Portal:Investiture of the Gods/Chapter 65

Investiture of the Gods
The Will of a Million is Shattered by Four
Xu Zhonglin or Lu Xixing

This chapter is titled "The Will of a Million is Shattered by Four". As Luo Xuan received the warrior's name as being "Li Jing", a man who is presently heading to the residence of the Prime Minister for employment under the Zhou flag, Luo Xuan carefully strolled side-by-side with the former, until they closely bordered the city walls of Phoenix City. Not allowing for his aspirations to be postponed for any moment longer, Luo Xuan presently gave a signl to himself, causing the Flying Smoke Swords that he planted within the earth to burst from the ground and fiercely impale the unfortunate Li Jing in the back, who in return gave a cry of immense astonishment while, assuming that he had been betrayed by Luo Xuan at such a moment in time, grabbed at the latter's throat in desperation. Beating back the old warrior and setting him aflame with the natural attributes of his duel swords, Li Jing instantaneously formed an enormous golden pagoda in the skies upon will, and smashed it down upon the unwarry Luo Xuan's skull, killing the unfortunate celestial in a mere moment in time. Presently diminishing the pagoda and desperately scavenging upon the fallen warrior's body, Li Jing luckily found a large mass of silver elixer pills that possessed the attributes of healing any wound upon swallow--as opposed to pills that need to be dissolved in water--and, formerly being informed of this substance by his master, Burning Lamp, immediately devoured the majority of the pills before making his way to Phoenix City.

Being allowed entrance into Phoenix City after giving evidential proof of his identity, Li Jing was escorted before Jiang Ziya in the Prime Minister's mansion, at which Li Jing presently declared his prior incident with a celestial of fire, who attempted to take his life along the way to Phoenix City. Being forced to prove his case with complete evidence, Zhou soldiers were sent to the specific region at which Luo Xuan had supposedly died. But, to their justified suspicion towards this new warrior, no body remained whatsoever, for Luo Xuan had planted 3,000 Shang soldiers in the neighboring forests to retreive his body if any incident were to occur that would result in evidence of his passing; and as the Flying Smoke swords were made from his own body, they dissipated into dust at the moment to which Luo Xuan died, destroying all evidence and forcing the rebel commander and his soldiers to not only distrust the new recruit, but to additionally become warry at every moment in fear of the enemy's return to smite them where they stood. To make matters worse in a display of bad luck towards Li Jing, one of the more seemingly distrusted celestials among others--Burning Lamp--was his master, and was the only individual other than Muzha, Nezha, and Jinzha, able to justify that Li Jing should be trusted; and Jiang Ziya and the others thus put their time into forming a strategy on how to deal with Yin Jiao's Heaven Overturning Stamp and Soul Dropping Bell above everything else, while stationing a high level of celestials outside of the gates and quickening their reconstruction as to fight against Luo Xuan's probable return. During their strategic discussion, Grand Completion recalled from his memory three additional flags separate from the Yellow Apricot Flag under the Prime Minister, but of the same magical properties: the Soaring Flame Flag within Mount Xuandu, the Green Lotus Flag within the Western Lands, and the White Cloud Bound Flag with whereabouts unknown. Receiving immediate consention to retrieve these three flags, Grand Completion presently left Phoenix City and arrived before Mount Xuandu, at which he received the Soaring Flame from Lao Zi momentarily following his request, before then heading to the Western Lands. Arriving at the intended region and being allowed entrance before Buddha, who was obstinate at first upon hearing the request of Grand Completion and his intentions to use the flag that represents Buddhism and their reputation, but was presently convinced by Candi to allow him the Green Lotus Flag for the sake of their religion's mutual expansion throughout the east: This being an intention of the upmost importance. As Grand Completion was very gratified at their consideration towards his troubled circumstances, he returned back to Phoenix City to report his present success, at which he entered the residence of Princess Long Ji and requested whether she knew anything about the remaining White Cloud Bound Flag's location.

Long Ji, who had not been informed of Grand Completion and his search to obtain this remaining flag at the prior time, informed the former that her mother happens to possess such a flag within the Jade Pond residence; but as only a celestial of great status such as that of Immortal of the South Pole could request it--for the flag is an essential symbol of authority and will within such a region--Grand Completion had little choice but to head first to Mount Kunlun after deeply thanking the princess for her guidance and handing the two acquired flags to Prime Minister Jiang Ziya. Arriving before Mount Kunlun and obtaining the mutual cooperation of Immortal of the South Pole, South Pole immediately strode to the Jade Pond atop his mystical crane, expressing delight and satisfaction over the unique architecture about him as he presently arrived before the residence of the Golden Mother. Receiving the White Cloud Bound Flag after elaborating the reasoning behind why he had appeared, at which he naturally showed great gratification for the lady's consideration, South Pole entered Phoenix City following this incident, handing the remaining flag to Jiang Ziya, who entertained him in his mansion hall as reward before sending the respected celestial back on his way to Mount Kunlun. As Master Pure Essence and Outstanding Culture presently arrived before the Prime Minister's residence according to their prearranged time of meeting, Jiang Ziya began their set order of attack: Outstanding Culture will wait upon the eastern edge of Mount Western Foothills with the Green Lotus as his tool; Pure Essence will head to the south, equipped with the Soaring Flame; Burning Lamp will head the center perimeter with the Yellow Apricot; and he shall personally take up position in the west with the White Cloud Bound. After setting forth these orders, Jiang Ziya followed with set commands to his generals: Yellow Flying Tiger will assault the frontal encampment of Commander Zhang Shan; Deng Jiugong and Nangong Kuo will simultaneously assault the right and left camps that neighbor the front using Nezha, Yang Bliss, Wei Hu, and Thunderbolt as respective reinforcement; and Li Jing, Nezha, Muzha, and Huang Tianhua will distribute themselves where they are essentially needed from the rear. Each general and celestial thus made immediate preparations throughout the remainder of day, at which they awaited until the time of dusk before pursueing any form of attack.

Meanwhile within the encampment of Shang, Yin Jiao was exceedingly distressed and greived over the unexpected report of Liu Huan and Luo Xuan having been killed, and thus encoffined the honorable Luo Xuan in a respective coffin, sending a unit of soldiers as escort to bury the warrior upon the mountain's summit. This being done, Yin Jiao, told of Luo Xuan's final employed strategy that would result in the rebel commander's forces being of a despaired state of fear, knew that they would surely attempt an attack upon his encampment to ensure that revenge is not only obtained in the face of their humiliation, but to ensure that they have destroyed any means of threat that could assist the potential return of Luo Xuan: An action that is entirely essential to their future safety, by all means. With this deduction, Yin Jiao sent written decree via messenger, ordering neighboring passes to send reinforcement by order of Crown Prince, while securing a route of retreat to the east at which he would be able to reach the passes and call upon the assistance of the capital and that of his comrade, Shen Gongbao. In addition to these preparations, Yin Jiao ordered his generals and soldiers to sharpen their blades and dominantly practice the Bull-Horn Formation and Pincer-Formation according to the perimeter surrounding the encampment's respective sides, and priorly distributed many units of royal soldiers to the mountains neighboring the Western Foothills, at which they would search all head residences and temples, burning them to the ground upon princely decree if any tool of magical attributes were to be located: This ruse would allow Yin Jiao to ensure that the rebel commander's unknown sources of assistance in the form of magical items will be cut off to some extent, while they are then supplied to the capital as ensurance that his name and power would gain even greater evidence -- for he obviously would not possess intentions to harm Morning Song if such a display of assistance were to be shown, ensuring his mutual reinforcement from the king. With this being set, Yin Jiao and Zhang Shan took their respective places. And as dusk had approached with report that the rebel army is presently closing in upon their encampment from every employable direction, the soldiers of Shang took up their stations and readied their weapons for a descisive battle.

As Yellow Flying Tiger closed in upon the Shang encampment's frontal center, Yin Jiao and a large batallion of pikemen fiercely clashed against the rebel army, greatly overpowering their advances with waves of arrows and the gravitational power of the Heaven Overturning Stamp. Meanwhile, Zhang Shan, given the Yin-Yang Swords by the prince, was met by Nangong Kuo, Deng Jiugong, and other lesser generals at the right encampment, at which he defended his strategic stronghold with the combined assistance of Li Jin. Unfortunately however, a new foe by the name of Sun Yanhong advanced upon the defenders and spat large quantities of fire from his mouth, setting the soldiers of Shang aflame and resulting in mass confusion, to the detriment of Zhang Shan who had little choice but to fight with even greater valor. But even with his new display of prowess, Deng Jiugong advanced and, seeing that his former subordinate was unwilling to surrender even in such bested circumstances, struck a fatal blow to Zhang Shan's chest and ordered the fallen commander to be buried in Sanshan Pass in honor of his characteristics of zeal. At this present time Yellow Flying Tiger, who did not possess any magical backing, was bested very quickly; but to his benefit, Nezha and Yang Bliss immediately arrived to assist the commander, smiting the oppositionary forces with incredible power, at which Yin Jiao had great difficulty in suppressing even with the ability of his stamp and bell. Knowing that the central camp is of vital importance and that if lost, will result in a prime advantage for the enemy force, Yin Jiao assumed his three-headed, six-armed form, and willfully multiplied his golden halberd until he possessed six, and followed by valiantly striking hundreds of blows into the rebel soldiers, felling hundreds with every swing of his individual halberds, and making the remaining whole more resolved then ever to press on and smite the crown prince: naturally, if not defeated quickly, he will sully their opportunity to obtain victory. As a result, the thousands of Zhou soldiers created a pincer around Yin Jiao, and the legions of spearmen pressed forward at one sudden instant and impaled the prince with their respective weapons, ceasing the warrior from his rampage. Enraged beyond measure at such a display, Yin Jiao firmly unleashed his Heaven Overturning Stamp, causing the enormous mass of soldiers piled around him to be thrusted to the ground, blood gushing from their ears and eyes as the gravitational weight became overwhelmingly strong -- even to the point of crushing their bodies. Nezha and Yang Bliss, who had presently strucken dead the multitude of the Shang forces singlehandedly, causing individual retreat for the majority of their enemy, assaulted the wounded prince with their sword and spear respectively, but were greatly held back by an enormous mass of crossbowmen that laid before the encampment's head gate, allowing Yin Jiao a safe retreat back within the central camp, at which he ordered the vast majority of the defenders to equip themselves with crossbows, while handing them loads of straw hay and the flaming arrows originally received from Liu Huan for the sake of an ultimate defense around the entire perimeter of their encampment. Presently devouring one of Luo Xuan's silver elixer pills and mounting a cloud of dust, the crown prince immediately sped to the east with incredible speed, intending on reaching the capital and receiving a grand majority of magical items to use as backing for his ambitions.

Approaching Sishui Pass as he killed the masses of Zhou soldiers that stood before his way as respective ambush parties, Yin Jiao presently confronted Master of Outstanding Culture along the way, who, without any hesitation, unraveled his Green Lotus Flag, forcing the prince's weapon of destruction--the Heaven Overturning Stamp--to reverse its power as the light from the flag shined upon it. Overwhelmed at such an annoyance, Yin Jiao had little choice but to call back his stamp, blind his opponent with a storm of dust, and spur off to the southeast atop his cloud with even mightier resolve. Slaying the many Zhou soldiers that continued to confront him along the pathway to the southeast, in the form of additional ambush parties, Yin Jiao was met by his master, Pure Essence, who intended more than anything to stop his former disciple from completing his intentions. Showing such an intention by unwisely revealing his Soaring Flame Flag even without the Stamp's release, Yin Jiao predicted that each flag must only possesses a variable exterior appearance to confuse their opponent, while it is internally nothing different than its counterparts in the form of its use, and thus did not attempt to release the Heaven Overturning Stamp, but impaled his master's hands with one of his golden halberds, stole the flag, and thrusted Pure Essence from his direction, thus changing his direction to the east and continuing onward to the capital. Jiang Ziya and Burning Lamp, presently hearing of Yin Jiao's movement to the east, abandoned their respective positions of defense and divided themselves before the pathway of the prince -- Burning Lamp being the first to confront Yin Jiao. Exceedingly cautious in all nature and not wishing to be seen as an enemy to the Prime Minister in fear of the detriment of acting against "Heaven's will," until he can eventually seize power for himself over Jie Taoism, Burning Lamp made no effort to prevent Yin Jiao's advance, considerately allowing the prince passage in honor of his resolve, awakening the Yellow Apricot Flag following the former's departure, creating thousands of golden lotus flowers to cloud the pathway of any potential pursuit. As Yin Jiao thus presently charged towards the east, he saw the rebel commander posed before him with dragon banners fluttering about and, seeing Jiang Ziya's follyable behavior in the name of warfare, seized the opportunity to attack from the air, at which he slaughtered the surrounding disorganized parties under Zhou before piercing his six halberds into the commander's flesh. Jiang Ziya, not having a former chance to resist against the prince's spediful assault, immediately released his White Cloud Bound Flag causing fog to disspate all potential sight and forcing Yin Jiao to charge and thrash about in random directions -- for upon release, the Prime Minister disappeared like nothing more than an illusion. Fearing that more detrimental of circumstances would sully his efforts, even though such an opportunity is rare in seizability, Yin Jiao mounted his dust cloud and charged with unparalleled speed to the east.

As the prince resolutely continued, the circle of fog remained no longer and Yin Jiao began to see the final brim of sunlight across the sky as taels of thunder echoed throughout the air, strenghtening his determination to live on on, no matter what. Presently entering a region at which the terrain closed upon him from left and right and continued with such an expanse, Yin Jiao continued by way of foot, until he had confronted a mountain of incredible span that blocked any potential advancement. Being perplexed as to why such a pathway of essential importance for transportation and travel would remain at such a state up until the present, Yin Jiao was naturally annoyed by such unlucky circumstances and willfully cleaved the entire mountain into two vertical halves, with the secondary ability of his Heaven Overturning Stamp, but draining a greater majority of its remaining magical potential. Now being able to advance once again, the two sides of the mountain suddenly began to cave towards him, as if with the intention to crush him. Knowing that the mountain's rocks would smash his body if he attempted the use of the Heaven Overturning Stamp, Yin Jiao lunged towards the sky as he used the wind to elevate his body; but as he reached the very surface of the mountain, both ends clamped shut upon his abdomen, causing him to let out a loud shriek of pain as he comprehended the danger of such a situation.