Translator: Silavin & Jon
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
One had to know that in a typical war against the Black Ink Clan that spanned 100 years, it was quite normal for none of the Eighth-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters to die, and usually less than 1,000 Human soldiers below the Eighth-Order would perish.
That was because the Humans had the Great Passes behind them. They could return to Inner Sanctum anytime and recuperate to prevent a large number of casualties.
Usually, there were only 30,000 to 40,000 people stationed at any Great Pass. If too many people were killed in a single war, the Cave Heavens and Paradises from the 3,000 Worlds couldn’t possibly send enough reinforcements over to make up for the losses.
Even though the Cave Heavens and Paradises had deep heritages, it wasn’t easy for them to nurture Open Heaven Realm Masters that were above the Sixth Order.
If extensive casualties were the norm, as more people were killed over time, the Great Passes would inevitably be snatched by the Black Ink Clan.
With the help of the Great Passes and Warships, the Humans were able to effectively kill the enemy while protecting themselves during the battles against the Black Ink Clan; however, it was a different case when it came to retaking Great Evolution Pass.
They could still rely on Warships to engage the enemy, but they no longer had a Great Pass behind them, just like what happened in the previous battle. When the war broke out, the North-South Army had no other choice but to continue fighting the Black Ink Clan regardless of the situation; hence, it was understandable that there were a larger number of casualties.
After the war, 3,000 out of 30,000 soldiers were killed. In other words, they had lost 10% of their forces in a single battle, which was truly heartbreaking.
Furthermore, 4 Eighth-Order Division Commanders had lost their lives.
“A Martial Uncle told me that, in comparison, Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples pose a greater threat to the Division Commanders than the Territory Lords.” Ma Gao looked slightly dejected, “That’s not just because Black Ink Disciples are Humans, so they’re more familiar with our capabilities, but primarily because of their mindset. Regardless of how powerful they are, they are only loyal to the Black Ink Clan. If the Territory Lords are unable to defeat the Division Commanders, they will run away; however, the Black Ink Disciples are different. Following the Territory Lords’ orders, they’re willing to risk their lives to fight against the Division Commanders despite knowing that they might perish. None of the deceased Division Commanders were killed by Territory Lords. It’s all because of the Black Ink Disciples’ madness!”
Yang Kai felt his heart sinking.
Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples were not as powerful as the true Eighth-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters; however, if they were not concerned about their own survival, they would still be extremely dangerous foes.
That was the reason so many Black Ink Disciples lost their lives during the war this time. Following the Territory Lords’ orders, they were willing to sacrifice themselves so that the Territory Lords had a chance to flee.
It was imaginable that even though only 4 Eighth-Order Division Commanders were killed, there must be a lot of others who were seriously injured.
“Those Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples are all Humans, but they’ve sided with the Black Ink Clan and killed their own people. Outrageous!” Ma Gao angrily swung his arm, as though there was an invisible enemy standing in front of him.
Fortunately, they were well prepared when they were assembling an Army to retake Great Evolution Pass. Although there were only 30,000 soldiers in the North-South Army, they had some 60 Eighth-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters.
It was thanks to this large number of Eighth-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters that the North-South Army could gain an upper hand when fighting against the top Masters from the previous Black Ink Clan Army which only had between 40 and 50 Territory Lords and the Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples combined.
There was no doubt that the Humans held an advantageous position in such a battle.
If not for the fact that the Black Ink Disciples had gone mad during the pursuit and were willing to sacrifice their lives to protect the Territory Lords, which caused the Division Commanders from the North-South Army to be wary, all of the Territory Lords would’ve been killed during the battle.
The North-South Army chased after the Black Ink Clan Army for four days, but just as the enemy seemed ready to break, the Black Ink Clan reinforcements from Great Evolution Pass arrived.
When the Black Ink Army had retreated from the initial battle, they must have sent some people to seek help from the garrison at Great Evolution Pass. Upon learning that the Humans had ambushed their clansmen, the Black Ink Clansmen in Great Evolution Pass were shocked.
Figuring that the Humans would be exhausted from a protracted battle, the Black Ink Clansmen from Great Evolution Pass decided to make a move.
About a day’s travel from Great Evolution Pass, the retreating Black Ink Army and their reinforcements met. The North-South Army dealt with this grouping for a while; however, knowing that they were unable to kill all these Black Ink Clansmen, they had no choice but to retreat to recuperate.
The North-South Army then established a base about two day’s march from Great Evolution Pass. They didn’t intend to cover themselves up as they blatantly hovered in the void in front of Great Evolution Pass, as if declaring they would attack anyone who dared to come out.
On the other hand, the Black Ink Clan had suffered immense losses this time. They had lost about 30 Territory Lords and Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples in total, so they didn’t dare to provoke the Humans for the time being.
Both parties peacefully coexisted for now, but they all knew that it was just the calm before the storm. Perhaps an incident would take place at any moment and shatter the peace.
Regardless, this was the situation that those from the North-South Army wanted to see.
The previous battle was the most dangerous they had ever experienced, and many were either killed or injured, so they needed time to recover. Hence, they were glad to see the Black Ink Clan not make a move for now.
After the talk with Ma Gao, Yang Kai had a better understanding of the current situation.
Ma Gao had other matters to attend to, so he soon left the place.
After watching him leave, Yang Kai continued shuffling towards the conference hall.
When he arrived, he waited for the person on guard to inform the Army Commander about his arrival. Soon, he was told to see the Army Commander.
Upon entering the hall, he saw that Mi Jing Lun and Ou Yang Lie were having a discussion. They soon made a decision, then Ou Yang Lie left the place in a hurry.
It was only then that Mi Jing Lun had time to attend to Yang Kai. He lifted his gaze and asked, “Why don’t you rest for a bit longer? I doubt you’ve fully recovered.”
Yang Kai cupped his fist, “I’m fine. I just came here to bid you farewell. The Old Ancestor and the Royal Lord must have fought with each other, so perhaps the Old Ancestor will need my help.”
Mi Jing Lun nodded, “I agree. In that case, you’d better get going now.”
“Do you have a word that you want me to pass on to others?” Yang Kai asked.
After giving it some thought, Mi Jing Lun replied with a smile, “Please tell Brother Xiang and Junior Sister Liu that I won’t allow the Black Ink Clansmen in Great Evolution Pass to trouble the East-West Army, so they can act without constraints.”
“I’ll be sure to tell them,” Yang Kai nodded and cupped his fist again, “Farewell.”
“Be careful on your way,” Mi Jing Lun nodded.
Yang Kai didn’t have to bid anyone else farewell, so after leaving Mi Jing Lun’s office, he flew off towards the depths of the void.
Although he hadn’t fully recovered, it didn’t affect his mobility. As he manipulated Space Principles, his figure flickered. He would also try to activate the Universe Transference Law from time to time to sense the location of the East-West Army’s Purifying Black Ink Battleship.
He faced no obstacles along the way.
One day later, Yang Kai arrived at the outskirts of the Black Ink Clan’s territory. Usually, there would be a lot of Black Ink Clansmen in such a place; however, there wasn’t even one Black Ink Clansman in sight at this moment.
He even passed by a Feudal Lord’s Fief and realised that there were no living creatures around. It seemed that the Black Ink Clansmen had completely vanished.
This place was close enough for him to activate the Universe Transference Law and return to the Purifying Black Ink Battleship in the East-West Army, so he came to a stop before doing so. A glowing Array appeared beneath his feet, and by the time the light faded, Yang Kai had disappeared.
He was extremely familiar with the Universe Array and the interior of the Purifying Black Ink Battleships, so when he arrived, he promptly headed to the Space Array on the side, and through it arrived on the deck of this Purifying Black Ink Battleship.
There would always be a person guarding the Space Array of the Purifying Black Ink Battleship in the North-South Army, and similarly, there was a person guarding this place. The moment this Seventh-Order Open Heaven Realm Master saw Yang Kai, his eyes brightened, “Senior Brother Yang!”
Yang Kai nodded lightly.
The Seventh-Order Open Heaven Realm Master quickly followed up, “The Army Commander has ordered that you are to immediately see him on your return.”
“I’ll head over now,” as Yang Kai spoke, he turned to look in a certain direction.
When he left the North-South Army one day ago, he told Mi Jing Lun that the Old Ancestor and the Royal Lord should have exchanged moves; now, it seemed that they were still fighting. He could tell because he could still feel the horrifying energy fluctuations coming from the depths of the void even though he was far away from their source.
Those were clearly the repercussions of the fight between the Old Ancestor and the Royal Lord.
Many days had passed, but they were still locked in an intense battle.
Yang Kai was astounded. Before the North-South Army ambushed the Black Ink Clan Army, he had already felt the initial fallout of the beginning of their battle.
Seven or eight days had passed since then, but they were still fighting. It seemed that they were in a deadlock.
After giving it a thought though, Yang Kai realised that this wasn’t too surprising. Once powerful beings like the Old Ancestor and the Royal Lord got into a fight, there wouldn’t be an outcome in a short time. If they wanted, they could fight for seven or eight years without halting, not to mention seven or eight days.
However, Yang Kai reckoned that even if the Royal Lord wanted to drag the fight out, the Old Ancestor wouldn’t cooperate.
She had asked Yang Kai to join this campaign, so it was apparent that she wanted to make use of his Small Universe to rapidly recover from her injuries. If he were in the Old Ancestor’s shoes, he would’ve found a chance to engage in an all-out clash with the Royal Lord with the goal of causing mutual damage. Hence, he supposed the battle would end in no time.
He then cast these thoughts away and headed straight to the conference hall.
This time, he didn’t even need to inform the Army Commander about his arrival as the moment a Senior Brother standing guard saw him coming over, he promptly led him inside. It seemed that the Army Commander had given orders in advance.
Xiang Shan and Liu Zhi Ping, as well as some Eighth-Order Open Heaven Realm Masters, were all inside the conference hall.
Upon Yang Kai’s arrival, Xiang Shan ended the discussion they were having and asked, “You’re finally back. How was the trip?”
Yang Kai saluted them, “Greetings, Sirs. Fortunately, I’ve managed to complete my task.”
Xiang Shan nodded, “How is it going in the North-South Army now?”
Yang Kai replied, “They fought an intense battle before I came back. The 30,000 soldiers of the North-South Army intercepted the Black Ink Clan Army that departed from Great Evolution Pass. They managed to kill more than 300,000 Black Ink Clansmen, including 6 Territory Lords and over 20 Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples.”
One of the Eighth-Order Division Commanders was elated upon hearing that, “That’s wonderful!”
On the other hand, Xiang Shan looked at the matter from a different perspective and asked with concern, “How about their own casualties?”
Yang Kai reported honestly, “4 Division Commanders and 3,000 soldiers below the Eighth Order died in battle.”
Liu Zhi Ping sighed, “That’s more or less the same as what we’d estimated.”
Xiang Shan rubbed his forehead, “En. No one could’ve expected there to be so many High-Rank Black Ink Disciples in the Great Evolution Theater. Every Territory Lord seems to have two or three Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples serving them.”
His words suggested that they were already aware of the existence of the excess of High-Rank Black Ink Disciples. It showed that the East-West Army had at least exchanged moves with the Black Ink Clan already.
This saved Yang Kai the trouble of explaining. He initially wanted to report to them about the Black Ink Disciples as a kind of warning, but since Xiang Shan and the others were already aware of the situation, he didn’t have to anymore.