Book 8 Chapter 43 My Territory
The scout of the army naturally knew the people of importance in the other clans. Teng Qingshan’s prestige was extremely high. If he could not even recognize Teng Qingshan, how could he be worthy of becoming a scout?
“Teng Qingshan?” Yan Baishou’s eyes twitched, and Yan Baishou involuntarily turned his head to look at the Steel Sword Martial Saint by his side.
“Looks like things are not going smoothly.”
The Steel Sword Martial Saint’s expression changed slightly. “Brother Yan, let’s go to the front and find out just what is happening.” Under normal circumstances, the patriarch, Yan Baishou, would usually be heavily protected by the military and would rarely head to the frontlines. At this point in time, however, he could not be bothered with the normal protocols and rushed to the frontlines with the Steel Sword Martial Saint.
The two mountains which surrounded the Fiery Gilt Steel Canyon of the Ox-Head Mountain were in fact just two ordinary and hills of unequal height. However, the interesting thing to note was that while the southern ridge was 30 Zhang high and around a few hundred Zhang long, and capable of accommodating several hundred men, the northern ridge was totally different. It was almost 80 zhang high and boasted 100 Zhang of continuous flat ground at its peak. The northern ridge was fully capable of accommodating not just a few hundred but a few thousand men!
In other words, as long as a few thousand men held fort on top of this hill, even if there were to be an overwhelming number of enemies charging into the canyon, it would be an easy to hold them off. Granted, even if the defenders were to casually nudge a boulder off the cliff, the said boulder would be able to decimate a huge number of hostiles. At a height of 80 Zhang high, even if the boulder were small, it would still cause a huge impact once it hit the bottom.
Anybody who had even an inkling of military tactics would definitely understand the importance of the northern hill.
Thus, it could be said that whoever controlled this northern hill practically controlled half of the steel ore deposit.
“By hook or by crook, we must gain control of the northern hill.” Yan Baishou’s heart palpitated anxiously.
“We pay our respects to the Patriarch!”
“We pay our respects to the Patriarch!”
Yan Baishou and Steel Sword Martial Saint rushed to the front of the troops, and the continuous stretch of the northern ridge was already in sight. This nameless short hill would definitely be recorded in the annals of history in the future, as at this moment, there were numerous soldiers packed at the bottom of it.
Yet on the top of the northern hill, there was a man sitting cross-legged with black rod strapped around his waist.
A gush of wind blew against the summit of the mountain, fluttering the man’s long hair. Yet the wind could not sway the figure!
At this moment, the thousands of men craned their necks and gazed at that man sitting there. Even though his silhouette was small, he gave off an imposing and majestic presence. This was the one who was known as the Most Powerful Martial Saint— the number one Martial Saint under heavens— Teng Qingshan! With the mere presence of one man, the thousands of men were left at their wits ends.
“It’s him!” Yan Baishou eyes flickered with a cold gaze.
“It’s Mister Teng!” The Steel Sword Martial Saint furrowed his brows. He had nothing but respect and reverence for Teng Qingshan, however, the Tianfeng clan placed much importance on this Fiery Glint Steel Ore Deposit and hence dispatched him here.
“Patriarch.” A stocky man with a square-jawed face and black battle armor said anxiously, “With Martial Saint Mister Teng camping on the northern hill, my men and I are simply unable to advance up the hill. This short hill is extremely hard to climb and only the elites are able to ascend it. However, those who did were promptly killed by Martial Saint Mister Teng’s casual toss of rocks. Even if we’re able to dodge Mister Teng’s rock projectiles, we’ll still turn into a bloody corpse while falling down from that mountain.
“Patriarch, there is no way for us to advance up the mountain.” The square-jawed face man said anxiously.
Yan Baishou pointed with fury toward the northern hill. “Look there! This hill has a continuous ridgeline of more than a hundred Zhang. This Teng Qingshan is powerful, yes, but he’s still merely one person! I refuse to believe that when hundreds of our troops scale this northern mountain simultaneously, he’ll be able to suppress them all!”
With a ridgeline of a few hundred Zhang, there would definitely be a foothold of more than one or two Li!
“Patriarch, his stone-flicking technique is just way too powerful.” The square-jawed face man continued, “He does not even need to move. He merely sits at one location and casually throws a few stones. Just that alone is capable of crushing our troops to a bloody pulp or force them to fall to their deaths!”
“Stones?” Yan Baishou frowned, “Is it really possible that he is able to hit a target accurately even across a span of a hundred Zhang?”
“Yes.” The square-jawed face man continued, “That’s right. Mister Teng is extremely skilled in his concealed weapons technique.”
For the rest of his life, the square-jawed face man would never forget the fearful scene—
At his command, several hundred of his troops had surged from all directions and begun climbing up the northern hill. Yet Teng Qingshan had continued to sit calmly at the peak and had merely casually flung a couple of stones when the troops reached the midway point up the hill. These rocks had not hit the soldiers, but they smashed into the rock walls of the hill instead!
The force behind the rocks was so tremendous it was akin to a powerful bomb exploding. It caused the ground to rupture and a large amount of loose boulders to cascade downwards.
The sudden fall of the boulders had caused many of the troops, who were already exhausted from the arduous climbing, to lose their grip and tumble down the hill. This had only been the first wave of projectiles, yet it had already caused many soldiers to fall. Some of the soldiers which had just started climbing hastily jumped to the ground!
Even though there had been troops who had managed to avoid the first wave of stones, the second wave of projectiles by Teng Qingshan had then landed their marks on those fast climbing elite troopers.
Within the radius of a hundred Zhang, perhaps it would be hard pressed for an ordinary person to have a clear vision over a distance of one or two Li. However, for Teng Qingshan, who had reached the peak of his physical performance and the absolute physical limits imposed by the boundaries of the Nine Prefectures, his vision and hearing had already reached a terrifying level. Therefore, Teng Qingshan could sense every movement.
“Mister Teng!” Yan Baishou shouted,
His voice echoed and resonated throughout the mountainous forest while his troops listened intently.
“May I please trouble Mister Teng to yield this northern hill…… My Yan Clan will not dare to forget this favor. If Mister were to have any requests of us, do not hesitate to ask us,”Yan Baishou yelled.
There was nothing else they could do. Since a forceful method would not achieve any results, perhaps a softer stance might do.
“Haha……” A crisp and clear laughter rang out from the cross-legged man, propagating outwards in ripples and reverberating among the horizons. “Yan Baishou, I have always thought of you as a competent man of reason and logic. Who would have thought that you would spout such a joke today? If you were the one in my shoes, would you yield this hill?”
Hearing the reply, Yan Baishou froze.
The numerous soldiers of the Yan Clan, although both frightened and resentful, were filled with respect and reverence toward that man who sat cross-legged confidently on the peak of the hill. He was just one man holding fort. With a casual swish and flick of his arm, he had prevented thousands of men from ascending this northern hill. How could one not admire him when he had such prowess?
In the hearts of numerous soldiers, a feeling of veneration and yearning toward the strong blossomed.
They hoped that one day, they would also be able to become an unrivaled existence in the continent!
The Yan Clan’s armies were helpless before such an obstacle. Yan Baishou, Xiahou An, and the Steel Sword Martial Saint were all gathered in a circle, troubled over their plan of seizing the northern hill.
They were extremely clear of the fact that……
If they were to enter the valley before capturing the northern hill, they would just be leading their troops to their own deaths.
“This Teng Qingshan!!!” Yan Baishou raged.
“He really is someone who is unmoved by force or persuasion.” Xiahou An shook his head in frustration. Even if they were to use force, would it be possible? The opponent was the number one Martial Saint under heavens!
“With a height of seven to eight Zhang, there’s no way ladders would be able to reach that high.”
“Ropes are useless too.”
The Steel Sword Martial Saint was frowning continuously. However, at this moment, his gaze then landed on the large trees which surrounded the northern hill. Most of these ancient trees seemed like they were hundreds or even a thousand years old, and were no shorter than the northern hill.
“ Oh, yes.” The Steel Sword Martial Saint’s eyes sparkled.
“Brother Yan and Brother Xiahou.” The Steel Sword Martial Saint pointed towards the huge trees.
“What’s the matter?” Xiahou An and Yan Baishou stared at him blankly.
“We can let the troops climb those ancient trees. The crown of the trees is at a comparable height with the northern hill.” The Steel Sword Martial Saint smiled and said, “The troops will then be able to lasso the ropes over and create a foothold on the northern hill. This would be akin to a rope bridge. Afterward, the troops will be able to access the hill quickly by using these ropes.”
Xiahou An and Yan Baishou brightened at the thought of this plan.
“Haha! As expected, Brother Helian is amazing!” The two men guffawed in exultation.
There might not be much in this mountain region, but there were plenty of these ancient trees!
Furthermore, who amongst these troops did not have a strength of a few hundred Jin? By just utilising a single rope, the men would be able to scuttle up the tree speedily. As for those who were experts in Qinggong, they would be able to use the rope as a footing and “fly” rapidly towards the summit of the hill.
Xiahou An’s sole eye flickered with a burning light, and he continued excitedly, “There are almost a hundred of such ancient trees surrounding this northern hill! And on every tree, we are able to lasso a few ropes… With these hundred trees, we would have a few hundred rope lashings! Once our troops charge up there, there’s no doubt that thousands of them will be able to ascend in a short period of time!.”
“What does it matter if he’s the Most Powerful Martial Saint? Teng Qingshan is, after all, still just a Martial Saint. He does not have limitless innate True Origin. With Brother Yan’s and my forces combined, we have a total strength of more than 10 thousand men! How will Teng Qingshan be able to intercept and restrain them all? It’ll be more likely that he will escape once our huge army advances to the top.”
When the order was passed down, the huge mass of troops advanced in an orderly fashion towards those ancient trees surrounding the hill and started to climb upwards.
The troops were like monkeys, ascending quickly up the huge trees.
At the summit of the hill, Teng Qingshan sat cross-legged.
“Climbing the trees?” Teng Qingshan gazed at the troops who were carrying bundles and bundles of large rope and could not resist letting out a mirthful smile. “So, it seems that they want to make a number of rope bridges… Indeed, once those rope bridges are completed, I’m afraid I won’t be able to handle so many people by myself.”
Soon after, Teng Qingshan slapped on a nearby boulder. With a shudder, it split apart into countless small rock fragments.
He then continued to sit at his original position and grabbed a few fragments casually, flicking them one by one. The flicking strength of 70 to 80 thousand Jin caused the stone fragments to have an extremely high velocity, splitting apart the air flow as they flew through the sky. As a result of the high speed, the intense friction caused the entirety of each stone fragment to ignite into flames!
The flaming rock fragments whistled through the air, aiming for the trunks of those ancient hundred- or even thousand-year-old trees.
“Boom!” A loud explosion resounded, and a hole was blasted through the trunk of a huge ancient tree. The top half of the tree toppled down to the ground on its side with a loud bang.
“Pew! Pew! Pew!”
The flaming rock fragments whistled across the sky like meteorites and bombarded towards the huge tree trunks.
“Boom! Boom! Boom!”
One by one, the ancient trees were unable to withstand the attacks. The huge trees were either blasted into smithereens or snapped into half from the impact. The ancient trees fell one by one, causing many members of the troops to cry in alarm and fear as they fell from the trees. If they were lucky, they would merely suffer a broken leg or two. There were some who fell from a height of almost 10 Zhang and died instantly.
The sight of the ancient trees falling caused many soldiers in the vicinity to cry out in anguish.
“How… How is this possible??”
“Why is this happening? These are such wide and thick trees… How were they snapped into two just like that?”
Yan Baishou, Xiahou An, and the Steel Sword Martial Saint looked on in disbelieved at this scene.
“How can the rock fragments be so powerful? This is impossible!” The Steel Sword Martial Saint shook his head repeatedly, “That is a pebble. It’s not dark steel! It should not be able to sustain such powerful Innate True Origin! How is it possible that it is so strong?!
Yan Baishou and the others were completely stunned, while the whole army was in disarray and filled with cries of anguish. Throughout all of that, Teng Qingshan sat, tranquil and serene, at the summit of the hill.