Wuxiaworld > Carefree Path of Dreams > Chapter 305: The Return

Chapter 305: The Return

Chapter 305: The Return

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

Xu Ting's army was unstoppable and consecutively took down both the Seventh Dawn and the Thousand Scarlet Prefectures.

Originally, prefectures and district towns were not allowed to have a large number of troops and only have a few thousand soldiers at most. As such, there was not much resistance against Xu Ting who had plotted for a very long time and had the backing of the pirates and his private soldiers.

Of course, the scenario would be drastically different if it were to drag on for half a year where the big, influential families would have the time to build their own army.

As of now, Xu Ting seized the opportunity and managed to successively take over the towns.

By the 8th month, he had already conscripted 2,000 new soldiers. His originally five thousand-strong troops were rumoured to have 10,000 soldiers now. News had spread to all places that the soldiers had surrounded the Lanze Prefecture City.

The sight of soldiers clad in armour was frightening to behold.

Xu Ting stood on the high ground. With a beckon, around 10 soldiers with loud voices came forward. "Listen well, Wang Qiao is a tyrant. It is my general's calling to take him down. If you surrender immediately, you will not lose your riches and honour. If not, we will destroy everything and it will be too late to regret your decision by then!"

"How audacious!"

A person who looked like an official appeared on the wall. He was clad in magistrate's clothing and scolded them immediately. "Xu Ting, you are just a candidate who had just become a patrol officer, and yet, you call yourself a general. You even attack your fellow countrymen. If this is not a traitorous act, then what is a traitorous act? I, a palace graduate [1] favoured by the imperial court, will defend against you and not let you prevail!"

There was a slight disturbance within the ranks, especially amongst the new soldiers when the magistrate scolded Xu Ting. However, nothing else happened.

Xu Ting could not help but laugh coldly.

He knew that the elites among his troops were his own private soldiers and pirates. Their strength was absolute. There would be no problem even if his own troops were to revolt against him.

Furthermore, in the name of seeking revenge for the young emperor, the soldiers were still dignified regardless of the position of the person who was scolding them.

It would have been dangerous if his troops were made up of normal soldiers and if they did not have a cause to fight.

'However...this magistrate is up to no good as well. On the surface, he appears to be loyal and devoted. However, I have received information that he secretly wanted to set up a regime and had started to amass his troops to stamp out the dissidents...'

His face took on a cold expression. He waved his hand. "Attack! Take note of this magistrate. Once we have broken into the city, kill his entire family!"

"Understood!"

His army was composed of pirates who were not afraid of anything. They had no qualms about attacking the city and started to push their weapons forward.

When a few catapults were lined up before the city, the magistrate on the wall turned deathly pale and had to be assisted down from the wall.

"Kill!""Kill!""Kill!"

The troops shouted in unison. The attack on the city could take place at any moment.

"If we really attack head-on, even if there are not many soldiers within the prefecture city, the citizens can still be mobilized against me, which put me at a disadvantage! Is the preparation within the city ready?"

Xu Ting asked after he tested out the defense of the city.

"My lord, it has been arranged!"

Kong Luo was dressed in green robes and appeared elegant. There were faint traces of sword essence on his body. "Huang and Zhang Families have agreed to open up the gates once night falls!"

"Good!"

Xu Ting was very pleased.

The people within the prefecture city were not made of metal and as such, could be bribed.

Otherwise, in ancient times, without the use of proper equipment to besiege the city, it would take many years to breach the defenses of the city even when the supply of food runs out.

"Hmm, you shall lead the army this time. I will provide assistance!"

Of course, things were different due to the existence of divine techniques.

Xu Ting ordered after he moved.

"Understood!"

Kong Luo agreed after he opened his spiritual eye and realized that Xu Ting was not going to experience any tribulations this time based on his fate energy.

Xu Ting was amongst the troops now and his fate energy was closely linked to the generals. If there were any changes, the changes would show themselves. Everything was smooth-sailing as of now.

'Damn!'

As the soldiers praised Xu Ting, a few people from the Xuan Zhen Sect were unhappy as they thought to themselves, 'Instigating these two families were originally our sect's effort, why do we need to split the spoils of war?'

However, who would dare to go against the general's order?

Even if they were to vomit blood, they could only nod their head in agreement.

...

Night fell. Huang and Zhang Families each sent out 200 soldiers, coordinated with the outside effort and betrayed the Lanze Prefecture city. The city's defense fell, the magistrate committed suicide by hanging himself and his who family was executed.

Furthermore, those officials who resisted were executed regardless of their backgrounds. The whole prefecture was shaken by the executions and the people quickly surrendered.

At this moment, many influential families realized that military might was the most important amidst the chaos. It was not time to talk about relationships, feelings, families and the likes with a shining knife dangling above their heads, threatening their lives.

In the 9th month, the magistrate of the Luosong Prefecture, the last remaining prefecture around the Golden Court Lake, brought a few hundred officials to surrender after realizing that the tables had turned.

Xu Ting was pleased. After reporting to Xu Ren, he was appointed as a prefecture magistrate. However, he planted a few trusted aides within the troops everywhere he went.

Till now, from the demise of the young emperor to the declaration of the crusade, he managed to turn the 4 prefectures into military-occupied towns of the Chu Country. The speed at which the operation was carried out was enough to cause onlookers to be dumbfounded.

At this moment, the greatest battle of Chu Country was happening between the allied forces of 10 military-occupied towns and the Chu imperial guards under the command of Wang Qiao. This gave Xu Ting the opportunity to expand his military might.

10th month, 5th year of Yong An.

Xu Ren appointed himself as the 'Glorious Grandmaster' and set up multiple appointments such as registrar and officials to handle the affairs of the prefectures. He also appointed Xu Ting as the Guerrilla Warfare General who was in charge of military affairs.

The officials originated from the feudal states and the system evolved from the ideas of the scholar-officials. They were feudal lords that once possessed acres of land, private soldiers, control the law and are able to impose taxes. They later became members of the emperor's inner ministerial circle and were split into different categories such as Zhong Daifu, Grand Daifu and Jian Daifu [2].There was no fixed number of officials. They had no fixed duties and were amongst the most distinguished in Chu Country.

It was evident that Xu Ren chose this position as he regarded it to be important. Furthermore, it was civil service post which helped him paved a way for Xu Ting.

"Auspicious energy, gather like clouds!"

On the day the prefectures were set up, almost all the realm energy practitioners came forward to witness the new regime.

"At this moment, the Glorious Grandmaster controls 5 prefectures. Even though he kept the system of prefecture magistrates and district magistrates, it is actually the minor officials who handle the affairs, effectively making the magistrates mere figureheads. The treatment of the magistrates remains the same. This is indeed a stroke of genius!'"

Kong Luo could not help but sigh.

The positions of prefecture magistrates and district magistrates were used to recruit the surrendered enemies.

The influential families surrendered against their wills as they were not firm or they had no other options. As such, they could not be given such a heavy responsibility at the start. Of course, they could not be brushed aside as that would breed hostility.

At this moment, they were regarded as if they were clay buddhas, where their salaries and treatment remained unchanged to show the sincerity while the actual tasks were handled by capable minor officials who lacked the qualification and backgrounds. Due to the integrated system, they were able to cut back on the resources needed.

In the future, when those officials who surrendered were accustomed to the system, the minor officials could be relocated to new areas where they could be quickly promoted.

As Xu Ting alone had the authority over the army, the 5 prefectures were united which was difficult to achieve for a new regime.

"Throughout history, there is always a system to handle matters...It is not strange for the 5 prefectures to operate normally!"

Kong Luo felt a surge of karma which brought along spiritual energy with it. He could not help but feel as though he was floating and exclaimed, "General Xu is vying for the heaven's fate energy and gathered the fate energies of 2 million soldiers and civilians in the 5 prefectures. Even if I were only able to obtain just a bit of the fate energy, I would be able to benefit greatly from it!"

With the help of the Dao Magical Formula, it would not be difficult for his Breathing Technique, which was currently in the 3rd tier, to break through to the 4th tier in a short amount of time.

According to tradition, those who had reached the 4th tier would be given the title of 'Venerable' and would possess the qualifications to set up Dao orthodoxy as well as a small sect.

It might even be possible for him to make use fate energy as a mean to perfect 5 or 6 levels of Dao Foundation!

"This is an opportunity for my sect to rise. No one, not even Xuan Zhen Sect, can get in my way!"

Kong Luo muttered as his eyes flashed a steely green.

...

"Golden Lake, Thousand Scarlet, Luosong, Seventh Dawn and the Lanze Prefectures...have a population of 500,000 households and 2,000,000 civilians and soldiers. If they were properly integrated, the Xu family's father and son would be able to properly manage 50,000 soldiers without a problem..."

Fang Yuan transformed into a horned dragon and ceaselessly advanced in a stream of water.

At this moment, he naturally felt the benefits of being a horned dragon. The most direct benefit was that the horned dragon was continuously growing as he grew from 38 inches originally to over 3 yards long. A golden-green light flickered on his body and he was increasingly awe-inspiring.

"Crash!"

He pushed through everything in his way as not one water dweller dared to offend him. When he revealed a small portion of his dragon's might, many spirits pledged their allegiance to him and hundreds of fishes followed him. His fame was unmatched.

Even though he was just a young horned dragon, he was still a dragon and as such, he was naturally different from the other water spirits!

"Xu Ting is very smart. After taking over the 5 prefectures, he immediately reorganized his troops and aggressively develop the navy as he prepares to make use of the An River to bring the battle to Qi Lake. If he does not grasp this opportunity to expand his army and wait for Wang Qiao and the allied forces to finish their battle, things will be different..."

Once he entered An River, Fang Yuan immediately felt at ease as a large amount of spiritual energy in the water surge forth.

"This An River Dragon God failed to understand the right timing...as a demon race, he went against a greater power and had already lost half the battle. Although he had the right conditions, I come here with the Xu Family's dragon energy. He was unlucky, for I have met my benefactor."

In order to reach Qi Lake, Xu Ting had to dispatch his troops through the waterways and as such, the Golden Lake Navy would have to enter An River.

If the Dragon God opposed it, he would be fighting against the heavenly trend and would be killed.

One would be able to receive a lot of help when the fate energy is on his side. If the fate energy was not on his side, not even the hero would be able to save himself.

Now that power was on his side, he should make full use of the opportunity.

"Ah…..where do you come from?"

A few guards poked their heads out. Upon seeing Fang Yuan, they did not dare to offend him and quickly bowed. "Please enter the dragon palace to visit the Dragon God!"

"Haha…..I will not pay the An River Dragon God a visit. Help me convey to him the message to not oppose Heaven's will. If not, it will be too late when all hell breaks loose!"

Fang Yuan would be foolish if he were to battle the Dragon God and give his life up for Xu Ting. He immediately transformed into a streak of golden light and escaped far away.

After travelling for many days, the Dragon God was no longer able to catch him. A big lake filled with spiritual energy appeared before his eyes.

"Qi Lake, I am back!!"

Fang Yuan dove in, his heart filled with emotions.

[1] Successful candidate in the highest imperial civil service examination.

[2] Different ranking of officials in the imperial court.