Chapter 5 Book 1: 5: Song Extermination Plan
Book 1: Chapter 5: Song Extermination Plan
Song City, Song Nation:
Gu Hai and Gu Han walked down a large street in Song City, looking at the people there.
“Adoptive Father, the shop in front belongs to us, all our own people,” Gu Han introduced with a smile.
Gu Hai nodded. Then, he sighed as he looked around. “Song City? It has not changed much in the past few years.”
“Adoptive Father, I heard that you commanded the army in the past. Furthermore, you were undefeatable. You even quickly made a defeated army unrivaled. Why did you come here and get First Brother to command Hulao Pass instead?” Gu Han asked, feeling confused.
Gu Hai shook his head and said, “That Gao Xianzhi is not simple. If I use the one hundred thousand soldiers at Hulao Pass to defeat him, it will take an extremely long time. However, what I lack the most now is time.”
“Time? Adoptive Father, how long would you need to defeat the Song Nation’s army if you managed the soldiers at Hulao Pass?”
“One year? Is that long?”
Gu Hai shook his head and said, “I do not fear facing anyone in commanding troops. Victory would only be a matter of time. Since the Clear River Sect Master agreed to my demands so straightforwardly, there must be a very important person watching this war. That’s why this mundane war can continue without interference like a game. I worry that if I take too long, that person will lose patience and leave; then, who knows if the Clear River Sect will fulfill its promise?”
“Ah? Adoptive Father, didn’t the Clear River Sect Master already write out a decree making that promise?” Gu Han said in shock.
Gu Hai snorted disdainfully, scoffing at this thought. “Have you forgotten what I told you before?”
“I understand. The other party will honor such promises only when you hold either equal strength or status. Without those, such a promise would just be a joke. Perhaps the Clear River Sect Master will honor it; perhaps he won’t,” Gu Han said gravely.
Gu Hai nodded and said, “Now, I am borrowing the prestige of that personage. Thus, I need to complete everything before that personage leaves so that I can redeem this promise.”
“Yes!” Gu Han felt pressured in his heart.
“However, Adoptive Father, the Song Nation’s army is high in morale right now. The sovereign is united with his officials, the officials are united with the people, and the people are united with the military. They are simply like an iron board with surging morale. This is an unstoppable force. Adoptive Father, you have been looking through the information over the past two days. Have you thought of something yet?” Gu Han asked worriedly.
“Since the sovereign is united with his officials, we will drive a wedge between the sovereign and his officials. Since the officials are united with the people, we will drive a wedge between the officials and the people. Since the people are united with the military, we will drive a wedge between the people and the military,” Gu Hai replied in a deep voice.
“Oh? What will Adoptive Father do?” Gu Han’s eyes lit up.
“I have already formulated the general plan. Let’s call it the Song Extermination Plan. Since the sovereign, the officials, the people, and the military are all united in heart, then we separate them, destroying them one by one. I want to cause chaos in the hearts of the military, the people, the officials, and the sovereign. After that, the Song Nation will naturally crumble,” Gu Hai explained seriously.
“The Song Extermination Plan? Adoptive Father, how will you execute it?” Gu Han asked, feeling somewhat excited.
Gu Han had seen how incredible Gu Hai was throughout his childhood. The moment he heard the word “plan,” he knew that it would be a string of inconceivable stratagems. Every plan would be like a large-scale battle that accounted for many things, catching people off guard.
“Actually, I figured out most of the plan on the way to the Song Nation. I spent the last two days looking through the information on the various nobilities and officials you have collected to finalize some crucial details. Now, we just lack an opportunity and a candidate to manipulate. Organize a gathering for tomorrow, and invite some of the people I selected to the Tian Residence for a banquet. I want to observe them carefully,” Gu Hai said.
“Yes!” Gu Han nodded.
The two chatted as they walked along the street. Suddenly, startled cries came from the distance.
“Scram to the side! Don’t block the way!”
The street in front turned chaotic. Large numbers of pedestrians fled in panic before twenty galloping horses. All the people riding the horses wore embroidered clothes.
rang out, followed by a scream. A man who had been slow in fleeing had his leg crushed, causing him to cry out in pain.
The twenty horses continued without slowing down, rushing away. The leader was a youth who had a foreboding air. At this moment, his eyes looked cold, as though he had just encountered something unpleasant.
“That is the crown heir, Song Zhengxi, the son of the crown prince. He is included in the information I gave Adoptive Father. He is an arrogant person, considered to be a scum of Song City. He is still young but has a cruel and fierce character. He has harmed many female commoners in Song City,” Gu Han explained.
[TL Note: The crown heir is a title that I invented as there is no such title in English. The crown prince is the heir apparent to the throne, and the crown heir would be the heir apparent to the crown prince. If the crown prince died, the throne could be passed straight to the crown heir, skipping a generation. Basically, it is the emperor’s grandson who is second in line to succeed the throne. In ancient China, such a title has to be specifically conferred by the emperor. However, in this novel, it’s possible that the heir apparent to the crown prince automatically gets the title.]
“He is the crown heir, Song Zhengxi?” Gu Hai’s eyes narrowed.
“Giddy-up! Scram! Scram!” Song Zhengxi barreled through the place, brandishing his whip as he rode his horse.
Song Zhengxi’s black horse knocked another man into the air.
Gu Han caught the person that the black horse knocked away.
“Humph!” Song Zhengxi let out a cold snort when he saw that out of the corner of his eye.
However, Song Zhengxi did not stop, continuing to gallop down the street. The guards on the other horses followed close behind. Everywhere they went, the street turned chaotic and messy.
After Song Zhengxi left, the sounds of crying remained on the street. Song Zhengxi’s group had injured at least eight people.
“Many…many thanks!” The person that the black horse knocked into the air expressed his gratitude.
“Go to the herb shop and find a doctor. Make sure your bones are not broken,” Gu Han said.
“I will. Many thanks. Ouch, I think my bones are indeed broken. Many thanks to the two of you. I’ll be going first.”
After that person left, Gu Han looked at Gu Hai. However, Gu Hai was looking in the direction Song Zhengxi had taken. Gu Hai frowned slightly and exclaimed, “What a heavy stench of blood!”
“Some blood stained the corner of Song Zhengxi’s clothes. No, not just him. His guards also had blood staining their clothes. Furthermore, there seemed to be some wounds that were cauterized. Quickly, send people to check where they came from,” Gu Hai said.𝘧𝑟ee𝘸e𝙗𝙣ov𝒆l.𝑐𝙤m
“Yes!” Gu Han answered.
Four hours later:
Gu Han and Gu Hai arrived at a small, remote village outside Song City.
As they stood at the entrance to the village, their faces sank.
They saw that ten-odd families had lived in this village, and one of the houses looked slightly larger. However, the houses were all in ruins. A fire had burned them all down. The larger house had a signboard. Although it was charred, one could still barely make out the words “Lin Residence.”
[TL Note: People whose houses had signboards tended to be people with money or status. The signboard was seen as representing their pride or face, so it was generally treated with respect. Of course, if you were hostile to this clan or person, that would not apply. Smashing a person’s signboard was like slapping their face and declaring war.]
“Go see if there are any survivors!” Gu Han ordered the seven or eight guards behind him.
The group of guards rushed forward and started searching the rubble. Soon, they carried out charred corpses.
“There is no soot in their mouths. Someone killed them first before burning them,” the guards reported.
“Clan Head, there is a survivor!” a guard shouted.
“Oh?” Everyone immediately went over.
A man completely covered in soot stirred in the rubble of the Lin Residence.
“He actually survived his heart getting stabbed by a sword?” Gu Han exclaimed in shock.
“No, this person’s heart is on the right side, so he managed to survive by luck,” Gu Hai explained.
The guards quickly cleared the soot out of that man’s mouth and nose. Then, they fed him some water.
“Cough! Cough! Cough! Cough!”
That man opened his eyes after coughing weakly and took in his surroundings in confusion. All he saw was rubble.
“Elder Sister! Elder Sister! Elder Sister!” That man started frantically searching the rubble.
“All the corpses are outside!” Gu Han said with a soft sigh.
That man quickly ran out and searched around before finally stopping at a soot-covered female corpse.
Someone had dealt a heavy blow to the woman’s head, and there was a bloody hole in her body. She had died of excessive blood loss. Her clothes also appeared messy.
“Elder Sister! Elder Sister! You can’t die! Elder Sister!” That man kept shaking that woman’s corpse, but she had stopped breathing long ago.
“Wah! Wah! Wah! Song Zhengxi! Wah!” That man wailed painfully as he hugged that woman’s corpse.
“Adoptive Father, we already investigated this place before. This is the house of Lin Chong, the strongest vanguard under Gao Xianzhi. This woman is Xiaodie, Lin Chong’s wife. The two were deeply in love. However, Song Zhengxi caught sight of Xiaodie and lusted after her for a long time. Perhaps Song Zhengxi decided to take advantage of Lin Chong’s absence from home to…” Gu Han explained.
“Lin Chong, the strongest vanguard under Gao Xianzhi?” Gu Hai asked gravely while looking at that man in pain.
“This is how it is for many with power and authority. This is not the only tragedy. This is also not the only time for the crown heir. The authorities just suppress the news of these incidents because of their noble status. The officials will soon come and cover up this matter,” Gu Han said, shaking his head.
Gu Hai frowned heavily and said, “Cancel tomorrow’s gathering. There is no need to search for another person. Since we ran into him, then Song Zhengxi it is. He has to pay for his sins eventually.”
“Adoptive Father, you are going to use Song Zhengxi to start the plan? Do you want him dead?” Gu Han appeared excited.
“No, I want him alive!” Gu Hai said as a hint of coldness flashed in his eyes.
One day later, at a small manor outside Song City:
Gu Hai directed a group of servants tying letters to a large number of messenger pigeons. Gu Han stood in front of Gu Hai, holding a stack of papers. The topmost piece had the words “Song Extermination Plan” written in large letters on it.
“Adoptive Father, the younger brother of that Xiaodie has followed our caravan to the frontlines. He should reach Lin Chong soon,” Gu Han said.
“It is just one Xiaodie. Naturally, that is far from enough. Following this, we need to collect evidence of all of Song Zhengxi’s wrongdoings. We also need to collect information on the miserable states of the families of the other soldiers. If there aren’t any, we need to fabricate some. Do not harm anyone; just make them vanish for a while. We can release them after the war is over,” Gu Hai said heavily.
“Adoptive Father, don’t worry. Also, there is news from the frontlines. It seems that Gao Xianzhi stopped his troops from advancing when he heard that Adoptive Father took command of Hulao Pass,” Gu Han said with some pride.
“No, Gao Xianzhi is a genius at commanding troops. He is not someone unwilling to take risks. That is just fake news. If I guess right, he did not just stop his troops from advancing. Instead, he also silently led a group of elite soldiers to Hulao Pass,” Gu Hai said.
“Oh?” Gu Han said, revealing some shock.
“Gu Qin should be able to hold out for a while. Nevertheless, we need to use this time to cripple Gao Xianzhi’s eight-hundred-thousand-strong army!” Gu Hai said.
“I took a look at Adoptive Father’s Song Extermination Plan’s first step, Discouraging the Military!” Gu Han said, respect flashing in his eyes.
“Release the messenger pigeons. Let the extermination of the Song Nation begin!” Gu Hai said.
The pigeon cages opened, and a large number of pigeons soared into the air, flying to the north.