Outside Hulao Pass!
Song army of 800,000 was stationed 10 li from the city. A massive army had gathered, and at this moment they were eating their meal.
“Wrong, Wrong, ah. How could this be? This letter of mine hasn’t come from my little sister!” A scar-faced young soldier said with a bewildered expression.
“Scar-face, what’s wrong?” The young soldiers in the surroundings said with misgiving.
That scar-face was holding a letter in his hand, but he was staring with eyes that had become perfectly round, for a moment he was quite bewildered.
The several young soldiers that had gathered nearby looked at the letter.
“Scar-face, isn’t this letter written very nicely? Your little sister sent you a letter to inform that everything is safe and sound at home, that you need not worry!” The several young soldiers said puzzledly.
The scar-face’s complexion became ugly as he said: “Wrong, Wrong, my little sister has never called me elder brother, never called like like that!”
“Eh?” Everyone revealed a blank expression.
“My little sister and I are twins. She has all along called younger brother, or perhaps called me by my name, but never so politely! Calling me elder brother? How could she call me elder brother? This, this seems like it hasn’t come from my little sister!” Scar-face revealed an expression of unending bewilderment.
“Scar-face, you think too much!” Everyone in the surrounding laughed.
Scar-face was still looking as blank as before, only scar-face knew that his little sister would never call him Elder brother, but………
“Yi?” Suddenly there was a person who shouted in bewilderment.
“What?” Everyone looked at him.
“Scar-face, this letter is mine. Did you grab it by mistake? Eh, not right, my letter is with me, how……..!” A bald-headed young soldier said in astonishment.
“Baldy, what are you saying?” Everyone looked at that bald man.
The bald-headed man took out a letter, as he unfolded it, everyone went over to take a look. The letters of Bald-headed man and Scar-face were exactly the same word for word. Not even a single word of discrepancy, even so much that the handwriting appeared the same.
Everyone in the surrounding went quiet all of a sudden. The ones who were eating just a moment ago also stopped.
“Fake? This is definitely not a letter sent by my little sister, it’s someone impersonating her?” Scar-face’s complexion changed immediately.
These were all people who had crawled out from piles of dead bodies, this much of a brain they all possessed.
“Commander-in-Chief said that we were allowed to exchange correspondence between us and our families, but, why would there be fake letters? This is impossible, what is going on here?” The bald-headed man cried out in fear.
“Maybe, maybe it’s Gu Hai’s plot?” A young soldier spoke in a low voice.
“Go release your mother’s fart, Commander-in-Chief had said that he had notified all family members of army men, then definitely the letters had been delivered from the family’s houses. What is the plot? Don’t tell me that my family members are also controlled by Gu Hai? Otherwise, how could my family’s letter change into fake?” Baldy immediately shouted in anger.
Baldy’s roar of anger immediately drew the attention of more and more soldiers in the surroundings.
In the meantime, the news that the family’s letters were fake spread immediately. Since this news was something that everyone had an interest in, therefore, it spread extremely quickly. Soon thereafter, a lot of soldiers and officers began opening their family’s letters.
“Ah? Mine, Mine is also false?”
“Mine is real, but, but………..!”
The news was like a wave, which blew in all directions. The army of 800,000 in this very short time had rapidly begun questioning their family’s letters.
Gu Hai was standing upstairs in a farm-house, looking towards the North with a grave complexion on his face.
Gu Han was standing behind him.
“Foster-father, these two days would decide everything!” Gu Han said lamentably.
Gu Hai nodded: “Soon, we would have to see whether or not the army’s morale drops this time! The matter of slightly altering Song army’s family letters that I made you do, didn’t have any problem right?”
“Foster-father be at ease, this time Gao Xianzhi has lifted the stone only to drop at his own foot. We dispatched that rich merchant to the front lines to confuse him, Gao Xianzhi in order to show his innocence unexpectedly allowed the rich merchant to bring the army’s family letters for showing transparency. He thinks that like this, he will be proved innocent? Hehe, Foster-father, the news has spread across the frontline, 800 letters were randomly selected and in these 800 letters, only minor alterations were done. Only the teeniest bit was modified!” Gu Han said.
“Altering the least bit is sufficient. Of these 800 letters, so long as even ten letters are confirmed to be completely false, that is enough to disturb them all. The ten letters would be able to draw out the bogus 800 letters very quickly!” Gu Hai laughed gently.
“But the army is 800,000 strong. 800 letters and 800,000, there is a difference of a thousand times!”
“A single spark can start a prairie fire! What is real? Whose letter has a fixed format? The people’s hearts are like that, once the doubt arises, then making them believe the letters would be very difficult! All around fake letters would be emerging. Even if it was written in the original handwriting, but still they would try to find the flaw in it. At the time, the real letters would also be changed into fake letters. In incremental order, the disturbed heart would be incessantly contagious! Ah!”
Gao Xianzhi Main Camp. Commander-in-Chief’s Tent.
Gao Xianzhi had returned leading Lin Chong and group of other travel-worn people! However, he still didn’t have the time to rest. He heard that Song Crown Prince had killed and beheaded 186 Chen Army deserters?
“Gu Hai once said, encircle three leave one, which is precisely to let them escape, let them have a fluke mindset, it can possibly turn one’s own disorder into a regiment, but, you, you instead of encircle three leave one, that ‘one’ was also encircled by you. What you killed weren’t those hundred or so traitors, what you killed was Chen army’s fluke mentality, you killed Chen army’s heart. At this time, they wouldn’t bear fluke mentality, naturally they would come out fighting staking their life on it. Even the officers and soldiers of tiger-wolf army wouldn’t be able to compare to those officers and soldiers who didn’t care for life or death! I came late by two days, just two days, Ai, Ai!” Gao Xianzhi said with a bitter expression on his face.
Song Crown Prince’s complexion changed. The mood of this meeting also changed instantaneously.
“Rotten, that group of idiotic spies, they passed on such a stupid piece of information to me!” Immediately Song Crown Prince’s face changed greatly.
“Nevermind, Crown Prince, you don’t need to blame yourself. This Gu Hai is certainly fearsome. Ever since he has taken command of Chen, we haven’t been able to calm down. We should finish this battle as soon as possible, I am worried, that there might be another mishap that might occur soon. Speed is precious in war, we need speed! Break Hulao Pass, capture Gu Hai, and everything would be solved like the bamboo splitting on meeting the knife’s edge!” Gao Xianzhi said to console.
“Correct, capture that Gu Hai, I will dismember his body into ten thousand pieces!” Song Crown Prince said with an unsightly complexion.
As for his son’s metter, Song Crown Prince could only suppress it in his heart. Looking at the expressions of Lin Chong and others, he had already guessed that his son had already met with disaster.
“My Son, I will surely avenge you!” Song Crown Prince roared in his heart.
“Report, Commander-in-Chief, not good. The soldiers and officers are once again rebelling! Once again rebelling, this time there are even more people, Commander-in-Chief!” Suddenly a young officer came running to the main tent.
“What?” Song Crown Prince’s face turned to alarm.
Rebellion? Again rebellion? This Gu Hai is at last what kind of evildoer? How long will this happen, the 800,000 strong tiger-wolf army will keep rebelling incessantly? How will we be able to go to war like this?
Gao Xianzhi’s pupils shrank: “Gu Hai, I just know, I just know. Fortunately, I have arrived to take charge of the 800,000 strong army, and we can engage in the decisive battle immediately, otherwise if you had been given some more time, my entire army would have ended up scattered!”
“What is the matter?” Lin Chong shouted at the young officer.
“The soldiers have discovered that their family’s letters are all fake!” That young soldier’s expression was unsightly as he spoke.
“Family’s letter? Family’s Letter? Rich Merchant? I was too negligent. I just know Gu Hai’s plots cannot be so simple. So it turns out he was still concealing this poisonous plan? Taking drastic measures to deal with the situation? I really should go kill that group of rich merchants first thing in the morning!” Guo Xianzhi was terrified and startled, and he understood everything immediately.
Outside was a scene of quarrels and cacophony, the sound of a great number of insults, abuses and wrath was coming from the outside of the main tent! Moreover, at this time, the force of this momentum was torrential and tumultuous, enough to threaten the heavens!
The Song Crown Prince standing inside the tent was scared witless.
Gao Xianzhi’s eyelids spasmed, he took a deep breath and said: “Walk, we’ll walk out together!”
Hulao Pass! Atop the City Gate Tower!
Gu Qin with a head full of white hair was leaning onto the city wall and rigidly staring towards the far-off South.
Behind him were standing the two, Chen Tianshan and Chen Liangyi.
“Commander-in-Chief, the big army within the mountain pass has already been reorganised nicely. Now, what is to be done? Just now the spies have reported that Gao Xianzhi has returned to the army camp. The army of 800,000 will be attacking immediately!” Chen Liangyi said with an anxious face.
“Be at ease, Foster-father has already planned for everything. Even the return of Gao Xianzhi to the army camp is useless. So long we act according to Foster-father it should be fine, 800,000 strong army? It will immediately fall into chaos!” Gu Qin let out a faint smile.
“Ah? Gu Hai’s plan? What plan?” Chen Liangyi asked immediately.
But Gu Qin didn’t explain, rather he kept staring towards South rigidly.
Chen Tianshan who was frowning to the side, said: “I remember, three days ago you had despatched a group to go outside the Hulao Mountain pass. There were roughly about forty people, they were all your Gu family’s personal guards right? Your trusted aides? Why did you dispatch these forty people from Hulao Pass? Are they the people who cultivate in order to take out high-ranking people?”
Gu Qin let out a faint laugh and said: “They? They have gone to act as brigands! Later, they would still be able to send out fireworks signal to transmit news!”
“Brigands?” Chen Tianshan and Chen Liangyi revealed a blank expression.
Gao Xianzhi Main Camp.
The inquiry into the matter of family letters of 800,000 army men turned out to be monumental, but Gao Xianzhi relying on his reputation and ceaseless efforts, finally managed to figure out the rough extent of it in one day.
Main Camp, Atop the Command Platform.
Gao Xianzhi along with Song Crown Prince, Lin Chong, et. al. was standing on top of the command platform. Below him, each and every one of the army of 800,000 was looking up with red eyes. Even though some people had been appeased, but there were still a lot of people who were still as manic as before.
However, Gao Xianzhi’s reputation made them calm down in the end, as they gazed at Gao Xianzhi.
“Soldiers and Officers, I have returned. I also found out about yesterday’s matter. I know you all are feeling confused, I know you all are anxious and worried, but I must still speak, all of this, is the plot of Gu Hai. Thank you everyone for being willing to hear what I have to say!
The first time that these family letters were questioned by the soldiers and officers it was already made clear. Their family letters had been brought by a group of rich merchants. There are Gu Hai’s men amongst these group of rich merchants, therefore they gave you counterfeit family letters! The goal was to borrow you all in order to drive chaos into the heart of our army!”
Gao Xianzhi spoke in a loud voice.
“Their letters came from rich merchants, but my letter came from official transport. Why is my letter also fake?” Someone shouted loudly.
The people below were just about to erupt.
“Good question!” Gao Xianzhi shouted loudly to interrupt everyone.
Gao Xianzhi looked towards that person and said: “Are you sure that your letter is fake? That your family won’t write this kind of a letter? Why are you so sure that it is fake? I suspect that you looked at other people’s letter turning out to be fake, so you began suspecting your own letter to be fake, right?”
“Eh? I that……..!” That person questioned by Gao Xianzhi immediately puckered his brows, it seemed the matter was like that.
“That is precisely your family’s letter. Don’t worry, you were only creating self-doubt. You don’t need to follow everyone else.” Gao Xianzhi said.
“Me?” That person frowned as he sank into a quandary.
Commander-in-Chief’s words seem to be logical! But…….!
Gao Xianzhi looked all around and said: “Soldiers and Officers, this is also this Commander-in-Chief’s fault. I shouldn’t have given that group of rich merchants the opportunity. I Gao Xianzhi give you all my personal guarantee that your families are all safe and sound with absolutely no harm. Nobody wants to injure them, nobody even thinks of that!”
The officers gazed at Gao Xianzhi with a complicated expression on their faces.
“I know you all want to go home and go home right now, I understand! But, victory is right in sight, can you all see? 10 li away is Hulao Pass, as long as this Hulao Pass is broken, everything will come to an end. Don’t tell me you all are going to stop at this last step to victory?”
“Will you stop because of some Gu Hai’s plots and schemes? Choose to go home? Become a deserter, Act as a coward? When you reach home, how would you face your parents, your wife and children, how can you be so cowardly?” Gao Xianzhi shouted loudly.
“We……..!” A lot of soldiers and officers revealed complicated expressions.
“I guarantee to everyone, as long as you break down Hulao Pass, you will be able to return home in consecutive batches, fast, as long as the Hulao Pass is attacked it would be fine! Only need to attack Hulao Pass!” Gao Xianzhi shouted loudly.
Even though a lot of soldiers and officers were still confused, but they still clenched their fists tightly.
Gao Xianzhi looked at the multitude of officers and soldiers and sucked in a deep breath. Fortunately, he still had his reputation, and he was able to pacify them, otherwise a great upheaval would have taken place right now.
“Everyone, here I would like to clarify one point once again. Everything is the plot of Gu Hai, everything is safe and sound in the country, nobody dares to insult the families of army, even Great Imperial Grandson is unable to do so. I don’t need to speak anything else. Let Lin Chong tell everyone! Lin Chong, everyone must know, not long ago many people had pleaded alongside him!” Gao Xianzhi shouted loudly.
The multitude of soldiers and officers all looked at Lin Chong and the others who followed him to the city.
Lin Chong walked forward and nodding his head said: “Brethren, Commander-in-Chief acts for everyone’s benefit. Don’t tell me you all still not understand? The words of Commander-in-Chief are a certainty. An imperial edict has already been passed down in all parts of the country, whoever dares insult the families of army, would be punished with the greatest sin! Commander-in-Chief accomplishes what he says!
Thank you brothers who pleaded on their life alongside me some time ago. What I want to tell everyone is Commander-in-Chief’s Military orders are like mountains, what he speaks will certainly happen. Great Imperial Grandson, Song Zhengxi, was killed and beheaded right in front of me. Truly killed and beheaded, and at that time it was witnessed by a lot of brothers!”
“Great Imperial Grandson was truly killed and beheaded?”
“If Great Imperial Grandson can be beheaded, then who cannot be beheaded? Commander-in-Chief words are certainty!”
“Cannot disbelieve Commander-In-Chief!”
“I won’t listen to Gu Hai’s plot, I believe Commander-in-Chief!”
“Even Great Imperial Grandson was beheaded, Commander-in-Chief won’t deceive us!”
“Great Imperial Grandson was beheaded, whatever Commander-in-Chief, I will believe!”
There was a scene of uproar below.
The soldiers and officers were convinced. Lin Chong would definitely not lie. Originally he had braved the crime of beheading and took the lead in mutinying, his family had been killed by Song Zhengxi. If Song Zhengxi wasn’t dead, it would have been impossible for Lin Chong to be so determined.
Commander-in-Chief beheaded Song Zhengxi, what else do we need to worry about?
Gao Xianzhi standing besides Lin Chong, let out a big sigh. At last the morale of officers and soldiers had been restored. By beheading one Great Imperial Grandson, the hearts of the army of 800,000 were obtained. It was worth every bit.
Gao Xianzhi understood that if 800,000 people were to riot together, what kind of terrifying situation that would become.
“Good, now, light a fire immediately and cook food. After finishing the meal, the army be assembled immediately and we will attack Hulao Pass at once!” Gao Xianzhi shouted out loud.
“Hou!” Officers and Soldiers shouted loudly.
“What? This fast? Commander-in-Chief, you have just returned and still haven’t rested? How about you rest for the night, and after that muster the army to attack Hulao Pass?” Song Crown Prince said in amazement.
Gao Xianzhi had become travel-worn in the pursuit, and he was totally exhausted. Yesterday was spent completely in an unrelenting inquiry into the cause behind the rebellion and didn’t take the least bit of rest. He had the appearance of being physically and mentally exhausted, now he wanted to launch the offensive?
“No, right now I am in a race with Gu Hai’s plots. Gu Hai’s plots are too treacherous, too sinister. Wave by wave, it would leave us tired of constantly running for our lives. Thus, we must hurry. If I have to outrun this wave of conspiracy of his, I must be fast! Otherwise, the consequences would be unimaginable!” Gao Xianzhi said bitterly.
From the moment that he came to know Gu Hai had become Chen’s Commander-in-Chief, would start an endless series of troubles. However, even Gao Xianzhi didn’t expect that in this short time, the inconvenience would force him to such desperate straits.
Therefore, they couldn’t wait. Need to be fast, fast, fast, fast! After meal is finished, at once engage in the decisive battle. During this lunch time, nothing should happen, right?
“Ah, look quickly, is that Great Imperial Grandson?”
“What? You must be mistaken, Commander-in-Chief said that Great Imperial Grandson has already been beheaded!”
“Yes, it must not be Great Imperial Grandson. Don’t tell me Lin Chong would lie to us?”
“Commander-in-Chief cannot lie to us!”
“But, But I have seen Song City. He is indeed Great Imperial Grandson, indeed Great Imperial Grandson, ah!”
The morale of officers and soldiers that was reaching the heavens, now possessed a share of disturbance all of a sudden.
Simply because a person was coming running from a small hilltop. He had dishevelled hair, and his clothes were worn-out and ragged.
If it was in the past, the soldiers would have already rushed forward and arrested or killed this person.
The soldiers who even approached at this time were all staring with wide pupils, revealing an expression of inconceivable, withdrawing just as quickly.
This was because that battered and exhausted man was not somebody else, but the one who everyone was just now talking about having been beheaded, Great Imperial Grandson, Song Zhengxi.
How is it possible? How is it possible?
The high-spirited officers appeared to have been swept across by a wave and began quieting down.
Wasn’t he beheaded by Commander-in-Chief? How can this be?
The changes in the army of 800,000 also caused everyone on the command platform to pay attention.
Lin Chong turned his head to take a look and the moment he saw Song Zhengxi’s appearance, he trembled all of a sudden, no, his entire body was shaking.
“Impossible, Impossible!” Lin Chong was staring with wide eyes while crying out hysterically.
Song Zhengxi? He had been turned to ashes, Lin Chong also knew this. Hadn’t he been beheaded? How could it be?
“Ah?” Song Crown Prince also cried out in startlement.
These days, the hatred in Song Crown Prince’s heart had been soaring to the heavens, he hated Gu Hai, hated Gao Xianzhi, hated Lin Chong. His own beloved son was unexpectedly driven to death, but he himself was powerless. If the Gods can return my son, then I would rather give up ten years from my life. But it was impossible.
However, now Song Zhengxi appeared all of a sudden.
Song Crown Prince kneaded his temple. Is this real? Is this my son? He is alive?
Gao Xianzhi looking at Song Zhengxi had even more shock and amazement in his eyes and expressions as he said: “Impossible, how can it be? How can there by a person who looks just like that? From where did Gu Hai find such a similar looking person?”
But seeing the battered and bruised state of Song Zhengxi, Song Crown Prince immediately ran over.
“Dad, this child has finally found you. I had almost died in the hands of brigands. Quickly go over there and help me catch those brigands. They must die for me!” Song Zhengxi said in a wailing tone.
Song Crown Prince, Gao Xianzhi and everyone in the surrounding suddenly felt their hands and feet go cold, with cold sweat running through their entire body.
It really is Song Zhengxi?
Moreover, the soldiers and officers whose unity had been impregnable just a moment ago were all suddenly looking at Gao Xianzhi with wooden faces.
Those expressionless 800,000 faces already told everything. Gao Xianzhi’s reputation within the people’s hearts had already been obliterated completely.