It had been around 40 minutes since the large protective shield called Retribution Guard was activated under the direct orders of Colonel Roman Valeryevich of the Russian faction.
During the past forty minutes, the Transcendent faction and the New Russia did not have any direct confrontation. In fact, except for insulting gestures and taunts made by the Russian army toward the Chinese soul evolvers both sides had not had the slightest of exchanges.
"It seems that this energy shield is capable of repelling physical and magical attacks alike." Shangguan Bing Xue stood with Bai Zemin and Wu Yijun at the top of the almost completely flattened mountain and looked off into the distance as the strong wind that sounded like wolf howls blew her hair.
"It also seems that those inside can't attack or else they would have already done so. They haven't even fired a gun or shot a single arrow even though we're right in front of them." Wu Yijun's cute face had a slight frown that exposed her worries as she spoke her thoughts.
Bai Zemin nodded silently. He had already drawn the same conclusions as the two beauties beside him.
In fact, the energy shield that the Russians were using also had another advantage, and that was the fact that the attacks would definitely repel after hitting. It didn't matter if it was the Ice Arrow skill or the Lightning Bomb skill, nor did it matter if it was the Stampede or Flaming Sword Slash skill; all attacks, physical or magical, would definitely be returned to the one who launched it.
Most annoying of all was that the power with which the attack was returned was slightly stronger compared to that of the soul evolver that launched it. For example, if a soul evolver had 7000 total magical power points and used all their power to activate the skill Wind Blade, the skill would return with 8000 magical power points after hitting the energy shield of the enemy.
After a long silence, Bai Zemin asked to the air, "Any opinions on this?"
This time both Shangguan Bing Xue and Wu Yijun kept silent. Both knew that Bai Zemin's question was not directed at either of them.
Indeed, a gentle gust of wind blew followed by another, and soon, two figures appeared standing not far away. Both had large raven wings on their backs, females so beautiful that even Shangguan Bing Xue had to admit in her heart that she was inferior despite all that her physical appearance and Charm had increased since she began to evolve.
The gap was no longer as great as in the past, though.
"From the point of view of any soul evolver below the Fifth Order and while this shield is probably among the best there is for defense, it also has its obvious disadvantages." Lilith looked at the large protective dome and said calmly, "As little sister Yijun correctly pointed out, it seems to be that those inside cannot attack to the outside. This may be due to two reasons mainly."
She looked at Bai Zemin and said with a faint smile, "You definitely already know those two reasons so I will save you the time of listening to me."
Bai Zemin nodded.
In fact, he had already thought about it and had figured out two reasons why those inside the energy dome could not attack. However, he still stuck with the first reason, which was the most plausible one.
"If they attack, despite being inside, it is probable that the shield will absorb that power and bounce it back inside."
Fire Sorrow nodded at Bai Zemin's words while pointing out, "Another important thing is that while it is true that attacks are returned with more force compared to when they are launched, the power consumption of this shield increases exponentially at those instances. It seems that the two features of this shield, meaning defense and counterattack, consume energy individually. This means that the shield consumes energy to contain each attack and to return them consumes twice as much."
"That's right." Lilith nodded. She looked at Bai Zemin curiously as she slowly said, "But, more importantly... Zemin, these enemies of yours are almost done moving everything so you should hurry."
"Ah?" Bai Zemin immediately looked at her in astonishment, "What do you mean by that?"
Move everything? To where? How?
In order to prevent the enemy from escaping, Bai Zemin had ordered everyone who had flying mutant beasts as their mounts to spread out all over the sky. This way, even if the enemies wanted to escape using some other gate, they would definitely be caught in time.
Lilith contemplated her next words for a moment before carefully saying, "Remember the ruins you found? That place where you got the Sky Destroyer and everything else."
Bai Zemin's pupils shrank fiercely as an extremely terrifying thought flashed through his head.
Lilith continued, "Leaving aside the Sky Destroyer and a few thousand weapons, all you got in those ruins were books, a few pills, and blacksmithing equipment. Basically, leaving aside the Sky Destroyer and the few Electromagnetic Rifles, most of the stuff you and your faction got are items that will slowly increase your strength rather than being of immediate obvious advantage... But these Russians are quite the opposite."
To apply the knowledge from the books obtained in the library of those ruins required time. This was true whether it was for books on agriculture, construction, or political structure; everything needed time, months at least for the Transcendent faction to show changes and improvements.
As for blacksmithing equipment, one needed to work for many hours and even days or months to finish a good piece of equipment. It was not as if having those good quality blacksmithing pieces was enough to forge a good piece of equipment; without the blacksmith's skill all one would get would be trash as a result.
Now, if the Russians were all the opposite it meant that they had found ruins, dug them up, and thus obtained artifacts that immediately boosted their faction's strength to new heights.
"Damn it!" Bai Zemin cursed aloud as he realized what was happening.
He felt like plunging a dagger into his chest as he realized that he had made a huge mistake by allowing his troops to slowly wear down the energy of the enemy energy shield. Bai Zemin had thought to have them locked in and they wouldn't be able to get out anyway, so to increase the bloodlust of his army and make the enemy even more chicken he decided to toy with them.
He was not angry with Lilith for not telling him something so important earlier. This was because Bai Zemin understood that she was limited just like Fire Sorrow; she could not give him such an important indication early because it would greatly affect the fate of the war, and therefore she waited until the last moment since the Soul Record would probably have no complaints.
If he had known earlier that the Russians had such advanced technology he would have charged immediately instead of waiting!
Unfortunately, Lider's thinking got in the way, and wanting to let his army that had been enduring and containing his anger for all these days, Bai Zemin never thought of crushing everything immediately.
Only now did Bau Zemin understand how important his mistake was!
If the Russian troops were finishing moving everything elsewhere just as Lilith said before despite not having left the city it could only mean one thing.
"Don't tell me... Teleportation? Is it some kind of teleport gate?" Wu Yijun said in amazement as she too had realized how mind-blowing the situation was.
If the enemy had obtained some kind of technology that allowed them to teleport then it would be really bad for the Transcendent faction. This was by far one of the most terrifying magical technologies in existence and also one of the most coveted.
Even Bai Zemin's group had no way to close distances. They had to move by air, sea, or land, wasting huge amounts of time to move resources and personnel back and forth; even risking lives in the process... But if they could have a gate connecting two distant places together things would be very different and everything would become way easier!
Bai Zemin did not reply to Wu Yijun but activated Shadow Control. His shadow turned into a pair of ash-gray wings, and with a loud flapping sound that sent great gusts of snow flying everywhere, he launched himself into the sky like a missile.
On top of the tallest building in the city within the walls, Colonel Roman Valeryevich frowned as he saw the young enemy leader suddenly make a move. Although he despised a young man like Bai Zemin since young men were always too proud of every little achievement to the point where they could not see the reality in front of them, Roman Valeryevich was a man who had experienced many things in his life; and his instinct as a veteran soldier was something that even some of the strongest soul evolvers did not have.
Looking at the large star-shaped mechanism from which the great pillar of sky-colored light shot skyward to shape the giant dome, Roman Valeryevich frowned even harder as he noticed that the five Third Order Soul Stones had already lost all their power and the Fourth Order Soul Stone was slowly wearing down.
The old Colonel grabbed his radio from his waist and said in a hoarse voice, "Yanovich, how long until you finish moving all the stuff to the other side?"
A few seconds later followed by the sound of static, Nil Yanovich's voice rang out from the Russian Colonel's radio.
"Colonel Roman, we need another 20 minutes to finish-"
"I'm afraid that Chinese brat won't give us that much time." Roman Valeryevich cut him off. His eyes fell on that winged figure in the sky, and though he couldn't hear what that person was saying he seemed quite anxious to finish something. "Yanovich, leave the rest behind and start the evacuation of our men first."
"What?!" The astonished and incredulous voice of a Nil Yanovich who couldn't believe what he was hearing reached the old Colonel's ears.
"Colonel Roman! We've used all the time we've spent to move the teleport gate core to the other side! We still need the next 20 minutes to get the equipment out and destroy all the development data!"
A year of effort impossible to describe as well as the death of several thousand not to mention the colossal amount of extremely valuable and difficult to obtain resources; this was the price the Russian faction had to pay in exchange for developing the magic technology that allowed them to teleport using the one core they discovered from those ruins left behind from ancient times.
Colonel Roman Valeryevich's heart bled deeply at the thought of all the hardships his country had to go through to obtain, understand through arduous studies, and the subsequent extremely costly development of the Retribution Guard and the teleportation gate.
However, Roman Valeryevich had learned in the war against the United States in the North that the most important thing was to be patient and wait for the right moment before making any kind of decision that could put one's life in danger. One needed to live before anything else, and if one could reach the same point without risking one's life then so much the better.
"Yanovich, carry out my command immediately. This is an order."
Nil Yanovich said nothing for a short two seconds before his voice filled with difficulty sounded again.
Although Nil Yanovich didn't understand why the Colonel was giving an order like that, he too had been a soldier even before the apocalypse. It was in his system to obey the orders of his superiors, and in his heart, he knew that Roman Valeryevich was a man of pure Russian blood willing to sacrifice himself for the tomorrow of his land so Nil did not believe that his Colonel was thinking badly for the country.
Roman Valeryevich dropped his radio to the ground as he said to himself, "It's nothing. We'll let them have those things temporarily and soon in the future they'll have to cough them back up whether they like it and want it or not."
Even if the Chinese faction got their hands on the information and equipment needed to develop teleport gates and energy shields, Roman Valeryevich was confident they would need at least 6 months to get anywhere. Besides, they were invading Russia so that information would hardly reach China until their Leader returned home.
A bloodthirsty smile that once made his enemies on the battlefield tremble appeared on the old Colonel's face as he looked at the flash of crimson light beginning to blaze on the enemy Leader's right hand.
"None of you will return home. You will soon turn to dust!"
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