“Have we really won?” After reviewing the aftermath of the battle, Zi Chuan Xiu muttered questioningly.
“No doubt about it, Sir, we won big time!” With a really flushed cheek, Captain of the Personal Guard, Gu Lei shouted in excitement:” This is your triumph, Sir, allow me to congratulate you; given what you have accomplished here today, the promotion to the Red Banner Master will only be a formality. Just think about it, not even twenty years old, and you already have the same rank as the Governors of every province. That is a great accomplishment; there haven’t been many precedents even in the entire history of the House ZiChuan!”
“Hoho, let me congratulate you back.” ZiChuan Xiu smiled at him, absence of joy: “If I remember correctly, you are still just a Banner Warrior, correct? Perhaps becoming the Deputy Banner Master will only be a matter of time.”
Gu Lei couldn’t be more excited: Thank you, Sir, for your guidance! I will do everything and omit nothing in my service to you, in order to repay the gratitude you have shown me. I won’t hesitate to give my life if need be…”
“Uh-huh.” ZiChuan Xiu interrupted Gu Lei’s monologue of a display of loyalty, and murmured to himself: “It must be a blessing to live a simple life.”
“What are you saying, Sir?”
“Oh, I’m just saying to keep up the good work.”
Not long after, a squad of riders came in to sight. Seeing the banner of ZiChuan Xiu, they immediately dismounted and saluted. ZiChuan Xiu brought his horse to a halt facing the rider: “Which unit are you in? And what is your mission?”
Calvary Captain replied: “We are part of Luo Jie’s unit, third battalion seventh company. We are currently transporting the captives.”
“Oh? ZiChuan Xiu suddenly found himself intrigued:” Are there many captives? Show me.”
“As you wish, Sir!” The Captain gave a shout towards the back, ordering the riders to whip the captives forward and await inspection. The personal guards immediately surrounded ZiChuan Xiu, fearing a potential outburst from any of the demon prisoners. But that wasn’t necessary at all. This group of captives are all goblins… some green skinned dwarves. They are incredibly handy little fellows, but can hardly put up a fight. They are tame by nature, easy to control. Even amongst the Demon Army, they are mostly handling the non-combative labours. You can purchase goblin servants from the human markets too; the words are that in the capital, the price goes up to thirty thousand per head.
Calvary Captain seemed to have noticed the slight disappointment in ZiChuan Xiu’s expressions, feeling embarrassed. In an attempt to please his superior, he offered: “Sir, you may not know, but we found something strange amongst the prisoners.”
Captain gave another shout towards the back: “Show it to Master Xiu!”
Several riders marched forward, dragging a big bulging sack behind them. The Captain began to untie the ropes, showing a flattering smile: “Sir, this is the rarest of goods.”
With that, he revealed what was inside the sack, a young female, a pretty one! Her garment was slightly ruffled, but no doubt it was made of very expensive material. Perhaps because she was just being let out of the sack, she looked a little embarrassed, but her alluring beauty had remained intact. Her pair of big blue eyes was the signature characteristic of a demon female. Even though she was a captive, she acted surprisingly calm, or at least, she pretended to be. She fixated her captivating gaze at the few humans standing in front of her, expressing her anger at those who dared to make her a prisoner. Without so much of a word, she had shown the dignity and self-control befitting of a noble.
ZiChuan Xiu gave the Captain a frown: “Since when have the Far Eastern Army become kidnappers?”
Captain complained in earnest: “But Sir, she is not just some average girl! We found her inside a well-embroidered carriage; she even had dozens of guards protecting her. Many of my men were wounded in the process of capturing her! She is definitely someone important, probably someone with titles in the Demon’s Court!”
“Has she been questioned?”
“She didn’t say anything, and we didn’t have the time to question her thoroughly. But we can leave her in your care, Sir; surely you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity!” The captain spoke suggestively.
And ZiChuan Xiu replied with a sense of acknowledgement: “Hohoho, I definitely will… question her thoroughly.” Those were the words from one man to another, something a man would understand merely from the tone of the voice, ranks did not matter.
As soon as the Calvary Squad disappeared from sight, ZiChuan Xiu let out a streak of evil laughter: “Luckily that bitch Bai Chuan wasn’t around, or else this could proof problematic.” He turned towards Gu Lei and the rest of the personal guards: “If Bai Chuan asks about it… I hope you all know what to do, right?”
Gu Lei answered with a straight face: “Rest assured, Sir, we saw nothing, we heard nothing!”
“Smart man!” ZiChuan Xiu surveyed his surroundings: “So where can I set up a camp without risking being interrupted? Can’t do it over there, too barren, lack of romantic scenery, not here either, too many mosquitoes, they may ruin the mood…” He rambled on while eyeing the young girl with his lecherous gaze, till she finally…
“I’m the third Princess of the God King, Ka Dan. I’m a royalty. I demand to be treated in a way deserving of someone of my stature!” The girl spoke with her trembling voice, trying desperately to appear dignified.
All the guards gasped in unison, making it sound much louder than usual.
Gu Lei whispered: “If I may, Sir, you mustn’t touch this girl, or you may incur the wrath from the Department of Military Justice!”
ZiChuan Xiu responded without so much as turning his head: “Gu Lei, you pig-brained fool!” He grumbled: “This is a great find!”