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Edited by TnyhyChapter 120: The Tu Jue Strikes (Part 2)
“That day after hearing me speak, WaiZu got angry. One fear that it is not only because of the matter of not having enough money for the Luo family's army. Older Brother Qian, can you tell me the reason?”
Luo Qian looked around and did not look at Shen Miao’s eyes at all as he said, “What other reason is there other than money? Biao Youngest Sister do not think too much, if there is no money, how to revive the Luo family's army.”
Shen Miao quietly looked at him. Her eyes were very moving and filled with clarity without any unnecessary feelings, but it was this frank expression that one was not able to resist, like lying in front of this pair of eyes was profane.
Luo Qian was after all a lively youth and had a good relationship with Shen Miao thus he finally was defeated, “Biao Youngest Sister, no one in our residence dare to speak about this matter. But you are one of our own so I will tell you, but you must not tell others after you know about it. If my Father and Mother knew that I told you about the matter, I would definitely need to endure some planks.”
Shen Miao nodded her head.
“Actually you are not the first one to bring up the matter about restructuring the Luo family's army.” Shen Qian said, “When the Luo family's army truly started to decline it was not long after Youngest Gu was born. At that time the Luo family had already waned, ZuFu was frustrated with his ambition and since she saw him sullen all days, she proposed to revive the Luo family's army.”
“ZuFu already had such intentions in his heart so when ZuMu said that, he immediately started preparing. But at that time there was a lack of funds and ZuMu also said what Biao Youngest Sister said that day, that when the troops are reputable and after winning a battle, His Majesty would take notice of such an army and naturally will send money over, so one would be able to solve the matters of money. Thus ZuFu did a request for commander to fight a battle in the frontier.”
Luo Qian sighed, “Biao Youngest Sister should have guessed the result of it. ZuFu’s was defeated and was almost treated as a joke. The Luo family's army was originally on a decline, and to be inflicted with such heavy losses, it was a stumble that one was unable to rise from. Most importantly was that when ZuFu brought the troops to battle, ZuMu was seriously ill and in order to let ZuFu feel assured, ZuMu did not let anyone in the family tell it to ZuFu. When ZuFu returned in defeat, ZuMu had already passed away.”
“ZuFu had always felt that he had not completed the promise he made to ZuMu, that even if he were to leave the earth a hundred years later, he will not be able to meet up with Zu Mu. All these years, he had not reorganised the Luo family's army because he did not have the courage to face up to his past failure.” Luo Qian put down the snacks in his hand and looked at Shen Miao, “Biao Youngest Sister, I know you want to revive the prestige of the Luo family's army but we the Luo family people do not require to be famous. My Mother said previously, it is better to cherish the people in front. Just like ZuFu, if time could be returned to before, he will definitely not fight that war and will choose to be by Zu Mu’s side. So in order to make ZuFu happy, even if the Luo family's army continue to be in a slump, it would not be any issue.”
Shen Miao looked at Luo Qian and in her heart she was a little surprised. She had not think that Luo Qian, which was such a careless person, would actually say such words. It was indeed not fake to say that the Luo family's people are righteous, warm and kind-hearted.
But after knowing such an event from Luo Qian’s mouth, one heart also somewhat sighed. The worst defeat of a Great General with power and prestige, was being overconfident or to had no confidence in the outcome. Shen Miao thought that it was not that Luo Sui could not take this defeat, but what he could not take was to have lost Luo Furen. Giving up his seriously ill wife and choosing contributions instead, and then the outcome gave him a big slap. No wonder when Shen Miao spoke those words that day, Luo Sui’s face instantly changed. One fear that it had pinched up the most hidden pain in the General’s heart.
“But even if one is in such a slump, will WaiZuMu be happy about it?” Shen Miao suddenly spoke.
“Ai.” Luo Qian turned his head and looked at her puzzled.
Shen Miao gently smiled, “If I love someone, and if he is a hero, one would hope that he will adorn his valuable sword, ride his fierce horse and lead the most valiant soldiers, to achieve the highest meritorious awards that one would be the proudest. I will not be willing for him to suffer any grievance. The grievances that WaiZuFu is suffering, if WaiZuMu knows about it, one do not know if she will feel pain. If it was me, my heart will ache.”
Luo Qian was confused and disoriented by Shen Miao’s words. Not to say anything else, to talk about ‘love’ in front of a man like him, made him feel a little aghast. Madam Ma kept saying that Shen Miao was a young lady from the Ding capital, and one had to take delicate care of her, as she would definitely have a shy character. But from seen her today, how was there any shyness? She was even more frank than Luo Tan.
Just as one were thinking, one heard the servant outside shouting, “Eldest Young Master and Second Young Master has returned.”
Everyone looked towards the entrance of the hall and it was the two brothers, Luo Ling and Luo Sa. It was probably about to rain outside as the air was somewhat humid. Both of their clothes seemed to be stained with water, as Luo Ling and Luo Sa just returned from the Guard's garrison and seemed to be busy.
Madam Yu first instructed the servant to pour tea for both of them, and Luo Sa drank it up in one shot. Luo Tan had already ran over and asked Luo Ling, “Older Brother Ling, how’s outside?”
“Looking at the skies it would be a hailstorm. Had already let the commoners go back to their houses to hide. Everything is prepared outside.” Luo Ling replied with a smile, “Second Brother and me returned to guard overnight. Our roof is solid so one need not be afraid.”
“What happened to Father, GuFu, YeYe and the rest?” Luo Tan could not help but continue asking.
Luo Sa’s brows wrinkled, “Still not yet return.”
Luo Tan wanted to say something but Luo Ling saw Luo Qian and Shen Miao walking over and quickly said, “It is nothing. Most likely there are things to do tonight and can only return tomorrow.” He changed the topic, “Smells good. Are we eating roasted lamb? Biao Younger Sister have not yet eaten such things, not sure if you will get used to it.”
Shen Miao walked to Luo Ling. Luo Ling was eighteen this year and his eyes were as handsome as Luo Lian Ying’s but his character was as gentle and considerate as Madam Yu's. Comparing to Luo Sa’s character, it was almost a thousand miles apart. Shen Miao said, “Older Brother Lin, how are the soldiers deployed in the guards?”
Luo Ling was surprised for a moment as he did think that Shen Miao would ask that and replied, “All has been arranged properly.”
“How many people are guarding the city?” Shen Miao asked.
This time Luo Sa’s eyes landed on Shen Miao.
When the younger generation were speaking, Madam Yu and Madam Ma would usually move far away. Luo Qian asked, “Why is Biao Youngest Sister asking about this? There will be a hailstone tonight, thus no one will be entering the city.”
“East, thirty. West, thirty. Including ten in the North, there is a total of seventy people.” Luo Ling patiently answered.
“Is it normal for there to be this many people?” Shen Miao asked.
After hesitating for a moment, Luo Ling said, “Normally there will be even more but they were transferred away by Father, thus there are only little left at the city guards. But as there are no accidents in the city, seventy people are enough. Today’s weather is not good, and Younger Brother is correct to say that there would not be people entering the city.”
The number of people that the Luo family's army could use were limited, thus if one were to pursue the Tu Jue, naturally one would need to bring abled people along. Those remaining soldiers guarding the city appeared to be over-extended. Of course the Xiao Chun City had been safe and sound for so many years, and the guards would only help to arrest fugitives or thieves and the like most of the times, and were largely of not good use.
Luo Sa stared at Shen Miao for a while before suddenly speaking, “You are afraid the Tu Jue will attack?”
When the words were spoken, everyone froze for a moment. Luo Tan opened her mouth wide and Luo Qian questioned, “Second Older Brother, what are you talking about? Why would the Tu Jue attack?”
Luo Sa sneered and stared at Shen Miao’s eyes without blinking, “Did not Biao Youngest Sister said it on that day, that the Tu Jue are ambitious and had strength, so why could they not attack? You are scared of this right?”
Luo Sa’s temper was aggressive and facing his sharp eyes, Shen Miao nodded her head, “Correct, what I fear is this.”
“How is it possible?” Luo Tan said, “Not to say that what you mention will not happen, but today Father and GuFu (aka Father’s sister’s husband aka Shen Xin) had gone to the plains to pursue and attack the Tu Jue. How would the Tu Jue be distracted and attack the Xiao Chun City? Even if one was ambitious, then would not it be better to find another better timing?”
“Not only the Ming Qi knows how to use ‘moving the tiger away from the mountain’ tactic.” Shen Miao said blandly, “Although the Tu Jue are nomads, they are not fools. After living with the Xiao Chun City’s citizens for so many years, do you think that they would not learn those weasel things. As long as the Tu Jue are not fools, they would have long learned it.”
Shen Miao’s unnatural cold attitude, made the few people present be a little surprised. After a moment of silence, Luo Ling spoke first, “Biao Youngest Sister, this is your conjecture or is it information that was heard somewhere else?”
Shen Miao had been constantly thinking about the Tu Jue attacking and was extremely unusual today. Everyone noticed this and as long as one was not a fool, they would be able to see the difference from the norm. If it is a mere fear then it was one aspect, but if there were information elsewhere, then it would be another story.
“Intuition.” Luo Sa did not get angry but laughed, “Biao Youngest Sister, this is not the time to joke.”
“Could it be that both Older Brothers, who had been in the city guards for so many years, cannot understand the logic of taking preventative measures in advance.” Shen Miao slightly held back and her eyes were controlled before she quickly became firm. She said, “If the Tu Jue really attack and one make preparations in advance then one would naturally be happy. If there is no attack and the Xiao Chun City is unharmed, it is also a good thing. Can it be that a bad thing must happen before preparations can be made? If one do not even know about this logic then it is no wonder the Luo family gradually declined.”
“You!” Luo Sa got furious in a short moment. Luo Tan and Luo Qian did not have a good expression on their face.
It was Luo Ling who stared at Shen Miao for a while, and without a change in his expression spoke to her warmly as he cupped his hands, “Biao Youngest Sister said correctly. It is us that are stupid but there is a shortage of manpower at the city guards, and it has become the crux of the matter. Accordingly to Biao Youngest Sister’s opinion, what is to be done?”
On the surface these words were inquiring, but it was an insinuation for her to solve the thorny problem on hand, and also a test of her abilities. Shen Miao’s heart smiled, this gentle Biao Older Brother did not seemed to be that tolerant as he seemed on the surface.
She said, “If it really come to this point, then it is not possible for manpower to increase without cause. Since the Tu Jue come prepared, naturally we are not their rivals. I am after all, just one of the weaker gender and do not know martial arts. Rather than take risk, why not defend oneself. Actually Older Brother Ling can gather more guards to the Luo residence's doors, and protect the Luo residence. If there are really problems then it would be able to withstand for a while.
When her smooth and slippery words were spoken, everyone blanked out. She said that impassionately, why was it that at such a time, she showed a helpless appearance. The few younger generation in the Luo family did not understand Shen Miao’s intention.
Luo Sa felt the most oppressed and wanted to get angry when he looked at Shen Miao, but could not find any reason to be angry, thus he had to sit at the side with a furious face.
Luo Ling looked meaningfully at Shen Miao and unexpectedly said, “Then follow according to what Biao Youngest Sister had said.”
Everyone sat back at the hall. No one knew why but because of Shen Miao’s words, the atmosphere became somewhat rigid. Even Luo Qian and Luo Tan seemed to be nervous. Only Madam Ma and Madam Yu were completely ignorant, and were giving instructions to the kitchens.
Until suddenly, when the skies completely became dark, one of Luo Ling’s guards came from outside to seek audience. Luo Ling allowed him to come in, and that guard was filled with anxiety and said a few words to Luo Ling’s ear. Luo Ling’s face changed colour as he suddenly looked over at Shen Miao.
Shen Miao was drinking tea unhurriedly.