On the battlefield right in front of the gates of the capital city of the dragon realm, things had indeed taken a turn for the worse for the dragons. Originally, they hadn’t had as much time to prepare for this battle as their opponents had. Now, they had even seen their king tumble and fall and they could also see him clutching a person dressed the same as him in his arms, their robes bloodied and their bodies unmoving.
Everyone with half a brain could guess what this meant: Their king’s lover had been killed and he who was impacted by the same curse as them, had been hit hard by this death. Considering how he had always proclaimed his love for the Son of Heaven loud and clear, they didn’t doubt that he had also bound his soul already. But then, this meant that their king would soon die.
No matter how strong-willed they were, even the toughest fighters couldn’t help but feel demoralized when confronted with such a bleak future.
Their king had reigned for millennia and very successfully at that. They were satisfied with his rule and they didn’t wish for change. Even if they did: No successor had been set up and putting any willing candidates through the tests would take months. That was time they didn’t have.
So what would become of their people? Could they even survive this battle? And if the battle, then could they still win the rest of the war? The doubts ate away at the vigor they had originally rushed into battle, making them lose ground and become more susceptible to the demons’ trickery.
Xiang Yong looked around them and gritted his teeth. He had started to fight off the demons around them with Fu Heng. Their king was indeed in a vulnerable state but as long as the Son of Heaven was around, he was sure that this could be salvaged. All they had to do was to win this battle while keeping him alive and then dragging him over to the Nine Heavens where Jing He should have woken up by now.
The problem was that winning the battle seemed to become more unlikely with every second that passed. He could see how everyone else was influenced by their king’s situation and unless they could show them that there was no reason to worry, that worry wouldn’t just disappear.
Unfortunately, there was no way to do that. They couldn’t drag their king off and they absolutely couldn’t bring the Son of Heaven here. Otherwise, they might get a repeat and even a final one of what had just happened. No, the Son of Heaven should better stay far, far away from any battlefield for the rest of his life.
Xiang Yong cursed while fighting off yet another demon. They had to do something and they had to do it fast. As for what to do … His mind churned and immediately came up with one answer: They needed to give their people some kind of hope. It didn’t have to be their king’s situation bettering. It simply had to be something that reminded them that they were strong and that they had managed to make it out of the last war as well.
He knew exactly how to do that but he also knew that it would speak against everything they had wanted to do in the future. It could even hurt their king in the long run. But then, they hardly had a choice.
Xiang Yong cursed again, looking at their king’s shaky figure behind him. It couldn’t be changed. He apologized in his heart and then looked around, trying to spot the others. When he finally, found them close by, his gaze filled with resolve. Sometimes, things couldn’t be done in a perfect way. You could only respond to what was happening around you and then go from there even if there would be consequences you might not like. “An Bai! Fu Min! Get over here!”
The two dragons glanced over and then rushed to his side, wordlessly joining him in the fight.
Xiang Yong took the position by An Bai’s side, his brows furrowed. “I need you to guard him for a while. Put up a formation that hinders others from getting in so he’ll be safe from sneak attacks. I know how to turn the situation around but I need some time.”
An Bai nodded and immediately pulled back from the fight, instead cutting his hand to use his blood to draw the formation on the ground, deepening the marks with the blade of his sword. Unless his blood ran cold, this array wouldn’t fall. So whatever Xiang Yong had planned, he should be able to hold on long enough.
Fu Min and Fu Heng exchanged a glance and then started to fight off the demons closer to An Bai and Xiang Yong, trying to take some of the pressure off them so they could focus on executing their plan.
The demons realized what was going on and intensified their attack. Anyway, that was the dragon king over there! If they were able to take him down, how much honor would that bring them? And even if they didn’t manage to kill him, the ones next to him were his advisers. Getting rid of any of them would be almost as good.
Fu Min gritted his teeth, sticking close to Xiang Yong’s side to make sure nobody would get through.
Fu Heng finally turned into his dragon form, roared loudly, and smacked half the demons out of the air with his tail. Circling around his king and the others, he growled and started grabbing them one by one, his claws drawing blood.
Xiang Yong heaved a sigh of relief when he saw this, crouched down to make himself less of a target, and pulled out a transmission stone. Then, he contacted Jinde. Now, he was the only one who could save them.