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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 130: Locust Plague

In Prince Shenwu’s study, Southern Suppression City:

Prince Shenwu sat at his desk, looking at the information in his hands. Sima Changkong and a group of advisors stood before the desk.

As Prince Shenwu read, his eyes narrowed slightly.

“According to this first batch of reports, the sixth battalion took a major victory?” Prince Shenwu frowned.

“Indeed. Gao Xianzhi led his soldiers very ferociously. Furthermore, they provoked danger at every turn. However, they enjoyed a chain of victories, destroying the Ying Royal Emperor’s most tenacious battalion,” Sima Changkong said with a bitter smile.

“The most tenacious battalion?” Prince Shenwu frowned slightly.

“Ha! The other battalion commanders were eager to render meritorious service. Afraid that this tenacious battalion would drag things out and delay them, they left this battalion to Gao Xianzhi.” Sima Changkong smiled bitterly.

“Oh? They left the toughest bone to Gao Xianzhi and went for the easy pickings? Ha! Haha! Excellent! Very excellent!” Prince Shenwu said coldly.

“However, Gao Xianzhi made use of ingenious maneuvers and quickly destroyed that tenacious battalion. Truly extraordinary!” Sima Changkong marveled.

“Ha! Haha! Gao Xianzhi?” Prince Shenwu showed a slightly complicated expression while letting out dry laughter.

As Prince Shenwu laughed, his gaze turned sharp. “Send this report to the other battalion commanders. They keep bragging about how brave they are. Let them see how much this Innate Realm outsider accomplished in a mere ten days! Humph!”

“Yes!” Sima Changkong answered.

“Results should be rewarded. Reward Gao Xianzhi with one hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones, one spirit jade of his choosing, one Nascent-Soul-Realm-level sword, and one hundred medicinal pills of various types under the Nascent Soul Realm level,” Prince Shenwu said.

“Ah? So much?” one of the advisers exclaimed as he raised his head.

Prince Shenwu turned his head and looked over coldly. That advisor immediately shut his mouth, no longer daring to speak.

“Have those ghosts of yours started disrupting the enemy’s camp?” 

“It should be soon. The battlefield is shifting towards Lu Yang’s Northern Lookout City. It should be about time.” Sima Changkong nodded.

------

Northern Lookout City:

A general was drumming up morale in an army camp outside the city.

“Brothers, how has His Majesty treated us? Would we have our current accomplishments without His Majesty? In the Ying Province, I recognize only His Majesty. As for the enemy, Long Shenwu’s army, they are the true invaders. We just want to protect our nation. This Ying Province was previously the Ying Imperial Dynasty in the first place. What is wrong about returning to His Majesty’s hands? Our brothers all died in the previous battles. Are your brothers among them?” that general yelled.

“Yes!” the entire army roared as one.

“Who killed our brothers?”

“Long Shenwu’s invading army!”

“They killed our brothers. Should we take revenge?”

“Yes!”

“Pick up your weapons and prepare to show your loyalty to the nation alongside me. Take revenge for our brothers!”

“Revenge! Revenge! Revenge!”

The shouts rang out without pause. The general succeeded in boosting the soldiers’ morale.

The entire army roared for a while. However, a clump of dim blue light suddenly appeared nearby. The moment the light appeared, the shouting stopped.

“Big Brother?” the earlier general exclaimed when he saw a figure within the clump of light.

“Senior Brother!”

“Brother!”

“Younger Brother!”

A commotion immediately broke out in the army camp. The souls in that dim blue clump of light were those of the brothers of these soldiers on the drill ground.

“Aren’t you all dead? Souls? What’s going on?” the general said in confusion.

The ghosts avoided the army’s life aura and carefully arrived at a platform in the drill grounds.

“Big Brother, why haven’t you moved on and gotten reincarnated? We are about to go and take revenge for you!” the general asked with bloodshot eyes.

“Revenge? Who are you taking revenge for? Who are you giving your lives away for?” the soul leading the pack countered with a bitter expression.

“What do you mean?”

“We all gave our lives for His Majesty, for the Ying Royal Dynasty. We risked death and fought the Qian Heavenly Dynasty, dying in battle. However, His Majesty sold us away after we died,” the leading soul said bitterly.

“What do you mean?” the general exclaimed.

The souls described everything that happened in the past.

Countless soldiers in the army goggled upon hearing this.

Clang! A soldier’s sword fell to the ground.

Everyone’s breathing turned hurried and brief.

“We risk our lives fighting, but we cannot get peace, even as ghosts? We will end up given away to an evil demon to become fertilizer?”

“It turns out…it turns out that the century lifespan immortality peaches that His Majesty bestows are grown using our brothers’ souls?” 

“I ate my brothers’ souls? My big brother’s soul?”

Everyone on the drill ground turned ashen.

“His Majesty? What did we do wrong? Why did you treat us like that? We fought to the death for you, but we ended up getting utterly destroyed, even our souls?” the souls cried while complaining.

Clang! Clang!

The clangor of weapons falling to the ground rang out. Fighting to the death for the Ying Royal Dynasty? Haha! Is that worth it? The century lifespan immortality peaches we ate were grown using our brothers’ souls? No, there were even living people used as fertilizer. Did I eat living people?

“I’m not fighting anymore!”

“I’m not fighting anymore, either!”

Disappointed voices rose all over the army camp.

------

Northern Lookout City:

A group of advisers stood in Lu Yang’s study.

“I was preparing to set up a military formation for Northern Lookout City. Why did this happen?” one of the advisers said with an unsightly expression.

“It’s Gu Hai. Your Majesty, there’s news from various places about this. Gu Hai saved the souls, then released the souls to kill our soldiers’ confidence in the nation. Now, only thirty percent of the soldiers around Northern Lookout City remain loyal to Your Majesty!”

“Seventy percent of the soldiers changed sides, surrendering to the Southern Suppression Army!”

The advisers reported with unsightly expressions.

Lu Yang took a deep breath, showing a sullen expression. Now, he suddenly felt the loss of Mo Yike keenly. If Mo Yike were around, it would be great. He would help me analyze this and not just complain and appear fearful like these advisers before me.

“Gu Hai? It’s Gu Hai again?” Lu Yang showed an angry expression.

“Your Majesty, the morale of the soldiers in Northern Lookout City is low. We had better return to Ying Capital.”

“Indeed. After returning to Ying Capital, Your Majesty can use the nation’s blessings. No one can do anything to Your Majesty there.”

The advisers counseled.

Return to Ying Capital? That is as good as announcing to the world that I completely failed when I came to lead the army personally and would be holing up in Ying Capital.

However, is there still a chance of victory now?

Lu Yang thought back to when he had Mo Yike, Army Breaker, one million bronze statues, Ao Shun’s dragon army, Mister Dongfang, a vast army, loyal citizens, and vast military might. However, Gu Hai destroyed them all, everything.

Gu Hai? Just one Gu Hai put me in such a sorry state?

Lu Yang clenched his fist tightly. For the first time, he regretted sending someone to assassinate Gu Hai against Mo Yike’s advice. Of course, he hated even more—hated Gu Hai for all the destruction Gu Hai caused him.

“Your Majesty!” the adviser pressed.

“We’ll return to Ying Capital!” Lu Yang said, feeling reluctant.

------

Southern Suppression City:

“Hahaha! Supreme Commander, Lu Yang finally retreated. The souls that Gu Hai saved are indeed as good as a vast army. Lu Yang’s soldiers and citizens lost their faith in him. It’s over for the Ying Royal Dynasty!” Sima Changkong smiled.

“They are returning to Ying Capital? Humph! Send our army to continue attacking. Give chase!” Prince Shenwu smiled.

“Yes!”

------

On the White Cloud flying ship, Gu Hai refined the blessings he obtained from the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty using the Heaven Suppressing Divine Imperial Seal. Then, the blessings headed directly to Nine-Five Island.

As Gu Hai refined the blessings, the dragon vein in the Heaven Suppressing Divine Imperial Seal let out laments. After the refinement was completed, the dragon vein closed its eyes and coiled up inside the Heaven Suppressing Divine Imperial Seal.

Gu Hai’s consciousness entered the Heaven Suppressing Divine Imperial Seal, and the dragon vein immediately opened its eyes. It seemed like his consciousness could control it. At this moment, it appeared very peaceful.

The Han Royal Dynasty officials on the flying ship learned how to control the flying ship. Previously, they had found some people in Southern Suppression City who knew the way and put them in charge of operating the flying ship.

“Your Majesty, that person who knows the way says that we should be arriving soon,” one of the officials reported respectfully to Gu Hai.

Gu Hai nodded.

Ensnaring Performance’s expression suddenly changed. “Something’s not right. Master, there’s a situation in Foundation Deity City. We should slow down.” 

“Oh?” Gu Hai walked to the bow.

As the flying ship slowed down and flew within a cloud, he looked below.

There was still some distance to Foundation Deity City. However, everything within sight was starkly different from before.

The ground appeared bare for five hundred kilometers.

Previously, there had been lush vegetation. Now, only dry dirt and stone remained. 

“Where are the plants?” the officials exclaimed.

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

Strange sounds came from all directions.

When Gu Hai took a closer look, he saw that the barren land teemed with red locusts.

“Locusts?” Gu Hai frowned slightly.

The locusts chewed on some tree roots. They consumed any form of vegetation.

No, it was not just plants. Gu Hai even saw a group of locusts chasing after a cheetah in the distance. That cheetah only managed to run for a while before it got overwhelmed by locusts. Then, it let out a miserable cry before falling over. Soon, only dry bones remained.

When looking around, Gu Hai saw countless more dry bones on the barren ground.

“Let’s go,” Gu Hai said.

The flying ship continued on its way. However, the closer they got to Foundation Deity City, the more locusts there were, completely covering the place.

Aside from ordinary locusts, there were some that were one meter long, some even reaching three meters. They flew everywhere, a vast army of locusts.

Gu Hai saw a swarm of locusts spitting out the armor of a Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty’s soldier in the distance. Clearly, they had eaten the person and were discarding the armor, having consumed even the bones.

The Foundation Deity City’s ritual array had been activated. However, locusts crawled all over it, gnawing away at it relentlessly. Locusts covered the city walls as well.

Locusts filled the barren land for five thousand kilometers around. Some flew in the air, and some crawled on the ground. The sight gave the Han Royal Dynasty officials chills, causing them to break out in cold sweat.

The Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty’s blessings were already all gone. Gu Hai’s group could see some of the citizens in the ritual array showing horrified expressions, despair obvious in their eyes.

Wherever the locusts went, nothing was spared.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for November: 20 / 50

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by VampireCat.