He was finally done relaying his instructions to the female generals. With that, he straightened up his body. Just as he was about to take his leave, he suddenly heard Mu Guiying call out to him with a somewhat hoarse voice, “Father… what about you?”
“Where are you going to be?”
She was Yang Yanzhao’s daughter-in-law, and it was only natural that she addressed him as her father.
At least, that would be the case in a more private setting. It was still an inappropriate term of address in public, especially when military orders were being dished out. But, given the current circumstances, nobody made a meal about it.
Yang Yanzhao paused, before turning back and responding with a voice as stiff as a rock, “As the commander-in-chief, I would naturally be located at the heart of the army, issuing commands for the army to react to the situation as I see fit.”
Mu Guiying bit her lower lips and continued with a tremor in her voice, “Then… what about fifth brother?”
Yang Yande had been taking care of the logistical needs of Hell’s forces all this while, and he was naturally absent from most if not all of the campaign meetings thus far.
Without missing a beat, Mu Guiying promptly went on, “And if my postulations are right, Lord Qin would also be participating in the battle, wouldn’t he? Without him and Lady Arakshasa, we would have no way of dealing with their Infernal Judges in the first place. So who’s supposed to protect Lord Qin in this upcoming battle?”
Yelu Jiner also interjected with a soft, trembling voice, “You’ve decided against Fifth Brother’s participation in the earlier meeting because you’re trying to weaken his presence in our mind, are you not? The truth of the matter is that you’ve already decided to task Fifth Brother to follow Lord Qin into battle, isn’t it? General… you’re way too biased.”
Truth be told, the most dangerous task in the upcoming battle wasn’t that of storming the city walls at all. Rather, it was indubitably the task of protecting Qin Ye, because the Yin spirit tasked to do something like that would have to throw himself in harm’s way in order to preserve Qin Ye’s life.
In other words, Yang Yanzhao had reserved the most important yet most dangerous task for his own dear brother.
Yang Yanzhao grew taciturn for a few moments, before speaking with an equally indifferent voice, “This is a military order. Nobody is allowed to question my decision.” Nobody noticed the soft netherflames in his eyes flicker dangerously, almost as though they would go out in an instant.
With that, Yang Yanzhao walked away quietly without any attendants. Soon, he arrived in front of Yang Yande, who was busy sorting out the military supplies.
He stood at 1.84m tall, and sported squarish, chiseled appearances that exuded reliability and trustworthiness. But anyone who had seen him on the battlefield would know that rather than being as firm and indifferent as a mountain, his personality was better described as intense and aggressive, just like a roaring inferno.
“Have you finally come?” Yang Yande wasn’t in the slightest bit surprised to see his brother calling in on him. He leaned back placidly on the supplies and smiled softly, “Your expression tells me that… they’ve all caught on to your antics. See? I’ve told you that you would never be able to conceal these things from them. There aren’t any weaklings among these Yang Clan generals of ours.”
Yang Yanzhao nodded in silence as he gazed intently into his brother’s eyes. After some time, Yang Yanzhao finally bowed deeply to him, “Fifth Brother, you are to follow Lord Qin into battle in the inner city. Please take care…”
“I know.” Yang Yande glanced up at the scarlet vortex swirling menacingly above, “Don’t worry.”
With that, he smiled softly, “What’s up with that expression of yours? Is there any general that shuns the battlefield? Mu Guiying and the rest may be brave and courageous, but their aggression is still a far cry away from mine. Ever since you told me not to attend the campaign meetings, but tasked an attendant to relay the minutes to me instead, it was already apparent who you were going to task to watch over Lord Qin.”
Yang Yanzhao had a multitude of things he wanted to say, but he swallowed everything back and simply gazed at his brother in silence.
They had experienced the vicissitudes of life twice over now. Anything they said now would be nothing more than pretentious platitudes.
“Come back alive.”
With that, they all spent the rest of the day making each their own preparations. A day later, five contingents of forces gathered underneath the scarlet vortex. The banners of Hell’s forces fluttered wildly in the ferocious nethergale, and a mighty army of a hundred thousand stared intently at the vortex above, waiting for a single command to stir them to action!
Boom, boom, boom… Qin Ye’s robes fluttered wildly in the wind, and he slowly swept an electrifying gaze across the entire assembled army that was raring to go, until it finally landed atop the surface of the mirror.
There, he could tell that what once used to be a milky way of Yin spirits had now transformed into an image that was no different from a netherworldly sun!
An hourglass congealed out of Yin energy hovered slightly over the mirror, with ostensibly only a few grains of sand remaining.
Clink… When the last grain of sand finally fell to the bottom of the hourglass, the war drums immediately thumped in unison, while the war horns shook the lands. Hua Jieyu tightened her grip around the reins of her war tiger, and the 20,000 troops surrounding her immediately roared in unison as they dove straight into the vortex!
“Victory to Hell!!!”
Whoosh! They flowed like waters into the ocean, yet they continued to sparkle like constellations in the sky. The sight of tens of thousands of troops rushing headlong into the terrifying vortex was an incredible sight to behold.
“Sister’s still just as anxious as ever…” Mu Guiying laughed boisterously as she, too, tugged the reins in her hands! The 20,000 troops assembled behind her rallied together and followed closely after Hua Jieyu’s forces!
There wasn’t the slightest bit of hesitation nor apprehension. Everyone charged forward, brimming with the desire to do battle!
“For the glory of Hell!!!”
Boom!!! They weren’t the only ones. The other two armies soon followed suit, and another forty thousand Yin soldiers rushed straight into the swirling vortex, riding the wave up like a magnificent reverse waterfall that carried all Yin spirits up from the recesses of the underworld and into the realms of Limbo. As they went, they roared with earth-shattering cries that resounded throughout the underworld.
“May Hell triumph!” “May Hell return victorious!!!”
Hell was finally baring its fangs.
Annals of the New Hell: Year 001 of the New Hell, 12.00 noon in the mortal realm. Under the command of Pioneer General Yang Yanzhao, Generals Hua Jieyu, Mu Guiying, Yelu Jiner and Huyan Chijin led 80,000 troops in a surprise attack on Qufu’s Shanhai Pass.
Qufu, Shanhai Pass. A city within a city.
There were neither towering buildings nor opulent facilities in the city within the city, because it was intended to be a military camp in the first place.
Although the city government was also located here, much of the other space within the inner city was occupied by the military, and the minority would naturally conform to the architecture and style of the majority. It was for this reason that everything was constructed in a simple and pragmatic fashion. Even the tallest building here was no higher than six-storeys in all.
And this was the building located at the very heart of the entire Shanhai Pass.
The first and the second floors were regular office spaces. The third and fourth floors were occupied by the top brass of the military forces. The fifth floor was where monitoring and surveillance took place, while the sixth floor… was a location that nobody had ever entered.
Each floor of the building was five meters tall, save for the fifth floor which was a whopping ten meters tall. Although the building wasn’t tall by any means, it occupied a massive area. Countless traps, devices and mechanisms were built into every part of the building, while guards and patrols were dime a dozen within. That said, the entire fifth floor appeared to be completely calm and tranquil.
It looked completely different from the usual surveillance rooms back in the mortal realm. The fifth layer occupied a space as large as a regular football field, and everything was decorated with traditional Cathayan flair. Star charts lay sprawling on the ceiling overhead, while all sorts of large machines and instruments lay all over the place. There were even smaller exquisite instruments located at the fringe of the room that appeared to power a small screen of Yin energy filled with scrolling details and numbers. Each screen of light was located right above a long table with four or five chairs, all of which were completely occupied by Yin spirits.
None of them said a single word. Each of these Yin spirits looked both somber and weary at the same time. After an inordinate amount of time, a bell rang across the entire floor, and all Yin spirits immediately loosened their minds.
“Haaa--...” One of the Yin spirits rubbed his throbbing temples. The last week of work had been so hectic that he could feel the netherflames in his eyes slowly going out. He slumped deep into his chair as he muttered softly, “What in the world is Lord Lai thinking? Just a week ago, he suddenly summoned all 9.72 million Yin spirits in the vicinity right back into the city. Sure, it’s easy to just fire a command off his hip like that, but does he realize how insane things have been for the Administrative Department and our Surveillance Team ever since then?!”
The Yin spirit beside him glanced warily about the room, before making a shushing sign right back, “Shh, keep your volume down. Walls have ears.”
The first Yin spirit chuckled bitterly. Then, he glanced around, before lowering his volume slightly, “We’re talking about nearly 10 million Yin spirits… Are they even able to fit into Shanhai Pass? The city itself already houses something like 10 million Yin spirits, so how are housing arrangements going to work in the near future? Things are still looking alright for our team for now. Things will naturally lighten up after these initial few days. But, what about the various ministries in the city government? They’re going to have to bust their asses dealing with the sudden doubling of numbers.”
“But it’s all for the safety of Shanhai Pass.” A third Yin spirit soon interjected with his thoughts, “Haven’t you heard the news? The Lord of Darkriver has perished… That’s a terrifying Infernal Judge that we’re talking about…”
“Pfft… That’s an overreaction. So what if the Lord of Darkriver is dead? Who would dare to make a move against Qufu’s Shanhai Pass?” The first Yin spirit snickered as he turned back to the screen of Yin energy in front of him with glazed-over eyes, “This is hell. There’s no doubt about it. In fact, I’d never thought that the netherworld would be anything like this. To think that we’d have such a sprawling city with hundreds of thousands of troops guarding its borders. And Lord Kong’s no more than three days away from these parts as well. So… who would possibly dare stir up a fight with us?”
Just then, his eyelids suddenly twitched.
He blinked vacantly. Just then, a purple dot of light appeared right over the western city walls, and it slowly grew larger with time.
He desperately tried to recall what purple represented. Green represents safety. White represents an existence that is of no threat. Red represents something that is extremely dangerous… but purple?
Two seconds later. He suddenly shot to his feet. And he wasn’t the only one. Practically everyone on the entire fifth floor shot to their feet in unison as they gasped in horror at the rare sight on the screen of Yin energy!
“This is… this is…” The Yin spirits’ lips were all trembling as they pointed to the screen of Yin energy, completely lost for words.
He remembered it now. Purple represented an instance of spatial teleportation!
In other words, something was currently teleporting straight into their lands through a completely different plane of existence!!
But before they could even find the words to speak, the entire room suddenly blared with ear-piercing shrieks of alarms.
Beep beep… beep beep… The alarms blared incessantly, and the Yin spirits couldn’t help but stare at each other with great disbelief. There was only a single thought running through their minds at this very moment - Enemy attack… this is an enemy attack!
Someone… Someone actually dares to make a move against Qufu’s Shanhai Pass! Someone actually dares to make a move against the largest hell among all neighbouring provinces!!
“How is this possible…” One of the Yin spirits trembled profusely. War… war is actually coming. I only hear of skirmishes on the outskirts of our territorial borders, yet who would’ve thought that someone would actually attempt to invade Qufu’s Shanhai Pass of all things! I mean… don’t they say that Shanhai Pass’s defense are as solid as gold? How did things come to this all of a sudden?
They all stared transfixed at the screen, only to discover that the large purple dot soon began to spawn tiny red dots all around. A single one appeared, followed by another… and then there were ten… a hundred… a thousand… and ten thousand!
The tide of the enemy troops had suddenly poured out of nowhere!
BEEEEEEEEP!!! A shrill alarm instantly blared across all governmental buildings. A split second later, a mechanical voice spoke through the city’s broadcast system, “Warning. Foreign Yin energy signatures detected. Yin energy readings have exceeded the count of eight million Yin. Warning…”
The entire room fell into a deathly silence.
And then, a split second later, all of the Yin spirits rushed out of the room towards the lower four floors.
Enemy attack… it’s really an enemy attack! This isn’t a drill at all!
Meanwhile, Lai Junchen was currently located on the fourth floor when he heard the alarm. He immediately shot to his feet and stared out of the window with great disbelief.
The entire place still appeared calm and tranquil. The Yin spirits outside were still working in an orderly fashion. Yet, the Yin spirits following Lai Junchen were all stunned to find that his entire body was trembling, while the netherflames in his eyes were quivering uncontrollably.
This was the manifestation of extreme shock and disbelief.
“My Lord… you…”
Before he could even finish, Lai Junchen immediately grabbed him by the collar and bellowed with a quake in his voice, “Hurry…”
“Immediately… immediately mobilize all forces!! Notify Lord Kong of the enemy attack… An unknown force is invading Qufu! And they’ve even managed to breach the outer city walls!!”
“Mobilize all troops! No matter the cost, we simply cannot allow them to even draw close to the vicinity of the Mythic Palace of Reflections!!”
His attendants immediately went about their duties, while Lai Junchen slumped back down onto his seat with great unease.
He hadn’t expected this. No… in fact, not even Lord Kong knew that someone would actually dare besiege this indomitable fortress like that!
It took him some time before he finally regained his composure. Then, gritting his teeth, he stood up and addressed his attendants once more.
“Pass down my orders. The Rising Sun Battalion is to guard the Mythic Palace of Reflections. They are to hold their ground there no matter what happens! Soaring Serpent Battalion and the Furious Ox Army are to defend the four inner gates! Whoever leaves their assigned station without orders are to be summarily executed for treason!!”
It was only when he finished speaking that he noticed his hands trembling profusely.
After all, those who dare pick a fight with the Shanhai Pass would undoubtedly be difficult opponents to deal with!
His gaze remained transfixed on the city walls. But… since you’re here, why don’t you stay for a while and trade some pointers with us.
Let’s test and see whose blade is sharper than the other!Previous Chapter Next Chapter