August, when Central Continent Imperial City’s parasol trees began to lose leaves. Great Mang’s seven paths great general ended his previous passive stance, starting to launch a full offensive, attacking viciously one round after another.
Yunqin’s regular army which gathered in South Tomb Province already exceeded six hundred thousand, in terms of numbers superior to Great Mang’s army that was continuously being added to. Moreover, the defending side occupied the terrain advantage to begin with, so during the past few days, Great Mang’s army suffered heavy casualties.
However, despite this being the case, Great Mang’s offense didn’t seem to weaken at all. The expressions of all Yunqin officers in South Tomb Province instead became more and more grave and serious.
The great changes that took place in Central Continent City not only made the military’s plans to counterattack come to nothing, under this type of Great Mang sacrificing a thousand lives to take eight hundred of their lives situation, there would be issues even to all of Yunqin military’s reserve supply.
Under Great Mang army’s day after day vicious attacks, both sides suffered disastrous losses. Perhaps after just two weeks, both sides would lose more than half of their men. At that time, Yunqin army’s defense in South Tomb Province wouldn’t be as complete as it was now, becoming like a rain tarp that was punctured full of holes. At that time, Great Mang’s army would be able to thrust some of their forces deeply, so the battle situation would completely change from a direct battle stage to that of a great victory stage.
By then, even though Great Mang’s forces would still be much fewer than Yunqin’s, they wouldn’t experience any issues in supplies, so they would have an advantage in arrows, crossbow carts and other important military equipment. Meanwhile, the provisions on Yunqin’s side might even experience problems. If some of some of the forces, because of Great Mang’s infiltration and disruption, even lost their original granary reserves or had it burned down, then some of Yunqin’s forces would definitely experience situations of hunger, therefore, their strength would definitely greatly weaken.
According to Yunqin military’s own estimations and their evaluation towards Wenren Cangyue’s past performance, without any special support, South Tomb Province’s battle situation was going to become extremely dangerous.
The most important thing was that under Wenren Cangyue’s current completely honorable collective army battle strategy, Yunqin’s military was still a bit powerless to stop the battle situation from developing in the direction Wenren Cangyue wanted it to.
Meteor Lake’s southern shore. Wenren Cangyue rode a warhorse, looking at the sparkling lake surface, currently deep in thought.
The faint blue color that had previously always lingered on his face was now almost nowhere to be seen. He was originally an extremely powerful Sacred Expert, even a cultivator like Ni Henian who was already extremely close to breaking through the Sacred Expert level. If the two faced each other, who would truly come out alive and who would die wasn’t something that was easy to say, only when the two really fought would there be an answer to this question. For the sake of not hindering the release of his soul force, he only wore a completely sealed Commander-in-chief armor, the defensive capabilities nothing to write home about, but the long blood red cloak he wore right now was covered in volcanic runes, exceptionally dazzling and heroic.
More than ten Great Mang generals were standing not far behind him, somewhat cowering and shivering as they looked at his rear figure, at this blood red cloak.
These Great Mang high ranking officers couldn’t bear to see the astonishing casualties of Great Mang’s troops right now, but they also didn’t dare question Wenren Cangyue’s military orders in the slightest.
It was because previously, when Wenren Cangyue gave off the feeling like he was shrinking back and cowering, facing the berating of some important Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicators, Wenren Cangyue used the most direct method to kill those Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicators, while Purgatory Mountain’s Patriarch only sent over this type of cloak.
This dazzling blood red cloak represented the satisfaction and support of Purgatory Mountain’s Patriarch towards Wenren Cangyue’s way of doing things.
That was why on the front lines, for Great Mang high ranking officers who were opposed to Wenren Cangyue’s decisions, there would only be two results; one was immediate death, and the other was to be sent back to Purgatory Mountain, forever serving as slaves.
During this end of summer that was about to elapse and the incoming autumn, Purgatory Mountain was still blistering hot and lacking in rainfall like usual.
Zhang Ping was already wearing a set of red Divine Adjudicator clothes with Purgatory Mountain’s volcanic runes, as well as a blood red tall hat. He already broke free from his status as a physical laborer and an odd jobs worker, his responsibilities each day already inspecting some workshops, as well as cooperating in some soul weapon manufacturing with success rates that were hard to guarantee in some workshops only him and other red Divine Adjudicator robed Purgatory Mountain disciples like himself could enter.
At the same time, some old Divine Adjudicators from Purgatory Mountain who were in charge of cultivation matters would also follow Purgatory Mountain’s conventional practice, starting to pass some of Purgatory Mountain’s cultivation methods and fighting techniques onto him .
Even if he was already completely like a true Purgatory Mountain disciple, completely isolated from Yunqin, having completely no contact with it, just from the increased pressure of production in some workshops and the large scale manufacturing of the ordinary army’s high-end military equipment, Zhang Ping already knew that Wenren Cangyue was either brewing a storm in Purgatory Mountain’s place, or that this storm already began. Great Mang’s military and Yunqin’s army were already carrying out a great decisive battle even more bitter than the southern expedition.
Each day, Zhang Ping would do his best to forget his identity as a Yunqin citizen, only by doing this would he become a suitable spy.
However, even though he had already reached the point where his mind wouldn’t shake in the slightest when he looked at these endless blades, when he thought about how these blades would ultimately enter the bodies of Yunqin people, many times, he still couldn’t help but recall Chang Jingxiang, that Yunqin female spy. She had him clearly examine every part of her body, and he did it. He looked extremely carefully, thus making it even harder for him to forget.
Many times, he would suddenly wake up from his nightmare, still remembering a lingering feeling of her occasionally fiery hot body, yet sometimes, it was ice-cold. When he thought about her expression when she ultimately met death, he would find it hard to distinguish whether whenever he thought of her, if his heart became even colder and harder, or if it became even softer and more brittle.
Rain descended once more on Purgatory Mountain.
For forced labor slaves, it was another day of joy.
When he heard the rain sounds and the faint distant cheers of slaves, while looking at the somewhat vacant expressioned Zhang Ping, the old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator who taught Zhang Ping cultivation methods stopped, shaking his head as he said with a light sigh, “You are an extremely kind child. I really want to know why you still exposed Chang Jingxiang back then.”
Zhang Ping’s heart instantly twitched, but he became extremely cold and tough. He raised his head, looking at this old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator whose cheeks were covered with a bit of bluish-black spots, his forehead filled with wrinkles that seemed to be carved from knives, but whose expression always carried an expression of kindness and pity, his head falling again. “ I thought about how because of her, many Great Mang people would die in Yunqin, also… I also thought that even if she ran, she already didn’t have a chance of returning alive to Yunqin from Great Mang.”
The old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator released a light sigh. “The greatest reason might still be the latter?”
Zhang Ping’s head hung even deeper, no longer saying anything.
“Regardless of how venerable our status is, we are still people in the end. There aren’t many disciples like you in Purgatory Mountain.” The old Divine Adjudicator looked at Zhang Ping, his voice suddenly dropping lower, low to the point where only the two of them could hear, but his tone suddenly became extremely serious. “Humans will always be a bit selfish, I naturally have a bit of selfishness as well. You are my favorite student… that is why you need to listen well… The way you do things, your past performance has left the higher ups extremely satisfied. Moreover, you’ve already passed the loyalty test to Purgatory Mountain, that is why in this session, your name is on there.”
Zhang Ping couldn’t understand what this session, what name is on there, so the corners of his lips trembled slightly, unable to help but raise his head again.
However, without waiting for him to say anything, the old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator instead already said extremely quietly with an extremely serious voice. “Devil Transformation… your name… it is on the Devil Transformation list of names.”
Zhang Ping’s breathing suddenly paused, his expression becoming a bit pale.
This information was too shocking, something he never expected at all. That was why in this instant, he was only a bit numb, not knowing if his reaction was because of fear, joy, or some other emotions.
“Do not treat cultivating Devil Transformation as some amusing or joyful matter.”
The old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator’s eyes narrowed, saying with a low and grave voice, “Devil Transformation… everyone knows that this is Purgatory Mountain’s most powerful cultivation method. The disciples who successfully cultivate Devil Transformation will become apostles, and then they even more so have a chance of becoming elders. Those who do not know only think that this is a type of extremely great glory, that they would ascend to the heavens with a single step, that they will naturally become Great Mang’s most respected people. However, you have to understand that cultivating Devil Transformation is extremely difficult, and also extremely dangerous. Out of ten cultivators who have the qualifications to cultivate Devil Transformation, only one or two will succeed. Moreover, those who don’t succeed will mostly directly die, only a few are fortunate enough to survive.”
Zhang Ping’s lips trembled slightly. He looked at the old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator, still not immediately saying anything.
“My luck was good, I was one of the ones who survived. However, during these years, the amount of pain I suffered within my bones is something difficult for an ordinary person to imagine.” When he saw that Zhang Ping seemed to understand what this technique actually entailed, the old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator’s expression became a bit calmer, slowly saying, “That session, there were a total of twenty-six people who cultivated Devil Transformation, but in the end, only three people succeeded. Together with me and another person whose luck was good, cultivation failing but his body held on, not dying, the other twenty-one individuals all died.”
“Teacher, your respected self’s intentions are?” Zhang Ping took a deep breath. He lowered his body, showing this old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator a great bow of respect.
The old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator said with a low voice, “Our Purgatory Mountain definitely wouldn’t give their disciples the power of choice… These things are things that I am secretly telling you, they can be considered as going against Purgatory Mountain’s rules. If the elders learned of this, I would be severely punished. All examinations and selections are carried out secretly. In the next few weeks, the people in your session will be arranged to do some things. You all won’t feel like there is anything strange, but your performance on these matters will ultimately determine if you will be chosen to cultivate Devil Transformation. There are a total of fifty names on this session’s list, at most only twenty something individuals will be chosen at the end. If your performance on the tasks you are given from here on out is good, ending up among the final twenty something individuals, then you must cultivate Devil Transformation, or else you will die, or be thrown into the deepest ore mines, all the way until you die. The reason I am telling you these things is to give you a choice on whether you will cultivate Devil Transformation or not, it is all your decision… If you wish to cultivate Devil Transformation, then you can choose to work harder during these next few weeks, if you do not, then you can deliberately perform worse.”
“Many thanks for teacher’s care, for granting me the opportunity to make a choice.” Zhang Ping didn’t immediately get back up in front of this old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator.
The old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator couldn’t see his face, nor could he see the expression he had right now.
Right now, in this world, no one knew Zhang Ping’s true expression either, nor did they know what exactly he was currently thinking inside.
The only thing that was known was his decision.
“Teacher, I have decided to work harder to obtain the qualifications to cultivate Devil Transformation.” He bowed for a long time. In the end, the old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator heard him say these words.
The old Purgatory Mountain Divine Adjudicator respected Zhang Ping’s decision. He nodded, releasing a silent sigh.
2. Agreed to infiltrate Purgatory mountain in B10C21