Ziyue City, 150 kilometers away from Ping City. Both Shun City and Ziyue City were respectively located on each side of Ping City.
It had about 10,000 in population and a city wall that was five meters tall, which was nothing close to an impenetrable defense. It was considered smaller compared to an ordinary city which was situated at the border.
But over the decades, this city had been keeping watch along the borders.
At present, even though many people in Ziyue City were clad in helmets and armor, the place wasn't exactly solemn and respectful. In fact, it was pretty noisy and roaring laughter could be heard occasionally.
Every few meters in this city, a hefty and burly man could be seen standing around in a worn out leather cuirass, wielding a long blade, and looking deep into the darkness. Even though they knew that the Great Xia army was just ahead, the darkness had affected their vision, and they weren't able to see too far away even with the aid of the city lights.
Even if they knew that a Great Xia army was rushing over, everyone still looked pretty relaxed and weren't tensed up at all.
"I've heard that Great Xia's army has arrived at both Ping City and Shun City. Are they going all out to the extent of abandoning their seized territories?"
"Hehe. The person who kills 100 people gets promoted. This time round, it will determine whether you get promoted or not."
"There is no telling whether we can fight all the way to Great Xia this time."
Everyone was laughing loudly.
"Protector General of the North, the Great Xia army has stopped in their tracks 1.5 kilometers away to the north. At present, we still haven't determined the number of soldiers in their army."
"The entire army of Great Xia came a long way. Is there anyone willing to go and welcome them? At the same time, let them experience the passion of our ferocious aboriginal warriors." Xiong Yue, the Protector General of the North, had an enormous build and was seated upright on a chair at the front of the hall. Below him were two rows of over ten commanders dressed in leather armor.
"Your subordinate wishes to go!" Almost all of them stood up and volunteered themselves.
"Oh, everyone's essence, qi, and spirit is pretty good." Xiong Yue nodded. "Bai Shiye and Jia Qing, both of you shall lead 1,000 troops each and leave through the north gate. Go fight them at close quarters, then retreat and return from the east and west gates. Set off in 15 minutes, and return in an hour," Xiong Yue ordered before both men left in delight.
"Continue sending the mounted scouts out of the city. Find out exactly how many troops they have," Xiong Yue spoke again. 15 minutes later, the north gate of Ziyue City opened and 2,000 burly men decked in leather armor whistled as they moved out. After some distance, they brandished their long swords and scampered off in a frenzy.
Even though they were just running, their speed was not much slower than horses. Their running speed was comparable to Usain Bolt, and they didn't seem to slow down even after running for a few kilometers.
When they were able to see the dense mass of troops under the moonlight, the two commanders shouted respectively, "Kill!"
Behind them, everyone started howling like beasts and pounced on the dense mass of troops.
"Everyone listen: kill." Following the clear and sonorous voice, thousands of shadows dashed out from the front of the battle formation.
They were first greeted with a barrage of crossbows bolts, and the troops subsequently forged ahead with all sorts of weapons.
There was a variety of weapons, such as swords, spears, and halberds. Even weapons like maces and crowbars could be seen.
"Kill!" There were brilliant rays of excitement in Bai Shiye's eyes. Holding a sword in his hand, he directly struck at the shadow who came head-on. The opponent seemed as if he was shocked by the momentum of his sword. After which, he moved aside as if his body was blown away like leaves in the wind and revealed bits of silver stars from the sword in his hand.
"Die!" Bai Shiye spun his body around, and his blade transformed into a white light swiping across the waist of his opponent, slashing it in half immediately.
The other party's sword merely left a trace of blood on his arms, as if his arm had been stung by a mosquito.
However, this opponent actually made him feel that something wasn't right.
In the army of Great Xia, those who were worthy of using weapons like swords weren't supposed to be so weak.
"You dare kill my disciple? You are courting death!" A thunderous yell could be heard from somewhere not too far away. A sword-wielding elder appeared from the green hill, leaped over everyone's heads, and charged toward Bai Shiye.
Both parties exchanged blows and were able to feel the power emitted from both of their weapons. Bai Shiye took a few steps back, but the other party was sent flying around six meters away.
"An Earth Wheel practitioner from Great Xia!" Bai Shiye knew immediately the strength of the other party, which was approximately the equivalent of an intermediate Earth Wheel expert. However, the skills that he displayed just now made Bai Shiye a little suspicious. It wasn't a technique that was commonly used during close combat on a battlefield. Out of the consecutive 18 moves, almost half of them were meaningless. Judging from the way the other party was displaying such fancy moves on the battlefield, he was definitely not someone from the army.
He looked left and right, and many of the opponents that his troops faced were similar to the one that he had fought.
"They are not the Great Xia army, they are from the sects in Great Xia!" Bai Shiye reacted ferociously.
Yet, why did they appear here?
That opponent who was sent flying off by Bai Shiye just now, was nowhere to be seen at present. Bai Shiye continued to attack a few other opponents with his sword. At this time, orderly footsteps could be heard from ahead. Every sound was as if a giant was stomping on the ground and was shaking with each step.
Countless dark shadows could be seen moving in the darkness and uniform spearheads were reflecting the radiance of the cold moon.
Following which, a bugle horn sounded. Those people who were fighting with the aboriginals just now immediately fled to the sides like rabbits. They were fast, and the aboriginals couldn't catch up to them.
From the darkness, countless arrows fired down on all the aboriginals like falling rain. In one barrage, around 70 people got hit by the arrows and ended up like hedgehogs.
Besides that, many other people were slightly injured by these arrows as well.
Looking at the situation, Bai Shiye promptly let out a long howl, and everyone retreated at flying speeds.
However, as the aboriginals were making their retreat, down came another barrage of arrows. Even though the damage caused was much less this time, 34 of them weren't able to dodge the arrows in time and ended up like hedgehogs. The rest of the aboriginals immediately lifted the 34 wounded soldiers and ran. They chopped off their heads when they found that they weren't breathing anymore and hung the heads from their waists, leaving their bodies as they were.
The aboriginal way of thinking was to bring the heads of the fallen warriors back to the Sixty Thousand Mountains for burial. As for the bodies, they actually didn't really mind.
On the way back to the city with the aboriginals, Bai Shiye roughly took a head count. At least 300 men had not made it back, but they only managed to bring back less than 100 heads.
This made his heart ache to the extent of almost bleeding.
Of course, at the time of retreat, there were around 600 of the enemy's corpses lying on the ground, but this didn't even cross his mind at all.
"Sir!" Bai Shiye reported when he got back. "I have returned to report about the mission."
"How did it go?" Xiong Yue asked.
"We set off with 1,000 men, and returned with around 300 lives lost," Bai Shiye reported.
"Eh?" Xiong Yue and the others were surprised when they heard that. Their initial guess was a loss of at most 200 men. Besides, the other party had just arrived. After a long and difficult trek, how was it possible that the aboriginals had suffered such a huge loss?
"Sir, those soldiers we met weren't from the Great Xia army. The skills that they used weren't those of a conventional army on a battlefield. They seemed like the moves of the sects in Great Xia. Furthermore, I have seen that most of them weren't exactly strong, but they ran extremely fast, which seemed like they were using their so-called martial arts," Bai Shiye replied.
At this moment, Jia Qing entered with his fists cupped. "Sir, I have returned to report about the mission."
"How was it?" Xiong Yue asked with a heavy voice.
"We had set off with 1,000 troops, returned with 600, and lost 400." Jia Qing looked ghastly.
After listening to what Jia Qing had to say, what he had met with was exactly the same as Bai Shiye. They were both caught in a tangle with the sect members of Great Xia in front of their battle formation.
Even though the moves of the other party weren't suited for close combat on a battlefield, the aboriginals were in fact much stronger than those of the Great Xia army. Furthermore, one aboriginal was faced up against at least two to three opponents. Even if he hadn't been killed, they would be tangled up for some time, especially since there were so many Earth Wheel experts present.
Following which, the entire army of Great Xia attacked at once, firing long-range arrows.
This had resulted in both teams sustaining far greater losses than they had expected.
This turn of events left everyone in the hall feeling astonished. Great Xia had actually sent those sect members to the battlefield?
At present, after dispatching their mounted scouts outside of Shun City, the Great Xia army split into two directions. 20 round-shaped objects were hauled by horses toward the front of their battle formation, forming a straight line. All of the black cylinders were made out of cast iron and were aimed at Ziyue City, which was a few kilometers away.
If Ren Baqian was here, he would definitely be able to recognize what those things were.