Yi Chongren personally led fifty thousand elite soldiers from the imperial guards and Hu An guards to exterminate the Tian Shen Sect. This news caused an uproar in the court. Shouldn’t Yi Chongren have been the first person killed to cleanse the court? How could he lead troops into battle? Although the target of this deployment was the Tian Shen Sect, which they still didn’t really care about, this move was too incomprehensible and shocking.
However, no matter whether they believed it or not, on November 27, Yi Chongren led his vast fifty thousand horse strong army out of the capital. The leader’s face was covered with a layer of demonic makeup, blood red eyeliner, deep purple lips, a pale white face. No one would be able to misidentify him.
Amidst the crowd of onlookers, a man and woman, each wearing a red warm hat and leading a horse, watched the army leave. Once the last soldier passed through the city gates, the crowd of common people who had gathered at the two sides of the road gradually scattered. Those two people mounted their horses and rushed towards the city gates.
They left the capital very smoothly, and the woman asked: “Your excellency, are you really going?”
“En.” The man’s eyes shone coldly under the brim of the hat. His countenance was exceptionally handsome, but carried an unhealthy paleness. He reined his horse and said to the woman: “I’ve already sent a letter to Huaiqiu to let him pick you up. I’ll send you to Clam Mountain City. Wait for Huaiqiu there.”
The woman’s face was covered in powder but it did little to hide her beauty. She worriedly said: “It’s too dangerous for you to go by yourself, why don’t you let Huaiqiu go with you.”
“No. It’s more convenient for me to go alone, less easy to be exposed. Go.”
Not wasting any more time, the man swung his horse whip. The woman pursed her lips and swung her whip to catch up. Looking back at the capital that was gradually appearing farther and farther away, the emotions in the woman’s eyes were complicated, but showed more of the freedom of leaving a cage.
After Huo Feng and Huang Han’s troops met, they encountered the vanguard of the Kun army, and the subsequent battle was extremely intense. However, Kun’s troops had rushed over a long distance without resting, so naturally they suffered a loss. However, Huo Feng’s side also didn’t gain many benefits. Kun’s troops had now retreated back to Baqiu City to wait for reinforcements, so Huo Feng ordered an attack. After three tries, facing the corpses of soldiers, he had to issue another order, besiege the city.
Facing a stalemate, Huo Feng didn’t sleep for three days straight; He spent his time planning with Huang Han, Tang Nian, and others on how to win this battle, and how to break into Baqiu City. Once Kun’s reinforcements or the court’s reinforcements arrived, they would have to play defensively. As Huang Han and Tang Nian analyzed, Huo Feng rubbed the space between his eyebrows, not partaking, only listening to his subordinates’ discussion. He couldn’t think of any plans now either.
“Your highness! Your highness! Major news! Major news!”
A man burst in from outside, looking agitated and in a bit of disbelief. Huo Feng knit his brows: “What makes you so flustered? Is there movement in the city?” The man who just entered was called Jidi and was Ruan Xingtian’s cousin. The man had a jumpy personality and exceptional medical skills. Ruan Xingtian was worried about his highness, so he sent Jidi over to take care of his highness. Jidi was good at making friends and had the nickname “inquiry” among Huo Feng’s army. At this time, Jidi’s inquiry was also quite useful to Huo Feng.
Jidi’s eyes were bloodshot and he couldn’t stop panting, directly yelling with a trembling voice: “The emperor is dead!”
Everyone was stunned, and Huo Feng subconsciously asked: “How did he die!”
Jidi swallowed and spoke as quick as beans falling through a bamboo tube: “It’s said that Zhang Zhong planned a rebellion and killed his majesty. Zhang Zhong was caught by Noble Consort Ru and was killed on the spot. Before Zhang Zhong killed his majesty, he said that Sun Jiyu and your highness were secretly plotting together to rebel, so his majesty ordered Yi Chongren to kill Sun Jiyu. Now the crown prince has ascended to the throne and Yi Chongren has become Dugong of the Hu An guards and Sishi of the Imperial guards. However half a month ago, Yi Chongren left the capital and took fifty thousand men from the Hu An guards and imperial guards to suppress the ‘Tian Shen Sect’.”
Huang Han’s neck rattled, and he turned towards his highness with a dumbfounded look on his face. His majesty was dead? Zhang Zhong and Sun Jiyu were both dead? Thinking of how Yi Chongren now had both guards in his hands and how he had taken the troops to suppress the “Tian Shen Sect”, Huang Han’s heart suddenly started beating very fast.
“Haha, hahaha, Zhang Zhong and Sun Jiyu are dead, hahahaha……” Jidi raised his head and laughed loudly. The deaths of these two people really satisfied everyone. Tang Nian noticed the peculiar air around his highness and Huang Han, so he secretly tugged Jidi a bit. Jidi stopped laughing, and seeing his highness’s dim expression, he felt a shiver down his spine. Although he did not understand why his highness appeared to not be happy, Jidi didn’t dare to ask why and instead retreated two steps: “I’ll go ask around again.” He turned and ran off.
“I’ll also go ask around.” Tang Nian also ran off. Three other men that were in the room also ran off, leaving only Huang Han. His highness had a very terrifying expression. Could it be that his highness wasn’t happy? Everyone was wild with joy. Ah, the emperor was also dead. The emperor was still his highness’s brother after all, so it should be expected that his highness wouldn’t be very happy. Aiya aiya, don’t think too much, let’s just leave his highness alone for now. Though Zhang Zhong and Sun Jiyu were both dead, the emperor was also dead, hahaha, this could count as the heaven’s helping them.
Soon this news spread all across the camp, and everyone who heard it clapped and cheered. However, in Prince Yue’s military tent, the atmosphere was very different. Huang Han cautiously shouted: “Your highness?” For some reason, Huang Han connected this incident to Yi Chongren. How could things be this coincidental? The emperor, Zhang Zhong, and Sun Jiyu were all dead?
Suddenly, Huo Feng punched the table and strode off in raging anger without saying a word. Huang Han was taken aback, and after thinking for a bit, he chased after him.
—— “You are a coward.”
——- “……Who knew the great Prince Yue with seven hundred thousand troops in his hand could be bullied to such an extent by an accursed castrated dog. If you aren’t a coward, what are you?”
—— “I’ve always looked down on you, now even more so.”
Huo Feng did not feel a bit of joy in his heart, instead, only strong anger. Storming to a place with no people, he started punching and kicking a tree unrulily. Huang Han who had followed him hurriedly went over and grabbed him.
“Your highness! Why are you so angry? His majesty was not kind to you, so why must you be concerned about him?”
Huo Feng pulled his arm away and turned towards Huang Han. Huang Han subconsciously stepped back, but continued to advise: “Your highness, whether it’s in my heart, or Xiangtian, Baicai, and the others’, you are the true son of heaven. This subordinate is not afraid of angering you. Once we capture the capital, this subordinate would definitely kill the emperor. The emperor died at Zhang Zhong’s hands. This subordinate thinks this is for the best. At least once your highness enters the capital, you won’t have to worry about how to deal with the emperor.”
“Did I say I was angry about the emperor’s death?” Huo Feng coldly retorted.
Huang Han was puzzled: “Then why is your highness so angry? Zhang Zhong and Sun Jiyu deserved to die. Shouldn’t their deaths be a reason for celebration?”
Huo Feng gritted his teeth: “I should be happy? I am Prince Yue, a prince with seven hundred thousand men under my control, but what was the result? I couldn’t even protect myself, not to mention my wives and children. I can’t even personally deal with all these people who deserve death. Do you think I should be happy?”
Huang Han became even more confused: “Why must your highness be concerned about who killed them? The two consorts’ deaths were not the fault of your highness. Your highness was always loyal to his majesty, so no one expected that his majesty would dare to treat you so mercilessly. As for the two young masters, aren’t they both safe now? Or are you worried that Yi Chongren won’t treat them well?”
“I don’t want to owe him any more favors!” Huo Feng shouted at once.
Huang Han was stunned at first, and then stupefied: “Your highness?”
Huo Feng’s hands tightened into fists, and his chest heaved violently: “Could it be that you still don’t see it?” Huo Feng’s voice lowered a few tones, so only Huang Han could hear what he was saying.
“The emperor died, Zhang Zhong died, Sun Jiu died, and the crown prince is still a child. Even if some powerful ministers remain, the court can’t do anything against us. This is tantamount to eliminating the threats in the court for us. Yi Chongren has taken control of the Hu An guards and imperial guards, how could things be this coincidental? Do you still not understand? Think about it, he has led the troops to eradicate the ‘Tian Shen Sect’, but why would he want to eradicate the ‘Tian Shen Sect’? Fifty thousand soldiers. The Hu An guards and imperial guards only add up to about a hundred thousand men. He has taken away half of their men at once. If he said he was doing this for the newly ascended emperor, would you believe it?”
Huang Han’s eyes widened.
“Could it, could it be, Yi Chongren?”
“Other than him, who could handle things so thoroughly?” Huo Feng turned around, punched the tree with hatred again, and said with his back facing Huang Han: “He isn’t wrong. I’m just a coward, a fool. So what if I control seven hundred thousand troops? There’s someone I hate to help me with everything. He saved me, saved my bloodline, eliminated the threats in the court for me, and is now heading to eradicate the ‘Tian Shen Sect’. Huang Han, do you think I should be happy?”
“Your, your highness……” Huang Han didn’t know what to say. He was surprised to the point that he felt his soul leaving his body. This was even more surprising than when he found out Yi Chongren saved his highness. Yi Chongren would actually kill the emperor, Zhang Zhong, and Sun Jiyu! This person is too powerful!
Huo Feng’s fists tightly pressed against the tree trunk. Huang Han opened his mouth trying to think of some words to console him before closing his mouth again. He was dizzy, couldn’t even believe it himself, couldn’t accept this matter, so how could he comfort his highness? His highness had repeatedly “fallen into” Yi Chongren’s hands, so no one could blame him for being angry. However, Huang Han still didn’t completely understand. Wasn’t it a good thing that someone was willing to eliminate his highness’s enemies for him? It didn’t matter if it was a eunuch or a demon.
Huo Feng’s heavy breathing gradually stabilized, he released his fists and ordered: “Siege the city!”
Prince Yue captured Baqiu City and wiped out Kun’s 100,000 soldiers. This news, like the news of the emperor’s assassination, quickly circulated all around Southern Chu. Prince Yue didn’t leave Kun’s army any mercy, but ordered his soldiers not to bully the common people. Those who disobeyed military orders would be killed on the spot. Huo Feng’s army was subject to strict military discipline. Not only did they not receive any public grievances, but they also earned the love and respect of the common people. After capturing Baqiu City, the morale of Huo Feng’s army increased greatly. Huo Feng issued an order that their army would continue onwards in three days to take the next city.
In the south, the Hu An guards and imperial guard’s fifty thousand elite soldiers met the main forces of the “Tian Shen Sect” outside Yunyang City. The Tian Shen Sect was not having a good time lately. Although their numbers had been continuously increasing, the Tian Shen Sect were rumored to have robbed people on the streets, stole money, killed for money, etc. without end. The common people, who had initially respected the Tian Shen Sect, now changed their opinions on the Tian Shen Sect. Some decided to leave the sect, some secretly stole from the sect, and in some places, the common people were universally against the sect. Now that the Hu An guards and imperial guards had directly sent troops, the Tian Shen sect could be considered to be suffering enemy attacks from the front and behind.
There were already two hundred thousand people in the Tian Shen sect, so Sima Xian, the heavenly messenger, couldn’t possibly take care of every person. The elders in the Tian Shen Sect were also very chagrined. They had already found that the Tian Shen Sect did not commit all the deeds they were accused of, but they lacked the evidence to prove their innocence. Sima Xian didn’t know how many times he had pointed at the heavens in anger. Don’t let him find out who was secretly slandering them.
Most of the Tian Shen Sect consisted of common people who could barely survive after being oppressed by the government and local despots. Once these people met with the elite soldiers of the Hu An guards and imperial guards who killed and caught people for food, they naturally admitted utter defeat. After suffering a few losses, Sima Xian led the Tian Shen Sect to fight against the two groups of guards. Both sides suffered heavy losses on the fierce battlefield. However, unexpectedly, Sima Xian, who had been hidden in the back giving orders, had been stabbed through the chest by a person who came from who knows where. The masters beside Sima Xian jointly acted and heavily wounded the opponent, but the other party was still able to escape. Sima Xian was assassinated and the Tian Shen Sect was immediately defeated. Not long after, news of Sima Xian’s assassinated spread, and Sima Xian’s son became the Tian Shen Sect’s new heavenly envoy.
Once Huo Feng heard this news from Jidi, he wasn’t enraged, and instead yelled in surprise: “That assassin was injured?!”
“It seems so. It’s said that he was heavily injured by one of the masters by Sima Xian’s side, but he was able to escape.” Jidi patted his chest, “No one knows where this hero who was able to kill his way to Sima Xian by himself came from. He was able to pierce straight through the heart of Sima Xian right under the noses of so many masters. I heard that there were many masters by Sima Xian’s side. Wow, this person’s martial arts must be incredible. Hopefully this hero is ok.”
Huo Feng said a bit anxiously: “I don’t care what methods you have to use. Investigate where that assassin was injured!”
“Ah?” Jidi was stunned.
“Hurry up!” Huo Feng raised his sword brows and Jidi lowered his head to run out: “Yes!”
“Your highness……” Huang Han couldn’t help but worry a bit. It couldn’t be Yi Chongren again. He waved his hand, and Tang Nian and the others retreated with confusion. Could it be that his highness sent someone to do this? But why was his highness so worried about that assassin? Tang Nian gasped. As expected of his highness, naturally, his power is deep and unfathomable!
Huo Feng’s brows knit together and he said with a hoarse voice: “Jidi said that Sima Xian was killed by a sword through the heart. ‘He’ uses a sword.”
Huang Han was puzzled: “Why would he assassinate Sima Xian?” After asking, he shuddered and realized he asked a stupid question. Huo Feng’s heart was in a state of chaos, and he felt a difficult to control panic. His instincts told him that the name of this assassin was Yi Chongren. Yi Chongren was injured, heavily injured. Thinking of how Yi Chongren had last been injured right in front of him and how now he was “heavily” injured, Huo Feng was unable to sit or stand still, he felt a difficult to describe restlessness.
“Huang Han, go inquire, be sure to find out how heavy the assassin’s injuries are.”
Knowing that his highness was in an unstable state of mind now that he knew Yi Chongren was involved, Huang Han didn’t say anything and immediately left. Huo Feng rubbed the center of his brows and muttered to himself in a low voice: “Yi Chongren, you can’t die. Before I punish you for your crimes, you must live!”
 暖帽, It’s those round, red stringy looking hats from the Qing dynasty.
(t/n: We have an editor now!)