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Chapter 5252 – Decisive Battle
Translator: Silavin &Jon
Translation Checker: PewPewLazerGun
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
500,000 Black Ink Clansmen were just 5 million kilometres away from the universe fragment when they were struck by the storm of attacks from the arrays and artifacts.
Under normal circ.u.mstances, such a barrage would be enough to drive these Black Ink Clansmen off, but this time was different.
All the Territory Lords were aware of the severity of the situation with the Royal City at risk of being destroyed; therefore, regardless of the price they had to pay, they had to head to the Royal City.
Zhe Chong took the initiative by leading the Territory Lords and Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples to open up the way for the rest of the Army. Faced with the intense bombardment, they steadfastly drew closer to the Human’s base.
The Black Ink Clansmen were still 5 million kilometres away from the forward base, but several tens of thousands of them had lost their lives in a short time. They were practically stepping on the corpses of their clansmen to advance, while the Territory Lords and Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples at the vanguard were all injured.
This time, the Black Ink Clan exhibited unwavering resolve. Faced with the continuous attacks from the arrays and artifacts, none of the Territory Lords and Feudal Lords backed down. Although the clansmen around them continued to pa.s.s away, they were determined to continue forward.
That was because the Territory Lords knew that it was a price they had to pay. As long as they could get close to the Humans and force them into a melee, they would gain the upper hand as they had numbers on their side.
Although the skirmishes between both parties over the years had been intermittent and relatively tame, the Black Ink Clansmen were fully aware of the Humans’ true power.
The Humans numbered 30,000 when they first arrived outside Great Evolution Pa.s.s, but that number included several thousand specialists such as Artifact Refiners, Array Masters, and Alchemists. Furthermore, after years of war, the Humans had naturally suffered a number of losses. Now, the combat force they could mobilise totaled about 20,000.
On the other hand, there were 500,000 soldiers on the Black Ink Clan’s side, with the number of top Masters being equal to that of the Humans.
Therefore, even though the Humans had their Wars.h.i.+ps to rely on, they didn’t have any kind of significant advantage.
These 500,000 Black Ink soldiers sacrificed many of their comrades before finally getting close to the forward base; however, the moment they landed on the universe fragment, they were dumbstruck.
That was because this forward base, which was full of Humans before, was completely empty now. Regardless of where they looked, they couldn’t find a single Human on this large universe fragment.
Besides that, the artifacts that served as the Array Cores were gone as well. What was left behind were the large number of arrays that couldn’t be taken away.
The Territory Lords promptly scanned the surroundings with their Divine Senses, but as far as they could tell, the Humans were nowhere to be seen.
[Where are they?]
The Territory Lords were puzzled. How did all the Humans retreat in such a short time without leaving any traces behind?
Even the Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples, who had a deep understanding of what the Humans were capable of, couldn’t explain it; after all, it had been 30,000 years since they were corrupted by Black Ink Strength. Purifying Black Ink Battles.h.i.+ps and Universe Arrays only appeared after Yang Kai arrived, so how were they supposed to know the secrets behind them?
“d.a.m.n it!” One of the Territory Lords roared and stomped his foot on the ground. As his violent force burst forth, the entire universe fragment shook a little.
“Don’t!” Zhe Chong quickly tried to stop him, but it was too late.
A dangerous aura suddenly engulfed the entire universe fragment. Following that, the arrays that remained lit up and connected with each other.
After just a moment, the universe fragment was covered in a ma.s.sive Grand Array.
Just as the Black Ink Clansmen shot into the sky to escape, the universe fragment detonated. An intense destructive force swept out, battering all the Territory Lords.
After the shockwave subsided, Zhe Chong gazed around with a dark expression, only to see that the universe fragment was completely gone. Following this turn of events, more than 10,000 Black Ink Clansmen, who had landed on the universe fragment to investigate, lost their lives.
Those were mostly High-Rank and Low-Rank Black Ink Clansmen.
Although the Black Ink Clan hadn’t suffered immense losses, they were frustrated.
Regardless, Zhe Chong was glad that the universe fragment wasn’t that big. Out of an abundance of caution, he didn’t let a lot of Black Ink Clansmen land on the universe fragment; otherwise, there would have been many more casualties.
Zhe Chong turned to glower at the Territory Lord who stomped his foot back there. That Territory Lord was furious out of shame as he roared, “I must kill them! All of them!”
Barely two days had pa.s.sed since these 500,000 Black Ink Clansmen departed from Great Evolution Pa.s.s, but 10% of them had already perished.
Despite knowing that there were certainly more traps ahead of them, the remaining 450,000 Black Ink Clan soldiers had no choice but to keep moving forward.
Zhe Chong wasn’t a fool; if he was, he wouldn’t have promptly decided to run away from Wind and Cloud Pa.s.s back then. A foolish Territory Lord would never live long.
As he clashed with the North-South Army over the years, Zhe Chong came to realise that the enemy had a leader who was particularly good at devising tactics and laying out plans on the Humans’ side.
Faced with such an opponent, he had to be extremely careful; therefore, after the Black Ink Clansmen set off again, they no longer moved in a straight line. Instead, they kept making detours. Even Zhe Chong himself didn’t have a particular direction in mind. That way, he could ensure that the Army wouldn’t fall into the traps that the Humans had set up.
They were especially wary of areas that were full of asteroids or universe fragments. When they came across such places, they would steer clear.
That was because they had suffered from a similar setback already.
Three days later, the Humans were still nowhere in sight and the scouts that the Black Ink Clan had sent out couldn’t find anything. It was as though the Human soldiers had vanished into thin air.
However, Zhe Chong knew that the Humans wouldn’t give up so easily. They had to be hiding somewhere, waiting to launch a sneak attack on them.
Again, they circled around an area that was full of universe fragments; however, without a warning, light burst forth from the void itself. In an instant, numerous glowing objects appeared and connected with one another to form a Grand Array, cutting the Black Ink Clan Army in half.
The sudden change caused the Black Ink Clansmen who were moving forward in an orderly manner to descend into chaos.
Right then, the Humans appeared out of nowhere. No one knew where they had been hiding. It was as though they had simply manifested from nowhere.
The Wars.h.i.+ps charged forward and rained a series of attacks on the split up Black Ink Clan soldiers.
One hour after the battle began, the Humans retreated. By the time the Black Ink Clan Army was done reorganising itself, the Humans were gone.
If the Humans had left any later, the Black Ink Clan could have rallied together and dealt a heavy blow to them.
Although Zhe Chong was vexed, he wouldn’t dare to tell the others to pursue the Humans. No one could be certain whether there were any traps set up on the route the enemy had retreated.
Zhe Chong would appear useless if they fell into the Humans’ traps again.
Ordering the Black Ink Clan soldiers to pull themselves together, Zhe Chong continued their forward march.
Similar ambushes repeatedly over the next 10 days. Regardless of how hard Zhe Chong tried to suppress his fury, he was on the brink of flaring up.
There was one thing he just couldn’t understand, He had been ordering random changes in the Army’s marching direction all this time, leading to them to take 10 days to cross a distance which could normally be traversed in just 5; however, they had still repeatedly fallen into traps that the Humans had arranged.
There was no way this was a mere coincidence, nor was it possible that the Humans had accurately speculated about the route they would take; after all, even Zhe Chong had no idea about the next direction he would lead the Army towards, so how were the Humans supposed to figure it out?
There was only one possibility that could explain such a situation.
The Humans had simply set up a tremendous amount of traps in various places between Great Evolution Pa.s.s and the Royal City. Although the Black Ink Clan Army kept changing directions and successfully avoided some traps, they would inevitably fall into others.
Upon that realisation, Zhe Chong couldn’t help but groan.
If that was true, the number of traps that the Humans had arranged must be astronomical, as was the amount of resources they had consumed to make such a thing possible.
However, considering the fact that the Humans had occupied a forward base outside Great Evolution Pa.s.s for 100 years, keeping the Black Ink Clan contained there all this time, it wasn’t necessarily impossible for them to pull this off.
There was also another thing that bothered Zhe Chong though. When he told the soldiers to circ.u.mvent areas that were full of universe fragments or universe fragments on several occasions, they would always come across the traps that the Humans had arranged.
In that case, the Humans must have antic.i.p.ated his thought process and done the opposite. Instead of setting up traps inside the areas that were full of asteroids or universe fragments, they had done so in their periphery.
In other words, the areas that were full of asteroids or universe fragments were actually safe zones.
Upon that revelation, Zhe Chong thought of a solution.
Zhe Chong had started out with 500,000 soldiers, and still had many of them with him. It had been one month since they departed from Great Evolution Pa.s.s, but they had only crossed about 30% of the distance to the Royal City.
This couldn’t be helped. Even though they had avoided many of the traps the Humans had set up, they had also wasted a lot of time. If they had headed towards the Royal City in a straight line, they would have arrived at their destination in a little over a month.
Over the past month, the Black Ink Clan soldiers had clashed with the Humans on multiple occasions. Presently, only 400,000 of them were left. All the Territory Lords and Eighth-Order Black Ink Disciples were alive and kicking, but many of the Feudal Lords had lost their lives.
In the void, the Black Ink Clan Army continued heading towards the Royal City.
Meanwhile, the Wars.h.i.+ps of the North-South Army were hiding in an area that was full of universe fragments. With the help of the Wars.h.i.+ps, the Humans’ mobility and speed were superior to those of the Black Ink Clan. Therefore, the North-South Army could always stay one step ahead of the Black Ink Clan Army and set up obstructions.
The Universe Arrays on the two Purifying Black Ink Battles.h.i.+ps could ensure that if their speculation about the direction that the Black Ink Clan was heading was wrong, they could quickly re-deploy their forces.
Presently, aboard one of the Purifying Black Ink Battles.h.i.+ps, Mi Jing Lun, Ou Yang Lie, and the other Eighth-Order Division Commanders had gathered together.
With a solemn expression, Mi Jing Lun said, “If we’re lucky, the Black Ink Clan’s reinforcements will pa.s.s by this place. This is where we will engage them in a decisive battle.”
“Have we used up all our prior arrangements?” Ou Yang Lie asked. He wasn’t interested in managing the affairs of the Army, so he let Mi Jing Lun make all the decisions. What he excelled at was fighting powerful Black Ink Clansmen and killing them. Even though he knew a thing or two about the setups that the North-South Army’s soldiers had built, he didn’t know as much as Mi Jing Lun did.
Mi Jing Lun shook his head, “We set up countless traps, so how is it possible that they were all used up? Only 20% to 30% of them have been used, but we expected this outcome when we started making those arrangements. However, there’s nothing else beyond this point.”
This couldn’t be helped. Although the North-South Army had spent 100 years and consumed a ma.s.sive amount of resources to set up innumerable traps in the void, they couldn’t possibly build traps all the way from Great Evolution Pa.s.s to the Royal City in such a short amount of time.
This was already the best they could do. If the Black Ink Clan Army successfully crossed this point, there would no longer be any dangers ahead of them.