Blood and screams screaming made the summer air feel like a biting autumn chill.
But this chill did not last long.
The sudden appearance of the imposing opponents, as well as their crushing status, sent the soldiers into confusion after a few waves of arrows.
They were shot down after a series of attempts to break through, causing more people to not have the heart to resist. They laced their hands behind their heads and put down their weapons.
The desperate attack of the Fang Family did not occur, leaving the guards relieved but also disappointed.
"I thought they would be more fierce; they're not even as fierce as the bandits," senior Manager Gao said. "They don't even dare to fight with their lives.."
"No, it's not that they aren't fierce," said Miss Jun. "Not that those mountain couldn't be described as fierce, either."
So were they fierce or not fierce?
Manager Gao looked at her, then Zhu Zan, and then back at her again.
"The bandits were facing us, just a group of normal folk. They had no relations with us, so they didn't have any qualms. People who do not care, do not fear, so they are brave," Miss Jun said. Then she pointed at the soldiers who had laid down their weapons. "But they are facing soldiers; that's different. And not to mention that there's another layer of oppression when dealing with the government. They would settle accounts after fall and threaten their families. Anyone would have to consider it."
Yes, they were not dealing with commoners or bandits, but government soldiers. They could not just kill as they want, throw the corpses in the wilderness, and expect that no one would investigate afterwards.
They were fighting against an official's face. They had a thousand and one ways of making you pay.
Humans who did not care did not fear.
Surrendering would not only charge them with a military offense, but if their luck was poor, they would lose their lives. But that was it. After all, when Heaven falls, the high peaks stay standing. They acted on orders of their superiors, which would not implicate their families. But if they fought back, this wouldn't be the case, and it was not worth it to risk their families' lives.
Manager Gao and the others nodded, while Zhu Zan scoffed.
"Officials have another layer of oppression," he said. "As if when they oppress others, they are omnipotent. When they encounter a problem, they run away faster than anyone else. They have rules everywhere. Fiercely brave; how is a chained-up dog fiercely brave."
"This is not the case," said Miss Jun, looking to Zhu Zan. "A society cannot function without rules. If a dog has no chains, it is a capricious one. Then it is only fierce, not brave."
Zhu Zan was furious.
"Nonsense," he said.
This brat had been babbling nonsense all along, but this was the first time he got angry.
The anger darkened the lines of his face, and his brows knitted together. Even the guards whose robes were died with blood from their life and death conflict could not help but shudder.
He wouldn't hurt anyone, right?
Manager Gao could not get this man's origins, but he was certain of one point: this man was fierce.
Manager Gao wanted to stop him, but someone else stepped forward first.
Fang Chengyu moved from the car to stand in front of Miss Jun.
"Brother, a gentleman may move his mouth, but not his hands," he said seriously.
Zhu Zan snorted.
"I'm not a gentleman," he said, looking at the girl in front of him.
A girl, what could she know. What she just said were the ideas of her cultured bureaucrat father.
He could just scare her.
Although she did not seem to be scared.
"You scholars speak logically," he scoffed, then his brow smoothed, and the chill left his expression. "But many things are easier said than done."
"I know that a lot of things are easier said than done," said Miss Jun. "But you cannot just blame the philosophy. A philosophy that could be discussed is a philosophy that will not remain unchanging. And not everything can just be talked about."
This was a discussion on philosophy?
'In their ears were the shouts of soldiers, the mournful groans of the wounded, and the encompassing smell of blood and corpses.
'They were almost killed and robbed but now they were standing here, discussing philosophy. Weren't they not taking this seriously?' thought Manager Gao.
Fortunately, Zhu Zan, who had always been fond of distinguishing himself from others, did not want to talk about it and smiled disdainfully.
"I'm leaving," he said.
What did this mean?
Everyone was still pondering what he meant when they saw him walking forward. He whistled, and one of his horses trotted forward.
"Ling Jiu," Miss Jun shouted.
Zhu Zan stopped to look back at her.
Miss Jun wanted to say something, but there was nothing to say.
They had no past between them, and they couldn't say now if something was going to happen in the future.
In the end, she smiled, silently speaking the name Ling Jiu in her heart. Suddenly, she felt mischievous.
"We've met and traveled together. Will you remember my name?" she asked.
Could you remember a name?
What would a man do by remembering a girl's name?
Besides her parents and brothers, only her husband knew her name.
Isn't this making light of the situation?
Manager Gao looked up at the sky and knitted his brows. His hands wriggled like he was making some important calculation.
The security guards all looked at the bows in their hands, their expressions serious. They seemed to be itching to fight.
Lei Zhonglian and Fang Chengyu were as always.
Zhu Zan scoffed, then raised his eyebrows at her.
"Miss Jun, it's no big deal to know each other in this way. We've traded money and more money, twice already he said. "You shouldn't think too much about it."
She didn't overthink anything.
Why was he always afraid of other people overthinking?
Miss Jun laughed, but didn't say anything. Zhu Zan looked away from her and got onto the horse's back.
The soldiers who noticed this stopped him.
"Who are you? You cannot go as you please right now," they declared loudly.
"Sending a letter home," Zhu Zan shouted out, stepping forward.
The soldiers looked over to Miss Jun. Manager Gao hesitated before reaching out and making a confirming gesture.
Something so important had happened, so they definitely would be itching to send a letter home. The soldiers did not find it suspicious at all.
Miss Jun watched Zhu Zan disappear out of view.
He really did leave as suddenly as he had appeared.
It was just like life. In one moment, everything could change. One could never guess what will happen next.
However, Miss Jun was aware of what was going to happen right now.
"Are you Young Lady Fang?"
A tall and sturdy, approximately forty-years-old general asked, his gaze on Miss Jun.
Even though the guards had just witnessed these people massacring the other soldiers, they were still on guard against him, fear lingering in their hearts. Without being polite, they aimed their bows at him.
The general stopped, and looked at them sharply.
These guards were exhausted, but they still had spirit in their eyes.
He had seen their bravery with his own eyes, and even if he was used to seeing fiercely courageous soldiers, he admired these men.
And there were two who were even more fiercely courageous that the others.
The officer scanned the crowd to see Lei Zhonglian, who was sitting in the carriage and holding a his spear with a wooden expression. This was a fine man.
Although the military could not popularize his spear technique, if he joined the army, he could be a valiant officer.
But when it came to joining the military, there was another person that was much more worthy of being given subordinates.
If one would say that the spear wielder was a valiant officer, then that person could become a match for ten thousand enemies.
Although he did not seem to have killed much, these guards had depended on his command to force the bandits back.
It should be known that those masquerading bandits had been disorganized soldiers, not the kind of people that these guards, who had never been in a real battle, could deal with.
However, they were able to shoulder the bandits' attacks and defeat them. They had forced the soldiers behind them to personally come forward.
This allowed the military to arrest them with conclusive evidence, saving them some trouble.
The general scanned the crowd but could not see that man.
Where was he?
Could the one who had left to deliver a letter be him?
Never mind. They weren't in a rush.
He looked away and smiled. With a wave of his hands, he stopped his soldiers and walked forward alone. He stopped a few steps away from the guards' bows, then took out a wooden board.
"Fang, maiden name Cao, of the De Sheng Chang said to leave the matter to you," he said.