Chapter 208: Suggestion
Anubi wasn’t just spouting out empty words.
He really felt like he could surround and capture his opponents in a net all at once — after Su Chen had helped him analyze the Scarlet Heart’s attitude, of course.
As such, once the troops arrived, Anubi made a decision.
“What? Form an encirclement? Your Majesty, there’s no need for this in the slightest! Let me take command of the armies and we can just charge in immediately!”
Within the Ravagers’ main tent, Likarlon was yelling in his unique, raspy voice. This bald-headed Ravager, whose brain was even made of muscle, was Anubi’s most trusted general, and also the Inferno Tribe’s top warrior.
The way he conducted battle was very similar to how he looked — simple, direct, and crude. The reason why he was contradicting Anubi was simply because he felt like the orders were too much of a hassle. In that sense, this kind of reasoning was the easiest for Anubi to accept, because this would also make him seem more wise.
However, the reactions of the other Ravagers made him unhappy.
“The Three Mountain Castle is not a place that can be easily surrounded. It is hemmed in on all sides with complicated, tortuous mountain terrain. The soldiers will have a hard time spreading out, and even if we setup an encirclement, its effects will be minimal anyways,” Shinback argued.
Shinback was Anubi’s transport official, and he was primarily responsible for managing the army’s logistics. Even though the Ravagers were known for their disastrous logistical and organizational skills, Shinback was at least decent at his job — which meant that he was not the worst. For him to have reached this rank implied that he was also quite intelligent, which was also why he served as a part of Anubi’s think tank.
Actually, because of his status, Anubi usually interacted with smarter Ravagers more often than not. After all, anyone who didn’t have their wits about them wouldn’t be able to last very long as Anubi’s subordinate. Anyone who could climb the social ladder up to this point could not possibly just be an average individual.
Shinback was two hundred years old already. He was not young either, which meant that he was very prudent.
While Shinback’s words had only made Anubi merely unhappy, the next person’s words, in comparison, caused him to fly into a rage.
“This is a disastrous, terrible idea. It will take at least a whole day to set up an encirclement given our terrain, and during this one day the Beasts can attack at any point in time, exploiting the holes in our defenses. And even if we manage to stop their attacks, it won’t be of any use. The terrain is very isolated, so our troops will naturally be split up into isolated groups. The Beasts will be able to rely on the terrain to attack different areas with their full force. The encirclement will just fragment our army and have them be attacked separately.”
As the commander-in-chief of the two hundred thousand man army, Gucha had the authority to speak in this manner.
However, this didn’t mean that his words had any impact on the actual battle plan.
“This is my plan. I’m going to capture that bastard alive!” Anubi shrieked.
The hidden meaning behind his words was that if Gucha called this plan stupid one more time, Anubi would skin him alive then and there.
However, Gucha demonstrated the characteristics that most Ravagers had — stubbornness, resoluteness, and inflexibility.
He replied, “This plan will not help you to capture him alive. You will only end up an idiot loser.”
“Shut your mouth, you damned bastard!” Anubi howled as he charged across the tent. “I’ll kill you!”
He unleashed a punch as he hurtled forwards.
Unfortunately, Gucha was not Alicia. Anubi’s punch did not kill the other party; all it did was create gigantic waves of energy that rippled in all directions.
“Even if you are the emperor, don’t think that you can do as you please!” Gucha howled as he counterattacked.
He was actually fighting back!
This was the first time that Su Chen had ever seen anything like this. Even though he had made some preparations for the Ravagers being brainless, he still was not fully used to this kind of situation.
Rather, this was the essence of the Ravagers’ true nature. Everything he had seen before was a representation of everything that Ravagers were not.
The battle between an emperor and his commander-in-chief unfolded at this moment. The Ravager soldiers were neither surprised nor disturbed. Actually, they even began to form a circle around the fighters as they cheered and egged them on.
In terms of strength, Gucha had reached the peak of Totemic Inscriptions, undergone six baptisms already, and gathered countless years of actual battle experience, putting him way above Anubi. However, Anubi was the emperor, and he was more than prepared to show off his full power.
As he attacked, he howled, “This is not a Takushi. I, the great Anubi Inferno, am punishing this bastard. You cannot fight back against me. If you hurt me, then your actions will be considered as treason.”
“Don’t even think about trying to pin that ridiculous crime on me,” Gucha howled powerfully. However, his attacks were still somewhat unrestrained.
They fought like this for some time. In the end, Gucha was kicked back a few times by Anubi, and Anubi was punched by Gucha.
In the face.
As they touched the palm prints and footprints on their bodies, the conference resumed.
Anubi pouted with dissatisfaction. “Sachar is dead, but I still am not free.”
“Your recklessness will bring about the destruction of the Ravager race. You’d best learn how to control yourself a bit better,” an ancient-sounding voice spoke from off in the corner.
The speaker was a white-haired, ancient man leaning on a cane.
Even though he was extremely old, no Ravager dared to look down on him.
That was because he was the Ravagers’ central Divine Shrine’s Head Ancestor, Goncourt. He was the religious representative of the entire Iron and Blood Country, the one who wielded the hearts of the citizens as his power.
It could be said that Goncourt was the uncrowned emperor of the Ravagers. Without his support, any battles that the Ravagers fought would be considered unfavored and even cursed.
If Gucha’s opposition to the emperor was backed one-third by his own strength and two-thirds by his temperament, then Goncourt’s instruction of Anubi was proper and right, a matter of principle. It was like when Sachar restricted him, an elder instructing his own junior.
When faced with Goncourt’s rebuke, even someone as cruel, savage, barbaric, and crude as Anubi could only lower his head obediently.
“Fine. Then what do you think we should do? Attack the city directly?” Anubi asked, somewhat stifled.
“I think that’s a great idea,” Likarlon interjected with an honest smile.
“Idiot, the Beasts still number in the hundreds of thousands, with at least thirty of them in the Demonic Lord realm. Do you really think that we can swallow them up without paying a price?” Shinback said. “We need to find a way to deal with our opponents.”
“The Beasts aren’t good at coming up with plans,” Likarlon muttered.
“What if we get them to run into an encirclement of their own accord?” Su Chen suddenly interjected.
As the head of internal servants, his rank was the lowest, and as a mid-tier cavalry officer, his rank was still the lowest. But as the emperor’s close, favored subject, Su Chen did have some authority to speak.
“Shut your mouth, you bastard. You bewitched the emperor with your flowery words,” Gucha harrumphed.
If Su Chen weren’t a male, he might have cursed him for being a fox demoness.
“Let him speak, Gucha. Wise people don’t stop others from speaking,” Goncourt said slowly, with deep meaning behind his words.
He had spoken this towards Gucha, but also for Anubi to hear.
Su Chen shrugged. “It’s quite simple. We know why the Scarlet Heart refuses to retreat — he is aiming for the Origin Bone Scepter. So if we give him an opportunity, it’s obvious that he will charge over…… And with him, he will bring his troops along with him right into our encirclement.
Gucha was stunned. “Are you saying that His Majesty should……”
“Become bait? Yes, that is what I meant,” Su Chen said with great conviction. “If we put His Majesty’s carriage at the very front, then the Scarlet Heart will feel like he has an opportunity.”
“That’s putting His Majesty in danger!” Shinback cried out, not wasting the opportunity to demonstrate his loyalty to Anubi.
“There won’t be any danger,” Su Chen replied. “We can use a substitute, but we must give that substitute the real Origin Bone Scepter and the Vitality Totem.”
Using a substitute to cheat the Scarlet Heart?
Everyone glanced at each other.
“Are you sure that the Scarlet Heart will charge in even if he knows that there is an ambush?” Shinback asked.
“He will. As long as there are treasures, he won’t care how many soldiers you have. His earlier actions are proof of this,” Su Chen stated confidently.
“But the Scarlet Heart is not easy to trick. It’s impossible to deceive him with ordinary camouflage techniques,” Gucha brought up.
“Humans have a special kind of technique that allows them to change appearances. You all should know about this, right?” Su Chen asked.
“Of course, but very few people can actually use this technique,” Gucha said. In his heart, however, he felt that this hurdle would not pose a problem for Su Chen. In other words, Su Chen had already prepared a solution to this problem when he made his suggestion.
Indeed, Su Chen replied with a slight smile, saying, “You forget that I have seventy-three human soldiers at my disposal. Coincidentally, one of them just so happens to possess this ability.”
The group of high-status Ravagers were all stunned.
This was indeed quite the coincidence.
Of course, in reality this was not a coincidence at all. Su Chen had already created a camouflage technique of his own, so it was no surprise that he could teach it to other people.
Goncourt then asked, “Then why didn’t that human immediately use his camouflage abilities to escape?”
Su Chen replied, “He wouldn’t have escaped the eyes of the Clairvoyants. This kind of technique is only useful against someone who isn’t prepared.”
Goncourt said, “That’s also a problem. If he can’t trick a Clairvoyant, then it’ll be impossible for him to trick the Scarlet Heart.”
“But that might not be the case if he has your help, right?” Su Chen countered. “You don’t need him to completely trick the Scarlet Heart; you just need to make it so that the Scarlet Heart has no way of figuring it out from a distance.”
“So we’re going to hand over the Origin Bone Scepter and Vitality Totem to a human?” Gucha then pointed out the most glaring issue.
“There will be two hundred thousand Ravagers surrounding a single human,” Su Chen replied calmly. “I was just offering a suggestion anyways. If you have a better plan, then please, feel free to propose it.”
At the Three Mountain Castle.
The Scarlet Heart sat upon his massive throne constructed from a skull inside of the floating bloody palace, which was being pulled along by eight Armored Crocodiles.
The throne had been constructed from 999 skulls taken from Ravagers, Harpies, Oceanids, and other various races, including two Emperor-level existences and twenty-four King-level existences. These skulls were not completely dead, however; their eyes glowed with a mystical fire, and from time to time they would move and crash against an invisible barrier, howling and shrieking unhappily.
The Scarlet Heart sat on this throne in the appearance of an elegant, graceful, middle-aged human, but a black fog emanated from his body, giving him a strange and enigmatic aura.
His eyes were closed and his head tilted, as if he were asleep. In his hand was a scepter, which had three gems inlaid in the wooden body of the scepter in a row. These three gems were red, blue, and black.
He rubbed his fingers gently over the gems of the scepter, rhythmically tapping them against the scepter, indicating that he was not actually asleep. The smaller Demonic Beasts kneeling below him couldn’t help but tremble in fear.
Suddenly, he opened his eyes.
In that instant, the entire void seemed to suddenly light up.
His gaze penetrated the walls of the castle as it pierced into the distance.
He said, “I can sense it…… my treasures!”