Chapter 319 "The Disturbance in the Northwest"
As soon as General Lan entered his home, Madam Lan was already waiting there with the new clothes and hot water. Despite the effort, Lan Ying Wu was in no mood for this and ordered the maids to go call for his daughters.
“The northwestern border is currently facing an outbreak of stampeding spirit beasts. As such, the court has decided to send troops to support the local garrison in quelling this disturbance." When explaining this topic, Lan Ying Wu carried with him a tone of resentment.
“Father, can it be the king is sending you to quell the disturbance?" Lan Caier was full of hope in her eyes.
After being transferred back from Glass City, this great general had never been utilized yet in the battlefield, causing him to be discontent of his current state.
"The candidates for the expedition has been settled. It will be Hong Fang acting as the commanding general."
Now this was surprising indeed. Both girls didn't expect the king to choose someone like that over Lan Ying Wu.
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"Father, if there's a huge disturbance in the northwestern border, wouldn't it be wiser for the Court to send a veteran like you instead of Hong Fang? Sure, that man may be higher than you in cultivation, but he's a civil servant, what would he know about the battlefield?" Unhappy over the injustice, Lan Caier starts defending her father's ability.
In the Court of Da Xia, the officials are usually divided into civil and military affairs. Representing the commoner faction would of course be General Lan while General Goldsword took the helm for the noble faction. But as we all know, that man had recently been executed for treason, tipping the balance of power in Lan Ying Wu's favor.
“Caier, your analysis is very good, but this isn't a disturbance caused by human means. It's an outbreak of spirit beasts from the wilderness. Although Hong Fang is a civil servant, but his cultivation is undeniably higher than mine. Plus, his experience in slaying spirit beasts during his younger years are more than enough to meet the task. Therefore, it's reasonable that the king would choose him." In reality, General Lan only said half the truth.
While Lan Caier was struggling to understand her father's meaning, Ye Ling Yue had already guessed most of the details with what she's got.
Following Xia Hou Hong's abolishment from his title as Crown Prince, plus Hong Fang's dismissal as the Royal Tutor, it's unavoidable that the interests of the nobles standing behind this prince would be harmed.
The king may be angry over his son's disgusting act, but at the end of the day they are still flesh and blood. Furthermore, the man understands full well the importance of balance because a king was still considered a nobility at its core.
So, on one hand, he dismissed Hong Fang to allow the commoner faction to enjoy their moment of excitement while working hard to appease the nobility so they wouldn't be too disgruntled.
But with this expedition, it's pretty obvious the king now wishes to restore the balance of power by giving Hong Fang a chance to earn his credit for reinstatement.
Now what does that mean for Ling Yue and her past efforts? Simple, it's all wasted if nothing else was done!
“Hong Fang becoming the command general for this expedition is within logic, but do you know who the deputy general will be?" Making a heavy grunt with his voice, Lan Ying Wu clearly didn't sound happy there.
With the death of General Goldsword, those qualified to stand in as the deputy general can only be from the younger generation. Just that, no matter how Lan Caier and Ling Yue thought about it, they can't come up with an appropriate name.
“It's Xia Hou Hong. I don't know what method Consort Luo and Hong Fang used to convince His Majesty, but he's now permitted to go into the battlefield as a form of redemption for his crime." Upon reaching this point, the general consciously casts a worried look at his goddaughter.
It seems I've underestimated that prince and Hong Fang. They are like cockroaches, unwilling to die no matter how I squash them. A meaningful light could be seen emulating out of Ling Yue's pupil, giving her a frosty chill to that appearance.
Not longer after the decree was passed by the king, Prince Hou Hong was immediately released from his prison cell.
“Hou Hong, my poor baby!"
It was but a few days after his confinement, but the boy's appearance had gone through some drastic changes. This greatly surprised his mother and Hong Fang that came to retrieve him.
Thin and skinny till his bones could be made out, none of the princely grandeur of his past could be seen today with that horrible appearance. In fact, his very being was oozing with the scent of a rotting corpse with that limp leg and indented eye socket.
After taking her son back to her quarter, Consort Luo wasted no time to have her people see to the boy's health. To the mother's horror, his son's health was so bad that it's no different from a frail three-year-old child.
Weeping with grain pain, Consort Luo vows inside to get revenge: “My son, tell me, which of those wretched guards inside did this to you! I will have them ripped to shred!"
“Who else can it be, it's that bitch Lan Ling Yue. She's been coming to torture me everyday when I was in there. I'm going to cut her to pieces and feed her to the dogs!" When it came to the last part of his comment, the boy was practically seething with rage, which also caused his wound near the heart to open up again.
It's unsure what sort of means Ling Yue used against the boy, but there were no apparent injuries from her continuous torture. However, it didn't stay the same for the constant stinging pain coursing through the prince's inner organs and veins.
"Your Highness, a gentleman's revenge is never too late. Once you inherit the throne to this great nation, an insignificant Lan Ling Yue will be no more than an ant for you to dispose of at will." Hong Fang's comment causes the boy to be startled.
“Lord Hong, I'm already in this state. Forget about inheriting the throne, it will be difficult just protecting my current position." Snarling, Prince Hou Hong didn't like what the man was saying.
"Fourth Prince, do you know why you were able to come out this time? It was because of your mother's effort in teaming up with the other nobilities to kneel in front of the king for six hours. You must heal your wounds quickly. Such an opportunity won't come another time." Ever since he became aware of the prince's special taste in the male sex, plus the boy nearly jeopardized his own son's future, Hong Fang's closeness to his student had taken a drastic drop.
Now, in this former Royal Tutor's eye, the prince was nothing more than a chess piece he can use.
If the boy's obedient then he will continue to play his part in supporting him, but if not, Hong Fang wouldn't mind personally ending this ticking time bomb over at the Northwest.
“What! Father wants to send me to the northwestern battlefield?! Isn't that no different from sentencing me to death!" In his moment of shock, Xia Hou Hong had completely forgotten about his pain and jumped up from the bed.
The northwestern battlefield was one of the most dangerous battlefields in Da Xia, hence the reason why it's so heavily guarded with soldiers. Unlike the other theaters of conflict, the enemy weren't humans from neighboring states, its animals, dangerous and wild animals. There are of course the normal kind that can be easily dealt with by the common soldier, but there are also the very dangerous type like spirit beasts that requires a high level martialist to counter. And let's not forget, in this outbreak of stampeding wild animals, there's rumored to be sightings of demon beasts among the mix!
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(30$ to make me stay up late into the night is fair right for this novel?