The many Empyrean Gods and True Immortals below Daofather Crimsonbright looked towards him.
“Years ago, I once had the chance to take on this Ji Ning as my disciple, but of the three choices that were made available to me, I choose Little Woodpass.” Daofather Crimsonbright smiled, seeming to be in an excellent mood. “I felt certain that Little Woodpass would have more potential than Ji Ning, but it seems that my vision has grown blurry with age.”
All of the Empyrean Gods and True Immortals were speechless.
To praise Ji Ning was one thing; after all, he had indeed completely changed the situation in that battle at the Grand Xia. But for the Daofather to say that his ‘vision has grown blurry with age’ was a bit exaggerated. What sort of a status did a Daofather have? Even if he truly did wish to satirize himself a bit, for him to satirize himself for Ji Ning’s sake was quite bizarre.
“In the end, it was that old friend of mine who had superior vision.” Daofather Crimsonbright pointed towards the air, and yet another mirror of light appeared out of nowhere. The images of yet another battle appeared on that mirror, one in which more than a hundred Empyrean Gods and True Immortals were participating in, alongside true dragons, Fiendgods, phoenixes, and other mythical beasts. The two sides in the battle were battling with ferocity. Daofather Crimsonbright said calmly, “The final battle between the Winesun Realm and the Seamless Gate has reached the crescendo.”
Everyone below watched the battle carefully.
The Winesun Realm was the dozens of major worlds and countless minor worlds ruled over by Daofather Winesun. It was a realm that was not inferior to the Crimsonbright Realm at all.
“The Winesun Realm has actually sent nearly eighty Empyrean Gods and True Immortals into battle?”
“Look; those eighteen True Immortals have joined together into a Ninesongs Formation. They must be close to a Daofather in power.”
“They are going quite berserk.”
“Even the phoenix lineage has descended.”
This was a great battle, one which was far more vicious than the one the Grand Xia had just engaged in.
As the Xia Emperor watched this battle, he suddenly understood everything. Right…as he was feeling misery for the Celestial Immortals and the Loose Immortals who had perished under his command, the exalted Daofathers were watching things on a much higher level. During such a violent tempest as this one which had swept the Three Realms, the deaths of Celestial Immortals and Loose Immortals simply wouldn’t cause too much of a reaction from the Daofathers. Only the deaths of Empyrean Gods and True Immortals would arouse the attention of the True Gods and Daofathers.
In the eyes of the Xia Emperor, his losses had been unsustainably catastrophic. In the eyes of the Daofathers, however…the battle in the Grand Xia had resulted in comparable losses for both the Xia Emperor and the Seamless Gate. Things had yet to reach a truly dire state.
“This great storm is one which has swept the entire Three Realms. In the end, it will cause many True Gods and Daofathers to perish…and to think, I was about to give up so easily? It seems that I’ve been living a comfortable life for far, far too long…just the slightest setback was enough to make me feel despair and a desire to retreat,” the Xia Emperor mused to himself.
“Xiamang.” Suddenly, a voice rang out within the Xia Emperor’s mind.
The Xia Emperor couldn’t help but raise his head to look. The speaker was Daofather Crimsonbright.
“The battle for the Grand Xia has just started,” Daofather Crimsonbright sent mentally. “The Seamless Gate has only sent a small portion of its forces; the assault is mainly being led by the Gatemaster Azurefox’s Seamless Gate. That is why none of us were in a hurry to intervene. If the Seamless Gate lets it go, then we’ll let it go as well. But if they are to summon their forces and attack en masse, then we will assist you.”
The Xia Emperor instantly grew excited.
“But of course, if you aren’t even able to withstand the limited forces which Azurefox has brought out from her branch of the Seamless Gate, then you have no one to blame but yourself,” Daofather Crimsonbright sent mentally. “You can only blame yourself for not working hard enough, for not even being strong enough to force Azurefox’s branch to request reinforcements.”
“Understood.” The Xia Emperor nodded.
When he thought back…
Indeed, he, Xiamang, hadn’t been ruthless enough.
He hadn’t been ruthless enough to his subordinates. He hadn’t been willing to let any of his Empyrean Gods, True Immortals, or Heaven Punishers to perish. But in a real life-and-death war, sacrifices sometimes had to be made. The more you tried to ensure that none of your people died, the more likely it was that you would fail. The Seamless Gate, for example; they had essentially sent many of their Bloodcloud golems into certain death, but the Bloodcloud golems had been very successful. The deaths of just eight of those golems had resulted in them slaying a Heaven Punisher and a Fiendgod army. This sort of mindset, of going all out even at the risk of your own death, could indeed be astonishingly successful.
He hadn’t been ruthless enough to himself either. He hadn’t been willing to use up a large amount of his own Jindan essence in activating the Grand Xia’s Worldguard Formation a second time, because if he had, his white-robed Primaltwin wouldn’t have been able to recover for a very long period of time.
“The Seamless Gate needs to engage on multiple battlefronts, fanning the flames of war throughout the entire Three Realms,” Daofather Crimsonbright sent mentally. “Their forces are limited. Although their intelligence reports provided them with a rough estimate of the power of your Grand Xia and allow them to make some arrangements, they can’t waste too much of their power either. If it hadn’t been for the fact that three thousand Celestial Immortals of the Grand Xia had been seduced into their service, they actually would’ve been at a disadvantage in manpower compared to you.”
“The highest level members of the Seamless Gate have ordered their subordinates to go all out.”
“You…need to go all out as well.”
“Some Celestial Immortals may die; even Empyrean Gods and True Immortals may die. So what? This is a tribulation, a true storm. If we can kill seven or eight of the Empyrean Gods and True Immortals of the Seamless Gate in exchange for just losing four or five of ours, it would be worth it; it would be a great victory.” Daofather Crimsonbright’s voice caused the Xia Emperor to feel rather stunned.
Killing a thousand foes while losing five hundred allies; this would be considered a tremendous victory.
“In the midst of a storm, you need to be awakened as to how to behave within it. When the Primordial World was destroyed, you were very weak and so did not take part in the battle; you have no idea how terrifying these great storms can be. This is just the beginning…because that old bastard has yet to fully awaken.” Daofather Crimsonbright sent mentally, “Once that old bastard truly awakens, this storm will reach its crescendo. By then, Empyrean Gods and True Immortals will be like ants, and a large number of True Gods and Daofathers will perish.”
“Your disciple erred.” The Xia Emperor now completely understood.
He had to be ruthless.
Ruthless to his subordinates.
Ruthless to himself.
Only then could he survive this storm!
Within the Eight Dragons Cloudcity, there was a joyous celebration.
The Fiendgod armies, Raindragon army, and Heaven Punisher armies were all sent back to their quarters.
“Fellow Daoist Darknorth, it is very rare for me, Floatwater, to admire someone…but I truly admire what you did this day.” After the Raindragon army was dissolved, a willowy maiden dressed in black armor came flying out from it. She was a Pure Yang True Immortal.
“Respectful greetings to you, True Immortal Floatwater,” Ning said. He was still pretending to be a Celestial Immortal.
“No need for such courtesy. In fact, in terms of leading and commanding a thousand Celestial Immortals and all those Loose Immortals, you are actually superior to me.” True Immortal Floatwater gave Ning a close look. “To tell the truth…I even suspect that you’ve already become a Pure Yang True Immortal.”
Ning just chuckled.
One delighted voice after another rang out. It was Unity, Allbeasts, Whacko, Rainsoar, and Dustfloat.
Ning looked at his four sworn brothers and sworn sister, both joy and grief in his heart. He felt grief because his sixth brother, Rainbow, had already perished.
“Alas…sixth brother didn’t have a chance to see it.”
As the six of them reunited, they quickly turned sorrowful.
“There will always be deaths in war.” The black-robed Xia Emperor flew over, a group of Empyrean Gods and True Immortals by his side. It was Empyrean God Kindwater, Empyrean God Coldsavage, Empyrean God Firecloud, True Immortal Skyfarmer, and True Immortal Dongyan.
“Imperial Majesty.” Ning and the rest of the six all hurriedly saluted.
“This time, many Celestial Immortals, Loose Immortals, and even Fiendgods perished. Rainbow was just one of them,” the black-robed Xia Emperor said. “This is just the start of this great storm. We should all understand that even more of us will die.”
Ning and the others all understood this point. Subhuti had spoken to Ning of this as well. These two great alliances were both seeking to destroy the other.
“However…” The black-robed Xia Emperor looked at Ning, revealing a smile. “Hahaha, Ji Ning, you truly gave me a wonderful surprise. Haha, I had even given an order for us to temporarily withdraw…but who would’ve thought that you would bring me such a wonderful surprise? You even killed a Pure Yang True Immortal!”
‘Temporarily withdraw’? It most certainly was not! Back then, the Xia Emperor had wanted to completely flee from the Grand Xia and admit defeat.
“Right now, the advantage lies not with the Seamless Gate; it lies with us, the Grand Xia!”
The Xia Emperor looked at his allies, his laugh loud and clear. “Right now, the biggest headache the Seamless Gate has is addressing the question of how to deal with Ji Ning. True Immortal Whitepole, Gatemaster Azurefox, and Venomsong’s White-Faced Flood Dragon had to all work together in order to just slightly slow him down; they aren’t able to completely tie him down. I imagine that they’d have to send out yet another Empyrean God or True Immortal in command of a White-Faced Flood Dragon to accomplish it.”
“That would make things much more relaxed for the rest of us. We can slaughter them.” The Grand Xia also had the Raindragon army, the two Fiendgod armies, as well as five Heaven Punishers and multiple Empyrean Gods and True Immortals.
The entire atmosphere within the Eight Dragons Cloudcity became much more relaxed.
Slaying a Pure Yang True Immortal was definitely a great success.
The Seamless City.
The atmosphere here was very gloomy.
“How could this have happened?”
The Empyrean Gods and True Immortals were all gathered within the main palace. Everyone, including True Immortal Whitepole and Gatemaster Azurefox, had ugly looks on their faces.
Although they had killed a few Celestial Immortals and Loose Immortals of the Grand Xia, they had also lost many Celestial Immortals and Loose Immortals; their losses were actually fairly comparable.
Most importantly of all…
They had lost one of their Pure Yang True Immortals.
“What should we do?”
“The Heaven Punisher under Ji Ning’s command suddenly became incredibly powerful. Just now, Whitepole, Azurefox, and Venomsong’s Heaven Punisher had to join forces against him, but he was still able to charge forward. We no longer have enough power to win this war. If this continues, we’ll be in danger of actually losing it. As I see it…we need to request reinforcements.”
“Right. Request reinforcements.”
“We don’t have enough strength left.”
The Empyrean Gods and True Immortals all spoke out in favor.
Gatemaster Azurefox, however, had a dark look on her face. She snapped coldly, “Request reinforcements…do you think it will be that easy? The Godking has a hundred Seamless Gates which have been assigned to conquer many major worlds. Some of them are now permanently stationed on already-conquered major worlds. Every single Seamless Gate is in desperate need of additional forces, of more power. Who doesn’t want reinforcements? But if everyone wants reinforcements…it will be hard for anyone to actually get it.”
Everyone fell silent for a time.
Their alliance’s total military power, compared to the Nuwa Alliance, was still weaker.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t have had to use all sorts of enticements and underhanded methods.
Fortunately, they had an absolute advantage in terms of intelligence reports. As the saying goes, only when you know your enemy and know yourself can you be the victor in all your battles. In a war, intelligence was tremendously important. It was thanks to their intelligence reports that the Seamless Gate had been able to create so many problems for the Nuwa alliance. In truth, the Seamless Gate’s power was already stretched very thin. To request reinforcements? It would be difficult.
Last time, the Godking had taken out a Dao-fruit of primordial chaos for them to deal with the Grand Xia’s Worldguard Formation, but had not given them any additional reinforcements.
“Azurefox, things are different now. Ji Ning is a new variable, a major new variable in this equation.”
“Right. Report it to the Godking.”
Ning’s display of power had been too great. He had caused the Seamless Gate to sense that if things were to continue, they would probably lose disastrously no matter how hard they fought.
Gatemaster Azurefox fell silent.
True Immortal Whitepole looked towards her as well. Although he had also taken on the Godking as his master, Azurefox was closer to the Godking than Whitepole was, and she was the Gatemaster of this Seamless Gate. True Immortal Whitepole was nothing more than the temporary military commander for this campaign against the Grand Xia.
“Fine. I’ll report it to the Godking,” Azurefox said heavily.
Requesting reinforcements…Azurefox felt very ashamed for being forced to resort to this.