Chapter 319 – Brutal Melee
As Zhu Ping was planning on how to kill Lin Ming in the chaos of the battlefield, a flame suddenly lit in front of him; this was a sound transmitting talisman from a scout.
After hearing this sound transmission, Zhu Ping’s complexion changed.
“Army Command Zhu? What is it?” Zhao Yanming asked as he stood up.
“The beast tide has arrived. In less than half an hour it will reach Green Mulberry City.” Zhu Ping whispered, his voice harsh. The military had sent out a number of scouts to keep watch over the Green Mulberry Mountain Range. He had just received the news from one of these scouts through a series of sound transmitting talismans.
“So they’ve come…” Zhao Yanming’s lips twitched and he slumped back into his seat. He had always been holding out on his single, faint hope. But now, that fleeting hope had been shattered against the ground.
“How serious is the situation?” Zhuang Fan asked.
“They are sheltered under the forest’s cover, the scout wasn’t able to determine how many there were. The strongest among them are third-level beasts, probably equal to a Pulse Condensation martial artist.” As Zhu Ping spoke, he put on an iron helmet. The 10,000 troops of Green Mulberry City had already lined up in formation in the outskirts of Green Mulberry City. Half an hour of time was just enough to prepare.
Zhu Ping glanced at Lin Ming, “Young Hero Lin, will you…”
“Mm. I’ll go to battle with you.” At this dire moment, Lin Ming was not someone who would shirk his responsibilities.
With Lin Ming’s current status, if things were normal and he had noticed Zhu Ping’s hostility towards him, he could have casually killed him even without a shred of evidence, and no one would have dared to utter a single word of protest. But now, vicious beasts were approaching the city, and Zhu Ping was the commander of Green Mulberry City’s garrison troops. Because of that, it was impossible for Lin Ming kill him.
“Thank you, Young Hero Lin. Let us set off at once.”
The garrison troops were stationed 10 miles south of Green Mulberry City.
The sky was replete with dark clouds. Although it was spring, the chill of winter hadn’t yet evaporated, and a cold wind blew through the plains. 10,000 troops were arranged in a giant formation, silently waiting for the bloody battle.
Flags fluttered in the air, and the cold tips of soldiers’ halberds, swords, and other weapons shined with killing intent. In truth, all of the best soldiers within Sky Fortune Kingdom had joined the frontier army. Green Mulberry City’s garrison troops could only be considered a second-rate army. But in this dire situation, they showed a hardened edge and jagged spirit that only tempered veterans had; accustomed to blood and iron, with an unflinching momentum that was unafraid of death.
This was because this was not a fight over land, nor was it a political war. This was a battle for survival. Their city was behind them. If they fell on this field, their parents would die, their wives would die, and their children would die.
Mixed within these armed forces were over 100 outside martial artists. These individuals had voluntarily joined the garrison army at this time of need. All of these individuals had strange appearances. There were some who carried symbol flags and looked like old fortune tellers. There were those who wore bamboo hats and looked like woodcutters. And there were even those who wore long, loose robes, looking no different than a scholar. These people were all between 20 and 50 years old, and all of them had overflowing strong auras of the mortal Jianghu.
And what most surprised Lin Ming was that six of these individuals were Pulse Condensation period martial artists. It had to be known that most Pulse Condensation martial artists would join the government and be bestowed a noble title. There were very few that wandered around in the common world. Even if there was, it was nearly impossible for six of them to suddenly gather within Green Mulberry City.
Green Mulberry City Lord Zhao Yanming said, “Let me introduce you. This is Green Mulberry City’s Salt Clan’s Clan Leader, Shi Linkai.” Zhao Yanming pointed to a middle-aged man wearing a wolf pelt, introducing him to Lin Ming.
Since ancient times, dynasties had taken control of the salt and iron industries in order to control the economic lifeline of their lands. They could sell salt at profits of ten times, or even dozens of times.
This so-called Salt Clan was in fact just an illegal bandit gang that dealt in salt. These sorts of gangs had existed in all eras, and they were of an enormous scale. They often contained over 90% of the mortal world’s martial artists. These people were people of the so-called ‘Jianghu’, and they were individualistic people who viewed the government with disdain. They had their own groups and cliques, and formed clans, groups, and gangs, taking loyalty as their main guideline.
Green Mulberry City’s Salt Clan was the largest private power within the entire Sky Fortune Kingdom. During normal times, Green Mulberry City’s Salt Clan would have been at odds with the military. But now, in this situation, both groups had to ally together and assume a united front against the incoming beast tide.
“Hero Lin! I’ve heard so much about you, and now I can finally see you today.” Shi Linkai cupped his fists together. He already knew of Lin Ming’s status. To outlaws and vagabonds, what they most respected were powerful heroes. Shi Linkai was no exception.
“Clan Leader Shi is too kind.” Lin Ming cupped his fists together in respect, a bit surprised. This Shi Linkai’s cultivation was actually at the late Pulse Condensation period. Although, it was obvious that he had barely broken through, his foundation was shaky, and it would be hopeless for him to break through to the Houtian realm in his lifetime. Still, it was difficult for a roaming wanderer of the mortal world to reach this step.
After hurriedly greeting the people of the Salt Clan, Lin Ming quickly went to the front. The beast tide was less than a quarter of an hour away from arriving.
After Lin Ming left, Shi Linkai constantly shook his head in admiration, his heart amazed by Lin Ming’s astonishing talent.
“Boss, this is just a little boy. His cultivation just reaches the middle Pulse Condensation period, and yet he managed to win some sort of valley’s martial meeting and became champion? What sort of master is that?” The middle-aged man who spoke wore a bamboo hat and held an iron staff in his hand, his voice full of doubt. He assumed that this martial meeting should have been a gathering of true masters, and the champion should be at least at the Houtian realm.
The truth was, to these roaming figures of the common world, although they knew how terrifying Lin Ming’s status was, they didn’t have an intuitive concept of just how powerful people like him actually were.
To the common folk, the Seven Profound Valleys was a remote existence. Before Lin Ming had entered the Seven Profound Martial House, he had only heard of the Seven Profound Valleys’ name. But he wasn’t clear as to what they were, or how strong they were. To these Salt Clan disciples, the Seven Profound Valleys was the same as them; they were also a clan, but just on a larger scale.
“What nonsense. The Seven Profound Valleys’ Total Faction Martial Meeting is a contest between young talents, of course the champion is going to be a little boy. Don’t look at him just being at the middle Pulse Condensation period. If we really fight, then even if Second Brother and Third Brother coordinate with me, we probably wouldn’t win.” Shi Linkai stared at the middle-aged man in the bamboo hat, in a wise and learned tone. The Second Brother and Third Brother he mentioned were the second and third in command of the Salt Clan. Their cultivations were at the middle Pulse Condensation period and the early Pulse Condensation period.
“How could that be… Second Brother has already been at the middle Pulse Condensation period for 10 years, and is just a step away from reaching the late Pulse Condensation period. If Boss and Third Big Brother join with Second Big Brother, the three of you together would still lose against a little boy who just reached the middle Pulse Condensation period?”
“Just wait and see. The difference between the Seven Profound Valleys and us is just like the difference between the Royal Family and a rich country merchant. Maybe this Young Hero’s strength already reaches a Houtian realm master!”
As Lin Ming stood in front of the army, he grasped the Purple Comet Spear, slanting the spearpoint towards the ground. In this upcoming battle of life or death, where either side would be annihilated, it would be wrong to say that there were no mighty waves that surged through his heart. In the worst case scenario, Green Mulberry City would be trampled over, and his home would be utterly destroyed.
However, Lin Ming’s parents as well as his best friend Lin Xiaodong were no longer at Green Mulberry City. As for the Lin Family, Lin Ming’s feelings towards them were much lighter. If the Lin Family was destroyed, it was not a blow that he wouldn’t be able to withstand. If the worst case situation came to fruition, he would use the Winged Flood Dragon to save several of the important family juniors, and ensure that their family’s bloodline would be preserved.
Perhaps… Lin Wanshan might have already transferred part of the family.
As Lin Ming was thinking, he saw some blurry shadows appear on the horizon. These shadows started out the size of flying insects, but in a few dozen breaths of time, they covered the heavens and the earth.
The beast tide had finally arrived!
The ones to arrive first were naturally the fastest flying vicious beasts. Looking at them, there were probably several hundred.
“There’s only several hundred, and most of them are first-level or second-level vicious beasts. The highest among them are only third-level vicious beasts. Like this, we can still make it.”
Lin Ming was very clear that the vicious beasts that lived within the depths of the Southern Wilderness weren’t gathered together, but instead dispersed into groups. All of the vicious beasts would emerge from the South Zhao Mountain Range, forming a beast tide. But there would be gaps between these groups. The weakest appetizers would be at the front, and the later groups would be increasingly strong. This gave Green Mulberry City a breath of hope. With this opportunity, they might be able to last until reinforcements arrived.
“Javelin throwers, archers, prepare!”
With Zhu Ping’s shout, 200 javelin throwers and 500 archers immediately readied.
The javelin troops that Sky Fortune Kingdom had trained were specially formed to deal with heavy infantry phalanxes. Their javelins could pierce through a palm-thick shield, and against these flying beasts, only a javelin would be able to threaten the large destructive ones. An arrow was too light, it simply couldn’t damage them.
But Green Mulberry City’s garrison troops weren’t an elite army. There was a very expensive cost in training a javelin thrower, thus there were just a mere 200 of them.
As the vicious beasts entered into firing range, a messenger raised the signal flag, and 700 soldiers fired together!
Whiz whiz whiz!
With the whistling sound of splitting air, sharp javelins and arrows shot up like a hurricane. Many of the airborne vicious beasts were pierced with arrows, and there were some first-level and second-level vicious beasts that were wounded in multiple areas, directly falling from the air.
Falling from several hundred feet, they were instantly splattered to death upon reaching the ground. There was no need for the troops to rush forwards and finish them off.
In that moment, of the several hundred vicious beasts, dozens of them had died in a flash. However, these were just the lowest-level vicious beasts. There were about a dozen third-level vicious beasts with strength equal to a normal Pulse Condensation period martial artist that were unscathed.
Moreover, after this volley, the vicious beast group had already reached the army. A third-level vicious beast that looked like a giant blue-eyed falcon dove into a group of soldiers, immediately causing a shower of blood.
“Son of a b*tch! Come down to me!”
As the third-level vicious beast was about to shoot back into the sky, the Salt Clan helped Shi Linkai spring into the sky. His saber slashed down, immediately slicing off a wing of the blue-eyed falcon beast.
The blue-eyed falcon issued a keening wail as it fell from the sky, landing in a circle of soldiers where it was stabbed to death.
“Boss, good job!”
The Salt Clan juniors issued a volley of cheers. A single saber strike had brought down a third-level vicious beast, this caused the coalition army’s morale to rise to the heavens!
“Truly worthy of a late Pulse Condensation master!”
“Brothers, what are you waiting for, kill ‘em all!”
The soldiers’ cheers were thunderous. For a time, javelins, arrows and spears all stabbed into vicious beasts!
Cold metal shined, blood rained like a spring shower, the masters of the Salt Clan became the sword and saber of the entire army. But, their power also attracted the attention of the other three third-level vicious beasts.
These vicious beasts began to veer towards the Salt Clan masters.