The three supreme commanders walked out of the Unmoving City of Darkness fearfully and only let out sighs of relief when they returned to their respective warships.
"What exactly is in this box?" Ran Guangyao asked in surprise as he placed the box on the table.
Guo Yuan and He Yan were both curious and fearful.
Ren Guangyao hesitated for a moment before he finally opened the box in front of the other two supreme commanders.
They were hit with the pungent scent of blood the moment the box was opened, and Ren Guangyao gasped softly while He Yan and Guo Yuan turned pale for there was a head in the box. The facial features of this head were extremely clear and its final expression was one of abject terror.
All three of them looked at each other in dismay and felt as though their hearts were about to jump out of their chests.
They had taken countless lives so, under ordinary circumstances, they wouldn't be fazed at the sight of a head. However, they were so shocked because this head once belonged to Yang Feng, who had also been a supreme commander like them.
They had already guessed that Yang Feng had probably met with a bad end, but when they saw his head for themselves, they couldn't help but gasp and suddenly felt chills run down their spines. They felt as though there was a sharp weapon digging into their necks at the moment and that their heads were about to fall off anytime.
Although Yang Feng had made a big mistake, he was still one of the four supreme commanders at the border and held a high position within the Guardians' camp. Moreover, the Yang clan had also been a clan of Emperors, so Ran Guangyao and the others were extremely shocked that he had been killed without any room for negotiation.
"The new Emperor is using this to warn us that killing us would be as easy as killing any peasant on the streets, regardless of our titles. His message to us is that we mustn't make the same mistake," Ran Guangyao said with a bitter smile as realization dawned.
"After all, he is a Martial Emperor of this generation," Guo Yuan said with a resigned expression.
He Yan nodded and said, "Frankly, I was still worried about how the battle in space had ended. Now that the new Emperor returned, I wonder what has happened to the new Emperors and the old sovereigns of the past..."
"Shh, be careful with your words," Ran Guangyao cut He Yan off and looked around surreptitiously before he said, "The divine abilities of Martial Emperors are extremely powerful, so the new Emperor might just be monitoring our every action and move."
He Yan and Guo Yuan immediately realized Ran Guangyao might be right and couldn't help but shudder to themselves.
They fell completely silent and remained silent for thirty minutes.
Guo Yuan finally said, "This news will take at least three days to reach Royal City and no matter how the lords in Royal City react, this should no longer concern us. We should guard the border and make our military duties our top priority. Since His Highness wants us to regroup the troops and prepare for battle, that's all we need to do."
Then, he left the room.
He Yan and Ran Guangyao looked at each other but no one said anything.
"Commander Ran Guangyao, I'll go look at reorganizing my military affairs first," He Yan said as he rose to his feet and left.
Ran Guangyao inhaled deeply and exhaled a breath of murky air as he smiled with bitterness. He covered the black lacquered box that contained Yang Feng's head and after a moment's hesitation, he resealed the box and wrote a report to the military headquarters, ordering his men to send this letter along with the box to Royal City.
This was his duty, and it was something that he had to do.
This was nothing shady and he was not afraid that the new Emperor would find out about it. He had heard from many noblemen that the new Emperor was cruel and bloodthirsty, and made arbitrary decisions, but after he analyzed all of the new Emperor's actions, he felt that the new Emperor was actually a man of principles, rarely punishing people related to perpetrators, neither would the new Emperor deliberately persecute others and rarely created trouble. As long as his men performed their duties as instructed, he would not strongly suppress them either.
"An entire era of sovereigns and officials have controlled the camp for thousands of years. Now, the camp has been severely weakened. Perhaps this new Emperor might be able to change this apathetic atmosphere," he said with a sigh and felt hope creep into his heart.
Then, he rose to his feet and hit the war drum to gather the troops and perform a roll call. He was also going to reorganize his troops.
At the border of the one hundred and fifty kilometer long great wall, there were millions of stationed troops from the camp who commanded hundreds of millions of soldiers from the Sinners' camp. In a span of one day, one of their four supreme commanders was dead and the remaining three had submitted to the rule of the new Emperor, so this was a good start to the unification of the Dark Realm.
After the three supreme commanders left, a prominent figure from the Guardians' camp entered the Unmoving City of Darkness.
Linghu Buxiu was covered in dust from his travels and looked quite ashamed as he requested an audience with Ye Qingyu.
Lingyun led him to the divine temple.
"Your Highness, I have bad news," Linghu Buxiu immediately greeted Ye Qingyu and said, "There was a rebellion within Royal City. The Sun clan are under attack, the new troops under Marquis Tingtao Lin Xuan's command have been obstructed by underhanded methods, so they couldn't advance and Commander Nie Tiankong was ambushed without warning, he's currently critically injured as a result... The situation at Royal City is extremely chaotic and the new troops are on the verge of collapse!"
It had taken Linghu Buxiu almost all of his yuan qi to rush over and he was extremely weak by this point.
Ye Qingyu helped him up and said, "There's no need to rush, you may speak slowly." Then, he sent a wave of Emperor power into Linghu Buxiu's body and helped him replenish his yuan qi. He was surprised by the news that Linghu Buxiu had brought, but it was not completely unexpected.
Since the sovereign of the Sky-reaching clan and the others dared to use Song Xiaojun as bait, calculating the right time to ambush him, they would have definitely laid out countless schemes, including some at Royal City. However, they had thought too highly of themselves and had already acted in Royal City, even before they managed to kill him. Those at Royal City had probably yet to receive news that the sovereign of the Sky-reaching clan had already been defeated in battle.
"Your Highness, the Sky-reaching clan, the Dark Feather clan and the Lofty Mountain clan joined forces to attack the Sun clan and demolished the residence of Marquis Tingtao, so the current situation at Royal City is extremely chaotic; once this chaos erupted, there was no way to rein it in. The new troops that we have painstakingly put together are about to be torn into pieces... Marquis Tingtao and Commander Nie Tiankong have asked me to apologize on their behalf. You have entrusted us with such an important task but we have failed to perform our duties. We truly deserve death!" Linghu Buxiu said remorsefully.
"The situation right now wasn't caused by a mistake in battle, nor by negligence on your end, so there's no need to blame yourself for it." Ye Qingyu said as he patted Linghu Buxiu's shoulder. "It hasn't even been that long since I left and those malicious creatures have already popped out from the woodwork with such eagerness. Very well, I'll let them enjoy their moment in the spotlight and wait till all of them have shown themselves before I kill them all."
Linghu Buxiu said, "Your Highness, the situation requires urgent attention..."
Ye Qingyu replied, "I know what you're trying to tell me, so I'll head back to Royal City with you right now."
Now that Song Xiaojun, a newly minted Martial Emperor, was standing guard over the Unmoving City of Darkness, he was sure that no harm would befall the city. Martial Emperors who have broken through after activating the power of their blood were different from ordinary Martial Emperors. The key differences between them were that they were able to possess extremely powerful combat strength the moment they became Emperors, and would also awaken various gains on the martial way, being also naturally able to grasp Emperor techniques. Song Xiaojun was definitely very powerful, that was why Ye Qingyu did not mind leaving her alone at the Unmoving City of Darkness.
After he held discussions with Song Xiaojun, Wang Jianru, and the others to make the necessary arrangements, Ye Qingyu prepared to return to Royal City.
"Brother Qingyu, I... I'll follow you," Song Xiaojun said. She was worried about Ye Qingyu not having completely recovered from his injuries and that he would be in danger if he encountered sovereign-level experts at Royal City.
Ye Qingyu said with a smile, "There's no need for you to come along. I'll still need you here to hold the fort and I know what I'm doing."
Then, a ray of silver light surged, enveloping both him and Linghu Buxiu before they vanished on the spot.
This was where the new army had set up camp.
Marquis Tingtao Lin Xuan emerged from Nie Tiankong's tent and he didn't leave immediately. His eyes were full of rage while his burly body stood as straight as a javelin, as though he would bear the weight even if the heavens collapsed.
The news from Royal City seemed to get increasingly worse.
The arrival of the various factions from the main camp meant that these people would become more arrogant and overbearing with time. The military discipline was failing and since they had set up camp at the foot of Hengduan Mountain several days ago, they weren't able to progress and had already missed the time limit set out by the new Emperor. Lin Xuan was extremely anxious but he kept telling himself that the more serious things were, the more he had to remain calm.
Nie Tiankong's injuries were extremely serious and it only added to his worries.
He could tell that whoever launched a sneak attack on Nie Tiankong was either someone who was almost as powerful as a Martial Emperor or a Martial Emperor himself. Otherwise, the assailant wouldn't have been able to inflict such serious injuries on a sixth step Quasi-emperor like Nie Tiankong who hadn't even been able to retaliate.
"I wonder if Brother Linghu Buxiu managed to meet His Highness," Lin Xuan muttered as he looked up at the sky which was cloudy and overcast.
This was beyond his abilities and he could barely maintain control over the new army, so it would be impossible for him to make any progress with this army since he was lacking in both strength and experience.
Someone approached him as he was deep in thought.
"Haha, Commander Lin Xuan, it is already so late at night, so why aren't you sleeping?" a chubby middle-aged man said with a laugh. Although he addressed Lin Xuan as 'commander', there was no respect in his voice and attitude as he did so. He continued derisively, "Oh, I see you've gone to check on Commander Nie Tiankong's condition. Haha, I heard that he was attacked and sustained serious injuries. I wonder if he'll be able to survive the night."
"How dare you speak so rudely? Get lost," Mo Weinan, who had temporarily assumed the position of Lin Xuan's personal guard admonished him fiercely.
Mo Weinan was Ye Qingyu's personal attendant. Ye Qingyu had arranged for him to stay by Lin Xuan's side, in hopes that the young man would be able to learn about military operations from Lin Xuan; it was all thanks to the fact that Lin Xuan had the new Emperor's personal attendant by his side that no one caused too much trouble for him.
"Haha, young General Mo Weinan, there's no military law that explicitly forbids me from speaking," the chubby man shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly and continued to smile brightly at them.
He was accompanied by dozens of military officers who were noblemen from the residences of the various clans in Royal City. They had always behaved arrogantly and recklessly, and the current situation had only emboldened them. They were practically fearless even when they faced Mo Weinan; all had burst out in laughter at the chubby middle-aged man's words.
"What are you doing here?" Lin Xuan tamped down his anger and asked with a frown.
They weren't able to make any progress because of these men, so he guessed that there was trouble brewing ahead.
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