Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 115

Chapter 115: The Heartless One

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Explanation? How should she explain?

The situation was critical at the time when she was thrown into the dungeon, and she guessed that the enemy would likely take action soon. So, she asked Song Taotao for some paper and a pen and wrote a letter to Shen Han.

In the letter, she included a detailed map of Liangzhou Garrison, where she had been residing for the past half-year. She suspected that the enemy would approach from the Five Deer River. She advised Shen Han to dispatch several hundred to a thousand archers to hide in the dense forest near the Five Deer River, setting up an ambush for the enemy once they crossed the river on their way to Liangzhou Garrison.

“At the time, I was falsely accused of murder and thrown into the dungeon,” He Yan thought for a moment and continued to explain, “Even though others didn’t believe me, I had a feeling that the enemy had bigger plans. And since you, Commander, were not present, Liangzhou Garrison was in real danger. So, I drew this map and had Miss Song deliver it to Instructor Shen. However, at that time, I wasn’t sure if Instructor Shen would act as I suggested. It was a desperate move on my part.”

Although Shen Han initially doubted and didn’t believe her, he ultimately decided to act cautiously due to the importance of Liangzhou Garrison. He followed her advice and set up the ambush in the forest. This led to the enemy’s defeat when they attempted to cross the river, leaving them in a disadvantageous position, with their morale already weakened.

Xiao Jue raised an eyebrow, “Why the riverbank?” 

“Keep your enemies close. To catch a thief, you must lock the door, not only to prevent their escape but also to prevent them from falling into someone else’s hands.” 

He chuckled, “Your knowledge of military strategy is impressive. What about the granary?” 

“Behind the Liangzhou Garrison, there’s White Moon Mountain, next to Five Deer River. There’s one road where you, as the commander, can leave, and another road leads into the city. I suspect the enemy has bigger plans. One Liangzhou Garrison may not be enough. If they bring us into their position, the first thing they’d do is burn the granary. Without supplies, the new recruits at Liangzhou Garrison won’t last long. We’d either be trapped here or forced to enter the city. Once the city gates are open, the enemy can easily take over, and Liangzhou won’t hold. So I wrote to Instructor Shen, instructing people to hide in the shadows and guard the granary to prevent anyone from setting it on fire.” 

In fact, Ridamuzi did send someone to set fire, but they were intercepted by prepared Liangzhou recruits. 

“You guessed right,” Xiao Jue said slowly, leaning forward and getting closer to her, his eyes locked onto hers. “Impressive strategy, young lady, you leave nothing to chance.”

His deep, clear eyes, as serene as autumn water, made He Yan feel somewhat uncomfortable, and she couldn’t respond to his earlier comment. The reason she seemed to have an impeccable strategy was simply because she had witnessed countless times when the Qiang people first set the granary on fire. Once she identified them as Qiang people, she naturally knew what their next move would likely be. 

But she couldn’t tell this to Xiao Jue. 

“How do you know so much? Did your father teach you military strategy at home?” he asked, his lips curling. 

He Yan knew that he was growing suspicious, so she decided to make up a story: “Not at all. I learned it all on my own. Commander, don’t you think I’m a born military genius?” 

He chuckled, “Are you trying to deceive me again?” 

“Commander always suspects I’m a liar. At the very least, you should provide some evidence,” He Yan grew bolder. “You suspected Lei Hou, so you placed him in the vanguard camp, and eventually, Lei Hou revealed himself. You suspect something about me, so you keep me close. There’s only a wall separating my room from yours. If I were truly up to something, you would have an easier time discovering it. But so far, besides the fact that I’m a woman, nothing has happened. Commander’s accusations are a bit unreasonable.” 

Xiao Jue couldn’t help but laugh, “I’m being unreasonable?”

“Commander has kept me by his side for so long, and apart from recognizing my loyalty, intelligence, bravery, and resourcefulness, what else have you discovered about me? Absolutely nothing.” He Yan shrugged her shoulders. “As a commander, it is customary to reward and punish accordingly. This time, I helped resolve the crisis in Liangzhou Garrison and contributed to a great extent. Shouldn’t I be rewarded for it?”

“Reward?” He gradually asked, “What kind of reward do you want?”

He Ysn straightened up a bit and leaned closer to him, her eyes shining: “Can I go to the Nine Banner Battalion?”


He Yan: “Why not?”

“Because the Nine Banner Battalion doesn’t accept liars with a mouthful of lies,” he responded plainly.

“I haven’t lied to anyone!”

“Miss He,” his beautiful eyes fixed on her, suddenly curved into a smile, “although I don’t know what you’re hiding, but,” he paused and then said, “there will come a day when your secret is revealed.” 

He Yan’s heart skipped a beat, and she forgot to respond. 

He stood up and headed for the door. He Yan hurriedly asked, “What about Hu Yuanzhong?” 

Xiao Jue didn’t pause, leaving with a simple “Dead.” 

He Yan was taken aback, dead? 


When Xiao Jue left, Lin Shuanghe had already disappeared. Only Fei Nu was waiting outside. Xiao Jue inquired, “Where did Lin Shuanghe go?” 

“Doctor Lin said he went to Miss Shen’s to help prepare some medicine,” Fei Nu replied. “The fallen recruits from the Liangzhou Garrison have been taken care of.” 

The fallen recruits would be buried at the foot of White Moon Mountain. These young lives, who hadn’t even had a chance to experience real combat, were slaughtered in the shadows. 

Xiao Jue pinched his forehead in frustration.

Upon receiving the news from Zhangtai, he immediately set off for Zhangtai. However, during his journey, he sensed that something was amiss. He secretly contacted the battalion commander of the Nine Banner Battalion and learned that Zhangtai was indeed being harassed by the Wutuo people, but the situation was not as severe as described in the message. Midway, he turned his horse around and dispatched a portion of the Nanfu troops stationed in Qingnan. 

The other side was undoubtedly coming for the Liangzhou Garrison, or rather, for him. 

He had just taken command of the Liangzhou Garrison. If the Liangzhou Garrison failed under his leadership, the Emperor would have a reasonable cause to revoke his military authority. Those courtiers who were dissatisfied with him would use the opportunity to undermine him, and he, as the commander, wouldn’t have a long future. 

“What about those Western Qiang people…” 

“They’re not Western Qiang people,” Xiao Jue interrupted Fei Nu, “they’re Wutuo people.” 

Fei Nu was stunned. 

“Except for Ridamuzi and his confidants, who are Qiang people, the rest are Wutuo people.” 

Fei Nu asked, “Using others to do the dirty work?” 

“They’re trying to kill me,” he chuckled and then turned around, saying, “Summon Shen Han and all the instructors to my room.” 

After Xiao Jue left, He Yan rested for a while, then Song Taotao, Cheng Lisu, and Shen Muxue came to visit.

The two children each brought a large basket of food. Due to the recent arrival of the Qiang people, Liangzhou Garrison was under strict blockade, and they couldn’t enter the city to get good food from restaurants. However, they did have fish soup and steamed meat, among other things. Song Taotao ran to He Yan’s side and asked, “Are you feeling better?”

“Not bad,” He Yan smiled and replied. “I want to thank you for helping me find Instructor Shen back then.”

The young girl blushed slightly, rarely showing a hint of shyness. She replied, “It was nothing. You were in the cell at the time. Besides… you’ve also saved me, so we’re even now.”

“When did my big brother save you?” Cheng Lisu didn’t know about the incident where Song Taotao had been abducted by Sun Ling in Liangzhou City. He looked puzzled and asked.

“That’s a secret. Why should I tell you?” Song Taotao’s expression turned sour when it came to Cheng Lisu.

“But it was my big brother! I have the right to know. Why are you keeping it from me?”

Seeing these two about to start arguing again, Shen Muxue shook her head helplessly and turned to He Yan. “He Yan, I was wrong about you before.”

She was referring to the incident with Hu Yuanzhong.

“It’s okay,” He Yan replied. “They even managed to hide it from the instructors, so it’s normal that they kept it from you. Besides, Miss Shen was desperate to save someone at that time, so you couldn’t have thought about so much. By the way,” she remembered something, “I heard from Commander Xiao that Hu Yuanzhong is dead?”

Shen Muxue nodded. “That Hu Yuanzhong, when Ridamuzi appeared, he tried to abduct me. Later, Commander returned, and his guards fought with Hu Yuanzhong. This man died at the hands of the guards.”

“If we knew he was going to die, we shouldn’t have bothered to save him and wasted our medicinal resources,” Cheng Lisu grumbled.

He Yan thought to herself that Hu Yuanzhong must have been attracted to Shen Muxue’s beauty. He was incredibly audacious, even during a battle between two armies, to still think about abducting someone. Such audacity deserved punishment.

“Brother He,” Shen Muxue looked at her seriously and asked, “I’ve always wondered why you suspected Hu Yuanzhong. What made you think he was up to something?”

And each time you suspected, you were right. After all, at that time, Hu Yuanzhong had been minding his own business in Liangzhou Garrison. Even though Xiao Mai and the others had followed He Yan’s orders and watched him closely, they hadn’t noticed anything unusual about Hu Yuanzhong.

He Yan couldn’t say it was because of the rash on Hu Yuanzhong’s hands, and her familiarity with the Qiang people. After a moment of silence, she replied, “It was that piece of paper with love poems written on it.”

“The paper? The memento Hu Yuanzhong’s deceased wife left him?” Shen Muxue asked.

“That’s right,” He Yan said. “You were all touched by his deep affection, but a person as deeply in love as him wouldn’t look at you in that way.”

“What way?” Shen Muxue was puzzled.

He Yan scratched her head. “It’s the kind of way a man looks at a woman.”

She thought that Shen Muxue was still a young girl with a thin skin. If she said “lustful gaze,” it might make her uncomfortable. It was better to use a more euphemistic expression.

But this Miss Shen was not an ordinary girl. Hearing this, she didn’t blush or shy away. Instead, she asked curiously, “How did you notice that?”

“Me?” This question put He Yan in a bit of a difficult spot. She replied, “I’ve always been paying attention to Miss Shen.”

Shen Muxue frowned, and Song Taotao, sensing the awkwardness, hurriedly stepped forward to block He Yan’s gaze toward Shen Muxue. She picked up a nearby glass of water and handed it to He Yan casually. “Big Brother He, have some water.”

“….Thanks,” He Yan said.

Just as they were talking, they heard laughter from outside. Turning around, they saw Lin Shuanghe returning. He was waving a folding fan even in the cold winter, strolling gracefully as he approached, and wore a cultured smile. “I was wondering why it’s so lively here, turns out everyone’s here.”

“Uncle Lin,” Cheng Lisu called out.

Lin Shuanghe was about the same age as Xiao Jue, and Cheng Lisu was only slightly younger than him. Because they called Xiao Jue “uncle,” they also addressed Lin Shuanghe as “uncle.” However, Lin Shuanghe seemed somewhat dissatisfied with this title. His smile faltered for a moment before he responded.

Shen Muxue stood up. “Young Master Lin.”

“Miss Shen, I just came from the infirmary. Several new soldiers have awakened and are complaining of pain in their wounds. Do you need to go and see?”

“Is that so?” Shen Muxue glanced at He Yan. “Brother He, do you have any discomfort now?”

“No, not at all,” before He Yan could answer, Song Taotao spoke up. She saw that the situation was turning awkward and gave a sidelong glance to Shen Muxue. “If there’s anything wrong, Young Master Lin is here to attend to him.”

“Uncle Lin, don’t you only treat women?” Cheng Lisu asked in surprise.

Coughing, Lin Shuanghe closed his fan. “Occasionally, I can make an exception.”

“In that case, I’ll take my leave,” Shen Muxue said, offering a slight bow to the group, then turned and left the room.

Song Taotao let out a sigh of relief.

He Yan: …..

She felt a bit of a headache, and didn’t know what to do. Lin Shuanghe was astute, and he probably sensed her discomfort. He turned to Song Taotao and Cheng Lisu and said, “I need to examine He Yan’s wounds again. After that, he must rest. Both of you should avoid disturbing him.”

“Rest again?” Cheng Lisu asked. “We’ve just seen him. It hasn’t even been the time it takes to drink a cup of tea. I have something I want to discuss with Big Brother He.”

“That will have to wait until He Yan is feeling better,” Lin Shuanghe said, guiding Cheng Lisu toward the door. “Do you want to see him languish in bed, unable to get up?”

Song Taotao glanced back at He Yan, who pretended to be too weak to respond. She bit her lip and then pulled Cheng Lisu out of the room. “If that’s the case, we won’t disturb him. Let him rest, and we’ll come back tomorrow.”

Cheng Lisu said, “Why are you dragging me away?”

Song Taotao replied, “You think I want to be close to you?”

The two children bickered as they walked away, leaving Lin Shuanghe to close the door.

He Yan let out a sigh of relief. Lin Shuanghe was indeed skillful. After all these years, he still had an excellent ability to read people, which was probably why he had been so popular back when he was at Xianchang Academy. He Yan couldn’t help but feel grateful to him for understanding her dilemma.

“You’re quite remarkable, little sister,” Lin Shuanghe said, strolling over with his fan, wearing a smile. “Even at a time like this, you can still make a young lady jealous. Impressive!”

He Yan weakly replied, “You’re too kind.”

The thoughts of the young lady Song Taotao, she was not a fool and could obviously see through it. However, the young lady’s thoughts were constantly changing, and she believed that things would improve after a while.

“Doctor Lin, did you come here to find me for something?”

“No, not really,” Lin Shuanghe sighed. “Liangzhou Garrison is filled with bloodshed everywhere now. There are still many Qiang people’s corpses lying around, and it gives me a headache. You may not know this, but although I’m a doctor, I don’t enjoy seeing blood and gore. It’s quite annoying. So, I came here to avoid it.”

Lin Shuanghe was also a pampered young master and probably couldn’t adapt to the harsh weather in Liangzhou Garrison. He was enjoying the warmth in this room, borrowed from Cheng Lisu, which was spacious and comfortable, with a blazing fire. Compared to outside, it was much more suitable for lounging.

“Why don’t you go find Commander Xiao?” He Yan asked. “His room is much more comfortable than mine.”

“I’d like to, but when I just arrived, I bumped into him, and he was on his way to the dungeon with his men. It must be something important. I’ll look for him when he returns.”

“The dungeon?” He Yan was taken aback.

“What? Do you want to go too?”

With only Lei Hou in the dungeon, Xiao Jue must have gone there to interrogate him. He Yan had fought against Lei Hou before, and there might be something she could help with.

He Yan replied, “I’d like to go. Can you help with that, Young Master Lin?”

“Normally, I wouldn’t,” Lin Shuanghe said with a fan in hand. “But since it’s a request from a beautiful young lady, I’ll make an exception.” He stood up. “Let’s go, and I’ll bring a cane to support you.”


At the entrance to the dungeon, Xiao Jue and his group were walking in.

The number of guards at the entrance had doubled, and there were people inside as well, to prevent Lei Hou from taking his own life in the cell. Xiao Jue’s cloak fluttered in the wind as he walked and asked, “Where’s Du Mao?”

“Following your orders, he’s locked up,” Shen Han hesitated, then added, “But regarding Lei Hou, he might genuinely be unaware.”

“In my command, there’s no possibility. Rules are rules,” Xiao Jue’s expression remained indifferent. “If you make a mistake, you must face the consequences.”

Shen Han fell silent, not daring to speak further.

The guards inside the dungeon made way for Xiao Jue. He took off his large cloak and handed it to Fei Nu, then turned to look at the person in the cell.

When He Yan had fought with Lei Hou, she had drugged him and used Song Taotao’s belt to tie him up. As a result, when Xiao Jue’s men arrived, Lei Hou was still unconscious.

However, the current Lei Hou was in a much worse state than when he had fought He Yan. His hands and feet were all locked in wooden stocks, rendering him completely immobile. He couldn’t even move his neck and had no strength in his entire body. He couldn’t even bite his tongue to end his life. Once he lost the opportunity to control his own fate, he was like a fish on a chopping board, completely at the mercy of others.

“Open the door,” Xiao Jue ordered.

The guards stood up and opened the door.

Even with the door open, Lei Hou could only move his mouth. He looked at the young man before him. The young man had exceptionally beautiful features illuminated by the lamp, but his gaze was as cold as an icy pond.

“No need to waste your energy,” Lei Hou forced out a smile. “I won’t say anything.”

A guard brought a chair, and Xiao Jue sat down. He looked at Lei Hou with calm eyes and said, “A few months ago, during the flag competition on White Moon Mountain, you lost to He Yan’s forces. However, I still promoted you to the Vanguard Camp. Do you know why?”

Lei Hou’s smile froze, and he stared at Xiao Jue in disbelief.

Xiao Jue raised an eyebrow. “Have you figured it out?”

“Was it intentional?” Lei Hou’s voice was hoarse for a moment.

“A new recruit who remained silent during daily training but performed outstandingly during the flag competition. Is that a genius?” Xiao Jue scoffed. “Are you that kind of genius?”

Lei Hou couldn’t find words to reply.

He had schemed and plotted tirelessly to infiltrate Liangzhou Garrison, step by step, fearing exposure. Even at this stage, he still carried the fearlessness of sacrificing himself. Yet, with just one sentence from Xiao Jue, his defenses had crumbled.

From the very beginning, Xiao Jue had known.

Everything he had done had been like that of a clown, manipulated by someone else and he was still filled with self-satisfaction.

“What does it matter?” Lei Hou struggled to speak, “We’re all going to die anyway, so why not die with some value? Even if it just adds a thorn to your conscience, it would be good.”

“When I promoted you to the Vanguard Camp, I did something,” Xiao Jue casually waved his hand, and Fei Nu bent down to retrieve something from his pocket. He handed Xiao Jue an embroidered sachet and a longevity lock. Xiao Jue tossed the sachet in front of Lei Hou and twirled the longevity lock around his finger, looking at Lei Hou with a smirk. “Take a look, still recognize these?”

Lei Hou felt like he had been struck by lightning.

The embroidery on the sachet was very familiar; it was made by his wife. The longevity lock was something Lei Hou had personally commissioned for his son before leaving.

“Xiao Huaijin,” he gritted his teeth, “This misfortune shouldn’t have touched my wife and child…”

“Wife and child?” Xiao Jue toyed with the longevity lock, mocking, “When you undertook this mission, did you even remember you had a wife and child?”

Lei Hou remained silent through his gritted teeth.

“By doing this, you’ve tied your wife and child’s fate to yours. If you succeed, you all live together. If you fail, what makes you think only you will bear the consequences?”

“Xiao Huaijin!” Lei Hou shouted, attempting to struggle, but the wooden stocks held him firmly in place. He was powerless, his eyes red and filled with anger, as he cried out, “What do you want?”

The young commander looked at him, wearing a mocking smile. “Everything you know, tell me everything.”

“Impossible!” Lei Hou declared.

“What a loyal dog you are,” Xiao Jue placed the longevity lock in front of him and observed it closely, speaking indifferently, “You think that when you die and your wife and child die, your master, the one you served, will seek revenge for you?”

“Everything I did was my own choice,” Lei Hou desperately pleaded, “They don’t know anything. Spare them, please spare them! Do whatever you want with me, even if you kill me, I don’t care, I beg you…”

“Before you came here, you should have considered this consequence,” Xiao Jue said, “Soldiers who embrace death like you can’t possibly hope for leniency. Or perhaps, you should have hidden them more carefully.”

Lei Hou slumped to the ground.

This young commander of Great Wei, known for his ruthless killing, had a heart as hard as iron. No matter how humbly he begged, it wouldn’t soften Xiao Jue’s heart. He was an emotionless monster, cold-blooded and unfeeling, even towards his own birth parents. How could Lei Hou expect him to have any emotions?

“What do you want?” Lei Hou asked weakly. But he knew that he couldn’t outwit Xiao Jue, and he couldn’t possibly turn a blind eye to the lives of his wife and child.

But if he spoke, his master would also seek revenge. This was an irreversible path, with survival on one end and death on the other.

At this moment, Lei Hou regretted it.

“I’ve said it before, just tell me everything you know,” Xiao Jue said leisurely, “I have plenty of time, no rush. You can take your time to say it all.”

“What if I don’t say anything?”

Xiao Jue paused in his manipulation of the longevity lock, and in the next moment, with a slight “crack,” the longevity lock shattered into pieces in his hand. He had actually crushed it.

“You can try not saying anything,” he said calmly, almost gentle, and continued, “I guarantee that the next things I send won’t be just these two lifeless objects.”

Lei Hou closed his eyes.

When he opened them again, his expression was utterly dismal. He looked at Xiao Jue and, with a cold smile, said slowly, “Truly worthy of General Fengyun, truly deserving of the commander of the Right Army. With such ruthlessness and methods, Lei Hou has learned.”

As He Yan supported herself with a stick, accompanying Lin Shuanghe on the way to the dungeon, just as they reached the entrance, they heard these words.

“No wonder back then, when Xiao Zhongwu and his wife’s seventh day of mourning had not passed, and no wonder in the Battle of Guocheng Long Valley, you didn’t bat an eye when you drowned sixty thousand people. When it comes to ruthlessness, who in Great Wei can compare to Xiao Huaijin?”

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