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Lu Xiong Assists Zhang Guifang
|Phoenix City's Great Siege →|
|Xu Zhonglin or Lu Xixing|
This chapter is titled "Lu Xiong Assists Zhang Guifang". As the infuriated Wang Mo was unable to move in any form while being firmly immobilized by Outstanding Culture's stakes, Jinzha performed one quick slash maneauver of his blade—sending the unfortunate Taoist to his death, while his soul became the first to gather before the Terrace of Creation. Reviving Jiang Ziya momentarily afterwards, Outstanding Culture told the prime minister to return to the Western Foothills with the assistance of Jinzha. Departing after being informed of the prior situation, Outstanding Culture had meanwhile buried the corpse of Wang Mo in a grievous state over his impulsive gestures of the past. Fortunately driving away the Shang forces earlier, without any notable casualties at that, King Wu and the others were greatly delighted to see the prime minister return before the city's northern gates with a stranger by his side later that day. Elaborating the incidents prior in full detail, while introducing Jinzha to all present, Yang Sen meanwhile sat within the Shang camp, being exceedingly worried over Wang Mo's lack of return by dusk. Performing a divination across his fingers at once, Yang Sen flew back in horror at the gruesome end to their fellow brother, Wang Mo. Informing his other two brothers of the situation immediatley, all three Taoists slept throughout that night in great agony and despair over the death of Wang Mo—but such only strengthened their resolve to destroy Jiang Ziya even if they must sacrifice everything they possess. Mounting their beasts at the very crack of dawn, the Taoists demanded that Jiang Ziya shows himself at once. Hearing of such a challenge shortly, Jiang Ziya hesitated, due to the various wounds that he still possessed from the incident prior, but was nontheless encouraged to head to the front once Nezha ensured his essential backing. Appearing outside the eastern gates shortly after, Jinzha and Nezha immediately rushed forward to protect the prime minister from any harm. With a sudden wrathful charge on the part of the three Taoists, Jiang Ziya carefully watched the battle, while determining it time to try out his Staff of Beating Gods. Throwing the staff into the air in a horizontal fashion, a sudden flash of lightning triggered the weapon to fall like a boulder—aiming for the unfortunate Gao Youqian. As Youqian's head splattered instantly at such an impact, Yang Sen was terrified, but nonetheless immensely enraged at the following death of his brother. Seeing Jiang Ziya toss the staff into the air earlier, and concluding through such a fact that the former killed his brother, Yang Sen let out a piercing cry of despair and lunged at the prime minister like a berserk dragon ready to slaughter at whim. Being distracted by an object—the Universal Ring—being flung straight at him, Jinzha seized such a chance to bind the former with his Invisible Dragon Stake, and then finishing the Taoist off with a vertical blade slash through his abdomen. Seeing the death of two additional brothers, Li Xingba charged at Jinzha and Muzha, while Feng Lin and Zhang Guifang, who could not allow the death of any more allies less their chances of victory became nullifed, leapt forthward to assist their Taoist ally. Huang Tianxiang, the fourth son of Yellow Flying Tiger, meanwhile rode forth with his silver spear, even though he was still yet a child. Being overtaken by an obvious advantage over Tianxiang, Feng Lin cockily charged at the young boy while thrashing his clubs about wrathfully, but ended up being killed upon a single thrust of Tianxiang's spear—which pierced the former's chest with great renown. Now knowing that the day had most assuredly been lost, Zhang Guifang retreated to the Shang camp immediately, while Li Xingba followed close behind. Upon their return to the Shang camp, Li Xingba suggested to Zhang Guifang that reinforcements are of great neccessity, considering the recent death of four additional generals; Zhang consented at once to such a suggestion by sending an urgent report to Grand Old Master Wen Zhong.
As Jiang Ziya returned to Phoenix City, where he profusely praised the young Tianxiang for his renown, Jinzha clearly realized that with the loss of three generals on the opposing side, and their earlier retreat more than likely out of fear of complete annihalation, they most assuredly would be awaiting an immediate backing of some form of reinforcements that ensured their ultimate protection; Jinzha thus approached the prime minister, suggesting to him that the enemy commander should be engaged as soon as possible. Clearly seeing Jinzha's rationale, Jiang Ziya followed his suggestion by leading forth his army the following day, while demanding Zhang Guifang to show himself at once. Ragefully exiting the Shang camp with generals to his right and left, Zhang Guifang knew that the situation was grave, due to the current lack of reinforcements, and capable generals at that, but nonetheless charged forthward to begin a grand battle. As each general unleashed their prowess upon the battlefield, Li Xingba fled through the skies at the very second in which Jiang Ziya had made a threatening gesture with his staff, thus leaving Zhang Guifang surrounded by many generals on each side. With the Chao Twin's attempt to convince the enemy commander that reconciliation is the best choice, considering the current situation he is within, Zhang Guifang did not for a second consider such a resolution as probable—for his loyalty and honor had been sworn to King Zhou, no matter what obstacle appeared before him. Fighting on like a renowned warrior from dawn to noon, Zhang realized his great exhaustion and the lack of forces remaining on his side, and thus pierced his own belly as a final show of loyal intentions towards the Shang Dynasty. Seeing the enemy commander fall to the ground and emitted his final breath, Jiang Ziya and his men returned to Phoenix City in triumph, after receiving the remaining soldiers of Guifang, who had surrendered. As Li Xingba had meanwhile landed before a neighboring mountain to plan out his next move, he decided it best to return to the capital, while meeting with Wen Zhong to discuss their method of revenge. Ready to take his leave immediately, Li Xingba heard someone singing a song in a very close distanc—and thus turned around to see a young man, who stated his name to be "Muzha". Exchanging salutations, while stating his name and set purpose, Muzha smiled in delight at the man who his master sent him far and wide to search for standing right before his very eyes. Informing the former that he has been sent to capture him, and a great reward would be presented through such an action, Li Xingba knew that it would be difficult to escape such a grasp—and thus lashed forth his duel staves at the enemy. Greatly resolved to destroy anything in his path for the sake of revenge, Muzha became clearly overpowered as they clashed weapons violently along the mountainside. Unfortunately for Li Xingba, however, Muzha suddenly unleashed a large blade--dubbed as the male counterpart of the two "Hooks of Wu" atop his back—to slice off the former's head in one quick strike. Riding to the Western Foothills atop his dust cloud, Muzha arrived before a large city, and was unexpectedly admitted in by his elder brother, Jinzha, who which introduced the former to the prime minister at once. As Grand Old Master Wen Zhong had meanwhile stamped his fist in rage at the report of three of his Taoist allies being killed, he ordered all generals to appear before him to obtain ear on the situation currently at hand. After a lengthened discussion, it was decided that Lu Xiong, a general of old age, but capable in the art of military commandership nonetheless, would be assisted by Fei Zhong and You Hun as advisors, in order to essentially reinforce Zhang Guifang at all costs possible. Being equipped with 50,000 soldiers, and leaving the capital immediately without delay, summer soon approached, forcing the Shang army to perspire under the immense sunlight without the slightest breath of wind whatsoever. Being told by a patrolman along the way that Zhang Guifang had lost his life, and his very head is hanging upon Phoenix City's eastern gate as he spoke, Commander Lu Xiong ordered his soldiers to camp at a neighboring forest within a region known as "Mount Western Foothills" -- as one of his generals had stated it to be. Immediately sending report to Wen Zhong on the current situation, Jiang Ziya had obtained report on the enemy's camping within Mount Western Foothills -- and thus ordered Wu Ji and Nangong Kuo to block any sort of assault from the former with 5,000 soldiers at their disposal. As both generals camped opposite to the stationary Shang forces, General Xin Jia arrived shortly to move their camp before the mountain's summit—as ordered by Jiang Ziya himself. Following such a ridiculous order without any true choice, the forces of Zhou began to complain profusely as they were forced to remain within the direct heat of summer, while being laughed at below by the Shang soldiers, who knew that they would die of exhaustion if they remained as such for at least three days. As Lu Xiong kept his forces stationed closely by his side without external movement, less an ambush or trap of some sort became unleashed at any noticeable retortion, Jiang Ziya arrived before his own forces with an additional 3,000, and ordered his soldiers to construct a three-foot high terrace at once. With General Xin Mian's additional arrival with padded cotton jackets and warm caps to be worn upon each soldier, everyone present followed such an order at once—knowing fully that they rushed the risk of their own deaths at any moment.
- Death of Wang Magus
- The battle of immense hatred; death of High Amiable and Yang Forest
- Gale Woods/Cassia relief force unleashed; fleeing of Li Resounding
- The honor-preserving death of Zhang Cassia
- Li Resounding arrives at mountain hideout; Muzha's newly elaborated renown
- Dismay of Grand Old Master; Honest Hero and High Counselors sent
- Honest Hero's fit of laughter - Nimblefoot's foolish strategy
- The immense blizzard of Baby Tooth; drowning of Honest Hero's unit
- The presentation before Baby Tooth