Chapter 959: Prologue

The Li family elder muttered, “What if he can really flatten the mountain in this manner?”

The elder nearby laughed out loud. “Seriously?”

Another person gave it some thought. “Perhaps that mountain is hollow inside or there’s a tunnel.”

The first elder was skeptical. “Even if the mountain is empty, it’s not something ordinary heavy cannons can demolish. It’s hard enough to focus on one point and bore a hole through, not to mention a bombardment like this.”

The other person wasn’t satisfied, either. “Why would the seventh young noble bring so many cannons if they weren’t useful? For fun?”

The old man went mute. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to retort, but because Song Zining’s fame was too resounding and no one dared to treat him as a joke. That was the good thing about being famous—ordinary people would become a joke if they were to bombard a mountain, but Song Zining doing the same thing was considered part of a deeper plan.

Atop the holy mountain, there was no change at all in that serene courtyard. The rain of cannon-shells and earth-shattering explosions almost seemed nonexistent here. Just like before, the ancient trees in the courtyard swayed gently in the breeze and not a single leaf fell off of them.

Luo Bingfeng sat alone in his study, reading intently from an ancient scroll. There was a glass of tea on the desk in front of him—the liquid was clear, with a smear of rejuvenating green akin to sprouting buds in spring. A wisp of hot steam curled upward, spreading a faintly discernible fragrance throughout the room.

An apocalyptic scene was raging outside of the windows. Cannon shells rained down like shooting stars, filling the air with dust, smoke, and gravel. Despite that, not even the smallest bit of dust entered the courtyard, so much so that the smoke would disappear long before it reached the courtyard walls. The thunderous explosions never made it to the place, either.

The entire holy mountain was trembling, but the small courtyard was like an island in the stormy seas, blessed with the tranquility of being isolated from the world.

Luo Bingfeng’s slender fingers flipped a new page on the book. It was at this time that his brows rose up, and he finally emerged from his world of calmness.

Du Yuan was staggering into the courtyard when the shockwave from a nearby explosion threw him to the ground. To an expert at this level, heavy cannons were like toys. He should’ve been completely fine even if struck squarely, let alone suffer from shockwaves.

Du Yuan was in such a miserable state because he had expended too much origin power and was like an arrow at the end of its flight.

Luo Bingfeng didn’t stand up. “Why are you so miserable?” His pleasant voice penetrated all the explosions and arrived beside Du Yuan’s ears.

Luo Bingfeng wasn’t that worried. As he saw it, Du Yuan’s constitution was amply powerful despite being highly exhausted. No origin imbued heavy cannon could wound him.

Du Yuan, on the other hand, wasn’t that calm. Hearing Luo Bingfeng’s voice, he screamed at the top of his lungs, “City Lord, go… go to the madam!”

The ancient scroll in Luo Bingfeng’s hands fell to the ground as he shot to his feet and vanished from the room.

On the desk, the cup of clear tea staggered briefly before toppling over and spilling hot tea all over.

Luo Bingfeng’s silhouette flickered through the seemingly small courtyard and arrived at one of the side buildings. There, he reached out to push the door open but they simply wouldn’t budge.

Luo Bingfeng was surprised to find that the doors had been sealed by many layers of origin arrays, all of them in place to stop him from entering. Overcome by a bad feeling, he channeled his origin power and pushed forcibly, effectively dispersing the arrays and opening the door. He was utterly startled upon entering the room.

Outside of Tidehark, Song Zining was gazing at the fire drenched holy mountain. The outer walls of Tidehark had been drowned in a sea of flames—there was fire everywhere and thick smoke was rolling up into the air. The airships in the sky poured a stream of steel onto the city walls, completely suppressing the defending army. The attacking mercenaries were already approaching the walls. According to normal imperial strategy, these soldiers would push on steadily, relying on the superior aerial firepower to destroy the enemy troops and fortifications. They were also waiting for the experts from each side to start exchanging blows.

The mercenaries from the neutral lands, however, were used to their old ways. Maintaining military order up to this point was already their limit. Some of these soldiers lost their nerve the moment the exchange of fire began, opting to leave their squads to charge up the wall and fight the defenders in fierce melee.

With someone taking the lead, more people began surging toward Tidehark, and the entire attack formation soon broke down. Smily wryly, Song Zining pointed at Tidehark City. “All out attack!”

A scarlet war-banner rose up on the flagship, followed by a series of bugles on the ground. The fully-equipped mercenaries became red in the eyes as they charged valiantly for the kill.

The airships raining suppressive fire on the city walls had no choice but to target the interior of the city, instead, lest they hit friendly forces.

At this point in the battle, the defense system in Tidehark had been largely shattered and the defenders, segregated. Effective resistance was no longer possible. The first wave of mercenaries was already fighting against the defenders on the wall as a steady stream of soldiers joined the fray. Most importantly, the attacking mercenaries had completely suppressed the defenders in terms of equipment and thus their casualties were much smaller.

At this rate, the collapse of the defending force was a matter of time. The citizens who could’ve served as a defensive force dared not act rashly under the gaze of the overlooking warships.

However, everyone knew that this was just the beginning. Victory wasn’t certain even if they could occupy the entire Tidehark City.

As the flames of war reached their peak, everyone felt their chest tense up as though an invisible hand had gripped their heart, causing it to miss a beat.

“Humph!”

A cold angry voice echoed in everyone’s ears as a pair of eyes slowly opened in the sky above the holy mountain, gazing down at the ants below.

The cruel battlefield became silent for a moment as everyone glanced up at the sky and into the pair of nonexistent eyes.

“Kill!” One of the defenders recovered and, with a loud roar, plunged his combat dagger into the enemy’s abdomen. This opponent was extremely powerful and had already killed several soldiers. Yet, he was dazed at the critical juncture and ended up being stabbed in the abdomen.

The soldiers of Tidehark recovered one step sooner. On a battlefield where both sides were clashing blade to blade, this one moment was the difference between life and death.

Song Zining woke up after a split second. Seeing the dire situation, he jumped onto the bow of the ship and activated a certain mechanism. Large amounts of steam gushed out along the pipes and exited from the foghorn with a thunderous rumble!

This was the signal to storm the enemy camp. War-drums echoed from the barracks as the foghorn grew abruptly louder, sending forth a deluge of heart shaking sound waves that roused the weaker mercenaries from their daze.

Song Zining issued several orders after that. In response, the warships above Tidehark flew higher up and gradually started to retreat. The three flagships, on the other hand, pressed forward. This maneuver produced a wide empty area in the sky above Tidehark.

This was a battleground for experts. The moment Song Zining issued this order, everyone understood that Luo Bingfeng was about to come out.

A blue light flickered above the battlefield. Only the strongest experts noticed a figure appearing in the sky and pressing a hand toward a distant airship.

That airship had reacted the swiftest, turning about immediately at full throttle as Song Zining issued the order. Despite that, it wasn’t able to escape the incoming calamity. A cross-shaped crack appeared near its tail-end and enlarged into a terrifying defect. A whirlwind of flames, steam, and fuel sprayed out from the gap, engulfing the vessel in a ball of fire.

The warship lost control and crashed spinning into the city walls. There it exploded ferociously, killing everything within dozens of meters of the blast.

The figure in the sky gradually became clear at this point. It was a man with clean facial features, majestic stature, and elegant clothing. He glared at Song Zining with eyes filled with fury. “Junior, what insolence!”

These words were spoken with great strength, every syllable causing Song Zining’s face to turn increasingly pale. By the time the last word had been uttered, the seventh young master took three steps back, and the fan in his hand broke with a snap.

Song Zining coughed up a mouthful of blood, looking somewhat dispirited.

All experts on the Empire’s side were shocked. Although Song Zining was young and known for his prowess in strategy, all higher experts knew that his cultivation talent wasn’t at all lacking. Since many years ago, he had firmly remained on the tail of Zhao Fourth and Qianye, never lagging too far behind. Just this feat alone was enough to rank him among the empire’s geniuses.

Not many under the divine champion realm could confidently say that they could defeat him.

Forcing out such an all-round genius made the Song clan the laughingstock of the empire. How much of a genius was he to be capable of such a feat?

Despite that, he was wounded just from Luo Bingfeng’s distant rebuke. The man hadn’t even attacked yet. Although there were many imperial experts here, none of them possessed such ability.

Just as Luo Bingfeng was slowly raising his left hand, channeling energy for some unknown attack, two fair figures appeared in front of him. They spoke in unison, “Please give us some pointers, City Lord.”

Yun Zhong and Yun Hai immediately took action after seeing that Song Zining was injured, formally raising the curtains over the real battle.

Luo Bingfeng didn’t even spare them a glance. His left hand kept on rising as though he were dragging up a ten thousand ton weight. Meanwhile, he tapped twice toward Yun Zhong and Yun Hai with his right hand.

The duo’s expression shifted drastically. Their robes fluttered about and puffed up into a ball before shattering into countless fragments. Illusory shadows danced about their bodies as they laid down a dozen or so origin defenses.

However, their defenses were shattered immediately after they were formed. Amidst a series of pitter-patters, the two brothers were left defenseless, like an egg deprived of its shell.

The twins roared loudly at the moment of danger. They stood with their backs tightly pressed against each other as their hands moved in unison, forming countless seals. Surprisingly, the deployment speed of their defenses and origin power recovery were doubled in this state, allowing them to withstand Luo Bingfeng’s attack.

The city lord frowned in surprise, finally looking straight at the two brothers. He formed a sword with two of his right-hand fingers, ready to dispatch this unexpected nuisance.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts



TL: Legion   ED: Moxie

     

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