Heaven Dou Army
(TL by Bagelson)
The Heaven Dou Empire’s regent Xue Beng’s appearance instantly drew everyone’s attention. Just while a host of spirit masters were paying him their respects, he suddenly took of his golden helmet and bowed to Tang San, respectfully calling him teacher.
In fact, in this army of millions, Xue Beng as Emperor bowing to Tang San in front of so many people shocked everyone, leaving them dumbstruck. No matter if they were spirit masters who knew Tang San or not, they couldn’t help instantly reevaluating this youth.
Tang San bowed at the same time as Xue Beng paid his respects. He of course wouldn’t bow to Xue Beng, but rather to Grandmaster right next to him. He also addressed him as teacher.
The scene seemed a bit strange. Only those who knew Tang San well understood what was going on.
“Your Majesty, don’t be so courteous.”
After Tang San saluted Grandmaster, he turned to the side, more or less accepting Xue Beng’s half bow, simultaneously stepping forward to help him up.
Tang San clearly saw an excited expression in Xue Beng’s eyes.
“Teacher for a day, a father for life. Teacher, this is only appropriate.”
Xue Beng Tightly gripped Tang San’s hand, speaking respectfully.
Tang San smiled slightly:
“Your Majesty is now the ruler of a nation, and the commander of these millions of soldiers, you definitely can’t go on like this.”
Xue Beng laughed out loud:
“Teacher, I really didn’t expect you to catch up in time. It seems even Heaven is helping my Heaven Dou.”
Tang San said:
“I don’t understand leading troops in battle, but Since Tang San has come, I will definitely devote my full strength to help sharing Your Majesty’s burdens.”
Xue Beng nodded to Tang San, then turned his gaze to the surrounding crowds, suddenly loudly declaring:
“Heaven Dou Empire’s subordinates hear my command!”
“Long live Your Majesty!”
Instantly, a storm of voices rose in answer. Whether spirit masters or soldiers and generals, all fell to one knee. The only ones who didn’t were Tang San and Grandmaster who were entitled not to.
Xue Beng’s eyes shone, projecting a graceful royal presence,
“Today, my teacher, Tang Sect Master king Lan Hao, Tang San, has returned. Hereafter, teacher’s orders are like my commands, where teacher goes, like my presence.”
“Yes. Long live Your Majesty, long live king Lan Hao.”
Hearing the shouts of millions of heroes, even someone as steadfast as Tang San couldn’t help but feel his blood boil. His impassioned voice reverberated in the sky,
“Heaven—— Dou—— certain—— victory——!”
This rallying cry was filled with incomparably tyrannical mental power, and at the same time Tang San raised the Seagod Trident. Along with the Seagod’s Light pouring into it, a ray of deeply golden light shot up. Even in daytime, every soldier could clearly see that divine pillar of golden light.
“Heaven—— Dou—— certain—— victory——!”
Roars resounded in every corner of the army, the voices travelling several doze li before fading. The army’s vigor instantly rose to an unprecedented level.
Xue Beng stared shocked at that golden trident in Tang San’s hand that gave even him thoughts of submission, and couldn’t help exclaiming in admiration. Besides gratitude, his respect for Tang San was even more due to the Tang Sect’s importance for the entire Heaven Dou Empire. He also knew Tang San was a genius, but he was after all a genius of the young generation. In his impression, he still wasn’t a true power. But Tang San’s shout had still provoked a reply from millions of soldiers, and the aura he exposed for an instant shocked even Xue Beng who had met a lot of powers. Vaguely, he already sensed that Tang San’s power absolutely wasn’t inferior to those old spirit masters.
“Teacher, thank you.”
Xue Beng said sincerely.
Tang San smiled calmly:
“It’s not too late for Your Majesty to thank me once I’ve helped Your Majesty sweep the Spirit Empire flat.”
Right now he was no longer the Tang San from before. With the backing of formidable strength, Tang San’s words held an intense confidence.
Xue Beng smiled:
“Teacher, how about being my vice commander?”
Tang San shook his head:
“Your Majesty, I don’t understand army battles. I think I’d better help you block the enemy’s stronger spirit master. I’ll help lead the Tang Army. Once we encounter the Spirit Empire’s spirit master legions, leave it to me and Teacher to confront them. We’ll keep them from interfering with the main battlefield as much as possible.”
Grandmaster frowned, looking at Tang San. The Spirit Empire’s spirit master legions were so powerful that, even if Tang San was the Imperial Tutor, Grandmaster felt that his promise was a bit inappropriate. After all, if he couldn’t achieve what he promised, it would mean major losses to the entire army. That was unpardonable for anyone.
Xue Beng glanced at Grandmaster, then looked at Tang San again, speaking in a low voice:
“Teacher, this time I’m personally commanding the army with the mindset that broken jade is better than undamaged brick. When facing Spirit Hall’s spirit master legions, if we can fight then fight, and if we can’t, we still have the army for support.”
Tang San said:
“Your Majesty, I calculated the Spirit Empire’s strength on the way here. According to all kinds of indicators in the past, the total sum of the Spirit Empire’s spirit masters should be sixty to seventy thousand. You could say it’s ten times ours. But, they can at most mobilize fifty thousand. After all, the strength of spirit masters below rank thirty is basically useless on the battlefield, and that’s already stretching it. They will need to leave at least five thousand spirit masters as reserve, and five thousand to guard their most important cities. The spirit masters they can actually throw against us and the Star Luo Imperial Army should number around forty thousand. Your Majesty mobilizing the entire nation like this should be after discussing it well with Star Luo. The Star Luo Empire’s strength isn’t less than ours, and they’re bound to form a pincer attack from the south. So, the Spirit Empire’s spirit master legions should halve again, leaving around twenty thousand to face us. Of course, even so, they have three to four times our numbers in spirit masters, still an overwhelming advantage.”
Listening to Tang San’s analysis, Xue Beng nodded repeatedly, expressing his agreement.
Tang San continued:
“At present, Grandmaster should be leading around four thousand of our six thousand spirit masters, plus two thousand three hundred of our Tang Sect. Adding the Tang Army equipped with Tang Sect hidden weapons, I’m confident in at least blocking the frontal attack of Spirit Hall’s twenty thousand spirit masters.”
“Little San, I’ve also calculated the difference in strength between both sides. You’re right, if the enemy’s twenty thousand spirit masters are all ordinary spirit masters, we do have the ability to stop them. But don’t forget that Spirit Hall’s powers are numerous, and Bibi Dong is deep and unmeasurable. There’s also one exceptional Douluo with rank ninety nine strength that might appear on the battlefield. You should understand the destructive power of such a heaven defying power in war. Moreover, the Spirit Empire has a total of maybe twenty TItle Douluo. Right now all we have is Poison Douluo, Sword Douluo, Bone Douluo, and even adding in mine, Flender and Erlong’s spirit fusion ability, that’s still only equivalent to four Title Douluo. Facing at least ten Title Douluo, and possibly even exceptional Douluo, if the enemy’s peak level powers enter our spirit master camp, the circumstances will change immediately. At the same time, Spirit Hall has prepared for years. Their Spirit Douluo and Spirit Sage level powers are at least ten times ours. Did you include those?”
This was a war of life and death. Even though Grandmaster hadn’t seen Tang San for five years and had missed him deeply, no matter how overjoyed he was at seeing him again, he immediately recounted his own thoughts when he heard Tang San’s somewhat cavalier promise.
After Tang San muttered to himself a moment, a very faint blue light enveloped him, Grandmaster as well as Xue Beng, isolating their voices from the outside world. Then he spoke briefly. Grandmaster’s doubtful expression was completely obliterated, and Xue Beng also showed an expression of sudden revelation.
Xue Beng returned to the army, accompanied by a crowd of guards, but Grandmaster still stayed behind. He wasn’t following Xue Beng every moments, and spent even more time here commanding the spirit master army.
Before anyone came over to disturb them, Grandmaster spoke to Tang San in a low voice:
“Little San, you’re really sure?”
Tang San said:
“As long as Bibi Dong and that exceptional Douluo Qian Daoliu don’t come at me together, I’m certain of blocking twenty thousand Spirit Empire spirit masters. There’s something else I didn’t tell you. I’m just back from the Clear Sky School, and the Clear Sky School as already decided to return to the Continent, naturally they’ll join our Heaven Dou Empire faction. To tell the truth, this time the Empire has set out in force, but the rear is a bit hollow. I had the Speed Hall disciples deliver a letter to the Clear Sky School, telling uncle to leave five Title Douluo and most sect disciples stationed in Heaven Dou City, and then send two Title Douluo to lead a hundred elites to support us. My father might be one of the two. These reinforcements will undoubtedly relieve the gap in Spirit Sage and higher level spirit masters between us and the Spirit Empire. I didn’t mention it to Xue Beng just now to hold back a trump card. Otherwise I wouldn’t say I was so certain.”
Grandmaster said relieved.:
“THen it’s good. Only, just what you said just now already raised Xue Beng’s confidence. This battle. Actually, he sent troops against his will, compelled by the circumstances.”
Tang San nodded:
“That’s why I must strengthen his confidence. As the ruler of a nation, the commander in chief of the army, if even he doesn’t have confidence in victory, how will we have any chance in battle? Also, I wasn’t exaggerating. Us Shrek Seven Devils really is enough to equal seven Title Douluo.”
This was what Tang San told Grandmaster and Xue Beng before. On the battlefield, the Shrek Seven Devils was enough to equal seven Title Douluo.
Thus, the Heaven Dou Empire side possessed the equivalent of more than ten Title Douluo level powers.
Grandmaster gave a soft sigh:
“Little San, you have to remember that I’m more unwilling to see you in any danger than I am hoping to destroy the Spirit Empire. True, with Rongrong’s spirit power reaching rank eighty, she’s become the Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School’s strongest support type spirit master, and arguably also the world’s number one support spirit master. WIth her there, you all really can enter the Title Douluo realm, but, she alone can’t support the six of you for too long. Compared to seven true Title Douluo, there’s still a gap. You have to keep this in mind. The battlefield isn’t a competition, with one mistake there is danger to your life. Your lives are most important.”
Just as Tang San was preparing to tell Grandmaster that he had already become a true Title Douluo, he was interrupted.
“Little freak, you came back! Hahahaha!” With clear and bright laughter, Poison Douluo Dugu Bo crawled out of some unknown corner, coming up to Grandmaster and Tang San, just in time to make Tang San swallow his words.
Dugu Bo still seemed hale and hearty, the five years hadn’t left any marks on him. He also walked up and gave Tang San a huge bearhug, regardless of Grandmaster standing right there.
“Old freak, you’re still as always! A bit softer, a bit softer……”
Sensing Dugu Bo’s unconstrained emotions, Tang San couldn’t help feeling a burst of warmth, forcefully returning the hug.
Seeing Dugu Bo come over, the Tang Sect four hall masters as well as the other Shrek Seven Devils also all gathered, asking about Tang San’s experiences over these five years. Dai Mubai and the others who returned first hadn’t said anything about their trip to Seagod Island, only stating that they’d cultivated painstakingly for five years, making their strength increase substantially. Tang San had warned them to do so. After all, it was best not to circulate the mysteries of the Seagod Island too widely.
Surrounded by the crowd, Tang San simply recounted the trip to Seagod Island, but spoke even more about the sea spirit masters and the panicked events on the sea. As for Xiao Wu’s resurrection, he was even less talkative. This related to his and Xiao Wu’s secrets, and even though these people were all trustworthy, Tang San still didn’t talk about it to avoid touching on Xiao Wu’s sadness. Only, he didn’t hide the events of the Clear Sky School, explaining them. At the same time he also comforted the four elders, telling them what he told Tai Nuo.
Tai Tan sighed:
“It’s all twenty years in the past. Even if a lot happened to us because of the Clear Sky School, we also gained a lot of benefits from them. Let the past be the past. As long as sect master doesn’t merge us with the Clear Sky School, fighting alongside is nothing.”
Tang San looked at Yang Wudi whose hatred for the Clear Sky School was the deepest. But who knew that Yang Wudi’s gaze was always fixed on Tang San’s Seagod Trident, seemingly not paying attention to what was said about the Clear Sky School.
Bau He laughed:
“Sect master, no need to mind the old mountain goat. In the past five years when we’ve all been able to live together, he doesn’t even know how happy he’s been. All the past is already in the past. Even though he feels conflicted about it, the old orangutan is right, as long as we don’t return to the Clear Sky School, let the past lie. Dealing with Spirit Hall is important. We old fellows can clearly tell the difference between trivialities and important stuff.”
Tang San laughed out loud:
“Many thanks for all elders’ magnanimity. I haven’t been back for five years. Elder Tai Tan, what are the circumstances of our Tang Sect, and what are the circumstances of the Tang Army? I’ll trouble you to introduce me.”
Before Tai Tan could open his mouth, Yan Wudi interrupted:
“Sect master, where is this trident from? How come I feel my heart beat in alarm when looking at it? Even my spirit power becomes unstable. The Soul Breaking Spear even gives me a feeling like it doesn’t want me to release it.”
“That’s quite normal, even my Seven Kill Sword was supressed until it couldn’t breathe by this trident.” Sword Douluo had disappeared just after Tang San reached the army. Now that he had returned, Bone Douluo Gu Rong as well as Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School master Ning Fengzhi had returned with him.
Ning Fengzhi clearly looked a bit older, the hair at his temples already grizzled. These past five years clearly hadn’t been easy on him.
Tang San swiftly stepped forward to bow in greeting. Even if he was already the master of a sect, he would still never forget how Ning Fengzhi helped him back then.
Ning Fengzhi smiled slightly, immediately bowing in return:
“Sect master Tang, don’t be like this. Speaking of, the growth speed of you youngsters has shocked me. Only, as you grow up, we will also grow old. The future Douluo Continent is the world of you youngsters.”
Tang San smiled calmly:
“Uncle Ning is still in your prime, how could you be old?”
Ning Fengzhi laughed out loud:
“Fine, let’s not mention it. Just now I heard uncle Chen Xin say you had a weapon even the Seven Kill Sword couldn’t compare yo, so I also got quite interested. Could you give everyone an introduction?”
The people who could stand in the circle around him were all trustworthy comrades or elders, so Tang San had no intention of hiding it. He stabbed the Seagod Trident into the ground:
“Seagod Trident, weighs one hundred eight thousand jin.”
A simple explanation, but it made everyone feel the sky collapse. One hundred eight thousand jin, what kind of idea was that?
Sword Douluo’s eyes revealed a pensive mood,
“No wonder, no wonder. Congratulations, sect master Tang. This divine object will certainly be a sharp weapon in the fight against Spirit Hall.”
Ning Fengzhi also nodded to Tang San:
“Sect master Tang, after this war is over, I will have to request people from you. Little Ao you can steal, but you still have to return our Rongrong. I will have her replace me.”
Rongrong cried out, leaping in front of her father,
“You’re still in the prime of your life, how come you have to leave your position to me?”
Ning Fengzhi rubbed his daughter’s head, his eyes brimming with pride. Laughing, he said:
“Because, only by replacing daddy can our Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School become the Nine Treasure Glazed Tile School! The sect master position belongs to those capable. You’ve already surpassed daddy. Daddy believes that, under your leadership, our Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School will definitely reforge our glory.”
Tang San nodded:
“Uncle Ning, that’s only natural. Rongrong has always been of the Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School.”
Ning Fengzhi said:
“The army will resume marching, I have to return. Little San, the key to this war will be your Tang Sect. Uncle believes that you will definitely give the Spirit Empire a huge surprise.”
Ning Fengzhi brought the two Title Douluo away, and the others also returned to their posts. When the army resumed marching, Tang San brought the Shrek Seven Devils after the four Tang Sect hall masters to the Tang Army’s position in the million man army.
The Tang Army was on the left side of Xue Beng’s central army, forming an army by itself. Their equipment was different from the other legions. When Tang San saw the equipment of the common Tang Army soldiers, he also couldn’t help sighing that the Heaven Dou Empire had disregarded all production costs for this special force.
The Tang Army soldiers didn’t wear metal armor, but rather leather. This leather armor wasn’t he light protection guarding just the vital areas of the body, but rather rhinoceros leather armor protecting the whole body. It was even more expensive than full metal armor. Not only was its defense very powerful, it was also very light and didn’t influence movement.
All Tang Army soldiers were young warrior between age twenty and thirty. Each carried a two chi long and one chi wide Godly Zhuge Crossbow on their backs. Tang San saw at a glance that these crossbows were only made from refined iron, and not iron essence. His original doubts were instantly explained. He originally couldn’t understand how the Tang Sect could create ten thousand Godly Zhuge Crossbrows in a short five years. Now it seemed the answer had provided itself. The size and weight increased cost, but lowered the demands on the crossbow materials.
Besides the large crossbows, each Tang Army soldier was also equipped with a four chi long refined iron battle knife, and all over their leather armor hung characteristic leather bags holding at least one hundred twenty crossbow bolts, each six cun or so long. Even though these crossbow bolts weren’t fully made from iron essence either, the arrowheads all were. Through quick calculations, Tang San discovered that the large edition Godly Zhuge Crossbow shouldn’t have lost much in power. It was even more suitable to equipping an army.
Each Tang Army soldier was provided with a large horse with head high. The value of their equipment wouldn’t be less than that of the heavy cavalry, and that was still when disregarding the Godly Zhuge Crossbow. This showed how the Heaven Dou imperial family was filled with expectations for this special force.
The four hall masters came up to Tang San. Tai Tan spoke:
“This Tang Army was founded three years ago, when His Majesty Xue Beng ascended the throne. Made up of elite warriors selected from within the army, after three years of training their combat strength is already quite formidable. Enough to use on the battlefield. Their training was conducted privately in absolute secrecy. Each person carries the Godly Zhuge Crossbow, as well as one hundred sixty crossbow bolts. Besides the forty inside the Godly Zhuge Crossbow, the remaining one hundred twenty is carried on their person. The Godly Zhuge Crossbow they’re currently carrying is my improved design. Sect master should have seen that sacrificing size and weight, we can reduce the manufacturing difficulty and material demands without giving up power. For special use in the army, it’s absolutely no problem.”
Tang San nodded:
“Besides these ten thousand, how many people are currently equipped with our Tang Sect hidden weapons?”
Tai Tan said:
“Our initial production first went to supplying the Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School. Of course, we supplied them with all the best quality hidden weapons, and also full sets. Only for the Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School’s directly related disciples. After that was our own Tang Sect. This time, altogether two thousand three hundred Tang Sect spirit masters have set out, among them the Speed Hall, Medicine Hall and Defense Hall disciples all have two hundred, the remainder are lately joined young spirit masters. The Strength Hall Disciples were left in the sect to continue producing hidden weapons. There’s also five hundred elderly and children left in the sect. Right now the sect altogether consists of around three thousand people. The sect disciples along here are all equipped with full sets of hidden weapons, just like the Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School. At the same time there are also three hundred with Godly Zhuge Crossbows with special bolts. They are mainly focused on Armor Breaking Arrows and Thunder Flame Arrows. Their attack power is at least fifty percent higher than ordinary Godly Zhuge Crossbows.”
Tang San said:
“What’s the average level of our spirit masters here?”
Tai Tan said:
“Around rank forty on average. They are after all mostly youths. But they’re also all trained by Grandmaster, their fighting strength is considerable. As for the disciples of our three halls, they’re a bit stronger. Among them the Speed Hall disciples are equipped with the most hidden weapons.”
Listening to Tai Tan’s simple introduction, Tang San had a rough understanding of the Tang Army’s circumstances. At this time, the army resumed marching again, and the Tang Army soldiers mounted one after another. They moved orderly and nimbly, and even though there was no killing intent, that spear sharp aura showed in every action.
In these five years, the Tang Sect had grown swiftly. Not only in terms of number, with the direct backing of the Heaven Dou Imperial Family, they had summoned large numbers of blacksmiths to assist the Tang Sect in producing hidden weapons. Of course, the crucial components were still manufactured by the Tang Sect disciples themselves, while some components were distributed for these outside blacksmiths to make, substantially speeding up the entire manufacturing process. Otherwise there would have been no way to equip an army like this.
All the resources were fully supplied by the Heaven Dou imperial family, without costing the Tang Sect a penny. Moreover, they had been allocated funds before even producing anything. After these five years, the Tang Sect’s accumulated wealth was already quite something, even comparable to the Seven Treasure Glazed Tile School of the past. Only, before the return of the Shrek Seven Devils, the full spirit master strength of the Tang Sect was still insufficient, especially in terms of powers. Otherwise, the Tang Sect’s overall strength wouldn’t be inferior to the three upper sects back then.
Although Tang San also knew that the Heaven Dou Empire gave their full support in order to deal with Spirit Hall, he still couldn’t help but admire Xu Beng and the late emperor Xue Ye.
The army marched on, stopping every couple of hours for a brief rest. In one day, the millions of heroes covered a full two hundred li. At such a pace, they would reach the common border of the Heaven Dou Empire and Spirit Empire in five or six days.
At nightfall, the army made camp. While camped, the army was arranged differently from when on the move. In the military camp, the infantry was on the outside, with cavalry inside and the imperial guard in the center. Supply wagons and provisions was also in the center of the army. An unending stream of supply wagons was constantly passing through, and the entire camp was bustling.
After a full day of march, they could finally rest. Cooking details lit fires for food, while ordinary soldiers raised tents to rest.
The Tang Army didn’t need to make their own camp, a specialized supply force came up to make it for them. Their position was also at the center of the million man army, close to the big tent guarded by the imperial guard.
When camp was just made, a messenger came down from the big tent in the center of the army.
“His Majesty invites his highness king Lan Hao to discuss business in the central army.”
“Fine, I’ll go right away.”
This was still the first time Tang San participated in a military conference. He didn’t bring anyone, alone following the messenger into the army center.
The big tent in the middle of the army wasn’t lavish, the boiled cowhide tent looked thick and solid, surrounded by a steel forest of weapons, protected by the imperial guard. After following the messenger inside, Tang San discovered that there were actually more than a hundred people already inside.
Xue Beng sat in the elevated main seat, the position on his left empty, Grandmaster sitting to his right. Next were more than ten grave looking generals seated. The others all stood below.
Seeing Tang San arrive, Xue Beng stood hurriedly, personally going to meet him. The crowd of generals all looked somewhat curiously at this young Imperial Tutor. Especially when they saw Tang San bringing a trident inside. Xue Beng showed no offense, and he couldn’t help secretly praise him.
“Teacher, you came. Please sit.”
Xue Beng pulled Tang San inside, having him take the seat to his left. In fact, Tang San’s current position was below only his, above countless others.
Tang San lowered his voice:
“Your Majesty, I don’t understand military affairs. Don’t mind me, official business is urgent.”
Xue Beng nodded, gallantly returning to the main seat. His gaze swept the crowd below, and the large tent instantly grew quiet, the hundred or more military officials deferential.
“Our army has ten thousand men to a legion, you are all legion commanders. At present Our army is already less than five days travel from the Spirit Empire. The war is imminent. Gathering all generals here today is in order to concretize the battle plan. We don’t need to mention the importance of this battle to the Empire. We hope all generals can work with one heart. After we have won this battle and returned, We will provide rewards according to achievements, conferring titles accordingly.”
“Your Majesty, long live, long live, long long live.”
“Reporting to Your Majesty. At present everything is normal in the army. Advance scouts report that the Spirit Empire has already responded, gathering their army before Jialing Pass.”
A fifty year old general to Tang San’s right stood and gave a report. While speaking, his gae swept Tang San, his expression somewhat apathetic. Clearly he wasn’t particularly concerned with this youngster who could sit above him.
Xue Beng said to Tang San:
“This is the Empire’s pillar, marshal Ge Long, titled the Nine Lives Divine Dragon. He is also number one in the empire, chief commander of the three armies.”
Listening to Xue Beng’s introduction, Tang San understood. No wonder this old commander wasn’t too taken with him, he was the number one person in the Heaven Dou Empire military. Even if he wasn’t above him and Grandmaster in noble ranking, in terms of actual authority he might be second only to Xue Beng. From Xue Beng’s expression as he looked at him, it was clear that this new emperor relied heavily on this marshal Ge Long. It was also no wonder this marshal was dissatisfied with having to sit below him. Judging by his presence, he should be a Spirit Douluo level power.
Ge Long wore Heaven Dou silver armor, embracing a three tined helmet. A spirit master was in the prime of his life in his fifties, and to have reached the Spirit Douluo level at such an age was quite remarkable. After all, how many geniuses like Tang San and the others could there be?
“Your Majesty, according to our analysis as well as estimations regarding those traitors, even if the Spirit Empire gathers the ten kingdoms and duchies, they can at most field six hundred thousand soldiers. This should be their limit in wartime. And with our army and the Star Luo Imperial Army attacking from north and south, they can only send around three hundred thousand troops against us, not even a third of our numbers. The terrain before Jialing Pass is flat, and even though the Spirit Empire seized the field ahead of time, they absolutely can’t stand up to us in battle. They will definitely retreat to Jialing Pass, defending from a natural stronghold. As long as they summon their spirit master legions, even with a million heroes, breaking through their defenses will be difficult beyond difficult.”
“Jialing Pass is in the center of the Heaven Spirit mountain range, a key military point. One man can hold off ten thousand there. If we want to make any contributions in this war, we must break through the pass.”
Xue Beng pondered:
“If we were to detour around the Heaven Spirit mountains and come at them from another direction?”
Ge Long frowned:
“I have also considered this option, but the feasibility is very low. First disregarding how many more days the army would have to march, in order to have a chance to go around, we would have to enter the hinterlands of the Spirit Empire. The terrain there consists mainly of hills, valleys and basins. It’s extremely unfavorable for our army. It’s on the contrary even more dangerous. Moreover, there’s also the chance for enemy troops to block our escape route. Behind Jialing Pass is a long narrow plain, leading deep into the territory of the Balack Kingdom, directly to the root of the problem. Consequently, this subject believes that breaking Jialing Pass is imperative. Only by attacking from there can we achieve the greatest benefits, entering to attack or guarding our retreat, as necessary.”
 Jialing Pass – (嘉陵关) “Auspicious Mountain Pass”
 Ge Long – (戈龙) “Spear Dragon”
 Three armies – Left, Right, and Center