The day after the army had set off… or to be more precise… on the midnight of the day the army had set off — the real client of the Blood Sword Hall, the Emperor of the Tian Xiang Empire — finally received the news he had been waiting for. The Zhao Family's men who had had crossed into the Capital's region had been wiped out along with the troops they had hired from the Southern Trade Union. The Second Prince's Devine Storm Guard had suffered the same fate.
The Emperor didn't find this news-report shocking; in fact, it was expected. Otherwise, wouldn't things have failed to live up to his arrangements? However, the news-report wasn't limited to this information. This was because the annihilation hadn't been limited to the aforementioned deaths. The members of the Blood Sword Hall who had taken part in the operation had also died a violent death.
The three Sky Xuan experts, fifteen Earth Xuan a.s.sa.s.sins, and forty Jade Xuan a.s.sa.s.sins — all had been eliminated. This news was shocking; in fact, it was extremely shocking.
One would've needed immense fighting-strength in order to destroy such a force. And, this was different from an ordinary defeat… perhaps even an 'attack and a rout' situation. Rather, it was the complete destruction of an entire military group; not a single person had been able to escape.
In addition, the main reason for these events had disappeared without a trace. That is… the meticulously manufactured ultra-killing weapons made using the Xuan Beasts' tendons and highly tempered steel — which several powers had been vying and hoping for — had also disappeared without a trace.
The Emperor had ransacked his table, and had his cup had fallen down. The spirit of his gloomy face didn't revive for many days to come. The crossbows and the strength of the Blood Sword Hall had held great importance for the Emperor. He had never expected that his flawless arrangements would go awry instead of capturing those crossbows. In fact, he hadn't merely lost-out on the crossbows. He had also lost the elite troops that const.i.tuted nearly half of the covert martial strength under his command to this unfathomable mystery.
The fact that made him even angrier was that this event had left no clues behind. So, he couldn't determine who had been behind this incident. So much so, that even the tiniest clues hadn't been left behind. How wouldn't the Tian Xiang Empire's Emperor be gloomy? How could he not be angry? This gloom and anger resulted in a cloud of worry and a fog of misery in the Imperial Palace. Everyone trembled with fear and treaded with caution since no one wanted to anger the 'unhappy' Emperor.
As for the effect of the news of this event on the Second Prince… he fainted when he heard this news. This isn't an exaggeration… he had genuinely fainted on the spot.
That was understandable. After all, he had suffered the greatest damage amongst all the partic.i.p.ants. He had expended the highest amount of resources from the start to the finish. In fact, he couldn't afford the final outcome of it. The Second Prince had paid for the raw materials that were required for the manufacturing. In fact, he had paid a very high price for them. Perhaps, one should say that he had paid an astronomically high price. Then, he had paid double for the manufacturing cost. The Prince had also engaged a lot of manpower for the transport arrangements. And now, he had suffered a dead loss. Moreover, his Devine Storm Guard had also been annihilated in its entirety; they were the Second Prince's most elite troops!
One could say that he had gone bankrupt while paying for another's wedding dress. The fact that was even more exasperating was that he didn't know who that 'other person' was… The Second Prince probably wouldn't have been able to figure out a way of responding to this situation if he hadn't already fainted in the first place…
Another person was similarly gloomy. It was Li You Ran. The Young Master Li hadn't suffered the loss of a fortune like the Second Prince. But, he had still paid a considerable amount. One could say that he had lost his hard earned savings…
He had sent half of the most elite of his family's secretly trained warriors for this task. And, they had been completely annihilated. Moreover, one of his senior brother-disciples was killed, and turned to minced-meat.
However, the fact that made him even more depressed was that — he didn't know whom to retaliate against. [Should I look for the Blood Sword Hall? Should I find that a.s.sa.s.sin and take revenge?] Wouldn't the Great Cold-Blooded Master Lei Wu Bei go mad if he didn't take revenge? Moreover, his two remaining senior disciples had been so shaken that they hadn't even brought their deceased brother-disciple's body back. In fact, he reckoned that his senior brother-disciple and his senior sister-disciple wouldn't stay with him for long either.
Nine senior brother-disciples and one senior sister-disciple had come to Tian Xiang City a fortnight ago in order to help him with his plans. However, eight had already died by now. And, the remaining two had transformed into thoroughly frightened creatures.
The Li Family's Young Master — Li You Ran — resented this situation to no end.
Something else had also added to the fire. He had sent some of his powerful seniors to formally gain control over Tian Xiang City's underworld a few nights ago. However, they had unexpectedly been attacked the same night, and had been forced to retreat. And, the Jin Yang gang had engulfed the entire underworld as a result.
The Jin Yang gang had already become the biggest group in Tian Xiang's underworld. In fact, they didn't have any compet.i.tors.
[Senior Brother Lei Jian Hong and Senior Sister Fang Piao Hong fought the enemies tonight. These two Sky Xuan experts battled the counterparts. Their enemies' strength was indeed greater than my seniors, but these two senior-disciples have failed in the true sense. They become fl.u.s.tered, and lost all intention to fight-back. A Sky Xuan expert must at least be able to maintain their composure and status!] Li You Ran was especially angry at that point. And, the two seniors had also realized their problem. They were ashamed of letting their junior down, and asked him to let them leave. They wished to find Master Lei Wu Bei in order to discuss the countermeasures with him.
Li You Ran had readily agreed. He had naturally provided them with a great amount of money for their travels. He had politely seen them off to their journey as well. However, muttered curses had arisen from the usually calm Young Master Li You Ran's mouth after the two left. He had suddenly raised his leg, and had smashed his family's door with a kick...
He had already reached Jade Xuan realm. Therefore, he had become quite powerful. His ferocious kick had thoroughly destroyed the door.
It was a proper and incisive kick.
"Jin Yan Gang…? You think that I don't know that you're Jun Mo Xie's people?" Li You Ran's fists clenched. Then, his expression had gradually calmed down, and he had slowly loosened his fists. Suddenly, a gentle smile had stretched across his face. "Jun Mo Xie has left the Capital now. Do you think that I won't be able to deal with you now? Do you think that I won't be able to handle you now? I have many ricks. It would be hard to beat you head-on, but round-about ways can also achieve the same goal!"
The Young Master Jun's blood had boiled during the ceremony of vows that had taken place before they had set out to war. This was the first time that he had felt like a hot-blooded heroic son of a military family. However, Jun Mo Xie had found himself unable to bear the military's customs after merely half-a-day's journey from the Capital. It was too much for him to take!
[That's forbidden! That won't do either!] Jun Mo Xie had later discovered walking without consent, and even laughing or speaking out-of-turn was improper in his third Uncle's eyes.
Jun Wu Yi had stayed away from the military for more than ten years. But, this barbaric control of the army had brought victories in the past. He seemingly watched over those who weren't pleasing to his eyes with a cold and scowling face, and acted against them with swift and decisive decisions. He would especially nitpick with the group of debauchees — headed by his own nephew — even more harshly for no reason since they weren't pleasing to look at. So, if he saw one of them… he would scold that 'one' youngster. If he saw two of them… he would scold them both.
Therefore, it was fair and reasonable that Jun Mo Xie, Murong Qian Jun, Meng Hai Zhou, Meng Fei, Li Zhen, Li Feng, etc… these Young Masters of the various families were left to whine to no end.
Jun Mo Xie knew that his uncle would need strict authority over the military to hold the battle formations. For that, his uncle needed to establish his prestige. He would need to set-up the image of harsh and firm military discipline since that would ensure strict obedience when they marched into a battle. Could they possibly go to war if indiscipline was rife in the Army? That would be like marching to their death!
Therefore, Jun Wu Yi needed several 'out of luck' and 'd.a.m.nable' scapegoats in order to establish his prestige.
It was a cla.s.sic case of 'killing one to warn the many'. He would set an example as a warning to others in order to implement military discipline.
However, Jun Mo Xie hadn't expected that he would be the first 'out of luck' scapegoat.
This incident would sound rather melodramatic… Jun Mo Xie had been riding his horse, and had been fighting an urge to urinate for half-the-afternoon. He took a look around. They had left the city's walls long ago. There were woods to his left, and farms to his right; some hamlets could be seen a little distance ahead. [The troops are advancing forward without a break. So, how do I deal with this?] This was an extremely difficult situation for the Young Master Jun. So, he swung his leg down his horse. Then, he stealthily slipped-away to some nearby trees. He untied his trousers, and let-out a single stream without any restraint.
There were several trees before his eyes. The magnificent army was marching forward behind him; very close behind him. In fact, they were so close to the trees that the men at the extreme opposite side of this procession of troops could stretch their hand, and fish-out a bird's eggs…
Therefore, the Young Master Jun let out his urinary stream in a highly spirited and invigoratingly straight line.
He had burst-out to his heart's content. Then, he shook 'it' quickly after he was finished. He was about to pull-up his trousers. But, he suddenly realized that two hands had been placed on his shoulders.
"You've separated from the formation without permission. You've ignored the army's disciple, and you've disrupted the public morals by urinating in front of everyone! Young General, we request that you come with us," Two Military Police personnel arrived like heavenly troops, and caught Jun Mo Xie red-handed.
"What… doesn't that sound unreasonable, ah? I obviously have my back to everyone. So, how can you say that I was urinating in front of them?" Jun Mo Xie contended on strong grounds. However, the two 'impartial' law officials grabbed him, and took him with them. The pitiful Young Master Jun didn't even get time to pull-up his trousers! His 'thing' was somewhat discernable to prying eyes. He was seized, and brought under the graceful banner of Jun Wu Yi.
The results were good, and Jun Wu Yi — the commander from the Jun family — put on a show in front of his headquarters. He ceremoniously punished Jun Mo Xie at the official gates with the serious penalty of twenty las.h.i.+ngs with truncheons.
If the punishment was too heavy for this crime… then no one called it 'heavy'. And, if it was lenient… then no one called it that either. No one asked mercy for Jun Mo Xie. But, that was only natural. Everyone knew that Commander Jun had found an excuse to put on a display. Moreover, the Young Master Jun didn't have friendly relations with anyone there.
Most real men don't cry in such situations. However, Jun Mo Xie nearly wept. He looked up and clenched his teeth as he said, "Third Uncle, you are 'using your authority to bring about order'. It is this little nephew's bad luck that he had erred a little… but, this is the first time ah…"
"Silence! We're general and subordinate in the army camp. I'm not your Third Uncle. And, you're not my nephew. Deputy General, you've spoken rudely, and you've disrupted the army's discipline. Add ten more hits to his penalty!" Third Master Jun' expression was serious.
Young Master Jun clearly understood that he dare not utter another word. He was sure that he would be hit many more times if he spoke-up again.
The truncheon crackled thirty times, and everyone kept quiet. Many debauchees were present there to witness; old and young. They reveled in his misfortune, but they didn't speak a word. That itself was a desired result.
However, Commander Jun was aware of his nephews' skills. It would've seemed that Jun Mo Xie had suffered serious injuries when one looked at his posterior turning all red-and-blue. However, it wasn't a big deal in reality. In fact, it wouldn't have harmed him much even if he had been struck three hundred times; let alone thirty times. However, he had just caught his nephew red-handed after the military operations had already started. And so, he hit upon an idea. [This kid erred. He's extremely undisciplined. This isn't a good thing.] The Jun Family was a family of generals at the end of the day. So, he had decided to use that opportunity to carefully temper his nephews' temperament. This would be important in laying out a foundation in case he had to lead troops into battle in the future.
As a matter of fact… this idea's origin could be barely credited to Jun Wu Yi. Grandpa Jun had exhorted him to ferociously train Jun Mo Xie before they had departed for war. In other words, he had been given this license by Grandpa Jun himself. So, the Third Master Jun had prepared himself to ill-treat his nephew in an unrestrained manner.
However, it was still a bit too much for the youngster's first act of indiscipline.
Jun Mo Xie covered his b.u.t.tocks after he had received that las.h.i.+ng of thirty truncheons, and walked out of the Commander's tent with his teeth gnashed. Then, he started to look around for someone he didn't like.
"Ah! Is that the all-powerful Jun Family's Third Young Master? What's with that expression? Is this the first time the Commander has educated you? He he he… Third Young Master Jun, you look very handsome when you cover your b.u.t.ts with your hands! This Young Master really admires you!" Jun Mo Xie had been his rival-in-love over Princess Ling Meng in the days gone by. So, the Murong Family's Young Master — Murong Qian Jun — peculiarly shook his shoulders in an exaggerated manner. In fact, it seemed that he was deliberately making a crackling sound of laughter. Meng Hai Zhou and others were present in the vicinity as well. They roared with laughter at this.
Jun Mo Xie didn't say a thing. He simply walked-over and stationed himself in front of Murong Qian Jun. Then, he suddenly s.n.a.t.c.hed a pike from a soldier who stood beside him. He then used it as a truncheon, and rained-down attacks on the opposite party. He drilled-in an attack with that pike-truncheon at a very fast speed.
[This Young Master had found no place to vent his belly full of anger. Yet, you still dared to provoke me? Are trying to court your bad luck?]
[This is what they call 'intolerable'!]
[This Young Master Jun - at the very least — won't tolerate it!]
What else could Murong Qian Jun expect? The other party had erred, and had broken the army's discipline. And then, the former had still tried to 'take his case' in front of their peers. However, he had been caught off-guard by the Young Master Jun's retaliation.
He wouldn't have been able to avoid it even if he had been prepared for it. He was struck by the truncheon. His eyes instantly filled with a golden light, and stars started to glitter in front of them.
The Murong family's skulls were rather perfect in their bone-structure. The pike hit him dead in the center, and broke off. Murong Qian Jun's skull was perfect, but his forehead was even superior in quality. A red lump — the size of a finger, and as thick as an egg — rose-up right in the center of his forehead at a visibly astonis.h.i.+ng speed. In fact, it even made a 'whoos.h.i.+ng' sound. It erected straight-up like a unicorn's horn.
"Oh? Isn't this the graceful and elegant Young Master Murong? Is that a pen*s on his head? Don't tell me that this is his innate talent? Is it possible that his 'thing' isn't inside his pants, but on his forehead instead? It's a pity… such a pity that there's only one egg to it. But, it has a very graceful shape. In fact, it is unrivalled all throughout the land. It is genuinely unprecedented. I truly admire it!" Jun Mo Xie burst out laughing as he made a gesture with his head. His gesture couldn't be considered as 'lame' in front of that shape on Murong Qian Jun's head. Then, he threw away the now-half-pike, and left with long strides.
He had exported his Qi in this strike. So, that the pike hit Murong Qian Jun with just the precise amount of strength, and his skin didn't break. However, this caused his forehead to swell to its maximum extent, and created an 'amazing and astonis.h.i.+ng' effect.
Everyone who heard that remark turned to look — only to find a lump on Murong Qian Jun's forehead. It was erect, and amazingly resembled a pen*s. It looked like an especially rare one since it somewhat lacked in length. But, it was of perfect thickness, and had a remarkable likeness in all other respects. It had been imitated to perfection, and was very lifelike!