Chapter 13: First Labour, Destroy Military Morale
The appearance of Great Imperial Grandson, was just like a waterfall which extinguished the brilliant flame of Gao Xianzhi’s reputation!
800,000 soldiers were looking at Gao Xianzhi with expressionless faces as if waiting for Gao Xianzhi’s version of events.
Atop the command platform, each and everyone had different expressions.
Song Crown Prince’s expression couldn’t be made out to know whether he was happy or sad.
Lin Chong’s eyes were full of blood.
Gao Xianzhi was staring with eyes wide open.
While the arrival of Great Imperial Grandson had shocked everyone, he was getting more and more near to the command platform.
“You, who are you?” Gao Xianzhi asked with eyes wide open.
“It’s me, Commander-in-Chief Gao, I am Song Zhengxi! Quick, quickly help me catch those brigands, I want to kill them, I want them dead! I almost couldn’t see father!” Song Zhengxi cut a sorry figure as he spoke.
“Impossible, my son was in Song city, he has already been beheaded at the entrance of the vegetable market, who are you?” Song Crown Prince shouted angrily.
“Dad, didn’t you send Commander-in-Chief Gao to save me? When I was going to be beheaded on the platform, I was secretly replaced by someone? I really am your son, ah. Commander-in-Chief Gao set up everything very nicely for saving me. I only put up a play alongside Commander-in-Chief Gao to deceive those idiots, that’s all, Dad! You didn’t know? Hahaha, it seems Commander-in-Chief Gao hasn’t told you yet!” Song Zhengxi immediately said excitedly.
“Si si si si!”
The soldiers and officers in all directions drew out their breaths.
Commander-in-Chief Gao planned everything? Enact a drama? Deceive those idiots?
Song Zhengxi didn’t discover that his each and every word, seemed like daggers that were being inserted into the hearts of 800,000 soldiers.
Me and the others are all idiots? Commander-in-Chief Gao only put up a drama for all of us? Deceive us, lead us to our deaths?
What Gu Hai’s plot, everything is the result of Gao Xianzhi deceiving us. Where is that exaggerated fearsomeness of Gu Hai? Isn’t it so-so? This Great Imperial Grandson is just the best proof.
Killed Great Imperial Grandson for sake of justice to everyone? All rubbish!
Emperor passed a decree to severely punish those who harmed soldier’s families? Bullshit!
Our families being harmed by local lords is the plot of Gu Hai? Utter nonsense!
Our families letters are a plot of Gu Hai? All fart!
With the appearance of Song Zhengxi, all the fighting intent that had been building till now disappeared completely. Gu Hai had sown the seed of cholera within the hearts of men, and within a split second that seed sprouted, growing rapidly to become a tree that touched the sky.
Song Zhengxi’s words even more so were executing their hearts sentence by sentence.
“Bastard, shut up!” Song Crown Prince shouted out loud.
Song Crown Prince also saw that in the eyes of the soldiers and officers, hostility was growing gradually.
“I want to go home, I want to go home to take a look!”
“I also want to go home to take a look. Damn it, I want to go home!”
“I won’t fight. For this Song family we killed and fought for our lives, but they hurt our families behind our back. In the end, they even cursed us as idiots?”
800,000 officers and soldiers went up in an uproar. For a moment, it seemed as if it was a boiling water that was boiling slowly. A scene of buzzing all around.
At this moment, the one who was the saddest was Lin Chong.
Lin Chong turned his head, his two eyes full of red veins, with tears rolling down his face.
“Commander-in-Chief, I, Lin Chong followed you so many years, accompanied you through multiple battlefields, I was always at the forefront putting my life on the line multiple times, just for you Commander-in-Chief. We didn’t even need our lives because we believed in Commander-in-Chief. Commander-in-Chief was capable of giving us a future, Commander-in-Chief was capable of bringing us merits, Commander-in-Chief could protect us!” Lin Chong shouted hatefully.
Lin Chong’s hate, Lin Chong’s shout, made everybody in the surroundings quiet down.
“We even discarded our life for you, but Commander-in-Chief you treated us like this? That day, that day the news of my family’s tragedy hadn’t arrived, but the news of tragedy of fifteen brothers’ families arrived. You in order to save Great Imperial Grandson, made me take care of them, made me shut their mouths. You wanted me to kill these fifteen brothers!” Lin Chong shouted loudly.
Immediately, the army of 800,000 went up in an uproar again.
Originally there were still some people suspecting the words of Great Imperial Grandson, but Lin Chong was different. Lin Chong was Commander-in-Chief’s trusted aide. The arrangements made as trusted aide could all be explained by Lin Chong.
However, no one thought that a group of officers and soldiers had already suffered a hardship, suffered a tragedy. Commander-in-Chief instead of helping them, rather had made Lin Chong kill them?
Atop the command platform, those fifteen people were also standing. Originally, they wanted to help Gao Xianzhi boost morale, but now on hearing Lin Chong’s words, they all quivered and looked at Gao Xianzhi.
Commander-in-Chief was going to kill us on that day? Make Lin Chong kill us?
“Commander-in-Chief, what about my family? You told that they had been kidnapped in a plot by Gu Hai, but what is this matter? Why did you want to kill us? We worked ourselves to the death for you, yet you wanted to kill us?” The fifteen soldiers immediately cried out in alarm.
“Lin Chong, you shut up!” Gao Xianzhi shouted while his complexion changed.
“Shut up? Then you tell me, what is this matter with Song Zhengxi? Didn’t you say that he will be executed in accordance with the law? Didn’t you say that you will help me get revenge for Little Die? Didn’t you say………., Wu wu wu!” Lin Chong was crying tears of hate.
“Song Zhengxi was not saved by me, it was Gu Hai, Gu Hai saved him! Lin Chong, you calm down, this is Gu Hai’s plot!” Gao Xianzhi spoke with an agonised expression.
Fast? In the end, his movements couldn’t surpass the speed of Gu Hai’s plot.
Didn’t even give time to eat food, there was not enough time to even eat food? Gao Xianzhi was dismaying in his heart. Gu Hai’s stratagems had arrived too concentrated, too many too quickly, time after time pricking at the weaknesses in people’s hearts.
Gao Xianzhi understood that this was Gu Hai’s plot, but would Lin Chong be able to believe?
Song Zhengxi was the best proof.
“Enough, what bullshit Gu Hai plot!” Lin Chong bellowed sorrowfully.
Gao Xianzhi before his eyes had already turned into an enemy. Lin Chong’s face showed a malevolent expression.
Song Zhengxi down below nevertheless spoke up once again: “Outrageous, Lin Chong, you dare be rude to Commander-in-Chief? Commander-in-Chief Gao, didn’t you say earlier that by the time I return to camp, you would have disposed of this disgraceful group of people? I have already returned, Lin Chong and the others no longer have any use!”
Song Zhengxi’s shout, seemed like the fire that ignited the can of gasoline.
The army of 800,000 rumbled immediately, exploding completely.
Song Zhengxi was staring with eyes wide upon, he couldn’t understand what’s going on? Didn’t father and Gao Xianzhi enact this drama? What’s going on?
“Gao Xianzhi, I exhausted my life for you in vain for so many years. You this two-faced beast, I will kill you and take revenge for Little Die!” Lin Chong shouted loudly.
Pulling out a knife, he immediately moved to kill Gao Xianzhi.
Moreover, Lin Chong’s subordinates were already erupting to the side. At the same time when Lin Chong went into action, they also pulled out their knives.
“Hong long long!”
The Command platform immediately turned into a mess.
The whole army camp was boiling. The chaos was unbearable, the soldiers were also no longer able to follow discipline.
Nobody listened to the orders from their superiors, there was a complete racket. There were even some people who took advantage of the chaos and began to loot the army camp stores.
For a moment, the entire army camp had turned into a mess, some wanted to kill Gao Xianzhi, some wanted to protect Gao Xianzhi. Some wanted to kill Crown Prince, some wanted to protect Crown Prince. Even in the surroundings of Song Zhengxi there was chaos.
Army of 800,000, collapsed and scattered.
Tidying up their luggage, returning home at high-speed, looting the army stores, killing each other. It was all chaos.
At this time, a 50,000 strong army was rushing out from Hulao Pass.
The one leading was not anybody else, but actually the new Chen Emperor, Chen Liangyi.
Riding at Chen Liangyi’s side, was Chen Tianshan.
“Liangyi, just now there were fireworks in the sky. As per Commander-in-Chief this is the signal of the brigands arriving, and made our army of 50,000 to attack Song Army’s camp immediately, how come you came out personally?” Chen Tianshan asked frowning.
“I have Great-Grandfather at my side, there shouldn’t be any problem regarding my safety. Commander-in-Chief made me boost the morale, so I came. Imperial Father before his death asked me to listen to him, I will do everything that he asks me to do!” Chen Liangyi spoke in a deep voice.
“But this is really too much. He said that it will be all right then will it be really all right? You have only 50,000 and opposite is an army of 800,000. Moreover, there is even Gao Xianzhi still in the camp. This, isn’t this just delivering oneself to death?” Chen Tianshan said frowning.
“I believe Imperial Father!” Chen Liangyi said frowning.
“Ai! Nevermind, when the time comes I will exert all possible effort to protect. You mustn’t be like your father and go far away from me, then even if I wanted I won’t be able to come to your rescue in time!” Chen Tianshan said.
Chen Liangyi nodded and at the same time shouted out loud.
“Soldiers, you all have already seen the ferociousness of this Song Army, even those who surrendered to them had been killed by them. They are absolutely not giving us a path to life, you all saw it, right!” Chen Liangyi shouted.
The complexion of the soldiers turned ugly as they ran.
“The people dispatched by Commander-in-Chief have already enquired, Song Army has already been given the orders, after Hulao Pass is broken, there would be an all-round massacre. Your parents and children will be killed, your wives and daughters would be enslaved, your family property would all be divided amongst them. Do you know about the news from the front, our Chen Army’s 600,000 soldiers had been buried alive already. Are you still wavering?” Chen Liangyi shouted clearly.
“No!” The mass of soldiers with red eyes shouted.
“For our family members, come with me to kill. Wish the heavens to take pity on us, while we all fight with all our might, possibly in exchange bringing serenity to our parents and survival for our wives and children. Use our lives to trade for the lives of our family. In any case, we’ll die, if we lose, we will die, in surrender also we die. Might as well follow me, trade a life for a life, kill!” Chen Liangyi shouted loudly.
“Kill!” 50,000 soldiers shouted loudly.
“Hong long long!”
The soldiers were going around a hilltop, to directly fight Song Army’s Main Camp.
But, when the army of 50,000 was not far from Song Army’s Main Camp, they saw the Song Army’s main camp embroiled in mass confusion. It was a scene of chaos, a scene of complete disorder, all around soldiers were killing each other. It was absolutely not like the strict and disciplined Song Army’s Main Camp.
Chen Tianshan rubbing his eyes said: “Did I come to the wrong place? Is this the 800,000 tiger-wolf army?”
Chen Liangyi on the other hand was very much excited.
“Everyone, kill along with me!” Chen Liangyi shouted.
The Chen Army of 50,000 was like the Death God’s sickle, rapidly cleaving through the unevenly distributed and looting ‘Mob’ at the Main camp.
“Enemy attack, Enemy attack, Enemy attack, army assemble to face the enemy!” Someone shouted.
But at this moment, the hearts of Song Army’s soldiers had already run wild. Who would still listen to some bullshit assemble army face the enemy? They were scrambling for items and fleeing.
Immediately, the war took a weird turn.
50,000 soldiers were chasing after 800,000 soldiers, this lop-sided war was unexpectedly leaning towards the other side.
At this moment, the Chen army of 50,000 was killing to their heart’s content. Even though they didn’t have much battlefield experience earlier, but now for the sake of their families, they were killing the fleeting people who were unexpectedly easy and light to take, even rejuvenating to an extent.
So, it turns out that this Song Army also doesn’t amount to much!
At Hulao Pass, Gu Qin was leaning on the railing of the city gate tower, his gaze locked towards a distant place. About 10 li away, the smoke and fire soaring through to the heavens. Even from this distance of 10 li, the bitter cries coming from this smoke and fire could be heard coming in waves.
“Attendant!” Gu Qin said in a heavy voice.
“Here!” Several Gu Mansion’s chamberlains spoke respectfully.
“Immediately use a flying pigeon to pass this letter to each and every Chen city, circulate it in all directions, Gao Xianzhi has lost, the army of 800,000 has been defeated. Gao Xianzhi’s life and death is not known, some deserters would try to flee to each party’s city. Transmit down the order and spread news through each and every one of Gu Family’s stores, encouraging the common people to kill the Song Army soldiers stationed in the cities on guard duty. Killing one would entail monetary reward, and killing ten would be bestowed nobility. Whoever has complaints, redress those complaints, whoever has vengeance, take revenge. The males of the families of those 600,000 soldiers buried alive are to take revenge to console the spirit of their ancestors. Moreover, in the cities captured by the Song Kingdom, the local despots are encouraged to lead their clan servants to go all out in counter-attack. Take back the city, the rewards would be bestowed in accordance with merits. All the powerful positions would be divided between Chen Kingdom’s Royal Family and the local despots, work more get more. For one’s family clan, go obtain merits!” Gu Chin said in a heavy tone.
“Yes!” The group of Gu Family Chamberlains said deferentially.
The 800,000 strong army, was just like stray dogs seemingly unable to withstand even a single blow, crumbling thoroughly at this moment.
The army of 50,000, seemed to be like celestial troops and generals, sweeping everything before them, wherever they went.
One side was unafraid of death, One side didn’t have the least bit of interest in the battle. In this battle, there was no longer any suspense.
Gao Xianzhi and Song Crown Prince escorted by trusted aides had been able to evade this calamity on these soldiers.
But Gao Xianzhi had been sliced by Lin Chong leaving a big wound from which blood was flowing incessantly.
Only, at this time the pain in the arm felt secondary. After escaping this military calamity, they were resting on a hillside, looking at the sorry circumstances of the Song army from a distance.
“He, Hehehehe, Hehehehe, Gu Hai? Gu Hai?” Gao Xianzhi revealed a colour of dejection.
He had been relentless, but still, he wasn’t able to catch up to the speed of Gu Hai. Eccentric stratagems were so unexpectedly violent, so fast and nimble? That man turned demon, in contrast to 40 years ago, Gu Hai has become even more shrewd and ruthless, even more dreadful.
“Finished? Now what to do?” Song Crown Prince also said in desperation.
Gao Xianzhi said after taking in a deep breath: “The truth will come out sooner or later. Fortunately, I had already buried alive 600,000 Chen soldiers. At the moment, Chen army has very few soldiers, and they are incapable of another big action. But my Song Kingdom’s Army’s morale has fallen, army’s morale has been broken. However, I would still be able to collect it, Only……!”
“I would gather the army’s morale in the quickest time, only I am afraid that Gu Hai would be even faster than me. He would be even faster!” Gao Xianzhi said with an agonised expression.
Several days later, Shang City.
In those days, Song army had garrisoned in the cities, and now some part of Song Army had stayed behind. However, just a moment ago, a few stores suddenly started spreading the news.
Gao Xianzhi defeated, 800,000 strong army scattered across a thousand li. Gao Xianzhi’s life or death is not known. Song Army defeated!
When the news came, a lot of the common people in Shang City went blank.
The news even encouraged people to forcibly retake the city.
The local despots and common people, each and everyone was displaying a blank expression.
A while ago, fireworks and firecrackers had been set off on a daily basis. Already there was a deeply ingrained hatred in the hearts of the common people whose family members had died. Killed my son, killed my father, killed the one who everyone in our family depended on, and you are actually singing and dancing, celebrating with fireworks? It is no different than pouring salt onto our wounds. Each and everyone of the common popular wished they could tear down their skin, eat their flesh, drink their blood, and gnaw their bones. However, they didn’t have the strength. The other side had so many people, one could only be oppressed, one could only look at them killing one’s family members, and sob silently.
Now, as the news spread from Gu Family’s stores, the hatred that had been in the people’s hearts gradually gave rise to anger, raising the killing intent amongst the masses.
The Song army left behind in the city also discovered that these days, the gazes of the common people seemed different. It was not the same dread as before. Now they seemed to carry a faint trace of hatred that they didn’t bother concealing.
Only, without any precise information, even if the common people and local despots had big hatred and desires, they wouldn’t dare take the initiative.
But at this moment, the first group of military deserters arrived.
“Lost, lost, totally lost, 800,000 Song Army, defeated within a thousand li!”
After the first group of military deserters told about the victory at the front.
The hearts of the local despots of Shang City instantaneously sprang to life. Song army defeated, then wouldn’t the Chen Kingdom be restored just like earlier? Gao Xianzhi’s life and death is not known, who would still be able to block Gu Hai? Won’t Shang City sooner or later return to the Chen Kingdom?
Moreover, Chen Kingdom’s Royal Family is dividing the city equally?
In the stillness of the night, desire and hatred were fermenting and after the night. The next morning, along with the first war cry, the entire Shang city was set aflame.
“Bastard, I will kill you. My son died miserably, he had been buried to death while still alive. I will also kill you, kill you, Wu wu wu wu!”
“You killed my father, I have also killed you!”
“Even my Husband, even my husband!”
“Elder Brother, your younger brother has avenged you!”
“You killed my son, and yet you still want to set off fireworks and celebrate? This father will make a frame from your bones, and will strip off your skin!”
There were not many Song Army guards left behind at Shang City.
Under the leadership of local despots, the sentimental common populace was roused to action. Reward and hatred combined together to spur them to action. The battle of the vast ocean of common people started.
It was not limited to Shang city, at this moment the Chen Kingdom’s 18 captured cities were all staging scenes of similar killings by torture.
The left-over Song army couldn’t stop this boundless hatred and boundless desire.
Kill, Kill, Kill, Riot, Riot, Riot!
It was a scene of chaos.
Several days later, Qing He Sect. Inside the Main Hall.
Qing He Sect Master, Song Jia Sect Master were both standing on two sides accompanied by their respective disciples.
That beautiful maiden wearing male clothing was accompanied by Great Master Liu Nian and three other subordinates as she stood in the due north seat of honour.
In front of them was standing Chen Tianshan, and even a Song Jia Sect’s disciple. They were respectfully giving their report to the maiden.
“Three Months? No, even less than three months. Song Kingdom’s 800,000 strong army, collapsed completely? Even Gao Xianzhi had to cut a sorry figure in retreat? Most of the Chen Country’s cities have been retaken? All of this took only three months?” Great Master Liu Nian revealed the colour of astonishment.
“Yes!” Chen Tianshan said excitedly.
Whereas the other one, Song Jia Sect’s Disciple had a dejected face.
“How is this possible. What demonic method did this Gu Hai use?” Song Jia Sect Master immediately said in anger.
“Hehehe, Song Jia Sect Master, don’t get so angry. Listen to what they have to say, hahaha!” Qing He Sect Master was actually laughing heartily feeling quite satisfied.
The eyes of the young girl in men’s clothing shined brightly. The young girl naturally was aware of the fierceness of Gao Xianzhi, and she had thought of many possibilities, but she hadn’t thought that using only this short time, the 800,000 strong tiger-wolf army of Song Kingdom would be routed, and even the most occupied Chen Kingdom’s territory would be retaken? This, how was this achieved?
Right, even the time taken for coming to report must be excluded. Within about two months, everything was reversed? How did he do it?
Song City, Gu Han was excitedly reporting the news from the front to Gu Hai.
Gu Hai was actually sitting in front of a Weiqi Chessboard, his hands moving incessantly. This chessboard was extremely strange. An ordinary chessboard had 19 lines on it horizontally and vertically, but at this moment, on the chessboard in front of Gu Hai, there were 30 lines horizontally and vertically.
Each additional line on the chessboard added countless variables. But Gu Hai at this moment was only working on 22 lines. Everything was looking weird like that.
Moreover, Gu Hai had all along been playing Weiqi with himself and didn’t allow anybody else to participate.
“Foster-Father, it’s done. Hahaha, Gao Xianzhi has suffered a crushing defeat. The morale of the troops is lost, and it won’t be that easy to gather the troops’ morale again.” Gu Han said laughing.
“Exterminating Song Plan’s First Labour can be considered to be complete!” Gu Hai said while setting down a white stone.
“Yes, the first labour, Destroy Military Morale! Moving forward, the next would be second labour?” Gu Han stared at Gu Hai.
“Exterminating Song Plan’s Second Labor, Lose Popular Sentiment!” Gu Hai’s eyes squinted as he set down a black piece.
“Completely destroy people’s sentiments. The will of the people is volatile. Foster-father, it won’t be easy to destroy people’s sentiment!” Gu Han said frowning.
“Gao Xianzhi, Song Crown Prince, Song Emperor should all already be despising me right? This hatred will precisely be the foundation for losing the popular support. The people are the kingdom’s foundation when the foundation is shaken, the kingdom will shake!” Gu Hai let out a deep breath, and a dense cold light flashed in his eyes.