Wuxiaworld > Carefree Path of Dreams > Chapter 298: The Pacification

Chapter 298: The Pacification

Chapter 298: The Pacification

Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
"Kill them all!"

The soldiers assumed their positions in groups of 5 and complemented each other. Furthermore, with their leather armour for protection, they were able to cut through the defence easily.

A large group of pirates were immediately killed, their fresh blood staining the floorboards. Some of them panicked and jumped into the water to escape.

When the second ship fell into the hands of the soldiers, a leader of the pirates immediately shouted. "Things are not looking good! Let's go...retreat and fortify the stockade village!"

He had a well-built figure with a booming voice and his skills were not too shoddy. With a swing of his sword, he sliced through a soldier's leather armour, causing the soldier to scream as his arm was severed.

"The two of you, kill him!"

Upon witnessing the scene, Xu Ting ordered his two bodyguards behind him without a moment of hesitation.

"Understood!"

The bodyguards replied before rushing forward, their faces bearing cruel smiles as they swung the Hundred Refined Goose Plume Swords. "Die!"

"Crack!"

The leader of the pirates raised his sword to parry. The two swords clashed and sparks flew.

A wave of power surged forth which caused him to retreat as his arms turned numb. He felt as though his sword was going to fly out from his hand and his expression changed. "This is... an elite troop!"

He could not comprehend the situation. These bodyguards, who could easily take on 10 people at once, were assigned only to generals. Why would they appear in this area to defeat a few pirates?

However, he could think no further.

The two bodyguards were well coordinated. One of them met the leader head-on while the other advanced slowly as he waited for the opportunity to strike. With a sudden lunge and a flash of steel, the other bodyguard buried his sword into the waist of the leader which caused fresh blood to gush out from the waist of the leader.

With a cold laugh, the bodyguard severed the head of the leader with a stroke of his sword.

"This is a military warfare. Only a fool will play by your rules!"

In a military warfare, everything was fair play as long as the objective was met. So what if there was a small loss of reputation by using a sneak attack to kill the enemy?

It would truly be a joke if they were to talk about rules of the brave and the chivalrous with honour!

"It is almost done!"

When he saw the last will to rebel crushed, Xu Ting revealed a smile and nodded his head.

"Listen well, your leader is dead! Why are you all not surrendering?"

A bodyguard raised the severed head of the leader and hollered, "If you all still go against the soldiers of the imperial court, your whole family will be executed!"

"Sir, please spare our lives, we are willing to surrender!"

It was natural for the soldiers to capture the bandits. With the leaders gone, the remaining pirates did not have much will to fight. They threw down their weapons and knelt down to surrender.

"Good! Prepare the ship, rope in the captives and account for the weapons and the injured..."

As he looked at the archers slowly killing off the pirates who jumped into the water to escape and a large group of pirates being held captive, Xu Ting gave the orders as his heart was filled with joy.

Not long after, the results were back.

"My lord, this time, we have killed 37 people and captured 50 people. The military power of the Heiguan Island has been wiped out..."

A sergeant reported, his face full of joy.

"My lord, I have located the stockade village. Those pirates that escaped previously have gathered within the village. It looks like they are trying to defend there..."

The Daoist priest came forward and spoke.

There was no real solution. Afterall, no troops would stay for long for just for a small stockade village. Once there were no real benefits left, the troops would withdraw.

"Oh!"

Xu Ting did not speak for a while. Instead, he stood on the floorboard and looked at the lake water that was stained red. There was a corpse floating in it with an arrow lodged in the body. He asked, "How many of our men were wounded or killed?"

"3 people were killed while 5 people were heavily wounded. There were others who had sustain light injuries. They would not affect the operation as they would be able to join in after they are patched up!"

As he was the son of an official, the troops were highly skilled and there was an experienced doctor who saved the lives once at the battle ground, the troops were in high morale.

"They have already discovered us. Do we attack?"

No matter how short and poorly constructed the walls and the ditches were, the offensive side would suffer great loss should they attack the fortified area.

"Why bother, this battle is already over!"

Xu Ting tied up the pirates and laughed.

After a simple interrogation and multiple reports, they discovered that there were around 600 to 700 people left in the village, with most of them being the elderly, women or young children. The leader, Lu Jia was there as well.

Furthermore, the leader of the pirates who was previously beheaded was the second-in-command of Heiguan Island. He was naturally courageous. Of course, he was reduced to a severed head as a token of his bravery.

After hearing the reports, Xu Ting ordered the troops to reorganize and rest. He left around 20 people to guard the pier while he brought the remaining troops and captives before the stockade village.

At that moment, the village was in an uproar. Women and the elderlies could be seen standing atop the wall with worried looks upon their faces.

Afterall, Xu Ting's troops were from the army and as such, represented a sense of righteousness.

Furthermore, they have previously defeated the pirates and killed off many of them.

"Lu Jia is indeed a talent!"

Xu Ting came forward and took a look at the village. The walls were not very high. They were slightly over 3 metres and were dilapidated. Before the village, there was a ditch. Although it was freshly dug and unfinished, it was sufficient to serve its purpose.

With these, if the troops were to assault the village, they would have to pay a certain price.

"It's a shame...he had lost his opportunity!"

If the elite of the pirates were still guarding the village, a hundred ordinary imperial soldiers would not be able to occupy the village.

Even if Xu Ting were to order his bodyguards to spearhead the assault, the losses would still be great. Once there were discontent amongst the ranks, he would have to massacre the entire village to pacify the soldiers. By then, he would not be able to conscript the pirates.

However, the family members of these villagers were in his hands. As such, he had a trump card which gave him an advantage.

"Sir, do we attack?"

His assistant came forward and asked as he witness the last remaining military power of the valiant pirates that came to the wall. There were only slightly more than a dozen pirates left.

The officer's 5 bodyguards were highly skilled and were able to kill off the leader quickly. By doing so, the stand-off would come to an end.

"Why bother risking our troops?"

Xu Ting waved his hand. "Bring out the captives! Advise the village to surrender. Tell them...if they do not surrender, I will use the captives to fill the ditches!"

"Sss..."

The officer pondered awhile before he let out his breath. He felt a chill in his heart before he praised Xu Ting. "You are indeed wise. The pirates will have no choice but to surrender!"

It was simply human nature. How many would act against their loved ones?

Even Lu Jia could not afford to make this mistake as it would incur the fury of the masses! Truth be told, his fate was sealed when the pier was attacked and the route of escape was cut off.

This was a calculated victory!

The officer might not be old, but he was well-versed in the arts of war. As such, he was an asset to Xu Ting.

The assistant pondered silently as he came up with a certain idea.

...

After the demand was made, there was more disturbance within the stockade. Shortly after, the door creaked open, revealing a dozen people carrying chaste berries. Upon seeing Xu Ting, they immediately knelt down. "Greetings!"

"Hmmmm, get up!"

Xu Ting looked at the leader of the pirates of Heiguan Island.

He was only around 30 years old. However, he looked weather-beaten and his hair had started to turn white.

Xu Ting knew that the person before him was unwilling, but what else could Liu Jia do? He could not afford to offend the villagers and be labelled as a betrayer. As such, there was nothing he could do but to surrender.

Of course, saving his own skin was most crucial!

Afterall, based on how the imperial courts handled the pirates in the past, there was faith that only the leader of the pirates would be executed while the other pirates were relocated.

The hair on Lu Jia's back stood up as he rose uneasily and looked towards the surrounding fierce soldiers.

"You gathered a group of pirates and broke the law. You even looted a district town and robbed a large family. Your crime is unpardonable...."

Xu Ting carried on. His light tone caused Lu Jia's legs to tremble as he knelt down once more. "My lord, please spare my life! Please spare my life! I am only trying to make a living...food on the island is scarce and many had died of hunger..."

"Thud Thud!"

Not long after, Lu Jia's forehead was red with blood.

Xu Ting was satisfied upon witnessing this scene. "...however, I empathise with you. As such, I am willing to remove your records if you enlist in my army and eradicate the other pirates!"

Lu Jia was very capable and was of use to Xu Ting. However, he required more training to correct his boorish character.

As for how to make use of Lu Jia, Xu Ting had already made up his mind.

"Thank you my lord! Thank you!"

Even though the person standing in front of him was just a youth, Lu Jia still repeatedly thank him.

"Hmmm, Guo Kuixing, bring along 50 people to inspect the stockade and sort out the register..."

Although Xu Ting knew that there would not be much resistance, he could not set his mind at ease and as such, ordered his subordinates to enter the village with the captives.

He only managed to smile after all the families were brought out and the stocks accounted for.

He ordered the soldiers to start cooking in a huge pot, putting in wild herbs, sausages and the likes. They also added in a few salted fish to form a mixed porridge. The porridge were distributed and the soldiers took turn to eat and rest.

The disturbance within the families started to die out as they received a portion of the food as well.

While the others were resting, Xu Ting was kept busy to the point where he did not even have the time to drink water. He listened to Guo Kuixing's report of the stock. "We have captured around 750 people, 70 swords, spears and other types of weapons, 3 sets of leather armour, 500 taels of gold and silver, and a few chests of copper coins...However, there are very little ration. Medicine and cloth are lacking as well!"

"Hmm, all those male pirates above the age of 15 shall be conscripted into the army and sternly looked after. Group the rest of the families into 5 families per group for mutual monitoring. Punish those who try to flee!"

Xu Ting walked a few steps before he spoke. "After you all are done with your meal, board the ship and burn down this stockade village!"

"As for the soldiers, reward them immediately. Those who took part in the battle would be rewarded with 1 silver tael. Those who kill the leaders of pirates will be awarded 10 silver taels. The reward for the main leader is calculated separately...I will not forget the officers who commanded the troops as well."

"My lord, you are wise indeed!"

Guo Kuixing and the other officers were joyous upon hearing the news.

Xu Ting could only laugh bitterly to himself.

Truth be told, there were more losses than gains as the troops had to consume a lot of resources to launch an attack on this small island.

'They do not know that the real rewards are these captives!'

Xu Ting looked at the hundreds of captives, his face revealing a bright smile.

[1] Referring to Xu Ting and his elite troops