Several days later, the Empire’s gigantic war machine kicked into full gear. Vast amounts of resources and equipment arrived at the fortress outside of the door. Batch after batch of soldiers who had completed adaptation training—and those who were still in the process—headed toward the fortress. They would undergo the final preparations there before being shipped into the new world.
Almost all of the Empire’s spies in Evernight were mobilized at the same time. Secret missives were sent back to the Empire, containing all kinds of information from troop movements and experts’ activities to the prices of commodities in certain areas.
These reports were sorted and analyzed by dedicated personnel until many things became clear. Some major movements gradually became apparent.
News from the dark races had already spread among the upper echelons of the Empire. Everyone knew that a battle of unprecedented scale was coming. In most previous skirmishes between the Empire and Evernight—even on the void continent—the dark races had always been tripping one another. None of them were doing their utmost in the fight.
The new world was different. The four major races were now working together, and they had even put their ten-thousand-year feud on hold for it. Even though the werewolves had been somewhat ostracized, the remaining three still made for a formidable foe.
Fortunately, the number of soldiers they could send into the new world was limited, and the rotation was also much faster than local battles. However, there was little to no restriction on the number of experts. The Empire was now facing unprecedented pressure.
Within the fortress, Zhao Jundu finally raised his head after reading intelligence reports for the entire day. He exercised his stiff neck and said, “There’s finally some good news. The dark races have reached the upper limit of troops they can send into the new world. That means the number of enemies we face won’t increase.”
Across from him, Song Zining poked his head out of a small mountain of documents. “That’s good news? Then let me tell you some bad news. Even if they don’t send more troops in and we discount the werewolves, we’re still facing an enemy force six times our own.”
“Winning against the odds will prove your ability.” Zhao Jundu spoke rather seriously.Song Zining couldn’t tell if it was sincere or if he was being mocked. “I don’t have that kind of ability. We’ll have to rely on our Marquis Potian to break the enemy ranks, no?”
There was no reply from the other corner of the room.
Song Zining turned around to find that Wei Potian was still properly seated with his eyes wide open, yet his expression was empty and his breathing was slow. The fellow’s head was nodding rhythmically, his gaze moving along with it. The bastard was actually asleep!
Song Zining was left speechless by Wei Potian’s ability to sleep with his eyes open. All he could do was shake his head as he couldn’t even feel angry.
“If we really have to face the dark races, how we fight them is one matter, but why we fight them is more important. Jundu, what exactly do you think is in the new world that the dark races would go all out for it? The last time they formed an alliance like this was when the human race rose to power. No, even back then, their cooperation didn’t last very long.”
Song Zining continued asking about the things that had been weighing on his mind. “After all, Daybreak and Evernight are two different origin power systems. If the resources of the new world are useless to us, do we really need to pay such a steep price to fight the dark races?”
Zhao Jundu replied, “How should I know? How we fight this battle is your problem.”
“When did it become my business? You’re the commander here.”
“In name, yes, but you’re the commander for this battle.”
“Zhao Jundu, you’re trying to push the responsibility onto me. I’m certainly not going to serve as the commander.”
Zhao Jundu said calmly, “You have no choice, the Imperial mandate has been issued.”
“A mandate? When did that happen?”
“After obtaining news about the dark races, I submitted a memorandum to the court, asking for you to be granted full authority as the commanding officer in this battle. The edict itself should arrive soon.”
Song Zining stood up. “I’m already a part of the neutral lands now. Strictly speaking, I’m no longer an Imperial citizen. I’m not suited to serve as the commander.”
Zhao Jundu said seriously, “Zining, I don’t know what you’re worried about, but you know this battle is going to be long and hard. I’m not as skilled as you are in command and strategy. A small mistake will set us back significantly. Can you really bear to see our comrades making needless sacrifices?”
Since he had put it that way, there was really nothing Song Zining could say. He stood dazed for a moment—his mouth opened several times, but the refusal simply didn’t come out.
It was at this time that an aide called out from beyond the door, “An Imperial emissary has arrived!”
Song Zining glanced at Zhao Jundu helplessly, then stood up to welcome the emissary. Who would’ve thought Wei Potian would also wake up and shoot to his feet. “Imperial emissary? Did they come here to commend my contributions?”
With the full support of the Empire, the main force under Zhao Jundu and Song Zining was completely equipped in a single week. They were then moved quietly into the new world in preparation to fight against the demonkin main force.
Song Zining adopted his usual style, arming his soldiers to the teeth and finding ways to recruit a large number of experts to join the formation. Fortunately, the expansion in the new world came with great benefits, and the Empire also announced a high standard of rewards. The aristocratic families weren’t willing to be left behind, either, but the situation on the Transcendent Continent had just stabilized and the progress on the Western Continent was fairly stagnant. Only the Qin Continent was making good progress and seeing new developments constantly.
The combination of Zhao Jundu and Song Zining didn’t impress people at first. After all, they were too young and their strength wasn’t sufficient on paper. However, no one would’ve imagined Song Zining to actually break through and become a divine champion. With two divine champions overseeing the operation, this route could no longer be considered weak.
Now that the dark races’ movements were evident, the Empire also began mobilizing their experts. Four dukes were sent into the new world in succession. They were nominally under the command of Zhao Jundu and Song Zining, something that would’ve been unimaginable in the past. After all, the two young men were newly minted divine champions and inferior in both experience and seniority.
Zhao Jundu possessed a powerful background. Back then, the Zhao clan’s reputation came from having three dukes in one clan, and now, Duke Chengen’s residence alone boasted three divine champions. And that wasn’t counting Princess Gaoyi. The entire Empire knew that Qianye was Zhao Jundu’s younger brother. This young man was already opening up new territories at his age and would soon proclaim himself king. Hence, the four dukes kept themselves well-restrained and seemed to have no intention of fighting for authority.
This was the path of the experienced. They would naturally gain significant benefits in the case of a victory. In defeat, it was their decision if they wanted to help clean up the mess or leave.
Song Zining understood their intentions, but he paid them no heed. He held onto the Imperial mandate and used it to deploy the four dukes as though they were ordinary generals.
These shrewd generals made no comment and simply followed Song Zining’s orders. Fortunately, the latter’s accomplishments in battle were outstanding, and there was no one else in the Empire widely-accepted as a better tactician. All people could say was that Song Zining was too young and inexperienced.
Just like that, amidst the blur of maneuvers, the advancing Imperial army finally ran into the demonkin’s forward guard.
The demonkin squad numbered in the tens of thousands. They had just attacked and conquered a forest with one holy tree—the soldiers were dragging the body of the six-armed commander onto a truck, while the experts were either resting or recuperating. They had never imagined that Imperial forces would appear all of a sudden.
Many of the demonkin soldiers were still clearing out the remaining beasts in the forest and had no idea what was going on outside. The guards outside, on the other hand, were mostly injured. Many of them lay moaning on the ground, waiting for treatment that might or might not come. When they saw the Imperial soldiers, the troops were dazed for a good while before confirming that they weren’t seeing things—that was indeed the Great Qin’s war banner.
The alarms went off only when the first volley of cannon shells bore down upon them. It was too late, however. The Imperial forces began splitting their ranks to flank in an attempt to wipe the enemy out entirely. As the tired demonkin experts rose into the air to fight, one of their marquises collapsed all of a sudden, and an origin power trajectory slowly appeared through the air.
Seeing this evident green arc, many of the demonkin found it incomparably familiar, and yet none of them could say where they had seen it before. That was until someone cried out, “Zhao Jundu!”
This green trajectory was indeed Zhao Jundu’s trademark ability, Trueshot. This unique green trajectory had gained great fame back on the void continent, but those who could join the new world expedition were true experts. People like them wouldn’t join a battle of that level, so they had only heard about this trajectory and not seen it.
Zhao Jundu’s position among the dark races didn’t fall just because of his foundation damage. To them, whether or not the man could become a heavenly monarch was too far in the future. What was the point of worrying so far when they couldn’t even beat him in the present?
Zhao Jundu’s power increased sharply after the breakthrough, and his Trueshot had become a bona fide divine ability. Even a grand duke wouldn’t want to take a blow from Zhao Jundu, but the existence of his Trueshot meant that it was impossible not to get hit. Even when surrounded, the fourth young master could kill anyone at will, dragging anyone down with him.
To the dark races, Zhao Jundu was an enemy they weren’t willing to face at all.
While none of their experts died while fighting against the six-armed commander, many were wounded. Those who had taken more damage were cautious since injuries were difficult to control in the new world, but the fallen marquis only suffered flesh wounds, so he stepped forward carelessly. Who would’ve thought Zhao Jundu would fell him in one shot?
Two counts rushed over to support the marquis, but they knew there was no saving him when they noticed the big hole in his chest. That was the location of the origin furnace, which was a vital area just like the vampires’ blood core. Even a marquis would fall when the furnace was entirely obliterated.
The experts hadn’t decided whether or not to retreat when the dead six-armed commander stood up all of a sudden. The scenery before them transformed as countless more drilled out of the ground.
One of the experts was shocked out of his wits. “Song Zining!”
In the blink of an eye, the confused demonkin army immediately crumbled and people began to flee.
Song Zining was dumbfounded, so much so that he even forgot to maintain his domain. “Am I that scary?”
Zhao Jundu gave him a ruthless kick. “After them!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie