Translator: Silavin & Tia
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
Even just by watching from afar, both Ou Yang Lie and his Disciple could sense the abnormality of the Human Race Army; therefore, it was impossible that those powerful Black Ink Clansmen in Great Evolution Pass had failed to detect the oddity. The truth was that they had noticed this abnormality much earlier than Ou Yang Lie and his Disciple.
The Human Race Army of 60,000 to 70,000 people had arrived with such an imposing force. Although the Black Ink Clan seemed nonchalant about the matter on the surface, the truth was that they had responded to the attack with extreme prudence.
Therefore, the Black Ink Clan did not dispatch their troops to fight in the void. Their current strategy was similar to what the Human Race at Great Evolution Pass had done more than 30,000 years ago. They relied on the defences of the Great Pass and used various artifacts and arrays to hit the Human Race Army from afar.
That was why the Spirit Arrays and artifacts set up across the walls began to blast out with countless attacks under the orders of the Territory Lords as soon as the Human Race Army entered their attack range.
The quality of these Spirit Arrays and artifacts could not be compared to those at any other Great Pass. Although their numbers were large, their strength was vastly inferior. That couldn’t be helped though as both Artifact Refiners and Array Masters were very rare among the Black Ink Clan. Their only source of Artifact Refiners and Array Masters came from the Black Ink Disciples who were corrupted by Black Ink Strength.
Many Black Ink Clansmen had devoted themselves to cultivating the Dao of Artifact Refining and the Dao of Spirit Arrays over the years, but whether due to a difference in races or something else, the Dao of Artifact Refining and the Dao of Spirit Arrays of the Human Race could not be perfectly mastered by the Black Ink Clan. The Black Ink Clansmen could never attain significant achievements in these Daos; therefore, the quality of the refined artifacts and the prepared Spirit Arrays remained extremely low. It was only natural that their strength would not be too impressive either. Nevertheless, the preparations that spanned over 30,000 years resulted in a rather large number of Spirit Arrays and artifacts.
According to the estimation of the Territory Lords, they might be able to cause some casualties to the Human Race Army by borrowing the power of these Spirit Arrays and artifacts. Nonetheless, they expected the number of casualties to be low. The Humans were not fools after all. They would naturally know how to construct defences in preparation for their invasion.
In any case, the most important factor was to take down the Human’s arrogance by a notch.
Contrary to their expectations though, when the war broke out, the power of these Spirit Arrays and artifacts achieved an unexpected effect that shocked the entire Black Ink Clan.
Under the shroud of the countless rays of light, the Humans collapsed like flies and exploded upon death. The outcome both shocked and pleased the Territory Lords. Although they did not know why the Human Race was so weak and fragile, they were happy to see such an outcome.
Nevertheless, as the Human Race Army rapidly dwindled in number, the situation on the battlefield became increasingly strange.
Faced with the overwhelming attack from the Black Ink Clan, the Human Race Army showed no intention of fighting back or even defending themselves. It did not matter how many people died, they simply bowed their heads and rushed forward in silence. It was almost as though they did not know how to write the word ‘death’.
What bothered the Territory Lords the most was that there were no signs of the phenomena that should have come with the death of the Human Race. Besides that, where were the Human Warships? No matter which Theatre it was, the Human Race’s greatest reliance after the Great Passes themselves had always been their Warships that served both offensive and defensive roles.
Although more than 30,000 years had passed since the last time Great Evolution Theatre had experienced a real war, which Territory Lord among those that were present did not lead an Army to provide reinforcements at Azure Void Pass and Wind and Cloud Pass at least a dozen times over that period? Hence, they generally fought a battle against the Human Race every few hundred years.
They all had a deep understanding of the strength of the Warships used by the Human Race and would never forget such experiences. It was clearly unusual that there was not a single Warship accompanying this Human Army of several tens of thousands.
Less than an hour had passed since the Human Army entered the attack range of the Black Ink Clan, but after such a brief period, only several thousand enemies remained from the original tens of thousands.
Following an order from Hong Di, the endless humming of the Spirit Arrays and artifacts on the city wall slowly subsided. The various anomalies were far too obvious, so how could he fail to notice them? Even the other Territory Lords had noticed the oddness of the situation by now.
Under the watch of the Territory Lords, the remaining few thousand troops of the Human Race Army continued to march directly towards Great Evolution Pass and soon arrived within a few hundred kilometres of its walls.
At this distance, the Territory Lords could clearly see some clues about the oddity of the situation.
Hong Di frowned and reached out to grab at something in front of him. One of the ‘Human soldiers’ was captured by him and drawn over.
The other Territory Lords observed with solemn expressions.
The object in front of them contained no vitality at all. It was not a Human at all but rather some kind of puppet wearing a layer of clothes. Shockingly, this puppet was giving off the aura of a Sixth-Order Open Heaven Realm Master!
It was conceivable that the entire Human Army of several tens of thousands was made up of similar puppets. It was just that their numbers were too great, and their combined aura was too powerful when they were gathered together, so that from far enough away, even the Territory Lords failed to notice anything strange. As a result, the Black Ink Clan had mistakenly thought that the Human Race Army was preparing to storm Great Evolution Pass.
“What are the Humans trying to do?” One of the Territory Lords was absolutely baffled.
The other Territory Lords remained silent as none of them knew the intentions behind the actions of the Human Race.
Hong Di quickly took charge, “There must be a reason for this strange situation. It could not have been easy to refine tens of thousands of puppets. The Humans must be plotting something to go through all this effort. We need to report this matter to the Royal Lord immediately.”
Saying so, he turned around and left with the puppet in his grasp. It was evident that he was going to meet the Royal Lord.
Outside Great Evolution Pass where Ou Yang Lie was hiding with his Disciple, Gong Lian observed with a frown, “Honoured Master, the Human Army has been completely annihilated.”
That news would normally have been enough to send anybody into despair; however, at this point, Ou Yang Lie had calmed down considerably after noticing that something was strange about the situation. Although he did not understand what had happened, he could be certain that this was part of the East-West Army’s strategy.
Just as he made the decision to return to the Purifying Black Ink Battleship and contact Mi Jing Lun to ask about this matter, a subtle reaction came from the Communication Bead in his possession.
He quickly took out the Communication Bead and focused his mind on it. It was an unfamiliar Divine Sense claiming to be Yang Kai from the East-West Army of Great Evolution Pass. This person also claimed to have military information to report and asked him for his location.
Ou Yang Lie had been waiting for the East-West Army to contact him, so now that they finally made contact, he immediately told the other party about his location.
A short while later, a figure silently sped over from a distance. It was not until that figure was within a mere 1,000 kilometres of Ou Yang Lie that he noticed its presence. This was an amazing feat that also indicated just how extraordinary this person’s ability to conceal his aura was.
Ou Yang Lie continuously guided the other party towards his location.
After a short search, Yang Kai arrived at the universe fragment where Ou Yang Lie and his Gong Lian were hiding and couldn’t help feeling startled. [Army Commander Ou Yang sure is bold.]
From this position, Yang Kai could clearly see the situation at Great Evolution Pass as it was only about 30,000 kilometres away from Great Pass.
Yang Kai had not encountered any difficulties along his journey, but he did waste a lot of time in order to avoid the Black Ink Clan scouts that were patrolling the surrounding areas. That was why he only managed to contact Ou Yang Lie now.
Upon arriving at the universe fragment, he did not see Ou Yang Lie anywhere. Just as he was feeling confused, he felt a weak energy fluctuation coming from nearby and received another message from Ou Yang Lie on the Communication Bead at the same time. Yang Kai immediately understood and headed in that direction. It didn’t take long before he passed through a Spirit Array and came to a hidden spot.
There were two people in front of him. One of them was a burly red-headed old man, while the other was a young man who looked no older than himself. However, for some reason, Yang Kai couldn’t help thinking of the word ‘lazy’ when he looked at the young man. The young man’s entire body seemed to be radiating a lethargic and carefree aura.
“Junior Yang Kai greets Senior Ou Yang,” Yang Kai cupped his fist in greeting.
“Are you from the East-West Army?” Ou Yang Lie examined Yang Kai carefully.
“Yes!” Yang Kai replied. [Why does it feel as though Army Commander Ou Yang is barely holding back his anger?]
“What military information does Xiang Shan have for me? Why hasn’t the East-West Army met up with the North-South Army?” Ou Yang Lie questioned grimly.
Yang Kai explained, “The East-West Army will not be rendezvousing with the North-South Army for the time being. There have been some changes to the original plans.”
Ou Yang Lie forced himself to calm down and patiently asked, “Explain the situation!”
Therefore, Yang Kai reiterated his previous conversation with Mi Jing Lun. Ou Yang Lie originally listened with a gloomy look on his face, but his expression was changing constantly as time passed. When he finally understood the whole plan, his displeased expression finally relaxed.
“I knew it. I was wondering how Xiang Shan could be so stupid. So that’s how it is.” He rubbed his chin, “In other words, the ‘Army’ of 70,000 that the Black Ink Clan annihilated just now were merely puppets.”
Yang Kai was taken aback, “This Junior felt some movements coming from Great Evolution Pass just now. Was that the annihilation of the puppets?”
Ou Yang Lie nodded, “En. Those 70,000 or so puppets have almost been wiped out completely.” Pausing for a moment, he abruptly continued, “Now that we have attracted the attention of the Black Ink Clan, the East-West Army must have made their move, right?”
“This Junior does not know, but since Army Commander Xiang Shan has a plan in place, I’m sure he will have arranged the timing perfectly. In addition, when this Junior separated from Senior Mi earlier, Senior Mi instructed me to ask whether the Black Ink Clan at Great Evolution Pass was showing signs of mobilizing.”
Ou Yang Lie nodded, “The Black Ink Clan gathered nearly a million troops in Great Evolution Pass recently. Even the Royal Lord rushed over to oversee this place in person.” After saying that, he couldn’t help snorting softly, “Xiang Shan, that old fox! He lured the Royal Lord here but led the Army to attack the Black Ink Clan territory instead. I wonder just how mad the Royal Lord will be when he learns about it.”
Yang Kai said nothing. At this point, combined with the information he learned recently, he was beginning to form a clear understanding of the plan designed by Xiang Shan; thus, he was filled with a sense of admiration.
If Mi Jing Lun’s inference was correct, then this series of plans was all a result of encountering the Black Ink Clan’s 300,000 reinforcements. It might be that Xiang Shan thought up this new strategy when he first discovered the Black Ink Clan’s reinforcement Army, and all his actions afterwards were in preparation to carry it out.
This plan might have been made up on the spot, but the preparations taken during the march of the Army were enough to make it foolproof. It was truly a blessing for the Great Evolution Army to have such a far-sighted Army Commander.
It was just as Ou Yang Lie mentioned earlier. Xiang Shan had lured the Royal Lord to Great Evolution Pass but led his Army to attack the Black Ink Clan’s territory instead. The Black Ink Clansmen left behind to oversee their domain were surely in for an unpleasant surprise.
Mi Jing Lun was amazing too. He had managed to deduce the East-West Army’s plan with only a few clues.
Compared with these old foxes who had lived on the Black Ink Battlefield and fought the Black Ink Clan for countless years, Yang Kai felt like a blank slate of naivety.
Nevertheless, as just one of the soldiers of the Human Race Army, Yang Kai did not need to consider too much. With his current cultivation and status, all he needed to consider was how to lead Dawn so that he could kill more enemies on the battlefield.
As for the big picture and the deployment of troops, he could leave such matters to the people above him. It might be that he would only be eligible to participate in various high-level decisions once he advanced to the Eighth Order.