It came faster than expected, but Xiang Shu had arranged all of the city defenses within a short period of two days since arriving in Longcheng. As things stand, as long there was no snowstorm, Karakorum's solid city defense would be able to withstand this living corpse army for two or three days.
Xiao Shan wanted to jump directly from the city tower and go to war, but he was grabbed by Chen Xing.
”Not now!” Chen Xing said, ”Wait for Xiang Shu to come!”
Chen Xing activated the Heart Lamp several times. Xiang Shu had already led the Tiele cavalry to a high position; he rode the horse up to the city gate tower and looked into the distance.
Chen Xing said, ”We have to find a way to catch the commander-in-chief and try to keep him alive this time. I want to bring Sima Yue back and clarify something.”
Requesting that, Chen Xing looked at Xiang Shu. After fighting so many times, Xiang Shu had left an almost invincible impression in his heart, and he knew that Xiang Shu would be able to get it done. If the black-armored general Sima Yue could be brought back, it would certainly be helpful in finding Shi Hai and Chiyou's hiding place.
”Defend the city first.” Xiang Shu said, ”Avoid going to the battle outside the city walls, I'll find a way to keep an eye on Xiao Shan and won't let him make trouble out there.”
Inside the living corpse army, the first wave was the infantry, and the next wave was the cavalry. The surging snow fog obscured their field of vision, making them unable to see the commander-in-chief clearly; the enemy leader obviously had no intention to go out.
”All these bodies, where do they come from?” Chen Xing murmured.
”Within a radius of a thousand li,” replied the Tiele chief, ”they must've turned over every single burial ground.”
The custom of sky burial still continued among the Hus, and only those who made grave mistakes, prisoners of war, and slaves were not allowed to be buried this way. For decades, there were many random burial pits all around the mountains, most of which using stones. The enemy unexpectedly used local materials, and found and awakened so many living corpses.
”Claws! Claws!” Xiao Shan repeatedly climbed on Chen Xing, trying to retrieve his confiscated weapon.
”Not now!” Chen Xing said, ”When going into battle, we will go together.”
Xiao Shan had to give up and stand at the top of the city walls, watching the battle with Xiang Shu and Chen Xing. There were many archers on the city walls. All the Hus outside the Great Wall were born amazing sharpshooters; they ignited fiery arrows one after another. Led by various clan chiefs, they stood at the height of the city walls, forming an indestructible line of defense.
Over the past few days, Xiang Shu had been meeting up with the clan chiefs, telling them the story behind the drought fiends' upheaval. After knowing where the monsters came from and what they actually were, the Hus were no longer afraid. At most, they fought harder and took more precautions.
At the moment, everyone's expression was serious, and there was a strange silence inside and outside the city. Only the rustling sound of living corpses moving through the snow could be heard. The snow fog was covering everything, and once the corpses got close to their perimeter, Xiang Shu shouted, ”Shoot!”
In an instant, fiery arrows flew all over the sky and shot towards the snow outside the city!
Chen Xing looked at the scene: the enemy couldn't come close to the city walls at all. No matter how hard the living corpses struggled, their movements were still slow, and most of them were merely rotting corpses dug up from the ground. The intense cold made it possible for their flesh and blood as well as their limbs to be attached together. Once the ice melted, the link would fail, and they would scatter all over the ground and were no longer a problem.
However, Chen Xing kept sensing a danger lurking inside the swirling snow fog.
Sure enough, coming from inside the fog, two ‘dong', ‘dong' sounds were heard. Although it wasn't loud, it was clearly transmitted to everyone's eardrums.
”Magical artifact!” Chen Xing made a quick conclusion and shouted, ”Get ready!”
Xiang Shu: ”…”
It sounded as if a person was shaking a rattle-drum next to his ears. Suddenly, approximately ten huge monsters rushed out of the fog! The monsters were so tall and covered with rotten hair. They trampled directly through the group of living corpses and rushed towards the outer wall of Longcheng!
The Hu archers shouted loudly, but Chen Xing couldn't understand what they meant. He also had never seen those monsters before.
”What is that?” Chen Xing yelled.
Xiao Shan also followed and yelled, Xiang Shu immediately said, ”Elephants!”
Chen Xing only read about elephants in books. Unexpectedly, elephants' carcasses were found in this cold northern area. The elephants were covered with ice and snow; it seemed that after being dead for thousands of years, their internal organs and limbs were frozen stiff, and they became natural battering rams. When the first elephant hit the city wall, the earth shook, and tiles and bricks flew in all directions.
After Xiang Shu had steadied himself, he reached for Chen Xing then jumped down from the top of the city walls! The archers fell to the ground in succession, and the brazier toppled inward. The elephants quickly flattened the anti-cavalry barriers, crashing through the wooden outer walls before hitting Karakorum's city walls.
Chaos reigned in the city tower. The elephants soon retreated one after another, but they weren't afraid of arrows at all. With the sound of the rattle-drum, they began to organize a second charge.
”We can't stop this!” The Tiele chief rushed down from the top of the tower and yelled, ”Another hit, and the walls will fall apart! Great Chanyu!”
Xiang Shu shouted, ”Four hundred people, follow me out! Chen Xing!”
The elephants must be stopped, or these thousands of jin monsters would slam into them, and in less than an hour, they would break through the city wall and flatten the whole Karakorum!
”I'm going to cleanse that magical artifact!” Chen Xing shouted.
”No! It's too dangerous!” Xiang Shu said, ”Prepare net traps and caltrops!"
”It's useless!” Chen Xing shouted, ”These elephants are already dead! They're not afraid of pain! Shi Mokun! You keep an eye on Xiao Shan!”
When the city gate opened, Xiang Shu rushed out of Karakorum together with the Tieles and the Xiongnus' cavalry. Under the dark sky, the cavalry threw out net traps one after another. As soon as an elephant stepped on it, a team of five would immediately close the net; the rotting giant elephant then stumbled, making the ground shake as it fell into the snow.
With the Heart Lamp shining brightly in his hands, Chen Xing urged his horse forward and rushed into the battle. Xiang Shu chased after him and shouted, ”Wait for me!”
Chen Xing turned his head. When he heard those ‘dong', ‘dong' sounds, he soon deducted why the other party had nothing to fear. It was because of this ancient magical artifact, which was made from the skin of an immortal beast named Zheng. Legend said it was able to suppress the souls of the deceased, making them cower in fear with its roar.
It must be similar to the Yin Yang Mirror. The other party must've used resentment to activate this magical artifact and changed its original function! The magical artifact originally used spiritual qi to exorcise evil spirits, but once it was refined by resentment, it became a demonic weapon able to control the living corpses! We must get it back as soon as possible! As long as we seize this magical artifact, the other side's advance will be easily solved.
”Time to fight,” Che Luofeng said slowly.
A tall, big man and Che Luofeng stood quietly in the rear, each riding a corpse horse. Behind them was Sima Yue in black armor.
Sima Yue was holding a strange antler magical staff in his hand, emitting a jet-black resentment.
”Zhou Zhen?” Che Luofeng turned his head and looked at the man beside him. This man had been dead for some years, but his appearance was still very good, and he looked exactly like when he was just buried. He wore Xiang Shu's Great Chanyu's crown; its three feathers stuck out on the side of his head. His whole body was covered in a wolf-fur long robe, his left hand was wearing a knuckles ring, and in his right hand, he was holding a small rattle-drum. It was precisely the Rourans' First Warrior, Zhou Zhen.
Zhou Zhen indifferently said, ”I'll deal with Shulü Kong.”
”Leave that Han to me,” Che Luofeng said.
Zhou Zhen nodded, glanced at Che Luofeng, and casually said, ”If they're too far away from each other, the Heart Lamp won't work.”
Che Luofeng looked at his people; 60,000 Rourans who had become members of the stiff-faced living corpse army were riding on their horses and waiting for his orders.
”I…” In the end, Che Luofeng didn't know whether this was the right decision or not.
Zhou Zhen replied, ”Rest assured, My Lord has ordered us not to kill Shulü Kong. He is still of great use to us.”
Che Luofeng took a deep breath. Under the city walls in the distance, the giant elephants have fallen one after another. Zhou Zhen shook his rattle-drum again, and it made three ‘dong', ‘dong', ‘dong' sounds. In an orderly manner, the Rourans took up their weapons and launched the second siege attack!
In an instant, the giant elephants and the corpses from the first siege, which had piled up under the city walls, became the best siege ladders. The Rouran cavalry rode across the wasteland and directly rushed to Karakorum's walls!
Xiang Shu suddenly looked back and saw a flood of enemy troops rushing in. Chen Xing shouted, ”Xiang Shu!”
Xiang Shu urged the horse to catch up with Chen Xing, but the two men were separated by the storming army in no time. Chen Xing had the Heart Lamp in his hands, and the attacking cavalry scattered and avoided him, but Xiang Shu wasn't protected, so he had to swing his big sword and rush over to rendezvous with Chen Xing.
Wherever the army marched, there was always snow trail following behind them, to the point it was hard to recognize allies and foes. With the Heart Lamp illuminated in his hands, Chen Xing galloped as he searched for Xiang Shu, but then, amidst the snow fog, a figure emerged——
Chen Xing immediately became furious and urged his horse into the snow fog.
Che Luofeng showed a strange smile; his whole body had been corrupted by the Devil God's blood, and he had the ash-gray color of the corpse.
”Little Han dog,” Che Luofeng smiled, ”you finally came out.”
Chen Xing held a bow in his hand and said in a deep voice, ”Che Luofeng! Why are you doing this?! Xiang Shu has never treated you badly! You still can't let go of your hatred against the Akeles even now?”
Che Luofeng gave a sinister laugh. He tilted his head sideways and looked at Chen Xing carefully before replying, ”I could've let it go since my good brother Zhou Zhen has come back to life… Blame it on that Akele Consort for meddling in other people's business. She tried to find her eldest son and found Zhou Zhen hiding inside my tent…”
”Zhou Zhen?” Chen Xing's brow twisted.
”Remember our agreement?” Che Luofeng also took out his longbow and said, ”You shoot me with an arrow, and I'll shoot you with an arrow. Let's play?”
Chen Xing: ”…”
”Where is Zhou Zhen?” Chen Xing said in a low voice, ”What's your relationship with Shi Hai?”
”Shi Hai?” Che Luofeng thought for a moment and failed to understand. He instead replied, ”Come ba, if you can come close within three zhang, I'll answer your question.”
Then, Che Luofeng turned his horse and rushed into the blizzard.
Chen Xing angrily said, ”Don't underestimate me!”
Chen Xing immediately urged the horse with both legs and galloped after him.
The cavalry around Xiang Shu was suddenly cleared up. From inside the snow fog, came ‘dong', ‘dong' sounds, and a figure appeared.
”Zhou Zhen?!” Xiang Shu couldn't believe what he saw. Zhou Zhen, dressed in wolf fur that exposed a big round scar at the location of his heart, walked slowly towards him.
”Shulü Kong,” Zhou Zhen said, ”long time no see. The exorcist isn't by your side and now, you don't have the power of the Heart Lamp. Come back with me, My Lord is waiting for you.”
Xiang Shu held his broadsword as he looked straight at Zhou Zhen from a distance.
”Were you resurrected too?” Xiang Shu said, ”You're already dead, why haven't you made peace with things and returned to the earth?”
Zhou Zhen smiled; it looked incomparably strange on the living corpse's face.
”It should be said that I never really died.” Zhou Zhen said, ”Originally, Shi Hai-daren had wanted to give the former Great Chanyu, Shulü Wen, an immortal life, but you had personally sent him off, Shulü Kong.”
”Shut up!” Xiang Shu flew into a rage, ”It's you! You make it impossible for the dead to rest in peace!”
Zhou Zhen raised his hand and spun his rattle-drum. The Rouran cavalry emerged from the snow fog again, encircling Xiang Shu. Xiang Shu sneered. ”The Rouran's First Warrior, your so-called ‘First' title was only called out among the Rourans. Do you really think that just because the exorcist isn't here, the Great Chanyu would be afraid of you?”
Zhou Zhen said in a deep voice, ”The Great Chanyu's martial arts is unrivaled, it's natural not to be afraid. I just don't know that against my clan who aren't afraid of death and pain, fighting until the last breath, what are your odds of success?”
Meanwhile, Chen Xing chased Che Luofeng all the way. It was as if Che Luofeng intended to make fun of him; he kept dragging and circling around inside the snow fog. Chen Xing drew his bow and nocked an arrow several times, but he couldn't aim at the high-speed Che Luofeng.
”Idiot!” Che Luofeng laughed wildly.
When they finally reached a forest, Chen Xing suddenly remembered, Since it's like this, it's time to rely on Iuppiter! He immediately stopped looking for Che Luofeng, drew his longbow, and closed his eyes. An arrow was nocked——
Right at this moment, Che Luofeng bumped his horse into Chen Xing, and as soon as the two horses collided, Chen Xing was immediately knocked flying. The fingers on the string loosened up, and the arrow was shot into the sky.
Chen Xing was ruthlessly slammed into the ground. He grabbed his bow and got up in horror.
In front of him, Che Luofeng drew his longbow and aimed at Chen Xing's head. He smiled and said, ”Enough fun, it's my turn now.”
What about Chen Xing? At the same time, he glanced up, hoping that a sudden burst of gust would blow the arrow back and pierce it through Che Luofeng's skull.
However, there was nothing. The arrow had already flown to who-knows-where.
Inside the dense snow fog, Xiang Shu clenched his broadsword tightly and stared at Zhou Zhen. Zhou Zhen smiled as he fiddled with the rattle-drum. He spun it gently, and quickly, from all corners, thousands of Rouran cavalry tried to slam into Xiang Shu, squeezing and dragging him off his horse!
Exactly at this moment, that arrow which had been blown out of its trajectory came flying from the sky towards Zhou Zhen and with a ‘pa', it hit him in his wrist. The rattle-drum sounded a ‘dong' as it flew out of his hand and spun in the air.
Zhou Zhen, who was caught off guard, only felt that his hand was suddenly empty, and he immediately turned his head.
Zhou Zhen: ”???”
Xiang Shu immediately raised his broadsword and shouted loudly as he rushed up trying to snatch the magical artifact. Behind Zhou Zhen, a figure suddenly appeared. Flying mid-air, it raised its hand and caught the rattle-drum. When Zhou Zhen was about to reach out his hand, he was hit ruthlessly with a backscratcher, fracturing his finger.
Xiao Shan suddenly appeared from inside the snow fog. Xiang Shu was about to come forward, but he was quickly surrounded by the Rouran cavalry, so he just roared, ”Xiao Shan! Take the magical artifact and go!”
Xiao Shan looked at the rattle-drum in his hand. Zhou Zhen immediately turned around to catch Xiao Shan, but Xiao Shan had already run away. The Rouran cavalry frantically besieged Xiang Shu, but Xiang Shu didn't want to keep fighting. His sword swept away several men in front of him, and he turned to look for Chen Xing.
Chen Xing waited for a long time, but the arrow didn't fly back. He sat on the ground and slowly backed away. Che Luofeng's bow and arrow missed its mark by a tiny margin.
”Yi?! Look who's here!” Chen Xing was quick-witted and pointed behind Che Luofeng.
Che Luofeng was almost deceived by Chen Xing. Subconsciously, when he was about to turn his head, he sneered. ”Do you really think I'm so…”
At this moment, from behind him, a living corpse rushed out of the forest and with a roar, it slammed into Che Luofeng and clung on him.
”Youduo!” Chen Xing shouted at once.
That living corpse was precisely Youduo; he bit Che Luofeng on the shoulder right away. Che Luofeng shouted and struggled with all his might, throwing Youduo into the snow.
Chen Xing shouted, ”I've told you! It was you who didn't want to look!” He hurriedly got up and escaped, leaving the two men to fight in the snow. He ran a few steps, looked around, then shouted, ”Xiang Shu! Xiang Shu, where are you?!”
Xiang Shu didn't respond, but Xiao Shan rushed out of the snowy battlefield. He had a rattle-drum in his left hand and a backscratcher in his right hand, shouting at Chen Xing, ”Claws! Claws!”
Great! We got it! This is excellent! Chen Xing didn't have time to ask Xiao Shan when did he rush out nor ask why the magical artifact was in his hands. He shouted, ”Quick, give it to me! Give it to me!”
Xiao Shan said, ”Claws!”
”The claws are at home!” Chen Xing pointed to the direction of the city and said, ”I didn't bring them, we'll get them later when we return!”
Xiao Shan: ”...”
Xiao Shan understood that, and Chen Xing anxiously shouted, ”Give me the magical artifact first ah!”
Xiao Shan threw out the backscratcher.
Chen Xing immediately said, ”Wrong! Give me that ‘dong dong dong'!”
Che Luofeng was finally able to break free from Youduo's bind. He pulled out his sword and rushed towards Chen Xing. Xiao Shan had to throw the rattle-drum to Chen Xing as he moved forward to stop Che Luofeng with his bare hands, protecting Chen Xing.
As soon as Chen Xing got the rattle-drum, he could sense that this magical artifact indeed had been refined by resentment, so he immediately took a breath and focused himself before shaking it.
With a 'dong' sound, a small change seemed to be happening within the snow fog.
The resentment spread through the wooden handle of the rattle-drum, and then to Chen Xing's arm. Suddenly, heavy resentment rose up from all directions. Chen Xing protected his heart using the Heart Lamp. Standing on the snow, he began to activate the ancient magical artifact, starting to spin it again and again. And then, with Chen Xing in its center, the resentment spread out just like ripples, one circle after another, covering the entire battlefield.
LOL IUPPITER NEVER FAIL
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro.