In the depths of the Meng Mountains, under a tall tree on a little hill surrounded by clear waters, Ying Zheng and Guigu'zi were in the middle of playing a chess game.
Black and white chess pieces were scattered across the chessboard. Ying Zheng was playing with black chess pieces. He was aggressive in the game, and there was a domineering air vaguely hiding in the way he played the game. Each of the chess pieces was always placed on the spot where the opponent was forced to come out with a countermeasure. The chessboard was filled with immense killing intent, and it was coming from the black chess pieces. On the other side, Guigu'zi was playing with white chess pieces, yet, the way he played the game was beyond description. Sometimes, it felt rather uncertain and drifting, yet sometimes it was filled with killing intent. Sometimes, it looked profound and primitive, and sometimes it just seemed plain stupid and naive. The pattern of how he played the game gave forth a messy feeling. However, in such a messy, unorganized pattern, the domineering situation created by Ying Zheng was severely disrupted and brought into a chaotic situation.
Feeling a little bit headache, Ying Zheng shook his head and played a cheat by messing up all the chess pieces with his hand. Then, he forced a smile and said, "Old mister, your abilities are so mysterious that even gods and spirits cannot predict them. I'm just a mortal, and thus, I can't defeat a divine being such as you."
Guigu'zi picked up a cup of fresh tea placed near the chessboard and took a few sips out of it. Then, he finally shook his head, sighed and said, "You're indeed the Emperor of Great Qin, for your ability to flatter always seems weaker than other men. Hehe, I dare not claim myself as a divine being, as under the heaven, there are still many men that can compete with me, and currently, Great Yan has two of them."
Ying Zheng's face fell, then he said in a deep voice, "Mo Di, Xun Kuang... Can both of them provide their service to Great Qin?"
Guigu'zi gave Ying Zheng a surprised look. Immediately, Ying Zheng blushed with shame, bowed his head, and apologized, "I've made a mistake. Mo Di is the patriarch of Mo Clan, and Xun Kuang is universally acknowledged as the wisest man under the heaven. Since both of them had already pledged to provide their service to someone else, naturally I cannot use them anymore. What a pity, why are they not living in Great Qin's territory? They have now become Yan Dan's advantage!"
After giving out a few rather emotional remarks, Ying Zheng frowned and said, "So with both of them acting as the restraining power, doesn't that mean old mister can no longer act on your will?"
Guigu'zi nodded and said, "Yes, you're right. I've already discussed and come to a conclusion with Mo Di and Xun Kuang that unless we are facing other powers, none of us will interfere in the war between Great Qin and Great Yan. The cultivation base of Mo Di and Xun Kuang is not weaker than mine. Mo Di is an expert in the field of mechanics, while Xun Kuang is an expert in dharma spells. Although I am an expert in Daoist magic and the Dao of formations and runes, but the combined power of both of them is stronger than me alone. Thus, rather than wasting our mental and physical efforts, it is better for the three of us to not do anything."
Ying Zheng nodded his head slowly, then turned to look at Yuyao, who was sitting right next to him, smiling and brewing a pot of tea. A gentle smile emerged on Ying Zheng's stiffened face as he said, "Sister, this is just a trivial matter. Why should you do it yourself?"
Yuyao gave him a smile, then poured Ying Zheng and Guigu'zi each a fresh cup of tea. She wiped away the sweat on her forehead with her sleeve and said, "I have not seen you for over two thousand years, and I've no idea how did you manage to muddle your way through these years. How could I have a peace of mind if I let other people handle these tasks?"
They smiled into each other's eyes, and their palms tightly gripped together. Taking the opportunity, Yuyao fell into Ying Zheng's arms, as they kept looking into each other's eyes with deep feelings, forgetting all the things and matters around them. Beside them, Guigu'zi shook his head, picked up his teacup and took a sip out of it. Then, he rose slowly to his feet, peering southeast at a mountain region as he said, "The strike of the Queen has hit right at Xiang Yu's greatest weak spot. And most probably, the angry Xiang Yu is already in the middle attacking Yan army now. This is also the best opportunity for us, the Great Qin, to wipe out the army of Great Chu. We have to slaughter every single one of them, not allowing even a single survivor to escape!"
Both Ying Zheng and Yuyao had their eyes flickered with bright gleams, while the lovely and tender atmosphere around them disappeared immediately. Ying Zheng stood up, throwing a cold glance over at the same mountain region and said coldly, "I think, the few generals are already stuck now, right? Xiang Yu had parted with his army and struck out privately. How could a boorish man such as this claim himself as the Hegemon-King? How could a reckless and impulsive man such as him be regarded as a hero?"
In an indifferent voice, Yuyao said, "Since Xiang Yu has already left the camp alone, then we shall go to the battlefield now. Although he has parted with his army, but those few generals under him are not someone easy to deal with either. For the sake of using this trick on Xiang Yu, Yuyao had given up the two thousand years of relationship with Yuji. And since I've done it, there is no way I can spare the life of every single soldier and general of Great Chu."
Three of them laughed at the same time, then turned into three bright beams and shot towards the mountain region.
Then, whispered Guigu'zi very faintly, "But, there is one thing I do not understand. I've spent my entire life studying the secret of the universe, and I did gain some enlightenment to the Dao of Heaven and Earth. Yet, I've failed to understand why Yuji, as the beloved consort of Xiang Yu, would do something like that with a little boy? That is a decision beyond all reason!"
Yuyao's giggle was heard in the distance as she said, "Old mister, it is true that you have a vast knowledge, and in your eyes, the Dao of Heaven and Earth is like the finest lines on one's palm. It isn’t something you cannot understand. However, old mister, you do not understand women. You ought to know that the change of a woman's mood is at least millions of times more complicated than the Dao of Heaven and Earth!"
Guigu'zi's desire of seeking for knowledge immediately arose as he asked hastily, "Please enlighten me!"
Three bright beams shot and flew quickly towards the southeast, to a mountain region that was enveloped in mist and fog.
The once dense forest between lofty mountains had been completely chopped off. Tens of thousands of practitioners from Qin army were hovering in midair, clad in black robes and tall hats. Each of them was shrouded in layers of runes that ranged from one to nine layers, glinting and flickering brightly. A large clearing, that measured one hundred miles in both width and length, was created after all trees were removed. A huge formation map, about one hundred miles in circumference, was being drawn on the ground. Several tens of thousands of pieces of Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold were shining with strong blinding lights, socketed on various key positions of the formation. Every now and then, bright lights would flash within the formation, after which, large troops of burly men, clad in black armors and holding long blades in their hands, would walk out of the formation.
Although the consumption of energy stones was greatly reduced with the use of many Spatial Breaching Spirit Gold, the distance between Great Qin's territory and Meng Mountains was just too far apart, and too many people were being transported each time. Every time the formation blinked and flashed, there would be over one hundred thousand burly and armored soldiers walking out from it. For every successful teleportation, the energy contained in all the energy stones inside of the formation would be completely consumed. That was the reason why there were so many practitioners bustling about, as they would have to quickly replace a fresh batch of energy stones once the previous batch had its energy depleted. In just a short period of fifteen minutes, over five million upper and middle-grade energy stones were used.
It was an enormous consumption of energy stones, and had made Li Si and Xu Fu's face paled, who were standing above clouds and supervising the situation.
When another troop of armored soldiers walked out from the formation, Li Si could not hold back himself anymore. With his face twisting, he turned to look at a handsome man standing next to him, who was clad in a long civilian official robe and a layer of thick armor underneath it. "General Zhang, I think... we should have enough men by now. During the last seven days, we've already transported over five million condemned prisoners, convicted felons, hooligans and scoundrels from Great Qin's territory to here!"
Xu Fu chimed in as well, "I'm not an expert in military affairs and battle formations, but I do know that even with just ten thousand soldiers lining up in a formation, it would have its edges stretched very, very far. If we wish to spread out these five million condemned prisoners, convicted felons, hooligans and scoundrels in this mountain ranges, we will need an open field at least several hundred miles wide. General Zhang, there is no way we can spread all of them out in this rugged terrain!"
The handsome man smiled, shook his head, and said, "Don't worry, once they are smashed into meat paste by the mighty army of Great Chu, we will have enough space to spread out. These people, even if we keep them in Great Qin's territory as slaves, they will just be a waste of our rice and provisions. It is better that all of them are killed here, as that would be considered a contribution to Great Qin Dynasty. The eighty thousand soldiers of Great Chu are all Human Immortals of Gold Core realm, while the eighty thousand demon beasts that pulled their chariots are also Demon Immortals who have formed their Demon Cores. It will be a great blow to Great Chu if we manage to wipe out these eighty thousand elite soldiers. In the future, Great Chu will be one of Great Qin's strongest foes. If we can reduce just a little bit of their strength now, it is better than not doing anything!"
With just a few words, he had decided the final destiny of these five million condemned prisoners and convicted felons. However, there was not even the slightest killing intent that could be sensed from this handsome man's words. Nevertheless, although the way he talked was casual as if he were just a man from the neighborhood, he did send forth a feeling that made one's flesh creep, and just wish to keep a safe distance from him.
On the peak of a mountain in a far distance, Bai Qi and a few generals of Qin army were squatting down in boredom and playing a dice game. On the faces of the dices used by them were not dots that represented numbers, but words such as: 'Attack the East', 'Attack the West', 'Stationed in Rear Army', 'Conduct a Guerrilla Warfare', and some other similar words. After throwing the dices for a few times, Wang Jian suddenly rose to his feet angrily. Looking at the handsome man in the far distance, he sneered and said, "Look at the greasily radiant face of that Zhang Han! He is employing that old trick of his again, using the condemned prisoners and convicted felons to fight the battle for him. Hmph! Such behavior is a disgrace to the elite iron armor soldiers of Great Qin!"
Squatting down, Bai Qi picked up the dices and threw them on the ground, then said coolly, "Well, well, it is also a good thing as we can have fewer of our elite soldiers sacrificed. Just let Zhang Han lead those fellows who are worse than pigs or dogs, and deplete some of Chu army's forces. When these five million useless sh*tbags are all dead, we'll then bring our elite soldiers and wipe out all eighty thousand elite soldiers of Great Chu."
He stretched his back, gave out a cold laugh, and said, "What a pity! For the sake of a woman, that Xiang Yu actually went to challenge Great Yan's field headquarter alone! What a fool! What's so important in a woman?" He stood up, stomped heavily, and said, "Women? I've several tens of thousands of concubines back in my mansion! For the sake of a woman, he alone goes to attack the enemy. Can a man like this be considered a Hegemon-King? He is just an idiot!"
Many of the generals and soldiers around him laughed aloud.
But Wang Li was looking towards the southeast with a thoughtful expression. He murmured under his breath, "Is Xiang Yu an idiot? Maybe! But he is also aided by many excellent strategists and wise generals... Through the turtle-shell divination, Mister Guigu'zi predicted that we will face calamity in Meng Mountains, and thus, he brought a huge amount of energy stones and formations, rushing here to rescue us. That is why we could construct the teleportation formation and keep getting reinforcements from our motherland... Meanwhile, as we all know that Great Chu heavily focuses on the technique of divination, ghosts and magic, it is not likely they do not have an expert such as Mister Guigu'zi..."
Suddenly, Bai Qitian broke out into a loud laughter and said, "Could General Wang Li still remember the story when he was captured alive by Xiang Yu in those years?"
Wang Li's face turned extremely unsightly, while Wang Jian and Wang Ben snorted at the same time. Bai Qi chuckled, took a step forward and stood before Bai Qitian. In the meanwhile, all the other great generals of Qin army moved as well. In an instant, they had separated into three groups, led by Bai Qi, Wang Jian, and another great general who had a skinny face, his eyes sunken and having a pointy nose and an easy manner.
While the three groups of Qin generals kept gazing at each other furiously, getting ready for a tongue fight, Zhang Han gave out his order in the far distance suddenly. A loud roar echoed out like a muffled roaring of thunder, and from the mountains around the area, countless black-armored soldiers rushed out. Each carrying different weapons in their hands, they began charging towards the direction of the southeast in a messy and unorganized formation.
They were like foul ghosts that had just escaped from the hell, or like locusts that blotted out the sky and covered the earth. Upon their appearance, these several million black-armored soldiers immediately brought a dark hue to the surrounding mountain ranges. They howled and yelled, bringing with them a towering murderous aura as they charged towards their destination at top speed.
Bringing with him a group of several hundred generals and captains, Zhang Han was hovering midair as he gave out a loud shout, "Those who kill a Chu soldier will have his criminal record erased! Those who kill two Chu soldiers will be given a title of nobility! Those who kill three Chu soldiers will have all his clan members promoted as good and innocent civilians! Those who kill a general of Chu army will be given a title of nobility, fiefs, millions of gold coins, and one thousand beautiful women!"
Raising both arms high up in the air, he roared again, "You are just pathetic b*stards who are no better than pigs and dogs, the damned that struggle for your lives as slaves! If you want to become a man that stands loftily before all, if you want to enjoy a luxurious life, this is your best opportunity! Gold, silver, jewelry, excellent beauties, all of these are waiting for you! Kill! Kill! Kill!"
The several million condemned prisoners and convicted felons roared at the same time. A strong blood-red gleam suddenly burst out from their eyes.