Chapter 70: Clandestine
Hello and how goes? First off I would like to ask how was new years? :D Hope you all had fun and things didnt get too crazy. Thank you Nyx and kevin for proofing and editing this chapter. Also check out my patreon account I finally get it set up. https://www.patreon.com/iEndWorlds?ty=h
Hope you all enjoy this chapter :) a familar face is back :D
After having slept on the floor for the remainder of their stay in Black Wind City, Zhang was currently leading his army and thousands of civilians over the mountains and out of the Black Wind Province.
“My lord! Our scouts reported that over this ridge, there is a small encampment with the flag of Aurora visible.” A soldier reported to Zhang who was riding his Inferno Wind Walker.
“Go inform them of our arrival. They most likely were sent by Lord Jian Wei to inform us of some news.” Zhang said. Due to the travel time from Aurora to the Black Wind Province it meant that correspondences were sent weeks ago.
“Right away my lord.” The soldier replied as he sped off on his horse.
“Brother! Look!” Ai yelled as she stuck her head out on one of the windows of the magical carriage.
“What is it Ai?” Zhang asked as he looked back toward the carriage while slowing down his horse and pulling up alongside the carriage trying to see if something was wrong.
“Do you need something?” Zhang asked as he peered into the window to see the three beauties laying seductively on the bed; they were dressed in nearly transparent gowns that he had picked out when they were in the lord’s mansion in Black Wind City.
“Hey there.” Yuying said, waving to Zhang as she caught him glimpsing on her snow white skin beneath the nearly transparent dress.
“What am I doing out here….” Zhang thought as he reached out and tried to open the carriage door. But sadly, the door would not budge no matter how much Zhang pulled on it.
Ai could be seen inside the carriage sticking her tongue out at Zhang as he tried to open the door.
“One day brother. One day.” Yuying teased as her hand traced the outline of her curves.
Luckily, the carriage was elevated and none of the soldiers marching beside it could see what was going on inside.
Zhang couldn’t help but shake his head as he looked at the mischievous smile on Yuying’s face.
“One day indeed.” Zhang murmured as he rode back to the front of the army with a smile on his face.
After leading his army and the thousands of civilians over the mountain Zhang and Lu Xun rode ahead and reached the encampment. Upon reaching the encampment, they were greeted by hundreds of soldiers holding banners with symbol of Aurora on them.
Once Zhang jumped off his horse, an elderly soldier ran up towards him and kneeled on one knee.
“My lord we were sent by Lord Jian Wei to inform you, my lord, to head for Green Clover City instead of returning to Red Mist City.” The elderly soldier said respectfully.
“Green Clover City?” Zhang asked with a startled voice.
“Yes my lord; roughly two months ago, the banners of the Heavenly Sword Province can be seen on top of the walls of Green Clover City; since then, many soldiers from the Heavenly Sword Province had arrived in the Green Clover Province. After their arrival, our route from Aurora to the Red Mist Province was severed.” The elderly soldier stated with a sense of urgency in his tone.
“Any news on the lord of Green Clover City or his family?” Zhang asked as he remembered the lonely girl who sang on the edge of the pond, Lu Lingqi.
“We’ve yet to receive any new from Green Clover City after the soldiers from the Heavenly Sword Province arrived.”
“So we are going to invade the Green Clover Province?” Zhang asked.
“Yes my lord. We are to attack from the north; while soldiers from Aurora and Red Mist Province will invade from the east and west respectively. Lord Jian Wei said that after we take the Green Clover Province then we will be able to move southwards and secure a large portion of the Warring States Region.”
The Red Mist Province, Green Clover Province, Aurora Province, Silver Wing Province, and Clear Sky Province were geologically located in a way where if someone was able to control all five of them, that person would be able to cut off the southern tip of the Warring States Region. But of course there was a downside to this, if the provinces from north and south both attacked at the same time, those who ruled in between would be attacked from two fronts.
“Lu Xun go inform the rest of the army to speed up the march. We will camp here and then make our way to Green Clover City. Tell Sun Ce and Zhang Liao that tomorrow they will break off from the army and escort the civilians to our Red Mist Province while their soldiers are to fall under my direct command.” Zhang commanded.
After hearing Zhang’s command Lu Xun rode off to issue his orders.
The moon hung high over Green Clover City while the stars glimmered above. Tonight, unlike any other night, everyone within the city was still wide awake. News of incoming enemy forces had been spread throughout the city and everyone was on their wits end.
If it had been a simple enemy attack then the residents within the city would not have been so worried; however, to their horror, reports arrived that the entire province was going to be attacked from three directions.
“Fear not people of Green Clover City! Our new provincial lord, Lord Chang Chao, had requested reinforcements from the Heavenly Sword Province.” A soldier dressed in purple armor announced as he rode through the city. Squads of soldiers roamed throughout the city constantly announcing of the reinforcements.
Had it been a few months ago, then the citizens of Green Clover City would have been alarmed seeing a soldier wearing purple armor roaming about within the city. But after the city lord was replaced and soldiers from the Heavenly Sword Province arrived, it became a common sight to see soldiers wearing purple armor.
While the soldiers of the Heavenly Sword Army patrolled the city, a lone figure of a young woman wearing a long black cloak could be seen weaving through the back alley streets.
“Halt! Who goes there!” A fat soldier wearing purple armor yelled as he drew his sword.
However once the woman heard his words, she began running at full speed with her cloak floating in the wind as she ran.
“Stop running!!” The fat soldier yelled as he chased after the woman.
After running through the back alleys for a long time, the young woman’s cloak was caught on something which caused her to slip and tumble onto the ground.
“You think you can get away from me!?” The fat soldier roared as he tugged at the cloak that the young woman wore.
Once the cloak was pulled off, a startled face of a beautiful young woman could be seen. As if blessed by the heavens, this girl possessed enough beauty to bring the downfall of a nation. She had small delicate lips, large round eyes and long flowing black hair up to her waist. The instant the fat soldier caught a glimpse of her beautiful face, his heart began to beat rapidly. Had Zhang been around, he would have instantly recognized this beautiful young woman as Lu Lingqi.
While the soldier was enchanted by her, Lu Lingqi used this opportunity to escape. But sadly, she could no get away because her cloak was still within the fat soldier's grasp.
“Little lady are you trying to get away? I’m not going to hurt you. We’ll just have a bit of fun together and then we can go our separate ways.” The fat soldier said with a lustful grin on his face as he began disrobing himself.
But as he was busy trying to work loose of his fat folders out of his clothes, Lu Lingqi leaned toward him and blew a purple mist out from her mouth. When the purple mist came in contact with the fat soldier’s skin it turned purplish and began to rot.
“Wha-what is this!” The soldier yelled as his skin continued to rot until pure white bone was visible under the moonlight. Moments later, the screams died out, only a pool of black blood and a pile of bones were left on the ground; while Lu Lingqi could be seen donning her cloak and disappeared into the back alley streets once more.
After Lu Lingqi disappeared, a group of soldiers arrived to investigate the screaming they heard while on patrol.
“What the fuck is that!… Who did this?” One soldier said as he looked at the pool of blood and the white skeleton on the ground with horror in his eyes as his legs shaked and buckled due to fear.
“It must have been the daughter of that old fart who used to be the lord of the city.” A middle aged soldier with a long beard said mockingly.
“I heard that she was a skilled doctor who was skilled at using poison. When our general Chang Chao beheaded the old fart, I heard, his only daughter escaped.” He added.
“Only daughter? Didn’t he had three?” A young soldier who was between the ages of nineteen through twenty five asked curiously.
“You didn't hear the news? It turns out that General Chang Chao had secretly arranged for one of his concubines to infiltrate the city. That concubine was able to poison the first wife of the old fart who was the lord of the city and became his new wife. Of course, after marrying him, she kept having relations with the general secretly, when he sneaked into the city. From their secret affairs, the general’s two daughters were born.
The old fart thought that they were his and had been raising them all this time. Until the moment he was beheaded, he kept asking about the safety of his wife and daughters. How would he have known that his new wife was the one who killed his old wife; and was the one who plotted against him and opened the gates for us.” The middle aged soldier with a long beard said mockingly.
“No wonder the soldiers in the city surrendered readily and everything has been going so smoothly. To think, I thought that the heaven is favoring us and allowed us to take the entire province without spilling a single drop of blood.” The young soldier said.
“You two quit loligagging and lets report this to the higher ups.” A third soldier who had a stern look on his face opined.
Soon the group of soldiers left the back alley streets to report the death of one of their comrades. Once they left, Lu Lingqi could be seen emerging from the shadows.
“Father just you wait I’ll send that whore and her two daughters down there to apologize to you. That bastard Chang Chao too....” Lu Lingqi murmured as her eyes burned in rage. Despite not receiving the best treatment from her father after her mother’s death; she still felt that, as his only daughter, she had a duty to get vengeance for him. Of course, getting back at that vile woman and her two daughters wasn’t something that Lu Lingqi was against either.
“After I had my revenge I’ll go find you brother.” She murmured as she disappeared into the shadows once more.
Ever since the soldiers from the Heavenly Sword Province arrived, they placed strict regulations on those who entered and left the city which prevented Lu Lingqi from escaping; but after hearing the news of incoming enemy forces, she had a notion of perfect opportunity to get her revenge and then escape amidst the chaos that would ensue once the invasion began.
Little did she know that a familiar face was currently riding at full speed towards Green Clover City.
“How much longer until we reach the Green Clover Province?” Zhang asked as his Inferno Wind Walker galloped under the moonlight.
“My lord at our current speed we should reach the borders of the Green Clover Province after another two days ride.” Lu Xun replied.
“Good. Once we reached the borders I want you and Gan Ning to splinter off and begin securing the villages and towns in the northern region of the province. Keep a close eye on him, if he doesn’t change his ways and reverts to how he was when he was still a pirate kill him.” Zhang ordered.
“Yes my lord.”
Ever since they received orders from Jian Wei to attack the Green Clover Province, Zhang and his men had rode day and night to make it in time for the start of the war. Along the way, they had been able to acquire large amounts of horses for their army which allowed most of their soldiers to have mounts. Which allowed them to increase their matching speed exponentially.
Zhang had also received news from Red Mist City telling him that the cannons that he had commissioned blew up when they were being tested; there wouldn’t be an operational prototype for a long time because the artisans could not find out what caused the cannons to explode.
“Brother are we there yet?” Ai asked while poking her head out of the carriage's window.
“Only two more days and we will be entering the borders of the Green Clover Province..” Zhang replied while looking back toward her.
“That means two more days to cultivate in here.” Ling said while poking out her head beside Ai.
“You guys go do that I’ll join you later.” Zhang chuckled.
Zhang and the three beauties had all reached very high levels of cultivation. If one were to consider that an average person stops at around level four. If Ling was left out then their cultivation speed could be considered monstrous compared to regular cultivators. They did what took cultivators, who were considered geniuses, decades for them to do within months. This was thanks to the brand new bodies that the Underworld Heart had granted them. Which allowed them to cultivate many times faster than those at their age and with much less effort. This meant that Zhang, Ai and Yuying did not have to focus on cultivation as much as everyone else to progress.
But for most of the duration of the trip from the Black Wind Province toward the Green Clover Province Zhang and the three beauties have been using every moment they could to cultivate; because after facing the heart burrowers and giant undead, they felt they were lacking in strength. Had it not been for the Underworld Heart, then, they would have most likely died.