After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 182

Chapter 182


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The green mountains stretched endlessly, and the wind carried the scent of flames.

Yuan Li and Chu Hechao locked eyes, their minds blank.

He never expected to encounter Chu Hechao here, right in front of the enemy’s city gates, caught completely off guard.

All other sounds seemed to fade away.

The people around him were cheering, shouting in amazement, “It’s the Grand General!”

“It’s the Grand General!!!”

Countless voices rang out, as if through a veil of joy and celebration.

Everyone was telling Yuan Li that the man standing there was Chu Hechao, alive and well.

Yuan Li kept looking at Chu Hechao, watching his expression change from confusion to astonishment, and then to unbridled joy. He saw the brightness in Chu Hechao’s eyes grow stronger and stronger.

Unconsciously, Yuan Li smiled.

Chu Hechao took big strides towards Yuan Li.

His steps became larger and faster, almost as if he was running.

In Yuan Li’s mind flashed images of the moments when he bid farewell to Chu Hechao.

—— “Take care, General.”

—— “You take care too.”

—— “Come back quickly.”

—— “Alright, I’ll leave now, you take care too.”

Every time they parted, Chu Hechao would say “take care” to Yuan Li. But this time, when they separated, Chu Hechao didn’t even have a chance to say it.

Yuan Li didn’t know what was happening; his vision started to blur.

The chaotic soldiers from Yangzhou couldn’t stop Chu Hechao’s determined steps, and the debris and rubble couldn’t slow him down either. Chu Hechao rushed forward, as if he wanted to fly to Yuan Li.

The distance between the two wasn’t far, but there were still about a hundred meters between them. Yuan Li couldn’t hold back; he left his subordinates and took a few steps forward. They kept getting closer and closer until they were within arm’s reach.

Chu Hechao looked thinner, with sweat on his forehead, and his face showed traces of soot from the fire. His stubble was growing.

He focused his gaze on Yuan Li, his eyes filled with intense longing and love, even more dazzling and burning than the flames rising behind the ruined city of Luling.

“You…”

Yuan Li’s throat felt choked. He had just uttered one word when Chu Hechao suddenly pulled him into his arms.

The familiar feeling enveloped Yuan Li in an instant, and he closed his eyes, embracing Chu Hechao as well.

Chu Hechao seemed as though he wanted to meld Yuan Li into his body. He used great force, but also restrained himself to avoid hurting Yuan Li. His hands trembled as he spoke, “Le Jun.”

His voice was hoarse, filled with ecstatic joy, cautious, as if Yuan Li was an illusion. “I missed you so much.”

His words suddenly multiplied, his voice much lower than usual. “Did you feel the cold wind in the winter? Did you close the doors and windows before going to sleep? Did you eat and sleep well after the ambush? Why have you lost so much weight… Le Jun, have you cried a lot? I told you, take care after I left…”

His words became incoherent, and finally fell into silence.

Chu Hechao’s breathing was heavy as he held Yuan Li, murmuring absentmindedly, “I really missed you.”

Yuan Li’s tears couldn’t be restrained any longer, falling onto Chu Hechao’s shoulder. He nodded firmly and choked, “I missed you too.”

Chu Hechao’s eyes were reddened. Taking advantage of their clothes and position, he lowered his head and kissed Yuan Li’s hair.

Even this iron-blooded man couldn’t control his surging emotions now. He smelled Yuan Li’s scent, and finally, Chu Hechao’s restless heart was soothed.

Chu Hechao continued to stroke Yuan Li’s back.

Regained after being lost.

He once again experienced the feeling of regaining something that was lost, through Yuan Li.

Chu Hechao’s eyes were hot, and he cherished the moment, kissing Yuan Li’s hair again. He wiped away Yuan Li’s tears with his hand and hoarsely said, “Don’t cry.”

Yuan Li replied with a trembling voice, “Mm, don’t talk, and don’t comfort me. The more you talk, the more I want to cry.”

Chu Hechao smiled helplessly and kissed Yuan Li’s forehead again, reluctant to let go. “I really want to hold you like this forever.”

Yuan Li wanted that too, but he knew it wasn’t appropriate right now. He composed himself for a while before retreating from Chu Hechao’s embrace.

Chu Hechao looked up and down at him, assessing him inch by inch, feeling a twinge of pain in his heart. He said again, “You’ve lost weight.”

He straightened Yuan Li’s messy clothes, tightened his collar, suppressing his emotions, “You’ve lost a lot of weight.”

Yuan Li smiled, the pent-up frustration in his heart dispelled after crying, his face radiant as if the sun had come out after the rain. “You’ve lost a lot of weight too. Let’s go back and eat together!”

Chu Hechao agreed, his eyes filled with ardent affection, smiling widely, “I’ll listen to you.”

Yuan Li blushed.

Chu Hechao’s yearning and attachment to him were so tangible, surging like waves, deep and intensely passionate, ready to engulf him completely.

The two of them had been separated several times due to the battles, but this time was the most difficult. Facing life and death, and having not seen each other for a long time, they couldn’t contain their emotions. However, the situation did not permit them to express their feelings. They had to forcibly restrain themselves, pretending to be ordinary and casual.

As soon as they embraced each other, their subordinates naturally stopped and waited behind them. Only when they saw that their lord and the Grand General seemed to have calmed down, they approached and greeted Chu Hechao with smiles, glossing over what had just happened.

In his heart, Guo Mao couldn’t help but marvel at how right their lord was in his judgment. 

They were indeed a perfect match, destined to be together. Look at them now—since they parted ways a few months ago, they had faced one difficulty after another, with challenges and conflicts coming from all directions. They had to fight everywhere, against enemies from both the north and the south.

But now that the two of them were finally reunited, all the problems seemed to be inexplicably resolved. As Chen Wang kept fleeing, victory in the biggest battle was within reach. 

Guo Mao couldn’t help but believe that if they wanted peace throughout the world and an end to conflicts, their lord and the Grand General had to be together for a lifetime.

Chu Hechao’s temperament was better than ever, and he patiently nodded in response to everyone’s greetings. “Yes.”

After exchanging greetings, Jia Qing asked first, “May I ask, Grand General, did you set the fire in this Luling City? Do you know where Chen Wang is?”

“The fire was indeed set by me,” Chu Hechao’s thick eyebrows furrowed as he spoke in a solemn tone, “Chen Wang has come here?”

Even Yuan Li was surprised this time, “You don’t know?”

Chu Hechao turned and waved, summoning Yuan Congyun to approach. As he ran over, Chu Hechao explained, “I stealthily made my way to Luling from the south of Yangzhou, and I just destroyed the shipyard and ships in Luling, and charged into their camp. The Yangzhou soldiers retreated one after another, scattered everywhere. I was about to leave Luling when I saw you. I haven’t seen anyone else along the way.”

As soon as he finished speaking, Yuan Congyun rushed over and was almost in tears when he saw Yuan Li and the others. “General, what can I do for you?”

“Send someone to the lookout tower inside Luling City to see if there are any troops hiding in the nearby jungle,” Chu Hechao ordered, “Get the troops in order and have all the soldiers in the city come out. Close the city gates and let it burn. Now we have more important things to attend to.”

Yuan Congyun immediately complied. After greeting Yuan Li and the others, he ran off.

Seeing Chu Hechao, Yuan Li felt that they could win any battle, and his heart was filled with complete peace. “I think the same as you. Chen Wang arrived before me, so you must have been attacking Luling at that time, and therefore couldn’t pay attention to what was happening outside the city. He must know that Luling is in chaos and didn’t enter the city. Since he didn’t enter the city, he must still be hiding in the deep mountains and forests nearby.”

“Our hearts are connected,” Chu Hechao grinned at Yuan Li, feigning seriousness, “The dense jungle is dangerous. Even though our soldiers from the North have trained on how to survive in the Southern jungles, they still can’t match the agility of the Southern soldiers. Luckily, I brought soldiers from Jiaozhou, which is further south than Yangzhou, and the jungles are even more humid and perilous. They are better suited to search for Chen Wang’s trail in the forest than Northern soldiers.”

Yuan Li smiled and replied, “Chen Wang’s body is already at its limit. He won’t venture too far into the forest.”

After a while, the soldiers observing from the lookout tower reported that there seemed to be some activity in the eastern jungle.

Chu Hechao coldly smiled without making a sound. He dispatched a group of experienced and agile Jiaozhou soldiers deep into the jungle and instructed them not to make any noise if they found Chen Wang’s trace, but to immediately return and report.

The Jiaozhou soldiers disappeared into the jungle and didn’t return for about an hour. As the sun set and darkness enveloped the surroundings, a few of them finally returned, successfully locating Chen Wang’s position and reporting it.

Chu Hechao didn’t immediately lead the soldiers to capture Chen Wang.

It was already dark, and for those who were unfamiliar with the terrain of Luling, going into the mountains would undoubtedly be extremely dangerous. However, on the other hand, the darkness was disadvantageous to them but also to Chen Wang.

They couldn’t go up the mountain, and Chen Wang couldn’t leave under the cover of darkness.

Chu Hechao took over control of the troops from Yuan Li, surrounding the mountain where Chen Wang was located, and waited for dawn to encircle and trap Chen Wang.

Throughout the night, no one slept. They refrained from lighting campfires to avoid alarming Chen Wang.

Chu Hechao raised his cloak to cover Yuan Li, and whispered, “Are you cold?”

Yuan Li shook his head, “Not cold.”

Chu Hechao touched Yuan Li’s hand and scolded with a frown, “Your hands are frozen like ice, and you still say you’re not cold?”

He held Yuan Li’s hand in his own, rubbing it to warm it up, and then placed it inside his own clothes, saying, “I’ll take it out when it warms up.”

“Oh,” Yuan Li obediently responded, “How’s your injury?”

Chu Hechao teased, “It doesn’t hurt when I don’t see you, but after seeing you, all I feel is an itch.”

Yuan Li thought he was genuinely itching and offered, “Where is it? Let me scratch it for you.”

Chu Hechao found Yuan Li’s serious expression adorable, and his heart burned with warmth. He intentionally rubbed his stubble against Yuan Li’s face, suppressing a laugh, “It’s an itch in my heart.”

Yuan Li’s eyebrows twitched, “…” Why is this person always so unscrupulous?

Time quietly passed.

After a pitch-black midnight, the darkness gradually thinned, and there was a faint glimmer in the east.

The sun had yet to rise.

Chu Hechao silently led the soldiers to approach the mountaintop.

He assigned Yuan Li to wait at the foot of the mountain. Anxiously pacing back and forth, Yuan Li made Guo Mao restless, “My lord, the Grand General will definitely succeed in capturing Chen Wang.”

Yuan Li immediately responded, “Don’t set up a flag*.”
* when a person is slapped on face for what they say; results opposite of expectation

Guo Mao looked puzzled, “What is ‘Fu La Ge’?”

Yuan Li coughed, “It’s nothing.”

Unconsciously, the sun rose from the east, hanging high in the sky, painting half of the world golden.

Yuan Li’s eyebrows furrowed deeply. Suddenly, he heard some commotion from the forest. He focused his gaze and saw a group of people leading Chen Wang’s subordinates towards them.

Yuan Li immediately breathed a sigh of relief.

He walked forward and saw Chen Wang and Chu Hechao walking side by side. To say they were “walking” was not entirely accurate; Chen Wang was actually being carried by a soldier.

Chen Wang’s eyes were wide open, his face pale, his lips trembling and turning purple. There were still traces of blood on his chest, indicating that he had coughed up blood again last night. Despite his condition, he remained calm and composed, with a faint smile on his face.

The captives were detained in an open area, and Chen Wang was placed on the ground. As he was already old and feeble, Yuan Li and Chu Hechao didn’t bind or humiliate him. Chen Wang knew he couldn’t escape now.

He had no intention of escaping.

He just smiled and looked at Yuan Li and Chu Hechao with a strange expression. Yuan Li felt uneasy under his gaze, but he didn’t show any sign of discomfort and calmly said, “Chen Wang, the outcome is already decided. You need to come with us now.”

It would be best to capture Chen Wang alive so that they could use his life to persuade the Yangzhou troops who were still fighting with He Lang on the Huai River to surrender.

Of course, if Chen Wang refused to cooperate, they could simply kill him. Using Chen Wang’s head would have the same effect, but they needed to be prepared for his loyal followers launching a desperate counterattack in their rage.

Chen Wang shook his head and leisurely replied, “No, I’m old, and my body is weak. I can’t endure the hardship of traveling. Victory and defeat are common in the military. I acknowledge my loss. You can make your move now.”

From Chen Wang’s appearance, he did look like a candle at the end of its life. Perhaps when he rushed to Luling yesterday, he thought there might be hope, only to find that Luling had also fallen. In his great joy and sorrow, he became overwhelmed, and now, he had no intention of resisting.

Chu Hechao didn’t waste any more words with him. He ordered Yuan Congyun to step forward and behead Chen Wang.

Yuan Congyun drew his sword and approached.

Facing the approaching sword, Chen Wang coughed a few times and suddenly burst into laughter, “Hilarious, truly hilarious. Yesterday, witnessing such a scene, even if I die today, I die without regrets! When I go to the Yellow Springs, I will watch with great interest to see what your fate will be! Will you be reviled by the world? Will you face betrayal and estrangement? People in the world would never have expected that the so-called in-laws would turn out to be…”

As Chen Wang’s words were cut off halfway, Chu Hechao swiftly stepped forward and snatched the large sword from Yuan Congyun’s hand. With lightning speed, he beheaded Chen Wang in one clean stroke.

The head rolled on the ground, and Chen Wang’s eerie smile still lingered on his face.

Blood splattered on Chu Hechao’s brow, and he raised his eyelids, glancing ambiguously at everyone around him.

Yuan Li’s expression remained unchanged as well. He squinted his eyes and calmly gazed at Chen Wang’s head for a moment, then lifted his head to look around.

Silence.

Apart from the chirping of insects and birds, no one dared to speak.

Some wore puzzled looks, some appeared calm, and others were shocked.

Yuan Li let out a slow laugh, walking forward to pick up Chen Wang’s head. He took a moment to examine it before casually tossing it to Lin Tian, saying, “Wrap it in lime and let’s wrap things up and head back!”

His words shattered the peculiar silence, and Lin Tian loudly acknowledged the order.

Yuan Li’s every move seemed extremely ordinary, as if Chen Wang’s words were just rumors.

Jia Qing and Yuan Congyun put away their shocked expressions and relieved expressions. They thought Chen Wang was deliberately spreading rumors. Just as they were about to ignore Chen Wang’s words, they saw Yuan Li suddenly grab Chu Hechao’s arm.

Yuan Li’s fair and delicate hand reached down Chu Hechao’s arm and finally clasped his scarred and ugly hand. His slender fingers gently slid into the gaps between Chu Hechao’s fingers.

Chu Hechao was slightly stunned but then hesitated for only a moment before firmly gripping Yuan Li’s hand in return.


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