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“Marshal, they’re withdrawing!” a Feather Forest Army officer whispered.
Zhao Fengchen’s Xuanwu Army was truly formidable. After blocking the Cutting Formation, the Feather Forest Army had been ready to counterattack and deal the Xuanwu Army a heavy blow, but Zhao Fengchen had been incredibly sharp. When he realized that his formation couldn’t break the Supreme River Formation, he had changed directions and simply passed through, not even giving them a chance.
“Hmph, let them be! Since they’ve finished showing off, it’s our turn now!”
Duan Zhuyan’s emotionless voice emerged from his thick armor. This was actually the first sentence he had said in today’s battle.
But Duan Zhuyan did not immediately order his men to attack. Instead, he turned to the north, toward the motionless figure of the Ghost King. While this move was subtle, Wang Chong immediately noticed it.
Hou Junji had been rather stingy with his words and actions today, but this time, he subtly nodded at Duan Zhuyan.
The Ghost King’s eyes clearly conveyed this message.
“They’re making their move!” Bai Siling nervously said, her intuition warning her of imminent danger.
The Ghost King had basically not intervened in this competition, but their gazes meeting at that moment had clearly been some sort of signal.
Wang Chong nodded, but there was little perturbation in his eyes. Given the importance of this battle, it would have been far stranger if the First Prince and Hou Junji had only come with the one Supreme River Formation.
Wang Chong turned to Zhao Fengchen, and the two exchanged subtle nods of their own.
‘Begin!’ Wang Chong conveyed through his cold eyes.
After two probes, Zhao Fengchen and Duan Zhuyan had basically gotten a measure of their opponent’s strength. It was now time for the true struggle.
On the northern end of the drilling ground, Kim U-Seok announced, “Your Highness, they’re going to make their move!”
Wang Chong and Zhao Fengchen’s subtle exchange had not gone unnoticed.
“I saw it!”
The First Prince clenched his fists and scowled.
The First Prince stared at the nearby Wang Chong, his eyes surging with killing intent. He thought that Zhao Fengchen had spent all his cards after using the Xuanwu Halo and the Cutting Formation, but it seemed as if he still had a few more tricks. This made the First Prince hate Wang Chong down to the bones.
Hmph! This prince doesn’t believe that you can still win!
The First Prince mentally cursed.
Although he had left the entire matter to Hou Junji and didn’t know many of the details, given the importance of the Imperial Army, he still understood a few parts of the plan.
No matter what, Wang Chong could never win!
Meanwhile, on the drilling ground, the winds bleakly howled as the two armies entered another tense standoff.
After a seemingly endless few seconds, Zhao Fengchen and Duan Zhuyan charged again.
This time, they had both chosen to go on the offensive, and the stampede of horses threatened to shatter the earth. The energies on both sides soared, and it took only a few hundred feet for both forces to reach maximum speed.
The surrounding space began to warp and twist, the images within growing hazy.
In a flash of light, a massive Zhuyan and a savage Xuanwu appeared above the two armies.
“I can’t tell which army will win!”
The eyes focused on the drilling ground were brimming with tension.
These two armies were simply too strong. By now, the spectators had been unknowingly entranced by this battle.
When the two forces were still around one thousand feet away, Duan Zhuyan suddenly pressed himself against his horse, which reared up on its hindlegs and slammed down.
There was a metallic clang, and then a war halo even larger than the Great Zhuyan Halo rapidly began to expand, sweeping over the army like a storm.
“He actually has two halos! But how?!”
Cries of surprise came from all sides of the drilling ground, everyone staring in shock at this second halo.
Everyone knew that while one person could train in multiple war halos, unless one had the assistance of some external force like a ritual artifact, they could only use these halos in alternation. Rarely could halos be used together.
This was particularly the case for a top-class halo like the Great Zhuyan Halo. Overlapping two powerful halos was almost impossible.
At least in the Imperial Army, there was no one who could use two powerful halos at once.
Duan Zhuyan was stronger than anyone could have ever imagined, but the crowd was about to be even more shocked.
As the halo emerged, numerous warhorses on the eastern side of the drilling ground suddenly widened their eyes in fright, rearing up and fleeing with the Imperial Army soldiers on their backs.
“What’s going on?!”
The Imperial Army soldiers were flabbergasted by this development.
They hastily pulled on their reins and tried to soothe the horses.
“Look over there!”
In the middle of this chaos, this cry of shock was particularly distinct, and everyone instantly turned to look. What greeted the numerous clan scions and high nobles was an apocalyptic scene.
The moment that halo appeared, the five hundred Feather Forest Army soldiers began to blaze with intense flames.
These flames rose to a height of ten-some meters, and even light dimmed upon approaching these flames.
Silver bolts of lightning erupted from the earth, slicing through the air like swords and sabers, and created countless tiny cracks and explosions.
Those cracks were like mouths, devouring any physical object that got close.
“What is that?!”
On the southern end of the drilling ground, Li Lin cried out in surprise, his face paling.
While Li Lin rarely stepped onto the battlefield, he had a War God for a nephew. Spending time at his side had made him more keenly understand various military strategies and martial arts, but Li Lin had never even heard about this explosive halo rising from Duan Zhuyan’s body.
But there was no questioning this halo’s power.
From a distance, one could sense the destructive energy seething within this halo.
At this moment, a clan patriarch of fifty-some years old cried out in shock, “The Rupture Halo!
“Isn’t this the Rupture Halo used by Army-Shattering War God Hou Junji?!”
He had no impression of the halo that Duan Zhuyan was using, but the tiny explosions in the air and those thin slivers in the fabric of space were identical to the ones in the stories his grandfather had once told him.
The Rupture Halo could be considered one of the most terrifying halos in the world. It was primarily focused on rupturing, breaking, and pulverizing an opponent’s formation, and was extremely hostile to other formations.
Hou Junji had relied precisely on the Rupture Halo to become the widely respected Army-Shattering War God. But the explosive and rupturing nature of this halo also meant that it could not be fused with other formations, so the Rupture Halo had not been incorporated into the Nine Dragon Blood War Banner.
This legendary halo was said to have been lost with Hou Junji. The clan patriarch had never imagined that he would see it again.
Wang Chong had a grim look on his face, while the gasps of surprise at Duan Zhuyan using the Rupture Halo rang out in his ears.
Li Lin and Bai Siling nervously looked at Wang Chong.
Unlike the others, they knew the truth about the Ghost King. If this was really the Rupture Halo, then the Xuanwu Halo would not be enough.
Hooves continued to thunder on the drilling ground, pounding against everyone’s hearts. In the middle of all the surprise and consternation, the Feather Forest Army sped up.
The distance of one thousand feet was barely anything to these two extremely fast armies. It would be covered in two or three seconds.
Zhao Fengchen didn’t have much time, and the situation looked extremely bad. In terms of momentum, the Feather Forest Army had completely surmounted Zhao Fengchen’s army.
The power of two halos had made the Feather Forest Army superior to the Xuanwu Army in all attributes, whether it was strength, dexterity, or speed.
But Wang Chong continued to just stare at the drilling ground.
He could see the distance shrink to three hundred feet. Even if Zhao Fengchen wanted to turn back now, it was too late.
Flight would only ensure a swift defeat!
“Now is the moment!”
Just when the two armies were about to collide, Wang Chong’s eyes sharply flashed.
Xuan-Huang Link Formation!
(Note: Xuan means ‘black’ in this context, and it is the same Xuan used in Xuanwu. It can also mean ‘profound’ and ‘mysterious’. Huang is the color ‘yellow’. In this specific context, when Xuan and Huang are used together, they denote Heaven and Earth. Xuan/black is the color of Heaven while Huang/yellow is the color of Earth.)
As Wang Chong mentally called out, in the distance, Zhao Fengchen’s five hundred Xuanwu Army soldiers suddenly pulled apart from each other and adopted a new formation.
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