Chapter 315: Massacre on a night in Xiang City
“I don’t want to protect Xie Wenyuan,” Xiang Tiange told the generals in front of him.
The generals weren’t surprised when they heard Xiang Tiange’s statement, but concern could be seen on a few of their faces. If they don’t help keep Xie Wenyuan alive, what should they report to Great Lord Xiang Nong when they get back?
“With regards to my foster father, I will personally inform him.” Xiang Tiange took the initiative to bring up the concerns the generals had.
“Has Young Lord already thought of a plan?” one of the generals asked Xiang Tiange, “Do we abandon Xie Wenyuan and leave right away?”
Xiang Tiange lowered his voice, “As long as we are not the ones that kill Xie Wenyuan, my foster father can’t blame us for anything, right? The soldiers we have were outnumbered by Lou Zigui’s troops. Hence, we were defeated. Who dares to say we fear death?”
An experienced general murmured, “Young Lord’s words are correct. However, within the army, there are spies who belongs to Great Lord and also spies from the military counsellor’s side. I’m just afraid that Great Lord will not believe Young Lord’s words when we return.”
“Also, Lou Zigui has a maximum of three thousand elite troops in his hands,” another general anxiously added, “It’s not even enough for a seige. If we say that our troops couldn’t outnumber his, it would be hard to justify, right?”
Xiang Tiange stayed silent.
Since Xiang Tiange didn’t say anything, the other generals also stopped talking. After all, this matter was huge and none of them had the capacity to take on the responsibility of abandoning Xie Wenyuan.
During the time it took to burn half a stick of incense, the room remained silent.
“Young Lord,” a voice travelled in from outside the room.
Thinking about Danian’s status as Great Lord’s trusted aide caused the generals to feel uneasy. Warily, they looked towards Xiang Tiange.
“Come in,” Xiang Tiange responded.
Danian entered the room with an carved arrow in his hand. Standing in front of Xiang Tiange, he bowed, “A letter was shot in from outside the city. This letter is for Young Lord.”
Xiang Tiange took the carved arrow from Danian’s hands and removed the letter to read it.
The generals saw the black characters on the white paper but were unable to clearly see the contents of the letter.
Xiang Tiange finished reading the letter very quickly and casually placed it at the side of his table.
“Young Lord?” one of the generals inquired.
“Lou Zigui’s handwritten letter,” Xiang Tiange lowered his voice, “He said that Xie Wenyuan has caused chaos in the dynasty, creating disaster and harming innocent people. And asked whether I would be at peace if I saved him.”
The various generals looked at each other in dismay.
“Supreme Commander also asked me why I initially chose to join the rebel forces to revolt.” Xiang Tiange continued, “He also asked who killed my family. If we dig deep enough, Xie Wenyuan may be the one responsible. He may actually be the true enemy.”
“Young Lord, Lou Zigui wants you to leave with the troops?” the experienced general questioned.
Xiang Tiange raised his eyes to look at Danian. Danian hurriedly lowered his head.
“We will leave tonight.” Xiang Tiange crumpled the letter and ordered. “I will inform my foster father and the military counsellor. No matter what happens, it will not affect the rest of you.”
“Young Lord!” Danian exclaimed.
“You can go ahead and report the truth to my foster father,” Xiang Tiange stood up and spoke.
Danian’s face reddened and he took a step back. He forced himself to speak. “Young Lord, Great Lord definitely has his reasons for doing things this way..”
Xiang Tiange ignored Danian and conveyed to the generals, “Go and gather the troops. When Lou Zigui attacks tonight, we will leave.”
The generals accepted the order and were dismissed.
“You can go too.” Xiang Tiange then turned to Danian, “This has nothing to do with you. You don’t have to think too much about it.”
“I..” Danian felt very conflicted. He couldn’t lie to Great Lord Xiang Nong but he also didn’t want to cause harm to Xiang Tiange. What should he do?
“I lost my grandfather, parents, siblings when my family was on the run.” Xiang Tiange looked at Danian. “I would’ve starve to death if Great Lord hadn’t rescued me. To this day, there is still no news about my family. Sometimes, I would rather they’d be dead. This way, I wouldn’t feel as tormented. Danian, the court is my enemy and the old thief, Xie Wenyuan, had controlled the court for many years. What Lou Zigui said is true, I cannot help save my enemy.”
“Lou Zigui only wants to use Young Lord, ah!” Danian frantically raised his voice.
“At least we are on the same page with regards to killing Xie Wenyuan.” Xiang Tiange patted Danian’s shoulders and walked out of the room.
Danian held his head and squatted on the ground. What should he do?!
Outside the city, Lou Zigui, Xu Feiyu and a few other generals had gathered together and sat on the ground.
Looking at the Xiang City nearby, Xu Feiyu lowered his voice, “Supreme Commander, you’re so certain that Xiang Tiange will leave?”
“The defense at the city gate tower is very messy.” Lou Zigui explained to Xu Feiyu while looking at the city tower of Xiang City. “If Xiang Tiange really wanted to fight this battle, the defense of the city tower would not be this chaotic.”
It was only then that Xu Feiyu carefully scanned his eyes across the city tower. There were soldiers standing at the crenel of the gates holding swords and axes but no archers. How would they hold the wall without archers? “Could the archers be hiding from behind?” General Xu pondered, “They are deliberately trying to lure us for battle?”
Lou Zigui also observed the Xiang city gates. “I haven’t seen a single general from the rebel forces on the city tower. Tonight, we will prepare for ambush. Based on the reaction of the city tower, we will know Xiang Tiange’s decision.”
Xu Feiyu didn’t understand how Lou Zigui could sit around casually while saying such words. Lou Zigui’s eyes continued to stare at the tower, observing its changes. General Xu’s heart trembled while he nodded his head, “I understand.”
“After this battle, you can take Xu Junqi away.” Lou Zigui suddenly added. “General Xu should know what to do.”
Xue Feiyu laughed and threw away the weeds in his hands. “Supreme Commander can rest assure. I also wish that Xie Wenyuan a tragic end.”
“This would be for the best.” Lou Zigui also chuckled with a cold tone.
Time slowly trickled past and the people of Xiang City knew that a battle was about to take place. However, they couldn’t escape due to the closure of the city gates. Moreover, they didn’t have anywhere to go to and could only hide at home. They could only hope for the blessing of the Gods that they may get through this war alive.
When the sun began to set, mist began to rise on the empty field outside of Xiang City. Lou Zigui flipped onto his horse. Then, the three thousand elite troops immediately took out their weapons and got onto their battle horses.
Xu Feiyi pointed his sword towards Xiang City in twilight, and roared. Shouts filled the air. The three thousand elite troops collectively rushed towards Xiang City.
“The enemy is attacking!”
Shouts began to fill the top of the city gate tower.
Seeing soldiers running to defend the wall of Xiang City, a few rebel soldiers turned and rushed towards the capstan of the city gates.
The soldiers defending the capstan saw a few rebel soldiers approaching them and stood on guard. Unfortunately, they only managed to shout a few words before being stabbed to death by the rebel forces.
At this moment, the rebel forces on the city tower ran towards the capstan. The defence troops felt that something was wrong but by the time they turned around, the rebel forces had already turned the capstan and lowered the gates.
“Kill these rebels!!” one of the defending generals fiercely shouted.
A few rebel soldiers blindly slashed at the capstan. Just when the general was about to attack them, they finally managed to chop the capstan.
The city gates were lowered and until the capstan could be repaired, the Xiang city gates will no longer be able to close.
“Enter the city!” Outside the city, Xu Feiyu loudly ordered.
The wooden suspension bridge trembled under the weight of the troops and only sporadic arrows shot down from the city gates. This was nothing for these 3000 elite troops as they rode into Xiang City like a tornado.
At this moment in the Xiang City’s governor’s estate, a servant hurriedly ran from the back residence to the front courtyard. The servant rushed to the governor and shouted, “Your Excellency, Grand Preceptor and his people have disappeared!”
The governor stood with his family in the front courtyard. After hearing the servant’s words, the governor’s head spun. Xie Wenyuan ran away?!
“Father!” the governor’s sons raced together to support their father. The governor was staggering.
“We.. We..” the governor tried to stay calm and ordered, “We must leave!”
Outside the governor’s estate, luggage was already loaded in the carriage. Inside was the entire fortune that belonged to the family of Xiang City’s governor.
“Don’t bring along these things anymore,” The governor was being supported by his two sons out of the estate. After looking at the carriage, he dejectedly said, “Go.”
So, the family did not take any valuables with them. They ran towards the west gate with the protection of the estate’s guards.
When the west gate tower was within sight, the governor ordered in a booming voice, “Tell them to open the city gates!”
The governor’s eldest son brought a few guards and ran towards the city gates.
By now, the sky was completely black. The city gate tower was well lit, but the governor was standing in darkness. He looked at his elderly parents, terrified wife and his wailing grandson. He had no idea that his current expression was also filled with fear.
The sound of horse hooves approached them from a distance.
“Go,” The governor frantically shouted, “Run towards the city gates.”
The group of people started running towards the city gates. The governor’s elderly mother fell on the ground and the two elder maidservants supporting her didn’t stop to help her as they continued to run. Everyone behind also saw the old madam fall but not a single person stopped.
The elderly madam had sprawled on the ground and wanted to scream for help when the sound of hooves entered her ears. Before she could make sense of the situation, the old madam’s back was stepped on by a heavy object. This happened twice, thrice, even four times……
The old madam who had lived in luxury her whole life was trampled to death by horses. Her body was reduced to mince meat.
Xu Feiyu rode to the front of the governor and shouted, “Where is Xie Wenyuan?!”
The governor fell to his knee and trembled, “Traitor Xie escaped..”
A deputy general and his men searched the governor’s group before reporting to Xu Feiyu with a nod, “Xie Wenyuan is not here.”
“Which direction did Xie Wenyuan go?” Xu Feiyu demanded from the governor.
The governor had no idea where Grand Preceptor Xie had gone, but didn’t dare to tell Xu Feiyu the truth. If he shook his head and say he didn’t know, Xu Feiyu would definitely massacre his entire family on the spot.
“Towards the east. He ran towards the east gate!!” The governor pointed at a direction for Xu Feiyu.
East gate? General Xu thought in his heart. Xie Wenyuan ran towards the east?! Who could he have sought shelter with?
“This lowly official was also forced by Traitor Xie, ah!!” the governor wailed.
Xu Feiyu sneered, “You were abandoned by Xie Wenyuan right?”
The governor’s wailing sounds could be heard.
Xu Feiyu waved his hand. A platoon of elite soldiers came forward. Within a split second, the entire governor’s estate was annihilated.
When the governor’s eldest son arrived at the city gates, he was about to shout to open the gates when a few arrows were shot from the city tower. The governor’s son and his guards were shot to death on the spot.
The general guarding the tower came down from the city tower and personally carried the governor’s eldest son’s body to Xu Feiyu. He then fell to his knees to surrender.
Xue Feiyu barked, “Did Xie Wenyuan leave from the west gate?”
The general frantically shook his head.
“Damn it!” Xue Feiyu appointed one of the deputy general’s soldiers to oversee the west gate before bringing the soldiers to the east gate.
Meanwhile, Lou Zigui stopped his horse in front of the governor’s estate. A military officer rushed to Lou Zigui before loudly reporting, “Supreme Commander, this lowly one cannot find any trace of Xie Wenyuan.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter