As he listened to Ye Zichen and Su Yiyun’s conversation, Black Dragon frowned lightly. “Emperor Ye, are you threatening Brother Su right in front of me? Do I not even exist in your eyes?”
He took a few steps forth and said gravely, “watch yourself.”
By now, though, there was no one else in Ye Zichen’s eyes. He simply grunted softly at Su Yiyun and completely ignored Black Dragon’s objections. Finally, he looked away.
Su Yiyun was still smiling tightly. He nodded at Ye Zichen but he, too, said nothing.
Gu Li watched from the sidelines, jeering like a clown.
“Truly a heart-rending conversation!” he laughed, “to think, back in the Modern Realm, your friendship made outsiders mad with envy!”
However, before he could say anything else, he felt a sharp glare boring into him. He turned to look and found Su Yiyun narrowing his eyes at him.
His gaze contained a clear warning. Gu Li subconsciously gulped, then obediently shut his mouth. He made no further attempts to mock them.
Black Dragon saw all of this. Naturally suspicious as he was, he’d already considered countless possibilities.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
After hearing news of the demons’ arrival, the four Sacred Beast clan heads rushed to Ye Zichen’s side. They nodded at him in greeting, then looked at the army in front of them.
Inwardly, all four of them had this same exact response. “This won’t be easy.”
A vast horde, a million strong, pressed on their borders. They’d yet to make a move but even so, their numbers acted as a strong deterrent, weighing down heavily on the armies of the Beast Region.
They never would have guessed that, although UYe Zichen’s ambush cost them over half their military might, they still had this many soldiers.
They were stunned to discover that the enemy army was so vast despite Ye Zichen’s ambush successfully more than halving their numbers.
It didn’t take much thought to understand why the battle at Maple City had been so bitter.
Behind the four Sacred Beast clan heads, flag after flag rose into the air. Elites from all over the Beast Region had arrived, as well as experts from the various cities of the Immortal Region.
Flower petals drifted from above. The Hundred Flowers Gate was participating in battle once more.
They’d lost their sect master, Hua Hai. Their chief disciple, Li Jiayi, was acting as sect master in his stead. However, she was currently still too weak. She wasn’t ready to run the sect independently yet.
She’d inherited the name of “sect master” but she still had several elders supporting her.
Gu Li cocked his head to the side and clucked, “tch tch, see the look in their eyes?"
Most of the soldiers of the Beast and Immortal Regions who’d made their way here had fought in the battle at Maple City as well.
All of them had suffered the agony of losing their loved ones. Their hatred for the demons was now even deeper than before.
For them, this was no longer just a simple matter of defending their territory.
They still needed to avenge their dead.
Their eyes revealed a somber killing intent so terrifying, it made one’s hair stand on end. The atmosphere was comparable to the battle of Shu and Wei during the Three Kingdoms period, or perhaps even more intense.
“You’re all here. Not bad, not bad. This will save me the trouble of hunting you down individually.’
Black Dragon, greatsword in hand, examined the vast Beast Region armies. A hint of laughter flashed through his eyes.
Even in the face of the enemy’s heaven-shaking killing intent, Black Dragon took a step forward, completely unperturbed. That single step influenced the entire Beast Region army, putting every last one of them on edge.
Seeing this, Black Dragon couldn’t help but laugh heartily.
“Don’t be nervous, everyone.”
“Hmph. You really know how to talk nonsense, you bastard,” said the head of the White Tiger Clan, Lei Hu. He grinned, then snorted, “but to tell the truth, I actually quite admire you. You convinced those poisonous snakes to sell out the Beast Region and conspire with you! What they say is true: birds of a feather really do flock together.”
Behind Black Dragon, one of the Demon Sovereigns roared, “impudent!” Black Dragon made a hand signal telling him to step back.
“‘’Conspire’ is such a nasty term. Brother Teng Yin was simply adapting to the circumstances. Your fate is sealed. The demons are poised to trample the Three Realms and take control. You can’t turn this around, not even if you put your backs to the wall and struggle with all your might.”
“Hah?” Lei Hu sneered contemptuously. In response, Black Dragon smiled in complete and utter confidence.
“I have no thirst for blood. Don’t say I didn’t give you a chance. If you lay down your arms and surrender, I might very well spare your lives. Coincidentally, I’m currently in need of a mount. The few of you can be my mounts. It’s perfect!”
“Do you think that’s funny?” Ye Zichen sighed and stepped forth. “You’re mouthing off at a time like this? Is this funny to you?”
“Emperor Ye, what are you saying? I’m doing this out of concern for you!” said Black Dragon with a tight-lipped smile. “If we fight, both sides will be plunged into an abyss of suffering. I don’t want you to sacrifice your lives for nothing. I’m giving you a way out, aren’t I?”
“Is that so?”
“Emperor Ye, we know there’s absolutely no way you’ll surrender,” said Gu Li. He took a few steps forward, then laughed, “but even if you don’t surrender, that doesn’t mean the people behind you won’t. Don’t force your subjective views onto others.”
“Hmph. There are no cowards in the Beast Region,” Tu Biyu grunted angrily.
“There aren’t? In that case, do you dare let me ask them a question?” said Gu Li. From his face, it was obvious he spoke with complete self-assurance.
He turned to the diverse army of beasts in the sky and said, “if you want to surrender, now is the time to come forth. We won’t harm you.”
There was a sudden commotion.
Shockingly, some of them truly seemed moved by the offer.
“I…. I’ll withdraw.”
There was a disturbance near the back of the line. People ran from the ranks as if fleeing an explosion, running directly towards the demons' encampment.
“I will as well.”
“I don’t want to die…..”
People deserted, one after the other. Gu Li simply smiled and nodded, “that’s right. Anyone who wants to withdraw should say so now. I will absolutely spare your lives.”
The soldiers’ morale collapsed.
The four Sacred Beast clan heads watched the deserters flee, their faces steely.
A beam of light exploded forth, instantly shattering a distant mountain to pieces. Broken chunks of stone scattered in all four directions.
“If you dare run, this will be your fate.” Lei Hu stared ferociously, eyes wide. The soldiers on the verge of desertion froze in place.
Then they heard someone shout, “brothers, there’s no need for us to die here! Lei Hu is cruel and unjust! To think he’d threaten us! Why should we throw our lives away for him? Wouldn’t that be stupid? Rush out, join the demons…… urk…..”
The man’s attempts to incite a rebellion came to an abrupt end as Ye Zichen ruthlessly grabbed him by the neck. Blood leaked from the rebel’s mouth and flowed down Ye Zichen’s arms.
The wannabe deserters cowered in terror as Ye Zichen glowered coldly at them. At the same time, he flung the rabble-rouser to the ground.
“Run if you want, but only if you’ve got the guts. I can guarantee that if you try it, you won't live for more than five seconds. Try it...if you dare.”