"Haha! No wonder you are Lord Nine Nether, how admirable!"
Hearing Lord Nine Nether accepting the bet, Lord Blood Hawk could not resist laughing out loud. But within his blood red irises, a surge of cunning and viciousness was boiling.
"If so, I shall overlook the commotion you have aroused today. Three days from now, on the battlefield, we, Blood Hawk Palace, will await the good news."
WIth his goal accomplished, Lord Blood Hawk did not waste any more time on empty dialogue. With a gesture of his hand, a tremendous beam of bright light appeared, swallowing the innumerable soldiers of the Blood Hawk Troop.
Then, it transformed into a beam of blood ray and entered the transfer spiritual array in the city. When the ray of light sprang away, all who were enveloped in it disappeared.
In the sky, the Sleeping King saw this scene and showed a helpless smile. Even as one of the Three Kings, he could not stop a mutually consented bet between two parties. He took a look at Nine Nether and Mu Chen as his avatar slowly dissipated away.
Nine Nether descended by the side of Mu Chen and said, "Good work. Let's return to Nine Nether Palace to discuss."
Mu Chen nodded slightly. Without further ado, he led the Nine Nether Troops to the transfer spiritual array, where they disappeared in it one by one. As the two parties departed, the quiet city was once again filled with a heated commotion.
"Now this is gonna be good. The Blood Hawk Troop and the Nine Nether Troop are going head to head with full force!"
"It's obvious that Lord Blood Hawk is taunting Nine Nether Palace. Nine Nether Troop does not stand a chance against the might and numbers of the Blood Hawk Troop. As soon as large scale warfare is initiated, the Nine Nether Troop will have a hard time."
"That is not necessarily true. While Blood Hawk Troop may be more numerous, they are split under the authority of several commanders. Wu Tian could only command half of the entire army. If he tried to command the entire troop forcefully, he might be overwhelmed instead."
"But even half of the Blood Hawk Troop should be enough to roll over Nine Nether Troop, which only has a thousand men!"
"Since Nine Nether Palace had the guts to accept the challenge, maybe they have a hidden trump card?"
Within the Grand Hall of Nine Nether Palace, Nine Nether was sitting at the highest throne, her brows were knit together, the atmosphere within the Hall dense.
"It seems like Lord Blood Hawk is determined to end things with us once and for all." Nine Nether spoke unhurriedly. Lord Blood Hawk was cunning in his vision. He knew that Nine Nether Palace was still weak and desperate to control these cities to obtain sufficient Sovereign Spiritual Liquid. This was why he offered an irresistible bait as a bet for this gambled battle.
To the Nine Nether Palace, this was an opportunity. But it was also a trap filled with the deadliest of dangers.
"Blood Hawk Troop far outnumbers our troop. There won't be any benefit for the Nine Nether Troop to face them head on," Tang Bing said in a worried tone.
In the Hall, Qiu Shan and the rest were silent. They focused their gazes at Mu Chen, who had yet to utter a single word. And yet, Mu Chen's performance on this day had won over their trust.
"How many people do they have?" Under their watch, Mu Chen finally opened his mouth.
"Over five thousand. But with Wu Tian's capabilities, he could only control half of that at most. If he tries to command any more, he would be engulfed by their fighting spirit. Nevertheless, half of their troop still far outnumbers our troop," Qiu Shan answered immediately.
Mu Chen nodded gently. Blood Hawk Troop was not a bunch of misfits, and still they had the upper hand in numbers. In addition, Wu Tian was no weakling. This battle would not be an easy one.
"Mu Chen, how much do you think our odds of winning this bet are?" Tang Bing could not resist asking.
This event was too important for Nine Nether Palace. If they won, they would have more than enough to make a comeback. The prize of a hundred cities would instantly enrich the resources of the Nine Nether Palace. However, if they lost, it would spell the end for them.
The standing of Nine Nether Palace and Blood Hawk Palace was equal in the Daluo Territory. If Nine Nether Palace submits and bowed toward Blood Hawk Palace, they would basically lose this status of being equals, causing a crushing and devastating blow to the morale of Nine Nether Palace.
Mu Chen slowly said, "If Wu Tian only commands half of Blood Hawk Troop, we still have the odds of winning. Besides, it won't be an easy feat for them to beat me."
His tone was deep, and his voice carried a potent bloodiness, sending chills in the spine of all who were in the hall. It was evident that this battle would no doubt be a bloodbath. After all, the very survival of Nine Nether Palace was in question.
Within the hall, the crowd fell silent.
A crisp noise broke through the silence of the hall abruptly. Everyone looked up to see a little girl in a black skirt sitting beside Mu Chen. In her tiny hands was a fruit, which she was chewing at loudly. Of course, she was the illusive Mandela.
"Who is she?!" Tang Bing's eyes widened in shock. This was a strategic location of Nine Nether Palace, heavily guarded by Nine Nether Troop at its perimeter. How could this girl have snuck in?
"Ahem… worry not, she's just… my sister." Mu Chen sighed helplessly.
Upon hearing his words, Mandela's slender eyebrows raised. She took another bite of the fruit, not retorting, but merely spoke lazily, "I can give you an idea, but there's a condition."
Mu Chen was startled for a moment. "What condition?" he managed to ask.
The porcelain doll face of Mandela's turned into a smile. She looked like the purest and cutest girl. Even Tang Bing, who was wary of Mandela, lowered her guard.
Mu Chen, however, raised his guard when he saw Mandela's expression change.
"Don't worry, it's easy! Just lend me the Immortal Pages for ten days," Mandela explained with a sweet smile.
"Never!" Mu Chen turned her down almost instantaneously. The Immortal Pages were too important for him. He would never remove them from his body, especially to entrust it to anyone else.
After all, the Immortal Pages were related to The Primordial Immortal Body. Mu Chen would not doubt the allure of this relic, as even Earthly Sovereigns would certainly be tempted by it.
"You!" Mandela stared at Mu Chen fiercely with her big eyes, but Mu Chen was determined, his expression remaining stoic. After a few moments of staring, Mandela could only turn her face away in anger.
"Why would you suddenly want to borrow the Immortal Pages?" Mu Chen asked doubtfully. According to Mandela, as long as she remained nearby Mu Chen, she could absorb sufficient power from the Datura Flower Sigil to suppress the curse within her body.
Mandela hesitated for a moment, then said, "There seems to be signs of an outbreak of my curse. Which is why I need the Immortal Pages to restrain it."
Mu Chen frowned. After a short moment of silence, he replied, "When that happens, call me. I'll lend it to you then, but I will stay beside you the whole time. That shouldn't be a problem, right?"
Mandela was stupefied for awhile, then she looked at Mu Chen with surprise. She evidently did not expect that Mu Chen would agree to her condition. She gently nodded and said, "Thanks… thanks in advance, then."
"So, can you tell me your strategy now?" Mu Chen smiled.
Mandela raised her head, her pair of googly golden eyes surveying every person in the hall. Whenever her gaze met somebody, they would shudder as if they felt an enormous pressure, then turn their face away.
"As a spiritual array master, have you heard of war troop dispatcher?" Mandela's rather childish voice resonated throughout the hall.
"War troop dispatcher?" Hearing these words, everyone present, including Mu Chen, was in a daze. But Nine Nether was deep in her thoughts.
"In ancient times, war troop dispatchers were a division of the spiritual array masters. During the calamity of the Great Thousand World, war troop dispatchers were in the spotlight. They led armies of myriad clans, fighting the foreign fiends at the frontlines. But that is precisely why the loss among their ranks was severe. Some of them were even denied the opportunity to pass down their lineages. When the calamity was over, very few of them had survived. As such, not many know of their existence." Mandela narrated in an unhurried manner.
"A war troop dispatcher could converge the strength of an army and release their ultimate power. While commanding an army of considerable size, the best of them could even fight on par with a Heavenly Sovereign. "
There was once again silence in the hall. The breathing of the crowd was somewhat heavier. To go against a Heavenly Sovereign? An existence abysmal and unfathomable like that could actually be resisted with numbers? How was that possible?
Mu Chen licked his lips unconsciously. His throat was dry, but his eyes were hot with a burning desire. He stared at Mandela intently, then asked, "Do you know how to become a war troop dispatcher?"
"Nope!" Mandela replied sheepishly.
Looking at her sweet smile, Mu Chen's expression froze. He immediately gnashed his teeth and yelled, "Are you screwing around with me?!"
If Mu Chen did not know that the sweet little girl before him was frighteningly powerful, he would have thrown her out of the palace.
"Although I do not know how to become one, this thing should be able to help you." Seeing that Mu Chen was smoking with anger, she slowly extended her pretty tiny hand. A twinkling of light flashed on her palm, and a somewhat damaged bamboo scroll appeared there. Even before being unrolled, it was exuding a metallic and bloody aura.
Mu Chen carefully received the bamboo scroll. On the scroll, some indistinct red little characters could be seen.
"The Heart of Warfare"
"War troop dispatchers are a specialization of spiritual array masters, after all. As you have the foundations of a spiritual array master, it should be easier for you to master this compared to normal people. While this cannot turn you into a war troop dispatcher immediately, it shouldn't be an issue to overcome their numbers and defeat Blood Hawk Troop," Mandela explained.
Mu Chen grasped the worn out bamboo scroll tightly and nodded heavily. There are indeed many mysteries within the Great Thousand World. He had never even heard about war troop dispatchers before this.
It seemed like he had to give it his all to meditate on the The Heart of Warfare. This bet is far too important for the Nine Nether Palace. He could not afford to lose this fight!
This time, he must win!