Chapter 105 - Night raid
These were not the only cases of this happening. All over the city, mysterious figures appeared, tiptoeing under the dark cover of night, like streams, winding their ways through remote alleys toward the west part of the city, bypassing every patrol.
The buildings in that area were mostly squatty and run-down, an image of total disorder. Since it was adjacent to the west city gate, it was exposed to the barbarian armies during the war. In fact, most of the buildings had been ruined before Yue Tai came to the rescue of this disintegrating city. Even though the conditions of this area had been much improved, only paupers were willing to live here and the district naturally became an urban slum. For the past century, this urban slum had been deserted by wealthy citizens and enjoyed its precious time in peace.
But tonight, that peace was gone.
An hour later, in an ordinary dilapidated hut, the pungent smell of blood filled the air. On the ground six bodies lay in a pool of blood, a woman about thirty was among them, with a hole on her neck, and her pale right hand was still holding a little boy who was two or three years old whose throat was also cut. The mother and son had obviously been dead for a while, and, judging from their cuts, the one who killed them was obviously quite skilled at what they did, working without any unnecessary emotions, like sympathy or guilt. A first-rate killer, cruel and accurate. They could kill a person with just one attack, leaving them no time to call for help.
At this moment, just near the bodies, seven men were clustering around a middle-aged man who had a sinister and ruthless smile, all of them looking extremely serious, as if awaiting something.
Suddenly, a silhouette entered the hut. It was a slim young man with a dark complexion.
"Lord Mandrill, all the warriors in the city have assembled and the houses on the path had been cleaned!"
The sinister middle-aged man nodded as he heard the report, running his tongue over his dry lips.
"It seems it is time to start. Transmit the order, let's set out!"
At his command, more than three hundred dark silhouettes emerged from the neighboring houses and gathered into a stream, moving toward the west gate quietly. Every one of them seemed to be itching to fight and their faces were covered with excitement, their bloodshot eyes blazing with menace. Judging by appearances, these men looked almost the same as normal people but were actually barbarians. They were the children of the human women who had been captured by barbarians and raped. For the past ten years, small groups of these normal-looking barbarians had been repeatedly sent to the city to spy and prepare.
The barbarians were proud of their bloodline, treating normal people as slaves or domestic animals, and, in some tribes, they even ate normal-looking humans. So this generation of normal-looking barbarians had suffered a lot of discrimination ever since their childhood. Thus, they hated normal people more than any other barbarians. They showed no mercy when they were ordered to kill the residents of the slum.
On the west city wall, there was a turret every hundred meters, in which a hundred soldiers could live and take turns to patrol the city day and night. Right now, two soldiers were holding their spears watching the suburbs out of sheer boredom. Suddenly the two soldiers saw a frightening scene. The vast darkness below them was broken by a patch of glaring flames, and the light spread at an alarming speed, stretching as far as a dozen miles, and in a minute the city was swallowed by a sea of fire! The light rose to the sky and illuminated the whole city! Moreover, amid the boundless torchlight countless barbarian warriors appeared without anyone's notice; with braids on their heads and fur on their body, each held a strange weapon in one hand, and a huge shield in the other. They were all above three meters in height, strong as beasts, and had many strange tattoos on their skin. Their weapons and tattoos may have differed in shape, but they all had a common feature - a pair of eyes overflowing with a desire to kill.
A thunderous explosion shook the earth. At the signal, these barbarian warriors soon formed up into numerous battle arrays and galloped toward the city wall. Looking down from the turrets, it was as if a great wave in a sea of fire was surging in the direction of Xing He city. Behind the warriors holding shields, armies with scaling ladders followed, and then numerous archers.
A rapid, shrill clarion rang out, tearing through the entire night sky.
On the city wall dozens of miles in width, numerous human soldiers rushed out of the turrets in order. In no time bows were raised, arrowheads shining with cold light. In the eyes of the barbarian warriors outside the wall, the meandering city wall suddenly glared with cold light, as a giant dragon had opened its mouth.
Then came a loud buzz as a hail of arrows plummeted from the top of the wall. Like hundreds of locusts, the arrows covered the night sky, obscuring the moon for a moment. As some of the arrows found their targets, the barbarians uttered horrible screeches that pierced the air. After just one volley of arrows, many barbarian soldiers holding torches had frozen to the spot permanently. But casualties did not stop the horde. On the contrary, the scent of blood only provoked them to go forward, shouting like beasts. These frightening cries would frighten one to their very bones.
Over the thousands of dead bodies, the barbarian army finally made it to the base of the city wall, then, amid endless roars and the endless rain of arrows, hundreds of scaling ladders were eventually erected against the wall. Then barbarian warriors carrying weapons on their backs began to scramble up the ladder swiftly, which showed that they must have rehearsed this a hundred times. Among the climbers, some Totem Warriors were as agile as heavenly apes that flew to the top of the wall without the help of scaling ladders. Sadly, as the first ones up the wall, they could, at most, kill a hundred of normal soldiers before they themselves either got killed or beaten off the wall.
Just as the attention of the defending soldiers was completely attracted by the enemies outside the wall, a group of three hundred soldiers had approached the west gate without making any noise.
"Who's that? Don't move!" The officer on the guard of the gate waved his silver spear and shouted.
The hundreds of soldiers turned round abruptly and adjusted their order, staring at the utmost with sharp vigilance. The next moment, a strange sound of something piercing the air rang out, followed by a streak of cold light shooting to the defenseless normal soldiers, who were caught completely unprepared. After some bitter cries, the land was covered by dead bodies penetrated by a group of spears.
The officer responsible for protecting the gate was a Houtian warrior in his middle stage. He waved his spear violently, forming a silver shield before him to repel all the flying spears. He shouted, his body almost shivering in rage, and by merely shouting it seemed that he might shake his enemies to death. But what followed was against his will. Before he could make out a palm was coming his way, behind which was a middle-aged man's sinister face. The next second, a horrifying scene took place that made the officer gasp. The man's palm, with an incredible speed, had turned enormous, covered with thick brown fur, just like a giant bear paw, striking down on the officer's face.
An irresistible force poured into the officer's hand, and the arm soon went numb. Unable to hold his spear, the officer froze to the ground, watching his weapon break into halves, leaving his chest open to attack. Before he could do something the middle-aged man smote him with another "paw" , which was like a heavy metal mace hitting on his chest, sending the officer flying into the air before he landed on the ground like a sack of potatoes, losing all his vitality.
Subsequently, seven figures flashed from behind the sinister man and disappeared into the gate. These men were apparently Totem Warriors, and aided by the three hundred half-barbarians inside the city, the remaining hundreds of human soldiers were soon cleaned. By then some soldiers on the wall had detected this uproar, thus, many of them came down to their aid, along with some patrol riders who also came to reinforce the gate guards. The cobblestone paths kept echoing the deafening sound of their horses' hooves stomping on the ground.
The middle-aged man was apparently well prepared for this and he raised his hand to call half of his men to form a flesh wall to stop the reinforcements, while the other half proceeded with their march toward the gate.
The battle turned white-hot as more soldiers joined each side. Faced with many times more men than they, themselves, had, the barbarians suffered heavy casualties, including several Totem Warriors, but still they desperately tried to defend the gateway they had fought so hard to occupy.
Before long, something terrifying happened, sending chills through the human soldier's bones: though slowly, the west city gate was opening! Though the opened slit, the bellows of the barbarian army poured in like a tidal wave, the gate quivering in the energy of the sounds. Before the gate was opened wide enough for them to pass, a picked troop of hundred thousand barbarian riders rushed in like a gale. They soon slaughtered all of the defenders near the gate and then part of them spread into the city, while the others dismounted their horses to climb onto the wall.
The inner city soon sank into a chaos, the whole city was wailing and crying, and constant military bugle calls only compounded the great panic. The military camps set inside the city were a total mess, and male citizens, as long as they could still walk the earth, was summoned to reinforce the west gate.
At the same time, the street connecting the west gate and the residence of the Great Warlord was attacked too. Bodies of men and horses littered the ground, making for another brutal scene. The dead soldiers were still wearing armor, and, judging from their ghastly faces, the killers must have used every possible cruel way to end their lives. Native citizens could tell, from a glance at their suits, that these men were none other than the private guards of the Great Warlord.
Right now, in the middle of the street, five men were standing still, not making a sound at all. Four of them were extremely tall, clustering around an elder who was in normal height. Therefore, seen afar, the sight was like four adults circling a small boy.
The elder wore a fish scale armor, with a white robe embroidered with a pattern of dragon draped over his shoulder. He had silver hair and a ruddy complexion. In his hand was a trident [A], as tall as he was, that seemed to weigh more than a hundred kilograms. As his eyes ran over the four tall men slowly, his mouth remained tightly shut. The four men seemed not in a hurry to attack him either. Among them, the man on the right was tattooed with a black spider on his face and had rather sharp eyes. The ugly man on the left had a big red sarcoma on his forehead. Of other two, one was a masked woman with a big golden earring on her left ear and the other was a vicious-looking one-eyed man.
The four men were all Totem Warriors and they all gave off a threatening aura that, in no way, was inferior to that of a Xiantian saint.
Just then, the fire from the west gate shined more brightly, and the shouting from all over the city grew louder.
The elder turned to looked at his horse lying in its blood, his silver hair catching the night wind. After taking a deep breath, his unblinking eyes hardened, and he tightened his grip on the trident in his hand, which replied by ring loudly. The next second, all the normal human soldiers and barbarians miles away heard a thunderous sound like a bolt from the blue!
[A] - Note, this was translated as a 'fork-shaped weapon', so I changed it to trident (considering its size). There is a possibility that this is just a massive fork..... Cause, you know, weapons in Xianxia... -_-; -EliteCreature