Wuxiaworld > Trying to Tame an Evil Overlord > 124 Bring it on
The cultivators labored, winding the ballistas that were mounted across the walls. There were six in total of these fearsome beasts along the southern wall of the city. A bolt was mounted in their nooks, the cultivators wasted no time. There was the rumbling sound of a marching army that drummed and shook the ground but with the Ivory Sword Saint's steady command, they were not deterred and did not fall into trembling panic.

There were two types of ammo that fit into their nooks. The first type was a flimsy bolt made of soft wood. Though this kind of weapon might deal a fatal blow to a normal person, against demons and cultivators it was not that terrifying of an opposition. However, within the grains of wood there were symbols etched.

As the ballistas were wound and loaded they glowed with light, drawing spiritual energy from the air. To further the process along, a cultivator actively fed their spiritual energy into the bolt nestled in the body of the ballista.

At the center of the wall, Liu Sumeng stood next to Sect Leader Chen watching black army that marched forward like a dark tidal wave, swallowing the life of the land as they tread upon the earth.

Liu Sumeng willed himself not to be distracted by the amount of times that Chen Gaoyong sighed, though there was only so much patience he could afford when the army of Fallen Gods was taking wide steps over the path, toppling and crushing everything beneath their feet.

Their numbers were only about two-hundred, but with their large bodies and stifling auras they appeared like a force much greater than the heads they counted.

Just when Liu Sumeng was about to break silence, Chen Gaoyong finally decided to step up and raise his sword. With a loud voice, he commanded his men and women, "Today we make a stand here at our beloved city…Ah, it pains me that it has come to this, but for our beloveds and our home, we will defend it with our lives… Many of you might not see the light of dawn but do not fear…"

Wait, wait. Now wasn't a time for a long monologue! Liu Sumeng did not mind rallying words of encouragement, but with Chen Gaoyong's low, dragging tone and depressing words he wasn't sure if they achieved what they meant to do.

Left without a choice, Li Sumeng acted quickly, flicking a small stone at the poor disciple who pulled back the trigger mechanism of the closest ballista. The girl startled, accidentally launching the bolt.

Chen Gaoyong jumped but instead of yelling in dismay he simply covered his own fluster with the command, "Fire!"

One by one, triggers pulled the ballista springs and strings whipped the air, bolts cutting the wind. 

A pulse of white light followed the bolts as they crashed down, causing the advancing Fallen Gods to stagger. The area around which the bolts crashed was blanketed by an invisible force that caused the Fallen Gods to flinch in movement, as though an extra weight had been attached to their limbs.

Their movements were not slowed immensely and the spell failed to completely stop their advance.

But it was something.

"Reload!" Chen Gaoyong commanded.

This time, the bolts that were loaded into the ballistas were made of a different material; peach tree wood.

Chen Gaoyong's hand fell on Liu Sumeng's shoulder, "I leave the command in your capable hands." The older man hummed with a light tone. But when the Ivory Sword Saint scrutinized his expression, he saw that Sect Leader Chen's smile was stiff and his brows faintly furrowed. "I will begin the incantation."

Liu Sumeng nodded, "Leave it to me."

The Ivory Sword Saint stepped forward, his sharp eyes sweeping over the field ahead of the wall. "Hold." He commanded with confidence.

Meanwhile, the Ascending Dawn Sect leader took a step back and was joined by three other Elders. They retreated into one of the towers and began a long incantation.

Their voices were muffled in the gusting wind, and a feathered feeling tickled Liu Sumeng's ear. A far off sound echoed within his mind, 'How are things looking?' It was Chen Anyue.

'Managing,' Liu Sumeng formulated the response with his mind. 'Do not worry about us.'

The wind tickled his face. The Fallen Gods stepped into range.

Liu Sumeng shouted, "Fire!"

There were two main choke points along the northern wall, one on the east side and one on the west. There were small mountain trails that converged, leading to these small north-facing gates along the city.

Realistically, there was nothing that stopped the Fallen Gods from advancing at any point between these two gates, however, Liu Sumeng had estimated within reason that they were not likely to.

Yuan Xuelan was tasked with guarding the west path. With only two ballistas mounted on each side of the city entrance, Xuelan wasn't about to take any chances.

Along with him were half a dozen cultivators that he knew through the ages of growing up at the Ascending Dawn Sect, but only two of which he knew with any degree of familiarity.

To his right was the Sixth Elder who calmly watched the road ahead of them. Only about three li ahead of them was the mountain wall that shook against the black night. She held her hands behind her back and held her chin up, lips tight, showing no signs of anxiety.

To Xuelan's left was Zhu Qiang, who, contrary to his name, was not 'strong' at all. He was the poor kid sent out to scout the swamps with his Shimei who met an unfortunate end at their hands. He trembled so violently that his teeth were chattering loudly. He cowered behind Yuan Xuelan.

"W-We're all going to die. We're seriously all going to die…" He muttered non-stop while hugging his bow close to his chest. It was driving Yuan Xuelan pretty crazy. Even though Zhu Qiang was Yuan Xuelan's senior, Xuelan did not respect him at all.

Just as he was about to snap at that dumb Shixiong of his, a buzz zapped through his thoughts, causing him to twitch on instinct. The words that he had reserved for Zhu Qiang came out in his thoughts instead, 'Can you shut up already?'

'...What was that?' A sweet female voice invaded his thoughts, making him jump with an embarrassing squeak. 'Is that how you speak to me when I worked so hard to raise you with my own two hands?'

'Shijie! That wasn't…! Argh that wasn't for you…Sorry.'



Cold sweat was about to bead on Yuan Xuelan's brow, but then a pleasant giggle invaded his mind and Yuan Xuelan was able to relax from the awkward tension that was nearly about to strangle him.

'How I do miss scolding you!' Chen Anyue laughed, 'Even though you've grown so big, you're still my cute little Shidi.'

Yuan Xuelan sighed deeply. There were no tinges of aggrievement in his tone, only a great amount of relief. He hadn't really spoken much to Chen Anyue after she had caught him kissing her fiance.

Just thinking about that now made him want to rip his hair out and bite off his tongue in utter shame. While a part of him did not want to give up Liu Sumeng to anyone, not even his dear Shijie, Yuan Xuelan had enough dignity to be mortified and ashamed at his actions. He also felt sorry toward her but didn't know how to apologize. He didn't even know how to face her.

He swallowed down his anxiety and shuffled his feet, 'Shijie, I--'

But Chen Anyue cut him off before apologies could be made, 'How are things over there? I can hear the earth shaking.'

'...' Yuan Xuelan didn't respond right away and narrowed his eyes at the shaking mountains. There were thunderous booms that echoed in the night and soon he could see movement that burrowed out of the mountain. That aura, oppressive and strange, was in the air. 

Zhu Qiang's panicked muttering only got louder.

"Quiet, you!" Elder Hanli hissed at the boy who didn't at all listen.

Yuan Xuelan wasn't listening either.

He was trying to focus on the impending doom, the god-like foes that were about to meet them in battle. It was obvious that Anyue had cut him off on purpose, not wishing to hear what he had to say.

But who could blame her? Now wasn't the time when war was at their doorsteps. Quite literally. He didn't even know if he would survive the battle to say his apology…


No. Yuan Xuelan cursed his own stupidity. Of course, he'd live to apologize! Of course, he would get the chance to talk properly to her, when there wasn't death before them, when the battle was finally over.

His resolve strengthened and hands curled over Silei's hilt. Yuan Xuelan felt for once that his mind was clear.

'They're coming,' he replied to Chen Anyue calmly, 'But you don't have to worry about me. I'm strong now, I've got this covered.'

Even through the communication spell, he could hear his Shijie's sharp intake of air. 'Okay, be careful.'

'I will. You too.'

A dozen dark bodies climbed out of the mountainside. The distance of three li will be covered in an instant. Yuan Xuelan drew Silei. In his other hand, he held a peach tree wood spear. Adrenaline thrummed through his veins, "Bring it on, fuckers!"

Inside the walls of the Ascending Dawn Manor, Chen Anyue, along with a few other female disciples, had set up a large-scale communication array. She was having a hard time keeping her signature gentle smile on her face to encourage those around her.

"Are you okay?" One of her Shimei gently placed a hand on her arm.

Anyue tried to smile but there was an aching fatigue in her bones that she could not describe. The past few days had taken their toll on her. There were spots in her memory that she could not explain and her heart was as heavy as lead. So tired that she might even be catching sickness, coughing embarrassingly while she was only trying to work. And no time existed for her to seek remedy for her ails, she could only hope that everyone lived long enough till the morrow.

She bit her lip, reminded of her father's orders. The heartbreak from Liu Sumeng's rejection couldn't even compare to how she felt when her father forbade her from joining the defense.

She felt as though all her hard work and training was about to go to waste.

Why was it that she could never be acknowledged for her own strengths? Was it because she was born a woman? 

The frustration that simmered beneath filial piety and love was finally breaking free of lifelong denial.

"If you're feeling tired, why don't you catch a breath? We can maintain the spell ourselves."

Chen Anyue felt her jaw tense. It hurt to smile but she did. "I'm alright."

There was pity on a Shijie's face when she said to Anyue, "Why don't you bring the Guanghai Elder another serving of medicine? I heard his symptoms have yet to subside."

"No, I'm good."

"Just go, Anyue." There was both finality and concern in her voice that made Chen Anyue flinch, "Go and get him medicine, okay?"

"..." She hated herself for bowing her head, her voice coming out soft. Weak, "Alright. I'll see to it."

Chen Anyue stepped away from the array. The tremors that shook the halls of the manor had yet to quell. There were tears stinging her eyes but she went to get the medicine anyway.