Chapter 148: Being Ready
Translator: WQL Editor: DarkGem
The outer castle of the Wild Wolf Castle was in chaos. When the Temporary Supervision Committee declared that they would open the barracks and allow the students to live in there, many people became busy moving their belongings.
This was an emergency countermeasure. Besides opening the barracks to the students, the Temporary Supervision Committee even opened the reserve materials' warehouse and allocated the war reserves to students. Every student would obtain an emergency rescue kit and two days' worth of standard military dried rations. The Temporary Supervision Committee declared that from today on, the Wild Wolf Castle would implement food allotment system. All students attending this survival training would be able to obtain some rations each day at a certain time.
In order to respond to emergencies, the Temporary Supervision Committee soon issued a series of measures that brought tension to the entire Wild Wolf Castle.
From today on, female students could only move in the Wild Wolf Castle. They could freely access the inner castle and the outer castle. However, without the approval of the teachers of the Temporary Supervision Committee, no female student was allowed to leave the Wild Wolf Castle. Realizing this was a protective measure for the female students, nobody protested it.
Everyone knew that when the war truly broke out, women that had less power to protect themselves would be easily hurt and violated. This was especially so when the surroundings of the castle were brimming with 100,000-200,000 soldiers of the Norman Empire.
Nobody dared to be careless at this moment. If female students were still allowed to go out of the Wild Wolf Castle at this moment, even if a small squad of soldiers were patrolling or executing missions nearby, they would bring disaster to them. Nobody would allow the girls to risk something like that happening.
When girls were restricted to moving only in the Wild Wolf Castle, many boys begun to strive to join the contingent of on-duty students which had expanded more than 10 times. Previously, there were less than 40 on-duty students under the direct guidance of the Temporary Supervision Committee. But right now, the contingent had been expanded to 500 people, who took charge of the defense of the Wild Wolf Castle under the guidance of the Temporary Supervision Committee.
After joining the on-duty contingent, the animals all became highly spirited. Especially since everybody received a whole new set of protective equipment, armor, and weapons from the reserves of the Wild Wolf Castle. Soon after that happened, people in new light armor, which was produced in Blackhot City, could be seen everywhere around the castle.
For some reason, Zhang Tie always felt that the guys wandering around with their new weapons looked like they were sharing booty before facing an incoming disaster.
'Hopefully it's just my imagining,' Zhang Tie mumbled inwardly.
Besides the main boiler in the Castle, all the six sub-steam-boilers that were responsible for ground defense of the Wild Wolf Castle had been heated. The social recluses in the iron-melting workshop also became busy. Peter's group were assigned with a heavy task. They were ordered to supervise the normal running of the sub-boilers. Many animals were recruited to the boiler room.
Unexpectedly, those guys of Gods' Bliss Association asked to do all the most dirty and tiresome coal shoveling work in the boiler room, winning themselves the Temporary Supervision Committee's great praise.
Half an hour after the sub-boilers were heated up, the first steam ballista platform started running. Captain Kerlin then carried out the first trial shot. It was an over 2-m long metal bolt shot directly out of the mouth of the ballista, which hit a big tree as thick as a girl's waist 300 m away. The tree broke and fell on impact.
When Captain Kerlin was trying out the steam ballista, all the boys were standing on the walls of the outer castle while all the girls stood on raised platforms and next to high windows of the inner castle. They all stretched their necks, intending to enjoy the effect of the heavy steam-drive city-defense weapon which represented the highest level of human ingenuity in this age.
Seeing that great bolt fly for several hundreds of meters, directly hit the big tree, and break it, everybody cheered up and felt somewhat reassured.
It was also Zhang Tie's first time seeing the power of these city-defense weapons. Like others, he was convinced by the amazing power it possessed.
When Captain Kerlin finished testing the steam ballista, the sun had almost set down. Head count started then. Seeing the rising red smoke from the Wild Wolf Castle, all the students came back including Blues whose whereabouts were unknown to everyone.
However, Glaze still hadn't come back yet.
When Zhang Tie came back in the morning, besides the members of the Brotherhood and the guys of the Gods' Bliss Association, Glaze's three lackeys—Sharon, Zuhair, and Garner— had also noticed his arrival. That sight made the three people a bit surprised and agitated.
Zhang Tie noticed their expressions at that moment. Only after glancing over them briefly, he knew that they had known about Glaze's plans. After waiting for so long and yet seeing Zhang Tie come back instead of their leader, they had to be thinking of all possibilities.
When the head count finished and Glaze still hadn't shown up, the three people's faces filled with fear when they saw Zhang Tie once again. However, the latter looked as calm as before, not paying them a single glance.
Since Zhang Tie came back to the Wild Wolf Castle, he had not seen any girls walking out of the inner castle. He heard that all of them were forbidden to leave the inner castle once the red smoke had risen up. Teachers from the several national female middle schools were comforting them inside and imparting them some necessary knowledge and matters needing attention during war.
When he was standing on the wall of the outer castle, Zhang Tie thought he saw the shadows of Pandora, Alice, and Beverly standing on the platform of the inner castle. This led to Zhang Tie missing them more by the second, like how male wolves had missed the female wolves on the Crescent Prairie the past few days.
If you had no experienced with life or death situations, you would never know how precious life is!
After seeing the trial shooting, when the girls were still standing on the high platforms or next to windows, Zhang Tie suddenly decided to do something impulsive. He ran downward the wall at his fastest speed, passed the space between the outer castle and the inner castle, and finally arrived below the towers of where the girls lived.
When an old virgin standing at the entrance of the inner castle saw Zhang Tie rushing inside jubilantly, she stared at him icily. But before she could open her mouth, intending to scold Zhang Tie, unexpectedly, he stopped by her side and raised his head towards the towers above them.
"Pandora, Alice, and Beverly, I'm back..."
Zhang Tie's voice was much louder than a normal person's. Although it wasn't akin to a thunder, his exclamation was at least as loud as a pack of wolves howling; it shocked the entire Wild Wolf Castle.
After hearing the call, all the girls inside the inner castle bustled, moving to stretch their heads out of the windows and high platforms to see who was shouting so loudly below. Not only girls, even boys cast amazed looks at Zhang Tie; they had never seen such a blatant guy before.
"Pandora, Alice, Beverly, I miss you everyday, I miss you all everyday..."
Seeing the three girls show their heads from the high platforms of the inner castle, Zhang Tie became more excited.
The three girls had never imagined that Zhang Tie could express his longing for them in front of so many people below the building of the inner castle. They then waved at him, wishing they could say something in reply. However, since they were too high up, Zhang Tie could never hear them, so they didn't utter a sound.
The moment the aged woman with an icy expression stood up, ready to scold Zhang Tie, she was immediately stunned by what he was saying...
"I found some wild mulberry seeds in the Crescent Prairie..." Zhang Tie exclaimed, continuing to shout loudly. "My mom said that wild mulberry seeds can make girls' hair more beautiful. Therefore, I brought them here for you. I will throw them up to you..."
After saying that, Zhang Tie retreated several steps back. He then pulled out a small cloth bag and tried his best to throw it up to the girls with his eyes fixed on where they were.
Nobody could imagine that Zhang Tie would be able throw a bag to such a high place. Under the gazes of numerous girls and boys, he positioned the pouch in his hand and then with great precision threw it up to the 40 m high windowsill from which Pandora, Alice, and Beverly were looking down.
This was too precise!
After throwing the bag to them, Zhang Tie waved at them and quickly ran away with jubilation evident in his steps...
At this moment, seeing Zhang Tie's happy look, all the girls, including that woman with an icy expression at the entrance of the gate were silent. All of them were thinking about an identical scene: a youth attending a loner's survival training, seeing a patch of wild mulberry seeds, which reminded him of their hair. So that youth packed those black mulberry seeds and put the bag close to his chest in his coat. When he saw them, he would hand it to them. Even if he could not see them, the youth would still feel no fear of being stared at by thousands of eyes as he stood in front of the tall tower where they were in and expressed his longing for them loudly...
From a windowsill of a tall tower in the inner castle, Miss Qili suddenly thought back to something when she saw Zhang Tie and slowly let out a sigh.
In the tall tower, Pandora, Alice, and Beverly were deeply moved, their eyes fixed on the roughly sewn cloth bag and the heavy black mulberry seeds inside.
The cloth bag was made from Zhang Tie's shirt. The three girls noticed it immediately when they saw the bag. There were even obvious blood stains on the threads of the white linen. Seeing that, they imagined how Zhang Tie had clumsily injured his fingers when he sew the cloth bag.
"Pandora, Beverly, I beg you, please give him to me!"
Alice raised her watery eyes and stared at Pandora and Beverly seriously.
"I've told you, he's mine. No matter how many women he would have, he's mine..."
Pandora shook her head.
"We're still young, why not be absurd and share him at this time. Maybe when we're old, our actions now could be reminiscent about for the rest of our lives!" Moving the cloth bag with the black mulberry seeds inside close to her nose, Beverly took a deep breath. "There's his smell on it!"
At this time, Blackhot City was in an extreme fear as the Norman Empire's army was arriving in endless numbers in an overwhelming manner. Before the people in Blackhot City realized what was happening, the four city walls had already been tightly besieged by the Norman Empire's army.
Soon after, Blackhot City became an isolated island. Several representatives ruling the Coal, Steel, and Iron Federation immediately came to the Norman Empire's commanding barrack to ask for an audience with the commander. However, the person who met them was not the commander of the Norman Empire's army, but a young lieutenant.
Those representatives didn't even get to come close to the commanding vehicle of the Norman Empire's Army. Instead, they were held back outside that iron wall built in the wild. Standing on the ground under the sky, they met a solemn military officer of the enemy army.
"Commander Schneider ordered me to tell you three things: first, you still have the chance to surrender yourselves. If you surrender during the period from now to the time when the first ray of sunlight shines onto Blackhot City, all the members of the seven clans dominating the Coal, Steel, and Iron Federation will survive. You will also preserve your own properties; second, if you don't surrender during this period, after the sunrise tomorrow, we will break into Blackhot City.
"When the city walls are broken, all 1139 people of your seven clans will be killed, not one will be left alive. And third, the first clan to open the city gates to welcome the arrival of the Norman Empire's army will be seen as our friend.
"After toppling all the other clans, this clan then could choose to inherit the properties of any one of the other clans in the city." Saying this, the solemn lieutenant glanced over the representatives of Blackhot City. "Although commander Schneider would always like to fight ferociously, as we are all humans, I can tell you the news that several hours ago the Brilliant Feathers Army of Sun Dynasty have already passed the borderline between it and the Andaman Alliance..."
Hearing the three requests, and especially the latest news, the two representatives of Blackhot City immediately turned pale and returned into their vehicles, rushing back to the City.
Eventually, while the Wild Wolf Castle was still concerned about the situation in Blackhot City, the Coal, Steel, and Iron Federation had already told everybody using their own actions that an isolated city like Blackhot City could only stand for four hours under the lightning-fast attack of the Norman Empire's army. They didn't resist even for a night.
Four hours after Blackhot City was besieged, it surrendered. At the same time, the news that Lance City, another city of Andaman Alliance, was taken over by the Brilliant Feathers drifted over.
In one day, the great Andaman Alliance had been split into two pieces: one in the south and one in north, by the Norman Empire and the Sun Dynasty who were now in the middle...