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Green Ridge County was a country where the population lied in the tens of millions. However, it is nothing compared to a huge country like the Qinshen dynasty, whose population was in billions.
There was no royal palace here, just a County Chief, a leader who would safeguard the interests of the people here.
The Green Ridge County was situated thousands of miles away from the Qinshen dynasty, at an awkward place. Even though there were tons of resources available here, they were subject to many hidden risks as well.
On the left of the country was the Torrential River, and on the right, a danger ground.
The usually calm and peaceful Green Ridge County was in a frenzy today. On those streets, residents were hurriedly keeping and packing their belongings while the streets were lined with armored guards. All of them were holding weapons, as those solemn faces of theirs brought about a look of worry as well.
This was no invasion, nor was it due to natural disasters. This was the decennial Beast Stampede.
Green Ridge County had existed for hundreds of years. Even though these residents who had been staying in had naturally come up with ways of defending against the beasts, things were different this time round.
"Sir…the residents are evacuating really slowly. We may not make it in time." A guard keeping watch above the surrounding walls commented with worry.
This guard was at precelestial full cultivation. Without the guidance of a system or any a.s.sistance of any sort, for a mere citizen to attain such a cultivation base was pretty decent. After all, all he could depend on was himself.
"We must ensure the safety of these residents." Beside the guard stood a stern looking middle-aged man.
This man was the County Chief.
Pericelestial Lower Level.
"Sir, your subject here does not understand. Just when are the reinforcements from the major sects arriving?" Officer Xiao Lie asked.
"They have arrived." The County Chief’s eyes were filled with some helplessness.
"They’re here? That’s great! We have a great chance of defending against this beast stampede then!" Xiao Lie’s face was overwhelmed with hope.
"Xiao Lie…we may not be able to defend Green Ridge County… You have to leave with the other residents…I will stay here and defend until the end with the other officers." County Chief Xiao Lihai said.
Xiao Lie’s face changed. He could tell that something was amiss. He had been with the County Chief for tens of years after all. From the tone of his voice, Xiao Lie could tell a sense of resignation within it. It was as though the County Chief had already accepted the death to come.
Xiao Lihai waved his hands dismissively, revealing a face of cruel irony. "When those sect members found out that the beast stampede this time round was different from the past years…they scurried back to their sects, protecting their own lives."
"How could that be?! County Chief!? Don’t they have anyone strong amidst them?!?" Xiao Lie cried out in shock.
"Do you really think that they would bother protecting mere mortals like us? Every single time a beast stampede occurred, the disciples that came were all just mediocre and average. Now that the beasts are about to unleash a rampage on us, it isn’t something those disciples can handle. Thus, they’ve all scurried back for their own safety. As for the strong people within the sects, they couldn’t care less about this." Xiao Lihai said in mockery of himself.
This was their fate.
They did not know why, but the beast stampedes only grew stronger over the years.
And just then, a loud boom rang across from the distance.
The earth shook, and the skies changed color.
All of these residents evacuating let out an alarmed look.
"The…beast stampede is coming!"
"The stampede’s coming! Those ahead, hurry up! Go!"
"You, over here! Escort these residents out through the Southern gate! Detour if the paths are flooded!" Xiao Lie ordered a soldier by the side sternly.
"County Chief. We belong to the county. If the county lives, we live. And we die when the county dies." Xiao Lie said resolutely.
"Very well…very well. Everyone prepare your fire arrows! Watch out for the aerial attacks!" Xiao Lihai commanded calmly. Even though he did not have the utmost confidence in holding back the onslaught of the beast stampede, he would still fight to the death. If he could ensure the safety of all the residents, then it would all be worth it…
Looking at the raging sandstorm created by the rampaging beasts, the soldiers standing guard on the walls stood firmly and resolutely.
"Brothers! Attention! Even though these b.a.s.t.a.r.ds are strong, unity is strength! Together, there is no victory we cannot take!" Xiao Lihai rallied.
"No victory we cannot take!" The soldiers echoed in unison.
The beasts dashed furiously from a distance. No one knew how the beast stampede was formed or created. But the one thing everyone knew was that as long as there was a human settlement, these stampedes would form to attack. It was as though they were bent on exterminating all humans.
Furthermore, there seemed to be some higher authority commanding them. For example, Green Ridge County was a small place. Hence, the beast stampedes that came were all small. However, as time pa.s.sed by, the stampedes grew in numbers. It was as though they had a personal vendetta against Green Ridge County, and they wouldn’t rest until it was destroyed completely.
"FIRE!" Xiao Lihai who was observing the situation keenly commanded.
The skies were filled with flames as the arrows flew like a blanket towards the beast stampede.
When the arrow rain struck the beasts, the clean, crisp sound of them hitting against armor rang through the air. But there was no damage at all to their thick hides.
However, each and every one of those arrows was burning with flames, hence engulfing the land in a sea of fire.
Some of the beasts with lower cultivation bases started howling in pain due to the raging flames. But those with higher cultivation bases disregarded the flames entirely and continued rampaging forth.
"Watch the skies!"
Just then, a large number of shadows covered the skies as flying beasts flew towards them.
As time pa.s.sed by, the defense against these beasts had reached its peak.
Just then, the soldier who was in charge of escorting the residents out came running back frantically, "Sir! Sir! Things are not going well! The Torrential River is filled with beasts as well, and they have destroyed our boats!"
Xiao Lihai turned around in shock after chopping off the head of an eagle beast. He was filled with disbelief.
His face then turned grim, ‘That’s it. This is it. We are done for.’
The residents in the county who were surrounded by the beasts were crying, wailing, and praying. In the face of death, everyone has lost their wits and wills.
Those richer merchants also sat on top of their troves of treasures and valuables, crying helplessly.
"County Chief, look over there!"
Just then, Xiao Lie pointed over to the distance and shouted out.
The beasts stood aside to make way for a path in between them. A beast in the form of a human strode through. It was like a fire demon, as tall as the county’s walls. Eight fiery tails danced behind him as those bloodshot eyes were filled with flames burning furiously.
The humanoid beast roared with wrath. The sonic boom was so strong that all the soldiers on the walls knelt down while covering their ears in pain and writhing.
Looking at the scene before him, Xiao Lihai gave up every single strand of hope. This beast wasn’t something they could deal with. This situation had far exceeded his expectations entirely.
Based on the records of the beast stampedes for the past few hundred years, the strongest beast that had appeared was at the pericelestial cultivation base.
But by the aura of this beast, one could tell that he was way beyond that. Could he be a lesser celestial just like those G.o.dly beings in the sects?
Xiao Lihai’s body trembled at the sight of this beast and turned back to look at his wailing residents, gripping his fists tightly in indignance.
With every step the beast took, the earth reverberated and everyone’s heart trembled. Those sharp teeth of it gleamed brightly under the glare of the sun, chilling everyone to the bone.
"County Chief, we’ve tried our best…" Xiao Lie’s body was covered with wounds. He had escaped death’s door once too many times, and this time round, it was finally his loss.
But Xiao Lie’s heart was filled with indignance. Why did those sects leave them to die just like that? Just one single master and it would be enough to wipe out these beasts.
Among the billions of people of Dongling Continent, Green County Ridge was just a speck of dust. Even if they were to disappear, no one would notice.
After all, they were just a bunch of mere mortals.
Just when everyone had lost all hope, a weird object came flying from the skies along with a sigh.
Shocked, everyone raised their heads to that boundless sky. Looking towards the distant, Xiao Lihai evidently got emotional.
‘That is…that is…’