Bo Yunting's field headquarters stood mightily upon a colossal platform made of clouds. Dozens of large flying ships were approaching from across the distant sky, each fully loaded with piles of provisions: rice, fresh meats, wines, medicines, and the likes. Three of the ships brought a different kind of supply: seven thousand veterans who had been called back to join the war.
Just south of the cloud platform loomed a lofty mountain, about ten thousand miles in circumference and veiled by a vast expanse of fog. Deafening battle cries mixed with deep, dull beating of war drums could be heard coming from behind the fog, wave after wave. Up above the mountain, thousands of Oracles were summoning gusts of strong winds to disperse the fog by repeatedly performing hand incantation gestures and intoning spells. Meanwhile, some other Oracles were surveying the surrounding underground energy veins, digging trenches to cut them off, so that the formation that protected the mountain would lose its supply of energy.
But, what posed the greatest threat to this formation of fog were the nine huge crimson fireballs that hung high up in the sky, each of which measured about a hundred miles wide.
Flames danced fiercely on the surface of the fireballs, releasing threatening heat waves. If one looked carefully, one could see there was a giant figure standing inside each fireball, who was about dozens of miles tall, had three heads and six arms, but only three legs that stepped on a flaming serpent with nine heads. These vague figures were singing a ballad in a deep tone as terrible heat gushed out of their bodies to form the nine powerful fireballs that looked like nine little suns.
Under the control of the nine giant figures, heat waves conjured into innumerable fire arrows, about ten feet in diameter each, then rained down on the formation of fog, flickering brilliantly while distorting the air along the way. As soon as they plunged into the formation, their intense heat evaporated the fog within several miles around them, exposing the dried up rivers and cracked earth underneath that had been baked for some time.
From time to time, the nine giant figures would complain in deep voices. When that happened, Oracles on the nine altars, a hundred feet wide each, that had been erected in front of Bo Yunting's field headquarter would slaughter immortals and itinerant cultivators the army had captured for blood sacrifices, feeding blood essence and souls into the fireballs. The replenishment would then immediately skyrocket the strength of the flames and heatwave, and the power of the fire arrows would increase by a few times at least.
In the fog, tens of thousands of Great Yu's soldiers were fighting fiercely with a group of immortals, headed by hundreds of generals in golden armors. Among the hundreds of generals, about a hundred of them had stepped into the realm of Second Pangu Heaven, which meant that about a hundred of them were as strong as Gold Immortals. But, their foes had a similar number of Gold Immortals.
In addition to nearly a hundred Gold Immortals, the group of immortals fighting in the battlefield was composed of hundreds of Heaven Immortals and tens of thousands of itinerant cultivators who were in the realms of Nascent Divinity, Nascent Soul, and Gold Core. Behind them, on the peak of the mountain, even more immortals were controlling formations to veil the surroundings with a fog. The total number of immortals and itinerant cultivators in this mountain was a few times more than the soldiers Bo Yunting had brought with him.
The fact that this mountain was presided by so many Gold Immortals, Heaven Immortals, as well as itinerant cultivators showed that it was one of the very important bases of Myriad Immortal Alliance. And, the fog formation was clearly an extraordinary one, for it was able to separate Bo Yunting's mighty army and the immortals while standing strong, even though the Oracles had been attacking it with all kinds of methods since the beginning.
As was often the case when the Great Yu's army fought the immortals, the soldiers charged like a tide and the immortals attacked with all kinds of magical treasures and magic. Flying swords, immortal talismans, and Yin thunders whistled down like a storm. Clad in heavy armors and protected by the magic that the Oracles had cast on them, the soldiers fought head-on against the immortals. But, each time they charged, many soldiers would be thrown back by the flying swords or magical treasures, and even more soldiers were wounded by immortal talismans and Yin thunders.
However, their strong fleshly bodies and armors were of the best quality; coupled with the amazing magic of the Oracles, it had kept the soldiers from knowing pain, fear, or fatigue. Even when their limbs were hacked off or their bodies were blown apart, as long as they could still move or breathe, they would charge toward their foes fearlessly.
The fog lingering in the air was constantly eroding the defensive magic shields on these soldiers. The vanguard of Zhong Province's army had been trapped here for one whole day and night, and their defensive shield had begun to weaken. The fog seeped into the dim halo around them, weakening them layer by layer.
Suddenly, a flash of light erupted from a group of about a hundred soldiers on the front line. Their shields were finally broken from the continuous attacks and the erosion of the fog. From among the immortals standing opposite to them, a dozen or so Ghost immortals dressed in black clothes and shrouded in immense ghost aura wormed through their peers and came to the front at once. Each of them had a bone banner in hand and wore a tiny copper bell in their pinkies. As soon as they appeared, they waved the banners and rung the bells, filling the air with an eerie ghost howl. The captain who led the group of soldiers, as well as those under him, screamed at the same time as wisps of white smoke rose from their seven orifices. In the blink of an eye, they topped over to the ground and stopped breathing.
The black-clothed immortals burst into laughter, their voices harsh and unpleasant like the howling of ghosts. The general who led the vanguard, a human warrior of the Three Stars Realm of the Second Pangu Heaven, flew into a great rage. Taking the opportunity that these immortals were out of their ranks and unprotected by the others, he made a dash for them, raised his halberd, and thrust it down. The air rang with the sound of object piercing and slicing through flesh. Even before they could shriek, each of the black-clothed immortals were pierced with dozens of holes, and the heavy blow in their foreheads had crushed their immortal souls into pieces.
But, before the general could fall back, three Gold Immortals who were as strong as him came flying out and caught him with three sword beams. Then the attacks were followed by seven purple-gold immortal talismans that were about twelve feet long each, and dozens of fist-sized Yin thunders flickering with white light that looked like needles.
The general's golden armor rattled incessantly as the sword beams kept hacking at it; the seven talismans sealed off every possible way of retreat while pouring out energies of various elements, such as earth, water, wind, and fire to burn him like an oven in the void. The dozens of Yin thunders approached him like bolts of lightning, and exploded at the same time.
The seven immortal talismans confined the explosion of the Yin thunders to a narrow area less than ten feet around him, giving it at least a tenfold increase in power. The general grunted as his armor cracked and started falling off his body. Suddenly, his robe shot out numerous runes which transformed into a suit of energy armor that wrapped him tightly. But soon, the energy armor was destroyed by a series of attacks, allowing countless attacks to fall on him at the same time.
Blood and flesh spattered in all directions. The brutal attacks badly mutilated the general, breaking his bones and drenching him in his own blood. Then, he saw an opening and quickly retreated. A path was split between the soldiers as he fell back in a sorry state; as soon as he was back in the ranks, he threw himself to the ground.
He had lost his left arm, his spine had been broken into three parts, and his muscles were torn by the explosion while blood kept spurting out of the wounds. Fortunately, the body tempering technique of the human race was so powerful that his fleshly body was many times stronger than diamonds. If an ordinary Gold Immortal had been attacked like this, he would have been beaten to a pulp. Even so, the general was incapacitated. Several soldiers rushed over and kept feeding him plenty of healing potions and pills while spreading ointments all over his body.
The combined attack of the three Gold Immortals had immediately rendered a Great Yu's general incapable of fighting. The morale on the immortal side was high. A white-bearded Gold Immortal who presided over the formation on the rear mountain laughed long and loud, unleashing bolts of thunder to move the dozens of flags not far in front of him. As he did that, the formation of fog, which blanketed thousands of miles around, immediately transformed again.
The vapor was thickening in the fog. Base on the inter promotion rules of the five elements, where the water would give birth to wood, a large amount of green energy gradually poured out of the fog. In just the blink of an eye, they condensed into numerous green wooden poles with a diameter of several feet and a length of a few miles. Then, the green energy began to rub against each other rapidly inside the wooden poles, and countless green bolts of thunder immediately darted out of them. Deafening thunderclaps boomed as the countless bolts of thunder wrapped around the thousands of wooden poles to bombard the ranks of soldiers.
Caught unprepared, a dozen columns of soldiers were overwhelmed by the giant woods and bolts of thunders. The soldiers were thrown to the ground as the thunder-flame broke their defensive barriers and turned their armors into nothingness. Many were burned to ashes amidst miserable shrieks.
Deliberately amplified by the formation, the miserable howls and shrieks let out by the soldiers before they were killed spread far and wide, and could be clearly heard by all the captains and generals in the field headquarter. Everyone was boiling with rage, while a few of bad-tempered ones even rushed into the tent and dropped to their knees before the commander-in-chief while asking for the permission to strike.
Sitting loftily behind the table, Bo Yunting wore a dark face as he glanced coldly at the captains and generals who came seeking permission.
"Thirty thousand of our troops are being trapped in that bloody formation now! Do you want me to send another victory to those f*cking immortals?"
He snorted coldly and said through his clenched teeth, "No one is allowed to engage the enemy with my army until the formation is destroyed! Those who violate my order will be punished by the military law!"
Just then, Wu Qi arrived at Bo Yunting's field headquarter with ten thousand soldiers, ready to receive the commander's seal and rejoin the war against Myriad Immortal Alliance. Led by several military officers, he left the soldiers outside and walked into the tent, so he could report to Bo Yunting about his return.
That was when he heard Bo Yunting's growl. And when he saw the unsightly faces of those generals who had sought permission to engage, as well as heard the miserable howls coming out of the fog, he suddenly had an idea. It was true that none of the generals present had the ability to destroy the formation. After all, they did not know much about the formations constructed by the immortals; and even among those Oracles in the Directorate of Celestials, few had made a special study of it.
Whether they were the soldiers or Oracles, those from Great Yu preferred to use brute force to destroy all obstacles. It was evident from the nine giant fireballs that were blowing raging flames in the sky outside. Given enough time, those celestial fiends they invited from outer domains could burn the mountain and the formation to ashes. But, they needed time, and by the time they destroyed the formation, the thirty thousand soldiers would probably die.
But in Wu Qi's view, the formation was riddled with holes. It was merely an integrated formation that consisted of nothing but five trap arrays and a thunderbolt array. In the illustrations of the formations in the Scroll of Stealing, the level of this formation was only equivalent to the one used by an ordinary mid-tier Heaven Immortal to protect his cave abode.
Wu Qi cupped his fist and bowed to Bo Yunting, then boomed with a voice so loud that everyone turned to look at him.
"Greetings, Your Excellency! I've fully recovered and returned, and I volunteer myself to destroy that formation!"
He paused for a moment, then went on, "In the past, during a mission of exterminating an itinerant cultivator named Reverend Yao Yue, I had obtained a secret scroll which contained the detailed explanation of arrays and formations, and the diagram of the formation out there is in it as well. I've every confidence that I can destroy it!"
Bo Yunting was startled, and then he jumped up in ecstasy as he laughed. "Well, if you can destroy that formation and kill those f*cking immortals, I'll record this as a major merit for you and reward you personally!"
Wu Qi narrowed his eyes and promised that he would bring victory.