After the not-so-distant cursing, pleading, and blood-curdling shrieks gradually weakened, Long Xuan stepped off the dirt mound. He did not mount his horse, but walked to the side of the land depression where the air seemed to congeal with the strong smell of blood.
Ning Fei saw Long Xuan come over, and stepped forward, “Your Highness, they’ve all already been dealt with. It’s just there,” Ning Fei pointed to their left, saying to Long Xuan, “they still haven’t been examined.”
Long Xuan looked to his left, where they had detained approximately five hundred or more kneeling people. “Examine?” He asked Ning Fei, “Examine what? Who are these people?”
“They are all servants,” Ning Fei answered. “They hid several children of the Mo clan. This general was just about to think of a way to have them children over.”
Long Xuan walked to this group of servants as he glanced at the decapitated corpses piled up in the land depression. He ordered Ning Fei, “Have someone inspect them, and then set them on fire.”
Ning Fei again left to transmit orders.
An old, kneeling servant saw Long Xuan approaching, and hurriedly kowtowed to him, “Master, we are all only subordinates, and have no relationship with the Mo clan.”
“How could you have no relationship?” Long Xuan looked at the little children in the middle of several female servants, guarded by them. The children were all clad in servant garb, and their faces were so dirtied that their original appearances could not be discerned. Long Xuan looked at the old servant again, “You have been supported by the Mo clan for a living.”
The old servant pleaded from the ground, “Master, us humble ones only did manual labor to survive. Begging master for mercy, please let us humble ones go.”
“Then hand over your little masters,” Long Xuan replied. “I’ll give you a way to live.”
“There are no little masters, they’ve all died.” The old servant knocked his head on the ground as if he were beating garlic.
Long Xuan looked back at Ning Fei, who had walked behind him again.
“This subordinate has checked the genealogy. The number of children is incorrect,” Ning Fei whispered to Long Xuan.
“Then we don’t need to leave them be,” Long Xuan said as he began to walk away, “kill them all.”
The sounds of pleading and mournful weeping started before Long Xuan’s voice had even faded.
“Master!” At this time, one of the servant women protecting the little children shouted at Long Xuan.
Long Xuan stilled, looking at this servant woman. He saw that this woman carried two infants, one on her back and one in front of her.
The servant woman retrieved the infant on her back and presented it to Long Xuan, saying, “This is the Mo clan’s child. Take it!”
“You ungrateful scoundrel!” The old servant who had just kowtowed to Long Xuan begging for his life saw the servant woman’s actions and cursed at her, “The master of the Mo clan did not treat you unkindly, you don’t deserve a good death, whor*!”
The servant woman held the baby up, crouching on the ground and incessantly crying, muttering, “I want to live, I don’t want to die ah.”
The old servant loudly cursed without stopping, even thinking to stand up and charge Long Xuan.
The guard next to Long Xuan glanced at Long Xuan’s expression. He lifted a foot and kicked the old servant to the ground again. He then viciously stomped twice on the old servant’s neck, breaking it.
This scene scared the rest of the servants. They all fell silent.
Long Xuan took the infant from the servant woman’s hands with one hand. The baby felt uncomfortable and began to cry. “Only this one?” Long Xuan asked the servant woman.
The servant woman knelt on the ground and only cried. She cried until she could not speak.
Long Xuan held the baby’s hand and tossed it. The wailing baby was thrown into the raging inferno that burned the other corpses, and the sound of its sobbing cries then cracked before ceasing abruptly.
The servant woman’s fingers dug into the earth, her nails breaking in the ground. They say that the ten fingers are linked to the heart, but this servant woman could not feel the pain in her fingers at this moment.
“Kneeling like this, aren’t you afraid of hurting the little one on your chest?” Long Xuan asked.
The servant woman heard Long Xuan’s words, and straightened her body which had practically lain upon the dirt. Just as she wanted to raise her head to look at Long Xuan and beg for mercy again, the servant woman felt the front of her chest empty. She stared. Long Xuan had taken the baby in her arms as well. “Ma-master?” The servant woman’s expression descended into horror. She looked at Long Xuan, “That is this lowly maid’s own child, sir give him, give him back to this lowly maid all right!” She reached out to Long Xuan, pleading for the babe’s return. Her two hands trembled so that Ning Fei, who stood beside Long Xuan, doubted whether she would be able to hold the infant even if it was returned to her.
Long Xuan glanced at the infant in his hands and said, “You’re a dark-skinned woman, yet unexpectedly you gave birth to such a fair-skinned child. Is this your biological son?”
The servant woman’s words flowed out in a rapid stream, “Yes, yes, master he is this lowly maid’s son.”
“You aren’t some lowly maid,” Long Xuan’s voice suddenly softened. He continued, “Your loyalty is laudable. It’s just a pity that you’re not a citizen of my Greater Zhou.”
The servant woman looked at Long Xuan in confusion.
Long Xuan threw the baby in his hands in front of the servant woman.
“Your Highness?” Ning Fei involuntarily called out to Long Xuan.
Under the illumination of the great flames charging towards the heavens, the surrounding people witnessed Long Xuan throwing the baby on a sharp stone. The little head almost split in two. Scarlet blood and shining white brains flowed all over the earth.
The servant woman went to hold the dead baby, sharp screams emitting from her mouth, no longer sounding like a human.
“Your Highness, why did you do that?” Ning Fei asked Long Xuan, his eyebrows twisting. He never imagined that this world could have someone as ruthless as Long Xuan.
“This should be the Mo clan’s little child,” Long Xuan was still willing to explain to Ning Fei. “The master’s child cannot be chilled, so she held it in her arms. Her own biological son had to bear the wind and cold.”
“She surrendered her own biological son?” Ning Fei looked at the servant woman in amazement. She held the dead infant, muttering to herself as if to coax the baby’s corpse to sleep. She did not even seem to be aware that the infant’s brains had coated the corners of her mouth.
“A martyr of the Mo clan,” Long Xuan stated. “I can assume that this servant isn’t a hypocritical person greedy for life. It’s a pity she can’t be used for our Greater Zhou.” Long Xuan turned and walked past Ning Fei, continuing, “They don’t need to be kept.”
“I recognize you! You are the second prince of the Zhou dynasty, Long Xuan!” A servant began to loudly curse from within the crowd, “You won’t even let a baby go! God is watching you! You will suffer retribution! Long Xuan you cannot have a good death! Even as a ghost I will pester you, let’s see if you can have a good end!”
Ning Fei made a kill gesture to the sergeant under his command. Long Xuan mounted his horse and brought his guards with him back to camp. There was no happiness or anger on his face–it was, as usual, ice-cold.
Ning Fei oversaw another massacre, not even aware of when the rain began to fall from the sky. The muddy ground beneath his feet was already saturated with blood. The pervasive metallic scent in the air stoppered breathing; the anguished wails of human beings nearing death flooded the brain; the raging fire burning corpses left no way to escape. Ning Fei, standing in the middle of this blood prison, suddenly began to miss the girl in the capital who had asked him for a match under the moonlight. He recalled Fu Wei’s frown and smile. Ning Fei wanted to return to Fu Wei’s side. If what he saw before him was only a nightmare, perhaps Fu Wei could wake him up.
Long Xuan galloped back to camp quickly. Before he dismounted, he asked the sentry at the gate, “Has Third Young Master Luo returned?”
“This officer has not seen Third Young Master Luo,” the gate sentry replied.
Long Xuan turned his horse’s head, again heading for the battlefield in front of him. In his heart, he wondered: Was Luo Wei stuck in the battle formation of two armies, unable to get out?
Long Xuan, you bad… you real bad…
Thank you Tuala for the ko-fi!