“Erase Cloudwater from the map?” Feng Wujiang broke into a twisted smile. “With your little Dusk Phalanx?”
The Dusk Phalanx was just an army of cultivators. Even its general, Yuchi Hanxing, was only a true immortal, and therefore lower than even ants in Feng Wujiang’s eyes.
“Feng Yin will remain safe on my watch. I’d like to see how your little tin soldiers are going to raze Cloudwater!” Expression frosty, he didn’t deny the fact that Feng Yin had attempted to kill Lu Yun. Immortals at his level considered such petty tricks to be beneath them. They did what they wanted and accepted the consequences accordingly. As such, it was people like him who were the most formidable.
Yue Cheng’s expression darkened as well. Feng Wujiang wasn’t the only warden in charge of Cloudwater; Yuchi Hanxing’s threat had also offended Yue Cheng and Zhu Yu.
However, Lu Yun wasn’t fazed at all. If he wanted to solidify his authority in Dusk and rebuild his sect, he had to firmly grasp all parts of the province in his hand, including Cloudwater Township.
The transportation formation here held great strategic significance, since it led to other regions of Nephrite Major. If he allowed others to maintain a tight grip over Cloudwater, the province would be at their mercy and his previous efforts would’ve all been all for nothing.
“Formation, arise!” commanded Yuchi Hanxing.
The million-strong Dusk Phalanx leaped into action. Before anyone could react, an enormous pattern of the Black Tortoise emerged in the sky.
The Heavenly Formation of the Black Tortoise!
And one that had been greatly improved!
The Black Tortoise projected by the old formation had been nothing but a lifeless image, something that was completely dead. This sacred beast image, on the other hand, seemed to have a soul of its own. The snake and tortoise chimera in the air radiated vitality and a terrifying might.
On the day of the fight between the juba and the blackwater snake, the Black Tortoise born from the two coiling around each other had imprinted a deep impression on everyone’s mind. Yuchi Hanxing—and eighty percent of the army, besides—had seen that sacred beast with their own eyes. After the North Sea battle, the Dusk Phalanx had trained every day to finally evolved their lifeless formation into a living one!
The Black Tortoise roared, unleashing terrible might in all directions. Yuchi Hanxing perched on top of its head with silver lance in hand. Her long, silver locks danced in the wind, highlighting her elegant figure. Fully revealed to the world, she no longer hid her true self.
“We have eliminated even the Skandha Range, so a mere Cloudwater will be no challenge at all.” Her voice grew even more icty. If not for the juba, who could counter the Heavenly Formation of the Black Tortoise, she wouldn’t have lost the hundred some thousand Dusk soldiers in the Skandha Range last time. Now that the formation had been perfected, not even the Skandha Range would put up much of a resistance should the Dusk Phalanx attack again.
“Tempest Bird!” Feng Wujiang snarled.
“Tempest Bird!!” echoed innumerable heavenly soldiers.
The image of a giant cyan bird spanning three thousand meters formed above Cloudwater.
The Tempest Bird!
It, too, was a mythical creature just like the Black Tortoise, a connate divine spirit that wielded a power of nature. Likewise formed by a fearsome battle formation, its origins weren’t as sophisticated as the Heavenly Formation of the Black Tortoise, but those who formed this one in particular were all immortals.
“Let’s see if Dusk Phalanx’s formation lives up to its reputation!” Feng Wujiang landed on top of the giant bird, facing Yuchi Hanxing from a distance.
The auras of the two armies clashed and tangled together in a stalemate. Neither could gain a definitive advantage.
“Stop! Both of you stop it!!” Yue Cheng shuddered when he saw the two armies take up battle positions. A clash of such scale would absolutely destroy Cloudwater!
“Why?” Lu Yun asked faintly. “Feng Yin and Feng Wujiang of the Feng Clan have just failed in their assassination attempt. General Yuchi of the Dusk Phalanx was met with violent resistance when she came to arrest them. This is outright treason.”
He was getting the hang of making such grandiose accusations.
“His Majesty has yet to pass down the throne, so he is still the ruler of Nephrite Major. His envoy is with me and almost suffered at the hands of the Feng immortals. It’s one thing to attack me, but it’s a great crime to attack His Majesty’s envoy.” Lu Yun continued striding into town with his sword at the ready. Qing Han brandished his glowing emissary’s token with a twist of his wrist.
Yue Chen shut his mouth, hurriedly transmitting orders for his army to stay put. They were not to get involved under any circumstances. A belated realization of the governor’s intentions was dawning on him.
Even if the attempted assassination hadn’t taken place, Lu Yun would’ve still found an excuse to take over Cloudwater. Dusk Province was going to become the sacred land of the immortal dao one day. It would slowly slip out of the Nephrite court’s control, and Cloudwater Township, as it stood, was an obstacle to such plans.
All of the Dusk Phalanx is here. If Lu Yun wins, they’ll take control of the town! Yue Cheng sucked in a breath, his eyes shifting rapidly in thought. The stronghold by the North Sea is protected by Zombie King Diexi, so the monster spirits dare not invade. In no time at all, another Dusk Phalanx will be formed there.
This is the clash between the Nephrite court and future sacred land. Whoever wins will control Dusk Province!
The warden remained in place. In a crossfire between two tremendous powers, any careless move could get him killed.
The Black Tortoise and Tempest Bird faced off in the sky. Their auras sealed off the town and prevented anyone from coming or going. Countless immortals and cultivators scurried around, seeking refuge. Even august immortals were terrified of being caught between the two armies.
Meanwhile Lu Yun ventured into the town with his sword, blood still dripping from the violet blade.
“If you dare lay a finger on Feng Yin, I will slaughter your entire clan!” Feng Wujiang raged when he saw Lu Yun making his way to his manor. He was locked in a stalemate with Yuchi Hanxing, matching her aura with his own. If either of them made a move, the other would rain down the most relentless attacks possible. In the worst case scenario, one side’s entire army could be wiped out.
“There is no one left of my kin. To kill me is to slaughter my clan.” Lu Yun’s voice grew increasingly composed. “Protect yourself, Qing Han. If someone attacks you, don’t hesitate to kill them.”
“Alright.” Qing Han inclined his head. He opened a mental channel to the black dragonguard within the Scroll of Shepherding Immortals, Empress Myrtlestar concealing the ripples of power from the painting. If any further danger cropped up, an instantaneous command would summon the peerless immortal dragon into the world.
Still, he wasn’t going to take action unless there was a good reason. He understood what Lu Yun was trying to accomplish. The governor was the star of this performance, so he wouldn’t fight for the spotlight.
“Trespasser! How dare you barge into the general’s manor! Die!” Immortals emerged and lunged at Lu Yun as soon as he approached Feng Wujiang’s manor.
A tremendous dragon howl reverberated from his body. Violet sword energy wreathed around Lu Yun and he soared into the sky.
Nineteen Cerulean Sword Dragons!
A fifty-seven-meter-long dragon twisted nineteen times in the air.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
A hail of bodies rained down from the sky, accompanied by a downpour of blood that dyed Cloudwater red.