"All divisions of the human realm, all divisions from the Divine Land, listen to my command! This battle to exterminate the devil is a matter of life and death! We are not afraid of death! Follow me to charge!"
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On the heights of Mt. Longmen, Feng Qianjun faced down Princess Qinghe, breathing heavily.
"In the end, you aren't her," Feng Qianjun said coldly. "I know you aren't, so who are you really?"
Princess Qinghe closed her eyes, murmuring, "I have all of her memories from when she was living. You tell me, who would I be? Qianjun?"
Feng Qianjun roared angrily, "You are keeping the dead from their eternal slumber! You… you're able to do such a conscienceless thing, get out of her body right now!"
Feng Qianjun pulled out the Senluo Blades with both his hands, the light glinting off them as he shot towards her!
Princess Qinghe leapt into the air as she murmured, "Qianjun, come, don't you want your brother to live well? Why are you still so stubborn in denying the truth? In these past few days, I know that you've always been regretting…"
With an angry roar, Feng Qianjun's Senluo Blades sucked away the resentment in the drought fiend camp below, and suddenly all of the plants in the area shriveled and withered as a huge vine appeared in the mountains. In an instant, it flew up into the air, curling around Princess Qinghe and dragging her downwards!
Xiao Shan backed up non-stop, and he bent over as that rotten wolf opened its mouth, a garbled sound issuing from its throat. Right after, Xiao Shan felt his internal organs shifting queasily like waves on a stormy sea, as if a giant hook had latched onto his hunpo, forcefully tugging his consciousness out from within his body!
Xiao Shan let out a pained shout, and his two hands tightly clutching the wolf's claws trembled ceaselessly; he could not escape.
Then, in his chest, a little bit of the light of the Heart Lamp shone through. Though the light was weak, it helped block the ability of the grey wolf to summon souls, forcefully shoving his hunpo right back into his body!
From afar, in the midst of the open-air tent came the sound of a whistle, which echoed across the vast plains!
Xiao Shan gasped for breath as he drew his bow and nocked an arrow to the string, but the grey wolf roared indignantly, pouncing towards him. It bit down on his shoulder and leapt with him off the cliff!
Xiao Shan's body was in midair, and the pounce forced him to lean backwards, but he was still holding tightly onto that bow and arrow, and an arrow shot towards the horizon.
The second whistling arrow shrieked as it flew, piercing through the air as it did so.
In Feng Qianjun's hands, Senluo Wanxiang grew black brambles that dragged Princess Qinghe back to the summit of the mountain. After those two whistling arrows sounded, Princess Qinghe let out a biting laugh, and black resentment exploded from her body, all of it entering Feng Qianjun's Senluo blades.
"Come… don't struggle anymore…" Princess Qinghe shook off the vines and opened her two arms, flying towards Feng Qianjun.
It was then that Feng Qianjun discarded his blades, drawing his bow and nocking an arrow to the string as he shouted, "Go to your eternal rest ba!"
But Princess Qinghe's expression held a little bit of misery, and Feng Qianjun gritted his teeth, tears welling up in his eyes, as with a pained roar, he unconsciously turned aside his bow. With an ear-piercing shriek, a whistling arrow pierced through Princess Qinghe's midriff, shooting clear through her body, black blood splattering out behind as it came out her backside, flying at a slant into the air.
"You originally, still had a lot of opportunities..." Princess Qinghe leapt towards Feng Qianjun, dragging him towards the steep precipice, and Feng Qianjun struggled to push aside Princess Qinghe, only for her to catch his lips in a kiss.
After the third shriek sounded, though it was noon, dark clouds roiled, and a huge bang echoed through the mountains as the earth shook. Hundreds of thousands of cans of dynamite were tossed into the drought fiend main camp, and the blazing fire immediately swallowed the entirety of Mt. Longmen! By the yique, those majestic mountains that had existed since the heavens were separated from the earth were lit up by the blaze, and the bright fire spread out, turning into a huge fire dragon some ten li long that danced between the heavens and the earth!
Within the discussion tent, just as Xiang Shu shouted out that cry of "Attack!", King Onobayashi, Shi Mokun, and Xiang Shu all drew their bows and nocked arrows, and three arrows shot directly towards Fu Jian —— but Wang Ziye waved the folding fan in his hand, and resentment rose within the tent, shooting into the heavens.
But a whistle pierced through the sky, and soon after the second and the third resounded, before Mt. Longmen burst into flame!
In that gust of dark wind that gusted over the earth, with Chen Xing's earth-shaking cry, light burst forth and illuminated the land. It was as if two tornadoes had collided, and the dark wind that Wang Ziye had summoned was dissipated.
"Seems like your arrangements weren't as complete as you thought," Chen Xing faced down Wang Ziye as he deactivated the Heart Lamp. "Want to see if it's your thousands of years of accumulated wisdom that is more powerful, or the luck that Iuppiter has given me?"
Wang Ziye let out a cold chuckle.
"Catch Fu Jian!" Xiang Shu shouted.
From all around, the troops had already been alerted, and when those three whistles sounded and Longmen Gorge began to burn, Murong Chong's silver cavalry swept in like a tidal wave onto the plains. Right afterwards, the Chi Le Chuan warhorses and the Dongying riders all charged in!
Murong Chong pulled out his longsword in the midst of that black energy, and with an angry roar, he charged in. Suddenly, fresh blood splattered in all directions, and Fu Jian caught Murong Chong's blow with a single hand ——
"Every step of your martial arts was taught to you by Zhen," Fu Jian said darkly. "You really think that Zhen wouldn't know of your petty schemes?!"
Murong Chong, "..."
In that brief moment, Fu Jian had already landed a punch on Murong Chong's chest, and Murong Chong flew into the air, spitting out a mouthful of blood, flying backwards like a kite with a broken string.
"Let's go, Your Majesty," Wang Ziye said unconcernedly as he landed by Fu Jian's side.
Fu Jian turned, looking at Wang Ziye with rage as he roared, "You, explain this to Zhen clearly…"
Wang Ziye lifted a hand, and resentment that blanketed the land exploded outwards, instantly catching Fu Jian in its grasp.
"Since you've drunk the Devil God's blood," Wang Ziye said, "Then it's no longer up to you now."
Fu Jian's voice suddenly cut off, and his eyes immediately grew blood-red. His heart was already filled with rage from Murong Chong's betrayal, and he instantly lost all reason.
"Yuwen Xin!" Wang Ziye cried, "Gather up the imperial guards, and have them assemble in front of the yique!"
But Fu Jian's imperial guards were in great disarray, as if they were having an internal struggle.
"Oh damn," Wang Ziye suddenly remembered someone that he had forgotten. "Tuoba Yan…"
From the heights of the Longmen Gorge, Feng Qianjun plummeted headfirst into the water, and Princess Qinghe had already disappeared off to who knows where. In the distance, there was an earth-shaking roar as the hooves of the thousands of warhorses in the large army thudded against the ground like war drums. As the Dongying, Chi Le Covenant, and Pingyang cavalry military flags gathered up in one spot from the three different directions they came in, they began to encircle Fu Jian's imperial guards.
And the imperial guards that were originally under Yuwen Xin's command had further split into two factions; almost 10,000 were being led by Tuoba Yan, and the Luoyang troops waiting outside had no way to enter that chaotic battle. For a while, the armies on the plains, along with Tuoba Yan's men, began to slaughter Yuwen Xin and his men, and in a split second, Yuwen Xin's determination collapsed, and he immediately trampled over the Luoyang troops gathered around the outside as he escaped towards the foot of Mt. Longmen!
"He's escaping!" Chen Xing shouted.
"No rush," Xiang Shu said easily. "We'll be able to capture him, get on the horse."
The two of them mounted the horse, and Xiang Shu pressed his fingers to his lips and let out a whistle. Answering whistles, as if they came from his own lips, resounded across the troops. The four armies gathered into formation, and Xiang Shu pulled out the greatsword strapped to his back and lifted it.
"The Heart Lamp," Xiang Shu said.
On the darkened plains covered by black clouds, Chen Xing ignited the Heart Lamp, and the Acala Blade in Xiang Shu's hand began to shine!
"All divisions of the human realm, all divisions from the Divine Land, listen to my command!" Xiang Shu said, "This battle to exterminate the devil is a matter of life and death! We are not afraid of death! Follow me to charge!"
In that instant, an ocean of roars swelled from the throats of all of the four armies, and the 50,000 soldiers gathered up under Xiang Shu's command, beginning to charge towards the remainder of Fu Jian's imperial guards!
Within that mad rush of thousands of horses, Chen Xing could no longer react —— he could only follow behind Xiang Shu as they galloped forward, and as he watched that back, he only felt that although Xiang Shu was no longer the master of Saiwai and had no claim to any citizens or territory, he was still the king of the northern lands.
Thank you, Heart Lamp, Chen Xing thought in his heart, for letting me find him.
Wang Ziye and Fu Jian hastily retreated to the foot of Mt. Longmen, while Yuwen Xin and his subordinates tossed away their armor as they headed in that direction, shouting, "Retreat quickly! Guoshi! Retreat quickly! Shulü Kong's counterattacking!"
Wang Ziye said coldly, "Trash, get out of the way!"
Yuwen Xin, "Tuoba Yan's also betrayed us! There's nowhere left to retreat to!"
The imperial guards could retreat no further. Behind them was the blazing Mt. Longmen, and if they got any closer, they would be burnt to ash by the flames. At this time, the fire reached upwards towards the heavens, everything else turning pitch black, but the large army that Xiang Shu led kept charging forward, forcing Fu Jian and his men towards the yique blazing with flame. Some of the soldiers began to leap into the river to escape with their lives.
Wang Meng had also managed to escape, returning to Wang Ziye's side. When Wang Ziye saw that the number of enemy troops on the plains grew greater in number and the encirclement was closing in, he finally lifted up his hand.
A ray of resentment shot towards the sky, and with a loud boom, the trees that had been ignited on the mountain collapsed. Right after, the drought fiends that were on fire rushed out of the gorge, sweeping across the entire plains.
In the shadow of the yique.
Feng Qianjun finally found Xiao Shan. Xiao Shan's shoulder had been bitten through by the wolf's teeth, and the wounds bled resentment as he struggled out of the water.
"Are you alright?!" Feng Qianjun asked anxiously.
Xiao Shan managed to nod his head, and he pointed towards the distance as he said, "I… I saw…"
"Let's go first and talk later!" Feng Qianjun said. "The mountain's beginning to burn!"
All around them were blazing flames as Feng Qianjun and Xiao Shan clambered onto the riverbank of the Huai River, only to see burning drought fiends running around everywhere. With this blaze, more than half of the 300,000-strong drought fiends had turned into charred ash. The rest of them swarmed in all directions, dragging along their broken limbs and flesh that had been cooked through, only to encounter Xiang Shu's iron cavalry, and with only a few rounds of clashing, were trampled under their feet.
On the plains, King Onobayashi watched this scene with something akin to horror. He finally realized that had this battle not occurred, not long after Fu Jian accomplished his goal of conquering the south, his own country would be facing such danger.
"It's up to you guys!" Xiang Shu, with Chen Xing in tow, shouted towards Shi Mokun, "We're going to capture Wang Ziye!"
Chen Xing said, "Where are Xiao Shan and Feng Qianjun?!"
Xiang Shu: "We can't wait for them anymore!"
The plan so far could narrowly count as a success: Wang Ziye's drought fiends had already almost all been dealt with, and what was left was the most important moment. Chen Xing anxiously looked into the distance.
He saw Wang Meng back up a little, less than a hundred zhang from the yique, as he opened his palm, shaking out a tattered pennant. Resentment coiled around the pennant, and it billowed towards them.
As soon as Chen Xing saw that pennant he suddenly thought of the fact that the enemy actually had artifacts hidden away at the very bottom of the chest that they could use, and he immediately cried, "Retreat! Don't ask why! Quick!"
Xiang Shu galloped away at full speed, lifting up the Acala Blade horizontally to one side as he made a hand gesture. The four armies immediately turned around and changed formations, retreating in all directions, and at that point Wang Ziye waved that pennant, and with a huge boom, a wave of formless air swept across the battlefield.
"The White Tiger Pennant?! It's an artifact?!" Xie An, who had been following along behind, instantly recognized this artifact, which was one of the two the imperial family had. Legend had it that this was a treasure left behind from the time of the founding of the Han dynasty, and it symbolized the right of the emperor to start and stop troops from attacking.
All the armies of the world, upon seeing the White Tiger Pennant, would fight, and upon seeing the Zouyu Pennant, they would all cease. Many years ago, the two pennants truly did have powerful mana within them, until the Silence of All Magic. Mortals didn't know the reason why, and they just believed that they were the symbols of an emperor's power. Chen Xing had once seen them in Fu Jian's study, but he had never expected Wang Ziye to actually bring out the White Tiger Pennant itself!
"Wang Ziye!" Xie An yelled angrily. "You guys are using the artifacts of the Jin people, do you have any shame?!"
Thankfully, Xiang Shu had issued a speedy order to retreat, and all of the cavalry had already run outside of the area of effect of the artifact, otherwise, they would inevitably turn on each other due to the power of the White Tiger Pennant. However, in a one li radius around Wang Ziye, the rest of the imperial troops had already fallen under the influence of the pennant, and each of them were caught in the throes of bloodthirst as they slaughtered, unheeding of gathering up in squads as they individually rushed towards the outer circle.
"Who doesn't have a few artifacts?" Chen Xing jeered.
In the next instant, the Zheng Drum sounded, du, before it dudu-ed twice, and the drought fiends that had been cooked through and trampled over before turning into white bones now rose up, charging towards the imperial guards, heading forwards in a surprise attack.
The scene was like purgatory on earth. The fire was engulfing mountains and forests, and within a ten li radius, the earth was completely scorched. However, on this burnt land, there were still untold numbers of skeletons rushing in from all sides.
"Don't use it!" Xiang Shu said, angry. "Save it for an important battle! You retreat a bit!" Xiang Shu shouted, "Don't go near Wang Ziye!"
"Find a way to retrieve that magical artifact," Chen Xing panted for breath as he talked.
"No time." Xiang Shu was irritated to the extreme and frowned. "Where the hell did Xiao Shan and Feng Qianjun go?"
Feng Qianjun, dripping wet, dragged Xiao Shan out and crawled to the riverside before shooting out the 4th signal arrow towards the sky.
At last, the soldiers in ambush were mobilized; the 60.000 backup troops recruited with gold and silver by the Feng family came out of their hiding places on two sides of yique and launched the final clash against Fu Jian and Wang Ziye's army. Although Fu Jian had already gone to the frontline himself and had been killing people all over the place, his own side was also in disarray. While it was true that the White Tiger Pennant was mobilizing his men in his place and had turned them fierce and fearless of death as they massacred people everywhere, it had also turned his men crazy to the point that they were no longer listening to their commander-in-chief's commands.
Upon seeing the battlefield, Wang Ziye subconsciously moved half a step back.
"Lure them over," said Wang Ziye. "Do not let His Majesty go into the battle!"
A moment later, Xiao Shan and Feng Qianjun simultaneously rushed out of the water. Feng Qianjun made a strike targeting Weng Meng's hand while Xiao Shan pounced at Wang Ziye in a rage.
"I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!" Xiao Shan had never been angrier all his life.
Wang Ziye immediately pulled back and abandoned Wang Meng without a second look. Wang Meng's arm holding the White Tiger Pennant was immediately chopped off by Feng Qianjun.
Xiang Shu stopped his horse outside the encirclement and saw the imperial army led by Yuwen Xin break apart once again. Panting, Tuoba Yan led the troops and came over to meet up with them. "What do we do now?! Continue fighting?!"
Xiang Shu said, "Wait… I saw Feng Qianjun!"
Grabbing a horse, Feng Qianjun rushed back to the battle with Xiao Shan while revealing the White Tiger Pennant as he shouted, "I've got it back! How do we use it?"
"No, don't!" Chen Xing stopped him at once. "Don't use it by all means! Don't!"
Xiang Shu decisively said, "Gather the whole army! Charge!"
Eventually, Fu Jian couldn't ward off the opposition anymore and followed Wang Ziye to flee deeper inside the Yique region. He followed along the river and passed through the burning entrance of the Longmen Gorge.
Wang Ziye turned around. Airbound and flying towards the center of Yique region, from up above, he watched the assault charge in again and again, and each time, the number of soldiers on his side dwindled.
Shi Mokun and King Onobayashi separated into two wings, each going around one side of Longmen Mountains to outflank them. Xiang Shu, holding his broadsword and bringing along Chen Xing, charged deeper into Yique.
Wang Ziye murmured, "In this case, let's see whether or not it truly can be opened…"
"Take his fan!" Chen Xing said, "I'm certain that fan is very important to him!"
"You do it!" Xiang Shu got angry. "Don't just order me around! He's in mid-air right now, how am I supposed to snatch it?!"
As he said that, Wang Ziye gathered up all resentment before waving his folding fan in the air. It turned into a black meteor with a size comparable to a mountain and noisily hurtled towards the whole land. He actually wanted to use the formidable impact of meteor collisions to wipe out all lives on earth.
"It's too late!" Chen Xing said.
Xiang Shu had no choice but to ready the Acala Blade. Bright light burst off from his body —— the Immovable Wisdom King, Acalanātha descended!
At that very moment, every single person on the battlefield raised their head to look at this scene. They all saw Xiang Shu take a leap up from the warhorse on gallop; he tilted his body to one side, a gold-plated white robe appearing all over his body. The Acala Blade in his hands transformed into six kinds of weapons, leaving trails of golden flame as he launched towards the sky and directly at Wang Ziye!
Chen Xing felt a burst of pain in his heart.
I can hold on, I have to hold on… Chen Xing said to himself.
But, all of the sudden, Wang Ziye closed his folding fan, and the black meteor disappeared in an instant.
Wang Ziye made such an unexpected move while Xiang Shu was gliding. At full-speed, he passed through the dense resentment and raised the Acala, its nine runes flaring up at the same time. Longmen's flaming yique seemed to have reacted to it as on both cliffs where the western and eastern ques were located, bright rings of light simultaneously lit up. In the huge gate relative to the two peaks, a strange dragon-shaped rune flashed a dazzling golden light.
All of the sudden, a golden veil of light appeared in the middle of the yique, as if a magical gate had been opened!
"What is that?!" Chen Xing was flabbergasted.
An unexpected event arose all of the sudden. Wang Ziye had already withdrawn himself inside that gate, and immediately afterwards, Xiang Shu, who had yet to stop his momentum, also went flying inside the gate.
Chen Xing's sight began to darken. At the moment Xiang Shu rushed into that veil of light, the Heart Lamp's connection between the two was suddenly cut off. Soon afterwards, the veil of light dimmed at a speed visible to the naked eye before flashing once and completely disappeared.
But after a brief moment of disappearance, Xiang Shu and Wang Ziye both reappeared again; it was as if they were simply passing through a wall. The Heart Lamp's power was withdrawn; the Martial God's robe on Xiang Shu's body had completely disappeared while the Acala Blade returned to ordinary iron as it fell from the sky.
Wang Ziye fell to the ground with a loud bang, black qi wrapping his body.
Xiang Shu rolled over in the air and landed on the ground. The two men had reached the other side of yique.
Chen Xing galloped and chased after them, shouting, "Xiang Shu! Are you OK?!"
Xiang Shu straightened his body and with his back to Chen Xing, he raised his hand, showing Wang Ziye's folding fan in his hand.
"Great!" Chen Xing said.
There was no trace of Fu Jian, and Wang Meng was also nowhere to be found. The remaining Wang Ziye crawled out of the river with much difficulty and suddenly let out a strange laugh.
"I knew it," Wang Ziye said in a low voice. "You're even more stupid than I thought, Shulü Kong! You will regret this!"
"What did you know?" Chen Xing was surprised. "What happened just now?"
Chen Xing dismounted and asked Xiang Shu, his tone anxious. When the two people's gazes met, Xiang Shu looked slightly absent-minded as he avoided Chen Xing's gaze.
"Nothing," Xiang Shu said in a voice only he could hear. "When… when we return, I'll explain."
Something must've happened during that brief moment of them passing through the veil of light, but now wasn't the time to ask about it. Feng Qianjun, Xiao Shan, and Xie An chased after him and surrounded Wang Ziye from all directions.
"Sure enough, this husk also won't do." Wang Ziye slowly said. "Xiang Shu, consider my words carefully."
"What did he say?" Chen Xing frowned, feeling a trace of danger.
Xiang Shu, however, just picked up the Acala Blade and pointed it at Wang Ziye.
"I won't consider the words of any dead person," Xiang Shu said. "Do it!"
Xiang Shu, Feng Qianjun, and Xiao Shan pounced on Wang Ziye all at once. Wang Ziye kept laughing in a strange way and shouted, "I won't keep you guys company any longer!"
"There is still some good stuff… waiting for you!" Chen Xing was waiting for this very moment; he spread both of his hands to activate the Yin Yang Mirror.
Wang Ziye's laughter suddenly came to a stop. The Yin Yang Mirror immediately hovered over everyone's head and burst forth a vortex, and with a rumble, it sucked him in!
Wang Ziye was the first to disappear. Soon afterwards, Chen Xing shouted, "It's all yours! Xie-shixiong! Protect the mirror!"
As the four men entered the mirror, Xie An trotted forward, rushing in to catch the falling Yin Yang Mirror.
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