“Why are they so scattered?!” 

 Outside, Ye Yi and the rest watched the soldiers curiously. Like headless flies, they were running about in random directions. The soldiers didn’t even chase after them even when they were right in front. It was very strange.  

Not only Ye Yi, but the soldiers behind him were also baffled too, along with the dragon riders. No one knew what they were doing.

This was the magic of the Qimen formation style. You would never understand or know what a person trapped inside was experiencing. They wouldn’t be able to hear or see you even if you screamed from the outside.

The following soldiers immediately entered the formation, wanting to pull them out, but ended up trapped like them. 

And this was the result of the battle. The number of people trapped inside the formation increased. By the time the remaining soldiers stopped entering because they realised something was wrong, it was already too late. More than half of the army was trapped. 

And when the troops finally thought of marching around the formation, they found themselves trapped in a new one. Ye Lang had already built new formations on either side big enough to surround the entire army. 

The dragon riders weren’t sure if they should proceed with the chase after witnessing what just happened. If they didn’t act now, they wouldn’t be able to catch Ye Yi and his men once they crossed the border. The dragon riders couldn’t crossed the borders of the Soaring Sky Empire unless for special circumstances. Even so, only a few were allowed to cross at a time. 

Say they authorised a few men to cross the borders to chase after Ye Yi. What then? They couldn’t possibly win a fight against someone this powerful! 

And that was why they knew it was all or nothing. Either they continued with the chase or wait until the rest of the army got themselves out of the trap. That could take a long time though. Looking at the situation, it was probably going to take more than half an hour! 

“Let’s retreat for now. Call for reinforcements to save these people. If we continue the chase, these hundreds of thousands of men will die for nothing. This will be a huge loss!” one of the leaders of the dragon riders exclaimed. 

“Yes sir!” came the responses of his faction, sighing with relief. It was as if they didn’t want to fight against Ye Yi. They were only here because their empress had commanded them to.

 

If an outsider were to watch the battle carefully, these soldiers were not the only people who were reluctant to fight. 

Ye Yi and his men were holding back too. Their goal was only to escape. They didn’t want to kill if they didn’t have to. That was why this battle had very few casualties. 

The empress’ order was the law, yes, but they could still choose to follow it very loosely…

No matter what, Ye Lang’s abilities were very impressive and terrifying. If only this incident wasn’t kept a secret from the citizens, Ye Lang would’ve been the hot topic of the entire mainland. 

“What?! Ye Lang stalled an entire army?! Alone?! The first one and the later ones too?” the empress stared at the leader of the dragon riders in shock. The first batch referred to the soldiers she sent to chase after him, the later batch referred to the guards stationed at the gates. 

“Yes, Your Majesty. He used a never-before-seen alchemy formation which trapped everyone inside. They’re inside spinning circles as we speak, they can’t break free from his spell! Fortunately, no men were hurt. His spells were only meant to capture but not harm!” 

“How many men did you have?” she furrowed her brows. She knew the answer but wanted to confirm with the leader. 

“A hundred and eighty thousand men.” 

“A hundred and eighty thousand men?! All trapped by one kid? How would anyone believe us?!” muttered the empress to herself. 

“It’s still the truth nonetheless, even if no one will believe us. We are unable to complete the mission because of this, Your Majesty.” 

“I understand. It will be very difficult to keep him here. Some people will get hurt in the process, and that isn’t what I want to see,” the empress continued, “you did the right thing, there is no need to blame yourselves!” the empress might be a little insane, but she was still capable of differentiating between right and wrong. 

“The most important thing now is to rescue all the men trapped in the formation. We don’t know what’ll happen to them if we wait any longer! There are no guards at the border too, we have no defences there. If our enemies know, it will be trouble for us!” this was also one of the main reasons the leader returned to report to the empress. 

Ye Lang stalled the one hundred and eighty thousand men for his own survival but since he also trapped the border defence troops, it also meant he brought a national security threat to the empire. 

“Take the royal alchemists to solve the problem immediately. Let’s hope they can solve this one for us!” the empress ordered the royal alchemists to leave with the dragon riders. 

Later, she blurted, “Is Ye Lang still there?” 

“He might be. When I left, he was still casting his formation spell at the centre. He was surrounded by his own formation too!” replied the leader. 

“It doesn’t matter if can’t get the rest, but him you must capture. Do not let him escape!” the empress gritted her teeth. 

“Yes, Your Majesty!” 

Anyone would know by now that Ye Lang was worth more than anyone else. It would be a very difficult task to find another person capable of stalling one hundred and eighty thousand men. You didn’t need to train him too, and one person was enough. 

“If, and I say if, he escapes, no one must know, it must be kept a secret!” the empress was very stern when she said this. Whoever tasked with this mission would be killed if they had failed, perhaps their family too.

“Yes!” the leader replied again.

This was to ensure that if Ye Lang did escape, he would not be captured by other people. This was the best method to ‘protect’ him, by preventing other people from knowing of his special abilities.

Only the army knew of the existence of Ye Lang’s Qimen formation and only a handful of non-military folks were trapped in the spell. Other people could only guess what had happened. It was not too difficult to keep this a secret.

This was why Ye Lang was still able to wander around the mainland without being preyed on by other powerful people. 

“What did you say? He was able to do what? What kind of an alchemy formation is that?” the royal alchemists who initially didn’t want to ‘save the country’ turned around when they heard what had happened.

The reason they didn’t want to come was because of Ye Lang. They were very unhappy with what the empress wanted to do with Ye Lang. To them, Ye Lang was very special. They had watched him grow up, so they had a special bond with Ye Lang.

Ye Lang was like a disciple to them. Even if Ye Lang would not admit this, this was still what they thought of him!

“Impossible! Why? How is he able to do so much? Does that mean I’ll never be able to surpass him?” Next to the royal alchemists, a girl spoke with her fists clenched and a darkened face. It was obvious that she could not see herself as Ye Lang's equal anymore after his trick. She felt like he was on a whole new level!