The Song clan was obviously upset by the loss of another one of their elders, but there was no chance the Yu clan was going to give them concessions of any sort at this point. Things were obviously far beyond that, or the Song clan wouldn’t have blatantly harassed a store run by the Yu clan. If things hadn’t already gone so far between the two clans, they might still have hired someone to harass the store… but they probably would have stopped at that.
However, the feud was already strong between the two clans, and it had been steadily mounting in the last few years. The Yu clan saw no reason to hold back against the Song clan, because they had a stronger footing. Even if they provoked a full out war, they were fine with it. In fact, that was exactly what had happened. The Song clan started gathering all of their members. This wasn’t something that could be hidden, at least not when the Yu clan was watching their every move. In return, the Yu clan also mobilized the forces available to them, including any elders that had been in solitary training.
Normally a “war” such as this might involve mercenaries, but there weren’t many groups that wanted to get in the middle of this fight. The profits just weren’t there. Certainly, they could require that they get paid in advance, but they couldn’t guarantee which side would win. If the side they supported lost, there was no guarantee that they wouldn’t face serious consequences. Although the Song clan had been declining recently, they still had a powerful foundation, and the Yu clan was prospering.
All of the preparations only took a few days. This wasn’t like a real war, where supply lines had to be secured and thousands of people had to march to another country. That didn’t mean it wasn’t significant, but rather that it affected only part of a single city. Certainly, they were two sizable factions in a large city, but total combatants only numbered a few gross. Each side had over a gross of people who had some combat skill, either having passed the first major breakthrough, or being close and also quite skilled in other manners. Much less than that, and they wouldn’t have much effect on the battle as a whole. There were a few dozens of each of the second and third major breakthroughs, and slightly more than a dozen who had passed the fourth major breakthrough on each side.
Their forces were approximately evenly matched. However, that gave the advantage to the side on the defensive, in this case the Yu clan. There wasn’t much fanfare as the forces of the Song clan arrayed themselves outside of the Yu clan compound, a few days after the capture of one of their elders at Dong Xin’s hand. Though the Song clan wasn’t aware of where he was, they knew that the Yu clan was responsible, and this was a good excuse for them to use. Dong Xin himself was still recovering from his injuries, and had no knowledge of what was happening. Yu Jian had considered whether he should tell him, but decided to let him recover undisturbed. He had already contributed enough by capturing an elder, especially since that particular one had learned a demonic cultivation technique. Though it was what provoked the final combat, that was exactly what Yu Jian had wanted, and he would have done it himself if he had been present.
As the Song clan approached the gates of the Yu clan, they were greeted by a rain of arrows. Although at such a distance it was relatively trivial to use ki to block an arrows momentum entirely, that didn’t mean it expended no effort. In addition, there was some chance of injuring or killing weaker members. As it was, the results were hard to tell. At the very least, there wasn’t an obvious effect where an entire throng of people fell, but Yu Jian thought he saw at least a few injuries.
At this point, the Song clan charged toward the gates, as well as sweeping out to climb… or jump… onto the walls. There was no reason for them to delay and allow more volleys to hit them. It was only a few moments before the gates were battered down, with some of the enemies elders attacking them. However, this didn’t mean they gates had no purpose. They did cause some delay, and also caused them to expend some energy. Although these elders themselves could leap onto or over the walls, many of the others could not.
The gates burst open, and the Song clan was met by a variety of attacks prepared by those that were waiting. A few who were better trained archers attacking with arrows coated in ki. It required a special technique for the ki to remain at a long distance without fading, or there would have been more such arrows shot in the initial volley. In addition, there were attacks of any sort of ranged techniques, the most visible of which was fire manifested into various shapes, surging at the opening to the gates.
The elders at the front countered with techniques of their own, blocking most of the damage. Though the attacks launched at them were serious, the range made them somewhat weaker. If this was not so, there would be little reason for people to learn how to use weapons and engage in melee combat.
On top of the walls, skirmishes had also begun. The Yu clan held the advantages of numbers there, but the Song clan had only sent stronger members up. If they hadn’t, they would likely have been defeated the instant they jumped up onto the walls. While those ahead by a major breakthrough were certainly much stronger than those who were below, it wasn’t to an unmanageable degree. With proper coordination, it only took a few people at the second major breakthrough to defeat someone at the third. Likewise, a dozen people at the first major breakthrough had a chance defeat a single opponent at the third. Though, everything depended on individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as coordination. Nothing was guaranteed either way.
In the initial clash, everything seemed to be going in the Yu clan’s favor. They had the defensive position, and thus possessed and advantage, and even if the walls themselves did little to directly stop the enemy in the long run, they limited how quickly their forces could engage. Thus, the Yu clan had the upper hand.
Then, the elders on both sides clashed. This didn’t mean the rest of everyone was not battling. In fact, they had the very important job of making it so that the other side couldn’t interfere in the battle of the elders. Everything was still going in the Yu clan’s favor, even there. The enemy elders had needed to use up more ki just to reach the battle safely. Then, in a moment, everything changed.
The auras displayed by the Song clan elders transformed. While they had already been powerful and perhaps violent, they became even more so. Yu Jian frowned. He had of course been informed that the captured elder had practiced a demonic cultivation technique, but he had hoped it was an isolated incident. However, from what he felt now, that was not the case. More importantly, the demonic cultivation technique was of good quality. If not, there would be nothing to fear. However, the Yu clan elders soon found themselves being pressured by the other side. Their attacks were less effective, and the enemies were more violent. In addition to that, a number of wounds caused by the Song clan elders seemed to be able to grow worse.
Still, the Song clan only had an advantage in the fights among the elders. Either the rest of the Song clan had not been taught the demonic cultivation technique, or could not learn it. Thus, the Yu clan was still winning in other areas. Soon, they should be able to bring some others to bear to assist their elders… Yu Jian just hoped they could hold on that long.