Book 3 Chap 6 – Defeating the enemy’s army
Xiang Shaolong returned to camp and changed into his black outfit, strapped on the belt containing his needles and the equipment used for mountain climbing, carried the bows and arrows on his back and after kissing Lady Ya and bidding his farewell to the maids, he left towards the back of the camp.
He passed by Zhao Qian’s tent and he can’t help but stand outside the entrance of the tent and called out, “Princess!”
The tempo of the drums became more and more frantic, which means that the enemy is going to launch an attack soon.
“Boom, boom, boom…”
Beat by beat, it sounds like the calls of the grim reaper, the sounds going straight into the deepest corner of the souls of everyone on the battlefield.
Zhao Qian could have been thinking about Xiang Shaolong at that time, and upon hearing his voice, she lifted the flap of her tent in surprise and cried out, “Shaolong! What are you doing here? Hey!” Her pretty eyes noticed his black outfit.
Xiang Shaolong looked that this young girl as pretty as Wu Tingfang, looking at her pure, innocent and refreshing face and the feelings that he has been trying to keep surpressed rushed up and he said with a smile, “I am now going on a deadly mission to deal with the enemy, isn’t Princess going to give me some encouragement?”
Zhao Qian was startled and her pretty eyes revealed her fear and excitement. She lifted her pretty face gently, pouted her lips and quietly waited for the arrival of her first kiss and happiness without any apprehension at all but her dainty and pert bosom was heaving quickly.
Next to the camp there were suddenly war cries.
The enemy has started to make their way up the slope.
But nothing entered the ears of Xiang Shaolong and Zhao Qian, they were totally lost in that feeling of closeness, drunk in the soul wrenching proximity.
The sounds of battle cries and arrows flying broke the silent night and fell and rose like waves.
Xiang Shaolong released Zhao Qian and said with a smile, “With this kiss! I, Xiang Shaolong, will have the confidence to protect Princess until the end of time.”
While Zhao Qian was still feeling intoxicated, Xiang Shaolong has already disappeared into the darkness of the night.
The northern wind blew.
Xiang Shaolong used all the skills he’s learnt and based purely on his memory and feel, climbed up the steep cliff using the rope he had tied earlier. He quietly landed himself behind the enemy and made his way silently towards the enemy camp.
He once received the strictest military training of the 21st century and such night sabotages is but child’s play to him.
Without his armor to weigh him down, he was like a bird that found wings. He moved silently and speedily like a civet cat and was soon at the back of the enemy.
The thieves set up their camp according to the ‘square formation’, with 5 squares from the inside to the outside.
The tents containing the rations were at the furthest back, followed by 2 large enclosures where hundreds of warhorses were kept.
The situation over at the other side was getting more and more intense but the situation at the enemy’s camp here is peaceful, quiet and dimly lit. It seems that for the thieves whose turn is not up for their attack is trying to gather as much rest as possible.
Xiang Shaolong laughed secretly to himself, and thought that he can guarantee that they will not have a good night’s sleep tonight, but they will have a cruel nightmare which has come to life.
He observed closely and found that the security at the enemy camp was lax, and some of the soldiers on guard duty were even sitting on the ground and nodding off.
When he went to the horse enclosure, he felt it even more hilarious. It turns out that the 12 men on night duty were gambling happily in a circle, as if they’re totally unaware of the intense situation over at the battlefield.
As soon as he gets rid of these 12 thieves, he’ll be able to set fire to the rations tent.
The problem is, how can he kill these 12 soldiers who are experienced in battle and not let a single one escape?
Xiang Shaolong cracked his head over this.
Right at this time one of the men walked towards him.
Xiang Shaolong was initially shocked, luckily he saw that the man was loosening his pants as he walked and he realized what the other party was going to do so he hurriedly hid behind a tree.
That person just stepped into the woods when there’s a flash of dagger, he felt a coldness at his throat and was dead immediately.
Xiang Shaolong kept his Flying Rainbow, removed that person’s outer armor and wore it. He swaggered out until he was behind 2 of the men and reached out to grab their heads and banged it hard against each other. His palms reached out and with lightning speed chopped at another 2 men’s neck.
His moves were smooth and swift and only when the 4 fell to the ground did the other 7 thieves realize what has happened.
The dagger flashed. With the Flying Rainbow in his hand, Xiang Shaolong leapt up and landed on the rock that they had been using as a gambling table and slashed the throats of 3 men.
He kicked his leg and it landed on the side of one of the men’s face, who had just drew his sword. The man fainted.
The remaining 3 thieves were terrified and escaped in 2 different directions.
Xiang Shaolong secretly laughed to himself and Flying Rainbow flew from his hand, stabbing and killing one of the man in his back.
The other 2 saw that he has lost his weapon so they drew their sword and came running back.
Xiang Shaolong reached towards his waist and pulled out 2 flying needles and with a flick of his wrist, the needles flew out like lightning, aiming at the spot between the men’s brows.
By the time their bodies touch the ground, Xiang Shaolong has already picked up Flying Rainbow and disappeared into the darkness.
The battle cries were even more intense now.
Sounds of rocks and stones landing were heard, obviously the enemy is near the top of the slope and Cheng Xu and the rest had no choice but to release the rocks to attack the enemy making their way up.
By now Xiang Shaolong has successfully destroyed the horse enclosure at the back and he hurriedly removed his bow and made his way past the horses nearer to where the rations are kept.
Looking at the enemy’s camp from this angle, he happened to see that at the outermost area furthest back about 3 feet away there were a row of 20 odd tents, with a lamp hung outside each of the tent, shaking in the northerly wind. The camp was deserted with only a few guards on night duty who were dozing off, security was extremely lax.
They can’t really be blamed, for this is place is behind all their troops and they thought that Xiang Shaolong’s men were all heavily surrounded far away, that’s why they were careless.
This morning Xiang Shaolong had made use of his high vantage view and saw clearly that the 40 odd tents at the last 2 rows were used to store rations, saving him the trouble of having to scout around.
The camp’s back was facing the south, the northern wind is blowing right now. So if he can successfully set fire to the rations at the southern end and if the fire were to follow the direction of the wind, he may very well cause the rest of the camp to be on fire very quickly, especially when the inside of the camp is full of wild grass. It may become a huge fire that no one can deal with.
After he made up his mind, Xiang Shaolong knelt down with one knee on the ground and lit the arrows first before shooting it towards the ration tent nearest to him. He chose the tent right at the back of the camp, so unless the smoke was very thick, the enemy will not find out about the fire so soon.
After setting fire to the tents at the outer area, he set fire to the horses grains inside the horse enclosure. He found one exceptionally strong warhorse with stirrups and led it around the camp through the dense woods at the side, towards the middle of the camp.
By now the northern side of the camp is thick with smoke and flames could be seen and a few alert guards have started crying out to others to put out the fire and were rushing towards the fire.
What made the thieves even more panicky were the nervous neighs and trampling of the warhorses, and for a moment the whole camp was in chaos.
Xiang Shaolong rode the horse and at the same time continued shooting fire arrows along the perimeter of the camp. As long as the perimeter of the camp is on fire, those in deep sleep inside the tents can forget about escaping the fire.
While everyone’s attention was focused on the intense fire at the northern end, he wore the thief’s armor again and walked boldly across the camp towards the perimeter on the other side.
The thieves’ camp is in a mess. The troops were trying to get as much rest as possible before they start the next shift of attack but they are now scurrying out of the tents sleepy-eyed and still in a daze about their surroundings.
Some even thought enemies have attacked them and came running out with their weapons and armor in disarray.
Everywhere else there were scurrying and panicky soldiers.
Sound of hooves were heard from the northern end. Obviously the warhorses are in shock and running towards the plains.
Xiang Shaolong rode past but no one suspected him at all. Some even called out to him as he’s the only person to have a horse to run after the escaped horses.
Xiang Shaolong called out a reply and turned a circle, still running towards the perimeter on the other side. By now the tents at the side along the back were embroiled in the fire and the fire engulfed the surrounding trees and grass, adding fuel to the rapidly spreading fire.
He had used up his arrows so he might as well throw away his bow and pulled out his Flying Rainbow instead. He toppled every lantern that he saw and when the oil lamps dropped to the ground, the flames started immediately and it’s even more effective than the arrows.
He heard something behind him. Xiang Shaolong immediately lied low on the horse’s back and 3 arrows flew past his back.
He laughed and with a tight grip around the horse’s belly, is already far away from them. After toppling another 10 odd lanterns, he realized that the soldiers are not coming towards him. Without hesitation, he hurried the horse to run faster towards his own camp.
By now the soldiers who were attacking the camp came running back in a frenzy, thinking that a large group of enemies have attacked them in their panic.
These thieves, besides Hui Hu, Wolfman and another 4 leaders, the rest were all foot soldiers so by the time they retreated, Hui Hu and those on horses were already way ahead.
Xiang Shaolong was brilliant and bold. He kept his Flying Rainbow and pulled out 2 flying needles instead and hid it in his hands.
In the darkness, Hui Hu could only rely on the far away fire and could not see clearly so he thought that the person coming towards them is his own man here to give a report so he shouted from afar, “What happened?”
Xiang Shaolong shouted back, “It’s Prince Xinling’s men!”
The rest of the bandit leaders were shocked and hastened over.
Hui Hu and Wolfman were a little further behind and Xiang Shaolong secretly lamented that it’s a pity. He raised his hands and the flying needles shot out.
The strength of his wrist was formidable and the impact of the long and thin needles astonishing, going past the armor and the 2 bandit leaders right at the front were struck immediately.
Before the 2 thieves fell, Xiang Shaolong had pulled out another 2 needles and threw them at another 2 people behind them.
Hui Hu and Wolfman both realized that something was not right and as they cried out, they pulled their long swords and came towards him from 2 sides.
By now the 2 men in the front row had already fell with a groan from the side of their horses.
Xiang Shaolong had no intention of retrieving the flying needles and with one hand controlling the horse and the other hand pulling out Flying Rainbow, he faced Wolfman who was coming from his left side.
Wolfman roared and borrowing the force from the running horse, aimed his sword towards his face.
Xiang Shaolong cried out and raised his sword to block and at the same time leaned to a side and raised his leg and kicked Wolfman in his waist.
This kick is modified from Thai kickboxing and extremely powerful. Wolfman screamed and fell off his horse.
By now the 2 men at the back row who were struck by the flying needles dropped to the ground with a dull thud.
The warhorses, having lost their riders, were stamping and jumping in shock. When the hoof of one of the horses stamped down, it happened to land right on the chest of Wolfman who had fallen to the ground. Sounds of bones cracking could be heard immediately and this ferocious man died immediately.
Xiang Shaolong turned a circle around the 2 horses and took the opportunity to take out another flying needle and rushed towards Hui Hu’s back.
Hui Hu saw that the situation was not right and turned his horse around, running swiftly towards the rapidly burning camp.
Xiang Shaolong removed his armor to lighten his body weight and gave chase.
His horse is carrying a much lighter load compared to Hui Hu’s horse, and it’s also especially strong so it was only about 7 or 8 horse lengths behind Hui Hu in the blink of an eye.
Without a word, Xiang Shaolong threw his flying needle.
Who would have expected that Hui Hu saw that there’s no way he can run away so he might as well turned his horse around and coincidentally managed to avoid the flying needle.
That place happens to be right between the camp and the retreating soldiers so there was no one around for the moment, and it became a one to one situation.
Hui Hu raised his sword and came rushing back, shouting, “Who is that?”
Xiang Shaolong laughed loudly, “It’s your old friend Xiang Shaolong.”
Amidst the sound of metal clanking, the 2 of them went past each other on horseback and exchanged 3 sword strokes but no one gained the upperhand.
Xiang Shaolong did not expect him to have such excellent arm strength and swordsmanship. When he turned his horse around, he used his thighs to control the horse while his right hand held Flying Rainbow and his left hand drew out a flying needle.
He has been spending most of his time on horseback recently and this made his horsemanship improve greatly so he’s no longer the greenhorn he used to be.
Hui Hu took the opportunity to draw his bow and arrow and cocked the arrow with lightning fast speed. With a ‘clang’ he released a strong arrow, his long sword held across by his teeth.
Xiang Shaolong’s training has always been avoiding bullets so he’s not afraid of his arrow at all. He leaned to the side and avoided the arrow and his thigh tightened against the horse’s belly and it surged forward.
Hui Hu did not expect him to avoid this fatal strike and in shock he threw the bow at him while taking his long sword, which was clasped in his mouth.
Xiang Shaolong raised his feet and kicked the flying bow away. Flying Rainbow swept past, towards Hui Hu’s chest.
There was a loud ‘clang’.
Although Hui Hu managed to narrowly block the sword, but his defense was raised chaotically while his opponent’s attack is planned. On top of that, he used the momentum from the running horse to increase the power of the strike so Hui Hu collapsed onto his horse’s back.
Xiang Shaolong roared and with a backhand let loose the flying needle.
There was a ‘clink’, and although the flying needle struck Hui Hu, it landed on his hard helmet and ricocheted off.
Xiang Shaolong knows that the situation is dire, if he allows the two horses to run in the wrong direction like this, there’ll be no way he can catch up with this fiend within the short distance to the camp so he dismounted his horse with a back flip, turned a somersault in the air and Flying Rainbow flew out of his hand.
By now Hui Hu had just managed to seat himself upright, his thighs clasping his horse’s belly when Xiang Shaolong’s extremely sharp Flying Rainbow, which was made by the finest craftsman in the State of Yue, pierced him in his back and he died on the spot.
The horse ran wildly and after a distance away, Hui Hu’s body fell from the horse.
Xiang Shaolong landed on the ground safely and ran up to retrieve his Flying Rainbow.
Thunderous war cries were heard from his side of the camp, apparently Cheng Xu and the rest saw how chaotic the thieves were and took the opportunity to kill their way out.
Xiang Shaolong felt his valor rising and he cut off Hui Hu’s head, ignoring the flowing fresh blood and with the head held aloft, leapt up the horse towards the 2000 horse thieves who were retreating and shouted, “Hui Hu is dead! Hui Hu is dead! Run away quickly! Escape!”
Those thieves who were running back carrying torches were already in a panic because they were being pursued, and now on seeing this person in front of them carrying Hui Hu’s head, thought that a strong army has come. No one dared to fight on and with a shout, all of them ran away in all directions.
The defeat of the thieves was like a domino effect, the thieves running at the back has no idea what has happened but the chain reaction made them run for their lives as well.
2000 odd men, defeated without even a fight.
In a short while, Xiang Shaolong met up with Cheng Xu and his troops who were pursuing the thieves and the whole army cheered and killed their way towards the blazing enemy camp.
The thieves have lost their leader, their camp is on fire, their rations and horses lost and none of them is in the mood for battle and were all running away. Xiang Shaolong led his men and killed until the day broke, coming out totally victorious.
They have killed more than a thousand enemies, but on Xiang Shaolong’s side only 5 men perished and 150 odd men injured. Fighting against the enemy’s 10,000 odd troops with less than a thousand men and yet they suffered so little losses, it’s really an unbelievable miracle. This has also established Xiang Shaolong’s position in the battlefield.
But it was really a close shave towards victory.
When the enemy’s camp was on fire, Hui Hu’s men has already cleared all the obstacles on the slope and filled the ditches and was about to launch an offensive when urgent matters cropped up on their side and they had to retreat.
Those wooden stakes became an obstacle to the thieves’ retreat instead and they were killed by the rocks that were rolled down and the arrows shot. Blood flowed like rivers and the scene looked like hell on earth.
Hui Hu and Wolfman’s head were soaked in herbs and alcohol and light cavalry were tasked to send these back to the King of Zhao through shortcuts so that he can show these off to their fellow countrymen.
This is a psychological attack against Zhao Mu on Xiang Shaolong’s part, to make the King of Zhao feel how important he really is. If not for the fact that there’s now another twist in Zhao Qian’s affair, there might have been a chance for him to retain his loyalty.
When Xiang Shaolong returned to camp, only Prince Shaoyuan whose hatred for him has now increased, refused to come out, using his illness as an excuse. Even Lady Pingyuan came out to welcome his heroic return, and of course Zhao Ya, Zhao Qian and the other ladies as well.
Ever since ancient times, beauties have always loved heroes and when all the ladies looked at him, their gaze was filled with intoxication, making him feel as if he’s in heaven.
In the 21st century, such a situation is almost impossible because everything depends on teamwork and collaboration, and an individual is only a small fry in the whole organization.
But in this warring states period, it is filled with romanticized individualistic heroism, that’s why there are people like Shang Yang who can change the whole situation, and a famous general like Lian Po who rules the battlefield.
Xiang Shaolong is a product that has crossed time, with the training and knowledge of modern military tactics, that’s why he can emerge miraculously victorious so many times.
So how can the ladies not fall for him.
Even the evil hearted Lady Pingyuan is now looking at him differently, and is now thinking of other things. Such a talent, if sacrificed will be such a waste.
Xiang Shaolong was injured in a few places and Zhao Ya and Zhao Qian dragged him into the commander’s tent to tend to his injuries.
Lady Ya saw that Zhao Qian was not at all concerned that Xiang Shaolong was only wearing his shorts and was feeling perplexed. She was afraid that if there’s something going on between the two of them, then there might be big trouble.
Zhao Qian asked with concern, “Is it painful?”
With 2 pretty ladies putting their dainty hands on him, he was so comfortable he almost moaned. Xiang Shaolong replied with a smile and lied down and fell into a deep sleep with the fragrances of the 2 ladies.