EIF - Book 03 Chapter 063: Ambush from Ten Sides
On the Xiaoyue Secondary Residence’s floating island in Love Flower Valley:
Sounds of fighting came from the east. It was the flood dragons and the baxias working to break the ritual array.
The Metal Division Master, Chu Chen, held his golden sword and gently tapped it with his fingers. He revealed a faint smile but did not show any intention of helping.
Venerable Liu Nian stood at the side. When he returned, he kept an eye on Chu Chen, showing a somewhat complicated expression.
Chu Chen did not even look at Venerable Liu Nian. He just continued tapping on his golden sword.
“Venerable Liu Nian, did you rush all the way back because you believed Gu Hai, thinking that I am a spy?” Chu Chen asked.
“Oh? You heard it?” Venerable Liu Nian raised his eyebrows.
“Does it matter whether I heard it or not? The crux is whether you acknowledge it or not. Venerable Liu Nian, I have been in Elite Hall longer than you have. I am also the previous hall master’s most trusted person. Nevertheless, you suspect me because of a person who just joined Elite Hall?” Chu Chen said with a hint of a sneer.
“Suspect? Nothing is fixed. Ding Rui also joined Elite Hall long ago, but she still betrayed Long Xiaoyue,” Venerable Liu Nian said coldly.
“Humph! Don’t compare me to Ding Rui. She is not worthy. Venerable Liu Nian, I don’t know why you suspect me of all people. Why not suspect Huangfu Chaoge’s subordinates? Instead, you suspect your own people?” Chu Chen said.
“You heard it all?” Venerable Liu Nian frowned slightly.
“You heard it; why couldn’t I? For Duke Lu Yang to arrive so quickly, the spy should not be in Love Flower Valley but in Divine Foundation City. Otherwise, Duke Lu Yang could not have gathered one million soldiers so quickly,” Chu Chen said.
Venerable Liu Nian frowned but did not acknowledge or refute anything.
“Oh, no. Army Breaker is playing music.” Chu Chen raised his eyebrows.
Ding! Ding ding ding!
“Breaking a Revolution” brought out a vast army. Soon, countless skeleton soldiers charged everywhere in the valley. Likewise, many skeleton soldiers also headed for the Xiaoyue Secondary Residence.
“Venerable Liu Nian, the previous hall master worked hard to build the Xiaoyue Secondary Residence. Guard it well. Don’t let Army Breaker damage it,” Chu Chen said.
Venerable Liu Nian nodded.
Hundreds of skeleton soldiers charged over.
“Die!” Chu Chen glared and swung his sword.
When Chu Chen swung his sword, he sent out hundreds of sword qi at the hundreds of skeletons in a heartbeat.
One hundred skeletons instantly exploded, reduced to ash.
However, the zither music did not stop; more skeleton soldiers appeared.
Soon, more than ten thousand skeletons surrounded the Xiaoyue Secondary Residence.
“Come out and fight the enemy!” Chu Chen shouted coldly.
A group of Elite Hall disciples ran out and quickly engaged the growing skeleton army.
Dang! Dang! Dang! Dang!
The clangor of weapons clashing rang out everywhere.
A group of skeleton soldiers suddenly charged at the palace hall as if intent on destroying the Xiaoyue Secondary Residence’s Xiaoyue Palace Hall.
Venerable Liu Nian chanted coldly as his Buddhist prayer beads suddenly flew out and knocked away the hundreds of skeletons in the surroundings.
“Breaking a Revolution” continued playing, bringing in more skeleton soldiers. Intense battles took place everywhere in the valley.
This continued until an opposing sound suddenly rang out.
Ding ding ding ding ding!
Ensnaring Performance’s “Ambush from Ten Sides” started.
Under the largest love flower tree:
Granny Qing Hua, Huangfu Chaoge, and the treants gathered here looked to the north coldly.
As “Breaking a Revolution” rang out, more skeleton soldiers appeared to join the charge.
Granny Qing Hua waved her hand, and many enormous roots broke out of the ground to clash with the skeleton army.
The roots swept out in all directions in an instant, quickly knocking away the skeleton soldiers that charged over.
The hundreds of roots looked like towering whips, wildly smashing apart the skeleton soldiers.
However, as “Breaking a Revolution” continued, more skeleton soldiers appeared.
The skeleton soldiers were not very strong, at most with the strength of a Golden Core Realm cultivator. However, there were many of them. They did not just run on the ground but also flew in the sky.
The treants sent out vines and roots at the skeleton soldiers that slipped through the cracks. The area in front of the colossal tree immediately fell into chaos.
Huangfu Chaoge’s expression turned slightly sullen before he sighed, “Granny Qing Hua, I brought a disaster to Love Flower Valley. Open the Thorny Ritual Array and let me out. Perhaps Duke Lu Yang will stop attacking once he captures me.”
“Hahahahaha! Huangfu Chaoge, are you mocking me?” Granny Qing Hua suddenly looked at Huangfu Chaoge.
“I…I’m not,” Huangfu Chaoge denied with a frown.
“The various spirit races would suffer a calamity every ten thousand years. The calamity of my love flower treant should occur this year. However, I did not expect that our calamity would come from Duke Lu Yang’s army. Huangfu Chaoge, do you think that my love flower treants’ calamity will disappear just by sending you out?” Granny Qing Hua said sullenly.
“Huh?” Huangfu Chaoge frowned slightly.
“Furthermore, am I such a person? My husband died back then because of his pride and stubbornness. I love him and respect him. Would I do such a thing, which goes against my conscience? The previous Silver Moon Mountain Manor Lord refused to bow to anyone, preferring to die instead because of his pride. I respect him. Would I do such a despicable thing?” Granny Qing Hua asked.
“However, if this continues, your love flower treants might….” Huangfu Chaoge argued worriedly.
Granny Qing Hua shook her head and said, “What must come will come. Huangfu Chaoge, I was the one who called you here. I brought this disaster to you. I will help you escape.”
Huangfu Chaoge frowned. “But—”
“No buts. If you go out, you will die. Huangfu Chaoge, don’t you want to take revenge for Long Xiaoyue?” Granny Qing Hua glared.
“I…” Huangfu Chaoge’s eyes turned red.
“If my love flower treants can survive this calamity and continue existing, do take care of us if you can. Hah,” Granny Qing Hua sighed.
As Granny Qing Hua spoke, a root came out of the colossal love flower tree behind them.
This huge root slowly landed before Granny Qing Hua and Huangfu Chaoge.
Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack!
The top of the root slowly cracked open, revealing a hole large enough for a person to stand in.
“Go in. I’ll use this root to send you underground and bring you out of this place of trouble,” Granny Qing Hua said as she looked at Huangfu Chaoge.
“No. If I flee, your love flower treants will not be able to escape the calamity,” Huangfu Chaoge protested anxiously.
“Fortune and disaster are destined. If it is a disaster, it cannot be avoided. My love flower treant race owes nothing to anyone. Hurry. Otherwise, the opportunity will be gone when Duke Lu Yang gets serious.”
“Roar! Roar! Roar! Roar!”
More skeleton soldiers appeared in the surroundings. Huangfu Chaoge’s eyes reddened further.
Suddenly, zither music rang out from the east, opposing “Breaking a Revolution.”
Ding ding ding ding ding!
On the east side of Love Flower Valley:
The skeleton army increased in numbers, making fighting incredibly difficult for the treants, Long Wanqing, and Mu Chenfeng.
“Are you done?” Mu Chenfeng asked anxiously.
Gu Hai had his hand on Ensnaring Performance’s shoulder, telepathically sending his memories of “Ambush from Ten Sides” to Ensnaring Performance.
“Master, I have learned it. Is this an army-themed piece? What a murderous and ferocious tone!” Ensnaring Performance’s eyes lit up.
“Quickly give it a try. If it doesn’t work, I’ll teach you “March of the General,” Gu Hai said.
[TL Note: “March of the General” is a Chinese string orchestra piece by an unknown composer. There are no formal translations of this piece’s name; common translations include “General’s Order” and “General’s Command.” The earliest record of it came from a compilation of Chinese string orchestra pieces written in 1814. This piece later became popular and underwent several alterations. Afterwards, this piece was adapted and became the theme music for Huang Feihong, an iconic martial artist with many movies and television series made about him. The adapted piece was then renamed “A Man Should Better Himself.” The adapted piece was also used in several other kungfu shows and movies, so some may find parts of the piece familiar. Here is a Youtube link for a version with just the guzheng: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79nAKAy5iUI. Here is another Youtube link for a version with a Chinese orchestra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td7RsCt2DSI. Finally, here is a Youtube link for “A Man Should Better Himself”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbQ4ZKI-hKM.]
“Ah? Master, you composed two pieces in such a short time? You almost…almost…almost caught up with me!” Ensnaring Performance exclaimed.
“Cut the crap! Hurry up!” Gu Hai kicked the shameless Ensnaring Performance’s butt.
“Alright, alright. I’m on it!” Ensnaring Performance answered.
“Hehehehehe! Listen to my ‘Ambush from Ten Sides Ensnaring Performance said excitedly.
Ding ding ding ding ding!
Ensnaring Performance waved his hands, and “Ambush from Ten Sides” suddenly rang out. Gu Hai did not have the music Dao’s artistic conception. Naturally, he could not bring any effect out. However, Ensnaring Performance did. When the strong music Dao artistic conception appeared, it immediately presented a vast battlefield.
With the influence of the music Dao’s artistic conception, it sounded like war drums rang out from nowhere.
Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
When the drums rumbled, they seemed to radiate an army’s might, shocking the skeleton army in front. The skeleton army trembled and cowered.
Long Wanqing and the others suddenly found their fights easier.
Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!
Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
When the zither music rang out, war drums boomed, and a call to war echoed in the air.
Far in the distance, Granny Qing Hua’s expression turned solemn. She revealed some shock as she said, “What majestic war drums! Is this Gu Hai’s piece? This is mustering the army for war?”
As Granny Qing Hua spoke, she narrowed her eyes and waved her hand.
Suddenly, the Thorny Ritual Array shook slightly.
Outside the ritual array, on Duke Lu Yang’s flying ship, Army Breaker had his arms out, sending zither music into the air. Suddenly, the Thorny Ritual Array shook.
“Duke, Granny Qing Hua removed the sound barrier. We can hear what is happening inside now.” Army Breaker’s expression changed.
“They are unable to hold on any longer, right? Just one ‘Breaking a Revolution’ can destroy an army,” Ao Shun said coldly.
“That’s not right. There is zither music resisting in there. Is it Ensnaring Performance? And Gu Hai? Gu Hai’s piece?” Army Breaker’s expression changed.
“Are they resisting my ‘Breaking a Revolution’?” Duke Lu Yang frowned slightly.
Ding ding ding ding!
When Ensnaring Performance’s zither music rang out, the powerful war drums and battle call manifested by the music Dao artistic conception sounded.
Duke Lu Yang closed his eyes and listened intently.
“This is the setting up of camp and preparing for war? The zither music contains a call to battle with drums and gongs. When the drums and gongs ring out, they march out to war? Great piece! This is just the beginning, and it already radiates an army’s might?” Duke Lu Yang felt startled.
“Humph! So what if there is an army’s might? My skeleton army is already advancing on him!” Army Breaker’s expression turned cold. Then, his playing of “Breaking a Revolution” turned sharper.
Ding ding ding ding!
The tempo of “Ambush from Ten Sides” sped up gradually.
The war drums and call to war slowly vanished. Loud cries appeared within the zither music.
Duke Lu Yang closed his eyes to experience this zither music. He seemed to see the enemy’s vast army gathering in the distance, standing at attention neatly on the drill ground. An endless sea of soldiers stood extremely orderly in formation.
“Appointing the officers? He already entered the stage of appointing the officers?” Duke Lu Yang opened his eyes.
Indeed, while Ensnaring Performance played “Ambush from Ten Sides” within the ritual array, the skeleton soldiers in the surroundings rushed over.
As the music rang out, clouds and fog appeared behind Ensnaring Performance. There seemed to be a vast army standing behind him, standing in an orderly formation. Although the army did not move, they inspired awe. A strong army’s might radiated into the surroundings.
A few generals quickly appointed officers from the orderly troops.
This was not a scattered army like the skeleton army. The music Dao army behind Ensnaring Performance was trained and disciplined. They stood in clearly defined platoons. As they stood in unity, they gave off an overwhelming murderous air.
“Damn! This great one’s army is really mighty. Even just at the beginning, it is already more ferocious than this skeleton army!” Ensnaring Performance said excitedly.
Gu Hai looked at the vast army being organized behind Ensnaring Performance and released his bated breath. “Ambush from Ten Sides” was enough.
Ding ding ding ding!
Ensnaring Performance’s music continued.
After the officers of the vast army were appointed, they spread out with their platoons in good order. They were like a large web as they moved out in formation, poised to charge and break through enemy lines.
Outside, Duke Lu Yang suddenly raised his eyebrows. Then, he said in shock, “Moving in formation? A music Dao army can move in formation?”
“That should not be the case. That is a vast army! Can Ensnaring Performance’s music control every single music Dao soldier? Can he split his attention to such a level? Wait, that’s not right. He appointed officers earlier. He only needs to appoint some officers and control them. What is this piece called? To think that it can have such fine control of the music Dao artistic conception’s army to a minute detail?” Army Breaker also appeared shocked.
“Rise!” Ensnaring Performance shouted excitedly in the valley.
The vast army let out one unified, overpowering shout. “Charge!”
Finally, Ensnaring Performance’s music Dao army marched out. Commanded by the music, the majestic troops charged at the opposite skeleton army.
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