“Woah, luckily I stepped away in time, you almost cut me in half!”
ZiChuan Xiu had yet to fully recover his senses: “Master Bai, you are being way too reckless… Do I really look like some pervert who would force myself on some innocent young girl? And you, Gu Lei, what are you looking at?”
Bai Chuan argued back unconvinced: “Sir, if you put yourself in my shoes and you saw some pervert holding an innocent young girl alone in the dark… What would you think?”
ZiChuan Xiu: “Well, I would think that the girl must be the third Princess of Demons, a very important hostage and military asset. The shock of her predicament must have been too much for her to bear, causing her to lose consciousness. This is why, your honorable and gentlemanly commanding officer selflessly and without ulterior motives, tried to give her a mouth to mouth resuscitation…. That is what I would think!”
Bai Chuan: “F*ck that… There is no way in hell anyone would think like that!”
ZiChuan Xiu:” Then clearly, you haven’t seen enough soap operas; this is like one of its typical scenarios!”
Bai Chuan:” What are you talking about, Sir?”
ZiChuan Xiu:” Oh, never mind, I messed up the time, pretend I never said anything.”
Bai Chuan: “But even if the Demon Princess really did faint and needed resuscitation, surely anyone could have done it, why does it have to be you, Sir?”
ZiChuan Xiu: “If anyone can do it, why can’t I?”
ZiChuan Xiu: “Give me your report, Master Bai.”
Bai Chuan: “As you wish, Sir. After five hours of fighting the demons have sustained somewhere between twenty and thirty thousand casualties. We have captured their main camp and supply wagons. This time the Demon Army brought with them fifty three white cloaks in total. (White Cloaks are the battalion commanders in the Demon Army, they wore the white cloaks) My unit took down twenty one, while Chang Chuan’s unit killed nineteen and captured three. The whereabouts of the rests are unknown.
ZiChuan Xiu: “Deputy Banner Master Luo Jie just sent me his report. He took down seven White Cloaks, and a rough estimate puts his kill count at above ten thousand, which means the main force for the Demon Army no longer exists. All that left is the cleanup work.
Bai Chuan bowed: “This is a great victory, Sir. Congratulations. You did a great job!” She cursed under her breath: “Indeed, sleeping, eating, and fooling around with some woman…what a great job.”
“Ho, those were some really kind words, Master Bai… But truth be told, I did do a great job. However, after a day of hard work, it’s time for me to rest… So I’ll have to trouble you once more, Master Bai, the security of the main camp will have to fall on your shoulders!”
Bai Chuan gave him the middle finger behind her back while asking politely: “Sir, there is just that one thing troubling me.”
ZiChuan Xiu: “Oh?”
Bai Chuan: According to the prisoners, the reason for their recent defeat has to do with the sudden assassination of both their Commander and Deputy Commander, but none of the officers in the frontline knew about this mysterious assassin. I can’t help but wonder how you become aware of this, thus giving us the order to attack?”
ZiChuan Xiu looked surprised: “You said I gave the orders? Is that what happened? I remembered it differently. Weren’t you, Master Bai the one who gave the orders?”
Bai Chuan: “But Sir, didn’t you say…”
ZiChuan Xiu: “Well, when you came to me for instructions, you told me that Luo Jie wanted to attack, and I told you to let them do whatever they want… Was that not true? In other words, from the very beginning till the end, everything was decided by you and Luo Jie, correct? So when did I give you the order to launch an all out attack?”
Thinking back, that was indeed the case, but ZiChuan Xiu’s tone of voice seemed to suggest that… Luckily we won, or else, I would have to shoulder all the blame… Suddenly she could feel the cold sweat dripping down her back.
“You have nothing to fear, because you won. I doubt the Ministry of Supervision will bother investigate you for having purposely communicated a false order.” ZiChuan Xiu seemed to have guessed Bai Chuan’s thought as he spoke casually: “We are heading back to the City of Sha Jia tomorrow, leave the cleanup work to the unit of Banner Master Ge Xi.”
Bai Chuan insisted: “But Sir, it was our efforts that led to this victory, we should be the ones to give chase!”
ZiChuan Xiu: “If we take all the credits for ourselves, then the other units will get jealous… which in turn will make our lives harder later on.”
With that, he walked lazily towards the tent: “It is getting late, Master Bai, you should rest as well. We still have a long road ahead of us.”
Bai Chuan suddenly realized: The heroic triumph over eighty thousand demon forces with only thirty thousand men, no one can take that away from him. He might as well act generously and let the others have a small piece of the pie… What a cunning and crafty mind! Watching his shadow slowly disappear in the dark, she felt like she knew less and less about him by the second…
The next nightfall, ZiChuan Xiu’s unit returned victorious to the City of Sha Jia and its citizens gave them an almost frantic welcome. The city of Sha Jia was situated closely to the Heng Chuan frontline. Whenever the demons invaded, they were almost always the ones to take the blunt of the attack, especially since the Far Eastern Army of House ZiChuan had been failing thus far, always losing more battles than winning. Therefore the citizens often had to run for their lives, it was not a pretty sight. So this time, upon hearing the news that House ZiChuan put an eighteen year old young Banner Master in charge of the defence against the demonic invasion, everyone had already given up hope and began packing their belongings, readying themselves for the eventual evacuation. They all assumed the only reason he was able to reach the rank of Banner Master at his age was due to his name, ZiChuan. But somehow, not sure which goddess’ ass this young Banner Master ended up kissing, the Demon Army collapsed on its own… Once the news arrived, the whole city was lit up with joy and celebrations!
The welcoming crowd almost overwhelmed ZiChuan Xiu’s troops when they marched into the city.
The citizens gave the soldiers all kind of worthless gifts: half baked eggs, sweat soaked handkerchiefs, silverwares and even potentially dangerous exploding cotton balls… Everyone was drowned in alcohol long passed their expiration dates! As it turned out, thirty seven tavern owners managed to avoid bankruptcy because of it, while eleven other tavern owners had their entire tavern smashed by the drunken soldiers and ended up bankrupt…
The monks prayed in their name: “Thank you, our ever victorious guardians! May the god of war forever be at your side!” Normally nobody believed in their god, but it just happened that today was the day they were allowed to spread their prayers in peace without being thrown at…
Many pretty girls holding flowers also managed to dance their way into the arms and mouths of the soldiers whom they didn’t even know the names of… According to the statistics, within the hour of entering the city, over seven thousand soldiers of ZiChuan Xiu’s unit had lost their first kiss which they had planned to save for their future lovers, the lost was catastrophic! Naturally, many touching love stories which will be remembered for the ages to come also began its first chapter there and then. Someone later calculated, despite the fact that ZiChuan Xiu’s unit stayed for less than a week in the city of Sha Jia, ten months later, the city’s birth rate was increased by 169%! And most of the newborns were even named as “Huai Jun”, “Nian Jun” and “Ai Jun”…[]
After nightfall, Luo Jie, Bai Chuan and Chang Chuan patrolled the streets, checking on the soldiers if they had violated any of the army regulations or had been causing problems.
Chang Chuan: “Bai Chuan, is there something wrong with you today? It has been twelve hours, and not once have you cursed Master Xiu’s name… Are you all right?
Luo Jie pretended to feel Bai Chuan’s forehead: “Hmm, it is definitely hot, you must be ill… Ouch!”
Bai Chuan retracted her fist: “It’s nothing. I just changed my mind about him. That is all…” Suddenly ZiChuan Xiu’s voice came from a small tavern: “How much for a bottle of Greenland Beer?”
The serving lady replied: “Three silver coins, officer.”
ZiChuan Xiu: “Oh, even more expensive than in the Capital… I’ll have two!”
Serving Lady: “Excuse me officer, are you serving in ZiChuan Xiu’s army?”
ZiChuan Xiu: “I am!”
Serving Lady: “Oh, our owner has left words. Tonight, everything for ZiChuan Xiu’s Army is on the house!”
ZiChuan Xiu: “Why is that?”
Serving Lady: “Because you are all heroes!”
ZiChuan Xiu: “Heroes huh… I will take four bottles!”
Serving Lady: “…”
Luo Jie turned to Bai Chuan: “You were saying you changed your mind about him…”
Bai Chuan answered coldly: “And now I’ve changed my mind again… Let’s go, we don’t know him!”
[] They stand for “Yearning for the Army”, “Yearning for the soldier” and “Loving the Army”.