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Chapter Sixty-Six: Night Fire
These white figures were all wearing white robes. The cotton robes were rough, and there was gray mixed within the white. However, this was very close to the color of the snowy valley. Even more importantly, the white robes contrasted against the black sword scabbards. These figures move neatly through, that calm presence causing Song Wei to immediately judge they were the Qin soldiers.
The duty of the night watch was to warn as quickly as possible when they found the enemy. But when Song Wei looked at the advancing white figures, the first thought in his mind was, even if he warned, would it be of use?
In just these short moments, there were over two thousand white figures that appeared in his sight. This was many times the number of soldiers in Xuegu Valley, and there were more white figures appearing in the valley.
Song Wei could not understand why there was such a number of Qin soldiers breaking through here, but he was certain that these troops had an even greater mission. Their target was not to take Xuegu Pass in the night.
The thought of uselessness spun in his mind for many breaths. In the next moment, he used all his power, and threw the porcelain bottle he had been gripping in his hands outside of the tent.
The mouth of this porcelain bottle was sealed with wax, and inside was red phosphrous made with special means. If the bottle broke, and the contents came into contact with the air, no matter how cold the place, bright fire would appear.
But Song Wei only made this hard throwing motion, and the porcelain bottle did not actually leave his hand.
A cold wind came through the tent, blowing in, and following Song Wei’s hand into his body. Song Wei’s mouth opened in shock but he could not speak. He was not the only one. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the other five people with him were also “frozen” by this cold wind.
He watched as the Qin army silently passed on the road below like ghosts until there were no more new white figures appearing at the end. There were over five thousand in the army. To his shock, the other sentries after him also did not make any sounds. This Qin troop smoothly pressed towards Xuegu Pass that was sleeping.
“No need to warn, the people in the pass already know.”
When the last soldier of the troop had been gone for a dozen breaths, an unfamiliar but young voice suddenly sounded by Song Wei’s ear.
Greater shock spread in the tent. Many feet away from the tent, a young person had appeared at an unknown time.
This young person wore ordinary black cotton robes, and his face was covered with black cloth. He stood there calmly, completely different in presence from the depressing air of the Qin soldiers heading to Xuegu Pass. This felt very strange.
“What does this mean?”
“Who are you?”
Song Wei found that he could speak for some reason. He lowered his voice, and suppressed his shock as he shouted. Just from the other’s accent, he was certain that this person was not from Chu.
“Do not be nervous, if I am on the side of the Qin army below, you would have all died already.” The young person slowly turned around and looked at Song Wei.
This was not a question of his own life and death. Song Wei sucked in a breath hard, and said in a trembling voice, “The people inside already know?”
“Before I came here, I already notified them.” The young person did not speak in riddles and said, “The more the Qin troops feel that Xuegu Pass is not on their guard, the more they will be confident in their attack, and the more likely that the pass will hold on.”
The enemy had five times the number. No matter the way used, how could they hold this?
This was the first thought in Song Wei’s mind. But for some reason, the young person’s calm gaze stopped him from immediately saying this. He unconsciously asked, “So many Qin soldiers are passing by here, and such a number has reached this place. What do they want to do with a night sneak attack?”
“Dayong Pass,” the young person said, and then knowing that Song Wei could not understand, he quickly explained. “This Qin troop wants to attack Dayong Pass as fast as possible. If they can burn the grass fields of Dayong Pass, after a dozen days, it will be very bad for the forty thousand troops in this area.”
Song Wei was not a general, but an old soldier who had served here for a long time. He immediately reacted.
The grass fields of Dayong Pass, during times of war, would provide fodder for Juyong and Zhushan, two border cities. These two border cities were very important transit hubs for food and fodder for the Chu border armies. If the armies at these two border cities did not have enough fodder, even if the two cities were not lost, and they had enough food, they could not transport effectively.
In this moment, even Song Wei realized if Xuegu Pass were to be taken, and the Qin troops successfully ambushed Dayong Pass, then the many seemingly inconspicuous passes along the way would be lost and this would greatly affect the entire state of the war.
This was a terrifying flaw. Before this, the superiors and generals of the Chu army should not have detected the movements of this Qin troop, and did not have the time to plug this hole.
Thinking of this, Song Wei broke out in a cold sweat.
“You can burn the cinnabar now,” the young person turned to look at him, and said calmly.
Song Wei was stunned. Then he understood the young person wanted him to throw the porcelain bottle in his hand.
“Quick!” The young person urged with mind-shocking power.
Song Wei looked and saw the Qin troops were just a hundred feet from the walls of the pass, and threw the porcelain bottle.
With a boom, a tongue of flame shot up on the slopes. The fire was purple, and like a long candle flame. The wind blue, and it flew up like many purple-red fireflies. The dots of purple flame reflected beautifully on the white snow underneath. Usually, this would be romantic, but at this time, it was suffocating and deathly.
On the walls of the pass, dozens of Chu generals stood like statues, very nervous. There was a female cultivator standing in front of them.
The female cultivator looked coldly at the surging Qin army. When the fire rose from the rear slopes, she did not even look over there. All her senses and attention was on the Qin troops below.
Among the ghostly Qin troops, many people turned their heads at this moment. But she caught this momentary difference. She found the person among them who reacted the fastest, the first to sense the abnormality on the slopes, the first to turn their heads.
Her senses fell on this person. Even if this person was not the commander of this troop, he was at least the strongest in cultivation in the troop.