Book 13 Chapter 25 - Tranquility and Hot Tears

Behind Great Mang’s Stone Catapult Carts, at the very front of the densely packed Great Mang army, were all the cavalry troops. Right now, regardless of whether it was the plate armored heavy cavalry or the chain armored light cavalry… the eyes of the Great Mang soldiers and the horses beneath them were all a bit red, their expressions all filled with a type of unclear excitement. It was to the extent where many officers whose expressions were extremely weary even released low voices of reprimanding, even directly brandishing their horsewhips at some soldiers who just couldn’t remain still.

The conclusion the experienced surveying guards in the city reached was that the Great Mang army that ultimately gathered in East Scenery City far exceeded seventy thousand, approaching eighty thousand.

East Scenery City had fifty thousand defending it. Together with some of the robust men who remained behind in the city and some residents who weren’t willing to evacuate, as well as the Yunqin commoners and cultivators who rushed over from towns that weren’t too far away on their own accord, their total numbers still remained around fifty-five thousand.

Under this type of disparity in military force, Great Mang’s troops calm and unruffled amidst the chaos, just remaining in formation, Yunqin’s army naturally didn’t have any reason to take the initiative to attack.

Even though two great armies were facing each other, military equipment bombarding both sides, for many calm Yunqin officers on the city gates, it was still an extremely boring phase. That was why on the city walls’ corner towers, even if there were golden Yunqin war drums already added, some Yunqin drum experts already standing before them, there was still not a single person who was in the mood to strike the drums.

East Scenery City was a great city in South Tomb Province.

Before Yunqin was established, this was originally a king city’s defensive city, belonging to a noble surnamed Xia.

Normally, the resident population of East Scenery City also exceeded three hundred thousand.

That was why East Scenery City was extremely large, not something Great Mang’s Devil Altar City and Moon Seizing City could compare with.

When Meteor City was lost under a surprise attack by Great Mang’s naval fleet, half of this three hundred thousand population had already evacuated. Right now, the rumbling noises around the city walls were deafening, it was only because the noise was monotonous and muffled that it seemed a bit deathly still. Inside the city, it was truly calm.

To the southern corner of the city was a daoist temple called Natural Course Temple.

The daoists within this black eaved ancient temple didn’t leave. There were still the bell striking sounds of tea time, the incense burners still burning incense, purple smoke rising in spirals. This place was still filled with the air of this daoist temple’s teachings, not striving and not fighting, clear heart and few desires, a natural type of atmosphere. It was as if there still wasn’t a war taking place outside.

Ceng Rou was currently precisely inside this daoist temple, within a wooden building in front of a tea site.

His facial features were graceful, looking rather scholarly. Even while dressed in black armor, he still looked like a refined and elegant intellectual.

However, this was only a facade for deceiving others.

He was always a fierce Yunqin military general, East Scenery City’s highest level commander.

This Natural Course Temple was precisely where East Scenery City’s military division was located right now.

Only, this place wasn’t chosen by him.

It was because compared to the old-fashioned green clothed scholar whose fine wrinkles around his eyes represented great experience, but whose facial features only looked forty or so years of age who was with him in this wooden building, he didn’t view himself as anyone special at all.

He was a fierce Yunqin military general, but this old-fashioned green clothed scholar was a Yunqin military instructor specializing in teaching high ranking officer refresher courses. Moreover, the field he had most expertise in was precisely defending a city… Moreover, he wasn’t a military counselor who only had theoretical knowledge.

He was named Tang Chuqing. When Nanmo Country’s great army of three hundred thousand attacked Meteor City, Principal Zhang standing at the very top of Meteor City, he was thirteen years old, the son of Meteor City’s City Defense General Tang Jiren.

Back then, he already began to fight, began to defend cities.

In this battle, Gu Yunjing already gathered all of the most useful and most powerful figures in all of Yunqin Empire’s militaries, sending everyone he could transfer over into Meteor City, Harmony Splendor City and East Scenery City, these three cities.

Right now, Tang Chuqing was humbly consulting a daoist before him about the art of tea in this temple.

Next to him sat a somewhat pale faced middle-aged man, as well as an older lady dressed in ordinary peasant woman clothing.

Ceng Rou’s gaze that was calm and cool like water looked into the distance.

In this extremely massive city, in many of the streets and alleys, many Yunqin soldiers and some strong Yunqin men who came voluntarily were currently calmly and methodically going through the residences, prying loose some stone slabs, even removing some roof supporting beams, loosening some walls… They made holes in the originally even ground surface, burying some iron threads that were hard to make out through the naked eye, setting up some automatic crossbow arrows.

What one needed the most when defending a city, was absolute cool-headedness.

In the city, the place that was most calm, was instead this courtyard even all of the daoists here viewed as nothing significant.

That was why Tang Chuqing whose face didn’t seem to have too many traces left behind by time, this Military Department’s most important city defense officer placed the command location here.

Moreover, from the very start, he had never planned to have the battle be carried out on the city walls.

He was going to use this entire city to fight against this Great Mang army whose numbers far exceeded theirs.

If the city remained, then the people would remain; if the city perished, the people would perish.

A black-armored officer who, despite being young, already possessed a type of iron-blooded aura that could only be obtained after experiencing many great battles, was currently making his way through East Scenery City’s streets and alleys. He commanded more than ten troops to separately fill in the openings of some alleys with earth and stones.

This young black-armored high ranking officer was precisely Jiang Xiaoyi who Lin Xi already hadn’t met for a long time.

His job was to command these soldiers into turning this originally bustling town into a maze.

They would let Great Mang’s army enter this city… and then carry out decisive battles against Great Mang’s armies in every street and alley.

To fight in the alleys from start to finish, this was the decision Yunqin’s soldiers made.

Moreover, this Great Mang army had no say in the matter.

East Scenery City only needed to hold on for longer than three days of time. Within three days of time, Great Mang’s army had no chance of tearing down all of the structures in their way, especially when Yunqin’s military deliberately plugged up the streets and had soldiers waiting in ambush around every corner.

Even if they wanted to set fire to the city and raze it to the ground, it was still impossible.

It was because the Yunqin priests in the city were extremely certain that starting from tonight, East Scenery City would experience some scattered showers.

While bringing this world an even stronger feeling of autumn, these showers would also leave the entire city in an extremely damp state for the next few days.

Only, right now, the calm faced Jiang Xiaoyi’s mood was not calm at all.

Fifty thousand Yunqin soldiers had to face close to eighty thousand Great Mang soldiers. Would relying on this city be able to take down another thirty thousand Great Mang soldiers?

Right now, Jiang Xiaoyi already knew that Lin Xi would come, which was why he had great confidence towards the victory of this battle. Only, he knew that in the end, this battle was destined to be extremely miserable.

The battle of East Scenery City continued, the bombardment of the military equipment in the city and on Great Mang’s sides continued.

Right now, in several of the most crucial fighting points, because of the suppression of a great army, they instead couldn’t receive military intelligence from outside… They didn’t know what was happening outside, they could only carry out the battle before their eyes.

East Scenery City was extremely calm.

While clearly understanding that they themselves, the comrades around them, that most of the people here might die in this battle, knowing that the ultimate impact on the overall battle situation would still rely on the victories and defeats in other areas, these soldiers still remained calm… East Scenery City’s Yunqin soldiers’ calmness was deserving of respect in itself.

At this time, in the border between South Order Province and South Tomb Province, on that fort where Thousand Sunset Mountains could vaguely be made out, Li Kaiyun and Fang Du stood on a tall slope.

There was a great amount of disorder and activity to the southeastern extreme of their line of sight.

Even though they couldn’t hear the noises coming from that place at all, just from the activity, Li Kaiyun and Fang Du seemed to have heard countless clashes of bladed weapons, heard many miserable cries, as well as shouts of alarm and killing.

“They’re here!”

Fang Du whose expression was always extremely nervous released a low shout under hurried breathing. Several cavalry rushed out from a small path between the trees with great speed, appearing in his line of sight.

“Sir Fang! Sir Li! We received a report! Windbreaker Troop suffered a pincer attack from two Great Mang armies, already charged through and surrounded! Great Mang’s army number at least three thousand, and there are even at least two hundred that are heavy armored, the number of soul weapon heavy armors unclear!”

The instant the two sides could see each other’s faces, the one leading the scouting cavalry already urgently shouted towards Li Kaiyun and Fang Du.

“Three thousand, and there are even heavy armors?!” Fang Du’s expression changed greatly. Then, Windbreaker Troop once again overwhelmed everything, flooding his brain. His expression suddenly became snow-white, turning his face to look towards Li Kaiyun.

Right now, Li Kaiyun was like a statue, his eyes extremely vacant.

“I received all of the letters you wrote to me…”

“Don’t misunderstand my intentions… I just want to give everyone a bit more time…”

“I will most likely remain with this troop during this period, remember the banner of my troop and keep it in mind, this will perhaps allow you to know where I roughly am. If there is a chance, we might be able to meet again.”

Li Kaiyun’s chest felt extremely empty right now.

In his brain, when he heard the words Windbreaker Troop, Leng Qiuyu’s voice already continuously echoed in his head.

Windbreaker Troop… was precisely the troop Leng Qiuyu followed. This troop was in charge of moving around the borders, in charge of transporting provisions and military equipment.

While looking at Li Kaiyun’s appearance, Fang Du’s throat even seemed to have suddenly become plugged up. Back then, he also saw Li Kaiyun and Leng Qiuyu chat side by side from the distance, able to see the happiness within Li Kaiyun’s eyes during the following days. That was why right now, he could feel what Li Kaiyun was feeling as if it was happening to himself.

“I am going.”

Li Kaiyun spoke, his voice calm.

Fang Du knew that with the military strength that could destroy Windbreaker Troop, even if he went, it would be inevitable death. However, he didn’t stop Li Kaiyun, nodding and saying, “I’ll go with you.”

“You must stay behind here and carry out military orders, defend this fort. Moreover, most of the troops here are infantry troops, so they won’t be able to make it in time even if they go.” Li Kaiyun shook his head. “I don’t want more brothers to enter the grave with me. Give me three of the best horses. I will go, if I can save them, then I will, if I cannot, I will kill a few more in revenge for her.”

Fang Du wanted to say something, but he instead choked on emotions. He clenched his teeth, not saying anything else, only walking up, giving Li Kaiyun a hug, and then heavily patting Li Kaiyun’s back.

“Take care!”

Hot tears rushed out from his eyes. After saying these two words with great difficulty, he released a fierce shout. “The best horses! Three of them! Hurry!”

There was nothing more tragic than watching one’s friend throw away their life.

However, he knew that he couldn’t stop Li Kaiyun.

“Take care!” Li Kaiyun tapped his fist against Fang Du’s chest, bowing in respect, this act a type of expression of gratitude. Then, he decisively turned around, using his fastest speed to run towards the three warhorses that were brought over.

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