After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 50

Chapter 50

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Everyone present knew that Huyan Wuzhu was deliberately trying to provoke Chu Hechao.

Chu Hechao was also well aware of Huyan Wuzhu’s intentions and knew that it was not the time to rashly confront him. Instead, they should consider the situation carefully.

However, he was indeed provoked.

And it ignited a rage within him like never before.

He wasn’t the only one provoked; all the generals who heard those words were furious, wishing to immediately teach Huyan Wuzhu a lesson so that he would never dare to utter such words again.

This kind of provocation is unbearable for any man. If they were to endure it silently, it would only harm the reputation of Chu Hechao and Yuan Li. It would be like throwing a bucket of dirty water on them. If they didn’t engage in battle, how would Chu Hechao and Yuan Li handle themselves in the future?

Among the military commanders present, Yang Zhongfa and He Lang were the only two who had met Yuan Li before. They held a favorable impression of Yuan Li, feeling admiration and respect towards him. Even though they knew that Huyan Wuzhu was deliberately provoking them, Yang Zhongfa was the first to stand up, clasping his fists and saying in a deep voice, “Huyan Wuzhu has gone too far in his arrogance. Please allow me, General, to go and confront him!”

This battle must be fought; Huyan Wuzhu had taken the words to such an extreme that there was no room for retreat.

He Lang followed closely, angrily sneering, “I am also willing to go. I can’t bear to see General and Young Master Yuan being defamed in such a manner!”

Once they set the example, the others could no longer bear it either and stood up in unison, clasping their fists and requesting to join the battle.

Xin Zhou and the other generals didn’t know Yuan Li, nor had they interacted with him before. However, based on the fact that Yuan Li was Chu Hechao’s sister-in-law and the benefactor of their entire army, they couldn’t tolerate seeing Yuan Li being insulted in such a way by the Xiongnu people.

This is not just about one person’s reputation, but the entire Northern Frontier Army’s dignity.

Chu Hechao’s face grew dark, his eyes filled with a gloomy intensity.

His anger burned fiercely, surpassing the usual rage one would feel when their relationship with their sister-in-law is defamed.

The subordinates who occasionally glanced at his expression were also taken aback, amazed at how the General couldn’t tolerate the Huns’ insults towards himself and his sister-in-law.

However, they didn’t know that within Chu Hechao’s heart, there was a mix of shock and fury.

The source of this shock was unknown even to Chu Hechao himself. It was as if some secret, yet-to-be-revealed, had been pierced, igniting a murderous intent within Chu Hechao. His instinct made an instant decision that he must eliminate every person who uttered those words, leaving no one alive.

Not a single survivor.

This surge of killing intent was too intense. Chu Hechao closed his eyes, suppressing the raging desire to kill, and calmly contemplated the situation.

Huyan Wuzhu wanted them to engage in battle. Regardless of the danger involved, they had been bullied at their doorstep. If they didn’t respond, it would only shake the morale of the army. However, they couldn’t ignore the Xiongnu cavalry stationed on both the eastern and western sides. If they directed all their forces towards Huyan Wuzhu, his 20,000 cavalry could easily turn around and retreat. Once his two sons launched an attack on the Great Wall from a distance of three to four hundred miles, their infantry would never be able to catch up in time for reinforcements.

If Yuan Congyun led back his 30,000 troops, Chu Hechao wouldn’t be facing such a shortage of soldiers.

But Yuan Congyun was still on his way back to the North Frontier, and currently, Chu Hechao had only about 90,000 available troops at his disposal. The disparity in capabilities between cavalry and infantry is significant, and it is extremely challenging to deal with the Xiongnu cavalry using infantry alone.

However, even though it is difficult, Chu Hechao cannot continue to hide and avoid taking action. He opened his eyes and ordered Xin Zhou and Duan Yuquan to lead troops to guard against Huyan Ting and Huyan Huntu, who were stationed several hundred miles away. He immediately gives the command to engage in battle. He instructed the generals not to get entangled in prolonged combat and to fight and retreat, avoiding unnecessary delays with the Xiongnu.

In this first confrontation, he intended to observe the tactics and strength of the Xiongnu in battle.

After Huyan Wuzhu’s men insulted Chu Hechao under the Great Wall, he patiently waited for Chu Hechao’s response. On the second day, he received news that Chu Hechao had sent Yang Zhongfa to lead 30,000 men out of the Great Wall and confront him on the grassland.

When he heard that among the 30,000 troops, there were only 5,000 cavalry, Huyan Wuzhu burst into laughter and praised, “Good lad, quite courageous! It seems that my eldest and second sons have instilled fear in them and depleted a significant portion of their forces. Otherwise, how would they dare to confront my 20,000 elite cavalry with only 30,000 infantry?”

After speaking, a gleam of excitement flashed in Huyan Wuzhu’s eyes. He said, “Northern Zhou is indeed showing signs of decline. Even Chu Hechao, without sufficient troops, is like a skilled cook without rice. With my 50,000 cavalry, I can truly march south.”

The subordinates looked at each other and asked, “Chanyu, do you admire Chu Hechao?”

Huyan Wuzhu stood up, tightened his belt, and picked up his big knife. He snorted coldly, “If my two sons had half the ability of Chu Ciye, I wouldn’t have to come here at over sixty years old to lead you in plundering winter provisions.”

The others showed ashamed expressions one after another.

Huyan Wuzhu waved his hand and encouraged them, “If you truly feel remorseful, then win this battle for me!”

The subordinates responded loudly with excitement, “Yes!”

The 20,000 Xiongnu cavalry assembled and headed towards the Great Wall, where they could see the well-arranged formations of the Northern Zhou army below the wall.

Banners flew within the Northern Zhou army, with well-prepared spear and shield soldiers in the front, followed by cavalry and infantry. The shield battalion, archer battalion, chariot battalion, and artillery battalion were all arranged in perfect order, exuding a daunting aura.

Huyan Wuzhu hadn’t personally led troops into battle for a long time, and he was secretly surprised at the present state of the Northern Zhou army. He asked, “Is the Northern Zhou army equipped so well now?”

His subordinate answered, “Chanyu, Chu Hechao’s weapons may appear numerous, but in reality, they are mostly scarce and worn-out.”

However, Huyan Wuzhu did not let his guard down. He led his 20,000 cavalry to a position outside the range of the Northern Zhou army and was about to send someone to shout and probe when suddenly, Han Jin exclaimed, “Huyan Wuzhu, you old thief! Today, I will make you pay with your life!”

Han Jin had been taught by Mi Yang in advance the insulting words he used to curse. He raised his voice and recited the memorized words flawlessly, speaking clearly and loudly. Every word he uttered fueled people’s anger. “You shameless old thing, the son born from your father’s concubine dares to call you father. Helping raise another’s son for over a decade, well at least isn’t he still of Huyan bloodline? Are you pleased?”

After speaking, laughter erupted among the Northern Zhou army, from the generals to the soldiers.

This was a sarcastic reference to Huyan Wuzhu’s concubine having an affair and giving birth to a son. When this incident came to light a few years ago, it was a scandal that spread far and wide. Huyan Wuzhu was so enraged that he brutally killed the concubine and the illegitimate child. It was undoubtedly a lifelong shame for Huyan Wuzhu.

Upon hearing these words, Huyan Wuzhu’s face briefly turned ugly, but he quickly regained his composure. “You insolent brat, let’s see who will meet their end today!”

After speaking, Huyan Wuzhu ordered the vanguard cavalry to charge forward, aiming to break through the formation of the Northern Zhou army.

The two armies faced each other directly, and as soon as the vanguard troops entered range, a dense shower of arrows flew out, raining down on the Xiongnu forces.

Chu Hechao had been stationed in the northern border for many years and had fought countless battles against the Xiongnu and Xianbei. The Xiongnu did have weaknesses. They lacked the materials and technology to forge their own weapons, relying on plundering and confiscating weapons from enemy forces. Their bows and arrows couldn’t match the quality of those from the Central Plains.

With the dense rain of arrows, the charging Xiongnu cavalry found themselves helpless, unable to reach the frontlines of the North Border army.

When the subordinates reported the news, Huyan Wuzhu remained calm and composed. “Arrows will eventually run out. When they are out of arrows, it will be our cavalry’s time to shine.”

The Xiongnu cavalry were not without achievements. Their cavalry was much stronger than that of the Central Plains. They could shoot arrows while on horseback and had also killed a considerable number of Northern Zhou soldiers with their own arrow rain.

As expected, when the arrows were nearly depleted, Yang Zhongfa led his troops in a hit-and-run strategy, constantly retreating towards the direction of the Great Wall.

Huyan Wuzhu immediately seized the opportunity and led his men in pursuit.

However, as they charged forward, soldiers in the front lines hurled stones that had been tied with hemp rope. The heavy stones struck the heads and chests of the Xiongnu soldiers, smashing their skulls and causing them to die on the spot.

The horses also suffered numerous injuries. The Xiongnu cavalry in the front row became chaotic, only to be replaced by those from the rear.

The thrown stones kept coming wave after wave. Before the next wave of stones could be thrown, the Xiongnu took advantage of the opportunity to launch a surprise attack on the front lines. The cavalry quickly surrounded the Northern Zhou army. The horses of the twenty thousand cavalry created a tremendous sense of intimidation and pressure. The surrounding Northern Zhou soldiers began to show signs of fear and cowering.

The Xiongnu cavalry continued to shrink the encirclement, viciously staring at the Northern Zhou soldiers in the middle, forcing them to continuously move to the left.

Yang Zhongfa sensed the danger and loudly reprimanded his soldiers, forbidding them from retreating. Just as he was about to find a breakthrough point, Han Jin suddenly discovered a vulnerability in the left flank of the Xiongnu cavalry.

Han Jin was overjoyed. “General, there’s a vulnerability in the left flank of the Xiongnu!”

Yang Zhongfa turned his head and indeed saw that the left side had the weakest number of encirclement. He looked at his own disarrayed army, scattered by the charging horses, and didn’t hesitate. He immediately raised his broadsword and pointed towards the left flank, saying, “Cavalry, follow me and break through!”

With that, Yang Zhongfa led the charge, and the 5,000 cavalry followed him without hesitation, clearing the way for the infantry. Han Jin walked closely beside Yang Zhongfa, intercepting arrows that were shot their way. Yang Zhongfa led the cavalry valiantly, cutting a bloody path through the Xiongnu left flank, killing countless enemies. Before his eyes, the surroundings suddenly opened up, and they had broken through the encirclement.

Yang Zhongfa’s expression brightened, and he urged his horse forward. However, he suddenly noticed something amiss in the dry grass and dust ahead. His pupils contracted, and he exclaimed in alarm, “No, it’s a trap set by the Xiongnu! It’s a horse pit!”

Yang Zhongfa tightly held onto his horse, exerting all his strength to try and turn it around. But the inertia was too great, and the horse couldn’t stop. Yang Zhongfa immediately abandoned the horse and rolled off.

However, the other charging cavalry were not as fortunate. They all charged into the trap. The dry grass instantly collapsed, revealing a massive horse pit.

Spears and sharp bamboo poles were embedded in the pit. Horses and men tumbled into it, either breaking their necks or being impaled by the spears and bamboo poles.

Blood flowed like a river, and cries of agony filled the air. The cavalry, who had been painstakingly trained with great effort, filled the entire horse pit. Yang Zhongfa looked at the gruesome scene in the pit, tears streaming down his face.

Suddenly, something crossed his mind, and his expression changed. He shouted loudly, “Han Jin!”

A weak voice came from the horse pit, “Sir…”

Yang Zhongfa couldn’t believe it and quickly climbed to the edge of the pit, where he saw Han Jin pinned at the bottom by horses and corpses.

Han Jin was fortunate. His arms and thighs were pierced by spears, but vital areas remained unharmed, and he was still alive. However, he was also unfortunate. Crushed under the weight of two or three warhorses and the bodies of cavalrymen, he was trapped on the battlefield. With the Xiongnu closely pursuing them, Yang Zhongfa had no way and no time to rescue him.

He grieved as he looked at Han Jin.

Han Jin also understood his intention. He struggled to say, “Sir, go quickly. Return to the city… This is my misjudgment. Remember to apologize to the general on my behalf.”

Yang Zhongfa’s surviving personal guards and the remaining cavalry rushed to his side, urging him, “Sir, go quickly!”

Yang Zhongfa wiped his face and stood up. He took hold of a nearby horse, flipped onto its back, and said, “Is there anything else you want to tell me?”

“I have a daughter at home named Yan Er,” Han Jin couldn’t help but shed tears. “I entrust her to you, sir.”

Before he could finish speaking, Yang Zhongfa, accompanied by the cavalry and infantry, hurriedly made their way towards the Great Wall.

Han Jin looked up at the hazy blue sky, his eyes blurred, and the faint fear of death that he had suppressed revealed itself on his face.

He glanced again at his warhorse, pierced and suffering, and finally realized.

I shouldn’t have asked Young Master Yuan to get you for me.

In the next life, don’t be a warhorse again.

The first clash between the Northern Frontier Army and the Xiongnu ended in a complete failure.

The atmosphere in the military camp grew even more tense, with everyone wearing solemn expressions.

Yang Zhongfa knelt on the ground, seeking forgiveness. His once-white hair was disheveled, his body covered in bloodstains, and bloodshot eyes filled with despair.

In this battle, they had expected to inflict some casualties on Huyan Wuzhu and quickly retreat to the city. However, they were defeated so severely that their cavalry, consisting of only five thousand men, suffered a loss of nearly two thousand horses.

A heavy burden weighed on everyone’s hearts.

Amidst the heavy thoughts of the soldiers, Chu Hechao remained unperturbed, providing his subordinates with a sense of reassurance. He said, “It’s not a complete loss. At least we now know the tactics the Xiongnu employ in battle.”

Yang Zhongfa lowered his head and clenched his teeth tightly, saying, “General…”

He Lang and Mi Yang, both acquainted with Han Jin, couldn’t help but become teary-eyed. However, having spent many years on the battlefield, this sorrow only lingered briefly before transforming into intense anger.

Chu Hechao focused on the map, his fist clenched tightly, and the tent fell into silence once again.

After a while, a centurion suddenly came to report, “General, a cart of goods has been brought to you from Youzhou. The person leading the team is named Wu Kai, and he claims to have been sent by the Governor of Youzhou.”

Chu Hechao raised his head abruptly, “Who sent him?”

The centurion replied, “The Governor of Youzhou.”

Chu Hechao asked further, “What is it?”

The centurion was also puzzled and shook his head, “This man said that these things can only be delivered to the General. Judging from his expression, those items must be extremely important.”

The various commanders exchanged glances with each other.

He Lang intentionally broke the heavy atmosphere and feigned curiosity, “The things brought by Young Master Yuan are always extraordinary. He sent someone specifically to deliver them to the General, so they must be very important. General, shall we go and take a look?”

After contemplating for a moment, Chu Hechao walked out from behind the table with large strides and patted Yang Zhongfa’s shoulder. “Let’s go, all of you come with me to take a look.”

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