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Published at 13th of June 2018 09:24:56 PM

Chapter 37

"Gentlemen, this will be the plan for now . " Within a simple tent, a girl dressed in cyan raised her slender chin slightly and pointed towards the topographic map on the desk with her slender fingers . She addressed the soldiers around her in a deep tone, "This operation will start at 1:45 a . m . , Xia Zhi will bring the first team to the Chi Chao Bridge between the Chao Lake and the Chi Shui to set up an ambush . Xirui and Bian Cang will each lead 5 men under the bridge, destroying the straw boats that are crossing the river, severing the river crossing hook lock . After which, Zhi Xia will initiate the attack, destroying the defensive positions of the The Dauntless Cavalry Camp on the bridge . Do not worry about the battle growing, but it must end when a stick of incense burns out . Do you understand?"

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"Yes!" Zhi Xia, Xirui, and Bian Cang nodded in unison and accepted the order .

The lady then drew her finger along the western line on the map . She turned and said, "AhDu will bring the second team to set an ambush along the trail within Suo He Village, coordinating with Zhi Xia's operation . This will prevent The Dauntless Cavalry Camp from sending reinforcements to their defensive positions on the bridge when Zhi Xia is attacking them . Your mission is to cut off the route between The Dauntless Cavalry Camp and the Northern Prisons when you are in the northern region . Try your best to delay the army for two hours . "

With a dark expression, AhDu nodded furiously as he said, "My Lady, don't worry . "

The lady nodded and circled the top of the map with her finger . After which she pointed in the general direction forcefully and said, "Your mission is to try and infiltrate the underground camp of the Northern Prison, rescuing Mr . Mu and Scholar Zhu, who are locked up in the northwestern corner of the water prison . Also, you must rescue 28 of our comrades from the Tian Yuan Tower on the south side of the prison . Some of them may be unable to walk, but you must rescue all of them and send them to Gu Ding village, which is fifteen miles southwest from here . After which, your reinforcements will then pick all of them up with carriages . That's why we have to take the risk of starting the operation early . "

The tent was completely silent as everyone listened intently to the lady's instructions .

The lady had a calm expression as she continued, "About 300 meters in front of the Northern Prison, everything is covered in thick vegetation . However, within 100 meters of the prison, all vegetation is cut down . There is no cover at all . At the four corners of the prison, there are eight watchtowers with guards watching over its perimeter at all times . All of you will have to crawl . "

The lady turned back and took out another map . She said, "Take a look, this is the concise map of the Northern Prison . This is the military warehouse, the food storage, the armory, the resting quarters for the troops, and this, is our destination: The Tian Yuan Tower and the northwestern water prison . I need you all to know this map inside and out within two hours; there is no time for mistakes . Two of you need to coordinate with each other to carry out your mission . When the mission commences at 1:45 a . m . , Cheng Yang will then lead the third and fourth teams to launch the assault, while AhDu and AhCheng lead the archers to go around the camp along the trench line . The archers will then take out the guards on the watchtowers with their arrows . They must be killed with a single shot; not a single guard can live . After that is done, Cheng Yang will then lead the main assault team to open the gates . The team will then split into two groups, one attacking towards the west, as if they were attacking the armory as well as the provision base . That will lure the guards over to their position, creating chaos . The other group will shoot the barracks with flaming arrows . However, their intention is not to kill, but to create a diversion, slowing down the escaping troops . All of you must remember, if all the soldiers are out of the barracks, the mission will have already failed . All of you must be accurate with your shooting and act accordingly . Xiao Jiong will help you all from the outside, getting our horses to run through the dense jungle as if an enemy was attacking the camp . "

Xiao Jiong stood at the side . He was still a child that was not even 17 years old . However, the numerous wounds on his tanned skin as well as his muscular build could show that he was an outstanding warrior who had fought countless battles . Xiao Jiong smiled as he nodded . He said to Cheng Yang, "Brother Cheng Yang, don't be like the last time, forgetting who I am when you get out of the enemy camp . You actually shot me with an arrow thinking I was the enemy . "

Hearing this, everyone broke into laughter, lightening the mood within the tent . Cheng Yang reached out and gave the kid a nudge . He laughed and said, "You really do hold grudges . "

The lady coughed softly, causing everyone to turn towards her, getting serious once again . "AhLi's archers will take out the soldiers on the watchtowers and the sentry posts . After which, the mission will officially begin . Cheng Yang will lead the main assault team to rush into the camp, setting archers five meters from each other as the team is pushing forwards . This is to protect the advance of the team . Your main mission is to rescue hostages; you do not have to care about the other positions . AhLi will eliminate all the targets and cover you as you advance . All of you will first head to the northwestern water prison, first rescuing Mr . Mu as well as scholar Zhu . After which, you will rush to the Tian Yuan Tower . Some of the guards there are our men; they will have already eliminated the other guards for us when we reach them . Once we have rescued everyone, retreat using the trench line on the southwestern side of the camp . AhLi will then attack the enemy on the right flank while AhCheng attacks them from the back as a diversion . When Cheng Yang has confirmed that they have everyone with them, fire the green flare . By 3 a . m . , the fighting should cease . All of you are to be back at the designated location by 3:45 a . m . Xiao Jiu will arrange for your safe retreat from there . "

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Her eyes were as bright as snow . She raised her head and looked at everyone within the tent as she said in a deep tone, "Does anyone still not understand the mission?"

No one replied . The lady nodded . "Good . For now, prepare your weapons and memorize the map of the camp . After half an hour, I will ask each and every one of you the battle procedure . If there are no further questions, we will set off in an hour . "

"Yes," The men answered in unison as they stood from their seats . The small tent got crowded in an instant .

The lady in cyan stood up as well . Although she seemed thin and sickly, her narrow eyes glowed with energy . She reached out her right hand that was in a tight fist and placing it over her heart as she said slowly and steadily, "Da Tong will not perish . "

"It will not perish!" the men roared in unison . She nodded approvingly as they gradually took their leave .

The tent became quiet all of a sudden and the only sound was the strong wind howling outside the tent . There was a decent snowfall that day . A timely heavy snowfall was a sign for a fruitful year ahead . Hopefully, the people would have a better life in the coming year .

After having a sip of tea, a boy that was dressed in brown suddenly burst into the tent and said, "My lady, Mr . Wu is here . "

The lady raised her brows as the teacup in her hands trembled slightly . She steadied herself and said, "Let him in . "

A gust of fresh wind blew into the tent as the man took off his hat . He was dressed in a green robe and he looked smart and upright . He was around 27-28 years old and there were some wrinkles around the corner of his eyes, but that did not diminish the aura of elegance that he emanated . He put down his belongings as he smiled and said, "AhYu . "

The lady naturally took the dark robe from Wu Daoya as she smiled lightly . "When did you come back? Aren't you going back to Yan Bei?"

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"There were some urgent matters that required me to return to the capital immediately," Wu Daoya said as he sat on a stool to take off his boots . As he tilted his boots slightly, it could be seen that it was filled with shards of ice .

Lady Yu picked at her brows as she said, "Have you come from the ice plain?"

"What can I do?" Wu Daoya raised his head and said, "The person in the Sheng Jin palace is celebrating his birthday and is inviting the three heads of state for it . Security is very tight . Everyone is being paranoid now; it's better to be careful . "

"You are right, it is better to be careful . "

"Oh right . " Wu Daoya frowned and said, "Xi Hua sent a letter and said that two of the capital's stronghold has been revealed . Is that true?"

"It was just to deceive them . " Lady Yu grinned as she poured a cup of tea . She handed it to Wu Daoya and continued, "Recently, the patrol within the capital have been very strict . Right after the New Year, the entire atmosphere within the capital was so tense . Muhe Xifeng is the new official in town and is burning with enthusiasm, causing everyone to be unable to live peacefully . I purposely leaked the location of two deserted strongholds to let him perform well in his job so that he'll be less enthusiastic . However, I did not leak any classified information, and it was hard to determine whether the intelligence he gathered was true or not . Our men suffered no casualties as well . "

"I had rightly guessed 80% of it . " Wu Daoya chuckled . "Wei family lost his job and Wei Jing was utterly defeated in the south . This caused Wei Shuye to lose his job as the capital's magistrate to the Muhe family . The Muhes got it too easily . It seems that things will get bloody within the Grand Elder's Councill . "

"That treacherous Wei Guang . I think 90% of these events were arranged by him . "

Wu Daoya raised his brow and looked puzzled . He said, "What do you mean?"

Lady Yu let out a sigh as she explained, "Daoya, it has been seven years . In less than six months, the young master will be crowned as King . However, do you think the elders within the empire, as well as the Batuha clan in the northwestern region, would allow the young master to assume the throne in Yan Bei without a hitch? All these years, they have tried to sabotage him in every way possible, trying to put him to his death . If it had not been for the presence of the other Kings, which caused the elders to fear an uproar, they would have already killed him . This is their last opportunity to sabotage the young master; they won't hold back . Also, it is the Emperor's birthday; all three heads of states are under one roof, with the smaller neighbors coming into the capital to send their gifts and regards . Everyone fears that chaos will befall the capital . No matter what happens in the end, the capital will be flooded with blood, and the capital's magistrate will definitely be pulled into this chaos . How could the sly Wei Guang not foresee this future? Wei family had already decided to protect themselves when the empire slipped into chaos . "

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Wu Daoya nodded solemnly and said, "Only you are able to think through all that . It now seems like once Muhe Yunting is dead, the Muhe family will no longer be able to hold up future generations of the Xia Empire . No wonder I heard news that Zhuge Muqing sent Zhuge Huai over to the southeastern region to settle some matters with the Song Empire when I was on my way here . That move was to save him from all the chaos . "

"You have been in the capital for too long, hence you are unable to understand the relationship between these matters . Other than the Muhe family, who is still unclear of the situation, choosing to fight it out with the Batuha clan with regards to the territories in Yan Bei, the other five royal families have chosen to get out of this chaotic situation . The Mu family had even directly recalled Young Master Mu back to Ling Nan to avoid this disaster . This battle of yours, it's hard to fight . "

Wu Daoya agreed with a heavy nod . He sighed . "Because of this day, the 200 thousand troops from Yan Bei are at the ready . They waited for the last seven years . No matter what, we must ensure that the young master left the capital safely . The entire family of the late King Yan had sacrificed their lives for Da Tong . We cannot give up on his last blood relative . "

Lady Yu patted Wu Daoya on the shoulder . "We will overcome anything that comes our way . Don't be too worried about it . No matter what happens, the young master's life is in no danger; that's something we can be happy about . "

Hearing that, Wu Daoya could not help but reveal a smile . He nodded and said, "Oh yes, you feel that the child is pretty decent too right?"

"Yes . " Lady Yu nodded . "At such a young age, it is rare to be so prudent . Initially, to make her trust me, I put in quite a bit of effort . All these years, if it wasn't for her staying by the young master's side, protecting him, I'm sure the last remnant of the Yan Bei bloodline would have perished . This child is especially gifted . I will take note of her . "

"As long as you are here to look after them, I don't have to worry . I won't be able to stay in the capital for long this time, as I have to be back at Yan Bei . Another year of spring tax is to be collected, I need to be there to prevent the imperial court and Old Batu from putting too much into their pockets . Even though we have not officially taken over, Yan Bei still belongs to the Yan family . Although we are unable to restore Yan Bei to its former glory, the least we can do is to prevent the young master from inheriting a mess . "

Lady Yu grinned and said, "Don't worry, I will look after them . I will do my best . "

"My lady, it is time!" Suddenly, a cry came from outside the tent . When Wu Daoya heard it, he stood up and said, "I am just here for a quick visit . I'm heading to the Yan Bei household after this . The tax collections for the winter season have been sent to the capital, I'm going to see the amount young master paid . "

Lady Yu nodded as she walked him out of the tent . Wu Daoya stopped her with his arm, "The wind is too strong and your body is still weak . There is no need to see me out . I'll take my leave . " After which, he put on his cap and walked out of the tent .

Lady Yu stood there motionlessly as she looked at the fluttering curtains as if she was in a daze . After a while, she walked back to her desk and picked up the battle plan, studying it carefully .

"AhYu . " A deep voice sounded out of nowhere . The curtain lifted and Wu Daoya walked into the tent once again .

Lady Yu raised her eyebrows with a puzzled expression as she looked at him .

Wu Daoya thought in silence for a long time . He finally said, "The weather is getting colder and colder, you must take care of yourself . Don't do everything on your own, and you must do everything safely and carefully . " After saying that, he turned and left . Although the winds were howling loudly outside, she could still hear his footsteps fading away .

Moments passed and a loud neigh suddenly sounded . Lady Yu was still looking at the curtains of the tent as she whispered, "Same to you . "

Time flew and in the blink of an eye, seven years had passed . The imperial family of the Xia Empire had been nomadic in the past . 300 years ago, they were like the Quan Rong people, riding horses, galloping through the Hongchuan Plains, living their nomadic lifestyle in search of greener pastures . Under the leadership of Peiluo Zhenhuang, this tough clan stepped into the view of the eastern orthodox clans, promoting their culture, opening up their trade, and developing their farming techniques . After another hundred years of accumulating experience, the former alien regime had abolished its old ways, presenting itself in a different light, becoming solemn and respected . The Xia people turned it into a place with its own taste and heritage . They transformed the barren land that was buried under thick layers of snow . As compared to the cowardly Tang Empire and the flashy Song Empire, the Xia Empire showed the generosity and sobriety of a great nation .

At the same time, the imperial family of the Xia Empire still had the prairie's spirit within them . Although they had weak feelings for the land, they were brimming with enthusiasm when it came to power . They were tolerant of other races as they annexed multiple territories, causing their culture to be vibrant and colorful, merging all kinds of other cultures together . This became a unique sight on the mainland .

Sheng Jin palace occupied a massive plot of land . The various races within western Mongolia heavily influenced its architectural style . It possessed unique aspects of the Jiangnan region while it retained the relatively solemn and majestic aura of the northwest . The outer walls were sturdy and the red walls were tiled in gold . The platforms were made out of jet-black stone and its moat was incredibly deep . The palace was heavily guarded, causing the atmosphere to be tense within . In the middle of the palace, officials gathered to discuss national matters . The mahogany hall, golden gate building, and Xia Hua Sheng palace, were all grand and majestic . At the back of the palace was where the princes, princesses, and concubines lived . It was filled with beautiful trees and streams, pavilions and bridges . It was a beautiful and intricate landscape . The spring waters from the Ya Lang peak flowed into the palace grounds through a series of pipes as they reinvigorated the flower and fauna within the palace . All these allowed the palace to have picturesque scenery, earning it its nickname 'Little Southern Tang' .