After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 54

Chapter 54

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Chu Hechao knew how capable Zhan Shaoning was, and he didn’t believe that Zhan Shaoning had any urgent matter that would require a person with a broken leg to leave hastily with four carriages and numerous guards.

Even if it were urgent, knowing Yuan Li’s character, he wouldn’t have them leave overnight.

Chu Hechao grew impatient with the cries for mercy, and his expression turned even colder. “Silence them.”

Moments later, the clamor ceased.

The group gradually approached Jixian County, and as soon as they entered the county, the guards on duty immediately sent word to Chu Mansion.

When Yuan Li learned that Chu Hechao had returned, he had already led people to extinguish the fire in the backyard of the residence.

He instinctively turned his head to look at the mansion. The entire Chu Mansion had been burnt down for the most part, with tall buildings collapsed, the smell of charred debris overwhelming, and ruins everywhere. It was a scene of devastation.

Black ashes floated about for a mile, covering the snowy ground with a layer of gray.

What should be done now? This was Chu Hechao’s mansion.

Yuan Li forced a bitter smile. Chu Hechao would surely be furious when he saw this.

He had let Chu Hechao down.

He had promised to pacify the rear for him, but instead, he had destroyed half of the mansion. Yuan Li needed to apologize sincerely to him.

But before Chu Hechao arrived, Yuan Li had other things to attend to.

Yuan Li thanked the people who had come to extinguish the fire and urged them, along with the soldiers, to quickly return home to seek shelter from the cold wind. The soldiers and civilians involved in firefighting were in a sorry state, with their clothes either partially burned or drenched. Many of them had suffered injuries in their efforts to fight the fire, with burns and frostbite on their arms from repeatedly dipping them in freezing water.

The winter water was icy and filled with ice shards, feeling like a knife’s edge. How could they avoid frostbite while repeatedly coming into contact with water to fight the fire? Yuan Li saw that many people’s hands were already swollen and covered in frostbite, including his own, which had become stiff and purplish, with a slight swelling and stinging pain.

The commoners didn’t expect the governor to express gratitude to them, and they were pleasantly surprised. In an instant, the exhaustion, cold, and discomfort from their wounds seemed to lessen significantly. They hurriedly waved their hands, saying they didn’t dare, but inwardly they felt delighted.

They didn’t stay for long, returning to their own homes in small groups.

However, many of the commoners felt uneasy and regretted their own carelessness. It didn’t matter much if their clothes were wet, but if their clothes were burned, they would have nothing to wear.

Yuan Li instructed Lin Tian, saying, “Arrange for the kitchen to prepare ginger soup for these civilians and soldiers later. Also, have the medical experts bring herbs to treat them. We need to prevent them from catching colds, but also pay attention to their frostbite and burns. The medicinal ingredients are in the warehouse, so let the medical experts fetch them themselves. And regarding the fabric, go and see whose clothes were damaged and provide them with a new set of clothes.”

Lin Tian acknowledged the instructions and hurried off.

Yuan Li took a deep breath and hurriedly led the remaining people to the front gate, looking from a distance as Chu Hechao and his group approached.

In the past, Yuan Li could still put on a dignified appearance when facing Chu Hechao. But now, he didn’t have the face to meet him.

The fire in the Chu Wang Mansion was too severe, and it was temporarily uninhabitable. They could only stay in the estate afterwards.

Yuan Li had thought about many things, including Chu Hechao’s reaction. For the first time, he felt a bit uneasy. When Chu Hechao’s horse had just stopped, Yuan Li spoke up, “General, I…”

The moment Chu Hechao looked at him, a surge of anger ignited within him, and his face immediately darkened. He dismounted from his horse and walked briskly to confront Yuan Li, “What the h*ll happened?”

Sure enough, he was angry.

Yuan Li felt remorseful and blamed himself, “General, because I didn’t supervise properly, the mansion caught fire and half of it burned down. I will quickly find someone to repair the residence, but with the cold weather and frozen ground, it may have to wait until after the New Year when the weather warms up… I apologize for letting you down.”

“I am asking about you,” Chu Hechao’s temples throbbed, his voice suppressing his anger as he sternly rebuked, “Who the f*ck asked you about the mansion?!”

Yuan Li looked up at him in astonishment.

His little sister-in-law looked pitiful, his face smudged with black soot from the fire, and his eyes were red and dry from the smoke.

His clothes were singed at the edges by the fire on the ground, and his damp sleeves were almost frozen. His hair was a mess, and he looked extremely disheveled.

Usually, Yuan Li’s strategic abilities made people overlook his young age. But at this moment, Chu Hechao was keenly aware that Yuan Li was only eighteen, turning nineteen after the New Year.

Chu Hechao was eight years older than this little sister-in-law.

An inexplicable surge of emotions blocked Chu Hechao’s chest, causing his heart and lungs to throb and ache. His facial expression kept changing, his hand lifted to touch Yuan Li, but he realized he was wearing gloves. He took off the gloves and wiped away the black soot from Yuan Li’s face.

“Who did this?”

His palm felt hot, as if it hid a fire, but his fingertips were rough, and he exerted great force, causing Yuan Li’s cheek to sting.

However, this rough gesture made Yuan Li feel a momentary surge of unwarranted grievance.

Sensing this surge of grievance, Yuan Li was shocked. He kept telling himself in his mind, Isn’t it just a tumble? There’s no need for this. Yuan Li, how many tumbles have you had in your past life? Is it really necessary to act like you’re also eighteen just because your body is eighteen now.

Don’t cry, don’t cry at all. It’s too embarrassing; you’re a tough guy.

Everyone around you is your subordinate, and you are their reliance. How can you cry just because Chu Hechao wiped your face?

Yuan Li forcefully held back his emotions, but his reddened and dry eyes couldn’t be held back, becoming even more intense, with a hint of condensed moisture.

In order to save face, Yuan Li quickly turned his face away and muttered, “You wiped me too hard, it hurts a bit.”

Chu Hechao looked at him in this state, thinking that he had wiped him so roughly that he made him cry from the pain. He swallowed the words “sensitive” that were about to come out of his mouth.

He looked at Liu Jixin with a cold face and asked, “Tell me, what happened?”

Liu Jixin glanced at Zhan Shaoning who was standing by his side, then said, “Half a year ago, a strategist who came to seek refuge with the Lord caused chaos in the captive camp and set fire to the mansion and soap Workshop before escaping during the chaos.”

Chu Hechao noticed Liu Jixin’s glance and looked at Zhan Shaoning with a terrifying gaze, “Is he your person?”

Zhan Shaoning’s lips were blue from the cold, and his face was pale. He had already figured out that Xiao Ce was the mastermind behind everything. He nodded silently and said with difficulty, “He was a strategist by my side.”

The anger within Chu Hechao halted, and he remembered the group of people he had bound on the way here. His expression became somewhat complicated as he asked again, “What does this person look like?”

Liu Jixin replied, “He is thin and lean, with a slightly yellow complexion, and he has also lost both legs… Oh, General, your expression seems meaningful.”

Chu Hechao’s expression did indeed carry a significant meaning.

Before coming here, Chu Hechao felt that he hadn’t lived up to Yuan Li’s words, and he had lost quite a bit of face as a man. He was somewhat restless before seeing Yuan Li, but now, Chu Hechao’s intuition told him that he had achieved a “great feat.”

This “great feat” might make Yuan Li look at him with a different perspective.

Chu Hechao glanced at Yuan Li and raised his voice, “Bring them here.”


Who are they?

Liu Jixin and the others were puzzled, but when they saw the tightly bound individuals being dragged down from the carriage by the soldiers, their eyes widened, and they let out exclamations of surprise.

Yuan Li was drawn by the voices and curiously turned his head to look, only to see the soldiers bringing Xiao Ce and the others in front of them!

These people looked terrified when they saw him and began to struggle fiercely.

Yuan Li looked at them in disbelief.

Suddenly, he raised his head again to look at Chu Hechao, his eyes shining as if they were hiding flames. “General!”

A faint smile tugged at the corner of Chu Hechao’s mouth as he lazily said, “When we encountered them acting suspiciously on the way to Jixian, I had my doubts, so I decided to tie them up and bring them back.”

This dramatic turn of events left almost everyone stunned for a moment. After realizing what had happened, they were overjoyed. Liu Jixin burst into laughter, pointing at Xiao Ce with excitement, “Xiao Ce, you didn’t expect this, did you? How could you have imagined that you would see us so soon!”

Zhan Shaoning looked at Xiao Ce with complex emotions.

Xiao Ce, supported by two soldiers due to his disabled legs, went through various changes in expression upon seeing Yuan Li and the others. Eventually, he settled into calmness and said, “Young Master, Young Master Yuan, Brother Zhang Yue, it has been a long time.”

Liu Jixin grinned insincerely and said, “Indeed, Li Mou. But to see you at this moment brings me great joy, a tremendous delight.”

Yuan Li was also delighted. Besides the joy, the suppressed anger in his heart ignited instantly. He let out a breath and sincerely thanked Chu Hechao, “Thank you, General, for bringing them back.”

Chu Hechao raised an eyebrow, unable to conceal his pleasure. “No need to thank me.”

Yuan Li smiled and then put away his smile. “General, may I borrow your large knife?”

Chu Hechao pulled out the ring-headed knife from his waist and handed it to him without hesitation.

Yuan Li held the knife and walked up to Xiao Ce himself.

Xiao Ce’s expression subtly fluctuated, but from his eyes, Yuan Li saw his fear of death.

Yuan Li coldly stared at him, raising his hand with the knife.

Xiao Ce quickly spoke, “You shouldn’t personally kill me. You have always been renowned for your benevolence and care for the people. Dirty and exhausting tasks should be left to others. As a wise lord, you shouldn’t stain your hands with blood.”

Yuan Li lifted his eyelids and gazed at Xiao Ce. In an instant, his eyes were filled with a decisive and sharp edge, showing no hint of wavering due to Xiao Ce’s words.

Xiao Ce was taken aback by Yuan Li’s unwavering determination.

Yuan Li’s knife remained steady in the air, without the slightest tremor. He calmly said, “You burned down my workshop, the mansion, and caused chaos among the captives. You attempted to take away the artisans and seize the soap formula. If I don’t personally kill you, others will think I’m a coward.”

At this moment, he wanted to kill Xiao Ce with an unshakable resolve, making it clear to Xiao Ce that all his attempts at explanation would be futile.

Xiao Ce’s face changed, and he immediately looked at Zhan Shaoning, saying, “Young Master, save me!”

But Zhan Shaoning was no longer the Zhan Shaoning who had been manipulated by him half a year ago. Zhan Shaoning smiled bitterly and said, “If it wasn’t you, explain yourself. If it was indeed you, how can you seek my help without considering my situation? Uncle Xiao… Xiao Ce, do you really not understand the significance of what you have done?”

Just for the act of stealing the soap formula, Xiao Ce had become an ungrateful thief!

Even though Zhan Shaoning had a deep connection with him, he couldn’t bring himself to ask Yuan Li to spare Xiao Ce this time.

“I just hoped that you won’t continue to lead a dissolute life!” Xiao Ce suddenly became agitated, and the veins on his neck bulged. “Look at yourself! Since you arrived in Youzhou, what have you accomplished? Do you still remember the incident when the court executed the entire Zhan family? Day and night, you indulge in a comfortable life, but have you done anything to seek revenge or settle old scores?”

Zhan Shaoning clenched his fist, gritting his teeth. “You know nothing—”

Xiao Ce coldly chuckled, “A fledgling bird that hides behind others in search of temporary tranquility can never become an eagle. You and I have different paths and cannot conspire together. But if you ask me why I did this, I have something to say. Do you know that my legs were broken by the person you considered a benefactor?!”

Zhan Shaoning was suddenly startled and turned to look at Yuan Li.

However, Yuan Li seemed to have anticipated that he would say those words, and he even smiled slightly. “Xiao Ce, you know very well what you have done. And you know very well why I broke your legs. Was the death of Zhan Shaoning’s nephew back then really an accident?”

Xiao Ce’s face darkened.

Zhan Shaoning’s lips trembled. What did this mean?

Yuan Li sneered, raising the knife even higher. “Originally, I wanted to ask how you convinced my artisans to join you and how you found Zhan Shaoning’s former subordinates scattered among my troops. But now, I don’t want to ask anymore.”

“I’ve heard rumors about you and your talent for winning people’s hearts, and now I’ve witnessed it myself. The events have already unfolded, and the results are right in front of me. The process no longer matters. Because I won’t spare a single person, including those who followed you.”

With that, the large knife descended fiercely.

“Wait!” Xiao Ce finally panicked. He was unwilling to die and hastily grasped at the last straw of survival. “I’m willing to pledge my loyalty to you! Now that you have seen my abilities, as long as you spare me this time, I’m willing to consider you my lord, loyal and devoted to you, willing to serve you wholeheartedly!”

But in the next instant, the large knife continued its motion without any hesitation, striking his neck.

At the moment Xiao Ce’s head flew off, Yuan Li said, “Talented individuals are plentiful in this world, and I’m no worse off without you.”

The severed head rolled far on the ground, reaching the three artisans who screamed in terror, utterly frightened and in a state of panic.

Blood splattered all over Yuan Li’s body, and crimson droplets traced along his brow. He turned his head towards them, and his once gentle face suddenly revealed a dangerous and menacing edge. His eyes narrowed slightly as he approached the artisans with the raised knife.

In the eyes of the artisans, he seemed more terrifying than any demon or monster.

Chu Hechao’s gaze remained fixated on him, unable to look away.

The artisans trembled on their knees, continuously pleading for mercy. They knew Yuan Li had a good temperament and a kind heart, so they repeatedly mentioned their elderly parents, young children, and families, hoping to evoke sympathy. Tears streamed down their faces, crying in a particularly miserable manner.

Yuan Li kept his jaw tightly clenched, listening to their cries. When the three artisans cried until their throats were hoarse and their tears dried up, unable to shed any more tears, Yuan Li lowered his eyelids and calmly asked, “Why aren’t you continuing to cry?”

Fear filled the hearts of the three artisans as they bowed their heads and pleaded, “Young Master Yuan, Young Master Yuan, considering that we came with you from Ruyang to Youzhou, please spare us this time. We truly know our mistake. We were deceived by the thief. Please, spare our lives!”

Yuan Li smiled, his gaze clear as if he were not committing the act of killing, “Why would I make the same mistake twice?”

Soon, the three artisans could no longer produce any cries.

This was the first time Yuan Li had wielded his blade against ordinary people.

It wasn’t the same as the indirect methods that had caused Wang Er’s companions to bleed to death or the arrow that had struck Ma Renyi’s legs, resulting in his instant death.

He personally chopped off the heads of these people and took their lives, but Yuan Li’s mood was unexpectedly calm.

Behind him, Liu Jixin, Wu Kai, Wang Er, and the others watched his figure.

In a daze, they felt as if they had witnessed Yuan Li’s transformation with their own eyes.

Blood flowed like a river, and the scene fell into silence. Yuan Li pulled up the hem of his robe and wiped the blood off the blade, returning the great sword to Chu Hechao. He smiled and said, “General, thank you for the sword.”

Chu Hechao looked at the corners of his mouth that lifted slightly and reached out to receive the sword, responding in a deep voice.

After a long while, Zhan Shaoning asked hoarsely, “Yuan Li, what do you mean by my nephew’s death not being an accident?”

Yuan Li turned his head to look at him and, upon seeing the pain and fear on Zhan Shaoning’s face, it slowly revealed his previous speculation.

In fact, it was no longer a mere speculation. Judging by Xiao Ce’s reaction just now, it was clear that Yuan Li had guessed correctly.

After learning the truth, Zhan Shaoning fell into silence for a long time. He suddenly punched the pillar beside him. Taking a deep breath, a deep and intense hatred flickered in his eyes. So it was like this, so it was like this…

He gritted his teeth and said, “Yuan Li, please hand over Xiao Ce’s corpse to me for disposal.”

Yuan Li replied, “Please.”

Zhan Shaoning silently took away Xiao Ce’s body, and the servants of the Wang Mansion held their breath as they wiped away the bloodstains at the gate.

Guo Lin spoke softly, “My Lord, General, the Wang Mansion is no longer inhabitable. Please proceed to the countryside estate.”

Yuan Li sighed, “The estate is not comparable to the Wang Mansion. General, you have suffered.”

Chu Hechao furrowed his brows, “Go and change your clothes first.”

Only then did Yuan Li realize the chill in his body. He shivered as the anger subsided, and a sudden discomfort swept over him. Yuan Li nodded hastily and returned to the mansion to change his clothes.

When he came out after changing, the carriage was already waiting at the mansion gate, and the servants were busy moving the items that would be used in the estate. Without needing Yuan Li to say much, everything was in perfect order.

The tall man stood outside the mansion like an unyielding pillar.

Guo Lin couldn’t help but exclaim with gratitude, “Today, it was all thanks to the General.”


Yuan Li nodded involuntarily. Indeed, today was thanks to him.

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2 thoughts on “After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 54”

  1. Yuan Li got so lucky… I was so angry for him. What did Xiao Ce say to the artisans that convinced them to leave their cushy jobs? Are they retarded?


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