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EIF - Book 04 Chapter 008.1: Capturing the City, Part 1

Prince Shenwu’s study, Southern Suppression City:

A group of advisers stood respectfully before Prince Shenwu’s desk, all showing smiles.

“Supreme Commander, the various battalions sent reports that although the Yuan Nation’s army occupied the various cities of Ying Province, the battlefield had spread far too wide, and the Yuan Nation’s army had captured too many cities. The soldiers guarding each city are insufficient, and we are slowly taking back the various Ying Province cities.”

“Naturally, one would have indigestion from eating too much. However…,” Sima Changkong said.

Everyone looked at Sima Changkong.

“Supreme Commander, although the Yuan Nation soldiers occupied half of Ying Province, there are not many soldiers left to defend. The city with the least soldiers had three hundred thousand soldiers with which to keep the entire city under control and resist enemies, something extremely difficult to do. In the end, the Yuan Nation captured too many cities. They have already captured the cities of the Ravenous Wolf Sect, the Huang Royal Dynasty, the Heptagold Sect, and half of the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty. If they continue capturing cities, they will not be able to digest the cities, so it seems like they do not intend to hold Ying Province. Judging from the reports, although we took back the cities that the Yuan Nation soldiers occupied, the Yuan Nation’s army did not suffer many casualties; in fact, they evacuated,” Sima Changkong said with a frown.

“The Yuan Nation’s army never intended to hold Ying Province?” Prince Shenwu said.

“More accurately, They are using the half of Ying Province they captured to delay and tire our army. By the time we fully recapture Ying Province, we will not have the energy to continue south unless His Holy Eminence sends more soldiers. However, it seems like His Holy Eminence does not intend to escalate the war,” Sima Changkong said with a frown.

“Are you saying that the war will end when we have fully recaptured Ying Province?” Prince Shenwu asked.

“Yes. Although the Yuan Nation made a big move this time, they did not invade my Qian Heavenly Dynasty. They snatched the Ying Province cities from Lu Yang, right? No one would dare to say anything about us recapturing Ying Province. However, if we continue south after that, my Qian Heavenly Dynasty will be invaders. His Holy Eminence would not send more soldiers, as there are a few other imperial dynasties around my Qian Nation. Unless we can deal with the Yuan Nation in one go, the Qian Nation will not take such unreasonable actions to avoid criticism. That’s why His Holy Eminence installed you as the Southern Suppression Supreme Commander, not the Southern Expedition Supreme Commander,” Sima Changkong said gravely.

Prince Shenwu’s eyes narrowed. “The Yuan Imperial Dynasty thought deeply about this. Humph!”

“The Yuan Nation’s soldiers had the advantage of the defensive ritual arrays in the city. Although they repeatedly suffered defeats, they did not sustain much of a loss. After abandoning Ying Province, they still acquired sixty or seventy cities, increasing the size of their nation by a third—an unprecedented gain,” Sima Changkong marveled.

“Humph! It is all Lu Yang’s fault for being led astray by Mo Yike,” Prince Shenwu sighed softly.

“So, when we recapture the remaining Ying Province cities, we have to do so with the least casualties possible. Otherwise, it would just drain us,” Sima Changkong sighed.

“Speaking of casualties, which battalion has the lowest casualty count?” Prince Shenwu asked.

The advisers remained silent, appearing slightly bitter.

“Gao Xianzhi’s sixth battalion. They are the most ferocious, recapturing the most cities, but they have the least casualties—less than one thousand soldiers in each battle,” Sima Changkong answered with a bitter smile.

Prince Shenwu’s expression turned sullen.

“This time, Gao Xianzhi conquered seven cities using the classical approach. He enjoyed a strong momentum and is undefeatable,” Sima Changkong added with a bitter smile.

“Contributions have to be rewarded. Send tenfold the reward that we gave to Gao Xianzhi previously!” Prince Shenwu said.

“Tenfold?” The advisers were flabbergasted.

The previous reward had already been very shocking. This time, Prince Shenwu actually gave tenfold that amount?

A guard rushed into the study. “I have a report!” 

“Huh?” Everyone looked at that guard.

“Reporting to Supreme Commander, there is an urgent missive from the frontlines. Gao Xianzhi enjoyed a strong momentum and captured his eighth city, arriving at the border of Ying Province. Then, he led his one million soldiers into the Yuan Imperial Dynasty, marching on the former territory of the Divine Foundation Royal Dynasty,” that subordinate said respectfully.

“Ah? He already captured his eighth city? So quickly? He even entered the Yuan Imperial Dynasty?”

“Oh no! Beyond Ying Province, the Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s troops would be more concentrated!”

“According to Mister Sima’s analysis, the Yuan Nation’s military forces are concentrated outside Ying Province? The Yuan Nation soldiers that fled Ying Province would only increase their numbers. Is Gao Xianzhi seeking death by charging in?”

The advisers all looked at Prince Shenwu.

“Did Gao Xianzhi say anything?” Prince Shenwu asked sullenly.

“No, he just continued leading his soldiers to capture cities,” that guard said.

“The Ying Province citizens support the Qian Nation. Gao Xianzhi made use of this support to break into the cities, sweeping everything before him. However, once he leaves Ying Province, he will be surrounded by Yuan Nation’s soldiers. He only has one million soldiers. Supreme Commander, quickly recall Gao Xianzhi!”

“Indeed. Supreme Commander, get Gao Xianzhi to focus on recapturing the Ying Province cities!”

The advisers clamored.

However, Prince Shenwu looked at Sima Changkong.

Sima Changkong shook his head slightly and said, “Everyone might be right. However, regarding warfare, Gao Xianzhi should be even more capable than everyone here.”

“Huh?” The advisers frowned slightly.

Prince Shenwu nodded and did not give any commands regarding this. It was as Sima Changkong said; did Gao Xianzhi need these advisers to tell him how to fight a war?

“I only find this slightly strange. Why did Gao Xianzhi choose this moment to charge in alone?”

------

Northern Expedition City:

It was as Sima Changkong guessed. The Yuan Nation had not established Northern Expedition City in Ying Province because they had planned all along to return Ying Province to the Qian Nation.

The Yuan Nation had captured about sixty or seventy cities outside of Ying Province. Adding the half of Ying Province they captured, that made for more than one hundred cities. If they did not return the Ying Province cities to the Qian Nation, they would suffer a great calamity.

However, they did all this very covertly.

“We lost the Ying Province cities so quickly? Even with the ritual arrays, we already lost a third of the Ying Province cities?” the Northern Expedition Supreme Commander asked coldly.

“Yes. Their sixth battalion is especially ferocious. According to our information, they have reached the border of Ying Province and crossed over into our territory already,” one of the subordinates said respectfully.

“The sixth battalion? Mister Mo’s information did not mention the sixth battalion being particularly incredible.” The supreme commander frowned.

“Supreme Commander, this subordinate volunteers to fight and make sure this sixth battalion remains forever!”

“This subordinate volunteers to fight!”

“After entering the place where most of our soldiers are, it will be difficult for them to escape.”

“This humble officer volunteers to fight!”

Various generals stepped forward, offering to fight this battle.

However, the supreme commander frowned slightly and shook his head. “No.”

“Huh?”

“We have to limit the war to Ying Province; we should not let it proliferate beyond that. The sixth battalion? We have to fight them, but we cannot destroy them. We have to make them retreat to Ying Province, not destroy them within our borders,” the supreme commander said.

“Ah? Why?”

“Because we have to limit the war to Ying Province. If we destroy this sixth battalion, the war will spread here,” the supreme commander said seriously.

Everyone nodded in silence.

“Our sixth battalion will be responsible for dealing with the sixth battalion and sending them back. Even if our sixth battalion cannot win, it has to delay them!” the supreme commander said.

“Yes!”

------

Although a report of the ten corpses in Azure Foundation City was sent out, it would take some time to reach Northern Expedition City and the Yuan Nation’s capital. Gu Hai would not give the other party time to react to it.

On the fourth day of the prison opening up to visitors:

“Save…save…save me!”

A loud shout rang out as a man in a sorry state ran over in horror from outside the city.

“What’s wrong?” someone at the city gates asked.

“Vampires! Vampires! At South Summer Village! Vampires sucked the blood of everyone in South Summer Village! Everyone died! Everyone died!” That horrified person rushed into the city.

Naturally, Gu Hai arranged for this. This person was a disciple of a clan that supported Gu Hai. As this person fled into the city in fear, he attracted the attention of countless citizens before falling to his knees at the gate to his clan’s residence.

“Clan Head, it’s bad! Vampires ate the entire South Summer Village. I only managed to flee after much difficulty. My father…my mother…our entire village…they died miserable deaths! Clan Head, South Summer Village farms spiritual herbs for you, a result of your business. You have to get justice for us!” that person shouted.

People more than ten streets away could clearly hear these shouts.

The citizens kept their ears out for more news. However, there was nothing more.

There was no more news of this after that. The person shouting for help entered the clan residence and never appeared again. Many citizens felt curious and went to investigate.

“Everyone, please disperse. Nothing’s going on.” The clan head came out to prevent rumors from spreading.

This city lord’s official residence was extremely sensitive to such matters, so they sent people to investigate.

“Officials, there’s nothing to worry about. There are no vampires, none at all. Don’t worry. We won’t cause trouble,” that clan head said.

The officials who came to investigate left while frowning slightly.

This cast a shadow in the hearts of the citizens. They did not know what was going on. Just as they were about to forget about this, a fog appeared at this clan’s residence. On the second day, everyone had vanished. The clan’s grounds were messy with blood everywhere, as though there had been an intense battle.

Everyone in the clan seemed to have vaporized, disappearing into thin air.

The eerie matter flustered the citizens, who were about to forget what happened the day before, prompting all sorts of speculation.

“Where are the Zhang Clan’s people? Why did they disappear overnight? Was their entire clan silenced?”

“Vampires? Could it be vampires again?”

“I went to South Summer Village last night. It is the same as the Zhang Clan; everyone had vanished!”

The more word of this spread, the more ludicrous the rumors became. Although there was no evidence, they all blamed the vampires.

The vampires destroyed the corpses and wiped out the evidence?

The countless citizens who heard this shivered and looked in the city lord’s official residence’s direction. Then, their expressions suddenly turned sullen.

“That’s not right. It should not be the vampires. Aren’t there people who went to that prison? It’s fine. The vampires won’t dare to do something that will attract the resentment of the people and heaven.”

“What about the people of South Summer Village and the Zhang Clan?”

“Maybe they went on a vacation?”

“Ptooey! Would your entire clan go on a vacation like that?”

Gu Hai encouraged the spread of this rumor. Although there were no clashes with the officials, it cast a shadow in the hearts of the various citizens.

Since the citizens did not cause any trouble, the city lord did not care about this.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for November: 38 / 50

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