Book 12 Chapter 20 - Soldiers’ Restraint

The heavy rain Yunqin experienced each summer would always make the roads muddy, restricting the transport of large scale military equipment. However, under Gu Yunjing’s careful planning, some of Dragon Snake Border Army’s troops were secretly transferred to South Tomb Province.

The Dragon Snake Border Army who was extremely good at fighting in nasty environments of smaller scale, during these dozen or so days of heavy rain, seized many small advantages all around. However, when the rain ended, Great Mang’s troops quickly initiated another round of attacks, even using some prisoners and Yunqin captives who were transported over from within the empire to build some fortifications, steadily and surely advancing, weakening the advantage of Yunqin’s small troop disturbances.

The battle was still in a stalemate. Gu Yunjing already continuously used his methods, moreover obtaining a series of victories, but the feeling Wenren Cangyue gave off was still steady like a mountain. It was unknown what he was waiting for, no one knowing exactly which direction the war was continuing in.

After Thousand Sunset Border Pass was scattered, Mo Xunhua and the other Yunqin soldiers who seemed to have experienced a miracle, returning alive, moreover with large amounts of Great Mang warhorses received prompt treatment, and then following the directions of higher ups, they were escorted out of South Tomb Province, brought all the way to Rudong City’s military department. 

The troops stationed in Rudong City already became an important link between the front lines and Yunqin Empire. Large amounts of military intelligence traveled from Rudong City throughout all of Yunqin. Many troops that were transferred over also entered various places that needed them according to Rudong City’s military orders.

After their accomodation was arranged for, Mo Xunhua and six other survivors were invited into a room inside the military camp.

This was a room with a large parasol tree covering above. During a summer day, resting underneath would bring a cool and refreshing feeling. From time to time, the sounds of cicadas could be heard.

When Mo Xunhua and six border army Petty Officers entered this room, they saw that there were a total of five seated individuals inside. Among them, there were black-armored military officers, while one the other two had a writing desk in front of him, paper and pen prepared, clearly a Government Sector Scribe official.

After having Mo Xunhua and these six survivors sit down, the thirty something year old black-armored general in the center bowed slightly in respect, gently saying, “All of you have worked hard. I am Qiu Mochi, Military Prison’s sixth rank Army Supervisor. There are some questions that I still need everyone here to help me clear up in confirmation.”

Mo Xunhua whose wounds already formed scabs and fell off, yet still had a centipede-like scar left behind stared blankly for a moment, but then he immediately reacted, bowing respectfully. “This is but something to be expected. Sir Qiu, please ask away.”

When some scattered troops return, the military would obviously feel misgivings whether they were bribed by the enemy, if they defected, so there would be some interrogations carried out. This was a conventional practice of the military. In the current situation, the military would naturally be even more cautious, so Mo Xunhua could understand this extremely well. He didn’t feel the slightest bit of displeasure over this.

Qiu Mochi revealed a faint smile, calmly looking at the scroll in his hands. After the entire room remained quiet for a dozen or so breaths of time, his voice sounded again. “According to Sir Mo and the recounting of all of these brothers, back then, you all listened to Lin Xi’s guidance to infiltrate the horse field. Then, you all led all of the horses out, while Lin Xi infiltrated that Great Mang army, launching an assassination and killing Great Mang’s crown prince?”

Mo Xunhua stared blankly. He previously served a civilian post in military intelligence, so he had some understanding regarding the interrogation after scattered troops returned to the army. Qiu Mochi’s first words were different from the order he was familiar with, so he immediately felt a bit of vague uneasiness and misgivings.

“Sir Mo, what’s wrong? Is it incorrect?” When the fair and clear faced, refined Qiu Mochi didn’t immediately receive a reply, his eyes shifted upwards from the scroll in his hands, looking at Mo Xunhua’s face. He smiled again, his expression full of deeper meaning as he asked.

Mo Xunhua’s brows jumped slightly, saying respectfully, “This is precisely how things happened, there is no error.”

“Since this time was remembered extremely clearly, that was why there wasn’t much doubt. However, if we trace things back, that day was sunny and cloudless, a night with a bright moon overhead.” Qiu Mochi nodded. He looked at Mo Xunhua and the six Petty Officers. “Did sirs’ memories perhaps slip up?”

Mo Xunhua felt a mysterious slight chill inside. He took a deep breath, directly looking at this Military Prison officer whose face always had a smile hanging from it. “There was a crescent moon that day, it was indeed sunny and cloudless.”

“That is why there are now some issues that need to be cleared up.” Qiu Mochi was still smiling, but his tone became a bit colder as he said, “In that type of situation, how could the sentries on the tower not be able to see you all? How were you all able to easily infiltrate the horse field?”

Mo Xunhua’s brows were deeply furrowed, his voice sinking as he said, “That was because the two Great Mang sentries both neglected their duties, both of them falling asleep at that time.”

“Turns out it was this type of reason.” Qiu Mochi gave the scribe officer who was currently quickly recording what was happening a look, and then said, “Then when you all entered the horse field, there should have been some activity. Those two sentries that were negligent to this extent still continued to sleep, remaining oblivious?”

“When we entered the horse field, there just happened to be a dark cloud that covered the moon. When the sentries realized something, they reacted a bit late, so we succeeded.” Mo Xunhua slowly said.

“There just happened to be two sentries who fell asleep, and then a dark cloud just happened to pass by overhead when you all entered the horse field?” Qiu Mochi smiled, lowering the scroll in his hands. “Isn’t this just too big of a coincidence?”

Qiu Mochi’s appearance was still elegant, his smile still amiable, but at this time, in the eyes of Mo Xunhua and the six petty officers, it instead suddenly became extremely cold and disgusting. All of their expressions changed greatly.

“Sir Qiu, what are you trying to say?” Mo Xunhua’s eyes suddenly revealed anger, forcefully enduring it as he asked this.

“We are all soldiers.” Qiu Mochi said calmly. “Great Mang’s standing army is under traitor Wenren’s command, so their inner quality isn’t much inferior to ours. I want to ask everyone if it was our Yunqin soldiers, for two sentries to fall asleep at the same time, this type of thing, is there a chance of it happening?”

When these words sounded, the six Petty Officers next to Mo Xunhua all suddenly stood up.

Mo Xunhua didn’t stand up, but he coldly said, “Then Sir Qiu is implying that we are speaking lies?”

Qiu Mochi smiled. While looking at Mo Xunhua and the six others who already had hot blood rush to their heads, he said with a gentle voice, “Everyone, do not be stirred up. We only wished to understand the situation a bit clearer. Our Military Prison definitely wouldn’t suppress anyone’s achievements. All of you have fought continuously for so long, you even brought back large amounts of enemy warhorses. This is a shocking achievement! However, when we make a report to our superiors or release news to the public, we must make everyone believe us… That is why there is no harm in sirs rethinking carefully. Was there anything you’ve overlooked?”

Mo Xunhua took a deep breath. He turned around to look at the six Petty Officers beside him. Under his gaze, the six officers clenched their teeth, sitting back down.

“We are extremely sure that this was precisely what happened without half a trace of mistake.” Then, he said this one word after another with an overcast voice while looking at Qiu Mochi.

“All of the news we previously received, including the secret information brought back from our front line spies and agents point towards the fact that Great Mang’s crown prince Zhantai Shouchi was assassinated that night. However, the exact assassination situation is still unknown. Moreover, if we look over what you all have told us, from when you entered the camp, seized the horses, and then to Lin Xi entering the camp, carrying out the assassination, it really is a bit inconceivable, to the extent… to the extent that it can be described with the word absurd.” Qiu Mochi’s smile disappeared. He looked at Mo Xunhua and said seriously, “If Sir Mo arbitrarily asserts to these experiences, we will think that there is something wrong with all of you.”

Mo Xunhua’s expression became completely overcast. He fiercely reached out his hand, stopping the six Petty Officers from taking action.

He was originally a civil worker in the military. However, during these days, when he reached out his hand, it was more fierce than most front line officers, even the expression of the two officers at Qiu Mochi’s side became a bit cold.

“Is there a problem?” Mo Xunhua slowly lowered his hand, coldly looking at Qiu Mochi. “Do you all think that we are purposely exaggerating the news, falsifying military service, or do you all wish to act against Lin Xi, strip him of the glory he deserves?”

Qiu Mochi’s expression trembled ever so slightly.

He didn’t expect that Mo Xunhua, this type of low level official, would actually have this type of loftiness, moreover this calm, his head remaining this clear. Moreover, the other six Petty Officers’ expressions even made him feel a hint of fear. However, regardless of which aspect he looked at it from, there were no issues with his actions. Moreover, dealing with these people was an order that came from Central Continent Imperial City to begin with, so it wasn’t something he could go against.

As such, his expression also became colder, quickly expelling that trace of fear from within him. “Sir Mo, you all have thought too much. I am merely doing this out of duty. This matter’s course of events is something we naturally have reason to doubt. Did you all just happen to run into a horse transporting fleet? Moreover, that crown prince might not necessarily have been assassinated in the central army.”

Mo Xunhua once again used his gaze to stop the six utterly furious Petty Officers, coldly saying, “This is what you all wish to hear, wish for us to say?”

“In this way, you all will directly give us medals? However, this is not the truth, there is no way we will speak these words you all wish to hear from us.”

Mo Xunhua gave all of the people facing him a look, continuing, “The more furious we become, the more we will persist with the contributions that belong to us. It is because this is also related to Lin Xi’s glory and honor, something that you all cannot be allowed to erase.”

Qiu Mochi’s friendly smile finally disappeared. He coldly said, “Achievements and glory aren’t things that will be given to you all just because you all want them, they instead need suitable proof. However, you all cannot give any suitable proof.”

“If all of these people cannot serve as proof, then I can only say that the strength of some bigwigs is used in the wrong place.” Mo Xunhua also sneered. “There is no way all of those Great Mang soldiers all die, Great Mang themselves will naturally know how things really went… time will be the best proof.”

“I don’t want to use the word ‘arrest’, but all of you, please do not act randomly and cooperate with our investigation.” Qiu Mochi slowly nodded, coldly saying, “We will investigate every single one of you individually. I believe that those untainted will be proven clean even if they don’t say anything, the truth will come to light.”

“We are to be treated as criminals? We fought with everything we had in the front lines… but when we returned, we instead became suspected criminals?”

“What do they want to do? What exactly are they plotting?!”

In the barracks, all of the Yunqin soldiers who surrounded Mo Xunhua and the six Petty Officers who returned were utterly furious.

Mo Xunhua’s expression was extremely overcast. He only felt like there was something wrong with Qiu Mochi’s attitude, he didn’t know why the other party was trying to deal with them and Lin Xi who, even if he was credited, didn’t have anything to do with an official post.

“There is one possibility.”

All of a sudden, an old soldier’s voice sounded, making this stirred up camp suddenly become quiet. “I’ve followed quite a few high ranking officers, witnessed many inner struggles. Sometimes, to deal with one person, they don’t need to directly deal with them, but rather deal with that person’s subordinates. In this way, they can also provoke and infuriate that person.” The old soldier clenched his teeth, saying with a low voice, “They might be trying to provoke Sir Lin through dealing with us.”

“You all can think about this. If Sir Lin knows that we survived, he will definitely be extremely happy. However, if he heard how miserable our situation was, that we were harassed so miserably, he will definitely become extremely furious. Otherwise, what meaning is there in dealing with us? Small figures like us, there isn’t even a formidable cultivator among us. What can we count as if we are placed in the military?”

The entire tent became quiet, only heavy sounds of breathing audible.

“The more it is like this, the more calm we have to be, or else we will give those people things to pick at.” Mo Xunhua remained silent for a long time, and then nodded, slowly and calmly saying these things. “We have to endure.”

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