Nightfall - LightNovelsOnl.com
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It was late spring or early summer and getting hotter in Chang'an, but it was the best time in the Wilderness which looked like a green ocean when the breeze blew through the weeds. However, in the north, 50 li away from the Left King's Palace, and near the green ocean in the Min Mountain was variegated.
All the burnt ground, the broken gra.s.sroots, the deep inserted broken arrows, and the marks of the tactical arrays, indicated that a war had just ended.
The war began with the spring and ended in late spring. The cavalry of the palace had high morale and fought against the Desolate tribes who were moving to the south. They both lost many lives during this nearly 100 day's wars. In the end, the Desolate succeeded in defending their last line with difficulty and saved the most fertile meadows.
The West-Hill Divine Palace had promulgated a decree to transport all the supplies from the other countries to the Yan Kingdom continuously. Although they got help from the best cultivators, they failed to drive the Desolate back to the Cold Region. That was not only because the Desolate Men were so strong but also the cavalry of Tang and the Papal Cavalrymen of the West-Hill were not ordered to take part in the wars.
The postwar gra.s.sland smelled burnt and stinky. In the meadow, under the Min Mountain were the cairns hanging all kinds of strips of cloth which were dancing with the wind. They were the cavalry's graves.
Few corpses could be found in the gra.s.sland since the Desolate would try everything to bring their people's bodies back home no matter how cruel the battles were.
What was more, no Desolate Man was captured during the war.
The cavalry of Tang was riding their horses and cleaning the battlefield. When they saw the cairns and remembered how the Desolate men acted in the field, they felt alert and a little respectful.
No one captured, no one abandoned. This was the Tang Military's iron rule. By seeing this, they finally understood why the Desolate Man was called a born fighter and why their ancestors were desperate to drive them out of the Wilderness.
Being also excellent soldiers, they had every reason to admire the Desolate Men and were hoping to have a fight with them.
However, they were ordered to escort supply, suppress mutiny, maintain discipline, and clean the battlefield instead of going to the center stage battlefield.
This was the order from the Tang Emperor, and the General Xia Hou's as well.
Xia Hou looked at the fertile gra.s.sland under his feet and the gra.s.sroots that were stepped into the ground by his shoes. He slightly moved them and something like oil came out off the ground with a sizzle. In addition to the decay of the black mud, there was more residual blood.
Since the war began, his cavalry had not fought against the Desolate directly, they had not even seen a Desolate Man. However, he was not so curious as his subordinates who were eager to have a fight — because he was a Desolate Man.
Looking at the residual bloodstains on the ground, he thought of the last battle a few days ago and visualized his tribe men, whom he had not seen for a long time, being killed by the arrows and flying swords. He just twitched his eyes a little.
This was his idea as well as His Majesty's, to not fight directly against the Desolate. His Majesty knew his origin and allowed him to direct the war. That meant His Majesty agreed with him.
For the trust of His Majesty, he was very grateful.
A clear whistle came from miles away. He looked up and found a girl riding a horse and herding hundreds of sheep not far in the meadow.
Soon after the war, people restarted herding sheep. From this point of view, life is always peaceful and simple while war is just the interlude.
Looking at the healthy and bright-eyed girl in the gra.s.sland, he remembered the moment when he met his sister in Hebei County after he betrayed his sect many years ago.
He then confirmed the reason he appreciated His Majesty a lot: he had treated his sister well, a fact that was more valuable to him than his trust and tolerance.
After Mr. Ke eliminated the Devil's Doctrine, Xia Hou went to the south and joined the Tang's army. Working hard for decades, he became a great general of the Empire and a respectful visiting professor of the West-Hill Divine Palace. However, no one knew he was a remnant of the Devil's Doctrine and a son of the Desolate.
General Xia Hou was supposed to be invincible. However, in fact, the men who knew his origin had been threatening and controlling him all the way. His ident.i.ty was like numerous threads that trapped him in the center like an armored beetle. He had no chance to get off, gradually becoming silent and asphyxiated.
His Majesty of Tang knew it, the hierarch of West-Hill Divine Palace knew it as well. They were like two indestructible walls that had been squas.h.i.+ng him all these years. He could hardly breathe between them and would be killed if he drew close to either of them.
He once tried to get close to both of them and tried again in the past years. However, he could not reconcile being loyal to both of them, and he had to be loyal to himself at the end. He fiercely tried to maintain the image of a powerful man to resist the two walls.
Unfortunately, he could not keep it that way forever. He was still strong at present, but he was getting old. He would be sick or weak while the two walls would not collapse ever. What was more, he had killed a lot of people, so a lot of people wanted to kill him.
Therefore, he needed to be strong forever. That was why he went to the Hulan Sea and tried to rob the Tomes of the Arcane. However, he failed before the scholar.
There was always a way out and every cloud has a silver lining! The scholar cut off his hope of being strong forever. Instead, he offered him a possibility to stay away from the trouble and leave safely.
"The summer is coming. Everything is going to be finished."
Looking at the gra.s.sland in the spring breeze and thinking about the coming summer, Xia Hou showed a tender expression in his poker face.
His sister was the Queen of Tang and her name was Summer.
The soft spring breeze touched his gentle face with the b.l.o.o.d.y smell in it. Some noises of weeding sounded behind him.
In the meadow, not far behind him, more than a hundred cavalrymen from the gra.s.sland and Yan soldiers knelt on the ground. They were decapitated by sharp knives and their blood poured into the meadow.
These men were arrested for rebellion or misconduct and sentenced to death by General Xia Hou without being trialed.
On the battlefield, the Northeast Border Military of Tang was responsible for maintaining military discipline and suppressing rebellions. However, the executions today were without a trial which violated the laws of both the Divine Hall and the Tang Empire.
However, the law of the Tang Empire could not bind a field general.
Killing people like cutting weeds, Xia Hou did not even blink his eyes.
An officer was riding a horse toward him from the Military camp.
Xia Hou received a letter from him.
Even though he had been defending Tuyang City for years and now he was in the Wilderness, he was the Great General of the Empire and he had a lot of informants in Chang'an.
Although he did't have a good friends.h.i.+p with the Defender-general of the State, Xu s.h.i.+, they respected each other. Some information of the Military Ministry would be gathered in the Military camp by these men.
The letter described recent events that happened in Chang'an.
Xia Hou was aware of the two conversations between Xu s.h.i.+ and Ning Que and he was told about the deaths of Huang Xing and Yu Shuizhu, so he kept quite a long silence after finis.h.i.+ng reading the letter.
Since he made a deal with the Academy in Tuyang City last year, he was not willing to pay attention to the stuff about entering the human realm, or he was not as upset as Xu s.h.i.+ was.
However, the deaths of Huang Xing and Yu Shuizhu alerted him.
They both worked for the Prince and him.
What was more, they were both involved in the event in that year.
Xia Hou did not know why Ning Que aimed at him.
He had killed Lin Ling in the Wilderness and then murdered Gu Xi in Tuyang City. Now, he killed Huang Xing and Yu Shuizhu. Everyone close to him was eliminated by this man's blade.
Although the imperial court and the Academy agreed on his retirement, someone had a second opinion.
"Did anyone manage to escape?"
Xia Hou frowned, thought for a moment, and then shook his head. He was sure that Lin Guangyuan's son was killed because the little boy was examined by himself.
Then he remembered a rumor in Chang'an.
Ning Que had a good relations.h.i.+p with the princess, Li Yu.
Did he do this for the dragon throne?
Xia Hou looked grim when he thought that someone would hurt his sister and his nephew after his retirement. He would try his best to kill anyone who wanted the throne.
The execution continued.
The heads of the soldiers were chopped and the sad crying sounded without a break.
In the b.l.o.o.d.y smell, Xia Hou felt a killing intent.
A man showed up in the blue sky above the gra.s.sland.
He jumped from the air and rushed toward Xia Hou with a strong intent.
Xia Hou raised his head.
Besides the figure of the man, there was glaring suns.h.i.+ne.
Then he had to blink his eyes.
He was familiar with this.
He had seen this in the Hulan Sea.
Then he had already seen this for several times these days.
He did not panic, and stayed calm and cool.
An aggressive force gushed out of his body.
His leather boots sank into the mud.
Then, the soft mud turned solid in the next moment.
Centering on the boots, the gra.s.sland became a wide cobweb.
Xia Hou was standing in the center of it.
Supported by the force of his feet, he flew toward the sky.
His armor was blown in the air and he moved as fast as a bird, like a G.o.d in Heaven.
Tang, the World Wayfarer of the Devil's Doctrine jumped from the sky.
The former powerhouse of the Devil's Doctrine, Xia Hou flew toward the sky.
They encountered in the air above the gra.s.sland.
Then it was a bolt from the blue.
The loudest roar yet rang out in the blue sky.
A strong shock wave spread from the air to all directions.
The sheep eating gra.s.s miles away were shocked and feigned death on the ground.
The girl who was shepherding fell down off the horse.
The Tang soldiers who were carrying out their orders held their hands to their ears and knelt on the gra.s.s with pale faces.
The fierce wind blew the gra.s.s down and up, making the broken gra.s.s fly all over the meadow.