Translator: Silavin & Jon
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Since they were allies, the issue could be settled easily. These several dozen people, who were the only ones left of their unit, were basically battered, so Han Zheng Qing directly took them into his Third Brigade. While the injured healed their wounds, the exhausted ones adjusted their breathing.
While they were waiting, another group came over. They were the Human soldiers that had been separated during a battle against the Demons. After they too joined the team, including the several dozen people earlier, two hundred to three hundred people had now joined the team in total. Even though there wasn’t a single Emperor Realm Master among them, they would still be able to help fend off more enemies now.
At this moment, Han Zheng Qing finally realised that something was off. It was odd that his team was like the beacon in the dark, attracting the scattered Humans around the area to come over. Furthermore, all of them could accurately locate his team.
There must be a reason behind it. Then, he went over to look for Right Defender Liu, who had sat down with his legs crossed to recuperate, and he asked, “How did you find us?”
Right Defender Liu looked doubtfully at him, “Senior Han, didn’t you send a message to us to tell us your location?”
Han Zheng Qing shook his head.
Right Defender Liu scratched his head, “That’s strange. We were hidden in a mountain valley when our commander received a message which informed him that you were nearby and informed us to rendezvous with you. Our commander wasn’t certain about the authenticity of the message, so he ordered this Liu to scout the situation.”
He paused for a moment, “Was it really not Senior Han who sent us that message?”
Han Zheng Qing fell into his thoughts for a moment before he nodded, “I think I know what happened. Focus on recuperating.”
Upon finishing his words, he turned around and went over to the two teams that had just joined them. Just like Right Defender Liu’s statement, the two teams shared a similar experience. They were escaping from the Demons’ pursuit when they received a message which informed them about Han Zheng Qing’s location, after which they quickly came over to join his team.
When they were on the way here, the one who sent them the initial message had even given them some directions, which while making them take a more indirect route, allowed them to evade the Demon patrols scattered around.
A moment later, Han Zheng Qing shuffled towards Yang Kai and cupped his fists, “Palace Master Yang!”
Seated with his legs crossed, Yang Kai opened his eyes and looked smilingly at him, “Mountain Lord Han, what seems to be the matter?”
“Nothing is wrong. I just want to express my gratitude,” After that, Han Zheng Qing bowed deeply.
Yang Kai replied with a smile, “It is simply what I should do. There’s no need for thanks.”
Han Zheng Qing didn’t specify what he thanked him for, and Yang Kai didn’t deny anything. That was because they knew that the reason Right Defender Liu and the two broken teams were able to find Han Zheng Qing was that Yang Kai had secretly guided them over. If not, it would have been all but impossible for such heavily injured people to regroup with friendly forces on this expansive battlefield that stretched thousands of kilometres. If they just blindly searched around, they would be killed by their enemies before finding their friends.
“Palace Master Yang, are more teams coming?”
Yang Kai shook his head, “Apart from Right Defender Liu’s team, there’s no more for now. They’ll arrive in half an hour.”
Han Zheng Qing nodded and cupped his fists again, “Many thanks, Palace Master Yang. If you detect more…”
Knowing what he wanted to say, Yang Kai interrupted him by saying with a smile, “Rest assured, I’ll tell them to meet up with you.”
Han Zheng Qing examined him for a while before he bowed and said sincerely, “En, many thanks!”
When he returned to the team, he found Fan Xin and said something to her in a low voice, after which she nodded with a smile.
A moment later, Fan Xin elegantly walked over and put on a faint smile, “Senior Brother Yang.”
“What’s wrong?” Yang Kai gazed at her.
Fan Xin shook her head, “Nothing. Senior Han wants me to stay with you.”
Yang Kai smiled and dipped his head, “En.”
He was still regarded as a traitor who had gone through demonification, so Han Zheng Qing thought that it was inappropriate to invite him to join the main team; however, Han Zheng Qing was grateful for what Yang Kai had done for them, so he told Fan Xin to accompany him since she was his friend. It was apparent that even though he was a little old-fashioned, Han Zheng Qing wasn’t pedantic. He could even be said to be pretty flexible.
Yang Kai happened to have many questions to ask Fan Xin, so he made her have a seat and started the inquiry.
He quickly learned that in the past few years, many people had lost their lives on the Star Boundary’s side in the Two Worlds’ Great War and that after he left in the past, High Heaven Palace immediately sealed its gates, so none of its members had joined the war.
Those who didn’t know the truth would think that the people from the Star Boundary became wary of High Heaven Palace because Yang Kai had gone through demonification and betrayed them. Nevertheless, Yang Kai knew that this was the Great Emperors’ way of protecting his Sect, which was agreed upon in the past.
After all, as a Palace Master, he had gone through demonification and become a traitor. If the disciples of High Heaven Palace walked around the Star Boundary, they would certainly be harassed and condemned, and it might cause some unnecessary conflicts.
In that case, the disciples from High Heaven Palace were actually protected using the excuse of closing the Sect.
Everyone thought that since High Heaven Palace didn’t join the Two Worlds’ Great World, they must be living a happy life in seclusion. However, only a small number of people knew that wasn’t the case. Although the disciples of High Heaven Palace were not seen on the battlefield, they had contributed significantly to the logistics of the war effort.
Over the past few years, with the help of the Great Emperors, countless Alchemists and Artifact Refiners from all around the Star Boundary were secretly sent to High Heaven Palace. Inside the expansive Sect, Pill and Artifact Rooms were basically running twenty-four hours a day, producing vital war materials to be sent to the frontline.
High Heaven Palace was now basically responsible for half of all Spirit Pills and artifacts sent to the battlefield.
It could be said that High Heaven Palace was the biggest logistics centre in the Star Boundary; however, only a few hundred people were aware of this fact. Even Fan Xin didn’t know about it. Only two people from Ice Heart Valley were aware of this truth, Bing Yun and Su Yan.
Apart from that, High Heaven Palace was also a base for nurturing Shamans. In the past few years, new candidates would be sent into High Heaven Palace at a constant rate. Then, they would enter the Thousand Illusions Dreamworld to receive training. There were a considerable number of Ancient Shamans that were born and then sent to the frontline. Several epochs had passed, but the light of the Shamanic Spells had once again shone in this world.
In fact, the programme had been in operation before Yang Kai left, and it could independently run now. Presently, there was one Shaman for every hundred Human soldiers in the Star Boundary’s armies. Although ninety percent of them were just Shaman Apprentices, and there were only a small number of Shaman Masters, it was better than nothing.
With the help of the ancient Shamanic Spells like Life Chains and Bloodlust, those from the Star Boundary were able to counter the Demons even though they had fewer people on their side.
Upon learning all this information, Yang Kai felt gratified. He had seen how vast the Demon Realm was and how many Demons there were, so he understood that this war would be filled with bloodshed, which was why he was glad to find out that the Star Boundary was able to resist.
While they were still having a chat, Right Defender Liu’s team finally arrived. Just like what Right Defender Liu had said, there were fewer than three hundred people left in his team, with just one Emperor Realm Master among them.
Now, there were about a thousand people in total gathered here, which significantly increased their overall power. What made Han Zheng Qing feel pleasantly surprised was that there was a Shaman Master and a few Shaman Warriors were present in the latest team. Including the Shamans that were already in his team, they could use Life Chains to cover their entire force at the most critical moment.
Since they had all gathered up, it was time for them to leave quickly to decrease the chance of coming across any enemies. Being swift and decisive was crucial in any army. After preparing, the thousand-man team set off.
Yang Kai remained a thousand metres behind them. Walking alongside him, Fan Xin appeared to be very conspicuous. The newcomers had noticed this already, and upon learning the reason behind it from Han Zheng Qing, they gasped. No one could have expected that the Palace Master of High Heaven Palace, who had gone through demonification and sided with the Demon Realm, would come back one day. Furthermore, he had saved Han Zheng Qing and his subordinates from the Demons’ siege and even rallied together the scattered Human forces in the area.
In normal times, they would have walked up to Yang Kai and thanked him; however, now, it wasn’t certain whether he was a friend or a foe, so they wouldn’t dare to approach him and just nodded at him from afar as an acknowledgement.
“By the way, where are you all going? Why were you all scattered around?” Yang Kai asked as he kept walking.
Fan Xin replied with a helpless smile, “We were forced to scatter. One month ago, the Thirty-Fifth Army and a force from the Demon Race fought for more than ten days. At that time, we were accidentally separated from the main unit and then forced to wander around to avoid being wiped out. I guess it was the same case for the others.”
“The Thirty-Fifth Army?” Yang Kai arched his brow. When he heard Han Zheng Qing announcing which army he belonged to to Right Defender Liu, his interest was already piqued. Hence, he had to ask Fan Xin about it now, “Has a rigid military structure been organized in the Star Boundary?”
“Yes, it was four years ago. The Demon armies are meticulously and strictly organized, and they’re adept at the art of war, so we cannot be lacking in our own organisation. Four years ago, the Great Emperors imitated the Demon Race to build armies based around the Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch philosophy. Slowly, things expanded and now we have fifty-four armies in total.”
It was then that Yang Kai understood what had happened. He had borrowed five hundred thousand Soaring Snow Ice Guards from Bei Li Mo before and spent roughly a year together, so he understood their structure very well.
“Who is qualified to be an Army Commander?”
Fan Xin replied, “A Pseudo-Great Emperor or a Sect Master from a top Sect.”
“Who is the Army Commander of the Thirty-Fifth Army? Do I know them?”
Fan Xin replied with a smile, “It’s Honoured Master.”
Yang Kai raised his brow in surprise as he hadn’t expected the Army Commander of the Thirty-Fifth Army to be Bing Yun. However, as a Third-Order Emperor Realm Master, she was somewhat not qualified to be an Army Commander. It wasn’t that she wasn’t powerful enough, but Yang Kai knew that on the Demons’ side, only a Half-Saint could be an Army Commander.
“By the way, Honoured Master was involved in an intense battle three years ago, and after a desperate struggle, she managed to break through and ascended to a new realm.” Fan Xin beamed with pride.
As long as their Ancestral Founder was formidable, the Sect and its disciples would become powerful as well. Since she had joined Ice Heart Valley, her fate had been intertwined with the Sect.
Upon hearing that, Yang Kai became elated, “I’ll have to congratulate Senior Bing Yun when I see her then.”
Since she had ascended to a new realm, it meant that her power was now that of a Pseudo-Great Emperor, equivalent to that of a Half-Saint.
Just like him, Bing Yun was from Heng Luo Star Field, which was why they had been on friendly terms. Moreover, Su Yan was her Disciple, so the fact that Bing Yun had become a Pseudo-Great Emperor made him feel proud as well.
In fact, Bing Yun had been stuck in the Third-Order Emperor Realm for far too long. She was already a Third-Order Emperor Realm Master before she was trapped in the Solitary Void Sealed World. She was then imprisoned in that world for three thousand years, during which her cultivation hadn’t improved one bit. It was only natural that overcoming such a trial, and having consolidated her strength for so long, she would break through given the right opportunity.