Book 8 Chapter 42 One Man’s Fight
“Is this Dong Clan’s Dong Zhezi?” Teng Qingshan inquired, his eyebrows raised in doubt.
“Yes sir, that is correct, and it would be prudent to never underestimate the Dong Clan. The Dong Clan is reputed to be one of the top three strongest of the Eastern Flower Region,” Fu Dao said solemnly.
Teng Qingshan nodded in response and replied, “How many of the large clans brought their armies on this expedition?” Since the Fiery Gilt Steel deposit was involved, he felt a need to be very meticulous in such matters.
Teng Qingshan very much wanted to gather more Fiery Gilt Steel. If he had enough Fiery Gilt Steel, it would be a trifling matter to establish a force so impressive and dominating as to be much stronger than Qing Hu Island’s Golden Scale Guards in the Land of Nine Prefectures.
This was all dependent on the deposit of Fiery Gilt Steel, however. Only with the ore in hand would Teng Qingshan be able to return to Gui Yan Sect with a quality army and overpower Qing Hu Island!
Fu Dao reported. “Sir! There are 7 other large clans, aside from my Fu Clan, have dispatched troops in order to seize the Fiery Gilt Steel Deposit. They are the Tantai Clan, the Wu Clan, the Yan Clan, the Dong Clan, the Xiahou Clan and the Duan Clan.”
Teng Qingshan was only familiar with five of the seven great clans.
“The Xiahou Clan and the Duan Clan?” Teng Qingshan asked in puzzlement.
Fu Dao explained, “The Xiahou Clan is a great clan based in the northern part of the Eastern Flower Region. As for the Duan Clan, it is also an ancient clan and its prowess should not be taken lightly.”
“Fu Dao, when it comes to troop strength, your Fu Clan’s army is weaker than the other six great clans. Going head to head with them would be suicidal.” This was Teng Qingshan’s rough analysis. Teng Qingshan knew his own strengths and abilities; even if he were pitted against the combined strength of one hundred thousand, it would take at least half a day to completely destroy them.
Furthermore, the soldiers knew well of Teng Qingshan’s power and would desperately hide from him!
On another note, just how many men could Teng Qingshan kill in one hour during a war between two armies? Even if he were to kill a thousand men, it would have an insignificant effect on the war’s outcome.
“I am aware,” Fu Dao said as he nodded his head in understanding,”My Fu Clan will watch from the sidelines and not participate, for now. I believe, with your presence, Mister, that the other clans won’t dare to make a move on the Fu Clan. In addition, our troops are few in number, and thus may well be beneath their notice.”
“Yes, let’s just wait and see.”
Teng Qingshan was extremely calm.
He knew that if he were to show off and use his full strength, he could easily rip out a 10-feet tree and use it to sweep the battlefield. Who would be able to stop him from wantonly slaughtering his enemies? Teng Qingshan was however aware that the appearance of the Steel Sword Martial Saint might also signify the presence of the Martial Immortal in the shadows. Hence, there was a need to be low key and not expose the true extent of his power.
Others must not find out how long Teng Qingshan could last in a fight. After all, when faced with a ten-thousand strong army, a normal Golden Dan innate expert would have to retreat after his true origin was exhausted, akin to an ordinary man.
The Fiery Gilt Steel Deposit possessed a great allure to many people. To put it in perspective, the fight between Teng Qingshan and the Steel Sword Martial Saint was a mere appetizer that foreshadowed the war. Each of the 6 Great Clans had an army upwards of 50 thousand men. Only the relatively weaker Fu Clan had a paltry 20 thousand soldiers.
In this chaotic world, even if the 7 Great Clans were to engage in battle for primacy over the mine, it would still be necessary as well as prudent to leave some troops to ensure the safety of the Clan. This being the case, only 40 thousand men were gathered at the feet of the Ox-Head Mountains.
40 thousand men?
Any number above 10 thousand would be akin to a sea of people. As for 40 thousand? It seemed boundless as any ocean, filling the horizon with a wave of humanity.
At the foot of Ox-Head Mountains, Fu Clan’s 20 thousand men lined up; row upon row in a crisp formation. Teng Qingshan cast his gaze towards the north, where all that could be seen were men, with no end in sight. A single standard stood among the crowd, the flag flying rampant against the sky, proclaiming a single word: “Wu”!
“It really is a sea of people” Teng Qingshan reflected.
“It was rumored that the army led by Wu Clan had a number of 80000 men.” As Fu Dao gazed at the vigorous army of the Wu Clan, an army that found him beneath notice, he could not help but feel despondent. “So that’s 80000 men… if only my Fu Clan could match it.” However, when all was said and done, it had been too short a time since the Fu Clan’s ascendancy.However, no matter what is said and done, the Fu Clan’s rise to prominence is still too short a time.
Just at this time—
From the northwest, a mighty troop advanced slowly, banner fluttering proudly in the air, proclaiming the words, “Xiahou!”
“It’s the Xiahou Clan,” Fu Dao furrowed his brows. “Why would they come all the way here?”
Not only that, but like the Wu Clan, the Xiahou Clan had a mighty army in tow.
“Xiahou Clan, this is the bivouac of my Fu Clan, please leave.” Fu Dao’s bellow billowed out toward the Xiahou Clan, echoing and reverberating across the skies.
“ Fu Clan, this place is chosen by the Xiahou Clan as the entry point into the Ox-Head Mountains. Please leave immediately,” a vigorous voice replied.
Teng Qingshan furrowed his brows and waved his hands.
A stone detached from the ground and flew into Teng Qingshan’s palm. Retrieving something across space was something that could only be done by a Golden Dan Innate Expert.
The Spirit of a Golden Dan Innate Expert was able to control air resistance, therefore Golden Dan Innate Experts could make the air retrieve items that weren’t too heavy. The air was capable of eliminating a full force sword strike after all so one could only imagine the power brought forth by the ‘Spirit” of a Golden Dan Innate Expert when controlling the air.
“Big Brother Teng?” Li Jun was shocked as she stared at Teng Qingshan.
Teng Qingshan drew his arm back and swung, flinging the sturdy rock!
The frightening speed coupled with the friction between it and the air produced flames on the rock. In the blink of an eye, this flaming rock shot like a meteor across the distance of 200 Zhang, impacting the high-flying, fluttering flag, which in turn exploded.
The shrapnel blasted in all directions, leading to cries of agony amongst the troops.
“Scram, or Die!”
Teng Qingshan’s voice reverberated like the thunder, scaring many, their faces paled in shock.
An army’s banner is of great import. During the chaos of war, the skies will darken and the ground will quake. Soldiers will be deafened by the cries of killing. The orders of commanders would not be heard even if given by an innate expert of inner strength able to resonate throughout the battlefield.
That being said, the battlefield could only be controlled by the use of banners to signal the advance or retreat!
The banner is the army’s soul and focus. Once the banner collapsed, the individual troopers would be akin to a blind man, not knowing when to advance or retreat.
In an army of thousands, the job of the Martial Saint is to kill generals and snatch the flag!
Under the threat of Teng Qingshan, the Xiahou Clan’s army conscientiously retreated and changed their course of advance.
Amidst the vigorous army of Xiahou Clan:
At this moment, Xiahou An and the other core members of the Xiahou Clan were riding on their battle mounts.
“Patriarch, it would seem that Mister Teng is also eyeing this Fiery Gilt Steel Ore deposit,” a skinny elder murmured.
“Yes, he took action against us after we moved only a bit closer. It would seem that this Mister Teng Is both ruthless and decisive.” Xiahou An smiled and said, “Preliminary investigation led us to believe that Mister Teng was merely messing around with the troops of the Fu Clan, perhaps lending them occasional aid. Now, however…it would seem that Mister Teng actually sees this as a matter of some import.”
The Xiahou and Yan Clans had formed an alliance to face the threat of the Tianfeng Clan.
However, they needed to know Teng Qingshan’s intentions.
Normally, a powerful, solitary expert would not bother with something like the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit. If it were per usual, and he did not attach much importance to it, Teng Qingshan would be milling around the army and not get overly involved in the affair. If that were so, the Yan and Xiahou Clans would not have to worry about much.
After some investigation, it would seem that Teng Qingshan found this issue to be of some import.
“It might be slightly more troublesome this time…”
“However, he is helping the Fu Clan. Hmph, the Fu Clan has a mere force of 20 thousand. It doesn’t matter how much support Teng Qingshan gives them, how is he going to take control of the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit from a 40 thousand strong force from the 6 Great Clans?N With just that paltry sum of 20 thousand men? Merely a preposterous dream,” Xiahou An said calmly
Teng Qingshan gazed at the forested Ox Head Mountains. At that instant, there was an echoing of thousands of battle cries, the sound of killing, and the distant shaking of the earth.
“So the battle has started in the forest,” Fu Dao smiled. “At the periphery of the mountains, it is easy to spot the movements of the other Clans’ opposing armies and, at the same time, maintaining vigilance against each other is simple. Furthermore, since the clans are wary of each other, when one enters the forest there is a higher chance of ambush, especially near the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit.
“As soon as any 2 clans engage, a huge battle would commence,” Fu Dao commented while gazing toward the forest.
“ Fu Dao, Little Jun,” Teng Qingshan shouted.
“Big Brother Teng,” Li Jun walked over.
“Little Jun, don’t wander about, you ought to stay near Blue Luan. If there’s any danger, just sit on its back and escape.” Teng Qingshan instructed. “Right now, the armies from the various Clans are advancing into the mountains. I am concerned by what is going on there, so I will head in to take a look”
“Yes. Big Brother Teng, please take care of yourself!” Li Jun sniffed, looking towards the forest, starting to smell the stench of blood coming from within.
Teng Qingshan took 2 steps, moving more than 10 Zhang in an instant. His figure flashed once more, completely disappearing into the shadows of the forest.
The army of Wu Clan was currently resting in the dense forest within the Ox-Head Mountains.
“Ah, my leg!”
“Little monkey, little monkey.”
Amidst the army,cries and groans of agony resounded in the air. At this moment, the faces of the Patriarch of Wu Clan and the Martial Saintess Jiang Yan appeared ghastly.
“Bastard, I didn’t expect that this bastard Yan Baishou to actually go and ally with Xiahou An.” Wu Baiwei’s face darkened. “If Xiahou An hadn’t led a sneak attack to the rear of our forces at just the right time, causing panic and mass confusion and a battle on two fronts, how could we have suffered such a huge defeat!? Come to think of it, isn’t the relationship between Xiahou An and Yan Baishou supposed to be bad?Why would they suddenly ally?”
Over the course of the past four hours, the Wu’s Clan had suffered a disastrous loss.
The Wu Clan intended to rush into the canyon at the start. Once the Wu Clan had captured and occupied the peaks on both sides of the hill, they would have been able to overlook the canyon and establish a strong terrain advantage, which could have been used as staging point to fully control the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit.
Alas, the Wu Clan had suffered the combined attack of the Xiahou Clan and Yan Clan! There wasn’t any choice other than to retreat.
“ Haha! That really felt good.” Yan Baishou laughed heartily as he advanced. The Steel Sword Martial Saint was beside him while numerous soldiers were around him.
“The thought of Wu Baiwei’s pissed-off face makes me so happy. Haha! Brother Helian, the Fiery Gilt Steel Ore Deposit is right in front of us.” Yan Baishou roared with laughter.
At this moment, the members of the Yan Clan were at the left side, while the members of the Xiahou Clan were at the right. The two clans had combined forces. The one thousand elite soldiers dispatched by the Tianfeng Clan had also joined.
Furthermore, they were advancing at their fastest speed.
Once this force reached the canyon and established a foothold, they had the utmost confidence in Guarding the fort.
“Patriarch, Patriarch!” Shocked and frightened cries were heard from the front.
“Eh, what is going on?” Yan Baishou looked curiously at the incoming soldier.
The frightened soldier said,“Patriarch! There is a man sitting at the top of the Fiery Gilt Steel Canyon. He has killed all of our elite troops who rushed the rise! We can no longer advance.”
“Who is that man?” Yan Baishou furrowed his brows, feeling a sense of premonition.
“That is Teng Qingshan, the Most Powerful Martial Saint.”
The Steel Sword Martial Saint’s expression changed drastically upon hearing this.