Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 517: The Mantis Stalks the Cicada

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Chapter 517: The Mantis Stalks the Cicada

No, we have to counterattack…

Why did he suddenly contract the Heartless disease…

This is too much of a coincidence…

Could it be the Kalendaria’s punishment…

No, stop. Don’t think about this. The most important thing now is to use our abilities to prevent him from attacking us…

He contracted the Heartless disease at such a critical moment. What kind of changes will it bring to the subsequent development of the situation…

Should we evacuate the Senate now and choose which side to stand on when the situation becomes clearer…

At this moment, thoughts flashed through the minds of all the Elders—including Superintendent Alexander, their secretaries, attendants, and guards. It was difficult to firmly decide on a particular direction and think deeper. This prevented them from putting up any resistance, defense, or counterattack.

Every time a similar thought surfaced in their minds, their thoughts would naturally wander in other directions. Therefore, there were only intentions that couldn’t be translated into actual actions.

In the Senate—apart from Beulis and the Subhuman Guards on the defense line’s periphery—everyone else stood there motionless.

This couldn’t be called standing still because their eyes were spirited, and the expressions on their faces were very varied. They were sometimes nervous, sometimes puzzled, sometimes dazed, and sometimes vigilant. They seemed to have many inner fantasies.

They felt like they were in a tug-of-war with a countless number of themselves. Due to the serious internal friction, they could only watch helplessly as the newly contracted Heartless, Beulis, pounced at the first victim.

It was Superintendent Alexander.

After losing his mind and most of his intelligence, Beulis still designated the first target he hunted to be his former and greatest political enemy.

It might already be an instinct.

Beulis—who had become a Heartless—was no longer in a hunched and old state. He pounced in front of Alexander more agilely than an ape as his two hands stretched out and grabbed his former political enemy’s shoulder. His mouth then opened, and he bit the target’s neck in an attempt to rip off a large chunk of flesh.

With the sound of leather being pulled but not ripping, Alexander seemed to swell. It was as if someone had pumped air under his skin, forcefully producing an air sac layer.

The Human series from the bionic artificial intelligence armor!

Alexander had obtained such a high-tech product through a secret channel that had a deep relationship with Pangu Biology. He usually wore it as a layer of skin to prevent any accidents. Now, it was put to use.

Under the Human series bionic smart armor, Alexander’s thoughts could finally focus due to the external stimulation. He looked at Beulis—who was still gnawing on the ‘human skin’—and his green eyes lit up. He shouted in a deep voice, “Visual Deprivation!”

He wanted to strip Beulis of his consciousness directly, but he couldn’t do so now. This was because only Awakened that had entered the New World could ignore the required sequence to complete this matter. A Mind Corridor-level Awakened like him could only strip away one’s senses before affecting their consciousness.

Beulis’s vision instantly turned dark.

The Subhuman Guard members—who were defending against the citizen charge—lost sight of Gaius, the convener of the meet.

This newly promoted Elder—the commander of the Eastern Army Corps—had disappeared under everyone’s gazes.

Golden Apple Zone, 14 Round Hill Street.

In the military-green jeep, Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao were sleeping. Outside the jeep, Bai Chen and Long Yuehong—who were wearing military exoskeletons—were kneeling on the ground, leaning against the door as they slept.

At Avia’s classic-looking villa, the guards at the door were either leaning against stone pillars or leaning against the door—sleeping. On the second floor of the house, the originally chatting Kanna and the old woman in the black beanie had unknowingly turned their bodies to the side. They were leaned against the armrests and had their eyes closed—asleep as well.

Inside the house, there was no sound. The people inside seemed to have fallen asleep.

Soon, an ordinary black car drove out of a nearby villa and turned into Round Hill Street. The person driving had golden-brown hair that wasn’t short, blue eyes, a straight nose, handsome eyebrows, a plump middle-aged face, and a scruffy beard. He was none other than the Mind Corridor-level Awakened, Khal—who had previously attacked the Old Task Force.

Upon hearing the radio broadcast, Khal—who believed that chaos might erupt in First City this morning—used his mole’s help to infiltrate the Golden Apple Zone early in the morning and hid in a place that wasn’t too far from the target, Avia, but was definitely beyond the Virtual World’s range.

After the gunshots and explosions sounded, Khal didn’t invade the Virtual World immediately. Instead, he patiently waited.

He believed that there were definitely others with the same goal as him. For example, the team that had previously ‘stolen’ the passcode from Marcus. He wanted them to scout the way first to prevent himself from falling into a trap if the surprise attack failed.

As long as the mysterious and terrifying boy—Xiaochong—didn’t appear, Khal felt that he could control the situation. He remembered that some Ashlandics in the organization had said: “When a mantis stalks a cicada, an oriole is watching it.”

Khal believed himself to be the oriole.

As for the possibility that Xiaochong had also come to the Golden Apple Zone, Khal felt that it was unlikely. Xiaochong’s previous performance would definitely arouse the vigilance of the equally terrifying old fellows in First City. If he participated in the operation here, it would only attract trouble.

Furthermore, Khal had seen it back then.

That person had also come.

The black car drove forward at a moderate speed and quickly arrived about 40 meters away from Avia.

Khal’s patience paid off. Kanna, Jiang Baimian, and the others had helped him ‘crack’ the Virtual World that stumped him.

If he wanted to force the other party to sleep, he had to close the distance to a certain extent. This would result in him entering the Virtual World.

In the Virtual World, all actions would be filtered. Furthermore, the other party was good at illusions, so Khal couldn’t be sure that he was affecting the real target.

After discovering that the Virtual World’s effects had been removed, Khal was almost overjoyed. He made a prompt decision to shorten the distance before making all the humans in the target area fall asleep.

He originally planned on taking this opportunity to switch to Real Dreamscape and make the team—which had repeatedly escaped his grasp—die silently along with the main target, Avia. But Shang Jianyao’s performance was unbearable for him, so he could only stop the dream and add Forced Sleep.

In order to kill a few targets, he had to enter the very dangerous 40-meter range. This was because a certain item on him could only be effective at this distance.

When maintaining Forced Sleep, Khal could only use Matter Interference, and it was weaker than normal. It would take a lot of effort to finish off Avia, Jiang Baimian, and the others. It would also take a lot of time, and it might not be successful.

Coupled with the fact that the Old Task Force had killed the well-trained gunmen which the organization had groomed and that the remaining people had relatively poor standards, Khal couldn’t trust them on such an important mission. He didn’t bring them into the Golden Apple Zone, so he could only do it himself and choose to use the items obtained from certain rooms in the Mind Corridor.

The range of such items was definitely inferior to that of Mind Corridor-level Awakened. After all, they came from external sources, drastically weakening them.

The one that Khal was using now had a small range due to its unique ability, forcing him to take the risk of entering within 40 meters of the target.

After stepping on the brakes, Khal maintained Forced Sleep as he retracted his right hand and gripped a silver necklace hanging in front of him. The pendant was carved with an angel that had its wings wrapped around its body.

Its color was a little black, and it was in the Old World style.

What this silver miniature angel statue solidified was: Cardiac Arrest!

Khal began searching for the target after holding the pendant, hoping to end this quickly. He wasn’t worried that Kanna and the Virtual World’s owner would wake up or continue exerting influence on him while sleeping. After all, the abilities that could still produce effects after the main body lost consciousness were mostly the price—negative effects.

Khal was afraid that another accident would happen.

With the help of his previous Real Dreamscape, Khal had already discovered Avia’s location. At this moment, he easily locked onto her and prepared to activate the Life Angel necklace.

At this moment, Jiang Baimian opened her eyes in the jeep.

She had long woken up. How could the Old Task Force—which had made the corresponding plans—not be wary of Forced Sleep?

Before Jiang Baimian left this morning, she had changed some of the information in the auxiliary chip. She had changed the condition ‘having suffered a serious blow to the body and suffering from cardiac discomfort’ to ‘falling asleep.’

In other words, the auxiliary chip—which was constantly monitoring her physical condition—would release an electric current and awaken her the moment it discovered that she was asleep!

Previously, the chip didn’t release an electric shock when she fell into the Real Dreamscape because every action inside would ‘reflect’ onto reality, causing her physical condition to be significantly different from a true slumber.

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