Chapter 200 - The Characteristics of pride
[TL's note: Hi guys, sorry about the delay in release. I had to send my Laptop for a repair, something went wrong with it.
On a brighter note, we've reached 200 Chapters! Cheers, and thanks to all for supporting Otherworldly Evil Monarch and Novel Saga!]
Zhao Jian Hun was staring at the statue of his enemy with the utmost respect in his eyes: "Jun Wu Hui and I, have faced each other on the battlefield a total of twenty nine times, and regardless of my wits or strength, I've always lost. No matter my attack strategy, no matter my calculations, no matter my ambush plans, no matter the secrecy of operation, Jun Wu Hui would always see through everything."
"The White Commander could see through everything!"
Such words were probably the best and biggest compliment an enemy can ever be capable of giving a man!
Jun Wu Yi had nothing to add in this regard, but these words brought back the memorizes of his Eldest Brother, and his heart suddenly burst with pride once again.
The young master Jun had been silently watching Zhao Jian Hun the entire time, and could feel a strong sense of regret in the man's tone for not being able to defeat the great Commander. However, no matter how miserably the man was beaten in battle, he'd still rally his forces once again, and would rise up once again to wage hundred more wars! This was an amazing characteristic that this general possessed, and Jun Mo Xie could sense that this man was someone to reckon with!
"Our countries were at war with each other at that time, and although Jun Wu Hui and I met several times, but we always met on the battlefield in the form of sworn enemies. I always hoped that one day I'd be able to meet this valiant and terrifying enemy in person, so I could share a glass of wine with him over a conversation! And that one moment would have been enough for me to last a lifetime!"
Zhao Jian Hun seemed to be talking out of sentiment at this point: "However, the greatest desire of my life had always been to defeat Jun Wu Hui in battle once; and convincingly at that, then I would've chopped his head with my own sword, and then I would have personally buried the man with all honors! Therefore, no matter how miserably he defeated me, no matter how desperate he made me, I would always struggle to get back on my feet because I believed in my dream! I would always get up again, so I could beat this unshakable enemy of mine! I would have lost a hundred more battles, but I would still fight again! The death of such an ingenious general under such shady conditions is indeed the most tragic thing I can ever imagine!"
"The mystery of his tragic death?" Jun Wu Yi suddenly opened his eyes and looked at him coldly: "Zhao Jian Hun, what are you trying to say? What do you know about it?"
The mysterious deaths of his two elder brothers and his two nephews could be described as the biggest puzzle of Jun Wu Yi's life, and although he believed that the Silver Blizzard City played a part in it, but he still didn't have any proof of it. Jun Wu Yi had been anxiously trying to get some concrete evidence, and suddenly it seemed to him that Zhao Jian Hun knew something about it!
Zhao Jian Hun turned around and looked at him: "What do I know? I'm an enemy soldier, so even if I told you something, why would you ever trust me?! Jun Wu Yi, although you've beaten me as well, but I've never respected you! Zhao Jian Hun has only ever admired one enemy; Jun Wu Hui! If Jun Wu Hui wasn't already dead, then I'd want to kill him! However, he died battling me, but under the most dubious of circumstances and I, Zhao Jian Hun will not take the blame of it! Nor do I know anything about his death!"
"I was supposed to have been defeated by Jun Wu Hui ten years ago, but unfortunately I defeated him, and then he died! This victory was the biggest defeat of my life, and this defeat was the final one!" Zhao Jian Hun smiled mischievously, but with abundant traces of sadness on his face: "That victory is the biggest irony of my life!"
At this moment, Jun Wu Yi finally started to understand the true meaning behind Zhao Jian Hun's words, and muttered to himself: "So, he also wants to know the truth?"
Zhao Jian Hun looked at him coldly: "Had I really defeated and killed him, then I would have proudly announced it to the whole wide world, and then I would've celebrated like you've never seen anyone celebrate before! That victory was marked as the biggest achievement of my life, but it was false! This feat does not belong to me, but it is still hung against my name, and this, for Zhao Jian Hun, is the biggest shame! A shame I simply cannot wash away! I cannot stand it, and so I wish to avenge him! Jun Wu Hui was a real soldier, and he should've died fighting on the battlefield, not under a conspiracy! I cannot accept this result, and I believe that he wouldn't have accepted it either!"
"You're his brother, something must have rubbed off on you as well....." Zhao Jian Hun smiled mockingly, "You're a soldier too, aren't you? If such a success was handed over to you by someone else, then what you have done? You're a soldier, aren't you? Would you have taken it? Perhaps, some people would secretly celebrate it, but I, Zhao Jian Hun cannot!"
Jun Wu Yi had no words to offer.
"Jun Wu Yi, I ask you! How did Jun Wu Hui die? How were you defeated?" Zhao Jian Hun was almost glaring at Jun Wu Yi: "Tell me, and tell me the truth!"
"The truth....." Jun Wu Yi shook his head as his face twitched: ".... I would also like to know the truth."
By the virtue of being one of the most prominent generals of the Yu Tang Empire, Zhao Jian Hun was surely capable of calling the winds and summoning the rains, but in the face of a power like the Silver Blizzard City, he was no more than a mere ant.
Even though Jun Wu Yi didn't want an enemy like Zhao Jian Hun to exist in this world, but just as Zhao Jian Hun, Jun Wu Yi also firmly believed that the bones of a soldier belonged in the battlefield. Although, he wished Zhao Jian Hun dead, he only wanted the man to die in battle, and preferably by his own hands! In any case, he didn't wish for Zhao Jian Hun to fight the Silver Blizzard City in order to avenge Jun Wu Hui and then end up dying under similarly dubious circumstances!
In reality, even Jun Wu Yi was also only vaguely conjecturing at the truth since he didn't have any proof of the Silver Blizzard City's involvement! Either way, he wouldn't imply his own hatred and impose his own battles on someone else!
"You would never be able deal with them. You weren't even able to deal with my Eldest Brother, or my Second Brother, or even me!" Jun Wu Yi replied coldly: "Zhao Jian Hun, you shouldn't overestimate your abilities! Although I hope that you die soon enough, but I don't wish for you to die the death my Brothers did! The bones of a soldier have always belonged on the battlefield!"
"So you already know how the three of you were beaten, and that I have no relation with what happened?" Zhao Jian Hun seemed rather excited about it.
"Of course. You may be worthy of being the most important general of the Yu Tang Empire, but you simply aren't capable of defeating the Jun Brothers!" Jun Wu Yi grunted: "You just don't have what it takes!"
"Thank you! Thank you!" even though Jun Wu Yi was belittling him, Zhao Jian Hun seemed very happy, grateful, and excited!
"Jun Yu Wi, you may be a victorious general, but you will never know what the burden of these victories can do to a man! I've never lost any battle in this past decade.... I may get hit hard, but I'd always counter and win the battle..... but since I wasn't able to defeat the Jun Brother convincingly, no matter where I go..... I can always feel as if someone is pointing at my back and saying...... you see that man, he's a lucky one.... No matter how badly he loses, he'll always win in the end because he's a lucky general...... luck is his biggest strength....."
"This is the biggest humiliation for any soldier! A real soldier never believes in luck! Strength is everything!" Zhao Jian Hun's voice started turning up, and he was almost roaring at this point; but hysterically so: "I don't have the strength to win? I've never lost a war in ten years now! No matter how hard I'm hit, I always counter and I always win in the end! Why should anyone call me lucky? I would rather be dead before I accept my victories as a twist of fate!"
Jun Mo Xie had been watching Zhao Jian Hun since the moment he had come in, and could sense that this man was true soldier! Hearing these words only made him sure of it.
Perhaps Jun Mo Xie wouldn't agree with the pedantic thoughts and ideals of the man, but he couldn't help admire them, and therefore, he couldn't approve of them. He is a true soldier! A truly Iron-blooded military man!
Upright and straightforward! Real men and true swords don't believe in luck, and then don't believe in destiny! Even if they face death, they do so standing on their feet! They may die, but they always die in battle! They die with a forward posture, defending their pride and their national dignity, like an immortal and great wall, unwilling to move aside for the sake of their future generations and their country!
This unique prideful characteristics of a true soldier was vividly visible to Jun Mo Xie in the words and body language of Jun Wu Yi and Zhao Jian Hun!
Whether friend or foe, such soldiers are worthy of admiration.
He could sense that even if another general is able to match up to Zhao Jian Hun's track record in the days to come, the said-man would unlikely ever be able to match this general's valor and ideals!
Jun Wu Yi and Zhao Jian Hun, two men who were once enemies, continued to talk in front of Jun Wu Hui's cenotaph for a long time, and even though they matched each other measure for measure, but a tone of sympathy and respect still lingered abundantly in their body language.
Jun Mo Xie didn't interrupt them at all since he knew that this moment belong to these two men; and these two men alone! These two war veterans, these two opponents, these two iron-blooded soldiers.
Towards the end, intentionally or otherwise, Zhao Jian Hun uttered a sentence with aroused Jun Mo Xie's interest: "There is another military Family in the Tian Xiang Country apart from the Jun Family: the Dugu Family. Things are looking a bit fishy on their end."
"What are you trying to say?" Jun Wu Yi asked: "What news have you come across Brother Zhao? Is the country turning against us?"
"Is the country turning against you?" Zhao Jian Hun smiled mischievously: "I came here with the state teacher of the Yu Tang Empire, and your three Princes have already visited us, and ha ha, their attitude is very... ha ha...."
Zhao Jian Hun was standing upright at this moment, and his deep voice seemed to be sneering at Jun Wu Yi: "The three Princes have been trying to disintegrate the Empire, but your Emperor has his heart set on maintaining the balance and unity. However, it seems that the three Princes are getting very impatient, and cannot wait for their succession any longer, which makes mutiny their only option. The Jun Family and the Dugu Family are extremely loyal to Yang Huai Yu, which makes your two families their biggest hurdle, and they need to clear them at any cost. The Dugu Family has an unmarried daughter, and she can be used as a very significant bargaining chip here, and in case one of the three Prince is somehow able to woo her...... even if a Jun is able to marry the Princess, it will only be done by the grace of his Majesty, and will by no means obstruct the plans of the three Princes."
Jun Wu Yi looked downwards: "Is that so?"