Chapter 2291: On The Eve Of Battle

“Old Gold, how much fighting strength does your tribe possess right now?” Jiang Chen privately asked the rat king.

“Young lord, are we fighting in the final battle against the demons?” The rat king’s eyes shone bright.

After surpassing his limits again and again, the rat king’s temperament had changed entirely. In the past, even as the leader of his tribe, he’d been a cowardly mouse. But now, there was an imposing air about him. Not even the four sacred beasts outshone him.

He’d finally gained the bearing of the ancient Goldbiter Kingrats.

“There’s no avoiding the decisive battle. However, your tribe will be our surprise troops, so I need to understand where your current battle capabilities,” Jiang Chen said resolutely.

“Hehe, don’t worry. Of course, we can’t go head-to-head against the ten demon tribes. But there’s absolutely no problem with causing trouble and disturbance through ambushes and guerilla warfare.” The rat king licked his lips, quite fierce and eager. There was a certain bloodthirstiness about him.

Jiang Chen smiled. “Your tribe needs continual battle experience to evolve ever further. The repeated clashes are very useful for your descendants. You might sacrifice a great many this time, but the survivors will lead your tribe to the true glory of the ancient Goldbiter Kingrats. Do you believe me?”

The rat king rushed to protest, “Of course I believe you. In fact, I’ve already awakened the heritage memories of the Goldbiter Kingrats. Both my bloodline and my soul have evolved into that of a Goldbiter Kingrat. Now it’s time for me to lead the entire tribe on the same path!”

Such a sentiment was proof the rat tribe’s thought process was on the right track.

Jiang Chen nodded. “The demons will certainly deploy all kinds of tricks and methods in this fight and call upon all of their powers. I’m confident I’ve already seen all their tricks though, and have fought against all of them. The only ones I have yet to meet in battle are the blood and yin demons. Perhaps the celestial demons count as well. This time, I think the blood demons will be the spearhead of their offensive.”

“Blood demons?” The rat king blinked. “Didn’t Demon Emperor Bloodmalva in Great Scarlet belong to that tribe?”

“He did, but his cultivation was nothing to speak of. The blood demons we now have to face will be their main strike force, their genuine elites!”

“Who cares! Young lord, I’m sure you have a way. Should our rat tribe handle them?”

“No need. They possess a terrifying corrosive ability. It’s not a threat to you, but I can’t say the same for your kin. Just wait for my orders and focus on ambushing their backline.”

The rat tribe was his stealth team. He had to use them as such in order to tilt the balance in mankind’s favor. Merely turtling inside Winterdraw wasn’t the path to victory.

If he had another decade or so of peace, he, the four beasts, and mankind as a whole would’ve shrunk the gap in strength enough to catch up to the demons.

The war would be much more straightforward then.

But aware of this potential threat, Celestial had launched the offensive ahead of time to cut their growth short.

After arranging for the rat tribe’s mission, Jiang Chen privately summoned the four sacred beasts.

They’d been practicing the new formation he’d taught them. Although not yet touching upon the core mysteries of a plane’s creation, the formation faintly alluded to the rules of the heavenly planes.

The four beasts were now all mid divine realm. Every single one of them a force to be reckoned with in their own right, they were strong enough to overpower ordinary demon gods in single combat, apart from the elite few like Celestial. They could now fight their own battles. 

However, he had no plans to have them fight alone. Too much risk was involved. No matter how mighty their bloodlines, it made little sense to gamble with their lives.

Every detail mattered in war. One ought to maximize one’s chances.

The beasts’ greatest strength lay in their coordination. Together, they were twice as powerful, or possibly more. The four of them had been delighted to learn the formation, clearly sensing it’d elevate their battle prowess to new heights.

“Young lord, now that the final battle draws near, will we be able to fight to our heart’s content?” asked Long Xiaoxuan.

“Not necessarily. It’ll be a scrappy, hard-fought affair, but there will be opportunities nonetheless.  Just follow me as you’ve always done, alright?”

They didn’t refuse, of course. To fight at his side was always a pleasure. 

Jiang Chen apprised them of his latest conjecture.

Long Xiaoxuan snorted with contempt, “The blood demons’ mist is powerful, but a sacred beast won’t be affected, don’t worry.”

True enough, their bloodlines were too noble to be so easily corroded.

The young human responded with a smile, “That’s just my guess. Perhaps the celestial tribe will spearhead the attack in person, who knows? We must be ready to react to whatever they throw our way.”

“Hehe, we’ll leave the battle plans to you, young lord. Just point us to something we can whale on,” the Astral Tiger interjected candidly.

Soon after, Jiang Chen called Xia Tianze, An Kasyapa, and the others, patiently warning them of what might come. In a momentous battle of this magnitude, he couldn’t afford to neglect any details.

As the dark of night slowly receded to give way to the light of dawn, he pronounced, his voice clear and sonorous, “Everyone, the human domain stands right behind us. Winterdraw is our last rampart. We must stop the enemy here, or they will invade our homeland. Will you let the demons make slaves out of your children and descendents?!”

“Young lord, we’re ready to fight to the last breath!”

“We fight!”

The shouts of the crowd merged into one deafening hurrah that rang pleasantly in his ears.  “Everyone, follow the two seniors Xia Tianze and An Kasyapa and defend our all-important formations. I’ll harass them with sneak attacks in the meantime to disrupt their offensive. We’ll have ample opportunities to strike and thin their ranks. Remember, the demons are nowhere near as strong as they were in the ancient war, not to mention more than a third of their forefathers are already slain. Never doubt our chances to prevail!”

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