Chapter 208: Possessing Both Courage and Wisdom
Translator: KurazyTolanzuraytor Editor: Lucas
Duan Ling Tian, Xiao Yu, and Xiao Xun were startled when they walked out of their tent.
The dense mass of nearly 90,000 officers kneeling before the center tent emitted waves of sounds filled with lament and resentment. This sound spread over the entirety of Relentless Thrive City, causing the entire city to seem as if it was enveloped in dark clouds.
The residents of Relentless Thrive City were now gathered within the streets and alleys, and they all had dreary expressions.
"I originally thought that since the Crimson Wyrm Army had arrived, it would surely be able to cooperate with the border army to take the edge of that Southern Champion Kingdom's spirit...But I never imagined that they would actually return after suffering a crushing defeat!"
"Humph! This has nothing to do with the Crimson Wyrm Army. It's all because of that piece of sh*t strategists that directed the battle blindly. He's the one that caused the border army to suffer a loss of over 10,000 officers!"
"How do you know?"
"I have a cousin who's in the border army, and he's presently with his brother, pleading to the General to sentence that piece of sh*t strategist to death!"
"A single strategist led over 10,000 officers to their death? He deserves death of course! Why do they still need to plead?"
"The identity of that strategist isn't simple. He's the son of our Crimson Sky Kingdom's Prime Minister, and his name is Gu Xuan!"
Everywhere within Relentless Thriving City, similar discussions spread.
For a time, the public sentiment was aroused in the outside as well.
Hu Wei An stood before the center tent. His manly eyes were filled with tears as he looked at the nearly 90,000 officers, and he had a face full of sadness. However, he was at a loss for words for a moment.
"General! If you're worried that Gu Xuan is the son of the Prime Minister, we can do it ourselves, we aren't afraid!"
"Yes! We aren't afraid!
"General, injury and death is unavoidable when armies go to battle...If we had killed over 10,000 people from that Southern Champion Kingdom, we'd accept it as unavoidable! But this time, over 10,000 of our brothers died, whereas the casualties of that Southern Champion Kingdom didn't even amount to 1,000!"
"Our brothers can't die for nothing!"
The crowd of officers had crimson eyes as their imposing manner shot into the sky.
"Over 10,000 officers from our own side died, but not even 1,000 of the enemy officers died?" Duan Ling Tian frowned.
Although he'd expected that Gu Xuan's strategy wouldn't work, he never imagined it would fail so miserably....
He understood in his heart that even if this Gu Xuan was able to live past today, he'd probably be condemned to everlasting shame, let alone inherit the position of Prime Minister!
Xiao Yu and Xiao Xun were stunned as well.
They only knew that over 10,000 officers of the Crimson Sky Kingdom had died, but they didn't know the specific losses of the enemy.
Now that they heard of the enemy's losses, they were speechless for a moment.
"Over 10,000 officers died for not even 1,000 enemy officers' lives?" Xiao Xun and Xiao Yu glanced at each other. They could see the rage within each other's eyes.
"This Gu Xuan deserves to die!" Xiao Xun's face sank.
More than 10,000 firm and unyielding men were led to their deaths by Gu Xuan just like that!
This was virtually a deed that greatly angered both men and God!
Within the center tent, Gu Xuan's face was ghostly pale as he dropped down to sit on the floor. His legs went soft, and he was unable to stand up for a long time.
He could perceive the rage of the crowd of border army officers outside. He didn't doubt it in the slightest that if he were to run out at this time, he would surely be torn into pieces!
"I want to leave this place, I want to leave this place...." Suddenly, Gu Xuan's gaze shone as if he'd grasped onto the last life-saving straw.
The two people who had always followed by Gu Xuan's side hesitated for a moment before slowly speaking. "Brother Gu Xuan...You should go out and make an apology."
"Apologize?" Gu Xuan's face sank, and his gaze went slightly cold. "Are you asking me to apologize? Impossible!"
Outside the tent.
No matter how He Wei An persuaded, the crowd of officers was still unwilling to retreat.
"We'll kneel and not rise until Gu Xuan dies!"
"Yes! We'll kneel and not rise until Gu Xuan dies!"
The crowd of officers said, in resolute tones.
In the end, even He Wei An truly didn't know how to persuade them anymore. He could only look at Nie Fen in seek of help, wanting to see if Nie Fen had a way.
Nie Fen nodded to He Wei An before standing out.
"Fellow brothers, I'm the Crimson Wyrm Army's Commander, Nie Fen!" Nie Fen gazed at the nearly 90,000 officers from the border army that had faces full of grief. "I and General He equally grieve the death of the over 10,000 brothers that have died in the battle! But the dead can never return, so why make things difficult for General He?"
"I assure all of you, as long as you stand up and return, we will drive Gu Xuan out of Relentless Thriving City and make him scram back to the Imperial City! Besides that, in at most three days, we will once again dispatch our soldiers and take revenge for our 10,000 dead brothers!" Nie Fen's voice was firm and resounding.
Seeing that the crowd of border army officers seemed to be completely indifferent to what he said, Nie Fen continued, "I know that all of you doubt my promise...But what happened yesterday was something all of you saw with your own two eyes. Do all of you know why I was able to notice the change in situation promptly yesterday and was able to lead my 10,000 brothers from the Crimson Wyrm Army to cover everyone's retreat?"
What Nie Fen said caused the gazes of all the border army officers that were present to abruptly shine.
Nie Fen continued, "Actually, this wasn't because I was able to predict ahead. It was because a Paladin Academy Star Mastermind Department student had warned me before I went out to battle...He told me that if I notice certain situations, then I must resolutely retreat!"
"General Nie, didn't all the Paladin Academy Star Mastermind Department students participate in the scheming for the warfare tactics this time? Since he knew of the presence of the flaws beforehand, why didn't he speak out promptly and avoid this disaster?" One of the strategists that stood behind He Wei An frowned and was slightly furious.
"He wasn't within the tent at that time, nor did he participate in the scheming." Nie Fen looked at the strategist with a calm gaze as he spoke.
"Could it be?" He Wei An seemed to recall something, and his pupils constricted.
He still wasn't quite able to believe it.
If it really was so, then he couldn't absolve himself from the blame!
Duan Ling Tian was standing in the distance when he heard what Nie Fen said and noticed Nie Fen looking at him...He knew that Nie Fen was surely planning on selling him out!
Duan Ling Tian shook his head and brought along Xiao Yu and Xiao Xun, who had bewildered expressions, as he walked out in large strides to stand beside Nie Fen.
"It's you all!" The faces of the two strategists behind He Wei An went pale, and their eyes emitted disbelief.
Could it be that the Star Mastermind Department students that warned Commander Nie were these three grade 1 students? The grade 1 students that were given the cold shoulder and driven out by them?
Their faces become slightly unsightly.
"The one beside me is the peerless genius whose name has been spread and gave rise to much discussion within the Crimson Sky Kingdom, Duan Ling Tian! Others only know that brother Ling Tian's natural talent in the Martial Dao is supreme; however, they don't know that he has an extremely deep understanding of warfare tactics! Before I went out to battle, it was he who told me to be wary of two types of situations. He said that if one of the two situations were to appear, then I must retreat at the first possible moment...."
"At the beginning, even I felt that those two situations were an exaggeration. It wasn't until one of them really appeared that I realized that his judgement that day wasn't wrong! Thus, I decided at that exact moment to bring along the Crimson Wyrm Army to cover all of you in retreat...Otherwise, your losses wouldn't have been only 10,000 brothers, it might have even been 30,000, 40,000, or even 50,000!" Nie Fen's loud voice was extremely influential.
"General Nie, we're all grateful to you for saving us! However, I don't quite understand what you said. Since this little brother is a Star Mastermind Department student as well, and since he noticed the flaws within the tactics Gu Xuan formulated, why did we all still conduct our attack in accordance with Gu Xuan's tactics?" A Colonel of the border army that was kneeling at the front asked the question that was in hearts of nearly everyone present.
Duan Ling Tian's brows knitted and he stood up. "This is something I can tell you!"
For a moment, everyone's gazes descended onto Duan Ling Tian.
Duan Ling Tian's tone was calm; it was as if he was recounting a matter completely unrelated to him. "That day, I and the two others behind me originally participated in the scheming of tactics against the Southern Barbaric City...However, later on, Gu Xuan said that we would only get in the way and would be of no use! And he was confident he could breach Southern Barbaric City without us."
"At that time, your General He's mind was deluded by what Gu Xuan said, and he felt that we were young, we were only grade 1 students of the Paladin Academy's Star Mastermind Department, so he drove us out! Later, even though I'd noticed the flaws within Gu Xuan's tactics, that flaw was something that was difficult to convince someone of if it didn't go through an actual battle...Moreover, with our status at the time, even if we had said something, no one would've believed us," Duan Ling Tian slowly said.
"I can bear witness to this!" Nie Fen added, "At that time, even I didn't quite believe the so-called flaws that brother Ling Tian spoke of; otherwise, I would absolutely not have allowed the 10,000 brothers of my Crimson Wyrm Army take the risk!"
What Duan Ling Tian said caused the crowd of soldiers to accumulate flames of fury within their hearts that could flood the sky, and what Nie Fen said seemed like a fuse that lit their fury ablaze, causing them to completely explode out!
"It's that Gu Xuan again!"
"He lacks ability but is jealous of talent. He pushed aside this brother Ling Tian that possesses both courage and wisdom!"
For a moment, the crowd of border army officers all spoke out in grief and resentment.
Suddenly, the scene went deathly silent, and all that remained was the abrupt sound of kneeling.
It was He Wei An who'd knelt before the crowd of officers with a flushed face. "Brother, this incident happened because of my lack of careful consideration...It's all the fault of I, He Wei An!"
"General He, there's no need to be like this. You were influenced by another...After all, my age and experience are things that a normal person wouldn't be convinced of." Duan Ling Tian lightly smiled as his voice echoed out.
"Exactly. What Brother Ling Tian said is right. This incident has nothing to do with General He!"
"It has nothing to do with General He!"
The crowd of officers all spoke out in loud voices.
Hu Wei An's eyes emitted a trace of gratitude and guilt when he noticed Duan Ling Tian speaking out for him.
"Duan Ling Tian!" Within the tent, Gu Xuan gnashed his teeth with a face full of hatred.
Wouldn't Duan Ling Tian speaking like this push all the responsibility onto him?
Although, he had to admit that it was indeed his responsibility.
In next to no time, Duan Ling Tian's voice once again entered the tent, and it caused Gu Xuan's eyes to shine.
"Everyone, I understand your thoughts of wishing for nothing more than to kill Gu Xuan. But I still hope that all of you can calm down and think for the sake of General He. That Gu Xuan is the son of the Lord Prime Minister after all, and his status is distinguished...If he were to die in Relentless Thriving City, all of you might be fine, but General He would surely be affected!"