|← Subjugation of the Peacock||Investiture of the Gods
The Offensive on Three Routes
|Grand Completion at the Green Touring Palace →|
|Xu Zhonglin or Lu Xixing|
This chapter is titled "The Offensive on Three Routes". Following Buddha Candi's arrival at the camp of Shang, Kong Xuan would ask for his reason of appearance. After the latter had learned the reason, he would lash at Candi with his great sword and golden staff - but both weapons would be simply brushed aside by the former's tree twig. Once the Buddha had been caught within Kong Xuan's rays of light, all five beams would suddenly explode. Now being completely defenseless, Kong Xuan would change into his true form: a beautiful peacock. Buddha Candi would thus shortly return to the western region atop Kong Xuan once the Zhou generals had been essentially freed. Following the surrender of Kong Xuan's forces, Jiang Ziya would order his army to march towards Sishui Pass the next day. Upon his arrival at the pass, Jiang Ziya would order Hong Jin to capture the Good Dream Pass while Yellow Flying Tiger was to take Green Dragon. If these passes were to be taken, no enemy attack could be unleashed from the left and right regions of Sishui. Once Hong Jin had arrived at Good Dream, Ji Kang would volenteer to challenge the enemy after they rested from the long march. With cutlass in hand, Shang general Xu Kun would ride out to challenge Ji Kang. Shortly however, Ji Kang would use his black smoke dog to violently lash at Xu Kun's face while he delivered the final blow to his opponent's neck. As like the former day, Zhou general Su Quanzhong would easily be able to take the head of Shang general Hu Yunpeng without breaking a single sweat. Upon seeing the loss of many Shang soldiers due to the enemy's prowess, Hu Sheng, commander of Good Dream Pass, would discuss with his brother, Hu Lei, that the best option would be to surrender for the sake of their people. Hu Lei, however, would neglect such an offer fully and head out to meet the opposition the following day. Once Nangong Kuo had answered the former's call, Hu Lei would be defeated in short time and presented before Hong Jin.
Following Hu Lei's violent remarks against Hong Jin and his betrayal, he would be beheaded. However, a report on Hu Lei's reapparance would soon be issued -- and Nangong Kuo would thus leave the camp of Zhou to see what trickery ran amok. After realizing that Hu Lei was truly alive, he would duel with great might against the former and effectively manage to capture him once again. Hong Jin would have no clue what to do with Hu Lei until Princess Long Ji arrived to inspect the prisoner. She would soon realize that Hu Lei was performing amateur magic, and that a small ten centimeter long needle should be placed between his hair as to prevent his escape. Once he had been beheaded this time, his reappearance would never be heard -- and his death would thus be confirmed. Hu Sheng would soon attain word of his brother's death, and would thus give a pledge of surrender to the camp of Zhou. Following Hong Jin's consent, Hu Lei would rush to and fro to make preparations for the former's arrival through the pass. However, a woman by the name of Mother Fiery Spirit of Mount Qiuming would arrive shortly - and declare her desire to avenge the death of her disciple, Hu Lei. Seeing this as an opportunity to crush the opposition, Hu Sheng would order the Zhou flags to be stripped. As Hong Jin gazed at the Shang camp flying the flags of Shang once again, the former would grind his teeth and be resolved to show no mercy for their trickery. After Fiery Spirit had a special unit of 3,000 soldiers taken from Hu Sheng's total of 20,000, they would be specifically drilled and effectively equipped with large paper gourds. Fiery Spirit and Hu Sheng would thus appear for challenge before the camp of Zhou with their new "Fire Dragon" troops following the passage of seven days. When Hong Jin came to attack Hu Sheng, Fiery Spirit would use her special golden ray of light technique to blind the former while delivering a crucial blow to his flesh. As Princess Long Ji emerged from the camp to see disastrous flames spouting from every corner, she would begin to recite spells. However, she would be distracted by a sudden ray of light before feeling the blade of Fiery Spirit sink deeply into her body.
- Kong Xuan's defeat at the hands of Buddha Candi; Candi's march back to the western region
- Jiang Ziya reaches Sishui Pass; Hong Jin heads to Good Dream; Flying Tiger heads to Green Dragon
- Hu Sheng's essential surrender to Hong Jin's forces; Hu Lei's reluctent confidence
- Hu Lei's magical trickery incident cleared; Hu Sheng's surrender pledge formed
- Arrival of Fiery Spirit; Training of the Fire Dragon soldiers
- Hu Sheng ang Fiery Spirit trample the Zhou camp; The grand fire catastrophy unleashed