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Book 7 Chapter 2 - Cold Steel Like Soldier

Immortal Devil Transformation
     The cave barbarians underestimated the military force of the newly formed powerful empire, which was why they paid the price of endless blood during these past few decades.

    However, Great Desolate Swamp’s countless swamps and mysterious environment prevented Yunqin from using their most powerful heavy cavalry. Once they entered the swamp, the delivery of army provisions also became a huge problem.

    That was why in the past few decades, Yunqin Empire and the cave barbarians maintained a type of deadlock situation in this territory.

    Dragon Snake Mountain Range was occupied by Yunqin Empire, but the territory east of Dragon Snake Mountain Range still belonged to the cave barbarians.

    Four hundred black leather armored Yunqin soldiers were currently hiding in East Orchid Valley’s shrubbery.

    Because of the unique heat and humidity of the mountain forest near the swamp, the entire forest was filled with a thick fog, preventing sunlight from entering. As a result, this entire world seemed especially dark and overcast.

    Below these Yunqin soldiers’ black leather armor was tightly wrapped rough black cloth, their faces also covered under black cloth. Apart from their eyes, there were no other areas directly exposed outside. Since they had already remained in hiding for a long time, almost everyone’s face masks were soaked through. Behind the black masks, sweat wriggled down their faces like earthworms, many of their bodies already covered in bugs, some small bugs even entering the black rough cloth, biting and stinging these soldiers’ bodies, yet these soldiers’ wills were extremely sturdy, completely like corpses. Apart from extremely low breathing sounds, they didn’t move at all.

    A high-ranking military officer who wasn’t all that tall, but his entire body gave off a type of astonishing and explosive force also went into motionless hiding, relying on the single lens Hawkeye in his hands to silently observe the situation.

    Through this single lens Hawkeye, he saw that in the extremely far overcast, damp world, there were dozens of cave barbarians currently moving one step after another.

    These cave barbarians’ foreheads and lips were extremely thick, their feet bare. The clothes covering their bodies were extremely simple, basically just some steel plates strung up with some leather straps to protect the body’s important areas.

    Even though he had already seen and even personally fought with these cave barbarians under close distance many times, this border army high ranking officer who similarly only had two eyes exposed, Hawkeye in hand, still found some things hard to understand. These cave barbarians normally resided in underground caves, and regardless of whether it was Dragon Snake Mountain Range or Great Desolate Swamp, a small half of these places was enveloped under thick steam and concentrated miasma, they were gloomy places where even sunlight was blocked most of the time. The swamp’s resources were extremely plentiful and also these cave barbarians’ hunting grounds, their eternal bread basket. According to normal reasoning, always spending time in the underground caves and other gloomy places should make them have extremely pale skin, their bodies wouldn’t be that large either, similar to the miners in many Yunqin mines.

    However, these cave barbarians had extremely large builds, the skin on their bodies dark bronze. Their muscles were clearly defined, as if chunks of sculpted rocks were piled up on their bodies.

    The only thing that constantly living underground brought these barbarians seemed to be the stench that never left their bodies, as well as their deeply sunken eye sockets and light gray pupils.

    These cave barbarians who walked in this dark and damp world got closer and closer. When the soldiers could clearly see the steel plates hanging from these cave barbarians’ bodies, this military officer’s brows furrowed deeply. Meanwhile, when he clearly made out the massive creatures who followed these cave barbarians, those brows only locked together even deeper.

    The armor hanging from these cave barbarians’ bodies was all Yunqin Border Army armor and even weapon fragments, completely different from the crude earth steel and iron they made themselves. This only proved that these cave barbarians might have already fought with Yunqin’s border army more than once.

    What followed at their sides were wild beasts with massive heads, the Demon Alligators the cave barbarians raised.

    These several meters long giant alligators who grew in this swamp were naturally vicious and ruthless, extremely fast when moving through the muddy water and sludge, but extremely sluggish on land, exhausting theory stamina after walking just a few dozen li. However, through an unknown method, the cave barbarians not only made them become as docile as cats and dogs, only when they faced enemies would they reveal their vicious side, moreover having the stamina to engage in long and difficult journeys.

    During the decades of struggles between the Dragon Snake Border Army and these cave barbarians, these Demon Alligators served as a powerful support. Many of Yunqin’s soldiers lost their lives precisely under these Demon Alligators’ bloody jaws, today, they were definitely going to be quite troublesome to deal with as well.

    According to Yunqin’s understanding towards these cave barbarians, those who carried these Demon Alligators at their sides were all elites among the cave barbarians, their true warriors.

    Why would these cave barbarian soldiers appear in East Orchid Valley?

    Even though they already discovered traces of the cave barbarian soldiers’ activity from yesterday’s investigation report, this military officer just couldn’t figure out just what these cave barbarians wanted to do, just what exactly was going on.

    Normally, there would only be large numbers of cave barbarians invading Dragon Snake Border Army when their sources of food became deficient during autumn and winter months. However, ever since spring of this year, the activity of the cave barbarians in the Great Desolate Swamp already exceeded the autumn and winter times of the past. This East Orchid Valley was located in a caved in horseshoe shaped area of Yunqin’s territory, so it was already equivalent to deeply penetrating Yunqin’s military forces, far from the cave barbarians’ main forces.

    That was why normally, this type of place was a land of death for the cave barbarians, only extremely rarely would there be cave barbarians who wanted to infiltrate this deeply into Dragon Snake Mountain Range.

    Even though he was extremely confused, when the two sides’ numbers were compared, this military officer who was still confident in his ability to wipe out these barbarians without paying too much of a cost reached out his hand in an extremely slow and steady manner, he made a fist and then spread his fingers.

    Clasping one’s fist, for Yunqin’s Dragon Snake soldiers, meant to press forward and take the initiative to attack.

    Extending five fingers and then holding them briefly referred to ambush at fifty steps.

    Fifty steps was an extremely short distance. That was why when they saw this officer’s hand sign, all of the Yunqin soldiers who were silent like metal became even more cold, even more quiet.

    …

    The fifty something membered cave barbarian group continued to move through the grassland and reeds without sensing danger, the distance getting closer and closer.

    Sounds of chatter and laughter already transmitted out, entering the ears of these hidden Yunqin soldiers.

    Even without the brass Hawkeye, these Yunqin soldiers could still make out the rock-like calves of these cave barbarians, as well as the large crocodiles that released loud noises as they moved across the muddy land.

    On the gloomy heaven and earth, the cave barbarians walking within the brush weeds and thick fog didn’t sense anything themselves. However, the giant alligators who followed at their sides without any leashes suddenly stopped. Their bodies almost half stood up, their massive mouths suddenly opening and closing in the air, releasing a pa noise.

    When this noise sounded, the other seven or eight Demon Alligators immediately moved, starting to fiercely wriggle about on the muddy earth.

    Chi!

    A sharp hiss sounded in the weeds.

    The Yunqin military officer at the very front already fired an arrow, his figure also fiercely leaping out from the ground.

    “Attack!”

    A fierce shout erupted from his mouth at the same time.

    Right now, there was still close to seventy steps of distance from the cave barbarians, but when they heard his order, following a hu la noise, the originally quiet shrubbey immediately became like an ocean tide. All of the overcast and cold Yunqin black-armored soldiers leapt out from within one by one. The instant they rushed out, close to a third were already holding bows in their hands, firing arrows at these cave barbarians.

    The whistling of countless arrows sounded.

    A battle instantly erupted.

    Pu pu pu pu…

    The sound of countless arrows entering the mud and flesh rang out.

    The dozen or so cave barbarians at the very front were immediately nailed by several black arrows, but none of these cave barbarians fell. As blood flowed from their bodies, they were just like the barbarians behind them, releasing loud roars, drawing the spears on their backs.

    “Wait!”

    The Yunqin military officer’s body suddenly stopped, releasing this shout.

    Before this fierce voice sounded, the hundred black-armored soldiers behind him already extremely tacitly passed the archers, raising the round black shields they carried on their backs.

    The other soldiers also all stopped their movements, using the fastest speed to gather behind these shield holding soldiers, doing their best to pull back their bodies.

    Dang! Dang! Dang!

    Crude steel steel spear points immediately smashed fiercely into these round black shields.

    They were just thrown simply, yet many round shields were smashed aside, many black-armored soldiers were sent flying by the spears that passed through the gaps, knocked to the ground.

    After the first round came a second, and then a third!

    Roar!

    However, the Yunqin military officer standing in front of the round shields instead released an even more resolute and cold shout through his mask.

    All of the sharp spears aimed at him were swept aside by the light green long blade in his hands.

    Within his eyes that were exposed appeared a wave of mockery, and then it was quickly replaced by killing intent.

    The cave barbarians’ arm strength was extremely astonishing, making the fatal range of the spears they threw out even pass a hundred steps. The reason there were some spear users in Yunqin’s border army troops was precisely because they copied these cave barbarians after witnessing their power.

    However, even after fighting for several decades, these barbarians’ brains were still as simple as several decades ago, still as stupid. All of them flung out the four or five spears on their backs immediately upon encountering the enemy.

    Even though these cave barbarians’ individual combat strength was shocking enough, Yunqin army’s soldiers already created focused military strategies against these strong but brainless barbarians.

    “Attack!”

    When the final round of spears were flung out, smashing into the round black shields, this Yunqin military officer then released a loud shout.

    All of the archers in the back stood up in a uniform manner. They fired the arrows they carried as quickly as possible, and then at the same time, all of the shield wielding soldiers abandoned their shields. With zheng noises, black border army long blades were drawn one after another, exposed to the hot and humid air.