Chen Feng looked around and saw that around 200 disciples were sent by the sect along with the Iron Sword Brigade.
Two hundred disciples and three thousand soldiers of the Iron Sword Brigade. Looks like this is going to be a hard battle. Chen Feng thought to himself.
Chen Feng understood it well. Since Iron Sword Sect had dispatched such a large number of combatants, the other sects and great families will also be sending out such a number. The number of combatants sent out by the City Lord Residence will be even higher. Adding the nine forces together, they will have over ten thousand soldiers and over one thousand sect disciples. For a city like Black Origin City, this could be considered a large-scale war. As far as Chen Feng could remember, since joining Iron Sword Sect, such a large-scale war had never taken place before.
It seems I have to be careful this time. Although I have reached the primary energy takes form (7th) layer, the power of one individual is too weak when pitted against the power of ten thousand. One volley of arrows from their side is probably enough to turn me into a hedgehog. Chen Feng thought.
“Chen Feng, you are here too.” Ye Tian made his way over all of a sudden, moving to stand before Chen Feng.
“You are heading to the battlefield as well?” Chen Feng asked in a serious voice as he looked at Ye Tian. Ye Tian was only at the reinforcement of internal organs (4th) layer, not even at the hundred opened meridians. His level of strength could only be considered average at best. If he was unlucky, he could end up dying in the battlefield.
“He he, there was no other choice. I did not want to go either, but the sect has given the command. I cannot defy it. Doing so would be the equivalent of rebelling against the sect and I will be executed on the spot,” replied Ye Tian with a bitter smile.
“Thankfully, though, you are here to help me out this time. Now that your cultivation base has improved greatly, I’ll entrust my life to you,” Ye Tian continued with a smile.
“Don’t worry, I will ensure your safety.” Chen Feng nodded his head. Ye Tian was his only friend in Iron Sword Sect. Naturally, he would not allow his friend to die.
“Those three?” Ye Tian looked at the three fellow disciples who were kneeling on the ground.
“I did it,” Chen Feng said coolly.
“Ah, they are all from Elder Wang’s side. This action of yours is simply a humiliating blow for Elder Wang. You need to know, Elder Wang is someone at the primary energy takes form (7th) layer. He will definitely trouble you in the future,” Ye Tian spoke out with a worried tone.
“Primary energy takes form (7th) layer, eh?” Chen Feng sneered. If we really do end up fighting, there is no telling who would die.
The onlookers looked on for a while before someone finally stepped forward. The person went to stand before the three kneeling disciples and began working to help them. This person was at the hundred opened meridians (5th) layer. After trying for a while, he was still incapable of saving them. Sweat lined his forehead and he felt awkward.
“Am I mistaken? The fellow disciple who stepped forward just now is at the hundred opened meridians (5th) layer. How is it that he cannot unseal the obstructions within the three fellows’ bodies? Could it be Chen Feng is already an expert in the astral energy (6th) layer?”
“That is possible.”
“Not necessarily. Maybe he had just used some magic skill. Now that he has some ability, Chen Feng is showing off too much. Today, he has offended Elder Wang. His future days will not be easy.”
“True, true. We are going to war this time. If someone secretly makes a little arrangement, Chen Feng will die. Humph, he thinks that just because he has some ability he can ignore the heights of Heaven and the depths of the Earth.”
Hearing the words from the surrounding fellows, Chen Feng could not stop himself from secretly sneering. Although his actions had shocked those people, it could not shock their hearts. Those criticizing him were all those who had bullied him in the past. Only a few thought his actions were overboard. No matter where one went, the world of cultivation was one where might makes right. His actions today were not particularly overboard. If his strength had been lacking, the one to kneel there might well be him.
Later, a few more fellows stepped forward to help the three kneeling disciples. None of them could succeed. Every one of them felt embarrassed. Seeing that scene, the disciples with high levels of cultivation finally turned their attention towards Chen Feng.
Humph! All of them are in the hundred opened meridians (5th) layer. These people want to break the obstructions I left? Chen Feng secretly sneered.
“Eldest Brother is here!”
“It truly is Eldest Brother. I wonder if he will make a move? I hear that he does not have a good impression of Chen Feng.”
“If Eldest Brother steps forward, this will surely not be an issue.”
“Of course! Eldest Brother has cultivated up to the primary energy takes form (7th) layer. It is only natural that he could dispel the obstruction in their bodies.”
Chen Feng raised his head and saw Tie Yun emerging from a cluster of disciples, striding into the martial grounds. Seeing the three kneeling disciples, he asked around in a low tone. After that, he strode forward. As he did so, he sent a glance at Chen Feng.
“Eldest Brother, please help us!”
The three kneeling disciples shouted out in unison, a hopeful look in their eyes.
Tie Yun stood before the three. Without saying a word, he waved his hand, sending three flows of primary energy into their bodies.
Pa! Pa! Pa!
Following a series of popping sounds, the three regained the ability to move. They quickly jumped up. All three sent vicious glares at Chen Feng, their faces red. However, they did not have the guts to step forward and attack.
“We beg Eldest Brother to address this injustice,” one of them shouted.
“Chen Feng, come here!” Tie Yun shouted at Chen Feng. The way he acted made it seem as though he simply did not view Chen Feng as much.
“If you want to talk to me, come to me,” Chen Feng replied coolly and chose not to move.
The moment those words left his mouth, every disciple on the martial grounds became shocked. Unexpectedly, Chen Feng dared utter such words towards Eldest Brother. Tie Yun’s reputation within the sect had surpassed even some of the elders. None of the younger disciples dared defy the Eldest Brother of Iron Sword Sect.
“Chen Feng.” Ye Tian cast a concerned look at Chen Feng.
“Insolence!” Before Tie Yun could say anything, several disciples behind him shouted out. Two of them strode forward, intent on capturing Chen Feng.
“Eldest Brother, watch as I take down this arrogant disciple.”
Tie Yun stopped them. The two of them were also at the hundred opened meridians (5th) layer. If the three from earlier were no match for Chen Feng, these two would only end up getting humiliated.
“Well, well. You really are extremely disrespectful. After having some ability, you no longer respect even me. However, for now, I have no time for you. If you can survive this war, then, you can show off your arrogance before me,” Tie Yun said coolly. He looked at Chen Feng the same way one looked at a corpse.
For Tie Yun to be joining this time’s war efforts was beyond Chen Feng’s expectations. No matter how you cut it, Tie Yun was the number one figure amongst Iron Sword Sect’s younger generation. If he were to die in the battlefield, it would translate to a huge loss for Iron Sword Sect. However, Chen Feng did not dwell on it for long. Two elders had appeared and they began arranging them into teams. After that, several rows of horses were led forward. They mounted the horses, got into formation and rode out from Black Origin City.
“This time, Elder Wang is leading the brigade. Chen Feng, you need to be careful,” Ye Tian, who was beside Chen Feng, whispered to him.
“Don’t worry, with so many people around, he cannot attack,” replied Chen Feng casually.
The three thousand soldiers from the Iron Sword Brigade displayed an orderly formation and their movements were strictly alike. With the exception of the sound from the advancing horses, there were no other sounds coming from them. On the contrary, the 200 sect disciples were not in any formation at all. They were scattered about and some would occasionally laugh aloud.
Chen Feng had his eyes trained forward, not looking around. However, he could feel several gazes sweeping towards him. Some of them were filled with killing intent. Only, those people did not attack.
Humph! You want to kill me? We’ll see who kills whom. Chen Feng secretly sneered. He remained vigilant, his hand gripping his sword, on guard for any sudden attacks.
After exiting Black Origin City, their forces did not stop. They continued westward. Given the advancing rate of their forces and the galloping speed of the horses, they could advance 300 lis per day (1 li = 0.5 km). With that level of speed, they would need half a month to reach the battlefield. This meant that the territory under Black Origin City’s control stretched up to thousands of li.
The next 10 days of continuous marching were smooth and without any incidents. Today, however, when their forces were resting on flat terrain, they were suddenly ambushed.
A series of explosions suddenly erupted from the ground. Flames shot to the sky and smoke rose towards every corner. At the same time, countless concealed weapons shot out from all around them. The sound of armour and flesh getting cut could be heard.
The vanguard portion of their Iron Sword Brigade was routed. In an instant, tens of soldiers were killed.
“It’s Thunderbolt Beads. Everyone, do not panic! Hold your breath and assume formation!” the three commanders of the Iron Sword Brigade shouted out.
The three commanders possessed the power of primary energy takes form (7th) layer. One by one, they bellowed out, calming down the chaos. The Iron Sword Brigade were well trained. In just a few short moments, they recovered from the chaos and assumed defensive formations. Their wide iron swords quickly shot out from their sheathes. Bows were pulled and arrows nocked.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The patch of ground 100 metres away from them suddenly erupted as men in black shot out like ghosts. In their hands were bows that gleamed with a dim lustre.
Sou! Sou! Sou!
Swift moving arrows covered the sky before raining down on the Iron Sword Brigade. Tens of soldiers from Iron Sword Brigade fell once more.
“Archers, ready! Fire!” The Iron Sword Brigade commander gave the order and 500 archers immediately released their arrows.
Those archers were not ordinary people either. Even the weakest amongst them were at the development of primary energy (2nd) layer. The bows in their hands were all strong bows with a shooting force of 200 jin, capable of shooting up to a distance of 300 metres (1 jin = 0.5 kg).
After just two volleys of arrows, the men in black up front were all turned into hedgehogs and their blood stained the ground.
Next, 20 disciples from Iron Sword Sect leapt down from their horses and ran forward to investigate the situation. As for the Iron Sword Brigade, they quietly tidied up the place.
“Earlier, I had not sensed any danger at all. As for the rain of arrows, if I have to face such an attack, what could I do?” Chen Feng’s heart palpitated somewhat. Although he had not faced a direct attack earlier, he could still feel the difference between duels and the battlefield.
It did not take long for the 20 disciples to return safely. The scouts that their Iron Sword Brigade sent out had all been killed by the opposing side while some from the opposing side managed to escape. The exact number of escapees was unknown. As for the battlefield, 20 men in black were killed while 50 to 60 of the Iron Sword Brigade soldiers were either killed or injured.
Receiving the report, everyone there revealed twisted expressions. That was especially true of the two elders and the three commanders. They had yet to venture out of Black Origin City’s territory, but had been ambushed. Additionally, they had suffered from a considerable number of injuries. That was not a good sign.
“The opposing side have actually planted Thunderbolt Beads along the way. The smoke it emits is very poisonous as well. I wonder, are Steel Stone City’s forces waiting to ambush us?”
“Next up, it is time for the sect’s disciples to become scouts. Withdraw the other scouts from the Iron Sword Brigade.”
“All right! The 10 of you will form a team and go explore the road ahead.” Elder Wang pointed his fingers at 10 Iron Sword Sect disciples. Amongst the 10 were Chen Feng and Ye Tian.
As expected, he is starting to plot against me. Chen Feng secretly sneered. He said nothing. If he did, Elder Wang could make up an excuse to have him executed on the spot.