Chapter 73: Strange Battle
Translator: DavidT Editor: celllll
A loud voice, filled with shock, sounded from afar.
"General, the scouts are back!" An division commander took a look before saying.
Ling Xiao turned around quickly as he said with gleaming eyes, "Summon him quickly!"
The six scouts entered, with dust all over their bodies, and took a knee, "Reporting to general, it's good news!"
Ling Xiao replied calmly, "What's the good news?"
One of the scouts replied, "When the six of us went out this time, we did not meet with any enemies until we reached the peak of the Mourning Soul Mountain. The two thousand enemy troops on the north of the Mourning Soul Mountain died a mysterious death. The mountain was also burnt, not leaving anything behind."
Another scout then said excitedly, "The same thing also happened on the southern side of the Mourning Soul Mountain. Not a single enemy troop was left of the mountain. There was also traces of the mountain being burnt."
Ling Xiao's eyes widened in shock as he asked, "Is this real?"
The six scouts knelt down together, "Your subordinate is willing to make a military pledge!"
A scout then shouted, "When this subordinate arrived at the peak of the mountain, the military camp is in a mess for some reason."
Ling Xiao then stood up and ordered, "Command the three armies, we are setting off! Wang FangZhi!"
"You will command an army of 10,000 men to attack the Western Han to delay the Western Han army! You will set off immediately!"
"Your subordinate receives his order!"
"Li MingYang! Zhang MengQi! The both of you will lead 5000 men each to occupy the northern and southern faces of the Mourning Soul Mountain!"
"Your subordinate receives his order!"
"As for the rest of you, you will follow this general to do battle with Han ShiZe!"
Ling Xiao led the troops in the front as he was puzzled by this strange incident. The troops on the two faces of the mountain had already sent out their signal to indicate that their forces had already occupied the mountain peak. Ling Xiao had purposefully slowed down the speed of their main troops in order to guard against a possible scheme by the enemy. However, he never expected that both his vanguard forces did not face any resistance at all and easily occupied the mountain peak! The moment their forces occupy the mountain peak, any form of schemes would be rendered useless. Don't tell me there are other troops helping us in secret? Why don't I know about this matter then?
All the generals knew that Ling Xiao had a godlike mastery of his troops and thought that he had secretly sent forces to take care of the Soul Mourning Mountain. Thus, they all came forward to give their congratulations to Ling Xiao. Being unable to reject them, he could only humbly respond to them.
The army then sped up and went through the gorge in a short while. As their objective was nearing them, they were all extremely surprised!
There was only Wang FangZhi with his 10,000 troops stationed there. There wasn't even a single trace of the Western Han troops. The only thing they saw was the Western Han's tents and flags all over the floor and the occasional glimmer of something shiny on the floor - obviously the weapons which were left behind. It was obvious that the Western Han troops had retreated a long time ago, and in a hurry as well. There were still two tents with green smoke rising from them, filled with the enemy rations!
Ling Xiao began to frown! He could obviously tell that there was definitely someone helping him in secret. But, he was puzzled about just where this person who helped him was. Why would he not reveal himself after giving him such a huge assistance?
Wang FangZhi then came over the Ling Xiao and said with bewilderment, "General, when our forces arrived, the Western Han's army had already retreated tens of miles away. Not a single one of them could be seen. This is strange!" As he said that, he rubbed his head in frustration. He originally wanted to accomplish a feat here so that he will be able to return to the capital with his head held up high. However, he never expected the enemy to escape before he even drew his sword!
Ling Tian thought through the matter carefully but was totally clueless. Then, he thought back to the battles he had fought in the last few years. Almost all of the time, he would achieve an inexplicable victory at the most crucial moment. There were even a few times when the enemy's general died an unknown death when they were locked in stalemate. As he linked all of these factors together, Ling Xiao could be sure that there was definitely a mysterious force helping him in secret!
After receiving such a great favor from the other party, he could not even see who the other party was! Ling Xiao took a long sigh! But, this mysterious man does not seem to have any enmity with me. It seems like he is here to help me. But why do I know nothing about him at all? This matter is just too strange! Ever since the ancient times, there had never been such a situation such as this. In these past few years, Ling Xiao would definitely win every battle he fought, becoming a character that every army would fear!
No matter what, this Soul Mourning Mountain and Valley of Sobbing Spirits is finally in the hands of the Sky Bearing army! From now on, this place will definitely become a place where for the souls of the Western Han army to mourn!
Ling Xiao then waved his hands depressingly and said, "Transit into defense and occupy the Soul Mourning Mountain. We must definitely make the Soul Mourning Mountain be a barrier that no one can pass! We will return to the capital half a month later!"
As he said that, he did not wait for a reply and returned on his horse. As the other generals looked at Ling Xiao's back view with bewilderment, "Why is it such that the general looks so depressed? Didn't we just win a great battle?"
Capital, Ling mansion!
Ling Tian was half lying down on a bamboo chair with his eyes closed. Behind him, a beautiful lady in a white dress stretched out her jade like hands and gently massaged Ling Tian's shoulders. Her expression was extremely sweet with a sense of satisfaction in her beautiful eyes. It was as though the happiest thing on earth would be for her to stay by Ling Tian's side and massage him.
With a barely inaudible 'swish', a black dressed man entered by flipping over the walls.
Ling Tian's eyes were still closed and his expression did not change. However, the white dressed lady behind him turned cold as the smile on her face disappeared. Replacing it was a chilly glare as her sharp gaze swept passed the black dressed figure.
The black dressed man then shuddered for a moment and took a few steps forward. When he was in front of Ling Tian, he took a knee and said, "This subordinate pays his respect to young noble!"
Ling Tian then replied with a soft 'oh' to acknowledge the greeting.
The black dressed man then stood up and cupped his fists politely towards the white dressed female, "How do you do, Miss Chen!"
The chill on her face was not reduced a single bit and did not even look up. She only continued to massage Ling Tian's shoulder as her chilly gaze unknowingly vanished.
The black dressed man, Ling Jiu, felt his body relax as though he was being spared. Then, he quickly took out a letter from his bosom and handed it over with both his hands. The white dressed lady then waved her hands gently as the letter unknowingly fell into her hands.
As though he was used to it, the black dressed man was not startled as he said, "Feng Mo and Sun Tie led a thousand men to the Soul Mourning Mountain. Ling Chi had successfully assassinated Han ShiZe and retreated safely. Now, General Ling had already taken full control of the Soul Mourning Mountain."
Ling Tian then replied with a soft 'oh', as though it was all within his expectations. Then, he asked calmly, "Oh, it was Ling Chi who went. What is the casualty count of the brothers like?"
Ling Jiu said solemnly, "53 deaths, 41 serious injuries and 130 light injuries. Brother Sun Tie's right shoulder was also injured."
Ling Tian's body shook, "The losses are so big? Even Sun Tie was injured? Who were the troops taken from?"
Ling Jiu trembled as he said, "From the 3000 men Yue Chao had, we took out 500 to attack the southern mountain. We also took 500 men from Li Han to attack the northern mountain." He had been silently praying that the young noble would not ask about this matter. Now that the young noble asked about it, he knew that the two of them would be in trouble.
Ling Tian then sat up straight and glared at Ling Jiu, "Tell me everything at once, what is there to hide? You still need me to ask you bit by bit?"
Ling Jiu's pale face began to break out in sweat but did not dare to wipe it. He stood up even straighter as he reported, "Of the 500 troops from Yue Chao, there were 43 deaths, 10 heavy injuries and 90 light injuries. Of the 500 troops from Li Han, there were 10 deaths, 31 heavy injuries and 40 light injuries."
Ling Tian frowned and said with frustration, "What is Yue Chao doing? So many more deaths than heavy injuries! Tell Feng Mo that the training for Yue Chao troops must be increased. Yue Chao will receive 20 military rods. All of the captains under him will also receive 20 military rods! As for Li Han, let Feng Mo reward him accordingly."
Ling Jiu finally had the chance to wipe his sweat as he thought to himself, "Exterminating 2000 soldiers with 500 troops with only 30 plus deaths. If this were to be placed anywhere, it would be a glorious record for sure. Only when it is in front of the young noble will they have to accept punishment instead! But that Li Han is really quite perverse. If the both of them are being compared, it is no surprise for the young noble to be angry."
Ling Tian then lay back down and shut his eyes. Then, Ling Chen waved her hands to Ling Jiu and said, "You may leave. Report if there are any changes."
As though he was spared from torture, Ling Jiu took a bow and drifted over the wall as though he was a leaf in the wind, disappearing in a blink of an eye. As he came and went, no one in the Ling family managed to discover his presence!