Chapter 812 - On the Qui Vive
“Ready, and charge!”
Lucen raised his sword high above his head. Blood was splattered across his face. “I will kill every single last one of you dogs. My conviction will never waver!”
I raised my Dragon Reservoir Sword and coldly replied, “A conviction that threatens the lives of peaceful villagers living alongside the War God’s River, ignoring the massacres of bystanders, and allowing such rampant behavior is no conviction at all!”
Lucen stiffened and clenched his teeth, “Kneeling to the winner, is that not the way of the world? I never would have thought that the Royal Army would strengthen itself to this point. Youngster, what is your name?”
I raised my arm and said, “What point is there in telling you? A cold-blooded slaughterer like you doesn’t deserve to know! Royal Army men, raise your bows and target their eyes!”
All of the soldiers behind me pulled out their bows. “Thunk!” One after another, a storm of arrows fell upon the enemy troops. Even Lucen and his personal guard took several arrows. With a howl, he knelt to the ground with blood pooling underneath him. Xiao Lie led a unit of soldiers and charged ahead. Seeing his body still jerking, they charged forward to deal the final blow.
Han Yuan also led a group of his men forward and said, “General, we’ve captured a total of a hundred of their soldiers. How should we deal with them? Execution?”
I shook my head, “No need, they were once men of the empire’s military after all. Imprison them all. Afterwards, we’ll interrogate all of them. We need to find out the details of their relationship with the Dragonling Army. Additionally, we need to find out just when the next shipment is.”
Han Yuan smiled and nodded, “Understood. General, don’t worry, we’ll find out very soon!”
I followed Han Yuan over to see how he was planning on interrogating these men. I saw the enemy soldiers tied up and kneeling in a row on the ground. Han Yuan shouldered his long blade and said, “Now squeal, when are the Dragonling men coming?”
A soldier around fifty years old was furious and spat at Han Yuan, “Don’t know. I won’t answer to a dog of the empire!”
I walked up with a cold smile, “So we’re dogs of the empire, but at the very least we don’t kill civilians. What about you guys? You helped the Dragonling Army kill innocent villagers. What does that make you?”
The old man was forced into silence by my accusations.
Han Yuan narrowed his eyes at one of the other prisoners and roared, “Well, are you going to spill or not? Otherwise, I’ll slash you down in one strike!”
The young soldier was around twenty years old and he was paralyzed by fear. He must have been one of the newer soldiers recruited from a nearby village. Ashen, he replied, “I…. I don’t know anything…”
Han Yuan licked his lips, “Is that so? Well, does he know?”
He pointed at the old soldier from before. Han Yuan whipped out his blade, and in a quick slice, the old man’s head rolled to the ground. I furrowed my brow. Han Yuan had struck too quickly. I didn’t even have the chance to stop him. Besides, the old man probably hadn’t directly participated in the massacres. At the very least, it was clear he had his own set of morals and values. It was a pity for him to have died.
With the death of the old soldier, the young man’s face turned green and he stuttered, “I’ll tell you, but will you spare me?”
Han Yuan nodded, “We will!”
The new recruit trembled, “The men from the Dragonling Army… they just came this morning and told us to prepare weapons and provisions. Tomorrow, they were planning on raiding one of the Xia Yu Army warehouses…”
Han Yuan was stunned, “What? What kind of steel balls do these guys have to actually dare to touch one of their warehouses…”
“Really… it’s true. At least that’s what they said…”
With my Zhen Yue Blade in hand, I leaned in close to the new recruit and smiled, “Do you know which warehouse? The Xia Yue Army has dozens of them, and they’ve even got a few towns full of soldiers.”
The little soldier shook his head fiercely, “That… I really don’t know. They never mentioned specifically which one. I only found that much out when one of the officers started spouting nonsense after drinking too much…”
Han Yuan asked, “Then did they say how many people they were going to use for this operation?”
The soldier shook his head, “I really don’t know…”
I looked over at Xiao Lie and asked, “Give a report on the Xia Yu Army warehouses.”
Han Yuan replied, “The Xia Yu Army has a total of fourteen warehouses in town centers. Each town is built out of stone. In addition, there are the three towns with armed forces. Each of them holds around ten thousand or so civilians. Lord Commander, I believe that if they want to attack one of the two thousand man warehouse towns, then they would have to use at least two or three times their numbers. In other words, to attack just one of the warehouses, the entire Dragonling Army would have to be mobilized.”
I nodded with a smile, “Alright, I was waiting for an opportunity like this!”
Han Yuan wryly smiled, “Kid, did that Dragonling Army man not say why they were planning on ambushing a Xia Yu Army warehouse?”
The soldier trembled even harder. He glanced back at the headless corpse and said, “They, they said that recently a meddlesome Royal Army appeared, wrecking the agreement they had with the Violent Thunder Army. Not to mention that they took a few of their boats to set up a dock and a garrison on the eastern banks. The risk was too great for them to continue operations on that side. As such, the Dragonling Army’s commander, Dragon Scale, decided to launch an ambush. The best target was the Xia Yu Army warehouse. They were going to fill seventy ships with the rations from that. That way they would have enough so they wouldn’t have to land on either of the War God’s River banks for another three years.”
I was stunned. The AI of these NPCs is just too high! If I hadn’t launched this attack on Danyan village, I never would have imagined that the Dragonling Army would choose the Xia Yu Army as their next target!
Han Yuan raised his long blade and said, “General, should we tell the Xia Yu Army? Give them a chance to prepare!”
I asked, “What do you guys think?”
Xiao Lie shook his head, “We absolutely cannot. While we know for a fact that there aren’t any Dragonling Army spies within the Royal Army, we cannot ensure the same for the Xia Yu Army. Once word leaks out, then we’ll lose all chances to root them out!”
I smiled, “Xiao Lie is right. We can’t let anyone know. This piece of news will only circulate within our group. Before dawn tomorrow, quarantine all people who know of this.”
Xiao Lie clenched his teeth and drew a line across his neck, “Lord Commander, the best action to take is actually….”
I softened and looked down, “Don’t I know that? However, I am not willing to become someone who is like that. If I did, what difference is there between me and Theodore, Owen, or Louis?”
Xiao Lie’s eyes softened and he smiled back, “Alright, we will follow your orders, no matter where it takes us!”
Han Yuan replied, “But there are so many warehouses, just which one is their target?”
I confidently replied, “The warehouse closest to the shore but furthest from the Xia Yu Army port is their target. The Dragonling Army would never ambush a warehouse too far inland. After all, it would be inconvenient to move all of those provisions. Besides, they wouldn’t be able to pull from a battle against the Xia Yu Army unscathed. They aren’t so stupid as to try a maneuver like that. Xiao Lie, what do you think, which warehouse is it?”
Xiao Lie confidently replied, “Based on the conditions that General laid out, the most probable target is “Greene Town”. That town is incredibly far from all of the stations and outposts and it’s fairly far from the port. Moreover, it’s less than twenty minutes from the river banks. Ambushing Greene Town would be the most optimal course of action. Of course, all of this is under the assumption that the Xia Yu Army has not set up a defense.”
I replied, “That’s no problem… More likely than not, they’ll ambush at night, isn’t that right?”
Han Yuan nodded firmly, “They will!”
On the spot, I ordered, “Tomorrow morning, all Royal Army Troops will be on standby. Eat a little more for breakfast and bring a day’s worth of rations with you. We’ll circle around the desert. Take care to not arouse any attention from the Xia Yu Army. We’ll pass through the fields to avoid attention. During that moment all cavalrymen will dismount. I expect complete silence from all soldiers. And full attentiveness from everyone. We must be ready for an ambush at any moment. Scouts in plainclothes will be sent out ahead. Once we’ve confirmed that the Dragonling Army soldiers have disembarked their ships, our cavalry will immediately cut off all retreat while the foot soldiers will surround the town. Not a single one will escape!”
Han Yuan excitedly raised a fist, “Yes sir!”
Time in the game passed by four times more quickly than in real life. A day’s worth of time was around six hours in real life. As such, I still had six hours left to handle other errands. Not to mention it was time for dinner in real life. This also meant that I needed to be up and ready to direct the Royal Army around midnight. Well, it’d be well worth it if we could root out the Dragonling Army!
I continued making preparations. Once Danyan Village was dealt with, I left some of the prisoners behind to act as iron smiths and fishermen, along with a thousand other Royal Army soldiers to mix in with the villagers. This was to ensure that nothing would be leaked to the pirates. Once all of those preparations were complete, I sat at the edge of the bank and couldn’t help but chuckle at myself. I was becoming more and more like a commander. Compared to little squad leader Li Xiao Yao, I was becoming more and more suitable for the role as commander of the Royal Army!
A message came into my inbox from Wan Er, “Pig! It's time to log off and eat dinner!”
I quickly logged off from the field and splashed some water on my face before going downstairs. We picked a nearby claypot restaurant to eat dinner. Dong Cheng, Wan Er, and Tang Qi all came along. After ordering a few dishes, we talked and joked for a while.
Wan Er asked, “Pig, what have you been doing all day with the Royal Army?”
I replied, “Ah, just taking the soldiers around to build our strength… I’ve noticed that taking them along on quests and killing monsters has been very helpful in leveling them up. Not long from now, the Royal Army forces will probably be on par with that of a Level 7 Hybrid Demon. At that point, they’ll be a great help in the Country Wars!”
Wan Er grinned, “Alright then, it’s like you’re possessed!”
Tang Qi added, “Actually, Xiao Yao isn’t the only one. I heard that Q-Sword has been completely focused on earning Achievement Points. He’s now a captain, and will probably rise up to become a lieutenant soon. He’s fairly quick at clearing quests. Once he gets close to Prince Theodore, he’ll undoubtedly have a smooth ride up. Much like you, Li Xiao Yao.”
I smiled, “Fang Ge Que is already a supervisor in the Flame Dragon Army. If Q-Sword keeps this trajectory up, he might have to fight it out with Fang Ge Que to see who ranks higher. It will definitely be a nasty battle.”
Tang Qi smiled, “Well, none of them have it as good as you do in the Royal Army. You’re an official commander of an army, fourth tier General of the South!”
I narrowed my eyes at him, “Then what about you?”
“Me? Oh, I’m just a team leader in the Flame Dragon Army…”
Once we finished dinner, at Dong Cheng’s request, we went out to KTV for some karaoke. The two girls were giggling from all the fun. As it got close to eleven, I urged them home. Besides, I needed to get back and meet the Dragonling Army in an hour. I couldn’t be late for that. Han Yuan, Xiao Lie, Long Xing, and Xia Lie were right in the midst of preparing for battle while I, the commander, was escorting two pretty ladies to sing and play. It was truly inexcusable!
Once we returned home, I darted back and immediately logged on!
Ciel, ryangohsf's Notes:
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