Kill The Dragons Chapter 83
Chapter 83: Omen (3)
The sandbag shook upon Han's kick. The impact caused the gym to shake. Han took a different position while in his training uniform. His hair had grown considerably longer and swayed with his movements. His eyes only focused on the sandbag
"That's a heavy kick, kid. You know how to use your body. You had to make up for the lack of power with your body weight as a child, right? I've noticed last time as well, but you have a tendency to gather all your strength to one side of your body."
Laocha commented while watching Han's kick posture. Han's eyes grew wide in surprise.
"Now that I think about it, you're right. How did you know?"
When Han was a young orphan, he had to fight against adults very frequently. A child cannot go against an adult with normal means. The most he could do back then was offset their balance or throw rocks to buy time. A child's strength would not be able to do much to adults with a normal attack, so he used his whole body to maximize the power of his attacks. All through first and second year, other than against Dimitri, he had always won in sparring matches.
"Even if you don't mentally think about habits like this, your body remembers them. You habitually add more power by off-setting the balance point of your body. The overall strength becomes greater due to inertia, however your aim and dexterity falls a great deal. When your attack reaches your opponent, the power will end up dispersed instead of focused. Your finishing attacks against your opponents must always remain sharp."
Laocha showed him an example. Han drank some water and watched. Now that he decided to learn formally, he had no mind to lazily master it half heartedly.
Laocha powerfully attacked the sandbag. The sandbag started to swing around.
"I imitated your kick just now."
Laocha kicked the sandbag once again. The kick had a cleaner flow. His kick dug deeper into the sandbag. There was a slight difference. Han was watching with focus, but he couldn't easily spot the difference.
"Honestly, I don't know the difference."
Upon Han's words, Laocha kicked his leg slower than before. As he kicked his leg, his balance had a strong foundation to support the attack. Even if he kicked up onto the shoulders, his balance would not easily falter.
"You will always find an optimum striking point against all opponents. You need to use your knees to attack, but instead of your leg, you're using your hips. Well, it will be hard to understand with just an explanation. You should learn by practicing it with your body. Your muscles are more than strong enough now. Even if you stop your old habits, your attacks will be more than strong enough. Rather than blindly attacking with the most strength you can muster, it's more important to focus your attack into a single point."
Han followed Laocha's coaching and made minor changes to his posture. He couldn't easily take away all his bad habits and was cursed out repeatedly by Laocha. Han focused his attacks, but it wasn't easy to change his attack style. Laocha's gentle tone gradually became fierce and violent.
"How many times do I have to tell you to fix your shitty posture? How did you ever receive an A grade for weapon handling with such poor foundational skills? I guess Instructor Wei wasn't so great to begin with."
Han quietly accepted all the cursing. He didn't flinch from any of Laocha's words. He's now used to the harsh tone of soldiers. Soldiers tried to be careful with their language in front of the third years, but their patience was very thin and would immediately revert to their old speech habits. Laocha realized he went too far and let out a heavy sigh and began to chug down some cold water.
While Han and Laocha bickered, a few of the people's data bracelets in the gym blinked in alarm. Squad leaders and housing officers were called to the command control posts. The message spread quickly.
-Team Delta and Echo, annihilated. There are ominous signs at the dimensional crack located at Tirania in the former Republic of Albania. A mass of organized minions are on the move.
It had evolved to a fire stage two zone. Every personnel of Ark should be on standby fully geared.
A dimensional crack opened in Tirania, the capital of the state of Albania, located within the Balkan States. It had been the second dimensional crack to open on Earth, and where the second wave of the dragon army appeared. At that time, humanity had yet to stop the first wave of aggression and so the second wave of aggression was to be handled later by the Allied forces. The invasion which started in Albania spread all over the Balkan States and caused total destruction to the land and even Greece was swept up to be no more. The southeastern European States still suffer post war and have yet to fully recover. Following this catastrophe, the Balkan Alliance was formed, which is a military stronghold located in the EU with autonomy.
"Everyone who can pilot a psychoframe has been deployed. A majority of the first generation psykers have also left." the housing officer said. The underlying meaning was simple, and everyone's expressions stiffened.
'A dragon might appear.'
All the psychoframes of Ark were on standby and would immediately be deployed upon the appearance of a dragon. The situation was that critical.
'The events are unfolding much faster than Sergeant Red's predictions.'
Han wiped his clammy hands on his pants. He fully geared for ground warfare and stood at the ready.
– This is the first time I've seen something like this happen as well.
Silence who sat next to him conveyed with his electric note. Squad Delta and Echo were annihilated. 8 dead. Amongst this group were first generation psykers and third years as well. The situation was so grave that even the third years could not be saved.
"The first generation psykers have been deployed so we're short of squad leaders. The higher-ups have conveyed an order to choose two appropriate third years to take on the role as Squad leader. One of the two squad leaders will be you, Han. The higher-ups came to this decision after looking through your record."
Han's eyes grew wide. It was rare for a third year to be dubbed a squad leader. The only times a third year would be made a squad leader was for formal diplomatic events and only the experienced third years would be deployed. It was an unprecedented event for a new transfer like Han to become a squad leader. It conveyed how urgent the situation was.
"Do I need to choose my squad members?" The housing officer shook his head in response.
"Your squad members have already been selected. Silence, Corporal Zhai, and Simon. You will wait on standby at the second take off hanger.
Simon was a second year, but was already confirmed to be transferred up as a third year. Han and Simon had worked together in the same Squad once before, and so was put together. Han's squad consisted of people with whom he was familiar.
Han said and looked to Silence. Silence nodded.
"Your Squad code is 'E'. Echo or Easy. Take your pick. Well, there is no need to choose."
It would be unlucky to take on the name Echo, when the team that had been eliminated was dubbed Echo. They would be jinxed. It would only be used once again after some time had passed and the event forgotten.
"We will go with, Easy."
"Easy Team, assemble within twenty minutes at the second hanger. Afterwards, you are to move according to the command sent to you through your data bracelet."
The housing officer shouted commands to the soldiers. The soldiers moved to fulfil their individual duties. Support assist teams moved around busily helping to gear all the troops. The patrol planes deployed out first.
Han stared across to the high altitude stealth plane, Black Crow. The engineers were loading the psychoframes into the plane. Just behind the team were the first generation psykers gearing up. Four Black Crows would be simultaneously deployed for this military operation. The reserve soldiers out on other long distance military operation were commanded to evacuate their current missions for an urgent emergency.
"You're already a squad leader. That's a very quick promotion. Is your father a military commander?" Corporal Zhai joked while laughing.
"Everything is temporary," Han said. Han predicted he would need a lot of support from Corporal Zhai this time around. Amongst all the squad members, the member with the most varied experience is Corporal Zhai.
"Well, well, this is a pleasant surprise," Simon appeared saying, already fully geared. The British youth arrogantly raised his eyebrows. He'd been urgently recruited without prior notice, but he still didn't look the slightest bit nervous.
"So you're Simon Dell, the last genius of England. I'm Zhai Zun." Corporal Zhai offered a handshake to Simon. Simon nodded. Simon didn't speak high handedly like he had done during their initial years in Ark. After all the training and drills, his personality had become very prudent. Racial discrimination had no place in a multination military organization. Even if one had such thoughts in their heart, nobody would dare to utter their true feelings out loud.
Squad Easy greeted one another. Corporal Zhai was familiar with everyone except for Simon.
'The higher-ups most likely intentionally set up the squad like this. I'm familiar with everyone in this squad, and I can't find a single flaw for this match of people for the squad. Silence is one of the most exceptional amongst the psykers, Simon has vast psychic skills which adds flexibility to military operations, and lastly Corporal Zhai has a lot of experience in actual battle so he can make up for my shortcomings.'
Han burned his squad members' specialties and abilities into his mind. He worked with them once before so he didn't feel especially burdened. Han used his data bracelet to share the present condition with the rest of his squad members. The squad members projected a hologram map.
"8 squads will be deployed to Tirania, the capital of Albania. Currently, additional squads have not been confirmed for the mission. The Balkan Alliance currently occupies the Tirania dimensional crack, but they requested for Ark's support after the minion's surprise attack. Team Delta and Echo worked together with the Balkan Alliance to kill the minions, but failed and everyone has been annihilated…. The Balkan Alliance also failed to shoot down the minions, they're currently moving their military base. Our goal is to reclaim the dimensional crack zone and block further opening of the crack."
Simon furrowed his brows while listening.
"Is it a similar situation as last time? They're doing something strange at the dimensional crack zone again."
"Yes. The minions, more specifically the Elu mages are currently trying to reopen the dimensional gate. We stopped the opening last time, but they seemed to have prepared beforehand and they're dead set on opening the gate again. This means that we don't have much time left. The minion numbers are rising every day."
Though Han said this, it was a mystery whether the minion numbers were indeed rising or not.
"There are that many minions remaining in that neighborhood?"
Simon couldn't understand the situation. Corporal Zhai who was listening quietly all this time, explained.
"Some Elu mages are able to distort space and summon warp tunnels. Two Elu mages must work together or else it isn't possible. The two Elus must have a close relationship like lovers to manifest it. This is one of the main reasons minions are able to move in an organized fashion without any particular transportation skills. Get familiar with the other additional data on our way there, kid."
Corporal Zhai smoothly laughed. Han nodded and lead his squad. They sat in their designated seats on the Black Crow. Other squads were also traveling on the same plane.
The Major sat on the front seat. The Major reviewed the outline of their tactic once again and stressed the important aspects.
"There are only seven psychoframe pilots to assist you gentlemen. However, only three can assist at one time. No more than three psychoframe pilots may be deployed at one time. We need to reserve a batch of psychoframe pilots in case the military operation fails and dragons appear from the dimensional gate. I stress again, we have 7 psychoframes, but only 3 will be used to support the ground troops."
Psychoframes could only be piloted for a limited time. It's the end once the psyker's psychic energy level depletes. It's impossible to switch out the pilots as well because there are so many specific gears and adjustments to be made. First generation psykers could pilot a psychoframe for a maximum of one hour. Even with all these flaws, psychoframes were essential to take down dragons. They were the ultimate weapons of mass destruction.
Han listened to the Major and got lost in his own thoughts. This will be another large scale battle. However, his heart didn't feel as heavy as the time before. He slowly opened his eyes and tightly gripped his trembling hands. He suppressed the upsurging tension. Fear and anxiety… these were emotions which Han didn't need.
'The minions are the enemy.'
Han sat down and buckled his seat belt. The enemy was clear cut this time. They were not fighting against humans, but the public enemy of humanity, the minions. Han had been training all this time for the sake of exterminating them. He was ready to kill.