Chapter 394 - The Test of War

When the Wokou’s fleet got close to the Tanggu Docks, a fleet of well-equipped warships stopped and surrounded them. Before General Yamaguchi could react, they were stunned by a series of frenzied explosions. In this era, explosives weren’t widely used in the military. This large firecracker, which was similar to a small rocket, had caught the Wokou off guard. 

However, the Wokou’s fleet had the advantage in terms of numbers. After General Yamaguchi returned to his senses, he led his group to break out of the encirclement. He was really able to open a gap and forcibly broke through with half of the ships. The other half of the fleet were destroyed by the gunfire of the Great Ming Empire’s warships. Many of the Wokou pirates fell into the water. Like rats that fell into a pot of boiling water, they tried to flee in panic but had no way out. 

Under the command of General Yamaguchi, the other group of Wokou landed not far from the port. Seeing the dozen or so ships docked at the port and numerous packages of goods unloaded from the ships, General Yamaguchi didn’t allow his men to rest and rushed towards the port with over a thousand Wokou pirates. 

Commander Sun’s second-in-command, with a group of soldiers, lay in ambush near the port. When the Wokou got closer to the port, they attacked them on both sides with General Fang’s team. 

The dockworkers panicked at the sight of the invading enemies. Fortunately, Brother Six was relatively calm. With his trusted subordinates, they swiftly calmed the dockworkers. However, there were still some workers who were afraid of death. They looked ghastly pale and blamed their parents for not giving them a couple more legs. Before Brother Six and the others had come up to them, they had already run away, feeling extremely terrified. 

Brother Six had naturally taken notes of these people in his heart. Among them, there were quite a few regular employees of the management office. He would no longer use these people who could only enjoy happiness but not share hardships with the people around them! The dockworkers were used to hard labor, so they all had a lot of strength. Brother Six called on them to pick up weapons and protect their homeland! 

Over the past few years, the eighteen year old Yu Heizi had grown up to 1.75 meter in height. His skin was tanned, and his fat body had long transformed into a body full of muscles. Thus, he did look somewhat intimidating by just standing there. This kid was like a completely different person compared with his younger self. He was willing to work hard and was good at currying favors with others. He had been promoted to the position of a small team leader by Brother Six, and earned a monthly wage of one tael! 

When the Wokou landed, for a moment, he also wanted to escape with those workers. However, Brother Six was watching them not too far away. After following Brother Six for the past few years, Yu Heizi had gradually turned into a regular employee from a temporary worker, and with his own efforts, he was also promoted to a small team leader. If he ran away, wouldn’t it be a waste of all his previous efforts? 

‘Argh, I’m going all in!! Aren’t there a lot of soldiers at the port? Although we’re outnumbered by the Wokou pirates, we have the advantage of location and unity of the people. I’m not trained in martial arts, but I’m still very strong! Since Brother Six didn’t leave, the situation at the wharf shouldn’t be too serious. Oh whatever! Money comes from danger, so I’ll just take this risk!’ 

He immediately stood behind Brother Six. With a thick stick in his hands, he looked at the two groups of people fighting at the docks with a nervous expression. 

Brother Six looked at Heizi with an approving gaze. At first, he allowed Heizi to work for him because he was giving Yu Xiaocao face. He had originally thought that this little fatty wouldn’t be able to bear the hardship and leave on his own. He hadn’t expected that the kid had actually endured it. Yu Heizi was a hard worker and had some tricks up his sleeves, so he promoted the fellow to a foreman. The small team led by Yu Heizi could successfully complete their tasks every time. They had been praised by the customers on multiple occasions. Hence, Brother Six saw him in a new light! 

Based on Brother Six’s understanding of Yu Heizi, he wasn’t considered someone very brave. Thus, he never thought that this kid would be the first person to choose to trust him and stand by his side. He watched as the other dockworkers followed suit by picking up their weapons and following closely behind him. Although there were only about sixty to seventy people, Brother Six felt very satisfied. To be able to step forward and support him in the face of danger, he, Brother Six, would definitely provide them with a good future!! 

At this time, due to the difference in numbers, some of the Wokou gradually broke through the defense line of the soldiers and came to the shoreside. The Wokou pirates began to kill and rob on ships with unloaded cargo.   

There weren't a large number of Wokou pirates approaching the port; only around a dozen or so. The weapon in Brother Six’s hands was a steel fork, similar to a harpoon, and the tip of the fork glimmered with coldness. He said to the nervous dockworkers behind him, “Do you guys dare to join me to destroy these Wokou pirates?!” 

Yu Heizi was somewhat nervous, but he was the first one to respond, “What is there to be afraid of!! We have sixty to seventy people, so how can it be possible that we can’t beat a dozen or so dwarfs?” 

Hearing his words, the other dockworkers looked at the short stature of the Wokou pirates, and they were immediately full of confidence and courage. Yeah, what was so scary about these dwarfs? If one person wasn’t enough, then they could fight as a group, which would be enough to squash him to death!!

Seeing that the morale of his workers had gone up, Brother Six faintly smiled and quickly divided them into groups of five. Each group would go up against one of the pirates. He took the lead and led a group towards one of the Wokou. The other groups also didn’t want to appear weak, so they tightened their grasp on the wooden sticks in their hands, clenched their teeth, and rushed forward.

All men had a certain sense of righteousness and a hero complex. When he saw Brother Six holding a steel fork to fight with the other party’s steel sword, Yu Heizi, who was in the same group as Brother Six, raised up the wooden stick in his hands. The expression on his face caused his originally slightly fierce-looking face to appear even more ferocious. Taking advantage of the time when the other party hadn’t gotten the chance to retrieve his sword, he brutally hit him on the head and back. 

The other dockworkers in the same group also attacked the unlucky Wokou with the various weapons in their hands. Before the Wokou could make his second move, he was already knocked out on the ground and lost his ability to fight. Brother Six pierced the steel fork into the other party’s chest and killed him. 

Seeing that their boss had won, the other groups became more vigorous and imposing. They screamed like a ferocious tiger coming down a mountain and charged towards the Wokou pirates. Seeing the situation, the rest of the pirates didn’t dare to continue fighting and quickly ran back to the shore. Some of them were blocked and killed by the soldiers on the shore. The dockworkers caught up to some of them and beat them until they couldn’t fight back. 

The dockworkers had won their first battle. Their timidity had been swept away and everyone was full of confidence. In the upcoming battles, each group was able to achieve victorious results. Brother Six had also stated, “Later, according to the number of Wokou killed, come to me for a reward. Five taels for each Wokou! After killing them, cut off their left ear as evidence!” 

The dockworkers became extremely hyperactive as they rushed towards a Wokou that was alone. The Wokou was so scared that he tried to flee in all directions. Each time the dockworkers killed one of the pirates, they would pick up his weapon. They were soon armed with steel swords, which made them even more confident! 

It might be because of their good cooperation, but despite a lot of workers getting injured, most of them were minor external injuries. Brother Six took out the wound balm that he bought from Tongren Medicine Hall, which was very effective in stopping bleeding. The wounded dockworkers were triggered by the bloodshed, and they were also unwilling to give up on the rewards promised by Brother Six. Thus, they wouldn’t leave the front line due to minor wounds and continued to do their part in protecting the harbor! 

As the battle at the docks started in full swing, the Wokou pirates over at Dongshan Village had retreated into the village and adopted the policy of ‘loot all, kill all, and burn all’. Even from afar, one could see that the village was ablaze with fire. Especially the thatched cottages, they swiftly burned into ashes as soon as they were lit on fire. 

The Yu Residence, which was the newest and strongest within the village and also very close to the West Mountain, was expropriated by Watanabe Hiroshi. The vegetables in the courtyard had encountered a disaster as they were plucked and chopped, and they were completely destroyed by the Wokou. Most of the grain and fruits in the Yu Family’s cellar, as well as the meat in the icehouse, were carried aboard the Wokou’s ships. The rest was left for Watanabe Hiroshi to enjoy.

The Zhou Family next door had driven their chickens into the mountain forest nearby. They reared their chickens in coops, so many of the chickens returned and gathered in front of the Zhou Family’s house. The Wokou pirates stationed nearby happily caught the chickens. After plucking the feathers, they seasoned the chickens with salt and roasted them. Since a great natural disaster happened in the Wokou’s country, they hadn’t eaten any meat except for fish! The Zhou Family’s chickens were met with an unfortunate ending. 

Likewise, the Yu Family’s piggery also wasn’t spared. Fortunately, in order to prevent the deterioration of the meat, these guys only slaughtered a portion of the pigs to sate their cravings. They planned on slaughtering the others before their departure and transporting them onto their ships. Every day, there would be miserable cries of pigs coming from the Yu Family’s piggery.   

At this time, except for several families who had fled into the forest by themselves when they were initially chased by the Wokou pirates, the other hundred or so villagers of Dongshan Village were being led by Yu Xiaocao to her secret base.   

The valley wasn’t too far from Dongshan Village, but the mountain road was hard to walk, which took up some time. After the Wokou pirates left the mountain forest, Yu Hai and Commander Zheng had followed the traces left by the group and joined them.    

When Madam Liu saw her husband, she immediately checked if he was injured. There was quite a lot of blood on Yu Hai’s clothes, but it was stained onto his clothes when killing the pirates, and he wasn’t wounded at all. Most of the bodyguards had come back unharmed. Even if some were injured, they were just minor injuries that weren’t a big deal. 

Yu Xiaocao guided the group to a fog shrouded forest near the cliff. There wasn’t any fog here in the past, but in order to protect her secret base from being found and ruined by others, Yu Xiaocao asked the little divine stone to set up this decoy. Without the guide of someone familiar with the path like her and her younger brother, other people would quickly get lost in the hazy forest. Once in a while, someone from Dongshan Village would come here, but when they saw the inexplicable appearance of fog, very few would dare to enter.

“Xiaocao, are you sure we’re going in the right direction? I’ve been here before, and I ended up walking around for three days and nights before finally getting out. I nearly starved to death here!” Goudan had been known as a mischievous child in the village since he was young. He had gone up the mountains and dived in the sea; there weren't any places that he didn’t dare to go. When he grew up, his courage was still sky high. He made a bet with others to enter the foggy forest and almost didn’t come out. 

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Myst's Thoughts

Translator: Myst