Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang Vol01 Ch19
The war drums rumbled against the ground.
The Dong Lin army was already stationed at the foot of Kanbu in orderly rows. The colour of blood seemed to be reflected in their eyes as their weapons flashed. They were ready to kill – just waiting for their commander.
With the command flag in the air and the sound of the whistle, the mighty army parted for their commander to pass through.
Pingting observed through squinted eyes, somewhere in a tall building.
On his horse, Dong Lin’s main general, Chu Beijie carried his head held high. His confident figure looked more than ready to battle, his infamous sword was hanging by his waist and bow held against his horse.
He made his way through no man’s land to the Kanbu gates when he suddenly glanced up. She glanced down and their eyes happened to meet, causing sparks. Immense excitement raged through both of them.
His army of a thousand horses and men wasn’t afraid of anything, yet she continued to breezily sit inside the palanquin.
When Pingting felt the electric but fiery spark, her body seemed to have gone limp like energy had been drained from her limbs or as if her body was completely dry of blood. Her vision was temporarily blurred and her uncoordinated body was only stretched after clutching against a stone pillar.
Looking down, she couldn’t see the soldiers standing at the Kanbu walls. She could only see those eyes which seemed to burn right through her.
Chu Beijie always made her lose her will, energy, and concentration. With a wry smile, she realised that she couldn’t wait to see every inch of him once more. Little did she know that her body unconsciously took two steps forward.
“Be careful My Lady!” Cautioned Ruohan, the bodyguard ordered to stay by her.
Jolted out of her trance, she realised that she was standing at the edge. A few more steps could have sent her plummeting to her death.
Pingting came fully back to her senses. Right, she was the main military advisor. Kanbu’s future, Bei Mo’s future, even Yangfeng and her child’s future were all in her hands.
The glow returned to her black pupils. She took brisk footsteps away from the edge to sit in front of the prepared ancient qin.
Calming her hands and spreading incense, she had done everything.
Pingting softly directed, “Pass on this command: continue to follow the plan.”
From below, Chu Beijie’s gaze never left the elegant figure in the palanquin.
She wasn’t afraid of anything, just as he’d expected. Her indifference and bold movements were unique.
Moran finished his rounds before approaching Chu Beijie, whispering, “Duke, it really was her.”
Looking up into the high palanquin, you could see her fine figure.
“She guessed it all right.” Chu Beijie sighed.
“Should we immediately release the poisonous wasps?”
Chu Beijie was about to reply when he frowned.
The sound of a qin floated down from the palanquin. Just one sound, crisp yet steady, moved the crowd like a needle striking their hearts.
Chu Beijie’s strong gaze that could silence his army easily made a complicated expression towards the palanquin. His eyes were narrowed as he muttered, “The string broke.”
Ping! Another sound was heard, this time resonating even louder than the one before.
“The second string.”
“The third string…that’s your plan to force me in retreat? My Little Pingting.” Chu Beijie eyed the figure while understanding flooded through his once dumbstruck expression. He held up one hand and called, “Pass on this order: retreat ten kilometres.”
“Retreat?” Moran was shocked, almost horrified.
The other commanders exchanged looks then looked back at their main commander.
“Retreat.” Almost spitting out the word, Chu Beijie looked at his woman one last time before turning his horse away.
“Duke has commanded, retreat!”
“Pass command: Retreat!”
With their thundering footsteps, the entire Dong Lin army retreated like a tide.
Chu Beijie was at the very front of the retreating soldiers, his expression like usual, not conveying any emotion.
Chu Beijie rode for a moment then slowed to a canter, beside Moran.
Chu Beijie had galloped for some time before his pace slackened, letting Moran catch up.
“If we were to attack, Pingting would use her body to defend the city. If we were to release the wasps, she wouldn’t be able to live.”
“That was her plan?” Moran carefully chose his words, “In other words, if Duke wishes Pingting to be alive and safe, the poisonous wasps plan won’t be used. She really is too brave, betting on her life like that. If Duke didn’t care so much about the past, wouldn’t she have lost her life over nothing?”
“That basically sums up that you know that I’m not as good as Pingting.” Chu Beijie laughed. “I would never have commanded the continuation of the attack. She is the main advisor of the Bei Mo army at the moment, the hope of the Bei Mo army, yet she doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice her body. This has one effect – it gives her soldiers courage. If I were to kill Pingting in front of the crowd and continue the attack on the Bei Mo army in hope to conquer Kanbu, her army would want to avenge her death and will attack us without reservation. Our loss then would be unimaginable. An army that is ruled by intense anger cannot be controlled by any normal strong force therefore I concluded that Pingting’s death would mean Dong Lin’s defeat.”
Moran immediately understood and he lowered his head, sighing. “Not only that, but if Duke did continue, it would give everyone the impression that you had used poison against a defenceless girl. It would ruin your reputation as the best commander and damage our army’s pride. The after effects could be even worse.”
Chu Beijie looked at Moran admiringly for a few seconds, before softly saying, “Although her counter-tactic was more psychological, I am relieved. If she didn’t completely trust in me, she wouldn’t have bet her life and use this tactic.”
Moran could hear that Chu Beijie was in a good mood, so he laughed. “That’s what they call ‘Damming.’ I mean, Duke promptly reacted and quickly told the army to retreat back ten kilometres. Although there are many men in this world, there aren’t many people who’d easily give up a city for a woman.” After laughing he sighed again as there was still something he wanted to know.
“Duke, please be angry with Moran for his bluntness, but there is still something Moran is unsure about.”
Of course Chu Beijie could guess what his second in command was thinking. The corners of his mouth lifted into a grin. “Even if there wasn’t a valid excuse, I would have never continued to attack the city. Losing Pingting would be more than just a lifetime of regret. A mere Kanbu could never compare to the loss of half a strand of her hair.”
Moran had guessed the true intention of his Master long ago but hearing it himself made him feel a rush of pride for the man’s honour. “Miss Pingting sure is one lucky woman to deserve such love from Duke. But, what should our army do? Stop and rest when we got to the ten kilometre mark?”
Chu Beijie had already come up with a plan as he gazed ahead. “In three hours, attack again.”
“Attack Kanbu?” Moran was dumbfounded. “Even if we don’t use the wasps, as long as Pingting stays in that palanquin, none of us are able to attack. Any stray arrow would kill her.”
“Well Moran, you know that I’m not as good as Pingting, but you should also know that at the same time, Pingting is not as good as me.” Chu Beijie’s confidence was obvious when he continued, “She’d only use that tactic once. The woman I like would never be stupid enough to continuously bet on her body every time our army attacks. I can assure you, she would have already thought of another plan by the time our army attacks again.”
He tossed his head back and roared in laughter.
“With her here, this Kanbu battle really has become much more thrilling. It’s certainly the most nerve-wracking battle, I, Chu Beijie have ever been in.”
However, Moran looked as if he had a headache. “So, Duke has found a worthy opponent and victory is uncertain?”
“Do you remember the sword I left in honour of the five year treaty?”
“Yes, it was Duke’s favourite ‘Parting Soul’.”
“I must win this war as the price for the future of the Duchess of Zhen-Bei.” Chu Beijie seemed to be thinking something as he said, “Although Pingting is clever, her soul has departed due to me, Chu Beijie.”
With one last flick of the whip, they were gone like the wind.
Three hours later, the Dong Lin army was ready once more, their confidence even stronger than before. They were inspired by their main commander’s invincible figure and they were ready to win the last defensive attack against Kanbu.
Their flag noisily flapped in the air.
Chu Beijie’s expression was neutral. He was sitting on his horse as he calmly observed Kanbu.
A spy, who was sent, came with a report. “Duke, there are absolutely no soldiers in Kanbu. They must have escaped!”
This news rippled through the other generals and even Chu Beijie had to frown.
“Moran,” Chu Beijie picked his named out from the crowd, “Explain.”
Moran thought hard, then roughly explained, “The most important thing at the moment is to understand the movements of the Bei Mo army. If they are heading onwards Bei Yali, then we could easily catch up. If they have gone around Kanbu and are heading for the southern forests, then it’d be pretty bad.”
At this moment, the spy came again and panted in a somewhat high voice, “Duke, the entire Bei Mo army has entered the forest!”
Every one of the generals paled when they realised the intention of the Bei Mo main advisor. Although it was a bit risky, it was the best tactic they could possible do at this time.
“Once the Bei Mo army enters the dense forest, they can attack our supplies at any time, surrounding us by breaking off places we could retreat to and force the back-up soldiers we’ve been receiving from the King away. Even if we continue through Kanbu to Bei Yali, we’ll be on our own.”
Chu Beijie’s expression was very serious when he abruptly laughed.
“You had only just ruined my poisonous wasps plan when you immediately think of using the forests next. Well, well Pingting. How am I supposed to not love and respect you? You know that this tactic won’t stop my army. At most, it would only hold up for a few more days… so just what are you planning?”
After laughing, his expression was thoughtful once more.
“General Shenwei, take your troops and head for Kanbu.”
He waved his hands and someone passed a command flag to General Shenwei.
A frosty smile played on Chu Beijie’s lips, “I’m going to take ten thousand of the best soldiers to stop her army in the forest.”
“Please reconsider, Duke. The Bei Mo army is approximately fifty thousand in number. Even if it’s ten thousand of the best soldiers, it should be impossible to win.”
“Ten thousand is enough,” With all his arrogance, he chuckled. “How could you win the best woman’s heart without skill? My dear Pingting, I will make you lose in a way that you won’t have any regrets.”
The group of a thousand soldiers began their chase to find the Bei Mo army, towards the forests that covered several hectares, a place where not many had explored before.
- Damming: This word is stolen from a chess tactic (not that I play chess of course). It’s probably not the correct translation and probably more of an inference from me. But it does sort of make sense. Damming means to cut off lines of support or attack for one or more pieces and thereby punching large holes in the attack or support chain. From my understanding (which is too basic to win a proper game), it’s something like moving/forcing the opposition’s piece (usually by sacrifice) to a more advantageous place for you. That opposition’s piece is also generally an important one for attack or defence. Pingting “damns” (blocks) Chu Beijie’s attempt at attack by sacrificing her body. If Chu Beijie was mean enough to kill her, then all the wasps would attack her (because the Sanhua arrows and maybe because she has some Sanhua near herself too), instead of attacking the Bei Mo army. This means that the attack chain is basically useless and the after-effects are pretty bad, as stated in the novel. Chu Beijie is nice and retreats this time, meaning there is no use for their attack chain right now and it therefore dissolves. This buys the Bei Mo army more time for a proper counterattack. Whatever Chu Beijie decides is advantageous to Pingting’s side, the Bei Mo army. This was probably more of an “Art of War” reference (famous military treatise), but that’s virtually impossible for me to understand. :/