared at them with a cold gaze from the side. The Oceanic Beasts certainly had a bone to pick with the Wanderlust Team. Although it was not considered a major feud, they couldn't stand each other since long ago. Previously, when Hale had taken a fancy to Sharmie and was resorting to underhanded means to get his way, he was c*ckblocked by Feng and Oscar. For this Holy Battle, the Oceanic Beasts had sent out their best soldiers. Hale alone was already leading three mini teams of 20 people. Although making money was the most important thing to do this time, he wouldn't mind getting rid of these eyesores from the Wanderlust Team if he had the chance. Oh right, he had to keep Sharmie alive. He had yet to get a taste of her!
At this time, more than four hundred people had already gathered on the platform, and several teams were gradually joining in. Suddenly, a huge group of dark figures could be seen in the distance.
"Oh hell, the Phantom Squadron is here."
"Tsk… This momentum…"
The Phantom Squadron was ranked third among the top 10 Dimensional Exploration teams. This was definitely a celebrity-like existence in the Dimension Hostel. The moment they came into view, it was a sea of bright silver. Most of the other teams had messy equipment and loose management, and thus, they were a far cry from this team. At the moment of the Phantom Squadron's appearance, they seemed like a legitimate well-trained battalion.
Their attire was all standardized, which was the Moratu Armor. There were 10 mini teams lined up in an orderly manner, and each team had 20 soldiers. As they marched over, their formation did not change one bit. This instantly made the 400 Holy Disciples who were currently on the platform feel ashamed of their own unseemliness as they were extremely disorganized in comparison.
The one leading the entire Phantom Squadron was the legendary Phantom King, Morad, the team captain. He was a man covered in a type of weird 'fog'. That fog was extremely weird. No one could see any real fog, yet his face was blurred out as if it was covered by something. He didn't wear the same armor as the rest of his team. Instead, he wore a black cloak, which sort of complemented his mysterious appearance.
"He's the captain of the Phantom Squadron. The Phantom King, Morad," whispered Oscar as he informed Wang Zhong of that guy's identity.
Holy Disciples rarely had their own titles, and therefore, gaining a title like Phantom King was no easy feat. How many powerful Teachers and Great Teachers were there in the Holy City? If a Holy Disciple dared to take on the word 'King' in his title, he had to have absolute strength to hold that title. The Phantom King, Morad, was obviously one who could hold his own. He was not only the captain of the Phantom Squadron but also one of the top 10 most famous Dimensional Devourers of the Dimensional Hostel.
In the beginning, all the team captains were trying to socialize with each other, but when the Phantom Squadron arrived, none of them dared to go up and try to talk to Morad. As the entire team walked up toward the platform, everyone automatically gave way to them.
It could be seen that Laura and Molton were in the ninth mini team, but obviously, there would not be a chance to talk to them in private now that they were part of such a well-trained team. Everyone else around them couldn't stop nattering about the team. It was clear that they were envious of their level of discipline.
Their timing was extremely accurate. Within a few minutes of the Phantom Squadron's arrival, a huge shadow shrouded the entire area. With a humming roar, a huge airship slowly landed on the platform.
Semi-mechanical airships like this were not just the products of alchemy. Their structures were rather complex. Alchemy mainly provided hardware support on the mechanical and firepower aspects as well as the overall framework. Other than alchemy, it also involved energy science, runic arrays, wards formations, and many other fields of study, according to the specific use of the airship. An airship was a combination of various forms of knowledge of the Holy City and could be regarded as a cutting-edge product of science and technology.
The huge airship in front of them at this moment was about forty meters long, nearly twenty meters wide, and was shaped like a sea ship.
It was a third-generation command ship, and it was not heavily armed. It was only equipped with two large runic cannons at its head. At the same time, there were dozens of mini cannons densely packed around the lower part of the airship. The firepower of the airship was not to be considered weak, but it was not a vessel suitable for offense. On the other hand, the ship's hull was extremely heavy and densely covered with countless runes and wards, clearly signaling that it was well-protected.
The role of the command ship was more of positioning in the midfield. It could also be considered the core of a particular squadron. On the side of the airship, the number "78" was engraved on it, which signified the service number of the warship.
Not to mention newcomers like Sharmie, even many of the old Holy Disciples barely had any experience with such an important combat airship. Now, looking at how huge the airship was and taking in the ship's grandness, all of them couldn't help but feel pumped for battle. A person seemed so insignificant in front of such a magnificent vessel; even Wang Zhong couldn't help but feel small as well. Seeing the countless runes and the toughness of the ship, he felt that even if he attacked with all his strength, it would be difficult to leave any mark on the ship's hull.
It wasn't until the ship landed safely that a cold voice sounded from above the ship. "What is this? It's a mess! Come up in an orderly manner!"
That was the voice of Great Teacher Sophia. At the same time, the lower hatch opened. While the other teams were still busy getting into formation, the Phantom Squadron had already proceeded into the airship under Morad's leadership.
Scarlet was standing beside Sofia, looking around from the top of the airship. As she scanned the entire crowd, she finally saw Wang Zhong and the rest of the Wanderlust Team. A smile appeared on her face, and she secretly waved to Wang Zhong.
Be it the Holy Battle or anything else, as long as he was there, Scarlet would feel at ease even if she was on the battlefield. She didn't mind facing difficulties and dangers, as long as there was hope.
Entering the ship from below, the surrounding buzzing noises became even louder. Wang Zhong had also read up on some information about the Holy City's warships during his recent preparations for war. Although he was not very proficient yet, he had a certain level of understanding, and thus, he knew that the buzzing was the sound of the ship's energy source and came from the bottom of the ship. The number of dimensional energy crystals used to mobilize the army this time was definitely an astronomical figure. To put it bluntly, a war was basically a fight for resources.
In addition, there were specific people in charge of the weapons and equipment on the four sides of the cabin. There was also an isolated gunboat cabin, and in the middle was the resting room for the ship's personnel.
Everyone headed directly to the ship's deck to await further instructions from Great Teacher Sophia, but she wasn't the kind to bother herself with such trivial matters. Among all these exploration teams, probably only the Phantom King Morad and his Phantom Squadron were deemed fit to interact with her as they would make up the main force of her army.
The Phantom Squadron got a special cabin to themselves, whereas the other teams were randomly assigned. No one dared to question the allocation as they knew that the Phantom Squadron would have to do all the heavy work once they landed. The other teams were probably there for show or at most, to handle the trivial matters. They were definitely not at the same level.
It didn't take much time for the allocation to be done. The Wanderlust Team was sent to the cabin on the second floor and took their places there. There was only one seat for each person. This was not a holiday flight. Everyone sat properly and fastened their seatbelts. The flight would definitely not be stable and would be a long one. Of course, compared to the upcoming battle, this loneliness was nothing. With that, the lower hatch closed, and with a loud mechanical sound, the command ship began to lift off and slowly ascended into the skies.
It was the first time everyone boarded such a large combat ship. At this time, they couldn't help but feel excited. There were four windows in the cabin, and everyone stretched their necks to get a view. Currently, the morning sun was hanging from the sky, and the skies were clear. As the ship took off, it could be seen from the window that there were 10 airships around the same size as the No. 78 command ship taking off at the same time as well. After which, all of them gathered towards the outside of the Holy City before suddenly shooting into the sky. From the window, one could see the streets of the Holy City gradually becoming smaller and eventually turning into a sweeping view of the entire Holy City.
Now, the huge army and fleet of aircraft that Wang Zhong saw at the periphery of the Holy City had already left, making the outside of the city seem empty. Although there were airships rising non-stop from all parts of the Holy City, it seemed as though the number of airships was far from enough. The Trust Aircraft carrier was nowhere to be seen as well.
It wasn't until the command ship rose to a certain height that buzzing sounds could be heard from above. All of a sudden, the surrounding skies were filled with dark shadows. It turned out that they were surrounded by countless buzzing warships. It seemed the army had already begun to assemble in the air long ago.
Currently, they were positioned in the middle of the countless airships. Currently, eight 10-man mini combat airships could be seen hovering around the No. 78 command ship. The center of this entire airship formation in the skies was made up of more than ten command ships.
"Guys! Look!" exclaimed Sharmie as she excitedly pointed at the window.
At the direction of her finger, there were a dozen heavy airships that were two to three times larger than their command ship.
"That's a Macedon-class spaceship. It's a heavy firepower unit. It's not very versatile, but it has stronger firepower and heavier protection. It should be the mainstay combat unit among the Trust Aircraft carrier fleet." Feng was rather familiar with this aspect. "But it's not really a big deal. Now, lean back a little and look further back," said Feng, smiling.
Not only Sharmie, even Grai, who was always the least curious among them, couldn't help tilting his head. He rubbed the window and looked behind, only to see a huge dark shadow looming over the large group of combat ships, even the cruise-ship-like Macedon-class spaceship!
"The Trust Aircraft carrier." Even though Wang Zhong had seen it before long ago, but when he saw it again, he still marveled at the sight of it. It was the product of the latest and best technology in the Holy City, a result of the best alchemy techniques and packed with the most powerful wards. It was so majestic that it could not be described in words. Additionally, the endless fleet of warships in the air left everyone in awe as well.
"The big guys are all behind. Not to mention the Trust Aircraft, the energy ships, transport ships, and all the others behind are actually bigger than the patrol ships."
"I've seen the so-called historical warfare video of the Federation where they conquered Dimensional Secret Realms," said Grai with emotion. "They also had warships. But seriously, compared to this, it's like child's play…"
"Earth's Federation really can't hold a candle to the Holy City." If the difference in power wasn't obvious enough after entering the Holy Land, the Holy Battle this time directly made everyone feel the huge gap.
The fleet of airships had fully assembled in the air. There were a total of two Trust Aircraft carriers, and they were both positioned in the middle of the fleet.
This was the fleet led by Sacred Teacher Leyson, which would account for half of their total battle strength. As for Sacred Teacher Timo, he had already set out the previous day. The plan was to split up and attack the Mizobudapi Phoenix World from two different coordinates.
At this time, the roars from the surrounding ships' energy cores kept growing louder before the huge fleet finally began to move. As the first warship suddenly sped up, everyone was still looking around and admiring this grand scene. With that, a strong pushing force suddenly struck, catching everyone near the window by surprise and making them lose their balance. The scenery outside could no longer be seen as it turned into a stream of light as the airship rushed forward at top speed.
Toward coordinate 389243.238672 of the Fifth Dimension.
It had been almost a year since the last CHF competition, and the CHF's regional competition had officially kicked off. With all eyes on the Tianjing Squadron, it did not produce miraculous results, unlike the previous year's batch. It merely won third place in their region.
A bus of the Tianjing Academy slowly parked at the school's gates. On the bus was the Tianjing Squadron which had just returned from the regional competition.
As they looked out from the bus window, the empty school gates dampened everyone's spirits…
At this time, a soft voice could be heard. "Captain Barran, will Captain Wang Zhong be disappointed in us if he knew about our results?"
David, the most talented little genius among all the newcomers this year, had given up his invitation to Copperfield City to come to Tianjing. He was a die-hard fan of Wang Zhong. Even though he knew that Wang Zhong would not return to the Tianjing Academy, his determination to stay in Tianjing was unaffected. He had vowed to protect the 'glory' Wang Zhong fought so hard for! This time, David played a vital role in getting the third position of the regional competition.
However, getting third meant that he had failed to live up to his word. As such, he could not take it lying down.
Barran, who had become the captain, stepped in front of them, turned around to face his team, and said, "I don't know if Captain Wang Zhong will be disappointed, but I do know one thing. Captain Wang Zhong never gave up. Last year, our Tianjing Squadron had also never been a strong team. Do you guys know how many times we stumbled? Every time I, Hymin, and Scarlet said that we were giving up, only Captain Wang Zhong didn't. That was why we could make a comeback over and over again. Others said that we were dark horses and had concealed our abilities, but in fact, our team really only depended on three words, Never Give Up."
Having said that, Barran smiled again. His gaze swept over everyone's faces, and he saw the smile on Hymin's face, David's indignance, and everyone else deep in thought. "I know that no one is waiting for us outside now, but we, the Tianjing Squadron, no matter whether anyone is watching us or not, none of us are losers! Everyone, cheer up and get off the bus!"
Barran was the first to get off the bus. All of a sudden, there was a loud 'bang'. Countless voices echoed over the entire sky, just like how waves sounded during a high tide. Students began to rush out from all directions! The originally empty school gates instantly became crowded.
"We are from Tianjing! Till death do us part!"
"Let's go, Tianjing Squadron! Let's go, Senior Brother Barran! Let's go, Senior Sister Hymin!"
"I love you, Senior Sister Hymin!"
The entire Tianjing Squadron stood dumbfounded in front of the school gates. During the ride back, they had mentally prepared themselves for all kinds of situations, including cynicism and tauntings, etc. However, they never thought that this would be the case.
Although Barran put up a strong front, he was definitely not ready for this. Over this period of time, he had learned how to be a captain, but to be honest, he knew that he did not have Wang Zhong's abilities. When he had chosen to stay, his bottom line was that he would not abandon the Tianjing spirit.
However, reality was often crueler than one could imagine. Barran's eyes turned a little wet. He finally understood that although Wang Zhong had already left Tianjing, the Tianjing fighting spirit he ignited still existed, and it was not about to dissipate anytime soon.
Obviously, they couldn't hold any celebration for this kind of achievement. A dynasty could not be established overnight. The departure of the mainstays definitely symbolized the imminent fall of Tianjing, and it was impossible for Barran and Hymin to turn the tides.
Frankly speaking, when Barran had given up his chance to move forward, they were already people of two different worlds.
"What do you think Wang Zhong, Scarlet, and the others are doing in the Holy Land now?"
Barran scratched his head. After he became the captain of the Tianjing Squadron, he rarely did this action anymore. He would only do so in this kind of situation and in front of Hymin. "Captain is strong. Regardless of where he goes, he will be able to make a name for himself. This was the case in Tianjing, and it was the same when he led us to the CHF. I think that one day, they will come back. All of them will."
Hymin blinked and said while sighing, "Maybe they will. If they come back, they would already be immortals. As for us, you will be an old man, and I'll be an old lady. Do you regret it? If you had followed them to the Holy Land, maybe you could have been immortal as well, and you can meet better women than m—"
Before Hymin could finish her words, Barran reached out, pulled her into his arms, and held her tightly against his chest, as though he wanted her to become one with him. "Then, I'm a fool. Being able to grow old with you is my greatest happiness in life!"
Hymin's eyes instantly became wet, and she hugged Barran's big head tightly. "Next time, whoever tells me again that you are dense will get whacked to death by me!" said Hymin fiercely.
Barran had learned to sweet talk… Who had taught him that? However… Hymin's heart must be blooming with happiness because right after that, she softly kissed Barran's lips.
Barran remained stunned until Hymin pried his lips open with her tongue. It wasn't until then that he learned how to use the same tricks to deal with her mouth…
Dark clouds were blown over, covering the moonlight. It was as though the moon was being shy, making the entire earth covered in darkness.
After a long time, Hymin's contented and faint voice could be heard in the dark. "I will definitely live longer than you. You won't know how to live without me."
"I've thought about it. Captain is so powerful. When they come back, we might not necessarily be old yet… Ahh! Why did you whack my head?"
"You fool! Bloody fool!"
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