Chapter 176 (Part 2) The empty city stratagem
Yi Lian, you actually pulled out the empty city stratagem. You obviously knew that I came from the same place as you and I'm very familiar with your “Empty city stratagem”. Today, you really used an empty city stratagem; are you gambling? Gambling if I would be the second Sima Yi?
“Sir, what should we do?”
The more Tian Zhi Xin thought about it, the more shocked he became. On the way to here, it had been very smooth travelling. They didn’t encounter Bei Zhou’s army. Originally, that was a good thing; but now, after putting this matter in Tian Zhi Xin’s heart, he felt that it was very strange. Could it be that Bei Zhou had long known that they would come to attack secretly? So, they deliberately gave way and facilitated things for them? The purpose was to whip them out here?
No wonder they didn’t encounter any obstacles on the way. It was a long journey from Yuchu. Not to mention Bei Zhou’s army, they didn’t even encounter a single soldier of Bei Zhou. Although, along the way, Tian Zhi Xin had selected small roads, but that everything went so smoothly the whole way was very strange.
“Advance and stop at twenty meters outside of the city!”
Not waiting for Tian Zhi Xin to think the problem through, Misha issued a command.
“Sir Misha, don’t go. I’m afraid there’s a conspiracy!”
“Is General Tian afraid?”
“I’m not afraid. I need to think about these soldiers. If by chance, there’s an ambush in the city of Min province or if Bei Zhou’s army is hiding somewhere else, then wouldn’t we fall into a trap?”
“If something happens, I will take responsibility. Advance!”
Misha let Xia Xue drive the carriage first and stop twenty meters from the gate. Seeing that Misha insisted on acting like this, Tian Zhi Xin clenched his teeth and issued a command.
“Miss, they are coming!” The fan in Su Yue’s hand stopped slightly. Then, she continued to fan Feng Qi Qi.
“No need to bother with him. We should continue!” Feng Qi Qi looked calm as if she didn’t see the five thousand men in front of her.
Both Misha and her knew about the empty city stratagem. Feng Qi Qi had already considered this. But, because of this knowledge, she did the very opposite. Misha would certainly see that she'd used the empty city stratagem. At this time, Misha was certainly trying to guess her strategy. Knowing that he knew and still use it, the reason behind it was thought-provoking. As Misha expected, Feng Qi Qi was indeed gambling, gambling that Misha wouldn’t dare!
The five thousand men were only twenty meters from the gate. Such a distance could let the people see some things inside the city.
Looking at the main road, the citizens inside the city didn’t seem to be aware of the happenings outside of the city. The hawkers were still shouting slogans. The people also walked leisurely on the streets. It seemed as if they weren’t panicked or afraid.
Seeing this scene, Tian Zhi Xin was even more worried. Inside the city of Min province were Dong Lu’s citizens. Even if they know that outside the city were ‘their own people’, they were too abnormally calm!
Besides, they gave them a surprise attack. Bei Zhou’s people, who were stationed at Min province, should be panicked and ready to battle. Why did the citizens inside the city seemed like they weren’t troubled at all by the war? Were these people commoners or were they Bei Zhou’s people in disguise?
“General, the situation in this city is not right!” An adjutant whispered in Tian Zhi Xin’s ear. “Should we send people to go look at it?!”
“Mm, you go!” Tian Zhi Xin pointed at a soldier to let him go near the city gate and look at the situation.
That soldier rode on the horse and went to the city gates. The elders, who were sweeping the floor, raised their heads and only glanced at him once. Then, they lowered their heads and continued to sweep. When he looked inside the city, it seemed as though those commoners didn’t see him. They continued to do what they were doing.
When the soldier came back and reported the situation to Tian Zhi Xin, he was certain that there was a ‘problem’ with this Min province. The commoners were certainly not Dong Lu’s people. Bei Zhou’s soldiers must have disguised themselves.
“Sir, what do you think we should do now?”
Although Tian Zhi Xin was ready to retreat, but this time, they had come out with Misha as the commander. He had to consult Misha.
“Let everyone set up the camp! Make a fire and cook!”
Misha smiled and looked at Feng Qi Qi, who's at the city tower gate. Yi Lian, since you want to ‘play a trick’ against me, then let’s consume time and see who would have the last laugh.
Misha’s decision made Tian Zhi Xin dumbfounded. Set up the camp? Let them stay here? What did Misha mean by this?
“Sir, why don’t we retreat for ten miles?! Setting the camp here; if by chance, the reinforcements of Bei Zhou comes, then being attacked from both the inside and outside would make us very passive!”
How could Misha not know Tian Zhi Xin’s thoughts. Had to say, Yi Lian choosing the empty city stratagem was an excellent plan! This Tian Zhi Xin was already like Sima Yi and wanted to retreat because he was scared by Feng Qi Qi’s trick.
However, Feng Qi Qi calculated wrongly. She acted in the opposite way, thought that he would be suspicious and didn’t dare to enter the city, but he simply wouldn’t do that. He won’t attack the city but will set the camp here. He would wait for Feng Qi Qi’s true intentions to show and have a great battle with her. After he expose her empty city stratagem, he would like to see what Feng Qi Qi would do!
Dong Lu’s people set up camp under the city walls. It seemed like they had the intention to besiege. Misha, you’re indeed not easy to deal with! However, do you think that I would be scared like this and you could win over me?
“Miss, what do we do?”
“Close the gate. Let’s go back for a lunch break!”
Feng Qi Qi stood up lazily and walked down the tower.
Without the sound of the zither and now that Feng Qi Qi could no longer be seen, Misha’s heartbeat accelerated. Could it be that Feng Qi Qi would come to seek peace?
Misha denied this thought when it appeared. This woman hated him so much and wished to kill him with her own hands, how would she come and seek peace with him?!
“Sir, the gate closed!” Tian Zhi Xin pointed at the shut door and shouted. “Sir, what do they mean by this? Should we fight or not fight this battle?”
“Let the soldiers rest! What we have is time. Let’s slowly consume it with them!”
Hurrying all the way here made the five thousand people be very exhausted. When they heard that they could set up camp and make fires to cook food, the soldiers dismounted the horses and set up tents. Then, they made fires and set up pots to cook food.
“General, you say, what do you think sir Misha means by this? Could it be that this city is an empty shelf? It is enough that we just surround them? However, if there are really no Bei Zhou’s soldiers inside the city, then why don’t we attack in a spurt of energy and capture Feng Qi Qi?”
“General, I feel that sir Misha is a bit unreliable! Can we trust him? Before, if it wasn’t because Penglai Island’s Duyi instigated His Majesty to send the army, we also wouldn’t have annoyed Bei Zhou and wouldn’t be in the current situation. I heard people say that the emperor was furious in the palace and said that Penglai Island has collaborated with Bei Zhou, wanting to harm our Dong Lu.”
The adjutant's doubts were precisely what puzzled Tian Zhi Xin. He didn’t agree with Misha’s practice. It was just, Misha didn’t make it clear and he also couldn’t guess Misha’s thoughts. As for the rumor the adjutant had talked about, Tian Zhi Xin had also heard about it. Now, thinking about Misha’s attitude towards Feng Qi Qi, it was indeed somewhat suspicious.
“Let’s wait! If it’s still like this tomorrow, then we would make the decisions! Right, let people watch over Misha secretly and see if he has any problems. In short, it’s better to be careful.” Thinking about how his subordinate had died inexplicably at Misha’s hand, Tian Zhi Xin spat on the ground. If Misha really had colluded with Bei Zhou and there was a conspiracy, he wouldn’t be gracious towards Misha.
Not waiting for Tian Zhi Xin to have a hot meal, the gates of the city of Min province opened. The one who came out was Feng Qi Qi’s Su Yue.
Su Yue rode on a horse. One hand held the reins and the other carried a food box. She trotted to Misha.
“Our princess knows you are here. She specifically let me send some snacks and refreshing drinks. Asking young master to accept!” Su Yue jumped off the horse and brought the food box to Misha.
“Stop!” Not waiting for Su Yue to approach Misha, Xia Xue blocked in front of Su Yue. “Give me the food box!”
Xia Xue’s hostility made Su Yue laugh, “Young master, enjoy your meal! Princess said if the two armies face each other, she would certainly drink and chat merrily with young master!”
Leaving these words, Su Yue mounted the horse and returned to the city.
“General, you see!” The adjutant poked Tian Zhi Xin. Both stared at the food box in Xia Xue’s hand.
This food box had four layers. Xia Xue opened it and laid all the things inside it in front of Misha. The first layer had a variety of dim sum. They were small and exquisite. The second layer had cold vegetables. They were refreshing and tasted good. The third layer had peaches and watermelons. The fourth layer had a jar of wine.
Misha picked a piece of dim sum and put it in his mouth. “The taste is not bad!”
“Young master, be careful!” Xia Xue was too late to stop him. Misha had already swallowed the dim sum.
“What, afraid that she would poison me? She wouldn’t!” Misha poured wine, lifted the cup, put it under his nose and smelled the fragrance. “She isn’t the kind of person to play dirty tricks. There would be no problem with these foods.”
When Misha’s words fell into Tian Zhi Xin’s ears, it had another meaning.
It seemed that Misha and Feng Qi Qi knew each other. Moreover, their relationship was not bad. At this time, Tian Zhi Xin had already defined Misha as a dangerous figure. To Tian Zhi Xin, the most frightening was often not the enemy, but the ‘ghost’ who disguised themselves as a friend at their side.
“General, come eat!”
Misha waved at Tian Zhi Xin. Tian Zhi Xin laughed and walked over while rubbing between his hands.
“Drink wine! This wine is not bad!”
“Sir Misha, you know Bei Zhou’s princess Zhen Guo?” After having a cup of wine, Tian Zhi Xin asked his question.
“I know her. Not only do I know her, we are very familiar with each other.”
Misha’s words made Tian Zhi Xin’s heart made a ‘thump’ sound. Seeing Tian Zhi Xin’s face change, Misha laughed. “What, does General think that I am the secret agent sent by Bei Zhou? Is General doubting me?”
“No, I’m not! Sir Misha, you really know how to joke! You’re Penglai’s disciple. How would you be Bei Zhou’s secret agent?! This joke really is not funny at all!”
Tian Zhi Xin laughed awkwardly and waved his hand, but in his mind, he was thinking about something else.
When Misha mentioned Feng Qi Qi, his gaze was full of strange feelings. It was like he was talking about his lover. This gaze couldn’t fool people. Now, Tian Zhi Xin was certain that Misha had a relation with Feng Qi Qi. Moreover, it was not a relationship of ordinary friends.
“Come, eat! Don’t worry, she wouldn’t put poison inside. She doesn’t want me to die yet…”
Misha bit on the dim sum, but his mind was thinking about Feng Qi Qi. All the dishes she had sent were the dishes he liked. Out of all the dim sum, he only ate mung bean cake and he liked to eat braised pig ears very much. Now, what was placed in front of him were things he had liked in the past life. Even the taste was the same as that of the past life.
Yi Lian, what is your purpose for doing this? Do we still have the possibility to heal? Yi Lian, I know that there aren’t many people inside the city. You are being like this today is just wanting to scare us away. However, you didn’t expect that I would stop here. You sending the dishes I love, is it to beg me to not attack the country and sue for peace with me?
Misha was thinking about Feng Qi Qi with his whole heart. He didn’t notice the unpredictability in Tian Zhi Xin’s eyes. Inside the city, when Feng Qi Qi heard that Misa ate the dim sum and even invited Dong Lu’s general to eat with him, she clapped and laughed.
“Su Yue, continue to send food boxes at night. All the things I said you should send. He’s smart and knows that I don’t want him to die easily. So, I wouldn’t poison the food and he could eat with confidence. Since he thinks like this, I won’t act like it! Su Mei, remember to add some ingredients in the dishes tonight. Don’t add acute things. I want him to die slowly...”
Sure enough, Su Yue once again sent a food box at night. Unlike at the noon, this time Su Yue brought someone. The two people brought three food boxes.
“These dishes were made by our princess! Princess said that usually young master likes to eat these things the most. Now, young master must want to eat dishes from the hometown. So, she personally cooked and made these dishes for young master. Please, have a taste, young master!”
After putting down the food boxes, Su Yue didn’t stay any longer. When she was about to leave, Su Yue suddenly turned and looked at Misha. “Today is young master’s birthday. Princess asked me to pass a sentence. Wishing young master a happy birthday! May you have today’s glory forever!”
After Su Yue left, Xia Xue frowned tightly. Misha’s birthday was the twelfth lunar month. Why did Su Yue say this?
Contrary to Xia Xue, after Misha heard Su Yue, he had a feeling that his eyes were brimming with tears. He had already forgotten this birthday of his. She still remembered! In the past, every year during this time, she and adoptive father would blow the candles with him and wish him happy birthday! Now, at this place, he had almost forgotten everything of the past.
Looking at the dishes on the table and thinking about what Su Yue had said, that these were personally made by Feng Qi Qi, Misha’s eyes felt warm. Especially when he saw a pastry that looked like a birthday cake with ‘happy birthday’ written on it. One line of tears fell from the corner of Misha’s right eye.
Yi Lian, you still remembered! It turns out that you have never forgotten me!
When Misha’s expression fell into Tian Zhi Xin’s eyes, it confirmed his thoughts. Misha knew Feng Qi Qi. Between them was definitely a -not to be divulged- secret!
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