Dragon’s Soul Chapter 46: Ten Towers

Today the citizens of the Heilong kingdom were extremely rowdy. The king had announced that all of the citizens of the kingdom could come and watch the end of the tournament without having to pay any sort of admission fee. Thus many people stayed how and did not go to work.

To be able to watch the tournament is a once in a lifetime chance for many of the citizens of the kingdom so they all came to the coliseum in flocks. Store owners closed shop early for the day, workers left work, and children stayed home from school. People came from far and wide to the capital to watch the tournament.

The hordes of people would all arrive at the coliseum and be led in and seated by soldiers under the direct command of the king. Hundreds of thousands of seats were filled up as people flooded the stands. Had it not been for the soldiers the king arranged then many people could have gotten hurt fighting over seats. But thanks to the soldier’s orderly lines were made.

In the center of the massive colosseum that took hundreds of thousands of people working day and night for six months were ten large towers.  Each tower looked identical to the next.  The playing field of the colosseum was built in the shape of a decagon with a tower at each corner. The rest of the landscape was either made or built around a forest.

As people tried to get seated ten large groups of people walked onto the arena below. Each group had come in from a different gate and were headed to their respective towers. They all were wearing different colored armor provided by the Heilong kingdom.

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Zhang led Yuying, Ai, and Ling along with their nine hundred and ninety-six soldiers into the massive arena. All of them were wearing blue colored armor that was given to them by the kingdom and when they were given the choice of selecting weapons all of them picked spears. Zhang’s soldiers marched in unison to the front of their tower and formed ranks as he walked to the front of the tower.

“Today we will show them that the forces of Aurora at not something they can mess with!!” Zhang yelled toward his men.

Zhang’s men did not cheer or yell but began hitting the bottom end of their spears on the ground. When done in unison this sounded like the marching of an army.

All of the other teams looked in their direction in fear. Only now did some of the other teams realize that Zhang’s men were all highly disciplined soldiers. Unlike their rag tag teams of random people.

After talking to his men Zhang, Yuying, Ai, and Ling began ascending their tower. Step by step they walked up the tower and shortly after the group of four reached the top. A golden flag appeared in Zhang’s hand.

“So who wants to do the honors?” Zhang said as he held onto the golden flag. They were told that they had to put the golden blue into an open slot at the top of the tower.

“I want to do it!” Ai volunteered.

“I want to do it too.” Ling said.

“But I said I would do it first.” Ai said.

“Hmph fine you can do it.” Ling said in an unhappy tone.

“Enough you two can both do it.” Zhang said as he put the flag down onto the ground. He then took Ai and Ling’s delicate looking hands and placed them together.

Moments later Ai and Ling both held onto the golden flag and plugged it in the empty slot at the top of the tower. Once the flag entered the slot a blue light shot out from the tip if the flag. Soon all of the other towers had a light shooting out of them also.

When all of the towers lit up a loud voice could be heard everywhere in the colosseum.

“With this the final stage of the tournament begins! Once all of the light on these towers turn the same color a victory will be decided or when six hours have passed and all of the lights have turned off.”

After the voice a large transparent screen could be seen hovering in the air. The screen was in the shape of a decagon much like the arena and on it a live feed of what was happening below would be seen.

This was done by the combination of light and water magic used by those from the royal academy to project images of light onto water. On each screen there was a color and head count of soldiers. Once the glass plate on their armor was shattered the head count would go down.

Down below Zhang had broken up his army into three groups. One was under the command of himself, one was led by Yuying and the other was led by Ling and Ai.

“Brother I will move to the right while you move to the left.” Yuying said.

“We will hold down the tower here.” Ling said while looking at Ai.

“Agreed, due to the shade of the arena if we go for the towers at our sides first then we would only have to fight on three sides at any given time. And since our soldiers are superior to theirs we should be able to hold out.” Zhang said.

Once the group began moving scenes of fighting were suddenly projected onto the screen above. Soldiers wearing the same colored armor could be seeing fighting each other and taking out their teammates.

“What’s happening?” king Huang He asked as he was watch the scenes from a balcony.

“We don’t know my lord they just started fighting each other the second the final stage began.” A men replied to him. This man could be recognized as Wu Tony, Ling’s father. A short distance away was Zhang’s father sitting on a bench watching the event.

Zhou Cheng was intently watching the screen that showed the team wearing blue armor. He was secretly cheering for his son as he watched.

Below down in the arena Zhang was leading roughly three hundred men to take over a tower. He had a slight grin on his face as he led his men through the forest.

“It should be happening now. By the time we get to the tower then it will be just right for the picking.”  Zhang said in his mind as a devilish grin appeared on his face.

Soon the enemy tower shooting purple light into the sky was in sight and sounds of fighting could be heard as they got closer. Moments later Zhang’s forces found themselves standing in front of a battle field. Soldiers wearing the same colored armor were fighting amongst themselves with many knocked out on the ground due to their shattered glass plates.

“All men wearing purple armor under my command reform ranks and retreat to the blue tower and defend it. Take out anyone you suspect that is not with us.” Zhang commanded.

As Zhang commanded a few hundred purple armored men broke off from the fighting and began heading for the blue tower. Once these men broke off the purple team lost nearly half of its numbers on top of the men that it had lost before Zhang came.

Everyone watching the screens from above were stupefied as they saw this happen.

“Why are those soldiers wearing purple armor listening to that man wearing blue armor?” Some people yelled out in confusion.

However, the more intelligent people could figure out what happened. Clearly those purple armored soldiers were servants of the leader of the blue tower who had been planted in the enemy team.

“Attack!!!” Zhang yelled. He had order his men in purple armor to retreat as to not accidentally fight his own men.

Zhang’s three hundred men formed a wall of spears and moved in on the tower. The soldiers wearing purple armor that weren’t under Zhang’s command were still in utter confusion causing many of the to me picked off by Zhang’s men.

The quicker minded men all retreated back into the tower to defend it. On the top of the tower looking down was a young man who was most likely the prince of some kingdom. The young man had watched everything unfold from above and was put in a daze.

He originally was going to just stubbornly defend until the time limit was up but who would have thought that his soldiers would suddenly begin fighting each other.

Elsewhere on the battlefield Yuying was leading her forces to attack a tower.

“Everyone let’s go quickly!” She yelled.

“We are at your command madam.” The soldiers replied.

“Fall into crescent moon formation!’” Yuying yelled. As a princess in the underworld she not only was well versed in art, literature, cultivation techniques, but also basically military strategy also. There was a vast amount of knowledge in the underworld that was collected over countless years that she would study and learn from.

By deploying soldiers in a crescent moon formation she would be able encircle her opponents from three directions while giving them one way to escape. They would make it so that weak willed soldiers would simply begin running away. Although this is only a mock battle physiology still played a part in commanding soldiers. (Just soldiers deployed in the shape of a crescent moon, usually used to out flank enemies.)

Luckily she was given veteran soldiers who had trained and lived together while other people had rag tag teams of people.

“Brothers plan most likely has come into play now.” Yuying thought to herself. The night before the final stage of the tournament Zhang had told them that he had Lu Xun and their nineteen thousand and five hundred soldiers blend in with the participants and try to be picked to join the teams of the other people who had flags.

With their physic and martial prowess many of their soldiers would be selected and most likely took up a large number of subordinates for the other people who possessed flags. This meant that they would have a numerical advantage over all of the other teams and their soldiers would be able to attack from both the outside and the inside.

“Just you watch brother I’ll show you I can lead and fight also.” Yuying thought.

As she led her soldiers closer to a tower with a yellow ray of light shooting out of it she could hear the sounds of a fight happening.

“Soldiers of Aurora fall back and reform ranks behind us!” She yelled.

Hearing her words, a group of roughly two hundred soldiers wearing yellow armor broke off from the fighting and ran behind the group of soldiers wearing blue armor.

“Move in with the crescent moon formation. Then break into square formation units!” Yuying commanded. With square formation units her soldiers would be able to use their spears to their maximum capabilities This formation was best for close hand to hand combat. With spearmen forming a square no one would be able to overtake them, not even cavalry without suffering some damage.

“Move toward the tower!” Yuying yelled.

While Yuying was battling for the yellowed tower the soldiers of Aurora that were wearing purple armor had returned to the blue tower awaiting Ling and Ai’s orders.

Although Ai had no knowledge for commanding soldiers, Ling was fairly capable of commanding. Despite not being as well versed as Zhang and Yuying, Ling was a genius in her own right.  And with the few hundred men from the purple tower along with hers she was fairly confident in being able to defend the blue tower. Or if the opportunity presented itself claim a tower or two.

“Form a defensive perimeter we will defend for now until some enemy towers are captured.” Ling commanded.

Before Ling could finish her words the purple light in the sky faded and was replaced by a blue light. This meant that Zhang had taken the purple tower. Soon afterward the yellow light in the sky disappeared and was replaced with a blue light also.

On the opposite side of the arena an orange light faded and was replaced by a green light.

“Someone other than us has managed to take a tower.” Ling thought to herself.

“We will be moving out. Pick out one hundred men to stay behind and the rest form into invert wedge formation!” Ling ordered.

The audience watching everything happening was awestruck. Everything happened so quickly that it was hard to keep up with. Not only was the blue team the first to capture a tower they were able to capture two of them consecutively.

What was move amazing was the green team that was able to use the chaos caused by the teams who were fighting amongst themselves to capture a tower.

“That prince Shu Shang was amazing he managed to capture that tower without losing a single person.” A man in the audience said.

“Yea but that blue team is something else they were able to take two towers right off the bat.” Another man said.

Down in the arena fighting had broken out everywhere. Thanks to Zhang’s ploy no one was able to only stick to defending. Some teams were lucky and only had a small number of Zhang’s men mixed into them whereas other teams were unlike and made up almost entirely of his men.

On by one the towers fell to the blue team and the green team. Only roughly three hours into the final stage the blue team possessed five towers, while the green team possessed three, then there was the red team and the black team who were barely hanging on.

Since they started at opposite sides of the arena the blue and green team had yet to encounter each other. The two teams were vastly superior to the rest of the teams. The blue team thanks to Zhang’s prior planning had roughly four thousand men. Whereas the green team after losing a hundred men were left with nine hundred. The red team and black team each had roughly five hundred men left.

“Your majesty this has taken a turn for the unexpected. We had originally planned for the event to end in a ten-way tie based on the fact that the teams could not attack another team fully without leaving their tower open. However, who would have thought that this would happen.” A minister said to king Huang He.

“Indeed a ten-way tie would have been best.  But there is only so much we could do to no displease anyone in the alliance.” Huang He replied. Although there were many dignitaries who came Huang He only arranged for ten winners because of the various secret alliances within the alliance of kingdoms. There were roughly ten of them and he wanted to please them by making it so they each got a prize. But who would have thought that Zhang had thrown a wrench into this plan.

“Wu Tong you sure found yourself a talented son in law.” Huang He said with a laugh.

“Look the blue team is attacking the red team now.” Another minister yelled.

Down below Zhang was leading a large group of soldiers. These soldiers were composed of man wearing different colored armor. Some had yellow, other had purple and so on.

The red tower was in sight and a familiar figure could be seen standing on top of it.

“Ming Jiang! I’ve come to beat the crap out of you!!” Zhang yelled.

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