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Chapter Six: Sleep
From the horsemanship, the charging speed, and the fearless presence of the four thousand cavalry, Ji Xingbai was certain that the troop was one of the most elite cavalry troops of the Chu Dynasty. Such a troop, based on their usual armament and not dressed without armor like this, was far stronger than tens of thousands of ordinary people. Even if they could not kill seventy thousand, there was no problem in the cavalry crushing them.
But in terms of pure power, the old palace woman who had killed herself in the distant Changling alone was more important than these seventy thousand people. Some things could not be measured simply like this.
Ji Xingbai looked at the bloody lake. He saw many of the young people who had gotten on shore back into the water. He did not speak yet but these young people started to pull out the remains of the cavalry soldiers.
More and more people went into the water, including those many who had been crying before out of despair. The remains of the soldiers were dragged from the other side of the lake to the shore on this side. Then the food and the horses. This was a difficult journey that crossed most of the lake, but no one seemed to feel tired in this night.
Previously, Ji Xingbai had done everything he could so these people would follow him to the lake. However this night, he did not need to speak. He just stood there and watched, like he were a statue.
Many women were washing the remains of these soldiers. Other than taking care of the food, medicines, and horses at the beginning, many started to put on the weapons these soldiers had carried, including the arrows and other sharp items that had pierced into the soldiers. There were still suppressed crying in the group, but a great power was spreading through the crowd.
Ji Xingbai knew that after tonight, such power would not just spread among these people by the shore, but many places on the Chu border.
“Tang Zhefeng, the mountains are black at night. You cannot see a thing, is this not boring?”
“Running out in the night, but you cannot see anything clearly is boring. It is not just boring to watch the mountains.”
“You are right. It is boring, so it is better to keep a brother company in the wind.”
On the Yin Mountain battlefield very far from Yang Mountain Commandery, there were countless Chu tents in the night. On a hill among the tents, there were seven figures standing silently. Six of them did not talk, but one person was very bored, and speaking to himself.
The people around him were used to his strange habit of talking to himself when he was excited. Having been in seclusion with Tang Mei for many years, they knew each other well.
Like tonight. Even though the advisors and strategists around them did not sense the meaning in Tang Mei’s orders, the people standing around Tang Mei could tell just from minute changes in expression what he was going to do next without even deeply analyzing his orders.
“Will it be too dangerous?”
The cold long haired Zhao Sword Furnace Zhao Ce ignored Tang Zhefeng’s words, and turned to look at Tang Mei. As he spoke, his presence suddenly grew hot, and even his skin turned red. This meant that his emotions were not like usual, and turbulent beneath the calm surface.
“Everyone thinks that I am too conservative when leading the army, not only the enemies, but also our own people.” Tang Mei smiled. He was very relaxed once that key decision had been made, then he put down the mental burden.
He smiled as he looked at the distant fires that were visible on faraway slopes. He said, “But for leading an army and fighting a war, going against common sense and making the enemy misjudge will bring chances of victory.”
“Previously, you moved so many soldiers, and all the battles caused me to feel that you would keep on being conservative. so you were pretending for Sima Cuo.” This time, Tang Zhefeng was not speaking to himself but Tang Mei.
Tang Mei smiled faintly and said, “The key is that Ba Mountain Sword Field judged that I will fight slow, and when even they think that, Sima Cuo and Wei Wujiu will think so too. No one will think that I will start fighting immediately. But in reality, there are not very many choices. While nothing happened to our supply lines luckily, only I and the empress dowager know that some of the unopened granaries were empty during the time of the previous emperor.”
“But even if we win on this side, the key to the victory is in Yangshan Commandery. Your plan has a fatal hole.” A low voice sounded.
The one who spoke was the most stoic one among Tang Mei’s people. In Tang Mei’s seclusion place, he just ploughed the soil all the time. But he was Jin Liufeng, one of the best strategists of the Chu military.
“Even if we win on this side, even if we swallow thirty thousand Qin soldiers, the key is if Yangshan Commandery’s side can fend off the Qin army or not.”
He looked down at the soil and said slowly, “If we start the fighting, they will quickly realize that you have moved most of the forces here. The Qin army on Yangshan Commandery’s side is prepared to attack. if the army enters Chu from Yangshan Commandery, the dozens of cities and commanderies along the way will be lost, and there will be no way to fight the war.”
“You are right. Once I start the fighting between armies at Yin Mountain, then the Qin army over in Yangshan Commandery will attack at full power. But Yangshan Commandery will definitely fend off the Qin army’s attacks,” Tang Mei slowly said.
He did not explain why. While the words were domineering and rude, since Jin Liufeng said there was a weakness, then the disparity in power definitely existed.
But these people familiar with Tang Mei heard something unusual from his words.
On the same night, deep in the Chu imperial palace, Li Lingjun could not sleep. As a cultivator, he sweated heavily each night, and because he was so nervous, his sweat soaked the blankets. And because he had not slept well for a long time, his eyes were sunken deeply, and even appeared black, while his face was very pale.
He knew that Consort Zhao Xiang was not in the palace. Because the true Consort Zhao Xiang had not had relations with him for many days, he did not know where she had gone, but he did not tell anyone the news. He strictly guarded this secret.
So he knew that Zheng Xiu’s hidden pawn was not him. Then if not him, what was her trump card?
Since he could not guess, he was in inexplicable terror everyday.
On the same night, there was also a man who rarely slept walking on a mountain ridge in the Yin Mountain battlefield. He looked down at the Chu and Qin camps like an eagle from the sky.