Chapter 117: Qilin“s Pass
Today the citizens of New Moon City look back at the city that they had called home a few days ago, as they file out of the fort that Ran Kaitou had erected. Today would set out on their journey to where a new, New Moon City would be constructed. Bidding farewell to their homes, everyone began the first leg of the trip.
When it came time to move out, Ran Kaitou who was too busy managing the civilians to even realize that his superiors had disappear, so the migration was not delayed in the slightest by Zhang’s disappearance.
Zhang, the beauties, and their subordinates on the other hand had disappeared and were nowhere to be seen. In the dead of night Zhang, his wives and every single man and woman that were under their command vanished without a trace.
Civilians were placed in the center while the five aristocratic families split up their forces and took up the rear and front guard. Ran Kaitou’s men were stationed on the sides to ensure that if someone attacked or some unwanted situation arises, the civilians would be safe.
As the journey began thousands of carts and many more pairs of feet, headed for the southern region of the province. Although no one knew what would happen during this journey, one thing was certain, due to how many people were moving, lush fields turned into trampled roads, and paths were cut through dense forest. The very these people tread will reshape the landscape.
“Uncle do you think this is a wise choice?” Su Rou asked Kuai Lan as she took one last look at the place that she had been calling home for many years.
“What defines a good choice, what defines a choice and what defines a wise choice, is something one does not know until the very end. But there is one thing I know and that is the time we spend contemplating on our choices is better spent on other things.” Kuai Lan replied with a smile.
“But if this fails then it might be the end of us and our families.” Su Rou said in a uncalm voice.
“That is where you are wrong my niece, if one is clever enough then they can get away with anything. Regardless of the outcome, as long as we are clever enough we can make it out of anything.” Kuai Lan said in a reassuring tone.
“Then let’s hope we are clever enough, uncle. Or at the very least let’s hope that our accomplices are.” Su Rou said with a slight smile.
“Our men should have arrived at their destination by now, all we have to do now is wait for the signal.” Kuai Lan said looking into the distance.
Although no one noticed, a good portion of men from the Su and Kuai families had disappeared late in the night just like Zhang’s men. Due to the number of people in the expedition and how chaotic things were, a thousand or so people disappearing wasn’t very noticeable.
“Sweetheart are you sure you don’t want to join this fight?” Ling said as she gazed afar at the countless people swarming their way toward the south.
“We can’t leave any clues as to who we are, so none of us will be using any magic.” Zhang replied with a grin as he sat down beside Ling who was sitting at the edge of a cliff.
Ran Kaitou had mapped out a path for the expedition that would allow them to arrive at the location where the new capital of the province was to be built, at the fastest possible speed, with consideration of the size of the expedition in mind.
Had they taken the path that Zhang had taken to arrive at New Moon City, then it would take nearly double the time despite not taking and detours, this was because the dense forests that they had to pass would be too narrow for the large number of wagons and carriages that were a part of the expedition.
Some would think that this problem could easily be solved by cutting down trees and enlarging the paths in the forests, but doing so would also require a lot of time and manpower, which could possibly end up taking longer than using the alternative route that detoured around the forest.
This detour just so happened to pass a place called, The Qilin’s Pass. Zhang had deemed that this pass was the best place to enact his plans. This was because the pass was only wide enough for seven or eight carriages to pass at once, side by side. It meant that the three aristocratic families who were at the forefront of the expedition would be the only ones crossing the pass for a while.
Now that they have the cooperation of the Su and Kuai families, they could simply get rid of the other three aristocratic families, well as long as they make it seem like they were not involved at all because of possibly deterring people from surrendering in the future.
“Do you guys know why this place is called the Qilin’s Pass?” Zhang asked his wives who were all sitting beside him.
“I’m sure it has something to do with Qilins. Maybe one used to live around here or something.” Ai said with a chuckle.
“Your sort of right.” Zhang said as he began recalling the story he had heard from one of the residents of New Moon City. In fact, if one asked anyone who lived in the New Moon Province then they’d be able to tell the same story.
“Countless years ago, before the Sai Empire was formed, and when the land that would be called the Warring States Region, was controlled by two rival kingdoms. A war that was said to end all wars, occurred here. But when this war occurred the Qilin’s pass was known as Mt. Wutai.” Zhang said.
“Of course this name would change after a certain event occurred here. On a day much like today, the two rival armies that controlled the land met face to face. Rows upon rows of spears and swords stood in line as the two armies prepared to engage in combat. One on side of the battle field a newly crowned king stood in front of loyal soldiers, while on the other side of the battlefield a newly crowned queen stood in front of her loyal soldiers, both wait for the other to make a move. Battles such as this one had occurred countless times, although both sides pledged that each battle would be the battle where they annihilate their enemy and unite the land, no matter how hard they fought the two sides were too evenly matched for a victor to arise.”
“For many generations the two kingdoms fought and killed countless people, but this battle would mark the end of the war. No one knows which side initiated the war, but countless arrows blotted out the sky and the flumes from the burned corpses were said to raise all the way to the heavens.”
“Kill them all! I’ll offer their blood to my royal father who is looking at us from heaven! The newly crowned king roared. The previous king had recently fallen in battle; however, he did not fall alone. That is because upon his death he had taken down the king of the other kingdom also”
“Once the two previous kings had fallen in battle, their two only children, one a young man and the other a young woman filled their places.”
“On the opposite side of the battlefield the newly crowned queen was cutting down every enemy in her path. The objective of the two armies were to capture Mt. Wutai, whoever captured this mountain could erect a fortress on it, which would give them a strategic location to invade the other kingdom.”
“Both sides had long before deemed that this battle would be perhaps the bloodiest battle that would occur in the entire war, but none of them would be prepared for what happened. The opposing armies interlocked and mixed with each other in bloody combat but this all stopped with a blinding light shone through the dark clouds that loomed over head. All of the killing and fighting ceased as everyone’s attention was focused to the skies. From behind the curtain of clouds an inky black Qilin descended.”
“Foolish humans who plague the earth and no naught but violence. If you wish for violence I will show you violence that you’ve never seen before. The Qilin said.”
“After saying the words it did, a beam of white light shot out of its mouth and rained down upon the soldiers below. Not even moments had passed before thousands of soldiers were burnt to dust, the armies were decimated and the terms ally and enemy no longer applied.”
“The aftermath of the Qilin’s attack was complete annihilation of the two armies. However as if by heaven’s will, the newly crowned king and the newly crowned queen both survived. By a stroke of luck, the two of them were so how sparred. Once these two returned to their respective kingdoms a treaty was formed and peace was instilled.”
“The Qilin single attack had destroyed the mountain and carved this pass into the ground?” Ai asked as Zhang finished telling the story.
If one thought about how far the pass stretched from side to side, the thought of a single attack from anything creating it was unimaginable. The pass stretched dozens of miles and was hundreds of feet tall, so if the Qilin truly carved it out of a mountain then the power behind it’s attack was breathtaking.
“My lord, the expedition has arrived.” A masked man dressed entirely in black reported to Zhang while bowing on one knee.
“Good let’s head out.” Zhang said as he pulled up a black piece of cloth that hung around his neck and covered his face. Once his face was covered, Zhang fastened a rope made of spider silk around his waist. All around him and the beauties were hundreds of masked people dressed in black who were fastening silk drops to their bodies.
“I’ll see you all at the bottom.” Lingqi said as she tossed down a few dozen bottles filled with liquids of various colors before jumping off the ledge of the cliff. Soon to join her were the hundreds of masked people, along with the rest of the beauties and Zhang.
Down below the Tao clan the other two aristocratic families were making their way through the Qilin’s pass. They were the only ones currently in the pass, due to the number of carriages and belongings they had, traveling through the pass was taking very long.
“How much longer until we reach the other side?” Tao Qian said impatiently.
“My lord we should be at the exit in about fifteen minutes at our current pace.” One of Tao Qian’s men said as he spoke through the flap of cloth that covered the entrance into Tao Qian’s carriage.
The moment the man finished his sentence the sound of shattering glass rang into everyone’s ears. Soon a trail of white smoke drifted its way into the carriage, causing Tao Qian to cough uncontrollably.
Had Tao Qian been outside then he would have been able to witness the sight of hundreds of black clothed people bungee jumping off the side of a cliff.
Descending into the smoke, Zhang withdrew a flare from his interspatial ring and shot it into the air, signaling the men from the Su and Kuai family and his men stationed atop the cliff near the entrance to the pass.
Once the signal was given, Zhang’s men at the entrance of the pass would bungee down from the cliffs and the men from the Su and Kuai family would rushed into the pass from the other side.
The people from the three aristocratic families that were in the pass were not trapped and being slaughtered left and right. Blending into the white smoke, the black clothed people cut down one person after the next.
While disarray ensued, Zhang was storing away one cart full of treasure after the other. While looting the three aristocratic families, he of course was also looking for Tao Qian. He thought if anyone was going to kill him then he might as well be the one to do it.
By now Tao Qian had crawled out of his carriage and was surrounded by dozens of his guards. All around him people were dropping one after the other, like flies. Hundreds of rivers of blood were bleeding through the land beneath the sole of his shoes, as he tried to find a way to escape.
“Quickly! Get my out of here!” Tao Qian screamed.
“Ri-right away my lo…” One of his men tried to say but before he could finish his sentence, blood gushed out of a hole left in his throat by someone’s dagger.
Zhang’s subordinates were like specters that came and went as they pleased, leaving a trail of blood and death in their wake. To Tao Qian’s horror, after a few breaths the dozens of men who were guarding him were all laying on the ground in a pool of their own blood.
In a mix of emotions consisting mainly of fear, Tao Qian spotted a familiar face in the chaotic crowd. A goddess like beauty was making her way toward him, through the trials of white smoke that rose into the sky.
As he spotted Lingqi, a burning pain emanated from his arm. Looking down he could see a trail of blood streaking the sleeve of his robes.
“Save me! Save me!” He yelled as he ran toward Lingqi. He totally forgotten to question as to why she was even here, the only thing that was going through his mind was the fact that she was a doctor and that she could possibly help him.
A smile crept onto Lingqi’s face as she heard Tao Qian’s words. Her step become brisker as she saw that he was making his way toward her.
“I wonder which potion I should use.” Lingqi thought as Tao Qian inched closer and closer.
However, the smile on her face turned to a frown as she caught sight of Zhang approaching from behind Tao Qian, with swords in hand. A smile was on his face as he looked not at Tao Qian but Lingqi.
“You want to compete with me?” She muttered as a smile once more crept onto her face and a pair of large needles were withdrawn from her interspatial ring.