After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 27

Chapter 27

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Liu Jixin had been searching for a wise master all along.

This wise master should possess extraordinary intelligence, virtuous character that accommodates others, and a far-sighted vision combined with patience for the present.

They should be able to withstand difficulties and understand the hardships of a humble background. Most importantly, this person should have great ambition and the determination to match it.

Liu Jixin had been searching for someone like this for many years.

When he found Yuan Li, Liu Jixin didn’t initially believe that Yuan Li would be the person he had been looking for. He secretly observed every action Yuan Li took, and in the end, he felt a sense of regret.

Regret that Yuan Li hadn’t reached the legal age, regret that Yuan Li was too kind-hearted.

However, these words brought him sudden clarity.

Someone who could look towards the future, endure present hardships, possess ambitious aspirations, and decisively eliminate enemies when necessary, wasn’t this the wise master that Liu Jixin had been seeking?

What did it matter if Yuan Li hadn’t reached the legal age? Once this exceptional individual ascended to power, wouldn’t they transform into a dragon in the face of adversity?

And at this moment, Liu Jixin was the first advisor by his side. For Liu Jixin, wasn’t this a tremendous opportunity?

Liu Jixin wholeheartedly recognized Yuan Li as his master.

Yuan Li was slightly startled, but then calmly said, “Please rise, sir.”

Wu Kai, witnessing this scene, seemed to understand something and quickly followed suit, paying his respects, “Lord.”

Yuan Li smiled and asked the two of them to take a seat. He leisurely chatted with them about daily life, their families, and hometowns.

When Liu Jixin and Wu Kai still addressed Yuan Li as “Young Master,” Yuan Li couldn’t engage in such intimate conversations with them due to his uncertain identity. But now things were different, and he was willing to talk as a show of care for his subordinates. His subordinates would only be delighted by this care and would wish for more opportunities to get closer to Yuan Li through such interactions.

Upon learning that Wu Kai couldn’t read, Yuan Li said to him, “You may not know how to read, but being a skilled warrior alone won’t make you a famous general. When we return to Jixian, how about I teach you how to read?”

Wu Kai became excited, his face turning red. He couldn’t find the words to express his gratitude, “Thank you, Lord!”

In this era, education was a resource, one that people like Wu Kai would never have access to. Teaching him how to read would be like giving him an opportunity to break through social classes. And with Yuan Li being the one to teach him, Wu Kai would give his complete loyalty.

Yuan Li smiled and said, “Once you learn how to read, you can choose a personal character for yourself.”

Wu Kai hesitated, “Does someone like me deserve a personal character?”

“Why wouldn’t you?” Yuan Li responded. “If you don’t know what character to choose, then let Mr. Liu choose one for you.”

Wu Kai pondered for a moment, his face blushing, and said, “May I ask the Lord to choose a character for me?”

“Of course,” Yuan Li laughed. “As long as you don’t mind that I haven’t reached the legal age.”

Wu Kai quickly shook his head.

After thinking for a while, Yuan Li said, “‘Kai’ has the meaning of joy and also the meaning of a triumphant tune played after a great military victory. This character has excellent connotations. So, let’s give you the character ‘Zou Sheng’ which means ‘triumphant victory.’ I hope that every time you return from a campaign, you will achieve great victories.”

Wu Kai murmured the characters “Zou Sheng,” and his eyes brightened. He then bowed firmly, saying, “Thank you, Lord.”

Yuan Li smiled at him.

Wu Kai had the potential to become a military commander, and that potential shouldn’t be wasted. Yuan Li’s eyes flickered as he already had an idea to make Wu Kai renowned.

The next day, the soldiers didn’t have the task of attacking the city, and the atmosphere in the military camp became much more relaxed.

Even on the battlefield, rest was necessary. Keeping the soldiers in a constant state of tension for too long would be detrimental to the unit. Occasionally, they would sit together and tell jokes, or the commanders would engage in friendly martial arts competitions with their soldiers to expend their energy.

Today, Yang Zhongfa’s unit and He Lang’s unit had marked out an open space in the camp as a sparring ground. Each of them brought their soldiers to compete in strength.

Yuan Li brought Wu Kai along and as soon as they approached, the soldiers watching recognized him and exclaimed with joy, “Young Master Yuan is here!”

Others enthusiastically said, “Is Young Master Yuan here to watch the competition?”

“Who do you think Young Master Yuan will support?”

Yuan Li smiled and exchanged a few words with them before casting his gaze towards the sparring ground.

Two burly men with bare arms were pressing their shoulders against each other, competing in strength. Their faces turned purple, veins bulging on their necks, and they had trampled the ground, leaving footprints in the soil.

Not only soldiers, but many officers were also cheering on the sidelines. Captains, military lieutenants, and commanding officers… When they saw Yuan Li approaching, they came forward and greeted him warmly, showing great enthusiasm.

Yuan Li introduced Wu Kai to the officers and said, “This brother of mine is also skilled in martial arts and has great strength. How about letting him compete with the soldiers under your command?”

Several officers looked at Wu Kai, momentarily taken aback by his imposing stature. They became curious about his abilities and responded generously, “Of course, this brother is welcome to participate!”

Yuan Li turned to Wu Kai and said, “Go ahead and give it your all.”

Wu Kai nodded solemnly and clasped his fists, saying, “I will not embarrass you, Lord.”

After speaking, Wu Kai took off his upper garments and stepped into the sparring ground. The victorious soldiers in the arena noticed him and immediately showed signs of caution.

Wu Kai stood still, while the other soldier hesitated, unsure whether to approach. Seizing the moment, Wu Kai took advantage of his opponent’s hesitation and launched a fierce attack, aggressively advancing forward.

Half an hour later, inside the granary.

Chu Hechao and Yang Zhongfa had just finished inspecting the remaining provisions when a sweating military lieutenant hurriedly ran up to them. Upon seeing Yang Zhongfa, the lieutenant seemed about to say something, but upon noticing Chu Hechao, he swallowed his words and appeared hesitant to speak.

Chu Hechao spoke coldly, “Speak.”

“This subordinate wanted to ask General Yang for help at the sparring ground,” the military lieutenant couldn’t hold it any longer and blurted out, “Young Master Yuan somehow found a tremendously strong warrior and he has already defeated many people at the sparring ground. Initially, it was the soldiers who were defeated, but as the victories piled up, several military lieutenants couldn’t bear the shame and personally challenged that strong warrior, only to be defeated as well! Finally, General He was alerted and is currently facing him, but from what I observed…”

The military lieutenant wiped the sweat off his forehead and struggled to continue, “There’s a high chance that he will lose too.”

Yang Zhongfa was taken aback, “Even General He couldn’t defeat this person?”

Suddenly, Chu Hechao spoke up, “Is that lad called Wu Kai?”

The military lieutenant nodded.

Yang Zhongfa realized, “Is he the one you sent to engage the enemy head-on in Beixincheng County, under the command of General Chu? That guy is indeed formidable.”

He turned to the military lieutenant and said, “Quick, take me there. Let me have a meeting with this person!”

When they arrived at the sparring ground, they witnessed the scene where Wu Kai forcefully tripped He Lang to the ground. He Lang let out a howl of pain, grimacing as he said, “You’re quite ruthless, lad.”

Yang Zhongfa burst into laughter and approached briskly, saying, “He Lang, you always consider yourself the pride of heaven, but it seems you have met your match today?”

He Lang, clutching his shoulder, stood up with a ferocious expression on his face and rolled his eyes at Yang Zhongfa, “General Yang, it’s easy to criticize when you’re standing there. Why don’t you give it a try? This guy has immense strength, and I truly can’t defeat him.”

Just as the words were spoken, Yang Zhongfa noticed Chu Hechao not far away. He Lang’s face changed, and he quickly lowered his head, saying, “General, I have brought shame upon myself.”

The other defeated commanders also felt ashamed and lowered their heads in front of Chu Hechao.

Chu Hechao raised an eyebrow and said, “I’ll have General Yang avenge you all.”

As soon as these words were spoken, the sparring ground became lively once again. Yang Zhongfa removed his weapons and heavy armor, eagerly approaching Wu Kai, “My brother, don’t be fooled by my age. Show no mercy, alright?”

Wu Kai was already covered in sweat, his breathing heavy. Despite that, he maintained a calm demeanor and clasped his fists, saying, “Please enlighten me, General.”

On the sidelines, Chu Hechao walked over to Yuan Li’s side and stood there, his voice low, “Sister-in-law, are you deliberately putting my subordinates to shame?”

Yuan Li turned his head and smirked at Chu Hechao, “General, I can’t bear the weight of your words. But judging from your implications, do you think General Yang is no match for Wu Kai either?”

Chu Hechao looked at the sparring ground, where Yang Zhongfa had already engaged in combat with Wu Kai. They exchanged quick and nimble moves, testing each other. After observing for a while, Chu Hechao concluded, “Yang Zhongfa will win.”

Yuan Li also watched the scene. Yang Zhongfa was an experienced general, although he couldn’t match Wu Kai in strength, his experience surpassed what Wu Kai could bring. The atmosphere on the sparring ground became intense, with neither side showing signs of weakness. Yuan Li knew the outcome was uncertain, but looking at Wu Kai’s determined expression, he said, “I have a different opinion from the general.”

Chu Hechao grinned, “Sister-in-law, would you dare to make a bet with me?”

Yuan Li didn’t fall for it, “General, first tell me what the bet is about.”

“If Yang Zhongfa wins, the money for the batch of medicinal herbs you previously sent to the army won’t be counted against my account,” Chu Hechao proposed.

Yuan Li’s expression became strange, and he almost couldn’t help but burst out laughing. Did Chu Hechao really think he would ask for money for the medicinal herbs? Was he so poor that he couldn’t afford the cost of the herbs?

But what surprised him even more was that he had actually intended to pay for the medicinal herbs in the first place?

“Deal,” Yuan Li nodded decisively. He hadn’t planned on asking this poor fellow Chu Hechao for money in the first place. “But if Wu Kai wins, what does the general have in mind for me?”

Chu Hechao replied directly, “What does sister-in-law want?”

“For the merits of killing Ma Renyi that I achieved earlier, when the general presents it to the court, I request that the rewards be given to my father,” Yuan Li stated.

Chu Hechao nodded in agreement.

The two fighters in the sparring ground had reached a point where it was difficult to determine the outcome. However, Wu Kai had already fought several rounds and was beginning to show signs of fatigue. He struggled to keep up with Yang Zhongfa’s experienced moves.

In the end, Wu Kai lost.

The dark-skinned peasant man panted heavily, his face filled with undisguisable disappointment. He humbly got up from the ground and thanked Yang Zhongfa, “Thank you, General Yang, for your guidance.”

Yang Zhongfa, also drenched in sweat and tired, waved his hand in response. His eyes gleamed as he looked at Wu Kai, repeatedly praising him, “Do you want to come and work under my command, be my personal guard?”

Wu Kai shook his head, “I already have offered loyalty to my lord. I’m grateful for your kindness, General.”

Yang Zhongfa looked towards Yuan Li at the sidelines and understood. “It’s Lord Yuan, right? You have good judgment and good fortune!”

With that, Yang Zhongfa pushed Wu Kai out of the sparring ground and enthusiastically called out to Yuan Li, “Lord Yuan, would you like to come and spar with me?”

Yang Zhongfa had long been curious about Yuan Li’s martial prowess. Yuan Li was able to engage in a back-and-forth battle with the general on horseback and shoot Ma Renyi with a bullseye arrow from a hundred steps away. It was hard to see him as anything but extraordinary. Now that the opportunity arose, Yang Zhongfa also wanted to test his skills against Yuan Li.

Yuan Li was taken aback for a moment, but then he noticed that everyone’s gaze had settled on him. He smiled helplessly and prepared to step forward, saying, “General, please go easy on me.”

He Lang’s eyes swept around and he winked at Yang Zhongfa, “Old Yang, you’re so old, and Lord Yuan is kind-hearted. I’m sure he wouldn’t dare to go hard on you. Why do you have to compete with Lord Yuan?”

He Lang vigorously gestured towards Chu Hechao, wanting to see a fight between the brother and sister-in-law. “Don’t rely on your age and take advantage of others! Bullying others with your power!”

Yang Zhongfa instantly understood, cursing He Lang in his heart for being sly. But his curiosity couldn’t be suppressed. He couldn’t help but rub his hands together and instigate, “General, how about you give it a try? I just had a tough match with Wu the strongman and it took a lot of energy. I’m afraid I’ll lose to Lord Yuan later, and it won’t look good for either of us.”

Chu Hechao smirked and gave him a warning look. Then he glanced at Yuan Li with the corner of his eye and noticed a slight change in Yuan Li’s expression.

Chu Hechao narrowed his eyes and saw through Yuan Li’s hidden hesitation. He immediately strode into the sparring ground, lifting his robe and tying it around his waist. With a smile on his face, he extended his hand to Yuan Li and said, “Sister-in-law, please.”

Yuan Li: “…”

Against Yang Zhongfa, he believed he still had a fifty percent chance of winning. Both he and Yang Zhongfa had an advantage not in strength but in technique and experience. However, facing Chu Hechao, Yuan Li felt a bit apprehensive. He thought it would be difficult for him to win.

However, as a true man, he couldn’t avoid challenges. Yuan Li’s heart was in turmoil, but he maintained a calm demeanor as he stood in front of Chu Hechao.

The Grand General rarely personally engaged in contests with others, and the soldiers outside the arena were completely ignited with enthusiasm, creating a lively atmosphere.

Chu Hechao’s expression was playful as he intentionally took a few steps forward and whispered teasingly, “Sister-in-law, are you afraid of me?”

The corner of Yuan Li’s mouth twitched, “General, don’t talk nonsense.”

Chu Hechao looked him up and down. Although he didn’t say anything, his expression clearly mocked Yuan Li’s slender and agile physique, reminiscent of a young boy.

Yuan Li noticed it and suddenly said, “General, there are not many herbs left in the camp. In a few days, I plan to send the wounded soldiers back to Jixian and accompany them to purchase some herbs.”

He deliberately spoke slowly, “This money…”

Chu Hechao’s expression froze.

Yuan Li cleared his throat and looked up at Chu Hechao, a subtle smile appearing in his eyes and brows. “General, please go easy on me, don’t make me lose too embarrassingly.”

Chu Hechao replied through his teeth, “Of course.”

As soon as he finished speaking, Yuan Li unexpectedly launched an attack. While he had asked Chu Hechao to go easy on him, his movements were full of strength, ruthless and unrelenting. Chu Hechao initially struggled to respond, even seeming to be at a disadvantage. He managed to block Yuan Li’s arm with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, taking the opportunity to get closer. Threateningly, he said through his teeth, “Sister-in-law, you’re quite shrewd.”

Yuan Li innocently looked at him, ‘General, soldiers never tire of deceit.’

Chu Hechao wanted to get angry, but he had to suppress his anger, maintaining an expressionless face and a terrifying aura. He restrained himself from taking action, repeatedly holding back and retreating.

They fought back and forth, displaying an exceptionally splendid battle, leaving everyone amazed.

He Lang took a deep breath, instantly feeling admiration in his heart. “Young Master Yuan is so formidable?”

On the contrary, Yang Zhongfa noticed that Chu Hechao was giving in to Yuan Li, and he murmured with great satisfaction, “I never expected the general would have a day of accommodating his sister-in-law…”

That’s the way it should be! How could a grown man bully his sister-in-law who hasn’t even achieved his own success?

In the end, Yuan Li lost this match, but he felt a sense of pride in defeat, winning the cheers and respect of the soldiers. It was Chu Hechao, the victor, who had a slightly darkened face.

Yuan Li bid farewell with a smile and returned to his tent, happily discussing his plans to return to Jixian in a few days with Liu Jixin and Wu Kai.

During dinner, Chu Hechao sent a soldier to deliver a leg of lamb to Yuan Li.

As Yuan Li looked at the soldier outside the tent, his eyelid twitched.

Wu Kai handed the leg of lamb to him and said, “Lord, there is also a note on top.”

Yuan Li immediately took the note, which was filled with extravagant handwriting.

“Presenting a leg of lamb for Sister-in-law’s nourishment. Sister-in-law’s waist is so thin that I’m afraid I could break it with just a little force. What should I do about that?”

Yuan Li could almost imagine the cold smile on Chu Hechao’s face as he said those words.

A little force? Break the waist with one hand?

It was contempt, blatant contempt.

Two veins popped out on Yuan Li’s forehead as he burned the note, his expression emotionless. He forced a gentle smile, “Come, roast the leg of lamb. After it’s cooked, send it back to the general.”

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