Zhan Long - Volume 3 - The Grandmaster - Chapter 767
Chapter 767 - Long Xing and Xia Ye
In the center of the Royal Army Camp. Not long after, two Generals clothed respectively in red armor and black armor walked into the tent. They were two commanders of the Flame Dragon Army and the Xia Yu Army. They were both ranked as Lieutenant Commanders. The Flame Dragon Army's Commander was called 'Long Xing' and looked to be around thirty five years old. There was a groomed goatee on his chin. He was tall and sturdy, but didn't look to be very strong. The other commander, who was in charge of the Xia Yu Army, was called 'Xia Ye', and was a young general around twenty five years old. He was around my age, and actually managed to climb his way up to this rank.
The difference was that I, the Royal Army General, was still only ranked militarily as a Lieutenant General. Long Xing and Xia Ye used to also be Lieutenant Generals, and would've been the same rank as me. However, these two were also the Crown Prince and the Second Prince's men. Clearly they were here to suppress me for whenever I showed ’’abnormal’’ behavior.
Long Xing entered the strategy tent with his sword at his hip. He stood before the sand table and smiled, ’’I, Long Xing, pay my respects to the General. Your reputation precedes you!’’
Xia Ye was also grinning widely. He placed a dagger on the table and smiled, ’’I, Xia Ye, am also willing to follow the General's orders, whether it's through a mountain of blades or a sea of flames, I will go to any lengths!’’
I wryly smiled. I didn't bother to scold them on their overly flippant attitude. Instead I said, ’’Xiao Lie, bring some wine. Let's celebrate the arrival of the Generals Long Xing and Xia Ye!’’
Xiao Lie said, ’’General, the Royal Army has a new rule that forbids drinking within the tents.’’
I thus replied, ’’It's fine, that's a rule meant for times of war. The great battle has yet to arrive, what's the problem with some men who want to drink?’’
’’Yes, I will go and get it now!’’
Long Xing picked up his sheathe and placed it on the table as he sat down. He looked at me with arrogance, ’’I heard that the General was the one who lead the 'ruffian corps' Royal Army to battle in Dragon City. You guys actually managed to kill two thousand of the legendary Hybrid Demons?’’
I sat down as well and said, ’’That is correct.’’
Long Xing smiled, ’’While I was in the Flame Dragon Army, I lead a division of over ten thousand people. However, we've been fighting constantly on the southern lines, facing off the attacks from Port City. And so, we've never had a chance to meet some real Hybrid Demons. They must not be as strong as the rumors say so. After all, the Royal Army was about to kill two thousand of them.’’
I smiled and calmly said, ’’Holding off an advance from the Hybrid Demons is number one priority for the Royal Army. Now that General Long Xing has come to lead his troops in my Royal Army, then I'm sure you'll get the chance to see just how strong those demons are.’’
Long Xing visibly shuddered. He never would have expected me to counter his sentence. After all, he was of noble birth, how could he understand all of the different arguments and excuses. He smiled, ’’Then I look forward to it.’’
On the side, General Xia Ye looked at me and said, ’’I heard that General has recruited a bunch of Barbarians living in the Magic Bamboo Forest. I originally heard that the Royal Army was only made up of princelings who lived extravagant life styles. I never would have expected it to take in a bunch of disdainful Barbarians. My lord is truly a capable man.’’
I looked at him with a straight face, ’’Everyone with a life is equal. There is no need to separate based on wealth or race. The Barbarians are also humans. They just don't live in the same city as us. Besides, the Royal Army is no longer a princeling army. When I entered, I had kicked all of the useless ones out. Right now, the Royal Army is a troop of experienced fighters who are willing to die at any moment for the country. However, they are not, nor will they ever be, someone else' tools.’’
Xia Ye stiffened. Suspicion rose up in his eyes, ’’General Li, just what do you think a soldier's mission is in Tian Ling City?’’
I thought for a moment, ’’To obey, in heart and mind.’’
Xia Ye smiled, ’’Obeying is a vocation, that I know, but what does it mean, in heart and mind?’’
I stood up and leaned against the sand table with a smile, ’’For what reason did we join the army? Some people joined so that they could become rich. Some joined so that they could become a noblemen. However, it is my firm belief that the most important issue to a military man is to understand his worth. We aren't some private army for some noblemen, we are the empire's army. We fight for our homes and for our people!’’
A peculiar expression lit up in Xia Ye's eyes. He stood up and smiled, ’’That is truly a quote to go down in history, fight for our homes and our people!’’
As he said that, Xia Ye backed up a step and knelt on one knee, ’’I general Xia Ye, pay my respects to the General. I entrust my life to you, as well as the five thousand lives of my brothers!’’
I celebrated internally. This Xia Ye was very young, and at first it appeared that he kept people at an arm's length. However, I could tell that hot blood ran through his veins. Most of the armies in Tian Ling City were private and kept by noblemen. Each and every one of them are harboring some ulterior motive. Even as the day draws near when the Hybrid Demons are attacking, they still cannot set aside their differences. I'm afraid that many other young Generals like Xia Ye have become jaded by the situation. Now that he had come upon a rock that couldn't be cracked even if it were boiled, he must be beside himself with excitement.
Long Xing smiled on the side. I could see a sliver of mischief and banter in his eyes, ’’General Xia Ye must have already forgotten our original intent?’’
Xia Ye smiled back, ’’General Long Xing is overthinking it. I, Xia Ye, came to the Royal Army only to protect my home. There was no other intent. Rather, General Long Xing, are you still considering the secret order given by the crown prince?’’
A disturbed look entered Long Xing's expression. Clearly there was something on his mind that he couldn't say. He smiled and said, ’’Nevermind. I will remain in the Royal Army and see for myself whether or not the General is truly as he says he is, and fighting for the people!’’
I nodded. Right at that moment, Xiao Lie arrived with two jars of wine. He had also brought with him Han Yuan and the other generals. Everyone sat around the table and began to converse freely with the wine and food. This wine wasn't some expensive treasure, so drinking it didn't add any stats. Rather, it was very strong and spirited. I could feel my head spin in the game just from drinking it.
In the end, all of the generals in the Royal Army were drunk. I had also admonished myself and made sure this was the only and final time that this would happen. From now on, I would never touch the spirits in the game again.
I glanced at that clock. It was already late in the evening. We had pretty much settled all of the matters in the Royal Army. The next item on the agenda was integrating the ten thousand new troops into our army. I strongly believed that human nature could change. As time goes on, Long Xing and Xia Ye would definitely see themselves as men of the Royal Army.
As I logged off, I realized that there were still quite a few matters to attend to in the real world.
Late in the night, I opened up my window and watched as snowflakes softly fluttered from the sky. It had finally snowed. If my memory served me right, tomorrow was New Year's Eve. A traditional holiday for Chinese people, one that surpassed all others.
In the other dining room, I saw that Wan Er and Dong Cheng were actually still awake. They were in the middle of sticking fortune characters on the doorways. The scene really brought warmth to the heart, despite the wintry weather outside. Qin Wen was also awake. But, what really brightened my eyes was the Christmas outfit that Wan Er was wearing. A short skirt with fur trimmings was wrapped tightly around her snow white legs. A cute shawl was wrapped around her shoulders. She sat on the couch, her cheeks tinted pink as she separated the packages.
I was a little stunned, ’’What are you guys doing down here?’’
I couldn't take my eyes off of Wan Er. I was mesmerized by her beauty. My heart raced and I smiled, ’’Wan Er, you didn't wear anything Christmas-y during Christmas, so why now?’’
Wan Er looked over at me, her face blushing even harder, ’’It's all because I lost to a bet against Dong Cheng... This Christmas outfit was a gift we got when we bought our Christmas bracelets, but I never wore it. And so, Dong Cheng and I made a bet, whoever lost would have to wear it for you...’’
I facepalmed, ’’So you ended up losing. What was the bet?’’
Wan Er was so embarrassed she couldn't say it.
Dong Cheng looked up with a smile, ’’I bet that Wang Jian and Star Scar have already gotten the homerun. Wan Er bet that they hadn't. So I carefully interrogated the two. He he, apparently, it was during the second weekend at the Hero's Wings tournament. I mean, how could they have not gotten the homerun? A boyfriend and a girlfriend, living together. The couldn't possibly resist...’’
Qin Wen smiled, ’’Then what about Li Xiao Yao and Wan Er? They're considered dating, and they've been living together for so long. Ai yo, does this mean that you guys hit the homerun already? I need to tell uncle this! Hurry up and buy some snacks so I don't tell!’’
Wan Er was speechless. Dong Cheng then said, ’’Hmph hmph, did you think that all lovers are like these two? It's been so long and they still haven't hit the homerun. I'm dying of anxiety because of them...’’
I said, ’’The emperor doesn't worry, and yet all of his eunuchs do*. That's right, tomorrow is New Year's Eve. Do you all have any plans?’’
*TL Note: A joke referring to how the emperor's servants worry more about his night life than the emperor himself
Wan Er said, ’’Dad wants us to go home, but I don't want to. We almost ended up fighting over it. I really don't know what to do...’’
I said, ’’Then how about we go back? It's just one day.’’
Wan Er pouted her lip and looked at me, ’’Then are you going back home to your Auntie and Meng Yao for the new year?’’
’’But I want to be with you...’’
’’Alright...’’ I smiled, and sat down beside Wan Er. ’’How about, we all eat our New Year's Eve dinners in our respective homes, and then I come and get you so that we can watch the sun rise?’’
’’Ok.’’ Wan Er was extremely happy.
Dong Cheng asked, Brother Xiao Yao, how has supervising the Royal Army been?’’
’’Not bad, there's still a lot of things that need to be done. To top it off, King Rocklin, Theodore, and Owen are up to something. It's really making my head ache. I'm afraid that I might be fired not long from now...’’
’’Good luck, keep it up for a bit more!’’
After I finished my midnight snack, I went to sleep.
The next day, the celebratory feelings were thick in the air. Everyone was setting off firecrackers and gathering in groups. Wan Er, Dong Cheng and I weren't interested at all. Instead, we went straight into our games so that we could complete our daily quests. Lin Tian Nan sent a car over to pick up Wan Er, while I drove the A4 to the mall. I went and bought quite a few gifts for Auntie and Meng Yao.
For the New Year's feast, Auntie made several of her most famous dishes. Meng Yao couldn't stop grinning. She asked me this and that, and even tried to get me to teach her the techniques of the Pulse Break Method. Meng Yao was a smart girl, and could easily pick up a skill she wanted to learn. On top of that, the Pulse Break Method truly was an insanely strong technique for soloers. After all, having a lot of skills wouldn't do any harm, learning one more would be good for her. So I helped Meng Yao level up and get better equipment. She was already on par with Yao Yan. With a little more time, surpassing Yao Yan was not a far off dream.
Once Auntie had settled Meng Yao in, I went out. I opened up the A4 as a strong gust of wind blew snowflakes into my face. It was time to pick up Wan Er.