Chapter 2278 Know Thyself, Know Thine Enemy

These lofty demon forefathers had never imagined they’d one day be so hounded by a mere youngster that they’d have to gather together and analyze him in detail.

In the past, the Great Divine Veluriyam had been the only one deserving of such attention.

But everyone knew of humanity’s sharp decline after the ancient war, so by right, the second demonic war should’ve made short work of them. However, the promised victory lap had been plagued by snag after snag.

The previous conclusion wasn’t met with unanimous agreement. Someone immediately countered, “Jiang Chen’s strength is hard to measure. At first, he was supposed to be an empyrean cultivator. Now, apparently he’s weaker than only Daoist Goldenhowl. We won’t really know for sure without fighting him in person.”

“True, this is one slippery kid. It’s hard to see through him.”

Forefather Celestial responded gravely, “If he can match Daoist Goldenhowl in power, then we need to keep a close eye on him. If he can exceed that one day, then he’ll be our greatest nemesis.”

Goldenhowl’s strength deserved his respect. Though a bit inferior to his own, no one else would dare claim absolute superiority over the golden demon.

“Raw strength alone is one thing, but this kid has guts and wits. His schemes are what ensnared our fellow forefathers one after another. That alone is a warning signal for us.”

One could be forgiven for succumbing to a ploy once or twice, but four or five different tribes in succession? This hundred percent success rate was frankly a terrifying number.

Clearly, strength was only one facet of this young human. His courage, his insight, and his unpredictable tactics all made him a dangerous threat.

None of these traits could be glossed over.

The forefathers repeatedly went over the previous debacles.

They could somewhat understand the defeat at the Rejuvenation Isles, at least. Their forces had been negligent. They hadn’t expected Jiang Chen to be so formidable and been punished for it by a surprise attack.

But a powerhouse like Goldenhowl had personally been in command at Everlasting. Even so, he’d been lured away, leading his tribe to its doom.

These two confrontations should have served as a lesson for the other tribes, but Jiang Chen had scored yet another victory at Flora thanks to the demons’ incessant infighting. In the end, none of the four forefathers from the monster and titan tribes made it out alive.

Internal friction was half the issue. The other half resided in the enemy’s excessive cunning.

Later on down the line, the fire and winged tribes had jumped feet first into a trap. The two fire demon forefathers, in particular, had brought about their own demise after being thoroughly duped, but the winged forefathers hadn’t been much more discerning.

Such an outcome could’ve been fully avoided with some semblance of communication between the fire and winged tribes.

Again and again, the lack of internal cooperation proved to be the root of their downfall. There was no love lost between the tribes, or put more bluntly, each had their own selfish designs.

As for the wood demons, there was still no concrete information about them. Not a single soul had returned as of yet.

Forefather Celestial sighed after reviewing these elements. “In short, there’s nothing special about his strategy. He simply resorted to surprise ambushes. Or perhaps I should say he turned our carelessness and infighting against us. Had we been a little more united, how would we have suffered such a string of tragedies?”

“Forefather Celestial speaks truly. We can roughly guess his strength from the pattern of his actions. He can handle two demon forefathers at the same time at most. At least, there are no instances of him going against four. Instead, he’s opted to play tribes against each other, or take advantage of small gaps in time. What does that tell us?” 

“Fellow daoist, there is truth to your words. Two is probably this brat’s limit. More would be too rich for his appetite.”

A very sensible deduction. Even Forefather Celestial nodded in approval. 

Indeed, there must be a certain limit to Jiang Chen’s strength. He wouldn’t have required such elaborate strategies otherwise.

This preliminary conclusion boosted the demon camp’s confidence.

“Our tribes need to be more tightly knit,” suggested someone. “We can’t continue to look down on our enemies. Humans are weak, lowly creatures, but they’re crafty and will exploit every advantage to its fullest. So, a little less selfishness from our part, a little more unity, and the kid will be powerless, no matter how many tricks he has up his sleeve.”

“Indeed. Since time immemorial, a strongman is worth ten bookworms. Starting from today, we must move in groups of four or more. Avoid acting by yourselves at all costs.”

Everybody joined in the lively conversation, but loud voices coming from outside interrupted them. A report came in. “Forefathers, several wood demons have returned from Eternal.”

Forefather Celestial immediately shouted, “Show them in!”

There were many uncertainties about the wood tribe’s failure. After seizing Martial and Abyssal, the tribe had advanced unimpeded through its third sacred land. Every sign pointed to a swift victory, yet disaster had struck before they could blink.

It had been an enormous blow to their plans, so he had to fully understand what underhanded schemes Jiang Chen had resorted to.

Rather than superior strength, the survivors’ escape was merely the fruit of serendipity. They’d found a chance to flee amidst the chaos of battle and slip through the net, but alas, very few had been this lucky. The rest of the tribe had been decimated.

Summoned, these demons quivered in fear at the sight of so many demon forefathers in one place. Deep down, they dreaded being labelled as deserters and executed for it.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Ahem, delighted to share with everyone that the name of my next novel is Necropolis Immortal!