Portal:Investiture of the Gods/Chapter 42

Investiture of the Gods
Surrender of the Bandit Chiefs
Xu Zhonglin or Lu Xixing

This chapter is titled "Surrender of the Bandit Chiefs". As the three outlaws charged at Wen Zhong with great furiosity, Xin Huan immediately intervened, stating that none other than the renowned Grand Old Master is the man before their very midst. Falling to their feet with both shame and embarassment, they led Wen Zhong before their head camp at once, offering him a drink as fellow friendship and atonement for their former rudeness. Stating their names--Deng Zhong, Tao Rong, and Zhang Jie--while declaring their original alignment with Morning Song before secluding themselves away from the capital's troubles later on, Wen Zhong promised them high positions as ministers if they are to achieve great success by his side against the Western Foothills. After obtaining a consentual agreement with the other three outlaw leaders, Wen Zhong instructed them to gather all who are willing to stand by his side in exchange for wealth, while the remainder are given money and food as a form of shelter. Performing such a task immediately following, 7,000 of the original 10,000 chose to fight by the Grand Old Master's side after being overjoyed at a chance to obtain heightened wealth and rank -- the very opposite they obtained before fleeing from Morning Song. With immense delight at the expected result of such an offer, Wen Zhong departed with his newly combined forces, arriving before an auspicious stone monument along the way. With the words "Dragon Extinction Peak" inscribed within the monument, Wen Zhong became reminded of his original master, Mother Golden Spirit, informing him that disaster is destined to follow if the character "extinction" is ever to be come across in the future. Telling such to his generals nearby, Deng Zhong reassured the Grand Old Master that with his virtue and great talent, he is sure to win over the Western Foothills without any extreme sacrifices. Silently considering his words along the journey, and obtaining report of their closing in on the southern gate of Phoenix City, Wen Zhong ordered his army to set up camp for the time being. Due to the unparalleled reputation that the Grand Old Master had possessed, many patrolman instantly realized the identity of the man camped before them, and thus approached Jiang Ziya and informed him of such a situation. Hearing of Wen Zhong's great reputation and renowned characteristics, the prime minister decided to mount the city walls and gaze forth at his camp; Jiang Ziya was indeed immensely pleased at the ingenious layout set before him -- and thus returned to his mansion and summoned the generals for a meeting. As they discussed their next movement carefully, a letter was soon given to the prime minister, being adressed from the Grand Old Master himself. Reading the letter, which stated Wen Zhong's intention to receive Jiang Ziya for capital punishment, or the unconditional destruction of their city, the prime minister instructed the messenger to tell the Grand Old Master his intention: to meet eachother on the battlefield in three days. Being informed of such a statement, Grand Old Master fiercely led forth his soldiers before the southern gates three days following, immensely resolved to destroy such defiance with his own two hands. After the firing of five cannons on the side of Zhou, Jiang Ziya appeared with generals right and left, while bowing before the newly arrived Grand Old Master, who layed out his forces before the former. Angrily yelling at Jiang Ziya for enthroning Ji Fa as king without the authorization of King Zhou, and destroying their forces left and right unconditionally throughout the past, Jiang Ziya retorted with more clearer rationality, placing great shame into the face of Wen Zhong. Angrily calling forth Yellow Flying Tiger before him in his great rage, Wen Zhong ordered one of his men to capture the rebel for his blatant violation of rebellion against the capital. With General Deng Zhong's acceptance of such an order, a grand battle began between many generals under both the Zhou and Shang forces.

As Xin Huan roared forth atop his wings to slay Jiang Ziya from the skies, Huang Tianhua became exceedingly frightened at the former's appearance, but nontheless charged forth atop his unicorn in order to protect the prime minister. Realizing that Xin was currently occupying Jiang Ziya's last line of defense, Wen Zhong thrusted about his two golden staves with unparalleled renown, arriving before the rebel commander shortly, and attacking the opposition like a raging beast. To Jiang Ziya's lack of knowledge, Wen Zhong's two staves were created through the scales of legendary dragons of old, and after throwing the leftern staff into the air, it crashed down directly upon the prime minister's right shoulder, shooting blood in every which direction. As such an action immediately triggered the retortion of Nezha and his two brothers, Wen Zhong had little choice but to hold off the celestials layed out before him until he can seize the chance to kill the rebel commander. Upon Tao Rong's release of the Wind Collecting Pearl, which sent sand and dirt flying about profusely, Wen Zhong, and his generals alike, used their weapons in a synchronized manner amongst the confusion, forcing the Zhou forces to flee like helpless animals. As the generals of Shang congratulated the Grand Old Master over his victory following their return, Yang Bliss had meanwhile suggested to the prime minister that a night raid should be deployed after their potential victory the following day. Approving such a suggestion fully, Jiang Ziya and Wen Zhong fiercely clashed blade against staff the next morning. With generals battling right to left, with Jiang Ziya in a seizable position for reciprocated attack, Wen Zhong seized this chance by launching forth one of his golden staves within the air, aiming for the head of Jiang Ziya. Little did he expect however, the prime minister immediately recognized the staff approaching him, and thus used his Staff of Beating Gods to coil around the weapon, breaking it into golden shards upon the ground. Not believing his eyes, Wen Zhong wrathfully charged his great dragon into the enemy commander with collosal speed and mobility. Being striken in the back by the sudden movement of Jiang Ziya's multi-jointed weapon, Wen Zhong had little choice but to flee, resulting in the retreat of the Shang army shortly after. As Jiang Ziya began his preparations for the night-raid that afternoon, Wen Zhong sat in his inner quarters, exceedingly resentful over the destruction of one of his golden staffs, and the impact that such would place before the morale of his army. Knowing Jiang Ziya to be a man of treachery, and surely improved of morale after such a lucky victory earlier that day, Wen Zhong ordered his generals to meet any potential assault at set points within the camp, while he directly stands before the central quarters to see if the prime minister would act in such a predictable manner as to attempt a raid or any other form of attack. As such preparations were being made within the Shang camp, Jiang Ziya stealthily moved his forces towards the opposition, and upon the sudden signal of cannon fire, the forces of Zhou attacked the camp from three differing directions.