Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The soldier closed his eyes, his expression twisting in pain as he prepared for the cold wave's arrival. But a moment later, boom! A rumble came from the sky like some giant hand striking a canvas.
As the soldier stared in shock, the heaven-encompassing cold wave seemed to run into some sort of barrier. It passed over Youzhou at an altitude of around ten thousand feet and continued to the south.
As for the alliance camp, it felt nothing besides a chilly gust of wind and a temperature drop of a few degrees.
The two sentries, one on the tower and the other on the ground, looked speechlessly at the sky.
Countless people in the alliance camp emerged from their tents and watched as the cold wave swept past them.
The Khitan King, wearing a coat of white fox fur, looked up at the dark skies in shock.
Even though he had heard from Genesis Supreme that the alliance army would not be affected, knowing was different from seeing with one's own eyes that even the course of nature could be altered. His shock was simply indescribable.
Yeon Gaesomun, Ozmish Khagan, and the Xi Queen also glanced at each other in shock.
Almost instinctively, they shot a glance in the direction of An Lushan and Gao Shang.
That mysterious expert called Genesis Supreme had far too many secrets. He had known when the cold wave would descend and knew how to be immune from its effects. He was bizarre in every aspect.
An Lushan was extremely close to him, so he had to be linked to this as well.
There was something fishy about this cold wave!
Ozmish Khagan's mind was reeling, but he did not say a word.
The most composed was An Lushan. He had noticed their gazes long ago, but he did not care.
The truth was unimportant. What was important was that Genesis Supreme had fulfilled his promise. Youzhou was entirely unaffected by the cold wave.
"Wang Chong, it's your turn now!"
An Lushan maintained a stolid expression, though a faint smile crept onto his lips.
The cold wave had come, and the situation now favored the alliance. It was time to see how Wang Chong dealt with it.
"Genesis Supreme, how long will the matter you spoke of take to finish?" An Lushan turned to Genesis Supreme, who was floating in the sky, and spoke with a rare tone of respect.
Genesis Supreme coldly glanced at the Divine Works Elder.
"Hehe, Milord, there is no need to be anxious. The modifications to the Yeluohe will take some time. We were planning to finish modifying them before delivering them to Milord, but there was too little time, so we needed to send this batch of Yeluohe to Youzhou as soon as they came out."
The Divine Works Elder sinisterly chuckled.
"In addition, the cold wave is only just beginning. In another ten-some days, the world will be completely encased in wind and snow. That will be Milord's best chance to strike!"
An Lushan smiled and said, "Then I will leave it to Elder!"
After waiting for so long already, he didn't care about waiting another ten-some days. So long as he could finally defeat Wang Chong and defeat the Great Tang, becoming the true master of the Central Plains, the master of the world, he could wait a little longer.
An Lushan quickly calmed himself down and looked south to the steel fortress.
At the start, he had been able to vaguely make out that massive edifice, but now that the cold wave had swept out, the fortress had been entirely engulfed. Even when borrowing the power of the World Armor, An Lushan could only make out a few vague silhouettes.
An Lushan suddenly spoke to Cui Qianyou behind him. "Pass on my order. Send an order for a cavalry force to head to the steel fortress and gather information."
Cui Qianyou was shaken, a hint of hesitation in his eyes.
If they left the boundaries of Youzhou and the protection of the formation, both man and beast would probably be frozen to death before they could gather any useful information.
Gao Shang saw his expression and explained, "Just send some experts and make sure they wear more clothes."
Cui Qianyou nodded and quickly strode away.
The night was quiet, and the Youzhou region was the only place that was safe from the cold wave. In this frigid weather, the alliance camp even had campfires burning.
But the nearby steel fortress was a completely different sight.
Cold winds like the wailing of ghosts howled across the earth, and the snow fell so thickly that it was impossible to see anything even half a step away.
As the cold wave rushed past, crackling came from the walls, and thick layers of ice swiftly formed on the surface.
The layer of ice rapidly thickened and rendered the walls glossy and smooth.
Within the fortress, the rooms, flags, and banners also rapidly hardened.
From the sky, the heavily guarded fortress had turned into a deserted city.
All the soldiers had disappeared into their barracks.
But a few moments later, a giant bonfire blazed to life in the center of the fortress. The flames were small at first, but they quickly rose to a height of more than one hundred feet, driving away the cold.
Now that the cold wave had come, Wang Chong had finally begun to burn the kerosene stored within the fortress, driving away some of the chill.
A few moments later, boom! The fortress trembled as an enormous stream of energy erupted from beneath it, upon which a giant formation enclosed the fortress.
Finally, the encroaching cold's expansion stopped.
At the same time, a faint dome of light appeared that kept the snowstorm outside the fortress.
The temperature in the fortress stabilized and was no longer so unbearable.
In the main hall of the fortress, Wang Chong slowly withdrew his gaze, his eyes still gleaming in worry.
Wang Chong turned to Xu Keyi and asked, "Has the coal and all the other equipment been distributed?"
"Milord, it has all been delivered!" Xu Keyi sternly said. He quickly glanced outside, the wailing winds causing his heart to thump in concern.
This cold wave was far more frightening than he had imagined. When the cold wave passed, he had been able to see a layer of ice more than six inches thick form on the ground right in front of him.
Even though he wore a thick cotton coat that was topped with a layer of fox fur, he still felt chilled to the bone.
Wang Chong turned to the Formation Elder and asked, "Senior, how long can the formation's energy source last?"
"This cold wave is even colder than I imagined. I've done my best to restrict the range of the formation and to focus it on the north and the flanks, but using the formation over such a large range truly does accelerate the consumption of energy."
The Formation Elder paused a moment.
"But it's not like there's no good news at all. The cold wave is also a form of energy, a special kind of weather energy. I've used the formation's power to absorb energy from the cold wave. This has somewhat slowed the formation's energy consumption."
"In that case, how long can the formation last?" Wang Chong asked.
After a few moments of silence, the Formation Elder concluded, "Twenty-some days."
The hall became eerily silent, but a few moments later, Wang Chong returned to normal.
"It's enough!" Wang Chong calmly said.
"Don't let the soldiers know about this for now."
"Wang Chong, the Imperial Court…"
Zhangchou Jianqiong took two steps forward and looked worriedly at Wang Chong.
"We can't do anything now. They'll have to depend on themselves."
Wang Chong looked up at the sky and let out a long sigh.
Night was when the temperature dropped the most. No matter what Wang Chong wanted to do, he was helpless.
The earth froze as the cold wave rapidly moved south, far faster than anyone had anticipated. When the vast majority of people were still sleeping, the cold wave swept past the steel fortress and reached the interior.
In the darkness, a surging river rapidly froze. In just a few seconds, a sheet of ice several feet thick had formed.
The Grand Canal!
This canal that had been excavated in the Sui Dynasty had been in operation for several hundred years, serving as a vital thoroughfare linking the north and south, with an uncountable number of products transported along it.
In the past, even at the coldest of times, the Grand Canal would continue to flow. In snowy winters, boats would still transport cargo atop it, working day and night. But when this cold wave passed, this river completely disappeared, turning into a giant block of ice.
At the Imperial Palace…
With a soft crack, a frozen jade tile slid from the roof and shattered on the ground. Within Taiji Palace, the slumbering Li Heng heard this sound and woke up in alarm.
Li Heng looked around in astonishment, but he quickly realized something and walked over to the window.
As he opened the window, he was immediately blasted by a gust of cold wind. The chill rapidly spread through every inch of the hall, swiftly encasing his bedroom in a thin layer of frost. The bed, the chairs, the desk—none of it escaped.
Looking outside, he saw that the Imperial Palace had become cloaked in white. Spikes of ice hung from the eaves, some of them as long as a foot, and even Li Heng began to feel a hint of chill.
"This is the Great Ice Age the King of Foreign Lands spoke of?" Li Heng muttered.