Library of Heaven is Path
1683 High Commander
"You're right. I suppose Lord Mou Wu should have known all this…" Seeing that he had been exposed, Zhang Xuan could not be bothered to keep up with his disguise anymore and chuckled softly.
"He isn't Lord Mou Wu! Attack!"
The three Otherworldly Demons narrowed their eyes menacingly as they prepared to leap at the person before them. However, before they could do so, a massive silhouette in the sky was already falling swiftly on them.
The Otherworldly Demon driving the formation was crushed into minced meat.
Following which, a skeletal dragon surged forward and bit off the head of another Otherworldly Demon. At the same time, a demonic saber easily severed the last Otherworldly Demon in half.
Those three Otherworldly Demons were only in the Introspective Convalescence realm. Since they had seen through his disguise, all he had to do was silence them.
After cleaning up the corpses, Zhang Xuan infused his zhenqi into the old Teleportation Formation before him, and amid shimmering light, he vanished on the spot.
With his expertise as a formation master and his comprehension of space, activating the formation was a walk in the park to him.
With a jolt, he appeared at the other end of the Teleportation Formation. With a sweeping gaze of his surroundings, he found that he was standing amid a massive valley. Mountains of different heights meandered through the area, obscuring the area from public view.
"Paying respects to the Commander!"
Barely after stabilizing his posture, he heard voices sounding by the side.
They were the soldiers tasked with the responsibility of standing guard over the Teleportation Formation. They did not seem to be too highly ranked. Most likely, they had only recognized him from the helmet and armor that he was wearing.
"Un." Zhang Xuan nodded perfunctorily as he stepped forward with widened strides.
A crimson moon hung above a distant mountain, and a slight layer of mist drifted amid the mountain range. Despite the sinister air lingering in the area, Zhang Xuan had to admit that the scenery was breathtaking, almost like a still painting.
There were countless soldiers standing in neat formations throughout the massive valley. Their movements were extremely organized, and there was not the slightest dissonant sound to be heard. Just from the discipline alone, it was apparent that the soldiers were well-trained.
As the reserve army consisted of soldiers from many different Subterranean Galleries, while Mou Wu's face appeared a little foreign to most, no one doubted his identity. The further he advanced, the more shocked Zhang Xuan became.
Just like the Otherworldly Demon soldiers dispatched to the Dracotiger Mountain Subterranean Gallery, even the weakest of the soldiers standing in this very valley was at Saint 3-dan!
If this army of a hundred thousand made a move simultaneously, even Ancient Sages would have to back down in the face of their might!
I have to stop them, or else many lives will be lost! Zhang Xuan thought with a frown.
After tens of thousands of years of development, the Master Teacher Pavilion was indeed capable of rallying a hundred thousand cultivators of Saint 3-dan and above. However, it would take time to do so. Furthermore, due to the Otherworldly Demons invading all 108 Subterranean Galleries simultaneously, the human cultivators had been forced to scatter all over the Master Teacher Continent to fend them off.
If this army launched an assault right now, there was no way that the Master Teacher Pavilion would be able to put up a sufficient defense in time to stop it. And once the Otherworldly Demons started pouring into the Master Teacher Continent, many innocent civilians would be massacred!
He had to stop this army by hook or by crook!
But… how was he supposed to go about doing so?
Even Ancient Sages would not dare confront an army of such scale easily, let alone him!
If he showed the slightest anomaly in his actions, he would be deader than a doornail before he knew it!
He could consider using the Heaven's Path zhenqi to poison the soldiers, but even if he depleted every last drop of his zhenqi, it was unlikely that it would be sufficient to stop the army in its tracks.
The lightning method did work earlier, but he did not have any seer artifacts to work with at the moment. Besides, he would require the soldiers to heed his command first!
Let me see if I can find their highest commander… If I can kill him and take control of the army, I might just be able to pull something off…
To deal with an army, the most effective method was to first nab its commander.
He could not think of a feasible plan that would allow him to incapacitate the entire army at once, so the best thing that he could do at the moment was claim the initiative. If he could assume the highest role in the army, he would be in a better position to do something about the matter.
Thus, Zhang Xuan activated his Eye of Insight and began scanning his surroundings.
It did not take long for a huge tent with a group of soldiers standing guard outside to come into his sight. Knowing that it was likely the commander's tent, he began making his way over.
While strutting over to the tent, he passed by a remote area. With a swift flick of his finger, he warped the space around him and disappeared from sight.
After concealing himself, he began flitting toward the huge tent, and it did not take long before he was standing before it.
After waiting outside for a while, a person dressed in a black helmet and armor, presumably a commander like Heng Jiang and Mou Wu, pried open the tent flap and walked in. Zhang Xuan casually entered right behind him as well.
There was a fire stove within the room that kept the tent slightly warm. Gazing across the tent, Zhang Xuan saw eighteen other Otherworldly Demons seated within. They were dressed in black helmets and armor, which indicated that they were commanders as well.
"They are all Sempiternal realm cultivators?" Zhang Xuan's eyebrows leaped up in astonishment.
To his astonishment, they were all Great Sage 4-dan Sempiternal realm cultivators, wielding strength comparable to Mou Wu! This was especially so for the middle-aged man seated at the very center with a golden saber in his grip. Zhang Xuan could vaguely sense that his strength was on par with Yang shi's!
In an instant, Zhang Xuan's body stiffened on the spot. He dared not even twitch for fear of catching their attention.
It was fortunate that he did not barge in recklessly but followed behind another commander. Otherwise, even with his spatial seal, his abrupt intrusion would likely have made the experts gathered here notice an anomaly.
He had made huge advancements in his cultivation during this period of time, but he was not so naive as to think that he would be able to get away unscathed from the clutches of so many Sempiternal realm experts.
"Reporting to the High Commander, Bei Xin refuses to comply with our demands!" The commander who had just entered the room clasped his fist and gave his report.
"He refuses to comply?" the middle-aged man seated at the center replied impassively.
"He said that their resources are limited too, so they can't afford to share anything with us. He suggests that we should just keep our inventories separate so as to avoid getting into meaningless squabbles over this matter!" the commander said.
"Meaningless squabbles? He sure has everything planned out well. He expects us to take the vanguard, but he isn't even willing to lend us a single set or armor… It's clear that he regards us as nothing more than stepping stones to achieve his aims!"
"Sovereign Chen Xing has always been known to be a greedy person, but who could have thought that Bei Xin would be so cunning too? We have already agreed to collaborate with one another on this attack, but he wants to get away with contributing nothing at all? He's daydreaming!"
Upon hearing the words of the arriving commander, a huge uproar broke out within the room.
The middle-aged man raised his hand to gesture for the crowd to quiet down. "Tell them that it's fine if they don't want to contribute any resources. However, their side must send an army in as well, and we'll advance alongside them. Otherwise, they'll have to give us the Celestial Armors forged by Sovereign Chen Xing. I won't ask for too much, just one hundred sets. Otherwise, we'll just have to settle it with a fight! If he wins, I'll abide by his arrangements. But if I win, he'll have to cut this nonsense and heed my words!"
"Yes, High Commander!" The commander quickly nodded and backed out of the room.
Zhang Xuan hesitated for a moment, but eventually, he chose to leave the room together with the commander. Following behind the latter, he soon noticed another huge tent in the distance.
From their conversation, it seems like even though the reserve army numbers up to a hulking hundred thousand, they are divided into two factions. One is sided toward Sovereign Chen Xing whereas the other is under Sovereign Chen Ling! Zhang Xuan swiftly sorted through the information that he had acquired so far.
He had no idea whom the two Sovereigns were, but it was apparent that even though they had decided to work with one another, there was still some strife between the two factions.
The more friction there is between them, the better. If I could just spark the friction into raging flames and make them fall out with one another, I might just be able to resolve the crisis, Zhang Xuan thought with brightly lit eyes.
If the hundred thousand soldiers united together as one, there would really be nothing that he could do. He would just have to swiftly return to the Subterranean Gallery and inform the Master Teacher Pavilion and the various major powers of the matter through his Communication Jade Token so that they could make preparations in advance. However, since there was some disharmony between the two factions… it seemed like this was an opportunity that he could exploit!
Thus, Zhang Xuan swiftly altered his appearance before tearing away the spatial barrier around him, revealing himself.
"Cough!" Zhang Xuan intentionally released a cough to catch the commander's attention.
"Who is it?"
The commander was in the midst of heading over to the opposite tent when he heard the cough. He quickly turned around, and upon seeing the person standing before him, he jolted in shock. He bowed in a fluster and greeted him. "High Commander! D-do you… have any other orders for me?"
The person whom Zhang Xuan was impersonating was the middle-aged man seated in the center of the room earlier, the High Commander!