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Chapter 10: Blackstone City
“… Just when we arrived at Toad Peak, a group charged out suddenly, hundreds strong at least. The person at the head carried a huge axe, proclaiming himself at the Great Toad King…”
Blackstone City, the city lord’s mansion. Huang Sanyuan rushed back to Blackstone City through the night and is currently vividly describing their journey. Facing him sat a well dressed man with a round face and bloated figure.
This person is the lord of Blackstone City, Han Huju. Behind him stood two maids, one in green and the other in pink. Given their figures, they should be around 16-17. They have the same height and appearance, a rare set of twins.
Han Huju didn’t so much as raise his head while listening to Han Sanyuan speak. His eyelids stayed drooping down the entire time.
“This old Huang felt fear deep in my heart, but I could not show it at all. Instead, I pulled out my saber with a whoosh and roared out at those thieves: If you dare to try to kidnap our young mistress, then do so over my corpse…”
“… Just as I was about to engage in bloody battle, a group charged out from behind us. The one in the head announced himself as the Handsome Scholar Xu Shenji…”
“Eh!” A pale faced middle aged man at Han Huju’s side spoke, “Are theree really that many bandits up on Toad Peak?”
“Strategist may not know, but there’s well over 200. Another group charged out from the side, the one at the head calling himself Spring Chanter Ye Wen…” Huang Sanyuan had been considering how to answer all this the entire road back, so he had considered what he’s going to say quite a lot. In the end, he divided the one person into three and put together 300 men total. “Although his old Huang fought with his life to protect the young mistress, there were just too many of the bandits. In the end, despite being covered in wounds, the young mistress was still taken by the bandits…”
“This old Huang deserves death. This old Huang deserves death…” Huang Sanyuan collapsed to his knees while kowtowing furiously, “This old Huang knows that his sins deserve death. I only beg that the lord might grant me a hundred soldiers to fight back to Toad Peak and rescue the young mistress before returning to take my deserved death before my lord…”
Old Huang was covered in blood, his clothes ragged and torn. Right now, his tears fell like rain, and the soldiers who followed him back from Toad Peak have also fallen to their knees, shaking in terror with their faces drained of blood.
“Kill.” Han Huju merely raised his head and spat out a single word.
The men kneeling on the ground were immediately held down and dragged out of the hall. Huang Sanyuan’s face was chalk white with terror. He had already lied his ass off, but he still couldn’t escape death.
Right at that moment, a young man entered from outside the hall and spoke to Han Huju, “Dad, Butler Huang has information about the bandits, so he mustn’t be killed just yet.”
The men who followed Huang Sanyuan back had already basically all been beheaded by now. Heads rolled, blood spilled. Huang Sanyuan was terrified out of his mind.
Then, he was dragged back to the room. He noticed that there was a new, young man by Han Huju’s side. His face was pale and hairless, and he looked to be in his twenties. His white clothes were spotless and immaculate, given him an uncommon presence.
This person was the heir to Blackstone City, Han Xuanzhi.
“Butler Huang. What happened on the road? Can you recount it again?”
Huang Sanyuan shuddered. Could it be that there was some kind of hole in his previous story, and that Han Xuanzhi was planning to reveal it? But what’s the point of that? It’d be death either way for him.
He repeated his story from before while trembling. Han Xuanzhi nodded along as he listened, and there was even a hint of excitement in his eyes.
“Dad, now that the young miss of the Su Family has fallen into the hands of bandits, I ask for father’s permission to allow me an army with which to clear out the bandits and save Miss Su.” Han Xuanzhi’s voice rang out decisively.
“Hey now my boy, that woman’s already fallen into the hands of bandits, so what what other end could she meet? If she’s not raped, then she’d be killed. It’s just a mere woman, so what if she dies? Dad can find you another good one, what do you think?” Han Huju leaned forward slightly and asked.
“Father!” Han Xuanji knelt down, “If a man can’t even protect his wife, how could he still stand upright in this world? I beg father to lend me your soldiers.”
“That…” Han Huju picked up a saucer of wine, “How much men do you want?”
Han Xuanzhi got up and spat out two words, “Two thousand.”
Han Huju sprayed out the mouthful of wine that he had just drank. The others in the room also widened their eyes with disbelief.
“Young master, do you know what two thousand men really means?” That pale middle aged man questioned insistently, “Have you considered how much the supplies for 2000 men would cost, how much of a supply train those men will need, the organization required, the travel path… The most important part is, there are only 300 bandits at that… Is that really worth it?”
“I of course have my own considerations for those matter.” Han Xuanji spoke confidently, “I just personally prefer crushing with overwhelming force.”
The pale middle aged man was speechless.
“Blackstone City only has a total of 5000 men, so you’re asking to take half of your dad’s men you know. No, 2000 is absolutely no good. I can give you 1000 at most.”
“1000 is fine then, even if it’s a bit few.” Han Xuanji spoke regretfully.
“I know that the young master wishes to lead an army, but how do you plan to fight?” The pale middle aged man asked.
“I have already clearly planned it all out just now.”
“You planned it all out so quickly. My son really is quite amazing.” Han Huju spoke with satisfaction, “Tell me then…”
“I’ll ask for 200 light cavalry, 200 archers, 300 footmen, 100 heavy infantry, and 200 pikemen for my 1000. The cavalry will charge, archers can attack at range, the heavy infantry can stop the bandits’ charges while the pikemen attacks from behind the heavy infantry. Then, the footmen will clear out the remainder.” Han Xuanzhi spoke smoothly, “Toad Peak is about 150 miles from here, so it will take about a day of travel. We will move at high speeds in order to preserve the element of surprise, so we’ll definitely be able to crush the entirety of those bandits.”
Han Huju clapped, “As expected of my son. Since you wish to pursue your dreams of leading men, go ahead and try your hand then.”
Huang Sanyuan was scared dumb. He’s always heard that the young lord had studied military tactics since he was little and that he’s as brilliant as those famous tacticians of old. However, after hearing him smoothly lay out his plan, Huang Sanyuan instead got a feeling of [You sound quite reasonable. I don’t know how to rebut it, but I keep feeling like there’s something wrong with it].”
Plus… Huang Sanyuan shivered. There are only two bandits in total. If the young lord charged his way to Toad Peak in high moral… Huang Sanyuan was covered in sweat. In his heart, he got the feeling like getting his head chopped off may not be such a bad way to die.
“Huang Sanyuan, you will follow me to subjugate the bandits and cancel out your crimes via merits.”
“Yes. Thank you my lord for your great generosity and kindness. Thank you my lord…”
Han Sanyuan took the military token and left in great satisfaction. Given the energy showing on his face, he’s likely to work through the night without sleeping in order to organize this military excursion.
Within the main hall, Han Huju turned to the pale middle aged main, “Strategist Xue, what do you think about Xuanzhi’s plans?”
That pale middle aged man’s name is Xue Banjou. He shook his head resignedly, “Within the mountain woods, cavalry will find it hard to show their strengths. Also, since he’s planning a high speed assault, then why is he bringing the slow heavy infantry? Plus, mountain bandits tend to base up in dangerous terrain, so charges are useless against them. I won’t say that the young lord’s plans have more holes in it than a beehive, but… However, my lord has also definitely also realized this, so why did you still allow the young lord to act so recklessly?”
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