The Black Swallow Army was an elite and formidable army, secretly trained by Fan Yuqi. In terms of the resources given to them and the quality of the soldiers, they were just slightly weaker than the Blood Swallow Army, which was an army under the direct command of Yan Dan. On an average, the soldiers in Black Swallow Army had the cultivation base of fifty years in Houtian realm. For each team of five soldiers, their leader would be a peak-stage Houtian warrior, while the team of ten and one hundred soldiers would be led by Daoists of Xiantian realm.
They were very strong soldiers, yet many of them were wounded or killed in the forest by the small troop of scouts from Qin army.
The soldiers from Qin army were all clad in lightweight armor, allowing them to dash and race through the forest like monkeys, poking their heads here and there like ghosts. Nimbly, they drifted here and there in the forest, and would shoot out deadly arrows every now and then. On the other side, the Black Swallow Army, who was clad in heavy armor, was more suitable to fight a head-to-head battle. They could not catch up with the speed of those Qin scouts, and were taking a serious beating from their enemies. Whenever the twanging of bowstring rang out, there would always be one to two Black Swallow soldiers falling dead.
Nevertheless, there would be some Qin scouts that occasionally got trapped by Black Swallow soldiers. When that happened, the Black Swallow soldiers would give the Qin scouts a round of messy chopping and hacking with their blades, killing them on the spot. In the small patch of forest, a fierce battle broke out, with both sides trying to kill each other whenever there was an opportunity. However, for everyone Qin scout that was killed, there would always be two or more Black Swallow soldiers falling.
Wu Qi's face turned gloomy. He gave a man standing right next to him a look, who was the captain of the Black Swallow Army stationed in Yunxia Ridge, sneered and said, "Utilizing our weak points to attack the enemy at their strong points, is this the warfare method General Fan taught you all? Beat the gongs and withdraw the soldiers from the forest. Dispatch the Mo Machines and shower the entire forest with bolts!"
The name of the captain was Fan Sheng. He was from Fan Yuqi's clan, and was assigned as the captain to a troop of ten thousand soldiers. Upon hearing what Wu Qi told him, he frowned and replied with a rather unpleasant look on his face, "Withdraw from the forest? We are the men from Fan clan, and we never withdraw once we set our foot on the battlefield! Even if we are eventually killed on the battlefield, that will be our honor! Beat the gongs and withdraw the soldiers? This is a disgraceful decision, and we will never do that!"
Wu Qi was left speechless. He turned and gave Lu Chengfeng a look.
Lu Chengfeng shook his head and gave him a wry smile while saying, "We are only in charge of rear supply and military law, while General Fan Yuqi is the one who decides how they fight the war."
What he said was true. In this war, everyone had their own duties, and it was Fan Yuqi's duty to decide how they were going to fight the war with Qin army. Although both Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng had a very high authority in their hands, they were not in charge of any actual military operation. They did not have any direct commanding right on Fan Sheng. At most, after the current battle ended and Fan Sheng failed in the operation, Wu Qi could chop off his head afterward as the punishment of being defeated in a battle. But while the military operation was ongoing, there was nothing Wu Qi could do about this Fan Sheng.
Twanging sounds of bowstrings rang out again. Another few Black Swallow soldiers were caught off guard and struck down by the arrows.
Suddenly, a Qin scout, who appeared to be their leader, stood looking at the outpost and gave a loud laugh, "So, this is the highly acclaimed elite soldiers and formidable captains of Great Yan Dynasty? We are killing you like slaughtering chickens! Hey, those sissies on the outpost, send some real men here and fight with us!"
Then, the leader, who most probably was a captain to a ten men team and possessed the cultivation base of Xiantian Respiration tier, sprung and raced along the branches, swinging from tree to tree with ghostly movement while holding a two-feet short blade that was more suitable to be used in fighting within a forest. He pierced through the air and chopped off the heads of two Black Swallow soldiers. Two streams of blood shot out, and the leader gave out a few nasty laughs before rushing back quickly to where he came from.
From behind a large rock tens of Black Swallow soldiers rushed out, furiously as they raised their eight-feet long blades in the air and chased after the leader of the Qin scout. When they came to a distance of about one thousand feet, a group of Qin scouts suddenly poked out from the top of a few large trees around them, released the bowstrings and shot out a rain of arrows at this group of Black Swallow soldiers, killing all of them on the spot. When this group of soldiers was killed, the ratio of death between both parties became one-to-four.
A very unsightly expression emerged on Fan Sheng's face. He stamped his feet angrily and cried out, "These bastards! Why are they not fighting openly and honorably with my men?!" In a towering rage, Fan Sheng grabbed his personal weapon from a nearby guard, a twelve feet long mace, then swelled with anger as he brought a troop of one thousand Black Swallow soldiers, left the outpost and plunged into the forest.
Wu Qi shook his head. This Fan Sheng indeed had a mind as hard as a rock. As the Black Swallow Army was clad in heavy armor, their weapons were long blades, and their mounts were heavy assault cow-headed beasts. Their strength lied in a head-to-head battle. They were the heavy army that would be best used in charging into the enemy's formation on an open field, but not fighting with enemy's scouts in a forest. How was it possible for a group of fearsome tigers to catch a group of monkeys in the forest?
Shaking his head and letting out a displeased snort, Wu Qi turned to Yan Bugui, who followed beside Lu Chengfeng, and said, "Deploy the men from Scouting Office. I want none of the Qin scouts leaving this forest alive. This is the first time we engage with Qin army. If the casualties are too great, it will definitely hurt our spirit." He paused for a brief while, then continued in a cold voice, "I propose that we send Fan Sheng back to General Fan Yuqi, so he can be re-educated and retrained. A man like this is not a suitable candidate to be stationed in our frontline outpost. It is better for him to get ready in Meng City, preparing for a head-to-head battle with Qin army."
From his storage ring, Lu Chengfeng took out a piece of blank official paper specially prepared for West Field Headquarter, then began drafting out an official report about the treatment that Fan Sheng should receive for his failure in the military operation using a writing brush. When he was done, he spun and gave it to Lu Quyuan. The current status of Lu Quyuan was the military discipline officer in the West Field Headquarter, in charge of all the official affairs related to military discipline. He took over the official paper with a bow. With that, Fan Sheng was going to face a serious consequence for his behavior.
Suddenly, a cultivator came rushing to them on a flying sword while crying out loud, "There are Qin scouts attacking the outpost in Black Cloud Ridge on the north! General Jing Buju had forced them back by shooting them with bolts and arrows!" Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng exchanged a glance, both having a smile on their faces. Jing Buju was a member of Jing Ke's clan, the seventeenth generations great-grandson of his, and was currently leading an army guarding the Black Could Ridge. Apparently, this Jing Buju was much cleverer than Fan Sheng, as he did not send his soldiers to fight with Qin scouts in the forest.
Not long after that came another two cultivators, both bringing them the situation about the other few outposts. It was almost at the same time that those Qin scouts came distracting and scouting at a few frontline outposts. All the generals and captains of Fan clan had made the same decision of fighting those scouts in the forest, and none of them could attain any success. On the other side, the generals and captains from Jing Ke's clan were either dispersing those scouts with arrows and bolts, or they would just simply ignore them. The Qin scouts did not cause any real damage to them.
Howling of wolves could be heard coming from everywhere, as a group of over one hundred secret agents from Scouting Office charged into the forest. Bright green lights were seen bursting out from their back, as one after another Wind-breaking Wolves made their debut, abruptly increasing the overall strength of these secret agents to Xiantian realm. These secret agents had been roaming through the mountains and forests all year long, which made their personal strength at least double the Qin scouts, and gave them a richer experience fighting in the forest. In just the time it took to finish a pot of tea, all the Qin scouts were killed.
Fan Sheng gave vent to a torrent of abuse. Although he had brought a troop of one thousand soldiers into the forest, he did not touch even a single hair of those Qin scouts. While cursing without an end, he brought his men and began retreating towards Yunxia Ridge. However, right after he and the secret agents of Scouting Office left the forest, a large sheet of flame about several miles in circumference suddenly soared up from the forest, transforming into a giant hand that blotted out the sky and slapped ferociously onto Fan Sheng and all the men around him.
A loud boom rang out, and the entire forest turned completely into ashes that flew everywhere. Fan Sheng, who had the cultivation base of peak-stage Xiantian realm, together with one thousand Black Swallow soldiers and over one hundred secret agents of Scouting Office, were all turned into nothingness amidst the raging flame. A black-robed practitioner from Qin army dashed out from the forest behind, laughing and stepping onto a cloud, then flew up to a height parallel to the surrounding tree crowns.
The practitioner pointed his finger at Wu Qi's direction, laughing out loud and said, "Listen up, the people of Great Yan! In no time, the mighty army of Great Qin will come to you! We will destroy your Ji City and make the land of Great Yan part of our territory! What happened today is just a small lesson for you. If you still refuse to surrender, all of you will be wiped out very soon! None of your souls will be spared!"
After gave out another few wild laughs, the practitioner spun and flew away. Wu Qi, Lu Chengfeng, and all the cultivators who followed them here immediately exploded with anger. Together with a few Human Immortals from Indestructible Sect that were stationed in Yunxia Ridge, they transformed into many bright beams, shooting into the sky and began chasing the practitioner.
The poor practitioner who stealthily followed behind the Qin scouts only had the cultivation base of early-stage Gold Core realm. After killing over one thousand Great Yan's soldiers and retreating complacently, he never expected that he would actually be chased by a group of ferocious cultivators. The last thing he knew was a tremendous pressure that came down to him, and before he could let out a shocking cry, catfish-flood-dragon had opened her large mouth and swallowed the unlucky practitioner.
She smacked her lips, looking at Wu Qi and said, "He is a little bit too skinny, not much meat. Hmm, his cultivation base is Gold Core realm, does not provide too much of benefit to me. Eh, it seems there is a Qin army camp not far in front. Shall we go there and kill all of them? You will handle those ordinary humans, and give those who have formed their Gold Core to me. I want to eat them!"
Wu Qi stood looking at where she pointed. Indeed, there was a small temporary camp with about seven to eight hundred men. It should be a camp set up by Qin army which served as a frontline outpost. Upon thinking about the over one thousand Black Swallow soldiers and secret agents from Scouting Office who were killed by this practitioner, Wu Qi sneered and nodded his head, bringing all the cultivators and flying towards the camp at top speed.
When they were still about tens of miles away from the camp, two Gold Core practitioners shot into the sky and came to them. But when they saw the aggressive look of Wu Qi and all the other men, and the presence of over twenty Gold Core cultivators, they immediately spun and fled without saying anything.
But how could they escape from this group of angered cultivators? Wu Qi waved his left arm without hesitation. A bright yellow glow flickered and flashed on the surface of the Dragon Scales Shield, followed by the shooting of two yellow beams that took the shape of a dragon scale. They pierced through the air with deep and muffled whizzing sound, and forcefully impacted into the back of two practitioners. A ring of faint halo sprung out from the bodies of two practitioners as they had activated their defensive gears. But it was too bad that their defensive gears were merely two middle-grade magical items. The two razor-sharp dragon scales which came with over fifty thousand kilograms of weight had easily torn apart their magical item, then continued ripping their upper bodies into pieces.
After that, two dragon scales spun and returned to the shield. Hastily, catfish-flood-dragon dashed forward and swallowed the bodies of two Gold Core practitioners into her mouth.
A great confusion broke out in the Qin army camp. Coldly Wu Qi looked down at it, waved his left arm again and unleashed a large curtain of yellow light, thrusting it straight down to the camp with a loud rumble. The curtain of yellow light crashed onto the camp like a great mountain, crushing the entire camp and all the seven to eight hundred Qin soldiers into ashes.
Different news was coming to them from various locations.
Qin army had sent out small troops of soldiers to different locations, assaulting the Yan soldiers everywhere. Every troop of these Qin soldiers was accompanied by Gold Core practitioners. When the Qin army was about to be defeated, the practitioner would unleash a very powerful spell and kill a great number of Yan soldiers. In just a few hours, the Yan army had suffered several tens of thousands of casualties.
Meanwhile, the army of Great Yan was also accompanied by many cultivators, and they too had launched counterstrike at the Qin army. When faced with the absolute power of cultivators, ordinary soldiers were just too weak to be compared. As a result, a similar number of Qin soldiers were also turned into ashes by the cultivators from Yan army.
It was a war of short duration which lasted only until midnight. After that, all the Qin soldiers retreated and disappeared, disengaging themselves from the Yan army.