Sha Po Lang

Chapter 113: Resistance

Running in your ancestors’ bodies is the bloodline of wolves. Are they all domesticated into dogs now? ____

The chief walked faster and faster. In the end, he almost trotted back to his tent. Even in the aftertaste of the burning of Ziliujin, the Northern Frontier was still cold. However, the chief’s forehead was breaking out in hot sweat, soaking his sleeves wet as he wiped it while running.

With a heavy heart, he waved back a female slave who was stepping up to serve him, motioned for her not to disturb him then walked into the tent with three layers of heavy curtains.

The chief carefully explored around, confirming that there were no unrelated people nearby, he then closed the doors one by one, sighed with relief, and walked into the room.

Just then, a sudden voice came out of the room: “How is it?”

The chief steward startled, shivering in his own home. His limbs twitched. He stood at the door with his mouth agape. In three and four intakes of breath, he felt that his heart was about to stop beating.

It wasn’t until a familiar aristocratic old woman showed half of her face from the dim room that he took in a hard breath, returned to his senses, waved his hands suspiciously and walked into the room with the old woman.

In the north, the days were short and the nights were long, it was difficult to bring light into the living quarters. However, the people in this room had covered all the windows and sat around a worn-out steam lamp in the dark. Some of the influential families in the Eighteen Tribes Alliance had sent their representatives, several seats away from them were two Great Liang’s people, one man and one woman.

Even though they were dressed in the style of the Eighteen Tribes, one could make out the identity of Great Liang people from their faces — the wild and bitter land of the north had engraved its mark on the people, even for aristocrats, one could still see the roughness of a difficult living condition.

These two people were Cao Chun Hua and Chen Qing Xu. They did not put much effort to cover up their identity. After crossing the border, they used several lines of connections left by Cao Chun Hua to contact some nobles of the Eighteen Tribes, claiming that they were the armistice envoy sent by the garrison of Northern Frontier, bribing and asking them to bring them to meet the Wolf King Jia Lai.

The two were very generous, continuously giving gifts, but the more generous they were, the more Cao Chun Hua knew that no one would introduce them. At present, in the eyes of these Barbarian aristocrats, they may have become two money trees. Once they were discovered by the madman Jia Lai, these money trees would be uprooted.

Both of them expressed their desire to see Jia Lai Ying Huo who wanted to find death. At the same time, they communicated with the Eighteen Tribes people whose minds were in disorder. With Cao Chun Hua’s three inch tongue of adapting to whoever he speaks with, within a month, these nobles had dared to sit together to discuss about the Wolf King in secret.

At the same time, Chen Qing Xu figured out the guard situation of the Wolf King’s tent after several night explorations. The time for the net to be hauled in was approaching.

Someone poured a bowl of horse milk wine for the chief who came in from the outside. The chief took it with his hands shaking and down it with one breath, finally feeling alive again.

He slumped on his back and said in a low voice, “Don’t mention it anymore. Even the Crown Prince has been beaten. The Wolf King is still determined to fight.”

Cao Chun Hua said innocently, “The imperial court has sent envoys to the south. Now that there is a truce there, it does not benefit us to engage in battle again. Did the chief not report this to the Wolf King?”

The chief truly had difficulties inside that could not be expressed, his whole body seemed to be leaking water. He raised his hand and wiped the sweat on his forehead. “Little brother, if I were to say that today, I’m afraid you all won’t be able to wait for me to return.”

The aristocrats of Eighteen Tribes were silent, Cao Chun Hua shook his head and said slowly, “Then there’s no other way, I’ll tell you the truth. Today, I want to gather together all the people concerned, because we got a letter from Marshal Gu recently. Marshal Gu accused us of not doing our job well, he said that if we don’t get results, he will send troops to attack. We have nothing to worry about, the worst that could happen is that we’ll be lectured and receive a two-month salary cut after we return, but I know for certain that you all are not willing to fight.”

The chief’s face wrinkled into a large bitter melon.

At this time, Chen Qing Xu said, “Let’s go. We already tried our best.”

Chen Qing Xu had an indisputable temperament. When she opened her mouth, she could always make a final decision. Hearing this, before Cao Chun Hua could react, the Northern Barbarian aristocrats had exploded. The old woman sitting at the first seat grabbed her sleeve in panic: “Wait!”

Chen Qing Xu gave her a cold look.

The wrinkles on the old woman’s face twisted a few times, turning into the look of a gentle witch, and said with a pleasing smile: “Miss, give us a few more days to think of something. My king is a bit headstrong, but for better or worse I’m still his elder. Let me try to talk to him, you don’t have to leave in a hurry.”

“Madame, it’s not that we are unreasonable,” Cao Chun Hua sighed. “We are also acting under orders and dare not make our own decisions.”

Chen Qing Xu pulled out her sleeve and said with a light look: “If the Wolf King is determined to fight this war to the end for his own personal revenge, it would probably be useless for Madam to say anything, but on the contrary, you will only lead the fire to burn yourself, I don’t think it’s necessary.”

This sentence pierced the heart of everyone present.

When several tribal leaders joined forces to revolt a while ago, they had brought up the intimate relationship between Jia Lai and the goddess as the topic of discussion. The goddess had been dead for more than twenty years. There was no evidence that there was any hidden relationship between her and Jia Lai. However, once the seeds of doubt were planted, how could they be easily removed?

Jia Lai Ying Huo always incited people to work for him using ‘blood feud’ and ‘outrageous humiliation’. But ‘forget the pain when the scar is healed’ was the basis of ordinary people. He might be able to incite the blood for a while, but when the material was unsustainable and even eating became a problem, could the ‘outrageous humiliation’ twenty years ago be more painful than the starving children?

If a person had been dead for so many years but still lingered around and haunted the tribes like a ghost, bringing about war and bloodshed, then was she a pure goddess of eternal life, or an evil demon who deceived the world?

Chen Qing Xu finished, ignoring the different expressions of the Northern Barbarian people, slightly nodded, and went out with Cao Chun Hua.

Seeing that they were determined not to be accommodating, the old Northern Barbarian woman suddenly made up her mind and knocked the cane in her hand on the ground: “From this moment, within two days, I beg you to give us two days. This old woman has lived for more than seventy years, I will use my age as guarantee. In two days, I will give you a clear answer!”

The old lady had a high rank in the tribes. Even the Wolf King had to refer to her as an aunt. When she opened her mouth, there was no objection. Only the bitter chief moved his lips and was glared back at by the old lady’s fierce white eyes.

Cao Chun Hua and Chen Qing Xu looked at each other. They frowned for a long time as if being put under a difficult position. Finally, they reluctantly said: “Then… well, since it’s the promise of Madame Hong Xia, we must also give it a try. We’ll wait for your good news. Goodbye.”

When the two outsiders left from the secret path through the back door, the room of the Northern Barbarian aristocrats finally exploded.

The chief wanted to cry and said to Madame Hong Xia, “Third Madame, did you not hear my words just now? The king is determined to fight this war, even the prince was beaten. Look at my head…right here… the king’s original saying is to dig for more if there’s no Ziliujin. If there’s not enough material, then make you people pay with your own pocket! “

Before Madame Hong Xia could speak, a middle-aged man was already bursting with anger: “How can he still be so immersed in this grand dream of his? Does he want to attack the Central Plains through the defense line of the Black Iron Camp or wait for the Western monkeys to give him food and drink? After twenty years of preparation, we gathered a hundred thousand warriors, countless fire engines and steel armor, stacks of dry food and dried meat, and joined forces with the East, West, North, and South to act at the same time, yet we still failed to step into the Central Plains! Now he’s still dreaming like this, what is he relying on? The street full of starving people? I don’t think that it would be enough for his stomach even if we scraped our marrow!”

His voice resembled a mountain song when herding sheep, echoing without any conceal. Several people around him immediately showed their fear and urged him to be cautious in his words.

The angry middle-aged man sat down and said with a sneer, “Third Madame, I don’t think you can keep your promise this time. Don’t say you have to rely on your old age, even if you cry out wanting to hang yourself, that madman Jia Lai won’t even pay any mind!”

Madame Hong Xia lifted her dry eyelids and knocked her crane down: “Shut up, useless! What’s the point of shouting in this room!”

The middle-aged man snorted indignantly.

Madame Hong Xia was motionless, there were veins showing on the back of her thin claw like hand like roots of an old three. Then, she slowly opened her mouth and said, “Last time, the Wolf King left a secret card to deal with several tribal leaders. Do you think he has a second card?”

There was silence in the room, all were frightened by the old woman’s audacity. It took a long time for the chief to tremble and say: “Third Madame,… the blood of the wolf banner had not yet dried.”

“To die in revolt or to die by being implicated, what’s the difference?” The old lady’s hoarse voice rang out in the silence, “Running in your ancestors’ bodies is the bloodline of wolves. Are they all domesticated into dogs now? Or would you rather watch your wife and children, old and young ones die of starvation and war just to prolong your life by a few months?”

She slowly raised her head and looked at the barbarian aristocrats with different minds. Seeing that some of them were awe inspiring, some were thoughtful, some were hesitant and trembling, she sneered and said, “I know that you are not all of one mind. Some of you may be thinking about leaving this room today and selling out this old woman to Jia Lai. Let me say something, cowards, if we succeed this time, it will also save your life. There is no harm to you. If we fail, we won’t involve you who are bystanders either. On the other hand, it’s the rats who wanted to secretly report this, do you think Jia Lai, that ominous killing star, will consider your goodwill, or will he think that you are too close to us old things who wanted to find death and are suspicious?”

The middle-aged man filled with rage just now jumped up and said, “You are right, Third Madame, I will follow you!”

In these years, the aristocrats of the Eighteen Tribes had been oppressed too much by Jia Lai Ying Huo. The aristocrats hated him, but were also afraid of his cruel and totalitarian policies. At this time, when a leader came out, many angry people immediately followed along.

Madame Hong Xia turned to the chief: “In this matter, even if we wreck our brains thinking, it would still be useless. We have to rely on the chief.”

The chief, in front of the eyes of everyone, sat stiffly as if wanting to evaporate for a moment, steaming the whole sunless room into a hazy vapor, and finally bit his teeth and smacked his thigh: “Third Madame give your orders!”

When the country was in danger, there must be bloody conflicts between the parties in power — no matter whether it was Great Liang or the Eighteen Tribes of Heavenly Wolf. Even the foreigners trapped in Jiangnan could not escape this situation of being forced to make changes, this process contains ten parts of danger, a hundred part of chances, taking the next step forward was prosperity, but one step backwards may be the extinction of the country.

At this time, a surging tide pervaded the Eighteen Tribes of the Northern Barbarians, not to mention the aristocrats of big surnames organized their own forces.

The next night, a swallow-like shadow shot up the watchtower of the Eighteen Tribes. It was originally funded by the foreigners, at first, the foreigners were also responsible for the maintenance here. But right now, as the Westerners did not even have enough to take care of themselves, most of the machines on the watchtower have failed, their only one function left were to be decorations.

The guard on the tower had been quietly put down. The man who jumped up to the watchtower showed his face in the moonlight. It was a quiet little family slave under the account of the chief. He quickly went all the way to the top of the tower, someone was waiting for him.

The ‘family slave’ stood up and wiped his face to reveal an ever-changing Cao Chun Hua.

Cao Chun Hua said, “It is done. The chief has put sedative in the medicine of Jia Lai.”

Chen Qing Xu: “Not poisoning him directly?”

“It won’t be so easy,” Cao Chun Hua said. “Jia Lai is an expert in poison. If we aren’t careful, it would alert him. As for sedative, he would also prepare some to drink occasionally, even if he detected it, it would not be suspicious. There are family members of all noble names in the guards of the king’s tent. These people have already been given orders. They intend to work in the night without being aware of and try not to disturb Jia Lai Ying Huo as much as possible, so that he can die in his tent quietly and push the Crown Prince to succeed in the morning. Once it’s confirmed that Jia Lai had taken the medicine, the chief will make the sound of the night owl as a signal. We’ll just have to wait. Did you inform Marshal’s side yet?”

Chen Qing Xu’s little silver ball flashed in between her fingers — it was the signal bullet Shen Yi had given her. This little thing had been hidden in her sleeve. Right now, as she had to take it out to use, she suddenly felt reluctant.

Cao Chun Hua was not aware of many of these thoughts, he said with emotion: “A hero of the generation, but all the people under him wanted to rebel against him, they did not even want to hear his last words, how could that be.”

“They are too afraid of him,” Chen Qing Xu stood on the watchtower and looked at the direction of the king’s tent through the Qian Li Yan on the bridge of her nose. “I haven’t asked you, how did you manage to make Madame Hong Xia stand up as the leader?”

“Madame Hong Xia’s son died in the battlefield,” Cao Chun Hua said casually, tucking his hair behind his ear, “Leaving her only one grandson, who is nearly sixteen years old. Jia Lai is extremely vicious. He regulated that all the boys over the age of sixteen in the noble family must join the army.

“I saw her son several times when I sneaked into the Barbarians tribes. The other night, I made a mask and visited his mother for him in his place… Perhaps it was not very similar, but in the dark and dim light, combined with her poor eyesight, it had succeeded.

“Me and her had hugged each other and cried, saying that I could not bear to let the young child walk the same path as his father’s. You see, the swelling around my eyes had not dissipated yet, I had to hide it for two days. Miss Chen, do you have any special medicine for swelling?”

Chen Qing Xu: “…”

Cao Chun Hua, shaking his head, said to the moon, “How much tears did I have to shed while I wore the face of someone else’s, this is really…”

Chen Qing Xu interrupted him: “Shh — did you hear it?”

In the bleak night, the shrill cry of the owl suddenly sounded — the chief had made his move!

Chen Qing Xu pushed open the window of the watchtower, and a nearly invisible silk thread came out of her fingertips. It fell down from the tower, just enough for her tiptoes to take advantage of the force.

Cao Chun Hua took out a small pot of Ziliujin from his arm, poured it from a high place to the watchtower, creating a false image of oil leakage from the tower body, then quickly ignited it. The fierce fire light was like a dragon winding down. For a moment, it reflected the watchtower as bright as day.

Chen Qing Xu took advantage of the fire in the watchtower to toss the signal bullet in her hand into the air. The signal bomb split into two parts and released a flash of white light like lightning. The white light was very special, it was not dazzling if being seen nearby and was easily covered by the fire of Ziliujin, its strong penetrative light could only be recognized from a distance.

Shen Yi, who had been in ambush for a long time, saw it in the Qian Li Yan and jumped up: “Marshal, they had acted!”

Gu Yun made a long whistle. The Black Eagles, like a bat in the night, quickly swept across the ground. Only the sound could be heard and the figures could not be seen.

Shen Yi could not wait anymore and rushed out. But he seemed to remember something and turned back to say to Gu Yun, “Zi Xi, you just came back from Jiangnan yesterday. You have not rested yet. Can you still do it?”

Gu Yun was stunned, then said with a laugh, “My God, how are you so concerned about others? Don’t worry about me, go watch over Miss Chen. To be able to witness that Jia Lai at the end of his road is better than any panacea.”

There was also the witchcraft hidden by that old lunatic. Gu Yun dared not talk about it, nor look forward to it. But he still wanted to come and have a look by himself.

What if…

“If the Bone of Impurity actually had a cure,” Gu Yun thought with determination, “I’ll go to Hu Guo Temple to light those bald donkeys an incense.”

Chen Qing Xu’s mobility was unparalleled, immediately disappearing after landing. The rebels of the Eighteen Tribes wanted to make Jia Lai Ying Huo die without a sound, but she did not wish for him to die without his last word – or else who could they ask about the secret witchcraft?

Cao Chun Hua had to work hard to keep up with her. Halfway there, he suddenly heard the screech of a Baihong bowstring.

Cao Chun Hua looked up and saw the fire rising in the south. He knew that the Black Iron Camp had arrived, it won’t be long before they directly broke into the Northern Barbarian’s defense line. But as he was distracted just for a moment, Chen Qing Xu’s figure was gone.

The guards of the Wolf King’s tent seemed ordinary to Chen Qing Xu. That night, a small half of them were also away to plot their scheme. She was able to get in easily, landing behind the Wolf King’s flag, she first let a group of soldiers with swords and spears run towards the main tent, then gently stepped down and tailed them without anyone knowing.

The rebels advanced to the main tent without caution, but Chen Qing Xu noticed something was wrong on the way — she knew that there would be less guards in the Wolf King’s tent that night, but there was no reason for it to be so lacking.

Chen Qing Xu’s heart tightened, the small knife slipped into her hand.

At this time, the rebels have arrived at the main tent of Jia Lai.

Suddenly, there was a light sound in the air. The well-ventilated main tent suddenly opened four doors. Countless bows and arrows and short guns were exposed from the windows. Meanwhile, the ambush bodyguards and hundreds of Barbarian soldiers came from behind and circled the defenseless rebels in the middle.

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