The unrelenting need for Jim to jump off a metaphoric cliff was concerning for his other brothers.
Kairos took one look at him, the youngest amongst the five, and smiled, “After this, I will personally look over your training.”
Alan: “Haha, MOM wipes off the POOP.”
Edward: “Nooo… Alan. Stop…”
Tommy: “Oh gosh. The cringe.”
Vouno: “Bwahaha… You boys are geniuses.”
Kairos: “That’d be an order of special training menu for two.”
Alan: “HOLEY SHEET!”
Jim: “Oh sheet indeed!”
Vouno: “No swearing!”
Alan: “No sheet we aren’t!”
Jim: “Sheet sounds like shit but it isn’t shit. Holey sounds like holy but…”
Tommy: “Okay we get it. Please don’t make me regret knowing you.”
Edward: “Why does it feel like they are pulling out all stops to jump off the cliff?”
Kairos: “That’d be an upgrade for two special training menus from hell.”
This day, Jim and Alan learned something precious about themselves: They don’t just jump off whenever they see a nice looking pit, they’d dive straight down.
The five of them assembled the troops soon after.
When they appeared before their men, the soldiers looked up to them and cheered.
It is tradition to see the confidence on the faces of their commanders to feel assured, but this time, two of the five looked as though they had swallowed flies.
“Oh no, will this battle be difficult?”
“Of course, you fool! We are raiding the Ku Kang Camp, not walking through a garden! It’s obvious our leaders will be concerned.”
Unease spread slowly across.
The officers from Esley’s command also turned grim.
“These boys are still too tender. No matter how dangerous it will be, they need to maintain composure before the men.”
“Oh, but sir, these aren’t your average boys. They are the creators of Snowdrifts… Say, if they are also nervous for the upcoming fight… should we start worrying?”
The generals turned pale when one of their adjutant voiced her concern.
Indeed, should they start panicking? Maybe some of them are already freaking out inside, but they just aren’t showing it yet.
Unfortunately, when war begins, it is like the rushing waters of a broken dam. Even if they wreck their brains for a second option, there is none but move forward.
Esley Restrio rode to the front of the army on his War Dragon Horse in full armour. He banged a plated fist against his cuirass for attention, and in response the soldiers saluted him smartly.
“Hear me!” he roared.
His voice reverberated down the ranks clearly.
“This day will be marked in the pages of history!
The unstoppable shall meet with the unmovable, and only one will remain!”
It was a declaration that took some thinking to understand and the crowd remained silent until an unwilling Kairos was pushed forward by the three great generals.
It was a surprise for him and it took some effort for Kairos to catch himself.
When he stopped, he realised he was standing right beside Esley and an armoured hand landed gently on his shoulder.
The soldiers roared!
Glory that was meant for Esley himself – supreme commander of the frontlines – had been shoved into Kairos’ hands, and a new title was whispered amongst the troops that day.
Esley whispered, “This is part of my repayment for giving me power to protect my home.”
Kairos: “Isn’t this sharing the burden?”
Esley: “You may think it that way too.”
Indeed, Kairos had broken through many obstacles that were thought to be impossible until he came along. His deeds were legendary and created an illusion that with him, they will be invincible.
Therefore, this time too, surely they will prevail as well.
The Ku Kang camp had never been broken in history, but history has never known the one known as The Unstoppable.
The whispers of his title grew loud until it turned into an earsplitting roar.
At the side, Luciette, Sasha, Leaf, and Snow, looked briefly at each other and the joined in. Their voices intertwining into a magnificent sound, distinct even in the outpouring noises.
It was like spice added into soup and the soldiers that were used to hearing husky voices roared even harder becoming earth-shaking.
Of course, there are also many female cultivators within their midst, but none as young and vibrant. Most importantly, these four girls are exceptionally beautiful.
“The Unstoppable MOM!”
The unexpected attack caused Edward, Alan, and Tommy to burst into laughter while Jim flexed his biceps in victory.
Kairos: “Heh heh heh… That will be hell training menu for four. Two double duration.”
It was lucky that in this noise their voices could only reach each other, otherwise as cultivators, everyone would hear.
The group marched in high spirits.
As they left, around twenty percent of their comrades stayed behind to construct a stronghold that will serve as a buffering point.
These guys are mostly made up of handy men and messengers.
If they army had to retreat, this will be a good place to slow down pursuers.
After their construction is complete, only ten percent will remain to man the place as skeleton crew while the other ten percent will march forward to join the main group.
The army are close enough to see the Ku Kang Camp a day later and will clash head on in three with their pace.
According to the scouts, there are a few locations along the way that could hold ambushes from the Frosthral.
They walked past the first of these spots without obstruction.
While the soldiers were oblivious to the potential danger, the generals couldn’t help but sigh in relief.
Even if they know that most likely they will face ambushes and booby traps, it felt good that it is later rather than now.
To face attacks one after another is how an army’s morale is grounded down fast.
Half a day later, they reached the second possible point of ambush but they still passed through safely.
Then, when the sky turned dark, they approached the third point.
This time, tension is high.
Even without explanations from the top, every soldier could feel that this is the most dangerous timed of the day.
Orders were swiftly given out.
The scouts were doubled and patrols that satellite the marching army tripled.
Every time there was a sound that felt slightly out of place, the company will turn their eyes towards it. They walked nervously until they reached the slopes of a snowy ravine.
Facing impending danger, their hearts pounded as they tried to maintain balance down the slush of slippery ice and mushy snow.
They must cut across the breadth of this valley to reach their target. The alternative is to travel far to either the east or the west before turning back.
The time needed will extend for a month before they reach and it will cost them more.
This is a terrible place for an invading army. They are exposed and cold. Underneath their feet is a fast underground river.
Only a few spots on this ravine could support a massive army without cracking the ice and drowning everyone.
It is the scarcity of these few paths that makes the commanders nervous.
Hairs stood on ends as cold sweat rolled down their sides.
Every crack beneath their feet made them fear the ground would collapse and every blast of wind sent them into panic that their enemies have come.
Yet, they walked out of the ravine two hours later unscathed.
There were no breakage nor were there soldiers with swords that surrounded them.
They’ve made it.
They passed the most dangerous section in their march.
Historically, the northerners love to launch ambushes in this place and an average of a third of a good-sized army will be killed.
They were the lucky ones to have snuck past without being found.
At this time, Vouno frowned.
Something felt familiar to him here.
He whispered to his son, “Be ready.”
Kairos saw the alarm in his father’s eyes and nodded then shut his eyes.
A deep trembling wave of soul perception rippled outwards and washed over every Origin Cultivator.
The next wave came a moment later, and then a third.
“Three ripples per second,” they mentally noted, “That’s the warning signal.”
Instantly, the Snowdrifts get out of being relaxed. They secretly gestured to the others and within minutes everyone around had their eyes on the road.
The message was clear.
The enemies have come.