“Oh… Big Brother Tang, five… what do you mean by five minutes?”
Slapping his head, Tang Yin cussed at himself secretly. The way they recorded time here was different from his previous world. He explained, “The time it takes to burn an incense.”
“Ah!” Zhang Bao just only understood completely, and ran away with just an agreeing sound.
Qiu Zhen who was lying next to him laughed, “Aren’t you being too cautious to send out whistleblowers just by resting for the time of an incense…”
Cautiousness was Tang Yin’s way of survival. He said indifferently, “Being careful would make a ship last a million years. There is always no harm in being a little cautious.”
“Makes sense!” Qiu Zhen nodded with a smile and agreed.
They had only stopped for two teas (twenty minutes), and the spies placed in the back had rushed back. Seeing their rush, Tang Yin knew that there must be an enemy situation. Before Zhang Bao went up to ask, he had stepped forward and asked, “What happened?”
“Big Brother Tang, there… there are enemies chasing from behind!” The spy said while gasping for air.
“How many people?” Tang Yin asked calmly.
“The distance was too far to see clearly, but there are at least hundreds of people, including horse teams.”
That many… Tang Yin’s body trembled. With their hundred over deserters, there was absolutely no chance for them to fight against that many rivals. With just a short moment of thinking, he made an immediate decision. He told Qiu Zhen who followed him over immediately, “Let our brothers all take cover. Also, clear up the things, leave no trace.”
“Understood!” In such a critical moment, Qiu Zhen put away his usual playful expression and arranged for everyone to hide in the bushes on both sides of the road.
The watchers they dispatched helped them gain a lot of time. It was only when Tang Yin and the hundred over people have cleaned up the scene and have all hid in between the bushes did they vaguely see figures of the troops and horses at the end of the road.
Due to the far distance as well as the foggy weather, Tang Yin couldn’t see too clearly as well. But just as how their watchers had said, the other party consisted of quite a large number. The dense shadows arranged into an extremely long line.
Qiu Zhen also popped his head out of the bushes and looked out. He still didn’t seem to see anything after looking for a while and couldn’t help but mutter, “Why couldn’t I see anything?”
Tang Yin pulled him down and whispered, “Don’t show your head, they’re approaching!”
“Ah!” Qiu Zhen gasped and laid flat in the bushes, not daring to lift his head up again.
Gradually, the men and horses walking on the road got closer and closer. Tang Yin’s frown also got deeper and deeper.
At this time, he could already see the other party’s flag clearly. On the flag that was dancing at the most front of the troop was a huge embroidered ‘Wu’ character. Behind it were more flags that were waving, probably more than a dozen of them. By the looks of it, the other party was not a small force.
When the other party got even closer, Tang Yin saw that they were soldiers who were wearing black suits and armor. Could they be Feng people? Tang Yin squatted down and asked Qiu Zhen who was next to him, “On our side, do we have soldiers who use ‘Wu’ as their symbol?”
“Wu?” Qiu Zhen stunned for a while and nodded, “Of course, why do you ask?”
“The other party is waving ‘Wu’ flags. From their clothes and armor, they seem like Feng people.”
“Ah?” Qiu Zhen was shocked and questioned, “Could they be the Wu family?”
Feng state had four major families, which were also the four power authorities that supported the imperial of Feng state. The Wus were one of them. Since they were waving Wu flags and wearing Feng state clothes, they should indeed be the Wu family. Qiu Zhen took a short pause and excitement showed on his face. He said hurriedly, “If that’s the case, the other party is one of our own!”
Tang Yin shrugged. He didn’t know much about the Feng state’s power authorities. But since he knew that they weren’t enemies, there was no need to hide anymore. He stood up and walked out of the bushes to stand in the middle of the road without waiting for Qiu Zhen to speak.
At this time, everyone else also saw the flags of the approaching party. Plus, seeing Tang Yin standing in the middle of the road also gave them a huge sense of relief. They followed Tang Yin and got out of the bushes altogether.
The sudden appearance of over a hundred people in return gave this troop a shock. They immediately stopped moving forward and instinctively got into their fighting stances, preparing themselves for battle. However, after seeing their clothes clearly, the soldiers from the other party also sighed a breath of relief.
Soon enough, two soldiers with black armor and black cloaks ran quickly toward Tang Yin. When they came close, they first evaluated them and then asked coldly, “Which troop are you from?”
Tang Yin smiled bitterly after hearing the other party’s question. They were all stragglers and disbanded soldiers consisting of all kinds of troops and have just gathered together temporarily. He really wasn’t sure how to answer them for a moment there.
He couldn’t answer, and the others couldn’t speak. The two soldiers got annoyed seeing their silence. One of them asked, “Who is your leader? Follow me to see the General Wu now!”
Seeing the other party’s arrogance, Tang Yin was dissatisfied and frowned instantly.
Qiu Zhen was afraid that Tang Yin would act on his impulsiveness and grabbed his arm hurriedly. At the same time, he answered, “This is our leader.”
The two soldiers looked at Tang Yin from top to toe, later saying, “Follow us.” Without waiting for Tang Yin to answer, they turned and walked back toward their troop.
Tang Yin stood still, the light that was shining in his eyes was shockingly bright.
Qiu Zhen whispered by his side saying, “The Wu family are wealthy and powerful authorities, we can’t afford to cross them! Plus, if we could follow the Wu people, our chances of staying alive would increase greatly.”
Tang Yin glanced at him for a moment and said, “You go with me!”
Bringing Qiu Zhen along wasn’t to help him feel braver, but Tang Yin was clueless about the state of the Feng team. If they were to find out that something wasn’t right, it was fine for him. However, he was afraid that he would cause trouble to the hundred over brothers behind him. Having Qiu Zhen by his side could help save him these troubles.
Following these two soldiers to their camps made them realise that these soldiers were different from the other deserters. Their clothes were neat and they had full black helmet and armor. They had black cloaks on their backs, a sword around their waists, a lance in one hand and a shield in the other. They had bodies one more muscular than the other. Just by a quick glance, one could tell that this troop of soldiers were an elite troop.
“This should be the pro-independence troop of the Wu family.” Qiu Zhen whispered as he walked. At the same time, his heart was beating like drums. If the pro-independence troop of the Wu family was here, it would mean that the general leading the group was definitely someone of a certain status in the Wu family.
Tang Yin on the other hand didn’t show much expression. His cold expression remained the same, as if everything in front of him had nothing to do with him.
The two of them were brought into the formation by two soldiers and finally came to a halt in front of two horse-riding generals.
The two generals were both in black armor. On the left was a female general who didn’t have her helmet on, her silky black hair was let loose. Face wise, she had an oval face, skin white as jade, and eyes that were like the autumn waters, extremely seductive. Riding on a horse, she had a feminine look, could be said as a beauty of all nature. The general on the right had beautiful features and an attractive look. In comparison to the general next to her, she had a little more handsomeness. It’s just that her expression was cold, as if her face was covered by a layer of frost.
Qiu Zhen had made a guess on the two’s identities when he saw them. He was extremely shocked and kneeled down hurriedly saying, “I, your subordinate Qiu Zhen, am here to see you, General Wu.”
Qiu Zhen was panicked to see that Tang Yin was still standing still while he spoke. He pulled his sleeve gently as a gesture for him to quickly pay his respect.
Tang Yin didn’t expect that there were women in the Feng troop who were also beautiful, charming generals and was a little stunned. He only recollected himself when he felt his sleeve being pulled. However, he didn’t kneel down like Qiu Zhen did. He only nodded politely and said, “My name is Tang Yin.”
Seeing that Tang Yin just stood still and not kneel, the two on the horses frowned at the same time. The name Tang Yin was extremely unfamiliar and was definitely not a general on their side. Plus, even if he were a general of theirs, he wouldn’t have dared to just nod as a sign of respect in face of the Wu family. The pretty and charming young lady smiled and asked as she pointed toward the soldiers in the distance, “Those are your men?”
The lady’s voice was sweet and soft that made people feel a kind of tingling in their hearts. Yet Qiu Zhen was in cold sweat. He had long heard of the nature of this daughter of the Wu family.
Tang Yin’s world didn’t have a division of status, and Yan Lie who merged with him had also lived in the wilderness for years. He didn’t have much contact with people and had little knowledge on social rankings. Plus, he knew little of the rich and wealthy families of the Feng state, which was why Tang Yin’s performance was so casual. He thought about it and said, “You could put it that way.”
He was neither haughty nor humble and this attitude in fact sparked the lady’s interest. She asked in curiosity, “What do you mean by that?”
Tang Yin said, “These people are scattered soldiers who are fleeing back to our home country. I’ve just grouped them up temporarily.”
“Oh!” The lady nodded as if she understood, but later shook her head and said, “You must be tired from ‘fleeing’ for so long, just follow me after this!”
Tang Yin’s proud nature wasn’t satisfactory to the lady as she added emphasis on the word ‘flee’ deliberately, adding a strong sarcasm in her tone.
Without waiting for Tang Yin to speak, Qiu Zhen answered hurriedly, “General Wu, we have also fought the Ning people several times on the way.”
“Oh?” The lady raised her eyebrows. She turned her gaze till it finally fell onto Qiu Zhen.
Qiu Zhen said with a straight face, “Yesterday, we killed more than a hundred Ning people, and also a commander of a thousand!”
You killed a commander of a thousand? This was indeed surprising. The two on the horses wavered in unison.
Qiu Zhen wouldn’t give up such a great opportunity to gain merits. He took out the military badge from his pockets and said, “This is his military badge, please have a look.”
A pro-guard stepped forward, took the military badge that Qiu Zhen was holding high up above his head, and passed it over to the charming lady with respect.
The lady looked down and her expression changed slightly. She handed it over to her companion next to her and said soft, “It turns out…”