“You never got the signal?”
Ye Zichen’s frowned instinctively and he stared at the ancient Dragon God as if mocking him.
If not for the Dragon God’s efforts, his troops could never have retreated safely from Maple City. There was no doubt about that. This filled Ye Zichen with a strong sense of gratitude.
But what about everything that happened before he got there?
Ye Zichen understood that, in war, deaths and injuries were inevitable in war. In this case, though, most of those deaths and injuries were obviously avoidable. At the very least, the number of casualties could have been dramatically reduced. Given all that, the Dragon God’s response was shockingly irresponsible.
He never got the signal!
Ye Zichen didn’t know what happened before he arrived and couldn’t say for sure whether Luo Wei had called for aid or not. However, he knew for sure that he himself had sent signals; he requested aid the moment he reached the battlefield.
And yet, almost twenty hours passed without so much as the slightest trace of reinforcements.
“Dragon God, do you really think that’s a reasonable explanation? Before the demons invaded, I went and discussed the matter with the various clans of the Beast Region. We planned our strategy, including reinforcements, in advance. Now you’re telling me you never got the signal? What, are you trying to say we never sent it?
Whenever he recalled scenes from the battlefield, Ye Zichen felt as if someone were twisting a knife in his heart.
The Great Sage, body bathed in blood, limbs contorted hideously as he leaned against his staff and stared proudly over the zombie horde.
Su Liu’er embracing Yuan Hong, her eyes soulless, as if she’d lost the will to live.
Hua Hai, who’d traded his very life to make his final rose bloom.
Then there was Lin Xihe, the Beast Region Experts, and all those the hot-blooded warriors who’d bled and died for their cause.
Both the skies and lands of Maple City, stained red with fresh blood.
Their despair as they were besieged on all sides by the demon and zombie hordes.
These scenes replayed through Ye Zichen’s mind, over and over again.
How could he just let all that go?
Ye Zichen subconsciously clenched his fists. He gnashed his teeth, images of the battlefield still playing through his head.
This was a lesson taught in blood, one he would remember for the rest of his life.
Unable to restrain himself, the elderly leader of the Dragon Race said, “we truly never got the signal.”
“You never got it? You never got it? Is that all you people know how to say? You let a hundred thousand of our soldiers die because of that?”
Ye Zichen could no longer restrain his emotions. His spiritual power burst forth.
His body was encircled in a pale-golden aura. He stood, his eyes fixed intently on everyone in the main hall.
“Do you have any idea what it was like out there? I suggest you go to Maple City, which is currently occupied by the enemy, and take a good look for yourselves. Do that and you’ll understand what “a mountain of corpses and a sea of blood” really means.”
“Hmph, the Dragon Race…. When I visited you earlier, you told me your population was too low, that you couldn’t send troops to the front lines, but that you could provide reinforcements as the battle progressed. I understood your situation and respected your opinion, but where exactly were your promised reinforcements? Far too many citizens of the Beast Region perished. Where were you? Right, I almost forgot: you never got the signal.”
Ye Zichen snorted contemptuously and arched his brows. “There’s just one thing I’m uncertain about: did you truly never get the signal? Or were you just too afraid to respond? You were just worried your clansmen would die and reduce the overall strength of the Dragon Race, weren’t you?”
“Insolent! Who are you to say such things about my Dragon Race?”
One of the Dragon Race’s retainers stood and slammed the table. He wasn’t part of the Dragon Race himself. Rather, he belonged to the Black Bear Clan, one of their subordinates.
In response, Ye Zichen simply glanced coldly in his direction. “Who exactly is being insolent?”
The retainer felt as if he’d leaped headfirst into ice-water; his entire body shook involuntarily.
“I am Emperor Ye of the Immortal Region. Based on my status, even your Clan Head has to be polite to me. You’re nothing but a hanger-on, someone who cast aside their own clan to subordinate yourself to the Dragon Race. What qualifications do you have to talk nonsense with me?”
Ye Zichen emanated a profound sense of authority. As the imperial might of the North Star bore down on everyone present, their hearts shook with terror.
The Black Bear retainer from before was unable to bear the pressure; he collapsed to the ground in a quivering heap.
“Emperor Ye, calm your fury,” said the clan head, one of the few people capable of enduring the intense pressure. “It absolutely wasn’t like that. Please, calm down.”
“Tch, you’re just acting tough now that the fighting’s over,” someone muttered. Hearing this, everyone else was visibly astonished, especially the old clan head. He turned to the elder and gave them a stern look.
The elder was originally just talking to himself. To his surprise, he accidentally said it out loud. The instant the words left his lips, he regretted them…..
“Oh…..?” Given Ye Zichen’s strength, how could he possibly have missed it?
“‘Acting tough now the fighting’s over?’ Are you talking about me?” laughed Ye Zichen.
The elder didn’t dare respond. He simply lowered his head while the old clan head hurriedly stepped in on his behalf. “Emperor Ye, he wasn’t talking about you.”
As he spoke, the robes covering Ye Zichen’s upper body burst open. His bare chest was covered in shocking wounds. Some were still dripping golden blood.
“Do you see this? These are wounds I got during the battle at Maple City. ‘Acting tough now that it’s over?’ While I fought, bathed in blood, what were you doing? Admiring the flowers? Are you worthy of criticizing me?”
The atmosphere instantly shifted. When Ye Zichen revealed his wounds, everyone grew silent.
They couldn’t take their eyes away; each and every one of these wounds seemed serious enough to kill a man.
Especially since Ye Zichen wore a tightly-fitted defensive divine artifact. Even with it on, he’d wound up in such a state. In that case, just how perilous had the battle been?
The elder who’d criticized him earlier flushed with embarrassment. He only said all that since he disdained Ye Zichen’s imperious attitude. Now that he saw his wounds, he felt deeply ashamed of his irresponsible words.
After a long while, the Dragon God broke the silence. “Emperor Ye, we admit we are truly at fault for not sending reinforcements earlier.”
He pointed at Ye Zichen, who was instantly covered in a new set of clothes.
As he did this, the Dragon God spoke. “I can understand your anger, but…. Emperor Ye, please think it over carefully. It wasn’t just our Dragon Race - no one else sent reinforcements either, did they?”
Hearing this, Ye Zichen’s fury gave way to astonishment. He stared, eyes wide, at the Dragon God.
The old man smiled back at him. “They didn’t, did they?”
They truly hadn’t.
Ye Zichen couldn’t help but recall his earlier battle. It was true; they’d received no reinforcements whatsoever.
“Emperor Ye, you’re still injured. How about we disperse for now? I’ll send Xia Yingqiu to investigate. In a few days, who knows? We might very well have a pleasant surprise for you! How does that sound?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter