A calamity indeed comes fiercely and without warning. According to the people of Chi Le Chuan, three days after Xiang Shu had departed, the living corpses' legion had appeared out of nowhere and breached Chi Le Chuan.
Originally, as the Great Chanyu had ordered, everyone had strengthened their guards. They patrolled all over the place, made the surroundings brightly lit, and also released many hawks to investigate the movements around the area.
However, an unforeseen event still happened, and furthermore, it had started from inside Chi Le Chuan. The first hints of information had come from the Yin Mountains' northeast corner. At first, every clan chief still thought it was just a fight between tribes, but the disturbance became bigger and bigger. It became out of hand, and the whole Chi Le Chuan was in chaos. Living corpses emerged in the night and crazily gnawed all over the place.
In a pitch-black night, people couldn't even see their fingers when they tried to extend their hand. All clan chiefs were afraid to injure their own people, so they had no choice but to retreat again and again. They organized defensive lines, but they were very quickly toppled down. But then, another group of living corpses, the one that had previously been hostile to them, stormed into the camp. Led by Youduo, they abandoned the living people and instead fought with the first group of living corpses, the ones which first appeared in the night.
“Youduo…” Chen Xing murmured, “Yes, Youduo is here for revenge.”
Chen Xing trembled with fear from the retelling, and from the speaker's words, he could guess how chaotic and desperate the situation was back then.
Tiele, Gaoche, Xiongnu, Lushui, Northern Jie, Wuheng, and the rest of the leaders of the Hus assembled together beside the bonfire in an open space, each of them looking solemn. Their surroundings were dark, and everyone stood guard like dauntless defenders, not saying any word, waiting for Xiang Shu to make a decision.
“What is in the northeast corner?” Chen Xing had a hunch that since the turmoil started from the camp inside Chi Le Chuan, it must have had something to do with the Hus living there.
“Rouran's camp,” Xiang Shu whispered.
Before Xiang Shu left, he had asked Che Luofeng to act on his behalf as the Great Chanyu, yet the living corpses first appeared in the Rouran's camp. During the whole process of the fall of Chi Le Chuan, Che Luofeng never showed up. After that night that shook everyone to the core, all the Hu chiefs eventually gathered the defeated army, withdrew from the lower plain of Yin Mountains, and set fire to their own homes, not caring about supplies and belongings at all.
And so, a fire burned Chi Le Chuan to the ground, and nearly 240,000 Hus of various races evacuated in a hurry and fled deeper inside the Yin Mountains. A few days later, the living corpses returned, this time blocking the entrance to the canyon in an attempt to trap them inside.
“Their leader is Youduo?” Chen Xing asked.
Based on the fragmented information, he deduced that Youduo and Che Luofeng's Rouran clan had a blood feud in the past. The unrest began in Rouran's territory, and it was very likely that Youduo had broken through there first.
Wuheng's chief said to Chen Xing in the Xianbei language: “No, the Akele's consort said that she caught sight of Che Luofeng and Zhou Zhen, and also Youduo. She wanted to stay behind so she could take revenge for her eldest son.”
Chen Xing: “…”
Xiang Shu: “!!!”
Xiang Shu raised his head from the bonfire and gave a look that implied how impossible that was at the Wuheng's chief. He was immediately reprimanded by someone and told not to talk nonsense. The chiefs sat around the bonfire, and Chen Xing clearly saw the mistrust in their faces. Their trust in the Great Chanyu, Xiang Shu, was weakening, and from their attitude, it was clear that they thought this had something to do with Chen Xing. First, Xiang Shu, after becoming the Great Chanyu, had gone missing several times. Next, he also handed over such an important responsibility to Che Luofeng, who was obviously not the kind of person who was able to serve common people, before rushing to the North without any explanations.
Even if it were unrelated to Chen Xing, Che Luofeng was Xiang Shu's sworn brother. The fact that he hadn't appeared during the whole incident had caused great dissatisfaction in Chi Le Chuan.
“Great Chanyu!” The Wuheng's chief said, “What do we do now? We have no food, and the people can only dig out some snow to suppress their hunger.”
“Our home is destroyed,” The Gaoche's chief said, “and we don't even know the culprit's location. How can we get our revenge?!”
“This is preposterous!” someone said.
And then, the crowd went into an uproar. Xiang Shu took a deep breath, his brows knitted, and he suddenly got up. Chen Xing felt that at this moment Xiang Shu's only concern was to lead a group out of the canyon to find Che Luofeng.
“Everyone, please go back and get some rest,” Chen Xing looked around. He knew that he should say something and let Xiang Shu calm down first, so he quickly explained, “Tomorrow morning, the Great Chanyu will give everyone an explanation.”
“What's your position?” the Lushui's chief rudely said, “What qualifications do you have to speak for the Great Chanyu?”
Everyone suddenly gave him a meaningful look, and the Tiele's chief said: “This is the Divine Doctor! Don't you recognize him?”
It was so dark at night, and Chen Xing's whole body was covered in dust, so the Lushui's chief hadn't recognized him at first. After realizing who Chen Xing was, he didn't continue to ask. After all, Chen Xing had been treating patients and saving lives in Chi Le Chuan for several months and was rather famous. Xiang Shu's prestige was still there too, and after already waiting for so many days, there was no need to hurry.
Everyone soon scattered, Xiang Shu and Chen Xing went back to the Tiele's camp. Along the way, they passed through numerous eyes of the Hus looking for answers. Xiang Shu didn't dare to look at them. Ever since he became the Great Chanyu, this was the first time he had encountered such a serious incident.
“Why was the Heart Lamp not working?” Xiang Shu asked Chen Xing.
Chen Xing said: “Ask yourself! Let go of my hand! Shulü Kong!”
Chen Xing struggled several times trying to pry his wrist out of Xiang Shu's hold. Xiang Shu said in a threatening manner: “Explain to me!”
Chen Xing didn't yield and instead stared at Xiang Shu. His eyes gave out a dignified feeling; it unexpectedly startled Xiang Shu and made him release his hand.
“There was only vengeance in your heart,” said Chen Xing. “Since your heart was overwhelmed by hatred, you couldn't feel my Heart Lamp.”
It was like a slap on his face that made him suddenly wake up. Ever since coming back to Chi Le Chuan, he only saw the devastation in front of his eyes. His clansmen's location was unaccounted for, and their life or death was all unknown. He was deeply trapped in guilt and hatred. With anger occupying his mind, he couldn't reason at all and only wanted to dismember whoever had attacked Chi Le Chuan.
His eyes were full of grief and indignation, and he was blinded by killing intent. Of course, in that way, he wouldn't be able to resonate with Chen Xing's Heart Lamp.
“When you saw your people's misfortune, hatred occupied your entire mind,” Chen Xing deeply frowned and reprimanded him. “I've also seen my people's corpses lying all over the field, but have you seen me trying to get revenge on anyone? The dead have already passed on, the most important thing you should worry about now is how to protect the living! The present is the most important thing!”
“I know,” Xiang Shu took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
Chen Xing said, “Now is Chi Le Chuan's most dangerous time.. If you let your emotions take over you again, you won't need to give any explanation tomorrow morning because I'm afraid everyone will be buried here instead.”
Xiang Shu raised his slightly trembling hand, motioning to Chen Xing that he didn't have to say anything more.
A moment later, Xiang Shu finally regained his composure.
Chen Xing: “As for today's plan, we must...”
Xiang Shu said, “It's really not a good idea to send scouts to find another way to leave the mountain. At dawn, come with me; we'll lead a team and try finding a different path."
Chen Xing nodded in agreement. More than 200,000 people were hiding here and must be moved as soon as possible. The most important thing for now was the lives of the clansmen.
When the Tiele chief came, it was a man named Shi Mokun, his name meaning ‘Sound of the Arrow'. He was a warrior brought up by the previous Great Chanyu, Xiang Shu's father. He was in his 40s; he was very reliable and also respected by the whole clan. The Shulü family was a part of the Tiele clan, but since he became Great Chanyu, Xiang Shu no longer managed the affairs of his own clan and handed everything over to Shi Mokun.
Shi Mokun didn't hide it away from Chen Xing as he told Xiang Shu: “Shulü Kong, your Anda, Che Luofeng, slaughtered all the Akele people; young, old, and even the babies weren't let off. His subordinate and warrior, Zhou Zhen, was resurrected and became a living corpse yao. This unrest is all caused by Che Luofeng. Today, the chiefs are all here; I can't help but say that you must give us an explanation."
Chen Xing: “!!!”
Xiang Shu's hand trembled a little, and he motioned for Chen Xing not to interrupt. Too much had happened today, and bad news came one after another.
“Did you see this with your own eyes?” Xiang Shu's brow twisted tightly. Compared to the miserable scene he saw when he first returned to Chi Le Chuan, this information hit him even harder, unexpectedly making him a little unsteady.
“I heard it,” Shi Mokun said, "while we were evacuating Chi Le Chuan, our clansmen and the Akeles were moving on the rear. Many people saw both Che Luofeng and Zhou Zhen, side by side chasing and killing the Akeles. They took away the Akele's little prince, and so the Consort led people to attack them back.”
At this time, a hand stretched out from the side and pulled down Chen Xing. Chen Xing turned his head and saw that it was Xiao Shan.
Xiao Shan was squatting on the ground. He suddenly took out a piece of pastry that came out of nowhere and handed it to Chen Xing, signaling him to eat.
Xiang Shu took a deep breath and glanced at Chen Xing. Chen Xing nodded, knowing that he meant for him to take Xiao Shan away. He soon took Xiao Shan with him to the edge of the Tiele camp. Xiao Shan jumped around and soon threw himself on Chen Xing's back, as if he wanted him to carry him. Chen Xing had no choice but to carry him up.
Che Luofeng, Zhou Zhen… What to do now? Chen Xing looked to the Tiele camp not far away. He saw that Xiang Shu had followed Shi Mokun inside the main camp, beginning to discuss matters with the Tiele people and trying to find a solution.
First AD Episode with English Sub is out! Thanks to nhi for subbing this UwU
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro.