Chapter 433: The Definitive War (5)

Eastern city walls. The battle raged with hellfire and brimstone. Qufu’s Yin soldiers stood shoulder to shoulder, forming a human wall to obstruct the approach of Hell’s forces. Everyone gnashed their teeth as they stared ahead of them.

There was a magnificent cloud of Yin energy spreading at least a thousand square meters all around. Yet, even then, Qufu’s soldiers could vaguely make out the silhouettes of blurry soldiers marching within its midst.

This was one of the four offensive Yin beasts that had accompanied Hell’s forces on the eastbound expedition - the Cloud Devourer.

“Fire!!” The commander behind bellowed at the top of his voice, and thousands of crossbow bolts shot through the air. Unlike arrows, crossbow bolts were far more powerful when fired straight ahead. The crossbow bolts flew straight through the cloud of Yin energy and directly towards the Cloud Devourer. However, there simply wasn’t any tactile response at all. The bolts plunged straight into the Cloud Devourer as though they were just any other object falling straight into quicksand. Although the Cloud Devourer’s movements appeared to be slowing down slightly, Qufu’s soldiers knew that their attacks hadn’t injured their target in the slightest.

“What kind of monster is this?!!” A Hellguard who appeared to be the commander gnashed his teeth at the rear of the army. We’re only five kilometers from the exit to the city! If our forces keep retreating like this, then the eastern walls, together with the ten important buildings within a thirty square kilometer radius would have to be declared completely lost to its enemies!

But… what are we going to use to defeat our enemies?!

Just as his thoughts began to spin out of control, the base of the cloud of Yin energy suddenly glistened brightly, and thousands of spears suddenly thrusted straight through the illusory cloud like a thousand bolts of lightning. Ka! Ka! Ka! The armors worn by the Qufu soldiers instantly crumpled up like paper mache and crumbled away. The Yin spirits wearing these armors naturally screamed at the top of their voices before perishing with a great blaze of netherflames.

Damn it… DAMN IT!!!

He grabbed hold of a Yin spirit at his side. This Yin spirit was wearing a black robe, and had a yellow talisman pasted at the top of his head. He also wore a mask with only one eyehole for vision. The Hellguard commander gnashed his teeth, “How much longer before the Mohist Mechanical Beast activates?!!”

“My lord…” The Yin spirit responded hoarsely, “Without Lord Li’s orders, we have no means of activating the Mechanical Beasts. Furthermore… we require Lord Li’s Tiger Talisman for that…”

“SHIT!!!” The Hellguard commander gnashed his teeth and tossed the Yin spirit aside. Lord Li this, Lord Li that… Where the hell is Li Linfu?!!

Unfortunately, they weren’t able to establish contact with him. In fact, none of them had ever fathomed the possibility that someone could actually fight their way straight into the heart of the Mechanical Beast! This was practically an impossibility in their minds!

From where would they come? Battles on the city walls were grand scale battles. How could someone fight their way through tens of kilometers of city walls? The entrances to the city were all under their control! But unfortunately… it just so happens that someone did in fact manage to achieve the impossible today!

The Hellguard commander glanced down. He could see that reinforcements had already arrived, yet were unable to reinforce his army at the top of the city walls as a result of Qufu’s unique terrain. His army was no smaller than the Almanac Army, and they were already formed up in a long snaking formation, eagerly waiting for Hell’s forces to finally charge into their midst and duel to the death.

“Lord Li… if you don’t do something soon, then don’t blame me for losing control of the eastern walls. These Yin soldiers of Hell aren’t forces that we can trade one for one with! We’re severely disadvantaged on the city walls… We’re practically like lambs to the slaughter!”

Unfortunately, Lord Li wasn’t able to hear his cries.

In fact, he didn’t even have the capacity to entertain such complaints right now.

The western walls were where most blood was spilt thus far. The entire section of wall was over twenty kilometers long, yet there was not a single part of the wall where blood hadn’t been spilt. Hell’s forces had begun its siege on Qufu over four hours ago, yet Mu Guiying’s army was still eight kilometers away from the exit of the western walls!

However, the entire western walls were shrouded in silence at that very moment.

Everyone on the battlefield, both friend and foe, were all hiding underneath the shields of their own forces. There was a tense ceasefire - almost a tacit agreement not to attack each other. A whimpering wind howled across the lonely battlefield. Innumerable large spears were extending from the ground of the city walls like tombstones, meters apart from each other. The city walls were covered in cracks, and the entire place was eerily silent.

Nobody could forget the earlier rain of spears that seemed to pelt down with great devastation and despondence. After an inordinately long time, Oda Nobutada quietly peeked out from behind the shield wall and looked at the aftermath with great trembling.

The rain of spears had decimated over half of Qufu’s own forces! Over 30,000 Yin spirits had perished, while Hell also lost a fraction of its forces.

It was shocking.

Nobody had expected Lord Li to be as ruthless as he was. But it was precisely so that he had actually managed to hold the city walls thus far!

Thud! Thud! Thud! Eight kilometers away from the exit into the outer city. The march of Qufu’s forces had begun once more. A tidal wave of Qufu’s soldiers rushed forward with great cries of valor. Meanwhile, Oda Nobutada scrambled to his feet with bloodshot eyes and raised his long sword high above his head.

“Men!!” He bellowed with all his might, “Our commander has charged straight for the mouth of the Mechanical Beast! Even if she manages to take it down, there will be a throng of enemies waiting for her below. She’d have no place to run or hide! As her army… what should we do?!!”

“Kill them.” This was reflexively stated by one of the Black Armored Troops who had been pinned to the ground by one of the spears. He was luckier than Zhao Seven because it had only pierced his left arm. As he spoke, he raised his blade with his other hand and sliced off his left arm emotionlessly.

There was no room for retreat.

The new Hell was staking everything on the line for this very battle. As the vanguard forces, their role was to breach the outer city walls so that they could draw out Qufu’s hidden trump cards. And since this was their true objective, how could they possibly fall at this point in the siege?

“Kill them.” Another wounded soldier from the Yang Clan gritted his teeth and scrambled to his feet. Although the netherflames in his eyes were already on the verge of flickering out, he still leaned heavily on his spear, signalling his intent to fight until his very last breath.

This was hell.

It was akin to an abyss of endless killing.

But… one by one, the war-torn yet valiant Yin spirits slowly rose to their feet once more.

This was despite the fact that the city walls were covered with the aftermath of the terrifying rain of spears.

This was despite the fact that the rest of the city walls were still filled with a sea of enemy Yin soldiers.

Just like before, they would have to give it their all in order to wrest every inch of the city walls from the hands of their foe!

“Haa--...” Oda Nobutada stood at the forefront of Hell’s forces. He knew that it was now his time to shine. Hell’s army needed a heart right now. He drew a deep breath and ran his finger across the words on his blade - Kiku-ichimonji. Seconds later, he yelled valiantly and charged headlong into the enemy forces.

“For Hell’s glory!!!” Instantly, the remaining forces behind him numbering well over ten thousand roared at the top of their voices, and they followed suit, forging forward along this endless trek on the enemy walls.

Meanwhile, back on the Mechanical Beast. Li Linfu’s jaws dropped as he stared blankly at the screen of Yin energy in front of him.

The screen revealed that a single Yin spirit of Hell’s forces had breached the seventh level of the Mechanical Beast!

Her sword technique was like a graceful dance of death. Every move she made saw Yin spirits fall to the ground motionlessly. Innumerable spots of netherflames lined the spiral staircase within the beast. He simply couldn’t believe what he was seeing right now.

How did she do this?!

The Mechanical Beast has nine levels in total, and yet she… a single female warrior, had managed to breach seven floors at once?!

Her back was completely covered with a multitude of arrows, and yet she clearly didn’t even deign to remove them from her back. Instead, she would simply forge forward, allowing some of the arrows to fall off on their own from time to time. Her entire body was covered with terrifying wounds. Her cloak was in tatters, and her armor was practically cracked everywhere. But… even then, she continued to forge forward to the entrance of the eighth floor!

A Hellguard and his guards stood right at the entrance of the eighth floor of the Mechanical Beast. The shield-bearers stood in front, while the spearmen stood behind. Yet not a single one of them dared approach her at all.

They were afraid.

They were truly terrified of her. They were intimidated by her undying bravery, and astounded by her defiant attitude. It was only in that very moment that they understood that their notion of “no matter the cost” was completely different from that which this demonic lady possessed.

“Make way.” Mu Guiying held her spear horizontally, pointing it at each and every one of the Yin spirits ahead of her. Her voice quivered slightly, “Either make way… or die.”

She can’t hold out anymore… Kill her!!!

Back on the ninth floor, Li Linfu stared at the screen of light with bloodshot eyes.

Trash… A bunch of trash! Why aren’t you making a move?! What are you so afraid of?!!

……………………………………………………….

Southern gate.

The main street on the south of the city.

There was a luxurious palace.

There were exquisite palace lanterns brightly illuminating the surroundings with brilliant netherflames. They were surrounded by a circle of humanoid paper effigies holding spirit streamers, prayer flags and other kinds of banners. There were even ten Hellguards kneeling on the ground with no other soldiers around. Just like that, they remained completely still and motionless in the middle of the street, almost as though they were part of a completely different world.

Yet they exuded a terrifying and overwhelming pressure that bore down on Hua Jieyu. She could practically feel the bones of her body creaking under its weight. A ghastly nethergale swept the dust and debris on the battlefield away, almost as though signalling the fresh start to the battle.

These parts appeared to be completely sequestered from the rest of the city. Nothing could be heard of the chaos breaking out in other parts of the city. That said, Hua Jieyu could clearly hear what her next opponent was saying. The netherflames in her eyes flickered wildly as she stared intently at the veil.

This was the Prestige of the Luminary.

Hua Jieyu stared intently ahead. Her ears were buzzing, while her heart was thumping wildly. Then, she looked down slightly and scanned her surroundings.

Eastern walls. She could tell that Yelu Jiner’s forces were already approaching the last node before the exit. Western walls. The cloud of Yin energy was so dense that she couldn’t assess the situation there at all. In all likelihood, the battle on the western walls was currently also the most intense one. Northern walls. Huyan Chijin had already unleashed her true form. Her entire body was covered in crimson flames, and she rode a three-meter tall war horse, trampling over the enemy forces like a goddess of war. Hell’s forces followed closely behind her, with their morales as high as they could be. However, they were still approximately six kilometers from the exit into the outer city.

Of course, there were still the 50,000 cavalrymen awaiting the enemy forces at the end of the streets leading from the city walls. The murderous intent emanating these forces was palpable and clearly cognizable.

Most importantly…

She turned her gaze back to the residence in front of her.

She was now squaring off against an Infernal Judge who could undoubtedly tear her to shreds in an instant. Yet, she wasn’t afraid at all. In fact, she could feel her adrenal glands firing off, and her scalp tingling with great excitement!

Their final line of defense is finally moving... Given the chaos breaking out everywhere on the battlefield, perhaps not a single other person but herself knew that Qufu was finally tapping on the reserves of their final line of defence!

She knew full well that this could never be the ace hidden up Qufu’s sleeves. But this was still a sign nonetheless! Qufu must have mobilized at least 250,000 troops on the city walls itself. Hell’s forces had been able to trample through most of them because of the terrain advantage they held. Naturally, there were casualties on their side as well. Apart from that, she estimated that Qufu must have mobilized another 50,000 to 60,000 troops or so at the base of each wall, totalling well in the region of another 250,000 troops.

This meant that Qufu had already deployed over half a million troops by now!

“Formations.” Her voice calmed down, no different from the calm before a superstorm. The Yin soldiers who still had the capacity to move immediately rushed over to her side and stood in formation.

Their armor was completely tattered and broken. Countless Yin soldiers had netherflames in their eyes that were on the verge of going out. But this stood to reason. After all, it was no mean feat for infantrymen to fend off the onslaught of charging cavalrymen, much less a dozen or so waves of them. Each wave of cavalry numbered thousands at once, and the impact was so large that it could send tremors across the grounds of the city. Hell’s forces had managed to massacre the Almanac Army, but the Almanac Army had likewise… been able to deplete most of the energy of Hell’s forces.

All that remained was sheer willpower. They were practically squeezing every ounce of energy from their bones right now.

They raised their shields high, but there were no spears this time. Instead, the surviving Yin soldiers cast aside their spears and picked up their crossbows instead.

Fwoosh, fwoosh, fwoosh… Spots of scarlet light began to flare up. These were… the Karmic Fire Divine Crossbows!

Boom! The terrifying karmic flames instantly ignited the surrounding Yin energy, causing the air to crackle with a burning smell.

Hell was stirring. The Yin spirits were clamoring.

It’s still not enough…

Hua Jieyu lifted her hands slightly. She knew that this still wouldn’t be sufficient to force Qufu’s hand!

And since that is the case… then, with the rest of our Yin soldiers… let’s trade, life for life.

We’ll keep going until the last trace of netherflame finally wickers out! We’ll keep going until we completely unsettle Qufu’s foundation!!!

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