The entire Sixth Reserve Legion fitted themselves out within an hour, and everyone waited on the military drill ground. Even their tents and whatnot had been packed, and everyone was prepared to support the front lines at a moment’s notice.
Scouts streamed in and out of the army camp continuously, and everyone could tell from their anxious and worried expressions that the battle wasn’t going very well.
The officers who were at least battalion commanders were quickly called up for a meeting, while Xu Yun brought Huo Yuhao and Dai Luoli, who had become her impromptu bodyguards, along with her.
Xu Yun had no experience on the battlefield at all, and she was overcome with anxiety and confusion at a time like this. She wasn’t just a battalion commander, she was also a princess! This war was connected to her nation’s safety and survival, so how could she not be worried?
Huo Yuhao and Dai Luoli arrived at the corps commander’s tent, but they were only bodyguards, so they could only wait outside. Huo Yuhao was worried, but he didn’t use his spiritual power to sense what was happening inside. If there was a powerful soul master inside, he would be in trouble if that soul master discovered his spiritual undulations.
The meeting was strangely very brief, and Xu Yun hurriedly rushed out after less than ten minutes.
“Quick, follow me back to the battalion.” She quickly got onto her horse as she spoke, and her two bodyguards could only jog along as they followed behind her.
“Yun… battalion commander.” Dai Luoli was about to call her “Yun’er”, but Huo Yuhao glared at him, and only then did he recall the method that Huo Yuhao had taught him. Dai Luoli hurriedly adjusted his expression, and put on a very serious appearance.
Xu Yun snapped around and stared at him. She didn’t wait for him to ask, and said straightforwardly, “The front lines have been utterly crushed… the Northwestern Field Army has given the order for us to enter the city immediately, and to build our defenses around Imperial Radiant City. We are to wait for the retreating army and rendezvous with them.”
“What? The front lines have been crushed?” Dai Luoli blurted out. The Star Luo Empire had spent thousands of years developing their defenses at the western borders! They had relied on the Ming Dou Mountain Range as a natural stronghold, and their fortifications could be said to be impenetrable.
Xu Yun’s pretty face was a little pale. “Yes, the front lines have been decimated. The Sun Moon Empire’s invasion came without warning, and they detonated several Class 9 stationary soul cannon shells on the relatively weaker regions of the Ming Dou Mountain Range, and created an enormous gap. They mobilized four soul engineer legions to launch continuous assaults on our army. The soul engineer legions’ continuous blanketing onslaught forced the Northwestern Field Army back, and led the Sun Moon Empire’s great army to charge through the gap in the mountains. One Class 9 stationary shell landed in the Northwestern Field Army’s central region, and the soldiers on the front lines have sustained heavy losses, with many lives lost and many more injured. We can’t hold on any longer, so we’re retreating.”
“What about my father?” Dai Luoli asked worriedly.
Xu Yun answered, “Marshal Dai is leading the Field Army to defend against the invaders with their full strength, but the Sun Moon Empire’s assault is very ferocious. Their invading army isn’t very large, but they’ve mobilized three out of the five fingers of the Hand that Protects the Nation. They’ve come too quickly and too suddenly, and they’re way too destructive.”
Huo Yuhao lowered his voice and asked, “Battalion commander, how many soldiers are stationed along our western borders?”
Xu Yun replied, “The Northwestern Field Army is the main defense for our western borders, while the Western Field Army supports them. The Northwestern Field Army controls eleven legions, while the Western Field Army consists of eight legions. Our fighting strength stands at eighty thousand soldiers. Other than that, we have two hundred thousand auxiliary soldiers, and our total strength is almost four hundred thousand. Seven cities contain reserve legions behind the borders, and our reserve legions have about two hundred thousand soldiers.”
Huo Yuhao understood the situation as he listened to her. The Star Luo Empire's western borders had about six hundred thousand soldiers stationed there, and of them, there were about three hundred thousand fighting soldiers. It was a very large number. Furthermore, the two Field Armies stationed at the western borders undoubtedly possessed the greatest fighting strength within the entire military, while they also had the best equipment. In the end, the Sun Moon Empire was the Star Luo Empire’s greatest enemy. At least the Zhuge Divine Crossbow Cannons that the Star Luo Empire had purchased from the Tang Sect had been transferred to the western front...
Under such circumstances, war had suddenly erupted at the borders, yet the Star Luo Empire’s defenses were still torn apart. The Star Luo Empire’s strongest army, the Northwestern Field Army, had been utterly crushed. It wasn’t hard to imagine how shocking the Sun Moon Empire’s blow was.
The Sixth Reserve Legion was quickly mobilized, and they swiftly entered Imperial Radiant City, along with their armaments.
Intel streamed in continuously back and forth from Imperial Radiant City and the front lines. The city’s gates were immediately sealed after the Fourth and Sixth Reserve Legions entered the city, and everyone was on high alert. Many soldiers were deployed to protect the city’s most important granaries and armories. The atmosphere was unprecedentedly tense, and the air was so heavy and dense that it seemed as though it could drip with water.
Huo Yuhao and the others belonged to the Third Battalion of the Sixth Reserve Legion, which was part of the Seventh Division. They were arranged on the eastern side of the city. They had too many recruits, so if the fighting did reach the city, the western front would be the first place to be assaulted. Therefore, the recruits were deployed near the eastern side of the city.
Xu Yun went for another meeting before she returned to her provisional battalion with a gloomy face, while she arranged for Huo Yuhao and Dai Luoli to wait inside the room with her.
“What’s the situation, battalion commander?” Dai Luoli asked worriedly. This matter was closely related to his father’s safety, so there was no way he couldn’t be anxious.
Xu Yun’s face was filled with concern and anxiety. “The situation is terrible. The number of dead or injured at the front lines is still unclear, but we know that the White Tiger Duke has led his personal soldiers to cover the rear so that most of his army can withdraw from the Sun Moon Empire’s range. The front lines have sustained severe losses, while the Western Field Army has been hit with a destructive assault at the same time. The Sun Moon Empire has used another Class 9 stationary soul cannon shell, as well. Our conservative estimate is that the Sun Moon Empire has used more than six Class 9 stationary cannon shells this time.”
Huo Yuhao drew a cold breath when he heard her words. Because he knew how powerful stationary soul cannon shells were, he could understand how frightening their destructive power was.
Dai Luoli’s face was ghastly pale, but his eyes suddenly became determined and resolute. “I’m going to look for my father. I’m leaving, Xu Yun.” With that, he turned and began to walk out.
Huo Yuhao grabbed his shoulder and heartlessly pulled him back. “You’re not going anywhere. It’s useless even if you go, so you’re going to stay here and do nothing. Do you think that you, a Soul Elder that doesn’t even have four soul rings, can turn the tide even if you go to the front lines?”
Dai Luoli’s eyes were bloodshot. “I can’t just wait here! My father is fighting with his life for our country’s survival. I am his son, and even if I have to die, I will bleed with him and die valiantly on the battlefield! We have enlisted in the army to defend our nation! I am a soul master, so what will I be if I wait here with the recruits?”
Huo Yuhao slapped Dai Luoli right across his face and sent him crumpling to the ground. He said coldly, “Your intentions are good and you’re very brave, but that’s brainless bravery. So what if you’re a soul master? Do you really think you can get out of the city when the city gates are sealed shut? Or are you intending to expose your identity as the White Tiger Duke’s son, and embarrass your father at the same time?
“You should hate yourself because you’re not strong enough, and can’t help him at a time like this. If you have sufficient determination, you should use that on cultivation! Imperial Radiant City is positioned behind the front lines, and once they can’t hold on any longer, the army will have to retreat through Imperial Radiant City. Do something you can afford to do with your strength, and is far better and more useful than throwing away your life like that.”
Perhaps Dai Luoli was used to being beaten by Huo Yuhao, but he wasn’t furious because of this slap. He got back to his feet, his expression grave and stern, but he said nothing.
Xu Yun sat down on a chair by the side. Her eyes were scattered, and she was beside herself with panic. Faced with an all-out war of such a scale, the little princess was completely lost with worry and panic.
Huo Yuhao glanced at the sky outside. He lowered his voice and said, “The two of you, stay here and cultivate. I’ll take a look at the front lines, and bring first-hand intel back to you guys.”
“You’re going?” Dai Luoli and Xu Yun stared at him at the same time.
Huo Yuhao walked up before Dai Luoli, and his cold eyes suddenly became warm. He patted him on the shoulder and said, “Call me your older brother.”
“Older brother!” Dai Luoli called out subconsciously,
Huo Yuhao smiled faintly and said, “Stay here and don’t go anywhere. I’ll come back to look for you very soon.” With that, Huo Yuhao vanished into thin air soundlessly in front of Dai Luoli.
“You…” Dai Luoli stared at the space in front of him with widened eyes and slack jaw. He didn’t feel any soul power undulations from Huo Yuhao, and only his martial soul, which had finished its mutation, seemed to feel something.
Xu Yun’s eyes were equally frozen. “Now I firmly believe that he wasn’t sent by your father.”
“Why?” Dai Luoli asked subconsciously.
Xu Yun answered, “If your father had sent him here, he wouldn’t have beat you so cruelly. However, you seem to be a lot stronger than before he beat you up.”
Huo Yuhao surged into the sky in a flash after he left the army camp. He unleashed his Imitation, and his entire being seemed to integrate into the air. His spiritual power spread out in all directions like an enormous web, instantly blanketing the entire city.
Huo Yuhao possessed spiritual power that astonished even the Beast God, Di Tian! Only spiritual power at such a level could possess such prowess.
Huo Yuhao couldn’t help but shake his head when he made a brief survey of the city. Imperial Radiant City didn’t have a single aerial surveillance soul tool, and there were only several soul power detectors on the battlements. Imperial Radiant City’s defenses were a far cry from the Sun Moon Empire’s Sunrise City back then, the result of the Star Luo Empire lagging behind in industrial standards. He didn’t know how much longer the Star Luo Empire could hold on this time.
He continued contemplating as he started to move, transforming into a beam of flowing light and surging towards the west.
Huo Yuhao left Imperial Radiant City’s borders and put his Butterfly Wings on, his speed rising exponentially as he infused soul power into his wings.
Huo Yuhao quickly saw the defeated soldiers who were retreating from the front lines. They were truly and utterly crushed! Large amounts of soldiers were retreating from the western front with their heads hanging dispiritedly, crestfallen, while many others were injured. Even their formations seemed a little messy and disorganized.Previous Chapter Next Chapter