LOOG Chapter – 43

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Chapter 43: Surprise!

As luck would have it, it was a cloudy night. Dappled moonlight bathed the city in both shadows and light, making it very easy for Bao and her group to slip over the rooftops toward the eastern wall of Daolu.

There were five of them. She and Mao Yun took the lead, with the Claws of the Phoenix following close behind. All of them wore black clothing which revealed little more than their eyes.

Flying Death Liu Jiahui was one of the Pure Phoenix Sect’s most preeminent masters of Qinggong. He had developed a technique which came to be called Drift of the Butterfly Fish, that even some of the lowest-ranked members of the sect could use to float through the air for long distances. In the hands of masters like the Claws of the Phoenix, the effects were even more spectacular.

Lin Qingxia, the Throat-Slitting Phoenix Ghost, was similar to Bao in that she fought with knives. She had a reputation for ruthlessness, and before joining the Pure Phoenix Sect, was rumored to have been a fugitive murderer, although Bao was convinced otherwise.

Lastly was Yang Ziqiong, who was called the Blood Drinker. She had developed a Dianxue attack that, as of yet, no other disciple had managed to master. By striking a series of acupoints on the chest and shoulder, she could cause the victim’s throat to explode.

This late at night, all of the city wards were closed according to curfew, but that posed little obstruction for such top experts from the Pure Phoenix Sect.

It only took a few minutes before they were in the shadows of the Dragon Gate, the main barbican gate on the twelve-meter-tall eastern wall. From this vantage point, they could see the Fire General’s army encamped some distance from the city, beyond the fields of wheat and corn. The command tent with its three flapping banners seemed especially prominent among the other tents.

The entire group seemed to radiate a murderous aura, and their eyes were filled with both coldness and determination. They didn’t seem to notice the chill breeze which ruffled their black clothing as they stood there gazing at their target.

Even from this distance, it was possible to make out the soldiers patrolling the perimeter of the camp. According to plan, the would-be assassins spent a few minutes analyzing the patrol patterns, and also identifying the temporary watchtowers which had been erected.

A moment later, a fluttering sound reached their ears, and the entire group suddenly went on guard.

A shadow descended from higher up on the Dragon Gate, and before any of them had a chance to react, someone was standing only a meter or two away from them. He wore the robes of the Golden Dragon Sect, and the skin on his face and neck was a bright blue color, giving him a dramatically terrifying appearance.

“Blue Devil Yuwen Huo,” Mao Yun said softly.

Yuwen Huo nodded respectfully. “Is that you Mao Yun? Out for a stroll are we?”

Mao Yun looked at Bao.

In the years that she had been in the city, Bao had encountered Yuwen Huo on numerous occasions, and had come to like the man. He was fiercely loyal to Sunan, and a good fighter, one of the best in the Golden Dragon Sect. Pulling the black cloth away to reveal her face, Bao said, “We’re going to kill the Fire General. Care to join us? How is your Qinggong?”

Yuwen Huo’s eyes narrowed, and he turned his head to look out at the distant command tent. After a moment, he looked back at Bao. “Does Sect Leader Sunan know about this?”

She shook her head. “We don’t have time for meetings and debate. The plan is to strike quickly. Be in and out in less time than it takes an incense stick to burn. The slightest sign of trouble, we flee. There’s really nothing to lose. Besides, I’m completely confident. If you wish to join us, here.”

She had a sack slung over her shoulder which she loosened. Inside was a long black cloak which she’d brought along for emergency purposes, as well as a few strips of black cloth. Everyone in the group had similar emergency items in case they need extra levels of disguise while on the mission.

Yuwen Huo looked at the black cloak in Bao’s hand, and after a moment, a slight smile appeared on his face. “Nowadays Sect Leader Sunan has too many things to worry about. He’s too weighed down with responsibility. In the old days, this is exactly the kind of thing he would have done. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a real fight.”

He reached out and took the cloak, throwing it over his shoulders. After tying the strip of cloth around his nose and mouth, he looked just as capable as them of melting into the shadows.

“What about your Qinggong?” asked Liu Jiahui.

“I haven’t mastered that butterfly move of yours, but I have my own abilities. Let’s just see if you can keep up.”

Without another word, he stepped off of the city wall and dropped down toward the ground. A moment later, he suddenly vanished, moving so quickly than none of them could even see him. In the blink of an eye, and he was almost a hundred meters away from them, waiting in the shadow of a tree.

“Showoff,” said Liu Jiahui.

Bao chuckled. “Let’s go.”

The entire group leaped off of the city wall, using the Drift of the Butterfly Fish to float through the air like leaves. They couldn’t quite match the speed that Yuwen Huo had just unleashed, but they didn’t touch the ground the entire time, alighting softly in almost the exact location Yuwen Huo had been waiting.

From that point on, Bao and her people relied on another fundamental Qinggong technique, Leap of the Swan, while Yuwen Huo dashed forward at incredible speed with his own technique. In that manner, they made their way through the farmland and across the open land to the Fire General’s army.

Eventually, they were in a copse of trees a short distance from the perimeter of the tents. Just when they were about to dash toward the camp, the clouds parted, casting brilliant moonlight down onto the entire camp.

Bao raised her hand to stop the group. They waited patiently for a while until the clouds once again swallowed up the moon. When everything was in shadow, and the patrolling guards had passed, they dashed forward.

Considering the high level of their martial arts, it was a relatively simple task for them to slip through the camp unnoticed. A few soldiers were out and about, but most were huddled around fires chatting and drinking, or even asleep in their tents.

Bao was a bit surprised. Somewhat lacking in discipline for everything I’ve heard about the Fire General.

After weaving through the camp for a short time, they were in the shadows of a tent just across from the command tent. The command tent was guarded by two soldiers who were obviously veteran fighters. The moment of truth had arrived.

Drive away your fear, Bao, she thought to herself. Be confident!

Bao looked over at Lin Qingxia and Yang Ziqiong and gave them a slight nod. The two women blurred into motion, leaping out of the shadows as quickly as vipers. Before the two guards could even react, the two Claws of the Phoenix unleashed their most powerful moves in cathartic fashion.

Yang Ziqiong’s Blood Drinking Stab was executed to perfection. Her hand stabbed into the guard’s acupoints, and an instant later, his throat exploded, sending blood shooting out like a fountain. Yang Ziqiong expertly dodged to the side to avoid the blood, then reached out to slow the guard’s fall so it didn’t make any noise.

As for Lin Qingxia, as she dashed forward, she began to spin like a top, her long knives flashing through the night with such incredible speed that the guard had no hope of defending himself. The knives bit into his neck, tearing through flesh and bone with no mercy. An instant later, his head tumbled to the ground a few meters away. Lin Qingxia quickly grabbed the shoulder of his torso and then lowered his corpse to the ground.

Surprisingly, the guards only seemed have reached the second or third level of Qi cultivation, and were killed almost instantly.

Without any hesitation, Bao pointed toward the entrance to the tent, and the group leaped into motion.

Yang Ziqiong and Lin Qingxia ran into the tent only a few seconds before the rest of the group. Yuwen Huo and Mao Yun made it in second, with Liu Jiahui and Bao coming up last.

As soon as Bao was in the tent, time seemed to slow.

As expected, the Fire General was not alone. Based on reports from the walls of Daolu, soldiers came in and out of the tent on a regular basis, and estimates had placed the number of people inside between 4-6 at any given time. Sure enough, there were six people present at the moment.

Shockingly, only three of them were human soldiers. One was an old man, clearly a veteran of many battles, with an eye-patch and a perpetual snarl. The second was a handsome young man wearing gold jewelry over his armor. The third was a middle-aged woman with angry eyes that were currently opened wide with shock.

Next was the Fire General, wearing his resplendent armor. He was leaning over the wide table that filled most of the tent, and atop which was stretched a map of Daolu.

Standing only a few meters away from the Fire General was a woman in a red dress, with long red hair. As soon as Bao laid eyes on her, the hair on the back of her neck stood up.

I passed her on the bridge the day we came to Daolu. That’s the Love General!

However, the sight of the Love General made almost no impression on Bao at all compared to the final figure in the tent. Sitting in a chair off to the side, hands steepled in front of him, was a sinister-looking figure in a suit of bone armor.

The Bone General….

Of the group of six people in the tent, half were not even human. They were Ogres!

How did they get here?! None of the reports mentioned other Ogre Generals?!

Although everyone in the tent seemed shocked, Bao and her people had been expecting the unexpected, and didn’t hesitate.

Being the first into the tent, Yang Ziqiong and Lin Qingxia attacked first. Yang Ziqiong headed to the left side of the table, her target being the Love General. Lin Qingxia went the opposite direction, attacking the young man with the gold jewelry.

Lin Qingxia used the same move she had on the outside, spinning like a top, blades whizzing toward the young man. However, the young man was clearly an expert fighter. A jian sword appeared in his hand, which flashed through the air to block the knives. At the same time, his left foot flew through the air, kicking Lin Qingxia in the side and sending her smashing into the table.

As for Yang Ziqiong, she once again used the Blood Drinking Stab, and cathartically at that. Her hand blurred through the air toward the Love General’s sternum, and then her shoulder. The move was executed perfectly, and the Love General’s eyes went wide. However….

All she did was cough. Her throat did not explode, and not a drop of blood could be seen. In fact, her mouth twisted into a snarl, and her own hand shot out in a palm that struck Yang Ziqiong’s shoulder.

Yang Ziqiong screamed as though she were being wracked with intense pain, staggering backward and then dropping down to her knees.

Even as Bao was preparing to unleash her own secret move on the Love General, the Bone General rose to his feet and waved his hand out in front of him, all in one fluid motion.

Three wickedly serrated bone knives flew through the air, one toward Yang Ziqiong, one toward Bao, and one toward Yuwen Huo.

The first knife landed true, stabbing directly into Yang Ziqiong’s eye.

Get behind the scenes info and material for your Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate session at the Bedrock Blog.

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3 thoughts on “LOOG Chapter – 43” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. The action starts!
    Kind of surprised that they would act so foolhardily though, to attack while everyone seems to be awake and without any time reconnoitering the tent. Also, I suppose the Generals might not be too serious in posting guards as they would not expect such an attack, but surely the few on post have some way have detecting other users of ‘Qi’. They have been training with it for far longer than Bao after all.

    Thanks for the chapter.

    vantagepoint >> vantage point

    they stood their gazing >> stood there

    one of them best >> one of the best (could also be ‘their’ I guess)

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