Yan Ding said, “It’ll be bad if Luo Bingfeng kills his way out.”
Without waiting for Song Zining’s reply, the old man from the imperial court said, “He won’t. He isn’t sure if we’re luring him out into a trap. If I were him, I would never take such an unnecessary risk. At least inside the city, the holy mountain gives him an edge. Look!”
The old man flicked his finger, shooting countless crystalline granules from his fingertips that turned into a shower of graceful snowflakes. Some of the snow fluttered down, but the rest remained hanging in the air, outlining a domed crystalline barrier over the holy mountain.
“This is the domain of the holy mountain, and it looks even more powerful than I’d anticipated.”
The airship was parked not far off from the holy mountain. Seeing just how close the barrier was, one of the people said with a worried expression, “What should we do if he charges out and attacks us?”
Many people looked concerned.
Song Zining laughed. “No need to worry! Luo Bingfeng is a hero who despises ambushes, lest his name becomes tarnished. I’m the only one who’ll do such a thing, haha!”
The group accompanied the laughter, seizing the opportunity to get off this topic.
The Li family elder frowned. “This holy mountain domain isn’t simple at all! If the city lord keeps hiding inside, it’ll be pretty difficult to deal with him. Seventh Young Noble, what should we do?”
Another aristocratic family elder chimed in, “Yeah, this holy mountain needs to be removed. Seventh Young Noble, you accepted so much money for us saying you’ll do away with the holy mountain. Don’t tell me you have no way against it.”
Song Zining smiled. “I’ve long since found a solution, there’s no need to hide it from everyone at this point. Look, there’s our answer.”
Everyone looked in the direction Song Zining was pointing and saw rows upon rows of heavy artillery. Up until this point, there was still a steady stream of crates being brought up, from which numerous components were being extracted to assemble heavy cannons.
The group had already noticed these heavy cannons, but they didn’t think too much about them. Such weapons were impressive but didn’t have that big of a use. They were secretly mocking Song Zining for going overboard just to dismantle the city defenses. Tidehark was a well-fortified city, but its defense systems couldn’t be compared to the Empire or Evernight. What was the use of so many heavy cannons?
“Yes, they are the answer. As for how to use them, you’ll find out on the morrow.” Song Zining kept everyone in suspense.
Deep in the night, the empire’s armies had already completed assembling. The well-lit camp was even more dazzling than Tidehark City itself, but the entire base was quiet as the soldiers were all resting up for the upcoming all-out assault. The defensive forces didn’t dare to be careless, even for a moment. They remained vigilant the entire night, for fear of a surprise attack.
The warships hovering constantly in the air made it impossible for the defending army to charge out and attack. Dawn finally arrived—the imperial elites walked out of their barracks in high spirits, while the defenders were fairly fatigued.
The defense general’s eyes were bloodshot from the apparent lack of sleep. He glared down the city walls, not willing to let any movement escape his notice. All the while, the hand he had pressed onto the wall was trembling ever so slightly.
Someone behind him placed a hand on his shoulder. “Scared?”
The defense general turned about and stood at attention. “General Du!”
Du Yuan nodded. “Are you scared?”
The defense general’s face turned red. “When have you seen me scared in all these years. I just can’t figure out what they want to do.”
Du Yuan glanced down the city wall with a frown. “Flowery but hollow inside, what are you afraid of? Such a large array of heavy cannons, what are they even trying to do? Tear down the city walls? Ha, just let them tear!”
“General Du, I fear…” The defending general was hesitant.
It was at this time that the earth trembled slightly, and a cloud of white mist appeared over the distant cannon array. One of the heavy cannons fired a test shot amidst a thunderous rumble that echoed in the clouds.
This was a calibration shot that shouldn’t have brought about much of a surprise, but Du Yuan’s expression shifted as the projectile screamed toward them.
With his near-divine-champion eyesight, the cannon shell was moving at the speed of a snail. The range of this shot was oddly long. It swept across the entire city region and landed on the holy mountain.
With no time to think carefully, Du Yuan shot into the air with a loud roar and intercepted the cannon shell, destroying it with a punch.
The defense general was astonished, and the other soldiers were also puzzled as to why Du Yuan would care so much about a single cannon shell.
Outside of Tidehark, Song Zining opened his folding fan and said coldly, “You can stop one, but can you stop several hundred? I’ll have to see if you have more origin power or if I have more ammunition. Men, issue my order, all cannons at the ready, fire in bursts of three!”
After a moment of silence, the earth-shattering rumble of cannon-fire drowned out everything. Rows upon rows of cannon-shells flew toward the holy mountain like a swarm of locusts.
Du Yuan’s face was filled with despair. He flew into the air once more, spewing out countless streams of azure flames from his body which covered an area hundreds of meters around him. The cannon shells would explode immediately upon contact with the energy, painting a magnificent scene of flaming balls in the air.
That was the extent of Du Yuan’s ability—he could only stop projectiles within a hundred-meter radius. However, the holy mountain was so big that most of the shells managed to get through. The defense general also noticed that something was wrong and ordered his subordinates to start intercepting the cannon shells as well. These officers weren’t afraid of being struck, but it was doubly difficult for them to intercept the incoming artillery.
In mere moments, the earth was shaking and the mountains were trembling.
Du Yuan remained hovering in the air, a look of despair on his face as he glanced at the raging flames on the holy mountain. He swayed about, and then suddenly dropped to the ground. It would seem the interception just now had drained him of all origin power.
The defense general was shocked out of his wits. He flew over to support Du Yuan, shouting, “General, General!”
Du Yuan opened his eyes and took in a labored breath. “Their shells… Are there more of them?”
“This…” The defensive general didn’t know what to say.
Du Yuan shouted furiously, “Speak!”
The defense general clenched his teeth. “Yes, a lot more.”
Du Yuan’s eyes lost all spirit and his body seemed drained of all energy. He moved his lips slightly but no words came out. All he could do was cling onto the defense general’s shoulder and struggle to stand up. “Help me… to… the holy mountain.”
“It’s useless!” the defense general said.
“Take me there!” Du Yuan was insistent.
It was at this time that the earth beneath the two trembled slightly. A single heavy-cannon shell flew through the air and left a deep pit on the holy mountain.
It wasn’t strange for the bombardment to continue, but it was quite weird for a single shell to fly over.
On the airship, Song Zining ordered, “Continue firing and await my orders. Bring that person over.”
Moments later, the guards returned with a handsome, well-groomed young man. He bowed so deeply in front of Song Zining that it looked like he was about to kneel.
Song Zining lifted his fan, sending out a wisp of origin power to prop the young man up. “No need to kneel, I cannot accept such a gesture.”
The young man replied hurriedly. “If the Seventh Young Noble can’t, who can?”
Song Zining wasn’t moved. “The intel you brought with you is fairly useful. If we manage to take the city, I’ll make sure you gain good rank and status.”
The young man was delighted. “Thank you, Seventh Young Noble.”
Song Zining asked nonchalantly, “I remember you mentioning that Du Yuan and that… madam shares an extraordinary relationship?”
The young man replied hurriedly, “Perhaps I should call her Young Miss. She has been with the city lord for some time, but they never crossed the line it seems.”
Song Zining’s brows rose in apparent intrigue. After a moment of thought, he asked, “I heard Du Yuan treats you quite well, why would you defect to us?”
The young man gritted his teeth. “Well? Humph, I’m his foster son in name, but I had to work for him like a slave! I gave it my all but the old fellow would never pass his ultimate skills to me. He left everything for his son! Why should I follow such a person? Only a master like the seventh young master is worth following…”
Song Zining stopped him. “Okay, I understand. You may leave for now.”
After the young man was gone, Song Zining paced around the room, muttering, “Never crossed the line, never crossed the line…”
Moments later, he halted his steps with a cold smile. “I know now! She’s a survivor of the Brightmoon Zitherheart School. Do you think you can get away with it now that I know your origins?”
Song Zining pushed open the cabin doors and entered the command room. “Issue the order, concentrate all fire on the holy mountain, keep going until we’re out of ammo!”
After the orderly left in a hurry, Song Zining said, “Prepare my armor and spear!”
All the warriors were shocked. “Seventh Young Master, are we going to go all out?”
Song Zining nodded. “Luo Bingfeng will appear before long. Issue the order, warships forward, raise the war banners!”
The flagship in the sky spewed out a mass of steam, its bleak foghorn echoing above Tidehark. The loud blare roused the camp below into action—the great doors opened up, and groups of soldiers began moving toward Tidehark under the cover of the armored vehicles.
The warhorn was very soon drowned out by the sound of heavy cannons. Countless cannon-shells flew toward Tidehark and smashed into the holy mountain. In the blink of an eye, the entire mountain was swallowed up by a dense cloud of smoke and flames as artillery rounds rained down like falling stars.
The hovering warships in the air finally took action, slowly pressing forward like hungry giant beasts. The line of fire moved along with the airships onto the city walls. In the blink of an eye, the Tidehark walls were drowned in a sea of flames. The ferocity of the imperial warships’ firepower was unprecedented in the Eastern Sea. The defense turrets were immediately destroyed, and the city guard had no power to retaliate.
There were three more stationary airships in the sky, namely the flagships belonging to the imperial family, the aristocratic alliance, and Song Zining.
Inside the flagship of the aristocratic alliance, the Li family elder was gazing at the fire-covered holy mountain with a frown. Someone nearby finally couldn’t resist. “Isn’t he just blasting a barren mountain? What’s the use? Can he really collapse it?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Legion ED: Moxie