Chapter 1247 – A Worsening Situation – Sacrifice
No one could have imagined that within a day, the flourishing and peaceful Deer City would have ended up this way.
The small Human Race city, known throughout the Vast Thousand Domains because of its connection to Ye Qingyu, was turned into a pile of rubble. Broken tiles and bricks laid everywhere; bodies piled up; the angry growls of vicious beasts could be heard in the distance, and the sounds of survivors fighting could barely be heard, but soon faded away into silence. There were also several formations in operation that could barely ward away the vicious beasts, but they would not be able to hold on for much longer.
Qin Ying had still been hoping that he could hold on until the troops from the empire arrived, to launch a counterattack and take back Deer City.
However, there was still no sign of reinforcements.
And as for them, they couldn’t hold out for much longer.
He had already decided on a final plan.
“I will defend the city until my dying breath. The imperial family has always treated the Qin clan with kindness, and we have yet to repay the kindness that was bestowed upon us. Now, our city is under attack by vicious beasts, resulting in countless civilians being injured and killed. During such a time of disaster, I’ve failed in my duty as the City Lord to protect them and have committed a huge crime, so how could I abandon it?” Qin Ying said as he looked at his grown son, then at his clansmen and smiled. “Since the day Her Highness battled and won over the six districts to unite the Heaven Wasteland, and since the day the Lord of the Light Palace Ye Qingyu opened up a whole new world for the Heaven Wasteland Domain, there are only soldiers who would fight till their dying breath here, and there is no place for a City Lord who abandons his people. As the City Lord of Deer City, I’ll have to go down with it.”
“Father, you… can’t. You…” Qin Wushuang said desperately.
Qin Ying silenced him with a wave of his hand and said, “There’s something strange about this horde of vicious beasts attacking the city. They’ve even managed to overcome the formations that Lord Ye Qingyu had put in place, so there’s obviously a terrifying presence hiding amongst the vicious beasts. No one knows why they are here. All of you have experienced the battles last night and managed to walk out of them. I can’t afford to drag all of you down to your deaths along with me, so you have to walk out of this place alive, to report what you’ve witnessed today to Her Highness and Lord Ye Qingyu. This is no ordinary attack from the beasts; it might very well be the start of an apocalypse. Tell the military that they mustn’t let down their guards.”
He said, as though he was delivering his final words.
Everyone around him understood his final decision.
The Qin clan were both incredibly angry and filled with sorrow.
Many experts who had come from foreign domains couldn’t help but develop a newfound respect for Qin Ying.
They hadn’t noticed this Human Race nobleman who was in charge of Deer City since he was just a Saint realm martial artist. The Heaven Wasteland Empire might have been known throughout the Vast Thousand Domains but the Qin clan was just a minor nobility within the empire. Many experts from the foreign domains had only shown respect to Qin Ying and the other officials because of Deer City’s connection to the empire and Ye Qingyu, but now, they truly respected and admired this City Lord’s valor from the bottom of their hearts.
After consideration, aside from the precedent made by Ye Qingyu, who had ruthlessly crushed all opposition, and the inroads of development paved by the imperial family, the fact that thousands of other courageous officials like Qin Ying served the empire probably also had a large part to play in the vertiginous rise of the Heaven Wasteland Empire.
“All those who are not part of the Qin clan should leave, and those from the Qin clan who are above a hundred years of age and willing to fight alongside me are welcome to stay. Those who don’t wish to fight may leave with the others… this is my final command, and my final request,” Qin Ying’s voice rang out loudly; there was an unmistakable determination in his voice.
Everyone looked at him sorrowfully.
Several people left the crowd silently and went to stand with Qin Ying. These people were all the elderly men of the Qin clan; Deer City was their homeland and they didn’t want to abandon it. Many of these people had lost their close of kin in the previous night’s battle, and they did not fear death. All they wanted was revenge and to stand with their clan elder Qin Ying. This was their final stand.
“I will also stay,” Qin Wushuang roared and tightly gripped the saber in his hands.
Qin Ying smiled and said, “If you want the Qin clan to be thoroughly wiped out from the world, then feel free to stay. Whatever decision you make today, it will reflect how much you’ve grown and matured during your time spent with the military over the years. It’s your choice.”
“I…” Qin Wushuang started and felt as though the blood in his body was boiling.
Ultimately, he had no choice but to accept his father’s painstakingly laid out arrangements, and leave with the rest of the younger ones from the Qin clan.
Qin Ying stood at the main gates to the City Lord’s residence and watched the group leave. There was a calmness in his face that had never been there before.
Frankly, he was not a good person, and had for a time made things difficult for Ye Qingyu, before he had fully matured and risen to power. As a nobleman of the empire, he rarely spared a thought for the poorer civilians of the city. Over the years, as Deer City grew in wealth and military strength, he had only performed his duties as their City Lord perfunctorily. Most of the policies implemented were cascaded down from the empire, and any decision he made himself was to protect the interests of the Qin clan and the other noblemen, including the decision he was making today. He had done so with the future of the Qin clan in mind. If he were to flee with the best and brightest men of the Qin clan that day, he would have to bear full responsibility when the law of the empire caught up to him. However, if he died in battle—the empire might even reward the Qin clan and the others to compensate them for their loss.
He would use his life to pave the way for his son.
This was a decision he had to make as a nobleman and as a figure of authority.
“Let us protect the Qin clan’s honor today.”
Further away, the final formation shattered with a bang. Then, the vicious beasts that were like a black destructive sea howled, as they charged toward them. Qin Ying laughed, raised the long saber in his hand high and let out a final angry roar. The elderly men of the Qin clan beside him all ran up to meet the raging beasts like moths to a flame. Thus, the final battle of their lives began.
Deer City fell that very day.
Tens of thousands of its residents, and several thousand martial artists from the foreign domains perished in battle. There were many Saints and Great Saints amongst the dead. The terrifying horde of beasts turned the city, one that had been a sacred martial land for humans across the Vast Thousand Domains, into a pile of rubble. The regular troops of the empire stationed at Deer City were completely wiped out, and the city laid in ruins like a living hell.
Only the City Lord’s son, Qin Wushuang, and several thousand elite experts of the city managed to flee because of Qin Ying’s sacrifice.
However, the top academy of the empire, White Deer Academy had already made arrangements to leave, even before the city fell. The head of the academy Hon Kong took the elite teachers and students and fled ahead of time. Thus, the peerless academy that had groomed the third Deputy Spokesperson of the Human Race Ye Qingyu narrowly avoided complete destruction.
Later, investigations also showed that Song Qingluo, the chairwoman of the Qingluo Chamber of Commerce was also in the city that night, but her whereabouts were unknown.
Ye Qingyu’s relatives at the Ye residence had all gone missing as well.
Qin Wushuang and the others finally saw the reinforcement troops from the empire the next afternoon.
When the news was made public, it shook the entire Heaven Wasteland Domain.
The Vast Thousand Domains were also in shock.
This was indisputably the worst catastrophe that had befallen the Heaven Wasteland Empire since they had risen in the Vast Thousand Domains, and this disaster wasn’t brought on because of enemy troops or an uprising, but from an unexpected horde of vicious beasts. Everyone was shocked and wondered how terrifying these beasts were to have been able to invade Deer City. After all, everyone knew that this was where Ye Qingyu had personally laid out its defensive formations.
Everyone’s attention was on Deer City at that moment.
However, soon they heard even more shocking news.
One of the battalions of regular soldiers from the Heaven Wasteland Empire, the Burning Snake Kiss, that had gone to lend aid to Deer City had not only failed to take back the city, they had been attacked and wiped out by the horde of beasts on a field ten thousand kilometers away from Deer City. Almost a hundred thousand elite soldiers of the empire were wiped out by the vicious beasts and their blood covered the lands!
The horde of beasts were vicious and savage, as they ravaged the plains and headed straight toward the imperial city, Snow Capital.
This news spread like wildfire and rocked the entire world to its core.
Many people had been shocked when they heard about the fall of Deer City for the first time, but when news got out about the complete destruction of the Burning Snake Kiss battalion, everyone was in shock but also overcome with a feeling of dread—the Burning Snake Kiss battalion were troops that had already been fully prepared for the horde of beasts; they possessed many destructive weapons and formations that could destroy large numbers of vicious beasts, but just after the battle had begun, six Great Saints from that battalion had fallen, and there were no survivors.
This was enough for everyone to re-evaluate the threat of the beast horde.
Theoretically, even if Great Saint realm experts were unable to defeat their opponents, they would still be able to flee for their lives. Thus, the fact that all Great Saint experts had died sent a shiver down everyone’s spines. This meant that there was an Emeperor-level beast king hiding amongst the ordinary beast swarms, able to instantly kill Great Saints. In other words, the entire Heaven Wasteland Domain was in danger.
The empire was stunned and everyone stirred in shock.
The Empress of the empire was livid and the imperial guards sent a million soldiers led by Commander Li Guangbi toward the north to fight the enemy, while the Demon King Yan Buhui of the Snow Ground Demon Court led the demon god’s troops down south, to coordinate and cooperate with the troops stationed outside the Youyan Pass. The Youyan Pass’ Commander Lu Chaoge’s Army, the Youyan soldiers were to help the soldiers in the south. In total, there were more than two million elite soldiers of the empire heading to crush and destroy the beast horde on the plains.
The battle swiftly unfolded in the most tragic moment.
The Heaven Wasteland Empire continued to operate smoothly.
At the same time, the allies of the Heaven Wasteland Domain also readied themselves to join the fight.
Approximately two million kilometers on the plains toward the imperial city, Snow Capital.
There weren’t many cities to be found along the plains, especially in the depths of the sea of grass, where it was the natural habitat of the local beasts. It was already set as forbidden grounds for most of the Human Race, and now that the beast horde had invaded the south, the area north of the Boundless River was already invaded. The ten thousand men of the Burning Snake Kiss army had been wiped out along the northern coast of the Boundless River, and for a long time, the water in the Boundless River had been dyed red from the blood of the soldiers.
The only good news was that after the beast horde defeated the Burning Snake Kiss troops, they seemed to finally be in a low energy period and didn’t continue their way north. They temporarily stopped at the Boundless River and merely sent out a small portion of their elite troops to head south and make probing attempts in that direction.
In the area several thousand kilometer south of the Boundless River, there were vicious beasts that looked like flying snakes, bone dragons, and bats that flew at low altitude, as though they were looking for something.
The survivors of Deer City with Qin Wushuang as their leader, the Qingluo Chamber of Commerce led by Song Qingluo, the teachers and students led by Hon Kong, as well as the Ye clan members led by Qin Lan, Li Shizhen and Lang Yong, hid themselves in the sea of grass, over in the grassy plains, and carefully made their way south to the Snow Capital.
Their only goal was to escape detection by the beast horde and to reach the imperial capital alive.
However, Hon Kong and Lan Tian had other plans.