Monarch of Evernight - Volume 10 - The Flag of Evernight (1183-) Chapter 1255: First Step of the Journey
The style of the container told him that the letter came from Zhao Jundu’s legion. Qianye fished out the letter and began reading through it carefully.
The first part was made up of battle reports from the Qin and other major continents. Although there wasn’t a lot in terms of writing, one could make out how fierce the battle was in the Empire. Zhao Jundu held two army corps under his command and had constructed defensive structures in advance. Even then, the casualties over the course of two big battles numbered over thirty thousand.
Eliminating over three hundred thousand beasts with an army of a hundred thousand and losing only thirty thousand soldiers in the process, this could be considered a great victory. Then again, they had Zhao Jundu and Song Zining holding the line, as well as several months of advance-preparations. If this was the result even after all that, how bad would the situation on other continents be?
The last part was a summary of battle reports from the Western and Transcendent Continents. The Western Continent fared relatively better with the Fire Beacon Corps and the Northern Legion holding the line, as well as the dark race sharing the burden. In the end, they managed to destroy the beast army with less than fifty thousand total deaths. The Transcendent Continent, on the other hand, was an absolute disaster. The beast army had pinned down the coalition of aristocratic families at the heart of the continent while sending smaller squads to destroy the garrisons in other regions.
The situation on Transcendent was crumbling. All the major aristocratic families, including the Nangong, were barely hanging on. Most of the Nangong family’s core territories had been lost, and no one knew what the beast-infested areas were like right now, or if there was any life left.
The nobles constricted their defensive line while transferring back their private soldiers from outside posts. The Empire could not sit by and watch the continent descend into chaos. Two army corps had been dispatched to provide reinforcements. Judging from the intensity of the battles on the Qin and Western Continents, this troop strength should be enough to help the local private armies eliminate the bestial invaders. Hopefully, all was not too late.
These doors appeared on the void continent as well, but the number of beasts was much smaller than on the mainland. The war had just ended on the island, so the troops and defensive structures there were fully operational. The beast army was swept clean in a very short time.
The reports finally concluded that during the early phases of the appearance of these doors, the communication channels between the Empire’s continents were disrupted at much greater frequencies. This resulted in a lag in the Empire’s internal response and was very likely the dark races’ doing.
Critical messages from the Empire’s army on the Qin continent never reached the Western and Transcendent Continents. Qianye’s early warning also vanished along the way. This resulted in the Transcendent Continent getting caught off-guard. They were too slow to concentrate their troops in the early phase and too fast in giving up their territories. Later on, this resulted in a bad defeat.
At this point, Qianye paused to think for a moment.
From the timing, the dark races’ attack was extremely clever and lethal. As a part of the Empire’s core territory, the fall of the Transcendent Continent was a major blow to their strength. It would likely take decades to rebuild and recover.
To have come up with such a plan, it would seem that the dark races knew much more about the new world than the humans did. That was how they were able to borrow the beast army’s hand to deal such a heavy blow.
Qianye had unexpectedly managed to subdue the werewolves on the Fort Continent, obtaining hundreds of thousands of soldiers within a short time span. It just so happened that a numerical advantage was necessary to beat the army of beasts. This allowed Qianye to eliminate the two waves of invaders with relatively small casualties.
The dark races would never have imagined this outcome, nor did the Empire. Even Qianye himself felt that his luck wasn’t so bad this time. If the “door” hadn’t appeared in the blessed land, which was closely related to the werewolves’ food supply, Qianye wouldn’t have been informed as quickly or gone inside to investigate. If the “door” had appeared in some obscure corner of the continent, they would only realize the danger when the beast army was truly bearing down upon them.
Following the battle reports was the Empire’s analysis of the “doors.” Naturally, the study was conducted on the Qin Continent. The Imperial research team practically moved to Zhao Jundu’s fortress. The scientists were already studying the beasts’ anatomy while battles raged on at the front lines. Once Zhao Jundu and Song Zining had wiped out the enemy, the old men of the research team charged into the mist to study the door despite the potential danger.
Most of these old men were masters of their craft and also fairly advanced in cultivation-rank. Their concentrated efforts produced results in just a few days.
The final result was that these “doors” were structurally stable. They were not permanent passages to the new world, but they could not be closed, either. Soldiers ingesting the blood glands and other blood-producing organs would be able to adapt to the new world for a short period of time. Their strength wouldn’t be suppressed significantly once inside. As an emergency measure, they could also drink the alien beasts’ blood to achieve the same effect.
The research team would proceed to analyze the composition of their blood and attempt to develop a means of entry.
Zhao Jundu had already picked a group of soldiers to ingest the beast blood gland and use it to explore the new world. He also added that Song Zining was to lead this unit.
Qianye closed the letter and put it away. Then, after making arrangements for the transfer of armaments, he rushed back to the front lines at the blessed land.
Back on the airship, Qianye was lost in thoughts as he gazed at the scenery flying past him.
After taking into consideration the present situation and Zhao Jundu’s report, Qianye decided to hasten his exploration efforts. The door on the Fort Continent side was gradually stabilizing, and the barrier that was behind it had completely disappeared. During the second exploration, Qianye could feel that the environment within was no longer as difficult to adapt to. It would seem that the two connected worlds were slowly reaching an equilibrium of sorts.
There were dozens of connecting points between the new world and the Evernight World. These doors were opened by the Evernight Council, so the dark races were already well-prepared for what was to come. Judging from the battles on the Western Continent, the dark race lineup on the other side of the door was several times that of normal. They couldn’t have just arrived on short notice.
Thinking back now, the dark races had been mobilizing a large number of forces when news of the new world had just appeared. Apparently, their aim wasn’t to change garrison or reinforce their territories, but to deal with the beast army.
These soldiers had probably entered the new world to begin exploring after eliminating the beast army. The Empire was one step late in this regard.
After the victory on the void continent, the battle-worn Imperial army was in dire need of rest and reorganization. Not only did the Empire swap out a large part of its forces as per routine, but they also allowed many veterans to retire. These soldiers had already gone back home by now, so recruiting them again would not only take a lot of money but also a lot of time.
With the addition of the void continent, the Empire’s scope of defense had increased. However, there were no increased recruitments going on, which meant that there was no increase in total troop-strength. It was easy to imagine how short they would be in mobile reserves.
Even if they could recruit new soldiers in such a short period, training would take several months or even up to half a year. There simply wasn’t enough time. The only thing they could do to effectively increase their military power was to requisition private troops from the nobility. The price involved was fairly high—they would need to offer sufficient remuneration, similar to hiring mercenaries.
Not to conscript private armies without good reason was an ironclad rule laid down between the founding ancestor and the major clans. This was to prevent the Imperial clan from encroaching upon the interests of the aristocracy and ensure the integrity of the Great Qin’s governing system.
At present, the Transcendent Continent was in utter disarray—almost half of the aristocratic families’ military power remained scattered outside the defensive line, and the beasts were splitting off to wear these forces down. Fortunately, the Nangong family reacted quickly by abandoning their territory and concentrating all of their forces in the central region. By working with the other families, they managed to retain a good part of their fighting power.
From this analysis, the Empire had precious little reserves to spare for the exploration of the new world. Even Zhao Weihuang of the Western Continent could not move. Although he had two legions under his command, the dark race forces on the other side had grown exponentially. This placed him at a disadvantage. He couldn’t explore the new world under the Evernight army’s watch. Otherwise, he would never be able to return if they were to block the entrance.
The situation on the void continent was similar. Its location between the middle and upper continents made it the first line of defense facing the core regions of Evernight. They had gone to great lengths to conquer the place and hadn’t even developed it yet. Diverting the defense forces to exploration would leave the place at risk of an enemy surprise attack. The gains couldn’t justify the potential losses.
All in all, the forces that could head in immediately for exploration were Zhao Jundu and Qianye’s armies.
Dozens of doors meant dozens of connections. From the present circumstances, it would seem that the doors led to different parts of the new world. It was just that no one knew how far they were from one another. Probability-wise, they were both more likely to run into the dark race armies after going into the new world.
This was perhaps good news because the alien origin power of the new world would affect the experts’ origin power. Those with pure origin power and powerful bloodlines would be less affected. The quality of Qianye’s bloodline had once again seen an upgrade following the werewolves’ ceremony. There were few in the entire Evernight with a stronger bloodline than his. The new world had little effect on Qianye’s fighting power, but the same couldn’t be said for other experts.
Just as he was lost in thought, the airship began to descend with a jolt. He could already see the misty region through the cabin windows. It would seem they had arrived at their destination.
As the airship came to a steady stop and Qianye walked out, he saw a giant shadow flying overhead. It was the Earth Dragon’s massive body drifting slowly through the air. Its posture was relaxed and poetic, swinging its tail from time to time as it circled above the frontlines.
Qianye didn’t board the jeep that had come to pick him up. He only gave them some instructions before flying up to the Martyr’s Palace.
Caroline was waiting for him. “You’re here! Look at the modifications, what do you think?”
Qianye knew the airship inside out because of his connection to the Earth Dragon’s will. However, that did little to dampen his surprise after seeing it in person. The current Martyr’s Palace was like a small city. It was so big that one could hardly find the hundreds of crew members, technicians, and soldiers on board.
The two divine champions spent quite some time just taking a stroll around the airship’s interior.
Qianye was naturally satisfied with the Martyr Palace and its modifications. The current dragonship could easily take on a sub-fleet. With this massive weapon in hand, he had no fear of anyone—on the Fort Continent at least.
Qianye and Caroline arrived at the ground command center after the tour, where he summoned all the generals to make arrangements for the new world. The night following the meeting was a busy one, with numerous transfers and mobilizations. Of course, ingesting the blood glands was also a step that couldn’t be missed. At dawn the next day, a mixed army of thirty thousand men marched into the mist, taking the first step into the new world.