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EIF - Book 04 Chapter 005: Heaven’s Favored

Northern Expedition City:

Having just read through a battle report, the Northern Expedition Supreme Commander took a break for a while. He picked up a cup of tea and walked over to the sand table once more to study the troop deployment on it.

“Are there any movements from Chang Ming?” The supreme commander looked at the twelve cities of the Han Royal Dynasty on the sand table.

“According to reports, General Chang should have left for Chaoge City already,” a subordinate said respectfully.

“Oh? Directly capturing Chaoge City? Trying to settle this once and for all?” The supreme commander smiled.

That subordinate at the side frowned. “Supreme Commander, this humble officer has something on my mind. I don’t know whether I should say it or not. I have been keeping this in my heart, but it has been prickling me like a fishbone stuck in the throat. It feels…”

“Go on and speak your mind,” the supreme commander said indifferently.

“We have interacted with that Chang Ming for some time. Is he even capable of leading troops? We ran a few simulations, and all he talks about is acting alone, simply blindly directing the soldiers. If such a person leads the troops, he will only lead them into disaster. Why did Supreme Commander make him the eighth battalion’s commander and hand him five hundred thousand-odd soldiers? This humble officer is not convinced of his abilities. With his character, how can we let him harm the soldiers? Just because he is from the Chang Clan?” that subordinate said, feeling upset.

The supreme commander smiled faintly and shook his head. “He is full of himself, obstinate, self-opinionated, and thinks himself incredible? Ha! I know about that too.” 

“Huh? Then, why did Supreme Commander…”

The supreme commander took a sip of tea and narrowed his eyes while saying, “When you look at Chang Ming and think him incapable, with impractical thoughts, who considers himself incredible but is actually a good-for-nothing? Ha! This is where you are wrong.”

“Oh?” That subordinate appeared slightly surprised.

“If he were good for nothing, why would the Chang Clan place such importance on him? He is the youngest son of the clan head, not the successor. Why would he have a higher status than his elder brothers in the Chang Clan? Could those old monsters of the Chang Clan be fools?” the supreme commander said with a smile.

“Huh? This humble officer does not know. Would Supreme Commander please enlighten me?” That subordinate showed a startled expression.

“He cannot be blamed for his clumsiness, as everything has gone too smoothly for him,” the supreme commander said with a smile.

“What do you mean?”

“Since birth, this Chang Ming has enjoyed uncanny luck, as though heaven is taking special care for him. Everything he does goes smoothly, so smoothly that he has not met his match in anything that can be decided with luck. He is so lucky that when he goes exploring, he discovers a treasure trove. If he falls in a valley, he finds a secret manual containing some powerful techniques. If he runs into a certain-death situation, he can survive it with the least loss possible,” the supreme commander said with a frown.

“Huh? How can there be such a person? Luck?” that subordinate said in confusion.

The supreme commander narrowed his eyes. “Indeed. Luck. Luck is a form of strength. That Chang Ming is uncannily lucky. Because of his luck, everything goes smoothly for him, making everyone envious of him. Things go so smoothly that he does not even have to think at all. Haha! Looking at this, he might appear to be a good-for-nothing, clumsy oaf to you. However, to him, it does not matter. It is like he has heaven protecting him. No matter how clumsy his thoughts are, they would be better than your deepest schemes.”

That subordinate: “…”

“Such people are heaven’s favored. Any clan that gains such a person would treasure them. Why do you think the Chang Clan did not send anyone else to this war? It is because the Chang Clan is handing over all opportunities for military accomplishments to Chang Ming. They are using him to safeguard them, allowing the rest of the Chang Clan to avoid participating in the war. Do you still think that it is a waste to make Chang Ming the eighth battalion commander?” the supreme commander asked with a smile.

That subordinate fell silent for a while.

“Then, can he capture those twelve cities?” that subordinate said with a frown.

The supreme commander shook his head and said, “We have already surrounded the twelve cities in the first place. That’s why I’m not worried about them. We can take time, but Gu Hai destroyed Lu Yang, so we are forced to take early action. Otherwise, if he gains a thorough grasp of the twelve cities, we would have to pay a large price to capture them. Furthermore, Mister Mo repeatedly sent reminders to be careful of Gu Hai. This is a person that even Mister Mo has to be careful of. Do you think that he will be easy to deal with?”

“Huh?”

“It’s good that Chang Ming went. He is extremely lucky. If he can deal with Gu Hai, it would be for the best. If it is a certain-death situation, Chang Ming’s luck will allow him to retreat safely after coming to understand the difficulty. Furthermore, Chang Ming volunteered for this. We just have to wait for results,” the supreme commander said.

“Yes!”

------

Prince Shenwu’s study, Southern Suppression City:

Prince Shenwu sat behind the desk while a group of advisers stood in front.

Prince Shenwu held a report in his hand with his eyes narrowed. “Gao Xianzhi again?”

At the side, Sima Changkong said bitterly, “That’s right. We have already evenly split the Ying Royal Dynasty’s cities between the Yuan Imperial Dynasty and us. Our army is starting to clash with the Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s army. The sixth battalion was the first to deal a great defeat to the Yuan Nation army, the first to snatch away a city from the Yuan Nation’s army.”

Prince Shenwu’s expression turned sullen, and the advisers in the study appeared bitter.

“Supreme Commander, the various battalions have yet to make their attacks. They are now still preparing. They will soon surpass Gao Xianzhi. Gao Xianzhi only utilized tricks,” one of the advisers said softly.

“Utilized tricks? Tell them to try using tricks, then? Humph! This commander wants results, not preparations,” Prince Shenwu said with a cold glare.

The advisers remained silent for a while.

“Supreme Commander, there’s no need to get angry. It is still not certain whom Gao Xianzhi will end up working for in the future,” Sima Changkong advised.

Prince Shenwu finally managed to suppress his irritation. He nodded. “This Gao Xianzhi is a sharp knife capable of carving out new territory. He is just one person, but he rivals a one-million-soldier-strong army.”

Sima Changkong nodded. The advisers wanted to rebut, but they could not say anything.

“Has Lu Yang’s corpse reached the capital yet?” Prince Shenwu asked sullenly.

Sima Changkong nodded as he said, “It has. On its journey, all the cities refused to open their gates for it. All the city lords refused to let Lu Yang’s corpse enter the city.”

“Ha! Now, they know to dissociate themselves from this?” Prince Shenwu sneered.

“Supreme Commander, what are we going to do with Lu Yang’s family?” one of the advisers asked, feeling curious.

Prince Shenwu replied with narrowed eyes, “When weeding, you must get rid of the roots. His Holy Eminence will not do this, so we cannot, either. We will just let the Yuan Imperial Dynasty be the villain here.”

“Yes!” everyone answered.

Pulling weeds out by their roots and letting the Yuan Nation take the blame for it. After the rough plan was laid out, everyone stopped talking about it.

“By the way, Supreme Commander, we just received word from Chaoge City. The Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s eighth battalion—five hundred fifty thousand soldiers—marched on Chaoge City,” Sima Changkong suddenly said with a frown.

Prince Shenwu felt slightly startled. “Oh? The Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s eighth battalion? Chaoge City already went through several calamities and should already be at the end of its rope. Can they still resist?” 

Sima Changkong nodded with a bitter smile. “The Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s five hundred fifty thousand soldiers got wiped out. Only the battalion commander, Chang Ming, escaped.”

“Huh? The eighth battalion got wiped out? The battalion commander fled alone? Chang Ming? I don’t think I’ve heard of him before. How did Gu Hai do it? What price did the Han Nation have to pay?” Prince Shenwu exclaimed.

Sima Changkong remained silent for a while.

“Huh?” Everyone looked at Sima Changkong.

“Mister Sima, did the Han Royal Dynasty suffer great damages?” one of the advisers asked curiously.

Sima Changkong shook his head. “The Han Royal Dynasty had no casualties at all.”

This startled everyone.

“What do you mean ‘no casualties at all’?” Prince Shenwu frowned.

Sima Changkong felt somewhat bitter as he described everything that his spy found out.

Everyone in the study found it strange.

“Where did the Yuan Nation find such an outrageous battalion commander? Such a person can be a battalion commander?” Prince Shenwu felt conflicted for quite a while.

------

Northern Expedition City:

The Northern Expedition Supreme Commander frowned as he looked at a subordinate making a report.

“Is the information reliable?” the supreme commander asked with a frown.

“Yes. When the Chaoge City citizens came out, we sent people to ask around. Based on the information we obtained, Gu Hai captured the entire eighth battalion, and General Chang disappeared without a trace,” that subordinate said bitterly.

“Supreme Commander, Chang Ming should be punished for this. Despite such a big defeat, he did not even come back to report. Where is he hiding?”

“He is not dead, right?”

The other subordinates immediately felt anxious.

However, the supreme commander shook his head and said, “With his luck, he’ll survive.”

“Still, he is solely to blame for this defeat!” a general roared angrily.

However, the supreme commander shook his head again. “Perhaps this Chaoge City is more dangerous than I imagined. Perhaps Chang Ming fleeing after a great defeat is the best result. At the very least, the commanding officer escaped alive.”

“Huh?” The subordinates’ expressions turned stiff.

Is the supreme commander exonerating Chang Ming?

However, the supreme commander showed a sullen expression as he looked at the sand table before him, remaining silent for quite a while.

“Could this drained Chaoge City still be hiding great danger?” The supreme commander sullenly eyed the sand table.

“Then…then, what should we do now? Supreme Commander, how about this humble officer go to Chaoge City?” one of the subordinates asked, expressing battle hunger. 

The supreme commander narrowed his eyes slightly and shook his head. “There’s no need. You will only die if you go.”

“Huh? That’s impossible! Supreme Commander, I won’t be like that fool Chang Ming!”

“I already said, there’s no need!” The Supreme Commander’s expression was cold as he turned his head to look.

That subordinate immediately lowered his head and said, “Yes. This humble officer spoke out of turn.”

The supreme commander nodded and said, “Right now, we have already started fighting Long Shenwu’s army at the frontlines. We need to focus on dealing with Long Shenwu. The results of the Yuan Nation’s plots and schemes will depend on this. We cannot afford to get distracted. As for Gu Hai’s twelve cities…humph! They are just a nation surrounded by my Yuan Nation. They can’t run. When this is over, we will focus on dealing with them.” 

“Yes!” the subordinates answered.

“Send people to search for Chang Ming. Once you find him, tell him to meet me immediately,” the supreme commander said.

“Yes!”

------

Azure Foundation City used to be one of the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty’s cities. Now, the Yuan Imperial Dynasty held it.

Recently, a large shop called This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion opened for business in the city.

Gu Hai stood on a terrace in This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion. As he looked at the people walking on the street, Tang Chu stood behind him respectfully.

“This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion’s Azure Foundation City branch? Ha! It has been two months, and business is doing quite alright?” Gu Hai smiled.

“Yes. We followed the sales model in Silver Moon City. On our way here, we continuously analyzed all the information we had on Azure Foundation City. On the third day after arriving here, we bought the shop and sought out all the premium goods in the city as per the information. After renovating for four days, we opened for business.” Tang Chu smiled.

“The Yuan Imperial Dynasty is currently focused on dealing with Prince Shenwu. Ha! We need to take advantage of this. Speed up and quickly capture these twelve cities,” Gu Hai said with narrowed eyes.

“Yes!”

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for November: 35 / 50

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by VampireCat.