"Great Chanyu, if you behead the generals who are guarding our country before the battle, you'll become the enemy of the entire world!"
“My father suffered terribly from various illnesses that year,” Xiang Shu said lightly, “If he continued recuperating like that, he could have lived for another three to five years.”
“I’ve heard that in his old age, Lord Shulü Wen was often troubled by wounds he sustained in the wars.” Tuoba Yan remembered.
Xiang Shu nodded. “After Kjera attended to my father, he left a prescription; legend had it that it was a legendary panacea that could cure all kinds of diseases.”
Chen Xing almost immediately grasped the main point and uttered in surprise, “What did he look like?!”
“Wore a mask,” Xiang Shu said, “That wrapped around his head. He had a kind of odour, a Han man, yet he used a Hu name, and he could walk normally.
Chen Xing, "......"
Xiang Shu, “He talked about many things regarding life and death with my father. My father trusted him very much and drank the medication he handed over in the end. Afterwards, he went south, and at midnight seven days later, my father passed away peacefully.”
Chen Xing frowned slightly, and before he could ask anything, Xiang Shu said, “But at noon the next day, his corpse turned. At that time, I didn’t know that a ‘drought fiend’ was a kind of yao. I personally witnessed him coming back to life and become a living corpse……”
A chill involuntarily ran down Chen Xing’s spine.
“Fortunately, he had not yet turned into a yao completely,” Xiang Shu said, “It was before the elders in our tribe gave him a sky burial. After taking care of this matter, I could never feel rest assured, so I left home and went south to pursue that person’s trail. Then on the south bank of Liao River, I discovered that the whole village of Valennu had been turned into living corpses.”
So that’s what had happened……Chen Xing finally knew why Xiang Shu cared so much about the origins of drought fiends.
Feng Qianjun said, “Why don’t we assume that this doctor was the mastermind directing my Ge from behind the scenes?”
Xiang Shu nodded.
Chen Xing deliberated the situation; that is to say, the earliest ‘drought fiend’ should have drunk some kind of liquid medicine, then turned after death. Yet it couldn’t be that every single one of those hundreds of thousands of living corpses had drank this medicine, otherwise just dispensing the medication alone would tire their opponent to death.
In any case, although Xiang Shu’s revelation could not solve the emergency before them, it had given them a goal.
Tuoba Yan said, “Tianchi, you mentioned before that we needed to be careful of not getting scratched or bitten when engaging them in a fight, but why?”
“Corpse poison,” Chen Xing said, “The drought fiends all have corpse poison on them, so we must be very careful.”
Feng Qianjun asked, “What would happen after getting scratched?”
“You’ll die.” Chen Xing said, “The longer a living corpse goes without rotting, the more severe the toxicity of the poison in their body gets. Thousand-year-old drought fiends can even form a miasma with the corpse poison in their bodies, which is often called a corpse miasma in ancient tombs.”
Xiang Shu suddenly said, “Those who get poisoned would soon turn into a living corpse as well.”
Chen Xing didn’t know that after the poison entered one’s body, it would undergo yet another change, yet Xiang Shu said, “I witnessed how the corpse poison within two survivors from the Valennu tribe flared up. A few days later, they were incarnated as drought fiends.”
“That works too?” Chen Xing muttered, but in this way, it was a perfect explanation for where the hundreds of thousands of living corpses in the mirror world had come from!
Xiang Shu, “Not only that, the weapons of the shadow warriors and generals are coated in corpse poison as well. We must be very careful.”
Tuoba Yan’s gaze changed at once. He turned his head subconsciously and pressed against his left arm with his right.
At that moment, a noise was heard outside. Fu Jian opened the door and entered without notice. Tuoba Yan and Chen Xing got up, and only Xiang Shu remained sitting. Feng Qianjun didn’t know what to do for a moment -- it wasn’t right to stand up, but neither was it right to just remain sitting.
Fu Jian just said to Xiang Shu, “Our scouts reported back that a large number of what you guys call ‘drought fiends’ have gushed out of Chang’an City and are currently crossing through the West Gate. They are expected to arrive at Ahfang Palace in half a day.”
Xiang Shu remained silent. Fu Jian said, “I came just to tell you one thing. No matter when you return to Chang’an, you must obtain evidence of Princess Qinghe colluding with the Feng clan. Otherwise, when the Murong family seeks vengeance from you, Zhen won’t be able to convince them without evidence in hand. That’s it, Zhen’s going to get ready for war.”
Xiang Shu sighed. He casually jabbed his sword into the ground to prop himself up. Fu Jian said coldly, “Shulü Kong, don’t tell me you want to fight Zhen now?”
Chen Xing wanted to stop him, but Xiang Shu said, “Dead people can’t rebel. Since you can’t do it, I’ll deal with them for you.”
Fu Jian said angrily, “Murong Chui is currently leading the troops to resist the group of drought fiends heading over from the Ease. Great Chanyu, if you behead the generals who are guarding our country before the battle, you’ll become the enemy of the entire world!”
Chen Xing immediately pressed down on the sword on the table. At that moment, an imperial guard rushed over to report and shouted, “Your Majesty! A disaster is imminent! There are yaos in the enclosure on the West bank of Zaohe behind the palace!
Everyone got such a huge fright that they got up immediately and hurried to high ground. Fu Jian just took one glance before he rushed to a turret in the palace.
In the distance, a disturbance had occurred in the enclosure set up for people to rest in. The imperial guards guarded at its periphery as they guided the people to flee, as well as wielding weapons to kill the monsters.
The corpses had turned! Chen Xing immediately turned around and said to Tuoba Yan, “Get the people out! Don’t let anyone else get bitten anymore!’
Yet Xiang Shu just took one look and said, “Seal off both banks of Zaohe, and start constructing fortifications.”
Tuoba Yan went to issue the orders and motioned for the other three to wait here. He hurried down the high platform, went to the river bank, and removed his shoulder plates, revealing his strong upper arms. His left upper arm was clearly reflected in the river; the laceration he obtained from the execution ground now had a puplish-black colour visible to the naked eye.
Shortly afterwards, a fire broke out in the distance. Fire arrows flew through the air, kerosene exploded, and Chen Xing was instantly stunned.
“Fu Jian!” Chen Xing uttered in disbelief and shouted, “What are you doing?!”
After a portion of people had left the enclosure, Fu Jian had actually ordered for people to set fire to the enclosure, burning those who were injured but still alive, and even quite a number of those who had escaped in good condition -- he had issued orders to burn all of them! The east wind enveloped the fiery flames, swallowing the entire enclosure on one side of Ahfang Palace. Within an instant, scorching flames soared into the sky, and wails of anguish could be heard everywhere. The army stood on all sides, alert and combat ready as they blocked off all exits of the enclosure.
Chen Xing no longer knew how he should evaluate this, but Xiang Shu covered Chen Xing’s eyes with one hand.
Feng Qianjun started cursing loudly, “That bastard! Bastard!”
Xiang Shu said in a low voice, “Go, don’t waste time.”
“Hold on, I have an idea, but I don’t know if it’ll work or not……General Tuoba!” Chen Xing saw that Tuoba Yan was standing by the river and quickly shouted, “We’re heading out now! Do you want to join us?”
Tuoba Yan turned around and went over.
Chang’an City, in Weiyang Palace. Feng Qianyi had already ascended the large hall and sat on Fu Jian’s dragon, his body encircled by blazing black flames.
The black armoured general led a group of shadow warriors and stood within Hanguang Palace. It was dead silent in the hall. Feng Qianyi stroked the Senluo sabre on his knees and murmured, “Now, you can get your revenge too……”
The black armoured general took off his helmet, then slowly knelt down on one knee.
Feng Qianyi said in a low, hoarse voice, “I’ve been waiting for this day for far too long.” Then he raised his head and looked up at the empty space within the hall, saying aloud, “My lord, grace us with your presence! We respectfully await your arrival!”
However, under the dark, gloomy skies, nothing happened.
“Mortals are just foolish trash,” Feng Qianyi’s lips kept trembling, as if he had been stirred up unwittingly, “Only your strength can last forever——”
Chen Xing took the other three along and appeared at the west gate of Chang’an City. The city had already been emptied of its living corpses; they had all been released by Feng Qianyi to charge toward Ahfang Palace.
The long street was deserted. At that moment, they saw Hanguang Palace jammed with shadow warriors, and from the looks of it, there were nearly 20,000 of them.
Xiang Shu thought about it for a bit, then said, “Act separately from here onwards.”
The four of them had already discussed their plans for later before coming here. Chen Xing nodded. Xiang Shu said, “If capture isn’t possible, then just kill them directly, there’s no need to insist on leaving them alive to talk.”
After he spoke, Xiang Shu glanced at Feng Qianjun again without a hint of politeness. Feng Qianjun understood that Xiang Shu was warning him not to hang onto even the slightest trace of soft-heartedness, so he could only restrain his anger and answer, “Don’t worry, as long as I can find the Senluo sabre, I won’t let him off.”
“I’ll try my best,” Chen Xing said, “I’m just afraid he won’t even give me a chance to speak and just strike straight away.”
Xiang Shu said, “If you or Feng Qianjun were to appear alone, he won’t do anything right away. Besides, hasn’t your luck always been very good?”
Chen Xing smiled and studied Xiang Shu. “Great Chanyu, you’re so smart.”
“Start.” Xiang Shu said.
Chen Xing held up the Yin Yang Mirror; a black vapour burst out and with a loud blast, sucked Xiang Shu, Tuoba Yan and Feng Qianjun into the mirror.
Within the mirror, in front of Weiyang Palace, shattered tiles were scattered everywhere. It was as if an earthquake had struck the outside of Hanguang Palace -- traces of a war were still clearly visible here.
“I did this?” Feng Qianjun uttered in disbelief.
Xiang Shu couldn’t be bothered to describe it to Feng Qianjun. Tuoba Yan was still in a daze and sighed, “This is the mirror world?”
Xiang Shu pointed at the bronze mirror on one side of Hanguang Palace and arranged for the two of them to lie in wait.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro and opal.