On that day, the Third Sister Peak’s bandits finally recalled the terror when they were once surrounded by the local authorities, that humiliation of falling into banditry. Fine then, as far as Boss Qiao Dasheng of Third Sister Peak was concerned, that really was an afternoon like no other.
When they learned that Fourth Sister Peak’s bandits were majestically assaulting their fort, Boss Qiao Dasheng was disdainful. Who were they kidding. His fort had more than three hundred warriors, including cavalry and archers. His second-in-command was once an imperial officer. After he joined their ranks, he helped train them in battle formations used by the court.
Their morale was high, their Qi-blood boiling, possessing a kind of discipline. There really was no reason to place those vagabonds from Fourth Sister Peak in their eyes. Apparently, that leader of theirs had been killed by someone. Qiao Dasheng had been considering finding an opportunity to assimilate them. He did not expect that they would instead go berserk and attack his fort. Fine, since the little lambs were coming to his doorstep, Qiao Dasheng did not mind coming to party. This was perfect to display his own power, and then annex Second Sister Peak in the future.
Consequently, harboring a “lamb into the tiger’s den” mentality, Qiao Dasheng, group happily and eagerly awaited for their counterparts’ arrival. To see their disorderly march, their complete lack of discipline, Qiao Dasheng despised them.
The truth was as he expected. Fourth Sister Peak’s second-in-command was determined to depend on him, but this guy absolutely wanted a contest. More than a hundred dead chiefs would not have mattered. Qiao Dasheng and the others did not hesitate to open the gates, and two hundred warriors rushed down to attack.
But in the instant the warriors attacked, those unorganized enemies abruptly changed. As if planned in advance, all their warriors assumed individual positions, drawing their blades and ripping apart their rags, revealing blinding armor and sharp weapons. Thereupon, the chaotic march vanished, and that “lack of discipline” became nothing more than words.
It’s a trap.
These words immediately sprung out in Qiao Dasheng’s mind.
But another phrase promptly appeared as well.
Even if these brigands understood subterfuge, even if they were able to snatch superior weapons and armor from who knows where, insignificant talents were still insignificant talents. Whether it was in numbers or cultivation, his people far surpassed them. Annihilation was inevitable. But immediately, the opposing army turned strange, adopting a never-before-seen formation. All the warriors’ Qi-blood combined, surprisingly containing a spirit that could devour mountains and rivers.
Before his side could attack, they were already scared out of their wits by this Saint Of War-level army.
Validating Qiao Dasheng’s words.
Annihilation was inevitable, except the ones getting annihilated turned into them.
In mere moments, the fortress fell, and a majority of the warriors had already surrendered. Qiao Dasheng was merely Spirit Flower level. Against a Saint Of War-level army, he could only capitulate in the end.
Several hundred battle-hardened troops were crowded from both sides. Then, the opposing troops parted, their actions reverent and synchronized. This made Qiao Dasheng see an illusion. What sort of bandit troupe was this, they were practically a legion from the god of war.
A man and woman appeared in his field of view.
The man appeared young, a little inexperienced, but his appearance and gestures seemed as easy as if he was lifting weights. He looked feeble, like he was a scholar, but to be able to make Fourth Sister Peak’s commanders take on cautious attitudes, he clearly was not as simple as an ordinary scholar. In the young man’s hands was a little seven or eight year old girl. That girl was groggy, an expression that showed she was not yet fully awake.
The woman beside the young man possessed a presence that was a stark contrast to him. Her red hair flowed like water, each step of hers carrying heavy pressure. That fine armor and those alert, fire-red eyes very easily made one feel chills.
“You are the chief of Third Sister Peak?” It went without saying that the youth was naturally Chen Mo.
“Huh?” Qiao Dasheng was still flabbergasted.
“Chief Qiao, our chief asked you a question, are you fucking deaf?” The second-in-command cursed.
Qiao Dasheng and the others were astonished.
The young man before them was surprisingly the chief of Fourth Sister Peak?
“Boss, I think he’s stupid, how about I slaughter him.” A gleaming machete was drawn.
“Your Servant is Qiao Dasheng, the leader of Third Sister Peak. This is our defeat. Whether you kill us or carve our flesh, that is up to you.” Qiao Dasheng fearfully said.
Chen Mo nodded. He said to them: “Your spirit deserves praise. Alright. Haven’t you heard them? Hurry and carve their flesh.”
“Wait a sec, I was just joking. This Chief never meant it to be serious.” Qiao Dasheng forced a laugh. Why was this brat not playing according to common sense. In any case, he, too, was a chief, so would it hurt to give a little bit of face?
“I am not joking.” Chen Mo coldly said: “Take him downslope, make mincemeat out of him.”
Several hands seized Qiao Dasheng and dragged him away.
Qiao Dasheng was frightened nearly to incontinence, promptly pleading for leniency: “Chief, mercy, please. I was blind, I should not have joked with the chief. Please, Chief, spare this little coward. I am willing to go to any lengths for the chief, without any hesitation.”
They all looked at Chen Mo.
Chen Mo was expressionless.
Seeing that Chen Mo surprisingly actually wanted to kill him, Qiao Dasheng’s expression changed. His begging became even more pitiful, but as they listened to his wails, no one spoke up for him.
At this moment, a man stepped forward, fell to one knee and said: “Please allow Your Servant to accompany Your Highness!”
Everyone stopped, and Chen Mo looked at him.
“Your Servant is Duanmu Ming,2 second-in-command of Third Sister Peak.” The man’s eyes were blue and his hair purple. He was a Foreigner, but his Central Plains language was nevertheless fluent. His brow was solemn, an attitude of complete submission.
“Duanmu Ming. Very good, you may rise. You are now one of my people.” Chen Mo said.
“I am also willing to follow Chief.”
The custom of bandit strongholds was for the losers to acknowledge allegiance to the victor. Not only would they be able to preserve their lives, they could increase their power as well. This was an unspoken rule. Chen Mo did not fear disloyalty from them, “I’m searching for something. Have you ever seen characters like these?” Chen Mo brought out the ancient characters of the Five Finger Mountain for them to look.
Duanmu Ming was pensive, “I have.”
Chen Mo was elated, “Take me there to see it.”
“As you command.”
“I leave these people to you. You all should know how to manage them.” Chen Mo said to his second-in-command.
“Be at ease, I can guarantee that I will help Your Highness turn them truly submissive.” The second-in-command patted his chest in pledge.
Chen Mo and Zhongli Sanmei followed Duanmu Ming into the fort.
The second-in-command glanced over, hinting to his subordinates to release Qiao Dasheng. “Boss Qiao, you suffered just now, heh, heh.”
“What the hell is this brat, how did you guys become so strong?” Qiao Dasheng’s expression was unsightly as he cursed. They had the numbers advantage, but they surprisingly suffered crushing defeat. It was obvious how depressed he was. He glanced around, noticing that his opponents had not relaxed their guard. There was completely no chance for him to seize.
“Heh, heh, you can forget about this. In short, there’s no disadvantage for you to follow our Highness. Someday, the Great Chong Dynasty will belong to our Highness.” The second-in-command said.
“His Highness? Aren’t you afraid of the local officials wiping you out if you address him like that.” Qiao Dasheng twitched his lips.
“Fuck the local officials. If you knew our Highness’ identity, then you’ll also know that being able to join us is a gargantuan blessing.”
Qiao Dasheng’s expression was grave as he asked: “Just who is he? And what was that formation you used?”
The second-in-command and the others glanced at each other. Then, they whispered into Qiao Dasheng’s ear. After he finished listening, Qiao Dasheng was shaken.
“That woman is a Star General???”
“She’s that man’s wife??”
“Our chief is amazing, right.” The second-in-command and others proudly said.
Qiao Dasheng cursed to himself, Fuck, let alone amazing, this is simply unheard of.