Strangely enough even though the Cactus Dragons were surrounding the fort Zhang, Ai and their men were in, none of them attacked.
After a few hours of watching the Cactus Dragons to see if there were any movements or signs of attack, Zhang deemed it a waste of time.
While assigning a few men to keep watch, Zhang ordered the rest to begin digging large pits within the fort. Once the pits were dug, Zhang withdrew a large quantity of oil kegs from his interspatial ring and had his men fill the pits with them.
Zhang’s next order was for all available food to be gathered to be stored away into his interspatial ring. By doing this he would be able to ration the food out to his soldiers while being able to prevent disputes regarding food amongst his men.
In situations like this unity was an absolute must because who knows when they’d be attacked, by either the horde of Cactus Dragons or the enemies that had set up the teleportation array. So infighting was something Zhang was hoping to suppress.
“With traps prepared and food stored away, now I need to find possible ways to escape.” Zhang thought as he watched his men pitch camp for the night.
“Brother do you know where we are?” Ai asked as she sat down beside Zhang and leaned against his shoulder.
“I don’t know but I’m sure we’ll find out soon.” Zhang replied as his arm wrapped around Ai’s waist and pulled her in closer to him, trying to reassure her that everything would soon be fine.
If one took pure battle prowess into consideration when ranking the four beauties, then Ai and Ling would probably outrank Yuying and Lingqi. However unlike Ling who was very resolute and hardheaded, Ai could be described as being very fragile.
Without a past, for the most part, her life had somewhat revolved around her time with Zhang and Yuying, making these two her pillars of support. So if anything bad happened to either Zhang or Yuying then Ai’s mind would more than likely fall into a state of panic.
Despite her usual lofty and detached attitude to others, Ai was very reliant on Zhang and Yuying, so seeing this Zhang kept an especially close look over Ai.
“We’ll be alright.” Zhang said softly as he rubbed his wife’s shoulder.
“Yea we’ll be alright.” Ai said in reply as a faint smile appeared on her face.
While Zhang and Ai were sitting side by side and drifted into a world of their own the forces of the Dark Legion that were watching them from afar grew impatient.
“What the fuck is wrong with these stupid Cactus Dragons!? Aren’t they supposed to be extremely territorial and attack people on sight?” The Dark Legion’s general said as he furrowed his brows, he had expected for Zhang to be slaughtered by the horde of Cactus Dragons by now so he can move in and recover Zhang’s head.
Then with Zhang’s head in his possession he would use it to demoralize Zhang’s soldiers and after poisoning some wells and burning some land, Zhang’s army would either retreat on their own or possess little to no moral and be easily defeated in battle.
“I don’t know what’s wrong general Hei Ang, when we were setting up the teleportation array those things wouldn’t stop attacking until we used the White Cloud Sleep Powder on them. But it effects should have worn off by now.” A man in a black cloak said.
“Damn it… There’s nothing we can do but wait now…” Hei Ang said with a sigh.
“What’s the situation on the front lines?” He also asked.
“After their prince was caught in the teleportation array the enemy erected a large fort and shows no signs of moving away from their position.”
“Good it seems they have no one capable of leading such a large force and are waiting for reinforcements to arrive and assume command.” Hei Ang said with a laugh as a grin appeared on his face.
Little did he know, the reason as to why Zhang’s army had erected the fort was to allow Yuying a safe place to study the runes on the teleportation array while blocking out possible the preying eyes of the enemy. So while behind a towering wall made of bound together logs, Yuying could be seen deciphering the inscriptions on the stone pillars.
“I’ve found it!” She yelled joyfully after jotting down from notes onto a piece of paper.
“Where are they?” Ling and Lingqi asked with smiles on their faces.
“According to the coordinates inscribed on the teleportation array, he should be somewhere here.” Yuying said as she pointed to a map that was placed on a wooden table located by where she had been working.
“The Black Vine Province… That should take about three weeks’ time to get there if we do not run into any disturbances. Should I go tell the soldiers to pack up camp?” Lingqi said.
“No, even if we move now it’ll take too long to get there. Three weeks would allow the enemy to pick up on our movements and layout ambushes. So now that we know where he is, we have to believe in his ability and move in a way that the enemy would not expect. We sweep through this province while heading southward, then move into the Black Vine Province from the southwest, by then we would have entered range to use the transmitters to contact them.” Yuying said.
“I agree, although I want to get to where he is as soon as possible if the enemy figures out the route we are taking then there will be bound to be ambushes set up. But moving as one group through this entire province will take too long so we should split the army into three groups and meet up there.” Ling said as she pointed to the map.
“Okay, then we’ll meet here. I’ll make sure these people regret what they’ve done.” Lingqi said in an unhappy tone.
“Yea they’ll regret it alright…” Yuying said as her face darkened.
Soon after locating Zhang’s location the three beauties began concocting battle strategies and dividing up their army. It could be said that a shroud of darkness and fear would soon cover the southern provinces because unlike their husband, the beauties were very radical and would stop at no means to accomplish what they set out to do, especially when it comes to Zhang.
With the moon high in the sky hundreds of shadows sped out of the fort where Yuying, Ling and Lingqi were. These shadows were the thousand elite guards that Zhang and the beauties had trained.
Like the wind, they sped through the forest with weapons drawn and bloodthirsty eyes. The task they were given was simple, they were to move out before the rest of the army and eliminate every person they come upon. This was to ensure that no information regarding their movement was described or given away.
Whereas Zhang would have ordered everyone who could not be identified as a soldier to be captured, the beauties gave the order to kill all who are unfortunate enough to come across their path.
With the elite guard out paving their way with blood, it did not take long before the Dark Legion to lose contact with their scouts that were stationed to keep an eye on the forces that were now under the command of the three beauties.
After setting off in three separate directions and hunting down the scouts of the Dark Legion one after the other, one of the beauties had stumbled upon a small enemy outpost set deep within the forest, far away from the main roads and hidden in a small valley.
As they lost contact with many of their comrades a lot of the Dark Legion’s scouts who became filled with the fear of death began to flee from their positions and gather in an easy to defend location. But sadly for them, the shadows of death had managed to trail them all the way to the outpost.
“Capture one of them and kill the rest. Burn the outpost and hang the bodies of the dead up on the trees.” Yuying commanded once the location of the outpost was reported to her.
Once the order was given, five hundred elite guard surrounded the outpost and after a mere half an hour’s work, every member of the Dark Legion within the outpost was sent to the Underworld, well besides one unlucky soul who happened to have the pleasure of being dragged before Yuying.
With her hand pressed onto the captive’s forehead and thousands of runes appearing on his body, Yuying was able to obtain the location of dozens of outposts in the area from her unwilling informant.
“Prepare the soldiers, our friend here has revealed the location of a highly fortified city a day’s travel from here. Purple Rock City….” Yuying said as a black spherical portal appeared behind her and ghostly purplish spider legs stepped out of it.
“It’s been awhile since you’ve had a meal, haven’t you Silky?” She said as her hand stroked Silky’s smooth exoskeleton.
By now Yuying’s spell had been released and the eyes of her captive was filled with terror as a set of fangs pierced into his body. Before long he could feel his insides liquefied and consumed.
Without a doubt, the Dark Legion had not included the beauties when formulating their plan to repel the forces of Aurora because they had basically unleashed three calamities on themselves the moment they separated Zhang from his wives.
As the sun rose and the night ended, hundreds if not thousands of dried up corpses could be seen littering the forest’s canopy as Yuying’s army moved toward Purple Rock City.
While Yuying was out looking for enemy outposts, Lingqi had sent her forces to locate all of the rivers and lakes in the area.
“Bring back enough water for a month’s travel and pour this into the rivers and lakes.” She said as she handed her soldiers jars filled with dark purplish paste.
She had figured that her time would be best utilized marching deeper into enemy territory so instead of directly wiping out enemy outposts, she poisoned all of the water sources in the area. Some may say that her method was extreme and ineffective because there was a chance that the enemy outposts possessing water sources of their own.
However even if their water source was not infected by Ling’s poison, the animals in the forest would surely be infected and when the men at the outpost eat these animals they surely would, in turn, become infected by the poison.
A simple solution for the men hiding out at the outposts would be not to drink or eat but that wouldn’t do them any good, so without a doubt, their fates were sealed.
As environmentally friendly as Lingqi’s methods were, the poison did not harm animals and would dissipate in water after roughly a month.
Unlike the other two beauties, Ling had a much harder time locating or getting rid of enemy outposts because she possessed neither mind reading powers nor knowledge regarding poison, so it took her a bit more time to locate the enemy outposts in the area around her.
But thankfully she had a little furry friend who a keen nose to help her find the most well-hidden outposts and through some torture, she even managed to locate a fortified enemy city like Yuying.
When taking into consideration the number of outposts that had been wiped out, it could be said that half of the Dark Legion’s scouting outposts that were set up in the Rainbow Rock Province had been taken out. Meaning their method of keeping an eye on the forces of Aurora was basically severed.
But despite losing contact with half of their outposts, the commanders of the Dark Legion were more frustrated by the fact that the horde of Cactus Dragons would not attack the small fort Zhang was secluded in.
Once sunlight had struck on the small fort Zhang was in, he began observing the Cactus Dragons once more with Ai by his side.
“Brother you think we should go poke one of them to see if they’re dead?” Ai asked.
“Ha don’t you remember what happened to those people who poked that azure dragon?” Zhang laughed.
“Well, these things aren’t real dragons.” Ai said as she stuck her tongue out at Zhang.
“We’ll wait another day and if they don’t move I’ll let you go poke one of them all you want. That’s if they stick around long enough to be poked. Maybe if they aren’t dead and we somehow beat them all then you can even keep on as a pet.” Zhang teased.
“But they aren’t fluffy.” Ai said while pouting.
“Hahaha, I guess those things are too thorny to cuddle. I guess next time when we found a bear or something you can keep it.” Zhang said as he patted Ai’s head.
“Ehhhhh, a bear…Don’t want one.” She said while sticking her tongue out at him again.
“Gotcha.” Zhang grinned as he pinched Ai’s tongue.
Ai tried to speak but since Zhang was literally holding her tongue she all that could be heard were some indistinguishable sounds.
Had the men of the Dark Legion seen how carefree Zhang and Ai were acting they would have most likely vomited up a mouth full of blood. However, smiles would soon appear on their faces because as Zhang and Ai were playing around the earth began to rumble. The stillness that had covered the land was erased as the horde of Cactus Dragons began to move.
Deafening roars rang throughout the air as the hundreds of thorn covered Cactus Dragons go up from the ground and towered above the trees.
“Yes! It’s finally happening!!!!” General Hei Ang of the Dark Legion army yelled in glee as the earth around him continued to shake while his eyes were focused on Zhang was. His eyes began to gleam even more as a bright red colored Cactus Dragon emerged from the horde of beasts.
“The queen!” He said energetically.
Once the queen Cactus Dragon’s appeared all of the other Cactus Dragons roared in unison announcing the arrival of their matriarch.
“Ahahahaha now all I have to do is wait until you’re dead and then collect your head.” Hei Ang laughed manically. Without a doubt, Hei Ang was filled with indescribable joy at the moment because of how long it took before the Cactus Dragon’s moved.