Chapter 418: Battle of Darkriver (1)

This was the land of the dead.

This was the realm of spirits.

And this was the war between Yin soldiers.

Neither was prepared to give an inch to the other. A battle among soldiers numbering close to two hundred thousand was on the verge of breaking out. Even the Lord of Darkriver, Sha Xiangzu couldn’t help but find his forehead percolating with cold sweat.

A single command. All it took was a single command, and the entire place would turn into a grinding mill of Yin spirits. All it took was a single command, and a great war would break out between the Umbral Mount Tai Alliance of Darkness and the forces of Hell.

He obviously knew the command he needed to give, but he still hesitated.

He had finally realized the full extent of his inexperience and naivete. Indeed, he had only died slightly over twenty years ago, and he still possessed a lingering fear for the fabled existence known as Hell.

Despite all that, he still managed to pull himself together seconds later, and he looked straight into Qin Ye’s eyes as he bellowed with ferocity, “Inform the Alliance of Darkness immediately!! Tell them that an army of Yin soldiers is closing in on them!! And the strength of the army is far beyond that which had swept through Valley County earlier--...”

Boom!!!

But before he could even finish speaking, terrifying flares of netherflame immediately shot into the sky all around the military garrison. It was ostensibly a warning that escape was impossible.

The nethergale tousled Arthis’ hair, and she cast a bloodthirsty glance at Sha Xiangzu, “Hell’s Art, Last Man Standing.”

“We’ll only be able to leave this place after the victor is clear. I’ve admittedly taken quite some time in order to prepare this technique. Fortunately, someone was sensible enough to help buy me some time. Otherwise… do you really think I’d have the patience to talk such nonsense with you?”

“Come, little one. Since you were so confident earlier, why don’t you prove once and for all that you can stand tall against the bona fide army of Hell?”

Damn it… DAMN IT!!!

Sha Xiangzu’s forehead was already covered with cold sweat. How exactly did they all suddenly appear like that? What exactly did Kong Mo conceal from me? And if I die now… what’s going to happen to Qufu--...

“Dare not make a move?” Qin Ye smiled as he slowly raised his hand, “Then, why don’t we draw the curtains on this act summarily? I wouldn’t want to risk letting you escape alive by a stroke of luck.”

Then, to Sha Xiangzu’s horror, Qin Ye promptly swung down his hand.

“Kill.”

“Chaaaaarrrrggeee!!!” As soon as the command was given, Hell’s forces immediately exploded with an intense battle cry! The heavens shook, and the earth trembled. Seventy thousand troops poured forth like a tidal wave, flowing straight past Qin Ye as they roared towards the army of the Lord of Darkriver.

Damn it!

The Lord of Darkriver cursed in his heart. Certainly, I’ve on several occasions heard Kong Mo stating as a matter of fact that the Yin soldiers of Hell are completely different from that of mere evil ghosts. But, how exactly are they different?

He didn’t know. All he knew was that Kong Mo had on several occasions cautioned him against the armies of Hell. But do all these things really matter? I have an army of a hundred thousand Yin soldiers!

Is this something that they can overlook so lightly? Can they truly ignore the numerical advantage I hold over them?

“Kill them all!” The green veil in the mobile residence fluttered wildly as Sha Xiangzu’s furious bellow echoed throughout the entire military garrison. If the approach of Qin Ye’s army of seventy thousand could already be described as the rivers rushing into the sea, then the charge of Sha Xiangzu’s army of a hundred thousand would be no different from a roaring avalanche from a towering mountain top. Both forces barrelled down straight towards each other and clashed right in the middle of the lands.

Clang! Clang, clang, clang! Within moments, the vanguards of both forces slammed against each other, sending endless sounds of clashing iron rippling out across the lands. Unfortunately, Sha Xiangzu was astonished to discover that… his own army was completely unable to put a single dent into the onslaught of the enemy forces!

The vanguard of Hell’s forces were none other than the one thousand units of Black Armored Troops. They marched ahead of the rest of the army like indomitable gods of death, firmly putting a stop to the rush of Sha Xiangzu’s troops.

Each and every one of them were easily two meters tall and covered with thick armor, almost as though they were tanks on the battleground. Hundreds of spears struck the pitch-black armor of the Black Armored Troops, only to do nothing more than generate a shower of sparks. On the other hand, the Black Armored Troops would soon raise their long swords in unison and cleave down ahead of them with full force.

Sssss!!! Yaaaaaa!!! The one thousand units of Black Armored Troops were like an insurmountable mountain range to Sha Xiangzu’s troops. Conversely, Sha Xiangzu’s troops were like lamb to the slaughter to the devastating slashes of their long swords. Sha Xiangzu’s Yin soldiers screamed miserably as they were instantly cleaved into pieces, and their bodies promptly burnt up in a bright blaze of netherflames. They weren’t even able to slow down the march of Hell’s forces at all!

Sha Xiangzu’s army took a loss of several thousand Yin soldiers in just an instant, and his army looked ostensibly sparser than before. However, the black-armored Yin soldiers clearly showed no signs of relenting. Like a meat grinder, they quickly raised their swords, marched forward and swung down forcefully once more.

Whoosh!

“Aaaarrrggghhhh!” “Stop… stop!!!” “What kind of monstrosity is this?!” “Sssss!!!” Thousands more of Sha Xiangzu’s Yin soldiers immediately burnt up in flames, like meteorites burning up with a final hurrah.

Sha Xiangzu’s vanguard forces froze in fear in an instant, and their hands trembled softly. Soldiers weren’t supposed to know fear, but… they were truly terrified of what stood in front of them.

After all, this was the first time that any of them had ever encountered something quite as terrifying as this. Are these really Yin soldiers? How can we possibly resist their approach? They’re hacking down our comrades like a hot knife cutting through butter. Is this…  what the genuine army of Hell is like? The royal forces of Hell?

It was on a completely different level from the Yin spirits they were used to seeing!

Clatter, clatter… The Black Armored Troops continued their staid march forward with a firm gait, leaving a trail of netherflames in the wake of every location they passed. Sha Xiangzu’s Yin soldiers scrambled to retreat, but were simply unable to do so! The sea of Yin soldiers behind them kept pushing into them from behind, forcing them forward and straight into the waiting arms of the terrifying gleaming blades of the line of meat grinders.

Terrifying… Every single one of Sha Xiangzu’s Yin soldiers had the exact same thought on their mind in their final moments.

“How can they be so useless?” Qin Ye was completely dumbfounded. He had initially expected a dogfight, so it came as a complete surprise to him when his forces ended up trampling over the enemy troops.

Arthis snickered, “What else did you think it would be? They don’t have a significant numerical advantage over us, so on what basis do you think they have to stop the march of our forces? Do you think the Umbral Mount Tai Alliance of Darkness has Oda Nobunaga or Yang Jiye training their Yin soldiers? You’ve got to realize that your army is trained by historically renowned generals. But what about theirs?”

“Sure, they might be able to stand toe to toe against some Yin beasts over here, but the Yin beasts here in Limbo are nothing like the Yin beasts of the underworld. Sure, they may be able to take down a Judge-class Yin beast, but to say that they know war is quite a completely different story.”

Back in the mobile residence, Sha Xiangzu exclaimed hoarsely at the top of his voice, “How is this possible?!” This battle had only begun just ten minutes ago, and yet his own vanguard forces were already completely beaten down and routed, while his enemy’s forces were clearly still completely unharmed. The casualties on his side numbered well in the thousands!

“Damn it!!” His heart wrenched in pain, and he opened his mouth to reveal a black crystal wrapped tightly by his own long tongue. A split second later, a sea of Yin energy poured out from it, causing circles of black light to erupt from underneath the feet of each of his own troops, before slowly growing around his Yin soldiers like tendrils over a trellis. In an instant, the tendrils of Yin energy connected his forces together to form the shape of a white tiger’s head.

Military formation!

Boom! The Yin energy flowing from Sha Xiangzu’s Yin soldiers instantly thickened, and the paper spears striking the armor of the Black Armored Troops finally managed to draw blood. Unfortunately, it still took the concerted effort of a dozen or so Yin soldiers to inflict some damage on the Black Armored Troops, while it only took the Black Armored Troops a single slash to decapitate the oncoming enemy forces.

That said, the Black Armored Troops were clearly on route to a slow death. They had already taken down thousands of Yin soldiers, but the damage accumulating on their armor was also getting more and more apparent. But just then, a loud war horn blared from deep within Hell’s forces. With a loud cry, the Black Armored Troops suddenly bellowed loudly, before unleashing a powerful slash with all of their might.

This attack of theirs was far more powerful than any attack from before. In fact, their blade even emitted a soft, black lustre in front of them that immediately projected forward, cleaving a deep gully right in front of their swords. The enemy Yin soldiers that were originally standing there were instantly reduced to ashes. But, at the same time, the Black Armored Troops took the opportunity to fall back and retreat.

Retreated… These demon gods have finally retreated!

Sha Xiangzu’s Yin soldiers witnessed the sight of their retreat, and their eyes immediately glowed red with excitement. We’ve finally beaten them back! We’ve finally beaten back Hell’s forces! We’ve--...

But their newfound excitement soon turned into abject despair.

Prr-prr-prrrrrrr… Another war horn sounded. Just as the Black Armored Troops sank back into the depths of their ranks, countless more Yin soldiers took their place, holding up their spears and shields in a tight defensive formation, while tens of thousands of bowmen took their positions right behind them, aiming forward with their bows and arrows that burnt with a terrifying scarlet flame.

Gulp… A young Yin soldier from Sha Xiangzu’s faction tightened the grip around his spear even as his scalp tingled softly.

That’s right - ghosts knew fear too.

They’re on a completely different level…

They could truly sense the difference in their armies right now. Hell’s forces were disciplined and orderly. They knew when to advance, and when to retreat. In contrast, Sha Xiangzu’s forces were like a headless chicken that only knew to rush headlong into the fray and beatdown on their enemies.

That said, such realization only lasted for a single moment.

A single moment that seemed to last a lifetime.

A split second later, countless bowstrings twanged, and thousands of arrows pierced the skies, sending karmic fire crashing straight through the clouds before hurtling straight down onto the Yin spirits below!

BOOM!!!

A crimson flower of flame blossomed on the horizon, followed closely by karmic flames that appeared to have a life of their own. These flames homed madly into the nearby enemy Yin soldiers, causing everything they touched to instantly be reduced to ashes. But this time, rather than reducing the Yin spirits to netherflames that flew into the air, the spots of netherflames were instantly consumed by the devastating karmic fire, subjecting them to an eternity of burning agony.

The entire battlefield was covered with miserable screams in an instant. Just like the conflagration marking Zhou Yu’s great victory at the battle of the Red Cliff, the entire heaven and the earth was covered in a scarlet light at this very moment. This single volley of Karmic Fire Divine Crossbow bolts had instantly decimated a third of the army of the Lord of Darkriver!

Back in the mobile residence, the Lord of Darkriver found himself completely dumbfounded by what he was seeing.

I’ve been completely routed…

He had never expected to be defeated so one-sidedly.!

No… it shouldn’t be like this. I’ve been blessed by the heavens. Of all the Judges in the Alliance of Darkness, I’m undoubtedly the one who had taken the least amount of time to become an Infernal Judge! I’ve died a tragic death in life, and been blessed with spawning in the land of extreme Yin as soon as I entered Limbo. Becoming an Abyssal Prefect in the near future might not even be out of the question!

He had only temporarily submitted to Kong Mo’s tutelage in order to learn more about his own potential. Admittedly, the strength of the Alliance of Darkness was undeniable. Kong Mo had many techniques up his sleeves, including various formations and arrays of all sorts. Unfortunately, Sha Xiangzu clearly wasn’t qualified to be privy to all these things!

The greater the secret, the closer Kong Mo would keep those cards to his chest. But, even then, Sha Xiangzu had been completely confident in his own abilities. So what if they encounter the forces that had taken out Valley County?

That was only a mere ten thousand troops.

Unfortunately, reality betrayed his expectations.

And it wasn’t only his expectations on the numbers. Hell’s forces had completely crushed his own troops on every single front, be it appearance, armaments and overall abilities!

He finally understood why Kong Mo was so terrified of Hell’s forces right now. He fully appreciated Kong Mo’s perspective, and could also understand why he had gone all out to destroy a mere Infernal Judge.

“By Hell’s Dictum… All rabble shall disperse?” He finally spoke with great trembling as he swept a stiff gaze across the devastation on the battlefield.

A sea of netherflames was spreading right in front of his eyes, while Hell’s forces continued to drive through his own troops relentlessly. He hadn’t even given a single command to his own forces, and yet, his entire army had clearly collapsed in an instant. Although they were still desperately resisting Hell’s advance, he could quite easily tell that it wasn’t going to take Hell’s army more than half an hour to completely run down his entire army.

How did things end up this way?!

Suddenly, his eyes flickered wildly. In that instant, Hell’s forces had parted slightly, allowing an intense wave of Yin energy to rush over. He could sense the auras of two Judge-class entities in this wave of energy.

In fact, there were seven unique energy signatures in this wave of energy, and he could tell that these were all locked directly onto him right now.

Their gazes collided, and the buzz of the clashing Yin soldiers and clanging iron immediately faded into the background to give way for the main stage.

“How dare you!!” With a furious roar, the veil of the mobile residence fluttered, and Sha Xiangzu rushed straight out towards the source of these energies.

Kill them…

I’ll only be able to escape from this dastardly technique if I take down all the leaders of Hell’s forces!

This is the only chance I’ve got!

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