General’s Gown Chapter 38

Chapter 38 The Desert Kiss Part 3 


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In the boundless desolate desert, the wind had just stopped. Although it had long been past noon, the sun was still venomous, and the white flowers on the saline land were piercing to one’s eyes. 

A long line of thousands of troops was marching hard in the desert. The team was silent and the steps were heavy. Every soldier looked famished, with cracked lips, and only their round eyes and occasional movement of their chest proved that they were not the walking dead, but living people. 

They didn’t know how long it had been. The person in front of the team rode on a strong black horse. The man in armour finally felt unbearable under the scorching sun and ordered everyone to stop to rest. The man’s bones were rough but extremely skinny, and his cheekbones were high and convex. It was simply a skeleton covered with chapped black and yellow human skin. A pair of deeply sunken eyes glowed with shining green light, like a desperate wolf. 

This person was the Marshal of Bei Rongdu, Ah Du Lie. 

With an order from Ah Du Lie, the eyes of thousands of soldiers suddenly lit up. Their tired and weak bodies seemed to be infused with a lot of vitality in an instant. One after another, the soldiers pushed each other to rush to the half-a-person tall ash-green grasses growing everywhere, which were called “Guanyin grass” by the people in Monan. 

The hungry and thirsty soldiers of Beirong picked up their daggers and short knives and dug out the roots of the grass. Dust burst and rose to their chapped faces, but no one evaded them. They stared with green eyes, gray heads and faces, and after digging quickly with their hands and feet, they dug large pits more than ten feet deep, exposing the thick and dense roots deep in the ground. 

Countless pairs of chapped and dark hands snatched the thick roots. Before the soil on the roots could be wiped clean, it had disappeared under pale thirsty mouths.

In the desert, for Beirong soldiers who were about to run out of ammunition and food, the roots filled with moisture were the “life-saving grass” they relied on to quench their thirst and fill their stomachs. 

Ah Du Lie got out of his horse with some difficulty, looked at the soldiers who were constantly fighting for the grass, and a trace of contempt flashed in his eyes. He took the buckskin water pocket handed by his subordinates, drank it, and walked wobblingly to the caravan with dozens of heavy wooden boxes behind him.

The centurion who accompanied him tactfully ordered people to skillfully open the wooden boxes one by one. Numerous gold and silver coins, precious stones and gold objects were immediately displayed in front of Ah Du Lie. In the afterglow of the setting sun, it quietly reflected the dazzling golden light. 

The centurion bowed and said, “Look, they are all here, there is not a single missing.” 

A look of satisfaction flashed in his eyes. He reached into the wooden box in front of him, and grabbed a handful of small gold ingots. He closed his eyes and sniffed drunkenly. 

The centurion observed Ah Du Lie’s expression, hesitated for a moment, then finally said cautiously. “Master Marshal, this road, for these treasures, twelve mules have been exhausted to death, and the remaining few are also sick and almost immobile. Look…do you think…” 

Do you think you can abandon some treasures to hurry the journey? 

Before the centurion finished the second half of the sentence, Ah Du Lie hit him with a whip on his face. He was so frightened that he knelt on the ground, clutching his fiery face, trembling, and didn’t dare to speak again. 

“Huh, the mule can’t carry it, then replace it with people. Anyway, I have more people than mules.” 

Ah Du Lie spoke coldly, then suddenly felt that the whip just took too much effort, making him a little dizzy. He shakily crawled back on his horse.

He can’t delay any longer, he must get out of this desert before it gets dark. 

“Give out the order, we are setting off!” 

However, when the order was issued, none of the Beirong soldiers responded. 

Everyone unanimously stopped their movements, their eyes widened, and they looked at the end of the desert with fear. 

The vast and chaotic sky, a round bloody setting sun boldly created a golden red afterglow on the straight horizon at the edge of the desert. Along with the red sunset, a tall and vigorous black silhouette appeared in the sky. One person, one horse, accompanied by billowing smoke and dust, rushed towards them like an arrow shot from it’s string! 

Ah Du Lie swallowed anxiously, thinking that the figure in the distance seemed familiar. 

Getting closer and closer. 

They finally understood why there was billowing smoke and dust in the sky. 

Because in the white smoke were the iron hoofs of countless war horses! 

The black figure in the front, a silver-white hideous mask, finally caught everyone’s eyes. 

“Silver-masked King of H*ll!” 

A scream cut through the sky, and Bei Rong’s army suddenly rioted. In the battle between Bei Rong and Yan Kingdom half a year ago, they were destroyed under the hands of the Silver-masked King of H*ll. It was a completely unexpected fiasco. After this battle, the soldiers of Bei Rong were all frightened by the ghost general of Yan Kingdom and would become terror-stricken. This time they took advantage of the fire to rob them, boldly swallowing the twelve counties of Monan without any scruples. They had heard that the Silver-masked King of H*ll was seriously injured and was kept behind closed doors, making them even more fearsome. 

Why is this person coming out again! 

Ahhh! Thousands of people screamed in haste and grief, and the vast desert instantly turned into a h*ll full of blood.

Originally dying at their last gasp, the vulnerable Bei Rong army was instantly overwhelmed with their fragile line of defense by the mighty steeds and iron hoofs. Throwing away their helmets and armor, they were all fleeing. 

Ah Du Lie slashed a small soldier who was fleeing in front of him, shouting loudly. “Anyone who flees in battle will be killed!” 

His move did not have much deterrent force. Fleeing all the way from the 12 counties of Monan, the soldiers had already known that this general marshal regarded the lives of people like grass and was obsessed with wealth. They had long felt resentful towards him. Now that the enemy was present, there was no time to care about him, they all fled like birds and beasts in a sorry state. 

A few guards gritted their teeth and took up swords to resist. They entangled with the well-trained and high-spirited Yan Kingdom army a few times, then became bloody ghosts under their sword. 

Seeing the sudden change in the situation, Ah Du Lie hurriedly strode, panting and desperately rushing to the ten-odd mule and horse team that was pulling the treasure chest. With a whip on his skinny arm, he was about to flee. 

However, the mules and horses couldn’t walk fast because of too much weight. Seeing that the Yan army was about to catch up, Ah Du Lie’s eyes were about to crack open. In a panic, he grabbed some gold ingots, placed them in his chest, then began to hastily run away.

Pant! Pant! Pant!

After running a few steps, he couldn’t contain it anymore and began to retch. He had to stop. With his hands on his knees, arched, he was covered in cold sweat, but he couldn’t vomit anything. 

His neck became cold, and a sharp blade stood in front of him. 

Ah Du Lie slowly raised his head, looking at the person in front of him in fear and unwillingness. Under the silver-white mask, a pair of bright black eyes without any emotion was gleaming with cool light in the setting sun. 

As soon as Ah Du Lie’s pale lips opened and closed, he couldn’t make any more sounds after saying a few words. 

Bright red human blood splashed on the pale saline desert along with a silver light flash. 

The desolate bugle sounded for a long time, and Yan Changqing retracted his sword, leading the black and overwhelming tens of thousands of black armored troops back. 

He didn’t know how long it had been before the half-round red sun finally sank into the night, leaving only a few faint purple clouds in the sky. A thin and pale crescent moon was on the verge of collapse in the pitch black night. 

In the gray and pale moonlight, a city gradually appeared in the eyes of all the Yan Kingdom troops. The towering gray-brown city walls and solid stone fortresses have stood majestically in the desert even after a major earthquake. 

This is Qinchuan, the capital of the twelve counties in Monan, Yan Kingdom.

All the black armored troops breathed a sigh of relief. In the past few days, they have suffered a lot from the Beirong army in Monan who took advantage of the earthquake to suppress the citizens. For more than ten days, they waded through icy snowy water, traversed the vast desert, and penetrated deep into the interior of the desert to wipe out and capture more than 30,000 Beirong Army troops. What they adopted was a roundabout and interspersed warfare. This was the tactic that their General Yan was best at. They were invincible, but they were also extremely depleted. Someone would inevitably murmur some discontent secretly. But when they remembered how their general had just recovered from a serious illness, and was just like them, with yellow sand in his head, sky as their canopy, breeze as their dining companion, they no longer had any temper. Instead, they silently gritted their teeth in anticipation of the great day of victory. 

Now that they have finally returned from victory, many soldiers of the black armored troop have even begun to imagine eating a few mouthfuls of Monan’s barbecue, taking a hot bath, and lying down in the soft bedding to rest. 

The dark-green and gold-encrusted Yan Kingdom banner danced in the night breeze. With the fluttering army flag, Yan Changqing quietly stared at the city of Qinchuan not far away. Under the hideous silver-white mask, the pretty eyebrows were slightly furrowed. 

He raised a hand. “Pass out the military order, all-black armored troops should be stationed on the spot, there is to be no entry into the city!” 

This command was like pouring cold water on a burning charcoal brazier. Everyone was stunned silent .

The exhausted black armored troops in heavy armor who had just fought in blood were confused and indignant, but after all, being the army brought up by Yan Changqing himself, even though there were quite a few complaints at this time, but with Yan Changqing’s military prestige, no one dared to question him loudly. 

The deputy commander was bold. He went forward, looking at Yan Changqing’s cold silver mask, and said gruffly, “What is general’s intent?” 

Yan Changqing turned around. The deputy commander in front of him was named Xiang Yu. He was seven or eight years older and had a tall and sturdy stature, with a strange strength. His angular face was full of masculinity and his words and deeds were also rough and bold, he was a very loyal and trustworthy fighter. 

“Don’t you think it’s too easy for us to win these battles?” Yan Changqing asked. 

Xiang Yu frowned and touched the hard hair on the back of his head: “Sir, now that you mention it, this does seem a bit too simple! Didn’t they say the Bei Rong barbarians were all tall and strong like mules and horses? But the barbarians we have seen in the desert these days have been all yellow and thin, and only half their lives left. I don’t even need an axe to cut off their small necks, just two fingers is enough!” 

Yan Changqing nodded slightly. Frowning, he became silent. 

Yes, these few battles were strangely easy to win. Yan Changqing couldn’t understand why the Beirong Army, which had always been greedy, fled in a hurry shortly after occupying the 12 counties of Monan? Why was every Beirong army they hunted and wiped out in the desert, all faceted, skinny and vulnerable? 

Even this time Ah Du Lie, the supreme commander of the Bei Rong Army, was the same. Yan Changqing had fought him before, vaguely remembering that he was an eight-foot fierce man with a face like a jujube, a sound like a thunder, and a thick chest and a broad body. He was very difficult to deal with. Today, if it were not for his careful identification, he could hardly regard the skinny and weak person in front of him and the Ah Du Lie in his memory as the same person.

In the afterglow of the setting sun, Ah Du Lie, who was about to become a ghost under the sword, had a strange light gleaming in his green eyes. 

“The earth crack, thousands of ghosts come out! The entire Monan is cursed. Today my corpse lies here, tomorrow you may not escape Hohoho!!” 

All the way on the return journey, Yan Changqing constantly thought back to Ah Du Lie’s few words before his death. Confused, and also a little creepy. 

What exactly did the Bei Rong Army encounter? 

Perhaps the answer lies in the distant city of Qinchuan. 

Under the white moonlight, the towering Qinchuan city wall faintly revealed an eerie aura. As the capital of the twelve counties in Monan, there must be tens of thousands of poor people in the city who were suffering. They suffered a strong earthquake and were raged by the Beirong Army. Who knows how their casualties were and whether they can survive.

No matter what terrible things were going on in Qinchuan City, as the great general of the Kingdom of Yan, Yan Changqing could never not help the tens of thousands of people in the city. 

The black armoured troops finally stationed outside the city. Yan Changqing whispered to the deputy general Xiang Yu, then with a hundred elite black armoured troops and hundreds of relief supplies allocated by the court, he knocked open the cold and heavy gates of Qinchuan City without hesitation. 

———————- 

Three days later, twenty miles outside the city of Qinchuan. 

Camel bells were ringing in spells, and a mighty camel horse team of four to five hundred people carrying heavy linen bags, were slowly walking in the desert. The wind and sand gradually rose, and on the leading camel, a pair of slender and powerful calves sandwiched the camel’s belly. It shook a little impatiently, leaped lightly, and landed on the ground.

Helian Rongchuan squinted, looked at the endless undulating sand dunes in the wind and sand, and looked back. “Hey, old man, how long will it take to get to Qinchuan?” 

The person he asked was an old man with a gray beard and a muslin head covering in the mule behind, the guide known as the “Monan Living Map”. The old man was dim-eyed, but had a wonderful sense of direction. He shakily climbed down from the carriage and sat on the ground cross-legged. The wind and sand instantly blew his gray hair up. The old man was stern, and unperturbed on the ground. With his eyes closed, he felt the direction of the wind for a while, then dug a handful of sand, took his fingernail, and placed it in his mouth. 

“We’re almost there. It’s still twenty miles away. If we walk faster, we can reach it in half a day.” 

After saying this, the old man got up from the ground and bowed to Helian Rongchuan, spreading both palms. 

Helian Rongchuan snorted, and a boy in white clothes with a round face and round eyes stepped forward and put a small bag full of heavy gold in the palm of the old man. 

The old man had his face solemn. He bowed again with satisfaction to Helian Rongchuan, rode on the mule without looking back, and ran away. 

The white-clothed boy was named Wei Jin, he was lively and clever. Seeing the old man running away, he was a little worried and said: “Your Royal Highness, did you let this old man run away?” 

Helian Rongchuan raised his eyebrows: “Otherwise?” 

Helian Rongchuan climbed up the camel again, looked into the distance, and changed his tone, imitating the old man’s thick Monan accent: “The earth crack, a million ghosts! The entire Monan is cursed. I can’t go, I can’t go…” 

The camel seemed to have been disgusted by his weird accent and he sneezed with some impatience. Helian Rongchuan wrinkled his nose. The smell of this camel was too great, and was not as nice of a ride as his big black horse. But in the desert, no matter how good his horse was, it was not as secure as a camel.

“He talked all the way, saying that Monan is cursed and he is unwilling to go, so what can I do? Should I put a knife on his neck and force him to go? One more set of ration to feed another, then my treasure will lose another bite to eat.” 

Wei Jin silently glanced at Helian Rongchuan, then touched his neck. A few days ago, he was enjoying tea while thinking about new prescriptions. Yet someone suddenly rushed into the Imperial Medical Bureau, one hand pulling his collar, the other hand grabbing his medicine box. To put it bluntly, he was forcibly pushed into this inexplicable Monan disaster relief team. 

Also who is this sacred treasure? Why has he heard Helian Rongchuan chanting that over eight hundred times? Casually eating lamb, then saying he’ll miss his treasure. Casually drinking, then saying he’ll miss his treasure again. The entire journey, he was reluctant to eat or drink along the way so he could leave it for his treasure. 

How much can your treasure eat? 

Of course, these can only be secretly poked and scorned about. For the sake of his reputation, Wei Jin was still the youngest envoy of the Imperial Medical Bureau, who was clever and quiet. 

The camel team continued to move forward slowly, a long row of shadows projected on the white saline desert. The hot sun pulled these shadows longer and longer, and longer and longer. Finally, when the sun was about to set, the towering Qinchuan city wall appeared in front of everyone. 

Helian Rongchuan looked at the solid Qinchuan wall. Even after a major earthquake, there were almost no cracks in the Qinchuan city wall, and his heart was a little more settled. However, when he turned around, he saw that all the camel teams were blocked outside the cold city gate. 

“Who wants to enter the city, report your names quickly!” 

Helian Rongchuan took a step back, placed his hands on his hips, raised his head, squinted, and saw the serious little sentry on the wall wearing a black armor. 

This used to be the armor that he scorned the most, but now, Helian Rongchuan felt it was extremely kind and cute. 

He knew that it was this kind of armor that protected Yan Changqing on the battlefield. 

The black armored troops. 

It seems that Yan Changqing was really here. 

Love the crow that comes along with the house,Helian Rongchuan thought. Yan Changqing has a cold personality. It’s no wonder the soldiers he brought out had such an ice face. His eyes softened, and he didn’t mind the bad attitude of this little sentry. He smiled and said, “Go and tell your general, there are noble guests here!” 

As he said, he took out a small bag of silk that had been prepared long ago. It was wrapped with three layers, tied to a stone, thrown hard, and passed to the little sentinel. The little sentry looked down and disappeared from the tower with a serious face. 

Wei Jin carried the small medicine box on his back, and came over curiously: “Your Royal Highness, what are you throwing?” 

Helian Rongchuan pretended to smile mysteriously. “What? This is what I prepared for my treasure.”    

Wei Jin: “…” 

When Wei Jin heard Helian Rongchuan say “My treasure”, his brain hurt and in order to control himself from complaining, he remained silent. 

Helian Rongchuan continued to smile and said, “Believe it or not, when my treasure sees the treasure I gave him, he will run over with tears and excitement to open the door for me in person.” 

Wei Jin nodded in embarrassment, trying to maintain his politeness, smiling without losing demeanor. 

Before long, a tall and handsome figure appeared on the tall tower. A black light armour with a narrow waist and narrow sleeves, majestic and beautiful. Long satin-like jet-black hair was neatly tied into a bunch, and the tail end of the hair fluttered slightly with the wind, gently brushing over the man’s cold silver-white mask. Under the mask, a pair of black and white, clear and sharp black eyes searched downward. 

“Hey——! This way! This way!” Helian Rongchuan stepped back, waving his arms vigorously: “It’s me!” 

Yan Changqing’s eyes fixated on Helian Rongchuan. The eyes of the two crossed. 

Although Helian Rongchuan had been thinking of that person countless times in his dreams and memories, now seeing him under the city wall, Helian Rongchuan still felt his heart was like the first time he saw Yan Changqing, pounding just as hard. 

Helian Rongchuan showed a brilliant smile and said loudly, “Long time no see! General Yan, how are you?” 

While winking at Wei Jin, he seemed to be showing off his rare treasure, the meaning couldn’t be more clear. 

Wei Jin on the side felt his chin almost falling to the ground in shock. Silver…Silver masked King of H*ll Yan Changqing, is the da…treasure of his second Royal Highness? 

Yan Changqing watched Helian Rongchuan’s face quietly. The afterglow of the setting sun gently reflected a golden light on the side of the man downstairs, making him look handsome, full of wildness and the vitality of life. 

He really is alive! 

Alive and healthy!

A ripple flashed in Yan Changqing’s dark eyes, and he turned and disappeared into the tower. 

Helian Rongchuan turned around and glanced with a triumphant look at the little imperial doctor who had not recovered from the shock. “Did you see, my treasure is excited to open the door for me personally!” 

Wei Jin raised his head. Looking in the direction of the city wall, he pointed at the back of Helian Rongchuan with a face of fear, and spoke uncomfortably, “You…you, look behind you!” 

Helian Rongchuan turned his head to the high wall. Yan Changqing had at some time reappeared. When he appeared again, facing him, he was steadily pulling a purple longbow with a silver arrow flashing with cold light. 

The arrow aimed at the figure of Helian Rongchuan. 

Helian Rongchuan: …? ? ? 

Helian Rongchuan was confused and was about to step forward a few steps to ask what was going on. However, as soon as he moved his foot forward, a sound of breaking air was heard, and a silver arrow shot into the ground where he was originally standing. 

Helian Rongchuan raised his head in astonishment. Before he opened his mouth, he heard a few “swishes” in his ears. On the land less than an inch away in front of him, Yan Changqing shot a row of sharp silver arrows! 

The smile on Helian Rongchuan’s face finally solidified, and he looked up in shock. 

Yan Changqing looked at Helian Rongchuan’s astonished expression downstairs, lowered his bow and arrows, his fingers trembling slightly.

“You are not welcome here.” He said. 

The wind was too strong, and Helian Rongchuan thought he had heard it wrong. “What did you say?!!!” 

Yan Changqing closed his eyes in pain. The little sentry on the side trumpeted his mouth with his hands, and said loudly, 

“My general told you to get lost!” 

“Get lost!!” 

This time, everyone downstairs heard clearly. 

Helian Rongchuan’s eyes widened in disbelief. 

Get lost? 

Why?! 

He was about to ask again, but the figure on the tower disappeared. All the sentries raised their bows and arrows in unison, aiming at everyone in the camel convoy outside the city gate. 

“The general has given the order. If you don’t retreat, we will kill you without discussion!” 

Helian Rongchuan stood downstairs in disbelief, like a child who was at a loss and doing something wrong. 

After a long time, Helian Rongchuan gave an order, and the hungry camel team unloaded the heavy relief supplies that they had carried all the way. Large and small sacks were piled up in front of the city gate into hills. 

Helian Rongchuan looked up unwillingly, but could only see a row of cold bows and arrows on the wall. He did not see the familiar figure again. 

The camel squad finally turned around, took a heavy step, and left Qinchuan City. 

It was not until the Camel team had gone far that Yan Changqing returned to the tower and stood quietly, watching the familiar figure in the distance gradually disappear into the night. The wind whipped up the yellow sand, causing waves in his black, mercury-like eyes. 

At this moment, Yan Changqing didn’t know that as the moon rose, the mighty camel team at the end of the skyline slowly stopped. A man riding on a tall camel was also facing towards him. 

The wind and sand gradually ceased, and the man’s amber-like eyes were filled with fearless and unhesitating brilliance. 

———————————————— 

Although Qinchuan City was built on the desert, it was backed by snowy mountains. In early summer, the glaciers melted and merged into clear river water, gently surrounding this oasis in the desert like the snow-white arms of a lover.

The people of Monan called this river that has bred countless oasis creatures the White Wolf River. 

The terrain of Monan was high, and the sky appeared low. The deep indigo blue night drooped down, dotted with countless silver-white stars in the sky, which was extraordinarily magnificent and bright. 

For some reason, Yan Changqing felt that the stars tonight were extraordinarily low and bright. The gurgling water of the White Wolf River was shimmering due to the stars in the sky, as if all the stars had jumped into the clear water, like a milky way. 

The people in ten thousand tents drunk, and the stars’ shadow was shaky. 

Returning to the dream, separated by the wolf river, and shattered by the sound of the river. 

For some reason, Yan Changqing stood by the river and suddenly thought of these two lines of poem. Under the sky full of stars, inside and outside the city of Qinchuan, countless simple felt tents were erected to avoid the earthquakes. Was this not exactly the scene described in those poems? 

The difference was that under the ten thousand tents, no one had the leisure to be “drunk”. In front of almost every felt tent, there were one or two boiling medicine jars. In the vast expanse of steaming heat, many people walked out of the felt tents, folded their hands towards the towering vast snow-capped mountains in the distance, and bowed their heads religiously and respectfully. 

Before death, all beings are equal. Whether poor or rich, noble or lowly, everyone in Qinchuan City looked solemn, sincere and in awe when they bowed and prayed. 

Yan Changqing had never believed in the so-called ghosts and gods, but now, he sincerely wished that the gods of the heavens would bless that person. 

The night was long, the mountains were high and the road was long. He just hoped that everything was going well for him. 

Do not come back. 

With open palms, Yan Changqing used a little bit of starlight to scrutinize the silk pouch sent by the little sentry today. The small bag was very rugged, and the knot was tied out of order, completely in the style of Helian Rongchuan. The inner and outer three layers opened, there was only one thing inside.

A shiny silver three-sided arrow. 

Yan Changqing recognized it at a glance. This was the arrow he shot towards Helian Rongchuan on the edge of the cliff in Qixia Village that day, with a little barb. 

How painful it must have been to pull it out of his flesh and blood. 

A trace of guilt and distress surged in Yan Changqing’s heart. 

He picked up the arrow with his finger and looked carefully. It’s strange, it’s obviously an arrow that hurt him, why did Helian Rongchuan wipe it so clean and bright? It seems that after being rubbed countless times, the sharp edges and corners of the arrows had become a little blunt. 

Yan Changqing stroked the arrow lightly with his fingertips, then suddenly felt that there seemed to be a little bump on the side of the arrow. 

Facing the bright light outside the felt tent in the distance, Yan Changqing could see clearly that a crooked character was slightly engraved on the side of the three-sided arrow. 

“Qing.” 

Yan Changqing’s heart throbbed violently. He touched his fingers, and there was indeed a word on the other side of the three-sided arrow. 

“Chuan.” 

With a “slap “, Yan Changqing placed the three-sided arrow on a big rock by the White Wolf River and turned his head away. 

Nonsense! 

It seems that the arrow shot that day was still too weak. He should have shot a few more, let him suffer more, and see if he still has such leisurely sentiment to engrave any words! 

He thought fiercely in his heart for a while, then somehow, Yan Changqing turned around again. He hesitated, picked up the arrow, wiped it carefully, then carefully wrapped it in silk, and tied a strong and elegant knot.

If he was unlucky, the meeting on the tower today will be the last time he saw Helian Rongchuan. Helian Rongchuan’s gradually freezing smile, astonished and hurt eyes, kept appearing in Yan Changqing’s mind. 

Every time he thought of this, Yan Changqing felt a sense of melancholy and sourness in his heart. 

But three days ago, from the moment he entered Qinchuan City, he had no other choice. 

As the chief of the twelve counties of Monan, the once prosperous city of Monan became a h*ll on earth within a few days of the earthquake. It was not the earthquake that completely destroyed this so-called “Pearl of the Desert”, but the plague that suddenly broke out in the city after the earthquake. 

On the collapsed street, beside the grass piled up with bones, there were people leaning over and retching, pale and skinny patients. The food for disaster relief that had been longed for had finally arrived, but many people in the city died before they even had a bite. 

It was also this sudden plague that caused the Beirong Army, who invaded Monan to take advantage of the fire, to suffer. Many soldiers of Beirong were also infected with this strange plague. The medicine was ineffective. They withdrew one after another, fleeing in a hurry. But the claws of the plague didn’t let them go. Tens of thousands of soldiers in Beirong died on the way to retreat, and the other half died in the hands of the black armoured troops seeking annihilation. 

Yan Changqing finally understood why the Bei Rong Marshal Ah Du Lie had said those words before his death. 

The earth crack, thousands of ghosts come out! The entire Monan was indeed cursed by this menacing plague. 

Yan Changqing never regretted entering Qinchuan City. As the general of the Yan Kingdom, he had the responsibility to save the people from water and fire. Even if he died here unfortunately, he would not hesitate.

However, he must not let Helian Rongchuan get involved. He owed too much to that person, and he was full of guilt deep in his heart. He must not let Helian Rongchuan also fall into a dangerous mire just because of a moment of his soft heartedness. 

Sorry. 

I can only use this method to protect you. 

Unconsciously, Yan Changqing walked farther away from the felt tent. The bonfire set up outside the felt tent, from here, seemed to have become small fireflies. 

The gentle night wind blew over the lush green grass by the river. It was very quiet here, there was no one; only the white wolf river gurgling by the feet bringing a refreshing, sweet coolness in the faint white mist. 

Yan Changqing thought for a while, took off his black light armor and close-fitting shirt with confidence, and untied his hair band. His hair was very long and supple, like top grade black satin. Now being loosened and hanging freely around his waist and neck, Yan Changqing suddenly felt his always heavy, tight heartstrings relax a little. 

Yan Changqing dived into the clear water, swimming quietly like an elegant and free fish. 

During the day, he was the admired and uncompromising general. Only when there was no one in the night can Yan Changqing occasionally let go of his heavy responsibilities on his shoulders. Only then can he occasionally indulge in a willful manner for a short while, like a child without thinking about anything. 

Especially in the few days after entering Qinchuan City, he was too tired and depressed, but he couldn’t show anything. Today, the scene of forcibly rejecting Helian Rongchuan downstairs made him clench his teeth to hold on, and he was about to suffocate. 

If this tension continues, Yan Changqing really doesn’t know how long he can hold on. 

Perhaps only the clear and cold river water can temporarily soothe his tired body and mind.

Yan Changqing had an excellent swimming ability. After swimming a long distance, he popped his head out of the water with a “crash” and gasped gently. Wet black hair stuck to his cheeks and collarbone, making his face look as white as the moonlight, and his eyes were brighter and darker. He faced forward, drifting quietly in the river, silently looking at the bright galaxy above his head. 

He didn’t know where that person was now, but was there such a beautiful night sky above his head as well? 

Yan Changqing opened his eyes, stared at the stars in the sky for a while, then suddenly realized that he was thinking of Helian Rongchuan again inexplicably. He couldn’t help being a little bit ashamed and a little angry at himself. 

What kind of evil curse has he been hit with! 

Yan Changqing buried his head in the river again, trying to clear himself up. 

However, at the moment he was immersed in the water again, he suddenly heard a small sound of water coming from the river not far away.     

Huala — huala — 

Yan Changqing immediately tensed his muscles, pricked his ears, and stared at the direction of the sound of water. 

There seems to be a person swimming up against the flow of the river. Who could it be? 

Beirong people? No, if there was a sneak attack, it could never be one person. 

The herdsmen around Monan? That was impossible. Snorkeling against the cold water requires excellent swimming ability and endurance, which ordinary herders can’t do. 

Who could it be? 

Yan Changqing swam to the shore, leaning against the cold boulder, calmly preparing to draw out the silver sword under his clothes. 

When he turned around again, he could no longer hear the sound of the river.

Where’s the person? 

Was it a mistake? 

Yan Changqing watched the movement in the river vigilantly. But the white mist rising from the river blocked part of his vision. 

“Hua la!” 

It was the sound of water again, and Yan Changqing saw the direction where the spray was rising, and slammed it down with his palm— 

But he hit nothing! 

Yan Changqing’s eyes widened in astonishment. Before he could react, something in the river suddenly grabbed his left ankle. Yan Changqing was caught off guard and lost his balance and was instantly pulled into the river.     

Gurulu—— 

Yan Changqing didn’t have time to breathe. He choked slightly, his narrow waist was suddenly swept by someone, and he opened his eyes in the water. 

In the sparkling clear river water reflected by the stars, a man was gently hugging his waist, revealing a smirk like a child’s naughty smile. He was both handsome and had a bit of a wild charm. 

Yan Changqing was completely stunned for several seconds. He opened his mouth in the water, as if he wanted to say something, but only spit out a huge bubble. 

Yan Changqing suddenly exerted his force and pushed Helian Rongchuan far away with one elbow. 

With a big sound, Yan Changqing emerged from the water, pale, and swam to the shore desperately. His mind was so disturbed that he didn’t care about anything. His movements in the water turned to be a bit stiff and awkward, like a young eagle that had fallen in the river accidentally and was flopping around. 

However, a few flops in, the rocks beside the river were slippery, and Yan Changqing accidentally slipped and fell backwards suddenly. 

Helian Rongchuan hurriedly stepped forward to fish him up and Yan Changqing fell into Helian Rongchuan’s wide and strong embrace. The naked smooth back and the wet chest behind him immediately touched. 

Yan Changqing realized instantly that Helian Rongchuan was wearing clothes. 

And he wasn’t. 

Yan Changqing was immediately embarrassed and in a difficult situation. He tried to break free, but Helian Rongchuan closed his arms, as if embracing a rare treasure. He hugged Yan Changqing closer, leaning closer to his red ears with his mouth raised. His voice was low and sexy: 

“I didn’t expect Master Yan to miss this prince so much, that Master Yan would send himself into my arms. Can’t wait?” 

Yan Changqing didn’t care what Helian Rongchuan said. He made a few strokes and splashes, but he couldn’t get rid of Helian Rongchuan’s embrace that was like an iron hoop. Anxious and angry, he shouted, “You are looking for death!” 

Helian Rongchuan firmly placed his chin on the shoulder of Yan Changqing, changing into a back hug posture. He muttered, “I know.” 

Yan Changqing froze, and finally turned around. “You know?” 

“Qinchuan is infected with an plague and many have died terribly. You were afraid that I would be infected when I entered the city, so you drove me away, right?” 

“If you know, why did you dare to sneak in!” 

Yan Changqing glared viciously at Helian Rongchuan’s indifferent smile, almost roaring. It requires a few days for the plague to break out from the infection. In case he was also infected, if Helian Rongchuan contacted him, wouldn’t he— ? 

Yan Changqing felt a huge shock in his heart, and wanted to break free from the embrace of Helian Rongchuan as if he was facing a major enemy. He wished to grow wings and fly away. The farther away he was, the better. But no matter how hard he tried, he still couldn’t fight his embrace.

Yan Changqing wanted to cry without tears. Why didn’t he realize before that this man was so powerful! 

With his back pressed against Helian Rongchuan’s warm chest, Yan Changqing could even hear his heart beating violently. Yes, a powerful heartbeat. 

“Changqing, I missed you so much.” 

“This time, I will never let go again.” 

Straightforward, but warm confession. Yan Changqing couldn’t help being stunned, feeling a little at a loss for a moment. The warm breath hit his ears, and Helian Rongchuan leaned over. He turned his head, holding Yan Changqing’s red earlobe, then lightly took a bite. 

“How did you say the plague is spread? Like this?” 

Not waiting for Yan Changqing to react, Helian Rongchuan held his jaw, lowered his eyelids then devoutly and enthusiastically kissed him. 

“Or is it like this?”


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