Chapter 142: Lee Ming
Heya folks O_O heres a new chapter for you all o___o hope you are all well.
At first, Zhang’s soldiers held an absolute advantage over the Dark Legion’s troops who were trying to scale the walls, however as the enemy continued to ascend the ladders without end the soldiers of Aurora soon found themselves overwhelmed by the enemy’s numbers.
Unlike their master who had an unlimited supply of stamina thanks to the Underworld Heart, Zhang’s soldiers slowly found themselves sapped of strength while new enemies kept appearing before them.
Had it not been for the fact that Zhang and Ai each took command of a wall while the elite guard mixed in with the regular soldiers on the other two walls then the fort would have fallen in no time at all.
As a steady flow of enemy soldiers climb up the siege ladders, others were busy using siege rams to try and knock down the fort’s gates.
Thankfully Zhang had the foresight to reinforce the gates with sturdy logs and use the Underworld Heart to seal the gates shut.
“Quickly! Their forces are dwindling! Up the ladders!” Many of the soldiers of the Dark Legion roared to their subordinates.
However, to their dismay, Zhang’s shadow expanded and hundreds of shadowy figures rose out from the endless darkness.
Abyssal beasts of all shapes and sizes pounces and clawed at the soldiers of the Dark Legion as the battle was further pushed into chaos.
As more of their comrades began to fall and as their limbs began numb, Zhang’s soldiers who were pushed to the brink of life and death seemed more like ravaging beasts of slaughter instead of people.
If their swords broke they would use their fists and legs, when they could no longer feel their fists and legs they would use their teeth. That is to say, if they could not pick up one of the many weapons lying about on the ground.
While the soldiers were fighting with everything they had, Ai was cutting down one person after the other with a sword dripping with blood in hand. Instead of using her ships which would expend a lot of unnecessary amounts of energy and essence, she chose to wield the same sword that she had used to cut down countless soldiers of the heavenly sword army.
Besides the risk of possibly knocking down the fort walls by accident, there was also the fact that they did not know if the enemy had any experts hidden in their ranks.
After hours of endless fighting, the sun slowly began to set and the Dark Legion ceased its siege of the fort. Scaling the ladders once the sun set and trying to siege the fort would only further increase their casualties needlessly so they opted to encircle the fort and resume the siege once the sun rose.
“The first day is over!” Some of Zhang’s soldiers managed to yell in a cheer.
“All of you go get some rest and prepare dinner! They'll be back here tomorrow.” Zhang said with a sigh as he watched the enemy soldiers retreat as a glint suddenly appeared in his eyes.
“You think you can control the beginning and end of the battle?” He thought with a chuckle as dozens of Abyssal beasts charged over the side of the walls and began to attack the retreating soldiers down below.
Soon after one red colored thunderbolt after the other shot out from the tips of Zhang’s fingers.
While his soldiers were patching each other up, preparing meals, gathering up the dead and fine tuning their weapons and armor, Zhang continued to shoot lightning bolts into the night.
By doing so he made it so that the enemy could not set up camp close to the fort or else they risk being hit by lightning.
“They'll probably attempt to disrupt our sleep at night, but tell everyone not to worry and just rest.” Zhang said to one of his men who's as standing beside him atop the fortress walls.
“Brother it's time for dinner.” Ai said as she brought him a tray of food while the soldier who Zhang was talking to departed to tell the others what he was told.
“They killed all of the Abyssal Beasts I sent out.” Zhang said as hundreds of figures rose out of the shadows around him.
“Dig.” With a single order, all of the red-eyed Abyssal Beasts leaped off the walls and headed toward a large hole in the middle of the fort. For the last couple days Zhang had been summoning Abyssal Beast using the Cape of the Abyss, to dig a tunnel for his army to escape with, but since only a few days had past the tunnel was not very deep and would not take them very far.
“If we can’t fly out or break out then we will dig out.” Zhang said as he sat down and began eating the food Ai brought for him.
“Have you had another to eat yet?” He asked his wife.
“Not hungry yet.” Ai said with a yawn.
With a silly grin on his face, Zhang moved beside Ai and picked up some food with his chopsticks.
“Open wide.” He said with a smile as he lifted his chopsticks in front of Ai mouth.
Thus began Zhang and Ai’s meal together, soon after that essence water was given out to all of the soldiers while Zhang had his Abyssal Beasts dig out a series of large trenches around the fort.
“My lord, of our five thousand men defending the fort a total of roughly a thousand hundred were killed while another five hundred were injured.” One of Zhang’s soldiers reported to him.
Since a total of a thousand and five hundred men were either incapacitate or dead, roughly thirty percent of his forces were unfit for battle and only after the first day of the siege.
“Damn…. It'll take another few days for the tunnel to be finished, by that time there won't even be an army to escape with…” Zhang said with a frown as he heard the report.
“There's nothing we can do but continue digging the tunnel and continue defending the walls. Unless we decide to charge out.” Ai said with a not so happy expression on her face as she looked toward where the soldiers were.
“If only I didn't give the Ruler’s Domain to Yuying, I would be able to have everyone enter it and then break out of here.” Zhang said with a sigh as he stood beside Ai.
Although he was unhappy about the current predicament they were caught in, there was nothing that Zhang could do besides defending the fort until the last man or doing a suicide charge outside and try to break out of the encirclement. Either choice would probably lead to the death of his soldiers so Zhang was at a loss and did not know what to do.
Suddenly Zhang’s eyes lit up and a plan began to form in his mind.
After a not so restful night, the second day of the siege began and the countless soldiers of the Dark Legion once more began scaling the fort walls. Despite the option of lighting the wooden walls on fire or using a large scale spell formation, General Hei Ang ordered his soldiers to simply overwhelm Zhang’s forces by their numerical superiority.
This was because if they light the fortress on fire there was a chance of burning Zhang’s body to the point where no one could recognize it. If no one could recognize that t was Zhang’s head atop a spike being paraded around, then General Hei Ang would not be able to demoralize the forces of Aurora.
If Zhang’s main forces did not believe their master had fallen in battle then their moral would not be affected, rather they would feel that their master was being mocked and the Southern Alliance would only end up feeling their wrath. Of course, General Hei Ang failed to realize that regardless of whether he did succeed in killing Zhang or not the outcome would be the same.
If he killed Zhang then the beauties would fall into an even more maddened killing spree and no one would be spared, if he did not kill Zhang but lied and said he did then they would still fall into a maddened killing spree.
So as the sun peaked out of the horizon and began to ascend to the sky, the Dark Legion made its way toward the small fort once more. Those in the front of the army were not too eager to move forward while those in the rear were watching in anticipation.
“All forces attack! Archers provide cover!” General Hei Ang commanded.
Oddly enough once General Hei Ang’s soldiers made it to the fort there was no form of resistance like the previous day. There were no soldiers atop the walls nor any arrows shot into the skies, only an eerie silence. Even when the siege ladders latched onto the fort walls there was no sign of Zhang’s men inside the fort.
However, the moment the soldiers of the Dark Legion made it to the top of the fort walls a thick black mist bursted out of the fortress gates and cloaked the surrounding area in darkness. For a fleeting second, all vision was lost and darkness enveloped everyone near the fort.
Within the black mist hundreds of blood, red eyes shone in the darkness and hundreds of the soldiers of the Dark Legion were cut to pieces by sharp claws belonging to Zhang’s Abyssal Beasts. Under the cover of darkness where no light could reach a bloody battle ensued and many met their end.
However, when the black mist faded away and the sun’s light was no longer blocked the soldiers of the Dark Legion found many of their allies wounded and dead but no signs of Zhang’s forces at all. When they gazed inside the fort there was no one in sight, only a series of four tunnels dug into the ground. Afraid of being ambushed they no one dared to enter any of the four tunnels until they were commanded to by General Hei Ang when he arrived.
“General, all four tunnels lead to dead ends and show signs of being caved in by the enemy.” A soldier of the Dark Legion reported to General Hei Ang after search parties were sent into the tunnels and found nothing.
“Dammit! Have all of our men scout the area and report back if they see any signs of the enemy.” General Hei Ang said with an angry expression on his face.
Soon after many thousands of men broke up into large groups and began to comb the area in search of Zhang and his troops.
Little did Hei Ang know, he his army had slightly increased in size once they had arrived at the fort. Mixed into the thousands of black cloaked men of the Dark Legion were two familiar faces and a few thousand of their subordinates.
“Hey brother, when should we try to sneak away?” Ai whispered while she and Zhang who were both dressed as soldiers of the Dark Legion were out combing the woods with the rest of the Dark Legion.
Zhang had ordered all of his men scavenge armor and black cloaks off the corpses of the soldiers who had been slain during the battle that took place the day prior. Once they donned the armor and black cloaks, it was next to impossible to differentiate between Zhang’s soldiers and the real soldiers of the Dark Legion.
So using the black mist and Abyssal Beasts to cause confusion amongst the enemy’s ranks, Zhang, Ai, and their men were able to blend in with the enemy. Ironically afterward they were ordered to set out in search of themselves.
“No, if we try to escape then there’s still a chance of being caught. If we stick with them, then we have a higher chance of running into the others. Also, some of our men are injured and had been taken to the enemy’s infirmaries.” Zhang whispered back to Ai. Although there was a chance of escaping if they hid away while they were mixed in with the search parties, Zhang felt if they stayed within the Dark Legion there would be opportunities to aid his main forces later on. There was also the fact that five hundred of Zhang’s men were injured, meaning their movements would be slowed drastically if they tried to leave.
The search for Zhang and his army went on well into the night but with no leads at all the Dark Legion’s soldiers were ordered to return to camp, which would prove to be another obstacle in Zhang’s plan to hide within the ranks of the Dark Legion.
As Zhang, Ai and their followers entered the massive camp of the Dark Legion, they found themselves lost and were wondering the camp like fools.
“Damn… We need to find some vacant tents that don’t have owners… You guys disperse and lay low.” Zhang cursed as he commanded his men to split up and scatter amongst the enemy camp. Staying together would only serve to draw too much attention to themselves.
“Let’s go. Stick close.” Zhang said quickly as he held onto Ai’s hand after his men dispersed.
Zhang now had to keep Ai especially close to him because if anyone in the camp found out she was a woman then there would be disastrous consequences, fact being everyone in the Dark Legion was a man and an enemy. But mostly because everyone in the camp was a man besides Ai.
“Hey you there!” A voice called out as Zhang and Ai were combing through the countless rows of tents. Looking back a man in his mid-twenties could be seen gesturing at Zhang.
“Sir what can I do for you?” Zhang replied as he gripped Ai’s hand, signaling for her not to talk. He had also spoke in a polite manner just in case the man calling to him was someone of superior rank in the Dark Legion.
“Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” The man asked.
“Is that you brother!? It’s been ages since we last me.” Zhang said with a happy expression on his face as he tried to claim that he knew the man.
“Brother Lee? Is that you?” The man asked with a smile.
“Yea it’s me! How did you not recognize me?” Zhang said with a laugh. Before no time at all Zhang had made the man who had called him out believe that he was a man named Lee Ming and was on his way. Using Lee Ming as his identity Zhang was able to find out some information regarding the structure of the enemy’s camp.
Using his newly found knowledge Zhang was able to find a vacant tent for himself and Ai in no time at all, and was able to blend in with the other soldiers of the Dark Legion.