Book 8 Chapter 44 Stalemate
While the armies of the Yan Clan and the Xiahou Clan had no solution, suddenly—
An ear-piercing yell sounded from the west. The Yan Clan army’s morale had reached a low due to their inability to seize control of the northern hill. When they heard the shouts of “enemy attack,” they were overwhelmed and each of them firmly gripped the weapons in their hands. They awaited order and prepared for a counterattack. At the same time, battle had already begun between the western troops and the enemy.
As of now, the Yan Clan could no longer bother with attacking the northern hill.Yan Baishou, Xiaohou An, and the Steel Sword Martial Saint all gazed westward as a soldier carrying a small flag hurried over.
“Who are the attackers?” Yah Baishou’s expression changed only slightly as he queried the soldier.
“Reporting to Patriarch: It is the army of Duan Clan.” The reporting soldier hastened to add, “The Second General currently has the right flank of the army defending against the Duan Clan’s attacks.”
Yan Baishou responded with a nod.
“Let’s go.” The Steel Sword Martial Saint said in a low voice, “Let’s check on the front ranks.”
Immediately, the Steel Sword Martial Saint, Yan Baishou, and Xiahou An speeded towards the right flank. As they approached the vanguard, they could hear the sounds of clashes coming from the front. After a short while, when Yan Baishou and the others arrived in the midst of the army’s right flank, they could only hear mournful cries. “Run! Quick flee!”
Their banner had fallen and the troops were running about like headless chickens. Facing the attacks of the the Duan Clan’s elite troops had driven the army hysteric, causing their utter defeat.
Thousands of people had fought each other, but in fact it was a battle of morale.
Once the frontline broke, the body of the army collapsed. Even if the reserves were called in, their formations would be broken by the fleeing forward troops. It was like the proverb: “troops in defeat are like a landslide.” With the frontline in disarray, it would be extremely difficult to rectify the situation.
“Oh no.” Yan Baishou’s facial expression changed drastically.
“Why is the Duan Clan so powerful? How did their army defeat the right flank so quickly?” The Steel Sword Martial Saint was slightly surprised.
“Brother Xiahou, it all depends on you now,” Yan Baishou said and hastily shouted, “Wu Jian, lead your unit and obstruct them for fifteen minutes…while the others break the siege on the northern side!”
The defeated army was in shambles and now Yan Baishou was doing his best to minimize their losses.
An hour later.
With the Xiahou Clan’s aid, the Yan Clan army managed to defend against the Duan Clan’s offensive. The Yan Clan troops could finally take a breath after saving most of their troops. Still…bloodied remains could be seen throughout the forest. This one offensive had caused a loss of over ten thousand troops!
“Duan Shijin, if I don’t take vengeance for this, I avow to no longer live as a human being!” Yan Baishou, who appeared begrimed, looked toward the west and gnashed his teeth angrily.
The Yan CLan had lost almost ten thousand members within an hour. Even Baishou’s biological brother, Yan Bailie, had been trampled to death by the routed troop! The death of his brother and shellshock enraged Yan Baishou.
“Why is the army of Duan Clan so powerful?” Xiahou An’s facial expression appeared ghastly as he said, “The Xiahou Clan was totally prepared. . We observed well and found a chance to reinforce, but we were still forced to retreat a distance one Li and suffered thousands of casualties.”
The Steel Sword Martial Saint said in a deep tone, “The elite troops of the Duan Clan were leading the army and all the soldiers of the elite troops wore top-notch armor. Each of these sets of armor was worth several thousand silver taels. Common swords and blades cannot even scratch such armor. WIth over a thousand elite soldiers equipped in such armor leading the attack, it wouldn’t be odd to not be able to defend against such a force.
“How did the Duan Clan acquire such fine armor?” Xiahou An narrowed his eye and said, there are only a few sets of such armor on the continent. Even with funds, it wouldn’d be easy to buy over a thousand such.”
Because there were over a hundred clans vying for hegemony over the continent, the Duanmu Continent’s people valued the accoutrements of war greatly.
Not to mention such top-notch armor as this, even ordinary and inferior armor had to be strictly controlled. A full suit of such armor cost several thousand silver taels. It would require over one million silver taels to purchase that amount of armor… That at least was the normal price, but it was impossible for an ordinary clan to purchase such a huge quantity of armor.
“It is possible that the Duan Clan has kept its strength well hidden. Maybe it kept such armor in secret as well, Yan Baishou said coldly.
“Maybe not. There’s a more troubling possibility.” The Steel Sword Martial Saint spoke in a deep tone, drawing the attention of Yan Baishou and Xiahou An.
A more troubling possibility?
“The Rising Sun Trading Company might be secretly supporting Duan Clan!” The Steel Sword Martial Saint continued saying.
Yan Baishou and Xiahou An immediately gasped. “If so, then that’s troublesome.” Xiahou An’s facial expression changed.
The forces of the Rising Sun Trading Company were spread throughout the continent.. Twenty to thirty percent of the profit gained through the slave trade on the continent belonged to the Rising Sun Trading Company. The Rising Sun Trading Company had guards in each and every city of the continent! Although the forces of the Rising Sun Trading Company were scattered throughout the surface of the continent, if all the forces assembled, it would be a terrifying number.
“Don’t worry now.”
The Steel Sword Martial Saint said calmly, “Previously, we wanted to press on without letup and seize control of the northern hill. If that was our goal, we have achieved half. However, since we didn’t seize control of the northern hill, there’s no rush to attack again. As of now, the Tantai Clan, Dong Clan, and the Fu Clan have done nothing. With so many troops dispatched, it is impossible for them to just sit by and watch.”
Yan Baishou and Xiahou An nodded.
“Now, we shall watch the changes in silence.” The Steel Sword Martial Saint gazed at the northern hill. At this moment, the army of the Duan Clan occupied the bottom of the northern hill. “Moreover, Mister Teng is currently at the peak of the northern hill, making it impossible for the army of the Duan Clan to take the northern hill.”
“Yes. It is impossible.”
As they thought of the skills that Teng Qingshan had displayed, Yan Baishou and Xiahou An felt even more at ease.
“Just let this Duan Clan experience the strength of that Teng Qingshan.” Yan Baishou thought with evil intentions.
On the summit of the northern hill:
Teng Qingshan was still silently sitting cross legged. The bloody battle waged at the foot of the hill bothered him not at all.
“The Duan Clan has some skills. It actually forced the Xiahou Clan and Yan Clan back,” Teng Qingshan noted as he looked down toward the army below.
The army below was in perfect order. It was a neat formation of over ten thousand soldiers and all the soldiers were looking up towards the peak of the hill. Being stared at by so many soldiers would normally cause one to feel great pressure, yet Teng Qingshan looked down with a grin, as though he was a god staring at numerous ordinary human beings.
“Mister Teng!” A voice rang loud and clear from the middle of the army. “I am Duan Shijin. I have heard of Mister’s name for a long time. I was fortunate enough to witness the duel between Mister and the Steel Sword Martial Saint. Mister is truly powerful, but the Duan Clan’s army numbers ten thousand. We do not wish to antagonize Mister, so Mister, please give us the northern hill…The Duan Clan will definitely repay you greatly later on.”
Teng Qingshan shook his head and smiled.
“Duan Shijin, please leave as soon as possible.” Teng Qingshan’s clear voice resounded throughout forest.
“Mister Teng…” Duan Shijin still wanted to try persuasion.
“Leave now.” Teng Qingshan said indifferently.
Because Duan Shijin had never seen Teng Qingshan’s capabilities, he did not think that Teng Qingshan alone could stop an army of over ten thousand from taking the hill. Therefore, he immediately commanded over a thousand soldiers to scatter rapidly toward the bottom of the hill, and most of them started climbing together at once. However, when the soldiers had struggled and climbed only half of the hill:
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
Numerous fiery rocks pierced through the air and flew towards the climbing soldiers, causing the walls of the northern hill to crash and explode. A huge pile of broken rocks tumbled down and smashed into the climbing soldiers, causing them to fall from a high altitude. They crashed onto the rock below and they died on the spot as their brains burst from their skulls.. There were a few lucky ones who managed to survive however.
During the first wave attack, the Duan Clan lost several hundred men.
Painful cries and moans could be heard.
When the soldiers of Duan Clan saw this scene, their faces paled. They were all afraid…afraid of being ordered to climb the hill.
“This..this…” Duan Shijin was protected by many soldiers. He had always been a very elegant and refined middle-aged man. At this moment, his face appeared unpleasant.
“Brother Duan.” A deep-sounding voice rang from afar.
Wearing black armor and a helmet, a man was seen walking over. His face was covered by the helmet’s iron visor, thus his visage could barely be made out.
Duan Shijin looked back and hastily went over.
“Give up.” The armored man approached Duan Shijin and whispered many things. In the beginning, Duan Shijin wouldn’t agree, but after a while, he finally concurred.
“Eh?” Teng Qinghsan looked down and saw that the soldiers had begun to retreat. They began carrying the corpses of their fellow soldiers and began to rest. Smoke billowed into the sky as the soldiers began cooking.
“Giving up so quickly.” Teng Qingshan smiled and said, “It’s good to concede victory. I will under no circumstances allow any clan to seize complete control over this northern hill.. It would be great if the Tantai,Wu, and Dong Clans brought their armies closer to the canyon. Then all of them would impede each other…”
Everything was just as Teng Qingshan had planned. None of the clans dared to surround the canyon. If they did, they would be attacked by the other clans.
Each clan could only occupy a certain region around the canyon.
The Xiahou Clan, Yan Clan, Duan Clan, Dong Clan, Yantai Clan, Wu Clan, as well as the Fu Clan that arrived on the morning of the second day, were very close to the Fiery Gilt Steel Canyon. The seven clans restricted each other.It was obvious, however, that the Yan and Xiahou Clans’ alliance possessed the most power. .
In a big tent on the Fu Clan’s military campground.
Teng Qingshan, Li Jun, Teng Shou, Yang Dong, Blue Luan, and the Whole Gale Eagle were inside the tent.
“Mister.” Fu Dao said as he entered the tent.
“Mister had worked hard this time. If it weren’t for Mister, the Xiahou Clan and Yan Clan would have already occupied the northern hill. With the strength of two clans they would have the advantage of terrain and have sealed the canyon. If that were to happen…it would require a five to six times number advantage to make a successful offensive,” Fu Dao said with a smile.
Teng Qingshan shook his head and replied, “Fu Dao, Fu Clan has too little manpower. It would be extremely difficult to seize control of this deposit with your current forces.”
Even though Teng Qingshan possessed exceptional abilities, he was alone.
“Yes.” Fu Dao replied anxiously, “Now the seven clans have fallen into a stalemate. The Fu Clan was only able to match the other six clans due to Mister’s help! WIth mister’s ability is would be possible to take the northern hill. However, the Fu Clan…””
Fu Dai himself knew well the weakness of his clan.
“Fu Dao, the other clans outside are probably about to start forming an alliance, right?” Teng Qingshan asked.
Fu Dao nodded and replied, “This time, the Wu Clan suffered greatly because they were attacked from both sides by the Yan Clan and Xiahou Clan. I reckon that Tantai Clan, Dong Clan, and the other clans know how things stand. An alliance must be formed. It would be extremely difficult for a single clan to seize the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit.”
“Mister Teng.” A shout sounded outside the pavilion.
“Come in.” Teng Qingshan responded.
The one who entered was the Patriarch of Fu Clan, Fu Yunzhan. Fu Yunzhan appeared exhilarated as he looked towards Fu Dao and said, “Uncle, a messenger of Duan Clan is outside.”
“Duan Clan?” Fu Dao couldn’t help but show a sense of joy.
“However, they said they wish to meet Mister Teng.” Fu Yunzhan stared at Teng Qingshan.