Luo Wei raised his head to glance at the bright moon atop the horizon. He heard the howling sounds of killing travelling from the wastelands, shaking the heavens. He wondered–if the Moon Palace truly had immortals and gods really lived in the sky, what would they think when witnessing mortals destroying each other on earth? Retrieving these useless thoughts, Luo Wei mounted his horse. Seeing that Wei Lan had also mounted a horse behind him, he whispered to Ten, “Let’s go.”
A group of people rushed towards the outside of the camp.
Inside the tent that Luo Wei had abandoned, dozens of corpses lay in disarray. They were all Northern Yan soldiers who had received orders to take care of, but also keep watch on Luo Wei. After Ten and the others killed them, they dragged them into the tent.
Luo Wei and the others had already changed into Northern Yan military uniforms in advance. As they dashed out of the camp, because surrounding squadrons heading for deployment outside the camp were everywhere, no one noticed Luo Wei and his team.
The barrack’s exit appeared before his eyes when a group of Eastern Shang soldiers blocked Luo Wei and his team’s path. The general heading the group did not even look at Luo Wei as he inquired, “Does the Third Young Master also want to go to the battlefield?”
Luo Wei tightened the reins, wanting to stop; Wei Lan hurriedly said from behind him, “We can’t stop, charge ahead.”
“Our Grand Prince knew that the young master would want to leave today, and specially had this general send the young master.” Seeing that Luo Wei and his team did not stop their horses, this Eastern Shang general drew his sword and placed it horizontally before his chest.
There were already Northern Yan soldiers hastening to report to the general remaining in the camp.
Imperial Physician Wei saw that the Eastern Shang soldiers had already notched their arrows, and he shouted, “They have bows and arrows!”
Luo Wei stopped his horse. If they charged ahead, they would all become Eastern Shang’s target practice.
Seeing them stop, the man seemed somewhat pleased with himself. He said, “You are not a warrior. You should stay in the barracks, and be at ease while you wait for our Grand Prince and His Highness, Northern Yan’s Crown Prince, to return victorious.”
“Why would Eastern Shang’s people stop us?” Imperial Physician Wei asked Luo Wei. With death close at hand, he still wanted to know why he would die.
Luo Wei ignored Imperial Physician Wei. He did not expect that Yang Yuansu would ruin his plans. But if he thought a bit more about it, if Luo Wei fell into Sima Qingsha’s hands and Sima Qingsha knew that Greater Zhou wanted to occupy Black Frost City, Sima Qingsha would definitely battle with Greater Zhou. At that time, Eastern Shang could take advantage of the fight between the two tigers, Yan and Zhou, and win Chun Du Pass like taking candy from a baby. Everyone was scheming; now it seemed that Yang Yuansu was one step ahead of them.
“Third Young Master, please go back,” the Eastern Shang general said.
“I’ll kill him,” Ten whispered to Luo Wei. “This person seems to be a mounted general, he must not be able to fight on foot.”
“No need,” Luo Wei declined. “You all wait here.”
“What are you going to do?” Wei Lan hurriedly asked.
“This one seems to not only be poor at fighting on foot, but also an idiot,” Luo Wei said as he urged the horse he straddled, moving forward as he spoke to the Eastern Shang general: “Then before I go back, can I exchange a few words with this general?”
The general also had his horse trot forward, replying, “What does the young master wish to say to this general?”
“General, there’s no need to have them point their arrows at me right?” Luo Wei pretended to be somewhat flustered.
The general saw that Luo Wei was close to him. He could reach out one hand to stop someone like Luo Wei, who was not a fighter. He also did not need to fear the Zhou people across from him rushing over. He raised a hand to signal for his subordinates to lower their bows and arrows.
Luo Wei arrived close to the general’s front and dismounted.
Luo Wei had alighted from his horse, and this general could not stay sitting on his. He dismounted as well, asking, “What does the young master want to say? If you have something to say, please say it quickly.”
“Can general not let my one horse go?” Luo Wei lowered his voice and said to the general, “If general is magnanimous, Luo Wei will send ten thousand gold as thanks.”
The general’s expression shuttered as he spoke forcibly out of a sense of righteousness: “What kind of person does the young master take this general as?”
“General!” Luo Wei bent his waist to salute in respect to this general.
The general turned sideways to avoid Luo Wei’s salute. “Third Young Master shouldn’t waste his breath, this general…” This Eastern Shang general didn’t get to finish what he wanted to say. Luo Wei took advantage of him turning and looking elsewhere to thrust a dagger into his waist.
(T/N: Luo Wei thrust the dagger into his 腰眼, lit. “the eye of his waist.”)
Upon stabbing out this dagger, Luo Wei did not look to see whether this Eastern Shang general survived his attack. He retreated a step and flipped onto his horse.
Behind Luo Wei, Wei Lan had already galloped over when Luo Wei mounted his horse.
The Eastern Shang soldiers wanted to lift their bows and notch their arrows, but they were already too late.
Ten and the rest quickly charged forward, surrounding Luo Wei to protect him. In front, the sharp sword in Wei Lan’s hand flashed cold light; several Eastern Shang soldiers’ corpses already fell to the ground.
“Third young master, stay!” The general who had stayed behind in the camp to watch over it chased them on horseback, bringing mounted soldiers with him.
“Go!” Luo Wei only spoke this one word.
The general who had stayed behind did not dare to order arrows to be released. This was Northern Yan’s barracks–it was difficult to guarantee that they would not harm their own if they let loose their arrows. “Stop him!” the general shouted.
Luo Wei and his team were already in front of the gate, whipping their horses to rush forward. The Northern Yan army had no way to stop them. Wei Lan pulled down a brazier used by the soldiers for lighting. The brazier filled with lamp oil fell to the ground. The lamp oil trickled across the earth, and fire spread in its wake. This Northern Yan general watched as Luo Wei and his group rushed out of the gate of his Northern Yan barracks.
The general gave chase with his troops on horseback. Every time before Sima Qingsha deployed troops, he would instruct his officials and subordinates to watch over Luo Wei well, and ensure that Luo Wei did not take a single step outside of the barracks. Once the general thought of Luo Wei escaping from his own hands, he felt his blood run cold. If Luo Wei escaped, His Highness the Crown Prince would definitely kill him.
After two parties on horseback exited, the surviving Eastern Shang soldiers ran towards their general. They saw that the general lay there without breathing. Luo Wei’s strength was limited, and most of the dagger was exposed outside. This kind of injury was not fatal. When the soldiers saw the black blood beneath the general’s body, they suddenly realized that the dagger had been smeared with poison.
Luo Wei galloped south the whole way. Their Greater Zhou’s barracks were at Tian Shui fountainhead’s southern end.
“Those in front, block Luo Wei!” At the command of their general, the chasing Northern Yan soldiers shouted together. “Luo Wei wants to return to Zhou, the Zhou army wants to seize Black Frost City, stop him!”
“We can’t run forward anymore!” Wei Lan said to Luo Wei. “Sima Qingsha is in front!”
Ten glanced behind him. “There are too many of them, we can’t kill them all!”
“Damn it,” Luo Wei cursed. Their group of horses did not continue towards the south, but diverted to the southwest.
Just as the Northern Yan general wanted to pursue Luo Wei southwest, a subordinate of his who knew the terrain shouted, “General can’t chase anymore!”
“Why?” the general asked.
“That place is a large swamp,” the soldier pointed southwest and informed.
“What does that matter?” It was not as if the general had never seen a swamp. He turned, wanting to continue his pursuit.
“No one would dare to go there!” The soldier rushed to the front of the general’s horse, blocking him. “This humble one previously ran a caravan here. No one can come out of there alive. They all say there are man-eating demons living there, general!”
“Go to the side and have a look,” the general heard that Luo Wei would die in the swamp, and he relaxed greatly. But he didn’t dare to be careless, and said to his subordinates, “If we don’t see them enter with our own eyes, I won’t be at ease!” He pointed at the soldier in front of him, “Lead the way!”
A group of soldiers also travelled southwest under the glimmer of the stars and moon overhead.
At the same time, southeast of Tian Shui’s fountainhead, Long Xuan stood atop a dirt mound. He looked at the depression in the ground not far from him, where the Mo clan was surrounded by Zhou soldiers.
“Your Highness,” Ning Fei galloped over on horseback, “they begged for surrender. They’re willing to help Your Highness catch Mo Huan Sang.”
“Kill,” Long Xuan did not say even one more word to Ning Fei. After he saw Ning Fei’s stunned expression and watched him turn back to ride his horse over to convey orders, Long Xuan said to himself, “Black Frost’s Mo clan is merely this.”