The bright moonlight spilled on the mountain woods below. It was as if a wide expanse of pure white feathers falling gently. Under the clear moonlight, the path that crossed through the mountain woods looked like a brown eastern dragon.
The five hundred knights each had a solemn expression. Each and every one of them ambience of a war god. The armor they wore flickered with a metallic glint. Sword marks were visible on all of the armors, which recorded their glorious past.
This was the world renowned Solar Brigade of the West. This brigade had slayed gods and demons in the distant past. Although the former knights were no longer in the brigade, their armors had been passed down from generation to generation. This was a kind of honor, this was a kind of glory!
To be named a Solar Knight, that was the dream of many men in the West.
Each of the five hundred knights exuded a murderous aura. When they came together, the murderous aura directly pierced the skies. This kind of imposing aura truly sent a chill down one's spine. They were either carrying a golden lance or a two-handed sword at their backs, every one of them emitted a faint bloody aura. They were powerful practitioners who had been bathed in the blood of their enemies. Their blond hair fluttering in the bloody mist were as dazzling as the sunlight.
Their mounts were no ordinary beasts. To name a few, there were lesser dragons with thick scales all over — the Earth Dragon, or exotic primal beasts like the Winged Leopard.
Shocking, the impression the five hundred knights gave could only be described with that one word.
Xiao Chen and co. had already fell back and observed the knights from the distant sky. They felt that these five hundred knights possessed unimaginable strength. It seemed as if they could sweep across the battlefield, even when facing a million men army!
The five hundred knights crowded around Zhao Lin Er. The little unicorn had a body that seemed to be made out of fine jade. It seemed ever more extraordinary under the brilliance of the gentle moonlight. Four years had passed since they parted from the dragon island, it had already grown to the size of an ordinary horse.
Zhao Lin Er sat upright on the little unicorn. She seemed so refined under the splendor of the hazy moonlight. Her beauty was indisputable. It seemed like her status in the ranks was considerably high. The five hundred knights grouped around as if to protect her.
This made Xiao Chen a little speechless. The grudge between them was already hard to ascertain. After the intervention of Lan Nuo, it was better to not face each other in a life or death situation anymore. Though Xiao Chen never thought she'd be able obtain this kind of position. A natural-born princess was different from the common folks indeed.
"Isn't this that Zhao chick? I could already tell when we were on the dragon island, she is extraordinary indeed." Oxman rocked his horns with a pensive look.
As for Dugu Jianmo, he only took a quick glance at Zhao Lin Er before he focused his attention on the five hundred knights.
"S-s-say… d-d-do you… think… that unicorn… is a g-g-good… match for my l-l-little… donkey? A-a-and… d-d-do… you… think… t-t-that… chick… r-r-riding on the unicorn… i-i-is… a… g-g-good… match with… m-m-me?" The slitted eyes of the vulgar guy were gleaming with desire.
Oxman's lips twitched as he rebuked, "Stop daydreaming! How can a toad like you dream to eat a swan? Hah!"
"T-t-this… this is not daydreaming, this is c-c-call… called having a dream, having aspiration!" Chrysus squinted his eyes and said, "H-h-have you… n-n-never heard of it before? A wise man o-o-once… said… A f-f-frog… who don't… e-e-eat… a swan… is n-n-not… a good frog."
The five hundred knights surrounded Zhao Lin Er. When they walked past the battlefield just now, they came to a halt immediately.
Although they conducted an air battle earlier, the energy flow had yet to disperse completely. And the experts among them had already sensed the anomaly around this place before the battle came to an end. Only that, they didn't want to meddle in other people's business, so they didn't send a scout ahead of them.
All five hundred of the knights wielded their weapons and raised their guard. Only until three elderly knights stepped forward to lead the way did they finally continue to be on their way. However, all of them had already drawn their weapons and the tension was high.
"Their vigilance is so high." Xiao Chen looked at their fading figures and said, "Perhaps something big is about to happen."
"Those are the Solar Brigade!" Those are the only words that came out of the silent Dugu Jianmo's mouth.
Everyone was finally aware that these are definitely the soldiers from one of the five sovereign nation, the Roman Empire. This empire was a theocratic nation. However, they did not worship a sole god. The fate of the nation was controlled by a few big churches in turn. The monarch was appointed by those Roman Catholic pope.
The Solar Church was a symbol for everything that was holy and light. It was one of the biggest church in the empire. The god of the Solar Church was also known as the God of Light.
The Solar Brigade was Solar Church's guardian knights. They had once made a name for themselves during the ancient war.
"I-is the… S-s… S-s-sovereign nation… a-a-about to… wage war?" Chrysus' keen intuition caught on to something.
They saw the city gate of Yindu opening. A group of people came to welcome them and invited the five hundred knights into the capital.
"B… b-b-brother… let us go… go-go-go… and sell the tiger skin. I'll b-b-b… bring you guys to a good place to play. T-t-that… is but the legendary… v-v-v… village of gods! Who knows… w-w-we… might get lucky… and… c-c-court a fairy… to be our wives!" The vulgar guy had lewd expression painted all across his face.
Regarding the so-called village of gods, even the cold-blooded Dugu Jianmo was just as interested. All of them didn't have any objection and travelled for hundreds of miles with Chrysus in the lead.
However… when they arrived at their destination, the so-called village of gods was far too inauspicious. This place was a burial ground, it was filled with tombstones everywhere. The green-colored will-o'-wisps that lit up the darkness here and there were especially eerie.
Furthermore, they could hear an indescribable scream transmitted from distant location. In addition to the bones they occasionally stepped on, this place had practically zero amount of holiness. It was more like a domain of the ghosts.
"W-w-we… we're… here. T-t-t… the village of gods is a floating village. I-I-I… heard it will float over this area very soon."
The Crimson Dragon King, Onyx Dragon King, and little donkey took off to the sky while carrying their own masters. Xiao Chen followed behind them closely.
The sky was clear of clouds and wind. There was nothing abnormal. The stars glittered, and the moon was hanging high in the sky. They couldn't find any traces of the so-called village of gods.
"Did you trick us again you stutter, so infuriating!"
"N-n-n… no way. I-I-I… I heard of from an o-o-old… from an old martial uncle. This is definitely the place."
However, no matter the stuttering guy explained, they still couldn't find any trace of the village. In the end, they had no choice but to leave.
But when they flew for ten or so miles, they suddenly felt a fluctuation transmitted from the sky. A vast stretch of black clouds drifted past and instantly covered the moon and the stars. It caused the burial ground ahead of them to appear pitch-black. They couldn't even catch a hint of light from within.
"Is this… the village of gods you're referring to?"
Xiao Chen and co. could feel that the black clouds in the sky was absolutely not as simple as it looked. The pressure caused them to hold their breath. They didn't rush up there impulsively. Rather, they chose to observe from far away.
Huge lightnings were dancing wildly in the black clouds. Each of these lightnings were at thick as a hill. They were countless times more terrifying than a normal lightning. It was easy to imagine that if they were to rush over there rashly, they would definitely be turned into ashes by the lightning strike.
The vulgar guy pulled back his neck and said stammeringly, "L-l-l-looks like… there are entry restriction. It-it-it's… not a place we can enter."
"It looks like a devil's village no matter how I looked at it."
Although they were curious, they didn't want to put their lives on the line. Even if they wanted to go up there to take a closer look, they still chose to fall back in the face of those scary lightnings.
"S-s… s-s… see you… a-a-around… brothers. Wait till I sell off the tiger skin, I'll g-g-go… find you guys to s… s-s-s… split up the profits!"
The vulgar Chrysus slipped away on the little donkey.
Dugu Jianmo didn't say anything. He just let the Crimson Dragon King fly towards the deep mountain by itself, and he made his way to Yindu. He wouldn't leave the Shang Dynasty for a while, he was attracted by the sword skills of Daoist Zhang Sanfeng.
Oxman patted the Onyx Dragon King and said, "Don't fight with the Crimson Dragon King, let's go to another mountain range."
He was not afraid that the Onyx Dragon King would suffer losses. After all, Dugu Jianmo was not his enemy. If the Onyx Dragon King used the dragon's sacred sword and really beheaded the Crimson Dragon King, he fear that he would have to face Dugu Jianmo in a life or death battle.
"Not every Dragon King has to face each other in a life or death battle, some ought to be able to live on. It isn't time for you guys to engage in a decisive battle yet." In regards to the bitter fate of the dragon race, Oxman sympathized with it. He tried to console the Onyx Dragon King with words.
And finally, a black light flew towards a mountain range in the distance.
Oxman looked at Xiao Chen and said, "You should leave Yindu as soon as possible. Since we've killed the strong tiger, everyone will suspect it is related to you under this kind of circumstances."
"It doesn't matter. All I need is just to change my appearance. Yindu is about to become bustling with noise and excitement, I am not willing to leave."
Xiao Chen let Oxman leave first. Then he executed the Eightfold Worlds and blended into the night sky at the opposite direction.
The morning glow of the sun spilled from the East and lit up the streets of Yindu. A new day was beginning.
It was bound to be noisy today.
On the wasteland beyond the west gate of Yindu, the half destroyed corpse was recognized by people as the demigod level strong tiger.
A demigod died just like this… once this news reached Yindu, many people immediately came up with all sorts of links.
The tiger clan was an absolute power in the Middle Earth. They possessed long history and unfathomable strength. Someone actually dared to extract a tooth from the tiger's den. It took great courage for one to accomplish such feat!
As long as their ancestor, the Tiger Saint, was still backing them up, they were definitely the hardest clan to provoke under the heaven.
One must know that the Tiger Saint could be claimed as an equal with the true "king" of the dragons. There were even rumors that he had once faced Buddha. Although it didn't win, it was able to escape unscathed. Such terrifying strength could only be described as "cheat".
Recalling everything that happened recently, Xiao Shishui naturally became the target of doubt.
Many people were secretly guessing that perhaps Xiao Shishui could really face a demigod head-on with his divine ability. It was possible to fight with an opponent one rank higher with powerful divine abilities. Many people thought it was extremely possible that the strong tiger was killed by Xiao Shishui.
Of course, there were also some people who were doubtful. Regardless of how powerful was Xiao Shishui, he was just a Historia level youth expert. It was impossible for him to kill a demigod. This might be a conspiracy, the strong tiger must have been killed by an older generation expert and he deliberately altered the facts.
There were even some who thought Xiao Chen had returned. Although many said he died during that night three years ago, nobody had ever seen his corpse. Many people were guessing that Xiao Chen had returned with a group of experts for vengeance.
Numerous rumors began to spread, everyone was discussing spiritedly.
And another big news spread among the influential lords, the priestess of the Sun God's Church arrived at Shang Dynasty's capital with five hundred knights, with hope of forming an alliance to stand off against another sovereign nation — the Vatican.
Although it was only spread among limited personnels, some who knew of the mainland's circumstances knew that Vatican and Rome were going to engage in war sooner or later. They've been minor conflict breaking out every now and then. And Rome also had many conflicts with Shang Dynasty for the past hundred years, so it was not strange for Rome to propose an alliance.
Everyone in the know already realized war was approaching. Yindu was about to enter a turbulent time.
During the following days, the delegates of Roman Empire and Shang Dynasty frequently engaged in private discussions.
On the fifth day, in the royal garden; the beautiful Zhao Lin Er stood in lakeside pavilion with ice-cold expression. She shattered the cup in her hand and frightened the koi in the lake.
The little unicorn who grazed on the fragrant lawn not far away looked over with dubious expression.
A few Solar Knights walked into the pavilion with quick steps. All of them were young man. Not only were they the strongest among the five hundred knights, they were also the priestess' most faithful followers. All of them were extremely angry.
"The Shang Dynasty is too much! That second prince actually wanted the priestess to become his consort. He deserves death!"
"Priestess, please permit me to duel with him, I will definitely cut down his head!"
"We are willing to fight for the priestess!"
Zhao Lin Er gradually calmed down, then a bell-like voice resounded in the pavilion, "Don't rush indiscriminately into action. If their conditions are bad, we can just refuse. It is unnecessary to bear arms. This is Yindu, not Rome, don't cause trouble here."
"However… they are too much. They should know about our church's doctrine, that the priestess must remain untainted, yet they dared to make such demand."
"No harm done, though I do have an idea. I'll request permission to challenge the Yindu's experts. We will not shed blood, so take care not to overdo it. Since they are humiliating us, then we must hit them back. We have to make them lose face by defeating all of their so-called young elites."
"Oh honorable priestess, you can place your faith in us, we won't let you down."
She sighed lightly and said, "I am only afraid that you guys might suffer mishap. This is their capital city, even if you guys defeated all of the youth experts in this city, so what? This is their nation, if they cared about their face, they can summon their strongest youth experts at any time. When that time comes, the only ones to suffer will be you guys."
"The Shang Dynasty's strongest youth experts…"
The Solar Knights' expressions froze as a few figures appeared in their mind. They recalled the rumored men and women of the Shang Dynasty. They paid especially close attention to the youth experts around the world, so they naturally had a certain understanding. However, the few of them still smiled in the end.
"We will take care not to overdo it and will not make a big fuss over them. Besides, even if their strongest experts show up, so what? Our Solar Church's most powerful experts will be here soon. And the outstanding figures from other big churches will also arrive. At that time, we should have enough power to suppress the undisputable experts of Shang Dynasty.
The strong tiger was killed, yet not only did Xiao Shishui didn't run away, he even showed up in broad daylight. This made everyone incessantly dubious. If Xiao Shishui really did it, would he still dare to stay in Yindu?
After all, that strong tiger was not an ordinary tiger. It was rumored that he was a seedling that the White Tiger Saint was going to cultivate personally. Many people were guessing that it might really be unrelated to Xiao Chen. Otherwise, it was impossible for him to stay in Yindu for a second longer.
And Yindu was very lively during the following days. The experts of Solar Church issued challenges all over Yindu district. The underlings of the second prince all suffered crushing defeat.
The Spell Casters and Western-style Martial Artists caused a storm in Yindu which engulfed the youth generation.
The defeat of the second prince was merely the beginning. Soon after, their challenges escalated, even the supreme clans of Yindu were getting caught up in it. Even though Bosch and Chen Hanggin achieved consecutive victories, the other rich kids mostly suffered crushing defeat.
Xiao Chen completely adopted the attitude of a spectator. Whenever he came across a duel, he would certainly go to watch. In other word, he was free and at leisure. These days, he had been avoiding the third princess. According to his conjecture, the third princess would definitely ask him and Dugu Jianmo to take the challenge sooner or later. And Xiao Chen didn't want to get drawn into the whirlpool this time.
Yindu was in turbulent times. The remaining two of the Heroic Four were rushing back. And the third princess even wrote letters in her own handwriting to invite the other rumored youth experts to come to the imperial capital.
Meanwhile, the experts from Solar Church would be here soon, and the outstanding figures of other big churches would also be arriving at Yindu before long.
Regarding these, no matter it was the older generation figures of Shang Dynasty or the bishops of Solar Church, they only smiled. The alliance was already set in the stone, but some "conflict" still need to be conducted. Although they didn't arrange it personally, they still pay close attention to it. They wanted to see if the figures of the next generation could put pressure on the other side.