Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang Vol03 Ch71
In Gui Le City, everyone in the Royal Residence was forbidden from making sound. Even footsteps were muffled.
The Marquess of Jing-An who could decide death in a single word was furious today.
Fei Zhaoxing hurriedly walked inside. Seeing He Xia’s warmthless expression, he showed a sign of submission. He cautiously stood at one side, waiting for He Xia’s questioning.
“You’re here.” He Xia looked at him, not asking about what he’d been up to recently. He pointed at his table stacked high with documents. “Look at this, even though I’ve repeatedly clarified that these inauspicious incidents are merely someone messing around in the shadows and all that’s needed is to send troops to deal with the lurkers, these ignorant fools actually still try to hand reports to me, requesting me to not rush on establishing the new country, saying that it’s God’s wrath. What wrath, unless they mean the skies aren’t willing for me to take the throne?”
Fei Zhaoxing knew his anger wasn’t light. He quickly agreed, “Marquess of Jing-An is correct. These ignorant people don’t even understand what’s important to a country, so don’t be too angry at them, Marquess of Jing-An. As for the establishment of the new country, following Marquess of Jing-An’s intentions is good.”
“I thought that at first too, but it won’t work.” He Xia’s anger cooled down slightly. He sighed, “There’s been no movement uncovered from Chu Beijie’s side. I suspect those generals have enough of credit or they’re afraid of Chu Beijie, so they don’t dare to put full effort into hunting them. I really want to immediately send out troops when we find Chu Beijie’s location…”
He seemed to realise he had lost his composure, so he paused for a brief moment. He drank a mouthful of the served tea, calmly continuing, “There’s been a lot of things going on these days. The recruiting hasn’t gone well, and at first I didn’t want Yun Chang to supply resources for the army, but Dong Lin, Gui Le and Bei Mo have suffered years of war. A lot of their land has been abandoned, temporarily unable to supply enough rations.”
Because of the problem of forage, most of the refurbishment troops were left in Gui Le. Every part of the Yun Chang Royal Residence reminded He Xia of Yaotian, so he often felt his heart was unbearably pained and subconsciously wasn’t willing to immediately return.
Of the seven Yun Chang regiments, Gui Yan’s Yongxiao Regiment was annihilated at the start of the war. He Xia had used prisoners of war from the various countries to form a new Yongxiao Regiment as supplement. Fei Zhaoxing did his secret calculations. Currently, two regiments were stationed in Gui Le. One was scattered across Bei Mo and Dong Lin while the remaining three were all in Yun Chang.
The four countries had yet to settle, and the main commander was away from Yun Chang for a while. It really was a bit dangerous.
If it were the past, Fei Zhaoxing would’ve definitely and bluntly tell He Xia, but ever since his suspicion, he was much more reserved about everything. He stood at one side and thought about suggesting, “Chu Beijie is a scourge. Although he is currently in hiding, he mustn’t be ignored. He should be hidden in Dong Lin. If one regiment can’t find him, then send more people to look should be enough to find traces eventually. Why not send me, or General Cui’s Ganfeng Regiment to Dong Lin, to cooperate with the hunting?”
He Xia quietened, his face unhappy as he murmured, “You probably don’t know the news that just reached here this morning. Cui Linjian has been assassinated.”
Cui Linjian was a young general He Xia recently promoted. He was only twenty-two, but he was very smart and worked well. He was very loyal to He Xia thanks to his promotion. His death was a major blow to He Xia, who wanted to insert his confidants in the military to gradually and completely take control of all military power.
“He was decapitated in the middle of the night in his own tent. The head was hung on the door post.”
Fei Zhaoxing asked, “Could it be Chu Beijie’s doing? We ought to immediately assign a general to take charge. The entire Ganfeng Regiment’s men lost their main commander.”
“Who do you think is best to take over?”
Of course Fei Zhaoxing wouldn’t say himself. He picked the most obvious choice to say, “It’s too difficult to find the right person last minutely. General Qing Tian’s Shuitai Regiment is closest to the Ganfeng Regiment. Why not integrate the two regiments together, temporarily all under General Qing Tian’s command?”
He Xia shook his head, his eyebrows furrowing. “Although Chu Beijie does have the skill, it may not be him. Only someone familiar with the internal structure of the Yun Chang army would choose to attack Cui Linjian. I’m afraid it might not be that simple.”
Fei Zhaoxing was intelligent too, and he immediately understood Yun Chang’s meaning. Cui Linjian wasn’t a Yun Chang resident, nor was he an aged veteran in the army. Many important generals of Yun Chang held objections in their heart towards the former commander of the Ganfeng Regiment, and Qing Tian was one of the ones who complained the most.
But who in the army could possibly dare to assassinate the commander of a regiment during this time of power struggle?
He secretly blamed himself for speaking so quickly, as if helping Qing Tian gain another regiment. He regretted it immensely and hurriedly tried to work around it, “Then should we send more troops to deal with Chu Beijie? I’m currently dealing with the tasks Marquess of Jing-An has given me, so I’m afraid I can’t leave. So why not send General Qing Tian’s Shuitai Regiment as reinforcement?”
He Xia finally nodded, “Then send him.” He approached the table, lifted the pen, and wrote an Order. He added his own seal, handed it to a guard, and asked Fei Zhaoxing, “How has the matter about the crown been going?”
Fei Zhaoxing reported, “The craftsmen have been found. Two of them are from Gui Le while another decent one is from Dong Lin. Both are well-known masters of their trade and hid as war fell. Finding them was quite a task. All sorts of precious gemstones and metals have been collected. The one in the middlemost stone is planned to be the best sapphire. Currently a single useable one has been found. The crown’s materials have been sorted, but the Queen’s…”
“Use it for the Queen’s crown first.”
“Marquess of Jing-An?” Fei Zhaoxing hesitated as he asked.
“Give the gems for the Queen’s crown first. You can slowly prepare the King’s, so don’t worry about it. Remember, the craftsmanship must be exquisite and the materials in high-quality, especially the Queen’s crown.”
Fei Zhaoxing looked at He Xia’s expression with puzzlement. His handsome face had a faint experience, as if always having undispersed fog. He was standing right there, but he seemed very distant. He could only answer ‘yes’ before backing away.
When returning to his base, his subordinate, General An excitedly hurried over again, inviting him out to drink.
General An was an old veteran of the Yun Chang army. Fei Zhaoxing was much more seasoned than Dongzhuo. Even though he’d taken over the Weibei Regiment after Gui Changning’s death, he spent much effort to get along and win over several generals, both on the surface and underneath. Seeing General An, Fei Zhaoxing smiled, “Drink again? General has gained a number of accomplishments, and the Marquess of Jing-An gives a lot of reward. Why not buy a large piece of land, set up a residence, and marry a few pretty women to enjoy life? That’s much more interesting compared to drinking.”
General An waved his hand. “I just love drinking alcohol. I don’t know when I’ll be finished, being a person who kills out on the battlefield. One woman is enough. If I marry more, there’ll be more widows in the future.” He sighed, “Women aren’t any good anyway. Look at Chu Beijie; he disturbed others by disappearing for a woman. I heard he appeared recently. Heh, I reckon that’s a lie. As for our Prince Consort…” He suddenly remembered He Xia had strictly forbidden others from referring to him as the Prince Consort. He abruptly stopped.
Fei Zhaoxing’s heart jumped endlessly. He smiled and asked, “What about the Prince Consort?”
General An scratched his head, “The Marquess of Jing-An is deeply in love, but it’s a pity about our Princess who had such bad fortune to actually die while giving birth. If she were still alive today, then she would enjoy this endless splendor.”
Fei Zhaoxing felt these words were becoming increasingly out of place. His expression changed slightly, and he pondered, “I was just worrying about the size of the Queen’s crown I’ve been ordered to prepare recently. Perhaps the Marquess of Jing-An is going to find a new queen when he ascends the throne?”
General An was a pompous man, so he didn’t notice Fei Zhaoxing’s expression. His hand waved a few times, “Where can you find such a queen? Has General seen any woman around the Marquess of Jing-An? Even if he does marry again, I reckon she’ll only be a concubine. That’s why I say the Marquess of Jing-An was quite nice to our Princess. I heard that in Yun Chang, he ordered the Princess’ grave to undergo grand renovation. Tsk tsk, those little small-hearted guys secretly attack, saying the Prince Consort killed the Princess, but I reckon that’s impossible due to the feelings between husband and wife.”
When Fei Zhaoxing heard these words, the tightly knotted, messy strands of confusion in his mind felt like it had been completely slapped clean by a hand from the skies. He suddenly understood everything.
He stiffened, rooted on the spot.
General An finally realised something was wrong. “General, what’s wrong?”
Fei Zhaoxing dazedly replied, “I suddenly thought of something urgent, and I must go do it immediately. I’ll accompany you on another day.”
He hurried to an inner room and pushed close the door so all of the sky’s gorgeous sun was blocked outside.
A biting cold rushed upwards from the soles of his feet.
He Xia intended to murder.
For Yaotian, He Xia wanted to take revenge for Yaotian.
No wonder, out of so many people, he picked the arrangement of the Queen’s Crown as well as finding men to renovate Yaotian’s grave. It felt like he just turned his head, only to realise that a huge wire overhead about to trap a big fish, him.
Remembering how he’d thought that only wealth lay in the future, he realised it was just a bubble. He Xia had already become the world’s most powerful man, hence taking his, Fei Zhaoxing’s, life, was nothing to matter.
Although he’d repeatedly advised He Xia to kill, he had really wholeheartedly done it for the sake of He Xia’s own authority.
Now that He Xia killed Yaotian and regretted it immensely, he decided to use Fei Zhaoxing as a scapegoat to vent out his anger.
Fei Zhaoxing’s cold sweat oozed downwards. He was both angry and depressed. His fist clenched until his nails dug into his flesh.
The plan with the drugs was proceeding very successfully.
Fanlu’s physique was extraordinary. Zuiju hadn’t used much either, so he completely recovered in two or three days. Zuiju then gave him a task, “Find a way to mix this into the food supply.” She had a huge bag of the mentioned drugs in her hand.
“How do you mix it? All the food supplies are confined in sacks, unless you want me to undo each and put the drugs in? Do you think those officials in charge of supplies are fools?”
“You’re the fool. No one asked you to open them.” Zuiju took out a small amount to demonstrate. “Dissolve a little powder in water and pour it over the sacks. Won’t the drugs then diffuse through?”
This idea was good. Such a small bowl of drugs would be utterly undetectable even when poured over. Although only the grains dampened would have the desired effect, the rice of army meals tended to be cooked sack by sack, in one huge pot. Who wouldn’t miss out on it then?
Zuiju handed Fanlu the bag, but he didn’t take it. He gave her a deadpan look, “What reward do I get for helping you do this important job?”
Zuiju’s expression was immovable, “It’s not like only you can do this job. With such an easy task, the Duke can randomly send out someone to impersonate a patrol issued out by you to inspect the food supply. I just thought that you looked rather idle, so I helped find something for you to do.”
Fanlu harrumphed unhappily a few times, but he took the bag anyway.
In the few days that followed, there were some vague news.
First, it was suspected that a plague hit the army. The army doctors didn’t know what was going on exactly, so several famous doctors from the various cities outside went to check.
Later, the symptoms were diagnosed. They all said that it wasn’t a plague. The soldiers were most likely unaccustomed to the climate.
“They weren’t stupid either. They first suspected it was the food that was the problem, so they examined it over and over again, yet couldn’t find anything at all. I’ve been quite cooperative too. I’ve immediately sent some rations of the poisoned stock from Qierou. I have even even specifically indicated that this poison was probably not able to be detected by silver needles, so dry Asteraceae grass and water should be used instead. If the water turned black, then there was poison. I think that’ll muddle them for a bit longer.”
Fanlu’s words caused all of the people inside the room to burst into laughter.
Only Zuiju glared at him. “Why lie for no reason? They could suspect you because of that, bringing great disaster.”
Pingting sat by Zuiju’s side and lightly held Zuiju’s hand at her words. She turned to her, quietly explaining, “There really are poisons like that. He isn’t lying.”
Chu Beijie also said, “We’re planning to tackle this general for a bit. Letting Fanlu please him first. A bit of friendship is good.”
Only then did Zuiju realised she wrongly accused Fanlu. At first she wanted to apologise, but when she raised her head, she saw Fanlu beamingly smugly as he winked at her. Her apologetic words swallowed with a loud gulp, hurling itself right back into her stomach.
Moran asked, “What other news?”
“Lots of news, as if the heavens are helping us.” Fanlu was the main source of the news about the Yun Chang internal structures and so everyone had gathered around where he sat. At the mention of army, Fanlu was even more delighted. He was very attentive as he dramatised, “First of all, the Duke of Zhen-Bei is to be praised. Assassinating Cui Linjian was done with a knife, not the Divine Spirit sword.”
Chu Beijie faintly replied, “Choosing Cui Linjian was completely your merit. Without you, the current situation is impossible.”
At his words, Fanlu knew Chu Beijie pretty much guessed everything about the current situation. He was only getting him to clarify the situation on his behalf so that he, “a Governor of Yun Chang” could more successfully integrate Chu Beijie’s men. He couldn’t help give Chu Beijie an appreciative glance as he continued to speak, “Cui Linjian’s death has caused He Xia to suspect Qingtian. Because He Xia has been actively replacing veterans in the Yun Chang army with newcomers, there have been complaints everywhere from these Yun Chang veterans. Cui Linjian was currently the highest promoted amongst the young generals. Yes, he isn’t a Yun Chang citizen.”
Moran was listening very carefully. He asked Fanlu, “Don’t tell me you have spies in Gui Le? You’re very sure that He Xia is suspecting Qing Tian.”
Fanlu chuckled, “How could I possibly have the skill to insert spies by He Xia’s side? But it isn’t hard to know. Although the Ganfeng Regiment is without a commander due to Cui Linjian’s death, He Xia didn’t send the nearby Qing Tian to takeover the Ganfeng Regiment. Instead he ordered him to go to Dong Lin to hunt the Duke of Zhen-Bei.” He paused, glancing at Chu Beijie.
Zuiju bursted into laughter. “That Qing Tian sure is unlucky. Everyone in his regiment currently has no energy to move their limbs, and they can’t find the reason for it, so it’s completely impossible for them to go to Dong Lin. He Xia would certainly hate him even more, thanks to their delay of military orders.” Seeing how the others silently looked at her, she blushed slightly, “Did I say something wrong?”
Fanlu said, “It’s because you were right. We all felt very surprised.” Zuiju’s eyes widened, but she had yet to speak before Fanlu turned back to Pingting. He bowed, sighing, “As expected of Miss Bai. I admire. I admire it.”
Pingting replied, “Governor flatters me. This plan, one that’s strong by playing weak, relies heavily on location. It’s all what the Duke thought of, not Pingting’s own accomplishment.”
Fanlu shook his head, “Miss can’t put it like that. Without Miss, who else could create such a wonderful drug?”
Zuiju thought for a moment, finally understanding. The reason why Chu Beijie planned to put in drugs was to create tension between Qing Tian and He Xia. Assassination, create the drug, put it in, allow Fanlu to develop friendship with Qing Tian, had all been linked together. Zuiju spat a little, mumbling to herself, “When it comes to war, you men are really quite vigorous, to go around in a huge loop to do something.” She suddenly remembered Pingting was sitting at one side, but she wasn’t a man. She poked out her tongue, raising her head to pull a face at Pingting.
Recently, Huo Yunan was also listening to their military discussions with interest, so he had his own seat to occupy. He raised his voice, asking, “From what I see from this situation, Duke’s intention to shake the Yun Chang morale has already been achieved. Are you planning to personally go to draw out Qing Tian?”
Pingting shook her head thoughtfully. “The situation has yet to mature. The generals in the army won’t rebel so easily.”
“I too think the situation has yet to mature. Qing Tian won’t immediately betray He Xia.” Chu Beijie revealed a warm and handsome smile before changing the subject, “But time is precious, I still plan to immediately go see Qing Tian.”
“If it has yet to mature, then it’s possible to let it mature a bit quicker.”
Fanlu began to feel excited. “Please bring me alone, Duke. I once stayed in the Shuitai Regiment for a bit, so I’m quite used to them. Maybe there’s something I can do to help…”
Moran immediately asked, “Are you good friends with Qing Tian?”
Fanlu chuckled, “Back then my position was very low. There was no way for me to have a chance to personally meet General Qing Tian. But spies are the greatest masters of looking at people. He doesn’t know me, but I’ve often secretly watched him.”
Without further ado, the crowd considered all things properly and immediately set down the plans.
Chu Beijie and Moran took ten elites, as well as Fanlu, immediately setting out of the city.
It was the first time Fanlu actually set off with them. Zuiju was a little bit worried, tugging at Fanlu’s sleeve. She beckoned him to a corner, lowering her voice, “Do you have to go?”
“Of course,” Fanlu held out his large palms, “See, my palms are dreadfully itchy.”
Zuiju said, “For some reason, my heart is pounding. You have to be more careful during this outing.”
Fanlu was rather sarcastic. “Heart is pounding? Geez, that’s a bad omen in the army. Come, let me touch it, so it won’t pound any more.”
At first Zuiju was scared pale white by him but didn’t expect his final words would be that. She was so angry she rolled her eyes, batting away Fanlu’s outstretched claws before striding away.
Chu Beijie and the other dozen people left the city. They hurried all the way, heading straight for the grounds near the Shuitai Regiment until the sky darkened. Everyone hid in ambush outside, staring at the tiny little lights across the empty space in front.
Chu Beijie quietly whispered his arrangement. “I will go find Qing Tian directly. Moran and Fanlu, sneak into the camp and provide assistance immediately when required. If something unexpected happens inside, we will immediately fight our way out from the east. The rest only needs to create fire, don’t try to forcefully clash as creating a bit of chaos for us to escape is enough.”
He instructed the approximate details in a few sentences. Each of the group were experts in their respective trades and knew how to adlib when required, so they didn’t need any further instructions either.
Chu Beijie’s piercing eyes were fixed on the other side. He stared into the emptiness, “Let’s go.” Moran and Fanlu followed him. All of them were dressed in black, including the cloth masking their faces. They were like three shadows, silently and effortlessly entering the enemy camp.
This was the location the Shuitai Regiment was stationed to for a long time. The camp wasn’t made with those temporary, makeshift leather tents but yards of proper layered fences. The tents were like little buildings of an undecorated residence. The brightly lit centremost house was Qing Tian’s residence.
Chu Beijie hid back and forth to escape the small patrol squads, heading straight for the central, commander’s tent. Moran coordinated with him for a while, so he too quietly managed to near the central tent.
Fanlu had been in the Shuitai Regiment before and was more familiar with it than Chu Beijie and Moran. He was extraordinarily courageous. When he passed by a small room, he glimpsed to check if anyone was inside before entering and finding a set of the Shuitai Regiment’s uniform. He dressed in it and swaggered out.
The patrol rule for whistle calls has remained unchanged for many years hence eavesdropping for that night’s password would be enough. Fanlu stood in a dark corner, listening to the small squads interact.
“Peace to the Princess.”
“Great fortune to Yun Chang.”
Fanlu thought, the Princess has already died. This Qing Tian sure had a conscience, not completely forgetting his former Master. Since the night’s password was obtained, there was no longer a need to hide. Fanlu stepped out from the shadows, taking the opportunity to look around. For anyone he encountered who asked anything, he replied with the same password. Hearing how he had the Yun Chang accent, his behaviour being obviously military in origin, and not to mention he had the right password, no one suspected him.
Chu Beijie should have already snuck to where Qing Tian was. Fanlu kept on heading to the centre, planning to let Chu Beijie see how cool he was. He had yet to reach the innermost when Fanlu abruptly stopped. He turned to the room on his left. He remembered there used to be nothing in that building in the past, but the number of guards stationed had noticeably increased. There was a flag stuck on the door. When it fluttered in the wind, the character “Xia” seemed to dance in the wind.
As a spy, his gaze was even sharper than a thief’s. He instantly knew there was something strange hidden inside.
He hid himself, assessing the place for a long time. He suddenly revealed a sly smile, “Fortunately I passed by here.” He turned and walked, taking advantage of the night and heading for the sound of water. He muttered, “I just remembered there was a river here.” He was never someone to sit around, a born spy, so he always explored every nook and cranny of the topography around him. The Shuitai Regiment’s annual station here was certainly no exception.
Fanlu once sneaked to this river and knew its undercurrent would pass by that house.
He slipped into the water like a loach, not giving a single splash. When in the water, his breathing slowed. He swam continuously. After a while, it appeared there was space overhead. He floated up, his head right on the stone ceiling. There was only a small gap between the ceiling and the surface of the water, but it was enough to reveal his mouth and nose, letting him breathe temporarily.
Fanlu took in another deep breath, diving back down. This time he swam even further than before. The water was dark, so he could only fumble out his way. His lungs began to heat up slightly when he suddenly bumped into something. Fanlu reached out to touch it, immediately realising that it was an iron lever. He yelped in alarm.
There had never been an iron lever here. Fanlu remembered what Zuiju said to him before he left and his heart sighed. Was this really the way his life was to be?
He particularly regretted for being so conceited which caused him to die so unjustly.
His chest felt like it had been engulfed by fire, but Fanlu didn’t dare open his mouth. He understood that opening his mouth at that moment was not only futile but would undoubtedly send him to his death. He held onto the iron lever, desperately shaking it.
The pain from lacking air boiled in him. His mind was a mess. He could only use all his energy to struggle.
At that moment, the iron lever on his hand shook slightly. Although it was just a bit, Fanlu’s spirits were lifted. He shook it even more forcefully, using his feet to hit it underwater.
Almost all of the air in Fanlu’s lungs was used up, so his strength declined steadily. In his haze, he felt like he heard Zuiju’s voice. Fanlu shuddered before continuing his struggle
When he was about to despair, the iron lever moved again. It moved much further than before, its foundations appearing to have loosened. Fanlu hurriedly leaned forwards, so his entire face was past the lever.
The skies are really helping me!
Already near-death, Fanlu struggled to squeeze himself past. He didn’t care about the multiple scrapes and thrashed to get to the surface of the water. He didn’t expect a thick stone ceiling there. There wasn’t a chance to even float.
Fanlu’s heart plummeted. With a hand groping the rock overhead, he did everything to swim forwards. He swam for a bit. Only after all his energy seemed to have been depleted did he feel a coolness on his palm. Fanlu was delighted. He violently kicked the bottom, and his face popped out on the surface. Huge amounts of precious air greeted him.
Fanlu panted in huge gulps, scattering water droplets as he climbed out. He always brought matches with him, carefully wrapped in oil paper. He lit a fire and looked around him, muttering darkly, “Damn that Tian bastard, he actually made a water dungeon and almost caused me to drown.”
It seemed Fanlu wasn’t the only person who discovered this water route. This place obviously underwent some renovation for the underground water to be used. No wonder iron bars had been installed to prevent human interaction.
Perhaps it was because the blacksmith who forged the iron bars thought they were going to be underwater, unseen, that he worked on it sloppily. The iron bars were easy to loosen, but it was this that saved Fanlu’s life.
Fanlu remembered he was in enemy territory and extinguished the flame. He carefully made his way inside where the walls flickered with the light of an oil lamp. The light was about as small as a soybean, but it was enough to cast the entire room in a hazy light.
The two guarding soldiers were lying asleep on the table, snoring. A pile of bottles were by their feet. With so many guards outside, the chances of the inside being as secure were ten thousand to one. Who would expect a certain fiend would come out from the water?
Fanlu approached those two. He viciously struck the back of their heads for them to properly faint.
“Why don’t I go see who needs to be locked up so securely?”
He looked inside the prison where a tall figured man sat. His eyes were shining in the dark, and his expression was piercing.
Fanlu asked across the prison door, “Hey, who are you?”
The man had bandages wrapped around his shoulders and legs. He coldly noted how Fanlu appeared, wearing a dripping wet military Yun Chang army uniform and knocking out the guards. But he showed no surprise, he just assessed Fanlu a bit. “And who are you?”
He had been locked up for a long time. His hair and beard were a mes,s and his face was largely obscured so even Fanlu couldn’t recognise him. But when he spoke, his words had the superior momentum that belonged to senior generals. Fanlu was stunned for a few moments and looked more closely at his features, feeling they were increasingly familiar as he looked. His expression suddenly revealed shock, “You are Bei Mo’s Ze Yin!”
All of the Bei Mo citizens thought Ze Yin was killed by He Xia after his challenge. Who would possibly expect he was secretly imprisoned inside the Shuitai Regiment’s campsite?
“I’ve seen you before. You’re Bei Mo’s Main General, Ze Yin.”
Ze Yin didn’t make a sound. He knew Fanlu was a person from the Yun Chang army at first sight, and his heart was alerted him to be on his guard for it may be He Xia’s trick. He couldn’t speak; he didn’t speak.
“Why are you locked up here? How long have you been in here?”
Fanlu asked a few questions in succession, but Ze Yin didn’t answer. He knew Ze Yin was suspicious of him and secretly thought, I risked my life to get here, but you don’t appreciate it. I ain’t happy. His expression cooled, “Do you know who I am?”
Ze Yin heard his tone and became increasingly certain that he was someone who’d been in the Yun Chang army for many years. This person was most likely a spy sent by He Xia. He frowned, “Say what you want. If you don’t, then get out.”
“I’m yer son Ze Qing’s godfather!” He had been listening to Zuiju about what Pingting had told to her so he obviously knew about Yangfeng and Ze Qing.
His words had yet to fall before Ze Qing abruptly leapt to his feet in the prison room. He stiffly walked a few steps, his pace suddenly increasing a bit more. His voice was solemn, “A lot of people know my son is Ze Qing. Don’t you dare try to fool me.”
Fanlu harrumphed loudly, not bothering to answer. He took the keys off the two guards and opened the prison door. He mumbled to himself, “Poor godson, I wanted to save your real father’s life, but he says he doesn’t want to see you. He just wants to wait and die here. When I think of how you and your mother will be bullied since you don’t have a father or your godfather by your side, it’s quite pitiful.”
Ze Yin was slightly startled.
Being imprisoned for so long, he had no news of his wife and son. It felt like his heart was clawed out when he thought of how they would have lost his protection, causing them to be bullied in all sorts of ways by others.
Fanlu didn’t look at him. He just stretched. “I’m going to go. The people outside are still waiting for me. You can escape under the water and follow me if you want. It’s up to you.” He turned and headed to where he came from.
Ze Yin was a little hesitant, but he immediately caught up. He made up his mind to not see Yangfeng after leaving this place nor leak a single word to this person. Even if this was an enemy trick, it will do no good.
Outside the camp, two shadows quietly sneaked back.
When the people waiting outside saw them, they instantly sighed in relief.
Chu Beijie and Moran hid themselves, asking the others, “Has Fanlu returned?”
Everyone shook their heads. Moran’s heart sank a bit. He lowered his voice, “I’ll go in again.”
“No need. He knows this place better than us. wait a bit.”
The people uneasily waited for a while, mentally scolding Fanlu in every brutal way possible. Even Chu Beijie’s eyebrows were locked in frown.
How were they to explain to Zuiju if Fanlu got trapped inside? Forget about rescuing. If they broke in to rescue him, all their plans would be destroyed.
While they were still extremely worried, Fanlu finally appeared. His clothes were wet. Because he lurked out, quite a lot of dust stuck to his body. In the black night, his clothes looked very gray-yellow.
Once seeing Chu Beijie, Fanlu didn’t bother explaining where he went. He began by asking, “Has Duke seen Qing Tian?”
Chu Beijie planned to scold him a bit, but after consideration, he decided now wasn’t the time. He lightly replied, “When I went, he was reading an urgent order from He Xia. He was scolded for disobeying military orders in not leading his troops immediately to Dong Lin.”
When Moran saw Fanlu had returned, his worries about Zuiju were put to rest. He revealed a faint smile and purposefully relaxed the atmosphere, “To be honest, just the fact that Qing Tian didn’t immediately call his men to capture the Duke when they met is already enough to determine Qing Tian’s mind has been a little shaken.”
“Qing Tian is really unfortunate. His relationship with He Xia is getting increasingly worse. Firstly, he is suspected of killing Cui Linjian. Secondly, he’s suspected of lying about sick soldiers so that he could disregard the military orders, and now I’ve helped him get another really important third reason.”
Chu Beijie understood there was a deeper meaning underneath. “What reason can be so important?”
Fanlu chuckled, “Isn’t it quite disastrous if he loses an important prisoner He Xia ordered to keep in secret custody? The first two reasons are only He Xia’s suspicions, but he can’t do anything about a great general like Qing Tian on the surface for mere suspicions. But losing an important prisoner is something He Xia would certainly use as an excuse to deal with him. Qing Tian will perhaps have to invest in us then.”
Moran asked, “Who is this important prisoner? Why does he matter?”
“Does Bei Mo’s Main General Ze Yin matter?”
The crowd was utterly shocked.
“Where is he?”
Fanlu looked rather lazy and actually yawned. He pointed at the hillside behind, “I hid him and came to talk to the Duke first. You two were once enemies in the battlefield, but don’t fight the moment you see each other. I exchanged him for my life.”
Chu Beijie was delighted. He softly roared, and the dozen people began charging toward the hillside behind them.