"Now, I think we have enough forces."
Tuoba Yan said, “If the Great Chanyu doesn’t see you for one moment, he worries, so why don’t we invite him over?”
Chen Xing waved his hand and responded, “Up to you.”
Chen Xing was a little hesitant; he was in the midst of feeling gloomy, and he was afraid that his own emotions would influence Tuoba Yan, but Tuoba Yan had picked just this time to find him.
The two of them walked by the bank of the Luo River, passing through the poplar tree blossoms that drifted down.
Tuoba Yan reached out his long, slender fingers, brushing aside a poplar tree blossom that had fallen on Chen Xing’s shoulder as he spoke. “I want to ask something of you, Tianchi.”
Chen Xing raised an eyebrow, puzzled.
Tuoba Yan thought for a bit, before saying, “I lost my father when I was young, and His Majesty has treated me like a father would. I… I know that I am in no place to say these words, but…”
“I understand,” Chen Xing responded. “Fu Jian treats you very well.”
Back then, Fu Jian had used his status as a ruler, even risking the potential danger of offending the Great Chanyu, to personally help Tuoba Yan bring up such an awkward matter as a marriage offer. This was something that Chen Xing remembered to this day. He imagined that Fu Jian must be very fond of Tuoba Yan indeed.
“I do not wish for his Majesty to be controlled by Wang Ziye, nor do I wish to see him be disgraced,” Tuoba Yan said. “If it’s possible, I’d like to go back and lead the imperial army to protect His Majesty. Could you pass the message on to the Great Chanyu, for him to return His Majesty to us when the time comes?”
Chen Xing let out an en. He thought of the fact that Xiang Shu and Fu Jian were also old acquaintances, and no matter what, Xiang Shu wouldn’t let Fu Jian be disgraced either, but Xie An might not necessarily prevent that from happening. As the representative of his country’s interest, when it came time for him to strike a harsh blow, he would have to do so.
“Xiang Shu would be willing,” Chen Xing said, “and though my shixiong might not be, I’ll find a way. As long as we can get rid of Wang Ziye, then Xiang Shu will also return Fu Jian to you all; he won’t let him fall into the hands of the Han people. And plus, who’s going to have the upper hand isn’t even set in stone yet.”
Tuoba Yan smiled. “I will do my best to protect you all.”
If Tuoba Yan could talk the imperial guards into rebelling, then they would be a powerful chess piece indeed. The only issue was that it was unclear how many people within the army could clearly distinguish between right and wrong and go against Fu Jian’s orders to pledge their allegiance to Tuoba Yan.
“Xiang Shu!” Chen Xing said to Xiang Shu.
Xiang Shu stood on the shore, lowering his head to watch the water. Because of what Xiang Shu had lied to him about, Chen Xing was still a little sad, and he said, “What we talked about…”
He knew that Xiang Shu definitely heard it; this fellow and Xiao Shan’s ears were both very sharp, to the point that every time, as long as he walked over from the eastern wing to the western wing, a distance of some tens of steps, they would immediately be able to sense it.
“I really didn’t listen!” Xiang Shu said, a little frustratedly. “What kind of a person do you take me for? Talk about whatever you want, I don’t want to pay attention to you two anymore.”
Tuoba Yan smiled awkwardly. Evidently, he still remembered what had happened under that tree in Chi Le Chuan, and so he waved his hand, indicating that Chen Xing shouldn’t argue.
Chen Xing didn’t know if he should laugh or cry, and he said, “Then what are you doing?”
“I’m thinking about things,” Xiang Shu said. “I don’t care what you two talk about, keep talking.”
“What are you thinking about?” Chen Xing couldn’t resist wanting to anger him more, so he said, “You want to go into the river and take a bath?”
Xiang Shu, “I’m thinking about how to throw you into the river!”
In this dead of the night, originally it was Tuoba Yan who was supposed to meet with Chen Xing, but he hadn’t expected to be the spectator as the other two began to argue. He didn’t know what to say in that situation either, and Chen Xing could only let Xiang Shu be, walking shoulder to shoulder with Tuoba Yan as they circled around the poplar tree grove.
Xiang Shu suddenly sniffed his own body, before seeing that the two of them had walked off, and he slowly followed along behind.
“Is it just this matter?” Chen Xing smiled. “Was it worth you specially taking a trip over here in the dead of the night? If we talked about this when you had free time, it’d be the same answer.”
Tuoba Yan began to smile as he said, “Because he’s just like my dad, and to me, he is my only kin.”
Chen Xing thought for a moment. He understood Tuoba Yan’s reaction, and in reality Xiang Shu also didn’t want to disgrace Fu Jian, and even more so didn’t have any intentions of handing him over to the Han people. If they started from this point, Tuoba Yan and Xiang Shu’s original intentions were the same.
“I’ll go find Xiang Shu to discuss,” Chen Xing responded.
“It’s getting late, you should go back.” Tuoba Yan stood in the middle of the street as he gestured at Chen Xing. On the other end, Xiang Shu stopped in his steps, just as Chen Xing nodded and patted Tuoba Yan’s arm.
Xiang Shu had his usual brooding expression on, thinking about who knows what. When he saw Chen Xing coming back, he didn’t wait, instantly turning and leaving.
After they returned to the courtyard, Xiao Shan stared a little curiously at Chen Xing. Chen Xing thought for a bit, before saying, “Xiao Shan, that day, what was Tuoba Yan asking you?”
Xiao Shan answered, “Nothing much, he was just asking how you and gege were. Where you guys went, and what you guys did.”
“Gege?” Chen Xing asked, surprised. “Whose gege? You have a gege?”
Xiao Shan pointed towards the hall of the inn, and Chen Xing understood - he was talking about Xiang Shu! He only felt that this was very amusing, and he said, “You call him gege?”
Xiao Shan, “I didn’t know what to call him, so he had me call him gege.”
Xiang Shu actually had such a side to him?
Chen Xing sat down and said, “You told Tuoba Yan everything?”
Xiao Shan pillowed his head on his arm, his face turned upwards towards the moon, turning his head to look at Chen Xing as he said, “I told him that when you were sleeping, gege took off his clothes and got on the bed to kill you…”
“What?!” When Chen Xing heard this half of the sentence, his brain instantly exploded as he began to grow frantic. “What are you saying?”
And so Xiao Shan briefly sketched out the scene that day when Chen Xing had fallen unconscious and Xiang Shu had carried him. Chen Xing asked disbelievingly, “Why didn’t I know?!”
“You were sleeping,” Xiao Shan looked strangely at Chen Xing as he spoke. “Of course you wouldn’t know.”
“And then?” On Chen Xing’s face appeared an awkward expression.
Xiao Shan, “After that I didn’t keep watching, so I don’t know.”
Chen Xing grabbed Xiao Shan’s collar, saying, “Why didn’t you keep watching?!”
Xiao Shan said, “He wouldn’t let me watch! He threatened to hit me!”
Chen Xing put one hand on his forehead as he said, “Such an important matter, and you never told me before?”
Xiao Shan said, “Is it very important?”
Xiao Shan’s tone was exactly the same as Xiang Shu, every answering question carrying a sense of mockery to it. Chen Xing said, “You can’t keep learning from him… you’re learning all the wrong things! Going about like this every day, like other people owe you two money, has he bought your support? No wonder I see him teaching you martial arts all the time…”
Xiao Shan answered, “He said, if there came a day when he died, then I should protect you well.”
Chen Xing: “...”
“Oh…” Chen Xing said. “Is-is that right? But how can he die? No way… he can fight this well, how is it possible? Xiao Shan, I want to ask you… en…”
When Chen Xing heard these words, his nose soured. What exactly was Xiang Shu thinking about every day? But when he glanced at Xiao Shan, he changed his mind, and he said, “It’s nothing.”
But Xiao Shan said, “I said that you don’t need protection, but he said that you do. He said that you’re very lonely; you’re more lonely than anyone else. You haven’t seen the good things in life, and you have no family. From the day that he saw you, you’ve never been truly happy.”
Chen Xing began to smile as he said, “Those words aren’t true, aren’t I pretty happy right now?” And saying this, he stroked Xiao Shan’s head.
Xiao Shan scrutinized Chen Xing, before answering, “No, you’re just like Lu Ying. It’s like you’re going to die tomorrow, and even when you smile, it’s a little sad.”
Chen Xing, “...”
Ah, whatever, Chen Xing thought. You two are both this skilled at reading people, but I still can live for a year and then some! Don’t curse me, alright! What “I’ll die tomorrow”, pei!
The words that Xiao Shan had spoken tonight had given him an ocean’s worth of information, causing him to roll around on the bed. What exactly had Xiang Shu done when he was in a coma? But he hadn’t felt anything out of the ordinary!
He wanted to get up to go ask Xiang Shu, but if he opened his mouth and asked, then it would only get more strange, probably.
And just at this time came the sound of someone knocking on the door.
“You’re asleep?” Xiang Shu said. “I have something I want to tell you, Chen Xing.”
Chen Xing got up. After listening to Xiao Shan's report, he felt very awkward, and he originally wanted to ignore him, but Xiang Shu had already pushed open the door and come in. Chen Xing’s upper half was exposed, and he was only wearing a pair of underpants, so he immediately sat down on the side of the bed. Xiang Shu’s arms and torso were also bare, and he was wearing a set of long white pants. On his face and body were ice crystals, as if he had just used the well water to wash his face so that he would be clear-headed.
“You…” Chen Xing frowned. “I didn’t say come in yet!”
“What did Tuoba Yan say to you this time?” Xiang Shu asked suspiciously.
Chen Xing then reported Tuoba Yan’s request to Xiang Shu, and Xiang Shu said easily, “Got it.”
Chen Xing asked, “Is that okay? I guessed that your original intent was also…”
Xiang Shu said impatiently, “I said, I got it! Are you unable to understand my meaning?”
Chen Xing understood that Xiang Shu’s meaning was “alright”, so he didn’t say more, to prevent himself from receiving a beating.
“What did you want to talk about?” Chen Xing said.
Xiang Shu asked, “Just now, when we were outside, were you telling me to go take a bath?”
“Asking this in the middle of the night, are all of you crazy?” Chen Xing answered. “Coming here to talk to me about taking a bath?”
“It’s not that!” Xiang Shu couldn’t help but become irritable again.
Chen Xing chivvied him. “Say it faster, and when you’re done, go back and sleep, look what time it is now.”
“You…” Xiang Shu instantly grew angry for reasons unknown, and he clenched his fist. Chen Xing said, “Are you crazy? You woke me up in the middle of the night to hit me?”
Xiang Shu could only suppress his rage, even as he was filled with anger. This brat had talked with Tuoba Yan for so long without caring about wasting time, but now as soon as he came, he was shooed away, and at that he was about to die from rage. Just as he was about to turn and leave, walking to the door of the bedroom, he changed his mind and said darkly, “If you don’t listen then don’t regret it, I’ll put the words out here.”
Chen Xing had originally taken the chance, when Xiang Shu turned around, to stare fixedly at Xiang Shu’s half-naked form, but seeing that he was about to turn again, he immediately adopted an expression of having been wronged and turned his gaze away. “Then say it! I didn’t tell you not to!”
Xiang Shu took a few steps in the room before glancing over at Chen Xing. Chen Xing looked dumbly and strangely at Xiang Shu, and Xiang Shu finally let go of his anger, saying impatiently, “Just now I was discussing some matters with Xie An when we suddenly talked about Shi Hai being able to leave through the earth veins, and I thought of this point.”
Chen Xing, “Oh?”
Xiang Shu sat down on the side of the bed. “I thought of a strategy, but I don’t know if it’ll be successful. The plan is founded on the basis that Wang Ziye’s hunpo can leave his body and move freely about, just let me organize my thoughts a bit…”
Chen Xing said, “You want to follow Wang Ziye and enter Huanmo Palace through the earth veins, right? But if I may be so blunt, the earth veins only accept spiritual bodies, so unless we are able to let go of our physical forms ourselves, it’ll never work.”
“What is ‘returning a soul to a body’?” Xiang Shu suddenly asked.
Chen Xing thought for a moment. This was something that he had learned before, and he explained, “The spell that he uses for returning a soul to a body’ has been recorded in the historical annals. For some extremely powerful ghostly beings, their souls can indeed take over living people after death, or be stored temporarily in dead people for a time.”
Xiang Shu said, “Wang Ziye should then be using this method, just like that day when Xie An drugged the person he had possessed. The black smoke that was expelled from that body was his three hun and seven po.”
Chen Xing furrowed his brow and nodded.
“Yes, technically speaking, he should be counted as a ghost,” Chen Xing said, “or perhaps as a set of wandering hunpo roaming about independently in this realm. I once considered many possibilities such as, why isn’t he like other souls that get absorbed after death into the divine vein and return to the cycle of reincarnation? Perhaps he used the resentment in the human realm, and the Devil God’s blood, to refine himself, so that his hunpo can leave his body and move about freely.”
After humans died, their three hun and seven po would quickly vanish into the world, sucked into the divine vein and entering the cycle of reincarnation to once again be reborn. The resentment and regret within each hunpo would be cleansed by the spiritual qi of the heavens and earth, as resentment and spiritual qi collided against each other, cancelling each other out.
With the power of the Dinghai Pearl, Zhang Liu had taken away all spiritual qi, which also caused the resentful energy to not be able to be cleansed, meaning that the resentment that Wang Ziye had gathered was actually a kind of defensive measure for himself.
“This proves my conjecture that he was originally a human soul,” Xiang Shu said. “This is also the biggest reason why he can transport himself through the earth veins and appear thousands of li away, because the earth veins can only take in the power of hunpo!”
“Correct,” Chen Xing said. “This is very logical, you’re really smart. You’ve gotten this far with no guidance, and you’re actually able to figure out Shi Hai’s original form.”
In these days, Xiang Shu had studied a lot of the ancient records of the Xiang family, and he was already knowledgeable about the world of the exorcists. In this instant he lifted his hand, unthinkingly placing it on Chen Xing’s bare shoulder, saying, “Are there no ways to get rid of hunpo in this world? Like the ‘transcendence’ that I once told you about.”
Chen Xing’s words dried up, but Xiang Shu tightened his grip, squeezing his shoulder once, indicating that he should let him finish.
Only for Xiang Shu to say, “If we really want to completely get rid of him, then we must first expel him from the person or corpse that he’s possessing, like what Xie An did that day, and in a short amount of time, also prevent him from finding another person to possess, so that he can appear in his resentment-covered ‘original form’ in front of us.”
Chen Xing: “!!!”
Chen Xing suddenly sensed that perhaps within this dense fog, Xiang Shu had found a path that would lead to their final victory.
“After that, I’ll use the Heart Lamp to exorcise his resentment!” Chen Xing said. “But in these long years and months, he must have absorbed a large amount of resentment, so naturally he will revive dead people or yaoguai to attack us. My safety will be up to you then.”
Xiang Shu said, “Yes, your Heart Lamp can exorcise resentment, but what then? Think about it; after we make him use up all of his resentment, he’ll reveal his original form. That will be the real him, the him with only his three hun and seven po.”
Chen Xing said, “He’ll still run to go find a place where there’s a lot of dead people, and with resentment as his fuel, he’ll cultivate from the beginning once again. I now basically understand, his mana must have been cultivated in this manner for hundreds, if not thousands of years…””
Xiang Shu said, “You forgot? We still have an artifact. Now that I think about it, back then my mother might have kept this weapon specially to defeat him.”
Chen Xing remembered. “The Luohun Bell!”
In an instant, all of Chen Xing’s blood seemed to congeal, and a weng resounded in his brain.
Xiang Shu nodded and said, “The Luohun Bell is specially made to deal with hunpo.”
The two of them exchanged a glance.
Chen Xing said thoughtfully, “It could work! This is completely possible! We’ll set up some magic to not let him possess anything, and when he’s in his hunpo state, we’ll fight with him. After making him expend all his resentment, then we’ll wait for when he returns to his original form, and afterwards use the Luohun Bell to take away two of his hun. Once his earth and human hun are lost, his seven po will quickly dissipate with no body to contain them, leaving behind only the spiritual hun, which will very quickly be sucked away into the divine vein to be reincarnated! Even if it doesn’t work out like this, he’ll still lose all of the memories stored in his human hun, and he won’t be able to recall anything clearly, yes! Yes! Heavens!”
Xiang Shu said ponderingly, “How much resentment he’s collected to strengthen himself is still something we’re not clear on. To make him expend all of his resentment is something that perhaps we need to consider more…”
Chen Xing said, “Ahahaha, we can help him use it! I think that Xiao Shan and Feng-dage won’t have any complaints. How am I this smart?”
Chen Xing began to praise himself, but Xiang Shu seemed to not hear it at all, as he was still pondering over how probable this plan was.
Chen Xing hugged Xiang Shu, shouting, “That’s great! That’s great!”
Xiang Shu instantly stiffened up, pulling aside the arm that Chen Xing wrapped around his neck, but he didn’t expect Chen Xing to hug him even tighter. He could only turn his head slightly away, his face burning hot as he said, “I haven’t thought it through clearly yet, don’t fuss! Let me think a little more… How are we going to make a battlefield where he won’t be able to possess anyone?”
Chen Xing had also thought of this point. When they crossed swords, as long as Wang Ziye wanted to, he could escape at any time, and if he couldn’t win, then he would just turn into a meteor and fly away, and no one would be able to do anything about it. Chen Xing and Xiang Shu had the power of the Heart Lamp in their bodies, so perhaps Wang Ziye wouldn’t be able to possess them, and Xiao Shan and Feng Qianjun were exorcists, so their hunpo were very strong.
But in a hundred li radius, wouldn’t he still be able to find a few mortals? If he possessed them and hid, then they would never be able to find him.
“Right,” Chen Xing frowned. “We can’t make a protective array either, since there’s no spiritual qi of the heavens and earth to use…”
“So I said you shouldn’t interrupt!” Xiang Shu said, vexed. He then suddenly burst out, “I have it! The Yin Yang Mirror!”
Chen Xing: “......”
In those short few moments, Chen Xing’s emotions had experienced several large ups and downs, and in the end he was so in awe of Xiang Shu that he was ready to get down on his hands and knees in admiration.
“But with this,” Xiang Shu said, “The burden you’ll have to shoulder will be very heavy. Not only will you have to activate the Luohun Bell, but you’ll also have to control the Yin Yang Mirror at the same time…”
“There won’t be a problem,” Chen Xing reassured. “I’ll first use the Yin Yang Mirror, sending all of us and Wang Ziye into it, and we can then fight him to the end in the mirror realm’s Chang’an. Xiang Shu… you really are too smart!”
Xiang Shu turned his head and gave Chen Xing a look. The two of them were both silent, and Chen Xing’s forehead was still furrowed as he thought about the different outcomes of exchanging blows with Wang Ziye. Causing him to expend all his resentment was easy to say, but the process would be very complicated.
Xiang Shu lifted his index and middle fingers, pressing them on the corner of Chen Xing’s reddened lips, before wiping the corner of his mouth in passing.
“See, I said there would be a way,” Xiang Shu said as he rose. “I’ll think about the specifics some more, but there’s no more need to worry.”
That movement was so quick that Chen Xing hadn’t even reacted yet when Xiang Shu turned to leave, leaving behind Chen Xing still staring off into space. But how would they deal with Chiyou after that? Though, no matter what, if they could get rid of Wang Ziye, then perhaps that would bring about a great change.
Chen Xing subconsciously rubbed the corner of his mouth. The place where Xiang Shu’s fingers had touched seemed to be a little hot.
After several days, every time he saw Xiang Shu, Chen Xing’s heart was filled with uncertainty, but Xiang Shu’s expression had cleared up a lot. The two of them seemed to be in a cold war with each other over some matters of the heart, and they took every chance they had to avoid being alone together.
Xie An also sensed it, but of course, he didn’t say anything. He only regularly discussed the details of ambushing Fu Jian with Xiang Shu, turning the plan over and over again, planning out all of the possibilities that could happen when Fu Jian came to Luoyang for diplomatic talks. The Asuka troops, where Feng Qianjun’s subordinates would hide themselves, all of these things had to be hammered out clearly, one by one.
Every day, Xiang Shu had to listen to Xie An bring up countless new possibilities, only to overturn them one by one, and no matter how good his patience was, he didn’t want to keep him company anymore, saying, “Xie An, there won’t be unexpected circumstances.”
Xie An said, “When people get old, they get long-winded. Martial God, you’ll have to excuse me.”
Luoyang had 50,000 guards, most of whom were troops recruited from various places, and compared with Fu Jian’s well-trained, experienced imperial guards, their involvement in this would be negligible. However, Fu Jian would never come alone to attend this meeting; he would bring at least 20,000 people with him.
Their duty was then to gain control over Fu Jian during the diplomatic talks and take over the city of Luoyang, before going on the offensive to protect the city.Murong Chong, Tuoba Yan, and Xiang Shu would lead the troops to torch the drought fiend army camped below the Longmen Gorge, luring Wang Ziye out for a direct confrontation.
Wang Ziye’s jiao was already gone, and Xiang Shu had confirmed multiple times with Sima Wei that of the troops Sima Wei had knowledge of, there were only the six Jin kings that had been revived in the beginning, Feng Qianyi, Zhou Zhen from Chi Le Chuan, and Wen Che and that rotten jiao in Jiangnan. In these two years, through Chen Xing’s bumbling around, they had first gotten rid of a fellow that he had never met within Mt. Longzhong, before picking up steam and heading off on a grand journey with Xiang Shu that had actually slowly whittled away about 80% of the enemy’s strength, which led to the situation of today where Wang Ziye had turned into a lone troop, and he had no other choice but to burn all his bridges and reveal his true identity to Fu Jian.
“Now that you put it like that,” Xie An said, “It really seems like Iuppiter is protecting little shidi. See, Wang Ziye originally had so many arrangements in place, but in the end, they were all slowly defeated in batches, leaving him in such a pathetic state. This can also be seen as fate laughing at the plans of men.”
If Chen Xing and Xiang Shu hadn’t worked so hard along their journey, then Wang Ziye would originally have enough power to easily conquer the entirety of the Divine Land.
Feng Qianyi and the 200,000 drought fiends hidden in the Yin Yang Mirror in Chang’an, the dark Rouran troops at the foot of Chi Le Chuan, the jiao in Jiangnan, added on top of the main drought fiend troop in Luoyang, then perhaps after the battle of Xiangyang, the number of drought fiend troops that Wang Ziye would have accumulated would be nearing the millions. If he then egged Fu Jian on to start a war with the South, then sent out all of his troops within that large battle, who would be able to fight back?
But without a clear cause, Wang Ziye had made one misstep that had led to many more, and his original foolproof game of chess had become a mess. Xiang Shu sometimes felt that this fellow had really brought all of the misfortune down on himself.
“Let’s do it just like that,” Xiang Shu said at the end. “I don’t want to debate any more with you, Duanwu is almost here.”
Xie An let out a deep sigh, saying, “I just pray that my Great Jin’s ancestors and forebearers will protect us.”
“If the drought fiends are destroyed, there’s still the battle between you mortals,” Xiang Shu said darkly. “When it comes to that time, asking for their protection won’t be too late.”
“There’s a bunch of people outside the city!” Chen Xing walked in rapidly. “Fu Jian’s here, Xiang Shu! Xie-shixiong! Do you guys want to come out and take a look?”
Fu Jian had finally arrived as based on the plan, and it was exactly as Xie An and Xiang Shu had guessed. He had brought along 20,000 imperial guards, and when they entered the city, the citizens of Luoyang came forth to kneel in worship. Murong Chong and Tuoba Yan waited in person outside of the palace to welcome this northern emperor.
Xiang Shu and Xie An and them didn’t leave the inn, only standing in front of the windows on the second floor. From this angle, they could perfectly see the scene of Fu Jian riding a powerful horse into the city. The first thing the imperial guards did after they entered the city was take over the military control of the entire Luoyang city region, re-assigning the defenses to ensure Fu Jian’s safety.
“Hasn’t he always been someone who fears neither the heavens nor the earth?” Xiang Shu jeered.
Xie An wiped off some sweat and said, “It’s alright, you see, planning for every eventuality isn’t something bad.”
Xie An had run through it many times, and through Feng Qianjun’s subordinates, he had contacted all of the swordsmen hiding in Luoyang, making sure that the imperial troops were all on high alert to weed out any spies, so this move was a natural result of that.
“The Mounted Regular Attendant has been switched out,” Xiang Shu said easily, after taking another glance. “Do you still remember that guy?”
Chen Xing stood in front of the window, not speaking for a long time. When he saw Yuwen Xin chirruping his horse to ride behind Fu Jian, he felt a hundred emotions stir in his heart.
“I don’t see Wang Ziye,” Xie An said, changing the topic. “Perhaps he’s not by Fu Jian’s side. When will Qianjun come back?”
From downstairs came the sounds of movements, and Chen Xing swiftly came down the stairs, only to see that Feng Qianjun had returned.
“The matters that you imparted me have all been taken care of.” Feng Qianjun said to Xiang Shu. He was covered in the dust of the road, and in these two months, he had gone who knows where, but had finally returned now.
Chen Xing asked, “What matters?”
Xiang Shu asked, “How many?”
Feng Qianjun replied, “I did my very best and spent 200,000 of your silver to gather 60,000 people. The rest of the money I used on a lot of fire-spewing mechanisms and kerosene cans, which have already arrived in the west of the city.”
Chen Xing: “......”
Xiang Shu asked, “What about the others?”
Feng Qianjun answered , “When I made camp I saw that many troops had come from the north, so they should be arriving at the same time.”
Xiang Shu asked, “From the two sides?”
Feng Qianjun replied, “It’s hard to say, we’ll know in a bit.”
“Helian Shuang-daren has arrived,” someone announced outside.
Helian Shuang entered the inn, his face bright with happiness as he said, “Our Majesty has arrived and is requesting the diplomatic envoy from the South to meet with him tonight for a cup of wine and a reception at the third ke of the you hour...”
Xie An said happily, “Since his Majesty has come from afar and values the diplomatic talks between the two countries so highly, it is a great honor for us, and we will definitely…”
But Xiang Shu interrupted Xie An’s words, saying to Helian Shuang, “Jian Tou will be very busy today, so are you sure you want to have a banquet at this time to welcome him?”
Helian Shuang hadn’t reacted at first, but hearing the words “Jian Tou” he immediately flew into a great rage. He shot a glare at Xiang Shu; his impression of him was just that of a bodyguard in the Han diplomatic envoy, and he raged, “How dare you! You actually… actually dared…”
Suddenly, Helian Shuang began to sense that something was wrong. Fu Jian had just entered the city, but he was already asking to see this group of people, which was unconventional, and when the message came, it was worded as if he was very particular about certain things. Though this handsome warrior had basically not spoken the last time they met, everyone highly prized his views… unless this was some big shot official of the Han people? When he got to that point in his sentence, he couldn’t keep going.
Xiang Shu said matter-of-factly, “If he’s in a rush to see me, then let him come here, where we can talk on equal terms.”
Xie An also hadn’t expected that Xiang Shu would suddenly pull out this move, and he said, “Martial God? Since His Majesty has issued an order, then why don’t we…”
Just at that moment, two visitors arrived in the inn in Luoyang.
“The Four Seas and the prairies are all the Great Chanyu’s land, and all of the people under the rule of the Jin dynasty are all the Great Chanyu’s people.” the first messenger said. “I and my ancient Chi Le Covenant troops, under the name of the Great Chanyu, Shi Mokun, have come south to fulfill the rendezvous with the number one warrior in the world, Shulü Kong-daren, at the appointed time.”
Helian Shuang, “.......”
“The Four Seas and the prairies are all the Great Chanyu’s land, and all of the people under the rule of the Jin dynasty are all the Great Chanyu’s people.” another messenger said. “I and my Dongying land’s Donghu (tn: An ancient nomadic tribe which lived in Saiwai and was destroyed by the Xiongnu in the 600s.) people under our master King Onobayashi, in accordance with the pact that was sworn with the Shulü clan under the Yin Mountains and our past relationship with the ancient Chi Le Covenant, have come to fulfill the rendezvous with the number one warrior, Shulü Kong-daren, at the appointed time.”
Chen Xing stared dumbfounded, and he suddenly remembered the letters that Xiang Shu had dispatched two months ago.
The seventh year of the Taiyuan era, the third day of the fifth month.
Fu Jian had come forth at the appointed time to honor his appointment with the southern Jin diplomatic envoy for peace talks, but on the first day that he entered Luoyang, a big thing happened in the Central Plains. The Great Chanyu of the ancient Chi Le covenant, Shi Mokun, led the troops of the 16 Hu tribes down south, totalling 20,000 people.
Dongying’s Onobayashi had landed in Jiaozhou, also leading troops 20,000 strong as he arrived in Luoyang.
Fu Jian had never, in his wildest thoughts, imagined that Luoyang would become an isolated city in the span of a single night. Onobayashi and Shi Mokun’s armies had respectively blocked the eastern and northern two roads into the city, and at the same time the Jiangnan Beifu troops had already started to move northward, meeting up with the mercenaries that Feng Qianjun had gathered on short notice. The troops were deployed around Chaohu, and the only path left to Fu Jian was the road west to return to Chang’an.
“Now, I think we have enough forces,” Xiang Shu said to Xie An.
“That’s… that’s indeed enough.” Xie An wiped off some sweat as he nodded.
moon: look, chen xing, even xiao shan knows something is wrong! gdi
also, we know of the fact that feitian changed goguryeo and related terms to dongying and related terms, we’ll fix that in the coming few weeks!
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.