Chapter 122: In Front of the Two Armies
Chen Rong slowly turned sideways.
She faintly smiled at the man who had taken her heart and her chastity. After a glance, she wordlessly turned around and pushed the door to leave.
She went down the stairs one step at a time.
With hanging head, Wang Hong’s gaze followed her straight back and blood-stained dress.
The maidservants’ screams had long alerted the guards. Dozens of armored men were now hurrying over. They thought to shout, but stopped themselves when they saw Wang Hong standing at the loft’s door.
Their eyes swiftly flashed to Chen Rong.
They stared at her and the bloody sword in her hand before looking back at Wang Hong.
Chen Rong had gone down the stairs by this time. She watched the courtyard full of guards blocking the way as her lips upturned into a quiet smile.
She stopped and turned to glance back at Wang Hong. “Qilang, are you trying to keep me here?”
Her clothes were glaring in the sunlight, and so was her bloody sword.
While Wang Hong was looking at her, a guard stepped forward and placed his hands together to ask: “My lord, did this woman commit murder?”
Wang Hong did not speak; he was still staring at Chen Rong with a complicated look.
At long last he waved his hand.
The guards retreated upon seeing his gesture and cleared out of the courtyard.
Chen Rong turned around to leave when she saw them withdraw. Every movement she made at this very moment was made with an unfaltering determination.
Wang Hong gripped onto the bamboo railing and called after the white silhouette: “Ah Rong?”
She did not pause once. She carried the sword and kept heading outside.
Every step she took left drops of blood on the ground, forming a frightening sanguine trail.
“Ah Rong, come back… you have nowhere to go,” Wang Hong hoarsely called after her.
His voice swirled in the wind like the falling leaves. It was carried away in the twinkling of an eye and left no traces behind.
Chen Rong did not look back. She didn’t even stop walking.
Step by step, she walked to the far distance and faded from his sight until she completely vanished…
At length, hoof beats sounded from the road.
A rider dismounted his horse and reported to Wang Hong who was still looking down motionlessly from the loft: “My lord, the Prince of Nan’yang has urgent matters that require your consultation.”
Another burst of rapid clopping followed the rider’s voice. A different rider rode to them. “My lord,” he cried, “the barbarians are in formation outside the city.”
“Get the carriage ready.”
This translation belongs to hamster428.wordpress.com
The carriage was soon ready.
But Wang Hong did not move. He was still dropping his head so that the cold wind blew his hair and clothes.
A guard hesitantly called, “My lord?”
His cry awakened Wang Hong and made him look up.
He made a reply, but for some reason, his usually clear and gentle eyes now appeared to be filled with a void.
Looking behind his guards, he softly uttered, “Men.”
Wang Hong leaned on the railing. His handsome face was slightly lowered, allowing a strand of hair to dangle in front of his eyes, when he quietly said, “Go, keep an eye on Ah Rong of the Chen House… protect her.”
Several guards left with his order.
Only until they had left to the distance did Wang Hong slowly let go of the railing and lightly say, “Bury the ones inside.”
Two guards traded glances before ascending the staircase.
They pushed open the door and entered the loft.
Shortly after, one clasped his hands together to ask: “My lord, with which ceremony shall we bury these maids?”
Wang Hong slowly walked down and replied without turning around: “Those who hold their master in contempt deserve to die. Just throw them out.”
His words again caused the guards to look at each other.
Having followed Wang Hong, they naturally knew that these maids had served him for years. Even if they had had no merits, they had worked hard to serve him. Normally, a master should forgive his servants’ mistakes once they were dead… But now that his words were spoken with so little gravity, how would their parents and siblings continue to stay in the Wang family?
Despite their sympathy, neither of the guards questioned him. They bowed and said, “Aye.”
Even while these guards were giving him their replies, someone else was recording Wang Hong’s words to send to Lang’ya. There was another who was taking his leave. He had wanted to inquire into the cause of their deaths, but Wang Hong’s words had concluded the case. How they died or who killed them had no more need for pursuit.
Soon, the carriage took Wang Hong out of the hamlet.
The vehicle had just gotten to the streets of Nan’yang when quickened drums pounded outside. The dreary and rapid beats sent the crowd on the street to a frantic scramble.
Wang Hong’s carriage drove faster as the driver cracked his whip through loud hollers.
Very soon, Wang Hong arrived at the north gate.
The five thousand guards from the Wang clan saluted him upon his arrival.
Without lifting his eyes, he serenely went to the fortress wall.
Dozens of scholars were already standing on the fortress, all dressed in loose wide robes. When he saw Wang Hong approach, Yu Zhi met him halfway and laughingly said, “Qilang, you’re late.”
He stopped suddenly. “What happened? Why are you looking so grim?”
Wang Hong cast him a brief glance without bothering to turn his head. He strode to the wall, leaned on it and looked down.
Twenty thousand Hu soldiers had filed into orderly queues below, their raised flags flapping in the wind.
“Is there any news?” Wang Hong quietly asked.
The advisor who had come to stand behind him nodded and whispered back, “Murong Ke had placed his soldiers on all sides, but the largest number is stationed at your north gate. General Ran wants you to attack from the north to curb the barbarians’ main force. The west, south, and east gates will then simultaneously try to break out. This is all that you need to do; leave Murong Ke to Ran Min.”
He continued: “General Ran also said if you are reluctant to use your own men, you can replace them with the prince’s men. He says Murong Ke’s seige of Nan’yang is no joking matter. No matter what, lives will have to be sacrificed.”
The advisor wryly smiled at this juncture. Ran Min’s words couldn’t be more transparent. He could easily get rid of Murong Ke yet he would not do so. That he would appear at the last minute to save Nan’yang was already enough.
Wang Hong slightly curved his mouth and softly replied, “So be it.”
“You can pass my order down that I’ve told Ran Min to show up in Nan’yang, thus we needn’t do anything.”
The advisor furrowed his brow and uneasily said, “My lord, why are you hiding your capability when you can obviously take care of Murong Ke? You’ll disappoint the master if you continue this way.”
Wang Hong glanced at him.
His faint glance made the advisor uneasily lower his head.
Wang Hong looked to the distance and slowly said, “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear those words.”
Cold sweat rolled down the advisor’s forehead. “Aye.”
Time trickled on until noon passed. At the hour of the goat (1pm-3pm), rapid drum beats suddenly pounded.
On the wall at the north gate, a group of armored soldiers orderly lined up. Even though they were all armored, one could see that their styles and colors belonged to different clans.
Wang Hong stood on the wall overlooking these people for a length of time. Then, he turned his head to stare at the unmoving Hu soldiers, waved his right hand, and shouted: “Attack!”
Resonating drumming rose at his order.
The gate opened to the sound of rumbling hooves, allowing riders to dash out.
All of a sudden, the scholars standing on the wall went still. Someone shouted: “Hey, who is that?”
Wang Hong, who was in the midst of giving orders, raised his head at the noises.
He looked up and gave a casual glance.
Color drained from his handsome face. He took a few quick steps forward and grasped the wall, suddenly screaming: “Come back!”
He used all his strength to hoarsely scream: “Ah Rong of the Chen House, come back here for me –”
His voice, however, was drowned out by the drums, shouts, and clashing of war.
No one heard him besides the few who stood nearby.
All the scholars and soldiers were looking at that silhouette.
It was a snow-white figure who held a long whip and rode a tall horse to gallop towards the armies.
She rode very fast. In the twinkling of an eye, she had sprinted in front of the soldiers.
Her loose outfit flapped in the wind… Anyone could see that she wore no armor underneath her dress.
An unarmored girl was racing out to join the two opposing armies in the middle of a war zone…
Gradually, all noises stopped.
Everyone stared after the white figure in disbelief. At long last, a scholar’s sigh was heard: “Even a woman dares to join the battlefield when she sees that her country is in danger. Who can say that our people lack courage?”
Chapter 123: Victorious
Both armies were stunned to suddenly see a beautiful white-robed maiden appear on the battlefield.
But the bow had been drawn and they could not stop.
Furthermore, the only ones who could see her were the ones near her. Those that were following behind only knew to press ahead, for their sight was obstructed by the rising dust.
“Kill them – Kill them so that we may have peace once more!” the Jins shouted.
Their shouts were accompanied by clopping horseshoes and the whooshing of weapons. Endless dust and screams once again occupied the earth, with only horseshoes to trample on insignificant lives.
On the fortress.
Wang Hong’s scream vanished into thin air. All he could do was stare after the white silhouette and its shadow, for he knew his shouts and orders were all useless…
At this time, Yu Zhi cried aloud, “This young lady looks so familiar.” He strode to Wang Hong. “Qilang, isn’t that Ah Rong of the Chen House?”
Wang Hong’s answer was made with shut eyes. Beads of perspiration formed on his forehead.
Standing beside them, Chen Gongrang also exclaimed: “Ah Rong? Is she Ah Rong? I thought she was with Shi Min?” He laughed and declared with pride in his voice: “My dear gentlemen, that’s our family’s lass! We pride ourselves for possession of lofty characters, but we’ve all lost to a little girl today!”
They had really lost to a little girl.
At this time, the soldiers on the wall who had either been afraid or wanted to retreat all clenched their teeth and prepared to fight with their lives.
The entire Jin army marched forward. Even the timid ones were bracing themselves for death. They faced the rising smoke and dust, and let out a roar upon seeing the white figure standing in the open field.
It started out with one roar, then gradually grew louder and louder.
Eventually, this echoing roar was the only sound left on earth.
The generals who had wanted to rouse their soldiers’ morale no longer needed to.
All the enthusiasm and determination had been lit.
Before they knew it, the soldiers had begun to yell: “Kill them – the barbarians won’t let us live. Kill them.”
“Kill them! Only then will we live!”
One shout followed another. Pairs of eyes glowed crimson out of desperation. Almost instantaneously, the Jin army’s confidence grew tenfold… They all only had one thought: Once the city was captured, they would be met with the same fate as those in Mo’yang. Since there was no escape, they must risk their lives and fight.
Nevertheless, confront someone with death and he will fight to live. Up until now, the Jin soldiers had been infamous for their cowardice. But they had changed.
Murong Ke sat up. He stared straight at the smoky battlefield to the white silhouette and then waved his hand with a sudden order: “Engage! Now!”
He knew that his soldiers were accustomed to disregarding the Jins. The enemy had clearly begun to attack yet they were still lazily laughing around.
When Murong Ke shouted his command, Wang Hong coldly ordered from the fortress: “Open the gate so that our troops can break out from here!”
He whirled around and announced, “I, of the Wang clan, will break out from this gate to fight the barbarians!”
By this time, the enthusiasm and indomitable will to fight below the fortress wall had spread to the rest of the troops. Forthwith, the banners were raised and a series of commands were given.
The city gate reopened. All the soldiers at the north gate began to mount their horses for the next rounds of attack.
One by one, the generals rode to the other three gates and the prince’s estate.
The scholars had also hastily turned around to order their clan members to break out from the north gate – Nan’yang had troops that were three times as great as Murong Ke’s. In the past, the Jin soldiers had lacked the courage and power to fight. At the moment, however, they were all taking an oath of death and such an opportunity must not be missed.
This translation belongs to hamster428.wordpress.com
In the blink of an eye, the white figure had sprinted to the Hu.
Her hand raised to crack the long whip, from which blood spewed forth. She led the field and gave little care that she was surrounded by the enemy, barreling headlong into the battle scene.
There were four guards by her side. They were highly skilled, but her mad galloping caught them by surprise.
Because they were occupied by fighting the Hu, they didn’t have time to protect her. They shouted at her again and again but their calls quickly disappeared into the commotion. The white figure did not look back, they wondered whether she had heard them or not.
Murong Ke stayed calm under his mask. The Jins’ attack came as a surprise and completely sabotaged his plans. He continuously passed down orders, however, the Jins had charged to the front by this time and some of his commands couldn’t be relayed in time.
He stared at the blood-stained figure in the field and angrily growled: “Wang Hong, you shameless bastard! I can’t believe you would use a woman to raise morale!”
No one could hear his growl.
Thousands of Jin soldiers quickly reached Chen Rong as they took on the Hu. Behind them, a steady stream of Jin troops was still coming…
A captain neared Murong Ke and asked him, “Silang, what do you think we should do?”
He looked at Murong Ke with worry, for he knew the twenty thousand soldiers at the north gate were mostly made up of disbanded soldiers. Murong Ke had placed them there just to fill the numbers. He had expected the Jins to be so cowardly that even in the event they open up the gate, it’d merely be a bluff. He even said he alone could take on ten thousand of them… Little did he know the Jins would risk their lives from the very first attack. And at the north gate where there was the largest number of Hu!
Murong Ke snapped: “What do you think? Have our men block them even if death stands in the way!” How could he retreat? A retreat now would be catastrophic!
The captain received his order and rushed out.
At the same time, five thousand marching Jin soldiers were surprised to find that the Hu army in front of them was far less daunting than as had been told in legends. They had only to thrust their halberds to reach these Hu.
This realization immediately spread among the troops. Blood confronted blood, flesh confronted flesh. One body fell after another, and then onward to the next breathing life.
In a flash, the Jins had gained ten paces.
Though it was not a long distance, both the scholars on the fortress and the offensive troops were ecstatic.
“The barbarians are not fearsome – ” one excitedly shouted.
His voice couldn’t travel very far, but the tens and hundreds of such cries were palpable to the Jin soldiers in the rear.
The outburst at once grew louder and more resonant.
Ten paces, twenty… thirty.
The Hu were still retreating.
Very soon, the Jin troops had advanced half of the way with relative ease.
“General, let’s retreat.”
A captain immediately approached Murong Ke. “General, there’ll be great damage to your reputation if the cowardly Jins manage to wipe us out.”
There was already a Ran Min whom the Xianbei war god, Murong Ke, could not defeat. There must absolutely not be a Wang Hong who could annihilate twenty thousand of his soldiers in battle.
Another captain came forward and called to Murong Ke: “General, if we anticipate defeat, then we should leave while we can. We’ll have our redemption in the coming days.”
Hearing this, Murong Ke cast a glance at the white figure who was still charging through the battlefield. “Retreat!”
The Hu flags unfurled upon his order.
“The barbarians are retreating, we’ve succeeded in thwarting them!”
Their cries were accompanied by tears of joy. Their voices hadn’t spread far by the time the enemy receded.
An army’s morale is sure to be depleted once it retreats from the battle. At the moment, the Hu were pulling back faster and faster while the Jins were killing more fearlessly.
The Jins’ shouts abruptly spread throughout the field: “They’re retreating!” “Kill them, kill them all!” Crimson bloodlust dyed their eyes. They chased after their enemy with weapons in their hands, refusing to let them withdraw without a fight.
In less than two miles, drumming reverberated from Nanyang’s towers. They were calling them back from the battle.
The soldiers slowly stopped their chase.
A general looked back and angrily yelled, “Why the hell are they calling us back? Why are we retreating when we finally have a chance to annihilate the barbarians?”
There were other curses, but mostly there were cries in joy.
Victory! Victory is ours!
The soldiers surged back to Nan’yang like a tidal wave.
They arrived at the city gate to find elders flooding from both sides of the gate to greet them with ecstatic cheers.
In the midst of this celebration, a carriage hurled out.
Despite their exhilaration and even in the sea of people, the crowd still gave way wherever this carriage went.
In the twinkling of an eye, it had sped to the returning Jin army.
It came to a halt. Its curtain raised as a gentle and soothing voice spoke: “Where is she?”
The four bloodied guards looked at each other and then lowered their heads. One approached, raised his clasped hands and rasped: “She was just here, but she was gone before we knew it.”
Another guard looked towards the carriage and reassured him: “Don’t worry my lord, I’m certain she is fine. She wears white; if anything happened everyone would’ve noticed.”
“Let us return.”
After the four guards retreated, the voice inside the carriage ordered to his left and right, “Find her.”
A carriage approached them at this time, from which an advisor poked his head out and quietly said, “Your victory today will be enough for the rest of your life. This is all the answer we owe the people of Nan’yang; it is likewise all we owe the empire… My lord, there is a limit to everything. We really needn’t wait here for Murong Ke’s counterattack.”
After a pause, he added, “My lord, we can return to Jiankang now.”
The voice of another advisor sounded: “My lord, this is an important matter. Please give it careful consideration.”
A while later, Wang Hong lightly replied, “I got it.”
After answering with these three words, the carriage again went back to Nan’yang.
As soon as Wang Hong returned to the city, he summoned all the heads of the major clans as well as the generals from the prince’s estate. By the time all arrangements had been made, twilight arrived with a setting sun over the sky.
As Wang Hong was walking out, a guard stepped forward and whispered to him: “My lord, we found her.”
Wang Hong turned his head and softly asked, “You found her? Bring me there.”
The carriage rushed away on the main road.
The road was at present flocked with people who were fleeing Nan’yang to Jiankang. Now that the battle was finally won and the Prince of Nan’yang was finally unable to stop them from leaving, they could not wait to get out.
When they saw the vehicle, they retreated to the sides and respectfully bowed.
A tavern soon appeared ahead. Beneath its fluttering banner sat a bloody white figure.
To her right was the setting sun while to her left was the endless wilderness. She quietly sat under the tavern’s banner with her satin hair draping over her lowered face.
The carriage stopped.
Wang Hong jumped off and slowly walked to her.
He went to the woman’s side and looked at her bloody clothes and whip, and at her face hidden behind her hair. He softly and cautiously said, “Ah Rong, come back. Return with me.”
The woman slowly raised her head.
Her hair fell to the sides, showing her stunning smiling face.
She glanced at him with upturned lips, unaware that her face was full of blood stains.
She slowly stood up and turned away.
Seeing that she was going to leave again, Wang Hong’s voice took on a frantic note: “Ah Rong, return with me!”
She stopped walking.
She slightly tilted her head to look at him and at the setting sun to his side. She gave a sweet smile: “Return? No, I cannot return anymore…” She couldn’t return. If she did not get what she wanted, if she could not have full possession of the one she loved, she would eventually go mad. A woman like her whose tolerance was so scant, whose jealousy ran so deep, and whose desire to possess was so great should not exist in this world. Though the empire was vast, there had never been a place for her…
Chapter 124: Ran Min’s Woe
Wang Hong watched her beautiful and cold face that had been washed clean. Her charm was almost a witchcraft. His heart constricted as he looked at her bloodstained robe.
He dropped his gaze. “Come back with me,” he said insistently.
Chen Rong smirked and withdrew her gaze from him. Seemingly not hearing what he said, she walked on ahead.
Answering him was still her lonely back.
Wang Hong chased after her and pulled her in for a hug from behind. “Ah Rong, are you hurt? Come, return with me,” he softly said.
Like flowing water, there was a lingering affection in his voice.
Chen Rong gently avoided his touch when his arms went around her waist. She did not turn around but kept walking ahead, leaving Wang Hong behind alone.
Seeing this scene unfolding, the driver whispered to Wang Hong, “My lord?”
Wang Hong dropped his gaze. A long while later, he softly said, “Send four people to follow her.” A pause. “Remember, if she is met with danger, do not show yourselves until the very last minute.”
“Hey! Whose troop is that?” the driver exclaimed.
Wang hong looked up.
Dust was soaring from the main road. Behind it, a group of riders was heading their way.
Wang Hong’s eyes returned to the solitary and sanguine figure walking down the road.
Before long, the troop had appeared in his field of vision. The character “Min” was clearly visible on the flapping banners.
It was indeed Ran Min’s troop.
In the midst of rumbling horseshoes, the soaring smoke of dust soon reached Chen Rong who was now in the far distance.
At the sound of a holler, the horses came to a halt.
Ran min rode out of ranks and galloped to Chen Rong.
After reining his horse to a stop, he stared down at the bloody girl and frowningly called, “What happened?”
Seeing that Chen Rong only kept her head down without one word, he captured her chin so that she would look up at him.
His frown worsened as they stared at each other. “Ah Rong, what happened?”
He could see that Ah Rong’s face was just as beautiful and her eyes were just as bright as they had been. But she seemed a little different somehow… It had only been a couple of days but she was no longer the same person.
He gently stroked her lips and lowered his voice: “Speak.”
Chen Rong dropped her gaze.
After a long time, she hoarsely said, “General Ran, I cannot marry you.”
Ran Min’s grip tightened around her chin. “What did you say?” he incredulously asked.
Chen Rong’s long lashes fluttered with a blink as her lips slowly formed a smile.
Her smile was like that of a siren.
She looked up at him, at his facial features, at his thin lips, and then at the troops behind him.
A carriage was now driving up to them. Its curtain was raised to reveal a familiar face, one that was pale as it was beautiful.
That woman gaped when she saw Chen Rong – the usual malice in her eyes was replaced by surprise.
She was Chen Wei, and her updo was that of a married woman.
Chen Rong smiled and looked at Ran Min, softly saying, “General, Chen Yuan’s family and I are irreconcilable. Since you have accepted Ah Wei, I don’t want to marry you anymore.”
Afterwards, she threw his hand off and walked away.
She did not speak of her defilement or of Wang Hong.
Ran Min’s long laughter rang behind her. He sarcastically said, “Ah Rong of Chen House, aren’t you trying to control too many things?”
Answering him was her distancing figure.
Ran Min’s thick eyebrows knitted together. He gave a kick and sent the red horse galloping towards Chen Rong like a gust of wind.
He quickly appeared once more in front of her.
He took her chin with a low shout: “Ah Rong of the Chen House, where did the blood on you come from?” He looked her up and down, his heart thumping, while his questions fired rapidly: “Were you the beautiful woman who rode out to the two armies? Was she you?”
Chen Rong nodded.
She slowly pried his hand away and then lightly said, “Because I don’t think living has any more meaning.”
His grip on her chin was so tight that it pained her and made her unable to pull away.
He took another look at her when he suddenly pulled on her arm and asked suspiciously, “Why aren’t you injured?”
Hearing his question, Chen Rong disdainfully said with a laugh, “I reckon those Hu soldiers had never seen a woman on the battlefield before. They were all stunned to see me. The halberds that aimed my way also deliberately avoided me. There were some who even put their weapons away so that they could capture me alive.” At this point in her explanation, she finally felt pain coming from her chin… She reached out to pull his hand away, but how could she with her meager strength? So she lifted her eyes charmingly at him, her mouth lightly curving, as she slowly said, “General, please let go.”
Ran Min harrumphed. He suddenly let go to take hold of her arm. His wolf eyes were blade sharp. “Ah Rong of the Chen House, I know you. Tell me! What had happened?”
Chen Rong blinked her long eyelashes.
She glanced askance at him and beamed a brilliant smile. “Must you know?”
Chen Rong laughed. She stood on tip toe, leaned into him, and then gently brought her lips to his throat.
Almost suddenly and like a snake, a tongue slid across his throat.
Ran Min slightly shook and then went entirely still.
Her faint and fragrant breath blew against him. “Because,” she laughed, her voice supple and ambiguous, “I’ve been disgraced.”
Two hundred paces away, Wang Hong watched this scene from his carriage. He threw his head back and emptied his wine in a swig.
With her lips on his throat, Chen Rong again giggled and tossed him a flirtatious gaze, then she slowly pulled his hands away and walked off.
He imprisoned her arms and demanded, “Who was he? Who was that man?”
He sounded furious. Chen Rong didn’t have to look back to know he must be livid. Because in her field of vision, all the soldiers were bowing their heads and backing away.
He abruptly pulled her into his arms and murderously hissed: “Who was he?”
He had believed her pretext as soon as she said it. Because no young lady in the empire would joke about such matter.
It was also the only reason that could explain her changes.
Ran Min was consumed by fury and hatred. His grip on Chen Rong was so strong that it made cracking sounds on her bones and cold sweat forming on her sweet smiling face.
She did not cry in pain, however. Not only did she not cry, her smiling face remained brilliant and charming. She cocked her head to quietly look at Ran Min and gently said, “I don’t know who he was.” Under Ran Min’s sharp stare, she indifferently added, “I was idle and bored, so I went out for an evening stroll. Unexpectedly I got knocked unconscious. When I awoke, I found that I had been defiled.”
Her voice was too indifferent, and her smile was too bright.
Almost suddenly, Ran Min felt nauseated.
Plop. He shoved her off. After making her roll on the ground, he dismounted the horse and strode to her.
While he was staring down at her, besides anger and loathing, there was also woe on his handsome face. “Ah Rong of the Chen House, I had promised to marry you.” He hoarsely chuckled, struggling to say: “I had promised, hadn’t I?!”
With this, he suddenly turned and mounted his horse. He hastily pulled on the rein, madly riding away.
His soldiers and Chen Wei were surprised at first, but they soon enough reacted and hurriedly chased after him. By the time they pulled into the distance, Chen Wei was still looking back at Chen Rong. In that instant, however, the bitterness and loss on her face had been swept away. Instead, they were replaced by a blithe smile.
A captain was the first to catch up to Ran Min almost an hour later. Ran Min had stopped riding by now. Surrounded by the deserted wilderness, he sat on horseback facing the sunset.
He continued to stay there motionlessly. If not for his fluttering robe and hair, one would think he was a statue.
The captain came up to Ran Min and quietly said after some consideration: “She is but a woman, sir. Why let her foul your mood?”
Ran Min did not turn around. He stared for a long time at the sunset and, when the captain thought he would not speak, suddenly rasped, “No, she’s lying!”
He laughed aloud, bewildering the captain.
He threw his head back in laughter and slowly stood his halberd on the ground.
He bowed his head in a hoarsened sneer: “She’s already defiled and looking for death, yet she still wants to cover for that man… Ah Rong of the Chen House, your feelings for me have been nothing but pretense!”
Realizing he was talking about the future madam’s private affairs, the captain did not dare to speak. He swiftly lowered his head.
Ran min held a tight grip on his halberd. This time, he used all of his strength to drive it deep into the ground until it started to bend.
He hung his head and hoarsely laughed out loud. His voice grew hoarser and hoarser, deeper and deeper.
Almost suddenly, he gave the halberd a hard kick. While it flew to the distance, he growled in anger, “Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are?!”
Amid his low roar, he suddenly turned and launched onto his horse. He swooped down for his halberd along the gallop and then maddeningly rode away.