Chapter 46 – Escape!
Everyone in Guo Dian camp woke up and were in an chaotic uproar . The soldiers ran around in confusion while their captains tried to maintain order .
These people were just newly recruited militias without training and discipline . They hadn't had any education or experienced the bloody battlefield yet . Some of them were drafted into military by force so they took this chance to desert the troops .
Tong pretended to be one of the confused soldier to get closer to Sima Xin, who was also observing the surrounding situation and tried to figure out what was going on .
Without making a single sound, Tong sneaked behind Sima Xin and covered his mouth, after which he used another hand with a knife to slit his throat .
However, Sima Xin grabbed Tong's wrist and stopped the knife . He bent his waist and shoulder forward . As the consequences, Tong lost balance and was threw forward .
Tong flipped his body in mid-air and regained his balance, only to see a knife coming for his neck .
Tong smirked and ignored the knife, and chanted his magic word in his mind .
'Time Stop . '
The world lost color and the flow of time stopped . For the next 10 seconds, Tong was the only one who could move in this world of silence .
Tong stepped forward and used his knife to penetrate Sima Xin's neck, cutting his vocal cord and neck arteries .
Afterwards, Tong used to remaining seconds to loot his body and search for the sniper rifle that he had used to shoot Tong half a year ago . When Tong found Sima Xin's M16A4, he was delighted . A free rifle from the 21st century was always welcomed .
Tong pick up Sima Xin's rifle and bullets, then he carried Sima Xin corpse back as he didn't want anybody to find out that he was dead .
At first, Tong wanted to put the corpse in his space inventory . Alas, the inventory was full .
Tong frowned and facepalmed himself . He had stored too many necessary, yet unnecessary stuff in there .
- 232,000 gold
- 2,000 iron chest armor
- 5,000 swords
- 5,000 spears
- 2,000 pikes
- 131,509 tons of potatoes
- 1,998 tons sugar
- 2,446 Barrels of cold beer
- 270 tons of grains
- 9,000 pots of cold wine
Tong had looted the grains and wine pots from Guo Dian's 10 supply depots around the camp, so the inventory spaces were filled up .
He had no choice but to holster the rifle and his bullet boxes on the front while piggyback Sima Xin corpse on his back .
Tong didn't want to declare himself as an enemy of the Sima Clan just yet . He wanted to erase the trace that linked between him and Sim Xin, so Tong could have a chance to befriend with Sima Yi and his family in the future .
If Sima Xin were to disappear in the middle of the chaos without leaving a trace behind, then his friends would spread words that he deserted the army . A run-away child who deserted an army would be nothing but a disgraceful child who ruined the family reputation .
Thus, his disappearance should not cause a grudge between Tong and the Sima Clan .
Tong continued to carry the corpse on his back while moving from a shade of a tent to one another .
On the way, there were many soldiers who spotted Tong and Sima Xin, but they didn't pay attention to them and ran toward the burning tents to extinguish the fire .
After 10 minutes, Tong managed to reach the southeastern fence of the camp . Tong saw the green dots in the map flashing in front of him . It was Hua Shi and his men whom Tong had ordered to stand by and cover him when he was escaping from the camp .
Tong climbed over the fences and leaped over the moat . Then a shout was heard from behind .
"There are deserters!"
Tong shuddered . He was noticed during the crucial time .
Another patrol group rushed in and shouted .
"Get back here if you don't want to die!"
Tong ignored the commotion behind him and dashed forward without looking back .
"He's deserting . He might be a spy! Shoot the arrows!! Everybody else chase them down!"
The patrol captain shouted and the group pull out their bows and crossbows to aim at Tong's back .
*WHOOSH* *WHOOSH* *WHOOSH*
A volley of several dozen arrows flew in the dark sky and dropped down on Tong and Sima Xin's body .
*PEOK* *PEOK* *PEOK*
Because Tong was piggybacking Sima Xin, the corpse was hit by the arrows, making it looked like the back of a porcupine .
Tong was grazed by a few arrows and blood seeped out from his legs and arms .
Realizing that there were arrows continued coming at him from the back, Tong changed the pattern of his running from running in straight line into a serpentine running or juking to the side randomly .
Hua Shi who was observing the situation far away saw that Tong was escaping with pursuers behind his back . She loaded her arrow into her compound bow and drew an arc, aiming at an archer .
The distance was over 200 meters away which she didn't had any confident in it, but she decided to shoot it anyway .
Her arrow flew up, made an arc, and stabbed the arrow head into another archer behind Hua Shi's target .
The archer screamed in pain and shocked . An arrow came out of nowhere and pierced his chest .
Hua Shi had an awkward smile on her face . She missed the target, yet the arrow still hit someone . She continued to draw her bow and fire more arrows, one after another .
The 200 horsemen that came back and had been on alert reloaded their repeated crossbow . All of them raised their bow upward and fired several volleys at once .
*WHOOSH* *WHOOSH* *WHOOSH*
Tong raised his head up the moment he heard the sounds of multiple bowstrings . Multiple volleys of night arrows flew overhead of Tong and landed on the pursuers behind him .
Death throes and screams could be heard from behind . Tong ignored the commotions and rushed forward to the group in front of him .
"Get the horses, prepare to leave . " Hua Shi ordered the men .
Tong reached the group and threw Sima Xin corpse on the back of one his men . Then he mounted his horse and leaded the group to withdraw .
The raid was successful tonight .
October 23rd . Morning .
Guo Dian tallied the damages that the raiders caused last night . After he heard the report, his face distorted .
Five hundred men had died from the raid and eight hundred men had deserted from the chaos . A portion of provision was either burned or looted by the raiders .
Before they had marched here, they brought 550 tons of grain to supply his 9,000 soldiers for 120 days, but 300 tons were lost . Guo Dian suspected that the deserters probably took this chance to steal the supplies from the depots because there weren't any signs of fighting nearby the looted granaries .
Unlike Tong who extravagantly spent one kilogram of food for one soldier per day, Guo Dian distributed his grain to each of his soldiers only half-a-kilo a day to save cost .
With 7,700 soldiers remaining and 250 tons of grain, they could still supply his troops for another 64-65 days which cut his army supplies by half . Furthermore, his army was chipped by 1,300 men without fighting the real battle yet . This entire mess depressed Guo Dian .
Another news that Guo Dian paid attention to, Sima Fang's son also disappeared last night . Several subordinates and colleagues of Sima Xin had reported that Sima Xin had probably deserted the army during the chaos because none of them found his dead body .
Guo Dian clicked his tongue when he heard the news .
'I knew it! Those silver-spoon young masters from the nobles can't be trusted . '
'The moment they saw blood, they ran away like a chicken . '
Guo Dian planned to write a letter to Sima Fang later to complain about Sima Xin . But he continued reading the reports .
He tried to find the report about the casualties of the raiders but no one had seen any dead body of the invaders, which was strange .
Guo Dian also noticed the report, saying that there were two stragglers from the raiders that were left behind, but they managed to escape . There was a patrol group that chased them but were killed by the arrows .
'A group of elite horsemen?'
'They didn't want to leave a trace of their allies?'
'Even one of them was already dead but they still took his body back . '
'… Is there someone that didn't want us to know that they were involve in this?'
Guo Dian stopped what he was doing and tried to solve the mysterious puzzle of the horsemen existence from the pieces of information .
'No one can train this kind of disciplined cavalry this fast . '
'So they shouldn't be from the Zhang family . '
'There were news that a guard unit came back from Nan Pi with Zhang Jiao's caravan . '
Guo Dian's eyes lit up . He had a theory in his mind .
'The Yuan family!!'
'I've heard they have elite cavalry legions and two elite generals . '
'Yan Liang and Wen Chou!!'
'It must be one of them! They were the Yuan family elite cavalries . '
Guo Dian gritted his teeth . He immediately wrote letters to Liu Yan, Han Fu and the Imperial House in Luo Yang . He requested more reinforcements for the next battle .
The Yuan family had joined forces with the bandits!
Meanwhile, Tong, Hua Shi and his men were resting in the woods without realizing that they had caused a misunderstanding . The scale of this conflict continued to escalate .