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The Empress’ Livestream

The Empress’ Livestream

The Empress’ Livestream
Chapter 648 - Unifying Wanzhou (I)

Chapter 648: Unifying Wanzhou (I)
The battle spread. Sand and dust rose in clouds.
The sound of the battle drums was like rolling thunder. Shouts to kill pierced the heavens.
The Red Lotus Group had suffered several setbacks. After the army was divided, they had repeatedly suffered losses outside Jinmen County. Their morale was crushed and they scarcely had the will to fight.
A group of enemy soldiers seemed to have burst out of nowhere to ambush the rear of the Red Lotus Group. In Jinmen County, Qiguan Rang had immediately given orders for the city to be opened and troops to be dispatched. They were to face the attack of the Red Lotus Group by tying down their main forces from the front, thereby crippling their ability to attend to both ends simultaneously… Qiguan Rang commanded the troops to get into their battle formation, after which they were to charge the Red Lotus Group, break up the enemy’s formation, then surround and garrote them. If the Red Lotus soldiers counter-attacked, they would disperse and wait for them to become unnerved, then gather together and swoop down…
Most of the Red Lotus’ main force had gathered in the front, and Qiguan Rang stuck to them like a lump of sticky candy, making it difficult for them to turn around and support the rear.
Compared with the “gentle deviousness” of Qiguan Rang, Wei Ci appeared to be more prompt, tough, and efficient.
Because Jiang Pengji strictly controlled plans, standards, and organization, the first lesson that recruits received after entering the army was not about physical training, but about how to execute orders.
Therefore, even though Wei Ci had brought recruits, they did a better job of carrying out orders than most. Although their physical fitness and combat quality could not be compared to veterans, in contrast to the Red Lotus Group’s soldiers who were panic-stricken by the ambush, these recruits were many times stronger.
Wei Ci knew very well that Qiguan Rang was buying valuable time for him by tying down the main forces of the Red Lotus Group.
The faster he garroted the enemy soldiers on his side, the greater the losses of the Red Lotus Group. The pressure on Qiguan Rang’s side would soon ease.
For this reason, to further heighten the results of the battle, Wei Ci had chosen a rather heavy-handed offensive formation.
He commanded the Vanguard with the precision of an awl. He was sharp, swift, and nimble. They broke through the ranks of the Red Lotus Group, who had been thrown into chaos, and split them apart.
The arrangement of soldiers in the two wings tended towards the defensive. They were strong and forceful. They kept up their speed and protected the main army at the same time, thus heightening the results of the battle as they harvested the lives of the Red Lotus Group. The bowmen and pikemen in the middle coordinated with the front end and the two wings by shooting the enemy and removing obstacles.
The army led by Wei Ci resembled a pair of long scissors as they easily tore through the rear of the Red Lotus, causing their two wings to be unable to support and coordinate with each other.
The glint and flash of cold steel were accompanied by the rain of arrows that descended like a tidal wave.
Bodies collapsed abruptly. Dismembered limbs and broken bones could be seen everywhere.
The military forces from Jinmen County and the recruits brought by Wei Ci totaled more than 10,000 soldiers. However, the forces led by the Red Lotus Group were still three times the size of theirs.
But since when was the battlefield a place where victory was won with numbers?
With Wei Ci’s offense at the rear and Qiguan Rang tying down the Red Lotus Group at the front, the Red Lotus Gropu was suffering heavy losses. The army’s spirit was crushed, their ranks routed, and their formation broken.
They tried to make one final effort; they concentrated their forces on breaking through the siege.
However, Wei Ci and Qiguan Rang were great at coordinating with each other. The latter switched from “pinning the enemy down” to hemming them in, and the former switched from an offensive attack to “herding the enemy.” The two were like experienced fishermen, and the soldiers they commanded were the solid fishing nets they had woven. The two did not communicate but seemed to understand each other’s minds. They drove the Red Lotus Group, the panic-stricken fish, to one area, finally hauling the nets in! The Red Lotus Gropu had been captured!
It was not until the setting sun illuminated half of the land in a reddish glow that Qiguan Rang reluctantly called for the soldiers to retreat.
“I thought that Zi Shi was the one who would come here.”
Although Feng Zhen was a total wastrel and had a bad relationship with Feng Jin and Xu Ke, Qiguan Rang rather admired the fellow.
According to both of their temperaments and styles, they were quite suitable to lead the recruits to assist Jinmen County.
But Wei Ci was the last person he had expected to turn up.
He thought about Wei Ci’s style of doing things in his daily life. It was very different from the style he had exhibited on the battlefield.
Qiguan Rang could not help but re-examine this mild and sickly colleague.
Ah, Brother, those with hidden depths are the most reserved about themselves!
Wei Ci was still afraid of the cold. He wore quite a few more layers than the others around him. On top of it all, he had also wrapped himself in a windproof cape made of rabbit fur. He looked like a snowball from afar. Just like how Yang Si grew cold when he looked at Qiguan Rang, Qiguan Rang felt somewhat feverish when he looked at Wei Ci.
After listening to Qiguan Rang, Wei Ci smiled and coughed twice. “Zi Shi is far away in Shangyang County, busy managing the general situation there with Huaiyu. This is a back and forth trip that would waste time and risk delaying my lord’s plan. For lack of a better option, I, an idler with nothing to do, was put forth to solve my lord’s problem.”
Actually, that was not the case. In the beginning, Feng Zhen had really wanted this job for himself. How could taking care of exhausting government affairs be as refreshing as fighting a battle?
However, Wei Ci was a fellow who was pure of face but black-hearted. He specialized in ripping his friends off.
From Zhang Ping to Yang Si to Feng Zhen, when had he ever gone easy on any of them?
“…Where has our lord gone now?”
Wei Ci had rushed here overnight. He’d had no free time to make inquiries.
Qiguan Rang briefly talked about the current condition of the battlefield.
They had successfully defended Jinmen County. Qiguan Rang reckoned that they could score Red Lotus County with some deception. It just so happened that Wei Ci had arrived. He could lead the army to Red Lotus County and guard it.
The Red Lotus Group was fighting a civil war in Qiuyu County. Jiang Pengji and Qiguan Rang had intentionally sealed off the news so that they would not know about the changes going on here for a while.
Jiang Pengji could use the time gap before the enemy received the news and reacted to turn around and attack Fenghu County. They would wait until the three counties had been stabilized before returning to pick off the Red Lotus Group’s remaining troops.
Wei Ci kept up a gentle expression as he listened carefully.
Very early in his previous life, he had moved from Langya County to Bianzhou with the Wei family due to an imperial order. As an invisible person, he was not valued, so he had simply built his abode and lived alone, secluded from the outside world. He still cared about what was going on in the world, but most of the news came via imperial orders. As for the news about Dongqing, he only knew about the general situation.
Perhaps it was the evildoers mentioned by Monk Liao Chen who had stolen the fortune of Dongqing’s national fate and the vitality and luck of the common people, causing many things to happen in advance.
The Red Lotus Group of his previous life couldn’t have surfaced at a later time.
The Red Lotus Group had been dormant in the north for several years. One could not tell how many loyal followers it had accumulated because its members were spread far and wide. In the end, the Red Lotus’ chief had taken advantage of a favorable opportunity to revolt and had gained the support of the people in the north. The court was unable to deal a blow to the Group and had suffered losses on multiple occasions. The Tsing Yi Army, who had revolted at the same time, could only avoid the danger represented by the Group.
Currently, the Red Lotus Group had not yet matured sufficiently, and their doctrines were not fully entrenched in the people’s hearts. Otherwise, it would have been much more difficult to take down Chengde County.
“…The lord has gone to Qiuyu County?” Wei Ci asked.
Qiguan Rang replied, “Based on the time, I reckon that’s the case. Zixiao, it’s fortunate that you are here. Otherwise, it would have been too busy for me. Although the Red Lotus Group is just a disorderly mob, their ability to entice and lead people astray is strong. During the past few days of guarding the city, there have been repeated attempts by the commoners to attack or bribe the guards at the city gate. On the surface, more than 22 people have been arrested. There are more who are waiting to make a move behind our backs.”
Wei Ci rubbed his brow. “Those stubborn followers… It is best not to keep them alive, lest they spoil our plans.”
One pellet of mouse dropping could spoil a pot of porridge.
Keeping those fools who had been brainwashed… Who knew when they would cause a disaster?
The Red Lotus Group should be annihilated!
Thinking about his past life, Wei Ci’s expression became indescribably dark and gloomy. A murderous glint was half-hidden in his gaze, and even his gentle cheeks seemed to express his cold apathy.
Realizing the Wei Ci’s meaning, Qiguan Rang’s brows knitted together slightly.
Had Wei Ci’s desire to kill been awakened?