Chapter 125: Attacking the City
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
Everyone was gathered atop the wall of the stronghold, ready to fight the oppressors to their death.
The old woman gave a bow before coughing. She then said slowly, "The Young Chieftain hadn't paid his respects to the Chieftain yesterday, hence forgive me for not paying my respects to you then."
"That's a small matter. What's the situation now?" Pei Zi Yun's expression was grave. Their fierce and orderly demeanor had startled him earlier. When he looked at them once again, he noticed that although they still carried a fearsome aura, most of them were actually old and frail.
With his level of skills, he can take on tens of fighters with his sword. As for hundreds of people, his Dao arts would no longer be as effective against the masses. With thousands of people it would be hard for him to defend himself. He might even end up being killed.
As for the group of old and frail people as soldiers, they would not be of much use as well.
When the old woman heard Pei Zi Yun's words, she stepped forward to lead the way. She then started to explain, "Young Chieftain, thankfully our patrolling warriors realized that there were some movement. They then locked up the gates leading to our stronghold. Later on then we found out it was the other mountain tribes who had come to attack us."
Just as he was speaking, a few people joined up with the group of warriors below the stronghold. Pei Zi Yun then looked outside. At this point, the stars were flickering brightly overhead. He then looked at the black, glistening river flowing some distance away. He knew that this river stretched on for more than two thousand kilometers. The currents along the river were strong, and surged through the banks. On the banks was a flat land, filled with a multitude of rocks and pebbles. Next to the banks were the mountainous plains, slightly further up was where the mountain warriors were assembled. They were wearing black clothes around their heads, and black sheepskins were tied tightly to their ankles. They wore flats that enabled them to move quickly, and carried torches.
Amidst the mountain warriors, a woman was dressed in a long traditional black robe and was standing in the middle, near a fire. A raven sat perched on her shoulder as she held the staff of authority in her hands. The warriors around her seemed to be reporting to her, and she seemed very fierce and awe inspiring.
Three people had just joined up with the tribes. The Priestess seemed to be speaking to them as she pointed the staff in the direction of Pei Zi Yun and the rest of them. The warriors around her then raised their swords in unison before shouting out a war cry.
The warriors then started to split up. Some people took out high ladders, and others took out shields. A warrior then stood out among them. He looked to be their leader, and shouted out towards Pei Zi Yun's stronghold, "You all should surrender. You can't escape. We still have thousands of people behind us. Why would you give up your lives for a dead man and a man whose history is a mystery to you?"
"The High Priest has already been dead for so many years, he's not coming back." The lead warrior's face was full of spite and hatred, as he shouted towards their stronghold.
He Qing Qing listened but did not speak. The old woman beside her stepped forward and shouted, "You bunch of traitors. Have you forgotten about the dignity of our old Chieftain? Today, you come with the intention of attacking us. In the following days, you shall bear the full wrath of the Chieftain's punishments."
"And you, Li Zhu, have you forgotten how much the Chieftain favored and adored you? And yet there you stand, a traitor to the Chieftain and the Young Chieftain."
The woman in long black robes heard the old woman's words and laughed emotionless, "Favor and adoration? He killed my father and my brother, and seized my tribe and commanded us to follow him. Is that favor?"
"I waited day and night, until the day he finally died. And I've waited for today as well, to kill off the person who was to succeed him."
"I've waited for many years. I shall destroy every shred of hopes and dreams that he had. That is why I'm here today. I rushed here as soon as I could, the moment I heard the news."
"Once I've killed all of you, I shall open his tomb, and ground his bones into ashes and let him suffer the eternal curse of the deities."
When she arrived to the end of the sentence, her voice turned hoarse, her eyes were maniacal. She then coughed violently and had to be supported by several warriors. The lead warrior then took her place by the fire.
"Haha, the High Priest had long died, and shall never live again. There's nobody to control the venomous vipers and bugs. Unless your Young Chieftain has the same capabilities as the High Priest. If that were the case, we would've retreated a long time ago. Why are we here then?"
"The venomous vipers and bugs have not attacked us. Since you cannot control the poisonous insects and snakes, and you refuse to surrender, then you shall all die!" The lead warrior was smiling eerily as he spoke. In his voice, the disdain and intense hatred was palpable. He then shouted, "Sons, who among us do not have any hatred for the High Priest? Let's kill them all. Kill all the old and weak peasants above."
The warriors below gave a cry of acknowledgement before rushing forward.
He Qing Qing looked down at the rushing group of people, her eyes were filled with despair and anger. However, she did not remain idle. Instead, she ordered, "Everyone prepare stones and start boiling our wastewater."
Pei Zi Yun followed her orders and looked up at their stronghold. He realized that there were plenty of large boulders. Beside those boulders, there were a pair of hot pots and were boiling something within. A foul smell ensued from the pots.
"Boom!" Following the sound of footsteps, three long ladders had been swung towards their walls. As people started climbing the ladders. The old woman then ordered, "Release the boulders!"
Several women grouped up and worked together to lift the boulders atop the wall. The big and able-bodied men did not move. They were preserving their energy for when the fighting gets more cruel and intense.
"Release!" Instantly, ten huge boulders fell in a straight line from atop the wall and knocked several people off the ladder as they screamed out in pain, their arms flailed wildly before crashing to the ground.
The old woman shouted again, "Golden juice!"
Immediately two women lifted up a single huge pot. Within each pot manure and wastewater were being boiled, which stank to high heavens. They emptied the pot down upon the climbing warriors.
The entire atmosphere was filled with dank and pungent excrement stink. More screams of agony could be heard. Several mountain warriors had their entire faces burnt, as they fell off the ladder, screaming in pain. Even people who had worn armor were not safe from the burning excrement. Smoke billowed from the bodies as their skin was burnt right off their bodies, revealing white bones.
The people who had been burnt by the boiling excrement had to deal with the intense pain of being burnt. Additionally, there was a ton of bacteria and maggots within the manure which would infect their burn wounds. Infection would inevitably set in soon. Unless they received Dao healing, there was no possibility of survival.
The pungent smell of excrement and the screams of agony caused several enemies nearby to retch their guts out onto the ground. Most of the surrounding enemies had look of fear on their faces.
'These war tactics are similar to my world Sino-Turkish wars tactics.'
'Although the stronghold had been prepared for such an attack, alas their numbers could not match up to their vast army. There is no way to prevent the eventual loss.'
The young woman and the old woman led the army. Although they had small numbers, they kept hurling rolling boulders and boiling manure down. Anyone who tried to scale the walls were immediately obstructed. However, all these manures and boulders would eventually be used up. When that happens, they had nothing to fall back on.
Another old woman stood at the side as she struggled to throw a boulder down. Her entire body was hot with perspiration. Pei Zi Yun then asked, "Do they have any bows and arrows, for me to help in defending?"
Although Pei Zi Yun was no marksman, but based on his skills in martial arts, he had full confidence that every arrow would find a target.
He Qing Qing looked at the busy crowd on her side of the wall and paused to think, "We do have bows and arrows. However, I'm afraid even with Young Chieftain's help we might not be able to hold out for much longer."
"This is the map of the mountains behind us. Here's the flute as well. We have too many people for all of us to cross the Snake Mountains. With Young Chieftain's martial arts capabilities, these traitors have no way of obstructing you."
"What I'm trying to say is, Young Chieftain should sneak out in the dark of the night. We shall hold out here for as long as we can. As long as Young Chieftain survives this attack, the rest of our deaths will be worth it." When the old woman heard this, she turned around and laughed, revealing several missing teeth, "Qing Qing, you have to follow him. Us, Lumen Troops will defend our stronghold for as long as we can."
"The Chieftain had many secrets that you would need to update the Young Chieftain about."
"We're old and do not have long left to live. It's about time to be reunited with the Chieftain."
The sounds of people dying intensified. Pei Zi Yun held his authority staff in his hands, his expression was one of contemplation. As for the venomous snakes and bugs, there could be another way to control them. As he thought about this, he then said, "Try and hold on for as long as you can. Give me up to midnight, I will think of a way."
"Qing Qing, take me to your room." Pei Zi Yun said calmly. Although they were in the middle of an intense battle, and the sounds of killings echoed up to the heavens, Pei Zi Yun maintained a air of composure and confidence.
He Qing Qing paused for sometime. She still had a ton of life and vigor in her. Without asking why, she replied, "Yes Young Chieftain!"
She then led him back in. They reached the interior of the stronghold and Pei Zi Yun noticed that there were many strings of chilli hung at the door, giving it a red and fiery feeling when someone looked at it. Pei Zi Yun thought that these chilli were an accurate representation of the characters of these people, fiery and passionate.
There was a wooden bed within the room, and had a delicate feel to it. Several silver decorations hung from the room. She then lit up a lamp.
"Young Chieftain, this is my room. You can use it. It's just that Young Chieftain, you...." The young woman said but was interrupted by Pei Zi Yun's raised hand, "Go and defend the stronghold. Just give me up to midnight."
Hearing Pei Zi Yun's words, He Qing Qing needed no second instruction as she bowed before leaving.
Pei Zi Yun then placed the staff under the pillow and gently lowered himself into bed. As with previous times, he slowly drifted to sleep. The only difference was the sweet smelling fragrance on her bed.
Within the dream. Pei Zi Yun realized that he was within the mountains. And the sight before him was extremely familiar. This was the mountain of Free Cloud Sect. A four or five years old little Daoist was holding the hands of an older Daoist as they walked.
"Master, Master, what's the purpose of cultivating?" The little Daoist asked innocently.
"Cultivation?" The master heard the little Daoist's question and started laughing, "The purpose of cultivation is to reach a point where your flesh and mortal body becomes saintly, and you will never grow old or sick."
"Master you've cultivated for so many years, you must be at the stage where you shall never grow old or sick?" The little Daoist asked, his eyes were wide open.
"Master hasn't reached that stage yet. You have innate talents, and can definitely surpass Master in that regard. When that happens, you shall fulfill my wishes." The old Daoist laughed as he spoke.
In the blink of an eye, a young Daoist was walking alone. He could see the many peach blossoms blooming before him. He then plucked a peach blossom and sighed, "The flowers bloom before withering and dropping. Can I really attain a long life?"
"Junior brother, not good. Hurry follow me. Our Master isn't going to make it." A middle-aged man shouted anxiously.
The Young Daoist was shocked as he dropped the peach blossom before hurriedly following the middle-aged man.
"Master! Master!" Several men in the room were crying and wailing. As soon as the young Daoist walked in, they all cleared a path for him and allowed him to walk through. The young Daoist rushed straight to his Master.
The Old Daoist grabbed the hands of the young man and said gently, "You are my last disciple and the most gifted. Walk down the path of cultivation to the end for me, and ensure that your body becomes saintly. I am tired. In my next life, you do not have to find me and take me along the Dao. As long as you succeed, I shall be contented."
His words carried a tone of hopelessness and exhaustion, as he waited for death to claim him.
"Yue'er, in this life, I wasn't good enough for you. I hope that in the next life, we can grow old and have full heads of white hair together." The Old Daoist stretched out a finger, as if touching his lover's finger. However, before he could even touch her fingers, his hands went limp.
"Ah?" The young man screamed out. Everything became a blur. The young Daoist now became a teenager. He stood on the cliff as the cold wind blew right at him, inflating his robes. From afar, there were two men standing beside each other. The man beside him could not hold it in any longer and asked, "Junior brother, you've already become a Yin Master. Why do you have to insist on pursuing the Sect Leader position?"
"And why do you have to go to the Southern Kingdom again? It's too far away. Besides, when you die, Paradise is also a stable source for you, there's no need to go so far. All these years, our Master kept secrets from Master's wife. That's why he didn't want to stay. Why can't you take advantage of this situation, why must you...." The Daoist looked at the teenager beside him.
This teenager had a severe look on his face. After staying in silence for some time, he then said, "Senior brother, you do not have to persuade me any longer. Since my origins were from the Southern Kingdom, and I cannot become the Sect Leader, then I have to find another way."
"The will of heaven is indeed mysterious. I wish to try. Even if there's a glimmer of hope I will fight for it."
"But junior brother, the source of Qi within the Southern Kingdom is too little, you will not be able to accomplish anything." The Daoist urged him.
"Haha, senior brother, you do not have to persuade me anymore. I am going to the Southern Mountains. Help me tell the sect, they have to pursue and try and kill me. Someday I shall return if I succeed. If I fail, I do not wish to implicate the sect."
"Xian Lian, why must you?"
"Senior brother, I've made up my mind." The Daoist spoke as he descended the mountain. His eyes, a look of conviction.