ZL - Chapter 1033- Punishing heavily
A storm was brewing. Losing Waterfront City not only caused us to lose taxes, but it also caused our confidence to be shaken. All of us had the same thoughts. We were not invincible. We had so many enemies like Sky Rose, Drunk Maple, Clear Black Eyes, Demon Mountain, 7K, et cetera. All those people were really strong. This was not a game of war but a battle of survival, instead.
Late at night, when I was about to fall asleep, my phone rang. It was from Destiny's China Region CEO, Ouyang Nuo Yan—
"Oi, Ouyang, why are you calling this late at night?"
"En." Ouyang Nuo Yan could tell that I was not in a good mood. "Xiao Yao, are you okay?"
"I am fine."
"Calm down. It's just one Waterfront City; you can get it back." It was now her turn to console me. She should have been the one to scold me!
"En." I rested on the headboard and spoke. "Ouyang, what happened?"
Ouyang Nuo Yan said, "Now that China has lost Waterfront City, the resources we lost are in the hundreds of millions. Beijing's game division is shocked. I got news that Liu Yan had driven over to find his uncle, Liu Gong. I suspect that they will cause trouble, so I want to inform Fang Ge Que and you to be careful. There are things that I can't control."
I smiled. "En, don't worry. This is a free game, and they can't do anything to Fang Ge Que and me. Moreover, even if they want to deal with us, we don't have to be afraid."
Ouyang Nuo Yan smiled. "I don't have to worry then. Go on and sleep. I shall call Fang Ge Que and Q-Sword. Right, the battlenet rankings will be updated tomorrow; pay attention to it!"
I slept once more, and when I woke up, it was already 9am. In the hall, Lin Wan Er and Dong Cheng Yue were preparing breakfast. Pumpkin porridge and bread were placed on the table. These two girls were getting more and more hardworking; they actually knew how to make breakfast themselves. Maybe we would send the few chefs away.
"Taste?" Lin Wan Er smiled.
I took a bowl of pumpkin porridge and smiled. "Delicious!"
"Then eat more!"
I went online after drinking two bowls of pumpkin porridge. I was actually unwilling to deal with the repercussions after yesterday. Since we lost Waterfront City, someone had to take responsibility.
I appeared in Tian Ling City, just in time to hear the flapping of wings. A Royal Army War Hawk Knight landed and said respectfully, "General, an important meeting will be held in the main hall in thirty minutes; I was sent to look for you."
"Understood. I’ll head over."
The War Hawk Knight looked at me. He appeared to have something to say but was hesitating. I asked, "Is there something?"
He nodded. Worry flashed in his eyes. "Sir, at 12am, Ocean Duke Zhu from Jiu Li City returned with five thousand Cavalrymen."
"Ocean Duke Zhu?" I was shocked.
War Hawk Knight said, "En, he has guarded the border city for many years and has the same status as Ding Fan. In the older generation, the Ocean Duke's reputation is already the highest. After learning that Waterfront City was lost, Ocean Duke Zhu couldn't take it and returned. His Majesty is really happy."
I frowned. "When the Hybrid Demons attacked the Sea of No Return, and Tian Ling City was surrounded, why didn't he return? What's the meaning of this now!"
The Knight smiled. "Sir, that's something I don't know."
"Go, I shall head over in a while."
I repaired my equipment and gear. After returning Butterfly and Zhen Yue Sword into their sheaths, I sucked in a deep breath. Jiu Li City's matter entered my mind. Jiu Li City was one of the three secondary cities, but the NPC rule there was quite independent. Even when Tian Ling City asked for help, they did not do anything. Now, they dared to appear in Tian Ling City so openly. The Ocean Duke had two hundred thousand Jiu Li City troops. This was why Lochlan felt happy that the man had returned, right?
A while later, when the time was almost up, I summoned the God Dragon Horse and headed toward the palace. When I passed by my residence, a few Royal Army guards followed me. I was the Royal Army General, so I had to bring a few people to show off my status.
The palace was still guarded by the Guards Army. With my status, I was not stopped at all. Suiding Duke and Commander in chief could bring weapons into the hall. I entered the main hall. Drunken Spear, who had just gone online, rode his horse over from somewhere nearby and smiled. "Xiao Yao, walk more slowly; wait for me!"
I looked at him. "Drunken Spear, it is rare that you can still be so happy."
"Why not?" He smiled.
I sucked in a deep breath. "This isn't good. We led the army out and then lost the city. Do you think that the emperor will let us off easily? Even if he is willing to, those officials won't."
"En, that makes sense," Drunken Spear smiled, saying, "but I don't care about it so much. As long as we have a chance to fight, can't we just earn everything back?"
"En, someone as pure as you isn't suited for such squabbles."
"D*mn! You make it sound as if you're so knowledgeable and smart about it."
We entered the hall together. From afar, the Generals and officials were separated. Ye Lai, Fang Ge Que, Jian Feng Han, and other players were standing there. I walked to the front and stood in front of Xu Yan. In terms of status, he was much higher than me. Opposite was the Guards General Situ Xin, who was of similar status to me.
A few minutes later, Lochlan walked up the stage.
There was no greeting and no kneeling. Lochlan just nodded and asked, "Is everyone here? I guess everyone knows the reason why we are here."
Baili Ning asked back, "Your Majesty, is it because of Waterfront City?"
"That is only one matter. Another is that Jiu Li City's Ocean Duke Zhu, who trained two hundred eighty thousand elite troops, has officially pledged loyalty to the empire today!" Lochlan smiled. "With Ocean Duke, our troops are like tigers adding wings! Men, invite Ocean Duke into the hall!"
In the side hall, a white mustache elder brought several muscular generals in. This was Jiu Li City's Duke and his few Generals. These few Generals were all commanders. Jiu Li City's troops were split into four armies, and their addition really helped in strengthening the empire.
I had seen Ding Fan before, and now that I was seeing Zhu Hai, too, I could not help but notice the difference between them. Although Ding Fan was old, he did not leave his armor and blade off. His old face was covered with the marks of battle. Ocean Duke Zhu Hai was different. He probably had not gone to battle himself for a decade, as he looked really noble and clean. He knelt on the ground and said sincerely, "Duke Zhu Hai greets His Majesty!"
Lochlan laughed and reached his hand out. "Please rise. There's no need to be so polite!"
Zhu Hai said, "I can't spoil the tradition!"
He then looked at us. "As for Your Majesty's Generals, they are actually not kneeling down. They're destroying the tradition set by the ancestors."
I felt unhappy but did not say a word.
Zhu Hai did not say much and just lined up with his few Generals. He stood in front of Situ Xin. As his status was higher than his, Situ Xin did not say a word.
An official walked forward. "Tian Ling City has ended in defeat, and we lost control of Waterfront City. Xing Huo actually took over Waterfront City, while Floating Clouds married him to become the female owner of it. Who is responsible for this?"
Ye Lai could not help but rage, "Violent Thunder Army's Xu Yan went to give up kills, so who could we blame?"
Xu Yan's face flushed. "General Ye, how can you push the blame on me like that?"
Fang Ge Que frowned. "Speak less. "
Lochlan looked at me. "Master Li, what happened?"
I cupped my fists. "General Xu Yan didn't listen to my orders and led fifty thousand Violent Thunder Army troops across the War God River. In the end, he was attacked by Waterfront City's adventurers, and most of the fifty thousand died. This was the main reason for our defeat."
Lochlan raged, "Xu Yan, come out!"
Xu Yan's face was covered in sweat and his body trembled. "Your Majesty... p-please... listen to my explanation. Xing Huo sent an army into Questioning Heaven Ice Plains and said that he would behead Floating Clouds at sunset. Floating Clouds is your cousin; I was just worried about her safety. I led the troops over, but who knew that I would fall for their trap..."
Lochlan shouted, "Men, take his token and demote him by five positions!"
Xu Yan was stunned. His face was filled with regret. The position that he had spent so much effort in getting was lost overnight.
Duke Zhu Hai stepped up and cupped his fists. "Your Majesty, although General Xu Yan was at fault, the entire battle couldn't be decided by one person. I think that rewards should be given and punishment, too. Our military laws have to be fair, so all Generals in this battle must be punished!"
I was stunned.
Drunken Spear said, "What a snitch..."
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