Paul Celestine continued firing, emersed in his own world when all of a sudden his world suddenly shook. Due to the shaking, his aim went off but still managed to kill a random regular carrier by the side of his target.
"...ral! General! Can you hear me? The makeshift bridge has been placed!"
A soldier tried to catch his attention since earlier but upon noticing that the General was in aim assist, he decided to shake him up. Every veteran soldier has almost the same skillset, so they knew what kind of skills the other soldiers had.
It could be seen as a weakness and strength at the same time. An army filled with elite marksmen could kill their targets far away. Even if the enemy had unique powers, if they were unable to utilize it, it was still useless.
On the other hand, having the same set of skills would put everyone in danger once they meet something extremely dangerous. If a Hunter or Destroyer gets too close, it would spell certain doom to that small number of people.
Paul Celestine recollected himself and saw a crude bundle of lumber placed on the broken bridge. He wasn't sure if he could trust his life with the bridge, but with the vibrations, he could feel under his foot, he had no choice but to trust it.
"Mister President, let's go."
Paul Celestine tried pulling Duforte's arm, but it didn't budge. Even though he didn't put much strength into it, he still has enhanced power and should be easily able to pull an old man.
Unfortunately, the president wasn't someone who hides in safety during the initial phase. Before the extraction group arrived, Rodriguez Duforte had already reached level ten by rescuing civilians and searching for supplies.
"Let the civilians go first. I'll hold off the enemy."
"But Mister President?!"
Paul wanted to debate, but a fair-skinned PSG wearing barong blocked him.
Jerry shook his head before guiding the crowd of civilians towards the makeshift bridge.
Knowing the president's temper, Jerry knew what to do. He also hoped that the General assigned to extract them adjusts to the president's temperament.
Paul Celestine's group of six stayed to defend the uphill climb. The different modern guns echoed around the area as they endlessly fired. They even had to resort to using the vehicles as a ramming tool, which caused quite a destruction when going downhill. One vehicle even tumbled upon a corpse which caused it to overturn and tumble down and explode.
As they repeatedly used the tactic, the skyway entrance became a crash site and carriers couldn't get past them. The Evolved carriers were hunted down once they climbed up the wreckage making them easy targets for professional shooters.
When the last of the civilian boarded the bridge, the barely gripping lumber slid making the civilian lose balance and fell to the side. He was able to grab the group lumbers, but his hands would soon slip.
"Please help me!"
Unfortunately, before someone could even run up to him, the makeshift bridge finally gave up and fully slipped. The man's scream echoed as he fell, followed by several thudding noises.
No one looked down. No one could.
In the middle of their stupor, Paul suddenly thought of an idea.
"Let's make another bridge!"
He quickly ran towards the lumber pile by the side of the road only to see wet and short pieces of cut lumbers.
The officer on the other side of the bridge shouted upon hearing him. "We already used all the longer ones. The remaining ones couldn't reach this end. Do you have anything on your inventory that we could use?"
Paul searched his dimensional storage for anything useful.
"I only have a rope with me. I don't think we need to risk it. You guys head to the Southern Outpost, we'll go to the eastern one."
Upon hearing the news, an officer from the other side of the bridge frowned but no one noticed it since he was on the back of the group.
Paul continued. "The skyway should be pretty safe unless there's another unique on the other side. Just be careful."
"Please take these." The friendly officer tossed a rifle magazine, followed by a grenade. "Let's hope you won't need to use it."
"Thanks. Good luck to you too!"
Jerry calmed his other brothers on the other side of the bridge.
"Don't worry. I'll die first before anything can get close to the president."
His friends didn't smile nor showed fear. They only left him some words of encouragement.
"Don't die. Let's drink once we meet again."
With their farewells said, the two groups finally moved.
On the president's side, there were only eight people armed with rifles. Paul Celestine's group of six, Jerry, and Rodriguez Duforte.
The First Army swept the floor with ease. Anything that came forward was easily dealt with, Rank 1 Evolve carriers were no match for them thanks to their equipment. They move together as one and marched forward as one. Behind them were soldiers looting the body of the dead with the loot distribution of equal half with Black Haven having priority pick.
Jun and Corwin were following the group while seated on a military jeep.
After watching the First Army battle with the abominations of this world, Corwin finally accepted that regular guns were finally going to be phased out. Bullet production has been on the low and keeping with the upkeep of rifles wasn't going well. Every manpower is needed to fight on the battlefront or looking for supplies.
During the whole clearing, Jun only stepped out once when a Rank 3 Hunter jumped on the First Army. Thankfully, King was armed with Tier 3 Shortswords and was able to react in time to defend the army.
Any carrier above Rank 3 must be killed at all costs. They're cunning and they learn. If left unattended, there's a high chance that they'll become a true hunter in the name and in the sense.
In the quiet city, they could hear the echoes of diverse gunshots. Some were continuous while some had a certain rhythm to it. They also varied from the loudness and softness as if they had silencers or stabilizers.
Amidst the quiet journey, Jun felt that something was off about the military operation, so he decided to inquire, It doesn't matter if it was top secret, or he doesn't get the answer he wants, he just wants the itching curiosity to be scratched.
"Why did they choose to go south? I think they know that your Outpost has already cleared most of the nearby threats, so the most logical route should be this one, right?"
Corwin smiled at Jun. "You're still young, I see. Some people at the top don't really care about the president you know. They just want a figurehead that can help stabilize the situation with the people, a scapegoat. What they need are ranks. Expeditions under their names, so they could get promoted."
"Aren't you the same?"
Corwin turned to Jun with a sly grin.
"Aren't we all? People don't move voluntarily. They don't take risks unnecessarily. There is always a reason even if it is a tiny one."
Now, it was Jun's time to turn his head and face Corwin with a question.
"And what's your reason?"
Corwin stared at Jun. Both of them gauging whether the topic they were discussing was just a chat to pass time or a genuinely serious one.
Upon seeing Jun's expecting gaze, Corwin answered truthfully.
"I think I have hinted it to you for some time, but I need a higher rank if I want my family to be safe. There are dozens of wolves in the military and a bunch of foxes in the government. Unless I get promoted, I would still be seen as a crippled desk-General."
Jun shrugged and looked outside. Everyone does something because there are reasons for it. Even himself was under that rule. The whole reason why the newly graduated First Army was here was so they could get better gear and to escalate some part of the plan.
"I guess you're right. But you still haven't answered my question."
"Some things weren't good to hear. Do you still want to know?"
"On second thought. please don't tell me."
Of course, Corwin found it enjoyable to go against him and spoke his mind.
"Do you remember when I said some people don't care about the president? That group literally doesn't want him to come back. Our president always weighs everything for the good of the people. Often times, the military would take the full brunt of his actions. Yet still, the people loved him. This is just my guess though."
"And here I thought you were speaking facts."
"Semi-facts... Is that even a word?"
The two continued converting useless information and would sometimes try to dig about important topics. Like a true gentleman, the two often alternated with giving each other factual truths.
Most of Corwin's interest lies in what kinds of items he could buy and what things he could exchange. During their chatter, the two learned that information was still the global currency that could be accepted anytime.
When the sky started to darken and the city became gloomier, the First Army was forced to stop and ask for further orders.
The decision was to hold the First Army at the main bridge near the Outpost, so they could respond in case of an emergency. Since this mission only lasts for a day, Jun agreed with the condition of dividing the loot at 6:4.
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