Chapter 2298: Dissent In The Demon Camp

When the Goldbiter Rats finally made their return, an aghast Jiang Chen realized they’d lost almost half their members in less than fifteen minutes.

Yet, despite his tribesmen dying by the millions, the rat king was excited beyond belief by the rewards he’d reaped from this particular battle. The survivors would certainly grow beyond their current limits, and the tribe could make up for the dead in a decade or two, thanks to its reproductive speed.

“Ole Gold, you and your tribe are the main heroes this time around.”

The rat king grinned, its whiskers bobbing up and down. “We were merely lending a hand, young lord. I dare not claim credit, not to mention the prodigious benefits we acquired. You can’t imagine the pleasure I felt when I saw the young’uns munch on them.”

The demon tribes were famous across the whole heavenly planes. They used to be existences far beyond the rats’ reach, yet such creatures now folded all the same in the face of a rat tide. The monster demons, in particular, had become the main course of a grand feast.

Not even their three forefathers had been spared. Besieged by an ocean of rats, they ultimately become food.

Of course, it was mostly to the rat king’s credit. He’d successfully ambushed the three demon gods before donating them to his kin. Nevertheless, no one could deny the part the rat tribe had played.

Human cultivators looked at the rat king with conflicted emotions. There was gratitude, but also specks of fear.

Ole Gold basked in the atmosphere. The Goldbiter Rats had always been too timid to show their faces in public. But now, they commanded not only respect, but also trepidation.

It was the beginning of his tribe’s time of glory.

“Alright, the demons have been dealt a monumental blow. They’re still not to be trifled with, of course, but we’re leveling the playing field, step by step. As long as we don’t overreach, we’ll ultimately drive them out of Divine Abyss!”

Another eight demon forefathers had fallen in the previous engagement: three from the baleful blood tribe, two from the yin tribe, as well as the three monster and winged forefathers killed by the Goldbiter Rats. 

To begin with, they’d been twenty or so at best. After the latest massacre, the pitiful number of demon gods still alive no longer constituted a lethal threat for humanity. 

At the very least, they’d suffered irreversible damage. They weren’t yet six feet under, but without an injection of fresh blood, their best hope would be to fight mankind to a stalemate.

Of course, the young lord wanted no part of a stalemate. His end goal was their annihilation, pure and simple.

In the doldrums after this defeat, the demons had withdrawn several thousand miles away.

Their greatest loss wasn’t the failure to capture Winterdraw. Morale had been critically shaken, and the celestial tribe had lost all prestige and authority.

Other than the monster tribe decimated by ambush from the Goldbiter Rats, the celestial tribe’s performance had been the most lackluster.

The fiasco was solely due to their excessive confidence. Too slow to react at the moment of truth, they’d been mere passengers watching the tragic slaughter of the other tribes. The army was thoroughly disillusioned with their leadership.

The still-wounded Bloodreed even swore at them in the open, giving vent to his resentment. Seemingly of one mind, Goldenhowl also denounced them in the same way.

In contrast, no one truly stood up for them.

The monster and giant demons, in particular, had fallen prey to celestial schemes in the past. They’d fought each other, ultimately to Jiang Chen’s benefit.

The yin tribe was also disgruntled by their massive losses.

Only the shadow, fire, and winged demons remained somewhat loyal. As for the wood demons, their attitude was ambiguous to say the least.

Noticing this strange atmosphere, Celestial said,  “Everyone, my flawed judgment is the root of our defeat.” His tone grave, he adopted a very humble attitude.

However, no one rushed to reply.

The crowd seemed dissatisfied by such a cursory apology. Bloodreed, in particular, smirked. “How can you celestial demons ever be wrong? Since the beginning of time, haven’t you lot been ever-wise, never erring even once?”

Celestial snorted. “Bloodreed, I understand your distress, but didn’t all of us formulate our battle plans together?”

Exploding in sudden fury, Bloodreed huffed, his eyes wide widened with rage. “It’s true, everyone agreed to the plan. But we all know you’re the pack leader when push comes to shove. You’re our bellwether, but what did you do? A wiseman once said: fear not invincible enemies, but idiotic allies. And by idiotic, I’m talking about you lot!”

Entirely disabused, he swore his head off without a care in the world.

The time for courtesy was long behind them. Out of the blood tribe’s four forefathers, he alone had half-survived. Their part in the demons’ hegemonic plans on Divine Abyss was done and dusted.

Swearing was the only course left to him. It’d be best if he could instigate others into opposing Celestial and strip him of authority. Perhaps there was still room to salvage the situation, as long as they could out their long-standing leader.

Otherwise, talks of conquest would be sheer illusion. Even assuming an eventual success, the celestial demons would simply claim the fruits of everyone’s labors.

The other tribes naturally weren’t interested in such a thankless task.

Silence fell on the scene.

Everyone craned their necks, waiting to hear the celestial demons’ reply. If the latter were persist in their ways, the rest wouldn’t mind joining forces to overthrow the old regime.

Celestial’s power was unrivaled, but nine tribes were more than enough to humble a single one.

Celestial sighed. “Daoist Bloodreed, I have nothing to say in my defense. It’s true, we’ve made the wrong calls. But ask yourself honestly. Without us, can the rest of you defeat the humans?”

Bloodreed cackled. “So will your participation ensure our victory? You were the ones at the helm in the ancient war. The result? We fell for their schemes and were sealed away. In the latest battle, you were again the commander-in-chief for an even worse outcome!”

His sentiment found an immediate echo with the other tribes.

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etvolare's Thoughts

Goodness, their internal conflict is even worse than humans'!