Chapter 28: Kill Them
Translator: Translation Nation/chuchutrain Editor: - -
At this moment, the fire had just been extinguished and everything was pitch black. Three people climbed over the wall as everyone else held their breaths and waited. Not long after, a "chi" sound could be heard as the gate was unlocked and opened. The sound was actually quite loud. However since they were already poised to strike, they could not care less.
"Who's that?" someone abruptly came out from the bushes, as if the sentry had been urinating all this while. He heard a sound and paused in suspicion.
"Kill!" Zhu Wei ordered. Following his shout, several men jumped out from their hiding places and made an attempt on his life. A sound was heard as the tautening of the bowstring was replaced by the hurtling of the arrow into the throat of the bandit. He gurgled wetly in pain, falling to the ground.
Since their plan for stealth had failed, they could only turn to open battle. Pei Zi Yun drew his sword and charged forward shouting "Your excellency Zhu take control of the high ground. Whoever walks out that gate, kill them!"
The minute he had said this, a bandit wearing plain clothes emerged behind him. Pei Zi Yun ducked down, as if he had grown a pair of eyes behind his head. He swept his leg around and jammed his sword into the bandit's throat. "Pu", fresh blood gushed out from the gaping hole in the bandit's throat as he fell over, his eyes wide open in surprise, unable to believe he had just been killed.
This Elementary Scholar is really fierce! Zhu Wei thought quietly. His sword technique was effective and fierce, and is nothing like what a Elementary Scholar is capable of.
"Shoot them!" He had so much military experience, yet his steps and thinking was the same as Pei Zi Yun. His first instincts was not to kill the enemy, but to secure high ground..
"Pu pu pu!" The sound of arrows connecting could be heard as they shot incessantly at the bandits at the gate.
As soon as a bandit managed to put a foot through the door, three arrows were shot at him. One sprouted from his chest, another stuck his throat and the third arrow plunged deep into one of his eyes. He perished without a sound.
"It is done!" Pei Zi Yun and Zhu Wei were both people who understood matters of war and knew that they had already attained victory. The bandits were split up in different rooms, so long as they did not congregate, killing them one by one would be easy.
Using numbers to your advantage, and splitting the enemy until they were as divided as sand. That was a sound military tactic.
"Village men, break down the door!"
It was only at this moment that the village men that were following behind had a use. Picking up a large piece of wood, and with a "boom" sound, one of the doors to a room was rammed down. As soon as the door fell, a knife wielding bandit dashed towards them.
"Stab!" as soon as the villagers heard the command, all of them raised their spears and stabbed in the direction of the man in a messy encounter. It was a scene to behold as several spears rushed towards the bandit. No martial artist, regardless of skill level, could evade that many spears.
The bandit screamed out in pain as numerous spears pierced through his chest and he took his last breath.
The bandits had all been split up, with heavy casualties. The village men too started gaining courage. As soon as a shadow threatened them, they raised their spears and pierced the target.
The pathetic cries and moans of the bandits filled the entire stronghold. Some of these bandits were impulsive and dashed out, only to be cornered and slaughtered. This was the might of good military planning, to overcome the enemy to this extent. All of a sudden, someone could be seen breaking through the ceiling as he tried to escape.
Since the village men have no Martial Arts Skill, they were unable to follow him. He then shouted "You all wait and see. Wait for me to kill you all one by one!"
The weakness of these troops and villagers was that as long as a person with sufficient knowledge of Martial Arts kept his distance from them, they were unable to do anything. Seeing this man about to escape, Zhu Wei bellowed: "Shoot him!"
In a panic, seven or eight arrows flew in his direction. This man raised his blade and blocked a pair of incoming arrows, before the rest pierced his body and he fell down with a loud thud.
Seeing that the danger was over, Pei Zi Yun looked towards Zhu Wei and saw him laughing. Zhu Wei then said "These bandits have only managed to survive so long because the dynasty did not see them as a threat. A rumble of a thunder, and they have all been reduced to powder."
Pei Zi Yun smiled and nodded. In a world where Martial Arts didn't exist, there was no point speaking of it. However, even when someone knows Martial Arts, he could be overpowered by a large number of troops.
If a person were to be skilled in the ways of the Fighting Arts, and he was surrounded by enemies who were well versed in battle strategies, no matter how skilled he is, he would die. However, a person who knows both Martial Arts and battle strategies would be hard to deal with.
If he were to face an army of rushing troops, archers, even stealth attacks, he would come out on top. As long as his physical prowess, awareness and endurance were high, he could kill them all in the span of a night.
It was a pity that not many people with such a brain exist.
"Finish them all!" Zhu Wei ordered. A strong stench of blood filled the entire area as all the men drew their knives, hung their bows across their backs and began stabbing at the bandits on the floor. It does not matter if they were already dead, the knives sank deep into their dead bodies anyway.
A strange sound was then heard as one of the troops sat atop the bandit's dead body. This bandit had an arrow sticking out from his chest. The soldier mercilessly sawed through the dead bandit's neck and removed his head.
The ways of war were morbid and dark. As soon as every member of the enemy was dead, it was time to start collecting their heads. Pei Zi Yun then observed as decapitated heads began to fill the hall.
"Your excellency, we have found the leader amongst them." Cao San announced happily as he took a head over. "I was looking for the man who jumped through the roof and confirmed that he was the leader."
Pei Zi Yun looked at Zhu Wei laughing heartily as everyone acknowledged that the dead man was indeed the leader of Black Wind sect. It was unexpected that he would perish right in his stronghold. Pei Zi Yun clasped his hands and said "Congratulations your excellency."
"These bandits are all criminals of the country. Since your excellency has killed them all, this is a big achievement."
"It is!" Zhu Wei was not modest about this as he nodded his head in approval. His face was flushed from happiness and pride. Killing this very man meant breaking Black Wind sect, and that entailed rewards. Apart from receiving praise from the chief patrol officer, it was very possible that he might even get a promotion.
"Your excellency, there are many items of value and even money here." Cao San chimed in and emphasized "Lots and lots of money."
"Guard it, and do not let anyone see." Zhu Wei ordered as he rushed towards the room and saw some rice, meat and weapons. However what was valuable were in the chests beside those goods.
He opened the chests and saw that it was filled with gold and silver, expensive silk and coins. There was an estimated two to three thousand taels of silver.
Seeing all this wealth before him, Zhu Wei let out a mighty laugh! Could this be the reason they were defending their stronghold?
Even without the possible promotion and praise from his superiors, all this wealth before him made this worth it. Cao San dropped his usual calm demeanor and laughed loudly before breaking out into a dance "We're rich, we're rich!"
Cao San then asked, "Your excellency, with so much money, how do we split it?"
Zhu Wei stopped smiling. Just moments before he was dreaming of a promotion to deputy chief patrol officer. However seeing so much money before him, he had an idea. "Take out five hundred taels of silver and place it in the severed bodies around. This is for the chief patrol officer. If even the chief patrol officer can get some of this money, we would stand to gain the most. If he refuses to take it, at most we shall pass it to other offices."
He then said "Keep guard over this money, do not let any outsiders see it."
"What about Elementary Scholar Pei?"
"......... Him too!" Zhu Wei then dropped his voice and said "Take out the wine and meat and distribute it to everyone for the purpose of celebration. Distribute the coins evenly amongst our patrol brothers. As for the village men, some wine and meat would be good enough."
"The remaining gold and silver, we shall divide it amongst the both of us."
Cao San paused for a second as his appetite grew bigger. He then said "The village men do not know about this affair. Since we have already killed the bandits, what about their family members........."
Hearing this, Zhu Wei smiled and said "You can control them."
Following this, there was a commotion going on as a group of people were brought before the great hall. Zhu Wei sighed and looked calm under the light of the torch. His patrol troops surrounded him waiting for an instruction. He then said "As for the family members of these criminals, bring them all inside the room!"
The troops hurriedly followed his order. Just then, an old man struggled in defiance. Without a second thought, the patrol soldier whipped out his knife and stabbed him. Fresh blood gushed from the wound, spreading all over the place.
"Close the doors and have the room surrounded. Do not let anyone come inside."
"What does your excellency plan to do with them?" Pei Zi Yun asked. He noticed that something was amiss and came over. He was greeted by Zhu Wei's sinister smile before replying "The Black Wind sect conspired against the nation and committed atrocities across the country. The emperor has no sympathy for any of them. Kill them all!"
As he orders were given, the troops rushed forward mercilessly and hacked their blades at the defenceless family members. The killing of these women and children were cruel and caused Pei Zi Yun's blood to curdle and turned cold. Zhu Wei was immersed in his blood lust and saw the disapproving look on Pei Zi Yun's face. He asked "What is it, Elementary Scholar Pei pities these people?"
"Damn, it is no surprise that these bandits have been fighting the nation's soldiers with such ferocity." Pei Zi Yun looked at the sinister and evil look upon his face and was enraged by this atrocity. Since he was not alone, with the presence of the village men, Zhu Wei would not dare to attempt anything funny with Pei Zi Yun. Or would he? It would be tough to say for sure considering how he seems like a madman now.
Pei Zi Yun had intended to inform Zhu Wei of the presence of a rogue cultivator somewhere around. Seeing his stone cold expression, Pei Zi Yun decided against it and turned around to leave.
Zhu Wei stayed under the illumination of the torch, not saying anything.
Just as soon as the anguished cries had began, it ended. The thirty village men heard those screams and were scared stiff. Thankfully they were outside and did not witness the brutal killings. The dead bodies outside had all been dragged inside too.
Apart from this matter, it seemed like Zhu Wei was very understanding. Since all the carcasses were inside the building, he invited everyone outside to where it was clean.
Before long, a fire had started outside where the smell of meat cooking and alcohol filled their nostrils. There were an abundance of meat, hot soup and wine, pleasing everyone around.
Cao San kept cheering 'Come everyone, come and drink. Come and eat the meat!"
Since everyone was outside, they were unable to see the dead bodies or smell the stench of blood. It had also been some time since they had last eaten meat. With all the strength needed to kill and fight being used up, they turned to the food to replenish their energy.
Zhang Dashan and Pei Zi Yu sat together with a pot of meat soup boiling before them, the smell of which was invigorating. Zhang Dashan drank the broth in large gulps before drinking his wine. After which he cast his bowl aside and asked softly "Young master, what should we do next?"
Pei Zi Yun held the bowl in his two hands and drank steadily. He replied "It was obvious that he had killed them all to silence them. He did not want them speaking to anyone of the money he was going to pocket. What could we have done anyway?"
"Fight on behalf of this bandits against the country's soldiers?"
"In any case, even though we have thirty and they only have fifteen, do you believe they can slaughter us all easily?"
"If that's the case why does he not kill us?" Zhang Dashan glared at them and asked angrily.
"If he can kill all of us, that would be a big matter, not something he can cover up easily." Pei Zi Yun said emotionlessly. "However, do you think he will have a good ending?"
"He has killed so many people. The grievances were between these two armies, yet the people he killed were women and children. With a temperament like this, there shall be retribution. Wait and see."
These words had no backing to them whatsoever. In truth, half of the soldiers had their eyes fixated on him and were wary. Maybe the rogue cultivator will come out and slay this Zhu Wei.
Thinking of this, Pei Zi Yun laughed "Pass your hunting bow to me. Maybe something interesting will happen tonight!"