Chapter 73: Conqueror
As Zhang’s soldiers made their way, deeper and deeper into the city, the rumbling sound of the siege ram wheels made the hearts of the Heavenly Sword Army, beat uncontrollably. For they knew that their lives were ticking away with every passing second as their executioners came closer and closer.
Originally, they were filled with glee after having taken control of almost all the cities within the Green Clover Province without spilling a single drop of blood. Through the ploy of general Chang Chao and his concubine, who had been planted beside the Lord of the Green Clover Province from the start, their long term plan of invasion occurred perfectly.
Countless men from the Heavenly Sword Province were able to infiltrate and secure position within the military and government of Green Clover Province which made the take over extremely easy.
But all their plans reverted to nothing when they faced the massive army of Aurora. Without the reinforcements from Heavenly Sword Province, these soldiers did not stand a chance.
Soon a reverberating bang was heard from every corner of the city as the siege rams began assaulting the inner city gates. But the inner city gates were made completely out of iron and did not budge when the siege rams impacted them.
“Fortify the gates! Use the wooden pillars of the mansion!” Zhuge Dan commanded to soldiers from atop countless stone steps that led to the lord’s mansion.
Suddenly, dozens of black vines crept through the streets and made their way toward the inner city walls. These black vines made their way into the stonework of the inner city walls and began expanding. Soon, wherever the vines went they would cause the walls to bulge.
Some of the stone blocks that made up the inner city walls began sticking out and fell over. It did not take too long for a section of the inner city walls to collapse.
“If the gates won't budge that doesn't mean the walls won't.” Zhang said with a smirk as he watched Ai used her whip to raze the inner city walls.
“Brother is that a big enough opening?” Ai asked as she pointed over a large section of the collapsed wall. As the words left her mouth, she leaned forward as if waiting for Zhang to praise her.
“Yea, you did a great job.” Zhang said as he gently patted her on the head.
Not long after the walls collapsed, Zhang’s black armored soldiers dismounted and stormed inside the city. Once more chaos ensued as the soldiers of the two armies engaged in battle.
A gust of wind suddenly picked up and pushed many of Zhang’s men to the ground. But oddly none of the soldiers of the Heavenly Sword Army seemed affected by it.
“Kill the dogs of Aurora!” The soldiers of the Heavenly Sword Army roared.
Zhuge Dan could be seen standing atop the roof of the city lord’s mansion, watching all the happenings occur below, as the wind swirled about around him. Illuminated by the moonlight as wind danced around him, Zhuge Dan looked like a mystic who was about to head to battle.
A few moments after Zhuge Dan raised one of his arms and opened up his fist, a mini tornado could be seen swirling about on his palm.
“Demonic Windcutter!” Zhuge Dan roared as the tornado spiraled off from his palm and onto the city lord’s mansion where he stood. The palm-sized tornado soon grew larger in size and became as big as a person as it sucked in the clay roof tiles beneath it. After making its way to the ground, the tornado became tremendous and because eating away at the buildings near it.
Seeing this, creases appeared on Zhang’s forehead.
“A wind mage and probably one with a high level of cultivation at that…” Zhang murmured as he frowned.
“All forces retreat! Move out of the inner city and regroup behind the walls!” Zhang ordered to his men. If any of them was swept up by the raging tornado then they would be done for. The debris in the tornado would turn whoever was unlucky enough to be catch by it to mush.
Usually, every general of an army was a level seven or above cultivator but the majority of them were warrior types. It was quite rare to meet a high-level Mage on the battlefield because these people were usually kept as a last line of defense.
Often times even if one encountered a high-level Mage on the battlefield it wasn't completely obvious either because these mages wouldn't use their high level magic until they desperately needed to. This was of course due to the high essence consumption of these techniques. If they empty their reserves slaughtering regular soldiers and then encountered a high-level warrior then their fates would be sealed.
“Soldiers of the Heavenly Sword Army! Reform formations! We are abandoning the city!” Zhuge Dan yelled as he unleashed two more terrifying tornadoes from his palm.
“You think you're the only Mage here!?” Ling laughed as she rose to the air while standing atop of red column of water. In fact, it would be more accurate to call this a column of blood.
The rivers of blood spilled by the two armies were currently being used by Ling to create dozens of large crescent shaped blades that cut through the air. Once the crescent blades of blood collided with the tornadoes the two techniques canceled each other out and an eerie silence filled the battlefield.
“Hmph insolent girl, you're still too young and naive to be facing me! If I wish to leave no one here can stop me!” Zhuge Dan yelled as he flicked his wrist and jumped up into the air. Suddenly dozens of fountains of blood sprouted from the necks of Zhang’s soldiers as their heads rolled to the ground.
When Zhuge Dan had flicked his wrist he had sent an invisible blade of wind swirling at Zhang’s men.
“Don't think too highly of yourself, you’re only water mage.” Zhuge Dan snickered at Ling. Of all the types of mages, water mages could be considered the most versatile but also the weakest mages. This was because of the lack of availability of water.
Of the four main elements wind was considered the deadliest due to the fact that wind did not possess a tangible form and that wind magic could be used practically anywhere.
While earth was considered equally as versatile as water but also extremely abundant like wind, it could be easily found anywhere. This made wind and earth the strongest branches of magic.
Then there was fire that could be considered the most mysterious and also the fact that fire magic could branch into lightning magic
That left the water essence most reliant on its environment, it depends where the mage was currently in. But of course, all of this only accounted for the fact that most battles took place on land. If an earth, wind and fire mage met a water mage in a lake or out at sea, the water Mage would reign supreme.
“Ha, you wind mages sure are full of yourselves. As long as I have water I can easily crush you!” Ling snickered as more waves of blood flowed towards her and formed countless blades which shot at Zhuge Dan.
“We will see…” Zhuge Dan murmured as he waved his hand and he glared down at Ling. Moments later, all of the blades of blood erupted and trickled down like rain on the ground.
“Continue retreating!” Zhuge Dan roared at his soldiers who were set in a daze at the magnificent battle between the two mages.
“You heard the general! Retreat!” One of Zhuge Dan’s subordinates yelled.
“None of you will make it out of here alive!” Zhang roared as he charged at the reaching soldiers with his halberd in hand. Behind him, thousands of soldiers clad in black armor followed suit.
“None shall pass!!” Zhuge Dan roared as a strong gust of wind screeched through the air and smashed into Zhang and his soldiers.
The impact against the wind alone sent hundreds of Zhang’s men flying back and caused them to collide with their comrades behind them.
A loud clang sounded as Zhang stabbed his halberd in the ground to keep himself from being pushed back by the wind. But as he felt the strong gust of wind brushed against his cheeks, black vines erupted from the ground and shielded him along with the soldiers behind him.
With burning rage on his eyes, Zhang began condensing essence in the tips of his fingers and soon, crackling of lightning filled the ears of everyone present.
“Die!!” Zhang roared as he pointed his fingers at Zhuge Dan who was in a deadlock with Ling in the air above the battlefield.
A dragon made of condensed lightning snaked through the sky as it inched closer and closer to Zhuge Dan.
“Damn!… Lightning magic.” Zhuge Dan cursed once he caught sight, from the corner of his eye, of the Lightning Dragon approaching him. Cold sweat dripped from his forehead as the lightning continued coming closer at high speed.
The instant the lightning was about to engulf him, Zhuge Dan reached out with his hand. As if it was being absorbed, the lightning disappeared into Zhuge Dan’s fingertips and moments later it shot out from the fingertips of his other hand.
Now the lightning was redirected to Ling who was standing defenseless above the column of blood.
“Ahahaha!” Zhuge Dan laughed manically as smoke rose from his charred fingers and a mouth full of blood was coughed up. While the lightning shot through the sky towards Ling.
“What's so funny?” Ling said with mocking eyes as a blood rose to the air and created a bloody shield in front of her. The instant the lightning touched the bloody shield, steam filled the sky. Once the steam cleared, dozens of crescent shaped blades of blood shot forth; while Ling could be seen in the same position without sustaining a single injury.
As the blade of blood headed for Zhuge Dan, another lightning dragon screeched through the sky.
Seeing the barrage of attacks headed to him, Zhuge Dan couldn't help but feel a hint of fear in his heart. The first time Zhang sent out his Lightning Dragon, he underestimated the power behind it. Which resulted in him, coughing up a mouthful of blood. So now he knew that if the Lightning Dragon reached him once more then it would be the end of him.
“You guys are on your own…” Zhuge Dan murmured as he busted upward higher in the air and flew away, abandoning his soldiers below.
Once the soldiers of the Heavenly Sword Army saw their general abandoned them, many fell to their knees in disbelief.
“We surrender…” A few of the now abandoned soldiers yelled after losing the will to fight.
“Execute them all!” Zhang roared while he stabbed his halberd into one of the abandoned soldiers.
Not long after pleas and screams filled the night as countless lives were extinguished. Soon, New Leaf City was filled by a sea of blood and gore.
Although some may call Zhang a butcher for killing soldiers who had already surrendered; but as he saw it, they had mercilessly killed his messenger without giving him even a chance of survival. So in return, he did not feel that he should give them a chance of survival.
“Blockade the outer gates and post sentries on the walls. We are going to stay in this city tonight.” Zhang said to his soldiers.
Soon makeshift blockades were made at the outer city gates while hundreds of men were posted atop the city walls.
After the battle, a veil of silence and fear shrouded New Leaf City. The citizens feared for their lives due to the countless screamed that filled the city earlier. Families were huddled up in their homes, too afraid to even peek outside.
But before the night had ended, Zhang’s soldiers paid a visit to every single home within the city. Under the orders from their lord, soldiers clad in black armor took a head count of how many residents were still present inside the city. Of course, this visit were also to tell the citizens that no harm would befall them.
This coupled along with the fact that there was no looting, rape or killing happened, which helped to put the citizens of New Leaf City at ease.
Once security was established throughout the city, Zhang and the three beauties retired to the city lord’s mansion. When they entered the city lord’s mansion, the three beauties like usual would add to their wardrobe while Zhang added the city’s treasure to the growing stash in his interspatial ring.
The exhausting battle made Zhang and the three beauties fell into a deep sleep. Even when the sun had already rose high in the sky, they were still nowhere in sight. If anyone saw them, that person would be green with envy at the sight of Zhang sound asleep with three world class beauties by his side.
After a day of rest, Zhang’s army began mobilizing and preparing to continue their march. The siege weapons were dismantled and used to completely seal three of New Leaf City’s four outer city gates. While a new gate was constructed for the city gate that was not sealed.
Then two thousand soldiers were then left to defend the city after Zhang’s main force headed for the rendezvous point.
“With the New Leaf City under our control, our rear should be secure once Lu Xun and Gan Ning arrive.” Zhang said as he and the three beauties galloped atop their Inferno Wind Walkers.
“Now we can focus on assaulting Green Clover City. But that wind Mage may pose a problem for us.” Yuying added.
“Next time I'll show him who's boss!” Ling yelled as fiery flames could be seen in her eyes while raising her fist up in rage.
“Ahaha.” Zhang couldn't help but break out in laughter at Ling’s silly looking angry pose.
“Hey! What's so funny!” Ling yelled at Zhang.
Following Ling’s question, Yuying and Ai soon also fell into laughter.
Anyone sane person watching these four would shake their heads in disbelief, because how could there possibly be people who could joke around and be so cheerful while marching to war.
“My lord, thousands of white flags with the blue symbol of Aurora can be seen over the hill!” A soldier who rode up toward Zhang reported.
“Good. Everyone make haste! We are almost at the rendezvous point!” Zhang yelled as his Inferno Wind Walker began to quicken its pace.
“Cha! Cha!” Yuying yelled as she made her Inferno Wind Walker catch up to Zhang’s. Following a short distance behind them were Ling and Ai.
Zhang’s mounted soldiers also speedup as they headed toward the encampment over the hill.
As they made their way over the hill, Zhang withdrew a green flare from his interspatial ring and shot it into the sky to announce their arrive.