Book 19 Chapter 2 - Blood-soaked Capital City
With his hands behind his back, Li Shimin leisurely walked out of the hole; he smiled and said, "As long as Ziling Xiong is able to remain here for one sichen, Li Shimin guarantees that Ziling Xiong will be able to leave unscathed."
Xu Ziling cast a sidelong glance toward Yuchi Jingde, who was continuously applying his internal strength to pull the whip as hard as he could. Remaining tranquil and indifferent, he said, "Shimin Xiong must not lie to me. If not for you guaranteeing Wang Shichong that you are going to take care of Xiaodi, how could Wang Shichong dare to deal with Kou Zhong? Isn't he afraid that in the future he would not be able to sleep peacefully?"
None among Zhangsun Wuji and the others did not show astonished expression, they all felt the necessity to reevaluate Xu Ziling's ability and wisdom.
Xu Ziling's conjecture demonstrated his deep understanding and cognition of human nature.
Presently everybody in the world knew that Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling's life and death were connected to each other; if they got rid of one of them, it would be strange indeed if the other one would not seek revenge. And if they gained this kind of dreadful enemy, anybody would have a hard time finding a good night's sleep afterwards.
In his heart, Yuchi Jingde was having another strange feeling.
The glance that Xu Ziling shot at him, as clear as a deity's, seemed to penetrate him inside and out that nothing was left out, knowing what is true and what is false in him, making him feeling so uncomfortable that he nearly spurted out blood, and the strength of his hands immediately diminished to some degree.
With a wry smile Li Shimin said, "Ziling Xiong understands Wang Shichong too well! But I, Li Shimin, have other ways to deal with my business; I will never let anybody else influence me."
Xu Ziling laughed calmly and said, "If Shimin Xiong is unwilling to answer my question just now, Xiaodi is going to charge to break the siege."
Li Shimin's eyes shot an emotional expression as he shook his head and said, "In addition to Xuyan Xiong, there's also Xiaodi's Er Shu [second uncle]. Ziling Xiong ought to know that Kou Zhong has no chance of returning alive. It would be better to stop at this point, I can then arrange to let you have Kou Xiong's remains."
Li Shimin's second uncle was Li Shentong, an outstanding martial art master within the Li Clan.
Xu Ziling looked up to the sky, and fixed his attention to the half moon, which has just appeared on the eastern horizon; the tone of his voice was calm as if it did not contain the slightest bit of human world feeling, as he spoke heavily, "I am going to make my move!"
A burst of hot tears welled up in Li Shimin's pair of tiger-eyes; he turned around and walked away, while calling out sadly, "Ziling Xiong, please forgive my offense!"
This sentence was the same as he was issuing an order to execute Xu Ziling. Immediately the atmosphere was filled with thick fire of war.
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Swift like a gale Kou Zhong slid close to the wall, both to evade the attack from the right side, also to make the archers at the top of the wall not have any access to take aim at him. The one thing that gave the interceptors the most headache was that when he encountered a powerful enemy, he would slid to the wall like a swimming fish, and avoided the enemy right on time. But when the enemy was weak, he would go all-out to make a kill. Over the short distance of about ten zhang, he had received more injuries, but the number of enemies slaughtered by him was also in the dozen. The battlefield was intense, but chaotic.
He had just hacked two enemies blocking his way, sending them flying away, when from his rear left came a sharp and swift attack. Kou Zhong did not have time to look, using his left foot as the axis, his spun his tiger-body around, lightning fast the Moon in the Well chopped, he parried the attacking lance.
As soon as he looked, he recognized the attacker as one of Wang Shichong's personal guards, a Pianjiang [deputy general] who also led the troops; he had chatted with him several times, and had even fought side-by-side with him.
This moment the opponent showed a wry smile with a hint of helplessness as he drew the lance back. Kou Zhong originally wanted to follow-up with rapid succession of his treasure saber strikes, but he could not help forcing himself to pull back. While these thoughts were fleeting in his mind, three spears swiftly stabbed him.
Kou Zhong easily somersaulted to evade.
He saw that the Dong Taiyang Gate was no more than ten zhang away, but the gate was full of enemies, and all were wielding weapons that were beneficial to attack from a distance like lances, spears, halberds, and the others, which were most disadvantageous to him since he wanted to have a close range combat.
And to the left there was a group of approximately a hundred men with fresh power, which was coming over to besiege him, with shields on their left hands and swords on their right hands; their formation was orderly. If he was intercepted, it definitely would be a dead end for him.
Kou Zhong shivered inwardly.
The enemy has obviously recovered after the confusion, and reorganized their offensive. Plus they obviously knew that he wanted to break through the Dong Taiyang Gate; therefore, they concentrated their main force there, so that even if he grew wings, it would still be difficult for him to fly.
Four spears, like four streaks of lightning, were shooting at him.
With his right foot pushing the wall, Kou Zhong changed direction, and charged toward a group of enemies. Saber and man united, more and more enemies fell face up as he stormed out of the siege.
Although it has taken the enemy by surprise, but because there were enemy soldiers everywhere, he could only charge out of one siege into another, but the distance to the Dong Taiyang Gate was only six zhang now.
A man, with a shield on his left hand to protect his body, hacked down on him with the sword in his right hand; full of momentum, carrying a gust of wind assaulting Kou Zhong's face.
Kou Zhong laughed aloud and said, "General Song, how are you?"
The attacker was indeed Song Mengqiu. The enemies all around matched Song Mengqiu's offensive; like tidal wave they surged over.
Song Mengqiu thundered, "If you immediately throw your saber away and surrender, I guarantee that Kou Xiong will die with intact corpse."
Laughing coldly, Kou Zhong said, "General Song is showing this much consideration to Xiaodi?"
Kou Zhong rapidly flashed away to evade the opponent's sword momentum; with his shoulder he bumped an enemy to his left on the pit of his stomach. The man broke his bones and spurted blood, but by the time he fell down, Kou Zhong already flicked his wrist and the saber hacked down on Song Mengqiu's refined steel shield, creating a loud crashing sound that shook the entire battlefield.
A spear tip pierced his shoulder blade from behind. Kou Zhong flashed, the spear was shaken that it slipped, only leaving a trace of blood.
But Song Mengqiu bore the brunt.
Kou Zhong's saber strike carried his full strength, with spiraling energy contained within it; so sudden like a thunderbolt, with an extremely powerful force, so that even with Song Mengqiu's skill, he was still hacked down by the saber momentum and was thrown nearly a zhang away, knocked his own men that they fell facedown to the left and tumbled down to the right, as if he was intentionally trying to open up a path for Kou Zhong.
Song Mengqiu's entire left arm and half of his body went numb, but before he had time to hasten the circulation of his blood and qi, Kou Zhong, like his own shadow, followed closely. The murderous aura of the Moon in the Well, like a surging tide or angry wave, rolled in.
While Song Mengqiu cried out, 'Not good!', Kou Zhong's saber, ingenious to the extreme, only gave him one option: he had to hastily raise his sword to block.
The spiraling energy like a huge wave surging into him; Song Mengqiu groaned in pain, and then like a puppet in Kou Zhong's hand he staggered toward the Dong Taiyang Gate for a dozen steps or so, opening up a path for Kou Zhong again.
Although the hundred something sword and shield wielders behind Kou Zhong desperately ran after him, all along they were always a few steps behind.
Four, five spears stabbed from Song Mengqiu's left and right, hoping to stop Kou Zhong from using Song Mengqiu as his main target of attack.
Kou Zhong knew that in this critical moment, if he could hack Song Mengqiu that he fell back a dozen steps or so, he could fight over toward the gateway, which was about eight zhang deep.
Throwing his head back, Kou Zhong let out a long whistle, and used his remaining strength to circulate his true qi to all his four limbs and hundreds of bones in his body, and continued on into his saber. The Moon in the Well immediately exuded a deep, cold, fierce and severe murderous aura. The men blocking his way felt a deep, cold saber qi assaulted their faces; they felt as if their body had entered an icehouse, and had difficulty breathing.
The saber wind screamed; powerful, severe and ear piercing.
Song Mengqiu seized this opportunity to scamper away.
After a number of heavy, dull crashes, none of the several spear-wielders blocking Kou Zhong's way was lucky not to have his spear broken and stagger left and right, with one wound or another.
Because his true energy was at the point of exhaustion, Kou Zhong steeled his will to make a somersault to evade the massive military offensive coming from four sides, eight directions, toward the Dong Taiyang Gate. More than a dozen injuries on his body immediately sprayed blood; it was a scene shocking the eye, astonishing the heart.
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