The First Order - Chapter 1238
Chapter 1238 – 1238 Defeating the Qing Consortium
1238 Defeating the Qing Consortium
Large-scale wars were a test for any outstanding commander.
In a drawn-out war, all commanders would constantly face mistakes. These mistakes were ones they or their subordinates committed, as countless mistakes came together.
That was why militaries were very particular about their execution ability.
But even elites like the Qing Consortium would still face the same issues.
But the artificial intelligence seemed like it was incapable of making any mistakes. For the first long night, the army controlled by the artificial intelligence did not make any rash moves. The artificial intelligence’s precise command and execution by the individuals it controlled were pushed to the extreme.
Qing Yi had never fought such a war before.
He was unable to send out spies to obtain intel about the other party, and the other party had air supremacy. Initially, the Qing Consortium’s metal storm “Mountain Obliterator” was equipped with an active defense system. But now, that defense system was also crippled.
He could not identify any weaknesses in the other party because it rarely made any mistakes. After this night’s battle, Qing Yi even had a feeling that if he caught on to a mistake by the other party, he should not take advantage of it. That was because that would be what the artificial intelligence expected him to do.
If he could not find a way to take advantage of the situation around these two aspects, all Qing Yi could do was fight a battle of attrition.
However, every single one of the enemy’s mortars had extreme range. Even the enemy soldiers’ shooting range hovered at the extreme limits.
The Qing Consortium had large-caliber artillery weapons of 152 mm and a 30-kilometer range. That was enough to cover the range of the enemy’s mortars.
There was a saying that went: “Truth exists within the artillery’s firing range.”
However, the troops controlled by the artificial intelligence were hidden in the shadows. It would be difficult for the Qing Consortium to lock onto the enemy with their 152 mm howitzers.
Helpless, Qing Yi could only order the artillery to cover the entire area and carry out a round of destruction within five to seven kilometers.
Although the price to pay was huge, there was nothing he could do about it. The enemy’s mortars were set up beyond the range of their heavy machine guns. Since the Qing Consortium’s troops kept getting hit by them, he had no choice but to return the favor.
But carpet bombing with artillery was only theoretical. It referred to a matrix of firepower coverage, and there would definitely be gaps the artillery could not cover.
Meanwhile, Zero had already calculated the precise trajectory after observing from midair the range adjustments made by the Qing Consortium.
In just approximately 30 seconds, all of the artificial intelligence-controlled soldiers within a five to seven-kilometer radius had taken cover in those “gaps” that could not be covered by the artillery bombardment.
When the artillery landed about ten meters away from these artificial intelligence-controlled soldiers, shrapnel would occasionally splinter and knock them down. The soil on the ground was lifted up and these soldiers were all covered in dirt.
However, only 20% of the soldiers controlled by the artificial intelligence died after the artillery bombardment was over. Although there were also other soldiers who were injured, they could still fight.
Moreover, whenever there was a gap in the formation of their units, someone would immediately replace them from the crowd at the rear. There would be no need for a handover or adjustment, and this replacement soldier would immediately become the most qualified screw in this war machine.
After the bombardment, the positions of the Qing Consortium’s 152 mm howitzers would become exposed to the air. Fortunately, the Qing Consortium’s troops were not stupid either. Their artillery placements were all protected behind the defensive line. No matter how accurate the enemy’s mortars were, they could not affect these artillery placements.
The artificial intelligence could not transport longer-range artillery in either.
As the war continued, Qing Yi sent someone to submit the frontline battle report to Qing Zhen.
At this moment, Luo Lan was flipping through the documents that had just been delivered. He sat down next to Qing Zhen and wondered, “That’s strange. It clearly has the strength to flatten the Three Mountains defensive line, so why did it fight like this? Under normal circumstances, only commanders who love their troops very much would choose to fight in such a way. No matter how I look at it, it doesn’t fit with the character of the AI at all.”
Qing Zhen said, “My guess is that it has become very reliant on these humans as its server medium. So it doesn’t want too many casualties among its ‘servers’ and affect its ability to operate. On the other hand, it probably wants to defeat the Qing Consortium head-on on the battlefield with its leadership rather than using the strategy of overwhelming us with a human wave.”
Qing Zhen, Luo Lan, and the others knew exactly how many people there were in the southwestern forest. With just the first wave of that terrifying crowd, the Three Mountains defensive line would probably be destroyed. However, Zero did not do so.
Luo Lan was even more puzzled now. “What point is there in defeating the Qing Consortium head on?”
“Maybe it’s the competitive streak of the AI, or maybe it’s Wang Shengzhi’s last wish? Who knows, but that’s not important,” Qing Zhen said with a shake of his head.
“How long do you think the Three Mountains defensive line can hold for?” Luo Lan asked.
“Three days.” Qing Zhen answered, “Last night was just a probe. The real battle has only just begun. My guess is that the AI has already identified the weakness of the Three Mountains defensive line.”
Zhou Qi, who was listening at the side, interrupted, “Wait a minute, why do I get the feeling the two of you never thought we could win from the beginning?”
“That’s right.” Qing Zhen nodded. “There’s nothing shameful about admitting we’re weak. The other party has brought the entire Central Plains with it, so it’s only natural the Qing Consortium would lose. So such an outcome isn’t difficult to accept.”
“Hey, you’re Qing Zhen!” Zhou Qi said with an exaggerated expression, “You’re Qing Zhen, alright? If even you think we’ll lose, aren’t we done for? Wouldn’t humanity be done for?”
Qing Zhen said, “The war isn’t dependent on winning this battle here.”
“Where then?” Zhou Qi asked.
However, Qing Zhen did not answer Zhou Qi’s question this time. Since he had already kept it a secret for so long, how could he possibly reveal it now?
Only when all the opportunities presented themselves would the answer to the puzzle be revealed.
Zhou Qi curled his lips and said, “Then what should we do now? Are we just going to sit here and wait to die? Hey, although you’re paying me well, I won’t do something like wait around for my death. Once the AI’s human wave gets past the Three Mountains defensive line, I’ll just dive into the water and escape. I don’t believe it’s that powerful in the water as well.”
“No.” Qing Zhen shook his head. “We have to leave together.”
“How do we leave? Where will we go?” Zhou Qi asked.
“To the Northwest,” Qing Zhen replied.
This time, not only Zhou Qi but even Luo Lan was stunned. “Retreat directly to the Northwest and give up on the entire Qing Consortium? But if our Qing Consortium can’t even defeat the AI, what’s the point of hiding in the Northwest? You should know that the Northwest is also up against no fewer troops than what we’re facing here.”
Zhou Qi frowned. “Why? Are you planning to rely on Ren Xiaosu and his superhuman friends?”
Qing Zhen shook his head. “In the past, there were no supernatural beings in human civilization. But haven’t we still survived generation after generation until now? We just need to unite our forces to create an opportunity.”
“Then wouldn’t it be better to retreat right at the beginning? What are you waiting for? Why did you set up the Three Mountains defensive line? Why did you let the Qing Consortium’s soldiers defend against the human horde?” Zhou Qi asked.
Qing Zhen said, “Because we have to let the AI think it defeated the Qing Consortium.”
Just for this reason alone, more than a 100,000 of the Qing Consortium’s soldiers were probably going to get gradually sacrificed.